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Sample records for african snail achatina

  1. Bacterial diversity in different regions of gastrointestinal tract of Giant African snail (Achatina fulica).

    PubMed

    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

    2012-12-01

    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.

  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. Transmission of Angiostrongylus cantonensis through the giant African snail Achatina fulica: an experimental study.

    PubMed

    Sithithaworn, P; Brockelman, W Y; Brockelman, C

    1991-12-01

    Observations on transmission of the rat lung worm, Angiostrongylus cantonensis, from rats to the snail intermediate host. Achatina fulica, in a vacant lot in Bangkok are described. The prevalence of A. cantonensis increased with snail age until 200 days of age when it attained a plateau of 50-60%. The overall prevalence was 53%. The worm burden slowly rose with age until 200 days of age beyond which it remained relatively constant. The highest mean worm burden of 5,478 was observed in the oldest age group. The parasite distribution in the snail population was highly aggregated both within each age class and in the overall population. Experiments on susceptibility of snails to laboratory infection revealed that worm recovery was dependent on dose of first stage larval infection but was independent of snail size in the range of 4-8 cm. The percent worm recovery of third stage larvae was negatively correlated with dose of infection, and no density-dependent effects of worm burden on worm size were observed.

  5. 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. PMID:26618637

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Variation of acharan sulfate and monosaccharide composition and analysis of neutral N-glycans in African giant snail (Achatina fulica)

    PubMed Central

    Park, Youmie; Zhang, Zhenqing; Laremore, Tatiana N.; Li, Boyangzi; Sim, Joon-Soo; Im, A-Rang; Ahn, Mi Young

    2009-01-01

    Acharan sulfate content from African giant snail (Achatina fulica) was compared in eggs and snails of different ages. Acharan sulfate was not found in egg. Acharan sulfate disaccharide →4)-α-d-GlcNpAc (1→4)-α-l-IdoAp2S(1→, analyzed by SAX (strong-anion exchange)–HPLC was observed soon after hatching and increases as the snails grow. Monosaccharide compositional analysis showed that mole % of glucosamine, a major monosaccharide of acharan sulfate, increased with age while mole % of galactose decreased with age. These results suggest that galactans represent a major energy source during development, while acharan sulfate appearing immediately after hatching, is essential for the snail growth. The structures of neutral N-glycans released from eggs by peptide N-glycosidase F (PNGase F), were next elucidated using ESI-MS/MS, MALDI-MS/MS, enzyme digestion, and monosaccharide composition analysis. Three types of neutral N-glycan structures were observed, truncated (Hex2–4-Hex-NAc2), high mannose (Hex5–9-HexNAc2), and complex (Hex3-HexNAc2–10) types. None showed core fucosylation. PMID:18670878

  9. The complete mitochondrial genome of the giant African snail Achatina fulica (Mollusca: Achatinidae).

    PubMed

    Yang, Huirong; Zhang, Jia-En; Guo, Jing; Deng, Zhixin; Luo, Hao; Luo, Mingzhu; Zhao, Benliang

    2016-05-01

    We present the complete mitochondrial genome of the Achatina fulica in this study. The results show that the mitochondrial genome is 15,057 bp in length, which is comprised of 13 protein-coding genes, 2 rRNA genes, 21 tRNA genes. The nucleotide compositions of the light strand are 35.47% of A, 27.97% of T 19.46% of C, and 17.10% of G. Except the ND3, 7 tRNA, ATP6, ATP8, COX3 and 12S-rRNA on the light strand, the rest are encoded on the heavy strand. Five types of inferred initiation codons are ATA (ND1, ND5), GTG (ND6), ATG (COX3, COX2), ATT (ND4) and TTG (COX1, ND2, ND3, ND4L, ATP6, ATP8, Cytb), and 3 types of inferred termination codons are T (COX3, ND2), TAA (ND1, ND4L, ND5, ND6, ATP6), and TAG (ND3, ND4, COX1, COX2, Cytb, ATP8). There are 24 intergenic spacers and 6 gene overlaps. The tandem repeat sequence (total 52 bp) of (AATAATT)n is observed in 16S-rRNA. Gene arrangement and distribution are inconsistent with the typical vertebrates.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Gut Bacterial Communities in the Giant Land Snail Achatina fulica and Their Modification by Sugarcane-Based Diet

    PubMed Central

    Cardoso, Alexander M.; Cavalcante, Janaína J. V.; Vieira, Ricardo P.; Lima, Joyce L.; Grieco, Maria Angela B.; Clementino, Maysa M.; Vasconcelos, Ana Tereza R.; Garcia, Eloi S.; de Souza, Wanderley; Albano, Rodolpho M.; Martins, Orlando B.

    2012-01-01

    The invasive land snail Achatina fulica is one of the most damaging agricultural pests worldwide representing a potentially serious threat to natural ecosystems and human health. This species is known to carry parasites and harbors a dense and metabolically active microbial community; however, little is known about its diversity and composition. Here, we assessed for the first time the complexity of bacterial communities occurring in the digestive tracts of field-collected snails (FC) by using culture-independent molecular analysis. Crop and intestinal bacteria in FC were then compared to those from groups of snails that were reared in the laboratory (RL) on a sugarcane-based diet. Most of the sequences recovered were novel and related to those reported for herbivorous gut. Changes in the relative abundance of Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes were observed when the snails were fed a high-sugar diet, suggesting that the snail gut microbiota can influence the energy balance equation. Furthermore, this study represents a first step in gaining a better understanding of land snail gut microbiota and shows that this is a complex holobiont system containing diverse, abundant and active microbial communities. PMID:22438932

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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. PMID:26347735

  17. Late Holocene environmental change in the coastal southern Somalia inferred from Achatina and rhizoliths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matteucci, R.; Belluomini, G.; Manfra, L.

    2007-10-01

    Surfaces of poorly cemented carbonate dunes of the coast of southern Somalia contain as exhumed bodies treelet rhizoliths and subfossil shells of the giant land snail Achatina. Present-day coastal dunes in southern Somalia are poorly vegetated and do not support living Achatinas. Thus, the presence of these subfossils provides evidence for a more humid period in the past: the subfossil giant land snails and the rhizoliths indicate a palaeoenvironment which was probably similar to the modern environment of the coastal belt of Kenya and of the southernmost corner of coastal Somalia, where living Achatinas are frequent and the forest-savannah mosaic vegetation type [Bonnefille, R., 1985. Evolution of the continental vegetation: the palaeobotanical record from East Africa. South African Journal of Science 81, 267-270] is widespread. According to radiometric ages of Achatina shells and geological observations, aridification process probably took place in the Late Holocene. Somali data are consistent with the known regional climatic trends.

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:18784896

  20. Nutritional status of four species of giant land snails in Nigeria

    PubMed Central

    Fagbuaro, O.; Oso, J.A.; Edward, J.B.; Ogunleye, R.F.

    2006-01-01

    Four species of African giant land snails (Archachatina marginata (ovum) Pfeiffer, Archachatina marginata (saturalis) Philippi, Achatina achatina and Limicolaria spp.) were assessed for their proximate and mineral compositions aimed at establishing their nutritive values on wet weight basis. Analysis of muscle revealed that composition of crude protein varied from 18.66%±0.57% in Limicolaria spp. and 20.56%±0.05% in Archachatina marginata (ovum) Pfeiffer; moisture content was 76.56%±0.04% in Archachatina marginata (ovum) Pfeiffer and 78.68%±0.68% in Limicolaria spp. and ash was 1.34%±0.02% in Achatina achatina and 1.44%±0.01% in Archachatina marginata (ovum) Pfeiffer. These values were statistically different from each other (P<0.05). Carbohydrate and fat content were generally low. Crude fibre was not detected in any of the species. The concentrations of zinc, iron, manganese, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, sulphur, potassium and sodium in the flesh of the snails were determined. Values of iron, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium were consistently high while cobalt, copper and lead were not detected. Snails complement the required trace and minor elements needed for proper growth and development in human being, so it is recommended for regular consumption. PMID:16909467

  1. Nutritional status of four species of giant land snails in Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Fagbuaro, O; Oso, J A; Edward, J B; Ogunleye, R F

    2006-09-01

    Four species of African giant land snails (Archachatina marginata (ovum) Pfeiffer, Archachatina marginata (saturalis) Philippi, Achatina achatina and Limicolaria spp.) were assessed for their proximate and mineral compositions aimed at establishing their nutritive values on wet weight basis. Analysis of muscle revealed that composition of crude protein varied from 18.66%+/-0.57% in Limicolaria spp. and 20.56%+/-0.05% in Archachatina marginata (ovum) Pfeiffer; moisture content was 76.56%+/-0.04% in Archachatina marginata (ovum) Pfeiffer and 78.68%+/-0.68% in Limicolaria spp. and ash was 1.34%+/-0.02% in Achatina achatina and 1.44%+/-0.01% in Archachatina marginata (ovum) Pfeiffer. These values were statistically different from each other (P<0.05). Carbohydrate and fat content were generally low. Crude fibre was not detected in any of the species. The concentrations of zinc, iron, manganese, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, sulphur, potassium and sodium in the flesh of the snails were determined. Values of iron, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium were consistently high while cobalt, copper and lead were not detected. Snails complement the required trace and minor elements needed for proper growth and development in human being, so it is recommended for regular consumption. PMID:16909467

  2. Assessment of the potential of competitor snails and African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) as biocontrol agents against snail hosts transmitting schistosomiasis.

    PubMed

    Gashaw, Fikru; Erko, Berhanu; Teklehaymanot, Tilahun; Habtesellasie, Redeat

    2008-08-01

    The objective of this study was to assess the potential of the snails Physa acuta and Melanoides tuberculata and the African catfish Clarias gariepinus as biological control agents against the Schistosoma mansoni intermediate host Biomphalaria pfeifferi under laboratory conditions. Groups of five target and five competitor snails were raised together in experimental aquaria and same number in separate aquaria as controls. Shell size, number of eggs and mortality rate were recorded for twelve consecutive weeks. The stocking density for C. gariepinus was one fish per aquarium. Fish were provided with adequate or inadequate supplementary food and fifteen B. pfeifferi were added to each aquarium. The snails and their eggs were counted daily. Significant differences in shell growth and fecundity were noted between B. pfeifferi and M. tuberculata. Physa acuta was noted to be voracious in food consumption. Snail consumption was faster by fish provided with inadequate supplementary food. Based on the present findings, it is suggested that the two competitor snails and African catfish could be used as biological control agents against B. pfeifferi. Nevertheless, the susceptibility of the competitor snails to other trematodes in Ethiopia must first be ruled out before introducing these snails into new habitats. Follow-up field observation and rigorous laboratory studies remain areas for further research.

  3. Prediction of anticancer peptides against MCF-7 breast cancer cells from the peptidomes of Achatina fulica mucus fractions

    PubMed Central

    E-kobon, Teerasak; Thongararm, Pennapa; Roytrakul, Sittiruk; Meesuk, Ladda; Chumnanpuen, Pramote

    2015-01-01

    Several reports have shown antimicrobial and anticancer activities of mucous glycoproteins extracted from the giant African snail Achatina fulica. Anticancer properties of the snail mucous peptides remain incompletely revealed. The aim of this study was to predict anticancer peptides from A. fulica mucus. Two of HPLC-separated mucous fractions (F2 and F5) showed in vitro cytotoxicity against the breast cancer cell line (MCF-7) and normal epithelium cell line (Vero). According to the mass spectrometric analysis, 404 and 424 peptides from the F2 and F5 fractions were identified. Our comprehensive bioinformatics workflow predicted 16 putative cationic and amphipathic anticancer peptides with diverse structures from these two peptidome data. These peptides would be promising molecules for new anti-breast cancer drug development. PMID:26862373

  4. Polymorphism and Population Density in the African Land Snail, Limicolaria martensiana.

    PubMed

    Owen, D F

    1963-05-10

    In natural populations of the African land snail, Limicolaria martensiana, the degree of polymorphism in color and pattern may vary with the density of the population. This could occur because predators eat the snails selectively and use past experience as a guide in finding further prey. Hence contrasting color forms may be at an advantage in dense populations where predators would have ample opportunity to learn to recognize prey. PMID:17737105

  5. Low susceptibility of Achatina fulica from Brazil to infection with AngioIylus costaricensis and A. cantonensis.

    PubMed

    Neuhauss, Erli; Fitarelli, Monaliza; Romanzini, Juliano; Graeff-Teixeira, Carlos

    2007-02-01

    Introduction of Achatina fulica in Brazil has led to serious concerns about its role as vector for metaIylid worms: AngioIylus costaricensis and A. cantonensis. Experimental infection with both parasites was performed to evaluate the potential risk for their transmission by the giant African snail. Groups of 5 animals, both wild and bred at captivity were exposed at different inocula: 1, 5, and 10 x 10(3) L1 of A. costaricensis and A. cantonensis. In all groups, few snails got infected and parasitic burden was low. Two different ways of infection were tested: ingestion produced higher numbers of L3 than the inoculation through an artificial hole in the shell. We also report the parasitological examination of 6 batches of wild A. fulica from Florianópolis, state of Santa Catarina, Brazil: only 1 out of 244 animals were infected with metaIylid larvae. Taken together these data indicate that the giant African snail occurring in Southern Brazil is not a permissive host for both AngioIylus species and does not represent a significant risk for transmission of these parasites.

  6. Environmental adaptations of the African snail Limicolaria festiva Martens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El Rayah, El Amin; Constantinou, C.; Cloudsley-Thompson, J. L.

    1984-12-01

    L. festiva is able to exist in the hot, arid, Sahel savanna regions of Africa in consequence of its nocturnal circadian rhythm of locomotory activity, and its low rate of water loss during periods of inactivity when an epiphragm has been secreted and while the snail is aestivating.

  7. 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…

  8. Studies on the responses of isolated intestine of the Giant African land snail (Archachatina marginata) to drugs.

    PubMed

    Ojewole, J A

    1980-01-01

    The effects of some drugs on the isolated intestine of the Giant African land snail (Archachatina marginata, Swainson) have been investigated. The isolated intestine of the snail contracted in response to chemical stimulation by some cholinergic and adrenergic drugs. Acetylcholine and its analogues; nicotine and dimethylphenylpiperazinium, contracted the tissue preparation in a dose-related manner. Some also contracted the tissue preparation. These results were taken to imply the presence of cholinergic and sympathetic innervations in the tissue. The receptors present in the muscle have been classified as: (1) "nicotinic" and "muscarinic" cholinoreceptors, and (2) "alpha"-adrenoceptors respectively.

  9. 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. PMID:25973628

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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 Central

    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. PMID:25203830

  14. 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)

  15. 78 FR 26540 - Importation of Jackfruit, Pineapple, and Starfruit From Malaysia Into the Continental United States

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-05-07

    .... neobrevipes Beardsley, gray pineapple mealybug. Eutetranychus orientalis, red spider mite. Gliomastix luzulae...: Achatina fulica, giant African land snail. Eutetranychus orientalis, red spider mite. Gliomastix luzulae,...

  16. 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. PMID:20578482

  17. Characteristics of snail farming in Edo South Agricultural Zone of Edo State, Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Chah, Jane Mbolle; Inegbedion, Grace

    2013-02-01

    The study was carried out to determine the characteristics of snail farming in Edo South Agricultural Zone of Edo State Nigeria. The interview schedule was used to collect data from 60 snail farmers randomly selected from six cells in the study area. Information on the socioeconomic status of the farmers, production system, management practices and production constraints in the snail farms were elicited. The constraints were determined using a four-point Likert-type scale; a mean score of ≥ 2.5 was considered as a production constraint. Majority (85.0 %) of the respondents were part-time snail farmers. The major species of snails reared were Achatina achatina and Archachatina marginata, reared by 43.3 and 26.7 % of the farmers, respectively. Semi-intensive system of production was practised by 40.0 % of the farmers. Majority (78.0 %) of the respondents used car tyres to house their snails. About 56 % of the respondents kept their snails for 1-2 years before sale. Up to 51.7 % of the respondents separated their snails into different pens according to their size/age. The most commonly used feeds were vegetables (71.2 %), plant leaves (67.8 %) and kitchen waste (59.3 %). Records of snail production activities were kept by 75.0 % of respondents. The major constraints identified were lack of capital (3.31), inability to get good laying stock (3.00), lack of formulated feed to buy (2.98) and slow growth rate of snails (2.52). The potentials of snail farming in the study area have not been fully exploited as farmers produced at subsistence level.

  18. Effects of dietary calcium on growth and oviposition of the African land snail Limicolaria flammea (Pulmonata: Achatinidae).

    PubMed

    Egonmwan, Rosemary I

    2008-03-01

    In an attempt to elucidate the role of calcium in the life of the edible Achatinid snail, Limicolaria flammea (Miller) I investigated short and long term effects of calcium added to the food. The short term experiments lasted for 18, 30 and 32 weeks respectively, while the long term experiment to determine life time utilization of calcium carbonate lasted for 15 months. In the short term experiments, hatchlings were divided into densities of one, ten and 50 snails. In the 10 snail group, there was a positive correlation between calcium provision, body weight (t test, p < 0.01; r = 0.96, p < 0.0001) and shell length (t test, p < 0.01; r = 0.96, p < 0.00001). There was also a positive correlation between increase in shell length and availability of calcium in the 1 snail group (t test, p< 0.01; r = 0.99, p < 0.00001). In the 50-snail group, the correlation was positive for shell length of the snails (t test, p < 0.05; r = 0.99, p < 0.0001) and body weight (t-test, p < 0.05; r = 99, p < 0.00001). Mortality was very high in the snails deprived of calcium and they did not produce eggs. In the long term experiment, there were three feeding peaks in L. flammea. In the first feeding peak, amount of food and calcium ingested by the snails increased in the first three months of life. The second feeding peak occurred at six months of age, while the last occurred at 10 months of age. The amount of calcium ingested during the second peak decreased gradually in the 4th and 5th month. The amount of calcium ingested was lowest during the 3rd feeding peak. The period of highest weight gained by the snails was between the 1st and 6th month and then dropped at between six and 12 months of age which corresponds to the period of egg production. There were also three peaks of egg production; the first was between six and eight months (535 eggs), the second at between 10 and 11 months (350 eggs) and the third at 13 to 14 months (310 eggs) respectively. PMID:18624247

  19. 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…

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. First record of a nematode Metastrongyloidea (Aelurostrongylus abstrusus larvae) in Achatina (Lissachatina) fulica (Mollusca, Achatinidae) in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Thiengo, Silvana C; Fernandez, Monica A; Torres, Eduardo J L; Coelho, Pablo M; Lanfredi, Reinalda M

    2008-05-01

    Achatina (Lissachatina) fulica was introduced in Brazil in the 1980s for commercial purposes ("escargot" farming) and nowadays, mainly by human activity, it is widespread in at least 23 out of 26 Brazilian states and Brasília, including the Amazonian region and natural reserves, where besides a general nuisance for people it is a pest and also a public health concern, since it is one of the natural intermediate host of Angiostrongylus cantonensis, ethiological agent of the meningoencephalitis in Asia. As Brazil is experiencing the explosive phase of the invasion, the Laboratório de Malacologia do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz/Fiocruz has been receiving samples of these molluscs for identification and search for Angiostrongylus cantonensis and Angiostrongylus costaricensis larvae. While examining samples of A. fulica different nematode larvae were obtained, including Aelurostrongylus, whose different species are parasites of felids, dogs, primates, and badger. Morphological and morphometric analyses presented herein indicated the species Aelurostrongylus abstrusus, as well as the occurrence of other nematode larvae (Strongyluris-like) found in the interior of the pallial cavity of A. fulica. This is the first report in Brazil of the development of A. abstrusus infective larvae in A. fulica evidencing the veterinary importance of this mollusc in the transmission of A. abstrusus to domestic cats. Since the spread of A. fulica is pointed out in the literature as one of the main causative spread of the meningoencephalitis caused by A. cantonensis the authors emphasize the need of sanitary vigilance of snails and rats from vulnerable areas for A. cantonensis introduction as the port side areas.

  3. 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)

  4. 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)

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

    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

  7. Responses to odors mapped in snail tentacle and brain by [14C]-2-deoxyglucose autoradiography.

    PubMed

    Chase, R

    1985-11-01

    The method of 2-deoxyglucose (2-DG) autoradiography has been widely used to map functional neuronal systems in vertebrates, but in invertebrate species, where morphological dimensions favor its use, the applications have been minimal. This study uses [14C]-2-DG to map the olfactory system of a terrestrial snail, Achatina fulica. The olfactory organ in the snail's tentacles bears a striking resemblance to the vertebrate olfactory mucosa. There are also complex neural structures in the tentacle and brain that are devoted to subsequent processing. These facts make the molluscan olfactory system a suitable complement to the traditional vertebrate and insect models in olfaction. The experiments utilized intact snails in which one tentacle was exposed to a controlled odor environment while the contralateral tentacle was held in a retracted position. The dose of [14C]-2-DG (2 microCi/gm) was injected into the hemocele. Tissue processing involved freeze-substitution with acetone, dry sectioning, and the preparation of liquid film autoradiographs. Optical density measurements permitted quantitative comparisons between experimental conditions. The natural odors of conspecific snails and of carrots elicited significantly more uptake of 2-DG in the exposed tentacle than in the unexposed tentacle and, in the exposed tentacle, significantly more label over the axons of the primary sensory neurons than was elicited by exposure to clean air. Amyl acetate and octanol were less effective. A small number of superficially placed sensory neurons were labeled in all stimulus conditions, including clean air, and may represent the mechanosensors. Stimulus-dependent labeling in the brain was limited to the procerebrum and included both neuropilar and cellular parts. In contrast to vertebrate and insect olfactory systems, there was no evidence of spatial coding for odor quality. PMID:4056861

  8. 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.

  9. 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)

  10. Metagenomic analysis of the microbiota from the crop of an invasive snail reveals a rich reservoir of novel genes.

    PubMed

    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 CO(2) 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.

  11. Metagenomic analysis of the microbiota from the crop of an invasive snail reveals a rich reservoir of novel genes.

    PubMed

    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 CO(2) 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

  12. 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

  13. Studying snails and stream health

    SciTech Connect

    Krause, C.

    1992-01-01

    A type of snail (Elimia) that is abundant in most streams in east Tennessee is noticeably absent in contaminated Oak Ridge streams, indicating a significant level of pollution. Such a snail could serve as a sensitive indicator of and contributor to improved water quality in Oak Ridge streams as remediation programs take effect.

  14. Polymorphism in pleistocene land snails.

    PubMed

    Owen, D F

    1966-04-01

    Under suitable conditions the colors and patterns of the shells of land snails may be preserved for thousands of years. In a late Pleistocene population of Limicolaria martensiana all the major color forms that occur in modern living snails may be distinguished, and the basic polymorphism is at least 8,000 to 10,000 year old. PMID:17830234

  15. 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.

  16. [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. PMID:19370997

  17. Studies on the effects of dietary beryllium at two different calcium concentrations in Achatina fulica (Pulmonata).

    PubMed

    Ireland, M P

    1986-01-01

    The mortality was highest in snails fed beryllium in the diet containing the sub-optimal concentration of calcium. There was no increase in weight over an 8 week period. Snails fed the diet containing the optimal concentration of calcium without added beryllium showed maximum weight increase but calcium alone may not be responsible for elevated growth rate. Dietary calcium enhancement appears to be responsible for the reduced concentration of zinc, magnesium, phosphate and beryllium in the tissues. Beryllium treatment did not affect the calcium concentration in the digestive gland tissue but increased zinc and magnesium in the shell. The results are discussed in relation to uptake studies and possible enzyme systems involved.

  18. Analysis of snail genes in the crustacean Parhyale hawaiensis: insight into snail gene family evolution.

    PubMed

    Hannibal, Roberta L; Price, Alivia L; Parchem, Ronald J; Patel, Nipam H

    2012-05-01

    The transcriptional repressor snail was first discovered in Drosophila melanogaster, where it initially plays a role in gastrulation and mesoderm formation, and later plays a role in neurogenesis. Among arthropods, this role of snail appears to be conserved in the insects Tribolium and Anopheles gambiae, but not in the chelicerates Cupiennius salei and Achaearanea tepidariorum, the myriapod Glomeris marginata, or the Branchiopod crustacean Daphnia magna. These data imply that within arthropoda, snail acquired its role in gastrulation and mesoderm formation in the insect lineage. However, crustaceans are a diverse group with several major taxa, making analysis of more crustaceans necessary to potentially understand the ancestral role of snail in Pancrustacea (crustaceans + insects) and thus in the ancestor of insects as well. To address these questions, we examined the snail family in the Malacostracan crustacean Parhyale hawaiensis. We found three snail homologs, Ph-snail1, Ph-snail2 and Ph-snail3, and one scratch homolog, Ph-scratch. Parhyale snail genes are expressed after gastrulation, during germband formation and elongation. Ph-snail1, Ph-snail2, and Ph-snail3 are expressed in distinct patterns in the neuroectoderm. Ph-snail1 is the only Parhyale snail gene expressed in the mesoderm, where its expression cycles in the mesodermal stem cells, called mesoteloblasts. The mesoteloblasts go through a series of cycles, where each cycle is composed of a migration phase and a division phase. Ph-snail1 is expressed during the migration phase, but not during the division phase. We found that as each mesoteloblast division produces one segment's worth of mesoderm, Ph-snail1 expression is linked to both the cell cycle and the segmental production of mesoderm.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. Bacterial flora of the schistosome vector snail Biomphalaria glabrata.

    PubMed

    Ducklow, H W; Boyle, P J; Maugel, P W; Strong, C; Mitchell, R

    1979-10-01

    The aerobic heterotrophic bacterial flora in over 200 individuals from 10 wild populations and 3 laboratory colonies of the schistosome vector snail Biomphalaria glabrata was examined. Internal bacterial densities were inversely proportional to snail size and were higher in stressed and laboratory-reared snails. The numerically predominant bacterial genera in individual snails included Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, Aeromonas, Vibrio, and several members of the Enterobacteriaceae. Enterobacteriaceae seldom predominated in laboratory colonies. Our data suggest that Vibrio extorquens and a Pasteurella sp. tend to predominate in high-bacterial-density snails. These snails may be compromised and may harbor opportunistic snail pathogens. PMID:539821

  6. Mathematical simulation of an aquatic snail population.

    PubMed

    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

  7. Freshwater snail consumption and angiostrongyliasis in Malaya.

    PubMed

    Liat, L B; Fong, Y L; Krishnansamy, M; Ramachandran, P; Mansor, S

    1978-06-01

    A survey of the freshwater snails, Pila scutata and Bellamyia ingallsiana, as food consumed by the local population was carried out in Peninsular Malaysia. Of these two species the first is preferred; the sizes favoured are between 25--40 mm. Pila snails were found to be consumed by the three communities, viz. Malay, Chinese and Indian, in different ways. The various methods of preparing the snails for consumption are described. P. scutata is an intermediate host of the rat-lung worm, Angiostrongylus malaysiensis. As this worm presumably is the causative agent of human eosinophilic meningoencephalitis, the eating habits of the three races in consuming the snail in relation to the epidemiology of the disease was also discussed. PMID:726037

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. [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. PMID:23593849

  11. Histopathological effects of copper on selected epithelial tissues of snails

    SciTech Connect

    Wolmarans, C.T.; van Aardt, W.J.; Coetzee, J.

    1986-06-01

    The exposure of freshwater snails to copper sulfate has several harmful effects on the snails. These effects include several physiological disturbances as well as certain behavioral and histological changes. On the strength of these findings it was decided to investigate, by means of transmission electron microscopy, whether histological changes occur in the surface epithelium of the snail Bulinus tropicus after exposure to copper sulfate.

  12. Web-spinning caterpillar stalks snails.

    PubMed

    Rubinoff, Daniel; Haines, William P

    2005-07-22

    Moths and butterflies compose one of the most diverse insect orders, but they are overwhelmingly herbivorous. Less than 0.2% are specialized predators, indicating that lepidopteran feeding habits are highly constrained. We report a Hawaiian caterpillar that specializes on snails, a unique food source requiring an unusual feeding strategy. The caterpillar uses silk to restrain live prey. All caterpillars have silk glands, but none are known to use silk in this spiderlike fashion. Considering the canalization of caterpillar diets, evolution to attack and feed on snails is an anomaly. Hawaii s isolation and consequently disharmonic biota likely promote evolutionary experiments that occur nowhere else.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Food allergy to Helix terrestre (snail).

    PubMed

    de la Cuesta, C G; García, B E; Córdoba, H; Diéguez, I; Oehling, A

    1989-01-01

    Among the rare foods capable of producing food allergies is the snail (Helix terrestre). The snail is a delicacy eaten in Spain, France and Portugal. This study presents the findings of an allergic study of 10 patients with this infrequent food allergy during the past 10 years. The shock organ in the majority (80%) of these patients was the bronchial tree. Six of them did not have any digestive or skin symptoms which are usually seen in cases of food allergy. All patients manifested the symptomatology after ingestion of Helix terrestre. Two also had reactions after eating Patella vulgata (limpet). The snail and the limpet are within the phylogenetic line of molluscs, i.e. of gastropods. All patients tolerated the ingestion of cephalopods and bivalves which belong to two other phylogenetic lines. Skin tests to seafoods (squids, prawns, lobsters and clams) were negative for all patients. This suggests that the sensitizing antigen is probably a protein found only in gastropod molluscs. Skin tests along with the histamine release test were valid diagnostic methods for this food allergy. The limited bibliography on this subject is probably due to the fact that the consumption of snails as well as limpets is limited to specific geographical areas.

  16. Terrestrial edible land snails as vectors for geographic dissemination of Brachylaima species.

    PubMed

    Gállego, L; González-Moreno, O; Gracenea, M

    2014-10-01

    Cornu aspersum (= syn. Helix aspersa ) snails imported into NE Spain from Algeria and South Africa, and intended for human consumption via sale in public markets, were analyzed to assess their contribution to geographic dissemination of Brachylaima species. Prevalence and viability studies of metacercariae were performed on Algerian and South African Brachylaima adults. Morphometric studies were performed by measuring 16 variables in metacercariae and 18 variables in adults. Principal component analyses (PCA) were performed to assess the contribution of each variable in the separation of the different groups. A MANOVA test performed on morphometric data from Brachylaima llobregatensis and Brachylaima mascomai Algerian and South African adults, revealed a significant multivariate main effect (P < 0.001) and univariate effects in 13 variables (P ≤ 0.001). Pairwise comparisons revealed significant differences in 13 variables between B. mascomai and Algerian adults, as opposed to 3 variables (testis I width, testis II width, and egg width) when compared with B. llobregatensis. South African adults had significant differences in 5 variables (body length, oral sucker length, oral sucker width, egg length, and egg width) when compared with B. llobregatensis, as opposed to 1 variable (testis II width) when compared with B. mascomai. Results from PCA showed 2 different groups: B. llobregatensis/Algerian adults (overlapped) and B. mascomai/South African adults (overlapped). Imported edible C. aspersum specimens can contribute significantly to the geographic spread of Brachylaima species by harboring infective metacercariae which could easily infect animals, given their heteroxenous character. Brachylaima llobregatensis has previously been detected in NE Spain only, and now this species appears to be parasitizing C. aspersum in Algeria (North Africa). This geographic dispersion could be favored by commerce in terrestrial snails such as C. aspersum.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. The convoluted evolution of snail chirality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schilthuizen, M.; Davison, A.

    2005-11-01

    The direction that a snail (Mollusca: Gastropoda) coils, whether dextral (right-handed) or sinistral (left-handed), originates in early development but is most easily observed in the shell form of the adult. Here, we review recent progress in understanding snail chirality from genetic, developmental and ecological perspectives. In the few species that have been characterized, chirality is determined by a single genetic locus with delayed inheritance, which means that the genotype is expressed in the mother's offspring. Although research lags behind the studies of asymmetry in the mouse and nematode, attempts to isolate the loci involved in snail chirality have begun, with the final aim of understanding how the axis of left-right asymmetry is established. In nature, most snail taxa (>90%) are dextral, but sinistrality is known from mutant individuals, populations within dextral species, entirely sinistral species, genera and even families. Ordinarily, it is expected that strong frequency-dependent selection should act against the establishment of new chiral types because the chiral minority have difficulty finding a suitable mating partner (their genitalia are on the ‘wrong’ side). Mixed populations should therefore not persist. Intriguingly, however, a very few land snail species, notably the subgenus Amphidromus sensu stricto, not only appear to mate randomly between different chiral types, but also have a stable, within-population chiral dimorphism, which suggests the involvement of a balancing factor. At the other end of the spectrum, in many species, different chiral types are unable to mate and so could be reproductively isolated from one another. However, while empirical data, models and simulations have indicated that chiral reversal must sometimes occur, it is rarely likely to lead to so-called ‘single-gene’ speciation. Nevertheless, chiral reversal could still be a contributing factor to speciation (or to divergence after speciation) when

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Road facilitation of trematode infections in snails of northern Alaska.

    PubMed

    Urban, Mark C

    2006-08-01

    Road disturbances can influence wildlife health by spreading disease agents and hosts or by generating environmental conditions that sustain these agent and host populations. I evaluated field patterns of trematode infections in snails inhabiting ponds at varying distances from the Dalton Highway, a wilderness road that intersects northern Alaska. I also assessed the relationships between trematode infections and snail densities and six environmental variables: calcium concentration, aquatic vegetative cover canopy cover temperature, pond size, and community structure. Presence of trematode infections and snail density were negatively correlated with distance from the highway. Of the pond characteristics measured, only calcium concentration and vegetation density declined with distance from road. However neither variable was positively associated with snail density or trematode presence. One potential explanation for observed patterns is that vehicles, road maintenance, or vertebrate vectors attracted to the highway facilitate colonization of snails or trematodes. Emerging disease threats to biological diversity in northern ecosystems highlight the importance of understanding how roads affect disease transmission.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. How parasitism, stream substrate, and movement patterns mediate response to disturbance in the snail Elimia flava

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tomba, A. M.; Feminella, J. W.

    2005-05-01

    Snails in the genus Elimia are abundant in southeastern USA streams, and also serve as intermediate hosts to parasitic trematodes. Previous work indicated that high-flows decrease snail abundance and trematode prevalence, and others have shown substrate type and snail size affect likelihood of snail dislodgement. To investigate how parasitism, size, substrate, and snail behavior influenced dislodgement, we placed Elimia flava in artificial streams containing tile or gravel substrates, and then exposed them to progressively increasing flow velocities ( ~10, 40, 90 cm/s) for 5 minutes each. We recorded snail behavior and time to dislodgement, and then preserved snails to quantify their size and parasite load. Snails on tile dislodged significantly faster than snails on gravel, and snails with high parasite loads also dislodged faster than snails without parasites. Parasitism also appeared to affect movement patterns: snails showing predominantly downstream movement had higher parasite loads than those that did not. Behavior also affected dislodgement probability, as snails moving upstream or to the waterline remained on the substrate longer than snails not showing those behaviors. Parasitism, substrate composition, and snail movement are useful predictors of the likelihood of dislodgement, and parasitism and substrate may both increase snail vulnerability to flow disturbance.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. What can be learnt from a snail?

    PubMed

    Johannesson, Kerstin

    2016-01-01

    The marine snail Littorina saxatilis is a common inhabitant of intertidal shores of the north Atlantic. It is amazingly polymorphic and forms reproductively isolated ecotypes in microhabitats where crabs are either present and wave action is less furious, or where waves are strong and crabs are absent. Decades of research have unveiled much of the ecological and demographic context of the formation of crab- and wave-ecotype snails showing important phenotypic differences being inherited, differential selection being strong over adjacent microhabitats, local dispersal being restricted, and long-distance transports of individuals being rare. In addition, strong assortative mating of ecotypes has been shown to include a component of male mate preference based on female size. Several studies support ecotypes being diverged locally and under gene flow in a parallel and highly replicated fashion. The high level of replication at various levels of independence (from local to pan-European scale) provides excellent opportunities to investigate the detailed mechanisms of microevolution, including the formation of barriers to gene flow. Current investigations benefit from a draft reference genome and an integration of genomic approaches, modelling and experiments to unveil molecular and ecological components of speciation and their interactions. PMID:27087845

  11. Spatial mosaic evolution of snail defensive traits

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Steven G; Hulsey, C Darrin; de León, Francisco J García

    2007-01-01

    Background Recent models suggest that escalating reciprocal selection among antagonistically interacting species is predicted to occur in areas of higher resource productivity. In a putatively coevolved interaction between a freshwater snail (Mexipyrgus churinceanus) and a molluscivorous cichlid (Herichthys minckleyi), we examined three components of this interaction: 1) spatial variation in two putative defensive traits, crushing resistance and shell pigmentation; 2) whether abiotic variables or frequency of molariform cichlids are associated with spatial patterns of crushing resistance and shell pigmentation and 3) whether variation in primary productivity accounted for small-scale variation in these defensive traits. Results Using spatial autocorrelation to account for genetic and geographic divergence among populations, we found no autocorrelation among populations at small geographic and genetic distances for the two defensive traits. There was also no correlation between abiotic variables (temperature and conductivity) and snail defensive traits. However, crushing resistance and frequency of pigmented shells were negatively correlated with molariform frequency. Crushing resistance and levels of pigmentation were significantly higher in habitats dominated by aquatic macrophytes, and both traits are phenotypically correlated. Conclusion Crushing resistance and pigmentation of M. churinceanus exhibit striking variation at small spatial scales often associated with differences in primary productivity, substrate coloration and the frequency of molariform cichlids. These local geographic differences may result from among-habitat variation in how resource productivity interacts to promote escalation in prey defenses. PMID:17397540

  12. 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.

  13. Digenetic larvae in Schistosome snails from El Fayoum, Egypt with detection of Schistosoma mansoni in the snail by PCR.

    PubMed

    Aboelhadid, Shawky M; Thabet, Marwa; El-Basel, Dayhoum; Taha, Ragaa

    2016-09-01

    The present study aims to detect the digenetic larvae infections in Bulinus truncatus and Biomphalaria alexandrina snails and also PCR detection of Schistosoma mansoni infection. The snails were collected from different branches of Yousef canal and their derivatives in El Fayoum Governorate. The snails were investigated for infection through induction of cercarial shedding by exposure to light and crushing of the snails. The shed cercariae were S. mansoni, Pharyngeate longifurcate type I and Pharyngeate longifurcate type II from B. alexandrina, while that found in B. truncatus were Schitosoma haematobium and Xiphidiocercaria species cercariae. The seasonal prevalence of infection was discussed. Polymerase chain reaction was used for the detection of S. mansoni in the DNA from field collected infected and non infected snails. The results of PCR showed that the pool of B. alexandrina snails which shed S. mansoni cercariae in the laboratory, gave positive reaction in the samples. Pooled samples of field collected B. alexandrina that showed negative microscopic shedding of cercariae gave negative and positive PCR in a consecutive manner. Accordingly, a latent infection in the snail (negative microscopic) could be detected by using PCR. PMID:27605774

  14. British late glacial and Holocene climatic history reconstructed from land snail assemblages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rousseau, Denis-Didier; Preece, Richard; Limondin-Lozouet, Nicole

    1998-07-01

    We present a high-resolution record from a late glacial Holocene land-snail succession from southeast England. Temperature estimates, derived from the best analogue technique, indicate a cooling trend, between 14 500 and 12 600 calendar years before present (cal yr B.P.) of 4 °C in summer and 8 °C in winter preceding the Younger Dryas event. The intense warming following the Younger Dryas stadial corresponds to increasing values of the same magnitude in 600 yr. A cooling event, weaker than the Younger Dryas, of 1 °C in both seasons is recorded between 8000 and 8500 cal yr B.P. These reconstructions from a European Holocene continental sequence are in agreement with fluctuations already described in North Atlantic and Mediterranean cores, ice cores, and African and Tibetan lake records.

  15. Chemical mediation of egg capsule deposition by mud snails.

    PubMed

    Rittschof, Dan; Sawardecker, Prasad; Petry, Caroline

    2002-11-01

    Mud snails (Ilyanassa obsoleta = Nassarius obsoletus = Nassa obsoleta) deposit eggs in protective capsules on hard substrata in soft bottom environments. We studied sites of egg capsule deposition and snail movement responses to odors to determine if chemoreception plays a role in deposition site selection. From results of field surveys, laboratory experiments, and field experiments, we conclude that mud snails use chemoreception for capsule deposition. Attractive odors originate from mud snail and whelk egg capsules and from living bivalves. Evidence for attractive odors from conspecifics is equivocal. Capsules are deposited on living odor sources and nearby hard substrates. We hypothesize that deposition of capsules on living substrates increases the likelihood that embryos will survive by decreasing the chance of smothering of embryos by sediments. PMID:12523566

  16. Range limits and parasite prevalence in a freshwater snail.

    PubMed Central

    Briers, Robert A

    2003-01-01

    Geographical range limits are thought to be set by species' physiological or ecological adaptation to abiotic factors, but the importance of biotic factors such as parasitism in determining range limits has not been well explored. In this study the prevalence of trematode parasitism in populations of a freshwater gastropod snail, Lymnaea stagnalis, increased sharply as this species approached its western UK range limit. The likelihood of trematode infection increased with snail size, but high prevalence at the range edge was not a result of interpopulation variation in snail size. Changes in population growth rates resulting from high rates of parasitism at the range edge could contribute to range limitation. The mechanism driving high rates of parasitism at the range edge is not clear, but changes in abiotic factors towards the range limit may influence snail life history and immune response to trematode infection, indirectly altering the prevalence of parasites in marginal host populations. PMID:14667375

  17. Energy saving through trail following in a marine snail.

    PubMed

    Davies, Mark S; Blackwell, Janine

    2007-05-01

    Most snails and slugs locomote over a layer of mucus and although the resultant mucus trail is expensive to produce, we show that this expense can be reduced by trail following. When tracking over fresh conspecific trails, the marine intertidal snail Littorina littorea (L.) produced only approximately 27% of the mucus laid by marker snails. When tracking over weathered trails, snails adjusted their mucus production to recreate a convex trail profile of similar shape and thickness to the trail as originally laid. Maximum energy saving occurs when following recently laid trails which are little weathered. Many and diverse ecological roles for trail following have been proposed. Energy saving is the only role that applies across the Gastropoda and so may help to explain why trail following is such a well-established behaviour. PMID:17327203

  18. METHODS FOR EXCLUDING SLUGS AND SNAILS ON EXPORTED HORTICULTURAL COMMODITIES

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increasingly, slugs and snails (mollusks) are recognized as important quarantine pests threatening agriculture, export markets and the environment. This increased awareness results from the rapid spread of damaging species concurrent with higher levels of international trade of horticultural commodi...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Long-term sensitization and environmental conditioning in terrestrial snails.

    PubMed

    Balaban, P; Bravarenko, N

    1993-01-01

    The hypothesis that a long-term increase of behavioural responses in snails (over a period of days) might be due to environmental conditioning was examined. Training consisted of delivering electric shocks non-contingently with test stimuli twice per day for 5 days to freely moving snails on a ball floating in water. After training, a significant difference in amplitude of a withdrawal reaction to tactile test stimulation appeared between shocked and control snails. Responses were significantly facilitated in shocked animals for up to 12 days after training, but only if the animals were tested in the environment used for training. Testing of the same groups of animals crawling freely on the glass lid of a tank in which they lived between experimental sessions revealed no difference in responses to the same stimuli between shocked and control snails. Injection of the neurotoxin 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine, which selectively impairs serotonergic cells, eliminated the differences between shocked and control animals. Changing the pH of the water in which the ball floated, by addition of citric acid, led to a significant selective increase of responsiveness in snails sensitized in this environment relative to the responsiveness of the same snails with normal water in the tank. The results suggest that the long-term sensitization of withdrawal reactions observed is at least in part a manifestation of an associative process, namely environmental conditioning.

  3. Antioxidant defenses and metabolic depression in a pulmonate land snail.

    PubMed

    Hermes-Lima, M; Storey, K B

    1995-06-01

    During arousal from estivation oxygen consumption by land snails (Otala lactea) increases severalfold. To determine whether snails prepared for an accompanying rise in the rates of oxyradical generation by altering their antioxidant defense mechanisms, changes in the activities of antioxidant enzymes and lipid peroxidation products were quantified in foot and hepatopancreas of control, 30-day estivating, and aroused snails. Compared with controls, estivating O. lactea showed significant increases in the activities of foot muscle superoxide dismutase (SOD) (increasing by 56-67%), catalase (51-72%), and glutathione S-transferase (79-108%), whereas, in hepatopancreas, SOD (57-78%) and glutathione peroxidase (93-144%) increased. Within 40 min after arousal began, hepatopancreas glutathione peroxidase activity had returned to control values, but SOD showed a further 70% increase in activity but then returned to control levels by 80 min. Estivation had no effect on total glutathione (GSH + 2 GSSG) concentrations in tissues, but GSSG content had increased about twofold in both organs of 30-day dormant snails. Lipid peoxidation (quantified as thiobarbituric acid reactive substances) was significantly enhanced at the onset of arousal from dormancy, indicating that oxidative stress and tissue damage occurred at this time. The data suggest that antioxidant defenses in snail organs are increased while snails are in the hypometabolic state as a preparation for oxidative stress during arousal.

  4. The Hypoxia-controlled FBXL14 Ubiquitin Ligase Targets SNAIL1 for Proteasome Degradation*

    PubMed Central

    Viñas-Castells, Rosa; Beltran, Manuel; Valls, Gabriela; Gómez, Irene; García, José Miguel; Montserrat-Sentís, Bàrbara; Baulida, Josep; Bonilla, Félix; de Herreros, Antonio García; Díaz, Víctor M.

    2010-01-01

    The transcription factor SNAIL1 is a master regulator of epithelial to mesenchymal transition. SNAIL1 is a very unstable protein, and its levels are regulated by the E3 ubiquitin ligase β-TrCP1 that interacts with SNAIL1 upon its phosphorylation by GSK-3β. Here we show that SNAIL1 polyubiquitylation and degradation may occur in conditions precluding SNAIL1 phosphorylation by GSK-3β, suggesting that additional E3 ligases participate in the control of SNAIL1 protein stability. In particular, we demonstrate that the F-box E3 ubiquitin ligase FBXl14 interacts with SNAIL1 and promotes its ubiquitylation and proteasome degradation independently of phosphorylation by GSK-3β. In vivo, inhibition of FBXl14 using short hairpin RNA stabilizes both ectopically expressed and endogenous SNAIL1. Moreover, the expression of FBXl14 is potently down-regulated during hypoxia, a condition that increases the levels of SNAIL1 protein but not SNAIL1 mRNA. FBXL14 mRNA is decreased in tumors with a high expression of two proteins up-regulated in hypoxia, carbonic anhydrase 9 and TWIST1. In addition, Twist1 small interfering RNA prevents hypoxia-induced Fbxl14 down-regulation and SNAIL1 stabilization in NMuMG cells. Altogether, these results demonstrate the existence of an alternative mechanism controlling SNAIL1 protein levels relevant for the induction of SNAIL1 during hypoxia. PMID:19955572

  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. Loss of Snail2 favors skin tumor progression by promoting the recruitment of myeloid progenitors

    PubMed Central

    Villarejo, Ana; Molina-Ortiz, Patricia; Montenegro, Yenny; Moreno-Bueno, Gema; Morales, Saleta; Santos, Vanesa; Gridley, Tom; Pérez-Moreno, Mirna A.; Peinado, Héctor; Portillo, Francisco; Calés, Carmela; Cano, Amparo

    2015-01-01

    Snail2 is a zinc finger transcription factor involved in driving epithelial to mesenchymal transitions. Snail2 null mice are viable, but display defects in melanogenesis, gametogenesis and hematopoiesis, and are markedly radiosensitive. Here, using mouse genetics, we have studied the contributions of Snail2 to epidermal homeostasis and skin carcinogenesis. Snail2 −/− mice presented a defective epidermal terminal differentiation and, unexpectedly, an increase in number, size and malignancy of tumor lesions when subjected to the two-stage mouse skin chemical carcinogenesis protocol, compared with controls. Additionally, tumor lesions from Snail2 −/− mice presented a high inflammatory component with an elevated percentage of myeloid precursors in tumor lesions that was further increased in the presence of the anti-inflammatory agent dexamethasone. In vitro studies in Snail2 null keratinocytes showed that loss of Snail2 leads to a decrease in proliferation indicating a non-cell autonomous role for Snail2 in the skin carcinogenic response observed in vivo. Bone marrow (BM) cross-reconstitution assays between Snail2 wild-type and null mice showed that Snail2 absence in the hematopoietic system fully reproduces the tumor behavior of the Snail2 null mice and triggers the accumulation of myeloid precursors in the BM, blood and tumor lesions. These results indicate a new role for Snail2 in preventing myeloid precursors recruitment impairing skin chemical carcinogenesis progression. PMID:25784375

  10. Ecology of bacterial communities in the schistosomiasis vector snailBiomphalaria glabrata.

    PubMed

    Ducklow, H W; Clausen, K; Mitchell, R

    1981-09-01

    The internal colony-forming bacterial flora of the schistosome intermediate host snailBiomphalaria glabrata (Say) has been characterized in ca. 500 individual snails from Puerto Rico, Guadeloupe, and St. Lucia, and from laboratory aquaria. Freshly captured wild snails harbor 2-40×10(6) CFU·g(-1), and healthy aquarium snails harbor 4-16×10(7) CFU·g(-1), whereas moribund individuals have 4-10 times as many bacteria as healthy individuals from the same habitats.Pseudomonas spp. are the most common predominant bacteria in normal snails, whereasAcinetobacter, Aeromonas, andMoraxella spp. predominate in moribund snails. External bacterial populations in water appear to have little effect on the composition and size of the flora in any snail. In addition to normal (healthy) and moribund snails, a third group of snails has been distinguished on the basis of internal bacterial density and predominating genera. These "high-density" snails may have undergone stresses and may harbor opportunistic pathogens. The microfloras of wild and laboratory-reared snails can be altered and stimulated to increase in density by crowding the snails or treating them with antibiotics. PMID:24227500

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Shell colouration and parasite tolerance in two helicoid snail species.

    PubMed

    Scheil, Alexandra E; Hilsmann, Stefanie; Triebskorn, Rita; Köhler, Heinz-R

    2014-03-01

    The polymorphism of shell colouration in helicoid snails is a well-known phenomenon attributed to different factors such as predation and climatic effects. Another aspect contributing to this polymorphism could be the interplay of melanin production and phenoloxidase-related immunity. Therefore, in this study we aimed at answering the questions whether there is a differential sensitivity of different snail shell colour morphs to nematode infection, and whether this can be related to differences in phenoloxidase (PO) activity levels using the two helicoid, polymorphic snail species Cepaea hortensis and Cernuella virgata. Snails of both species were artificially infected with the parasitic nematode Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita, and analysed for mortality and PO activity levels. We found C. virgata to be more severely affected by P. hermaphrodita infection than C. hortensis, and the dark C. virgata morphs to be more resistant to lethal effects of this infection than pale morphs. However, these differences in sensitivity to the parasite could not clearly be related to different PO activity levels.

  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. The maintenance of hybrids by parasitism in a freshwater snail.

    PubMed

    Guttel, Yonathan; Ben-Ami, Frida

    2014-11-01

    Hybrids have often been labelled evolutionary dead-ends due to their lower fertility and viability. However, there is growing awareness that hybridisation between different species may play a constructive role in animal evolution as a means to create variability. Thus, hybridisation and introgression may contribute to adaptive evolution, for example with regards to natural antagonists (parasites, predators, competitors) and adaptation to local environmental conditions. Here we investigated whether parasite intensity contributes to the continuous recreation of hybrids in 74 natural populations of Melanopsis, a complex of freshwater snails with three species. We also examined, under laboratory conditions, whether hybrids and their parental taxa differ in their tolerance of low and high temperatures and salinity levels. Infections were consistently less prevalent in males than in females, and lower in snails from deeper habitats. Infection prevalence in hybrids was significantly lower than in the parental taxa. Low hybrid infection rates could not be explained by sediment type, snail density or geographic distribution of the sampling sites. Interestingly, infected hybrid snails did not show signs of parasite-induced gigantism, whereas all parental taxa did. We found that hybrids mostly coped with extreme temperatures and salinity levels as well as their parental taxa did. Taken together, our results suggest that Melanopsis hybrids perform better in the presence of parasites and environmental stress. This may explain the widespread and long-term occurrence of Melanopsis hybrids as evidenced by paleontological and biogeographic data. Hybridisation may be an adaptive host strategy, reducing infection rates and resisting gigantism. PMID:25173837

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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)

  4. SNAILs promote G1 phase in selected cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Wu, Ya-Lan; Xue, Jian-Xin; Zhou, Lin; Deng, Lei; Shang, Yan-Na; Liu, Fang; Mo, Xian-Ming; Lu, You

    2015-11-01

    Cells can acquire a stem-like cell phenotype through epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). However, it is not known which of the stem-like cancer cells are generated by these phenotype transitions. We studied the EMT-inducing roles of SNAILs (the key inducers for the onset of EMT) in selected cancer cells (lung cancer cell line with relatively stable genome), in order to provide more implications for the investigation of EMT-related phenotype transitions in cancer. However, SNAILs fail to induce completed EMT. In addition, we proved that Snail accelerates the early G1 phase whereas Slug accelerates the late G1 phase. Blocking G1 phase is one of the basic conditions for the onset of EMT-related phenotype transitions (e.g., metastasis, acquiring stemness). The discovery of this unexpected phenomenon (promoting G1 phase) typically reveals the heterogeneity of cancer cells. The onset of EMT-related phenotype transitions in cancer needs not only the induction and activation of SNAILs, but also some particular heredity alterations (genetic or epigenetic alterations, which cause heterogeneity). The new connection between heredity alteration (heterogeneity) and phenotype transition suggests a novel treatment strategy, the heredity alteration-directed specific target therapy. Further investigations need to be conducted to study the relevant heredity alterations.

  5. A snail-eating snake recognizes prey handedness.

    PubMed

    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

  6. Sequestration of lichen compounds by three species of terrestrial snails.

    PubMed

    Hesbacher, S; Baur, B; Baur, A; Proksch, P

    1995-02-01

    Three species of lichen-grazing snails,Balea perversa, Chondria clienta, andHelicigona lapicida, all from the Swedish island of Öland, were found to sequester lichen compounds when feeding on the crustous lichen speciesAspicila calcarea, Caloplaca flavovirescens, Lecanora muralis, Physcia adscendens, Tephromela atra, andXanthoria parietina. The lichen compounds detected in the soft bodies of the snail species analyzed included the anthraquinone parietin, the depside atranorin, as well as a presumable degradation product of the latter. Other lichen compounds such as (+)-usnic acid or α-collatolic acid were not found in the soft bodies but were only detected in the feces, suggesting selective uptake of lichen compounds by the snails. In individuals ofC. clienta initially fed on the lichenX. parietina, the amount of sequestered parietin decreased over time on a parietin-free diet but was still detectable in the soft bodies after 28 days. In the ovoviviparous land snail,B. perversa, sequestered parietin was transferred from the mother to the eggs in the reproductive tract. PMID:24234022

  7. The maintenance of hybrids by parasitism in a freshwater snail.

    PubMed

    Guttel, Yonathan; Ben-Ami, Frida

    2014-11-01

    Hybrids have often been labelled evolutionary dead-ends due to their lower fertility and viability. However, there is growing awareness that hybridisation between different species may play a constructive role in animal evolution as a means to create variability. Thus, hybridisation and introgression may contribute to adaptive evolution, for example with regards to natural antagonists (parasites, predators, competitors) and adaptation to local environmental conditions. Here we investigated whether parasite intensity contributes to the continuous recreation of hybrids in 74 natural populations of Melanopsis, a complex of freshwater snails with three species. We also examined, under laboratory conditions, whether hybrids and their parental taxa differ in their tolerance of low and high temperatures and salinity levels. Infections were consistently less prevalent in males than in females, and lower in snails from deeper habitats. Infection prevalence in hybrids was significantly lower than in the parental taxa. Low hybrid infection rates could not be explained by sediment type, snail density or geographic distribution of the sampling sites. Interestingly, infected hybrid snails did not show signs of parasite-induced gigantism, whereas all parental taxa did. We found that hybrids mostly coped with extreme temperatures and salinity levels as well as their parental taxa did. Taken together, our results suggest that Melanopsis hybrids perform better in the presence of parasites and environmental stress. This may explain the widespread and long-term occurrence of Melanopsis hybrids as evidenced by paleontological and biogeographic data. Hybridisation may be an adaptive host strategy, reducing infection rates and resisting gigantism.

  8. A longitudinal study of schistosome vector snail populations in Liberia.

    PubMed

    Sodeman, W A

    1979-05-01

    Seasonal changes in populations of Biomphalaria pfeifferi and Bulinus globosus were observed at 62 locations in Liberia, West Africa. All varieties of water in both urban and rural locations were sampled. A wet season decrease and dry season increase of B. globosus populations in both urban and rural locations, similar to that reported elsewhere in West Africa, was observed. Similar fluctuations of B. pfeifferi populations were noted. The prevalence of schistosome infected vector snails varied markedly between rural and urban locations. At rural sites parasite prevalence followed the appropriate vector snail prevalence. At urban sites a portion of the vector snail population appeared relatively unaffected by seasonal changes. This stable population harbors a reservoir of infected snails that sustain year round transmission. Human infection was sampled in school children in the study area and prevalence of approximately 50% was found for both Schistosoma mansoni and S. haematobium. Added to the malacologic information this suggests less than hyperendemic transmission. The data suggest that urban environments should receive priorities for control programs.

  9. Effect of three dormant oils on schistosomiasis and fascioliasis vector snails and its relation with some non-target snails.

    PubMed

    Mostafa, Bayaumy B

    2006-12-01

    Three oils were tested for their molluscicidal activity, Caple-2, Kemasol and Super-max. Super-max had the strongest toxic effect on B. alexandrina and other snail species. Its LC50 was 0.53 ppm, meanwhile LC50 of Kemasol 3.2 ppm and 4.21 ppm for Caple 2. The LC50 & LC90 of the oils were lower in Lymneae natalensis as compared to B. alexandrina. The LC50 & LC90 of the oils against non-target snails (Physa acuta, Helisoma duryi, Planorbis planorbis and Melanoides tuberculata) were higher as compared to B. alexandrina. Hatchability of snails' eggs exposed to Super-max (3.0 & 5.0 ppm) was stopped completely and l.0 ppm showed the lower percent of egg hatchability 22.7 %. Caple 2 and Kemasol did not affect eggs hatchability. Supermax had the strongest harmful effect on both miracidia and cercariae of S. mansoni. 100% mortality values were obtained for both larval stages after 8 & 9 minutes respectively when maintained at LC50. 100% mortality of miracidia occurred after 35 & 155 minutes when maintained at LC50 of Kemasol & Caple 2 respectively. The infection rate of B. alexandrina with S. mansoni miracidia was greatly reduced by the sublethal concentrations of the oils. The reduction of infection rate was higher in snails treated with Supermax (42.9%). A highly significant reduction of total cercarial production per snail was in the experimental groups as compared with controls. The prepatent period of treated snails was prolonged compared to control. Moreover, Total protein content and enzyme activities of snails treated with LC10 of oils showed a significant reduction as compared with control in haemolymyph. There was an increase of protein contents in the tissue. AlkP enzyme activity was slightly increased in haemolymph of experimental groups than controls and was significantly higher in the tissues as compared to control. ALT enzyme activity in haemolymph of experimental groups was higher than control, but lower in tissue. AST enzyme activity was higher in

  10. Snail Recruits Ring1B to Mediate Transcriptional Repression and Cell Migration in Pancreatic Cancer Cells

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Jiangzhi; Xu, Hong; Zou, Xiuqun; Wang, Jiamin; Zhu, Yi; Chen, Hao; Shen, Baiyong; Deng, Xiaxing; Zhou, Aiwu; Chin, Y. Eugene; Rauscher, Frank J.; Peng, Chenghong; Hou, Zhaoyuan

    2014-01-01

    Transcriptional repressor Snail is a master regulator of epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT), yet the epigenetic mechanism governing Snail to induce EMT is not well understood. Here, we report that in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), elevated levels of the ubiquitin E3 ligase Ring1B and Snail, along with elevated monoubiquitination of H2A at K119 (H2AK119Ub1), are highly correlated with poor survival. Mechanistic investigations identified Ring1B as a Snail-interacting protein and showed that the carboxyl zinc fingers of Snail recruit Ring1B and its paralog Ring1A to repress its target promoters. Simultaneous depletion of Ring1A and Ring1B in pancreatic cancer cells decreased Snail binding to the target chromatin, abolished H2AK119Ub1 modification, and thereby compromised Snail-mediated transcriptional repression and cell migration. We found that Ring1B and the SNAG-associated chromatin modifier EZH2 formed distinct protein complexes with Snail and that EZH2 was required for Snail-Ring1A/B recruitment to the target promoter. Collectively, our results unravel an epigenetic mechanism underlying transcriptional repression by Snail, suggest Ring1A/B as a candidate therapeutic target, and identify H2AK119Ub1 as a potential biomarker for PDAC diagnosis and prognosis. Cancer Res; 74(16); 4353-63. ©2014 AACR PMID:24903147

  11. Pseudosuccinea columella: age resistance to Calicophoron daubneyi infection in two snail populations

    PubMed Central

    Dar, Yasser; Rondelaud, Daniel; Vignoles, Philippe; Dreyfuss, Gilles

    2015-01-01

    Individual infections of Egyptian and French Pseudosuccinea columella with five miracidia of Calicophoron daubneyi were carried out to determine whether this lymnaeid was capable of sustaining larval development of this parasite. On day 42 post-exposure (at 23 °C), infected snails were only noted in groups of individuals measuring 1 or 2 mm in height at miracidial exposure. Snail survival in the 2-mm groups was significantly higher than that noted in the 1-mm snails, whatever the geographic origin of snail population. In contrast, prevalence of C. daubneyi infection was significantly greater in the 1-mm groups (15–20% versus 3.4–4.0% in the 2-mm snails). Low values were noted for the mean shell growth of infected snails at their death (3.1–4.0 mm) and the mean number of cercariae (<9 in the 1-mm groups, <19 in the 2-mm snails). No significant differences between snail populations and snails groups were noted for these last two parameters. Most infected snails died after a single cercarial shedding wave. Both populations of P. columella showed an age resistance to C. daubneyi infection and only juveniles measuring 2 mm or less in shell height at exposure can ensure larval development of this digenean up to cercarial shedding. PMID:25664810

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. YY1 regulates the expression of snail through a distal enhancer

    PubMed Central

    Palmer, Matthew B.; Majumder, Parimal; Cooper, John C.; Yoon, Hyesuk; Wade, Paul A.; Boss, Jeremy M.

    2010-01-01

    Expression of the snail gene is required for the epithelial-mesenchymal transitions that accompany mammalian gastrulation, neural crest migration, and organ formation. Pathological expression of snail contributes to the migratory capacity of invasive tumors, including melanomas. To investigate the mechanism of snail up regulation in human melanoma cells, a conserved enhancer located 3’ of the snail gene was analyzed. An overlapping Ets and YY1 consensus sequence, in addition to a SOX consensus sequence, were required for full enhancer activity. Proteins specifically binding these sequences were detected by EMSA. The Ets/YY1 binding activity was purified by DNA affinity chromatography and identified as YY1. Although ubiquitously expressed, YY1 was bound at the snail 3’ enhancer in vivo in snail-expressing cells but not in cells that did not express snail. Knockdown of YY1 in A375 cells led to decreased snail expression. These results identify a role for YY1 in regulating transcription of snail in melanoma cells through binding to the snail 3’ enhancer. PMID:19208738

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Reversing the Resistance Phenotype of the Biomphalaria glabrata Snail Host Schistosoma mansoni Infection by Temperature Modulation

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:22577362

  18. MTA3 regulates CGB5 and Snail genes in trophoblast.

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-19

    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 occupied the proximal promoter regions of both Snail and hCG within BeWo cells. Furthermore, we examined MTA3 expression in placental trophoblast by immunohistochemistry and found that MTA3 expression was higher in villous cytotrophoblasts versus

  19. 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

  20. 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…

  1. "African Connection."

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adelman, Cathy; And Others

    This interdisciplinary unit provides students in grades kindergarten through seventh grade an opportunity to understand diversity through a study of Africa as a diverse continent. The project is designed to provide all elementary students with cultural enrichment by exposing them to African music, art, storytelling, and movement. This project can…

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Switching on-off Snail: LOXL2 versus GSK3beta.

    PubMed

    Peinado, Héctor; Portillo, Francisco; Cano, Amparo

    2005-12-01

    Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is considered as an essential determinant of carcinoma progression. The transcription factor Snail controls EMT by repressing E-cadherin gene expression and other epithelial genes. Snail protein stability and cellular localization is finely controlled by GSK3beta-dependent phosphorylation and subsequent ubiquitination. GSK3beta phosphorylates Snail at two different motifs which induce its nuclear export and association with beta-Trcp thus leading to Snail degradation. Recently, Snail was found to interact physical and functionally with LOXL2, a member of the lysyl oxidase gene family. Interestingly, LOXL2 seems to attenuate the GSK3beta-dependent Snail degradation. Here, we discuss the relevance of this new potential mechanism of regulation and the role of LOXL2 during carcinoma progression.

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

    PubMed

    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

  6. 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.

  7. The Collagen Receptor Discoidin Domain Receptor 2 Stabilizes Snail1 Protein to Facilitate Breast Cancer Metastasis

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Kun; Corsa, Callie A.; Ponik, Suzanne M.; Prior, Julie L.; Piwnica-Worms, David; Eliceiri, Kevin W.; Keely, Patricia J.; Longmore, Gregory D.

    2013-01-01

    Increased stromal collagen deposition in human breast tumours correlates with metastases. We show that activation of the collagen I receptor DDR2 regulates Snail1 protein stability by stimulating ERK2 activity, in a Src-dependent manner. Activated ERK2 directly phosphorylates Snail1, leading to Snail1 nuclear accumulation, reduced ubiquitination, and increased protein half-life. DDR2-mediated stabilization of Snail1 promotes breast cancer cell invasion and migration in vitro, and metastasis in vivo. DDR2 expression was observed in the majority of human invasive ductal breast carcinomas studied, and was associated with nuclear Snail1 and absence of E-cadherin expression. We propose that DDR2 maintains Snail1 protein level and activity in tumor cells that have undergone EMT, thereby facilitating continued tumor cell invasion through collagen I-rich ECM by sustaining the EMT phenotype. As such, DDR2 could be an RTK target for the treatment of breast cancer metastasis. PMID:23644467

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Phenotypic plasticity in two marine snails: constraints superseding life history.

    PubMed

    Hollander, J; Collyer, M L; Adams, D C; Johannesson, K

    2006-11-01

    In organisms encountering predictable environments, fixed development is expected, whereas in organisms that cannot predict their future environment, phenotypic plasticity would be optimal to increase local adaptation. To test this prediction we experimentally compared phenotypic plasticity in two rocky-shore snail species; Littorina saxatilis releasing miniature snails on the shore, and Littorina littorea releasing drifting larvae settling on various shores, expecting L. littorea to show more phenotypic plasticity than L. saxatilis. We compared magnitude and direction of vectors of phenotypic difference in juvenile shell traits after 3 months exposure to different stimuli simulating sheltered and crab-rich shores, or wave-exposed and crab-free shores. Both species showed similar direction and magnitude of vectors of phenotypic difference with minor differences only between ecotypes of the nondispersing species, indicating that plasticity is an evolving trait in L. saxatilis. The lack of a strong plastic response in L. littorea might be explained by limits rather than costs to plasticity. PMID:17040383

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25482543

  14. 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

    Oliveira, Ana P M; Gentile, Rosana; Maldonado Júnior, Arnaldo; Lopes Torres, Eduardo J; Thiengo, Silvana C

    2015-09-01

    The aim of this study was to analyse the infection dynamics of Angiostrongylus cantonensisin 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 by Achatina 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. cantonensis in 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. similaris was 24.6%. A. fulica was the most important intermediary host of A. cantonensis in the studied area and B. similaris was secondary in importance for A. cantonensis transmission dynamics. PMID:26517652

  15. 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

    Oliveira, Ana P M; Gentile, Rosana; Maldonado Júnior, Arnaldo; Lopes Torres, Eduardo J; Thiengo, Silvana C

    2015-09-01

    The aim of this study was to analyse the infection dynamics of Angiostrongylus cantonensisin 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 by Achatina 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. cantonensis in 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. similaris was 24.6%. A. fulica was the most important intermediary host of A. cantonensis in the studied area and B. similaris was secondary in importance for A. cantonensis transmission dynamics.

  16. 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

  17. Ajuba LIM proteins are Snail/Slug corepressors required for neural crest development in Xenopus

    PubMed Central

    Langer, Ellen M.; Feng, Yunfeng; Zhaoyuan, Hou; Rauscher, Frank J.; Kroll, Kristen L.; Longmore, Gregory D.

    2008-01-01

    Snail family transcriptional repressors regulate epithelial mesenchymal transitions during physiological and pathological processes. A conserved SNAG repression domain present in all vertebrate Snail proteins is necessary for repressor complex assembly. Here, we identify the Ajuba family of LIM proteins as functional corepressors of the Snail family via an interaction with the SNAG domain. Ajuba LIM proteins interact with Snail in the nucleus on endogenous E-cadherin promoters and contribute to Snail-dependent repression of E-cadherin. Using Xenopus neural crest as a model of in vivo Snail- or Slug-induced EMT, we demonstrate that Ajuba LIM proteins contribute to neural crest development as Snail/Slug corepressors and are required for in vivo Snail/Slug function. Because Ajuba LIM proteins are also components of adherens junction and contribute to their assembly or stability, their functional interaction with Snail proteins in the nucleus suggests that Ajuba LIM proteins are important regulators of epithelia dynamics communicating surface events with nuclear responses. PMID:18331720

  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. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Snail Is a Critical Mediator of Invadosome Formation and Joint Degradation in Arthritis.

    PubMed

    Lauzier, Annie; Lavoie, Roxane R; Charbonneau, Martine; Gouin-Boisvert, Béatrice; Harper, Kelly; Dubois, Claire M

    2016-02-01

    Progressive cartilage destruction, mediated by invasive fibroblast-like synoviocytes, is a central feature in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Members of the Snail family of transcription factors are required for cell migration and invasion, but their role in joint destruction remains unknown. Herein, we demonstrate that Snail is essential for the formation of extracellular matrix-degrading invadosomal structures by synovial cells from collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) rats and RA patients. Mechanistically, Snail induces extracellular matrix degradation in synovial cells by repressing PTEN, resulting in increased phosphorylation of platelet-derived growth factor receptor and activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/AKT pathway. Of significance, Snail is overexpressed in synovial cells and tissues of CIA rats and RA patients, whereas knockdown of Snail in CIA joints prevents cartilage invasion and joint damage. Furthermore, Snail expression is associated with an epithelial-mesenchymal transition gene signature characteristic of transglutaminase 2/transforming growth factor-β activation. Transforming growth factor-β and transglutaminase 2 stimulate Snail-dependent invadosome formation in rat and human synoviocytes. Our results identify the Snail-PTEN platelet-derived growth factor receptor/phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase axis as a novel regulator of the prodestructive invadosome-forming phenotype of synovial cells. New therapies for RA target inflammation, and are only partly effective in preventing joint damage. Blocking Snail and/or its associated gene expression program may provide an additional tool to improve the efficacy of treatments to prevent joint destruction. PMID:26704941

  2. 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

  3. TREMATODE INFECTION OF FRESHWATER SNAIL, FAMILY BITHYNIIDAE IN THAILAND.

    PubMed

    Kulsantiwong, Jutharat; Prasopdee, Sattrachai; Piratae, Supawadee; Khampoosa, Panita; Thammasiri, Chalida; Suwannatrai, Apiporn; Boonmars, Thidarut; Viyanant, Vithoon; Ruangsitichai, Jiraporn; Tarbsripair, Pairat; Tesana, Smarn

    2015-05-01

    Opisthorchis viverrini is restricted to and requires for its aquatic life cycle only Bithynia snail as first intermediate host but many species of cyprinid fish as second intermediate hosts. A survey in Thailand of trematode infection in freshwater snails of the family Bithyniidae carried out during October 2008 - July 2009 found a total of 5,492 snails, classified into ten species distributed in various geographic areas. Bithyniafuniculata and Gabbia pygmaea were localized to the north, B. s. goniomphalos, Wattebledia siamensis and W. crosseana to northeast and B. s. siamensis, Hydrobioides nassa and G. wykoffi to central region. W. baschi and G. erawanensis was found only in the south and Erawan waterfall, Kanchanaburi Province, respectively. Trematode infection rate was 3.15%. Cercariae were identified as belonging to six types, namely, amartae , monostome, mutabile, O. viverrini, virgulate, and unknown. The prevalence of cercarial infection in B. s. goniomphalos of amartae, mutabile, O. viverrini, virgulate, and unknown type cercaria was 0.55%, 0.74%, 1.07%, 2.87%, and 0.37%, respectively, and in B. s. siamensis monostome (1.10%) and virgulate (0.55%). Only virgulate cercariae were shed from W. crosseana (3.85%) and W. siamensis (5.19%). Cercariae of the unknown type were found in G. wykoffi (1.69%). No infection of O. viverrini cercariae was detected in the other species. PMID:26521513

  4. 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.

  5. Obesity and African Americans

    MedlinePlus

    ... Data > Minority Population Profiles > Black/African American > Obesity Obesity and African Americans African American women have the ... ss6304.pdf [PDF | 3.38MB] HEALTH IMPACT OF OBESITY More than 80 percent of people with type ...

  6. 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...

  7. Aquatic snails from mining sites have evolved to detect and avoid heavy metals.

    PubMed

    Lefcort, H; Abbott, D P; Cleary, D A; Howell, E; Keller, N C; Smith, M M

    2004-05-01

    Toxicants in polluted environments are often patchily distributed. Hence, rather than being passive absorbers of pollution, some organisms have evolved the ability to detect and avoid toxicants. We studied the avoidance behavior of Physella columbiana, an aquatic pulmonate snail, in a pond that has been polluted with heavy metals for more than 120 years. Populations of this snail are rare at reference sites and are only robust at heavy-metal-polluted sites. We hypothesized that the snails are able to persist because they have evolved the ability to minimize their exposure to metals by actively avoiding metals in their environment. Using a Y-maze flow tank, we tested the avoidance behavior of snails to heavy-metal-polluted sediments and single-metal solutions of cadmium, zinc, or lead. We also tested the avoidance behaviors of the snails' laboratory-reared offspring raised in nonpolluted conditions. In addition, we tested the avoidance behavior of a small population of snails from a reference pond. Although all the snails we tested were able to detect low concentrations of heavy metals, we found that snails from the polluted site were the most sensitive, that their offspring were somewhat less sensitive, and that snails from the reference site were the least sensitive. This suggests that the ability of polluted-site snails to avoid heavy metals is both genetic and environmental. The concentrations of metals avoided by the snails from the polluted site were below the levels found at hot spots within their natal pond. The snails may be able to persist at this site because they decrease their exposure by moving to less-polluted sections of the pond. One application of our findings is the use of aquatic snails and our Y-maze design as an inexpensive pollution detector. Environmental pollutants such as lead, zinc, and arsenic are a problem throughout the world. People in underdeveloped countries often lack sophisticated pollution detection devices. We have developed a

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Snail transcription factors in keratinocytes: Enough to make your skin crawl.

    PubMed

    Sou, Paul W; Delic, Naomi C; Halliday, Gary M; Lyons, J Guy

    2010-12-01

    Keratinocytes are the cells in vertebrates that form the frontline barrier to the environment, and are also the most common origin of human cancer. They normally retain tight cell-cell adhesion and low motility, allowing them to terminally differentiate as they stratify. However, they must be able to respond to tissue damage by migrating into and across wounds. This requires reduced mutual adhesion, suppressed terminal differentiation and increased motility, processes driven by the Snail family of transcriptional repressors. The quantity, location and activity of Snail proteins are regulated by growth factors and cytokines to mediate these responses and invoke an inflammatory response. Subversion of these same pathways can promote carcinoma invasion and metastasis. Signaling network facts: • Snail1 and Snail2 in keratinocytes are important in promoting migration, inflammation and carcinogenesis, and suppressing terminal differentiation. • Extracellular stimuli, including TGFR and EGFR ligands, regulate Snails transcriptionally, via SMAD and MAPK pathways, and post-translationally, by modulating GSK3 and PAK1 activity, which determine Snail stability and intracellular location. • Snails directly repress transcription of genes important for cell-cell adhesion and cornified envelope formation. • Down-regulation of epithelial cadherins by Snails allows LIMDPs to relocate from adherens junctions to the cytoplasm, where they stimulate MAPK pathways, and to the nucleus, where they bind directly to Snails and act as corepressors. • Snail2 is essential for re-epithelialization of healing wounds and can be up-regulated in the keratinocytes at wound margins by p38, ERK1/2 and ERK5 MAPKs, and the arylhydrocarbon receptor. • Further information on signaling related to Snail proteins can be found online at KEGG: http://www.genome.jp/kegg-bin/show pathway?hsa04520 http://www.genome.jp/kegg-bin/show_pathway?hsa04350 http://www.genome.jp/kegg-bin/show pathway?hsa04012

  11. Infection with schistosome parasites in snails leads to increased predation by prawns: implications for human schistosomiasis control.

    PubMed

    Swartz, Scott J; De Leo, Giulio A; Wood, Chelsea L; Sokolow, Susanne H

    2015-12-01

    Schistosomiasis - a parasitic disease that affects over 200 million people across the globe - is primarily transmitted between human definitive hosts and snail intermediate hosts. To reduce schistosomiasis transmission, some have advocated disrupting the schistosome life cycle through biological control of snails, achieved by boosting the abundance of snails' natural predators. But little is known about the effect of parasitic infection on predator-prey interactions, especially in the case of schistosomiasis. Here, we present the results of laboratory experiments performed on Bulinus truncatus and Biomphalaria glabrata snails to investigate: (i) rates of predation on schistosome-infected versus uninfected snails by a sympatric native river prawn, Macrobrachium vollenhovenii, and (ii) differences in snail behavior (including movement, refuge-seeking and anti-predator behavior) between infected and uninfected snails. In predation trials, prawns showed a preference for consuming snails infected with schistosome larvae. In behavioral trials, infected snails moved less quickly and less often than uninfected snails, and were less likely to avoid predation by exiting the water or hiding under substrate. Although the mechanism by which the parasite alters snail behavior remains unknown, these results provide insight into the effects of parasitic infection on predator-prey dynamics and suggest that boosting natural rates of predation on snails may be a useful strategy for reducing transmission in schistosomiasis hotspots. PMID:26677260

  12. 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...

  13. 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…

  14. Increased response to cadmium and Bacillus thuringiensis maize toxicity in the snail Helix aspersa infected by the nematode Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita.

    PubMed

    Kramarz, Paulina E; de Vaufleury, Annette; Zygmunt, Piotr M S; Verdun, Cyrille

    2007-01-01

    To determine the effect of nematode infection on the response of snails to selected toxins, we infected Helix aspersa with 0-, 0.25-, 1-, or 4-fold the recommended field dose of a commercial nematode application for agricultural use. In the first experiment, the snails also were exposed to cadmium via food and soil at concentrations of 0, 30, 60, 120, or 240 mg/kg in a full-factorial design. In the second experiment, snails were infected with nematodes and also fed either Bt (expressing Bacillus thuringiensis toxin) maize or non-Bt maize. The snails were weighed at the beginning and end (after four weeks) of the experiments, and mortality was checked daily. Neither exposure of snails to nematodes nor exposure of snails to cadmium or Bt toxin affected the survival rates of snails. The number of dead snails was highest for combinations of nematode treatments with cadmium concentrations of 120 and 240 mg/kg. In both experiments (Bt and cadmium), the growth rate decreased with increasing nematode dose. The Bt maize was not harmful to the snails in the absence of nematodes, but infected snails grew faster when fed non-Bt maize. The growth rate of snails exposed to cadmium decreased with exposure to increasing Cd concentrations and differed significantly between the no-nematode treatment and the treatments with nematode doses of one- and fourfold the recommended field dose. Snails treated with the highest dose of nematodes accumulated the highest cadmium concentrations.

  15. Local adaptation of the trematode Fasciola hepatica to the snail Galba truncatula

    PubMed Central

    Dreyfuss, G.; Vignoles, P.; Rondelaud, D.

    2012-01-01

    Experimental infections of six riverbank populations of Galba truncatula with Fasciola hepatica were carried out to determine if the poor susceptibility of these populations to this digenean might be due to the scarcity or the absence of natural encounters between these snails and the parasite. The first three populations originated from banks frequented by cattle in the past (riverbank group) whereas the three others were living on islet banks without any known contact with local ruminants (islet group). After their exposure, all snails were placed in their natural habitats from the end of October up to their collection at the beginning of April. Compared to the riverbank group, snails, which died without cercarial shedding clearly predominated in the islet group, while the other infected snails were few in number. Most of these last snails released their cercariae during a single shedding wave. In islet snails dissected after their death, the redial and cercarial burdens were significantly lower than those noted in riverbank G. truncatula. Snails living on these islet banks are thus able to sustain larval development of F. hepatica. The modifications noted in the characteristics of snail infection suggest the existence of an incomplete adaptation between these G. truncatula and the parasite, probably due to the absence of natural contact between host and parasite. PMID:22910670

  16. 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. PMID:26012228

  17. 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.

  18. 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....

  19. 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.

  20. 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....

  1. 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....

  2. 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....

  3. Larval stages of digenetic trematodes in Melanopsis praemorsa snails from freshwater bodies in Palestine

    PubMed Central

    Bdir, Sami; Adwan, Ghaleb

    2011-01-01

    Objective To detect the species of larval trematodes (cercariae) in Melanopsis praemorsa snails from 5 different fresh water bodies in Palestine. Methods A total of 1 880 Melanopsis praemorsa snails were collected from different fresh water bodies in Palestine from October, 2008 to November, 2010. Cercariae in Melanopsis praemorsa snails were obtained by lighting and crushing methods. The behavior of cercariae was observed using a dissecting microscope. Results Three different species of larval trematodes were identified from Melanopsis praemorsa snails collected only from Al-Bathan fresh water body, while snails from other water bodies were not infected. These species were microcercous cercaria, xiphidiocercaria and brevifurcate lophocercous cercaria. These cercariae called Cercaria melanopsi palestinia I, Cercaria melanopsi palestinia II and Cercaria melanopsi palestinia III have not been described before from this snail in Palestine. The infection rate of Melanopsis praemorsa collected from Al-Bathan fresh water body was 5.7%, while the overall infection rate of snails collected from all fresh water bodies was 4.3%. Details are presented on the morphology and behavior of the cercariae as well as their development within the snail. Conclusions These results have been recorded for the first time and these cercariae may be of medical and veterinary importance. PMID:23569759

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. Feeding clusters and olfaction in the mangrove snail Terebralia palustris (Linnaeus) (Potamididae: Gastropoda).

    PubMed

    Fratini, S; Cannicci, S; Vannini, M

    2001-07-01

    Large numbers of the snail Terebralia palustris (Linnaeus) (Potamididae; Gastropoda) are frequently observed feeding in a cluster on a single fallen mangrove leaf, yet none are present on leaves nearby. Consequently, we investigated the food-finding ability of T. palustris in a Kenyan mangrove forest using field experiments. We estimated the attractive effect of different cues and analysed the paths (video-recorded) of snails when approaching a food-related odour. This intertidal snail can potentially use both air-borne and water-borne odours to locate food. T. palustris is attracted to conspecifics feeding on leaves, while intact leaves as well as non-feeding snails are not attractive. Moreover, the guiding stimulus appears to be compounds released when the leaves are damaged.T. palustris also seems able to discriminate between different food items; it is more strongly attracted to green mangrove leaves than senescent or fallen ones or mangrove propagules, probably because green leaves release a greater amount of attractive cues.Feeding snails thus recruit more snails to feed on the same leaf. The ecological implications of this behaviour are discussed: a large number of snails on the same leaf counteracts the ability of crabs to remove the leaf being eaten by the snails. PMID:11399273

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

  10. Therapy with African Families.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nwadiora, Emeka

    1996-01-01

    Informs helping professionals about the unique history and challenges of African families to guide them toward providing ethnically sensitive psychological services to African immigrant families in need. African families undergo great stress when faced with the alienation of being Black and African in a Euro-American culture. (SLD)

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Refuge function of marine algae complicates selection in an intertidal snail.

    PubMed

    Kemppainen, Petri; van Nes, Solveig; Ceder, Christofer; Johannesson, Kerstin

    2005-04-01

    Species with restricted gene flow often show trait-shifts from one type of environment to another. In those rock-dwelling marine gastropods that lack larval dispersal, size generally decreases in wave-exposed habitats reducing risk of dislodgement, while increases in less exposed habitats to resist crab-crushing. In Littorina fabalis, however, snails of moderately exposed shores are generally much larger (11-14 mm) than snails of sheltered shores (5-8 mm). Observations from the White Sea (where crabs are not present) indicate that in the absence of crabs snails are small (6-7 mm) in both habitats. We assumed that the optimal size for L. fabalis in the absence of crabs is less than 8 mm, and thus that increased size in moderately exposed habitats in areas with crabs might be a response to crab predation. In a crab-rich area (Sweden) we showed that crab predation is an important mortality factor for this snail species in both sheltered and moderately exposed habitats. In sheltered habitats, snails were relatively more protected from crab-predation when dwelling on their habitual substrate, fucoid algae, than if experimentally tethered to rocks below the algae. This showed that algae function as snail refuges. Snail dislodgement increased, however, with wave exposure but tethering snails in moderately exposed habitats showed that large snails survived equally well on rocks under the algae as in the canopy of the algae. Thus in sheltered habitats a small snail size is favored, probably due to life-history reasons, while increased risk of being dislodged from the algae refuges promotes a large size in moderately exposed habitats. This study shows an example of selection of a trait depends on complex interactions of different factors (life-history optimization, crab predation, wave induced dislodgement and algal refuges). PMID:15711994

  19. Toxic effects of Cadmium on the garden snail (Helix aspersa)

    SciTech Connect

    Russell, L.K.; DeHaven, J.I.; Botts, R.P.

    1981-05-01

    Spreading treated municipal wastes on agricultural and forest lands is becoming an established method of disposal. However, there is concern about the deleterious effects of toxicants, particularly cadmium, in the sludges. Cadmium concentrations in sewage sludge have been reported as high as 1500 ppM. The work reported here is a part of a larger project to investigate the ecological effects of municipal wastes on forest lands. Snails, Helix aspersa, were chosen to examine the entrance of cadmium into terrestrial food chains. This experiment was designed to determine cadmium accumulation, acute toxicity, and behavioral, reproductive and growth responses with increasing levels of cadmium.

  20. Crab scars reveal survival advantage of left-handed snails.

    PubMed

    Dietl, Gregory P; Hendricks, Jonathan R

    2006-09-22

    Biological asymmetries are important elements of the structure and function of many living organisms. Using the Plio-Pleistocene fossil record of crab predation on morphologically similar pairs of right- and left-handed snail species, we show here for the first time, contrary to traditional wisdom, that rare left-handed coiling promotes survival from attacks by right-handed crabs. This frequency-dependent result influences the balance of selection processes that maintain left-handedness at the species level and parallels some social interactions in human cultures, such as sports that involve dual contests between opponents of opposite handedness.

  1. Crab scars reveal survival advantage of left-handed snails

    PubMed Central

    Dietl, Gregory P; Hendricks, Jonathan R

    2006-01-01

    Biological asymmetries are important elements of the structure and function of many living organisms. Using the Plio–Pleistocene fossil record of crab predation on morphologically similar pairs of right- and left-handed snail species, we show here for the first time, contrary to traditional wisdom, that rare left-handed coiling promotes survival from attacks by right-handed crabs. This frequency-dependent result influences the balance of selection processes that maintain left-handedness at the species level and parallels some social interactions in human cultures, such as sports that involve dual contests between opponents of opposite handedness. PMID:17148425

  2. [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. PMID:21033402

  3. [An experimental unit for the recording of the escape reaction of a ground snail to tactile stimulation].

    PubMed

    Moskvitin, A A; Pivovarov, A S

    2003-01-01

    An original working experimental unit for noninvasive objective recording of the magnitude of escape reaction of a ground snail evoked by tactile stimulation is described. A. snail creeps upwards over the cylinder rotating around its horizontal axis. A watching device ensures a constant snail position relative to a light source and a photoelement. A device for tactile stimulation which provides graduated energy of an impact is constructed on the basis of the magnetic circuit of a loudspeaker. In response to a tactile stimulus a snail pulls in its feelers, head, and foot, and the area of snail's shadow decreases. These changes are indicated by the photoelement. PMID:12754854

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Food induced esterase phenocopies in the snail Cepaea nemoralis.

    PubMed

    Oxford, G S

    1975-12-01

    Hepatopancreatic extracts from the snail Cepaea nemoralis, assayed straight from the field, often contain three or four heavily staining esterase zones which migrate to the cathodal end of polyacrylamide disc gels during electrophoresis. Previous breeding results showed that the heavily straining zones appeared allelic but to incorporate these multibanded phenotypes, a super gene of five closely linked loci was tentatively proposed. Further breeding work again failed to demonstrate multiple zones in parents or offspring and so experiments were conducted to see whether the multi-zoned phenotypes in the wild were produced by secondary modification of single primary products. Wild snails yielding extracts containing more than two heavily staining zones were shown to possess only two such zones after three months under laboratory conditions. Also, the ingestion of nettle (Urtica dioica L.) has been demonstrated to induce extra esterase zones in laboratory-reared animals. Some of the secondarily induced zones appear identical in physical, biochemical and electrophoretic properties to the primary products of other alleles, and thus appear to be electrophoretic phenocopies. A model is suggested which could account for this phenomenon. PMID:1061709

  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. Dining local: the microbial diet of a snail that grazes microbial communities is geographically structured.

    PubMed

    O'Rorke, Richard; Cobian, Gerald M; Holland, Brenden S; Price, Melissa R; Costello, Vincent; Amend, Anthony S

    2015-05-01

    Achatinella mustelina is a critically endangered tree snail that subsists entirely by grazing microbes from leaf surfaces of native trees. Little is known about the fundamental aspects of these microbe assemblages: not taxonomic composition, how this varies with host plant or location, nor whether snails selectively consume microbes. To address these questions, we collected 102 snail faecal samples as a proxy for diet, and 102 matched-leaf samples from four locations. We used Illumina amplicon sequencing to determine bacterial and fungal community composition. Microbial community structure was significantly distinct between snail faeces and leaf samples, but the same microbes occurred in both. We conclude that snails are not 'picky' eaters at the microbial level, but graze the surface of whatever plant they are on. In a second experiment, the gut was dissected from non-endangered native tree snails in the same family as Achatinella to confirm that faecal samples reflect gut contents. Over 60% of fungal reads were shared between faeces, gut and leaf samples. Overall, location, sample type (faeces or leaf) and host plant identity all significantly explained the community composition and variation among samples. Understanding the microbial ecology of microbes grazed by tree snails enables effective management when conservation requires captive breeding or field relocation. PMID:25285515

  10. 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. PMID:26344863

  11. 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

  12. Acute combined exposure to heavy metals (Zn, Cd) blocks memory formation in a freshwater snail.

    PubMed

    Byzitter, Jovita; Lukowiak, Ken; Karnik, Vikram; Dalesman, Sarah

    2012-04-01

    The effect of heavy metals on species survival is well documented; however, sublethal effects on behaviour and physiology are receiving growing attention. Measurements of changes in activity and respiration are more sensitive to pollutants, and therefore a better early indicator of potentially harmful ecological impacts. We assessed the effect of acute exposure (48 h) to two heavy metals at concentrations below those allowable in municipal drinking water (Zn: 1,100 μg/l; Cd: 3 μg/l) on locomotion and respiration using the freshwater snail, Lymnaea stagnalis. In addition we used a novel assessment method, testing the ability of the snail to form memory in the presence of heavy metals in both intact snails, and also snails that had the osphradial nerve severed which connects a chemosensory organ, the osphradium, to the central nervous system. Aerial respiration and locomotion remained unchanged by acute exposure to heavy metals. There was also no effect on memory formation of these metals when administered alone. However, when snails were exposed to these metals in combination memory formation was blocked. Severing the osphradial nerve prevented the memory blocking effect of Zn and Cd, indicating that the snails are sensing these metals in their environment via the osphradium and responding to them as a stressor. Therefore, assessing the ability of this species to form memory is a more sensitive measure of heavy metal pollution than measures of activity, and indicates that the snails' ability to demonstrate behavioural plasticity may be compromised by the presence of these pollutants.

  13. 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. PMID:24081640

  14. 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. PMID:24161535

  15. Snail1 is involved in the renal epithelial-mesenchymal transition

    SciTech Connect

    Yoshino, Jun; Monkawa, Toshiaki Tsuji, Mihoko; Inukai, Mai; Itoh, Hiroshi; Hayashi, Matsuhiko

    2007-10-12

    The pathological significance of the tubular epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in kidney diseases is becoming increasingly recognized, and the transcription factor Snail1 plays a critical role in EMT. The results of this study show that Snail1 mRNA and protein were upregulated in the tubular epithelial cells of the obstructed kidneys in a rat model of unilateral ureteral obstruction and in human proximal tubule HKC-8 cells treated with TGF-{beta}1. Glycogen synthase kinase-3{beta} (GSK-3{beta}) regulates the Snail1 level by degrading Snail1 protein. The level of the phosphorylated inactive form of GSK-3{beta} was increased in the tubular epithelial cells of the obstructed kidney. TGF-{beta}1 increased the phosphorylated form of GSK-3{beta} in HKC-8 cells, and inhibition of GSK-3{beta} by the selective inhibitors lithium and TDZD-8 caused Snail1 protein to accumulate. This study demonstrated that Snail1 is involved in renal tubular EMT and that TGF-{beta}1 regulates Snail1 at the transcription and protein degradation levels.

  16. Epidemiology of cercarial stage of trematodes in freshwater snails from Chiang Mai province, Thailand

    PubMed Central

    Chontananarth, Thapana; Wongsawad, Chalobol

    2013-01-01

    Objective To investigate the epidemiological situation of cercarial trematodes infection in freshwater snails from different water resources in Chiang Mai province, Thailand. Methods The snail specimens were collected from 13 districts of Chiang Mai province during April 2008 to February 2012. The prevalence of cercarial infection in snails was investigated using the crushing method. The drawing was done with the help of a camera lucida for the morphological study. Results A total of 2 479 snail individuals were collected and classified into 7 families, 11 genera, and 14 species, Among them, 8 snails species were found to be infected with an overall prevalence of 17.27% (428/2 479), which infected with nine groups of cercariae; gymnocephalous cercaria, strigea cercaria, megalurous cercaria, monostome cercaria, parapleurolophocercous cercaria (Haplorchis cercaria), pleurolophocercous cercaria, furcocercous cercaria (Transversotrema cercaria), xiphidiocercaria, and virgulate cercaria. The parapleurolophocercous cercaria was found to be the dominant type among the cercarial infection in the snails (64.25%). Conclusions The various species of snails found in the research location act as the intermediate hosts for the high prevalence of parasitic infection of many species of mammals. This work will provide new information on both the distribution and first intermediate host of trematodes. PMID:23620846

  17. On the interpretation of age-prevalence curves for schistosome infections of host snails.

    PubMed

    Woolhouse, M E

    1989-08-01

    The prevalence of schistosome infections in intermediate host snails varies with snail age. The relationship between age and prevalence, the age-prevalence curve, is complex and may vary in space and time, and among parasite-host species. Field studies show that the shape of the age-prevalence curve may be seasonally variable, and that at some times there may be a decline in prevalence among older snails. This paper attempts to explain these observations in terms of the underlying epidemiological processes. A discrete-time version of Muench's catalytic model for age-dependent infection is developed. Model simulations were carried out using life-history and epidemiological parameters derived from studies of Schistosoma haematobium-Bulinus globusus in Zimbabwe. Analysis of model behaviour identifies aspects of the schistosome-snail interaction that affect the shape of the age-prevalence curve. The following features can result in a decline in prevalence among older snails. (1) A decrease in the survival rate of patent infected snails with age. (2) A decrease in the force of infection with age. (3) A high rate of loss of infection. (4) A heterogeneity in the snail population such that the probability of infection is correlated with snail fecundity. (This would occur if there existed a spatial correlation between force of infection and fecundity, or if there were a correlation between fecundity and susceptibility.) The evidence for the occurrence of these features in the field is assessed. Survival rate is related more closely to the duration of patent infection than to age per se. The evidence for age-dependent force of infection is equivocal. Significant loss-of-infection rates have yet to be demonstrated. Heterogeneities in force of infection and fecundity have been reported and, for the Zimbabwe data, this mechanism can explain seasonality in the age-prevalence curve as a function of known seasonal variation in the force of infection and snail fecundity.

  18. Snail promotes epithelial-mesenchymal transition and invasiveness in human ovarian cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yu-Lou; Zhao, Xue-Min; Shuai, Zhi-Feng; Li, Chun-Yan; Bai, Qing-Yang; Yu, Xiu-Wen; Wen, Qiu-Ting

    2015-01-01

    There are limited reports with respect to the study on the epithelium-mesenchymal transformation (EMT) mediated by Snail in the ovarian cancer. This study detected the expression of Snail and related EMT markers in the ovarian cancer tissues, and explored the possible molecular mechanism of EMT mediated by Snail in the metastasis of ovarian cancer. The patients diagnosed with ovarian cancer according to the pathology were recruited in this study during 2010-2014. The carcinoma tissue and normal tissue adjacent to carcinoma were surgically obtained from patients. The genes of E-cadherin, β-catenin, Fibronectin and N-cadherin were detected using the RT-PCR. The 64 patients were recruited and diagnosed as ovarian cancer by pathological examination. The expression levels of Snail, Fibronectin and N-cadherin in the stage III and IV were higher than those in the stage I and II, respectively (all P < 0.05). However, the expression levels of E-cadherin and β-catenin decreased along with the stage developed (trend test, both P < 0.05), respectively. The expression of Snail was positively correlated with the expression of Fibronectin, N-cadherin, but negatively correlated with the expression of E-cadherin and β-catenin. The number of A2780 cells entering into the lower compartment in the group of carcinoma tissue were significantly higher than that in the group of normal tissue after transfected with Snail expression vector. While, the invasion ability of A2780 significantly reduced after RNAi-Snail. The correlation between Snail and invasion and metastasis of ovarian cancer and epithelial-mesenchymal transition based on tissue and cell levels, and to some extent explored the molecular mechanism of the EMT process mediated by Snail. PMID:26221280

  19. The ectopic expression of Snail in MDBK cells does not induce epithelial-mesenchymal transition

    PubMed Central

    IZAWA, GENYA; KOBAYASHI, WAKAKO; HARAGUCHI, MISAKO; SUDO, AKIHARU; OZAWA, MASAYUKI

    2015-01-01

    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 by the acquisition of migratory and invasive properties. However, the precise molecular events that initiate this complex EMT process are poorly understood. Snail expression induces EMT in Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells and the human epidermoid carcinoma cell line, A431. Snail is a zinc finger transcription factor and triggers EMT by suppressing E-cadherin expression. In the present study, to broaden our knowledge of Snail-induced EMT, we generated stable Snail transfectants using Madin-Darby bovine kidney (MDBK) cells. Contrary to the MDCK or A431 cells examined in our previous studies, the MDBK cells transfected with the Snail construct maintained an epithelial morphology and showed no sign of reduced cell-cell adhesiveness compared to the control cells. Consistent with these observations, the down-regulation of epithelial marker proteins, e.g. E-cadherin and desmoglein, and the upregulation of mesenchymal marker proteins, e.g., N-cadherin and fibronectin, were not detected. Furthermore, the E-cadherin promoter was not methylated. Therefore, in the MDBK cells, the ectopic expression of Snail failed to induce EMT. As previously demonstrated, in MDCK cells, Snail expression is accompanied by the increased expression of other EMT-inducing transcription factors, e.g., Slug and zinc finger E-box-binding homeobox 1 (ZEB1). However, the MDBK cells transfected with the Snail construct did not exhibit an increased expression of these factors. Thus, it is possible that the failure to upregulate other EMT-related transcription factors may explain the lack of Snail-mediated induction of EMT in MDBK cells. PMID:25998899

  20. Lead toxicity, locomotion and feeding in the freshwater snail, Lymnaea stagnalis (L.).

    PubMed

    Pyatt, A J; Pyatt, F B; Pentreath, V W

    2002-04-01

    The effects of lead (5 or 10 ppm) on the survival of the freshwater snail Lymnaea stagnalis (L.) collected from lead contaminated or uncontaminated environments were evaluated under controlled laboratory conditions. The animals from the contaminated environment had significantly greater survivability than those from the unpolluted environment to subsequent acute (up to 24 days) exposure to lead. Acute (72 h) exposure to lead inhibited several behavioural activities including locomotion, feeding, tentacle extension and emergence from the shell. Lead bioaccumulated in the snail tissues, especially the buccal mass and stomach. The freshwater snail provides a valuable system for studying the bioaccumulation and development of tolerance to environmental lead.

  1. The redial and cercarial production of a digenean in the snail host is lower when no cercarial shedding occurs.

    PubMed

    Dreyfuss, G; Vignoles, P; Rondelaud, D

    2009-12-01

    Single- and double-miracidium exposures of Galba truncatula with Fasciola hepatica (two groups) or with Paramphistomum daubneyi (two groups) were carried out under laboratory conditions to compare parasite production in cercaria-shedding snails (CS snails) with that found in snails without emission (NCS snails). Free rediae and cercariae were thus counted in snails from both categories after their dissection at regular intervals (at 24 degrees C). In the four groups, the numbers of free rediae and free cercariae found at day 75 post-exposure (F. hepatica) or at day 85 (P. daubneyi) were significantly greater in CS snails than in NCS ones. The number of cercariae in NCS subgroups did not show any significant variation from day 45 p.e. to day 75 (F. hepatica, the two groups) or from day 55 to day 85 (P. daubneyi, single-miracidium infections), while it significantly decreased with increasing time of infection in the double-miracidium infections with P. daubneyi. In NCS snails, the presence of too numerous free cercariae within the snail's body (the volume of the body allows development only of a given number of rediae) might rapidly block out redial development and intraredial differentiation of other cercariae. The numerical diminution of P. daubneyi cercariae in the NCS snails (double-miracidium group) might probably be due to the lysis of new cercariae just formed, probably in reason of a lack of nutrients available for these larvae within the snail. PMID:20092063

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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).

  5. 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

  6. 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. PMID:18340446

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Detection of micronuclei in haemocytes of zebra mussel and great ramshorn snail exposed to pentachlorophenol.

    PubMed

    Pavlica, M; Klobucar, G I; Vetma, N; Erben, R; Papes, D

    2000-02-16

    The frequency of micronuclei (MN) induced by pentachlorophenol (PCP) in haemocytes of zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha Pall. and great ramshorn snail, Planorbarius corneus L. was determined over a 14 days of exposure (sampling after 4, 7 and 14 days) under laboratory conditions. PCP doses for zebra mussel ranged from 10 to 150 microg/l, and for ramshorn snail from 10 to 450 microg/l. Micronuclei were detected after bisbenzimide fluorescent staining. Positive responses were observed in both species. The mean MN frequencies in treated mussels ranged between 0.69 and 7.50 per thousand, and between 2.07 and 13.80 per thousand in treated snails. The spontaneous MN levels in mussels averaged from 0.5 to 2.75 per thousand, and in snails from 1.56 to 2.00 per thousand. Our results suggest that haemolymph of both species represent an appropriate test tissue in environmental genotoxicity assessment.

  14. 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

  15. 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…

  16. Linguistic Imperialism: African Perspectives.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phillipson, Robert

    1996-01-01

    Responds to an article on aspects of African language policy and discusses the following issues: multilingualism and monolingualism, proposed changes in language policy from the Organization for African Unity and South African initiatives, the language of literature, bilingual education, and whose interests English-language teaching is serving.…

  17. Bioaccumulative and conchological assessment of heavy metal transfer in a soil-plant-snail food chain

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), cadmium (Cd), and lead (Pb) can pose serious threats to environmental health because they tend to bioaccumulate in terrestrial ecosystems. We investigated under field conditions the transfer of these heavy metals in a soil-plant-snail food chain in Banat area, Romania. The main goal of this paper was to assess the Roman snail (Helix pomatia) usefulness in environmental monitoring as bioindicator of heavy metal accumulation. Eight sampling sites, selected by different history of heavy metal (HM) exposure, were chosen to be sampled for soil, nettle leaves, and newly matured snails. This study also aimed to identify the putative effects of HM accumulation in the environment on phenotypic variability in selected shell features, which included shell height (SH), relative shell height (RSH), and whorl number (WN). Results Significantly higher amounts of HMs were accumulated in snail hepatopancreas and not in foot. Cu, Zn, and Cd have biomagnified in the snail body, particularly in the hepatopancreas. In contrast, Pb decreased when going up into the food chain. Zn, Cd, and Pb correlated highly with each other at all levels of the investigated food chain. Zn and Pb exhibited an effective soil–plant transfer, whereas in the snail body only foot Cu concentration was correlated with that in soil. There were significant differences among sampling sites for WN, SH, and RSH when compared with reference snails. WN was strongly correlated with Cd and Pb concentrations in nettle leaves but not with Cu and Zn. SH was independent of HM concentrations in soil, snail hepatopancreas, and foot. However, SH correlated negatively with nettle leaves concentrations for each HM except Cu. In contrast, RSH correlated significantly only with Pb concentration in hepatopancreas. Conclusions The snail hepatopancreas accumulates high amounts of HMs, and therefore, this organ can function as a reliable biomarker for tracking HM bioavailability in soil. Long

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

    PubMed

    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% O2 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 the level of

  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. PMID:22970206

  20. Enzootic Angiostrongylus cantonensis in Rats and Snails after an Outbreak of Human Eosinophilic Meningitis, Jamaica

    PubMed Central

    Lindo, John F.; Waugh, Cecilia; Hall, John; Cunningham-Myrie, Colette; Ashley, Deanna; Sullivan, James J.; Bishop, Henry S.; Robinson, David G.; Holtz, Timothy; Robinson, Ralph D.

    2002-01-01

    After an outbreak in 2000 of eosinophilic meningitis in tourists to Jamaica, we looked for Angiostrongylus cantonensis in rats and snails on the island. Overall, 22% (24/109) of rats harbored adult worms, and 8% (4/48) of snails harbored A. cantonensis larvae. This report is the first of enzootic A. cantonensis infection in Jamaica, providing evidence that this parasite is likely to cause human cases of eosinophilic meningitis. PMID:11927033

  1. Effect of 2450 MHz microwave radiation on the ultrastructure of snail neurons

    SciTech Connect

    Arber, S.L.; Neilly, J.P.; Lin, J.C.; Kriho, V.

    1986-01-01

    An electron microscopical study of snail neurons was undertaken to verify whether any ultrastructural alterations accompany microwave-induced electrophysiological changes observed in these neurons. Subesophageal ganglia from Helix aspersa snails were exposed to 2450 MHz microwave radiation in vitro at SAR 12.9 mW/g for 60 minutes. It was found that exposure at 21 degrees C causes minor changes in Golgi complexes and slight swelling of the endoplasmic reticulum.

  2. Differences in snail ecology lead to infection pattern variation of Echinostoma spp. larval stages.

    PubMed

    Zimmermann, Michael R; Luth, Kyle E; Esch, Gerald W

    2014-09-01

    The infection patterns of parasites are often tied to host behavior. Although most studies have investigated definitive hosts and their parasites, intermediate host behavior may play a role in shaping the distribution and accumulation of parasites, particularly the larval stages. In an attempt to answer this question, more than 4,500 pulmonate snails were collected from 11 states in the mid-Atlantic and Midwestern United States in the summer of 2012. These snails were necropsied and echinostome metecercariae were commonly observed infecting the snails as 2(nd) intermediate hosts (20.0%). The snails included species of 3 genera with distinct differences in the infection patterns of Echinostoma spp. metacercariae among them. Physa spp. (comprising of P. acuta and P. gyrina) snails exhibited a significantly higher prevalence of infection (23.5%) than both Lymnaea columella (11.6%) and Helisoma spp. (comprising of H. anceps and H. trivolvis) (14.2%; P < 0.05), with no difference in prevalence observed between the latter 2 genera (P > 0.05). The intensity of metacercariae within the snail hosts was significantly different between the 3 genera (P < 0.05), with L. columella having the highest intensity (24.3 ± 5.6), followed by Physa spp. (15.2 ± 1.5) and Helisoma spp. (5.0 ± 0.9). Differences in prevalence and intensity were also observed when the different snail families co-habited the same body of water. The disparities in infection patterns are likely due to distinct differences in the behavioral and feeding ecology of the snail hosts.

  3. The effects of wetland habitat structure on Florida apple snail density

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Karunaratne, L.B.; Darby, P.C.; Bennetts, R.E.

    2006-01-01

    Wetlands often support a variety of juxtaposed habitat patches (e.g., grass-, shrub- or tree-dominated) differentially suited to support the inhabiting fauna. The proportion of available habitat types has been affected by human activity and consequently has contributed to degrading habitat quality for some species. The Florida apple snail (Pomacea paludosa) has drawn attention as a critical prey item for wetlands wildlife and as an indicator of wetlands restoration success in peninsular Florida, USA. An apparent contradiction has evolved wherein this species appears intolerant of drying events, but these disturbances may be necessary to maintain suitable habitat structure for apple snails. We recently reported that assertions regarding intolerance to dry downs in this species were inaccurate. Here, we compared snail density in habitats with (wet prairie) and without (slough) emergent macrophytes, as well as evaluating the effects of structural attributes within the broad wet prairie habitat type. Snail densities were greater in prairies relative to sloughs (??2= 12.90, df=1, P=0.0003), often by a factor of two to three. Within wet prairie habitats, we found greater snail densities in Panicum hemitomon as compared to Eleocharis cellulosa (??2=31.45, df=1, P=0.0001). Significantly fewer snails were found in dense E. cellulosa as compared to habitats with lower stem density (??2= 10.73, df=1, P=0.011). Our results indicate that wet prairie habitat supports greater snail densities than nymphaea-dominatd slough. Our results have implications for wetlands water management in that continuous inundation has been shown to convert wet prairie to slough habitat, and we suggest this should be avoided in support of apple snails and their predators. ?? 2006, The Society of Wetland Scientists.

  4. 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.

  5. Short-term climate change and the extinction of the snail Rhachistia aldabrae (Gastropoda: Pulmonata).

    PubMed

    Gerlach, Justin

    2007-10-22

    The only known population of the Aldabra banded snail Rhachistia aldabrae declined through the late twentieth century, leading to its extinction in the late 1990s. This occurred within a stable habitat and its extinction is attributable to decreasing rainfall on Aldabra atoll, associated with regional changes in rainfall patterns in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century. It is proposed that the extinction of this species is a direct result of decreasing rainfall leading to increased mortality of juvenile snails.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. The ectopic expression of Snail in MDBK cells does not induce epithelial-mesenchymal transition.

    PubMed

    Izawa, Genya; Kobayashi, Wakako; Haraguchi, Misako; Sudo, Akiharu; Ozawa, Masayuki

    2015-07-01

    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 by the acquisition of migratory and invasive properties. However, the precise molecular events that initiate this complex EMT process are poorly understood. Snail expression induces EMT in Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells and the human epidermoid carcinoma cell line, A431. Snail is a zinc finger transcription factor and triggers EMT by suppressing E-cadherin expression. In the present study, to broaden our knowledge of Snail‑induced EMT, we generated stable Snail transfectants using Madin-Darby bovine kidney (MDBK) cells. Contrary to the MDCK or A431 cells examined in our previous studies, the MDBK cells transfected with the Snail construct maintained an epithelial morphology and showed no sign of reduced cell-cell adhesiveness compared to the control cells. Consistent with these observations, the downregulation of epithelial marker proteins, e.g. E-cadherin and desmoglein, and the upregulation of mesenchymal marker proteins, e.g., N-cadherin and fibronectin, were not detected. Furthermore, the E-cadherin promoter was not methylated. Therefore, in the MDBK cells, the ectopic expression of Snail failed to induce EMT. As previously demonstrated, in MDCK cells, Snail expression is accompanied by the increased expression of other EMT-inducing transcription factors, e.g., Slug and zinc finger E-box-binding homeobox 1 (ZEB1). However, the MDBK cells transfected with the Snail construct did not exhibit an increased expression of these factors. Thus, it is possible that the failure to upregulate other EMT-related transcription factors may explain the lack of Snail-mediated induction of EMT in MDBK cells.

  9. Differences in predatory pressure on terrestrial snails by birds and mammals.

    PubMed

    Rosin, Zuzanna M; Olborska, Paulina; Surmacki, Adrian; Tryjanowski, Piotr

    2011-09-01

    The evolution of shell polymorphism in terrestrial snails is a classic textbook example of the effect of natural selection in which avian and mammalian predation represents an important selective force on gene frequency. However, many questions about predation remain unclear, especially in the case of mammals. We collected 2000 specimens from eight terrestrial gastropod species to investigate the predation pressure exerted by birds and mice on snails. We found evidence of avian and mammalian predation in 26.5% and 36.8% of the shells. Both birds and mammals were selective with respect to snail species, size and morphs. Birds preferred the brown-lipped banded snail Cepaea nemoralis (L.) and mice preferred the burgundy snail Helix pomatia L. Mice avoided pink mid-banded C. nemoralis and preferred brown mid-banded morphs, which were neglected by birds. In contrast to mice, birds chose larger individuals. Significant differences in their predatory pressure can influence the evolution and maintenance of shell size and polymorphism of shell colouration in snails.

  10. Are sick individuals weak competitors? Competitive ability of snails parasitized by a gigantism-inducing trematode.

    PubMed

    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

  11. 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.

  12. Are sick individuals weak competitors? Competitive ability of snails parasitized by a gigantism-inducing trematode.

    PubMed

    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.

  13. 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. PMID:23032289

  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. NF2 blocks Snail-mediated p53 suppression in mesothelioma

    PubMed Central

    Cho, Jung-Hyun; Lee, Su-Jin; Oh, Ah-Young; Yoon, Min-Ho; Woo, Tae-Geun; Park, Bum-Joon

    2015-01-01

    Although asbestos causes malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), rising from lung mesothelium, the molecular mechanism has not been suggested until now. Extremely low mutation rate in classical tumor suppressor genes (such as p53 and pRb) and oncogenes (including Ras or myc) indicates that there would be MPM-specific carcinogenesis pathway. To address this, we treated silica to mimic mesothelioma carcinogenesis in mesothelioma and non-small cell lung cancer cell lines (NSCLC). Treatment of silica induced p-Erk and Snail through RKIP reduction. In addition, p53 and E-cadherin were decreased by silica-treatment. Elimination of Snail restored p53 expression. We found that NF2 (frequently deleted in MPM) inhibited Snail-mediated p53 suppression and was stabilized by RKIP. Importantly, GN25, an inhibitor of p53-Snail interaction, induced p53 and apoptosis. These results indicate that MPM can be induced by reduction of RKIP/NF2, which suppresses p53 through Snail. Thus, the p53-Snail binding inhibitor such as GN25 is a drug candidate for MPM. PMID:25823924

  16. 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.)

  17. How terrestrial snails can be used in risk assessment of soils.

    PubMed

    de Vaufleury, Annette; Coeurdassier, Michaël; Pandard, Pascal; Scheifler, Renaud; Lovy, Christiane; Crini, Nadia; Badot, Pierre-Marie

    2006-03-01

    Among soil invertebrates, terrestrial snails are herbivorous and detritivorous organisms exposed to polluted soils by both digestive and cutaneous routes. Using laboratory-reared snails (Helix aspersa aspersa), we describe how the effects of contaminants on survival and growth of snails can be evaluated in laboratory bioassays. A national ring test was performed to assess the effect of Cd added to the soil or to the food. The ecotoxicity of sewage sludge also was evaluated. The present results demonstrate that toxicity depends on both the pollutants and the exposure route. Cadmium was sixfold more toxic for snails exposed via food contamination (median effective concentration [EC50], 68-139 microg/g) than via soil contamination (EC50, 534-877 microg/g), whereas the opposite occurred with the sewage sludge (EC50, 55% of sludge in the food and 10% of waste in the soil). A logistic relationship linked growth inhibition and internal Cd concentrations, which can reach 2,000 microg/g in the viscera of snails exposed to 626 microg/g in the food. No clear trend was found between Cu, Zn, Pb, Cr, and Ni concentrations in the sludge and in snail tissues. These data enabled the development of an international standard, which should enhance the use of terrestrial gastropods for both fundamental research and routine risk assessment in the terrestrial environment.

  18. Biochemical responses to the toxicity of the biocide abamectin on the freshwater snail Physa acuta.

    PubMed

    Ma, Junguo; Zhou, Chune; Li, Yao; Li, Xiaoyu

    2014-03-01

    The toxic effects of abamectin (ABM), an anthelmintic drug, on the snail, Physa Acuta, and the biochemical responses to the exposure stress were evaluated. The activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione S-transferase (GST), acetylcholinesterase (AChE), and nitric oxide synthase (NOS), and the contents of malondialdehyde (MDA) were determined in snail soft tissues (head, foot, visceral mass, and the mantle) for up to 96h of exposure to 3.4, 9.6, 19.2, or 27.4μgL(-1) of ABM. The results showed that SOD and GST activities were promoted by ABM-exposure at the earlier periods of treatment (12-48h) while these activites were inhibited at the end of test. The tendency of CAT activity was similar to that of SOD, but it increased at the end of test. MDA levels of the snail soft tissues increased in all treatment groups, including the recovery group, indicating that lipid peroxidation occurred in snail soft tissues. ABM-exposure inhibited AChE activity. However, NOS activities increased by ABM-exposure. In addition, activities of antioxidant enzymes and AChE from the snail soft tissues resumed the normal levels after 96h of recovery period, but MDA level did not attain the original level. This study provides information on the biochemical mechanism of ABM toxicity on the snail.

  19. Small mammals cause non-trophic effects on habitat and associated snails in a native system.

    PubMed

    Huntzinger, Mikaela; Karban, Richard; Maron, John L

    2011-12-01

    Legacy effects occur when particular species or their interactions with others have long-lasting impacts, and they are increasingly recognized as important determinants of ecological processes. However, when such legacy effects have been explicitly explored, they most often involve the long-term direct effects of species on systems, as opposed to the indirect effects. Here, we explore how a legacy of small mammal exclusion on the abundance of a shrub, bush lupine (Lupinus arboreus), influences the abundance of a native land snail (Helminthoglypta arrosa) in coastal prairie and dune habitats in central California. The factors that limit populations of land snails are very poorly known despite the threats to the persistence of this group of species. In grasslands, prior vole (Microtus californicus) exclusion created long-lasting gains in bush lupine abundance, mediated through the seedbank, and was associated with increased snail numbers (10×) compared to control plots where mammals were never excluded. Similar plots in dune habitat showed no difference in snail numbers due to previous mammal exclusion. We tested whether increased competition for food, increased predation, and/or lower desiccation explained the decline in snail numbers in plots with reduced lupine cover. Tethering experiments supported the hypothesis that voles can have long-lasting impacts as ecosystem engineers, reducing woody lupine habitat required for successful aestivation by snails. These results add to a growing list of studies that have found that non-trophic interactions can be limiting to invertebrate consumers. PMID:21691854

  20. 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.

  1. 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. PMID:26619925

  2. 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

  3. Age-dependent susceptibilities of Bulinus truncatus snails to an aqueous extract of Pulicaria crispa (Forssk.) Oliv. (Asteraceae) leaves.

    PubMed

    Ali, Elnour A; Bushara, Hamid O; Ali, Faisal S; Hussein, Mansour F

    2009-05-01

    This study was carried out to investigate the potential use of the herb Pulicaria crispa in the biological control of different developmental stages of Bulinus truncatus, a major snail intermediate host of urinary schistosomiasis. Age-dependent susceptibilities of mature adult snails, immature snails, juveniles, and one-day old egg masses to aqueous extracts of Pulicaria crispa leaves collected from Khartoum (Sudan) and Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) was determined and compared. The results show the juvenile snails are the most susceptible, followed in descending order by one-day old egg masses, immature snails, and mature adult snails. The P. crispa sample collected from Riyadh was significantly more potent against B. truncatus than that collected from Khartoum, as indicated by the least (LC50) and (LC90) values for all B. truncatus ages.

  4. 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.

  5. [Effects of heavy metals on snail development. Use of snails as bio-indicators of heavy metal pollution for the preservation of human health].

    PubMed

    Gomot, A

    1997-01-01

    The use of snails as biological indicators is particularly appropriate for metals, which they accumulate in their organs. The aim of the present experiment was to carry out a rigorous experimentation in the laboratory and in the wild in order to develop a methodology for the use of snails at a known stage of growth that would give precise information on the toxicity of heavy metals for different concentrations and durations of exposure. We have developed a test of toxicity based on the effects of a noxious and carcinogenic element, cadmium, on the land-snail Helix aspersa aspersa (H.a.a) of one month of age. Five concentrations (50 to 800 micrograms/g), were selected to estimate the concentrations causing 50% inhibition of growth (EC 50) at 14 days: 190 micrograms/g and at 28 days: 180 micrograms/g. A soil matrix contaminated with metals (soil including 800 micrograms/g Cr, 20 micrograms/g Cd, 800 micrograms/g Pb and 2000 micrograms/g Zn) was incorporated into the food at 50 and 75%, it too inhibited the growth of juvenile snails compared to incorporation of control soil. An accurate and rapid (2 to 4 weeks) method is therefore available for the evaluation of the toxicity of pollutants by ingestion. The first trials of this method in the wild consisted of placing batches of 2-month-old snails, identical to those used in the first lab tests, in locations that were either polluted or not. Differences in growth were observed depending on the locations; analysis of the levels of metal in the organs of the snails should enable us to check if there is a correlation between these levels and the growth rates. The results obtained with cadmium compared to those of other authors working with earthworms and soil arthropods show that snails give responses to concentrations comparable to those of earthworms and much more rapidly and with more sensitivity than those of collembolla for example. The ease of handling snails and the perfect control of their breeding are essential

  6. The occurrence of the snail Lymnaea columella on grazing areas in New South Wales and studies on its susceptibility to Fasciola hepatica.

    PubMed

    Boray, J C; Fraser, G C; Williams, J D; Wilson, J M

    1985-01-01

    Field surveys were carried out in the Lismore and Casino area for the presence of fresh water snails potentially responsible for the transmission of trematodes in ruminants. Although the North American snail, Lymnaea columella has previously only been reported from metropolitan areas, large populations of the snail were found east of Lismore. Natural infection with F. hepatica was detected in some of the snails and laboratory studies showed that this snail species was highly susceptible to infection with miracidia of F. hepatica and produced viable metacercariae. Three species of planorbid snails, Helicorbis australiensis, Pygmanisus pelorius and Gyraulus gilberti were also found. The first 2 planorbid species were infected with paramphistomid cercariae.

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25405008

  8. Antigens of Euparipha pisana (snail). I. Identification of allergens by means of in vivo and in vitro analysis.

    PubMed

    Amoroso, S; Cocchiara, R; Locorotondo, G; Parlato, A; Lampiasi, N; Albeggiani, G; Falagiani, P; Geraci, D

    1988-01-01

    The data obtained in this study suggest that eating Euparipha pisana (snail), a common food in Mediterranean countries, could give serious allergic reaction such as asthma. We describe here the identification and partial characterization of allergenic molecules form this new source. An aqueous extract of snail was obtained by homogenization in distilled water, centrifugation, dialysis and defatting with ethyl ether. Skin prick test (SPT) performed with the snail extract on 70 subjects allergic to the more common allergens of the Mediterranean area gave a SPT positivity in 61% of the subjects tested, with a mean value of histamine-equivalent prick (HEP) equal to 0.81 +/- 0.25 (n = 43), while no SPT-snail-positive reactions were obtained by using the same extract on 30 not allergic subjects. To ascertain if such a sensitivity was IgE-mediated, sera from SPT-snail-positive subjects were analyzed by RAST, coupling the snail extract to polystyrene balls and to paper discs. 19% of the sera tested were RAST-positive, mean value of binding 4.8 +/- 2.8% (n = 13), while when using sera from SPT-snail-negative subjects, the RAST mean value was 0.49 +/- 0.18% (n = 27). Histamine release (HR) was also performed. Basophils prepared from SPT-snail-positive subjects were incubated with a snail extract. All of the SPT-snail-positive subjects gave a significant value of HR, mean value 21.8 +/- 7% using 1 micrograms of snail extract (n = 16), while 1.41 +/- 1.1% (n = 10) was the mean value obtained when SPT-snail-negative subjects were analyzed.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25827072

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:23901391

  16. Inhibition of Snail1-DNA-PKcs protein-protein interface sensitizes cancer cells and inhibits tumor metastasis.

    PubMed

    Kang, Ga-Young; Pyun, Bo-Jeong; Seo, Haeng Ran; Jin, Yeung Bae; Lee, Hae-June; Lee, Yoon-Jin; Lee, Yun-Sil

    2013-11-01

    Our previous study suggested that the DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs) interacts with Snail1, which affects genomic instability, sensitivity to DNA-damaging agents, and migration of tumor cells by reciprocal regulation between DNA-PKcs and Snail1. Here, we further investigate that a peptide containing 7-amino acid sequences (amino acids 15-21) of Snail1 (KPNYSEL, SP) inhibits the endogenous interaction between DNA-PKcs and Snail1 through primary interaction with DNA-PKcs. SP restored the inhibited DNA-PKcs repair activity and downstream pathways. On the other hand, DNA-PKcs-mediated phosphorylation of Snail1 was inhibited by SP, which resulted in decreased Snail1 stability and Snail1 functions. However, these phenomena were only shown in p53 wild-type cells, not in p53-defective cells. From these results, it is suggested that interfering with the protein interaction between DNA-PKcs and Snail1 might be an effective strategy for sensitizing cancer cells and inhibiting tumor migration, especially in both Snail1-overexpressing and DNA-PKcs-overexpressing cancer cells with functional p53.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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. PMID:26100718

  5. Antipredatory behavior as an index of heavy-metal pollution? A test using snails and caddisflies.

    PubMed

    Lefcort, H; Ammann, E; Eiger, S M

    2000-04-01

    The loss of behaviors that organisms use to avoid predation may serve as a sensitive indicator of pollution. We tested the hypothesis that a correlation exists in the field between heavy metal levels and antipredator behaviors. We examined the antipredator behavior of aquatic caddisfly larvae and snails at sites in the Coeur d'Alene basin of Northern Idaho which varied in their levels of heavy metals. We tested the antipredator response of Physella columbiana snails at 10 polluted lakes downstream from the Bunker Hill Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund cleanup site. We then compared their behavior to snails at 14 reference lakes. We placed the snails in a plastic testing apparatus, exposed them to an extract of crushed snail, and then monitored their movements to a normally preferred shaded area. We also tested the behavior of caddisfly larvae from 36 sites from a total of 6 streams/rivers adjacent to the Superfund site. Sites were located upstream and downstream of abandoned mines. We located active larvae of four genera, simulated predation by grasping the animals between thumb and forefinger (the larvae respond to being grasped by withdrawing into their case), lifted them from the water for 3 s, and then placed them in an adjacent, slower section of the stream. We then recorded how long it took each larvae to partially emerge from its case and attempt to move away. Unlike reference site snails, snails from heavy metal-polluted environments failed to exhibit antipredator behaviors in response to crushed conspecifics. These results are consistent with previous laboratory studies. We found no effect of heavy metals on the antipredatory behavior of caddisfly larvae.

  6. Acute combined exposure to heavy metals (Zn, Cd) blocks memory formation in a freshwater snail.

    PubMed

    Byzitter, Jovita; Lukowiak, Ken; Karnik, Vikram; Dalesman, Sarah

    2012-04-01

    The effect of heavy metals on species survival is well documented; however, sublethal effects on behaviour and physiology are receiving growing attention. Measurements of changes in activity and respiration are more sensitive to pollutants, and therefore a better early indicator of potentially harmful ecological impacts. We assessed the effect of acute exposure (48 h) to two heavy metals at concentrations below those allowable in municipal drinking water (Zn: 1,100 μg/l; Cd: 3 μg/l) on locomotion and respiration using the freshwater snail, Lymnaea stagnalis. In addition we used a novel assessment method, testing the ability of the snail to form memory in the presence of heavy metals in both intact snails, and also snails that had the osphradial nerve severed which connects a chemosensory organ, the osphradium, to the central nervous system. Aerial respiration and locomotion remained unchanged by acute exposure to heavy metals. There was also no effect on memory formation of these metals when administered alone. However, when snails were exposed to these metals in combination memory formation was blocked. Severing the osphradial nerve prevented the memory blocking effect of Zn and Cd, indicating that the snails are sensing these metals in their environment via the osphradium and responding to them as a stressor. Therefore, assessing the ability of this species to form memory is a more sensitive measure of heavy metal pollution than measures of activity, and indicates that the snails' ability to demonstrate behavioural plasticity may be compromised by the presence of these pollutants. PMID:22218978

  7. Influence of water quality on zinc toxicity to the Florida apple snail (Pomacea paludosa) and sensitivity of freshwater snails to zinc.

    PubMed

    Hoang, Tham C; Tong, Xin

    2015-03-01

    The present study characterized the influence of water-quality characteristics on zinc (Zn) toxicity to the Florida apple snail (Pomacea paludosa) and the sensitivity of freshwater snails to Zn. Standard 96-h renewal acute toxicity tests were conducted with Zn and juvenile P. paludosa under 3 conditions of pH and alkalinity, water hardness, and dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Median lethal effect concentrations (96-h LC50s), no-observed- effect concentrations, lowest-observed-effect concentrations, LC10s, and LC20s were determined for each test. The results showed that Zn toxicity to P. paludosa decreased linearly with increasing hardness, pH, and DOC. A multiple linear regression model based on pH, hardness, and DOC was able to explain 99% of the observed variability in LC50s. These results are useful for the development of a biotic ligand model (BLM) for P. paludosa and Zn. Zinc acute toxicity data were collected from the literature for 12 freshwater snail species in a wide range of water-quality characteristics for species sensitivity distribution analysis. The results showed that P. paludosa is the second most sensitive to Zn. The present study also suggested that aqueous ZnCO3 and ZnHCO3 (-) can be bioavailable to P. paludosa. Therefore, bioavailability models (e.g., BLM) should take these Zn species into consideration for bioavailability when applied to snails.

  8. 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

  9. Effects of trematode parasitism on the behaviour and ecology of a common marine snail (Littorina littorea (L.)).

    PubMed

    Davies, M S.; Knowles, A J.

    2001-06-01

    Cryptocotyle lingua (Creplin) is a digenean trematode parasite of the littoral prosobranch gastropod Littorina littorea (L.). The literature suggests the snails become infected by grazing guano of the final host, the herring gull, Larus argentatus Pontoppidan. The parasite emerges from the snail as free-swimming cercariae. Interactions between the snail and the parasite at cellular and life-history levels are well established, but little is known of the influences the interaction has on the behaviour and the ecology of the snail. We tested the response of the snail to encounters with cercariae, examined the longevity of the guano on-shore and tested the responses of the snail to encounters with guano. Over half the L. littorea tested were able to detect both cercariae and a filtered homogenate of cercariae in conspecific mucus trails, approximately one-third of animals refusing to cross the treatments. Chemoreception by the mouth or foot is considered the most likely means of detection. Guano samples (mean weight 3.22 g) naturally deposited at approximately mid-tide level were completely washed away by one tidal inundation. We consider this period too brief to allow for ingestion of eggs in guano by the snail. Further, snails would not cross guano placed in conspecific trails. Most snails would not cross guano diluted by 10(3)x(10 mg ml(-1)) and some snails could still detect guano diluted by 10(6)x(10 &mgr;g ml(-1)), though all were prepared to cross it. Detection of guano is again believed to be by chemoreception by the mouth or foot. These results are discussed in terms of the mating and aggregating behaviour of L. littorea. Ingestion of the parasite by L. littorea is likely to take place once the guano has washed away as the eggs are negatively buoyant in seawater and may adhere to rock (biofilm) or algal fronds which may be grazed by the snail. PMID:11358576

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Antimicrobial Activity of Molluscan Hemocyanins from Helix and Rapana Snails.

    PubMed

    Dolashka, Pavlina; Dolashki, Aleksander; Van Beeumen, Jozef; Floetenmeyer, Matthias; Velkova, Lyudmila; Stevanovic, Stefan; Voelter, Wolfgang

    2016-01-01

    For the first time the antimicrobial activities of hemocyanins from the molluscs Rapana venosa (RvH) and Helix aspersa (HaH) have been tested. From the hemolymph of the garden snail H. aspersa one structural subunit (βc-HaH ) and eight functional units (FUs, βc-HaH-a to βc-HaH-h) were isolated, and their N-terminal sequences and molecular weights, ranging between 45 and 65 kDa, determined. The antimicrobial test of the hemocyanins against different bacteria showed that only two FUs from Rapana, RvH1-b and RvH1-e, exhibit a low inhibition effect against Staphylococcus aureus. In contrast and surprisingly, the structural subunit βc-HaH of H. aspersa not only shows strong antimicrobial activities against S. aureus and the likewise Gram-positive Streptococcus epidermidis, but also against the Gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli. We suggest that this subunit therefore has the potential to become a substitute for the commonly used antibiotics against which bacterial resistance has gradually been developed. PMID:26343131

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Bisphenol A regulates Snail-mediated epithelial-mesenchymal transition in hemangioma cells.

    PubMed

    Zhai, Denggao; He, Jiantai; Li, Xiaoli; Gong, Liansheng; Ouyang, Yang

    2016-08-01

    Hemangioma (HA) can be exposed to bisphenol A (BPA) through direct skin absorption. Although numerous studies indicated that BPA can trigger the progression of cancers, there is no study concerning the effects of BPA on development of HA. Our present study revealed that nanomolar BPA can significantly increase the in vitro migration and invasion of HA cells via induction of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), which was evidenced by the upregulation of vimentin and downregulation of E-cadherin. The BPA treatment also significantly increased the expression and nuclear localization of Snail and the key transcription factor of EMT, while it had no effect on the expression of other transcription factors such as Slug, Twist, or ZEB1. Silencing of Snail by small interfering RNAs attenuated BPA-induced downregulation of cadherin and upregulation of vimentin, suggesting that Snail is essential for BPA-induced EMT. Both estrogen receptor α (ERα) and G protein-coupled estrogen receptor (GPER) were expressed in HA cells; furthermore, BPA treatment can increase the expression of both ERα and GPER. However, only the inhibitor of ERα (ICI 182, 780), and not GPER (G15), can abolish BPA-induced upregulation of Snail. It suggested that ERα is involved in BPA-induced EMT of HA cells. Collectively, our data suggested that BPA can trigger the EMT of HA cells via ERα/Snail signals. It indicated that more attention should be paid to the skin exposure to BPA for HA patients. PMID:27480627

  17. Prehistoric inter-archipelago trading of Polynesian tree snails leaves a conservation legacy.

    PubMed

    Lee, Taehwan; Burch, John B; Coote, Trevor; Fontaine, Benoît; Gargominy, Olivier; Pearce-Kelly, Paul; Foighil, Diarmaid O

    2007-11-22

    Inter-archipelago exchange networks were an important aspect of prehistoric Polynesian societies. We report here a novel genetic characterization of a prehistoric exchange network involving an endemic Pacific island tree snail, Partula hyalina. It occurs in the Society (Tahiti only), Austral and Southern Cook Islands. Our genetic data, based on museum, captive and wild-caught samples, establish Tahiti as the source island. The source lineage is polymorphic in shell coloration and contains a second nominal species, the dark-shelled Partula clara, in addition to the white-shelled P. hyalina. Prehistoric inter-island introductions were non-random: they involved white-shelled snails only and were exclusively inter-archipelago in scope. Partulid shells were commonly used in regional Polynesian jewellery, and we propose that the white-shelled P. hyalina, originally restricted to Tahiti, had aesthetic value throughout these archipelagoes. Demand within the Society Islands could be best met by trading dead shells, but a low rate of inter-archipelago exchange may have prompted the establishment of multiple founder populations in the Australs and Southern Cooks. The alien carnivorous land snail Euglandina rosea has recently devastated populations of all 61 endemic species of Society Island partulid snails. Southern Cooks and Australs P. hyalina now represent the only unscathed wild populations remaining of this once spectacular land snail radiation. PMID:17848368

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Digenean-gastropod host associations inform on aspects of specific immunity in snails

    PubMed Central

    Adema, C.M.; Loker, E.S.

    2014-01-01

    Gastropod immunology is informed importantly by the study of the frequent encounters snails endure with digeneans (digenetic trematodes). One of the hallmarks of gastropod-digenean associations is their specificity: any particular digenean parasite species is transmitted by a limited subset of snail taxa. We discuss the nature of this specificity, including its immunological basis. We then review studies of the model gastropod Biomphalaria glabrata indicating that the baseline responses of snails to digeneans can be elevated in a specific manner. Studies incorporating molecular and functional approaches are then highlighted, and are further suggestive of the capacity for specific gastropod immune responses. These studies have led to the compatibility polymorphism hypothesis: the interactions between diversified fibrinogen-related proteins (FREPs) and diverse carbohydrate-decorated polymorphic parasite antigens determine recognition and trigger specific immunity. Complex glycan structures are also likely to play a role in the host specificity typifying snail-digenean interactions. We conclude by noting the dynamic and consequential interactions between snails and digeneans can be considered as drivers of diversification of digenean parasites and in the development and maintenance of specific immunity in gastropods. PMID:25034871

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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. PMID:27563725

  4. Estimating Genetic and Maternal Effects Determining Variation in Immune Function of a Mixed-Mating Snail.

    PubMed

    Seppälä, Otto; Langeloh, Laura

    2016-01-01

    Evolution of host defenses such as immune function requires heritable genetic variation in them. However, also non-genetic maternal effects can contribute to phenotypic variation, thus being an alternative target for natural selection. We investigated the role of individuals' genetic background and maternal effects in determining immune defense traits (phenoloxidase and antibacterial activity of hemolymph), as well as in survival and growth, in the simultaneously hermaphroditic snail Lymnaea stagnalis. We utilized the mixed mating system of this species by producing full-sib families in which each parental snail had produced offspring as both a dam and as a sire, and tested whether genetic background (family) and non-genetic maternal effects (dam nested within family) explain trait variation. Immune defense traits and growth were affected solely by individuals' genetic background. Survival of snails did not show family-level variation. Additionally, some snails were produced through self-fertilization. They showed reduced growth and survival suggesting recessive load or overdominance. Immune defense traits did not respond to inbreeding. Our results suggest that the variation in snail immune function and growth was due to genetic differences. Since immune traits did not respond to inbreeding, this variation is most likely due to additive or epistatic genetic variance. PMID:27551822

  5. Antidepressants cause foot detachment from substrate in five species of marine snail.

    PubMed

    Fong, Peter P; Molnar, Nikolett

    2013-03-01

    Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) are released into aquatic ecosystems through discharged sewage wastewater. Antidepressants are among those APIs often detected in wastewater effluent and have been recently reported to cause foot detachment from the substrate in freshwater snails. We tested the effects of four commonly prescribed antidepressants {fluoxetine ("Prozac"), fluvoxamine ("Luvox"), venlafaxine ("Effexor"), and citalopram ("Celexa") on adhesion to the substrate in five species of marine snails, three from the Pacific coast (Chlorostoma funebralis, Nucella ostrina, Urosalpinx cinerea) and two species from the Atlantic coast (Tegula fasciatus and Lithopoma americanum) of North America representing three different gastropod families. All antidepressants tested induced foot detachment from the substrate in all snail species in a mainly dose-dependent manner (p < 0.04-0.00000001). The lowest LOECs (lowest observed effect concentration) for antidepressants and snails were recorded for Lithopoma in 43.4 μg/L (100 nM) fluvoxamine and Chlorostoma in 157 μg/L (500 nM) venlafaxine and 217 μg/L (500 nM) fluvoxamine. The trochids and turbinids were 2-10× more sensitive to the antidepressants than the muricids. Latency to detachment was also dose dependent, with the fastest average times to detach seen in Chlorostoma and Lithopoma (7.33 and 13.16 min respectively in 3.13 mg/L venlafaxine). The possible physiological mechanisms regulating antidepressant-induced foot detachment in marine snails and the possible ecological consequences are discussed. PMID:23218553

  6. 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. PMID:20818461

  7. 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.

  8. Seasonal dynamics of two mortality-related trematodes using an introduced snail.

    PubMed

    Herrmann, Kristin K; Sorensen, Robert E

    2009-08-01

    Seasonal dynamics of 2 trematode species, Cyathocotyle bushiensis and Sphaeridiotrema globulus, were assessed in relation to life history traits of the parasites and their hosts, as well as abundance of host species and abundance of infective stages. Both of these trematodes are associated with recurrent mortality of migrating waterbirds on the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. An invasive snail species, Bithynia tentaculata, serves as intermediate host for both trematode species. In total, 2,970 snails were collected at 2 study sites. Prevalence and mean abundance of the 2 trematode species varied among dates and was attributed to several factors, including migration patterns of definitive hosts, snail population dynamics, and seasonal changes in temperature. The surge of new infections of both parasites seems to be due to avian hosts foraging at this site during spring migration. The high prevalence and abundance of metacercariae among the snail population promote mortality among molluscivorous birds by increasing the probability of ingestion of a lethal dose. Additionally, mortality of non-molluscivorous birds can be explained by accidental ingestion of a couple of highly infected snails resulting in a lethal dose.

  9. Prehistoric inter-archipelago trading of Polynesian tree snails leaves a conservation legacy.

    PubMed

    Lee, Taehwan; Burch, John B; Coote, Trevor; Fontaine, Benoît; Gargominy, Olivier; Pearce-Kelly, Paul; Foighil, Diarmaid O

    2007-11-22

    Inter-archipelago exchange networks were an important aspect of prehistoric Polynesian societies. We report here a novel genetic characterization of a prehistoric exchange network involving an endemic Pacific island tree snail, Partula hyalina. It occurs in the Society (Tahiti only), Austral and Southern Cook Islands. Our genetic data, based on museum, captive and wild-caught samples, establish Tahiti as the source island. The source lineage is polymorphic in shell coloration and contains a second nominal species, the dark-shelled Partula clara, in addition to the white-shelled P. hyalina. Prehistoric inter-island introductions were non-random: they involved white-shelled snails only and were exclusively inter-archipelago in scope. Partulid shells were commonly used in regional Polynesian jewellery, and we propose that the white-shelled P. hyalina, originally restricted to Tahiti, had aesthetic value throughout these archipelagoes. Demand within the Society Islands could be best met by trading dead shells, but a low rate of inter-archipelago exchange may have prompted the establishment of multiple founder populations in the Australs and Southern Cooks. The alien carnivorous land snail Euglandina rosea has recently devastated populations of all 61 endemic species of Society Island partulid snails. Southern Cooks and Australs P. hyalina now represent the only unscathed wild populations remaining of this once spectacular land snail radiation.

  10. Prehistoric inter-archipelago trading of Polynesian tree snails leaves a conservation legacy

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Taehwan; Burch, John B; Coote, Trevor; Fontaine, Benoît; Gargominy, Olivier; Pearce-Kelly, Paul; Foighil, Diarmaid Ó

    2007-01-01

    Inter-archipelago exchange networks were an important aspect of prehistoric Polynesian societies. We report here a novel genetic characterization of a prehistoric exchange network involving an endemic Pacific island tree snail, Partula hyalina. It occurs in the Society (Tahiti only), Austral and Southern Cook Islands. Our genetic data, based on museum, captive and wild-caught samples, establish Tahiti as the source island. The source lineage is polymorphic in shell coloration and contains a second nominal species, the dark-shelled Partula clara, in addition to the white-shelled P. hyalina. Prehistoric inter-island introductions were non-random: they involved white-shelled snails only and were exclusively inter-archipelago in scope. Partulid shells were commonly used in regional Polynesian jewellery, and we propose that the white-shelled P. hyalina, originally restricted to Tahiti, had aesthetic value throughout these archipelagoes. Demand within the Society Islands could be best met by trading dead shells, but a low rate of inter-archipelago exchange may have prompted the establishment of multiple founder populations in the Australs and Southern Cooks. The alien carnivorous land snail Euglandina rosea has recently devastated populations of all 61 endemic species of Society Island partulid snails. Southern Cooks and Australs P. hyalina now represent the only unscathed wild populations remaining of this once spectacular land snail radiation. PMID:17848368

  11. 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.

  12. The effects of endosulfan on the great ramshorn snail Planorbarius corneus (Gastropoda, Pulmonata): a histopathological study.

    PubMed

    Otludil, Birgül; Cengiz, Elif Ipek; Yildirim, M Zeki; Unver, Ozkan; Unlü, Erhan

    2004-08-01

    In this study the great ramshorn snail (Planorbarius corneus), one of the most abundant gastropod of Turkish limnic systems, was investigated to determine the histopathological effects of endosulfan on the digestive gland, foot and mantle under laboratory conditions. Samples were collected from small artificial pools in Karaot at Gelendost-Isparta (southwest of Turkey), where agricultural activities are widespread. The snails were exposed to two sublethal concentrations of endosulfan (0.4 and 0.8 mg/l) for periods of 10, 20 and 30 days. Fifteen snails were kept in 2.5 l glass jars containing dechlorinated tap water and exposed under semi-static test (daily exchange of test water). All the testing was carried out on adult specimens, and snails were maintained on a photothermal period with 16 light hours at 22 +/- 2 degrees C. The histopathological examinations revealed the following changes: amoebocytes infiltration, dilatation in hemolymphatic spaces between the tubules, degeneration of cells, abnormal lumen, necrosis of cells and atrophy in the connective tissue of digestive gland; desquamation of the epithelium cells, changes in the number of mucocytes and protein gland cells, lipid vacuolus and atrophy of the columnar muscle fibers of the foot and mantle tissues. Pycnotic state of cells was also seen in the mantle tissues. Endosulfan caused significant histopathological alterations in the digestive gland, foot and mantle tissues of the snail, irrespective of concentrations of the pesticide and its exposure periods. The results are discussed, particularly in comparison to those of other aquatic organisms.

  13. Estimating Genetic and Maternal Effects Determining Variation in Immune Function of a Mixed-Mating Snail

    PubMed Central

    Seppälä, Otto; Langeloh, Laura

    2016-01-01

    Evolution of host defenses such as immune function requires heritable genetic variation in them. However, also non-genetic maternal effects can contribute to phenotypic variation, thus being an alternative target for natural selection. We investigated the role of individuals’ genetic background and maternal effects in determining immune defense traits (phenoloxidase and antibacterial activity of hemolymph), as well as in survival and growth, in the simultaneously hermaphroditic snail Lymnaea stagnalis. We utilized the mixed mating system of this species by producing full-sib families in which each parental snail had produced offspring as both a dam and as a sire, and tested whether genetic background (family) and non-genetic maternal effects (dam nested within family) explain trait variation. Immune defense traits and growth were affected solely by individuals’ genetic background. Survival of snails did not show family-level variation. Additionally, some snails were produced through self-fertilization. They showed reduced growth and survival suggesting recessive load or overdominance. Immune defense traits did not respond to inbreeding. Our results suggest that the variation in snail immune function and growth was due to genetic differences. Since immune traits did not respond to inbreeding, this variation is most likely due to additive or epistatic genetic variance. PMID:27551822

  14. 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

  15. 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. PMID:25605914

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. 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

    ... Service as endangered on December 15, 1994 (59 FR 64613). Section 9 of the Act and its implementing...] Longworth Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Morro Shoulderband Snail, Community of Los Osos, San... includes the Longworth Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Morro Shoulderband Snail. This...

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Copper, zinc and lead bioaccumulation in marine snail, Strombus gigas, from Guacanayabo Gulf, Cuba.

    PubMed

    Díaz Rizo, O; Olivares Reumont, S; Viguri Fuente, J; Díaz Arado, O; López Pino, N; D'Alessandro Rodríguez, K; Arado López, J O; Gelen Rudnikas, A; Arencibia Carballo, G

    2010-09-01

    Levels of copper, zinc and lead were determined in sediments and edible muscle of marine snail Strombus gigas collected from Guacanayabo Gulf, Cuba. The concentration range of each metal in marine snail muscle on mg kg(-1) wet weight varied as follows: Cu = 6.4-32.6, Zn = 20.4-31.1 and Pb = 0.2-2.3; and in corresponding sediments (on mg kg(-1) dry weight) as: Cu = 157-186, Zn = 56-94 and Pb = 20-37. The average biota-sediment accumulation factors (BSAFs) obtained for studied metals are less than unity in all cases, indicating that only a little fraction of metal content in the sediments is bioavailable, independently of their possible enrichments in the sediments. The concentrations of copper and lead in some of the marine snails are above typical public health recommended limits. PMID:20676604

  4. Hatching of Echinostoma trivolvis miracidia in response to snail host and non-host chemical cues.

    PubMed

    Belden, Lisa K; Widder, Pamela D; Fischer, Lauren R; Carter, Ashlee B; Wojdak, Jeremy M

    2009-09-01

    Environmental cues are used by many organisms to time life history transitions and can be important for trematode host location. However, while much is understood about how larval trematodes locate hosts, much less is known about the potential role of host cues in the timing of trematode egg development and hatching. We addressed the potential role of host chemical cues in mediating hatching of Echinostoma trivolvis miracidia by comparing hatching in response to cues from the first intermediate host (the snail Planorbella trivolvis), a non-host snail (the snail Goniobasis proxima), and a non-host invertebrate (earthworm, Lumbricus terrestris). We hypothesized that in the presence of cues from their first intermediate host, E. trivolvis would hatch sooner and would be more synchronized than when host cues were absent. However, we found that hatching was unaffected by our cue treatments. In all treatments, hatching uniformly began at 13 days and was nearly evenly spread over the next 3 weeks. PMID:19513751

  5. Compatibility polymorphism in snail/schistosome interactions: From field to theory to molecular mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Mitta, G.; Adema, C.M.; Gourbal, B.; Loker, E.S.; Theron, A.

    2013-01-01

    Coevolutionary dynamics in host–parasite interactions potentially lead to an arms race that results in compatibility polymorphism. The mechanisms underlying compatibility have remained largely unknown in the interactions between the snail Biomphalaria glabrata and Schistosoma mansoni, one of the agents of human schistosomiasis. This review presents a combination of data obtained from field and laboratory studies arguing in favor of a matching phenotype model to explain compatibility polymorphism. Investigations focused on the molecular determinants of compatibility have revealed two repertoires of polymorphic and/or diversified molecules that have been shown to interact: the parasite antigens S. mansoni polymorphic mucins and the B. glabrata fibrinogen-related proteins immune receptors. We hypothesize their interactions define the compatible/incompatible status of a specific snail/schistosome combination. This line of thought suggests concrete approaches amenable to testing in field-oriented studies attempting to control schistosomiasis by disrupting schistosome–snail compatibility. PMID:21945832

  6. Effect of gamma irradiation on the reproductive system of the pond snail Physa acuta

    SciTech Connect

    Fujita, S.; Egami, N.

    1984-05-01

    Changes in the survival rate in adults and embryos of the pond snail Physa acuta were studied after acute whole-body ..gamma.. irradiation. The LD/sub 50/ value of the adult snails was about 40 kR. The LD/sub 50/ values of the embryos irradiated 0 and 1 day after oviposition were about 0.9 and 2 kR, respectively. Histological changes in the ovotestis, the number of eggs laid, and their hatchability were examined in the irradiated adult snails. A fall and a subsequent recovery were observed for these characteristics after irradiation with 8 kR of ..gamma.. rays. The relative constitution of the germ-cell populations was greatly changed by the same dose of ..gamma.. rays. After depletion, the ovotestis was first repopulated with gonia, and then with oocytes, spermatocytes, and spermatids.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Schistosoma mansoni: identification of chemicals that attract or trap its snail vector, Biomphalaria glabrata.

    PubMed

    Uhazy, L S; Tanaka, R D; MacInnis, A J

    1978-09-01

    A new bioassay for chemical attractants of aquatic snails demonstrated that Biomphalaria glabrata could be attracted to or trapped in the vicinity of homogenates of lettuce. Fractionation of homogenates revealed the amino acids glutamate and proline and the primary attractants. Attraction was specific for the L form of glutamate. Proline appeared to stimulate reproductive activity. Glutathione, gamma-aminobutyric acid, and a number of other compounds had no effect. Extracts of lyophilized snail tissue also attracted other snails and may thus contain pheromones. These results permit formulation and testing of controlled-release attractants designed to overcome the repellant effects of slow-release molluscicides, as well as the design of stimulants to be used with no-release poisons. PMID:684418

  10. Sympatric and allopatric experimental infections of the planorbid snail Gyraulus chinensis with miracidia of Euparyphium albuferensis (Trematoda: Echinostomatidae).

    PubMed

    Muñoz-Antoli, C; Marín, A; Trelis, M; Toledo, R; Esteban, J-G

    2010-12-01

    An experimental infection with echinostomatid miracidia in sympatric or 'local' vs. allopatric or 'away' snail combinations, as a model to examine parasite compatibility, was carried out. We employed Euparyphium albuferensis miracidia to infect Gyraulus chinensis snails, from three different natural parks: Albufera (Valencia, Spain); the Ebro Delta (Tarragona, Spain) and Coto de Doñana (Huelva, Spain). Insignificant differences between the three snail strains were noted for the infection rate and the rhythm of daily cercarial production. However, a significantly higher total cercarial production per snail, patent period and life span were observed in local snails. The different infection characteristics in the three G. chinensis strains considered reveal that E. albuferensis miracidia demonstrate local adaptation.

  11. Storage and incubation of Echinostoma revolutum eggs recovered from wild Branta canadensis, and their infectivity to Lymnaea tomentosa snails.

    PubMed

    Davis, N E

    2005-12-01

    Echinostoma revolutum eggs recovered from naturally infected wild Canada geese (Branta canadensis) were cold stored (4-6 degrees C) for up to 72 weeks. Successful hatching followed incubation for from 6 to 8 days at an optimum temperature of between 25 and 30 degrees C. A partial life cycle from adult worm to metacercarial encystment in Lymnaea tomentosa snails was completed in the laboratory. Snails were infected both by free miracidia and by ingestment of unhatched embryonated eggs. Infection was equally successful in environmental temperature ranges from 10 to 25 degrees C, and at challenge levels of 2, 5 or 10 embryonated eggs per snail. Exposure to 10 eggs was lethal. Ingestion by snails of embryonated eggs with successful infection at 10 degrees C suggests that embryonated eggs may be used to infect wild snails when the environmental water temperature has reached 10 degrees C. PMID:16336715

  12. 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…

  13. African Studies Computer Resources.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kuntz, Patricia S.

    African studies computer resources that are readily available in the United States with linkages to Africa are described, highlighting those most directly corresponding to African content. Africanists can use the following four fundamental computer systems: (1) Internet/Bitnet; (2) Fidonet; (3) Usenet; and (4) dial-up bulletin board services. The…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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

  19. 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. PMID:16449562

  20. [Neuronal mechanisms of associative food aversion conditioning reconsolidation in snail Helix lucorum].

    PubMed

    Kozyrev, S A; Nikitin, V P

    2009-06-01

    We have previously showed that reactivation of long-term memory during protin synthesis inhibitor application initiated disruption of memory recalling in snails Helix lucorum with food aversion conditioning reflex. In present work cellular mechanisms of memory reactivation were studied in snail LP11 and RP11 command neurons of defense behavior. In first trial experiments mechanisms of amnesia induction were investigated in semiintact preparations 24 hours after aversion conditioning with single type of food. It was found that application of conditioned food stimulus on snail lip during CNS perfusion with cycloheximide (protein synthesis inhibitor) initiated depression of synaptic response evoked by conditioned stimulus 2.5 hours after reminding. In second tria experiments neuronal mechanisms of amnesia development were studied. Snails were conditioned with two types of food. Cycloheximide was injected into mantle cavity and conditioned stimulus of one type of food was presented 24 hours after snail learning. Semiintact preparations were prepared 1,3, 7 and 15 days after cycloheximide injection + reminding procedure. It was found that neural responses evoked by conditioned food stimulus which was used as reminding stimulus gradually decreased during 1, 3 and 7 days. Neural responses evoked by the conditioned stimulus at 7 and 15 days were not significantly differed from control differentiated food stimulus and were significantly weaker then neural responses evoked by second conditioned food stimulus which was not used as a reminding stimulus. It was suggested that specific and protein synthesis-dependent changes in synaptic connections effectiveness in LP11 and RP11 neurons is one of the cellular mechanisms of amnesia obtained after disruption of long-term memory reconsolidation in snail.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Differential Spatial Repositioning of Activated Genes in Biomphalaria glabrata Snails Infected with Schistosoma mansoni

    PubMed Central

    Arican-Goktas, Halime D.; Ittiprasert, Wannaporn; Bridger, Joanna M.; Knight, Matty

    2014-01-01

    Schistosomiasis is an infectious disease infecting mammals as the definitive host and fresh water snails as the intermediate host. Understanding the molecular and biochemical relationship between the causative schistosome parasite and its hosts will be key to understanding and ultimately treating and/or eradicating the disease. There is increasing evidence that pathogens that have co-evolved with their hosts can manipulate their hosts' behaviour at various levels to augment an infection. Bacteria, for example, can induce beneficial chromatin remodelling of the host genome. We have previously shown in vitro that Biomphalaria glabrata embryonic cells co-cultured with schistosome miracidia display genes changing their nuclear location and becoming up-regulated. This also happens in vivo in live intact snails, where early exposure to miracidia also elicits non-random repositioning of genes. We reveal differences in the nuclear repositioning between the response of parasite susceptible snails as compared to resistant snails and with normal or live, attenuated parasites. Interestingly, the stress response gene heat shock protein (Hsp) 70 is only repositioned and then up-regulated in susceptible snails with the normal parasite. This movement and change in gene expression seems to be controlled by the parasite. Other differences in the behaviour of genes support the view that some genes are responding to tissue damage, for example the ferritin genes move and are up-regulated whether the snails are either susceptible or resistant and upon exposure to either normal or attenuated parasite. This is the first time host genome reorganisation has been seen in a parasitic host and only the second time for any pathogen. We believe that the parasite elicits a spatio-epigenetic reorganisation of the host genome to induce favourable gene expression for itself and this might represent a fundamental mechanism present in the human host infected with schistosome cercariae as well as in

  4. Paramphistomum daubneyi: production dynamics and infectivity of metacercariae originating from snails dissected at regular intervals.

    PubMed

    Vignoles, P; Rondelaud, D; Dreyfuss, G

    2008-06-01

    Experimental infections of Galba truncatula with Paramphistomum daubneyi were carried out at 24 degrees C to study the dynamics of larval development in snails dissected at regular intervals and to determine if metacercarial production might be improved. When the shell height of snails (4, 5, 6 or 7 mm) at exposure increased (experiment A), the total number of metacercariae was significantly higher in the 6- and 7-mm snails than in the other two groups, and the differentiation period was shortened (the first cercariae encysted at day 35 post-exposure (p.e.) instead of day 40 in the 4- and 5-mm groups). When the number of miracidia (two, three or five) for each 6-mm high G. truncatula increased (experiment B), a significant decrease of snail survival at day 30 p.e., a significant augmentation of prevalence, and a significant increase of metacercarial production were noted. In the two- and three-miracidium groups, the number of metacercariae was close to that found in the 6-mm snails from experiment 1, whereas they showed slower growth from day 45 to day 65 in the five-miracidium group. In the two groups of lambs infected with metacercariae encysted at days 45 or 60 p.e., no difference in the numbers of adult worms was noted. In contrast, in the case of 35-day encysted larvae, the number of adult worms was clearly lower. Snail dissection allowed higher metacercarial production, a saving of 12-15 days at 24 degrees C to obtain these larvae, and a substantial decrease of their cost price for commercial production. PMID:18328114

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Using snails as bioindicators of heavy metal exposure at a Department of Defense facility

    SciTech Connect

    Frenkel, C.; Randolph, J.C.; Henshel, D.S.

    1995-12-31

    Mollusks are useful bioindicators of aquatic contamination. They are easy to identify and handle, are widely distributed, and are known to accumulate heavy metals. The authors evaluated the accumulation of heavy metals in snails at points both upstream and downstream from potential contaminant sources, indigenous snails (Elimia livescens) were collected from an upstream site and placed in plastic mesh cages in 6 sites in 3 watersheds on base, upstream and downstream of 3 potential contamination sources. At each site there were 3 cages containing 12 snails each. In a parallel laboratory study snails were placed in 6 jars in 3 different treatments. One treatment contained stream water taken from the same sites where the snails were collected. The other two treatments had the same stream water spiked with 2 different concentrations of metals. The higher concentration of metals reflected the level of each metal detected in surface water downstream of one of the potentially contaminated sites. The lower metal concentration jars were spiked with metals at 1/2 the concentrations used in the higher level treatment. The animals were left in the cages and the jars for 12 weeks. After being removed from the cages and jars the snails were freeze-dried, weighed whole, then dissected into shelf and organic tissue. Tissue and shell were separately analyzed for metal content. Water and sediment samples were collected in the beginning and end of the field study and also analyzed for heavy metals. The heavy metal analysis was done on an atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Fe, Mn, Pb and Ni have been analyzed. Initial results show that there are differences in the concentrations of the metals in the three watersheds. Also, there is a higher concentration of Fe and Mn in tissue compared to shell, and higher concentration of Pb in shell compared to tissue.

  8. Predator-induced morphological plasticity across local populations of a freshwater snail.

    PubMed

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Temperature relations of aerial and aquatic respiration in six littoral snails in respiration in six littoral snails in relation to their vertical zonation.

    PubMed

    McMahon, R F; Russell-Hunter, W D

    1977-04-01

    Aerial and aquatic rates of oxygen consumption were determined over a range of 5 degrees to 45 degrees C at 5 degrees C intervals for six species of marine littoral snails: including the sublittoral species, Acmaea testudinalis, Mitrella lunata, and Lacuna vincta; and the truly intertidal species, Littorina obtusata, L. littorea, and L. saxatilis. Polarographic oxygen electrodes were used with normally active snails collected from populations on Nobska and Manomet Points, Massachusetts. Three subtidal species, A. testudinalis, Lacuna vincta, and M. lunata, do not display any metabolic adjustment to increasing temperature, with thermal limits reached at 30 degrees to 35 degrees C. Aerial respiration in A. testudinalis is similar to aquatic O2 uptake, but rates average only 36.4% of aquatic rates. The intertidal congeners, Littorina obtusata, L. littorea and L. saxatilis, have varying degrees of aerial and aquatic metabolic regulation with increasing temperature. L. obtusata, a low intertidal snail exposed to air for 15% to 45% of the tidal cycle, displays a respiratory pattern of "passive endurance" to high temperatures both in air and in water. L. littorea, the dominant snail of the midlittoral region, remains active when exposed to air (30% to 75% of the tidal cycle) and has a zone of metabolic regulation between 20 degrees C and 30 degrees C. Over this, the normal ambient temperature range, the Q10 closely approximates one, and nearly equivalent O2 uptake rates occur in air and in water. L. saxatilis from the upper littoral region is exposed to air for 70% to 95% of the tidal cycle and is characterized by reduced aerial and aquatic O2 uptake rates above 25 degrees C, representing a reversible torpor up to its thermal maximum at 44 degrees C. For these six snail species, respiratory responses to increasing temperature are thus directly related to the pattern of vertical distribution in the intertidal environment. Discussion of this relationship stresses that the

  12. African horse sickness and African carnivores.

    PubMed

    Alexander, K A; Kat, P W; House, J; House, C; O'Brien, S J; Laurenson, M K; McNutt, J W; Osburn, B I

    1995-11-01

    African horse sickness (AHS) is a disease that affects equids, and is principally transmitted by Culicoides spp. that are biological vectors of AHS viruses (AHSV). The repeated spread of AHSV from sub-Saharan Africa to the Middle East, northern Africa and the Iberian peninsula indicate that a better understanding of AHS epizootiology is needed. African horse sickness has long been known to infect and cause mortality among domestic dogs that ingest virus contaminated meat, but it is uncertain what role carnivores play in transmission of the virus. We present evidence of widespread natural AHS infection among a diversity of African carnivore species. We hypothesize that such infection resulted from ingestion of meat and organs from AHS-infected prey species. The effect of AHS on the carnivores is unknown, as is their role in the maintenance cycle of the disease.

  13. Growth rate of the intermediate snail host Galba truncatula influences redial development of the trematode Fascioloides magna.

    PubMed

    Rondelaud, D; Novobilský, A; Höglund, J; Kašný, M; Pankrác, J; Vignoles, P; Dreyfuss, G

    2014-12-01

    A total of 850 pre-adult Galba truncatula (shell height, 4 mm), originating from four French snail populations differing in shell height at the adult stage (from 6.5 to 12 mm), were individually subjected at 20°C to single-miracidium infections with Fascioloides magna. At day 75 post-exposure, the surviving snails were dissected, and rediae and cercariae were counted. Snail groups differed in shell growth during the experiment: from 1.8 ± 0.4 mm in group A up to 4.0 ± 1.1 mm in group D. The prevalence of F. magna infection, the numbers of free rediae and cercariae significantly increased together with increasing growth of infected snails during the experiment. Group A produced 1-6 first-generation rediae per snail and the mean daughter redia production ranged from 7.5 second-generation rediae (when a single first generation per snail developed) to 2.3 (6 first-generation rediae per snail). In contrast, up to ten first-generation rediae were noted in group D, and each mother redia gave daughter rediae with averages ranging from 1.5 (ten first-generation rediae per snail) to 13 (a single first generation per snail). In conclusion, the development of F. magna in G. truncatula exhibited both inter- and intrapopulation variability, where the development of rediae and cercariae was positively correlated with snail growth. PMID:23710885

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Paraphyly and budding speciation in the hairy snail (Pulmonata, Hygromiidae)

    PubMed Central

    Kruckenhauser, Luise; Duda, Michael; Bartel, Daniela; Sattmann, Helmut; Harl, Josef; Kirchner, Sandra; Haring, Elisabeth

    2014-01-01

    Delimitation of species is often complicated by discordance of morphological and genetic data. This may be caused by the existence of cryptic or polymorphic species. The latter case is particularly true for certain snail species showing an exceptionally high intraspecific genetic diversity. The present investigation deals with the Trochulus hispidus complex, which has a complicated taxonomy. Our analyses of the COI sequence revealed that individuals showing a T. hispidus phenotype are distributed in nine highly differentiated mitochondrial clades (showing p-distances up to 19%). The results of a parallel morphometric investigation did not reveal any differentiation between these clades, although the overall variability is quite high. The phylogenetic analyses based on 12S, 16S and COI sequences show that the T. hispidus complex is paraphyletic with respect to several other morphologically well-defined Trochulus species (T. clandestinus, T. villosus, T. villosulus and T. striolatus) which form well-supported monophyletic groups. The nc marker sequence (5.8S–ITS2–28S) shows only a clear separation of T. o. oreinos and T. o. scheerpeltzi, and a weakly supported separation of T. clandestinus, whereas all other species and the clades of the T. hispidus complex appear within one homogeneous group. The paraphyly of the T. hispidus complex reflects its complicated history, which was probably driven by geographic isolation in different glacial refugia and budding speciation. At our present state of knowledge, it cannot be excluded that several cryptic species are embedded within the T. hispidus complex. However, the lack of morphological differentiation of the T. hispidus mitochondrial clades does not provide any hints in this direction. Thus, we currently do not recommend any taxonomic changes. The results of the current investigation exemplify the limitations of barcoding attempts in highly diverse species such as T. hispidus. PMID:25170185

  17. Centriole replication. A study of spermatogenesis in the snail Viviparus.

    PubMed

    GALL, J G

    1961-06-01

    This paper describes the replication of centrioles during spermatogenesis in the Prosobranch snail, Viviparus malleatus Reeve. Sections for electron microscopy were cut from pieces of testis fixed in OsO(4) and embedded in the polyester resin Vestopal W. Two kinds of spermatocytes are present. These give rise to typical uniflagellate sperm carrying the haploid number of 9 chromosomes, and atypical multiflagellate sperm with only one chromosome. Two centrioles are present in the youngest typical spermatocyte. Each is a hollow cylinder about 160 mmicro in diameter and 330 mmicro long. The wall consists of 9 sets of triplet fibers arranged in a characteristic pattern. Sometime before pachytene an immature centriole, or procentriole as it will be called, appears next to each of the mature centrioles. The procentriole resembles a mature centriole in most respects except length: it is more annular than tubular. The daughter procentriole lies with its axis perpendicular to that of its parent. It presumably grows to full size during the late prophase, although the maturation stages have not been observed with the electron microscope. It is suggested that centrioles possess a constant polarization. The distal end forms the flagellum or other centriole products, while the proximal end represents the procentriole and is concerned with replication. The four centrioles of prophase (two parents and two daughters) are distributed by the two meiotic divisions to the four typical spermatids, in which they function as the basal bodies of the flagella. Atypical spermatocytes at first contain two normal centrioles. Each of these becomes surrounded by a cluster of procentrioles, which progressively elongate during the late prophase. After two aberrant meiotic divisions the centriole clusters give rise to the basal bodies of the multiflagellate sperm. These facts are discussed in the light of the theory, first proposed by Pollister, that the supernumerary centrioles in the atypical

  18. Diabetes in African Americans

    PubMed Central

    Marshall, M

    2005-01-01

    African Americans have a high risk for type 2 diabetes. Genetic traits, the prevalence of obesity, and insulin resistance all contribute to the risk of diabetes in the African American community. African Americans have a high rate of diabetic complications, because of poor glycaemic control and racial disparities in health care in the USA. African Americans with diabetes may have an atypical presentation that simulates type 1 diabetes, but then their subsequent clinical course is typical of type 2 diabetes. Culturally sensitive strategies, structured disease management protocols, and the assistance of nurses, diabetic educators, and other health care professionals are effective in improving the outcome of diabetes in the African American community. PMID:16344294

  19. African bees to control African elephants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vollrath, Fritz; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain

    2002-11-01

    Numbers of elephants have declined in Africa and Asia over the past 30 years while numbers of humans have increased, both substantially. Friction between these two keystone species is reaching levels which are worryingly high from an ecological as well as a political viewpoint. Ways and means must be found to keep the two apart, at least in areas sensitive to each species' survival. The aggressive African bee might be one such method. Here we demonstrate that African bees deter elephants from damaging the vegetation and trees which house their hives. We argue that bees can be employed profitably to protect not only selected trees, but also selected areas, from elephant damage.

  20. 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.

  1. Correlation between steroid sex hormones, egg laying capacity and cercarial shedding in Biomphalaria alexandrina snails after treatment with Haplophyllum tuberculatum.

    PubMed

    Rizk, Maha Z; Metwally, Nadia S; Hamed, Manal A; Mohamed, Azza M

    2012-10-01

    Schistosomiasis is considered the second most pre-valiant worldwide parasitic disease ranked next to malaria. It has significant economic and public health consequences in many developing countries. Several ways have been practiced in order to bring the disease under an adequate control through the breakage of the life cycle of the parasite. Snail control could be regarded as a rapid and efficient of reducing or eliminating transmission and remains among the methods of choice for schistosomiasis control. The aim of this work is to evaluate the role of Haplophyllum tuberculatum (family Rutaceae) as a plant molluscicide. The mortality rate of Biomphalaria alexandrina snails were monitored after treatment with three extracts of the plant aerial parts; petroleum ether, chloroform and ethanol. Chloroform extract that recorded the most potent effect was further evaluated through measuring the toxicity pattern against B. alexandrina snails, egg laying capacity, cercarial shedding, phenol oxidase enzyme and the levels of steroid sex hormones. Histopathological examination of hepatopancreas and ovotestis of treated snails were also done for result confirmation. Treatment of snails by chloroform extract recorded reduction in egg laying capacity, decrease in cercarial shedding, diminution in phenol oxidase enzyme, disturbance in steroid sex hormones and sever alternation of the histopathological picture of snails tissue. In conclusion, H. tuberculatum recorded molluscicidal potency against B. alexandrina snails. Further studies are needed for its environmental applications. PMID:22771439

  2. 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).

  3. DNA methylation is associated with transcription of Snail and Slug genes

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Ying; Wang, Kai; Qian, Chao-Nan; Leach, Richard

    2012-01-01

    Snail and Slug play critical roles in the epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), the mesenchymal to epithelial transition (MET) and in the maintenance of mesenchymal morphology. In this research, we investigated the correlation of DNA methylation with the transcriptional level of these two genes during the EMT/MET process. First, we used several cell lines associated with EMT/MET processes of induced pluripotent stem cell generation and differentiation, trophoblast invasion, as well as cancer progression to examine the association between DNA methylation and transcription levels of these two genes. We found an inverse correlation between DNA methylation of first intron regions and transcription levels of Snail and Slug genes in these EMT/METs. To further verify the results, we treated two trophoblast cell line BeWo and HTR8/SVneo and one induced pluripotent stem cell line with 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine (5-aza-dC), an inhibitor of DNA methyltransferase, which caused increased expression of these two genes. Lastly, we cloned the promoters of both Snail and Slug into pGL3-Basic vector, after in vitro DNA methylation and transfection into IMR90 and HTR8/SVneo cells; we observed the significant reduction of their promoter activity due to DNA methylation. In summary, based on these results, DNA methylation is one of the molecular mechanisms regulating Snail and Slug genes during EMT/MET process. PMID:23261445

  4. Exposure to novel odors induces opioid-mediated analgesia in the land snail, Cepaea nemoralis.

    PubMed

    Kavaliers, M; Tepperman, F S

    1988-11-01

    Land snails, Cepaea nemoralis, that were exposed for 1-30 min to a novel odor of either peppermint extract or vegetable juice concentrate displayed an increase in the latency of their nociceptive response to an aversive thermal stimulus (40 degrees C, hot-plate). This "analgesic" response, which entailed the elevation of the fully extended foot in hydrated snails, was evident directly after exposure to the novel chemostimuli and lasted for 15-30 min. This novelty-induced analgesia was blocked by the exogenous opiate antagonist naloxone. Analgesia was not observed in snails that were exposed to the same olfactory cue 4 or 24 h later, but was evident when the alternate novel odor (peppermint or vegetable juice) was presented. However, a significant analgesia was displayed by snails that were reexposed to their initial olfactory stimulus after 48-72 h. These findings indicate that exposure to a novel olfactory stimulus can activate endogenous opioid systems and induce an analgesic response in mollusks. PMID:2849409

  5. 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. PMID:27033099

  6. Identification of SNAIL1 Peptide-Based Irreversible Lysine-Specific Demethylase 1-Selective Inactivators.

    PubMed

    Itoh, Yukihiro; Aihara, Keisuke; Mellini, Paolo; Tojo, Toshifumi; Ota, Yosuke; Tsumoto, Hiroki; Solomon, Viswas Raja; Zhan, Peng; Suzuki, Miki; Ogasawara, Daisuke; Shigenaga, Akira; Inokuma, Tsubasa; Nakagawa, Hidehiko; Miyata, Naoki; Mizukami, Tamio; Otaka, Akira; Suzuki, Takayoshi

    2016-02-25

    Inhibition of lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1), a flavin-dependent histone demethylase, has recently emerged as a new strategy for treating cancer and other diseases. LSD1 interacts physically with SNAIL1, a member of the SNAIL/SCRATCH family of transcription factors. This study describes the discovery of SNAIL1 peptide-based inactivators of LSD1. We designed and prepared SNAIL1 peptides bearing a propargyl amine, hydrazine, or phenylcyclopropane moiety. Among them, peptide 3, bearing hydrazine, displayed the most potent LSD1-inhibitory activity in enzyme assays. Kinetic study and mass spectrometric analysis indicated that peptide 3 is a mechanism-based LSD1 inhibitor. Furthermore, peptides 37 and 38, which consist of cell-membrane-permeable oligoarginine conjugated with peptide 3, induced a dose-dependent increase of dimethylated Lys4 of histone H3 in HeLa cells, suggesting that they are likely to exhibit LSD1-inhibitory activity intracellularly. In addition, peptide 37 decreased the viability of HeLa cells. We believe this new approach for targeting LSD1 provides a basis for development of potent selective inhibitors and biological probes for LSD1. PMID:26700437

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. A study on biological control of six fresh water snails of medical and veterinary importance.

    PubMed

    Abd-Allah, Karim F; Negm-Eldin, Mohsen M; Saleh, Mohamed H; El-Hamshary, Azza M S; El-Gozamy, Bothina M R; Aly, Nagwa S M

    2009-04-01

    This study evaluated the molluscicidal effect of Commiphora mnolmol oil extract (Myrrh), on control of six fresh water snails (Lymnaea natalensis, Bulinus truncatus, Biomphalaria alexandrina, Physa acuta, Melania tuberculata and Cleopatra bulimoides). Also, the extract effect on the egg masses of L. natalensis, B. truncatus, B. alexandrina and Ph. acuta was evaluated. Snails and egg masses were exposed at 16-20 degrees C to various concentrations (conc.). LD50 after 24 hours expo-sure were 264/132, 283/195, 230/252, 200/224, 241/246 & 241/246 ppm for young/adult of L. natalensis, B. truncatus, B. alexandrina, Ph. acuta, M. tuberculata and C. bulimnoides respectively. LDtoo after 24 hours exposure were 400/400 for L. natalensis, B. truncatus, B. alexandrina, M. tuberculata and C. bulimoides, and 300/300 for Ph. acuta. Also, complete mortality (100%) was achieved for the egg masses of L. natalensis, B. truncatus, B. alexandrina and Ph. acuta at concentrations of 300, 200, 300 & 400 ppm respectively. Lower concentrations gave the same results after longer exposure. LD100 of C. molmol oil extract (Myrrh) had a rapid lethal effect on the six snail species and their egg masses in high conc. of 300 & 400 ppm. Commiphora molmol is a promising plant to be included with the candidate plant molluscicides. The oil extract of this plant showed a remarkable molluscicidal activity against used snail species. PMID:19530615

  10. Larval development of Angiostrongylus vasorum in the land snail Helix aspersa.

    PubMed

    Di Cesare, Angela; Crisi, Paolo Emidio; Bartolini, Roberto; Iorio, Raffaella; Talone, Tonino; Filippi, Laura; Traversa, Donato

    2015-10-01

    The metastrongyloid nematode Angiostrongylus vasorum affects the heart and pulmonary arteries of dogs and wild animals. Over the recent years, dog angiostrongylosis has gained great attention in the veterinary community for the expansion of its geographic range and for a rise in the number of clinical cases. Global warming, changes in phenology of mollusc intermediate hosts and movements of wild reservoirs have been evocated in the spreading of mollusc-borne parasites, including A. vasorum. The land snail Helix aspersa, a vector of other respiratory metastrongyloids, is endemic in most regions of the World, where it is a pest outside its native Mediterranean range. In the present study, the susceptibility and suitability of H. aspersa as an intermediate host of A. vasorum were investigated along with the characteristics of larval recovery and development following two different ways of inoculation, i.e. experimental (group A) vs natural infection (group B). After infections, the snails were kept at environmental conditions for 2 months. Five snails from groups A and B were randomly selected, digested and examined at 15-day intervals for 2 months. L1s, L2s and L3s were microscopically identified based on key morphological and morphometric characteristics and their identity was genetically confirmed. The results showed that A. vasorum may reach the infective stage in H. aspersa and that uptake of larvae and parasitic burden within the snails depend on the grazing capability of the molluscs. Biological and epidemiological implications are discussed.

  11. 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

    2016-04-01

    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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Larval development of Angiostrongylus vasorum in the land snail Helix aspersa.

    PubMed

    Di Cesare, Angela; Crisi, Paolo Emidio; Bartolini, Roberto; Iorio, Raffaella; Talone, Tonino; Filippi, Laura; Traversa, Donato

    2015-10-01

    The metastrongyloid nematode Angiostrongylus vasorum affects the heart and pulmonary arteries of dogs and wild animals. Over the recent years, dog angiostrongylosis has gained great attention in the veterinary community for the expansion of its geographic range and for a rise in the number of clinical cases. Global warming, changes in phenology of mollusc intermediate hosts and movements of wild reservoirs have been evocated in the spreading of mollusc-borne parasites, including A. vasorum. The land snail Helix aspersa, a vector of other respiratory metastrongyloids, is endemic in most regions of the World, where it is a pest outside its native Mediterranean range. In the present study, the susceptibility and suitability of H. aspersa as an intermediate host of A. vasorum were investigated along with the characteristics of larval recovery and development following two different ways of inoculation, i.e. experimental (group A) vs natural infection (group B). After infections, the snails were kept at environmental conditions for 2 months. Five snails from groups A and B were randomly selected, digested and examined at 15-day intervals for 2 months. L1s, L2s and L3s were microscopically identified based on key morphological and morphometric characteristics and their identity was genetically confirmed. The results showed that A. vasorum may reach the infective stage in H. aspersa and that uptake of larvae and parasitic burden within the snails depend on the grazing capability of the molluscs. Biological and epidemiological implications are discussed. PMID:26122991

  15. Integrating genetic and environmental forces that shape the evolution of geographic variation in a marine snail.

    PubMed

    Trussell, G C; Etter, R J

    2001-01-01

    Temporal and spatial patterns of phenotypic variation have traditionally been thought to reflect genetic differentiation produced by natural selection. Recently, however, there has been growing interest in how natural selection may shape the genetics of phenotypic plasticity to produce patterns of geographic variation and phenotypic evolution. Because the covariance between genetic and environmental influences can modulate the expression of phenotypic variation, a complete understanding of geographic variation requires determining whether these influences covary in the same (cogradient variation) or in opposing (countergradient variation) directions. We focus on marine snails from rocky intertidal shores as an ideal system to explore how genetic and plastic influences contribute to geographic and historical patterns of phenotypic variation. Phenotypic plasticity in response to predator cues, wave action, and water temperature appear to exert a strong influence on small and large-scale morphological variation in marine snails. In particular, plasticity in snail shell thickness: (i) may contribute to phenotypic evolution, (ii) appears to have evolved across small and large spatial scales, and (iii) may be driven by life history trade-offs tied to architectural constraints imposed by the shell. The plasticity exhibited by these snails represents an important adaptive strategy to the pronounced heterogeneity of the intertidal zone and undoubtedly has played a key role in their evolution.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Cold hardiness abilities vary with the size of the land snail Cornu aspersum.

    PubMed

    Ansart, Armelle; Vernon, Philippe

    2004-10-01

    The land snail Cornu aspersum (syn. Helix aspersa) living in Brittany (France) can be considered partially freezing tolerant as it possesses a low ability to supercool and a limited capacity to bear freezing of its body tissues. The absence of a marked cold hardiness strategy permits the emphasis of the role of parameters such as individual size or water mass (W(M)) contained by the organism. Adult snails (shell diameter 30-32 mm) had a supercooling ability, about 1-1.5 degrees C lower than that of immatures (shell diameter 12-20 mm) and survived longer to an exposure to -5 degrees C, with an Lt(50) comprised between 6.0 and 9.8 h against 2.6 to 4.2 h for immature snails. This better ability to bear freezing was explained by the faster dynamic of body ice formation observed in small individuals, which attained ice lethal quantity more rapidly. At the species level, large snails will then tend to be more tolerant to freezing and small ones to be freezing avoidant, a statement also observable at the phylum level.

  19. 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

  20. Hyperdiverse Gene Cluster in Snail Host Conveys Resistance to Human Schistosome Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Tennessen, Jacob A.; Théron, André; Marine, Melanie; Yeh, Jan-Ying; Rognon, Anne; Blouin, Michael S.

    2015-01-01

    Schistosomiasis, a neglected global pandemic, may be curtailed by blocking transmission of the parasite via its intermediate hosts, aquatic snails. Elucidating the genetic basis of snail-schistosome interaction is a key to this strategy. Here we map a natural parasite-resistance polymorphism from a Caribbean population of the snail Biomphalaria glabrata. In independent experimental evolution lines, RAD genotyping shows that the same genomic region responds to selection for resistance to the parasite Schistosoma mansoni. A dominant allele in this region conveys an 8-fold decrease in the odds of infection. Fine-mapping and RNA-Seq characterization reveal a <1Mb region, the Guadeloupe Resistance Complex (GRC), with 15 coding genes. Seven genes are single-pass transmembrane proteins with putative immunological roles, most of which show strikingly high nonsynonymous divergence (5-10%) among alleles. High linkage disequilibrium among three intermediate-frequency (>25%) haplotypes across the GRC, a significantly non-neutral pattern, suggests that balancing selection maintains diversity at the GRC. Thus, the GRC resembles immune gene complexes seen in other taxa and is likely involved in parasite recognition. The GRC is a potential target for controlling transmission of schistosomiasis, including via genetic manipulation of snails. PMID:25775214

  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. Atrazine does not affect algal biomass or snail populations in microcosm communities at environmentally relevant concentrations.

    PubMed

    Baxter, Leilan R; Moore, Dana L; Sibley, Paul K; Solomon, Keith R; Hanson, Mark L

    2011-07-01

    The herbicide atrazine is a photosynthetic inhibitor used around the world in agricultural applications. Contamination of surface waters adjacent to treated areas can directly reduce growth of nontarget aquatic autotrophs, but the severity of impacts is highly dependent on species sensitivity and exposure concentration. Secondary effects resulting from macrophyte or phytoplankton decline may include an expansion of the more tolerant periphyton community. Recently, this shift in the autotrophic community has been proposed as a mechanism for increased rates of parasite infections in amphibians via augmented populations of aquatic snails which act as intermediate hosts to larval trematodes. To further clarify this relationship, an outdoor microcosm study was conducted to examine the effects of atrazine on primary production and snail populations over a range of environmentally relevant concentrations. In July 2009, 15 experimental ponds were treated to achieve initial concentrations of 0, 1, 10, 30, and 100 µg/L atrazine. Over a period of 73 d, measures were taken of macrophyte, phytoplankton, and periphyton biomass, growth, and fecundity of caged snails (Physella spp. and Stagnicola elodes) and free-living snails (Physella spp.). Except for declines in macrophyte biomass at the highest treatment level, no consistent relationships were found between atrazine concentration and any measured parameter. Comparison of these results with previous findings highlights the variability of responses to atrazine exposure between similarly constructed freshwater communities, even at concentrations up to 20 times higher than sustained environmental levels. PMID:21567448

  3. 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.

  4. 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. PMID:26012858

  5. 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

    2016-04-01

    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. PMID:26817846

  6. Symptoms of behavioural anapyrexia--reverse fever as a defence response of snails to fluke invasion.

    PubMed

    Zbikowska, Elżbieta; Cichy, Anna

    2012-03-01

    The subject of the research was the thermal preferences of Planorbarius corneus individuals infected by larvae of digenetic trematodes. Snails were obtained over two consecutive years, 2009 and 2010, from 10 water bodies located in central Poland. The relationship between the seasons and the occurrence of patent invasions in hosts found in the shore-zone of lakes was observed. Behavioural experiments conducted on P. corneus individuals placed in a thermal gradient demonstrated that parasite infection had an impact on the thermal preferences of the snails. Individuals that shed cercariae of Bilharziella polonica, Cotylurus sp., Notocotylus ephemera, Rubenstrema exasperatum/Neoglyphe locellus, Rubenstrema opisthovitellinum, or Tylodelphys excavata displayed symptoms of behavioural anapyrexia, similarly to experimentally injured snails. This response increased the survival of infected individuals while simultaneously prolonging the period of shedding of dispersive forms of parasites. This point of view was upheld by the observation that infected snails bred at 19°C lived longer than at 26°C and the shedding rate of cercariae at a lower temperature was lower than at a higher one.

  7. Feeding and growth responses of the snail Theba pisana to dietary metal exposure.

    PubMed

    El-Gendy, K S; Radwan, M A; Gad, A F

    2011-02-01

    The effects of dietary exposure to copper (Cu), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn) on feeding activities, growth response, and mortality of Theba pisana snails were studied in 5-week feeding tests. Snails were fed on an artificial diet containing the following Cu, Pb, or Zn concentrations: 0, 50, 100, 500, 1000, 5000, 10,000, and 15,000 μg/g dry food. At the end of 5 weeks, the food consumption rate was decreased with increasinges in both metal concentrations and time of exposure. The estimated concentrations of metals that reduces food consumption to 50% (EC₅₀) after 5 weeks were 56, 118, and 18 μg/g dry food for Cu, Pb, and Zn, respectively. All tested metals in the diet were found to inhibit growth of the snails in a dose-dependent manner. The toxic effect on growth of the tested metals could be arranged in the order Cu > Zn > Pb. The cumulative percentage mortality among snails fed a Cu- or Zn-contaminated diet was 73.3% and the respective value for a Pb-contaminated diet was 13.3%. There was a positive correlation between growth coefficient and food consumption for all tested metals.

  8. 76 FR 31866 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Reclassification of the Tulotoma Snail From...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-06-02

    ... 601-965-4340). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stephen Ricks, Field Supervisor, Mississippi... in the Federal Register on June 22, 2010 (75 FR 35424). The tulotoma snail (Tulotoma magnifica... shell is spherical and can reach a size somewhat larger than a golf ball, and typically ornamented...

  9. 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.

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. The continued introduction of intermediate host snails to Schistosoma mansoni into Hong Kong

    PubMed Central

    Woodruff, David S.; Mulvey, Margaret; Yipp, May W.

    1985-01-01

    The South American planorbid snail Biomphalaria straminea, an intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoni, was first introduced into Hong Kong with tropical aquarium plants or fish around 1970. Genetic data indicate that a second introduction occurred in 1981-82. PMID:3930083

  14. Atrazine does not affect algal biomass or snail populations in microcosm communities at environmentally relevant concentrations.

    PubMed

    Baxter, Leilan R; Moore, Dana L; Sibley, Paul K; Solomon, Keith R; Hanson, Mark L

    2011-07-01

    The herbicide atrazine is a photosynthetic inhibitor used around the world in agricultural applications. Contamination of surface waters adjacent to treated areas can directly reduce growth of nontarget aquatic autotrophs, but the severity of impacts is highly dependent on species sensitivity and exposure concentration. Secondary effects resulting from macrophyte or phytoplankton decline may include an expansion of the more tolerant periphyton community. Recently, this shift in the autotrophic community has been proposed as a mechanism for increased rates of parasite infections in amphibians via augmented populations of aquatic snails which act as intermediate hosts to larval trematodes. To further clarify this relationship, an outdoor microcosm study was conducted to examine the effects of atrazine on primary production and snail populations over a range of environmentally relevant concentrations. In July 2009, 15 experimental ponds were treated to achieve initial concentrations of 0, 1, 10, 30, and 100 µg/L atrazine. Over a period of 73 d, measures were taken of macrophyte, phytoplankton, and periphyton biomass, growth, and fecundity of caged snails (Physella spp. and Stagnicola elodes) and free-living snails (Physella spp.). Except for declines in macrophyte biomass at the highest treatment level, no consistent relationships were found between atrazine concentration and any measured parameter. Comparison of these results with previous findings highlights the variability of responses to atrazine exposure between similarly constructed freshwater communities, even at concentrations up to 20 times higher than sustained environmental levels.

  15. 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... WILDLIFE AND PLANTS (CONTINUED) ENDANGERED AND THREATENED WILDLIFE AND PLANTS Threatened Wildlife §...

  16. Wip1 suppresses ovarian cancer metastasis through the ATM/AKT/Snail mediated signaling

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Lina; Liu, Yang; Wang, Yan; Liu, Mingming; Qi, Zihao; Meng, Jiao; Shi, Ting-Yan; Yang, Gong; Zang, Rongyu

    2016-01-01

    Inactivation of p53 greatly contributes to serous ovarian cancer, while the role of the wild-type p53 induced phosphatase 1 (Wip1) is quite unclear. In this study, by silencing or overexpression of Wip1, we found that Wip1 suppressed ovarian cancer cell invasion, migration, epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), and ovarian cancer metastasis in xenograft animal models. Mechanistic studies showed that Wip1 may block ovarian cancer metastasis through inhibition of Snail and p-Akt expression because silencing or overexpression of Wip1 either upregulated or downregulated the expression of Snail and p-Akt (Ser 473), while further knockdown of Snail by shRNA or inhibition of p-Akt by a chemical compound attenuated cell invasion, migration and EMT in Wip1 silencing cells. We also found that the phosphorylation of Akt at Ser 473 might be mediated through p-ATM (Ser 1981). Thus, Wip1 may suppress ovarian cancer metastasis through negative regulation of p-ATM, p-Akt, and Snail, which was also evidenced in the limited clinical specimens. Therefore, our data may provide a novel therapeutic indication for serous ovarian cancer based on the uncovered mechanism associated with the precise function of Wip1 independent of p53. PMID:27121065

  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. 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.

  19. Biotic interactions modify the transfer of cesium-137 in a soil-earthworm-plant-snail food web.

    PubMed

    Fritsch, Clémentine; Scheifler, Renaud; Beaugelin-Seiller, Karine; Hubert, Philippe; Coeurdassier, Michaël; de Vaufleury, Annette; Badot, Pierre-Marie

    2008-08-01

    The present study investigated the possible influence of the earthworm Aporrectodea tuberculata on the transfer of cesium-137 ((137)Cs) from a contaminated (130 Bq/kg) deciduous forest soil to the lettuce Lactuca sativa and to the snail Cantareus aspersus (formerly Helix aspersa) in two laboratory experiments. In the first experiment, the International Organization for Standardization 15952 test was used to expose snails for five weeks to contaminated soil with or without earthworms. In these conditions, the presence of earthworms caused a two- to threefold increase in (137)Cs concentrations in snails. Transfer was low in earthworms as well as in snails, with transfer factors (TFs) lower than 3.7 x 10(-2). Activity concentrations were higher in earthworms (2.8- 4.8 Bq/kg dry mass) than in snails (<1.5 Bq/kg). In the second experiment, microcosms were used to determine the contribution of soil and lettuce in the accumulation of (137)Cs in snails. Results suggest that the contribution of lettuce and soil is 80 and 20%, respectively. Microcosms also were used to study the influence of earthworms on (137)Cs accumulation in snail tissues in the most ecologically relevant treatment (soil-earthworm-plant-snail food web). In this case, soil-to-plant transfer was high, with a TF of 0.8, and was not significantly modified by earthworms. Conversely, soil-to-snail transfer was lower (TF, approximately 0.1) but was significantly increased in presence of earthworms. Dose rates were determined in the microcosm study with the EDEN (elementary dose evaluation for natural environment) model. Dose rates were lower than 5.5 x 10(-4) mGy/d, far from values considered to have effects on terrestrial organisms (1 mGy/d).

  20. 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

  1. Effects of endocrine modulating substances on reproduction in the hermaphroditic snail Lymnaea stagnalis L.

    PubMed

    Czech, P; Weber, K; Dietrich, D R

    2001-07-01

    Various man-made agents like pesticides, industrial chemicals and some natural substances have the potential to alter hormonal pathways that regulate reproductive processes in certain species of wildlife. Until now, only a few investigations have been undertaken to determine the effects of these substances on reproductive capacities (fecundity and fertility) in exposed invertebrate aquatic species. In this study one of the most abundant mollusc of European limnic systems, the hermaphroditic gastropod Lymnaea stagnalis was investigated to determine the effects of endocrine modulating substances on reproductive parameters. Known endocrine modulating substances were tested using the following nominal concentrations; Tributyltin (TBT in ng Sn/l) and beta-sitosterol at 1, 10 and 100 ng/l, respectively, and 4-nonylphenol (4-NP) at 1, 10 and 100 microg/l. In addition, experiments were carried out with 1, 10 and 100 ng/l of t-methyltestosterone. All the testing was carried out on recently matured adults of Lymnaea. Fifteen to twenty snails per treatment were exposed for between 7 and 12 weeks in a semi-static test with a weekly exchange of testwater. Shell height and weight and mortality of the adults, egg production, hatching rate of the eggs, and histopathology of the adult snails were analysed. The same parameters were investigated on F(1) generation snails from exposed parents at two dates (1 week after exposure and at the end of the exposure duration). Treatments with TBT and 4-NP had only slight effects on the egg production of the adults and hatching rate of the eggs. However, increased histopathological changes were observed in epithelial tissues of the adult snails, e.g. lung and foot also characterised by extreme inflammatory processes. While beta-sitosterol and t-methyltestosterone had no effect on the shell height and weight or the mortality of adult snails nor on the egg production or ensuing egg hatching rate, beta-sitosterol treated snails presented a

  2. Astronomy for African development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Govender, Kevindran

    2011-06-01

    In recent years there have been a number of efforts across Africa to develop the field of astronomy as well as to reap benefit from astronomy for African people. This presentation will discuss the case of the SALT (Southern African Large Telescope) Collateral Benefits Programme (SCBP) which was set up to ensure societal benefit from astronomy. With African society as the target, the SCBP has embarked on various projects from school level education to public understanding of science to socio-economic development, the latter mainly being felt in the rural communities surrounding the South African Astronomical Observatory (home to SALT). A development plan for ``Astronomy in Africa'' will also be discussed. This plan has been drawn up with input from all over Africa and themed ``Astronomy for Education''. The Africa case stands as a good example for the IYA cornerstone project ``Developing Astronomy Globally'' which focuses on developing regions.

  3. African American Health

    MedlinePlus

    ... specific health concerns. Differences in the health of groups can result from Genetics Environmental factors Access to care Cultural factors On this page, you'll find links to health issues that affect African Americans.

  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. Role of Snail Activation in Alcohol-induced iNOS-mediated Disruption of Intestinal Epithelial Cell Permeability

    PubMed Central

    Forsyth, Christopher B.; Tang, Yueming; Shaikh, Maliha; Zhang, Lijuan; Keshavarzian, Ali

    2013-01-01

    Background Chronic alcohol use results in many pathological effects including alcoholic liver disease (ALD). ALD pathogenesis requires endotoxemia. Our previous studies showed that increased intestinal permeability is the major cause of endotoxemia and that this gut leakiness is dependent on alcohol stimulation of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in both alcoholic subjects and rodent models of alcoholic steatohepatitis (ASH). The mechanism of the alcohol-induced, iNOS-mediated disruption of the intestinal barrier function is not known. We have recently shown that alcohol stimulates activation of the transcription factor Snail and biomarkers of epithelial mesenchymal transition. Since activated Snail disrupts tight junctional proteins , we hypothesized that activation of Snail by iNOS might be one of the key signaling pathways mediating alcohol stimulated intestinal epithelial cell hyperpermeability. Methods We measured intestinal permeability in alcohol-fed C57BL/6 control and iNOS KO mice and measured Snail protein expression in the intestines of these mice. We then examined intestinal epithelial permeability using the Caco-2 cell model of the intestinal barrier ± siRNA inhibition of Snail. We assessed Snail activation by alcohol in Caco-2 cells ± inhibition of iNOS with L-NIL or siRNA. Finally, we assessed Snail activation by alcohol ± inhibition with siRNA for p21-activated kinase (PAK1). Results Our data show that chronic alcohol feeding promotes intestinal hyperpermeability in wild type BL/6 but not in iNOS KO mice. Snail protein expression was increased in the intestines of alcohol-treated wild type mice but not in iNOS KO mice. SiRNA inhibition of Snail significantly inhibited alcohol-induced hyperpermeability in Caco-2 cell monolayers. Alcohol stimulation of SnailpS246 activation was blocked by inhibition of iNOS with L-NIL or with siRNA. SiRNA inhibition of PAK1 significantly inhibited alcohol-mediated activation of Snail in Caco-2 cells

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Evidence from two planorbid snails of a complex and dedicated response to digenean (echinostome) infection.

    PubMed

    Adema, C M; Hertel, L A; Loker, E S

    1999-10-01

    The planorbid snail Biomphalaria glabrata responded to exposure to either the compatible digenetic trematode Echinostoma paraensei or the incompatible species Echinostoma trivolvis by producing increased amounts of several distinctive plasma polypeptides. These polypeptides characteristically precipitated from plasma when mixed with secreted-excreted products (SEP) of sporocysts or rediae from either digenean species. In contrast, control snails, or snails that had been wounded or infected with bacteria (Serratia marcesens or Staphylococcus epidermidis) showed no obvious plasma alterations and no precipitates formed when their plasma was mixed with SEP. Another planorbid species, Helisoma trivolvis, which displays reverse compatibility for the echinostome species used, also responded to exposure to both echinostomes by increased production of plasma polypeptides that precipitated in the presence of SEP. With some individual variation, these 2 snail species synthesized SEP-reactive plasma polypeptides forming diffuse bands centred at 53, 65, 80-120 and 200 kDa (the latter absent in Helisoma trivolvis). The 53 kDa polypeptides had not been observed before, whereas the others have been noted from B. glabrata. The diffuse 65 kDa band was strongly bound by anti-fibrinogen antibodies, supportive of earlier studies indicating it contains fibrinogen-related domains. The other specified polypeptides were also bound by these antibodies raising the possibility that they too contain fibrinogen domains. The results are suggestive of a general ability of these 2 planorbid snails to detect the presence of echinostomes even if the latter are subsequently incapable of development. The complex response they then mount, one not evoked by other challenges such as wounding or bacterial infection, may represent a dedicated response to a frequently encountered group of pathogenic parasites, the digeneans (echinostomes).

  11. Indirect effects of heavy metals on parasites may cause shifts in snail species compositions.

    PubMed

    Lefcort, H; Aguon, M Q; Bond, K A; Chapman, K R; Chaquette, R; Clark, J; Kornachuk, P; Lang, B Z; Martin, J C

    2002-07-01

    We studied the direct and indirect effects of pollution on the distributions and abundances of two closely related species of pulmonate freshwater snails. Physella columbiana is more numerous at heavy metal-polluted lakes, and Lymnaea palustris is more numerous at reference lakes. Both species are present at all sites, as are predatory bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus). The direct effects examined included the snails' growth and reproduction in both the presence and absence of heavy metals and their short-term survival when exposed to large concentrations of heavy metals. The indirect effects were the species' ability to elude capture by sunfish and the diversity and abundance of parasites within the snails. We found that heavy metals had little direct effect on growth and reproduction and that both species acquired similar levels of metals in their tissues. Interestingly, P. columbiana (the more abundant species in polluted lakes) actually exhibited higher recruitment in the absence of metals than did L. palustris (reference lakes). L. palustris has life history characteristics that favor increased growth and reduced reproduction. These characteristics resulted in decreased predation of adults by gape-limited predators and a greater ability to cope with heavy parasite burdens. P. columbiana exhibited slower growth, which resulted in increased predation although higher reproduction rates may compensate.The major effect of heavy metals on species distributions was indirect on the snails' parasites. Parasites appeared to be very susceptible to metals, and this resulted in lower parasite diversity and intensities at polluted sites for both species of snails. P. columbiana may only be able to outcompete L. palustris at polluted sites due to the indirect effects of heavy metals; the negative effect of heavy metals on parasites, and a proposed negative effect of metals on the foraging ability of sunfish that favors the faster-reproducing P. columbiana.

  12. 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.

  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. Density-dependence across dispersal stages in a hermaphrodite land snail: insights from discrete choice models.

    PubMed

    Dahirel, Maxime; Vardakis, Michalis; Ansart, Armelle; Madec, Luc

    2016-08-01

    Dispersal movements, i.e. movements leading to gene flow, are key behaviours with important, but only partially understood, consequences for the dynamics and evolution of populations. In particular, density-dependent dispersal has been widely described, yet how it is determined by the interaction with individual traits, and whether density effects differ between the three steps of dispersal (departure, transience, and settlement), remains largely unknown. Using a semi-natural landscape, we studied dispersal choices of Cornu aspersum land snails, a species in which negative effects of crowding are well documented, and analysed them using dispersal discrete choice models, a new method allowing the analysis of dispersal decisions by explicitly considering the characteristics of all available alternatives and their interaction with individual traits. Subadults were more dispersive than adults, confirming existing results. In addition, departure and settlement were both density dependent: snails avoided crowded patches at both ends of the dispersal process, and subadults were more reluctant to settle into crowded patches than adults. Moreover, we found support for carry-over effects of release density on subsequent settlement decisions: snails from crowded contexts were more sensitive to density in their subsequent immigration choices. The fact that settlement decisions were informed indicates that costs of prospecting are not as important as previously thought in snails, and/or that snails use alternative ways to collect information, such as indirect social information (e.g. trail following). The observed density-dependent dispersal dynamics may play an important role in the ability of C. aspersum to successfully colonise frequently human-disturbed habitats around the world. PMID:27139427

  15. 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.

  16. Thai koi-hoi snail dish and angiostrongyliasis due to Angiostrongylus cantonensis: Effects of food flavoring and alcoholic drink on the third-stage larvae in infected snail meat.

    PubMed

    Eamsobhana, Praphathip; Yoolek, Adisak; Punthuprapasa, Paibulaya; Yong, Hoi-Sen

    2009-04-01

    Human infection with the rat lungworm Angiostrongylus cantonensis (Parastrongylus cantonensis) in Thailand, especially in the northeastern region, is associated with the habit of eating koi-hoi, which contains raw snail meat. Infection results from the snails being carriers of the larval parasite. The present study was conducted to assess the effect of food flavorings in koi-hoi, alcohol, and exposure time of the two variable on the infective larvae of A. cantonensis. Infected Biomphalaria glabrata snails were used for koi-hoi preparation. Raw snail meat was mixed with koi-hoi flavoring and left at room temperature for various time periods ranging from 5 to 60 minutes. At a predetermined time, two pieces of snail meat were removed at random and examined for viability (as determined by motility) of the parasitic third-stage larvae. At the same time, two random pieces of snail meat were removed and treated with 10 mL of a local 40% alcoholic drink for 30 minutes before examination of larval viability. Exposure of infected snail meat for 10 minutes or more to koi-hoi food flavoring resulted in significantly more nonmotile (dying or dead) larvae. Addition of the local alcoholic drink after exposure to the flavoring exerted an additional killing effect on the larvae. Despite long exposure time, both the koi-hoi flavoring and addition of alcoholic drink were not completely effective in killing the infective larvae in the snail meat. Thorough cooking of the food intended for human consumption should still be practiced. PMID:19272010

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. Snail consumption and breeding performance of pied flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca) along a pollution gradient in the Middle Urals, Russia.

    PubMed

    Belskii, Eugen; Grebennikov, Maxim

    2014-08-15

    During the years 1989-91, 1997-2003, and 2005-07, we studied how emissions from the Middle Urals copper smelter affect snail availability and reproduction of free-living pied flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca). We counted snail shells dropped in nests and analysed food samples of nestlings. Pied flycatchers brought to nestlings fewer shells in heavily polluted sites compared to background sites, resulting in reduced Ca intake. Species diversity of snails collected by birds decreased with decreasing distance from the pollution source. The pattern was the same both in deciduous and coniferous forests. In sites closest to the smelter, 20-50% of breeding females suffered from Ca deficiency, which resulted in an increased proportion of deserted clutches and clutches with defective eggshells. Number of fledglings per nest decreased in heavily polluted sites, especially in broods with decreased snail supply. This study demonstrated that pollution can cause both direct effect of toxicants to birds and indirect effects via reduced Ca availability.

  2. Snail odour-clouds: spreading and contribution to the transmission success of Trichobilharzia ocellata (Trematoda, Digenea) miracidia.

    PubMed

    Hertel, Jan; Holweg, Alexander; Haberl, Bernhard; Kalbe, Martin; Haas, Wilfried

    2006-02-01

    Chemical communication among freshwater organisms is an adaptation to improve their coexistence. Here,we focus on the chemical cues secreted by the freshwater gastropod Lymnaea stagnalis, which are known to stimulate behavioural responses of Trichobilharzia ocellata (Plathelminthes, Digenea, Trematoda) miracidia. Such responses are commonly claimed to influence transmission positively, but in response to chemical cues miracidia randomly change their swimming direction. This kind of response does not necessarily increase transmission, because miracidia may be trapped at the periphery of very large snail odour-clouds, which may prevent them from approaching the snail. On the other hand, the odour clouds may be too small to improve host-localisation. To shed light on these scenarios, the spreading of molecules released around L. stagnalis (active space) was visualised by recording host-finding responses of T. ocellata miracidia when they approached snails. Behavioural responses of miracidia indicated the spreading of compounds forming an attractive active space only around the host-snail L. stagnalis, but not around sympatric non-host-snail species. The active space increased approximately linearly with the time the snail rested at the same spot and within 5 min it reached a volume of more than 30 times that of the snail. We also demonstrated in a large-scale experiment, that the active space of L. stagnalis significantly increases the transmission success of T. ocellata miracidia. Additionally, the microhabitat selection of T. ocellata miracidia was studied, demonstrating that peripheral locations near the water surface were preferred, which are also preferred sites of L. stagnalis. Improved chemoperception and microhabitat selection may have been a consequence of coevolution with snails and benefited miracidia, which became efficient transmissive stages.

  3. Evaluation of different methods for the experimental infection of the land snail Helix aspersa with Aelurostrongylus abstrusus lungworm.

    PubMed

    Napoli, Ettore; Falsone, Luigi; Gaglio, Gabriella; Colella, Vito; Otranto, Domenico; Giannetto, Salvatore; Brianti, Emanuele

    2016-07-30

    The laboratory maintenance of parasitic life cycles is crucial to support research in many fields of parasitology. The land snail Helix aspersa (syn. Cornu aspersum), an intermediate host of feline lungworms Aelurostrongylus abstrusus and Troglostrongylus brevior, is adopted to produce infective stages of those nematodes in laboratory condition. The aim of this study was to compare the most common methods of experimental infection of H. aspersa with first stage larvae (L1) of A. abstrusus (i.e., contact of the snail foot with the L1) with the injection of these larvae in the foot of the snail, instrumental to reduce the infection time and to maximize the output of third-stage larvae (L3). Three groups (i.e., A, B, C) of 15 H. aspersa snails were infected with L1 of A. abstrusus (n=250 for each snail), whereas a fourth group (group D) was not infected (control). Snails were individually placed for 48h on a microfilm containing L1 (group A), on a potato slice previously irrigated with a suspension of L1 (group B), or they were inoculated by injection of L1 in the posterior-ventral portion of the foot (group C). Eighteen days after the infection all snails were analyzed and tissues were digested to recover L3. No difference in mortality rate was recorded among snail groups and the mean number of retrieved L3 was significantly larger in group C (71.5±52.9) compared to group B (38.2±44.9; p=0.0161) and group A (19±23.3; p<0.0001). The injection of A. abstrusus L1 in the foot of H. aspersa proved to be a fast, easy to apply and effective method, resulting in the largest number of infective larvae retrieved. PMID:27369568

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Recruitment of Glycosyl Hydrolase Proteins in a Cone Snail Venomous Arsenal: Further Insights into Biomolecular Features of Conus Venoms

    PubMed Central

    Violette, Aude; Leonardi, Adrijana; Piquemal, David; Terrat, Yves; Biass, Daniel; Dutertre, Sébastien; Noguier, Florian; Ducancel, Frédéric; Stöcklin, Reto; Križaj, Igor; Favreau, Philippe

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22412800

  7. The toxicity and physiological effects of copper on the freshwater pulmonate snail, Lymnaea stagnalis.

    PubMed

    Brix, Kevin V; Esbaugh, Andrew J; Grosell, Martin

    2011-09-01

    Several recent studies have demonstrated that the freshwater pulmonate snail Lymnaea stagnalis is extremely sensitive to metals (Co, Ni, Pb) in chronic exposures. The objective of the current study was to evaluate the acute and chronic sensitivity of L. stagnalis to Cu and investigate the underlying mechanism(s) of toxic action. A 96-h LC50 of 31μg L(-1) Cu was estimated indicating L. stagnalis was moderately acutely sensitive to Cu relative to other aquatic organisms. However, in a 30-day chronic exposure using juvenile snails an EC20 of 1.8μg L(-1) Cu was estimated for snail growth making L. stagnalis the most sensitive organism tested to date for Cu. Hardness-based and BLM-based water quality criteria for Cu at the water quality conditions used in this study were 7.8 and 1.5μg L(-1), respectively, indicating L. stagnalis is significantly under-protected by hardness-based WQC. Investigations into the mechanism(s) of toxic action for Cu were conducted on young adult snails necessitating higher Cu exposures. Exposure to Cu at 12μg L(-1) resulted in no detectable effects on hemolymph osmolality, net Ca(2+) uptake, titratable acid excretion, or ammonia excretion. Exposure to 48μg L(-1) Cu was shown to significantly reduce (91%) net Ca(2+) uptake which is strongly correlated with shell deposition and corresponding snail growth. Snails exposed to 48μg L(-1) Cu also exhibited reduced ammonia excretion, a marked hemolymph acidosis, and a compensatory increase in titratable acid excretion. The reduction in net Ca(2+) uptake was hypothesized to be a secondary effect of Cu-induced inhibition of carbonic anhydrase, but no reduction in carbonic anhydrase activity was detected. Overall, it remains unclear whether inhibition of Ca(2+) uptake is a direct result of Cu exposure or, along with the other observed physiological effects, is secondary to an unidentified primary mode of toxic action. Given the hypersensitivity of L. stagnalis to Cu, further study into the

  8. African-Americans and Alzheimer's

    MedlinePlus

    ... Share Plus on Google Plus African-Americans and Alzheimer's alz.org | IHaveAlz Introduction 10 Warning Signs Brain ... African-Americans are at a higher risk for Alzheimer's disease. Many Americans dismiss the warning signs of ...

  9. Multiple near-identical genotypes of Schistosoma japonicum can occur in snails and have implications for population-genetic analyses.

    PubMed

    Yin, Mingbo; Hu, Wei; Mo, Xiaojin; Wang, Shengyue; Brindley, Paul J; McManus, Donald P; Davis, George M; Feng, Zheng; Blair, David

    2008-12-01

    We genotyped (using 16 or 17 microsatellite loci) numerous adult Schistosoma japonicum raised in rabbits exposed to pooled cercariae from small numbers of naturally infected snails from several localities in China. As expected, duplicate multi-locus genotypes (MLGs) were found among these worms. Additionally, many more MLGs, often near-identical, were found than snails used as sources of cercariae. Explanations for these results include (i) genotyping errors, (ii) development within each infected snail of multiple sibling miracidia and (iii) somatic mutation producing genetically varied cercariae from a single miracidium. To control for genotyping errors we re-analysed samples from many individual worms, including repeating the initial PCR. Explanations invoking the development of multiple sibling miracidia within a single snail are not likely to be correct because almost all duplicate MLGs fell within same-sex clusters in a principal coordinates analysis. We would expect both sexes to be represented in a multi-miracidium infection. In addition, we exposed several snails to infection by a single miracidium. One such snail, via an experimentally infected mouse, yielded 48 adult worms. The presence of at least nine near-identical MLGs among these worms was confirmed by re-genotyping. We regard somatic mutation as the most likely explanation for our results. The implications of multiple MLGs for population-genetic studies in S. japonicum are discussed. PMID:18590733

  10. Guild structure of larval trematodes in the snail Helisoma anceps: patterns and processes at the individual host level.

    PubMed

    Fernandez, J; Esch, G W

    1991-08-01

    Factors that influenced the infracommunity structure of trematodes parasitizing the pulmonate snail Helisoma anceps were studied over a 15-mo period; the guild included 8 species of parasites. Infracommunities were depauperate, with double patent infections observed in only 7 of 1,485 infected snails; a total of 4,899 was examined. Halipegus occidualis-Haematoloechus longiplexus was the most common dual infection. Both species share the same definitive host and, in both cases, eggs are the infective stage for the snail. Switches and losses of infections in individual snails were observed, suggesting the occurrence of dynamic interactions within the guild. A dominance hierarchy was constructed based on field observations and experimental infections. Echinostomatids were dominant; species without rediae in their life cycles were subordinates. Halipegus occidualis (which has rediae) was intermediate in dominance. Spatial and temporal heterogeneity in the distribution and abundance of trematode infective stages indicate that not all the snails have the same probability of becoming infected. Habitat structure, behavior of the definitive host, the nature of the infective stages, and snail population dynamics (mortality, recruitment, and size structure) generated spatial and temporal heterogeneity in this system. As a consequence, predictions of the probabilities of interspecific interactions based on an analysis of observed and expected frequencies of multiple infections could be inappropriate unless the potential sources of heterogeneity are considered.

  11. Feeding of Bait to Snail Lymnaea acuminata and Their Effect on Certain Enzyme in the Nervous Tissue.

    PubMed

    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.

  12. 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

  13. Bioaccumulation of copper and toxic effects on feeding, growth, fecundity and development of pond snail Lymnaea luteola L.

    PubMed

    Das, Sangita; Khangarot, B S

    2011-01-15

    We studied the bioaccumulation and the toxic effects of Cu on survival, number of eggs and eggmasses laying, embryo development, growth, and food consumption in an Indian pond snail, Lymnaea luteola L. exposed for 7 weeks. Copper caused loss of chemoreception, locomotion and inhibited food consumption significantly during 7 weeks of exposure. Food consumption in Cu exposed snails significantly decreased and at 56 and 100 μg L(-1), snail stopped feeding activity. Mean number of eggmasses or eggs significantly decreased in Cu concentrations during the 7 week study. The percentage hatching decreased in Cu concentrations but there was more than 95% hatched in control in 10-11 days after spawning. Egg development was completely inhibited at 100 μg L(-1), while abnormal embryonic development observed at 32 and 56 μg L(-1) of Cu. The Cu concentration in tissues increased in Cu treated snails and bioaccumulation factor ranged from 2.3 to 18.7. Snail growth at 5.6 and 10 μg L(-1) was reduced by 6.2% and 16.9%, respectively. The study revealed that snail embryos and adults could be used as in vivo test models for ecotoxicological studies. Findings of present study are helpful for advancing water quality guidelines for protecting aquatic biota.

  14. 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.

  15. A PHD12–Snail2 repressive complex epigenetically mediates neural crest epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition

    PubMed Central

    Strobl-Mazzulla, Pablo H.

    2012-01-01

    Neural crest cells form within the neural tube and then undergo an epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) to initiate migration to distant locations. The transcriptional repressor Snail2 has been implicated in neural crest EMT via an as of yet unknown mechanism. We report that the adaptor protein PHD12 is highly expressed before neural crest EMT. At cranial levels, loss of PHD12 phenocopies Snail2 knockdown, preventing transcriptional shutdown of the adhesion molecule Cad6b (Cadherin6b), thereby inhibiting neural crest emigration. Although not directly binding to each other, PHD12 and Snail2 both directly interact with Sin3A in vivo, which in turn complexes with histone deacetylase (HDAC). Chromatin immunoprecipitation revealed that PHD12 is recruited to the Cad6b promoter during neural crest EMT. Consistent with this, lysines on histone 3 at the Cad6b promoter are hyperacetylated before neural crest emigration, correlating with active transcription, but deacetylated during EMT, reflecting the repressive state. Knockdown of either PHD12 or Snail2 prevents Cad6b promoter deacetylation. Collectively, the results show that PHD12 interacts directly with Sin3A/HDAC, which in turn interacts with Snail2, forming a complex at the Cad6b promoter and thus revealing the nature of the in vivo Snail repressive complex that regulates neural crest EMT. PMID:22986495

  16. 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

  17. Detection of early and single infections of Schistosoma japonicum in the intermediate host snail, Oncomelania hupensis, by PCR and loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay.

    PubMed

    Kumagai, Takashi; Furushima-Shimogawara, Rieko; Ohmae, Hiroshi; Wang, Tian-Ping; Lu, Shaohong; Chen, Rui; Wen, Liyong; Ohta, Nobuo

    2010-09-01

    Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with the specific primer set amplifying 28S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) of Schistosoma japonicum was able to detect genomic DNA of S. japonicum, but not S. mansoni, at 100 fg. This procedure enabled us to detect the DNA from a single miracidium and a snail infected with one miracidium at just 1 day after infection. We compared these results with those from loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) targeting 28S rDNA and found similar results. The LAMP could amplify the specific DNA from a group of 100 normal snails mixed with one infected snail A PCR screening of infected snails from endemic regions in Anhui Province revealed schistosomal DNA even in snails found negative by microscopy. PCR and LAMP show promise for monitoring the early infection rate in snails, and they may be useful for predicting the risk of infection in the endemic places. PMID:20810818

  18. English as an African Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Desai, Gaurav

    1993-01-01

    Discusses the role of the English language in postcolonial African literature, focusing on the politics of language, "Africanized" English, and the social languages used in Chinua Achebe's novels and concludes that English today is as much an African language as a British or American one. (Contains 37 references.) (MDM)

  19. 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…

  20. The control of snail hosts of bilharziasis and fascioliasis in Southern Rhodesia

    PubMed Central

    Clarke, V. DE V.; Shiff, C. J.; Blair, D. M.

    1961-01-01

    The authors review the experimental work that has been done since the Second World War on the use of chemical molluscicides in Southern Rhodesia and describe the development of a co-operative snail control campaign involving local landowners and various Government departments. In 1959 and 1960 efforts were concentrated on four large-scale experiments to test the methods of application of copper sulfate, sodium pentachlorophenate and Bayer 73 under a variety of climatic and physiographic conditions. From this work the authors conclude that it would appear possible and practicable to control vector snails in natural water courses and reservoirs in savannah areas of Central Africa to a degree at which it is thought that transmission of bilharziasis from man to man and of fascioliasis from animal to animal does not take place. PMID:13879773

  1. 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

    2014-03-01

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Action of the herbicide butachlor on cholinesterases in the freshwater snail Pila globosa (Swainson).

    PubMed

    Rajyalakshmi, T; Srinivas, T; Swamy, K V; Prasad, N S; Mohan, P M

    1996-11-01

    Butachlor action on acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE) activates in central nervous tissue of the snail Pila globosa was assayed following the method of ELLMAN et al1, in vitro by adding butachlor directly (10-100 mu moles), to tissue homogenates and in in vivo by exposing the snails to sub-lethal concentration (26.6 ppm) and taking out the tissue for experimentation at different intervals (3, 6, 12, 24 and 48 h) of exposure. The enzyme activities decreased in a dose-dependent manner in vitro, and up to 12-24 h in vivo after which they showed recovery towards the control. The inhibition of cholinesterases by butachlor in vitro indicates a direct action of the herbicide on these enzymes. Presumably butachlor exercises its neurotoxic effects through cholinergic impairment in a way similar to that of organophosphates and carbamates.

  5. Comparative studies on the antigenic structures of five subspecies of Oncomelania snails by immunoelectrophoresis.

    PubMed

    Iwanaga, Y

    1997-03-01

    To approach the biochemical relationships of five subspecies of Oncomelania snails, antigenic structures among the subspecies were compared using immunoelectrophoresis. The results obtained are summarized as follows: 1) For five subspecies of Oncomelania hupensis snails (Oncomelania hupensis hupensis, O.h.nosophora, O.h. formosana, O.h. chiui and O.h. quadrasi), 23-24 precipitin bands were observed between the antigens and their homologous antisera, while 18-22 bands were observed in the heterologous reactions. 2) For each subspecies, residual bands observed after absorption procedure demonstrated the presence of antigens unique to each subspecies except O.h. chiui. Based on the immunological antigenic structures among the Oncomelania subspecies, it is suggested that O.h. nosophora and O.h. hupensis forms are closely related group, while O.h. formosana, O.h. chiui and O.h. quadrasi forms are another group.

  6. 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.

  7. Sensitivity of freshwater pulmonate snails, Lymnaea luteolo L. , to heavy metals

    SciTech Connect

    Khangarot, B.S.; Ray, P.K.

    1988-08-01

    The current alarm of the impacts of metal pollution on living organisms has received much attention with the tragedy of Minimata and later Niigata, in Japan. Although there has been a great deal of the concern about the acute and chronic toxicities of heavy metals to freshwater fishes and crustaceans but little information is available on the effects of heavy metals to freshwater snails, which are widely distributed in the aquatic environment. The present study was undertaken to determine the acute toxicities of selected heavy metals to a freshwater pond snail Lymnaea luteolo Lamarck; a locally abundant species and play an important role in the aquatic food chain(s). Static bioassays were conducted with the salts of cadmium, copper, chromium, mercury, nickel, silver and zinc in hard water.

  8. Zinc sensitivity of a freshwater snail, Lymnaea luteola L. , in relation to seasonal variations in temperature

    SciTech Connect

    Khangarot, B.S.; Ray, P.K.

    1987-07-01

    The aquatic environment has numerous physical and chemical parameters that may influence the physiology and chemical toxicity to freshwater organisms. Temperature is one of the these factors having a marked influence on heavy metal toxicity to fishes and macroinvertebrates. There is a limited and scattered information available on temperature induced changes in acute toxicity of zinc compounds to freshwater pond snails. This information is essential because there are large temperature differences with season and latitudes and the aquatic organisms are subjected to seasonal temperature changes of 20-25/sup 0/C or even more. It is proposed to study the effect of seasonal changes in temperature on zinc toxicity to a freshwater pond snail, Lymnaea luteola (Lamarck), which form an important link in aquatic food chain(s) and are widely distributed in lakes, ponds and rivers of India.

  9. Controls of spatial variation in the prevalence of trematode parasites infecting a marine snail.

    PubMed

    Byers, James E; Blakeslee, April M H; Linder, Ernst; Cooper, Andrew B; Maguire, Timothy J

    2008-02-01

    Geographic variability in abundance can be driven by multiple physical and biological factors operating at multiple scales. To understand the determinants of larval trematode prevalence within populations of the marine snail host Littorina littorea, we quantified many physical and biological variables at 28 New England intertidal sites. A hierarchical, mixed-effects model identified the abundance of gulls (the final hosts and dispersive agents of infective trematode stages) and snail size (a proxy for time of exposure) as the primary factors associated with trematode prevalence. The predominant influence of these variables coupled with routinely low infection rates (21 of the 28 populations exhibited prevalence <12%) suggest broad-scale recruitment limitation of trematodes. Although infection rates were spatially variable, formal analyses detected no regional spatial gradients in either trematode prevalence or independent environmental variables. Trematode prevalence appears to be predominantly determined by local site characteristics favoring high gull abundance. PMID:18409433

  10. Predator avoidance and immune defence: costs and trade-offs in snails.

    PubMed

    Rigby, M C; Jokela, J

    2000-01-22

    Organisms are often confronted by both predators and pathogens. Defending against such widely divergent enemies requires more than one type of defence. Multiple defences, however, raise the possibility of trade-offs among defences. We tested for such trade-offs by manipulating the level of predator-avoidance behaviour and immune function in the freshwater snail Lymnaea stagnalis (Gastropoda: Pulmonata). Our results show that predator avoidance and immune function had clear costs in terms of reproduction and survival. Further, we show that increased levels of predator-avoidance behaviour reduced the snails' ability to defend against potential pathogens. Predator-avoidance behaviour may thus have the additional indirect cost of reduced immunocompetence and increased susceptibility to pathogens. Our results suggest that ecological factors (e.g. predator density) may considerably modify the expression and costs of immune defences.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Waste yield, proximate and mineral composition of three different types of land snails found in Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Adeyeye, E I

    1996-03-01

    Some aspects of the chemical and anatomical weight composition of land snails in Nigeria were analysed with a view to assessing the waste yield, carcass yield and their nutritional evaluation on wet weight basis. Proximate analysis of Archachatina, Archatina and Limicolaria species was carried out on the carcass. Moisture and protein contents were high in all samples, fat and ash contents were generally low while crude fibre was not detected. The concentrations of iron, copper, zinc, manganese, sodium, calcium, magnesium, potassium and cobalt were determined in the carcass. Values of iron, calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium were consistently high while both chromium and cobalt were not detected. Anatomical fractionation showed the shell to vary between 17.12 - 31.99%, carcass varied between 36.97 - 45.14% and the intestine varied between 18.80 - 22.74%. Snails interact with man in a variety of ways, the beneficial interactions are enumerated. PMID:8833175

  14. Molluscicidal effects of neem (Azadirachta indica) extracts on edible tropical land snails.

    PubMed

    Ebenso, Ime E

    2004-02-01

    The effects of 350, 500 and 700 mg kg(-1) of crude extracts of neem, Azadirachta indica A Juss, on edible tropical land snails Archachatina marginata and Limicolaria aurora (Jay) were determined and compared with control using pawpaw, Carica papaya L as bait. Responses were measured through normal feeding, cessation of food intake, cessation of crawling, mucus secretion, lack of response to mechanical stimuli (mortality) and decomposition. Results showed no effects on the controls or snails exposed to neem seed oil extract. Crude extracts of bark, root and leaf of neem at 500 and 700 mg kg(-1) produced mortality after exposure for 48 h for L aurora and 72 h for A marginata. PMID:14971686

  15. Marine snail venoms: use and trends in receptor and channel neuropharmacology.

    PubMed

    Favreau, Philippe; Stöcklin, Reto

    2009-10-01

    Venoms are rich mixtures of mainly peptides and proteins evolved by nature to catch and digest preys or for protection against predators. They represent extensive sources of potent and selective bioactive compounds that can lead to original active ingredients, for use as drugs, as pharmacological tools in research and for the biotechnology industry. Among the most fascinating venomous animals, marine snails offer a unique set of pharmacologically active components, targeting a wide diversity of receptors and ion channels. Recent advances still continue to demonstrate their huge neuropharmacological potential. In the quest for interesting pharmacological profiles, researchers face a vast number of venom components to investigate within time and technological constraints. A brief perspective on marine snail venom's complexity and features is given followed by the different discovery strategies and pharmacological approaches, exemplified with some recent developments. These advances will hopefully help further uncovering new pharmacologically important venom molecules.

  16. Expression of the prospective mesoderm genes twist, snail, and mef2 in penaeid shrimp.

    PubMed

    Wei, Jiankai; Glaves, Richard Samuel Elliot; Sellars, Melony J; Xiang, Jianhai; Hertzler, Philip L

    2016-07-01

    In penaeid shrimp, mesoderm forms from two sources: naupliar mesoderm founder cells, which invaginate during gastrulation, and posterior mesodermal stem cells called mesoteloblasts, which undergo characteristic teloblastic divisions. The primordial mesoteloblast descends from the ventral mesendoblast, which arrests in cell division at the 32-cell stage and ingresses with its sister dorsal mesendoblast prior to naupliar mesoderm invagination. The naupliar mesoderm forms the muscles of the naupliar appendages (first and second antennae and mandibles), while the mesoteloblasts form the mesoderm, including the muscles, of subsequently formed posterior segments. To better understand the mechanism of mesoderm and muscle formation in penaeid shrimp, twist, snail, and mef2 cDNAs were identified from transcriptomes of Penaeus vannamei, P. japonicus, P. chinensis, and P. monodon. A single Twist ortholog was found, with strong inferred amino acid conservation across all three species. Multiple Snail protein variants were detected, which clustered in a phylogenetic tree with other decapod crustacean Snail sequences. Two closely-related mef2 variants were found in P. vannamei. The developmental mRNA expression of these genes was studied by qPCR in P. vannamei embryos, larvae, and postlarvae. Expression of Pv-twist and Pv-snail began during the limb bud stage and continued through larval stages to the postlarva. Surprisingly, Pv-mef2 expression was found in all stages from the zygote to the postlarva, with the highest expression in the limb bud and protozoeal stages. The results add comparative data on the development of anterior and posterior mesoderm in malacostracan crustaceans, and should stimulate further studies on mesoderm and muscle development in penaeid shrimp.

  17. Expression of the prospective mesoderm genes twist, snail, and mef2 in penaeid shrimp.

    PubMed

    Wei, Jiankai; Glaves, Richard Samuel Elliot; Sellars, Melony J; Xiang, Jianhai; Hertzler, Philip L

    2016-07-01

    In penaeid shrimp, mesoderm forms from two sources: naupliar mesoderm founder cells, which invaginate during gastrulation, and posterior mesodermal stem cells called mesoteloblasts, which undergo characteristic teloblastic divisions. The primordial mesoteloblast descends from the ventral mesendoblast, which arrests in cell division at the 32-cell stage and ingresses with its sister dorsal mesendoblast prior to naupliar mesoderm invagination. The naupliar mesoderm forms the muscles of the naupliar appendages (first and second antennae and mandibles), while the mesoteloblasts form the mesoderm, including the muscles, of subsequently formed posterior segments. To better understand the mechanism of mesoderm and muscle formation in penaeid shrimp, twist, snail, and mef2 cDNAs were identified from transcriptomes of Penaeus vannamei, P. japonicus, P. chinensis, and P. monodon. A single Twist ortholog was found, with strong inferred amino acid conservation across all three species. Multiple Snail protein variants were detected, which clustered in a phylogenetic tree with other decapod crustacean Snail sequences. Two closely-related mef2 variants were found in P. vannamei. The developmental mRNA expression of these genes was studied by qPCR in P. vannamei embryos, larvae, and postlarvae. Expression of Pv-twist and Pv-snail began during the limb bud stage and continued through larval stages to the postlarva. Surprisingly, Pv-mef2 expression was found in all stages from the zygote to the postlarva, with the highest expression in the limb bud and protozoeal stages. The results add comparative data on the development of anterior and posterior mesoderm in malacostracan crustaceans, and should stimulate further studies on mesoderm and muscle development in penaeid shrimp. PMID:27129985

  18. The Complete Mitochondrial Genome of Galba pervia (Gastropoda: Mollusca), an Intermediate Host Snail of Fasciola spp

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Wei-Yi; Zhao, Guang-Hui; Wei, Shu-Jun; Song, Hui-Qun; Xu, Min-Jun; Lin, Rui-Qing; Zhou, Dong-Hui; Zhu, Xing-Quan

    2012-01-01

    Complete mitochondrial (mt) genomes and the gene rearrangements are increasingly used as molecular markers for investigating phylogenetic relationships. Contributing to the complete mt genomes of Gastropoda, especially Pulmonata, we determined the mt genome of the freshwater snail Galba pervia, which is an important intermediate host for Fasciola spp. in China. The complete mt genome of G. pervia is 13,768 bp in length. Its genome is circular, and consists of 37 genes, including 13 genes for proteins, 2 genes for rRNA, 22 genes for tRNA. The mt gene order of G. pervia showed novel arrangement (tRNA-His, tRNA-Gly and tRNA-Tyr change positions and directions) when compared with mt genomes of Pulmonata species sequenced to date, indicating divergence among different species within the Pulmonata. A total of 3655 amino acids were deduced to encode 13 protein genes. The most frequently used amino acid is Leu (15.05%), followed by Phe (11.24%), Ser (10.76%) and IIe (8.346%). Phylogenetic analyses using the concatenated amino acid sequences of the 13 protein-coding genes, with three different computational algorithms (maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian analysis), all revealed that the families Lymnaeidae and Planorbidae are closely related two snail families, consistent with previous classifications based on morphological and molecular studies. The complete mt genome sequence of G. pervia showed a novel gene arrangement and it represents the first sequenced high quality mt genome of the family Lymnaeidae. These novel mtDNA data provide additional genetic markers for studying the epidemiology, population genetics and phylogeographics of freshwater snails, as well as for understanding interplay between the intermediate snail hosts and the intra-mollusca stages of Fasciola spp.. PMID:22844544

  19. Molecular approach for detecting early prepatent Schistosoma mansoni infection in Biomphalaria alexandrina snail host.

    PubMed

    Farghaly, Adel; Saleh, Ayman A; Mahdy, Soad; Abd El-Khalik, Dalia; Abd El-Aal, Naglaa F; Abdel-Rahman, Sara A; Salama, Marwa A

    2016-09-01

    The present study aimed to evaluate a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay used for detection of Schistosoma mansoni infection in Biomphalaria alexandrina snails in early prepatent period and to compare between it and the ordinary detection methods (shedding and crushing). Biomphalaria alexandrina snails are best known for their role as intermediate hosts of S. mansoni. DNA was extracted from infected snails in addition to non-infected "negative control" (to optimized the efficiency of PCR reaction) and subjected to PCR using primers specific to a partial sequence of S. mansoni fructose-1,6-bus phosphate aldolase (SMALDO). SMALDO gene was detected in the infected laboratory snails with 70, 85, and 100 % positivity at the 1st, 3rd, and 7th day of infection, respectively. In contrast, the ordinary method was not sensitive enough in detection of early prepatent infection even after 7 days of infection which showed only 25 % positivity. By comparing the sensitivity of the three methods, it was found that the average sensitivity of shedding method compared to PCR was 23.8 % and the average sensitivity of crushing method compared to PCR was 46.4 % while the sensitivity of PCR was 100 %. We conclude that PCR is superior to the conventional methods and can detect positive cases that were negative when examined by shedding or crushing methods. This can help in detection of the areas and times of high transmission which in turn will be very beneficial in planning of the exact timing of the proper control strategy.

  20. Sustained elevation of Snail promotes glial-mesenchymal transition after irradiation in malignant glioma

    PubMed Central

    Mahabir, Roshan; Tanino, Mishie; Elmansuri, Aiman; Wang, Lei; Kimura, Taichi; Itoh, Tamio; Ohba, Yusuke; Nishihara, Hiroshi; Shirato, Hiroki; Tsuda, Masumi; Tanaka, Shinya

    2014-01-01

    Background Ionizing irradiation is an effective treatment for malignant glioma (MG); however, a higher rate of recurrence with more aggressive phenotypes is a vital issue. Although epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is involved in irradiation-induced cancer progression, the role for such phenotypic transition in MG remains unknown. Methods To investigate the mechanism of irradiation-dependent tumor progression in MG, we performed immunohistochemistry (IHC) and qRT-PCR using primary and recurrent MG specimens, MG cell lines, and primary culture cells of MG. siRNA technique was used for MG cell lines. Results In 22 cases of clinically recurrent MG, the expression of the mesenchymal markers vimentin and CD44 was found to be increased by IHC. In paired identical MG of 7 patients, the expression of collagen, MMPs, and YKL-40 were also elevated in the recurrent MGs, suggesting the The Cancer Genome Atlas-based mesenchymal subtype. Among EMT regulators, sustained elevation of Snail was observed in MG cells at 21 days after irradiation. Cells exhibited an upregulation of migration, invasion, numbers of focal adhesion, and MMP-2 production, and all of these mesenchymal features were abrogated by Snail knockdown. Intriguingly, phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and GSK-3β were increased after irradiation in a Snail-dependent manner, and TGF-β was elevated in both fibroblasts and macrophages but not in MG cells after irradiation. It was noteworthy that irradiated cells also expressed stemness features such as SOX2 expression and tumor-forming potential in vivo. Conclusions We here propose a novel concept of glial-mesenchymal transition after irradiation in which the sustained Snail expression plays an essential role. PMID:24357458

  1. EMT transcription factors snail and slug directly contribute to cisplatin resistance in ovarian cancer

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a molecular process through which an epithelial cell undergoes transdifferentiation into a mesenchymal phenotype. The role of EMT in embryogenesis is well-characterized and increasing evidence suggests that elements of the transition may be important in other processes, including metastasis and drug resistance in various different cancers. Methods Agilent 4 × 44 K whole human genome arrays and selected reaction monitoring mass spectrometry were used to investigate mRNA and protein expression in A2780 cisplatin sensitive and resistant cell lines. Invasion and migration were assessed using Boyden chamber assays. Gene knockdown of snail and slug was done using targeted siRNA. Clinical relevance of the EMT pathway was assessed in a cohort of primary ovarian tumours using data from Affymetrix GeneChip Human Genome U133 plus 2.0 arrays. Results Morphological and phenotypic hallmarks of EMT were identified in the chemoresistant cells. Subsequent gene expression profiling revealed upregulation of EMT-related transcription factors including snail, slug, twist2 and zeb2. Proteomic analysis demonstrated up regulation of Snail and Slug as well as the mesenchymal marker Vimentin, and down regulation of E-cadherin, an epithelial marker. By reducing expression of snail and slug, the mesenchymal phenotype was largely reversed and cells were resensitized to cisplatin. Finally, gene expression data from primary tumours mirrored the finding that an EMT-like pathway is activated in resistant tumours relative to sensitive tumours, suggesting that the involvement of this transition may not be limited to in vitro drug effects. Conclusions This work strongly suggests that genes associated with EMT may play a significant role in cisplatin resistance in ovarian cancer, therefore potentially leading to the development of predictive biomarkers of drug response or novel therapeutic strategies for overcoming drug resistance. PMID

  2. Disentangling true shape differences and experimenter bias: are dextral and sinistral snail shells exact mirror images?

    PubMed

    Schilthuizen, M; Haase, M

    2010-11-01

    IN THEORY, SNAILS CAN COME IN TWO ENANTIOMORPHS: either dextral (coiling clockwise) or sinistral (coiling counter-clockwise). In snail species where both forms are actually present, coiling direction is determined by a single gene with delayed maternal inheritance; there is no predictable relationship between a snail's own coiling genotype and its actual coiling direction. Because of this genetic decoupling, it might be expected that dextral and sinistral individuals would be exact mirror images of one another. However, indications exist that there is a subtle but detectable shape difference between dextral and sinistral individuals that derive from the same gene pool. In this paper, we attempt to detect such differences in 50 dextral and 50 sinistral individuals of Amphidromus inversus, a species of land snail that is consistently chirally dimorphic. Four out of 18 volunteers who measured the shells with Vernier calipers found that sinistrals are stouter to a significant degree. A similar result was found by one out of five volunteers who measured the shells from photographs. These results do not allow distinguishing between real shape differences and a handling bias of sinistral as compared with dextral shells. However, when the same set of shells was subjected to a geometric morphometric analysis, we were able to show that sinistrals indeed exhibit a slight but significant widening and twisting of the shell near the palatal and parietal apertural areas. This result is surprising because species of the subgenus Amphidromus s. str. share a long history of chiral dimorphism, and the species would be expected to have been purged from disadvantageous interactions between direction of coil and general shell shape. We conclude that selection on the shape differences is either very weak or constrained by the fact that the pleiotropic effects of the chirality gene are of importance very early in development only.

  3. Global metabolite analysis of the land snail Theba pisana hemolymph during active and aestivated states.

    PubMed

    Bose, U; Centurion, E; Hodson, M P; Shaw, P N; Storey, K B; Cummins, S F

    2016-09-01

    The state of metabolic dormancy has fascinated people for hundreds of years, leading to research exploring the identity of natural molecular components that may induce and maintain this state. Many animals lower their metabolism in response to high temperatures and/or arid conditions, a phenomenon called aestivation. The biological significance for this is clear; by strongly suppressing metabolic rate to low levels, animals minimize their exposure to stressful conditions. Understanding blood or hemolymph metabolite changes that occur between active and aestivated animals can provide valuable insights relating to those molecular components that regulate hypometabolism in animals, and how they afford adaptation to their different environmental conditions. In this study, we have investigated the hemolymph metabolite composition from the land snail Theba pisana, a remarkably resilient mollusc that displays an annual aestivation period. Using LC-MS-based metabolomics analysis, we have identified those hemolymph metabolites that show significant changes in relative abundance between active and aestivated states. We show that certain metabolites, including some phospholipids [e.g. LysoPC(14:0)], and amino acids such as l-arginine and l-tyrosine, are present at high levels within aestivated snails. Further investigation of our T. pisana RNA-sequencing data elucidated the entire repertoire of phospholipid-synthesis genes in the snail digestive gland, as a precursor towards future comparative investigation between the genetic components of aestivating and non-aestivating species. In summary, we have identified a large number of metabolites that are elevated in the hemolymph of aestivating snails, supporting their role in protecting against heat or desiccation. PMID:27318654

  4. Relationships between nutrient enrichment, pleurocerid snail density and trematode infection rate in streams

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ciparis, Serena; Iwanowicz, Deborah D.; Voshell, J. Reese

    2013-01-01

    Summary 1. Nutrient enrichment is a widespread environmental problem in freshwater ecosystems. Eutrophic conditions caused by nutrient enrichment may result in a higher prevalence of infection by trematode parasites in host populations, due to greater resource availability for the molluscan first intermediate hosts. 2. This study examined relationships among land use, environmental variables indicating eutrophication, population density of the pleurocerid snail, Leptoxis carinata, and trematode infections. Fifteen study sites were located in streams within the Shenandoah River catchment (Virginia, U.S.A.), where widespread nutrient enrichment has occurred. 3. Snail population density had a weak positive relationship with stream water nutrient concentration. Snail population density also increased as human activities within stream catchments increased, but density did not continue to increase in catchments where anthropogenic disturbance was greatest. 4. Cercariae from five families of trematodes were identified in L. carinata, and infection rate was generally low (<10%). Neither total infection rate nor the infection rate of individual trematode types showed a positive relationship with snail population density, nutrients or land use. 5. There were statistically significant but weak relationships between the prevalence of infection by two trematode families and physical and biological variables. The prevalence of Notocotylidae was positively related to water depth, which may be related to habitat use by definitive hosts. Prevalence of Opecoelidae had a negative relationship with orthophosphate concentration and a polynomial relationship with chlorophyll a concentration. Transmission of Opecoelid trematodes between hosts may be inhibited by eutrophic conditions. 6. Leptoxis carinata appears to be a useful species for monitoring the biological effects of eutrophication and investigating trematode transmission dynamics in lotic systems.

  5. Development of Helisoma trivolvis pond snails as biological samplers for biomonitoring of current-use pesticides.

    PubMed

    Morrison, Shane A; Belden, Jason B

    2016-09-01

    Nontarget aquatic organisms residing in wetlands are commonly exposed to current-use pesticides through spray drift and runoff. However, it is frequently challenging to measure exposure because of rapid dissipation of pesticides from water and reduced bioavailability. The authors' hypothesis is that freshwater snails can serve as bioindicators of pesticide exposure based on their capacity to passively accumulate tissue residues. Helisoma trivolvis snails were evaluated as biomonitors of pesticide exposure using a fungicide formulation that contains pyraclostrobin and metconazole and is frequently applied to crops surrounding depressional wetlands. Exposure-response studies indicate that H. trivolvis are tolerant of pyraclostrobin and metconazole at concentrations >10 times those lethal to many aquatic species, with a median lethal concentration based on pyraclostrobin of 441 μg/L (95% confidence interval of 359-555 μg/L). Bioconcentration factors ranged from 137 mL/g to 211 mL/g and from 39 mL/g to 59 mL/g for pyraclostrobin and metconazole, respectively. Elimination studies suggested one-compartmental elimination and snail tissue half-lives (t50 ) of approximately 15 h and 5 h for pyraclostrobin and metconazole, respectively. Modeling derived toxicokinetic parameters in the context of an environmentally relevant pulsed exposure suggests that residues can be measured in snails long after water concentrations fall below detection limits. With high fungicide tolerance, rapid accumulation, and slow elimination, H. trivolvis may be viable for biomonitoring of pyraclostrobin and should be investigated for other pesticides. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;35:2320-2329. © 2016 SETAC. PMID:26876158

  6. Major carbon-14 deficiency in modern snail shells from southern Nevada springs

    SciTech Connect

    Riggs, A.C.

    1984-04-06

    Carbon-14 contents as low as 3.3 +/- 0.2% modern (apparent age, 27,000 years) measured from the shells of snails Melanoides tuberculatus living in artesian springs in southern Nevada are attributed to fixation of dissolved HCO/sub 3//sup -/ with which the shells are in carbon isotope equilibrium. Recognition of the existence of such extreme deficiencies is necessary so that erroneous ages are not attributed to fresh water biogenic carbonates. 2 figures, 1 table.

  7. Molecular approach for detecting early prepatent Schistosoma mansoni infection in Biomphalaria alexandrina snail host.

    PubMed

    Farghaly, Adel; Saleh, Ayman A; Mahdy, Soad; Abd El-Khalik, Dalia; Abd El-Aal, Naglaa F; Abdel-Rahman, Sara A; Salama, Marwa A

    2016-09-01

    The present study aimed to evaluate a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay used for detection of Schistosoma mansoni infection in Biomphalaria alexandrina snails in early prepatent period and to compare between it and the ordinary detection methods (shedding and crushing). Biomphalaria alexandrina snails are best known for their role as intermediate hosts of S. mansoni. DNA was extracted from infected snails in addition to non-infected "negative control" (to optimized the efficiency of PCR reaction) and subjected to PCR using primers specific to a partial sequence of S. mansoni fructose-1,6-bus phosphate aldolase (SMALDO). SMALDO gene was detected in the infected laboratory snails with 70, 85, and 100 % positivity at the 1st, 3rd, and 7th day of infection, respectively. In contrast, the ordinary method was not sensitive enough in detection of early prepatent infection even after 7 days of infection which showed only 25 % positivity. By comparing the sensitivity of the three methods, it was found that the average sensitivity of shedding method compared to PCR was 23.8 % and the average sensitivity of crushing method compared to PCR was 46.4 % while the sensitivity of PCR was 100 %. We conclude that PCR is superior to the conventional methods and can detect positive cases that were negative when examined by shedding or crushing methods. This can help in detection of the areas and times of high transmission which in turn will be very beneficial in planning of the exact timing of the proper control strategy. PMID:27605788

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Global metabolite analysis of the land snail Theba pisana hemolymph during active and aestivated states.

    PubMed

    Bose, U; Centurion, E; Hodson, M P; Shaw, P N; Storey, K B; Cummins, S F

    2016-09-01

    The state of metabolic dormancy has fascinated people for hundreds of years, leading to research exploring the identity of natural molecular components that may induce and maintain this state. Many animals lower their metabolism in response to high temperatures and/or arid conditions, a phenomenon called aestivation. The biological significance for this is clear; by strongly suppressing metabolic rate to low levels, animals minimize their exposure to stressful conditions. Understanding blood or hemolymph metabolite changes that occur between active and aestivated animals can provide valuable insights relating to those molecular components that regulate hypometabolism in animals, and how they afford adaptation to their different environmental conditions. In this study, we have investigated the hemolymph metabolite composition from the land snail Theba pisana, a remarkably resilient mollusc that displays an annual aestivation period. Using LC-MS-based metabolomics analysis, we have identified those hemolymph metabolites that show significant changes in relative abundance between active and aestivated states. We show that certain metabolites, including some phospholipids [e.g. LysoPC(14:0)], and amino acids such as l-arginine and l-tyrosine, are present at high levels within aestivated snails. Further investigation of our T. pisana RNA-sequencing data elucidated the entire repertoire of phospholipid-synthesis genes in the snail digestive gland, as a precursor towards future comparative investigation between the genetic components of aestivating and non-aestivating species. In summary, we have identified a large number of metabolites that are elevated in the hemolymph of aestivating snails, supporting their role in protecting against heat or desiccation.

  10. Low environmental calcium blocks long-term memory formation in a freshwater pulmonate snail.

    PubMed

    Dalesman, Sarah; Braun, Marvin H; Lukowiak, Ken

    2011-05-01

    The freshwater snail Lymnaea stagnalis (L.) is considered a calciphile and exhibits reduced growth and survival in environments containing less than 20 mg/l environmental calcium. Although it has no apparent effect on survival at 20 mg/l, reducing environmental calcium increases metabolic demand, and as such we consider that this level of calcium acts as a stressor on the snail. We exposed snails to acute periods of low environmental calcium and tested their ability to form intermediate-term memory (ITM) and long-term memory (LTM) following one trial operant conditioning (1TT) to reduce aerial respiratory activity in hypoxic conditions. We also assessed whether there were changes in the electrophysiological properties of a single neuron, right pedal dorsal 1 (RPeD1), which has been demonstrated to be necessary for LTM formation. Following training in high (80 mg/l) environmental calcium, L. stagnalis formed ITM and LTM lasting 24 h and demonstrated a significant reduction in all activity measured from RPeD1; however when snails were exposed to low (20 mg/l) environmental calcium they were able to form ITM but not LTM. Although no behavioral LTM was formed, a partial reduction in RPeD1 activtiy measured 24 h after training was observed, indicating a residual effect of training. The strong effect that environmental calcium concentration had on physiology and behavior in response to training to reduce aerial respiration in L. stagnalis suggests that it is an element of gastropod husbandry that needs to be carefully considered when studying other traits. This study also indicates that L. stagnalis found naturally in low calcium environments may be less able to adapt to novel stressors than populations found in harder waters.

  11. 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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24615026

  12. Insights into the origins of fish hunting in venomous cone snails from studies of Conus tessulatus.

    PubMed

    Aman, Joseph W; Imperial, Julita S; Ueberheide, Beatrix; Zhang, Min-Min; Aguilar, Manuel; Taylor, Dylan; Watkins, Maren; Yoshikami, Doju; Showers-Corneli, Patrice; Safavi-Hemami, Helena; Biggs, Jason; Teichert, Russell W; Olivera, Baldomero M

    2015-04-21

    Prey shifts in carnivorous predators are events that can initiate the accelerated generation of new biodiversity. However, it is seldom possible to reconstruct how the change in prey preference occurred. Here we describe an evolutionary "smoking gun" that illuminates the transition from worm hunting to fish hunting among marine cone snails, resulting in the adaptive radiation of fish-hunting lineages comprising ∼100 piscivorous Conus species. This smoking gun is δ-conotoxin TsVIA, a peptide from the venom of Conus tessulatus that delays inactivation of vertebrate voltage-gated sodium channels. C. tessulatus is a species in a worm-hunting clade, which is phylogenetically closely related to the fish-hunting cone snail specialists. The discovery of a δ-conotoxin that potently acts on vertebrate sodium channels in the venom of a worm-hunting cone snail suggests that a closely related ancestral toxin enabled the transition from worm hunting to fish hunting, as δ-conotoxins are highly conserved among fish hunters and critical to their mechanism of prey capture; this peptide, δ-conotoxin TsVIA, has striking sequence similarity to these δ-conotoxins from piscivorous cone snail venoms. Calcium-imaging studies on dissociated dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons revealed the peptide's putative molecular target (voltage-gated sodium channels) and mechanism of action (inhibition of channel inactivation). The results were confirmed by electrophysiology. This work demonstrates how elucidating the specific interactions between toxins and receptors from phylogenetically well-defined lineages can uncover molecular mechanisms that underlie significant evolutionary transitions.

  13. Unusual snail species involved in the transmission of Fasciola hepatica in watercress beds in central France.

    PubMed

    Dreyfuss, G; Vignoles, P; Abrous, M; Rondelaud, D

    2002-06-01

    Four freshwater pulmonate species (Lymnaea ovata, L. stagnalis, Physa acuta, Planorbis leucostoma) were living in several watercress beds known for their relationships with human cases of fasciolosis, whereas L. truncatula was never found. The aims of these studies were to determine the prevalence of natural infections with Fasciola hepatica in snails and to verify if these species might ensure the full larval development of this trematode (with cercarial shedding) when they were experimentally subjected to F. hepatica only, or to co-infections with an other trematode species. Investigations were so carried out in six snail populations living in watercress beds (including three for P. acuta) and in four others originating from three brooks or a pond (as controls). Snails naturally infected with F. hepatica were found in two watercress beds inhabited by L. ovata (prevalence of infection: 1.4%) and P. leucostoma (0.1%), respectively. The L. ovata from the watercress bed could be infected at a higher size than those from the control population and the prevalence of this infection was greater in the bed population. Similar findings were noted for L. stagnalis. Despite single or dual infections, the results obtained with the four populations of P. acuta were unsuccessful. In contrast, the co-infections of young P. leucostoma with Paramphistomum daubneyi and F. hepatica resulted in the shedding of some F. hepatica cercariae. According to the authors, the occurrence of fasciolosis in these watercress beds would be the consequence of frequent natural encounters between parasite and snails (L. ovata, L. stagnalis), or of co-infections with P. daubneyi and F. hepatica (P. leucostoma). In watercress beds only colonized by P. acuta, a lymnaeid species would have ensured the larval development of F. hepatica but it would have been eliminated by P. acuta, as this last species was known to be invasive and could colonize open drainage ditches on siliceous soil.

  14. Major carbon-14 deficiency in modern snail shells from southern Nevada springs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Riggs, A.C.

    1984-01-01

    Carbon-14 contents as low as 3.3 ?? 0.2 percent modern (apparent age, 27,000 years) measured from the shells of snails Melanoides tuberculatus living in artesian springs in southern Nevada are attributed to fixation of dissolved HCO3- with which the shells are in carbon isotope equilibrium. Recognition of the existence of such extreme deficiencies is necessary so that erroneous ages are not attributed to freshwater biogenic carbonates.

  15. Effects of endosulfan and ethanol on the reproduction of the snail Biomphalaria tenagophila: a multigeneration study.

    PubMed

    Oliveira-Filho, Eduardo Cyrino; Grisolia, Cesar Koppe; Paumgartten, Francisco Jose Roma

    2009-04-01

    Endosulfan (END) is an insecticide used in agriculture and as a wood preservative. Since END is practically insoluble in water, ethanol (ETOH) is often employed as a carrier solvent to spike it in the test medium in aquatic toxicity assays. In this study were investigated the effects of END and ETOH on the reproduction of the freshwater snail Biomphalaria tenagophila exposed over three successive generations. END (0, 0.001, 0.01, 0.1 mg L(-1)) was dissolved in the medium water using ETOH (up to 19.8 mg L(-1)) as carrier solvent. ETOH (19.8, 198, 1980 mg L(-1)) alone was tested as well. Adult snails (F(0)-generation) were exposed to END and ETOH for 8 weeks. The F(1)-generation continued to be exposed from embryo to reproductive maturity, while their descendants (F(2)) were exposed until day 10 after spawning. Effects on the fecundity (8-week production of eggs and egg-masses) of mature F(0) and F(1) snails were evaluated. Developmental toxicity was investigated in F(1) and F(2) embryos. END at the highest level tested (0.1 mg L(-1)) inhibited egg production by F(0) and F(1) snails. ETOH at levels 198 mg L(-1) also reduced fecundity of F(0) and F(1) an effect that was apparently aggravated by exposure over successive generations. END 0.1 mg L(-1) increased mortality and malformations and decreased hatching among F(1) embryos. ETOH drastically reduced the proportion of hatchings among F(2) embryos. The study-derived NOECs (no-observed-effect-concentrations) for END was 0.01 mg L(-1) (reduction in fecundity), and for ETOH were 19.8 mg L(-1) for reduction in fecundity and <19.8 mg L(-1) for developmental toxicity (hatching retardation).

  16. 45Ca uptake from water by snails (Lymnaea vulgaris) in control and detergent-polluted samples.

    PubMed

    Misra, V; Lal, H; Viswanathan, P N; Murti, C R

    1984-02-01

    A biostatic assay method involving 45Ca uptake into shells and tissues of snails (Lymnaea vulgaris) in 72 hr was developed to follow the effect of detergent-polluted water on ecosystems. There was a marked decrease in the 45Ca uptake by shells and tissues of linear alkyl benzene sulfonate-exposed animals as compared to controls. No change in 45Ca uptake was observed in dead shells, thereby excluding the possibility of passive exchange.

  17. The Genetic Structure and History of Africans and African Americans

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2010-01-01

    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 (~71%), European (~13%), and other African (~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. PMID:19407144

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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. PMID:26033089

  1. Impacts of an Invasive Snail (Tarebia granifera) on Nutrient Cycling in Tropical Streams: The Role of Riparian Deforestation in Trinidad, West Indies

    PubMed Central

    Moslemi, Jennifer M.; Snider, Sunny B.; MacNeill, Keeley; Gilliam, James F.; Flecker, Alexander S.

    2012-01-01

    Non-native species and habitat degradation are two major catalysts of environmental change and often occur simultaneously. In freshwater systems, degradation of adjacent terrestrial vegetation may facilitate introduced species by altering resource availability. Here we examine how the presence of intact riparian cover influences the impact of an invasive herbivorous snail, Tarebia granifera, on nitrogen (N) cycling in aquatic systems on the island of Trinidad. We quantified snail biomass, growth, and N excretion in locations where riparian vegetation was present or removed to determine how snail demographics and excretion were related to the condition of the riparian zone. In three Neotropical streams, we measured snail biomass and N excretion in open and closed canopy habitats to generate estimates of mass- and area-specific N excretion rates. Snail biomass was 2 to 8 times greater and areal N excretion rates ranged from 3 to 9 times greater in open canopy habitats. Snails foraging in open canopy habitat also had access to more abundant food resources and exhibited greater growth and mass-specific N excretion rates. Estimates of ecosystem N demand indicated that snail N excretion in fully closed, partially closed, and open canopy habitats supplied 2%, 11%, and 16% of integrated ecosystem N demand, respectively. We conclude that human-mediated riparian canopy loss can generate hotspots of snail biomass, growth, and N excretion along tropical stream networks, altering the impacts of an invasive snail on the biogeochemical cycling of N. PMID:22761706

  2. Impacts of an invasive snail (Tarebia granifera) on nutrient cycling in tropical streams: the role of riparian deforestation in Trinidad, West Indies.

    PubMed

    Moslemi, Jennifer M; Snider, Sunny B; Macneill, Keeley; Gilliam, James F; Flecker, Alexander S

    2012-01-01

    Non-native species and habitat degradation are two major catalysts of environmental change and often occur simultaneously. In freshwater systems, degradation of adjacent terrestrial vegetation may facilitate introduced species by altering resource availability. Here we examine how the presence of intact riparian cover influences the impact of an invasive herbivorous snail, Tarebia granifera, on nitrogen (N) cycling in aquatic systems on the island of Trinidad. We quantified snail biomass, growth, and N excretion in locations where riparian vegetation was present or removed to determine how snail demographics and excretion were related to the condition of the riparian zone. In three Neotropical streams, we measured snail biomass and N excretion in open and closed canopy habitats to generate estimates of mass- and area-specific N excretion rates. Snail biomass was 2 to 8 times greater and areal N excretion rates ranged from 3 to 9 times greater in open canopy habitats. Snails foraging in open canopy habitat also had access to more abundant food resources and exhibited greater growth and mass-specific N excretion rates. Estimates of ecosystem N demand indicated that snail N excretion in fully closed, partially closed, and open canopy habitats supplied 2%, 11%, and 16% of integrated ecosystem N demand, respectively. We conclude that human-mediated riparian canopy loss can generate hotspots of snail biomass, growth, and N excretion along tropical stream networks, altering the impacts of an invasive snail on the biogeochemical cycling of N.

  3. 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.

  4. Proteomic profile of Bithynia siamensis goniomphalos snails upon infection with the carcinogenic liver fluke Opisthorchis viverrini

    PubMed Central

    Prasopdee, Sattrachai; Tesana, Smarn; Cantacessi, Cinzia; Laha, Thewarach; Mulvenna, Jason; Grams, Rudi; Loukas, Alex; Sotillo, Javier

    2014-01-01

    The snail Bithynia siamensis goniomphalos acts as the first intermediate host for the human liver fluke Opisthorchis viverrini, the major cause of cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) in Northeast Thailand. The undisputed link between CCA and O. viverrini infection has precipitated efforts to understand the molecular basis of host-parasite interactions with a view to ultimately developing new control strategies to combat this carcinogenic infection. To date most effort has focused on the interactions between the parasite and its human host, and little is known about the molecular relationships between the liver fluke and its snail intermediate host. In the present study we analyse the protein expression changes in different tissues of B. siamensis goniomphalos induced by infection with larval O. viverrini using iTRAQ labelling technology. We show that O. viverrini infection downregulates the expression of oxidoreductases and catalytic enzymes, while stress-related and motor proteins are upregulated. The present work could serve as a basis for future studies on the proteins implicated in the susceptibility/resistance of B. siamensis goniomphalos to O. viverrini, as well as studies on other pulmonate snail intermediate hosts of various parasitic flukes that infect humans. PMID:25284051

  5. Use of the land snail Helix aspersa for monitoring heavy metal soil contamination in Northeast Algeria.

    PubMed

    Larba, R; Soltani, N

    2014-08-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of anthropogenic activities on soil quality using the land snail Helix aspersa as a bioindicator. Soil samples and snails were collected from several sites in Northeast Algeria during the summer and winter of 2010. All of the sites were chosen due to their proximity to industrial factories-a potential source of soil pollution via heavy metal contamination. The concentration of heavy metals (Pb, Cd, Mn, and Fe) in soil samples was analyzed using atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Activity levels of glutathione S-transferase (GST) and acetylcholinesterase (AChE), indicators of oxidative stress and neurotoxicity, respectively, were measured in snails collected from each site. GST and AChE activity were found to vary between sites and by season. The highest levels of GST activity were registered during the summer at sites closest to potential sources of pollution. AChE activity levels also peaked during the summer with the highest values recorded at the site in El Hadjar. These increased levels of bioindicative stress response correlated with increasing metal concentration in soil samples collected at each site.

  6. Complex interactions between cis-regulatory modules in native conformation are critical for Drosophila snail expression.

    PubMed

    Dunipace, Leslie; Ozdemir, Anil; Stathopoulos, Angelike

    2011-09-01

    It has been shown in several organisms that multiple cis-regulatory modules (CRMs) of a gene locus can be active concurrently to support similar spatiotemporal expression. To understand the functional importance of such seemingly redundant CRMs, we examined two CRMs from the Drosophila snail gene locus, which are both active in the ventral region of pre-gastrulation embryos. By performing a deletion series in a ∼25 kb DNA rescue construct using BAC recombineering and site-directed transgenesis, we demonstrate that the two CRMs are not redundant. The distal CRM is absolutely required for viability, whereas the proximal CRM is required only under extreme conditions such as high temperature. Consistent with their distinct requirements, the CRMs support distinct expression patterns: the proximal CRM exhibits an expanded expression domain relative to endogenous snail, whereas the distal CRM exhibits almost complete overlap with snail except at the anterior-most pole. We further show that the distal CRM normally limits the increased expression domain of the proximal CRM and that the proximal CRM serves as a `damper' for the expression levels driven by the distal CRM. Thus, the two CRMs interact in cis in a non-additive fashion and these interactions may be important for fine-tuning the domains and levels of gene expression. PMID:21813571

  7. Angiostrongylus cantonensis: morphological and behavioral investigation within the freshwater snail Pomacea canaliculata.

    PubMed

    Lv, Shan; Zhang, Yi; Liu, He-Xiang; Zhang, Chao-Wei; Steinmann, Peter; Zhou, Xiao-Nong; Utzinger, Jürg

    2009-06-01

    An infection with Angiostrongylus cantonensis, the main causative agent for human eosinophilic encephalitis, can be acquired through the consumption of the freshwater snail Pomacea canaliculata. This snail also provides a suitable model to study the developmental morphology and behavior of A. cantonensis larvae, facilitated by the snail's distinct lung structure. We used microanatomy for studying the natural appearance and behavior of A. cantonensis larvae while developing within P. canaliculata. The distribution of refractile granules in the larval body and characteristic head structures changed during the developmental cycle. Two well-developed, rod-like structures with expanded knob-like tips at the anterior part were observed under the buccal cavity as early as the late second developmental stage. A "T"-shaped structure at the anterior end and its tenacity distinguished the outer sheath from that shed during the second molting. Early first-stage larvae obtained from fresh rat feces are free moving and characterized by a coiled tail, whereas a mellifluous "Q"-movement was the behavioral trait of third-stage A. cantonensis larvae outside the host tissue. In combination, the distribution of refractive granules, distinct head features, variations in sheaths, and behavioral characteristics can be utilized for differentiation of larval stages, and for distinguishing A. cantonensis larvae from those of other free-living nematodes. PMID:19172296

  8. An inducible morphological defence is a passive by-product of behaviour in a marine snail

    PubMed Central

    Bourdeau, Paul E.

    2010-01-01

    Many organisms have evolved inducible defences in response to spatial and temporal variability in predation risk. These defences are assumed to incur large costs to prey; however, few studies have investigated the mechanisms and costs underlying these adaptive responses. I examined the proximate cause of predator-induced shell thickening in a marine snail (Nucella lamellosa) and tested whether induced thickening leads to an increase in structural strength. Results indicate that although predators (crabs) induce thicker shells, the response is a passive by-product of reduced feeding and somatic growth rather than an active physiological response to predation risk. Physical tests indicate that although the shells of predator-induced snails are significantly stronger, the increase in performance is no different than that of snails with limited access to food. Increased shell strength is attributable to an increase in the energetically inexpensive microstructural layer rather than to material property changes in the shell. This mechanism suggests that predator-induced shell defences may be neither energetically nor developmentally costly. Positive correlations between antipredator behaviour and morphological defences may explain commonly observed associations between growth reduction and defence production in other systems and could have implications for the evolutionary potential of these plastic traits. PMID:19846462

  9. Ocean acidification alters the response of intertidal snails to a key sea star predator.

    PubMed

    Jellison, Brittany M; Ninokawa, Aaron T; Hill, Tessa M; Sanford, Eric; Gaylord, Brian

    2016-06-29

    Organism-level effects of ocean acidification (OA) are well recognized. Less understood are OA's consequences for ecological species interactions. Here, we examine a behaviourally mediated predator-prey interaction within the rocky intertidal zone of the temperate eastern Pacific Ocean, using it as a model system to explore OA's capacity to impair invertebrate anti-predator behaviours more broadly. Our system involves the iconic sea star predator, Pisaster ochraceus, that elicits flee responses in numerous gastropod prey. We examine, in particular, the capacity for OA-associated reductions in pH to alter flight behaviours of the black turban snail, Tegula funebralis, an often-abundant and well-studied grazer in the system. We assess interactions between these species at 16 discrete levels of pH, quantifying the full functional response of Tegula under present and near-future OA conditions. Results demonstrate the disruption of snail anti-predator behaviours at low pH, with decreases in the time individuals spend in refuge locations. We also show that fluctuations in pH, including those typical of rock pools inhabited by snails, do not materially change outcomes, implying little capacity for episodically benign pH conditions to aid behavioural recovery. Together, these findings suggest a strong potential for OA to induce cascading community-level shifts within this long-studied ecosystem.

  10. Mercury toxicity to terrestrial snails in a partial life cycle experiment.

    PubMed

    Gimbert, Frédéric; Perrier, Fanny; Caire, Ange-Lyne; de Vaufleury, Annette

    2016-02-01

    Despite growing concerns about the potential adverse effects of elevated mercury (Hg) concentrations in the terrestrial environment, only a few toxicity data are available for soil invertebrates. The chronic toxicity of inorganic Hg-Hg(II)--through food or soil contaminations was therefore assessed for the snail Cantareus aspersus, a well-recognized soil quality bioindicator. The 28-day EC50s (the concentrations causing 50% effect) for the snail growth were 600 and 5048 mg Hg kg(-1) for food and soil, respectively. A survey of growth over its entire duration (91 days) allowed to show that the effects took place rapidly after the beginning of exposure and persisted in the long term. Reproduction was also impaired, and we established 28-day EC50s for sexual maturation and fecundity of 831 and 339 mg Hg kg(-1), respectively, for food and 1719 and 53 mg Hg kg(-1), respectively, for soil. Total Hg analyses in snails exposed to contaminated matrices revealed important bioaccumulation capacities up to 2000 mg Hg kg(-1) viscera. Critical limits in internal Hg concentration of about 500 and 1000 mg Hg kg(-1) were determined as thresholds for the induction of growth toxicity through food and soil exposure, respectively. These different values underlined differences in the uptake and toxicological dynamics of Hg according to its bioavailability in the source of exposure.

  11. Nitric oxide is necessary for labilization of a consolidated context memory during reconsolidation in terrestrial snails.

    PubMed

    Balaban, Pavel M; Roshchin, Matvey; Timoshenko, Alia K; Gainutdinov, Khalil L; Bogodvid, Tatiana K; Muranova, Lyudmila N; Zuzina, Alena B; Korshunova, Tatiana A

    2014-09-01

    Nitric oxide (NO) is known to be involved in associative memory formation. We investigated the influence of blocking NO function on the reconsolidation of context memory in terrestrial snails (Helix lucorum L.). After a 10 day session of electric shocks in one context only, context memory in snails was observed in test sessions as the significant difference of amplitudes of withdrawal responses to tactile stimuli in two different contexts. After a 1 day rest, a session of 'reminding' was performed, preceded by injection in different groups of the snails with either vehicle or combination of the protein synthesis blocker anisomycin (ANI) with one of the following drugs: the NO scavenger carboxy-PTIO, the NO-synthase inhibitors N-omega-nitro-L-arginin, nitroindazole and NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester hydrochloride, or the NO donor S-nitroso-N-acetyl-DL-penicillamine. Testing the context memory at different time intervals after the reminder under ANI injection showed that the context memory was impaired at 24 h and later, whereas the reminder under combined injection of ANI and each of the NO-synthase inhibitors used or the NO scavenger showed no impairment of long-term context memory. Injection of the NO donor S-nitroso-N-acetyl-DL-penicillamine with or without reminder had no effect on context memory. The results obtained demonstrated that NO is necessary for labilization of a consolidated context memory.

  12. Identification and characterization of a goose-type lysozyme from sewage snail Physa acuta.

    PubMed

    Guo, Yunhai; He, Hongxuan

    2014-08-01

    Freshwater snail Physa acuta has been considered as an important invasive species and medical mollusc. Field investigation has shown that this snail could survive better than other snails in polluted water bodies. To understand the immune mechanisms of P. acuta, suppression subtractive hybridization hepatopancreas cDNA library has been constructed with bacterial challenge. In this study, a full-length cDNA of a novel goose-type lysozyme (PALysG) has been identified from P. acuta by EST and RACE technique. The conservative structure domains share high homology with other molluscan g-type lysozymes including the SLT domain, the substrate binding sites, the catalytic residues, three alpha-helices structures and six molluscan specific cysteines. Meanwhile, PALysG is the first record of goose-type lysozyme in Gastropoda. Real-time PCR indicated that PALysG mRNA had been expressed significantly at high levels in hepatopancreas for 8-48 h. PALysG recombinant protein displayed the lytic activity of g-type lysozyme with other organisms against Micrococcus lysodikicus.

  13. Gender-based differences in Florida apple snail (Pomacea paludosa) movements

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Valentine-Darby, P. L.; Darby, P.C.; Percival, H.F.

    2011-01-01

    Gastropod movements have been studied in the context of habitat selection, finding food and mates, and avoiding predation. Many of these studies were conducted in the laboratory, where constraints on spatial scale influence behavior. We conducted a field study of Florida appl