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Sample records for amphibia gymnophiona caeciliidae

  1. Ultrastructure of the mature spermatozoa of caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Scheltinga, David M; Wilkinson, Mark; Jamieson, Barrie G M; Oommen, Oommen V

    2003-11-01

    The spermatozoa of Gymnophiona show the following autapomorphies: 1) penetration of the distal centriole by the axial fiber; 2) presence of an acrosomal baseplate; 3) presence of an acrosome seat (flattened apical end of nucleus); and 4) absence of juxta-axonemal fibers. The wide separation of the plasma membrane bounding the undulating membrane is here also considered to be apomorphic. Three plesiomorphic spermatozoal characters are recognized that are not seen in other Amphibia but occur in basal amniotes: 1) presence of mitochondria with a delicate array of concentric cristae (concentric cristae of salamander spermatozoa differ in lacking the delicate array); 2) presence of peripheral dense fibers associated with the triplets of the distal centriole; and 3) presence of a simple annulus (a highly modified, elongate annulus is present in salamander sperm). The presence of an endonuclear canal containing a perforatorium is a plesiomorphic feature of caecilian spermatozoa that is shared with urodeles, some basal anurans, sarcopterygian fish, and some amniotes. Spermatozoal synapomorphies are identified for 1) the Uraeotyphlidae and Ichthyophiidae, and 2) the Caeciliidae and Typhlonectidae, suggesting that the members of each pair of families are more closely related to each other than to other caecilians. Although caecilian spermatozoa exhibit the clear amphibian synapomorphy of the unilateral location of the undulating membrane and its axial fiber, they have no apomorphic characters that suggest a closer relationship to either the Urodela or Anura.

  2. Ultrastructure of the mature spermatozoa of caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Scheltinga, David M; Wilkinson, Mark; Jamieson, Barrie G M; Oommen, Oommen V

    2003-11-01

    The spermatozoa of Gymnophiona show the following autapomorphies: 1) penetration of the distal centriole by the axial fiber; 2) presence of an acrosomal baseplate; 3) presence of an acrosome seat (flattened apical end of nucleus); and 4) absence of juxta-axonemal fibers. The wide separation of the plasma membrane bounding the undulating membrane is here also considered to be apomorphic. Three plesiomorphic spermatozoal characters are recognized that are not seen in other Amphibia but occur in basal amniotes: 1) presence of mitochondria with a delicate array of concentric cristae (concentric cristae of salamander spermatozoa differ in lacking the delicate array); 2) presence of peripheral dense fibers associated with the triplets of the distal centriole; and 3) presence of a simple annulus (a highly modified, elongate annulus is present in salamander sperm). The presence of an endonuclear canal containing a perforatorium is a plesiomorphic feature of caecilian spermatozoa that is shared with urodeles, some basal anurans, sarcopterygian fish, and some amniotes. Spermatozoal synapomorphies are identified for 1) the Uraeotyphlidae and Ichthyophiidae, and 2) the Caeciliidae and Typhlonectidae, suggesting that the members of each pair of families are more closely related to each other than to other caecilians. Although caecilian spermatozoa exhibit the clear amphibian synapomorphy of the unilateral location of the undulating membrane and its axial fiber, they have no apomorphic characters that suggest a closer relationship to either the Urodela or Anura. PMID:14518011

  3. Mitochondrial evidence on the phylogenetic position of caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed Central

    Zardoya, R; Meyer, A

    2000-01-01

    The complete nucleotide sequence (17,005 bp) of the mitochondrial genome of the caecilian Typhlonectes natans (Gymnophiona, Amphibia) was determined. This molecule is characterized by two distinctive genomic features: there are seven large 109-bp tandem repeats in the control region, and the sequence for the putative origin of replication of the L strand can potentially fold into two alternative secondary structures (one including part of the tRNA(Cys)). The new sequence data were used to assess the phylogenetic position of caecilians and to gain insights into the origin of living amphibians (frogs, salamanders, and caecilians). Phylogenetic analyses of two data sets-one combining protein-coding genes and the other combining tRNA genes-strongly supported a caecilian + frog clade and, hence, monophyly of modern amphibians. These two data sets could not further resolve relationships among the coelacanth, lungfishes, and tetrapods, but strongly supported diapsid affinities of turtles. Phylogenetic relationships among a larger set of species of frogs, salamanders, and caecilians were estimated with a mitochondrial rRNA data set. Maximum parsimony analysis of this latter data set also recovered monophyly of living amphibians and favored a frog + salamander (Batrachia) relationship. However, bootstrap support was only moderate at these nodes. This is likely due to an extensive among-site rate heterogeneity in the rRNA data set and the narrow window of time in which the three main groups of living amphibians were originated. PMID:10835397

  4. Mitochondrial evidence on the phylogenetic position of caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Zardoya, R; Meyer, A

    2000-06-01

    The complete nucleotide sequence (17,005 bp) of the mitochondrial genome of the caecilian Typhlonectes natans (Gymnophiona, Amphibia) was determined. This molecule is characterized by two distinctive genomic features: there are seven large 109-bp tandem repeats in the control region, and the sequence for the putative origin of replication of the L strand can potentially fold into two alternative secondary structures (one including part of the tRNA(Cys)). The new sequence data were used to assess the phylogenetic position of caecilians and to gain insights into the origin of living amphibians (frogs, salamanders, and caecilians). Phylogenetic analyses of two data sets-one combining protein-coding genes and the other combining tRNA genes-strongly supported a caecilian + frog clade and, hence, monophyly of modern amphibians. These two data sets could not further resolve relationships among the coelacanth, lungfishes, and tetrapods, but strongly supported diapsid affinities of turtles. Phylogenetic relationships among a larger set of species of frogs, salamanders, and caecilians were estimated with a mitochondrial rRNA data set. Maximum parsimony analysis of this latter data set also recovered monophyly of living amphibians and favored a frog + salamander (Batrachia) relationship. However, bootstrap support was only moderate at these nodes. This is likely due to an extensive among-site rate heterogeneity in the rRNA data set and the narrow window of time in which the three main groups of living amphibians were originated.

  5. Mitochondrial evidence on the phylogenetic position of caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Zardoya, R; Meyer, A

    2000-06-01

    The complete nucleotide sequence (17,005 bp) of the mitochondrial genome of the caecilian Typhlonectes natans (Gymnophiona, Amphibia) was determined. This molecule is characterized by two distinctive genomic features: there are seven large 109-bp tandem repeats in the control region, and the sequence for the putative origin of replication of the L strand can potentially fold into two alternative secondary structures (one including part of the tRNA(Cys)). The new sequence data were used to assess the phylogenetic position of caecilians and to gain insights into the origin of living amphibians (frogs, salamanders, and caecilians). Phylogenetic analyses of two data sets-one combining protein-coding genes and the other combining tRNA genes-strongly supported a caecilian + frog clade and, hence, monophyly of modern amphibians. These two data sets could not further resolve relationships among the coelacanth, lungfishes, and tetrapods, but strongly supported diapsid affinities of turtles. Phylogenetic relationships among a larger set of species of frogs, salamanders, and caecilians were estimated with a mitochondrial rRNA data set. Maximum parsimony analysis of this latter data set also recovered monophyly of living amphibians and favored a frog + salamander (Batrachia) relationship. However, bootstrap support was only moderate at these nodes. This is likely due to an extensive among-site rate heterogeneity in the rRNA data set and the narrow window of time in which the three main groups of living amphibians were originated. PMID:10835397

  6. A mitogenomic perspective on the phylogeny and biogeography of living caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Peng; Wake, Marvalee H

    2009-11-01

    The caecilians, members of the amphibian Order Gymnophiona, are the least known Order of tetrapods, and their intra-relationships, especially within its largest group, the Family Caeciliidae (57% of all caecilian species), remain controversial. We sequenced thirteen complete caecilian mitochondrial genomes, including twelve species of caeciliids, using a universal primer set strategy. These new sequences, together with eight published caecilian mitochondrial genomes, were analyzed by maximum parsimony, partitioned maximum-likelihood and partitioned Bayesian approaches at both nucleotide and amino acid levels, to study the intra-relationships of caecilians. An additional multiple gene dataset including most of the caecilian nucleotide sequences currently available in GenBank produced phylogenetic results that are fully compatible with those based on the mitogenomic data. Our phylogenetic results are summarized as follow. The caecilian family Rhinatrematidae is the sister taxon to all other caecilians. Beyond Rhinatrematidae, a clade comprising the Ichthyophlidae and Uraeotyphlidae is separated from a clade containing all remaining caecilians (Scolecomorphidae, Typhlonectidae and Caeciliidae). Within this large clade, Scolecomorphidae is the sister taxon of Typhlonectidae and Caeciliidae but this placement did not receive strong support in all analyses. Caeciliidae is paraphyletic with regard to Typhlonectidae, and can be divided into three well-supported groups: Caeciliidae group 1 contains the African caeciliids Boulengerula and Herpele; Caeciliidae group 2 contains Caecilia and Oscaecilia and it is the sister taxon of Typhlonectidae; Caeciliidae group 3 comprises the remaining species of caeciliids. The mitochondrial genome data were also used to calculate divergence times for caecilian evolution using the penalized likelihood method implemented in the program R8S. The newly obtained dating results are compatible with (but a little older than) previous time

  7. A mitogenomic perspective on the phylogeny and biogeography of living caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Peng; Wake, Marvalee H

    2009-11-01

    The caecilians, members of the amphibian Order Gymnophiona, are the least known Order of tetrapods, and their intra-relationships, especially within its largest group, the Family Caeciliidae (57% of all caecilian species), remain controversial. We sequenced thirteen complete caecilian mitochondrial genomes, including twelve species of caeciliids, using a universal primer set strategy. These new sequences, together with eight published caecilian mitochondrial genomes, were analyzed by maximum parsimony, partitioned maximum-likelihood and partitioned Bayesian approaches at both nucleotide and amino acid levels, to study the intra-relationships of caecilians. An additional multiple gene dataset including most of the caecilian nucleotide sequences currently available in GenBank produced phylogenetic results that are fully compatible with those based on the mitogenomic data. Our phylogenetic results are summarized as follow. The caecilian family Rhinatrematidae is the sister taxon to all other caecilians. Beyond Rhinatrematidae, a clade comprising the Ichthyophlidae and Uraeotyphlidae is separated from a clade containing all remaining caecilians (Scolecomorphidae, Typhlonectidae and Caeciliidae). Within this large clade, Scolecomorphidae is the sister taxon of Typhlonectidae and Caeciliidae but this placement did not receive strong support in all analyses. Caeciliidae is paraphyletic with regard to Typhlonectidae, and can be divided into three well-supported groups: Caeciliidae group 1 contains the African caeciliids Boulengerula and Herpele; Caeciliidae group 2 contains Caecilia and Oscaecilia and it is the sister taxon of Typhlonectidae; Caeciliidae group 3 comprises the remaining species of caeciliids. The mitochondrial genome data were also used to calculate divergence times for caecilian evolution using the penalized likelihood method implemented in the program R8S. The newly obtained dating results are compatible with (but a little older than) previous time

  8. The telencephalon of Ichthyophis paucisulcus (Amphibia, Gymnophiona (= Caecilia)). A quantitative cytoarchitectonic study.

    PubMed

    Zilles, K; Welsch, U; Schleicher, A

    1981-01-01

    A parcellation of the telencephalon of Ichthyophis paucisulcus (Amphibia, Gymnophiona (= Caecilia) has been performed with a quantitative cytoarchitectonic method. Ten different regions have been delineated and compared with earlier reports on telencephalic regions in anurans, urodeles and caecilians. The most striking difference between the brain of Ichthyophis and other amphibian brains is the high level of morphological differentiation of the accessory olfactory bulb in Ichthyophis and the large extension of this brain region. This feature may be a correlate of the advanced development and the particular structure of Jacobson's organ in this species. PMID:7336818

  9. Morphology of the kidney in the West African caecilian, Geotrypetes seraphini (Amphibia, Gymnophiona, Caeciliidae).

    PubMed

    Møbjerg, N; Jespersen, A; Wilkinson, M

    2004-11-01

    This study deals with the morphology and ultrastructure of the mesonephros in adult caecilians of the species Geotrypetes seraphini. Based on serial sections in paraffin and araldite, nephrons are reconstructed and the cellular characteristics of different nephron segments described. The long and slender mesonephric kidneys of G. seraphini are broadest caudally and taper toward the front, where the organs are divided into smaller segmental divisions. Two nephron types can be distinguished on the basis of their connections to the coelom and their position within the nephric tissue: ventral nephrons connect to the coelom via a ciliated peritoneal funnel, whereas medial nephrons lack this connection. Both nephron types are composed of a filtration unit, the Malpighian corpuscle, and a renal tubule, which can be divided into six morphologically distinct segments: neck segment, proximal tubule, intermediate segment, early distal tubule, late distal tubule, and collecting tubule. Collecting tubules merge and form a branch system that opens into collecting ducts. Collecting ducts empty into the Wolffian duct. Proximal tubules of nephrons in the frontal divisions are morphologically different from the proximal tubules of more caudal kidney regions. Distal tubule subdivision is only clearly recognizable at the electron microscopic level. The length of each nephron segment is calculated from a ventral nephron with a total length of approximately 3.8 mm, and the course of the segments within the nephric tissue is reported. The number of nephrons was estimated at 1,700 units in each kidney. The segmentation and ultrastructure of the mesonephric nephrons in G. seraphini are discussed in relation to nephron descriptions from other caecilians and we further discuss the evolutionary origin of the amphibian nephron.

  10. Morphology of the kidney in the West African caecilian, Geotrypetes seraphini (Amphibia, Gymnophiona, Caeciliidae).

    PubMed

    Møbjerg, N; Jespersen, A; Wilkinson, M

    2004-11-01

    This study deals with the morphology and ultrastructure of the mesonephros in adult caecilians of the species Geotrypetes seraphini. Based on serial sections in paraffin and araldite, nephrons are reconstructed and the cellular characteristics of different nephron segments described. The long and slender mesonephric kidneys of G. seraphini are broadest caudally and taper toward the front, where the organs are divided into smaller segmental divisions. Two nephron types can be distinguished on the basis of their connections to the coelom and their position within the nephric tissue: ventral nephrons connect to the coelom via a ciliated peritoneal funnel, whereas medial nephrons lack this connection. Both nephron types are composed of a filtration unit, the Malpighian corpuscle, and a renal tubule, which can be divided into six morphologically distinct segments: neck segment, proximal tubule, intermediate segment, early distal tubule, late distal tubule, and collecting tubule. Collecting tubules merge and form a branch system that opens into collecting ducts. Collecting ducts empty into the Wolffian duct. Proximal tubules of nephrons in the frontal divisions are morphologically different from the proximal tubules of more caudal kidney regions. Distal tubule subdivision is only clearly recognizable at the electron microscopic level. The length of each nephron segment is calculated from a ventral nephron with a total length of approximately 3.8 mm, and the course of the segments within the nephric tissue is reported. The number of nephrons was estimated at 1,700 units in each kidney. The segmentation and ultrastructure of the mesonephric nephrons in G. seraphini are discussed in relation to nephron descriptions from other caecilians and we further discuss the evolutionary origin of the amphibian nephron. PMID:15376276

  11. Extreme variation in the atrial septation of caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    de Bakker, Desiderius M; Wilkinson, Mark; Jensen, Bjarke

    2015-01-01

    Caecilians (order Gymnophiona) are elongate, limbless, snake-like amphibians that are the sister-group (closest relatives) of all other recent amphibians (frogs and salamanders). Little is known of their cardiovascular anatomy and physiology, but one nearly century old study suggests that Hypogeophis (family Indotyphlidae), commonly relied upon as a representative caecilian species, has atrial septation in the frontal plane and more than one septum. In contrast, in other vertebrates there generally is one atrial septum in the sagittal plane. We studied the adult heart of Idiocranium (also Indotyphlidae) using immunohistochemistry and confirm that the interatrial septum is close to the frontal plane. Additionally, a parallel right atrial septum divides three-fourths of the right atrial cavity of this species. Idiocranium embryos in the Hill collection reveal that atrial septation initiates in the sagittal plane as in other tetrapods. Late developmental stages, however, see a left-ward shift of visceral organs and a concordant rotation of the atria that reorients the atrial septa towards the frontal plane. The gross anatomies of species from six other caecilian families reveal that (i) the right atrial septum developed early in caecilian evolution (only absent in Rhinatrematidae) and that (ii) rotation of the atria evolved later and its degree varies between families. In most vertebrates a prominent atrial trabeculation associates with the sinuatrial valve, the so-called septum spurium, and the right atrial septum seems homologous to this trabeculation but much more developed. The right atrial septum does not appear to be a consequence of body elongation because it is absent in some caecilians and in snakes. The interatrial septum of caecilians shares multiple characters with the atrial septum of lungfishes, salamanders and the embryonic septum primum of amniotes. In conclusion, atrial septation in caecilians is based on evolutionarily conserved structures but

  12. Extreme variation in the atrial septation of caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    de Bakker, Desiderius M; Wilkinson, Mark; Jensen, Bjarke

    2015-01-01

    Caecilians (order Gymnophiona) are elongate, limbless, snake-like amphibians that are the sister-group (closest relatives) of all other recent amphibians (frogs and salamanders). Little is known of their cardiovascular anatomy and physiology, but one nearly century old study suggests that Hypogeophis (family Indotyphlidae), commonly relied upon as a representative caecilian species, has atrial septation in the frontal plane and more than one septum. In contrast, in other vertebrates there generally is one atrial septum in the sagittal plane. We studied the adult heart of Idiocranium (also Indotyphlidae) using immunohistochemistry and confirm that the interatrial septum is close to the frontal plane. Additionally, a parallel right atrial septum divides three-fourths of the right atrial cavity of this species. Idiocranium embryos in the Hill collection reveal that atrial septation initiates in the sagittal plane as in other tetrapods. Late developmental stages, however, see a left-ward shift of visceral organs and a concordant rotation of the atria that reorients the atrial septa towards the frontal plane. The gross anatomies of species from six other caecilian families reveal that (i) the right atrial septum developed early in caecilian evolution (only absent in Rhinatrematidae) and that (ii) rotation of the atria evolved later and its degree varies between families. In most vertebrates a prominent atrial trabeculation associates with the sinuatrial valve, the so-called septum spurium, and the right atrial septum seems homologous to this trabeculation but much more developed. The right atrial septum does not appear to be a consequence of body elongation because it is absent in some caecilians and in snakes. The interatrial septum of caecilians shares multiple characters with the atrial septum of lungfishes, salamanders and the embryonic septum primum of amniotes. In conclusion, atrial septation in caecilians is based on evolutionarily conserved structures but

  13. The structural organization of the kidney of Typhlonectes compressicaudus (Amphibia, Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Sakai, T; Billo, R; Kriz, W

    1986-01-01

    The structural organization of the kidney of Typhlonectes compressicaudus (Amphibia, Gymnophiona) was studied by light microscopic (LM) examination of serial paraffin and semithin Epon sections. The kidney is slender and quite long and has a mesonephric segmental construction; the excretory duct (Wolffian duct), running along the lateral side of the kidney, segmentally receives the terminal trunks of the collecting duct system. The nephron has the following parts: renal corpuscle, neck segment, proximal tubule, intermediate segment, distal tubule and connecting tubule. The distal tubule is located in a ventromedial (central) zone of the kidney; all other tubular segments lie in a dorsolateral (peripheral) zone. The renal corpuscles are found at the border between these two zones. The renal corpuscle is very large; its urinary pole faces the peripheral zone. A small proportion of neck segments receive either a nephrostomal duct or a blind branch. The proximal tubule is a thick, highly convoluted tubule. The intermediate segment is ciliated and makes a few coils. The distal tubule is composed of three portions: a highly convoluted part in the central zone, subsequently an attachment site with the renal corpuscle and a short postattachment-part. The connecting tubule and the collecting duct have a heterogeneous epithelium consisting of light and dark cells. The collecting duct is distinguished by dilated intercellular spaces. The Wolffian duct has a pseudostratified epithelium. The present study correlates the course and segmentation of the renal tubule of Typhlonectes. The tubule has three major convolutions. The first occurs in the proximal tubule in the peripheral zone; the second is established by the distal tubule and occurs in the central zone; the third is formed by the connecting tubule and is found in the peripheral zone. PMID:3740458

  14. The structural organization of the kidney of Typhlonectes compressicaudus (Amphibia, Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Sakai, T; Billo, R; Kriz, W

    1986-01-01

    The structural organization of the kidney of Typhlonectes compressicaudus (Amphibia, Gymnophiona) was studied by light microscopic (LM) examination of serial paraffin and semithin Epon sections. The kidney is slender and quite long and has a mesonephric segmental construction; the excretory duct (Wolffian duct), running along the lateral side of the kidney, segmentally receives the terminal trunks of the collecting duct system. The nephron has the following parts: renal corpuscle, neck segment, proximal tubule, intermediate segment, distal tubule and connecting tubule. The distal tubule is located in a ventromedial (central) zone of the kidney; all other tubular segments lie in a dorsolateral (peripheral) zone. The renal corpuscles are found at the border between these two zones. The renal corpuscle is very large; its urinary pole faces the peripheral zone. A small proportion of neck segments receive either a nephrostomal duct or a blind branch. The proximal tubule is a thick, highly convoluted tubule. The intermediate segment is ciliated and makes a few coils. The distal tubule is composed of three portions: a highly convoluted part in the central zone, subsequently an attachment site with the renal corpuscle and a short postattachment-part. The connecting tubule and the collecting duct have a heterogeneous epithelium consisting of light and dark cells. The collecting duct is distinguished by dilated intercellular spaces. The Wolffian duct has a pseudostratified epithelium. The present study correlates the course and segmentation of the renal tubule of Typhlonectes. The tubule has three major convolutions. The first occurs in the proximal tubule in the peripheral zone; the second is established by the distal tubule and occurs in the central zone; the third is formed by the connecting tubule and is found in the peripheral zone.

  15. A subterranean generalist predator: diet of the soil-dwelling caecilian Gegeneophis ramaswamii (Amphibia; Gymnophiona; Caeciliidae) in southern India.

    PubMed

    Measey, John G; Gower, David J; Oommen, Oommen V; Wilkinson, Mark

    2004-01-01

    Biologists have paid relatively little attention to subterranean predators, especially their ecology. Although diets of some subterranean lower vertebrates suggest specialisation, there remains a lack of quantitative data. The diet of the caecilian amphibian Gegeneophis ramaswamii was investigated through analyses of gut contents of 67 specimens collected in randomised surveys at three localities in Kerala, southern India, in early and mid-monsoon. Although termites were the most frequently ingested items in the mid-monsoon, the specialist predator hypothesis was rejected because of differences in diet found in early monsoon samples, when earthworms contributed the greatest mass. That guts of some G. ramaswamii contained many individuals of only a single dietary taxon was interpreted as feeding on patchily distributed prey rather than specialisation. No ontogenetic differences in diet were apparent, but more sampling is required to investigate this further. Subadults largely feed on fewer items of the same prey as adults, though there is an indication that subadult diet is less diverse. The data do not support differences between male and female diet. High densities of G. ramaswamii, and perhaps of other terrestrial caecilians and subterranean lower vertebrates feeding on soil-ecosystem engineers (termites, earthworms and ants), might substantially impact soil ecology.

  16. A subterranean generalist predator: diet of the soil-dwelling caecilian Gegeneophis ramaswamii (Amphibia; Gymnophiona; Caeciliidae) in southern India.

    PubMed

    Measey, John G; Gower, David J; Oommen, Oommen V; Wilkinson, Mark

    2004-01-01

    Biologists have paid relatively little attention to subterranean predators, especially their ecology. Although diets of some subterranean lower vertebrates suggest specialisation, there remains a lack of quantitative data. The diet of the caecilian amphibian Gegeneophis ramaswamii was investigated through analyses of gut contents of 67 specimens collected in randomised surveys at three localities in Kerala, southern India, in early and mid-monsoon. Although termites were the most frequently ingested items in the mid-monsoon, the specialist predator hypothesis was rejected because of differences in diet found in early monsoon samples, when earthworms contributed the greatest mass. That guts of some G. ramaswamii contained many individuals of only a single dietary taxon was interpreted as feeding on patchily distributed prey rather than specialisation. No ontogenetic differences in diet were apparent, but more sampling is required to investigate this further. Subadults largely feed on fewer items of the same prey as adults, though there is an indication that subadult diet is less diverse. The data do not support differences between male and female diet. High densities of G. ramaswamii, and perhaps of other terrestrial caecilians and subterranean lower vertebrates feeding on soil-ecosystem engineers (termites, earthworms and ants), might substantially impact soil ecology. PMID:15015756

  17. Morphometrics of the skeleton of Dermophis mexicanus (Amphibia: Gymnophiona). Part I. The vertebrae, with comparisons to other species.

    PubMed

    Wake, M H

    1980-08-01

    Morphometric analysis of vertebral structure in caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona) is presented. Ontogenetic variation in Dermophis mexicanus is analyzed through the 100+ vertebrae composing the column. Vertebral structure in adult D. mexicanus is compared with that in Ichthyophis glutinosus and Typhlonectes compressicauda. Centra of the atlas, second, tenth, 20th, and 50th vertebrae grow at allometrically different rates in D. mexicanus, though the 20th and 50th are not significantly different. Growth appears significantly slower in several dimensions of anterior and posterior vertebrae relative to midtrunk vertebrae in all three species. Mensural patterns throughout the entire column are similar in the terrestrail burrowers D. mexicanus and I. glutinosus; patterns in the aquatic T. compressicauda differ substantially from those of the burrowing species and are strongly influenced by allometry. Of the 112 D. mexicanus examined, 13.4% had vertebral anomalies, usually fusions. PMID:7452726

  18. Phylogeny of caecilian amphibians (Gymnophiona) based on complete mitochondrial genomes and nuclear RAG1.

    PubMed

    San Mauro, Diego; Gower, David J; Oommen, Oommen V; Wilkinson, Mark; Zardoya, Rafael

    2004-11-01

    We determined the complete nucleotide sequence of the mitochondrial (mt) genome of five individual caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona) representing five of the six recognized families: Rhinatrema bivittatum (Rhinatrematidae), Ichthyophis glutinosus (Ichthyophiidae), Uraeotyphlus cf. oxyurus (Uraeotyphlidae), Scolecomorphus vittatus (Scolecomorphidae), and Gegeneophis ramaswamii (Caeciliidae). The organization and size of these newly determined mitogenomes are similar to those previously reported for the caecilian Typhlonectes natans (Typhlonectidae), and for other vertebrates. Nucleotide sequences of the nuclear RAG1 gene were also determined for these six species of caecilians, and the salamander Mertensiella luschani atifi. RAG1 (both at the amino acid and nucleotide level) shows slower rates of evolution than almost all mt protein-coding genes (at the amino acid level). The new mt and nuclear sequences were compared with data for other amphibians and subjected to separate and combined phylogenetic analyses (Maximum Parsimony, Minimum Evolution, Maximum Likelihood, and Bayesian Inference). All analyses strongly support the monophyly of the three amphibian Orders. The Batrachia hypothesis (Gymnophiona, (Anura, Caudata) receives moderate or good support depending on the method of analysis. Within Gymnophiona, the optimal tree (Rhinatrema, (Ichthyophis, Uraeotyphlus), (Scolecomorphus, (Gegeneophis Typhlonectes) agrees with the most recent morphological and molecular studies. The sister group relationship between Rhinatrematidae and all other caecilians, that between Ichthyophiidae and Uraeotyphlidae, and the monophyly of the higher caecilians Scolecomorphidae+Caeciliidae+Typhlonectidae, are strongly supported, whereas the relationships among the higher caecilians are less unambiguously resolved. Analysis of RAG1 is affected by a spurious local rooting problem and associated low support that is ameliorated when outgroups are excluded. Comparisons of trees using the

  19. Phylogeny of caecilian amphibians (Gymnophiona) based on complete mitochondrial genomes and nuclear RAG1.

    PubMed

    San Mauro, Diego; Gower, David J; Oommen, Oommen V; Wilkinson, Mark; Zardoya, Rafael

    2004-11-01

    We determined the complete nucleotide sequence of the mitochondrial (mt) genome of five individual caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona) representing five of the six recognized families: Rhinatrema bivittatum (Rhinatrematidae), Ichthyophis glutinosus (Ichthyophiidae), Uraeotyphlus cf. oxyurus (Uraeotyphlidae), Scolecomorphus vittatus (Scolecomorphidae), and Gegeneophis ramaswamii (Caeciliidae). The organization and size of these newly determined mitogenomes are similar to those previously reported for the caecilian Typhlonectes natans (Typhlonectidae), and for other vertebrates. Nucleotide sequences of the nuclear RAG1 gene were also determined for these six species of caecilians, and the salamander Mertensiella luschani atifi. RAG1 (both at the amino acid and nucleotide level) shows slower rates of evolution than almost all mt protein-coding genes (at the amino acid level). The new mt and nuclear sequences were compared with data for other amphibians and subjected to separate and combined phylogenetic analyses (Maximum Parsimony, Minimum Evolution, Maximum Likelihood, and Bayesian Inference). All analyses strongly support the monophyly of the three amphibian Orders. The Batrachia hypothesis (Gymnophiona, (Anura, Caudata) receives moderate or good support depending on the method of analysis. Within Gymnophiona, the optimal tree (Rhinatrema, (Ichthyophis, Uraeotyphlus), (Scolecomorphus, (Gegeneophis Typhlonectes) agrees with the most recent morphological and molecular studies. The sister group relationship between Rhinatrematidae and all other caecilians, that between Ichthyophiidae and Uraeotyphlidae, and the monophyly of the higher caecilians Scolecomorphidae+Caeciliidae+Typhlonectidae, are strongly supported, whereas the relationships among the higher caecilians are less unambiguously resolved. Analysis of RAG1 is affected by a spurious local rooting problem and associated low support that is ameliorated when outgroups are excluded. Comparisons of trees using the

  20. Phylogenetic relationships of Indian caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona) inferred from mitochondrial rRNA gene sequences.

    PubMed

    Wilkinson, Mark; A Sheps, Jonathan; Oommen, Oommen V; Cohen, Bernard L

    2002-06-01

    India has a diverse caecilian fauna, including representatives of three of the six currently recognized families, the Caeciliidae, Ichthyophiidae, the endemic Uraeotyphlidae, but previous molecular phylogenetic studies of caecilians have not included sequences for any Indian caecilians. Partial 12S and 16S mitochondrial gene sequences were obtained for a single representative of each of the caecilian families found in India and aligned against previously reported sequences for 13 caecilian species. The resulting alignment (16 taxa, 1200 sites, of which 288 cannot be aligned unambiguously) was analyzed using parsimony, maximum-likelihood, and distance methods. As judged by bootstrap proportions, decay indices, and leaf stabilities, well-supported relationships of the Indian caecilians are recovered from the alignment. The data (1) corroborate the hypothesis, based on morphology, that the Uraeotyphlidae and Ichthyophiidae are sister taxa, (2) recover a monophyletic Ichthyophiidae, including Indian and South East Asian representatives, and (3) place the Indian caeciliid Gegeneophis ramaswamii as the sister group of the caeciliid caecilians of the Seychelles. Rough estimates of divergence times suggest an origin of the Uraeotyphlidae and Ichthyophiidae while India was isolated from Laurasia and Africa and are most consistent with an Indian origin of these families and subsequent dispersal of ichthyophiids into South East Asia.

  1. Phylogenetic relationships of Indian caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona) inferred from mitochondrial rRNA gene sequences.

    PubMed

    Wilkinson, Mark; A Sheps, Jonathan; Oommen, Oommen V; Cohen, Bernard L

    2002-06-01

    India has a diverse caecilian fauna, including representatives of three of the six currently recognized families, the Caeciliidae, Ichthyophiidae, the endemic Uraeotyphlidae, but previous molecular phylogenetic studies of caecilians have not included sequences for any Indian caecilians. Partial 12S and 16S mitochondrial gene sequences were obtained for a single representative of each of the caecilian families found in India and aligned against previously reported sequences for 13 caecilian species. The resulting alignment (16 taxa, 1200 sites, of which 288 cannot be aligned unambiguously) was analyzed using parsimony, maximum-likelihood, and distance methods. As judged by bootstrap proportions, decay indices, and leaf stabilities, well-supported relationships of the Indian caecilians are recovered from the alignment. The data (1) corroborate the hypothesis, based on morphology, that the Uraeotyphlidae and Ichthyophiidae are sister taxa, (2) recover a monophyletic Ichthyophiidae, including Indian and South East Asian representatives, and (3) place the Indian caeciliid Gegeneophis ramaswamii as the sister group of the caeciliid caecilians of the Seychelles. Rough estimates of divergence times suggest an origin of the Uraeotyphlidae and Ichthyophiidae while India was isolated from Laurasia and Africa and are most consistent with an Indian origin of these families and subsequent dispersal of ichthyophiids into South East Asia. PMID:12099794

  2. Molecular systematics of caeciliid caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona) of the Western Ghats, India.

    PubMed

    Gower, David J; San Mauro, Diego; Giri, Varad; Bhatta, Gopalakrishna; Govindappa, Venu; Kotharambath, Ramachandran; Oommen, Oommen V; Fatih, Farrah A; Mackenzie-Dodds, Jacqueline A; Nussbaum, Ronald A; Biju, S D; Shouche, Yogesh S; Wilkinson, Mark

    2011-06-01

    Together, Indian plus Seychelles caeciliid caecilian amphibians (Gymnophiona) constitute approximately 10% of the extant species of this order. A molecular phylogenetic analysis of all but one (or two) nominal species (16, in five genera) is presented based on mitochondrial (12S, 16S, cytb, cox1) and nuclear (RAG1) sequence data. Results strongly support monophyly of both Seychelles and peninsular Indian caeciliids, and their sister-group status. Within the Indian caeciliids, Indotyphlus and Gegeneophis are monophyletic sister genera. The phylogenetic position of Gegeneophis ramaswamii, Gegeneophis seshachari, and Gegeneophis carnosus are not well resolved, but all lie outside a well-supported clade of most northern Western Ghats Gegeneophis (madhavai, mhadeiensis, goaensis, danieli/nadkarnii). Most nominal species of Indian caeciliid are diagnosed by robust haplotype clades, though the systematics of G. carnosus-like forms in northern Kerala and southern Karnataka requires substantial further investigation. For the most part, Indian caeciliid species comprise narrowly distributed, allopatric taxa with low genetic diversity. Much greater geographic genetic diversity exists among populations referred to G. seshachari, such that some populations likely represent undescribed species. This, the first phylogenetic analysis of Indian caeciliids, generally provides additional support for recent increases in described species (eight since 1999), and a framework for ongoing taxonomic revision.

  3. Embryonic and larval development in the caecilian Ichthyophis kohtaoensis (Amphibia, gymnophiona): a staging table.

    PubMed

    Dünker, N; Wake, M H; Olson, W M

    2000-01-01

    Little is known about the developmental biology of caecilians-tropical, elongate, limbless, mostly fossorial amphibians that are members of the Order Gymnophiona. Ichthyophis kohtaoensis (Family Ichthyophiidae; southeast Asia) is an oviparous species in which maternal care of the clutch is provided. The clutch is laid in a burrow on land, and the embryos develop in their egg membranes, curved around a large yolk mass. Larvae are aquatic and exhibit characteristic features that are not present in the terrestrial adults. Because accurate descriptions of ontogenies and the establishment of standardized stages of embryonic and larval development are useful for both experimental and comparative embryology, a staging table for I.kohtaoensis was developed based on external morphological features. Development from the end of neurulation to metamorphosis was divided into 20 stages. Principal diagnostic features include development of the lateral line organs, formation of three pairs of external gills, development of the eyes, changes in yolk structure, changes in the structure of the cloacal aperture and growth of the tail, including the formation and regression of the tail fin. This study provides a comparison with descriptions of embryonic stages of I.glutinosus and Hypogeophis rostratus and with a recent staging table for the aquatic, viviparous caecilian Typhlonectes compressicauda, the only other caecilians for which reasonably complete ontogenetic information exists in the literature. Comparisons with established staging tables for selected frogs and salamanders are also presented.

  4. Embryonic and larval development in the caecilian Ichthyophis kohtaoensis (Amphibia, gymnophiona): a staging table.

    PubMed

    Dünker, N; Wake, M H; Olson, W M

    2000-01-01

    Little is known about the developmental biology of caecilians-tropical, elongate, limbless, mostly fossorial amphibians that are members of the Order Gymnophiona. Ichthyophis kohtaoensis (Family Ichthyophiidae; southeast Asia) is an oviparous species in which maternal care of the clutch is provided. The clutch is laid in a burrow on land, and the embryos develop in their egg membranes, curved around a large yolk mass. Larvae are aquatic and exhibit characteristic features that are not present in the terrestrial adults. Because accurate descriptions of ontogenies and the establishment of standardized stages of embryonic and larval development are useful for both experimental and comparative embryology, a staging table for I.kohtaoensis was developed based on external morphological features. Development from the end of neurulation to metamorphosis was divided into 20 stages. Principal diagnostic features include development of the lateral line organs, formation of three pairs of external gills, development of the eyes, changes in yolk structure, changes in the structure of the cloacal aperture and growth of the tail, including the formation and regression of the tail fin. This study provides a comparison with descriptions of embryonic stages of I.glutinosus and Hypogeophis rostratus and with a recent staging table for the aquatic, viviparous caecilian Typhlonectes compressicauda, the only other caecilians for which reasonably complete ontogenetic information exists in the literature. Comparisons with established staging tables for selected frogs and salamanders are also presented. PMID:10629095

  5. Molecular systematics of caeciliid caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona) of the Western Ghats, India.

    PubMed

    Gower, David J; San Mauro, Diego; Giri, Varad; Bhatta, Gopalakrishna; Govindappa, Venu; Kotharambath, Ramachandran; Oommen, Oommen V; Fatih, Farrah A; Mackenzie-Dodds, Jacqueline A; Nussbaum, Ronald A; Biju, S D; Shouche, Yogesh S; Wilkinson, Mark

    2011-06-01

    Together, Indian plus Seychelles caeciliid caecilian amphibians (Gymnophiona) constitute approximately 10% of the extant species of this order. A molecular phylogenetic analysis of all but one (or two) nominal species (16, in five genera) is presented based on mitochondrial (12S, 16S, cytb, cox1) and nuclear (RAG1) sequence data. Results strongly support monophyly of both Seychelles and peninsular Indian caeciliids, and their sister-group status. Within the Indian caeciliids, Indotyphlus and Gegeneophis are monophyletic sister genera. The phylogenetic position of Gegeneophis ramaswamii, Gegeneophis seshachari, and Gegeneophis carnosus are not well resolved, but all lie outside a well-supported clade of most northern Western Ghats Gegeneophis (madhavai, mhadeiensis, goaensis, danieli/nadkarnii). Most nominal species of Indian caeciliid are diagnosed by robust haplotype clades, though the systematics of G. carnosus-like forms in northern Kerala and southern Karnataka requires substantial further investigation. For the most part, Indian caeciliid species comprise narrowly distributed, allopatric taxa with low genetic diversity. Much greater geographic genetic diversity exists among populations referred to G. seshachari, such that some populations likely represent undescribed species. This, the first phylogenetic analysis of Indian caeciliids, generally provides additional support for recent increases in described species (eight since 1999), and a framework for ongoing taxonomic revision. PMID:21406239

  6. Colocalization of serotonin and GABA in retinal neurons of Ichthyophis kohtaoensis (amphibia; Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Dünker, N

    1998-01-01

    Ichthyophis kohtaoensis, a member of the limbless Gymnophiona, has a specialized subterranean burrowing mode of life and a predominantly olfactory-guided orientation. The only visually guided behavior seems to be negative phototaxis. As these animals possess extremely small eyes (only 540 microm in diameter in adults), functional investigations of single retinal cells by electrophysiological methods have so far failed. Therefore, the content and distribution of retinal transmitters have been investigated as indications of a functioning sense organ in an animal that is supposed to be blind. Previous immunohistochemical investigation of the retinal transmitter system revealed immunoreactivity for gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), serotonin, dopamine and tyrosine hydroxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme in the catecholamine synthetic pathway. The present studies have been performed in order to determine a possible colocalization of serotonin and GABA in retinal neurons of the caecilian retina. Therefore retinal cryostat sections of various developmental stages have been investigated by the indirect fluorescence method. In single-label preparations, serotonin is localized to cells in the inner nuclear layer and the ganglion cell layer. GABA immunocytochemistry labels a variety of cell types in the inner nuclear layer as well as cell bodies in the ganglion cell layer. In double-label preparations, some of the serotonergic cells are found to express GABA immunoreactivity and some GABAergic neurons also label for serotonin immunocytochemistry. Thus, despite the fact that caecilians mainly rely on olfaction and are believed to have a reduced visual system, their retina exhibits a surprisingly "normal" distribution of neurotransmitters and neuromodulators, also typical of other anamniotes with a well-developed visual system, including the partial colocalization of serotonin and GABA at all developmental stages of I. kohtaoensis. These results indicate that a functional system

  7. [Enzyme histochemical study of the brain of Chthonerpeton indistinctum (Gymnophiona, Amphibia)].

    PubMed

    Welsch, U; Tan, S H

    1979-01-01

    In the brain of the Caecilian species Chthonerpeton indistinctum the following enzymes have been demonstrated by means of histochemical techniques: acid phosphatase, alpha-naphthylacetate esterase, acetylcholin esterase. Acid phosphatase occurs in the cytoplasm of the neurons in 4 different types of localization. Its activity in the ventral parts of the brain is markedly higher than in the dorsal ones. Of particularly high activity are: the motor neurons in the tegmentum, the nucleus mesencephali trigemini, individual large neurons in the marginal zone of the grey matter of the telencephalon, which seems to be a special character of the Caecilians among the Amphibia. The ependyma exhibits local differences in respect of acid phosphatase activity. alpha-Naphthylacetate esterase marks in particular the secretory neurons of the hypothalamus, the large perikarya of the nucleus mesencephali trigemini and the motor neurons of the tegmentum. In the telencephalon the alpha-naphthylacetate esterase activity corresponds to that of acid phosphatase. Acetylcholin esterase marks--with certain restrictions--cholinergic neurons. These predominate in Chthonerpeton in the caudal parts of the brain. In the telencephalon amygdala, septal area striatum and the mitral cells are of comparatively high activity. The neurosecretory neurons of the hypothalamus are particularly rich in this enzyme. As an anurans the cholinergic fasciculus retroflexus as asymmetric. The tectum opticum is of secondary simplicity and does not exhibit a clearly recognizable stratification. PMID:524986

  8. Identification and localization of neurohypophysial peptides in the brain of a caecilian amphibian, Typhlonectes natans (Amphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Hilscher-Conklin, C; Conlon, J M; Boyd, S K

    1998-05-01

    The amphibian order Gymnophiona contains more than 150 different species of caecilians. The characterization and distribution of neurohypophysial peptides, however, has not been described for any member of this order. By using high-performance liquid chromatography, radioimmunoassay, and mass spectrometry, we identified the peptide arginine vasotocin (AVT) in brain and pituitary extracts from the caecilian Typhlonectes natans. By using immunocytochemistry, we found five populations of AVT-immunoreactive (AVT-ir) cells in the brain of T. natans. AVT-ir cell bodies were located in the preoptic area, amygdala pars medialis, ventral thalamus, dorsal hypothalamic nucleus, and nucleus of the solitary tract. AVT-ir fibers and terminal fields were widespread. We also identified a mesotocin-like peptide. The distribution of this peptide in the brain of T. natans was more restricted than the distribution of AVT. Mesotocin-like-immunoreactive cell bodies were located almost exclusively in the preoptic area, with only a few other cells located in the amygdala pars medialis. This caecilian species, therefore, possesses neurohypophysial peptides that are similar in their structure and distribution to the peptides found in anuran and urodele amphibian orders.

  9. Immunocytochemical localization of gonadotropin-releasing hormones in the brain of a viviparous caecilian amphibian, Typhlonectes natans (Amphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Ebersole, T J; Boyd, S K

    2000-01-01

    The molecular forms and brain distribution of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) have been well studied in the amphibian orders Urodela (salamanders and newts) and Anura (frogs and toads). In the order Gymnophiona (caecilians), however, few species have been investigated. Antibodies against different molecular forms of GnRH were used to immunohistochemically localize the GnRH-containing neurons in the brain of the caecilian, Typhlonectes natans which differs from most other amphibians in that it is viviparous. An antibody selective for mammalian GnRH recognized cell bodies predominantly in the septo-preoptic area but only with occasional cell bodies in the lateral hypothalamus and ventral thalamic eminence. Thick, prominent fibers in the septal region and fibers within the terminal nerve were also labeled. An antibody selective for chicken-II GnRH labeled a population of cell bodies in the dorsal hypothalamus, ventral thalamus and midbrain tegmentum. Thin fibers projected laterally from these cells. An antibody specific for salmon GnRH did not label cell bodies but did show intense terminal field immunoreactivity. The brain of this caecilian, therefore, contains three antigenically distinct forms of GnRH. The mammalian and chicken-II GnRH peptides have been shown in other amphibians but the distribution of cells and fibers was unique in this caecilian.

  10. Identification and characterization of visual pigments in caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona), an order of limbless vertebrates with rudimentary eyes.

    PubMed

    Mohun, S M; Davies, W L; Bowmaker, J K; Pisani, D; Himstedt, W; Gower, D J; Hunt, D M; Wilkinson, M

    2010-10-15

    In comparison with the other amphibian orders, the Anura (frogs) and Urodela (salamanders), knowledge of the visual system of the snake-like Gymnophiona (caecilians) is relatively sparse. Most caecilians are fossorial with, as far as is known any surface activity occurring mainly at night. They have relatively small, poorly developed eyes and might be expected to possess detectable changes in the spectral sensitivity of their visual pigments. Microspectrophotometry was used to determine the spectral sensitivities of the photoreceptors in three species of caecilian, Rhinatrema bivittatum, Geotrypetes seraphini and Typhlonectes natans. Only rod opsin visual pigment, which may be associated with scotopic (dim light) vision when accompanied by other 'rod-specific' components of the phototransduction cascade, was found to be present. Opsin sequences were obtained from the eyes of two species of caecilian, Ichthyophis cf. kohtaoensis and T. natans. These rod opsins were regenerated in vitro with 11-cis retinal to give pigments with spectral sensitivity peaks close to 500 nm. No evidence for cone photoreception, associated with diurnal and colour vision, was detected using molecular and physiological methods. Additionally, visual pigments are short-wavelength shifted in terms of the maximum absorption of light when compared with other amphibian lineages.

  11. A molecular phylogeny of ichthyophiid caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Ichthyophiidae): out of India or out of South East Asia?

    PubMed

    Gower, David J; Kupfer, Alex; Oommen, Oommen V; Himstedt, Werner; Nussbaum, Ronald A; Loader, Simon P; Presswell, Bronwen; Müller, Hendrik; Krishna, Sharath B; Boistel, Renaud; Wilkinson, Mark

    2002-08-01

    Recent molecular phylogenetic studies indicate that the rafting Indian plate harboured several isolated vertebrate lineages between ca. 130 and 56 Myr ago that dispersed and diversified 'out of India' following accretion with Eurasia. A single family of the amphibian order Gymnophiona, the Ichthyophiidae, presently occurs on the Indian plate and across much of South East Asia. Ichthyophiid phylogeny is investigated in order to test competing out of India and out of South East Asia hypotheses for their distribution. Partial sequences of mitochondrial 12S and 16S rRNA and cytochrome b genes for 20 ichthyophiids and proximate outgroups were assembled. Parsimony, maximum-likelihood and distance analyses all recover optimum trees in which uraeotyphlids plus Ichthyophis cf. malabarensis are the sister taxa to all other Ichthyophis, among which the South East Asian taxa are monophyletic. Tree topology and branch lengths indicate that the Indian lineages are more basal and older, and thus are more consistent with the hypothesis that ichthyophiids dispersed from the Indian subcontinent into South East Asia. The estimated relationships also support monophyly of Sri Lankan Ichthyophis, and non-monophyly of striped and unstriped Ichthyophis species groups. Mitochondrial DNA sequences provide evidence that should assist current problematic areas of caecilian taxonomy.

  12. Identification and localization of neurohypophysial peptides in the brain of a caecilian amphibian, Typhlonectes natans (Amphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Hilscher-Conklin, C; Conlon, J M; Boyd, S K

    1998-05-01

    The amphibian order Gymnophiona contains more than 150 different species of caecilians. The characterization and distribution of neurohypophysial peptides, however, has not been described for any member of this order. By using high-performance liquid chromatography, radioimmunoassay, and mass spectrometry, we identified the peptide arginine vasotocin (AVT) in brain and pituitary extracts from the caecilian Typhlonectes natans. By using immunocytochemistry, we found five populations of AVT-immunoreactive (AVT-ir) cells in the brain of T. natans. AVT-ir cell bodies were located in the preoptic area, amygdala pars medialis, ventral thalamus, dorsal hypothalamic nucleus, and nucleus of the solitary tract. AVT-ir fibers and terminal fields were widespread. We also identified a mesotocin-like peptide. The distribution of this peptide in the brain of T. natans was more restricted than the distribution of AVT. Mesotocin-like-immunoreactive cell bodies were located almost exclusively in the preoptic area, with only a few other cells located in the amygdala pars medialis. This caecilian species, therefore, possesses neurohypophysial peptides that are similar in their structure and distribution to the peptides found in anuran and urodele amphibian orders. PMID:9552122

  13. Immunocytochemical localization of gonadotropin-releasing hormones in the brain of a viviparous caecilian amphibian, Typhlonectes natans (Amphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Ebersole, T J; Boyd, S K

    2000-01-01

    The molecular forms and brain distribution of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) have been well studied in the amphibian orders Urodela (salamanders and newts) and Anura (frogs and toads). In the order Gymnophiona (caecilians), however, few species have been investigated. Antibodies against different molecular forms of GnRH were used to immunohistochemically localize the GnRH-containing neurons in the brain of the caecilian, Typhlonectes natans which differs from most other amphibians in that it is viviparous. An antibody selective for mammalian GnRH recognized cell bodies predominantly in the septo-preoptic area but only with occasional cell bodies in the lateral hypothalamus and ventral thalamic eminence. Thick, prominent fibers in the septal region and fibers within the terminal nerve were also labeled. An antibody selective for chicken-II GnRH labeled a population of cell bodies in the dorsal hypothalamus, ventral thalamus and midbrain tegmentum. Thin fibers projected laterally from these cells. An antibody specific for salmon GnRH did not label cell bodies but did show intense terminal field immunoreactivity. The brain of this caecilian, therefore, contains three antigenically distinct forms of GnRH. The mammalian and chicken-II GnRH peptides have been shown in other amphibians but the distribution of cells and fibers was unique in this caecilian. PMID:10773622

  14. A molecular phylogeny of ichthyophiid caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Ichthyophiidae): out of India or out of South East Asia?

    PubMed

    Gower, David J; Kupfer, Alex; Oommen, Oommen V; Himstedt, Werner; Nussbaum, Ronald A; Loader, Simon P; Presswell, Bronwen; Müller, Hendrik; Krishna, Sharath B; Boistel, Renaud; Wilkinson, Mark

    2002-08-01

    Recent molecular phylogenetic studies indicate that the rafting Indian plate harboured several isolated vertebrate lineages between ca. 130 and 56 Myr ago that dispersed and diversified 'out of India' following accretion with Eurasia. A single family of the amphibian order Gymnophiona, the Ichthyophiidae, presently occurs on the Indian plate and across much of South East Asia. Ichthyophiid phylogeny is investigated in order to test competing out of India and out of South East Asia hypotheses for their distribution. Partial sequences of mitochondrial 12S and 16S rRNA and cytochrome b genes for 20 ichthyophiids and proximate outgroups were assembled. Parsimony, maximum-likelihood and distance analyses all recover optimum trees in which uraeotyphlids plus Ichthyophis cf. malabarensis are the sister taxa to all other Ichthyophis, among which the South East Asian taxa are monophyletic. Tree topology and branch lengths indicate that the Indian lineages are more basal and older, and thus are more consistent with the hypothesis that ichthyophiids dispersed from the Indian subcontinent into South East Asia. The estimated relationships also support monophyly of Sri Lankan Ichthyophis, and non-monophyly of striped and unstriped Ichthyophis species groups. Mitochondrial DNA sequences provide evidence that should assist current problematic areas of caecilian taxonomy. PMID:12184826

  15. Identification and characterization of visual pigments in caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona), an order of limbless vertebrates with rudimentary eyes.

    PubMed

    Mohun, S M; Davies, W L; Bowmaker, J K; Pisani, D; Himstedt, W; Gower, D J; Hunt, D M; Wilkinson, M

    2010-10-15

    In comparison with the other amphibian orders, the Anura (frogs) and Urodela (salamanders), knowledge of the visual system of the snake-like Gymnophiona (caecilians) is relatively sparse. Most caecilians are fossorial with, as far as is known any surface activity occurring mainly at night. They have relatively small, poorly developed eyes and might be expected to possess detectable changes in the spectral sensitivity of their visual pigments. Microspectrophotometry was used to determine the spectral sensitivities of the photoreceptors in three species of caecilian, Rhinatrema bivittatum, Geotrypetes seraphini and Typhlonectes natans. Only rod opsin visual pigment, which may be associated with scotopic (dim light) vision when accompanied by other 'rod-specific' components of the phototransduction cascade, was found to be present. Opsin sequences were obtained from the eyes of two species of caecilian, Ichthyophis cf. kohtaoensis and T. natans. These rod opsins were regenerated in vitro with 11-cis retinal to give pigments with spectral sensitivity peaks close to 500 nm. No evidence for cone photoreception, associated with diurnal and colour vision, was detected using molecular and physiological methods. Additionally, visual pigments are short-wavelength shifted in terms of the maximum absorption of light when compared with other amphibian lineages. PMID:20889838

  16. Frequency of independent origins of viviparity among caecilians (Gymnophiona): evidence from the first 'live-bearing' Asian amphibian.

    PubMed

    Gower, D J; Giri, V; Dharne, M S; Shouche, Y S

    2008-09-01

    Viviparity is reported for Gegeneophis seshachari (Gymnophiona: Caeciliidae) from a gravid female containing four oviductal foetuses. The oviducts are highly vascularized and contain patches of thickened, layered tissue similar to foetal gut contents. Gegeneophis seshachari probably resemble other viviparous caecilians in having foetuses that ingest thickened oviduct lining using specialized deciduous teeth. This is the first report of viviparity in Asian amphibians and Indo-Seychellean caeciliids. Gegeneophis is the only caecilian genus known to include oviparous and viviparous species, and G. seshachari is the smallest known viviparous caecilian. Phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial DNA sequences supports assignment of G. seshachari to a monophyletic Gegeneophis. Character optimization indicates that viviparity has evolved independently at least four times within Gymnophiona--a rate of incidence relative to the number of extant species that is higher than for other vertebrate groups except squamate reptiles. Our findings strengthen the proposal that caecilian reproduction demands further attention.

  17. Frequency of independent origins of viviparity among caecilians (Gymnophiona): evidence from the first 'live-bearing' Asian amphibian.

    PubMed

    Gower, D J; Giri, V; Dharne, M S; Shouche, Y S

    2008-09-01

    Viviparity is reported for Gegeneophis seshachari (Gymnophiona: Caeciliidae) from a gravid female containing four oviductal foetuses. The oviducts are highly vascularized and contain patches of thickened, layered tissue similar to foetal gut contents. Gegeneophis seshachari probably resemble other viviparous caecilians in having foetuses that ingest thickened oviduct lining using specialized deciduous teeth. This is the first report of viviparity in Asian amphibians and Indo-Seychellean caeciliids. Gegeneophis is the only caecilian genus known to include oviparous and viviparous species, and G. seshachari is the smallest known viviparous caecilian. Phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial DNA sequences supports assignment of G. seshachari to a monophyletic Gegeneophis. Character optimization indicates that viviparity has evolved independently at least four times within Gymnophiona--a rate of incidence relative to the number of extant species that is higher than for other vertebrate groups except squamate reptiles. Our findings strengthen the proposal that caecilian reproduction demands further attention. PMID:18636974

  18. A new lungless caecilian (Amphibia: Gymnophiona) from Guyana.

    PubMed

    Wake, Marvalee H; Donnelly, Maureen A

    2010-03-22

    We report the discovery of a single specimen of a small, terrestrial, lungless caecilian, the second known taxon of lungless caecilians. It differs from all other caecilians in lacking open external nares, and from the large aquatic lungless species described by Nussbaum & Wilkinson (Nussbaum, R. A. & Wilkinson, M. 1995 Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B 261, 331-335) in having no significant skull modifications. All modifications are of 'soft morphology' (covered external nares and choanae, lung and pulmonary vessel loss, etc.). A new genus and species are described to accommodate this form. Aspects of its skull and visceral morphology are described and considered in terms of the possible life history and evolution of the species, and compared with those of other lungless amphibians.

  19. A new lungless caecilian (Amphibia: Gymnophiona) from Guyana

    PubMed Central

    Wake, Marvalee H.; Donnelly, Maureen A.

    2010-01-01

    We report the discovery of a single specimen of a small, terrestrial, lungless caecilian, the second known taxon of lungless caecilians. It differs from all other caecilians in lacking open external nares, and from the large aquatic lungless species described by Nussbaum & Wilkinson (Nussbaum, R. A. & Wilkinson, M. 1995 Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B 261, 331–335) in having no significant skull modifications. All modifications are of ‘soft morphology’ (covered external nares and choanae, lung and pulmonary vessel loss, etc.). A new genus and species are described to accommodate this form. Aspects of its skull and visceral morphology are described and considered in terms of the possible life history and evolution of the species, and compared with those of other lungless amphibians. PMID:19923127

  20. A new lungless caecilian (Amphibia: Gymnophiona) from Guyana.

    PubMed

    Wake, Marvalee H; Donnelly, Maureen A

    2010-03-22

    We report the discovery of a single specimen of a small, terrestrial, lungless caecilian, the second known taxon of lungless caecilians. It differs from all other caecilians in lacking open external nares, and from the large aquatic lungless species described by Nussbaum & Wilkinson (Nussbaum, R. A. & Wilkinson, M. 1995 Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B 261, 331-335) in having no significant skull modifications. All modifications are of 'soft morphology' (covered external nares and choanae, lung and pulmonary vessel loss, etc.). A new genus and species are described to accommodate this form. Aspects of its skull and visceral morphology are described and considered in terms of the possible life history and evolution of the species, and compared with those of other lungless amphibians. PMID:19923127

  1. Amphibia Kupffer cells.

    PubMed

    Sichel, Giovanni; Scalia, Marina; Corsaro, Concetta

    2002-06-15

    Amphibia Kupffer cells (i.e., liver resident macrophages) show many common characteristics when compared with Mammalia Kupffer cells: filopodia, microvillous-like structures, lamellipodia, fuzzy coat, coated vesicles, bristled vacuoles, nonspecific esterase activity, and pinocytotic and phagocytic activity are present both in Amphibia and Mammalia Kupffer cells. On the other hand, some differences are present between Kupffer cells of both zoological classes: phagocytosed red cells and their derivatives, iron-protein complexes, and lipofuscin bodies are normally present in Amphibia Kupffer cells, but absent in the same cells of healthy mammals. Worm-like structures are not seen in Amphibia and endogenous peroxidase activity is very weak in these animals compared with Mammalia. The most important difference lies in the ability of Amphibia Kupffer cells to produce melanins: in fact the tyrosinase gene is expressed, "melanosome centers" are present, and dopa oxidase activity is demonstrable.

  2. First Quaternary Fossil Record of Caecilians from a Mexican Archaeological Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wake, Thomas A.; Wake, Marvalee H.; Lesure, Richard G.

    1999-07-01

    A single vertebra from an Early Formative period archaeological site in coastal Chiapas, México, is identified as belonging to the amphibian Dermophis mexicanus (Duméril and Bibron) 1841 (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Caeciliidae). The vertebra was recovered from deposits dated to approximately 1200-1350 B.C. The specimen represents the first Quaternary fossil record for gymnophiones. Its presence suggests the possible role of the species as a bioturbator. Its recovery is further evidence of the utility of fine-grained archaeological recovery techniques.

  3. A new species of striped Ichthyophis Fitzinger, 1826 (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Ichthyophiidae) from Myanmar.

    PubMed

    Wilkinson, Mark; Presswell, Bronwen; Sherratt, Emma; Papadopoulou, Anna; Gower, David J

    2014-04-02

    A new species of striped ichthyophiid caecilian, Ichthyophis multicolor sp. nov., is described on the basis of morphological and molecular data from a sample of 14 specimens from Ayeyarwady Region, Myanmar. The new species resembles superficially the Indian I. tricolor Annandale, 1909 in having both a pale lateral stripe and an adjacent dark ventrolateral stripe contrasting with a paler venter. It differs from I. tricolor in having many more annuli, and in many details of cranial osteology, and molecular data indicate that it is more closely related to other Southeast Asian Ichthyophis than to those of South Asia. The caecilian fauna of Myanmar is exceptionally poorly known but is likely to include chikilids as well as multiple species of Ichthyophis.

  4. A new species of Microcaecilia Taylor, 1968 (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Siphonopidae) from Amazonian Brazil.

    PubMed

    Wilkinson, Mark; Antoniazzi, Marta Maria; Jared, Carlos

    2015-01-13

    A new species of siphonopid caecilian, Microcaecilia butantan sp. nov., is described based on four specimens from Belterra, in the State of Pará, Brazil. The new species differs from all other Microcaecilia in having a combination of more than 135 primary annuli and long premaxillary-maxillary tooth series that extend posteriorly beyond the choanae. Some specimens were dug from soil in a cupuaçu (Theobroma grandiflorum) plantation suggesting that this form of agriculture provides an environment suitable for at least some caecilians.

  5. One hundred million years of skin feeding? Extended parental care in a Neotropical caecilian (Amphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Wilkinson, Mark; Kupfer, Alexander; Marques-Porto, Rafael; Jeffkins, Hilary; Antoniazzi, Marta M; Jared, Carlos

    2008-08-23

    Maternal dermatophagy, the eating of maternal skin by offspring, is an unusual form of parental investment involving co-evolved specializations of both maternal skin and offspring dentition, which has been recently discovered in an African caecilian amphibian. Here we report the discovery of this form of parental care in a second, distantly related Neotropical species Siphonops annulatus, where it is characterized by the same syndrome of maternal and offspring specializations. The detailed similarities of skin feeding in different caecilian species provide strong evidence of its homology, implying its presence in the last common ancestor of these species. Biogeographic considerations, the separation of Africa and South American land masses and inferred timescales of amphibian diversification all suggest that skin feeding is an ancient form of parental care in caecilians, which has probably persisted in multiple lineages for more than 100 Myr. These inferences support the hypotheses that (i) maternal dermatophagy is widespread in oviparous direct-developing caecilians, and (ii) that viviparous caecilians that feed on the hypertrophied maternal oviduct evolved from skin-feeding ancestors. In addition to skin-feeding, young S. annulatus were observed to congregate around, and imbibe liquid exuded from, the maternal cloacal opening.

  6. Patterns of peripheral innervation of the tongue and hyobranchial apparatus in caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Wake, M H

    1992-04-01

    The innervation of the musculature of the tongue and the hyobranchial apparatus of caecilians has long been assumed to be simple and to exhibit little interspecific variation. A study of 14 genera representing all six families of caecilians demonstrates that general patterns of innervation by the trigeminal, facial, glossopharyngeal, and vagus nerves are similar across taxa but that the composition of the "hypoglossal" nerve is highly variable. Probably in all caecilians, spinal nerves 1 and 2 contribute to the hypoglossal. In addition, in certain taxa, an "occipital," the vagus, and/or spinal 3 appear to contribute fibers to the composition of the hypoglossal nerve. These patterns, the lengths of fusion of the contributing elements, and the branching patterns of the hypoglossal are assessed according to the currently accepted hypothesis of phylogenetic relationships of caecilians, and of amphibians. An hypothesis is proposed that limblessness and a simple tongue, with concomitant reduced complexity of innervation of muscles associated with limbs and the tongue, has released a constraint on pattern of innervation. As a consequence, a greater diversity and, in several taxa, greater complexity of neuroanatomical associations of nerve roots to form the hypoglossal are expressed.

  7. The karyotype of Typhlonectes compressicauda (Amphibia: Gymnophiona) with comments on chromosome evolution in caecilians.

    PubMed

    Wake, M H; Hafner, J C; Hafner, M S; Klosterman, L L; Patton, J L

    1980-02-15

    Typhlonectes compressicauda has a diploid number of 28. Its karyotype, when compared to that of other caecilians, suggests some discordance in the hypothesized model of chromosome reduction in the evolution of amphibian lineages.

  8. A new species of Microcaecilia Taylor, 1968 (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Siphonopidae) from Amazonian Brazil.

    PubMed

    Wilkinson, Mark; Antoniazzi, Marta Maria; Jared, Carlos

    2015-01-01

    A new species of siphonopid caecilian, Microcaecilia butantan sp. nov., is described based on four specimens from Belterra, in the State of Pará, Brazil. The new species differs from all other Microcaecilia in having a combination of more than 135 primary annuli and long premaxillary-maxillary tooth series that extend posteriorly beyond the choanae. Some specimens were dug from soil in a cupuaçu (Theobroma grandiflorum) plantation suggesting that this form of agriculture provides an environment suitable for at least some caecilians. PMID:25661220

  9. The karyotype of Typhlonectes compressicauda (Amphibia: Gymnophiona) with comments on chromosome evolution in caecilians.

    PubMed

    Wake, M H; Hafner, J C; Hafner, M S; Klosterman, L L; Patton, J L

    1980-02-15

    Typhlonectes compressicauda has a diploid number of 28. Its karyotype, when compared to that of other caecilians, suggests some discordance in the hypothesized model of chromosome reduction in the evolution of amphibian lineages. PMID:7371747

  10. One hundred million years of skin feeding? Extended parental care in a Neotropical caecilian (Amphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Wilkinson, Mark; Kupfer, Alexander; Marques-Porto, Rafael; Jeffkins, Hilary; Antoniazzi, Marta M; Jared, Carlos

    2008-08-23

    Maternal dermatophagy, the eating of maternal skin by offspring, is an unusual form of parental investment involving co-evolved specializations of both maternal skin and offspring dentition, which has been recently discovered in an African caecilian amphibian. Here we report the discovery of this form of parental care in a second, distantly related Neotropical species Siphonops annulatus, where it is characterized by the same syndrome of maternal and offspring specializations. The detailed similarities of skin feeding in different caecilian species provide strong evidence of its homology, implying its presence in the last common ancestor of these species. Biogeographic considerations, the separation of Africa and South American land masses and inferred timescales of amphibian diversification all suggest that skin feeding is an ancient form of parental care in caecilians, which has probably persisted in multiple lineages for more than 100 Myr. These inferences support the hypotheses that (i) maternal dermatophagy is widespread in oviparous direct-developing caecilians, and (ii) that viviparous caecilians that feed on the hypertrophied maternal oviduct evolved from skin-feeding ancestors. In addition to skin-feeding, young S. annulatus were observed to congregate around, and imbibe liquid exuded from, the maternal cloacal opening. PMID:18547909

  11. Parasites of the relict fauna of Ceylon. VIII. Helminths from Ichthyophis spp. (Amphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Crusz, H; Santiapillai, A

    1982-01-01

    Trematodes and nematodes are recorded for the first time, and described, from the endemic caecilians Ichthyophis glutinosus (L) and I. orthoplicatus Taylor, 1965 of Sri Lanka. The trematodes are of the species Gorgoderina carli Baer, 1930, from the urinary bladder, and Mesocoelium monas (Rudolphi, 1819) from the small intestine. The nematodes are referred to the species Rhabdias escheri Baer, 1930, from the body cavity and lungs, a new host-record; Pelodera chabaudi sp. nov., from the stomach, small intestine and rectum; and Meteterakis sinharajensis Crusz and Ching, 1976, from the rectum, also a new host-record. Pelodera chabaudi is recognised as a new species on the basis of the arrangment of the bursal papillae, the very prominent pair of fleshy papillae on the cloacal elevation, and the markedly anteriad position of the free proximal ends of the distally fused spicules. PMID:7187196

  12. Patterns of peripheral innervation of the tongue and hyobranchial apparatus in caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Wake, M H

    1992-04-01

    The innervation of the musculature of the tongue and the hyobranchial apparatus of caecilians has long been assumed to be simple and to exhibit little interspecific variation. A study of 14 genera representing all six families of caecilians demonstrates that general patterns of innervation by the trigeminal, facial, glossopharyngeal, and vagus nerves are similar across taxa but that the composition of the "hypoglossal" nerve is highly variable. Probably in all caecilians, spinal nerves 1 and 2 contribute to the hypoglossal. In addition, in certain taxa, an "occipital," the vagus, and/or spinal 3 appear to contribute fibers to the composition of the hypoglossal nerve. These patterns, the lengths of fusion of the contributing elements, and the branching patterns of the hypoglossal are assessed according to the currently accepted hypothesis of phylogenetic relationships of caecilians, and of amphibians. An hypothesis is proposed that limblessness and a simple tongue, with concomitant reduced complexity of innervation of muscles associated with limbs and the tongue, has released a constraint on pattern of innervation. As a consequence, a greater diversity and, in several taxa, greater complexity of neuroanatomical associations of nerve roots to form the hypoglossal are expressed. PMID:1588590

  13. Selected emerging diseases of amphibia.

    PubMed

    Latney, La'Toya V; Klaphake, Eric

    2013-05-01

    This review summarizes the most recent updates on emerging infectious diseases of amphibia. A brief summary of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis history, epidemiology, pathogenesis, life cycle, diagnosis, treatment, and biosecurity is provided. Ambystoma tigrinum virus, common midwife toad virus, frog virus 3, Rana grylio virus, Rana catesbeiana ranavirus, Mahaffey Road virus, Rana esculenta virus, Bohle iridovirus, and tiger frog virus ranaviruses are extensively reviewed. Emerging bacterial pathogens are discussed, including Flavobacter sp, Aeromonas sp, Citrobacter freundii, Chlamydophila sp, Mycobacterium liflandii, Elizabethkingia meningoseptica, and Ochrobactrum anthropi. Rhabdias sp, Ribeiroia sp, and Spirometra erinacei are among several of the parasitic infections overviewed in this article.

  14. AmphibiaChina: an online database of Chinese Amphibians.

    PubMed

    Che, Jing; Wang, Kai

    2016-01-18

    AmphibiaChina, an open-access, web-based database, is designed to provide comprehensive and up-to-date information on Chinese amphibians. It offers an integrated module with six major sections. Compared to other known databases including AmphibiaWeb and Amphibian Species of the World, AmphibiaChina has the following new functions: (1) online species identification based on DNA barcode sequences; (2) comparisons and discussions of different major taxonomic systems; and (3) phylogenetic progress on Chinese amphibians. This database offers a window for the world to access available information of Chinese amphibians. AmphibiaChina with its Chinese version can be accessed at http://www.amphibiachina.org.

  15. The spleen pigment cells in some amphibia.

    PubMed

    Scalia, Marina; Di Pietro, Cinzia; Poma, Mariangela; Ragusa, Marco; Sichel, Giovanni; Corsaro, Concetta

    2004-04-01

    It was demonstrated that the spleen pigment cells of Amphibia are macrophages: they show an ultrastructurally distinctive morphology, are able to phagocytose and react positively for non-specific esterases. These pigmented macrophages express mRNA for tyrosinase and also they show dopa oxidase activity; therefore they are able to synthesize melanins, as Kupffer cells do.

  16. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection and lethal chytridiomycosis in caecilian amphibians (Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Gower, David J; Doherty-Bone, Thomas; Loader, Simon P; Wilkinson, Mark; Kouete, Marcel T; Tapley, Benjamin; Orton, Frances; Daniel, Olivia Z; Wynne, Felicity; Flach, Edmund; Müller, Hendrik; Menegon, Michele; Stephen, Ian; Browne, Robert K; Fisher, Mathew C; Cunningham, Andrew A; Garner, Trenton W J

    2013-06-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is commonly termed the 'amphibian chytrid fungus' but thus far has been documented to be a pathogen of only batrachian amphibians (anurans and caudatans). It is not proven to infect the limbless, generally poorly known, and mostly soil-dwelling caecilians (Gymnophiona). We conducted the largest qPCR survey of Bd in caecilians to date, for more than 200 field-swabbed specimens from five countries in Africa and South America, representing nearly 20 species, 12 genera, and 8 families. Positive results were recovered for 58 specimens from Tanzania and Cameroon (4 families, 6 genera, 6+ species). Quantities of Bd were not exceptionally high, with genomic equivalent (GE) values of 0.052-17.339. In addition, we report the first evidence of lethal chytridiomycosis in caecilians. Mortality in captive (wild-caught, commercial pet trade) Geotrypetes seraphini was associated with GE scores similar to those we detected for field-swabbed, wild animals.

  17. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection and lethal chytridiomycosis in caecilian amphibians (Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Gower, David J; Doherty-Bone, Thomas; Loader, Simon P; Wilkinson, Mark; Kouete, Marcel T; Tapley, Benjamin; Orton, Frances; Daniel, Olivia Z; Wynne, Felicity; Flach, Edmund; Müller, Hendrik; Menegon, Michele; Stephen, Ian; Browne, Robert K; Fisher, Mathew C; Cunningham, Andrew A; Garner, Trenton W J

    2013-06-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is commonly termed the 'amphibian chytrid fungus' but thus far has been documented to be a pathogen of only batrachian amphibians (anurans and caudatans). It is not proven to infect the limbless, generally poorly known, and mostly soil-dwelling caecilians (Gymnophiona). We conducted the largest qPCR survey of Bd in caecilians to date, for more than 200 field-swabbed specimens from five countries in Africa and South America, representing nearly 20 species, 12 genera, and 8 families. Positive results were recovered for 58 specimens from Tanzania and Cameroon (4 families, 6 genera, 6+ species). Quantities of Bd were not exceptionally high, with genomic equivalent (GE) values of 0.052-17.339. In addition, we report the first evidence of lethal chytridiomycosis in caecilians. Mortality in captive (wild-caught, commercial pet trade) Geotrypetes seraphini was associated with GE scores similar to those we detected for field-swabbed, wild animals. PMID:23677560

  18. Localization of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) immunoreactivity in the brain of a caecilian amphibian, Dermophis mexicanus (Amphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    González, Agustín; López, Jesús M; Sánchez-Camacho, Cristina; Marín, Oscar

    2002-07-01

    The organization of the cholinergic system in the brain of anuran and urodele amphibians was recently studied, and significant differences were noted between both amphibian orders. However, comparable data are not available for the third order of amphibians, the limbless gymnophionans (caecilians). To further assess general and derived features of the cholinergic system in amphibians, we have investigated the distribution of choline acetyltransferase immunoreactive (ChAT-ir) cell bodies and fibers in the brain of the gymnophionan Dermophis mexicanus. This distribution showed particular features of gymnophionans such as the existence of a particularly large cholinergic population in the striatum, the presence of ChAT-ir cells in the mesencephalic tectum, and the organization of the cranial nerve motor nuclei. These peculiarities probably reflect major adaptations of gymnophionans to a fossorial habit. Comparison of our results with those in other vertebrates, including a segmental approach to correlate cell populations across species, shows that the general pattern of organization of cholinergic systems in vertebrates can be modified in certain species in response to adaptative processes that lead to morphological and behavioral modifications of members of a given class of vertebrates, as shown for gymnophionans.

  19. Sertoli cells in the testis of caecilians, Ichthyophis tricolor and Uraeotyphlus cf. narayani (Amphibia: Gymnophiona): light and electron microscopic perspective.

    PubMed

    Smita, Mathew; Oommen, Oommen V; George, Jancy M; Akbarsha, M A

    2003-12-01

    The caecilians have evolved a unique pattern of cystic spermatogenesis in which cysts representing different stages in spermatogenesis coexist in a testis lobule. We examined unsettled issues relating to the organization of the caecilian testis lobules, including the occurrence of a fatty matrix, the possibility of both peripheral and central Sertoli cells, the origin of Sertoli cells from follicular cells, and the disengagement of older Sertoli cells to become loose central Sertoli cells. We subjected the testis of Ichthyophis tricolor (Ichthyophiidae) and Uraeotyphlus cf. narayani (Uraeotyphliidae) from the Western Ghats of Kerala, India, to light and transmission electron microscopic studies. Irrespective of the functional state of the testis, whether active or regressed, Sertoli cells constitute a permanent feature of the lobules. The tall Sertoli cells adherent to the basal lamina with basally located pleomorphic nuclei extend deeper into the lobule to meet at the core. There they provide for association of germ cells at different stages of differentiation, an aspect that has earlier been misconceived as the fatty matrix. Germ cells up to the 4-cell stage remain in the intercalating region of the Sertoli cells and they are located at the apices of the Sertoli cells from the 8-cell stage onwards. The developing germ cells are intimately associated with the Sertoli cell adherent to the basal lamina until spermiation. There are ameboid cells in the core of the lobules that appear to interact with the germ cells at the face opposite to their attachment with the Sertoli cells. Adherence of the Sertoli cells to the basal lamina is a permanent feature of the caecilian testicular lobules. The ameboid cells in the core are neither Sertoli cells nor their degeneration products.

  20. Spermiogenesis in caecilians Ichthyophis tricolor and Uraeotyphlus cf. narayani (Amphibia: Gymnophiona): analysis by light and transmission electron microscopy.

    PubMed

    Smita, Mathew; George, Jancy M; Girija, R; Akbarsha, M A; Oommen, Oommen V

    2004-10-01

    Spermiogenesis, known as spermateleosis in lower vertebrates, is the transformation of the round spermatid into a highly specialized spermatozoon with a species-specific structure. Spermateleosis and sperm morphology of two species of caecilians, Ichthyophis tricolor and Uraeotyphlus cf. narayani, from the Western Ghats of Kerala, India, were studied using light and transmission electron microscopy. Spermateleosis is described in early, mid-, and late phases. During the early phase, the spermatid nucleus does not elongate, but the acrosome vesicle is Golgi-derived and its material is produced as a homogeneous substance rather than as discrete granules. In development of the acrosome, the centrioles shift in position to the lower half of the cell. The acrosomal vesicles take the full shape of the acrosome with the establishment of the perforatorium in midphase. An endonuclear canal develops and accommodates the perforatorium. The incipient flagellum is laid down when the proximal centriole attaches to the posterior side of the nucleus and the distal centriole connects to the proximal centriole, which forms the basal granule of the acrosome. The axial fiber also appears during midphase. The mitochondria shift in position to the posterior pole of the cell to commence establishment of the midphase. Late phase is characterized by nuclear condensation and elongation. Consequently, the final organization of the sperm is established with the head containing the nucleus and the acrosome. The undulating membrane separates the axoneme and axial fiber. Most of the cytoplasm is lost as residual bodies.

  1. Distribution of somatostatin-like immunoreactivity in the brain of the caecilian Dermophis mexicanus (Amphibia: Gymnophiona): comparative aspects in amphibians.

    PubMed

    López, Jesús M; Moreno, Nerea; Morona, Ruth; Muñoz, Margarita; Domínguez, Laura; González, Agustín

    2007-03-20

    The organization of the somatostatin-like-immunoreactive (SOM-ir) structures in the brain of anuran and urodele amphibians has been well documented, and significant differences were noted between the two amphibian orders. However, comparable data are not available for the third order of amphibians, the gymnophionans (caecilians). In the present study, we analyzed the anatomical distribution of SOM-ir cells and fibers in the brain of the gymnophionan Dermophis mexicanus. In addition, because of its known relationship with catecholamines in other vertebrates, double immunostaining for SOM and tyrosine hydroxylase was used to investigate this situation in the gymnophionan. Abundant SOM-ir cell bodies and fibers were widely distributed throughout the brain. In the telencephalon, pallial and subpallial cells were labeled, being most numerous in the medial pallium and amygdaloid region. Most of the SOM-ir neurons were found in the preoptic area and hypothalamus and showed a clear projection to the median eminence. Less conspicuously, SOM-ir structures were found in the thalamus, tectum, tegmentum, and reticular formation. Both SOM-ir cells and fibers were demonstrated in the spinal cord. The double-immunohistofluorescence technique revealed that catecholaminergic neurons and SOM-ir cells are largely intermingled in many brain regions but form totally separated populations. Many differences were found between the distribution of SOM-ir structures in Dermophis and that in anurans or urodeles. Some features were shared only with anurans, such as the abundant pallial SOM-ir cells, whereas others were common only to urodeles, such as the organization of the hypothalamohypophysial SOM-ir system. In addition, some characteristics were found only in Dermophis, such as the localization of the SOM-ir spinal cells and the lack of colocalization of catecholamines and SOM throughout the brain. Therefore, any conclusions concerning the SOM system in amphibians are incomplete without considering evidence for gymnophionans.

  2. Sertoli cells in the testis of caecilians, Ichthyophis tricolor and Uraeotyphlus cf. narayani (Amphibia: Gymnophiona): light and electron microscopic perspective.

    PubMed

    Smita, Mathew; Oommen, Oommen V; George, Jancy M; Akbarsha, M A

    2003-12-01

    The caecilians have evolved a unique pattern of cystic spermatogenesis in which cysts representing different stages in spermatogenesis coexist in a testis lobule. We examined unsettled issues relating to the organization of the caecilian testis lobules, including the occurrence of a fatty matrix, the possibility of both peripheral and central Sertoli cells, the origin of Sertoli cells from follicular cells, and the disengagement of older Sertoli cells to become loose central Sertoli cells. We subjected the testis of Ichthyophis tricolor (Ichthyophiidae) and Uraeotyphlus cf. narayani (Uraeotyphliidae) from the Western Ghats of Kerala, India, to light and transmission electron microscopic studies. Irrespective of the functional state of the testis, whether active or regressed, Sertoli cells constitute a permanent feature of the lobules. The tall Sertoli cells adherent to the basal lamina with basally located pleomorphic nuclei extend deeper into the lobule to meet at the core. There they provide for association of germ cells at different stages of differentiation, an aspect that has earlier been misconceived as the fatty matrix. Germ cells up to the 4-cell stage remain in the intercalating region of the Sertoli cells and they are located at the apices of the Sertoli cells from the 8-cell stage onwards. The developing germ cells are intimately associated with the Sertoli cell adherent to the basal lamina until spermiation. There are ameboid cells in the core of the lobules that appear to interact with the germ cells at the face opposite to their attachment with the Sertoli cells. Adherence of the Sertoli cells to the basal lamina is a permanent feature of the caecilian testicular lobules. The ameboid cells in the core are neither Sertoli cells nor their degeneration products. PMID:14584033

  3. Localization of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) immunoreactivity in the brain of a caecilian amphibian, Dermophis mexicanus (Amphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    González, Agustín; López, Jesús M; Sánchez-Camacho, Cristina; Marín, Oscar

    2002-07-01

    The organization of the cholinergic system in the brain of anuran and urodele amphibians was recently studied, and significant differences were noted between both amphibian orders. However, comparable data are not available for the third order of amphibians, the limbless gymnophionans (caecilians). To further assess general and derived features of the cholinergic system in amphibians, we have investigated the distribution of choline acetyltransferase immunoreactive (ChAT-ir) cell bodies and fibers in the brain of the gymnophionan Dermophis mexicanus. This distribution showed particular features of gymnophionans such as the existence of a particularly large cholinergic population in the striatum, the presence of ChAT-ir cells in the mesencephalic tectum, and the organization of the cranial nerve motor nuclei. These peculiarities probably reflect major adaptations of gymnophionans to a fossorial habit. Comparison of our results with those in other vertebrates, including a segmental approach to correlate cell populations across species, shows that the general pattern of organization of cholinergic systems in vertebrates can be modified in certain species in response to adaptative processes that lead to morphological and behavioral modifications of members of a given class of vertebrates, as shown for gymnophionans. PMID:12115707

  4. Spermiogenesis in caecilians Ichthyophis tricolor and Uraeotyphlus cf. narayani (Amphibia: Gymnophiona): analysis by light and transmission electron microscopy.

    PubMed

    Smita, Mathew; George, Jancy M; Girija, R; Akbarsha, M A; Oommen, Oommen V

    2004-10-01

    Spermiogenesis, known as spermateleosis in lower vertebrates, is the transformation of the round spermatid into a highly specialized spermatozoon with a species-specific structure. Spermateleosis and sperm morphology of two species of caecilians, Ichthyophis tricolor and Uraeotyphlus cf. narayani, from the Western Ghats of Kerala, India, were studied using light and transmission electron microscopy. Spermateleosis is described in early, mid-, and late phases. During the early phase, the spermatid nucleus does not elongate, but the acrosome vesicle is Golgi-derived and its material is produced as a homogeneous substance rather than as discrete granules. In development of the acrosome, the centrioles shift in position to the lower half of the cell. The acrosomal vesicles take the full shape of the acrosome with the establishment of the perforatorium in midphase. An endonuclear canal develops and accommodates the perforatorium. The incipient flagellum is laid down when the proximal centriole attaches to the posterior side of the nucleus and the distal centriole connects to the proximal centriole, which forms the basal granule of the acrosome. The axial fiber also appears during midphase. The mitochondria shift in position to the posterior pole of the cell to commence establishment of the midphase. Late phase is characterized by nuclear condensation and elongation. Consequently, the final organization of the sperm is established with the head containing the nucleus and the acrosome. The undulating membrane separates the axoneme and axial fiber. Most of the cytoplasm is lost as residual bodies. PMID:15352204

  5. Distribution of somatostatin-like immunoreactivity in the brain of the caecilian Dermophis mexicanus (Amphibia: Gymnophiona): comparative aspects in amphibians.

    PubMed

    López, Jesús M; Moreno, Nerea; Morona, Ruth; Muñoz, Margarita; Domínguez, Laura; González, Agustín

    2007-03-20

    The organization of the somatostatin-like-immunoreactive (SOM-ir) structures in the brain of anuran and urodele amphibians has been well documented, and significant differences were noted between the two amphibian orders. However, comparable data are not available for the third order of amphibians, the gymnophionans (caecilians). In the present study, we analyzed the anatomical distribution of SOM-ir cells and fibers in the brain of the gymnophionan Dermophis mexicanus. In addition, because of its known relationship with catecholamines in other vertebrates, double immunostaining for SOM and tyrosine hydroxylase was used to investigate this situation in the gymnophionan. Abundant SOM-ir cell bodies and fibers were widely distributed throughout the brain. In the telencephalon, pallial and subpallial cells were labeled, being most numerous in the medial pallium and amygdaloid region. Most of the SOM-ir neurons were found in the preoptic area and hypothalamus and showed a clear projection to the median eminence. Less conspicuously, SOM-ir structures were found in the thalamus, tectum, tegmentum, and reticular formation. Both SOM-ir cells and fibers were demonstrated in the spinal cord. The double-immunohistofluorescence technique revealed that catecholaminergic neurons and SOM-ir cells are largely intermingled in many brain regions but form totally separated populations. Many differences were found between the distribution of SOM-ir structures in Dermophis and that in anurans or urodeles. Some features were shared only with anurans, such as the abundant pallial SOM-ir cells, whereas others were common only to urodeles, such as the organization of the hypothalamohypophysial SOM-ir system. In addition, some characteristics were found only in Dermophis, such as the localization of the SOM-ir spinal cells and the lack of colocalization of catecholamines and SOM throughout the brain. Therefore, any conclusions concerning the SOM system in amphibians are incomplete without considering evidence for gymnophionans. PMID:17245705

  6. Observations on the fine structure, enzyme histochemistry, and innervation of parathyroid gland and ultimobranchial body of Chthonerpeton indistinctum (Gymnophiona, Amphibia).

    PubMed

    Welsch, U; Schubert, C

    1975-11-26

    Fine structural and enzyme histochemical observations on ultimobranchial body and parathyroid gland of the caecilian Chthonerpeton are presented. The cell clusters and follicles of the ultimobranchial body consist mainly of granulated cells which are termed C-cells and obviously belong to the APUD cell series. In the larger follicles additional possibly exhausted degranulated cells and replacement cells occur. A rich supply of nerve fibres has been found in this gland. Frequently nerve terminals were observed to come into synaptic contact with the C-cells. Two categories of nerve fibres occur: a) fibres containing large polymorphic electron dense granules (probably purinergic fibres), b) fibres containing small electron transparent vesicles and a few electron dense granules (probably cholinergic fibres). The parathyroid gland consists of elongated cells (one cell type) poor in organelles and often containing fields of glycogen and lipid droplets. The cells are further characterized by fair amounts of lysosomal enzymes; they are interconnected by maculae adhaerentes and occludentes. No nerves and blood vessels have been found in the parathyroid gland of Chthonerpeton.

  7. Cranial musculature in the larva of the caecilian, Ichthyophis kohtaoensis (Lissamphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Kleinteich, Thomas; Haas, Alexander

    2007-01-01

    Within the Gymnophiona (caecilians) oviparous species with biphasic life-cycles possess a free living semi-aquatic larval stage that feeds in aquatic habitats. The larvae pass through a metamorphosis to a purely terrestrial adult stage. It is likely that the cranial morphology of caecilian larvae has specializations for aquatic feeding. However, little is known about the cranial morphology, and the cranial musculature is especially neglected in the literature. This study provides a detailed description of the jaw and hyobranchial musculature in larval stages of a caecilian. We studied late embryonic and early larval specimens of Ichthyophis kohtaoensis. Furthermore, we compared and homologized the cranial muscles found in larval I. kohtaoensis with the muscles described for adult caecilians. Most cranial muscles of larval I. kohtaoensis are also present in the adult, except for the m. levator mandibulae externus and the m. subarcualis obliquus II. Our results were compared with the data available for larval frogs and salamanders in order to hypothesize the cranial musculature in the larva of the most recent common ancestor of the Lissamphibia. Larval caecilians, frog tadpoles, and salamander larvae share many characters in their cranial musculature, which, consequently, can be assigned to the lissamphibian ground pattern. However, the m. pterygoideus and the m. levator quadrati are unique to the Gymnophiona.

  8. Cranial musculature in the larva of the caecilian, Ichthyophis kohtaoensis (Lissamphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Kleinteich, Thomas; Haas, Alexander

    2007-01-01

    Within the Gymnophiona (caecilians) oviparous species with biphasic life-cycles possess a free living semi-aquatic larval stage that feeds in aquatic habitats. The larvae pass through a metamorphosis to a purely terrestrial adult stage. It is likely that the cranial morphology of caecilian larvae has specializations for aquatic feeding. However, little is known about the cranial morphology, and the cranial musculature is especially neglected in the literature. This study provides a detailed description of the jaw and hyobranchial musculature in larval stages of a caecilian. We studied late embryonic and early larval specimens of Ichthyophis kohtaoensis. Furthermore, we compared and homologized the cranial muscles found in larval I. kohtaoensis with the muscles described for adult caecilians. Most cranial muscles of larval I. kohtaoensis are also present in the adult, except for the m. levator mandibulae externus and the m. subarcualis obliquus II. Our results were compared with the data available for larval frogs and salamanders in order to hypothesize the cranial musculature in the larva of the most recent common ancestor of the Lissamphibia. Larval caecilians, frog tadpoles, and salamander larvae share many characters in their cranial musculature, which, consequently, can be assigned to the lissamphibian ground pattern. However, the m. pterygoideus and the m. levator quadrati are unique to the Gymnophiona. PMID:17154285

  9. Secretory and basal cells of the epithelium of the tubular glands in the male Mullerian gland of the caecilian Uraeotyphlus narayani (Amphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    George, Jancy M; Smita, Matthew; Kadalmani, Balamuthu; Girija, Ramankutty; Oommen, Oommen V; Akbarsha, Mohammad A

    2004-12-01

    Caecilians are exceptional among the vertebrates in that males retain the Mullerian duct as a functional glandular structure. The Mullerian gland on each side is formed from a large number of tubular glands connecting to a central duct, which either connects to the urogenital duct or opens directly into the cloaca. The Mullerian gland is believed to secrete a substance to be added to the sperm during ejaculation. Thus, the Mullerian gland could function as a male accessory reproductive gland. Recently, we described the male Mullerian gland of Uraeotyphlus narayani using light and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and histochemistry. The present TEM study reports that the secretory cells of both the tubular and basal portions of the tubular glands of the male Mullerian gland of this caecilian produce secretion granules in the same manner as do other glandular epithelial cells. The secretion granules are released in the form of structured granules into the lumen of the tubular glands, and such granules are traceable to the lumen of the central duct of the Mullerian gland. This is comparable to the situation prevailing in the epididymal epithelium of several reptiles. In the secretory cells of the basal portion of the tubular glands, mitochondria are intimately associated with fabrication of the secretion granules. The structural and functional organization of the epithelium of the basal portion of the tubular glands is complicated by the presence of basal cells. This study suggests the origin of the basal cells from peritubular tissue leukocytes. The study also indicates a role for the basal cells in acquiring secretion granules from the neighboring secretory cells and processing them into lipofuscin material in the context of regression of the Mullerian gland during the period of reproductive quiescence. In these respects the basal cells match those in the epithelial lining of the epididymis of amniotes.

  10. Contribution of the secretory material of caecilian (amphibia: Gymnophiona) male Mullerian gland to motility of sperm: a study in Uraeotyphlus narayani.

    PubMed

    George, Jancy M; Smita, Mathew; Kadalmani, Balamuthu; Girija, Ramankutty; Oommen, Oommen V; Akbarsha, Mohammad A

    2005-02-01

    Caecilians are a unique group of limbless burrowing amphibians with discontinuous distribution. Several caecilian species are viviparous, and all practice internal fertilization. In amniotic vertebrates the sperm undergo post-testicular physiological maturation when they are initiated into motility under the influence of an epididymal secretion. Further, during ejaculation mammalian sperm are suspended in a fluid secreted by the male accessory sex glands, viz., prostate gland and seminal vesicles. Caecilians lack comparable glands, but still practice internal fertilization. Uniquely, male caecilians retain the Mullerian ducts in the adults as a pair of functional glands. It has long been hypothesized, based on indirect evidence, that the Mullerian gland would be a male accessory sex gland, secreting a fluid in which sperm are suspended during ejaculation and which would also provide nutritional support to the ejaculated sperm. In the present study, the secretory material of the Mullerian gland of Uraeotyphlus narayani was mixed with sperm obtained from the testis, and the changes in motility were recorded. Uraeotyphlus narayani sperm possess a perforatorium of the acrosome proceeding deep into the endonuclear canal of the nucleus. The midpiece is characterized by closely applied centrioles, the anterior ends of the axoneme and axial fiber, and a mitochondrial sheath. The long tail has an undulating membrane on one side, supported by the axoneme and an axial fiber. The live sperm possess a mitochondrial vesicle, also known as the cytoplasmic droplet, anywhere along the head and the midpiece, as in anuran sperm, which is shed from sperm that have ceased motility. Uraeotyphlus narayani sperm are motile the moment they are released directly from the testis, indicating that the sperm do not require post-testicular physiological maturation. On being mixed with the secretory material of the Mullerian gland, the spermatozoa are enhanced in speed as well as duration of motility. Therefore, the caecilian male Mullerian gland is considered to be the male accessory sex gland.

  11. Stages in spermatogenesis of two species of caecilians, Ichthyophis tricolor and Uraeotyphlus cf. narayani (Amphibia: Gymnophiona): Light and electron microscopic study.

    PubMed

    Smita, Mathew; Oommen, Oommen V; Jancy, M George; Akbarsha, M A

    2004-07-01

    The sequential changes during spermatogenesis in the testis of two species of caecilians, Ichthyophis tricolor (Ichthyophiidae) and Uraeotyphlus cf. narayani (Uraeotyphliidae), of Western Ghats of Kerala, India, were traced using both histological techniques and transmission electron microscopy. The cell nests were assigned to stages in spermatogenesis based on the classification of van Oordt (1956, Thesis, Utrecht University). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first identification and ultrastructural description of stages in spermatogenesis in caecilians. The article illustrates not only the stages, but also the cell divisions, mitotic and meiotic, as specified. The observations indicate that, although caecilians have undergone considerable modifications in morphology and anatomy, including reproductive anatomy, in the context of a subterranean and concealed life, they appear to have conserved the typical amphibian pattern of spermatogenesis for the events of development of spermatids.

  12. A new Eimeria sP. from the plumbeous Central American caecilian, Dermophis mexicanus (amphibia: gymnophiona) from Volcán Tajumulco, Department of San Marcos, Guatemala.

    PubMed

    Asmundsson, I M; Campbell, J A; Duszynski, D W

    2000-04-01

    Fresh fecal samples from 5 caecilians (Dermophis mexicanus) were collected and examined for coccidia in the summer of 1998. The caecilians were collected in the Department of San Marcos, Guatemala. Two of the 5 (40%) specimens of caecilians contained an Eimeria species that is described here as new. This represents the first coccidia described from a gymnophionian host. Sporulated oocysts are spheroidal to subspheroidal, 19.5 X 17.7 (16-23 x 15-21) microm, micropyle and oocyst residuum are absent, and 3 (or more) polar granules are always present. Sporocysts are ovoidal, 11.0 X 7.2 (10-12 x 6-9); a Stieda body and sporocyst residuum are present.

  13. Molecular phylogeny and biogeography of caecilians from Southeast Asia (Amphibia, Gymnophiona, Ichthyophiidae), with special reference to high cryptic species diversity in Sundaland.

    PubMed

    Nishikawa, Kanto; Matsui, Masafumi; Yong, Hoi-Sen; Ahmad, Norhayati; Yambun, Paul; Belabut, Daicus M; Sudin, Ahmad; Hamidy, Amir; Orlov, Nikolai L; Ota, Hidetoshi; Yoshikawa, Natsuhiko; Tominaga, Atsushi; Shimada, Tomohiko

    2012-06-01

    We investigated the phylogenetic relationships and estimated the history of species diversification and character evolution in two ichthyophiid genera: Caudacaecilia and Ichthyophis. We estimated the phylogenetic relationships of 67 samples from 33 localities in Southeast Asia from 3840-bp sequences of the mitochondrial 12S rRNA, 16S rRNA, and cyt b genes using Bayesian inference, maximum likelihood, and maximum parsimony methods. The Southeast Asian samples formed a well-supported clade differentiated from a South Asian sample. The Southeast Asian clade was divided into two subclades, one containing samples from South China, Indochina, Malay Peninsula, and Java. The other consisted of samples from Borneo and the Philippines. Neither Caudacaecilia nor Ichthyophis was monophyletic, nor did samples with or without light stripes lateral to the body form clades. We found several distinct sympatric lineages and undescribed species, especially from Sundaland.

  14. Distribution of NADPH-diaphorase/nitric oxide synthase in the brain of the caecilian Dermophis mexicanus (amphibia: gymnophiona): comparative aspects in amphibians.

    PubMed

    González, Augustín; Moreno, Nerea; López, Jesús M

    2002-01-01

    The organization of nitrergic systems in the brains of anuran and urodele amphibians was recently studied and significant differences were noted between both amphibian orders. However, comparable data are not available for the third order of amphibians, the gymnophionans (caecilians). In the present study we have investigated the distribution of neuronal elements that express nitric oxide synthase (NOS) in the brain of the gymnophionan amphibian Dermophis mexicanus by means of immunohistochemistry with specific antibodies against NOS and enzyme histochemistry for NADPH-diaphorase. Both techniques yielded identical results and were equally suitable to demonstrate the nitrergic system. In addition, they were useful tools in the identification of cell groups and brain structures, otherwise indistinct in the brains of caecilians. The distribution of nitrergic structures observed in Dermophis conforms to the overall amphibian pattern but numerous distinct peculiarities were also noted. These included a dense innervation of the olfactory bulbs but a lack of reactivity in olfactory and vomeronasal fibers and glomeruli. A large population of nitrergic cells in the striatum and the presence of thalamic neurons, as well as the specific distribution of nitrergic cells in the isthmic region, are some of the differential features in the gymnophionan brain. Given the variability among species in the same class of vertebrates any discussion including amphibians should also include evidence for gymnophionans.

  15. Stages in spermatogenesis of two species of caecilians, Ichthyophis tricolor and Uraeotyphlus cf. narayani (Amphibia: Gymnophiona): Light and electron microscopic study.

    PubMed

    Smita, Mathew; Oommen, Oommen V; Jancy, M George; Akbarsha, M A

    2004-07-01

    The sequential changes during spermatogenesis in the testis of two species of caecilians, Ichthyophis tricolor (Ichthyophiidae) and Uraeotyphlus cf. narayani (Uraeotyphliidae), of Western Ghats of Kerala, India, were traced using both histological techniques and transmission electron microscopy. The cell nests were assigned to stages in spermatogenesis based on the classification of van Oordt (1956, Thesis, Utrecht University). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first identification and ultrastructural description of stages in spermatogenesis in caecilians. The article illustrates not only the stages, but also the cell divisions, mitotic and meiotic, as specified. The observations indicate that, although caecilians have undergone considerable modifications in morphology and anatomy, including reproductive anatomy, in the context of a subterranean and concealed life, they appear to have conserved the typical amphibian pattern of spermatogenesis for the events of development of spermatids. PMID:15164370

  16. Contribution of the secretory material of caecilian (amphibia: Gymnophiona) male Mullerian gland to motility of sperm: a study in Uraeotyphlus narayani.

    PubMed

    George, Jancy M; Smita, Mathew; Kadalmani, Balamuthu; Girija, Ramankutty; Oommen, Oommen V; Akbarsha, Mohammad A

    2005-02-01

    Caecilians are a unique group of limbless burrowing amphibians with discontinuous distribution. Several caecilian species are viviparous, and all practice internal fertilization. In amniotic vertebrates the sperm undergo post-testicular physiological maturation when they are initiated into motility under the influence of an epididymal secretion. Further, during ejaculation mammalian sperm are suspended in a fluid secreted by the male accessory sex glands, viz., prostate gland and seminal vesicles. Caecilians lack comparable glands, but still practice internal fertilization. Uniquely, male caecilians retain the Mullerian ducts in the adults as a pair of functional glands. It has long been hypothesized, based on indirect evidence, that the Mullerian gland would be a male accessory sex gland, secreting a fluid in which sperm are suspended during ejaculation and which would also provide nutritional support to the ejaculated sperm. In the present study, the secretory material of the Mullerian gland of Uraeotyphlus narayani was mixed with sperm obtained from the testis, and the changes in motility were recorded. Uraeotyphlus narayani sperm possess a perforatorium of the acrosome proceeding deep into the endonuclear canal of the nucleus. The midpiece is characterized by closely applied centrioles, the anterior ends of the axoneme and axial fiber, and a mitochondrial sheath. The long tail has an undulating membrane on one side, supported by the axoneme and an axial fiber. The live sperm possess a mitochondrial vesicle, also known as the cytoplasmic droplet, anywhere along the head and the midpiece, as in anuran sperm, which is shed from sperm that have ceased motility. Uraeotyphlus narayani sperm are motile the moment they are released directly from the testis, indicating that the sperm do not require post-testicular physiological maturation. On being mixed with the secretory material of the Mullerian gland, the spermatozoa are enhanced in speed as well as duration of motility. Therefore, the caecilian male Mullerian gland is considered to be the male accessory sex gland. PMID:15605393

  17. Molecular phylogeny and biogeography of caecilians from Southeast Asia (Amphibia, Gymnophiona, Ichthyophiidae), with special reference to high cryptic species diversity in Sundaland.

    PubMed

    Nishikawa, Kanto; Matsui, Masafumi; Yong, Hoi-Sen; Ahmad, Norhayati; Yambun, Paul; Belabut, Daicus M; Sudin, Ahmad; Hamidy, Amir; Orlov, Nikolai L; Ota, Hidetoshi; Yoshikawa, Natsuhiko; Tominaga, Atsushi; Shimada, Tomohiko

    2012-06-01

    We investigated the phylogenetic relationships and estimated the history of species diversification and character evolution in two ichthyophiid genera: Caudacaecilia and Ichthyophis. We estimated the phylogenetic relationships of 67 samples from 33 localities in Southeast Asia from 3840-bp sequences of the mitochondrial 12S rRNA, 16S rRNA, and cyt b genes using Bayesian inference, maximum likelihood, and maximum parsimony methods. The Southeast Asian samples formed a well-supported clade differentiated from a South Asian sample. The Southeast Asian clade was divided into two subclades, one containing samples from South China, Indochina, Malay Peninsula, and Java. The other consisted of samples from Borneo and the Philippines. Neither Caudacaecilia nor Ichthyophis was monophyletic, nor did samples with or without light stripes lateral to the body form clades. We found several distinct sympatric lineages and undescribed species, especially from Sundaland. PMID:22387289

  18. Distribution of NADPH-diaphorase/nitric oxide synthase in the brain of the caecilian Dermophis mexicanus (amphibia: gymnophiona): comparative aspects in amphibians.

    PubMed

    González, Augustín; Moreno, Nerea; López, Jesús M

    2002-01-01

    The organization of nitrergic systems in the brains of anuran and urodele amphibians was recently studied and significant differences were noted between both amphibian orders. However, comparable data are not available for the third order of amphibians, the gymnophionans (caecilians). In the present study we have investigated the distribution of neuronal elements that express nitric oxide synthase (NOS) in the brain of the gymnophionan amphibian Dermophis mexicanus by means of immunohistochemistry with specific antibodies against NOS and enzyme histochemistry for NADPH-diaphorase. Both techniques yielded identical results and were equally suitable to demonstrate the nitrergic system. In addition, they were useful tools in the identification of cell groups and brain structures, otherwise indistinct in the brains of caecilians. The distribution of nitrergic structures observed in Dermophis conforms to the overall amphibian pattern but numerous distinct peculiarities were also noted. These included a dense innervation of the olfactory bulbs but a lack of reactivity in olfactory and vomeronasal fibers and glomeruli. A large population of nitrergic cells in the striatum and the presence of thalamic neurons, as well as the specific distribution of nitrergic cells in the isthmic region, are some of the differential features in the gymnophionan brain. Given the variability among species in the same class of vertebrates any discussion including amphibians should also include evidence for gymnophionans. PMID:12373060

  19. Secretory and basal cells of the epithelium of the tubular glands in the male Mullerian gland of the caecilian Uraeotyphlus narayani (Amphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    George, Jancy M; Smita, Matthew; Kadalmani, Balamuthu; Girija, Ramankutty; Oommen, Oommen V; Akbarsha, Mohammad A

    2004-12-01

    Caecilians are exceptional among the vertebrates in that males retain the Mullerian duct as a functional glandular structure. The Mullerian gland on each side is formed from a large number of tubular glands connecting to a central duct, which either connects to the urogenital duct or opens directly into the cloaca. The Mullerian gland is believed to secrete a substance to be added to the sperm during ejaculation. Thus, the Mullerian gland could function as a male accessory reproductive gland. Recently, we described the male Mullerian gland of Uraeotyphlus narayani using light and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and histochemistry. The present TEM study reports that the secretory cells of both the tubular and basal portions of the tubular glands of the male Mullerian gland of this caecilian produce secretion granules in the same manner as do other glandular epithelial cells. The secretion granules are released in the form of structured granules into the lumen of the tubular glands, and such granules are traceable to the lumen of the central duct of the Mullerian gland. This is comparable to the situation prevailing in the epididymal epithelium of several reptiles. In the secretory cells of the basal portion of the tubular glands, mitochondria are intimately associated with fabrication of the secretion granules. The structural and functional organization of the epithelium of the basal portion of the tubular glands is complicated by the presence of basal cells. This study suggests the origin of the basal cells from peritubular tissue leukocytes. The study also indicates a role for the basal cells in acquiring secretion granules from the neighboring secretory cells and processing them into lipofuscin material in the context of regression of the Mullerian gland during the period of reproductive quiescence. In these respects the basal cells match those in the epithelial lining of the epididymis of amniotes. PMID:15487004

  20. A new Eimeria sP. from the plumbeous Central American caecilian, Dermophis mexicanus (amphibia: gymnophiona) from Volcán Tajumulco, Department of San Marcos, Guatemala.

    PubMed

    Asmundsson, I M; Campbell, J A; Duszynski, D W

    2000-04-01

    Fresh fecal samples from 5 caecilians (Dermophis mexicanus) were collected and examined for coccidia in the summer of 1998. The caecilians were collected in the Department of San Marcos, Guatemala. Two of the 5 (40%) specimens of caecilians contained an Eimeria species that is described here as new. This represents the first coccidia described from a gymnophionian host. Sporulated oocysts are spheroidal to subspheroidal, 19.5 X 17.7 (16-23 x 15-21) microm, micropyle and oocyst residuum are absent, and 3 (or more) polar granules are always present. Sporocysts are ovoidal, 11.0 X 7.2 (10-12 x 6-9); a Stieda body and sporocyst residuum are present. PMID:10780555

  1. Wait or escape? Contrasting submergence tolerance strategies of Rorippa amphibia, Rorippa sylvestris and their hybrid

    PubMed Central

    Akman, Melis; Bhikharie, Amit V.; McLean, Elizabeth H.; Boonman, Alex; Visser, Eric J. W.; Schranz, M. Eric; van Tienderen, Peter H.

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims Differential responses of closely related species to submergence can provide insight into the evolution and mechanisms of submergence tolerance. Several traits of two wetland species from habitats with contrasting flooding regimes, Rorippa amphibia and Rorippa sylvestris, as well as F1 hybrid Rorippa × anceps were analysed to unravel mechanisms underlying submergence tolerance. Methods In the first submergence experiment (lasting 20 d) we analysed biomass, stem elongation and carbohydrate content. In the second submergence experiment (lasting 3 months) we analysed survival and the effect of re-establishment of air contact on biomass and carbohydrate content. In a separate experiment we analysed expression of two carbohydrate catabolism genes, ADH1 and SUS1, upon re-establishment of air contact following submergence. Key Results All plants had low mortality even after 3 months of submergence. Rorippa sylvestris was characterized by 100 % survival and higher carbohydrate levels coupled with lower ADH1 gene expression as well as reduced growth compared with R. amphibia. Rorippa amphibia and the hybrid elongated their stems but this did not pay-off in higher survival when plants remained submerged. Only R. amphibia and the hybrid benefited in terms of increased biomass and carbohydrate accumulation upon re-establishing air contact. Conclusions Results demonstrate contrasting ‘escape’ and ‘quiescence’ strategies between Rorippa species. Being a close relative of arabidopsis, Rorippa is an excellent model for future studies on the molecular mechanism(s) controlling these strategies. PMID:22499857

  2. [Helminth fauna of amphibians (Vertebrata: Amphibia) in the Republic of Belarus].

    PubMed

    Shimalov, V V

    2009-01-01

    Historical review of the investigations of helminth fauna in amphibians from Belarus is presented. In 12 amphibian species examined by different authors 46 helminth species were found, including 29 Trematoda, 13 Nematoda, 1 Monogenea, 2 Cestoda, and 1 Acanthocephala. Original data on helminths parasitizing Amphibia in Byelorussian Polesie, by the results of long-term investigations in 1986-2004 are given. Distribution of 40 helminth species by hosts and respective infestation rates are reported.

  3. Cosmocercoides himalayanus sp. nov. (Nematoda, Cosmocercidae) in Duttaphrynus himalayanus (Amphibia, Anura) from Dehradun (Uttarakhand), India.

    PubMed

    Rizvi, Anjum N; Bursey, Charles R

    2014-03-01

    Cosmocercoides himalayanus sp. nov. (Nematoda, Cosmocercidae) from the large intestine of Duttaphrynus himalayanus (Amphibia, Anura) from Dehradun, India is described and illustrated. Cosmocercoides himalayanus sp. nov. represents the 21st species assigned to the genus and the 9th species from the Oriental biogeographical region. Cosmocercoides himalayanus sp. nov. differs from the previously described Oriental species in number and position of rosette papillae; it is the only species possessing 24 or more rosette papillae to have 4 postcloacal papillae. In addition, a list of species assigned to Cosmocercoides is provided; however, C. fotedari Arya, 1992 is removed from the genus and until further study is considered a species inquirenda.

  4. Sperm morphology of salamandrids (Amphibia, Urodela): implications for phylogeny and fertilization biology.

    PubMed

    Selmi, M G; Brizzi, R; Bigliardi, E

    1997-12-01

    Mature spermatozoa belonging to four salamander species, Salamandrina terdigitata, Triturus alpestris, Triturus carnifex and Triturus vulgaris, have been investigated by electron microscopy. The sperm ultrastructure of these species was compared with that of previously examined urodeles (36 species and 20 genera) and with that of anurans and caecilians. Many phylogenetic considerations may be inferred as a consequence of comparative spermatology. Urodela appears to be a monophyletic order characterized by three sperm synapomorphies: the acrosomal barb, nuclear ridge and marginal filament. Cryptobranchoidea are confirmed to form a monophyletic suborder having two synapomorphic characters: absence of mitochondria in the tail, and cylindrical shape of the tail axial rod. Within the family Salamandridae, sperm morphology confirms the phylogenetic distance between Salamandrina and Triturus, as already pointed out on the basis of molecular and morphological characters. The very complex ultrastructure of spermatozoa confirms a previous opinion that internal fertilization is the ancestral condition of the Amphibia. PMID:18627832

  5. Applying x-ray tomography in the field of vertebrate biology: form, function, and evolution of the skull of caecilians (Lissamphibia: Gymnophiona)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kleinteich, Thomas; Beckmann, Felix; Herzen, Julia; Summers, Adam P.; Haas, Alexander

    2008-08-01

    Evolutionary research in biology relies on the comparison of different individuals of different species in order to explore the history of today's biodiversity. Synchrotron radiation based high resolution X-ray tomography (SRμCT) rapidly generates detailed three dimensional datasets. At the beamlines W2 and BW2 of the storage ring DORIS at DESY, Hamburg, Germany, we used SRμCT to study the cranial anatomy of different species and different developmental stages of caecilians (Lissamphibia: Gymnophiona). Here we describe a work-flow for analysis of the SRμCT data that covers segmentation of tissues in Amira® (Mercury Computer Systems), photorealistic rendering and animation in MayaTM, rapid prototyping, and morphometrics. The integration of different analyses of SRμCT data in our study resulted in a comprehensive understanding of form, function, and evolution of caecilian skulls. SRμCT imaging has the potential to become a standard technique for life sciences applications in the near future.

  6. The biology of some intraerythrocytic parasites of fishes, amphibia and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Davies, A J; Johnston, M R

    2000-01-01

    Fishes, amphibia and reptiles, the ectothermic vertebrates, are hosts for a variety of intraerythrocytic parasites including protists, prokaryotes, viruses and structures of uncertain status. These parasites may experience host temperature fluctuations, host reproductive strategies, population genetics, host habitat and migratory behaviour quite unlike those of endothermic hosts. Few blood infections of fishes, amphibia and reptiles have proven pathogenicity, in contrast to the many intraerythrocytic parasites of mammals and some birds which harm their hosts. Although not given the attention afforded to intraerythrocytic parasites of endotherms, those of ectotherms have been studied for more than a century. This review reports on the diversity, general biology and phylogeny of intraerythrocytic parasites of ectotherms. The existence of taxonomic confusion is emphasized and the main taxonomic features of most of the 23 better characterized genera, particularly the kinetoplastid and apicomplexan protists, are summarized. Transmission of protistan infections of aquatic ectotherms is also discussed. Leeches can transfer sporozoties or merozoites to the vertebrate host during feeding. Dormant sporozoites of Lankesterella may permit transmission of species of this genus between vertebrates by predation. The fish haemogregarine, Haemogregarina bigemina, probably has gnathiid isopods, rather than leeches, as its definitive hosts. Hepatozoon spp. in aquatic hosts, and Progarnia of caiman, may also use invertebrate hosts other than leeches. Protistan infections of terrestrial or semi-terrestrial hosts are transmitted by a variety of arthropods, or, in some cases, leeches, contaminated paratenic hosts, or sporocysts free in water. Transfer of protists between vertebrates by predation and congenitally may also occur. The biology of the host cells of these infections, the red blood cells of ectotherm vertebrates, is summarized and compared with that of mammalian erythrocytes

  7. Comparative acid phosphatase distribution in the suprarenal gland of Discoglossus pictus, Xenopus laevis and Bufo bufo (Anurans, Amphibia).

    PubMed

    Manelli, H; Mastrolia, L; Arizzi, M

    1981-01-01

    Acid phosphatase activity was found to have a similar distribution in the suprarenal glands of Discoglossus pictus, Xenopus laevis and Bufo Bufo (Anurans, Amphibia) as determined by light and electron histochemical localization. The enzymatic activity is localized in the lysosomes of both the interrenal cells and the chromaffin cells. It is, moreover, positive on the granule membranes of the adrenaline cells whereas it appears only occasionally on the granule membranes of the noradrenaline cells. Some precipitates can also be seen occasionally at the level of the Golgi membranes.

  8. Complete mitochondrial genome of the Seoul frog Rana chosenica (Amphibia, Ranidae): comparison of R. chosenica and R. plancyi.

    PubMed

    Ryu, Shi Hyun; Hwang, Ui Wook

    2011-06-01

    Here, we have sequenced the complete mitochondrial genome of the Seoul frog Rana chosenica (Amphibia, Ranidae), which is known as a Korean endemic species. It is listed as a vulnerable species by IUCN Red List and also an endangered species in South Korea. The complete mitochondrial genome of R. chosenica consists of 18,357 bp. Its gene arrangement pattern was identical with those of other Rana frogs. We compared the mitochondrial genome of R. chosenica with that of the Peking frog Rana plancyi that has been known closely related to R. chosenica. Nucleotide sequence similarity between the two whole mitochondrial genomes was 95.7%, and the relatively low similarity seems to indicate that the two species are distinctly separated on the species level. The information of mitochondrial genome comparison of the two species was discussed in detail.

  9. Morphology, ultrastructure and molecular characterisation of Spiroxys japonica Morishita, 1926 (Spirurida: Gnathostomatidae) from Pelophylax nigromaculatus (Hallowell) (Amphibia: Ranidae).

    PubMed

    Li, Liang; Hasegawa, Hideo; Roca, Vicente; Xu, Zhen; Guo, Yan-Ning; Sato, Akiko; Zhang, Lu-Ping

    2014-03-01

    Gnathostomatid nematodes identified morphologically as Spiroxys japonica Morishita, 1926 were collected from the dark-spotted frog Pelophylax nigromaculatus (Hallowell) (Amphibia: Ranidae) in China. Light and scanning electron microscopy were used to study the morphology of this species in detail. Previously unreported morphological features are revealed and others corrected. In addition, adult nematodes of S. japonica collected from P. nigromaculatus and Spiroxys hanzaki Hasegawa, Miyata & Doi, 1998 collected from Andrias japonicus (Temminck) (Caudata: Cryptobranchidae) in China and Japan, respectively, and the third-stage larva of S. japonica collected from Lithobates catesbeianus (Shaw) (Anura: Ranidae) in Japan, were characterised using molecular methods by sequencing and analysing ribosomal [large ribosomal DNA (18S) and internal transcribed space] and mitochondrial [cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1] target regions, respectively. The new morphological and genetic data contributes to a more accurate diagnosis of this hitherto little known nematode genus.

  10. Effects of a glyphosate-based herbicide on the development of Common toads (Bufo bufo L.; Amphibia) at different temperatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baier, Fabian; Gruber, Edith; Spangl, Bernhard; Zaller, Johann G.

    2016-04-01

    Herbicides based on the active ingredient glyphosate are frequently applied in agriculture, horticulture and private gardens all over the world. Recently, leaching of glyphosate or its metabolite (AMPA) into water bodies inhabited by amphibians has been reported. However, very little is known about non-target effects of these herbicides on amphibians and even less is known to what extent different temperatures might alter these effects. Using climate chambers, we investigated the effects of the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup PowerFlex® (480 g L-1 glyphosate, formulated as 588 g L-1 potassium salt) on the larval development of Common toads (Bufo bufo L.; Amphibia: Anura) under different temperature regimes (15°C vs. 20°C). We established five herbicide concentrations: 0, 1.5, 3, 4 mg acid equivalent L-1 and a 4 mg a.e. L-1 pulse treatment (totally three applications of 1.5, 1.5 and another 1 mg a.e. L-1) at each temperature in a full-factorial design. Each treatment combination was replicated five times, the experiment ran for 24 days. Results showed a highly significant effect of temperature on body length and body width but no effect of herbicide concentration on these growth parameters. Moreover, highly significant interactions between herbicide and temperature on body length and body width were observed suggesting that herbicides had different effects on different temperatures. In conclusion, although Roundup PowerFlex® at the tested concentrations appeared to have no acute toxicity to larvae of Common toads, the observed effects on tadpole morphology will potentially affect competitive interactions in spawning ponds of amphibia. Our findings of herbicide x temperature interactions might become more prevalent when human-induced climate change will lead to more extreme temperatures.

  11. A new species of Rhabdias Stiles et Hassall, 1905 (Nematoda: Rhabdiasidae) from Blommersia domerguei (Guibé) (Amphibia: Mantellidae) in Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Kuzmin, Yuriy; Junker, Kerstin; du Preez, Louis; Bain, Odile

    2013-11-01

    Rhabdias blommersiae sp. n. (Nematoda: Rhabdiasidae) is described from the lungs of Domergue's Madagascar frog, Blommersia domerguei (Guibé) (Amphibia: Mantellidae), in Madagascar. The new species differs from congeners parasitizing amphibians in having a smaller body and buccal capsule, six equal lips, large excretory glands of unequal length and a posteriorly inflated body vesicle. A combination of characters distinguishes it from Afromalagasy species of Rhabdias Stiles et Hassall, 1905. Rhabdias blommersiae is the third species of the genus described from amphibians in Madagascar. Close similarities in the number and shape of circumoral structures in two Rhabdias species described from mantellid hosts in Madagascar suggest a close relationship and common origin of the two species, with subsequent adaptation to separate hosts within the Mantellidae.

  12. Further classification of skin alkaloids from neotropical poison frogs (Dendrobatidae), with a general survey of toxic/noxious substances in the amphibia.

    PubMed

    Daly, J W; Myers, C W; Whittaker, N

    1987-01-01

    Cutaneous granular glands are a shared character of adult amphibians, including caecilians, and are thought to be the source of most biologically active compounds in amphibian skin. Data are available from one or more species in over 100 of nearly 400 genera comprising the three living orders of Amphibia. Many species contain unidentified substances judged to be noxious based on predator aversion or human taste. Additionally, there is a great diversity of known compounds, some highly toxic as well as noxious, which can be tabulated under four broad categories: biogenic amines, peptides, bufodienolides (bufogenins) and alkaloids. The last category includes alkaloids derived from biogenic amines, water-soluble alkaloids (tetrodotoxins) and lipophilic alkaloids. Most compounds are known only from skin of adult amphibians, but the toxic and noxious properties of eggs and larvae of certain salamanders and toads can be attributed to tetrodotoxins and bufodienolides, which occur also in adult tissues other than skin. Predator aversion and various antipredator behaviors and aposematic colorations clearly prove the defensive value of these diverse metabolites, whether or not they are elaborated primarily (e.g. alkaloids) or secondarily (e.g. some peptides and biogenic amines) for this function. Lipophilic alkaloids include the samandarine alkaloids, known definitely only from an Old World genus of salamanders, and the more than 200 dendrobatid alkaloids. Nearly all the latter are unique to neotropical poison frogs of the genera Dendrobates and Phyllobates (Dendrobatidae), except for seemingly homoplastic occurrences of a few such alkaloids in small brightly colored anurans of several other families. Owing to recent discoveries and new structural information, the dendrobatid alkaloids are here partitioned among the following major and minor classes: batrachotoxins, histrionicotoxins, indolizidines, pumiliotoxin-A class and its allopumiliotoxin and homopumiliotoxin subclasses

  13. Further classification of skin alkaloids from neotropical poison frogs (Dendrobatidae), with a general survey of toxic/noxious substances in the amphibia.

    PubMed

    Daly, J W; Myers, C W; Whittaker, N

    1987-01-01

    Cutaneous granular glands are a shared character of adult amphibians, including caecilians, and are thought to be the source of most biologically active compounds in amphibian skin. Data are available from one or more species in over 100 of nearly 400 genera comprising the three living orders of Amphibia. Many species contain unidentified substances judged to be noxious based on predator aversion or human taste. Additionally, there is a great diversity of known compounds, some highly toxic as well as noxious, which can be tabulated under four broad categories: biogenic amines, peptides, bufodienolides (bufogenins) and alkaloids. The last category includes alkaloids derived from biogenic amines, water-soluble alkaloids (tetrodotoxins) and lipophilic alkaloids. Most compounds are known only from skin of adult amphibians, but the toxic and noxious properties of eggs and larvae of certain salamanders and toads can be attributed to tetrodotoxins and bufodienolides, which occur also in adult tissues other than skin. Predator aversion and various antipredator behaviors and aposematic colorations clearly prove the defensive value of these diverse metabolites, whether or not they are elaborated primarily (e.g. alkaloids) or secondarily (e.g. some peptides and biogenic amines) for this function. Lipophilic alkaloids include the samandarine alkaloids, known definitely only from an Old World genus of salamanders, and the more than 200 dendrobatid alkaloids. Nearly all the latter are unique to neotropical poison frogs of the genera Dendrobates and Phyllobates (Dendrobatidae), except for seemingly homoplastic occurrences of a few such alkaloids in small brightly colored anurans of several other families. Owing to recent discoveries and new structural information, the dendrobatid alkaloids are here partitioned among the following major and minor classes: batrachotoxins, histrionicotoxins, indolizidines, pumiliotoxin-A class and its allopumiliotoxin and homopumiliotoxin subclasses

  14. Evolution of alanine:glyoxylate aminotransferase 1 peroxisomal and mitochondrial targeting. A survey of its subcellular distribution in the livers of various representatives of the classes Mammalia, Aves and Amphibia.

    PubMed

    Danpure, C J; Fryer, P; Jennings, P R; Allsop, J; Griffiths, S; Cunningham, A

    1994-08-01

    As part of a wider study on the molecular evolution of alanine:glyoxylate aminotransferase 1 (AGT1) intracellular compartmentalization, we have determined the subcellular distribution of immunoreactive AGT1, using postembedding protein A-gold immunoelectron microscopy, in the livers of various members of the classes Mammalia, Aves, and Amphibia. As far as organellar distribution is concerned, three categories could be distinguished. In members of the first category (type I), all, or nearly all, of the immunoreactive AGT1 was concentrated within the peroxisomes. In the second category (type II), AGT1 was found more evenly distributed in both peroxisomes and mitochondria. In the third category (type III), AGT1 was localized mainly within the mitochondria with much lower, but widely variable, amounts in the peroxisomes. Type I animals include the human, two great apes (gorilla, orangutan), two Old World monkeys (anubis baboon, Japanese macaque), a New World monkey (white-faced Saki monkey), a lago, morph (European rabbit), a bat (Seba's short-tailed fruit bat), two caviomorph rodents (guinea pig, orange-rumped agouti), and two Australian marsupials (koala, Bennett's wallaby). Type II animals include two New World monkeys (common marmoset, cotton-top tamarin), three prosimians (brown lemur, fat-tailed dwarf lemur, pygmy slow loris), five rodents (a hybrid crested porcupine, Colombian ground squirrel, laboratory rat, laboratory mouse, golden hamster), an American marsupial (grey short-tailed opossum), and a bird (raven). Type III animals include the large tree shrew, three insectivores (common Eurasian mole, European hedgehog, house shrew), four carnivores (domestic cat, ocelot, domestic dog, polecat ferret), and an amphibian (common frog). In addition to these categories, some animals (e.g. guinea pig, common frog) possessed significant amounts of cytosolic AGT1. Whereas the subcellular distribution of AGT1 in some orders (e.g. Insectivora and Carnivora) did not appear

  15. Comparative morphological features of the caecilian inner ear with comments on the evolution of amphibian auditory structures.

    PubMed

    White, J S; Baird, I L

    1982-01-01

    Comparative fine structural studies of amphibian auditory structures in urodeles have been extended to include examination of the papilliform end-organs (amphibian, neglecta and basilar) that variably occur in species selected from three families of caecilians (Gymnophiona). The species investigated were Ichthyophis kohtaoensis (Ichthyophiidae), Dermophis mexicanus (Caeciliidae) and Typhlonectes natans (Typhlonectidae). Ichthyophis is the only form to display all three papillae; both Dermophis and Typhlonectes lack a basilar papilla but all three species show both neglecta and amphibiorum. In these forms, the amphibian papilla contained the most sensory cells with ciliary bundles organized into two proximal and distal groups polarized toward a mid-line papillar axis. The papilla neglecta contained slightly fewer sensory cells and ciliary bundles oriented predominantly posteriorly. In Ichthyophis, the basilar papilla contained the lowest sensory cell counts of any papilla. Here, basilar sensory cilia were unidirectionally polarized away from the saccule. All papillae were overlain by an essentially similar, extracellular tectorial body. When compared to auditory end-organs in the urodeles and anurans, similar conditions in caecilians are suggestive of a common ancestry for the basilar and amphibian papillae; features of the amphibiorum indicate further that it may represent part of a "displaced" papilla neglecta.

  16. Comparative morphological features of the caecilian inner ear with comments on the evolution of amphibian auditory structures.

    PubMed

    White, J S; Baird, I L

    1982-01-01

    Comparative fine structural studies of amphibian auditory structures in urodeles have been extended to include examination of the papilliform end-organs (amphibian, neglecta and basilar) that variably occur in species selected from three families of caecilians (Gymnophiona). The species investigated were Ichthyophis kohtaoensis (Ichthyophiidae), Dermophis mexicanus (Caeciliidae) and Typhlonectes natans (Typhlonectidae). Ichthyophis is the only form to display all three papillae; both Dermophis and Typhlonectes lack a basilar papilla but all three species show both neglecta and amphibiorum. In these forms, the amphibian papilla contained the most sensory cells with ciliary bundles organized into two proximal and distal groups polarized toward a mid-line papillar axis. The papilla neglecta contained slightly fewer sensory cells and ciliary bundles oriented predominantly posteriorly. In Ichthyophis, the basilar papilla contained the lowest sensory cell counts of any papilla. Here, basilar sensory cilia were unidirectionally polarized away from the saccule. All papillae were overlain by an essentially similar, extracellular tectorial body. When compared to auditory end-organs in the urodeles and anurans, similar conditions in caecilians are suggestive of a common ancestry for the basilar and amphibian papillae; features of the amphibiorum indicate further that it may represent part of a "displaced" papilla neglecta. PMID:7185152

  17. Chromosome evolution in dendropsophini (Amphibia, Anura, Hylinae).

    PubMed

    Suárez, P; Cardozo, D; Baldo, D; Pereyra, M O; Faivovich, J; Orrico, V G D; Catroli, G F; Grabiele, M; Bernarde, P S; Nagamachi, C Y; Haddad, C F B; Pieczarka, J C

    2013-01-01

    Dendropsophini is the most species-rich tribe within Hylidae with 234 described species. Although cytogenetic information is sparse, chromosome numbers and morphology have been considered as an important character system for systematic inferences in this group. Using a diversity of standard and molecular techniques, we describe the previously unknown karyotypes of the genera Xenohyla, Scarthyla and Sphaenorhynchus and provide new information on Dendropsophus and Lysapsus. Our results reveal significant karyotype diversity among Dendropsophini, with diploid chromosome numbers ranging from 2n = 22 in S. goinorum, 2n = 24 in Lysapsus, Scinax, Xenohyla, and almost all species of Sphaenorhynchus and Pseudis, 2n = 26 in S. carneus, 2n = 28 in P. cardosoi, to 2n = 30 in all known Dendropsophus species. Although nucleolar organizer regions (NORs) and C-banding patterns show a high degree of variability, NOR positions in 2n = 22, 24 and 28 karyotypes and C-banding patterns in Lysapsus and Pseudis are informative cytological markers. Interstitial telomeric sequences reveal a diploid number reduction from 24 to 22 in Scarthyla by a chromosome fusion event. The diploid number of X. truncata corroborates the character state of 2n = 30 as a synapomorphy of Dendropsophus. PMID:24107475

  18. The phylogenetic problem of Huia (Amphibia: Ranidae).

    PubMed

    Stuart, Bryan L

    2008-01-01

    A taxonomic consensus for the diverse and pan-global frog family Ranidae is lacking. A recently proposed classification of living amphibians [Frost, D.R., Grant, T., Faivovich, J., Bain, R. H., Haas, A., Haddad, C.F.B., de Sá, R.O., Channing, A., Wilkinson, M., Donnellan, S.C., Raxworthy, C.J., Campbell, J.A., Blotto, B.L., Moler, P., Drewes, R.C., Nussbaum, R.A., Lynch, J.D., Green, D.M., Wheeler, W.C., 2006. The amphibian tree of life. B. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 297, 1-370] included expansion of the Southeast Asian ranid frog genus Huia from seven to 47 species, but without having studied the type species of Huia. This study tested the monophyly of this concept of Huia by sampling the type species and putative members of Huia. Molecular phylogenetic analyses consistently recovered the type species H. cavitympanum as the sister taxon to other Bornean-endemic species in the genus Meristogenys, rendering all previously published concepts of Huia as polyphyletic. Members of Huia sensu [Frost, D.R., Grant, T., Faivovich, J., Bain, R. H., Haas, A., Haddad, C.F.B., de Sá, R.O., Channing, A., Wilkinson, M., Donnellan, S.C., Raxworthy, C.J., Campbell, J.A., Blotto, B.L., Moler, P., Drewes, R.C., Nussbaum, R.A., Lynch, J.D., Green, D.M., Wheeler, W.C., 2006. The amphibian tree of life. B. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 297, 1-370.] appear in four places within the family Ranidae. A clade containing the type species of Odorrana is phylogenetically unrelated to the type species of Huia, and Odorrana is removed from synonymy with Huia. These findings underscore the need to include relevant type species in phylogenetic studies before proposing sweeping taxonomic changes. The molecular phylogenetic analyses revealed a high degree of homoplasy in larval and adult morphology of Asian ranid frogs. Detailed studies are needed to identify morphological synapomorphies that unite members in these major clades of ranid frogs.

  19. Cranial kinesis in the amphibia: a review.

    PubMed

    Iordanskiĭ, N N

    2000-01-01

    All extant orders of amphibians are characterized by kinetic skulls. Main type of intracranial movability in amphibians is pleurokinetism, that is supplemented in different amphibian groups by various types of rhyncho- and prokinetism. The most primitive pattern of cranial kinesis is revealed in the stegocrotaphic gymnophions. More paedomorphic species retain general cranial flexibility that is characteristic of larval skull. That is unfavourable for evolution of well-regulated (adult) cranial kinesis and related feeding adaptations. Kinetism is also reduced in the species with heavily ossified skulls. Adaptive role and evolution of cranial kinesis in amphibians are discussed.

  20. Ontogenetic differences in the feeding biomechanics of oviparous and viviparous caecilians (Lissamphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Kleinteich, Thomas

    2010-10-01

    Caecilians have a unique dual jaw-closing system in that jaw closure is driven by the ancestral jaw-closing muscles (mm. levatores mandibulae) plus a secondarily recruited hyobranchial muscle (m. interhyoideus posterior). There is a variety of feeding habits (suction feeding, skin feeding, intrauterine scraping, and biting) during ontogeny that relate to reproductive modes in different caecilian species. This study examines the cranial biomechanics of caecilians in the suction-feeding larva of Ichthyophis cf. kohtaoensis, in the embryo and juvenile of the skin-feeding Boulengerula taitana, and in a newborn of the intrauterine feeder Typhlonectes natans. A lever arm model was applied to calculate effective mechanical advantages of jaw-closing muscles over gape angles and to predict total bite force in developing caecilians. In I. cf. kohtaoensis, Notable differences were found in the larval jaw-closing system compared to that of the adult. The suction-feeding larva of I. cf. kohtaoensis has comparatively large mm. levatores mandibulae that insert with an acute muscle fiber angle to the lower jaw and a m. interhyoideus posterior that has its optimal leverage at small gape angles. Conversely, the skin-feeding juvenile of B. taitana and the neonate T. natans are very similar in the feeding parameters considered herein compared to adult caecilians. Some ontogenetic variation in the feeding system of B. taitana before the onset of feeding was present. This study contributes to our understanding of the functional demands that feeding habits put on the development of cranial structures.

  1. The braincase of Eocaecilia micropodia (Lissamphibia, Gymnophiona) and the origin of Caecilians.

    PubMed

    Maddin, Hillary C; Jenkins, Farish A; Anderson, Jason S

    2012-01-01

    The scant fossil record of caecilians has obscured the origin and evolution of this lissamphibian group. Eocaecilia micropodia from the Lower Jurassic of North America remains the only stem-group caecilian with an almost complete skull preserved. However, this taxon has been controversial, engendering re-evaluation of traits considered to be plesiomorphic for extant caecilians. Both the validity of the placement of E. micropodia as a stem caecilian and estimates of the plesiomorphic condition of extant caecilians have been questioned. In order to address these issues, the braincase of E. micropodia was examined via micro-computed tomography. The braincase is considered to be a more reliable phylogenetic indicator than peripheral regions of the skull. These data reveal significant new information, including the possession of an ossified nasal septum, ossified anterior wall of the sphenethmoid, long anterolateral processes on the sphenethmoid, and paired olfactory nerve foramina, which are known only to occur in extant caecilians; the latter are possibly related to the evolution of the tentacle, a caecilian autapomorphy. A phylogenetic analysis that included 64 non-amniote taxa and 308 characters represents the first extensive test of the phylogenetic affinities of E. micropodia. The results place E. micropodia securely on the stem of extant caecilians, representing a clade within Temnospondyli that is the sister taxon to batrachians plus Gerobatrachus. Ancestral character state reconstruction confirms the braincase of E. micropodia to be largely representative of the plesiomorphic condition of extant caecilians. Additionally, the results refine the context within which the evolution of the caecilian form can be evaluated. The robust construction and pattern of the dermal skull of E. micropodia is interpreted as symplesiomorphic with advanced dissorophoid temnospondyls, rather than being autapomorphic in its robust construction. Together these data increase confidence in incorporating E. micropodia into discussions of caecilian evolution.

  2. The Braincase of Eocaecilia micropodia (Lissamphibia, Gymnophiona) and the Origin of Caecilians

    PubMed Central

    Maddin, Hillary C.; Jenkins, Farish A.; Anderson, Jason S.

    2012-01-01

    The scant fossil record of caecilians has obscured the origin and evolution of this lissamphibian group. Eocaecilia micropodia from the Lower Jurassic of North America remains the only stem-group caecilian with an almost complete skull preserved. However, this taxon has been controversial, engendering re-evaluation of traits considered to be plesiomorphic for extant caecilians. Both the validity of the placement of E. micropodia as a stem caecilian and estimates of the plesiomorphic condition of extant caecilians have been questioned. In order to address these issues, the braincase of E. micropodia was examined via micro-computed tomography. The braincase is considered to be a more reliable phylogenetic indicator than peripheral regions of the skull. These data reveal significant new information, including the possession of an ossified nasal septum, ossified anterior wall of the sphenethmoid, long anterolateral processes on the sphenethmoid, and paired olfactory nerve foramina, which are known only to occur in extant caecilians; the latter are possibly related to the evolution of the tentacle, a caecilian autapomorphy. A phylogenetic analysis that included 64 non-amniote taxa and 308 characters represents the first extensive test of the phylogenetic affinities of E. micropodia. The results place E. micropodia securely on the stem of extant caecilians, representing a clade within Temnospondyli that is the sister taxon to batrachians plus Gerobatrachus. Ancestral character state reconstruction confirms the braincase of E. micropodia to be largely representative of the plesiomorphic condition of extant caecilians. Additionally, the results refine the context within which the evolution of the caecilian form can be evaluated. The robust construction and pattern of the dermal skull of E. micropodia is interpreted as symplesiomorphic with advanced dissorophoid temnospondyls, rather than being autapomorphic in its robust construction. Together these data increase confidence in incorporating E. micropodia into discussions of caecilian evolution. PMID:23227204

  3. The braincase of Eocaecilia micropodia (Lissamphibia, Gymnophiona) and the origin of Caecilians.

    PubMed

    Maddin, Hillary C; Jenkins, Farish A; Anderson, Jason S

    2012-01-01

    The scant fossil record of caecilians has obscured the origin and evolution of this lissamphibian group. Eocaecilia micropodia from the Lower Jurassic of North America remains the only stem-group caecilian with an almost complete skull preserved. However, this taxon has been controversial, engendering re-evaluation of traits considered to be plesiomorphic for extant caecilians. Both the validity of the placement of E. micropodia as a stem caecilian and estimates of the plesiomorphic condition of extant caecilians have been questioned. In order to address these issues, the braincase of E. micropodia was examined via micro-computed tomography. The braincase is considered to be a more reliable phylogenetic indicator than peripheral regions of the skull. These data reveal significant new information, including the possession of an ossified nasal septum, ossified anterior wall of the sphenethmoid, long anterolateral processes on the sphenethmoid, and paired olfactory nerve foramina, which are known only to occur in extant caecilians; the latter are possibly related to the evolution of the tentacle, a caecilian autapomorphy. A phylogenetic analysis that included 64 non-amniote taxa and 308 characters represents the first extensive test of the phylogenetic affinities of E. micropodia. The results place E. micropodia securely on the stem of extant caecilians, representing a clade within Temnospondyli that is the sister taxon to batrachians plus Gerobatrachus. Ancestral character state reconstruction confirms the braincase of E. micropodia to be largely representative of the plesiomorphic condition of extant caecilians. Additionally, the results refine the context within which the evolution of the caecilian form can be evaluated. The robust construction and pattern of the dermal skull of E. micropodia is interpreted as symplesiomorphic with advanced dissorophoid temnospondyls, rather than being autapomorphic in its robust construction. Together these data increase confidence in incorporating E. micropodia into discussions of caecilian evolution. PMID:23227204

  4. Ontogenetic differences in the feeding biomechanics of oviparous and viviparous caecilians (Lissamphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Kleinteich, Thomas

    2010-10-01

    Caecilians have a unique dual jaw-closing system in that jaw closure is driven by the ancestral jaw-closing muscles (mm. levatores mandibulae) plus a secondarily recruited hyobranchial muscle (m. interhyoideus posterior). There is a variety of feeding habits (suction feeding, skin feeding, intrauterine scraping, and biting) during ontogeny that relate to reproductive modes in different caecilian species. This study examines the cranial biomechanics of caecilians in the suction-feeding larva of Ichthyophis cf. kohtaoensis, in the embryo and juvenile of the skin-feeding Boulengerula taitana, and in a newborn of the intrauterine feeder Typhlonectes natans. A lever arm model was applied to calculate effective mechanical advantages of jaw-closing muscles over gape angles and to predict total bite force in developing caecilians. In I. cf. kohtaoensis, Notable differences were found in the larval jaw-closing system compared to that of the adult. The suction-feeding larva of I. cf. kohtaoensis has comparatively large mm. levatores mandibulae that insert with an acute muscle fiber angle to the lower jaw and a m. interhyoideus posterior that has its optimal leverage at small gape angles. Conversely, the skin-feeding juvenile of B. taitana and the neonate T. natans are very similar in the feeding parameters considered herein compared to adult caecilians. Some ontogenetic variation in the feeding system of B. taitana before the onset of feeding was present. This study contributes to our understanding of the functional demands that feeding habits put on the development of cranial structures. PMID:20952171

  5. Chromosome Banding in Amphibia. XXXII. The Genus Xenopus (Anura, Pipidae).

    PubMed

    Schmid, Michael; Steinlein, Claus

    2015-01-01

    Mitotic chromosomes of 16 species of the frog genus Xenopus were prepared from kidney and lung cell cultures. In the chromosomes of 7 species, high-resolution replication banding patterns could be induced by treating the cultures with 5-bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) and deoxythymidine (dT) in succession, and in 6 of these species the BrdU/dT-banded chromosomes could be arranged into karyotypes. In the 3 species of the clade with 2n = 20 and 4n = 40 chromosomes (X. tropicalis, X. epitropicalis, X. new tetraploid 1), as well as in the 3 species with 4n = 36 chromosomes (X. laevis, X. borealis, X. muelleri), the BrdU/dT-banded karyotypes show a high degree of homoeology, though differences were detected between these groups. Translocations, inversions, insertions or sex-specific replication bands were not observed. Minor replication asynchronies found between chromosomes probably involve heterochromatic regions. BrdU/dT replication banding of Xenopus chromosomes provides the landmarks necessary for the exact physical mapping of genes and repetitive sequences. FISH with an X. laevis 5S rDNA probe detected multiple hybridization sites at or near the long-arm telomeric regions in most chromosomes of X. laevis and X. borealis, whereas in X. muelleri, the 5S rDNA sequences are located exclusively at the long-arm telomeres of a single chromosome pair. Staining with the AT base pair-specific fluorochrome quinacrine mustard revealed brightly fluorescing heterochromatic regions in the majority of X. borealis chromosomes which are absent in other Xenopus species. PMID:26112092

  6. The complete mitochondrial genome sequence of Tylototriton taliangensis (Amphibia: Caudata).

    PubMed

    Jiang, Ye; Li, Ziyuan; Liu, Jiabin; Li, Yan; Ni, Qingyong; Yao, Yongfang; Xu, Huailiang; Li, Ying; Zhang, Mingwang

    2016-07-01

    Tylototriton taliangensis was listed as a Near Threatened amphibian in IUCN red list. In this study, we sequenced the complete mitochondrial (mt) genome of this species (GenBank: KP979646) and found it contains 16,265 base pairs, which encode 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 22 transfer RNA genes (tRNA), 2 ribosomal RNA genes (rRNA) and 1 control region (CR). We also found that almost all PCGs and tRNA genes are located on the H-strand, except for ND6 subunit gene and eight tRNA genes, which were distributed on the L-strand. The PCGs used "ATG" and "GTG" as the start codon, while used four types of stop codons. Almost all tRNA genes were folded into typical cloverleaf secondary structures. The L-strand replication origin (OL) and a non-coding region were also found. The new mitogenomic phylogenetic tree confirms the reciprocally monophyly of the genus Tylototriton, Echinotriton and Pleurodeles with high bootstrap value. The present study will provide information for future studies on the conservation genetics and phylogeny of this species and its relatives. PMID:26024138

  7. Phylogenetics, classification, and biogeography of the treefrogs (Amphibia: Anura: Arboranae).

    PubMed

    Duellman, William E; Marion, Angela B; Hedges, S Blair

    2016-01-01

    A phylogenetic analysis of sequences from 503 species of hylid frogs and four outgroup taxa resulted in 16,128 aligned sites of 19 genes. The molecular data were subjected to a maximum likelihood analysis that resulted in a new phylogenetic tree of treefrogs. A conservative new classification based on the tree has (1) three families composing an unranked taxon, Arboranae, (2) nine subfamilies (five resurrected, one new), and (3) six resurrected generic names and five new generic names. Using the results of a maximum likelihood timetree, times of divergence were determined. For the most part these times of divergence correlated well with historical geologic events. The arboranan frogs originated in South America in the Late Mesozoic or Early Cenozoic. The family Pelodryadidae diverged from its South American relative, Phyllomedusidae, in the Eocene and invaded Australia via Antarctica. There were two dispersals from South America to North America in the Paleogene. One lineage was the ancestral stock of Acris and its relatives, whereas the other lineage, subfamily Hylinae, differentiated into a myriad of genera in Middle America. PMID:27394762

  8. The tadpole of Dendropsophus branneri (Cochran, 1948) (Amphibia, Anura, Hylidae).

    PubMed

    De Abreu, Rafael Oliveira; Juncá, Flora Acuña; Souza, Isana Carla Amorim; Napoli, Marcelo Felgueiras

    2015-01-01

    Dendropsophus branneri is a small treefrog largely distributed throughout the Tropical Atlantic and Caatinga morphoclimatic domains (see Ab'Sáber 1977 for morphoclimatic domains), from northeastern to southeastern Brazil [Lutz 1973, Frost 2014; see Zina et al. 2014 for taxonomic comments on D. minusculus (Rivero, 1971) and D. branneri]. This species is currently placed in the D. microcephalus species group according to Bastos & Pombal (1996) and Faivovich et al. (2005). The D. microcephalus group comprises 36 species (Frost 2014), 14 of which have known tadpoles. Here, we describe the external morphology and color patterns of the previously unknown tadpole of D. branneri. PMID:25947693

  9. Spermatogenic cycle of a plethodontid salamander, Eurycea longicauda (Amphibia, Urodela)

    PubMed Central

    Siegel, Dustin S; Alvino, Sam; Trauth, Stanley E; Sever, David M; Gribbins, Kevin M

    2014-01-01

    Previous investigators have described the spermatogenic cycles of numerous species of plethodontid salamanders. Most studies describe a fairly stereotypical cycle with meiotic divisions of spermatogenesis commencing in the spring/summer. However, many studies lack details obtainable from histological examination and/or testicular squashes and, instead, provide only mensural data from the testes. Studies that lacked microscopic evaluation often revealed spermatogenic cycles that varied greatly from that of the stereotypical cycle with meiotic divisions commencing in the fall/winter. Those studies hamper comparisons between the spermatogenic cycles of different species and their environments, as they do not provide a correlation between testicular size and any aspect of the spermatogenic cycle. In the following manuscript, we elucidate the spermatogenic cycle of Eurycea longicauda longicauda in an effort to outline an appropriate protocol for analyzing spermatogenesis in salamanders that will facilitate future comparative studies. Like many Nearctic plethodontids, E. l. longicauda exhibits a meiotic wave that travels through the testes during the summer; this process is followed by spermiogenesis, spermiation, and recrudescence in the fall, winter, and spring. PMID:26413402

  10. A new species of Amolops from Thailand (Amphibia, Anura, Ranidae).

    PubMed

    Matsui, Masafumi; Nabhitabhata, Jarujin

    2006-08-01

    We describe a new species of torrent-dwelling ranid frog of the genus Amolops from western to peninsular Thailand. Amolops panhai, new species, differs from its congeners by the combination of: small body, males 31-34 mm, females 48-58 mm in snout-vent length; head narrower than long; tympanum distinct; vomerine teeth in short, oblique patches; first finger subequal to second; disc of first finger smaller than that of second, with circummarginal groove; no wide fringe of skin on third finger; toes fully webbed; outer metatarsal tubercle present; supratympanic fold present; dorsolateral fold indistinct; axillary gland present; horny spines on back, side of head and body, and chest absent; large tubercles on side of anus absent; glandular fold on ventral surface of tarsus absent; nuptial pad and paired gular pouches present in male; white band along the upper jaw extending to shoulder absent; larval dental formula 7(4-7)/3(1). This new species is the second anuran discovered which has a disjunct distribution around the Isthmus of Kra.

  11. A new species of Odorrana (Amphibia: Anura: Ranidae) from Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Pham, Cuong The; Nguyen, Truong Quang; Le, Minh Duc; Bonkowski, Michael; Ziegler, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    A new species of Odorrana is described from the karst forests in northeastern Vietnam based on morphological differences and molecular divergence. Morphologically, the new species is distinguishable from its congeners on the basis of a combination of the following diagnostic characters: (1) size large (SVL 85.9-91.6 mm in males, 108.7-110.1 mm in females); (2) head longer than wide; (3) vomerine teeth present; (4) external vocal sacs absent; (5) snout short (SL/SVL 0.16-0.17); (6) tympanum large (TD/ED 0.70 in males, 0.68 in females); (7) dorsal surface of head and anterior part of body smooth, posterior part of body and flanks with small tubercles; (8) supratympanic fold present; (9) dorsolateral fold absent; (10) webbing formula I0-0II0-0III0-1/2IV1/2-0V; (11) in life, dorsum green with dark brown spots; (12) flanks greyish brown with dark brown spots; (13) throat and chest grey, underside of limbs with large dark brown spots, edged in white, forming a network. In the phylogenetic analyses, the new species is unambiguously nested within the O. andersonii group, and placed as the sister taxon to O. wuchuanensis. PMID:27394273

  12. A new species of Odorrana (Amphibia: Anura: Ranidae) from Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Pham, Cuong The; Nguyen, Truong Quang; Le, Minh Duc; Bonkowski, Michael; Ziegler, Thomas

    2016-02-26

    A new species of Odorrana is described from the karst forests in northeastern Vietnam based on morphological differences and molecular divergence. Morphologically, the new species is distinguishable from its congeners on the basis of a combination of the following diagnostic characters: (1) size large (SVL 85.9-91.6 mm in males, 108.7-110.1 mm in females); (2) head longer than wide; (3) vomerine teeth present; (4) external vocal sacs absent; (5) snout short (SL/SVL 0.16-0.17); (6) tympanum large (TD/ED 0.70 in males, 0.68 in females); (7) dorsal surface of head and anterior part of body smooth, posterior part of body and flanks with small tubercles; (8) supratympanic fold present; (9) dorsolateral fold absent; (10) webbing formula I0-0II0-0III0-1/2IV1/2-0V; (11) in life, dorsum green with dark brown spots; (12) flanks greyish brown with dark brown spots; (13) throat and chest grey, underside of limbs with large dark brown spots, edged in white, forming a network. In the phylogenetic analyses, the new species is unambiguously nested within the O. andersonii group, and placed as the sister taxon to O. wuchuanensis.

  13. Ossification sequence heterochrony among amphibians.

    PubMed

    Harrington, Sean M; Harrison, Luke B; Sheil, Christopher A

    2013-01-01

    Heterochrony is an important mechanism in the evolution of amphibians. Although studies have centered on the relationship between size and shape and the rates of development, ossification sequence heterochrony also may have been important. Rigorous, phylogenetic methods for assessing sequence heterochrony are relatively new, and a comprehensive study of the relative timing of ossification of skeletal elements has not been used to identify instances of sequence heterochrony across Amphibia. In this study, a new version of the program Parsimov-based genetic inference (PGi) was used to identify shifts in ossification sequences across all extant orders of amphibians, for all major structural units of the skeleton. PGi identified a number of heterochronic sequence shifts in all analyses, the most interesting of which seem to be tied to differences in metamorphic patterns among major clades. Early ossification of the vomer, premaxilla, and dentary is retained by Apateon caducus and members of Gymnophiona and Urodela, which lack the strongly biphasic development seen in anurans. In contrast, bones associated with the jaws and face were identified as shifting late in the ancestor of Anura. The bones that do not shift late, and thereby occupy the earliest positions in the anuran cranial sequence, are those in regions of the skull that undergo the least restructuring throughout anuran metamorphosis. Additionally, within Anura, bones of the hind limb and pelvic girdle were also identified as shifting early in the sequence of ossification, which may be a result of functional constraints imposed by the drastic metamorphosis of most anurans.

  14. The development and replacement of teeth in viviparous caecilians.

    PubMed

    Wake, M H

    1976-01-01

    Tooth development and replacement in fetal and adult viviparous caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona) are described and analyzed according to current theories of tooth succession. The fetal dentition differs from that of the adult in morphology, position, and function. Teeth are used by fetuses to scrape the oviducal epithelium, thus stimulating the secretion of a nutrient substance. Fetal dentitions vary in morphology and position in different species. The ontogeny of teeth of several species is described and the patterns of addition of loci and of replacement are analyzed. Loci are added both posteriorly along the jaw and between existing loci as the jaw grows prior to ossification; subsequently addition is restricted to the posterior part of the jaw. Tooth replacement is alternate. The several rows and patches of teeth are the result of retention of replacement series on the dentigerous elements. Tooth development and replacement in a series of juveniles and adults of different sizes in a single species are also considered. Post-fetal patterns of development and replacement are similar to those seen in larvae and adults of oviparous species. Variation in numbers of teeth and proportions of teeth at particular stages occurs ontogenetically and among individuals of the same size, though proportions occur in a similar pattern throughout the series. The general pattern of tooth replacement in fetuses and adults can be explained by either Edmund's Zahnreihen theory or by Osborn's Tooth Family theory, but replacement in fetal tooth patches and the fetal-adult dentitional transition are explained by neither.

  15. The development and replacement of teeth in viviparous caecilians.

    PubMed

    Wake, M H

    1976-01-01

    Tooth development and replacement in fetal and adult viviparous caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona) are described and analyzed according to current theories of tooth succession. The fetal dentition differs from that of the adult in morphology, position, and function. Teeth are used by fetuses to scrape the oviducal epithelium, thus stimulating the secretion of a nutrient substance. Fetal dentitions vary in morphology and position in different species. The ontogeny of teeth of several species is described and the patterns of addition of loci and of replacement are analyzed. Loci are added both posteriorly along the jaw and between existing loci as the jaw grows prior to ossification; subsequently addition is restricted to the posterior part of the jaw. Tooth replacement is alternate. The several rows and patches of teeth are the result of retention of replacement series on the dentigerous elements. Tooth development and replacement in a series of juveniles and adults of different sizes in a single species are also considered. Post-fetal patterns of development and replacement are similar to those seen in larvae and adults of oviparous species. Variation in numbers of teeth and proportions of teeth at particular stages occurs ontogenetically and among individuals of the same size, though proportions occur in a similar pattern throughout the series. The general pattern of tooth replacement in fetuses and adults can be explained by either Edmund's Zahnreihen theory or by Osborn's Tooth Family theory, but replacement in fetal tooth patches and the fetal-adult dentitional transition are explained by neither. PMID:1246080

  16. Population Genetics of the São Tomé Caecilian (Gymnophiona: Dermophiidae: Schistometopum thomense) Reveals Strong Geographic Structuring

    PubMed Central

    Stoelting, Ricka E.; Measey, G. John; Drewes, Robert C.

    2014-01-01

    Islands provide exciting opportunities for exploring ecological and evolutionary mechanisms. The oceanic island of São Tomé in the Gulf of Guinea exhibits high diversity of fauna including the endemic caecilian amphibian, Schistometopum thomense. Variation in pigmentation, morphology and size of this taxon over its c. 45 km island range is extreme, motivating a number of taxonomic, ecological, and evolutionary hypotheses to explain the observed diversity. We conducted a population genetic study of S. thomense using partial sequences of two mitochondrial DNA genes (ND4 and 16S), together with morphological examination, to address competing hypotheses of taxonomic or clinal variation. Using Bayesian phylogenetic analysis and Spatial Analysis of Molecular Variance, we found evidence of four geographic clades, whose range and approximated age (c. 253 Kya – 27 Kya) are consistent with the spread and age of recent volcanic flows. These clades explained 90% of variation in ND4 (φCT = 0.892), and diverged by 4.3% minimum pairwise distance at the deepest node. Most notably, using Mismatch Distributions and Mantel Tests, we identified a zone of population admixture that dissected the island. In the northern clade, we found evidence of recent population expansion (Fu's Fs = −13.08 and Tajima's D = −1.80) and limited dispersal (Mantel correlation coefficient = 0.36, p = 0.01). Color assignment to clades was not absolute. Paired with multinomial regression of chromatic data, our analyses suggested that the genetic groups and a latitudinal gradient together describe variation in color of S. thomense. We propose that volcanism and limited dispersal ability are the likely proximal causes of the observed genetic structure. This is the first population genetic study of any caecilian and demonstrates that these animals have deep genetic divisions over very small areas in accordance with previous speculations of low dispersal abilities. PMID:25171066

  17. Meteterakis saotomensis n. sp. (Nematoda: Heterakidae) from Schistometopum thomense (Bocage) (Gymnophiona: Dermophiidae) on São Tomé Island.

    PubMed

    Junker, Kerstin; Mariaux, Jean; Measey, G John; Mutafchiev, Yasen

    2015-10-01

    Meteterakis saotomensis n. sp. is described from Schistometopum thomense (Bocage), a gymnophionan endemic to the oceanic island of São Tomé in the Gulf of Guinea. The specimens were assigned to Meteterakis Karve, 1930, based on the possession of a head with three rounded lips, not set-off from the body, the absence of interlabia and cordons, females with a long vagina and males with a preanal sucker, surrounded by a cuticularised rim and caudal alae that are supported by fleshy papillae. The new species is characterised by: body length 4.2-4.5 mm (males) and 5.1-6.4 mm (females); total length of oesophagus, including pharyngeal portion and oesophageal bulb, 820-856 µm (males) and 898-1,070 µm (females); length of pharynx 57-58 µm (males) and 65-68 µm (females); spicules equal, 410-521 µm long, with tessellated ornamentation throughout their length and alae, and with bevelled tip; gubernaculum or 'gubernacular mass' absent; tail length 164-176 µm (males) and 214-239 µm (females), with elongated tip; vulva at 2.3-2.8 mm from anterior end, with anterior lip forming small flap. This is the second species of Meteterakis reported from gymnophionan hosts and the first from the Afrotropical region. Selected comparative morphological data for Meteterakis spp. are presented, and data on host range and geographic distribution are updated. The name M. striaturus Oshmarin & Demshin, 1972 is corrected to M. striatura to reflect the female gender of the genus name.

  18. Oviduct structure and function and reproductive modes in amphibians.

    PubMed

    Wake, M H; Dickie, R

    The structure and function of the oviducts of members of the three Orders of the Class Amphibia (Anura, frogs and toads; Urodela, salamanders and newts; Gymnophiona, caecilians) are well described for only a few species. Further, the majority of such descriptions relate only to temperate species that breed in water, lay their eggs there, and have free-living larvae, the presumed ancestral condition of oviparity. Many species of amphibians have derived reproductive modes. Such modes include breeding terrestrially and arboreally, making foam nests, parental transport of eggs and/or tadpoles, direct development (copulating on land, laying the eggs in terrestrial sites, fully metamorphosed juveniles hatching, obviating the free-living larval stage). Other derived modes are ovoviviparity (developing embryos retained in the oviducts, born at a diversity stages of development, no maternal nutrition in addition to yolk) and viviparity (oviductal retention of developing young, maternal nutrition after yolk is resorbed, young born as fully metamorphosed juveniles). The amphibian oviduct is regionally differentiated to secrete varying numbers of layers of material around each egg, which function in fertilization, etc.; it is responsive to endocrine output and environmental mediation during the reproductive cycle; and it maintains developing embryos in some members of all three orders, some with oviductal epithelial secretion of nutrients. However, little is known of the structure-function relationships of the oviduct in species with derived reproductive modes. A comparison of oviduct morphology, function, endocrinology, ecology and phylogeny in amphibians with diverse reproductive modes suggests a number of highly productive avenues of investigation. PMID:9803536

  19. A new species of Telmatobius (Amphibia, Anura, Telmatobiidae) from the Pacific slopes of the Andes, Peru.

    PubMed

    Catenazzi, Alessandro; García, Víctor Vargas; Lehr, Edgar

    2015-01-01

    We describe a new species of Telmatobius from the Pacific slopes of the Andes in central Peru. Specimens were collected at 3900 m elevation near Huaytará, Huancavelica, in the upper drainage of the Pisco river. The new species has a snout-vent length of 52.5 ± 1.1 mm (49.3-55.7 mm, n = 6) in adult females, and 48.5 mm in the single adult male. The new species has bright yellow and orange coloration ventrally and is readily distinguished from all other central Peruvian Andean species of Telmatobius but Telmatobiusintermedius by having vomerine teeth but lacking premaxillary and maxillary teeth, and by its slender body shape and long legs. The new species differs from Telmatobiusintermedius by its larger size, flatter head, and the absence of cutaneous keratinized spicules (present even in immature females of Telmatobiusintermedius), and in males by the presence of minute, densely packed nuptial spines on dorsal and medial surfaces of thumbs (large, sparsely packed nuptial spines in Telmatobiusintermedius). The hyper-arid coastal valleys of Peru generally support low species richness, particularly for groups such as aquatic breeding amphibians. The discovery of a new species in this environment, and along a major highway crossing the Andes, shows that much remains to be done to document amphibian diversity in Peru.

  20. A new Leptolalax from the mountains of Sabah, Borneo (Amphibia, Anura, Megophryidae).

    PubMed

    Matsui, Masafumi; Nishikawa, Kanto; Yambun, Paul

    2014-01-01

    A new species of Leptolalax is described from Kinabalu National Park in western Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. The new species had been assigned to L. dringi, L. gracilis, or L. fritinniens in the past. It differs from all congeners, including these species, by a unique combination of morphological characters, including small body size, rounded snout, narrower interorbital than upper eyelid, basal toe webbing, smooth skin with tiny tubercles on dorsum and dorsal side of head, small pectoral glands, absence of supraaxillary glands and ventrolateral glandular ridges, spotted venter, advertisement call consisting of long series of 1-149 notes, each composed of three or four pulses, and dominant frequency at 6.90-7.35 kHz, without prominent frequency modulation.

  1. A new montane species of Philautus (Amphibia: Anura: Rhacophoridae) from western Sarawak, Malaysia, Borneo.

    PubMed

    Dehling, J Maximilian; Dehling, Matthias

    2013-01-01

    A new species of Philautus is described from western Sarawak. The new species was collected in lower montane forest in two national parks in Sarawak and recorded from another park. It differs from its congeners by a unique combination of morphological characters, including a long, acuminate snout, long legs, and comparatively extensive toe webbing. The advertisement call of the new species differs from all calls of other species that have been analyzed so far. Comparison of the mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene sequence corroborates its distinct specific status.

  2. Description of a new species of crested newt, previously subsumed in Triturus ivanbureschi (Amphibia: Caudata: Salamandridae).

    PubMed

    Wielstra, B; Arntzen, J W

    2016-01-01

    Multilocus molecular data play a pivotal role in diagnosing cryptic species (i.e. genetically distinct but morphologically similar species). A multilocus phylogeographic survey has provided compelling evidence that Triturus ivanbureschi sensu lato comprises two distinct gene pools with restricted gene flow. We conclude that this taxon had better be treated as two distinct (albeit morphologically cryptic) species. The name T. ivanbureschi should be restricted to the western species, which is distributed in western Asiatic Turkey plus the south-eastern Balkan Peninsula. No name is as yet available for the eastern species, which is distributed in northern Asiatic Turkey. We propose the name T. anatolicus sp. nov. for the eastern species and provide a formal species description. PMID:27394852

  3. Histological changes, apoptosis and metallothionein levels in Triturus carnifex (Amphibia, Urodela) exposed to environmental cadmium concentrations.

    PubMed

    Capaldo, Anna; Gay, Flaminia; Scudiero, Rosaria; Trinchella, Francesca; Caputo, Ivana; Lepretti, Marilena; Marabotti, Anna; Esposito, Carla; Laforgia, Vincenza

    2016-04-01

    The aim of this study was to verify if the freshwater safety values established from the European Community (1998) and the Italian Ministry of Health (2001) for cadmium (44.5nM/L in drinking water and 178nM/L in sewage waters) were safe for amphibians, since at these same concentrations cadmium induced endocrine disruption in the newt Triturus carnifex. Adult male specimens of T. carnifex were exposed daily to cadmium (44.5nM/L and 178nM/L as CdCl2, nominal concentrations), respectively, during 3- and 9-months; at the same time, control newts were exposed to tap water only. The accumulation of cadmium in the skin, liver and kidney, the levels of metallothioneins in the skin and the liver, the expression of metallothionein mRNA in the liver, as well as the presence of histological alterations and of apoptosis in the target organs were evaluated. The 9-months exposure induced cadmium accumulation in all the tissues examined; moreover, histological changes were observed in all the tissues examined, irrespective of the dose or the time of exposure. Apoptosis was only detected in the kidney, whereas metallothioneins and metallothionein mRNA did not increase. This study demonstrates that the existing chronic water quality criterion established for cadmium induces in the newt T. carnifex cadmium accumulation and histological alterations in the target organs examined. Together with our previous results, showing that, at these same concentrations, cadmium induced endocrine disruption, the present results suggest that the existing chronic water quality criterion for cadmium appears to be not protective of amphibians. PMID:26851569

  4. The complete mitochondrial genome sequence of Red knobby newt Tylototriton shanjing (Amphibia: Caudata).

    PubMed

    Jiang, Ye; Yang, Mingxian; Han, Fuyao; Li, Yan; Ni, Qingyong; Yao, Yongfang; Xu, Huailiang; Li, Ying; Zhang, Mingwang

    2016-07-01

    The complete mitogenome of Tylototriton shanjing is 16,661 bp in length with GenBank accession number KR154461, which contains 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 22 transfer RNA genes (tRNA), 2 ribosomal RNA genes (rRNA), and 1 control region (CR). The overall base composition of this mitogenome is biased toward AT content at 59.45%. Most of the PCGs and tRNA genes are located on the H-strand, except for ND6 subunit gene and eight tRNA genes, which were distributed on the L-strand. The PCGs used "ATG" and "GTG" as the start codons, while "TAA", "TAG", "AGA", and "T-" are used as stop codons. Almost all tRNA genes were folded into typical cloverleaf secondary structures. The T. shanjing genome had two tandem repeat sequences in the cob-noncoding region. The mitogenomic phylogenetic analyses shows that the genera Echinotriton and Tylototriton were clustered into a strong supported monophyletic clade, which is a sister clade to the genus Pleurodeles, this confirms the previous phylogenetic results. PMID:26065853

  5. Population Genetic Structure of the Endangered Kaiser's Mountain Newt, Neurergus kaiseri (Amphibia: Salamandridae).

    PubMed

    Farasat, Hossein; Akmali, Vahid; Sharifi, Mozafar

    2016-01-01

    Species often exhibit different levels of genetic structuring correlated to their environment. However, understanding how environmental heterogeneity influences genetic variation is difficult because the effects of gene flow, drift and selection are confounded. We investigated the genetic variation and its ecological correlates in an endemic and critically endangered stream breeding mountain newt, Neurergus kaiseri, within its entire range in southwestern Iran. We identified two geographic regions based on phylogenetic relationships using Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood of 779 bp mtDNA (D-loop) in 111 individuals from ten of twelve known breeding populations. This analysis revealed a clear divergence between northern populations, located in more humid habitats at higher elevation, and southern populations, from drier habitats at lower elevations regions. From seven haplotypes found in these populations none was shared between the two regions. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) of N. kaiseri indicates that 94.03% of sequence variation is distributed among newt populations and 5.97% within them. Moreover, a high degree of genetic subdivision, mainly attributable to the existence of significant variance among the two regions is shown (θCT = 0.94, P = 0.002). The positive and significant correlation between geographic and genetic distances (r = 0.61, P = 0.002) following controlling for environmental distance suggests an important influence of geographic divergence of the sites in shaping the genetic variation and may provide tools for a possible conservation based prioritization policy for the endangered species. PMID:26918642

  6. Skull mechanics and the evolutionary patterns of the otic notch closure in capitosaurs (Amphibia: Temnospondyli).

    PubMed

    Fortuny, Josep; Marcé-Nogué, Jordi; Gil, Lluis; Galobart, Angel

    2012-07-01

    Capitosaurs were among the largest amphibians that have ever lived. Their members displayed an amphibious lifestyle. We provide new information on functional morphology data, using finite element analysis (FEA) which has palaeoecological implications for the group. Our analyses included 17 taxa using (2D) plate models to test four loading cases (bilateral, unilateral and lateral bitings and skull raising system simulation). Our results demonstrates that, when feeding, capitosaurs concentrated the stress at the circumorbital region of the capitosaur skull and cranial sutures probably played a key role in dissipating and absorbing the stress generated during biting. Basal members (as Wetlugasaurus) were probably less specialized forms, while during Middle- and Late Triassic the group radiated into different ecomorphotypes with closed otic notch forms (as Cyclotosaurus) resulting in the strongest skulls during biting. Previous interpretations discussed a trend from an open to closed otic notch associated with lateral repositioning of the tabular horns, but the analysis of the skull-raising system reveals that taxa exhibiting posteriorly directed tabular horns display similar results during skull raising to those of closed otic notch taxa. Our results suggest that various constraints besides otic notch morphology, such as the elongation of the tabular horns, snout length, skull width and position, and size of the orbits affect the function of the skull. On the light of our results, capitosaur skull showed a trend to reduce the stresses and deformation during biting. Capitosaurs could be considered crocodilian analogues as they were top-level predators in fluvial and brackish Triassic ecosystems.

  7. Redescription of the advertisement call of Physalaemus albifrons (Spix, 1824) (Amphibia, Anura, Leptodactylidae).

    PubMed

    Pederassi, Jonas; Lima, Mauro Sérgio Cruz Souza; Caramaschi, Ulisses; Souza, Patrícia Dos Santos; Santos, Mayra Caroliny De Oliveira; Silva, Islaíane Costa

    2015-01-01

    The genus Physalaemus Fitzinger, 1826 is composed by 46 species occurring from north to southern South America, east of the Andes (Frost 2015). Physalaemus albifrons is morphologically differentiated from the other species mainly due to the presence of a second tarsal tubercle located nearly the tibio-tarsal articulation (Bokermann 1966). Physalaemus albifrons occurs in Brazil from north of the State of Maranhão through the states of Piauí, Ceará, Bahia, Paraíba, Pernambuco, and Alagoas, being its more austral occurrence in the State of Minas Gerais (Frost 2015). The advertisement call of P. albifrons was described by Bokermann (1966); however, the description needs improvement by applying new technologies, which we provide herein. PMID:26250286

  8. The identity of the South African toad Sclerophrys capensis Tschudi, 1838 (Amphibia, Anura)

    PubMed Central

    Dubois, Alain

    2016-01-01

    The toad species Sclerophrys capensis Tschudi, 1838 was erected for a single specimen from South Africa which has never been properly studied and allocated to a known species. A morphometrical and morphological analysis of this specimen and its comparison with 75 toad specimens referred to five South African toad species allowed to allocate this specimen to the species currently known as Amietophrynus rangeri. In consequence, the nomen Sclerophrys must replace Amietophrynus as the valid nomen of the genus, and capensis as the valid nomen of the species. This work stresses the usefulness of natural history collections for solving taxonomic and nomenclatural problems. PMID:26788431

  9. Gorgoderina festoni n. sp. (Digenea: Gorgoderidae) in Anurans (Amphibia) from Mexico.

    PubMed

    Mata-López, Rosario; León-Règagnon, Virginia

    2005-11-01

    Gorgoderina festoni n. sp. is described from the urinary bladder of Gastrophryne usta, Leptodactylus labialis, L. melanonotus and Bufo marinus from localities at low altitude in the states of Veracruz, Oaxaca, Guerrero and Colima, Mexico. This species differs from most other species of the genus by a combination of the following characters: lobed vitelline masses, body size 3.45-4.26 (mean 3.75) mm and sucker-ratio 1:1.3-1.52 (mean 1:1.44). The new species shares these three features with G. bilobata Rankin, 1937, G. schistorchis Steelman, 1938, G. tenua Rankin, 1937, G. vitelliloba (Olsson, 1876) and G. cryptorchis Travassos, 1924, but it differs from the first four in having gonads with entire margins. G. festoni most closely resembles G. cryptorchis, but differs from this species in body width at the level of the ventral sucker and in the absence of oesophageal glands. The autapomorphy that distinguishes G. festoni from all other members of the genus is the presence of a tegumental extension (festoon) on the external margin of the ventral sucker.

  10. Redescription of the advertisement call of Physalaemus albifrons (Spix, 1824) (Amphibia, Anura, Leptodactylidae).

    PubMed

    Pederassi, Jonas; Lima, Mauro Sérgio Cruz Souza; Caramaschi, Ulisses; Souza, Patrícia Dos Santos; Santos, Mayra Caroliny De Oliveira; Silva, Islaíane Costa

    2015-01-01

    The genus Physalaemus Fitzinger, 1826 is composed by 46 species occurring from north to southern South America, east of the Andes (Frost 2015). Physalaemus albifrons is morphologically differentiated from the other species mainly due to the presence of a second tarsal tubercle located nearly the tibio-tarsal articulation (Bokermann 1966). Physalaemus albifrons occurs in Brazil from north of the State of Maranhão through the states of Piauí, Ceará, Bahia, Paraíba, Pernambuco, and Alagoas, being its more austral occurrence in the State of Minas Gerais (Frost 2015). The advertisement call of P. albifrons was described by Bokermann (1966); however, the description needs improvement by applying new technologies, which we provide herein.

  11. A New Basal Salamandroid (Amphibia, Urodela) from the Late Jurassic of Qinglong, Hebei Province, China

    PubMed Central

    Jia, Jia; Gao, Ke-Qin

    2016-01-01

    A new salamandroid salamander, Qinglongtriton gangouensis (gen. et sp. nov.), is named and described based on 46 fossil specimens of juveniles and adults collected from the Upper Jurassic (Oxfordian) Tiaojishan Formation cropping out in Hebei Province, China. The new salamander displays several ontogenetically and taxonomically significant features, most prominently the presence of a toothed palatine, toothed coronoid, and a unique pattern of the hyobranchium in adults. Comparative study of the new salamander with previously known fossil and extant salamandroids sheds new light on the early evolution of the Salamandroidea, the most species-diverse clade in the Urodela. Cladistic analysis places the new salamander as the sister taxon to Beiyanerpeton, and the two taxa together form the basalmost clade within the Salamandroidea. Along with recently reported Beiyanerpeton from the same geological formation in the neighboring Liaoning Province, the discovery of Qinglongtriton indicates that morphological disparity had been underway for the salamandroid clade by early Late Jurassic (Oxfordian) time. PMID:27144770

  12. A new species of Noblella (Amphibia, Anura, Craugastoridae) from the humid montane forests of Cusco, Peru

    PubMed Central

    Catenazzi, Alessandro; Uscapi, Vanessa; von May, Rudolf

    2015-01-01

    Abstract A new species of Noblella is described from the humid montane forest of the Región Cusco in Peru. Specimens were collected at 2330–2370 m elevation in Madre Selva, near Santa Ana, in the province of La Convención. The new species is readily distinguished from all other species of Noblella by having a broad, irregularly shaped, white mark on black background on chest and belly. The new species further differs from known Peruvian species of Noblella by the combination of the following characters: tympanic membrane absent, small tubercles on the upper eyelid and on dorsum, tarsal tubercles or folds absent, tips of digits not expanded, no circumferential grooves on digits, dark brown facial mask and lateral band extending from the tip of the snout to the inguinal region. The new species has a snout-to-vent length of 15.6 mm in one adult male and 17.6 mm in one adult female. Like other recently described species in the genus, this new Noblella inhabits high-elevation forests in the Andes and likely has a restricted geographic distribution. PMID:26312020

  13. The phylogenetic position and diversity of the enigmatic mongrel frog Nothophryne Poynton, 1963 (Amphibia, Anura).

    PubMed

    Bittencourt-Silva, Gabriela B; Conradie, Werner; Siu-Ting, Karen; Tolley, Krystal A; Channing, Alan; Cunningham, Michael; Farooq, Harith M; Menegon, Michele; Loader, Simon P

    2016-06-01

    The phylogenetic relationships of the African mongrel frog genus Nothophryne are poorly understood. We provide the first molecular assessment of the phylogenetic position of, and diversity within, this monotypic genus from across its range-the Afromontane regions of Malawi and Mozambique. Our analysis using a two-tiered phylogenetic approach allowed us to place the genus in Pyxicephalidae. Within the family, Nothophryne grouped with Tomopterna, a hypothesis judged significantly better than alternative hypotheses proposed based on morphology. Our analyses of populations across the range of Nothophryne suggest the presence of several cryptic species, at least one species per mountain. Formal recognition of these species is pending but there is a major conservation concern for these narrowly distributed populations in an area impacted by major habitat change. The phylogenetic tree of pyxicephalids is used to examine evolution of life history, ancestral habitat, and biogeography of this group. PMID:27001603

  14. Oviduct modifications in foam-nesting frogs, with emphasis on the genus Leptodactylus (Amphibia, Leptodactylidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Furness, Andrew I.; McDiarmid, Roy W.; Heyer, W. Ronald; Zug, George R.

    2010-01-01

    Various species of frogs produce foam nests that hold their eggs during development. We examined the external morphology and histology of structures associated with foam nest production in frogs of the genus Leptodactylus and a few other taxa. We found that the posterior convolutions of the oviducts in all mature female foam-nesting frogs that we examined were enlarged and compressed into globular structures. This organ-like portion of the oviduct has been called a "foam gland" and these structures almost certainly produce the secretion that is beaten by rhythmic limb movements into foam that forms the nest. However, the label "foam gland" is a misnomer because the structures are simply enlarged and tightly folded regions of the pars convoluta of the oviduct, rather than a separate structure; we suggest the name pars convoluta dilata (PCD) for this feature. Although all the foam-nesters we examined had a pars convoluta dilata, its size and shape showed considerable interspecific variation. Some of this variation likely reflects differences in the breeding behaviors among species and in the size, type, and placement of their foam nests. Other variation, particularly in size, may be associated with the physiological periodicity and reproductive state of the female, her age, and/or the number of times she has laid eggs.

  15. Temporal selectivity by single neurons in the torus semicircularis of Batrachyla antartandica (Amphibia: Leptodactylidae).

    PubMed

    Penna, M; Lin, W Y; Feng, A S

    2001-12-01

    We investigated the response selectivities of single auditory neurons in the torus semicircularis of Batrachyla antartandica (a leptodactylid from southern Chile) to synthetic stimuli having diverse temporal structures. The advertisement call for this species is characterized by a long sequence of brief sound pulses having a dominant frequency of about 2000 Hz. We constructed five different series of synthetic stimuli in which the following acoustic parameters were systematically modified, one at a time: pulse rate, pulse duration, pulse rise time, pulse fall time, and train duration. The carrier frequency of these stimuli was fixed at the characteristic frequency of the units under study (n=44). Response patterns of TS units to these synthetic call variants revealed different degrees of selectivity for each of the temporal variables. A substantial number of neurons showed preference for pulse rates below 2 pulses s(-1), approximating the values found in natural advertisement calls. Tonic neurons generally showed preferences for long pulse durations, long rise and fall times, and long train durations. In contrast, phasic and phasic-burst neurons preferred stimuli with short duration, short rise and fall times and short train durations.

  16. The distribution and taxonomy of Lissotriton newts in Turkey (Amphibia, Salamandridae).

    PubMed

    Wielstra, Ben; Bozkurt, Emin; Olgun, Kurtuluş

    2015-01-01

    Two and perhaps three taxa of Lissotriton newt occur in Turkey. Their species status is controversial. The distribution of these taxa and the taxonomic status of each are reviewed and discussed. A database of 128 Turkish Lissotriton localities was compiled and species distribution models were constructed. We reiterate that the presence of Lissotriton (vulgaris) lantzi in Turkey is disputed and needs confirmation. The range of Lissotriton (vulgaris) kosswigi is restricted to north-western Anatolia - given the small global range of this Turkey endemic, a closer look at its conservation status is warranted. The distribution of Lissotritonvulgarisschmidtleri covers western Asiatic and European Turkey. The findings support an allopatric distribution of the Turkish Lissotriton species. We reflect on the biological significance of previously reported morphological intermediates between Lissotriton (vulgaris) kosswigi and Lissotritonvulgarisschmidtleri in the light of the recent proposal to recognize kosswigi at the species level. The available data are in line with species status for Lissotriton (vulgaris) lantzi and Lissotriton (vulgaris) kosswigi. Although Lissotritonvulgarisschmidtleri is a genetically diverged taxon as well, the extent of gene flow with parapatric European Lissotriton taxa is as yet unknown.

  17. Cloacal anatomy of the male Carpathian newt, Lissotriton montandoni (Amphibia, Salamandridae), in the breeding season.

    PubMed

    Osikowski, Artur; Cierniak-Zuzia, Karolina

    2013-09-01

    This study presents the first light microscopy-based description of the cloacal anatomy of male Carpathian newts (Lissotriton montandoni). This European newt species hybridizes with its sister species, the smooth newt (L. vulgaris), despite a high level of prezygotic isolation. The goal of the study was to ascertain possible anatomical differences in cloacal anatomy, especially pheromone and spermatophore producing glands, which might potentially affect reproductive isolation between L. montandoni and L. vulgaris. The cloaca of L. montandoni males consists of the cloacal tube, cloacal chamber, pseudopenis, and aggregations of cloacal glands. Four main types of cloacal glands were recognized. Pheromone-producing dorsal glands are of two types due to differences in their secretory epithelium: cuboidal and high prismatic. The remaining glands: ventral, pelvic, and Kingsbury's glands, are most likely involved in the synthesis of spermatophore components. Two distinct groups of ventral glands were identified: posterior and anterior ventral glands. In comparison with L. vulgaris, no evident differences were found that could potentially affect courtship pheromone synthesis by dorsal glands or the base and the cap of the spermatophore produced by the remaining cloacal glands.

  18. A molecular assessment of phylogenetic relationships and lineage accumulation rates within the family Salamandridae (Amphibia, Caudata).

    PubMed

    Weisrock, David W; Papenfuss, Theodore J; Macey, J Robert; Litvinchuk, Spartak N; Polymeni, Rosa; Ugurtas, Ismail H; Zhao, Ermi; Jowkar, Houman; Larson, Allan

    2006-11-01

    We examine phylogenetic relationships among salamanders of the family Salamandridae using approximately 2700 bases of new mtDNA sequence data (the tRNALeu, ND1, tRNAIle, tRNAGln, tRNAMet, ND2, tRNATrp, tRNAAla, tRNAAsn, tRNACys, tRNATyr, and COI genes and the origin for light-strand replication) collected from 96 individuals representing 61 of the 66 recognized salamandrid species and outgroups. Phylogenetic analyses using maximum parsimony and Bayesian analysis are performed on the new data alone and combined with previously reported sequences from other parts of the mitochondrial genome. The basal phylogenetic split is a polytomy of lineages ancestral to (1) the Italian newt Salamandrina terdigitata, (2) a strongly supported clade comprising the "true" salamanders (genera Chioglossa, Mertensiella, Lyciasalamandra, and Salamandra), and (3) a strongly supported clade comprising all newts except S. terdigitata. Strongly supported clades within the true salamanders include monophyly of each genus and grouping Chioglossa and Mertensiella as the sister taxon to a clade comprising Lyciasalamandra and Salamandra. Among newts, genera Echinotriton, Pleurodeles, and Tylototriton form a strongly supported clade whose sister taxon comprises the genera Calotriton, Cynops, Euproctus, Neurergus, Notophthalmus, Pachytriton, Paramesotriton, Taricha, and Triturus. Our results strongly support monophyly of all polytypic newt genera except Paramesotriton and Triturus, which appear paraphyletic, and Calotriton, for which only one of the two species is sampled. Other well-supported clades within newts include (1) Asian genera Cynops, Pachytriton, and Paramesotriton, (2) North American genera Notophthalmus and Taricha, (3) the Triturus vulgaris species group, and (4) the Triturus cristatus species group; some additional groupings appear strong in Bayesian but not parsimony analyses. Rates of lineage accumulation through time are evaluated using this nearly comprehensive sampling of salamandrid species-level lineages. Rate of lineage accumulation appears constant throughout salamandrid evolutionary history with no obvious fluctuations associated with origins of morphological or ecological novelties.

  19. Phylogeny and biogeography of the family Salamandridae (Amphibia: Caudata) inferred from complete mitochondrial genomes.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Peng; Papenfuss, Theodore J; Wake, Marvalee H; Qu, Lianghu; Wake, David B

    2008-11-01

    Phylogenetic relationships of members of the salamander family Salamandridae were examined using complete mitochondrial genomes collected from 42 species representing all 20 salamandrid genera and five outgroup taxa. Weighted maximum parsimony, partitioned maximum likelihood, and partitioned Bayesian approaches all produce an identical, well-resolved phylogeny; most branches are strongly supported with greater than 90% bootstrap values and 1.0 Bayesian posterior probabilities. Our results support recent taxonomic changes in finding the traditional genera Mertensiella, Euproctus, and Triturus to be non-monophyletic species assemblages. We successfully resolved the current polytomy at the base of the salamandrid tree: the Italian newt genus Salamandrina is sister to all remaining salamandrids. Beyond Salamandrina, a clade comprising all remaining newts is separated from a clade containing the true salamanders. Among these newts, the branching orders of well-supported clades are: primitive newts (Echinotriton, Pleurodeles, and Tylototriton), New World newts (Notophthalmus-Taricha), Corsica-Sardinia newts (Euproctus), and modern European newts (Calotriton, Lissotriton, Mesotriton, Neurergus, Ommatotriton, and Triturus) plus modern Asian newts (Cynops, Pachytriton, and Paramesotriton).Two alternative sets of calibration points and two Bayesian dating methods (BEAST and MultiDivTime) were used to estimate timescales for salamandrid evolution. The estimation difference by dating methods is slight and we propose two sets of timescales based on different calibration choices. The two timescales suggest that the initial diversification of extant salamandrids took place in Europe about 97 or 69Ma. North American salamandrids were derived from their European ancestors by dispersal through North Atlantic Land Bridges in the Late Cretaceous ( approximately 69Ma) or Middle Eocene ( approximately 43Ma). Ancestors of Asian salamandrids most probably dispersed to the eastern Asia from Europe, after withdrawal of the Turgai Sea ( approximately 29Ma).

  20. Population Genetic Structure of the Endangered Kaiser's Mountain Newt, Neurergus kaiseri (Amphibia: Salamandridae).

    PubMed

    Farasat, Hossein; Akmali, Vahid; Sharifi, Mozafar

    2016-01-01

    Species often exhibit different levels of genetic structuring correlated to their environment. However, understanding how environmental heterogeneity influences genetic variation is difficult because the effects of gene flow, drift and selection are confounded. We investigated the genetic variation and its ecological correlates in an endemic and critically endangered stream breeding mountain newt, Neurergus kaiseri, within its entire range in southwestern Iran. We identified two geographic regions based on phylogenetic relationships using Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood of 779 bp mtDNA (D-loop) in 111 individuals from ten of twelve known breeding populations. This analysis revealed a clear divergence between northern populations, located in more humid habitats at higher elevation, and southern populations, from drier habitats at lower elevations regions. From seven haplotypes found in these populations none was shared between the two regions. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) of N. kaiseri indicates that 94.03% of sequence variation is distributed among newt populations and 5.97% within them. Moreover, a high degree of genetic subdivision, mainly attributable to the existence of significant variance among the two regions is shown (θCT = 0.94, P = 0.002). The positive and significant correlation between geographic and genetic distances (r = 0.61, P = 0.002) following controlling for environmental distance suggests an important influence of geographic divergence of the sites in shaping the genetic variation and may provide tools for a possible conservation based prioritization policy for the endangered species.

  1. A new species of the genus Amolops (Amphibia: Ranidae) from southeastern Tibet, China

    PubMed Central

    JIANG, Ke; WANG, Kai; YAN, Fang; XIE, Jiang; ZOU, Da-Hu; LIU, Wu-Lin; JIANG, Jian-Ping; LI, Cheng; CHE, Jing

    2016-01-01

    A new species of the genus Amolops Cope, 1865 is described from Nyingchi, southeastern Tibet, China, based on morphological and molecular data. The new species, Amolops nyingchiensis sp. nov. is assigned to the Amolops monticola group based on its skin smooth, dorsolateral fold distinct, lateral side of head black, upper lip stripe white extending to the shoulder. Amolops nyingchiensis sp. nov. is distinguished from all other species of Amolops by the following combination of characters: (1) medium body size, SVL 48.5-58.3 mm in males, and 57.6-70.7 mm in females; (2) tympanum distinct, slightly larger than one third of the eye diameter; (3) a small tooth-like projection on anteromedial edge of mandible; (4) the absence of white spine on dorsal surface of body; (5) the presence of circummarginal groove on all fingers; (6) the presence of vomerine teeth; (7) background coloration of dorsal surface brown, lateral body gray with yellow; (8) the presence of transverse bands on the dorsal limbs; (9) the presence of nuptial pad on the first finger in males; (10) the absence of vocal sac in males. Taxonomic status of the populations that were previously identified to A. monticola from Tibet is also discussed. PMID:26828032

  2. Divergence in the face of gene flow: the case of two newts (amphibia: salamandridae).

    PubMed

    Nadachowska, Krystyna; Babik, Wieslaw

    2009-04-01

    Understanding the process of divergence requires the quantitative characterization of patterns of gene flow between diverging taxa. New and powerful coalescent-based methods give insight into these processes in unprecedented details by enabling the reconstruction of the temporal distribution of past gene flow. Here, we use sequence variation at eight nuclear markers and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in multiple populations to study diversity, divergence, and gene flow between two subspecies of a salamander, the smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris kosswigi and Lissotriton vulgaris vulgaris) in Turkey. The ranges of both subspecies encompass mainly the areas of this important glacial refugial area. Populations in refugia where species have been present for a long time and differentiated in situ should better preserve the record of past gene flow than young populations in postglacial expansion areas. Sequence diversity in both subspecies was substantial (nuclear pi(sil) = 0.69% and 1.31%). We detected long-term demographic stability in these refugial populations with large effective population sizes (N(e)) of the order of 1.5-3 x 10(5) individuals. Gene trees and the isolation with migration (IM) analysis complemented by tests of nested IM models showed that despite deep, pre-Pleistocene divergence of the studied newts, asymmetric introgression from vulgaris to kosswigi has occurred, with signatures of recent gene flow in mtDNA and an anonymous nuclear marker, and evidence for more ancient introgression in nuclear introns. The distribution of migration times raises the intriguing possibility that even the initial divergence may have occurred in the face of gene flow.

  3. Species boundaries and taxonomy of the African river frogs (Amphibia: Pyxicephalidae: Amietia).

    PubMed

    Channing, A; Dehling, J M; Lötters, S; Ernst, R

    2016-01-01

    A molecular phylogeny of the Afrotropical anuran genus Amietia based on 323 16S sequences indicates that there are 19 species, including four not yet described. No genetic material was available for the nominal A. inyangae. We consider them to represent full species, and define them based on 16S genetic distances, as well as differences in morphology, tadpoles and advertisement call where known. An analysis based on two mitochondrial and two nuclear genes (12S, 16S, 28S and tyrosinase exon 1), from 122 samples, confirmed the phylogenetic relationships suggested by the 16S tree. We recognise and (re-) describe the following species: Amietia angolensis (Bocage, 1866), A. chapini (Noble, 1924), A. delalandii (Duméril & Bibron, 1841), A. desaegeri (Laurent, 1972), A. fuscigula (Duméril & Bibron, 1841), A. hymenopus (Boulenger, 1920), A. inyangae (Poynton, 1966), A. johnstoni (Günther, 1893), A. moyerorum sp. nov., A. nutti (Boulenger, 1896), A. poyntoni Channing & Baptista, 2013, A. ruwenzorica (Laurent, 1972), A. tenuoplicata (Pickersgill, 2007), A. vandijki (Visser & Channing, 1997), A. vertebralis (Hewitt, 1927), and A. wittei (Angel, 1924). Three further candidate species of Larson et al. (2016) await formal naming. We provisionally regard A. amieti (Laurent, 1976) as a junior synonym of A. chapini (Noble, 1924). Amietia lubrica (Pickersgill, 2007) is shown to be a junior synonym of A. nutti, while A. quecketti (Boulenger, 1895) is shown to be a junior synonym of A. delalandii (Duméril & Bibron, 1841), and A. viridireticulata (Pickersgill, 2007) is placed as a junior synonym of A. tenuoplicata (Pickersgill, 2007). On the basis of similarity of 16S sequences, we assign A. sp. 1, A. sp. 3 and A. sp. 6 of Larson et al (2016) to the nomina A. chapini (Noble, 1924), A. desaegeri (Laurent, 1972), and A. nutti (Boulenger, 1896) respectively. PMID:27615865

  4. A new species of Telmatobius (Amphibia, Anura, Telmatobiidae) from the Pacific slopes of the Andes, Peru

    PubMed Central

    Catenazzi, Alessandro; García, Víctor Vargas; Lehr, Edgar

    2015-01-01

    Abstract We describe a new species of Telmatobius from the Pacific slopes of the Andes in central Peru. Specimens were collected at 3900 m elevation near Huaytará, Huancavelica, in the upper drainage of the Pisco river. The new species has a snout–vent length of 52.5 ± 1.1 mm (49.3–55.7 mm, n = 6) in adult females, and 48.5 mm in the single adult male. The new species has bright yellow and orange coloration ventrally and is readily distinguished from all other central Peruvian Andean species of Telmatobius but Telmatobius intermedius by having vomerine teeth but lacking premaxillary and maxillary teeth, and by its slender body shape and long legs. The new species differs from Telmatobius intermedius by its larger size, flatter head, and the absence of cutaneous keratinized spicules (present even in immature females of Telmatobius intermedius), and in males by the presence of minute, densely packed nuptial spines on dorsal and medial surfaces of thumbs (large, sparsely packed nuptial spines in Telmatobius intermedius). The hyper-arid coastal valleys of Peru generally support low species richness, particularly for groups such as aquatic breeding amphibians. The discovery of a new species in this environment, and along a major highway crossing the Andes, shows that much remains to be done to document amphibian diversity in Peru. PMID:25685025

  5. A checklist of helminth parasite fauna in anuran Amphibia (frogs) of Nagaland, Northeast India.

    PubMed

    Imkongwapang, R; Jyrwa, D B; Lal, P; Tandon, V

    2014-03-01

    An exhaustive exploratory survey on helminth parasite fauna of anuran frogs was carried out in several localities falling under 5 districts of western region of Nagaland state. Altogether 34 parasite species were recovered from a total of 29 host species surveyed. The parasite spectrum (represented in all the localities by at least one or more parasite species) comprises 2 monogenean, 15 trematode (13 adult and 2 metacercaria stages), 4 cestode (3 adult and 1 larval stages), 12 nematode and 1 acanthocephalan taxa. A checklist of both the parasite and host species with short remarks for each parasite species is provided herein. PMID:24505185

  6. Cytonuclear discordance and historical demography of two brown frogs, Rana tagoi and R. sakuraii (Amphibia: Ranidae).

    PubMed

    Eto, Koshiro; Matsui, Masafumi

    2014-10-01

    Prior studies of mitochondrial genomic variation reveal that the Japanese brown frog Rana tagoi comprises a complex of cryptic species lineages, and that R. sakuraii arose from within this complex. Neither species forms a monophyletic group on the mitochondrial haplotype tree, precluding a simple explanation for the evolutionary origins of R. sakuraii. We present a more complete sampling of mitochondrial haplotypic variation (from the ND1 and 16S genes) plus DNA sequence variation for five nuclear loci (from the genes encoding NCX1, NFIA, POMC, SLC8A3, and TYR) to resolve the evolutionary histories of these species. We test hypotheses of population assignment (STRUCTURE) and isolation-with-migration (IM) using the more slowly evolving nuclear markers. These demographic analyses of nuclear genetic variation confirm species-level distinctness and integrity of R. sakuraii despite its apparent polyphyly on the mitochondrial haplotype tree. Divergence-time estimates from both the mitochondrial haplotypes and nuclear genomic markers suggest that R. sakuraii originated approximately one million years ago, and that incomplete sorting of mitochondrial haplotype lineages best explains non-monophyly of R. sakuraii mitochondrial haplotypes. Cytonuclear discordance elsewhere in R. tagoi reveals a case of mitochondrial introgression between two species lineages on Honshu. The earliest phylogenetic divergence within this species group occurred approximately four million years ago, followed by cladogenetic events in the Pliocene and early Pleistocene yielding 10-13 extant species lineages, including R. sakuraii as one of the youngest.

  7. Phylogenetic relationships of Oriental torrent frogs in the genus Amolops and its allies (Amphibia, Anura, Ranidae).

    PubMed

    Matsui, Masafumi; Shimada, Tomohiko; Liu, Wan-Zhao; Maryati, Mohamed; Khonsue, Wichase; Orlov, Nikolai

    2006-03-01

    We investigated the phylogenetic relationships among 20 species of Oriental torrent frogs in the genus Amolops and its allies from China and Southeast Asia based on 1346-bp sequences of the mitochondrial 12S and 16S rRNA genes. Oriental species of the tribe Ranini form a monophyletic group containing 11 clades (Rana temporaria + Pseudoamolops, R. chalconota, four clades of Amolops, Meristogenys, three clades of Huia species, and Staurois) for which the phylogenetic relationships are unresolved. The genus Amolops consists of southern Chinese, southwestern Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese-Malaysian lineages, but their relationships are also unresolved. The separation of southern and southwestern lineages within China conforms to previous morphological and karyological results. Species of Huia do not form a monophyletic group, whereas those of Meristogenys are monophyletic. Because P. sauteri is a sister species of R. temporaria, distinct generic status of Pseudoamolops is unwarranted.

  8. Climatic oscillations triggered post-Messinian speciation of Western Palearctic brown frogs (Amphibia, Ranidae).

    PubMed

    Veith, M; Kosuch, J; Vences, M

    2003-02-01

    Oscillating glacial cycles over the past 2.4 million years are proposed to have had a major impact on the diversity of contemporary species communities. We used mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequence data to infer phylogenetic relationships within Western Palearctic brown frogs and to test the influence of Pliocene and Pleistocene climatic changes on their evolution. We sequenced 1976bp of the mitochondrial genes 16S rRNA and cytochrome b and of the nuclear rhodopsin gene for all current species and subspecies. Based on an established allozyme clock for Western Palearctic water frogs and substitution rate constancy among water frogs and brown frogs, we calibrated a molecular clock for 1425bp of the 16S and rhodopsin genes. We applied this clock to date speciation events among brown frogs. Western Palearctic brown frogs underwent a basal post-Messinian radiation about 4 million years ago (mya) into five major clades: three monotypic lineages (Rana dalmatina, Rana latastei, Rana graeca), an Anatolian lineage, and a lineage comprising Rana italica, Rana arvalis, and all Iberian taxa. Polytypic lineages radiated further in concordance with the onset of climatic oscillations ca. 3.2, 2.0, and 1.0-0.6 mya, respectively. The dated fossil record corroborates our paleobiogeographic scenario. We conclude that drastic climatic changes followed by successive temperature oscillations "trapped" most brown frog species in their southern European glacial refugia with enough time to speciate. Substantial dispersal was only possible during extensive interglacial periods of a constant subtropical climate.

  9. The testicular sperm ducts and genital kidney of male Ambystoma maculatum (Amphibia, Urodela, Ambystomatidae).

    PubMed

    Siegel, Dustin S; Aldridge, Robert D; Rheubert, Justin L; Gribbins, Kevin M; Sever, David M; Trauth, Stanley E

    2013-03-01

    The ducts associated with sperm transport from the testicular lobules to the Wolffian ducts in Ambystoma maculatum were examined with transmission electron microscopy. Based on the ultrastructure and historical precedence, new terminology for this network of ducts is proposed that better represents primary hypotheses of homology. Furthermore, the terminology proposed better characterizes the distinct regions of the sperm transport ducts in salamanders based on anatomy and should, therefore, lead to more accurate comparisons in the future. While developing the above ontology, we also tested the hypothesis that nephrons from the genital kidney are modified from those of the pelvic kidney due to the fact that the former nephrons function in sperm transport. Our ultrastructural analysis of the genital kidney supports this hypothesis, as the basal plasma membrane of distinct functional regions of the nephron (proximal convoluted tubule, distal convoluted tubule, and collecting tubule) appear less folded (indicating decreased surface area and reduced reabsorption efficiency) and the proximal convoluted tubule possesses ciliated epithelial cells along its entire length. Furthermore, visible luminal filtrate is absent from the nephrons of the genital kidney throughout their entire length. Thus, it appears that the nephrons of the genital kidney have reduced reabsorptive capacity and ciliated cells of the proximal convoluted tubule may increase the movement of immature sperm through the sperm transport ducts or aid in the mixing of seminal fluids within the ducts.

  10. Reduced genetic variation in the Japanese giant salamander, Andrias japonicus (Amphibia: Caudata).

    PubMed

    Matsui, Masafumi; Tominaga, Atsushi; Liu, Wan-zhao; Tanaka-Ueno, Tomoko

    2008-10-01

    The phylogenetic relationships among 46 samples from 27 populations of the Japanese giant salamander, Andriasjaponicus and its congener, A. davidianus from China was investigated, using 3664 bp sequences of the mitochondrial genes NADH1, NADH3, cyt b and CR, partial NADH6 and intervening genes. In phylogenetic trees constructed by MP, ML, and Bayesian methods, the family Cryptobranchidae and the genus Andrias both form monophyletic groups. Japanese A. japonicus and Chinese A. davidianus are sister taxa and can be regarded as separate species despite a small degree of genetic differentiation. Andriasjaponicus is divided into central and western clades, but the phylogenetic relationships within the latter clade are unresolved. As previously reported from allozyme analyses, A. japonicus exhibits little genetic differentiation, in strong contrast to salamanders of the genus Hynobius with which their distributions overlap. This reduced genetic variability in A. japonicus is attributable to a unique mating system of polygyny, delayed sexual maturity, notable longevity, life in a stable aquatic environment, and gigantism, as well as bottleneck effects following habitat fragmentation and extinction of local populations during Quaternary glaciations. The species is thus susceptible to extinction by potential environmental fluctuations, and requires extensive conservation measures. PMID:18723097

  11. A new species of tree frog genus Rhacophorus from Sumatra, Indonesia Amphibia, Anura).

    PubMed

    Hamidy, Amir; Kurniati, Hellen

    2015-01-01

    A small-sized tree frog of the genus Rhacophorus is described on the basis of 18 specimens collected from three different localities on Sumatra Island, Indonesia. Rhacophorus indonesiensis sp. nov. is divergent from all other Rhacophorus species genetically and morphologically. The new species is distinguished from its congeners by a combination of: the presence of black spots on the ventral surfaces of the hand and foot webbing, an absence of vomerine teeth, a venter with a white kite-shaped marking, raised white spots on the dorsum or on the head, and a reddish brown dorsum with irregular dark brown blotches and distinct black dots. With the addition of this new species, fifteen species of Rhacophorus are now known from Sumatra, the highest number of species of this genus in the Sundaland region. However, with the increasing conversion of forest to oil palm cultivation or mining, the possibility of the extinction of newly described or as yet undiscovered species is of great concern. PMID:25947718

  12. A new species of Andinobates (Amphibia: Anura: Dendrobatidae) from west central Panama.

    PubMed

    Batista, Abel; Jaramillo, César A; Ponce, Marcos; Crawford, Andrew J

    2014-01-01

    Dendrobatid frogs are among the best known anurans in the world, mainly due to their toxicity and associated bright colors. A recently described dendrobatid genus, Andinobates, comprises frogs distributed among the Colombian Andes and Panama. During field work in the Distrito de Donoso, Colón province, Panama, we found a poison frog that we here describe as a new species. The new species belongs to the A. minutus species group and is described herein as Andinobates geminisae sp. nov. This new species differs from all other members of the group by having uniformly orange smooth skin over the entire body and a distinctive male advertisement call. The new species is smaller than other colorful dendrobatids present in the area, such as Oophaga pumilio and O. vicentei. We also provide molecular phylogenetic analyses of mitochondrial DNA sequences of dendrobatids and summarize genetic distances among Andinobates species. Andinobates geminisae occurs in Caribbean versant rainforest on the westernmost edge of the known distribution of A. minutus, and represents the fourth species within this genus in Panama. This is vulnerable to habitat loss and excessive harvesting and requires immediate conservation plans to preserve this species with a restricted geographic range. PMID:25283663

  13. A New Basal Salamandroid (Amphibia, Urodela) from the Late Jurassic of Qinglong, Hebei Province, China.

    PubMed

    Jia, Jia; Gao, Ke-Qin

    2016-01-01

    A new salamandroid salamander, Qinglongtriton gangouensis (gen. et sp. nov.), is named and described based on 46 fossil specimens of juveniles and adults collected from the Upper Jurassic (Oxfordian) Tiaojishan Formation cropping out in Hebei Province, China. The new salamander displays several ontogenetically and taxonomically significant features, most prominently the presence of a toothed palatine, toothed coronoid, and a unique pattern of the hyobranchium in adults. Comparative study of the new salamander with previously known fossil and extant salamandroids sheds new light on the early evolution of the Salamandroidea, the most species-diverse clade in the Urodela. Cladistic analysis places the new salamander as the sister taxon to Beiyanerpeton, and the two taxa together form the basalmost clade within the Salamandroidea. Along with recently reported Beiyanerpeton from the same geological formation in the neighboring Liaoning Province, the discovery of Qinglongtriton indicates that morphological disparity had been underway for the salamandroid clade by early Late Jurassic (Oxfordian) time.

  14. Three new species of the salamander genus Hynobius (Amphibia, Urodela, Hynobiidae) from Kyushu, Japan.

    PubMed

    Nishikawa, Kanto; Matsui, Masafumi

    2014-08-14

    Three new species of lotic breeding Hynobius, formerly assigned to H. boulengeri, are described from the Kyushu region, southwestern Japan. They differ from all the known congeners by a unique combination of body size, character ratios, coloration, mtDNA, and allozymic characteristics. Together with H. stejnegeri they form a clade, which is not a sister group of H. boulengeri, and their speciation in Kyushu is surmised to have occurred at the end of Miocene, accompanied by differentiations in larval period and metamorphosing size. Measures of conservation of these new species are discussed briefly. 

  15. Chronic Exposure to Cadmium Disrupts the Adrenal Gland Activity of the Newt Triturus carnifex (Amphibia, Urodela)

    PubMed Central

    Gay, Flaminia; Laforgia, Vincenza; Caputo, Ivana; Esposito, Carla; Lepretti, Marilena

    2013-01-01

    We intended to verify the safety of the freshwater values established for cadmium by the European Community and the Italian Ministry of Health in drinking water (5 μg/L) and sewage waters (20 μg/L). Therefore, we chronically exposed the newt Triturus carnifex to 5 μg/L and 20 μg/L doses of cadmium, respectively, during 3 and 9 months and verified the effects on the adrenal gland. We evaluated the serum concentrations of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), corticosterone, aldosterone, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. During the 3-month exposure, both doses of cadmium decreased ACTH and corticosterone serum levels and increased aldosterone and epinephrine serum levels. During the 9-month exposure, the 5 μg/L dose decreased ACTH and increased aldosterone and epinephrine serum levels; the 20 μg/L dose decreased norepinephrine and epinephrine serum levels, without affecting the other hormones. It was concluded that (1) chronic exposure to the safety values established for cadmium disrupted the adrenal gland activity and (2) the effects of cadmium were related both to the length of exposure and the dose administered. Moreover, our results suggest probable risks to human health, due to the use of water contaminated by cadmium. PMID:23971036

  16. Neoteny and progenesis as two heterochronic processes involved in paedomorphosis in Triturus alpestris (Amphibia: Caudata).

    PubMed Central

    Denoël, M; Joly, P

    2000-01-01

    Current theories on the evolution of paedomorphosis suppose that several ontogenetic pathways have appeared according to different selective pressures. The aim of this study was to find out whether two distinct processes can lead to paedomorphosis in the Alpine newt, Triturus alpestris. In this respect, we compared age structures of paedomorphic and metamorphic individuals in two newt populations where the two forms lived syntopically. Whereas paedomorphosis resulted in a slower rate of somatic development in one population, it resulted in an acceleration of sexual maturation in the other population. These processes correspond to neoteny and progenesis, respectively. These results suggest that phenotypic plasticity can result from contrasted ontogenetic pathways between two populations of the same species. They give support to models that consider gonadic development as the target of selection under different environmental pressures. PMID:10983835

  17. Two new species of Amazophrynella (Amphibia: Anura: Bufonidae) from Loreto, Peru.

    PubMed

    Rojas, Rommel R; Carvalho, Vinícius Tadeu De; Ávila, Robson W; Farias, Izeni Pires; Gordo, Marcelo; Hrbek, Tomas

    2015-04-08

    Amazophrynella is a taxonomically poorly known bufonid genus with a pan-Amazonian distribution. A large part of this ambiguity comes from taxonomic uncertainties regarding the type species A. minuta. In this study we compare morphological and molecular data of topotypic specimens of A. minuta with all other nomical congeneric species. Based on these comparisons, we describe two new species. The first species, A. amazonicola sp. nov., differs from other recognized congeners by having a tip of snout with a small triangular protrusion (in dorsal and lateral view), spiculated body and basal webbing on fingers I and II. The second species, A. matses sp. nov., differs from congeners by the smallest snout to vent length of the genus, edges of nasal protrusion dilated and elliptical shape palmar tubercles. The two species are allopatric, where the first species is known to be associated with white sand forests (=campinaranas), while the second inhabits upland (=terra firme) forests. Both species are diagnosable by a series of substitutions in the 16S rDNA, and both species are highly divergent from their sister taxa (p-distances range from 7-14%).

  18. Developmental and acute toxicity of cetylpyridinium chloride in Bombina orientalis (Amphibia: Anura).

    PubMed

    Park, Chan Jin; Song, Sang Ha; Kim, Dae Han; Gye, Myung Chan

    2016-08-01

    In an effort to evaluate the toxicity of cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC), a cationic surfactant in amphibians, we examined the developmental and acute toxicity of CPC in Bombina orientalis embryos and tadpoles. Embryonic exposure to 2.0μM (0.72mg/l) CPC for 7 days significantly decreased the survival rates and increased DNA damage in the intestine of developed tadpoles. Exposure to 1.5μM (0.54mg/l) CPC significantly decreased the growth of embryos and increased developmental abnormalities. The 168-h LC50 and EC50 values of CPC were 1.95μM (0.697mg/l) and 1.48μM (0.531mg/l) in embryos, respectively. In an extended acute toxicity test using tadpoles, the 168-h LC50 value of CPC was 5.07μM (1.82mg/l). In terms of survival and growth rates, the lowest observed effective concentration of CPC was 1.5μM. At sub-lethal concentrations (1.0 and 2.0μM) CPC treatment to embryos increased lipid peroxidation in the intestine and gills of developed tadpoles, indicating that CPC can impose oxidative stress. At 2.0μM CPC, pro-apoptotic Bax and Bak mRNA levels were significantly increased together with DNA fragmentation, indicative of apoptotic cell death. CPC in freshwater system may threaten the normal development of amphibian embryos. PMID:27399156

  19. Development and characterization of 14 microsatellite markers for Buergeria japonica (Amphibia, Anura, Rhacophoridae).

    PubMed

    Komaki, Shohei; Igawa, Takeshi; Nozawa, Masafumi; Lin, Si-Min; Oumi, Shohei; Sumida, Masayuki

    2014-01-01

    Buergeria japonica is a common frog species distributed throughout almost all islands in Ryukyu Archipelago. Because of their exceptionally wide distribution and higher physiological tolerance comparing to the other anurans, their demographic history and formation of distribution are intrinsic topics in the herpetological fauna of Ryukyu. Microsatellite marker is ideal genetic marker for such studies at inter- and intra-population level. We therefore developed microsatellite markers of B. japonica utilizing Ion PGM™ sequencing. As a result of the screening, we developed a total of 14 polymorphic markers. To test availabilities of these markers, we genotyped four island populations. The total number of alleles and expected hetelozygosities per locus ranged from 4 to 21 and 0.00 to 0.864, respectively. The phylogenetic relationship among the four populations based on the genetic distances of these markers was congruent with general divergence pattern of amphibians and reptiles in Ryukyu area. These markers developed in this study are considered to be useful for future studies about phylogeography and demography of this species. PMID:24817760

  20. Extreme negative temperatures and body mass loss in the Siberian salamander (Salamandrella keyserlingii, amphibia, hynobiidae).

    PubMed

    Berman, D I; Meshcheryakova, E N; Bulakhova, N A

    2016-05-01

    Frozen Siberian salamander safely tolerates long (45 days) stay at-35°C. Short-term (3 days) cooling down to-50°C was tolerable for 40% of adult individuals; down to-55°C, for 80% of the underyearlings. Generally, the salamanders lose about 28% of the body mass during the pre-hibernating period (before winter, at temperatures as low as 0°C) and during the process of freezing (as low as-5°C). The body weight remained constant upon further cooling (to-35°C). The frozen salamanders have no physiological mechanisms protecting from sublimation. PMID:27411827

  1. Genetic analysis reveals candidate species in the Scinax catharinae clade (Amphibia: Anura) from Central Brazil.

    PubMed

    Nogueira, Lídia; Solé, Mirco; Siqueira, Sérgio; Affonso, Paulo Roberto Antunes de Mello; Strüssmann, Christine; Sampaio, Iracilda

    2016-03-01

    Scinax (Anura: Hylidae) is a species-rich genus of amphibians (113 spp.), divided into five species groups by morphological features. Cladistic analyses however revealed only two monophyletic clades in these groups: Scinax catharinae and Scinax ruber. Most species from the S. catharinae clade are found in Atlantic rainforest, except for Scinax canastrensis,S. centralis, S. luizotavioi, S. machadoi,S. pombali and S. skaios. In the present work, specimens of Scinax collected in Chapada dos Guimarães, central Brazil, were morphologically compatible with species from theS. catharinae group. On the other hand, genetic analysis based on mitochondrial (16S and 12S) and nuclear (rhodopsin) sequences revealed a nucleotide divergence of 6 to 20% between Scinax sp. and other congeners from the Brazilian savannah (Cerrado). Accordingly, Bayesian inference placed Scinax sp. in the S. catharinae clade with high support values. Hence, these findings strongly indicate the presence of a new species in the S. catharinae clade from the southwestern portion of the Brazilian savannah. To be properly validated as a novel species, detailed comparative morphological and bioacustic studies with other taxa from Brazil such asS. canastrensis, S. centralis, S. luizotavioi, S. machadoi, S. pombali and S. skaios are required. PMID:27007898

  2. [Episodes of adaptive evolution of mitochondrial genome in Asiatic salamanders (Amphibia, Caudata, Hynobiidae)].

    PubMed

    Maliarchuk, B A; Derenko, M V; Denisova, G A

    2014-02-01

    To elucidate the effect of natural selection on the evolution of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in Asiatic salamanders of the family Hynobiidae, nucleotide sequences of 12 protein-coding genes were analyzed. Using a mixed effects model of evolution, it was found that, in spite of the pronounced effect of negative selection on the mtDNA evolution in Hynobiidae (which is typical for the animals in general), two phylogenetic clusters, the West Asian one, represented by the genera Ranodon and Paradactylodon, and North Eurasian one, represented by the genus Salamandrella, were formed under the influence of episodic positive selection. Analysis of protein sequences encoded by the mitochondrial genome also supported the influence of positive selection on the evolution of Hynobiidae at some stages of their cladogenesis. It is suggested that the signatures of adaptive evolution detected in the mtDNA of Hynobiidae were determined by the complex and long-lasting history of their formation, accompanied by adaptation to the changing environment. PMID:25711027

  3. Light shines through the spindrift--phylogeny of African torrent frogs (Amphibia, Anura, Petropedetidae).

    PubMed

    Barej, Michael F; Rödel, Mark-Oliver; Loader, Simon P; Menegon, Michele; Gonwouo, Nono L; Penner, Johannes; Gvoždík, Václav; Günther, Rainer; Bell, Rayna C; Nagel, Peter; Schmitz, Andreas

    2014-02-01

    Torrent frogs of the genus Petropedetes Reichenow, 1874 as currently understood have a disjunct distribution with species endemic to West, Central or East Africa. We herein present a phylogenetic analysis including all but one of the currently described 12 species of the genus. Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian analyses of combined nuclear (rag1, SIA, BDNF) and mitochondrial (16S, 12S, cytb) genes of more than 3500 base pairs, revealed clades corresponding to the three sub-Saharan regions. Molecular results are confirmed by morphological differences. Surprisingly, the three geographic clades do not form a monophyletic group with respect to closely related families Pyxicephalidae and Conrauidae and therefore require taxonomic changes. We resurrect Arthroleptides Nieden, 1911 for the East African taxa. The Central African taxa remain in the genus Petropedetes. The West African members are placed in the new genus Odontobatrachus gen. nov. The taxonomic position of the new genus remains incertae sedis as it was not assigned to any of the four families included in our analyses. Potential new species have been detected within all three major clades, pointing to a still not fully clarified diversity within African torrent frogs.

  4. Internal oral morphology in larvae of the genus Rhinella Fitzinger, 1826 (Amphibia, Anura, Bufonidae) .

    PubMed

    De Oliveira, Marianna Isabella Rosa Rodrigues; Weber, Luiz Norberto; Napoli, Marcelo Felgueiras

    2013-12-09

    From the 86 species allocated in the genus Rhinella, 25 have their tadpoles described and only R. arenarum, R. chrysophora, R. icterica, R. ornata, R. schneideri and R. spinulosa have aspects of the internal oral morphology evidenced. Herein, the internal oral morphology from 12 species of Rhinella distributed between the morphological groups of R. crucifer, R. granulosa, R. marina and R margaritifera is described and compared. The internal oral morphology of Rhinella is little variable in many aspects. Despite the many similarities found between the tadpoles of Rhinella, the study showed that there are characteristics that exhibit interspecific variation that can be used in the taxonomy of the genus. Important features to distinguish species were: number of infrarrostral projections; number and shape of the infralabial papillae; size, arrangement, shape and apex of the lingual papillae; shape of the buccal floor arena papillae; number of projections of the ventral velum; shape of the prenarial ridge; choanae arrangement; number and apex of the postnarial papillae; number and shape of the secondary branches on the lateral ridge papilla; buccal roof arena papillae arrangement. 

  5. A new species of nematode (Molineidae) from Rhinella marina (Amphibia: Bufonidae) in Guerrero, México.

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Torres, Nallely; García-Prieto, Luis; Osorio-Sarabia, David; Violante-González, Juan

    2013-06-01

    Oswaldocruzia lamotheargumedoi n. sp., inhabiting the intestine of the cane toad, Rhinella marina (L.), in Laguna de Coyuca, Guerrero, México, is described here. The new species differs from 10 congeners infecting bufonid hosts because it has a type I bursa. In contrast, 7 of these species have type II bursa and 3 more a type III bursa. The species most similar to the species described herein is Oswaldocruzia pipiens Walton, 1929 . These 2 species share traits such as body size, bursa type, presence of cervical alae, and dorsal ray morphology. Nevertheless, both species can be distinguished based on the number of synlophe ridges at mid-body (54-56 for O. lamotheargumedoi vs. 45-48 for O. pipiens) and by the presence of a chitinous support in the long, and well developed, cervical alae of O. pipiens. In the new species, these structures are short, poorly developed, and lack chitinous support. Previous records of species of Oswaldocruzia in México include Oswaldocruzia subauricularis (Rudolphi, 1819) Travassos, 1917 in the Neotropical Realm and O. pipiens in the Nearctic.

  6. The complete mitochondrial genome sequence of Wenxian Knobby Newt Tylototriton wenxianensis (Amphibia: Caudata).

    PubMed

    Han, Fuyao; Jiang, Ye; Zhang, Mingwang

    2016-07-01

    We newly sequenced the mitochondrial genome of Tylototriton wenxianensis. The total length of the T. wenxianensis mitogenome is 16 265 bp, with GenBank accession number KR733683. It consists of 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs), two ribosomal RNA genes (rRNA), 22 transfer RNA genes (tRNA), and one control region (CR). Most of the genes are encoded on the H-strand, except for eight tRNA and ND6, which are encoded on the L-strand. Our mitogenomic phylogenetic tree showed that the relationships among the genera Tylototriton, Echinotriton, and Pleurodeles were well supported, and which is consistent with the previous molecular phylogeny. PMID:26114322

  7. A new species of the genus Amolops (Amphibia: Ranidae) from southeastern Tibet, China.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Ke; Wang, Kai; Yan, Fang; Xie, Jiang; Zou, Da-Hu; Liu, Wu-Lin; Jiang, Jian-Ping; Li, Cheng; Che, Jing

    2016-01-18

    A new species of the genus Amolops Cope, 1865 is described from Nyingchi, southeastern Tibet, China, based on morphological and molecular data. The new species, Amolops nyingchiensis sp. nov. is assigned to the Amolops monticola group based on its skin smooth, dorsolateral fold distinct, lateral side of head black, upper lip stripe white extending to the shoulder. Amolops nyingchiensis sp. nov. is distinguished from all other species of Amolops by the following combination of characters: (1) medium body size, SVL 48.5-58.3 mm in males, and 57.6-70.7 mm in females; (2) tympanum distinct, slightly larger than one third of the eye diameter; (3) a small tooth-like projection on anteromedial edge of mandible; (4) the absence of white spine on dorsal surface of body; (5) the presence of circummarginal groove on all fingers; (6) the presence of vomerine teeth; (7) background coloration of dorsal surface brown, lateral body gray with yellow; (8) the presence of transverse bands on the dorsal limbs; (9) the presence of nuptial pad on the first finger in males; (10) the absence of vocal sac in males. Taxonomic status of the populations that were previously identified to A. monticola from Tibet is also discussed.

  8. Globuli ossei in the long limb bones of Pleurodeles waltl (Amphibia, Urodela, Salamandridae).

    PubMed

    Quilhac, Alexandra; de Ricqlès, Armand; Lamrous, Hayat; Zylberberg, Louise

    2014-11-01

    To date, little is known about the structure of the cells and the fibrillar matrix of the globuli ossei, globular structures showing histochemical properties of an osseous tissue, sometimes found in the resorption front of the hypertrophied cartilage in many tetrapods, and easily observed in the long bones of the Urodele Pleurodeles waltl. Here, we present the results obtained from the appendicular long bones of metamorphosed juveniles and subadults using histological and histochemical methods and transmission electron microscopy. The distal part of the cone-shaped cartilage contains a heterogeneous cell population composed of the typical "light" hypertrophic chondrocytes and scarce "dark" hypertrophic chondrocytes. The "dark" chondrocytes display ultrastructural characteristics suggesting that they probably undergo degeneration through chondroptosis. However, in the hypertrophic, calcified cartilage close to the erosion front by the marrow, several noninvaded chondrocytic lacunae retained cells that do not show any morphological characteristics of degeneration and that cannot be identified as regular chondrocytes or osteocytes. These modified chondrocytes that have lost their regular morphology, appear to be active in the terminal cartilage and synthesize collagen fibrils of a peculiar diameter intermediate between the Type I collagen found in bone and the Type II collagen characteristic of cartilage. It is suggested that the local occurrence of globuli ossei is linked to a low rate of longitudinal growth as is the case in the long bones of postmetamorphic urodeles. PMID:24895174

  9. An Examination of Morphometric Variations in a Neotropical Toad Population (Proceratophrys cristiceps, Amphibia, Anura, Cycloramphidae)

    PubMed Central

    Vieira, Kleber S.; Arzabe, Cristina; Hernández, Malva I. M.; Vieira, Washington L. S.

    2008-01-01

    The species Proceratophrys cristiceps belongs to the genus Proceratophrys within the family Cycloramphidae. These amphibians are found exclusively in South America in the morphoclimatic domain of the semi-arid depression zones in northeastern Brazil known as the Caatinga. We examined intrapopulational variation using univariate and multivariate statistics with traditional and geometric morphometrics, which supported the existence of two morphotypes of this species. Our results indicated significant degrees of variation in skeletal characteristics between some natural populations of this species. Careful analyses of variability levels are fundamental to avoid taxonomic errors, principally in populations that demonstrate characteristics intimately associated with their area of occurrence, as is the case of Proceratophrys cristiceps. PMID:19088855

  10. A preparation of perfused small intestine for the study of absorption in amphibia.

    PubMed

    Parsons, D S; Prichard, J S

    1968-09-01

    1. A preparation of amphibian small intestine perfused through its vascular system is described. Vascular perfusion with a bicarbonate Ringer solution containing a colloid is used to control the composition of the environment of the submucosal faces of the absorbing cells and to carry away for collection any material extruded from these cells. Oxygenation of the mucosal cells is derived primarily from fluid circulated through the intestinal lumen. The preparation exhibits physiological properties of transport for periods of up to 5 hr. After 5 hr perfusion the epithelial cells show no signs of gross cellular damage when examined either by light or by electron microscopy.2. The relationship between the hydrostatic pressure at the mesenteric artery and the rate of perfusion through the vascular bed is substantially linear. The pressure-flow relationships in the mesenteric bed, including an apparent ;critical closing pressure', are primarily determined by the hydrostatic pressure in the intestinal lumen. Alterations in the hydrostatic pressure in the intestinal lumen also change the relative proportions of the vascular infusate which appear in the portal venous effluent and in the fluid exuded from the serosal surface of the preparation (;sweat'). Hydrostatic distension pressures above about 10 cm H(2)O reduce the rate of collection of fluid from the portal vein and increase the rate of collection of ;sweat'.3. An increase in the rate of vascular perfusion increases the total rate of glucose appearance although the glucose concentrations in both the portal effluent and the ;sweat' are reduced.4. The glucose translocation rate is related in an alinear saturable fashion to the luminal concentration of glucose. By making a correction for metabolic loss of glucose during its passage through the intestinal cell, the relationship existing between the lumen concentration and the uptake of the sugar by the mucosal cells has been calculated. This relationship is found to fit Michaelis-Menten type kinetics. The K(m) of the intestinal translocation process for glucose in Rana pipiens was 0.45 +/- 0.13 (4) muM. The mean V(max) was 137.5 +/- 35.3 (4) muM/hr/g fat-free dry wt.5. When phlorrhizin (10(-5)M) is added to the vascular perfusate, no inhibition of glucose transport is seen for at least 60 min. When strophanthin is added to the vascular perfusate (5 x 10(-5)M), a markedly greater inhibition of glucose transport is observed than when it is introduced to the luminal circulation.6. Earlier studies of the vascular perfusion of isolated small intestine are tabulated. The experimental findings are discussed in relation to a model of the mode of action of the epithelial cell for glucose transport.

  11. The phylogenetic position and diversity of the enigmatic mongrel frog Nothophryne Poynton, 1963 (Amphibia, Anura).

    PubMed

    Bittencourt-Silva, Gabriela B; Conradie, Werner; Siu-Ting, Karen; Tolley, Krystal A; Channing, Alan; Cunningham, Michael; Farooq, Harith M; Menegon, Michele; Loader, Simon P

    2016-06-01

    The phylogenetic relationships of the African mongrel frog genus Nothophryne are poorly understood. We provide the first molecular assessment of the phylogenetic position of, and diversity within, this monotypic genus from across its range-the Afromontane regions of Malawi and Mozambique. Our analysis using a two-tiered phylogenetic approach allowed us to place the genus in Pyxicephalidae. Within the family, Nothophryne grouped with Tomopterna, a hypothesis judged significantly better than alternative hypotheses proposed based on morphology. Our analyses of populations across the range of Nothophryne suggest the presence of several cryptic species, at least one species per mountain. Formal recognition of these species is pending but there is a major conservation concern for these narrowly distributed populations in an area impacted by major habitat change. The phylogenetic tree of pyxicephalids is used to examine evolution of life history, ancestral habitat, and biogeography of this group.

  12. The tadpole of Scinax melanodactylus (Lourenço, Luna & Pombal Jr, 2014) (Amphibia, Anura, Hylidae).

    PubMed

    Abreu, Rafael Oliveira De; Napoli, Marcelo Felgueiras; Trevisan, Camila Costa; Camardelli, Milena; Dória, Thais Andrade Ferreira; Silva, Lucas Menezes

    2015-01-01

    Scinax melanodactylus is a small treefrog distributed within the Tropical Atlantic morphoclimatic domain (see Ab'Sáber 1977 for South American morphoclimatic domains), from northern Espírito Santo state to Sergipe state in Brazil (Lourenço et al. 2014). The species is usually found inhabiting herbaceous and shrubby xerophytic vegetation (e.g. terrestrial tank-bromeliads) from sandy plains of beach ridges known in Brazil as Restingas (see Rocha et al. 2007 for a Restinga definition), and also the edge of forest areas with temporary ponds and/or permanent lakes and streams near these environments (Bastazini et al. 2007, as Scinax agilis; Lourenço et al. 2014). Scinax melanodactylus is currently placed in the S. catharinae species group (Lourenço et al. 2014), which in turn is included in the S. catharinae clade (sensu Faivovich et al. 2005). The S. catharinae clade is currently comprised of 46 species, 33 placed in the catharinae group and 13 in the perpusillus group (Faivovich et al. 2010, Silva & Alves-da-Silva 2011, Lourenço et al. 2014, Frost 2015). From these, 32 species have tadpoles with external morphology and oral disc formerly described. Here, we describe the external morphology, oral disc and color patterns of the previously unknown tadpole of S. melanodactylus. PMID:26250005

  13. Developmental toxicity of treated municipal wastewater effluent on Bombina orientalis (Amphibia: Anura) embryos.

    PubMed

    Park, Chan Jin; Ahn, Hyo Min; Cho, Seong Chan; Kim, Tae-Hoon; Oh, Jong-Min; Ahn, Hong Kyu; Chun, Seung-Hoon; Gye, Myung Chan

    2014-04-01

    Amphibian populations have been decreasing in urban freshwater systems in Korea. To elucidate the biological safety of treated wastewater effluent (TWE) in the Tancheon basin, the capital area of Korea, a 7-d-exposure Bombina orientalis embryo developmental toxicity assay was examined during the breeding season. In March, there were no significant differences in embryonic survival or malformation among the water samples. In July, following monsoon precipitation, embryonic lethality in TWE was significantly higher than in the upstream water sample. Malformation in TWE and TWE-mixed waters was significantly higher than in the control and upstream water samples. Tail muscle height of tadpoles also significantly decreased in TWE and TWE-mixed waters. Heavy metals were not detected in any samples. Total nitrogen, total phosphorous, and chemical oxygen demand in TWE markedly increased together with a decrease in dissolved oxygen in July. The increase in organic and inorganic loading following precipitation could have made TWE and TWE-mixed water not suitable for embryonic development. Though being managed based on physicochemical criteria, the water quality of TWE may not be sufficient to assure normal development of amphibian embryos. An amphibian developmental toxicity assay would be helpful for the water-quality management of TWE and urban freshwater systems in Korea.

  14. A new species of lentic breeding Korean salamander of the genus Hynobius (Amphibia, Urodela).

    PubMed

    Kim, Jong-Bum; Min, Mi-Sook; Matsui, Masafumi

    2003-09-01

    A new species of salamander, Hynobius yangi, is described from Kori (=Hyoam-ri), Busan-shi, southeastern Korea. It is a lentic breeder belonging to the H. nebulosus species group, and has long been confused with another Korean species H. leechii. The new species, however, is genetically substantially differentiated from Korean and Japanese relatives. Hynobius yangi is morphologically very similar to H. leechii, but could be differentiated from it by the tail shape, degree of limb separation, shape of vomerine teeth series, shape of egg sac, and dorsal coloration. PMID:14578577

  15. Occurrence of two types of Hynobius naevius in Northern Kyushu, Japan (Amphibia: Urodela).

    PubMed

    Tominaga, Atsushi; Matsui, Masafumi; Nishikawa, Kanto; Sato, Shin'ichi

    2003-12-01

    A survey to examine genetic variation among Hynobius naevius from four localities of Fukuoka Pref., northern Kyushu, Japan, resulted in the detection of two, sympatric, genetic types (A and B) that are clearly different in the allelic frequencies of four loci (ACOH-A, ACOH-B, ADH-A, and SOD-A) in each locality. Morphological investigations between the two genetic types also proved that they are clearly discriminated; the type A is about 75 mm in SVL, lacks mottling pattern on bluish purple dorsum, and possesses relatively short vomerine teeth series, while the type B is about 60 mm in SVL, and has light mottling on reddish purple ground color. These results strongly suggest that reproductive isolation occurs between these two types, and that they could be regarded as separate species. Populations from Toyota-cho, western Honshu, and Yabe-machi, central Kyushu, both close to Fukuoka Pref., were very similar to the types A and B, respectively. From these results, we consider that two evolutionary lineages that first evolved allopatrically in western Honshu and southern Kyushu secondarily contacted and became sympatric in the region of northern Kyushu. PMID:14709811

  16. Morphological discrimination of two genetic groups of a Japanese salamander, Hynobius naevius (Amphibia, Caudata).

    PubMed

    Tominaga, Atsushi; Matsui, Masafumi; Nishikawa, Kanto; Tanabe, Shingo; Sato, Shin'ichi

    2005-11-01

    Hynobius naevius, distributed on western Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu Islands of Japan, includes two genetically distinct groups (Groups A and B) that have never been delimited morphologically. Using specimens from the entire species range, we investigated the possibility of distinguishing these groups morphologically. Multivariate analyses of morphometric characters resulted in recognition of two groups that corresponded well to the two genetic groups. One (Group A) was characterized by larger body, compressed tail, shallower vomerine tooth series, bluish- or reddish-purple ground color, and pale-white lateral markings. In contrast, another (Group B) was characterized by smaller body, cylindrical tail, longer vomerine tooth series, reddish-brown ground color, and white lateral markings. Group A was composed of populations from the Chugoku District of Honshu and northern Kyushu, and could not be divided into subgroups, while Group B encompassed populations from the Chubu and Kinki Districts of Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu, and was subdivided into three local subgroups that are geographically separated by marine straits. Morphometric differentiation in Group A is presumed to have been less affected by genetic factors than by other factors, such as ecological relationships with other, coexisting species. Differentiation in Group B is assumed to have been enhanced not only by genetic but also by climatological factors. PMID:16357472

  17. Molecular phylogeny and diversification of the genus Odorrana (Amphibia, Anura, Ranidae) inferred from two mitochondrial genes.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiaohong; Chen, Zhuo; Jiang, Jianping; Qiao, Liang; Lu, Youqiang; Zhou, Kaiya; Zheng, Guangmei; Zhai, Xiaofei; Liu, Jianxin

    2013-12-01

    A diversity of hypotheses have been proposed for phylogenetic relationships and taxonomy within the genus Odorrana, and great progress has been made over the past several decades. However, there is still some controversy concerning relationships among Odorrana species. Here, we used many paratypes and topotypes and utilized 1.81 kb of mitochondrial sequence data to generate a phylogeny for approximately 4/5 of Odorrana species, and Odorrana haplotypes form a strongly supported monophyletic group relative to the other genera sampled. The deepest phylogenetic divergences within Odorrana separate 3 lineages whose interrelationships are not recovered with strong support. These lineages include the ancestral lineage of O. chapaensis, the ancestral lineage of a strongly supported clade comprising many western species, and the ancestral lineage of a strongly supported clade comprising all other Odorrana sampled. Within the latter clade, the first phylogenetic split separates O. ishikawae from a well-supported clade comprising its other species. These divergences likely occurred in the middle Miocene, approximately 12-15 million years ago. Separation of the ancestral lineage of Odorrana from its closest relative, Babina in our study, likely occurred in the early Miocene or possibly late Oligocene. Rates of lineage accumulation remained high from the middle Miocene through the Pleistocene.

  18. New material of Beelzebufo, a hyperossified frog (Amphibia: Anura) from the late cretaceous of Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Evans, Susan E; Groenke, Joseph R; Jones, Marc E H; Turner, Alan H; Krause, David W

    2014-01-01

    The extant anuran fauna of Madagascar is exceptionally rich and almost completely endemic. In recent years, many new species have been described and understanding of the history and relationships of this fauna has been greatly advanced by molecular studies, but very little is known of the fossil history of frogs on the island. Beelzebufo ampinga, the first named pre-Holocene frog from Madagascar, was described in 2008 on the basis of numerous disarticulated cranial and postcranial elements from the Upper Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) Maevarano Formation of Madagascar. These specimens documented the presence of a hyperossified taxon that differed strikingly from extant Malagasy frogs in its large size and heavy coarse cranial exostosis. Here we describe and analyse new, articulated, and more complete material of the skull, vertebral column, and hind limb, as well as additional isolated elements discovered since 2008. μCT scans allow a detailed understanding of both internal and external morphology and permit a more accurate reconstruction. The new material shows Beelzebufo to have been even more bizarre than originally interpreted, with large posterolateral skull flanges and sculptured vertebral spine tables. The apparent absence of a tympanic membrane, the strong cranial exostosis, and vertebral morphology suggest it may have burrowed during seasonally arid conditions, which have been interpreted for the Maevarano Formation from independent sedimentological and taphonomic evidence. New phylogenetic analyses, incorporating both morphological and molecular data, continue to place Beelzebufo with hyloid rather than ranoid frogs. Within Hyloidea, Beelzebufo still groups with the South American Ceratophryidae thus continuing to pose difficulties with both biogeographic interpretations and prior molecular divergence dates.

  19. A new species of Meristogenys (Amphibia, Anura, Ranidae) from Sabah, Borneo.

    PubMed

    Matsui, Masafumi; Shimada, Tomohiko; Sudin, Ahmad

    2010-01-01

    We describe a new species of torrent-dwelling ranid frog of the genus Meristogenys from the Crocker Range, western Sabah, northern Borneo. The new species, Meristogenys maryatiae, differs from congeners by the combination of: small body, males 31-37 mm and females 65-66 mm in snout-vent length; head narrower than long; eyes moderate, diameter subequal to snout; iris unicolored; legs long; ventral surface of tibia without heavy pigmentation; rear of thigh blotched dark brown and cream; toes fully webbed; outer metatarsal tubercle present; larval dental formula 7(4-7)/6(1).

  20. Helminth parasites of the leopard frog Lithobates sp. Colima (Amphibia: Ranidae) from Colima, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Cabrera-Guzmán, Elisa; Garrido-Olvera, Lorena; León-Règagnon, Virginia

    2010-08-01

    The helminth fauna inhabiting Lithobates sp. Colima from Ticuizitán, Colima, Mexico, comprises 10 species: 4 digeneans ( Clinostomum sp., Glypthelmins quieta , Haematoloechus sp., and Langeronia macrocirra ), 5 nematodes ( Aplectana itzocanensis , Cosmocerca podicipinus , Foleyellides striatus , Oswaldocruzia subauricularis , and Rhabdias sp.), and 1 cestode (Cyclophyllidea). Glypthelmins quieta , L. macrocirra , and A. itzocanensis represent new host records. These observations, added to previous records from Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico, indicate that the helminth fauna of Lithobates sp. from Colima comprises 25 taxa. Frogs are being parasitized by 3 infection routes: ingestion of intermediate host, skin penetration by larval forms, and transmission by vectors. Species of Aplectana , Cosmocerca , Foleyellides , and Oswaldocruzia occurred in high prevalence in Colima, similar to a previous study on the same frog species from Guerrero. In Colima, Glypthelmins , Haematoloechus , and Rhabdias also occurred in high prevalence. Haematoloechus species reached the highest mean intensity in both localities. The semiaquatic habits of this species of frog and the availability of particular feeding resources appear to determine the helminth composition and infection levels; however, co-speciation events also play an important role structuring these helminth communities.

  1. Unmasking Rana okinavana Boettger, 1895 from the Ryukyus, Japan (Amphibia: Anura: Ranidae).

    PubMed

    Matsui, Masafumi

    2007-02-01

    Examination of the lectotype and a paralectotype of Rana okinavana Boettger, 1895 revealed that the species is not a brown frog of the subgenus Rana, occurring in the middle group of the Ryukyu Archipelago, but is identical with a frog of the subgenus Nidirana from the southern group of the Archipelago and Taiwan, now called R. psaltes Kuramoto, 1985. The type locality of R. okinavana given in the original description, Okinawa of the middle Ryukyus, is highly doubtful and should be somewhere in the Yaeyama Islands of the southern Ryukyus. The name R. psaltes is relegated to a subjective junior synonym of R. okinavana Boettger, 1895, while the brown frog of the subgenus Rana from the northern Ryukyus requires a replacement name.

  2. Histological changes, apoptosis and metallothionein levels in Triturus carnifex (Amphibia, Urodela) exposed to environmental cadmium concentrations.

    PubMed

    Capaldo, Anna; Gay, Flaminia; Scudiero, Rosaria; Trinchella, Francesca; Caputo, Ivana; Lepretti, Marilena; Marabotti, Anna; Esposito, Carla; Laforgia, Vincenza

    2016-04-01

    The aim of this study was to verify if the freshwater safety values established from the European Community (1998) and the Italian Ministry of Health (2001) for cadmium (44.5nM/L in drinking water and 178nM/L in sewage waters) were safe for amphibians, since at these same concentrations cadmium induced endocrine disruption in the newt Triturus carnifex. Adult male specimens of T. carnifex were exposed daily to cadmium (44.5nM/L and 178nM/L as CdCl2, nominal concentrations), respectively, during 3- and 9-months; at the same time, control newts were exposed to tap water only. The accumulation of cadmium in the skin, liver and kidney, the levels of metallothioneins in the skin and the liver, the expression of metallothionein mRNA in the liver, as well as the presence of histological alterations and of apoptosis in the target organs were evaluated. The 9-months exposure induced cadmium accumulation in all the tissues examined; moreover, histological changes were observed in all the tissues examined, irrespective of the dose or the time of exposure. Apoptosis was only detected in the kidney, whereas metallothioneins and metallothionein mRNA did not increase. This study demonstrates that the existing chronic water quality criterion established for cadmium induces in the newt T. carnifex cadmium accumulation and histological alterations in the target organs examined. Together with our previous results, showing that, at these same concentrations, cadmium induced endocrine disruption, the present results suggest that the existing chronic water quality criterion for cadmium appears to be not protective of amphibians.

  3. A New Basal Salamandroid (Amphibia, Urodela) from the Late Jurassic of Qinglong, Hebei Province, China.

    PubMed

    Jia, Jia; Gao, Ke-Qin

    2016-01-01

    A new salamandroid salamander, Qinglongtriton gangouensis (gen. et sp. nov.), is named and described based on 46 fossil specimens of juveniles and adults collected from the Upper Jurassic (Oxfordian) Tiaojishan Formation cropping out in Hebei Province, China. The new salamander displays several ontogenetically and taxonomically significant features, most prominently the presence of a toothed palatine, toothed coronoid, and a unique pattern of the hyobranchium in adults. Comparative study of the new salamander with previously known fossil and extant salamandroids sheds new light on the early evolution of the Salamandroidea, the most species-diverse clade in the Urodela. Cladistic analysis places the new salamander as the sister taxon to Beiyanerpeton, and the two taxa together form the basalmost clade within the Salamandroidea. Along with recently reported Beiyanerpeton from the same geological formation in the neighboring Liaoning Province, the discovery of Qinglongtriton indicates that morphological disparity had been underway for the salamandroid clade by early Late Jurassic (Oxfordian) time. PMID:27144770

  4. The tadpole of Odontophrynus monachus Caramaschi & Napoli, 2012 (Amphibia, Anura: Odontophrynidae).

    PubMed

    Menegucci, Rafael C; Santos, Marcus Thadeu T; Magalhães, Rafael F De; Machado, Ibere F; Garcia, Paulo C A; Pezzuti, Tiago L

    2016-01-01

    The genus Odontophrynus Reinhardt & Lütken comprises 11 species distributed throughout South and East of South America (Frost 2016) clustered in three phenetic groups: O. americanus, O. cultripes, and O. occidentalis (Savage & Cei 1965; Cei 1987; Caramaschi & Napoli 2012). Only the O. occidentalis group is recovered as monophyletic in the most recent phylogenetic hypotheses (Pyron & Wiens 2011; Pyron 2014). In these analyses, the O. cultripes group is not recovered and the monophyly of O. americanus group was not tested, since only one species of the group was included (Pyron & Wiens 2011; Pyron 2014). Therefore, the relationships within the genus are still inconclusive due to low support values and limited taxon sampling. PMID:27615949

  5. Population Genetic Structure of the Endangered Kaiser’s Mountain Newt, Neurergus kaiseri (Amphibia: Salamandridae)

    PubMed Central

    Farasat, Hossein; Akmali, Vahid; Sharifi, Mozafar

    2016-01-01

    Species often exhibit different levels of genetic structuring correlated to their environment. However, understanding how environmental heterogeneity influences genetic variation is difficult because the effects of gene flow, drift and selection are confounded. We investigated the genetic variation and its ecological correlates in an endemic and critically endangered stream breeding mountain newt, Neurergus kaiseri, within its entire range in southwestern Iran. We identified two geographic regions based on phylogenetic relationships using Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood of 779 bp mtDNA (D-loop) in 111 individuals from ten of twelve known breeding populations. This analysis revealed a clear divergence between northern populations, located in more humid habitats at higher elevation, and southern populations, from drier habitats at lower elevations regions. From seven haplotypes found in these populations none was shared between the two regions. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) of N. kaiseri indicates that 94.03% of sequence variation is distributed among newt populations and 5.97% within them. Moreover, a high degree of genetic subdivision, mainly attributable to the existence of significant variance among the two regions is shown (θCT = 0.94, P = 0.002). The positive and significant correlation between geographic and genetic distances (r = 0.61, P = 0.002) following controlling for environmental distance suggests an important influence of geographic divergence of the sites in shaping the genetic variation and may provide tools for a possible conservation based prioritization policy for the endangered species. PMID:26918642

  6. A new species of spiny-backed treefrog (Osteocephalus) from Central Amazonian Brazil (Amphibia: Anura: Hylidae).

    PubMed

    Jungfer, Karl-Heinz; Verdade, Vanessa K; Faivovich, Julián; Rodrigues, Miguel T

    2016-01-01

    A new species of treefrog of the genus Osteocephalus is described from the Rio Abacaxis, a southern tributary of the Amazonas in the state of Amazonas, Brazil. This member of the O. buckleyi group is characterized by green dorsal colouration with irregular blotches of various shades of brown, light venter with tan spots and bold dark markings on the posterior surfaces of the thighs. It can be distinguished from its closest relative, O. helenae from the same general area, by the lack of an axillary membrane, a few indistinct tubercles on the proximal segment of Finger IV and single ulnar tubercles. PMID:27395123

  7. A new species of Noblella (Amphibia, Anura, Craugastoridae) from the humid montane forests of Cusco, Peru.

    PubMed

    Catenazzi, Alessandro; Uscapi, Vanessa; von May, Rudolf

    2015-01-01

    A new species of Noblella is described from the humid montane forest of the Región Cusco in Peru. Specimens were collected at 2330-2370 m elevation in Madre Selva, near Santa Ana, in the province of La Convención. The new species is readily distinguished from all other species of Noblella by having a broad, irregularly shaped, white mark on black background on chest and belly. The new species further differs from known Peruvian species of Noblella by the combination of the following characters: tympanic membrane absent, small tubercles on the upper eyelid and on dorsum, tarsal tubercles or folds absent, tips of digits not expanded, no circumferential grooves on digits, dark brown facial mask and lateral band extending from the tip of the snout to the inguinal region. The new species has a snout-to-vent length of 15.6 mm in one adult male and 17.6 mm in one adult female. Like other recently described species in the genus, this new Noblella inhabits high-elevation forests in the Andes and likely has a restricted geographic distribution. PMID:26312020

  8. A Molecular Assessment of Phylogenetic Relationships and LineageDiversification Within the Family Salamandridae (Amphibia, Caudata)

    SciTech Connect

    Weisrock, David W.; Papenfuss, Theodore J.; Macey, J. Robert; Litvinchuk, Spartak N.; Polymeni, Rosa; Ugurtas, Ismail H.; Zhao, Ermi; Larson, Allan

    2005-08-08

    Phylogenetic relationships among species of the salamanderfamily Salamandridae are investigated using nearly 3000 nucleotide basesof newly reported mitochondrial DNA sequence data from the mtDNA genicregion spanning the genes tRNALeu-COI. This study uses nearlycomprehensive species-level sampling to provide the first completephylogeny for the Salamandridae. Deep phylogenetic relationships amongthe three most divergent lineages in the family Salamandrina terdigitata,a clade comprising the "True" salamanders, and a clade comprising allnewts except S. terdigitata are difficult to resolve. However, mostrelationships within the latter two lineages are resolved with robustlevels of branch support. The genera Euproctus and Triturus arestatistically shown to be nonmonophyletic, instead each contains adiverse set of lineages positioned within the large newt clade. The genusParamesotriton is also resolve as a nonmonophyletic group, with the newlydescribed species P. laoensis constituting a divergent lineage placed ina sister position to clade containing all Pachytriton species and allremaining Paramesotriton species. Sequence divergences between P.laoensis and other Paramesotriton species are as great as those comparingP. laoensis and species of the genera Cynops and Pachytriton. Analyses oflineage diversification across the Salamandridae indicate that, despiteits exceptional diversity, lineage accumulation appears to have beenconstant across time, indicating that it does not represent a truespecies radiation.

  9. Description of a new species of crested newt, previously subsumed in Triturus ivanbureschi (Amphibia: Caudata: Salamandridae).

    PubMed

    Wielstra, B; Arntzen, J W

    2016-05-05

    Multilocus molecular data play a pivotal role in diagnosing cryptic species (i.e. genetically distinct but morphologically similar species). A multilocus phylogeographic survey has provided compelling evidence that Triturus ivanbureschi sensu lato comprises two distinct gene pools with restricted gene flow. We conclude that this taxon had better be treated as two distinct (albeit morphologically cryptic) species. The name T. ivanbureschi should be restricted to the western species, which is distributed in western Asiatic Turkey plus the south-eastern Balkan Peninsula. No name is as yet available for the eastern species, which is distributed in northern Asiatic Turkey. We propose the name T. anatolicus sp. nov. for the eastern species and provide a formal species description.

  10. Globuli ossei in the long limb bones of Pleurodeles waltl (Amphibia, Urodela, Salamandridae).

    PubMed

    Quilhac, Alexandra; de Ricqlès, Armand; Lamrous, Hayat; Zylberberg, Louise

    2014-11-01

    To date, little is known about the structure of the cells and the fibrillar matrix of the globuli ossei, globular structures showing histochemical properties of an osseous tissue, sometimes found in the resorption front of the hypertrophied cartilage in many tetrapods, and easily observed in the long bones of the Urodele Pleurodeles waltl. Here, we present the results obtained from the appendicular long bones of metamorphosed juveniles and subadults using histological and histochemical methods and transmission electron microscopy. The distal part of the cone-shaped cartilage contains a heterogeneous cell population composed of the typical "light" hypertrophic chondrocytes and scarce "dark" hypertrophic chondrocytes. The "dark" chondrocytes display ultrastructural characteristics suggesting that they probably undergo degeneration through chondroptosis. However, in the hypertrophic, calcified cartilage close to the erosion front by the marrow, several noninvaded chondrocytic lacunae retained cells that do not show any morphological characteristics of degeneration and that cannot be identified as regular chondrocytes or osteocytes. These modified chondrocytes that have lost their regular morphology, appear to be active in the terminal cartilage and synthesize collagen fibrils of a peculiar diameter intermediate between the Type I collagen found in bone and the Type II collagen characteristic of cartilage. It is suggested that the local occurrence of globuli ossei is linked to a low rate of longitudinal growth as is the case in the long bones of postmetamorphic urodeles.

  11. Descriptions and biological notes on three unusual mantellid tadpoles (Amphibia: Anura: Mantellidae) from southeastern Madagascar

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Altig, R.; McDiarmid, R.W.

    2006-01-01

    The morphologies of three unusual tadpoles from slow-flowing, sandy-bottomed, rain forest streams in southeastern Madagascar are described. The large oral apparatus of the tadpole of Boophis picturatus Glaw, Vences, Andreone, and Vallan, 2001 lacks all keratinized structures and has an elaborately-folded lower labium with five, radially oriented, flattopped ridges. The tadpole of Mantidactylus guttulatus (Boulenger, 1881) lacks all keratinized mouthparts and has three immense papillae where the upper jaw normally occurs. The tadpole of Mantidactylus lugubris (Dumeril, 1853) has an ornate oral apparatus involving greatly hypertrophied derivatives of jaw serrations and unique structures on the lower labium that resemble labial teeth.

  12. Two new Phrynobatrachus species (Amphibia: Anura: Phrynobatrachidae) from the Republic of the Congo.

    PubMed

    Rödel, Mark-Oliver; Burger, Marius; Zassi-Boulou, Ange Ghislain; Emmrich, Mike; Penner, Johannes; Barej, Michael F

    2015-01-01

    We describe two new species of puddle frogs, genus Phrynobatrachus, from the south-western Republic of the Congo. One of them, P. horsti sp. nov., occurs also in neighbouring Gabon and is morphologically most similar to the Cameroonian P. ruthbeateae. It differs from the latter species by smaller males with longer thighs and shanks. The new species comprises various colour morphs but always has less conspicuous black borders between flanks and belly than P. ruthbeateae. The distinct and large black axillary blotch of P. ruthbeateae is either much smaller in P. horsti sp. nov., or broken into numerous irregularly shaped smaller dots. Similarly, a black transversal line at the anterior ventral border of thighs and the black face mask is less distinct and irregularly delimitated in P. horsti sp. nov. when compared to P. ruthbeateae. The mean genetic difference in the sampled region of the 16S rRNA gene between P. horsti sp. nov. and 40 other western African congeners range from 3.66-18.10%. The second new species, P. mayokoensis sp. nov., differs from all other known congeners by the combination of a compact and warty body, the absence of a spiny eyelid tubercle and pedal webbing, a conspicuous black triangle on throat and anterior part of the belly, and a distinct large red blotch on the anterior-proximal surface of the thighs. It exhibited a mean genetic difference in the 16S rRNA to 40 other western African congeners ranging from 1.34-16.98%. The genetically most similar sequence stems from a GenBank entry of a Gabonese frog, determined as P. ogoensis. A comparison of the new species with P. ogoensis syntypes confirmed their specific distinctiveness, most convincingly underlined by the absence of pedal webbing in the new species and the pronounced pedal webbing in P. ogoensis. The GenBank entry thus most likely is based on a misidentification and P. mayokoensis sp. nov. may also occur in neighbouring Gabon. The discovery of the two new frog species is further evidence of the huge gap in our knowledge concerning the species richness in the Guineo-Congolian rainforests. PMID:26624339

  13. Description of a new species of Microhyla from Bali, Indonesia (Amphibia, Anura).

    PubMed

    Matsui, Masafumi; Hamidy, Amir; Eto, Koshiro

    2013-01-01

    We describe a microhylid frog from Bali, Indonesia as a new species, Microhyla orientalis sp. nov. It belongs to the M. achatina group and is close to M. mantheyi, M. malang, and M. borneensis. It is distinguished from its congeners by a combination of the following characters: small size (adult males about 16-17 mm in SVL); a faint vertebral stripe present; a black lateral stripe from behind eye to half length of trunk; snout rounded in profile; eyelid without supraciliary spines; first finger less than one-fifth of third; tips of three outer fingers weakly dilated, forming weak disks, dorsally with median longitudinal groove; outer palmar tubercle single; tibiotarsal articulation reaching up to center of eye; tips of toes distinctly dilated into disks, dorsally with median longitudinal groove; inner and outer metatarsal tubercles present; four or more phalanges on inner and outer sides of fourth toe, and three phalanges on inner side of fifth toe free of web; and tail of larva with a black marking at middle. The male advertisement call of the new species consists of a series of notes each lasts for 0.01-0.08 s and composed of 3-5 pulses with a dominant frequency of 3.2-3.6 kHz. Uncorrected sequence divergences between M. orientalis and all homologous 16S rRNA sequences available were > 6.6%. At present, the new species is known from rice fields between 435-815 m elevation in Wongaya Gede and Batukaru.

  14. A new diminutive frog species of Adelophryne (Amphibia: Anura: Eleutherodactylidae) from the Atlantic Forest, southeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Lourenço-de-Moraes, Ricardo; Ferreira, Rodrigo Barbosa; Fouquet, Antoine; Bastos, Rogério Pereira

    2014-08-04

    The genus Adelophryne is composed of diminutive frogs occurring in northern Amazonia and the Atlantic Forest. Herein we describe a new species of Adelophryne found in the leaf litter of primary and secondary forests in the mountainous region of Espírito Santo state, southeastern Brazil. The new species is characterized by its small body size, two phalanges in the finger IV, and a glandular ridge line that runs from the posterior part of eye to the insertion of the forelimb. This species is sensitive to edge effect and conversion of native forest into coffee and Eucalyptus plantations and may be listed as Endangered (EN) under B1ab(iii) criteria of the IUCN Red List.

  15. [Blood supply of the compact and spongy myocardium of fish, amphibia and reptiles].

    PubMed

    Romenskiĭ, O Iu

    1978-07-01

    Coronal arteries were injected with lead carbonate suspension and with Indian ink and cleared preparations 150--300 mkm thick were made in 195 hearts of fish, amphibians and reptiles and studied roentgenographically. It was stated that in Chondrichthyes (shark, skate) and in Chondrostei (beluga, stellate sturgeon, sturgeon), as well as in alligator both compact and spongy myocardium of the cardiac ventricle possess blood vessels. In teleostei, amphibians and reptiles (except alligator) spongy myocardium is avascular and receives its nutrition from the ventricle. In view of the data on the presence of blood vessels in the spongy myocardium in some vertebrates, it is impossible to accept the theory suggested by Grant and Regnier according to which vessels in the heart walls appear only in connection with compactization of the myocardium. Vascularization of the spongy myocardium is closely connected with oxygen saturation of the blood flowing through the heart. When this saturation is not satisfactory, the spongy myocardium has blood vessels. In alligator, vascularization of the spongy myocardium is connected with the fact that the heart has four chambers and there are arterial and venous blood streams.

  16. The zone of mature spermatozoa in the testis of Salamandra salamandra (L.) (Amphibia, Urodela).

    PubMed

    Bergmann, M; Schindelmeiser, J; Greven, H

    1982-01-01

    The zone of mature spermatozoa in the testis of the european fire salamander, Salamandra salamandra, consists of numerous lobules embedded in a vascularized connective tissue. Most of the lobule boundary cells show features of SH-secreting cells (an increased amount of smooth ER, globular mitochondria with tubular cristae), whereas other retain a fibrocytic appearance. The mature spermatozoa within the lobules seem to be at least partly phagocytized and digested by the often highly vacuolized Sertoli cells. Lobules open into efferent ductules lined by a monolayered epithelium, whose cells are highly interdigitated. The capillaries of the interlobular connective tissue possess enlarged luminal and basal surfaces.

  17. Beautiful bright belly: A distinctive new microhylid frog (Amphibia: Stumpffia) from eastern Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Glaw, Frank; Vallan, Denis; Andreone, Franco; Edmonds, Devin; Dolch, Rainer; Vences, Miguel

    2015-02-26

    We describe a new red-bellied species of the microhylid frog genus Stumpffia from the Andasibe region (18°56' S, 48°25' E, ca. 900 m elevation) in central-eastern Madagascar. Stumpffia kibomena sp. nov. differs from all other described Stumpffia species in coloration, morphology, and by genetic differentiation in the mitochondrial 16S  rRNA gene (≥8.6% uncorrected p-distance to all other nominal species of the genus). It is furthermore distinguished from most other Stumpffia species by its advertisement calls. The new species is reliably known only from a few specimens collected in the Andasibe region and based on the limited knowledge we suggest its IUCN Red List classification as "Data Deficient".

  18. New Material of Beelzebufo, a Hyperossified Frog (Amphibia: Anura) from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    Evans, Susan E.; Groenke, Joseph R.; Jones, Marc E. H.; Turner, Alan H.; Krause, David W.

    2014-01-01

    The extant anuran fauna of Madagascar is exceptionally rich and almost completely endemic. In recent years, many new species have been described and understanding of the history and relationships of this fauna has been greatly advanced by molecular studies, but very little is known of the fossil history of frogs on the island. Beelzebufo ampinga, the first named pre-Holocene frog from Madagascar, was described in 2008 on the basis of numerous disarticulated cranial and postcranial elements from the Upper Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) Maevarano Formation of Madagascar. These specimens documented the presence of a hyperossified taxon that differed strikingly from extant Malagasy frogs in its large size and heavy coarse cranial exostosis. Here we describe and analyse new, articulated, and more complete material of the skull, vertebral column, and hind limb, as well as additional isolated elements discovered since 2008. μCT scans allow a detailed understanding of both internal and external morphology and permit a more accurate reconstruction. The new material shows Beelzebufo to have been even more bizarre than originally interpreted, with large posterolateral skull flanges and sculptured vertebral spine tables. The apparent absence of a tympanic membrane, the strong cranial exostosis, and vertebral morphology suggest it may have burrowed during seasonally arid conditions, which have been interpreted for the Maevarano Formation from independent sedimentological and taphonomic evidence. New phylogenetic analyses, incorporating both morphological and molecular data, continue to place Beelzebufo with hyloid rather than ranoid frogs. Within Hyloidea, Beelzebufo still groups with the South American Ceratophryidae thus continuing to pose difficulties with both biogeographic interpretations and prior molecular divergence dates. PMID:24489877

  19. Genetic analysis reveals candidate species in the Scinax catharinae clade (Amphibia: Anura) from Central Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Nogueira, Lídia; Solé, Mirco; Siqueira, Sérgio; Affonso, Paulo Roberto Antunes de Mello; Strüssmann, Christine; Sampaio, Iracilda

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Scinax (Anura: Hylidae) is a species-rich genus of amphibians (113 spp.), divided into five species groups by morphological features. Cladistic analyses however revealed only two monophyletic clades in these groups: Scinax catharinae and Scinax ruber. Most species from the S. catharinae clade are found in Atlantic rainforest, except for Scinax canastrensis,S. centralis, S. luizotavioi, S. machadoi,S. pombali and S. skaios. In the present work, specimens of Scinax collected in Chapada dos Guimarães, central Brazil, were morphologically compatible with species from theS. catharinae group. On the other hand, genetic analysis based on mitochondrial (16S and 12S) and nuclear (rhodopsin) sequences revealed a nucleotide divergence of 6 to 20% between Scinax sp. and other congeners from the Brazilian savannah (Cerrado). Accordingly, Bayesian inference placed Scinax sp. in the S. catharinae clade with high support values. Hence, these findings strongly indicate the presence of a new species in the S. catharinae clade from the southwestern portion of the Brazilian savannah. To be properly validated as a novel species, detailed comparative morphological and bioacustic studies with other taxa from Brazil such asS. canastrensis, S. centralis, S. luizotavioi, S. machadoi, S. pombali and S. skaios are required. PMID:27007898

  20. [Various effects of prostaglandin E2 on reabsorption of water and urea in the amphibia osmosis-regulating epithelium].

    PubMed

    Parnova, R G; Bakhteeva, V T; Lavrova, E A

    2001-12-01

    Principal similarities between molecular pathways providing the enhancement of water and urea reabsorption under the action of argininvasotocin (AVT) in amphibian urinary bladder suggest that prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) could be a negative regulator of urea transport. To analyse this hypothesis, the role of PGE2 in regulation of urea transport was studied in isolated frog (Rana temporaria L.) urinary bladder. The urea permeability (Pu) was determined from the rate of efflux of (14) Curea from mucosal to serosal solution in isoosmotic conditions. The water permeability was measured in separate experiments in presence of an osmotic gradient. In contrast to water permeability, we were unable to demonstrate any inhibitory effect of 10-1000 nM PGE2 on AVT-stimulated urea transport using a variety of protocols. It was found that basolateral PGE2 exposure (10 nM-1 microM) caused an increase in Pu with no effect on osmotic water flow. The PGE2 effect was markedly inhibited by phloretin, a specific inhibitor of urea transporter. Sulprostone, an EP1/EP3 prostaglandin E2 receptor agonist, had no effect on Pu suggesting the contribution of EP2/EP4 receptor subtypes. In presence of osmotic water flow, the AVT-induced urea transport was significantly higher. This water flow-dependent urea permeability was inhibited by PGE2 although the inhibitory effect was less pronounced in comparison to the action of PGE2 on osmotic water flow. On the basis of these results we can make a conclusion that PGE2 has different role in regulation of water and urea transport in the frog urinary bladder. PGE2 could be considered as a stimulator of urea transport and an inhibitor of osmotic water flow activated by the AVT. The ability of PGE2 to regulate various types of cAMP-dependent transport by different mechanisms seems to be based on the presence of multiple basolateral PGE2 receptor subtypes in amphibian osmosis-regulatory epithelium.

  1. Early development of chondrocranium in the tailed frog Ascaphus truei (Amphibia: Anura): implications for anuran palatoquadrate homologies.

    PubMed

    Reiss, J O

    1997-01-01

    Chondrocranial development in Ascaphus truei was studied by serial sectioning and graphical reconstruction. Nine stages (21-29; 9-18 mm TL) were examined. Mesodermal cells were distinguished from ectomesenchymal (neural crest derived) cells by retained yolk granules. Ectomesenchymal parts of the chondrocranium include the suprarostrals, pila preoptica, anterior trabecula, and palatoquadrate. Mesodermal parts of the chondrocranium include the orbital cartilage, posterior trabecula, parachordal, basiotic lamina, and otic capsule. Development of the palatoquadrate is as follows. The pterygoid process first connects with the trabecula far rostrally; their fusion progresses caudally. The ascending process connects with a mesodermal bar that extends from the orbital cartilage to the otic capsule, and forms the ventral border of the dorsal trigeminal outlet. This bar is the "ascending process" of Ascaphus adults; it is a neurocranial, not palatoquadrate structure. The basal process chondrifies in an ectomesenchymal strand running from the quadrate keel to the postpalatine commissure. Later, the postpalatine commissure and basal process extend anteromedially to contact the floor of the anterior cupula of the otic capsule, creating separate foramina for the palatine and hyomandibular branches of the facial nerve. Based on these data, and on comparison with other frogs and salamanders, the anuran anterior quadratocranial commissure is homologized with the pterygoid process of salamanders, the anuran basal process (= "pseudobasal" or "hyobasal" process) with the basal process of salamanders, and the anuran otic ledge with the basitrabecular process of salamanders. The extensive similarities in palatoquadrate structure and development between frogs and salamanders, and lacking in caecilians, are not phylogenetically informative. Available information on fossil outgroups suggests that some of these similarities are primitive for Lissamphibia, whereas for others the polarity is uncertain.

  2. A new species of Bolitoglossa (Amphibia, Caudata) from the Sierra de Juárez, Oaxaca, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Rovito, Sean M; Parra-Olea, Gabriela; Lee, Dana; Wake, David B

    2012-01-01

    We describe a new species of Bolitoglossa (Nanotriton) from the Sierra de Juárez and Sierra Mixe of Oaxaca, Mexico. Bolitoglossa chinantecasp. n. is distinguished from the three other species in the subgenus Nanotriton by its more robust body, by having substantial numbers of maxillary teeth and differences in relative head width, foot width, and limb length. The new species occurs in sympatry with Bolitoglossa (Nanotriton) rufescens at the type locality. The description of another species of salamander from the Sierra de Juárez is noteworthy, given the already high plethodontid salamander species richness of the region.

  3. Morphological characterization of Eustrongylides sp. larvae (Nematoda, Dioctophymatoidea) parasite of Rhinella marina (Amphibia: Bufonidae) from Eastern Amazonia.

    PubMed

    Melo, Francisco Tiago de Vasconcelos; Melo, Caroline do Socorro Barros; Nascimento, Luciana de Cássia Silva do; Giese, Elane Guerreiro; Furtado, Adriano Penha; Santos, Jeannie Nascimento Dos

    2016-06-01

    Absctract Eustrongylides spp. nematodes have birds as final hosts and uses other vertebrates as intermediate/paratenic host (fish, amphibians and reptiles) and have zoonotic potential. In amphibians, the larvae may be located in the subcutaneous tissues, liver and mesentery, between the muscle fibres, especially in the lower limbs. Rhinella marina, which is widely observed in Brazil, has exhibited complex diversity in its helminth fauna, reflecting the unique habitat of the Amazon biome. For the first time, this study describes the morphological aspects of third-stage larvae of Eustrongylides sp. in Rhinella marina from Santa Cruz do Ararí, Marajó Archipelago, Eastern Amazonia, using light and scanning electron microscopy.

  4. A new species of Bolitoglossa (Amphibia, Caudata) from the Sierra de Juárez, Oaxaca, Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Rovito, Sean M.; Parra-Olea, Gabriela; Lee, Dana; Wake, David B.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract We describe a new species of Bolitoglossa (Nanotriton) from the Sierra de Juárez and Sierra Mixe of Oaxaca, Mexico. Bolitoglossa chinanteca sp. n. is distinguished from the three other species in the subgenus Nanotriton by its more robust body, by having substantial numbers of maxillary teeth and differences in relative head width, foot width, and limb length. The new species occurs in sympatry with Bolitoglossa (Nanotriton) rufescens at the type locality. The description of another species of salamander from the Sierra de Juárez is noteworthy, given the already high plethodontid salamander species richness of the region. PMID:22577313

  5. Two new species of Oswaldocruzia (Nematoda: Trichostrongylina: Molineoidea) parasites of the cane toad Rhinella marina (Amphibia: Anura) from Peru.

    PubMed

    Guerrero, Ricardo

    2013-03-01

    Two new species of Oswaldocruzia, O. manuensis sp. nov., and O. urubambaensis sp. nov. are described and illustrated from Peru, these are parasites of the cane toad Rhinella marina. O. manuensis is characterized by having cervical alae which are not well developed, ridges without chitinous supports, caudal bursa type II and branches of fork of dissimilar length. O. urubambaensis is characterized by a caudal bursa of type I, ridges with chitinous supports, a thin cephalic vesicle and origin of rays 9 in tip of the dorsal trunk. PMID:23377910

  6. Allozymic variation and phylogeography of two genetic types of Onychodactylus japonicus (Amphibia: Caudata: Hynobiidae) sympatric in the Kinki District, Japan.

    PubMed

    Yoshikawa, Natsuhiko; Matsui, Masafumi; Nishikawa, Kanto

    2010-04-01

    On the basis of allozyme and mtDNA sequence variation, we elucidated genetic relationships between two sympatric genetic types of Onychodactylus japonicus in Kinki and adjacent districts, and investigated their phylogeography. Allozymic analysis revealed the presence of two distinct genetic types (the SW-Honshu and Kinki groups) in this area, and their sympatric occurrence in three of 10 sampling sites. Fixed or nearly fixed allele differences in several loci strongly suggested reproductive isolation between the two types, although one hybrid specimen was found in a locality. Analyses of mtDNA using 194 specimens from 22 localities also demonstrated two genetic types. From phylogeographic and population genetic analyses, it was surmised that these two types diverged allopatrically, and secondarily contacted to become sympatric by the Pleistocene uplift of mountains. Our results indicate different specific status for these two types and separation of the Kinki group from O. japonicus, to which the SW-Honshu group belongs.

  7. The pelvic kidney of male Ambystoma maculatum (Amphibia, urodela, ambystomatidae) with special reference to the sexual collecting ducts.

    PubMed

    Siegel, Dustin S; Sever, David M; Aldridge, Robert D

    2010-12-01

    This study details the gross and microscopic anatomy of the pelvic kidney in male Ambystoma maculatum. The nephron of male Ambystoma maculatum is divided into six distinct regions leading sequentially away from a renal corpuscle: (1) neck segment, which communicates with the coelomic cavity via a ventrally positioned pleuroperitoneal funnel, (2) proximal tubule, (3) intermediate segment, (4) distal tubule, (5) collecting tubule, and (6) collecting duct. The proximal tubule is divided into a vacuolated proximal region and a distal lysosomic region. The basal plasma membrane is modified into intertwining microvillus lamellae. The epithelium of the distal tubule varies little along its length and is demarcated by columns of mitochondria with their long axes oriented perpendicular to the basal lamina. The distal tubule possesses highly interdigitating microvillus lamellae from the lateral membranes and pronounced foot processes of the basal membrane that are not intertwined, but perpendicular to the basal lamina. The collecting tubule is lined by an epithelium with dark and light cells. Light cells are similar to those observed in the distal tuble except with less mitochondria and microvillus lamellae of the lateral and basal plasma membrane. Dark cells possess dark euchromatic nuclei and are filled with numerous small mitochondria. The epithelium of the neck segment, pleuroperitoneal funnel, and intermediate segment is composed entirely of ciliated cells with cilia protruding from only the central portion of the apical plasma membrane. The collecting duct is lined by a highly secretory epithelium that produces numerous membrane bound granules that stain positively for neutral carbohydrates and proteins. Apically positioned ciliated cells are intercalated between secretory cells. The collecting ducts anastomose caudally and unite with the Wolffian duct via a common collecting duct. The Wolffian duct is secretory, but not to the extent of the collecting duct, synthesizes neutral carbohydrates and proteins, and is also lined by apical ciliated cells intercalated between secretory cells. Although functional aspects associated with the morphological variation along the length of the proximal portions of the nephron have been investigated, the role of a highly secretory collecting duct has not. Historical data that implicated secretory activity concordant with mating activity, and similarity of structure and chemistry to sexual segments of the kidneys in other vertebrates, lead us to believe that the collecting duct functions as a secondary sexual organ in Ambystoma maculatum.

  8. Osteological Variation among Extreme Morphological Forms in the Mexican Salamander Genus Chiropterotriton (Amphibia: Plethodontidae): Morphological Evolution And Homoplasy

    PubMed Central

    Darda, David M.; Wake, David B.

    2015-01-01

    Osteological variation is recorded among and within four of the most distinctive species of the Mexican salamander genus Chiropterotriton. Analysis of the data is consistent with the monophyletic status of the genus and documents previously unrecorded intraspecific and interspecific variation. Most of the recorded variation involves qualitative and quantitative proportional differences, but four fixed differences constitute autapomorphic states that affirm and diagnose some species (C. dimidiatus, C. magnipes). Osteological variation in 15 characters is analyzed with respect to predictions generated from four hypotheses: 1) phylogeny, 2) adaptation to specific habitats (the four species include cave-dwelling, terrestrial, and arboreal forms), 3) size-free shape, and 4) size. High levels of intraspecific variation suggest that the characters studied are not subject to rigid functional constraints in salamanders, regardless of size. The pattern predicted by the hypothesis based on size differences seen among these four Chiropterotriton species matches most closely the observed pattern of relative skull robustness. Since size change and heterochrony are often associated in plethodontid evolution, it is likely that changes in developmental timing play a role in the morphological transitions among these morphologically diverse taxa. Webbed feet, miniaturization, body shape, and an unusual tarsal arrangement are morphologies exhibited in species of Chiropterotrition that are shown to be homoplastic with other clades of tropical plethodontids. Although extensive homoplasy in salamanders might be seen as a roadblock to unraveling phylogenetic hypotheses, the homologous developmental systems that appear to underlie such homoplasy may reveal common and consistent evolutionary processes at work. PMID:26060996

  9. Nanometals induce stress and alter thyroid hormone action in amphibia at or below North American water quality guidelines.

    PubMed

    Hinther, Ashley; Vawda, Saadia; Skirrow, Rachel C; Veldhoen, Nik; Collins, Patricia; Cullen, Jay T; van Aggelen, Graham; Helbing, Caren C

    2010-11-01

    Nanometals are manufactured to particle sizes with diameters in the nanometer range and are included in a variety of consumer and health products. There is a lack of information regarding potential effects of these materials on aquatic organisms. Amphibians are regarded as environmental sentinels and demonstrate an exquisite sensitivity to thyroid hormone action, a hormone that is essential for human health. This present study assessed the effect of exposure to nanometals on stress and thyroid hormone signaling in frog tissue using a cultured tail fin biopsy (C-fin) assay derived from Rana catesbeiana tadpoles. The C-fin assay maintains tissue complexity and biological replication while multiple chemical responses can be assessed from the same individual. We tested the ability of nanosilver (0.06 μg/L-5.5 mg/L), quantum dots (0.25 μg/L-22 mg/L), and nanozinc oxide (0.19-10 mg/L) to alter gene expression in the presence or absence of 3,3',5'-triiodothyronine (T(3)) using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Results were compared to exposure to micrometer-silver, silver nitrate, and micrometer-cadmium telluride. Nanosilver (≥2.75 mg/L) and quantum dots (≥0.22 mg/L) altered the expression of transcripts linked to T(3)- and stress-mediated pathways, while nanozinc oxide had no effect. Lower concentrations of nanosilver (0.6 to 550 μg/L) perturbed T(3)-mediated signaling while not inducing cell stress. The observed effects were orders of magnitude below acute toxicity levels and occurred at or below the current North American water quality guidelines for metals, underscoring the need for evaluating nanoparticles separately from their constituent chemicals. PMID:20929207

  10. A new species of Pristimantis (Amphibia, Anura, Craugastoridae) from the foothills of the Andes in Manu National Park, southeastern Peru.

    PubMed

    Shepack, Alexander; von May, Rudolf; Ttito, Alex; Catenazzi, Alessandro

    2016-01-01

    We describe a new species of Pristimantis from the humid sub-montane forest of the Región Cusco in Peru. Pristimantis pluvialis sp. n. was collected in the Kosñipata and Entoro valleys at elevations from 740 to 1110 m a.s.l., near the borders of Manu National Park and within the Huachiperi Haramba Queros Conservation Concession. The new species can be distinguished from other members of the genus Pristimantis by its rostral tubercle, smooth dorsal skin, and by its advertisement call. Pristimantis lacrimosus and Pristimantis waoranii superficially most resemble the new species, but Pristimantis pluvialis sp. n. differs from both species by having a rostral tubercle (absent in Pristimantis waoranii and variable in Pristimantis lacrimosus) and larger size, from Pristimantis lacrimosus by its call emitted at a lower frequency, and from Pristimantis waoranii for its dorsal coloration with dark markings. Two other species have partially overlapping distributions and resemble the new species, Pristimantis mendax and Pristimantis olivaceus, but they produce advertisement calls with much higher dominant frequencies than the advertisement call of the new species. Furthermore, Pristimantis mendax differs from the new species by lacking a rostral tubercle and by having a sigmoid inner tarsal fold, whereas Pristimantis olivaceus differs by being smaller and by having dorsal skin shagreen with scattered tubercles. The new species has snout-vent length of 21.8-26.9 mm in males (n = 12) and 28.8 mm in a single female. PMID:27408563

  11. A new rainfrog of the Pristimantis myersi Group (Amphibia, Craugastoridae) from Volcán Pichincha, Ecuador.

    PubMed

    Rojas-Runjaic, Fernando J M; C, J Amanda Delgado; Guayasamin, Juan M

    2014-01-01

    A new frog of the Pristimantis myersi Group is described from a bamboo patch within the Reserva Ecológica Verdecocha (0°5'46.9"S, 78°36'15.3"W; 2851 m), located at northwestern flank of the Volcán Pichincha, in the vicinities of Quito, Ecuador. The new species is known from eight adult males, whereas the females remain unknown; it can be readily distinguished from all species of the P. myersi Group that inhabit the highlands of the Ecuadorian Andes by the unique combination of the following characters: body small (adult male SVL 14.9-19.7 mm; females unknown); dorsal skin shagreen, with a barely visible middorsal raphe, scapular and dorsolateral folds; tympanum small but well-defined; upper eyelid with one enlarged tubercle; males with prominent vocal slits, but without nuptial pads on thumbs; fold-like tarsal tubercles. With this new species, the number of Pristimantis assigned to the P. myersi Group raises to 16, of which, 12 are in Ecuador. We provide notes on morphology and color variation, advertisement call, and natural history of the new species. PMID:24871827

  12. Long bone histology of the stem salamander Kokartus honorarius (Amphibia: Caudata) from the Middle Jurassic of Kyrgyzstan.

    PubMed

    Skutschas, Pavel; Stein, Koen

    2015-04-01

    Kokartus honorarius from the Middle Jurassic (Bathonian) of Kyrgyzstan is one of the oldest salamanders in the fossil record, characterized by a mixture of plesiomorphic morphological features and characters shared with crown-group salamanders. Here we present a detailed histological analysis of its long bones. The analysis of a growth series demonstrates a significant histological maturation during ontogeny, expressed by the progressive appearance of longitudinally oriented primary vascular canals, primary osteons, growth marks, remodelling features in primary bone tissues, as well as progressive resorption of the calcified cartilage, formation of endochondral bone and development of cartilaginous to bony trabeculae in the epiphyses. Apart from the presence of secondary osteons, the long bone histology of Kokartus is very similar to that of miniaturized temnospondyls, other Jurassic stem salamanders, miniaturized seymouriamorphs and modern crown-group salamanders. We propose that the presence of secondary osteons in Kokartus honorarius is a plesiomorphic feature, and the loss of secondary osteons in the long bones of crown-group salamanders as well as in those of miniaturized temnospondyls is the result of miniaturization processes. Hitherto, all stem salamander long bong histology (Kokartus, Marmorerpeton and 'salamander A') has been generally described as having paedomorphic features (i.e. the presence of Katschenko's Line and a layer of calcified cartilage), these taxa were thus most likely neotenic forms. The absence of clear lines of arrested growth and annuli in long bones of Kokartus honorarius suggests that the animals lived in an environment with stable local conditions.

  13. Functional characterization of the vertebrate primary ureter: Structure and ion transport mechanisms of the pronephric duct in axolotl larvae (Amphibia)

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Three kidney systems appear during vertebrate development: the pronephroi, mesonephroi and metanephroi. The pronephric duct is the first or primary ureter of these kidney systems. Its role as a key player in the induction of nephrogenic mesenchyme is well established. Here we investigate whether the duct is involved in urine modification using larvae of the freshwater amphibian Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl) as model. Results We investigated structural as well as physiological properties of the pronephric duct. The key elements of our methodology were: using histology, light and transmission electron microscopy as well as confocal laser scanning microscopy on fixed tissue and applying the microperfusion technique on isolated pronephric ducts in combination with single cell microelectrode impalements. Our data show that the fully differentiated pronephric duct is composed of a single layered epithelium consisting of one cell type comparable to the principal cell of the renal collecting duct system. The cells are characterized by a prominent basolateral labyrinth and a relatively smooth apical surface with one central cilium. Cellular impalements demonstrate the presence of apical Na+ and K+ conductances, as well as a large K+ conductance in the basolateral cell membrane. Immunolabeling experiments indicate heavy expression of Na+/K+-ATPase in the basolateral labyrinth. Conclusions We propose that the pronephric duct is important for the subsequent modification of urine produced by the pronephros. Our results indicate that it reabsorbs sodium and secretes potassium via channels present in the apical cell membrane with the driving force for ion movement provided by the Na+/K+ pump. This is to our knowledge the first characterization of the pronephric duct, the precursor of the collecting duct system, which provides a model of cell structure and basic mechanisms for ion transport. Such information may be important in understanding the evolution of vertebrate kidney systems and human diseases associated with congenital malformations. PMID:20507566

  14. A new species of the genus Odorrana (Amphibia: Ranidae) and the first record of Odorrana bacboensis from China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ying-Yong; Lau, Michael Wai-Neng; Yang, Jian-Huan; Chen, Guo-Ling; Liu, Zu-Yao; Pang, Hong; Liu, Yang

    2015-01-01

    The genus Odorrana currently contains at least 56 recognized species that inhabits montane streams in subtropical and tropical Asia. Twenty new species have been described in the last decade, indicating the potential cryptic species diversity of this genus. We collected several specimens of Odorrana species from Southern China from 2007 to 2014, and on the basis of a combined morphological characters and phylogenetic analysis, we described the new species Odorrana fengkaiensis sp. nov. herein. The new species is very similar to O. hainanensis and O. bacboensis, but can be consistently separated by morphology, and allopatric distribution. It is further reciprocally monophyletic to O. hainanensis in a mitochondrial gene trees with an average genetic divergence of 2.1% (1.9%-2.4%). The new species inhabits in lowland broad streams, rivers, pools and near the riparian areas, but its general ecology remains poorly known. The new species is characterized by its body length of adult females approximately twice as long as adult males (SVL 77.8-111.9 mm in females, 37.4-51.8 mm in males); eye large in males, eye diameter 1.01-1.16 times as long as snout length; tympanum of males large and distinct, extremely close to the eye, 0.7-1.4 mm in tympanum-eye distance; dorsolateral folds absent; dorsal skin shagreened, with several large tubercles in males; flanks with tubercles and scattered larger pustules, 8-10 of which usually arranged in a dorsolateral row; ventral skin smooth, with spines in adult males during the breeding season; the tibio-tarsal articulation stretched forward beyond the tip of snout; relative finger lengths: II < I < IV < III; dorsum brown with irregularly reticulated green markings in males and young females, uniformly brown in some old adult females; males with velvety nuptial pad on thumb, paired gular pouches; mature oocytes almost purely black in life, showed dark grey animal pole and olive vegetative pole in preservative. In addition, we found O. bacboensis, a new country record from China, indicating a range extension from north-central Vietnam to southeast Yunnan and adjacent area in Guangxi. PMID:26623573

  15. Temporal selectivity for complex signals by single neurons in the torus semicircularis of Pleurodema thaul (Amphibia:Leptodactylidae).

    PubMed

    Penna, M; Lin, W Y; Feng, A S

    1997-04-01

    Responses of auditory neurons in the torus semicircularis (TS) of Pleurodema thaul, a leptodactylid from Chile, to synthetic stimuli having diverse temporal patterns and to digitized advertisement calls of P. thaul and three sympatric species, were recorded to investigate their temporal response selectivities. The advertisement call of this species consists of a long sequence of sound pulses (a pulse-amplitude-modulated, or PAM, signal) having a dominant frequency of about 2000 Hz. Each of the sound pulses contains intra-pulse sinusoidal-amplitude-modulations (SAMs). Synthetic stimuli consisted of six series in which the following acoustic parameters were systematically modified, one at a time: PAM rate, pulse duration, number of pulses, and intra-pulse SAM rate. The carrier frequency of these stimuli was set at the characteristic frequency (CF) of the isolated units (n = 47). Response patterns of TS units to synthetic call variants reveal different degrees of selectivities for each of the temporal variables, with populations of neurons responding maximally to specific values found in the advertisement call of this species. These selectivities are mainly shaped by neuronal responsiveness to the overall sound energy of the stimulus and by the inability of neurons to discharge to short inter-pulse gaps.

  16. Correlations of geographic distribution and temperature of embryonic development with the nuclear DNA content in the Salamandridae (Urodela, Amphibia).

    PubMed

    Litvinchuk, Spartak N; Rosanov, Jury M; Borkin, Leo J

    2007-04-01

    We used flow cytometry to measure the nuclear DNA content in erythrocytes of 27 salamandrid species. Across these species, diploid genome size varied more than 2 fold (51.3-104.4 pg). According to genome size and geographic distribution, 3 groups of newt species were recognized: West Palearctics with smaller amounts of nuclear DNA; Nearctic, with intermediate values; and East Asiatic, with higher genome sizes. Viviparous West Palearctic salamanders differed from most of the oviparous West Palearctic newts in possessing larger genome sizes. The nuclear DNA content strongly correlates with species range limits. At the same temperature, embryos of salamandrid species with larger genome sizes have a markedly longer developmental time than those with smaller genomes. We present an analysis of the relationships between the amount of nuclear DNA and water temperature at the breeding sites.

  17. Why are the prevalence and diversity of helminths in the endemic Pyrenean brook newt Calotriton asper (Amphibia, Salamandridae) so low?

    PubMed

    Comas, M; Ribas, A

    2015-03-01

    A cornerstone in parasitology is why some species or populations are more parasitized than others. Here we examine the influence of host characteristics and habitat on parasite prevalence. We studied the helminths parasitizing the Pyrenean brook newt Calotriton asper (n= 167), paying special attention to the relationship between parasites and ecological factors such as habitat, sex, ontogeny, body size and age of the host. We detected two species of parasites, Megalobatrachonema terdentatum (Nematoda: Kathlaniidae) and Brachycoelium salamandrae (Trematoda: Brachycoeliidae), with a prevalence of 5.99% and 1.2%, respectively. Marginally significant differences were found in the prevalence between sexes, with females being more parasitized than males. The present results show significant differences in the body length of paedomorphic and metamorphic individuals, the former being smaller. Nevertheless, no significant correlations between parasite prevalence and either newt body length, ontogenetic stage or age were found. In comparison with other Salamandridae living in ponds, prevalence and diversity values were low. This may be due to a long hibernation period, the species' lotic habitat and its reophilous lifestyle, which probably do not allow for a high parasite load.

  18. Variability of tetrodotoxin and of its analogues in the red-spotted newt, Notophthalmus viridescens (Amphibia: Urodela: Salamandridae).

    PubMed

    Yotsu-Yamashita, Mari; Gilhen, John; Russell, Ronald W; Krysko, Kenneth L; Melaun, Christian; Kurz, Alexander; Kauferstein, Silke; Kordis, Dusan; Mebs, Dietrich

    2012-02-01

    Efts and adult specimens (n = 142) of the red-spotted newt Notophthalmus viridescens from various locations in Canada and USA were analyzed for the presence of tetrodotoxin (TTX) and of its analogues 6-epitetrodotoxin and 11-oxotetrodotoxin. Considerable individual variations in toxin levels were found within and among populations from New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia ranging from non-detectable to 69 μg TTX per g newt. TTX and its analogues were absent in efts and adults from various locations in the Canadian province Nova Scotia, the northernmost distribution of the newt, and in adults from Florida. Newts kept in captivity for several years and reared on toxin-free diet lost their toxicity. Bayesian and maximum likelihood phylogenetic analysis of specimens from the various populations using three phylogenetic markers (COI, ND2 and 16S RNA) revealed that populations from the northern states of the USA and Canada are genetically homogenous, whereas the newts from Florida exhibited a much higher level of genetic divergence. An exogenous source of TTX in the newts either via the food chain or by synthesis of symbiotic bacteria is suggested to explain the high variability and lack of TTX in certain populations.

  19. A new rainfrog of the Pristimantis myersi Group (Amphibia, Craugastoridae) from Volcán Pichincha, Ecuador.

    PubMed

    Rojas-Runjaic, Fernando J M; C, J Amanda Delgado; Guayasamin, Juan M

    2014-03-20

    A new frog of the Pristimantis myersi Group is described from a bamboo patch within the Reserva Ecológica Verdecocha (0°5'46.9"S, 78°36'15.3"W; 2851 m), located at northwestern flank of the Volcán Pichincha, in the vicinities of Quito, Ecuador. The new species is known from eight adult males, whereas the females remain unknown; it can be readily distinguished from all species of the P. myersi Group that inhabit the highlands of the Ecuadorian Andes by the unique combination of the following characters: body small (adult male SVL 14.9-19.7 mm; females unknown); dorsal skin shagreen, with a barely visible middorsal raphe, scapular and dorsolateral folds; tympanum small but well-defined; upper eyelid with one enlarged tubercle; males with prominent vocal slits, but without nuptial pads on thumbs; fold-like tarsal tubercles. With this new species, the number of Pristimantis assigned to the P. myersi Group raises to 16, of which, 12 are in Ecuador. We provide notes on morphology and color variation, advertisement call, and natural history of the new species.

  20. Distribution and morphological variation of Eleutherodactylus mercedesae Lynch & McDiarmid, 1987 (Amphibia, Anura, Leptodactylidae) with first record for Peru

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Padial, J.M.; McDiarmid, R.; De la Riva, I.

    2006-01-01

    We report new distributional information for Eleutherodactylus mercedesae in Bolivia, and provide the first record for Peru based on an adult female. This species, previously endemic to Bolivia, now ranges across about 1000 km in cloud forests on the Amazonian slopes of the Andes from southern Peru to central Bolivia. We provide the first morphological description of females based on two specimens, compare them with the male type and paratype, add some observations to the original description, and comment on variation in the species.

  1. Development and growth of long bones in European water frogs (Amphibia: Anura: Ranidae), with remarks on age determination.

    PubMed

    Rozenblut, Beata; Ogielska, Maria

    2005-09-01

    Differentiation and development of long bones were studied in European water frogs: Rana lessonae, R. ridibunda, and R. esculenta. The study included premetamorphic larvae (Gosner Stage 40) to frogs that were 5 years old. Femora, metatarsal bones, and proximal phalanges of the hindlimb exhibit the same pattern of periosteal bone differentiation and the same pattern of growth. Longitudinal and radial growth of these bones was studied by examination of the diaphyses and epiphyses, particularly where the edge of periosteal bone is inserted into the epiphysis. The periosteum seems to be responsible for both longitudinal and radial growth. Investigation of the formation, length, and arrangement of lines of arrested growth reveals that the first line is present only in the middle 25-35% of the length of the diaphysis of an adult bone; therefore, only the central portion of the diaphysis should be used for age estimation in skeletochronological studies. Comparison of the shapes and histological structures of epiphyses in the femur, metatarsal bones, and phalanges revealed that epiphyseal cartilages are composed of an inner and outer part. The inner metaphyseal cartilage has distinct zones and plugs the end of the periosteal bone cylinder; its role in longitudinal growth is questioned. The outer epiphyseal cartilage is composed of articular cartilages proper, in addition to lateral articular cartilages. Differences in the symmetry of the lateral articular cartilages of distal epiphyses of the femur and toes may reflect adaptations to different kinds of movements at the knee and in the foot.

  2. [Ploidy and genetic structure of hybrid populations of water frogs Pelophylax esculentus (L., 1758) complex (Amphibia, Ranidae) of Ukraine].

    PubMed

    Mezhzherin, S V; Morozov-Leonov, S Iu; Rostovskaia, O V; Shabanov, D A; Sobolenko, L Iu

    2010-01-01

    The present study of green frog hybrid populations of Ukraine, including analysis of allozyme variability and planimetric analysis oferythrocytes size has confirmed that the unique region in this area is the Severski Donets basin The allopolyploid individuals there are met very frequently (5.7% of all investigated frogs). In other areas of Ukraine only two polyploid hybrids have been recorded. Beside that, one frog was defined as triploid Rana ridibundus. According to our investigations, all triploid hybrids from the Severski Donets basin are identified as P. esculentu (=lessonae)--2 ridibundus males.

  3. A new species of the genus Odorrana (Amphibia: Ranidae) and the first record of Odorrana bacboensis from China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ying-Yong; Lau, Michael Wai-Neng; Yang, Jian-Huan; Chen, Guo-Ling; Liu, Zu-Yao; Pang, Hong; Liu, Yang

    2015-08-10

    The genus Odorrana currently contains at least 56 recognized species that inhabits montane streams in subtropical and tropical Asia. Twenty new species have been described in the last decade, indicating the potential cryptic species diversity of this genus. We collected several specimens of Odorrana species from Southern China from 2007 to 2014, and on the basis of a combined morphological characters and phylogenetic analysis, we described the new species Odorrana fengkaiensis sp. nov. herein. The new species is very similar to O. hainanensis and O. bacboensis, but can be consistently separated by morphology, and allopatric distribution. It is further reciprocally monophyletic to O. hainanensis in a mitochondrial gene trees with an average genetic divergence of 2.1% (1.9%-2.4%). The new species inhabits in lowland broad streams, rivers, pools and near the riparian areas, but its general ecology remains poorly known. The new species is characterized by its body length of adult females approximately twice as long as adult males (SVL 77.8-111.9 mm in females, 37.4-51.8 mm in males); eye large in males, eye diameter 1.01-1.16 times as long as snout length; tympanum of males large and distinct, extremely close to the eye, 0.7-1.4 mm in tympanum-eye distance; dorsolateral folds absent; dorsal skin shagreened, with several large tubercles in males; flanks with tubercles and scattered larger pustules, 8-10 of which usually arranged in a dorsolateral row; ventral skin smooth, with spines in adult males during the breeding season; the tibio-tarsal articulation stretched forward beyond the tip of snout; relative finger lengths: II < I < IV < III; dorsum brown with irregularly reticulated green markings in males and young females, uniformly brown in some old adult females; males with velvety nuptial pad on thumb, paired gular pouches; mature oocytes almost purely black in life, showed dark grey animal pole and olive vegetative pole in preservative. In addition, we found O. bacboensis, a new country record from China, indicating a range extension from north-central Vietnam to southeast Yunnan and adjacent area in Guangxi.

  4. Ultrastructure variation in the spermatozoa of Pseudopaludicola frogs (Amphibia, Anura, Leptodactylidae), with brief comments on its phylogenetic relevance.

    PubMed

    dos Santos, Julio Sérgio; Introíni, Gisele Orlandi; Veiga-Menoncello, Ana Cristina Prado; Recco-Pimentel, Shirlei Maria

    2015-12-01

    The taxonomic history of the small frogs of the genus Pseudopaludicola from South America has been controversial. Phylogenetic inferences based on molecular data have identified four Pseudopaludicola clades, correlating with the known variation in karyotypes (2n = 22, 20, 18, and 16). In this study, the ultrastructure of the spermatozoa was analyzed in 12 species of the Pseudopaludicola, with the aim of describing their morphology and identifying characters that may contribute to a better understanding of the phylogenetic relationships. The spermatozoa presented marked differences in tail structures. The tails of the spermatozoa of the species with 2n = 22 chromosomes (Pseudopaludicola sp. 1 [P. pusilla group], Pseudopaludicola falcipes, P. mineira, and Pseudopaludicola saltica), as well as Pseudopaludicola ameghini and Pseudopaludicola ternetzi (2n=20), have juxta-axonemal fibers, undulating membranes and axial fibers. In contrast, in the species with 2n = 18 (P. facureae, P. giarettai, Pseudopaludicola canga, P. atragula, and Pseudopaludicola sp. 2) and 2n = 16 (Pseudopaludicola mystacalis), there are no evident axial or juxta-axonemal fibers, but a paraxonemal rod with a thick undulating membrane, which is shorter than that found among Pseudopaludicola species. The ultrastructural morphological differences observed in the spermatozoa of these species may be phylogenetically informative, given that they coincide with the consensus phylogeny of the group and appear to represent a progressive simplification of the spermatozoon.

  5. Highly complex mitochondrial DNA genealogy in an endemic Japanese subterranean breeding brown frog Rana tagoi (Amphibia, Anura, Ranidae).

    PubMed

    Eto, Koshiro; Matsui, Masafumi; Sugahara, Takahiro; Tanaka-Ueno, Tomoko

    2012-10-01

    The endemic Japanese frog Rana tagoi is unique among Holarctic brown frogs in that it breeds in small subterranean streams. Using mitochondrial 16S ribosomal RNA and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 1 genes, we investigated genealogical relationships among geographic samples of this species together with its relative R. sakuraii, which is also a unique stream breeder. These two species together form a monophyletic group, within which both are reciprocally paraphyletic. Rana tagoi is divided into two major clades (Clade A and B) that are composed of 14 genetic groups. Rana sakuraii is included in Clade A and split into two genetic groups, one of which forms a clade (Subclade A-2) with sympatric R. tagoi. This species-level paraphyly appears to be caused by incomplete taxonomy, in addition to introgressive hybridization and/or incomplete lineage sorting. Rana tagoi strongly differs from other Japanese anurans in its geographic pattern of genetic differentiation, most probably in relation to its unique reproductive habits. Taxonomically, R. tagoi surely includes many cryptic species.

  6. Histology and ultrastructure of the caudal courtship glands of the red-backed salamander, Plethodon cinereus (Amphibia: Plethodontidae).

    PubMed

    Sever, David M; Siegel, Dustin S

    2015-03-01

    Caudal courtship glands (CCGs) are sexually dimorphic glands described in the skin of the dorsal tail base of some male salamanders in the genera Desmognathus, Eurycea, and Plethodon in the family Plethodontidae. These glands are believed to deliver pheromones to females during courtship, when the female rests her chin on the dorsal tail base during the stereotypic tail straddling walk unique to plethodontids. Although CCGs have been studied histologically, no investigations of their ultrastructure have been made. This article presents the first study on the fine structure and seasonal variation of CCGs, using the plethodontid Plethodon cinereus. The CCGs vary seasonally in height and secretory activity. The mature secretory granules observed in males collected in October and April consist of oval, biphasic granules that are eosinophilic and give positive reactions to periodic acid-Schiff for neutral carbohydrates but do not stain for acidic mucosusbtances or proteins with alcian blue and bromphenol blue, respectively. Granular glands, some of which contain mucous demilunes, are twice as large as CCGs, are syncytial (unlike CCGs), and stain for proteins. Mucous glands are similar in size to CCGs, but are basophilic, show no seasonal variation in secretory activity, and stain positive for acidic mucosubstances. CCGs do not resemble cytologically the sexually dimorphic mental glands of some plethodontids, which contain round or oval granules filled with an electron-dense amorphous substance. The CCGs are similar histologically to sexually dimorphic skin glands described in some anurans, but more comparative work is needed.

  7. Modifications of the genital kidney proximal and distal tubules for sperm transport in Notophthalmus viridescens (Amphibia, Urodela, Salamandridae).

    PubMed

    Nicholson, Abbigail E; Siegel, Dustin S

    2014-08-01

    Male salamanders use nephrons from the genital kidney to transport sperm from the testicular lobules to the Wolffian duct. The microstructure of the epithelia of the genital kidney proximal tubule and distal tubule was studied over 1 year in a population of Notophthalmus viridescens from Crawford and Pike counties in central Missouri. Through ultrastructural analysis, we were able to support the hypothesis that the genital kidney nephrons are modified to aid in the transportation of sperm. A lack of folding of the basal plasma membrane, in both the genital kidney proximal and distal tubules when compared to the pelvic kidney proximal and distal tubules, reduces the surface area and thus likely decreases the efficiency of reabsorption in these nephron regions of the genital kidney. Ciliated epithelial cells are also present along the entire length of the genital kidney proximal tubule, but are lacking in the epithelium of the pelvic kidney proximal tubule. The exact function of these cilia remains unknown, but they may aid in mixing of seminal fluids or the transportation of immature sperm through the genital kidney nephrons. Ultrastructural analysis of proximal and distal tubules of the genital kidney revealed no seasonal variation in cellular activity and no mass production of seminal fluids throughout the reproductive cycle. Thus, we failed to support the hypothesis that the cellular activity of the epithelia lining the genital kidney nephrons is correlated to specific events in the reproductive cycle. The cytoplasmic contents and overall structure of the genital and pelvic kidney epithelial cells were similar to recent observations in Ambystoma maculatum, with the absence of abundant dense bodies apically in the epithelial cells lining the genital kidney distal tubule.

  8. Preparation and ultrastructure of spermatozoa from green poison frogs, Dendrobates auratus, following hormonal induced spermiation (Amphibia, Anura, Dendrobatidae).

    PubMed

    Lipke, Christian; Meinecke-Tillmann, Sabine; Meyer, Wilfried; Meinecke, Burkhard

    2009-07-01

    Few ultrastructural studies have been performed on members of the Dendrobatidae, although such investigations can be useful for the understanding of reproductive patterns, as a diagnostic method for males in breeding programs for endangered amphibians and for phylogenetic analysis. The sperm ultrastructure of the Green Poison Frog, Dendrobates auratus, from Panama is described following induced spermiation in living animals. To date only testicular spermatozoa in other dendrobatid frogs have been analysed. Moreover, an electron microscopic preparation method (transmission and scanning electron microscopy) for dendrobatid sperm cells in low concentration is presented. Sperm cells from stimulated frogs (100 IU human chorionic gonadotropin, hCG, twice at an interval of 1h) were recovered via cloaca lavage using 600 microl isotonic phosphate-free amphibian saline (IPS). Centrifuged flushings (5 min, 173 x g) were deposited on microscopic slides. Adherent spermatozoa were treated with Karnovsky fixative (overnight, 4 degrees C). After postfixation (2h, 1% osmium tetroxide), samples were dehydrated in series of ascending acetones (30-100%). For transmission electron microscopy sperm cells were encapsulated using Epon and 1.5% 2,4,6-tris(dimethylaminomethyl)phenol (DMP 30). Ultrathin sections (70 nm) were cut and stained with uranyl acetate (30 min) and lead citrate (5 min). Sperm cells are filiform with a 21.1+/-2.7 microm long and arcuated head and a single tail (35.0+/-4.2 microm length). Their acrosomal complex is located at the anterior portion of the head and consists of the acrosomal vesicle which has low electron density, and the subjacent electron-dense subacrosomal cone. In transverse section, the nucleus is circular (1.9+/-0.2 microm diameter) and conical in longitudinal section. It is surrounded by several groups of mitochondria. The chromatin is highly condensed and electron-dense but shows numerous electron-lucent inclusions. A short midpiece has a mitochondrial collar with a proximal and a distal centriole. The latter gives rise to the axoneme which alone forms the flagellum. The sperm ultrastructure of D. auratus differs from that of other Dendrobatidae because of the absence of a nuclear space and the absence of the undulating membrane associated with an axial fibre. This tail conformation is found in the Ranoidea but not in the Bufonoidea. These results show that the spermatozoa of D. auratus are the first within the Dendrobatidae without accessory tail structures. Methods of using sperm samples from hormonal treated frogs for ultrastructural studies is not only reasonable to examine e.g. amphibian phylogeny without killing frogs threatened with extinction but allows investigations in the field of assisted reproduction and male fertility for example in conservation programs for endangered amphibians. PMID:18657373

  9. Ultrastructural patterns of secretory activity in poison cutaneous glands of larval and juvenile Dendrobates auratus (Amphibia, Anura).

    PubMed

    Angel, R; Delfino, G; Parra, G J

    2003-01-01

    A transmission electron-microscope study has been performed on larval and juvenile skin of the Central American arrow-frog Dendrobates auratus to investigate early secretory processes and maturational changes in the serous (poison) glands. Poison biosynthesis involves the endoplasmic reticulum (both smooth and rough types), as well as Golgi stacks which release early serous product as secretory vesicles (or pre-granules). These vesicles contain fine-grained material, along with single electron-opaque bodies, spheroidal in shape, that accompany the grained product throughout its post-Gogian, maturational change. The first steps of this process involve condensation and lead to the formation of secretory granules with a glomerular-like substructure, resulting from a thick, random aggregation of rods (secretory granule subunits). Advanced maturational activity causes the loss of peculiar granule substructure: the dense bodies split into fragments, whereas the thick glomerular arrangement becomes looser, until the secretory product changes into a dispersed material. This ultrastructural study revealed biosynthesis and maturation processes in close sequence, suggesting the poison of D. auratus contains proteins and/or peptides as well as lipophilic compounds. Molecules of both these classes are known to perform several roles relevant to survival strategies in extant anurans. Furthermore, the ephemeral granules with a glomerular-like substructure detected in tadpoles and froglets exhibit the complex patterns of mature poisons in adult specimens of other anurans: Hylidae and related families. This agrees with current trends in the taxonomy of these advanced frogs and underlines the pertinence of an ontogenetic approach in investigating anuran phylogenesis. PMID:12467659

  10. Osteological Variation among Extreme Morphological Forms in the Mexican Salamander Genus Chiropterotriton (Amphibia: Plethodontidae): Morphological Evolution And Homoplasy.

    PubMed

    Darda, David M; Wake, David B

    2015-01-01

    Osteological variation is recorded among and within four of the most distinctive species of the Mexican salamander genus Chiropterotriton. Analysis of the data is consistent with the monophyletic status of the genus and documents previously unrecorded intraspecific and interspecific variation. Most of the recorded variation involves qualitative and quantitative proportional differences, but four fixed differences constitute autapomorphic states that affirm and diagnose some species (C. dimidiatus, C. magnipes). Osteological variation in 15 characters is analyzed with respect to predictions generated from four hypotheses: 1) phylogeny, 2) adaptation to specific habitats (the four species include cave-dwelling, terrestrial, and arboreal forms), 3) size-free shape, and 4) size. High levels of intraspecific variation suggest that the characters studied are not subject to rigid functional constraints in salamanders, regardless of size. The pattern predicted by the hypothesis based on size differences seen among these four Chiropterotriton species matches most closely the observed pattern of relative skull robustness. Since size change and heterochrony are often associated in plethodontid evolution, it is likely that changes in developmental timing play a role in the morphological transitions among these morphologically diverse taxa. Webbed feet, miniaturization, body shape, and an unusual tarsal arrangement are morphologies exhibited in species of Chiropterotrition that are shown to be homoplastic with other clades of tropical plethodontids. Although extensive homoplasy in salamanders might be seen as a roadblock to unraveling phylogenetic hypotheses, the homologous developmental systems that appear to underlie such homoplasy may reveal common and consistent evolutionary processes at work.

  11. A new species of Pristimantis (Amphibia, Anura, Craugastoridae) from the foothills of the Andes in Manu National Park, southeastern Peru

    PubMed Central

    Shepack, Alexander; von May, Rudolf; Ttito, Alex; Catenazzi, Alessandro

    2016-01-01

    Abstract We describe a new species of Pristimantis from the humid sub-montane forest of the Región Cusco in Peru. Pristimantis pluvialis sp. n. was collected in the Kosñipata and Entoro valleys at elevations from 740 to 1110 m a.s.l., near the borders of Manu National Park and within the Huachiperi Haramba Queros Conservation Concession. The new species can be distinguished from other members of the genus Pristimantis by its rostral tubercle, smooth dorsal skin, and by its advertisement call. Pristimantis lacrimosus and Pristimantis waoranii superficially most resemble the new species, but Pristimantis pluvialis sp. n. differs from both species by having a rostral tubercle (absent in Pristimantis waoranii and variable in Pristimantis lacrimosus) and larger size, from Pristimantis lacrimosus by its call emitted at a lower frequency, and from Pristimantis waoranii for its dorsal coloration with dark markings. Two other species have partially overlapping distributions and resemble the new species, Pristimantis mendax and Pristimantis olivaceus, but they produce advertisement calls with much higher dominant frequencies than the advertisement call of the new species. Furthermore, Pristimantis mendax differs from the new species by lacking a rostral tubercle and by having a sigmoid inner tarsal fold, whereas Pristimantis olivaceus differs by being smaller and by having dorsal skin shagreen with scattered tubercles. The new species has snout-vent length of 21.8–26.9 mm in males (n = 12) and 28.8 mm in a single female. PMID:27408563

  12. Conservation genetics of evolutionary lineages of the endangered mountain yellow-legged frog, Rana muscosa (Amphibia: Ranidae), in southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schoville, Sean D.; Tustall, Tate S.; Vredenburg, Vance T.; Backlin, Adam R.; Gallegos, Elizabeth; Wood, Dustin A.; Fisher, Robert N.

    2011-01-01

    Severe population declines led to the listing of southern California Rana muscosa (Ranidae) as endangered in 2002. Nine small populations inhabit watersheds in three isolated mountain ranges, the San Gabriel, San Bernardino and San Jacinto. One population from the Dark Canyon tributary in the San Jacinto Mountains has been used to establish a captive breeding population at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. Because these populations may still be declining, it is critical to gather information on how genetic variation is structured in these populations and what historical inter-population connectivity existed between populations. Additionally, it is not clear whether these populations are rapidly losing genetic diversity due to population bottlenecks. Using mitochondrial and microsatellite data, we examine patterns of genetic variation in southern California and one of the last remaining populations of R. muscosa in the southern Sierra Nevada. We find low levels of genetic variation within each population and evidence of genetic bottlenecks. Additionally, substantial population structure is evident, suggesting a high degree of historical isolation within and between mountain ranges. Based on estimates from a multi-population isolation with migration analysis, these populations diversified during glacial episodes of the Pleistocene, with little gene flow during population divergence. Our data demonstrate that unique evolutionary lineages of R. muscosa occupy each mountain range in southern California and should be managed separately. The captive breeding program at Dark Canyon is promising, although mitigating the loss of neutral genetic diversity relative to the natural population might require additional breeding frogs.

  13. Lanfrediella amphicirrus gen. nov. sp. nov. Nematotaeniidae (Cestoda: Cyclophyllidea), a tapeworm parasite of Rhinella marina (Linnaeus, 1758) (Amphibia: Bufonidae).

    PubMed

    Melo, Francisco Tiago de Vasconcelos; Giese, Elane Guerreiro; Furtado, Adriano Penha; Soares, Maurílio José; Gonçalves, Evonnildo Costa; Vallinoto, Antonio Carlos Rosário; Santos, Jeannie Nascimento dos

    2011-09-01

    The family Nematotaeniidae, tapeworms commonly found in the small intestines of amphibians and reptiles, includes 27 recognised species distributed among four genera: Bitegmen Jones, Cylindrotaenia Jewell, Distoichometra Dickey and Nematotaenia Lühe. The taxonomy of these cestodes is poorly defined, due in part to the difficulties of observing many anatomical traits. This study presents and describes a new genus and species of nematotaeniid parasite found in cane toads (Rhinella marina) from eastern Brazilian Amazonia. The cestodes were collected during the necropsy of 20 hosts captured in the urban area of Belém, Pará. The specimens were fixed and processed for light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction. Samples were also collected for molecular analyses. The specimens presented a cylindrical body, two testes and paruterine organs. However, they could not be allocated to any of the four existing nematotaeniid genera due to the presence of two each of dorsal compact medullary testes, cirri, cirrus pouches, genital pores, ovaries and vitelline glands per mature segment. Lanfrediella amphicirrus gen. nov. sp. nov. is the first nematotaeniid studied using Historesin analysis, SEM and 3D reconstruction, and it is the second taxon for which molecular data have been deposited in GenBank.

  14. An evaluation of transcriptome-based exon capture for frog phylogenomics across multiple scales of divergence (Class: Amphibia, Order: Anura).

    PubMed

    Portik, Daniel M; Smith, Lydia L; Bi, Ke

    2016-09-01

    Custom sequence capture experiments are becoming an efficient approach for gathering large sets of orthologous markers in nonmodel organisms. Transcriptome-based exon capture utilizes transcript sequences to design capture probes, typically using a reference genome to identify intron-exon boundaries to exclude shorter exons (<200 bp). Here, we test directly using transcript sequences for probe design, which are often composed of multiple exons of varying lengths. Using 1260 orthologous transcripts, we conducted sequence captures across multiple phylogenetic scales for frogs, including outgroups ~100 Myr divergent from the ingroup. We recovered a large phylogenomic data set consisting of sequence alignments for 1047 of the 1260 transcriptome-based loci (~561 000 bp) and a large quantity of highly variable regions flanking the exons in transcripts (~70 000 bp), the latter improving substantially by only including ingroup species (~797 000 bp). We recovered both shorter (<100 bp) and longer exons (>200 bp), with no major reduction in coverage towards the ends of exons. We observed significant differences in the performance of blocking oligos for target enrichment and nontarget depletion during captures, and differences in PCR duplication rates resulting from the number of individuals pooled for capture reactions. We explicitly tested the effects of phylogenetic distance on capture sensitivity, specificity, and missing data, and provide a baseline estimate of expectations for these metrics based on a priori knowledge of nuclear pairwise differences among samples. We provide recommendations for transcriptome-based exon capture design based on our results, cost estimates and offer multiple pipelines for data assembly and analysis. PMID:27241806

  15. Morphological characterization of Eustrongylides sp. larvae (Nematoda, Dioctophymatoidea) parasite of Rhinella marina (Amphibia: Bufonidae) from Eastern Amazonia.

    PubMed

    Melo, Francisco Tiago de Vasconcelos; Melo, Caroline do Socorro Barros; Nascimento, Luciana de Cássia Silva do; Giese, Elane Guerreiro; Furtado, Adriano Penha; Santos, Jeannie Nascimento Dos

    2016-06-01

    Absctract Eustrongylides spp. nematodes have birds as final hosts and uses other vertebrates as intermediate/paratenic host (fish, amphibians and reptiles) and have zoonotic potential. In amphibians, the larvae may be located in the subcutaneous tissues, liver and mesentery, between the muscle fibres, especially in the lower limbs. Rhinella marina, which is widely observed in Brazil, has exhibited complex diversity in its helminth fauna, reflecting the unique habitat of the Amazon biome. For the first time, this study describes the morphological aspects of third-stage larvae of Eustrongylides sp. in Rhinella marina from Santa Cruz do Ararí, Marajó Archipelago, Eastern Amazonia, using light and scanning electron microscopy. PMID:27276665

  16. Morphological characterization of Eustrongylides sp. larvae (Nematoda, Dioctophymatoidea) parasite of Rhinella marina (Amphibia: Bufonidae) from Eastern Amazonia.

    PubMed

    Melo, Francisco Tiago de Vasconcelos; Melo, Caroline do Socorro Barros; Nascimento, Luciana de Cássia Silva do; Giese, Elane Guerreiro; Furtado, Adriano Penha; Santos, Jeannie Nascimento Dos

    2016-06-01

    Absctract Eustrongylides spp. nematodes have birds as final hosts and uses other vertebrates as intermediate/paratenic host (fish, amphibians and reptiles) and have zoonotic potential. In amphibians, the larvae may be located in the subcutaneous tissues, liver and mesentery, between the muscle fibres, especially in the lower limbs. Rhinella marina, which is widely observed in Brazil, has exhibited complex diversity in its helminth fauna, reflecting the unique habitat of the Amazon biome. For the first time, this study describes the morphological aspects of third-stage larvae of Eustrongylides sp. in Rhinella marina from Santa Cruz do Ararí, Marajó Archipelago, Eastern Amazonia, using light and scanning electron microscopy. PMID:27334826

  17. Effect of estradiol on apoptosis, proliferation and steroidogenic enzymes in the testes of the toad Rhinella arenarum (Amphibia, Anura).

    PubMed

    Scaia, María Florencia; Volonteri, María Clara; Czuchlej, Silvia Cristina; Ceballos, Nora Raquel

    2015-09-15

    Estrogens inhibit androgen production and this negative action on amphibian steroidogenesis could be related to the regulation of steroidogenic enzymes. Estrogens are also involved in the regulation of amphibian spermatogenesis by controlling testicular apoptosis and spermatogonial proliferation. The Bidder's organ (BO) is a structure characteristic from the Bufonidae family and in adult males of Rhinella arenarum it is one of the main sources of plasma estradiol (E2). The purpose of this study is to analyze the effect of E2 on testicular steroidogenic enzymes, apoptosis and proliferation in the toad R. arenarum. For this purpose, testicular fragments were treated during 24h with or without 2 or 20nM of E2. After treatments, the activities of cytochrome P450 17α-hydroxylase-C17-20 lyase (CypP450c17) and 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase/isomerase (3β-HSD/I) were measured by the transformation of radioactive substrates into products, and CypP450c17 expression was determined by Western blot analysis. Apoptosis in testicular sections was detected with a commercial fluorescent kit based on TUNEL method, and proliferation was evaluated by BrdU incorporation. Results indicate that E2 has no effect on CypP450c17 protein levels or enzymatic activity, while it reduces 3β-HSD/I activity during the post reproductive season. Furthermore, although E2 has no effect on apoptosis during the pre and the post reproductive seasons, it stimulates testicular apoptosis during the reproductive season, mostly in spermatocytes. Finally, E2 has no effect on testicular proliferation all year long. Taken together, these results suggest that E2 is involved in the regulation of testicular steroidogenesis and spermatogenesis.

  18. Apoptosis, proliferation and presence of estradiol receptors in the testes and Bidder's organ of the toad Rhinella arenarum (Amphibia, Anura).

    PubMed

    Scaia, María Florencia; Czuchlej, Silvia Cristina; Cervino, Nadia; Ceballos, Nora Raquel

    2016-04-01

    The dynamic equilibrium between spermatogonial proliferation and testicular apoptosis determines the progression of spermatogenesis in amphibians. Estrogens and their receptors play a central role in regulating spermatogenesis in vertebrates, and in some species of anurans, estradiol (E2 ) is involved in the regulation of spermatogonial proliferation and apoptosis of germ cells. Bidder's organ (BO) is a structure characteristic of Bufonidae that has historically been compared to an undeveloped ovary. In adult Rhinella arenarum males, BO is one of the main sources of plasma E2 . The aim of this study was 1) to describe the seasonal variations in testicular apoptosis, spermatogonial proliferation, and cellular proliferation in BO; and 2) to analyze the presence and localization of estrogen receptor β (ERβ) in the testes and BO of R. arenarum. Testicular fragments and BOs from animals collected during the year were labeled with 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU) and BrdU incorporation was determined using immunohistochemistry. Apoptosis in testicular sections was detected using the TUNEL method, and ERβ localization was assessed using immunohistochemistry in testes and BOs. The results indicate that spermatogonial proliferation is highest during the reproductive season and that cysts of spermatocytes and spermatids undergo apoptosis during the postreproductive season. Furthermore, the proliferation of follicular cells is highest during the reproductive and postreproductive seasons. ERβ was primarily detected by immunolocalization in Sertoli cells, follicular cells, and oocytes. Taken together, these results suggest that cysts that do not form spermatozoa are removed from testes by apoptosis and that estrogens regulate both spermatogenesis and oogenesis in adult males of R. arenarum.

  19. Climate Change and the Distribution of Neotropical Red-Bellied Toads (Melanophryniscus, Anura, Amphibia): How to Prioritize Species and Populations?

    PubMed Central

    Zank, Caroline; Becker, Fernando Gertum; Abadie, Michelle; Baldo, Diego; Maneyro, Raúl; Borges-Martins, Márcio

    2014-01-01

    We used species distribution modeling to investigate the potential effects of climate change on 24 species of Neotropical anurans of the genus Melanophryniscus. These toads are small, have limited mobility, and a high percentage are endangered or present restricted geographical distributions. We looked at the changes in the size of suitable climatic regions and in the numbers of known occurrence sites within the distribution limits of all species. We used the MaxEnt algorithm to project current and future suitable climatic areas (a consensus of IPCC scenarios A2a and B2a for 2020 and 2080) for each species. 40% of the species may lose over 50% of their potential distribution area by 2080, whereas 28% of species may lose less than 10%. Four species had over 40% of the currently known occurrence sites outside the predicted 2080 areas. The effect of climate change (decrease in climatic suitable areas) did not differ according to the present distribution area, major habitat type or phylogenetic group of the studied species. We used the estimated decrease in specific suitable climatic range to set a conservation priority rank for Melanophryniscus species. Four species were set to high conservation priority: M. montevidensis, (100% of its original suitable range and all known occurrence points potentially lost by 2080), M. sp.2, M. cambaraensis, and M. tumifrons. Three species (M. spectabilis, M. stelzneri, and M. sp.3) were set between high to intermediate priority (more than 60% decrease in area predicted by 2080); nine species were ranked as intermediate priority, while eight species were ranked as low conservation priority. We suggest that monitoring and conservation actions should be focused primarily on those species and populations that are likely to lose the largest area of suitable climate and the largest number of known populations in the short-term. PMID:24755937

  20. A new golden frog species of the genus Diasporus (Amphibia, Eleutherodactylidae) from the Cordillera Central, western Panama

    PubMed Central

    Hertz, Andreas; Hauenschild, Frank; Lotzkat, Sebastian; Köhler, Gunther

    2012-01-01

    Abstract We describe the frog species Diasporus citrinobapheus sp. n. from the Cordillera Central of western Panama. The new species differs from all other species in its genus in coloration, disk cover and disk pad shape, skin texture, advertisement call, and size. It is most similar to Diasporus tigrillo, from which it differs in dorsal skin texture, relative tibia length, number of vomerine teeth, ventral coloration, dorsal markings, and relative tympanum size, and to Diasporus gularis, from which it can be distinguished by the lack of membranes between the toes, adult size, posterior thigh coloration, and position of the choanae. We provide data on morpho- logy, vocalization, and distribution of the new species, as well as brief information on its natural history. PMID:22679389

  1. Climate change and the distribution of neotropical red-bellied toads (Melanophryniscus, Anura, Amphibia): how to prioritize species and populations?

    PubMed

    Zank, Caroline; Becker, Fernando Gertum; Abadie, Michelle; Baldo, Diego; Maneyro, Raúl; Borges-Martins, Márcio

    2014-01-01

    We used species distribution modeling to investigate the potential effects of climate change on 24 species of Neotropical anurans of the genus Melanophryniscus. These toads are small, have limited mobility, and a high percentage are endangered or present restricted geographical distributions. We looked at the changes in the size of suitable climatic regions and in the numbers of known occurrence sites within the distribution limits of all species. We used the MaxEnt algorithm to project current and future suitable climatic areas (a consensus of IPCC scenarios A2a and B2a for 2020 and 2080) for each species. 40% of the species may lose over 50% of their potential distribution area by 2080, whereas 28% of species may lose less than 10%. Four species had over 40% of the currently known occurrence sites outside the predicted 2080 areas. The effect of climate change (decrease in climatic suitable areas) did not differ according to the present distribution area, major habitat type or phylogenetic group of the studied species. We used the estimated decrease in specific suitable climatic range to set a conservation priority rank for Melanophryniscus species. Four species were set to high conservation priority: M. montevidensis, (100% of its original suitable range and all known occurrence points potentially lost by 2080), M. sp.2, M. cambaraensis, and M. tumifrons. Three species (M. spectabilis, M. stelzneri, and M. sp.3) were set between high to intermediate priority (more than 60% decrease in area predicted by 2080); nine species were ranked as intermediate priority, while eight species were ranked as low conservation priority. We suggest that monitoring and conservation actions should be focused primarily on those species and populations that are likely to lose the largest area of suitable climate and the largest number of known populations in the short-term.

  2. An evaluation of transcriptome-based exon capture for frog phylogenomics across multiple scales of divergence (Class: Amphibia, Order: Anura).

    PubMed

    Portik, Daniel M; Smith, Lydia L; Bi, Ke

    2016-09-01

    Custom sequence capture experiments are becoming an efficient approach for gathering large sets of orthologous markers in nonmodel organisms. Transcriptome-based exon capture utilizes transcript sequences to design capture probes, typically using a reference genome to identify intron-exon boundaries to exclude shorter exons (<200 bp). Here, we test directly using transcript sequences for probe design, which are often composed of multiple exons of varying lengths. Using 1260 orthologous transcripts, we conducted sequence captures across multiple phylogenetic scales for frogs, including outgroups ~100 Myr divergent from the ingroup. We recovered a large phylogenomic data set consisting of sequence alignments for 1047 of the 1260 transcriptome-based loci (~561 000 bp) and a large quantity of highly variable regions flanking the exons in transcripts (~70 000 bp), the latter improving substantially by only including ingroup species (~797 000 bp). We recovered both shorter (<100 bp) and longer exons (>200 bp), with no major reduction in coverage towards the ends of exons. We observed significant differences in the performance of blocking oligos for target enrichment and nontarget depletion during captures, and differences in PCR duplication rates resulting from the number of individuals pooled for capture reactions. We explicitly tested the effects of phylogenetic distance on capture sensitivity, specificity, and missing data, and provide a baseline estimate of expectations for these metrics based on a priori knowledge of nuclear pairwise differences among samples. We provide recommendations for transcriptome-based exon capture design based on our results, cost estimates and offer multiple pipelines for data assembly and analysis.

  3. Lsh Is Essential for Maintaining Global DNA Methylation Levels in Amphibia and Fish and Interacts Directly with Dnmt1

    PubMed Central

    Dunican, Donncha S.; Pennings, Sari; Meehan, Richard R.

    2015-01-01

    Eukaryotic genomes are methylated at cytosine bases in the context of CpG dinucleotides, a pattern which is maintained through cell division by the DNA methyltransferase Dnmt1. Dramatic methylation losses are observed in plant and mouse cells lacking Lsh (lymphoid specific helicase), predominantly at repetitive sequences and gene promoters. However, the mechanism by which Lsh contributes to the maintenance of DNA methylation is unknown. Here we show that DNA methylation is lost in Lsh depleted frog and fish embryos, both of which exhibit developmental delay. Additionally, we show that both Lsh and Dnmt1 are associated with chromatin and that Lsh knockdown leads to a decreased Dnmt1-chromatin association. Coimmunoprecipitation experiments reveal that Lsh and Dnmt1 are found in the same protein complex, and pulldowns show this interaction is direct. Our data indicate that Lsh is usually diffuse in the nucleus but can be recruited to heterochromatin in a HP1α-dependent manner. These data together (a) show that the role of Lsh in DNA methylation is conserved in plants, amphibian, fish, and mice and (b) support a model in which Lsh contributes to Dnmt1 binding to chromatin, explaining how its loss can potentially lead to perturbations in DNA methylation maintenance. PMID:26491684

  4. A Phenotypic Point of View of the Adaptive Radiation of Crested Newts (Triturus cristatus Superspecies, Caudata, Amphibia).

    PubMed

    Ivanović, Ana; Džukić, Georg; Kalezić, Miloš

    2012-01-01

    The divergence in phenotype and habitat preference within the crested newt Triturus cristatus superspecies, examined across different ontogenetic stages, provides an excellent setting to explore the pattern of adaptive radiation. The crested newts form a well-supported monophyletic clade for which at least the full mitochondrial DNA phylogeny is resolved. Here we summarise studies that explored the variation in morphological (larval and adult body form, limb skeleton, and skull shape) and other phenotypic traits (early life history, developmental sequences, larval growth rate, and sexual dimorphism) to infer the magnitude and direction of evolutionary changes in crested newts. The phenotypic traits show a high level of concordance in the pattern of variation; there is a cline-like variation, from T. dobrogicus, via T. cristatus, T. carnifex, and T. macedonicus to the T. karelinii group. This pattern matches the cline of ecological preferences; T. dobrogicus is relatively aquatic, followed by T. cristatus. T. macedonicus, T. carnifex, and the T. karelinii group are relatively terrestrial. The observed pattern indicates that phenotypic diversification in crested newts emerged due to an evolutionary switch in ecological preferences. Furthermore, the pattern indicates that heterochronic changes, or changes in the timing and rate of development, underlie the observed phenotypic evolutionary diversification.

  5. Estimation of the type locality of Hynobius naevius (Temminck and Schlegel, 1838), a salamander from Japan (Amphibia: Caudata).

    PubMed

    Tominaga, Atsushi; Matsui, Masafumi

    2007-09-01

    A small Japanese salamander, Hynobius naevius, long considered a single species, has recently proven to include two groups (Group A=large type and Group B=small type) that are split at the species level. We compared the type series of H. naevius with specimens of the two groups to clarify which of them corresponds to true H. naevius, and to estimate the type locality of this species, which was not given in detail in its original description. Results of various morphological analyses altogether indicated that the type series belongs to Group A and that the population sample from Mt. Tara-dake, located on northwestern Kyushu, is most similar to the type series. Therefore, the type locality of the species is estimated to be in northwestern Kyushu. These results also indicate that Group B obviously represents a cryptic species whose scientific name remains to be determined. PMID:17961000

  6. Two rare aneutriploids in the unisexual Ambystoma (Amphibia, Caudata) identified by GISH indicating two different types of meiotic errors.

    PubMed

    Bi, K; Bogart, J P; Fu, J

    2007-01-01

    We report two types of aneutriploids in unisexual salamanders Ambystomalaterale-2jeffersonianum (LJJ) and Ambystoma 2 laterale-jeffersonianum (LLJ). One karyotype has 3n = 42: L27 (L8-); J15 (J8p+), and we suggest that it was induced by homoeologous pairing after premeiotic endomitosis followed by an unequal L8;J8 segregation. The second karyotype has 3n = 43: L14 (L10q); J29 (J12+), which can be explained by meiotic nondisjunction followed by unbalanced segregation. These two rare aneutriploids demonstrate two different types of meiotic errors that might help to explain the high mortality observed in this complex. Case one also indicates that contemporary intergenomic exchanges and homoeologous recombinations may occur after a premeiotic chromosome doubling event. Our study provides additional evidence for the extremely flexible reproduction of unisexual Ambystoma. PMID:18160791

  7. Modifications of the genital kidney proximal and distal tubules for sperm transport in Notophthalmus viridescens (Amphibia, Urodela, Salamandridae).

    PubMed

    Nicholson, Abbigail E; Siegel, Dustin S

    2014-08-01

    Male salamanders use nephrons from the genital kidney to transport sperm from the testicular lobules to the Wolffian duct. The microstructure of the epithelia of the genital kidney proximal tubule and distal tubule was studied over 1 year in a population of Notophthalmus viridescens from Crawford and Pike counties in central Missouri. Through ultrastructural analysis, we were able to support the hypothesis that the genital kidney nephrons are modified to aid in the transportation of sperm. A lack of folding of the basal plasma membrane, in both the genital kidney proximal and distal tubules when compared to the pelvic kidney proximal and distal tubules, reduces the surface area and thus likely decreases the efficiency of reabsorption in these nephron regions of the genital kidney. Ciliated epithelial cells are also present along the entire length of the genital kidney proximal tubule, but are lacking in the epithelium of the pelvic kidney proximal tubule. The exact function of these cilia remains unknown, but they may aid in mixing of seminal fluids or the transportation of immature sperm through the genital kidney nephrons. Ultrastructural analysis of proximal and distal tubules of the genital kidney revealed no seasonal variation in cellular activity and no mass production of seminal fluids throughout the reproductive cycle. Thus, we failed to support the hypothesis that the cellular activity of the epithelia lining the genital kidney nephrons is correlated to specific events in the reproductive cycle. The cytoplasmic contents and overall structure of the genital and pelvic kidney epithelial cells were similar to recent observations in Ambystoma maculatum, with the absence of abundant dense bodies apically in the epithelial cells lining the genital kidney distal tubule. PMID:24643856

  8. A new species of the Pristimantis orestes group (Amphibia: Strabomantidae) from the high Andes of Ecuador, Reserva Mazar.

    PubMed

    Guayasamin, Juan M; Arteaga, Alejandro F

    2013-02-21

    We describe a new Pristimantis from La Libertad and Rumiloma, Reserva Mazar, Andes of Southeastern Ecuador, at elevations between 2895-3415 m. This species is assigned to the P. orestes group, from whose members it differs by its small body size (adult males ≤ 18.1 mm; adult females ≤ 23.7 mm), usually reticulated ventral pattern, and visible tympanum. The vocalization of the new species consists of a series of calls; each call is composed by a pulsed, non-modulated note in frequency, and with a dominant frequency of 3122-3171 Hz. A molecular phylogeny based on a fragment of the mitochondrial gene 12S shows that the new species is sister to Pristimantis simonbolivari.

  9. A new species of the genus Pristimantis (Amphibia, Craugastoridae) associated with the moderately elevated massifs of French Guiana.

    PubMed

    Fouquet, Antoine; Martinez, Quentin; Courtois, Elodie A; Dewynter, Maël; Pineau, Kévin; Gaucher, Philippe; Blanc, Michel; Marty, Christian; Kok, Philippe J R

    2013-12-23

    We describe a new Pristimantis from French Guiana, northern South America, which is mainly distinguished from known phenotypically related congeners (i.e. species from the polyphyletic unistrigatus species group) occurring at low and middle elevations in the Guiana Shield by the combination of a distinct tympanum, a lower ratio of tibia vs. hand length, a reddish groin region, and a distinct advertisement call consisting of clusters of generally four short notes. The new species inhabits pristine primary forests on the slopes of isolated massifs reaching more than 400 m elevation, and seems not to occur below ca. 200 m above sea level. Such a sharp altitudinal limit suggests a strong influence of thermal variation on the distribution of the species, and therefore a potential sensitivity to climate change. With only nine isolated populations documented so far, the new species should be prioritized for conservation. Historical climate fluctuations during the Quaternary are likely responsible for the distribution pattern of the new species. 

  10. Phylogenetic relationships among four new complete mitogenome sequences of Pelophylax (Amphibia: Anura) from the Balkans and Cyprus.

    PubMed

    Hofman, Sebastian; Pabijan, Maciej; Osikowski, Artur; Litvinchuk, Spartak N; Szymura, Jacek M

    2016-09-01

    We present the full-length mitogenome sequences of four European water frog species: Pelophylax cypriensis, P. epeiroticus, P. kurtmuelleri and P. shqipericus. The mtDNA size varied from 17,363 to 17,895 bp, and its organization with the LPTF tRNA gene cluster preceding the 12 S rRNA gene displayed the typical Neobatrachian arrangement. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference revealed a well-resolved mtDNA phylogeny of seven European Pelophylax species. The uncorrected p-distance for among Pelophylax mitogenomes was 9.6 (range 0.01-0.13). Most divergent was the P. shqipericus mitogenome, clustering with the "P. lessonae" group, in contrast to the other three new Pelophylax mitogenomes related to the "P. bedriagae/ridibundus" lineage. The new mitogenomes resolve ambiguities of the phylogenetic placement of P. cretensis and P. epeiroticus. PMID:25806583

  11. 5α-Reductase, an enzyme regulating glucocorticoid action in the testis of Rhinella arenarum (Amphibia: Anura).

    PubMed

    Tesone, Amelia J; Regueira, Eleonora; Canosa, Luis Fabián; Ceballos, Nora R

    2012-05-01

    The reduction of A-ring of glucocorticoids to produce 5α-dihydro-derivatives by 5α-reductases has been considered as a pathway of irreversible inactivation. However, 5α-reduced metabolites of corticosterone and testosterone have significant biological activity. In this paper, we investigated whether toad testicular 5α-reductase (5α-Red) is able to transform corticosterone into 5α-dihydrocorticosterone. Furthermore, we studied the role of 5α-reduced metabolite of corticosterone as a glucocorticoid receptor (GR) agonist. The activity of 5α-Red was assayed in subcellular fractions with [(3)H]corticosterone or [(3)H]testosterone as substrate. The enzyme localizes in microsomes and its optimal pH is between 7 and 8. The activity is not inhibited by finasteride. These results support the conclusion that toad 5α-Red resembles mammalian type 1 isoenzyme. Kinetic studies indicate that neither K(m) nor V(max) for both corticosterone and testosterone were significantly different among reproductive periods. The K(m) value for testosterone was significantly higher than that for corticosterone, indicating that the C-21 steroid is the preferred substrate for the enzyme. Studies of the binding capacity of 5α-dihydrocorticosterone (5α-DHB) to the testicular GR show that 5α-DHB is able to displace the binding of [(3)H]dexamethasone to testicular cytosol with a similar potency than corticosterone. The inhibition constant (Ki) values for corticosterone and 5α-DHB were similar, 31.33±2.9 nM and 35.24±2.3 nM, respectively. In vitro experiments suggest that 5α-DHB is an agonist of toad testicular GR, decreasing the activity of the key enzyme for androgen synthesis, the cytochrome P450 17-hydroxylase, C17,20-lyase. PMID:22285601

  12. The integrin-binding motif RGDS induces protein tyrosine phosphorylation without activation in Bufo arenarum (Amphibia) oocytes.

    PubMed

    Mouguelar, Valeria S; Cabada, Marcelo O; Coux, Gabriela

    2011-05-01

    Integrins are cell adhesion molecules that are thought to be involved in sperm-oocyte interaction. Nevertheless, their function in mammalian fertilization is still controversial, as different species behave differently. In amphibians, their role is mainly supported by Xenopus laevis studies, where RGDS peptide induces oocyte activation. We recently provided evidence suggesting the presence and involvement of integrins in the interaction of the oocyte plasma membrane (PM) with sperm in the amphibian Bufo arenarum. In order to understand the role of integrin homologs in oocytes and their possible contribution to egg activation mechanisms, we examined the presence of integrin subunits and the effect of RGDS peptide on oocytes and during fertilization. Western blot studies detected integrin subunits α5, αV and β1 in oocytes. In sperm, we could detect only the αV integrin subunit. We found that RGDS peptide was unable to elicit egg activation or MAPK dephosphorylation, but can induce reversible inhibition of fertilization. A similar partial inhibition was produced by an anti-β1 integrin antibody. Using an anti-phosphotyrosine antibody we found major changes in phosphotyrosine-containing proteins in egg extracts minutes after fertilization. Cytosol and PMs isolated from oocytes and fertilized eggs showed additional fertilization-induced phosphorylated proteins. Some of these were also present in cytosol and PMs from RGDS-treated oocytes (partially mimicking fertilization). These findings suggest that B. arenarum fertilization involves integrins (e.g. β1 subunit) as adhesion proteins. Our data support the view that RGDS-binding receptors may function as signaling receptors in B. arenarum oocytes, but integrin engagement by RGDS is not sufficient for oocyte activation. PMID:21339287

  13. Early development of chondrocranium in the tailed frog Ascaphus truei (Amphibia: Anura): implications for anuran palatoquadrate homologies.

    PubMed

    Reiss, J O

    1997-01-01

    Chondrocranial development in Ascaphus truei was studied by serial sectioning and graphical reconstruction. Nine stages (21-29; 9-18 mm TL) were examined. Mesodermal cells were distinguished from ectomesenchymal (neural crest derived) cells by retained yolk granules. Ectomesenchymal parts of the chondrocranium include the suprarostrals, pila preoptica, anterior trabecula, and palatoquadrate. Mesodermal parts of the chondrocranium include the orbital cartilage, posterior trabecula, parachordal, basiotic lamina, and otic capsule. Development of the palatoquadrate is as follows. The pterygoid process first connects with the trabecula far rostrally; their fusion progresses caudally. The ascending process connects with a mesodermal bar that extends from the orbital cartilage to the otic capsule, and forms the ventral border of the dorsal trigeminal outlet. This bar is the "ascending process" of Ascaphus adults; it is a neurocranial, not palatoquadrate structure. The basal process chondrifies in an ectomesenchymal strand running from the quadrate keel to the postpalatine commissure. Later, the postpalatine commissure and basal process extend anteromedially to contact the floor of the anterior cupula of the otic capsule, creating separate foramina for the palatine and hyomandibular branches of the facial nerve. Based on these data, and on comparison with other frogs and salamanders, the anuran anterior quadratocranial commissure is homologized with the pterygoid process of salamanders, the anuran basal process (= "pseudobasal" or "hyobasal" process) with the basal process of salamanders, and the anuran otic ledge with the basitrabecular process of salamanders. The extensive similarities in palatoquadrate structure and development between frogs and salamanders, and lacking in caecilians, are not phylogenetically informative. Available information on fossil outgroups suggests that some of these similarities are primitive for Lissamphibia, whereas for others the polarity is uncertain. PMID:8946738

  14. Morphology, Molecular Genetics, and Bioacoustics Support Two New Sympatric Xenophrys Toads (Amphibia: Anura: Megophryidae) in Southeast China

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yingyong; Zhao, Jian; Yang, Jianhuan; Zhou, Zhixin; Chen, Guoling; Liu, Yang

    2014-01-01

    Given their recent worldwide declines and extinctions, characterization of species-level diversity is of critical importance for large-scale biodiversity assessments and conservation of amphibians. This task is made difficult by the existence of cryptic species complexes, species groups comprising closely related and morphologically analogous species. The combination of morphology, genetic, and bioacoustic analyses permits robust and accurate species identification. Using these methods, we discovered two undescribed Xenophrys species, namely Xenophrys lini sp. nov. and Xenophrys cheni sp. nov. from the middle range of Luoxiao Mountains, southeast China. These two new species can be reliably distinguished from other known congeners by morphological and morphometric differences, distinctness in male advertisement calls, and substantial genetic distances (>3.6%) based on the mitochondrial 16s and 12s rRNA genes. The two new species, together with X. jinggangensis, are sympatric in the middle range of Luoxiao Mountains but may be isolated altitudinally and ecologically. Our study provides a first step to help resolve previously unrecognized cryptic biodiversity and provides insights into the understanding of Xenophrys diversification in the mountain complexes of southeast China. PMID:24714161

  15. Liver histopathology in the cane toad, Rhinella marina (Amphibia: Bufonidae), induced by Ortleppascaris sp. larvae (Nematoda: Ascarididae).

    PubMed

    Silva, Jefferson P E; da Silva, Djane C B; Melo, Francisco T V; Giese, Elane G; Furtado, Adriano P; Santos, Jeannie N

    2013-04-01

    Exposure to parasites is considered to be an important factor in the development of many diseases and histopathologies which are the result of the parasite-host interaction. The present study evaluated the impact of natural infection by larvae of Ortleppascaris sp. (Nematoda: Ascaridida) in the liver of the cane toad Rhinella marina (Linnaeus, 1758). Larvae were encysted in nodules delimited by collagenous fibers and fibroblasts or freely within the hepatic parenchyma, provoking a clear response from the host. The histological examination of the liver revealed viable larvae in a number of different developmental stages, as well as cysts filled with amorphous material and cell residues and surrounded by dense fibrotic tissue. The infection of the liver by these larvae induces a significant increase in the area occupied by melanomacrophages and a reduction or deficit in the vascularization of the liver, hypertrophy of the hepatocytes, vacuolar bodies, and cytoplasmatic granules. Focal concentrations of inflammatory infiltrates were observed enclosing the unencapsulated early-stage larvae. These results indicate that infection by Ortleppascaris sp. induces severe physiological problems and histopathological lesions in the liver of R. marina .

  16. Glomerular development and growth of the renal blood vascular system in Xenopus laevis (Amphibia: Anura: Pipidae) during metamorphic climax.

    PubMed

    Ditrich, H; Lametschwandtner, A

    1992-09-01

    Microcorrosion casts of the renal vascular system of tadpoles of the Clawed Frog, Xenopus laevis, were observed by scanning electron microscopy. Glomerular differentiation was studied qualitatively and quantitatively during developmental stages 56-66 (metamorphic climax). The general structure of the renal vascular system corresponds to the pattern commonly found in anurans; however, the arterial supply has conspicuous connecting vessels that supply groups of glomeruli. In the dorsal part of the kidney, qualitative differentiation of glomerular structures precedes quantitative growth. The ventral part of the kidney has larger, well-developed renal corpuscles of nearly adult appearance. Four developmental stages of glomerulogenesis are distinguished morphologically and their glomerular and vascular growth is analyzed.

  17. Genetic divergence and reproductive isolation in the genus Fejervarya (Amphibia: Anura) from Bangladesh inferred from morphological observations, crossing experiments, and molecular analyses.

    PubMed

    Islam, Mohammed Mafizul; Kurose, Naoko; Khan, Mdmukhlesur Rahman; Nishizawa, Toshitaka; Kuramoto, Mitsuru; Alam, Mohammad Shafiqul; Hasan, Mahmudul; Kurniawan, Nia; Nishioka, Midori; Sumida, Masayuki

    2008-11-01

    In the present study, morphological examinations, crossing experiments and molecular analyses were performed to elucidate the degree of genetic divergence and phylogenetic relationships within the genus Fejervarya from Bangladesh and other Asian countries. Morphological characteristics revealed that Fejervarya species from Bangladesh were divided into four distinct groups: large, medium, small, and mangrove types. Crossing experiments indicated the involvement of three reproductive isolating mechanisms: gametic isolation between the large type and mangrove type, hybrid inviability between the large type and two other types, and hybrid sterility between the medium and small types. Experimental results also indicated that these four types of frogs merit the status of individual species of Fejervarya . Molecular analyses based on mtDNA gene sequences showed that the Bangladesh Fejervarya species were largely divided into three groups: the mangrove type, large type, and others, with the last further subdivided into the medium and small types. Comparison with other Asian Fejervarya species revealed that the Bangladesh mangrove type (which resembled F. cancrivora in morphology) was closely related to F. cancrivora from India, Thailand, and the Philippines; the large type belonged to the F. iskandari group and closely resembled F. orissaensis ; the small type was included in the South Asian or Indian group, and was closest to F. syhadrensis from India and Sri Lanka, whereas the medium type was most closely related to F. limnocharis from Myanmar among all described species of this genus.

  18. A new hynobiid-like salamander (Amphibia, Urodela) from Inner Mongolia, China, provides a rare case study of developmental features in an Early Cretaceous fossil urodele

    PubMed Central

    Jia, Jia

    2016-01-01

    A new fossil salamander, Nuominerpeton aquilonaris (gen. et sp. nov.), is named and described based on specimens from the Lower Cretaceous Guanghua Formation of Inner Mongolia, China. The new discovery documents a far northern occurrence of Early Cretaceous salamanders in China, extending the geographic distribution for the Mesozoic fossil record of the group from the Jehol area (40th–45th parallel north) to near the 49th parallel north. The new salamander is characterized by having the orbitosphenoid semicircular in shape; coracoid plate of the scapulocoracoid greatly expanded with a convex ventral and posterior border; ossification of two centralia in carpus and tarsus; and first digit being about half the length of the second digit in both manus and pes. The new salamander appears to be closely related to hynobiids, although this inferred relationship awaits confirmation by research in progress by us on a morphological and molecular combined analysis of cryptobranchoid relationships. Comparison of adult with larval and postmetamorphic juvenile specimens provides insights into developmental patterns of cranial and postcranial skeletons in this fossil species, especially resorption of the palatine and anterior portions of the palatopterygoid in the palate and the coronoid in the mandible during metamorphosis, and postmetamorphic ossification of the mesopodium in both manus and pes. Thus, this study provides a rare case study of developmental features in a Mesozoic salamander. PMID:27761316

  19. Genetic divergence and reproductive isolation in the genus Fejervarya (Amphibia: Anura) from Bangladesh inferred from morphological observations, crossing experiments, and molecular analyses.

    PubMed

    Islam, Mohammed Mafizul; Kurose, Naoko; Khan, Mdmukhlesur Rahman; Nishizawa, Toshitaka; Kuramoto, Mitsuru; Alam, Mohammad Shafiqul; Hasan, Mahmudul; Kurniawan, Nia; Nishioka, Midori; Sumida, Masayuki

    2008-11-01

    In the present study, morphological examinations, crossing experiments and molecular analyses were performed to elucidate the degree of genetic divergence and phylogenetic relationships within the genus Fejervarya from Bangladesh and other Asian countries. Morphological characteristics revealed that Fejervarya species from Bangladesh were divided into four distinct groups: large, medium, small, and mangrove types. Crossing experiments indicated the involvement of three reproductive isolating mechanisms: gametic isolation between the large type and mangrove type, hybrid inviability between the large type and two other types, and hybrid sterility between the medium and small types. Experimental results also indicated that these four types of frogs merit the status of individual species of Fejervarya . Molecular analyses based on mtDNA gene sequences showed that the Bangladesh Fejervarya species were largely divided into three groups: the mangrove type, large type, and others, with the last further subdivided into the medium and small types. Comparison with other Asian Fejervarya species revealed that the Bangladesh mangrove type (which resembled F. cancrivora in morphology) was closely related to F. cancrivora from India, Thailand, and the Philippines; the large type belonged to the F. iskandari group and closely resembled F. orissaensis ; the small type was included in the South Asian or Indian group, and was closest to F. syhadrensis from India and Sri Lanka, whereas the medium type was most closely related to F. limnocharis from Myanmar among all described species of this genus. PMID:19267620

  20. Revision of the characters of Centrolenidae (Amphibia : Anura : Athesphatanura), with comments on its taxonomy and the description of new taxa of glassfrogs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cisneros-Heredia, D.F.; McDiarmid, Roy W.

    2007-01-01

    Anurans of the family Centrolenidae are a diverse clade of arboreal frogs distributed across tropical America. Knowledge of their taxonomy, systematics, ecology, behavior, morphology, and other evolutionary aspects of their biology is deficient. Relationships among centrolenid species remain largely unresolved, with no satisfactory phylogenetic hypothesis, and none of the current genera has compelling evidence of monophyly. Further, understanding the phylogeny of glassfrogs is constrained by species-level taxonomic problems, including incorrect description of characters, incomplete analyses of intraspecific variation, and lack of appreciation of species diversity. Herein, we define and analyze the 23 characters that are useful, in combination, in diagnosing centrolenid species, and thereby provide a reference for the use of future workers. We propose revised classifications for the parietal and visceral peritoneal pigmentation, liver form and coloration of its associated hepatic peritoneum, nuptial excrescences, and hand ornamentation. We comment on the generic and species-level taxonomy of Centrolenidae, proposing the recognition of a new genus and describing a new species from Ecuador. We treat Hyla ocellifera Boulenger as a synonym of Centrolene prosoblepon (Boettger), Hyalinobatrachium cardiacalyptum McCranie & Wilson as a synonym of Hyalinobatrachium chirripoi (Taylor), and Hyalinobatrachium crybetes McCranie and Wilson as a synonym of Hyalinobatrachium colymbiphyllum (Taylor). We also present an annotated list of the species of glassfrogs from the Republic of Ecuador with some distributional remarks.

  1. A new species of the genus Centrolene (Amphibia : Anura : Centrolenidae) from Ecuador with comments on the taxonomy and biogeography of Glassfrogs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cisneros-Heredia, D.F.; McDiarmid, R.W.

    2006-01-01

    We describe a new species of Glassfrog, Centrolene mariaelenae n. sp., from the Contrafuerte de Tzunantza, southeastern Ecuador. The new species is assigned to the Centrolene gorzulai species group, a clade previously known only from the Guayana Shield region, because the parietal peritoneum is transparent and the hepatic peritoneum is covered by guanophores. We analyze the diversity patterns of Glassfrogs from eastern Ecuador. The distribution of the new species herein described supports previous hypothesis of a biogeographical connection between the Andes and the Guayana Shield for various groups of plants and animals; particularly a relationship between the Guayana Shield and the sandstone outcrops mountain ranges of southeastern Ecuador and northeastern Peru. We also comment on the infrageneric and generic classification of Glassfrogs, and propose the new combinations Centrolene balionotum n. comb., Cochranella antisthenesi n. comb., and Cochranella pulverata n. comb.

  2. A large-scale phylogeny of Amphibia including over 2800 species, and a revised classification of extant frogs, salamanders, and caecilians.

    PubMed

    Pyron, R Alexander; Wiens, John J

    2011-11-01

    The extant amphibians are one of the most diverse radiations of terrestrial vertebrates (>6800 species). Despite much recent focus on their conservation, diversification, and systematics, no previous phylogeny for the group has contained more than 522 species. However, numerous studies with limited taxon sampling have generated large amounts of partially overlapping sequence data for many species. Here, we combine these data and produce a novel estimate of extant amphibian phylogeny, containing 2871 species (∼40% of the known extant species) from 432 genera (∼85% of the ∼500 currently recognized extant genera). Each sampled species contains up to 12,712 bp from 12 genes (three mitochondrial, nine nuclear), with an average of 2563 bp per species. This data set provides strong support for many groups recognized in previous studies, but it also suggests non-monophyly for several currently recognized families, particularly in hyloid frogs (e.g., Ceratophryidae, Cycloramphidae, Leptodactylidae, Strabomantidae). To correct these and other problems, we provide a revised classification of extant amphibians for taxa traditionally delimited at the family and subfamily levels. This new taxonomy includes several families not recognized in current classifications (e.g., Alsodidae, Batrachylidae, Rhinodermatidae, Odontophrynidae, Telmatobiidae), but which are strongly supported and important for avoiding non-monophyly of current families. Finally, this study provides further evidence that the supermatrix approach provides an effective strategy for inferring large-scale phylogenies using the combined results of previous studies, despite many taxa having extensive missing data.

  3. 3D Bite Modeling and Feeding Mechanics of the Largest Living Amphibian, the Chinese Giant Salamander Andrias davidianus (Amphibia:Urodela)

    PubMed Central

    Fortuny, Josep; Marcé-Nogué, Jordi; Heiss, Egon; Sanchez, Montserrat; Gil, Lluis; Galobart, Àngel

    2015-01-01

    Biting is an integral feature of the feeding mechanism for aquatic and terrestrial salamanders to capture, fix or immobilize elusive or struggling prey. However, little information is available on how it works and the functional implications of this biting system in amphibians although such approaches might be essential to understand feeding systems performed by early tetrapods. Herein, the skull biomechanics of the Chinese giant salamander, Andrias davidianus is investigated using 3D finite element analysis. The results reveal that the prey contact position is crucial for the structural performance of the skull, which is probably related to the lack of a bony bridge between the posterior end of the maxilla and the anterior quadrato-squamosal region. Giant salamanders perform asymmetrical strikes. These strikes are unusual and specialized behavior but might indeed be beneficial in such sit-and-wait or ambush-predators to capture laterally approaching prey. However, once captured by an asymmetrical strike, large, elusive and struggling prey have to be brought to the anterior jaw region to be subdued by a strong bite. Given their basal position within extant salamanders and their “conservative” morphology, cryptobranchids may be useful models to reconstruct the feeding ecology and biomechanics of different members of early tetrapods and amphibians, with similar osteological and myological constraints. PMID:25853557

  4. A new species of Psychrophrynella (Amphibia, Anura, Craugastoridae) from the humid montane forests of Cusco, eastern slopes of the Peruvian Andes.

    PubMed

    Catenazzi, Alessandro; Ttito, Alex

    2016-01-01

    We describe a new species of Psychrophrynella from the humid montane forest of the Department Cusco in Peru. Specimens were collected at 2,670-3,165 m elevation in the Área de Conservación Privada Ukumari Llakta, Japumayo valley, near Comunidad Campesina de Japu, in the province of Paucartambo. The new species is readily distinguished from all other species of Psychrophrynella but P. bagrecito and P. usurpator by possessing a tubercle on the inner edge of the tarsus, and from these two species by its yellow ventral coloration on abdomen and limbs. Furthermore, the new species is like P. bagrecito and P. usurpator in having an advertisement call composed of multiple notes, whereas other species of Psychrophrynella whose calls are known have a pulsed call (P. teqta) or a short, tonal call composed of a single note. The new species has a snout-vent length of 16.1-24.1 mm in males and 23.3-27.7 mm in females. Like other recently described species in the genus, this new Psychrophrynella inhabits high-elevation forests in the tropical Andes and likely has a restricted geographic distribution. PMID:26989637

  5. Nucleolar cycle and chromatoid body formation: is there a relationship between these two processes during spermatogenesis of Dendropsophus minutus (Amphibia, Anura)?

    PubMed

    Peruquetti, Rita Luiza; Taboga, Sebastião Roberto; Santos, Lia Raquel de Souza; Oliveira, Classius de; Azeredo-Oliveira, Maria Tercília Vilela de

    2011-01-01

    The goals of this study were to monitor the nucleolar material distribution during Dendropsophus minutus spermatogenesis using cytological and cytochemical techniques and ultrastructural analysis, as well as to compare the nucleolar material distribution to the formation of the chromatoid body (CB) in the germ epithelium of this amphibian species. Nucleolar fragmentation occurred during the pachytene of prophase I and nucleolus reorganization occurred in the early spermatid nucleus. The area of the spermatogonia nucleolus was significantly larger than that of the earlier spermatid nucleolus. Ultrastructural analysis showed an accumulation of nuages in the spermatogonia cytoplasm, which form the CB before nucleolar fragmentation. The CB was observed in association with mitochondrial clusters in the cytoplasm of primary spermatocytes, as well as in those of earlier spermatids. In conclusion, the nucleolus seems to be related to CB formation during spermatogenesis of D. minutus, because, at the moment of nucleolus fragmentation in the primary spermatocytes, the CB area reaches a considerable size and is able to execute its important functions during spermatogenesis. The reorganized nucleolus of the earlier spermatids has a smaller area due to several factors, among them the probable migration of nucleolar fragments from the nucleus to the cytoplasm, and plays a part in the CB chemical composition. PMID:20829051

  6. A new synonym for Pristimantis luscombei (Duellman and Mendelson 1995) and the description of a new species of Pristimantis from the upper Amazon basin (Amphibia: Craugastoridae).

    PubMed

    Ortega-Andrade, H Mauricio; Venegas, Pablo J

    2014-01-01

    We consider Pristimantis achuar as junior synonym of P. luscombei, based on morphological and genetic evidence. Paratype specimens of P. luscombei are part of a new species, which lead to taxonomic confusion regarding the identity of P. luscombei. We describe and name this new species as Pristimantis miktos sp. nov. from Juyuintza, Pastaza province, eastern lowlands of Ecuador. Morphological diagnostic characters used to distinguish the new species from other brownish Amazonian Pristimantis are: (1) skin of dorsum shagreen with scattered tubercles or pustules; (2) tympanum prominent; (3) a thick X-shaped scapular dermal ridge in males; and (4) an orange iris in life. Pristimantis miktos is an inhabitant of the lowlands forests of the Pastaza and Napo drainages in eastern Ecuador and northern Loreto in Peru, reaching elevations of up to 350 m; P. luscombei is widely distributed in the upper Amazon Basin of Ecuador, northern Peru and extreme western Brazil, up to 1000 m. Phylogenetic analyses reveals that P. luscombei and the new species are not closest relatives, as also deduced from morphological evidence. PMID:25543553

  7. A new species of Psychrophrynella (Amphibia, Anura, Craugastoridae) from the humid montane forests of Cusco, eastern slopes of the Peruvian Andes

    PubMed Central

    Ttito, Alex

    2016-01-01

    We describe a new species of Psychrophrynella from the humid montane forest of the Department Cusco in Peru. Specimens were collected at 2,670–3,165 m elevation in the Área de Conservación Privada Ukumari Llakta, Japumayo valley, near Comunidad Campesina de Japu, in the province of Paucartambo. The new species is readily distinguished from all other species of Psychrophrynella but P. bagrecito and P. usurpator by possessing a tubercle on the inner edge of the tarsus, and from these two species by its yellow ventral coloration on abdomen and limbs. Furthermore, the new species is like P. bagrecito and P. usurpator in having an advertisement call composed of multiple notes, whereas other species of Psychrophrynella whose calls are known have a pulsed call (P. teqta) or a short, tonal call composed of a single note. The new species has a snout-vent length of 16.1–24.1 mm in males and 23.3–27.7 mm in females. Like other recently described species in the genus, this new Psychrophrynella inhabits high-elevation forests in the tropical Andes and likely has a restricted geographic distribution. PMID:26989637

  8. A revised taxonomy of crested newts in the Triturus karelinii group (Amphibia: Caudata: Salamandridae), with the description of a new species.

    PubMed

    Wielstra, B; Litvinchuk, S N; Naumov, B; Tzankov, N; Arntzen, J W

    2013-01-01

    We present a taxonomic revision of the crested newt Triturus karelinii sensu lato. Based on the presence of discrete nuclear DNA gene pools, deep genetic divergence of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA, and no indication of gene flow, we interpret this taxon as comprising two species: one covering the southern Caspian Sea shore, the Caucasus and the Crimea, i.e. the eastern part of the total range and another covering northern Asiatic Turkey and western Asiatic Turkey plus the southeastern Balkan Peninsula, i.e. the central and western part of the total range. We acknowledge that the central/western species should likely be further subdivided into a central and a western taxon, but we prefer to await a more detailed genetic analysis of the putative contact zone, positioned in northwestern Asiatic Turkey. The name T. karelinii (Strauch, 1870) applies to the eastern species as the type locality is positioned along the coast of the Gulf of Gorgan, Iran. The name T. arntzeni has been applied to the central/western species with Vrtovać, Serbia as the type locality. We show that not T. karelinii sensu lato but T. macedonicus occurs at Vrtovać. Hence, the name T. arntzeni Litvinchuk, Borkin, Dzukić and Kalezić, 1999 (in Litvinchuk et al., 1999) is a junior synonym of T. macedonicus (Karaman, 1922) and should not be used for the central/western species. We propose the name T. ivanbureschi sp. nov. for the central/western species and provide a formal species description.

  9. Integrative phylogeography of Calotriton newts (Amphibia, Salamandridae), with special remarks on the conservation of the endangered Montseny brook newt (Calotriton arnoldi).

    PubMed

    Valbuena-Ureña, Emilio; Amat, Fèlix; Carranza, Salvador

    2013-01-01

    The genus Calotriton includes two species of newts highly adapted to live in cold and fast-flowing mountain springs. The Pyrenean brook newt (Calotriton asper), restricted to the Pyrenean region, and the Montseny brook newt (Calotriton arnoldi), endemic to the Montseny massif and one of the most endangered amphibian species in Europe. In the present manuscript, we use an integrative approach including species distribution modeling (SDM), molecular analyses of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequence data and morphology to unravel the historical processes that have contributed to shaping the biogeography and genetic structure of the genus Calotriton, with special emphasis on the conservation of C. arnoldi. The results of the molecular analyses confirm that, despite having originated recently, being ecologically similar and geographically very close, there is no signal of hybridization between C. asper and C. arnoldi. SDM results suggest that tough environmental conditions on mountains tops during glacial periods, together with subsequent warmer periods could have prevented the contact between the two species. Within the critically endangered C. arnoldi, a high genetic structure is revealed despite its extremely small distribution range compared to C. asper. Haplotype networks, AMOVA and SAMOVA analyses suggest that two distinct groups of populations can be clearly differentiated with absence of gene flow. This is in concordance with morphological differentiation and correlates with its geographical distribution, as the two groups are situated on the eastern and western sides of a river valley that acts as a barrier. The genetic and morphological results are highly important for the ongoing conservation program of C. arnoldi and strongly justify the management of this species into at least two independent evolutionary significant units (eastern and western sectors) to guarantee the long-term population viability.

  10. Marked genetic structuring and extreme dispersal limitation in the Pyrenean brook newt Calotriton asper (Amphibia: Salamandridae) revealed by genome-wide AFLP but not mtDNA.

    PubMed

    Milá, Borja; Carranza, Salvador; Guillaume, Olivier; Clobert, Jean

    2010-01-01

    Direct estimation of dispersal rates at large geographic scales can be technically and logistically challenging, especially in small animals of low vagility like amphibians. The use of molecular markers to reveal patterns of genetic structure provides an indirect way to infer dispersal rates and patterns of recent and historical gene flow among populations. Here, we use mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence data and genome-wide amplified fragment length polymorphism markers to examine population structure in the Pyrenean brook newt (Calotriton asper) across four main drainages in the French Pyrenees. mtDNA sequence data (2040 bp) revealed three phylogroups shallowly differentiated and with low genetic diversity. In sharp contrast, variation in 382 amplified fragment length polymorphism loci was high and revealed a clear pattern of isolation by distance consistent with long-term restriction of gene flow at three spatial scales: (i) among all four main drainages, (ii) between sites within drainages, and (iii) even between adjacent populations separated by less than 4 km. The high pairwise F(ST) values between localities across numerous loci, together with the high frequency of fixed alleles in several populations, suggests a combination of marked geographic isolation, small population sizes and very limited dispersal in C. asper. The contrasting lack of variation detected in mtDNA sequence data is intriguing and underscores the importance of multilocus approaches to detect true patterns of gene flow in natural populations of amphibians.

  11. Designation and description of a neotype of Sclerophrys maculata (Hallowell, 1854), and reinstatement of S. pusilla (Mertens, 1937) (Amphibia: Anura: Bufonidae).

    PubMed

    Poynton, John C; Loader, Simon P; Conradie, Werner; Rödel, Mark-Oliver; Liedtke, H Christoph

    2016-01-01

    Molecular analysis indicates that African material previously referred to Amietophrynus maculatus (Hallowell, 1854; now Sclerophrys maculata), is divisible into two distinct clades: a Western Clade from Cameroon westwards and an Eastern Clade from Central African Republic eastwards, and Uganda southwards to South Africa, extending to Angola-Namibia. Preliminary morphological and bioacoustic data support this division. The two clades are recognised here as two separate species. The Western species retains the name S. maculata, with Hallowell's designated type locality of Liberia. The Eastern Clade retains the name published by Mertens (1937), S. pusilla. It is noted that a type specimen of S. maculata cannot be traced and is presumed lost; the so-called syntypes in the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences are not the material described by Hallowell. None of these have been designated as a neotype, consequently a specimen from Liberia in the collection of the Natural History Museum, London, is designated here as the neotype of S. maculata. PMID:27394575

  12. Cryptic diversity in the Hypsiboas semilineatus species group (Amphibia, Anura) with the description of a new species from the eastern Guiana Shield.

    PubMed

    Fouquet, Antoine; Martinez, Quentin; Zeidler, Lauren; Courtois, Elodie A; Gaucher, Philippe; Blanc, Michel; Lima, Jucivaldo Dias; Souza, Sergio Marques; Rodrigues, Miguel T; Lima, Jucivaldo Dias; Souza, Sergio Marques; Rodrigues, Miguel T; Kok, Philippe J R

    2016-01-01

    We used molecular and morphological data to investigate the hidden diversity within the Hypsiboas semilineatus species group, and more specifically within H. geographicus, an allegedly widespread species in northern South America. As a result, the identity of H. geographicus was clarified, several candidate species were detected and one of them, from the eastern Guiana Shield, is described herein as a preliminary step to resolve the taxonomy of the group. Hypsiboas diabolicus sp. nov. is mainly distinguished from closely-related species by an acuminate snout in lateral view, well-developed webbing between fingers and toes, and unspotted carmine/crimson colouration on the concealed surfaces of legs, feet and hands in life. The tadpole of the new species is described and is characterized by a large A-2 gap, a mostly single row of large marginal papillae, and a dark brown to black colouration. We also describe the advertisement call of the new species, which is defined as a soft call consisting of short clusters of 2-3 chuckles with a dominant frequency ranging between 1.11-1.19 kHz. Hypsiboas diabolicus sp. nov. is currently known only from the eastern Guiana Shield, and is probably endemic to that region. The new species' range overlaps broadly with another candidate species referred to as H. aff. semilineatus 1. Our preliminary results stress out a high cryptic diversity in that species group and the need for a formal redescription of Hypsiboas geographicus based on more topotypic material than what is currently available  to properly sort out the taxonomic status of several lineages in that clade. PMID:27394251

  13. A new synonym for Pristimantis luscombei (Duellman and Mendelson 1995) and the description of a new species of Pristimantis from the upper Amazon basin (Amphibia: Craugastoridae).

    PubMed

    Ortega-Andrade, H Mauricio; Venegas, Pablo J

    2014-12-12

    We consider Pristimantis achuar as junior synonym of P. luscombei, based on morphological and genetic evidence. Paratype specimens of P. luscombei are part of a new species, which lead to taxonomic confusion regarding the identity of P. luscombei. We describe and name this new species as Pristimantis miktos sp. nov. from Juyuintza, Pastaza province, eastern lowlands of Ecuador. Morphological diagnostic characters used to distinguish the new species from other brownish Amazonian Pristimantis are: (1) skin of dorsum shagreen with scattered tubercles or pustules; (2) tympanum prominent; (3) a thick X-shaped scapular dermal ridge in males; and (4) an orange iris in life. Pristimantis miktos is an inhabitant of the lowlands forests of the Pastaza and Napo drainages in eastern Ecuador and northern Loreto in Peru, reaching elevations of up to 350 m; P. luscombei is widely distributed in the upper Amazon Basin of Ecuador, northern Peru and extreme western Brazil, up to 1000 m. Phylogenetic analyses reveals that P. luscombei and the new species are not closest relatives, as also deduced from morphological evidence.

  14. Molecular phylogeny and genetic identification of populations of two species of Feirana frogs (Amphibia: Anura, Ranidae, Dicroglossinae, Paini) endemic to China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Bin; Jiang, Jianping; Xie, Feng; Chen, Xiaohong; Dubois, Alain; Liang, Gang; Wagner, Steven

    2009-07-01

    Using mitochondrial 12S rRNA, 16S rRNA, and ND2 sequences, we investigated phylogenetic relationships among populations of two frog species endemic to China, both referred to the genus Feirana. A sister-group relationship between the two species was supported moderately in a maximum likelihood analysis and significantly in a Bayesian analysis, but not in a maximum parsimony analysis, of combined data for the three genes. Pending resolution of this incongruence, we provisionally maintain these species in the genus Feirana. Two major clades with a deep divergence are concordant with the species F. quadranus and "F." taihangnica. In the present work, some populations from the Qinling Mountains and all those from the Funiu and the Zhongtiao-southern Taihang Mountains are referred to "F." taihangnica rather than F. quadranus, whereas others are referred to F. quadranus. Consequently, the main body of the Qinling Mountains was identified as a large contact zone between these two species. On the basis of phylogenetic relationships and the distribution pattern of populations, we propose a hypothesis for the divergence of "F." taihangnica: the ancestral species might have inhabited the westernmost Qinling Mountains and dispersed to the main Qinling Mountains, and then to the Zhongtiao-southern Taihang and Funiu Mountains. In contrast, two alternative hypotheses are suggested for F. quadranus: if the two species are confirmed as sister groups, F. quadranus might have dispersed from the westernmost Qinling to the Longmen, Qinling, Daba, and northern Wuling Mountains; alternatively, F. quadranus might have come from the northern Wuling Mountains and then dispersed to the Daba, Qinling, and Longmen mountains.

  15. Three new species of horned frogs, Megophrys (Amphibia: Megophryidae), from northeast India, with a resolution to the identity of Megophrys boettgeri populations reported from the region.

    PubMed

    Mahony, Stephen; Teeling, Emma C; Biju, S D

    2013-01-01

    Northeast India is a well-established region of biological importance but remains poorly understood with regards to the species level identifications of many of its extant amphibians. In this study we examined small sized frogs from the genus Megophrys recently collected from remote and suburban forests in the northeast Indian states of Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh, from which we have identified three new species. Megophrys vegrandis sp. nov., Megophrys ancrae sp. nov. and Megophrys oropedion sp. nov. are compared with all known congeners from India and surrounding regions from which they differ based primarily on a combination of morphological characters. Megophrys boettgeri is removed, and Megophrys minor added to the Indian amphibian checklist, through critical review of all literature pertaining to the former species, and the discovery of an overlooked historical report of the latter species. Two of the new species, Megophrys ancrae sp. nov. and Megophrys vegrandis sp. nov. are known from low and mid elevations within two large protected forests in Arunachal Pradesh, both with poorly studied amphibian fauna. Contrastingly, Megophrys oropedion sp. nov. is currently known only from small forested areas on the upper reaches of the Shillong Plateau. The importance of the Shillong Plateau as an area of known high amphibian endemicity is highlighted in the light of the miniscule proportion of its land area afforded government protection, raising concerns about the future conservation of its still poorly known species.

  16. Distribution pattern of neuropeptide Y in the brain, pituitary and olfactory system during the larval development of the toad Rhinella arenarum (Amphibia: Anura).

    PubMed

    Heer, T; Pozzi, A G; Yovanovich, C A; Paz, D A

    2009-04-01

    The first NPY-immunoreactivity (ir) in the central nervous system of Rhinella arenarum was obtained just after hatching in the pre-optic area, ventral thalamus and rostral rhombencephalon. During pre-metamorphosis, new NPY-ir cells were observed in other brain areas such as pallium, septum and striatum, infundibulum and pars intermedia of the pituitary. Further maturation continued through pro-metamorphosis with the appearance of cell groups in the diagonal band, amygdala, pre-optic nucleus, dorsal nucleus of the habenula, anterior ventral and dorsal thalamus, suprachiasmatic nucleus, tuberculum posterior, tectum, torus semicircularis, inter-peduncular nucleus and median eminence. During the metamorphic climax and soon after, the relative abundance of NPY-ir fibres decreased in all hypothalamic areas and the staining intensity and number of NPY-ir cells in the pallium also decreased, whereas no cells were found in the striatum, dorsal nucleus of the habenula and tectum. In the olfactory epithelium, nerve or bulb, neither cells nor NPY-ir fibres were found during the stages of development analysed. The ontogeny pattern of the NPY-ir neuronal system in the brain of Rh. arenarum is more similar to the spatiotemporal appearance reported for Rana esculenta than to that reported for Xenopus laevis. Many NPY-ir fibres were found in the median eminence and in the pars intermedia of the pituitary, supporting the idea that this neuropeptide may play a role in the modulation of hypophyseal secretion during development.

  17. A new species of limestone karst inhabiting forest frog, genus Platymantis (Amphibia: Anura: Ceratobatrachidae: subgenus Lupacolus) from southern Luzon Island, Philippines.

    PubMed

    Brown, Rafe M; De Layola, Louise Abigail; Lorenzo, Antonio; Diesmos, Mae Lowe L; Diesmos, Arvin C

    2015-01-01

    We describe a new species of limestone karst dwelling forest frog of the genus Platymantis from the Quezon Protected Landscape in southeastern Luzon Island, Philippines. We assign Platymantis quezoni, sp. nov., to the diverse assemblage of terrestrial species in the Platymantis dorsalis Group, subgenus Lupacolus on the basis of its body size and proportions, only slightly expanded terminal discs of the fingers and toes, and its terrestrial microhabitat. The new species is distinguished from these and all other Philippine congeners by features of its external morphology, its restriction to a distinctive limestone karst microhabitat, and its advertisement call, which is unique among frogs of the family Ceratobatrachidae. Several distinguishing morphological characters include its moderate body size (22.1-33.9 mm SVL for 16 adult males and 32.4-39.7 mm SVL for five adult females), slightly expanded terminal discs of the fingers and toes, smooth skin with limited dermal tuberculation, and a dorsal color pattern of mottled tan to dark brown with black blotches. The new species is the sixth Philippine Platymantis known to occur exclusively on limestone karst substrates (previously known karst-obligate species include: P. bayani, P. biak, P. insulatus, P. paengi, and P. speleaus). Recently accelerated discovery of limestone karst anurans across the Philippines suggests that numerous additional species may await discovery on the hundreds of scattered karst formations throughout the archipelago. This possibility suggests that a major conservation priority in coming years will be to study, characterize, describe, and preserve the endemic species supported by this patchy, unique and imperiled type of forest ecosystem in the Philippines. PMID:26624745

  18. 3D bite modeling and feeding mechanics of the largest living amphibian, the Chinese giant salamander Andrias davidianus (Amphibia:Urodela).

    PubMed

    Fortuny, Josep; Marcé-Nogué, Jordi; Heiss, Egon; Sanchez, Montserrat; Gil, Lluis; Galobart, Àngel

    2015-01-01

    Biting is an integral feature of the feeding mechanism for aquatic and terrestrial salamanders to capture, fix or immobilize elusive or struggling prey. However, little information is available on how it works and the functional implications of this biting system in amphibians although such approaches might be essential to understand feeding systems performed by early tetrapods. Herein, the skull biomechanics of the Chinese giant salamander, Andrias davidianus is investigated using 3D finite element analysis. The results reveal that the prey contact position is crucial for the structural performance of the skull, which is probably related to the lack of a bony bridge between the posterior end of the maxilla and the anterior quadrato-squamosal region. Giant salamanders perform asymmetrical strikes. These strikes are unusual and specialized behavior but might indeed be beneficial in such sit-and-wait or ambush-predators to capture laterally approaching prey. However, once captured by an asymmetrical strike, large, elusive and struggling prey have to be brought to the anterior jaw region to be subdued by a strong bite. Given their basal position within extant salamanders and their "conservative" morphology, cryptobranchids may be useful models to reconstruct the feeding ecology and biomechanics of different members of early tetrapods and amphibians, with similar osteological and myological constraints.

  19. Microhyla laterite sp. nov., A New Species of Microhyla Tschudi, 1838 (Amphibia: Anura: Microhylidae) from a Laterite Rock Formation in South West India.

    PubMed

    Seshadri, K S; Singal, Ramit; Priti, H; Ravikanth, G; Vidisha, M K; Saurabh, S; Pratik, M; Gururaja, Kotambylu Vasudeva

    2016-01-01

    In recent times, several new species of amphibians have been described from India. Many of these discoveries are from biodiversity hotspots or from within protected areas. We undertook amphibian surveys in human dominated landscapes outside of protected areas in south western region of India between years 2013-2015. We encountered a new species of Microhyla which is described here as Microhyla laterite sp. nov. It was delimited using molecular, morphometric and bioacoustics comparisons. Microhyla laterite sp. nov. appears to be restricted to areas of the West coast of India dominated by laterite rock formations. The laterite rock formations date as far back as the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary and are considered to be wastelands in-spite of their intriguing geological history. We identify knowledge gaps in our understanding of the genus Microhyla from the Indian subcontinent and suggest ways to bridge them. PMID:26960208

  20. A new species of limestone karst inhabiting forest frog, genus Platymantis (Amphibia: Anura: Ceratobatrachidae: subgenus Lupacolus) from southern Luzon Island, Philippines.

    PubMed

    Brown, Rafe M; De Layola, Louise Abigail; Lorenzo, Antonio; Diesmos, Mae Lowe L; Diesmos, Arvin C

    2015-11-25

    We describe a new species of limestone karst dwelling forest frog of the genus Platymantis from the Quezon Protected Landscape in southeastern Luzon Island, Philippines. We assign Platymantis quezoni, sp. nov., to the diverse assemblage of terrestrial species in the Platymantis dorsalis Group, subgenus Lupacolus on the basis of its body size and proportions, only slightly expanded terminal discs of the fingers and toes, and its terrestrial microhabitat. The new species is distinguished from these and all other Philippine congeners by features of its external morphology, its restriction to a distinctive limestone karst microhabitat, and its advertisement call, which is unique among frogs of the family Ceratobatrachidae. Several distinguishing morphological characters include its moderate body size (22.1-33.9 mm SVL for 16 adult males and 32.4-39.7 mm SVL for five adult females), slightly expanded terminal discs of the fingers and toes, smooth skin with limited dermal tuberculation, and a dorsal color pattern of mottled tan to dark brown with black blotches. The new species is the sixth Philippine Platymantis known to occur exclusively on limestone karst substrates (previously known karst-obligate species include: P. bayani, P. biak, P. insulatus, P. paengi, and P. speleaus). Recently accelerated discovery of limestone karst anurans across the Philippines suggests that numerous additional species may await discovery on the hundreds of scattered karst formations throughout the archipelago. This possibility suggests that a major conservation priority in coming years will be to study, characterize, describe, and preserve the endemic species supported by this patchy, unique and imperiled type of forest ecosystem in the Philippines.

  1. Evolutionary origins and genetic variation of the Seychelles treefrog, Tachycnemis seychellensis (Duméril and Bibron, 1841) (Amphibia: Anura: Hyperoliidae)

    PubMed Central

    Maddock, Simon T.; Day, Julia J.; Nussbaum, Ronald A.; Wilkinson, Mark; Gower, David J.

    2014-01-01

    The hyperoliid frog Tachycnemis seychellensis, the only species of its genus, is endemic to the four largest granitic islands of the Seychelles archipelago and is reliant on freshwater bodies for reproduction. Its presence in the Seychelles is thought to be the product of a transoceanic dispersal, diverging from the genus Heterixalus, its closest living relative (currently endemic to Madagascar), between approximately 10–35 Ma. A previous study documented substantial intraspecific morphological variation among island populations and also among populations within the largest island (Mahé). To assess intraspecific genetic variation and to infer the closest living relative(s) of T. seychellensis, DNA sequence data were generated for three mitochondrial and four nuclear markers. These data support a sister-group relationship between T. seychellensis and Heterixalus, with the divergence between the two occurring between approximately 11–19 Ma based on cytb p-distances. Low levels of genetic variation were found among major mitochondrial haplotype clades of T. seychellensis (maximum 0.7% p-distance concatenated mtDNA), and samples from each of the islands (except La Digue) comprised multiple mitochondrial haplotype clades. Two nuclear genes (rag1 and tyr) showed no variation, and the other two (rho and pomc) lacked any notable geographic structuring, counter to patterns observed within presumably more vagile Seychelles taxa such as lizards. The low levels of genetic variation and phylogeographic structure support an interpretation that there is a single but morphologically highly variable species of Seychelles treefrog. The contrasting genetic and morphological intraspecific variation may be attributable to relatively recent admixture during low sea-level stands, ecophenotypic plasticity, local adaptation to different environmental conditions, and/or current and previously small population sizes. Low genetic phylogeographic structure but substantial morphological variation is unusual within anurans. PMID:24555995

  2. Phylogeny and Differentiation of Wide-Ranging Ryukyu Kajika Frog Buergeria japonica (Amphibia: Rhacophoridae): Geographic Genetic Pattern Not Simply Explained by Vicariance Through Strait Formation.

    PubMed

    Tominaga, Atsushi; Matsui, Masafumi; Eto, Koshiro; Ota, Hidetoshi

    2015-06-01

    To investigate geographic genetic structures and taxonomic relationships among isolated populations of Buergeria japonica, occurring very widely in various habitats of the Ryukyu Archipelago and Taiwan, we conducted phylogenetic and demographic analyses among individuals from various localities, representing their entire distributional ranges. Buergeria japonica is genetically greatly differentiated and comprises three major clades (the Southern Taiwan [ST] clade, the Northern Taiwan + Southern Ryukyu [NT/SR] clade, and the Central + Northern Ryukyu [CR/NR] clade), each of which seems to represent independent species. The first divergence in the species is estimated to have occurred in the middle to late Miocene in areas of current Taiwan, then eastern periphery of the Asian continent. Split of the ST and the remaining clades, and subsequent divergence between the NT/SR and the CR/NR clades in the latter, indicate consecutive south to north vicariant diversifications. However, these vicariances are not always associated with formation of significant barriers such as deep straits. Less but still prominently diverged subclades (the Amami + Tokara [AM/TK] and the Okinawa [ON] subclades) in the CR/NR clade were recognized in spite of the absence of an intervening deep strait. Contrariwise, individuals from Amami and Tokara Groups formed the AM/TK subclade in spite of the presence of the intervening Tokara Gap (a long-standing deep tectonic strait). Furthermore, in the AM/TK subclade, low but definite genetic divergence was found between the Northern Amami + Tokara (NAM/TK) lineage and the Southern Amami (SAM) lineage. Estimated divergence time and gene flow rate within the NAM/TK lineage indicate that this species reached northern Tokara from the south by overseas dispersal over the Tokara Gap long after its formation, but not by more recent artificial transportation. This overseas dispersal would have been facilitated by its more frequent occurrence around coastal habitats than other frogs. PMID:26003978

  3. Seasonal changes of basic erythrocyte-metric parameters in Pelophylaxridibundus (Amphibia: Ranidae) from anthropogenically polluted biotopes in Southern Bulgaria and their role as bioindicators.

    PubMed

    Zhelev, Zhivko M; Mehterov, Nikolay H; Popgeorgiev, Georgi S

    2016-02-01

    The purpose of this research work is to present data that show the seasonal changes (spring-summer-autumn) of basic erythrocyte-metric parameters (ЕL: Erythrocyte length, ЕW: Erythrocyte width, ЕL/ЕW, ES: Erythrocyte size; NL: Nucleus length, NW: Nucleus width, NL/NW; NS: Nucleus size, NS/ES: Nucleus-cytoplasmic ratio) in Pelophylax ridibundus populations from three biotopes located on two rivers in Southern Bulgaria (less disrupted biotope, with domestic sewage pollution and heavy metal pollution). Differences of high statistical significance were found among the different populations. Within the population living in conditions of domestic sewage pollution, for the entire period of the investigation the erythrocytes and their nuclei had an elliptical shape (a slight elongation of ellipses in autumn) and the biggest sizes (EL, EW, ES, NL and NS were constantly higher than the less disrupted biotope), NS/ES, became significantly smaller in autumn. Throughout the period of investigation, the values of all nine cellular and nuclear parameters were statistically-significantly the lowest in the population from the biotope with heavy metal pollution. The parameters: EL, ЕW, NL, NW and ES became significantly lower, progressively and statistically, during seasonal transitions. Cells and nuclei grew ovular in shape in comparison to the populations from the other two biotopes (this process was most pronounced in autumn) and NS/ES numbers were significantly decreased in summer and autumn.

  4. The karyotypes of five species of the Scinax perpusillus group (Amphibia, Anura, Hylidae) of southeastern Brazil show high levels of chromosomal stabilization in this taxon.

    PubMed

    Peixoto, Marco Antônio Amorim; Lacerda, João Victor Andrade; Coelho-Augusto, Carolina; Feio, Renato Neves; Dergam, Jorge Abdala

    2015-12-01

    Based on morphological, bioacoustics, and morphological traits, the genus Scinax has been subdivided into two major clades: S. catharinae and S. ruber. The first clade includes S. catharinae and S. perpusillus groups, whereas the second clade includes S. rostratus and S. uruguayus groups. Chromosome morphology, NOR and C-banding patterns of variation support these clades. This study aims the cytogenetic characterization of five species currently included in the S. perpusillus group: Scinax sp. (gr. perpusillus), S. arduous, S. belloni, S. cosenzai, and S. v-signatus, including standard cytogenetic techniques and repetitive DNA FISH probes. All species had 2n = 24 chromosomes. Nucleolar organizing regions occurred in chromosome pair 6 in all species, but differed in their locations among some species, suggesting a putative synaponomastic character for the clade. In S. belloni, the first chromosome pair was a metacentric, contrasting with the submetacentric first pair reported in all other species of the genus. Scinax sp. (gr. perpusillus) and S. v-signatus had similar karyotypic formulae, suggesting they are related species. Scinax cosenzai had a divergent C-banding pattern. Repetitive DNA probes hybridized more frequently in chromosomal subtelomeric regions in all species indicating recent cladogenesis in these species. Karyotypic evidence indicates unreported high levels of stabilization within S. perpusillus and in S. catharinae clade, resulting in a wealth of characters potentially informative for higher phylogenetic analyses.

  5. [The correlation of the ecological niches of the common (Rana temporaria L.) and of the moor (Rana arvalis Nilss.) frogs (Anura, Amphibia)].

    PubMed

    Severtsov, A S; Liapkov, S M; Surova, G S

    1998-01-01

    During 25 years ecology and population dynamic of two brown frog species (Rana temporaria and R. arvalis) were studied in Moscow region, Solovki island and South Ural. We compared life cycles characteristics, namely biotope preferences, diet, migration, enemies, hibernation places using own and available literature data. Then we analyse how these parameters are changed among the species area and ecological niches were compared. We found that these two species do not compete in any stage of life cycle. Ecological niches are very closed and differences are determined generally by abiotic factors. So, R. temporaria prefers more wet biotope and more sensitive to acidity (low pH value). Differences in spawning time do not associate with interference in spawning places. We conclude that interspecific competition did not take place neither in the past nor in present and the reason of differences in ecological niches are determined by separate ways of evolutionary development of these species.

  6. Integrative Phylogeography of Calotriton Newts (Amphibia, Salamandridae), with Special Remarks on the Conservation of the Endangered Montseny Brook Newt (Calotriton arnoldi)

    PubMed Central

    Valbuena-Ureña, Emilio; Amat, Fèlix; Carranza, Salvador

    2013-01-01

    The genus Calotriton includes two species of newts highly adapted to live in cold and fast-flowing mountain springs. The Pyrenean brook newt (Calotriton asper), restricted to the Pyrenean region, and the Montseny brook newt (Calotriton arnoldi), endemic to the Montseny massif and one of the most endangered amphibian species in Europe. In the present manuscript, we use an integrative approach including species distribution modeling (SDM), molecular analyses of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequence data and morphology to unravel the historical processes that have contributed to shaping the biogeography and genetic structure of the genus Calotriton, with special emphasis on the conservation of C. arnoldi. The results of the molecular analyses confirm that, despite having originated recently, being ecologically similar and geographically very close, there is no signal of hybridization between C. asper and C. arnoldi. SDM results suggest that tough environmental conditions on mountains tops during glacial periods, together with subsequent warmer periods could have prevented the contact between the two species. Within the critically endangered C. arnoldi, a high genetic structure is revealed despite its extremely small distribution range compared to C. asper. Haplotype networks, AMOVA and SAMOVA analyses suggest that two distinct groups of populations can be clearly differentiated with absence of gene flow. This is in concordance with morphological differentiation and correlates with its geographical distribution, as the two groups are situated on the eastern and western sides of a river valley that acts as a barrier. The genetic and morphological results are highly important for the ongoing conservation program of C. arnoldi and strongly justify the management of this species into at least two independent evolutionary significant units (eastern and western sectors) to guarantee the long-term population viability. PMID:23750201

  7. Spermiogenesis and spermatozoon ultrastructure of Diplodiscus subclavatus (Pallas, 1760) (Paramphistomoidea, Diplodiscidae), an intestinal fluke of the pool frog Rana lessonae (Amphibia, Anura).

    PubMed

    Bakhoum, A J S; Torres, J; Shimalov, V V; Bâ, C T; Miquel, J

    2011-01-01

    Spermiogenesis in Diplodiscus subclavatus begins with the formation of the zone of differentiation presenting two centrioles associated with striated roots and an intercentriolar body. The latter presents seven electron-dense layers with a fine central plate and three plates on both sides. The external pair of these electron-dense layers is formed by a granular row. Each centriole develops into a free flagellum, both of them growing orthogonally in relation to the median cytoplasmic process. After the flagellar rotation and before the proximodistal fusion of both flagella with the median cytoplasmic process four attachment zones were already observed in several cross-sections indicating the area of fusion. Spinelike bodies are also observed in the differentiation zone before the fusion of flagella. Finally, the constriction of the ring of arched membranes gives rise to the young spermatozoon that detaches from the residual cytoplasm. The mature spermatozoon of D. subclavatus shows all the classical characters observed in Digenea spermatozoa such as two axonemes of different length of the 9+"1" trepaxonematan pattern, nucleus, mitochondrion, two bundles of parallel cortical microtubules and granules of glycogen. However, some peculiarities such as a well-developed lateral expansion associated with external ornamentation of the plasma membrane and spinelike bodies combined with their area of appearance distinguish the ultrastructural organization of the sperm cells of D. subclavatus from those of other digeneans.

  8. Mud-packing frog: a novel breeding behaviour and parental care in a stream dwelling new species of Nyctibatrachus (Amphibia, Anura, Nyctibatrachidae).

    PubMed

    Gururaja, Kotambylu Vasudeva; Dinesh, K P; Priti, H; Ravikanth, G

    2014-05-16

    Reproductive modes are diverse and unique in anurans. Selective pressures of evolution, ecology and environment are attributed to such diverse reproductive modes. Globally forty different reproductive modes in anurans have been described to date. The genus Nyctibatrachus has been recently revised and belongs to an ancient lineage of frog families in the Western Ghats of India. Species of this genus are known to exhibit mountain associated clade endemism and novel breeding behaviours. The purpose of this study is to present unique reproductive behaviour, oviposition and parental care in a new species Nyctibatrachus kumbara sp. nov. which is described in the paper. Nyctibatrachus kumbara sp. nov. is a medium sized stream dwelling frog. It is distinct from the congeners based on a suite of morphological characters and substantially divergent in DNA sequences of the mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene. Males exhibit parental care by mud packing the egg clutch. Such parental care has so far not been described from any other frog species worldwide. Besides this, we emphasize that three co-occurring congeneric species of Nyctibatrachus, namely N. jog, N. kempholeyensis and Nyctibatrachus kumbara sp. nov. from the study site differ in breeding behaviour, which could represent a case of reproductive character displacement. These three species are distinct in their size, call pattern, reproductive behaviour, maximum number of eggs in a clutch, oviposition and parental care, which was evident from the statistical analysis. The study throws light on the reproductive behaviour of Nyctibatrachus kumbara sp. nov. and associated species to understand the evolution and adaptation of reproductive modes of anurans in general, and Nyctibatrachus in particular from the Western Ghats.

  9. [Analysis of helminthofauna of common spaedfoot Pelobates fuscus (Laurenti, 1768) and moor frog Rana arvalis Nilsson, 1842 (Amphibia: Anura) at their joint habitation].

    PubMed

    Ruchin, A B; Chikhliaev, I V; Lukiianov, S V

    2009-01-01

    The helminths fauna of common spaedfoot Pelobates fuscus (Laurenti, 1768) and moor frog Rana arvalis Nilsson, 1842 has been studied at their joint habitation. The stuff was collected in 1998-2002, 2004-2006 years in several regions (republic Mordovia, Samara and Saratov areas). The processing of a stuff is conducted by a method of full helmintologic dissecting. The fauna of helminths considerably differs. For common spaedfoot only 13 species of helminths was detected which also parasitized moor frog (for moor frog 23 species) are detected. The index Jaccar demonstrated mean resemblance structure of helminths and varied from 0.25 till 0.69, and the index Morisite--from 44.58 of % till 74.51 of %. The communities of parasites of common spaedfoot was characterized by low values of an index of Shannon, but the high indexes of an index Simpson, whereas for moor frog tracked the return tendence.

  10. High genetic diversity but low population structure in the frog Pseudopaludicola falcipes (Hensel, 1867) (Amphibia, Anura) from the Pampas of South America.

    PubMed

    Langone, José A; Camargo, Arley; de Sá, Rafael O

    2016-02-01

    Relative to South America's ecoregions, the temperate grasslands of the Pampas have been poorly studied from a phylogeographic perspective. Based on an intermediate biogeographic setting between subtropical forest (Atlantic Forest) and arid ecosystems (Chaco and Patagonia), Pampean species are expected to show unstable demographic histories due to the Quaternary climatic oscillations. Herein, we investigate the phylogenetic relatedness and phylogeographic history of Pseudopaludicola falcipes, a small and common frog that is widely distributed across the Pampean grasslands. First, we use molecular data to assess if P. falcipes represents a single or multiple, separately evolving cryptic lineages. Because P. falcipes is a small-size species (<20mm) with extensive coloration and morphological variation, we suspected that it might represent a complex of cryptic species. In addition, we expected strong genetic and geographic structuring within Pseudopaludicola falcipes due to its large geographic distribution, potentially short dispersal distances, and multiple riverine barriers. We found that P. falcipes is a single evolutionary lineage with poor geographic structuring. Furthermore, current populations of P. falcipes have a large effective population size, maintain ancestral polymorphisms, and have a complex network of gene flow. We conclude that the demographic history of P. falcipes, combined with its ecological attributes and the landscape features of the Pampas, favored a unique combination among anurans of small body size, large population size, high genetic variability, but high cohesiveness of populations over a wide geographic distribution.

  11. Evolutionary history and population genetic structure of the endemic tree frog Hyla tsinlingensis (Amphibia: Anura: Hylidae) inferred from mitochondrial gene analysis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yan-Hua; Zhao, Yan-Yu; Li, Xue-Ying; Li, Xiao-Chen

    2016-01-01

    The influence of topography and Pleistocenic climatic fluctuations on the population genetic structure of amphibians in the Tsinling-Dabieshan Mountains of China is poorly investigated. Hyla tsinlingensis is a tree frog endemic to the Tsinling-Dabieshan Mountains, with a restricted and patchy distribution that is currently shrinking. We speculated on the evolutionary history of amphibians in this region by studying the population genetic structure of H. tsinlingensis. Using a total of 212 samples, 32 haplotypes and four haplogroups were found in the present study. Population genetic structure showed significant differentiation (F(ST)) between most populations of H. tsinlingensis in the Tsinling-Dabieshan Mountains. An analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) suggested that most of the observed genetic variation occurs between the two regions (the Tsinling and Dabieshan Mountains). Mantel tests indicated that the genetic divergence was induced through isolation by distance. Using Monmonier's maximum difference algorithm to predict the genetic barrier, two putative barriers in gene flow that separate lineages of H. tsinlingensis were identified. Mismatch distribution and neutrality tests found a sudden population expansion in all haplogroups except the Tsinling population and total population. This population expansion was identified between 0.5 Myr to 0.1 Myr (Quaternary) by Bayesian skyline plot (BSP). Divergence dating indicated the divergence time between the Tsinling population and Dabieshan population to be 3.26 MYA (Pliocene). In conclusion, the topography of the Tsinling and Dabieshan Mountains exerts a significant impact on the population genetic structure of H. tsinlingensis, and climatic oscillations during glacial periods in the Quaternary affected the distribution of H. tsinlingensis.

  12. Discordance between mitochondrial DNA genealogy and nuclear DNA genetic structure in the two morphotypes of Rana tagoi tagoi (Amphibia: Anura: Ranidae) in the Kinki Region, Japan.

    PubMed

    Eto, Koshiro; Matsui, Masafumi; Sugahara, Takahiro

    2013-07-01

    Two morphotypes, with a large and small body size, of a brown frog Rana t. tagoi occur sympatrically in the Kinki region, central Honshu of Japan. Previous mitochondrial (mt) DNA genealogical study recognized two main lineages (A and B) and several sublineages in R. tagoi, where the small type was placed in the group A-1b, and the large type in groups A-1a and B-2a. Using haplotype network and structure analysis of three nuclear genes, we examined the discrepancy between morphology and mitochondrial genealogy. The results showed that the small type is reproductively isolated from its co-occurring large type (A-1a or B-2a), and that unlimited gene flow occurred between parapatrically occurring two mtDNA lineages of large types (A-1a and B-2a). Discordant genetic relationships between mtDNA and nuclear DNA results may be caused by the past mitochondrial introgression, and possibly, the incomplete lineage sorting. These results also suggest a heterospecific relationship between the large (A-1a and B-2a) and small types (A-1b). The large type is identified as Rana t. tagoi as it is genetically very close to the topotypes of the nominal subspecies, while the small type remains unnamed.

  13. Seasonal changes of basic erythrocyte-metric parameters in Pelophylaxridibundus (Amphibia: Ranidae) from anthropogenically polluted biotopes in Southern Bulgaria and their role as bioindicators.

    PubMed

    Zhelev, Zhivko M; Mehterov, Nikolay H; Popgeorgiev, Georgi S

    2016-02-01

    The purpose of this research work is to present data that show the seasonal changes (spring-summer-autumn) of basic erythrocyte-metric parameters (ЕL: Erythrocyte length, ЕW: Erythrocyte width, ЕL/ЕW, ES: Erythrocyte size; NL: Nucleus length, NW: Nucleus width, NL/NW; NS: Nucleus size, NS/ES: Nucleus-cytoplasmic ratio) in Pelophylax ridibundus populations from three biotopes located on two rivers in Southern Bulgaria (less disrupted biotope, with domestic sewage pollution and heavy metal pollution). Differences of high statistical significance were found among the different populations. Within the population living in conditions of domestic sewage pollution, for the entire period of the investigation the erythrocytes and their nuclei had an elliptical shape (a slight elongation of ellipses in autumn) and the biggest sizes (EL, EW, ES, NL and NS were constantly higher than the less disrupted biotope), NS/ES, became significantly smaller in autumn. Throughout the period of investigation, the values of all nine cellular and nuclear parameters were statistically-significantly the lowest in the population from the biotope with heavy metal pollution. The parameters: EL, ЕW, NL, NW and ES became significantly lower, progressively and statistically, during seasonal transitions. Cells and nuclei grew ovular in shape in comparison to the populations from the other two biotopes (this process was most pronounced in autumn) and NS/ES numbers were significantly decreased in summer and autumn. PMID:26606180

  14. A large-scale phylogeny of Amphibia including over 2800 species, and a revised classification of extant frogs, salamanders, and caecilians.

    PubMed

    Pyron, R Alexander; Wiens, John J

    2011-11-01

    The extant amphibians are one of the most diverse radiations of terrestrial vertebrates (>6800 species). Despite much recent focus on their conservation, diversification, and systematics, no previous phylogeny for the group has contained more than 522 species. However, numerous studies with limited taxon sampling have generated large amounts of partially overlapping sequence data for many species. Here, we combine these data and produce a novel estimate of extant amphibian phylogeny, containing 2871 species (∼40% of the known extant species) from 432 genera (∼85% of the ∼500 currently recognized extant genera). Each sampled species contains up to 12,712 bp from 12 genes (three mitochondrial, nine nuclear), with an average of 2563 bp per species. This data set provides strong support for many groups recognized in previous studies, but it also suggests non-monophyly for several currently recognized families, particularly in hyloid frogs (e.g., Ceratophryidae, Cycloramphidae, Leptodactylidae, Strabomantidae). To correct these and other problems, we provide a revised classification of extant amphibians for taxa traditionally delimited at the family and subfamily levels. This new taxonomy includes several families not recognized in current classifications (e.g., Alsodidae, Batrachylidae, Rhinodermatidae, Odontophrynidae, Telmatobiidae), but which are strongly supported and important for avoiding non-monophyly of current families. Finally, this study provides further evidence that the supermatrix approach provides an effective strategy for inferring large-scale phylogenies using the combined results of previous studies, despite many taxa having extensive missing data. PMID:21723399

  15. Microhyla laterite sp. nov., A New Species of Microhyla Tschudi, 1838 (Amphibia: Anura: Microhylidae) from a Laterite Rock Formation in South West India.

    PubMed

    Seshadri, K S; Singal, Ramit; Priti, H; Ravikanth, G; Vidisha, M K; Saurabh, S; Pratik, M; Gururaja, Kotambylu Vasudeva

    2016-01-01

    In recent times, several new species of amphibians have been described from India. Many of these discoveries are from biodiversity hotspots or from within protected areas. We undertook amphibian surveys in human dominated landscapes outside of protected areas in south western region of India between years 2013-2015. We encountered a new species of Microhyla which is described here as Microhyla laterite sp. nov. It was delimited using molecular, morphometric and bioacoustics comparisons. Microhyla laterite sp. nov. appears to be restricted to areas of the West coast of India dominated by laterite rock formations. The laterite rock formations date as far back as the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary and are considered to be wastelands in-spite of their intriguing geological history. We identify knowledge gaps in our understanding of the genus Microhyla from the Indian subcontinent and suggest ways to bridge them.

  16. Microhyla laterite sp. nov., A New Species of Microhyla Tschudi, 1838 (Amphibia: Anura: Microhylidae) from a Laterite Rock Formation in South West India

    PubMed Central

    Ravikanth, G.; Vidisha, M. K.; Saurabh, S.; Pratik, M.

    2016-01-01

    In recent times, several new species of amphibians have been described from India. Many of these discoveries are from biodiversity hotspots or from within protected areas. We undertook amphibian surveys in human dominated landscapes outside of protected areas in south western region of India between years 2013–2015. We encountered a new species of Microhyla which is described here as Microhyla laterite sp. nov. It was delimited using molecular, morphometric and bioacoustics comparisons. Microhyla laterite sp. nov. appears to be restricted to areas of the West coast of India dominated by laterite rock formations. The laterite rock formations date as far back as the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary and are considered to be wastelands in-spite of their intriguing geological history. We identify knowledge gaps in our understanding of the genus Microhyla from the Indian subcontinent and suggest ways to bridge them. PMID:26960208

  17. Vascularization of the pars distalis of the hypophysis in the toad, Bufo bufo (L.) (Amphibia, Anura). A comparative light microscopical and scanning electron microscopical study. I.

    PubMed

    1977-03-30

    The vascularization of the pars distalis of the hypophysis of the toad, Bufo bufo (L.), was studied by the traditional method of injecting a mixture of India-ink and gelatine into the circulatory system of the head via the arteria coratis communis. Further, methyl-methacrylate corrosion casts of the brains were made; the hypothalamo-adenohypophysial region of these corrosion casts was studied with the scanning electron microscope. The results showed that the portal vessels which arise from the median eminence do not supply distinct areas in the pars distalis as is supposed by the point-to-point-hypothesis. The portal vessels enter the ventro-median region of the pars distalis and branch off into a three-dimensional network of the secondary capillary plexus of the pars distalis. The plexus is made up mostly by four- to six-sided meshes. This angioarchitecture guarantees an optimal supply of the glandular cells of the pars distalis with nutritional factors and releasing hormones, on the one hand, and facilitates the removal of the hormones which are released by these cells, on the other hand. The venous drainage of the pars distalis is exerted mainly by two large veins, which bilaterally leave the dorso-lateral region (venous pole) of the pars distalis and by a few small veins, which drain into the wide, sinus-like vessel, which curves around the dorso-caudal region of the pars distalis and joins bilaterally the vena hypophysea transversa.

  18. [Are the injuries caused by the "water bombs" dropped by the Canadair airplane blast injuries?].

    PubMed

    Savić, J

    1991-01-01

    During the forest fire extinguishing in summer using the fire-fighting amphibia (the Canadair) seven soldiers were injured by the "water bomb" dropped from the amphibia and two soldiers died. The way of injury occurrence as well as type and nature of injuries, imposed the question to the author: could it be a case of blast injuries, especially of primary blast injuries? Except for pure scientific reasons, a positive answer could have a practical importance both in regulation of work of persons engaged in fire combat on the ground during extinguishing of fire by the amphibia as well as for physician's work with those exposed to water impact from the plane and who could be eventually injured. Defining any mechanical injuries as transmission of the corresponding kinetic energy, the author considers that the mechanism of injury occurrence of the internal organs caused by the impact of the "water bomb" from the amphibia is the transmission of the energy impact wave into the body. The author has concluded that the impact of the "water bomb" dropped from the fire fighting amphibia can cause changes in the internal organs which are characteristic of primary blast injury. It is proposed that persons exposed to impact even in the absence of visible changes should be subjected to otorhinolaryngologic, and, in special cases, to pulmonary examinations.

  19. Genetic structure and origin of a tetraploid toad species Bufo danatensis Pisanetz, 1978 (Amphibia, Bufonidae) from central Asia: Description of biochemical polymorphism and comparison of heterozygosity levels in diploid and tetraploid species

    SciTech Connect

    Mezhzherin, S.V.; Pisanets, E.M.

    1995-01-01

    Comparison of individual variation at 24 biochemical loci in members of the species complex of Palearctic green toads showed that the heterozygosity of the tetraploid species Bufo danatensis (H{sub obs} = 0.45) was significantly higher than that of the diploid species B. viridis, B. sp., and B. raddei (H{sub obs} = 0.009 - 0.103). Such difference can be explained only by a hybrid origin of the tetraploid species. Individual electrophoretic variability of the polyploid toad species is associated with an allelic variation that is manifested in constantly heterozygous spectra as the gene dosage effect. At the population level, this phenomenon found in Pamir toads is caused by irregular meiosis in founders of the population or by directional changes in gene regulation. Genotypic distributions in zones of contact of the diploid and tetraploid taxons demonstrate the possibility of restricted introgressive hybridization.

  20. A role for FoxN3 in the development of cranial cartilages and muscles in Xenopus laevis (Amphibia: Anura: Pipidae) with special emphasis on the novel rostral cartilages

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Jennifer; Schuff, Maximilian; Olsson, Lennart

    2011-01-01

    The origin of morphological novelties is a controversial topic in evolutionary developmental biology. The heads of anuran larvae have several unique structures, including the supra- and infrarostral cartilages, the specialised structure of the gill basket (used for filtration), and novel cranial muscle arrangements. FoxN3, a member of the forkhead/winged helix family of transcription factors, has been implicated as important for normal craniofacial development in the pipid anuran Xenopus laevis. We have investigated the effects of functional knockdown of FoxN3 (using antisense oligonucleotide morpholino) on the development of the larval head skeleton and the associated cranial muscles in X. laevis. Our data complement earlier studies and provide a more complete account of the requirement of FoxN3 in chondrocranium development. In addition, we analyse the effects of FoxN3 knockdown on cranial muscle development. We show that FoxN3 knockdown primarily affects the novel skeletal structures unique to anuran larvae, i.e. the rostralia or the fine structure of the gill apparatus. The articulation between the infrarostral and Meckel's cartilage is malformed and the filigreed processes of the gill basket do not develop. Because these features do not develop after FoxN3 knockdown, the head morphology resembles that in the less specialised larvae of salamanders. Furthermore, the development of all cartilages derived from the neural crest is delayed and cranial muscle fibre development incomplete. The cartilage precursors initially condense in their proper position but later differentiate incompletely; several visceral arch muscles start to differentiate at their origin but fail to extend toward their insertion. Our findings indicate that FoxN3 is essential for the development of novel cartilages such as the infrarostral and other cranial tissues derived from the neural crest and, indirectly, also for muscle morphogenesis. PMID:21050205

  1. Terraranans of the Lost World: a new species of Pristimantis (Amphibia, Craugastoridae) from Abakapá-tepui in the Chimantá massif, Venezuelan Guayana, and additions to the knowledge of P. muchimuk.

    PubMed

    Rojas-Runjaic, Fernando J M; Salerno, Patricia E; Señaris, J Celsa; Pauly, Gregory B

    2013-01-01

    A new frog of the genus Pristimantis is named and described from the summit of Abakapá-tepui in the Chimantd massif, south-eastern Venezuela. The new species is known from two adult specimens and is the second craugastorid species described from this massif. It can be readily distinguished from all congeners inhabiting the highlands of the Guiana Shield by the unique combination of the following characters: dorsal skin shagreen and ventral skin coarsely areolate, tympanum small and ill-defined, vocal slits absent in males, finger I shorter than II, thumbs with two whitish and non-spinous nuptial pads in adult males, fingers and toes with broad lateral fringes, basal webbing between all toes, throat and chest nacreous white in life. Also, based on five specimens of Pristimantis muchimuk recently collected from Churi-tepui, we provide new information on this little known species, including an amended diagnosis, notes on morphology, color variation, advertisement calls, and natural history. PMID:26473223

  2. Odorous secretions in anurans: morphological and functional assessment of serous glands as a source of volatile compounds in the skin of the treefrog Hypsiboas pulchellus (Amphibia: Anura: Hylidae).

    PubMed

    Brunetti, Andrés E; Hermida, Gladys N; Iurman, Mariana G; Faivovich, Julián

    2016-03-01

    Serous (granular or venom) glands occur in the skin of almost all species of adult amphibians, and are thought to be the source of a great diversity of chemical compounds. Despite recent advances in their chemistry, odorous volatile substances are compounds that have received less attention, and until now no study has attempted to associate histological data with the presence of these molecules in amphibians, or in any other vertebrate. Given the recent identification of 40 different volatile compounds from the skin secretions of H. pulchellus (a treefrog species that releases a strong odour when handled), we examined the structure, ultrastructure, histochemistry, and distribution of skin glands of this species. Histological analysis from six body regions reveals the presence of two types of glands that differ in their distribution. Mucous glands are homogeneously distributed, whereas serous glands are more numerous in the scapular region. Ultrastructural results indicate that electron-translucent vesicles observed within granules of serous glands are similar to those found in volatile-producing glands from insects and also with lipid vesicles from different organisms. Association among lipids and volatiles is also evidenced from chemical results, which indicate that at least some of the volatile components in H. pulchellus probably originate within the metabolism of fatty acids or the mevalonate pathway. As odorous secretions are often considered to be secreted under stress situations, the release of glandular content was assessed after pharmacological treatments, epinephrine administrated in vivo and on skin explants, and through surface electrical stimulation. Serous glands responded to all treatments, generally through an obvious contraction of myoepithelial cells that surround their secretory portion. No response was observed in mucous glands. Considering these morpho-functional results, along with previous identification of volatiles from H. pulchellus and H. riojanus after electrical stimulation, we suggest that the electron-translucent inclusions found within the granules of serous glands likely are the store sites of volatile compounds and/or their precursors. Histochemical and glandular distribution analyses in five other species of frogs of the hylid tribe Cophomantini, revealed a high lipid content in all the species, whereas a heterogeneous distribution of serous glands is only observed in species of the H. pulchellus group. The distribution pattern of serous glands in members of this species group, and the odorous volatile secretions are probably related to defensive functions.

  3. Terraranans of the Lost World: a new species of Pristimantis (Amphibia, Craugastoridae) from Abakapá-tepui in the Chimantá massif, Venezuelan Guayana, and additions to the knowledge of P. muchimuk.

    PubMed

    Rojas-Runjaic, Fernando J M; Salerno, Patricia E; Señaris, J Celsa; Pauly, Gregory B

    2013-01-01

    A new frog of the genus Pristimantis is named and described from the summit of Abakapá-tepui in the Chimantd massif, south-eastern Venezuela. The new species is known from two adult specimens and is the second craugastorid species described from this massif. It can be readily distinguished from all congeners inhabiting the highlands of the Guiana Shield by the unique combination of the following characters: dorsal skin shagreen and ventral skin coarsely areolate, tympanum small and ill-defined, vocal slits absent in males, finger I shorter than II, thumbs with two whitish and non-spinous nuptial pads in adult males, fingers and toes with broad lateral fringes, basal webbing between all toes, throat and chest nacreous white in life. Also, based on five specimens of Pristimantis muchimuk recently collected from Churi-tepui, we provide new information on this little known species, including an amended diagnosis, notes on morphology, color variation, advertisement calls, and natural history.

  4. Adaptations of the reed frog Hyperolius viridiflavus (Amphibia, Anura, Hyperoliidae) to its arid environment. VII. The heat budget of Hyperolius viridiflavus nitidulus and the evolution of an optimized body shape.

    PubMed

    Kobelt, F; Linsenmair, K E

    1995-01-01

    Estivating reed frogs of the superspecies Hyperolius viridiflavus are extraordinarily resistant to the highly adverse climatic conditions prevailing in their African savanna habitats during dry season (air temperature up to 45 degrees C, solar radiation load up to 1000 W.m-2, no water replenishment possible for up to 3 months). They are able to withstand such climatic stress at their exposed estivation sites on dry plants without evaporative cooling. We developed a heat budget model to understand the mechanisms of how an anuran can achieve this unique tolerance, and which allows us to predict the anuran's core and surface temperature for a given set of environmental parameters, to within 4% of the measured values. The model makes it possible to quantify some of the adaptive mechanisms for survival in semiarid habitats by comparing H. viridiflavus with anurans (H. tuberilinguis and Rana pipiens) of less stressful habitats. To minimize heat gain and maximize heat loss from the frog, the following points were important with regard to avoiding lethal heat stress during estivation: 1) solar heat load is reduced by an extraordinarily high skin reflectivity for solar radiation of up to 0.65 under laboratory and even higher in the field under dry season conditions. 2) The half-cylindrical body shape of H. viridiflavus seems to be optimized for estivation compared to the hemispheroidal shape usually found for anurans in moist habitats. A half-cylinder can be positioned relative to the sun so that large surface areas for conductive and convective heat loss are shielded by a small area exposed to direct solar radiation. 3) Another important contribution of body shape is a high body surface area to body mass ratio, as found in the estivating subadult H. viridiflavus (snout-vent lengths of 14-20 mm and body weights of 350-750 mg) compared to adult frogs (24-30 mm, 1000-2500 mg) which have never been observed to survive a dry season. 4) These mechanisms strongly couple core temperature to air temperature. The time constant of the core temperature is 29 +/- 10 s. Since air temperature can be 43-45 degrees C, H. viridiflavus must have a very unusual tolerance to transient core temperatures of 43-45 degrees C. 5) If air temperature rises above this lethal limit, the estivating frog would die despite all its optimizations, but moving from an unsuited to a more favorable site during estivation can be extremely costly in terms of unavoidably high evaporative water loss. Therefore, H. viridiflavus must have developed behavioral strategies for reliably choosing estivation sites with air temperature staying on average within the vital range during the whole dry season. PMID:7622673

  5. Following passage through the oviduct, the coelomic envelope of Discoglossus pictus (amphibia) acquires fertilizability upon reorganization, conversion of gp 42 to gp 40, extensive glycosylation, and formation of a specific layer.

    PubMed

    Caputo, M; Infante, V; Talevi, R; Vaccaro, M C; Carotenuto, R; Campanella, C

    2001-03-01

    This paper describes the morphological and biochemical changes in Discoglossus pictus coelomic oocyte envelope (CE) following passage through the oviduct. As in other anurans, in this species, the transformation of the envelope into vitelline envelope (VE) leads to the acquisition of fertilizability and involves the cleavage of a glycoprotein. In addition, several features, typical of Discoglossus pictus, were observed. A new layer, VE-D, forms underneath the VE region facing the site of sperm entrance, the dimple. In the VE, arrowhead-like bundles of fibrils are perpendicularly oriented toward the dimple. Ultrastructural observations and staining with UEA-I suggested that VE-D might have a role in supporting sperm penetration into the dimple by orienting VE bundles and exposing sugar residues such as fucose. In 'in vitro' tests, VE binding of sperm occurs only if sperm are exposed to A23187, in agreement with previous data (Campanella et al., 1997: Mol Reprod Dev 47:323-333). Sperm binding occurs all over the VE. Accordingly, extracts of the VE covering the animal or the vegetal hemisphere have the same affinity to lectins (DBA, DSA, GNA, MAA, SBA, SNA, UEA-I, WGA). The CE contains six main glycoproteins. Peptide mapping indicated that during CE transformation into VE, gp 42 shifts to an apparent M(r) of 40 and gp 61 is converted to an apparent M(r) of 63 kDa. Lectin blot analyses showed extensive changes in cross-reactivity of most glycoproteins during the CE-->VE transition. The fact that DBA and UEA-I stain gp 63 rather than gp 61 and that this change is related only to gp 63, suggested that O-glycosylation and terminal fucose might be acquired by gp 63 in preparation of fertilization. Gp 63 has recently been cloned (Vaccaro et al., submitted) and shown to exhibit high homology to Xenopus gp 69/64, a VE sperm ligand (Tian et al., 1997a: J. Cell Biol. 136: 1099-1108; Tian et al., 1997b: Dev Biol 187:143-153), and to ZP2 of mammals.

  6. First report of Hepatozoon (Apicomplexa: Adeleorina) in caecilians, with description of a new species.

    PubMed

    Harris, D James; Damas-Moreira, Isabel; Maia, João P M C; Perera, Ana

    2014-02-01

    Hepatozoon spp. are identified for the first time in the amphibian order Gymnophiona, or caecilians, from the Seychelles island of Silhouette. Estimate of relationships derived from partial 18S rRNA gene sequences indicate these are not related to Hepatozoon spp. from frogs or to other Hepatozoon spp. from reptiles in the Seychelles. Assessment of mature gamonts from blood smears indicate that these can be recognized as a new species, Hepatozoon seychellensis n. sp.

  7. First report of Hepatozoon (Apicomplexa: Adeleorina) in caecilians, with description of a new species.

    PubMed

    Harris, D James; Damas-Moreira, Isabel; Maia, João P M C; Perera, Ana

    2014-02-01

    Hepatozoon spp. are identified for the first time in the amphibian order Gymnophiona, or caecilians, from the Seychelles island of Silhouette. Estimate of relationships derived from partial 18S rRNA gene sequences indicate these are not related to Hepatozoon spp. from frogs or to other Hepatozoon spp. from reptiles in the Seychelles. Assessment of mature gamonts from blood smears indicate that these can be recognized as a new species, Hepatozoon seychellensis n. sp. PMID:23971488

  8. Molecular characterization and gene expression of the channel catfish Ferritin H subunit after bacterial infection and iron treatment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ferritins are the major iron storage protein in the cytoplasm of cells, responsible for regulating levels of intracellular iron. Ferritin genes are widely distributed in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. In mammals, ferritin molecules are composed of heavy- (H) and light- (L) chain subunits; amphibia...

  9. Teratological research using in vitro systems. V. Nonmammalian model systems.

    PubMed Central

    Collins, T F

    1987-01-01

    In this review of alternative tests to whole-animal rodent studies, the use of sub-mammalian and sub-vertebrate systems is investigated. The history, methodology, known limitations, end points, dose response, and requirements of virus, hydra, planarian, cricket, fish, amphibia, Drosophila, and chicken embryo systems are discussed. PMID:3113934

  10. Toxin from skin of frogs of the genus Atelopus: differentiation from Dendrobatid toxins.

    PubMed

    Fuhrman, F A; Fuhrman, G J; Mosher, H S

    1969-09-26

    A potent, dialyzable toxin (atelopidtoxin) occurs in the skin of frogs of the genus Atelopus. A concentrate of atelopidtoxin from Atelopus zeteki has an LD(50) in mice of 16 micrograms per kilogram. It differs from batrachotoxin, tetrodotoxin, and saxitoxin, the only known nonprotein substances of greater toxicity, as well as from all toxins previously isolated from amphibia. PMID:5807965

  11. On the presence of nucleus ruber in the urodele Salamandra salamandra and the caecilian Ichthyophis kohtaoensis.

    PubMed

    Naujoks-Manteuffel, C; Manteuffel, G; Himstedt, W

    1988-01-01

    The presence of nucleus ruber in urodeles and caecilians (amphibia) was investigated. For that purpose, horseradish peroxidase was applied to the rostral spinal cord, the medulla oblongata at various levels and the dorsolateral funiculus. Whereas Salamandra salamandra possesses a rubrospinal tract, it is absent in the limbless caecilian Ichthyophis kohtaoensis. PMID:3382518

  12. THE ROLE OF MAMMALIAN DATA IN DETERMINING PHARMACEUTICAL RESPONSES IN AQUATIC ORGANISMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The limitations surrounding application of pharmaceutical data are restricted to extrapolation of the animal and human data across phyla. Experience dictates that mammalian data are most likely to extrapolate predictably to fish and other aquatic vertebrates (e.g. Amphibia), and ...

  13. [Precipitation reactions between secretory products in amphibian oviducts].

    PubMed

    Jégo, P; Chesnel, A; Joly, J

    1983-01-01

    The existence of precipitin reactions between some molecules in egg jellies (oviduct secretions) of tailed amphibians (Amphibia caudata) has been demonstrated by double diffusion on agarose plates. These reactions do not exist in frogs and toads (Amphibia salientia). One precipitin reaction was related to compounds with a common molecular site of interaction for all A. caudata: all cross-species reactions were possible; a common antigenic rate has been shown. Another precipitin reaction, positively demonstrated in Pleurodeles waltl, probably exists in other A. caudata. The putative influence of these reactions on egg jelly-spermatozoon interactions has been discussed. An homology between these intra-egg jelly reactions and cortical granule content-egg jelly reactions in A. salientia has been suggested.

  14. In situ monitoring of animal micronuclei before the operation of Daya Bay Nuclear Power Station

    SciTech Connect

    Y.N. Cai; H.Y. He; L.M. Qian; G.C. Sun; J.Y. Zhao

    1994-12-31

    Daya Bay Nuclear Power Station, a newly-built nuclear power station in southern mainland China, started its operation in 1993. We examined micro-nucleated cells of Invertibrate (Bivalves) and Vertibrate (Fish and Amphibia) in different spots within the 50km surroundings of the Power Station during 1986-1993. This paper reports the results of the investigation carried out in Dong Shan, a place 4.7km to the Power Station:Bivalves; Pteria martensil 5.1(1986),4.8(1988),4.8(1991),5,0(1993),Mytilus smardinus 4.7(1987),4.6(1988); Chamys nobilis 4.9(1987);4.9(1991),4.5(1992),4.5(1993). Fish; Therapon jarbua 0.48(1991),0.67(1992),0.47(1993). Amphibia; Bufo melanostictus 0.29 (1987), 0.34(1988),0.39(1992),0.39(1993). These results showed that the environmental situation, estimated by using the frequencies of micronucleated cells, was stable-there was no obvious chromosome damage in the animals studied. It was found that the incidence of micronucleated cells of Bivalves was higher than that of Fish and Amphibia, suggesting the epithelial cells to be more sensitive than peripheral erythrocytes to environmental genotoxic effects. The results of our studies for other spots will be reported afterward. These data can be used as the original background information to monitor the environment when the Nuclear Power Station is in operation.

  15. Molecular evolution of HoxA13 and the multiple origins of limbless morphologies in amphibians and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Singarete, Marina E; Grizante, Mariana B; Milograna, Sarah R; Nery, Mariana F; Kin, Koryu; Wagner, Günter P; Kohlsdorf, Tiana

    2015-01-01

    Developmental processes and their results, morphological characters, are inherited through transmission of genes regulating development. While there is ample evidence that cis-regulatory elements tend to be modular, with sequence segments dedicated to different roles, the situation for proteins is less clear, being particularly complex for transcription factors with multiple functions. Some motifs mediating protein-protein interactions may be exclusive to particular developmental roles, but it is also possible that motifs are mostly shared among different processes. Here we focus on HoxA13, a protein essential for limb development. We asked whether the HoxA13 amino acid sequence evolved similarly in three limbless clades: Gymnophiona, Amphisbaenia and Serpentes. We explored variation in ω (dN/dS) using a maximum-likelihood framework and HoxA13sequences from 47 species. Comparisons of evolutionary models provided low ω global values and no evidence that HoxA13 experienced relaxed selection in limbless clades. Branch-site models failed to detect evidence for positive selection acting on any site along branches of Amphisbaena and Gymnophiona, while three sites were identified in Serpentes. Examination of alignments did not reveal consistent sequence differences between limbed and limbless species. We conclude that HoxA13 has no modules exclusive to limb development, which may be explained by its involvement in multiple developmental processes.

  16. Molecular evolution of HoxA13 and the multiple origins of limbless morphologies in amphibians and reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Singarete, Marina E.; Grizante, Mariana B.; Milograna, Sarah R.; Nery, Mariana F.; Kin, Koryu; Wagner, Günter P.; Kohlsdorf, Tiana

    2015-01-01

    Developmental processes and their results, morphological characters, are inherited through transmission of genes regulating development. While there is ample evidence that cis-regulatory elements tend to be modular, with sequence segments dedicated to different roles, the situation for proteins is less clear, being particularly complex for transcription factors with multiple functions. Some motifs mediating protein-protein interactions may be exclusive to particular developmental roles, but it is also possible that motifs are mostly shared among different processes. Here we focus on HoxA13, a protein essential for limb development. We asked whether the HoxA13 amino acid sequence evolved similarly in three limbless clades: Gymnophiona, Amphisbaenia and Serpentes. We explored variation in ω (dN/dS) using a maximum-likelihood framework and HoxA13sequences from 47 species. Comparisons of evolutionary models provided low ω global values and no evidence that HoxA13 experienced relaxed selection in limbless clades. Branch-site models failed to detect evidence for positive selection acting on any site along branches of Amphisbaena and Gymnophiona, while three sites were identified in Serpentes. Examination of alignments did not reveal consistent sequence differences between limbed and limbless species. We conclude that HoxA13 has no modules exclusive to limb development, which may be explained by its involvement in multiple developmental processes. PMID:26500429

  17. Molecular evolution of HoxA13 and the multiple origins of limbless morphologies in amphibians and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Singarete, Marina E; Grizante, Mariana B; Milograna, Sarah R; Nery, Mariana F; Kin, Koryu; Wagner, Günter P; Kohlsdorf, Tiana

    2015-01-01

    Developmental processes and their results, morphological characters, are inherited through transmission of genes regulating development. While there is ample evidence that cis-regulatory elements tend to be modular, with sequence segments dedicated to different roles, the situation for proteins is less clear, being particularly complex for transcription factors with multiple functions. Some motifs mediating protein-protein interactions may be exclusive to particular developmental roles, but it is also possible that motifs are mostly shared among different processes. Here we focus on HoxA13, a protein essential for limb development. We asked whether the HoxA13 amino acid sequence evolved similarly in three limbless clades: Gymnophiona, Amphisbaenia and Serpentes. We explored variation in ω (dN/dS) using a maximum-likelihood framework and HoxA13sequences from 47 species. Comparisons of evolutionary models provided low ω global values and no evidence that HoxA13 experienced relaxed selection in limbless clades. Branch-site models failed to detect evidence for positive selection acting on any site along branches of Amphisbaena and Gymnophiona, while three sites were identified in Serpentes. Examination of alignments did not reveal consistent sequence differences between limbed and limbless species. We conclude that HoxA13 has no modules exclusive to limb development, which may be explained by its involvement in multiple developmental processes. PMID:26500429

  18. Root Transcript Profiling of Two Rorippa Species Reveals Gene Clusters Associated with Extreme Submergence Tolerance1[C][W][OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Sasidharan, Rashmi; Mustroph, Angelika; Boonman, Alex; Akman, Melis; Ammerlaan, Ankie M.H.; Breit, Timo; Schranz, M. Eric; Voesenek, Laurentius A.C.J.; van Tienderen, Peter H.

    2013-01-01

    Complete submergence represses photosynthesis and aerobic respiration, causing rapid mortality in most terrestrial plants. However, some plants have evolved traits allowing them to survive prolonged flooding, such as species of the genus Rorippa, close relatives of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). We studied plant survival, changes in carbohydrate and metabolite concentrations, and transcriptome responses to submergence of two species, Rorippa sylvestris and Rorippa amphibia. We exploited the close relationship between Rorippa species and the model species Arabidopsis by using Arabidopsis GeneChip microarrays for whole-genome transcript profiling of roots of young plants exposed to a 24-h submergence treatment or air. A probe mask was used based on hybridization of genomic DNA of both species to the arrays, so that weak probe signals due to Rorippa species/Arabidopsis mismatches were removed. Furthermore, we compared Rorippa species microarray results with those obtained for roots of submerged Arabidopsis plants. Both Rorippa species could tolerate deep submergence, with R. sylvestris surviving much longer than R. amphibia. Submergence resulted in the induction of genes involved in glycolysis and fermentation and the repression of many energy-consuming pathways, similar to the low-oxygen and submergence response of Arabidopsis and rice (Oryza sativa). The qualitative responses of both Rorippa species to submergence appeared roughly similar but differed quantitatively. Notably, glycolysis and fermentation genes and a gene encoding sucrose synthase were more strongly induced in the less tolerant R. amphibia than in R. sylvestris. A comparison with Arabidopsis microarray studies on submerged roots revealed some interesting differences and potential tolerance-related genes in Rorippa species. PMID:24077074

  19. Cardiovascular physiology and diseases of amphibians.

    PubMed

    Heinz-Taheny, Kathleen M

    2009-01-01

    The class Amphibia includes three orders of amphibians: the anurans (frogs and toads), urodeles (salamanders, axolotls, and newts), and caecilians. The diversity of lifestyles across these three orders has accompanying differences in the cardiovascular anatomy and physiology allowing for adaptations to aquatic or terrestrial habitats, pulmonic or gill respiration, hibernation, and body elongation (in the caecilian). This article provides a review of amphibian cardiovascular anatomy and physiology with discussion of unique species adaptations. In addition, amphibians as cardiovascular animal models and commonly encountered natural diseases are covered.

  20. Telocytes in ileum of the Chinese giant salamander: ultrastructural evidence.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hui; Zhong, Shengwei; Ge, Tingting; Peng, Shasha; Yu, Pengcheng; Zhou, Zuohong; Guo, Xiaoquan

    2016-03-01

    Telocytes (TCs) and their telopodes (Tps) have been found in various organs of many mammals, including in lower animals. However, knowledge of TCs in lower animals is still very limited. This study identified TCs and their Tps in the ileum of the Chinese giant salamander, Andrias davidianus (Amphibia: Caudata), by transmission electron microscopy. The TCs/Tps were found near epithelial cells, glandular cells and unmyelinated nerve fibres. Moreover, exosomes were also found to be present in between TCs/Tps and these cells. PMID:26805522

  1. Cardiovascular physiology and diseases of amphibians.

    PubMed

    Heinz-Taheny, Kathleen M

    2009-01-01

    The class Amphibia includes three orders of amphibians: the anurans (frogs and toads), urodeles (salamanders, axolotls, and newts), and caecilians. The diversity of lifestyles across these three orders has accompanying differences in the cardiovascular anatomy and physiology allowing for adaptations to aquatic or terrestrial habitats, pulmonic or gill respiration, hibernation, and body elongation (in the caecilian). This article provides a review of amphibian cardiovascular anatomy and physiology with discussion of unique species adaptations. In addition, amphibians as cardiovascular animal models and commonly encountered natural diseases are covered. PMID:19131029

  2. Contributions to the knowledge of amphibians and reptiles from Volta Grande do Xingu, northern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Vaz-Silva, W; Oliveira, R M; Gonzaga, A F N; Pinto, K C; Poli, F C; Bilce, T M; Penhacek, M; Wronski, L; Martins, J X; Junqueira, T G; Cesca, L C C; Guimarães, V Y; Pinheiro, R D

    2015-08-01

    The region of Volta Grande do Xingu River, in the state of Pará, presents several kinds of land use ranging from extensive cattle farming to agroforestry, and deforestation. Currently, the Belo Monte Hydroelectric Power Plant affects the region. We present a checklist of amphibians and reptiles of the region and discuss information regarding the spatial distribution of the assemblies based on results of Environmental Programmes conducted in the area. We listed 109 amphibian (Anura, Caudata, and Gymnophiona) and 150 reptile (Squamata, Testudines, and Crocodylia) species. The regional species richness is still considered underestimated, considering the taxonomic uncertainty, complexity and cryptic diversity of various species, as observed in other regions of the Amazon biome. Efforts for scientific collection and studies related to integrative taxonomy are needed to elucidate uncertainties and increase levels of knowledge of the local diversity.

  3. Characterization and distribution of neuropeptide Y in the brain of a caecilian amphibian.

    PubMed

    Ebersole, T J; Conlon, J M; Goetz, F W; Boyd, S K

    2001-03-01

    Neuropeptide Y (NPY) from the brain of an amphibian from the order Gymnophiona (the caecilian, Typhlonectes natans) was characterized. We cloned a 790 base pair cDNA encoding the caecilian NPY precursor. The open reading frame consisted of 291 bases, indicating an NPY precursor of 97 amino acids. Both deduced and isolated NPY primary structures were Tyr-Pro-Ser-Lys-Pro-Asp-Asn-Pro-Gly-Glu(10)-Asp-Ala-Pro-Ala-Glu-Asp-Met-Ala-Lys-Tyr(20)-Tyr-Ser-Ala-Leu-Arg-His-Tyr-Ile-Asn-Leu(30)-Ile-Thr-Arg-Gln-Arg-Tyr. NH2. In caecilian brain, we observed NPY immunoreactive cells within the medial pallium, basal forebrain, preoptic area, midbrain tegmentum and trigeminal nucleus. The prevalence of preoptic and hypothalamic terminal field staining supports the hypothesis that NPY controls pituitary function in this caecilian.

  4. Contributions to the knowledge of amphibians and reptiles from Volta Grande do Xingu, northern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Vaz-Silva, W; Oliveira, R M; Gonzaga, A F N; Pinto, K C; Poli, F C; Bilce, T M; Penhacek, M; Wronski, L; Martins, J X; Junqueira, T G; Cesca, L C C; Guimarães, V Y; Pinheiro, R D

    2015-08-01

    The region of Volta Grande do Xingu River, in the state of Pará, presents several kinds of land use ranging from extensive cattle farming to agroforestry, and deforestation. Currently, the Belo Monte Hydroelectric Power Plant affects the region. We present a checklist of amphibians and reptiles of the region and discuss information regarding the spatial distribution of the assemblies based on results of Environmental Programmes conducted in the area. We listed 109 amphibian (Anura, Caudata, and Gymnophiona) and 150 reptile (Squamata, Testudines, and Crocodylia) species. The regional species richness is still considered underestimated, considering the taxonomic uncertainty, complexity and cryptic diversity of various species, as observed in other regions of the Amazon biome. Efforts for scientific collection and studies related to integrative taxonomy are needed to elucidate uncertainties and increase levels of knowledge of the local diversity. PMID:26691094

  5. Inhibition of gonadotropin-induced oviposition and ovarian steroidogenesis in the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) by the pesticide methoxychlor.

    PubMed

    Pickford, Daniel B; Morris, Ian D

    2003-02-12

    Concern over the role of environmental toxicants in amphibian population declines has highlighted the need to develop more comprehensive ecotoxicological test methods for this at-risk group. With continued interest in environmental endocrine disrupters (EDs), and the paucity of data pertaining to endocrine disrupting effects in amphibia, such tests should incorporate reproductive and endocrine endpoints. We investigated the effects of in vivo exposure to the pesticide methoxychlor (MXC) on reproductive and endocrine function in adult female African clawed frogs, (Xenopus laevis). Frogs were exposed to MXC (0.5-500 microg/l) in tank water throughout a cycle of oogenesis stimulated by exogenous gonadotropins. Gonadotropin-induced oviposition was delayed, and reduced numbers of unfertilizable eggs of increased size were oviposited by frogs exposed to 500 microg/l MXC. Reduced egg output was mirrored by increased gonado-somatic index in MXC-treated frogs. Post-oviposition, plasma sex steroid profiles were altered in MXC-exposed frogs as estradiol/progesterone and estradiol/testosterone ratios were elevated. Ex vivo synthesis of progesterone by ovarian explants was significantly reduced for frogs exposed to MXC> or = 0.5 microg/l. Additionally, plasma vitellogenin concentrations were significantly depressed in frogs exposed to 500 microg/l MXC. These data indicate that reproductive and endocrine dysfunction can occur in adult amphibia exposed to high concentrations of an environmental toxin with endocrine disrupting activity. Such effects may be indicative of the potential for adverse effects on amphibian wildlife exposed to environmental EDs.

  6. Tuberculosis in wildlife in the Ruwenzori National Park, Uganda (Part II).

    PubMed

    Woodford, M H

    1982-08-01

    The results of post-mortem examinations of 90 warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus) conducted in the Ruwenzori National Park, Uganda during a survey of tuberculous infection in wildlife are described. Nine per cent of warthog were found to show gross lesions on autopsy and of these organisms which could by typed, Mycobacterium bovis was isolated in 2 of 6 cases and 5 atypical mycobacterial strains were isolated from the remaining 4. The distribution and character of the lesions is described and it is concluded that the route of infection in the warthog is alimentary. A mycobacterial survey of 8 other species of mammals, 7 species of birds, 5 species of fish and 1 species of amphibian is described. None of the mammals (except possibly 1 elephant), birds, fish or amphibia is described. None of the mammals (except possibly 1 elephant), birds, fish or amphibia was found to be infected with M. bovis but several individuals were found to harbour atypical, probably saprophytic, mycobacterial types. The origin of tuberculosis in buffalo and warthog in the Ruwenzori National Park is discussed and is concluded to have been previous contact with domestic cattle. PMID:7123664

  7. BION - A Unique Space Biological Laboratory: Reviews and Outlooks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kazakova, A. E.; Abrashkin, V. I.; Kozlov, V. D.; Nikanorov, V. M.

    2002-01-01

    unique fundamental and applied researches in field of space biology. facilities when launch date, life time, orbital parameters, operation of the onboard equipment are subject to the benefit of the scientific research. of space system optimization prior to flight tests including ground and airplane tests with research hardware and animals involved. new relevant research hardware was also manufactured. influence of space flight on Earth organisms; combined influence of weightlessness and increased radiation on an organism; implementation of artificial gravity as a preventive aid; possibilities of fertilization and fetal growth under space flight conditions. amphibia, tortoises, laboratory rats, monkeys and others were used in space as biological objects. In total, they constituted 37 appellations. of the system. At present Bion S/C is a space facility, which meets scientific requirements and provides full scale of services to Customers.

  8. Composition and phylogenetic analysis of vitellogenin coding sequences in the Indonesian coelacanth Latimeria menadoensis.

    PubMed

    Canapa, Adriana; Olmo, Ettore; Forconi, Mariko; Pallavicini, Alberto; Makapedua, Monica Daisy; Biscotti, Maria Assunta; Barucca, Marco

    2012-07-01

    The coelacanth Latimeria menadoensis, a living fossil, occupies a key phylogenetic position to explore the changes that have affected the genomes of the aquatic vertebrates that colonized dry land. This is the first study to isolate and analyze L. menadoensis mRNA. Three different vitellogenin transcripts were identified and their inferred amino acid sequences compared to those of other known vertebrates. The phylogenetic data suggest that the evolutionary history of this gene family in coelacanths was characterized by a different duplication event than those which occurred in teleosts, amniotes, and amphibia. Comparison of the three sequences highlighted differences in functional sites. Moreover, despite the presence of conserved sites compared with the other oviparous vertebrates, some sites were seen to have changed, others to be similar only to those of teleosts, and others still to resemble only to those of tetrapods.

  9. Predators of Anopheles gambiae sensu lato (Diptera: Culicidae) Larvae in Wetlands, Western Kenya: Confirmation by Polymerase Chain Reaction Method

    PubMed Central

    OHBA, SHIN-YA; KAWADA, HITOSHI; DIDA, GABRIEL O.; JUMA, DUNCAN; SONYE, GORGE; MINAKAWA, NOBORU; TAKAGI, MASAHIRO

    2010-01-01

    Polymerase chain reaction analysis was performed to determine whether mosquito predators in wetland habitats feed on Anopheles gambiae sensu lato (s.l.) larvae. Aquatic mosquito predators were collected from six wetlands near Lake Victoria in Mbita, Western Kenya. This study revealed that the whole positive rate of An. gambiae s.l. from 330 predators was 54.2%. The order of positive rate was the highest in Odonata (70.2%), followed by Hemiptera (62.8%), Amphibia (41.7%), and Coleoptera (18%). This study demonstrates that the polymerase chain reaction method can determine whether aquatic mosquito predators feed on An. gambiae s.l. larvae if the predators have undigested An. gambiae s.l. in their midgut or stomach. PMID:20939371

  10. Cold-induced changes in amphibian oocytes

    SciTech Connect

    Angelier, N.; Moreau, N.A.; N'Da, E.A.; Lautredou, N.F. )

    1989-08-01

    Female Pleurodeles waltl newts (Amphibia, urodele), usually raised at 20 degrees C, were submitted to low temperatures; oocytes responded to this cold stress by drastic changes both in lampbrush chromosome structure and in protein pattern. Preexisting lateral loops of lampbrush chromosomes were reduced in size and number, while cold-induced loops which were tremendously developed, occurred on defined bivalents of the oocyte at constant, reproducible sites. A comparison of protein patterns in control and stressed oocytes showed two main differences: in stressed oocytes, overall protein synthesis was reduced, except for a set of polypeptides, the cold-stress proteins; second, there was a striking inversion of the relative amount of beta- and gamma-actin found in the oocyte nucleus before and after cold stress. Whereas beta-actin was the predominant form in control oocytes, gamma-actin became the major form in stressed oocytes.

  11. No observable effect of a glyphosate-based herbicide on two top predators of temporal water bodies.

    PubMed

    Ujszegi, János; Gál, Zoltán; Mikó, Zsanett; Hettyey, Attila

    2015-02-01

    It has been implied that the application of pesticides is involved in the world-wide decline of biodiversity, but little is known about the influence of these chemicals on key predators of temporary wetlands. The direct impacts were examined of a frequently applied glyphosate-based herbicide on larval Aeshna cyanea (Müller, 1764; Odonata, Insecta) and adult male Lissotriton vulgaris (Linnaeus, 1758; Caudata, Amphibia), 2 top predators of Central European ephemeral ponds. The effects of herbicide exposure were measured on survival, behavior, body mass change, and predatory activity in an outdoor mesocosm experiment lasting for 17 d. No significant effects of exposure were observed in either predator species. The results suggest that the herbicide has no immediate effect on the predators studied at environmentally relevant concentrations and that these predators can also fulfill their top-down regulatory role in contaminated ecosystems. PMID:25378294

  12. Ubiquitous presence of gluconeogenic regulatory enzyme, fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase, within layers of rat retina

    PubMed Central

    Mamczur, Piotr; Mazurek, Jakub

    2010-01-01

    To shed some light on gluconeogenesis in mammalian retina, we have focused on fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase (FBPase), a regulatory enzyme of the process. The abundance of the enzyme within the layers of the rat retina suggests that, in mammals in contrast to amphibia, gluconeogenesis is not restricted to one specific cell of the retina. We propose that FBPase, in addition to its gluconeogenic role, participates in the protection of the retina against reactive oxygen species. Additionally, the nuclear localization of FBPase and of its binding partner, aldolase, in the retinal cells expressing the proliferation marker Ki-67 indicates that these two gluconeogenic enzymes are involved in non-enzymatic nuclear processes. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00441-010-1008-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. PMID:20614135

  13. First observation of a muscle spindle in fish.

    PubMed

    Maeda, N; Miyoshi, S; Toh, H

    1983-03-01

    In many groups of vertebrates, the muscle spindle is a specialized sensory organ for the detection of muscle stretching. The structure of the spindle varies among vertebrate classes. Moreover, Barker has asserted that Amphibia are the most primitive vertebrates to possess muscle spindles. Extensive studies, made mainly on the locomotor myotome, seem to show that the muscle receptors of fish are less specialized than those of more advanced animals, and that muscle spindles are absent. However, little attention has been paid to the jaw-closing muscle. We report here our finding of a very simple muscle spindle with a single intrafusal fibre in the well-developed jaw-closing muscle, adductor mandibulae, in a primitive teleostean, Oncorhynchus masou (Brevoort).

  14. [Peculiarities of phosphoglycerate kinase-1 pseudogene evolution in Schrenck salamander (Salamandrella schrenckii Strauch, 1870)].

    PubMed

    Malyarchuk, B A; Denisova, G A; Derenko, M V

    2013-07-01

    Processed copies of genes generally evolve in neutral mode as pseudogenes, however, some of them might be important sources of new functional genes. The psiPGK1 pseudogene has been discovered in Schrenck salamander (Salamandrella schrenckii, Amphibia, Caudata, Hynobiidae) via polymerase chain reaction used to amplify the phosphoglycerate kinase 1 gene (PGK1). This pseudogene is an intronless copy of PGK1 gene absent of exon 6. Analysis of psiPGK1 pseudogene polymorphism has demonstrated that it lacks mutations, which results in shifts in the stop codons and reading frames, as well as that the interspecies variation of this pseudogene was inconsistent with the neutral model of evolution. In addition, the pattern of phylogeographic differentiation of the psiPGK1 variants mainly coincides with that observed in mitochondrial DNA. These observations allow it to be suggested that the psiPGK1 pseudogene is a new functional gene in the Schrenck salamander. PMID:24450152

  15. [Biological experiments on "Kosmos-1887"].

    PubMed

    Alpatov, A M; I'lin, E A; Antipov, V V; Tairbekov, M G

    1989-01-01

    In the 13-ray space flight on Kosmos-1887 various experiments in the field of cell biology, genetics, biorhythm, developmental biology and regeneration were performed using bacteria, protozoa, plants, worms, insects, fish and amphibia. Paramecia showed enhanced cell proliferation, spheroidization and diminished protein content. Experiments on fruit-flies, newt oocytes and primate lymphocytes confirmed involvement of the cell genetic apparatus in responses to microgravity. Beetles exhibited a reduction of the length of the spontaneous period of freely running circadian rhythms. Carausius morosus developed latent changes in early embryogenesis which manifested at later stages of ontogenesis. Exposure to microgravity did not prevent recovery of injured tissues; moreover their regeneration may be accelerated after recovery. Biology research programs in future biosatellite flights are discussed.

  16. The chemical and evolutionary ecology of tetrodotoxin (TTX) toxicity in terrestrial vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Hanifin, Charles T

    2010-01-01

    Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is widely distributed in marine taxa, however in terrestrial taxa it is limited to a single class of vertebrates (Amphibia). Tetrodotoxin present in the skin and eggs of TTX-bearing amphibians primarily serves as an antipredator defense and these taxa have provided excellent models for the study of the evolution and chemical ecology of TTX toxicity. The origin of TTX present in terrestrial vertebrates is controversial. In marine organisms the accepted hypothesis is that the TTX present in metazoans results from either dietary uptake of bacterially produced TTX or symbiosis with TTX producing bacteria, but this hypothesis may not be applicable to TTX-bearing amphibians. Here I review the taxonomic distribution and evolutionary ecology of TTX in amphibians with some attention to the origin of TTX present in these taxa. PMID:20411116

  17. Axonal regeneration in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Becker, Thomas; Becker, Catherina G

    2014-08-01

    In contrast to mammals, fish and amphibia functionally regenerate axons in the central nervous system (CNS). The strengths of the zebrafish model, that is, transgenics and mutant availability, ease of gene expression analysis and manipulation and optical transparency of larvae lend themselves to the analysis of successful axonal regeneration. Analyses in larval and adult zebrafish suggest a high intrinsic capacity for axon regrowth, yet signaling pathways employed in axonal growth and pathfinding are similar to those in mammals. However, the lesioned CNS environment in zebrafish shows remarkably little scarring or expression of inhibitory molecules and regenerating axons use molecular cues in the environment to successfully navigate to their targets. Future zebrafish research, including screening techniques, will complete our picture of the mechanisms behind successful CNS axon regeneration in this vertebrate model organism.

  18. [Algo-bacterial communities of the Kulunda steppe (Altai region, Russia) soda lakes].

    PubMed

    Samylina, O S; Sapozhnikov, F V; Gaĭnanova, O Iu; Riabova, A V; Nikitin, M A; Sorokin, D Iu

    2015-01-01

    The composition and macroscopic structure of the floating oxygenic phototrophic communities from Kulunda steppe soda lakes (Petukhovskoe sodovoe, Tanatara VI, and Gorchiny 3) was described based on the data of the 2011 and 2012 expeditions (Winogradsky Institute of Microbiology). The algo-bacterial community with a green alga Ctenocladus circinnatus as an edificator was the typical one. Filamentous Geitlerinema sp. and Nodosilinea sp. were the dominant cyanobacteria. Apart from C. circinnatus, the algological component of the community contained unicellular green algae Dunaliella viridis and cf. Chlorella minutissima, as well as diatoms (Anomeoneis sphaerophora, Brchysira brebissonii, Brachysira zellensis, Mastogloia pusilla var. subcapitata, Nitzschia amphibia, Nitzschia communis, and Nitzschia sp.1). The latter have not been previously identified in the lakes under study. In all lakes, a considerable increase in salinity was found to result in changes in the composition and macroscopic structure of algo-bacterial communities.

  19. Effects of endocrine-disrupting contaminants on amphibian oogenesis: methoxychlor inhibits progesterone-induced maturation of Xenopus laevis oocytes in vitro.

    PubMed Central

    Pickford, D B; Morris, I D

    1999-01-01

    There is currently little evidence of pollution-induced endocrine dysfunction in amphibia, in spite of widespread concern over global declines in this ecologically diverse group. Data regarding the potential effects of endocrine-disrupting contaminants (EDCs) on reproductive function in amphibia are particularly lacking. We hypothesized that estrogenic EDCs may disrupt progesterone-induced oocyte maturation in the adult amphibian ovary, and tested this with an in vitro germinal vesicle breakdown assay using defolliculated oocytes from the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis. While a variety of natural and synthetic estrogens and xenoestrogens were inactive in this system, the proestrogenic pesticide methoxychlor was a surprisingly potent inhibitor of progesterone-induced oocyte maturation (median inhibitive concentration, 72 nM). This inhibitory activity was specific to methoxychlor, rather than to its estrogenic contaminants or metabolites, and was not antagonized by the estrogen receptor antagonist ICI 182,780, suggesting that this activity is not estrogenic per se. The inhibitory activity of methoxychlor was dose dependent, reversible, and early acting. However, washout was unable to reverse the effect of short methoxychlor exposure, and methoxychlor did not competitively displace [3H]progesterone from a specific binding site in the oocyte plasma membrane. Therefore, methoxychlor may exert its action not directly at the site of progesterone action, but downstream on early events in maturational signaling, although the precise mechanism of action is unclear. The activity of methoxychlor in this system indicates that xenobiotics may exert endocrine-disrupting effects through interference with progestin-regulated processes and through mechanisms other than receptor antagonism. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6 Figure 7 Figure 8 Figure 9 PMID:10090707

  20. Mapping the Space of Genomic Signatures

    PubMed Central

    Kari, Lila; Hill, Kathleen A.; Sayem, Abu S.; Karamichalis, Rallis; Bryans, Nathaniel; Davis, Katelyn; Dattani, Nikesh S.

    2015-01-01

    We propose a computational method to measure and visualize interrelationships among any number of DNA sequences allowing, for example, the examination of hundreds or thousands of complete mitochondrial genomes. An "image distance" is computed for each pair of graphical representations of DNA sequences, and the distances are visualized as a Molecular Distance Map: Each point on the map represents a DNA sequence, and the spatial proximity between any two points reflects the degree of structural similarity between the corresponding sequences. The graphical representation of DNA sequences utilized, Chaos Game Representation (CGR), is genome- and species-specific and can thus act as a genomic signature. Consequently, Molecular Distance Maps could inform species identification, taxonomic classifications and, to a certain extent, evolutionary history. The image distance employed, Structural Dissimilarity Index (DSSIM), implicitly compares the occurrences of oligomers of length up to k (herein k = 9) in DNA sequences. We computed DSSIM distances for more than 5 million pairs of complete mitochondrial genomes, and used Multi-Dimensional Scaling (MDS) to obtain Molecular Distance Maps that visually display the sequence relatedness in various subsets, at different taxonomic levels. This general-purpose method does not require DNA sequence alignment and can thus be used to compare similar or vastly different DNA sequences, genomic or computer-generated, of the same or different lengths. We illustrate potential uses of this approach by applying it to several taxonomic subsets: phylum Vertebrata, (super)kingdom Protista, classes Amphibia-Insecta-Mammalia, class Amphibia, and order Primates. This analysis of an extensive dataset confirms that the oligomer composition of full mtDNA sequences can be a source of taxonomic information. This method also correctly finds the mtDNA sequences most closely related to that of the anatomically modern human (the Neanderthal, the Denisovan

  1. Mapping the space of genomic signatures.

    PubMed

    Kari, Lila; Hill, Kathleen A; Sayem, Abu S; Karamichalis, Rallis; Bryans, Nathaniel; Davis, Katelyn; Dattani, Nikesh S

    2015-01-01

    We propose a computational method to measure and visualize interrelationships among any number of DNA sequences allowing, for example, the examination of hundreds or thousands of complete mitochondrial genomes. An "image distance" is computed for each pair of graphical representations of DNA sequences, and the distances are visualized as a Molecular Distance Map: Each point on the map represents a DNA sequence, and the spatial proximity between any two points reflects the degree of structural similarity between the corresponding sequences. The graphical representation of DNA sequences utilized, Chaos Game Representation (CGR), is genome- and species-specific and can thus act as a genomic signature. Consequently, Molecular Distance Maps could inform species identification, taxonomic classifications and, to a certain extent, evolutionary history. The image distance employed, Structural Dissimilarity Index (DSSIM), implicitly compares the occurrences of oligomers of length up to k (herein k = 9) in DNA sequences. We computed DSSIM distances for more than 5 million pairs of complete mitochondrial genomes, and used Multi-Dimensional Scaling (MDS) to obtain Molecular Distance Maps that visually display the sequence relatedness in various subsets, at different taxonomic levels. This general-purpose method does not require DNA sequence alignment and can thus be used to compare similar or vastly different DNA sequences, genomic or computer-generated, of the same or different lengths. We illustrate potential uses of this approach by applying it to several taxonomic subsets: phylum Vertebrata, (super)kingdom Protista, classes Amphibia-Insecta-Mammalia, class Amphibia, and order Primates. This analysis of an extensive dataset confirms that the oligomer composition of full mtDNA sequences can be a source of taxonomic information. This method also correctly finds the mtDNA sequences most closely related to that of the anatomically modern human (the Neanderthal, the Denisovan

  2. Somitomeres: mesodermal segments of vertebrate embryos.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, A G

    1988-01-01

    Well before the somites form, the paraxial mesoderm of vertebrate embryos is segmented into somitomeres. When newly formed, somitomeres are patterned arrays of mesenchymal cells, arranged into squat, bilaminar discs. The dorsal and ventral faces of these discs are composed of concentric rings of cells. Somitomeres are formed along the length of the embryo during gastrulation, and in the segmental plate and tail bud at later stages. They form in strict cranial to caudal order. They appear in bilateral pairs, just lateral to Hensen's node in the chick embryo. When the nervous system begins to form, the brain parts and neuromeres are in a consistent relationship to the somitomeres. Somitomeres first appear in the head, and the cranial somitomeres do not become somites, but disperse to contribute to the head the same cell types contributed by somites in the trunk region. In the trunk and tail, somitomeres gradually condense and epithelialize to become somites. Models of vertebrate segmentation must now take into account the early presence of these new morphological units, the somitomeres. Somitomeres were discovered in the head of the chick embryo (Meier, 1979), with the use of stereo scanning electron microscopy. The old question of whether the heads of the craniates are segmented is now settled, at least for the paraxial mesoderm. Somitomeres have now been identified in the embryos of a chick, quail, mouse, snapping turtle, newt, anuran (Xenopus) and a teleost (the medaka). In all forms studied, the first pair of somitomeres abut the prosencephalon, but caudal to that, for each tandem pair of somitomeres in the amniote and teleost, there is but one somitomere in the amphibia. The mesodermal segments of the shark embryo are arranged like those of the amphibia.

  3. Discovery of a new family of amphibians from northeast India with ancient links to Africa.

    PubMed

    Kamei, Rachunliu G; San Mauro, Diego; Gower, David J; Van Bocxlaer, Ines; Sherratt, Emma; Thomas, Ashish; Babu, Suresh; Bossuyt, Franky; Wilkinson, Mark; Biju, S D

    2012-06-22

    The limbless, primarily soil-dwelling and tropical caecilian amphibians (Gymnophiona) comprise the least known order of tetrapods. On the basis of unprecedented extensive fieldwork, we report the discovery of a previously overlooked, ancient lineage and radiation of caecilians from threatened habitats in the underexplored states of northeast India. Molecular phylogenetic analyses of mitogenomic and nuclear DNA sequences, and comparative cranial anatomy indicate an unexpected sister-group relationship with the exclusively African family Herpelidae. Relaxed molecular clock analyses indicate that these lineages diverged in the Early Cretaceous, about 140 Ma. The discovery adds a major branch to the amphibian tree of life and sheds light on both the evolution and biogeography of caecilians and the biotic history of northeast India-an area generally interpreted as a gateway between biodiversity hotspots rather than a distinct biogeographic unit with its own ancient endemics. Because of its distinctive morphology, inferred age and phylogenetic relationships, we recognize the newly discovered caecilian radiation as a new family of modern amphibians.

  4. Initial diversification of living amphibians predated the breakup of Pangaea.

    PubMed

    San Mauro, Diego; Vences, Miguel; Alcobendas, Marina; Zardoya, Rafael; Meyer, Axel

    2005-05-01

    The origin and divergence of the three living orders of amphibians (Anura, Caudata, Gymnophiona) and their main lineages are one of the most hotly debated topics in vertebrate evolution. Here, we present a robust molecular phylogeny based on the nuclear RAG1 gene as well as results from a variety of alternative independent molecular clock calibrations. Our analyses suggest that the origin and early divergence of the three living amphibian orders dates back to the Palaeozoic or early Mesozoic, before the breakup of Pangaea, and soon after the divergence from lobe-finned fishes. The resulting new biogeographic scenario, age estimate, and the inferred rapid divergence of the three lissamphibian orders may account for the lack of fossils that represent plausible ancestors or immediate sister taxa of all three orders and the heretofore paradoxical distribution of some amphibian fossil taxa. Furthermore, the ancient and rapid radiation of the three lissamphibian orders likely explains why branch lengths connecting their early nodes are particularly short, thus rendering phylogenetic inference of implicated relationships especially difficult.

  5. Cranial Morphology of the Carboniferous-Permian Tetrapod Brachydectes newberryi (Lepospondyli, Lysorophia): New Data from µCT

    PubMed Central

    Pardo, Jason D.; Anderson, Jason S.

    2016-01-01

    Lysorophians are a group of early tetrapods with extremely elongate trunks, reduced limbs, and highly reduced skulls. Since the first discovery of this group, general similarities in outward appearance between lysorophians and some modern lissamphibian orders (specifically Urodela and Gymnophiona) have been recognized, and sometimes been the basis for hypotheses of lissamphibian origins. We studied the morphology of the skull, with particular emphasis on the neurocranium, of a partial growth series of the lysorophian Brachydectes newberryi using x-ray micro-computed tomography (μCT). Our study reveals similarities between the braincase of Brachydectes and brachystelechid recumbirostrans, corroborating prior work suggesting a close relationship between these taxa. We also describe the morphology of the epipterygoid, stapes, and quadrate in this taxon for the first time. Contra the proposals of some workers, we find no evidence of expected lissamphibian synapomorphies in the skull morphology in Brachydectes newberryi, and instead recognize a number of derived amniote characteristics within the braincase and suspensorium. Morphology previously considered indicative of taxonomic diversity within Lysorophia may reflect ontogenetic rather than taxonomic variation. The highly divergent morphology of lysorophians represents a refinement of morphological and functional trends within recumbirostrans, and is analogous to morphology observed in many modern fossorial reptiles. PMID:27563722

  6. Is solid always best? Cranial performance in solid and fenestrated caecilian skulls.

    PubMed

    Kleinteich, Thomas; Maddin, Hillary C; Herzen, Julia; Beckmann, Felix; Summers, Adam P

    2012-03-01

    Caecilians (Lissamphibia: Gymnophiona) are characterized by a fossorial lifestyle that appears to play a role in the many anatomical specializations in the group. The skull, in particular, has been the focus of previous studies because it is driven into the substrate for burrowing. There are two different types of skulls in caecilians: (1) stegokrotaphic, where the squamosal completely covers the temporal region and the jaw closing muscles, and (2) zygokrotaphic, with incomplete coverage of the temporal region by the squamosal. We used 3-D imaging and modeling techniques to explore the functional consequences of these skull types in an evolutionary context. We digitally converted stegokrotaphic skulls into zygokrotaphic skulls and vice versa. We also generated a third, akinetic skull type that was presumably present in extinct caecilian ancestors. We explored the benefits and costs of the different skull types under frontal loading at different head angles with finite element analysis (FEA). Surprisingly, the differences in stress distributions and bending between the three tested skull types were minimal and not significant. This suggests that the open temporal region in zygokrotaphic skulls does not lead to poorer performance during burrowing. However, the results of the FEA suggest a strong relationship between the head angle and skull performance, implying there is an optimal head angle during burrowing.

  7. Myxozoan infections of caecilians demonstrate broad host specificity and indicate a link with human activity.

    PubMed

    Hartigan, Ashlie; Wilkinson, Mark; Gower, David J; Streicher, Jeffrey W; Holzer, Astrid S; Okamura, Beth

    2016-05-01

    Myxozoans are parasitic cnidarians that infect a wide variety of hosts. Vertebrates typically serve as intermediate hosts whereas definitive hosts are invertebrates, including annelids and bryozoans. Myxozoans are known to exploit species in two of the three extant amphibian orders (Anura: frogs and toads; Caudata: newts and salamanders). Here we use museum collections to determine, to our knowledge for the first time, whether myxozoans also exploit the third amphibian order (Gymnophiona: caecilians). Caecilians are a poorly known group of limbless amphibians, the ecologies of which range from aquatic to fully terrestrial. We examined 12 caecilian species in seven families (148 individuals total) characterised by a diversity of ecologies and life histories. Using morphological and molecular surveys, we discovered the presence of the myxozoan Cystodiscus axonis in two South American species (one of seven examined families) of aquatic caecilians - Typhlonectes natans and Typhlonectes compressicauda. All infected caecilians had been maintained in captivity in the United Kingdom prior to their preservation. Cystodiscus axonis is known from several Australian frog species and its presence in caecilians indicates a capacity for infecting highly divergent amphibian hosts. This first known report of myxozoan infections in caecilians provides evidence of a broad geographic and host range. However, the source of these infections remains unknown and could be related to exposure in South America, the U.K. or to conditions in captivity.

  8. Metabolic and endocrine changes during the reproductive cycle of dermatophagic caecilians in captivity.

    PubMed

    Gomes, Aline D; Navas, Carlos A; Jared, Carlos; Antoniazzi, Marta M; Ceballos, Nora R; Moreira, Renata G

    2013-10-01

    The amphibian order Gymnophiona is poorly known, and studies about their reproduction are mainly comparative and descriptive, focusing on the structure of testes, ovaries and oviducts. However, to understand the reproductive processes, including those of the oviparous dermatophagic species, it is important to know the dynamics of storage and mobilization of energetic substrates to gonads and skin during the reproductive cycle of males and females, as well as the endocrine control associated. For the present study, total lipids and proteins were measured during the annual cycle in the plasma, liver, muscle, testes, ovaries and skin of Siphonops annulatus in captivity. Plasma levels of gonadal steroids (estradiol, testosterone and progesterone) were quantified by radioimmunoassay. Histological analyses of ovaries and testes were performed to classify the maturation stages of the animals during the reproductive cycle. Gonadal maturation in males and females of S. annulatus was accompanied by metabolic changes in reserve tissues, which supported gonadal development and prepared the females' epidermis for skin feeding by the offspring. Even in confinement conditions, females and males synchronized the reproductive period. However, due to the absence of environmental cues in captivity inadequate levels of the hormones responsible for gamete release were triggered, leading to a lack of reproductive success.

  9. Comparative histological study of hepatic architecture in the three orders amphibian livers

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background This report presents a detailed description of hepatic architecture in 46 amphibian livers by light microscopy, and extensively discusses the phylogenetic viewpoint. Results The 46 amphibian livers showed a variety of histological features, but anurans were the same as in mammalian livers. The hepatocyte-sinusoidal structures of the amphibian livers were classified into three different types: (I) several-cell-thick plate type, (II) two-cell-thick plate type, and (III) one-cell-thick plate type, depending on the percentage extension of sinusoidal areas per unit area, measured by morphometry. Hematopoietic tissue structures were observed in the connective tissue of both the perihepatic subcapsular regions and portal triads in the order Caudata and Gymnophiona, but were not observed in the order Anura (except for the genus Bombina and Xenopus). As phylogenetic relationships are branched from urodeles to anurans, the parenchyma arrangement progressed from the combined several- and two-cell-thick plate type to one-cell-thick plate type as seen in the mammalian liver type. In contrast, hematopoietic tissue structures were exactly the opposite and did not involve anurans. Conclusions This study is the first to investigate amphibian livers phylogenically, and their architectural differences are shown in the route of hepatic ontogenesis. In this process, parenchymal arrangement formation is acquired phylogenically. The occurrence of hematopoietic cells may be related with the development of the systemic immune system in the spleen and bone marrow. PMID:22905994

  10. Cranial Morphology of the Carboniferous-Permian Tetrapod Brachydectes newberryi (Lepospondyli, Lysorophia): New Data from µCT.

    PubMed

    Pardo, Jason D; Anderson, Jason S

    2016-01-01

    Lysorophians are a group of early tetrapods with extremely elongate trunks, reduced limbs, and highly reduced skulls. Since the first discovery of this group, general similarities in outward appearance between lysorophians and some modern lissamphibian orders (specifically Urodela and Gymnophiona) have been recognized, and sometimes been the basis for hypotheses of lissamphibian origins. We studied the morphology of the skull, with particular emphasis on the neurocranium, of a partial growth series of the lysorophian Brachydectes newberryi using x-ray micro-computed tomography (μCT). Our study reveals similarities between the braincase of Brachydectes and brachystelechid recumbirostrans, corroborating prior work suggesting a close relationship between these taxa. We also describe the morphology of the epipterygoid, stapes, and quadrate in this taxon for the first time. Contra the proposals of some workers, we find no evidence of expected lissamphibian synapomorphies in the skull morphology in Brachydectes newberryi, and instead recognize a number of derived amniote characteristics within the braincase and suspensorium. Morphology previously considered indicative of taxonomic diversity within Lysorophia may reflect ontogenetic rather than taxonomic variation. The highly divergent morphology of lysorophians represents a refinement of morphological and functional trends within recumbirostrans, and is analogous to morphology observed in many modern fossorial reptiles. PMID:27563722

  11. Myxozoan infections of caecilians demonstrate broad host specificity and indicate a link with human activity.

    PubMed

    Hartigan, Ashlie; Wilkinson, Mark; Gower, David J; Streicher, Jeffrey W; Holzer, Astrid S; Okamura, Beth

    2016-05-01

    Myxozoans are parasitic cnidarians that infect a wide variety of hosts. Vertebrates typically serve as intermediate hosts whereas definitive hosts are invertebrates, including annelids and bryozoans. Myxozoans are known to exploit species in two of the three extant amphibian orders (Anura: frogs and toads; Caudata: newts and salamanders). Here we use museum collections to determine, to our knowledge for the first time, whether myxozoans also exploit the third amphibian order (Gymnophiona: caecilians). Caecilians are a poorly known group of limbless amphibians, the ecologies of which range from aquatic to fully terrestrial. We examined 12 caecilian species in seven families (148 individuals total) characterised by a diversity of ecologies and life histories. Using morphological and molecular surveys, we discovered the presence of the myxozoan Cystodiscus axonis in two South American species (one of seven examined families) of aquatic caecilians - Typhlonectes natans and Typhlonectes compressicauda. All infected caecilians had been maintained in captivity in the United Kingdom prior to their preservation. Cystodiscus axonis is known from several Australian frog species and its presence in caecilians indicates a capacity for infecting highly divergent amphibian hosts. This first known report of myxozoan infections in caecilians provides evidence of a broad geographic and host range. However, the source of these infections remains unknown and could be related to exposure in South America, the U.K. or to conditions in captivity. PMID:26945641

  12. Metabolic and endocrine changes during the reproductive cycle of dermatophagic caecilians in captivity.

    PubMed

    Gomes, Aline D; Navas, Carlos A; Jared, Carlos; Antoniazzi, Marta M; Ceballos, Nora R; Moreira, Renata G

    2013-10-01

    The amphibian order Gymnophiona is poorly known, and studies about their reproduction are mainly comparative and descriptive, focusing on the structure of testes, ovaries and oviducts. However, to understand the reproductive processes, including those of the oviparous dermatophagic species, it is important to know the dynamics of storage and mobilization of energetic substrates to gonads and skin during the reproductive cycle of males and females, as well as the endocrine control associated. For the present study, total lipids and proteins were measured during the annual cycle in the plasma, liver, muscle, testes, ovaries and skin of Siphonops annulatus in captivity. Plasma levels of gonadal steroids (estradiol, testosterone and progesterone) were quantified by radioimmunoassay. Histological analyses of ovaries and testes were performed to classify the maturation stages of the animals during the reproductive cycle. Gonadal maturation in males and females of S. annulatus was accompanied by metabolic changes in reserve tissues, which supported gonadal development and prepared the females' epidermis for skin feeding by the offspring. Even in confinement conditions, females and males synchronized the reproductive period. However, due to the absence of environmental cues in captivity inadequate levels of the hormones responsible for gamete release were triggered, leading to a lack of reproductive success. PMID:24001948

  13. Discovery of a new family of amphibians from northeast India with ancient links to Africa.

    PubMed

    Kamei, Rachunliu G; San Mauro, Diego; Gower, David J; Van Bocxlaer, Ines; Sherratt, Emma; Thomas, Ashish; Babu, Suresh; Bossuyt, Franky; Wilkinson, Mark; Biju, S D

    2012-06-22

    The limbless, primarily soil-dwelling and tropical caecilian amphibians (Gymnophiona) comprise the least known order of tetrapods. On the basis of unprecedented extensive fieldwork, we report the discovery of a previously overlooked, ancient lineage and radiation of caecilians from threatened habitats in the underexplored states of northeast India. Molecular phylogenetic analyses of mitogenomic and nuclear DNA sequences, and comparative cranial anatomy indicate an unexpected sister-group relationship with the exclusively African family Herpelidae. Relaxed molecular clock analyses indicate that these lineages diverged in the Early Cretaceous, about 140 Ma. The discovery adds a major branch to the amphibian tree of life and sheds light on both the evolution and biogeography of caecilians and the biotic history of northeast India-an area generally interpreted as a gateway between biodiversity hotspots rather than a distinct biogeographic unit with its own ancient endemics. Because of its distinctive morphology, inferred age and phylogenetic relationships, we recognize the newly discovered caecilian radiation as a new family of modern amphibians. PMID:22357266

  14. Is solid always best? Cranial performance in solid and fenestrated caecilian skulls.

    PubMed

    Kleinteich, Thomas; Maddin, Hillary C; Herzen, Julia; Beckmann, Felix; Summers, Adam P

    2012-03-01

    Caecilians (Lissamphibia: Gymnophiona) are characterized by a fossorial lifestyle that appears to play a role in the many anatomical specializations in the group. The skull, in particular, has been the focus of previous studies because it is driven into the substrate for burrowing. There are two different types of skulls in caecilians: (1) stegokrotaphic, where the squamosal completely covers the temporal region and the jaw closing muscles, and (2) zygokrotaphic, with incomplete coverage of the temporal region by the squamosal. We used 3-D imaging and modeling techniques to explore the functional consequences of these skull types in an evolutionary context. We digitally converted stegokrotaphic skulls into zygokrotaphic skulls and vice versa. We also generated a third, akinetic skull type that was presumably present in extinct caecilian ancestors. We explored the benefits and costs of the different skull types under frontal loading at different head angles with finite element analysis (FEA). Surprisingly, the differences in stress distributions and bending between the three tested skull types were minimal and not significant. This suggests that the open temporal region in zygokrotaphic skulls does not lead to poorer performance during burrowing. However, the results of the FEA suggest a strong relationship between the head angle and skull performance, implying there is an optimal head angle during burrowing. PMID:22323206

  15. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in amphibians of Cameroon, including first records for caecilians.

    PubMed

    Doherty-Bone, T M; Gonwouo, N L; Hirschfeld, M; Ohst, T; Weldon, C; Perkins, M; Kouete, M T; Browne, R K; Loader, S P; Gower, D J; Wilkinson, M W; Rödel, M O; Penner, J; Barej, M F; Schmitz, A; Plötner, J; Cunningham, A A

    2013-02-28

    Amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been hypothesised to be an indigenous parasite of African amphibians. In Cameroon, however, previous surveys in one region (in the northwest) failed to detect this pathogen, despite the earliest African Bd having been recorded from a frog in eastern Cameroon, plus one recent record in the far southeast. To reconcile these contrasting results, we present survey data from 12 localities across 6 regions of Cameroon from anurans (n = 1052) and caecilians (n = 85) of ca. 108 species. Bd was detected in 124 amphibian hosts at 7 localities, including Mt. Oku, Mt. Cameroon, Mt. Manengouba and lowland localities in the centre and west of the country. None of the hosts were observed dead or dying. Infected amphibian hosts were not detected in other localities in the south and eastern rainforest belt. Infection occurred in both anurans and caecilians, making this the first reported case of infection in the latter order (Gymnophiona) of amphibians. There was no significant difference between prevalence and infection intensity in frogs and caecilians. We highlight the importance of taking into account the inhibition of diagnostic qPCR in studies on Bd, based on all Bd-positive hosts being undetected when screened without bovine serum albumin in the qPCR mix. The status of Bd as an indigenous, cosmopolitan amphibian parasite in Africa, including Cameroon, is supported by this work. Isolating and sequencing strains of Bd from Cameroon should now be a priority. Longitudinal host population monitoring will be required to determine the effects, if any, of the infection on amphibians in Cameroon.

  16. On the origin of and phylogenetic relationships among living amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Zardoya, Rafael; Meyer, Axel

    2001-01-01

    The phylogenetic relationships among the three orders of modern amphibians (Caudata, Gymnophiona, and Anura) have been estimated based on both morphological and molecular evidence. Most morphological and paleontological studies of living and fossil amphibians support the hypothesis that salamanders and frogs are sister lineages (the Batrachia hypothesis) and that caecilians are more distantly related. Previous interpretations of molecular data based on nuclear and mitochondrial rRNA sequences suggested that salamanders and caecilians are sister groups to the exclusion of frogs. In an attempt to resolve this apparent conflict, the complete mitochondrial genomes of a salamander (Mertensiella luschani) and a caecilian (Typhlonectes natans) were determined (16,656 and 17,005 bp, respectively) and compared with previously published sequences from a frog (Xenopus laevis) and several other groups of vertebrates. Phylogenetic analyses of the mitochondrial data supported with high bootstrap values the monophyly of living amphibians with respect to other living groups of tetrapods, and a sister group relationship of salamanders and frogs. The lack of phylogenetically informative sites in the previous rRNA data sets (because of its shorter size and higher among-site rate variation) likely explains the discrepancy between our results and those based on previous molecular data. Strong support of the Batrachia hypothesis from both molecule- and morphology-based studies provides a robust phylogenetic framework that will be helpful to comparative studies among the three living orders of amphibians and will permit better understanding of the considerably divergent vertebral, brain, and digit developmental patterns found in frogs and salamanders. PMID:11390961

  17. On the origin of and phylogenetic relationships among living amphibians.

    PubMed

    Zardoya, R; Meyer, A

    2001-06-19

    The phylogenetic relationships among the three orders of modern amphibians (Caudata, Gymnophiona, and Anura) have been estimated based on both morphological and molecular evidence. Most morphological and paleontological studies of living and fossil amphibians support the hypothesis that salamanders and frogs are sister lineages (the Batrachia hypothesis) and that caecilians are more distantly related. Previous interpretations of molecular data based on nuclear and mitochondrial rRNA sequences suggested that salamanders and caecilians are sister groups to the exclusion of frogs. In an attempt to resolve this apparent conflict, the complete mitochondrial genomes of a salamander (Mertensiella luschani) and a caecilian (Typhlonectes natans) were determined (16,656 and 17,005 bp, respectively) and compared with previously published sequences from a frog (Xenopus laevis) and several other groups of vertebrates. Phylogenetic analyses of the mitochondrial data supported with high bootstrap values the monophyly of living amphibians with respect to other living groups of tetrapods, and a sister group relationship of salamanders and frogs. The lack of phylogenetically informative sites in the previous rRNA data sets (because of its shorter size and higher among-site rate variation) likely explains the discrepancy between our results and those based on previous molecular data. Strong support of the Batrachia hypothesis from both molecule- and morphology-based studies provides a robust phylogenetic framework that will be helpful to comparative studies among the three living orders of amphibians and will permit better understanding of the considerably divergent vertebral, brain, and digit developmental patterns found in frogs and salamanders.

  18. The hyal and ventral branchial muscles in caecilian and salamander larvae: homologies and evolution.

    PubMed

    Kleinteich, Thomas; Haas, Alexander

    2011-05-01

    Amphibians (Lissamphibia) are characterized by a bi-phasic life-cycle that comprises an aquatic larval stage and metamorphosis to the adult. The ancestral aquatic feeding behavior of amphibian larvae is suction feeding. The negative pressure that is needed for ingestion of prey is created by depression of the hyobranchial apparatus as a result of hyobranchial muscle action. Understanding the homologies of hyobranchial muscles in amphibian larvae is a crucial step in understanding the evolution of this important character complex. However, the literature mostly focuses on the adult musculature and terms used for hyal and ventral branchial muscles in different amphibians often do not reflect homologies across lissamphibian orders. Here we describe the hyal and ventral branchial musculature in larvae of caecilians (Gymnophiona) and salamanders (Caudata), including juveniles of two permanently aquatic salamander species. Based on previous alternative terminology schemes, we propose a terminology for the hyal and ventral branchial muscles that reflects the homologies of muscles and that is suited for studies on hyobranchial muscle evolution in amphibians. We present a discussion of the hyal and ventral branchial muscles in larvae of the most recent common ancestor of amphibians (i.e. the ground plan of Lissamphibia). Based on our terminology, the hyal and ventral branchial musculature of caecilians and salamanders comprises the following muscles: m. depressor mandibulae, m. depressor mandibulae posterior, m. hyomandibularis, m. branchiohyoideus externus, m. interhyoideus, m. interhyoideus posterior, m. subarcualis rectus I, m. subarcualis obliquus II, m. subarcualis obliquus III, m. subarcualis rectus II-IV, and m. transversus ventralis IV. Except for the m. branchiohyoideus externus, all muscles considered herein can be assigned to the ground plan of the Lissamphibia with certainty. The m. branchiohyoideus externus is either apomorphic for the Batrachia (frogs

  19. Caecilian jaw-closing mechanics: integrating two muscle systems.

    PubMed

    Kleinteich, Thomas; Haas, Alexander; Summers, Adam P

    2008-12-01

    Caecilians (Lissamphibia: Gymnophiona) are unique among vertebrates in having two sets of jaw-closing muscles, one on either side of the jaw joint. Using data from high-resolution X-ray radiation computed tomography scans, we modelled the effect of these two muscle groups (mm. levatores mandibulae and m. interhyoideus posterior) on bite force over a range of gape angles, employing a simplified lever arm mechanism that takes into account muscle cross-sectional area and fibre angle. Measurements of lever arm lengths, muscle fibre orientations and physiological cross-sectional area of cranial muscles were available from three caecilian species: Ichthyophis cf. kohtaoensis; Siphonops annulatus; and Typhlonectes natans. The maximal gape of caecilians is restricted by a critical gape angle above which the mm. levatores mandibulae will open the jaw and destabilize the mandibular joint. The presence of destabilizing forces in the caecilian jaw mechanism may be compensated for by a mandibular joint in that the fossa is wrapped around the condyle to resist dislocation. The caecilian skull is streptostylic; the quadrate-squamosal complex moves with respect to the rest of the skull. This increases the leverage of the jaw-closing muscles. We also demonstrate that the unusual jaw joint requires streptostyly because there is a dorsolateral movement of the quadrate-squamosal complex when the jaw closes. The combination of the two jaw-closing systems results in high bite forces over a wide range of gape angles, an important advantage for generalist feeders such as caecilians. The relative sizes and leverage mechanics of the two closing systems allow one to exert more force when the other has a poor mechanical advantage. This effect is seen in all three species we examined. In the aquatic T. natans, with its less well-roofed skull, there is a larger contribution of the mm. levatores mandibulae to total bite force than in the terrestrial I. cf. kohtaoensis and S. annulatus.

  20. Amphibian biology and husbandry.

    PubMed

    Pough, F Harvey

    2007-01-01

    Extant amphibians comprise three lineages-- salamanders (Urodela or Caudata), frogs and toads (Anura), and caecilians (Gymnophiona, Apoda, or Caecilia)--which contain more than 6,000 species. Fewer than a dozen species of amphibians are commonly maintained in laboratory colonies, and the husbandry requirements for the vast majority of amphibians are poorly known. For these species, a review of basic characteristics of amphibian biology supplemented by inferences drawn from the morphological and physiological characteristics of the species in question provides a basis for decisions about housing and feeding. Amphibians are ectotherms, and their skin is permeable to water, ions, and respiratory gases. Most species are secretive and, in many cases, nocturnal. The essential characteristics of their environment include appropriate levels of humidity, temperature, and lighting as well as retreat sites. Terrestrial and arboreal species require moist substrates, water dishes, and high relative humidity. Because temperature requirements for most species are poorly known, it is advisable to use a temperature mosaic that will allow an animal to find an appropriate temperature within its cage. Photoperiod may affect physiology and behavior (especially reproduction and hibernation), and although the importance of ultraviolet light for calcium metabolism by amphibians is not yet known, ecological observations suggest that it might be important for some species of frogs. Some amphibians are territorial, and some use olfactory cues to mark their territory and to recognize other individuals of their species. All amphibians are carnivorous as adults, and the feeding response of many species is elicited by the movement of prey. Diets should include a mixture of prey species, and it may be advisable to load prey with vitamins and minerals.

  1. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in amphibians of Cameroon, including first records for caecilians.

    PubMed

    Doherty-Bone, T M; Gonwouo, N L; Hirschfeld, M; Ohst, T; Weldon, C; Perkins, M; Kouete, M T; Browne, R K; Loader, S P; Gower, D J; Wilkinson, M W; Rödel, M O; Penner, J; Barej, M F; Schmitz, A; Plötner, J; Cunningham, A A

    2013-02-28

    Amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been hypothesised to be an indigenous parasite of African amphibians. In Cameroon, however, previous surveys in one region (in the northwest) failed to detect this pathogen, despite the earliest African Bd having been recorded from a frog in eastern Cameroon, plus one recent record in the far southeast. To reconcile these contrasting results, we present survey data from 12 localities across 6 regions of Cameroon from anurans (n = 1052) and caecilians (n = 85) of ca. 108 species. Bd was detected in 124 amphibian hosts at 7 localities, including Mt. Oku, Mt. Cameroon, Mt. Manengouba and lowland localities in the centre and west of the country. None of the hosts were observed dead or dying. Infected amphibian hosts were not detected in other localities in the south and eastern rainforest belt. Infection occurred in both anurans and caecilians, making this the first reported case of infection in the latter order (Gymnophiona) of amphibians. There was no significant difference between prevalence and infection intensity in frogs and caecilians. We highlight the importance of taking into account the inhibition of diagnostic qPCR in studies on Bd, based on all Bd-positive hosts being undetected when screened without bovine serum albumin in the qPCR mix. The status of Bd as an indigenous, cosmopolitan amphibian parasite in Africa, including Cameroon, is supported by this work. Isolating and sequencing strains of Bd from Cameroon should now be a priority. Longitudinal host population monitoring will be required to determine the effects, if any, of the infection on amphibians in Cameroon. PMID:23446968

  2. Amphibian biology and husbandry.

    PubMed

    Pough, F Harvey

    2007-01-01

    Extant amphibians comprise three lineages-- salamanders (Urodela or Caudata), frogs and toads (Anura), and caecilians (Gymnophiona, Apoda, or Caecilia)--which contain more than 6,000 species. Fewer than a dozen species of amphibians are commonly maintained in laboratory colonies, and the husbandry requirements for the vast majority of amphibians are poorly known. For these species, a review of basic characteristics of amphibian biology supplemented by inferences drawn from the morphological and physiological characteristics of the species in question provides a basis for decisions about housing and feeding. Amphibians are ectotherms, and their skin is permeable to water, ions, and respiratory gases. Most species are secretive and, in many cases, nocturnal. The essential characteristics of their environment include appropriate levels of humidity, temperature, and lighting as well as retreat sites. Terrestrial and arboreal species require moist substrates, water dishes, and high relative humidity. Because temperature requirements for most species are poorly known, it is advisable to use a temperature mosaic that will allow an animal to find an appropriate temperature within its cage. Photoperiod may affect physiology and behavior (especially reproduction and hibernation), and although the importance of ultraviolet light for calcium metabolism by amphibians is not yet known, ecological observations suggest that it might be important for some species of frogs. Some amphibians are territorial, and some use olfactory cues to mark their territory and to recognize other individuals of their species. All amphibians are carnivorous as adults, and the feeding response of many species is elicited by the movement of prey. Diets should include a mixture of prey species, and it may be advisable to load prey with vitamins and minerals. PMID:17592184

  3. On the origin of and phylogenetic relationships among living amphibians.

    PubMed

    Zardoya, R; Meyer, A

    2001-06-19

    The phylogenetic relationships among the three orders of modern amphibians (Caudata, Gymnophiona, and Anura) have been estimated based on both morphological and molecular evidence. Most morphological and paleontological studies of living and fossil amphibians support the hypothesis that salamanders and frogs are sister lineages (the Batrachia hypothesis) and that caecilians are more distantly related. Previous interpretations of molecular data based on nuclear and mitochondrial rRNA sequences suggested that salamanders and caecilians are sister groups to the exclusion of frogs. In an attempt to resolve this apparent conflict, the complete mitochondrial genomes of a salamander (Mertensiella luschani) and a caecilian (Typhlonectes natans) were determined (16,656 and 17,005 bp, respectively) and compared with previously published sequences from a frog (Xenopus laevis) and several other groups of vertebrates. Phylogenetic analyses of the mitochondrial data supported with high bootstrap values the monophyly of living amphibians with respect to other living groups of tetrapods, and a sister group relationship of salamanders and frogs. The lack of phylogenetically informative sites in the previous rRNA data sets (because of its shorter size and higher among-site rate variation) likely explains the discrepancy between our results and those based on previous molecular data. Strong support of the Batrachia hypothesis from both molecule- and morphology-based studies provides a robust phylogenetic framework that will be helpful to comparative studies among the three living orders of amphibians and will permit better understanding of the considerably divergent vertebral, brain, and digit developmental patterns found in frogs and salamanders. PMID:11390961

  4. Caecilian jaw-closing mechanics: integrating two muscle systems.

    PubMed

    Kleinteich, Thomas; Haas, Alexander; Summers, Adam P

    2008-12-01

    Caecilians (Lissamphibia: Gymnophiona) are unique among vertebrates in having two sets of jaw-closing muscles, one on either side of the jaw joint. Using data from high-resolution X-ray radiation computed tomography scans, we modelled the effect of these two muscle groups (mm. levatores mandibulae and m. interhyoideus posterior) on bite force over a range of gape angles, employing a simplified lever arm mechanism that takes into account muscle cross-sectional area and fibre angle. Measurements of lever arm lengths, muscle fibre orientations and physiological cross-sectional area of cranial muscles were available from three caecilian species: Ichthyophis cf. kohtaoensis; Siphonops annulatus; and Typhlonectes natans. The maximal gape of caecilians is restricted by a critical gape angle above which the mm. levatores mandibulae will open the jaw and destabilize the mandibular joint. The presence of destabilizing forces in the caecilian jaw mechanism may be compensated for by a mandibular joint in that the fossa is wrapped around the condyle to resist dislocation. The caecilian skull is streptostylic; the quadrate-squamosal complex moves with respect to the rest of the skull. This increases the leverage of the jaw-closing muscles. We also demonstrate that the unusual jaw joint requires streptostyly because there is a dorsolateral movement of the quadrate-squamosal complex when the jaw closes. The combination of the two jaw-closing systems results in high bite forces over a wide range of gape angles, an important advantage for generalist feeders such as caecilians. The relative sizes and leverage mechanics of the two closing systems allow one to exert more force when the other has a poor mechanical advantage. This effect is seen in all three species we examined. In the aquatic T. natans, with its less well-roofed skull, there is a larger contribution of the mm. levatores mandibulae to total bite force than in the terrestrial I. cf. kohtaoensis and S. annulatus. PMID

  5. The hyal and ventral branchial muscles in caecilian and salamander larvae: homologies and evolution.

    PubMed

    Kleinteich, Thomas; Haas, Alexander

    2011-05-01

    Amphibians (Lissamphibia) are characterized by a bi-phasic life-cycle that comprises an aquatic larval stage and metamorphosis to the adult. The ancestral aquatic feeding behavior of amphibian larvae is suction feeding. The negative pressure that is needed for ingestion of prey is created by depression of the hyobranchial apparatus as a result of hyobranchial muscle action. Understanding the homologies of hyobranchial muscles in amphibian larvae is a crucial step in understanding the evolution of this important character complex. However, the literature mostly focuses on the adult musculature and terms used for hyal and ventral branchial muscles in different amphibians often do not reflect homologies across lissamphibian orders. Here we describe the hyal and ventral branchial musculature in larvae of caecilians (Gymnophiona) and salamanders (Caudata), including juveniles of two permanently aquatic salamander species. Based on previous alternative terminology schemes, we propose a terminology for the hyal and ventral branchial muscles that reflects the homologies of muscles and that is suited for studies on hyobranchial muscle evolution in amphibians. We present a discussion of the hyal and ventral branchial muscles in larvae of the most recent common ancestor of amphibians (i.e. the ground plan of Lissamphibia). Based on our terminology, the hyal and ventral branchial musculature of caecilians and salamanders comprises the following muscles: m. depressor mandibulae, m. depressor mandibulae posterior, m. hyomandibularis, m. branchiohyoideus externus, m. interhyoideus, m. interhyoideus posterior, m. subarcualis rectus I, m. subarcualis obliquus II, m. subarcualis obliquus III, m. subarcualis rectus II-IV, and m. transversus ventralis IV. Except for the m. branchiohyoideus externus, all muscles considered herein can be assigned to the ground plan of the Lissamphibia with certainty. The m. branchiohyoideus externus is either apomorphic for the Batrachia (frogs

  6. On the evolution of arterial vascular patterns of tetrapods.

    PubMed

    Farmer, C G

    2011-11-01

    The factors that explain the diverse arrangement of the major arteries of tetrapods are not known. Here, I aim to illuminate some of the underpinnings of these patterns. I review the variation in the sauropsid left, right, and dorsal aortae regarding the origin of the gastrointestinal blood vessels and the relative diameters of left and right aortae where they join together to form the dorsal aorta. I focus on these features because the quality of blood that flows through these aortae can vary depending on the state of cardiac shunting and the size of the vessel can provide insight into the quantity of blood borne by the vessels. I then place the information in a phyletic, historical, and ecological context. The plesiomorphic pattern is for the gastrointestinal vessels to arise as segmental arteries from the dorsal aorta, which is formed from the confluence of left and right aortae with similar diameters. The pattern is well conserved with only two major variations. First, in several clades of reptiles (testudines, crocodilians, lizards of the genera Varanus and Hydrosaurus) a substantial portion of the gastrointestinal arteries arises from the left aorta, leaving the diameter of the left aorta smaller than the right at their confluence. I hypothesize that this vascular arrangement facilitates growth by allowing more alkaline blood to flow to the somatic (body wall) and appendicular circulations, which may promote bone deposition and inhibit resorption, whereas hypercapnic, acidic blood flows to the digestive viscera, which may provide CO(2) as a substrate for the synthesis of gastric acid, bicarbonate, fatty acids, glutamine, purine rings, as well as glucose from lactate. Second, in some snakes and lizards with snake-like body forms, such as Amphisbaenidae, the diameters of left and right aortae are asymmetrical at their confluence with the left aorta exceeding the right, but in members of the amphibian order Gymnophiona the right generally exceeds the left. This

  7. Marcello Malpighi and the discovery of the pulmonary capillaries and alveoli.

    PubMed

    West, John B

    2013-03-15

    Marcello Malpighi (1628-1694) was an Italian scientist who made outstanding contributions in many areas, including the anatomical basis of respiration in amphibia, mammals, and insects and also in the very different fields of embryology and botany. He was one of the first biologists to make use of the newly invented microscope and is best known as the discoverer of the pulmonary capillaries and alveoli. However, he also discovered the spiracles and tracheae that enable respiration in insects. His studies of the embryology of the chicken were far ahead of his time; he then turned to the anatomy of plants, where he made important contributions. Indeed, in some articles Malpighi is referred to as the father of embryology and in other publications as one of the fathers of plant anatomy. His work on the lung was chiefly carried out on the frog; he referred to this animal as the "microscope of nature" because it allowed him to see structures that were not visible in larger animals such as mammals. He also argued that nature undertakes its great works in larger animals after a series of attempts in lower animals. For breadth of interest, innovation, and productivity, it is not easy to think of his equal in the field of life sciences.

  8. Cenoses of phototrophic algae of ultrasaline lakes in the Kulunda steppe (Altai krai, Russian Federation)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sapozhnikov, Ph. V.; Kalinina, O. Yu.; Nikitin, M. A.; Samylina, O. S.

    2016-01-01

    In 2012, expeditions of the Institute of Microbiology, Russian Academy of Sciences, delivered samples of algo-bacterial mats from Kulunda steppe alkaline lakes (Petukhovskoe alkaline lake, Tanatar VI, and Gorchina III). The filamentous alga Ctenocladus circinnatus (Chlorophyta) acted as an edificator of the mats. The composition of cenoses algocomponents also included chlorophytes Dunaliella viridis and Picocystis salinarum as well as diatoms Anomeoneis sphaerophora, Brachysira brebissonii, B. zellensis, Mastogloia pusilla var. subcapitata, Nitzschia amphibia, N. cf. communis, and Nitzschia sp. 1. The composition and structure of phototrophic algae cenoses (including diatom taxocenes) were described for the investigated lakes for the first time. For the period from 2011 to 2012, the total mineralization significantly increased in lakes. This involved sensible alterations of cenoses. B. zellensis was the most permanent component of diatom taxocenes in both seasons. In the summer of 2011, it was often accompanied by A. sphaerophora and B. brebissonii. In the summer of 2012, A. sphaerophora was found only singularly in Lake Gorchina III, and some biotopes of Lake Tanatar VI were massively inhabited by N. cf. communis, including colonies that had not been previously described for the species. The genetic analysis of three diatoms, which are markedly different from each other in their appearance and were sampled from different lakes but were all determined as Nitzschia cf. communis, showed their complete similarity to each other with the 18S rRNA gene fragment and the highest similarity of all the three diatoms with the species Nitzschia communis.

  9. Proteome analysis of the liver in the Chinese fire-bellied newt Cynops orientalis.

    PubMed

    Zang, X Y; Guo, J L; Geng, X F; Li, P F; Sun, J Y; Wang, Q W; Xu, C S

    2016-01-01

    The Chinese fire-bellied newt, Cynops orientalis, belonging to Amphibia, Caudata, Salamandridae is a species endemic to China. The liver, which is an important digestive gland and the largest amphibian organ, has various functions, including detoxification, glycogen storage, protein synthesis, and hormone production. However, the newt liver has rarely been studied at the molecular level. We performed histomorphology and high-throughput proteomic analysis of the Chinese fire-bellied newt liver, using hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining and two-dimensional electrophoresis coupled with mass spectrometry. The H&E staining showed that the newt liver nuclei are large and round, are located in the lateral cytoplasm, and contain a large quantity of lipid droplets. Melanins were abundantly present throughout the hepatic parenchyma. The proteome analysis showed a total of 545 proteins detected in the newt liver. Furthermore, a gene ontology analysis suggested that these proteins were associated with metabolism, immune response, cellular homeostasis, etc. Among these, proteins with metabolic functions were found to be the most abundant and highly expressed. This supports the role of the liver as the metabolic center. The proteomic results provide new insights into the aspects of the liver proteomes of the Chinese fire-bellied newt. The identification of a more global liver proteome in the newt may provide a basis for characterizing and comparing the liver proteomes from other amphibian species. PMID:27525932

  10. Drought, deluge and declines: the impact of precipitation extremes on amphibians in a changing climate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Walls, Susan C.; Barichivich, William J.; Brown, Mary E.

    2013-01-01

    The Class Amphibia is one of the most severely impacted taxa in an on-going global biodiversity crisis. Because amphibian reproduction is tightly associated with the presence of water, climatic changes that affect water availability pose a particularly menacing threat to both aquatic and terrestrial-breeding amphibians. We explore the impacts that one facet of climate change—that of extreme variation in precipitation—may have on amphibians. This variation is manifested principally as increases in the incidence and severity of both drought and major storm events. We stress the need to consider not only total precipitation amounts but also the pattern and timing of rainfall events. Such rainfall “pulses” are likely to become increasingly more influential on amphibians, especially in relation to seasonal reproduction. Changes in reproductive phenology can strongly influence the outcome of competitive and predatory interactions, thus potentially altering community dynamics in assemblages of co-existing species. We present a conceptual model to illustrate possible landscape and metapopulation consequences of alternative climate change scenarios for pond-breeding amphibians, using the Mole Salamander, Ambystoma talpoideum, as an example. Although amphibians have evolved a variety of life history strategies that enable them to cope with environmental uncertainty, it is unclear whether adaptations can keep pace with the escalating rate of climate change. Climate change, especially in combination with other stressors, is a daunting challenge for the persistence of amphibians and, thus, the conservation of global biodiversity.

  11. Amphibians do not follow Bergmann's rule.

    PubMed

    Adams, Dean C; Church, James O

    2008-02-01

    The tendency for organisms to be larger in cooler climates (Bergmann's rule) is widely observed in endotherms, and has been reputed to apply to some ectotherms including amphibians. However, recent reports provide conflicting support for the pattern, questioning whether Bergmann's clines are generally present in amphibians. In this study, we measured 96,996 adult Plethodon from 3974 populations to test for the presence of Bergmann's clines in these salamanders. Only three Plethodon species exhibited a significant negative correlation between body size and temperature consistent with Bergmann's rule, whereas 37 of 40 species did not display a pattern consistent with this prediction. Further, a phylogenetic comparative analysis found no relationship between body size and temperature among species. A meta-analysis combining our data with the available data for other amphibian species revealed no support for Bergmann's rule at the genus (Plethodon), order (Caudata), or class (Amphibia) levels. Our findings strongly suggest that negative thermal body size clines are not common in amphibians, and we conclude that Bergmann's rule is not generally applicable to these taxa. Thus, evolutionary explanations of Bergmann's clines in other tetrapods need not account for unique life-history attributes of amphibians.

  12. Biogeographic analysis reveals ancient continental vicariance and recent oceanic dispersal in amphibians.

    PubMed

    Pyron, R Alexander

    2014-09-01

    Amphibia comprises over 7000 extant species distributed in almost every ecosystem on every continent except Antarctica. Most species also show high specificity for particular habitats, biomes, or climatic niches, seemingly rendering long-distance dispersal unlikely. Indeed, many lineages still seem to show the signature of their Pangaean origin, approximately 300 Ma later. To date, no study has attempted a large-scale historical-biogeographic analysis of the group to understand the distribution of extant lineages. Here, I use an updated chronogram containing 3309 species (∼ 45% of extant diversity) to reconstruct their movement between 12 global ecoregions. I find that Pangaean origin and subsequent Laurasian and Gondwanan fragmentation explain a large proportion of patterns in the distribution of extant species. However, dispersal during the Cenozoic, likely across land bridges or short distances across oceans, has also exerted a strong influence. Finally, there are at least three strongly supported instances of long-distance oceanic dispersal between former Gondwanan landmasses during the Cenozoic. Extinction from intervening areas seems to be a strong factor in shaping present-day distributions. Dispersal and extinction from and between ecoregions are apparently tied to the evolution of extraordinarily adaptive expansion-oriented phenotypes that allow lineages to easily colonize new areas and diversify, or conversely, to extremely specialized phenotypes or heavily relictual climatic niches that result in strong geographic localization and limited diversification.

  13. Drought, deluge and declines: the impact of precipitation extremes on amphibians in a changing climate.

    PubMed

    Walls, Susan C; Barichivich, William J; Brown, Mary E

    2013-03-11

    The Class Amphibia is one of the most severely impacted taxa in an on-going global biodiversity crisis. Because amphibian reproduction is tightly associated with the presence of water, climatic changes that affect water availability pose a particularly menacing threat to both aquatic and terrestrial-breeding amphibians. We explore the impacts that one facet of climate change-that of extreme variation in precipitation-may have on amphibians. This variation is manifested principally as increases in the incidence and severity of both drought and major storm events. We stress the need to consider not only total precipitation amounts but also the pattern and timing of rainfall events. Such rainfall "pulses" are likely to become increasingly more influential on amphibians, especially in relation to seasonal reproduction. Changes in reproductive phenology can strongly influence the outcome of competitive and predatory interactions, thus potentially altering community dynamics in assemblages of co-existing species. We present a conceptual model to illustrate possible landscape and metapopulation consequences of alternative climate change scenarios for pond-breeding amphibians, using the Mole Salamander, Ambystoma talpoideum, as an example. Although amphibians have evolved a variety of life history strategies that enable them to cope with environmental uncertainty, it is unclear whether adaptations can keep pace with the escalating rate of climate change. Climate change, especially in combination with other stressors, is a daunting challenge for the persistence of amphibians and, thus, the conservation of global biodiversity.

  14. Saving the best for last: Differential usage of impaled prey by red-backed shrike (Lanius collurio) during the breeding season.

    PubMed

    Morelli, Federico; Bussière, Raphaël; Goławski, Artur; Tryjanowski, Piotr; Yosef, Reuven

    2015-10-01

    We compared the prey composition of the red-backed shrike's (Lanius collurio) larders in agricultural habitats in Italy, France and Poland. This species exhibits the behaviour of impaling prey in larders, a behaviour attributed not only to storing food, but also as a social indication for sexual selection and/or demarcation of territories. A total of 426 impaled items were identified in 244 larders. Most common prey were identified for each country: Insecta (Hymenoptera) in Italy, Amphibia, Insecta (Diptera) and Clitellata in Poland, and Insecta (Orthoptera, Lepidoptera) in France. We found no relationship between type of prey impaled and height of impalement, however, we noted a negative relationship between the height of impalement and the distance to the nearest road. Furthermore, impaled toxic prey were found in all three countries, strengthening the possibility that prey are exposed to expedite the degradation of toxins or used as a social signal. Our results showed that the average weight of impaled prey was greater during the last reproductive stage (hatching and feeding young), providing evidence of differential usage of impaled prey during the breeding season. We therefore hypothesize that larger animals provide more energy, then vertebrates are preferred to invertebrates, especially when parents are feeding their nestlings.

  15. Complete nucleotide sequence of the mitochondrial genome of a salamander, Mertensiella luschani.

    PubMed

    Zardoya, Rafael; Malaga-Trillo, Edward; Veith, Michael; Meyer, Axel

    2003-10-23

    The complete nucleotide sequence (16,650 bp) of the mitochondrial genome of the salamander Mertensiella luschani (Caudata, Amphibia) was determined. This molecule conforms to the consensus vertebrate mitochondrial gene order. However, it is characterized by a long non-coding intervening sequence with two 124-bp repeats between the tRNA(Thr) and tRNA(Pro) genes. The new sequence data were used to reconstruct a phylogeny of jawed vertebrates. Phylogenetic analyses of all mitochondrial protein-coding genes at the amino acid level recovered a robust vertebrate tree in which lungfishes are the closest living relatives of tetrapods, salamanders and frogs are grouped together to the exclusion of caecilians (the Batrachia hypothesis) in a monophyletic amphibian clade, turtles show diapsid affinities and are placed as sister group of crocodiles+birds, and the marsupials are grouped together with monotremes and basal to placental mammals. The deduced phylogeny was used to characterize the molecular evolution of vertebrate mitochondrial proteins. Amino acid frequencies were analyzed across the main lineages of jawed vertebrates, and leucine and cysteine were found to be the most and least abundant amino acids in mitochondrial proteins, respectively. Patterns of amino acid replacements were conserved among vertebrates. Overall, cartilaginous fishes showed the least variation in amino acid frequencies and replacements. Constancy of rates of evolution among the main lineages of jawed vertebrates was rejected.

  16. [Recapitulation in the development of the components of the counterflow system in the vertebrate metanephros].

    PubMed

    Krutsiak, V N; Kokoshchuk, G I; Kalugin, V A; Proniaev, V I; Akhtemiĭchuk, Iu T

    1988-02-01

    The investigation has been performed on 107 renal preparations obtained from persons of various age (from 5-month-old fetuses up to 45 years of age), certain representatives of other classes of the Vertebrata are also included: fish, amphibia, reptile and mammalia at various stages of pre- and postnatal periods of ontogenesis by means of preparing graphic and plastic reconstructive models, histological investigation and microdissection. The complexity of the intrarenal branching of derivatives of the mesonephric duct diverticulum, development and structure of the canalicular part in nephrons directly depend on the phylogenetic position of the animal. Complexity of the nephron architectonics occurs along the progressive line of taxonomic groups of higher Vertebrata. The nephron loop becomes longer, thin segment of the nephron canalicular part increases in its length and, at last, in mammalia a cone-shaped fasciculus appears as a structural-functional unit of the osmoregulating apparatus of the constant kidney. In the comparative anatomical and comparative embryological aspects recapitulation is observed concerning certain morphological signs of derivatives of the metanephric duct and nephron.

  17. Ecological risk assessment of endocrine disruptors.

    PubMed Central

    Hutchinson, T H; Brown, R; Brugger, K E; Campbell, P M; Holt, M; Länge, R; McCahon, P; Tattersfield, L J; van Egmond, R

    2000-01-01

    The European Centre for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals proposes a tiered approach for the ecological risk assessment of endocrine disruptors, integrating exposure and hazard (effects) characterization. Exposure assessment for endocrine disruptors should direct specific tests for wildlife species, placing hazard data into a risk assessment context. Supplementing the suite of mammalian screens now under Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) validation, high priority should be given to developing a fish screening assay for detecting endocrine activity in oviparous species. Taking into account both exposure characterization and alerts from endocrine screening, higher tier tests are also a priority for defining adverse effects. We propose that in vivo mammalian and fish assays provide a comprehensive screening battery for diverse hormonal functions (including androgen, estrogen, and thyroid hormone), whereas Amphibia should be considered at higher tiers if there are exposure concerns. Higher tier endocrine-disruptor testing should include fish development and fish reproduction tests, whereas a full life-cycle test could be subsequently used to refine aquatic risk assessments when necessary. For avian risk assessment, the new OECD Japanese quail reproduction test guideline provides a valuable basis for developing a test to detecting endocrine-mediated reproductive effects; this species could be used, where necessary, for an avian life-cycle test. For aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates, data from existing developmental and reproductive tests remain of high value for ecological risk assessment. High priority should be given to research into comparative endocrine physiology of invertebrates to support data extrapolation to this diverse fauna. PMID:11102288

  18. Molecular and Functional Characterization of Thioredoxin 1 from Korean Rose Bitterling (Rhodeus uyekii)

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Julan; Moon, Ji Young; Kim, Woo-Jin; Kim, Dong-Gyun; Nam, Bo-Hye; Kim, Young-Ok; Park, Jung Youn; An, Cheul Min; Kong, Hee Jeong

    2015-01-01

    Thioredoxin is a multifunctional antioxidant enzyme that belongs to the reductase family. In this study, we cloned and characterized thioredoxin 1 cDNA from the Korean rose bitterling Rhodeus uyekii (RuTrx). The full-length RuTrx cDNA consists of 674 bp with a 324 nt open reading frame (ORF) encoding a 107 aa protein. The deduced RuTrx amino acid sequence indicated a characteristic redox active site, 31WCGPC35. Pairwise alignment revealed RuTrx amino acid identity (55.1%–83.2%) with orthologs from various species of mammalia, amphibia, fish and bird. Phylogenetic analysis was conducted to determine the evolutionary position of RuTrx. Expression analysis showed that RuTrx transcripts were present in all of the tissues examined, and was high in the hepatopancreas of R. uyekii. During early development, the expression of RuTrx transcripts was increased. Recombinant RuTrx protein (rRuTrx) was tested for its capacity to serve as an antioxidant enzyme using a metal-catalyzed oxidation (MCO) system. The ability of rRuTrx to protect against supercoiled DNA cleavage due to oxidative nicking increased in a dose-dependent manner. In Raw264.7 cells, Dihydroethidium (DHE) staining for ROS production indicated the antioxidant activity of rRuTrx. Together, these findings suggest that RuTrx may play a role in maintaining the redox state balance in Korean rose bitterling R. uyekii. PMID:26287186

  19. Evolution of the Vertebrate Resistin Gene Family

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Qingda; Tan, Huanran; Irwin, David M.

    2015-01-01

    Resistin (encoded by Retn) was previously identified in rodents as a hormone associated with diabetes; however human resistin is instead linked to inflammation. Resistin is a member of a small gene family that includes the resistin-like peptides (encoded by Retnl genes) in mammals. Genomic searches of available genome sequences of diverse vertebrates and phylogenetic analyses were conducted to determine the size and origin of the resistin-like gene family. Genes encoding peptides similar to resistin were found in Mammalia, Sauria, Amphibia, and Actinistia (coelacanth, a lobe-finned fish), but not in Aves or fish from Actinopterygii, Chondrichthyes, or Agnatha. Retnl originated by duplication and transposition from Retn on the early mammalian lineage after divergence of the platypus, but before the placental and marsupial mammal divergence. The resistin-like gene family illustrates an instance where the locus of origin of duplicated genes can be identified, with Retn continuing to reside at this location. Mammalian species typically have a single copy Retn gene, but are much more variable in their numbers of Retnl genes, ranging from 0 to 9. Since Retn is located at the locus of origin, thus likely retained the ancestral expression pattern, largely maintained its copy number, and did not display accelerated evolution, we suggest that it is more likely to have maintained an ancestral function, while Retnl, which transposed to a new location, displays accelerated evolution, and shows greater variability in gene number, including gene loss, likely evolved new, but potentially lineage-specific, functions. PMID:26076481

  20. Expression of acid phosphatase in the seminiferous epithelium of vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Peruquetti, R L; Taboga, S R; Azeredo-Oliveira, M T V

    2010-01-01

    Acid phosphatases (AcPs) are known to provide phosphate to tissues that have high energy requirements, especially during development, growth and maturation. During spermatogenesis AcP activity is manifested in heterophagous lysosomes of Sertoli cells. This phagocytic function appears to be hormone-independent. We examined the expression pattern of AcP during the reproductive period of four species belonging to different vertebrate groups: Tilapia rendalli (Teleostei, Cichlidae), Dendropsophus minutus (Amphibia, Anura), Meriones unguiculatus (Mammalia, Rodentia), and Oryctolagus cuniculus (Mammalia, Lagomorpha). To demonstrate AcP activity, cryosections were processed for enzyme histochemistry by a modification of the method of Gömöri. AcP activity was similar in the testes of these four species. Testes of T. rendalli, D. minutus and M. unguiculatus showed an intense reaction in the Sertoli cell region. AcP activity was detected in the testes of D. minutus and O. cuniculus in seminiferous epithelium regions, where cells are found in more advanced stages of development. The seminiferous epithelium of all four species exhibited AcP activity, mainly in the cytoplasm of either Sertoli cells or germ cells. These findings reinforce the importance of AcP activity during the spermatogenesis process in vertebrates. PMID:20391346

  1. Drought, Deluge and Declines: The Impact of Precipitation Extremes on Amphibians in a Changing Climate

    PubMed Central

    Walls, Susan C.; Barichivich, William J.; Brown, Mary E.

    2013-01-01

    The Class Amphibia is one of the most severely impacted taxa in an on-going global biodiversity crisis. Because amphibian reproduction is tightly associated with the presence of water, climatic changes that affect water availability pose a particularly menacing threat to both aquatic and terrestrial-breeding amphibians. We explore the impacts that one facet of climate change—that of extreme variation in precipitation—may have on amphibians. This variation is manifested principally as increases in the incidence and severity of both drought and major storm events. We stress the need to consider not only total precipitation amounts but also the pattern and timing of rainfall events. Such rainfall “pulses” are likely to become increasingly more influential on amphibians, especially in relation to seasonal reproduction. Changes in reproductive phenology can strongly influence the outcome of competitive and predatory interactions, thus potentially altering community dynamics in assemblages of co-existing species. We present a conceptual model to illustrate possible landscape and metapopulation consequences of alternative climate change scenarios for pond-breeding amphibians, using the Mole Salamander, Ambystoma talpoideum, as an example. Although amphibians have evolved a variety of life history strategies that enable them to cope with environmental uncertainty, it is unclear whether adaptations can keep pace with the escalating rate of climate change. Climate change, especially in combination with other stressors, is a daunting challenge for the persistence of amphibians and, thus, the conservation of global biodiversity. PMID:24832668

  2. Structural and functional analogs of the novel mammalian neuropeptide, neuromedin S (NmS), in the dermal venoms of Eurasian bombinid toads.

    PubMed

    Chen, Tianbao; Zhou, Mei; Walker, Brian; Harriot, Pat; Mori, Kenji; Miyazato, Mikiya; Kangawa, Kenji; Shaw, Chris

    2006-06-23

    We report the isolation and structural characterization of two neuromedin S (NmS) analogs, (NmS-17 and NmS-33), from the dermal venoms of Eurasian bombinid toads. NmS is a novel neuromedin U (NmU)-related peptide with potent anorexigenic and circadian rhythm-modulating properties recently discovered in mammals. Cloning of NmS precursor-encoding cDNAs from skin venom-derived libraries revealed the presence of a high degree of transcript splice variation comparable to that found previously for NmU in both amphibian skin and mammalian brain. Synthetic replicates of both amphibian NmS peptides evoked robust and dose-dependent transient increases in intracellular calcium ion concentrations in CHO cells that had been stably transfected with either FM-3/GPR66 or FM-4/TGR-1 human NmU receptors. The potency and efficacy of these amphibian skin peptides at such receptors were comparable to those observed with human NmS and rat NmS. These data show that NmS and NmU genes had already diverged at the level of the Amphibia and that differential splicing of their transcribed mRNAs has been highly conserved throughout tetrapod vertebrate evolution indicative of fundamental biological function. NmS is additionally a novel neuropeptide homolog that can be added to the biologically active peptide arsenal of amphibian venom/defensive skin secretions.

  3. Pathogenesis of infantile hemangiomas.

    PubMed

    Uihlein, Lily Changchien; Liang, Marilyn G; Mulliken, John B

    2012-08-01

    1.Review the key features of the life cycle of infantile hemangiomas.2.Highlight cellular and molecular pathways involved in hemangioma-genesis.3.Discuss theories that may account for hemangioma-genesis.In the past, it was believed that a mother's visual impressions or behavior during pregnancy caused the growth of infantile hemangioma in her unborn child. She might have had an excessive craving for strawberries, witnessed the slaughter of an animal, directly contacted human or animal blood, or mocked a child with a similar birthmark.1 This folklore began to slowly fade once hemangiomas were examined through the light microscope. In 1863, Virchow2 suggested that hemangiomas are composed of proliferating new blood vessels resulting from progressive irritation of tissue. In 1933, Laidlow and Murray3 proposed a phylogenetic origin for hemangiomas and hypothesized that hemangiomas are remnants of vascular tufts functioning as accessory lungs for primitive amphibia. Pack and Miller4 (1950) hypothesized that hemangiomas develop from embryonic islands of angioblastic cells that were isolated from the systemic vasculature during fetal development. PMID:22881413

  4. Chapter 9: understanding the nervous system in the 18th century.

    PubMed

    Smith, Christopher U M

    2010-01-01

    The 18th century was an age of transition. The time-honored neuropsychology of classical and medieval times, mechanized in Descartes' hydraulic neurophysiology, was undermined by microscopical observations and careful physiological experimentation. Yet it was not until the very end of the century, when work on electric fish and amphibia began to suggest an acceptable successor to "animal spirit," that the old understanding of human neurophysiology began to fade. This chapter traces this slow retreat from the iatrophysics of the early part of the century, with its hollow nerves and animal spirits, through a number of stop-gap explanations involving mysterious subtle fluids or forces described variously as irritability, élan vital, vis viva, vis insita, the spirit of animation etc., or perhaps involving vibrations and vibratiuncles and mysterious magnetic effluvia, to the dawning electrophysiology of the end of the century and the beginning of the next. This developing understanding filtered slowly through to affect medical education, and the 18th century saw the development of strong medical schools at Leiden, Edinburgh, Paris, Bologna and London. Associated with these developments there was a great increase, as a well-known physician looking back at the beginning of the following century noted, in a class of diseases that had little concerned physicians in the preceding century - "nervous disorders."

  5. Assessing the Legacy of Red Mud Pollution in a Shallow Freshwater Lake: Arsenic Accumulation and Speciation in Macrophytes.

    PubMed

    Olszewska, Justyna P; Meharg, Andrew A; Heal, Kate V; Carey, Manus; Gunn, Iain D M; Searle, Kate R; Winfield, Ian J; Spears, Bryan M

    2016-09-01

    Little is known about long-term ecological responses in lakes following red mud pollution. Among red mud contaminants, arsenic (As) is of considerable concern. Determination of the species of As accumulated in aquatic organisms provides important information about the biogeochemical cycling of the element and transfer through the aquatic food-web to higher organisms. We used coupled ion chromatography and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) to assess As speciation in tissues of five macrophyte taxa in Kinghorn Loch, U.K., 30 years following the diversion of red mud pollution from the lake. Toxic inorganic As was the dominant species in the studied macrophytes, with As species concentrations varying with macrophyte taxon and tissue type. The highest As content measured in roots of Persicaria amphibia (L.) Gray (87.2 mg kg(-1)) greatly exceeded the 3-10 mg kg(-1) range suggested as a potential phytotoxic level. Accumulation of toxic As species by plants suggested toxicological risk to higher organisms known to utilize macrophytes as a food source. PMID:27415607

  6. Stepwise enrichment of 15N along food chains: Further evidence and the relation between δ 15N and animal age

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minagawa, Masao; Wada, Eitaro

    1984-05-01

    The isotopic composition of nitrogen was measured in marine and fresh-water animals from the East China Sea, The Bering Sea, Lake Ashinoko and Usujiri intertidal zone. Primary producers, showed average δ15Nversus atmospheric nitrogen of +5.0%. (+3.4 to +7.5) in the Bering Sea and Lake Ashinoko, and +6.8%. (+6.0 to +7.6) in Usujiri intertidal zone. Blue green algae from the East China Sea show an average -0.55%. (-0.8 to +1.2). All consumers, Zooplankton, fish and bird exhibited Stepwise enrichment of 15N with increasing trophic level. The 15N enrichment at a single feeding process ranged from +1.3 to +5.3 averaging +3.4 ± 1.1%.. This isotopic fractionation seems to be independent of habitat. The effect of age in animals was obtained by analyzing two marine mussels. The soft tissue nitrogen showed +2.0%. enrichment relative to that of primary producers, and the magnitude was almost constant with shell ages ranging from 0 to 8 years. A similar 15N enrichment occurs in all Molluscs, Crustaceans, Insecta, Amphibia, Fish, Ave and Mammal species regardless of the difference in the form of excreted nitrogen and in laboratory cultured fish, brine shrimp and mice (+2.9 to +4.9%.). The excreted ammonia from guppy was sufficiently light to balance the concentration of 15N to animal body.

  7. A microcosm system to evaluate the toxicity of the triazine herbicide simazine on aquatic macrophytes.

    PubMed

    Vervliet-Scheebaum, Marco; Straus, Alain; Tremp, Horst; Hamer, Mick; Maund, Stephen J; Wagner, Edgar; Schulz, Ralf

    2010-02-01

    This study evaluates the effects of the triazine herbicide simazine in an outdoor pond microcosm test system that contained two submerged rooted species (Myriophyllum spicatum and Elodea canadensis) and two emergent rooted species (Persicaria amphibia and Glyceria maxima) over a period of 84 days. Simazine was applied to the microcosms at nominal concentrations of 0.05, 0.5 and 5 mg/L. General biological endpoints and physiological endpoints were used to evaluate herbicide toxicity on macrophytes and the algae developing naturally in the system. Concentration-related responses of macrophytes and algae were obtained for the endpoints selected, resulting in a no observed ecologically adverse effect concentration (NOEAEC) at simazine concentrations of 0.05 mg active ingredient/L after 84 days. E. canadensis was the most negatively affected species based on length increase, which was consistently a very sensitive parameter for all macrophytes. The experimental design presented might constitute a suitable alternative to conventional laboratory single-species testing. PMID:19800719

  8. Combinatorial Fgf and Bmp signalling patterns the gastrula ectoderm into prospective neural and epidermal domains

    PubMed Central

    Kudoh, Tetsuhiro; Concha, Miguel L.; Houart, Corinne; Dawid, Igor B.; Wilson, Stephen W.

    2009-01-01

    Summary Studies in fish and amphibia have shown that graded Bmp signalling activity regulates dorsal-to-ventral (DV) patterning of the gastrula embryo. In the ectoderm, it is thought that high levels of Bmp activity promote epidermal development ventrally, whereas secreted Bmp antagonists emanating from the organiser induce neural tissue dorsally. However, in zebrafish embryos, the domain of cells destined to contribute to the spinal cord extends all the way to the ventral side of the gastrula, a long way from the organiser. We show that in vegetal (trunk and tail) regions of the zebrafish gastrula, neural specification is initiated at all DV positions of the ectoderm in a manner that is unaffected by levels of Bmp activity and independent of organiser-derived signals. Instead, we find that Fgf activity is required to induce vegetal prospective neural markers and can do so without suppressing Bmp activity. We further show that Bmp signalling does occur within the vegetal prospective neural domain and that Bmp activity promotes the adoption of caudal fate by this tissue. PMID:15262889

  9. A myogenic precursor cell that could contribute to regeneration in zebrafish and its similarity to the satellite cell.

    PubMed

    Siegel, Ashley L; Gurevich, David B; Currie, Peter D

    2013-09-01

    The cellular basis for mammalian muscle regeneration has been an area of intense investigation over recent decades. The consensus is that a specialized self-renewing stem cell, termed the satellite cell, plays a major role during the process of regeneration in amniotes. How broadly this mechanism is deployed within the vertebrate phylogeny remains an open question. A lack of information on the role of cells analogous to the satellite cell in other vertebrate systems is even more unexpected given the fact that satellite cells were first designated in frogs. An intriguing aspect of this debate is that a number of amphibia and many fish species exhibit epimorphic regenerative processes in specific tissues, whereby regeneration occurs by the dedifferentiation of the damaged tissue, without deploying specialized stem cell populations analogous to satellite cells. Hence, it is feasible that a cellular process completely distinct from that deployed during mammalian muscle regeneration could operate in species capable of epimorphic regeneration. In this minireview, we examine the evidence for the broad phylogenetic distribution of satellite cells. We conclude that, in the vertebrates examined so far, epimorphosis does not appear to be deployed during muscle regeneration, and that analogous cells expressing similar marker genes to satellite cells appear to be deployed during the regenerative process. However, the functional definition of these cells as self-renewing muscle stem cells remains a final hurdle to the definition of the satellite cell as a generic vertebrate cell type.

  10. Tyrosine Recombinase Retrotransposons and Transposons.

    PubMed

    Poulter, Russell T M; Butler, Margi I

    2015-04-01

    Retrotransposons carrying tyrosine recombinases (YR) are widespread in eukaryotes. The first described tyrosine recombinase mobile element, DIRS1, is a retroelement from the slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum. The YR elements are bordered by terminal repeats related to their replication via free circular dsDNA intermediates. Site-specific recombination is believed to integrate the circle without creating duplications of the target sites. Recently a large number of YR retrotransposons have been described, including elements from fungi (mucorales and basidiomycetes), plants (green algae) and a wide range of animals including nematodes, insects, sea urchins, fish, amphibia and reptiles. YR retrotransposons can be divided into three major groups: the DIRS elements, PAT-like and the Ngaro elements. The three groups form distinct clades on phylogenetic trees based on alignments of reverse transcriptase/ribonuclease H (RT/RH) and YR sequences, and also having some structural distinctions. A group of eukaryote DNA transposons, cryptons, also carry tyrosine recombinases. These DNA transposons do not encode a reverse transcriptase. They have been detected in several pathogenic fungi and oomycetes. Sequence comparisons suggest that the crypton YRs are related to those of the YR retrotransposons. We suggest that the YR retrotransposons arose from the combination of a crypton-like YR DNA transposon and the RT/RH encoding sequence of a retrotransposon. This acquisition must have occurred at a very early point in the evolution of eukaryotes. PMID:26104693

  11. Biogeographical consequences of Cenozoic tectonic events within East Asian margins: a case study of Hynobius biogeography.

    PubMed

    Li, Jun; Fu, Cuizhang; Lei, Guangchun

    2011-01-01

    Few studies have explored the role of Cenozoic tectonic evolution in shaping patterns and processes of extant animal distributions within East Asian margins. We select Hynobius salamanders (Amphibia: Hynobiidae) as a model to examine biogeographical consequences of Cenozoic tectonic events within East Asian margins. First, we use GenBank molecular data to reconstruct phylogenetic interrelationships of Hynobius by bayesian and maximum likelihood analyses. Second, we estimate the divergence time using the bayesian relaxed clock approach and infer dispersal/vicariance histories under the 'dispersal-extinction-cladogenesis' model. Finally, we test whether evolutionary history and biogeographical processes of Hynobius should coincide with the predictions of two major hypotheses (the 'vicariance'/'out of southwestern Japan' hypothesis). The resulting phylogeny confirmed Hynobius as a monophyletic group, which could be divided into nine major clades associated with six geographical areas. Our results show that: (1) the most recent common ancestor of Hynobius was distributed in southwestern Japan and Hokkaido Island, (2) a sister taxon relationship between Hynobius retardatus and all remaining species was the results of a vicariance event between Hokkaido Island and southwestern Japan in the Middle Eocene, (3) ancestral Hynobius in southwestern Japan dispersed into the Taiwan Island, central China, 'Korean Peninsula and northeastern China' as well as northeastern Honshu during the Late Eocene-Late Miocene. Our findings suggest that Cenozoic tectonic evolution plays an important role in shaping disjunctive distributions of extant Hynobius within East Asian margins.

  12. Illumination controls differentiation of dopamine neurons regulating behaviour.

    PubMed

    Dulcis, Davide; Spitzer, Nicholas C

    2008-11-13

    Specification of the appropriate neurotransmitter is a crucial step in neuronal differentiation because it enables signalling among populations of neurons. Experimental manipulations demonstrate that both autonomous and activity-dependent genetic programs contribute to this process during development, but whether natural environmental stimuli specify transmitter expression in a neuronal population is unknown. We investigated neurons of the ventral suprachiasmatic nucleus that regulate neuroendocrine pituitary function in response to light in teleosts, amphibia and primates. Here we show that altering light exposure, which changes the sensory input to the circuit controlling adaptation of skin pigmentation to background, changes the number of neurons expressing dopamine in larvae of the amphibian Xenopus laevis in a circuit-specific and activity-dependent manner. Neurons newly expressing dopamine then regulate changes in camouflage colouration in response to illumination. Thus, physiological activity alters the numbers of behaviourally relevant amine-transmitter-expressing neurons in the brain at postembryonic stages of development. The results may be pertinent to changes in cognitive states that are regulated by biogenic amines. PMID:19005547

  13. Marcello Malpighi and the discovery of the pulmonary capillaries and alveoli.

    PubMed

    West, John B

    2013-03-15

    Marcello Malpighi (1628-1694) was an Italian scientist who made outstanding contributions in many areas, including the anatomical basis of respiration in amphibia, mammals, and insects and also in the very different fields of embryology and botany. He was one of the first biologists to make use of the newly invented microscope and is best known as the discoverer of the pulmonary capillaries and alveoli. However, he also discovered the spiracles and tracheae that enable respiration in insects. His studies of the embryology of the chicken were far ahead of his time; he then turned to the anatomy of plants, where he made important contributions. Indeed, in some articles Malpighi is referred to as the father of embryology and in other publications as one of the fathers of plant anatomy. His work on the lung was chiefly carried out on the frog; he referred to this animal as the "microscope of nature" because it allowed him to see structures that were not visible in larger animals such as mammals. He also argued that nature undertakes its great works in larger animals after a series of attempts in lower animals. For breadth of interest, innovation, and productivity, it is not easy to think of his equal in the field of life sciences. PMID:23377345

  14. [Phytoplankton community structure and eutrophication risk assessment of Beijiang River].

    PubMed

    Gou, Ting; Ma, Qian-Li; Xu, Zhen-Cheng; Wang, Li; Li, Jie; Zhao, Xue-Min

    2015-03-01

    To study the distribution of phytoplankton and water quality of Beijiang River, the community structure of phytoplankton was investigated and analyzed in wet and dry seasons. The results showed that a total of 74 species belonging to six phyla, 29 family and 48 genera of phytoplankton were identified, including 58 species of five phyla, 23 family and 41 genera in wet season and 59 species of six phyla, 26 family and 40 genera in dry season. Phytoplankton community structure in Beijiang River was represented by Bacillariophyta, Chlorophyta and Cyanophyta. Bacillariophyta dominanted the phytoplankton, and the dominant species were Aulacoseira granulate, Fragilaria virescens, Surirella biseriata, Nitzschia amphibia, Navicula simplex, Cyclotella meneghiniana, Synedra ulna, Gomphonema angustatum and Cymbella tumida. There was little difference in phytoplankton density between both seasons with the mean values being 3.54 x 10(5) and 4.87 x 10(5) cells L(-1) in dry and wet seasons, respectively. Based on the RDA results, DO, permanganate index, nitrogen and phosphorus were the important environmental factors affecting the distribution of phytoplankton in Beijiang River. The water quality of Beijiang River was classified as oligo-mesotrophic level even if this river was subjected to nitrogen and phosphorus pollution mainly from agricultural non-point source.

  15. Variation of osteocyte lacunae size within the tetrapod skeleton: implications for palaeogenomics.

    PubMed

    Montanari, Shaena; Brusatte, Stephen L; De Wolf, Wendy; Norell, Mark A

    2011-10-23

    Recent studies have emphasized the ability to reconstruct genome sizes (C-values) of extinct organisms such as dinosaurs, using correlations between known genome sizes and bone cell (osteocyte lacunae) volumes. Because of the established positive relationship between cell size and genome size in extant vertebrates, osteocyte lacunae volume is a viable proxy for reconstructing C-values in the absence of any viable genetic material. However, intra-skeletal osteocyte lacunae size variation, which could cause error in genome size estimation, has remained unexplored. Here, 11 skeletal elements of one individual from each of four major clades (Mammalia, Amphibia, Aves, Reptilia) were examined histologically. Skeletal elements in all four clades exhibit significant differences in the average sizes of their lacunae. This variation, however, generally does not cause a significant difference in the estimated genome size when common phylogenetic estimation methods are employed. On the other hand, the spread of the estimations illustrates that this method may not be precise. High variance in genome size estimations remains an outstanding problem. Additionally, a suite of new methods is introduced to further automate the measurement of bone cells and other microstructural features on histological thin sections.

  16. Suitability of amphibians and reptiles for translocation.

    PubMed

    Germano, Jennifer M; Bishop, Phillip J

    2009-02-01

    Translocations are important tools in the field of conservation. Despite increased use over the last few decades, the appropriateness of translocations for amphibians and reptiles has been debated widely over the past 20 years. To provide a comprehensive evaluation of the suitability of amphibians and reptiles for translocation, we reviewed the results of amphibian and reptile translocation projects published between 1991 and 2006. The success rate of amphibian and reptile translocations reported over this period was twice that reported in an earlier review in 1991. Success and failure rates were independent of the taxonomic class (Amphibia or Reptilia) released. Reptile translocations driven by human-wildlife conflict mitigation had a higher failure rate than those motivated by conservation, and more recent projects of reptile translocations had unknown outcomes. The outcomes of amphibian translocations were significantly related to the number of animals released, with projects releasing over 1000 individuals being most successful. The most common reported causes of translocation failure were homing and migration of introduced individuals out of release sites and poor habitat. The increased success of amphibian and reptile translocations reviewed in this study compared with the 1991 review is encouraging for future conservation projects. Nevertheless, more preparation, monitoring, reporting of results, and experimental testing of techniques and reintroduction questions need to occur to improve translocations of amphibians and reptiles as a whole.

  17. A neural network dynamics that resembles protein evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferrán, Edgardo A.; Ferrara, Pascual

    1992-06-01

    We use neutral networks to classify proteins according to their sequence similarities. A network composed by 7 × 7 neurons, was trained with the Kohonen unsupervised learning algorithm using, as inputs, matrix patterns derived from the bipeptide composition of cytochrome c proteins belonging to 76 different species. As a result of the training, the network self-organized the activation of its neurons into topologically ordered maps, wherein phylogenetically related sequences were positioned close to each other. The evolution of the topological map during learning, in a representative computational experiment, roughly resembles the way in which one species evolves into several others. For instance, sequences corresponding to vertebrates, initially grouped together into one neuron, were placed in a contiguous zone of the final neural map, with sequences of fishes, amphibia, reptiles, birds and mammals associated to different neurons. Some apparent wrong classifications are due to the fact that some proteins have a greater degree of sequence identity than the one expected by phylogenetics. In the final neural map, each synaptic vector may be considered as the pattern corresponding to the ancestor of all the proteins that are attached to that neuron. Although it may be also tempting to link real time with learning epochs and to use this relationship to calibrate the molecular evolutionary clock, this is not correct because the evolutionary time schedule obtained with the neural network depends highly on the discrete way in which the winner neighborhood is decreased during learning.

  18. Evolution of the Vertebrate Resistin Gene Family.

    PubMed

    Hu, Qingda; Tan, Huanran; Irwin, David M

    2015-01-01

    Resistin (encoded by Retn) was previously identified in rodents as a hormone associated with diabetes; however human resistin is instead linked to inflammation. Resistin is a member of a small gene family that includes the resistin-like peptides (encoded by Retnl genes) in mammals. Genomic searches of available genome sequences of diverse vertebrates and phylogenetic analyses were conducted to determine the size and origin of the resistin-like gene family. Genes encoding peptides similar to resistin were found in Mammalia, Sauria, Amphibia, and Actinistia (coelacanth, a lobe-finned fish), but not in Aves or fish from Actinopterygii, Chondrichthyes, or Agnatha. Retnl originated by duplication and transposition from Retn on the early mammalian lineage after divergence of the platypus, but before the placental and marsupial mammal divergence. The resistin-like gene family illustrates an instance where the locus of origin of duplicated genes can be identified, with Retn continuing to reside at this location. Mammalian species typically have a single copy Retn gene, but are much more variable in their numbers of Retnl genes, ranging from 0 to 9. Since Retn is located at the locus of origin, thus likely retained the ancestral expression pattern, largely maintained its copy number, and did not display accelerated evolution, we suggest that it is more likely to have maintained an ancestral function, while Retnl, which transposed to a new location, displays accelerated evolution, and shows greater variability in gene number, including gene loss, likely evolved new, but potentially lineage-specific, functions. PMID:26076481

  19. Phospholipid transfer activities in toad oocytes and developing embryos. [Bufo arenarum

    SciTech Connect

    Rusinol, A.; Salomon, R.A.; Bloj, B.

    1987-01-01

    The role of lipid transfer proteins during plasma membrane biogenesis was explored. Developing amphibia embryos were used because during their growth an active plasma membrane biosynthesis occurs together with negligible mitochondrial and endoplasmic reticulum proliferation. Sonicated vesicles, containing /sup 14/C-labeled phospholipids and /sup 3/H-labeled triolein, as donor particles and cross-linked erythrocyte ghosts as acceptor particles were used to measure phospholipid transfer activities in unfertilized oocytes and in developing embryos of the toad Bufo arenarum. Phosphatidylcholine transfer activity in pH 5.1 supernatant of unfertilized oocytes was 8-fold higher than the activity found in female toad liver supernatant, but dropped steadily after fertilization. After 20 hr of development, at the stage of late blastula, the phosphatidylcholine transfer activity had dropped 4-fold. Unfertilized oocyte supernatant exhibited phosphatidylinositol and phosphatidylethanolamine transfer activity also, but at the late blastula stage the former had dropped 18-fold and the latter was no longer detectable under our assay conditions. Our results show that fertilization does not trigger a phospholipid transport process catalyzed by lipid transfer proteins. Moreover, they imply that 75% of the phosphatidylcholine transfer activity and more than 95% of the phosphatidylinositol and phosphatidylethanolamine transfer activities present in pH 5.1 supernatants of unfertilized oocytes may not be essential for toad embryo development. Our findings do not rule out, however, that a phosphatidylcholine-specific lipid transfer protein could be required for embryo early growth.

  20. [Phytoplankton community structure and eutrophication risk assessment of Beijiang River].

    PubMed

    Gou, Ting; Ma, Qian-Li; Xu, Zhen-Cheng; Wang, Li; Li, Jie; Zhao, Xue-Min

    2015-03-01

    To study the distribution of phytoplankton and water quality of Beijiang River, the community structure of phytoplankton was investigated and analyzed in wet and dry seasons. The results showed that a total of 74 species belonging to six phyla, 29 family and 48 genera of phytoplankton were identified, including 58 species of five phyla, 23 family and 41 genera in wet season and 59 species of six phyla, 26 family and 40 genera in dry season. Phytoplankton community structure in Beijiang River was represented by Bacillariophyta, Chlorophyta and Cyanophyta. Bacillariophyta dominanted the phytoplankton, and the dominant species were Aulacoseira granulate, Fragilaria virescens, Surirella biseriata, Nitzschia amphibia, Navicula simplex, Cyclotella meneghiniana, Synedra ulna, Gomphonema angustatum and Cymbella tumida. There was little difference in phytoplankton density between both seasons with the mean values being 3.54 x 10(5) and 4.87 x 10(5) cells L(-1) in dry and wet seasons, respectively. Based on the RDA results, DO, permanganate index, nitrogen and phosphorus were the important environmental factors affecting the distribution of phytoplankton in Beijiang River. The water quality of Beijiang River was classified as oligo-mesotrophic level even if this river was subjected to nitrogen and phosphorus pollution mainly from agricultural non-point source. PMID:25929062

  1. Biostratigraphy and biochronology of the Monte Hermoso Formation (early Pliocene) at its type locality, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tomassini, Rodrigo L.; Montalvo, Claudia I.; Deschamps, Cecilia M.; Manera, Teresa

    2013-12-01

    The Monte Hermoso Formation, cropping out at its type locality of Farola Monte Hermoso (Buenos Aires Province), is a classical fossiliferous unit of the South American Neogene, highlighted by the abundance and diversity of its vertebrate remains. However, its biostratigraphy and age have been largely debated, and numerous discrepancies and controversies have been stated. In this regard, the result of the analysis of new materials recovered from the different levels of this formation, following a strict control of stratigraphic provenance, is here reported. As well, the provenance of specimens of previous collections has been evaluated. The studied assemblage consists of Osteichthyes, Amphibia, Reptilia, Aves and Mammalia. These latter are the most numerous and belong to the Didelphimorphia, Polydolopimorphia, Rodentia, Notoungulata, Litopterna and Xenarthra. The recorded taxa suggest no important faunistic variations among the different levels of the Monte Hermoso Formation that would imply significant chronological differences, and hence, justify the recognition of two biostratigraphic units. The analysis of the first and last records as well as the taxa considered as exclusive, does not support the validity of the biozones of Trigodon gaudryi and Neocavia depressidens previously proposed. On this basis, a new scheme for the Monte Hermoso Formation at its type locality is proposed, including a new single biostratigraphic unit. This unit is the Eumysops laeviplicatus Range Zone, which represents the biostratigraphic base for the Montehermosan Stage/Age of the early Pliocene.

  2. [On the classification of the cleavage patterns in amphibian embryos].

    PubMed

    Desnitskiĭ, A G

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents a brief survey and preliminary classification of embryonic cleavage patterns in the class Amphibia. We use published data on 41 anuran and 22 urodele species concerning the character of the third cleavage furrow (latitudinal or longitudinal) and the stage of transition from synchronous to asynchronous blastomere divisions in the animal hemisphere (4-8-celled stage, 8-16-celled stage or later). Based on this, four patterns of amphibian embryonic cleavage are recognized, and an attempt to elucidate the evolutionary relationships among these patterns is undertaken. The so-called "standard" cleavage pattern (the extensive series of synchronous blastomere divisions including latitudinal furrows of the third cleavage) with the typical model species Ambystoma mexicanum and Xenopus laevis seems to be derived and probably originated independently in the orders Anura and Caudata. The ancestral amphibian cleavage pattern seems to be represented by species with longitudinal furrows of the third cleavage and the loss ofsynchrony as early as the 8-celled stage (such as in primitive urodele species from the family Cryptobranchidae). PMID:25720261

  3. Drought, deluge and declines: the impact of precipitation extremes on amphibians in a changing climate.

    PubMed

    Walls, Susan C; Barichivich, William J; Brown, Mary E

    2013-01-01

    The Class Amphibia is one of the most severely impacted taxa in an on-going global biodiversity crisis. Because amphibian reproduction is tightly associated with the presence of water, climatic changes that affect water availability pose a particularly menacing threat to both aquatic and terrestrial-breeding amphibians. We explore the impacts that one facet of climate change-that of extreme variation in precipitation-may have on amphibians. This variation is manifested principally as increases in the incidence and severity of both drought and major storm events. We stress the need to consider not only total precipitation amounts but also the pattern and timing of rainfall events. Such rainfall "pulses" are likely to become increasingly more influential on amphibians, especially in relation to seasonal reproduction. Changes in reproductive phenology can strongly influence the outcome of competitive and predatory interactions, thus potentially altering community dynamics in assemblages of co-existing species. We present a conceptual model to illustrate possible landscape and metapopulation consequences of alternative climate change scenarios for pond-breeding amphibians, using the Mole Salamander, Ambystoma talpoideum, as an example. Although amphibians have evolved a variety of life history strategies that enable them to cope with environmental uncertainty, it is unclear whether adaptations can keep pace with the escalating rate of climate change. Climate change, especially in combination with other stressors, is a daunting challenge for the persistence of amphibians and, thus, the conservation of global biodiversity. PMID:24832668

  4. Reflections on a systematic nomenclature for antimicrobial peptides from the skins of frogs of the family Ranidae.

    PubMed

    Conlon, J Michael

    2008-10-01

    Frogs belonging to the extensive family Ranidae represent a valuable source of antimicrobial peptides with therapeutic potential but there is currently no consistent system of nomenclature to describe these peptides. Terminology based solely on species name does not reflect the evolutionary relationships existing between peptides encoded by orthologous and paralogous genes. On the basis of limited structural similarity, at least 14 well-established peptide families have been identified (brevinin-1, brevinin-2, esculentin-1, esculentin-2, japonicin-1, japonicin-2, nigrocin-2, palustrin-1, palustrin-2, ranacyclin, ranalexin, ranatuerin-1, ranatuerin-2, temporin). It is proposed that terms that are synonymous with these names should no longer be used. Orthologous peptides from different species may be characterized by the initial letter of that species, set in upper case, with paralogs belonging to the same peptide family being assigned letters set in lower case, e.g. brevinin-1Pa, brevinin-1Pb, etc. When two species begin with the same initial letter, two letters may be used, e.g. P for pipiens and PL for palustris. Species names and assignments to genera may be obtained from Amphibian Species of the World Electronic Database, accessible at http://research.amnh.org/herpetology/amphibia/index.php. American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA.

  5. Nineteenth century research on naturally occurring cell death and related phenomena.

    PubMed

    Clarke, P G; Clarke, S

    1996-02-01

    Research on naturally occurring cell death is older than current opinion gives credit. More than 100 nineteenth century publications deal with it, and we review most of these. Soon after the establishment of the cell theory by Schleiden and Schwann, Carl Vogt (1842) reported cell death in the notochord and adjacent cartilage of metamorphic toads. Subsequent landmark discoveries included the massive cell death that occurs in pupating diptera (Weismann 1864), chondrocyte death during endochondral ossification (Stieda 1872), phagocytosis associated with cell death in the muscles of metamorphic toads (Metschnikoff 1883), chromatolytic (apoptotic) cell death in ovarian follicles (Flemming 1885), the reinterpretation of "Sarkoplasten" as "Sarkolyten" in metamorphic amphibia (Mayer 1886), the programmed loss of an entire population of neurons in fish embryos (Beard 1889), the death of scattered myocytes and myofibres in mammalian muscle (Felix 1889), and the death of many motor and sensory neurons in chick embryos (Collin 1906). Other lines of nineteenth century research established concepts important for understanding cell death, notably trophic interactions between neurons and their targets, and intercellular competition. PMID:8742050

  6. Complete nucleotide sequence of the mitochondrial genome of a salamander, Mertensiella luschani.

    PubMed

    Zardoya, Rafael; Malaga-Trillo, Edward; Veith, Michael; Meyer, Axel

    2003-10-23

    The complete nucleotide sequence (16,650 bp) of the mitochondrial genome of the salamander Mertensiella luschani (Caudata, Amphibia) was determined. This molecule conforms to the consensus vertebrate mitochondrial gene order. However, it is characterized by a long non-coding intervening sequence with two 124-bp repeats between the tRNA(Thr) and tRNA(Pro) genes. The new sequence data were used to reconstruct a phylogeny of jawed vertebrates. Phylogenetic analyses of all mitochondrial protein-coding genes at the amino acid level recovered a robust vertebrate tree in which lungfishes are the closest living relatives of tetrapods, salamanders and frogs are grouped together to the exclusion of caecilians (the Batrachia hypothesis) in a monophyletic amphibian clade, turtles show diapsid affinities and are placed as sister group of crocodiles+birds, and the marsupials are grouped together with monotremes and basal to placental mammals. The deduced phylogeny was used to characterize the molecular evolution of vertebrate mitochondrial proteins. Amino acid frequencies were analyzed across the main lineages of jawed vertebrates, and leucine and cysteine were found to be the most and least abundant amino acids in mitochondrial proteins, respectively. Patterns of amino acid replacements were conserved among vertebrates. Overall, cartilaginous fishes showed the least variation in amino acid frequencies and replacements. Constancy of rates of evolution among the main lineages of jawed vertebrates was rejected. PMID:14604788

  7. Foot-and-mouth disease: susceptibility of domestic poultry and free-living birds to infection and to disease--a review of the historical and current literature concerning the role of birds in spread of foot-and-mouth disease viruses.

    PubMed

    Kaleta, E F

    2002-09-01

    Ruminants and pigs are the dominant natural hosts of food-and-mouth disease (FMD) viruses. Approximately 70 additional mammalian species are found to be susceptible under natural or experimental conditions. Reptilia, amphibia, and fish are probably naturally resistant to infection. According to the reviewed literature, domestic birds (chickens, turkeys, guinea fowl, ducks and geese) have been experimentally infected with some strains of FMD viruses and may develop lesions suggestive of FMD such as vesicular lesions on the comb, wattles, eye lids, and feet. Since chickens are to some extent coprophagous, chickens get infected by ingestion of virus under conditions of natural exposure or their plumage gets contaminated in an infectious environment. Thus, domestic birds kept in free-run systems may serve as virus vectors for short distances. Free-living birds, especially starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), sea gulls (Larus canus), house-sparrows (Passer domesticus) have been successfully experimentally infected and developed vesicular lesions on the skin and mucosal membranes of the mouth. During epizootics of FMD the plumage of these free-living birds can be contaminated with FMD viruses and the virus is spread over long distances during migration periods in spring and autumn. Thus migrating birds may assume an active role in long distance dissemination of FMD viruses. PMID:12395578

  8. Phylogenetically-informed priorities for amphibian conservation.

    PubMed

    Isaac, Nick J B; Redding, David W; Meredith, Helen M; Safi, Kamran

    2012-01-01

    The amphibian decline and extinction crisis demands urgent action to prevent further large numbers of species extinctions. Lists of priority species for conservation, based on a combination of species' threat status and unique contribution to phylogenetic diversity, are one tool for the direction and catalyzation of conservation action. We describe the construction of a near-complete species-level phylogeny of 5713 amphibian species, which we use to create a list of evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered species (EDGE list) for the entire class Amphibia. We present sensitivity analyses to test the robustness of our priority list to uncertainty in species' phylogenetic position and threat status. We find that both sources of uncertainty have only minor impacts on our 'top 100' list of priority species, indicating the robustness of the approach. By contrast, our analyses suggest that a large number of Data Deficient species are likely to be high priorities for conservation action from the perspective of their contribution to the evolutionary history.

  9. Student-oriented learning: an inquiry-based developmental biology lecture course.

    PubMed

    Malacinski, George M

    2003-01-01

    In this junior-level undergraduate course, developmental life cycles exhibited by various organisms are reviewed, with special attention--where relevant--to the human embryo. Morphological features and processes are described and recent insights into the molecular biology of gene expression are discussed. Ways are studied in which model systems, including marine invertebrates, amphibia, fruit flies and other laboratory species are employed to elucidate general principles which apply to fertilization, cleavage, gastrulation and organogenesis. Special attention is given to insights into those topics which will soon be researched with data from the Human Genome Project. The learning experience is divided into three parts: Part I is a in which the Socratic (inquiry) method is employed by the instructor (GMM) to organize a review of classical developmental phenomena; Part II represents an in which students study the details related to the surveys included in Part I as they have been reported in research journals; Part III focuses on a class project--the preparation of a spiral bound on a topic of relevance to human developmental biology (e.g.,Textbook of Embryonal Stem Cells). Student response to the use of the Socratic method increases as the course progresses and represents the most successful aspect of the course. PMID:12705660

  10. Endocrine disrupters: a human risk?

    PubMed

    Waring, R H; Harris, R M

    2005-12-01

    Endocrine disrupters (EDs) alter normal hormonal regulation and may be naturally occurring or environmental contaminants. Classically, EDs act genomically, with agonistic or antagonistic effects on steroid receptors and may alter reproductive function and/or cause feminisation by binding to oestrogen or androgen receptors; their binding to the thyroid receptor may dysregulate the neuroendocrine system. Recently, it has been shown that EDs can also act by non-genomic mechanisms, altering steroid synthesis (inhibition of cytochrome P450 isoforms) or steroid metabolism. The alkylphenol and phthalate plasticisers inhibit the inactivation of oestrogens by sulphation (via SULT 1A1 and 1E1 isoforms) and so cause a rise in levels of the free active endogenous oestrogens. A range of ED effects have been shown in mammals, fish, birds, reptiles, amphibia and aquatic invertebrates but it is not yet clear whether these processes also occur in human beings. It is evident that EDs, as well as altering reproduction, can cause changes in neurosteroid levels and so have the potential to affect immune function, behaviour and memory. This may be of long-term concern since traces of EDs such as plasticisers, brominated fire retardants, sunscreen agents and cosmetic ingredients are widely distributed in the environment and in human biofluids. PMID:16271281

  11. Embryonic development of the concave-eared torrent frog with its significance on taxonomy.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Rong-Chuan; Jiang, Jian-Ping; Fei, Liang; Wang, Bin; Ye, Chang-Yuan

    2010-10-01

    We investigated the early embryonic and larval development of the concave-eared torrent frogs, Odorrana tormota (Amphibia, Anura, Ranidae). Embryos were derived from artificial fertilization of frogs' eggs, and the staging of development was based on morphological and physiological characteristics. Two major periods of development were designated: i) early embryonic period, from fertilization to operculum completion stage, lasted for 324 h at water temperature (WT) 18 - 23degree; ii) larval period, from operculum completion stage to tail absorbed stage, took 1207 h at WT 20 - 24degree. Tadpoles of the concave-eared torrent frogs showed no evidence of abdominal sucker. Absence of this key characteristic supports the view from molecular systematics that concave-eared torrent frog does not belong to the genus Amolops. Two cleavage patterns were observed in embryos at 8-cell and 16-cell stages, with Pattern I - 2 (latitudinal cleavage at the 8-cell stage, and meridional cleavage at the 16-cell stage with two perpendicular meridional furrows) being the predominant pattern and only 1.5% belonging to Pattern II (meridional cleavage at the 8-cell stage and latitudinal cleavage at the 16-cell stage). The factors affecting cleavage and hatching ratios, developmental speed, and ecological adaptation were discussed.

  12. Blood supply to the amphibian mesonephros.

    PubMed

    Zemanová, Z; Gambaryan, S

    1993-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to describe geometry of branching, topography and sources of blood vessels supplying the mesonephros of three different species of amphibia and to infere from the results their common and species-specific features. The detailed information on arrangement of portal and arterial blood supply to mesonephros is necessary for better understanding of the conditions under which these kidneys function. For this reason the blood vessels of the mesonephros of adult Hynobius Keyserlingi, Triturus vulgaris and Rana temporaria were injected with stained gelatin. The urodelian kidneys were shown to be supplied by numerous segmental arteries. Three types of arterial supply to glomeruli were distinguished: those mediated by short, medium and long branches, which create different physical conditions for the glomerular filtration in pertinent nephrons--as the blood pressure necessarily decreases with the increasing distance from the aorta. The tributaries to the renal portal vein were identified in all three species as the veins draining hind limbs, tail, pelvis and body wall. It is being suggested that the purpose of this large drainage area is to secure a sufficient volume of blood to the peritubular network.

  13. Blood supply to the retina in the laboratory shrew (Suncus murinus).

    PubMed

    Isomura, G; Ikeda, S; Ikezaki, K; Miyashita, Y

    1997-06-01

    The blood supply to both retinae was studied light microscopically and by scanning electron microscopy in 48 adult laboratory shrews (Suncus murinus) of both sexes. Thirty-eight of the animals were injected into the left ventricle with Neoprene latex (Du Pont. 601A) or with Mercox (Dai Nippon Ink Ltd., CL-2R) to elucidate the blood supply to the retina from the ophthalmic artery. The remaining animals were kept for histological study of the retina. The central retinal artery, originating from the ophthalmic artery in the muscular part of the orbit, enters the optic nerve, passes through the optic disk together with the central retinal vein and penetrates the vitreous space (cavity of the eye) between the lens and the inner limiting membrane of the retina, where it divides into the dorsal, ventral, and caudal branches. Each branch, moreover, bifurcates into nasal and temporal arterioles and is distributed throughout the retina on the inner limiting membrane as far as the ciliary body and the lens. On the way they obliquely send small vessels through the inner limiting membrane into the outer plexiform layer of the retina. Their vascularization appears to correspond to the membrana vasculosa retinae found in teleosts, amphibia and reptiles.

  14. Evolutionary genetics of birds. V. Genetic distances within Mimidae (mimic thrushes) and vireonidae (Vireos).

    PubMed

    Avise, J C; Aquadro, C F; Patton, J C

    1982-02-01

    Genetic distances (D's) between five species within each of the families Mimidae and Vireonidae were estimated from frequencies of protein electromorphs at 23 loci. For three mimid species in the genus Toxostoma, D equals 0.084 (range, 0.069-0.104); and among three mimid genera, D equals 0.223 (0.167-0.278). These distances typify values previously reported in other birds at comparable levels of taxonomic recognition. In sharp contrast, the mean genetic distance among five congeneric species of Vireonidae is far higher, D = 0.360 (0.027-0.578). One possible explanation for these results is that Vireo species are considerably older, on the average, than are species of Toxostoma or than are members of several other avain genera assayed to date. Conventional thought about the origin and relative age of the Vireonidae appears compatible with this explanation. Although genetic distances in the Vireonidae are large by "avian standards," they remain modest or even small in comparison with distances between many nonavian vertebrate congeners. Results for the Mimidae and the Vireonidae are directly contrasted with genetic distances in well-known genera of Amphibia and Reptilia. PMID:7092805

  15. Risks to Colombian amphibian fauna from cultivation of coca (Erythroxylum coca): a geographical analysis.

    PubMed

    Lynch, J D; Arroyo, S B

    2009-01-01

    The Colombian amphibian fauna is among the richest known in the world, with about 20 species of salamanders (order Caudata), 35 of the limbless caecilians (order Gymnophiona), and more than 700 species of frogs and toads (order Anura) recorded from localities within the country. The potential effects of exposure to glyphosate on amphibians arising from production of illegal crops (coca) were examined. The analysis was based on (1) behavior and ecology of species and (2) proximities of actual museum records to localities in which illegal crops are being grown and the subset of those that have been sprayed with glyphosate. Based on data on the location of amphibians collected in Colombia, records were obtained for 193 species (28% of the national diversity) of frogs and toads found in localities within 10 km of areas where coca is grown. Further analyses with ARC MAP software allowed for measurement of the direct distance separating collection locations for frogs, known coca fields, and areas where aerial spraying was being conducted. Records in or near coca fields included data for 11 of 13 families of frogs and toads known to be present in Colombia. Only Ceratophryidae and Pipidae were not reported from these locations and appear not to be at risk. For eight species (Dendrobates truncatus, Craugastor raniformis, Pristimantis gaigeae, Smilisca phaeota, Elachistocleis ovale, Hypsiboas crepitans, Trachycephalus venulosus, and Pseudis paradoxa) selected to represent several habitat preferences and life-cycle strategies, large areas of their distributions lie outside coca production regions and their populations as a whole are at low risk. For a limited number of species that barely enter Colombian territory, the consequences of coca production may be more serious and may have placed several species of frogs at risk. These include Ameerega bilingua, Dendropsophus bifurcus, Pristimantis colomai, P. degener, P. diadematus, P. quaquaversus, P. variabilis, and

  16. Risks to Colombian amphibian fauna from cultivation of coca (Erythroxylum coca): a geographical analysis.

    PubMed

    Lynch, J D; Arroyo, S B

    2009-01-01

    The Colombian amphibian fauna is among the richest known in the world, with about 20 species of salamanders (order Caudata), 35 of the limbless caecilians (order Gymnophiona), and more than 700 species of frogs and toads (order Anura) recorded from localities within the country. The potential effects of exposure to glyphosate on amphibians arising from production of illegal crops (coca) were examined. The analysis was based on (1) behavior and ecology of species and (2) proximities of actual museum records to localities in which illegal crops are being grown and the subset of those that have been sprayed with glyphosate. Based on data on the location of amphibians collected in Colombia, records were obtained for 193 species (28% of the national diversity) of frogs and toads found in localities within 10 km of areas where coca is grown. Further analyses with ARC MAP software allowed for measurement of the direct distance separating collection locations for frogs, known coca fields, and areas where aerial spraying was being conducted. Records in or near coca fields included data for 11 of 13 families of frogs and toads known to be present in Colombia. Only Ceratophryidae and Pipidae were not reported from these locations and appear not to be at risk. For eight species (Dendrobates truncatus, Craugastor raniformis, Pristimantis gaigeae, Smilisca phaeota, Elachistocleis ovale, Hypsiboas crepitans, Trachycephalus venulosus, and Pseudis paradoxa) selected to represent several habitat preferences and life-cycle strategies, large areas of their distributions lie outside coca production regions and their populations as a whole are at low risk. For a limited number of species that barely enter Colombian territory, the consequences of coca production may be more serious and may have placed several species of frogs at risk. These include Ameerega bilingua, Dendropsophus bifurcus, Pristimantis colomai, P. degener, P. diadematus, P. quaquaversus, P. variabilis, and

  17. Non-invasive reproductive and stress endocrinology in amphibian conservation physiology

    PubMed Central

    Narayan, E. J.

    2013-01-01

    Non-invasive endocrinology utilizes non-invasive biological samples (such as faeces, urine, hair, aquatic media, and saliva) for the quantification of hormones in wildlife. Urinary-based enzyme immunoassay (EIA) and radio-immunoassay have enabled the rapid quantification of reproductive and stress hormones in amphibians (Anura: Amphibia). With minimal disturbance, these methods can be used to assess the ovarian and testicular endocrine functions as well as physiological stress in captive and free-living populations. Non-invasive endocrine monitoring has therefore greatly advanced our knowledge of the functioning of the stress endocrine system (the hypothalamo–pituitary–interrenal axis) and the reproductive endocrine system (the hypothalamo–pituitary–gonadal axis) in the amphibian physiological stress response, reproductive ecology, health and welfare, and survival. Biological (physiological) validation is necessary for obtaining the excretory lag time of hormone metabolites. Urinary-based EIA for the major reproductive hormones, estradiol and progesterone in females and testosterone in males, can be used to track the reproductive hormone profiles in relationship to reproductive behaviour and environmental data in free-living anurans. Urinary-based corticosterone metabolite EIA can be used to assess the sublethal impacts of biological stressors (such as invasive species and pathogenic diseases) as well as anthropogenic induced environmental stressors (e.g. extreme temperatures) on free-living populations. Non-invasive endocrine methods can also assist in the diagnosis of success or failure of captive breeding programmes by measuring the longitudinal patterns of changes in reproductive hormones and corticosterone within captive anurans and comparing the endocrine profiles with health records and reproductive behaviour. This review paper focuses on the reproductive and the stress endocrinology of anurans and demonstrates the uses of non-invasive endocrinology

  18. Parallel tagged amplicon sequencing of transcriptome-based genetic markers for Triturus newts with the Ion Torrent next-generation sequencing platform

    PubMed Central

    Wielstra, B; Duijm, E; Lagler, P; Lammers, Y; Meilink, W R M; Ziermann, J M; Arntzen, J W

    2014-01-01

    Next-generation sequencing is a fast and cost-effective way to obtain sequence data for nonmodel organisms for many markers and for many individuals. We describe a protocol through which we obtain orthologous markers for the crested newts (Amphibia: Salamandridae: Triturus), suitable for analysis of interspecific hybridization. We use transcriptome data of a single Triturus species and design 96 primer pairs that amplify c. 180 bp fragments positioned in 3-prime untranslated regions. Next, these markers are tested with uniplex PCR for a set of species spanning the taxonomical width of the genus Triturus. The 52 markers that consistently show a single band of expected length at gel electrophoreses for all tested crested newt species are then amplified in five multiplex PCRs (with a plexity of ten or eleven) for 132 individual newts: a set of 84 representing the seven (candidate) species and a set of 48 from a presumed hybrid population. After pooling multiplexes per individual, unique tags are ligated to link amplicons to individuals. Subsequently, individuals are pooled equimolar and sequenced on the Ion Torrent next-generation sequencing platform. A bioinformatics pipeline identifies the alleles and recodes these to a genotypic format. Next, we test the utility of our markers. baps allocates the 84 crested newt individuals representing (candidate) species to their expected (candidate) species, confirming the markers are suitable for species delineation. newhybrids, a hybrid index and hiest confirm the 48 individuals from the presumed hybrid population to be genetically admixed, illustrating the potential of the markers to identify interspecific hybridization. We expect the set of markers we designed to provide a high resolving power for analysis of hybridization in Triturus. PMID:24571307

  19. Disentangling vector-borne transmission networks: a universal DNA barcoding method to identify vertebrate hosts from arthropod bloodmeals.

    PubMed

    Alcaide, Miguel; Rico, Ciro; Ruiz, Santiago; Soriguer, Ramón; Muñoz, Joaquín; Figuerola, Jordi

    2009-01-01

    Emerging infectious diseases represent a challenge for global economies and public health. About one fourth of the last pandemics have been originated by the spread of vector-borne pathogens. In this sense, the advent of modern molecular techniques has enhanced our capabilities to understand vector-host interactions and disease ecology. However, host identification protocols have poorly profited of international DNA barcoding initiatives and/or have focused exclusively on a limited array of vector species. Therefore, ascertaining the potential afforded by DNA barcoding tools in other vector-host systems of human and veterinary importance would represent a major advance in tracking pathogen life cycles and hosts. Here, we show the applicability of a novel and efficient molecular method for the identification of the vertebrate host's DNA contained in the midgut of blood-feeding arthropods. To this end, we designed a eukaryote-universal forward primer and a vertebrate-specific reverse primer to selectively amplify 758 base pairs (bp) of the vertebrate mitochondrial Cytochrome c Oxidase Subunit I (COI) gene. Our method was validated using both extensive sequence surveys from the public domain and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) experiments carried out over specimens from different Classes of vertebrates (Mammalia, Aves, Reptilia and Amphibia) and invertebrate ectoparasites (Arachnida and Insecta). The analysis of mosquito, culicoid, phlebotomie, sucking bugs, and tick bloodmeals revealed up to 40 vertebrate hosts, including 23 avian, 16 mammalian and one reptilian species. Importantly, the inspection and analysis of direct sequencing electropherograms also assisted the resolving of mixed bloodmeals. We therefore provide a universal and high-throughput diagnostic tool for the study of the ecology of haematophagous invertebrates in relation to their vertebrate hosts. Such information is crucial to support the efficient management of initiatives aimed at reducing

  20. Caiman periodontium as an intermediate between basal vertebrate ankylosis-type attachment and mammalian "true" periodontium.

    PubMed

    McIntosh, James E; Anderton, Xochitl; Flores-De-Jacoby, Lavinia; Carlson, David S; Shuler, Charles F; Diekwisch, Thomas G H

    2002-12-01

    The teeth of many fish, amphibia, and reptiles are attached to the alveolar bone via ankylosis. In contrast, mammalian periodontia are characterized by a gomphosis, an attachment of the tooth root in the alveolar bone socket via periodontal ligament fibers. Among the reptiles, the crocodilians are the only group featuring a gomphosis-type connection between tooth root and alveolar bone, while in other reptiles tooth-root and jawbone are connected via ankylosis. The purpose of the present study was to compare several key features of the crocodilian periodontium with those of the mammalian and noncrocodilian reptile periodontium. As experimental models for our study we chose the periodontium of newborn geckos (Hemidacylus turcicus), juvenile caimans (Caiman crocodilus crocodilus), and 10-day-postnatal Swiss-Webster mice (Mus musculus) as representative models for noncrocodilian reptiles, crocodilian reptiles, and mammals. The caiman periodontium emerged as an intermediary between the mineral-free mouse ligament and the mineralized gecko ankylosis-type attachment. Caiman ligament fibers were less organized than mouse ligament fibers but featured distinct fasciae surrounding ligament fiber bundles. Caiman Hertwig's epithelial root sheath (HERS) was similarly perforated as mouse HERS and distinctly different from the continuous gecko HERS. Both caiman and mouse HERS covered the entire tooth root length, while in the gecko HERS was limited to the coronal portion of the root, allowing for cementoid-mediated ankylosis at the apical tip of the root. We interpret our data to indicate distinct differences in mineral distribution, periodontal ligament fiber organization, and HERS distribution between noncrocodilian reptiles, crocodilian reptiles, and mammals. Mineral deposits in the caiman ligament may reflect an evolutionary position of the caiman periodontium between ankylosis and gomphosis.

  1. Traps of carnivorous pitcher plants as a habitat: composition of the fluid, biodiversity and mutualistic activities

    PubMed Central

    Adlassnig, Wolfram; Peroutka, Marianne; Lendl, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Background Carnivorous pitcher plants (CPPs) use cone-shaped leaves to trap animals for nutrient supply but are not able to kill all intruders of their traps. Numerous species, ranging from bacteria to vertrebrates, survive and propagate in the otherwise deadly traps. This paper reviews the literature on phytotelmata of CPPs. Pitcher Fluid as a Habitat The volumes of pitchers range from 0·2 mL to 1·5 L. In Nepenthes and Cephalotus, the fluid is secreted by the trap; the other genera collect rain water. The fluid is usually acidic, rich in O2 and contains digestive enzymes. In some taxa, toxins or detergents are found, or the fluid is extremely viscous. In Heliamphora or Sarracenia, the fluid differs little from pure water. Inquiline Diversity Pitcher inquilines comprise bacteria, protozoa, algae, fungi, rotifers, crustaceans, arachnids, insects and amphibia. The dominant groups are protists and Dipteran larvae. The various species of CPPs host different sets of inquilines. Sarracenia purpurea hosts up to 165 species of inquilines, followed by Nepenthes ampullaria with 59 species, compared with only three species from Brocchinia reducta. Reasons for these differences include size, the life span of the pitcher as well as its fluid. Mutualistic Activities Inquilines closely interact with their host. Some live as parasites, but the vast majority are mutualists. Beneficial activities include secretion of enzymes, feeding on the plant's prey and successive excretion of inorganic nutrients, mechanical break up of the prey, removal of excessive prey and assimilation of atmospheric N2. Conclusions There is strong evidence that CPPs influence their phytotelm. Two strategies can be distinguished: (1) Nepenthes and Cephalotus produce acidic, toxic or digestive fluids and host a limited diversity of inquilines. (2) Genera without efficient enzymes such as Sarracenia or Heliamphora host diverse organisms and depend to a large extent on their symbionts for prey utilization

  2. Assessing Risks to Non-Target Species during Poison Baiting Programs for Feral Cats

    PubMed Central

    Buckmaster, Tony; Dickman, Christopher R.; Johnston, Michael J.

    2014-01-01

    Poison baiting is used frequently to reduce the impacts of pest species of mammals on agricultural and biodiversity interests. However, baiting may not be appropriate if non-target species are at risk of poisoning. Here we use a desktop decision tree approach to assess the risks to non-target vertebrate species in Australia that arise from using poison baits developed to control feral house cats (Felis catus). These baits are presented in the form of sausages with toxicant implanted in the bait medium within an acid-soluble polymer capsule (hard shell delivery vehicle, or HSDV) that disintegrates after ingestion. Using criteria based on body size, diet and feeding behaviour, we assessed 221 of Australia's 3,769 native vertebrate species as likely to consume cat-baits, with 47 of these likely to ingest implanted HSDVs too. Carnivorous marsupials were judged most likely to consume both the baits and HSDVs, with some large-bodied and ground-active birds and reptiles also consuming them. If criteria were relaxed, a further 269 species were assessed as possibly able to consume baits and 343 as possibly able to consume HSDVs; most of these consumers were birds. One threatened species, the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) was judged as definitely able to consume baits with implanted HSDVs, whereas five threatened species of birds and 21 species of threatened mammals were rated as possible consumers. Amphibia were not considered to be at risk. We conclude that most species of native Australian vertebrates would not consume surface-laid baits during feral cat control programs, and that significantly fewer would be exposed to poisoning if HSDVs were employed. However, risks to susceptible species should be quantified in field or pen trials prior to the implementation of a control program, and minimized further by applying baits at times and in places where non-target species have little access. PMID:25229348

  3. Assembly of ovarian follicles in the caecilians Ichthyophis tricolor and Gegeneophis ramaswamii: light and transmission electron microscopic study.

    PubMed

    Beyo, R S; Sreejith, P; Divya, L; Oommen, O V; Akbarsha, M A

    2007-08-01

    Though much is known about various aspects of reproductive biology of amphibia, there is little information on the cellular and mechanistic basis of assembly of ovarian follicles in this group. This is especially true of the caecilians. Therefore, taking advantage of the abundant distribution of caecilians in the Western Ghats of India, two species of caecilians, Ichthyophis tricolor and Gegeneophis ramaswamii, were subjected to light and transmission electron microscopic analysis to trace the sequential changes during the assembly of ovarian follicles. The paired ovaries of these caecilians are elongated sac-like structures each including numerous vitellogenic follicles. The follicles are connected by a connective tissue stroma. This stroma contains nests of oogonia, primary oocytes and pregranulosa cells as spatially separated nests. During assembly of follicles the oocytes increase in size and enter the meiotic prophase when the number of nucleoli in the nucleus increases. The mitochondrial cloud or Balbiani vitelline body, initially localized at one pole of the nucleus, disperses through out the cytoplasm subsequently. Synaptonemal complexes are prominent in the pachytene stage oocytes. The pregranulosa cells migrate through the connective tissue fibrils of the stroma and arrive at the vicinity of the meiotic prophase oocytes. On contacting the oocyte, the pregranulosa cells become cuboidal in shape, wrap the diplotene stage oocyte as a discontinuous layer and increase the content of cytoplasmic organelles and inclusions. The oocytes increase in size and are arrested in diplotene when the granulosa cells become flat and form a continuous layer. Soon a perivitelline space appears between the oolemma and granulosa cells, completing the process of assembly of follicles. Thus, the events in the establishment of follicles in the caecilian ovary are described.

  4. K+ Channel density increases selectively in the endfoot of retinal glial cells during development of Rana catesbiana.

    PubMed

    Rojas, L; Orkand, R K

    1999-01-15

    The radial glial cells that span the retina, described by Müller in 1851, have a remarkable distribution of ion channels in adult amphibia that mediate extracellular K+ spatial buffering. 94% of the total membrane conductance of these cells resides in inward rectifier K+ channels in the endfoot processes apposed to the vitreous humour. We now report that this regional specialization is found in Müller cells isolated from adult (>120 day old) bullfrogs but to a far less extent in those from 10-20 day old tadpoles (stages 34-36). Using the cell attached configuration of the patch-clamp technique, we found, in agreement with previous studies in salamanders, that the endfoot of adult cells had 19.2+/-2.4 (mean +/- S.E., n = 81) channels/patch, whereas the soma had 1.81+/-0.28 (n = 21) channels/patch. In the tadpole, the respective values were 4.29+/-0.26 (n = 79) for the endfoot and 2.26+/-0.24 (n = 27) for the soma. The slope conductance of the inward rectifier K+ channel in 115 mM K+, 19.2+/-0.25 pS (n = 205), channel kinetics and the resting membrane potential (-69+/-2.7 mV, n = 224) were similar at both the endfoot and soma of both adults and embryos. We conclude that during development, the K+ conductance of the Müller cell endfoot, but not of the soma, increases due to a selective clustering of inwardly rectifying K+ channels in that specific region of the cell membrane. The properties of the channels change little during the transformation from tadpole to adult bullfrog. PMID:9890634

  5. Ultrastructural study of the egg wall surrounding the developing miracidia of the digenean Prosotocus confusus (Looss, 1894) (Plagiorchiida: Pleurogenidae), with the description of a unique cocoon-like envelope.

    PubMed

    Świderski, Zdzisław; Miquel, Jordi; Torres, Jordi; Conn, David Bruce

    2015-01-01

    Helminth eggs play a critical role in movement of the parasite from definitive to intermediate host. Eggs of the pleurogenid digenean trematode Prosotocus confusus (Looss, 1894), a parasite of naturally infected frogs Pelophylax lessonae (Amphibia: Ranidae) in Europe, are described here for the first time. Particular emphasis is placed on the ultrastructure on the egg wall and on the detailed description of a unique cocoon-like envelope. Each embryonating egg is composed of an early embryo surrounded by a four-layered egg wall: (1) an outer, anucleate layer external to the eggshell, which forms a thick cocoon; (2) the operculate eggshell; (3) not fully formed, a differentiating outer embryonic envelope containing large nuclei of macromeres; and (4) situated below, an undifferentiated layer of the future inner embryonic envelope containing mesomere nuclei. Layers enveloping the egg apparently play an important role in the protection, metabolism, and storage of nutritive reserves for the developing miracidium. The outer anucleate layer, or cocoon, is situated externally to the eggshell and composed of an electron-lucent substance with numerous electron-dense islands attached to its peripheral membrane. A cocoon envelope such as this has never been seen in previous TEM studies of the eggs of parasitic platyhelminths, with the exception of another pleurogenid Brandesia turgida. The origin, formation, functional ultrastructure, and chemical composition of this peculiar layer remain enigmatic, although its function appears to be protective. The thick, electron-dense eggshell resembles that of other trematodes, exhibiting a characteristic fissure zone around the operculum. Numerous lysosome-like structures observed in some eggs may be involved in the autolysis of both the embryonic envelopes (particularly the early degeneration of macromere nuclei of the outer envelope, characteristic for this species) and in the disintegration of several early micromeres. The inner

  6. Comparative and scaling aspects of heart and body weights with reference to blood supply of cardiac fibers.

    PubMed

    Poupa, O; Lindström, L

    1983-01-01

    Relative heart weight (RHW) differs in vertebrates with the ratio 1:20 between extremes (bottom bound fishes--Pleuronectidae--and birds). When plotting heart weight (HW) against body weight (BW) one obtains channels which contain not only vertebrates of the same classes (poikilotherms, small and big mammals and birds) but also animals belonging to different classes: tuna fish data are located in the "small mammalian channel" together with data of large tropical snakes while large mammals (upwards 4000 g) belong to the "bird channel". Reasons for such groupings are not clear and physical activity seems not to be the only reason. When comparing active and non active vertebrates one finds that the RHW is as a rule greater in physically more active poikilotherms and homoiotherms. The RHW is also higher in wild than in domesticated forms the differences appearing after weaning (wild vs laboratory rat). In spongy type of myocardium the growth of cardiac fibers results in restriction of the blood flow through lacunae and the contact between endothelial cells lining growing strands of musculature probably provokes formation of capillaries. The appearance of mixed type of myocardium (outer compact and inner spongy compartments) is not bound to the water to land transition since it occurs also in some fishes; it does not occur or is rare in amphibia and is frequent in reptiles. The compact outer layer comprises a different proportion of the cardiac wall volume (5-73%). Metabolic differences were described between cardiac cells in compact and spongy compartments.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  7. Parallel tagged amplicon sequencing of transcriptome-based genetic markers for Triturus newts with the Ion Torrent next-generation sequencing platform.

    PubMed

    Wielstra, B; Duijm, E; Lagler, P; Lammers, Y; Meilink, W R M; Ziermann, J M; Arntzen, J W

    2014-09-01

    Next-generation sequencing is a fast and cost-effective way to obtain sequence data for nonmodel organisms for many markers and for many individuals. We describe a protocol through which we obtain orthologous markers for the crested newts (Amphibia: Salamandridae: Triturus), suitable for analysis of interspecific hybridization. We use transcriptome data of a single Triturus species and design 96 primer pairs that amplify c. 180 bp fragments positioned in 3-prime untranslated regions. Next, these markers are tested with uniplex PCR for a set of species spanning the taxonomical width of the genus Triturus. The 52 markers that consistently show a single band of expected length at gel electrophoreses for all tested crested newt species are then amplified in five multiplex PCRs (with a plexity of ten or eleven) for 132 individual newts: a set of 84 representing the seven (candidate) species and a set of 48 from a presumed hybrid population. After pooling multiplexes per individual, unique tags are ligated to link amplicons to individuals. Subsequently, individuals are pooled equimolar and sequenced on the Ion Torrent next-generation sequencing platform. A bioinformatics pipeline identifies the alleles and recodes these to a genotypic format. Next, we test the utility of our markers. baps allocates the 84 crested newt individuals representing (candidate) species to their expected (candidate) species, confirming the markers are suitable for species delineation. newhybrids, a hybrid index and hiest confirm the 48 individuals from the presumed hybrid population to be genetically admixed, illustrating the potential of the markers to identify interspecific hybridization. We expect the set of markers we designed to provide a high resolving power for analysis of hybridization in Triturus.

  8. Postglacial Colonization of the Qinling Mountains: Phylogeography of the Swelled Vent Frog (Feirana quadranus)

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Bin; Jiang, Jianping; Xie, Feng; Li, Cheng

    2012-01-01

    Background The influence of Pleistocene climatic fluctuations on intraspecific diversification in the Qinling–Daba Mountains of East Asia remains poorly investigated. We tested hypotheses concerning refugia during the last glacial maximum (LGM) in this region by examining the phylogeography of the swelled vent frog (Feirana quadranus; Dicroglossidae, Anura, Amphibia). Methodology/Principal Findings We obtained complete mitochondrial ND2 gene sequences of 224 individuals from 34 populations of Feirana quadranus for phylogeographic analyses. Additionally, we obtained nuclear tyrosinase gene sequences of 68 F. quadranus, one F. kangxianensis and three F. taihangnica samples to test for mitochondrial introgression among them. Phylogenetic analyses based on all genes revealed no introgression among them. Phylogenetic analyses based on ND2 datasets revealed that F. quadranus was comprised of six lineages which were separated by deep valleys; the sole exception is that the Main Qinling and Micang–Western Qinling lineages overlap in distribution. Analyses of population structure indicated restricted gene flow among lineages. Coalescent simulations and divergence dating indicated that the basal diversification within F. quadranus may be associated with the dramatic uplifts of the Tibetan Plateau during the Pliocene. Coalescent simulations indicated that Wuling, Daba, and Western Qinling–Micang–Longmen Mountains were refugia for F. quadranus during the LGM. Demographic analyses indicated that the Daba lineage experienced population size increase prior to the LGM but the Main Qinling and the Micang–Western Qinling lineages expanded in population size and range after the LGM, and the other lineages almost have stable population size or slight slow population size decline. Conclusions/Significance The Qinling–Daba Mountains hosted three refugia for F. quadranus during the LGM. Populations that originated in the Daba Mountains colonized the Main Qinling Mountains

  9. Two novel antimicrobial peptides from skin venoms of spadefoot toad Megophrys minor.

    PubMed

    Yang, Hong-Ling; Shen, Zhi-Qiang; Liu, Xuan; Kong, Yi

    2016-04-01

    Amphibian skin contains rich bioactive peptides. Especially, a large amount of antimicrobial peptides have been identified from amphibian skin secretions. Antimicrobial peptides display potent cytolytic activities against a range of pathogenic bacteria and fungi and play important defense roles. No antimicrobial peptides have been reported from toads belonging to the family of Pelobatidae. In this work, two novel antimicrobial peptides (Megin 1 and Megin 2) were purified and characterized from the skin venoms of spadefoot toad Megophrys minor (Pelobatidae, Anura, Amphibia). Megin 1 had an amino acid sequence of FLKGCWTKWYSLKPKCPF-NH2, which was composed of 18 amino acid residues and contained an intra-molecular disulfide bridge and an amidated C-terminus. Megin 2 had an amino acid sequence of FFVLKFLLKWAGKVGLEHLACKFKNWC, which was composed of 27 amino acid residues and contained an intra-molecular disulfide bridge. Both Megin 1 and Megin 2 showed potential antimicrobial abilities against bacteria and fungi. The MICs of Megin 1 against Escherichia coli, Bacillus dysenteriae, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, and Candida albicans were 25, 3, 6.25, 3, and 50 μg·mL(-1), respectively. The corresponding MICs for Megin 2 were 6.25, 1.5, 12.5, 1.5, and 12.5 μg·mL(-1), respectively. They also exerted strong hemolytic activity against human and rabbit red cells. The results suggested that megin peptides in the toad skin of M. minor displayed toxic effects on both eukaryotes and prokaryotes. This was the first report of antimicrobial peptides from amphibians belonging to the family of Pelobatidae. PMID:27114317

  10. Evolution of the α-Subunit of Na/K-ATPase from Paramecium to Homo sapiens: Invariance of Transmembrane Helix Topology.

    PubMed

    Morrill, Gene A; Kostellow, Adele B; Liu, Lijun; Gupta, Raj K; Askari, Amir

    2016-05-01

    Na/K-ATPase is a key plasma membrane enzyme involved in cell signaling, volume regulation, and maintenance of electrochemical gradients. The α-subunit, central to these functions, belongs to a large family of P-type ATPases. Differences in transmembrane (TM) helix topology, sequence homology, helix-helix contacts, cell signaling, and protein domains of Na/K-ATPase α-subunit were compared in fungi (Beauveria), unicellular organisms (Paramecia), primitive multicellular organisms (Hydra), and vertebrates (Xenopus, Homo sapiens), and correlated with evolution of physiological functions in the α-subunit. All α-subunits are of similar length, with groupings of four and six helices in the N- and C-terminal regions, respectively. Minimal homology was seen for protein domain patterns in Paramecium and Hydra, with high correlation between Hydra and vertebrates. Paramecium α-subunits display extensive disorder, with minimal helix contacts. Increases in helix contacts in Hydra approached vertebrates. Protein motifs known to be associated with membrane lipid rafts and cell signaling reveal significant positional shifts between Paramecium and Hydra vulgaris, indicating that regional membrane fluidity changes occur during evolution. Putative steroid binding sites overlapping TM-3 occurred in all species. Sites associated with G-protein-receptor stimulation occur both in vertebrates and amphibia but not in Hydra or Paramecia. The C-terminus moiety "KETYY," necessary for the Na(+) activation of pump phosphorylation, is not present in unicellular species indicating the absence of classical Na(+)/K(+)-pumps. The basic protein topology evolved earliest, followed by increases in protein domains and ordered helical arrays, correlated with appearance of α-subunit regions known to involve cell signaling, membrane recycling, and ion channel formation. PMID:26961431

  11. Adrenocortical function in cane toads from different environments.

    PubMed

    Hernández, Sandra E; Sernia, Conrad; Bradley, Adrian J

    2016-05-01

    The adrenocortical function of cane toads (Rhinella marina) exposed to different experimental procedures, as well as captured from different environments, was assessed by challenging the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. It was found that restriction stress as well as cannulation increased plasma corticosterone (B) levels for up to 12h. A single dose of dexamethasone (DEX 2mg/kg) significantly reduced B levels demonstrating its potential for use in the evaluation of the HPA axis in amphibia. We also demonstrate that 0.05 IU/g BW (im) of synthetic adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) significantly increased plasma B levels in cane toads. Changes in size area of the cortical cells were positively associated with total levels of B after ACTH administration. We also found differences in adrenal activity between populations. This was assessed by a DEX-ACTH test. The animals captured from the field and maintained in captivity for one year at the animal house (AH) present the highest levels of total and free B after ACTH administration. We also found that animals from the front line of dispersion in Western Australia (WA) present the weakest adrenal response to a DEX-ACTH test. The animals categorized as long established in Queensland Australia (QL), and native in Mexico (MX), do not shown a marked difference in the HPA activity. Finally we found that in response to ACTH administration, females reach significantly higher levels of plasma B than males. For the first time the adrenocortical response in cane toads exposed to different experimental procedures, as well as from different populations was assessed systematically. PMID:26877241

  12. Elaphoidella grandidieri (Harpacticoida: Copepoda): demographic characteristics and possible use as live prey in aquaculture.

    PubMed

    Nandini, S; Nunez Ortiz, Alma Rosa; Sarma, S S S

    2011-07-01

    In freshwater ecosystems, rotifers and cladocerans are ideal prey for fish larvae whereas copepods, due to their purported low growth rate and predatory tendency, are not. We recently isolated the parthenogenetic Elaphoidella grandidieri (Gueme et Richard, 1893) a benthic freshwater harpacticoid, from a fish farm in the State of Morelos, central Mexico and tested its potential as a live prey organism for larval vertebrates. Population growth and life table demography experiments were conducted, in 100 ml recipients with 50 ml of test medium on a diet of Scenedesmus acutus at a density of 1.0 X 10(6) cell ml(-1); the former on live algae alone while the latter on live algae as well as detritus. We also conducted experiments to document the prey preference for this copepod by the larval Ameca splendens (Pisces: Goodeidae) and Ambystoma mexicanum (Amphibia: Ambystomatidae), fed the rotifer Plationus patulus, the ostracod Heterocypris incongruens, and the cladocerans Moina macrocopa and Daphnia pulex. Elaphoidella grandidieri is relatively easy to maintain under laboratory conditions, reaching densities (copepodites and adults) of more than 10,000 l(-1). The generation time ranged between 30-45 days, depending on the diet. The net reproductive rate was as high as 60 nauplii female(-1) day (1). Population growth rates ranged between 0.03 and 0.11 d(-1), live algae being the superior diet compared to detritus. Both predators showed no preference for E. grandidieri, but in the absence of alternate prey they consumed 80% of the harpacticoids offered. The data have been discussed in relation to the potential of E. grandidierias live food for aquaculture. PMID:22315830

  13. Non-invasive reproductive and stress endocrinology in amphibian conservation physiology.

    PubMed

    Narayan, E J

    2013-01-01

    Non-invasive endocrinology utilizes non-invasive biological samples (such as faeces, urine, hair, aquatic media, and saliva) for the quantification of hormones in wildlife. Urinary-based enzyme immunoassay (EIA) and radio-immunoassay have enabled the rapid quantification of reproductive and stress hormones in amphibians (Anura: Amphibia). With minimal disturbance, these methods can be used to assess the ovarian and testicular endocrine functions as well as physiological stress in captive and free-living populations. Non-invasive endocrine monitoring has therefore greatly advanced our knowledge of the functioning of the stress endocrine system (the hypothalamo-pituitary-interrenal axis) and the reproductive endocrine system (the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis) in the amphibian physiological stress response, reproductive ecology, health and welfare, and survival. Biological (physiological) validation is necessary for obtaining the excretory lag time of hormone metabolites. Urinary-based EIA for the major reproductive hormones, estradiol and progesterone in females and testosterone in males, can be used to track the reproductive hormone profiles in relationship to reproductive behaviour and environmental data in free-living anurans. Urinary-based corticosterone metabolite EIA can be used to assess the sublethal impacts of biological stressors (such as invasive species and pathogenic diseases) as well as anthropogenic induced environmental stressors (e.g. extreme temperatures) on free-living populations. Non-invasive endocrine methods can also assist in the diagnosis of success or failure of captive breeding programmes by measuring the longitudinal patterns of changes in reproductive hormones and corticosterone within captive anurans and comparing the endocrine profiles with health records and reproductive behaviour. This review paper focuses on the reproductive and the stress endocrinology of anurans and demonstrates the uses of non-invasive endocrinology for

  14. Identification of a synaptic vesicle-specific membrane protein with a wide distribution in neuronal and neurosecretory tissue

    PubMed Central

    1981-01-01

    Two different monoclonal antibodies, characterized initially as binding synaptic terminal regions of rat brain, bind a 65,000-dalton protein, which is exposed on the outer surface of brain synaptic vesicles. Immunocytochemical experiments at the electron microscope level demonstrate that these antibodies bind the vesicles in many different types of nerve terminals. The antibodies have been used successfully to purify synaptic vesicles from crude brain homogenates by immunoprecipitation onto the surface of polyacrylamide beads. The profiles of the structures precipitated by these beads are almost exclusively vesicular, confirming the vesicle-specificity of the antibodies. In SDS gels, the antibodies bind a single protein of 65,000 daltons. The two antibodies are not identical, but compete for binding sites on this protein. Immune competition experiments also demonstrate that the antigenic components on the 65,000-dalton protein are widely distributed in neuronal and neural secretory tissues. Detectable antigen is not found in uninnervated tissue--blood cells and extrajunctional muscle. Low levels are found in nonneural secretory tissues; it is not certain whether this reflects the presence of low amounts of the antigen on all the exocytotic vesicles in these tissues or whether the antigen is found only in neuronal fibers within these tissues. The molecular weight and at least two antigenic determinants of the 65,000-dalton protein are highly conserved throughout vertebrate phylogeny. The two antibodies recognize a 65,000-dalton protein present in shark, amphibia, birds, and mammals. The highly conserved nature of the determinants on this protein and their specific localization on secretory vesicles of many different types suggest that this protein may be essential for the normal function of neuronal secretory vesicles. PMID:7298720

  15. Assessing risks to non-target species during poison baiting programs for feral cats.

    PubMed

    Buckmaster, Tony; Dickman, Christopher R; Johnston, Michael J

    2014-01-01

    Poison baiting is used frequently to reduce the impacts of pest species of mammals on agricultural and biodiversity interests. However, baiting may not be appropriate if non-target species are at risk of poisoning. Here we use a desktop decision tree approach to assess the risks to non-target vertebrate species in Australia that arise from using poison baits developed to control feral house cats (Felis catus). These baits are presented in the form of sausages with toxicant implanted in the bait medium within an acid-soluble polymer capsule (hard shell delivery vehicle, or HSDV) that disintegrates after ingestion. Using criteria based on body size, diet and feeding behaviour, we assessed 221 of Australia's 3,769 native vertebrate species as likely to consume cat-baits, with 47 of these likely to ingest implanted HSDVs too. Carnivorous marsupials were judged most likely to consume both the baits and HSDVs, with some large-bodied and ground-active birds and reptiles also consuming them. If criteria were relaxed, a further 269 species were assessed as possibly able to consume baits and 343 as possibly able to consume HSDVs; most of these consumers were birds. One threatened species, the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) was judged as definitely able to consume baits with implanted HSDVs, whereas five threatened species of birds and 21 species of threatened mammals were rated as possible consumers. Amphibia were not considered to be at risk. We conclude that most species of native Australian vertebrates would not consume surface-laid baits during feral cat control programs, and that significantly fewer would be exposed to poisoning if HSDVs were employed. However, risks to susceptible species should be quantified in field or pen trials prior to the implementation of a control program, and minimized further by applying baits at times and in places where non-target species have little access.

  16. Distribution and morphology of sacral spinal cord neurons innervating pelvic structures in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Campbell, H L; Beattie, M S; Bresnahan, J C

    1994-09-22

    Relatively little is known about the organization of neural input to pelvic viscera in amphibia. In this study, sacral spinal efferent neurons were labeled in Xenopus laevis frogs by application of horseradish peroxidase (HRP) to the tenth spinal nerve, to pelvic musculature, or to the pelvic nerve. DiI was applied to the pelvic nerve with similar results. Labeled spinal neurons were located in the intermediate gray or in the ventral horn. Neurons in the tenth dorsal root ganglion, but not in the spinal cord, were labeled after application of HRP or DiI to the pudendal nerve. The labeled neurons in the spinal cord intermediate gray were in a position comparable to that of the mammalian sacral parasympathetic nucleus (SPN). Two apparent subdivisions included 1) a medial cluster of cells with mediolaterally oriented dendrites and 2) a lateral group with dorsoventrally oriented dendrites. An intermediate group, not clearly classed with the other two, was also identifiable. In some cases, labeled tenth nerve primary afferents were seen in contact with efferent neurons of the intermediate gray. Labeled neurons in the ventral horn medial to the lateral motor column were small, with dendrites oriented mediolaterally, in a position comparable to that of the mammalian Onuf's nucleus. The peripheral targets of DiI-labeled pelvic nerve axons were the compressor cloaca muscle, cloaca, and bladder. DiI-labeled pudendal nerve axons distributed peripherally to cloacal lip and medial thigh integument. These data suggest that the pudendal nerve in amphibians is purely sensory and that both somatic and autonomic motor axons traverse the pelvic nerve.

  17. Identification of intergenomic recombinations in unisexual salamanders of the genus Ambystoma by genomic in situ hybridization (GISH).

    PubMed

    Bi, K; Bogart, J P

    2006-01-01

    Unisexual salamanders in the genus Ambystoma (Amphibia, Caudata) are endemic to eastern North America and are mostly all-female polyploids. Two to four of the bisexual species, A. laterale, A. jeffersonianum, A. texanum and A. tigrinum, contribute to the nuclear genome of unisexuals and more than 20 combinations that range from diploid to pentaploid have been identified in this complex. Because the karyotypes of the four bisexual species are similar, homologous and homoeologous chromosomes in the unisexuals can not be distinguished by conventional or banded karyotypes. We chose two widespread unisexual genomic combinations (A.laterale-2 jeffersonianum [or LJJ] and A. 2 laterale-jeffersonianum [or LLJ]) and employed genomic in situ hybridization (GISH) to identify the genomes in these unisexuals. Under optimum conditions, GISH reliably distinguishes the respective chromosomes attributed to both A.laterale and A. jeffersonianum. Of four populations examined, two were found to have independently evolved homoeologous recombinants that persist in both LJJ and LLJ individuals. Our results refute the previous hypothesis of clonal integrity and independent evolution of the genome combinations in these unisexuals. Our data provide evidence for intergenomic interactions between maternal chromosomes during meiosis in unisexuals and help to explain previously observed non-homologous bivalents and/or quadrivalents among lampbrush chromosomes that were possibly initiated by partial homosequential pairing among the homo(eo)logues. To explore the utility of GISH in other members of the complex, probes developed from A. laterale were also applied to unisexuals that contained A. tigrinum and A. texanum genomes. GISH is an effective tool that can be used to identify and to quantify genomic constituents and to investigate intergenomic interactions in unisexual salamanders. GISH also has potential application to examine possible genomic evolution in other unisexuals. PMID:16484787

  18. Distribution, adaptation and physiological meaning of thiols from vertebrate hemoglobins.

    PubMed

    Reischl, Evaldo; Dafre, Alcir Luiz; Franco, Jeferson Luis; Wilhelm Filho, Danilo

    2007-01-01

    In the present review, the sequences of hemoglobins (Hb) of 267 adult vertebrate species belonging to eight major vertebrate taxa are examined for the presence and location of cysteinyl residues in an attempt at correlation with their ecophysiology. Essentially, all vertebrates have surface cysteinyl residues in Hb molecules whereby their thiol groups may become highly reactive. Thiol-rich Hbs may display eight or more thiols per tetramer. In vertebrates so far examined, the cysteinyl residues occur in 44 different sequence positions in alpha chains and 41 positions in beta chains. Most of them are conservatively located and occur in only a few positions in Teleostei, Aves and Mammalia, whereas they are dispersed in Amphibia. The internal cysteinyl residue alpha104 is ubiquitous in vertebrates. Residue beta93 is highly conserved in reptiles, birds and mammals. The number of cysteine residues per tetramer with solvent access varies in vertebrates, mammalians and bony fish having the lowest number of external residues, whereas nearly all external cysteine residues in Aves and Lepidosauria are of the surface crevice type. In cartilaginous fish, amphibians, Crocodylidae and fresh water turtles, a substantial portion of the solvent accessible thiols are of the totally external type. Recent evidence shows that some Hb thiol groups are highly reactive and undergo extensive and reversible S-thiolation, and that they may be implicated in interorgan redox equilibrium processes. Participation of thiol groups in nitric oxide ((*)NO) metabolism has also been proved. The evidence argues for a new physiologically relevant role for Hb via involvement in free radical and antioxidant metabolism. PMID:17368111

  19. Assembly of ovarian follicles in the caecilians Ichthyophis tricolor and Gegeneophis ramaswamii: light and transmission electron microscopic study.

    PubMed

    Beyo, R S; Sreejith, P; Divya, L; Oommen, O V; Akbarsha, M A

    2007-08-01

    Though much is known about various aspects of reproductive biology of amphibia, there is little information on the cellular and mechanistic basis of assembly of ovarian follicles in this group. This is especially true of the caecilians. Therefore, taking advantage of the abundant distribution of caecilians in the Western Ghats of India, two species of caecilians, Ichthyophis tricolor and Gegeneophis ramaswamii, were subjected to light and transmission electron microscopic analysis to trace the sequential changes during the assembly of ovarian follicles. The paired ovaries of these caecilians are elongated sac-like structures each including numerous vitellogenic follicles. The follicles are connected by a connective tissue stroma. This stroma contains nests of oogonia, primary oocytes and pregranulosa cells as spatially separated nests. During assembly of follicles the oocytes increase in size and enter the meiotic prophase when the number of nucleoli in the nucleus increases. The mitochondrial cloud or Balbiani vitelline body, initially localized at one pole of the nucleus, disperses through out the cytoplasm subsequently. Synaptonemal complexes are prominent in the pachytene stage oocytes. The pregranulosa cells migrate through the connective tissue fibrils of the stroma and arrive at the vicinity of the meiotic prophase oocytes. On contacting the oocyte, the pregranulosa cells become cuboidal in shape, wrap the diplotene stage oocyte as a discontinuous layer and increase the content of cytoplasmic organelles and inclusions. The oocytes increase in size and are arrested in diplotene when the granulosa cells become flat and form a continuous layer. Soon a perivitelline space appears between the oolemma and granulosa cells, completing the process of assembly of follicles. Thus, the events in the establishment of follicles in the caecilian ovary are described. PMID:17637101

  20. Molecular phylogeny of Rhacophoridae (Anura): A framework of taxonomic reassignment of species within the genera Aquixalus, Chiromantis, Rhacophorus, and Philautus.

    PubMed

    Li, Jia-tang; Che, Jing; Bain, Raoul H; Zhao, Er-mi; Zhang, Ya-ping

    2008-07-01

    Phylogenetic relationships among representative species of the family Rhacophoridae were investigated based on 2904bp of sequences from both mitochondrial (12S rRNA, 16S rRNA, the complete t-RNA for valine), and nuclear (tyrosinase, rhodopsin) genes. Maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian analyses were employed to reconstruct the phylogenetic trees. This analysis, combined with previous phylogenetic studies, serves as a framework for future work in rhacophorid systematics. The monophyly of Rhacophorus is strongly confirmed except for the species R.hainanus, which is the sister taxon to A.odontotarsus. The non-monophyly of the newly designated genus Aquixalus by Delorme et al. [Delorme, M., Dubois, A., Grosjean, S., Ohler, A., 2005. Une nouvelle classification générique et subgénérique de la tribu des Philautini (Amphibia, Anura, Ranidae, Rhacophorinae). Bull. Mens. Soc. Linn. Lyon 74, 165-171] is further confirmed. Aquixalus (Aquixalus) forms a well-supported monophyletic group within Kurixalus, whereas, Aquixalus (Gracixalus) is more closely related to species of Rhacophorus, Polypedates, and Chiromantis. Philautus as currently understood, does not form a monophyletic group. Philautus (Kirtixalus) is the sister group to the clade comprising Kurixalus and Aquixalus (Aquixalus), and more remotely related to Philautus (Philautus). Chiromantisromeri does not cluster with species of Chiromantis, and forms a basal clade to all rhacophorids save Buergeria. We propose some taxonomic changes that reflect these findings, but further revision should await more detailed studies, which include combined morphological and molecular analyses, with greater species sampling. PMID:18442928

  1. Assessing risks to non-target species during poison baiting programs for feral cats.

    PubMed

    Buckmaster, Tony; Dickman, Christopher R; Johnston, Michael J

    2014-01-01

    Poison baiting is used frequently to reduce the impacts of pest species of mammals on agricultural and biodiversity interests. However, baiting may not be appropriate if non-target species are at risk of poisoning. Here we use a desktop decision tree approach to assess the risks to non-target vertebrate species in Australia that arise from using poison baits developed to control feral house cats (Felis catus). These baits are presented in the form of sausages with toxicant implanted in the bait medium within an acid-soluble polymer capsule (hard shell delivery vehicle, or HSDV) that disintegrates after ingestion. Using criteria based on body size, diet and feeding behaviour, we assessed 221 of Australia's 3,769 native vertebrate species as likely to consume cat-baits, with 47 of these likely to ingest implanted HSDVs too. Carnivorous marsupials were judged most likely to consume both the baits and HSDVs, with some large-bodied and ground-active birds and reptiles also consuming them. If criteria were relaxed, a further 269 species were assessed as possibly able to consume baits and 343 as possibly able to consume HSDVs; most of these consumers were birds. One threatened species, the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) was judged as definitely able to consume baits with implanted HSDVs, whereas five threatened species of birds and 21 species of threatened mammals were rated as possible consumers. Amphibia were not considered to be at risk. We conclude that most species of native Australian vertebrates would not consume surface-laid baits during feral cat control programs, and that significantly fewer would be exposed to poisoning if HSDVs were employed. However, risks to susceptible species should be quantified in field or pen trials prior to the implementation of a control program, and minimized further by applying baits at times and in places where non-target species have little access. PMID:25229348

  2. Using catenas for GIS-based mapping of NW Mediterranean littoral habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mariani, Simone; Cefalì, Maria Elena; Terradas, Marc; Chappuis, Eglantine; Ballesteros, Enric

    2014-06-01

    Studies aimed at describing habitats and mapping their distributions are pivotal to implementing management plans and to effectively guide conservation measures. We developed a novel approach of data collection and entry (CAT-LIT) to establish a detailed cartography of the littoral habitats found along the Catalan coast (Spain). Field data were recorded using coded, two-digit hierarchical lists (e.g. Aa, Ab, etc.) of horizons found at each point along the coast, called catenas. The horizons were either dominated by species (on the rocky bottoms) or sediment types (on the beaches) and corresponded to LPRE, EUNIS and CORINE habitats. Catenas were transferred into a database and calculations about the extent of bottom types, habitats, and catenas themselves along the coast were carried out with GIS tools. In addition, habitat link richness was calculated and represented using network analysis programs. The application of CAT-LIT to the Catalan coast showed that the habitats dominated by the lichen Verrucaria amphibia and the flattened barnacle Euraphia depressa and those dominated by the barnacle Chthamalus spp. were almost ubiquitous. Those dominated by the red alga Corallina elongata, the mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis and the red alga Rissoella verruculosa were also common. Because of the frequency of their connections, those habitats formed a huge hub of links in the networks. By using catenas, the habitats can be viewed using GIS based programs keeping the catena as the main informational and ecological unit. The catenas allow maximum compactness when vertically distributed habitats are to be shown on a 2D map. The complete cartography and dataset on the spatial distribution of the littoral habitats from Catalonia is valuable for coastal management and conservation to study changes in the habitat distribution and relate such changes to anthropogenic pressures. Furthermore, the CAT-LIT can be easily adapted to shores of other seas and oceans to obtain accurate

  3. Impact of Natural and Man-Made Factors on Mineral Composition of the Ardon River Water and Hydrophytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vadim, Ermakov; Elena, Korobova; Alexander, Degtyarev; Nina, Petrunina; Sergey, Tyutikov

    2013-04-01

    The Unal basin located in mountain region of Northern Ossetia (the Caucasus) belongs to Pb-Zn natural province with anthropogenic and natural transformation of the environment leading to risks of ecological damage. Activity of the Misursk Mining Combine and its Arkhon-Khosta tailings caused a significant local increase of Pb, Cd, Cu, Zn content in soils, water and biotic components relative to background values [1-5]. A catastrophic mud flow of 2002 and the later construction of a gas pipeline and a dam for hydroelectric power station changed local landscapes and biota (plants, algae, and amphibia). Biogeochemical studies performed in the area in 2001, 2003 and 2008 showed that in some cases the specified factors might change the structure of landscapes due to enhanced mass migration and the erosion of outcropping rocks which could be followed by corresponding transformation of the chemical composition of draining waters and flood plain soils, and could also change the character of species' invasion. Algae were proved to adapt and to indicate both natural and man-made transformation of the environment [3, 4]. A distinct relation between the particle size of the suspended matter in the Ardon river waters and water mineralization was discovered. However, heavy metals' concentration level in waters of the Ardon river appeared in general to be within the acceptable hygienic standards and therefore ecologically not critical. References 1. Degtyarev V.P., Ermakov V.V. Ecological and geochemical evaluation of the the Ardon river basin (Northern Ossetia). Geokhimiya, 1998, 1, 88-94. 2. Karpova E.A., Krechetova E.V., Degtyarev V.P. Parameters of heavy metal migration in soils of biogeochemical anomalies of the Northern Ossetia. Modern problems of soil contamination, Moscow State University, V. 1, 2007, 106-110. 3. Petrunina N.S., Ermakov V.V., Tuytikov S.F., Karpova E.A., Levkina L.M., Gololobova M.A. Biogeochemical identification of natural and technogenic polymetallic

  4. Asymmetry in the epithalamus of vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    L. CONCHA, MIGUEL; W. WILSON, STEPHEN

    2001-01-01

    The epithalamus is a major subdivision of the diencephalon constituted by the habenular nuclei and pineal complex. Structural asymmetries in this region are widespread amongst vertebrates and involve differences in size, neuronal organisation, neurochemistry and connectivity. In species that possess a photoreceptive parapineal organ, this structure projects asymmetrically to the left habenula, and in teleosts it is also situated on the left side of the brain. Asymmetries in size between the left and right sides of the habenula are often associated with asymmetries in neuronal organisation, although these two types of asymmetry follow different evolutionary courses. While the former is more conspicuous in fishes (with the exception of teleosts), asymmetries in neuronal organisation are more robust in amphibia and reptiles. Connectivity of the parapineal organ with the left habenula is not always coupled with asymmetries in habenular size and/or neuronal organisation suggesting that, at least in some species, assignment of parapineal and habenular asymmetries may be independent events. The evolutionary origins of epithalamic structures are uncertain but asymmetry in this region is likely to have existed at the origin of the vertebrate, perhaps even the chordate, lineage. In at least some extant vertebrate species, epithalamic asymmetries are established early in development, suggesting a genetic regulation of asymmetry. In some cases, epigenetic factors such as hormones also influence the development of sexually dimorphic habenular asymmetries. Although the genetic and developmental mechanisms by which neuroanatomical asymmetries are established remain obscure, some clues regarding the mechanisms underlying laterality decisions have recently come from studies in zebrafish. The Nodal signalling pathway regulates laterality by biasing an otherwise stochastic laterality decision to the left side of the epithalamus. This genetic mechanism ensures a consistency of

  5. A web-based archive for topographic maps of retinal cell distribution in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Collin, Shaun P

    2008-01-01

    Clinical and Experimental Optometry, in conjunction with Optometrists Association Australia and Professor Shaun P Collin of the University of Queensland, announce the launch of a web-based archive of previously published topographic maps of retinal cell distribution in vertebrates. At present, the archive boasts more than 770 different maps of the distribution of retinal neurons (for example, photoreceptors, bipolar cells, amacrine cells, horizontal cells and ganglion cells) in nearly 200 species within all vertebrate classes (Cephalospidomorpha, Actinopterygii, Sarcopterygii, Amphibia, Reptilia, Aves and Mammalia). The distribution of retinal neurons has been studied for more than 100 years and has become a powerful means of predicting the spatial resolving power of the eye and the retinal regions containing specialisations, such as areae centrales, horizontal streaks and foveae, where increased densities of neurons define the way in which a species visually samples its environment. The location of these retinal specialisations thereby identifies the part(s) of the visual field of critical importance for localising food and mates and for predator surveillance. The distribution of sampling elements even reflects the symmetry of a species' ecological habitat. The archive is a unique collection of most of the currently available retinal maps, which also presents relevant information, where known, about eye size, retinal cell density, retinal orientation, cell number, spatial resolving power and the type of specialisation, in addition to basic physical parameters of each species (body size, weight, sex and developmental stage). The archive is accessible at http://www.optometrists.asn.au/ceo/retinalsearch and will be updated regularly. The powerful database is interactive and freely available, providing the opportunity to upload both published and unpublished topographic maps. Following a review process, previously unpublished maps will be 'published' and available

  6. Spray droplet size, drift potential, and risks to nontarget organisms from aerially applied glyphosate for coca control in Colombia.

    PubMed

    Hewitt, Andrew J; Solomon, Keith R; Marshall, E J P

    2009-01-01

    end of the spray boom as recorded electronically +/-5%) for protection of sensitive plants were 50-120 m for coca spray scenarios and considerably lower for poppy spray scenarios. The equivalent buffer zone for amphibia was 5 m. The low toxicity of glyphosate to humans suggests that these aerial applications are not a concern for human health.

  7. Gene structure, transcripts and calciotropic effects of the PTH family of peptides in Xenopus and chicken

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    PTH-L. It is hypothesized that genes of the PTH family appeared at approximately the same time during the vertebrate radiation and evolved via gene duplication/deletion events. PTH-L was lost from the genome of eutherian mammals and PTH, which has a paracrine distribution in lower vertebrates, became the product of a specific endocrine tissue in Amphibia, the parathyroid gland. The PTHrP gene organisation diverged and became more complex in vertebrates and retained its widespread tissue distribution which is congruent with its paracrine nature. PMID:21122104

  8. Distribution of algae in the San Joaquin River, California, in relation to nutrient supply, salinity and other environmental factors

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Leland, H.V.; Brown, L.R.; Mueller, D.K.

    2001-01-01

    ., were the principal late-summer benthic species upstream in the mainstem and in drainages of the San Joaquin Valley. Many of the other abundant diatoms (Amphora veneta, Bacillaria paxillifer, Navicula symmetrica, Nitzschia amphibia, N. fonticola, N. palea, Pleurosigma salinarum) of late-summer assemblages in these segments also are motile species. While many of these species also were abundant in segments downstream of confluences with rivers draining the Sierra Nevada, the relative abundance of prostrate (Cocconeis placentula var. euglypta, Navicula minima) and erect or stalked (Achnanthidium deflexum, Achnanthes lanceolata, Gomphonema kobayasii, G. parvulum var. lagenula) diatoms and Stigeoclonium sp. was greater in these lower San Joaquin River segments. 5. A weighted-averaging regression model, based on salinity and benthic-algal abundance in the San Joaquin River and segments of its major tributaries within the San Joaquin Valley, yielded a highly significant coefficient-of-determination (r2 = 0.84) and low prediction error between salinity inferred from the species and that observed, indicating that salinity tolerance is a primary constraint on growth and assembly of the phytobenthos. The same measures of predictability indicated poor performance of a model based on inorganic nitrogen. However, with a greater representation of tributaries (including segments within the Sierra Nevada foothills) in the sample set, an inorganic nitrogen model also yielded a highly significant coefficient-of-determination (r2 = 0.87) and low prediction error between the species-inferred and the observed concentration. As with the salinity model (r2 = 0.94) for the enlarged data set, a systematic difference (increased deviation of residuals) existed at high inorganic nitrogen concentrations. These results indicate substantial interaction between salinity and inorganic nitrogen as constraints on the structure of benthic-algal communities of the San Joaquin River basin.

  9. Dose rate estimation of the Tohoku hynobiid salamander, Hynobius lichenatus, in Fukushima.

    PubMed

    Fuma, Shoichi; Ihara, Sadao; Kawaguchi, Isao; Ishikawa, Takahiro; Watanabe, Yoshito; Kubota, Yoshihisa; Sato, Youji; Takahashi, Hiroyuki; Aono, Tatsuo; Ishii, Nobuyoshi; Soeda, Haruhi; Matsui, Kumi; Une, Yumi; Minamiya, Yukio; Yoshida, Satoshi

    2015-05-01

    The radiological risks to the Tohoku hynobiid salamanders (class Amphibia), Hynobius lichenatus due to the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident were assessed in Fukushima Prefecture, including evacuation areas. Aquatic egg clutches (n = 1 for each sampling date and site; n = 4 in total), overwintering larvae (n = 1-5 for each sampling date and site; n = 17 in total), and terrestrial juveniles or adults (n = 1 or 3 for each sampling date and site; n = 12 in total) of H. lichenatus were collected from the end of April 2011 to April 2013. Environmental media such as litter (n = 1-5 for each sampling date and site; n = 30 in total), soil (n = 1-8 for each sampling date and site; n = 31 in total), water (n = 1 for each sampling date and site; n = 17 in total), and sediment (n = 1 for each sampling date and site; n = 17 in total) were also collected. Activity concentrations of (134)Cs + (137)Cs were 1.9-2800, 0.13-320, and 0.51-220 kBq (dry kg) (-1) in the litter, soil, and sediment samples, respectively, and were 0.31-220 and <0.29-40 kBq (wet kg)(-1) in the adult and larval salamanders, respectively. External and internal absorbed dose rates to H. lichenatus were calculated from these activity concentration data, using the ERICA Assessment Tool methodology. External dose rates were also measured in situ with glass dosimeters. There was agreement within a factor of 2 between the calculated and measured external dose rates. In the most severely contaminated habitat of this salamander, a northern part of Abukuma Mountains, the highest total dose rates were estimated to be 50 and 15 μGy h(-1) for the adults and overwintering larvae, respectively. Growth and survival of H. lichenatus was not affected at a dose rate of up to 490 μGy h(-1) in the previous laboratory chronic gamma-irradiation experiment, and thus growth and survival of this salamander would not be affected, even in the most severely contaminated habitat in Fukushima Prefecture. However, further

  10. DIRS-1 and the other tyrosine recombinase retrotransposons.

    PubMed

    Poulter, R T M; Goodwin, T J D

    2005-01-01

    wide range of animals including nematodes, insects, sea urchins, fish and amphibia, while remnants of elements related to DIRS-1 occur in the human genome. The complete set of YR retrotransposons can be divided into two major groups, the DIRS elements and the Ngaro elements, the two groups forming distinct clades on phylogenetic trees based on alignments of RT/RH and recombinase sequences, and also having some structural distinctions. A third group of transposable elements, which we call Cryptons, also carry tyrosine recombinases. These elements do not encode a reverse transcriptase and so are believed to be DNA transposons not retrotransposons. They have been detected in several pathogenic fungi, including the basidiomycete Cryptococcus neoformans, and the ascomycetes Coccidioides posadasii and Histoplasma capsulatum. Sequence comparisons suggest that the Crypton YRs are related to those of the YR retrotransposons. We suggest that the YR retrotransposons arose from the combination of a Crypton-like YR DNA transposon and the RT/RH encoding sequence of a retrotransposon. PMID:16093711

  11. THE METAMORPHOSIS OF THE ENDOSTYLE (THYROID GLAND) OF AMMOCOETES BRANCHIALIS (LARVAL LAND-LOCKED PETROMYZON MARINUS (JORDAN) OR PETROMYZON DORSATUS (WILDER)).

    PubMed

    Marine, D

    1913-04-01

    The first specimen of Ammocoetes branchialis that showed histologically any atrophic changes in the endostyle was taken on July 16. These changes proceeded relatively rapidly for about a month, after which the endostyle as such was no longer recognized. All specimens examined after August 15 showed in cross section the characteristic ductless follicles more or less completely formed. More gradual and minor changes in the way of further absorption of cell remnants and completion of the follicles continued at least until September 1. Two specimens taken from the creek on September 4, 1911. showed complete follicle formation with some stainable colloid (figures 14 and 15). There was still yellow granular pigment in the fibrous tissue between the follicles. In two specimens taken on October 14, 1909, the pigment was absent and the follicles were more closely set, larger, and contained homogenous colloid. In the twenty-four specimens of ammocoetes studied, there were variations in the time of the onset of metamorphosis. There may also be variations in the rate of progress of the changes in different specimens. There is no evidence that removal of the animals from their native environment to the laboratory either increases or decreases the rate of metamorphosis. Schneider states that he was unable to get specimens kept in the laboratory to undergo metamorphosis. Gage, however, has repeatedly observed the metamorphosis under laboratory conditions, and the six of our specimens kept in the laboratory-some for forty days-remained in excellent condition and the metamorphosis proceeded as well as in those living in the creek. I know of no observations bearing on the question as to whether the metamorphosis may be hastened or delayed as it can be in tadpoles and other amphibia. It is probable, however, that physical conditions greatly influence the transformation. These observations as to the length of time from the inception to the completion of metamorphosis indicate that a