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Sample records for african snail achatina

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Snail

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Yadi

    2010-01-01

    Snail has moved into the fast lane of development and cancer biology with the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) emerging as one of the hottest topics in medical science within the past few years. Snail not only acts primarily as a key inducer of EMT but also plays an important role in cell survival, immune regulation and stem cell biology. This review focuses on the regulation of Snail and discusses the EMT-dependent and -independent functions of Snail in development and disease. Understanding the regulation and functional roles of Snail will shed new light on the mechanism of tumor progression and the development of novel cancer therapies. PMID:20168078

  4. Unraveling the peptidome of the South African cone snails Conus pictus and Conus natalis.

    PubMed

    Peigneur, Steve; Van Der Haegen, Annelies; Möller, Carolina; Waelkens, Etienne; Diego-García, Elia; Marí, Frank; Naudé, Ryno; Tytgat, Jan

    2013-03-01

    Venoms from cone snails (genus Conus) can be seen as an untapped cocktail of biologically active compounds, being increasingly recognized as an emerging source of peptide-based therapeutics. Cone snails are considered to be specialized predators that have evolved the most sophisticated peptide chemistry and neuropharmacology system for their own biological purposes by producing venoms which contains a structural and functional diversity of neurotoxins. These neurotoxins or conotoxins are often small cysteine-rich peptides which have shown to be highly selective ligands for a wide range of ion channels and receptors. Local habitat conditions have constituted barriers preventing the spreading of Conus species occurring along the coast of South Africa. Due to their scarceness, these species remain, therefore, extremely poorly studied. In this work, the venoms of two South African cone snails, Conus pictus, a vermivorous snail and Conus natalis, a molluscivorous snail, have been characterized in depth. In total, 26 novel peptides were identified. Comparing the venoms of both snails, interesting differences were observed regarding venom composition and molecular characteristics of these components.

  5. Skills Needed by Secondary School Graduates for Breeding and Rearing of Giant African Land Snail (GALS) in Ebonyi State

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ogba, Ernest Ituma; Ndem, Joseph Uka

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of the study is to identify the skills required by secondary school Graduates for breeding and rearing Giant African Land Snail (GALS) in Ebonyi State. Three research questions guided the study. The design was descriptive survey. The total population was 254 agricultural science Teachers in junior and senior secondary schools in Ebonyi…

  6. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hodgson, Alan N.; Dickens, John

    2012-08-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Snail Snooping.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Dorothy

    1993-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  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. Snail Trails

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Galus, Pamela

    2002-01-01

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

  15. Snails home

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  16. 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

  17. Snail Shell Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Matthews, Catherine

    1992-01-01

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

  18. The Classroom Animal: Snails.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kramer, David S.

    1985-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Lichen endozoochory by snails.

    PubMed

    Boch, Steffen; Prati, Daniel; Werth, Silke; Rüetschi, Jörg; Fischer, Markus

    2011-04-13

    Endozoochory plays a prominent role for the dispersal of seed plants. However, for most other plant taxa it is not known whether this mode of dispersal occurs at all. Among those other taxa, lichens as symbiotic associations of algae and fungi are peculiar as their successful dispersal requires movement of propagules that leaves the symbiosis functional. However, the potential for endozoochorous dispersal of lichen fragments has been completely overlooked. We fed sterile thalli of two foliose lichen species (Lobaria pulmonaria and Physcia adscendens) differing in habitat and air-quality requirements to nine snail species common in temperate Europe. We demonstrated morphologically that L. pulmonaria regenerated from 29.0% of all 379 fecal pellets, whereas P. adscendens regenerated from 40.9% of all 433 fecal pellets, showing that lichen fragments survived gut passage of all snail species. Moreover, molecular analysis of regenerated lichens confirmed the species identity for a subset of samples. Regeneration rates were higher for the generalist lichen species P. adscendens than for the specialist lichen species L. pulmonaria. Furthermore, lichen regeneration rates varied among snail species with higher rates after gut passage of heavier snail species. We suggest that gastropods generally grazing on lichen communities are important, but so far completely overlooked, as vectors for lichen dispersal. This opens new ecological perspectives and questions the traditional view of an entirely antagonistic relationship between gastropods and lichens.

  5. Inquiry, Land Snails, and Environmental Factors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barrow, Lloyd H.; Krantz, Patrick D.

    2002-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. [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.

  10. Small Molecules in the Cone Snail Arsenal.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-16

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

  11. A mud-sampling technique for the study of the ecology of aquatic snails, and its use in the evaluation of the efficacy of molluscicides in field trials*

    PubMed Central

    Crossland, N. O.

    1962-01-01

    The author describes a sampling technique suitable for estimating the population densities of African aquatic snails in the field by the removal of a plug of mud and its subsequent detailed examination. This device has been used in field trials with the molluscicides ICI 24223 and Bayer 73. Estimates of percentage kills were based on counts of live and dead snails in each mud sample before and after molluscicide treatment. Statistical analysis of these counts suggests that most snails killed by the molluscicides were subsequently recovered, thus providing some confirmatory evidence of the validity of these estimates. PMID:13882393

  12. Snail modulates cell metabolism in MDCK cells

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-03-22

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

  13. Celss nutrition system utilizing snails

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  14. CELSS nutrition system utilizing snails.

    PubMed

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

    1993-08-01

    At the 40th IAF Congress in Malaga, a nutrition system for a lunar base CELSS was presented. A lunar base with a total of eight crew members was envisaged. In this paper, four species of plants--rice, soybean, lettuce and strawberry--were introduced to the system. These plants were sufficient to satisfy fundamental nutritional needs of the crew members. The supply of nutrition from plants and the human nutritional requirements could almost be balanced. Our study revealed that the necessary plant cultivation area per crew member would be nearly 40 m3 in the lunar base. The sources of nutrition considered in the study were energy, sugar, fat, amino acids, inorganic salt and vitamins; however, calcium, vitamin B2, vitamin A and sodium were found to be lacking. Therefore, a subsystem to supply these elements is of considerable value. In this paper, we report on a study for breeding snails and utilizing meat as food. Nutrients supplied from snails are shown to compensate for the above mentioned lacking elements. We evaluate the snail breeder and the associated food supply system as a subsystem of closed ecological life support system.

  15. Fungal farming in a snail

    PubMed Central

    Silliman, Brian R.; Newell, Steven Y.

    2003-01-01

    Mutualisms between fungi and fungus-growing animals are model systems for studying coevolution and complex interactions between species. Fungal growing behavior has enabled cultivating animals to rise to major ecological importance, but evolution of farming symbioses is thought to be restricted to three terrestrial insect lineages. Surveys along 2,000 km of North America's Atlantic coast documented that the marine snail Littoraria irrorata grazes fungus-infected wounds on live marsh grass throughout its range. Field experiments demonstrate a facultative, farming mutualism between Littoraria and intertidal fungi. Snails graze live grass primarily not to feed but to prepare substrate for fungal growth and consume invasive fungi. Fungal removal experiments show that snails and fungi act synergistically to suppress marsh grass production. These results provide a case of fungus farming in the marine environment and outside the class Insecta and reveal a previously undemonstrated ecological mechanism (i.e., facilitation of fungal invasion) by which grazers can exert top-down control of marine plant production. PMID:14657360

  16. Production of apple snail for space diet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  17. Inquiry, Land Snails, and Environmental Factors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barrow, Lloyd H.; Krantz, Patrick D.

    2005-01-01

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

  18. Modeling apple snail population dynamics on the Everglades landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Mathematical simulation of an aquatic snail population*

    PubMed Central

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

    1967-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Fossil land snails of East Africa and their palaeoecological significance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pickford, Martin

    1995-04-01

    of hominoid taxa are proposed. The study suggests, for example, that Proconsul major lived in humid tropical forest, Proconsul nyanzae inhabited dry tropical forest or closed woodland, Kenyapithecus africanus occurredin semi-arid steppe to woodland, and Australopithecus afarensis at Laetoli lived in savannah/steppe in which there were watercourses fringed by riparian forest. This paper is illustrated with distribution maps and drawings of the more than 40 snail taxa represented in the collections. The distribution maps illustrate the extant distribution of taxa, as well as the fossil localities at which they have been recovered. It represents a major advance in the study of tropical African Neogene palaeoecology, and will undoubtedly have many applications in future studies of African palaeoeforas and palaeofaunas.

  2. Cercarial Dermatitis Transmitted by Exotic Marine Snail

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  3. Ichthyotoxicity caused by marine cone snail venoms?

    PubMed

    Mebs, Dietrich; Kauferstein, Silke

    2005-09-01

    Ten venoms from marine cone snails were tested for ichthyotoxic effects on zebra fish (Brachydanio rerio) when added to the water. Only two venoms, from Conus capitaneus and Conus episcopatus, produced lethal effects at high concentrations (50-300 microg/ml) within 20-90 min. No sedative or hypnotic symptoms were observed. The experiments confirm that Conus venoms exert a quick and prompt activity only by parenteral injection into the prey as it is performed by the snail.

  4. Schistosomes and snails: a molecular encounter

    PubMed Central

    Knight, Matty; Arican-Goktas, Halime D.; Ittiprasert, Wannaporn; Odoemelam, Edwin C.; Miller, André N.; Bridger, Joanna M.

    2014-01-01

    Biomphalaria glabrata snails play an integral role in the transmission of Schistosoma mansoni, the causative agent for human schistosomiasis in the Western hemisphere. For the past two decades, tremendous advances have been made in research aimed at elucidating the molecular basis of the snail/parasite interaction. The growing concern that there is no vaccine to prevent schistosomiasis and only one effective drug in existence provides the impetus to develop new control strategies based on eliminating schistosomes at the snail-stage of the life cycle. To elucidate why a given snail is not always compatible to each and every schistosome it encounters, B. glabrata that are either resistant or susceptible to a given strain of S. mansoni have been employed to track molecular mechanisms governing the snail/schistosome relationship. With such snails, genetic markers for resistance and susceptibility were identified. Additionally, differential gene expression studies have led to the identification of genes that underlie these phenotypes. Lately, the role of schistosomes in mediating non-random relocation of gene loci has been identified for the first time, making B. glabrata a model organism where chromatin regulation by changes in nuclear architecture, known as spatial epigenetics, orchestrated by a major human parasite can now be investigated. This review will highlight the progress that has been made in using molecular approaches to describe snail/schistosome compatibility issues. Uncovering the signaling networks triggered by schistosomes that provide the impulse to turn genes on and off in the snail host, thereby controlling the outcome of infection, could also yield new insights into anti-parasite mechanism(s) that operate in the human host as well. PMID:25101114

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

    PubMed Central

    Sturrock, R. F.

    1975-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tiwari, Farindra; Singh, D. K.

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

  7. 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.

  8. [The interplay between schistosome and its snail host: a review].

    PubMed

    Wang, Fei; Dai, Jian-Rong

    2012-12-01

    As the only intermediate host of Schistosoma japonicum, the control of Oncomelania snails serves as a major part in schistosomiasis control. This review mainly demonstrates the following aspects: the invasion of schistosome miracidium into snails, the mechanism of resistance to miracidia, and the factors influencing this process. With a view to explore the methods of interrupting every phase during miracidium infection, this article focuses on the possibility for safeguarding human health through protecting snails, namely, achieving snails harmlessness.

  9. The Snail-Induced Sulfonation Pathway in Breast Cancer Metastasis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-07-01

    1 AD_________________ Award Number: W81XWH-11-1-0494 TITLE: The Snail -Induced Sulfonation...REPORT TYPE Annual 3. DATES COVERED 1 July 2012 - 30 June 2013 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER W81XWH-11-1-0494 The Snail -induced...support: 1. Further characterization of Tetracycline inducible WT Snail and mutant Snail vectors and cell lines. 2. Demonstration that the PAPSS2

  10. Eosinophilic meningitis risk associated with raw Ampullarium canaliculatus snails consumption.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jiun-Jye; Chung, Li-Yu; Lin, Rong-Jyh; Lee, June-Der; Lin, Chaio-Wen; Yen, Chuan-Min

    2011-05-01

    In Taiwan, Angiostrongylus cantonensis infection has been reported in foreign laborers who had consumed raw Ampullarium canaliculatus snails. This study analyzed three foreign laborers who had contracted enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay-confirmed A cantonensis infection while working in Taiwan. All three workers had consumed either roasted snails or raw snails flavored with seasoning while drinking wine. This study investigated possible risk factors for A cantonensis, including naturally occurring A cantonensis in A canaliculatus snails, viability of third-stage A cantonensis larvae in raw seasoned snails and in roasted snails, infectivity of larvae, and effects of alcohol while consuming snails. Positive infection rates in snails from five different irrigation canals in south Taiwan ranged from 12.3% to 29.4% and the average number of motile larvae per infected snail ranged from 36 to 65. The number of motile and coiled larvae in snail meat after 120 minutes seasoning was 93 (27.7%) and 233 (69.3%), respectively. After 20 minutes of roasting, most larvae in the snail meat were dead. The infectivities of motile and coiled larvae from snail meat after 60 minutes seasoning were 53.2% and 33.2%, respectively, and those from snail meat after 5 minutes roasting were 33.2% and 7.0%, respectively. Eating Taiwan A canaliculatus snails raw is extremely risky given their high infection rates and infection intensities. Even after 120 minutes seasoning or after 20 minutes roasting, snail meat should be considered unsafe for human consumption. Finally, experimental rodent studies indicated that consuming alcohol while ingesting larvae does not significantly reduced infectivity.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  12. Aquatic snails, passive hosts of Mycobacterium ulcerans.

    PubMed

    Marsollier, Laurent; Sévérin, Tchibozo; Aubry, Jacques; Merritt, Richard W; Saint André, Jean-Paul; Legras, Pierre; Manceau, Anne-Lise; Chauty, Annick; Carbonnelle, Bernard; Cole, Stewart T

    2004-10-01

    Accumulative indirect evidence of the epidemiology of Mycobacterium ulcerans infections causing chronic skin ulcers (i.e., Buruli ulcer disease) suggests that the development of this pathogen and its transmission to humans are related predominantly to aquatic environments. We report that snails could transitorily harbor M. ulcerans without offering favorable conditions for its growth and replication. A novel intermediate link in the transmission chain of M. ulcerans becomes likely with predator aquatic insects in addition to phytophage insects. Water bugs, such as Naucoris cimicoides, a potential vector of M. ulcerans, were shown to be infected specifically by this bacterium after feeding on snails experimentally exposed to M. ulcerans.

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

    PubMed Central

    Wada, Shinichiro; Chiba, Satoshi

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Snail promotes an invasive phenotype in lung carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Snail is a transcriptional factor which is known to influence the epitheliomesenchymal transition (EMT) by regulating adhesion proteins such as E-cadherin and claudins as well as matrix metalloproteases (MMP). Methods To evaluate the functional importance of snail, a transciptional factor involved in EMT in lung tumors, we investigated its expression in a large set of lung carcinomas by immunohistochemistry. Expression of snail and effects of snail knockdown was studied in cell lines. Results Nuclear snail expression was seen in 21% of cases this being strongest in small cell lung carcinomas (SCLC). There was significantly greater snail expression in SCLC compared to squamous cell or adenocarcinoma. Positive snail expression was associated with poor survival in the whole material and separately in squamous cell and adenocarcinomas. In Cox regression analysis, snail expression showed an independent prognostic value in all of these groups. In several cell lines knockdown of snail reduced invasion in both matrigel assay and in the myoma tissue model for invasion. The influence of snail knockdown on claudin expression was cell type specific. Snail knockdown in these cell lines modified the expression of MMP2 and MMP9 but did not influence the activation of these MMPs to any significant degree. Conclusions The results show that snail plays an important role in the invasive characteristics of lung carcinoma influencing the survival of the patients. Snail knockdown might thus be one option for targeted molecular therapy in lung cancer. Snail knockdown influenced the expression of claudins individually in a cell-line dependent manner but did not influence MMP expressions or activations to any significant degree. PMID:23157169

  15. Novel pharmacological targets from Indian cone snails.

    PubMed

    Ramasamy, M Santhana; Manikandan, S

    2011-02-01

    The oceans are a source of combinatorial library of unique natural products, 'not found in the terrestrial environment'. Marine invertebrates such as sponges, molluscs, bryozoans, tunicates (Urochordata) and their associated microorganisms are the major representatives of promising bioactive compounds. Among these, the predatory molluscan cone snails have evolved with highly structured small and complex array of peptides (more than 50,000) linked to their prey capture and defence. These peptides have become a valuable source of neuro pharmacological targets as many of them selectively modulate ion channels and transporters. A group of scientists from United States, Europe, Australia, Israel and China have been characterized drugs for neuropathic pain and pharmacological targets from the peptides of a few cone snail species. Several are now in Clinical and preclinical development. Less than 1% of the cono peptides are pharmacologically characterized. India has a diversity of 20-30% of total cone snail species distributed worldwide. A group of Indian Scientists have made promising drug discovery programs from Conus peptides. This review will focus on the Conus peptides from Indian cone snails species, their neuro pharmacological targets and future directions.

  16. Vector snail control in Qalyub, Egypt

    PubMed Central

    van der Schalie, Henry

    1958-01-01

    The author describes a pilot study in vector snail control carried out in 1953-54 by the Bilharziasis Control Project in Qalyub, Egypt. After giving a brief description of the site chosen for the Project—an area of some 5000 acres (2000 hectares) under perennial irrigation—he presents a detailed account of the various snail surveys of the irrigation canals and drains and of the molluscicidal treatment of infested channels. He points out that despite the thoroughness of the surveying and treatment the snails were not completely eliminated from the area and stresses that the high cost of the molluscicide used (copper sulfate) would prohibit its widespread and continual use. He considers, however, that pending the perfection of such long-term bilharziasis control measures as improved sanitation, better treatment facilities, and health education of the public, snail control is of the first importance and determined efforts should be made to find more efficient and cheaper methods of effecting it. PMID:13585074

  17. Mate desertion in the snail kite

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1988-01-01

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

  18. The Snail-Induced Sulfonation Pathway in Breast Cancer Metastasis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-01

    AD_________________ Award Number: W81XWH-11-1-0494   TITLE: The Snail -Induced Sulfonation... Snail -Induced Sulfonation Pathway in Breast Cancer Metastasis 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-11-1-0494 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) Dr...provided funding for a 3-year project that has resulted in fundamental new insights into how the transcription factor Snail can control gene

  19. The effects of the herbicide atrazine on freshwater snails.

    PubMed

    Gustafson, Kyle D; Belden, Jason B; Bolek, Matthew G

    2015-07-01

    Atrazine has been shown to affect freshwater snails from the subcellular to community level. However, most studies have used different snail species, methods, endpoints, and atrazine exposure concentrations, resulting in some conflicting results and limiting our understanding. The goal of this study was to address these concerns by (1) investigating the acute and chronic effects of atrazine on four species of freshwater snails (Biomphalaria glabrata, Helisoma trivolvis, Physa acuta, and Stagnicola elodes) using the same methods, endpoints, and concentrations, and (2) summarizing the current literature pertaining to the effects of atrazine on freshwater snails. We conducted a 48 h acute toxicity test with an atrazine concentration higher than what typically occurs in aquatic environments (1000 µg/L). Additionally, we exposed snails to environmentally relevant atrazine concentrations (0, 0.3, 3, and 30 µg/L) for 28 days and assessed snail survival, growth, and reproduction. We also summarized all known literature pertaining to atrazine effects on freshwater snails. The literature summary suggests snails are often affected by environmentally relevant atrazine concentrations at the subcellular and cellular levels. These effects are typically not transitive to effects on survival, growth, or reproduction at the same concentrations. Our acute exposures corroborate the general trend of no direct effect on snail populations as atrazine did not directly affect the survival of any of the four snail species. Similarly, environmentally relevant concentrations did not significantly affect the survival, growth, or reproduction of any snail species. These results indicate that, in the absence of other possible stressors, the direct effects of environmentally relevant atrazine concentrations may not be realized at the snail population level.

  20. Biogeography: molecular trails from hitch-hiking snails.

    PubMed

    Gittenberger, Edmund; Groenenberg, Dick S J; Kokshoorn, Bas; Preece, Richard C

    2006-01-26

    Darwin was fascinated by the transportation of land snails across great swathes of open ocean by birds--he even immersed snails in sea water to see how long they would survive. Here we follow a molecular phylogenetic trail that reveals the incredible transequatorial dispersal of the land snail Balea from Europe to the Azores and the Tristan da Cunha islands, and back again. This long-distance dispersal is unexpected for what are proverbially considered the most pedestrian of creatures.

  1. Biological studies on the snail, Bulinus truncatus, in central Iraq*

    PubMed Central

    Najarian, H. H.

    1961-01-01

    This paper presents some results of field and laboratory studies on Bulinus truncatus, the snail intermediate host of urinary bilharziasis in Iraq, made in 1958 as part of the work of the WHO Bilharziasis Control Project in that country. Observations on the linear distribution and size composition of Bulinus populations in the canals of central Iraq indicate that molluscicides might most suitably be applied in May before the entire snail population reaches breeding size, or early in November when most snails are juveniles. However, laboratory experiments appear to show that isolation of individual bulinid snails does not diminish, but may actually increase, their egg-laying capacity in comparison with that of grouped snails; this suggests that, even if the snail population were drastically reduced by treatment of the canals and all further importation of snails rendered impossible, the snail population would nevertheless soon renew itself from the few individuals remaining. Results are also given of laboratory experiments on egg masses, hatching and growth of B. truncatus and on the egg-laying of random populations of that snail. PMID:14478049

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stewart, Arthur J.; Ryon, Michael G.

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Phenotypic plasticity of the introduced New Zealand mud snail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum, compared to sympatric native snails.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Solem, Alan; Yochelson, Ellis Leon

    1979-01-01

    Land snails from the Paleozoic of North America are known from the coal fields of eastern Canada, from the Dunkard basin west of the Allegheny Mountains, and from the western margin of the Illinois basin. The earliest finds were made about 125 years ago; essentially no new information has been recorded for a century. Large collections of Anthracopupa from the Dunkard basin sparked inquiry into the land snails from the other two areas. Studies using the SEM (scanning electron microscope) have provided considerable insight into microdetails of shell structure, which allow systematic assignment of these gastropods. All may be assigned to extant families, except one, for which insufficient material allows only superfamily assignment. The prosobranch Dawsonella is confirmed as being a terrestrial neritacean gastropod. To date, it is known only from the upper Middle Pennsylvanian of Illinois and Indiana. All the other Paleozoic land snails are stylommatophoran pulmonates; their current classification as nonmarine cyclophoraceans is not correct. Restudy of material from the Joggins section of Nova Scotia indicates that representatives of two ordinal groups of pulmonates appeared simultaneously in upper Lower Pennsylvanian strata; the oldest land prosobranch is found in only very slightly younger rocks. Zonites (Conulus) priscus is reassigned to the new genus Protodiscus in the extant family Discidae. Dendropupa is placed within the family Enidae, Anthraaopupa is placed in the family Tornatellinidae, and 'Pupa' bigsbii is assigned to the superfamily Pupillacea. All four of these family-level taxa are diverse and belong to two orders within the superorder Stylommatophora, heretofore considered a derived rather than an ancestral stock. Anthracopupa ohioensis Whitfield is a highly variable species, and two other species Naticopsis (?) diminuta and A.(?) dunkardona, both named by Stauffer and Schroyer, are placed in synonymy with it. To obtain taxonomic data to support the

  7. Microhabitats within venomous cone snails contain diverse actinobacteria.

    PubMed

    Peraud, Olivier; Biggs, Jason S; Hughen, Ronald W; Light, Alan R; Concepcion, Gisela P; Olivera, Baldomero M; Schmidt, Eric W

    2009-11-01

    Actinomycetes can be symbionts in diverse organisms, including both plants and animals. Some actinomycetes benefit their host by producing small molecule secondary metabolites; the resulting symbioses are often developmentally complex. Actinomycetes associated with three cone snails were studied. Cone snails are venomous tropical marine gastropods which have been extensively examined because of their production of peptide-based neurological toxins, but no microbiological studies have been reported on these organisms. A microhabitat approach was used in which dissected tissue from each snail was treated as an individual sample in order to explore bacteria in the tissues separately. Our results revealed a diverse, novel, and highly culturable cone snail-associated actinomycete community, with some isolates showing promising bioactivity in a neurological assay. This suggests that cone snails may represent an underexplored reservoir of novel actinomycetes of potential interest for drug discovery.

  8. The Mitochondrial Genome of the Venomous Cone Snail Conus consors

    PubMed Central

    Brauer, Age; Kurz, Alexander; Stockwell, Tim; Baden-Tillson, Holly; Heidler, Juliana; Wittig, Ilka; Kauferstein, Silke; Mebs, Dietrich; Stöcklin, Reto; Remm, Maido

    2012-01-01

    Cone snails are venomous predatory marine neogastropods that belong to the species-rich superfamily of the Conoidea. So far, the mitochondrial genomes of two cone snail species (Conus textile and Conus borgesi) have been described, and these feed on snails and worms, respectively. Here, we report the mitochondrial genome sequence of the fish-hunting cone snail Conus consors and describe a novel putative control region (CR) which seems to be absent in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of other cone snail species. This possible CR spans about 700 base pairs (bp) and is located between the genes encoding the transfer RNA for phenylalanine (tRNA-Phe, trnF) and cytochrome c oxidase subunit III (cox3). The novel putative CR contains several sequence motifs that suggest a role in mitochondrial replication and transcription. PMID:23236512

  9. Microhabitats within Venomous Cone Snails Contain Diverse Actinobacteria▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Peraud, Olivier; Biggs, Jason S.; Hughen, Ronald W.; Light, Alan R.; Concepcion, Gisela P.; Olivera, Baldomero M.; Schmidt, Eric W.

    2009-01-01

    Actinomycetes can be symbionts in diverse organisms, including both plants and animals. Some actinomycetes benefit their host by producing small molecule secondary metabolites; the resulting symbioses are often developmentally complex. Actinomycetes associated with three cone snails were studied. Cone snails are venomous tropical marine gastropods which have been extensively examined because of their production of peptide-based neurological toxins, but no microbiological studies have been reported on these organisms. A microhabitat approach was used in which dissected tissue from each snail was treated as an individual sample in order to explore bacteria in the tissues separately. Our results revealed a diverse, novel, and highly culturable cone snail-associated actinomycete community, with some isolates showing promising bioactivity in a neurological assay. This suggests that cone snails may represent an underexplored reservoir of novel actinomycetes of potential interest for drug discovery. PMID:19749071

  10. The mitochondrial genome of the venomous cone snail Conus consors.

    PubMed

    Brauer, Age; Kurz, Alexander; Stockwell, Tim; Baden-Tillson, Holly; Heidler, Juliana; Wittig, Ilka; Kauferstein, Silke; Mebs, Dietrich; Stöcklin, Reto; Remm, Maido

    2012-01-01

    Cone snails are venomous predatory marine neogastropods that belong to the species-rich superfamily of the Conoidea. So far, the mitochondrial genomes of two cone snail species (Conus textile and Conus borgesi) have been described, and these feed on snails and worms, respectively. Here, we report the mitochondrial genome sequence of the fish-hunting cone snail Conus consors and describe a novel putative control region (CR) which seems to be absent in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of other cone snail species. This possible CR spans about 700 base pairs (bp) and is located between the genes encoding the transfer RNA for phenylalanine (tRNA-Phe, trnF) and cytochrome c oxidase subunit III (cox3). The novel putative CR contains several sequence motifs that suggest a role in mitochondrial replication and transcription.

  11. An evaluation of techniques used in estimating snail populations

    PubMed Central

    Hairston, Nelson G.; Hubendick, Bengt; Watson, John M.; Olivier, Louis J.

    1958-01-01

    No uniform method, applicable to all situations, can be developed for the quantitative study of bilharziasis vector snail populations. The selection of survey technique and sampling device depends on the objectives of the study, the circumstances in which the work is carried out, the nature of the habitat and the resources available. The various techniques used in obtaining snail-population estimates are divided into two categories—direct methods and indirect methods. The former involve the collection of snails from a specified habitat or for a specified period of time, while the latter include techniques, such as snail marking and palm-leaf traps, in which the snails are not obtained through the efforts of a collector. Each method and device is described in detail, and its suitability under various conditions is discussed. PMID:13596889

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  13. Modeling snail breeding in Bioregenerative Life Support System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    It is known that snail meat is a high quality food that is rich in protein. Hence, heliciculture or land snail farming spreads worldwide because it is a profitable business. The possibility to use the snails of Helix pomatia in Biological Life Support System (BLSS) was studied by Japanese Researches. In that study land snails were considered to be producers of animal protein. Also, snail breeding was an important part of waste processing, because snails were capable to eat the inedible plant biomass. As opposed to the agricultural snail farming, heliciculture in BLSS should be more carefully planned. The purpose of our work was to develop a model for snail breeding in BLSS that can predict mass flow rates in and out of snail facility. There are three linked parts in the model called “Stoichiometry”, “Population” and “Mass balance”, which are used in turn. Snail population is divided into 12 age groups from oviposition to one year. In the submodel “Stoichiometry” the individual snail growth and metabolism in each of 12 age groups are described with stoichiometry equations. Reactants are written on the left side of the equations, while products are written on the right side. Stoichiometry formulas of reactants and products consist of four chemical elements: C, H, O, N. The reactants are feed and oxygen, products are carbon dioxide, metabolic water, snail meat, shell, feces, slime and eggs. If formulas of substances in the stoichiometry equations are substituted with their molar masses, then stoichiometry equations are transformed to the equations of molar mass balance. To get the real mass balance of individual snail growth and metabolism one should multiply the value of each molar mass in the equations on the scale parameter, which is the ratio between mass of monthly consumed feed and molar mass of feed. Mass of monthly consumed feed and stoichiometry coefficients of formulas of meat, shell, feces, slime and eggs should be determined experimentally

  14. Intoxication and biochemical responses of freshwater snail Bellamya aeruginosa to ethylbenzene.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Shimei; Zhou, Qixing

    2017-01-01

    No acute toxic data of ethylbenzene on gastropod is available in literature. In the present study, the acute toxicity of ethylbenzene was assessed on a freshwater snail Bellamya aeruginosa, which was exposed to ethylbenzene concentration from 1 to 100 mg/L for 96 h. No mortality occurred, but a manifestation of intoxication (distress syndrome) was observed in part of exposed snails, and meanwhile, another part was moved normally. The distress syndrome showed clear dose- and time-dependent effects, and the 96-h EC50 value for distress syndrome was 13.3 mg/L in snail. The biochemical responses induced by ethylbenzene to the snail, including acetylcholinesterase (AChE) in the whole body and superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione S-transferases (GST), and reduced glutathione (GSH) in the hepatopancreas, were evaluated both for distressed snail and moved snail. The AChE activity of distressed snail was all inhibited more than 45 %, and the inhibition of AChE activity in the moved snail was all less than 30 % and more than 20 %, demonstrating that ethylbenzene exerted nervous toxicity to both distressed snail and moved snail. Meanwhile, the difference for AChE activity between the two different response snails was significant. Among the antioxidant biomarkers (SOD, CAT, GST, and GSH), only GST displayed significant difference between the distressed snail and moved snail. However, the activities of enzymes (SOD, CAT, and GST) in the moved snail were greater than those in the distressed snail, no matter significantly or insignificantly, which indicated that the ability of antioxidant defense in the distressed snail was weaker than that in the moved snail. The findings here reported manifest that ethylbenzene exerted nervous toxicity to snail, and the snail with intoxication response (distress syndrome) presented larger inhibition on AChE activity and weaker antioxidant ability in comparison with the moved snail.

  15. Crawling beneath the free surface: Water snail locomotion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-08-01

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

  16. Control measures for slug and snail hosts of Angiostrongylus cantonensis, with special reference to the semi-slug Parmarion martensi.

    PubMed

    Hollingsworth, Robert G; Howe, Kathleen; Jarvi, Susan I

    2013-06-01

    Slugs and snails (class Gastropoda) are the obligate intermediate hosts of the rat lungworm, Angiostrongylus cantonensis. This nematode is the causative agent of human angiostrongyliasis and the most common cause of human eosinophilic meningoencephalitis. Humans can become infected by accidental consumption of slugs or snails and possibly flatworms (or a portion of one of these animals) in fresh produce, but the slime from these animals can contain nematodes and may also constitute a disease risk. Gastropod carriers in Hawa'i include, among other species, giant African snails, veronicellid slugs, and the semi-slug Parmarion martensi. This latter species was first discovered on the island of Hawa'i in 2004 and is now common in the area where the majority of the state's documented cases of human angiostrongyliasis occurred between 2005 and 2011. This species is considered a high risk carrier of A. cantonensis because of its climbing behavior, abundance around human dwellings, and high worm burdens. One individual collected from east Hawa'i Island contained >6,800 infective third stage A. cantonensis larvae. Common and efficient control methods for slugs and snails include sanitation (eg, removal of objects that serve as hiding places) and the use of poison food baits, such as those containing metaldehyde and iron. An iron-containing bait that is relatively safe to non-target organisms was effective in controlling semi-slugs in cage experiments, although it killed more slowly than a metaldehyde-containing bait and the majority of slugs affected did not die until 1-2 weeks following ingestion.

  17. Control Measures for Slug and Snail Hosts of Angiostrongylus cantonensis, with Special Reference to the Semi-slug Parmarion martensi

    PubMed Central

    Howe, Kathleen; Jarvi, Susan I

    2013-01-01

    Slugs and snails (class Gastropoda) are the obligate intermediate hosts of the rat lungworm, Angiostrongylus cantonensis. This nematode is the causative agent of human angiostrongyliasis and the most common cause of human eosinophilic meningoencephalitis. Humans can become infected by accidental consumption of slugs or snails and possibly flatworms (or a portion of one of these animals) in fresh produce, but the slime from these animals can contain nematodes and may also constitute a disease risk. Gastropod carriers in Hawai‘i include, among other species, giant African snails, veronicellid slugs, and the semi-slug Parmarion martensi. This latter species was first discovered on the island of Hawai‘i in 2004 and is now common in the area where the majority of the state's documented cases of human angiostrongyliasis occurred between 2005 and 2011. This species is considered a high risk carrier of A. cantonensis because of its climbing behavior, abundance around human dwellings, and high worm burdens. One individual collected from east Hawai‘i Island contained >6,800 infective third stage A. cantonensis larvae. Common and efficient control methods for slugs and snails include sanitation (eg, removal of objects that serve as hiding places) and the use of poison food baits, such as those containing metaldehyde and iron. An iron-containing bait that is relatively safe to non-target organisms was effective in controlling semi-slugs in cage experiments, although it killed more slowly than a metaldehyde-containing bait and the majority of slugs affected did not die until 1–2 weeks following ingestion. PMID:23901389

  18. Dub3 inhibition suppresses breast cancer invasion and metastasis by promoting Snail1 degradation.

    PubMed

    Wu, Yadi; Wang, Yu; Lin, Yiwei; Liu, Yajuan; Wang, Yifan; Jia, Jianhang; Singh, Puja; Chi, Young-In; Wang, Chi; Dong, Chenfang; Li, Wei; Tao, Min; Napier, Dana; Shi, Qiuying; Deng, Jiong; Mark Evers, B; Zhou, Binhua P

    2017-02-15

    Snail1, a key transcription factor of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), is subjected to ubiquitination and degradation, but the mechanism by which Snail1 is stabilized in tumours remains unclear. We identify Dub3 as a bona fide Snail1 deubiquitinase, which interacts with and stabilizes Snail1. Dub3 is overexpressed in breast cancer; knockdown of Dub3 resulted in Snail1 destabilization, suppressed EMT and decreased tumour cell migration, invasion, and metastasis. These effects are rescued by ectopic Snail1 expression. IL-6 also stabilizes Snail1 by inducing Dub3 expression, the specific inhibitor WP1130 binds to Dub3 and inhibits the Dub3-mediating Snail1 stabilization in vitro and in vivo. Our study reveals a critical Dub3-Snail1 signalling axis in EMT and metastasis, and provides an effective therapeutic approach against breast cancer.

  19. Dub3 inhibition suppresses breast cancer invasion and metastasis by promoting Snail1 degradation

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Yadi; Wang, Yu; Lin, Yiwei; Liu, Yajuan; Wang, Yifan; Jia, Jianhang; Singh, Puja; Chi, Young-In; Wang, Chi; Dong, Chenfang; Li, Wei; Tao, Min; Napier, Dana; Shi, Qiuying; Deng, Jiong; Mark Evers, B; Zhou, Binhua P.

    2017-01-01

    Snail1, a key transcription factor of epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT), is subjected to ubiquitination and degradation, but the mechanism by which Snail1 is stabilized in tumours remains unclear. We identify Dub3 as a bona fide Snail1 deubiquitinase, which interacts with and stabilizes Snail1. Dub3 is overexpressed in breast cancer; knockdown of Dub3 resulted in Snail1 destabilization, suppressed EMT and decreased tumour cell migration, invasion, and metastasis. These effects are rescued by ectopic Snail1 expression. IL-6 also stabilizes Snail1 by inducing Dub3 expression, the specific inhibitor WP1130 binds to Dub3 and inhibits the Dub3-mediating Snail1 stabilization in vitro and in vivo. Our study reveals a critical Dub3–Snail1 signalling axis in EMT and metastasis, and provides an effective therapeutic approach against breast cancer. PMID:28198361

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1972-01-01

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

  1. Some aspects of snail ecology in South Africa

    PubMed Central

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

    1958-01-01

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

  2. Snails, stable iostopes, and southwestern desert paleoclimates

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-09-01

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

  3. Snail levels control the migration mechanism of mesenchymal tumor cells

    PubMed Central

    BELGIOVINE, CRISTINA; CHIESA, GIULIO; CHIODI, ILARIA; FRAPOLLI, ROBERTA; BONEZZI, KATIUSCIA; TARABOLETTI, GIULIA; D'INCALCI, MAURIZIO; MONDELLO, CHIARA

    2016-01-01

    Cancer cells use two major types of movement: Mesenchymal, which is typical of cells of mesenchymal origin and depends on matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity, and amoeboid, which is characteristic of cells with a rounded shape and relies on the activity of Rho-associated kinase (ROCK). The present authors previously demonstrated that, during neoplastic transformation, telomerase-immortalized human fibroblasts (cen3tel cells) acquired a ROCK-dependent/MMP independent mechanism of invasion, mediated by the downregulation of the ROCK cellular inhibitor Round (Rnd)3/RhoE. In the present study, cen3tel transformation was also demonstrated to be paralleled by downregulation of Snail, a major determinant of the mesenchymal movement. To test whether Snail levels could determine the type of movement adopted by mesenchymal tumor cells, Snail was ectopically expressed in tumorigenic cells. It was observed that ectopic Snail did not increase the levels of typical mesenchymal markers, but induced cells to adopt an MMP-dependent mechanism of invasion. In cells expressing ectopic Snail, invasion became sensitive to the MMP inhibitor Ro 28–2653 and insensitive to the ROCK inhibitor Y27632, suggesting that, once induced by Snail, the mesenchymal movement prevails over the amoeboid one. Snail-expressing cells had a more aggressive behavior in vivo, and exhibited increased tumor growth rate and metastatic ability. These results confirm the high plasticity of cancer cells, which can adopt different types of movement in response to changes in the expression of specific genes. Furthermore, the present findings indicate that Rnd3 and Snail are possible regulators of the type of invasion mechanism adopted by mesenchymal tumor cells. PMID:27347214

  4. Snail levels control the migration mechanism of mesenchymal tumor cells.

    PubMed

    Belgiovine, Cristina; Chiesa, Giulio; Chiodi, Ilaria; Frapolli, Roberta; Bonezzi, Katiuscia; Taraboletti, Giulia; D'Incalci, Maurizio; Mondello, Chiara

    2016-07-01

    Cancer cells use two major types of movement: Mesenchymal, which is typical of cells of mesenchymal origin and depends on matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity, and amoeboid, which is characteristic of cells with a rounded shape and relies on the activity of Rho-associated kinase (ROCK). The present authors previously demonstrated that, during neoplastic transformation, telomerase-immortalized human fibroblasts (cen3tel cells) acquired a ROCK-dependent/MMP independent mechanism of invasion, mediated by the downregulation of the ROCK cellular inhibitor Round (Rnd)3/RhoE. In the present study, cen3tel transformation was also demonstrated to be paralleled by downregulation of Snail, a major determinant of the mesenchymal movement. To test whether Snail levels could determine the type of movement adopted by mesenchymal tumor cells, Snail was ectopically expressed in tumorigenic cells. It was observed that ectopic Snail did not increase the levels of typical mesenchymal markers, but induced cells to adopt an MMP-dependent mechanism of invasion. In cells expressing ectopic Snail, invasion became sensitive to the MMP inhibitor Ro 28-2653 and insensitive to the ROCK inhibitor Y27632, suggesting that, once induced by Snail, the mesenchymal movement prevails over the amoeboid one. Snail-expressing cells had a more aggressive behavior in vivo, and exhibited increased tumor growth rate and metastatic ability. These results confirm the high plasticity of cancer cells, which can adopt different types of movement in response to changes in the expression of specific genes. Furthermore, the present findings indicate that Rnd3 and Snail are possible regulators of the type of invasion mechanism adopted by mesenchymal tumor cells.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sykes, P.W.

    1987-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Parallel evolution of passive and active defence in land snails

    PubMed Central

    Morii, Yuta; Prozorova, Larisa; Chiba, Satoshi

    2016-01-01

    Predator-prey interactions are major processes promoting phenotypic evolution. However, it remains unclear how predation causes morphological and behavioural diversity in prey species and how it might lead to speciation. Here, we show that substantial divergence in the phenotypic traits of prey species has occurred among closely related land snails as a result of adaptation to predator attacks. This caused the divergence of defensive strategies into two alternatives: passive defence and active defence. Phenotypic traits of the subarctic Karaftohelix land snail have undergone radiation in northeast Asia, and distinctive morphotypes generally coexist in the same regions. In these land snails, we documented two alternative defence behaviours against predation by malacophagous beetles. Furthermore, the behaviours are potentially associated with differences in shell morphology. In addition, molecular phylogenetic analyses indicated that these alternative strategies against predation arose independently on the islands and on the continent suggesting that anti-predator adaptation is a major cause of phenotypic diversity in these snails. Finally, we suggest the potential speciation of Karaftohelix snails as a result of the divergence of defensive strategies into passive and active behaviours and the possibility of species radiation due to anti-predatory adaptations. PMID:27833102

  10. Antioxidants and oxidative stress in Helix pomatia snails during estivation.

    PubMed

    Nowakowska, Anna; Swiderska-Kołacz, Grazyna; Rogalska, Justyna; Caputa, Michał

    2009-11-01

    Estivation enables land snails to survive a prolonged dryness but the return to active state imposes conditions of oxidative stress on internal organs due to a transient large increase in oxygen consumption, which augments mitochondrial production of reactive oxygen species. Therefore, activities of antioxidant enzymes, concentrations of reduced glutathione (GSH) and TBARS as an index of lipid peroxidation, were evaluated in Helix pomatia snails (i) during summer activity, (ii) during estivation, which was induced experimentally, (iii) at the start of arousal from estivation, and (iv) being aroused for 24 h. Estivation induced significant decreases in activity of catalase in the kidney and hepatopancreas and glutathione peroxidase in the kidney. Activity of glutathione reductase was unaffected by estivation/arousal cycle. Summer-active and estivating snails maintained high activity of glutathione transferase. Concentration of GSH was organ-dependent and was positively affected by estivation. Lack of increase in TBARS concentration during estivation/arousal cycle suggests that antioxidant defence system of H. pomatia snails is highly efficacious. In conclusion, permanent maintenance of relatively high activities of the antioxidant enzymes and the high concentration of GSH in H. pomatia snails indicate that they have well-developed strategy of defence against oxidative injury.

  11. 75 FR 35424 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed Reclassification of the Tulotoma Snail...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-06-22

    ...; Proposed Reclassification of the Tulotoma Snail From Endangered to Threatened AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife...), propose to reclassify the tulotoma snail (Tulotoma magnifica) from endangered to threatened, under the... no longer correctly reflects the status of this snail. We have documented a substantial...

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. African Aesthetics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abiodun, Rowland

    2001-01-01

    No single traditional discipline can adequately supply answers to the many unresolved questions in African art history. Because of the aesthetic, cultural, historical, and, not infrequently, political biases, already built into the conception and development of Western art history, the discipline of art history as defined and practiced in the West…

  15. African Pentecostalism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garrard, David J.

    2009-01-01

    The diversity of African Pentecostalism, its early colonial and missionary history and its current characteristics are described and analysed. Reference is made to methods of training and forms of leadership, and suggestions are made about the reasons for its growth and persistence. (Contains 19 notes.)

  16. Rapid transcription fosters coordinate snail expression in the Drosophila embryo.

    PubMed

    Boettiger, Alistair Nicol; Levine, Michael

    2013-01-31

    Transcription is commonly held to be a highly stochastic process, resulting in considerable heterogeneity of gene expression among the different cells in a population. Here, we employ quantitative in situ hybridization methods coupled with high-resolution imaging assays to measure the expression of snail, a developmental patterning gene necessary for coordinating the invagination of the mesoderm during gastrulation of the Drosophila embryo. Our measurements of steady-state mRNAs suggest that there is very little variation in snail expression across the different cells that make up the mesoderm and that synthesis approaches the kinetic limits of Pol II processivity. We propose that rapid transcription kinetics and negative autoregulation are responsible for the remarkable homogeneity of snail expression and the coordination of mesoderm invagination.

  17. MTA3 regulates CGB5 and Snail genes in trophoblast

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Ying; Miyazaki, Jun; Nishizawa, Haruki; Kurahashi, Hiroki; Leach, Richard; Wang, Kai

    2013-04-19

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

  18. Slime-trail tracking in the predatory snail, Euglandina rosea.

    PubMed

    Clifford, Kavan T; Gross, Liaini; Johnson, Kwame; Martin, Khalil J; Shaheen, Nagma; Harrington, Melissa A

    2003-10-01

    Euglandina rosea, a predatory land snail, tracks prey and mates by following slime trails. Euglandina follow slime trails more than 80% of the time, following trails of their own species, but not those of prey snails, in the direction that they were laid. The attractive elements of prey slime are small, water-soluble compounds detected by specialized lip extensions. Although olfaction plays no role in trail following, strong odors disrupt tracking. Inhibition of nitric oxide synthase also disrupts slime trail following, suggesting a role for nitric oxide in neural processing of slime trail stimuli. Euglandina can be conditioned to follow novel trails of glutamate or arginine paired with feeding on prey snails. These experiments demonstrate that slime-trail tracking in Euglandina is a robust, easily measured behavior that makes a good model system for studying sensory processing and learning in a novel modality.

  19. Prioritized phenotypic responses to combined predators in a marine snail.

    PubMed

    Bourdeau, Paul E

    2009-06-01

    Although many species face numerous predators in nature, the combined impact of multiple predators on the inducible defenses of prey has rarely been studied. Prey may respond with an intermediate phenotype that balances the risk from several sources or may simply respond to the most dangerous predator. I examined the separate and combined effects of the presence of shell-breaking (crabs, Cancer productus) and shell-entry (seastars, Pisaster ochraceus) predators fed conspecific snails on the defensive shell morphology and antipredator behavior of a marine snail (Nucella lamellosa). When exposed to each feeding predator separately, snails responded with a combination of morphological defenses that reflect the attack mode of the predator and a generalized behavioral response. Snails responded to feeding crabs by increasing refuge use and producing a thick, rotund shell. Snails responded to feeding seastars with increased refuge use but produced elongate shells with high spires that allowed for greater retraction of the soft tissue. Seastar-induced phenotypes reduced susceptibility to seastars relative to crab-induced phenotypes, but crab-induced phenotypes did not significantly reduce susceptibility to crabs, indicating an asymmetrical functional trade-off. When feeding predators were combined, snails produced a morphological phenotype similar to that expressed in the presence of the predator that imposed the highest mortality at the population level, suggesting that predator-induced morphology was prioritized according to predation risk. These results suggest that prioritizing conflicting defenses according to predator danger may be a common strategy for prey responding to combined predators, particularly in conjunction with generalized behavioral responses that reduce overall risk in multiple-predator environments.

  20. Natural parasitic infection of the golden apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata.

    PubMed

    Keawjam, R S; Poonswad, P; Upatham, E S; Banpavichit, S

    1993-03-01

    Golden apple snails, Pomacea canaliculata, were collected once a month during a year to search for their natural parasites. The collections were made at two localities having different ecological environments. Of 576 collected snails from a canal, 176 individuals (30.6%) were infected by three groups of metacercariae. These parasites were amphistome, distome and echinostome metacercariae, which had prevalences of 23.5, 19.5 and 0.5%, respectively. The incidence of infection was highest (68.4% in October) when the snail population was composed of the old, juvenile and young Pomacea. Amphistome metacercariae were found most frequently and echinostome metacercariae the least frequently; both parasites were localized in the foot muscle of the snails and had a Shannon index of zero. The range of amphistomes was 1 to 115 with the mean +/- SD of 1 +/- 2 and 95% CL of 1, 2. Distome metacercariae were found primarily in the heart (range: 1-13), and also in the foot muscle (range: 1-5) and kidney (range: 1-14), with a Shannon index of 0.4. The means +/- SD (with 95% CL) were 3 +/- 4 (95% CL = 1, 5), 3 +/- 4 (95% CL = 2, 4) and 2 +/- 1 (95% CL = 1, 2) for the foot muscle, heart and kidney, respectively. The snails from a pond, another locality, had a low proportion of infected individuals. Of 605 snails, only 24 individuals (4.0%) were infected, with the prevalence of amphistomes, distomes and echinostomes being 0.8, 1.8 and 2.1%, respectively. The incidence of infection for each month was zero or less than 10%, except in May when it was 30.2%.

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

    PubMed

    Gustafson, Kyle D; Bolek, Matthew G

    2016-03-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2002-01-01

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

  3. Global assessment of schistosomiasis control over the past century shows targeting the snail intermediate host works best

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sokolow, Susanne H.; Wood, Chelsea L.; Jones, Isabel J.; Swartz, Scott J.; Lopez, Melina; Hsieh, Michael H.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Kuris, Armand M.; Rickards, Chloe; De Leo, Giulio A.

    2016-01-01

    Snail control has been the most effective way to reduce schistosomiasis prevalence. Despite evidence that snail control leads to long-term disease reduction and elimination, most current schistosomiasis control efforts emphasize MDA using praziquantel over snail control. Combining drug-based control programs with affordable snail control seems the best strategy for eliminating schistosomiasis.

  4. 78 FR 12346 - Jennings Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Morro Shoulderband Snail, Community of Los...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-22

    ... Snail, Community of Los Osos, San Luis Obispo County, CA AGENCY: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service...'' of the federally endangered Morro shoulderband snail (= banded dune snail; Helminthoglypta walkeriana... mitigate project activities that are likely to result in take of the Morro shoulderband snail as...

  5. Ivermectin efficacy against Biomphalaria, intermediate host snail vectors of Schistosomiasis.

    PubMed

    Katz, Naftale; Araújo, Neusa; Coelho, Paulo Marcos Zech; Morel, Carlos Medicis; Linde-Arias, Ana Rosa; Yamada, Takeshi; Horimatsu, Yuki; Suzuki, Koh; Sunazuka, Toshiaki; Ōmura, Satoshi

    2017-03-15

    The impact of ivermectin on adult snails of the genus Biomphalaria (B. glabrata, B. tenagophila and B. straminea), B. glabrata infected with Schistosoma mansoni, snail egg-masses cercariae and miracidia, as well as on guppy fish (Poecilia reticulata) was examined and evaluated. Biomphalaria snails, egg-masses, parasite stages and guppies were all exposed to different concentrations of ivermectin for 24 h, followed by regular observations of mortality. The calculated lethal doses of ivermectin were around an LD50 of 0.03 μg ml(-1), and an LD90 of 0.3 μg ml(-1) for the three species of snails. Specimens of B. glabrata actually shedding parasite cercariae all died when exposed to ivermectin at a concentration of a mere 0.01 μg ml(-1). Ivermectin B1a, the major (80%) component of commercially available ivermectin, proved to be inactive, and it was the minor (20%) component, ivermectin B1b, which caused snail death. Snail egg-masses were not affected, even at the highest concentration of 100 μg ml(-1). With respect to S. mansoni parasite stages, 0.2 μg ml(-1) ivermectin killed 50% of cercariae and miracidia within five minutes, rising to 90% after 30 min. Mortality of guppy fish within 24 h of exposure to ivermectin at concentrations of 0.5 μg ml(-1) and 0.01 μg ml(-1), were 100% and 30%, respectively. The concentration of 0.01 μg ml(-1) that killed Schistosoma mansoni-infected snails only caused 30% mortality in guppy fish. Ivermectin can be considered a promising molluscicide, especially as it is more potent against infected snails than uninfected ones, although it has no impact on egg-masses. Ivermectin and its derivatives could be explored in the search for a new agent to help control schistosomiasis transmission.The Journal of Antibiotics advance online publication, 15 March 2017; doi:10.1038/ja.2017.31.

  6. Cone snail venomics: from novel biology to novel therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Prashanth, Jutty Rajan; Brust, Andreas; Jin, Ai-Hua; Alewood, Paul F; Dutertre, Sébastien; Lewis, Richard J

    2014-10-01

    Peptide neurotoxins from cone snails called conotoxins are renowned for their therapeutic potential to treat pain and several neurodegenerative diseases. Inefficient assay-guided discovery methods have been replaced by high-throughput bioassays integrated with advanced MS and next-generation sequencing, ushering in the era of 'venomics'. In this review, we focus on the impact of venomics on the understanding of cone snail biology as well as the application of venomics to accelerate the discovery of new conotoxins. We also discuss the continued importance of medicinal chemistry approaches to optimize conotoxins for clinical use, with a descriptive case study of MrIA featured.

  7. One-trial reward learning in the snail Lymnea stagnalis.

    PubMed

    Alexander, J; Audesirk, T E; Audesirk, G J

    1984-01-01

    We present evidence that the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis is capable of aquisition and extensive retention of an appetitively reinforced feeding response after only a single training trial. Food-deprived snails presented with a single pairing of a phagostimulant (a mixture of sucrose and casein digest) and a novel, non-food chemostimulus (amyl acetate) subsequently made feeding responses to the amyl acetate and retained the association for at least 19 days. This demonstration of one-trial, non-aversive classical conditioning enhances the utility of Lymnaea stagnalis as a model system for the detailed analysis of neural mechanisms underlying plasticity.

  8. African-American Biography.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martin, Ron

    1995-01-01

    Suggests sources of information for African American History Month for library media specialists who work with students in grades four through eight. Gale Research's "African-American Reference Library," which includes "African-America Biography,""African-American Chronology," and "African-American Almanac,"…

  9. African Trypanosomiasis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-06-01

    infection by protozoan hemo- flagellates of the Trypanosoma brucei complex, 2 subspe- cies of which cause disease in humans: Trypanosoma bru- cei gambiense...public release; distribution unlimited 13. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES See also ADA545141. Chapter 3 from e-book, Topics on the Pathology of Protozoan and...the brief ferry crossing. 2 3 • Topics on The paThology of proTozoan and invasive arThropod diseases Three severe epidemics of African trypanosomiasis

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Intraguild predation by shore crabs affects mortality, behavior, growth, and densities of California horn snails

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lorda, J.; Hechinger, R.F.; Cooper, S. D.; Kuris, A. M.; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2016-01-01

    The California horn snail, Cerithideopsis californica, and the shore crabs, Pachygrapsus crassipesand Hemigrapsus oregonensis, compete for epibenthic microalgae, but the crabs also eat snails. Such intraguild predation is common in nature, despite models predicting instability. Using a series of manipulations and field surveys, we examined intraguild predation from several angles, including the effects of stage-dependent predation along with direct consumptive and nonconsumptive predator effects on intraguild prey. In the laboratory, we found that crabs fed on macroalgae, snail eggs, and snails, and the size of consumed snails increased with predator crab size. In field experiments, snails grew less in the presence of crabs partially because snails behaved differently and were buried in the sediment (nonconsumptive effects). Consistent with these results, crab and snail abundances were negatively correlated in three field surveys conducted at three different spatial scales in estuaries of California, Baja California, and Baja California Sur: (1) among 61 sites spanning multiple habitat types in three estuaries, (2) among the habitats of 13 estuaries, and (3) among 34 tidal creek sites in one estuary. These results indicate that shore crabs are intraguild predators on California horn snails that affect snail populations via predation and by influencing snail behavior and performance.

  12. A protocol for geographically randomized snail surveys in schistosomiasis fieldwork using the global positioning system.

    PubMed

    Seto, E; Liang, S; Qiu, D; Gu, X; Spear, R C

    2001-01-01

    A protocol was created for performing geographically randomized snail surveys for schistosomiasis research using the global positioning system (GPS). This protocol differs from traditional surveys in its ability to accurately map and measure the spatial distribution of snail habitat. The protocol was used to map irrigation ditches, the primary habitat for Oncomelania hupensis, in two residence areas in Sichuan Province, China. From the 7,450 meters of mapped ditches, snail surveys were performed at 203 random sites along the ditch network. Of these, 116 (57.1%) sites had snails. The total number of living snails captured was 2,014, resulting in an average snail density of 0.27 snails per linear meter of potential habitat.

  13. Effects of serotonin on the heartbeat of pond snails in a hunger state

    PubMed Central

    Yamagishi, Miki; Watanabe, Takayuki; Hatakeyama, Dai; Ito, Etsuro

    2015-01-01

    Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine: 5-HT) is a multimodal transmitter that controls both feeding response and heartbeat in snails. However, the effects of 5-HT on the hunger state are still unknown. We therefore examined the relation among the hunger state, the heartbeat rate and the 5-HT action in food-starved snails. We found that the hunger state was significantly distinguished by the heartbeat rate in snails. The heartbeat rate was high in the food-satiated snails, whereas it was low in the food-starved snails. An increase in 5-HT concentration in the body boosted the heartbeat rate in the food-starved snails, but did not affect the rate in the food-satiated snails. These results suggest that 5-HT application may mimic the change from a starvation to a satiation state normally achieved by direct ingestion of food. PMID:27493507

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Flying shells: historical dispersal of marine snails across Central America

    PubMed Central

    Miura, Osamu; Torchin, Mark E.; Bermingham, Eldredge; Jacobs, David K.; Hechinger, Ryan F.

    2012-01-01

    The geological rise of the Central American Isthmus separated the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans about 3 Ma, creating a formidable barrier to dispersal for marine species. However, similar to Simpson's proposal that terrestrial species can ‘win sweepstakes routes’—whereby highly improbable dispersal events result in colonization across geographical barriers—marine species may also breach land barriers given enough time. To test this hypothesis, we asked whether intertidal marine snails have crossed Central America to successfully establish in new ocean basins. We used a mitochondrial DNA genetic comparison of sister snails (Cerithideopsis spp.) separated by the rise of the Isthmus. Genetic variation in these snails revealed evidence of at least two successful dispersal events between the Pacific and the Atlantic after the final closure of the Isthmus. A combination of ancestral area analyses and molecular dating techniques indicated that dispersal from the Pacific to the Atlantic occurred about 750 000 years ago and that dispersal in the opposite direction occurred about 72 000 years ago. The geographical distribution of haplotypes and published field evidence further suggest that migratory shorebirds transported the snails across Central America at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in southern Mexico. Migratory birds could disperse other intertidal invertebrates this way, suggesting the Central American Isthmus may not be as impassable for marine species as previously assumed. PMID:21920976

  16. A snail-eating snake recognizes prey handedness

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  19. Snail Shells in a Practical Application of Statistical Procedures

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gill, John; Howell, Pauline

    1985-01-01

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

  1. Molluscicidal effect of Eomecon chionantha alkaloids against Oncomelania hupensis snails.

    PubMed

    Peng, Fei; Liu, Ming; Huang, Qiongyao; Liu, Nianmeng; Yang, Huazhong; Sun, Hui; Hu, Qi; Feng, Fang; Jiang, Chonghe

    2011-03-01

    The molluscicidal effects of Eomecon chionantha alkaloids (ECA) against Oncomelania hupensis snails were determined by immersion method. The molluscicidal effect was positively related to ECA concentration, immersion time and temperature of the immersion solution. The mortality of the snails reached 100% by 72 hours in ECA at a concentration of 2.5 mg/l at 25 degrees C. The alanine aminotransferase (ALT) level of liver cells treated with ECA was higher than controls at 24 and 36 hours (57.7 and 60.3 U/l versus 39.2 and 49.2 U/1, respectively) but the level decreased at 48-72 hours after treatment. The decrease points to the toxic effect of ECA against liver cells. After ECA treatment, the liver cells were edematous with swollen or disintegrating nuclei; they were enlarged and had vacuolated rER; they had dilated and vesiculated mitochondria with broken crests further indicating a hepatotoxic effect of ECA in O. hupensis snails. ECA has a molluscicidal effect that may be of practical use in the field to control O. hupensis snails.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  3. Optimal diet theory: behavior of a starved predatory snail.

    PubMed

    Perry, D M

    1987-06-01

    The tenets of optimal foraging theory are used to contrast the behavior of the predatory snail Acantina spirata when feeding on the barnacles Balanus glandula and Chthamalus fissus under conditions of satiation and starvation. As predicted in optimal diet models, A. spirata is less selective (ratio of attack frequency on a prey species to number of individuals available) when the higher ranking prey has low abundance. When given a choice, starved snails attack both barnacle species equally, whereas satiated individuals preferentially attack B. glandula, the more profitable prey (ash-free dry weight of barnacles ingested per unit handling time). Under starvation conditions, equal attack frequency does not result in equal prey species consumption because Acanthina spirata is more successful at attacking C. fissus than B. glandula.The assumption of constant prey encounter rates in optimal diet models is not met when A. spirata goes from a state of satiation to starvation. The encounter rate on B. glandula is lowered due to a decrease in attack success. A loss of feeding skills in starved A. spirata is responsible for the greater difficulty snails have in gaining access through the opercular plates of B. glandula.Behavioral changes in A. spirata as snails pass from satiation to hunger translate into an energetic disadvantage during feeding for hungry snails for two reasons. First, higher prey handling times result in a decreased rate of biomass intake. Second, alteration in the relative attack frequency between barnacle species, combined with a decrease in attack success on the more profitable prey leads to more frequent ingestion of the less profitable prey.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Lymnaea glabra: progressive increase in susceptibility to Fasciola hepatica through successive generations of experimentally infected snails.

    PubMed

    Rondelaud, D; Teukeng, F F Djuikwo; Vignoles, P; Dreyfuss, G

    2015-07-01

    Experimental infections of Lymnaea glabra (two populations) with Fasciola hepatica were carried out during seven successive snail generations, to determine if prevalence and intensity of snail infection increased over time through descendants of snails already infected with F. hepatica. Controls were descendants coming from uninfected parents and infected according to the same protocol. No larval forms were found in the bodies of control snails coming from uninfected parents. In contrast, prevalence and intensity of F. hepatica infection in snails originating from infected parents progressively increased from the F2 or F3 to the F6 generation of L. glabra. In another experiment carried out with the F7 generations of L. glabra and a single generation of Galba truncatula (as controls), the prevalence of F. hepatica infection and the total number of cercariae were lower in L. glabra (without significant differences between both populations). If the number of cercariae shed by infected snails was compared to overall cercarial production noted in snails containing cercariae but dying without emission, the percentage was greater in G. truncatula (69% instead of 52-54% in L. glabra). Even if most characteristics of F. hepatica infection were lower in L. glabra, prevalence and intensity of parasite infection increased with snail generation when tested snails came from infected parents. This mode of snail infection with F. hepatica suggests an explanation for cases of fasciolosis occurring in cattle-breeding farms where paramphistomosis is lacking and G. truncatula is absent.

  6. Snail as a key regulator of PRL-3 gene in colorectal cancer.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Ping; Meng, Hui-Min; Gao, Wei-Zhe; Chen, Lin; Liu, Xun-Hua; Xiao, Zheng-Quan; Liu, Yong-Xia; Sui, Hong-Mei; Zhou, Jun; Liu, Yu-Hong; Li, Jian-Ming

    2011-10-15

    The regulators of a key metastasis gene PRL-3 in colorectal cancer (CRC) are still largely unknown. We found three potential binding sites of Snail, a key transcriptional factor involved in the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), in the region of PRL-3 promoter (located at -642 to -383). Moreover, our results showed that one of the Snail binding sites (located at -624 to -619) was the key element to maintain promoter activity of human PRL-3 gene. The transcriptional activity of PRL-3 promoter was abolished after the Snail binding site (located at -624 to -619) was mutated. Both promoter activity and protein expression of PRL-3 in CRC cell lines could be regulated by Snail. In clinical samples of CRC and metastatic lymph node of CRC, expression of PRL-3 protein was correlated with expression of Snail protein. Functional studies using gene over-expression and knockdown methods indicated that Snail promoted proliferation, cell adhesion and migration of human CRC cells. In SW480 cells with PRL-3 stable knockdown, cell proliferation increased after Snail was up-regulated. Our data first reveal transcriptional factor Snail as a key regulator of PRL-3 in CRC. The link between Snail and PRL-3 suggests a new potential mechanism of Snail contributing to progression and metastasis of CRC.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Reversing the resistance phenotype of the Biomphalaria glabrata snail host Schistosoma mansoni infection by temperature modulation.

    PubMed

    Ittiprasert, Wannaporn; Knight, Matty

    2012-01-01

    Biomphalaria glabrata snails that display either resistant or susceptible phenotypes to the parasitic trematode, Schistosoma mansoni provide an invaluable resource towards elucidating the molecular basis of the snail-host/schistosome relationship. Previously, we showed that induction of stress genes either after heat-shock or parasite infection was a major feature distinguishing juvenile susceptible snails from their resistant counterparts. In order to examine this apparent association between heat stress and snail susceptibility, we investigated the effect of temperature modulation in the resistant snail stock, BS-90. Here, we show that, incubated for up to 4 hrs at 32°C prior to infection, these resistant snails became susceptible to infection, i.e. shedding cercariae at 5 weeks post exposure (PE) while unstressed resistant snails, as expected, remained resistant. This suggests that susceptibility to infection by this resistant snail phenotype is temperature-sensitive (ts). Additionally, resistant snails treated with the Hsp 90 specific inhibitor, geldanamycin (GA) after heat stress, were no longer susceptible to infection, retaining their resistant phenotype. Consistently, susceptible snail phenotypes treated with 100 mM GA before parasite exposure also remained uninfected. These results provide direct evidence for the induction of stress genes (heat shock proteins; Hsp 70, Hsp 90 and the reverse transcriptase [RT] domain of the nimbus non-LTR retrotransposon) in B. glabrata susceptibility to S. mansoni infection and characterize the resistant BS-90 snails as a temperature-sensitive phenotype. This study of reversing snail susceptibility phenotypes to S. mansoni provides an opportunity to directly track molecular pathway(s) that underlie the B. glabrata snail's ability to either sustain or destroy the S. mansoni parasite.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-03-28

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. African Outreach Workshop 1974.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schmidt, Nancy J.

    This report discusses the 1974 African Outreach Workshop planned and coordinated by the African Studies Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Its major aim was to assist teachers in developing curriculum units on African using materials available in their local community. A second aim was for the African Studies Program to…

  13. Africans in America.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hart, Ayanna; Spangler, Earl

    This book introduces African-American history and culture to children. The first Africans in America came from many different regions and cultures, but became united in this country by being black, African, and slaves. Once in America, Africans began a long struggle for freedom which still continues. Slavery, the Civil War, emancipation, and the…

  14. Metabolic acceleration in the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  15. Snail/Slug-YAP/TAZ Complexes Control Skeletal Stem Cell Self-Renewal and Differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Yi; Feinberg, Tamar; Keller, Evan T.; Li, Xiao-Yan; Weiss, Stephen J.

    2016-01-01

    Bone marrow-derived skeletal stem/stromal cell (SSC) self-renewal and function are critical to skeletal development, homeostasis and repair. Nevertheless, the mechanisms controlling SSC behavior, particularly bone formation, remain ill-defined. Using knockout mouse models that target the zinc-finger transcription factors, Snail, Slug or Snail and Slug combined, a regulatory axis has been uncovered wherein Snail and Slug cooperatively control SSC self-renewal, osteoblastogenesis and bone formation. Mechanistically, Snail/Slug regulate SSC function by forming complexes with the transcriptional co-activators, YAP and TAZ, in tandem with the inhibition of the Hippo pathway-dependent regulation of YAP/TAZ signaling cascades. In turn, the Snail/Slug-YAP/TAZ axis activates a series of YAP/TAZ/TEAD and Runx2 downstream targets that control SSC homeostasis and osteogenesis. Together, these results demonstrate that SSCs mobilize Snail/Slug-YAP/TAZ complexes to control stem cell function. PMID:27479603

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  17. First report of Toxocara cati in the domestic land snail Rumina decollata.

    PubMed

    Cardillo, Natalia; Prous, Cintia Gonzalez; Krivokapich, Silvio; Pittaro, Mariana; Ercole, Mariano; Perez, Matías; Pasqualetti, Mariana; Fariña, Fernando; Rosa, Adriana; Gatti, Graciana; Ribicich, Mabel

    The prospective role of the land snail Rumina decollata as a potential paratenic host of Toxocara cati for domestic cats was studied. R. decollata specimens and cats' feces were collected from the open spaces of a Buenos Aires city hospital. Cats' feces were analyzed and snails were digested to identify T. cati stages, by morphological and molecular analyses. T. cati larval eggs were recovered from 23.5% (4/17) of the sampled feces. Twenty percent of snail pools (5/25) were confirmed to be positive for Toxocara spp. third larval stage (L3) by PCR. The mean value of total larvae recovered per gram of snail in all positive pools was 5.1, with a maximum 33 L3/pool. This is the first report of T. cati infective larvae in R. decollata domestic snail as a paratenic host, since the relationship between infection in snails and in cats' feces could be demonstrated in a common environment.

  18. Effects of Snail Density on Growth, Reproduction and Survival of Biomphalaria alexandrina Exposed to Schistosoma mansoni

    PubMed Central

    Mangal, T. D.; Paterson, S.; Fenton, A.

    2010-01-01

    The effects of snail density on Biomphalaria alexandrina parasitized with Schistosoma mansoni were investigated. Laboratory experiments were used to quantify the impact of high density on snail growth, fecundity, and survival. Density-dependent birth rates of snails were determined to inform mathematical models, which, until now, have assumed a linear relationship between density and fecundity. The experiments show that the rate of egg-laying followed a negative exponential distribution with increasing density and this was significantly affected by exposure to parasitic infection. High density also affected the weight of snails and survival to a greater degree than exposure to parasitic infection. Although snail growth rates were initially constrained by high density, they retained the potential for growth suggesting a reversible density-dependent mechanism. These experimental data can be used to parameterise models and confirm that snail populations are regulated by nonlinear density-dependent mechanisms. PMID:20700427

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Al-Daihan, Sooad

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. BHC80 is Critical in Suppression of Snail-LSD1 Interaction and Breast Cancer Metastasis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-01-01

    inhibitors combined with the DNA alkylating agent Temozolomide are under investigation in several clinical trials. Due to the variance in cell...indicating that PARP1 becomes activated in response to DNA -damaging agent and promotes the interaction of Snail/LSD1 with PTEN promoter. Also as expected...by inhibiting PARG could enhance Snail-LSD1 interaction . In addition, we found that Snail could undergo poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation on DNA damage

  2. Co-expression and clinical utility of Snail and N-cadherin in papillary thyroid carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xiangshan; Shi, Ranran; Zhang, Jing

    2016-01-01

    Papillary thyroid carcinoma is one of the most common subtypes of thyroid cancer and portends a good prognosis. N-cadherin (neural cadherin) is a member of the classical cadherin family and is often overexpressed in many types of cancers. Snail, a kind of zinc finger protein, is a transcriptional repressor which has been intensively studied in mammals. We investigate the immunohistochemical expression of Snail and N-cadherin in papillary thyroid carcinoma tissues and cells and then discuss the clinical value of Snail and N-cadherin expression. Immunohistochemical technique was performed to detect Snail and N-cadherin in 60 cases of papillary thyroid carcinoma and analyzed the relationship between the expression of Snail, N-cadherin, and clinicopathological indicators. Western blot was used to investigate the constitutive and inducible expression of Snail and N-cadherin. In our study, the expression rate of Snail and N-cadherin was 85.0 % (51/60) and 78.3 % (47/60), respectively, in papillary thyroid carcinoma. The expression rate of Snail and N-cadherin in thyroid papillary carcinoma with metastatic lymph nodes was 93.3 and 86.7 %, respectively, while in papillary thyroid carcinoma tissue without lymph node metastasis, the expression rate was 60.0 and 53.3 %, respectively. The positive correlation of Snail and N-cadherin was observed (r = 0.721, p < 0.01). In addition, Western blot further identified the constitutive and inducible expression of Snail and N-cadherin in papillary thyroid carcinoma tissues and cell lines. In conclusion, Snail and N-cadherin are constitutively and inducibly expressed in papillary thyroid carcinoma and may play important roles in the development and metastasis of papillary thyroid carcinoma. Snail and N-cadherin may be used as an effective indicator.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1987-01-01

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

  5. BHC80 is Critical in Suppression of Snail-LSD1 Interaction and Breast Cancer Metastasis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-04-01

    1-0078 TITLE: BHC80 is Critical in Suppression of Snail -LSD1 Interaction and Breast Cancer Metastasis PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Yiwei...COVERED (From - To) 1 Jan 2011 - 31 Dec 2013 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE BHC80 is critical in suppression of Snail -LSD1 interaction and 5a...distribution unlimited 13. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES 14. ABSTRACT By using a tandem affinity-mass spectrometry coupled analysis, we identified Snail

  6. Storage excretion in the Indian apple snail, Pila globosa (Swainson), during aestivation.

    PubMed

    Athawale, Madhura S; Reddy, S Raghupathi Rami

    2002-11-01

    Uric acid accumulates in several tissues of the Indian apple snail, P. globosa, during aestivation. This accumulation is particularly high in the foot muscle and reproductive organs. Since the kidney, a tiny organ in the snail, has only a limited capacity to store uric acid, extrarenal tissues are used as storage depots of uric acid during aestivation. It is suggested that the aestivating snail, faced with a cleidoic situation, resorts to storage excretion, a phenomenon well documented in insects.

  7. Multiple paternity in the freshwater snail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Multiple paternity in the freshwater snail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum.

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1997-05-01

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

  10. Structure of mega-hemocyanin reveals protein origami in snails.

    PubMed

    Gatsogiannis, Christos; Hofnagel, Oliver; Markl, Jürgen; Raunser, Stefan

    2015-01-06

    Mega-hemocyanin is a 13.5 MDa oxygen transporter found in the hemolymph of some snails. Similar to typical gastropod hemocyanins, it is composed of 400 kDa building blocks but has additional 550 kDa subunits. Together, they form a large, completely filled cylinder. The structural basis for this highly complex protein packing is not known so far. Here, we report the electron cryomicroscopy (cryo-EM) structure of mega-hemocyanin complexes from two different snail species. The structures reveal that mega-hemocyanin is composed of flexible building blocks that differ in their conformation, but not in their primary structure. Like a protein origami, these flexible blocks are optimally packed, implementing different local symmetries and pseudosymmetries. A comparison between the two structures suggests a surprisingly simple evolutionary mechanism leading to these large oxygen transporters.

  11. 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

  12. Factors determining the direction of ecological specialization in snail-feeding carabid beetles.

    PubMed

    Konuma, Junji; Nagata, Nobuaki; Sota, Teiji

    2011-02-01

    A stout-slender dimorphism in body shape is observed among carabid beetles of the subtribe Carabina, which feed on land snails. We hypothesized that this dimorphism has resulted from divergent ecological specialization for feeding on different-sized land snails. Therefore, we examined whether the geographic variation in the body shape of Damaster blaptoides, a representative snail-feeding species in Japan, is correlated with the size of Euhadra, a genus of land snails frequently consumed by D. blaptoides. An analysis of beetle specimens from the whole distribution area of D. blaptoides determined that more slender beetle populations occurred in localities harboring larger snails, whereas more stout beetles inhabited localities harboring smaller snails. This pattern could be adaptive because slender beetles exhibit high feeding performance for large snails by inserting their heads into the shells, whereas stout beetles do so for small snails by crushing the shells. The D. blaptoides populations showed a clear genetic isolation-by-distance pattern, which could be effective in promoting such local adaptation. Thus, food resources as well as geographic isolation may have promoted adaptive divergence of external morphology in the snail-feeding carabid beetles.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Effects of an invasive ant on land snails in the Ogasawara Islands.

    PubMed

    Uchida, Shota; Mori, Hideaki; Kojima, Tsubasa; Hayama, Kayo; Sakairi, Yuko; Chiba, Satoshi

    2016-12-01

    We investigated how Pheidole megacephala has affected endemic achatinellid snails because these snails are excellent indicators of the impact of ants and they have high conservation value in Ogasawara. In 2015 we surveyed the Minamizaki area of Hahajima Island of Ogasawara, designated a core zone of the World Heritage Site, for P. megacephala. In Minamizaki, we determined the distribution and density of achatinellid snails in 2015 and compared these data with their distribution and density in 2005. Land cover in the survey area was entirely forest. We also tested whether P. megacephala preyed on achatinellid snails in the laboratory. P. megacephala was present in the forested areas of Minamizaki. Achatinellid snails were absent in 19 of 39 sites where P. megacephala was present, whereas in other areas densities of the snails ranged from 2 to 228 individuals/site. In the laboratory, P. megacephala carried 6 of 7 achatinellid snails and a broken shell was found. Snail distribution and density comparisons and results of the feeding experiments suggest that the presence of P. megacephala has contributed to the decline of achatinellid snails in forests in the survey area. Yet, P. megacephala is not on the official list of invasive non-native species. Stakeholders using the list of invasive species to develop conservation programs should recognize that invasiveness of non-native species differs depending on the ecosystem and that official lists may not be complete.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-10-01

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

  16. Differential expression of transcriptional repressor snail gene at implantation site in mouse uterus.

    PubMed

    Ma, Xing-Hong; Hu, Shi-Jun; Yu, Hao; Xu, Li-Bin; Yang, Zeng-Ming

    2006-02-01

    The snail superfamily of zinc-finger transcription factors is involved in pronounced cell movements during both embryonic development and tumor progression. This study was to examine snail expression in mouse uterus during early pregnancy and its regulation under pseudopregnancy, delayed implantation, steroid hormone treatment, and artificial decidualization by in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry. There was a low level of snail mRNA signal and immunostaining in mouse uteri on day 1-4 of pregnancy. When embryo implanted on day 5, both snail mRNA signal and immunostaining were strongly detected in the subluminal stroma immediately surrounding the implanting blastocyst, but not detected in the inter-implantation sites. Under delayed implantation, there was no detectable snail expression. After delayed implantation was terminated by estrogen treatment and embryo implanted, there was a strong level of snail mRNA and immunostaining in the subluminal stroma surrounding the implanting blastocyst, which was similar to that on day 5 of pregnancy. Furthermore, there was no detectable snail expression in mouse uterus on day 5 of pseudopregnancy. From day 6-8 of pregnancy, both snail mRNA signal and immunostaining were detected in the decidua. Our data suggest that snail may play an important role during mouse embryo implantation.

  17. Action of SNAIL1 in Cardiac Myofibroblasts Is Important for Cardiac Fibrosis following Hypoxic Injury

    PubMed Central

    Biswas, Hirak; Longmore, Gregory D.

    2016-01-01

    Hypoxic injury to the heart results in cardiac fibrosis that leads to cardiac dysfunction and heart failure. SNAIL1 is a zinc finger transcription factor implicated in fibrosis following organ injury and cancer. To determine if the action of SNAIL1 contributed to cardiac fibrosis following hypoxic injury, we used an endogenous SNAIL1 bioluminescence reporter mice, and SNAIL1 knockout mouse models. Here we report that SNAIL1 expression is upregulated in the infarcted heart, especially in the myofibroblasts. Utilizing primary cardiac fibroblasts in ex vivo cultures we find that pro-fibrotic factors and collagen I increase SNAIL1 protein level. SNAIL1 is required in cardiac fibroblasts for the adoption of myofibroblast fate, collagen I expression and expression of fibrosis-related genes. Taken together this data suggests that SNAIL1 expression is induced in the cardiac fibroblasts after hypoxic injury and contributes to myofibroblast phenotype and a fibrotic scar formation. Resultant collagen deposition in the scar can maintain elevated SNAIL1 expression in the myofibroblasts and help propagate fibrosis. PMID:27706205

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Fasciola hepatica in snails collected from water-dropwort fields using PCR.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hwang-Yong; Choi, In-Wook; Kim, Yeon-Rok; Quan, Juan-Hua; Ismail, Hassan Ahmed Hassan Ahmed; Cha, Guang-Ho; Hong, Sung-Jong; Lee, Young-Ha

    2014-12-01

    Fasciola hepatica is a trematode that causes zoonosis mainly in cattle and sheep and occasionally in humans. Fascioliasis has been reported in Korea; however, determining F. hepatica infection in snails has not been done recently. Thus, using PCR, we evaluated the prevalence of F. hepatica infection in snails at 4 large water-dropwort fields. Among 349 examined snails, F. hepatica-specific internal transcribed space 1 (ITS-1) and/or ITS-2 markers were detected in 12 snails and confirmed using sequence analysis. Morphologically, 213 of 349 collected snails were dextral shelled, which is the same aperture as the lymnaeid snail, the vectorial host for F. hepatica. Among the 12 F. hepatica-infected snails, 6 were known first intermediate hosts in Korea (Lymnaea viridis and L. ollula) and the remaining 6 (Lymnaea sp.) were potentially a new first intermediate host in Korea. It has been shown that the overall prevalence of the snails contaminated with F. hepatica in water-dropwort fields was 3.4%; however, the prevalence varied among the fields. This is the first study to estimate the prevalence of F. hepatica infection using the vectorial capacity of the snails in Korea.

  20. Morphological Variation in the New Zealand Mud Snail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrow, S.; Holomuzki, J. R.; Brunkow, P. E.

    2005-05-01

    The New Zealand mud snail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) is a morphologically diverse species, showing variation in body shape and spine ornamentation. Native to New Zealand, the snail is highly invasive in the United States and Europe. As part of a broader study examining the role of morphological variation in hydrodynamic performance, we sought to quantify shell variation in snails from four different populations in New Zealand. Shells were mounted and photographed, and four characters (shell length and width, and aperture length and width) were digitized. Shell length differed significantly among populations. Sheared PCA revealed that shell shape, defined in terms of overall robustness (PC1) as well as the ratio between shell width and aperture width (PC2), also differed significantly among populations. Spined shells differed significantly from smooth shells with respect to shell shape (PC1 and PC2), with spined shells being generally more robust with larger apertures for their length. Shell shape differed significantly between spined and smooth shells in the two lotic habitats but not in the lentic habitats, suggesting a possible interaction between shell shape, presence of spines, and hydrodynamic environment. Further research will attempt to relate shell morphology and spine ornamentation to hydrodynamic drag and lift forces.

  1. Piscivorous behavior of a temperate cone snail, Conus californicus.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Julia; Gilly, William F

    2005-10-01

    Most of the more than 500 species of predatory marine snails in the genus Conus are tropical or semitropical, and nearly all are thought to be highly selective regarding type of prey. Conus californicus Hinds, 1844, is unusual in that it is endemic to the North American Pacific coast and preys on a large variety of benthic organisms, primarily worms and other molluscs, and also scavenges. We studied the feeding behavior of C. californicus in captivity and found that it regularly killed and consumed live prickleback fishes (Cebidichthys violaceus and Xiphister spp.). Predation involved two behavioral methods similar to those employed by strictly piscivorous relatives. One method utilized stings delivered by radular teeth; the other involved engulfing the prey without stinging. Both methods were commonly used in combination, and individual snails sometimes employed multiple stings to subdue a fish. During the course of the study, snails became aroused by the presence of live fish more quickly, as evidenced by more rapid initiation of hunting behavior. Despite this apparent adaptation, details of prey-capture techniques and effectiveness of stings remained similar over the same period.

  2. Impact of cigarette butt leachate on tidepool snails.

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-15

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

  3. Biological studies on the snail intermediate hosts of schistosomiasis with a special emphasis on using larval echinostomes as biocontrol agent against larval schistosomes and snails.

    PubMed

    Rashed, A A

    2002-12-01

    The present investigation deals with the infectivity of the two snail intermediate hosts of schistosomiasis, Biomphalaria alexandrina and Bulinus truncatus collected from nine drains in Sharkia Governorate, Egypt. The rate of infection among the snails was general low being 0% in many drains. Regarding B. alexandrina, the rate of infection ranged from 4-16%, and in B. truncatus ranged from 4-8%. Infection with larval echinostomes was dominant over larval schistosomes in the two snail vectors. The distribution of larval schistosomes was restricted to the hepatopancreas of the two snail vectors, while larval echinostomes were distributed in head, foot, kidney, haemocoelic cavity, hepatopancreas...etc. The predation of larval schistosomes by larval echinostomes and the severe histopathological effects induced by larval ecbinostomes strongly enhances using them as biocontrol agent. The physico-chemical parameters and pollution condition in the drains seem to have no effect on the process of snails infectivity. It is concluded that larval echinostomes can resist the polluting conditions in the drain. The two snail vectors exhibit very minimal or rare host response against larval echinostomes. Probably, the toxicants and pollutants in the drain may act as stressor that makes the snails much more susceptible to infection by larval trematodes.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Residential yards as designer ecosystems: effects of yard management on land snail species composition.

    PubMed

    Bergey, Elizabeth A; Figueroa, Laura L

    2016-12-01

    Residential yards comprise the majority of green space in urban landscapes, yet are an understudied system because of access issues and because yards may be considered biologically depauperate. Yards are purposely created and managed and, hence, qualify as designer ecosystems, a term borrowed from restoration ecology. We investigated whether yard management (watering regime, mulching, and chemical use) or dog presence affected land snail assemblage composition and described the pattern of native vs. nonnative species among yards. Land snails form an appropriate model system for yard-scale studies because snails are speciose, common, and have limited mobility. We found 32 land snail species in our survey of 61 yards in Norman, Oklahoma, USA (population size of 118,000). Snail richness in individual yards averaged nine species, with a range of three to 14 species. Native snails were found in all yards and nonnative snails were found in all but one yard. Although some of the nine nonnative species were rare, the most frequently encountered species was the nonnative Triodopsis hopetonensis. All encountered nonnative species also occur in Oklahoma plant nurseries, indicating possible introduction through the plant trade. Yard-scale watering regime and the presence of dogs were associated with differences in snail species composition but not species richness. Pesticide use and mulch type had little, if any, association with snail composition. Effects may have been diluted by treating yards as units, whereas snails were concentrated in specific microhabitats, such as under shrubs. Soil type also influenced snail assemblages and acted at a scale larger than individual yards. Considering yards as designer ecosystems facilitates investigation of how local variation in management affects biota within yards and across the residential landscape, and highlights the importance of variation among residential yards in understanding patterns of urban biodiversity.

  8. Enhancing collaboration between China and African countries for schistosomiasis control.

    PubMed

    Xu, Jing; Yu, Qing; Tchuenté, Louis-Albert Tchuem; Bergquist, Robert; Sacko, Moussa; Utzinger, Jürg; Lin, Dan-Dan; Yang, Kun; Zhang, Li-Juan; Wang, Qiang; Li, Shi-Zhu; Guo, Jia-Gang; Zhou, Xiao-Nong

    2016-03-01

    Schistosomiasis remains an important public health issue, with a large number of cases reported across sub-Saharan Africa, and parts of Asia and Latin America. China was once highly endemic, but has made substantial progress and is moving towards elimination of schistosomiasis. Meanwhile, despite long-term, repeated, school-based chemotherapy in many African countries, more than 90% of all schistosomiasis cases are concentrated in Africa, and hence, this continent constitutes the key challenge for schistosomiasis control. Opportunities and issues for international collaboration in the fight against schistosomiasis are outlined with a focus on China's experiences, including the role of public health authorities and intersectoral collaboration, use of new and effective snail control approaches and diagnostic tools adapted to the specific stage of control, as well as the strengthening of risk mapping and surveillance-response mechanisms. Training courses targeting African governmental officials and professionals, coupled with field visits of African scientists and control programme managers to China, and vice versa, are considered important for improved schistosomiasis control and elimination. The crucial question remains whether the Chinese experience can be translated and applied in African countries to improve the effectiveness of health interventions and scale-up.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  10. African Americans and Glaucoma

    MedlinePlus

    ... Involved News About Us Donate In This Section African Americans and Glaucoma email Send this article to a ... glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in African Americans. Half of those with glaucoma don't know ...

  11. Black African Traditional Mathematics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zaslavsky, Claudia

    1970-01-01

    Discusses the traditional number systems and the origin of the number names used by several African peoples living south of the Sahara. Also included are limitations in African mathematical development, and possible topics for research. (RP)

  12. Effects of pollution on land snail abundance, size and diversity as resources for pied flycatcher, Ficedula hypoleuca.

    PubMed

    Eeva, Tapio; Rainio, Kalle; Suominen, Otso

    2010-09-01

    Passerine birds need extra calcium during their breeding for developing egg shells and proper growth of nestling skeleton. Land snails are an important calcium source for many passerines and human-induced changes in snail populations may pose a severe problem for breeding birds. We studied from the bird's viewpoint how air pollution affects the shell mass, abundance and diversity of land snail communities along a pollution gradient of a copper smelter. We sampled remnant snail shells from the nests of an insectivorous passerine, the pied flycatcher, Ficedula hypoleuca, to find out how the availability of land snails varies along the pollution gradient. The total snail shell mass increased towards the pollution source but declined abruptly in the vicinity of the smelter. This spatial variation in shell mass was evident also within a single snail species and could not be wholly explained by spatially varying snail numbers or species composition. Instead, the total shell mass was related to their shell size, individuals being largest at the moderately polluted areas. Smaller shell size suggests inferior growth of snails in the most heavily polluted area. Our study shows that pollution affects the diversity, abundance (available shell mass) and individual quality of land snails, posing reproductive problems for birds that rely on snails as calcium sources during breeding. There are probably both direct pollution-related (heavy metal and calcium levels) and indirect (habitat change) effects behind the observed changes in snail populations.

  13. 77 FR 54605 - Longworth Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Morro Shoulderband Snail, Community of Los...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-09-05

    ... for the Morro Shoulderband Snail, Community of Los Osos, San Luis Obispo County, CA AGENCY: Fish and... addresses the potential for ``take'' of the federally endangered Morro shoulderband snail that is likely to... project activities that are likely to result in take of the Morro shoulderband snail as described in...

  14. 76 FR 41811 - Kellaway Proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Morro Shoulderband Snail, San Luis...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-07-15

    ... Shoulderband Snail, San Luis Obispo County, CA AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of... ``take'' of the Federally endangered Morro shoulderband snail (Helminthoglypta walkeriana) incidental to..., which includes the Kellaway Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Morro Shoulderband Snail...

  15. 78 FR 14587 - Kelley-McDonough Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Morro Shoulderband Snail, Community...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-03-06

    ... Shoulderband Snail, Community of Los Osos, San Luis Obispo County, California AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service... potential for ``take'' of the federally endangered Morro shoulderband snail that is likely to occur... that are likely to result in take of the Morro shoulderband snail as described in their plan. We...

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stewart, Timothy W.

    2007-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  19. 75 FR 52272 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removal of the Utah (Desert) Valvata Snail From...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-08-25

    ... Wildlife and Plants; Removal of the Utah (Desert) Valvata Snail From the Federal List of Endangered and... (Service), are removing the Utah (desert) valvata snail (Valvata utahensis) from the Federal List of... commercial data, we determined that the Utah valvata snail is more widespread and occurs in a greater...

  20. 76 FR 41810 - Francis Proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Morro Shoulderband Snail, Los Osos...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-07-15

    ... Shoulderband Snail, Los Osos, San Luis Obispo County, CA AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION... the potential for ``take'' of the Federally endangered Morro shoulderband snail (Helminthoglypta... includes the Francis Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Morro Shoulderband Snail (HCP) that...

  1. Sex ratio and susceptibility of the golden apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata.

    PubMed

    Banpavichit, S; Keawjam, R S; Upatham, E S

    1994-06-01

    Golden apple snails, Pomacea canaliculata, were collected at two localities having different ecological environments. In both canal and pond, P. canaliculata males were found more than females during the dry season (summer and winter). In the canal, the male snails were highest in number (86.67%) in May. When rain started, they began decreasing and were lowest at 33.33% in August. Of 575 snails collected, 30.6% were infected by one or more of the three groups of amphistome, distome and echinostome metacercariae. There were two high peaks of infection in April and October, as 60.7% and 68.4%, respectively, during which there were more males than females. The average number of parasites per snail which was highest at 54 was found in the medium-sized males (25 out of 35 males) in October. The number of parasites per snail was significantly correlated with the collected males (p < 0.01), but such relationship was not occurred with the females. Of the females, only the large-sized individuals were infected. In the pond, the female snails were present in much greater numbers than the males during the reproductive time (June-September). The females were highest (94.23%) in August. Only 24 (4.0%) of 605 snails were infected; most of the infected snails were large.

  2. 50 CFR 17.45 - Special rules-snails and clams. [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

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

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

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

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

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

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mooij, Wolf M.; Martin, Julien; Kitchens, Wiley M.; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Bissonette, John A.; Storch, Ilse

    2007-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

  9. 50 CFR 17.45 - Special rules-snails and clams. [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Special rules-snails and clams. 17.45 Section 17.45 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR... Special rules—snails and clams....

  10. Studies on the molluscicidal activity of Agave angustifolia and Pittosporum tobira on schistosomiasis transmitting snails.

    PubMed

    Ibrahim, Abdalla M; Abdel-Gawad, Mahfouz M; El-Nahas, Hanan A; Osman, Nadia S

    2015-04-01

    In the search for new molluscicidal plants for controlling the snail vectors of schistosomiasis, laboratory evaluation was made to assess the molluscicidal activity of Agave angustifolia and Pittosporum tobira plants against Biomphalaria alexandrina snails. Results indicated that both plants have promising molluscicidal activity as the LC90 of the dry powder of both plants was 120 ppm. Both plants showed marked cercaricidal and miracidicidal potencies against S. mansoni larvae. The LC90 of both plants (120 ppm) killed most B. alexandrina eggs within 24 h of exposure. The sub-lethal concentrations of both plants markedly suppressed the survival rate of B. alexandrina snails and the mortality increased with increasing the concentrations and the exposure period up to 10 successive weeks. The accumulative toxic effect of these concentrations was continuous during the recovery period. Also, the reproductive rates of exposed snails were greatly affected even through the recovery period. This depression in reproductive ability of snails was accompanied by histological damage in the hermaphrodite glands of exposed snails. Meanwhile, the growth of snails was estimated weekly and it showed great inhibition in exposed snails comparing with the control ones.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-12-10

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

  12. The African Connection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oguntoyinbo, Lekan

    2012-01-01

    From student and faculty exchanges to joint research projects, U.S. universities maintain a broad spectrum of collaborative relationships with African universities. It's unclear how many U.S. colleges and universities have partnerships with African universities. The African Studies Association, an organization of scholars, doesn't keep that kind…

  13. Prostaglandin E₂ receptor EP2 mediates Snail expression in hepatocellular carcinoma cells.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Shan-Yu; Zhang, Hai; Zhang, Min; Xia, Shu-Kai; Bai, Xiao-Ming; Zhang, Li; Ma, Juan; Rong, Rong; Wang, Yi-Pin; Du, Ming-Zhan; Wang, Jie; Chen, Meng; Shi, Feng; Yang, Qin-Yi; Leng, Jing

    2014-05-01

    Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) has been shown to influence cell invasion and metastasis in several types of cancer, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). however, the molecular mechanisms underlying it remain to be further elucidated. Snail, as one of key inducers of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), plays pivotal roles in HCC invasion and metastasis. The present study was designed to evaluate the possible signaling pathways through which PGE2 regulates Snail protein expression in HCC cell lines. PGE2 markedly enhanced Huh-7 cell invasion and migration ability by upregulating the expression level of Snail protein, and EP2 receptor played an important role in this process. Src, EGFR, Akt and mTOR were all activated and involved in the regulation of snail protein expression. Our findings suggest that PGE2 could upregulate the expression level of Snail protein through the EP2/Src/EGFR/Akt/mTOR pathway in Huh-7 cells, which promotes HCC cell invasion and migration.

  14. Cercarial infection in Paludomus petrosus, freshwater snail in Pa La-U Waterfall.

    PubMed

    Krailas, Duangduen; Dechruksa, Wivitchuta; Ukong, Suluck; Janecharut, Tuenta

    2003-06-01

    Paludomus petrosus, the freshwater snails found in Pa La-U Waterfall, were examined for cercarial infection of trematodes. The snails were collected every other month from April, 2001 to February, 2002. Collections were taken from two sampling stations. The counts per unit of time' method was used for collection of the snails. The density of snails was highest in June 2001, and the highest of parasite infection rate was in February 2002. Four types of cercariae were found in the snails: Xiphidiocercariae, Amphistome, Furcocercous cercariae type I, and Furcocercous cercariae type II. Xiphidiocercariae were found in April 2001 to February 2002. Amphistome, Furcocercous cercariae type I and Furcocercous cercariae type II were found in February 2002.

  15. [Neurochemical mechanisms of food aversion conditioning consolidation in snail helix lucorum].

    PubMed

    Solntseva, S V; Nikitin, V P

    2008-08-01

    Effects of cycloheximide, protein synthesis inhibitor as well as serotonin receptor antagonist and NMDA receptor antagonist, on food aversion conditioning consolidation were studied in snail Helix lucorum. Food aversion conditioning was absent in snails after application of cycloheximide. Repeated training produced no food aversion conditioning for the same type of food in these snails without cycloheximide application. Food aversion conditioning was absent in snails after metiotepin, nonselective serotonin receptors antagonist, or after MK-801, NMDA glutamate receptors antagonist, applications. At the same time, repeated training produced facilitated food aversion conditioning for the same type of food in these snails. Our experiments were the first which showed that effect on different molecular mechanisms evoked reversible or irreversible disruption of long-term memory consolidation during the same learning. It was suggested that suppression of retrieval produced reversible effect whereas disruption of memory storage initiated irreversible effect on long-term memory consolidation.

  16. [Neurochemical mechanisms of food aversion conditioning consolidation in snail Helix lucorum].

    PubMed

    Solntseva, S V; Nikitin, v P

    2008-11-01

    Effects of cycloheximide, protein synthesis inhibitors, as well as serotonin receptor antagonist and NMDA receptor antagonist on food aversion conditioning consolidation were studied in snail Helix lucorum. Food aversion conditioning was absent in snails after application of cycloheximide. Repeated produced no food aversion conditioning for the same type of food in these snails without cycloheximide application. Food aversion conditioning was absent in snails after applications of metiotepin, nonselective serotonin receptors antagonist, or after MK-801, NMDA glutamate receptors antagonist. At the same time, repeated training produced facilitated food aversion conditioning for the same type of food in these snails. Our experiments were the first which showed that effect on different molecular mechanisms evoked reversible or irreversible disruption of long-term memory consolidation during the same learning. It was suggested that suppression of retrieval produced reversible effect, whereas disruption of memory storage initiated irreversible effect on long-term memory consolidation.

  17. Juveniles of Lymnaea 'smart' snails do not perseverate and have the capacity to form LTM.

    PubMed

    Shymansky, Tamila; Protheroe, Amy; Hughes, Emily; Swinton, Cayley; Swinton, Erin; Lukowiak, Kai S; Phillips, Iain; Lukowiak, Ken

    2017-02-01

    Previously, it was concluded that the nervous systems of juvenile snails were not capable of mediating long-term memory (LTM). However, exposure and training of those juvenile snails in the presence of a predator cue significantly altered their ability to learn and form LTM. In addition, there are some strains of Lymnaea which have been identified as 'smart'. These snails form LTM significantly better than the lab-bred strain. Here, we show that juveniles of two smart snail strains not only are capable of associative learning but also have the capacity to form LTM following a single 0.5 h training session. We also show that freshly collected 'wild' 'average' juveniles are also not able to form LTM. Thus, the smart snail phenotype in these strains is expressed in juveniles.

  18. Phenotypic plasticity in the common garden snail: big guts and heavier mucus glands compete in snails faced with the dual challenge of poor diet and coarse substrate.

    PubMed

    Munn, Adam J; Treloar, Marguerite

    2016-12-26

    Phenotypic plasticity allows animals to manage environmental challenges. Studies aimed at quantifying plasticity often focus on one challenge, such as diet, and one organ system, such the gastrointestinal tract, but this approach may not adequately reflect how plasticity could buffer multiple challenges. Thus, we investigated the outcomes of a dual challenge experiment that fed land snails either a high-fibre (low quality) or a low-fibre (high quality) diet, and simultaneously exercised them daily over 1.2 m on either a smooth surface of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or a rough sandpaper. By the end of 20 days, snails fed the poor quality diet had a longer crop and oesophagus and a heavier intestine and rectum than those offered a low-fibre diet. Additionally, high-fibre fed snails had a smaller spermoviduct and oviduct. When also exercised on sandpaper, high-fibre fed snails had a smaller digestive gland, a main energy store, than those exercised on PVC. All snails exercised on sandpaper had a heavier pedal mucus gland, used a loping gait and used less mucus than those on PVC plastic, but there was no difference in the average speed of snails on either surface, supporting the conclusion that loping is a mucus conserving gait. Notably, snails faced with both a diet and substrate challenge had a smaller kidney, which could directly effect fecundity. This demonstrates that our dual challenge approach has potential for evaluating the costs and limits of the plasticity necessary to fully appreciate the evolutionary significance of plasticity in snails and other species.

  19. Snail controls the mesenchymal phenotype and drives erlotinib resistance in Oral epithelial and HNSCC cells

    PubMed Central

    Dennis, Miranda; Wang, Guanyu; Luo, Jie; Lin, Yuan; Dohadwala, Mariam; Sidell, Douglas; DeConde, Adam; Abemayor, Elliot; Elashoff, David A.; Sharma, Sherven; Dubinett, Steven M.; St John, Maie A.

    2014-01-01

    PURPOSE The presence of regional metastases in HNSCC patients is a common and adverse event associated with poor prognosis. Understanding the molecular mechanisms that mediate HNSCC metastasis may enable identification of novel therapeutic targets. Our recent work on human HNSCC tissues underlies Snail’s role as a molecular prognostic marker for HNSCC. Snail positivity is significantly predictive of poorly differentiated, lymphovascular invasive, as well as regionally metastatic tumors. We recently reported the role of Snail in the inflammation-induced promotion of EMT in HNSCC. However, other important Snail-dependent malignant phenotypes have not been fully explored. Here, we investigate the capacity of Snail to drive EMT in human oral epithelial cell lines, and its ability to confer drug resistance. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN Snail was overexpressed HNSCC and oral epithelial cell lines. AIG assays, wound healing assays, invasion & migration assays, spheroid modeling, and cell survival assays were performed. RESULTS The overexpression of Snail in human HNSCC and oral epithelial cell lines drives EMT. The sole transfection of Snail confers the expression of a mesenchymal molecular signature including down-regulation of the epithelial adherens, such as E-cadherin and β-catenin, and induction of mesenchymal markers, Snail overexpressing cell lines demonstrate rapid growth in Anchorage-independent growth assays; a decreased capacity to form tight spheroids; increased resistance to erlotinib; and have an increased capacity for invasion. CONCLUSION Snail controls the mesenchymal phenotype and drives erlotinib resistance in HNSCC cells. Snail may prove to be a useful marker in predicting EGFR inhibitor responsiveness. PMID:22568942

  20. Snail family members and cell survival in physiological and pathological cleft palates.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Alvarez, Concepción; Blanco, María J; Pérez, Raquel; Rabadán, M Angeles; Aparicio, Marta; Resel, Eva; Martínez, Tamara; Nieto, M Angela

    2004-01-01

    Palate fusion is a complex process that involves the coordination of a series of cellular changes including cell death and epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). Since members of the Snail family of zinc-finger regulators are involved in both triggering of the EMT and cell survival, we decided to study their putative role in palatal fusion. Furthermore, Snail genes are induced by transforming growth factor beta gene (TGF-beta) superfamily members, and TGF-beta(3) null mutant mice (TGF-beta(3)-/-) show a cleft palate phenotype. Here we show that in the wild-type mouse at the time of fusion, Snail is expressed in a few cells of the midline epithelial seam (MES), compatible with a role in triggering of the EMT in a small subpopulation of the MES. We also find an intriguing relationship between the expression of Snail family members and cell survival associated to the cleft palate condition. Indeed, Snail is expressed in the medial edge epithelial (MEE) cells in TGF-beta(3)-/-mouse embryo palates, where it is activated by the aberrant expression of its inducer, TGF-beta(1), in the underlying mesenchyme. In contrast to Snail-deficient wild-type pre-adhesion MEE cells, Snail-expressing TGF-beta(3) mutant MEE cells survive as they do their counterparts in the chick embryo. Interestingly, Slug is the Snail family member expressed in the chick MEE, providing another example of interchange of Snail and Slug expression between avian and mammalian embryos. We propose that in the absence of TGF-beta(3), TGF-beta(1) is upregulated in the mesenchyme, and that in both physiological (avian) and pathological (TGF-beta(3)-/-mammalian) cleft palates, it induces the expression of Snail genes promoting the survival of the MEE cells and permitting their subsequent differentiation into keratinized stratified epithelium.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

  2. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

  4. A flavonol present in cocoa [(-)epicatechin] enhances snail memory.

    PubMed

    Fruson, Lee; Dalesman, Sarah; Lukowiak, Ken

    2012-10-15

    Dietary consumption of flavonoids (plant phytochemicals) may improve memory and neuro-cognitive performance, though the mechanism is poorly understood. Previous work has assessed cognitive effects in vertebrates; here we assess the suitability of Lymnaea stagnalis as an invertebrate model to elucidate the effects of flavonoids on cognition. (-)Epicatechin (epi) is a flavonoid present in cocoa, green tea and red wine. We studied its effects on basic snail behaviours (aerial respiration and locomotion), long-term memory (LTM) formation and memory extinction of operantly conditioned aerial respiratory behaviour. We found no significant effect of epi exposure (15 mg l(-1)) on either locomotion or aerial respiration. However, when snails were operantly conditioned in epi for a single 0.5 h training session, which typically results in memory lasting ~3 h, they formed LTM lasting at least 24 h. Snails exposed to epi also showed significantly increased resistance to extinction, consistent with the hypothesis that epi induces a more persistent LTM. Thus training in epi facilitates LTM formation and results in a more persistent and stronger memory. Previous work has indicated that memory-enhancing stressors (predator kairomones and KCl) act via sensory input from the osphradium and are dependent on a serotonergic (5-HT) signalling pathway. Here we found that the effects of epi on LTM were independent of osphradial input and 5-HT, demonstrating that an alternative mechanism of memory enhancement exists in L. stagnalis. Our data are consistent with the notion that dietary sources of epi can improve cognitive abilities, and that L. stagnalis is a suitable model with which to elucidate neuronal mechanisms.

  5. Cisplatin promotes mesenchymal-like characteristics in osteosarcoma through Snail

    PubMed Central

    Fang, Shuo; Yu, Ling; Mei, Hongjun; Yang, Jian; Gao, Tian; Cheng, Anyuan; Guo, Weichun; Xia, Kezhou; Liu, Gaiwei

    2016-01-01

    More than 30% of patients with osteosarcoma succumb to pulmonary metastases. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a biological process by which tumor cells gain an increased capacity for invasiveness and metastasis. A previous study confirmed the phenomenon of EMT in osteosarcoma, a mesenchymal-derived tumor. However, whether chemotherapy affects EMT remains to be elucidated. In the present study, the osteosarcoma cells were exposed to a sublethal dose of cisplatin, and any surviving cells were assumed to be more resistant to cisplatin. In addition, these cells exhibited a more mesenchymal phenotype. Immunofluorescence analysis revealed that the cisplatin treated cells had an increased long/short axis ratio and increased expression of N-cadherin compared with control cells. A panel of EMT-associated genes was subsequently assessed by quantitative PCR and western blot analysis, and they were observed to be significantly upregulated in the cisplatin treated cells. The in vitro wound healing and Transwell assay indicated that the cisplatin treated cells were more prone to migrate and invade. An in vivo assay showed that the cisplatin-treated xenograft had increased expression of EMT-associated genes, and exhibited increased pulmonary lesions compared with the control, which indicated an elevated capacity to metastasize. The expression of Snail was knocked down by specific small interfering RNA, and it was observed that Snail inhibition promoted cisplatin sensitivity, and cisplatin-induced EMT was significantly blocked. Taken together, the results of the present study supported that idea that Snail participates in cisplatin-induced EMT in osteosarcoma cells, and targeting EMT-transcription factors may offer promise for the therapeutics of osteosarcoma. PMID:28105207

  6. Selective and universal primers for trematode barcoding in freshwater snails.

    PubMed

    Routtu, J; Grunberg, D; Izhar, R; Dagan, Y; Guttel, Y; Ucko, M; Ben-Ami, F

    2014-07-01

    Trematodes are significant pathogens of high medical, veterinary, and environmental importance. They are hard to isolate from their intermediate hosts, and their early life stages are difficult to identify morphologically. Therefore, primers were developed for trematodes to create a species barcoding system and allow selective PCR amplification in mixed samples. The specific oligonucleotide primer was universal for trematodes that infected several freshwater snail species in Israel. The diagnostic tool is based on the 18S rDNA gene. In contrast to morphological identification, trematode barcoding is rapid as it is based on a sequence of only 800 bp, and it classifies species accurately due to high polymorphism between conserved areas.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  8. Xanthine oxidase and xanthine dehydrogenase from an estivating land snail.

    PubMed

    Hermes-Lima, M; Storey, K B

    1995-01-01

    During arousal from estivation in land snails, Otala lactea, active metabolic functions are restored within minutes and oxygen consumption increases dramatically. During the transition from the hypoxic conditions of estivation to normoxia it is possible that xanthine oxidase (XO) in hepatopancreas contributes to the observed lipid peroxidation. Using a fluorometric assay that is based on the oxidation of pterin, the activities and some properties of XO and XO+XDH (sum of XO and xanthine dehydrogenase activities) were measured in hepatopancreas extracts. Km values for pterin for XO and XO+XDH were 9 and 6 microM, respectively, and the Km of XDH for methylene blue was 5 microM. Both XO+XDH and XO activities were inhibited by allopurinol (I50 = 2 microM), pre-incubation at 40 degrees C, and by 5 min H2O2 pre-exposure. Inclusion of azide in the reaction promoted a rise of approximately 70-fold in the inactivation power of H2O2 due to inhibition of high endogenous catalase activity. The I50 for H2O2 of XO+XDH and XO activities in the presence of azide was 0.04 and 0.11 mM, respectively. Unlike the situation for mammalian XO, a previous reduction of O. lactea XO (by pterin) was not necessary to make the enzyme susceptible to H2O2 effects. Interestingly, methylene blue partially prevented both heat- and H2O2-induced inactivation of XO+XDH activity. These data indicate that the formation of an enzyme-methylene blue complex induces protection against heat and oxidative damage at the FAD-active site. Both XO and XO+XDH activites were significantly higher in snails after 35 days of estivation compared with active snails 24 h after arousal from dormancy. The ratio of XO/(XO+XDH) activities was also slightly increased in estivating O. lactea (from 0.07 to 0.09; P < 0.025). XO activity was 0.03 nmol.min-1.mg protein-1 in estivating snails. Compared with hepatopancreas catalase, XO activity is probably too low to contribute significantly to the net generation of oxyradicals, and

  9. Toxicity of botanical insecticides on golden apple snail (Pomacea canaliculata).

    PubMed

    Ruamthum, W; Visetson, S; Milne, J R; Bullangpoti, V

    2010-01-01

    The molluscicidal activity of crude extracts from five highly potential plants, Annona squamosa seed, Nerium indicum Leaves, Stemona tuberose root, Cyperus rotundus corm and Derris elliptica root was assessed to Pomacea canaliculata. D. elliptica root and C. rotundus corm extracts showed the highest toxicity against 3-month old snails which have LC50 as 23.68 +/- 2.96 mg/l and 133.20 +/- 7.94 mg/l, respectively. The C. rotundus corm extracts were chosen for detoxification enzyme in vivo assay which shows esterase and glutathione S-transferase activity in stomach, intestinal tracts and digestive glands of survival treated P. canaliculata were inhibited.

  10. Exposure to parasites increases promiscuity in a freshwater snail

    PubMed Central

    Soper, D. M.; King, K. C.; Vergara, D.; Lively, C. M.

    2014-01-01

    Under the Red Queen hypothesis, outcrossing can produce genetically variable progeny, which may be more resistant, on average, to locally adapted parasites. Mating with multiple partners may enhance this resistance by further increasing the genetic variation among offspring. We exposed Potamopyrgus antipodarum to the eggs of a sterilizing, trematode parasite and tested whether this altered mating behaviour. We found that exposure to parasites increased the number of snail mating pairs and the total number of different mating partners for both males and females. Thus, our results suggest that, in host populations under parasite-mediated selection, exposure to infective propagules increases the rate of mating and the number of mates. PMID:24759366

  11. Therapeutic potential of cone snail venom peptides (conopeptides).

    PubMed

    Vetter, Irina; Lewis, Richard J

    2012-01-01

    Cone snails have evolved many 1000s of small, structurally stable venom peptides (conopeptides) for prey capture and defense. Whilst < 0.1% have been pharmacologically characterised, those with known function typically target membrane proteins of therapeutic importance, including ion channels, transporters and GPCRs. Several conopeptides reduce pain in animals models, with one in clinical development (χ-conopeptide analogue Xen2174) and one marketed (ω- conotoxin MVIIA or Prialt) for the treatment of severe pain. In addition to their therapeutic potential, conopeptides have been valuable probes for studying the role of a number of key membrane proteins in normal and disease physiology.

  12. CCR7 pathway induces epithelial-mesenchymal transition through up-regulation of Snail signaling in gastric cancer.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jianping; Zhou, Yunzhe; Yang, Yonggang

    2015-02-01

    The chemokine receptor 7 (CCR7) and Snail signaling have been linked to various types of cancers. The associations between these signalings and the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) are not clear in gastric cancer. Here, the expression of CCR7 and Snail was detected in gastric cancer by immunohistochemistry and Western blot. Meanwhile, gastric cancer cells were subjected to CCL19, si-control, and si-Snail treatment. Cell cycle, migration, and invasion were also analyzed. The expression patterns of CCR7 and Snail were similar in either gastric cancer tissues or cells. The increased expression of CCR7 was closely associated with the increased Snail expression, which both were closely correlated with metastasis, stage and differentiation, and poor prognosis. The increased p-ERK, p-AKT, Snail, and MMP9 expression and the decreased E-cadherin were confirmed in MGC803 cells in a dose-dependent manner in response to CCL19 treatment. However, the blockade of Snail abrogated the up-regulation of MMP9 and down-regulation of E-cadherin. CCR7-induced ERK and PI3K pathway regulated Snail signaling. Besides si-Snail treatment led to MGC803 cell cycle arrest and affected the migration and invasion. In conclusion, our study suggested that CCR7 promotes Snail expression to induce the EMT, resulting in cell cycle progression, migration, and invasion in gastric cancer. CCR7-Snail pathway provided more potential regimens for cancer therapy.

  13. Diaphanous gene mutation affects spiral cleavage and chirality in snails

    PubMed Central

    Kuroda, Reiko; Fujikura, Kohei; Abe, Masanori; Hosoiri, Yuji; Asakawa, Shuichi; Shimizu, Miho; Umeda, Shin; Ichikawa, Futaba; Takahashi, Hiromi

    2016-01-01

    L-R (left and right) symmetry breaking during embryogenesis and the establishment of asymmetric body plan are key issues in developmental biology, but the onset including the handedness-determining gene locus still remains unknown. Using pure dextral (DD) and sinistral (dd) strains of the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis as well as its F2 through to F10 backcrossed lines, the single handedness-determining-gene locus was mapped by genetic linkage analysis, BAC cloning and chromosome walking. We have identified the actin-related diaphanous gene Lsdia1 as the strongest candidate. Although the cDNA and derived amino acid sequences of the tandemly duplicated Lsdia1 and Lsdia2 genes are very similar, we could discriminate the two genes/proteins in our molecular biology experiments. The Lsdia1 gene of the sinistral strain carries a frameshift mutation that abrogates full-length LsDia1 protein expression. In the dextral strain, it is already translated prior to oviposition. Expression of Lsdia1 (only in the dextral strain) and Lsdia2 (in both chirality) decreases after the 1-cell stage, with no asymmetric localization throughout. The evolutionary relationships among body handedness, SD/SI (spiral deformation/spindle inclination) at the third cleavage, and expression of diaphanous proteins are discussed in comparison with three other pond snails (L. peregra, Physa acuta and Indoplanorbis exustus). PMID:27708420

  14. Allying with armored snails: the complete genome of gammaproteobacterial endosymbiont

    PubMed Central

    Nakagawa, Satoshi; Shimamura, Shigeru; Takaki, Yoshihiro; Suzuki, Yohey; Murakami, Shun-ichi; Watanabe, Tamaki; Fujiyoshi, So; Mino, Sayaka; Sawabe, Tomoo; Maeda, Takahiro; Makita, Hiroko; Nemoto, Suguru; Nishimura, Shin-Ichiro; Watanabe, Hiromi; Watsuji, Tomo-o; Takai, Ken

    2014-01-01

    Deep-sea vents harbor dense populations of various animals that have their specific symbiotic bacteria. Scaly-foot gastropods, which are snails with mineralized scales covering the sides of its foot, have a gammaproteobacterial endosymbiont in their enlarged esophageal glands and diverse epibionts on the surface of their scales. In this study, we report the complete genome sequencing of gammaproteobacterial endosymbiont. The endosymbiont genome displays features consistent with ongoing genome reduction such as large proportions of pseudogenes and insertion elements. The genome encodes functions commonly found in deep-sea vent chemoautotrophs such as sulfur oxidation and carbon fixation. Stable carbon isotope (13C)-labeling experiments confirmed the endosymbiont chemoautotrophy. The genome also includes an intact hydrogenase gene cluster that potentially has been horizontally transferred from phylogenetically distant bacteria. Notable findings include the presence and transcription of genes for flagellar assembly, through which proteins are potentially exported from bacterium to the host. Symbionts of snail individuals exhibited extreme genetic homogeneity, showing only two synonymous changes in 19 different genes (13 810 positions in total) determined for 32 individual gastropods collected from a single colony at one time. The extremely low genetic individuality in endosymbionts probably reflects that the stringent symbiont selection by host prevents the random genetic drift in the small population of horizontally transmitted symbiont. This study is the first complete genome analysis of gastropod endosymbiont and offers an opportunity to study genome evolution in a recently evolved endosymbiont. PMID:23924784

  15. Imposex in the golden apple snail Pomacea canaliculata in Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Liu, Wen-Hui; Chiu, Yuh-Wen; Huang, Da-Ji; Liu, Ming-Yie; Lee, Ching-Chang; Liu, Li-Lian

    2006-12-01

    The golden apple snail Pomacea canaliculata (Lamarck, 1822) was introduced into Taiwan intentionally in the early 1980s and has become a recurring pest that seriously threatens aquatic crops. In this study, a field description of imposex with a developed penis sheath and penis in female golden apple snails from crop/domestic wastewater drainage sites and a six-order river is presented for the first time. Based on the five field collections and the aquarium group, the vas deferens sequence (VDS) of P. canaliculata in imposex development was categorized into four stages, i.e., stage 0: without male genital system; stage 1: with rudimentary penis; stage 2: with rudimentary penis and penis sheath; and stage 3: the rudimentary penis developing into penis pouch and penis. The VDS indices varied between 1.07 and 2.82 and were lowest in the aquarium group and Yuanlin2. Regarding the severity of imposex, the aquarium group was less pronounced, as illustrated by the length of penis sheath and penis length, than the field collections (p<0.05). In respect of the penis length, males of the most imposex-affected site were up to 15% shorter than that of the aquarium group. Negative correlations between male penis length and female imposex characters (i.e., penis length and penis sheath length) were also observed.

  16. Characterizations of cholinesterases in golden apple snail (Pomacea canaliculata).

    PubMed

    Zou, Xiang-Hui; Xie, Heidi Qun-Hui; Zha, Guang-Cai; Chen, Vicky Ping; Sun, Yan-Jie; Zheng, Yu-Zhong; Tsim, Karl Wah-Keung; Dong, Tina Ting-Xia; Choi, Roy Chi-Yan; Luk, Wilson Kin-Wai

    2014-07-01

    Cholinesterases (ChEs) have been identified in vertebrates and invertebrates. Inhibition of ChE activity in invertebrates, such as bivalve molluscs, has been used to evaluate the exposure of organophosphates, carbamate pesticides, and heavy metals in the marine system. The golden apple snail (Pomacea canaliculata) is considered as one of the worst invasive alien species harmful to rice and other crops. The ChE(s) in this animal, which has been found recently, but poorly characterized thus far, could serve as biomarker(s) for environmental surveillance as well as a potential target for the pest control. In this study, the tissue distribution, substrate preference, sensitivity to ChE inhibitors, and molecular species of ChEs in P. canaliculata were investigated. It was found that the activities of both AChE and BChE were present in all test tissues. The intestine had the most abundant ChE activities. Both enzymes had fair activities in the head, kidney, and gills. The BChE activity was more sensitive to tetra-isopropylpyrophosphoramide (iso-OMPA) than the AChE. Only one BChE molecular species, 5.8S, was found in the intestine and head, whereas two AChE species, 5.8S and 11.6S, were found there. We propose that intestine ChEs of this snail may be potential biomarkers for manipulating pollutions.

  17. Extremely high secondary production of introduced snails in rivers.

    PubMed

    Hall, Robert O; Dybdahl, Mark F; VanderLoop, Maria C

    2006-06-01

    The functional importance of invasive animals may be measured as the degree to which they dominate secondary production, relative to native animals. We used this approach to examine dominance of invertebrate secondary production by invasive New Zealand mudsnails (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) in rivers. We measured secondary production of mudsnails and native invertebrates in three rivers in the Greater Yellowstone Area (Wyoming, USA): Gibbon River, Firehole River, and Polecat Creek. Potamopyrgus production was estimated by measuring in situ growth rates and multiplying by monthly biomass; native invertebrate production was estimated using size frequency and instantaneous growth methods. Mudsnail growth rates were high (up to 0.06 d(-1)) for juvenile snails and much lower for adult females (0.003 d(-1)). Potamopyrgus production in Polecat Creek (194 g x m(-2) x yr(-1)) was one of the highest values ever reported for a stream invertebrate. Native invertebrate production ranged from 4.4 to 51 g x m(-2) x yr(-1). Potamopyrgus was the most productive taxon and constituted 65-92% of total invertebrate productivity. Native invertebrate production was low in all streams. Based on a survey of production measures from uninvaded rivers, the distribution of secondary production across taxa was much more highly skewed toward the invasive dominant Potamopyrgus in the three rivers. We suggest that this invasive herbivorous snail is sequestering a large fraction of the carbon available for invertebrate production and altering food web function.

  18. Nicotinic acid inhibits glioma invasion by facilitating Snail1 degradation

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jiejing; Qu, Jiagui; Shi, Yu; Perfetto, Mark; Ping, Zhuxian; Christian, Laura; Niu, Hua; Mei, Shuting; Zhang, Qin; Yang, Xiangcai; Wei, Shuo

    2017-01-01

    Malignant glioma is a formidable disease that commonly leads to death, mainly due to the invasion of tumor cells into neighboring tissues. Therefore, inhibition of tumor cell invasion may provide an effective therapy for malignant glioma. Here we report that nicotinic acid (NA), an essential vitamin, inhibits glioma cell invasion in vitro and in vivo. Treatment of the U251 glioma cells with NA in vitro results in reduced invasion, which is accompanied by a loss of mesenchymal phenotype and an increase in cell-cell adhesion. At the molecular level, transcription of the adherens junction protein E-cadherin is upregulated, leading to accumulation of E-cadherin protein at the cell-cell boundary. This can be attributed to NA’s ability to facilitate the ubiquitination and degradation of Snail1, a transcription factor that represses E-cadherin expression. Similarly, NA transiently inhibits neural crest migration in Xenopus embryos in a Snail1-dependent manner, indicating that the mechanism of action for NA in cell migration is evolutionarily conserved. We further show that NA injection blocks the infiltration of tumor cells into the adjacent brain tissues and improves animal survival in a rat model of glioma. These results suggest that NA treatment may be developed into a potential therapy for malignant glioma. PMID:28256591

  19. Snail Family Transcription Factors Are Implicated in Thyroid Carcinogenesis

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1989-01-01

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

  1. The snail hosts of schistosomiasis: some evolutionary and ecological perspectives in relation to control.

    PubMed

    Thomas, J D

    1995-01-01

    Despite opportunities for radiation provided by spatio-temporal isolation, the basic morphological plan of pulmonate snails has remained conservative. In consequence of the resulting dearth of morphological characters and their plasticity, there is a case for using biochemical characters such as exogenous chemicals released by the snails (e.g. amino acids) and their chemoreception niche as taxonomic aids to classify snails of medical importance. As these same chemicals are used by snails to distinguish conspecifics they could also be used as "environmental antibodies" in controlled release formulations (CRF's) designed to remove target snails in a specific, cost-effective and ecologically acceptable manner. The snails, surface-living bacteria, algae and macrophytic plants are considered as co-evolved, interactive modular systems with strong mutualistic elements. Recently, anthropogenic perturbations such as deforestation, and damming of flowing waters, have benefited these modules whereas others such as river canalization, acid deposition, accumulation of pesticide residues and eutrophication have harmed them. Research is needed to elucidate the factors which limit the growth of snails in primitive habitats, uninfluenced by man, as well as in those subject to harmful anthropogenic factors. The understanding thus gained could be applied to develop cost-effective primary health care strategies to reduce or prevent transmission of schistosomiasis and other water related diseases.

  2. Nrf2 inhibits epithelial-mesenchymal transition by suppressing snail expression during pulmonary fibrosis

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Wencheng; Mo, Xiaoting; Cui, Wenhui; Zhang, Zhihui; Li, Delin; Li, Liucheng; Xu, Liang; Yao, Hongwei; Gao, Jian

    2016-01-01

    Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a phenotype conversion that plays a critical role in the development of pulmonary fibrosis (PF). It is known that snail could regulate the progression of EMT. Nuclear factor erythroid 2 related factor 2 (Nrf2), a key regulator of antioxidant defense system, protects cells against oxidative stress. However, it is not known whether Nrf2 regulates snail thereby modulating the development of PF. Here, bleomycin (BLM) was intratracheally injected into both Nrf2-knockout (Nrf2−/−) and wild-type mice to compare the development of PF. Rat type II alveolar epithelial cells (RLE-6TN) were treated with a specific Nrf2 activator sulforaphane, or transfected with Nrf2 and snail siRNAs to determine their effects on transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1)-induced EMT. We found that BLM-induced EMT and lung fibrosis were more severe in Nrf2−/− mice compared to wild-type mice. In vitro, sulforaphane treatment attenuated TGF-β1-induced EMT, accompanied by the down-regulation of snail. Inversely, silencing Nrf2 by siRNA enhanced TGF-β1-induced EMT along with increased expression of snail. Interestingly, when snail was silenced by siRNA, sulforaphane treatment was unable to reduce the progression of EMT in RLE-6TN cells. These findings suggest that Nrf2 attenuates EMT and fibrosis process by regulating the expression of snail in PF. PMID:27982105

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Snail up-regulates pro-inflammatory mediators and inhibits differentiation in oral keratinocytes

    PubMed Central

    Lyons, J. Guy; Patel, Vyomesh; Roue, Naomi C.; Fok, Sandra Y.; Soon, Lilian L.; Halliday, Gary M.; Gutkind, J. Silvio

    2008-01-01

    The transcriptional repressor, Snail2, is over-expressed in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCCs) relative to non-malignant head and neck mucosal epithelium, and in locally recurrent relative to non-recurrent HNSCCs. We investigated the mechanisms by which Snails might contribute to the pathogenesis of HNSCCs using cell biological and molecular analyses. Oral keratinocytes that expressed Snails acquired an enhanced ability to attract monocytes and to invade a dense interstitial collagen matrix. They were also found to up-regulate production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2), which have previously been shown to correlate with malignancy. Induction of nuclear factor-kappa B transcriptional activity by Snails was weak and not sufficient to account for the elevated levels of COX2, interleukin-6, interleukin-8 or CXCL1. In addition, expression of Snails in oral keratinocytes impaired desquamation in vitro and strongly repressed expression of both ELF3 and matriptase-1, which play important roles in the terminal differentiation of keratinocytes. Re-expression of matriptase-1 in Snail-expressing cells partially rescued desquamation. This implicates Snails as contributing to malignancy both at the early stages, by impeding terminal differentiation, and at later stages, when invasion and inflammation are important. PMID:18559496

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    O'Dwyer, Katie; Poulin, Robert

    2015-12-01

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

  8. Combinatorial peptide libraries in drug design: lessons from venomous cone snails.

    PubMed

    Olivera, B M; Hillyard, D R; Marsh, M; Yoshikami, D

    1995-10-01

    Many present-day drugs are derived from compounds that are natural products, a traditional source of which is fermentation broths of microorganisms. The venoms of cone snails are a new natural resource of peptides that may have a pharmaceutical potential equivalent to those from traditional sources, particularly for developing drugs that target cell-surface receptors or ion channels. In effect, cone snails have used a combinatorial library strategy to evolve their small, highly bioactive venom peptides. The methods by which the snails have generated thousands of peptides with remarkable specificity and high affinity for their targets may provide important lessons in designing combinatorial libraries for drug development.

  9. Multiple infection of amber Succinea putris snails with sporocysts of Leucochloridium spp. (Trematoda).

    PubMed

    Ataev, G L; Zhukova, A A; Tokmakova, А S; Prokhorova, Е E

    2016-08-01

    Amber Succinea putris snails were collected in the Leningrad Region (Russia). Some of them were infected with trematodes Leucochloridium paradoxum, Leucochloridium perturbatum and Leucochloridium vogtianum. One snail had triple infection with all these species. Genotyping of sporocysts by ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 nucleotide sequences of ribosomal DNA (rDNA) and phylogenetic analysis were performed. The results confirmed the species identification of sporocysts of Leucochloridium based on the shape and colour of mature broodsacs. Sporocyst broodsacs could leave the host snail on their own, remaining viable in the environment for up to an hour. This ability of sporocysts may prevent the excessive infection of the molluscan host.

  10. Food composition and feeding habits of some fresh water fishes in various water systems at Abbassa, Egypt, with special reference to snails transmitting diseases.

    PubMed

    El Gamal, Abd El-Rahman A; Ismail, Nahed M M

    2005-08-01

    Study of feeding habits of freshwater fishes collected from ponds at World Fish Center (ICLARM) showed that the African catfish, Clarias gariepinus and Forskal catfish, Bagras bayad had the highest proportion of full stomachs (31-58% & 44-45% respectively). In cichlid fishes, the rate of full stomachs was much lower, being 0.0-12.5% and showed higher incidence of empty stomachs that varied from 37.5% for Oreochromis niloticus to 78.3% for Sarotherodon galilaeus. Food items were analyzed by the percentage of point assessment (P%), abundance (N%) and frequency of occurrence (F%). Results of the three methods of analyses (Index of relative importance, I.R.I) emphasized the importance of plants (1214.7) as a major food resource in the stomach of Nile tilapia, O. niloticus followed by shell fragments (628.5), whereas, snail soft bodies were the main food category in the diet of hybrid tilapia O. niloticus x O. aureus (2539.3). Shell fragments (652) and snail soft bodies (296.9) were the 1st in relative importance as foods of O. aurea. In case of S. galillae, shell fragments (338) came 2nd in I.R.I. after plants (559). Present investigation shows that shell fragments were represented by 11.1% and 15.1% in the diet of African catfish, C. gariepinus by (N%) and (P%) methods, however, they came as the second food item in its diet by I.R.I (1237.3). According to F% method, both shell fragments and Crustacea were present in the diet of C. gariepinus considerable proportions each of 47.4%. Shell fragments were represented by low proportions in the diet of B. bayad 3.9, 2.1 and 22.2 by N%, P% and F% respectively.

  11. The African superswell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nyblade, Andrew A.; Robinson, Scott W.

    1994-01-01

    Maps of residual bathymetry in the ocean basins around the African continent reveal a broad bathymetric swell in the southeastern Atlantic Ocean with an amplitude of about 500 m. We propose that this region of anomalously shallow bathymetry, together with the contiguous eastern and southern African plateaus, form a superswell which we refer to as the African superswell. The origin of the African superswell is uncertain. However, rifting and volcanism in eastern Africa, as well as heat flow measurements in southern Africa and the southeastern Atlantic Ocean, suggest that the superswell may be attributed, at least in part, to heating of the lithosphere.

  12. Suppression of SCARA5 by Snail1 is essential for EMT-associated cell migration of A549 cells

    PubMed Central

    Liu, J; Hu, G; Chen, D; Gong, A-Y; Soori, G S; Dobleman, T J; Chen, X-M

    2013-01-01

    Accumulating evidence indicates that epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) might be a key event for cancer progression. The upregulation of Snail1, one of the most extensively studied EMT regulators, has been implicated in cancer metastasis, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. This study aims to identify that Snail1 targets regulating EMT-associated cancer cell migration. Human lung carcinoma A549 cells were treated with transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1), and EMT-associated phenotypic and functional alterations were monitored. TGF-β1 induced typical EMT-like morphological changes, ‘cadherin switching' and cell migration in A549 cells. TGF-β1 stimulation induced rapid and persistent upregulation of Snail1. Moreover, Snail1 upregulation was required for EMT-associated cell migration. Several metastasis suppressors with putative Snail1-binding sites in their promoters were dramatically repressed in A549 cells during TGF-β1-induced EMT. Gain- and loss-of Snail1 function experiments demonstrated that scavenger receptor class A member 5 (SCARA5) was negatively regulated by Snail1. Importantly, SCARA5 downregulation was essential for EMT-induced migration in A549 cells. The chromatin immunoprecipitation assay revealed that Snail1 could bind to the E-box elements in SCARA5 promoter, implying that SCARA5 is a direct Snail1 target modulating cancer cell mobility during EMT. In addition, we showed that DNA methyltransferase 1 was physically associated with Snail1 to silence SCARA5 expression with an unidentified DNA methylation-independent mechanism, suggesting the complexity of Snail1-mediated epigenetic regulation. Collectively, our data demonstrated that EMT-regulator Snail1 suppresses the expression of SCARA5 to promote cancer progression, highlighting the possibility to target Snail1 and SCARA5 for cancer treatment. PMID:24061576

  13. Suppression of SCARA5 by Snail1 is essential for EMT-associated cell migration of A549 cells.

    PubMed

    Liu, J; Hu, G; Chen, D; Gong, A-Y; Soori, G S; Dobleman, T J; Chen, X-M

    2013-09-23

    Accumulating evidence indicates that epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) might be a key event for cancer progression. The upregulation of Snail1, one of the most extensively studied EMT regulators, has been implicated in cancer metastasis, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. This study aims to identify that Snail1 targets regulating EMT-associated cancer cell migration. Human lung carcinoma A549 cells were treated with transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1), and EMT-associated phenotypic and functional alterations were monitored. TGF-β1 induced typical EMT-like morphological changes, 'cadherin switching' and cell migration in A549 cells. TGF-β1 stimulation induced rapid and persistent upregulation of Snail1. Moreover, Snail1 upregulation was required for EMT-associated cell migration. Several metastasis suppressors with putative Snail1-binding sites in their promoters were dramatically repressed in A549 cells during TGF-β1-induced EMT. Gain- and loss-of Snail1 function experiments demonstrated that scavenger receptor class A member 5 (SCARA5) was negatively regulated by Snail1. Importantly, SCARA5 downregulation was essential for EMT-induced migration in A549 cells. The chromatin immunoprecipitation assay revealed that Snail1 could bind to the E-box elements in SCARA5 promoter, implying that SCARA5 is a direct Snail1 target modulating cancer cell mobility during EMT. In addition, we showed that DNA methyltransferase 1 was physically associated with Snail1 to silence SCARA5 expression with an unidentified DNA methylation-independent mechanism, suggesting the complexity of Snail1-mediated epigenetic regulation. Collectively, our data demonstrated that EMT-regulator Snail1 suppresses the expression of SCARA5 to promote cancer progression, highlighting the possibility to target Snail1 and SCARA5 for cancer treatment.

  14. Central role of Snail1 in the regulation of EMT and resistance in cancer: a target for therapeutic intervention

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Snail1 is the founding member of the Snail superfamily of zinc-finger transcription factors, which also includes Snail2 (Slug) and Snail3 (Smuc). The superfamily is involved in cell differentiation and survival, two processes central in cancer research. Encoded by the SNAI1 gene located on human chromosome 20q13.2, Snail1 is composed of 264 amino acids and usually acts as a transcriptional repressor. Phosphorylation and nuclear localization of Snail1, governed by PI3K and Wnt signaling pathways crosstalk, are critical in Snail1’s regulation. Snail1 has a pivotal role in the regulation of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), the process by which epithelial cells acquire a migratory, mesenchymal phenotype, as a result of its repression of E-cadherin. Snail1-induced EMT involves the loss of E-cadherin and claudins with concomitant upregulation of vimentin and fibronectin, among other biomarkers. While essential to normal developmental processes such as gastrulation, EMT is associated with metastasis, the cancer stem cell phenotype, and the regulation of chemo and immune resistance in cancer. Snail1 expression is a common sign of poor prognosis in metastatic cancer, and tumors with elevated Snail1 expression are disproportionately difficult to eradicate by current therapeutic treatments. The significance of Snail1 as a prognostic indicator, its involvement in the regulation of EMT and metastasis, and its roles in both drug and immune resistance point out that Snail1 is an attractive target for tumor growth inhibition and a target for sensitization to cytotoxic drugs. PMID:25084828

  15. Snail reprograms glucose metabolism by repressing phosphofructokinase PFKP allowing cancer cell survival under metabolic stress.

    PubMed

    Kim, Nam Hee; Cha, Yong Hoon; Lee, Jueun; Lee, Seon-Hyeong; Yang, Ji Hye; Yun, Jun Seop; Cho, Eunae Sandra; Zhang, Xianglan; Nam, Miso; Kim, Nami; Yuk, Young-Su; Cha, So Young; Lee, Yoonmi; Ryu, Joo Kyung; Park, Sunghyouk; Cheong, Jae-Ho; Kang, Sang Won; Kim, Soo-Youl; Hwang, Geum-Sook; Yook, Jong In; Kim, Hyun Sil

    2017-02-08

    Dynamic regulation of glucose flux between aerobic glycolysis and the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) during epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is not well-understood. Here we show that Snail (SNAI1), a key transcriptional repressor of EMT, regulates glucose flux toward PPP, allowing cancer cell survival under metabolic stress. Mechanistically, Snail regulates glycolytic activity via repression of phosphofructokinase, platelet (PFKP), a major isoform of cancer-specific phosphofructokinase-1 (PFK-1), an enzyme involving the first rate-limiting step of glycolysis. The suppression of PFKP switches the glucose flux towards PPP, generating NADPH with increased metabolites of oxidative PPP. Functionally, dynamic regulation of PFKP significantly potentiates cancer cell survival under metabolic stress and increases metastatic capacities in vivo. Further, knockdown of PFKP rescues metabolic reprogramming and cell death induced by loss of Snail. Thus, the Snail-PFKP axis plays an important role in cancer cell survival via regulation of glucose flux between glycolysis and PPP.

  16. Palatability and chemical defense of Phragmites australis to the marsh periwinkle snail Littoraria irrorata.

    PubMed

    Hendricks, Lindsey G; Mossop, Hannah E; Kicklighter, Cynthia E

    2011-08-01

    Coastal marsh habitats are impacted by many disturbances, including habitat destruction, pollution, and the introduction of invasive species. The common reed, Phragmites australis, has been particularly invasive in the mesohaline regions of the Chesapeake Bay, but few studies have investigated its role in trophic interactions with North American marsh consumers. The marsh periwinkle snail Littoraria irrorata is a common grazer in marshes and grazes on the native grass Spartina alterniflora. Whether this snail grazes on Phragmites has not been addressed. We found Spartina leaves to be tougher than those of Phragmites, but despite this, snails consumed significantly more Spartina than Phragmites. Subsequent experiments demonstrated that Phragmites is chemically deterrent to snails by an unknown, moderately polar, compound. Further studies are required to more fully understand the interactions between Phragmites, herbivores, and Spartina, and how they may impact marsh ecosystems.

  17. Specificity of Mechanisms of Memory Reconsolidation in Snails Trained for Rejection of Two Types of Food.

    PubMed

    Nikitin, V P; Kozyrev, S A; Solntseva, S V

    2017-01-01

    Specificity of behavioral and neuronal mechanisms of impairment of long-term memory reconsolidation was studied in edible snails trained for associative skill of rejection of two types of food: raw carrots (conditioned stimulus 1) and apple (conditioned stimulus 2). In 2 days after training, the snails received protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide and a reminder (conditioned stimulus 1 or 2). In 3 and 14 days after cycloheximide/reminder, we observed the absence of aversive responses to the conditioned stimulus used as the reminder and preserved responses to the conditioned stimulus not used as the reminder. Moreover, we observed specific suppression of synaptic responses of command neurons of snail defensive behavior induced by the conditioned stimulus used as the reminder after cycloheximide injection and preserved synaptic responses of neurons to the other conditioned stimulus. It was hypothesized that protein synthesis-dependent synapse-specific plasticity of command neurons can be a mechanism of selective preservation of conditioned food aversion memory in snails.

  18. Susceptibility of Iraqi fresh water snails to infection with Schistosoma haematobium and Schistosoma mansoni Egyptian strains.

    PubMed

    Wajdi, N A; Hussain, W I; El-Hawary, M F

    1979-01-01

    A great number of Egyptian workers and farmers are seeking settlement in Iraq and some of them proved to have either Schistosoma Haematobium (S.h.) or Schistosoma mansoni (S.m) or even mixed infection. Besides, there is the possibility that some of the Iraqi fresh water snails may prove to be susceptible to infection by one or both of the Schistosoma Egyptian strains. The present study deals with investigations on the susceptibility of Iraqi B. truncatus, Gyranaulus ehrenbergi, Physa c.f. fontinalis, Lymnea lagetis, Melanoides tuberculata and Melanopsis nodes by these parasites. Egyptian S. haematobium but not Egyptian S. mansoni infect Iraqi B. truncatus and both proved to be unable to infect any of the other snails included in the study. Yet, the number of cercariae shedded by B. truncatus snails infected with the Egyptian S. haematobium strain, was much less that the number of cercariae shedded by these snails when infected with the Iraqi S. Haematobium strain.

  19. Behavioural responses of the snail Lymnaea acuminata to carbohydrates and amino acids in bait pellets.

    PubMed

    Agrahari, P; Singh, D K

    2010-12-01

    Snail control could play an important role in programmes against fascioliasis, especially if the methods used for molluscicide delivery could be improved, such as by the development of bait formulations containing both an effective attractant and a molluscicide, to ensure good levels of contact between the molluscicide and the target snail populations. In a recent study, the attractiveness to Lymnaea acuminata (an intermediate host of the digenean trematode Fasciola gigantica) of potential components of snail-attractant pellets was investigated. Carbohydrates (glucose, maltose, sucrose or starch, each at 10 mM) and amino acids (citrulline, tryptophan, proline or serine, each at 20 mM), were tested in aquaria, with the snails initially placed 22.5, 30 or 45 cm from an agar pellet containing the component under test. Under these conditions, starch and proline emerged as the strongest attractants for L. acuminata, followed by maltose and serine.

  20. Elongator Protein 3 (Elp3) stabilizes Snail1 and regulates neural crest migration in Xenopus

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Xiangcai; Li, Jiejing; Zeng, Wanli; Li, Chaocui; Mao, Bingyu

    2016-01-01

    Elongator protein 3 (Elp3) is the enzymatic unit of the elongator protein complex, a histone acetyltransferase complex involved in transcriptional elongation. It has long been shown to play an important role in cell migration; however, the underlying mechanism is unknown. Here, we showed that Elp3 is expressed in pre-migratory and migrating neural crest cells in Xenopus embryos, and knockdown of Elp3 inhibited neural crest cell migration. Interestingly, Elp3 binds Snail1 through its zinc-finger domain and inhibits its ubiquitination by β-Trcp without interfering with the Snail1/Trcp interaction. We showed evidence that Elp3-mediated stabilization of Snail1 was likely involved in the activation of N-cadherin in neural crest cells to regulate their migratory ability. Our findings provide a new mechanism for the function of Elp3 in cell migration through stabilizing Snail1, a master regulator of cell motility. PMID:27189455

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Bioluminescent signals spatially amplified by wavelength-specific diffusion through the shell of a marine snail

    PubMed Central

    Deheyn, Dimitri D.; Wilson, Nerida G.

    2011-01-01

    Some living organisms produce visible light (bioluminescence) for intra- or interspecific visual communication. Here, we describe a remarkable bioluminescent adaptation in the marine snail Hinea brasiliana. This species produces a luminous display in response to mechanical stimulation caused by encounters with other motile organisms. The light is produced from discrete areas on the snail's body beneath the snail's shell, and must thus overcome this structural barrier to be viewed by an external receiver. The diffusion and transmission efficiency of the shell is greater than a commercial diffuser reference material. Most strikingly, the shell, although opaque and pigmented, selectively diffuses the blue-green wavelength of the species bioluminescence. This diffusion generates a luminous display that is enlarged relative to the original light source. This unusual shell thus allows spatially amplified outward transmission of light communication signals from the snail, while allowing the animal to remain safely inside its hard protective shell. PMID:21159673

  4. Snail reprograms glucose metabolism by repressing phosphofructokinase PFKP allowing cancer cell survival under metabolic stress

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Nam Hee; Cha, Yong Hoon; Lee, Jueun; Lee, Seon-Hyeong; Yang, Ji Hye; Yun, Jun Seop; Cho, Eunae Sandra; Zhang, Xianglan; Nam, Miso; Kim, Nami; Yuk, Young-Su; Cha, So Young; Lee, Yoonmi; Ryu, Joo Kyung; Park, Sunghyouk; Cheong, Jae-Ho; Kang, Sang Won; Kim, Soo-Youl; Hwang, Geum-Sook; Yook, Jong In; Kim, Hyun Sil

    2017-01-01

    Dynamic regulation of glucose flux between aerobic glycolysis and the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) during epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) is not well-understood. Here we show that Snail (SNAI1), a key transcriptional repressor of EMT, regulates glucose flux toward PPP, allowing cancer cell survival under metabolic stress. Mechanistically, Snail regulates glycolytic activity via repression of phosphofructokinase, platelet (PFKP), a major isoform of cancer-specific phosphofructokinase-1 (PFK-1), an enzyme involving the first rate-limiting step of glycolysis. The suppression of PFKP switches the glucose flux towards PPP, generating NADPH with increased metabolites of oxidative PPP. Functionally, dynamic regulation of PFKP significantly potentiates cancer cell survival under metabolic stress and increases metastatic capacities in vivo. Further, knockdown of PFKP rescues metabolic reprogramming and cell death induced by loss of Snail. Thus, the Snail-PFKP axis plays an important role in cancer cell survival via regulation of glucose flux between glycolysis and PPP. PMID:28176759

  5. Effects of a non-native cichlid fish (African jewelfish, Hemichromis letourneuxi Sauvage 1880) on a simulated Everglades aquatic community

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schofield, Pamela J.; Slone, Daniel H.; Gregoire, Denise R.; Loftus, William F.

    2014-01-01

    In an 8-month mesocosm experiment, we examined how a simulated Everglades aquatic community of small native fishes, snails, and shrimp changed with the addition of either a native predator (dollar sunfish Lepomis marginatus) or a non-native predator (African jewelfish Hemichromis letourneuxi) compared to a no-predator control. Two snail species (Planorbella duryi, Physella cubensis) and the shrimp (Palaemonetes paludosus) displayed the strongest predator-treatment effects, with significantly lower biomasses in tanks with Hemichromis. One small native fish (Heterandria formosa) was significantly less abundant in Hemichromis tanks, but there were no significant treatment effects for Gambusia holbrooki, Jordanella floridae, or Pomacea paludosa (applesnail). Overall, there were few treatment differences between native predator and no-predator control tanks. The results suggest that the potential of Hemichromis to affect basal food-web species that link primary producers with higher-level consumers in the aquatic food web, with unknown consequences for Florida waters.

  6. Solar radio-transmitters on snail kites in Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1989-01-01

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

  7. HSP70 expression in Biomphalaria glabrata snails exposed to cadmium.

    PubMed

    da Silva Cantinha, Rebeca; Borrely, Sueli Ivone; Oguiura, Nancy; de Bragança Pereira, Carlos Alberto; Rigolon, Marcela M; Nakano, Eliana

    2017-06-01

    In this study, the effects of the heavy metal cadmium on the stress protein HSP70 are investigated in freshwater mollusks Biomphalaria glabrata. Adult snails were exposed for 96h to CdCl2 at concentrations ranging from 0.09 to 0.7mgL(-1) (LC50/96h=0.34 (0.30-0.37). Time and concentration-dependent increases in the expression of HSP70 were observed at sub-lethal levels in the immunoblotting assay. Further, an increased survival to a lethal heat shock was observed in animals pre-exposed to a nonlethal concentration of cadmium, evidencing the induction of acquired tolerance. The present study demonstrated the inducibility of B. glabrata HSP70 by cadmium, a relevant environmental contaminant, at non-lethal levels, providing evidences that the assessment of HSP70 in B. glabrata can be regarded as a suitable biomarker for ecotoxicological studies.

  8. Evening roosts of the snail kite in Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sykes, P.W.

    1985-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sykes, P.W.

    1985-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1987-07-01

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

  11. Optimal designs of mollusk shells from bivalves to snails

    PubMed Central

    Okabe, Takuya; Yoshimura, Jin

    2017-01-01

    Bivalve, ammonite and snail shells are described by a small number of geometrical parameters. Raup noted that the vast majority of theoretically possible shell forms do not occur in nature. The constraint factors that regulate the biased distribution of natural form have long since been an open problem in evolution. The problem of whether natural shell form is a result of optimization remains unsolved despite previous attempts. Here we solve this problem by considering the scaling exponent of shell thickness as a morphological parameter. The scaling exponent has a drastic effect on the optimal design of shell shapes. The observed characteristic shapes of natural shells are explained in a unified manner as a result of optimal utilization of shell material resources, while isometric growth in thickness leads to impossibly tight coiling. PMID:28186171

  12. Microbiological and Chemical Analysis of Land Snails Commercialised in Sicily

    PubMed Central

    Cicero, Antonello; Giangrosso, Giuseppe; Cammilleri, Gaetano; Macaluso, Andrea; Currò, Vittoria; Galuppo, Lucia; Vargetto, Daniela; Vicari, Domenico

    2015-01-01

    In this study 160 samples of snails belonging to the species Helix aspersa maxima and Helix aspersa muller were examined for chemical and microbiological analysis. Samples came from Greece and Poland. Results showed mean concentration of cadmium (0.35±0.036 mg/kg) and lead (0.05±0.013 mg/kg) much higher than the limit of detection. Mercury levels in both species were not detected. Microbiological analysis revealed the absence of Salmonella spp. and Clostridium spp. in both examined species. E. coli and K. oxytoca were observed in Helix aspersa maxima and Helix aspersa muller. Furthermore, one case of fungi positivity in samples of Helix aspersa muller was found. The reported investigations highlight the need to create and adopt a reference legislation to protect the health of consumers. PMID:27800385

  13. Toxins from cone snails: properties, applications and biotechnological production.

    PubMed

    Becker, Stefan; Terlau, Heinrich

    2008-05-01

    Cone snails are marine predators that use venoms to immobilize their prey. The venoms of these mollusks contain a cocktail of peptides that mainly target different voltage- and ligand-gated ion channels. Typically, conopeptides consist of ten to 30 amino acids but conopeptides with more than 60 amino acids have also been described. Due to their extraordinary pharmacological properties, conopeptides gained increasing interest in recent years. There are several conopeptides used in clinical trials and one peptide has received approval for the treatment of pain. Accordingly, there is an increasing need for the production of these peptides. So far, most individual conopeptides are synthesized using solid phase peptide synthesis. Here, we describe that at least some of these peptides can be obtained using prokaryotic or eukaryotic expression systems. This opens the possibility for biotechnological production of also larger amounts of long chain conopeptides for the use of these peptides in research and medical applications.

  14. Trematode parasites infect or die in snail hosts

    PubMed Central

    King, Kayla C.; Jokela, Jukka; Lively, Curtis M.

    2011-01-01

    The Red Queen hypothesis is based on the assumption that parasites must genetically match their hosts to infect them successfully. If the parasites fail, they are assumed to be killed by the host's immune system. Here, we tested this using sympatric (mostly susceptible) and allopatric (mostly resistant) populations of a freshwater snail and its trematode parasite. We determined whether parasites which do not infect are either killed or passed through the host's digestive tract and remain infectious. Our results show that parasites do not get a second chance: they either infect or are killed by the host. The results suggest strong selection against parasites that are not adapted to local host genotypes. PMID:20961880

  15. Diversity increases biomass production for trematode parasites in snails

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hechinger, Ryan F.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Kuris, Armand M.

    2008-01-01

    Increasing species diversity typically increases biomass in experimental assemblages. But there is uncertainty concerning the mechanisms of diversity effects and whether experimental findings are relevant to ecological process in nature. Hosts for parasites provide natural, discrete replicates of parasite assemblages. We considered how diversity affects standing-stock biomass for a highly interactive parasite guild: trematode parasitic castrators in snails. In 185 naturally occurring habitat replicates (individual hosts), diverse parasite assemblages had greater biomass than single-species assemblages, including those of their most productive species. Additionally, positive diversity effects strengthened as species segregated along a secondary niche axis (space). The most subordinate species—also the most productive when alone—altered the general positive effect, and was associated with negative diversity effects on biomass. These findings, on a previously unstudied consumer class, extend previous research to illustrate that functional diversity and species identity may generally both explain how diversity influences biomass production in natural assemblages of competing species.

  16. Deep molecular divergence and exceptional morphological stasis in dwarf cannibal snails Nata sensu lato Watson, 1934 (Rhytididae) of southern Africa.

    PubMed

    Moussalli, Adnan; Herbert, David G

    2016-02-01

    The genus Nata Watson, 1934 is a southern African endemic belonging to the Gondwanan family of carnivorous snails, Rhytididae. We present a molecular phylogeny of the genus based on two mitochondrial (16S and COI) and two nuclear genes (ITS2 and 28S RNA), and complement this with an appraisal of morphological characters relating to both the shell and soft parts. We identify four reciprocally monophyletic lineages for which valid names are already available, plus two undescribed species restricted to the Albany Thicket Biome. We show that Nata sensu lato may not be monophyletic. Rather there exist two deep lineages within Nata s.l., one lineage potentially sister to a clade dominated by the Australian and New Zealand radiation, and the other occupying a basal position within Rhytididae. Accordingly we recommend a revision recognising two genera, namely Nata s.s. and Natella respectively. Despite deep molecular divergences within Nata s.s., phenotypic evolution has been remarkably conserved, and contrasts greatly with that exhibited across other major lineages within the Rhytididae.

  17. Evolutionary diversification of the genus Theba (Gastropoda: Helicidae) in space and time: a land snail conquering islands and continents.

    PubMed

    Greve, Carola; Hutterer, Rainer; Groh, Klaus; Haase, Martin; Misof, Bernhard

    2010-11-01

    Among oceanic islands, the Canary Islands offer exceptional opportunities for studying speciation processes due to their habitat diversity and well documented geological history. Based on a combined COI+ITS1 data set for more than 140 specimens, we studied the diversification of the land snail genus Theba on the Canary Islands and adjacent African and European continental areas. Phylogenetic analyses resulted in the recognition of 18 genetically distinct clades including at least three new species. Divergence time estimates suggested an evolution of Theba in the Canarian archipelago and an initial radiation on the three eastern-most islands during the Late Oligocene/Early Miocene. Despite the close proximity of NW Africa to the Canary Islands, the main mode of diversification was intra-archipelago speciation rather than independent colonization of the islands from the mainland. Notably, species from Morocco are nested among species from the Canary Islands, indicating re-colonization of the continent from the islands. The re-colonization of NW Africa occurred during the Middle Miocene and led to a remarkable continental radiation.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Deterministic assembly of land snail communities according to species size and diet.

    PubMed

    Schamp, Brandon; Horsák, Michal; Hájek, Michal

    2010-07-01

    1. We investigated whether coexisting snail species in 145 treeless fen communities in the Western Carpathian Mountains differed more in size and diet than would be expected by chance, as predicted for traits commonly associated with competition and differential resource acquisition under limiting similarity theory. 2. Contrary to expectations, coexisting snail species were no more different in body size than expected by chance under a null model. However, variation in body size played a significant role in structuring snail communities: coexisting snail species were significantly more similar with respect to body size. 3. We developed two new test statistics to expand our investigation of limiting similarity to include diet, a nominal trait. We tested whether communities of snails were characterized by a greater richness of diet, and whether different diets were represented more or less evenly within communities. Communities of snails were significantly less evenly distributed than expected by chance, with detritivores being over-represented relative to predatory strategies. 4. We also examined the effect of water pH and conductivity, herbaceous cover, and bryophyte and vascular plant richness, on these trends by examining how the effect size of our tests varied across these gradients. Convergence in species size increased with increasing habitat pH. Specifically, smaller snail species were over-represented in fen communities in general, and this effect was accentuated in increasingly calcareous fens. 5. Theory predicts that traits related strongly to environmental conditions are more likely to be convergent. Our findings support this suggestion, as small snail species have an advantage in tolerating freezing conditions over winter when refuges are limited. 6. These results add to the growing body of literature demonstrating that variation in body size and diet play a strong role in structuring communities, although frequently in ways not predicted by limiting

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lorda, Julio; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Cytokines and mother sporocysts in susceptible and resistant Bulinus truncatus snails infected with Schistosoma haematobium.

    PubMed

    El-Din, Abdel Hakim Saad; Gawish, Fathiya Ali; Abu El Einin, Hanaa Mohamed; Mansour, Shereen Mahfouz

    2014-08-01

    The presence of immunoreactive interleukin (IL-2), interferon gamma (IFN-γ) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) in addition to the citation of mother sporscytes in cephalopodal musculature in the susceptible and resistance Bulinus truncatus the specific intermediate host for the trematode Schistosoma haematobium were investigated,. Using ELISA tests, Results indicated that the concentration of IL-2-like activity in the susceptible and resistant snails decreased significantly after infection then persisted at low levels until the 4th week post exposure (WPE) in susceptible snails, while in resistant snails elevated during the second WPE, and returned to initial level at 3 and 4 WPE. Susceptible snails had low detectable levels of TNF-α and INF-γ like-activity after infection. However, the resistant snails had significant low levels of TNF-α and INF-γ like-activity from 3 WPE until the 4th WPE without any sign of normalization. Histological sections in the head- foot region of susceptible and resistance B. truncatus infected with S. haematobium, mother sporocysts exists from 1 to 7(day post exposure) DPE, in the susceptible snail the mother sporocysts were found as single, multiple and mature types. No mother sporocysts were appear in the lip and mantle of the snail on 2, 5, 7 DPE and on 1-3, 6 DPE respectively. In the resistant snails few mother sporocysts were found in the lip, mantle and tentacles. The results showed that schistosome-resistant Bulinus can be an alternative strategy for the control of schistosomiasis.

  3. Effects of exposure of aquatic snails to sublethal concentrations of waste drilling fluid.

    PubMed

    Ekundayo, J A; Benka-Coker, M O

    1994-05-01

    Static bioassays were carried out using two aquatic snails (Pilia sp. and Lanistes sp.) as test organisms in soft natural dilution water, with waste drilling fluid as the test material, at 28±2°C. Comparison of results for the control and different concentrations of the waste drilling fluid were made by means of the F-statistic method. The waste drilling fluid was practically non-toxic to the two aquatic snails.

  4. Dysregulated expression of Snail and E-cadherin correlates with gastrointestinal stromal tumor metastasis.

    PubMed

    Liu, Sheng; Liao, Guoqing; Ding, Jie; Ye, Ke; Zhang, Yi; Zeng, Liang; Chen, Senlin

    2014-09-01

    Snail, a zinc finger structure transcription inhibitory factor, has been reported to play an important role in the metastatic progression of several types of cancer. The aim of the study was to identify potential biomarkers for metastasis in gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) by examining the expression levels of Snail, E-cadherin, and Vimentin in GISTs and investigate their clinical significance. The protein expression of Snail, E-cadherin, and Vimentin in 74 GIST specimens was detected by immunohistochemical analysis, and the correlation between expression levels and clinicopathological data was analyzed. Snail, E-cadherin, and Vimentin were positively expressed in 51.4% (38/74), 32.4% (24/74), and 68.9% (51/74) of GIST tissue samples, respectively. Snail protein expression was significantly higher in GISTs with distant metastasis compared with GISTs without distant metastasis (P<0.05). E-cadherin expression level was significantly lower in cases of GIST with distant metastasis compared with those without distant metastasis (P<0.05), whereas the expression level of Vimentin did not significantly change according to clinical and pathological characteristics (all P>0.05). Snail expression was significantly negatively correlated with E-cadherin expression (r's=-0.276, P=0.017) but not with Vimentin expression (r's=0.041, P=0.728) in GISTs. High Snail expression and low E-cadherin expression were significantly correlated with metastasis in GISTs, and Snail, because of positive correlation, is potentially a biomarker of GIST with distant metastasis.

  5. Malacological survey and geographical distribution of vector snails for schistosomiasis within informal settlements of Kisumu City, western Kenya

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Although schistosomiasis is generally considered a rural phenomenon, infections have been reported within urban settings. Based on observations of high prevalence of Schistosoma mansoni infection in schools within the informal settlements of Kisumu City, a follow-up malacological survey incorporating 81 sites within 6 informal settlements of the City was conducted to determine the presence of intermediate host snails and ascertain whether active transmission was occurring within these areas. Methods Surveyed sites were mapped using a geographical information system. Cercaria shedding was determined from snails and species of snails identified based on shell morphology. Vegetation cover and presence of algal mass at the sites was recorded, and the physico-chemical characteristics of the water including pH and temperature were determined using a pH meter with a glass electrode and a temperature probe. Results Out of 1,059 snails collected, 407 (38.4%) were putatively identified as Biomphalaria sudanica, 425 (40.1%) as Biomphalaria pfeifferi and 227 (21.5%) as Bulinus globosus. The spatial distribution of snails was clustered, with few sites accounting for most of the snails. The highest snail abundance was recorded in Nyamasaria (543 snails) followed by Nyalenda B (313 snails). As expected, the mean snail abundance was higher along the lakeshore (18 ± 12 snails) compared to inland sites (dams, rivers and springs) (11 ± 32 snails) (F1, 79 = 38.8, P < 0.0001). Overall, 19 (1.8%) of the snails collected shed schistosome cercariae. Interestingly, the proportion of infected Biomphalaria snails was higher in the inland (2.7%) compared to the lakeshore sites (0.3%) (P = 0.0109). B. sudanica was more abundant in sites along the lakeshore whereas B. pfeifferi and B. globosus were more abundant in the inland sites. Biomphalaria and Bulinus snails were found at 16 and 11 out of the 56 inland sites, respectively. Conclusions The high abundance of Biomphalaria and

  6. Understanding African American Males

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bell, Edward Earl

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the socialization skills, self-esteem, and academic readiness of African American males in a school environment. Discussions with students and the School Perceptions Questionnaire provided data for this investigation. The intended targets for this investigation were African American students; however, there…

  7. Africans Away from Home.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clarke, John Henrik

    Africans who were brought across the Atlantic as slaves never fully adjusted to slavery or accepted its inevitability. Resistance began on board the slave ships, where many jumped overboard or committed suicide. African slaves in South America led the first revolts against tyranny in the New World. The first slave revolt in the Caribbean occurred…

  8. Educating African American Males

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bell, Edward E.

    2010-01-01

    Background: Schools across America spend money, invest in programs, and sponsor workshops, offer teacher incentives, raise accountability standards, and even evoke the name of Obama in efforts to raise the academic achievement of African American males. Incarceration and college retention rates point to a dismal plight for many African American…

  9. 16 Extraordinary African Americans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lobb, Nancy

    This collection for children tells the stories of 16 African Americans who helped make America what it is today. African Americans can take pride in the heritage of these contributors to society. Biographies are given for the following: (1) Sojourner Truth, preacher and abolitionist; (2) Frederick Douglass, abolitionist; (3) Harriet Tubman, leader…

  10. Keeping African Masks Real

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waddington, Susan

    2012-01-01

    Art is a good place to learn about our multicultural planet, and African masks are prized throughout the world as powerfully expressive artistic images. Unfortunately, multicultural education, especially for young children, can perpetuate stereotypes. Masks taken out of context lose their meaning and the term "African masks" suggests that there is…

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-01-01

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

  12. Integrating nonindigenous aquatic plant control with protection of snail kite nests in Florida.

    PubMed

    Rodgers, J A; Smith, H T; Thayer, D D

    2001-07-01

    The endangered snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis) feeds primarily on the freshwater apple snail (Pomacea paludosa) in Florida. The nonindigenous, floating water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) and water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes) impede kites from finding snails. Effective control of these aquatic plants in the littoral zone of central and south Florida lakes benefits kites by maintaining open foraging habitat. However, incidental herbicide spraying of nesting substrates result in nest collapse when kites breed in nonwoody, emergent plants [cattail (Typha spp.) and giant bulrush (Scirpus validus)] in the outer littoral zone during lower lake levels. Many endangered species recovery plans and their implementation have experienced problems due to inaction and/or noncooperation by various governmental agencies and their personnel. Herein, we describe the development and implementation of a buffer zone strategy to prevent secondary impacts from an aquatic plant control program to snail kites nesting on lakes in central and south Florida. A strategy was jointly developed by personnel of five state and federal agencies to control herbicide application near kite nesting areas during the normal breeding season. Although requiring various modifications during its implementation, this cooperative effort successfully integrated aquatic plant control objectives with snail kite conservation on Lake Okeechobee during 1988. The program was expanded the following year to lakes Kissimmee and Tohopekaliga. Since the implementation of the snail kite impact preclusion program, no nest loss was attributed to incidental herbicide applications on lakes Okeechobee, Kissimmee, and Tohopekaliga.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  14. Toxicity of copper sulfate and rotenone to Chinese mystery snail (Bellamya chinensis)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Haak, Danielle M.; Stephen, Bruce J.; Kill, Robert A.; Smeenk, Nicholas A.; Allen, Craig R.; Pope, Kevin L.

    2014-01-01

    The Chinese mystery snail (Bellamya chinensis) is a freshwater snail native to Southeast Asia, Japan, and Russia and is currently classified as an invasive species in at least 27 states in the USA. The species tolerates a wide range of environmental conditions, making management of established populations difficult. We tested the efficacy of two traditional chemical treatments, rotenone and copper sulfate, on the elimination of adult Chinese mystery snails in laboratory experiments. All snails (N=50) survived 72-hour exposure to rotenone-treated lake water, and 96% (N=25) survived 72-hour exposure to pre-determined rotenone concentrations of 0.25, 2.5, and 25.0 mg/L. All snails (N=10) survived exposure to 1.25 mg/L copper sulfate solution, 90% (N=10) survived exposure to 2.50 mg/L copper sulfate solution, and 80% (N=5) survived exposure to 5.0 mg/L copper sulfate solution. Neither rotenone nor copper sulfate effectively killed adult Chinese mystery snails in laboratory experiments, most likely due to their relatively large size, thick shell, and operculum. Therefore, it appears that populations will be very difficult to control once established, and management should focus on preventing additional spread or introductions of this species.

  15. Spatial distribution of Biomphalaria spp., the intermediate host snails of Schistosoma mansoni, in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Scholte, Ronaldo G C; Carvalho, Omar S; Malone, John B; Utzinger, Jürg; Vounatsou, Penelope

    2012-09-01

    Schistosomiasis mansoni remains an important parasitic disease of man, endemic in large parts of sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, South America and the Caribbean. The aetiological agent is the trematode Schistosoma mansoni, whereas aquatic snails of the genus Biomphalaria act as intermediate hosts in the parasite life cycle. In Brazil, the distribution of Biomphalaria spp. is closely associated with the occurrence of schistosomiasis. The purpose of this study was to map and predict the spatial distribution of the intermediate host snails of S. mansoni across Brazil. We assembled snail "presenceonly" data and used a maximum entropy approach, along with climatic and environmental variables to produce predictive risk maps. We identified a series of risk factors that govern the distribution of Biomphalaria snails. We find that high-risk areas for B. glabrata are concentrated in the regions of Northeast and Southeast and the northern part of the South region. B. straminea are found in the Northeast and Southeast regions, and B. tenagophila are concentrated in the Southeast and South regions. Our findings confirm that the presence of the intermediate host snails is correlated with the occurrence of schistosomiasis mansoni. The generated risk maps of intermediate host snails might assist the national control programme for spatial targeting of control interventions and to ultimately move towards schistosomiasis elimination in Brazil.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Are Sick Individuals Weak Competitors? Competitive Ability of Snails Parasitized by a Gigantism-Inducing Trematode

    PubMed Central

    Seppälä, Otto; Karvonen, Anssi; Kuosa, Marja; Haataja, Maarit; Jokela, Jukka

    2013-01-01

    Parasitized individuals are often expected to be poor competitors because they are weakened by infections. Many trematode species, however, although extensively exploiting their mollusc hosts, also induce gigantism (increased host size) by diverting host resources towards growth instead of reproduction. In such systems, alternatively to reduced competitive ability due to negative effects of parasitism on host performance, larger size could allow more efficient resource acquisition and thus increase the relative competitive ability of host individuals. We addressed this hypothesis by testing the effect of a trematode parasite Diplostomum pseudospathaceum on the competitive ability of its snail host Lymnaea stagnalis. We experimentally examined the growth of snails kept in pairs in relation to their infection status and intensity of resource competition (i.e. food availability). We found that parasitized snails grew faster and their reproduction was reduced compared to unparasitized individuals indicating parasite-induced gigantism. However, growth of the snails was faster when competing with parasitized individuals compared to unparasitized snails indicating reduced competitive ability due to parasitism. The latter effect, however, was relatively weak suggesting that the effects of the parasite on snail physiology may partly override each other in determining competitive ability. PMID:24205383

  18. Seasonal variation in abiotic factors and ferulic acid toxicity in snail-attractant pellets against the intermediate host snail Lymnaea acuminata.

    PubMed

    Agrahari, P; Singh, D K

    2013-11-01

    Laboratory evaluation was made to access the seasonal variations in abiotic environmental factors temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, carbon dioxide, electrical conductivity and ferulic acid toxicity in snail-attractant pellets (SAP) against the intermediate host snail Lymnaea acuminata in each month of the years 2010 and 2011. On the basis of a 24-h toxicity assay, it was noted that lethal concentration values of 4.03, 3.73% and 4.45% in SAP containing starch and 4.16, 4.23% and 4.29% in SAP containing proline during the months of May, June and September, respectively, were most effective in killing the snails, while SAP containing starch/proline + ferulic acid was least effective in the month of January/February (24-h lethal concentration value was 7.67%/7.63% in SAP). There was a significant positive correlation between lethal concentration value of ferulic acid containing SAP and levels of dissolved O2 /pH of water in corresponding months. On the contrary, a negative correlation was observed between lethal concentration value and dissolved CO2 /temperature of test water in the same months. To ascertain that such a relationship between toxicity and abiotic factors is not co-incidental, the nervous tissue of treated (40% and 80% of 24-h lethal concentration value) and control group of snails was assayed for the activity of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) in each of the 12 months of the same year. There was a maximum inhibition of 58.43% of AChE, in snails exposed to 80% of the 24-h lethal concentration value of ferulic acid + starch in the month of May. This work shows conclusively that the best time to control snail population with SAP containing ferulic acid is during the months of May, June and September.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Neotropical Africanized honey bees have African mitochondrial DNA.

    PubMed

    Smith, D R; Taylor, O R; Brown, W M

    1989-05-18

    Non-indigenous African honey bees have invaded most of South and Central America in just over 30 years. The genetic composition of this population and the means by which it rapidly colonizes new territory remain controversial. In particular, it has been unclear whether this 'Africanized' population has resulted from interbreeding between African and domestic European bees, or is an essentially pure African population. Also, it has not been known whether this population expanded primarily by female or by male migration. Restriction site mapping of 62 mitochondrial DNAs of African bees from Brazil, Venezuela and Mexico reveals that 97% were of African (Apis mellifera scutellata) type. Although neotropical European apiary populations are rapidly Africanized by mating with neotropical African males, there is little reciprocal gene flow to the neotropical African population through European females. These are the first genetic data to indicate that the neotropical African population could be expanding its range by female migration.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1988-06-01

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

  5. Snail-Induced Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition Enhances P-gp-Mediated Multi Drug Resistance in HCC827 Cells.

    PubMed

    Tomono, Takumi; Yano, Kentaro; Ogihara, Takuo

    2017-03-17

    Overexpression and/or activation of P-glycoprotein (P-gp), which mediates efflux transport of various anti-cancer drugs in cancer cells, are associated with multi-drug resistance (MDR). On the other hand, malignant cancer cells frequently undergo epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), thereby acquiring high migratory mobility and invasive ability. Snail is a transcriptional factor that represses multiple other factors, and its overexpression is a trigger of EMT. Since both P-gp and Snail are involved in malignant evolution of cancer, in this work, we evaluated whether or not EMT induced by overexpression of Snail influences P-gp expression and/or activity. Snail-overexpressing cells showed downregulation of epithelial markers, E-cadherin, occludin and claudin-1, and upregulation of mesenchymal markers, vimenin and ZEB1. Although Western blot analysis showed that P-gp expression levels were similar in Mock and Snail-overexpressing cells, the results of P-gp functional assays with P-gp substrates rhodamine123 and paclitaxel indicated that P-gp is activated in Snail-overexpressing cells. Indeed, Snail-overexpressing cells showed greater viability than Mock cells in the presence of paclitaxel. We observed caveolin-1 dephosphorylation and decreased GRB2 expression in Snail-overexpressing cells. These findings suggest a novel pathway leading to cancer MDR, in which Snail induces EMT concomitantly with a decrease of GRB2-mediated caveolin-1 phosphorylation, resulting in activation of P-gp.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-28

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

  7. Influence of copper on the feeding rate, growth and reproduction of the golden apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata Lamarck.

    PubMed

    Peña, Silvia C; Pocsidio, Glorina N

    2007-12-01

    The influence of copper on feeding rate, growth, and reproduction of Pomacea canaliculata Lamarck was evaluated. Ten days of exposure to copper of relatively high concentration (67.5 microg/L) reduced the snails' feeding rate and retarded their growth. Exposure to 20 microg/L after 36 days increased feeding rate to 28%. After 20 days of exposure at 30 microg/L, snail's growth was significant but thereafter declined. Growth of all snails including control was negligible by day 50 when snails were in the reproductive state. Copper did not affect reproduction.

  8. Adaptive Radiation in the Larval Feeding Habits of the Snail-Killing Fly Genus Tetanocera (Diptera: Sciomyzidae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foote, B. A.

    2005-05-01

    The genus Tetanocera consists of 29 species in North America. The genus is unusual in that its larvae occupy five of the 17 feeding groups recognized in the family, as most other genera of the family occupy only one or two trophic guilds. Seven species have larvae that attack pulmonate aquatic snails, three species attack pulmonate snails stranded on shorelines, four species attack amber snails of the family Succineidae, three species attack slugs, and two species are predators of terrestrial snails. The larval feeding behavior of representative species of each of the five trophic guilds will be described and illustrated.

  9. Effects of Washing Produce Contaminated with the Snail and Slug Hosts of Angiostrongylus cantonensis with Three Common Household Solutions

    PubMed Central

    Yeung, Norine W; Hayes, Kenneth A

    2013-01-01

    The emerging infectious disease angiostrongyliasis (rat lungworm disease) is caused by ingesting snails and slugs infected by the nematode Angiostrongylus cantonensis. The definitive hosts of A. cantonensis are rats and the obligatory intermediate hosts are slugs and snails. Many cases result from accidentally ingesting infected snails or slugs on produce (eg, lettuce). This study assessed three readily available household products as washing solutions for removing snails and slugs from produce (romaine lettuce) to lower the probability of accidentally ingesting them. The solutions were acetic acid (vinegar), sodium hypochlorite (bleach), and sodium chloride (domestic salt). Snail and slug species known to be intermediate hosts and that are common in the Hawaiian Islands were used in the experiments: the alien snail Succinea tenella, the alien semi-slug Parmarion martensi, and the alien slugs Veronicella cubensis and Deroceras laeve. None of the products was any more effective than washing and rinsing with tap water alone. Most snails and slugs were removed after treatment but some remained on the lettuce even after washing and rinsing the produce. Only washing, rinsing, and then rinsing each leaf individually resulted in complete removal of all snails and slugs. The study did not address removal of any remaining slime left by the snails and slugs, nor did it address killing of worms. PMID:23901391

  10. Effects of washing produce contaminated with the snail and slug hosts of Angiostrongylus cantonensis with three common household solutions.

    PubMed

    Yeung, Norine W; Hayes, Kenneth A; Cowie, Robert H

    2013-06-01

    The emerging infectious disease angiostrongyliasis (rat lungworm disease) is caused by ingesting snails and slugs infected by the nematode Angiostrongylus cantonensis. The definitive hosts of A. cantonensis are rats and the obligatory intermediate hosts are slugs and snails. Many cases result from accidentally ingesting infected snails or slugs on produce (eg, lettuce). This study assessed three readily available household products as washing solutions for removing snails and slugs from produce (romaine lettuce) to lower the probability of accidentally ingesting them. The solutions were acetic acid (vinegar), sodium hypochlorite (bleach), and sodium chloride (domestic salt). Snail and slug species known to be intermediate hosts and that are common in the Hawaiian Islands were used in the experiments: the alien snail Succinea tenella, the alien semi-slug Parmarion martensi, and the alien slugs Veronicella cubensis and Deroceras laeve. None of the products was any more effective than washing and rinsing with tap water alone. Most snails and slugs were removed after treatment but some remained on the lettuce even after washing and rinsing the produce. Only washing, rinsing, and then rinsing each leaf individually resulted in complete removal of all snails and slugs. The study did not address removal of any remaining slime left by the snails and slugs, nor did it address killing of worms.

  11. The recent apple snails of Africa and Asia (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Ampullariidae: Afropomus, Forbesopomus, Lanistes, Pila, Saulea): a nomenclatural and type catalogue. The apple snails of the Americas: addenda and corrigenda.

    PubMed

    Cowie, Robert H

    2015-03-27

    Ampullariidae are freshwater snails predominantly distributed in humid tropical and sub-tropical habitats in Africa, South and Central America and Asia. This catalogue is concerned only with the non-fossil Old World species, the majority of which are placed in the genera Pila and Lanistes, with a few species in Afropomus, Forbesopomus and Saulea. Pila occurs in Africa and Asia, Lanistes, Afropomus and Saulea only in Africa and Forbesopomus only in Asia. New World taxa were catalogued in a previous publication. The taxonomy of the group is heavily based on shell morphology but the true number of valid taxa remains unknown, pending revisionary work. This catalogue provides the rigorous nomenclatural base for this future work by bringing together all the available and unavailable genus-group and species-group names that have been applied to Recent Asian and African ampullariids, indicating their current nomenclatural status (species, subspecies, synonyms, etc.). Fossil taxa are not included. The catalogue lists 21 published genus-group and 244 published species-group names of Old World ampullariids, excluding 25 names that are incertae sedis and cannot be definitively determined as Old or New World. Of these 265 Old World names, five genus-group and 104 species-group (including 30 infraspecific) names are currently valid. There are 16 genus-group synonyms, 118 species-group synonyms and four species-group homonyms that are not treated as junior synonyms. Also listed are five unavailable family-group, one unavailable genus-group and 18 unavailable species-group names, and a number of unpublished names from museum labels. The catalogue provides bibliographic details for all published names, locations of type material, details of type localities and geographic distributions as far as can be ascertained given the confused state of the taxonomy. The catalogue is a work of nomenclature; it is not a revisionary work of taxonomy. Additional details and corrections to the

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Investigations into the mechanism of lead toxicity to the freshwater pulmonate snail, Lymnaea stagnalis.

    PubMed

    Brix, Kevin V; Esbaugh, Andrew J; Munley, Kathleen M; Grosell, Martin

    2012-01-15

    The freshwater pulmonate snail, Lymnaea stagnalis, is the most sensitive aquatic organism tested to date for Pb with an estimated EC20 for juvenile snail growth of 3 μg l⁻¹. A previous study supported the hypothesis that this hypersensitivity to Pb was due to an extremely high Ca²⁺ uptake rate needed to support shell formation. The current study sought to build upon this working hypothesis and develop a mechanistic predictive model for inhibition of snail growth as a function of Pb exposure. Initial experiments confirmed previous predictions that juvenile snails have net Ca²⁺ uptake rates of 7000-8000 nmol g⁻¹ h⁻¹, approximately 100-fold higher than observed in a typical freshwater fish. However, an initial time course study revealed that the onset of growth inhibition occurs at least 4d prior to inhibition of net Ca²⁺ flux in Pb-exposed snails indicating the latter is not the primary mechanism of action. Qualitative observations during this experiment indicated snail feeding was inhibited in a dose-dependent manner. A subsequent experiment demonstrated that when food is withheld from snails for even 24 h, net Ca²⁺ uptake is significantly (∼50%) reduced. A second time course study demonstrated quantitatively that snail feeding is inhibited by Pb exposure by up to 98% at relatively high Pb concentrations (57 μg l⁻¹) but no inhibition was observed at ≤ 10 μg l⁻¹ Pb indicating feeding inhibition is not causing observed growth effects at concentrations approximating the EC20 of 3 μg l⁻¹ Pb. A final experiment testing whether Pb-induced growth effects are related to inhibition of carbonic anhydrase activity in the snail mantle also failed to demonstrate an effect. We conclude that while both feeding and net Ca²⁺ uptake in snails are affected by Pb exposure, they appear to be secondary effects. The primary mechanism of action explaining L. stagnalis hypersensitivity to Pb remains to be identified.

  15. Distribution of trematodes in snails in ponds at integrated small-scale aquaculture farms.

    PubMed

    Boerlage, Annette S; Graat, Elisabeth A M; Verreth, Johan A; de Jong, Mart C M

    2013-03-01

    In integrated small-scale aquaculture farming, animal and human excreta maybe used as fish feed and pond fertilizer, thereby enhancing transmission of fish-borne zoonotic trematodes (FZTs) from final hosts, like humans, pigs and chickens, to snails. Areas within a pond could vary in trematode egg-load due to the immediate bordering land, and this might provide implications for control of these trematodes or sampling in field studies measuring FZT prevalence in snails. We therefore estimated the effect of bordering land use on prevalence and FZT burden in snails in different areas within small-scale aquaculture ponds. Nine sampling areas within a pond were assigned in six ponds. For each sampling area, about 120 Melanoides tuberculata snails were collected. Based on land use bordering a sampling area, these were categorized in 5 risk-categories: low-risk (road, rice planted in pond, agriculture, or middle of pond), human access point to pond, livestock sty (pigs or poultry), both human access point and livestock sty, and water connection to canal. In total, 5392 snails were collected. Percentages of snails with parapleurolophocercous cercariae varied between 6% in areas categorized as low-risk and areas with livestock sty only to 15% in areas with both human access point and livestock sty; only this 15% was significantly different from the prevalence in the low-risk category. Percentages of snails with xiphidio cercariae did not differ between risk-categories and varied between 5% and 10%. Mean snail size was 15.2mm, and was significantly associated with both the probability of infection as well as parasite burden. Very small differences in parasite burden were found at different land use areas; the maximum difference was about 11 cercariae. This study demonstrated only small differences between areas surrounding a pond on risk of snails to be infected with fish-borne trematodes within different pond areas. In field studies on FZTs in M. tuberculata snails in ponds

  16. Chlorophyllin Bait Formulation and Exposure to Different Spectrum of Visible Light on the Reproduction of Infected/Uninfected Snail Lymnaea acuminata

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Navneet; Singh, D. K.; Singh, Vinay Kumar

    2016-01-01

    Fasciolosis is a waterborne disease, caused by Fasciola species. Snail Lymnaea acuminata is an intermediate host of these flukes. Control of snail population is major tool in reducing the incidences. Variation in light intensity and wavelength caused significant changes in reproduction pattern of snails. Maximum fecundity was noted with bait containing carbohydrate (starch, 468 ± 0.10/20 snails) or amino acid (serine, 319 ± 0.29/20 snails) as attractant. Sublethal feeding of chlorophyllin bait with starch or serine attractant to infected and uninfected snails caused significant reduction in fecundity, hatchability, and survivability. These significant changes are observed in snails exposed to different spectral band of visible light and sunlight. Maximum fecundity of 536 ± 2.0 and minimum of 89.3 ± 0.4 were noted in snails not fed with bait and exposed to sunlight and red spectral band, respectively. There was complete arrest in the fecundity of infected and uninfected snails and no survivability of uninfected snails after 48 h feeding with bait containing chlorophyllin + attractant. Minimum hatchability (9.25 ± 0.5) was noted in red light exposed, chlorophyllin + starch fed infected snails and hatching period of bait fed snails was prolonged. Conclusively, chlorophyllin bait and red light reduce reproduction capacity in snails. PMID:26925296

  17. Chlorophyllin Bait Formulation and Exposure to Different Spectrum of Visible Light on the Reproduction of Infected/Uninfected Snail Lymnaea acuminata.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Navneet; Singh, D K; Singh, Vinay Kumar

    2016-01-01

    Fasciolosis is a waterborne disease, caused by Fasciola species. Snail Lymnaea acuminata is an intermediate host of these flukes. Control of snail population is major tool in reducing the incidences. Variation in light intensity and wavelength caused significant changes in reproduction pattern of snails. Maximum fecundity was noted with bait containing carbohydrate (starch, 468 ± 0.10/20 snails) or amino acid (serine, 319 ± 0.29/20 snails) as attractant. Sublethal feeding of chlorophyllin bait with starch or serine attractant to infected and uninfected snails caused significant reduction in fecundity, hatchability, and survivability. These significant changes are observed in snails exposed to different spectral band of visible light and sunlight. Maximum fecundity of 536 ± 2.0 and minimum of 89.3 ± 0.4 were noted in snails not fed with bait and exposed to sunlight and red spectral band, respectively. There was complete arrest in the fecundity of infected and uninfected snails and no survivability of uninfected snails after 48 h feeding with bait containing chlorophyllin + attractant. Minimum hatchability (9.25 ± 0.5) was noted in red light exposed, chlorophyllin + starch fed infected snails and hatching period of bait fed snails was prolonged. Conclusively, chlorophyllin bait and red light reduce reproduction capacity in snails.

  18. Evolution at a different pace: distinctive phylogenetic patterns of cone snails from two ancient oceanic archipelagos.

    PubMed

    Cunha, Regina L; Lima, Fernando P; Tenorio, Manuel J; Ramos, Ana A; Castilho, Rita; Williams, Suzanne T

    2014-11-01

    Ancient oceanic archipelagos of similar geological age are expected to accrue comparable numbers of endemic lineages with identical life history strategies, especially if the islands exhibit analogous habitats. We tested this hypothesis using marine snails of the genus Conus from the Atlantic archipelagos of Cape Verde and Canary Islands. Together with Azores and Madeira, these archipelagos comprise the Macaronesia biogeographic region and differ remarkably in the diversity of this group. More than 50 endemic Conus species have been described from Cape Verde, whereas prior to this study, only two nonendemic species, including a putative species complex, were thought to occur in the Canary Islands. We combined molecular phylogenetic data and geometric morphometrics with bathymetric and paleoclimatic reconstructions to understand the contrasting diversification patterns found in these regions. Our results suggest that species diversity is even lower than previously thought in the Canary Islands, with the putative species complex corresponding to a single species, Conus guanche. One explanation for the enormous disparity in Conus diversity is that the amount of available habitat may differ, or may have differed in the past due to eustatic (global) sea level changes. Historical bathymetric data, however, indicated that sea level fluctuations since the Miocene have had a similar impact on the available habitat area in both Cape Verde and Canary archipelagos and therefore do not explain this disparity. We suggest that recurrent gene flow between the Canary Islands and West Africa, habitat losses due to intense volcanic activity in combination with unsuccessful colonization of new Conus species from more diverse regions, were all determinant in shaping diversity patterns within the Canarian archipelago. Worldwide Conus species diversity follows the well-established pattern of latitudinal increase of species richness from the poles towards the tropics. However, the eastern

  19. Habitat characteristics for different freshwater snail species as determined biologically through macroinvertebrate information.

    PubMed

    El-Khayat, Hanaa M M; Mahmoud, Kadria M A; Mostafa, Bayomy B; Tantawy, Ahmad A; El-Deeb, Fatma A; Ragb, Fawzy M; Ismail, Nahed M; El-Said, Kalil M; Taleb, Hoda M Abu

    2011-12-01

    Macro-invertebrates including freshwater snails collected from 643 sites over 8 successive seasons among the River Nile, branches, main canals and certain drains in eight Egyptian Governorates. Thirteen snail species and one bivalve species were identified. The most distributed were Lanistus carinatus and Physa acuta while the most abundant were Cleopatra bulimoides and Physa acuta during the whole study. The sites that harbored each snail species in all the examined water-courses were grouped seasonally and their biological assessment was determined by their minimum and maximum total point similarity percentage to that of the corresponded reference site and mean of the total points. Habitats for most snail species attained minimum total point's similarity percentage less than 21% (very poor habitat) during autumn and winter then spring while during summer very poor habitat was harbored by only few snail species. P. acuta was the only survived snails in habitat which attained 0 as a minimum total point's similarity percentage during two seasons and L. carinatus and Succinea cleopatra during one season. With respect to medically important snails very poor sites constituted 23% of Biomphalaria alexandrina sites, 14% of Lymnaea natalensis and 9.4% of Bulinus truncatus sites. The studied macroinvertebrate matrices, total number of organisms, taxa richness, the Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera (EPT) index, ratio of EPT index to chironomidae, ratio of scraper to filtering collector, contribution of dominant macroinvertebrate major group, comparison revealed descending tolerances from B. alexanrina followed by L. natalensis then B. truncates, but Hilsenhoff Biotic Index (HBI) showed the same tolerance to organic pollution.

  20. Increased SNAIL expression and low syndecan levels are associated with high Gleason grade in prostate cancer

    PubMed Central

    POBLETE, CRISTIAN E.; FULLA, JUAN; GALLARDO, MARCELA; MUÑOZ, VALENTINA; CASTELLÓN, ENRIQUE A.; GALLEGOS, IVAN; CONTRERAS, HECTOR R.

    2014-01-01

    Prostate cancer (PC) is a leading male oncologic malignancy wideworld. During malignant transformation, normal epithelial cells undergo genetic and morphological changes known as epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Several regulatory genes and specific marker proteins are involved in PC EMT. Recently, syndecans have been associated with malignancy grade and Gleason score in PC. Considering that SNAIL is mainly a gene repressor increased in PC and that syndecan promoters have putative binding sites for this repressor, we propose that SNAIL might regulate syndecan expression during PC EMT. The aim of this study was to analyze immunochemically the expression of SNAIL, syndecans 1 and 2 and other EMT markers in a tissue microarray (TMA) of PC samples and PC cell lines. The TMAs included PC samples of different Gleason grade and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) samples, as non-malignant controls. PC3 and LNCaP cell lines were used as models of PC representing different tumorigenic capacities. Semi-quantitative immunohistochemistry was performed on TMAs and fluorescence immunocytochemistry and western blot analysis were conducted on cell cultures. Results show that SNAIL exhibits increased expression in high Gleason specimens compared to low histological grade and BPH samples. Accordingly, PC3 cells show higher SNAIL expression levels compared to LNCaP cells. Conversely, syndecan 1, similarly to E-cadherin (a known marker of EMT), shows a decreased expression in high Gleason grades samples and PC3 cells. Interestingly, syndecan 2 shows no changes associated to histological grade. It is concluded that increased SNAIL levels in advanced PC are associated with low expression of syndecan 1. The mechanism by which SNAIL regulates the expression of syndecan 1 remains to be investigated. PMID:24424718

  1. Detection and Genetic Analysis of Noroviruses and Sapoviruses in Sea Snail.

    PubMed

    Ozawa, Hiroki; Kumazaki, Makoto; Ueki, Satoshi; Morita, Masahiro; Usuku, Shuzo

    2015-12-01

    An outbreak of acute gastroenteritis occurred at a restaurant in Yokohama in December 2011. Because many of the customers had consumed raw sea snail, sea snail was suspected to be the source of this outbreak. To determine whether sea snail contains Norovirus (NoV) or Sapovirus (SaV), we analyzed 27 sea snail samples collected over 5 months (May, June, August, October, and December 2012) and 59.3% were positive for NoV and/or SaV. The levels of NoV ranged from 1.5 × 10(3) to 1.5 × 10(5) copies/g tissue, and those of SaV from 1.5 × 10(2) to 1.3 × 10(3) copies/g tissue. The highest levels were observed in sea snails collected in December. A phylogenetic analysis of the NoVs showed that the viral strains were NoV genotypes GI.4, GI.6, GII.4, GII.12, GII.13, and GII.14, and the SaV strains were genotypes GI.2 and GI.3. The NoV GII.4 Sydney 2012 variants were only detected in December. This variant was a major source of gastroenteritis in Japan in the winter of 2012/2013. In contrast, the NoV GII.4 strains detected in May and June 2012 were not the Sydney 2012 variant. This study demonstrates that sea snail contains multiple genogroups and genotypes of NoV and SaV strains. We conclude that the sea snail presents a risk of gastroenteritis when consumed raw.

  2. Thermal tolerance and climate warming sensitivity in tropical snails.

    PubMed

    Marshall, David J; Rezende, Enrico L; Baharuddin, Nursalwa; Choi, Francis; Helmuth, Brian

    2015-12-01

    Tropical ectotherms are predicted to be especially vulnerable to climate change because their thermal tolerance limits generally lie close to current maximum air temperatures. This prediction derives primarily from studies on insects and lizards and remains untested for other taxa with contrasting ecologies. We studied the HCT (heat coma temperatures) and ULT (upper lethal temperatures) of 40 species of tropical eulittoral snails (Littorinidae and Neritidae) inhabiting exposed rocky shores and shaded mangrove forests in Oceania, Africa, Asia and North America. We also estimated extremes in animal body temperature at each site using a simple heat budget model and historical (20 years) air temperature and solar radiation data. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that HCT and ULT exhibit limited adaptive variation across habitats (mangroves vs. rocky shores) or geographic locations despite their contrasting thermal regimes. Instead, the elevated heat tolerance of these species (HCT = 44.5 ± 1.8°C and ULT = 52.1 ± 2.2°C) seems to reflect the extreme temperature variability of intertidal systems. Sensitivity to climate warming, which was quantified as the difference between HCT or ULT and maximum body temperature, differed greatly between snails from sunny (rocky shore; Thermal Safety Margin, TSM = -14.8 ± 3.3°C and -6.2 ± 4.4°C for HCT and ULT, respectively) and shaded (mangrove) habitats (TSM = 5.1 ± 3.6°C and 12.5 ± 3.6°C). Negative TSMs in rocky shore animals suggest that mortality is likely ameliorated during extreme climatic events by behavioral thermoregulation. Given the low variability in heat tolerance across species, habitat and geographic location account for most of the variation in TSM and may adequately predict the vulnerability to climate change. These findings caution against generalizations on the impact of global warming across ectothermic taxa and highlight how the consideration of nonmodel animals, ecological transitions

  3. Snail Promotes Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition in Breast Cancer Cells in Part via Activation of Nuclear ERK2

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Bethany N.; Burton, Liza J.; Henderson, Veronica; Randle, Diandra D.; Morton, Derrick J.; Smith, Basil A.; Taliaferro-Smith, Latonia; Nagappan, Peri; Yates, Clayton; Zayzafoon, Majd; Chung, Leland W. K.; Odero-Marah, Valerie A.

    2014-01-01

    Snail transcription factor is up-regulated in several cancers and associated with increased tumor migration and invasion via induction of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). MAPK (ERK1/2) signaling regulates cellular processes including cell motility, adhesion, and invasion. We investigated the regulation of ERK1/2 by Snail in breast cancer cells. ERK1/2 activity (p-ERK) was higher in breast cancer patient tissue as compared to normal tissue. Snail and p-ERK were increased in several breast cancer cell lines as compared to normal mammary epithelial cells. Snail knockdown in MDA-MB-231 and T47-D breast cancer cells decreased or re-localized p-ERK from the nuclear compartment to the cytoplasm. Snail overexpression in MCF-7 breast cancer cells induced EMT, increased cell migration, decreased cell adhesion and also increased tumorigenicity. Snail induced nuclear translocation of p-ERK, and the activation of its subcellular downstream effector, Elk-1. Inhibiting MAPK activity with UO126 or knockdown of ERK2 isoform with siRNA in MCF-7 Snail cells reverted EMT induced by Snail as shown by decreased Snail and vimentin expression, decreased cell migration and increased cell adhesion. Overall, our data suggest that ERK2 isoform activation by Snail in aggressive breast cancer cells leads to EMT associated with increased cell migration and decreased cell adhesion. This regulation is enhanced by positive feedback regulation of Snail by ERK2. Therefore, therapeutic targeting of ERK2 isoform may be beneficial for breast cancer. PMID:25122124

  4. African American Suicide

    MedlinePlus

    ... accounted for 83.8% of Caucasian elderly suicides. • Firearms were the predominant method of suicide among African ... per 100,000 annually. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Vital Statistics System. Mortality Data. ...

  5. Obesity and African Americans

    MedlinePlus

    ... and Management System Report to Congress Knowledge Center Capacity Building Information Services Events Calendar Resource Guide Justice ... Workforce Diversity Grants Youth Program Grants Other Grants Planning and Evaluation Grantee Best Practices Black/African American ...

  6. Local adaptation along a continuous coastline: prey recruitment drives differentiation in a predatory snail.

    PubMed

    Sanford, Eric; Worth, David J

    2010-03-01

    Recent work demonstrates that nearshore oceanography can generate strong variation in the delivery of resources (nutrients and larvae) to benthic marine communities over spatial scales of tens to hundreds of kilometers. Moreover, variation in the strength of these bottom-up inputs is often spatially consistent, linked to regional centers of upwelling, coastal topography, and other stable features of the coastline. Whereas the ecological effects of these oceanographic links are increasingly clear, the possibility that these same bottom-up forces might impose spatially varying selection on consumers has not been addressed. Here, we test the hypothesis that a carnivorous snail (Nucella canaliculata) with direct development is locally adapted to persistent differences in prey recruitment within two adjacent oceanographic regions (northern California and Oregon, USA). Previous laboratory studies demonstrated that snails from Oregon rarely drilled the thick-shelled mussel Mytilus californianus, whereas snails from California readily drilled this prey. To test whether these differences reflect local adaptation, snails from two populations in each region were raised through two laboratory generations to minimize the potential influence of nongenetic effects. We then reciprocally outplanted these F2 generation snails to field enclosures at each of the four sites and monitored their growth for 11 months. Recruitment and availability of preferred prey (the acorn barnacle Balanus glandula and blue mussel Mytilus trossulus) at the experimental sites were 1-3 orders of magnitude lower in California than in Oregon. At the California sites, snails that originated from Oregon sources failed to drill larger M. californianus, encountered few alternative prey, and showed almost no growth. In contrast, snails from California drilled M. californianus and showed substantial growth. These results strongly suggest that the capacity of California snails to drill M. californianus allows

  7. Methamphetamine enhances memory of operantly conditioned respiratory behavior in the snail Lymnaea stagnalis.

    PubMed

    Kennedy, Colin D; Houmes, Stephen W; Wyrick, Katherine L; Kammerzell, Samuel M; Lukowiak, Ken; Sorg, Barbara A

    2010-06-15

    Amphetamines have been used as cognitive enhancers to promote learning and memory. Amphetamines are also drugs of abuse that may promote the initiation of strong memories that ultimately lead to addiction. To understand how methamphetamine (Meth) may be augmenting learning and memory, we chose a relatively simple system, the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis. We studied the effects of Meth exposure on the long-term memory (LTM), extinction and reinstatement of operantly conditioned aerial respiratory behavior in Lymnaea. We first determined doses of Meth that would acutely alter respiratory behavior. Next, we measured the impact of training snails in Meth solution or water (control group) using a training procedure that produces LTM (>6 h) in control conditions. Meth exposure impaired the expression of LTM 21 h after two training sessions, but this appeared to be a context-dependent effect only. However, snails exposed to 3.3 mumol l(-1) Meth during training had a decreased rate of extinction of the operantly conditioned memory. We then tested whether this decreased ability of snails to extinguish memory was due to enhanced LTM or impaired extinction of that memory. Snails were operantly conditioned in water and exposed to Meth 16 h after their last trial but 4-5 h prior to extinction. Meth produced an increase rather than a decrease in extinction rate. Thus, Meth impaired extinction only when snails were exposed to Meth during training. Last, we tested the effect of Meth on the ability to form LTM using a single training procedure that is suboptimal for LTM formation. Control snails did not demonstrate LTM, as expected, but pre-exposure of snails to 3.3 micromol l(-1) Meth 24 h prior to the single training session produced LTM 24 h later, indicating that Meth pre-exposure primed snails for LTM formation. Taken together, our studies suggest that LTM is strengthened by Meth such that extinction training is less effective. Lymnaea provides a simple and useful model

  8. Accelerated mutation accumulation in asexual lineages of a freshwater snail.

    PubMed

    Neiman, Maurine; Hehman, Gery; Miller, Joseph T; Logsdon, John M; Taylor, Douglas R

    2010-04-01

    Sexual reproduction is both extremely costly and widespread relative to asexual reproduction, meaning that it must also confer profound advantages in order to persist. One theorized benefit of sex is that it facilitates the clearance of harmful mutations, which would accumulate more rapidly in the absence of recombination. The extent to which ineffective purifying selection and mutation accumulation are direct consequences of asexuality and whether the accelerated buildup of harmful mutations in asexuals can occur rapidly enough to maintain sex within natural populations, however, remain as open questions. We addressed key components of these questions by estimating the rate of mutation accumulation in the mitochondrial genomes of multiple sexual and asexual representatives of Potamopyrgus antipodarum, a New Zealand snail characterized by mixed sexual/asexual populations. We found that increased mutation accumulation is associated with asexuality and occurs rapidly enough to be detected in recently derived asexual lineages of P. antipodarum. Our results demonstrate that increased mutation accumulation in asexuals can differentially affect coexisting and ecologically similar sexual and asexual lineages. The accelerated rate of mutation accumulation observed in asexual P. antipodarum provides some of the most direct evidence to date for a link between asexuality and mutation accumulation and implies that mutational buildup could be rapid enough to contribute to the short-term evolutionary mechanisms that favor sexual reproduction.

  9. A phylogeny of the land snails (Gastropoda: Pulmonata).

    PubMed Central

    Wade, C. M.; Mordan, P. B.; Clarke, B.

    2001-01-01

    We have undertaken the first large-scale molecular phylogenetic analysis of the Stylommatophora. Sequences of the ribosomal RNA gene-cluster were examined in 104 species of snails and slugs from 50 families, encompassing all the currently recognized major groups. It allows an independent test of the present classification based on morphology. At the level of families our molecular phylogeny closely supports the current taxonomy, but the deep branches within the tree do not. Surprisingly, a single assemblage including the families Achatinidae, Subulinidae and Streptaxidae lies near the base of the tree, forming a sister group to all remaining stylommatophorans. This primary division into 'achatinoid' and 'non-achatinoid' taxa is unexpected, and demands a radical reinterpretation of early stylommatophoran evolution. In particular, the Orthurethra appear to be relatively advanced within the 'non-achatinoid clade', and broadly equivalent to other super-familial clusters. This indicates that supposedly primitive features such as the orthurethran kidney are derived. The molecular tree also suggests that the origin of the Stylommatophora is much earlier than the main period of their diversification. PMID:11270439

  10. Calcium-activated potassium conductance noise in snail neurons.

    PubMed

    Westerfield, M; Lux, H D

    1982-11-01

    Current fluctuations were measured in small, 3-6 micrometers-diameter patches of soma membrane in bursting neurons of the snail, Helix pomatia. The fluctuations dramatically increased in magnitude with depolarization of the membrane potential under voltage clamp conditions. Two components of conductance noise were identified in the power spectra calculated from the membrane currents. One component had a corner frequency which increased with depolarization. This component was blocked by intracellular injection of TEA and was relatively insensitive to extracellular calcium levels (as long as the total number of effective divalent cations remained constant). It was identified as fluctuations of the voltage-dependent component of delayed outward current. The second component of conductance noise had a corner frequency which decreased with depolarization. It was relatively unaffected by TEA injection and was reversibly blocked by substitution of extracellular calcium with magnesium, cobalt, or nickel. This second component of noise was identified as fluctuations of the calcium-dependent potassium current. The results suggest that the two components of delayed outward current are conducted through physically distinct channels.

  11. Myosin-dependent remodeling of adherens junctions protects junctions from Snail-dependent disassembly

    PubMed Central

    Weng, Mo

    2016-01-01

    Although Snail is essential for disassembly of adherens junctions during epithelial–mesenchymal transitions (EMTs), loss of adherens junctions in Drosophila melanogaster gastrula is delayed until mesoderm is internalized, despite the early expression of Snail in that primordium. By combining live imaging and quantitative image analysis, we track the behavior of E-cadherin–rich junction clusters, demonstrating that in the early stages of gastrulation most subapical clusters in mesoderm not only persist, but move apically and enhance in density and total intensity. All three phenomena depend on myosin II and are temporally correlated with the pulses of actomyosin accumulation that drive initial cell shape changes during gastrulation. When contractile myosin is absent, the normal Snail expression in mesoderm, or ectopic Snail expression in ectoderm, is sufficient to drive early disassembly of junctions. In both cases, junctional disassembly can be blocked by simultaneous induction of myosin contractility. Our findings provide in vivo evidence for mechanosensitivity of cell–cell junctions and imply that myosin-mediated tension can prevent Snail-driven EMT. PMID:26754645

  12. Polyethyleneimine (PEI) Mediated siRNA Gene Silencing in the Schistosoma mansoni Snail Host, Biomphalaria glabrata

    PubMed Central

    Knight, Matty; Miller, Andre; Liu, Yijia; Scaria, Puthupparampil; Woodle, Martin; Ittiprasert, Wannaporn

    2011-01-01

    An in vivo, non-invasive technique for gene silencing by RNA interference (RNAi) in the snail, Biomphalaria glabrata, has been developed using cationic polymer polyethyleneimine (PEI) mediated delivery of long double-stranded (ds) and small interfering (si) RNA. Cellular delivery was evaluated and optimized by using a ‘mock’ fluorescent siRNA. Subsequently, we used the method to suppress expression of Cathepsin B (CathB) with either the corresponding siRNA or dsRNA of this transcript. In addition, the knockdown of peroxiredoxin (Prx) at both RNA and protein levels was achieved with the PEI-mediated soaking method. B. glabrata is an important snail host for the transmission of the parasitic digenean platyhelminth, Schistosoma mansoni that causes schistosomiasis in the neotropics. Progress is being made to realize the genome sequence of the snail and to uncover gene expression profiles and cellular pathways that enable the snail to either prevent or sustain an infection. Using PEI complexes, a convenient soaking method has been developed, enabling functional gene knockdown studies with either dsRNA or siRNA. The protocol developed offers a first whole organism method for host-parasite gene function studies needed to identify key mechanisms required for parasite development in the snail host, which ultimately are needed as points for disrupting this parasite mediated disease. PMID:21765961

  13. Coordinating associative and ecological accounts of learning in the garden snail Cornu aspersum.

    PubMed

    Loy, I; Álvarez, B; Strempler-Rubio, E C; Rodríguez, M

    2017-03-08

    Pavlovian conditioning of tentacle lowering in the snail, Cornu aspersum, as an instance of associative learning, has proven effective to show evidence of paradigmatic associative phenomena (e.g., blocking) explained by current models of conditioning. Nevertheless, the available literature questions the biological function of the conditioned response (i.e., tentacle lowering) in snails since no advantages in terms of food finding had been observed. Ecological accounts of learning claim that learning abilities contribute to the adaptation to the environmental demands, and there is experimental evidence supporting this in several species (e.g., grasshoppers, fish, or antlions). However, there is a lack of evidence in snails, which is surprising given that the conditioned response of tentacle lowering is a robust finding that fits in with several predictions of associative learning theory (e.g., blocking or conditioned inhibition). The goal of this manuscript was to test whether food detection is affected by prior experience with the food, distance, and conditioning. We found that prior experience with a food source is necessary for snails to locate the same food item; that the optimal distance to test for food detection is between 5 and 7cm and that snails seem to use different food searching strategies after conditioning depending on the stimuli that are present. The data provided constitute a small contribution to the vindication of a greater coordination between the fruitful research tool provided by the associative account of learning and the evolutionary vocation of the ecological approach of learning.

  14. Fascioliasis Control: In Vivo and In Vitro Phytotherapy of Vector Snail to Kill Fasciola Larva

    PubMed Central

    Sunita, Kumari; Singh, D. K.

    2011-01-01

    Snail is one of the important components of an aquatic ecosystem, it acts as intermediate host of Fasciola species. Control of snail population below a certain threshold level is one of the important methods in the campaign to reduce the incidence of fascioliasis. Life cycle of the parasite can be interrupted by killing the snail or Fasciola larva redia and cercaria in the snail body. In vivo and in vitro toxicity of the plant products and their active component such as citral, ferulic acid, umbelliferone, azadirachtin, and allicin against larva of Fasciola in infected snail Lymnaea acuminata were tested. Mortality of larvae were observed at 2 h, 4 h, 6 h, and 8 h, of treatment. In in vivo treatment, azadirachtin caused highest mortality in redia and cercaria larva (8 h, LC50 0.11, and 0.05 mg/L) whereas in in vitro condition allicin was highly toxic against redia and cercaria (8 h, LC50 0.01, and 0.009 mg/L). Toxicity of citral was lowest against redia and cercaria larva. PMID:22132306

  15. Characterisation of Reproduction-Associated Genes and Peptides in the Pest Land Snail, Theba pisana

    PubMed Central

    Stewart, Michael J.; Wang, Tianfang; Harding, Bradley I.; Bose, U.; Wyeth, Russell C.; Storey, Kenneth B.; Cummins, Scott F.

    2016-01-01

    Increased understanding of the molecular components involved in reproduction may assist in understanding the evolutionary adaptations used by animals, including hermaphrodites, to produce offspring and retain a continuation of their lineage. In this study, we focus on the Mediterranean snail, Theba pisana, a hermaphroditic land snail that has become a highly invasive pest species within agricultural areas throughout the world. Our analysis of T. pisana CNS tissue has revealed gene transcripts encoding molluscan reproduction-associated proteins including APGWamide, gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and an egg-laying hormone (ELH). ELH isoform 1 (ELH1) is known to be a potent reproductive peptide hormone involved in ovulation and egg-laying in some aquatic molluscs. Two other non-CNS ELH isoforms were also present in T. pisana (Tpi-ELH2 and Tpi-ELH3) within the snail dart sac and mucous glands. Bioactivity of a synthetic ELH1 on sexually mature T. pisana was confirmed through bioassay, with snails showing ELH1-induced egg-laying behaviours, including soil burrowing and oviposition. In summary, this study presents a detailed molecular analysis of reproductive neuropeptide genes in a land snail and provides a foundation for understanding ELH function. PMID:27706146

  16. Distinct Bacterial Microbiomes in Sexual and Asexual Potamopyrgus antipodarum, a New Zealand Freshwater Snail.

    PubMed

    Takacs-Vesbach, Cristina; King, Kayla; Van Horn, David; Larkin, Katelyn; Neiman, Maurine

    2016-01-01

    Different reproductive strategies and the transition to asexuality can be associated with microbial symbionts. Whether such a link exists within mollusks has never been evaluated. We took the first steps towards addressing this possibility by performing pyrosequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes associated with Potamopyrgus antipodarum, a New Zealand freshwater snail. A diverse set of 60 tissue collections from P. antipodarum that were genetically and geographically distinct and either obligately sexual or asexual were included, which allowed us to evaluate whether reproductive mode was associated with a particular bacterial community. 2624 unique operational taxonomic units (OTU, 97% DNA similarity) were detected, which were distributed across ~30 phyla. While alpha diversity metrics varied little among individual samples, significant differences in bacterial community composition and structure were detected between sexual and asexual snails, as well as among snails from different lakes and genetic backgrounds. The mean dissimilarity of the bacterial communities between the sexual and asexual P. antipodarum was 90%, largely driven by the presence of Rickettsiales in sexual snails and Rhodobacter in asexual snails. Our study suggests that there might be a link between reproductive mode and the bacterial microbiome of P. antipodarum, though a causal connection requires additional study.

  17. Formin Is Associated with Left-Right Asymmetry in the Pond Snail and the Frog

    PubMed Central

    Davison, Angus; McDowell, Gary S.; Holden, Jennifer M.; Johnson, Harriet F.; Koutsovoulos, Georgios D.; Liu, M. Maureen; Hulpiau, Paco; Van Roy, Frans; Wade, Christopher M.; Banerjee, Ruby; Yang, Fengtang; Chiba, Satoshi; Davey, John W.; Jackson, Daniel J.; Levin, Michael; Blaxter, Mark L.

    2016-01-01

    Summary While components of the pathway that establishes left-right asymmetry have been identified in diverse animals, from vertebrates to flies, it is striking that the genes involved in the first symmetry-breaking step remain wholly unknown in the most obviously chiral animals, the gastropod snails. Previously, research on snails was used to show that left-right signaling of Nodal, downstream of symmetry breaking, may be an ancestral feature of the Bilateria [1, 2]. Here, we report that a disabling mutation in one copy of a tandemly duplicated, diaphanous-related formin is perfectly associated with symmetry breaking in the pond snail. This is supported by the observation that an anti-formin drug treatment converts dextral snail embryos to a sinistral phenocopy, and in frogs, drug inhibition or overexpression by microinjection of formin has a chirality-randomizing effect in early (pre-cilia) embryos. Contrary to expectations based on existing models [3, 4, 5], we discovered asymmetric gene expression in 2- and 4-cell snail embryos, preceding morphological asymmetry. As the formin-actin filament has been shown to be part of an asymmetry-breaking switch in vitro [6, 7], together these results are consistent with the view that animals with diverse body plans may derive their asymmetries from the same intracellular chiral elements [8]. PMID:26923788

  18. Specialized insulin is used for chemical warfare by fish-hunting cone snails.

    PubMed

    Safavi-Hemami, Helena; Gajewiak, Joanna; Karanth, Santhosh; Robinson, Samuel D; Ueberheide, Beatrix; Douglass, Adam D; Schlegel, Amnon; Imperial, Julita S; Watkins, Maren; Bandyopadhyay, Pradip K; Yandell, Mark; Li, Qing; Purcell, Anthony W; Norton, Raymond S; Ellgaard, Lars; Olivera, Baldomero M

    2015-02-10

    More than 100 species of venomous cone snails (genus Conus) are highly effective predators of fish. The vast majority of venom components identified and functionally characterized to date are neurotoxins specifically targeted to receptors, ion channels, and transporters in the nervous system of prey, predators, or competitors. Here we describe a venom component targeting energy metabolism, a radically different mechanism. Two fish-hunting cone snails, Conus geographus and Conus tulipa, have evolved specialized insulins that are expressed as major components of their venoms. These insulins are distinctive in having much greater similarity to fish insulins than to the molluscan hormone and are unique in that posttranslational modifications characteristic of conotoxins (hydroxyproline, γ-carboxyglutamate) are present. When injected into fish, the venom insulin elicits hypoglycemic shock, a condition characterized by dangerously low blood glucose. Our evidence suggests that insulin is specifically used as a weapon for prey capture by a subset of fish-hunting cone snails that use a net strategy to capture prey. Insulin appears to be a component of the nirvana cabal, a toxin combination in these venoms that is released into the water to disorient schools of small fish, making them easier to engulf with the snail's distended false mouth, which functions as a net. If an entire school of fish simultaneously experiences hypoglycemic shock, this should directly facilitate capture by the predatory snail.

  19. An overview of freshwater snails in Asia with main focus on Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Madsen, H; Hung, N M

    2014-12-01

    Freshwater snails have received much attention for their role as intermediate hosts for trematodes causing disease in people and animals such as schistosomiasis and various food-borne trematodes. While effective medical treatment exists for some of these diseases there is need for preventive measures to reduce transmission, e.g. control of intermediate hosts because transmission patterns are often complicated due to presence of reservoir final hosts. In order to implement control measures against the intermediate host snails with minimal impact on the freshwater ecosystems and their biodiversity, a profound knowledge on transmission patterns of the trematodes is required and this is partly related to distribution, habitat preferences, and seasonal variation in density of the intermediate host species. Identification of snail species can be problematic on the basis of morphological and anatomical characters alone as some species show morphological plasticity and similarly morphological differentiation of cercariae found in snails may be difficult and this could lead to biased perceptions of intermediate host spectra and transmission patterns. In this paper, we give an overview of the snail families and their medical and veterinary importance in Asia but with main focus on Vietnam.

  20. Genetic variation between Biomphalaria alexandrina snails susceptible and resistant to Schistosoma mansoni infection.

    PubMed

    El-Nassery, Suzanne M F; Abou-El-Naga, Iman F; Allam, Sonia R; Shaat, Eman A; Mady, Rasha F M

    2013-01-01

    Much effort has been made to control schistosomiasis infection in Egypt. However, enduring effects from such strategies have not yet been achieved. In this study, we sought to determine the genetic variability related to the interaction between Biomphalaria alexandrina snails and Schistosoma mansoni. Using RAPD-PCR with eight (10 mers) random primers, we were able to determine the polymorphic markers that differed between snails susceptible and resistant to Schistosoma mansoni infection using five primers out of the eight. Our results suggest that the RAPD-PCR technique is an efficient means by which to compare genomes and to detect genetic variations between schistosomiasis intermediate hosts. The RAPD technique with the above-noted primers can identify genomic markers that are specifically related to the Biomphalaria alexandrina/Schistosoma mansoni relationship in the absence of specific nucleotide sequence information. This approach could be used in epidemiologic surveys to investigate genetic diversity among Biomphalaria alexandrina snails. The ability to determine resistant markers in Biomphalaria alexandrina snails could potentially lead to further studies that use refractory snails as agents to control the spread of schistosomiasis.

  1. Heat shock proteins and survival strategies in congeneric land snails (Sphincterochila) from different habitats.

    PubMed

    Mizrahi, Tal; Heller, Joseph; Goldenberg, Shoshana; Arad, Zeev

    2012-09-01

    Polmunate land snails are subject to stress conditions in their terrestrial habitat, and depend on a range of behavioural, physiological and biochemical adaptations for coping with problems of maintaining water, ionic and thermal balance. The involvement of the heat shock protein (HSP) machinery in land snails was demonstrated following short-term experimental aestivation and heat stress, suggesting that land snails use HSPs as part of their survival strategy. As climatic variation was found to be associated with HSP expression, we tested whether adaptation of land snails to different habitats affects HSP expression in two closely related Sphincterochila snail species, a desert species Sphincterochila zonata and a Mediterranean-type species Sphincterochila cariosa. Our study suggests that Sphincterochila species use HSPs as part of their survival strategy following desiccation and heat stress, and as part of the natural annual cycle of activity and aestivation. Our studies also indicate that adaptation to different habitats results in the development of distinct strategies of HSP expression in response to stress, namely the reduced expression of HSPs in the desert-inhabiting species. We suggest that these different strategies reflect the difference in heat and aridity encountered in the natural habitats, and that the desert species S. zonata relies on mechanisms and adaptations other than HSP induction thus avoiding the fitness consequences of continuous HSP upregulation.

  2. Development of the feline lungworms Aelurostrongylus abstrusus and Troglostrongylus brevior in Helix aspersa snails.

    PubMed

    Giannelli, Alessio; Ramos, Rafael Antonio Nascimento; Annoscia, Giada; Di Cesare, Angela; Colella, Vito; Brianti, Emanuele; Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Mutafchiev, Yasen; Otranto, Domenico

    2014-04-01

    Aelurostrongylus abstrusus (Strongylida, Angiostrongylidae) and Troglostrongylus brevior (Strongylida, Crenosomatidae) are regarded as important lungworm species of domestic felids, with the latter considered an emerging threat in the Mediterranean region. The present study aimed to assess their concurrent development in the mollusc Helix aspersa (Pulmonata, Helicidae). Thirty snails were infested with 100 first-stage larvae (L1) of A. abstrusus and T. brevior, isolated from a naturally infested kitten. Larval development was checked by digesting five specimens at 2, 6 and 11 days post infestation. Larvae retrieved were morphologically described and their identification was confirmed by specific PCR and sequencing. All H. aspersa snails were positive for A. abstrusus and T. brevior, whose larval stages were simultaneously detected at each time point. In addition, snails were exposed to outdoor conditions and examined after overwintering, testing positive up to 120 days post infestation. Data herein presented suggest that A. abstrusus and T. brevior develop in H. aspersa snails and may eventually co-infest cats. Data on the morphology of both parasitic species in H. aspersa provide additional information on their development and identification, to better understand the population dynamics of these lungworms in receptive snails and paratenic hosts.

  3. Molecular Diversity and Gene Evolution of the Venom Arsenal of Terebridae Predatory Marine Snails.

    PubMed

    Gorson, Juliette; Ramrattan, Girish; Verdes, Aida; Wright, Elizabeth M; Kantor, Yuri; Rajaram Srinivasan, Ramakrishnan; Musunuri, Raj; Packer, Daniel; Albano, Gabriel; Qiu, Wei-Gang; Holford, Mandë

    2015-05-28

    Venom peptides from predatory organisms are a resource for investigating evolutionary processes such as adaptive radiation or diversification, and exemplify promising targets for biomedical drug development. Terebridae are an understudied lineage of conoidean snails, which also includes cone snails and turrids. Characterization of cone snail venom peptides, conotoxins, has revealed a cocktail of bioactive compounds used to investigate physiological cellular function, predator-prey interactions, and to develop novel therapeutics. However, venom diversity of other conoidean snails remains poorly understood. The present research applies a venomics approach to characterize novel terebrid venom peptides, teretoxins, from the venom gland transcriptomes of Triplostephanus anilis and Terebra subulata. Next-generation sequencing and de novo assembly identified 139 putative teretoxins that were analyzed for the presence of canonical peptide features as identified in conotoxins. To meet the challenges of de novo assembly, multiple approaches for cross validation of findings were performed to achieve reliable assemblies of venom duct transcriptomes and to obtain a robust portrait of Terebridae venom. Phylogenetic methodology was used to identify 14 teretoxin gene superfamilies for the first time, 13 of which are unique to the Terebridae. Additionally, basic local algorithm search tool homology-based searches to venom-related genes and posttranslational modification enzymes identified a convergence of certain venom proteins, such as actinoporin, commonly found in venoms. This research provides novel insights into venom evolution and recruitment in Conoidean predatory marine snails and identifies a plethora of terebrid venom peptides that can be used to investigate fundamental questions pertaining to gene evolution.

  4. Do ice nucleating agents limit the supercooling ability of the land snail Cornu aspersum?

    PubMed

    Ansart, A; Nicolai, A; Vernon, P; Madec, L

    2010-01-01

    The supercooling ability of adults and eggs of the partially freezing tolerant land snail Cornu aspersum remains limited to high subzero temperatures (ca. -5 degree C) whatever the conditions, suggesting the presence of ice nucleating agents (INAs). In this study, we investigated the nucleation activity of the digestive tract of adult snails, eggs and their direct environment: food, faeces and soil. The mucous ribbon always present in the distal intestine of adults exhibited a heat-sensitive (i.e. organic) nucleation activity, close to that of the entire snails during dormant states (aestivation and hibernation). However, a microbial nature of these INAs could not be established in inactive snails. The food provided to active snails contained ice nucleating bacteria, which followed the digestive tract to be found in the intestine and in the faeces, but with a decreasing concentration along the transit. Eggshells also presented a heat-sensitive nucleation activity, which could be related to its structure. Moreover, eggs are laid directly in the soil which contained both organic and mineral INAs. This study is the first to demonstrate the implication of organic INAs in the cold hardiness of a terrestrial gastropod.

  5. Asymmetry of mandibular dentition is associated with dietary specialization in snail-eating snakes

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Background In vertebrates, the left-and-right pairs of homologous organs are generally present in equal numbers. A remarkable exception is snail-eating snakes in the family Pareidae: almost all the pareid snakes have much more teeth on the right mandible than on the left for functional specialization in feeding on the dextral majority of land snails. Because the only exceptional species with symmetric dentition has been regarded as a slug-eater, the extent of dietary specialization on slugs could shape the degree of the lateral asymmetry of mandibular dentition (dentition asymmetry) even among snail eaters. Methods To test this, I compared the morphology and behavior of two sympatric species of Taiwanese snail-eating snakes, Pareas atayal and P. formosensis. Results Specimens collected in the same locality showed that the dentition asymmetry of P. formosensis was significantly smaller than that of P. atayal. Congruent to its weak asymmetry, P. formosensis showed a strong preference of slugs to snails in the feeding experiment. Discussion The dietary specialization of P. formosensis on slugs would contribute to niche partitioning from the sympatric congener P. atayal. This study suggests that the diverse variation in the dentition asymmetry of pareid snakes is the result of their dietary specialization and divergence. PMID:28265502

  6. Distinct Bacterial Microbiomes in Sexual and Asexual Potamopyrgus antipodarum, a New Zealand Freshwater Snail

    PubMed Central

    Takacs-Vesbach, Cristina; King, Kayla; Van Horn, David; Larkin, Katelyn; Neiman, Maurine

    2016-01-01

    Different reproductive strategies and the transition to asexuality can be associated with microbial symbionts. Whether such a link exists within mollusks has never been evaluated. We took the first steps towards addressing this possibility by performing pyrosequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes associated with Potamopyrgus antipodarum, a New Zealand freshwater snail. A diverse set of 60 tissue collections from P. antipodarum that were genetically and geographically distinct and either obligately sexual or asexual were included, which allowed us to evaluate whether reproductive mode was associated with a particular bacterial community. 2624 unique operational taxonomic units (OTU, 97% DNA similarity) were detected, which were distributed across ~30 phyla. While alpha diversity metrics varied little among individual samples, significant differences in bacterial community composition and structure were detected between sexual and asexual snails, as well as among snails from different lakes and genetic backgrounds. The mean dissimilarity of the bacterial communities between the sexual and asexual P. antipodarum was 90%, largely driven by the presence of Rickettsiales in sexual snails and Rhodobacter in asexual snails. Our study suggests that there might be a link between reproductive mode and the bacterial microbiome of P. antipodarum, though a causal connection requires additional study. PMID:27563725

  7. Use of ice water and salt treatments to eliminate an exotic snail, red-rim melania Melanoides tuberculatus, from small immersible fisheries equipment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ice water and salt treatments were evaluated for disinfection of fisheries equipment contaminated with a non-indigenous tropical snail, the red-rim melania Melanoides tuberculatus. The snail can displace native snails and can transmit trematodes directly to fishes and indirectly to other animals, i...

  8. Tropomyosin or not tropomyosin, what is the relevant allergen in house dust mite and snail cross allergies?

    PubMed

    Bessot, J C; Metz-Favre, C; Rame, J M; De Blay, F; Pauli, G

    2010-02-01

    Since tropomyosin is cross reactive in many arthropods, it was assumed that this highly conserved protein could be responsible for cross reactions in house dust mite (HDM) allergic patients who experienced adverse reactions after crustacean and mollusc ingestion. Here we report two clinical cases where the role of tropomyosin is a matter of debate. In the first case, the clinical history, as well as the results of in vivo and in vitro investigations, are in favour of a shrimp allergy without any snail allergy in a patient sensitized to HDM. In the second, the clinical history and the cutaneous tests are in favour of an allergy to snails without any allergy to shrimps in a patient suffering from HDM allergies. The clinical presentation is different in shrimp and snail allergies. In shrimp allergy, symptoms are mainly urticaria or angio-oedema. In snail allergies, adverse reactions are especially severe asthma. Shrimp tropomyosin is a dominant allergen in crustaceans whereas has a much less prominent role in HDM sensitization. Cross reactivities between HDM and snails have been confirmed by inhibition experiments. However, tropomyosin appears to be a minor allergen or even is not involved in snail allergy. It is necessary to clarify the allergens shared between HDMI and snails. The effects of HDM immunotherapy in snail allergy are questioned. Knowledge of taxonomy can contribute to more precise evaluation of cross reactivities between crustaceans and molluscs.

  9. Shell of snail Helix aspersa maxima (Helicidae) as a protection of bioaccumulation toxic sodium fluoride in soft tissue.

    PubMed

    Rać, Monika Ewa; Stachowska, Ewa; Machoy, Zygmunt

    2005-01-01

    The aim of this work was to determine the extent of bioaccumulation of sodium fluorides in tissues of snails under strictly controlled conditions, and also to determine resistance and tolerance to sodium fluoride load in these organisms. The study was performed on snails removed from aestivation. Quantitation of fluoride levels was done in soft tissues (foot, hepatopancreas) and shells of mature snails. Results show that long exposure to sodium fluoride pollution at a low level results in accumulation principally in the soft tissues of the snails. Because of the possibility of fluoride accumulation in the foot, the number of snails used for culinary purposes must be controlled, as it can potentially cause chronic toxemia caused by this trace element. Results also show that the shells of snails offer protection against the bioaccumulation of toxic fluoride in the soft tissue. The Helix aspersa maxima snail is characterised by high resistance and tolerance to fluoride load. Fluoride levels in soft tissues of the snail cannot serve as an indicator for biomonitoring purposes. In contrast, levels in the shell rose significantly with the concentration of fluoride and can be used in biomonitoring of sodium fluoride pollution.

  10. Alterations of biochemical indicators in hepatopancreas of the golden apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata, from paddy fields in Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Chiu, Yuh-Wen; Wu, Jui-Pin; Hsieh, Tsung-Chih; Liang, Shih-Hsiung; Chen, Chien-Min; Huang, Da-Ji

    2014-07-01

    The freshwater golden apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata, is one of the world's 100 worst invasive alien species. The snails' wide distribution, high abundance, and sensitivity to environmental pollution make them a potential bioindicator for environmental contamination. In this study, the biochemical status of golden apple snails collected from paddy fields throughout the island of Taiwan was examined. This study found that the biochemical status of apple snails collected from paddy fields differed from that of animals bred and maintained in the laboratory. Furthermore, certain biochemical endpoints of the snails collected from the paddy fields before and after agricultural activities were also different-hemolymphatic vitellogenin protein was induced in male snail after exposure to estrogen-like chemicals, the hepatic monooxygenase (1.97 +/- 0.50 deltaA(650mm) 30 min(-1) mg(-1) protein in control group) and glutathione S transferase (0.02 +/- 0.01 delta A(340mm) 30 min(-1) mg(-1) protein in control group) snails exposed to pesticides, as well as the hepatopancreatic levels of aspartate aminotransferase (450.00 +/- 59.40 U mg(-1) mg(-1) protein in control group) and alanine aminotransferase (233.27 +/- 42.09 U mg(-1) mg(-1) protein in control group) decreased the indicating that xenobiotics destroyed hepatopancreatic. The above findings reveal that apple snail could be used as a practical bioindicator to monitor anthropogenic environmental pollution.

  11. Global Assessment of Schistosomiasis Control Over the Past Century Shows Targeting the Snail Intermediate Host Works Best

    PubMed Central

    Sokolow, Susanne H.; Wood, Chelsea L.; Jones, Isabel J.; Lopez, Melina; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Kuris, Armand M.; Rickards, Chloe; De Leo, Giulio A.

    2016-01-01

    Background Despite control efforts, human schistosomiasis remains prevalent throughout Africa, Asia, and South America. The global schistosomiasis burden has changed little since the new anthelmintic drug, praziquantel, promised widespread control. Methodology We evaluated large-scale schistosomiasis control attempts over the past century and across the globe by identifying factors that predict control program success: snail control (e.g., molluscicides or biological control), mass drug administrations (MDA) with praziquantel, or a combined strategy using both. For data, we compiled historical information on control tactics and their quantitative outcomes for all 83 countries and territories in which: (i) schistosomiasis was allegedly endemic during the 20th century, and (ii) schistosomiasis remains endemic, or (iii) schistosomiasis has been "eliminated," or is "no longer endemic," or transmission has been interrupted. Principal Findings Widespread snail control reduced prevalence by 92 ± 5% (N = 19) vs. 37 ± 7% (N = 29) for programs using little or no snail control. In addition, ecological, economic, and political factors contributed to schistosomiasis elimination. For instance, snail control was most common and widespread in wealthier countries and when control began earlier in the 20th century. Conclusions/Significance Snail control has been the most effective way to reduce schistosomiasis prevalence. Despite evidence that snail control leads to long-term disease reduction and elimination, most current schistosomiasis control efforts emphasize MDA using praziquantel over snail control. Combining drug-based control programs with affordable snail control seems the best strategy for eliminating schistosomiasis. PMID:27441556

  12. Survival and growth of freshwater pulmonate and nonpulmonate snails in 28-day exposures to copper, ammonia, and pentachlorophenol

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Besser, John M.; Dorman, Rebecca A.; Hardesty, Douglas K.; Ingersoll, Christopher G.

    2016-01-01

    We performed toxicity tests with two species of pulmonate snails (Lymnaea stagnalis and Physa gyrina) and four taxa of nonpulmonate snails in the family Hydrobiidae (Pyrgulopsis robusta,Taylorconcha serpenticola, Fluminicola sp., and Fontigens aldrichi). Snails were maintained in static-renewal or recirculating culture systems with adults removed periodically to isolate cohorts of offspring for toxicity testing. This method successfully produced offspring for both species of pulmonate snails and for two hydrobiid species, P. robusta and Fluminicola sp. Toxicity tests were performed for 28 days with copper, ammonia, and pentachlorophenol in hard reconstituted water with endpoints of survival and growth. Tests were started with 1-week-old L. stagnalis, 2-week-old P. gyrina, 5- to 13-week-old P. robusta and Fluminicola sp., and older juveniles and adults of several hydrobiid species. For all three chemicals, chronic toxicity values for pulmonate snails were consistently greater than those for hydrobiid snails, and hydrobiids were among the most sensitive taxa in species sensitivity distributions for all three chemicals. These results suggest that the toxicant sensitivity of nonpulmonate snails in the family Hydrobiidae would not be adequately represented by results of toxicity testing with pulmonate snails.

  13. Survival and Growth of Freshwater Pulmonate and Nonpulmonate Snails in 28-Day Exposures to Copper, Ammonia, and Pentachlorophenol.

    PubMed

    Besser, John M; Dorman, Rebecca A; Hardesty, Douglas L; Ingersoll, Christopher G

    2016-02-01

    We performed toxicity tests with two species of pulmonate snails (Lymnaea stagnalis and Physa gyrina) and four taxa of nonpulmonate snails in the family Hydrobiidae (Pyrgulopsis robusta, Taylorconcha serpenticola, Fluminicola sp., and Fontigens aldrichi). Snails were maintained in static-renewal or recirculating culture systems with adults removed periodically to isolate cohorts of offspring for toxicity testing. This method successfully produced offspring for both species of pulmonate snails and for two hydrobiid species, P. robusta and Fluminicola sp. Toxicity tests were performed for 28 days with copper, ammonia, and pentachlorophenol in hard reconstituted water with endpoints of survival and growth. Tests were started with 1-week-old L. stagnalis, 2-week-old P. gyrina, 5- to 13-week-old P. robusta and Fluminicola sp., and older juveniles and adults of several hydrobiid species. For all three chemicals, chronic toxicity values for pulmonate snails were consistently greater than those for hydrobiid snails, and hydrobiids were among the most sensitive taxa in species sensitivity distributions for all three chemicals. These results suggest that the toxicant sensitivity of nonpulmonate snails in the family Hydrobiidae would not be adequately represented by results of toxicity testing with pulmonate snails.

  14. Failure of transmission of low-pathogenic avian influenza virus between Mallards and freshwater snails: an experimental evaluation.

    PubMed

    Oesterle, Paul T; Huyvaert, Kathryn P; Orahood, Darcy; Mooers, Nicole; Sullivan, Heather; Franklin, Alan B; Root, J Jeffrey

    2013-10-01

    In aquatic bird populations, the ability of avian influenza (AI) viruses to remain infectious in water for extended periods provides a mechanism that allows viral transmission to occur long after shedding birds have left the area. However, this also exposes other aquatic organisms, including freshwater invertebrates, to AI viruses. Previous researchers found that AI viral RNA can be sequestered in snail tissues. Using an experimental approach, we determined whether freshwater snails (Physa acuta and Physa gyrina) can infect waterfowl with AI viruses by serving as a means of transmission between infected and naïve waterfowl via ingestion. In our first experiment, we exposed 20 Physa spp. snails to an AI virus (H3N8) and inoculated embryonated specific pathogen-free (SPF) chicken eggs with the homogenized snail tissues. Sequestered AI viruses remain infectious in snail tissues; 10% of the exposed snail tissues infected SPF eggs. In a second experiment, we exposed snails to water contaminated with feces of AI virus-inoculated Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) to evaluate whether ingestion of exposed freshwater snails was an alternate route of AI virus transmission to waterfowl. None of the immunologically naïve Mallards developed an infection, indicating that transmission via ingestion likely did not occur. Our results suggest that this particular trophic interaction may not play an important role in the transmission of AI viruses in aquatic habitats.

  15. Tristetraprolin suppresses the EMT through the down-regulation of Twist1 and Snail1 in cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Yoon, Nal Ae; Jo, Hyun Gun; Lee, Unn Hwa; Park, Ji Hye; Yoon, Ji Eun; Ryu, Jinhyun; Kang, Sang Soo; Min, Young Joo; Ju, Seong-A; Seo, Eun Hui; Huh, In Young; Lee, Byung Ju; Park, Jeong Woo; Cho, Wha Ja

    2016-02-23

    Inhibition of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-inducing transcription factors Twist and Snail prevents tumor metastasis but enhances metastatic growth. Here, we report an unexpected role of a tumor suppressor tristetraprolin (TTP) in inhibiting Twist and Snail without enhancing cellular proliferation. TTP bound to the AU-rich element (ARE) within the mRNA 3'UTRs of Twist1 and Snail1, enhanced the decay of their mRNAs and inhibited the EMT of cancer cells. The ectopic expression of Twist1 or Snail1 without their 3'UTRs blocked the inhibitory effects of TTP on the EMT. We also observed that TTP overexpression suppressed the growth of cancer cells. Our data propose a new model whereby TTP down-regulates Twist1 and Snail1 and inhibits both the EMT and the proliferation of cancer cells.

  16. The environmental effects of trace elements concentration in sea snails using atomic absorption spectrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El-Amri, F. A.

    2003-05-01

    Water pollution bas increased in heavy industrialised areas. Most industrial water wastes end up in the sea. Monitoring the elemental composition in marine organisms, such as snails, provides the essential elements in living organisms and through the food chain to man. 50 samples of each of two kinds of snails have been collected from the west coast of Libya. Samples were digeste with nitric acid and the concentration of Copper, Iron, Magnesium and Zinc were determined by atomic absorption spectrometry. The results shows that Mg has the highest value while the Copper has the lowest in both kind of snaiis. A pattern of the trace elements concentration was investigated regarding the size and kind of snails.

  17. Growing snails used as sentinels to evaluate terrestrial environment contamination by trace elements.

    PubMed

    Gomot de Vaufleury, A; Pihan, F

    2000-02-01

    Young garden snails (Helix aspersa) reared in standard conditions (aged two months, mean weight 4.6 +/- 0.5 g) set as sentinels in cages laid on the soil for four weeks, give data for biomonitoring the environmental impact of chemicals on soil ecosystems in the field. The survival and the growth of the snails are influenced by the nature of the biotope and the level of the pollutants. Assay of cadmium, copper, lead and zinc bioaccumulated in the tissues of the sentinel snails provides information on the bioavailability of metals in the environment. The encagement model, little used for terrestrial species, can be useful in monitoring (specific and global endpoints) metal pollution of the environment in reference to the trophic level of the primary consumers. Active biomonitoring is positively compared with the passive biomonitoring.

  18. Preference versus performance: body temperature of the intertidal snail Chlorostoma funebralis.

    PubMed

    Tepler, Sarah; Mach, Katharine; Denny, Mark

    2011-04-01

    Evolutionary theory predicts that, in variable environments, it is advantageous for ectothermic organisms to prefer a body temperature slightly below the physiological optimum. This theory works well for many terrestrial organisms but has not been tested for animals inhabiting the hypervariable physical environment of intertidal shores. In laboratory experiments, we allowed the intertidal snail Chlorostoma funebralis to position itself on a temperature gradient, then measured its thermal preference and determined an index of how its performance varied with temperature. Snails performed a biased random walk along the temperature gradient, which, contrary to expectations, caused them to aggregate where body temperature was 15 to 17 °C below their temperature of optimum performance and near the species' lower thermal limit. This "cold-biased" behavioral response may guide snails to refuges in shaded cracks and crevices, but potentially precludes C. funebralis from taking full advantage of its physiological capabilities.

  19. Scope for growth in a tropical freshwater snail -- Implications for monitoring sublethal toxic stressors

    SciTech Connect

    Lai, P.C.C.; Lam, P.K.S.

    1995-12-31

    Scope for growth (SfG), the difference between the energy input to an organism from its food and the output from respiratory metabolism, has been used as a bioassay for environmental stress in the temperate region. Here, the same technique was applied to a tropical freshwater snail, Brotia hainanensis (Thiaridae), to investigate whether the technique is applicable to biological systems at lower latitudes. In this study, the effects of copper and low pH on the SfG of the snails were examined. The results show that both copper and low pH can significantly reduce the SfG of individual snails through a decrease in the amount of energy absorbed, while the change in energy expenditure is not apparent. It was also found that the SfG assay is most informative at stress levels too low to be detected by the corresponding acute tests.

  20. Venomous auger snail Hastula (Impages) hectica (Linnaeus, 1758): molecular phylogeny, foregut anatomy and comparative toxinology.

    PubMed

    Imperial, Julita S; Kantor, Yuri; Watkins, Maren; Heralde, Francisco M; Stevenson, Bradford; Chen, Ping; Hansson, Karin; Stenflo, Johan; Ownby, John-Paul; Bouchet, Philippe; Olivera, Baldomero M

    2007-12-15

    The >10,000 living venomous marine snail species [superfamily Conoidea (Fleming, 1822)] include cone snails (Conus), the overwhelming focus of research. Hastula hectica (Linnaeus, 1758), a venomous snail in the family Terebridae (Mörch, 1852) was comprehensively investigated. The Terebridae comprise a major monophyletic group within Conoidea. H. hectica has a striking radular tooth to inject venom that looks like a perforated spear; in Conus, the tooth looks like a hypodermic needle. H. hectica venom contains a large complement of small disulfide-rich peptides, but with no apparent overlap with Conus in gene superfamilies expressed. Although Conus peptide toxins are densely post-translationally modified, no post-translationally modified amino acids were found in any Hastula venom peptide. The results suggest that different major lineages of venomous molluscs have strikingly divergent toxinological and venom-delivery strategies.

  1. Large-scale facilitation of a sessile community by an invasive habitat-forming snail

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thyrring, Jakob; Thomsen, Mads Solgaard; Wernberg, Thomas

    2013-12-01

    We provide an example of extensive facilitation of a sessile community throughout an invaded estuary by the invasive snail Batillaria australis. We show that B. australis greatly increases a limiting resource (attachment space) to a community of sessile organisms and estimate that a large part of the invaded estuary now contain ca. 50 times more sessile individuals associated with the invader than all native snails combined. We argue that native snails are unlikely to have been dramatically reduced by the invader, and we therefore suggest that the shell-attached sessile community, as a functional group, has benefitted significantly from this invasion. These results expand the current understanding of how invaded marine systems respond to habitat-forming invaders.

  2. Bugs as drugs, part two: worms, leeches, scorpions, snails, ticks, centipedes, and spiders.

    PubMed

    Cherniack, E Paul

    2011-03-01

    In this second of a two-part series analyzing the evidence for the use of organisms as medicine, the use of a number of different "bugs" (worms, leeches, snails, ticks, centipedes, and spiders) is detailed. Several live organisms are used as treatments: leeches for plastic surgery and osteoarthritis and the helminths Trichuris suis and Necator americanus for inflammatory bowel disease. Leech saliva is the source of a number of anticoagulants, including the antithrombin agent hirudin and its synthetic analogues, which have been approved for human use. Predatory arthropods, such as certain species of snails, spiders, scorpions, centipedes, and ticks provide a trove of potential analgesic peptides in their venom. A synthetic analogue of a snail venom peptide, ziconotide, has been approved for human use and is used as an alternative to opioids in severe pain cases. Arthropods, such as ticks, have venom that contains anticoagulants and centipede venom has a protein that corrects abnormalities in lipid metabolism.

  3. Cranial adaptations for feeding on snails in species of Sibynomorphus (Dipsadidae: Dipsadinae).

    PubMed

    Dos Santos, Marina Meireles; da Silva, Fernanda Magalhães; Hingst-Zaher, Erika; Machado, Fabio Andrade; Zaher, Hussam El Dine; Prudente, Ana Lúcia da Costa

    2017-02-01

    Neotropical "goo-eating" dipsadine snakes display a set of morphological and histo-chemical adaptations linked to the capture of their soft-bodied, viscous invertebrate prey. Within this group, species from the genus Sibynomorphus feed chiefly on snails and slugs. Here, we analyzed a series of skull and mandible characters in S. mikanii, S. neuwiedi and S. turgidus using geometric morphometrics, with the aim of assessing morphological adaptations related to slug- and snail-feeding in that genus. We further compared the results with Leptodeira annulata, a species that feeds on vertebrates. To evaluate shape differences of the skull and mandible between species we performed a multivariate analysis of variance and a linear discriminant analysis. Our results show that the narrow, elongate skull in S. mikanii may help with slug ingestion, while asymmetry in teeth number and mandibular shape in S. neuwiedi and S. turgidus are likely related to snail feeding.

  4. Fasciola hepatica and lymnaeid snails occurring at very high altitude in South America.

    PubMed

    Mas-Coma, S; Funatsu, I R; Bargues, M D

    2001-01-01

    Fascioliasis due to the digenean species Fasciola hepatica has recently proved to be an important public health problem, with human cases reported in countries of the five continents, including severe symptoms and pathology, with singular epidemiological characteristics, and presenting human endemic areas ranging from hypo- to hyperendemic. One of the singular epidemiological characteristics of human fascioliasis is the link of the hyperendemic areas to very high altitude regions, at least in South America. The Northern Bolivian Altiplano, located at very high altitude (3800-4100 m), presents the highest prevalences and intensities of human fascioliasis known. Sequences of the internal transcribed spacers ITS-1 and ITS-2 of the nuclear ribosomal DNA of Altiplanic Fasciola hepatica and the intermediate snail host Lymnaea truncatula suggest that both were recently introduced from Europe. Studies were undertaken to understand how the liver fluke and its lymnaeid snail host adapted to the extreme environmental conditions of the high altitude and succeeded in giving rise to high infection rates. In experimental infections of Altiplanic lymnaeids carried out with liver fluke isolates from Altiplanic sheep and cattle, the following aspects were studied: miracidium development inside the egg, infectivity of miracidia, prepatent period, shedding period, chronobiology of cercarial emergence, number of cercariae shed by individual snails, survival of molluscs at the beginning of the shedding process, survival of infected snails after the end of the shedding period and longevity of shedding and non-shedding snails. When comparing the development characteristics of European F. hepatica and L. truncatula, a longer cercarial shedding period and a higher cercarial production were observed, both aspects related to a greater survival capacity of the infected lymnaeid snails from the Altiplano. These differences would appear to favour transmission and may be interpreted as strategies

  5. Predator-Induced Morphological Plasticity Across Local Populations of a Freshwater Snail

    PubMed Central

    Brönmark, Christer; Lakowitz, Thomas; Hollander, Johan

    2011-01-01

    The expression of anti-predator adaptations may vary on a spatial scale, favouring traits that are advantageous in a given predation regime. Besides, evolution of different developmental strategies depends to a large extent on the grain of the environment and may result in locally canalized adaptations or, alternatively, the evolution of phenotypic plasticity as different predation regimes may vary across habitats. We investigated the potential for predator-driven variability in shell morphology in a freshwater snail, Radix balthica, and whether found differences were a specialized ecotype adaptation or a result of phenotypic plasticity. Shell shape was quantified in snails from geographically separated pond populations with and without molluscivorous fish. Subsequently, in a common garden experiment we investigated reaction norms of snails from populations' with/without fish when exposed to chemical cues from tench (Tinca tinca), a molluscivorous fish. We found that snails from fish-free ponds had a narrow shell with a well developed spire, whereas snails that coexisted with fish had more rotund shells with a low spire, a shell morphology known to increase survival rate from shell-crushing predators. The common garden experiment mirrored the results from the field survey and showed that snails had similar reaction norms in response to chemical predator cues, i.e. the expression of shell shape was independent of population origin. Finally, we found significant differences for the trait means among populations, within each pond category (fish/fish free), suggesting a genetic component in the determination of shell morphology that has evolved independently across ponds. PMID:21818264

  6. Experimental quantification of long distance dispersal potential of aquatic snails in the gut of migratory birds.

    PubMed

    van Leeuwen, Casper H A; van der Velde, Gerard; van Lith, Bart; Klaassen, Marcel

    2012-01-01

    Many plant seeds and invertebrates can survive passage through the digestive system of birds, which may lead to long distance dispersal (endozoochory) in case of prolonged retention by moving vectors. Endozoochorous dispersal by waterbirds has nowadays been documented for many aquatic plant seeds, algae and dormant life stages of aquatic invertebrates. Anecdotal information indicates that endozoochory is also possible for fully functional, active aquatic organisms, a phenomenon that we here address experimentally using aquatic snails. We fed four species of aquatic snails to mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), and monitored snail retrieval and survival over time. One of the snail species tested was found to survive passage through the digestive tract of mallards as fully functional adults. Hydrobia (Peringia) ulvae survived up to five hours in the digestive tract. This suggests a maximum potential transport distance of up to 300 km may be possible if these snails are taken by flying birds, although the actual dispersal distance greatly depends on additional factors such as the behavior of the vectors. We put forward that more organisms that acquired traits for survival in stochastic environments such as wetlands, but not specifically adapted for endozoochory, may be sufficiently equipped to successfully pass a bird's digestive system. This may be explained by a digestive trade-off in birds, which maximize their net energy intake rate rather than digestive efficiency, since higher efficiency comes with the cost of prolonged retention times and hence reduces food intake. The resulting lower digestive efficiency allows species like aquatic snails, and potentially other fully functional organisms without obvious dispersal adaptations, to be transported internally. Adopting this view, endozoochorous dispersal may be more common than up to now thought.

  7. Comparative Functional Responses Predict the Invasiveness and Ecological Impacts of Alien Herbivorous Snails

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Meng; Mu, Xidong; Dick, Jaimie T. A.; Fang, Miao; Gu, Dangen; Luo, Du; Zhang, Jiaen; Luo, Jianren; Hu, Yinchang

    2016-01-01

    Understanding determinants of the invasiveness and ecological impacts of alien species is amongst the most sought-after and urgent research questions in ecology. Several studies have shown the value of comparing the functional responses (FRs) of alien and native predators towards native prey, however, the technique is under-explored with herbivorous alien species and as a predictor of invasiveness as distinct from ecological impact. Here, in China, we conducted a mesocosm experiment to compare the FRs among three herbivorous snail species: the golden apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata, a highly invasive and high impact alien listed in “100 of the World's Worst Invasive Alien Species”; Planorbarius corneus, a non-invasive, low impact alien; and the Chinese native snail, Bellamya aeruginosa, when feeding on four locally occurring plant species. Further, by using a numerical response equation, we modelled the population dynamics of the snail consumers. For standard FR parameters, we found that the invasive and damaging alien snail had the highest “attack rates” a, shortest “handling times” h and also the highest estimated maximum feeding rates, 1/hT, whereas the native species had the lowest attack rates, longest handling times and lowest maximum feeding rates. The non-invasive, low impact alien species had consistently intermediate FR parameters. The invasive alien species had higher population growth potential than the native snail species, whilst that of the non-invasive alien species was intermediate. Thus, while the comparative FR approach has been proposed as a reliable method for predicting the ecological impacts of invasive predators, our results further suggest that comparative FRs could extend to predict the invasiveness and ecological impacts of alien herbivores and should be explored in other taxa and trophic groups to determine the general utility of the approach. PMID:26771658

  8. Comparative Functional Responses Predict the Invasiveness and Ecological Impacts of Alien Herbivorous Snails.

    PubMed

    Xu, Meng; Mu, Xidong; Dick, Jaimie T A; Fang, Miao; Gu, Dangen; Luo, Du; Zhang, Jiaen; Luo, Jianren; Hu, Yinchang

    2016-01-01

    Understanding determinants of the invasiveness and ecological impacts of alien species is amongst the most sought-after and urgent research questions in ecology. Several studies have shown the value of comparing the functional responses (FRs) of alien and native predators towards native prey, however, the technique is under-explored with herbivorous alien species and as a predictor of invasiveness as distinct from ecological impact. Here, in China, we conducted a mesocosm experiment to compare the FRs among three herbivorous snail species: the golden apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata, a highly invasive and high impact alien listed in "100 of the World's Worst Invasive Alien Species"; Planorbarius corneus, a non-invasive, low impact alien; and the Chinese native snail, Bellamya aeruginosa, when feeding on four locally occurring plant species. Further, by using a numerical response equation, we modelled the population dynamics of the snail consumers. For standard FR parameters, we found that the invasive and damaging alien snail had the highest "attack rates" a, shortest "handling times" h and also the highest estimated maximum feeding rates, 1/hT, whereas the native species had the lowest attack rates, longest handling times and lowest maximum feeding rates. The non-invasive, low impact alien species had consistently intermediate FR parameters. The invasive alien species had higher population growth potential than the native snail species, whilst that of the non-invasive alien species was intermediate. Thus, while the comparative FR approach has been proposed as a reliable method for predicting the ecological impacts of invasive predators, our results further suggest that comparative FRs could extend to predict the invasiveness and ecological impacts of alien herbivores and should be explored in other taxa and trophic groups to determine the general utility of the approach.

  9. Intraspecific variation of venom injected by fish-hunting Conus snails.

    PubMed

    Jakubowski, Jennifer A; Kelley, Wayne P; Sweedler, Jonathan V; Gilly, William F; Schulz, Joseph R

    2005-08-01

    Venom peptides from two species of fish-hunting cone snails (Conus striatus and Conus catus) were characterized using microbore liquid chromatography coupled with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight-mass spectrometry and electrospray ionization-ion trap-mass spectrometry. Both crude venom isolated from the venom duct and injected venom obtained by milking were studied. Based on analysis of injected venom samples from individual snails, significant intraspecific variation (i.e. between individuals) in the peptide complement is observed. The mixture of peptides in injected venom is simpler than that in the crude duct venom from the same snail, and the composition of crude venom is more consistent from snail to snail. While there is animal-to-animal variation in the peptides present in the injected venom, the composition of any individual's injected venom remains relatively constant over time in captivity. Most of the Conus striatus individuals tested injected predominantly a combination of two neuroexcitatory peptides (s4a and s4b), while a few individuals had unique injected-venom profiles consisting of a combination of peptides, including several previously characterized from the venom duct of this species. Seven novel peptides were also putatively identified based on matches of their empirically derived masses to those predicted by published cDNA sequences. Profiling injected venom of Conus catus individuals using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight-mass spectrometry demonstrates that intraspecific variation in the mixture of peptides extends to other species of piscivorous cone snails. The results of this study imply that novel regulatory mechanisms exist to select specific venom peptides for injection into prey.

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

    PubMed

    Omran, Nahla Elsayed; Salama, Wesam Mohamed

    2016-04-01

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

  11. Physiological, Diurnal and Stress-Related Variability of Cadmium-Metallothionein Gene Expression in Land Snails.

    PubMed

    Pedrini-Martha, Veronika; Niederwanger, Michael; Kopp, Renate; Schnegg, Raimund; Dallinger, Reinhard

    2016-01-01

    The terrestrial Roman snail Helix pomatia has successfully adapted to strongly fluctuating conditions in its natural soil habitat. Part of the snail's stress defense strategy is its ability to express Metallothioneins (MTs). These are multifunctional, cysteine-rich proteins that bind and inactivate transition metal ions (Cd(2+), Zn(2+), Cu(+)) with high affinity. In Helix pomatia a Cadmium (Cd)-selective, inducible Metallothionein Isoform (CdMT) is mainly involved in detoxification of this harmful metal. In addition, the snail CdMT has been shown to also respond to certain physiological stressors. The aim of the present study was to investigate the physiological and diurnal variability of CdMT gene expression in snails exposed to Cd and non-metallic stressors such as desiccation and oxygen depletion. CdMT gene expression was upregulated by Cd exposure and desiccation, whereas no significant impact on the expression of CdMT was measured due to oxygen depletion. Overall, Cd was clearly more effective as an inducer of the CdMT gene expression compared to the applied non-metallic stressors. In unexposed snails, diurnal rhythmicity of CdMT gene expression was observed with higher mRNA concentrations at night compared to daytime. This rhythmicity was severely disrupted in Cd-exposed snails which exhibited highest CdMT gene transcription rates in the morning. Apart from diurnal rhythmicity, feeding activity also had a strong impact on CdMT gene expression. Although underlying mechanisms are not completely understood, it is clear that factors increasing MT expression variability have to be considered when using MT mRNA quantification as a biomarker for environmental stressors.

  12. Mucus trail tracking in a predatory snail: olfactory processing retooled to serve a novel sensory modality

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Kinjal; Shaheen, Nagma; Witherspoon, Jessica; Robinson, Natallia; Harrington, Melissa A

    2014-01-01

    Introduction The rosy wolfsnail (Euglandina rosea), a predatory land snail, finds prey snails and potential mates by following their mucus trails. Euglandina have evolved unique, mobile lip extensions that detect mucus and aid in following trails. Currently, little is known of the neural substrates of the trail-following behavior. Methods To investigate the neural correlates of trail following we used tract-tracing experiments in which nerves were backfilled with either nickel-lysine or Lucifer yellow, extracellular recording of spiking neurons in snail procerebra using a multielectrode array, and behavioral assays of trail following and movement toward the source of a conditioned odor. Results The tract-tracing experiments demonstrate that in Euglandina, the nerves carrying mucus signals innervate the same region of the central ganglia as the olfactory nerves, while the electrophysiology studies show that mucus stimulation of the sensory epithelium on the lip extensions alters the frequency and pattern of neural activity in the procerebrum in a manner similar to odor stimulation of the olfactory epithelium on the optic tentacles of another land snail species, Cantareus aspersa (previously known as Helix aspersa). While Euglandina learn to follow trails of novel chemicals that they contact with their lip extensions in one to three trials, these snails proved remarkably resistant to associative learning in the olfactory modality. Even after seven to nine pairings of odorant molecules with food, they showed no orientation toward the conditioned odor. This is in marked contrast to Cantareus snails, which reliably oriented toward conditioned odors after two to three trials. Conclusions The apparent inability of Euglandina to learn to associate food with odors and use odor cues to drive behavior suggests that the capability for sophisticated neural processing of nonvolatile mucus cues detected by the lip extensions has evolved at the expense of processing of odorant

  13. Suppression of Na+/K+-ATPase activity during estivation in the land snail Otala lactea.

    PubMed

    Ramnanan, Christopher J; Storey, Kenneth B

    2006-02-01

    Entry into the hypometabolic state of estivation requires a coordinated suppression of the rate of cellular ATP turnover, including both ATP-generating and ATP-consuming reactions. As one of the largest consumers of cellular ATP, the plasma membrane Na+/K+-ATPase is a potentially key target for regulation during estivation. Na+/K+-ATPase was investigated in foot muscle and hepatopancreas of the land snail Otala lactea, comparing active and estivating states. In both tissues enzyme properties changed significantly during estivation: maximal activity was reduced by about one-third, affinity for Mg.ATP was reduced (Km was 40% higher), and activation energy (derived from Arrhenius plots) was increased by approximately 45%. Foot muscle Na+/K+-ATPase from estivated snails also showed an 80% increase in Km Na+ and a 60% increase in Ka Mg2+ as compared with active snails, whereas hepatopancreas Na+/K+-ATPase showed a 70% increase in I50 K+ during estivation. Western blotting with antibodies recognizing the alpha subunit of Na+/K+-ATPase showed no change in the amount of enzyme protein during estivation. Instead, the estivation-responsive change in Na+/K+-ATPase activity was linked to posttranslational modification. In vitro incubations manipulating endogenous kinase and phosphatase activities indicated that Na+/K+-ATPase from estivating snails was a high phosphate, low activity form, whereas dephosphorylation returned the enzyme to a high activity state characteristic of active snails. Treatment with protein kinases A, C or G could all mediate changes in enzyme properties in vitro that mimicked the effect of estivation, whereas treatments with protein phosphatase 1 or 2A had the opposite effect. Reversible phosphorylation control of Na+/K+-ATPase can provide the means of coordinating ATP use by this ion pump with the rates of ATP generation by catabolic pathways in estivating snails.

  14. Seasonal modulation of free radical metabolism in estivating land snails Helix aspersa.

    PubMed

    Ramos-Vasconcelos, Gabriella R; Cardoso, Luciano A; Hermes-Lima, Marcelo

    2005-02-01

    We investigated the regulation of free radical metabolism in Helix aspersa snails during a cycle of 20-day estivation and 24-h arousal in summer in comparison with estivation/arousal in winter-snails. In winter-snails (J. Exp. Biol. 206, 675-685, 2003), we had already observed an increase in the selenium-dependent glutathione-peroxidase (Se-GPX) activity in foot muscle and hepatopancreas and in the contents of hepatopancreas GSH-equivalents (GSH-eq=GSH+2 GSSG) during estivation compared with 24-h aroused snails. Summer-estivation prompted a 3.6-fold increase in Se-GPX activity in hepatopancreas, though not in foot muscle. Total-superoxide dismutase and catalase activities in hepatopancreas decreased (by 30-40%) during summer-estivation; however, no changes occurred in the activities of glutathione reductase, glutathione S-transferase and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase in the two organs. GSH-eq levels were increased (by 54%) in foot muscle during estivation, but were unchanged in hepatopancreas. In contrast with winter-snails, oxidative stress markers (lipid peroxidation, carbonyl protein, and the GSSG/GSH-eq ratio) were unaltered during estivation/arousal in summer. These results demonstrate that seasonality modulates not only the absolute activities/levels of antioxidants (enzymes and GSH-eq) in H. aspersa, but also the regulatory process that controls the snail's antioxidant capacity during estivation/arousal. These results suggest that H. aspersa has an "internal clock" controlling the regulation of free radical metabolism in the different seasons.

  15. KSHV-Mediated Regulation of Par3 and SNAIL Contributes to B-Cell Proliferation

    PubMed Central

    Jha, Hem C.; Sun, Zhiguo; Upadhyay, Santosh K.; El-Naccache, Darine W.; Singh, Rajnish K.; Sahu, Sushil K.; Robertson, Erle S.

    2016-01-01

    Studies have suggested that Epithelial–Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) and transformation is an important step in progression to cancer. Par3 (partitioning-defective protein) is a crucial factor in regulating epithelial cell polarity. However, the mechanism by which the latency associated nuclear antigen (LANA) encoded by Kaposi's Sarcoma associated herpesvirus (KSHV) regulates Par3 and EMTs markers (Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition) during viral-mediated B-cell oncogenesis has not been fully explored. Moreover, several studies have demonstrated a crucial role for EMT markers during B-cell malignancies. In this study, we demonstrate that Par3 is significantly up-regulated in KSHV-infected primary B-cells. Further, Par3 interacted with LANA in KSHV positive and LANA expressing cells which led to translocation of Par3 from the cell periphery to a predominantly nuclear signal. Par3 knockdown led to reduced cell proliferation and increased apoptotic induction. Levels of SNAIL was elevated, and E-cadherin was reduced in the presence of LANA or Par3. Interestingly, KSHV infection in primary B-cells led to enhancement of SNAIL and down-regulation of E-cadherin in a temporal manner. Importantly, knockdown of SNAIL, a major EMT regulator, in KSHV cells resulted in reduced expression of LANA, Par3, and enhanced E-cadherin. Also, SNAIL bound to the promoter region of p21 and can regulate its activity. Further a SNAIL inhibitor diminished NF-kB signaling through upregulation of Caspase3 in KSHV positive cells in vitro. This was also supported by upregulation of SNAIL and Par3 in BC-3 transplanted NOD-SCID mice which has potential as a therapeutic target for KSHV-associated B-cell lymphomas. PMID:27463802

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Coccidioidomycosis in African Americans

    PubMed Central

    Ruddy, Barbara E.; Mayer, Anita P.; Ko, Marcia G.; Labonte, Helene R.; Borovansky, Jill A.; Boroff, Erika S.; Blair, Janis E.

    2011-01-01

    Coccidioidomycosis is caused by Coccidioides species, a fungus endemic to the desert regions of the southwestern United States, and is of particular concern for African Americans. We performed a PubMed search of the English-language medical literature on coccidioidomycosis in African Americans and summarized the pertinent literature. Search terms were coccidioidomycosis, Coccidioides, race, ethnicity, African, black, and Negro. The proceedings of the national and international coccidioidomycosis symposia were searched. All relevant articles and their cited references were reviewed; those with epidemiological, immunologic, clinical, and therapeutic data pertaining to coccidioidomycosis in African Americans were included in the review. Numerous studies documented an increased predilection for severe coccidioidal infections, coccidioidomycosis-related hospitalizations, and extrapulmonary dissemination in persons of African descent; however, most of the published studies are variably problematic. The immunologic mechanism for this predilection is unclear. The clinical features and treatment recommendations are summarized. Medical practitioners need to be alert to the possibility of coccidioidomycosis in persons with recent travel to or residence in an area where the disease is endemic. PMID:21193657

  19. Linking calcification by exotic snails to stream inorganic carbon cycling.

    PubMed

    Hotchkiss, Erin R; Hall, Robert O

    2010-05-01

    Biotic calcification is rarely considered in freshwater C budgets, despite calculations suggesting that calcifying animals can alter inorganic C cycling. Most studies that have quantified biocalcification in aquatic ecosystems have not directly linked CO(2) fluxes from biocalcification with whole-ecosystem rates of inorganic C cycling. The freshwater snail, Melanoides tuberculata, has achieved a high abundance and 37.4 g biomass m(-2) after invading Kelly Warm Springs in Grand Teton National Park. This high biomass suggests that introduced populations of Melanoides may alter ecosystem processes. We measured Melanoides growth rates and biomass to calculate the production of biomass, shell mass, and CO(2). We compared Melanoides biomass and inorganic C production with ecosystem C pools and fluxes, as well as with published rates of CO(2) production by other calcifying organisms. Melanoides calcification in Kelly Warm Springs produced 12.1 mmol CO(2) m(-2) day(-1) during summer months. We measured high rates of gross primary productivity and respiration in Kelly Warm Springs (-378 and 533 mmol CO(2) m(-2) day(-1), respectively); CO(2) produced from biocalcification increased net CO(2) production in Kelly Warm Springs from 155 to 167 mmol CO(2) m(-2) day(-1). This rate of CO(2) production via biocalcification is within the published range of calcification by animals. But these CO(2) fluxes are small when compared to ecosystem C fluxes from stream metabolism. The influence of animals is relative to ecosystem processes, and should always be compared with ecosystem fluxes to quantify the importance of a specific animal in its environment.

  20. Sex determination and gender expression: Reproductive investment in snails.

    PubMed

    Koene, Joris M

    2017-02-01

    Sex determination is generally seen as an issue of importance for separate-sexed organisms; however, when considering other sexual systems, such as hermaphroditism, sex allocation is a less-binary form of sex determination. As illustrated here, with examples from molluscs, this different vantage point can offer important evolutionary insights. After all, males and females produce only one type of gamete, whereas hermaphrodites produce both. In addition, sperm and accessory gland products are donated bidirectionally. For reciprocal mating, this is obvious since sperm are exchanged within one mating interaction; but even unilaterally mating species end up mating in both sexual roles, albeit not simultaneously. With this in mind, I highlight two factors that play an important role in how reproductive investment is divided in snails: First, the individual's motivation to preferentially donate rather than receive sperm (or vice versa) leads to flexible behavioral performance, and thereby investment, of either sex. Second, due to the presence of both sexual roles within the same individual, partners are potentially able to influence investment in both sexual functions of their partner to their own benefit. The latter has already led to novel insights into how accessory gland products may evolve. Moreover, the current evidence points towards different ways in which allocation to reproduction can be changed in simultaneous hermaphrodites. These often differ from the separate-sexed situation, highlighting that comparison across different sexual systems may help identify commonalities and differences in physiological, and molecular mechanisms as well as evolutionary patterns. Mol. Reprod. Dev. 84: 132-143, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Molecular Evolution of Freshwater Snails with Contrasting Mating Systems.

    PubMed

    Burgarella, Concetta; Gayral, Philippe; Ballenghien, Marion; Bernard, Aurélien; David, Patrice; Jarne, Philippe; Correa, Ana; Hurtrez-Boussès, Sylvie; Escobar, Juan; Galtier, Nicolas; Glémin, Sylvain

    2015-09-01

    Because mating systems affect population genetics and ecology, they are expected to impact the molecular evolution of species. Self-fertilizing species experience reduced effective population size, recombination rates, and heterozygosity, which in turn should decrease the efficacy of natural selection, both adaptive and purifying, and the strength of meiotic drive processes such as GC-biased gene conversion. The empirical evidence is only partly congruent with these predictions, depending on the analyzed species, some, but not all, of the expected effects have been observed. One possible reason is that self-fertilization is an evolutionary dead-end, so that most current selfers recently evolved self-fertilization, and their genome has not yet been strongly impacted by selfing. Here, we investigate the molecular evolution of two groups of freshwater snails in which mating systems have likely been stable for several millions of years. Analyzing coding sequence polymorphism, divergence, and expression levels, we report a strongly reduced genetic diversity, decreased efficacy of purifying selection, slower rate of adaptive evolution, and weakened codon usage bias/GC-biased gene conversion in the selfer Galba compared with the outcrosser Physa, in full agreement with theoretical expectations. Our results demonstrate that self-fertilization, when effective in the long run, is a major driver of population genomic and molecular evolutionary processes. Despite the genomic effects of selfing, Galba truncatula seems to escape the demographic consequences of the genetic load. We suggest that the particular ecology of the species may buffer the negative consequences of selfing, shedding new light on the dead-end hypothesis.

  2. Snail shells as larval habitat of Limatus durhamii (Diptera: Culicidae) in the Yungas of Argentina.

    PubMed

    Mangudo, Carolina; Campos, Raúl E; Rossi, Gustavo C; Gleiser, Raquel M

    2017-03-01

    The shells of dead snails collect water from rainfalls producing aquatic microenvironments called gastrotelmata. These habitats are small and hold simple detritus based on animal communities, being rotifers and culicids the most studied. Although a high diversity of aquatic microhabitats has been reported as larval habitats of mosquitoes in Argentina, the shell of snails has not been investigated yet. We report the shells of three species of native Megalobulimus genus as larval habitats of a neotropical mosquito and suspected vector of bunyaviruses, Limatus durhamii, and describe these microhabitats in the Yungas forest of Argentina.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1976-01-01

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

  4. Snail shape and growth rates: Evidence for plastic shell allometry in Littorina littorea

    PubMed Central

    Kemp, Paul; Bertness, Mark D.

    1984-01-01

    The periwinkle Littorina littorea exhibits morphological variation among southern New England populations that appear to be genetically continuous. In dense populations, individuals have relatively elongate shells in comparison to individuals in sparse populations, which have rounder, globose shells. We experimentally demonstrate that this shell variation is a function of snail growth rate. Rapidly growing snails develop thin, globose shells that accommodate more body mass than thicker, more elongate shells. The implications of these results are discussed in relation to interpreting morphological variation in extant gastropods and in the molluscan fossil record. PMID:16593415

  5. Mental Health and African Americans

    MedlinePlus

    ... Minority Population Profiles > Black/African American > Mental Health Mental Health and African Americans Poverty level affects mental health ... compared to 120% of non-Hispanic whites. 1 MENTAL HEALTH STATUS Serious psychological distress among adults 18 years ...

  6. The Struggles over African Languages

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maseko, Pam; Vale, Peter

    2016-01-01

    In this interview, African Language expert Pam Maseko speaks of her own background and her first encounter with culture outside of her mother tongue, isiXhosa. A statistical breakdown of South African languages is provided as background. She discusses Western (originally missionary) codification of African languages and suggests that this approach…

  7. Silencing Snail suppresses tumor cell proliferation and invasion by reversing epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and arresting G2/M phase in non-small cell lung cancer.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xueying; Han, Mengmeng; Han, Haibo; Wang, Bingjing; Li, Sheng; Zhang, Zhiqian; Zhao, Wei

    2017-04-01

    Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is essential for tumor invasion and metastasis. Snail has been proven to be a key regulator of EMT. Several studies have shown compelling evidence that Snail is also an important regulator of tumor growth and aggression; however, the role of Snail in the cell cycle has not been clarified. We decreased Snail expression by siRNA transfection and lentiviral‑mediated RNAi, to explore the effect of silencing Snail on the tumorigenicity and migration of lung carcinoma (lung cancer) cells. The results showed that silencing Snail conferred significant anti-proliferative activity and inhibited cell migration, tumor growth and metastasis both in vitro and in vivo. To understand the mechanism of these effects, we further investigated correlations among Snail expression, EMT and cell cycle. Significantly, Snail knockdown reversed EMT processes in lung cancer cells. Furthermore, the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor P21 was upregulated after silencing Snail. P21 upregulation manifested its tumor suppressor effects and arrested cells in the G2/M phase, not the G1/S phase following Snail depletion in lung cancer cells. These data suggest that silencing Snail decreases the malignant behaviors of lung cancer cells by reversing EMT processes and causing cell cycle defects.

  8. Narcolepsy in African Americans

    PubMed Central

    Kawai, Makoto; O'Hara, Ruth; Einen, Mali; Lin, Ling; Mignot, Emmanuel

    2015-01-01

    Study Objectives: Although narcolepsy affects 0.02–0.05% of individuals in various ethnic groups, clinical presentation in different ethnicities has never been fully characterized. Our goal was to study phenotypic expression across ethnicities in the United States. Design/Setting: Cases of narcolepsy from 1992 to 2013 were identified from searches of the Stanford Center for Narcolepsy Research database. International Classification of Sleep Disorders, Third Edition diagnosis criteria for type 1 and type 2 narcolepsy were used for inclusion, but subjects were separated as with and without cataplexy for the purpose of data presentation. Information extracted included demographics, ethnicity and clinical data, HLA-DQB1*06:02, polysomnography (PSG), multiple sleep latency test (MSLT) data, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) hypocretin-1 level. Patients: 182 African-Americans, 839 Caucasians, 35 Asians, and 41 Latinos with narcolepsy. Results: Sex ratio, PSG, and MSLT findings did not differ across ethnicities. Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) score was higher and age of onset of sleepiness earlier in African Americans compared with other ethnicities. HLA-DQB1*06:02 positivity was higher in African Americans (91.0%) versus others (76.6% in Caucasians, 80.0% in Asians, and 65.0% in Latinos). CSF hypocretin-1 level, obtained in 222 patients, was more frequently low (≤ 110 pg/ml) in African Americans (93.9%) versus Caucasians (61.5%), Asians (85.7%) and Latinos (75.0%). In subjects with low CSF hypocretin-1, African Americans (28.3%) were 4.5 fold more likely to be without cataplexy when compared with Caucasians (8.1%). Conclusions: Narcolepsy in African Americans is characterized by earlier symptom onset, higher Epworth Sleepiness Scale score, higher HLA-DQB1*06:02 positivity, and low cerebrospinal fluid hypocretin-1 level in the absence of cataplexy. In African Americans, more subjects without cataplexy have type 1 narcolepsy. Citation: Kawai M, O'Hara R, Einen M, Lin L

  9. The genetic structure and history of Africans and African Americans.

    PubMed

    Tishkoff, Sarah A; Reed, Floyd A; Friedlaender, Françoise R; Ehret, Christopher; Ranciaro, Alessia; Froment, Alain; Hirbo, Jibril B; Awomoyi, Agnes A; Bodo, Jean-Marie; Doumbo, Ogobara; Ibrahim, Muntaser; Juma, Abdalla T; Kotze, Maritha J; Lema, Godfrey; Moore, Jason H; Mortensen, Holly; Nyambo, Thomas B; Omar, Sabah A; Powell, Kweli; Pretorius, Gideon S; Smith, Michael W; Thera, Mahamadou A; Wambebe, Charles; Weber, James L; Williams, Scott M

    2009-05-22

    Africa is the source of all modern humans, but characterization of genetic variation and of relationships among populations across the continent has been enigmatic. We studied 121 African populations, four African American populations, and 60 non-African populations for patterns of variation at 1327 nuclear microsatellite and insertion/deletion markers. We identified 14 ancestral population clusters in Africa that correlate with self-described ethnicity and shared cultural and/or linguistic properties. We observed high levels of mixed ancestry in most populations, reflecting historical migration events across the continent. Our data also provide evidence for shared ancestry among geographically diverse hunter-gatherer populations (Khoesan speakers and Pygmies). The ancestry of African Americans is predominantly from Niger-Kordofanian (approximately 71%), European (approximately 13%), and other African (approximately 8%) populations, although admixture levels varied considerably among individuals. This study helps tease apart the complex evolutionary history of Africans and African Americans, aiding both anthropological and genetic epidemiologic studies.

  10. Role of the lymnaeid snail Pseudosuccinea columella in the transmission of the liver fluke Fasciola hepatica in Egypt.

    PubMed

    Dar, Y; Vignoles, P; Rondelaud, D; Dreyfuss, G

    2015-11-01

    Experimental infections of three Egyptian Pseudosuccinea columella populations with sympatric miracidia of Fasciola sp., coming from cattle- or sheep-collected eggs, were carried out to determine the capacity of this lymnaeid to support larval development of the parasite. Using microsatellite markers, the isolates of Egyptian miracidia were identified as Fasciola hepatica. Apart from being independent of snail origin, prevalences ranging from 60.4 to 75.5% in snails infected with five miracidia of F. hepatica were significantly higher than values of 30.4 to 42.2% in snails with bi-miracidial infections. The number of metacercariae ranged from 243 to 472 per cercarial-shedding snail and was independent of snail origin, parasite origin and miracidial dose used for infection. If P. columella was subjected to two successive bi-miracidial infections with F. hepatica, prevalence of infection was 63.3%, with a mean of 311 metacercariae per snail. These values were clearly greater than those already reported for Radix natalensis infected with the same parasite and the same protocol. Successful experimental infection of P. columella with F. hepatica suggests that this lymnaeid snail is an important intermediate host for the transmission of fascioliasis in Egypt.

  11. Survival of the faucet snail after chemical disinfection, pH extremes, and heated water bath treatments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mitchell, A.J.; Cole, R.A.

    2008-01-01

    The faucet snail Bithynia tentaculata, a nonindigenous aquatic snail from Eurasia, was introduced into Lake Michigan in 1871 and has spread to the mid-Atlantic states, the Great Lakes region, Montana, and most recently, the Mississippi River. The faucet snail serves as intermediate host for several trematodes that have caused large-scale mortality among water birds, primarily in the Great Lakes region and Montana. It is important to limit the spread of the faucet snail; small fisheries equipment can serve as a method of snail distribution. Treatments with chemical disinfection, pH extremes, and heated water baths were tested to determine their effectiveness as a disinfectant for small fisheries equipment. Two treatments eliminated all test snails: (1) a 24-h exposure to Hydrothol 191 at a concentration of at least 20 mg/L and (2) a treatment with 50??C heated water for 1 min or longer. Faucet snails were highly resistant to ethanol, NaCl, formalin, Lysol, potassium permanganate, copper sulfate, Baquacil, Virkon, household bleach, and pH extremes (as low as 1 and as high as 13).

  12. Reversibility of the Snail-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition revealed by the Cre-loxP system.

    PubMed

    Ozawa, Masayuki; Kobayashi, Wakako

    2015-03-13

    The epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), a key process in the tumor metastatic cascade, is characterized by the loss of cell-cell junctions and cell polarity, as well as the acquisition of migratory and invasive properties. Snail is an EMT-inducer whose expression in several different epithelial cells, e.g., Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK), leads to EMT. To further understand EMT induced by Snail expression, the Cre-loxP site-specific recombination system was used to investigate its reversibility. Transfection of MDCK cells with loxP-flanked Snail (Snail-loxP) resulted in EMT induction, which included the acquisition of a spindle-shaped fibroblastic morphology, the downregulation of epithelial markers, and the upregulation of mesenchymal markers. DNA methylation of the E-cadherin promoter, which often occurs during E-cadherin downregulation, was not observed in Snail+ cells. After Cre-mediated excision of Snail-loxP, the cells reacquired an epithelial morphology, upregulated epithelial markers, and downregulated mesenchymal markers. Thus, EMT induced by Snail expression was reversible.

  13. New insight in lymnaeid snails (Mollusca, Gastropoda) as intermediate hosts of Fasciola hepatica (Trematoda, Digenea) in Belgium and Luxembourg

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The present study aims to assess the epidemiological role of different lymnaeid snails as intermediate hosts of the liver fluke Fasciola hepatica in Belgium and Luxembourg. Methods During summer 2008, 7103 lymnaeid snails were collected from 125 ponds distributed in 5 clusters each including 25 ponds. Each cluster was located in a different biogeographic area of Belgium and Luxembourg. In addition, snails were also collected in sixteen other biotopes considered as temporary wet areas. These snails were identified as Galba truncatula (n = 2474) (the main intermediate host of F. hepatica in Europe) and Radix sp. (n = 4629). Moreover, several biological and non-biological variables were also recorded from the different biotopes. DNA was extracted from each snail collected using Chelex® technique. DNA samples were screened through a multiplex PCR that amplifies lymnaeid internal transcribed spacer 2 gene sequences (500–600 bp) (acting as an internal control) and a 124 bp fragment of repetitive DNA from Fasciola sp. Results Lymnaeid snails were found in 75 biotopes (53.2%). Thirty individuals of G. truncatula (1.31%) and 7 of Radix sp. (0.16%) were found to be positive for Fasciola sp. The seven positive Radix sp. snails all belonged to the species R. balthica (Linnaeus, 1758). Classification and regression tree analysis were performed in order to better understand links and relative importance of the different recorded factors. One of the best explanatory variables for the presence/absence of the different snail species seems to be the geographic location, whereas for the infection status of the snails no obvious relationship was linked to the presence of cattle. Conclusions Epidemiological implications of these findings and particularly the role of R. balthica as an alternative intermediate host in Belgium and Luxembourg were discussed. PMID:24524623

  14. Field and laboratory evaluation of the influence of copper-diquat on apple snails in southern Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Winger, P.V.; Imlay, M.J.; McMillan, W.E.; Martin, T.W.; Takekawa, J.; Johnson, W.W.

    1984-01-01

    The recent decline of apple snail (Pomacea paludosa) populations in canals surrounding Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in southern Florida coincided with the use of copper-diquat for the control of the aquatic weed hydrilla (Hydrilla ver/icillara). Field and laboratory studies were designed to assess the effects of copper-diquat on apple snails, which are the primary food of the endangered snail kite Rostrhamus sociabilis (formerly known as the Everglade kite). Acute toxicities (96-h LC50 values) of Cutrine-Plus and Komeen (chelated formulations of copper) to immature apple snails were 22 and 241-?g/L, respectively. Diquat was toxic at a concentration of 1,800 I-?g/L and did not increase the toxicity of copper when the chemicals were used in combination. Evaluation of field samples indicated that copper concentrations were higher in detritus than in water. plants and mud, and that there was a gradient of copper concentration from the canal to the interior, the highest residues being in samples from the canal. Copper associated with detritus (up to 150 ?g/g) had no effect on growth or survival of apple snails in field cage and tank studies. Also, field applications of copper.diquat to hydrilla had no effect on survival of caged adult and immature snails. Copper from field applications was rapidly taken out of solution by plants and organic material in the water and subsequently incorporated into the bottom detritus. Although the effects of repeated applications of copper-diquat and high body burdens of copper (accumulated during exposure to herbicidal treatment) on survival and reproduction of apple snails are not known, the information available indicates that treatment of hydrilla with copper-diquat was probably not responsible for the decline in the apple snail population. Application at recommended rates should pose no threat to these snails in the organically rich waters of southern Florida.

  15. Elevated Snail Expression Mediates Tumor Progression in Areca Quid Chewing-Associated Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma via Reactive Oxygen Species

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Shiuan-Shinn; Tsai, Chung-Hung; Yu, Cheng-Chia; Chang, Yu-Chao

    2013-01-01

    Background Snail is an important transcription factor implicated in several tumor progression and can be induced by reactive oxygen species (ROS). Areca quid chewing is a major risk factor of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Therefore, we hypothesize that the major areca nut alkaloid arecoline may induce Snail via ROS and involve in the pathogenesis of areca quid chewing-associated OSCC. Methodology/Principal Finding Thirty-six OSCC and ten normal oral epithelium specimens were examined by immunohistochemistry and analyzed by the clinico-pathological profiles. Cytotoxicity, 2′, 7′-dichlorofluorescein diacetate assay, and western blot were used to investigate the effects of arecoline in human oral keratinocytes (HOKs) and oral epithelial cell line OECM-1 cells. In addition, antioxidants N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), curcumin, and epigallocatechin-3 gallate (EGCG) were added to find the possible regulatory mechanisms. Initially, Snail expression was significantly higher in OSCC specimens (p<0.05). Elevated Snail expression was associated with lymph node metastasis (p = 0.031) and poor differentiation (p = 0.017). Arecoline enhanced the generation of intracellular ROS at the concentration higher than 40 µg/ml (p<0.05). Arecoline was also found to induced Snail expression in a dose- and time-dependent manner (p<0.05). Treatment with NAC, curcumin, and EGCG markedly inhibited arecoline induced Snail expression (p<0.05). Conclusion/Significance: Our results suggest that Snail overexpression in areca quid chewing-associated OSCC is associated with tumors differentiation and lymph node metastasis. Arecoline-upregulated Snail expression may be mediated by ROS generation. In addition, arecoline induced Snail expression was downregulated by NAC, curcumin, and EGCG. PMID:23874481

  16. Molecular Evidence of Trichobilharzia Species (Digenea: Schistosomatidae) in the Snails of Lymnaea auricularia from Urmia Suburb, North West Iran

    PubMed Central

    YAKHCHALI, Mohammad; HOSSEINPANAHI, Asaad; MALEKZADEH-VIAYEH, Reza

    2016-01-01

    Background: The present study was carried out to detect the infection of larval stages of Trichobilharzia species in the snail Lymnaea auricularia in northwestern Iran based on DNA analysis. Methods: A total number of 320 snails of L. auricularia were sampled from four water-bodies located in the suburb of Urmia City, North West Iran, during May to November 2011. The snails were first microscopically inspected for the infection with larval stages of trematodes. Genomic DNA was extracted from the snails and PCR was performed to amplify a fragment of the ribosomal DNA of Trichobilharzia species in the infected snails. Results: Microscopic examinations indicated that 11.25% (36 out of 320) of the snails were infected with larval stages of trematodes, while the PCR patterns showed a much higher infection rate (31.25%, 100/320). According to the PCR, the infections were caused by the larval stages of T. szidati (21.56%, 69/320) and T. franki (9.69%, 31/320) or both of them (8.44%, 27/320). The infected snails were observed in three out of the four studied sites. The highest infection rate in a single site was 50% (25/50). Only 7.81% (25 out of 320) of the infected snails were from the plain areas, while the remaining was from high altitudes. Conclusion: Results of this study contribute the utility of the employed technique for quick and accurate detection of the infection with trichobilharzian species in their intermediate host snails, which may have potential zoonotic role in the region. PMID:28127334

  17. Population genetics and the effects of a severe bottleneck in an ex situ population of critically endangered Hawaiian tree snails.

    PubMed

    Price, Melissa R; Hadfield, Michael G

    2014-01-01

    As wild populations decline, ex situ propagation provides a potential bank of genetic diversity and a hedge against extinction. These programs are unlikely to succeed if captive populations do not recover from the severe bottleneck imposed when they are founded with a limited number of individuals from remnant populations. In small captive populations allelic richness may be lost due to genetic drift, leading to a decline in fitness. Wild populations of the Hawaiian tree snail Achatinella lila, a hermaphroditic snail with a long life history, have declined precipitously due to introduced predators and other human impacts. A captive population initially thrived after its founding with seven snails, exceeding 600 captive individuals in 2009, but drastically declined in the last five years. Measures of fitness were examined from 2,018 captive snails that died between 1998 and 2012, and compared with genotypic data for six microsatellite loci from a subset of these deceased snails (N = 335), as well as live captive snails (N = 198) and wild snails (N = 92). Surprisingly, the inbreeding coefficient (Fis) declined over time in the captive population, and is now approaching values observed in the 2013 wild population, despite a significant decrease in allelic richness. However, adult annual survival and fecundity significantly declined in the second generation. These measures of fitness were positively correlated with heterozygosity. Snails with higher measures of heterozygosity had more offspring, and third generation offspring with higher measures of heterozygosity were more likely to reach maturity. These results highlight the importance of maintaining genetic diversity in captive populations, particularly those initiated with a small number of individuals from wild remnant populations. Genetic rescue may allow for an increase in genetic diversity in the captive population, as measures of heterozygosity and rarified allelic richness were higher in wild tree

  18. Intensity of parasitic mite infection decreases with hibernation duration of the host snail.

    PubMed

    Haeussler, E M; Pizá, J; Schmera, D; Baur, B

    2012-07-01

    Temperature can be a limiting factor on parasite development. Riccardoella limacum, a haematophagous mite, lives in the mantle cavity of helicid land snails. The prevalence of infection by R. limacum in populations of the land snail Arianta arbustorum is highly variable (0-78%) in Switzerland. However, parasitic mites do not occur in host populations at altitudes of 1290 m or higher. It has been hypothesized that the host's hibernation period might be too long at high elevations for mites and their eggs to survive. To test this hypothesis, we experimentally infected snails and allowed them to hibernate at 4°C for periods of 4-7 months. Winter survival of host snails was negatively affected by R. limacum. The intensity of mite infection decreased with increasing hibernation duration. Another experiment with shorter recording intervals revealed that mites do not leave the host when it buries in the soil at the beginning of hibernation. The number of mites decreased after 24 days of hibernation, whereas the number of eggs attached to the lung tissue remained constant throughout hibernation. Thus, R. limacum survives the winter in the egg stage in the host. Low temperature at high altitudes may limit the occurrence of R. limacum.

  19. Tropical sea snail shells: Possible exotic sources for ceramic biomaterial synthesis

    SciTech Connect

    Oktar, F. N.; Kiyici, I. A.; Gökçe, H.; Ağaogulları, D.; Kayali, E. S.

    2013-12-16

    In this study, chemical and structural properties of sea snail shell based bioceramic materials (i.e. hydroxyapatite, whitlockite and other phases) are produced by using mechano-chemical (ultrasonic) conversion method. For this purpose, differential thermal and gravimetric analysis (DTA/TG), X-ray diffraction, infra-red (IR) and scanning electron microscope (SEM) studies are performed.

  20. A multiplex PCR for the detection of Fasciola hepatica in the intermediate snail host Galba cubensis.

    PubMed

    Alba, Annia; Vázquez, Antonio A; Hernández, Hilda; Sánchez, Jorge; Marcet, Ricardo; Figueredo, Mabel; Sarracent, Jorge; Fraga, Jorge

    2015-07-30

    Fasciolosis is a snail-borne trematode infection that has re-emerged as a human disease, and is considered a significant problem for veterinary medicine worldwide. The evaluation of the transmission risk of fasciolosis as well as the efficacy of the strategies for its control could be carried out through epidemiological surveillance of the snails that act as intermediate hosts of the parasites. The present study aimed to develop the first multiplex PCR to detect Fasciola hepatica in Galba cubensis, an important intermediate host of the parasite in the Americas and especially in the Caribbean basin. The multiplex PCR was optimized for the amplification of a 340 bp fragment of the second internal transcribed spacer (ITS-2) of F. hepatica rDNA, while another set of primers was designed and used to amplify a conserved segment of the nuclear 18S rDNA of the snail (451 bp), as an internal control of the reaction. The assay was able to detect up to 100 pg of the parasite even at high concentrations of snail DNA, an analytical sensitivity that allows the detection of less than a single miracidium, which is the minimal biological infestation unit. A controlled laboratory-reared G. cubensis - F. hepatica system was used for the evaluation of the developed multiplex PCR, and 100% sensitivity and specificity was achieved. This assay constitutes a novel, useful and suitable technique for the survey of fasciolosis transmission through one of the main intermediate hosts in the Western hemisphere.

  1. Guanine and inosine nucleotides, nucleosides and oxypurines in snail muscles as potential biomarkers of fluoride toxicity.

    PubMed

    Rać, Monika E; Safranow, Krzysztof; Dołegowska, Barbara; Machoy, Zygmunt

    2007-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to determine the toxicity of fluorides on energy metabolism in muscles of the Helix aspersa maxima snail. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of purine compounds was performed in slices of foot from mature snails with high-performance liquid chromatography. Fluoride concentrations were measured using an ion-selective electrode and gas chromatography. The results show that exposure to fluoride pollution was accompanied by a statistically significant increase in fluoride concentrations in soft tissues. This effect was already noticeable with the smallest fluoride dose. Accumulation was greatest in the shell. There is a significant and positive correlation between fluoride concentrations in foot muscles and guanine and inosine nucleotides or uridine content. The content of low-energy guanylate, inosylate and oxypurine in foot muscles significantly increased with rising dose of fluoride. The difference as compared with controls was significant only for the highest dose of fluoride. Interestingly, uric acid, the final product of purine catabolism, dominated quantitatively in the foot muscles of snails. In conclusion, increased low-energy guanylate and inosylate as well as decreased xanthine concentrations in snail muscle can be indicators of the toxic influence of fluoride on the organism. The measuring of fluoride accumulation in the shell is the most suitable bioindicator of fluoride pollution in the environment.

  2. Mitochondrial Genome Sequence of the Galápagos Endemic Land Snail Naesiotus nux

    PubMed Central

    Hunter, Samuel S.; Settles, Matthew L.; New, Daniel D.; Parent, Christine E.

    2016-01-01

    We report herein the draft mitochondrial genome sequence of Naesiotus nux, a Galápagos endemic land snail species of the genus Naesiotus. The circular genome is 15 kb and encodes 13 protein-coding genes, 2 rRNA genes, and 21 tRNA genes. PMID:26798085

  3. Effect of snails (Elimia clavaeformis) on phosphorus cycling in stream periphyton and leaf detritus communities

    SciTech Connect

    Jay, E.A.

    1993-10-01

    In this study, the author examined the effect of grazing on phosphorus cycling in stream periphyton and leaf detritus communities using the snail Elimia clavaeformis. Phosphorus cycling fluxes and turnover rates were measured in a laboratory and in a natural stream, respectively, using radioactive tracer techniques.

  4. Hormone-like peptides in the venoms of marine cone snails

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Samuel D.; Li, Qing; Bandyopadhyay, Pradip K.; Gajewiak, Joanna; Yandell, Mark; Papenfuss, Anthony T.; Purcell, Anthony W.; Norton, Raymond S.; Safavi-Hemami, Helena

    2015-01-01

    The venoms of cone snails (genus Conus) are remarkably complex, consisting of hundreds of typically short, disulfide-rich peptides termed conotoxins. These peptides have diverse pharmacological targets, with injection of venom eliciting a range of physiological responses, including sedation, paralysis and sensory overload. Most conotoxins target the prey’s nervous system but evidence of venom peptides targeting neuroendocrine processes is emerging. Examples include vasopressin, RFamide neuropeptides and recently also insulin. To investigate the diversity of hormone/neuropeptide-like molecules in the venoms of cone snails we systematically mined the venom gland transcriptomes of several cone snail species and examined secreted venom peptides in dissected and injected venom of the Australian cone snail Conus victoriae. Using this approach we identified several novel hormone/neuropeptide-like toxins, including peptides similar to the bee brain hormone prohormone-4, the mollusc ganglia neuropeptide elevenin, and thyrostimulin, a member of the glycoprotein hormone family, and confirmed the presence of insulin. We confirmed that at least two of these peptides are not only expressed in the venom gland but also form part of the injected venom cocktail, unambiguously demonstrating their role in envenomation. Our findings suggest that hormone/neuropeptide-like toxins are a diverse and integral part of the complex envenomation strategy of Conus. Exploration of this group of venom components offers an exciting new avenue for the discovery of novel pharmacological tools and drug candidates, complementary to conotoxins. PMID:26301480

  5. Hormone-like peptides in the venoms of marine cone snails.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Samuel D; Li, Qing; Bandyopadhyay, Pradip K; Gajewiak, Joanna; Yandell, Mark; Papenfuss, Anthony T; Purcell, Anthony W; Norton, Raymond S; Safavi-Hemami, Helena

    2017-04-01

    The venoms of cone snails (genus Conus) are remarkably complex, consisting of hundreds of typically short, disulfide-rich peptides termed conotoxins. These peptides have diverse pharmacological targets, with injection of venom eliciting a range of physiological responses, including sedation, paralysis and sensory overload. Most conotoxins target the prey's nervous system but evidence of venom peptides targeting neuroendocrine processes is emerging. Examples include vasopressin, RFamide neuropeptides and recently also insulin. To investigate the diversity of hormone/neuropeptide-like molecules in the venoms of cone snails we systematically mined the venom gland transcriptomes of several cone snail species and examined secreted venom peptides in dissected and injected venom of the Australian cone snail Conus victoriae. Using this approach we identified several novel hormone/neuropeptide-like toxins, including peptides similar to the bee brain hormone prohormone-4, the mollusc ganglia neuropeptide elevenin, and thyrostimulin, a member of the glycoprotein hormone family, and confirmed the presence of insulin. We confirmed that at least two of these peptides are not only expressed in the venom gland but also form part of the injected venom cocktail, unambiguously demonstrating their role in envenomation. Our findings suggest that hormone/neuropeptide-like toxins are a diverse and integral part of the complex envenomation strategy of Conus. Exploration of this group of venom components offers an exciting new avenue for the discovery of novel pharmacological tools and drug candidates, complementary to conotoxins.

  6. Larval dermestid beetles feeding on nestling snail kites, wood storks, and great blue herons

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Snyder, N.F.R.; Ogden, J.C.; Bittner, J.D.; Grau, G.A.

    1984-01-01

    In recent years abdominal lesions attributable to larval dermestid beetles (Dermestes nidum) have appeared in nestling Snail (Everglade) Kites (Rostrhamus sociabilis), Wood Storks (Mycteria americana), and Great Blue Herons (Ardea herodias). Although it appears that most nestlings affected have survived, the degree of threat posed by dermestid larvae to various avian species is as yet unclear.

  7. Larval dermestid beetles feeding on nestling snail kites, wood storks, and great blue herons

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Snyder, N.F.R.; Ogden, J.C.; Bittner, J.D.; Grau, G.A.

    1984-01-01

    In recent years abdominal lesions attributable to larval dermestid beetles (D. nidum) have appeared in nestling snail (Everglade) kites (R. sociabilis), wood storks (M. americana) and great blue herons (A. herodias). Although it appears that most nestlings affected have survived, the degree of threat posed by dermestid larvae to various avian species is as yet unclear.

  8. Regulation of heterochromatin transcription by Snail1/LOXL2 during epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition.

    PubMed

    Millanes-Romero, Alba; Herranz, Nicolás; Perrera, Valentina; Iturbide, Ane; Loubat-Casanovas, Jordina; Gil, Jesús; Jenuwein, Thomas; García de Herreros, Antonio; Peiró, Sandra

    2013-12-12

    Although heterochromatin is enriched with repressive traits, it is also actively transcribed, giving rise to large amounts of noncoding RNAs. Although these RNAs are responsible for the formation and maintenance of heterochromatin, little is known about how their transcription is regulated. Here, we show that the Snail1 transcription factor represses mouse pericentromeric transcription, acting through the H3K4 deaminase LOXL2. Since Snail1 plays a key role in the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), we analyzed the regulation of heterochromatin transcription in this process. At the onset of EMT, one of the major structural heterochromatin proteins, HP1α, is transiently released from heterochromatin foci in a Snail1/LOXL2-dependent manner, concomitantly with a downregulation of major satellite transcription. Moreover, preventing the downregulation of major satellite transcripts compromised the migratory and invasive behavior of mesenchymal cells. We propose that Snail1 regulates heterochromatin transcription through LOXL2, thus creating the favorable transcriptional state necessary for completing EMT.

  9. Ecological and genetic impact of the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake Tsunami on intertidal mud snails

    PubMed Central

    Miura, Osamu; Kanaya, Gen; Nakai, Shizuko; Itoh, Hajime; Chiba, Satoshi; Makino, Wataru; Nishimura, Tomohiro; Kojima, Shigeaki; Urabe, Jotaro

    2017-01-01

    Natural disturbances often destroy local populations and can considerably affect the genetic properties of these populations. The 2011 Tohoku Earthquake Tsunami greatly damaged local populations of various coastal organisms, including the mud snail Batillaria attramentaria, which was an abundant macroinvertebrate on the tidal flats in the Tohoku region. To evaluate the impact of the tsunami on the ecology and population genetic properties of these snails, we monitored the density, shell size, and microsatellite DNA variation of B. attramentaria for more than ten years (2005–2015) throughout the disturbance event. We found that the density of snails declined immediately after the tsunami. Bayesian inference of the genetically effective population size (Ne) demonstrated that the Ne declined by 60–99% at the study sites exposed to the tsunami. However, we found that their genetic diversity was not significantly reduced after the tsunami. The maintenance of genetic diversity is essential for long-term survival of local populations, and thus, the observed genetic robustness could play a key role in the persistence of snail populations in this region which has been devastated by similar tsunamis every 500–800 years. Our findings have significant implications for understanding the sustainability of populations damaged by natural disturbances. PMID:28281698

  10. Turning snails into slugs: induced body plan changes and formation of an internal shell.

    PubMed

    Osterauer, Raphaela; Marschner, Leonie; Betz, Oliver; Gerberding, Matthias; Sawasdee, Banthita; Cloetens, Peter; Haus, Nadine; Sures, Bernd; Triebskorn, Rita; Köhler, Heinz-R

    2010-01-01

    The archetypal body plan of conchiferan molluscs is characterized by an external calcareous shell, though internalization of shells has evolved independently in a number of molluscan clades, including gastropod families. In gastropods, the developmental process of torsion is regarded as a hallmark that is associated with a new anatomical configuration. This configuration is present in extant prosobranch gastropod species, which predominantly bear external shells. Here, we show that short-term exposure to platinum during development uncouples at least two of the processes associated with torsion of the freshwater snail Marisa cornuarietis. That is, the anus of the treated snails is located anteriorly, but the gill and the designated mantle tissue remains in a posterior location, thus preventing the formation of an external shell. In contrast to the prosobranchian archetype, platinum treatment results in the formation of a posterior gill and a cone-shaped internal shell, which persists across the lifetime. This first finding of artificially induced snail-slug conversion was also seen in the pulmonate snail Planorbarius corneus and demonstrates that selective alteration of embryonic key processes can result in fundamental changes of an existing body plan and-if altered regulation is inherited-may give rise to a new one.

  11. Evolution of whole-body enantiomorphy in the tree snail genus Amphidromus

    PubMed Central

    SUTCHARIT, C; ASAMI, T; PANHA, S

    2007-01-01

    Diverse animals exhibit left–right asymmetry in development. However, no example of dimorphism for the left–right polarity of development (whole-body enantiomorphy) is known to persist within natural populations. In snails, whole-body enantiomorphs have repeatedly evolved as separate species. Within populations, however, snails are not expected to exhibit enantiomorphy, because of selection against the less common morph resulting from mating disadvantage. Here we present a unique example of evolutionarily stable whole-body enantiomorphy in snails. Our molecular phylogeny of South-east Asian tree snails in the genus Amphidromus indicates that enantiomorphy has likely persisted as the ancestral state over a million generations. Enantiomorphs have continuously coexisted in every population surveyed spanning a period of 10 years. Our results indicate that whole-body enantiomorphy is maintained within populations opposing the rule of directional asymmetry in animals. This study implicates the need for explicit approaches to disclosure of a maintenance mechanism and conservation of the genus. PMID:17305832

  12. Compatibility of Ugandan Schistosoma mansoni isolates with Biomphalaria snail species from Lake Albert and Lake Victoria.

    PubMed

    Adriko, Moses; Standley, Claire J; Tinkitina, Benjamin; Mwesigwa, Gerald; Kristensen, Thomas K; Stothard, J Russell; Kabatereine, Narcis B

    2013-11-01

    In order to investigate the capacity of being intermediate host for Schistosoma mansoni, the Ugandan F1 generation of Biomphalaria snail species that were laboratory-bred from parent populations originally collected from either Lake Victoria or Lake Albert was challenged with sympatric and non-sympatric S. mansoni isolates. After a prepatent period of 20 days, a daily 10-hourly snail shedding for cercariae was done to determine the infection rate, cercarial production per hour and survival period of infected snails. The study suggests that when parasite strains from a different geographical origin is used for infection, survival of infected snails increase, leading to an increased transmission potential. Although earlier literature had indicated that the Lake Victoria Biomphalaria sudanica is refractory to S. mansoni, we showed that all Ugandan Biomphalaria spp., including B. sudanica from all locations, were highly susceptible to the S. mansoni isolates. Thus if B. choanomphala, which is an efficient intermediate host in Lake Victoria, is given an opportunity to occupy Lake Albert, it will most likely be compatible with the Albertine S. mansoni parasites. Equally, if B. stanleyi, currently restricted to Lake Albert invades Lake Victoria, it is likely to act as an efficient intermediate host. Future work should concentrate on intraspecific population-level differences in compatibility.

  13. Diet alters delayed selfing, inbreeding depression, and reproductive senescence in a freshwater snail

    PubMed Central

    Auld, Josh R; Henkel, John F

    2014-01-01

    Reproductive success is a critical fitness attribute that is directly influenced by resource availability. Here, we investigate the effects of diet-based resource availability on three interrelated aspects of reproductive success: a change in mating system based on mate availability, consequent inbreeding depression, and the deterioration of reproductive efficiency with age (senescence). We employed a factorial experimental design using 22 full-sib families of the hermaphroditic freshwater snail Physa acuta to explore these interactions. Individual snails were reared in one of two mate-availability treatments (isolated [selfing] or occasionally paired [outcrossing]) and one of two diet treatments (boiled lettuce or Spirulina, an algae that is rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals). Spirulina-fed snails initiated reproduction at a 13% earlier age and 7% larger size than lettuce-fed snails. Spirulina also resulted in a 30% reduction in the time delay before selfing. Compared to lettuce, a diet of Spirulina increased inbreeding depression by 52% for egg hatching rate and 64% for posthatching juvenile survival. Furthermore, Spirulina led to a 15-fold increase in the rate of reproductive senescence compared with a diet of lettuce. These transgenerational, interactive effects of diet on inbreeding depression and reproductive senescence are discussed in the context of diet-induced phenotypic plasticity. PMID:25165532

  14. Characterization of gelatin/chitosan scaffold blended with aloe vera and snail mucus for biomedical purpose.

    PubMed

    López Angulo, Daniel Enrique; do Amaral Sobral, Paulo José

    2016-11-01

    Biologically active scaffolds used in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine have been generating promising results in skin replacement. The present study aims to test the hypothesis that the incorporation of Aloe vera and snail mucus into scaffolds based on gelatin and chitosan could improve their structure, composition and biodegradability, with a potential effect on bioactivity. Homogeneous pore diameter as well as pore walls in the composite scaffold could be seen in the SEM image. The pores in the scaffolds were interconnected and their sizes ranged from 93 to 296μm. The addition of Aloe vera and snail mucus enlarged the mean pore size with increased porosity and caused changes in the pore architecture. The FTIR analysis has shown good affinity and interaction between the matrix and the Aloe, which may decrease water-binding sites, so this fact hindered the water absorption capacity of the material. The mechanical properties could explain the highest swelling capacity of the snail scaffold, because the high percentage of elongation could facilitate the entry of liquid in it, generating a matrix with plenty of fluid retention. The real innovation in the present work could be the use of these substances (Aloe and snail mucus) for tissue engineering.

  15. Effects of 17α-methyltestosterone on the reproduction of the freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata.

    PubMed

    Rivero-Wendt, C L G; Borges, A C; Oliveira-Filho, E C; Miranda-Vilela, A L; Ferreira, M F N; Grisolia, C K

    2014-01-28

    17-α-methyltestosterone (MT) is a synthetic hormone used in fish hatcheries to induce male monosex. Snails hold promise as possible test models to assess chemicals acting on the endocrine system. Biomphalaria glabrata is an aquatic gastropod mollusk (Pulmonata, Planorbidae) that can be easily maintained in aquaria, predisposing the species for use in ecotoxicological testing. This study evaluated the reproductive effects of MT on B. glabrata by examining histological changes and its reproductive performance. Ten snails per group were exposed for 4 weeks to different concentrations of MT (0.01, 0.1, and 1.0 mg/L). The total number of laid eggs, egg mass per group, size of type V oocytes, and production of spermatozoids were determined. Reproduction of B. glabrata was affected by MT. At the lowest concentration (0.01 mg/L), MT caused a statistically significant increase in the number of egg mass per snail compared with controls unexposed to MT. Histopathology analyses showed an increase in the sperm production at the higher MT concentrations of 0.1 and 1.0 mg/L. Chromatographic analyses of water samples showed that MT concentrations rapidly declined within a 96-h period. These results highlight the importance of giving more support to regulatory authorities, since MT is not registered for use on fish hatcheries in many countries around the world. Wastewater from fish farms discharged into aquatic ecosystems should be monitored for MT residues, since its presence could compromise the reproduction of other native snail species.

  16. Tropical sea snail shells: Possible exotic sources for ceramic biomaterial synthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oktar, F. N.; Kiyici, I. A.; Gökçe, H.; Aǧaogulları, D.; Kayali, E. S.

    2013-12-01

    In this study, chemical and structural properties of sea snail shell based bioceramic materials (i.e. hydroxyapatite, whitlockite and other phases) are produced by using mechano-chemical (ultrasonic) conversion method. For this purpose, differential thermal and gravimetric analysis (DTA/TG), X-ray diffraction, infra-red (IR) and scanning electron microscope (SEM) studies are performed.

  17. Fasciola hepatica: Infection Status of Freshwater Snails Collected from Gangwon-do (Province), Korea

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Jae-Hyung; Quan, Juan-Hua; Choi, In-Wook; Park, Gab-Man; Cha, Guang-Ho; Kim, Hyun-Ju; Yuk, Jae-Min; Lee, Young-Ha

    2017-01-01

    Fasciola hepatica is a trematode that causes zoonosis, mainly in cattle and sheep, and occasionally in humans. Few recent studies have determined the infection status of this fluke in Korea. In August 2015, we collected 402 samples of freshwater snails at Hoenggye-ri (upper stream) and Suha-ri (lower stream) of Song-cheon (stream) in Daegwalnyeong-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun in Gangwon-do (Province) near many large cattle or sheep farms. F. hepatica infection was determined using PCR on the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS-2). Among the 402 samples, F. hepatica 1TS-2 marker was detected in 6 freshwater snails; thus, the overall prevalence in freshwater snails was 1.5%. The prevalence varied between collection areas, ranging from 0.0% at Hoenggye-ri to 2.9% at Suha-ri. However, F. gigantica ITS-2 was not detected in the 6 F. hepatica-positive samples by PCR. The nucleotide sequences of the 6 F. hepatica ITS-2 PCR-positive samples were 99.4% identical to the F. hepatica ITS-2 sequences in GenBank, whereas they were 98.4% similar to F. gigantica ITS-2 sequences. These results indicated that the prevalence of F. hepatica in snail intermediate hosts was 1.5% in Gangwon-do, Korea; however the prevalence varied between collection areas. These results may help us to understand F. hepatica infection status in natural environments. PMID:28285514

  18. Reconsolidation of a Context Long-Term Memory in the Terrestrial Snail Requires Protein Synthesis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gainutdinova, Tatiana H.; Tagirova, Rosa R.; Ismailova, Asja I.; Muranova, Lyudmila N.; Samarova, Elena I.; Gainutdinov, Khalil L.; Balaban, Pavel M.

    2005-01-01

    We investigated the influence of the protein synthesis blocker anisomycin on contextual memory in the terrestrial snail "Helix." Prior to the training session, the behavioral responses in two contexts were similar. Two days after a session of electric shocks (5 d) in one context only, the context conditioning was observed as the significant…

  19. Effects of Endosulfan on Predator-Prey Interactions Between Catfish and Schistosoma Host Snails.

    PubMed

    Monde, Concillia; Syampungani, Stephen; Van den Brink, Paul J

    2016-08-01

    The effect of the pesticide endosulfan on predator-prey interactions between catfish and Schistosoma host snails was assessed in static tank experiments. Hybrid catfish (Clarias gariepinus × C. ngamensis) and Bulinus globosus were subjected to various endosulfan concentrations including an untreated control. The 48- and 96-h LC50 values for catfish were 1.0 and <0.5 µg/L, respectively, whereas the 48- and 96-h LC50 values for snails were 1137 and 810 µg/L. To assess sublethal effects on the feeding of the catfish on B. globosus, endosulfan concentrations between 0.03 and 1.0 µg/L were used. Predation was significantly greater (p < 0.001) in control tanks than in all other treatments. There was progressively decreasing predation with increasing toxicant concentration. Biological control of Schistosoma host snails using fish may be affected in endosulfan-polluted aquatic systems of Southern Africa because it has been found present at concentrations that are indicated to cause lethal effects on the evaluated hybrid catfish and to inhibit the predation of snails by this hybrid catfish.

  20. Fasciola hepatica: Infection Status of Freshwater Snails Collected from Gangwon-do (Province), Korea.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jae-Hyung; Quan, Juan-Hua; Choi, In-Wook; Park, Gab-Man; Cha, Guang-Ho; Kim, Hyun-Ju; Yuk, Jae-Min; Lee, Young-Ha

    2017-02-01

    Fasciola hepatica is a trematode that causes zoonosis, mainly in cattle and sheep, and occasionally in humans. Few recent studies have determined the infection status of this fluke in Korea. In August 2015, we collected 402 samples of freshwater snails at Hoenggye-ri (upper stream) and Suha-ri (lower stream) of Song-cheon (stream) in Daegwalnyeong-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun in Gangwon-do (Province) near many large cattle or sheep farms. F. hepatica infection was determined using PCR on the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS-2). Among the 402 samples, F. hepatica 1TS-2 marker was detected in 6 freshwater snails; thus, the overall prevalence in freshwater snails was 1.5%. The prevalence varied between collection areas, ranging from 0.0% at Hoenggye-ri to 2.9% at Suha-ri. However, F. gigantica ITS-2 was not detected in the 6 F. hepatica-positive samples by PCR. The nucleotide sequences of the 6 F. hepatica ITS-2 PCR-positive samples were 99.4% identical to the F. hepatica ITS-2 sequences in GenBank, whereas they were 98.4% similar to F. gigantica ITS-2 sequences. These results indicated that the prevalence of F. hepatica in snail intermediate hosts was 1.5% in Gangwon-do, Korea; however the prevalence varied between collection areas. These results may help us to understand F. hepatica infection status in natural environments.

  1. Studying Land Snails: Inquiry with K-W-L or Four Question Strategies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coleman, Pamela; Thiessen, Ronda; Wilson, Debbie; Arey, Beth; Barrow, Lloyd H.

    1999-01-01

    Summarizes how a group of teachers prepared a series of elementary-level inquiry experiences that focused on the study of land snails. Recommends and describes the K-W-L and Four Question inquiry strategies for younger and older students respectively. (WRM)

  2. THE BIOCIDE TRIBUTYLTIN ALTERS TESTOSTERONE ESTERIFICATION IN MUD SNAILS (ILYANASSA OBSOLETA)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Biocide Tributyltin Alters Testosterone Esterification in Mud Snails (Ilyanassa obsoleta)

    Meredith P. Gooding and Gerald A. LeBlanc
    Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7633

    Tributyltin (TBT...

  3. A "Love" Dart Allohormone Identified in the Mucous Glands of Hermaphroditic Land Snails.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Michael J; Wang, Tianfang; Koene, Joris M; Storey, Kenneth B; Cummins, Scott F

    2016-04-08

    Animals have evolved many ways to enhance their own reproductive success. One bizarre sexual ritual is the "love" dart shooting of helicid snails, which has courted many theories regarding its precise function. Acting as a hypodermic needle, the dart transfers an allohormone that increases paternity success. Its precise physiological mechanism of action within the recipient snail is to close off the entrance to the sperm digestion organ via a contraction of the copulatory canal, thereby delaying the digestion of most donated sperm. In this study, we used the common garden snailCornu aspersumto identify the allohormone that is responsible for this physiological change in the female system of this simultaneous hermaphrodite. The love dart allohormone (LDA) was isolated from extracts derived from mucous glands that coat the dart before it is stabbed through the partner's body wall. We isolated LDA from extracts using bioassay-guided contractility measurement of the copulatory canal. LDA is encoded within a 235-amino acid precursor protein containing multiple cleavage sites that, when cleaved, releases multiple bioactive peptides. Synthetic LDA also stimulated copulatory canal contractility. Combined with our finding that the protein amino acid sequence resembles previously described molluscan buccalin precursors, this indicates that LDA is partially conserved in helicid snails and less in other molluscan species. In summary, our study provides the full identification of an allohormone that is hypodermically injected via a love dart. More importantly, our findings have important consequences for understanding reproductive biology and the evolution of alternative reproductive strategies.

  4. Linking immune patterns and life history shows two distinct defense strategies in land snails (gastropoda, pulmonata).

    PubMed

    Russo, Jacqueline; Madec, Luc

    2013-01-01

    Life history integration of the defense response was investigated at intra- and interspecific levels in land snails of the family Helicidae. Two hypotheses were tested: (i) fitness consequences of defense responses are closely related to life history traits such as size at maturity and life span; (ii) different pathways of the immune response based on "nonspecific" versus "specific" responses may reflect different defense options. Relevant immune responses to a challenge with E. coli were measured using the following variables: blood cell density, cellular or plasma antibacterial activity via reactive oxygen species (ROS) level, and bacterial growth inhibition. The results revealed that the largest snails did not exhibit the strongest immune response. Instead, body mass influenced the type of response in determining the appropriate strategy. Snails with a higher body mass at maturity had more robust plasma immune responses than snails with a lower mass, which had greater cell-mediated immune responses with a higher hemocyte density. In addition, ROS appeared also to be a stress mediator as attested by differences between sites and generations for the same species.

  5. Mitochondrial Genome Sequence of the Galápagos Endemic Land Snail Naesiotus nux.

    PubMed

    Hunter, Samuel S; Settles, Matthew L; New, Daniel D; Parent, Christine E; Gerritsen, Alida T

    2016-01-21

    We report herein the draft mitochondrial genome sequence of Naesiotus nux, a Galápagos endemic land snail species of the genus Naesiotus. The circular genome is 15 kb and encodes 13 protein-coding genes, 2 rRNA genes, and 21 tRNA genes.

  6. Heat shock proteins (Hsp70) and water content in the estivating Mediterranean Grunt Snail (Cantareus apertus).

    PubMed

    Reuner, Andy; Brümmer, Franz; Schill, Ralph O

    2008-09-01

    Pulmonate land snails often are able to estivate to survive dry hot seasons were water and food are scarce. The aperture of the shell is closed with an epiphragm, and metabolism is depressed to approximately one fourth of basal metabolism. We investigated a molecular aspect of estivation focussing on the heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) stress response during estivation in the Mediterranean Grunt Snail Cantareus apertus. Sequences of a new inducible hsp70 and of actin are presented and expression of the hsp70 gene as well as Hsp70 protein content was measured in estivating animals. Both Hsp70 protein and mRNA do not show a significant change from the control, although there is a trend that hsp70 mRNA is less abundant in estivating specimens. After heat shock, the expression of hsp70 increased and a higher Hsp70 protein content was detected. Water relations were also investigated. After a period of 6 months in the dormant state, the snails contained 14% less water than active ones, implying a constricted protection against desiccation, compared to the desert snail Sphincterochila zonata, and a Mediterranean-type water economy.

  7. Searching the Human Genome for Snail and Slug With DNA@Home

    PubMed Central

    Zarns, Kristopher; Desell, Travis; Nechaev, Sergei; Dhasarathy, Archana

    2016-01-01

    DNA@Home is a volunteer computing project that aims to use Gibbs Sampling for the identification and location of DNA control signals on full genome-scale datasets. A fault tolerant and asynchronous implementation of Gibbs sampling using the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) was used to identify the location of binding sites of the SNAI1 (Snail) and SNAI2 (Slug) transcription factors across the human genome. Genes regulated by Slug but not Snail, and genes regulated by Snail but not Slug provided two datasets with known motifs. These datasets contained up to 994 DNA sequences which to our knowledge is largest scale use of Gibbs sampling for discovery of binding sites. 1000 parallel sampling walks were used to search for the presence of 1, 2 or 3 possible motifs using small, medium, and full size sets of these sequences. These runs were performed over a period of two months using over 1500 volunteered computing hosts and generated over 2.2 Terabytes of sampling data. High performance computing resources were used for post processing. This paper presents intra and inter walk analyses used to determine walk convergence. The results were validated against current biological knowledge of the Snail and Slug promoter regions and present avenues for further biological study. PMID:26998498

  8. Plasticity as Phenotype: G x E Interaction in a Freshwater Snail

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brunkow, P. E.; Calloway, S. A.

    2005-05-01

    Plasticity in morphological development allows species to accommodate environmental variation experienced during growth; however, genetic variation for phenotypic plasticity per se has been relatively under-studied. We utilized the well-documented plastic response of shell development to predator cues in a freshwater snail to quantify genetic variation for plasticity in growth rate and shell shape. Field-caught pairs of snails reproduced in the laboratory to create families of full siblings, which were then divided and allowed to grow in control and predator cue treatments. Predator (crayfish) cues had significant effects on both size-corrected growth rate and shell shape; family identity also significantly affected both final shell shape and growth rate. The interaction between predator treatment and family identity significantly affected snail growth rate but not final shell shape, suggesting genetic variation in the plastic response to predator cues for a physiological variable (growth rate) but not for a variable known to mechanically reduce the risk of predation (shell shape), at least in this population of snails. The possibility that risk of multiple modes of predation (i.e., both fish and crayfish) in some populations might maintain genetic variation in morphological plasticity is discussed.

  9. Elective: African Literature.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jenkins, Kenneth V.

    The make-up of a course in African literature for high school students is discussed. It is pointed out that the course can be constructed on already familiar lines. High school students will be able to describe clearly, for example, the relationship between environment and character or the dilemma of characters caught between traditional values…

  10. African Americans and Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morgan, Joan

    2000-01-01

    Reviews the opportunities available in the field of agriculture for African American students and notes efforts of the 136 colleges of agriculture to publicize their offerings and recruit students. Profiles six black leaders in agriculture, highlighting their achievements in research and aid to developing countries. A table provides data on annual…

  11. African Literature: Selected Resources.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Deschenes, Martin O.; Waters, Harold A.

    This bibliography of resources for the teaching of African literature includes over 100 citations of books, textbooks, anthologies, plays, novels, short stories, and periodicals in French and English. Publishing house addresses, audiovisual aids, professional organizations, and a course list are also cited. The books are listed under the following…

  12. The identity, distribution, and impacts of non-native apple snails in the continental United States

    PubMed Central

    Rawlings, Timothy A; Hayes, Kenneth A; Cowie, Robert H; Collins, Timothy M

    2007-01-01

    Background Since the mid 1990s populations of non-native apple snails (Ampullariidae) have been discovered with increasing frequency in the continental United States. Given the dramatic effects that introduced apple snails have had on both natural habitats and agricultural areas in Southeast Asia, their introduction to the mainland U.S. is cause for concern. We combine phylogenetic analyses of mtDNA sequences with examination of introduced populations and museum collections to clarify the identities, introduced distributions, geographical origins, and introduction histories of apple snails. Results Based on sampling to date, we conclude there are five species of non-native apple snails in the continental U.S. Most significantly, we recognize three species within what has been called the channeled apple snail: Pomacea canaliculata (California and Arizona), Pomacea insularum, (Florida, Texas, and Georgia) and Pomacea haustrum (Florida). The first established populations of P. haustrum were discovered in the late 1970s in Palm Beach County Florida, and have not spread appreciably in 30 years. In contrast, populations of P. insularum were established in Texas by 1989, in Florida by the mid to late 1990s, and in Georgia by 2005, and this species continues to spread rapidly. Most introduced P. insularum haplotypes are a close match to haplotypes from the Río Uruguay near Buenos Aires, indicating cold tolerance, with the potential to spread from Florida, Georgia, and Texas through Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and South Carolina. Pomacea canaliculata populations were first discovered in California in 1997. Haplotypes of introduced P. canaliculata match native-range haplotypes from near Buenos Aires, Argentina, also indicating cold tolerance and the potential to establish farther north. Conclusion The term "channeled apple snail" is descriptive of a morphology found in many apple snail species. It does not identify a single species or a monophyletic group. Clarifying

  13. Molecular Diversity and Gene Evolution of the Venom Arsenal of Terebridae Predatory Marine Snails

    PubMed Central

    Gorson, Juliette; Ramrattan, Girish; Verdes, Aida; Wright, Elizabeth M.; Kantor, Yuri; Rajaram Srinivasan, Ramakrishnan; Musunuri, Raj; Packer, Daniel; Albano, Gabriel; Qiu, Wei-Gang; Holford, Mandë

    2015-01-01

    Venom peptides from predatory organisms are a resource for investigating evolutionary processes such as adaptive radiation or diversification, and exemplify promising targets for biomedical drug development. Terebridae are an understudied lineage of conoidean snails, which also includes cone snails and turrids. Characterization of cone snail venom peptides, conotoxins, has revealed a cocktail of bioactive compounds used to investigate physiological cellular function, predator-prey interactions, and to develop novel therapeutics. However, venom diversity of other conoidean snails remains poorly understood. The present research applies a venomics approach to characterize novel terebrid venom peptides, teretoxins, from the venom gland transcriptomes of Triplostephanus anilis and Terebra subulata. Next-generation sequencing and de novo assembly identified 139 putative teretoxins that were analyzed for the presence of canonical peptide features as identified in conotoxins. To meet the challenges of de novo assembly, multiple approaches for cross validation of findings were performed to achieve reliable assemblies of venom duct transcriptomes and to obtain a robust portrait of Terebridae venom. Phylogenetic methodology was used to identify 14 teretoxin gene superfamilies for the first time, 13 of which are unique to the Terebridae. Additionally, basic local algorithm search tool homology-based searches to venom-related genes and posttranslational modification enzymes identified a convergence of certain venom proteins, such as actinoporin, commonly found in venoms. This research provides novel insights into venom evolution and recruitment in Conoidean predatory marine snails and identifies a plethora of terebrid venom peptides that can be used to investigate fundamental questions pertaining to gene evolution. PMID:26025559

  14. The glycosyltransferase LARGE2 is repressed by Snail and ZEB1 in prostate cancer.

    PubMed

    Huang, Qin; Miller, Michael R; Schappet, James; Henry, Michael D

    2015-01-01

    Reductions in both expression of the dystroglycan core protein and functional glycosylation of the α-dystroglycan (αDG) subunit have been reported in a number of cancers and may contribute to disease progression. In the case of prostate cancer, one mechanism that contributes to αDG hypoglycosylation is transcriptional down-regulation of LARGE2 (GYLTY1B), a glycosyltransferase that produces the functional (laminin-binding) glycan on αDG, but the mechanism(s) underlying reduction of LARGE2 mRNA remain unclear. Here, we show that αDG hypoglycosylation is associated with epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-like status. We examined immunoreactivity for both functionally-glycosylated αDG and E-cadherin by flow cytometry and the relative expression of ZEB1 mRNA and the αDG glycosyltransferase LARGE2 mRNA in prostate and other cancer cell lines by quantitative RT-PCR. To study the role of ZEB1 and other transcription factors in the regulation of LARGE2, we employed overexpression and knockdown approaches. Snail- or ZEB1-driven EMT caused αDG hypoglycosylation by repressing expression of the LARGE2 mRNA, with both ZEB1-dependent and -independent mechanisms contributing to Snail-mediated LARGE2 repression. To examine the direct regulation of LARGE2 by Snail and ZEB1 we employed luciferase reporter and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays. Snail and ZEB1 were found to bind directly to the LARGE2 promoter, specifically to E/Z-box clusters. Furthermore, analysis of gene expression profiles of clinical samples in The Cancer Genome Atlas reveals negative correlation of LARGE2 and ZEB1 expression in various cancers. Collectively, our results suggest that LARGE2 is negatively regulated by Snail and/or ZEB1, revealing a mechanistic basis for αDG hypoglycosylation during prostate cancer progression and metastasis.

  15. Physiology of the invasive apple snail Pomacea maculata: tolerance to low temperatures

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Deaton, Lewis E.; Schmidt, William; Leblanc, Brody; Carter, Jacoby; Mueck, Kristy; Merino, Sergio

    2016-01-01

    Apple snails of the genus Pomacea native to South America have invaded and become established in Europe, Asia, and the United States. Both the channeled apple snail Pomacea canaliculata and the island apple snail Pomacea maculata have been reported in the United States. The two species are difficult to distinguish using morphological characters, leading to uncertainty about the identity of the animals from populations in the United States. Because the snails are subtropical, their tolerance of low temperatures is a critical factor in limiting the spread of the animals from present localities along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico to more northern areas. The tolerance of P. maculata collected in Louisiana to temperatures as low as 0°C was examined. There was no mortality among animals maintained in water at temperatures of 20°C or 15°C for 10 days. Survival of animals during a 10-day exposure to water at temperatures 10°C and 5°C was 50%. The LD50 for a 10-day exposure was 7°C. Snails did not survive more than 5 days in liquid water at 0°C. Ammonia excretion by animals in temperatures of 20°C and 15°C was comparable to values reported for freshwater gastropods; at very low temperatures, excretion of ammonia was decreased. There was no difference in the mean values of the osmolality of the hemolymph of animals exposed to 20°C, 15°C and 10°C for 10 days. Sequencing of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase 1 identified the animals in the Louisiana population used in this study as P. maculata.

  16. Factors influencing counts in an annual survey of Snail Kites in Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bennetts, R.E.; Link, W.A.; Sauer, J.R.; Sykes, P.W.

    1999-01-01

    Snail Kites (Rostrhamus sociabilis) in Florida were monitored between 1969 and 1994 using a quasi-systematic annual survey. We analyzed data from the annual Snail Kite survey using a generalized linear model where counts were regarded as over-dispersed Poisson random variables. This approach allowed us to investigate covariates that might have obscured temporal patterns of population change or induced spurious patterns in count data by influencing detection rates. We selected a model that distinguished effects related to these covariates from other temporal effects, allowing us to identify patterns of population change in count data. Snail Kite counts were influenced by observer differences, site effects, effort, and water levels. Because there was no temporal overlap of the primary observers who collected count data, patterns of change could be estimated within time intervals covered by an observer, but not for the intervals among observers. Modeled population change was quite different from the change in counts, suggesting that analyses based on unadjusted counts do not accurately model Snail Kite population change. Results from this analysis were consistent with previous reports of an association between water levels and counts, although further work is needed to determine whether water levels affect actual population size as well as detection rates of Snail Kites. Although the effects of variation in detection rates can sometimes be mitigated by including controls for factors related to detection rates, it is often difficult to distinguish factors wholly related to detection rates from factors related to population size. For factors related to both, count survey data cannot be adequately analyzed without explicit estimation of detection rates, using procedures such as capture-recapture.

  17. Neuronal mechanisms of reconsolidation of an associative aversive skill to food in the common snail.

    PubMed

    Kozyrev, S A; Nikitin, V P

    2010-09-01

    We have previously established that reactivation of a long-term memory "trace" during exposure to a protein synthesis inhibitor in common snails trained to refuse a defined foodstuff impairs reproduction of this skill. In the present studies, the cellular mechanisms of memory reactivation were studied in defensive behavior command neurons LPl1 and RPl1 in snails. In the first series of experiments, the mechanisms of induction of amnesia were studied in semi-intact preparations 24 h after training of snails to refuse one foodstuff. These experiments showed that depression of the synaptic response to the conditioned stimulus developed 2.5 h after reminding (presentation of the conditioned food stimulus) on the background of exposure to cycloheximide. The second series of experiments addressed the neuronal mechanisms of development of amnesia. Animals were trained to refuse two foodstuffs. The snails were injected with cycloheximide 24 h after training and were subjected to the reminding procedure using one of the conditioned food stimuli. Semi-intact preparations were made 1, 3, 7, and 15 days after cycloheximide and the reminder. Responses to the conditioned food stimulus used as the reminder gradually decreased on days 1, 3, and 7. On days 7 and 15, measures of the responses to this conditioned stimulus were no different from those to the differential signal and were significantly smaller than responses to the second conditioned stimulus, which was not used as reminder. It is suggested that one of the cellular mechanisms of amnesia following impairment of long-term memory reconsolidation in snails consists of a specific, protein synthesis-dependent change in the efficiency of the synaptic connections of command neurons LPl1 and RPl1.

  18. Soil Calcium Availability Influences Shell Ecophenotype Formation in the Sub-Antarctic Land Snail, Notodiscus hookeri

    PubMed Central

    Charrier, Maryvonne; Marie, Arul; Guillaume, Damien; Bédouet, Laurent; Le Lannic, Joseph; Roiland, Claire; Berland, Sophie; Pierre, Jean-Sébastien; Le Floch, Marie; Frenot, Yves; Lebouvier, Marc

    2013-01-01

    Ecophenotypes reflect local matches between organisms and their environment, and show plasticity across generations in response to current living conditions. Plastic responses in shell morphology and shell growth have been widely studied in gastropods and are often related to environmental calcium availability, which influences shell biomineralisation. To date, all of these studies have overlooked micro-scale structure of the shell, in addition to how it is related to species responses in the context of environmental pressure. This study is the first to demonstrate that environmental factors induce a bi-modal variation in the shell micro-scale structure of a land gastropod. Notodiscus hookeri is the only native land snail present in the Crozet Archipelago (sub-Antarctic region). The adults have evolved into two ecophenotypes, which are referred to here as MS (mineral shell) and OS (organic shell). The MS-ecophenotype is characterised by a thick mineralised shell. It is primarily distributed along the coastline, and could be associated to the presence of exchangeable calcium in the clay minerals of the soils. The Os-ecophenotype is characterised by a thin organic shell. It is primarily distributed at high altitudes in the mesic and xeric fell-fields in soils with large particles that lack clay and exchangeable calcium. Snails of the Os-ecophenotype are characterised by thinner and larger shell sizes compared to snails of the MS- ecophenotype, indicating a trade-off between mineral thickness and shell size. This pattern increased along a temporal scale; whereby, older adult snails were more clearly separated into two clusters compared to the younger adult snails. The prevalence of glycine-rich proteins in the organic shell layer of N. hookeri, along with the absence of chitin, differs to the organic scaffolds of molluscan biominerals. The present study provides new insights for testing the adaptive value of phenotypic plasticity in response to spatial and temporal

  19. Opisthorchis viverrini infection in the snail and fish intermediate hosts in Central Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Dao, Ha Thanh Thi; Dermauw, Veronique; Gabriël, Sarah; Suwannatrai, Apiporn; Tesana, Smarn; Nguyen, Giang Thanh Thi; Dorny, Pierre

    2017-02-24

    Opisthorchis viverrini, a carcinogenic fish borne fluke, requires freshwater snails and fish as intermediate hosts. Opisthorchiasis is endemic in parts of Southeast Asia, including Central and South Vietnam. In this region the transmission by intermediate hosts has received little attention. Therefore, freshwater snails and wild fish from Bau My Tho, an opisthorchiasis endemic area in Binh Dinh Province were collected for examination of O. viverrini cercariae and metacercariae, respectively. A total of 12,000 snails belonging to six families, of which 1616 Bithynia snails representing Bithynia siamensis goniomphalos and Bithynia funiculata; as well as 754 fish representing 12 species were examined. Shedding of O. viverrini cercariae was observed only in B. s. goniomphalos and B. funiculata, at infection rates of 0.86% and 0.14%, respectively. O. viverrini infection in Bithynia spp. was significantly associated with the habitat but not with the species and the shell size of Bithynia spp. O. viverrini metacercariae were found in 10 fish species representing both Cyprinidae and non-Cyprinidae families. The prevalence of O. viverrini infection in fish was significantly associated with species. Carassius auratus, a fish species commonly eaten raw, Rasbora aurotaenia and Puntius brevis had the highest prevalence of 74.0%, 55.8% and 31.6%, respectively. Sharing of the same snail and fish intermediate host species was found for O. viverrini and a O. viverrini duck-genotype that are sympatric in the study region. This study is the first to report on the intermediate host species of O. viverrini in Central Vietnam and indicates a high risk of acquiring opistorchiasis when eating raw fish dishes.

  20. Effects of shorebird predation and snail abundance on an intertidal mudflat community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheverie, Anne V.; Hamilton, Diana J.; Coffin, Michael R. S.; Barbeau, Myriam A.

    2014-09-01

    Top-down effects of predation are well documented in a variety of ecological communities, including marine soft-sediment systems. It has been proposed that intertidal mudflats in the upper Bay of Fundy, Canada, which host a large population of foraging shorebirds each summer, may exhibit this community dynamic. Biofilm (consisting mainly of diatoms) forms the base of the mudflat community food web, which is dominated by the amphipod Corophium volutator. To assess the potential for a trophic cascade, we conducted a manipulative field experiment examining individual and combined effects of the shorebird Calidris pusilla, a primary predator of C. volutator, and the eastern mudsnail (Nassarius obsoletus), an intraguild predator, on community structure (including macrofauna and large meiofauna retained by a 250-μm screen). Snails exhibited density-dependent top-down effects, primarily from strong negative interactions with juvenile and adult C. volutator, likely due to interference, consumption and emigration. Medium and high densities of snails reduced chlorophyll a concentration (a measure of diatom abundance), likely through consumption and disturbance of the sediment. When present at higher densities, snails also increased variability in community structure. Shorebirds were less influential in determining community structure. They reduced C. volutator biomass through consumption, but there was no resulting effect on primary production. Top-down effects of snails and birds were cumulative on C. volutator, but did not generate a trophic cascade. We suggest that a combination of omnivory and intraguild predation by shorebirds and snails, coupled with relatively low grazing pressure by C. volutator, prevented transmission of top-down effects.

  1. Heat shock protein expression in relation to reproductive cycle in land snails: Implications for survival.

    PubMed

    Mizrahi, Tal; Heller, Joseph; Goldenberg, Shoshana; Arad, Zeev

    2011-10-01

    Land snails are subject to daily and seasonal variations in temperature and in water availability and use heat shock proteins (HSPs) as part of their survival strategy. We tested whether the reproductive cycle of land snails affects the endogenous levels of HSPs, and their involvement in the reproductive process. We examined HSP levels in the foot tissue of two Sphincterochila species, S. cariosa and S. zonata, before and after laying eggs, and analyzed the albumen gland (reproductive organ) of both species and eggs of S. cariosa for the presence and quantity of various HSPs. Our study shows reduction in the expression level of Hsp70 isoforms and Hsp90 in S. zonata foot and of Hsp74 in S. cariosa foot during the period preceding egg laying compared to the post-reproductive stage. Hsp70 isoforms and Hsp25 were highly expressed in both large albumen glands and in freshly laid eggs of S. cariosa, whereas large albumen glands of S. zonata expressed mainly Hsp70 isoforms. We conclude that a trade-off between survival and fertility is responsible for the expression level of HSPs in the foot tissue of Sphincterochila snails. Our study shows that HSPs are involved in the reproductive process. We propose that parental provision of HSPs may be part of a "be prepared" strategy of Sphincterochila snails, and that HSPs may play important roles in the survival strategy of land snails during the early life stages. Our observations also highlight the importance of the reproductive status in study of whole organisms, especially when assessing the HSP response to stress.

  2. A new calibration curve for carbonate clumped isotope thermometer of land snail shells (aragonite)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, N.; Yamada, K.; Yoshida, N.

    2013-12-01

    Clumped isotope data (Δ47) of carbonate is considered as a useful tool to reflect both the temperature and oxygen isotopic composition of water where the carbonate grew [1]. Zarrur et al. reported the relationship between snail shell calcification temperatures and the mean annual/ activity season ambient temperatures based on a calibration curve established by Ghosh et al. [2]. However, the clumped isotope temperature is always higher than the environment temperature. For better understanding this phenomenon, we present a new empirical calibration curve based on land snail shells (aragonite) cultured in the controlled temperature environment. In 2012, we cultured the land snails ';Euhadra' which were collected from Yokohama, Japan. They were cultured from eggs to adults around 6-8 months under the temperature of 20°, 25° and 30°, respectively. Each temperature group contains 15-20 snails. All of them were fed by cabbages during their life span. To study the effect of ingested carbonate, some of them were fed by Ca3(PO4)2 powder while others were fed by CaCO3 powder. Clumped isotope data for all samples were analyzed by a Thermo Finnigan MAT 253 Mass Spectrometer and calibrated by an ';absolute reference frame' [3]. We found an empirical linear relationship between Δ47 and controlled ambient temperature, which is slightly deviated from the published theoretical and experimental calibration curves based on both inorganic and biogenic materials. We will discuss the potential controlling factors caused this kind of deviation combine with the land snail growth environment. [1] Ghosh et al., 2006, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 70, 1439-1456 [2] Zaarur et al. 2011. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 75, 6859-6869 [3] Dennis et al., 2011. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 75, 7117-7131

  3. Physiological, Diurnal and Stress-Related Variability of Cadmium-Metallothionein Gene Expression in Land Snails

    PubMed Central

    Pedrini-Martha, Veronika; Niederwanger, Michael; Kopp, Renate; Schnegg, Raimund; Dallinger, Reinhard

    2016-01-01

    The terrestrial Roman snail Helix pomatia has successfully adapted to strongly fluctuating conditions in its natural soil habitat. Part of the snail’s stress defense strategy is its ability to express Metallothioneins (MTs). These are multifunctional, cysteine-rich proteins that bind and inactivate transition metal ions (Cd2+, Zn2+, Cu+) with high affinity. In Helix pomatia a Cadmium (Cd)-selective, inducible Metallothionein Isoform (CdMT) is mainly involved in detoxification of this harmful metal. In addition, the snail CdMT has been shown to also respond to certain physiological stressors. The aim of the present study was to investigate the physiological and diurnal variability of CdMT gene expression in snails exposed to Cd and non-metallic stressors such as desiccation and oxygen depletion. CdMT gene expression was upregulated by Cd exposure and desiccation, whereas no significant impact on the expression of CdMT was measured due to oxygen depletion. Overall, Cd was clearly more effective as an inducer of the CdMT gene expression compared to the applied non-metallic stressors. In unexposed snails, diurnal rhythmicity of CdMT gene expression was observed with higher mRNA concentrations at night compared to daytime. This rhythmicity was severely disrupted in Cd-exposed snails which exhibited highest CdMT gene transcription rates in the morning. Apart from diurnal rhythmicity, feeding activity also had a strong impact on CdMT gene expression. Although underlying mechanisms are not completely understood, it is clear that factors increasing MT expression variability have to be considered when using MT mRNA quantification as a biomarker for environmental stressors. PMID:26935042

  4. Venomic study on cone snails (Conus spp.) from South Africa.

    PubMed

    Kauferstein, Silke; Porth, Christine; Kendel, Yvonne; Wunder, Cora; Nicke, Annette; Kordis, Dusan; Favreau, Philippe; Koua, Dominique; Stöcklin, Reto; Mebs, Dietrich

    2011-01-01

    From six Conus species (Conus coronatus, Conus lividus, Conus mozambicus f. lautus, Conus pictus, Conus sazanka, Conus tinianus) collected off the eastern coast of South Africa the venoms were analyzed using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. Between 56 and 151 molecular masses most in a range of 1000 to 2500 Da, were identified. Among the six venoms, between 0 and 27% (C. coronatus versus C. sazanka) of the peptide masses were found to be similar. In a study on venoms from 6 Conus species collected in the Philippines, the percentage of identical masses was between none and 9% only. The venoms from the South African Conus species antagonized the rat neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) α3β2, α4β2, and α7, except for C. coronatus venom that blocked the α4β2 and α7 nAChRs only. HPLC-fractionation of C. tinianus venom led to the isolation of a peptide that is active on all three receptor subtypes. It consists of 16 amino acid residues cross-linked by two disulfide bridges as revealed by de novo sequencing using tandem mass spectrometry: GGCCSHPACQNNPDYC. Posttranslational modifications include C-terminal amidation and tyrosine sulfation. The new peptide is a member of the α-conotoxin family that are competitive antagonists of nAChRs. Phylogenetic analysis of the 16S RNA from numerous Conus species has clarified the evolutionary position of endemic South African Conus species and provided the first evidence for their close genetic relationships.

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

    PubMed

    Sokolow, Susanne H; Lafferty, Kevin D; Kuris, Armand M

    2014-04-01

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

  6. A homologue of snail is expressed transiently in subsets of mesenchyme cells in the sea urchin embryo and is down-regulated in axis-deficient embryos.

    PubMed

    Hardin, Jeff; Illingworth, Charles A

    2006-11-01

    Vertebrate members of the zinc finger transcription factor family related to Drosophila snail are expressed in neural crest and paraxial mesoderm along the left-right axis of the embryo. As simple deuterostomes, echinoderms are an important sister phylum for the chordates. We have identified populations of patterned, nonskeletogenic mesenchyme in the sea urchin Lytechinus variegatus by their expression of a sea urchin member of the snail family (Lv-snail). Lv-snail mRNA and protein are detectable at the midgastrula stage within the archenteron. At the late gastrula stage, a contiguous cluster of cells on the left side of the tip of the archenteron is Lv-snail-positive. At the early prism stage, two small clusters of mesenchyme cells near the presumptive arm buds are also Lv-snail-positive. At the pluteus stage, staining is detectable in isolated mesenchyme cells and the ciliated band. Based on fate mapping of secondary mesenchyme cells (SMCs) and double-label immunostaining, these patterns are consistent with expression of SNAIL by novel subsets of SMCs that are largely distinct from skeletogenic mesenchyme. In radialized embryos lacking normal bilateral symmetry, mesenchymal expression of Lv-SNAIL is abolished. These results suggest that transient expression of Lv-snail may be important for the differentiation of a subset of axially patterned nonskeletogenic mesenchyme cells and suggest conserved functions for snail family members in deuterostome development.

  7. Tradeoff between establishing an infection and killing the host: response of snails ( Physa acuta) to a gradient of trematode (Halipegus eccentricus) exposures.

    PubMed

    Gustafson, K D; Bolek, M G

    2015-02-01

    Pond snails ( Physa acuta ) were exposed to a gradient (0, 1, 3, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, and 50) of trematode (Halipegus eccentricus) eggs and observed to determine egg dose effects on the survival of snails through the prepatent period, snail reproduction, and the production of cercariae. The probability of snail survival through the prepatent period significantly decreased with increasing egg exposures, where the odds of snail survival was 0.94 per trematode egg. Similarly, the probability of snail reproduction significantly decreased with increasing egg exposures, where the odds of snail reproduction was 0.85 per trematode egg. In contrast, the probability of a snail shedding cercariae significantly increased with increasing egg exposures, where the odds of reaching a patent infection were 1.64 per trematode egg. However, snails shedding cercariae that were exposed to higher doses of trematode eggs tended to die sooner. Thus, there appears to be a tradeoff between infecting a snail and killing the host.

  8. Trematodes in snails near raccoon latrines suggest a final host role for this mammal in California Salt Marshes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lafferty, K.D.; Dunham, E.J.

    2005-01-01

    Of the 18 trematode species that use the horn snail, Cerithidea californica, as a first intermediate host, 6 have the potential to use raccoons as a final host. The presence of raccoon latrines in Carpinteria Salt Marsh, California, allowed us to investigate associations between raccoons and trematodes in snails. Two trematode species, Probolocoryphe uca and Stictodora hancocki, occurred at higher prevalences in snails near raccoon latrines than in snails away from latrines, suggesting that raccoons may serve as final hosts for these species. Fecal remains indicated that raccoons fed on shore crabs, the second intermediate host for P. uca, and fish, the second intermediate host for S. hancocki. The increase in raccoon populations in the suburban areas surrounding west coast salt marshes could increase their importance as final hosts for trematodes in this system. ?? American Society of Parasitologists 2005.

  9. Trematodes in snails near raccoon latrines suggest a final host role for this mammal in California salt marshes.

    PubMed

    Lafferty, K D; Dunham, E J

    2005-04-01

    Of the 18 trematode species that use the horn snail, Cerithidea californica, as a first intermediate host, 6 have the potential to use raccoons as a final host. The presence of raccoon latrines in Carpinteria Salt Marsh, California, allowed us to investigate associations between raccoons and trematodes in snails. Two trematode species, Probolocoryphe uca and Stictodora hancocki, occurred at higher prevalences in snails near raccoon latrines than in snails away from latrines, suggesting that raccoons may serve as final hosts for these species. Fecal remains indicated that raccoons fed on shore crabs, the second intermediate host for P. uca, and fish, the second intermediate host for S. hancocki. The increase in raccoon populations in the suburban areas surrounding west coast salt marshes could increase their importance as final hosts for trematodes in this system.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  11. Structure and Function of the Snail Statocyst System after a 16-Day Flight on Foton-M-2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Balaban, P. M.; Malyshev, A. Y.; Zakharov, I. S.; Aseev, N. A.; Bravarenko, N. I.; Ierusalimsky, V. N.; Samarova, A. I.; Vorontzov, D. D.; Popova, Y.; Boyle, R.

    2006-01-01

    In terrestrial gastropod snail Helix lucorum L. we studied the changes after a 16-day exposure to microgravity in: behavior, neural responses to adequate motion stimulation, intersensory interactions between the photosensory pathways and the statocyst receptors, and in expression of the HPeP gene in the statocyst receptors. In behavioral experiments it was found that the latency of body position change to sudden orientation change (flip from horizontal to downwards position) was significantly reduced in the postflight snails. Extracellularly recorded neural responses of the statocyst nerve to adequate motion stimulation in the postflight snails were independent of the motion direction while in the control animals an orientation selectivity was observed. Significant differences in the HPeP gene mRNA expression pattern in the statocyst receptor neurons were observed in postflight (30h) and control snails. Obtained results confirm the possibility to elucidate the influence of microgravity exposure on mechanisms and function of gravireceptors using this simple model animal.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

    ABSTRACT

    Imposex, the development of male sex characteristics by female gonochoristic snails, has been causally associated with exposure to the ubiquitous environmental contaminant tributyltin (TBT). Documentation of imposex distribution indicates that this masculinizat...

  13. Toxicity of anti-fouling biocides to encysted metacercariae of Echinoparyphium recurvatum (Digenea: Echinostomatidae) and their snail hosts.

    PubMed

    Morley, N J; Leung, K M Y; Morritt, D; Crane, M

    2004-07-01

    The toxicity of the anti-fouling biocides tributyltin (TBTO), copper, and Irgarol 1051 (irgarol) at a nominal concentration of 10 microg/l over a 30 day period were investigated against the viability of metacercarial cysts of the digenean parasite Echinoparyphium recurvatum resident within the body of two common freshwater snails, Lymnaea peregra and Physa fontinalis. Reduced parasite viability was found under most exposures in both snail species. However a greater effect of toxicant exposure was found in cysts within P. fontinalis compared to those in L. peregra. This was associated with an increased mortality of the host snail. Among all tested biocides, TBTO exposures induced the highest mortality to both the parasite and their hosts. These results suggest that parasite viability is interlinked with survival of the host snail. The mechanisms of differing toxicity between host species and its relevance to successful parasite transmission to the next host are discussed.

  14. Understanding traditional African healing

    PubMed Central

    MOKGOBI, M.G.

    2015-01-01

    Traditional African healing has been in existence for many centuries yet many people still seem not to understand how it relates to God and religion/spirituality. Some people seem to believe that traditional healers worship the ancestors and not God. It is therefore the aim of this paper to clarify this relationship by discussing a chain of communication between the worshipers and the Almighty God. Other aspects of traditional healing namely types of traditional healers, training of traditional healers as well as the role of traditional healers in their communities are discussed. In conclusion, the services of traditional healers go far beyond the uses of herbs for physical illnesses. Traditional healers serve many roles which include but not limited to custodians of the traditional African religion and customs, educators about culture, counselors, social workers and psychologists. PMID:26594664

  15. Ectoparasites of African Mammals.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1976-11-30

    This study consisted of ectoparasites from approximately 100,000 African small mammals, representing probably more than 500 species of which many are...study of ectoparasites may provide information concerning interactions among animal reservoirs of disease, and (3) an understanding of ecological...parameters for ectoparasites and their hosts may enhance understanding of epidemiological patterns. Of the four major groups dealt with, considerably more

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-10

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

  17. The snail Potamopyrgus antipodarum grows faster and is more active in the shade, independent of food quality.

    PubMed

    Liess, A; Lange, K

    2011-09-01

    Ecological stoichiometry has advanced food web ecology by emphasising the importance of food quality over food quantity for herbivores. Here, we focus on the effects of abiotic factors such as nutrients and light (known to influence food quality) on grazer growth rates. As model organism we used the mudsnail Potamopyrgus antipodarum that is native to New Zealand but invasive elsewhere. In a stream channel experiment in New Zealand, we manipulated light (two levels) and nutrients (four levels) to achieve a range of primary producer carbon: nutrient ratios and added mudsnails (3 densities + ungrazed control) to 128 periphyton covered stream channels in a 2 × 4 × 4 full factorial design. We measured snail growth rate and activity, food quality and nutritional imbalance, to test the predictions that (1) less light and more nutrients increase periphyton food quality and thus snail growth rates, and (2) less crowding leads to higher food availability and thus higher snail growth rates. We found that snail growth rates were higher under low light than under high light intensities and this difference increased with increasing nutrient addition. These changes in growth rate were not mediated by food quality in terms of periphyton nutrient ratios. Furthermore, experimental treatments strongly affected snail behaviour. Snails grazed more actively in the low light treatments, and thus it is more likely that snail growth rates were directly affected by light levels, maybe as a result of innate predator avoidance behaviour or as a reaction to high UV intensities. We conclude that in our stream channels snail growth rate was limited by factors other than food quality and quantity such as UV exposure, algal defences or the relatively low ambient water temperature.

  18. Recruitment of glycosyl hydrolase proteins in a cone snail venomous arsenal: further insights into biomolecular features of Conus venoms.

    PubMed

    Violette, Aude; Leonardi, Adrijana; Piquemal, David; Terrat, Yves; Biass, Daniel; Dutertre, Sébastien; Noguier, Florian; Ducancel, Frédéric; Stöcklin, Reto; Križaj, Igor; Favreau, Philippe

    2012-02-01

    Cone snail venoms are considered an untapped reservoir of extremely diverse peptides, named conopeptides, displaying a wide array of pharmacological activities. We report here for the first time, the presence of high molecular weight compounds that participate in the envenomation cocktail used by these marine snails. Using a combination of proteomic and transcriptomic approaches, we identified glycosyl hydrolase proteins, of the hyaluronidase type (Hyal), from the dissected and injectable venoms ("injectable venom" stands for the venom variety obtained by milking of the snails. This is in contrast to the "dissected venom", which was obtained from dissected snails by extraction of the venom glands) of a fish-hunting cone snail, Conus consors (Pionoconus clade). The major Hyal isoform, Conohyal-Cn1, is expressed as a mixture of numerous glycosylated proteins in the 50 kDa molecular mass range, as observed in 2D gel and mass spectrometry analyses. Further proteomic analysis and venom duct mRNA sequencing allowed full sequence determination. Additionally, unambiguous segment location of at least three glycosylation sites could be determined, with glycans corresponding to multiple hexose (Hex) and N-acetylhexosamine (HexNAc) moieties. With respect to other known Hyals, Conohyal-Cn1 clearly belongs to the hydrolase-type of Hyals, with strictly conserved consensus catalytic donor and positioning residues. Potent biological activity of the native Conohyals could be confirmed in degrading hyaluronic acid. A similar Hyal sequence was also found in the venom duct transcriptome of C. adamsonii (Textilia clade), implying a possible widespread recruitment of this enzyme family in fish-hunting cone snail venoms. These results provide the first detailed Hyal sequence characterized from a cone snail venom, and to a larger extent in the Mollusca phylum, thus extending our knowledge on this protein family and its evolutionary selection in marine snail venoms.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. A novel monoclonal antibody-based immunoenzymatic assay for epidemiological surveillance of the vector snails of Fasciola hepatica (Trematoda: Digenea).

    PubMed

    Alba, Annia; Hernández, Hilda M; Marcet, Ricardo; Vázquez, Antonio A; Figueredo, Mabel; Sánchez, Jorge; Otero, Oscar; Sarracent, Jorge

    2015-02-01

    Fasciolosis is a globally distributed snail-borne disease which requires economic consideration due to its enormous impact on veterinary medicine. During recent decades, this parasitosis has also shown increasing prevalence in human populations worldwide. The dissemination and successful transmission of fasciolosis ultimately depends on the existence of susceptible snails that act as intermediate hosts. Therefore, to accomplish effective control of this disease, surveillance and detection of the infected intermediate host would be essential. The screening of trematodes within snails using classical parasitological examination of the larvae can be unreliable (sensitivity and specificity vary depending on the time of infection and the experience of the observer) and relatively costly when using molecular biological methods during large-scale monitoring. Here we propose a novel monoclonal antibody-based immunoenzymatic assay to detect ongoing Fasciola hepatica infection in lymnaeid snails. Anti-F. hepatica rediae mouse monoclonal antibodies were generated and used to develop a double monoclonal antibody-based ELISA for parasite detection. Fasciola hepatica-infected and uninfected laboratory-reared Galba cubensis and Pseudosuccinea columella were used for assessment of the developed ELISA. Experimentally infected snails were dissected and examined for parasite larvae as the "gold standard" method. Sensitivity results were 100% for both snail species, while specificity was 98% for G. cubensis and 100% for P. columella. No cross-reactivity was detected in lymnaeids infected with Trichobilharzia sp. or Cotylophoron sp. The ELISA enabled detection of the infection from day 8 p.i. in G. cubensis while in P. columella it was noted as early as day 4. To our knowledge no previous immunoassays have been reported to detect helminth-infected snails and the developed sandwich ELISA method is therefore suggested for infection status validation in natural populations of lymnaeid

  1. The transcription factors Slug and Snail act as repressors of Claudin-1 expression in epithelial cells1

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Estrada, Ofelia M.; Cullerés, Albert; Soriano, Francesc X.; Peinado, Hector; Bolós, Victoria; Martínez, Fernando O.; Reina, Manuel; Cano, Amparo; Fabre, Myriam; Vilaró, Senén

    2005-01-01

    Claudin-1 is an integral membrane protein component of tight junctions. The Snail family of transcription factors are repressors that play a central role in the epithelial–mesenchymal transition, a process that occurs during cancer progression. Snail and Slug members are direct repressors of E-cadherin and act by binding to the specific E-boxes of its proximal promoter. In the present study, we demonstrate that overexpression of Slug or Snail causes a decrease in transepithelial electrical resistance. Overexpression of Slug and Snail in MDCK (Madin–Darby canine kidney) cells down-regulated Claudin-1 at protein and mRNA levels. In addition, Snail and Slug are able to effectively repress human Claudin-1-driven reporter gene constructs containing the wild-type promoter sequence, but not those with mutations in two proximal E-box elements. We also demonstrate by band-shift assay that Snail and Slug bind to the E-box motifs present in the human Claudin-1 promoter. Moreover, an inverse correlation in the levels of Claudin-1 and Slug transcripts were observed in breast cancer cell lines. E-box elements in the Claudin-1 promoter were found to play a critical negative regulatory role in breast cancer cell lines that expressed low levels of Claudin-1 transcript. Significantly, in invasive human breast tumours, high levels of Snail and Slug correlated with low levels of Claudin-1 expression. Taken together, these results support the hypothesis that Claudin-1 is a direct downstream target gene of Snail family factors in epithelial cells. PMID:16232121

  2. Diversity among African Pygmies

    PubMed Central

    Ramírez Rozzi, Fernando V.; Sardi, Marina L.

    2010-01-01

    Although dissimilarities in cranial and post-cranial morphology among African pygmies groups have been recognized, comparative studies on skull morphology usually pull all pygmies together assuming that morphological characters are similar among them and different with respect to other populations. The main aim of this study is to compare cranial morphology between African pygmies and non-pygmies populations from Equatorial Africa derived from both the Eastern and the Western regions in order to test if the greatest morphological difference is obtained in the comparison between pygmies and non-pygmies. Thirty three-dimensional (3D) landmarks registered with Microscribe in four cranial samples (Western and Eastern pygmies and non-pygmies) were obtained. Multivariate analysis (generalized Procrustes analysis, Mahalanobis distances, multivariate regression) and complementary dimensions of size were evaluated with ANOVA and post hoc LSD. Results suggest that important cranial shape differentiation does occur between pygmies and non-pygmies but also between Eastern and Western populations and that size changes and allometries do not affect similarly Eastern and Western pygmies. Therefore, our findings raise serious doubt about the fact to consider African pygmies as a homogenous group in studies on skull morphology. Differences in cranial morphology among pygmies would suggest differentiation after divergence. Although not directly related to skull differentiation, the diversity among pygmies would probably suggest that the process responsible for reduced stature occurred after the split of the ancestors of modern Eastern and Western pygmies. PMID:21049030

  3. Human African trypanosomiasis.

    PubMed

    Lejon, Veerle; Bentivoglio, Marina; Franco, José Ramon

    2013-01-01

    Human African trypanosomiasis or sleeping sickness is a neglected tropical disease that affects populations in sub-Saharan Africa. The disease is caused by infection with the gambiense and rhodesiense subspecies of the extracellular parasite Trypanosoma brucei, and is transmitted to humans by bites of infected tsetse flies. The disease evolves in two stages, the hemolymphatic and meningoencephalitic stages, the latter being defined by central nervous system infection after trypanosomal traversal of the blood-brain barrier. African trypanosomiasis, which leads to severe neuroinflammation, is fatal without treatment, but the available drugs are toxic and complicated to administer. The choice of medication is determined by the infecting parasite subspecies and disease stage. Clinical features include a constellation of nonspecific symptoms and signs with evolving neurological and psychiatric alterations and characteristic sleep-wake disturbances. Because of the clinical profile variability and insidiously progressive central nervous system involvement, disease staging is currently based on cerebrospinal fluid examination, which is usually performed after the finding of trypanosomes in blood or other body fluids. No vaccine being available, control of human African trypanosomiasis relies on diagnosis and treatment of infected patients, assisted by vector control. Better diagnostic tools and safer, easy to use drugs are needed to facilitate elimination of the disease.

  4. East African Rift Valley, Kenya

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    This rare, cloud free view of the East African Rift Valley, Kenya (1.5N, 35.5E) shows a clear view of the Turkwell River Valley, an offshoot of the African REift System. The East African Rift is part of a vast plate fracture which extends from southern Turkey, through the Red Sea, East Africa and into Mozambique. Dark green patches of forests are seen along the rift margin and tea plantations occupy the cooler higher ground.

  5. Implications of Changing Temperatures on the Growth, Fecundity and Survival of Intermediate Host Snails of Schistosomiasis: A Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    Kalinda, Chester; Chimbari, Moses; Mukaratirwa, Samson

    2017-01-01

    Climate change has been predicted to increase the global mean temperature and to alter the ecological interactions among organisms. These changes may play critical roles in influencing the life history traits of the intermediate hosts (IHs). This review focused on studies and disease models that evaluate the potential effect of temperature rise on the ecology of IH snails and the development of parasites within them. The main focus was on IH snails of schistosome parasites that cause schistosomiasis in humans. A literature search was conducted on Google Scholar, EBSCOhost and PubMed databases using predefined medical subject heading terms, Boolean operators and truncation symbols in combinations with direct key words. The final synthesis included nineteen published articles. The studies reviewed indicated that temperature rise may alter the distribution, optimal conditions for breeding, growth and survival of IH snails which may eventually increase the spread and/or transmission of schistosomiasis. The literature also confirmed that the life history traits of IH snails and their interaction with the schistosome parasites are affected by temperature and hence a change in climate may have profound outcomes on the population size of snails, parasite density and disease epidemiology. We concluded that understanding the impact of temperature on the growth, fecundity and survival of IH snails may broaden the knowledge on the possible effects of climate change and hence inform schistosomiasis control programmes. PMID:28098789

  6. Implications of Changing Temperatures on the Growth, Fecundity and Survival of Intermediate Host Snails of Schistosomiasis: A Systematic Review.

    PubMed

    Kalinda, Chester; Chimbari, Moses; Mukaratirwa, Samson

    2017-01-13

    Climate change has been predicted to increase the global mean temperature and to alter the ecological interactions among organisms. These changes may play critical roles in influencing the life history traits of the intermediate hosts (IHs). This review focused on studies and disease models that evaluate the potential effect of temperature rise on the ecology of IH snails and the development of parasites within them. The main focus was on IH snails of schistosome parasites that cause schistosomiasis in humans. A literature search was conducted on Google Scholar, EBSCOhost and PubMed databases using predefined medical subject heading terms, Boolean operators and truncation symbols in combinations with direct key words. The final synthesis included nineteen published articles. The studies reviewed indicated that temperature rise may alter the distribution, optimal conditions for breeding, growth and survival of IH snails which may eventually increase the spread and/or transmission of schistosomiasis. The literature also confirmed that the life history traits of IH snails and their interaction with the schistosome parasites are affected by temperature and hence a change in climate may have profound outcomes on the population size of snails, parasite density and disease epidemiology. We concluded that understanding the impact of temperature on the growth, fecundity and survival of IH snails may broaden the knowledge on the possible effects of climate change and hence inform schistosomiasis control programmes.

  7. A SNAIL1-SMAD3/4 transcriptional repressor complex promotes TGF-β mediated epithelial-mesenchymal transition

    PubMed Central

    Vincent, Theresa; Neve, Etienne P. A.; Johnson, Jill R.; Kukalev, Alexander; Rojo, Federico; Albanell, Joan; Pietras, Kristian; Virtanen, Ismo; Philipson, Lennart; Leopold, Philip L.; Crystal, Ronald G.; de Herreros, Antonio Garcia; Moustakas, Aristidis; Pettersson, Ralf F.; Fuxe, Jonas

    2013-01-01

    Epithelial-mesenchymal transitions (EMT) are essential for organogenesis and triggered in carcinoma progression into an invasive state1. Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) cooperates with signalling pathways, such as Ras and Wnt, to induce EMT2-5, but the molecular mechanisms are not clear. Here, we report that SMAD3 and SMAD4 interact and form a complex with SNAIL1, a transcriptional repressor and promoter of EMT6, 7. The SNAIL1-SMAD3/4 complex was targeted to the gene promoters of CAR, a tight junction protein, and E-cadherin during TGF-β-driven EMT in breast epithelial cells. SNAIL1 and SMAD3/4 acted as co-repressors of CAR, occludin, claudin-3 and E-cadherin promoters in transfected cells. Conversely, co-silencing of SNAIL1 and SMAD4 by siRNA inhibited the repression of CAR and occludin during EMT. Moreover, loss of CAR and E-cadherin correlated with nuclear co-expression of SNAIL1 and SMAD3/4 in a mouse model of breast carcinoma and at the invasive fronts of human breast cancer. We propose that activation of a SNAIL1-SMAD3/4 transcriptional complex represents a novel mechanism of gene repression during EMT. PMID:19597490

  8. Snail2 and Zeb2 repress P-cadherin to define embryonic territories in the chick embryo.

    PubMed

    Acloque, Hervé; Ocaña, Oscar H; Abad, Diana; Stern, Claudio D; Nieto, M Angela

    2017-02-15

    Snail and Zeb transcription factors induce epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in embryonic and adult tissues by direct repression of E-cadherin transcription. The repression of E-cadherin transcription by the EMT inducers Snail1 and Zeb2 plays a fundamental role in defining embryonic territories in the mouse, as E-cadherin needs to be downregulated in the primitive streak and in the epiblast, concomitant with the formation of mesendodermal precursors and the neural plate, respectively. Here, we show that in the chick embryo, E-cadherin is weakly expressed in the epiblast at pre-primitive streak stages where it is substituted for by P-cadherin We also show that Snail2 and Zeb2 repress P-cadherin transcription in the primitive streak and the neural plate, respectively. This indicates that E- and P-cadherin expression patterns evolved differently between chick and mouse. As such, the Snail1/E-cadherin axis described in the early mouse embryo corresponds to Snail2/P-cadherin in the chick, but both Snail factors and Zeb2 fulfil a similar role in chick and mouse in directly repressing ectodermal cadherin genes to contribute to the delamination of mesendodermal precursors at gastrulation and the proper specification of the neural ectoderm during neural induction.

  9. Feeding of Bait to Snail Lymnaea acuminata and Their Effect on Certain Enzyme in the Nervous Tissue

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Pradeep; Singh, V. K.; Singh, D. K.

    2012-01-01

    Fascioliasis, a snail-borne parasitic zoonosis, has been recognized for a long time because of its major veterinary and human impact. Different Bait formulations were fed to the snail Lymnaea acuminata in clear glass aquaria having diameter of 30 cm. Snail attractant containing bait formulations was prepared from different binary combination (1 : 1 ratio) of carbohydrates (glucose, starch 10 mM) and amino acid (methionine, histidine 10 mM) in 100 ml of 2% agar solution + sublethal (20% and 60% of 24 h and 96 h LC50) doses of different molluscicides (eugenol, ferulic acid, umbelliferone, and limonene). Snails fed on bait containing sub-lethal concentration of different molluscicides and the snail attractant, causing a significant inhibition in alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity in the nervous tissue of the vector snail L. acuminata. Maximum inhibition in ALP (20% of control) and AChE (49.49% of control) activity was observed in the nervous tissue of the L. acuminata exposed to 60% of 96 h LC50 of eugenol in the bait pellets containing starch + histidine, starch + methionine, respectively. PMID:25969756

  10. Snail-induced EMT promotes cancer stem cell-like properties in head and neck cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Ota, Ichiro; Masui, Takashi; Kurihara, Miyako; Yook, Jong-In; Mikami, Shinji; Kimura, Takahiro; Shimada, Keiji; Konishi, Noboru; Yane, Katsunari; Yamanaka, Toshiaki; Kitahara, Tadashi

    2016-01-01

    Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a key process involved in the invasion and metastasis of cancer cells. Furthermore, EMT can induce a cancer stem cell (CSC)-like phenotype in a number of tumor types. We demonstrated that Snail is one of the master regulators that promotes EMT and mediates cancer cell migration and invasion in many types of malignancies including head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). In the present study, we investigated the role of Snail in inducing and maintaining CSC-like properties through EMT in HNSCC. We established HNSCC cell lines transfected with Snail. Stem cell markers were evaluated with real-time RT-PCR and western blot analysis. CSC properties were assessed using sphere formation and WST-8 assays as well as chemosensitivity and chick chorioallantoic membrane in vivo invasion assays. Introduction of Snail induced EMT properties in HNSCC cells. Moreover, Snail-induced EMT maintained the CSC-like phenotype, and enhanced sphere formation capability, chemoresistance and invasive ability. These data suggest that Snail could be one of the critical molecular targets for the development of therapeutic strategies for HNSCC.

  11. Toxic effect and bioavailability of malathion spiked in natural sediments from the Ignacio Ramirez Dam on the snail Stagnicola sp.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Tabche, Laura; Galar, M Marcela; Olvera, H Elena; Chehue, R Alejandro; López López, Eugenia; Gómez-Oliván, Leobardo; Terron Sierra, Oscar

    2002-07-01

    Malathion (MA) is a widely used insecticide in México. The snail Stagnicola sp is a native species of the Ignacio Ramírez dam (IRD). This work aimed to evaluate the bioavailability and toxicity of MA in sediments of the IRD from the Stagnicola sp snail, taking into account the physicochemical properties of the IRD sediment. The toxic effect of MA on the snail Stagnicola sp was evaluated by biochemical tests of acetylcholinesterase (AchE) activity, protein concentration, lipid peroxidation level (LPL), and lipid content; a toxicokinetic study was also carried out. An increment in all biochemical parameters was observed at the beginning of exposure, while at 48 and 72 h a decrement in AchE activity, LPL, and lipid content was observed. The kinetics study showed gradual uptake and rapid elimination of the insecticide in the test organism. The bioconcentration factor and the absorption and elimination constants led to the conclusion that this compound is not being stored in snails. However, at the end of the experiment, the snails without MA exhibited a lack of recovery in AchE activity, which indicates that there is no correlation between the inhibitory pattern of AchE activity and snail MA concentration.

  12. Snail promotes cell migration through PI3K/AKT-dependent Rac1 activation as well as PI3K/AKT-independent pathways during prostate cancer progression

    PubMed Central

    Henderson, Veronica; Smith, Basil; Burton, Liza J; Randle, Diandra; Morris, Marisha; Odero-Marah, Valerie A

    2015-01-01

    Snail, a zinc-finger transcription factor, induces epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), which is associated with increased cell migration and metastasis in cancer cells. Rac1 is a small G-protein which upon activation results in formation of lamellipodia, the first protrusions formed by migrating cells. We have previously shown that Snail promotes cell migration through down-regulation of maspin tumor suppressor. We hypothesized that Snail's regulation of cell migration may also involve Rac1 signaling regulated by PI3K/AKT and/or MAPK pathways. We found that Snail overexpression in LNCaP and 22Rv1 prostate cancer cells increased Rac1 activity associated with increased cell migration, and the Rac1 inhibitor, NSC23766, could inhibit Snail-mediated cell migration. Conversely, Snail downregulation using shRNA in the aggressive C4–2 prostate cancer cells decreased Rac1 activity and cell migration. Moreover, Snail overexpression increased ERK and PI3K/AKT activity in 22Rv1 prostate cancer cells. Treatment of Snail-overexpressing 22Rv1 cells with LY294002, PI3K/AKT inhibitor or U0126, MEK inhibitor, decreased cell migration significantly, but only LY294002 significantly reduced Rac1 activity, suggesting that Snail promotes Rac1 activation via the PI3K/AKT pathway. Furthermore, 22Rv1 cells overexpressing Snail displayed decreased maspin levels, while inhibition of maspin expression in 22Rv1 cells with siRNA, led to increased PI3K/AKT, Rac1 activity and cell migration, without affecting ERK activity, suggesting that maspin is upstream of PI3K/AKT. Overall, we have dissected signaling pathways by which Snail may promote cell migration through MAPK signaling or alternatively through PI3K/AKT-Rac1 signaling that involves Snail inhibition of maspin tumor suppressor. This may contribute to prostate cancer progression. PMID:26207671

  13. Ocean acidification increases the vulnerability of native oysters to predation by invasive snails.

    PubMed

    Sanford, Eric; Gaylord, Brian; Hettinger, Annaliese; Lenz, Elizabeth A; Meyer, Kirstin; Hill, Tessa M

    2014-03-07

    There is growing concern that global environmental change might exacerbate the ecological impacts of invasive species by increasing their per capita effects on native species. However, the mechanisms underlying such shifts in interaction strength are poorly understood. Here, we test whether ocean acidification, driven by elevated seawater pCO₂, increases the susceptibility of native Olympia oysters to predation by invasive snails. Oysters raised under elevated pCO₂ experienced a 20% increase in drilling predation. When presented alongside control oysters in a choice experiment, 48% more high-CO₂ oysters were consumed. The invasive snails were tolerant of elevated CO₂ with no change in feeding behaviour. Oysters raised under acidified conditions did not have thinner shells, but were 29-40% smaller than control oysters, and these smaller individuals were consumed at disproportionately greater rates. Reduction in prey size is a common response to environmental stress that may drive increasing per capita effects of stress-tolerant invasive predators.

  14. The freshwater snails (Gastropoda) of Iran, with descriptions of two new genera and eight new species

    PubMed Central

    Glöer, Peter; Pešić, Vladimir

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Using published records and original data from recent field work and revision of Iranian material of certain species deposited in the collections of the Natural History Museum Basel, the Zoological Museum Berlin, and Natural History Museum Vienna, a checklist of the freshwater gastropod fauna of Iran was compiled. This checklist contains 73 species from 34 genera and 14 families of freshwater snails; 27 of these species (37%) are endemic to Iran. Two new genera, Kaskakia and Sarkhia, and eight species, i.e., Bithynia forcarti, Bithynia starmuehlneri, Bithynia mazandaranensis, Pseudamnicola georgievi, Kaskakia khorrasanensis, Sarkhia sarabensis, Valvata nowsharensis and Acroloxus pseudolacustris are described as new to science; Ecrobia grimmi (Clessin & Dybowski, 1888), Heleobia dalmatica (Radoman, 1974) and Hippeutis complanatus (Linnaeus, 1758) are reported for the first time from Iran. Additional field work is highly desirable for a more appropriate evaluation of the extant freshwater snail biodiversity in Iran. PMID:22977349

  15. The ecology of vector snail habitats and mosquito breeding-places

    PubMed Central

    Muirhead-Thomson, R. C.

    1958-01-01

    The ecology of freshwater snails—in particular those which act as intermediate hosts of bilharziasis—is reviewed in the light of the much more extensive knowledge available on the breeding-places of anopheline mosquitos. Experimental ecological methods are recommended for the field and laboratory investigation of a number of common problems involved in the study of snail habitats and mosquito breeding-places. Among the environmental factors discussed are temperature, oxygen concentration, water movement, pollution and salinity. Sampling methods for estimating populations of both snails and mosquito larvae are also described. An attempt is made to show how malacologists and entomologists alike would benefit from improved facilities for keeping abreast of general developments in the wider field of freshwater ecology. PMID:13596888

  16. Clonal structure of the introduced freshwater snail Potamopyrgus antipodarum (Prosobranchia: Hydrobiidae), as revealed by DNA fingerprinting.

    PubMed

    Hauser, L; Carvalho, G R; Hughes, R N; Carter, R E

    1992-07-22

    Multi-locus DNA fingerprints were obtained from individuals of the hydrobiid snail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum (= P. jenkinsi), by using an RNA derivative (pSPT 18.15) of Jeffrey's 33.15 minisatellite core sequence. Whole-body homogenization of snails yielded 3.21 +/- 0.09 micrograms DNA per individual, producing complex profiles comprising 12-22 fragments within the 1.0-20.0 kilobase (kb) size range. Fingerprints from natural and experimental populations identified three distinct clonal genotypes corresponding to morphological strains A, B and C, with only rare mutational variants. Mother-offspring comparisons of genetic fingerprints revealed genetic stability during apomictic parthenogenesis. Data support the notion that British populations of P. antipodarum comprise three widespread obligate parthenogenetic clones resulting from a mid-19th Century introduction from Australasia. The present-day low levels of genotypic diversity are discussed in relation to the typical occurrence of P. antipodarum in man-made or immature habitats.

  17. Predator-prey interactions between shell-boring beetle larvae and rock-dwelling land snails.

    PubMed

    Baalbergen, Els; Helwerda, Renate; Schelfhorst, Rense; Castillo Cajas, Ruth F; van Moorsel, Coline H M; Kundrata, Robin; Welter-Schultes, Francisco W; Giokas, Sinos; Schilthuizen, Menno

    2014-01-01

    Drilus beetle larvae (Coleoptera: Elateridae) are specialized predators of land snails. Here, we describe various aspects of the predator-prey interactions between multiple Drilus species attacking multiple Albinaria (Gastropoda: Clausiliidae) species in Greece. We observe that Drilus species may be facultative or obligate Albinaria-specialists. We map geographically varying predation rates in Crete, where on average 24% of empty shells carry fatal Drilus bore holes. We also provide first-hand observations and video-footage of prey entry and exit strategies of the Drilus larvae, and evaluate the potential mutual evolutionary impacts. We find limited evidence for an effect of shell features and snail behavioral traits on inter- and intra-specifically differing predation rates. We also find that Drilus predators adjust their predation behavior based on specific shell traits of the prey. In conclusion, we suggest that, with these baseline data, this interesting predator-prey system will be available for further, detailed more evolutionary ecology studies.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

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

  19. Factors controlling carbon isotopic composition of land snail shells estimated from lab culturing experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Naizhong; Yamada, Keita; Yoshida, Naohiro

    2014-05-01

    Carbon isotopic composition (δ13C) of land snail shell carbonate is widely applied in reconstructing the C3/C4 vegetation distribution of paleo-environment, which is considered to reflect variations of some environmental parameters [1][2][3]. Land snail shell carbon has three potential sources: diet, atmospheric CO2 and ingested carbonate (limestone) [4]. However, their relative contributions to shell carbonate have not been understood well yet [4][5][6][7][8]. More researches are necessary before we could apply this tool in paleo-environment reconstruction, especially inter-lab culturing experiment. A kind of land snail species, Acusta despecta sieboldiana, was collected at Yokohama, Japan and cultured under suitable environment to lay eggs. The second generations were growing up from eggs to adults around 6-12 months at the temperature of 20°, 25° and 30°, respectively. All of the snails at 25° and 30° and most of those at 20° were fed by cabbage (C3 plant) during their life span while others were fed by corn (C4 plant). To investigate the effect of ingested carbonate, some of them were fed by Ca3(PO4)2 powder while others were fed by CaCO3 powder. δ13C of shells were analyzed by an Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (Thermo Finnigan MAT 253); δ13C of food and snail tissue were measured by a Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy (Picarro G1121-i). At the same time, δ13C of eggshell and new born snails were analyzed by a Continuous Flow Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (GasBench II). We confirmed that diet, atmospheric CO2 and ingested limestone could be important sources controlling shell δ13C values. And the temperature could affect shell carbonate δ13C values, too. A simple but credible frame was raised to discuss the mechanism of how each possible source and environmental parameter could affect shell carbonate δ13C values based on previous works [4][6][8] and this study. According to this frame and some reasonable assumptions, we have estimated the

  20. Postembryonic neurogenesis in the procerebrum of the terrestrial snail, Helix lucorum L

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zakharov, I. S.; Hayes, N. L.; Ierusalimsky, V. N.; Nowakowski, R. S.; Balaban, P. M.

    1998-01-01

    Neuronogenesis during posthatching development of the procerebrum of the terrestrial snail Helix lucorum was analyzed using bromodeoxyuridine immunohistochemistry to label proliferating cells. Comparison of the distribution of labeled cells in a series of animals which differed in age at the time of incubation with bromodeoxyuridine, in survival time after incubation, and in age at sacrifice reveals a clear pattern and developmental sequence in neuron origin. First, the proliferating cells are located only at the apical portion of the procerebrum. Second, cells which are produced at any particular age remain, for the most part, confined to a single layer in the procerebrum. Third, as development proceeds, each layer of previously produced neurons is displaced toward the basal part of the procerebrum by the production of additional neurons. Our results suggest that the vast majority of the neurons (probably about 70-80%) of the snail procerebrum are produced during the first 1-2 months of posthatching development.

  1. The freshwater snails (Gastropoda) of Iran, with descriptions of two new genera and eight new species.

    PubMed

    Glöer, Peter; Pešić, Vladimir

    2012-01-01

    Using published records and original data from recent field work and revision of Iranian material of certain species deposited in the collections of the Natural History Museum Basel, the Zoological Museum Berlin, and Natural History Museum Vienna, a checklist of the freshwater gastropod fauna of Iran was compiled. This checklist contains 73 species from 34 genera and 14 families of freshwater snails; 27 of these species (37%) are endemic to Iran. Two new genera, Kaskakia and Sarkhia, and eight species, i.e., Bithynia forcarti, Bithynia starmuehlneri, Bithynia mazandaranensis, Pseudamnicola georgievi, Kaskakia khorrasanensis, Sarkhia sarabensis, Valvata nowsharensis and Acroloxus pseudolacustris are described as new to science; Ecrobia grimmi (Clessin & Dybowski, 1888), Heleobia dalmatica (Radoman, 1974) and Hippeutis complanatus (Linnaeus, 1758) are reported for the first time from Iran. Additional field work is highly desirable for a more appropriate evaluation of the extant freshwater snail biodiversity in Iran.

  2. Predator-Prey Interactions between Shell-Boring Beetle Larvae and Rock-Dwelling Land Snails

    PubMed Central

    Castillo Cajas, Ruth F.; van Moorsel, Coline H. M.; Kundrata, Robin; Welter-Schultes, Francisco W.; Giokas, Sinos; Schilthuizen, Menno

    2014-01-01

    Drilus beetle larvae (Coleoptera: Elateridae) are specialized predators of land snails. Here, we describe various aspects of the predator-prey interactions between multiple Drilus species attacking multiple Albinaria (Gastropoda: Clausiliidae) species in Greece. We observe that Drilus species may be facultative or obligate Albinaria-specialists. We map geographically varying predation rates in Crete, where on average 24% of empty shells carry fatal Drilus bore holes. We also provide first-hand observations and video-footage of prey entry and exit strategies of the Drilus larvae, and evaluate the potential mutual evolutionary impacts. We find limited evidence for an effect of shell features and snail behavioral traits on inter- and intra-specifically differing predation rates. We also find that Drilus predators adjust their predation behavior based on specific shell traits of the prey. In conclusion, we suggest that, with these baseline data, this interesting predator-prey system will be available for further, detailed more evolutionary ecology studies. PMID:24964101

  3. [Molluscicidal effect and toxicity of META-Li on Oncomelania snails in the mountain area].

    PubMed

    Wu, Yue-Ying; Ning, An; Zhou, Xiao-Hong; Xu, Jing; Li, Jian-Ren; Zheng, Shui-Fang; Cheng, Xiao-Bo

    2009-06-01

    The molluscicidal effect and toxicity of META-Li were evaluated and compared with niclosamide in Yushan county of Jiangxi Province in August 2008. There are four groups named as META-Li ridge group (1 g/m2), META-Li field group (1 g/m2), niclosamide group (2 g/m2) and control group. At 3 d, 7 d, 15 d and 2 months after drugs sprayed, the corrected mortalities of snails in the 3 groups were considerably higher than those of control (P<0.05). The corrected mortalities in META-Li field group were significantly lower than those of META-Li ridge group and niclosamide group (P<0.05). No adverse effect was observed to non-target organisms in META-Li groups, while fishes, snails and frogs all died at the first day after treated with niclosamide.

  4. Concentration and retention of Toxoplasma gondii oocysts by marine snails demonstrate a novel mechanism for transmission of terrestrial zoonotic pathogens in coastal ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krusor, Colin; Smith, Woutrina A.; Tinker, M. Tim; Silver, Mary; Conrad, Patricia A.; Shapiro, Karen

    2015-01-01

    The parasite Toxoplasma gondii is an environmentally persistent pathogen that can cause fatal disease in humans, terrestrial warm-blooded animals and aquatic mammals. Although an association between T. gondii exposure and prey specialization on marine snails was identified in threatened California sea otters, the ability of kelp-dwelling snails to transmit terrestrially derived pathogens has not been previously investigated. The objective of this study was to measure concentration and retention of T. gondii by marine snails in laboratory aquaria, and to test for natural T. gondii contamination in field-collected snails. Following exposure to T. gondii-containing seawater, oocysts were detected by microscopy in snail faeces and tissues for 10 and 3 days respectively. Nested polymerase chain reaction was also applied as a method for confirming putative T. gondii oocysts detected in snail faeces and tissues by microscopy. Toxoplasma gondiiwas not detected in field-collected snails. Results suggest that turban snails are competent transport hosts for T. gondii. By concentrating oocysts in faecal pellets, snails may facilitate entry of T. gondii into the nearshore marine food web. This novel mechanism also represents a general pathway by which marine transmission of terrestrially derived microorganisms can be mediated via pathogen concentration and retention by benthic invertebrates.

  5. Stable and clumped isotopes in shell carbonates of land snails Cathaica sp. and Bradybaena sp. in north China and implications for ecophysiological characteristics and paleoclimate studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xu; Cui, Linlin; Zhai, Jixuan; Ding, Zhongli

    2016-01-01

    Knowledge of ecophysiological characteristics of different land snail species is crucial for defining climatic significance of snail faunal assemblages. However, little work has been done in this aspect, hindering our obtaining unambiguous paleoclimatic information using these proxy indicators. Here we document for the first time the different ecophysiological characteristics of Cathaica sp. and Bradybaena sp. land snails using the stable isotopes and clumped isotope (Δ47) of the shell carbonates. The Δ47-derived temperatures for both species revealed a robust correlation with environmental temperatures. Moreover, the temperatures for Cathaica sp. are 3-5°C higher than those for Bradybaena sp. land snails, indicating different ecophysiological adaptations or growing seasons of the two species. Specifically, Cathaica sp. snails prefer living in a warm-humid summer, whereas Bradybaena sp. snails are active in the relatively cool-arid spring and/or autumn. The result testifies to the Δ47 in snail shell carbonates as a promising paleothermometer in monsoonal region and presents new insight into paleoclimatic explanation of these land snail species. This finding highlights the importance of climatic seasonality in the changes of the faunal assemblages of land snails.

  6. Concentration and retention of Toxoplasma gondii oocysts by marine snails demonstrate a novel mechanism for transmission of terrestrial zoonotic pathogens in coastal ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Krusor, Colin; Smith, Woutrina A; Tinker, M Tim; Silver, Mary; Conrad, Patricia A; Shapiro, Karen

    2015-11-01

    The parasite Toxoplasma gondii is an environmentally persistent pathogen that can cause fatal disease in humans, terrestrial warm-blooded animals and aquatic mammals. Although an association between T. gondii exposure and prey specialization on marine snails was identified in threatened California sea otters, the ability of kelp-dwelling snails to transmit terrestrially derived pathogens has not been previously investigated. The objective of this study was to measure concentration and retention of T. gondii by marine snails in laboratory aquaria, and to test for natural T. gondii contamination in field-collected snails. Following exposure to T. gondii-containing seawater, oocysts were detected by microscopy in snail faeces and tissues for 10 and 3 days respectively. Nested polymerase chain reaction was also applied as a method for confirming putative T. gondii oocysts detected in snail faeces and tissues by microscopy. Toxoplasma gondii was not detected in field-collected snails. Results suggest that turban snails are competent transport hosts for T. gondii. By concentrating oocysts in faecal pellets, snails may facilitate entry of T. gondii into the nearshore marine food web. This novel mechanism also represents a general pathway by which marine transmission of terrestrially derived microorganisms can be mediated via pathogen concentration and retention by benthic invertebrates.

  7. Snail regulates Nanog status during the epithelial–mesenchymal transition via the Smad1/Akt/GSK3β signaling pathway in non-small-cell lung cancer

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Chen-Wei; Li, Ching-Hao; Yi-Jen, Peng; Cheng, Yu-Wen; Chen, Huei-Wen; Liao, Po-Lin; Kang, Jaw-Jou; Yeng, Mao-Hsiung

    2014-01-01

    The epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT), a crucial step in cancer metastasis, is important in transformed cancer cells with stem cell-like properties. In this study, we established a Snail-overexpressing cell model for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and investigated its underlying mechanism. We also identified the downstream molecular signaling pathway that contributes to the role of Snail in regulating Nanog expression. Our data shows that high levels of Snail expression correlate with metastasis and high levels of Nanog expression in NSCLC. NSCLC cells expressing Snail are characterized by active EMT characteristics and exhibit an increased ability to migrate, chemoresistance, sphere formation, and stem cell-like properties. We also investigated the signals required for Snail-mediated Nanog expression. Our data demonstrate that LY294002, SB431542, LDN193189, and Noggin pretreat