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Sample records for amphibian metamorphosis assay

  1. Thyroid Histopathology Assessments for the Amphibian Metamorphosis Assay to Detect Thyroid-active Substances

    EPA Science Inventory

    In support of an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Amphibian Metamorphosis Assay (AMA) Test Guideline for the detection of substances that interact with the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis, a document was developed that provides a standardized appro...

  2. Thyroid Hormone-disrupting Effects and the Amphibian Metamorphosis Assay

    PubMed Central

    Miyata, Kaori; Ose, Keiko

    2012-01-01

    There are continued concerns about endocrine-disrupting chemical effects, and appropriate vertebrate models for assessment of risk are a high priority. Frog tadpoles are very sensitive to environmental substances because of their habitat and the complex processes of metamorphosis regulated by the endocrine system, mainly thyroid hormones. During metamorphosis, marked alteration in hormonal factors occurs, as well as dramatic structural and functional changes in larval tissues. There are a variety of mechanisms determining thyroid hormone balance or disruption directly or indirectly. Direct-acting agents can cause changes in thyroxine synthesis and/or secretion in thyroid through effects on peroxidases, thyroidal iodide uptake, deiodinase, and proteolysis. At the same time, indirect action may result from biochemical processes such as sulfation, deiodination and glucuronidation. Because their potential to disrupt thyroid hormones has been identified as an important consideration for the regulation of chemicals, the OECD and the EPA have each established guidelines that make use of larval African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) and frog metamorphosis for screening and testing of potential endocrine disrupters. The guidelines are based on evaluation of alteration in the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis. One of the primary endpoints is thyroid gland histopathology. Others are mortality, developmental stage, hind limb length, snout-vent length and wet body weight. Regarding histopathological features, the guidelines include core criteria and additional qualitative parameters along with grading. Taking into account the difficulties in evaluating amphibian thyroid glands, which change continuously throughout metamorphosis, histopathological examination has been shown to be a very sensitive approach. PMID:22481853

  3. Evaluation of the amphibian metamorphosis assay: exposure to the goitrogen methimazole and the endogenous thyroid hormone L-thyroxine.

    PubMed

    Coady, Katherine; Marino, Troy; Thomas, Johnson; Currie, Rebecca; Hancock, Gregg; Crofoot, Jackie; McNalley, Lindsay; McFadden, Lisa; Geter, David; Klecka, Gary

    2010-04-01

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) has included an amphibian metamorphosis assay (AMA) to detect thyroid active chemicals in Tier 1 testing of their endocrine screening program. To understand the variability, specificity, and reliability of the key endpoints of this assay, two exposure studies with Xenopus laevis tadpoles were conducted with two known thyroid-active compounds, namely, methimazole or L-thyroxine, for a total of 21 d. In addition, various increased-flow-rate treatments were included in the exposures to evaluate the effects of physical stress on metamorphic development. The endpoints examined in the exposures were wet weight, snout-vent length, hind-limb length, developmental stage, and thyroid and gonadal histopathology. As expected, the results indicated that both methimazole and L-thyroxine were thyroid active in the AMA, hind-limb length and thyroid histopathology being the most sensitive endpoints of thyroid activity. Tadpoles that were exposed to the various physical stressors in these experiments showed no signs of altered metamorphic development, and exposure to the thyroid-active compounds had no effect on the developing gonad of X. laevis. Taken together, these results support the use of the AMA as a Tier 1 endocrine screen for detection of potential thyroid pathway activity; however, the lack of a true negative response (no-effect) during the validation process prevents a full evaluation of this assay's specificity at this time.

  4. The metamorphosis of amphibian toxicogenomics.

    PubMed

    Helbing, Caren C

    2012-01-01

    Amphibians are important vertebrates in toxicology often representing both aquatic and terrestrial forms within the life history of the same species. Of the thousands of species, only two have substantial genomics resources: the recently published genome of the Pipid, Xenopus (Silurana) tropicalis, and transcript information (and ongoing genome sequencing project) of Xenopus laevis. However, many more species representative of regional ecological niches and life strategies are used in toxicology worldwide. Since Xenopus species diverged from the most populous frog family, the Ranidae, ~200 million years ago, there are notable differences between them and the even more distant Caudates (salamanders) and Caecilians. These differences include genome size, gene composition, and extent of polyploidization. Application of toxicogenomics to amphibians requires the mobilization of resources and expertise to develop de novo sequence assemblies and analysis strategies for a broader range of amphibian species. The present mini-review will present the advances in toxicogenomics as pertains to amphibians with particular emphasis upon the development and use of genomic techniques (inclusive of transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics) and the challenges inherent therein.

  5. Effects of freshwater petroleum contamination on amphibian hatching and metamorphosis

    SciTech Connect

    Mahaney, P.A. . Dept. of Zoology)

    1994-02-01

    This study examined the effects of freshwater petroleum contamination on amphibian reproduction. The primary objectives were to assess the potential environmental and physiological impacts of runoff petroleum products on amphibians, using the green tree frog (Hyla cinerea) as a target species and engine crankcase oil as a contaminant. Egg hatching success, tadpole growth, and successful metamorphosis were measured in four concentrations of oil. The effects of oil on food source was also studied. Hatching success was not measurably influenced by the presence of oil. Tadpole and alga growth were negatively associated with the presence of oil. No tadpoles from the high concentration of oil treatments successfully metamorphosed.

  6. RELATION BETWEEN METAMORPHOSIS AND OTHER DEVELOPMENTAL PHENOMENA IN AMPHIBIANS

    PubMed Central

    Uhlenhuth, Eduard

    1919-01-01

    1. The difference in time existing between the first shedding of the skin and the reduction of the gills to mere stubs without fringes is constant and unchangeable, which indicates that the fundamental cause for both is a common one. 2. This common cause is the action of iodine, and consequently both phenomena constitute, or at least are part of, the metamorphosis of the salamanders. 3. The development of the adult skin coloration and of the legs may take place either before or after metamorphosis. Iodine cannot enforce either of these phenomena. 4. The same is true of the development of the sex organs. 5. Development of the tongue and palatal teeth can be checked even in animals in which metamorphosis takes place. 6. Consequently development of the skin coloration, as well as development of the legs, sex organs, tongue, and palatal teeth are all caused by substances not identical with the substances causing metamorphosis and, since they are also all independent of each other in their development, it is probable that special chemical mechanisms exist for the development of each one of these six groups of organs. 7. This assumption is also supported by the fact that the order of development in several of these organ pairs can be changed by a difference in temperature, which would indicate that the development of each of these groups of organs is caused by chemical reactions with different temperature coefficients. 8. That the germ cells can develop in amphibians either before or after metamorphosis does not mean that the germ plasma is opposed as a unit to the somatic plasma, since other organs which are believed to be part of the somatic plasma behave in this respect like the germ cells. 9. The noteworthy feature of the amphibian metamorphosis is that instead of being controlled and kept in harmony by the organic individual the development of at least six groups of organs is controlled separately by the action of probably six different chemical mechanisms, each of

  7. Visual implant elastomer mark retention through metamorphosis in amphibian larvae

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Campbell Grant, Evan H.

    2008-01-01

    Questions in population ecology require the study of marked animals, and marks are assumed to be permanent and not overlooked by observers. I evaluated retention through metamorphosis of visual implant elastomer marks in larval salamanders and frogs and assessed error in observer identification of these marks. I found 1) individual marks were not retained in larval wood frogs (Rana sylvatica), whereas only small marks were likely to be retained in larval salamanders (Eurycea bislineata), and 2) observers did not always correctly identify marked animals. Evaluating the assumptions of marking protocols is important in the design phase of a study so that correct inference can be made about the population processes of interest. This guidance should be generally useful to the design of mark–recapture studies, with particular application to studies of larval amphibians.

  8. Amphibian Metamorphosis: A Sensitive Life Stage to Chemical and Non-chemical Stressors

    EPA Science Inventory

    Amphibian metamorphosis is a dynamic period of post-embryonic development which transforms the larval anuran into the juvenile. The body structure is remodeled through a variety of processes which may be perturbed by exposure to chemicals as well as other environmental stressors....

  9. Effects of pesticide exposure and the amphibian chytrid fungus on gray treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis) metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Gaietto, Kristina M; Rumschlag, Samantha L; Boone, Michelle D

    2014-10-01

    Pesticides are detectable in most aquatic habitats and have the potential to alter host-pathogen interactions. The amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has been associated with amphibian declines around the world. However, Bd-associated declines are more prominent in some areas, despite nearly global distribution of Bd, suggesting other factors contribute to disease outbreaks. In a laboratory study, the authors examined the effects of 6 different isolates of Bd in the presence or absence of a pesticide (the insecticide carbaryl or the fungicide copper sulfate) to recently hatched Cope's gray treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis) tadpoles reared through metamorphosis. The authors found the presence or absence of pesticides differentially altered the mass at metamorphosis of tadpoles exposed to different Bd isolates, suggesting that isolate could influence metamorphosis but not in ways expected based on origin of the isolate. Pesticide exposure had the strongest impact on metamorphosis of all treatment combinations. Whereas copper sulfate exposure reduced the length of the larval period, carbaryl exposure had apparent positive effects by increasing mass at metamorphosis and lengthening larval period, which adds to evidence that carbaryl can stimulate development in counterintuitive ways. The present study provides limited support to the hypothesis that pesticides can alter the response of tadpoles to isolates of Bd and that the insecticide carbaryl can alter developmental decisions.

  10. The heterochronic gene Lin28 regulates amphibian metamorphosis through disturbance of thyroid hormone function.

    PubMed

    Faunes, Fernando; Gundermann, Daniel G; Muñoz, Rosana; Bruno, Renzo; Larraín, Juan

    2017-03-28

    Metamorphosis is a classic example of developmental transition, which involves important morphological and physiological changes that prepare the organism for the adult life. It has been very well established that amphibian metamorphosis is mainly controlled by Thyroid Hormone (TH). Here, we show that the heterochronic gene Lin28 is downregulated during Xenopus laevis metamorphosis. Lin28 overexpression before activation of TH signaling delays metamorphosis and inhibits the expression of TH target genes. The delay in metamorphosis is rescued by incubation with exogenous TH, indicating that Lin28 works upstream or parallel to TH. High-throughput analyses performed before any delay on metamorphosis or change in TH signaling showed that overexpression of Lin28 reduces transcript levels of several hormones secreted by the pituitary, including the Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH), and regulates the expression of proteins involved in TH transport, metabolism and signaling, showing that Lin28 disrupts TH function at different levels. Our data demonstrates that the role of Lin28 in controlling developmental transitions is evolutionary conserved and establishes a functional interaction between Lin28 and thyroid hormone function introducing a new regulatory step in perinatal development with implications for our understanding of endocrine disorders.

  11. Metamorphosis of two amphibian species after chronic cadmium exposure in outdoor aquatic mesocosms

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    James, S.M.; Little, E.E.; Semlitsch, R.D.

    2005-01-01

    Amphibian larvae at contaminated sites may experience an alteration of metamorphic traits and survival compared to amphibians in uncontaminated conditions. Effects of chronic cadmium (Cd) exposure on the metamorphosis of American toads (Bufo americanus) and southern leopard frogs (Rana sphenocephala) were determined. The two species were reared separately from shortly after hatching through metamorphosis in outdoor mesocosms (1,325-L polyethylene cattle tanks) that simulated natural ponds and enhanced environmental realism relative to the laboratory. Both species exhibited a decrease in survival with increasing initial nominal aqueous Cd concentration. Cadmium treatment did not influence mass at metamorphosis for either species when survival was included as a covariate, but increased the age at metamorphosis for the American toads. The whole body Cd content of metamorphs increased with aqueous Cd treatment level for both species, and the American toads tended to possess more elevated residues. Cadmium quickly partitioned out of the water column and accumulated in and altered the abundance of the tadpoles' diet. Cadmium-contaminated sites may produce fewer metamorphs, and those that survive will metamorphose later and contain Cd. Interspecific differences in the response variables illustrate the importance of testing multiple species when assessing risk. ?? 2005 SETAC.

  12. Amphibian lipid levels at metamorphosis correlate to post-metamorphic terrestrial survival.

    PubMed

    Scott, David E; Casey, Erin D; Donovan, Michele F; Lynch, Tracy K

    2007-09-01

    In organisms that have complex life cycles, factors in the larval environment may affect both larval and adult traits. For amphibians, the postmetamorphic transition from the aquatic environment to terrestrial habitat may be a period of high juvenile mortality. We hypothesized that lipid stores at metamorphosis may affect an animal's success during this critical transition period. We examined variation in total lipid levels among years and sites in recently metamorphosed individuals of two pond-breeding salamander species, the marbled salamander (Ambystoma opacum) and the mole salamander (A. talpoideum), with limited data for one anuran species (southern leopard frog, Rana sphenocephala). Lipid levels were allometrically related to body size and ranged from 1.9 to 23.8% of body dry mass. The two salamander species differed in lipid allocation patterns, with A. opacum apportioning a higher percentage of total lipid reserves into fat bodies than A. talpoideum. Species differences in lipid allocation patterns may primarily reflect that large metamorphs will mature as one-year olds, and, regardless of species, will alter lipid compartmentalization accordingly. We used mark-recapture data obtained at drift fences encircling breeding ponds for 13 A. opacum cohorts to estimate the proportion of postmetamorphic individuals that survived to breed (age 1-4) and the mean age at first reproduction. Regression models indicated that size-corrected lipid level at metamorphosis (i.e., lipid residuals), and to a lesser extent rainfall following metamorphosis, was positively related to adult survival. Snout-vent length at metamorphosis was negatively related to age at first reproduction. We suggest that lipid stores at metamorphosis are vital to juvenile survival in the months following the transition from aquatic to terrestrial habitat, and that a trade-off shaped by postmetamorphic selection in the terrestrial habitat exists between allocation to energy stores versus structural

  13. Effects of microgravity on the larval development, metamorphosis and reproduction of the urodele amphibian Pleurodeles waltl.

    PubMed

    Dournon, C; Durand, D; Tankosic, C; Membre, H; Gualandris-Parisot, L; Bautz, A

    2001-06-01

    The FERTILE experiment was twice performed onboard the Mir space station during the Cassiopée and Pégase French space missions. The goal was to analyze the effects of microgravity on fertilization and embryonic development, and then on further development on the ground in the amphibian Pleurodeles waltl. The present paper reports development that occurred in the laboratory after landing. Recovered on the ground at the hatching stage, young larvae reared at room temperature underwent metamorphosis and became adults without obvious abnormalities. Of particular interest was the rearing temperature that induced a delayed metamorphosis for animals from the Cassiopée space mission, but not for animals from the Pégase mission. The rate of development and the morphology were analogous in these animals and in ground controls reared in a similar annual period. Analysis of offspring was performed using these animals. Males born in space were first mated with control ground-born females and then with females born in space. The mating gave progeny that developed normally. Depending on the methods used and on the limits of the analyses, the results clearly demonstrated that animals born in space were able to live and reproduce after return to the ground.

  14. Optimization, validation and efficacy of the phytohaemagglutinin inflammation assay for use in ecoimmunological studies of amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Clulow, Simon; Harris, Merrilee; Mahony, Michael J.

    2015-01-01

    that metamorphosis does not prevent phenotypic carry-over of larval stress to the adult phenotype. This assay provides an effective tool for understanding the role of global environmental change in the amphibian extinction crisis. PMID:27293727

  15. Dietary selenomethionine exposure induces physical malformations and decreases growth and survival to metamorphosis in an amphibian (Hyla chrysoscelis).

    PubMed

    Lockard, Laura; Rowe, Christopher L; Heyes, Andrew

    2013-04-01

    Selenium (Se) is an essential micronutrient with a narrow therapeutic concentration range. The relative toxicity of Se increases as it is biotransformed into organic compounds, primarily selenomethionine (SeMet), within the aquatic food chain. Effects of aquatic Se contamination are well quantified for many freshwater fish and aquatic bird species, but impacts on amphibians are not well known. This study investigated the responses of larval Cope's gray tree frogs (Hyla chrysoscelis) fed a diet enriched with one of two concentrations of SeMet (50.1 and 489.9 μg Se g(-1) dw [low and high groups, respectively]) by way of a food-limited (ration) or ad libitum (ad lib) feeding regimen. The high dose caused 100 % mortality during the larval period independent of resource provision levels. Regardless of feeding regimen, the low dose decreased larval survival and successful metamorphosis relative to control treatments. The low dose also induced rear limb deformities in ≤73 % of individuals initiating metamorphosis. Providing low-dose food by way of a rationed feeding regimen decreased observed toxicity, likely because of decreased dietary exposure to SeMet relative to the low ad lib treatment. Individuals from the low ration treatment had decreased wet mass at initiation and completion of metamorphic climax (Gosner stages 42 through 46) compared with those from the control ad lib treatment, indicating that resource limitation combined with Se exposure might negatively affect energy stores after metamorphosis. However, lipid content analyses of recently metamorphosed individuals did not reveal any influence of treatment or resource provision on energy stored as lipids. The mean tissue Se concentration of individuals that received the low dose and completed metamorphosis was significantly greater than that of control ad lib or ration individuals at the same developmental stage. This study demonstrates that larval exposure to dietary SeMet can decrease growth and survival

  16. DEVELOPMENT OF AN AMPHIBIAN METAMORPHOSIS MODEL FOR DETECTING THYROID AXIS DISRUPTION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Metamorphosis in Xenopus laevis represents an elaborate process of post-embryonic development which is thyroid hormone (TH) dependent. The development of a functional thyroid axis and the responses of tissues to different TH concentrations are well defined in this species, provid...

  17. The evolution of amphibian metamorphosis: insights based on the transformation of the aortic arches of Pelobates fuscus (Anura)

    PubMed Central

    Kolesová, Hana; Lametschwandtner, Alois; Roček, Zbyněk

    2007-01-01

    In order to gain insights into how the aortic arches changed during the transition of vertebrates to land, transformations of the aortic arches during the metamorphosis of Pelobates fuscus were investigated and compared with data from the early development of a recent ganoid fish Amia calva and a primitive caudate amphibian Salamandrella keyserlingi. Although in larval Pelobates, as in other non-pipid anurans, the gill arches serve partly as a filter-feeding device, their aortic arches maintain the original piscine-like arrangement, except for the mandibular and hyoid aortic arches which were lost. As important pre-adaptations for breathing of atmospheric oxygen occur in larval Pelobates (which have well-developed, though non-respiratory lungs and pulmonary artery), transformation of aortic arches during metamorphosis is fast. The transformation involves disappearance of the ductus Botalli, which results in a complete shunting of blood into the lungs and skin, disappearance of the ductus caroticus, which results in shunting of blood into the head through the arteria carotis interna, and disappearance of arch V, which results in shunting blood to the body through arch IV (systemic arch). It is supposed that the branching pattern of the aortic arches of permanently water-dwelling piscine ancestors, of intermediate forms which occasionally left the water and of primitive tetrapods capable of spending longer periods of time on land had been the same as in the prematamorphic anuran larvae or in some metamorphosed caudates in which the ductus caroticus and ductus Botalli were not interrupted, and arch V was still complete. PMID:17367494

  18. Neural retinal regeneration in the anuran amphibian Xenopus laevis post-metamorphosis: transdifferentiation of retinal pigmented epithelium regenerates the neural retina.

    PubMed

    Yoshii, Chika; Ueda, Yoko; Okamoto, Mitumasa; Araki, Masasuke

    2007-03-01

    In urodele amphibians like the newt, complete retina and lens regeneration occurs throughout their lives. In contrast, anuran amphibians retain this capacity only in the larval stage and quickly lose it during metamorphosis. It is believed that they are unable to regenerate these tissues after metamorphosis. However, contrary to this generally accepted notion, here we report that both the neural retina (NR) and lens regenerate following the surgical removal of these tissues in the anuran amphibian, Xenopus laevis, even in the mature animal. The NR regenerated both from the retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells by transdifferentiation and from the stem cells in the ciliary marginal zone (CMZ) by differentiation. In the early stage of NR regeneration (5-10 days post operation), RPE cells appeared to delaminate from the RPE layer and adhere to the remaining retinal vascular membrane. Thereafter, they underwent transdifferentiation to regenerate the NR layer. An in vitro culture study also revealed that RPE cells differentiated into neurons and that this was accelerated by the presence of FGF-2 and IGF-1. The source of the regenerating lens appeared to be remaining lens epithelium, suggesting that this is a kind of repair process rather than regeneration. Thus, we show for the first time that anuran amphibians retain the capacity for retinal regeneration after metamorphosis, similarly to urodeles, but that the mode of regeneration differs between the two orders. Our study provides a new tool for the molecular analysis of regulatory mechanisms involved in retinal and lens regeneration by providing an alternative animal model to the newt, the only other experimental model.

  19. Amphibians.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Naturescope, 1987

    1987-01-01

    Describes some of the characteristics of amphibians. Contains teaching activities ranging from a "frog sing-along" to lessons on amphibian adaptations, and night hikes to identify frog calls. Includes reproducible handouts to be used with the activities, and a quiz. (TW)

  20. Direct activation of Xenopus iodotyrosine deiodinase by thyroid hormone receptor in the remodeling intestine during amphibian metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Fujimoto, Kenta; Matsuura, Kazuo; Das, Biswajit; Fu, Liezhen; Shi, Yun-Bo

    2012-10-01

    Thyroid hormone (TH) plays critical roles during vertebrate postembryonic development. TH production in the thyroid involves incorporating inorganic iodide into thyroglobulin. The expression of iodotyrosine deiodinase (IYD; also known as iodotyrosine dehalogenase 1) in the thyroid gland ensures efficient recycling of iodine from the byproducts of TH biosynthesis: 3'-monoiodotyrosine and 3', 5'-diiodotyrosine. Interestingly, IYD is known to be expressed in other organs in adult mammals, suggesting iodine recycling outside the thyroid. On the other hand, the developmental role of iodine recycling has yet to be investigated. Here, using intestinal metamorphosis as a model, we discovered that the Xenopus tropicalis IYD gene is strongly up-regulated by TH during metamorphosis in the intestine but not the tail. We further demonstrated that this induction was one of the earliest events during intestinal metamorphosis, with IYD being activated directly through the binding of liganded TH receptors to a TH response element in the IYD promoter region. Because iodide is mainly taken up from the diet in the intestine and the tadpole stops feeding during metamorphosis when the intestine is being remodeled, our findings suggest that IYD transcription is activated by liganded TH receptors early during intestinal remodeling to ensure efficient iodine recycling at the climax of metamorphosis when highest levels of TH are needed for the proper transformations of different organs.

  1. Spatial and temporal expression profiles suggest the involvement of gelatinase A and membrane type 1 matrix metalloproteinase in amphibian metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Hasebe, Takashi; Hartman, Rebecca; Matsuda, Hiroki; Shi, Yun-Bo

    2006-04-01

    The matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of proteases capable of degrading various components of the extracellular matrix (ECM). Among them, the membrane type MMP-1 (MT1-MMP) has been shown to participate in the activation of MMP gelatinase A (GelA), suggesting that they may function together in development and pathogenesis. Here, we have investigated the spatiotemporal expression profiles of Xenopus laevis MT1-MMP and GelA genes during thyroid-hormone-dependent metamorphosis. We have focused our studies on two organs: (1) the intestine, which undergoes first the degeneration of the tadpole epithelium through apoptosis and then the development of adult epithelium and other tissues, and (2) the tail, which completely resorbs through programmed cell death. We show that both MT1-MMP and GelA are upregulated in the intestine and tail when both organs undergo metamorphosis. Within the organs, MT1-MMP and GelA are coexpressed in the connective tissues during both natural and thyroid-hormone-induced metamorphosis. In addition, MT1-MMP (but not GelA) is also expressed in the longitudinal muscle cells of the metamorphosing intestine. These results suggest that MT1-MMP and GelA function together in the ECM degradation or remodeling associated with metamorphosis and that MT1-MMP has additional GelA-independent roles in the development of adult longitudinal muscle in the intestine.

  2. Re-evaluation of thyroid hormone signaling antagonism of tetrabromobisphenol A for validating the T3-induced Xenopus metamorphosis assay.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yao; Li, Yuanyuan; Qin, Zhanfen; Wei, Wuji

    2017-02-01

    We developed the T3-induced Xenopus metamorphosis assay, which is supposed to be able to sensitively detect thyroid hormone (TH) signaling disruption of chemicals. The present study aimed to validate the T3-induced Xenopus metamorphosis assay by re-evaluating the TH signaling antagonism of tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA), a known TH signaling disruptor. According to the assay we developed, Xenopus tadpoles at stage 52 were exposed to 10-500nmol/L TBBPA in the presence of 1nmol/L T3. After 96hr of exposure, TBBPA in the range of 10-500nmol/L was found to significantly inhibit T3-induced morphological changes of Xenopus tadpoles in a concentration-dependent manner in term of body weight and four morphological endpoints including head area (HA), mouth width (MW), unilateral brain width/brain length (ULBW/BL), and hind-limb length/snout-vent length (HLL/SVL). The results show that these endpoints we developed are sensitive for characterizing the antagonistic effects of TBBPA on T3-induced metamorphosis. Following a 24-hr exposure, we found that TBBPA antagonized expression of T3-induced TH-response genes in the tail, which is consistent with previous findings in the intestine. We propose that the tail can be used as an alternative tissue to the intestine for examining molecular endpoints for evaluating TH signaling disruption. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that the T3-induced Xenopus metamorphosis assay we developed is an ideal in vivo assay for detecting TH signaling disruption.

  3. Development of the Larval Amphibian Growth and Development Assay: Effects of benzophenone-2 exposure in Xenopus laevis from embryo to juvenile.

    PubMed

    Haselman, Jonathan T; Sakurai, Maki; Watanabe, Naoko; Goto, Yasushi; Onishi, Yuta; Ito, Yuki; Onoda, Yu; Kosian, Patricia A; Korte, Joseph J; Johnson, Rodney D; Iguchi, Taisen; Degitz, Sigmund J

    2016-12-01

    The Larval Amphibian Growth and Development Assay (LAGDA) is a globally harmonized chemical testing guideline developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in collaboration with Japan's Ministry of Environment to support risk assessment. The assay is employed as a higher tiered approach to evaluate effects of chronic chemical exposure throughout multiple life stages in a model amphibian species, Xenopus laevis. To evaluate the utility of the initial LAGDA design, the assay was performed using a mixed mode of action endocrine disrupting chemical, benzophenone-2 (BP-2). X. laevis embryos were exposed in flow-through conditions to 0, 1.5, 3.0 or 6.0 mg l(-1) BP-2 until 2 months post-metamorphosis. Overt toxicity was evident throughout the exposure period in the 6.0 mg l(-1) treatment due to elevated mortality rates and observed liver and kidney pathologies. Concentration-dependent increases in severity of thyroid follicular cell hypertrophy and hyperplasia occurred in larval tadpoles indicating BP-2-induced impacts on the thyroid axis. Additionally, gonads were impacted in all treatments with some genetic males showing both testis and ovary tissues (1.5 mg l(-1) ) and 100% of the genetic males in the 3.0 and 6.0 mg l(-1) treatments experiencing complete male-to-female sex reversal. Concentration-dependent vitellogenin induction occurred in both genders with associated accumulations of protein in the livers, kidneys and gonads, which was likely vitellogenin and other estrogen-responsive yolk proteins. This is the first study that demonstrates the endocrine effects of this mixed mode of action chemical in an amphibian species and demonstrates the utility of the LAGDA design for supporting chemical risk assessment. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  4. Optimization of the T3-induced Xenopus metamorphosis assay for detecting thyroid hormone signaling disruption of chemicals.

    PubMed

    Yao, Xiaofang; Chen, Xiaoying; Zhang, Yinfeng; Li, Yuanyuan; Wang, Yao; Zheng, Zongming; Qin, Zhanfen; Zhang, Qingdong

    2017-02-01

    T3-induced Xenopus metamorphosis is an ideal model for detecting thyroid hormone (TH) signaling disruption of chemicals. To optimize the T3-induced Xenopus assay and improve its sensitivity and reproducibility, we intend to develop quantitatively morphological endpoints and choose appropriate concentrations and exposure durations for T3 induction. Xenopus laevis at stage 52 were exposed to series of concentrations of T3 (0.31-2.5nmol/L) for 6days. By comparing morphological changes induced by T3, we propose head area, mouth width, unilateral brain width/brain length, and hindlimb length/snout-vent length as quantitative parameters for characterizing T3-induced morphological changes, with body weight as a parameter for indicating integrated changes. By analyzing time-response curves, we found that following 4-day exposure, T3-induced grossly morphological changes displayed linear concentration-response curves, with moderate morphological changes resulting from 1.25nmol/L T3 exposure. When using grossly morphological endpoints to detect TH signaling disruption, we propose 4days as exposure duration of T3, with concentrations close to 1.25nmol/L as induction concentrations. However, it is appropriate to examine morphological and molecular changes of the intestine on day 2 due to their early response to T3. The quantitative endpoints and T3 induction concentrations and durations we determined would improve the sensitivity and the reproducibility of the T3-induced Xenopus metamorphosis assay.

  5. Development of the Larval Amphibian Growth and Development Assay: effects of chronic 4-tert-octylphenol or 17β-trenbolone exposure in Xenopus laevis from embryo to juvenile.

    PubMed

    Haselman, Jonathan T; Kosian, Patricia A; Korte, Joseph J; Olmstead, Allen W; Iguchi, Taisen; Johnson, Rodney D; Degitz, Sigmund J

    2016-12-01

    The Larval Amphibian Growth and Development Assay (LAGDA) is a globally harmonized test guideline developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in collaboration with Japan's Ministry of the Environment. The LAGDA was designed to evaluate apical effects of chronic chemical exposure on growth, thyroid-mediated amphibian metamorphosis and reproductive development. During the validation phase, two well-characterized endocrine-disrupting chemicals were tested to evaluate the performance of the initial assay design: xenoestrogen 4-tert-octylphenol (tOP) and xenoandrogen 17β-trenbolone (TB). Xenopus laevis embryos were exposed, in flow-through conditions, to tOP (nominal concentrations: 0.0, 6.25, 12.5, 25 and 50 µg l(-1) ) or TB (nominal concentrations: 0.0, 12.5, 25, 50 and 100 ng l(-1) ) until 8 weeks post-metamorphosis, at which time growth measurements were taken, and histopathology assessments were made of the gonads, reproductive ducts, liver and kidneys. There were no effects on growth in either study and no signs of overt toxicity, sex reversal or gonad dysgenesis. Exposure to tOP caused a treatment-related decrease in circulating thyroxine and an increase in thyroid follicular cell hypertrophy and hyperplasia (25 and 50 µg l(-1) ) during metamorphosis. Müllerian duct development was affected after exposure to both chemicals; tOP exposure caused dose-dependent maturation of oviducts in both male and female frogs, whereas TB exposure caused accelerated Müllerian duct regression in males and complete regression in >50% of the females in the 100 ng l(-1) treatment. Based on these results, the LAGDA performed adequately to evaluate apical effects of chronic exposure to two endocrine-active compounds and is the first standardized amphibian multiple life stage toxicity test to date. Published 2016. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  6. Differential patterns of accumulation and retention of dietary trace elements associated with coal ash during larval development and metamorphosis of an amphibian.

    PubMed

    Heyes, Andrew; Rowe, Christopher L; Conrad, Phillip

    2014-01-01

    We performed an experiment in which larval gray tree frogs (Hyla chrysoscelis) were raised through metamorphosis on diets increased with a suite of elements associated with coal combustion residues (silver [Ag], arsenic [As], cadmium [Cd], chromium [Cr], copper [Cu], mercury [Hg], lead [Pb], selenium [Se], vanadium [V], and zinc [Zn]) at "low" and "high" concentrations. We quantified accumulation of metals at three life stages (mid-larval development, initiation of metamorphosis, and completion of metamorphosis) as well as effects on survival, metabolic rate, size at metamorphosis, and duration and loss of weight during metamorphosis. Most elements were accumulated in a dose-dependent pattern by some or all life stages, although this was not the case for Hg. For most elements, larval body burdens exceeded those of later life stages in some or all treatments (control, low, or high). However for Se, As, and Hg, body burdens in control and low concentrations were increased in later compared with earlier life stages. A lack of dose-dependent accumulation of Hg suggests that the presence of high concentrations of other elements (possibly Se) either inhibited accumulation or increased depuration of Hg. The duration of metamorphosis (forelimb emergence through tail resorption) was lengthened in individuals exposed to the highest concentrations of elements, but there were no other statistically significant biological effects. This study shows that patterns of accumulation and possibly depuration of metals and trace elements are complex in animals possessing complex life cycles. Further study is required to determine specific interactions affecting these patterns, in particular which elements may be responsible for affecting accumulation or retention of Hg when organisms are exposed to complex mixtures of elements.

  7. Reproductive Medicine in Amphibians.

    PubMed

    Chai, Norin

    2017-02-04

    Reproduction of amphibians includes ovulation, spermiation, fertilization, oviposition, larval stage and development, and metamorphosis. A problem at any stage could lead to reproductive failure. To stimulate reproduction, environmental conditions must be arranged to simulate changes in natural habits. Reproductive life history is well documented in amphibians; a thorough knowledge of this subject will aid the practitioner in diagnosis and treatment. Technologies for artificial reproduction are developing rapidly, and some protocols may be transferable to privately kept or endangered species. Reproductive tract disorders are rarely described; no bacterial or viral diseases are known that specifically target the amphibian reproductive system.

  8. Corticosteroid signaling in frog metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Kulkarni, Saurabh S; Buchholz, Daniel R

    2014-07-01

    Stress in fetal and larval life can impact later health and fitness in humans and wildlife. Long-term effects of early life stress are mediated by altered stress physiology induced during the process of relaying environmental effects on development. Amphibian metamorphosis has been an important model system to study the role of hormones in development in an environmental context. Thyroid hormone (TH) is necessary and sufficient to initiate the dramatic morphological and physiological changes of metamorphosis, but TH alone is insufficient to complete metamorphosis. Other hormones, importantly corticosteroid hormones (CSs), influence the timing and nature of post-embryonic development. Stressors or treatments with CSs delay or accelerate metamorphic change, depending on the developmental stage of treatment. Also, TH and CSs have synergistic, antagonistic, and independent effects on gene regulation. Importantly, the identity of the endogenous corticosteroid hormone or receptor underlying any gene induction or remodeling event has not been determined. Levels of both CSs, corticosterone and aldosterone, peak at metamorphic climax, and the corticosteroid receptors, glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptors, have wide expression distribution among tadpole tissues. Conclusive experiments to identify the endogenous players have been elusive due to difficulties in experimental control of corticosteroid production and signaling. Current data are consistent with the hypothesis that the two CSs and their receptors serve largely overlapping functions in regulating metamorphosis and synergy with TH. Knowledge of the endogenous players is critical to understanding the basic mechanisms and significance of corticosteroid action in regulating post-embryonic development in environmental contexts.

  9. Development of the larval amphibian growth and development assay: Effects of benzophenone-2 exposure in Xenopus laevis from embryo to juvenile

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Larval Amphibian Growth and Development Assay (LAGDA) is a globally harmonized chemical testing guideline developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in collaboration with Japan’s Ministry of Environment to support risk assessment. The assay is employed as a ...

  10. Environmentally relevant concentrations of ammonium perchlorate inhibit development and metamorphosis in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Goleman, Wanda L; Urquidi, Lina J; Anderson, Todd A; Smith, Ernest E; Kendall, Ronald J; Carr, James A

    2002-02-01

    We determined whether environmentally relevant concentrations of ammonium perchlorate alter development and metamorphosis in Xenopus laevis. Eggs and larvae were exposed to varying concentrations of ammonium perchlorate or control medium for 70 d. Most treatment-related mortality was observed within 5 d after exposure and was due in large part to reduced hatching success. The 5- and 70-d median lethal concentrations (LC50s) were 510 +/- 36 mg ammonium perchlorate/L and 223 +/- 13 mg ammonium perchlorate/L, respectively. Ammonium perchlorate did not cause any concentration-related developmental abnormalities at concentrations below the 70-d LC50. Ammonium perchlorate inhibited metamorphosis in a concentration-dependent manner as evident from effects on forelimb emergence, tail resorption, and hindlimb growth. These effects were observed after exposure to ammonium perchlorate concentrations in the parts-per-billion range, at or below concentrations reported in surface waters contaminated with ammonium perchlorate. Ammonium perchlorate significantly inhibited tail resorption after a 14-d exposure in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) Endocrine Disruptor Screening and Testing Committee (EDSTAC) Tier I frog metamorphosis assay for thyroid disruption in amphibians. We believe that ammonium perchlorate may pose a threat to normal development and growth in natural amphibian populations.

  11. Comparative study of the comet assay and the micronucleus test in amphibian larvae (Xenopus laevis) using benzo(a)pyrene, ethyl methanesulfonate, and methyl methanesulfonate: establishment of a positive control in the amphibian comet assay.

    PubMed

    Mouchet, F; Gauthier, L; Mailhes, C; Ferrier, V; Devaux, A

    2005-02-01

    The present investigation explored the potential use of the comet assay (CA) as a genotoxicity test in the amphibian Xenopus laevis and compared it with the French standard micronucleus test (MNT). Benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P), methyl methanesulfonate (MMS), and ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS) were used as model compounds for assessing DNA damage. Damage levels were measured as DNA strand breaks after alkaline electrophoresis of nuclei isolated from larval amphibian erythrocytes using the CA in order to establish a positive control for further ecotoxicological investigations. The results led to the selection of MMS as a positive control on the basis of the higher sensitivity of Xenopus laevis to this compound. The CA and MNT were compared for their ability to detect DNA damage with the doses of chemical agents and exposure times applied. EMS and MMS were shown to increase micronucleus and DNA strand break formation in larval erythrocytes concurrently. However, B[a]P increased micronucleus formation but not that of DNA strand breaks. Time-dose experiments over 12 days of exposure suggest that the CA provides an earlier significant response to genotoxicants than does the MNT. In Xenopus the CA appears to be a sensitive and suitable method for detecting genotoxicity like that caused by EMS and MMS. It can be considered a genotoxicity-screening tool. The results for B[a]P show that both tests should be used in a complementary manner on Xenopus.

  12. Flatfish: an asymmetric perspective on metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Schreiber, Alexander M

    2013-01-01

    The most asymmetrically shaped and behaviorally lateralized of all the vertebrates, the flatfishes are an endless source of fascination to all fortunate enough to study them. Although all vertebrates undergo left-right asymmetric internal organ placement during embryogenesis, flatfish are unusual in that they experience an additional period of postembryonic asymmetric remodeling during metamorphosis, and thus deviate from a bilaterally symmetrical body plan more than other vertebrates. As with amphibian metamorphosis, all the developmental programs of flatfish metamorphosis are ultimately under the control of thyroid hormone. At least one gene pathway involved in embryonic organ lateralization (nodal-lefty-pitx2) is re-expressed in the larval stage during flatfish metamorphosis. Aspects of modern flatfish ontogeny, such as the gradual translocation of one eye to the opposite side of the head and the appearance of key neurocranial elements during metamorphosis, seem to elegantly recapitulate flatfish phylogeny. This chapter highlights the current state of knowledge of the developmental biology of flatfish metamorphosis with emphases on the genetic, morphological, behavioral, and evolutionary origins of flatfish asymmetry.

  13. Carotid labyrinth of amphibians.

    PubMed

    Kusakabe, Tatsumi

    2002-11-01

    The amphibian carotid labyrinth is a characteristic maze-like vascular expansion at the bifurcation of the common carotid artery into the internal and external carotid arteries. The carotid labyrinths of anurans are spherical and those of urodeles are oblong. In the intervascular stroma of both anuran and urodelan carotid labyrinths, the glomus cells (type I cells, chief cells) are distributed singly or in clusters between connective tissue cells and smooth muscle cells. In fluorescence histochemistry, the glomus cells emit intense fluorescence for biogenic monoamines. In fine structure, the glomus cells are characterized by a number of dense-cored vesicles in their cytoplasm. The glomus cells have long, thin cytoplasmic processes, some of which are closely associated with smooth muscle cells, endothelial cells, and pericytes. Afferent, efferent, and reciprocal synapses are found on the glomus cells. The morphogenesis of the carotid labyrinth starts in the larvae at the point where the carotid arch descends to the internal gills. Through the early stages of larval development, the slightly expanded region of the external carotid artery becomes closely connected with the carotid arch. By the end of the foot stage, the expanded region becomes globular, and at the final stage of metamorphosis the carotid labyrinth is close to its adult form. In fine structure, the glomus cells appear as early as the initial stage of larval development. At the middle stages of development, the number of dense-cored vesicles increases remarkably. Distinct afferent synapses are found in juveniles, although efferent synapses can be seen during metamorphosis. The carotid labyrinth is innervated by nerve fibers containing several kinds of regulatory neuropeptides. Double-immunolabeling in combination with a multiple dye filter system demonstrates the coexistence of two different neuropeptides. The amphibian carotid labyrinth has been electrophysiologically confirmed to have arterial chemo

  14. THYROID AXIS INHIBITION IN XENOPUS LAEVIS: DEVELOPMENT OF AN AMPHIBIAN-BASED SCREENING ASSAY

    EPA Science Inventory

    In response to the initial EDSTAC recommendations, research was conducted on the development of a Xenopus laevis based tail resorption assay for evaluating thyroid axis disruption. These experiments highlighted key limitations associated with relying on tail resorption as a measu...

  15. Development of the larval amphibian growth and development ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The Larval Amphibian Growth and Development Assay (LAGDA) is a Tier II test guideline being developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency under the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program. The LAGDA was designed to evaluate effects of chronic chemical exposure on growth, thyroid-mediated amphibian metamorphosis and reproductive development. To evaluate the assay’s performance, two model chemicals targeting the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis were tested; a weak estrogen receptor agonist, 4-tert-octylphenol (tOP), and an androgen receptor agonist, 17β-trenbolone (TB). Xenopus laevis embryos were constantly exposed in flow-through conditions to various test concentrations of tOP (nominal: 6.25, 12.5, 25, 50 μg/L) or TB (nominal: 12.5, 25, 50, 100 ng/L) and clean water controls until 8 weeks post-metamorphosis, at which time growth measurements were taken and histopathology assessments were made on gonads, reproductive ducts, liver and kidneys. There were no effects on growth in either study and no signs of overt toxicity, sex reversal or gonad dysgenesis at the concentrations tested. Exposure to tOP caused a treatment-related decrease in circulating thyroxine and an increase in thyroid follicular cell hypertrophy and hyperplasia (25, 50 μg/L). Müllerian duct development was clearly affected following exposure to both chemicals; tOP exposure caused dose-dependent maturation of oviducts in both male and female frogs, whereas TB exposure ca

  16. Effects of Echinostoma trivolvis metacercariae infection during development and metamorphosis of the wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus).

    PubMed

    Orlofske, Sarah A; Belden, Lisa K; Hopkins, William A

    2017-01-01

    Many organisms face energetic trade-offs between defense against parasites and other host processes that may determine overall consequences of infection. These trade-offs may be particularly evident during unfavorable environmental conditions or energetically demanding life history stages. Amphibian metamorphosis, an ecologically important developmental period, is associated with drastic morphological and physiological changes and substantial energetic costs. Effects of the trematode parasite Echinostoma trivolvis have been documented during early amphibian development, but effects during later development and metamorphosis are largely unknown. Using a laboratory experiment, we examined the energetic costs of late development and metamorphosis coupled with E. trivolvis infection in wood frogs, Lithobates [=Rana] sylvaticus. Echinostoma infection intensity did not differ between tadpoles examined prior to and after completing metamorphosis, suggesting that metacercariae were retained through metamorphosis. Infection with E. trivolvis contributed to a slower growth rate and longer development period prior to the initiation of metamorphosis. In contrast, E. trivolvis infection did not affect energy expenditure during late development or metamorphosis. Possible explanations for these results include the presence of parasites not interfering with pronephros degradation during metamorphosis or the mesonephros compensating for any parasite damage. Overall, the energetic costs of metamorphosis for wood frogs were comparable to other species with similar life history traits, but differed from a species with a much shorter duration of metamorphic climax. Our findings contribute to understanding the possible role of energetic trade-offs between parasite defense and host processes by considering parasite infection with simultaneous energetic demands during a sensitive period of development.

  17. Experimentally induced metamorphosis in axolotls reduces regenerative rate and fidelity

    PubMed Central

    Stier, Adrian C.; Michonneau, François; Smith, Matthew D.; Pasch, Bret; Maden, Malcolm

    2014-01-01

    Abstract While most tetrapods are unable to regenerate severed body parts, amphibians display a remarkable ability to regenerate an array of structures. Frogs can regenerate appendages as larva, but they lose this ability around metamorphosis. In contrast, salamanders regenerate appendages as larva, juveniles, and adults. However, the extent to which fundamental traits (e.g., metamorphosis, body size, aging, etc.) restrict regenerative ability remains contentious. Here we utilize the ability of normally paedomorphic adult axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) to undergo induced metamorphosis by thyroxine exposure to test how metamorphosis and body size affects regeneration in age‐matched paedomorphic and metamorphic individuals. We show that body size does not affect regeneration in adult axolotls, but metamorphosis causes a twofold reduction in regeneration rate, and lead to carpal and digit malformations. Furthermore, we find evidence that metamorphic blastemal cells may take longer to traverse the cell cycle and display a lower proliferative rate. This study identifies the axolotl as a powerful system to study how metamorphosis restricts regeneration independently of developmental stage, body size, and age; and more broadly how metamorphosis affects tissue‐specific changes. PMID:27499857

  18. ELASTICITY ANALYSIS OF AMPHIBIAN LIFE HISTORIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    By comparing life history parameters (e.g., age at metamorphosis, age at sexual maturation, egg number, longevity) and phenology of different species, we gain valuable insight into why growth rates differ across populations. Although the demography of most amphibians is lacking, ...

  19. Interactive shape metamorphosis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chen, David T.; State, Andrei; Banks, David

    1994-01-01

    A technique for controlled metamorphosis between surfaces in 3-space is described. Well-understood techniques to produce shape metamorphosis between models in a 2D parametric space is applied. The user selects morphable features interactively, and the morphing process executes in real time on a high-performance graphics multicomputer.

  20. Sodium arsenite induced changes in survival, growth, metamorphosis and genotoxicity in the Indian cricket frog (Rana limnocharis).

    PubMed

    Singha, Utsab; Pandey, Neelam; Boro, Freeman; Giri, Sarbani; Giri, Anirudha; Biswas, Somava

    2014-10-01

    Arsenic contamination of the environment is a matter of great concern. Understanding the effects of arsenic on aquatic life will act as biological early warning system to assess how arsenic could shape the biodiversity in the affected areas. Rapid decline in amphibian population in recent decades is a cause of major concern. Over the years, amphibians have been recognized as excellent bio-indicators of environmental related stress. In the present study, we examined the toxic and genotoxic effects of sodium arsenite in the tadpoles of the Indian cricket frog (Rana limnocharis). Sodium arsenite at different concentrations (0, 50, 100, 200 and 400 μg L(-1)) neither induced lethality nor significantly altered body weight at metamorphosis. However, it accelerated the rate of metamorphosis at higher concentrations, reduced body size (snout-vent length) and induced developmental deformities such as loss of limbs. Besides, at concentration ranges between 100 and 400 μg L(-1), sodium arsenite induced statistically significant genotoxicity at 24, 48, 72 and 96 h of the exposure in a concentration-dependent manner. However, it did not show time effects as the highest frequency was found between 48 and 72 h which remained steady subsequently. The genotoxicity was confirmed by comet assay in the whole blood cells. These findings suggest that arsenic at environmentally relevant concentrations has significant sub-lethal effects on R.limnocharis, which may have long-term fitness consequence to the species and may have similar implications in other aquatic life too.

  1. Development of the larval amphibian growth and development ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The Larval Amphibian Growth and Development Assay (LAGDA) is a globally harmonized chemical testing guideline developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in collaboration with Japan’s Ministry of Environment to support risk assessment. The assay is employed as a higher tiered approach to evaluate effects of chronic chemical exposure throughout multiple life stages in model amphibian species Xenopus laevis. To evaluate the utility of the initial LAGDA design, the assay was performed using a mixed mode of action endocrine disrupting chemical, benzophenone-2 (BP-2). X. laevis embryos were exposed in flow-through conditions to 0, 1.5, 3.0 or 6.0 mg/L BP-2 until two months post-metamorphosis. Overt toxicity was evident throughout the exposure period in the 6.0 mg/L treatment due to elevated mortality rates and observed liver and kidney pathologies. Concentration-dependent increases in severity of thyroid follicular cell hypertrophy and hyperplasia occurred in larval tadpoles indicating BP-2-induced impacts on the thyroid axis. Additionally, gonads were impacted in all treatments with some genotypic males showing both testis and ovary tissues (1.5 mg/L) and 100% of the genotypic males in the higher treatments (3.0 and 6.0 mg/L) experiencing complete male-to-female sex reversal. Concentration-dependent vitellogenin (Vtg) induction occurred in both genders with associated accumulations of protein in the livers, kidneys and gonads, which was likely Vtg

  2. Amphibian macrophage development and antiviral defenses.

    PubMed

    Grayfer, Leon; Robert, Jacques

    2016-05-01

    Macrophage lineage cells represent the cornerstone of vertebrate physiology and immune defenses. In turn, comparative studies using non-mammalian animal models have revealed that evolutionarily distinct species have adopted diverse molecular and physiological strategies for controlling macrophage development and functions. Notably, amphibian species present a rich array of physiological and environmental adaptations, not to mention the peculiarity of metamorphosis from larval to adult stages of development, involving drastic transformation and differentiation of multiple new tissues. Thus it is not surprising that different amphibian species and their respective tadpole and adult stages have adopted unique hematopoietic strategies. Accordingly and in order to establish a more comprehensive view of these processes, here we review the hematopoietic and monopoietic strategies observed across amphibians, describe the present understanding of the molecular mechanisms driving amphibian, an in particular Xenopus laevis macrophage development and functional polarization, and discuss the roles of macrophage-lineage cells during ranavirus infections.

  3. Metamorphosis in solitary ascidians.

    PubMed

    Karaiskou, Anthi; Swalla, Billie J; Sasakura, Yasunori; Chambon, Jean-Philippe

    2015-01-01

    Embryonic and postembryonic development in ascidians have been studied for over a century, but it is only in the last 10 years that the complex molecular network involved in coordinating postlarval development and metamorphosis has started to emerge. In most ascidians, the transition from the larval to the sessile juvenile/adult stage, or metamorphosis, requires a combination of environmental and endogenous signals and is characterized by coordinated global morphogenetic changes that are initiated by the adhesion of the larvae. Cloney was the first to describe cellular events of ascidians' metamorphosis in 1978 and only recently elements of the molecular regulation of this crucial developmental step have been revealed. This review aims to present a thorough view of this crucial developmental step by combining recent molecular data to the already established cellular events.

  4. Artificial Metamorphosis: Evolutionary Design of Transforming, Soft-Bodied Robots.

    PubMed

    Joachimczak, Michał; Suzuki, Reiji; Arita, Takaya

    2016-01-01

    We show how the concept of metamorphosis, together with a biologically inspired model of multicellular development, can be used to evolve soft-bodied robots that are adapted to two very different tasks, such as being able to move in an aquatic and in a terrestrial environment. Each evolved solution defines two pairs of morphologies and controllers, together with a process of transforming one pair into the other. Animats develop from a single cell and grow through cellular divisions and deaths until they reach an initial larval form adapted to a first environment. To obtain the adult form adapted to a second environment, the larva undergoes metamorphosis, during which new cells are added or removed and its controller is modified. Importantly, our approach assumes nothing about what morphologies or methods of locomotion are preferred. Instead, it successfully searches the vast space of possible designs and comes up with complex, surprising, lifelike solutions that are reminiscent of amphibian metamorphosis. We analyze obtained solutions and investigate whether the morphological changes during metamorphosis are indeed adaptive. We then compare the effectiveness of three different types of selective pressures used to evolve metamorphic individuals. Finally, we investigate potential advantages of using metamorphosis to automatically produce soft-bodied designs by comparing the performance of metamorphic individuals with their specialized counterparts and designs that are robust to both environments.

  5. Development of the larval amphibian growth and development assay: Effects of chronic 4-tert-octylphenol or 17ß-trenbolone exposure in Xenopus laevis from embryo to juvenile

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Larval Amphibian Growth and Development Assay (LAGDA) is a Tier II test guideline being developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency under the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program. The LAGDA was designed to evaluate effects of chronic chemical exposure on growth, thy...

  6. Calcific Metamorphosis: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Siddiqui, Shoaib Haider; Mohamed, Ahmed Nabil

    2016-01-01

    Dental trauma to the permanent dentition can lead to clinical complications and its management may considerably challenge a practitioner. The incidence of pulp canal obliteration following dental trauma has been reported to be approximately 4 – 24%. Attempting to locate canals following calcific metamorphosis and negotiating it to full working length may lead to iatrogenic errors such as fractured instrument and perforation. This review article describes the possible etiology of Calcific Metamorphosis, its clinical and radiographic features as well as its management. PMID:27610067

  7. Computational modeling of the amphibian thyroid axis ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    In vitro screening of chemicals for bioactivity together with computational modeling are beginning to replace animal toxicity testing in support of chemical risk assessment. To facilitate this transition, an amphibian thyroid axis model has been developed to describe thyroid homeostasis during Xenopus laevis pro-metamorphosis. The model simulates the dynamic relationships of normal thyroid biology throughout this critical period of amphibian development and includes molecular initiating events (MIEs) for thyroid axis disruption to allow in silico simulations of hormone levels following chemical perturbations. One MIE that has been formally described using the adverse outcome pathway (AOP) framework is thyroperoxidase (TPO) inhibition. The goal of this study was to refine the model parameters and validate model predictions by generating dose-response and time-course biochemical data following exposure to three TPO inhibitors, methimazole, 6-propylthiouracil and 2-mercaptobenzothiazole. Key model variables including gland and blood thyroid hormone (TH) levels were compared to empirical values measured in biological samples at 2, 4, 7 and 10 days following initiation of exposure at Nieuwkoop and Faber (NF) stage 54 (onset of pro-metamorphosis). The secondary objective of these studies was to relate depleted blood TH levels to delayed metamorphosis, the adverse apical outcome. Delayed metamorphosis was evaluated by continuing exposure with a subset of larvae until a

  8. [Electrophoresis of native cardiac myosin in Anura amphibians].

    PubMed

    Dutartre, P; Mougin, D; Bride, M

    1983-01-01

    Electrophoresis in non dissociating conditions of native cardiac myosin was adapted to the study of Amphibian myosin. Utilization of potassium ion has allowed to obtain a good separation of myosin isoenzymes. An evolution of isoenzymic composition of cardiac myosin during metamorphosis and aging in Xenopus laevis (Daudin) was observed.

  9. A developmental switch induced by thyroid hormone: Xenopus laevis metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Furlow, J David; Neff, Eric S

    2006-03-01

    Thyroid hormone induces the complete metamorphosis of anuran tadpoles into juvenile frogs. Arguably, anuran metamorphosis is the most dramatic effect of a hormone in any vertebrate. Recent advances in pharmacology and molecular biology have made the study of this remarkable process in the frog Xenopus laevis attractive to developmental biologists and endocrinologists alike. In particular, the availability of a straightforward transgenesis assay and the near completion of the Xenopus tropicalis genome are enabling significant advances to be made in our understanding of the major remaining problems of metamorphosis: the extraordinary tissue specificity of responses, the precise timing of morphological changes, the degree of cell autonomy of hormone responses and developmental competence. We argue that X. laevis metamorphosis presents an exciting opportunity for understanding the role of thyroid hormone in vertebrate development.

  10. THYROID AXIS INHIBITION IN XENOPUS LAEVIS: DEVELOPMENT OF AN AMPHIBIAN-BASED SCREENING ASSAY FOR THYROID DISRUPTION

    EPA Science Inventory

    In response to the initial EDSTAC recommendations, research was conducted on the development of a Xenopus laevis based tail resorption assay for evaluating thyroid axis disruption. These experiments highlighted key limitations associated with reliance on tail resorption as a meas...

  11. 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.

  12. Thyroid hormone deiodinase type 2 mRNA levels in sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) are regulated during metamorphosis and in response to a thyroid challenge.

    PubMed

    Stilborn, S Salina M; Manzon, Lori A; Schauenberg, Jennifer D; Manzon, Richard G

    2013-03-01

    Thyroid hormones (THs) are crucial for normal vertebrate development and are the one obligate morphogen that drives amphibian metamorphosis. However, contrary to other metamorphosing vertebrates, lampreys exhibit a sharp drop in serum TH early in metamorphosis, and anti-thyroid agents such as potassium perchlorate (KClO(4)) induce metamorphosis. The type 2 deiodinase (D2) enzyme is a key regulator of TH availability during amphibian metamorphosis. We set out to determine how D2 may be involved in the regulation of lamprey metamorphosis and thyroid homeostasis. We cloned a 1.8Kb Petromyzon marinus D2 cDNA that includes the entire protein coding region and a selenocysteine (Sec) codon. Northern blotting indicated that the lamprey D2 mRNA is the longest reported to date (>9Kb). Using real-time PCR, we showed that intestinal and hepatic D2 mRNA levels were elevated prior to and during the early stages of metamorphosis and then declined dramatically to low levels that were sustained for the remainder of metamorphosis. These data are consistent with previously reported changes in serum TH levels and deiodinase activity. Treatment of larvae with either TH or KClO(4) significantly affected D2 mRNA levels in the intestine and liver. These D2 mRNA levels during metamorphosis and in response to thyroid challenges suggest that D2 may function in the regulation of TH levels during lamprey metamorphosis and the maintenance of TH homeostasis.

  13. Bubbles of Metamorphosis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prakash, Manu

    2011-11-01

    Metamorphosis presents a puzzling challenge where, triggered by a signal, an organism abruptly transforms its entire shape and form. Here I describe the role of physical fluid dynamic processes during pupal metamorphosis in flies. During early stages of pupation of third instar larvae into adult flies, a physical gas bubble nucleates at a precise temporal and spatial location, as part of the normal developmental program in Diptera. Although its existence has been known for the last 100 years, the origin and control of this ``cavitation'' event has remained completely mysterious. Where does the driving negative pressure for bubble nucleation come from? How is the location of the bubble nucleation site encoded in the pupae? How do molecular processes control such a physical event? What is the role of this bubble during development? Via developing in-vivo imaging techniques, direct bio-physical measurements in live insect pupal structures and physical modeling, here I elucidate the physical mechanism for appearance and disappearance of this bubble and predict the site of nucleation and its exact timing. This new physical insight into the process of metamorphosis also allows us to understand the inherent design of pupal shell architectures in various species of insects. Milton Award, Harvard Society of Fellows; Terman Fellowship, Stanford

  14. Ontogenetic loss of phenotypic plasticity of age at metamorphosis in tadpoles

    SciTech Connect

    Hensley, F.R. )

    1993-12-01

    Amphibian larvae exhibit phenotypic plasticity in size at metamorphosis and duration of the larval period. I used Pseudacris crucifer tadpoles to test two models for predicting tadpole age and size at metamorphosis under changing environmental conditions. The Wilbur-Collins model states that metamorphosis is initiated as a function of a tadpole's size and relative growth rate, and predicts that changes in growth rate throughout the larval period affect age and size at metamorphosis. An alternative model, the fixed-rate model, states that age at metamorphosis is fixed early in larval life, and subsequent changes in growth rate will have no effect on the length of the larval period. My results confirm that food supplies affect both age and size at metamorphosis, but developmental rates became fixed at approximately Gosner (1960) stages 35-37. Neither model completely predicted these results. I suggest that the generally accepted Wilbur-Collins model is improved by incorporating a point of fixed developmental timing. Growth trajectories predicted from this modified model fit the results of this study better than trajectories based on either of the original models. The results of this study suggests a constraint that limits the simultaneous optimization of age and size at metamorphosis. 32 refs., 5 figs., 1 tab.

  15. Effects of the amphibian chytrid fungus and four insecticides on Pacific treefrogs (Pseudacris regilla)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kleinhez, Peter; Boone, Michelle D.; Fellers, Gary

    2012-01-01

    Chemical contamination may influence host-pathogen interactions, which has implications for amphibian population declines. We examined the effects of four insecticides alone or as a mixture on development and metamorphosis of Pacific Treefrogs (Pseudacris regilla) in the presence or absence of the amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis [Bd]). Bd exposure had a negative impact on tadpole activity, survival to metamorphosis, time to metamorphosis, and time of tail absorption (with a marginally negative effect on mass at metamorphosis); however, no individuals tested positive for Bd at metamorphosis. The presence of sublethal concentrations of insecticides alone or in a mixture did not impact Pacific Treefrog activity as tadpoles, survival to metamorphosis, or time and size to metamorphosis. Insecticide exposure did not influence the effect of Bd exposure. Our study did not support our prediction that effects of Bd would be greater in the presence of expected environmental concentrations of insecticide(s), but it did show that Bd had negative effects on responses at metamorphosis that could reduce the quality of juveniles recruited into the population.

  16. Autoinduction of nuclear hormone receptors during metamorphosis and its significance.

    PubMed

    Tata, J R

    2000-01-01

    Metamorphosis is a most dramatic example of hormonally regulated genetic reprogramming during postembryonic development. The initiation and sustenance of the process are under the control of ecdysteroids in invertebrates and thyroid hormone, 3,3', 5-triiodothyronine, in oviparous vertebrates. Their actions are inhibited or potentiated by other endogenous or exogenous hormones - juvenile hormone in invertebrates and prolactin and glucocorticoids in vertebrates. The nuclear receptors for ecdysteroids and thyroid hormone are the most closely related members of the steroid/retinoid/thyroid hormone receptor supergene family. In many pre-metamorphic amphibia and insects, the onset of natural metamorphosis and the administration of the exogenous hormones to the early larvae are characterized by a substantial and rapid autoinduction of the respective nuclear receptors. This review will largely deal with the phenomenon of receptor autoinduction during amphibian metamorphosis, although many of its features resemble those in insect metamorphosis. In the frog Xenopus, thyroid hormone receptor autoinduction has been shown to be brought about by the direct interaction between the receptor protein and the thyroid-responsive elements in the promoter of its own gene. Three lines of evidence point towards the involvement of receptor autoinduction in the process of initiation of amphibian metamorphosis: (1) a close association between the extent of inhibition or potentiation by prolactin and glucocorticoid, respectively, and metamorphic response in whole tadpoles and in organ and cell cultures; (2) thyroid hormone fails to upregulate the expression of its own receptor in obligatorily neotenic amphibia but does so in facultatively neotenic amphibia; and (3) dominant-negative receptors known to block hormonal response prevent the autoinduction of wild-type Xenopus receptors in vivo and in cell lines. Autoinduction is not restricted to insect and amphibian metamorphic hormones but is

  17. Overwintered Bullfrog tadpoles negatively affect Salamanders and Anurans in native amphibian communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boone, M.D.; Little, E.E.; Semlitsch, R.D.

    2004-01-01

    We examined the interactive effects of overwintered Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) tadpoles and pond hydroperiod on a community of larval amphibians in outdoor mesocosms including American Toads (Bufo americanus), Southern Leopard Frogs (Rana sphenocephala), and Spotted Salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) - species within the native range of Bullfrogs. Spotted Salamanders and Southern Leopard Frogs were negatively influenced by the presence of overwintered Bullfrogs. Spotted Salamanders had shorter larval periods and slightly smaller masses at metamorphosis, and Southern Leopard Frogs had smaller masses at metamorphosis when reared with Bullfrogs than without. Presence of overwintered Bullfrogs, however, did not significantly affect American Toads. Longer pond hydroperiods resulted in greater survival, greater size at metamorphosis, longer larval periods, and later time until emergence of the first metamorphs for Southern Leopard Frog tadpoles and Spotted Salamander larvae. Our study demonstrated that overwintered Bullfrog tadpoles can respond to changing pond hydroperiods and can negatively impact metamorphosis of native amphibians.

  18. Effects of an insecticide on amphibians in large-scale experimental ponds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boone, M.D.; Semlitsch, R.D.; Fairchild, J.F.; Rothermel, B.B.

    2004-01-01

    We examined the effects of the insecticide carbaryl on larval amphibian communities in large-scale experimental ponds. Tadpoles of two anurans, Woodhouse's toad (Bufo woodhousii) and southern leopard Frog (Rana sphenocephala), were reared in ponds (800 m3 volume) to determine the effects of tadpole density and carbaryl exposure on mass at metamorphosis and on time and survival to metamorphosis. Exposure to carbaryl significantly affected toads at metamorphosis, but not leopard frogs. Carbaryl exposure nearly doubled toad survival compared to controls; this effect may be attributable to an indirect effect of earbaryl increasing algal food resources. The competitive environment (i.e., density) and carbaryl exposure significantly affected the trade-off between mass and time to metamorphosis for toads. Our study is the first to demonstrate that in pond communities where predation and competition may be strong, short-lived insecticides can significantly alter the community dynamics of amphibians.

  19. Amphibian (Xenopus sp.) iodothyronine deiodinase ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The U.S. EPA-MED amphibian thyroid group is currently screening chemicals for inhibition of human iodothyronine deiodinase activity as components of the thyroid system important in human development. Amphibians are a bellwether taxonomic group to gauge toxicity of chemicals in the environment. Amphibian thyroid function is not only important in development but also metamorphosis. Xenopus sp. have been used extensively as model organisms and are well characterized genetically. We propose to screen a list of chemicals (selected from the human DIO screening results) to test for inhibition of Xenopus deiodinases. Large quantities of the enzymes will be produced using an adenovirus system. Our preliminary results show that there may be catalytic differences between human and Xenopus deiodinases. The Twin Ports Early Career Scientists is a new group formed within the Duluth-Superior scientific community. This presentation will provide a basic introduction to my research and our mission at EPA, and help to establish networking and collaboration relationships across disciplines and institutions.

  20. Amphibians as a model for the study of endocrine disruptors.

    PubMed

    Kloas, Werner

    2002-01-01

    Evidence shows that environmental compounds can interfere with the endocrine systems of wildlife and humans. The main sink of such substances, called endocrine disruptors (EDs), which are mainly of anthropogenic origin, is surface water; thus, aquatic vertebrates such as fishes and amphibians are most endangered. Despite numerous reports on EDs in fishes, information about EDs in amphibians is scarce, and this paucity of information is of particular concern in view of the worldwide decline of amphibians. EDs could contribute to changes of amphibian populations via adverse effects on reproduction and the thyroid system. In amphibians, EDs can affect reproduction by (anti)estrogenic and (anti)androgenic modes of action that produce severe effects including abnormal sexual differentiation. ED actions on the thyroid system cause acceleration or retardation of metamorphosis, which may also affect population levels. Our broad knowledge of amphibian biology and endocrinology indicates that amphibians are very suitable models for the study of EDs. In particular, effects of EDs on the thyroid system triggering metamorphosis can be determined easily and most sensitively in amphibians compared to other vertebrates. A new classification of EDs according to their biological modes of action is proposed because EDs have quite heterogeneous chemical structures, which do not allow prediction of their biological effects. Methods and strategies are proposed for identification and risk assessment of EDs, whether as pure test substances or as mixtures from environmental samples. Effects of EDs on the thyroid system of amphibians can be assessed by a single animal model (Xenopus laevis), whereas the various types of reproduction need comparative studies to investigate whether general endocrine principles do exist among several species of anurans and urodeles. Thus, at least one anuran and one urodelean model are needed to determine ED interference with reproduction.

  1. Amphibians used in research and teaching.

    PubMed

    O'Rourke, Dorcas P

    2007-01-01

    Amphibians have long been utilized in scientific research and in education. Historically, investigators have accumulated a wealth of information on the natural history and biology of amphibians, and this body of information is continually expanding as researchers describe new species and study the behaviors of these animals. Amphibians evolved as models for a variety of developmental and physiological processes, largely due to their unique ability to undergo metamorphosis. Scientists have used amphibian embryos to evaluate the effects of toxins, mutagens, and teratogens. Likewise, the animals are invaluable in research due to the ability of some species to regenerate limbs. Certain species of amphibians have short generation times and genetic constructs that make them desirable for transgenic and knockout technology, and there is a current national focus on developing these species for genetic and genomic research. This group of vertebrates is also critically important in the investigation of the inter-relationship of humans and the environment based on their sensitivity to climatic and habitat changes and environmental contamination.

  2. Amphibian Bioacoustics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob

    Anuran amphibians (frogs and toads) of most of the 3,500 species that exist today are highly vocal animals. In most frogs, males will spend considerable energy on calling and incur sizeable predation risks and the females’ detection and localization of the calls of conspecific males is often a prerequisite for successful mating. Therefore, acoustic communication is evidently evolutionarily important in the anurans, and their auditory system is probably shaped by the selective pressures associated with production, detection and localization of the communication calls.

  3. Smads and insect hemimetabolan metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Santos, Carolina G; Fernandez-Nicolas, Ana; Belles, Xavier

    2016-09-01

    In contrast with Drosophila melanogaster, practically nothing is known about the involvement of the TGF-β signaling pathway in the metamorphosis of hemimetabolan insects. To partially fill this gap, we have studied the role of Smad factors in the metamorphosis of the German cockroach, Blattella germanica. In D. melanogaster, Mad is the canonical R-Smad of the BMP branch of the TGF-β signaling pathway, Smox is the canonical R-Smad of the TGF-β/Activin branch and Medea participates in both branches. In insects, metamorphosis is regulated by the MEKRE93 pathway, which starts with juvenile hormone (JH), whose signal is transduced by Methoprene-tolerant (Met), which stimulates the expression of Krüppel homolog 1 (Kr-h1) that acts to repress E93, the metamorphosis trigger. In B. germanica, metamorphosis is determined at the beginning of the sixth (final) nymphal instar (N6), when JH production ceases, the expression of Kr-h1 declines, and the transcription of E93 begins to increase. The RNAi of Mad, Smox and Medea in N6 of B. germanica reveals that the BMP branch of the TGF-β signaling pathway regulates adult ecdysis and wing extension, mainly through regulating the expression of bursicon, whereas the TGF-β/Activin branch contributes to increasing E93 and decreasing Kr-h1 at the beginning of N6, crucial for triggering adult morphogenesis, as well as to regulating the imaginal molt timing.

  4. The axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), a neotenic amphibian, expresses functional thyroid hormone receptors.

    PubMed

    Safi, Rachid; Bertrand, Stéphanie; Marchand, Oriane; Duffraisse, Marilyne; de Luze, Amaury; Vanacker, Jean-Marc; Maraninchi, Marie; Margotat, Alain; Demeneix, Barbara; Laudet, Vincent

    2004-02-01

    Neotenic amphibians such as the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) are often unable to undergo metamorphosis under natural conditions. It is thought that neoteny represents a deviation from the standard course of amphibian ontogeny, affecting the thyroid axis at different levels from the central nervous system to peripheral organs. Thyroid hormone receptors (TRs) that bind the thyroid hormone (TH) T(3) have been described in axolotl. However, the full sequences of TR were needed to better characterize the TH response and to be able to assess their functional capacity at the molecular level. We report that each of the alpha and beta axolotl TRs bind both DNA and TH, and they activate transcription in response to TH in a mammalian cell-based transient transfection assay. Moreover, both TRs are expressed in axolotl tissues. Interestingly, each TR gene generates alternatively spliced isoforms, harboring partial or total deletions of the ligand-binding domain, which are expressed in vivo. Further, we found that in the axolotl, TH regulates the expression of stromelysin 3 and collagenase 3, which are TH target genes in Xenopus. Taken together, these results suggest that axolotl TRs are functional and that the molecular basis of neoteny in the axolotl is not linked to a major defect in TH response in peripheral tissues.

  5. Life history of amphibians and gravity.

    PubMed

    Naitoh, Tomio; Yamashita, Masamichi; Wassersug, Richard J

    2004-11-01

    Anurans hold a unique position in vertebrate phylogeny, as they made the major transition from water to land. Through evolution they have acquired fundamental mechanisms to adapt to terrestrial gravity. Such mechanisms are now shared among other terrestrial vertebrates derived from ancestral amphibians. Space research, using amphibians as a model animal, is significant based on the following aspects: (1) Anuran amphibians show drastic changes in their living niche during their metamorphosis. Environments for tadpoles and for terrestrial life of frogs are quite different in terms of gravity and its associated factors. (2) Certain tadpoles, such as Rhacophorus viridis amamiensis, have a transparent abdominal wall. Thus visceral organs and their motion can be observed in these animals in non-invasive manner through their transparent abdominal skin. This feature enables biologists to evaluate the physiological state of these amphibians and study the autonomic control of visceral organs. It is also feasible for space biologists to examine how such autonomic regulation could be altered by microgravity and exposure to the space environment.

  6. Carotenoids and amphibians: effects on life history and susceptibility to the infectious pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

    PubMed Central

    Cothran, Rickey D.; Gervasi, Stephanie S.; Murray, Cindy; French, Beverly J.; Bradley, Paul W.; Urbina, Jenny; Blaustein, Andrew R.; Relyea, Rick A.

    2015-01-01

    Carotenoids are considered beneficial nutrients because they provide increased immune capacity. Although carotenoid research has been conducted in many vertebrates, little research has been done in amphibians, a group that is experiencing global population declines from numerous causes, including disease. We raised two amphibian species through metamorphosis on three carotenoid diets to quantify the effects on life-history traits and post-metamorphic susceptibility to a fungal pathogen (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis; Bd). Increased carotenoids had no effect on survival to metamorphosis in gray treefrogs (Hyla versicolor) but caused lower survival to metamorphosis in wood frogs [Lithobates sylvaticus (Rana sylvatica)]. Increased carotenoids caused both species to experience slower development and growth. When exposed to Bd after metamorphosis, wood frogs experienced high mortality, and the carotenoid diets had no mitigating effects. Gray treefrogs were less susceptible to Bd, which prevented an assessment of whether carotenoids could mitigate the effects of Bd. Moreover, carotenoids had no effect on pathogen load. As one of only a few studies examining the effects of carotenoids on amphibians and the first to examine potential interactions with Bd, our results suggest that carotenoids do not always serve amphibians in the many positive ways that have become the paradigm in other vertebrates. PMID:27293690

  7. Iodothyronine deiodinases and thyroid hormone receptors regulation during flatfish (Solea senegalensis) metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Isorna, Esther; Obregon, Maria Jesus; Calvo, Rosa Maria; Vázquez, Rosa; Pendón, Carlos; Falcón, Jack; Muñoz-Cueto, José Antonio

    2009-05-15

    Thyroid hormone-induced metamorphosis seems to represent an ancestral feature of chrordates (urochordates, cephalochordates and vertebrates), but also of nonchordate animals. Although thyroid hormones and thyroid hormone receptor profiles during metamorphosis have been analyzed in different vertebrate taxa, including fish, developmental expression and activity of type 2 (dio2, D2) and type 3 (dio3, D3) iodothyronine deiodinases, two key enzymes in anuran metamorphosis, remain unknown in any fish species. The aim of this work was to investigate the development of thyroid hormone system during the metamorphosis of a flatfish species, the Senegalese sole, focusing on the deiodinases developmental profile. We have cloned sole D2 and D3 and analyzed several parameters of thyroid hormones system in pre-, early-, middle-, and late-metamorphic larvae. Both deiodinases contain in their catalytic centers an UGA triplet encoding for a selenocystein (Sec) residue as expected. Left eye migration and rotation in body position were associated with a significant increase in both thyroid hormones and thyroid hormone receptors at the middle-late metamorphic stages. Although dio2 expression slightly increased during metamorphosis, D2 activity augmentation was much more significant. Sole dio3 expression declined only slightly, whereas the D3 activity clearly decreased at mid-late metamorphic period. This developmental profile of deiodinases sustained the rise of thyroid hormones levels observed during sole metamorphosis. No clear cut daily rhythms were observed in the parameters analyzed although it seemed that thyroid hormone system was more active during daytime, in particular at late metamorphic stages. These developmental changes point out the importance not only of thyroid hormones and their receptors but also of dio2 and dio3 in mediating flatfish metamorphosis, as it has been described in amphibians.

  8. Comparative acute and chronic sensitivity of fish and amphibians: a critical review of data.

    PubMed

    Weltje, Lennart; Simpson, Peter; Gross, Melanie; Crane, Mark; Wheeler, James R

    2013-04-01

    The relative sensitivity of amphibians to chemicals in the environment, including plant protection product active substances, is the subject of ongoing scientific debate. The objective of this study was to compare systematically the relative sensitivity of amphibians and fish to chemicals. Acute and chronic toxicity data were obtained from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) ECOTOX database and were supplemented with data from the scientific and regulatory literature. The overall outcome is that fish and amphibian toxicity data are highly correlated and that fish are more sensitive (both acute and chronic) than amphibians. In terms of acute sensitivity, amphibians were between 10- and 100-fold more sensitive than fish for only four of 55 chemicals and more than 100-fold more sensitive for only two chemicals. However, a detailed inspection of these cases showed a similar acute sensitivity of fish and amphibians. Chronic toxicity data for fish were available for 52 chemicals. Amphibians were between 10- and 100-fold more sensitive than fish for only two substances (carbaryl and dexamethasone) and greater than 100-fold more sensitive for only a single chemical (sodium perchlorate). The comparison for carbaryl was subsequently determined to be unreliable and that for sodium perchlorate is a potential artifact of the exposure medium. Only a substance such as dexamethasone, which interferes with a specific aspect of amphibian metamorphosis, might not be detected using fish tests. However, several other compounds known to influence amphibian metamorphosis were included in the analysis, and these did not affect amphibians disproportionately. These analyses suggest that additional amphibian testing is not necessary during chemical risk assessment.

  9. Here today, gone tomorrow: Short-term retention of pesticide-induced tolerance in amphibians.

    PubMed

    Jones, Devin K; Relyea, Rick A

    2015-10-01

    Pesticide use has led to the ubiquitous contamination of natural habitats, which has inadvertently increased pesticide tolerance in target and nontarget species. Historically, increased pesticide tolerance has been attributed to natural selection for tolerance among individuals of affected populations. Recent research, however, has discovered that pesticide tolerance can be increased through phenotypic plasticity. Although induced pesticide tolerance may benefit organisms experiencing contaminated systems, little is known about its occurrence in vertebrates, its retention through ontogeny, or potential life history tradeoffs. Using time-to-death assays at 2 distinct developmental windows, the authors discovered that gray treefrog (Hyla versicolor) tadpoles exposed to sublethal concentrations (0 mg a.i./L, 0.5 mg a.i./L, and 1.0 mg a.i./L) of the insecticide Sevin® (carbaryl) early in life increased their pesticide tolerance to a lethal carbaryl concentration 5 d after sublethal exposure. However, this increased tolerance was not retained later in ontogeny (23 d post-sublethal exposure). Moreover, no indication was found of pesticide-induced treefrogs experiencing life-history tradeoffs in terms of survival to metamorphosis, mass, or snout-vent length. Gray treefrogs are only the second vertebrate species and the second amphibian family to exhibit pesticide-induced tolerance after sublethal exposure. The authors' data suggest that the ability to induce increased pesticide tolerance may play a critical role in amphibian survival in contaminated ecosystems. However, future work is needed to test the occurrence of inducible pesticide tolerance among numerous amphibian populations worldwide.

  10. Adaptive changes in size and age at metamorphosis can qualitatively vary with predator type and available defenses.

    PubMed

    Higginson, A D; Ruxton, G D

    2010-09-01

    In many taxa the timing of metamorphosis is plastic in response to predation risk during the pre-metamorphic stage, and trends in both age and body size at metamorphosis have been the subject of much study. The responses to cues of predators are predominantly to be larger or equal-sized at the same age or older at metamorphosis. These observations are in direct contrast with existing theoretical treatments of this plasticity, which mostly predict earlier and smaller metamorphosis and never later and larger metamorphosis without invoking indirect effects on growth rate. Here we resolve the discrepancy between theory and observation using a dynamic state-dependent model that incorporates morphological and behavioral responses to predation risk. We allow prey to choose the optimal activity level and/or investment in defense over the growth period. We show that under certain conditions, metamorphosis at a larger size and later time is likely to be optimal. Our analysis allows us to make testable predictions about the changes in activity level of prey as they grow and how the effect of providing refuges will vary with predator type. Several of these predictions are supported by a meta-analysis of metamorphic responses to caged predators by larval amphibians and insects. Our predictions lead to insights about the feedback effects of antipredator responses on growth and subsequent implications for life history.

  11. Acid tolerance in amphibians

    SciTech Connect

    Pierce, B.A.

    1985-04-01

    Studies of amphibian acid tolerance provide information about the potential effects of acid deposition on amphibian communities. Amphibians as a group appear to be relatively acid tolerant, with many species suffering increased mortality only below pH 4. However, amphibians exhibit much intraspecific variation in acid tolerance, and some species are sensitive to even low levels of acidity. Furthermore, nonlethal effects, including depression of growth rates and increases in developmental abnormalities, can occur at higher pH.

  12. Anuran metamorphosis: a model for gravitational study on motor development.

    PubMed

    Shin, J S; Park, J C; Yamashita, M; Choi, I H

    2000-09-01

    Limbs and supporting structures of an organism experience a full weight of its own when it lands from water, because neutral buoyancy in the aquatic habitat will be no longer available in the terrestrial world. Metamorphosis of anuran amphibians presents a good research model to examine how this transition from non-loading to weight-loading affects development of motor capacity at the time of their first emergence on land. Our video analysis of the transitional anurans, Rana catesbeiana, at Gosner stage 46 (the stage of complete transformation) demonstrated that the take-off speed increased 1.23-fold after the first six hours of weight-loading on the wet ground. It did not increase further during the following three days of loading, and was close to the level of mature frogs with different body mass. During development of larvae in deep water with no chance of landing through metamorphosis, both tension and power of a hindlimb anti-gravity muscle increased 5-fold between stages 37 and 46. However, the muscle contractility increased more rapidly when the larvae could access the wet ground by their natural landing behavior after stages 41-42. Muscle power, one of major factors affecting locomotory speed, was 1.29-fold greater in the loaded than in the non-loaded larvae at the transitional stage. Thus, weight-loading had a potentially significant effect on the elevation of motor capacity, with a similar extent of increment in locomotory speed and muscle power during the last stages of metamorphosis. Such a motor adjustment of the froglets in a relatively short transitional period would be important for effective ecological interactions and survival in their inexperienced terrestrial life.

  13. Endoscopy in Amphibians.

    PubMed

    Chai, Norin

    2015-09-01

    Despite advances in exotic animal endoscopy, descriptions involving amphibians are scarce. Amphibian endoscopy shares some similarities with reptiles, especially in lizards. Selected procedures are discussed, including stomatoscopy, gastroscopy, coelioscopy, and biopsy of coelomic organs and lesions. This short overview provides the practitioner with pragmatic advice on how to conduct safe and effective endoscopic examinations in amphibians.

  14. Deconstructing cartilage shape and size into contributions from embryogenesis, metamorphosis, and tadpole and frog growth.

    PubMed

    Rose, Christopher S; Murawinski, Danny; Horne, Virginia

    2015-06-01

    Understanding skeletal diversification involves knowing not only how skeletal rudiments are shaped embryonically, but also how skeletal shape changes throughout life. The pharyngeal arch (PA) skeleton of metamorphosing amphibians persists largely as cartilage and undergoes two phases of development (embryogenesis and metamorphosis) and two phases of growth (larval and post-metamorphic). Though embryogenesis and metamorphosis produce species-specific features of PA cartilage shape, the extents to which shape and size change during growth and metamorphosis remain unaddressed. This study uses allometric equations and thin-plate spline, relative warp and elliptic Fourier analyses to describe shape and size trajectories for the ventral PA cartilages of the frog Xenopus laevis in tadpole and frog growth and metamorphosis. Cartilage sizes scale negatively with body size in both growth phases and cartilage shapes scale isometrically or close to it. This implies that most species-specific aspects of cartilage shape arise in embryogenesis and metamorphosis. Contributions from growth are limited to minor changes in lower jaw (LJ) curvature that produce relative gape narrowing and widening in tadpoles and frogs, respectively, and most cartilages becoming relatively thinner. Metamorphosis involves previously unreported decreases in cartilage size as well as changes in cartilage shape. The LJ becomes slightly longer, narrower and more curved, and the adult ceratohyal emerges from deep within the resorbing tadpole ceratohyal. This contrast in shape and size changes suggests a fundamental difference in the underlying cellular pathways. The observation that variation in PA cartilage shape decreases with tadpole growth supports the hypothesis that isometric growth is required for the metamorphic remodeling of PA cartilages. It also supports the existence of shape-regulating mechanisms that are specific to PA cartilages and that resist local adaptation and phenotypic plasticity.

  15. Effects of copper on growth, metamorphosis and endocrine disruption of Bufo gargarizans larvae.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chao; Liang, Gang; Chai, Lihong; Wang, Hongyuan

    2016-01-01

    Chinese toad (Bufo gargarizans) tadpoles were exposed to copper (1, 6.4, 32 and 64μgL(-1) copper) from the beginning of larval period through completion of metamorphosis. We examined the effects of chronic copper exposure on mortality, growth, time to metamorphosis, tail resorption time, body size at the metamorphic climax (Gs 42) and completion of metamorphosis (Gs 46) and thyroid gland histology. In addition, type 2 and 3 iodothyronine deiodinase (Dio2 and Dio3), thyroid hormone receptors (TRα and TRβ) mRNA levels were also measured to assess disruption of TH synthesis. Our result showed that 6.4-64μgL(-1) copper concentration increased the mortality and inhibited the growth of B. gargarizans tadpoles. In addition, significant reduction in size at Gs 42 and a time delay to Gs 42 were observed at 6.4-64μgL(-1) copper treatments. Moreover, histological examinations have clearly revealed that 64μgL(-1) copper caused follicular cell hyperplasia in thyroid gland. According to real-time PCR results, exposure to 32 and 64μgL(-1) copper significantly up-regulated mRNA expression of Dio3, but down-regulated mRNA expression of TRα and TRβ mRNA level. We concluded that copper delayed amphibian metamorphosis through changing mRNA expression of Dio3, TRα and TRβ, which suggests that copper might have the endocrine-disrupting effect.

  16. The keratin-related Ouroboros proteins function as immune antigens mediating tail regression in Xenopus metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Mukaigasa, Katsuki; Hanasaki, Akira; Maéno, Mitsugu; Fujii, Hiroshi; Hayashida, Shin-ichiro; Itoh, Mari; Kobayashi, Makoto; Tochinai, Shin; Hatta, Masayuki; Iwabuchi, Kazuya; Taira, Masanori; Onoé, Kazunori; Izutsu, Yumi

    2009-10-27

    Tail resorption during amphibian metamorphosis has been thought to be controlled mainly by a cell-autonomous mechanism of programmed cell death triggered by thyroid hormone. However, we have proposed a role for the immune response in metamorphosis, based on the finding that syngeneic grafts of tadpole tail skin into adult Xenopus animals are rejected by T cells. To test this, we identified two tail antigen genes called ouro1 and ouro2 that encode keratin-related proteins. Recombinant Ouro1 and Ouro2 proteins generated proliferative responses in vitro in T cells isolated from naive adult Xenopus animals. These genes were expressed specifically in the tail skin at the climax of metamorphosis. Overexpression of ouro1 and ouro2 induced T-cell accumulation and precocious tail degeneration after full differentiation of adult-type T cells when overexpressed in the tail region. When the expression of ouro1 and ouro2 were knocked down, tail skin tissue remained even after metamorphosis was complete. Our findings indicate that Ouro proteins participate in the process of tail regression as immune antigens and highlight the possibility that the acquired immune system contributes not only to self-defense but also to remodeling processes in vertebrate morphogenesis.

  17. Opposite shifts in size at metamorphosis in response to larval and metamorph predators.

    PubMed

    Vonesh, James R; Warkentin, Karen M

    2006-03-01

    Predation risk can cause organisms to alter the timing of life history switch points. Theory suggests that increased risk in an early life stage should select for switching earlier and smaller, while increased risk in the subsequent stage should select for switching later and larger. This framework has frequently been applied to metamorphosis in amphibians, with mixed results. Few studies examining the effect of larval predation risk on metamorphosis have observed the predicted pattern, and no studies, to our knowledge, have examined the effect of increased risk during and after metamorphosis on the timing of this switch point. Here we examine the effect of larval and post-metamorphic predation risk on metamorphosis in the red-eyed treefrog, Agalychnis callidryas. We raised tadpoles in the presence or absence of cues from caged water bugs fed larvae and cues from spiders fed emerging metamorphs. Water bugs are effective larval predators, while spiders are poor larval predators but prey on metamorphs. Furthermore, since spiders forage on the water surface it is possible that tadpoles could assess future risk from this predator. Predators induced opposite shifts in life history. Tadpoles emerged smaller and less developed in response to water bugs, but later and larger in response to spiders. Interestingly, predator effects on larval duration were not independent; tadpoles delayed emerging in response to spiders, but only in the absence of water bugs.

  18. Vertebral development and amphibian evolution.

    PubMed

    Carroll, R L; Kuntz, A; Albright, K

    1999-01-01

    Amphibians provide an unparalleled opportunity to integrate studies of development and evolution through the investigation of the fossil record of larval stages. The pattern of vertebral development in modern frogs strongly resembles that of Paleozoic labyrinthodonts in the great delay in the ossification of the vertebrae, with the centra forming much later than the neural arches. Slow ossification of the trunk vertebrae in frogs and the absence of ossification in the tail facilitate the rapid loss of the tail during metamorphosis, and may reflect retention of the pattern in their specific Paleozoic ancestors. Salamanders and caecilians ossify their centra at a much earlier stage than frogs, which resembles the condition in Paleozoic lepospondyls. The clearly distinct patterns and rates of vertebral development may indicate phylogenetic separation between the ultimate ancestors of frogs and those of salamanders and caecilians within the early radiation of ancestral tetrapods. This divergence may date from the Lower Carboniferous. Comparison with the molecular regulation of vertebral development described in modern mammals and birds suggests that the rapid chondrification of the centra in salamanders relative to that of frogs may result from the earlier migration of sclerotomal cells expressing Pax1 to the area surrounding the notochord.

  19. Multiple stressors in amphibian communities: Effects of chemical contamination, bullfrogs, and fish

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boone, M.D.; Semlitsch, R.D.; Little, E.E.; Doyle, M.C.

    2007-01-01

    A leading hypothesis of amphibian population declines is that combinations of multiple stressors contribute to declines. We examined the role that chemical contamination, competition, and predation play singly and in combination in aquatic amphibian communities. We exposed larvae of American toads (Bufo americanus), southern leopard frogs (Rana sphenocephala), and spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) to overwintered bullfrog tadpoles (R. catesbeiana), bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus), the insecticide carbaryl, and ammonium nitrate fertilizer in 1000-L mesocosms. Most significantly, our study demonstrated that the presence of multiple factors reduced survival of B. americanus and A. maculatum and lengthened larval periods of R. sphenocephala. The presence of bluegill had the largest impact on the community; it eliminated B. americanus and A. maculatum and reduced the abundance of R. sphenocephala. Chemical contaminants had the second strongest effect on the community with the insecticide, reducing A. maculatum abundance by 50% and increasing the mass of anurans (frogs and toads) at metamorphosis; the fertilizer positively influenced time and mass at metamorphosis for both anurans and A. maculatum. Presence of overwintered bullfrogs reduced mass and increased time to metamorphosis of anurans. While both bluegill and overwintered bullfrog tadpoles had negative effects on the amphibian community, they performed better in the presence of one another and in contaminated habitats. Our results indicate that predicting deleterious combinations from single-factor effects may not be straightforward. Our research supports the hypothesis that combinations of factors can negatively impact some amphibian species and could contribute to population declines. ?? 2007 by the Ecological Society of America.

  20. Diseases of amphibians.

    PubMed

    Densmore, Christine L; Green, David Earl

    2007-01-01

    The development and refinement of amphibian medicine comprise an ongoing science that reflects the unique life history of these animals and our growing knowledge of amphibian diseases. Amphibians are notoriously fastidious in terms of captive care requirements, and the majority of diseases of amphibians maintained in captivity will relate directly or indirectly to husbandry and management. Investigators have described many infectious and noninfectious diseases that occur among various species of captive and wild amphibians, and there is considerable overlap in the diseases of captive versus free-ranging populations. In this article, some of the more commonly reported infectious and noninfectious diseases as well as their etiological agents and causative factors are reviewed. Some of the more common amphibian diseases with bacterial etiologies include bacterial dermatosepticemia or "red leg syndrome," flavobacteriosis, mycobacteriosis, and chlamydiosis. The most common viral diseases of amphibians are caused by the ranaviruses, which have an impact on many species of anurans and caudates. Mycotic and mycotic-like organisms cause a number of diseases among amphibians, including chytridiomycosis, zygomycoses, chromomycoses, saprolegniasis, and ichthyophoniasis. Protozoan parasites of amphibians include a variety of amoeba, ciliates, flagellates, and sporozoans Common metazoan parasites include various myxozoans, helminths (particularly trematodes and nematodes), and arthropods. Commonly encountered noninfectious disease etiologies for amphibians include neoplasia, absolute or specific nutritional deficiencies or overloads, chemical toxicities, and inadequate husbandry or environmental management.

  1. Immunohistochemical localization and biochemical changes in catalase and superoxide dismutase during metamorphosis in the olfactory system of frog Microhyla ornata.

    PubMed

    Gaupale, Tekchand C; Londhe, Jayant; Ghaskadbi, Saroj; Subhedar, N K; Bhargava, Shobha

    2012-02-01

    Amphibian metamorphosis is characterized by rapid tissue remodeling and drastic changes in the body structure and function. Like other organs, olfactory system also undergoes a dramatic rearrangement as the animal experiences transition from aquatic to terrestrial habitat. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are known to play an important role during anuran metamorphosis and role of antioxidant enzymes like catalase and superoxide dismutase (SOD) are believed to play a major role in these processes. Therefore, we hypothesize that antioxidant enzymes in the olfactory system may undergo changes that reflect metamorphic processes. Immunohistochemical study revealed the presence of catalase and SOD in the olfactory receptor neurons and also granular reaction in olfactory epithelium of medial diverticulum during metamorphosis. Catalase and SOD immunoreactivity were seen in the epithelium of lateral diverticulum, vomeronasal organ as metamorphosis proceeds and in the apical lining of olfactory epithelium of adult frog. Biochemical study showed that catalase activity gradually increases in the olfactory system from metamorphic stage 40-46 and adult, while SOD activity decreases from stage 40 to 46 and increases in adult. Thus, the localization and relative levels of catalase and SOD during metamorphosis in the olfactory system suggests that these enzymes may be involved in protection from oxidative damage.

  2. The cost of metamorphosis in flatfishes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geffen, A. J.; van der Veer, H. W.; Nash, R. D. M.

    2007-07-01

    Flatfish development includes a unique physical metamorphosis with morphological and physiological changes associated with eye migration, a 90° rotation in posture and asymmetrical pigmentation. Flatfish larvae also undergo settlement, a behavioural and ecological change associated with a transition from a pelagic to a benthic existence. These processes are often assumed to be critical in determining recruitment in flatfish, through their impact on feeding, growth and survival. The timing of metamorphosis in relation to settlement varies between different flatfish species and this suggests that growth and development are not closely coupled. Existing information on feeding, growth and survival during metamorphosis and settlement is reviewed. Growth during metamorphosis is reduced in some but not all species. Despite the profound internal and external changes, there are no indications that the process of metamorphosis results in an increased mortality or that it might affect recruitment in flatfishes.

  3. Traits, not origin, explain impacts of plants on larval amphibians.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Jillian S; Maerz, John C; Blossey, Bernd

    2012-01-01

    Managing habitats for the benefit of native fauna is a priority for many government and private agencies. Often, these agencies view nonnative plants as a threat to wildlife habitat, and they seek to control or eradicate nonnative plant populations. However, little is known about how nonnative plant invasions impact native fauna, and it is unclear whether managing these plants actually improves habitat quality for resident animals. Here, we compared the impacts of native and nonnative wetland plants on three species of native larval amphibians; we also examined whether plant traits explain the observed impacts. Specifically, we measured plant litter quality (carbon : nitrogen : phosphorus ratios, and percentages of lignin and soluble phenolics) and biomass, along with a suite of environmental conditions known to affect larval amphibians (hydroperiod, temperature, dissolved oxygen, and pH). Hydroperiod and plant traits, notably soluble phenolics, litter C:N ratio, and litter N:P ratio, impacted the likelihood that animals metamorphosed, the number of animals that metamorphosed, and the length of larval period. As hydroperiod decreased, the likelihood that amphibians achieved metamorphosis and the percentage of tadpoles that successfully metamorphosed also decreased. Increases in soluble phenolics, litter N:P ratio, and litter C:N ratio decreased the likelihood that tadpoles achieved metamorphosis, decreased the percentage of tadpoles metamorphosing, decreased metamorph production (total metamorph biomass), and increased the length of larval period. Interestingly, we found no difference in metamorphosis rates and length of larval period between habitats dominated by native and nonnative plants. Our findings have important implications for habitat management. We suggest that to improve habitats for native fauna, managers should focus on assembling a plant community with desirable traits rather than focusing only on plant origin.

  4. Amphibian renal disease.

    PubMed

    Cecil, Todd R

    2006-01-01

    Amphibians by nature have an intimate connection with the aquatic environment at some stage of development and fight an osmotic battle due to the influx of water. Many amphibians have acquired a more terrestrial existence at later stages of development and consequently have physiologic adaptations to conserve moisture. Renal adaptations have allowed amphibians successfully to bridge the gap between aqueous and terrestrial habitats. The kidneys, skin,and, in many amphibian species, the urinary bladder play key roles in fluid homeostasis. Renal impairment may be responsible for the clinical manifestation of disease, morbidity, and mortality.

  5. Surgery in Amphibians.

    PubMed

    Chai, Norin

    2016-01-01

    Amphibian surgery has been especially described in research. Since the last decade, interest for captive amphibians has increased, so have the indications for surgical intervention. Clinicians should not hesitate to advocate such manipulations. Amphibian surgeries have no overwhelming obstacles. These patients heal well and tolerate blood loss more than higher vertebrates. Most procedures described in reptiles (mostly lizards) can be undertaken in most amphibians if equipment can be matched to the patients' size. In general, the most difficult aspect would be the provision of adequate anesthesia.

  6. Where have all the tadpoles gone? Individual genetic tracking of amphibian larvae until adulthood

    PubMed Central

    RINGLER, EVA; MANGIONE, ROSANNA; RINGLER, MAX

    2015-01-01

    Reliably marking larvae and reidentifying them after metamorphosis is a challenge that has hampered studies on recruitment, dispersal, migration and survivorship of amphibians for a long time, as conventional tags are not reliably retained through metamorphosis. Molecular methods allow unique genetic fingerprints to be established for individuals. Although microsatellite markers have successfully been applied in mark–recapture studies on several animal species, they have never been previously used in amphibians to follow individuals across different life cycle stages. Here, we evaluate microsatellites for genetic across-stages mark–recapture studies in amphibians and test the suitability of available software packages for genotype matching. We sampled tadpoles of the dendrobatid frog Allobates femoralis, which we introduced on a river island in the Nature Reserve ‘Les Nouragues’ in French Guiana. In two subsequent recapture sessions, we searched for surviving juveniles and adults, respectively. All individuals were genotyped at 14 highly variable microsatellite loci, which yielded unique genetic fingerprints for all individuals. We found large differences in the identification success of the programs tested. The pairwise-relatedness-based approach, conducted with the programs kingroup or ML-Relate, performed best with our data set. Matching ventral patterns of juveniles and adult individuals acted as a control for the reliability of the genetic identification. Our results demonstrate that microsatellite markers are a highly powerful tool for studying amphibian populations on an individual basis. The ability to individually track amphibian tadpoles throughout metamorphosis until adulthood will be of substantial value for future studies on amphibian population ecology and evolution. PMID:25388775

  7. A Qualitative Meta-Analysis Reveals Consistent Effects of Atrazine on Freshwater Fish and Amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Rohr, Jason R.; McCoy, Krista A.

    2010-01-01

    Objective The biological effects of the herbicide atrazine on freshwater vertebrates are highly controversial. In an effort to resolve the controversy, we conducted a qualitative meta-analysis on the effects of ecologically relevant atrazine concentrations on amphibian and fish survival, behavior, metamorphic traits, infections, and immune, endocrine, and reproductive systems. Data sources We used published, peer-reviewed research and applied strict quality criteria for inclusion of studies in the meta-analysis. Data synthesis We found little evidence that atrazine consistently caused direct mortality of fish or amphibians, but we found evidence that it can have indirect and sublethal effects. The relationship between atrazine concentration and timing of amphibian metamorphosis was regularly nonmonotonic, indicating that atrazine can both accelerate and delay metamorphosis. Atrazine reduced size at or near metamorphosis in 15 of 17 studies and 14 of 14 species. Atrazine elevated amphibian and fish activity in 12 of 13 studies, reduced antipredator behaviors in 6 of 7 studies, and reduced olfactory abilities for fish but not for amphibians. Atrazine was associated with a reduction in 33 of 43 immune function end points and with an increase in 13 of 16 infection end points. Atrazine altered at least one aspect of gonadal morphology in 7 of 10 studies and consistently affected gonadal function, altering spermatogenesis in 2 of 2 studies and sex hormone concentrations in 6 of 7 studies. Atrazine did not affect vitellogenin in 5 studies and increased aromatase in only 1 of 6 studies. Effects of atrazine on fish and amphibian reproductive success, sex ratios, gene frequencies, populations, and communities remain uncertain. Conclusions Although there is much left to learn about the effects of atrazine, we identified several consistent effects of atrazine that must be weighed against any of its benefits and the costs and benefits of alternatives to atrazine use. PMID

  8. Introducing Environmental Toxicology in Instructional Labs: The Use of a Modified Amphibian Developmental Toxicity Assay to Support Inquiry-Based Student Projects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sauterer, Roger; Rayburn, James R.

    2012-01-01

    Introducing students to the process of scientific inquiry is a major goal of high school and college labs. Environmental toxins are of great concern and public interest. Modifications of a vertebrate developmental toxicity assay using the frog Xenopus laevis can support student-initiated toxicology experiments that are relevant to humans. Teams of…

  9. Spatial variation in abiotic and biotic factors in a floodplain determine anuran body size and growth rate at metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Indermaur, Lukas; Schmidt, Benedikt R; Tockner, Klement; Schaub, Michael

    2010-07-01

    Body size at metamorphosis is a critical trait in the life history of amphibians. Despite the wide-spread use of amphibians as experimental model organisms, there is a limited understanding of how multiple abiotic and biotic factors affect the variation in metamorphic traits under natural conditions. The aim of our study was to quantify the effects of abiotic and biotic factors on spatial variation in the body size of tadpoles and size at metamorphosis of the European common toad (Bufo b. spinosus). Our study population was distributed over the riverbed (active tract) and the fringing riparian forest of a natural floodplain. The riverbed had warm ponds with variable hydroperiod and few predators, whereas the forest had ponds with the opposite characteristics. Spatial variation in body size at metamorphosis was governed by the interactive effects of abiotic and biotic factors. The particular form of the interaction between water temperature and intraspecific tadpole density suggests that abiotic factors laid the foundation for biotic factors: intraspecific density decreased growth only at high temperature. Predation and intraspecific density jointly reduced metamorphic size. Interspecific density had a negligible affect on body size at metamorphosis, suggesting weak inter-anuran interactions in the larval stage. Population density at metamorphosis was about one to two orders of magnitudes higher in the riverbed ponds than in the forest ponds, mainly because of lower tadpole mortality. Based on our results, we conclude that ponds in the riverbed appear to play a pivotal role for the population because tadpole growth and survival is best in this habitat.

  10. Cadmium pollution and amphibians--Studies in tadpoles of Rana limnocharis.

    PubMed

    Patar, Arabinda; Giri, Anirudha; Boro, Freeman; Bhuyan, Krishna; Singha, Utsab; Giri, Sarbani

    2016-02-01

    Cadmium is released into the environment in increasing amounts from different natural and anthropogenic activities contaminating the aquatic habitats. Amphibian tadpoles develop in water and hence are likely to be adversely affected by cadmium present in the aquatic environment. We have studied the toxic and genotoxic effects of CdCl2 on the tadpoles of Rana limnocharis. CdCl2 in the concentration range between 0.1 and 0.4 mg/L induced significant mortality in R. limnocharis tadpoles in a dose and time dependent manner. The 10-day LC50 which has more ecological relevance was far less than the 24-h LC50. Tadpoles exposed to CdCl2 metamorphosed at an early age possibly as a survival strategy to move out of the stressful environment. The body weight of the CdCl2 exposed animals at metamorphosis was lower compared to the control individuals which may affect survival and reproductive fitness in adult life. Besides, the average body length of the metamorphosed individuals in the CdCl2 exposed group was higher than the control group. CdCl2 was found to be genotoxic in micronucleus test and comet assay. The ambient concentration of Cd could reach up to 60 μg/L or more. Exposure to 18.5 μg/L of CdCl2 (1% of 24-h LC50) induced significant increase in DNA strand breaks as compared to the control. The present findings demonstrate that presence of cadmium in the aquatic environment can significantly alter the life history traits and cause DNA damage in amphibians and hence, could contribute towards their population decline.

  11. Metamorphosis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Balch, Stephen H.

    2012-01-01

    One thing history's torrent appears to be sweeping away is, ironically, the study of its most productive wellspring, Western civilization. "The Vanishing West", a report the National Association of Scholars released in May 2011, documents the extent of this vanishing. The traditional Western civilization survey requirement, commonplace only…

  12. Distortion of frontal bones results from cell apoptosis by the mechanical force from the up-migrating eye during metamorphosis in Paralichthys olivaceus.

    PubMed

    Sun, Mingyan; Wei, Fen; Li, Hui; Xu, Juan; Chen, Xinye; Gong, Xiaoling; Tian, Yongsheng; Chen, Songlin; Bao, Baolong

    2015-05-01

    Craniofacial remodeling during flatfish metamorphosis, including eye migration, is perhaps the most striking example of asymmetric postembryonic development in the vertebrate world. The asymmetry of the cranium mainly results from distortion of the frontal bones, which depends on eye migration during metamorphosis. However, it is unclear how the up-migrating eye causes distortion of the frontal bones. In this study, we first show that distortion of the frontal bones during metamorphosis in Paralichthys olivaceus is the result of cell apoptosis, rather than cell autophagy or cell proliferation. Secondly, we report that cell apoptosis in the frontal bones is induced by the mechanical force transferred from the up-migrating eye. The mechanical force from the up-migrating eye signals through FAK to downstream molecules that are integrated into the BMP-2 signal pathway. Finally, it is shown that cell apoptosis in the frontal bones is activated by the intrinsic mitochondrial pathway; the extrinsic death receptor is not involved in this process. Moreover, cell apoptosis in frontal bones is not induced directly by thyroid hormones, which are thought to mediate metamorphosis in flatfishes and directly mediate cell apoptosis during amphibian metamorphosis. These findings help identify the major signaling route used during regulation of frontal bone distortion during metamorphosis in flatfish, and indicate that the asymmetry of the cranium, or at least the distortion of frontal bones, is the result of rather than the reason underlying eye migration.

  13. Fetal adaptations for viviparity in amphibians.

    PubMed

    Wake, Marvalee H

    2015-08-01

    Live-bearing has evolved in all three orders of amphibians--frogs, salamanders, and caecilians. Developing young may be either yolk dependent, or maternal nutrients may be supplied after yolk is resorbed, depending on the species. Among frogs, embryos in two distantly related lineages develop in the skin of the maternal parents' backs; they are born either as advanced larvae or fully metamorphosed froglets, depending on the species. In other frogs, and in salamanders and caecilians, viviparity is intraoviductal; one lineage of salamanders includes species that are yolk dependent and born either as larvae or metamorphs, or that practice cannibalism and are born as metamorphs. Live-bearing caecilians all, so far as is known, exhaust yolk before hatching and mothers provide nutrients during the rest of the relatively long gestation period. The developing young that have maternal nutrition have a number of heterochronic changes, such as precocious development of the feeding apparatus and the gut. Furthermore, several of the fetal adaptations, such as a specialized dentition and a prolonged metamorphosis, are homoplasious and present in members of two or all three of the amphibian orders. At the same time, we know little about the developmental and functional bases for fetal adaptations, and less about the factors that drive their evolution and facilitate their maintenance.

  14. Larval Environment Alters Amphibian Immune Defenses Differentially across Life Stages and Populations

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Recent global declines, extirpations and extinctions of wildlife caused by newly emergent diseases highlight the need to improve our knowledge of common environmental factors that affect the strength of immune defense traits. To achieve this goal, we examined the influence of acidification and shading of the larval environment on amphibian skin-associated innate immune defense traits, pre and post-metamorphosis, across two populations of American Bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana), a species known for its wide-ranging environmental tolerance and introduced global distribution. We assessed treatment effects on 1) skin-associated microbial communities and 2) post-metamorphic antimicrobial peptide (AMP) production and 3) AMP bioactivity against the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). While habitat acidification did not affect survival, time to metamorphosis or juvenile mass, we found that a change in average pH from 7 to 6 caused a significant shift in the larval skin microbial community, an effect which disappeared after metamorphosis. Additionally, we found shifts in skin-associated microbial communities across life stages suggesting they are affected by the physiological or ecological changes associated with amphibian metamorphosis. Moreover, we found that post-metamorphic AMP production and bioactivity were significantly affected by the interactions between pH and shade treatments and interactive effects differed across populations. In contrast, there were no significant interactions between treatments on post-metamorphic microbial community structure suggesting that variation in AMPs did not affect microbial community structure within our study. Our findings indicate that commonly encountered variation in the larval environment (i.e. pond pH and degree of shading) can have both immediate and long-term effects on the amphibian innate immune defense traits. Our work suggests that the susceptibility of amphibians to emerging diseases could be related to

  15. Tadpoles of Early Breeding Amphibians are Negatively Affected by Leaf Litter From Invasive Chinese Tallow Trees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leonard, N. E.

    2005-05-01

    As wetlands are invaded by Chinese tallow trees (Triadica sebifera), native trees are displaced and detrital inputs to amphibian breeding ponds are altered. I used a mesocosm experiment to examine the effect of Chinese tallow leaf litter on the survival to, size at, and time to metamorphosis of amphibian larvae. Fifty 1000-L cattle watering tanks were treated with 1500 g dry weight of one of five leaf litter treatments: Chinese tallow, laurel oak (Quercus laurifolia), water tupelo (Nyssa aquatica), slash pine (Pinus elliottii), or a 3:1:1:1 mixture. Each tank received 45 tadpoles of Pseudacris feriarum, Bufo terrestris, and Hyla cinerea in sequence according to their natural breeding phonologies. Every Pseudacris feriarum and Bufo terrestris tadpole exposed to Chinese tallow died prior to metamorphosis. Hyla cinerea survival in tanks with tallow-only was significantly lower than that observed for all other leaf treatments. Hyla cinerea tadpoles from tallow-only and mixed-leaf treatments were larger at metamorphosis and transformed faster than those in tanks with native leaves only. These results suggest that Chinese tallow leaf litter may negatively affect tadpoles of early breeding frogs and that Chinese tallow invasion may change the structure of amphibian communities in temporary ponds.

  16. Effects of nonylphenol on rates of tail resorption and metamorphosis in Rana catesbeiana tadpoles.

    PubMed

    Christensen, Jennie R; Richardson, John S; Bishop, Christine A; Pauli, Bruce; Elliott, John

    2005-04-09

    Nonylphenol (NP) is a persistent, lipophilic, and toxic chemical that can be endocrine disrupting (estrogenic) at sublethal concentrations. Since amphibian metamorphosis is a hormone-driven process and a delicate balance of hormone levels is required for successful metamorphosis, exposure of larval amphibians to NP might disrupt metamorphic processes. This study tested whether NP exposure influenced rate of metamorphic progression and tail resorption in bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) tadpoles. Premetamorphic bullfrog tadpoles were exposed for 7 d to one of 3 nominal concentrations of NP (234 microg/L, 468 microg/L, or 936 microg/L) with or without the addition of exogenous 3,3',5-triiodothyronine (T3). In the absence of exogenous T3, NP significantly increased the rate of tail growth (as measured by tail length) at 936 microg/L. There was no significant effect of NP alone on tail width, limb development, or the process of cranial transformation. When T3 was added to the treatments, increasing NP concentrations were associated with a significant decrease in the rate of cranial transformation, and at the highest dose, the rate of tail resorption was significantly lower than in the controls. Overall, NP had an inhibitory effect on the rate of bullfrog tadpole metamorphic progression and tail resorption.

  17. The amphibian skin-associated microbiome across species, space and life history stages.

    PubMed

    Kueneman, Jordan G; Parfrey, Laura Wegener; Woodhams, Douglas C; Archer, Holly M; Knight, Rob; McKenzie, Valerie J

    2014-03-01

    Skin-associated bacteria of amphibians are increasingly recognized for their role in defence against pathogens, yet we have little understanding of their basic ecology. Here, we use high-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing to examine the host and environmental influences on the skin microbiota of the cohabiting amphibian species Anaxyrus boreas, Pseudacris regilla, Taricha torosa and Lithobates catesbeianus from the Central Valley in California. We also studied populations of Rana cascadae over a large geographic range in the Klamath Mountain range of Northern California, and across developmental stages within a single site. Dominant bacterial phylotypes on amphibian skin included taxa from Bacteroidetes, Gammaproteobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria, Firmicutes, Sphingobacteria and Actinobacteria. Amphibian species identity was the strongest predictor of microbial community composition. Secondarily, within a given amphibian species, wetland site explained significant variation. Amphibian-associated microbiota differed systematically from microbial assemblages in their environments. Rana cascadae tadpoles have skin bacterial communities distinct from postmetamorphic conspecifics, indicating a strong developmental shift in the skin microbes following metamorphosis. Establishing patterns observed in the skin microbiota of wild amphibians and environmental factors that underlie them is necessary to understand skin symbiont community assembly, and ultimately, the role skin microbiota play in the extended host phenotype including disease resistance.

  18. Methods for Evaluating Wetland Condition #12: Using Amphibians in Bioassessments of Wetlands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sparling, D.W.; Richter, K.O.; Calhoun, A.; Micacchion, M.

    2001-01-01

    Because amphibians have both aquatic and terrestrial life stages they can serve in a unique way among vertebrates as sources of information for bioassessments of both wetlands and surrounding habitats. Although there are many data gaps in our knowledge about the habitat requirements and ecology of many amphibian species, it is apparent that community composition, presence and frequency of abnormalities, various mensural characteristics (e.g. snout vent length divided by body weight) and laboratory diagnostics (e.g. cholinesterase activity, blood chemistry) can be used in developing metrics for an index of biotic integrity. In addition, potential metrics can be derived from the various life stages that most amphibians experience such as egg clusters; embryonic development and hatching rates; tadpole growth, development, and survival; progress and success of metamorphosis; and breeding behavior and presence of adults. It is important, however, to focus on regional biodiversity and species assemblages of amphibians in the development of metrics rather than to strive for broadscale application of common metrics. This report discusses the procedures of developing an index of biotic integrity based on amphibians, explains potential pitfalls in using amphibians in bioassessments, and demonstrates where more research is needed to enhance the use of amphibians in evaluating wetland conditions.

  19. Atrazine Contamination in Water and the Impact on Amphibian Populations: A Bioassay That Measures Water Quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayes, T. B.

    2001-12-01

    In recent laboratory studies, we showed that atrazine, a common herbicide, can inhibit metamorphosis, produce hermaphrodites, and inhibit male development in amphibians. In part, these effects are due to a decrease in androgen levels. These effects occur at ecologically relevant low doses (0.1 ppb), and the effective levels are below the current drinking level standard and below contaminant levels found even in rainfall in some areas. Thus, the impact of this widespread compound on free-ranging amphibians is a concern. We undertook a large-scale study to examine atrazine levels in a variety of habitats (temporary pools, rivers, lakes and ponds, and field runoff) across the US where atrazine is used and areas that report no atrazine use. Also, we collected amphibians at each site to examine them for developmental abnormalities. These ongoing studies will help determine the extent of atrazine contamination and its potential impact on amphibian populations. The concern for atrazine's impact is increased, because the mechanism through which the compound produces this effect (inhibition of androgen production) is commonly observed in fish, reptiles and mammals in addition to amphibians, although amphibians appear to sensitive at much lower doses. Thus, effects on amphibians may indicate a much broader impact.

  20. Climate change and amphibians

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Corn, P.S.

    2005-01-01

    Amphibian life histories are exceedingly sensitive to temperature and precipitation, and there is good evidence that recent climate change has already resulted in a shift to breeding earlier in the year for some species. There are also suggestions that the recent increase in the occurrence of El Niño events has caused declines of anurans in Central America and is linked to elevated mortality of amphibian embryos in the northwestern United States. However, evidence linking amphibian declines in Central America to climate relies solely on correlations, and the mechanisms underlying the declines are not understood. Connections between embryo mortality and declines in abundance have not been demonstrated. Analyses of existing data have generally failed to find a link between climate and amphibian declines. It is likely, however, that future climate change will cause further declines of some amphibian species. Reduced soil moisture could reduce prey species and eliminate habitat. Reduced snowfall and increased summer evaporation could have dramatic effects on the duration or occurrence of seasonal wetlands, which are primary habitat for many species of amphibians. Climate change may be a relatively minor cause of current amphibian declines, but it may be the biggest future challenge to the persistence of many species

  1. Using bacterial extract along with differential gene expression in Acropora millepora larvae to decouple the processes of attachment and metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Siboni, Nachshon; Abrego, David; Seneca, Francois; Motti, Cherie A; Andreakis, Nikos; Tebben, Jan; Blackall, Linda L; Harder, Tilmann

    2012-01-01

    Biofilms of the bacterium Pseudoalteromonas induce metamorphosis of acroporid coral larvae. The bacterial metabolite tetrabromopyrrole (TBP), isolated from an extract of Pseudoalteromonas sp. associated with the crustose coralline alga (CCA) Neogoniolithon fosliei, induced coral larval metamorphosis (100%) with little or no attachment (0-2%). To better understand the molecular events and mechanisms underpinning the induction of Acropora millepora larval metamorphosis, including cell proliferation, apoptosis, differentiation, migration, adhesion and biomineralisation, two novel coral gene expression assays were implemented. These involved the use of reverse-transcriptase quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) and employed 47 genes of interest (GOI), selected based on putative roles in the processes of settlement and metamorphosis. Substantial differences in transcriptomic responses of GOI were detected following incubation of A. millepora larvae with a threshold concentration and 10-fold elevated concentration of TBP-containing extracts of Pseudoalteromonas sp. The notable and relatively abrupt changes of the larval body structure during metamorphosis correlated, at the molecular level, with significant differences (p<0.05) in gene expression profiles of 24 GOI, 12 hours post exposure. Fourteen of those GOI also presented differences in expression (p<0.05) following exposure to the threshold concentration of bacterial TBP-containing extract. The specificity of the bacterial TBP-containing extract to induce the metamorphic stage in A. millepora larvae without attachment, using a robust, low cost, accurate, ecologically relevant and highly reproducible RT-qPCR assay, allowed partially decoupling of the transcriptomic processes of attachment and metamorphosis. The bacterial TBP-containing extract provided a unique opportunity to monitor the regulation of genes exclusively involved in the process of metamorphosis, contrasting previous gene expression studies that utilized cues

  2. Using Bacterial Extract along with Differential Gene Expression in Acropora millepora Larvae to Decouple the Processes of Attachment and Metamorphosis

    PubMed Central

    Siboni, Nachshon; Abrego, David; Seneca, Francois; Motti, Cherie A.; Andreakis, Nikos; Tebben, Jan; Blackall, Linda L.; Harder, Tilmann

    2012-01-01

    Biofilms of the bacterium Pseudoalteromonas induce metamorphosis of acroporid coral larvae. The bacterial metabolite tetrabromopyrrole (TBP), isolated from an extract of Pseudoalteromonas sp. associated with the crustose coralline alga (CCA) Neogoniolithon fosliei, induced coral larval metamorphosis (100%) with little or no attachment (0–2%). To better understand the molecular events and mechanisms underpinning the induction of Acropora millepora larval metamorphosis, including cell proliferation, apoptosis, differentiation, migration, adhesion and biomineralisation, two novel coral gene expression assays were implemented. These involved the use of reverse-transcriptase quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) and employed 47 genes of interest (GOI), selected based on putative roles in the processes of settlement and metamorphosis. Substantial differences in transcriptomic responses of GOI were detected following incubation of A. millepora larvae with a threshold concentration and 10-fold elevated concentration of TBP-containing extracts of Pseudoalteromonas sp. The notable and relatively abrupt changes of the larval body structure during metamorphosis correlated, at the molecular level, with significant differences (p<0.05) in gene expression profiles of 24 GOI, 12 hours post exposure. Fourteen of those GOI also presented differences in expression (p<0.05) following exposure to the threshold concentration of bacterial TBP-containing extract. The specificity of the bacterial TBP-containing extract to induce the metamorphic stage in A. millepora larvae without attachment, using a robust, low cost, accurate, ecologically relevant and highly reproducible RT-qPCR assay, allowed partially decoupling of the transcriptomic processes of attachment and metamorphosis. The bacterial TBP-containing extract provided a unique opportunity to monitor the regulation of genes exclusively involved in the process of metamorphosis, contrasting previous gene expression studies that utilized cues

  3. Understanding of the impact of chemicals on amphibians: a meta-analytic review

    PubMed Central

    Egea-Serrano, Andrés; Relyea, Rick A; Tejedo, Miguel; Torralva, Mar

    2012-01-01

    Many studies have assessed the impact of different pollutants on amphibians across a variety of experimental venues (laboratory, mesocosm, and enclosure conditions). Past reviews, using vote-counting methods, have described pollution as one of the major threats faced by amphibians. However, vote-counting methods lack strong statistical power, do not permit one to determine the magnitudes of effects, and do not compare responses among predefined groups. To address these challenges, we conducted a meta-analysis of experimental studies that measured the effects of different chemical pollutants (nitrogenous and phosphorous compounds, pesticides, road deicers, heavy metals, and other wastewater contaminants) at environmentally relevant concentrations on amphibian survival, mass, time to hatching, time to metamorphosis, and frequency of abnormalities. The overall effect size of pollutant exposure was a medium decrease in amphibian survival and mass and a large increase in abnormality frequency. This translates to a 14.3% decrease in survival, a 7.5% decrease in mass, and a 535% increase in abnormality frequency across all studies. In contrast, we found no overall effect of pollutants on time to hatching and time to metamorphosis. We also found that effect sizes differed among experimental venues and among types of pollutants, but we only detected weak differences among amphibian families. These results suggest that variation in sensitivity to contaminants is generally independent of phylogeny. Some publication bias (i.e., selective reporting) was detected, but only for mass and the interaction effect size among stressors. We conclude that the overall impact of pollution on amphibians is moderately to largely negative. This implies that pollutants at environmentally relevant concentrations pose an important threat to amphibians and may play a role in their present global decline. PMID:22957147

  4. A catalog of putative adverse outcome pathways (AOPs) that will enhance the utility of ToxCast high throughput screening data for hazard identification, delivered via a putative AOP knowledgebase and a ToxCast assay annotation file that can be linked with the iCSS dashboard.

    EPA Science Inventory

    A number of putative AOPs for several distinct MIEs of thyroid disruption have been formulated for amphibian metamorphosis and fish swim bladder inflation. These have been entered into the AOP knowledgebase on the OECD WIKI.

  5. Interaction between perchlorate and iodine in the metamorphosis of Hyla versicolor

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sparling, D.; Harvey, G.; Nzengung, V.; ,

    2003-01-01

    Perchlorate (ClO4-) is a water-soluble, inorganic anion that is often combined with ammonium, potassium or other cations for use in industry and agriculture. Ammonium perchlorate, for example, is a potent oxidizer and is used in various military applications including rocket fuel. It has also been found in an historically widely used fertilizer, Chilean nitrate and in other fertilizers. It has been found in ground and surface waters of over 30 states and is considered a human health risk. Because of its similar atomic radius and volume, perchlorate competes with iodide for thyroid uptake and storage and thereby inhibits production of thyroid hormones. Amphibians may be particularly affected by perchlorate because they rely on the thyroid for metamorphosis. This study exposed early larval Hyla versicolor to concentrations of perchlorate ranging from 2.2 to 50 ppm to determine the effects of perchlorate on a native amphibian. In addition, three controls, 0 perchlorate, 0 perchlorate with 0.10 ppm iodide (C + I) and 50 ppm perchlorate + 0.10 ppm iodide (50 + I) were tested. Mortality (< 11% with all treatments) and growth appeared to be unaffected by perchlorate. Inhibition of development started with 2.2 ppm perchlorate and little or no development occurred at 22.9 ppm and above. This inhibition was particularly apparent at the latter stages of development including hindlimb formation and metamorphosis. The estimated EC50 for total inhibition of metamorphosis at 70 days of treatment was 3.63 ppm. There was no evidence of inhibition of development with the 50 + I, C + I, or controls, indicating that the presence of small concentrations of iodide could counter the effects of perchlorate. When tadpoles that had been inhibited by perchlorate were subsequently treated with iodide, development through prometamorphosis progressed but mortality was very high.

  6. Interaction between perchlorate and iodine in the metamorphosis of Hyla versicolor

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sparling, D.W.; Harvey, G.; Nzengung, V.; Linder, Gregory L.; Krest, Sherry K.; Sparling, Donald W.; Little, Edward E.

    2003-01-01

    Perchlorate (ClO4-) is a water-soluble, inorganic anion that is often combined with ammonium, potassium or other cations for use in industry and agriculture. Ammonium perchlorate, for example, is a potent oxidizer and is used in various military applications including rocket fuel. It has also been found in an historically widely used fertilizer, Chilean nitrate and in other fertilizers. It has been found in ground and surface waters of over 30 states and is considered a human health risk. Because of its similar atomic radius and volume, perchlorate competes with iodide for thyroid uptake and storage and thereby inhibits production of thyroid hormones. Amphibians may be particularly affected by perchlorate because they rely on the thyroid for metamorphosis. This study exposed early larval Hyla versicolor to concentrations of perchlorate ranging from 2.2 to 50 ppm to determine the effects of perchlorate on a native amphibian. In addition, three controls, 0 perchlorate, 0 perchlorate with 0.10 ppm iodide (C + I) and 50 ppm perchlorate + 0.10 ppm iodide (50 + I) were tested. Mortality (<11% with all treatments) and growth appeared to be unaffected by perchlorate. Inhibition of development started with 2.2 ppm perchlorate and little or no development occurred at 22.9 ppm and above. This inhibition was particularly apparent at the latter stages of development including hindlimb formation and metamorphosis. The estimated EC50 for total inhibition of metamorphosis at 70 days of treatment was 3.63 ppm. There was no evidence of inhibition of development with the 50 + I, C + I, or controls, indicating that the presence of small concentrations of iodide could counter the effects of perchlorate. When tadpoles that had been inhibited by perchlorate were subsequently treated with iodide, development through prometamorphosis progressed but mortality was very high.

  7. Effects of temperature, density and food quality on larval growth and metamorphosis in the north African green frog Pelophylax saharicus.

    PubMed

    Bellakhal, Meher; Neveu, André; Fartouna-Bellakhal, Mouna; Missaoui, Hechmi; Aleya, Lotfi

    2014-10-01

    The ectodermic status of Amphibians explains their heavy dependence at ambient temperatures and thus their sensitivity to global warming. Temperature is likely the main factor regulating their physiology by acting on the endocrine system, with consequences on development, growth and size at metamorphosis. All these parameters control survival in the wild and performances in raniculture. This study is, to our knowledge, the first report on the effects of temperature, density and protein level in food on the rearing of the North African green Frog Pelophylax saharicus. Results show that a temperature of 26 °C is optimal for maximum weight gain. The maximum metamorphosis rate is obtained between 24 and 26 °C. The highest yields occur at low densities from 1 to 10 tadpolesl(-1). The best survival rate and accelerated metamorphosis are obtained at a level of 35% protein in food whose impact on food intake and weight gain is low. The maximum weight attained by tadpoles at metamorphosis, however, is obtained with a level of 40% protein. These results justify examination of this species in the light of climate change and suggest new techniques for aquaculture.

  8. Antiviral immunity in amphibians.

    PubMed

    Chen, Guangchun; Robert, Jacques

    2011-11-01

    Although a variety of virus species can infect amphibians, diseases caused by ranaviruses ([RVs]; Iridoviridae) have become prominent, and are a major concern for biodiversity, agriculture and international trade. The relatively recent and rapid increase in prevalence of RV infections, the wide range of host species infected by RVs, the variability in host resistance among population of the same species and among different developmental stages, all suggest an important involvement of the amphibian immune system. Nevertheless, the roles of the immune system in the etiology of viral diseases in amphibians are still poorly investigated. We review here the current knowledge of antiviral immunity in amphibians, focusing on model species such as the frog Xenopus and the salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum), and on recent progress in generating tools to better understand how host immune defenses control RV infections, pathogenicity, and transmission.

  9. Vikers Viking Amphibian - biplane

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1924-01-01

    Vikers Viking Amphibian - biplane: Initially procured in 1921 by the U.S. Navy during their studies of foreign designs, the Vickers Viking IV became NACA 17 during its short period of study at Langley.

  10. AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DYNAMICS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Agriculture has contributed to loss of vertebrate biodiversity in many regions, including the U.S. Corn Belt. Amphibian populations, in particular, have experienced widespread and often inexplicable declines, range reductions, and extinctions. However, few attempts have been made...

  11. Growth and developmental effects of coal combustion residues on Southern Leopard Frog (Rana sphenocephala) tadpoles exposed throughout metamorphosis

    SciTech Connect

    Peterson, J.D.; Peterson, V.A.; Mendonca, M.T.

    2008-09-15

    The effects of aquatic deposition of coal combustion residues (CCRs) on amphibian life histories have been the focus of many recent studies. In summer 2005, we raised larval Southern Leopard Frogs, Rana sphenocephala, on either sand or CCR substrate (approximately 1 cm deep within plastic bins) and documented effects of sediment type on oral disc condition, as well as time to, mass at, and total body length at key developmental stages, including metamorphosis (Gosner stages (GS) 37, 42, and 46). We found no significant difference in mortality between the two treatments and mortality was relatively low (eight of 48 in the control group and four of 48 in the CCR group). Ninety percent of exposed tadpoles displayed oral disc abnormalities, while no control individuals displayed abnormalities. Tadpoles raised on CCR-contaminated sediment had decreased developmental rates and weighed significantly less at all developmental stages, on average, when compared to controls. The CCR treatment group was also significantly shorter In length than controls at the completion of metamorphosis (GS 46). Collectively, these findings are the most severe sub-lethal effects noted for any amphibian exposed to CCRs to date. More research is needed to understand how these long term effects may contribute to the dynamics of local amphibian populations.

  12. 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.

  13. Flatfish metamorphosis: a hypothalamic independent process?

    PubMed

    Campinho, Marco A; Silva, Nadia; Roman-Padilla, Javier; Ponce, Marian; Manchado, Manuel; Power, Deborah M

    2015-03-15

    Anuran and flatfish metamorphosis are tightly regulated by thyroid hormones that are the necessary and sufficient factors that drive this developmental event. In the present study whole mount in situ hybridization (WISH) and quantitative PCR in sole are used to explore the central regulation of flatfish metamorphosis. Central regulation of the thyroid in vertebrates is mediated by the hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis. Teleosts diverge from other vertebrates as hypothalamic regulation in the HPT axis is proposed to be through hypothalamic inhibition although the regulatory factor remains enigmatic. The dynamics of the HPT axis during sole metamorphosis revealed integration between the activity of the thyrotrophes in the pituitary and the thyroid follicles. No evidence was found supporting a role for thyroid releasing hormone (trh) or corticotrophin releasing hormone (crh) in hypothalamic control of TH production during sole metamorphosis. Intriguingly the results of the present study suggest that neither hypothalamic trh nor crh expression changes during sole metamorphosis and raises questions about the role of these factors and the hypothalamus in regulation of thyrotrophs.

  14. Metamorphosis of cinctoblastula larvae (Homoscleromorpha, porifera).

    PubMed

    Ereskovsky, Alexander V; Tokina, Daria B; Bézac, Chantal; Boury-Esnault, Nicole

    2007-06-01

    The metamorphosis of the cinctoblastula of Homoscleromorpha is studied in five species belonging to three genera. The different steps of metamorphosis are similar in all species. The metamorphosis occurs by the invagination and involution of either the anterior epithelium or the posterior epithelium of the larva. During metamorphosis, morphogenetic polymorphism was observed, which has an individual character and does not depend on either external or species specific factors. In the rhagon, the development of the aquiferous system occurs only by epithelial morphogenesis and subsequent differentiation of cells. Mesohylar cells derive from flagellated cells after ingression. The formation of pinacoderm and choanoderm occurs by the differentiation of the larval flagellated epithelium. This is possibly due to the conservation of cell junctions in the external surface of the larval flagellated cells and of the basement membrane in their internal surface. The main difference in homoscleromorph metamorphosis compared with Demospongiae is the persistence of the flagellated epithelium throughout this process and even in the adult since exo- and endopinacoderm remain flagellated. The antero-posterior axis of the larva corresponds to the baso-apical axis of the adult in Homoscleromorpha.

  15. Effects of dexamethasone treatment on iodothyronine deiodinase activities and on metamorphosis-related morphological changes in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    PubMed

    Darras, Veerle M; Van der Geyten, Serge; Cox, Clara; Segers, Ilse B; De Groef, Bert; Kühn, Eduard R

    2002-06-15

    In amphibians, there is a close interaction between the interrenal and the thyroidal axes. Hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing hormone or related peptides stimulate thyroidal activity by increasing thyrotropin synthesis and release, while corticosterone accelerates both spontaneous and thyroid hormone-induced metamorphosis. One of the mechanisms that is thought to contribute to this acceleration is a corticosterone-induced change in peripheral deiodinating activity. The present experiments were designed to investigate further the effects of glucocorticoid treatment on amphibian deiodinase activities and to explore the possible role of these effects in metamorphosis. Neotenic axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) were treated either acutely or chronically with dexamethasone (DEX) and changes in type II and type III iodothyronine deiodinase (D2 and D3) activities were studied in liver, kidney, and brain. In addition, gill length, tail height, and body weight were measured at regular intervals in the chronically treated animals in search of metamorphosis-related changes. A single injection of 50 microg DEX decreased hepatic D3 activity (6-48 h) while it increased D2 activity in brain (6-48 h) and to a lesser extent in kidney (24 h). These changes were accompanied by an increase in plasma T(3) levels (48 h). Samples taken during chronic treatment with 20 or 100 microg DEX showed that both hepatic D2 and D3 activities were decreased on day 26, while renal D3 activity was decreased but only in the 20 microg dose group. All other deiodinase activities were not different from those in control animals. At 25 days, all DEX-treated axolotls showed a clear reduction in gill length, tail height, and body weight, changes typical of metamorphosis. Prolongation of the treatment up to 48 days resulted in complete gill resorption by days 44-60. Although probably several mechanisms contribute to these DEX-induced metamorphic changes, the interaction with thyroid function via a sustained

  16. A conceptual model to facilitate amphibian conservation in the northern Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mushnet, David M.; Euliss, Ned H.; Stockwell, Craig A.

    2012-01-01

    As pressures on agricultural landscapes to meet worldwide resource needs increase, amphibian populations face numerous threats including habitat destruction, chemical contaminants, disease outbreaks, wetland sedimentation, and synergistic effects of these perturbations. To facilitate conservation planning, we developed a conceptual model depicting elements critical for amphibian conservation in the northern Great Plains. First, we linked upland, wetland, and landscape features to specific ecological attributes. Ecological attributes included adult survival; reproduction and survival to metamorphosis; and successful dispersal and recolonization. Second, we linked ecosystem drivers, ecosystem stressors, and ecological effects of the region to each ecological attribute. Lastly, we summarized information on these ecological attributes and the drivers, stressors, and effects that work in concert to influence the maintenance of viable and genetically diverse amphibian populations in the northern Great Plains. While our focus was on the northern Great Plains, our conceptual model can be tailored to other geographic regions and taxa.

  17. Effects of hydroperiod duration on survival, developmental rate, and size at metamorphosis in boreal chorus frog tadpoles (Pseudacris maculata)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Amburgey, Staci; Funk, W. Chris; Murphy, Melanie; Muths, Erin

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the relationship between climate-driven habitat conditions and survival is key to preserving biodiversity in the face of rapid climate change. Hydroperiod—the length of time water is in a wetland—is a critical limiting habitat variable for amphibians as larvae must metamorphose before ponds dry. Changes in precipitation and temperature patterns are affecting hydroperiod globally, but the impact of these changes on amphibian persistence is poorly understood. We studied the responses of Boreal Chorus Frog (Pseudacris maculata) tadpoles to simulated hydroperiods (i.e., water level reductions) in the laboratory using individuals collected from ponds spanning a range of natural hydroperiods (Colorado Front Range, USA). To assess the effects of experimental hydroperiod reduction, we measured mortality, time to metamorphosis, and size at metamorphosis. We found that tadpoles grew at rates reflecting the hydroperiods of their native ponds, regardless of experimental treatment. Tadpoles from permanent ponds metamorphosed faster than those from ephemeral ponds across all experimental treatments, a pattern which may represent a predation selection gradient or countergradient variation in developmental rates. Size at metamorphosis did not vary across experimental treatments. Mortality was low overall but varied with pond of origin. Our results suggest that adaptation to local hydroperiod and/or predation and temperature conditions is important in P. maculata. Moreover, the lack of a plastic response to reduced hydroperiods suggests that P. maculata may not be able to metamorphose quickly enough to escape drying ponds. These results have important implications for amphibian persistence in ponds predicted to dry more quickly due to rapid climate change.

  18. Adaptive colouration in amphibians.

    PubMed

    Rudh, Andreas; Qvarnström, Anna

    2013-01-01

    Amphibians, i.e. salamanders, frogs and caecilians show a wide range of bright colours in combination with contrasting patterns. There is variation among species, populations and also within species and populations. Furthermore, individuals often change colours during developmental stages or in response to environmental factors. This extraordinary variation means that there are excellent opportunities to test hypotheses of the adaptive significance of colours using amphibian species as models. We review the present view of functions of colouration in amphibians with the main focus on relatively unexplored topics. Variation in colouration has been found to play a role in thermoregulation, UV protection, predator avoidance and sexual signalling. However, many proposed cases of adaptive functions of colouration in amphibians remain virtually scientifically unexplored and surprisingly few genes influencing pigmentation or patterning have been detected. We would like to especially encourage more studies that take advantage of recent developments in measurement of visual properties of several possible signalling receivers (e.g. predators, competitors or mates). Future investigations on interactions between behaviour, ecology and vision have the potential to challenge our current view of the adaptive function of colouration in amphibians.

  19. Toxicity of two insecticides to California, USA, anurans and its relevance to declining amphibian populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sparling, D.W.; Fellers, G.M.

    2009-01-01

    Contaminants have been associated with population declines of several amphibian species in California (USA). Pesticides from the Central Valley of California are transported by winds into the Sierra Nevada Mountains and precipitate into wet meadows where amphibians breed. The present study examined the chronic toxicity of two of the insecticides most commonly used in the Central Valley and found in the mountains, chlorpyrifos and endosulfan, to larval Pacific treefrogs (Pseudacris regilla) and foothill yellow-legged frogs (Rana boylii) and discusses the implications of this toxicity to declining amphibian populations. Larvae were exposed to the pesticides from Gosner stages 25 to 26 through metamorphosis. The estimated median lethal concentration (LC50) for chlorpyrifos was 365 ??g/L in P. regilla and 66.5 ??g/L for R. boylii. Time to metamorphosis increased with concentration of chlorpyrifos in both species, and cholinesterase activity declined with exposure concentration in metamorphs of both species at Gosner stages 42 to 46. For endosulfan, the estimated LC50 was 15.6 ??g/L for P. regilla and 0.55 ??g/L for R. boylii. All R. boylii exposed to concentrations of greater than 0.8 ??g/L died before they entered metamorphosis. Pseudacris regilla remains relatively abundant and is broadly distributed throughout California. In contrast, R. boylii is among the species experiencing severe population declines. The present study adds to the increasing evidence that pesticides are very harmful to amphibians living in areas that are miles from sources of pesticide application. ?? 2009 SETAC.

  20. DEVELOPMENTAL DIVERSITY OF AMPHIBIANS

    PubMed Central

    Elinson, Richard P.; del Pino, Eugenia M.

    2011-01-01

    The current model amphibian, Xenopus laevis, develops rapidly in water to a tadpole which metamorphoses into a frog. Many amphibians deviate from the X. laevis developmental pattern. Among other adaptations, their embryos develop in foam nests on land or in pouches on their mother’s back or on a leaf guarded by a parent. The diversity of developmental patterns includes multinucleated oogenesis, lack of RNA localization, huge non-pigmented eggs, and asynchronous, irregular early cleavages. Variations in patterns of gastrulation highlight the modularity of this critical developmental period. Many species have eliminated the larva or tadpole and directly develop to the adult. The wealth of developmental diversity among amphibians coupled with the wealth of mechanistic information from X. laevis permit comparisons that provide deeper insights into developmental processes. PMID:22662314

  1. Invasive reptiles and amphibians.

    PubMed

    Moutou, F; Pastoret, P P

    2010-08-01

    Although they are frequently lumped together, reptiles and amphibians belong to two very different zoological groups. Nevertheless, one fact is clear: while numerous reptile and amphibian species on Earth are in decline, others have taken advantage of trade or human movements to become established in new lands, adopting different, and sometimes unusual, strategies. The authors have taken a few examples from these two zoological groups that illustrate the majority of cases. A brief analysis of the causes and effects of their introductions into new areas reveals connections with economic interests, trade in companion animals, medical research and public health.

  2. Structural Elements in Franz Kafka's "The Metamorphosis."

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Scott

    1993-01-01

    Notes that Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" is not only a masterpiece of modern literature but also a work that exemplifies many ideas of structural family therapy. Examines how Kafka's novella embodies concepts such as parentified children, enmeshment, intergenerational boundaries, coalitions and triangles, structural dysfunction, and…

  3. Organizational Metamorphosis in Space Research and Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tompkins, Phillip K.

    1978-01-01

    The communicative, and therefore organizational and managerial, aspects of the Marshall Space Flight Center's (MSFC) metamorphosis from Saturn V to Skylab are analyzed. MSFC's consistent successes are attributed to the organization's commitment to communication systems, its technical integrity, and its single-minded purpose. (JMF)

  4. Metamorphosis: Play, Spirituality and the Animal

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bone, Jane

    2010-01-01

    Animal- and bird-becoming is an aspect of play as metamorphosis connected to spirituality in early childhood settings. The reconceptualisation of play presented here is supported by research that explored the spiritual experiences of young children in different early childhood contexts. Qualitative case study research carried out in Aotearoa New…

  5. Metamorphosis and animal personality: a neglected opportunity.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Alexander D M; Krause, Jens

    2012-10-01

    Developmental perspectives represent an underutilized area of animal personality research, in spite of their obvious importance in biology. Animals that undergo metamorphosis are particularly neglected and represent a unique in situ experimental opportunity to study how personality differences are associated with physiological, morphological, or ecological traits over development.

  6. Amphibians of Olympic National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    2000-01-01

    Amphibians evolved from fishes about 360 million years ago and were the first vertebrates adapted to life on land. The word amphibian means "double life." It refers to the life history of many amphibians, which spend part of their life in water and part on land. There are three major groups of amphibians: salamanders, frogs, and toads, and caecilians. Salamanders, frogs, and toads can be found in Olympic National Park (ONP), but caecilians live only in tropical regions. Many amphibians are generalist predators, eating almost any prey they can fit into their mouths.

  7. Rainforest: Reptiles and Amphibians

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olson, Susanna

    2006-01-01

    Rainforest reptiles and amphibians are a vibrantly colored, multimedia art experience. To complete the entire project one may need to dedicate many class periods to production, yet in each aspect of the project a new and important skill, concept, or element is being taught or reinforced. This project incorporates the study of warm and cool color…

  8. Thyroxine-dependent modulations of the expression of the neural cell adhesion molecule N-CAM during Xenopus laevis metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Levi, G; Broders, F; Dunon, D; Edelman, G M; Thiery, J P

    1990-04-01

    During amphibian metamorphosis, a complete remodeling of the phenotype takes place under complex hormonal control whose final effectors are thyroid hormones. This process implies the activation of coordinated programs of cell death, proliferation, migration, adhesion and differentiation. Inasmuch as the neural cell adhesion molecule N-CAM is thought to play a central role in the control of morphogenetic processes, we have studied by immunohistofluorescence and immunoblots the patterns of expression of N-CAM at different stages of Xenopus laevis metamorphosis. A scan was made of all major organs and appendages. Before the metamorphic climax, all neuronal cell bodies and processes express high levels of N-CAM. During the metamorphic climax, N-CAM expression decreases sharply on the cell bodies and processes of the peripheral nervous system (PNS) but remains high in the central nervous system (CNS). Towards the end of metamorphosis, the PNS and spinal nerves are virtually negative for N-CAM while the CNS is still positive. The optic and olfactory nerves, although myelinated, are still strongly positive for N-CAM. The lens and olfactory epithelia express N-CAM throughout metamorphosis. In the brain. N-CAM is present at all times as three polypeptides of 180, 140, and 120 X 10(3) Mr; before metamorphosis some of the N-CAM is in its polysialylated form. During metamorphosis and the subsequent growth of the animal, the amount of N-CAM decreases gradually. In all polypeptides, the polysialylated form is the first to disappear. Cardiac muscle expresses high level of N-CAM from its first formation throughout metamorphosis; in contrast, the level of N-CAM in skeletal muscle is high in newly formed muscles, but decreases rapidly after myoblast fusion. The liver of adult Xenopus contains large amounts of a 160 X 10(3) polypeptide that is recognized by polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies against N-CAM. cDNA probes of Xenopus brain N-CAM recognize major transcripts of 9.2, 3

  9. Effects of depleted uranium on survival, growth, and metamorphosis in the african clawed frog (Xenopus laevis)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mitchell, S.E.; Caldwell, C.A.; Gonzales, G.; Gould, W.R.; Arimoto, R.

    2005-01-01

    Embryos (stage 8-47, Nieuwkoop and Faber) of the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) were subjected to water-borne depleted uranium (DU) concentrations that ranged from 4.8 to 77.7 mg/Lusing an acute 96-h frog embryo teratogenesis assay-Xenopus (FETAX). In a chronic 64-d assay, X. laevis (from embryo through metamorphosis; stages 8-66) were subjected to concentrations of DU that ranged from 6.2 to 54.3 mg/L Our results indicate DU is a non teratogenic metal. No effects on mortality, malformations, or growth were observed in the 96-h FETAX with concentrations of DU that ranged from 4.8 to 77.7 mg/L From stage 8 to stage 47, X. laevis tadpoles do not actively feed and the gills are not well developed. Thus, uptake of DU was reduced despite exposure to elevated concentrations. The 64-d assay resulted in no concentration response for either mortality or malformations; however, a delay in metamorphosis was observed in tadpoles subjected to elevated DU concentrations (from 13.1 to 54.3 mg/L) compared to tadpoles in both the well-water control and reference. The delay in metamorphosis was likely due to increasing body burden of DU that ranged from 0.98 to 2.82 mg/kg. Copyright?? Taylor & Francis Inc.

  10. Detritus Quality and Locality Determines Survival and Mass, but Not Export, of Wood Frogs at Metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Milanovich, Joseph R; Barrett, Kyle; Crawford, John A

    2016-01-01

    Single-site experiments have demonstrated detritus quality in wetlands can have strongly negative, neutral, and even positive influences on wildlife. However, an examination of the influence of detritus quality across several regions is lacking and can provide information on whether impacts from variation in detritus quality are consistent across species with wide ranges. To address this gap in regional studies we examined effects of emergent and allochthonous detritus of different nutrient qualities on amphibians and assessed a mechanism that may contribute to potential impacts. We used aquatic mesocosms to raise wood frogs (Rana sylvatica) from two regions of the United States with whole plants from purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), leaf litter from native hardwood trees, and a mixture of both. We examined several metrics of amphibian fitness and life history, including survival, number of days to metamorphosis, and size at metamorphosis. Further, we quantified whether the effects of detritus type could translate to variation in anuran biomass or standing stock of nitrogen or phosphorus export. Our results show detritus with high nutrient quality (purple loosestrife) negatively influenced survival of wood frogs, but increased size of metamorphic individuals in two different regions of the United States. Despite the decrease in survival, the increase in size of post-metamorphic anurans raised with high quality detritus resulted in anuran biomass and standing stock of N and P export being similar across treatments at both locations. These results further demonstrate the role of plant quality in shaping wetland ecosystem dynamics, and represent the first demonstration that effects are consistent within species across ecoregional boundaries.

  11. Detritus Quality and Locality Determines Survival and Mass, but Not Export, of Wood Frogs at Metamorphosis

    PubMed Central

    Milanovich, Joseph R.; Barrett, Kyle; Crawford, John A.

    2016-01-01

    Single-site experiments have demonstrated detritus quality in wetlands can have strongly negative, neutral, and even positive influences on wildlife. However, an examination of the influence of detritus quality across several regions is lacking and can provide information on whether impacts from variation in detritus quality are consistent across species with wide ranges. To address this gap in regional studies we examined effects of emergent and allochthonous detritus of different nutrient qualities on amphibians and assessed a mechanism that may contribute to potential impacts. We used aquatic mesocosms to raise wood frogs (Rana sylvatica) from two regions of the United States with whole plants from purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), leaf litter from native hardwood trees, and a mixture of both. We examined several metrics of amphibian fitness and life history, including survival, number of days to metamorphosis, and size at metamorphosis. Further, we quantified whether the effects of detritus type could translate to variation in anuran biomass or standing stock of nitrogen or phosphorus export. Our results show detritus with high nutrient quality (purple loosestrife) negatively influenced survival of wood frogs, but increased size of metamorphic individuals in two different regions of the United States. Despite the decrease in survival, the increase in size of post-metamorphic anurans raised with high quality detritus resulted in anuran biomass and standing stock of N and P export being similar across treatments at both locations. These results further demonstrate the role of plant quality in shaping wetland ecosystem dynamics, and represent the first demonstration that effects are consistent within species across ecoregional boundaries. PMID:27824915

  12. Sensory Flask Cells in Sponge Larvae Regulate Metamorphosis via Calcium Signaling.

    PubMed

    Nakanishi, Nagayasu; Stoupin, Daniel; Degnan, Sandie M; Degnan, Bernard M

    2015-12-01

    The Porifera (sponges) is one of the earliest phyletic lineages to branch off the metazoan tree. Although the body-plan of sponges is among the simplest in the animal kingdom and sponges lack nervous systems that communicate environmental signals to other cells, their larvae have sensory systems that generate coordinated responses to environmental cues. In eumetazoans (Cnidaria and Bilateria), the nervous systems of larvae often regulate metamorphosis through Ca(2+)-dependent signal transduction. In sponges, neither the identity of the receptor system that detects an inductive environmental cue (hereafter "metamorphic cues") nor the signaling system that mediates settlement and metamorphosis are known. Using a combination of behavioral assays and surgical manipulations, we show here that specialized epithelial cells-referred to as flask cells-enriched in the anterior third of the Amphimedon queenslandica larva are most likely to be the sensory cells that detect the metamorphic cues. Surgical removal of the region enriched in flask cells in a larva inhibits the initiation of metamorphosis. The flask cell has an apical sensory apparatus with a cilium surrounded by an apical F-actin-rich protrusion, and numerous vesicles, hallmarks of eumetazoan sensory-neurosecretory cells. We demonstrate that these flask cells respond to metamorphic cues by elevating intracellular Ca(2+) levels, and that this elevation is necessary for the initiation of metamorphosis. Taken together, these analyses suggest that sponge larvae have sensory-secretory epithelial cells capable of converting exogenous cues into internal signals via Ca(2+)-mediated signaling, which is necessary for the initiation of metamorphosis. Similarities in the morphology, physiology, and function of the sensory flask cells in sponge larvae with the sensory/neurosecretory cells in eumetazoan larvae suggest this sensory system predates the divergence of Porifera and Eumetazoa.

  13. Reduced effects of thyroid hormone on gene expression and metamorphosis in a paedomorphic plethodontid salamander.

    PubMed

    Aran, Robert P; Steffen, Michael A; Martin, Samuel D; Lopez, Olivia I; Bonett, Ronald M

    2014-07-01

    It has been over a century since Gudernatsch (1912, Wilhelm Roux Arch Entwickl Mech Org 35:457-483) demonstrated that mammalian thyroid gland extracts can stimulate tadpole metamorphosis. Despite the tremendous developmental diversity of amphibians, mechanisms of metamorphosis have mostly been studied in a few model systems. This limits our understanding of the processes that influence the evolution of developmental aberrations. Here we isolated thyroid hormone receptors alpha (TRα) and beta (TRβ) from Oklahoma salamanders (Eurycea tynerensis), which exhibit permanently aquatic (paedomorphic) or biphasic (metamorphic) developmental modes in different populations. We found that TRα and TRβ were upregulated by thyroid hormone (T3 ) in tail tissues of larvae from metamorphic populations, but basal levels of TR expression and T3 responsiveness were reduced in larvae from paedomorphic populations. Likewise, we found that T3 treatment resulted in complete loss of larval epibranchials in larvae from metamorphic populations, but little to no epibranchial remodeling occurred in larvae from paedomorphic populations over the same duration. This is the first study to directly demonstrate reduced gene expression and metamorphic responses to T3 in a paedomorphic plethodontid compared to metamorphic conspecifics, and the first salamander system to show differential expression of thyroid hormone receptors associated with alternative developmental patterns.

  14. Amphibian development in microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Souza, K. A.

    1987-01-01

    The results of experiments performed by the U.S. Biosatellites 1 and 2 and the Gemini VIII and XII missions and by the Soviet Salyut and Soyuz missions on the effect of gravity on the development of prefertilized amphibian egg and, in particular, of the vestibular system of amphibian embryo are described. In these experiments, the condition of microgravity was reached only after the prefertilized eggs were in the early stages of first cell division or in the blastula stage. No significant changes were observed in the morphology of the embryos or in the vestibular system of embyos developed, respectively, for 2-5 days or 20 days under conditions of microgravity. Experiments planned for future spaceflights are discussed.

  15. Metamorphosis in the Cirripede Crustacean Balanus amphitrite

    PubMed Central

    Maruzzo, Diego; Aldred, Nick; Clare, Anthony S.; Høeg, Jens T.

    2012-01-01

    Stalked and acorn barnacles (Cirripedia Thoracica) have a complex life cycle that includes a free-swimming nauplius larva, a cypris larva and a permanently attached sessile juvenile and adult barnacle. The barnacle cyprid is among the most highly specialized of marine invertebrate larvae and its settlement biology has been intensively studied. By contrast, surprisingly few papers have dealt with the critical series of metamorphic events from cementation of the cyprid to the substratum until the appearance of a suspension feeding juvenile. This metamorphosis is both ontogenetically complex and critical to the survival of the barnacle. Here we use video microscopy to present a timeline and description of morphological events from settled cyprid to juvenile barnacle in the model species Balanus amphitrite, representing an important step towards both a broader understanding of the settlement ecology of this species and a platform for studying the factors that control its metamorphosis. Metamorphosis in B. amphitrite involves a complex sequence of events: cementation, epidermis separation from the cypris cuticle, degeneration of cypris musculature, rotation of the thorax inside the mantle cavity, building of the juvenile musculature, contraction of antennular muscles, raising of the body, shedding of the cypris cuticle, shell plate and basis formation and, possibly, a further moult to become a suspension feeding barnacle. We compare these events with developmental information from other barnacle species and discuss them in the framework of barnacle settlement ecology. PMID:22666355

  16. Field Surveys of Amphibian Populations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brodman, Robert

    2000-01-01

    Describes a course on amphibian research for environmental science majors. Involves students in field studies and introduces them to investigative research. Evaluates the course. (Contains 19 references.) (YDS)

  17. Microcosm investigations of stormwater pond sediment toxicity to embryonic and larval amphibians: variation in sensitivity among species.

    PubMed

    Snodgrass, Joel W; Casey, Ryan E; Joseph, Debra; Simon, Judith A

    2008-07-01

    Stormwater ponds have become common features of modern development and often represent significant amounts of open space in urbanized areas. Although stormwater ponds may provide habitat for wildlife, factors responsible for producing variation in wildlife use of ponds have received limited attention. To investigate the role of variation in species tolerances of pollutants in structuring pond-breeding amphibian assemblages, we exposed species tolerant (Bufo americanus) and not tolerant (Rana sylvatica) of urbanization to pond sediments in laboratory microcosms. Pond microcosms had elevated sediment metal levels and chloride water concentrations. Among R. sylvatica embryos, exposure to pond sediments resulted in 100% mortality. In contrast, B. americanus embryos and larvae experienced only sublethal effects (i.e., reduced size at metamorphosis) due to pond sediment exposure. Our results suggest variation in pollutant tolerance among early developmental stages of amphibians may act in concert with terrestrial habitat availability to structure amphibian assemblages associated with stormwater ponds.

  18. Long-term exposure to gold nanoparticles accelerates larval metamorphosis without affecting mass in wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) at environmentally relevant concentrations.

    PubMed

    Fong, Peter P; Thompson, Lucas B; Carfagno, Gerardo L F; Sitton, Andrea J

    2016-09-01

    Nanoparticles are environmental contaminants of emerging concern. Exposure to engineered nanoparticles has been shown to have detrimental effects on aquatic organisms. The authors synthesized gold nanoparticles (18.1 ± 3.5 nm) and tested their effects on time to and weight at metamorphosis in wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) tadpoles, a species known to be sensitive to environmental stressors. Continuous exposure to all concentrations of gold nanoparticles (0.05 pM, 0.5 pM, and 5 pM in particles) for up to 55 d significantly reduced time to metamorphosis by as much as an average of 3 d (p < 0.05). However, exposure to gold nanoparticles had no effect on tadpole mass at metamorphosis. The approximately 18-nm gold nanoparticles used were metastable in dechlorinated tap water, resulting in a change in surface charge and aggregation over time, leading to negatively charged aggregates that were on the order of 60 nm to 110 nm. Nanoparticle aggregation could exacerbate the effect on time to metamorphosis. To the authors' knowledge, the present study is the first report on the effect of engineered nanoparticles of any kind on life-history variables in an amphibian, a taxonomic group that has been declining globally for at least 25 yr. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;35:2304-2310. © 2016 SETAC.

  19. Corticotropin-releasing hormone-mediated metamorphosis in the neotenic axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum: synergistic involvement of thyroxine and corticoids on brain type II deiodinase.

    PubMed

    Kühn, Eduard R; De Groef, Bert; Van der Geyten, Serge; Darras, Veerle M

    2005-08-01

    In the present study, morphological changes leading to complete metamorphosis have been induced in the neotenic axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum using a submetamorphic dose of T(4) together with an injection of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH). An injection of CRH alone is ineffective in this regard presumably due to a lack of thyrotropic stimulation. Using this low hormone profile for induction of metamorphosis, the deiodinating enzymes D2 and D3 known to be present in amphibians were measured in liver and brain 24h following an intraperitoneal injection. An injection of T(4) alone did not influence liver nor brain D2 and D3, but dexamethasone (DEX) or CRH alone or in combination with T(4) decreased liver D2 and D3. Brain D2 activity was slightly increased with a higher dose of DEX, though CRH did not have this effect. A profound synergistic effect occurred when T(4) and DEX or CRH were injected together, in the dose range leading to metamorphosis, increasing brain D2 activity more than fivefold. This synergistic effect was not found in the liver. It is concluded that brain T(3) availability may play an important role for the onset of metamorphosis in the neotenic axolotl.

  20. Responses of Mammalian Insectivores, Amphibians, and Reptiles to Broad-Scale Manipulation of Coarse Woody Debris

    SciTech Connect

    McCay, T.S.; Forschler, B.T.; Komoroski, M.J.; Ford, W.M.

    2002-03-10

    Sampled shrews at 9.3 ha plots from logs manually removed and control plots in loblolly pine forests of the Southeastern Coastal Plain. Capture rates of Cryptotis parva were lower at plots from which deadwood was removed whereas capture rates of Blarina cavolinensis and Sorex longirostris did not differ between control and removal plots. Cryptotis may have been most sensitive to removal plots due to low population density, hence poor ability to move into areas of low reproduction. (Second Abstract, p. 37)Presentation of evidence that juvenile amphibians including Ambystomatid salamanders may disperse hundreds of meter from their natal wetlands within the weeks to months following metamorphosis. Data indicates Ambystoma trigrinum metamorphs can take at least six months to disperse and en route use non-polar lipid reserves garnished as larvae. Report suggests a land management regime that allows for both juvenile amphibian dispersal and also the consumptive use of the surrounding landscape.

  1. [Jaws of amphibians and reptiles].

    PubMed

    Tanimoto, Masahiro

    2005-04-01

    Big jaws of amphibians and reptiles are mainly treated in this article. In amphibians enlarged skulls are for the big jaw in contrast with human's skulls for the brain. For example, famous fossils of Homo diluvii testis are ones of salamanders in fact. In reptiles, mosasaur jaws and teeth and their ecology are introduced for instance.

  2. The biology of coral metamorphosis: molecular responses of larvae to inducers of settlement and metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Grasso, L C; Negri, A P; Fôret, S; Saint, R; Hayward, D C; Miller, D J; Ball, E E

    2011-05-15

    Like many other cnidarians, corals undergo metamorphosis from a motile planula larva to a sedentary polyp. In some sea anemones such as Nematostella this process is a smooth transition requiring no extrinsic stimuli, but in many corals it is more complex and is cue-driven. To better understand the molecular events underlying coral metamorphosis, competent larvae were treated with either a natural inducer of settlement (crustose coralline algae chips/extract) or LWamide, which bypasses the settlement phase and drives larvae directly into metamorphosis. Microarrays featuring >8000 Acropora unigenes were used to follow gene expression changes during the 12h period after these treatments, and the expression patterns of specific genes, selected on the basis of the array experiments, were investigated by in situ hybridization. Three patterns of expression were common-an aboral pattern restricted to the searching/settlement phase, a second phase of aboral expression corresponding to the beginning of the development of the calicoblastic ectoderm and continuing after metamorphosis, and a later orally-restricted pattern.

  3. Interpreting in vivo Effects of Thyroid Synthesis Inhibitors through the Lens of in vitro and ex vivo Assays

    EPA Science Inventory

    The US EPA has been charged to evaluate chemicals for their ability to disrupt endocrine pathways including estrogen, androgen, and thyroid hormone. Amphibian metamorphosis, which is regulated by thyroid hormone, is an ideal model system for investigating disruption of the thyroi...

  4. Life history linked to immune investment in developing amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Woodhams, Douglas C.; Bell, Sara C.; Bigler, Laurent; Caprioli, Richard M.; Chaurand, Pierre; Lam, Brianna A.; Reinert, Laura K.; Stalder, Urs; Vazquez, Victoria M.; Schliep, Klaus; Hertz, Andreas; Rollins-Smith, Louise A.

    2016-01-01

    The broad diversity of amphibian developmental strategies has been shaped, in part, by pathogen pressure, yet trade-offs between the rate of larval development and immune investment remain poorly understood. The expression of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) in skin secretions is a crucial defense against emerging amphibian pathogens and can also indirectly affect host defense by influencing the composition of skin microbiota. We examined the constitutive or induced expression of AMPs in 17 species at multiple life-history stages. We found that AMP defenses in tadpoles of species with short larval periods (fast pace of life) were reduced in comparison with species that overwinter as tadpoles and grow to a large size. A complete set of defensive peptides emerged soon after metamorphosis. These findings support the hypothesis that species with a slow pace of life invest energy in AMP production to resist potential pathogens encountered during the long larval period, whereas species with a fast pace of life trade this investment in defense for more rapid growth and development. PMID:27928507

  5. Life history linked to immune investment in developing amphibians.

    PubMed

    Woodhams, Douglas C; Bell, Sara C; Bigler, Laurent; Caprioli, Richard M; Chaurand, Pierre; Lam, Brianna A; Reinert, Laura K; Stalder, Urs; Vazquez, Victoria M; Schliep, Klaus; Hertz, Andreas; Rollins-Smith, Louise A

    2016-01-01

    The broad diversity of amphibian developmental strategies has been shaped, in part, by pathogen pressure, yet trade-offs between the rate of larval development and immune investment remain poorly understood. The expression of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) in skin secretions is a crucial defense against emerging amphibian pathogens and can also indirectly affect host defense by influencing the composition of skin microbiota. We examined the constitutive or induced expression of AMPs in 17 species at multiple life-history stages. We found that AMP defenses in tadpoles of species with short larval periods (fast pace of life) were reduced in comparison with species that overwinter as tadpoles and grow to a large size. A complete set of defensive peptides emerged soon after metamorphosis. These findings support the hypothesis that species with a slow pace of life invest energy in AMP production to resist potential pathogens encountered during the long larval period, whereas species with a fast pace of life trade this investment in defense for more rapid growth and development.

  6. Quantitative Proteomics of an Amphibian Pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, following Exposure to Thyroid Hormone

    PubMed Central

    Thekkiniath, Jose; Zabet-Moghaddam, Masoud; Kottapalli, Kameswara Rao; Pasham, Mithun R.; San Francisco, Susan; San Francisco, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a chytrid fungus, has increasingly been implicated as a major factor in the worldwide decline of amphibian populations. The fungus causes chytridiomycosis in susceptible species leading to massive die-offs of adult amphibians. Although Bd infects the keratinized mouthparts of tadpoles and negatively affects foraging behavior, these infections are non-lethal. An important morphogen controlling amphibian metamorphosis is thyroid hormone (T3). Tadpoles may be infected with Bd and the fungus may be exposed to T3 during metamorphosis. We hypothesize that exposure of Bd to T3 may induce the expression of factors associated with host colonization and pathogenicity. We utilized a proteomics approach to better understand the dynamics of the Bd-T3 interaction. Using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS), we generated a data set of a large number of cytoplasmic and membrane proteins following exposure of Bd to T3. From these data, we identified a total of 263 proteins whose expression was significantly changed following T3 exposure. We provide evidence for expression of an array of proteins that may play key roles in both genomic and non-genomic actions of T3 in Bd. Additionally, our proteomics study shows an increase in several proteins including proteases and a class of uncommon crinkler and crinkler-like effector proteins suggesting their importance in Bd pathogenicity as well as those involved in metabolism and energy transfer, protein fate, transport and stress responses. This approach provides insights into the mechanistic basis of the Bd-amphibian interaction following T3 exposure. PMID:26046527

  7. How does fish metamorphosis affect aromatic amino acid metabolism?

    PubMed

    Pinto, Wilson; Figueira, Luís; Dinis, Maria Teresa; Aragão, Cláudia

    2009-02-01

    Aromatic amino acids (AAs, phenylalanine and tyrosine) may be specifically required during fish metamorphosis, since they are the precursors of thyroid hormones which regulate this process. This project attempted to evaluate aromatic AA metabolism during the ontogenesis of fish species with a marked (Senegalese sole; Solea senegalensis) and a less accentuated metamorphosis (gilthead seabream; Sparus aurata). Fish were tube-fed with three L-[U-14C] AA solutions at pre-metamorphic, metamorphic and post-metamorphic stages of development: controlled AA mixture (Mix), phenylalanine (Phe) and tyrosine (Tyr). Results showed a preferential aromatic AA retention during the metamorphosis of Senegalese sole, rather than in gilthead seabream. Senegalese sole's highly accentuated metamorphosis seems to increase aromatic AA physiological requirements, possibly for thyroid hormone production. Thus, Senegalese sole seems to be especially susceptible to dietary aromatic AA deficiencies during the metamorphosis period, and these findings may be important for physiologists, fish nutritionists and the flatfish aquaculture industry.

  8. Response of larval Xenopus laevis to atrazine: assessment of growth, metamorphosis, and gonadal and laryngeal morphology.

    PubMed

    Carr, James A; Gentles, Angie; Smith, Ernest E; Goleman, Wanda L; Urquidi, Lina J; Thuett, Kerry; Kendall, Ronald J; Giesy, John P; Gross, Tim S; Solomon, Keith R; Van Der Kraak, Glen

    2003-02-01

    Larval Xenopus laevis were exposed to one of four concentrations of atrazine (0, 1, 10, or 25 microg/L, 11 replicate tanks per treatment, 60-65 larvae per replicate) dissolved in an artificial pond water (frog embryo teratogenesis assay- Xenopus [FETAX]) medium beginning 48 h after hatching until the completion of metamorphosis. Separate groups of larvae (six replicate tanks per treatment, 60-65 larvae per replicate) were exposed to estradiol (100 microg/L), dihydrotestosterone (100 microg/L), or ethanol vehicle control dissolved in FETAX medium. None of the treatments affected posthatch mortality, larval growth, or metamorphosis. There were no treatment effects on sex ratios except for estradiol, which produced a greater percentage of female offspring. Exposure to either estradiol or 25 microg atrazine/L increased the incidence of intersex animals based on assessment of gonadal morphology. Atrazine did not reduce the size of the laryngeal dilator muscle, a sexually dimorphic muscle in this species. We conclude that environmentally relevant concentrations of atrazine do not influence metamorphosis or sex ratios and do not inhibit sexually dimorphic larynx growth in X. laevis. The incidence of atrazine-induced intersex animals was small (<5%) and occurred only at the greatest concentration of atrazine tested, a concentration that is rarely observed in surface waters in the United States.

  9. Influence of Physiological Stress on Nutrient Stoichiometry in Larval Amphibians.

    PubMed

    Kirschman, Lucas J; Haslett, Savhannah; Fritz, Kelley A; Whiles, Matt R; Warne, Robin W

    2016-01-01

    Exposure to environmental stressors alters animal phenotypes as well as nutrient metabolism, assimilation, and excretion. While stress-induced shifts in nutrient processes are known to alter organismal carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) stoichiometry, there has been little exploration of how environmental factors influence phosphorous (P). A better understanding of how P cycling varies with animal physiological state may provide insight into across-scale processes, because P is essential to animal function and ecological processes such as production and decomposition. We tested the effects of predator stress and exogenous glucocorticoids on C∶N∶P stoichiometry of larval amphibians. Glucocorticoids altered nutrient stoichiometry, apparently by modulating ossification and renal function. This reduced whole-body P and significantly increased N∶P. Additionally, elevated glucocorticoids caused a long-term reduction in P excretion. This reduction may reflect an initial unmeasured loss of P that glucocorticoids induce over acute timescales. In contrast, exposure to predator cues had no effect on larval C∶N∶P stoichiometry, which highlights that different stressors have varied effects on the endocrine stress response. Predation, in particular, is ubiquitous in the environment; thus, larvae responding to predators have conserved mechanisms that likely prevent or minimize physiological disruption. These results demonstrate the differing physiological roles of N and P, distinct nutrient demands associated with amphibian metamorphosis, and the contrasting effects that different environmental factors have on the physiological stress response. Our results also suggest that anthropogenic changes to the environment that induce chronic stress in amphibians could affect the biogeochemistry of nutrient-poor environments where they may act as keystone species.

  10. Medicine and surgery of amphibians.

    PubMed

    Gentz, Edward J

    2007-01-01

    Amphibians are most notably characterized by their glandular skin, which they shed regularly and ingest routinely. It is advisable to handle amphibians only with protective gloves to avoid damaging their skin. These animals absorb water readily across the skin as a means of maintaining hydration. They also easily absorb drugs and anesthetics that are applied directly to the skin. Investigators commonly utilize cutaneous respiration in amphibians and evaluate skin abnormalities via wet mount preparations, skin scrapes, and biopsy. The examination of blood samples can be useful in evaluating the status of ill amphibians, although the similarity in function of amphibian blood cell types and those of other species is largely unknown. If surgery is required, it is necessary to fast the animals before surgery, and to monitor their hydration. The wet environment required for amphibian surgery makes sterile technique challenging, and it is advisable to institute prophylactic antibiotic therapy before the procedure. The anesthetic of choice for amphibian surgery is tricaine methanesulfonate (MS-222). Postoperative recommendations include fluids, nutritional support if necessary, and analgesia. If euthanasia is required, MS-222 overdose or pentobarbital injection are the preferred methods.

  11. Chemosignals, hormones, and amphibian reproduction.

    PubMed

    Woodley, Sarah

    2015-02-01

    This article is part of a Special Issue "Chemosignals and Reproduction". Amphibians are often thought of as relatively simple animals especially when compared to mammals. Yet the chemosignaling systems used by amphibians are varied and complex. Amphibian chemosignals are particularly important in reproduction, in both aquatic and terrestrial environments. Chemosignaling is most evident in salamanders and newts, but increasing evidence indicates that chemical communication facilitates reproduction in frogs and toads as well. Reproductive hormones shape the production, dissemination, detection, and responsiveness to chemosignals. A large variety of chemosignals have been identified, ranging from simple, invariant chemosignals to complex, variable blends of chemosignals. Although some chemosignals elicit straightforward responses, others have relatively subtle effects. Review of amphibian chemosignaling reveals a number of issues to be resolved, including: 1) the significance of the complex, individually variable blends of courtship chemosignals found in some salamanders, 2) the behavioral and/or physiological functions of chemosignals found in anuran "breeding glands", 3) the ligands for amphibian V2Rs, especially V2Rs expressed in the main olfactory epithelium, and 4) the mechanism whereby transdermal delivery of chemosignals influences behavior. To date, only a handful of the more than 7000 species of amphibians has been examined. Further study of amphibians should provide additional insight to the role of chemosignals in reproduction.

  12. DNA barcoding amphibians and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Vences, Miguel; Nagy, Zoltán T; Sonet, Gontran; Verheyen, Erik

    2012-01-01

    Only a few major research programs are currently targeting COI barcoding of amphibians and reptiles (including chelonians and crocodiles), two major groups of tetrapods. Amphibian and reptile species are typically old, strongly divergent, and contain deep conspecific lineages which might lead to problems in species assignment with incomplete reference databases. As far as known, there is no single pair of COI primers that will guarantee a sufficient rate of success across all amphibian and reptile taxa, or within major subclades of amphibians and reptiles, which means that the PCR amplification strategy needs to be adjusted depending on the specific research question. In general, many more amphibian and reptile taxa have been sequenced for 16S rDNA, which for some purposes may be a suitable complementary marker, at least until a more comprehensive COI reference database becomes available. DNA barcoding has successfully been used to identify amphibian larval stages (tadpoles) in species-rich tropical assemblages. Tissue sampling, DNA extraction, and amplification of COI is straightforward in amphibians and reptiles. Single primer pairs are likely to have a failure rate between 5 and 50% if taxa of a wide taxonomic range are targeted; in such cases the use of primer cocktails or subsequent hierarchical usage of different primer pairs is necessary. If the target group is taxonomically limited, many studies have followed a strategy of designing specific primers which then allow an easy and reliable amplification of all samples.

  13. Pesticide Uptake Across the Amphibian Dermis Through Soil and Overspray Exposures.

    PubMed

    Van Meter, Robin J; Glinski, Donna A; Henderson, W Matthew; Garrison, A Wayne; Cyterski, Mike; Purucker, S Thomas

    2015-11-01

    For terrestrial amphibians, accumulation of pesticides through dermal contact is a primary route of exposure in agricultural landscapes and may be contributing to widespread amphibian declines. To show pesticide transfer across the amphibian dermis at permitted label application rates, our study was designed to measure pesticide body burdens after two simulated exposure scenarios. We compared direct exposures, where amphibians were present when spraying occurred, to indirect exposures, where amphibians were exposed to soils after pesticide application. During summer 2012, we reared barking (Hyla gratiosa) and green treefrogs (H. cinerea) through 60-90 days post-metamorphosis at a United States Environmental Protection Agency research laboratory. We tested exposure for 8 h to five pesticide active ingredients (imidacloprid, atrazine, triadimefon, fipronil, or pendimethalin) in glass aquaria lined with soil in the laboratory. We quantified total pesticide body burden and soil concentrations using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. All individuals in both treatments had measurable body burdens at the end of the study. A randomized block design analysis of variance (n = 18) showed that body burdens (p = 0.03) and bioconcentration factors (BCFs) (p = 0.01) were significantly greater in the direct overspray treatment relative to the indirect soil spray treatment for both species and tested pesticides. BCFs ranged from 0.1 to 1.16 and from 0.013 to 0.78 in the direct and indirect treatments, respectively. Our study shows dermal uptake for multiple pesticides from both direct spray and indirect soil exposures and provides empirical support for the degree to which terrestrial phase amphibians have higher body burdens after overspray pesticide exposure.

  14. Effects of Pesticide Mixtures on Host-Pathogen Dynamics of the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus

    PubMed Central

    Buck, Julia C.; Hua, Jessica; Brogan, William R.; Dang, Trang D.; Urbina, Jenny; Bendis, Randall J.; Stoler, Aaron B.; Blaustein, Andrew R.; Relyea, Rick A.

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic and natural stressors often interact to affect organisms. Amphibian populations are undergoing unprecedented declines and extinctions with pesticides and emerging infectious diseases implicated as causal factors. Although these factors often co-occur, their effects on amphibians are usually examined in isolation. We hypothesized that exposure of larval and metamorphic amphibians to ecologically relevant concentrations of pesticide mixtures would increase their post-metamorphic susceptibility to the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a pathogen that has contributed to amphibian population declines worldwide. We exposed five anuran species (Pacific treefrog, Pseudacris regilla; spring peeper, Pseudacris crucifer; Cascades frog, Rana cascadae; northern leopard frog, Lithobates pipiens; and western toad, Anaxyrus boreas) from three families to mixtures of four common insecticides (chlorpyrifos, carbaryl, permethrin, and endosulfan) or herbicides (glyphosate, acetochlor, atrazine, and 2,4-D) or a control treatment, either as tadpoles or as newly metamorphic individuals (metamorphs). Subsequently, we exposed animals to Bd or a control inoculate after metamorphosis and compared survival and Bd load. Bd exposure significantly increased mortality in Pacific treefrogs, spring peepers, and western toads, but not in Cascades frogs or northern leopard frogs. However, the effects of pesticide exposure on mortality were negligible, regardless of the timing of exposure. Bd load varied considerably across species; Pacific treefrogs, spring peepers, and western toads had the highest loads, whereas Cascades frogs and northern leopard frogs had the lowest loads. The influence of pesticide exposure on Bd load depended on the amphibian species, timing of pesticide exposure, and the particular pesticide treatment. Our results suggest that exposure to realistic pesticide concentrations has minimal effects on Bd-induced mortality, but can alter Bd load. This result

  15. Retention of Memory through Metamorphosis: Can a Moth Remember What It Learned As a Caterpillar?

    PubMed Central

    Blackiston, Douglas J.; Silva Casey, Elena; Weiss, Martha R.

    2008-01-01

    Insects that undergo complete metamorphosis experience enormous changes in both morphology and lifestyle. The current study examines whether larval experience can persist through pupation into adulthood in Lepidoptera, and assesses two possible mechanisms that could underlie such behavior: exposure of emerging adults to chemicals from the larval environment, or associative learning transferred to adulthood via maintenance of intact synaptic connections. Fifth instar Manduca sexta caterpillars received an electrical shock associatively paired with a specific odor in order to create a conditioned odor aversion, and were assayed for learning in a Y choice apparatus as larvae and again as adult moths. We show that larvae learned to avoid the training odor, and that this aversion was still present in the adults. The adult aversion did not result from carryover of chemicals from the larval environment, as neither applying odorants to naïve pupae nor washing the pupae of trained caterpillars resulted in a change in behavior. In addition, we report that larvae trained at third instar still showed odor aversion after two molts, as fifth instars, but did not avoid the odor as adults, consistent with the idea that post-metamorphic recall involves regions of the brain that are not produced until later in larval development. The present study, the first to demonstrate conclusively that associative memory survives metamorphosis in Lepidoptera, provokes intriguing new questions about the organization and persistence of the central nervous system during metamorphosis. Our results have both ecological and evolutionary implications, as retention of memory through metamorphosis could influence host choice by polyphagous insects, shape habitat selection, and lead to eventual sympatric speciation. PMID:18320055

  16. The genetic covariance between life cycle stages separated by metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Aguirre, J David; Blows, Mark W; Marshall, Dustin J

    2014-08-07

    Metamorphosis is common in animals, yet the genetic associations between life cycle stages are poorly understood. Given the radical changes that occur at metamorphosis, selection may differ before and after metamorphosis, and the extent that genetic associations between pre- and post-metamorphic traits constrain evolutionary change is a subject of considerable interest. In some instances, metamorphosis may allow the genetic decoupling of life cycle stages, whereas in others, metamorphosis could allow complementary responses to selection across the life cycle. Using a diallel breeding design, we measured viability at four ontogenetic stages (embryo, larval, juvenile and adult viability), in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis and examined the orientation of additive genetic variation with respect to the metamorphic boundary. We found support for one eigenvector of G: (gobsmax ), which contrasted larval viability against embryo viability and juvenile viability. Target matrix rotation confirmed that while gobsmax shows genetic associations can extend beyond metamorphosis, there is still considerable scope for decoupled phenotypic evolution. Therefore, although genetic associations across metamorphosis could limit that range of phenotypes that are attainable, traits on either side of the metamorphic boundary are capable of some independent evolutionary change in response to the divergent conditions encountered during each life cycle stage.

  17. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis prevalence and haplotypes in domestic and imported pet amphibians in Japan.

    PubMed

    Tamukai, Kenichi; Une, Yumi; Tominaga, Atsushi; Suzuki, Kazutaka; Goka, Koichi

    2014-05-13

    The international trade in amphibians is believed to have increased the spread of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the fungal pathogen responsible for chytridiomycosis, which has caused a rapid decline in amphibian populations worldwide. We surveyed amphibians imported into Japan and those held in captivity for a long period or bred in Japan to clarify the Bd infection status. Samples were taken from 820 individuals of 109 amphibian species between 2008 and 2011 and were analyzed by a nested-PCR assay. Bd prevalence in imported amphibians was 10.3% (58/561), while it was 6.9% (18/259) in those in private collections and commercially bred amphibians in Japan. We identified the genotypes of this fungus using partial DNA sequences of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region. Sequencing of PCR products of all 76 Bd-positive samples revealed 11 haplotypes of the Bd ITS region. Haplotype A (DNA Data Bank of Japan accession number AB435211) was found in 90% (52/58) of imported amphibians. The results show that Bd is currently entering Japan via the international trade in exotic amphibians as pets, suggesting that the trade has indeed played a major role in the spread of Bd.

  18. STUDIES ON AMPHIBIAN YOLK

    PubMed Central

    Karasaki, Shuichi

    1963-01-01

    The yolk platelets of mature eggs and young embryonic cells of all amphibian species studied (Rana pipiens, Triturus pyrrhogaster, Diemictylus viridescens, Rana nigromaculata, and Bufo vulgaris) have a superficial layer of fine particles or fibrils (ca. 50 A in diameter), a central main body with a crystalline lattice structure, and an enclosing membrane approximately 70 A in thickness. Electron micrographs of the main body reveal hexagonal net (spacing ca. 70 A), square net (spacing ca. 80 A), and parallel band (spacing from 35 to 100 A but most frequent at ca. 70 A) patterns. The crystalline structure is believed to be a simple hexagonal lattice made of closely packed cylindrical rods. Each rod is estimated to be about 80 A in diameter and 160 A in length. PMID:13962448

  19. Polarity of the Amphibian Egg

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Malacinski, G. M.

    1983-01-01

    Amphibian egg polarity and the mechanism which generates the polarity is addressed. Of particular concern is the question of whether the activation rotation which responds to gravity is a prerequisite for normal development.

  20. Effects of nutrient supplementation on host-pathogen dynamics of the amphibian chytrid fungus: a community approach

    PubMed Central

    BUCK, JULIA C.; ROHR, JASON R.; BLAUSTEIN, ANDREW R.

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY Anthropogenic stressors may influence hosts and their pathogens directly or may alter host–pathogen dynamics indirectly through interactions with other species. For example, in aquatic ecosystems, eutrophication may be associated with increased or decreased disease risk. Conversely, pathogens can influence community structure and function and are increasingly recognised as important members of the ecological communities in which they exist.In outdoor mesocosms, we experimentally manipulated nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) and the presence of a fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), and examined the effects on Bd abundance on larval amphibian hosts (Pseudacris regilla: Hylidae), amphibian traits and community dynamics. We predicted that resource supplementation would mitigate negative effects of Bd on tadpole growth and development and that indirect effects of treatments would propagate through the community.Nutrient additions caused changes in algal growth, which benefitted tadpoles through increased mass, development and survival. Bd-exposed tadpoles metamorphosed sooner than unexposed individuals, but their mass at metamorphosis was not affected by Bd exposure. We detected additive rather than interactive effects of nutrient supplementation and Bd in this experiment.Nutrient supplementation was not a significant predictor of infection load of larval amphibians. However, a structural equation model revealed that resource supplementation and exposure of amphibians to Bd altered the structure of the aquatic community. This is the first demonstration that sublethal effects of Bd on amphibians can alter aquatic community dynamics. PMID:25432573

  1. Effects of Underwater Turbine Noise on Crab Larval Metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Pine, Matthew K; Jeffs, Andrew G; Radford, Craig A

    2016-01-01

    The development of marine tidal turbines has advanced at a rapid rate over the last decade but with little detailed understanding of the potential noise impacts on invertebrates. Previous research has shown that underwater reef noise plays an important role in mediating metamorphosis in many larval crabs and fishes. New research suggests that underwater estuarine noise may also mediate metamorphosis in estuarine crab larvae and that the noise emitted from underwater tidal and sea-based wind turbines may significantly influence larval metamorphosis in estuarine crabs.

  2. Mitigating amphibian chytridiomycosis in nature

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Garner, Trenton W. J.; Schmidt, Benedikt R.; Martel, An; Pasmans, Frank; Muths, Erin L.; Cunningham, Andrew A.; Weldon, Che; Fisher, Matthew C.; Bosch, Jaime

    2016-01-01

    Amphibians across the planet face the threat of population decline and extirpation caused by the disease chytridiomycosis. Despite consensus that the fungal pathogens responsible for the disease are conservation issues, strategies to mitigate their impacts in the natural world are, at best, nascent. Reducing risk associated with the movement of amphibians, non-amphibian vectors and other sources of infection remains the first line of defence and a primary objective when mitigating the threat of disease in wildlife. Amphibian-associated chytridiomycete fungi and chytridiomycosis are already widespread, though, and we therefore focus on discussing options for mitigating the threats once disease emergence has occurred in wild amphibian populations. All strategies have shortcomings that need to be overcome before implementation, including stronger efforts towards understanding and addressing ethical and legal considerations. Even if these issues can be dealt with, all currently available approaches, or those under discussion, are unlikely to yield the desired conservation outcome of disease mitigation. The decision process for establishing mitigation strategies requires integrated thinking that assesses disease mitigation options critically and embeds them within more comprehensive strategies for the conservation of amphibian populations, communities and ecosystems.

  3. Chronic sublethal exposure to silver nanoparticles disrupts thyroid hormone signaling during Xenopus laevis metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Carew, Amanda C; Hoque, M Ehsanul; Metcalfe, Chris D; Peyrot, Caroline; Wilkinson, Kevin J; Helbing, Caren C

    2015-02-01

    Nanoparticles (NPs) are engineered in the nanoscale (<100 nm) to have unique physico-chemical properties from their bulk counterparts. Nanosilver particles (AgNPs) are the most prevalent NPs in consumer products due to their strong antimicrobial action. While AgNP toxicity at high concentrations has been thoroughly investigated, the sublethal effects at or below regulatory guidelines are relatively unknown. Amphibian metamorphosis is mediated by thyroid hormone (TH), and initial studies with bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) indicate that low concentrations of AgNPs disrupt TH-dependent responses in premetamorphic tadpole tailfin tissue. The present study examined the effects of low, non-lethal, environmentally-relevant AgNP concentrations (0.018, 0.18 or 1.8 μg/L Ag; ∼10 nm particle size) on naturally metamorphosing Xenopus laevis tadpoles in two-28 day chronic exposures beginning with either pre- or prometamorphic developmental stages. Asymmetric flow field flow fractionation with online inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and nanoparticle tracking analysis indicated a mixture of single AgNPs with homo-agglomerates in the exposure water with a significant portion (∼30-40%) found as dissolved Ag. Tadpoles bioaccumulated AgNPs and displayed transient alterations in snout/vent and hindlimb length with AgNP exposure. Using MAGEX microarray and quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction transcript analyses, AgNP-induced disruption of five TH-responsive targets was observed. The increased mRNA abundance of two peroxidase genes by AgNP exposure suggests the presence of reactive oxygen species even at low, environmentally-relevant concentrations. Furthermore, differential responsiveness to AgNPs was observed at each developmental stage. Therefore, low concentrations of AgNPs had developmental stage-specific endocrine disrupting effects during TH-dependent metamorphosis.

  4. Profound morphological and functional changes of rodent Purkinje cells between the first and the second postnatal weeks: a metamorphosis?

    PubMed Central

    Dusart, Isabelle; Flamant, Frederic

    2012-01-01

    Between the first and the second postnatal week, the development of rodent Purkinje cells is characterized by several profound transitions. Purkinje cells acquire their typical dendritic “espalier” tree morphology and form distal spines. During the first postnatal week, they are multi-innervated by climbing fibers and numerous collateral branches sprout from their axons, whereas from the second postnatal week, the regression of climbing fiber multi-innervation begins, and Purkinje cells become innervated by parallel fibers and inhibitory molecular layer interneurons. Furthermore, their periods of developmental cell death and ability to regenerate their axon stop and their axons become myelinated. Thus a Purkinje cell during the first postnatal week looks and functions differently from a Purkinje cell during the second postnatal week. These fundamental changes occur in parallel with a peak of circulating thyroid hormone in the mouse. All these features suggest to some extent an interesting analogy with amphibian metamorphosis. PMID:22514522

  5. North American amphibians: distribution and diversity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    : Green, David M.; Weir, Linda A.; Casper, Gary S.; Lannoo, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Some 300 species of amphibians inhabit North America. The past two decades have seen an enormous growth in interest about amphibians and an increased intensity of scientific research into their fascinating biology and continent-wide distribution. This atlas presents the spectacular diversity of North American amphibians in a geographic context. It covers all formally recognized amphibian species found in the United States and Canada, many of which are endangered or threatened with extinction. Illustrated with maps and photos, the species accounts provide current information about distribution, habitat, and conservation. Researchers, professional herpetologists, and anyone intrigued by amphibians will value North American Amphibians as a guide and reference.

  6. Metamorphosis of the landlocked sea lamprey, Petromyzon marinus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Manion, Patrick J.; Stauffer, Thomas M.

    1970-01-01

    The external metamorphosis of the sea lamprey was divided into four stages, based primarily on the condition of the mouth: mouth reduced, mouth fused, mouth enclosed, and mouth elongated. During metamorphosis, the eye enlarged greatly, the snout and mouth region changed from a fleshy hood enclosing a sieve apparatus to a large sucking disc, the nasopore membrane and the branchial area shrank, the branchiopores changed in shape, the general color changed from dark brown and yellow to an intense blue-black dorsally and white ventrally, and the total length increased. Metamorphosis began in early to mid-July and did not take place after August. The duration of external metamorphosis was about 3 months for lampreys transforming under natural conditions. The mean lengths of metamorphosing lampreys from tributaries of lakes Superior and Michigan were 145 and 136 mm, respectively.

  7. The Next Decade in Career Counseling: Cocoon Maintenance or Metamorphosis?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parmer, Twinet; Rush, Lee Covington

    2003-01-01

    Articulates the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, and future vision for career counseling using a cocoon maintenance or metamorphosis metaphor. Concludes with a vision for the future for the discipline and profession of career counseling. (Contains 40 references.) (GCP)

  8. Thyroxine-induced metamorphosis in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    PubMed

    Coots, Peggy S; Seifert, Ashley W

    2015-01-01

    The axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) has remained an important model for regeneration and developmental biology for over a century. Although axolotls in captive-bred colonies usually exist in an aquatic form, they retain the ability to undergo metamorphosis following exposure to thyroid hormone. Here we present a robust method for inducing metamorphosis in adult axolotls that results in high survivability and produces terrestrial animals that can be maintained in long-term captivity.

  9. Exposure to coal combustion residues during metamorphosis elevates corticosterone content and adversely affects oral morphology, growth, and development in Rana sphenocephala

    SciTech Connect

    Peterson, J.D.; Peterson, V.A.; Mendonca, M.T.

    2009-01-15

    Coal combustion residues (CCRs) are documented to negatively impact oral morphology, growth, and development in larval amphibians. It is currently unclear what physiological mechanisms may mediate these effects. Corticosterone, a glucocorticoid hormone, is a likely mediator because when administered exogenously it, like CCRs, also negatively influences oral morphology, growth, and development in larval amphibians. In an attempt to identify if corticosterone mediates these effects, we raised larval Southern Leopard Frogs, Rana sphenocephala, on either sand or CCR substrate and documented effects of sediment type on whole body corticosterone, oral morphology, and time to and mass at key metamorphic stages. Coal combustion residue treated tadpoles contained significantly more corticosterone than controls throughout metamorphosis. However, significantly more oral abnormalities occurred early in metamorphosis when differences in corticosterone levels between treatments were minimal. Overall, CCR-treated tadpoles took significantly more time to transition between key stages and gained less mass between stages than controls, but these differences between treatments decreased during later stages when corticosterone differences between treatments were greatest. Our results suggest endogenous increase in corticosterone content and its influence on oral morphology, growth and development is more complex than previously thought.

  10. Why Does Amphibian Chytrid (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) Not Occur Everywhere? An Exploratory Study in Missouri Ponds

    PubMed Central

    Strauss, Alex; Smith, Kevin G.

    2013-01-01

    The amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is a globally emerging pathogen that has caused widespread amphibian population declines, extirpations, and extinctions. However, Bd does not occur in all apparently suitable amphibian populations, even within regions where it is widespread, and it is often unclear why Bd occurs in some habitats but not others. In this study, we rigorously surveyed the amphibian and invertebrate biodiversity of 29 ponds in Missouri, screened resident amphibian larvae (Rana (Lithobates) sp.) for Bd infection, and characterized the aquatic physiochemical environment of each pond (temperature pH, conductivity, nitrogen, phosphorus, and chlorophyll-a). Our goal was to generate hypotheses toward answering the question, “Why does Bd not occur in all apparently suitable habitats?” Bd occurred in assayed amphibians in 11 of the 29 ponds in our study area (38% of ponds). We found no significant relationship between any single biotic or abiotic variable and presence of Bd. However, multivariate analyses (nonmetric multidimensional scaling and permutational tests of dispersion) revealed that ponds in which Bd occurred were a restricted subset of all ponds in terms of amphibian community structure, macroinvertebrate community structure, and pond physiochemistry. In other words, Bd ponds from 6 different conservation areas were more similar to each other than would be expected based on chance. The results of a structural equation model suggest that patterns in the occurrence of Bd among ponds are primarily attributable to variation in macroinvertebrate community structure. When combined with recent results showing that Bd can infect invertebrates as well as amphibians, we suggest that additional research should focus on the role played by non-amphibian biota in determining the presence, prevalence, and pathogenicity of Bd in amphibian populations. PMID:24086681

  11. Effects of polychlorinated biphenyl 126 on green frog (Rana clamitans) and leopard frog (Rana pipiens) hatching success, development, and metamorphosis

    SciTech Connect

    Rosenshield, M.L.; Jofre, M.B.; Karasov, W.H.

    1999-11-01

    Although increasing evidence links plana chlorinated hydrocarbons, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), to decreases in survival and reproduction of fish, mammals, and birds near Green Bay, Wisconsin, and the Great Lakes, USA, relatively little is known of their bioaccumulation or of their possible effects in amphibians. The authors exposed embryos and larvae of two ranid species commonly occurring in the Green Bay ecosystem, the green frog (Rana clamitans) and the leopard frog (Rana pipiens), to PCB 126, a model coplanar PCB compound. Nominal concentrations ranged from 0.005 to 50 {micro}g/L, and exposure lasted through metamorphosis. Tissue concentrations of PCB 126 in tadpoles that did not metamorphose by the end of the experiment ranged from 1.2 to 9,600 ng/g wet mass. No significant mortality of embryos occurred before hatching; however, survival of larvae was significantly reduced at the highest concentration for both species. Few deformities were observed, but the incidence of edema was significantly higher in tadpoles exposed to 50 {micro}g/L. Swimming speed and growth of tadpoles was also significantly reduced in this treatment. The percent of tadpoles that reached metamorphosis was significantly lower in green frogs at the highest concentration, and no leopard frogs survived past day 47 of the experiment in this treatment. At high concentrations, PCB 126 affected both ranid species; however, sublethal effects were not apparent for the parameters the authors measured at concentrations that occur in water in the Green Bay ecosystem.

  12. Growth and development of tadpoles (Xenopus laevis) exposed to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, fluoxetine and sertraline, throughout metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Conners, Deanna E; Rogers, Emily D; Armbrust, Kevin L; Kwon, Jeong-Wook; Black, Marsha C

    2009-12-01

    Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are widely prescribed drugs that are present in sewage effluents and surface waters. The objective of the present study was to determine whether low environmentally relevant concentrations of the SSRIs fluoxetine and sertraline could impair growth and development in tadpoles of the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) and to evaluate if such effects may be caused by a disruption of the neuroendocrine system. Tadpoles were exposed to SSRIs at concentrations of 0.1, 1, and 10 microg/L for 70 d throughout metamorphosis. No effects on deformities were observed. Tadpoles exposed to fluoxetine (10 microg/L) and sertraline (0.1, 1, and 10 microg/L) exhibited reduced growth at metamorphosis. Tadpoles exposed to sertraline (0.1 and 1 microg/L) exhibited an acceleration of development as indicated by an increase in the time to tail resorption. The effects of SSRIs on growth and development in tadpoles were likely driven by reduced food intake. Reduced feeding rates were observed in SSRI-exposed tadpoles, and nutritional status can influence growth and development in amphibians via effects on the neuroendocrine system. Only sertraline was capable of causing developmental toxicity in tadpoles at environmentally relevant concentrations. These data warrant additional research to characterize the risks to human health and wildlife from pharmaceutical exposures.

  13. Characterization of receptor of activated C kinase 1 (RACK1) and functional analysis during larval metamorphosis of the oyster Crassostrea angulata.

    PubMed

    Yang, Bingye; Pu, Fei; Qin, Ji; You, Weiwei; Ke, Caihuan

    2014-03-10

    During a large-scale screen of the larval transcriptome library of the Portuguese oyster, Crassostrea angulata, the oyster gene RACK, which encodes a receptor of activated protein kinase C protein was isolated and characterized. The cDNA is 1,148 bp long and has a predicted open reading frame encoding 317 aa. The predicted protein shows high sequence identity to many RACK proteins of different organisms including molluscs, fish, amphibians and mammals, suggesting that it is conserved during evolution. The structural analysis of the Ca-RACK1 genomic sequence implies that the Ca-RACK1 gene has seven exons and six introns, extending approximately 6.5 kb in length. It is expressed ubiquitously in many oyster tissues as detected by RT-PCR analysis. The Ca-RACK1 mRNA expression pattern was markedly increased at larval metamorphosis; and was further increased along with Ca-RACK1 protein synthesis during epinephrine-induced metamorphosis. These results indicate that the Ca-RACK1 plays an important role in tissue differentiation and/or in cell growth during larval metamorphosis in the oyster, C. angulata.

  14. UVB Radiation Delays Tribolium castaneum Metamorphosis by Influencing Ecdysteroid Metabolism.

    PubMed

    Sang, Wen; Yu, Lin; He, Li; Ma, Wei-Hua; Zhu, Zhi-Hui; Zhu, Fen; Wang, Xiao-Ping; Lei, Chao-Liang

    2016-01-01

    Ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation is an important environmental factor. It is generally known that UVB exhibits high genotoxicity due to causing DNA damage, potentially leading to skin carcinogenesis and aging in mammals. However, little is known about the effects of UVB on the development and metamorphosis of insects, which are the most abundant terrestrial animals. In the present study, we performed dose-response analyses of the effects UVB irradiation on Tribolium castaneum metamorphosis, assessed the function of the T. castaneum prothoracicotropic hormone gene (Trcptth), and analyzed ecdysteroid pathway gene expression profile and ecdysterone titers post-UVB irradiation. The results showed that UVB not only caused death of T. castaneum larvae, but also delayed larval-pupal metamorphosis and reduced the size and emergence rate of pupae. In addition, we verified the function of Trcptth, which is responsible for regulating metamorphosis. It was also found that the expression profiles of Trcptth as well as ecdysteroidogenesis and response genes were influenced by UVB radiation. Therefore, a disturbance pulse of ecdysteroid may be involved in delaying development under exposure to irradiation. To our knowledge, this is the first report indicating that UVB can influence the metamorphosis of insects. This study will contribute to a better understanding of the impact of UVB on signaling mechanisms in insect metamorphosis.

  15. Thyroid hormone mediates otolith growth and development during flatfish metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Schreiber, A M; Wang, X; Tan, Y; Sievers, Q; Sievers, B; Lee, M; Burrall, K

    2010-11-01

    Flatfish begin life as bilaterally symmetrical larvae that swim up-right, then abruptly metamorphose into asymmetrically shaped juveniles with lateralized swimming postures. Flatfish metamorphosis is mediated entirely by thyroid hormone (TH). Changes in flatfish swim posture are thought to be regulated via vestibular remodeling, although the influence of TH on teleost inner ear development remains unclear. This study addresses the role of TH on the development of the three otolith end-organs (sacculus, utricle, and lagena) during southern flounder (Paralichthys lethostigma) metamorphosis. Compared with pre-metamorphosis, growth rates of the sacculus and utricle otoliths increase dramatically during metamorphosis in a manner that is uncoupled from general somatic growth. Treatment of P. lethostigma larvae with methimazol (a pharmacological inhibitor of endogenous TH production) inhibits growth of the sacculus and utricle, whereas treatment with TH dramatically accelerates their growth. In contrast with the sacculus and utricle otoliths that begin to form and mineralize during embryogenesis, a non-mineralized lagena otolith is first visible 10-12 days after hatching. The lagena grows during pre- and pro-metamorphosis, then abruptly mineralizes during metamorphic climax. Mineralization of the lagena, but not growth, can be induced with TH treatment, whereas treatment with methimazol completely inhibits lagena mineralization without inhibiting its growth. These findings suggest that during southern flounder metamorphosis TH exerts differential effects on growth and development among the three types of otolith.

  16. UVB Radiation Delays Tribolium castaneum Metamorphosis by Influencing Ecdysteroid Metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Sang, Wen; Yu, Lin; He, Li; Ma, Wei-Hua; Zhu, Zhi-Hui; Zhu, Fen; Wang, Xiao-Ping; Lei, Chao-Liang

    2016-01-01

    Ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation is an important environmental factor. It is generally known that UVB exhibits high genotoxicity due to causing DNA damage, potentially leading to skin carcinogenesis and aging in mammals. However, little is known about the effects of UVB on the development and metamorphosis of insects, which are the most abundant terrestrial animals. In the present study, we performed dose-response analyses of the effects UVB irradiation on Tribolium castaneum metamorphosis, assessed the function of the T. castaneum prothoracicotropic hormone gene (Trcptth), and analyzed ecdysteroid pathway gene expression profile and ecdysterone titers post-UVB irradiation. The results showed that UVB not only caused death of T. castaneum larvae, but also delayed larval-pupal metamorphosis and reduced the size and emergence rate of pupae. In addition, we verified the function of Trcptth, which is responsible for regulating metamorphosis. It was also found that the expression profiles of Trcptth as well as ecdysteroidogenesis and response genes were influenced by UVB radiation. Therefore, a disturbance pulse of ecdysteroid may be involved in delaying development under exposure to irradiation. To our knowledge, this is the first report indicating that UVB can influence the metamorphosis of insects. This study will contribute to a better understanding of the impact of UVB on signaling mechanisms in insect metamorphosis. PMID:26986217

  17. Cryptosporidium in birds, fish and amphibians.

    PubMed

    Ryan, Una

    2010-01-01

    Whilst considerable information is available for avian cryptosporidiosis, scant information is available for Cryptosporidium infections in fish and amphibians. The present review details recent studies in avian cryptosporidiosis and our current knowledge of piscine and amphibian infections.

  18. Reptiles and amphibians as laboratory animals.

    PubMed

    O'Rourke, Dorcas P

    2002-06-01

    Although reptiles and amphibians have long been used in biomedical research, few in the arena understand their health and husbandry needs. The author provides an introduction to the successful maintenance of reptiles and amphibians in the laboratory environment.

  19. Understanding Amphibian Declines Through Geographic Approaches

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gallant, Alisa

    2006-01-01

    Growing concern over worldwide amphibian declines warrants serious examination. Amphibians are important to the proper functioning of ecosystems and provide many direct benefits to humans in the form of pest and disease control, pharmaceutical compounds, and even food. Amphibians have permeable skin and rely on both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems during different seasons and stages of their lives. Their association with these ecosystems renders them likely to serve as sensitive indicators of environmental change. While much research on amphibian declines has centered on mysterious causes, or on causes that directly affect humans (global warming, chemical pollution, ultraviolet-B radiation), most declines are the result of habitat loss and habitat alteration. Improving our ability to characterize, model, and monitor the interactions between environmental variables and amphibian habitats is key to addressing amphibian conservation. In 2000, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) initiated the Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) to address issues surrounding amphibian declines.

  20. BIOTIC FACTORS IN AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DECLINES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Amphibians evolved in, and continue to exist in, habitats that are replete with many other organisms. Some of these organisms serve as prey for amphibians and others interact with amphibians as predators, competitors, pathogens, or symbionts. Still other organisms in their enviro...

  1. Agricultural ponds support amphibian populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knutson, M.G.; Richardson, W.B.; Reineke, D.M.; Gray, B.R.; Parmelee, J.R.; Weick, S.E.

    2004-01-01

    In some agricultural regions, natural wetlands are scarce, and constructed agricultural ponds may represent important alternative breeding habitats for amphibians. Properly managed, these agricultural ponds may effectively increase the total amount of breeding habitat and help to sustain populations. We studied small, constructed agricultural ponds in southeastern Minnesota to assess their value as amphibian breeding sites. Our study examined habitat factors associated with amphibian reproduction at two spatial scales: the pond and the landscape surrounding the pond. We found that small agricultural ponds in southeastern Minnesota provided breeding habitat for at least 10 species of amphibians. Species richness and multispecies reproductive success were more closely associated with characteristics of the pond (water quality, vegetation, and predators) compared with characteristics of the surrounding landscape, but individual species were associated with both pond and landscape variables. Ponds surrounded by row crops had similar species richness and reproductive success compared with natural wetlands and ponds surrounded by nongrazed pasture. Ponds used for watering livestock had elevated concentrations of phosphorus, higher turbidity, and a trend toward reduced amphibian reproductive success. Species richness was highest in small ponds, ponds with lower total nitrogen concentrations, tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum) present, and lacking fish. Multispecies reproductive success was best in ponds with lower total nitrogen concentrations, less emergent vegetation, and lacking fish. Habitat factors associated with higher reproductive success varied among individual species. We conclude that small, constructed farm ponds, properly managed, may help sustain amphibian populations in landscapes where natural wetland habitat is rare. We recommend management actions such as limiting livestock access to the pond to improve water quality, reducing nitrogen input, and

  2. Perturbation of Organogenesis by the Herbicide Atrazine in the Amphibian Xenopus laevis

    PubMed Central

    Lenkowski, Jenny R.; Reed, J. Michael; Deininger, Lisa; McLaughlin, Kelly A.

    2008-01-01

    Background Exposure to anthropogenic chemicals during development can disrupt the morphogenesis of organ systems. Use of the herbicide atrazine has been debated in recent years because of its implicated, but poorly characterized, effects on vertebrates. Previous studies primarily examined the effects of atrazine exposure during metamorphosis or early developmental stages of amphibians. Objectives We sought to identify and characterize the susceptibility during the often-overlooked developmental stage of organ morphogenesis. Methods We used a static renewal experimental treatment to investigate the effects of 10, 25, and 35 mg/L atrazine from early organ morphogenesis through the onset of tadpole feeding in the aquatic amphibian model system, Xenopus laevis. We quantified malformations of the body axis, heart, and intestine, as well as apoptosis in the midbrain and pronephric kidney. Results We found a significant dose-dependent increase in the percentage of atrazine-exposed tadpoles with malformations of multiple tissues including the main body axis, circulatory system, kidney, and digestive system. Incidence of apoptotic cells also increased in the both midbrain and kidney of atrazine-exposed tadpoles. Conclusions Our results demonstrate that acute atrazine exposure (10–35 mg/L for ≤ 48 hr) during early organ morphogenesis disrupts proper organ development in an amphibian model system. The concurrent atrazine-induced apoptosis in the pronephric kidney and midbrain begins to elucidate a mechanism by which atrazine may disrupt developmental processes in nontarget organisms. PMID:18288322

  3. Myofiber turnover is used to retrofit frog jaw muscles during metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Alley, K E

    1989-01-01

    Metamorphic reorganization of the head in anuran amphibians entails abrupt restructuring of the jaw complex as larval feeding structures are transformed into their adult configurations. In this morphometric study, light microscopy wa used to analyze the larval maturation and metamorphic transfiguration of the adductor jaw muscles in the leopard frog (Rana pipiens). Larval jaw muscles, first established during embryogenesis, continue to grow by fiber addition until prometamorphosis, stage XII. Thereafter, fiber number remains stable but additional muscle growth continues by hypertrophy of the individual fibers until metamorphic climax. During metamorphic stages XIX-XXIII, a complete involution of all larval myofibers occurs. Simultaneously, within the same muscle beds, a second wave of myogenesis produces myoblasts which are the precursors of adult jaw myofibers. New muscle fibers continue to be added to these muscles well after the completion of metamorphosis; however, the total duration of the postmetamorphic myogenic period has not been defined. These observations provide clear evidence that the entir population of primary myofibers used in larval oral activity disappears from the adductor muscle beds and is replaced by a second wave of myogenesis commencing during climax. These findings indicate that the adductor jaw muscles are prepared for adult feeding by a complicated cellular process that retrofits existing muscle beds with a completely new complement of myofibers.

  4. Induction of larval metamorphosis of the coral Acropora millepora by tetrabromopyrrole isolated from a Pseudoalteromonas bacterium.

    PubMed

    Tebben, Jan; Tapiolas, Dianne M; Motti, Cherie A; Abrego, David; Negri, Andrew P; Blackall, Linda L; Steinberg, Peter D; Harder, Tilmann

    2011-04-29

    The induction of larval attachment and metamorphosis of benthic marine invertebrates is widely considered to rely on habitat specific cues. While microbial biofilms on marine hard substrates have received considerable attention as specific signals for a wide and phylogenetically diverse array of marine invertebrates, the presumed chemical settlement signals produced by the bacteria have to date not been characterized. Here we isolated and fully characterized the first chemical signal from bacteria that induced larval metamorphosis of acroporid coral larvae (Acropora millepora). The metamorphic cue was identified as tetrabromopyrrole (TBP) in four bacterial Pseudoalteromonas strains among a culture library of 225 isolates obtained from the crustose coralline algae Neogoniolithon fosliei and Hydrolithon onkodes. Coral planulae transformed into fully developed polyps within 6 h, but only a small proportion of these polyps attached to the substratum. The biofilm cell density of the four bacterial strains had no influence on the ratio of attached vs. non-attached polyps. Larval bioassays with ethanolic extracts of the bacterial isolates, as well as synthetic TBP resulted in consistent responses of coral planulae to various doses of TBP. The lowest bacterial density of one of the Pseudoalteromonas strains which induced metamorphosis was 7,000 cells mm(-2) in laboratory assays, which is on the order of 0.1-1% of the total numbers of bacteria typically found on such surfaces. These results, in which an actual cue from bacteria has been characterized for the first time, contribute significantly towards understanding the complex process of acroporid coral larval settlement mediated through epibiotic microbial biofilms on crustose coralline algae.

  5. Molecular mechanism underlying juvenile hormone-mediated repression of precocious larval–adult metamorphosis

    PubMed Central

    Kayukawa, Takumi; Jouraku, Akiya; Ito, Yuka; Shinoda, Tetsuro

    2017-01-01

    Juvenile hormone (JH) represses precocious metamorphosis of larval to pupal and adult transitions in holometabolous insects. The early JH-inducible gene Krüppel homolog 1 (Kr-h1) plays a key role in the repression of metamorphosis as a mediator of JH action. Previous studies demonstrated that Kr-h1 inhibits precocious larval–pupal transition in immature larva via direct transcriptional repression of the pupal specifier Broad-Complex (BR-C). JH was recently reported to repress the adult specifier gene Ecdysone-induced protein 93F (E93); however, its mechanism of action remains unclear. Here, we found that JH suppressed ecdysone-inducible E93 expression in the epidermis of the silkworm Bombyx mori and in a B. mori cell line. Reporter assays in the cell line revealed that the JH-dependent suppression was mediated by Kr-h1. Genome-wide ChIP-seq analysis identified a consensus Kr-h1 binding site (KBS, 14 bp) located in the E93 promoter region, and EMSA confirmed that Kr-h1 directly binds to the KBS. Moreover, we identified a C-terminal conserved domain in Kr-h1 essential for the transcriptional repression of E93. Based on these results, we propose a mechanism in which JH-inducible Kr-h1 directly binds to the KBS site upstream of the E93 locus to repress its transcription in a cell-autonomous manner, thereby preventing larva from bypassing the pupal stage and progressing to precocious adult development. These findings help to elucidate the molecular mechanisms regulating the metamorphic genetic network, including the functional significance of Kr-h1, BR-C, and E93 in holometabolous insect metamorphosis. PMID:28096379

  6. Toxicity to amphibians of environmental extracts from natural waters in National Parks and Fish and Wildlife Refuges

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bridges, Christine M.; Little, Edward E.

    2005-01-01

    Amphibian population declines are not limited to overly degraded habitats, but often occur in relatively pristine environments such as national parks or wildlife refuges, thus forcing biologists to examine less obvious causes for declines such as the presence of contaminants. The objective of our study was to extract naturally-occurring compounds from amphibian habitats (using semipermeable membrane devices) in three national parks or wildlife refuges (two sites within Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park, Big Bend National Park, and Kenai National Wildlife Refuge), and assess their toxicity to developing larvae using bioassays. Extracts did not cause mortality, so all effects observed were sublethal, influencing life history characteristics. In all three areas studied, amphibians reared in extracts from at least one of the two sites exhibited either a lengthened larval period or reduced mass at metamorphosis. Extracts from both the air and water at one site in Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park lengthened the larval period, which is in agreement with studies showing elevated levels of aerially transported contaminants at sites such as this within the park. Ultraviolet radiation, which is also suspected of having caused amphibian declines and was included as a factor in our study, did not act alone or alter the toxicity of the extracts.

  7. Toxicity to amphibians of environmental extracts from natural waters in National Parks and Fish and Wildlife Refuges

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bridges, C.M.; Little, E.E.

    2005-01-01

    Amphibian population declines are not limited to overtly degraded habitats, but often occur in relatively pristine environments such as national parks or wildlife refuges, thus forcing biologists to examine less obvious causes for declines such as the presence of contaminants. The objective of our study was to extract naturally-occurring compounds from amphibian habitats (using semipermeable membrane devices) in three national parks or wildlife refuges (two sites within Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park, Big Bend National Park, and Kenai National Wildlife Refuge), and assess their toxicity to developing larvae using bioassays. Extracts did not cause mortality, so all effects observed were sublethal, influencing life history characteristics. In all three areas studied, amphibians reared in extracts from at least one of the two sites exhibited either a lengthened larval period or reduced mass at metamorphosis. Extracts from both the air and water at one site in Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park lengthened the larval period, which is in agreement with studies showing elevated levels of aerially transported contaminants at sites such as this within the park. Ultraviolet radiation, which is also suspected of having caused amphibian declines and was included as a factor in our study, did not act alone or alter the toxicity of the extracts. ?? ISSCA 2005.

  8. Multiple overseas dispersal in amphibians.

    PubMed

    Vences, Miguel; Vieites, David R; Glaw, Frank; Brinkmann, Henner; Kosuch, Joachim; Veith, Michael; Meyer, Axel

    2003-12-07

    Amphibians are thought to be unable to disperse over ocean barriers because they do not tolerate the osmotic stress of salt water. Their distribution patterns have therefore generally been explained by vicariance biogeography. Here, we present compelling evidence for overseas dispersal of frogs in the Indian Ocean region based on the discovery of two endemic species on Mayotte. This island belongs to the Comoro archipelago, which is entirely volcanic and surrounded by sea depths of more than 3500 m. This constitutes the first observation of endemic amphibians on oceanic islands that did not have any past physical contact to other land masses. The two species of frogs had previously been thought to be nonendemic and introduced from Madagascar, but clearly represent new species based on their morphological and genetic differentiation. They belong to the genera Mantidactylus and Boophis in the family Mantellidae that is otherwise restricted to Madagascar, and are distinguished by morphology and mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences from mantellid species occurring in Madagascar. This discovery permits us to update and test molecular clocks for frogs distributed in this region. The new calibrations are in agreement with previous rate estimates and indicate two further Cenozoic transmarine dispersal events that had previously been interpreted as vicariance: hyperoliid frogs from Africa to Madagascar (Heterixalus) and from Madagascar to the Seychelles islands (Tachycnemis). Our results provide the strongest evidence so far that overseas dispersal of amphibians exists and is no rare exception, although vicariance certainly retains much of its importance in explaining amphibian biogeography.

  9. Ecopathology of ranaviruses infecting amphibians.

    PubMed

    Miller, Debra; Gray, Matthew; Storfer, Andrew

    2011-11-01

    Ranaviruses are capable of infecting amphibians from at least 14 families and over 70 individual species. Ranaviruses infect multiple cell types, often culminating in organ necrosis and massive hemorrhaging. Subclinical infections have been documented, although their role in ranavirus persistence and emergence remains unclear. Water is an effective transmission medium for ranaviruses, and survival outside the host may be for significant duration. In aquatic communities, amphibians, reptiles and fish may serve as reservoirs. Controlled studies have shown that susceptibility to ranavirus infection and disease varies among amphibian species and developmental stages, and likely is impacted by host-pathogen coevolution, as well as, exogenous environmental factors. Field studies have demonstrated that the likelihood of epizootics is increased in areas of cattle grazing, where aquatic vegetation is sparse and water quality is poor. Translocation of infected amphibians through commercial trade (e.g., food, fish bait, pet industry) contributes to the spread of ranaviruses. Such introductions may be of particular concern, as several studies report that ranaviruses isolated from ranaculture, aquaculture, and bait facilities have greater virulence (i.e., ability to cause disease) than wild-type isolates. Future investigations should focus on the genetic basis for pathogen virulence and host susceptibility, ecological and anthropogenic mechanisms contributing to emergence, and vaccine development for use in captive populations and species reintroduction programs.

  10. Multiple overseas dispersal in amphibians.

    PubMed Central

    Vences, Miguel; Vieites, David R; Glaw, Frank; Brinkmann, Henner; Kosuch, Joachim; Veith, Michael; Meyer, Axel

    2003-01-01

    Amphibians are thought to be unable to disperse over ocean barriers because they do not tolerate the osmotic stress of salt water. Their distribution patterns have therefore generally been explained by vicariance biogeography. Here, we present compelling evidence for overseas dispersal of frogs in the Indian Ocean region based on the discovery of two endemic species on Mayotte. This island belongs to the Comoro archipelago, which is entirely volcanic and surrounded by sea depths of more than 3500 m. This constitutes the first observation of endemic amphibians on oceanic islands that did not have any past physical contact to other land masses. The two species of frogs had previously been thought to be nonendemic and introduced from Madagascar, but clearly represent new species based on their morphological and genetic differentiation. They belong to the genera Mantidactylus and Boophis in the family Mantellidae that is otherwise restricted to Madagascar, and are distinguished by morphology and mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences from mantellid species occurring in Madagascar. This discovery permits us to update and test molecular clocks for frogs distributed in this region. The new calibrations are in agreement with previous rate estimates and indicate two further Cenozoic transmarine dispersal events that had previously been interpreted as vicariance: hyperoliid frogs from Africa to Madagascar (Heterixalus) and from Madagascar to the Seychelles islands (Tachycnemis). Our results provide the strongest evidence so far that overseas dispersal of amphibians exists and is no rare exception, although vicariance certainly retains much of its importance in explaining amphibian biogeography. PMID:14667332

  11. Ecotoxicology of Amphibians and Reptiles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    2000-01-01

    For many years, ecological research on amphibians and reptiles has lagged behind that of other vertebrates such as fishes, birds, and mammals, despite the known importance of these animals in their environments. The lack of study has been particularly acute in the he area of ecotoxicology where the number of published scientific papers is a fraction of that found for the other vertebrate classes. Recently, scientists have become aware of severe crises among amphibian populations, including unexplained and sudden extinctions, worldwide declines, and hideous malformations. In many of these instances, contaminants have been listed as probable contributors. Data on the effects of contaminants on reptiles are so depauperate that even the most elementary interpretations are difficult. This state-of-the-science review and synthesis of amphibian and reptile ecotoxicology demonstrates the inter-relationships among distribution, ecology, physiology, and contaminant exposure, and interprets these topics as they pertain to comparative toxicity, population declines, malformations, and risk assessment . In this way, the book identifies and serves as a basis for the most pressing research needs in the coming years. The editors have invited 27 other internationally respected experts to examine the state of existing data in specific areas, interpret it in light of current problems, and identify research gaps and needs. Through its emphasis on recent research, extensive reviews and synthesis, Ecotoxicology of Amphibians and Reptiles will remain a definitive reference work well into the new century.

  12. Ecopathology of Ranaviruses Infecting Amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Debra; Gray, Matthew; Storfer, Andrew

    2011-01-01

    Ranaviruses are capable of infecting amphibians from at least 14 families and over 70 individual species. Ranaviruses infect multiple cell types, often culminating in organ necrosis and massive hemorrhaging. Subclinical infections have been documented, although their role in ranavirus persistence and emergence remains unclear. Water is an effective transmission medium for ranaviruses, and survival outside the host may be for significant duration. In aquatic communities, amphibians, reptiles and fish may serve as reservoirs. Controlled studies have shown that susceptibility to ranavirus infection and disease varies among amphibian species and developmental stages, and likely is impacted by host-pathogen coevolution, as well as, exogenous environmental factors. Field studies have demonstrated that the likelihood of epizootics is increased in areas of cattle grazing, where aquatic vegetation is sparse and water quality is poor. Translocation of infected amphibians through commercial trade (e.g., food, fish bait, pet industry) contributes to the spread of ranaviruses. Such introductions may be of particular concern, as several studies report that ranaviruses isolated from ranaculture, aquaculture, and bait facilities have greater virulence (i.e., ability to cause disease) than wild-type isolates. Future investigations should focus on the genetic basis for pathogen virulence and host susceptibility, ecological and anthropogenic mechanisms contributing to emergence, and vaccine development for use in captive populations and species reintroduction programs. PMID:22163349

  13. Host and Symbiont Jointly Control Gut Microbiota during Complete Metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Paul R; Rolff, Jens

    2015-01-01

    Holometabolous insects undergo a radical anatomical re-organisation during metamorphosis. This poses a developmental challenge: the host must replace the larval gut but at the same time retain symbiotic gut microbes and avoid infection by opportunistic pathogens. By manipulating host immunity and bacterial competitive ability, we study how the host Galleria mellonella and the symbiotic bacterium Enterococcus mundtii interact to manage the composition of the microbiota during metamorphosis. Disenabling one or both symbiotic partners alters the composition of the gut microbiota, which incurs fitness costs: adult hosts with a gut microbiota dominated by pathogens such as Serratia and Staphylococcus die early. Our results reveal an interaction that guarantees the safe passage of the symbiont through metamorphosis and benefits the resulting adult host. Host-symbiont "conspiracies" as described here are almost certainly widespread in holometobolous insects including many disease vectors.

  14. Host and Symbiont Jointly Control Gut Microbiota during Complete Metamorphosis

    PubMed Central

    Johnston, Paul R.; Rolff, Jens

    2015-01-01

    Holometabolous insects undergo a radical anatomical re-organisation during metamorphosis. This poses a developmental challenge: the host must replace the larval gut but at the same time retain symbiotic gut microbes and avoid infection by opportunistic pathogens. By manipulating host immunity and bacterial competitive ability, we study how the host Galleria mellonella and the symbiotic bacterium Enterococcus mundtii interact to manage the composition of the microbiota during metamorphosis. Disenabling one or both symbiotic partners alters the composition of the gut microbiota, which incurs fitness costs: adult hosts with a gut microbiota dominated by pathogens such as Serratia and Staphylococcus die early. Our results reveal an interaction that guarantees the safe passage of the symbiont through metamorphosis and benefits the resulting adult host. Host-symbiont “conspiracies” as described here are almost certainly widespread in holometobolous insects including many disease vectors. PMID:26544881

  15. Acute toxicity tests and meta-analysis identify gaps in tropical ecotoxicology for amphibians.

    PubMed

    Ghose, Sonia L; Donnelly, Maureen A; Kerby, Jacob; Whitfield, Steven M

    2014-09-01

    Amphibian populations are declining worldwide, particularly in tropical regions where amphibian diversity is highest. Pollutants, including agricultural pesticides, have been identified as a potential contributor to decline, yet toxicological studies of tropical amphibians are very rare. The present study assesses toxic effects on amphibians of 10 commonly used commercial pesticides in tropical agriculture using 2 approaches. First, the authors conducted 8-d toxicity assays with formulations of each pesticide using individually reared red-eyed tree frog (Agalychnis callidryas) tadpoles. Second, they conducted a review of available data for the lethal concentration to kill 50% of test animals from the US Environmental Protection Agency's ECOTOX database to allow comparison with their findings. Lethal concentration estimates from the assays ranged over several orders of magnitude. The nematicides terbufos and ethoprophos and the fungicide chlorothalonil were very highly toxic, with evident effects within an order of magnitude of environmental concentrations. Acute toxicity assays and meta-analysis show that nematicides and fungicides are generally more toxic than herbicides yet receive far less research attention than less toxic herbicides. Given that the tropics have a high diversity of amphibians, the findings emphasize the need for research into the effects of commonly used pesticides in tropical countries and should help guide future ecotoxicological research in tropical regions.

  16. Amphibians as models for studying environmental change.

    PubMed

    Hopkins, William A

    2007-01-01

    The use of amphibians as models in ecological research has a rich history. From an early foundation in studies of amphibian natural history sprang generations of scientists who used amphibians as models to address fundamental questions in population and community ecology. More recently, in the wake of an environment that human disturbances rapidly altered, ecologists have adopted amphibians as models for studying applied ecological issues such as habitat loss, pollution, disease, and global climate change. Some of the characteristics of amphibians that make them useful models for studying these environmental problems are highlighted, including their trophic importance, environmental sensitivity, research tractability, and impending extinction. The article provides specific examples from the recent literature to illustrate how studies on amphibians have been instrumental in guiding scientific thought on a broad scale. Included are examples of how amphibian research has transformed scientific disciplines, generated new theories about global health, called into question widely accepted scientific paradigms, and raised awareness in the general public that our daily actions may have widespread repercussions. In addition, studies on amphibian declines have provided insight into the complexity in which multiple independent factors may interact with one another to produce catastrophic and sometimes unpredictable effects. Because of the complexity of these problems, amphibian ecologists have been among the strongest advocates for interdisciplinary research. Future studies of amphibians will be important not only for their conservation but also for the conservation of other species, critical habitats, and entire ecosystems.

  17. Induction of metamorphosis in the marine gastropod Ilyanassa obsoleta: 5HT, NO and programmed cell death.

    PubMed

    Leise, Esther M; Kempf, S C; Durham, N R; Gifondorwa, D J

    2004-01-01

    The central nervous system (CNS) of a metamorphically competent larva of the caenogastropod Ilyanassa obsoleta contains a medial, unpaired apical ganglion (AG) of approximately 25 neurons that lies above the commissure connecting the paired cerebral ganglia. The AG, also known as the cephalic or apical sensory organ (ASO), contains numerous sensory neurons and innervates the ciliated velar lobes, the larval swimming and feeding structures. Before metamorphosis, the AG contains 5 serotonergic neurons and exogenous serotonin can induce metamorphosis in competent larvae. The AG appears to be a purely larval structure as it disappears within 3 days of metamorphic induction. In competent larvae, most neurons of the AG display nitric oxide synthase (NOS)-like immunoreactivity and inhibition of NOS activity can induce larval metamorphose. Because nitric oxide (NO) can prevent cells from undergoing apoptosis, a form of programmed cell death (PCD), we hypothesize that inhibition of NOS activity triggers the loss of the AG at the beginning of the metamorphic process. Within 24 hours of metamorphic induction, cellular changes that are typical of the early stages of PCD are visible in histological sections and results of a terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay in metamorphosing larvae show AG nuclei containing fragmented DNA, supporting our hypothesis.

  18. Pesticide Mixtures, Endocrine Disruption, and Amphibian Declines: Are We Underestimating the Impact?

    PubMed Central

    Hayes, Tyrone B.; Case, Paola; Chui, Sarah; Chung, Duc; Haeffele, Cathryn; Haston, Kelly; Lee, Melissa; Mai, Vien Phoung; Marjuoa, Youssra; Parker, John; Tsui, Mable

    2006-01-01

    Amphibian populations are declining globally at an alarming rate. Pesticides are among a number of proposed causes for these declines. Although a sizable database examining effects of pesticides on amphibians exists, the vast majority of these studies focus on toxicological effects (lethality, external malformations, etc.) at relatively high doses (parts per million). Very few studies focus on effects such as endocrine disruption at low concentrations. Further, most studies examine exposures to single chemicals only. The present study examined nine pesticides (four herbicides, two fungicides, and three insecticides) used on cornfields in the midwestern United States. Effects of each pesticide alone (0.1 ppb) or in combination were examined. In addition, we also examined atrazine and S-metolachlor combined (0.1 or 10 ppb each) and the commercial formulation Bicep II Magnum, which contains both of these herbicides. These two pesticides were examined in combination because they are persistent throughout the year in the wild. We examined larval growth and development, sex differentiation, and immune function in leopard frogs (Rana pipiens). In a follow-up study, we also examined the effects of the nine-compound mixture on plasma corticosterone levels in male African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis). Although some of the pesticides individually inhibited larval growth and development, the pesticide mixtures had much greater effects. Larval growth and development were retarded, but most significantly, pesticide mixtures negated or reversed the typically positive correlation between time to metamorphosis and size at metamorphosis observed in controls: exposed larvae that took longer to metamorphose were smaller than their counterparts that metamorphosed earlier. The nine-pesticide mixture also induced damage to the thymus, resulting in immunosuppression and contraction of flavobacterial meningitis. The study in X. laevis revealed that these adverse effects may be due to an

  19. Molecular cloning and characterization of ligand- and species-specificity of amphibian estrogen receptors.

    PubMed

    Katsu, Yoshinao; Taniguchi, Ena; Urushitani, Hiroshi; Miyagawa, Shinichi; Takase, Minoru; Kubokawa, Kaoru; Tooi, Osamu; Oka, Tomohiro; Santo, Noriaki; Myburgh, Jan; Matsuno, Akira; Iguchi, Taisen

    2010-09-01

    Estrogens are essential for normal reproductive activity in both males and females as well as for ovarian differentiation during a critical developmental stage in most vertebrates. To understand the molecular mechanisms of estrogen action and to evaluate estrogen receptor ligand interactions in amphibians, we isolated cDNAs encoding the estrogen receptors (ERalpha and ERbeta) from the Japanese firebelly newt (Cynops pyrrhogaster), Tokyo salamander (Hynobius tokyoensis), axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), and Raucous toad (Bufo rangeri). Full-length amphibian ER cDNAs were obtained using 5' and 3' rapid amplification of cDNA ends. The predicted amino acid sequences of these amphibian ERs showed a high degree of amino acid sequence identity (over 70%) to each other. We analyzed the relationships of these amphibian ER sequences to other vertebrate ER sequences by constructing a phylogenetic tree. We verified that these were bona fide estrogen receptors using receptor dependent reporter gene assays. We analyzed the effects of natural estrogens, ethinylestradiol, and DDT and its metabolites on the transactivation of the four amphibian species listed above, and Xenopus tropicalis ERs and found that there were species-specific differences in the sensitivity of these ERs to hormones and environmental chemicals. These findings will expand our knowledge of endocrine-disrupting events in amphibians.

  20. Comparison of amphibian and mammalian thyroperoxidase ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Thyroperoxidase (TPO) catalyzes the production of thyroid hormones in the vertebrate thyroid gland by oxidizing iodide (I- ) to produce iodinated tyrosines on thyroglobulin, and further coupling of specific mono- or di-iodinated tyrosines to generate the triiodo- and tetra-iodothyronine, precursors to thyroid hormone. This enzyme is a target for thyroid disrupting chemicals. TPO-inhibition by xenobiotics is a molecular initiating event that is known to perturb the thyroid axis by preventing synthesis of thyroid hormone. Previous work on TPO-inhibition has been focused on mammalian TPO; specifically, the rat and pig. A primary objective of this experiment was to directly measure TPO activity in a non-mammalian system, in this case a thyroid gland homogenate from Xenopus laevis; as well as compare chemical inhibition from past mammalian studies to the amphibian data generated. Thyroid glands obtained from X. laevis tadpoles at NF stages 58-60, were pooled and homogenized by sonication in phosphate buffer. This homogenate was then used to test 24 chemicals for inhibition of TPO as measured by conversion of Amplex UltraRed (AUR) substrate to its fluorescent product. The test chemicals were selected based upon previous results from rat in vitro TPO assays, and X. laevis in vitro and in vivo studies for thyroid disrupting endpoints, and included both positive and negative chemicals in these assays. An initial screening of the chemicals was done at a single high con

  1. Female Sexual Arousal in Amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Wilczynski, Walter; Lynch, Kathleen S.

    2010-01-01

    Rather than being a static, species specific trait, reproductive behavior in female amphibians is variable within an individual during the breeding season when females are capable of reproductive activity. Changes in receptivity coincide with changes in circulating estrogen. Estrogen is highest at the point when females are ready to choose a male and lay eggs. At this time female receptivity (her probability of responding to a male vocal signal) is highest and her selectivity among conspecific calls (measured by her probability of responding to a degraded or otherwise usually unattractive male signal) is lowest. These changes occur even though females retain the ability to discriminate different acoustic characteristics of various conspecific calls. After releasing her eggs, female amphibians quickly become less receptive and more choosy in terms of their responses to male sexual advertisement signals. Male vocal signals stimulate both behavior and estrogen changes in amphibian females making mating more probable. The changes in female reproductive behavior are the same as those generally accepted as indicative of a change in female sexual arousal leading to copulation. They are situationally triggered, gated by interactions with males, and decline with the consummation of sexual reproduction with a chosen male. The changes can be triggered by either internal physiological state or by the presence of stimuli presented by males, and the same stimuli change both behavior and physiological (endocrine) state in such a way as to make acceptance of a male more likely. Thus amphibian females demonstrate many of the same general characteristics of changing female sexual state that in mammals indicate sexual arousal. PMID:20816968

  2. Effects of pond salinization on survival rate of amphibian hosts infected with the chytrid fungus.

    PubMed

    Stockwell, Michelle Pirrie; Storrie, Lachlan James; Pollard, Carla Jean; Clulow, John; Mahony, Michael Joseph

    2015-04-01

    The chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis has been implicated in the decline and extinction of amphibian populations worldwide, but management options are limited. Recent studies show that sodium chloride (NaCl) has fungicidal properties that reduce the mortality rates of infected hosts in captivity. We investigated whether similar results can be obtained by adding salt to water bodies in the field. We increased the salinity of 8 water bodies to 2 or 4 ppt and left an additional 4 water bodies with close to 0 ppt and monitored salinity for 18 months. Captively bred tadpoles of green and golden bell frog (Litoria aurea) were released into each water body and their development, levels of B. dendrobatidis infection, and survival were monitored at 1, 4, and 12 months. The effect of salt on the abundance of nontarget organisms was also investigated in before and after style analyses. Salinities remained constant over time with little intervention. Hosts in water bodies with 4 ppt salt had a significantly lower prevalence of chytrid infection and higher survival, following metamorphosis, than hosts in 0 ppt salt. Tadpoles in the 4 ppt group were smaller in length after 1 month in the release site than those in the 0 and 2 ppt groups, but after metamorphosis body size in all water bodies was similar . In water bodies with 4 ppt salt, the abundance of dwarf tree frogs (Litoria fallax), dragonfly larvae, and damselfly larvae was lower than in water bodies with 0 and 2 ppt salt, which could have knock-on effects for community structure. Based on our results, salt may be an effective field-based B. dendrobatidis mitigation tool for lentic amphibians that could contribute to the conservation of numerous susceptible species. However, as in all conservation efforts, these benefits need to be weighed against negative effects on both target and nontarget organisms.

  3. Interactions of an insecticide with competition and pond drying in amphibian communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boone, M.D.; Semlitsch, R.D.

    2002-01-01

    Amphibian populations are often imbedded in agricultural landscapes. Therefore the potential for contamination of their habitat is considerable. Our study examined the effects of an insecticide (carbaryl, a neurotoxin), on larval amphibian communities experiencing natural stresses of competition for resources, predation, and pond drying. In a set of experimental ponds, tadpoles of three anuran species (southern leopard frog [Rana sphenocephala], plains leopard frog [R. blairi], and the Woodhouse's toad [Bufo woodhousii]) were added to 1000-L ponds containing leaf litter, plankton, two newts (Notophthalmus viridescens), and four overwintered green frog (R. clamitans) tadpoles. We manipulated the overall tadpole density (low or high), pond hydroperiod (constant or drying), and chemical exposure (0, 3.5, 5.0, or 7.0 mg/L carbaryl) of the ponds. We measured mass, time, and survival to metamorphosis to determine treatment effects. Carbaryl positively affected Woodhouse's toad survival, although it had a negligible effect on both leopard frog species. Tadpole density interacted with the chemical treatment: Proportionately more Woodhouse's toads survived to metamorphosis in high-density environments than in low-density or control environments. Greater survival may be an indirect effect of increased algal food resources from carbaryl exposure. Most newts lost mass over the course of the experiment, although ponds with drying hydroperiods and high anuran density were the least favorable environments. Overwintered green frogs exposed to carbaryl had longer larval periods on average than did green frogs in control ponds. Our study demonstrated that even sublethal, short-lived contaminants can alter natural communities in ways that cannot be predicted from simple, one-factor studies.

  4. Interactions of an insecticide, herbicide, and natural stressors in amphibian community mesocosms

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boone, M.D.; James, S.M.

    2003-01-01

    Amphibians developing in wetlands embedded within or near agricultural lands may frequently encounter chemical mixtures. The objectives of our study were to determine the effects that post-application concentrations of an insecticide (carbaryl) and an herbicide (atrazine) have on body mass, development, and survival of two anuran species (southern leopard frog, Rana sphenocephala; American toad, Bufo americanus) and two caudate species (spotted salamander, Ambystoma maculatum; small-mouthed salamander, A. texanum) reared in outdoor cattle tank mesocosms. In one experiment, we manipulated tadpole density (low or high), carbaryl exposure (0, 3.5, 7.0 mg/L), and atrazine exposure (0 or 200 ??g/L) to test for effects on development, mass, and survival of larvae. In a second experiment, we manipulated pond hydroperiod (constant or drying), carbaryl exposure (0 or 5 mg/L), and atrazine exposure (0 or 200 ??g/L) to test for effects on mass, time, and survival to metamorphosis. Salamanders were virtually eliminated in carbaryl treatments, indicating that at realistic levels, this insecticide could cause population declines for salamanders in contaminated habitats. Carbaryl also had negative effects on toad survival. Exposure to atrazine had negative effects on body size, development, and time to metamorphosis in anuran species, which were associated with reduced chlorophyll levels. Both chemicals interacted significantly with density or hydroperiod, indicating that the environmental conditions could influence the impact of a contaminant. A significant atrazine-by-carbaryl interaction resulted in smaller and less developed spotted salamander larvae than in control ponds. Atrazine exposure, however, appeared to moderate negative effects of carbaryl for spotted salamanders. Our research suggests that important changes in the community's food web result from chemical exposure, which influence the susceptibility of amphibian species to contaminants.

  5. Effects of acute and chronic acidification on three larval amphibians that breed in temporary ponds

    SciTech Connect

    Rowe, C.L.; Sadinski, W.J.; Dunson, W.A. )

    1992-10-01

    This study explored the effects of acute (7 days) and chronic (4 months) exposure to pH 4.2 on three species of larval amphibians, Ambystoma jeffersonianum, Ambystoma maculatum, and Rana sylvatica. Acute tests were conducted in 24 impermeable enclosures in three temporary ponds. Total dissolved aluminum was higher in acidified enclosures in comparison with controls (pH 4.2, [Al] approximately 10-30 microM and pH greater than 4.7, [Al] approximately 5-15 microM, respectively). Greater mortality of A. jeffersonianum occurred at pH 4.2 than at pH greater than 4.7, whereas survival of A. maculatum and R. sylvatica were unaffected by pH. Mean wet masses of R. sylvatica were significantly lower at pH 4.2 than at pH greater than 4.7, but mean wet masses of surviving A. jeffersonianum and A. maculatum were not influenced by pH. There were no pH-related differences in body sodium concentration in larval R. sylvatica. Chronic acidification of mesocosms to pH 4.2 ([Al] approximately 16 microM) (controls = pH greater than 6, [Al] approximately 0.1 microM) resulted in total mortality of A. jeffersonianum. Survival of A. maculatum and R. sylvatica were not associated with pH, but survival of A. maculatum was low at both pH levels. Time to metamorphosis was longer for R. sylvatica maintained at pH 4.2, but not for A. maculatum. No differences in wet masses at metamorphosis were observed for R. sylvatica or A. maculatum. These results indicate that short and long term acidification of temporary wetlands could dramatically affect amphibians which rely upon them as breeding sites, either by causing mortality or by decreasing growth rates.

  6. Functional role of aspartic proteinase cathepsin D in insect metamorphosis

    PubMed Central

    Gui, Zhong Zheng; Lee, Kwang Sik; Kim, Bo Yeon; Choi, Yong Soo; Wei, Ya Dong; Choo, Young Moo; Kang, Pil Don; Yoon, Hyung Joo; Kim, Iksoo; Je, Yeon Ho; Seo, Sook Jae; Lee, Sang Mong; Guo, Xijie; Sohn, Hung Dae; Jin, Byung Rae

    2006-01-01

    Background Metamorphosis is a complex, highly conserved and strictly regulated development process that involves the programmed cell death of obsolete larval organs. Here we show a novel functional role for the aspartic proteinase cathepsin D during insect metamorphosis. Results Cathepsin D of the silkworm Bombyx mori (BmCatD) was ecdysone-induced, differentially and spatially expressed in the larval fat body of the final instar and in the larval gut of pupal stage, and its expression led to programmed cell death. Furthermore, BmCatD was highly induced in the fat body of baculovirus-infected B. mori larvae, suggesting that this gene is involved in the induction of metamorphosis of host insects infected with baculovirus. RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated BmCatD knock-down inhibited programmed cell death of the larval fat body, resulting in the arrest of larval-pupal transformation. BmCatD RNAi also inhibited the programmed cell death of larval gut during pupal stage. Conclusion Based on these results, we concluded that BmCatD is critically involved in the programmed cell death of the larval fat body and larval gut in silkworm metamorphosis. PMID:17062167

  7. Kafka's Metamorphosis: Transforming the Pre-Graduation Malaise.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thompson, Sheryl

    1998-01-01

    A teacher of an advanced placement English class of over-stressed, over-busy, and rebellious gifted seniors describes how she used Kafka's "Metamorphosis" to help them adjust to this transitional period in their lives while keeping all reading and assignments within the class period. (DB)

  8. Indomethacin reproducibly induces metamorphosis in Cassiopea xamachana scyphistomae.

    PubMed

    Cabrales-Arellano, Patricia; Islas-Flores, Tania; Thomé, Patricia E; Villanueva, Marco A

    2017-01-01

    Cassiopea xamachana jellyfish are an attractive model system to study metamorphosis and/or cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis due to the ease of cultivation of their planula larvae and scyphistomae through their asexual cycle, in which the latter can bud new larvae and continue the cycle without differentiation into ephyrae. Then, a subsequent induction of metamorphosis and full differentiation into ephyrae is believed to occur when the symbionts are acquired by the scyphistomae. Although strobilation induction and differentiation into ephyrae can be accomplished in various ways, a controlled, reproducible metamorphosis induction has not been reported. Such controlled metamorphosis induction is necessary for an ensured synchronicity and reproducibility of biological, biochemical, and molecular analyses. For this purpose, we tested if differentiation could be pharmacologically stimulated as in Aurelia aurita, by the metamorphic inducers thyroxine, KI, NaI, Lugol's iodine, H2O2, indomethacin, or retinol. We found reproducibly induced strobilation by 50 μM indomethacin after six days of exposure, and 10-25 μM after 7 days. Strobilation under optimal conditions reached 80-100% with subsequent ephyrae release after exposure. Thyroxine yielded inconsistent results as it caused strobilation occasionally, while all other chemicals had no effect. Thus, indomethacin can be used as a convenient tool for assessment of biological phenomena through a controlled metamorphic process in C. xamachana scyphistomae.

  9. Dynamic mechanical oscillations during metamorphosis of the monarch butterfly.

    PubMed

    Pelling, Andrew E; Wilkinson, Paul R; Stringer, Richard; Gimzewski, James K

    2009-01-06

    The mechanical oscillation of the heart is fundamental during insect metamorphosis, but it is unclear how morphological changes affect its mechanical dynamics. Here, the micromechanical heartbeat with the monarch chrysalis (Danaus plexippus) during metamorphosis is compared with the structural changes observed through in vivo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We employ a novel ultra-sensitive detection approach, optical beam deflection, in order to measure the microscale motions of the pupae during the course of metamorphosis. We observed very distinct mechanical contractions occurring at regular intervals, which we ascribe to the mechanical function of the heart organ. Motion was observed to occur in approximately 15 min bursts of activity with frequencies in the 0.4-1.0 Hz range separated by periods of quiescence during the first 83 per cent of development. In the final stages, the beating was found to be uninterrupted until the adult monarch butterfly emerged. Distinct stages of development were characterized by changes in frequency, amplitude, mechanical quality factor and de/repolarization times of the mechanical pulsing. The MRI revealed that the heart organ remains functionally intact throughout metamorphosis but undergoes morphological changes that are reflected in the mechanical oscillation.

  10. Indomethacin reproducibly induces metamorphosis in Cassiopea xamachana scyphistomae

    PubMed Central

    Cabrales-Arellano, Patricia; Islas-Flores, Tania; Thomé, Patricia E.

    2017-01-01

    Cassiopea xamachana jellyfish are an attractive model system to study metamorphosis and/or cnidarian–dinoflagellate symbiosis due to the ease of cultivation of their planula larvae and scyphistomae through their asexual cycle, in which the latter can bud new larvae and continue the cycle without differentiation into ephyrae. Then, a subsequent induction of metamorphosis and full differentiation into ephyrae is believed to occur when the symbionts are acquired by the scyphistomae. Although strobilation induction and differentiation into ephyrae can be accomplished in various ways, a controlled, reproducible metamorphosis induction has not been reported. Such controlled metamorphosis induction is necessary for an ensured synchronicity and reproducibility of biological, biochemical, and molecular analyses. For this purpose, we tested if differentiation could be pharmacologically stimulated as in Aurelia aurita, by the metamorphic inducers thyroxine, KI, NaI, Lugol’s iodine, H2O2, indomethacin, or retinol. We found reproducibly induced strobilation by 50 μM indomethacin after six days of exposure, and 10–25 μM after 7 days. Strobilation under optimal conditions reached 80–100% with subsequent ephyrae release after exposure. Thyroxine yielded inconsistent results as it caused strobilation occasionally, while all other chemicals had no effect. Thus, indomethacin can be used as a convenient tool for assessment of biological phenomena through a controlled metamorphic process in C. xamachana scyphistomae. PMID:28265497

  11. Developmental trajectories of amphibian microbiota: response to bacterial therapy depends on initial community structure.

    PubMed

    Davis, Leyla R; Bigler, Laurent; Woodhams, Douglas C

    2017-02-22

    Improving host health through microbial manipulation requires untangling factors that shape the microbiome. There is currently little understanding of how initial community structure may drive the microbiota trajectory across host development or influence bacterial therapy outcomes. Probiotic baths of surface symbionts, Pseudomonas fluorescens and Flavobacterium johnsoniae were administered to 240 tadpoles of the midwife toad, Alytes obstetricans in semi-natural outdoor mesocosms originating from geographically and genetically distinct populations in Switzerland. Host bacterial and fungal assemblages were compared in tadpoles from the pond of origin, across metamorphosis, and in toadlets via microbial fingerprinting. Bacterial and fungal community structures differed significantly among populations and a microbial population signature persisted from the tadpole stage, through metamorphosis, and following probiotic treatment. A minimal core surface microbiota is described by persistence through development and by shared membership across populations. The impact of F. johnsoniae on the tadpole surface microbiome was assessed with shotgun metagenomics. Bacterial therapy reduced abundance, diversity, and functional repertoire compared to untreated controls. A correlation between host skin peptides and microbiota suggests a mechanism of host-directed symbiosis throughout development. Early developmental stages are ideal targets for amphibian bacterial therapy that can govern a microbiome trajectory at critical timepoints and may impact susceptibility to disease.

  12. Impending conservation crisis for Southeast Asian amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Rowley, Jodi; Brown, Rafe; Bain, Raoul; Kusrini, Mirza; Inger, Robert; Stuart, Bryan; Wogan, Guin; Thy, Neang; Chan-ard, Tanya; Trung, Cao Tien; Diesmos, Arvin; Iskandar, Djoko T.; Lau, Michael; Ming, Leong Tzi; Makchai, Sunchai; Truong, Nguyen Quang; Phimmachak, Somphouthone

    2010-01-01

    With an understudied amphibian fauna, the highest deforestation rate on the planet and high harvesting pressures, Southeast Asian amphibians are facing a conservation crisis. Owing to the overriding threat of habitat loss, the most critical conservation action required is the identification and strict protection of habitat assessed as having high amphibian species diversity and/or representing distinctive regional amphibian faunas. Long-term population monitoring, enhanced survey efforts, collection of basic biological and ecological information, continued taxonomic research and evaluation of the impact of commercial trade for food, medicine and pets are also needed. Strong involvement of regional stakeholders, students and professionals is essential to accomplish these actions. PMID:20007165

  13. Do hormone-modulating chemicals impact on reproduction and development of wild amphibians?

    PubMed

    Orton, Frances; Tyler, Charles R

    2015-11-01

    amphibian metamorphosis. Perchlorate has also been shown to induce these effects in wild anuran populations from perchlorate-contaminated environments. Overall, the published data available suggest that some health effects observed in wild anuran populations, most notably intersex, likely have a chemical aetiology; however they derive only from very few anuran species and for a few pesticides at field sites in the USA. To understand better the impacts of EDCs on wild anuran populations, as well as other amphibian groups, assessment of fertility in exposed animals are required. Development of non-destructive biomarkers that are indicative of specific EDC-effect mechanisms are also needed to allow the study of vulnerable populations. This will help to distinguish the effects of EDCs from other environmental and/or genetic influences on development and reproduction.

  14. ITRAQ MASS SPECTROMETRIC PROTEOMIC APPLICATIONS FOR IN VIVO TOXICOLOGY STUDIES OF AMPHIBIAN SPECIES: DATA HANDLING AND INTERPRETATION USING PEPTIDE-TAGGING SOFTWARE

    EPA Science Inventory

    This addresses the USEPA's need for a cost effective, non-mammalian screening assay for thyroid axis disrupting chemicals; a multi-endpoint strategy combining molecular and in vivo protocols in an amphibian model is being applied at MED Duluth.

  15. Survey for the amphibian chytrid Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Hong Kong in native amphibians and in the international amphibian trade.

    PubMed

    Rowley, Jodi J L; Chan, Simon Kin Fung; Tang, Wing Sze; Speare, Richard; Skerratt, Lee F; Alford, Ross A; Cheung, Ka Shing; Ho, Ching Yee; Campbell, Ruth

    2007-12-13

    Chytridiomycosis, caused by the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, is responsible for many amphibian declines and has been identified in wild amphibian populations on all continents where they exist, except for Asia. In order to assess whether B. dendrobatidis is present on the native amphibians of Hong Kong, we sampled wild populations of Amolops hongkongensis, Paa exilispinosa, P. spinosa and Rana chloronota during 2005-2006. Amphibians infected with B. dendrobatidis have been found in the international trade, so we also examined the extent and nature of the amphibian trade in Hong Kong during 2005-2006, and assessed whether B. dendrobatidis was present in imported amphibians. All 274 individuals of 4 native amphibian species sampled tested negative for B. dendrobatidis, giving an upper 95% confidence limit for prevalence of 1.3%. Approximately 4.3 million amphibians of 45 species from 11 countries were imported into Hong Kong via air over 12 mo; we did not detect B. dendrobatidis on any of 137 imported amphibians sampled. As B. dendrobatidis generally occurs at greater than 5% prevalence in infected populations during favorable environmental conditions, native amphibians in Hong Kong appear free of B. dendrobatidis, and may be at severe risk of impact if it is introduced. Until it is established that the pathogen is present in Hong Kong, management strategies should focus on preventing it from being imported and decreasing the risk of it escaping into the wild amphibian populations if imported. Further research is needed to determine the status of B. dendrobatidis in Hong Kong with greater certainty.

  16. Variation in the Presence of Anti-Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Bacteria of Amphibians Across Life Stages and Elevations in Ecuador.

    PubMed

    Bresciano, J C; Salvador, C A; Paz-Y-Miño, C; Parody-Merino, A M; Bosch, J; Woodhams, D C

    2015-06-01

    Amphibian populations are decreasing worldwide due to a variety of factors. In South America, the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is linked to many population declines. The pathogenic effect of Bd on amphibians can be inhibited by specific bacteria present on host skin. This symbiotic association allows some amphibians to resist the development of the disease chytridiomycosis. Here, we aimed (1) to determine for the first time if specific anti-Bd bacteria are present on amphibians in the Andes of Ecuador, (2) to monitor anti-Bd bacteria across developmental stages in a focal amphibian, the Andean marsupial tree frog, Gastrotheca riobambae, that deposits larvae in aquatic habitats, and (3) to compare the Bd presence associated with host assemblages including 10 species at sites ranging in biogeography from Amazonian rainforest (450 masl) to Andes montane rainforest (3200 masl). We sampled and identified skin-associated bacteria of frogs in the field using swabs and a novel methodology of aerobic counting plates, and a combination of morphological, biochemical, and molecular identification techniques. The following anti-Bd bacteria were identified and found to be shared among several hosts at high-elevation sites where Bd was present at a prevalence of 32.5%: Janthinobacterium lividum, Pseudomonas fluorescens, and Serratia sp. Bd were detected in Gastrotheca spp. and not detected in the lowlands (sites below 1000 masl). In G. riobambae, recognized Bd-resistant bacteria start to be present at the metamorphic stage. Overall bacterial abundance was significantly higher post-metamorphosis and on species sampled at lower elevations. Further metagenomic studies are needed to evaluate the roles of host identity, life-history stage, and biogeography of the microbiota and their function in disease resistance.

  17. Amphibians at risk? Susceptibility of terrestrial amphibian life stages to pesticides.

    PubMed

    Brühl, Carsten A; Pieper, Silvia; Weber, Brigitte

    2011-11-01

    Current pesticide risk assessment does not specifically consider amphibians. Amphibians in the aquatic environment (aquatic life stages or postmetamorphic aquatic amphibians) and terrestrial living juvenile or adult amphibians are assumed to be covered by the risk assessment for aquatic invertebrates and fish, or mammals and birds, respectively. This procedure has been evaluated as being sufficiently protective regarding the acute risk posed by a number of pesticides to aquatic amphibian life stages (eggs, larvae). However, it is unknown whether the exposure and sensitivity of terrestrial living amphibians are comparable to mammalian and avian exposure and sensitivity. We reviewed the literature on dermal pesticide absorption and toxicity studies for terrestrial life stages of amphibians, focusing on the dermal exposure pathway, that is, through treated soil or direct overspray. In vitro studies demonstrated that cutaneous absorption of chemicals is significant and that chemical percutaneous passage, P (cm/h), is higher in amphibians than in mammals. In vivo, the rapid and substantial uptake of the herbicide atrazine from treated soil by toads (Bufo americanus) has been described. Severe toxic effects on various amphibian species have been reported for field-relevant application rates of different pesticides. In general, exposure and toxicity studies for terrestrial amphibian life stages are scarce, and the reported data indicate the need for further research, especially in light of the global amphibian decline.

  18. The complexity of amphibian population declines: understanding the role of cofactors in driving amphibian losses.

    PubMed

    Blaustein, Andrew R; Han, Barbara A; Relyea, Rick A; Johnson, Pieter T J; Buck, Julia C; Gervasi, Stephanie S; Kats, Lee B

    2011-03-01

    Population losses and extinctions of species are occurring at unprecedented rates, as exemplified by declines and extinctions of amphibians worldwide. However, studies of amphibian population declines generally do not address the complexity of the phenomenon or its implications for ecological communities, focusing instead on single factors affecting particular amphibian species. We argue that the causes for amphibian population declines are complex; may differ among species, populations, and life stages within a population; and are context dependent with multiple stressors interacting to drive declines. Because amphibians are key components of communities, we emphasize the importance of investigating amphibian declines at the community level. Selection pressures over evolutionary time have molded amphibian life history characteristics, such that they may remain static even in the face of strong, recent human-induced selection pressures.

  19. Triclosan and anuran metamorphosis: no effect on thyroid-mediated metamorphosis in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Fort, Douglas J; Rogers, Robert L; Gorsuch, Joseph W; Navarro, Lisa T; Peter, Robert; Plautz, James R

    2010-02-01

    Nieuwkoop and Faber stage 51 Xenopus laevis larvae were exposed for 21 days to four different concentrations of triclosan (TCS): <0.2 (control), 0.6, 1.5, 7.2, or 32.3 microg TCS/l. Primary endpoints were survival, hind limb length, body length (whole; snout to vent), developmental stage, wet whole body weight, and thyroid histology. Thyroid hormone (TH) concentrations were determined in whole thyroid and plasma samples from stage-matched exposure day 21 specimens. TH receptor-beta (TRbeta) expression was measured in stage-matched tail fin tissue samples collected at exposure days 0 and 21. Reduced larval growth occurred at exposure day 21 with 1.5 microg/l treatment. Larval developmental stage at exposure day 21 was not significantly different from controls based on observed parameters. Thyroid histology was not affected by TCS, and thyroxine (T4) levels in thyroid glands or plasma were not different from controls. A concentration-dependent increase in TRbeta expression in exposure day 21 larvae was not detected. However, increased expression was found in stage-matched larvae exposed to 1.5 or 7.2 microg TCS/l. Our study indicates that environmentally relevant TCS concentrations do not alter the normal course of thyroid-mediated metamorphosis in this standard anuran model.

  20. Chironomidae bloodworms larvae as aquatic amphibian food.

    PubMed

    Fard, Mojdeh Sharifian; Pasmans, Frank; Adriaensen, Connie; Laing, Gijs Du; Janssens, Geert Paul Jules; Martel, An

    2014-01-01

    Different species of chironomids larvae (Diptera: Chironomidae) so-called bloodworms are widely distributed in the sediments of all types of freshwater habitats and considered as an important food source for amphibians. In our study, three species of Chironomidae (Baeotendipes noctivagus, Benthalia dissidens, and Chironomus riparius) were identified in 23 samples of larvae from Belgium, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine provided by a distributor in Belgium. We evaluated the suitability of these samples as amphibian food based on four different aspects: the likelihood of amphibian pathogens spreading, risk of heavy metal accumulation in amphibians, nutritive value, and risk of spreading of zoonotic bacteria (Salmonella, Campylobacter, and ESBL producing Enterobacteriaceae). We found neither zoonotic bacteria nor the amphibian pathogens Ranavirus and Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in these samples. Our data showed that among the five heavy metals tested (Hg, Cu, Cd, Pb, and Zn), the excess level of Pb in two samples and low content of Zn in four samples implicated potential risk of Pb accumulation and Zn inadequacy. Proximate nutritional analysis revealed that, chironomidae larvae are consistently high in protein but more variable in lipid content. Accordingly, variations in the lipid: protein ratio can affect the amount and pathway of energy supply to the amphibians. Our study indicated although environmentally-collected chironomids larvae may not be vectors of specific pathogens, they can be associated with nutritional imbalances and may also result in Pb bioaccumulation and Zn inadequacy in amphibians. Chironomidae larvae may thus not be recommended as single diet item for amphibians.

  1. [Comparative morphology of the livers in amphibians].

    PubMed

    Inoue, Asuka; Akiyoshi, Hideo; Naitoh, Tomio; Yamashita, Masamichi

    2002-11-01

    Amphibians are divided into three orders: Gymnophiona, Urodela and Anura. We studied on the correlation between the liver structures in the three orders of amphibians by histological technique. Livers of thirty species of amphibian were fixed by perfusion with paraformaldehyde, and observed by light microscopy in special staining for elastic fibers. The cytoskeletal components of the hepatic stellate cells and myofibroblasts were identified by immunohistochemistry for glial fibrillary acidic protein and a-smooth muscle actin. Among the three orders of amphibians, Gymnophiona and Urodela were characterized the development of lymph vessels in liver capsules and Glisson's sheath. The present study indicates that there are differences in the pattern of hepatic histological components in the amphibians examined at this time. We discussed their diverged mode of living that can be categorized into three groups: aquatic, aqua-terrestrial and fully terrestrial group.

  2. In situ effects of pesticides on amphibians in the Sierra Nevada.

    PubMed

    Sparling, Donald W; Bickham, John; Cowman, Deborah; Fellers, Gary M; Lacher, Thomas; Matson, Cole W; McConnell, Laura

    2015-03-01

    For more than 20 years, conservationists have agreed that amphibian populations around the world are declining. Results obtained through laboratory or mesocosm studies and measurement of contaminant concentrations in areas experiencing declines have supported a role of contaminants in these declines. The current study examines the effects of contaminant exposure to amphibians in situ in areas actually experiencing declines. Early larval Pseudacris regilla were translocated among Lassen Volcanic, Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks, California, USA and caged in wetlands in 2001 and 2002 until metamorphosis. Twenty contaminants were identified in tadpoles with an average of 1.3-5.9 (maximum = 10) contaminants per animal. Sequoia National Park, which had the greatest variety and concentrations of contaminants in 2001, also had tadpoles that experienced the greatest mortality, slowest developmental rates and lowest cholinesterase activities. Yosemite and Sequoia tadpoles and metamorphs had greater genotoxicity than those in Lassen during 2001, as determined by flow cytometry. In 2001 tadpoles at Yosemite had a significantly higher rate of malformations, characterized as hemimelia (shortened femurs), than those at the other two parks but no significant differences were observed in 2002. Fewer differences in contaminant types and concentrations existed among parks during 2002 compared to 2001. In 2002 Sequoia tadpoles had higher mortality and slower developmental rates but there was no difference among parks in cholinesterase activities. Although concentrations of most contaminants were below known lethal concentrations, simultaneous exposure to multiple chemicals and other stressors may have resulted in lethal and sublethal effects.

  3. Ecology and pathology of amphibian ranaviruses.

    PubMed

    Gray, Matthew J; Miller, Debra L; Hoverman, Jason T

    2009-12-03

    Mass mortality of amphibians has occurred globally since at least the early 1990s from viral pathogens that are members of the genus Ranavirus, family Iridoviridae. The pathogen infects multiple amphibian hosts, larval and adult cohorts, and may persist in herpetofaunal and osteichthyan reservoirs. Environmental persistence of ranavirus virions outside a host may be several weeks or longer in aquatic systems. Transmission occurs by indirect and direct routes, and includes exposure to contaminated water or soil, casual or direct contact with infected individuals, and ingestion of infected tissue during predation, cannibalism, or necrophagy. Some gross lesions include swelling of the limbs or body, erythema, swollen friable livers, and hemorrhage. Susceptible amphibians usually die from chronic cell death in multiple organs, which can occur within a few days following infection or may take several weeks. Amphibian species differ in their susceptibility to ranaviruses, which may be related to their co-evolutionary history with the pathogen. The occurrence of recent widespread amphibian population die-offs from ranaviruses may be an interaction of suppressed and naïve host immunity, anthropogenic stressors, and novel strain introduction. This review summarizes the ecological research on amphibian ranaviruses, discusses possible drivers of emergence and conservation strategies, and presents ideas for future research directions. We also discuss common pathological signs of ranaviral disease, methods for diagnostic evaluation, and ranavirus surveillance methods. In as much as ranaviral disease is listed as a notifiable disease by the World Organization for Animal Health and is a threat to amphibian survival, we recommend that biosecurity precautions are implemented by nations to reduce the likelihood of transporting ranavirus virions among populations. Biosecurity precautions include disinfecting footwear and equipment that comes in contact with surface water inhabited

  4. Fire and amphibians in North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pilliod, D.S.; Bury, R.B.; Hyde, E.J.; Pearl, C.A.; Corn, P.S.

    2003-01-01

    Information on amphibian responses to fire and fuel reduction practices is critically needed due to potential declines of species and the prevalence of new, more intensive fire management practices in North American forests. The goals of this review are to summarize the known and potential effects of fire and fuels management on amphibians and their aquatic habitats, and to identify information gaps to help direct future scientific research. Amphibians as a group are taxonomically and ecologically diverse; in turn, responses to fire and associated habitat alteration are expected to vary widely among species and among geographic regions. Available data suggest that amphibian responses to fire are spatially and temporally variable and incompletely understood. Much of the limited research has addressed short-term (1-3 years) effects of prescribed fire on terrestrial life stages of amphibians in the southeastern United States. Information on the long-term negative effects of fire on amphibians and the importance of fire for maintaining amphibian communities is sparse for the majority of taxa in North America. Given the size and severity of recent wildland fires and the national effort to reduce fuels on federal lands, future studies are needed to examine the effects of these landscape disturbances on amphibians. We encourage studies to address population-level responses of amphibians to fire by examining how different life stages are affected by changes in aquatic, riparian, and upland habitats. Research designs need to be credible and provide information that is relevant for fire managers and those responsible for assessing the potential effects of various fuel reduction alternatives on rare, sensitive, and endangered amphibian species. ?? 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand 1 (TRAIL1) enhances the transition of red blood cells from the larval to adult type during metamorphosis in Xenopus.

    PubMed

    Tamura, Kei; Mawaribuchi, Shuuji; Yoshimoto, Shin; Shiba, Tadayoshi; Takamatsu, Nobuhiko; Ito, Michihiko

    2010-01-28

    The transition of red blood cells (RBCs) from primitive to definitive erythropoiesis is conserved across vertebrates. In anuran amphibians, the larval RBCs from primitive erythropoiesis are replaced by adult RBCs from definitive erythropoiesis during metamorphosis. The molecular mechanisms by which the primitive (larval) blood cells are specifically removed from circulation are not yet understood. In this study, we identified Xenopus tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand 1 (xTRAIL1) and xTRAIL2 as ligands of Xenopus death receptor-Ms (xDR-Ms) and investigated whether TRAIL signaling could be involved in this transition. The Trail and xDR-M genes were highly expressed in the liver and RBCs, respectively, during metamorphosis. Interestingly, xTRAIL1 enhanced the transition of the RBCs, and a dominant-negative form of the xTRAIL1 receptor attenuated it, when injected into tadpoles. Moreover, xTRAIL1 induced apoptosis in larval RBCs, but had little effect on adult RBCs in vitro. We also found that adult RBCs treated with staurosporine, a protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor, were sensitized to xTRAIL1. The mRNAs for PKC isoforms were up-regulated in RBCs during metamorphosis. These results suggest that xTRAIL1 can cause apoptosis, probably mediated through xDR-Ms, in larval RBCs, but may not kill adult RBCs, presumably owing to PKC activation, as part of the mechanism for RBC switching.

  6. How does juvenile hormone control insect metamorphosis and reproduction?

    PubMed

    Riddiford, Lynn M

    2012-12-01

    In insects juvenile hormone (JH) regulates both metamorphosis and reproduction. This lecture focuses on our current understanding of JH action at the molecular level in both of these processes based primarily on studies in the tobacco hornworm Manduca sexta, the flour beetle Tribolium castaneum, the mosquito Aedes aegypti, and the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. The roles of the JH receptor complex and the transcription factors that it regulates during larval molting and metamorphosis are summarized. Also highlighted are the intriguing interactions of the JH and insulin signaling pathways in both imaginal disc development and vitellogenesis. Critical actions of JH and its receptor in the timing of maturation of the adult optic lobe and of female receptivity in Drosophila are also discussed.

  7. First Evidence of Amphibian Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) and Ranavirus in Hong Kong Amphibian Trade

    PubMed Central

    Kolby, Jonathan E.; Smith, Kristine M.; Berger, Lee; Karesh, William B; Preston, Asa; Pessier, Allan P.; Skerratt, Lee F.

    2014-01-01

    The emerging infectious amphibian diseases caused by amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) and ranaviruses are responsible for global amphibian population declines and extinctions. Although likely to have been spread by a variety of activities, transcontinental dispersal appears closely associated with the international trade in live amphibians. The territory of Hong Kong reports frequent, high volume trade in amphibians, and yet the presence of Bd and ranavirus have not previously been detected in either traded or free-ranging amphibians. In 2012, a prospective surveillance project was conducted to investigate the presence of these pathogens in commercial shipments of live amphibians exported from Hong Kong International Airport. Analysis of skin (Bd) and cloacal (ranavirus) swabs by quantitative PCR detected pathogen presence in 31/265 (11.7%) and in 105/185 (56.8%) of amphibians, respectively. In addition, the water in which animals were transported tested positive for Bd, demonstrating the risk of pathogen pollution by the disposal of untreated wastewater. It is uncertain whether Bd and ranavirus remain contained within Hong Kong’s trade sector, or if native amphibians have already been exposed. Rapid response efforts are now urgently needed to determine current pathogen distribution in Hong Kong, evaluate potential trade-associated exposure to free-ranging amphibians, and identify opportunities to prevent disease establishment. PMID:24599268

  8. First evidence of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) and ranavirus in Hong Kong amphibian trade.

    PubMed

    Kolby, Jonathan E; Smith, Kristine M; Berger, Lee; Karesh, William B; Preston, Asa; Pessier, Allan P; Skerratt, Lee F

    2014-01-01

    The emerging infectious amphibian diseases caused by amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) and ranaviruses are responsible for global amphibian population declines and extinctions. Although likely to have been spread by a variety of activities, transcontinental dispersal appears closely associated with the international trade in live amphibians. The territory of Hong Kong reports frequent, high volume trade in amphibians, and yet the presence of Bd and ranavirus have not previously been detected in either traded or free-ranging amphibians. In 2012, a prospective surveillance project was conducted to investigate the presence of these pathogens in commercial shipments of live amphibians exported from Hong Kong International Airport. Analysis of skin (Bd) and cloacal (ranavirus) swabs by quantitative PCR detected pathogen presence in 31/265 (11.7%) and in 105/185 (56.8%) of amphibians, respectively. In addition, the water in which animals were transported tested positive for Bd, demonstrating the risk of pathogen pollution by the disposal of untreated wastewater. It is uncertain whether Bd and ranavirus remain contained within Hong Kong's trade sector, or if native amphibians have already been exposed. Rapid response efforts are now urgently needed to determine current pathogen distribution in Hong Kong, evaluate potential trade-associated exposure to free-ranging amphibians, and identify opportunities to prevent disease establishment.

  9. On natural metamorphosis inducers of the cnidarians Hydractinia echinata (Hydrozoa) and Aurelia aurita (Scyphozoa)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kroiher, M.; Berking, S.

    1999-11-01

    Hydractinia echinata and Aurelia aurita produce motile larvae which undergo metamorphosis to sessile polyps when induced by external cues. The polyps are found at restricted sites, A. aurita predominantly on rocks close to the shore, H. echinata on shells inhabited by hermit crabs. It has been argued that the differential distribution of the polyps in their natural environment largely reflects the distribution of the natural metamorphosis-inducing cues. In the case of H. echinata, bacteria of the genus Alteromonas were argued to meet these conditions. We found that almost all substrates collected in the littoral to induce metamorphosis in H. echinata, and several bacterial strains isolated from the sea, including the common E. coli, induce metamorphosis efficiently. In A. aurita metamorphosis may be induced by the water-air interface, whereby metamorphosis precedes (final) settlement.

  10. Brain regeneration in anuran amphibians.

    PubMed

    Endo, Tetsuya; Yoshino, Jun; Kado, Koji; Tochinai, Shin

    2007-02-01

    Urodele amphibians are highly regenerative animals. After partial removal of the brain in urodeles, ependymal cells around the wound surface proliferate, differentiate into neurons and glias and finally regenerate the lost tissue. In contrast to urodeles, this type of brain regeneration is restricted only to the larval stages in anuran amphibians (frogs). In adult frogs, whereas ependymal cells proliferate in response to brain injury, they cannot migrate and close the wound surface, resulting in the failure of regeneration. Therefore frogs, in particular Xenopus, provide us with at least two modes to study brain regeneration. One is to study normal regeneration by using regenerative larvae. In this type of study, the requirement of reconnection between a regenerating brain and sensory neurons was demonstrated. Functional restoration of a regenerated telencephalon was also easily evaluated because Xenopus shows simple responses to the stimulus of a food odor. The other mode is to compare regenerative larvae and non-regenerative adults. By using this mode, it is suggested that there are regeneration-competent cells even in the non-regenerative adult brain, and that immobility of those cells might cause the failure of regeneration. Here we review studies that have led to these conclusions.

  11. Arrested development in Xenopus laevis tadpoles: how size constrains metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Rot-Nikcevic, Irena; Wassersug, Richard J

    2004-05-01

    Xenopus laevis tadpoles that arrest development and remain as larvae for several years sometimes occur spontaneously in laboratory populations. These tadpoles cease development at an early hindlimb stage, but continue to grow and develop into grossly deformed giants. Giant tadpoles lack thyroid glands, and differ in morphology and behaviour from normal larvae. They are negatively buoyant, typically with small and partially solidified lungs, and have greatly enlarged fat bodies. Giant tadpoles have mature gonads with eggs and sperm, whereas normal tadpoles of the same stage have undifferentiated gonads. Larval reproduction has never been reported in anurans, but gonadal development decoupled from metamorphosis brings these giants the closest of any anurans to being truly neotenic. We discuss behavioural and morphological factors that may hinder both reproduction in giant Xenopus larvae and the evolution of neoteny in anurans in general. Experimental treatment with exogenous thyroid hormone induces some, but not complete, metamorphic changes in these giants. The limbs and head progress through metamorphosis; however, all tadpoles die at the stage when the tail would normally be resorbed. The disproportionate growth of tissues and organs in giant tadpoles may preclude complete metamorphosis, even under exogenous thyroid hormone induction.

  12. Midgut morphological changes and autophagy during metamorphosis in sand flies.

    PubMed

    Malta, Juliana; Heerman, Matthew; Weng, Ju Lin; Fernandes, Kenner M; Martins, Gustavo Ferreira; Ramalho-Ortigão, Marcelo

    2017-03-11

    During metamorphosis, holometabolous insects undergo significant remodeling of their midgut and become able to cope with changes in dietary requirements between larval and adult stages. At this stage, insects must be able to manage and recycle available food resources in order to develop fully into adults, especially when no nutrients are acquired from the environment. Autophagy has been previously suggested to play a crucial role during metamorphosis of the mosquito. Here, we investigate the overall morphological changes of the midgut of the sand fly during metamorphosis and assess the expression profiles of the autophagy-related genes ATG1, ATG6, and ATG8, which are associated with various steps of the autophagic process. Morphological changes in the midgut start during the fourth larval instar, with epithelial degeneration followed by remodeling via the differentiation of regenerative cells in pre-pupal and pupal stages. The changes in the midgut epithelium are paired with the up-regulation of ATG1, ATG6 and ATG8 during the larva-adult transition. Vein, a putative epidermal growth factor involved in regulating epithelial midgut regeneration, is also up-regulated. Autophagy has further been confirmed in sand flies via the presence of autophagosomes residing within the cytoplasmic compartment of the pupal stages. An understanding of the underlying mechanisms of this process should aid the future management of this neglected tropical vector.

  13. Subtype-specific neuronal remodeling during Drosophila metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Veverytsa, Lyubov; Allan, Douglas W

    2013-01-01

    During metamorphosis in holometabolous insects, the nervous system undergoes dramatic remodeling as it transitions from its larval to its adult form. Many neurons are generated through post-embryonic neurogenesis to have adult-specific roles, but perhaps more striking is the dramatic remodeling that occurs to transition neurons from functioning in the larval to the adult nervous system. These neurons exhibit a remarkable degree of plasticity during this transition; many subsets undergo programmed cell death, others remodel their axonal and dendritic arbors extensively, whereas others undergo trans-differentiation to alter their terminal differentiation gene expression profiles. Yet other neurons appear to be developmentally frozen in an immature state throughout larval life, to be awakened at metamorphosis by a process we term temporally-tuned differentiation. These multiple forms of remodeling arise from subtype-specific responses to a single metamorphic trigger, ecdysone. Here, we discuss recent progress in Drosophila melanogaster that is shedding light on how subtype-specific programs of neuronal remodeling are generated during metamorphosis.

  14. Cell death and tissue reorganization in Rhynchosciara americana (Sciaridae: Diptera) metamorphosis and their relation to molting hormone titers.

    PubMed

    Brandão, Amanda Dos Santos; do Amaral, Jônatas Bussador; Rezende-Teixeira, Paula; Hartfelder, Klaus; Siviero, Fábio; Machado-Santelli, Gláucia Maria

    2014-09-01

    Programmed cell death (PCD) is a focal topic for understanding processes underlying metamorphosis in insects, especially so in holometabolous orders. During adult morphogenesis it allows for the elimination of larva-specific tissues and the reorganization of others for their functionalities in adult life. In Rhynchosciara, this PCD process could be classified as autophagic cell death, yet the expression of apoptosis-related genes and certain morphological aspects suggest that processes, autophagy and apoptosis may be involved. Aiming to reveal the morphological changes that salivary gland and fat body cells undergo during metamorphosis we conducted microscopy analyses to detect chromatin condensation and fragmentation, as well as alterations in the cytoplasm of late pupal tissues of Rhynchosciara americana. Transmission electron microscopy and confocal microscopy revealed cells in variable stages of death. By analyzing the morphological structure of the salivary gland we observed the presence of cells with autophagic vacuoles and apoptotic bodies and DNA fragmentation was confirmed with the TUNEL assay in salivary gland. The reorganization of fat body occurs with discrete detection of cell death by TUNEL assay. However, both salivary gland histolysis and fat body reorganization occur under control of the hormone ecdysone.

  15. Nutrition and Health in Amphibian Husbandry

    PubMed Central

    Ferrie, Gina M.; Alford, Vance C.; Atkinson, Jim; Baitchman, Eric; Barber, Diane; Blaner, William S.; Crawshaw, Graham; Daneault, Andy; Dierenfeld, Ellen; Finke, Mark; Fleming, Greg; Gagliardo, Ron; Hoffman, Eric A.; Karasov, William; Klasing, Kirk; Koutsos, Elizabeth; Lankton, Julia; Lavin, Shana R.; Lentini, Andrew; Livingston, Shannon; Lock, Brad; Mason, Tom; McComb, Alejandra; Morris, Cheryl; Pessier, Allan P.; Olea-Popelka, Francisco; Probst, Tom; Rodriguez, Carlos; Schad, Kristine; Semmen, Kent; Sincage, Jamie; Stamper, M. Andrew; Steinmetz, Jason; Sullivan, Kathleen; Terrell, Scott; Wertan, Nina; Wheaton, Catharine J.; Wilson, Brad; Valdes, Eduardo V.

    2015-01-01

    Amphibian biology is intricate, and there are many inter-related factors that need to be understood before establishing successful Conservation Breeding Programs (CBPs). Nutritional needs of amphibians are highly integrated with disease and their husbandry needs, and the diversity of developmental stages, natural habitats, and feeding strategies result in many different recommendations for proper care and feeding. This review identifies several areas where there is substantial room for improvement in maintaining healthy ex situ amphibian populations specifically in the areas of obtaining and utilizing natural history data for both amphibians and their dietary items, achieving more appropriate environmental parameters, understanding stress and hormone production, and promoting better physical and population health. Using a scientific or research framework to answer questions about disease, nutrition, husbandry, genetics, and endocrinology of ex situ amphibians will improve specialists’ understanding of the needs of these species. In general, there is a lack of baseline data and comparative information for most basic aspects of amphibian biology as well as standardized laboratory approaches. Instituting a formalized research approach in multiple scientific disciplines will be beneficial not only to the management of current ex situ populations, but also in moving forward with future conservation and reintroduction projects. This overview of gaps in knowledge concerning ex situ amphibian care should serve as a foundation for much needed future research in these areas. PMID:25296396

  16. Nutrition and health in amphibian husbandry.

    PubMed

    Ferrie, Gina M; Alford, Vance C; Atkinson, Jim; Baitchman, Eric; Barber, Diane; Blaner, William S; Crawshaw, Graham; Daneault, Andy; Dierenfeld, Ellen; Finke, Mark; Fleming, Greg; Gagliardo, Ron; Hoffman, Eric A; Karasov, William; Klasing, Kirk; Koutsos, Elizabeth; Lankton, Julia; Lavin, Shana R; Lentini, Andrew; Livingston, Shannon; Lock, Brad; Mason, Tom; McComb, Alejandra; Morris, Cheryl; Pessier, Allan P; Olea-Popelka, Francisco; Probst, Tom; Rodriguez, Carlos; Schad, Kristine; Semmen, Kent; Sincage, Jamie; Stamper, M Andrew; Steinmetz, Jason; Sullivan, Kathleen; Terrell, Scott; Wertan, Nina; Wheaton, Catharine J; Wilson, Brad; Valdes, Eduardo V

    2014-01-01

    Amphibian biology is intricate, and there are many inter-related factors that need to be understood before establishing successful Conservation Breeding Programs (CBPs). Nutritional needs of amphibians are highly integrated with disease and their husbandry needs, and the diversity of developmental stages, natural habitats, and feeding strategies result in many different recommendations for proper care and feeding. This review identifies several areas where there is substantial room for improvement in maintaining healthy ex situ amphibian populations specifically in the areas of obtaining and utilizing natural history data for both amphibians and their dietary items, achieving more appropriate environmental parameters, understanding stress and hormone production, and promoting better physical and population health. Using a scientific or research framework to answer questions about disease, nutrition, husbandry, genetics, and endocrinology of ex situ amphibians will improve specialists' understanding of the needs of these species. In general, there is a lack of baseline data and comparative information for most basic aspects of amphibian biology as well as standardized laboratory approaches. Instituting a formalized research approach in multiple scientific disciplines will be beneficial not only to the management of current ex situ populations, but also in moving forward with future conservation and reintroduction projects. This overview of gaps in knowledge concerning ex situ amphibian care should serve as a foundation for much needed future research in these areas.

  17. 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.

  18. Time and size at metamorphosis related to adult fitness in Ambystoma talpoideum

    SciTech Connect

    Semlitsch, R.D.; Scott, D.E.; Pechmann, J.H.K.

    1988-02-01

    The relationships among timing of metamorphosis, size at metamorphosis, and traits related to adult fitness were studied for 8 yr in the salamander Ambystoma talpoideum at a temporary pond. Among years, the modal time of metamorphosis and mean body size at metamorphosis were positively correlated with the date the pond dried. In years that the pond dried late, one group of larvae metamorphosed well before the pond dried, whereas the other group metamorphosed just before pond drying. Mean body size of late-metamorphosing individuals was not greater than that of individuals metamorphosing early. Early-metamorphosing males and females were larger at first and second reproduction than were late-metamorphosing individuals. Independent of timing of metamorphosis, larger juveniles at metamorphosis were also larger adults at first reproduction. Age at first reproduction for males was not associated with timing of or size at metamorphosis but large early-metamorphosing females reproduced at a younger age than did small early-metamorphosing females. Neither time of metamorphosis nor size at metamorphosis was associated with survival to first reproduction. These results demonstrate a direct relationship between phenotypic variation generated in the larval stage and adult traits closely associated with an individual's fitness.

  19. Leaping forward in amphibian health and nutrition.

    PubMed

    Olea-Popelka, Francisco; Ferrie, Gina M; Morris, Cheryl; Pessier, Allan P; Schad, Kristine; Stamper, M Andrew; Gagliardo, Ron; Koutsos, Elizabeth; Valdes, Eduardo V

    2014-01-01

    The Epidemiology Working Group, a subgroup of the participants of the Disney's Animal Kingdom Workshop on "Ex situ Amphibian Medicine and Nutrition," identified a critical need to design and implement approaches that will facilitate the assessment and evaluation of factors impacting amphibian health. In this manuscript, we describe and summarize the outcomes of this workshop with regards (a) the identified gaps in knowledge, (b) identified priorities for closing these gaps, and (c) compile a list of actions to address these priorities. Four general areas of improvement were identified in relation to how measurements are currently being taken to evaluate ex situ amphibian health: nutrition, infectious diseases, husbandry, and integrated biology including genetics and endocrinology. The proposed actions that will be taken in order to address the identified gaps include: (1) identify and quantify major health issues affecting ex situ amphibian populations, (2) identify and coordinate laboratories to conduct analyses using standardized and validated protocols to measure nutritional, infectious diseases, genetic, and hormonal parameters, (3) determine in situ baseline distribution of parameters related to amphibian health, and (4) establish an inter-disciplinary research approach to target specific hypotheses related to amphibian health such as the effects of population genetics (e.g., relatedness, inbreeding) on disease susceptibility, or how environmental parameters are related to chronic stress and hormone production. We think is important to address current gaps in knowledge regarding amphibian health in order to increase the probability to succeed in addressing the issues faced by in situ and ex situ amphibians populations. We are confident that the recommendations provided in this manuscript will facilitate to address these challenges and could have a positive impact in both the health of in situ and ex situ amphibian populations, worldwide.

  20. [Perspective on gravitational biology of amphibians].

    PubMed

    Yamashita, Masamichi; Naitoh, Tomio; Wassersug, Richard J

    2002-12-01

    We review here the scientific significance of the use of amphibians for research in gravitational biology. Since amphibian eggs are quite large, yet develop rapidly and externally, it is easy to observe their development. Consequently amphibians were the first vertebrates to have their early developmental processes investigated in space. Though several deviations from normal embryonic development occur when amphibians are raised in microgravity, their developmental program is robust enough to return the organisms to an ostensibly normal morphology by the time they hatch. Evolutionally, amphibians were the first vertebrate animal to come out of the water and onto land. Subsequently they diversified and have adaptively radiated to various habitats. They now inhabit aquatic, terrestrial, arboreal and fossorial niches. This diversity can be used to help study the biological effects of gravity at the organismal level, where macroscopic phenomena are associated with gravitational loading. By choosing different amphibian models and using a comparative approach one can effectively identify the action of gravity on biological systems, and the adaptation that vertebrates have made to this loading. Advances in cellular and molecular biology provide powerful tools for the study in many fields, including gravitational biology, and amphibians have proven to be good models for studies at those levels as well. The low metabolic rates of amphibians make them convenient organisms to work with (compared to birds and mammals) in the difficult and confined spaces on orbiting research platforms. We include here a review of what is known about and the potential for further behavioral and physiological researches in space using amphibians.

  1. Live imaging of muscles in Drosophila metamorphosis: Towards high-throughput gene identification and function analysis.

    PubMed

    Puah, Wee Choo; Wasser, Martin

    2016-03-01

    Time-lapse microscopy in developmental biology is an emerging tool for functional genomics. Phenotypic effects of gene perturbations can be studied non-invasively at multiple time points in chronological order. During metamorphosis of Drosophila melanogaster, time-lapse microscopy using fluorescent reporters allows visualization of alternative fates of larval muscles, which are a model for the study of genes related to muscle wasting. While doomed muscles enter hormone-induced programmed cell death, a smaller population of persistent muscles survives to adulthood and undergoes morphological remodeling that involves atrophy in early, and hypertrophy in late pupation. We developed a method that combines in vivo imaging, targeted gene perturbation and image analysis to identify and characterize genes involved in muscle development. Macrozoom microscopy helps to screen for interesting muscle phenotypes, while confocal microscopy in multiple locations over 4-5 days produces time-lapse images that are used to quantify changes in cell morphology. Performing a similar investigation using fixed pupal tissues would be too time-consuming and therefore impractical. We describe three applications of our pipeline. First, we show how quantitative microscopy can track and measure morphological changes of muscle throughout metamorphosis and analyze genes involved in atrophy. Second, our assay can help to identify genes that either promote or prevent histolysis of abdominal muscles. Third, we apply our approach to test new fluorescent proteins as live markers for muscle development. We describe mKO2 tagged Cysteine proteinase 1 (Cp1) and Troponin-I (TnI) as examples of proteins showing developmental changes in subcellular localization. Finally, we discuss strategies to improve throughput of our pipeline to permit genome-wide screens in the future.

  2. Chytridiomycosis: a global threat to amphibians.

    PubMed

    Pereira, P L L; Torres, A M C; Soares, D F M; Hijosa-Valsero, M; Bécares, E

    2013-12-01

    Chytridiomycosis, which is caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, is an emerging infectious disease of amphibians. The disease is one of the main causes of the global decline in amphibians. The aetiological agent is ubiquitous, with worldwide distribution, and affects a large number of amphibian species in several biomes. In the last decade, scientific research has substantially increased knowledge of the aetiological agent and the associated infection. However, important epidemiological aspects of the environment-mediated interactions between the aetiological agent and the host are not yet clear. The objective of the present review is to describe chytridiomycosis with regard to the major features of the aetiological agent, the host and the environment.

  3. Ecotoxicology of organic contaminants to amphibians

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sparling, D.W.; Sparling, Donald W.; Linder, Greg L.; Bishop, Christine A.

    2000-01-01

    The effects of organic contaminants on amphibians are poorly known but of considerable interest. These contaminants include the highly toxic dioxins and furans as well as PCBs, PAHs and organochlorine pesticides. Although these compounds may have lower acute toxicity than dioxins and furans, they have been implicated in several problems associated with genotoxicity, endocrine disruption, malformations and reduced growth. There is evidence that amphibian tadpoles bioaccumulate these organic compounds and may have biological concentrating factors ranging in the hundreds. This chapter reviews what is known about the effects and concentrations of organic contaminants in amphibians and provides recommendations for further research

  4. 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.

  5. Effects of the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup WeatherMax® on metamorphosis of wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) in natural wetlands.

    PubMed

    Lanctôt, C; Robertson, C; Navarro-Martín, L; Edge, C; Melvin, S D; Houlahan, J; Trudeau, V L

    2013-09-15

    Amphibian tadpoles develop in aquatic environments where they are susceptible to the effects of pesticides and other environmental contaminants. Glyphosate-based herbicides are currently the most commonly used herbicide in the world and have been shown to affect survival and development of tadpoles under laboratory and mesocosm conditions. In the present study, whole wetland manipulations were used to determine if exposure to an agriculturally relevant application of Roundup WeatherMax(®), a herbicide formulation containing the potassium salt of glyphosate and an undisclosed surfactant, influences the development of wood frog tadpoles (Lithobates sylvaticus) under natural conditions. Wetlands were divided in half with an impermeable curtain so that each wetland contained a treatment and control side. Tadpoles were exposed to two pulses of this herbicide at an environmentally realistic concentration (ERC, 0.21 mg acid equivalent (a.e.)/L) and the predicted maximum environmental concentration (PMEC, 2.89 mg a.e./L), after which abundance, growth, development, and mRNA levels of genes involved in tadpole metamorphosis were measured. Results present little evidence that exposure to this herbicide affects abundance, growth and development of wood frog tadpoles. As part of the Long-term Experimental Wetlands Area (LEWA) project, this research demonstrates that typical agricultural use of Roundup WeatherMax(®) poses minimal risk to larval amphibian development. However, our gene expression data (mRNA levels) suggests that glyphosate-based herbicides have the potential to alter hormonal pathways during tadpole development.

  6. Effects of a fungicide formulation on embryo-larval development, metamorphosis, and gonadogenesis of the South American toad Rhinella arenarum.

    PubMed

    Svartz, Gabriela; Meijide, Fernando; Pérez Coll, Cristina

    2016-07-01

    Sublethal toxicity of the formulated fungicide Maxim(®) XL on embryonic, larval and juvenile development of Rhinella arenarum was evaluated by means of standardized bioassays. Maxim(®) XL, one of the most used fungicides in Argentina, is based on a mixture of two active ingredients: Fludioxonil and Metalaxyl-M. Maxim(®) XL exposure induced severe sublethal effects on the embryos, expressed as general underdevelopment, axial flexures, microcephaly, cellular dissociation, abnormal pigmentation, underdeveloped gills, marked edema and wavy tail. As the embryo development advanced, alterations in behavior as spasmodic contractions, general weakness and inanition were observed. Maxim(®) XL did not affect neither the time required to complete metamorphosis nor sex proportions, but gonadal development and differentiation were impaired. Gross gonadal analysis revealed a significant proportion of exposed individuals with underdevelopment of one or both gonads. Histological analysis confirmed that 18% and 10% of the individuals exposed to 0.25 and 2mg/L Maxim(®) XL, respectively, exhibited undifferentiated gonads characterized by a reduced number (or absence) of germ cells. Taking into account the risk evaluation performed by means of Hazard Quotients, this fungicide could be a threat to R. arenarum populations under chronic exposure. This study represents the first evidence of toxic effects exerted by Maxim(®) XL on amphibians. Finally, our findings highlight the properties of this fungicide that might jeopardize non-target living species exposed to it in agricultural environments.

  7. Amphibian resources on the internet.

    PubMed

    Nolan, Michael W; Smith, Stephen A

    2007-01-01

    The use of amphibians in classrooms and research laboratories has increased, along with a corresponding increase in the amount of information about these animals on the Internet. This review is intended to aid both novices and experts in the search of such information. The bibliography of Internet resources is organized by discipline and includes general and selected species information, taxonomy, natural history, anatomy and histology, physiology, ontogeny, genetics, conservation, toxicology, medicine and surgery, sources (for animals, housing, and research tools), listservs, databases, associations, educational sources, and husbandry. For each web site, descriptive titles, web addresses, and a brief review are provided. Note that the authors of this review cannot assure the accuracy of content in these web resources.

  8. Report of Amphibian Development Group

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Malacinski, G.

    1985-01-01

    Amphibian and fish embryos are extremely well suited for studies on pattern specification, whereas other systems (e.g., avian or mammalian) might be just as well suited for studies on differentiation or growth. Those distinctions are important for at least two reasons: (1) More precise focus regarding underlying mechanisms is called for when those distinctions are made. That facilitates the formulation of specific models or hypotheses; and (2) stress effects (i.e., the effects of weightlessness on structures (e.g., bones) which normally bear a load) are distinguished as being indirect, in contrast to direct effects of microgravity, which would be expected to act on pattern specification. That is, direct gravity effects are distinguished from indirect stress effects.

  9. Triclosan and thyroid-mediated metamorphosis in anurans: differentiating growth effects from thyroid-driven metamorphosis in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Fort, Douglas J; Mathis, Michael B; Hanson, Warren; Fort, Chelsea E; Navarro, Lisa T; Peter, Robert; Büche, Claudia; Unger, Sabine; Pawlowski, Sascha; Plautz, James R

    2011-06-01

    In a previously reported study, we used a standard metamorphosis anuran model to assess potential effect of the antibacterial agent triclosan (TCS) on normal prometamorphic Xenopus laevis. Results indicated that environmentally relevant TCS concentrations did not alter the normal course of thyroid-mediated metamorphosis in this standard anuran model. However, to examine potential effects of TCS exposure during premetamorphosis and to distinguish between effects on metamorphosis and effects on growth, a longer term TCS exposure study was conducted. Standard Nieuwkoop and Faber (NF) stage 47 X. laevis larvae were exposed for 32 days (ca. NF stage 59-60) via flow-through to four different concentrations of TCS: < 0.2 (control), 0.8, 3.1, 12.5, or 50.0 μg TCS/l. Primary endpoints were survival, hind limb length, body length (whole; snout-to-vent), developmental stage, wet whole body weight, thyroid histology, plasma thyroid hormone (TH) concentrations, TH receptor beta (TRβ), and type II and III deiodinase (DI-2 and DI-3) expression. Endpoints measured to evaluate effects on thyroid-mediated metamorphosis including developmental stage, thyroid histology, TRβ expression, DI-2 and DI-3 expression, and thyroid gland 3,5,3',5'-tetraiodothyronine (T4) and plasma T4 and 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T3) levels were not affected by TCS exposure. However, increased larval growth based on whole body length (0.78, 12.5, and 50 μg TCS/l), snout-vent length (3.1 and 12.5 μg TCS/l), and whole body weight (0.8, 12.5, and 50.0 μg TCS/l) was observed following 32-day TCS exposure. These results indicated that TCS exposure during pre- and prometamorphosis increased larval growth but did not alter the normal course of metamorphosis in X. laevis. The increased growth associated with TCS exposure was not unexpected and is generally consistent with the presence of reduced bacterial stressors in culture.

  10. Agents from amphibians with anticancer properties.

    PubMed

    Lu, Chuang-Xin; Nan, Ke-Jun; Lei, Yan

    2008-11-01

    Amphibians have been found to be a source of agents with anticancer properties. Bufalin, for example, is an anticancer agent that may induce apoptosis by its interaction with other genes and cellular components. Certain peptides with anticancer activities have been found in amphibian skin; they include magainins, aureins, citropin 1.1 and gaegurins. These peptides may exert a cytotoxic effect on human cancer cells through various mechanisms. Onconase, amphinase, cSBL (sialic acid-binding lectin purified from Rana catesbeiana eggs) and jSBL (sialic acid-binding lectin purified from Rana japonica eggs), which belong to the RNase A family, were purified from the oocyte cells and eggs of three amphibians, and they induce cytotoxicity by degrading cellular RNA. This paper discusses the medical and pharmaceutical significance of products derived from amphibians.

  11. Amphibian responses to photoinduced toxicity of PAHs

    SciTech Connect

    Hatch, A.C.; Burton, G.A. Jr.

    1995-12-31

    Amphibians are essential components of many ecosystems, yet little information exists on their sensitivity to environmental stressors. Recent evidence shows amphibian diversity is declining. Others have suggested this decline is a result of increasing ultraviolet (UV) light levels. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are widespread pollutants in the aquatic environment and their toxicity is increased in the presence of UV light. Embryos of two frogs (Rana pipiens and Xenopus laevis) were exposed to a PAH, fluoranthene, to evaluate amphibian responses to this common contaminant in the presence of sunlight. Hatching rate and development were measured in field and laboratory exposures at multiple concentrations and varying UV intensities. Hatching rate was relatively unaffected, while newly hatched larvae were sensitive to low (ug/L) concentrations. Response was related to both PAH concentration and UV intensity. Results suggest that PAH contamination in the aquatic environment may contribute to declines in amphibian populations.

  12. Helminth and leech community structure in tadpoles and caudatan larvae of two amphibian species from Western Nebraska.

    PubMed

    Rhoden, Heather R; Bolek, Matthew G

    2012-04-01

    Currently no comparative studies exist on helminth and leech community structure among sympatric anuran tadpoles and salamander larvae. During June-August 2007-2009, we examined 50 bullfrog tadpoles, Rana catesbeiana , 50 barred tiger salamander larvae, Ambystoma mavortium , and 3 species of snails from Nevens Pond, Keith County, Nebraska for helminth and leech infections. The helminth and leech compound community of this larval amphibian assemblage consisted of at least 7 species, 4 in bullfrog tadpoles and 4 in barred tiger salamander larvae. Bullfrog tadpoles were infected with 2 species of nematodes ( Gyrinicola batrachiensis and Spiroxys sp.) and 2 types of metacercariae ( Telorchis sp. and echinostomatids), whereas barred tiger salamander larva were infected with 1 species of leech ( Placobdella picta ), 2 species of adult trematodes ( Telorchis corti and Halipegus sp.), and 1 species of an unidentified metacercaria. The component community of bullfrog tadpoles was dominated by helminths acquired through active penetration, or incidentally ingested through respiratory currents, or both, whereas the component community of larval salamanders was dominated by helminths acquired through ingestion of intermediate hosts (χ²  =  3,455.00, P < 0.00001). Differences in amphibian larval developmental time (2-3 yr for bullfrog tadpoles versus 2-5 mo for salamander larvae), the ephemeral nature of intermediate hosts in Nevens Pond, and the ability of bullfrog tadpole to eliminate echinostome infections had significant effects on mean helminth species richness among amphibian species and years (t  =  12.31, P < 0.0001; t  =  2.09, P  =  0.04). Differences in herbivorous and carnivorous diet and time to metamorphosis among bullfrog tadpoles and barred tiger salamander larvae were important factors in structuring helminth communities among the larval stages of these 2 sympatric amphibian species, whereas size was important in structuring helminth and leech

  13. The North American Amphibian Monitoring Program. [abstract

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Griffin, J.

    1998-01-01

    The North American Amphibian Monitoring Program has been under development for the past three years. The monitoring strategy for NAAMP has five main prongs: terrestrial salamander surveys, calling surveys, aquatic surveys, western surveys, and atlassing. Of these five, calling surveys were selected as one of the first implementation priorities due to their friendliness to volunteers of varying knowledge levels, relative low cost, and the fact that several groups had already pioneered the techniques involved. While some states and provinces had implemented calling surveys prior to NAAMP, like WI and IL, most states and provinces had little or no history of state/provincewide amphibian monitoring. Thus, the majority of calling survey programs were initiated in the past two years. To assess the progress of this pilot phase, a program review was conducted on the status of the NAAMP calling survey program, and the results of that review will be presented at the meeting. Topics to be discussed include: who is doing what where, extent of route coverage, the continuing random route discussions, quality assurance, strengths and weaknesses of calling surveys, reliability of data, and directions for the future. In addition, a brief overview of the DISPro project will be included. DISPro is a new amphibian monitoring program in National Parks, funded by the Demonstration of Intensive Sites Program (DISPro) through the EPA and NPS. It will begin this year at Big Bend and Shenandoah National Parks. The purpose of the DISPro Amphibian Project will be to investigate relationships between environmental factors and stressors and the distribution, abundance, and health of amphibians in these National Parks. At each Park, amphibian long-term monitoring protocols will be tested, distributions and abundance of amphibians will be mapped, and field research experiments will be conducted to examine stressor effects on amphibians (e.g., ultraviolet radiation, contaminants, acidification).

  14. Amphibians and Reptiles of Los Alamos County

    SciTech Connect

    Teralene S. Foxx; Timothy K. Haarmann; David C. Keller

    1999-10-01

    Recent studies have shown that amphibians and reptiles are good indicators of environmental health. They live in terrestrial and aquatic environments and are often the first animals to be affected by environmental change. This publication provides baseline information about amphibians and reptiles that are present on the Pajarito Plateau. Ten years of data collection and observations by researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory, the University of New Mexico, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, and hobbyists are represented.

  15. Surveys of calling amphibians in North Dakota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, D.H.; Batie, R.D.

    2001-01-01

    Amphibians have received increased attention in recent years from the scientific community and general public alike. Many populations throughout the world have declined, or have been extirpated, often without an apparent cause. Concern about the status of amphibians has translated into a growing interest in systematic and statistically sound monitoring programs. Several extensive efforts to monitor populations of calling amphibians are in place, and more are under development. Necessary for the design of appropriate surveys is an understanding of the behavior, especially vocalization, of the various species, and how it varies by geographic location and environmental conditions. In 1995 we conducted roadside surveys of calling amphibians along 44 routes in North Dakota. We describe results of that survey, with special attention given to variables that influence detectability of calling amphibians. Unlike similar studies, we accounted for the amount of time observers spent listening for amphibians under different conditions. We found that the optimal conditions for a single survey for North Dakota in that year would be in early June, between the hours of 2300 and 0130, with ambient temperatures above 13 deg. C, and with no rain and little or no wind or moonlight. Multiple surveys in a year would yield better results, of course, especially for the wood frog (Rana sylvatica), which is most active earlier in the season. Studies such as ours should be replicated in space and time to ensure a well-designed survey.

  16. The role of reduced oxygen in the developmental physiology of growth and metamorphosis initiation in Drosophila

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rearing oxygen level is known to affect final body size in a variety of insects, but the physiological mechanisms by which oxygen affects size are incompletely understood. In Manduca and Drosophila, the larval size at which metamorphosis is initiated largely determines adult size, and metamorphosis ...

  17. EVIDENCE FOR FIRST YEAR METAMORPHOSIS OF BULLFROGS IN AN EPHEMERAL POND

    EPA Science Inventory

    It is widely accepted that bullfrog ( R catesbeiana) tadpoles in the Pacific Northwest require more than one year for metamorphosis. Often time to metamorphosis increases along a latitudinal gradient. During our pond surveys at the EE Wilson Reserve, we found evidence of first ...

  18. [Induction of metamorphosis in planulae : I. The bacterial inducer].

    PubMed

    Müller, Werner A

    1973-06-01

    1. The metamorphosis of the planulae ofHydractinia echinata (Hydrozoa) is induced by certain marine, gramnegative bacteria which at the end of the exponential growth release a stimulating principle. 2. The stimulus is liberated by stationary cells previously cultivated at low population densities (up to 10(7) cells/ml) in a proper medium (e.g. extract of meat). Transfer into seawater lacking nutritive sources enhances the inductive capacity. 3. The concentration of the inducing agent normally surpasses the threshold level only in the close microenvironment of living cells. But when shocked by a drop in the osmotic pressure the bacteria discharge increased amounts which become traceable in the filtered cell-free medium. 4. Thus the inducer can be accumulated and isolated by a process of osmotic shock which does not affect the viability of the microbes. The principle belongs to a category of microbial substances which are subsumed under the comprehensive term "leakage"-products. 5. The active principle can be precipitated from the leakage solution with acetone and extracted with chloroform. The inducer seems to be an unstable, nondialyzable, polar lipid. 6. In order to evoke complete metamorphosis the isolated agent must be applied in a pulse-like fashion. Using the onset of metamorphosis as criterion for the velocity of reaction the dose-response curves display Michaelis-like saturation kinetics. At short pulses the percentages of induced metamorphoses yield a saturation curve as well. This indicates that an enzyme or carrier-system is involved in the larval response. 7. The inducing effect of the bacterial principle is antagonized by ouabain. Conversely, high doses of the isolated leakage material abolish the ouabain inhibition. The primary effect of the inducer, therefore, can be interpreted as stimulation of the active cation transport, especially of the Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase.

  19. An examination of amphibian sensitivity to environmental contaminants: are amphibians poor canaries?

    PubMed

    Kerby, Jacob L; Richards-Hrdlicka, Kathryn L; Storfer, Andrew; Skelly, David K

    2010-01-01

    Nearly two decades ago, the global biodiversity crisis was catapulted to the front pages of newspapers with the recognition of worldwide amphibian declines. Amphibians earned their appellation, 'canaries in a coal mine', because of apparent high sensitivity to human-mediated environmental change. The most frequently cited causes for high susceptibility include permeable skin, a dual aquatic-terrestrial life cycle and a relatively rudimentary immune system. While some researchers have questioned the basis for the canary assertion, there has been no systematic evaluation of amphibian sensitivity to environmental challenges relative to other taxa. Here, we apply a database representing thousands of toxicity tests to compare the responses of amphibians relative to that of other taxonomic groups. The use of standardized methods combined with large numbers of identical challenges enables a particularly powerful test of relative effect size. Overall, we found that amphibians only exhibit moderate relative responses to water-borne toxins. Our findings imply that, as far as chemical contaminants are concerned, amphibians are not particularly sensitive and might more aptly be described as 'miners in a coal mine'. To the extent that amphibian declines have been mediated by chemical contaminants, our findings suggest that population losses and extinctions may have already occurred in a variety of taxa much more sensitive than amphibians.

  20. Establishing a baseline and faunal history in amphibian monitoring programs: The amphibians of Harris Neck, GA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dodd, C.K.; Barichivich, W.J.

    2007-01-01

    We conducted an intensive inventory of Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge in coastal Georgia to determine the feasibility of establishing an amphibian monitoring program at this location. Thirteen semi-aquatic amphibian species were identified at 21 locations. Amphibian species richness at Harris Neck was similar to that of nearby barrier islands. The amphibian fauna of Harris Neck has long been affected by human-induced landscape changes, including the inadvertent introduction of tadpoles from distant fish hatcheries and the creation of artificial impoundments. Land-use history provides important information necessary to understand current amphibian distribution, especially when census data are used to establish a baseline from which to monitor future status and trends.

  1. Countryside biogeography of Neotropical reptiles and amphibians.

    PubMed

    Mendenhall, Chase D; Frishkoff, Luke O; Santos-Barrera, Georgina; Pacheco, Jesús; Mesfun, Eyobed; Mendoza Quijano, Fernando; Ehrlich, Paul R; Ceballos, Gerardo; Daily, Gretchen C; Pringle, Robert M

    2014-04-01

    The future of biodiversity and ecosystem services depends largely on the capacity of human-dominated ecosystems to support them, yet this capacity remains largely unknown. Using the framework of countryside biogeography, and working in the Las Cruces system of Coto Brus, Costa Rica, we assessed reptile and amphibian assemblages within four habitats that typify much of the Neotropics: sun coffee plantations (12 sites), pasture (12 sites), remnant forest elements (12 sites), and a larger, contiguous protected forest (3 sites in one forest). Through analysis of 1678 captures of 67 species, we draw four primary conclusions. First, we found that the majority of reptile (60%) and amphibian (70%) species in this study used an array of habitat types, including coffee plantations and actively grazed pastures. Second, we found that coffee plantations and pastures hosted rich, albeit different and less dense, reptile and amphibian biodiversity relative to the 326-ha Las Cruces Forest Reserve and neighboring forest elements. Third, we found that the small ribbons of "countryside forest elements" weaving through farmland collectively increased the effective size of a 326-ha local forest reserve 16-fold for reptiles and 14-fold for amphibians within our 236-km2 study area. Therefore, countryside forest elements, often too small for most remote sensing techniques to identify, are contributing -95% of the available habitat for forest-dependent reptiles and amphibians in our largely human-dominated study region. Fourth, we found large and pond-reproducing amphibians to prefer human-made habitats, whereas small, stream-reproducing, and directly developing species are more dependent on forest elements. Our investigation demonstrates that tropical farming landscapes can support substantial reptile and amphibian biodiversity. Our approach provides a framework for estimating the conservation value of the complex working landscapes that constitute roughly half of the global land surface

  2. Phylogenetic distribution of symbiotic bacteria from Panamanian amphibians that inhibit growth of the lethal fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    PubMed

    Becker, Matthew H; Walke, Jenifer B; Murrill, Lindsey; Woodhams, Douglas C; Reinert, Laura K; Rollins-Smith, Louise A; Burzynski, Elizabeth A; Umile, Thomas P; Minbiole, Kevin P C; Belden, Lisa K

    2015-04-01

    The introduction of next-generation sequencing has allowed for greater understanding of community composition of symbiotic microbial communities. However, determining the function of individual members of these microbial communities still largely relies on culture-based methods. Here, we present results on the phylogenetic distribution of a defensive functional trait of cultured symbiotic bacteria associated with amphibians. Amphibians are host to a diverse community of cutaneous bacteria and some of these bacteria protect their host from the lethal fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) by secreting antifungal metabolites. We cultured over 450 bacterial isolates from the skins of Panamanian amphibian species and tested their interactions with Bd using an in vitro challenge assay. For a subset of isolates, we also completed coculture experiments and found that culturing isolates with Bd had no effect on inhibitory properties of the bacteria, but it significantly decreased metabolite secretion. In challenge assays, approximately 75% of the bacterial isolates inhibited Bd to some extent and these inhibitory isolates were widely distributed among all bacterial phyla. Although there was no clear phylogenetic signal of inhibition, three genera, Stenotrophomonas, Aeromonas and Pseudomonas, had a high proportion of inhibitory isolates (100%, 77% and 73%, respectively). Overall, our results demonstrate that antifungal properties are phylogenetically widespread in symbiotic microbial communities of Panamanian amphibians and that some functional redundancy for fungal inhibition occurs in these communities. We hope that these findings contribute to the discovery and development of probiotics for amphibians that can mitigate the threat of chytridiomycosis.

  3. Protein tyrosine phosphatase encoded in Cotesia plutellae bracovirus suppresses a larva-to-pupa metamorphosis of the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jiwan; Hepat, Rahul; Lee, Daeweon; Kim, Yonggyun

    2013-09-01

    Parasitization by an endoparasitoid wasp, Cotesia plutellae, inhibits a larva-to-pupa metamorphosis of the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella. This study tested an inhibitory effect of C. plutellae bracovirus (CpBV) on the metamorphosis of P. xylostella. Parasitized P. xylostella exhibited significantly reduced prothoracic gland (PTG) development at the last instar compared to nonparasitized larvae. Expression of the ecdysone receptor (EcR) was markedly suppressed during the last instar larvae parasitized by C. plutellae. By contrast, expression of the insulin receptor (InR) significantly increased in the parasitized larvae. Microinjection of CpBV significantly inhibited the larva-to-pupa metamorphosis of nonparasitized larvae in a dose-dependent manner. Injection of CpBV also inhibited the expression of the EcR and increased the expression of the InR. Individual CpBV segments were transiently expressed in its encoded genes in nonparasitized larvae and screened to determine antimetamorphic viral gene(s). Out of 21 CpBV segments, two viral segments (CpBV-S22 and CpBV-S27) were proved to inhibit larva-to-pupa metamorphosis by transient expression assay. RNA interference of each gene encoded in the viral segments was applied to determine antimetamorphic gene(s). Protein tyrosine phosphatase, early expressed gene, and four hypothetical genes were selected to be associated with the antimetamorphic activity of CpBV. These results suggest that antimetamorphosis of P. xylostella parasitized by C. plutellae is induced by inhibiting PTG development and subsequent ecdysteroid signaling with viral factors of CpBV.

  4. Widespread occurrence of the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in the southeastern USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rothermel, B.B.; Walls, S.C.; Mitchell, J.C.; Dodd, C.K.; Irwin, L.K.; Green, D.E.; Vazquez, Victoria M.; Petranka, James W.; Stevenson, Dirk J.

    2008-01-01

    From 1999 to 2006, we sampled >1200 amphibians for the fungal pathogen Batrachochytnum dendrobatidis (Bd) at 30 sites in the southeastern USA. Using histological techniques or PCR assays, we detected chytrid infection in 10 species of aquatic-breeding amphibians in 6 states. The prevalence of chytrid infection was 17.8% for samples of postmetamorphic amphibians examined using skin swab-PCR assays (n = 202 samples from 12 species at 4 sites). In this subset of samples, anurans had a much higher prevalence of infection than caudates (39.2% vs. 5.5%, respectively). Mean prevalence in ranid frogs was 40.7 %. The only infected salamanders were Notophthalmus viridescens at 3 sites. We found infected amphibians from late winter through late spring and in 1 autumn sample. Although we encountered moribund or dead amphibians at 9 sites, most mortality events were not attributed to Bd. Chytridiomycosis was established as the probable cause of illness or death in fewer than 10 individuals. Our observations suggest a pattern of widespread and subclinical infections. However, because most of the sites in our study were visited only once, we cannot dismiss the possibility that chytridiomycosis is adversely affecting some populations. Furthermore, although there is no evidence of chytrid-associated declines in our region, the presence of this pathogen is cause for concern given global climate change and other stressors. Although presence-absence surveys may still be needed for some taxa, such as bufonids, we recommend that future researchers focus on potential population-level effects at sites where Bd is now known to occur. ?? Inter-Research 2008.

  5. Widespread occurrence of the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in the southeastern USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rothermel, Betsie B.; Walls, Susan C.; Mitchell, Joseph C.; Dodd, C. Kenneth; Irwin, Lisa K.; Green, David E.; Vazquez, Victoria M.; Petranka, James W.; Stevenson, Dirk J.

    2008-01-01

     From 1999 to 2006, we sampled >1200 amphibians for the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis(Bd) at 30 sites in the southeastern USA. Using histological techniques or PCR assays, we detected chytrid infection in 10 species of aquatic-breeding amphibians in 6 states. The prevalence of chytrid infection was 17.8% for samples of postmetamorphic amphibians examined using skin swab-PCR assays (n = 202 samples from 12 species at 4 sites). In this subset of samples, anurans had a much higher prevalence of infection than caudates (39.2% vs. 5.5%, respectively). Mean prevalence in ranid frogs was 40.7%. The only infected salamanders were Notophthalmus viridescens at 3 sites. We found infected amphibians from late winter through late spring and in 1 autumn sample. Although we encountered moribund or dead amphibians at 9 sites, most mortality events were not attributed to Bd. Chytridiomycosis was established as the probable cause of illness or death in fewer than 10 individuals. Our observations suggest a pattern of widespread and subclinical infections. However, because most of the sites in our study were visited only once, we cannot dismiss the possibility that chytridiomycosis is adversely affecting some populations. Furthermore, although there is no evidence of chytrid-associated declines in our region, the presence of this pathogen is cause for concern given global climate change and other stressors. Although presence-absence surveys may still be needed for some taxa, such as bufonids, we recommend that future researchers focus on potential population-level effects at sites where Bd is now known to occur.

  6. Estimating terrestrial amphibian pesticide body burden through dermal exposure

    EPA Science Inventory

    Dermal exposure presents a potentially significant but understudied route for pesticide uptake in terrestrial amphibians. Our study measured dermal uptake of pesticides of varying hydrophobicity (logKow) in frogs. Amphibians were indirectly exposed to one of five pesticide active...

  7. Aquatic eutrophication promotes pathogenic infection in amphibians.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Pieter T J; Chase, Jonathan M; Dosch, Katherine L; Hartson, Richard B; Gross, Jackson A; Larson, Don J; Sutherland, Daniel R; Carpenter, Stephen R

    2007-10-02

    The widespread emergence of human and wildlife diseases has challenged ecologists to understand how large-scale agents of environmental change affect host-pathogen interactions. Accelerated eutrophication of aquatic ecosystems owing to nitrogen and phosphorus enrichment is a pervasive form of environmental change that has been implicated in the emergence of diseases through direct and indirect pathways. We provide experimental evidence linking eutrophication and disease in a multihost parasite system. The trematode parasite Ribeiroia ondatrae sequentially infects birds, snails, and amphibian larvae, frequently causing severe limb deformities and mortality. Eutrophication has been implicated in the emergence of this parasite, but definitive evidence, as well as a mechanistic understanding, have been lacking until now. We show that the effects of eutrophication cascade through the parasite life cycle to promote algal production, the density of snail hosts, and, ultimately, the intensity of infection in amphibians. Infection also negatively affected the survival of developing amphibians. Mechanistically, eutrophication promoted amphibian disease through two distinctive pathways: by increasing the density of infected snail hosts and by enhancing per-snail production of infectious parasites. Given forecasted increases in global eutrophication, amphibian extinctions, and similarities between Ribeiroia and important human and wildlife pathogens, our results have broad epidemiological and ecological significance.

  8. Sex-linked genes and linkage maps in amphibians.

    PubMed

    Sumida, M; Nishioka1, M

    2000-06-01

    This paper reviews sex-linked genes and linkage maps in amphibians. It appears that there is no common ancestral or conserved sex-linkage group in amphibians, whereas an important proportion of other linkage groups has been conserved in amphibians. Comparisons of amphibian linkage maps with those of fishes and mammals reveal several syntenic associations apparently conserved over a very long period of vertebrate divergence.

  9. Energetic loads and informational entropy during insect metamorphosis: measuring structural variability and self-organization.

    PubMed

    Damos, Petros T; Papadopoulos, Nikos T; Rigas, Alexandros; Savopoulou-Soultani, Matilda

    2011-10-07

    In this work an information theory approach is presented for measuring structural variability during insect metamorphosis. Following a self-organizational perspective, the underlying assumption is that an insect pupa is a cybernetic bio-system, which displays a homeostatic control during its metamorphosis. The description of structural variability was based on biochemical data (lipids, glycogen, carbohydrates and proteins) analysed at different time intervals during the metamorphosis of Anarsia lineatella Zeller (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae). Probabilities of biochemical variables were further treated by considering a finite countable set of progressive metamorphosis states having Markov properties at isothermal conditions (25 °C, 16:8h L:D, 65 ± 5%RH). The probabilities of the biochemical variables, as well as the related informational entropies, are affected when the system moves one step forward for each successive state. In most cases, but protein, there is some observable evidence that histolysis could be related to a decrease in informational entropy H ('disorganization of the system'), followed by a 'stable balance period' during the middle stages of metamorphosis. An initial increase in H is measured at the last stages of metamorphosis, which theoretically correspond to histogenesis ('reorganization of the system'). In this context, the temporal evolution of pupal structural variability was probabilistically quantified according to the classical information theory. The principles of the proposed holistic system are independent of its detailed dynamics and the proposed model can potentially describe part of the observable experimental data during metamorphosis of a holometabolous insect.

  10. Changes in the role of the thyroid axis during metamorphosis of the Japanese eel, Anguilla japonica.

    PubMed

    Sudo, Ryusuke; Okamura, Akihiro; Kuroki, Mari; Tsukamoto, Katsumi

    2014-08-01

    To clarify the role of thyroid function during metamorphosis from leptocephalus to glass eel in the Japanese eel, we examined the histology of the thyroid gland and measured whole-body concentrations of thyroid hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), and thyroid stimulating hormone β-subunit TSH (TSHβ) mRNA expression levels in five stages of artificially hatched eels (leptocephalus, early-metamorphosis, late-metamorphosis, glass eel, and elver). During metamorphosis, the inner colloid of thyroid follicles showed positive immunoreactivity for T4, and both T4 and T3 levels were significantly increased, whereas a small peak of TSHβ mRNA level was observed at the early-metamorphosis stage. Similarly, TSHβ mRNA levels were highest in the glass eel stage, and then decreased markedly in the elver stage. In contrast to TSHβ mRNA expression, thyroid hormones (both T4 and T3) increased further from the glass eel to elver stages. These results indicated that thyroid function in the Japanese eel was active both during and after metamorphosis. Therefore, the thyrotropic axis may play important roles not only in metamorphosis but also in subsequent inshore or upstream migrations.

  11. Effects of Delayed Metamorphosis on Larval Survival, Metamorphosis, and Juvenile Performance of Four Closely Related Species of Tropical Sea Urchins (Genus Echinometra)

    PubMed Central

    Rahman, M. Aminur; Yusoff, Fatimah Md.; Arshad, A.; Uehara, Tsuyoshi

    2014-01-01

    We report here, the effects of extended competency on larval survival, metamorphosis, and postlarval juvenile growth of four closely related species of tropical sea urchins, Echinometra sp. A (Ea), E. mathaei (Em), Echinometra sp. C (Ec), and E. oblonga (Eo). Planktotrophic larvae of all four species fed on cultured phytoplankton (Chaetoceros gracilis) attained metamorphic competence within 22–24 days after fertilization. Competent larvae were forced to delay metamorphosis for up to 5 months by preventing them from settling in culture bottles with continuous stirring on a set of 10 rpm rotating rollers and larval survival per monthly intervals was recorded. Larval survival was highest at 24 days, when competence was attained (0 delayed period), and there were no significant differences among the four species. Larvae that had experienced a prolonged delay had reduced survival rate, metamorphosis success, and juvenile survival, but among older larvae, Em had the highest success followed by Ea, Eo, and Ec. Juveniles from larvae of all four species that metamorphosed soon after becoming competent tended to have higher growth rates (test diameter and length of spines) than juveniles from larvae that metamorphosed after a prolonged period of competence with progressively slower growth the longer the prolonged period. Despite the adverse effects of delaying metamorphosis on growth parameters, competent larvae of all four species were able to survive up to 5 months and after metamorphosis grew into 1-month-old juveniles in lab condition. Overall, delayed larvae of Em showed significantly higher larval survival, metamorphosis, and juvenile survival than Ea and Eo, while Ec showed the lowest values in these performances. Em has the most widespread distribution of these species ranging from Africa to Hawaii, while Ec probably has the most restricted distribution. Consequently, differences in distribution may be related to differences in the ability to delay metamorphosis

  12. Effects of delayed metamorphosis on larval survival, metamorphosis, and juvenile performance of four closely related species of tropical sea urchins (genus Echinometra).

    PubMed

    Rahman, M Aminur; Yusoff, Fatimah Md; Arshad, A; Uehara, Tsuyoshi

    2014-01-01

    We report here, the effects of extended competency on larval survival, metamorphosis, and postlarval juvenile growth of four closely related species of tropical sea urchins, Echinometra sp. A (Ea), E. mathaei (Em), Echinometra sp. C (Ec), and E. oblonga (Eo). Planktotrophic larvae of all four species fed on cultured phytoplankton (Chaetoceros gracilis) attained metamorphic competence within 22-24 days after fertilization. Competent larvae were forced to delay metamorphosis for up to 5 months by preventing them from settling in culture bottles with continuous stirring on a set of 10 rpm rotating rollers and larval survival per monthly intervals was recorded. Larval survival was highest at 24 days, when competence was attained (0 delayed period), and there were no significant differences among the four species. Larvae that had experienced a prolonged delay had reduced survival rate, metamorphosis success, and juvenile survival, but among older larvae, Em had the highest success followed by Ea, Eo, and Ec. Juveniles from larvae of all four species that metamorphosed soon after becoming competent tended to have higher growth rates (test diameter and length of spines) than juveniles from larvae that metamorphosed after a prolonged period of competence with progressively slower growth the longer the prolonged period. Despite the adverse effects of delaying metamorphosis on growth parameters, competent larvae of all four species were able to survive up to 5 months and after metamorphosis grew into 1-month-old juveniles in lab condition. Overall, delayed larvae of Em showed significantly higher larval survival, metamorphosis, and juvenile survival than Ea and Eo, while Ec showed the lowest values in these performances. Em has the most widespread distribution of these species ranging from Africa to Hawaii, while Ec probably has the most restricted distribution. Consequently, differences in distribution may be related to differences in the ability to delay metamorphosis.

  13. Emesis and Space Motion Sickness in Amphibians

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naitoh, T.; Yamashita, M.; Izumi-Kurotani, A.; Takabatake, I.; Wassersug, R. J.

    Amphibians possess the ability to vomit in response to a variety of stimuli that provoke emesis in mammals. Pharmacological studies have establish that the ejection of gastric contents and the basic mechanism for vomiting have been phylogenetically conserved among these tetrapods. As part of on-going comparative studies on emesis in vertebrates, we previously documented that some postmetamorphic anurans and salamander larvae experience motion-induced emesis when exposed to the provocative stimulus of parabolic aircraft flight. However, more recent experiments suggest that there are strict conditions for inducing emesis in amphibians exposed to parabolic flight and that amphibians are not as sensitive to this stimulus as mammals. Further studies on emesis in lower vertebrates may help us understand the processes that cause emesis in abnormal gravitational regimes

  14. Design of an Amphibian Exploring Robot

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maity, Atanu; Majumder, Somajyoti

    2014-07-01

    To design and develop an amphibian exploring robot capable of operation in constrained mine environment puts a tremendous challenge to the system developers from both scientific and engineering perspective. Very few attempts have been made to fulfil these criteria of versatility in design, communication and control. The CSIR-CMERI developed amphibian subterranean robotic explorer (SR) is capable of moving over fairly rough terrain. It can swim as well as crawl over basin floor effortlessly. It is capable of operating at a maximum depth of 10m and can swim at 1 knot. A number of field trials have been carried out for performance testing of the system to ascertain its capability in underground flooded mine tunnels. This paper presents the insight on the design of an amphibian exploring robot for mine safety and disaster mitigation with special features of low power consumption vis-a-vis high mission time.

  15. Emesis and space motion sickness in amphibians.

    PubMed

    Naitoh, T; Yamashita, M; Izumi-Kurotani, A; Takabatake, I; Wassersug, R J

    2000-01-01

    Amphibians possess the ability to vomit in response to a variety of stimuli that provoke emesis in mammals. Pharmacological studies have establish that the ejection of gastric contents and the basic mechanism for vomiting have been phylogenetically conserved among these tetrapods. As part of on-going comparative studies on emesis in vertebrates, we previously documented that some postmetamorphic anurans and salamander larvae experience motion-induced emesis when exposed to the provocative stimulus of parabolic aircraft flight. However, more recent experiments suggest that there are strict conditions for inducing emesis in amphibians exposed to parabolic flight and that amphibians are not as sensitive to this stimulus as mammals. Further studies on emesis in lower vertebrates may help us understand the processes that cause emesis in abnormal gravitational regimes.

  16. Biological Scaling Problems and Solutions in Amphibians.

    PubMed

    Levy, Daniel L; Heald, Rebecca

    2015-08-10

    Size is a primary feature of biological systems that varies at many levels, from the organism to its constituent cells and subcellular structures. Amphibians populate some of the extremes in biological size and have provided insight into scaling mechanisms, upper and lower size limits, and their physiological significance. Body size variation is a widespread evolutionary tactic among amphibians, with miniaturization frequently correlating with direct development that occurs without a tadpole stage. The large genomes of salamanders lead to large cell sizes that necessitate developmental modification and morphological simplification. Amphibian extremes at the cellular level have provided insight into mechanisms that accommodate cell-size differences. Finally, how organelles scale to cell size between species and during development has been investigated at the molecular level, because subcellular scaling can be recapitulated using Xenopus in vitro systems.

  17. Microbiota and mucosal immunity in amphibians.

    PubMed

    Colombo, Bruno M; Scalvenzi, Thibault; Benlamara, Sarah; Pollet, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    We know that animals live in a world dominated by bacteria. In the last 20 years, we have learned that microbes are essential regulators of mucosal immunity. Bacteria, archeas, and viruses influence different aspects of mucosal development and function. Yet, the literature mainly covers findings obtained in mammals. In this review, we focus on two major themes that emerge from the comparative analysis of mammals and amphibians. These themes concern: (i) the structure and functions of lymphoid organs and immune cells in amphibians, with a focus on the gut mucosal immune system; and (ii) the characteristics of the amphibian microbiota and its influence on mucosal immunity. Lastly, we propose to use Xenopus tadpoles as an alternative small-animal model to improve the fundamental knowledge on immunological functions of gut microbiota.

  18. Amphibian monitoring in the Atchafalaya Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Waddle, Hardin

    2011-01-01

    Amphibians are a diverse group of animals that includes frogs, toads, and salamanders. They are adapted to living in a variety of habitats, but most require water for at least one life stage. Amphibians have recently become a worldwide conservation concern because of declines and extinctions even in remote protected areas previously thought to be safe from the pressures of habitat loss and degradation. Amphibians are an important part of ecosystem dynamics because they can be quite abundant and serve both as a predator of smaller organisms and as prey to a suite of vertebrate predators. Their permeable skin and aquatic life history also make them useful as indicators of ecosystem health. Since 2002, the U.S. Geological Survey has been studying the frog and toad species inhabiting the Atchafalaya Basin to monitor for population declines and to better understand how the species are potentially affected by disease, environmental contaminants, and climate change.

  19. Estivation in South American amphibians and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Abe, A S

    1995-01-01

    A number of amphibians and reptiles have cyclic behavior, becoming inactive with the coming of the dry season. In South America this pattern of activity is common, particularly in savannah-like vegetation. During the dry season amphibians burrow into the mud or soil, and either form a cocoon or increase the osmotic concentration of body fluids to reduce evaporative water loss. Some phyllomedusid tree frogs coat their body surface with skin secretion and excrete uric acid to minimize water loss. Reptiles also retreat into shelter deep enough to avoid temperature fluctuation during estivation or reduce metabolic response to temperature. Reduction of temperature sensitivity of the metabolism seems to be a strategy common to estivating amphibians and reptiles. Despite seasonal change of the environment, some species of reptiles are active all year round.

  20. Microbiota and Mucosal Immunity in Amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Colombo, Bruno M.; Scalvenzi, Thibault; Benlamara, Sarah; Pollet, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    We know that animals live in a world dominated by bacteria. In the last 20 years, we have learned that microbes are essential regulators of mucosal immunity. Bacteria, archeas, and viruses influence different aspects of mucosal development and function. Yet, the literature mainly covers findings obtained in mammals. In this review, we focus on two major themes that emerge from the comparative analysis of mammals and amphibians. These themes concern: (i) the structure and functions of lymphoid organs and immune cells in amphibians, with a focus on the gut mucosal immune system; and (ii) the characteristics of the amphibian microbiota and its influence on mucosal immunity. Lastly, we propose to use Xenopus tadpoles as an alternative small-animal model to improve the fundamental knowledge on immunological functions of gut microbiota. PMID:25821449

  1. A new approach of urodele amphibian limb regeneration: study of myosin isoforms and their control by thyroid hormone.

    PubMed

    Saadi, A; Gallien, C L; Guyot-Lenfant, M; Chanoine, C

    1993-09-01

    In P. waltlii, an urodele amphibian species which undergoes spontaneous metamorphosis, study of native myosin in pyrophosphate gels at various stages of normal development demonstrates a complete larval to fast myosin isoforms transition, which occurs more precociously in forelimb muscles than in the dorsal and ventral muscles. In the neotenic species A. mexicanum, forelimb muscles development also presents a complete myosin isoforms transition which is in contrast with the partial myosin isoforms transition observed in the dorsal muscle. In metamorphosed or neotenic animals of both species aged 1 year, forelimb regeneration is characterized by a complete transition from larval to fast myosin isoforms, that occurs earlier and more rapidly than in normal forelimb development. When forelimb regeneration is studied in P. waltlii aged 4 years, the adult fast and slow isomyosins are expressed very early in the regeneration process. In experimental hypothyroidian P. waltlii, the larval to fast isoforms transition in regenerating forelimb muscles is slightly delayed. Experimental hyperthyroidism accelerates the disappearance of larval isomyosins in regenerating forelimb muscles, both in P. waltlii and A. mexicanum aged 1 year. This work demonstrates that changes in myosin isoform pattern during forelimb regeneration in adult urodele amphibians are different from changes occurring in the normal forelimb development. They take place without any thyroid hormone influence, as opposed to normal development, and appear to be age-dependent.

  2. Reframing menstruation in India: metamorphosis of the menstrual taboo with the changing media coverage.

    PubMed

    Yagnik, Arpan Shailesh

    2014-01-01

    In this study I hypothesize metamorphosis of the menstrual taboo by examining the image and perception shifts of two social taboos-HIV/AIDS and homosexuality-from estranged taboos to embraced social issues. Trends identified in their media framing and respective image shifts were applied to menstruation in India. Based on my understanding of theory, topic, and geographical location, I construct a metamorphosis. I contribute the hypothesized final stage of metamorphosis, and explain how framing is likely instrumental in bringing about these changes.

  3. Amphibians as model to study endocrine disrupters.

    PubMed

    Kloas, Werner; Lutz, Ilka

    2006-10-13

    Environmental compounds can interfere with endocrine systems of wildlife and humans. These so-called endocrine disrupters (ED) are known to affect reproductive biology and thyroid system. The classical model species for these endocrine systems are amphibians and therefore they can serve as sentinels for detection of the modes of action (MOAs) of ED. Recently, amphibians are being reviewed as suitable models to assess (anti)estrogenic and (anti)androgenic MOAs influencing reproductive biology as well as (anti)thyroidal MOAs interfering with the thyroid system. The development of targeted bioassays in combination with adequate chemical analyses is the prerequisite for a concise risk assessment of ED.

  4. Common procedures in reptiles and amphibians.

    PubMed

    de la Navarre, Byron J S

    2006-05-01

    Reptiles and amphibians continue to be popular as pets in the United States and throughout the world. It therefore behooves veterinarians interested in caring for these exotic species to continually gather knowledge concerning both their proper husbandry and the conditions that require medical and/or surgical intervention. This article covers husbandry, physical examination, and clinical and diagnostic techniques in an effort to present guidelines for the evaluation of the reptile or amphibian patient. Gathering clinical data will aid veterinarians in arriving at the proper diagnosis,increasing the chances of success with treatment protocols, and educating the clients in proper nutrition and husbandry for their pets.

  5. In situ effects of pesticides on amphibians in the Sierra Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sparling, Donald W.; Bickham, John W.; Cowman, Deborah; Fellers, Gary M.; Lacher, Thomas E.; Matson, Cole W.; McConnell, Laura

    2015-01-01

    For more than 20 years, conservationists have agreed that amphibian populations around the world are declining. Results obtained through laboratory or mesocosm studies and measurement of contaminant concentrations in areas experiencing declines have supported a role of contaminants in these declines. The current study examines the effects of contaminant exposure to amphibians in situ in areas actually experiencing declines. Early larval Pseudacris regilla were translocated among Lassen Volcanic, Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks, California, USA and caged in wetlands in 2001 and 2002 until metamorphosis. Twenty contaminants were identified in tadpoles with an average of 1.3–5.9 (maximum = 10) contaminants per animal. Sequoia National Park, which had the greatest variety and concentrations of contaminants in 2001, also had tadpoles that experienced the greatest mortality, slowest developmental rates and lowest cholinesterase activities. Yosemite and Sequoia tadpoles and metamorphs had greater genotoxicity than those in Lassen during 2001, as determined by flow cytometry. In 2001 tadpoles at Yosemite had a significantly higher rate of malformations, characterized as hemimelia (shortened femurs), than those at the other two parks but no significant differences were observed in 2002. Fewer differences in contaminant types and concentrations existed among parks during 2002 compared to 2001. In 2002 Sequoia tadpoles had higher mortality and slower developmental rates but there was no difference among parks in cholinesterase activities. Although concentrations of most contaminants were below known lethal concentrations, simultaneous exposure to multiple chemicals and other stressors may have resulted in lethal and sublethal effects.

  6. The formation of synapses in amphibian striated muscle during development.

    PubMed

    Bennett, M R; Pettigrew, A G

    1975-10-01

    1. A study has been made of the formation of synapses in developing reinnervated and cross-reinnervated amphibian twitch muscles which receive either a focal (iliofibularis) or a distributed (sartorius) innervation from 'en plaque' nerve terminals using histological, ultrastructural and electrophysiological techniques. 2. During the development of the tadpole through metamorphosis to the adult frog, the sartorius myofibres increased in length at about twice the rate of the iliofibularis myofibres, due to a fast rate of growth at their insertions on to the pelvic tendon. 3. The short iliofibularis and sartorius myofibres of young tadpoles (800 mum long) possessed only a single synapse and the iliofibularis myofibres did not receive any further innervation during development. However the sartorius myofibres received further transient innervation on the new muscle laid down during development at the fast growing pelvic insertion, until the distance between the original synapse formed on the myofibres and the synapse at the pelvic end of the muscle was about 12 mm. 4. During development synapses possessed either skewed, multimodal, or unimodal m.e.p.p. amplitude-frequency distributions; the intervals between m.e.p.p.s. were not distributed randomly according to a Poisson process, as m.e.p.p.s. of similar amplitudes tended to be separated by very short intervals; the unit-size e.p.p. had a similar amplitude-frequency distribution as the m.e.p.p.s. if these had a unimodal distribution. 5. Reinnervation or cross-reinnervation of the sartorius and the iliofibularis muscles in adults or at a late stage of development simply reconstituted the normal focal and distributed innervation patterns of the muscles, as found in the control muscles of the contralateral and unoperated legs. 6. These observations on synapse formation in amphibia are consistent with the hypothesis that during development the axon making the initial synaptic contact on the muscle cells induces a property

  7. The state of amphibians in the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muths, E.; Adams, M.J.; Grant, E.H.C.; Miller, D.; Corn, P.S.; Ball, L.C.

    2012-01-01

    More than 25 years ago, scientists began to identify unexplained declines in amphibian populations around the world. Much has been learned since then, but amphibian declines have not abated and the interactions among the various threats to amphibians are not clear. Amphibian decline is a problem of local, national, and international scope that can affect ecosystem function, biodiversity, and commerce. This fact sheet provides a snapshot of the state of the amphibians and introduces examples to illustrate the range of issues in the United States.

  8. Coupling constant metamorphosis, the Staeckel transform and superintegrability

    SciTech Connect

    Post, Sarah

    2010-12-23

    This paper is dedicated to the memory of Marcos Moshinsky. In this paper, we discuss the important role that coupling constant metamorphosis (CCM) and the Staeckel transform have played in the analysis of superintegrable systems. We explain the relation between the two and in particular show that they coincide when transforming between second-order superintegrable systems. Unlike in the case of second-order superintegrability, the quantum analog of CCM has only been proven for a subclass of systems with integrals of a specific form. We give the proof and as an application show the mapping of a family of superintegrable deformations of the simple harmonic oscillator to an associated family of superintegrable deformations of the Kepler-Coulomb potential.

  9. Helping Your Local Amphibians (HYLA): An Internet-based Amphibian Course for Educators.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murphy, Tony P.

    2001-01-01

    Introduces an online zoology course that was offered primarily to upper elementary and middle school teachers in which teachers were expected to take action to help the local amphibian population. (Author/YDS)

  10. Prevalence of the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in stream and wetland amphibians in Maryland, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Campbell Grant, Evan H.; Bailey, Larissa L.; Ware, Joy L.; Duncan, Karen L.

    2008-01-01

    The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, responsible for the potentially fatal amphibian disease chytridiomycosis, is known to occur in a large and ever increasing number of amphibian populations around the world. However, sampling has been biased towards stream- and wetland-breeding anurans, with little attention paid to stream-associated salamanders. We sampled three frog and three salamander species in the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park, Maryland, by swabbing animals for PCR analysis to detect DNA of B. dendrobatidis. Using PCR, we detected B. dendrobatidis DNA in both stream and wetland amphibians, and report here the first occurrence of the pathogen in two species of stream-associated salamanders. Future research should focus on mechanisms within habitats that may affect persistence and dissemination of B. dendrobatidis among stream-associated salamanders

  11. The role of amphibian antimicrobial peptides in protection of amphibians from pathogens linked to global amphibian declines.

    PubMed

    Rollins-Smith, Louise A

    2009-08-01

    Amphibian species have experienced population declines and extinctions worldwide that are unprecedented in recent history. Many of these recent declines have been linked to a pathogenic skin fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, or to iridoviruses of the genus Ranavirus. One of the first lines of defense against pathogens that enter by way of the skin are antimicrobial peptides synthesized and stored in dermal granular glands and secreted into the mucus following alarm or injury. Here, I review what is known about the capacity of amphibian antimicrobial peptides from diverse amphibians to inhibit B. dendrobatidis or ranavirus infections. When multiple species were compared for the effectiveness of their in vitro antimicrobial peptides defenses against B. dendrobatidis, non-declining species of rainforest amphibians had more effective antimicrobial peptides than species in the same habitat that had recently experienced population declines. Further, there was a significant correlation between the effectiveness of the antimicrobial peptides and resistance of the species to experimental infection. These studies support the hypothesis that antimicrobial peptides are an important component of innate defenses against B. dendrobatidis. Some amphibian antimicrobial peptides inhibit ranavirus infections and infection of human T lymphocytes by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). An effective antimicrobial peptide defense against skin pathogens appears to depend on a diverse array of genes expressing antimicrobial peptides. The production of antimicrobial peptides may be regulated by signals from the pathogens. However, this defense must also accommodate potentially beneficial microbes on the skin that compete or inhibit growth of the pathogens. How this delicate balancing act is accomplished is an important area of future research.

  12. Presence of the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in native amphibians exported from Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Kolby, Jonathan E

    2014-01-01

    The emerging infectious disease chytridiomycosis is driven by the spread of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd), a highly virulent pathogen threatening global amphibian biodiversity. Although pandemic in distribution, previous intensive field surveys have failed to detect Bd in Madagascar, a biodiversity hotspot home to hundreds of endemic amphibian species. Due to the presence of Bd in nearby continental Africa and the ecological crisis that can be expected following establishment in Madagascar, enhanced surveillance is imperative. I sampled 565 amphibians commercially exported from Madagascar for the presence of Bd upon importation to the USA, both to assist early detection efforts and demonstrate the conservation potential of wildlife trade disease surveillance. Bd was detected in three animals via quantitative PCR: a single Heterixalus alboguttatus, Heterixalus betsileo, and Scaphiophryne spinosa. This is the first time Bd has been confirmed in amphibians from Madagascar and presents an urgent call to action. Our early identification of pathogen presence prior to widespread infection provides the necessary tools and encouragement to catalyze a swift, targeted response to isolate and eradicate Bd from Madagascar. If implemented before establishment occurs, an otherwise likely catastrophic decline in amphibian biodiversity may be prevented.

  13. Managing Amphibian Disease with Skin Microbiota.

    PubMed

    Woodhams, Douglas C; Bletz, Molly; Kueneman, Jordan; McKenzie, Valerie

    2016-03-01

    The contribution of emerging amphibian diseases to the sixth mass extinction is driving innovative wildlife management strategies, including the use of probiotics. Bioaugmentation of the skin mucosome, a dynamic environment including host and microbial components, may not provide a generalized solution. Multi-omics technologies and ecological context underlie effective implementation.

  14. Managing Amphibian Disease with Skin Microbiota.

    PubMed

    Woodhams, Douglas C; Bletz, Molly; Kueneman, Jordan; McKenzie, Valerie

    2016-01-16

    The contribution of emerging amphibian diseases to the sixth mass extinction is driving innovative wildlife management strategies, including the use of probiotics. Bioaugmentation of the skin mucosome, a dynamic environment including host and microbial components, may not provide a generalized solution. Multi-omics technologies and ecological context underlie effective implementation.

  15. Universal COI primers for DNA barcoding amphibians.

    PubMed

    Che, Jing; Chen, Hong-Man; Yang, Jun-Xiao; Jin, Jie-Qiong; Jiang, Ke; Yuan, Zhi-Yong; Murphy, Robert W; Zhang, Ya-Ping

    2012-03-01

    DNA barcoding is a proven tool for the rapid and unambiguous identification of species, which is essential for many activities including the vouchering tissue samples in the genome 10K initiative, genealogical reconstructions, forensics and biodiversity surveys, among many other applications. A large-scale effort is underway to barcode all amphibian species using the universally sequenced DNA region, a partial fragment of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I COI. This fragment is desirable because it appears to be superior to 16S for barcoding, at least for some groups of salamanders. The barcoding of amphibians is essential in part because many species are now endangered. Unfortunately, existing primers for COI often fail to achieve this goal. Herein, we report two new pairs of primers (➀, ➁) that in combination serve to universally amplify and sequence all three orders of Chinese amphibians as represented by 36 genera. This taxonomic diversity, which includes caecilians, salamanders and frogs, suggests that the new primer pairs will universally amplify COI for the vast majority species of amphibians.

  16. Culture of Cells from Amphibian Embryos.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stanisstreet, Martin

    1983-01-01

    Describes a method for in vitro culturing of cells from amphibian early embryos. Such cells can be used to demonstrate such properties of eukaryote cells as cell motility, adhesion, differentiation, and cell sorting into tissues. The technique may be extended to investigate other factors. (Author/JN)

  17. Lethal and sublethal effects of three insecticides on two developmental stages of Xenopus laevis and comparison with other amphibians.

    PubMed

    Yu, Shuangying; Wages, Mike R; Cai, Qingsong; Maul, Jonathan D; Cobb, George P

    2013-09-01

    It has been suggested that Xenopus laevis is less sensitive than other amphibians to some chemicals, and therefore, that the Frog Embryo Teratogenesis Assay-Xenopus (FETAX) may have limited use in risk assessments for other amphibians. However, comparisons are based mostly on results of FETAX, which emphasizes embryos. Larval X. laevis may be more sensitive to chemicals than embryos and may serve as a better life stage in risk assessments. The present study was conducted to determine the lethal and sublethal effects of 3 insecticides (malathion, endosulfan, and α-cypermethrin) on X. laevis embryos and larvae and to compare toxicity of X. laevis with that of other amphibians. All 3 insecticides have different modes of action, and they caused mortality, malformations, and growth inhibition in both developmental stages. Compared with embryos, larvae were more sensitive to endosulfan and α-cypermethrin but not to malathion. Xenopus laevis larvae had low sensitivity to endosulfan, median sensitivity to malathion, and high sensitivity to α-cypermethrin/cypermethrin relative to other larval amphibians. Our results suggest that X. laevis larvae may generate more protective toxicity estimates in risk assessments than embryos. Xenopus laevis may have limited use in evaluating risk of organochlorine insecticides to other amphibians but may provide useful toxicity thresholds for pyrethroid and perhaps organophosphorus insecticides.

  18. Nitric oxide acts as a positive regulator to induce metamorphosis of the ascidian Herdmania momus.

    PubMed

    Ueda, Nobuo; Degnan, Sandie M

    2013-01-01

    Marine invertebrates commonly have a biphasic life cycle in which the metamorphic transition from a pelagic larva to a benthic post-larva is mediated by the nitric oxide signalling pathway. Nitric oxide (NO) is synthesised by nitric oxide synthase (NOS), which is a client protein of the molecular chaperon heat shock protein 90 (HSP90). It is notable, then, that both NO and HSP90 have been implicated in regulating metamorphosis in marine invertebrates as diverse as urochordates, echinoderms, molluscs, annelids, and crustaceans. Specifically, the suppression of NOS activity by the application of either NOS- or HSP90-inhibiting pharmacological agents has been shown consistently to induce the initiation of metamorphosis, leading to the hypothesis that a negative regulatory role of NO is widely conserved in biphasic life cycles. Further, the induction of metamorphosis by heat-shock has been demonstrated for multiple species. Here, we investigate the regulatory role of NO in induction of metamorphosis of the solitary tropical ascidian, Herdmania momus. By coupling pharmacological treatments with analysis of HmNOS and HmHSP90 gene expression, we present compelling evidence of a positive regulatory role for NO in metamorphosis of this species, in contrast to all existing ascidian data that supports the hypothesis of NO as a conserved negative regulator of metamorphosis. The exposure of competent H. momus larvae to a NOS inhibitor or an NO donor results in an up-regulation of NOS and HSP90 genes. Heat shock of competent larvae induces metamorphosis in a temperature dependent manner, up to a thermal tolerance that approaches 35°C. Both larval/post-larval survival and the appearance of abnormal morphologies in H. momus post-larvae reflect the magnitude of up-regulation of the HSP90 gene in response to heat-shock. The demonstrated role of NO as a positive metamorphic regulator in H. momus suggests the existence of inter-specific adaptations of NO regulation in ascidian

  19. Stepwise metamorphosis of the tubeworm Hydroides elegans is mediated by a bacterial inducer and MAPK signaling.

    PubMed

    Shikuma, Nicholas J; Antoshechkin, Igor; Medeiros, João M; Pilhofer, Martin; Newman, Dianne K

    2016-09-06

    Diverse animal taxa metamorphose between larval and juvenile phases in response to bacteria. Although bacteria-induced metamorphosis is widespread among metazoans, little is known about the molecular changes that occur in the animal upon stimulation by bacteria. Larvae of the tubeworm Hydroides elegans metamorphose in response to surface-bound Pseudoalteromonas luteoviolacea bacteria, producing ordered arrays of phage tail-like metamorphosis-associated contractile structures (MACs). Sequencing the Hydroides genome and transcripts during five developmental stages revealed that MACs induce the regulation of groups of genes important for tissue remodeling, innate immunity, and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling. Using two MAC mutations that block P. luteoviolacea from inducing settlement or metamorphosis and three MAPK inhibitors, we established a sequence of bacteria-induced metamorphic events: MACs induce larval settlement; then, particular properties of MACs encoded by a specific locus in P. luteoviolacea initiate cilia loss and activate metamorphosis-associated transcription; finally, signaling through p38 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) MAPK pathways alters gene expression and leads to morphological changes upon initiation of metamorphosis. Our results reveal that the intricate interaction between Hydroides and P. luteoviolacea can be dissected using genomic, genetic, and pharmacological tools. Hydroides' dependency on bacteria for metamorphosis highlights the importance of external stimuli to orchestrate animal development. The conservation of Hydroides genome content with distantly related deuterostomes (urchins, sea squirts, and humans) suggests that mechanisms of bacteria-induced metamorphosis in Hydroides may have conserved features in diverse animals. As a major biofouling agent, insight into the triggers of Hydroides metamorphosis might lead to practical strategies for fouling control.

  20. Nitric Oxide Acts as a Positive Regulator to Induce Metamorphosis of the Ascidian Herdmania momus

    PubMed Central

    Ueda, Nobuo; Degnan, Sandie M.

    2013-01-01

    Marine invertebrates commonly have a biphasic life cycle in which the metamorphic transition from a pelagic larva to a benthic post-larva is mediated by the nitric oxide signalling pathway. Nitric oxide (NO) is synthesised by nitric oxide synthase (NOS), which is a client protein of the molecular chaperon heat shock protein 90 (HSP90). It is notable, then, that both NO and HSP90 have been implicated in regulating metamorphosis in marine invertebrates as diverse as urochordates, echinoderms, molluscs, annelids, and crustaceans. Specifically, the suppression of NOS activity by the application of either NOS- or HSP90-inhibiting pharmacological agents has been shown consistently to induce the initiation of metamorphosis, leading to the hypothesis that a negative regulatory role of NO is widely conserved in biphasic life cycles. Further, the induction of metamorphosis by heat-shock has been demonstrated for multiple species. Here, we investigate the regulatory role of NO in induction of metamorphosis of the solitary tropical ascidian, Herdmania momus. By coupling pharmacological treatments with analysis of HmNOS and HmHSP90 gene expression, we present compelling evidence of a positive regulatory role for NO in metamorphosis of this species, in contrast to all existing ascidian data that supports the hypothesis of NO as a conserved negative regulator of metamorphosis. The exposure of competent H. momus larvae to a NOS inhibitor or an NO donor results in an up-regulation of NOS and HSP90 genes. Heat shock of competent larvae induces metamorphosis in a temperature dependent manner, up to a thermal tolerance that approaches 35°C. Both larval/post-larval survival and the appearance of abnormal morphologies in H. momus post-larvae reflect the magnitude of up-regulation of the HSP90 gene in response to heat-shock. The demonstrated role of NO as a positive metamorphic regulator in H. momus suggests the existence of inter-specific adaptations of NO regulation in ascidian

  1. Stepwise metamorphosis of the tubeworm Hydroides elegans is mediated by a bacterial inducer and MAPK signaling

    PubMed Central

    Shikuma, Nicholas J.; Antoshechkin, Igor; Medeiros, João M.; Pilhofer, Martin; Newman, Dianne K.

    2016-01-01

    Diverse animal taxa metamorphose between larval and juvenile phases in response to bacteria. Although bacteria-induced metamorphosis is widespread among metazoans, little is known about the molecular changes that occur in the animal upon stimulation by bacteria. Larvae of the tubeworm Hydroides elegans metamorphose in response to surface-bound Pseudoalteromonas luteoviolacea bacteria, producing ordered arrays of phage tail-like metamorphosis-associated contractile structures (MACs). Sequencing the Hydroides genome and transcripts during five developmental stages revealed that MACs induce the regulation of groups of genes important for tissue remodeling, innate immunity, and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling. Using two MAC mutations that block P. luteoviolacea from inducing settlement or metamorphosis and three MAPK inhibitors, we established a sequence of bacteria-induced metamorphic events: MACs induce larval settlement; then, particular properties of MACs encoded by a specific locus in P. luteoviolacea initiate cilia loss and activate metamorphosis-associated transcription; finally, signaling through p38 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) MAPK pathways alters gene expression and leads to morphological changes upon initiation of metamorphosis. Our results reveal that the intricate interaction between Hydroides and P. luteoviolacea can be dissected using genomic, genetic, and pharmacological tools. Hydroides' dependency on bacteria for metamorphosis highlights the importance of external stimuli to orchestrate animal development. The conservation of Hydroides genome content with distantly related deuterostomes (urchins, sea squirts, and humans) suggests that mechanisms of bacteria-induced metamorphosis in Hydroides may have conserved features in diverse animals. As a major biofouling agent, insight into the triggers of Hydroides metamorphosis might lead to practical strategies for fouling control. PMID:27551098

  2. Differences in sensitivity to the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis among amphibian populations.

    PubMed

    Bradley, Paul W; Gervasi, Stephanie S; Hua, Jessica; Cothran, Rickey D; Relyea, Rick A; Olson, Deanna H; Blaustein, Andrew R

    2015-10-01

    Contributing to the worldwide biodiversity crisis are emerging infectious diseases, which can lead to extirpations and extinctions of hosts. For example, the infectious fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is associated with worldwide amphibian population declines and extinctions. Sensitivity to Bd varies with species, season, and life stage. However, there is little information on whether sensitivity to Bd differs among populations, which is essential for understanding Bd-infection dynamics and for formulating conservation strategies. We experimentally investigated intraspecific differences in host sensitivity to Bd across 10 populations of wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) raised from eggs to metamorphosis. We exposed the post-metamorphic wood frogs to Bd and monitored survival for 30 days under controlled laboratory conditions. Populations differed in overall survival and mortality rate. Infection load also differed among populations but was not correlated with population differences in risk of mortality. Such population-level variation in sensitivity to Bd may result in reservoir populations that may be a source for the transmission of Bd to other sensitive populations or species. Alternatively, remnant populations that are less sensitive to Bd could serve as sources for recolonization after epidemic events.

  3. Larval settlement and metamorphosis of the mussel Mytilus coruscus in response to monospecific bacterial biofilms.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jin-Long; Shen, Pei-Jing; Liang, Xiao; Li, Yi-Feng; Bao, Wei-Yang; Li, Jia-Le

    2013-01-01

    The effects of bacterial biofilms (BFs) on larval settlement and metamorphosis of the mussel, Mytilus coruscus, were investigated in the laboratory. Of nine different isolates, Shewanella sp.1 BF induced the highest percentage of larval settlement and metamorphosis, whereas seven other isolates had a moderate inducing activity and one isolate, Pseudoalteromonas sp. 4, had a no inducing activity. The inducing activity of individual bacterial isolates was not correlated either with their phylogenetic relationship or with the surfaces from which they were isolated. Among the eight bacterial species that demonstrated inducing activity, bacterial density was significantly correlated with the inducing activity for each strain, with the exception of Vibrio sp. 1. The Shewanella sp. 1 BF cue that was responsible for inducing larval settlement and metamorphosis was further investigated. Treatment of the BFs with formalin, antibiotics, ultraviolet irradiation, heat, and ethanol resulted in a significant decrease in their inducing activities and cell survival. BF-conditioned water (CW) did not induce larval metamorphosis, but it triggered larval settlement behavior. A synergistic effect of CW with formalin-fixed Shewanella sp. 1 BF significantly promoted larval metamorphosis. Thus, a cocktail of chemical cues derived from bacteria may be necessary to stimulate larval settlement and metamorphosis in this species.

  4. A model of transcriptional and morphological changes during thyroid hormone-induced metamorphosis of the axolotl.

    PubMed

    Page, Robert B; Monaghan, James R; Walker, John A; Voss, S Randal

    2009-06-01

    Anuran (frog) metamorphosis has long-served as a model of how thyroid hormones regulate post-embryonic development in vertebrates. However, comparatively little is known about urodele (salamander) metamorphosis. We conducted a detailed time-course study of induced metamorphosis in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) that probed metamorphic changes in morphology and gene expression in the skin. Using morphometrics, quantitative PCR, histology, and in situ hybridization we demonstrate that the development of transcriptional markers is fundamental to the resolution of early metamorphic events in axolotls. We then use linear and piecewise linear models to identify a sequence of morphological and transcriptional changes that define larval to adult remodeling events throughout metamorphosis. In addition, we show that transcriptional biomarkers are expressed in specific larval and adult cell populations of the skin and that temporal changes in these biomarkers correlate with tissue remodeling. We compare our results with other studies of natural and induced metamorphosis in urodeles and highlight what appear to be conserved features between urodele and anuran metamorphosis.

  5. A model of transcriptional and morphological changes during thyroid hormone-induced metamorphosis of the axolotl

    PubMed Central

    Page, Robert B.; Monaghan, James R.; Walker, John A.; Voss, S. Randal

    2009-01-01

    Anuran (frog) metamorphosis has long-served as a model of how thyroid hormones regulate post-embryonic development in vertebrates. However, comparatively little is known about urodele (salamander) metamorphosis. We conducted a detailed time-course study of induced metamorphosis in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) that probed metamorphic changes in morphology and gene expression in the skin. Using morphometrics, quantitative PCR, histology, and in situ hybridization we demonstrate that the development of transcriptional markers is fundamental to the resolution of early metamorphic events in axolotls. We then use linear and piecewise linear models to identify a sequence of morphological and transcriptional changes that define larval to adult remodeling events throughout metamorphosis. In addition, we show that transcriptional biomarkers are expressed in specific larval and adult cell populations of the skin and that temporal changes in these biomarkers correlate with tissue remodeling. We compare our results with other studies of natural and induced metamorphosis in urodeles and highlight what appear to be conserved features between urodele and anuran metamorphosis. PMID:19275901

  6. Comprehensive and Quantitative Proteomic Analysis of Metamorphosis-Related Proteins in the Veined Rapa Whelk, Rapana venosa

    PubMed Central

    Song, Hao; Wang, Hai-Yan; Zhang, Tao

    2016-01-01

    Larval metamorphosis of the veined rapa whelk (Rapana venosa) is a pelagic to benthic transition that involves considerable structural and physiological changes. Because metamorphosis plays a pivotal role in R. venosa commercial breeding and natural populations, the endogenous proteins that drive this transition attract considerable interest. This study is the first to perform a comprehensive and quantitative proteomic analysis related to metamorphosis in a marine gastropod. We analyzed the proteomes of competent R. venosa larvae and post-larvae, resulting in the identification of 5312 proteins, including 470 that were downregulated and 668 that were upregulated after metamorphosis. The differentially expressed proteins reflected multiple processes involved in metamorphosis, including cytoskeleton and cell adhesion, ingestion and digestion, stress response and immunity, as well as specific tissue development. Our data improve understanding of the physiological traits controlling R. venosa metamorphosis and provide a solid basis for further study. PMID:27314339

  7. Comprehensive and Quantitative Proteomic Analysis of Metamorphosis-Related Proteins in the Veined Rapa Whelk, Rapana venosa.

    PubMed

    Song, Hao; Wang, Hai-Yan; Zhang, Tao

    2016-06-15

    Larval metamorphosis of the veined rapa whelk (Rapana venosa) is a pelagic to benthic transition that involves considerable structural and physiological changes. Because metamorphosis plays a pivotal role in R. venosa commercial breeding and natural populations, the endogenous proteins that drive this transition attract considerable interest. This study is the first to perform a comprehensive and quantitative proteomic analysis related to metamorphosis in a marine gastropod. We analyzed the proteomes of competent R. venosa larvae and post-larvae, resulting in the identification of 5312 proteins, including 470 that were downregulated and 668 that were upregulated after metamorphosis. The differentially expressed proteins reflected multiple processes involved in metamorphosis, including cytoskeleton and cell adhesion, ingestion and digestion, stress response and immunity, as well as specific tissue development. Our data improve understanding of the physiological traits controlling R. venosa metamorphosis and provide a solid basis for further study.

  8. Amphibians as animal models for laboratory research in physiology.

    PubMed

    Burggren, Warren W; Warburton, Stephen

    2007-01-01

    The concept of animal models is well honored, and amphibians have played a prominent part in the success of using key species to discover new information about all animals. As animal models, amphibians offer several advantages that include a well-understood basic physiology, a taxonomic diversity well suited to comparative studies, tolerance to temperature and oxygen variation, and a greater similarity to humans than many other currently popular animal models. Amphibians now account for approximately 1/4 to 1/3 of lower vertebrate and invertebrate research, and this proportion is especially true in physiological research, as evident from the high profile of amphibians as animal models in Nobel Prize research. Currently, amphibians play prominent roles in research in the physiology of musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, renal, respiratory, reproductive, and sensory systems. Amphibians are also used extensively in physiological studies aimed at generating new insights in evolutionary biology, especially in the investigation of the evolution of air breathing and terrestriality. Environmental physiology also utilizes amphibians, ranging from studies of cryoprotectants for tissue preservation to physiological reactions to hypergravity and space exploration. Amphibians are also playing a key role in studies of environmental endocrine disruptors that are having disproportionately large effects on amphibian populations and where specific species can serve as sentinel species for environmental pollution. Finally, amphibian genera such as Xenopus, a genus relatively well understood metabolically and physiologically, will continue to contribute increasingly in this new era of systems biology and "X-omics."

  9. Establishing causality in the decline and deformity of amphibians: The amphibian research and monitoring initiative model

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Little, E.E.; Bridges, C.M.; Linder, G.; Boone, M.; ,

    2003-01-01

    Research to date has indicated that a range of environmental variables such as disease, parasitism, predation, competition, environmental contamination, solar ultraviolet radiation, climate change, or habitat alteration may be responsible for declining amphibian populations and the appearance of deformed organisms, yet in many cases no definitive environmental variable stands out as a causal factor. Multiple Stressors are often present in the habitat, and interactions among these can magnify injury to biota. This raises the possibility that the additive or synergistic impact of these Stressors may be the underlying cause of amphibian declines. Effective management for the restoration of amphibian populations requires the identification of causal factors contributing to their declines. A systematic approach to determine causality is especially important because initial impressions may be misleading or ambiguous. In addition, the evaluation of amphibian populations requires consideration of a broader spatial scale than commonly used in regulatory monitoring. We describe a systematic three-tiered approach to determine causality in amphibian declines and deformities. Tier 1 includes an evaluation of historic databases and extant data and would involve a desktop synopsis of the status of various stressors as well as site visits. Tier 2 studies are iterative, hypothesis driven studies beginning with general tests and continuing with analyses of increasing complexity as certain stressors are identified for further investigation. Tier 3 applies information developed in Tier 2 as predictive indicators of habitats and species at risk over broad landscape scales and provides decision support for the adaptive management of amphibian recovery. This comprehensive, tiered program could provide a mechanistic approach to identifying and addressing specific stressors responsible for amphibian declines across various landscapes.

  10. Meeting ultraviolet B radiation requirements of amphibians in captivity: a case study with mountain chicken frogs (Leptodactylus fallax) and general recommendations for pre-release health screening.

    PubMed

    Tapley, Benjamin; Rendle, Matthew; Baines, Frances M; Goetz, Matthias; Bradfield, Kay S; Rood, David; Lopez, Javier; Garcia, Gerardo; Routh, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    Conservation breeding programmes are a tool used to prevent amphibian extinctions. The husbandry requirements of amphibians are complex. Ongoing research is needed to ensure optimal management of those captive-bred animals destined, in particular, for reintroduction. The UV-B and vitamin D3 requirements of amphibians are largely unknown. Metabolic bone disease has been reported in a number of species. These include the Critically Endangered mountain chicken frog (Leptodactylus fallax) reared in captivity on diets supplemented with a high-calcium multivitamin and mineral supplement containing vitamin D3 but without UV-B provision. Captive-bred L. fallax being reared for reintroduction to Montserrat were provided with UV-B radiation from metamorphosis and were fed on insects supplemented with vitamins and minerals. Overlapping heat, light and UV-B gradients were provided, mimicking what we believe best represents the natural situation and thereby facilitated self-regulation of UV-B exposure. A subset of 10 frogs was periodically radiographed to assess skeletal health. Radiographic bone density and anatomical integrity appeared unremarkable when compared with a wild caught L. fallax. In addition to other routine health-screening, we recommend that radiography be performed to a structured schedule on a subset of all captive-bred and reared amphibians to assess skeletal health and to gauge the appropriateness of captive husbandry. We demonstrate here that, through the appropriate provision of a combination of both UV-B radiation and dietary supplementation, L. fallax can be bred and reared in captivity with healthy skeletal development.

  11. Thyroid hormone and retinoid X receptor function and expression during sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Manzon, Lori A; Youson, John H; Holzer, Guillaume; Staiano, Leopoldo; Laudet, Vincent; Manzon, Richard G

    2014-08-01

    Sea lampreys (Petromyzon marinus) are members of the ancient class Agnatha and undergo a metamorphosis that transforms blind, sedentary, filter-feeding larvae into free-swimming, parasitic juveniles. Thyroid hormones (THs) appear to be important for lamprey metamorphosis, however, serum TH concentrations are elevated in the larval phase, decline rapidly during early metamorphosis and remain low until metamorphosis is complete; these TH fluctuations are contrary to those of other metamorphosing vertebrates. Moreover, thyroid hormone synthesis inhibitors (goitrogens) induce precocious metamorphosis and exogenous TH treatments disrupt natural metamorphosis in P. marinus. Given that THs exert their effects by binding to TH nuclear receptors (TRs) that often act as heterodimers with retinoid X receptors (RXRs), we cloned and characterized these receptors from P. marinus and examined their expression during metamorphosis. Two TRs (PmTR1 and PmTR2) and three RXRs (PmRXRs) were isolated from P. marinus cDNA. Phylogenetic analyses group the PmTRs together on a branch prior to the gnathostome TRα/β split. The three RXRs also group together, but our data indicated that these transcripts are most likely either allelic variants of the same gene locus, or the products of a lamprey-specific duplication event. Importantly, these P. marinus receptors more closely resemble vertebrate as opposed to invertebrate chordate receptors. Functional analysis revealed that PmTR1 and PmTR2 can activate transcription of TH-responsive genes when treated with nanomolar concentrations of TH and they have distinct pharmacological profiles reminiscent of vertebrate TRβ and TRα, respectively. Also similar to other metamorphosing vertebrates, expression patterns of the PmTRs during lamprey metamorphosis suggest that PmTR1 has a dynamic, tissue-specific expression pattern that correlates with tissue morphogenesis and biochemical changes and PmTR2 has a more uniform expression pattern. This TR

  12. Direct and indirect effects of climate change on amphibian populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blaustein, Andrew R.; Walls, Susan C.; Bancroft, Betsy A.; Lawler, Joshua J.; Searle, Catherine L.; Gervasi, Stephanie S.

    2010-01-01

    As part of an overall decline in biodiversity, populations of many organisms are declining and species are being lost at unprecedented rates around the world. This includes many populations and species of amphibians. Although numerous factors are affecting amphibian populations, we show potential direct and indirect effects of climate change on amphibians at the individual, population and community level. Shifts in amphibian ranges are predicted. Changes in climate may affect survival, growth, reproduction and dispersal capabilities. Moreover, climate change can alter amphibian habitats including vegetation, soil, and hydrology. Climate change can influence food availability, predator-prey relationships and competitive interactions which can alter community structure. Climate change can also alter pathogen-host dynamics and greatly influence how diseases are manifested. Changes in climate can interact with other stressors such as UV-B radiation and contaminants. The interactions among all these factors are complex and are probably driving some amphibian population declines and extinctions.

  13. Vestibular lesion-induced developmental plasticity in spinal locomotor networks during Xenopus laevis metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Beyeler, Anna; Rao, Guillaume; Ladepeche, Laurent; Jacques, André; Simmers, John; Le Ray, Didier

    2013-01-01

    During frog metamorphosis, the vestibular sensory system remains unchanged, while spinal motor networks undergo a massive restructuring associated with the transition from the larval to adult biomechanical system. We investigated in Xenopus laevis the impact of a pre- (tadpole stage) or post-metamorphosis (juvenile stage) unilateral labyrinthectomy (UL) on young adult swimming performance and underlying spinal locomotor circuitry. The acute disruptive effects on locomotion were similar in both tadpoles and juvenile frogs. However, animals that had metamorphosed with a preceding UL expressed restored swimming behavior at the juvenile stage, whereas animals lesioned after metamorphosis never recovered. Whilst kinematic and electrophysiological analyses of the propulsive system showed no significant differences in either juvenile group, a 3D biomechanical simulation suggested that an asymmetry in the dynamic control of posture during swimming could account for the behavioral restoration observed in animals that had been labyrinthectomized before metamorphosis. This hypothesis was subsequently supported by in vivo electromyography during free swimming and in vitro recordings from isolated brainstem/spinal cord preparations. Specifically, animals lesioned prior to metamorphosis at the larval stage exhibited an asymmetrical propulsion/posture coupling as a post-metamorphic young adult. This developmental alteration was accompanied by an ipsilesional decrease in propriospinal coordination that is normally established in strict left-right symmetry during metamorphosis in order to synchronize dorsal trunk muscle contractions with bilateral hindlimb extensions in the swimming adult. Our data thus suggest that a disequilibrium in descending vestibulospinal information during Xenopus metamorphosis leads to an altered assembly of adult spinal locomotor circuitry. This in turn enables an adaptive compensation for the dynamic postural asymmetry induced by the vestibular imbalance

  14. MiR-2 family regulates insect metamorphosis by controlling the juvenile hormone signaling pathway.

    PubMed

    Lozano, Jesus; Montañez, Raúl; Belles, Xavier

    2015-03-24

    In 2009 we reported that depletion of Dicer-1, the enzyme that catalyzes the final step of miRNA biosynthesis, prevents metamorphosis in Blattella germanica. However, the precise regulatory roles of miRNAs in the process have remained elusive. In the present work, we have observed that Dicer-1 depletion results in an increase of mRNA levels of Krüppel homolog 1 (Kr-h1), a juvenile hormone-dependent transcription factor that represses metamorphosis, and that depletion of Kr-h1 expression in Dicer-1 knockdown individuals rescues metamorphosis. We have also found that the 3'UTR of Kr-h1 mRNA contains a functional binding site for miR-2 family miRNAs (for miR-2, miR-13a, and miR-13b). These data suggest that metamorphosis impairment caused by Dicer-1 and miRNA depletion is due to a deregulation of Kr-h1 expression and that this deregulation is derived from a deficiency of miR-2 miRNAs. We corroborated this by treating the last nymphal instar of B. germanica with an miR-2 inhibitor, which impaired metamorphosis, and by treating Dicer-1-depleted individuals with an miR-2 mimic to allow nymphal-to-adult metamorphosis to proceed. Taken together, the data indicate that miR-2 miRNAs scavenge Kr-h1 transcripts when the transition from nymph to adult should be taking place, thus crucially contributing to the correct culmination of metamorphosis.

  15. Orchestrating change: The thyroid hormones and GI-tract development in flatfish metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Gomes, A S; Alves, R N; Rønnestad, I; Power, D M

    2015-09-01

    Metamorphosis in flatfish (Pleuronectiformes) is a late post-embryonic developmental event that prepares the organism for the larval-to-juvenile transition. Thyroid hormones (THs) play a central role in flatfish metamorphosis and the basic elements that constitute the thyroid axis in vertebrates are all present at this stage. The advantage of using flatfish to study the larval-to-juvenile transition is the profound change in external morphology that accompanies metamorphosis making it easy to track progression to climax. This important lifecycle transition is underpinned by molecular, cellular, structural and functional modifications of organs and tissues that prepare larvae for a successful transition to the adult habitat and lifestyle. Understanding the role of THs in the maturation of organs and tissues with diverse functions during metamorphosis is a major challenge. The change in diet that accompanies the transition from a pelagic larvae to a benthic juvenile in flatfish is associated with structural and functional modifications in the gastrointestinal tract (GI-tract). The present review will focus on the maturation of the GI-tract during metamorphosis giving particular attention to organogenesis of the stomach a TH triggered event. Gene transcripts and biological processes that are associated with GI-tract maturation during Atlantic halibut metamorphosis are identified. Gene ontology analysis reveals core biological functions and putative TH-responsive genes that underpin TH-driven metamorphosis of the GI-tract in Atlantic halibut. Deciphering the specific role remains a challenge. Recent advances in characterizing the molecular, structural and functional modifications that accompany the appearance of a functional stomach in Atlantic halibut are considered and future research challenges identified.

  16. From metamorphosis to maturity in complex life cycles: equal performance of different juvenile life history pathways.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Benedikt R; Hödl, Walter; Schaub, Michael

    2012-03-01

    Performance in one stage of a complex life cycle may affect performance in the subsequent stage. Animals that start a new stage at a smaller size than conspecifics may either always remain smaller or they may be able to "catch up" through plasticity, usually elevated growth rates. We study how size at and date of metamorphosis affected subsequent performance in the terrestrial juvenile stage and lifetime fitness of spadefoot toads (Pelobates fuscus). We analyzed capture-recapture data of > 3000 individuals sampled during nine years with mark-recapture models to estimate first-year juvenile survival probabilities and age-specific first-time breeding probabilities of toads, followed by model selection to assess whether these probabilities were correlated with size at and date of metamorphosis. Males attained maturity after two years, whereas females reached maturity 2-4 years after metamorphosis. Age at maturity was weakly correlated with metamorphic traits. In both sexes, first-year juvenile survival depended positively on date of metamorphosis and, in males, also negatively on size at metamorphosis. In males, toads that metamorphosed early at a small size had the highest probability to reach maturity. However, because very few toadlets metamorphosed early, the vast majority of male metamorphs had a very similar probability to reach maturity. A matrix projection model constructed for females showed that different juvenile life history pathways resulted in similar lifetime fitness. We found that the effects of date of and size at metamorphosis on different juvenile traits cancelled each other out such that toads that were small or large at metamorphosis had equal performance. Because the costs and benefits of juvenile life history pathways may also depend on population fluctuations, ample phenotypic variation in life history traits may be maintained.

  17. MiR-2 family regulates insect metamorphosis by controlling the juvenile hormone signaling pathway

    PubMed Central

    Belles, Xavier

    2015-01-01

    In 2009 we reported that depletion of Dicer-1, the enzyme that catalyzes the final step of miRNA biosynthesis, prevents metamorphosis in Blattella germanica. However, the precise regulatory roles of miRNAs in the process have remained elusive. In the present work, we have observed that Dicer-1 depletion results in an increase of mRNA levels of Krüppel homolog 1 (Kr-h1), a juvenile hormone-dependent transcription factor that represses metamorphosis, and that depletion of Kr-h1 expression in Dicer-1 knockdown individuals rescues metamorphosis. We have also found that the 3′UTR of Kr-h1 mRNA contains a functional binding site for miR-2 family miRNAs (for miR-2, miR-13a, and miR-13b). These data suggest that metamorphosis impairment caused by Dicer-1 and miRNA depletion is due to a deregulation of Kr-h1 expression and that this deregulation is derived from a deficiency of miR-2 miRNAs. We corroborated this by treating the last nymphal instar of B. germanica with an miR-2 inhibitor, which impaired metamorphosis, and by treating Dicer-1-depleted individuals with an miR-2 mimic to allow nymphal-to-adult metamorphosis to proceed. Taken together, the data indicate that miR-2 miRNAs scavenge Kr-h1 transcripts when the transition from nymph to adult should be taking place, thus crucially contributing to the correct culmination of metamorphosis. PMID:25775510

  18. Neurosteroid Biosynthesis in the Brain of Amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Vaudry, Hubert; Do Rego, Jean-Luc; Burel, Delphine; Luu-The, Van; Pelletier, Georges; Vaudry, David; Tsutsui, Kazuyoshi

    2011-01-01

    Amphibians have been widely used to investigate the synthesis of biologically active steroids in the brain and the regulation of neurosteroid production by neurotransmitters and neuropeptides. The aim of the present review is to summarize the current knowledge regarding the neuroanatomical distribution and biochemical activity of steroidogenic enzymes in the brain of anurans and urodeles. The data accumulated over the past two decades demonstrate that discrete populations of neurons and/or glial cells in the frog and newt brains express the major steroidogenic enzymes and are able to synthesize de novo a number of neurosteroids from cholesterol/pregnenolone. Since neurosteroidogenesis has been conserved during evolution from amphibians to mammals, it appears that neurosteroids must play important physiological functions in the central nervous system of vertebrates. PMID:22649387

  19. [Application of ND-FISH in amphibians].

    PubMed

    Chang, Xiao-Ai; Xia, Yun; Zeng, Xiao-Mao

    2013-12-01

    The recently popularized non-denaturing fluorescence in situ hybridization (ND-FISH) is a new technique that is both quick and efficient, in part because denaturing of both of the probes and the chromosomes is unnecessary. Synthetic simple sequence repeats (SSRs) labeled with fluorescein are used as probes to detect SSR-enriched chromosome regions and provide markers to identify the chromosomes. To date this method has not been applied to amphibians, even though the polymorphism of the distribution of SSRs may help to advance genetic polymorphism research. This paper also improved the double-colour FISH method by simultaneously using probes labelled with fluorescein and probes labelled with DIG to get double-color signals. This study found 5 SSRs markers that may be useful in the polymorphism research, and that the amphibian chromosomes must be denatured in ND-FISH.

  20. Research proceedings on amphibian model organisms

    PubMed Central

    LIU, Lu-Sha; ZHAO, Lan-Ying; WANG, Shou-Hong; JIANG, Jian-Ping

    2016-01-01

    Model organisms have long been important in biology and medicine due to their specific characteristics. Amphibians, especially Xenopus, play key roles in answering fundamental questions on developmental biology, regeneration, genetics, and toxicology due to their large and abundant eggs, as well as their versatile embryos, which can be readily manipulated and developed in vivo. Furthermore, amphibians have also proven to be of considerable benefit in human disease research due to their conserved cellular developmental and genomic organization. This review gives a brief introduction on the progress and limitations of these animal models in biology and human disease research, and discusses the potential and challenge of Microhyla fissipes as a new model organism. PMID:27469255

  1. Pesticide Uptake Across the Amphibian Dermis Through Soil and Overspray Exposures

    EPA Science Inventory

    For terrestrial amphibians, accumulation ofpesticides through dermal contact is a primary route ofexposure in agricultural landscapes and may be contributingto widespread amphibian declines. To show pesticidetransfer across the amphibian dermis at permitted labelapplication rates...

  2. Pesticide Detection in Rainwater, Stemflow, and Amphibians from Agricultural Spray Drift in Southern Georgia, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Amphibians are important sentinel environmental species since they integrate stressors from both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Pesticides are well established as a significant stressor for amphibians. In order to study spray-drift contributions to amphibian habitats, pestic...

  3. Metamorphosis of a butterfly-associated bacterial community.

    PubMed

    Hammer, Tobin J; McMillan, W Owen; Fierer, Noah

    2014-01-01

    Butterflies are charismatic insects that have long been a focus of biological research. They are also habitats for microorganisms, yet these microbial symbionts are little-studied, despite their likely importance to butterfly ecology and evolution. In particular, the diversity and composition of the microbial communities inhabiting adult butterflies remain uncharacterized, and it is unknown how the larval (caterpillar) and adult microbiota compare. To address these knowledge gaps, we used Illumina sequencing of 16S rRNA genes from internal bacterial communities associated with multiple life stages of the neotropical butterfly Heliconius erato. We found that the leaf-chewing larvae and nectar- and pollen-feeding adults of H. erato contain markedly distinct bacterial communities, a pattern presumably rooted in their distinct diets. Larvae and adult butterflies host relatively small and similar numbers of bacterial phylotypes, but few are common to both stages. The larval microbiota clearly simplifies and reorganizes during metamorphosis; thus, structural changes in a butterfly's bacterial community parallel those in its own morphology. We furthermore identify specific bacterial taxa that may mediate larval and adult feeding biology in Heliconius and other butterflies. Although male and female Heliconius adults differ in reproductive physiology and degree of pollen feeding, bacterial communities associated with H. erato are not sexually dimorphic. Lastly, we show that captive and wild individuals host different microbiota, a finding that may have important implications for the relevance of experimental studies using captive butterflies.

  4. Adaptive significance of critical weight for metamorphosis in holometabolous insects.

    PubMed

    Hironaka, Ken-Ichi; Morishita, Yoshihiro

    2017-03-21

    Holometabolous insect larvae become committed to metamorphosis when they reach a critical weight. Although the physiological mechanisms involved in this process have been well-studied, the adaptive significance of the critical weight remains unclear. Here, we developed a life history model for holometabolous insects and evaluated it from the viewpoint of optimal energy allocation. We found that, without a priori assumptions about critical weight, the optimal growth schedule is always biphasic: larval tissues grow predominately until they reach a certain threshold, after which the imaginal tissues begin rapid growth, suggesting that the emergence of a critical weight as a phase-transition point is a natural consequence of optimal growth scheduling. Our model predicts the optimal timing of critical-weight attainment, in agreement with observations in phylogenetically-distinct species. Furthermore, it also predicts the scaling of growth scheduling against environmental change, i.e., the relative value and timing of the critical weight should be constant, thus providing a general interpretation of observed phenotypic plasticity. This scaling relationship allows the classification of adaptive responses in critical weight into five possible types that reflect the ecological features of focal insects. In this manner, our theory and its consistency with experimental observations demonstrate the adaptive significance of critical weight.

  5. Morphology and metamorphosis of Eupsophus calcaratus tadpoles (Anura: Leptodactylidae).

    PubMed

    Vera Candioti, M F; Ubeda, C; Lavilla, E O

    2005-05-01

    Eupsophus calcaratus, a leptodactyloid frog from the austral Andean forests of Argentina and Chile, has endotrophic, nidicolous tadpoles. We studied a metamorphic series from Stages 31 to 46 of Gosner's developmental table (1960). Other than the scarce pigmentation, proportionately large eyes, and massive developing hindlimbs, the remaining external characters are similar to those of generalized, exotrophic larvae. At the same time, internal morphology does not reveal any character state attributable to the endotrophic-nidicolous way of life; conversely, structures such as the hyobranchial skeleton and the mandibular cartilages are similar to those of exotrophic-macrophagous tadpoles. The metamorphic process is characterized by the delayed development of diverse structures (e.g., ethmoid region, palatoquadrate, and hyobranchial apparatus), and the retention of some larval characters (e.g., parietal fenestrae, overall absence of ossification) with the absence of development of some "juvenile" characters (e.g., adult otic process, several bones) in metamorphosed individuals. These heterochronic processes and truncation of larval development are related to a shorter larval life (when compared to other species of the austral Andean region) and to the small size at metamorphosis.

  6. Metamorphosis of a Butterfly-Associated Bacterial Community

    PubMed Central

    Hammer, Tobin J.; McMillan, W. Owen; Fierer, Noah

    2014-01-01

    Butterflies are charismatic insects that have long been a focus of biological research. They are also habitats for microorganisms, yet these microbial symbionts are little-studied, despite their likely importance to butterfly ecology and evolution. In particular, the diversity and composition of the microbial communities inhabiting adult butterflies remain uncharacterized, and it is unknown how the larval (caterpillar) and adult microbiota compare. To address these knowledge gaps, we used Illumina sequencing of 16S rRNA genes from internal bacterial communities associated with multiple life stages of the neotropical butterfly Heliconius erato. We found that the leaf-chewing larvae and nectar- and pollen-feeding adults of H. erato contain markedly distinct bacterial communities, a pattern presumably rooted in their distinct diets. Larvae and adult butterflies host relatively small and similar numbers of bacterial phylotypes, but few are common to both stages. The larval microbiota clearly simplifies and reorganizes during metamorphosis; thus, structural changes in a butterfly's bacterial community parallel those in its own morphology. We furthermore identify specific bacterial taxa that may mediate larval and adult feeding biology in Heliconius and other butterflies. Although male and female Heliconius adults differ in reproductive physiology and degree of pollen feeding, bacterial communities associated with H. erato are not sexually dimorphic. Lastly, we show that captive and wild individuals host different microbiota, a finding that may have important implications for the relevance of experimental studies using captive butterflies. PMID:24466308

  7. Steroid control of muscle remodeling during metamorphosis in Manduca sexta.

    PubMed

    Hegstrom, C D; Truman, J W

    1996-04-01

    During metamorphosis in the tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta, the abdominal body-wall muscle DEO1 is remodeled to form the adult muscle DE5. The degeneration of muscle DEO1 involves the dismantling of its contractile apparatus followed by the degeneration of muscle nuclei. As some nuclei are degenerating, others begin to incorporate 5-bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU), indicating the onset of nuclear proliferation. This proliferation is initially most evident at the site where the motoneuron contacts the muscle remnant. The developmental events involved in muscle remodeling are under the control of the steroid hormones, the ecdysteroids. The loss of the contractile elements of the larval muscle requires the rise and fall of the prepupal peak of ecdysteroids, whereas the subsequent loss of muscle nuclei is influenced by the slight rise in ecdysteroids seen after pupal ecdysis. Incorporation of BrdU by muscle nuclei depends on both the adult peak of the ecdysteroids and contact with the motoneuron. Unilateral axotomy blocks proliferation within the rudiment, but it does not block its subsequent differentiation into a very thin muscle in the adult.

  8. Environmental persistence of amphibian and reptilian ranaviruses.

    PubMed

    Nazir, J; Spengler, M; Marschang, R E

    2012-04-26

    Ranaviruses infect fish, amphibians, and reptiles. The present study was conducted to compare the persistence of amphibian and reptilian ranaviruses in a pond habitat. The 4 viruses used in this study included 2 amphibian ranaviruses, Frog virus 3 (FV3, the type species of the genus Ranavirus) and an isolate from a frog, and 2 ranaviruses of reptilian origin (from a tortoise and from a gecko). A sandwich germ-carrier technique was used to study the persistence of these viruses in sterile and unsterile pond water (PW) and soil obtained from the bank of a pond. For each virus, virus-loaded carriers were placed in each of the 3 substrates, incubated at 4 and 20°C, and titrated at regular intervals. Serial data were analyzed using a linear regression model to calculate T-90 values (time required for 90% reduction in the virus titer). Resistance of the viruses to drying was also studied. All 4 viruses were resistant to drying. At 20°C, T-90 values of the viruses were 22 to 31 d in sterile PW and 22 to 34 d in unsterile PW. Inactivation of all 4 viruses in soil at this temperature appeared to be non-linear. T-90 values at 4°C were 102 to 182 d in sterile PW, 58 to 72 d in unsterile PW, and 30 to 48 d in soil. Viral persistence was highest in the sterile PW, followed by the unsterile PW, and was lowest in soil. There were no significant differences in the survival times between the amphibian and reptilian viruses. The results of the present study suggest that ranaviruses can survive for long periods of time in pond habitats at low temperatures.

  9. Emerging infectious diseases and amphibian population declines.

    PubMed Central

    Daszak, P.; Berger, L.; Cunningham, A. A.; Hyatt, A. D.; Green, D. E.; Speare, R.

    1999-01-01

    We review recent research on the pathology, ecology, and biogeography of two emerging infectious wildlife diseases, chytridiomycosis and ranaviral disease, in the context of host-parasite population biology. We examine the role of these diseases in the global decline of amphibian populations and propose hypotheses for the origins and impact of these panzootics. Finally, we discuss emerging infectious diseases as a global threat to wildlife populations. PMID:10603206

  10. Langerhans-like cells in amphibian epidermis.

    PubMed

    Carrillo-Farga, J; Castell, A; Pérez, A; Rondán, A

    1990-10-01

    Langerhans cells have been described in epidermis and other stratified epithelia of mammals. In other vertebrates equivalent cells have not been found. Amphibians show skin graft rejection, so it is possible that these animals have epidermal cells homologous to Langerhans cells. In this work we demonstrate the existence of ATPase-positive dendritic cells in frog epidermis that are similar ultrastructurally to mammalian Langerhans cells, except for the absence of Birbeck granules.

  11. Bent's Old Fort: Amphibians and Reptiles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muths, E.

    2008-01-01

    Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site sits along the Arkansas River in the semi-desert prairie of southeastern Colorado. The USGS provided assistance in designing surveys to assess the variety of herpetofauna (amphibians and reptiles) resident at this site. This brochure is the results of those efforts and provides visitors with information on what frogs, toads, snakes and salamanders might be seen and heard at Bent's Old Fort.

  12. Amphibians as research models for regenerative medicine

    PubMed Central

    Song, Fengyu; Li, Bingbing

    2010-01-01

    The ability to regenerate bone across a critical size defect would be a marked clinical advance over current methods for dealing with such structural gaps. Here, we briefly review the development of limb bones and the mandible, the regeneration of urodele limbs after amputation, and present evidence that urodele and anuran amphibians represent a valuable research model for the study of segment defect regeneration in both limb bones and mandible. PMID:21197215

  13. Amphibian molecular ecology and how it has informed conservation.

    PubMed

    McCartney-Melstad, Evan; Shaffer, H Bradley

    2015-10-01

    Molecular ecology has become one of the key tools in the modern conservationist's kit. Here we review three areas where molecular ecology has been applied to amphibian conservation: genes on landscapes, within-population processes, and genes that matter. We summarize relevant analytical methods, recent important studies from the amphibian literature, and conservation implications for each section. Finally, we include five in-depth examples of how molecular ecology has been successfully applied to specific amphibian systems.

  14. United States Marine Corps Assault Amphibian Vehicle Egress Study

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-06-01

    CORPS ASSAULT AMPHIBIAN VEHICLE EGRESS STUDY by Jason T. Ford June 2014 Thesis Advisor: Lawrence G. Shattuck Second Reader: Lyn R...COVERED Master’s Thesis 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS ASSAULT AMPHIBIAN VEHICLE EGRESS STUDY 5. FUNDING NUMBERS 6. AUTHOR(S...program, the Marine Corps have begun developing the Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) to replace the 42-year-old Assault Amphibian Vehicle (AAV). Because

  15. Ranavirus outbreaks in amphibian populations of northern Idaho

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Russell, Danelle M.; Goldberg, Caren S.; Sprague, Laura; Waits, Lisette P.; Green, D. Earl; Schuler, Krysten L.; Rosenblum, Erica Bree

    2011-01-01

    Ranavirus outbreaks, caused by pathogens in the genus Ranavirus (Family Iridoviridae), were the largest single cause of reported amphibian mass mortality events in the United States from 1996–2001 (Green et al. 2002). Mortality events associated with ranaviruses have been documented on five continents and throughout the latitudes and elevations where amphibians occur (Gray et al. 2009). However, the threat of ranaviruses to amphibian and reptile populations in specific regions is still largely unknown (Chinchar 2002; Gray et al. 2009).

  16. Analgesia in Amphibians: Preclinical Studies and Clinical Applications

    PubMed Central

    Stevens, Craig W.

    2010-01-01

    SYNOPSIS Preclinical studies of analgesia in amphibians or recommendations for clinical use of analgesics in amphibian species are extremely limited. This article briefly reviews the issues surrounding the use of analgesics in amphibians starting with common definitions of pain and analgesia when applied to non-human animals. Nociceptive and endogenous opioid systems in amphibians are reviewed and results of preclinical research on opioid and non-opioid analgesics summarized. Recommended opioid and non-opioid analgesics are summarized and practical recommendations made for their clinical use. PMID:21074701

  17. 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.

  18. Metamorphosis alters contaminants and chemical tracers in insects: implications for food webs.

    PubMed

    Kraus, Johanna M; Walters, David M; Wesner, Jeff S; Stricker, Craig A; Schmidt, Travis S; Zuellig, Robert E

    2014-09-16

    Insects are integral to most freshwater and terrestrial food webs, but due to their accumulation of environmental pollutants they are also contaminant vectors that threaten reproduction, development, and survival of consumers. Metamorphosis from larvae to adult can cause large chemical changes in insects, altering contaminant concentrations and fractionation of chemical tracers used to establish contaminant biomagnification in food webs, but no framework exists for predicting and managing these effects. We analyzed data from 39 studies of 68 analytes (stable isotopes and contaminants), and found that metamorphosis effects varied greatly. δ(15)N, widely used to estimate relative trophic position in biomagnification studies, was enriched by ∼ 1‰ during metamorphosis, while δ(13)C used to estimate diet, was similar in larvae and adults. Metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were predominantly lost during metamorphosis leading to ∼ 2 to 125-fold higher larval concentrations and higher exposure risks for predators of larvae compared to predators of adults. In contrast, manufactured organic contaminants (such as polychlorinated biphenyls) were retained and concentrated in adults, causing up to ∼ 3-fold higher adult concentrations and higher exposure risks to predators of adult insects. Both food web studies and contaminant management and mitigation strategies need to consider how metamorphosis affects the movement of materials between habitats and ecosystems, with special regard for aquatic-terrestrial linkages.

  19. Metamorphosis alters contaminants and chemical tracers in insects: implications for food webs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kraus, Johanna M.; Walters, David M.; Wesner, Jeff S.; Stricker, Craig A.; Schmidt, Travis S.; Zuellig, Robert E.

    2014-01-01

    Insects are integral to most freshwater and terrestrial food webs, but due to their accumulation of environmental pollutants they are also contaminant vectors that threaten reproduction, development, and survival of consumers. Metamorphosis from larvae to adult can cause large chemical changes in insects, altering contaminant concentrations and fractionation of chemical tracers used to establish contaminant biomagnification in food webs, but no framework exists for predicting and managing these effects. We analyzed data from 39 studies of 68 analytes (stable isotopes and contaminants), and found that metamorphosis effects varied greatly. δ15N, widely used to estimate relative trophic position in biomagnification studies, was enriched by 1‰ during metamorphosis, while δ13C used to estimate diet, was similar in larvae and adults. Metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were predominantly lost during metamorphosis leading to 2 to 125-fold higher larval concentrations and higher exposure risks for predators of larvae compared to predators of adults. In contrast, manufactured organic contaminants (such as polychlorinated biphenyls) were retained and concentrated in adults, causing up to 3-fold higher adult concentrations and higher exposure risks to predators of adult insects. Both food web studies and contaminant management and mitigation strategies need to consider how metamorphosis affects the movement of materials between habitats and ecosystems, with special regard for aquatic-terrestrial linkages.

  20. Expression of let-7 microRNAs that are involved in Japanese flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus) metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Fu, Yuanshuai; Shi, Zhiyi; Wang, Guyue; Zhang, Junling; Li, Wenjuan; Jia, Liang

    2013-06-01

    The let-7 microRNAs (miRNAs), a class of small noncoding RNAs, are phylogenetically conserved and temporally expressed and control the proper timing of events during development as heterochronic genes in many animals. Japanese flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus) undergoes a metamorphosis from the larval to juvenile form. Here, we identified 21 let-7 miRNA precursors from different genome loci in Japanese flounder. P. olivaceus let-7 miRNAs are widely expressed in adult tissues, highly expressed during metamorphosis, but weakly during embryonic development. Exogenous thyroid hormone (0.1 mg/L), which induces premature metamorphosis, significantly promotes the expression of let-7 miRNAs, while thiourea (30 mg/L), which affects metamorphic arrest, inhibits the expression of let-7 miRNAs in metamorphosis in P. olivaceus. These results show that let-7 miRNAs widely participate in tissue development and metabolism during development and are also involved in regulation of temporal transitions associated with cell proliferation and differentiation during metamorphosis, in P. olivaceus.

  1. Mod(mdg4) participates in hormonally regulated midgut programmed cell death during metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Cai, Mei-Juan; Liu, Wen; He, Hong-Juan; Wang, Jin-Xing; Zhao, Xiao-Fan

    2012-12-01

    The insect midgut undergoes programmed cell death (PCD) during metamorphosis, but the molecular basis for this phenomenon has not been demonstrated. We report a mod(mdg4) protein [designated as mod(mdg4)1A] that is involved in hormonally regulated insect midgut PCD, from the lepidopteran Helicoverpa armigera. Mod(mdg4)1A is localized in the larval midgut and is highly expressed during metamorphosis. Knockdown of mod(mdg4)1a by feeding dsRNA to the larvae suppressed midgut PCD and delayed metamorphosis. The mechanism is that mod(mdg4)1a knockdown decreased the transcript levels of genes involved in PCD and metamorphosis, but increased the transcript level of inhibitor of apoptosis survivin. The transcript level of mod(mdg4)1a is independently upregulated by 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) or juvenile hormone (JH) analog methoprene. Overlapped 20E and methoprene counteractively regulate the transcript level of mod(mdg4)1a. 20E upregulates the mod(mdg4)1a transcript level not through its nuclear receptor EcRB1. Methoprene upregulates the mod(mdg4)1a transcript level through the juvenile hormone candidate receptor Met. These findings indicate that mod(mdg4)1a participates in midgut PCD and metamorphosis by regulating the transcript levels of a network of genes via different pathways under 20E and JH regulation.

  2. Effects of chemical cues on larval survival, settlement and metamorphosis of abalone Haliotis asinina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xiaobing; Bai, Yang; Huang, Bo

    2010-11-01

    Low larval survival, poor settlement, and abnormal metamorphosis are major problems in seed production of donkey-ear abalone Haliotis asinina. We examined the effects of chemical cues including epinephrine, nor-epinephrine, and serotonin on larval survival, settlement, and metamorphosis in order to determine the possibility of using these chemicals to induce the problems. The results show that epinephrine could enhance metamorphosis rate at 10-6 mol/L only but higher concentrations (10-3-10-4 mol/L); and nor-epinephrine could inhibit the performance significantly, and serotonin could increase significantly the performance at a wide-range concentration (10-3-10-6 mol/L). Treatment with serotonin at 10-5 mol/L for 72 hours resulted in the highest settlement rate (42.2%) and survival rate (49.3%), while at 10-4 mol/L for 72 hours resulted in the highest metamorphosis rate (38.8%). Therefore, serotonin may be used as a fast metamorphosis inducer in abalone culture.

  3. Global rates of habitat loss and implications for amphibian conservation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gallant, A.L.; Klaver, R.W.; Casper, G.S.; Lannoo, M.J.

    2007-01-01

    A large number of factors are known to affect amphibian population viability, but most authors agree that the principal causes of amphibian declines are habitat loss, alteration, and fragmentation. We provide a global assessment of land use dynamics in the context of amphibian distributions. We accomplished this by compiling global maps of amphibian species richness and recent rates of change in land cover, land use, and human population growth. The amphibian map was developed using a combination of published literature and digital databases. We used an ecoregion framework to help interpret species distributions across environmental, rather than political, boundaries. We mapped rates of land cover and use change with statistics from the World Resources Institute, refined with a global digital dataset on land cover derived from satellite data. Temporal maps of human population were developed from the World Resources Institute database and other published sources. Our resultant map of amphibian species richness illustrates that amphibians are distributed in an uneven pattern around the globe, preferring terrestrial and freshwater habitats in ecoregions that are warm and moist. Spatiotemporal patterns of human population show that, prior to the 20th century, population growth and spread was slower, most extensive in the temperate ecoregions, and largely exclusive of major regions of high amphibian richness. Since the beginning of the 20th century, human population growth has been exponential and has occurred largely in the subtropical and tropical ecoregions favored by amphibians. Population growth has been accompanied by broad-scale changes in land cover and land use, typically in support of agriculture. We merged information on land cover, land use, and human population growth to generate a composite map showing the rates at which humans have been changing the world. When compared with the map of amphibian species richness, we found that many of the regions of the

  4. Global rates of habitat loss and implications for amphibian conservation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gallant, A.L.; Klaver, R.W.; Casper, G.S.; Lannoo, M.J.

    2007-01-01

    A large number of factors are known to affect amphibian population viability, but most authors agree that the principal causes of amphibian declines are habitat loss, alteration, and fragmentation. We provide a global assessment of land use dynamics in the context of amphibian distributions. We accomplished this by compiling global maps of amphibian species richness and recent rates of change in land cover, land use, and human population growth. The amphibian map was developed using a combination of published literature and digital databases. We used an ecoregion framework to help interpret species distributions across environmental, rather than political, boundaries. We mapped rates of land cover and use change with statistics from the World Resources Institute, refined with a global digital dataset on land cover derived from satellite data. Temporal maps of human population were developed from the World Resources Institute database and other published sources. Our resultant map of amphibian species richness illustrates that amphibians are distributed in an uneven pattern around the globe, preferring terrestrial and freshwater habitats in ecoregions that are warm and moist. Spatiotemporal patterns of human population show that, prior to the 20th century, population growth and spread was slower, most extensive in the temperate ecoregions, and largely exclusive of major regions of high amphibian richness. Since the beginning of the 20th century, human population growth has been exponential and has occurred largely in the subtropical and tropical ecoregions favored by amphibians. Population growth has been accompanied by broad-scale changes in land cover and land use, typically in support of agriculture. We merged information on land cover, land use, and human population growth to generate a composite map showing the rates at which humans have been changing the world. When compared with the map of amphibian species richness, we found that many of the regions of the

  5. Conceptual Design for the Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Battaglin, W. A.; Langtimm, C. A.; Adams, M. J.; Gallant, A. L.; James, D. L.

    2001-12-01

    In 2000, the President of the United States (US) and Congress directed Department of Interior (DOI) agencies to develop a program for monitoring trends in amphibian populations on DOI lands and to conduct research into causes of declines. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) was given lead responsibility for planning and implementing the Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) in cooperation with the National Park Service (NPS), Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Land Management. The program objectives are to (1) establish a network for monitoring the status and distribution of amphibian species on DOI lands; (2) identify and monitor environmental conditions known to affect amphibian populations; (3) conduct research on causes of amphibian population change and malformations; and (4) provide information to resource managers, policy makers, and the public in support of amphibian conservation. The ARMI program will integrate research efforts of USGS, other Federal, and non-federal herpetologists, hydrologists, and geographers across the Nation. ARMI will conduct a small number (~20) of intensive research efforts (for example, studies linking amphibian population changes to hydrologic conditions) and a larger number (~50) of more generalized inventory and monitoring studies encompassing broader areas such as NPS units. ARMI will coordinate with and try to augment other amphibian inventory studies such as the National Amphibian Atlas and the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program. ARMI will develop and test protocols for the standardized collection of amphibian data and provide a centrally managed database designed to simplify data entry, retrieval, and analysis. ARMI pilot projects are underway at locations across the US.

  6. Juvenile hormone prevents 20-hydroxyecdysone-induced metamorphosis by regulating the phosphorylation of a newly identified broad protein.

    PubMed

    Cai, Mei-Juan; Liu, Wen; Pei, Xu-Yang; Li, Xiang-Ru; He, Hong-Juan; Wang, Jin-Xing; Zhao, Xiao-Fan

    2014-09-19

    The steroid hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) initiates insect molting and metamorphosis. By contrast, juvenile hormone (JH) prevents metamorphosis. However, the mechanism by which JH inhibits metamorphosis remains unclear. In this study, we propose that JH induces the phosphorylation of Broad isoform Z7 (BrZ7), a newly identified protein, to inhibit 20E-mediated metamorphosis in the lepidopteran insect Helicoverpa armigera. The knockdown of BrZ7 in larvae inhibited metamorphosis by repressing the expression of the 20E response gene. BrZ7 was weakly expressed and phosphorylated during larval growth but highly expressed and non-phosphorylated during metamorphosis. JH regulated the rapid phosphorylation of BrZ7 via a G-protein-coupled receptor-, phospholipase C-, and protein kinase C-triggered pathway. The phosphorylated BrZ7 bound to the 5'-regulatory region of calponin to regulate its expression in the JH pathway. Exogenous JH induced BrZ7 phosphorylation to prevent metamorphosis by suppressing 20E-related gene transcription. JH promoted non-phosphorylated calponin interacting with ultraspiracle protein to activate the JH pathway and antagonize the 20E pathway. This study reveals one of the possible mechanisms by which JH counteracts 20E-regulated metamorphosis by inducing the phosphorylation of BrZ7.

  7. Cloning and stage-specific expression of CK-M1 gene during metamorphosis of Japanese flounder, Paralichthys olivaceus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Yanjie; Zhang, Quanqi; Qi, Jie; Wang, Zhigang; Wang, Xubo; Sun, Yeying; Zhong, Qiwang; Li, Shuo; Li, Chunmei

    2010-05-01

    The symmetrical body of flatfish larvae changes dramatically into an asymmetrical form after metamorphosis. The molecular mechanisms responsible for this change are poorly understood. As an initial step to clarify these mechanisms, we used representational difference analysis of cDNA for the identification of genes active during metamorphosis in the Japanese flounder, Paralichthys olicaceus. One of the up-regulated genes was identified as creatine kinase muscle type 1 (CK-M1). Sequence analysis of CK-M1 revealed that it spanned 1 708 bp and encoded a protein of 382 amino acids. The overall amino acid sequence of the CK-M1 was highly conserved with those of other organisms. CK-M1 was expressed in adult fish tissues, including skeletal muscle, intestine and gill. Whole mount in-situ hybridization showed that the enhanced expression of CK-M1 expanded from the head to the whole body of larvae as metamorphosis progressed. Quantitative analysis revealed stage-specific high expression of CK-M1 during metamorphosis. The expression level of CK-M1 increased initially and peaked at metamorphosis, decreased afterward, and finally returned to the pre-metamorphosis level. This stage-specific expression pattern suggested strongly that CK-M1 was related to metamorphosis in the Japanese flounder. Its specific role in metamorphosis requires further study.

  8. Thyroid endocrine disruption of azocyclotin to Xenopus laevis during metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Li, Meng; Cao, Chuyan; Li, Shuying; Gui, Wenjun; Zhu, Guonian

    2016-04-01

    Organotin compounds are ubiquitous contaminants that are frequently detected in the environment and in biota, which raises concern about their risk to wildlife and human health. In the present study, Nieuwkoop & Faber stage 51 Xenopus laevis tadpoles were exposed to different concentrations of azocyclotin (0, 0.02, 0.1 and 0.5μg/L) for 21 days, during which time the tadpoles underwent morphological development. Exposure to azocyclotin caused an inhibitory effect on the pre-metamorphic development of X. laevis (e.g., a shortened hind limb length). Azocyclotin induced an alteration of the triiodothyronine (T3) content, which indicated thyroid endocrine disruption. Real-time PCR was performed to examine the expression levels of the genes involved in the thyroid hormone (TH) signaling pathway. Significant down-regulation of the type 2 deiodinase gene was observed, which may be partially responsible for the decreased T3 concentrations. Furthermore, the expression of T3 responsive genes, including thyroid hormone receptor, basic transcription element binding protein, 2tromelysins-3 and matrix metalloproteinase 2, were down-regulated in tadpoles, suggesting that azocyclotin induced a decrease in the T3 contents and, in turn, affected the mRNA expression of downstream genes involved in multiple physiological responses. Chemical analysis showed that azocyclotin could accumulate in X. laevis after 21 days of exposure. In conclusion, the results of the present study showed that azocyclotin could alter the mRNA expression of genes involved in TH signaling as well as the thyroid hormone concentrations in X. laevis tadpoles, leading to endocrine disruption of thyroid system, and that azocyclotin had obvious inhibitory effects on X. laevis metamorphosis.

  9. The insect neuropeptide PTTH activates receptor tyrosine kinase torso to initiate metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Rewitz, Kim F; Yamanaka, Naoki; Gilbert, Lawrence I; O'Connor, Michael B

    2009-12-04

    Holometabolous insects undergo complete metamorphosis to become sexually mature adults. Metamorphosis is initiated by brain-derived prothoracicotropic hormone (PTTH), which stimulates the production of the molting hormone ecdysone via an incompletely defined signaling pathway. Here we demonstrate that Torso, a receptor tyrosine kinase that regulates embryonic terminal cell fate in Drosophila, is the PTTH receptor. Trunk, the embryonic Torso ligand, is related to PTTH, and ectopic expression of PTTH in the embryo partially rescues trunk mutants. In larvae, torso is expressed specifically in the prothoracic gland (PG), and its loss phenocopies the removal of PTTH. The activation of Torso by PTTH stimulates extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation, and the loss of ERK in the PG phenocopies the loss of PTTH and Torso. We conclude that PTTH initiates metamorphosis by activation of the Torso/ERK pathway.

  10. Thyroid hormone-responsive genes mediate otolith growth and development during flatfish metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Wang, X; Tan, Y; Sievers, Q; Sievers, B; Lee, M; Burrall, K; Schreiber, A M

    2011-01-01

    Flatfish begin life as up-right swimming, bilaterally symmetrical larvae that metamorphose into asymmetrically shaped juveniles that swim with a highly lateralized posture. We have previously shown that TH induces abrupt growth and mineralization of one component of the vestibular system, the otoliths, during early larval development and metamorphosis. Here we report that four of five vestibular-specific genes that we tested (alpha-tectorin, otogelin, otolith matrix protein, and otopetrins 1 and 2 that are known to be associated with otolith development in other vertebrates are up-regulated 1.5- to 7-fold in larval flatfish during spontaneous metamorphosis and/or following 72 h of TH treatment. These findings suggest that otolith growth and development are mediated by diverse TH-responsive genes during flatfish metamorphosis.

  11. Interacting symbionts and immunity in the amphibian skin mucosome predict disease risk and probiotic effectiveness.

    PubMed

    Woodhams, Douglas C; Brandt, Hannelore; Baumgartner, Simone; Kielgast, Jos; Küpfer, Eliane; Tobler, Ursina; Davis, Leyla R; Schmidt, Benedikt R; Bel, Christian; Hodel, Sandro; Knight, Rob; McKenzie, Valerie

    2014-01-01

    Pathogenesis is strongly dependent on microbial context, but development of probiotic therapies has neglected the impact of ecological interactions. Dynamics among microbial communities, host immune responses, and environmental conditions may alter the effect of probiotics in human and veterinary medicine, agriculture and aquaculture, and the proposed treatment of emerging wildlife and zoonotic diseases such as those occurring on amphibians or vectored by mosquitoes. Here we use a holistic measure of amphibian mucosal defenses to test the effects of probiotic treatments and to assess disease risk under different ecological contexts. We developed a non-invasive assay for antifungal function of the skin mucosal ecosystem (mucosome function) integrating host immune factors and the microbial community as an alternative to pathogen exposure experiments. From approximately 8500 amphibians sampled across Europe, we compared field infection prevalence with mucosome function against the emerging fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Four species were tested with laboratory exposure experiments, and a highly susceptible species, Alytes obstetricans, was treated with a variety of temperature and microbial conditions to test the effects of probiotic therapies and environmental conditions on mucosome function. We found that antifungal function of the amphibian skin mucosome predicts the prevalence of infection with the fungal pathogen in natural populations, and is linked to survival in laboratory exposure experiments. When altered by probiotic therapy, the mucosome increased antifungal capacity, while previous exposure to the pathogen was suppressive. In culture, antifungal properties of probiotics depended strongly on immunological and environmental context including temperature, competition, and pathogen presence. Functional changes in microbiota with shifts in temperature provide an alternative mechanistic explanation for patterns of disease susceptibility related

  12. The effect of pinealectomy, continuous light, and continuous darkness on metamorphosis of anadromous sea lampreys, Petromyzon marinus L

    SciTech Connect

    Cole, W.C.; Youson, J.H.

    1981-12-01

    The role of the pineal complex in lamprey metamorphosis was investigated by examining the influence of pinealectomy and continuous light and darkness on the initiation of this event in anadromous sea lampreys, Petromyzon marinus L. Larval lampreys, which on the basis of a condition factor were considered likely to enter metamorphosis in July, were separated in May of 1979 and 1980 into the following groups: (1) intact controls, (2) sham-operated controls, (3) pinealectomized individuals, (4) those exposed to continuous light, and (5) those exposed to continuous light or dark. The importance of the pineal complex to metamorphosis was supported by morphological evidence that, in all presumably pinealectomized individuals that entered metamorphosis, the complex had apparently not been removed during the surgical procedure. The ways in which the pineal complex may be involved in lamprey metamorphosis are discussed.

  13. Effects of density on growth, metamorphosis, and survivorship in tadpoles of Scaphiopus holbrooki

    SciTech Connect

    Semlitsch, R.D.; Caldwell, J.P.

    1982-08-01

    Density-dependent aspects of growth, metamorphosis, and survivorship of Scaphiopus holbrooki tadpoles were examined in the laboratory under two experimental regimes. In the first density experiment, the growth index (W) of tadpoles decreased exponentially with density. Mean growth rate varied from 0.023 mL/d at the lowest density to 0.006 mL/d at the highest density. The mean number of days to metamorphic climax was positively associated with the initial density treatment: 27 d at the lowest density to 86 d at the highest density. The body size of tadpoles at metamorphosis showed a concave curvilinear relationship to initial density, indicating tadpoles at the highest densities are apparently capable to growth recovery once released from density stress. The survival of tadpoles decreased exponentially with initial density, from 90% at the lowest density to 20% at the highest initial density. In the second experiment a cross-classified design was used to examine the effects of density and duration of treatment (time) on growth and metamorphosis. Density and time had significant effects on body size at metamorphosis and days to metamorphosis. There was no significant interaction between density and time. These results indicate that the inhibitory effect of density stress varies with the duration of the stress. Scaphiopus holbrooki tadpoles exhibit developmental traits (rapid growth, short larval period, small body size at metamorphosis) that should be favored by natural selection in high density habitats. Dispersability may be a mechanism whereby S. holbrooki can minimize the detrimental effects of density stress.

  14. Precocious metamorphosis in the juvenile hormone-deficient mutant of the silkworm, Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Daimon, Takaaki; Kozaki, Toshinori; Niwa, Ryusuke; Kobayashi, Isao; Furuta, Kenjiro; Namiki, Toshiki; Uchino, Keiro; Banno, Yutaka; Katsuma, Susumu; Tamura, Toshiki; Mita, Kazuei; Sezutsu, Hideki; Nakayama, Masayoshi; Itoyama, Kyo; Shimada, Toru; Shinoda, Tetsuro

    2012-01-01

    Insect molting and metamorphosis are intricately governed by two hormones, ecdysteroids and juvenile hormones (JHs). JHs prevent precocious metamorphosis and allow the larva to undergo multiple rounds of molting until it attains the proper size for metamorphosis. In the silkworm, Bombyx mori, several "moltinism" mutations have been identified that exhibit variations in the number of larval molts; however, none of them have been characterized molecularly. Here we report the identification and characterization of the gene responsible for the dimolting (mod) mutant that undergoes precocious metamorphosis with fewer larval-larval molts. We show that the mod mutation results in complete loss of JHs in the larval hemolymph and that the mutant phenotype can be rescued by topical application of a JH analog. We performed positional cloning of mod and found a null mutation in the cytochrome P450 gene CYP15C1 in the mod allele. We also demonstrated that CYP15C1 is specifically expressed in the corpus allatum, an endocrine organ that synthesizes and secretes JHs. Furthermore, a biochemical experiment showed that CYP15C1 epoxidizes farnesoic acid to JH acid in a highly stereospecific manner. Precocious metamorphosis of mod larvae was rescued when the wild-type allele of CYP15C1 was expressed in transgenic mod larvae using the GAL4/UAS system. Our data therefore reveal that CYP15C1 is the gene responsible for the mod mutation and is essential for JH biosynthesis. Remarkably, precocious larval-pupal transition in mod larvae does not occur in the first or second instar, suggesting that authentic epoxidized JHs are not essential in very young larvae of B. mori. Our identification of a JH-deficient mutant in this model insect will lead to a greater understanding of the molecular basis of the hormonal control of development and metamorphosis.

  15. Rapid Response to Evaluate the Presence of Amphibian Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) and Ranavirus in Wild Amphibian Populations in Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    Kolby, Jonathan E.; Smith, Kristine M.; Ramirez, Sara D.; Rabemananjara, Falitiana; Pessier, Allan P.; Brunner, Jesse L.; Goldberg, Caren S.; Berger, Lee; Skerratt, Lee F.

    2015-01-01

    We performed a rapid response investigation to evaluate the presence and distribution of amphibian pathogens in Madagascar following our identification of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) and ranavirus in commercially exported amphibians. This targeted risk-based field surveillance program was conducted from February to April 2014 encompassing 12 regions and 47 survey sites. We simultaneously collected amphibian and environmental samples to increase survey sensitivity and performed sampling both in wilderness areas and commercial amphibian trade facilities. Bd was not detected in any of 508 amphibian skin swabs or 68 water filter samples, suggesting pathogen prevalence was below 0.8%, with 95% confidence during our visit. Ranavirus was detected in 5 of 97 amphibians, including one adult Mantidactylus cowanii and three unidentified larvae from Ranomafana National Park, and one adult Mantidactylus mocquardi from Ankaratra. Ranavirus was also detected in water samples collected from two commercial amphibian export facilities. We also provide the first report of an amphibian mass-mortality event observed in wild amphibians in Madagascar. Although neither Bd nor ranavirus appeared widespread in Madagascar during this investigation, additional health surveys are required to disentangle potential seasonal variations in pathogen abundance and detectability from actual changes in pathogen distribution and rates of spread. Accordingly, our results should be conservatively interpreted until a comparable survey effort during winter months has been performed. It is imperative that biosecurity practices be immediately adopted to limit the unintentional increased spread of disease through the movement of contaminated equipment or direct disposal of contaminated material from wildlife trade facilities. The presence of potentially introduced strains of ranaviruses suggests that Madagascar's reptile species might also be threatened by disease

  16. Rapid Response to Evaluate the Presence of Amphibian Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) and Ranavirus in Wild Amphibian Populations in Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Kolby, Jonathan E; Smith, Kristine M; Ramirez, Sara D; Rabemananjara, Falitiana; Pessier, Allan P; Brunner, Jesse L; Goldberg, Caren S; Berger, Lee; Skerratt, Lee F

    2015-01-01

    We performed a rapid response investigation to evaluate the presence and distribution of amphibian pathogens in Madagascar following our identification of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) and ranavirus in commercially exported amphibians. This targeted risk-based field surveillance program was conducted from February to April 2014 encompassing 12 regions and 47 survey sites. We simultaneously collected amphibian and environmental samples to increase survey sensitivity and performed sampling both in wilderness areas and commercial amphibian trade facilities. Bd was not detected in any of 508 amphibian skin swabs or 68 water filter samples, suggesting pathogen prevalence was below 0.8%, with 95% confidence during our visit. Ranavirus was detected in 5 of 97 amphibians, including one adult Mantidactylus cowanii and three unidentified larvae from Ranomafana National Park, and one adult Mantidactylus mocquardi from Ankaratra. Ranavirus was also detected in water samples collected from two commercial amphibian export facilities. We also provide the first report of an amphibian mass-mortality event observed in wild amphibians in Madagascar. Although neither Bd nor ranavirus appeared widespread in Madagascar during this investigation, additional health surveys are required to disentangle potential seasonal variations in pathogen abundance and detectability from actual changes in pathogen distribution and rates of spread. Accordingly, our results should be conservatively interpreted until a comparable survey effort during winter months has been performed. It is imperative that biosecurity practices be immediately adopted to limit the unintentional increased spread of disease through the movement of contaminated equipment or direct disposal of contaminated material from wildlife trade facilities. The presence of potentially introduced strains of ranaviruses suggests that Madagascar's reptile species might also be threatened by disease

  17. Effectiveness of amphibians as biodiversity surrogates in pond conservation.

    PubMed

    Ilg, Christiane; Oertli, Beat

    2017-04-01

    Amphibian decline has led to worldwide conservation efforts, including the identification and designation of sites for their protection. These sites could also play an important role in the conservation of other freshwater taxa. In 89 ponds in Switzerland, we assessed the effectiveness of amphibians as a surrogate for 4 taxonomic groups that occur in the same freshwater ecosystems as amphibians: dragonflies, aquatic beetles, aquatic gastropods, and aquatic plants. The ponds were all of high value for amphibian conservation. Cross-taxon correlations were tested for species richness and conservation value, and Mantel tests were used to investigate community congruence. Species richness, conservation value, and community composition of amphibians were weakly congruent with these measures for the other taxonomic groups. Paired comparisons for the 5 groups considered showed that for each metric, amphibians had the lowest degree of congruence. Our results imply that site designation for amphibian conservation will not necessarily provide protection for freshwater biodiversity as a whole. To provide adequate protection for freshwater species, we recommend other taxonomic groups be considered in addition to amphibians in the prioritization and site designation process.

  18. Macroparasite infections of amphibians: what can they tell us?

    PubMed

    Koprivnikar, Janet; Marcogliese, David J; Rohr, Jason R; Orlofske, Sarah A; Raffel, Thomas R; Johnson, Pieter T J

    2012-09-01

    Understanding linkages between environmental changes and disease emergence in human and wildlife populations represents one of the greatest challenges to ecologists and parasitologists. While there is considerable interest in drivers of amphibian microparasite infections and the resulting consequences, comparatively little research has addressed such questions for amphibian macroparasites. What work has been done in this area has largely focused on nematodes of the genus Rhabdias and on two genera of trematodes (Ribeiroia and Echinostoma). Here, we provide a synopsis of amphibian macroparasites, explore how macroparasites may affect amphibian hosts and populations, and evaluate the significance of these parasites in larger community and ecosystem contexts. In addition, we consider environmental influences on amphibian-macroparasite interactions by exploring contemporary ecological factors known or hypothesized to affect patterns of infection. While some macroparasites of amphibians have direct negative effects on individual hosts, no studies have explicitly examined whether such infections can affect amphibian populations. Moreover, due to their complex life cycles and varying degrees of host specificity, amphibian macroparasites have rich potential as bioindicators of environmental modifications, especially providing insights into changes in food webs. Because of their documented pathologies and value as bioindicators, we emphasize the need for broader investigation of this understudied group, noting that ecological drivers affecting these parasites may also influence disease patterns in other aquatic fauna.

  19. Incorporating Amphibian Malformations into Inquiry-Based Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Talley, Brooke L.

    2007-01-01

    Amphibians, a class of vertebrates consisting of frogs and toads, salamanders, and caecilians, are excellent organisms for middle school science students to study because of their ecological significance. Because they exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide through their skin, amphibians absorb any chemicals or substances present in their immediate…

  20. Amphibian Oasis: Designing and Building a Schoolyard Pond.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gosselin, Heather; Johnson, Bob

    1996-01-01

    Building a pond in a schoolyard is a rewarding way to help boost local populations of amphibians, to increase the natural value of school grounds, and to serve as a locale for observing the life cycles of plants, invertebrates, and amphibians. This article outlines important considerations in designing and building a pond from siting through…

  1. 50 CFR 17.43 - Special rules-amphibians.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Special rules-amphibians. 17.43 Section 17.43 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR... Special rules—amphibians. (a) San Marcos salamander (Eurycea nana). (1) All provisions of § 17.31 apply...

  2. All about Amphibians. Animal Life for Children. [Videotape].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    2000

    This videotape teaches children about their favorite amphibious creatures, as well as amphibians' nearest cousins--toads, newts, and salamanders. Young students discover how these amazing creatures can live both in and out of water, learn about the amphibious life cycle, and compare the differences between amphibians and reptiles. This videotape…

  3. 50 CFR 17.43 - Special rules-amphibians.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Special rules-amphibians. 17.43 Section 17.43 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR... Special rules—amphibians. (a) San Marcos salamander (Eurycea nana). (1) All provisions of § 17.31 apply...

  4. 50 CFR 17.43 - Special rules-amphibians.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Special rules-amphibians. 17.43 Section 17.43 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR... Special rules—amphibians. (a) San Marcos salamander (Eurycea nana). (1) All provisions of § 17.31 apply...

  5. 50 CFR 17.43 - Special rules-amphibians.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Special rules-amphibians. 17.43 Section 17.43 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR... Special rules—amphibians. (a) San Marcos salamander (Eurycea nana). (1) All provisions of § 17.31 apply...

  6. 50 CFR 17.43 - Special rules-amphibians.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Special rules-amphibians. 17.43 Section 17.43 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR... Special rules—amphibians. (a) San Marcos salamander (Eurycea nana). (1) All provisions of § 17.31 apply...

  7. MOJAVE DESERT SPRING: THE AMPHIBIAN POINT OF VIEW

    EPA Science Inventory

    Numerous springs are scattered throughout the eastern Mojave Desert, most of which are concentrated near the bases of mountain ranges. Spring-fed wetlands in this region comprise nearly all the available habitat for amphibians. We surveyed 128 springs for amphibians and habitat t...

  8. AMPHIBIAN DECLINES AND ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE IN THE EASTERN "MOJAVE DESERT"

    EPA Science Inventory

    A number of amphibian species historically inhabited sparsely distributed wetlands in the Mojave Desert, USA, habitats that have been dramatically altered or eliminated as a result of human activities. The population status and distribution of amphibians were investigated in a 20...

  9. Overview of chytrid emergence and impacts on amphibians.

    PubMed

    Lips, Karen R

    2016-12-05

    Chytridiomycosis is an emerging infectious disease of amphibians that affects over 700 species on all continents where amphibians occur. The amphibian-chytridiomycosis system is complex, and the response of any amphibian species to chytrid depends on many aspects of the ecology and evolutionary history of the amphibian, the genotype and phenotype of the fungus, and how the biological and physical environment can mediate that interaction. Impacts of chytridiomycosis on amphibians are varied; some species have been driven extinct, populations of others have declined severely, whereas still others have not obviously declined. Understanding patterns and mechanisms of amphibian responses to chytrids is critical for conservation and management. Robust estimates of population numbers are needed to identify species at risk, prioritize taxa for conservation actions, design management strategies for managing populations and species, and to develop effective measures to reduce impacts of chytrids on amphibians.This article is part of the themed issue 'Tackling emerging fungal threats to animal health, food security and ecosystem resilience'.

  10. Amphibians and Reptiles from Paramakatoi and Kato, Guyana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    MacCulloch, Ross D.; Reynolds, Robert P.

    2012-01-01

    We report the herpetofauna of two neighboring upland locations in west-central Guyana. Twenty amphibian and 24 reptile species were collected. Only 40% of amphibians and 12.5% of reptiles were collected in both locations. This is one of the few collections made at upland (750–800 m) locations in the Guiana Shield.

  11. Estrogens Can Disrupt Amphibian Mating Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Hoffmann, Frauke; Kloas, Werner

    2012-01-01

    The main component of classical contraceptives, 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2), has high estrogenic activity even at environmentally relevant concentrations. Although estrogenic endocrine disrupting compounds are assumed to contribute to the worldwide decline of amphibian populations by adverse effects on sexual differentiation, evidence for EE2 affecting amphibian mating behaviour is lacking. In this study, we demonstrate that EE2 exposure at five different concentrations (0.296 ng/L, 2.96 ng/L, 29.64 ng/L, 2.96 µg/L and 296.4 µg/L) can disrupt the mating behavior of adult male Xenopus laevis. EE2 exposure at all concentrations lowered male sexual arousal, indicated by decreased proportions of advertisement calls and increased proportions of the call type rasping, which characterizes a sexually unaroused state of a male. Additionally, EE2 at all tested concentrations affected temporal and spectral parameters of the advertisement calls, respectively. The classical and highly sensitive biomarker vitellogenin, on the other hand, was only induced at concentrations equal or higher than 2.96 µg/L. If kept under control conditions after a 96 h EE2 exposure (2.96 µg/L), alterations of male advertisement calls vanish gradually within 6 weeks and result in a lower sexual attractiveness of EE2 exposed males toward females as demonstrated by female choice experiments. These findings indicate that exposure to environmentally relevant EE2 concentrations can directly disrupt male mate calling behavior of X. laevis and can indirectly affect the mating behavior of females. The results suggest the possibility that EE2 exposure could reduce the reproductive success of EE2 exposed animals and these effects might contribute to the global problem of amphibian decline. PMID:22355410

  12. Partners in amphibian and reptile conservation 2013 annual report

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Conrad, Paulette M.; Weir, Linda A.; Nanjappa, Priya

    2014-01-01

    Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) was established in 1999 to address the widespread declines, extinctions, and range reductions of amphibians and reptiles, with a focus on conservation of taxa and habitats in North America. Amphibians and reptiles are affected by a broad range of human activities, both as incidental effects of habitat alteration and direct effect from overexploitation; these animals are also challenged by the perception that amphibians and reptiles are either dangerous or of little environmental or economic value. However, PARC members understand these taxa are important parts of our natural an cultural heritage and they serve important roles in ecosystems throughout the world. With many amphibians and reptiles classified as threatened with extinction, conservation of these animals has never been more important.

  13. Langerhans-like cells in amphibian epidermis.

    PubMed Central

    Carrillo-Farga, J; Castell, A; Pérez, A; Rondán, A

    1990-01-01

    Langerhans cells have been described in epidermis and other stratified epithelia of mammals. In other vertebrates equivalent cells have not been found. Amphibians show skin graft rejection, so it is possible that these animals have epidermal cells homologous to Langerhans cells. In this work we demonstrate the existence of ATPase-positive dendritic cells in frog epidermis that are similar ultrastructurally to mammalian Langerhans cells, except for the absence of Birbeck granules. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 6 Fig. 7 Fig. 8 PMID:2148747

  14. Captive breeding, reintroduction, and the conservation of amphibians.

    PubMed

    Griffiths, Richard A; Pavajeau, Lissette

    2008-08-01

    The global amphibian crisis has resulted in renewed interest in captive breeding as a conservation tool for amphibians. Although captive breeding and reintroduction are controversial management actions, amphibians possess a number of attributes that make them potentially good models for such programs. We reviewed the extent and effectiveness of captive breeding and reintroduction programs for amphibians through an analysis of data from the Global Amphibian Assessment and other sources. Most captive breeding and reintroduction programs for amphibians have focused on threatened species from industrialized countries with relatively low amphibian diversity. Out of 110 species in such programs, 52 were in programs with no plans for reintroduction that had conservation research or conservation education as their main purpose. A further 39 species were in programs that entailed captive breeding and reintroduction or combined captive breeding with relocations of wild animals. Nineteen species were in programs with relocations of wild animals only. Eighteen out of 58 reintroduced species have subsequently bred successfully in the wild, and 13 of these species have established self-sustaining populations. As with threatened amphibians generally, amphibians in captive breeding or reintroduction programs face multiple threats, with habitat loss being the most important. Nevertheless, only 18 out of 58 reintroduced species faced threats that are all potentially reversible. When selecting species for captive programs, dilemmas may emerge between choosing species that have a good chance of surviving after reintroduction because their threats are reversible and those that are doomed to extinction in the wild as a result of irreversible threats. Captive breeding and reintroduction programs for amphibians require long-term commitments to ensure success, and different management strategies may be needed for species earmarked for reintroduction and species used for conservation

  15. Xenopus laevis Müllerian ducts are sensitive indicators of estrogenic or androgenic chemical exposure in vivo (poster presentation)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Larval Amphibian Growth and Development Assay (LAGDA) is one of a series of Tier 2 test guidelines developed by the US EPA under the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program. The LAGDA was designed to evaluate effects on growth, thyroid-mediated amphibian metamorphosis and repr...

  16. The First Gene-encoded Amphibian Neurotoxin*

    PubMed Central

    You, Dewen; Hong, Jing; Rong, Mingqiang; Yu, Haining; Liang, Songping; Ma, Yufang; Yang, Hailong; Wu, Jing; Lin, Donghai; Lai, Ren

    2009-01-01

    Many gene-encoded neurotoxins with various functions have been discovered in fish, reptiles, and mammals. A novel 60-residue neurotoxin peptide (anntoxin) that inhibited tetrodotoxin-sensitive (TTX-S) voltage-gated sodium channel (VGSC) was purified and characterized from the skin secretions of the tree frog Hyla annectans (Jerdon). This is the first gene-encoded neurotoxin found in amphibians. The IC50 of anntoxin for the TTX-S channel was about 3.4 μm. Anntoxin shares sequence homology with Kunitz-type toxins but contains only two of three highly conserved cysteine bridges, which are typically found in these small, basic neurotoxin modules, i.e. snake dendrotoxins. Anntoxin showed an inhibitory ability against trypsin with an inhibitory constant (Ki) of 0.025 μm. Anntoxin was distributed in skin, brain, stomach, and liver with a concentration of 25, 7, 3, and 2 μg/g wet tissue, respectively. H. annectans lives on trees or other plants for its entire life cycle, and its skin contains the largest amount of anntoxin, which possibly helps defend against various aggressors or predators. A low dose of anntoxin was found to induce lethal toxicity for several potential predators, including the insect, snake, bird, and mouse. The tissue distribution and functional properties of the current toxin may provide insights into the ecological adaptation of tree-living amphibians. PMID:19535333

  17. Current extinction rates of reptiles and amphibians.

    PubMed

    Alroy, John

    2015-10-20

    There is broad concern that a mass extinction of amphibians and reptiles is now underway. Here I apply an extremely conservative Bayesian method to estimate the number of recent amphibian and squamate extinctions in nine important tropical and subtropical regions. The data stem from a combination of museum collection databases and published site surveys. The method computes an extinction probability for each species by considering its sighting frequency and last sighting date. It infers hardly any extinction when collection dates are randomized and it provides underestimates when artificial extinction events are imposed. The method also appears to be insensitive to trends in sampling; therefore, the counts it provides are absolute minimums. Extinctions or severe population crashes have accumulated steadily since the 1970s and 1980s, and at least 3.1% of frog species have already disappeared. Based on these data and this conservative method, the best estimate of the global grand total is roughly 200 extinctions. Consistent with previous results, frog losses are heavy in Latin America, which has been greatly affected by the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Extinction rates are now four orders-of-magnitude higher than background, and at least another 6.9% of all frog species may be lost within the next century, even if there is no acceleration in the growth of environmental threats.

  18. Current extinction rates of reptiles and amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Alroy, John

    2015-01-01

    There is broad concern that a mass extinction of amphibians and reptiles is now underway. Here I apply an extremely conservative Bayesian method to estimate the number of recent amphibian and squamate extinctions in nine important tropical and subtropical regions. The data stem from a combination of museum collection databases and published site surveys. The method computes an extinction probability for each species by considering its sighting frequency and last sighting date. It infers hardly any extinction when collection dates are randomized and it provides underestimates when artificial extinction events are imposed. The method also appears to be insensitive to trends in sampling; therefore, the counts it provides are absolute minimums. Extinctions or severe population crashes have accumulated steadily since the 1970s and 1980s, and at least 3.1% of frog species have already disappeared. Based on these data and this conservative method, the best estimate of the global grand total is roughly 200 extinctions. Consistent with previous results, frog losses are heavy in Latin America, which has been greatly affected by the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Extinction rates are now four orders-of-magnitude higher than background, and at least another 6.9% of all frog species may be lost within the next century, even if there is no acceleration in the growth of environmental threats. PMID:26438855

  19. Cleavage plane determination in amphibian eggs.

    PubMed

    Sawai, T; Yomota, A

    1990-01-01

    In the present study using eggs of Cynops pyrrhogaster and Xenopus laevis, we examined (1) structural changes in the cytoplasm before the appearance of the cleavage furrow using a cytochemical method, (2) the time of cleavage plane determination depending on the mitotic apparatus (MA), by changing the shape of the eggs, and (3) the time of arrival of the "cleavage stimulus" at the cortex, by injecting colchicine solution or removing cytoplasm. Results were as follows: (1) In amphibian eggs the diastema was formed after development of the MA, appearing between the two asters after the MA had begun to degenerate. (2) The cleavage plane was preliminarily determined by the MA in the meta- to anaphase of karyokinesis. At this time, however, the egg cortex had not yet received the "cleavage stimulus" indispensable for furrow formation. (3) The egg cortex was really prepared to establish the furrow just after the edge of the diastema arrived at the cortex, when the MA had already degenerated. These results imply that the cleavage plane of the amphibian eggs is determined in two steps: the first, depending on the MA, is the determination of the direction of the growth of the diastema, and the second is the arrival of the "cleavage stimulus" at the cortex in association with the diastema.

  20. Metamorphosis enhances the effects of metal exposure on the mayfly, Centroptilum triangulifer

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wesner, Jeff S.; Kraus, Johanna M.; Schmidt, Travis S.; Walters, David M.; Clements, William H.

    2014-01-01

    The response of larval aquatic insects to stressors such as metals is used to assess the ecological condition of streams worldwide. However, nearly all larval insects metamorphose from aquatic larvae to winged adults, and recent surveys indicate that adults may be a more sensitive indicator of stream metal toxicity than larvae. One hypothesis to explain this pattern is that insects exposed to elevated metal in their larval stages have a reduced ability to successfully complete metamorphosis. To test this hypothesis we exposed late-instar larvae of the mayfly, Centroptilum triangulifer, to an aqueous Zn gradient (32–476 μg/L) in the laboratory. After 6 days of exposure, when metamorphosis began, larval survival was unaffected by zinc. However, Zn reduced wingpad development at concentrations above 139 μg/L. In contrast, emergence of subimagos and imagos tended to decline with any increase in Zn. At Zn concentrations below 105 μg/L (hardness-adjusted aquatic life criterion), survival between the wingpad and subimago stages declined 5-fold across the Zn gradient. These results support the hypothesis that metamorphosis may be a survival bottleneck, particularly in contaminated streams. Thus, death during metamorphosis may be a key mechanism explaining how stream metal contamination can impact terrestrial communities by reducing aquatic insect emergence.

  1. Caring about Strangers: A Lingisian Reading of Kafka's "Metamorphosis"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hung, Ruyu

    2013-01-01

    This article explores a significant question, implicit in Kafka's novel "Metamorphosis," explicitly asked by Rorty: "Can I care about a stranger?" Alphonso Lingis's view is adopted to overcome a mainstream belief that there is a distinction between my community and the stranger's community, or us community and…

  2. Delayed effects of chlorpyrifos across metamorphosis on dispersal-related traits in a poleward moving damselfly.

    PubMed

    Dinh, Khuong Van; Janssens, Lizanne; Therry, Lieven; Bervoets, Lieven; Bonte, Dries; Stoks, Robby

    2016-11-01

    How exposure to contaminants may interfere with the widespread poleward range expansions under global warming is largely unknown. Pesticide exposure may negatively affect traits shaping the speed of range expansion, including traits related to population growth rate and dispersal-related traits. Moreover, rapid evolution of growth rates during poleward range expansions may come at a cost of a reduced investment in detoxification and repair thereby increasing the vulnerability to contaminants at expanding range fronts. We tested effects of a sublethal concentration of the widespread pesticide chlorpyrifos on traits related to range expansion in replicated edge and core populations of the poleward moving damselfly Coenagrion scitulum reared at low and high food levels in a common garden experiment. Food limitation in the larval stage had strong negative effects both in the larval stage and across metamorphosis in the adult stage. Exposure to chlorpyrifos during the larval stage did not affect larval traits but caused delayed effects across metamorphosis by increasing the incidence of wing malformations during metamorphosis and by reducing a key component of the adult immune response. There was some support for an evolutionary trade-off scenario as the faster growing edge larvae suffered a higher mortality during metamorphosis. Instead, there was no clear support for the faster growing edge larvae being more vulnerable to chlorpyrifos. Our data indicate that sublethal delayed effects of pesticide exposure, partly in association with the rapid evolution of faster growth rates, may slow down range expansions.

  3. Control of Pituitary Thyroid-stimulating Hormone Synthesis and Secretion by Thyroid Hormones during Xenopus Metamorphosis

    EPA Science Inventory

    Serum thyroid hormone (TH) concentrations in anuran larvae rise rapidly during metamorphosis. Such a rise in an adult anuran would inevitably trigger a negative feedback response resulting in decreased synthesis and secretion of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) by the pituitary....

  4. Ligand binding pocket function of drosophila USP is necessary for metamorphosis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The widely accepted paradigm that epoxidized methyl farnesoates (“juvenile hormones,” JHs) are the principle sesquiterpenoid hormones regulating insect metamorphosis was assessed in Drosophila melanogaster. GC-MS analysis showed that methyl farnesoate, rather than methyl epoxyfarnesoate (= JH III), ...

  5. Induction of ambicoloration by exogenous cortisol during metamorphosis of spotted halibut Verasper variegatus.

    PubMed

    Yamada, Toshiyuki; Donai, Hayato; Okauchi, Masanori; Tagawa, Masatomo; Araki, Kazuo

    2011-12-01

    Cortisol, the main glucocorticoid in fish, increases during flatfish metamorphosis and peaks before the surge of thyroxine. A large body of evidence indicates the essential role of thyroxine in flatfish metamorphosis, whereas information on cortisol is limited. We administered cortisol to spotted halibut Verasper variegatus larvae in order to examine the effect on pigmentation during metamorphosis. Administration of 10 μg cortisol per mL of water from before the onset of metamorphosis (stage E) to metamorphic climax (stage G) induced the development of adult type pigment cells on the blind side of the metamorphosed juveniles and increased the occurrence of ambicolored juveniles. When 10 μg/mL cortisol was administered during stage D, stages E-F, stage G or stage H, only the administration during stages E-F induced the development of adult type pigment cells on the blind side. In addition, the expression of the gene dopachrome tautomerase (dct), a marker of melanoblasts, was enhanced at Stage E by cortisol administration. These results clearly indicated, for the first time, the enhancement of pigmentation by exogenous high-dose cortisol. Since endogenous cortisol is secreted in response to various kinds of stress in rearing conditions, these results indicate a possible influence of stress conditions in the occurrence of ambicoloration in flatfish.

  6. Metamorphosis enhances the effects of metal exposure on the mayfly, Centroptilum triangulifer.

    PubMed

    Wesner, J S; Kraus, J M; Schmidt, T S; Walters, D M; Clements, W H

    2014-09-02

    The response of larval aquatic insects to stressors such as metals is used to assess the ecological condition of streams worldwide. However, nearly all larval insects metamorphose from aquatic larvae to winged adults, and recent surveys indicate that adults may be a more sensitive indicator of stream metal toxicity than larvae. One hypothesis to explain this pattern is that insects exposed to elevated metal in their larval stages have a reduced ability to successfully complete metamorphosis. To test this hypothesis we exposed late-instar larvae of the mayfly, Centroptilum triangulifer, to an aqueous Zn gradient (32-476 μg/L) in the laboratory. After 6 days of exposure, when metamorphosis began, larval survival was unaffected by zinc. However, Zn reduced wingpad development at concentrations above 139 μg/L. In contrast, emergence of subimagos and imagos tended to decline with any increase in Zn. At Zn concentrations below 105 μg/L (hardness-adjusted aquatic life criterion), survival between the wingpad and subimago stages declined 5-fold across the Zn gradient. These results support the hypothesis that metamorphosis may be a survival bottleneck, particularly in contaminated streams. Thus, death during metamorphosis may be a key mechanism explaining how stream metal contamination can impact terrestrial communities by reducing aquatic insect emergence.

  7. Stable isotope enrichment in laboratory ant colonies: effects of colony age, metamorphosis, diet, and fat storage

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ecologists use stable isotopes to infer diets and trophic levels of animals in food webs, yet some assumptions underlying these inferences have not been thoroughly tested. We used laboratory-reared colonies of Solenopsis invicta Buren (Formicidae: Solenopsidini) to test the effects of metamorphosis,...

  8. EVIDENCE FOR ACCELERATED METAMORPHOSIS IN BULLFROG (RANA CATESBIEANA) TADPOLES IN AN EPHEMERAL POND

    EPA Science Inventory

    It has been widely accepted that time to metamorphosis for non-native bullfrog tadpoles in the Pacific Northwest is greater than one year. We surveyed 22 ponds within the EE Wilson Reserve (Benton County, Oregon) for bullfrog tadpoles and metamorphs from April through September, ...

  9. Effect of epinephrine on the settlement and metamorphosis of Manila clam larvae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Sumin; Bao, Zhenmin; Liu, Hui; Fang, Jianguang

    2006-04-01

    Chemical inducement and DDRT-PCR (differential display reverse transcription PCR) are adopted to investigate the effect of epinephrine (EPI) on the settlement and metamorphosis of Manila clam larvae. Chemical inducement shows that EPI has an effect to some extent on the metamorphosis of Manila clam larvae at all concentrations and in all treatments designed. The most significant result of inducement is obtained at the concentration of 10-6 mol L-1 and for 4h. DDRT-PCR using six primer pairs shows that the gene expression pattern is quite different between EPI treatment and the control. Three hundred and forty-three amplification bands are obtained in total, among which, 67 (19.53%) are differentially appeared. Therefore, EPI has an effect on the gene expression of the eye spot larval Manila clam. It can be hypothesized that EPI is a settlement and metamorphosis inducer for Manila clam. EPI may lead to larvae settlement and metamorphosis by binding to the receptors on the membrane and then changing the gene expression of larvae cells.

  10. Strong Delayed Interactive Effects of Metal Exposure and Warming: Latitude-Dependent Synergisms Persist Across Metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Debecker, Sara; Dinh, Khuong V; Stoks, Robby

    2017-02-21

    As contaminants are often more toxic at higher temperatures, predicting their impact under global warming remains a key challenge for ecological risk assessment. Ignoring delayed effects, synergistic interactions between contaminants and warming, and differences in sensitivity across species' ranges could lead to an important underestimation of the risks. We addressed all three mechanisms by studying effects of larval exposure to zinc and warming before, during, and after metamorphosis in Ischnura elegans damselflies from high- and low-latitude populations. By integrating these mechanisms into a single study, we could identify two novel patterns. First, during exposure zinc did not affect survival, whereas it induced mild to moderate postexposure mortality in the larval stage and at metamorphosis, and very strongly reduced adult lifespan. This severe delayed effect across metamorphosis was especially remarkable in high-latitude animals, as they appeared almost insensitive to zinc during the larval stage. Second, the well-known synergism between metals and warming was manifested not only during the larval stage but also after metamorphosis, yet notably only in low-latitude damselflies. These results highlight that a more complete life-cycle approach that incorporates the possibility of delayed interactions between contaminants and warming in a geographical context is crucial for a more realistic risk assessment in a warming world.

  11. Amphibian skin may select for rare environmental microbes

    PubMed Central

    Walke, Jenifer B; Becker, Matthew H; Loftus, Stephen C; House, Leanna L; Cormier, Guy; Jensen, Roderick V; Belden, Lisa K

    2014-01-01

    Host-microbe symbioses rely on the successful transmission or acquisition of symbionts in each new generation. Amphibians host a diverse cutaneous microbiota, and many of these symbionts appear to be mutualistic and may limit infection by the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which has caused global amphibian population declines and extinctions in recent decades. Using bar-coded 454 pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, we addressed the question of symbiont transmission by examining variation in amphibian skin microbiota across species and sites and in direct relation to environmental microbes. Although acquisition of environmental microbes occurs in some host-symbiont systems, this has not been extensively examined in free-living vertebrate-microbe symbioses. Juvenile bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana), adult red-spotted newts (Notophthalmus viridescens), pond water and pond substrate were sampled at a single pond to examine host-specificity and potential environmental transmission of microbiota. To assess population level variation in skin microbiota, adult newts from two additional sites were also sampled. Cohabiting bullfrogs and newts had distinct microbial communities, as did newts across the three sites. The microbial communities of amphibians and the environment were distinct; there was very little overlap in the amphibians' core microbes and the most abundant environmental microbes, and the relative abundances of OTUs that were shared by amphibians and the environment were inversely related. These results suggest that, in a host species-specific manner, amphibian skin may select for microbes that are generally in low abundance in the environment. PMID:24858782

  12. Amphibian skin may select for rare environmental microbes.

    PubMed

    Walke, Jenifer B; Becker, Matthew H; Loftus, Stephen C; House, Leanna L; Cormier, Guy; Jensen, Roderick V; Belden, Lisa K

    2014-11-01

    Host-microbe symbioses rely on the successful transmission or acquisition of symbionts in each new generation. Amphibians host a diverse cutaneous microbiota, and many of these symbionts appear to be mutualistic and may limit infection by the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which has caused global amphibian population declines and extinctions in recent decades. Using bar-coded 454 pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, we addressed the question of symbiont transmission by examining variation in amphibian skin microbiota across species and sites and in direct relation to environmental microbes. Although acquisition of environmental microbes occurs in some host-symbiont systems, this has not been extensively examined in free-living vertebrate-microbe symbioses. Juvenile bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana), adult red-spotted newts (Notophthalmus viridescens), pond water and pond substrate were sampled at a single pond to examine host-specificity and potential environmental transmission of microbiota. To assess population level variation in skin microbiota, adult newts from two additional sites were also sampled. Cohabiting bullfrogs and newts had distinct microbial communities, as did newts across the three sites. The microbial communities of amphibians and the environment were distinct; there was very little overlap in the amphibians' core microbes and the most abundant environmental microbes, and the relative abundances of OTUs that were shared by amphibians and the environment were inversely related. These results suggest that, in a host species-specific manner, amphibian skin may select for microbes that are generally in low abundance in the environment.

  13. Thyroid and pituitary gland development from hatching through metamorphosis of a teleost flatfish, the Atlantic halibut.

    PubMed

    Einarsdóttir, Ingibjörg Eir; Silva, Nadia; Power, Deborah M; Smáradóttir, Heiddis; Björnsson, Björn Thrandur

    2006-01-01

    Fish larval development, not least the spectacular process of flatfish metamorphosis, appears to be under complex endocrine control, many aspects of which are still not fully elucidated. In order to obtain data on the functional development of two major endocrine glands, the pituitary and the thyroid, during flatfish metamorphosis, histology, immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization techniques were applied on larvae of the Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus), a large, marine flatfish species, from hatching through metamorphosis. The material was obtained from a commercial hatchery. Larval age is defined as day-degrees (D degrees =accumulated daily temperature from hatching). Sporadic thyroid follicles are first detected in larvae at 142 D degrees (27 days post-hatch), prior to the completion of yolk sack absorption. Both the number and activity of the follicles increase markedly after yolk sack absorption and continue to do so during subsequent development. The larval triiodothyronine (T(3)) and thyroxine (T(4)) content increases, subsequent to yolk absorption, and coincides with the proliferation of thyroid follicles. A second increase of both T(3) and T(4) occurs around the start of metamorphosis and the T(3) content further increases at the metamorphic climax. Overall, the T(3) content is lower than T(4). The pituitary gland can first be distinguished as a separate organ at the yolk sack stage. During subsequent development, the gland becomes more elongated and differentiates into neurohypophysis (NH), pars distalis (PD) and pars intermedia (PI). The first sporadic endocrine pituitary cells are observed at the yolk sack stage, somatotrophs (growth hormone producing cells) and somatolactotrophs (somatolactin producing cells) are first observed at 121 D degrees (23 days post-hatch), and lactotrophs (prolactin producing cells) at 134 D degrees (25 days post-hatch). Scarce thyrotrophs are evident after detection of the first thyroid follicles (142 D

  14. Cool temperatures reduce antifungal activity of symbiotic bacteria of threatened amphibians--implications for disease management and patterns of decline.

    PubMed

    Daskin, Joshua H; Bell, Sara C; Schwarzkopf, Lin; Alford, Ross A

    2014-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is a widespread disease of amphibians responsible for population declines and extinctions. Some bacteria from amphibians' skins produce antimicrobial substances active against Bd. Supplementing populations of these cutaneous antifungal bacteria might help manage chytridiomycosis in wild amphibians. However, the activity of protective bacteria may depend upon environmental conditions. Biocontrol of Bd in nature thus requires knowledge of how environmental conditions affect their anti-Bd activity. For example, Bd-driven amphibian declines have often occurred at temperatures below Bd's optimum range. It is possible these declines occurred due to reduced anti-Bd activity of bacterial symbionts at cool temperatures. Better understanding of the effects of temperature on chytridiomycosis development could also improve risk evaluation for amphibian populations yet to encounter Bd. We characterized, at a range of temperatures approximating natural seasonal variation, the anti-Bd activity of bacterial symbionts from the skins of three species of rainforest tree frogs (Litoria nannotis, Litoria rheocola, and Litoria serrata). All three species declined during chytridiomycosis outbreaks in the late 1980s and early 1990s and have subsequently recovered to differing extents. We collected anti-Bd bacterial symbionts from frogs and cultured the bacteria at constant temperatures from 8 °C to 33 °C. Using a spectrophotometric assay, we monitored Bd growth in cell-free supernatants (CFSs) from each temperature treatment. CFSs from 11 of 24 bacteria showed reduced anti-Bd activity in vitro when they were produced at cool temperatures similar to those encountered by the host species during population declines. Reduced anti-Bd activity of metabolites produced at low temperatures may, therefore, partially explain the association between Bd-driven declines and cool temperatures. We show that to avoid

  15. Modeling effects of conservation grassland losses on amphibian habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mushet, David M.; Neau, Jordan L.; Euliss, Ned H.

    2014-01-01

    Amphibians provide many ecosystem services valued by society. However, populations have declined globally with most declines linked to habitat change. Wetlands and surrounding terrestrial grasslands form habitat for amphibians in the North American Prairie Pothole Region (PPR). Wetland drainage and grassland conversion have destroyed or degraded much amphibian habitat in the PPR. However, conservation grasslands can provide alternate habitat. In the United States, the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is the largest program maintaining grasslands on agricultural lands. We used an ecosystem services model (InVEST) parameterized for the PPR to quantify amphibian habitat over a six-year period (2007–2012). We then quantified changes in availability of amphibian habitat under various land-cover scenarios representing incremental losses (10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%) of CRP grasslands from 2012 levels. The area of optimal amphibian habitat in the four PPR ecoregions modeled (i.e., Northern Glaciated Plains, Northwestern Glaciated Plains, Lake Agassiz Plain, Des Moines Lobe) declined by approximately 22%, from 3.8 million ha in 2007 to 2.9 million ha in 2012. These losses were driven by the conversion of CRP grasslands to croplands, primarily for corn and soybean production. Our modeling identified an additional 0.8 million ha (26%) of optimal amphibian habitat that would be lost if remaining CRP lands are returned to crop production. An economic climate favoring commodity production over conservation has resulted in substantial losses of amphibian habitat across the PPR that will likely continue into the future. Other regions of the world face similar challenges to maintaining amphibian habitats.

  16. Facility design and associated services for the study of amphibians.

    PubMed

    Browne, Robert K; Odum, R Andrew; Herman, Timothy; Zippel, Kevin

    2007-01-01

    The role of facilities and associated services for amphibians has recently undergone diversification. Amphibians traditionally used as research models adjust well to captivity and thrive with established husbandry techniques. However, it is now necessary to maintain hundreds of novel amphibian species in captive breeding, conservation research, and biomedical research programs. These diverse species have a very wide range of husbandry requirements, and in many cases the ultimate survival of threatened species will depend on captive populations. Two critical factors have emerged in the maintenance of amphibians, stringent quarantine and high-quality water. Because exotic diseases such as chytridiomycosis have devastated both natural and captive populations of amphibians, facilities must provide stringent quarantine. The provision of high-quality water is also essential to maintain amphibian health and condition due to the intimate physiological relationship of amphibians to their aquatic environment. Fortunately, novel technologies backed by recent advances in the scientific knowledge of amphibian biology and disease management are available to overcome these challenges. For example, automation can increase the reliability of quarantine and maintain water quality, with a corresponding decrease in handling and the associated disease-transfer risk. It is essential to build facilities with appropriate nontoxic waterproof materials and to provide quarantined amphibian rooms for each population. Other spaces and services include live feed rooms, quarantine stations, isolation rooms, laboratory space, technical support systems, reliable energy and water supplies, high-quality feed, and security. Good husbandry techniques must include reliable and species-specific management by trained staff members who receive support from the administration. It is possible to improve husbandry techniques for many species by sharing knowledge through common information systems. Overall

  17. Metamorphosis of the invasive ascidian Ciona savignyi: environmental variables and chemical exposure.

    PubMed

    Cahill, Patrick L; Atalah, Javier; Selwood, Andrew I; Kuhajek, Jeanne M

    2016-01-01

    In this study, the effects of environmental variables on larval metamorphosis of the solitary ascidian Ciona savignyi were investigated in a laboratory setting. The progression of metamorphic changes were tracked under various temperature, photoperiod, substrate, larval density, and vessel size regimes. Metamorphosis was maximised at 18 °C, 12:12 h subdued light:dark, smooth polystyrene substrate, and 10 larvae mL(-1) in a twelve-well tissue culture plate. Eliminating the air-water interface by filling culture vessels to capacity further increased the proportion of metamorphosed larvae; 87 ± 5% of larvae completed metamorphosis within 5 days compared to 45 ± 5% in control wells. The effects of the reference antifouling compounds polygodial, portimine, oroidin, chlorothalonil, and tolylfluanid on C. savignyi were subsequently determined, highlighting (1) the sensitivity of C. savignyi metamorphosis to chemical exposure and (2) the potential to use C. savignyi larvae to screen for bioactivity in an optimised laboratory setting. The compounds were bioactive in the low ng mL(-1) to high µg mL(-1) range. Polygodial was chosen for additional investigations, where it was shown that mean reductions in the proportions of larvae reaching stage E were highly repeatable both within (repeatability = 14 ± 9%) and between (intermediate precision = 17 ± 3%) independent experiments. An environmental extract had no effect on the larvae but exposing larvae to both the extract and polygodial reduced potency relative to polygodial alone. This change in potency stresses the need for caution when working with complex samples, as is routinely implemented when isolating natural compounds from their biological source. Overall, the outcomes of this study highlight the sensitivity of C. savignyi metamorphosis to environmental variations and chemical exposure.

  18. Patterns of natural selection on size at metamorphosis in water frogs.

    PubMed

    Altwegg, Res; Reyer, Heinz-Ulrich

    2003-04-01

    Strategies for optimal metamorphosis are key adaptations in organisms with complex life cycles, and the components of the larval growth environment causing variation in this trait are well studied empirically and theoretically. However, when relating these findings to a broader evolutionary or ecological context, usually the following assumptions are made: (1) size at metamorphosis positively relates to future fitness, and (2) the larval growth environment affects fitness mainly through its effect on timing of and size at metamorphosis. These assumptions remain poorly tested, because data on postmetamorphic fitness components are still rare. We created variation in timing of and size at metamorphosis by manipulating larval competition, nonlethal presence of predators, pond drying, and onset of larval development, and measured the consequences for subsequent terrestrial survival and growth in 1564 individually marked water frogs (Rana lessonae and R. esculenta), raised in enclosures in their natural environment. Individuals metamorphosing at a large size had an increased chance of survival during the following terrestrial stage (mean linear selection gradient: 0.09), grew faster and were larger at maturity than individuals metamorphosing at smaller sizes. Late metamorphosing individuals had a lower survival rate (mean linear selection gradient: -0.03) and grew more slowly than early metamorphosing ones. We found these patterns to be consistent over the three years of the study and the two species, and the results did not depend on the nature of the larval growth manipulation. Furthermore, individuals did not compensate for a small size at metamorphosis by enhancing their postmetamorphic growth. Thus, we found simple relationships between larval growth and postmetamorphic fitness components, and support for this frequently made assumption. Our results suggest postmetamorphic selection for fast larval growth and provide a quantitative estimate for the water frog

  19. Metamorphosis of the invasive ascidian Ciona savignyi: environmental variables and chemical exposure

    PubMed Central

    Atalah, Javier; Selwood, Andrew I.; Kuhajek, Jeanne M.

    2016-01-01

    In this study, the effects of environmental variables on larval metamorphosis of the solitary ascidian Ciona savignyi were investigated in a laboratory setting. The progression of metamorphic changes were tracked under various temperature, photoperiod, substrate, larval density, and vessel size regimes. Metamorphosis was maximised at 18 °C, 12:12 h subdued light:dark, smooth polystyrene substrate, and 10 larvae mL−1 in a twelve-well tissue culture plate. Eliminating the air-water interface by filling culture vessels to capacity further increased the proportion of metamorphosed larvae; 87 ± 5% of larvae completed metamorphosis within 5 days compared to 45 ± 5% in control wells. The effects of the reference antifouling compounds polygodial, portimine, oroidin, chlorothalonil, and tolylfluanid on C. savignyi were subsequently determined, highlighting (1) the sensitivity of C. savignyi metamorphosis to chemical exposure and (2) the potential to use C. savignyi larvae to screen for bioactivity in an optimised laboratory setting. The compounds were bioactive in the low ng mL−1 to high µg mL−1 range. Polygodial was chosen for additional investigations, where it was shown that mean reductions in the proportions of larvae reaching stage E were highly repeatable both within (repeatability = 14 ± 9%) and between (intermediate precision = 17 ± 3%) independent experiments. An environmental extract had no effect on the larvae but exposing larvae to both the extract and polygodial reduced potency relative to polygodial alone. This change in potency stresses the need for caution when working with complex samples, as is routinely implemented when isolating natural compounds from their biological source. Overall, the outcomes of this study highlight the sensitivity of C. savignyi metamorphosis to environmental variations and chemical exposure. PMID:26966668

  20. Exposure to sublethal concentrations of a pesticide or predator cues induces changes in brain architecture in larval amphibians.

    PubMed

    Woodley, Sarah K; Mattes, Brian M; Yates, Erika K; Relyea, Rick A

    2015-11-01

    Naturally occurring environmental factors shape developmental trajectories to produce variable phenotypes. Such developmental phenotypic plasticity can have important effects on fitness, and has been demonstrated for numerous behavioral and morphological traits. However, surprisingly few studies have examined developmental plasticity of the nervous system in response to naturally occurring environmental variation, despite accumulating evidence for neuroplasticity in a variety of organisms. Here, we asked whether the brain is developmentally plastic by exposing larval amphibians to natural and anthropogenic factors. Leopard frog tadpoles were exposed to predator cues, reduced food availability, or sublethal concentrations of the pesticide chlorpyrifos in semi-natural enclosures. Mass, growth, survival, activity, larval period, external morphology, brain mass, and brain morphology were measured in tadpoles and after metamorphosis. Tadpoles in the experimental treatments had lower masses than controls, although developmental rates and survival were similar. Tadpoles exposed to predator cues or a high dose of chlorpyrifos had altered body shapes compared to controls. In addition, brains from tadpoles exposed to predator cues or a low dose of chlorpyrifos were narrower and shorter in several dimensions compared to control tadpoles and tadpoles with low food availability. Interestingly, the changes in brain morphology present at the tadpole stage did not persist in the metamorphs. Our results show that brain morphology is a developmentally plastic trait that is responsive to ecologically relevant natural and anthropogenic factors. Whether these effects on brain morphology are linked to performance or fitness is unknown.

  1. [Strategies for Conservation of Endangered Amphibian and Reptile Species].

    PubMed

    Anan'eva, N B; Uteshev, V K; Orlova, N L; Gakhova, E N

    2015-01-01

    Strategies for conservation of endangered amphibian and reptile species are discussed. One-fifth of all vertebrates belongs to the category of "endangered species," and amphibians are first on the list (41%). Every fifth reptile species is in danger of extinction, and insufficient information is characteristic of every other fifth. As has been demonstrated, efficient development of a network of nature conservation areas, cryopreservation, and methods for laboratory breeding and reintroduction play.the key roles in adequate strategies for preservation of amphibians and reptiles.

  2. Zoonotic diseases associated with reptiles and amphibians: an update.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Mark A

    2011-09-01

    Reptiles and amphibians are popular as pets. There are increased concerns among public health officials because of the zoonotic potential associated with these animals. Encounters with reptiles and amphibians are also on the rise in the laboratory setting and with wild animals; in both of these practices, there is also an increased likelihood for exposure to zoonotic pathogens. It is important that veterinarians remain current with the literature as it relates to emerging and reemerging zoonotic diseases attributed to reptiles and amphibians so that they can protect themselves, their staff, and their clients from potential problems.

  3. Stimulation of multiple MAPK pathways by mechanical overload in the perfused amphibian heart.

    PubMed

    Aggeli, I K; Gaitanaki, C; Lazou, A; Beis, I

    2001-11-01

    The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signal transduction pathway activated by mechanical stress was investigated in the isolated perfused amphibian (Rana ridibunda) heart. High perfusion pressure induced the rapid (30 s) and prolonged (30 min) phosphorylation of a p43-extracellular regulated kinase, a response almost completely inhibited by 25 microM PD-98059. c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) was also phosphorylated with maximal values attained at 15 min and remained elevated over 30 min. In-gel kinase assays verified that phosphorylated JNKs are active, phosphorylating the transcription factor c-Jun. Furthermore, pressure overload rapidly stimulated the p38-MAPK phosphorylation (30 s), a transient process (5 min) abolished by 1 microM SB-203580. In-gel kinase assays revealed that with phosphorylation, active p38-MAPKs phosphorylate their substrate MAP kinase-activated protein kinase 2. Biochemical analysis along with immunohistochemical studies showed that with activation, the three MAPK subfamily members examined are localized not only in the cytoplasm but in the nucleus as well. Present results therefore demonstrate for the first time in an amphibian species the involvement of multiple MAPK pathways in the mechanical overload-induced adaptive responses of the heart as well as their possible physiological roles.

  4. Tracking the amphibian pathogens Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans using a highly specific monoclonal antibody and lateral-flow technology.

    PubMed

    Dillon, Michael J; Bowkett, Andrew E; Bungard, Michael J; Beckman, Katie M; O'Brien, Michelle F; Bates, Kieran; Fisher, Matthew C; Stevens, Jamie R; Thornton, Christopher R

    2017-03-01

    The fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) causes chytridiomycosis, a lethal epizootic disease of amphibians. Rapid identification of the pathogen and biosecurity is essential to prevent its spread, but current laboratory-based tests are time-consuming and require specialist equipment. Here, we describe the generation of an IgM monoclonal antibody (mAb), 5C4, specific to Bd as well as the related salamander and newt pathogen Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal). The mAb, which binds to a glycoprotein antigen present on the surface of zoospores, sporangia and zoosporangia, was used to develop a lateral-flow assay (LFA) for rapid (15 min) detection of the pathogens. The LFA detects known lineages of Bd and also Bsal, as well as the closely related fungus Homolaphlyctis polyrhiza, but does not detect a wide range of related and unrelated fungi and oomycetes likely to be present in amphibian habitats. When combined with a simple swabbing procedure, the LFA was 100% accurate in detecting the water-soluble 5C4 antigen present in skin, foot and pelvic samples from frogs, newts and salamanders naturally infected with Bd or Bsal. Our results demonstrate the potential of the portable LFA as a rapid qualitative assay for tracking these amphibian pathogens and as an adjunct test to nucleic acid-based detection methods.

  5. Topoisomerase Assays

    PubMed Central

    Nitiss, John L.; Soans, Eroica; Rogojina, Anna; Seth, Aman; Mishina, Margarita

    2012-01-01

    Topoisomerases are nuclear enzymes that play essential roles in DNA replication, transcription, chromosome segregation, and recombination. All cells have two major forms of topoisomerases: type I, which makes single-stranded cuts in DNA, and type II enzymes, which cut and pass double-stranded DNA. DNA topoisomerases are important targets of approved and experimental anti-cancer agents. The protocols described in this unit are of assays used to assess new chemical entities for their ability to inhibit both forms of DNA topoisomerase. Included are an in vitro assay for topoisomerase I activity based on relaxation of supercoiled DNA and an assay for topoisomerase II based on the decatenation of double-stranded DNA. The preparation of mammalian cell extracts for assaying topoisomerase activity is described, along with a protocol for an ICE assay for examining topoisomerase covalent complexes in vivo and an assay for measuring DNA cleavage in vitro. PMID:22684721

  6. Sound source perception in anuran amphibians.

    PubMed

    Bee, Mark A

    2012-04-01

    Sound source perception refers to the auditory system's ability to parse incoming sensory information into coherent representations of distinct sound sources in the environment. Such abilities are no doubt key to successful communication in many taxa, but we know little about their function in animal communication systems. For anuran amphibians (frogs and toads), social and reproductive behaviors depend on a listener's ability to hear and identify sound signals amid high levels of background noise in acoustically cluttered environments. Recent neuroethological studies are revealing how frogs parse these complex acoustic scenes to identify individual calls in noisy breeding choruses. Current evidence highlights some interesting similarities and differences in how the auditory systems of frogs and other vertebrates (most notably birds and mammals) perform auditory scene analysis.

  7. Amphibian fertilization and development in microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Souza, K. A.; Black, S. D.

    1985-01-01

    An experiment investigating the effects of gravity on embryonic development in amphibians is proposed. The planned procedures for the preparation of the frog eggs for launching in the Space Shuttle, for the injection of the eggs with gonadotropin, for the insertion of the eggs into egg chambers, for the storage of one of the chambers in a microgravity area and the second into a centrifuge, and for the fertilization of the eggs are described. The later organogenesis, swimming behavior, cytoplasmic components, cellular formation, neural plate and archenteron expansion, and allometry and expansion of the organ systems will be examined. Normal morphology for embryos and tadpoles developing at microgravity and the formation of the neural plate opposite the sperm entry point meridian are predicted.

  8. Trends in amphibian occupancy in the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Adams, Michael J.; Miller, David A.W.; Muths, Erin; Corn, Paul Stephen; Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Bailey, Larissa L.; Fellers, Gary M.; Fisher, Robert N.; Sadinski, Walter J.; Waddle, Hardin; Walls, Susan C.

    2013-01-01

    Though a third of amphibian species worldwide are thought to be imperiled, existing assessments simply categorize extinction risk, providing little information on the rate of population losses. We conducted the first analysis of the rate of change in the probability that amphibians occupy ponds and other comparable habitat features across the United States. We found that overall occupancy by amphibians declined 3.7% annually from 2002 to 2011. Species that are Red-listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) declined an average of 11.6% annually. All subsets of data examined had a declining trend including species in the IUCN Least Concern category. This analysis suggests that amphibian declines may be more widespread and severe than previously realized.

  9. Hot bodies protect amphibians against chytrid infection in nature

    PubMed Central

    Rowley, Jodi J. L.; Alford, Ross A.

    2013-01-01

    Environmental context strongly affects many host-pathogen interactions, but the underlying causes of these effects at the individual level are usually poorly understood. The amphibian chytrid fungus has caused amphibian population declines and extinctions in many parts of the world. Many amphibian species that have declined or have been extirpated by the pathogen in some environments coexist with it in others. Here we show that in three species of rainforest frogs in nature, individuals' probability of infection by the amphibian chytrid fungus was strongly related to their thermal history. Individuals' probability of infection declined rapidly as they spent more time above the pathogen's upper optimum temperature. This relationship can explain population-level patterns of prevalence in nature, and suggests that natural or artificial selection for higher thermal preferences could reduce susceptibility to this pathogen. Similar individual-level insights could improve our understanding of environmental context-dependence in other diseases. PMID:23519020

  10. Amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Cusuco National Park, Honduras.

    PubMed

    Kolby, Jonathan E; Padgett-Flohr, Gretchen E; Field, Richard

    2010-11-01

    Amphibian population declines in Honduras have long been attributed to habitat degradation and pollution, but an increasing number of declines are now being observed from within the boundaries of national parks in pristine montane environments. The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis has been implicated in these declines and was recently documented in Honduras from samples collected in Pico Bonito National Park in 2003. This report now confirms Cusuco National Park, a protected cloud forest reserve with reported amphibian declines, to be the second known site of infection for Honduras. B. dendrobatidis infection was detected in 5 amphibian species: Craugastor rostralis, Duellmanohyla soralia, Lithobates maculata, Plectrohyla dasypus, and Ptychohyla hypomykter. D. soralia, P. dasypus, and P. hypomykter are listed as critically endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and have severely fragmented or restricted distributions. Further investigations are necessary to determine whether observed infection levels indicate an active B. dendrobatidis epizootic with the potential to cause further population declines and extinction.

  11. CHARACTERIZATION OF RELATIVE SENSITIVITY OF AMPHIBIANS TO ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Different studies have demonstrated that solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation can adversely affect survival and development of embryonic and larval amphibians. However, because of among-laboratory variations in exposure profiles (artificial vs. natural sunlight; natural sunlight at d...

  12. Twenty years of ISAREN: an amphibian biologist in Wonderland.

    PubMed

    Kikuyama, Sakae

    2010-09-01

    The 6th International Symposium on Amphibian and Reptilian Endocrinology and Neurobiology (ISAREN), the former International Symposium on Amphibian Endocrinology (ISAE), was recently held in Berlin. ISAREN developed from two symposia on amphibian biology held in European countries in 1988-1990. In this article, the history of ISAREN was briefly stated. In addition, some of the topics of our researches carried out in collaboration with several groups, using various amphibian species during the past 20 years and/or presented in the past symposia were reviewed. The topics included the discovery of pancreatic chitinase, involvement of growth hormone in vitellogenin synthesis, changes of ANF-like immunoreactivity in the frogs sent into the space, discovery of a peptide sex-pheromone, origin of the epithelial pituitary, and hypothalamic regulation of thyroid-stimulating hormone.

  13. Ambient UV-B radiation causes deformities in amphibian embryos

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blaustein, A.R.; Kiesecker, J.M.; Chivers, D.P.; Anthony, R.G.

    1997-01-01

    There has been a great deal of recent attention on the suspected increase in amphibian deformities. However, most reports of amphibian deformities have been anecdotal, and no experiments in the field under natural conditions have been performed to investigate this phenomenon. Under laboratory conditions, a variety of agents can induce deformities in amphibians. We investigated one of these agents, UV-B radiation, in field experiments, as a cause for amphibian deformities. We monitored hatching success and development in long-toed salamanders under UV-B shields and in regimes that allowed UV-B radiation. Embryos under UV-B shields had a significantly higher hatching rate and fewer deformities, and developed more quickly than those exposed to UV-B. Deformities may contribute directly to embryo mortality, and they may affect an individual's subsequent survival after hatching.

  14. Checklist of Helminth parasites of Amphibians from South America.

    PubMed

    Campião, Karla Magalhães; Morais, Drausio Honorio; Dias, Olívia Tavares; Aguiar, Aline; Toledo, Gislayne De Melo; Tavares, Luiz Eduardo Roland; Da Silva, Reinaldo José

    2014-07-30

    Parasitological studies on helminths of amphibians in South America have increased in the past few years. Here, we present a list with summarized data published on helminths of South American amphibians from 1925 to 2012, including a list of helminth parasites, host species, and geographic records. We found 194 reports of helminths parasitizing 185 amphibian species from eleven countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Equador, French Guyana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. Helminth biodiversity includes 278 parasite species of the groups Acanthocephala, Nematoda, Cestoda, Monogenea and Trematoda. A list of helminth parasite species per host, and references are also presented. This contribution aims to document the biodiversity of helminth parasites in South American amphibians, as well as identify gaps in our knowledge, which in turn may guide subsequent studies. 

  15. Metabolism of pesticides after dermal exposure to amphibians

    EPA Science Inventory

    Understanding how pesticide exposure to non-target species influences toxicity is necessary to accurately assess the ecological risks these compounds pose. Aquatic, terrestrial, and arboreal amphibians are often exposed to pesticides during their agricultural application resultin...

  16. Invasive and introduced reptiles and amphibians: Chapter 28

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reed, Robert N.; Krysko, Kenneth L.; Mader, Douglas R.; Divers, Stephen J.

    2014-01-01

    Why is there a section on introduced amphibians and reptiles in this volume, and why should veterinarians care about this issue? Globally, invasive species are a major threat to the stability of native ecosystems,1,2 and amphibians and reptiles are attracting increased attention as potential invaders. Some introduced amphibians and reptiles have had a major impact (e.g., Brown Tree Snakes [Boiga irregularis] wiping out the native birds of Guam3 or Cane Toads [Rhinella marina] poisoning native Australian predators).4 For the vast majority of species, however, the ecological, economic, and sociopolitical effects of introduced amphibians and reptiles are generally poorly quantified, largely because of a lack of focused research effort rather than because such effects are nonexistent. This trend is alarming given that rates of introduction have increased exponentially in recent decades.

  17. CHARACTERIZATION OF RELATIVE SENSITIVITY OF AMPHIBIANS TO ULTRA VIOLET RADIATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Different studies have demonstrated that solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation can adversely affect survival and development of embryonic and larval amphibians. However, because of among-laboratory variations in exposure profiles (artificial vs. natural sunlight; natural sunlight at d...

  18. ALIEN SPECIES: THEIR ROLE IN AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DECLINES AND RESTORATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Alien species (also referred to as exotic, invasive, introduced, or normative species) have been implicated as causal agents in population declines of many amphibian species. Herein, we evaluate the relative contributions of alien species and other factors in adversely affecting ...

  19. A database of life-history traits of European amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Moulherat, Sylvain; Calvez, Olivier; Stevens, Virginie M; Clobert, Jean; Schmeller, Dirk S

    2014-01-01

    Abstract In the current context of climate change and landscape fragmentation, efficient conservation strategies require the explicit consideration of life history traits. This is particularly true for amphibians, which are highly threatened worldwide, composed by more than 7400 species, which is constitute one of the most species-rich vertebrate groups. The collection of information on life history traits is difficult due to the ecology of species and remoteness of their habitats. It is therefore not surprising that our knowledge is limited, and missing information on certain life history traits are common for in this species group. We compiled data on amphibian life history traits from literature in an extensive database with morphological and behavioral traits, habitat preferences and movement abilities for 86 European amphibian species (50 Anuran and 36 Urodela species). When it were available, we reported data for males, females, juveniles and tadpoles. Our database may serve as an important starting point for further analyses regarding amphibian conservation. PMID:25425939

  20. An alternative framework for responding to the amphibian crisis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muths, Erin L.; Fisher, Robert N.

    2017-01-01

    Volumes of data illustrate the severity of the crisis affecting amphibians, where > 32% of amphibians worldwide are threatened with declining populations. Although there have been isolated victories, the current approach to the issue is unsuccessful. We suggest that a radically different approach, something akin to human emergency response management (i.e. the Incident Command System), is one alternative to addressing the inertia and lack of cohesion in responding to amphibian issues. We acknowledge existing efforts and the useful research that has been conducted, but we suggest that a change is warranted and that the identification of a new amphibian chytrid provides the impetus for such a change. Our goal is to recognize that without a centralized effort we (collectively) are likely to fail in responding to this challenge.

  1. Resistance to cancer in amphibians: a role for apoptosis?

    PubMed

    Ruben, Laurens N; Johnson, Rachel O; Clothier, Richard H; Balls, Michael

    2013-07-01

    The rarity of spontaneous cancer in amphibians, and the difficulty of inducing cancer in these lower vertebrates, suggest that they possess an effective system for resistance to the development of cancer. The first part of this narrative presents evidence for cancer resistance in amphibians, and then a variety of studies designed to help understand the physiological basis for this resistance are reviewed. Here, our emphasis is on evidence with regard to the role that apoptosis might play.

  2. A histochemical study of the posterior silk glands of Bombyx mori during metamorphosis from larvae to pupae using frozen sections.

    PubMed

    Kawamoto, K; Kawamoto, T; Shiba, H; Hosono, K

    2014-02-01

    The fine structures of the whole bodies and the posterior silk glands of Bombyx mori during metamorphosis from larvae to pupae in the cocoon were preserved virtually without damage when frozen sections were prepared using an adhesive plastic film. We used frozen sections for histochemical and enzyme histochemistry to characterize the metamorphosis of the posterior silk glands. Frozen sections were stained with DAPI to observe nuclear changes, examined using the TUNEL method to detect DNA fragments, and investigated using in situ hybridization to detect B. mori caspase expression. Both DNA fragments and expression of B. mori caspase increased with progressing metamorphosis. The degeneration of the posterior silk gland during metamorphosis appears to be an apoptotic event.

  3. Exposure to suboptimal temperatures during metamorphosis reveals a critical developmental window in the solitary bee, Megachile rotundata

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Metamorphosis is an important developmental stage for holometabolous insects, during which adult morphology and physiology are established. Proper development relies on optimal body temperatures, and natural ambient temperature (Ta) fluctuations, especially in spring or in northern latitudes, could ...

  4. Tropical amphibian populations experience higher disease risk in natural habitats

    PubMed Central

    Becker, C. Guilherme; Zamudio, Kelly R.

    2011-01-01

    Habitat loss and disease are main drivers of global amphibian declines, yet the interaction between them remains largely unexplored. Here we show that paradoxically, habitat loss is negatively associated with occurrence, prevalence, and infection intensity of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) in amphibian populations in the tropics. At a large spatial scale, increased habitat loss predicted lower disease risk in amphibian populations across Costa Rica and eastern Australia, even after jointly considering the effect of potential biotic and abiotic correlates. Lower host-species richness and suboptimal microclimates for Bd in disturbed habitats are potential mechanisms underlying this pattern. Furthermore, we found that anthropogenic deforestation practices biased to lowlands and natural vegetation remaining in inaccessible highlands explain increased Bd occurrence at higher elevations. At a smaller spatial scale, holding constant elevation, latitude, and macroclimate, we also found a negative relationship between habitat loss, and both Bd prevalence and infection intensity in frog populations in two landscapes of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Our results indicate that amphibians will be disproportionately affected by emerging diseases in pristine environments, and that, paradoxically, disturbed habitats may act as shelters from disease, but only for the very few species that can tolerate deforestation. Thus, tropical amphibian faunas are threatened both by destruction of natural habitats as well as increased disease in pristine forests. To curb further extinctions and develop effective mitigation and restoration programs we must look to interactions between habitat loss and disease, the two main factors at the root of global amphibian declines. PMID:21628560

  5. Predation of Ladybird Beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) by Amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Sloggett, John J.

    2012-01-01

    Studies of predation of ladybird beetles (Coccinellidae) have focused on a limited number of predator taxa, such as birds and ants, while other potential predators have received limited attention. I here consider amphibians as predators of ladybirds. Published amphibian gut analyses show that ladybirds are quite often eaten by frogs and toads (Anura), with recorded frequencies reaching up to 15% of dietary items. Salamanders (Caudata) eat ladybirds less frequently, probably as their habits less often bring them into contact with the beetles. Amphibians do not appear to be deleteriously affected by the potentially toxic alkaloids that ladybirds possess. Amphibians, especially frogs and toads, use primarily prey movement as a release cue to attack their food; it is thus likely that their ability to discriminate against ladybirds and other chemically defended prey is limited. Because of this poor discriminatory power, amphibians have apparently evolved non-specific resistance to prey defensive chemicals, including ladybird alkaloids. Although amphibian-related ladybird mortality is limited, in certain habitats it could outweigh mortality from more frequently studied predators, notably birds. The gut analyses from the herpetological literature used in this study, suggest that in studying predation of insects, entomologists should consider specialized literature on other animal groups. PMID:26466621

  6. Monitoring amphibians in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dodd, C. Kenneth

    2003-01-01

    This report provides an overview of the Park’s amphibians, the factors affecting their distribution, a review of important areas of biodiversity, and a summary of amphibian life history in the Southern Appalachians. In addition, survey techniques are described as well as examples of how the techniques are set up, a critique of what the results tell the observer, and a discussion of the limitations of the techniques and the data. The report reviews considerations for site selection, outlines steps for biosecurity and for processing diseased or dying animals, and provides resource managers with a decision tree on how to monitor the Park’s amphibians based on different levels of available resources. It concludes with an extensive list of references for inventorying and monitoring amphibians. USGS and Great Smoky Mountains National Park biologists need to establish cooperative efforts and training to ensure that congressionally mandated amphibian surveys are performed in a statistically rigorous and biologically meaningful manner, and that amphibian populations on Federal lands are monitored to ensure their long-term survival. The research detailed in this report will aid these cooperative efforts.

  7. Global amphibian declines: perspectives from the United States and beyond

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Densmore, Christine L.; Cipriano, R.C.; Bruckner, A.W.; Shchelkunov, I.S.

    2011-01-01

    Over recent decades, amphibians have experienced population declines, extirpations and species-level extinctions at an alarming rate. Numerous potential etiologies for amphibian declines have been postulated including climate and habitat degradation. Other potential anthropogenic causes including overexploitation and the frequent introductions of invasive predatory species have also been blamed for amphibian declines. Still other underlying factors may include infectious diseases caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, pathogenic viruses (Ranavirus), and other agents. It is nearly certain that more than one etiology is to blame for the majority of the global amphibian declines, and that these causal factors include some combination of climatological or physical habitat destabilization and infectious disease, most notably chytridiomycosis. Scientific research efforts are aimed at elucidating these etiologies on local, regional, and global scales that we might better understand and counteract the driving forces behind amphibian declines. Conservation efforts as outlined in the Amphibian Conservation Action Plan of 2005 are also being made to curtail losses and prevent further extinctions wherever possible.

  8. Global patterns of diversification in the history of modern amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Roelants, Kim; Gower, David J.; Wilkinson, Mark; Loader, Simon P.; Biju, S. D.; Guillaume, Karen; Moriau, Linde; Bossuyt, Franky

    2007-01-01

    The fossil record of modern amphibians (frogs, salamanders, and caecilians) provides no evidence for major extinction or radiation episodes throughout most of the Mesozoic and early Tertiary. However, long-term gradual diversification is difficult to reconcile with the sensitivity of present-day amphibian faunas to rapid ecological changes and the incidence of similar environmental perturbations in the past that have been associated with high turnover rates in other land vertebrates. To provide a comprehensive overview of the history of amphibian diversification, we constructed a phylogenetic timetree based on a multigene data set of 3.75 kb for 171 species. Our analyses reveal several episodes of accelerated amphibian diversification, which do not fit models of gradual lineage accumulation. Global turning points in the phylogenetic and ecological diversification occurred after the end-Permian mass extinction and in the late Cretaceous. Fluctuations in amphibian diversification show strong temporal correlation with turnover rates in amniotes and the rise of angiosperm-dominated forests. Approximately 86% of modern frog species and >81% of salamander species descended from only five ancestral lineages that produced major radiations in the late Cretaceous and early Tertiary. This proportionally late accumulation of extant lineage diversity contrasts with the long evolutionary history of amphibians but is in line with the Tertiary increase in fossil abundance toward the present. PMID:17213318

  9. Predation of Ladybird Beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) by Amphibians.

    PubMed

    Sloggett, John J

    2012-07-18

    Studies of predation of ladybird beetles (Coccinellidae) have focused on a limited number of predator taxa, such as birds and ants, while other potential predators have received limited attention. I here consider amphibians as predators of ladybirds. Published amphibian gut analyses show that ladybirds are quite often eaten by frogs and toads (Anura), with recorded frequencies reaching up to 15% of dietary items. Salamanders (Caudata) eat ladybirds less frequently, probably as their habits less often bring them into contact with the beetles. Amphibians do not appear to be deleteriously affected by the potentially toxic alkaloids that ladybirds possess. Amphibians, especially frogs and toads, use primarily prey movement as a release cue to attack their food; it is thus likely that their ability to discriminate against ladybirds and other chemically defended prey is limited. Because of this poor discriminatory power, amphibians have apparently evolved non-specific resistance to prey defensive chemicals, including ladybird alkaloids. Although amphibian-related ladybird mortality is limited, in certain habitats it could outweigh mortality from more frequently studied predators, notably birds. The gut analyses from the herpetological literature used in this study, suggest that in studying predation of insects, entomologists should consider specialized literature on other animal groups.

  10. Why amphibians are more sensitive than mammals to xenobiotics.

    PubMed

    Quaranta, Angelo; Bellantuono, Vito; Cassano, Giuseppe; Lippe, Claudio

    2009-11-04

    Dramatic declines in amphibian populations have been described all over the world since the 1980s. The evidence that the sensitivity to environmental threats is greater in amphibians than in mammals has been generally linked to the observation that amphibians are characterized by a rather permeable skin. Nevertheless, a numerical comparison of data of percutaneous (through the skin) passage between amphibians and mammals is lacking. Therefore, in this investigation we have measured the percutaneous passage of two test molecules (mannitol and antipyrine) and three heavily used herbicides (atrazine, paraquat and glyphosate) in the skin of the frog Rana esculenta (amphibians) and of the pig ear (mammals), by using the same experimental protocol and a simple apparatus which minimizes the edge effect, occurring when the tissue is clamped in the usually used experimental device.The percutaneous passage (P) of each substance is much greater in frog than in pig. LogP is linearly related to logKow (logarithm of the octanol-water partition coefficient). The measured P value of atrazine was about 134 times larger than that of glyphosate in frog skin, but only 12 times in pig ear skin. The FoD value (Pfrog/Ppig) was 302 for atrazine, 120 for antipyrine, 66 for mannitol, 29 for paraquat, and 26 for glyphosate.The differences in structure and composition of the skin between amphibians and mammals are discussed.

  11. Value of artificial habitats for amphibian reproduction in altered landscapes.

    PubMed

    Brand, Adrianne B; Snodgrass, Joel W

    2010-02-01

    Installation and maintenance of stormwater ponds to detain and treat runoff from impervious surfaces is a common method of stormwater control in developed areas. That these ponds capture pollutants, however, is of concern for wildlife species that use the ponds, particularly pond-breeding amphibians. To assess the relative contribution of stormwater ponds to the persistence of amphibian populations in suburban landscapes, we compared amphibian use of stormwater ponds and other available wetlands in suburban and forested watersheds. We surveyed three suburban and three primarily forested first-order watersheds to identify all potential wetlands that might serve as breeding sites for pond-breeding amphibians. We performed call, egg-mass, and larval surveys to measure breeding effort at each wetland in spring and summer 2007 and 2008. In suburban watersheds most (89%) of the wetlands that had breeding activity were either stormwater ponds or otherwise artificial. This pattern was also evident in the forested watersheds, where amphibians were primarily found breeding in wetlands created by past human activity. Late-stage larvae were found only in anthropogenic wetlands in all study areas because the remaining natural wetlands did not hold water long enough for larvae to complete development. Our results suggest that in urban and suburban landscapes with naturally low densities of wetlands, wetlands created by current or historic land uses may be as important to amphibian conservation as natural wetlands or pools and that management strategies directed at urban and suburban landscapes should recognize and incorporate human-created wetlands.

  12. Tropical amphibian populations experience higher disease risk in natural habitats.

    PubMed

    Becker, C Guilherme; Zamudio, Kelly R

    2011-06-14

    Habitat loss and disease are main drivers of global amphibian declines, yet the interaction between them remains largely unexplored. Here we show that paradoxically, habitat loss is negatively associated with occurrence, prevalence, and infection intensity of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) in amphibian populations in the tropics. At a large spatial scale, increased habitat loss predicted lower disease risk in amphibian populations across Costa Rica and eastern Australia, even after jointly considering the effect of potential biotic and abiotic correlates. Lower host-species richness and suboptimal microclimates for Bd in disturbed habitats are potential mechanisms underlying this pattern. Furthermore, we found that anthropogenic deforestation practices biased to lowlands and natural vegetation remaining in inaccessible highlands explain increased Bd occurrence at higher elevations. At a smaller spatial scale, holding constant elevation, latitude, and macroclimate, we also found a negative relationship between habitat loss, and both Bd prevalence and infection intensity in frog populations in two landscapes of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Our results indicate that amphibians will be disproportionately affected by emerging diseases in pristine environments, and that, paradoxically, disturbed habitats may act as shelters from disease, but only for the very few species that can tolerate deforestation. Thus, tropical amphibian faunas are threatened both by destruction of natural habitats as well as increased disease in pristine forests. To curb further extinctions and develop effective mitigation and restoration programs we must look to interactions between habitat loss and disease, the two main factors at the root of global amphibian declines.

  13. Global patterns of diversification in the history of modern amphibians.

    PubMed

    Roelants, Kim; Gower, David J; Wilkinson, Mark; Loader, Simon P; Biju, S D; Guillaume, Karen; Moriau, Linde; Bossuyt, Franky

    2007-01-16

    The fossil record of modern amphibians (frogs, salamanders, and caecilians) provides no evidence for major extinction or radiation episodes throughout most of the Mesozoic and early Tertiary. However, long-term gradual diversification is difficult to reconcile with the sensitivity of present-day amphibian faunas to rapid ecological changes and the incidence of similar environmental perturbations in the past that have been associated with high turnover rates in other land vertebrates. To provide a comprehensive overview of the history of amphibian diversification, we constructed a phylogenetic timetree based on a multigene data set of 3.75 kb for 171 species. Our analyses reveal several episodes of accelerated amphibian diversification, which do not fit models of gradual lineage accumulation. Global turning points in the phylogenetic and ecological diversification occurred after the end-Permian mass extinction and in the late Cretaceous. Fluctuations in amphibian diversification show strong temporal correlation with turnover rates in amniotes and the rise of angiosperm-dominated forests. Approximately 86% of modern frog species and >81% of salamander species descended from only five ancestral lineages that produced major radiations in the late Cretaceous and early Tertiary. This proportionally late accumulation of extant lineage diversity contrasts with the long evolutionary history of amphibians but is in line with the Tertiary increase in fossil abundance toward the present.

  14. Total sialic acid profile in regressing and remodelling organs during the metamorphosis of marsh frog (Pelophylax ridibundus Pallas 1771).

    PubMed

    Kaptan, Engin; Bas, Serap Sancar; Inceli, Meliha Sengezer

    2013-03-01

    This study aimed to investigate the functional relationship of sialic acid in regressing and remodelling organs such as the tail, small intestine and liver during the metamorphosis of Pelophylax ridibundus. For this purpose, four groups were composed according to developmental periods by considering Gosner's criteria (1964). Our findings showed that the sialic acid content of the larval tail has an opposite profile to cell death process. Although the sialic acid content of the small intestine and liver did not change evidently during metamorphosis, it increased after the completion of metamorphosis. Frog tail extensively exhibited cell death process and decreased proliferative activity and underwent complete degeneration during metamorphic climax. In spite of increased apoptotic index, a decreased sialic acid level in the tail tissues during climax can be the indication of a death cell removal process. However, the intestine and the liver included both cell death and proliferative process and remodelling in their adult forms. Thus, their sialic acid profiles during metamorphosis were different from the tail's profile. These data show that sialic acid may be an indicator of the presence of some cellular events during metamorphosis and that it can have different roles in the developmental process depending on the organ's fate throughout metamorphosis.

  15. Autocrine regulation of ecdysone synthesis by β3-octopamine receptor in the prothoracic gland is essential for Drosophila metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Ohhara, Yuya; Shimada-Niwa, Yuko; Niwa, Ryusuke; Kayashima, Yasunari; Hayashi, Yoshiki; Akagi, Kazutaka; Ueda, Hitoshi; Yamakawa-Kobayashi, Kimiko; Kobayashi, Satoru

    2015-02-03

    In Drosophila, pulsed production of the steroid hormone ecdysone plays a pivotal role in developmental transitions such as metamorphosis. Ecdysone production is regulated in the prothoracic gland (PG) by prothoracicotropic hormone (PTTH) and insulin-like peptides (Ilps). Here, we show that monoaminergic autocrine regulation of ecdysone biosynthesis in the PG is essential for metamorphosis. PG-specific knockdown of a monoamine G protein-coupled receptor, β3-octopamine receptor (Octβ3R), resulted in arrested metamorphosis due to lack of ecdysone. Knockdown of tyramine biosynthesis genes expressed in the PG caused similar defects in ecdysone production and metamorphosis. Moreover, PTTH and Ilps signaling were impaired by Octβ3R knockdown in the PG, and activation of these signaling pathways rescued the defect in metamorphosis. Thus, monoaminergic autocrine signaling in the PG regulates ecdysone biogenesis in a coordinated fashion on activation by PTTH and Ilps. We propose that monoaminergic autocrine signaling acts downstream of a body size checkpoint that allows metamorphosis to occur when nutrients are sufficiently abundant.

  16. Ascidians as excellent chordate models for studying the development of the nervous system during embryogenesis and metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Sasakura, Yasunori; Mita, Kaoru; Ogura, Yosuke; Horie, Takeo

    2012-04-01

    The swimming larvae of the chordate ascidians possess a dorsal hollowed central nervous system (CNS), which is homologous to that of vertebrates. Despite the homology, the ascidian CNS consists of a countable number of cells. The simple nervous system of ascidians provides an excellent experimental system to study the developmental mechanisms of the chordate nervous system. The neural fate of the cells consisting of the ascidian CNS is determined in both autonomous and non-autonomous fashion during the cleavage stage. The ascidian neural plate performs the morphogenetic movement of neural tube closure that resembles that in vertebrate neural tube formation. Following neurulation, the CNS is separated into five distinct regions, whose homology with the regions of vertebrate CNS has been discussed. Following their larval stage, ascidians undergo a metamorphosis and become sessile adults. The metamorphosis is completed quickly, and therefore the metamorphosis of ascidians is a good experimental system to observe the reorganization of the CNS during metamorphosis. A recent study has shown that the major parts of the larval CNS remain after the metamorphosis to form the adult CNS. In contrast to such a conserved manner of CNS reorganization, most larval neurons disappear during metamorphosis. The larval glial cells in the CNS are the major source for the formation of the adult CNS, and some of the glial cells produce adult neurons.

  17. Skin glands, poison and mimicry in dendrobatid and leptodactylid amphibians.

    PubMed

    Prates, Ivan; Antoniazzi, Marta M; Sciani, Juliana M; Pimenta, Daniel C; Toledo, Luís Felipe; Haddad, Célio F B; Jared, Carlos

    2012-03-01

    In amphibians, secretions of toxins from specialized skin poison glands play a central role in defense against predators. The production of toxic secretions is often associated with conspicuous color patterns that warn potential predators, as it is the case of many dendrobatid frogs, including Ameerega picta. This species resembles the presumably nontoxic Leptodactylus lineatus. This study tests for mimicry by studying the morphology and distribution of skin glands, components of skin secretion, and defensive behavior. Dorsal skin was studied histologically and histochemically, and skin secretions were submitted to sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, reversed phase high performance liquid chromatography and assays for proteolytic activity. We found that poison glands in A. picta are filled with nonprotein granules that are rich in carbohydrates, while L. lineatus glands present protein granules. Accordingly, great amounts of proteins, at least some of them enzymes, were found in the poison of L. lineatus but not in that of A. picta. Both species differ greatly on profiles of gland distribution: In L. lineatus, poison glands are organized in clusters whose position coincides with colored elements of the dorsum. These regions are evidenced through a set of displays, suggesting that poison location is announced to predators through skin colors. In contrast, A. picta presents lower densities of glands, distributed homogeneously. This simpler profile suggests a rather qualitative than quantitative investment in chemical defense, in agreement with the high toxicity attributed to dendrobatids in general. Our data suggest that both species are toxic or unpalatable and transmit common warning signals to predators, which represents a case of Müllerian mimicry.

  18. Multiple stressor effects in relation to declining amphibian populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    2003-01-01

    This book represents the work of several authors who participated in the symposium entitled 'Multiple Stressor Effects in Relation to Declining Amphibian Populations' convened 16-17 April, 2002, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Declines of amphibian populations of varying severity have been observed for many years, and in the last 8 to 10 years considerable progress has been made in documenting the status and distribution of a range of amphibian species. Habitat alteration and destruction are likely linked to many amphibian declines, but a variety of other factors, both anthropogenic and natural, have been observed or proposed to have caused declines or extinctions of amphibian populations. Unfortunately, determining the environmental causes for the decline of many species has proven difficult. The goals of this symposium were three-fold. First, highlight ASTM's historic role in providing a forum for the standardization of amphibian toxicity test methods and the characterization of adverse effects potentially associated with chemical stressors. Second, demonstrate through case studies the current state of technical 'tools' available to biologists, ecologists, environmental scientists and natural resource professionals for assessing amphibian populations exposed to various environmental stressors. And third, characterize a process that brings a range of interdisciplinary technical and management tools to the tasks of causal analysis, especially as those relate to a multiple stressor risk assessment 'mind-set.' As part of the symposium, scientists and resource management professionals from diverse fields including ecotoxicology and chemistry, ecology and field biology, conservation biology, and natural resource management and policy contributed oral presentations and posters that addressed topics related to declining amphibian populations and the role that various stressors have in those losses. The papers contained in this publication reflect the commitment of ASTM

  19. Vascular regression during amphibian metamorphosis--a scanning electron microscope study of vascular corrosion casts of the ventral velum in tadpoles of Xenopus laevis Daudin.

    PubMed

    Aichhorn, H; Lametschwandtner, A

    1996-09-01

    We used scanning electron microscopy and vascular casting to study gross arterial supply, venous drainage, and microvascular patterns of the fully developed ventral velum of tadpoles of Xenopus laevis Daudin and analyzed changes of the velar vascular bed from prometamorphosis to metamorphic climax in a qualitative and quantitative manner. The multilayered, highly secretory ventral velum is supplied bilaterally by an anterior and a posterior velar artery, branches of the external carotid artery. Velar arterioles branch mainly dichotomously and form a flat two-dimensional capillary meshwork overlying the tops of filterplates I-IV. Thymopharyngeal veins, dorsal branches of the filter plates veins, and the internal jugular veins drain the velum toward the venous sinus of the heart. Location, architecture, and the drainage of the velar microvascular bed into the venous sinus make a significant contribution of the velar capillaries to gas exchange unlikely. Instead, velar capillaries rather serve the nutrition of the secretory epithelium. The overall morphology of velar vessels from prometamorphosis to metamorphic climax--deduced from vascular corrosion casts--points to atonic vessels with increased leakage indicated by adhering globular extravasations, and to obstructed or blind ending vessels evidenced by the tapered and/or rounded blind ending cast vessels. The significant decrease in the size of the ventral velum during the metamorphic cycle was paralleled by a miniaturization of the velar vascular bed. We hypothetize that this miniaturization occurs by a shortening and fusion of capillary mesh elements. Our findings in corrosion casts, particularly the miniaturization of the velar microvascular bed and the morphology of the regressing capillaries, point to profound morphologic and ultrastructural changes in velar vessels; a study on the fine structure of the microvascular bed of the ventral velum in metamorphic tadpoles is in progress.

  20. Metamorphosis inhibition: an alternative rearing protocol for the newt, Cynops pyrrhogaster.

    PubMed

    Chiba, Chikafumi; Yamada, Shouta; Tanaka, Hibiki; Inae-Chiba, Maiko; Miura, Tomoya; Casco-Robles, Martin Miguel; Yoshikawa, Taro; Inami, Wataru; Mizuno, Aki; Islam, Md Rafiqul; Han, Wenje; Yasumuro, Hirofumi; Matsumoto, Mikiko; Takayanagi, Miyako

    2012-05-01

    The newt is an indispensable model animal, of particular utility for regeneration studies. Recently, a high-throughput transgenic protocol was established for the Japanese common newt, Cynops pyrrhogaster. For studies of regeneration, metamorphosed animals may be favorable; however, for this species, there is no efficient protocol for maintaining juveniles after metamorphosis in the laboratory. In these animals, survival drops drastically after metamorphosis as their foraging behaviour changes to adapt to a terrestrial habitat, making feeding in the laboratory with live or moving foods more difficult. To elevate the efficiency of laboratory rearing of this species, we examined metamorphosis inhibition (Ml) protocols to bypass the period (four months to two years after hatching) in which the animal feeds exclusively on moving foods. We found that approximately 30% of animals survived after 2-year Ml, and that the survivors continuously grew, only with static food while maintaining their larval form and foraging behaviour in 0.02% thiourea (TU) aqueous solution, then metamorphosed when returned to a standard rearing solution even after 2-year-MI. The morphology and foraging behavior (feeding on static foods in water) of these metamorphosed newts resembled that of normally developed adult newts. Furthermore, they were able to fully regenerate amputated limbs, suggesting regenerative capacity is preserved in these animals. Thus, controlling metamorphosis with TU allows newts to be reared with the same static food under aqueous conditions, providing an alternative rearing protocol that offers the advantage of bypassing the critical period and obtaining animals that have grown sufficiently for use in regeneration studies.

  1. Effects of nitrate on metamorphosis, thyroid and iodothyronine deiodinases expression in Bufo gargarizans larvae.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ming; Chai, Lihong; Zhao, Hongfeng; Wu, Minyao; Wang, Hongyuan

    2015-11-01

    Chinese toad (Bufo gargarizans) tadpoles were exposed to nitrate (10, 50 and 100mg/L NO3-N) from the beginning of the larval period through metamorphic climax. We examined the effects of chronic nitrate exposure on metamorphosis, mortality, body size and thyroid gland. In addition, thyroid hormone (TH) levels, type II iodothyronine deiodinase (Dio2) and type III iodothyronine deiodinase (Dio3) mRNA levels were also measured to assess disruption of TH synthesis. Results showed that significant metamorphic delay and mortality increased were caused in larvae exposed to 100mg/L NO3-N. The larvae exposed to 100mg/L NO3-N clearly exhibited a greater reduction in thyroxine (T4) and 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T3) levels. Moreover, treatment with NO3-N induced down-regulation of Dio2 mRNA levels and up-regulation of Dio3 mRNA levels, reflecting the disruption of thyroid endocrine. It seems that increased mass and body size may be correlated with prolonged metamorphosis. Interestingly, we observed an exception that exposure to 100mg/L NO3-N did not exhibit remarkable alterations of thyroid gland size. Compared with control groups, 100mg/L NO3-N caused partial colloid depletion in the thyroid gland follicles. These results suggest that nitrate can act as a chemical stressor inducing retardation in development and metamorphosis. Therefore, we concluded that the presence of high concentrations nitrate can influence the growth, decline the survival, impair TH synthesis and induce metamorphosis retardation of B. gargarizans larvae.

  2. Time course for tail regression during metamorphosis of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Matsunobu, Shohei; Sasakura, Yasunori

    2015-09-01

    In most ascidians, the tadpole-like swimming larvae dramatically change their body-plans during metamorphosis and develop into sessile adults. The mechanisms of ascidian metamorphosis have been researched and debated for many years. Until now information on the detailed time course of the initiation and completion of each metamorphic event has not been described. One dramatic and important event in ascidian metamorphosis is tail regression, in which ascidian larvae lose their tails to adjust themselves to sessile life. In the present study, we measured the time associated with tail regression in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. Larvae are thought to acquire competency for each metamorphic event in certain developmental periods. We show that the timing with which the competence for tail regression is acquired is determined by the time since hatching, and this timing is not affected by the timing of post-hatching events such as adhesion. Because larvae need to adhere to substrates with their papillae to induce tail regression, we measured the duration for which larvae need to remain adhered in order to initiate tail regression and the time needed for the tail to regress. Larvae acquire the ability to adhere to substrates before they acquire tail regression competence. We found that when larvae adhered before they acquired tail regression competence, they were able to remember the experience of adhesion until they acquired the ability to undergo tail regression. The time course of the events associated with tail regression provides a valuable reference, upon which the cellular and molecular mechanisms of ascidian metamorphosis can be elucidated.

  3. The hormonal pathway controlling cell death during metamorphosis in a hemimetabolous insect.

    PubMed

    Mané-Padrós, Daniel; Cruz, Josefa; Vilaplana, Lluisa; Nieva, Claudia; Ureña, Enric; Bellés, Xavier; Martín, David

    2010-10-01

    Metamorphosis in holometabolous insects is mainly based on the destruction of larval tissues. Intensive research in Drosophila melanogaster, a model of holometabolan metamorphosis, has shown that the steroid hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) signals cell death of larval tissues during metamorphosis. However, D. melanogaster shows a highly derived type of development and the mechanisms regulating apoptosis may not be representative in the insect class context. Unfortunately, no functional studies have been carried out to address whether the mechanisms controlling cell death are present in more basal hemimetabolous species. To address this, we have analyzed the apoptosis of the prothoracic gland of the cockroach Blattella germanica, which undergoes stage-specific degeneration just after the imaginal molt. Here, we first show that B. germanica has two inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) proteins and that one of them, BgIAP1, is continuously required to ensure tissue viability, including that of the prothoracic gland, during nymphal development. Moreover, we demonstrate that the degeneration of the prothoracic gland is controlled by a complex 20E-triggered hierarchy of nuclear receptors converging in the strong activation of the death-inducer Fushi tarazu-factor 1 (BgFTZ-F1) during the nymphal-adult transition. Finally, we have also shown that prothoracic gland degeneration is effectively prevented by the presence of juvenile hormone (JH). Given the relevance of cell death in the metamorphic process, the characterization of the molecular mechanisms regulating apoptosis in hemimetabolous insects would allow to help elucidate how metamorphosis has evolved from less to more derived insect species.

  4. Enzyme assays.

    PubMed

    Reymond, Jean-Louis; Fluxà, Viviana S; Maillard, Noélie

    2009-01-07

    Enzyme assays are analytical tools to visualize enzyme activities. In recent years a large variety of enzyme assays have been developed to assist the discovery and optimization of industrial enzymes, in particular for "white biotechnology" where selective enzymes are used with great success for economically viable, mild and environmentally benign production processes. The present article highlights the aspects of fluorogenic and chromogenic substrates, sensors, and enzyme fingerprinting, which are our particular areas of interest.

  5. Evidence for early metamorphosis of sea lampreys in the Chippewa River, Michigan

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Morkert, Sidney B.; Swink, William D.; Seelye, James G.

    1998-01-01

    We determined age at metamorphosis to the juvenile or parasitic phase for sea lampreysPetromyzon marinus in a highly productive Great Lakes tributary to determine if the age at metamorphosis was earlier than expected. Ages determined from statoliths, a structure analogous to otoliths in teleost fishes, indicated that many sea lampreys collected from the Chippewa River, Michigan, in September 1995 were undergoing metamorphosis at age 2, at least 1 year earlier than previously observed. In all, 141 newly metamorphosed lampreys were examined, and 81% were estimated to be only 2 years old. The length-frequency distribution of newly metamorphosed sea lampreys in the Chippewa River also indicated the possibility of metamorphsis at age 2, but to a lesser extent than indicated by statolith aging. The Chippewa River is a highly productive stream that might require more frequent treatment than previously suspected. More careful examination of other highly productive streams is needed to determine if, and to what extent, sea lampreys metamorphose at age 2 in the Chippewa River and other Great Lakes tributaries.

  6. Redefining metamorphosis in spiny lobsters: molecular analysis of the phyllosoma to puerulus transition in Sagmariasus verreauxi.

    PubMed

    Ventura, Tomer; Fitzgibbon, Quinn P; Battaglene, Stephen C; Elizur, Abigail

    2015-08-27

    The molecular understanding of crustacean metamorphosis is hindered by small sized individuals and inability to accurately define molt stages. We used the spiny lobster Sagmariasus verreauxi where the large, transparent larvae enable accurate tracing of the transition from a leaf-shaped phyllosoma to an intermediate larval-juvenile phase (puerulus). Transcriptomic analysis of larvae at well-defined stages prior to, during, and following this transition show that the phyllosoma-puerulus metamorphic transition is accompanied by vast transcriptomic changes exceeding 25% of the transcriptome. Notably, genes previously identified as regulating metamorphosis in other crustaceans do not fluctuate during this transition but in the later, morphologically-subtle puerulus-juvenile transition, indicating that the dramatic phyllosoma-puerulus morphological shift relies on a different, yet to be identified metamorphic mechanism. We examined the change in expression of domains and gene families, with focus on several key genes. Our research implies that the separation in molecular triggering systems between the phyllosoma-puerulus and puerulus-juvenile transitions might have enabled the extension of the oceanic phase in spiny lobsters. Study of similar transitions, where metamorphosis is uncoupled from the transition into the benthic juvenile form, in other commercially important crustacean groups might show common features to point on the evolutionary advantage of this two staged regulation.

  7. Initial characterization of receptors for molecules that induce the settlement and metamorphosis of Haliotis rufescens larvae

    SciTech Connect

    Trapido-Rosenthal, H.G.

    1985-01-01

    Larvae of the marine gastropod mollusc Haliotis refescens are induced to undergo metamorphosis by ..gamma..-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and stereochemically related compounds. The most potent of these inducers is (-)-..beta..-(parachlorophenyl)-GABA (baclofen). The inductive response exhibits positive cooperatively, and is subject to both facilitation (up-regulation) and habituation (down-regulation). Facilitation is brought about by diamino acids such as L-diaminopropionic acid (L-DAPA), and is characterized by decreased Hill coefficients (n/sub H/) and concentration requirements (EC/sub 50/) for inducers. Facilitation does not require the simultaneous presence of facilitating and inducing compounds, and the facilitated state is persistent. Larvae are capable of being up-regulated 2 days before they are capable of undergoing settlement and metamorphosis. Habituation can be brought about by exposure of pre-competent larvae to GABA 4 days prior to the attainment of competence; it is then slowly reversible. Larvae specifically bind tritiated (-)-baclofen in a manner that is saturable with both increasing time of exposure of larvae to, and with increasing concentration of, this compound. Specific binding can be competed for by unlabeled GABA-mimetic inducing molecules; the order of effectiveness of these molecules as competitors for specific binding correlates well with their effectiveness as inducers of metamorphosis. Facilitation of larvae by exposure to diamino acids does not alter their specific binding of tritiated (-)-baclofen. It is concluded from these findings that Haliotis larvae possess receptors for GABA-mimetic compounds.

  8. Does DNA methylation regulate metamorphosis? The case of the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) as an example.

    PubMed

    Covelo-Soto, Lara; Saura, María; Morán, Paloma

    2015-07-01

    Lampreys represent one of the most ancient vertebrate lineages enclosing a special interest for genetic and epigenetic studies. The sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) is an anadromous species that experiences metamorphosis all the way up to the adult stage. Although representing a gradual process, metamorphosis in this species involves dramatic conversions with regard to physiological together with structural body changes preparing individuals for a marine and parasitic life; in consequence, multiple gene expression modifications are expected. The implications of thyroid hormones and HOX gene expression changes have previously been reported in this species and also in other vertebrate species. Nonetheless, information lacks on how these genes are regulated in lampreys. We here report about the existence of methylation pattern differences between the adult and the larvae sea lamprey life cycle stages making use of the Methylation-Sensitive Amplified Polymorphism (MSAP) technique. Differentially methylated fragment sequencing allowed to establish homologous identities with HOX genes involved in morphogenesis, along with genes related to the water balance and to the osmotic homoeostasis, all associated to a marine environment adaptation. These results provide evidences revealing that DNA methylation plays a role in the epigenetic regulation of the P. marinus post-natal development representing a starting point for future studies. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study which detects DNA methylation changes associated with metamorphosis in lampreys.

  9. Cerebrolysin Accelerates Metamorphosis and Attenuates Aging-Accelerating Effect of High Temperature in Drosophila Melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Navrotskaya, V.; Vorobyova, L.; Sharma, H.; Muresanu, D.; Summergrad, P.

    2015-01-01

    Cerebrolysin® (CBL) is a neuroprotective drug used for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. CBL’s mechanisms of action remain unclear. Involvement of tryptophan (TRP)–kynurenine (KYN) pathway in neuroprotective effect of CBL might be suggested considering that modulation of KYN pathway of TRP metabolism by CBL, and protection against eclosion defect and prolongation of life span of Drosophila melanogaster with pharmacologically or genetically-induced down-regulation of TRP conversion into KYN. To investigate possible involvement of TRP–KYN pathway in mechanisms of neuroprotective effect of CBL, we evaluated CBL effects on metamorphosis and life span of Drosophila melanogaster maintained at 23 °C and 28 °C ambient temperature. CBL accelerated metamorphosis, exerted strong tendency (p = 0.04) to prolong life span in female but not in male flies, and attenuated aging-accelerating effect of high (28 °C) ambient temperature in both female and male flies. Further research of CBL effects on metamorphosis and resistance to aging-accelerating effect of high temperature might offer new insights in mechanisms of its neuroprotective action and expand its clinical applications. PMID:25798213

  10. A model of muscle atrophy based on live microscopy of muscle remodelling in Drosophila metamorphosis

    PubMed Central

    Kuleesha, Yadav; Puah, Wee Choo; Wasser, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Genes controlling muscle size and survival play important roles in muscle wasting diseases. In Drosophila melanogaster metamorphosis, larval abdominal muscles undergo two developmental fates. While a doomed population is eliminated by cell death, another persistent group is remodelled and survives into adulthood. To identify and characterize genes involved in the development of remodelled muscles, we devised a workflow consisting of in vivo imaging, targeted gene perturbation and quantitative image analysis. We show that inhibition of TOR signalling and activation of autophagy promote developmental muscle atrophy in early, while TOR and yorkie activation are required for muscle growth in late pupation. We discovered changes in the localization of myonuclei during remodelling that involve anti-polar migration leading to central clustering followed by polar migration resulting in localization along the midline. We demonstrate that the Cathepsin L orthologue Cp1 is required for myonuclear clustering in mid, while autophagy contributes to central positioning of nuclei in late metamorphosis. In conclusion, studying muscle remodelling in metamorphosis can provide new insights into the cell biology of muscle wasting. PMID:26998322

  11. Redefining metamorphosis in spiny lobsters: molecular analysis of the phyllosoma to puerulus transition in Sagmariasus verreauxi

    PubMed Central

    Ventura, Tomer; Fitzgibbon, Quinn P.; Battaglene, Stephen C.; Elizur, Abigail

    2015-01-01

    The molecular understanding of crustacean metamorphosis is hindered by small sized individuals and inability to accurately define molt stages. We used the spiny lobster Sagmariasus verreauxi where the large, transparent larvae enable accurate tracing of the transition from a leaf-shaped phyllosoma to an intermediate larval-juvenile phase (puerulus). Transcriptomic analysis of larvae at well-defined stages prior to, during, and following this transition show that the phyllosoma-puerulus metamorphic transition is accompanied by vast transcriptomic changes exceeding 25% of the transcriptome. Notably, genes previously identified as regulating metamorphosis in other crustaceans do not fluctuate during this transition but in the later, morphologically-subtle puerulus-juvenile transition, indicating that the dramatic phyllosoma-puerulus morphological shift relies on a different, yet to be identified metamorphic mechanism. We examined the change in expression of domains and gene families, with focus on several key genes. Our research implies that the separation in molecular triggering systems between the phyllosoma-puerulus and puerulus-juvenile transitions might have enabled the extension of the oceanic phase in spiny lobsters. Study of similar transitions, where metamorphosis is uncoupled from the transition into the benthic juvenile form, in other commercially important crustacean groups might show common features to point on the evolutionary advantage of this two staged regulation. PMID:26311524

  12. Notes on cranial ontogeny and delayed metamorphosis in the hynobiid salamander Ranodon sibiricus Kessler, 1866 (Urodela).

    PubMed

    Jömann, Norbert; Clemen, Günter; Greven, Hartmut

    2005-07-01

    The skull of larvae, juveniles and adults of the rare and primitive hynobiid salamander Ranodon sibiricus was re-examined using transparencies and illustrated by new graphics. The earliest larva available for investigations already had the dominant bones. The maxillary, however, was still lacking. Previous descriptions regarding the appearance and growth of bones could be largely confirmed. The vomer, first seen as a relatively small obliquely arranged dentate bar in the 3.8 cm long larva, became larger during ontogeny, but did not change its position remarkably. The vomerine pars dentalis with only a single tooth line was straight in larvae and juveniles, but was slightly curved in adults allowing for distinction of an outer and inner portion. This feature is typical and more pronounced in most other hynobiids. The significance of the vomer and vomerine dentition for systematic and phylogenetic purposes and its changes during metamorphosis are briefly discussed. Two of the specimens examined showed delayed metamorphosis very likely caused by low temperatures. Here the temporal course of transformation was "stretched" and therefore some alterations, e.g. regression of the palatinal portion of the palatopterygoid, were shown more clearly. Continuous growth of some skull elements in these individuals suggested a relative independence from metamorphosis perhaps due to variable thyroid activity and/or independent changes in individual tissue sensitivities. It is suggested that remodelling of the mouth roof could be used for staging urodele ontogeny.

  13. Scenarios for acceleration in fish development and the role of metamorphosis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kooijman, S. A. L. M.; Pecquerie, L.; Augustine, S.; Jusup, M.

    2011-11-01

    We compare various alternative explanations of why embryo development is sometimes slow relative to juvenile and adult development on the basis of the standard Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) model and make the comparison with avian altricial versus precocial development. We discuss the role of the energy investment ratio, which combines four different aspects of DEBs: allocation, assimilation, mobilisation and costs for structure. We show how this ratio affects the morphology of growth curves: the ratio of the slopes at start and birth during embryonic growth, as well as the von Bertalanffy time as function of ultimate length during post-embryonic growth. We propose an extension of the standard DEB model that combines a Gompertz (i.e. exponential) start with a von Bertalanffy 'tail' with a smooth transition; a combination that has been applied frequently in fisheries research and here given a mechanistic significance. Implications are that a slow embryonic development is combined with a fast post-metamorphic one and that parameters at metamorphosis depend on feeding history prior to metamorphosis. Identical individuals, in terms of parameter values and amounts of reserve and structure, will become permanently different when they experience different (local) environments, even if they experience identical environments after metamorphosis. This might explain part of the parameter variation amongst individuals.

  14. Influence of natural settlement cues on the metamorphosis of fiddler crab megalopae, Uca vocator (Decapoda: Ocypodidae).

    PubMed

    Simith, Darlan J B; Diele, Karen; Abrunhosa, Fernando A

    2010-06-01

    Megalopae of many decapod crab species accelerate their development time to metamorphosis (TTM) when exposed to natural physical and/or chemical cues characteristic of the parental habitat. In the present study, the influence of natural settlement cues on the moulting rates and development TTM in megalopae of the fiddler crab Uca vocator was investigated. The effects of mud from different habitats (including well-preserved and degraded-polluted mangrove habitats) and conspecific adult 'odours' (seawater conditioned with crabs) on the induction of metamorphosis were compared with filtered pure seawater (control). 95 to 100% of the megalopae successfully metamorphosed to first juvenile crab stage in all treatments, including the control. However, the development TTM differed significantly among treatments. Settlement cues significantly shortened development, while moulting was delayed in their absence. The fact that megalopae responded to metamorphosis-stimulating cues originating from both adult and non-adult benthic habitats demonstrates that settlement in this species may occur in a wider range of habitats within the mangrove ecosystem, including impacted areas.

  15. Deciphering amphibian diversity through DNA barcoding: chances and challenges.

    PubMed

    Vences, Miguel; Thomas, Meike; Bonett, Ronald M; Vieites, David R

    2005-10-29

    Amphibians globally are in decline, yet there is still a tremendous amount of unrecognized diversity, calling for an acceleration of taxonomic exploration. This process will be greatly facilitated by a DNA barcoding system; however, the mitochondrial population structure of many amphibian species presents numerous challenges to such a standardized, single locus, approach. Here we analyse intra- and interspecific patterns of mitochondrial variation in two distantly related groups of amphibians, mantellid frogs and salamanders, to determine the promise of DNA barcoding with cytochrome oxidase subunit I (cox1) sequences in this taxon. High intraspecific cox1 divergences of 7-14% were observed (18% in one case) within the whole set of amphibian sequences analysed. These high values are not caused by particularly high substitution rates of this gene but by generally deep mitochondrial divergences within and among amphibian species. Despite these high divergences, cox1 sequences were able to correctly identify species including disparate geographic variants. The main problems with cox1 barcoding of amphibians are (i) the high variability of priming sites that hinder the application of universal primers to all species and (ii) the observed distinct overlap of intraspecific and interspecific divergence values, which implies difficulties in the definition of threshold values to identify candidate species. Common discordances between geographical signatures of mitochondrial and nuclear markers in amphibians indicate that a single-locus approach can be problematic when high accuracy of DNA barcoding is required. We suggest that a number of mitochondrial and nuclear genes may be used as DNA barcoding markers to complement cox1.

  16. Developments in amphibian captive breeding and reintroduction programs.

    PubMed

    Harding, Gemma; Griffiths, Richard A; Pavajeau, Lissette

    2016-04-01

    Captive breeding and reintroduction remain high profile but controversial conservation interventions. It is important to understand how such programs develop and respond to strategic conservation initiatives. We analyzed the contribution to conservation made by amphibian captive breeding and reintroduction since the launch of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Amphibian Conservation Action Plan (ACAP) in 2007. We assembled data on amphibian captive breeding and reintroduction from a variety of sources including the Amphibian Ark database and the IUCN Red List. We also carried out systematic searches of Web of Science, JSTOR, and Google Scholar for relevant literature. Relative to data collected from 1966 to 2006, the number of species involved in captive breeding and reintroduction projects increased by 57% in the 7 years since release of the ACAP. However, there have been relatively few new reintroductions over this period; most programs have focused on securing captive-assurance populations (i.e., species taken into captivity as a precaution against extinctions in the wild) and conservation-related research. There has been a shift to a broader representation of frogs, salamanders, and caecilians within programs and an increasing emphasis on threatened species. There has been a relative increase of species in programs from Central and South America and the Caribbean, where amphibian biodiversity is high. About half of the programs involve zoos and aquaria with a similar proportion represented in specialist facilities run by governmental or nongovernmental agencies. Despite successful reintroduction often being regarded as the ultimate milestone for such programs, the irreversibility of many current threats to amphibians may make this an impractical goal. Instead, research on captive assurance populations may be needed to develop imaginative solutions to enable amphibians to survive alongside current, emerging, and future threats.

  17. Translocations of amphibians: Proven management method or experimental technique

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Seigel, Richard A.; Dodd, C. Kenneth

    2002-01-01

    In an otherwise excellent review of metapopulation dynamics in amphibians, Marsh and Trenham (2001) make the following provocative statements (emphasis added): If isolation effects occur primarily in highly disturbed habitats, species translocations may be necessary to promote local and regional population persistence. Because most amphibians lack parental care, they areprime candidates for egg and larval translocations. Indeed, translocations have already proven successful for several species of amphibians. Where populations are severely isolated, translocations into extinct subpopulations may be the best strategy to promote regional population persistence. We take issue with these statements for a number of reasons. First, the authors fail to cite much of the relevant literature on species translocations in general and for amphibians in particular. Second, to those unfamiliar with current research in amphibian conservation biology, these comments might suggest that translocations are a proven management method. This is not the case, at least in most instances where translocations have been evaluated for an appropriate period of time. Finally, the authors fail to point out some of the negative aspects of species translocation as a management method. We realize that Marsh and Trenham's paper was not concerned primarily with translocations. However, because Marsh and Trenham (2001) made specific recommendations for conservation planners and managers (many of whom are not herpetologists or may not be familiar with the pertinent literature on amphibians), we believe that it is essential to point out that not all amphibian biologists are as comfortable with translocations as these authors appear to be. We especially urge caution about advocating potentially unproven techniques without a thorough review of available options.

  18. Ecological Risk Assessment of Ammonium Perchlorate on Fish, Amphibians, and Small Mammals

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2003-02-01

    The Effects of Contaminated and Reference Surface Waters on Metamorphosis in Xenopus Laevis ...; 4) Lethal Concentration Determination of Sodium...Perchlorate and Ammonium Chloride on Xenopus Laevis Eggs ... ; 5) Sublethal Effects of Ammonium Chloride, Ammonium Perchlorate, and Sodium Perchlorate on the...Development and Metamorphosis of Xenopus Laevis ; 6) Protocol Development for Determination of Effects of Perchlorate on Growth and Reproduction of

  19. Applying Metabolomics to differentiate amphibian responses ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Introduction/Objectives/Methods One of the biggest challenges in ecological risk assessment is determining the impact of multiple stressors on individual organisms and populations in ‘real world’ scenarios. Emerging ‘omic technologies, notably, metabolomics, provides an opportunity to address the uncertainties surrounding ecological risk assessment of multiple stressors. The objective of this study was to use a metabolomics biomarker approach to investigate the effect of multiple stressors on amphibian metamorphs. To this end, metamorphs of Rana pipiens (northern leopard frogs) were exposed to the insecticide Carbaryl (0.32 μg/L), a conspecific predator alarm call (Lithobates catesbeianus), Carbaryl and the predator alarm call, and a control with no stressor. In addition to metabolomic fingerprinting, we measured corticosterone levels in each treatment to assess general stress response. We analyzed relative abundances of endogenous metabolites collected in liver tissue with gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. Support vector machine (SVM) methods with recursive feature elimination (RFE) were applied to rank the metabolomic profiles produced. Results/Conclusions SVM-RFE of the acquired metabolomic spectra demonstrated 85-96% classification accuracy among control and all treatment groups when using the top 75 ranked retention time bins. Biochemical fluxes observed in the groups exposed to carbaryl, predation threat, and the combined treatmen

  20. Mechanics of Blastopore Closure during Amphibian Gastrulation

    PubMed Central

    Feroze, Rafey; Shawky, Joseph H.; von Dassow, Michelangelo; Davidson, Lance A.

    2014-01-01

    Blastopore closure in the amphibian embryo involves large scale tissue reorganization driven by physical forces. These forces are tuned to generate sustained blastopore closure throughout the course of gastrulation. We describe the mechanics of blastopore closure at multiple scales and in different regions around the blastopore by characterizing large scale tissue deformations, cell level shape change and subcellular F-actin organization and by measuring tissue force production and structural stiffness of the blastopore during gastrulation. We find that the embryo generates a ramping magnitude of force until it reaches a peak force on the order of 0.5 μ Newtons. During this time course, the embryo also stiffens 1.5 fold. Strain rate mapping of the dorsal, ventral and lateral epithelial cells proximal to the blastopore reveals changing patterns of strain rate throughout closure. Cells dorsal to the blastopore, which are fated to become neural plate ectoderm, are polarized and have straight boundaries. In contrast, cells lateral and ventral to the blastopore are less polarized and have tortuous cell boundaries. The F-actin network is organized differently in each region with the highest percentage of alignment occurring in the lateral region. Interestingly F-actin was consistently oriented toward the blastopore lip in dorsal and lateral cells, but oriented parallel to the lip in ventral regions. Cell shape and F-actin alignment analyses reveal different local mechanical environments in regions around the blastopore, which was reflected by the strain rate maps. PMID:25448691

  1. Energy and water in aestivating amphibians.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, José E; Navas, Carlos A; Pereira, Isabel C

    2010-01-01

    The physiological mechanisms, behavioral adjustments, and ecological associations that allow animal species to live in extreme environments have evoked the attention of many zoologists. Often, extreme environments are defined as those believed to be limiting to life in terms of water, energetic availability, and temperature. These three elements seem extreme in a number of arid and semi-arid settings that even so have been colonized by amphibians. Because this taxon is usually seen as the quintessential water-dependent ectotherm tetrapods, their presence in a number of semi-arid environments poses a number of intriguing questions regarding microhabitat choice and physiological plasticity, particularly regarding the ecological and physiological correlates of behaviors granting avoidance of the harshest conditions of semi-arid environments. Such avoidance states, generally associated to the concept of aestivation, are currently seen as a diverse and complex phenomena varying from species to species and involving numerous behavioral and metabolic adjustments that enhance survival during the drought. This chapter reviews the physiological ecology of anuran aestivation, mainly from the perspective of water and energy balance.

  2. Adaptive tolerance to a pathogenic fungus drives major histocompatibility complex evolution in natural amphibian populations

    PubMed Central

    Savage, Anna E.; Zamudio, Kelly R.

    2016-01-01

    Amphibians have been affected globally by the disease chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), and we are just now beginning to understand how immunogenetic variability contributes to disease susceptibility. Lineages of an expressed major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II locus involved in acquired immunity are associated with chytridiomycosis susceptibility in controlled laboratory challenge assays. Here, we extend these findings to natural populations that vary both in exposure and response to Bd. We find that MHC alleles and supertypes associated with Bd survival in the field show a molecular signal of positive selection, while those associated with susceptibility do not, supporting the hypothesis that heritable Bd tolerance is rapidly evolving. We compare MHC supertypes to neutral loci to demonstrate where selection versus demography is shaping MHC variability. One population with Bd tolerance in nature shows a significant signal of directional selection for the same allele (allele Q) that was significantly associated with survival in an earlier laboratory study. Our findings indicate that selective pressure for Bd survival drives rapid immunogenetic adaptation in some natural populations, despite differences in environment and demography. Our field-based analysis of immunogenetic variation confirms that natural amphibian populations have the evolutionary potential to adapt to chytridiomycosis. PMID:27009220

  3. Variation in pesticide tolerance of tadpoles among and within species of ranidae and patterns of amphibian decline

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bridges, C.M.; Semlitsch, R.D.

    2000-01-01

    There is significant variation among and within amphibian species with respect to reports of population decline; declining species are often found in environments that are physiograpically similar to environments where the same species is thriving. Because variability exists among organisms in their sensitivity to environmental stressors, it is important to determine the degree of this variation when undertaking conservation efforts. We conducted both lethal (time-to-death) and sublethal (activity change) assays to determine the degree of variation in the sensitivity of tadpoles to a pesticide, carbaryl, at three hierarchical levels: among ranid species, among several populations of a single ranid species (Rana sphenocephala), and within populations of R. sphenocephala. We observed significant variation in time to death among the nine ranid species and among the 10 R. sphenocephala populations we tested. Four out of eight R. sphenocephala populations exhibited significantly different times to death among families. The magnitude of the activity change in response to exposure to sublethal carbaryl levels was significantly different among species and within R. sphenocephala populations. Chemical contamination, at lethal or sublethal levels, can alter natural regulatory processes such as juvenile recruitment in amphibian populations and should be considered a contributing cause of declines in amphibian populations.

  4. Development, organization, and remodeling of phoronid muscles from embryo to metamorphosis (Lophotrochozoa: Phoronida)

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The phoronid larva, which is called the actinotrocha, is one of the most remarkable planktotrophic larval types among marine invertebrates. Actinotrochs live in plankton for relatively long periods and undergo catastrophic metamorphosis, in which some parts of the larval body are consumed by the juvenile. The development and organization of the muscular system has never been described in detail for actinotrochs and for other stages in the phoronid life cycle. Results In Phoronopsis harmeri, muscular elements of the preoral lobe and the collar originate in the mid-gastrula stage from mesodermal cells, which have immigrated from the anterior wall of the archenteron. Muscles of the trunk originate from posterior mesoderm together with the trunk coelom. The organization of the muscular system in phoronid larvae of different species is very complex and consists of 14 groups of muscles. The telotroch constrictor, which holds the telotroch in the larval body during metamorphosis, is described for the first time. This unusual muscle is formed by apical myofilaments of the epidermal cells. Most larval muscles are formed by cells with cross-striated organization of myofibrils. During metamorphosis, most elements of the larval muscular system degenerate, but some of them remain and are integrated into the juvenile musculature. Conclusion Early steps of phoronid myogenesis reflect the peculiarities of the actinotroch larva: the muscle of the preoral lobe is the first muscle to appear, and it is important for food capture. The larval muscular system is organized in differently in different phoronid larvae, but always exhibits a complexity that probably results from the long pelagic life, planktotrophy, and catastrophic metamorphosis. Degeneration of the larval muscular system during phoronid metamorphosis occurs in two ways, i.e., by complete or by incomplete destruction of larval muscular elements. The organization and remodeling of the muscular system in phoronids

  5. Amphibian populations in the terrestrial environment: Is there evidence of declines of terrestrial forest amphibians in northwestern California?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Welsh, H.H.; Fellers, G.M.; Lind, A.J.

    2007-01-01

    Amphibian declines have been documented worldwide; however the vast majority are species associated with aquatic habitats. Information on the status and trends of terrestrial amphibians is almost entirely lacking. Here we use data collected across a 12-yr period (sampling from 1984-86 and from 1993-95) to address the question of whether evidence exists for declines among terrestrial amphibians in northwestern California forests. The majority of amphibians, both species and relative numbers, in these forests are direct-developing salamanders of the family Plethodontidae. We examined amphibian richness and evenness, and the relative abundances of the four most common species of plethodontid salamanders. We examined evidence of differences between years in two ecological provinces (coastal and interior) and across young, mature, and late seral forests and with reference to a moisture gradient from xeric to hydric within late seral forests. We found evidence of declines in species richness across years on late seral mesic stands and in the coastal ecological province, but these differences appeared to be caused by differences in the detection of rarer species, rather than evidence of an overall pattern. We also found differences among specific years in numbers of individuals of the most abundant species, Ensatina eschscholtzii, but these differences also failed to reflect a consistent pattern of declines between the two decadal sample periods. Results showing differences in richness, evenness, and relative abundances along both the seral and moisture continua were consistent with previous research. Overall, we found no compelling evidence of a downward trend in terrestrial plethodontid salamanders. We believe that continued monitoring of terrestrial salamander populations is important to understanding mechanisms of population declines in amphibian species. Copyright 2007 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.

  6. A review of the role of contaminants in amphibian declines

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sparling, D.W.; Hoffman, David J.; Rattner, Barnett A.; Burton, G. Allen; Cairns, John=

    2003-01-01

    CONCLUSIONS--Although there are no published studies that demonstrate beyond all doubt that contaminants are involved in long term population declines of amphibians, there is ample evidence and reason to encourage active research and concern about effects. Many contaminants are lethal to amphibians at environmentally realistic concentrations. Acute mortality from these compounds may be difficult to detect because investigators would have to be present shortly after exposures. Chronic mortality may be masked by metapopulation phenomena so that areas that serve as population sinks may be repeatedly recolonized and difficult to identify. Metapopulation dynamics also make it more difficult to define discrete populations. Contaminants also have many sublethal effects on behavior, energetics, malformations, and diverse effects on physiological pathways which, by themselves might not lead to overt death but could alter reproduction or interact with other factors to result in gradual declines in populations. Scientific understanding of these interactions, and of the ecotoxicology of amphibians in general is far behind what is known about birds, fish, and mammals, and research is desperately needed in this area. Some specific suggestions for critically needed research include: (1) Determination of lethal concentrations of common contaminants - pesticides, PAHs, metals--under environmentally realistic conditions of light, temperature, and water chemistry. (2) Better understanding of the effects of long term (weeks, months), low- concentration exposure of persistent pesticides and stable contaminants on amphibians. (3) Development and refinement of bioindicators in amphibians to use in monitoring and screening for potential effects of contaminants in declining amphibian populations. (4) Further studies on the interaction between contaminants and disease agents including immunosuppression in amphibians. (5) Additional research on the interaction between ultraviolet radiation

  7. Investigating the Influence of Environmental Factors on Pesticide Exposure in Amphibians

    EPA Science Inventory

    Environmental factors such as temporal weather patterns and soil characterization coupled with pesticide application rates are known to influence exposure and subsequent absorption of these compounds in amphibians. Amphibians are a unique class of vertebrates due to their varied ...

  8. Advective and diffusive dermal processes for estimating terrestrial amphibian pesticide exposure

    EPA Science Inventory

    Background/Question/Methods Dermal exposure presents a potentially significant but understudied route for pesticide uptake in terrestrial amphibians. Historically, evaluation of pesticide risk to both amphibians and reptiles has been achieved by comparing ingestion and inhalat...

  9. Ontogenic and ecological control of metamorphosis onset in a carapid fish, Carapus homei: experimental evidence from vertebra and otolith comparisons.

    PubMed

    Parmentier, Eric; Lecchini, David; Lagardere, Francoise; Vandewalle, Pierre

    2004-08-01

    In Carapus homei, reef colonisation is associated with a penetration inside a sea cucumber followed by heavy transformations during which the length of the fish is reduced by 60%. By comparing vertebral axis to otolith ontogenetic changes, this study aimed (i) to specify the events linked to metamorphosis, and (ii) to establish to what extent these fish have the ability to delay it. Different larvae of C. homei were caught when settling on the reef and kept in different experimental conditions for at least 7 days and up to 21 days: darkness or natural light conditions, presence of sea cucumber or not, and food deprivation or not. Whatever the nutritional condition, a period of darkness seems sufficient to initiate metamorphosis. Twenty-one days in natural light conditions delayed metamorphosis, whereas the whole metamorphosis process is the fastest (15 days) for larvae living in sea cucumbers. Whether the metamorphosis was initiated or not, otoliths were modified with the formation of a transition zone, whose structure varied depending on the experimental conditions. At day 21, larvae maintained in darkness had an otolith transition zone with more increments (around 80), albeit wider than those (more or less 21) of individuals kept under natural lighting. These differences in otolith growth could indicate an increased incorporation rate of released metabolites by metamorphosing larvae. However, the presence of a transition zone in delayed-metamorphosis larvae suggests that these otolith changes record the endogenously-induced onset of metamorphosis, whereas body transformations seem to be modulated by the environmental conditions of settlement.

  10. Potential causes for amphibian declines in Puerto Rico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burrowes, P.A.; Joglar, R.L.; Green, David E.

    2004-01-01

    We monitored 11 populations of eight species of Eleutherodactylus in Puerto Rico from 1989 through 2001. We determined relative abundance of active frogs along transects established in the Caribbean National Forest (El Yunque), Carite Forest, San Lorenzo, and in the vicinity of San Juan. Three species (Eleutherodactylus karlschmidti, E. jasperi, and E. eneidae) are presumed to be extinct and eight populations of six different species of endemic Eleutherodactylus are significantly declining at elevations above 400 m. Of the many suspected causes of amphibian declines around the world, we focused on climate change and disease. Temperature and precipitation data from 1970a??2000 were analyzed to determine the general pattern of oscillations and deviations that could be correlated with amphibian declines. We examined a total of 106 tissues taken from museum specimens collected from 1961a??1978 and from live frogs in 2000. We found chytrid fungi in two species collected at El Yunque as early as 1976, this is the first report of chytrid fungus in the Caribbean. Analysis of weather data indicates a significant warming trend and an association between years with extended periods of drought and the decline of amphibians in Puerto Rico. The 1970's and 1990's, which represent the periods of amphibian extirpations and declines, were significantly drier than average. We suggest a possible synergistic interaction between drought and the pathological effect of the chytrid fungus on amphibian populations.

  11. Estimating terrestrial amphibian pesticide body burden through dermal exposure.

    PubMed

    Van Meter, Robin J; Glinski, Donna A; Hong, Tao; Cyterski, Mike; Henderson, W Matthew; Purucker, S Thomas

    2014-10-01

    Dermal exposure presents a potentially significant but understudied route for pesticide uptake in terrestrial amphibians. Our study measured dermal uptake of pesticides of varying hydrophobicity (logKow) in frogs. Amphibians were indirectly exposed to one of five pesticide active ingredients through contact with contaminated soil: imidacloprid (logKow = 0.57), atrazine (logKow = 2.5), triadimefon (logKow = 3.0), fipronil (logKow = 4.11) or pendimethalin (logKow = 5.18). All amphibians had measurable body burdens at the end of the exposure in concentrations ranging from 0.019 to 14.562 μg/g across the pesticides tested. Atrazine produced the greatest body burdens and bioconcentration factors, but fipronil was more permeable to amphibian skin when application rate was considered. Soil partition coefficient and water solubility were much better predictors of pesticide body burden, bioconcentration factor, and skin permeability than logKow. Dermal uptake data can be used to improve risk estimates of pesticide exposure among amphibians as non-target organisms.

  12. Frog virus 3-like infections in aquatic amphibian communities.

    PubMed

    Duffus, A L J; Pauli, B D; Wozney, K; Brunetti, C R; Berrill, M

    2008-01-01

    Frog virus 3 (FV3) and FV3-like viruses, are members of the genus Ranavirus (family Iridoviridae), and they have been associated with infectious diseases that may be contributing to amphibian population declines. We examined the mode of transmission of an FV3-like virus, and potential hosts and reservoirs of the virus in a local amphibian community. Using the polymerase chain reaction to detect infected animals, we found an FV3-like virus in south-central Ontario, Canada, amphibian communities, where it infects sympatric amphibian species, including ranid and hylid tadpoles (Rana sylvatica, Hyla versicolor, and Pseudacris spp.), larval salamanders (Ambystoma spp.), and adult eastern-spotted newts (Notophthalmus viridescens). The high prevalence of FV3-like infections in caudate larvae suggests that salamanders are likely to be both hosts and reservoirs. In laboratory FV3 challenges of R. sylvatica, the rate of infection was dependent on the amount of virus to which the animals were exposed. In addition, although vertical transmission was suspected, horizontal transmission through exposure to infected pond water is the most likely route of infection in tadpoles. Based on our observations, a simple model of FV3/FV3-like virus transmission postulates that, in aquatic amphibian communities, transmission of the virus occurs between anuran and urodele species, with ambystomatid salamanders the most likely reservoir for the ranavirus in our study.

  13. Role of Antimicrobial Peptides in Amphibian Defense Against Trematode Infection

    PubMed Central

    Calhoun, Dana M.; Woodhams, Doug; Howard, Cierra; LaFonte, Bryan E.; Gregory, Jacklyn R.; Johnson, Pieter T. J.

    2016-01-01

    Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) contribute to the immune defenses of many vertebrates, including amphibians. As larvae, amphibians are often exposed to the infectious stages of trematode parasites, many of which must penetrate the host’s skin, potentially interacting with host AMPs. We tested the effects of the natural AMPs repertoires on both the survival of trematode infectious stages as well as their ability to infect larval amphibians. All five trematode species exhibited decreased survival of cercariae in response to higher concentrations of adult bullfrog AMPs, but no effect when exposed to AMPs from larval bullfrogs. Similarly, the use of norepinephrine to remove AMPs from larval bullfrogs, Pacific chorus frogs, and gray treefrogs had only weak (gray treefrogs) or non-significant (other tested species) effects on infection success by Ribeiroia ondatrae. We nonetheless observed strong differences in parasite infection as a function of both host stage (first- versus second-year bullfrogs) and host species (Pacific chorus frogs versus gray treefrogs) that were apparently unrelated to AMPs. Taken together, our results suggest that AMPs do not play a significant role in defending larval amphibians against trematode cercariae, but that they could be one mechanism helping to prevent infection of post-metamorphic amphibians, particularly for highly aquatic species. PMID:26911920

  14. The cause of global amphibian declines: a developmental endocrinologist's perspective

    PubMed Central

    Hayes, T. B.; Falso, P.; Gallipeau, S.; Stice, M.

    2010-01-01

    Greater than 70% of the world's amphibian species are in decline. We propose that there is probably not a single cause for global amphibian declines and present a three-tiered hierarchical approach that addresses interactions among and between ultimate and proximate factors that contribute to amphibian declines. There are two immediate (proximate) causes of amphibian declines: death and decreased recruitment (reproductive failure). Although much attention has focused on death, few studies have addressed factors that contribute to declines as a result of failed recruitment. Further, a great deal of attention has focused on the role of pathogens in inducing diseases that cause death, but we suggest that pathogen success is profoundly affected by four other ultimate factors: atmospheric change, environmental pollutants, habitat modification and invasive species. Environmental pollutants arise as likely important factors in amphibian declines because they have realized potential to affect recruitment. Further, many studies have documented immunosuppressive effects of pesticides, suggesting a role for environmental contaminants in increased pathogen virulence and disease rates. Increased attention to recruitment and ultimate factors that interact with pathogens is important in addressing this global crisis. PMID:20190117

  15. Annual Report: 2014: Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Weir, Linda A.; Nanjappa, P.; Apodaca, J. J.; Williams, J.

    2015-01-01

    Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) was established in 1999 to address the widespread declines, extinctions, and range reductions of amphibians and reptiles, with a focus on conservation of taxa and habitats in North America. Amphibians and reptiles are affected by a broad range of human activities, both as incidental effects of habitat alteration and direct effects from overexploitation; these animals are also burdened by humans attitudes – that amphibians and reptiles are either dangerous or of little environmental or economic value. However, PARC members understand these taxa are important parts of our natural and cultural heritage and they serve important roles in ecosystems throughout the world. With many amphibians and reptiles classified as threatened with extinction, conservation to ensure healthy populations of these animals has never been more important. As you will see herein, PARC’s 15th anniversary has been marked with major accomplishments and an ever-increasing momentum. With your help, PARC can continue to build on its successes and protect these vital species.

  16. A multilocus timescale for the origin of extant amphibians.

    PubMed

    San Mauro, Diego

    2010-08-01

    One of the most hotly debated topics in vertebrate evolution is the origin of extant amphibians (Lissamphibia). The recent contribution of molecular data is shedding new light on this debate, but many important questions still remain unresolved. I have assembled a large and comprehensive multilocus dataset (the largest to date in terms of number and heterogeneity of sequence characters) combining mitogenomic and nuclear information from 23 genes for a sufficiently dense taxon sampling with the key major lineages of extant amphibians. This dataset has been used to infer a robust phylogenetic framework and molecular timescale for the origin of extant amphibians employing the most recent phylogenetic and dating methods, as well as several alternative calibration schemes. The monophyly of each extant amphibian order and the sister group relationship between frogs and salamanders (Batrachia hypothesis) are all strongly supported. Dating analyses (all methods and calibration schemes used) suggest that the origin of extant amphibians (divergence between caecilian and batrachians) occurred in the Late Carboniferous, around 315 Mya, and the divergence between frogs and salamanders occurred in the Early Permian, around 290 Mya. These age estimates are more consistent with the fossil record than previous older estimates, and more in line with the Temnospondyli or the Lepospondyli hypotheses of lissamphibian ancestry (although the polyphyly hypothesis cannot be completely ruled out).

  17. Control of respiration in fish, amphibians and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Taylor, E W; Leite, C A C; McKenzie, D J; Wang, T

    2010-05-01

    Fish and amphibians utilise a suction/force pump to ventilate gills or lungs, with the respiratory muscles innervated by cranial nerves, while reptiles have a thoracic, aspiratory pump innervated by spinal nerves. However, fish can recruit a hypobranchial pump for active jaw occlusion during hypoxia, using feeding muscles innervated by anterior spinal nerves. This same pump is used to ventilate the air-breathing organ in air-breathing fishes. Some reptiles retain a buccal force pump for use during hypoxia or exercise. All vertebrates have respiratory rhythm generators (RRG) located in the brainstem. In cyclostomes and possibly jawed fishes, this may comprise elements of the trigeminal nucleus, though in the latter group RRG neurons have been located in the reticular formation. In air-breathing fishes and amphibians, there may be separate RRG for gill and lung ventilation. There is some evidence for multiple RRG in reptiles. Both amphibians and reptiles show episodic breathing patterns that may be centrally generated, though they do respond to changes in oxygen supply. Fish and larval amphibians have chemoreceptors sensitive to oxygen partial pressure located on the gills. Hypoxia induces increased ventilation and a reflex bradycardia and may trigger aquatic surface respiration or air-breathing, though these latter activities also respond to behavioural cues. Adult amphibians and reptiles have peripheral chemoreceptors located on the carotid arteries and central chemoreceptors sensitive to blood carbon dioxide levels. Lung perfusion may be regulated by cardiac shunting and lung ventilation stimulates lung stretch receptors.

  18. Mitogenomic perspectives on the origin and phylogeny of living amphibians.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Peng; Zhou, Hui; Chen, Yue-Qin; Liu, Yi-Fei; Qu, Liang-Hu

    2005-06-01

    Establishing the relationships among modern amphibians (lissamphibians) and their ancient relatives is necessary for our understanding of early tetrapod evolution. However, the phylogeny is still intractable because of the highly specialized anatomy and poor fossil record of lissamphibians. Paleobiologists are still not sure whether lissamphibians are monophyletic or polyphyletic, and which ancient group (temnospondyls or lepospondyls) is most closely related to them. In an attempt to address these problems, eight mitochondrial genomes of living amphibians were determined and compared with previously published amphibian sequences. A comprehensive molecular phylogenetic analysis of nucleotide sequences yields a highly resolved tree congruent with the traditional hypotheses (Batrachia). By using a molecular clock-independent approach for inferring dating information from molecular phylogenies, we present here the first molecular timescale for lissamphibian evolution, which suggests that lissamphibians first emerged about 330 million years ago. By observing the fit between molecular and fossil times, we suggest that the temnospondyl-origin hypothesis for lissamphibians is more credible than other hypotheses. Moreover, under this timescale, the potential geographic origins of the main living amphibian groups are discussed: (i) advanced frogs (neobatrachians) may possess an Africa-India origin; (ii) salamanders may have originated in east Asia; (iii) the tropic forest of the Triassic Pangaea may be the place of origin for the ancient caecilians. An accurate phylogeny with divergence times can be also helpful to direct the search for "missing" fossils, and can benefit comparative studies of amphibian evolution.

  19. 50 CFR 16.14 - Importation of live amphibians or their eggs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Importation of live amphibians or their... Importation of live amphibians or their eggs. Upon the filing of a written declaration with the District Director of Customs at the port of entry as required under § 14.61, all species of live amphibians or...

  20. 50 CFR 16.14 - Importation of live amphibians or their eggs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Importation of live amphibians or their... Importation of live amphibians or their eggs. Upon the filing of a written declaration with the District Director of Customs at the port of entry as required under § 14.61, all species of live amphibians or...

  1. 50 CFR 16.14 - Importation of live amphibians or their eggs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Importation of live amphibians or their... Importation of live amphibians or their eggs. Upon the filing of a written declaration with the District Director of Customs at the port of entry as required under § 14.61, all species of live amphibians or...

  2. 76 FR 45603 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment Request for the North American Amphibian...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-07-29

    ... American Amphibian Monitoring Program (NAAMP) AGENCY: U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Interior. ACTION... request (ICR) for the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program (NAAMP). As required by the Paperwork... the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program. Volunteers use an on-line data entry system to...

  3. 50 CFR 16.14 - Importation of live