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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. The phylogeny of amphibian metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Reiss, John O

    2002-01-01

    Frogs have one of the most extreme metamorphoses among vertebrates. How did this metamorphosis evolve? By combining the methods previously proposed by Mabee and Humphries (1993) and Velhagen (1997), I develop a phylogenetic method suited for rigorous analysis of this question. In a preliminary analysis using 12 transformation sequence characters and 36 associated event sequence characters, all drawn from the osteology of the skull, the evolution of metamorphosis is traced on an assumed phylogeny. This phylogeny has lissamphibians (frogs, salamanders, and caecilians) monophyletic, with frogs the sister group of salamanders. Successive outgroups used are temnospondyls and discosauriscids, both of which are fossil groups for which ontogenetic data are available. In the reconstruction of character evolution, an unambiguous change (synapomorphy) along the branch leading to lissamphibians is a delay in the lengthening of the maxilla until metamorphosis, in accordance with my previous suggestion (Reiss, 1996). However, widening of the interpterygoid vacuity does not appear as a synapomophy of lissamphibians, due to variation in the character states in the outgroups. From a more theoretical perspective, the reconstructed evolution of amphibian metamorphosis involves examples of heterochrony, through the shift of ancestral premetamorphic events to the metamorphic period, caenogenesis, through the origin of new larval features, and terminal addition, through the origin of new adult features. Other changes don't readily fit these categories. This preliminary study provides evidence that metamorphic changes in frogs arose as further modifications of changes unique to lissamphibians, as well as a new method by which such questions can be examined. PMID:16351859

  4. Examination of an amphibian metamorphosis assay under an individual-separated exposure system using Silurana tropicalis tadpoles.

    PubMed

    Saka, Masahiro; Tada, Noriko; Kamata, Yoichi

    2012-12-01

    We examined the validity of an amphibian (Silurana tropicalis) metamorphosis assay (a 28-day semistatic test) under an individual-separated exposure system, where tadpoles were individually held in small glass beakers. We first conducted a comparative rearing experiment for 28 days between this exposure system and the traditional individual-grouped exposure system, both of which held 30 tadpoles (stages 49 and 50) in dechlorinated tap water (a control solution). The former system served to reduce interindividual variability in regard to three morphological measures (developmental stage, hind limb length, and total body length). Under this system, we tested thyroxine (T4, 1μg/L) and propylthiouracil (PTU, 75mg/L) for 28 days of exposure. The morphological data collected at 7-day intervals indicated that significant metamorphic acceleration and retardation were consistently induced in the tadpoles exposed to T4 and PTU, respectively. In addition, the thyroid glands of the tadpoles exposed to T4 and PTU clearly exhibited atrophy and hypertrophy accompanied with severe follicular cell hyperplasia, respectively. Our results are in agreement with the historical data generated from previous studies employing the traditional exposure system, thus indicating the validity of our alternative testing protocol.

  5. An evaluation of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid in the Amphibian Metamorphosis Assay and the Fish Short-Term Reproduction Assay.

    PubMed

    Coady, Katherine; Marino, Troy; Thomas, Johnson; Sosinski, Lindsay; Neal, Barbara; Hammond, Larry

    2013-04-01

    2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) was evaluated in both the Amphibian Metamorphosis Assay (AMA) and the Fish Short Term Reproduction Assay (FSTRA). In the AMA, tadpoles were exposed to mean measured 2,4-D concentrations of 0 (water control), 0.273, 3.24, 38.0 and 113 mg acid equivalents (ae)/L for either seven or 21 days. In the FSTRA, fathead minnows were exposed to mean measured 2,4-D concentrations of 0 (water control), 0.245, 3.14, 34.0, and 96.5 mg ae/L for 21 days. The respective concentrations of 2,4-D were not overtly toxic to either Xenopus laevis tadpoles or fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas). In the AMA, there were no signs of either advanced or delayed development, asynchronous development, or significant histopathological effects of the thyroid gland among 2,4-D exposed tadpoles evaluated on either day seven or day 21 of the exposure. Therefore, following the AMA decision logic, 2,4-D is considered "likely thyroid inactive" in the AMA with a No Observable Effect Concentration (NOEC) of 113 mg ae 2,4-D/L. In the FSTRA, there were no significant differences between control and 2,4-D exposed fish in regard to fertility, wet weight, length, gonado-somatic indices, tubercle scores, or blood plasma concentrations of vitellogenin. Furthermore, there were no treatment-related histopathologic changes in the testes or ovaries in any 2,4-D exposed group. The only significant effect was a decrease in fecundity among fish exposed to 96.5 mg ae 2,4-D/L. The cause of the reduced fecundity at the highest concentration of 2,4-D tested in the assay was most likely due to a generalized stress response in the fish, and not due to a specific endocrine mode of action of 2,4-D. Based on fish reproduction, the NOEC in the FSTRA was 34.0 mg ae 2,4-D/L.

  6. 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.

  7. The Metamorphosis of Amphibian Toxicogenomics

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:22435070

  8. 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. PMID:22435070

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grant, E.H.C.

    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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grant, E.H.C.

    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.

  13. Metamorphosis and neoteny: alternative pathways in an extinct amphibian clade.

    PubMed

    Schoch, Rainer R; Fröbisch, Nadia B

    2006-07-01

    The Branchiosauridae was a clade of small amphibians from the Permo-Carboniferous with an overall salamander-like appearance. The clade is distinguished by an extraordinary fossil record that comprises hundreds of well-preserved specimens, representing a wide range of ontogenetic stages. Branchiosaurids had external gills and weakly ossified skeletons, and due to this larval appearance their status as neotenic (perennibranchiate) forms has long been accepted. Despite their extensive fossil record large specimens with an adult morphology appeared to be lacking altogether, but recently two adult specimens were identified in a rich sample of Apateon gracilis collected in the 19th century from a locality near Dresden, Saxony. These specimens are unique among branchiosaurids in showing a high level of ossification, including bones that have never been reported in a branchiosaur. These highlight the successive formation of features believed to indicate terrestrial locomotion, as well as feeding on larger prey items. Moreover, these transformations occurred in a small time window (whereas the degree of size increase is used as a proxy of time) and the degree of concentration of developmental events in branchiosaurids is unique among tetrapods outside the lissamphibians. These specimens are compared with large adults of the neotenic branchiosaurid Apateon caducus from the Saar-Nahe Basin, which despite their larger body size lack the features found in the adult A. gracilis specimens. These specimens give new insight into patterns of metamorphosis (morphological transformation) in branchiosaurids that are believed to be correlated to a change of habitat, and clearly show that different life-history pathways comparable to those of modern salamanders were already established in this Paleozoic clade.

  14. 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....

  15. 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.

  16. Involvement of Glucocorticoids in the Reorganization of the Amphibian Immune System at Metamorphosis

    PubMed Central

    Barker, Katherine S.; Davis, A. Tray

    1997-01-01

    In recent years, integrative animal biologists and behavioral scientists have begun to understand the complex interactions between the immune system and the neuroendocrine system. Amphibian metamorphosis offers a unique opportunity to study dramatic hormone-driven changes in the immune system in a compressed time frame. In the South African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, the larval pattern of immunity is distinct from that of the adult, and metamorphosis marks the transition from one pattern to the other. Climax of metamorphosis is characterized by significant elevations in thyroid hormones, glucocorticoid hormones, and the pituitary hormones, prolactin and growth hormone. Previously, we and others have shown that elevated levels of unbound glucocorticoid hormones found at climax of metamorphosis are associated with a natural decline in lymphocyte numbers, lymphocyte viability, and mitogen-induced proliferation. Here we present evidence that the mechanism for loss of lymphocytes at metamorphosis is glucocorticoid-induced apoptosis. Inhibition of lymphocyte function and loss of lymphocytes in the thymus and spleen are reversible by in vitro or in vivo treatment with the glucocorticoid receptor antagonist, RU486, whereas the mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist, RU26752, is poorly effective. These observations support the hypothesis that loss of larval lymphocytes and changes in lymphocyte function are due to elevated concentrations of glucocorticoids that remove unnecessary lymphocytes to allow for development of immunological tolerance to the new adult-specific antigens that appear as a result of metamorphosis. PMID:9587715

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Suitability of golf course ponds for amphibian metamorphosis when bullfrogs are removed.

    PubMed

    Boone, Michelle D; Semlitsch, Raymond D; Mosby, Cory

    2008-02-01

    Managing areas designed for human recreation so that they are compatible with natural amphibian populations can reduce the negative impacts of habitat destruction. We examined the potential for amphibians to complete larval development in golf course ponds in the presence or absence of overwintered bullfrog tadpoles (Rana catesbeiana), which are frequently found in permanent, human-made ponds. We reared larval American toads (Bufo americanus), southern leopard frogs (R. sphenocephala), and spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) with 0 or 5 overwintered bullfrog tadpoles in field enclosures located in ponds on golf courses or in experimental wetlands at a reference site. Survival to metamorphosis of American toads, southern leopard frogs, and spotted salamanders was greater in ponds on golf courses than at reference sites. We attributed this increased survival to low abundance of insect predators in golf course ponds. The presence of overwintered bullfrogs, however, reduced the survival of American toads, southern leopard frogs, and spotted salamanders reared in golf course ponds, indicating that the suitability of the aquatic habitats for these species partly depended on the biotic community present. Our results suggest that ponds in human recreational areas should be managed by maintaining intermediate hydroperiods, which will reduce the presence of bullfrog tadpoles and predators, such as fish, and which may allow native amphibian assemblages to flourish. PMID:18254862

  20. Transition of chytrid fungus infection from mouthparts to hind limbs during amphibian metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    McMahon, Taegan A; Rohr, Jason R

    2015-03-01

    The chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is implicated in worldwide amphibian declines. Bd has been shown to qualitatively transition from the mouthparts of tadpoles to the hindlimbs during metamorphosis, but we lack evidence of consistency in the timing of this transition across amphibian species. We also do not have predictive functions for the abundance of Bd in mouthparts and limbs as tadpoles develop or for the relationship between keratin and Bd abundance. Hence, researchers presently have little guidance on where to sample developing amphibians to maximize Bd detection, which could affect the accuracy of prevalence and abundance estimates for this deadly pathogen. Here, we show consistency in the timing of the transition of Bd from mouthparts to hind limbs across two frog species (Osteopilus septentrionalis and Mixophyes fasciolatus). Keratin and Bd simultaneously declined from the mouthparts starting at approximately Gosner stage 40. However, keratin on the hindlimbs began to appear at approximately stage 38 but, on average, Bd was not detectable on the hindlimbs until approximately stage 40, suggesting a lag between keratin and Bd arrival. Predictive functions for the relationships between developmental stage and keratin and developmental stage and Bd for mouthparts and hind limbs are provided so that researchers can optimize sampling designs and minimize erroneous conclusions associated with missing Bd infections or misestimating Bd abundance. PMID:25384612

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. Delayed metamorphosis of amphibian larvae facilitates Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis transmission and persistence.

    PubMed

    Medina, Daniel; Garner, Trenton W J; Carrascal, Luis María; Bosch, Jaime

    2015-12-01

    Highly virulent pathogens that cause host population declines confront the risk of fade-out, but if pathogen transmission dynamics are age-structured, pathogens can persist. Among other features of amphibian biology, variable larval developmental rates generate age-structured larval populations, which in theory can facilitate pathogen persistence. We investigated this possibility empirically in a population of Salamandra salamandra in Spain affected by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) at breeding sites that lacked alternative amphibian hosts. None of the adults presented infection by Bd. However, for the larvae, while environmental heterogeneity was the most important predictor of infection, the effect on infection dynamics was mediated by transmission from overwintered larvae to new larval recruits, which occurred only in permanent larval habitats. We suggest that interannual Bd maintenance in a host population that experiences mass mortality associated with infection can occur without an environmental reservoir or direct involvement of an alternative host in our study system. However the 2 aquatic habitat types that support intraspecific reservoirs, permanent streams and ponds, are not ideal habitats for long-term Bd maintenance, either due to poor transmission probability or low host survival, respectively. While intraspecific pathogen maintenance due to larval plasticity might be possible at our study sites, this transmission pattern is not without significant risk to the pathogen. The availability of alternative hosts nearby does indicate that permanent Bd fade-out is unlikely.

  6. Delayed metamorphosis of amphibian larvae facilitates Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis transmission and persistence.

    PubMed

    Medina, Daniel; Garner, Trenton W J; Carrascal, Luis María; Bosch, Jaime

    2015-12-01

    Highly virulent pathogens that cause host population declines confront the risk of fade-out, but if pathogen transmission dynamics are age-structured, pathogens can persist. Among other features of amphibian biology, variable larval developmental rates generate age-structured larval populations, which in theory can facilitate pathogen persistence. We investigated this possibility empirically in a population of Salamandra salamandra in Spain affected by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) at breeding sites that lacked alternative amphibian hosts. None of the adults presented infection by Bd. However, for the larvae, while environmental heterogeneity was the most important predictor of infection, the effect on infection dynamics was mediated by transmission from overwintered larvae to new larval recruits, which occurred only in permanent larval habitats. We suggest that interannual Bd maintenance in a host population that experiences mass mortality associated with infection can occur without an environmental reservoir or direct involvement of an alternative host in our study system. However the 2 aquatic habitat types that support intraspecific reservoirs, permanent streams and ponds, are not ideal habitats for long-term Bd maintenance, either due to poor transmission probability or low host survival, respectively. While intraspecific pathogen maintenance due to larval plasticity might be possible at our study sites, this transmission pattern is not without significant risk to the pathogen. The availability of alternative hosts nearby does indicate that permanent Bd fade-out is unlikely. PMID:26648101

  7. Arsenic as an Endocrine Disruptor: Arsenic Disrupts Retinoic Acid Receptor–and Thyroid Hormone Receptor–Mediated Gene Regulation and Thyroid Hormone–Mediated Amphibian Tail Metamorphosis

    PubMed Central

    Davey, Jennifer C.; Nomikos, Athena P.; Wungjiranirun, Manida; Sherman, Jenna R.; Ingram, Liam; Batki, Cavus; Lariviere, Jean P.; Hamilton, Joshua W.

    2008-01-01

    Background Chronic exposure to excess arsenic in drinking water has been strongly associated with increased risks of multiple cancers, diabetes, heart disease, and reproductive and developmental problems in humans. We previously demonstrated that As, a potent endocrine disruptor at low, environmentally relevant levels, alters steroid signaling at the level of receptor-mediated gene regulation for all five steroid receptors. Objectives The goal of this study was to determine whether As can also disrupt gene regulation via the retinoic acid (RA) receptor (RAR) and/or the thyroid hormone (TH) receptor (TR) and whether these effects are similar to previously observed effects on steroid regulation. Methods and results Human embryonic NT2 or rat pituitary GH3 cells were treated with 0.01–5 μM sodium arsenite for 24 hr, with or without RA or TH, respectively, to examine effects of As on receptor-mediated gene transcription. At low, noncytotoxic doses, As significantly altered RAR-dependent gene transcription of a transfected RAR response element–luciferase construct and the native RA-inducible cytochrome P450 CYP26A gene in NT2 cells. Likewise, low-dose As significantly altered expression of a transfected TR response element–luciferase construct and the endogenous TR-regulated type I deiodinase (DIO1) gene in a similar manner in GH3 cells. An amphibian ex vivo tail metamorphosis assay was used to examine whether endocrine disruption by low-dose As could have specific pathophysiologic consequences, because tail metamorphosis is tightly controlled by TH through TR. TH-dependent tail shrinkage was inhibited in a dose-dependent manner by 0.1– 4.0 μM As. Conclusions As had similar effects on RAR- and TR-mediated gene regulation as those previously observed for the steroid receptors, suggesting a common mechanism or action. Arsenic also profoundly affected a TR-dependent developmental process in a model animal system at very low concentrations. Because RAR and TH are

  8. Neuromodulation and developmental plasticity in the locomotor system of anuran amphibians during metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Sillar, Keith T; Combes, Denis; Ramanathan, Sankari; Molinari, Micol; Simmers, John

    2008-01-01

    Metamorphosis in frogs has long fascinated laymen and scientists alike. This remarkable developmental transformation involves the simultaneous remodelling of almost every organ in the body, including the gut, associated with a switch in diet from filter feeder to predator, and the visual system, from laterally-directed monocular to forward-directed binocular vision. In the context of locomotion there is the complete loss of the tail, the main structure involved in generating thrust during swimming in larvae, and the gain of the limbs which produce rhythmic extension-flexion kicks during swimming and jumping. Here we review recent evidence from experiments utilizing novel in vitro isolated preparations of the Xenopus laevis spinal cord and brainstem which remain viable for several days and can generate motor rhythms similar to those that would normally drive locomotion in vivo. The results indicate that the developing limb circuitry is born from within the existing axial-based network, which acts like a functional scaffold. Initially the limb activity shares the same left-right alternation coordination and relatively high frequency as the tail swimming network. Only later, once the limbs are fully functional, does the limb network break free to produce left-right synchrony of limb motoneuron bursting and with a different, slower cadence than the tail-based system. During the initial formation of the limb networks nitric oxide-producing neurons appear in the spinal cord, but occupy regions other than those in which the new limb circuitry is developing. Now exogenous nitric oxide facilitates locomotor activity, in contrast to its inhibitory effects on swimming at earlier larval stages of development.

  9. Changes in the control of gastric motor activity during metamorphosis in the amphibian Xenopus laevis, with special emphasis on purinergic mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Sundqvist, Monika; Holmgren, Susanne

    2008-04-01

    The stomach of the amphibian Xenopus laevis is subject to extensive remodelling during metamorphosis. We investigated the changes in gastric activity control during this period using in vitro circular smooth muscle preparations mounted in organ baths. The nitric oxide synthase inhibitor L-NAME increased mean force in metamorphic and juvenile frogs but not in prometamorphic tadpoles. Serotonin (5-HT) relaxed stomach muscle prior to metamorphosis but elicited a biphasic response in juveniles consisting of contraction at low concentrations and relaxation at high concentrations. The effects of 5-HT were blocked by methysergide. In the prometamorphic tadpole, ATP elicited relaxation that was blocked by the ectonucleotidase inhibitor ARL67156 and the adenosine A(1) receptor antagonist 1,3-dipropyl-8-cyclopentylxanthine (DPCPX), suggesting adenosine as the mediator. Exogenous adenosine and the A(1) receptor agonist N(6)-cyclopentyladenosine (CPA) induced relaxation at all stages. After metamorphosis, the potency of ATP decreased and neither DPCPX nor ARL67156 could block ATP-induced relaxation. Uridine 5'-triphosphate (UTP) induced relaxation prior to metamorphosis, but caused contraction of muscle strips from metamorphosing tadpoles. Single doses of UTP blocked phasic contractions in juveniles in a tetrodotoxin (TTX)-sensitive manner while the simultaneous increase in muscle tension was TTX insensitive. The P2X(1)/P2X(3) receptor agonist alpha-beta-MeATP elicited pyridoxalphosphate-6-azophenyl-2',4'-disulphonic acid (PPADS)-sensitive contractions at all stages investigated. These results indicate the development of an inhibitory nitrergic tonus during metamorphosis and a 5-HT receptor involved in muscle contraction. Also, the development of UTP receptors mediating increased tension and neural UTP receptors decreasing contraction frequency in juveniles is indicated. An adenosine A(1)-like receptor mediating relaxation and a P2X-like receptor mediating contraction is

  10. 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.

  11. 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)

  12. Latex laboratory-gloves: an unexpected pitfall in amphibian toxicity assays with tadpoles.

    PubMed

    Gutleb, A C; Bronkhorst, M; van den Berg, J H; Murk, A J

    2001-07-01

    This study examined the unexpected toxic effects of protective latex laboratory gloves on developing amphibians. Mortality after exposure to rinsing water from the outside of the gloves was observed in Xenopus laevis and Rana temporaria, with R. temporaria being more sensitive. This phenomenon was further confirmed using the microtiter-version of the Microtox-Assay, an in vitro assay for general toxicity. Latex gloves from the specific brand used in the experiment, in which the toxicity to tadpoles was observed for the first time, showed the highest toxicity of all materials and brands tested. Due to the high responsiveness of amphibian tadpoles to latex-glove contaminated rinsing water, special care is necessary when cleaning aquaria during toxicological experiments with amphibians as otherwise results may be biased.

  13. The water absorption response: a behavioral assay for physiological processes in terrestrial amphibians.

    PubMed

    Hillyard, S D; Hoff, K S; Propper, C

    1998-01-01

    Terrestrial amphibians take up water by abducting the hind limbs and pressing a specialized portion of the ventral skin to a moist surface, using a characteristic behavior called the water absorption response. An assay of the water absorption response was used to quantify physiological factors associated with thirst and water uptake. Dramatic changes in the water absorption response resulted from subtle changes in hydration state and from altering the reserve water supply in the urinary bladder. The water absorption response could be induced by intraperitoneal and intracerebroventricular injection of angiotensin II, demonstrating that components of the renin-angiotensin system on both sides of the blood-brain barrier have a dipsogenic function in amphibians. These experiments also demonstrated that the water absorption response could be influenced by changes in barometric pressure. Toads avoided the water absorption response on hyperosmotic substrates, and behavioral experiments showed that the amphibian skin served a sensory function similar to that of the lingual epithelium of mammals. The water absorption response assay has enormous potential as a tool for the investigation of physiological processes and sensory capabilities of amphibians.

  14. 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. PMID:24169791

  15. 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.

  16. Examination of an amphibian-based assay using the larvae of Xenopus laevis and Ambystoma mexicanum.

    PubMed

    Saka, Masahiro

    2003-05-01

    Semistatic acute toxicity tests of amphibian larvae (Xenopus laevis and Ambystoma mexicanum) were conducted at different developmental stages and by different methods to establish a simple amphibian-based assay. Test substance was pentachlorophenol sodium salt (PCP-Na). The endpoint was mortality and the 24-, 48-, 72-, and 96-h LC50 values were calculated by probit analysis. Interspecific differences in larval responses were not clear. Larval sensitivity tended to increase with larval age. Newly hatched larvae were most resistant to PCP-Na. During the tests of well-developed larvae, concentrations of dissolved oxygen and PCP-Na in the test solutions greatly dropped owing to uptake by the larvae. Therefore, middle-developed (2-week-old) larvae were most suitable for the test. Toxicity tests for volatile substances would be also possible using 2-week-old larvae in closed vessels. Test individuals should be kept individually to avoid the effects of poisonous skin secretions released from dead larvae. PMID:12706392

  17. Effects of tributyltin on metamorphosis and gonadal differentiation of Xenopus laevis at environmentally relevant concentrations.

    PubMed

    Shi, Huahong; Zhu, Pan; Guo, Suzhen

    2014-05-01

    Tributyltin (TBT), a well known endocrine disruptor, has high teratogenicity to embryos of amphibian (Xenopus tropicalis). An amphibian metamorphosis assay (AMA) and a complete AMA (CAMA) were conducted for TBT. In AMA, the body weight, the snout-to-vent length and the hind limb length of X. laevis tadpoles were decreased in tributyltin chloride (TBTCl; 12.5-200 ng/L) treatment groups after 7 days exposure. TBT greatly retarded the development of tadpoles, decreased the number of follicle and induced thyroid follicle cell hyperplasia after 19 days exposure. In CAMA, 10 and 100 ng/L TBTCl led to various malformations of gonad, including intersex, segmental aplasia and multiple ovary cavities of X. laevis following exposure from stages 46 to stage 66. The sex ratio was male-biased in TBT treatment groups. These results suggest that TBT delayed the metamorphosis, inhibited the growth of tadpoles and disrupted the gonadal differentiation of X. laevis at environmentally relevant concentrations.

  18. Effects of tributyltin on metamorphosis and gonadal differentiation of Xenopus laevis at environmentally relevant concentrations.

    PubMed

    Shi, Huahong; Zhu, Pan; Guo, Suzhen

    2014-05-01

    Tributyltin (TBT), a well known endocrine disruptor, has high teratogenicity to embryos of amphibian (Xenopus tropicalis). An amphibian metamorphosis assay (AMA) and a complete AMA (CAMA) were conducted for TBT. In AMA, the body weight, the snout-to-vent length and the hind limb length of X. laevis tadpoles were decreased in tributyltin chloride (TBTCl; 12.5-200 ng/L) treatment groups after 7 days exposure. TBT greatly retarded the development of tadpoles, decreased the number of follicle and induced thyroid follicle cell hyperplasia after 19 days exposure. In CAMA, 10 and 100 ng/L TBTCl led to various malformations of gonad, including intersex, segmental aplasia and multiple ovary cavities of X. laevis following exposure from stages 46 to stage 66. The sex ratio was male-biased in TBT treatment groups. These results suggest that TBT delayed the metamorphosis, inhibited the growth of tadpoles and disrupted the gonadal differentiation of X. laevis at environmentally relevant concentrations. PMID:22903176

  19. Cancer resistance in amphibians.

    PubMed

    Ruben, Laurens N; Clothier, Richard H; Balls, Michael

    2007-10-01

    While spontaneous tumours may occasionally develop in inbred and isogenic strains of Xenopus laevis, the South African clawed toad, they are extremely rare in natural and laboratory populations. Only two amphibian neoplasms, the renal adenocarcinoma of Rana pipiens and the lymphosarcoma of Xenopus laevis, have been extensively explored. Amphibians are resistant to the development of neoplasia, even following exposure to "direct-acting" chemical carcinogens such as N-methyl-N-nitrosourea, that are highly lymphotoxic, thus diminishing immune reactivity. Regenerative capacity in adults, and a dramatic metamorphosis which remodels much of the larval body to produce the adult form, are unique to amphibian vertebrates, and the control mechanisms involved may protect against cancer. For example, naturally rising corticosteroid titres during metamorphosis will impair some T-cell functions, and the removal of T-regulatory (suppressor) functions inhibits the induction of altered-self tolerance. Altered-self tolerance is not as effectively induced in adult Xenopus laevis as in mammals, so cancer cells with new antigenicity are more likely be rejected in amphibians. Amphibian immunocytes tend to undergo apoptosis readily in vitro, and, unlike mammalian immunocytes, undergo apoptosis without entering the cell cycle. Cells not in the cell cycle that die from nuclear damage (apoptosis), will have no opportunity to express genetic instability leading to cell transformation. We suggest that all these factors, rather than any one of them, may reduce susceptibility to cancer in amphibians.

  20. 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.

  1. Are fish and standardized FETAX assays protective enough for amphibians? A case study on Xenopus laevis larvae assay with biologically active substances present in livestock wastes.

    PubMed

    Martini, Federica; Tarazona, José V; Pablos, M Victoria

    2012-01-01

    Biologically active substances could reach the aquatic compartment when livestock wastes are considered for recycling. Recently, the standardized FETAX assay has been questioned, and some researchers have considered that the risk assessment performed on fish could not be protective enough to cover amphibians. In the present study a Xenopus laevis acute assay was developed in order to compare the sensitivity of larvae relative to fish or FETAX assays; veterinary medicines (ivermectin, oxytetracycline, tetracycline, sulfamethoxazole, and trimethoprim) and essential metals (zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium) that may be found in livestock wastes were used for the larvae exposure. Lethal (LC(50)) and sublethal effects were estimated. Available data in both, fish and FETAX studies, were in general more protective than values found out in the current study, but not in all cases. Moreover, the presence of nonlethal effects, caused by ivermectin, zinc, and copper, suggested that several physiological mechanisms could be affected. Thus, this kind of effects should be deeply investigated. The results obtained in the present study could expand the information about micropollutants from livestock wastes on amphibians. PMID:22629159

  2. Are Fish and Standardized FETAX Assays Protective Enough for Amphibians? A Case Study on Xenopus laevis Larvae Assay with Biologically Active Substances Present in Livestock Wastes

    PubMed Central

    Martini, Federica; Tarazona, José V.; Pablos, M. Victoria

    2012-01-01

    Biologically active substances could reach the aquatic compartment when livestock wastes are considered for recycling. Recently, the standardized FETAX assay has been questioned, and some researchers have considered that the risk assessment performed on fish could not be protective enough to cover amphibians. In the present study a Xenopus laevis acute assay was developed in order to compare the sensitivity of larvae relative to fish or FETAX assays; veterinary medicines (ivermectin, oxytetracycline, tetracycline, sulfamethoxazole, and trimethoprim) and essential metals (zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium) that may be found in livestock wastes were used for the larvae exposure. Lethal (LC50) and sublethal effects were estimated. Available data in both, fish and FETAX studies, were in general more protective than values found out in the current study, but not in all cases. Moreover, the presence of nonlethal effects, caused by ivermectin, zinc, and copper, suggested that several physiological mechanisms could be affected. Thus, this kind of effects should be deeply investigated. The results obtained in the present study could expand the information about micropollutants from livestock wastes on amphibians. PMID:22629159

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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

  6. Transcriptome profiles of metamorphosis in the ornamented pygmy frog Microhyla fissipes clarify the functions of thyroid hormone receptors in metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Lanying; Liu, Lusha; Wang, Shouhong; Wang, Hongyuan; Jiang, Jianping

    2016-01-01

    Anuran metamorphosis is an excellent system in which to study postembryonic development. Studies on Xenopus (Mesobatrachia) show that thyroid hormone receptors (TRs) regulate metamorphosis in a ligand-dependent manner by coordinating the action of hundreds of genes. However, whether this mechanism is conserved among amphibians is still unknown. To understand the molecular mechanism of this universal phenomenon, we report the transcriptional profiles of the three key developmental stages in Microhyla fissipes (Neobatrachia): premetamorphosis (PM), metamorphic climax (MC) and completion of metamorphosis (CM). In total, 2,293 differentially expressed genes were identified from comparisons of transcriptomes, and these genes showed stage-specific expression patterns. Unexpectedly, we found that TRα was highly expressed in Xenopus laevis and Bufo gargarizans at premetamorphosis but showed low expression in M. fissipes. In contrast, TRβ was highly expressed during metamorphosis in M. fissipes and X. laevis. This result may imply that TRβ is essential for initiating metamorphosis, at least in M. fissipes. Thus, our work not only identifies genes that are likely to be involved in Neobatrachia metamorphosis but also clarifies the roles of unliganded TRα in regulating tadpole growth and timing of metamorphosis, which may be conserved in anurans, and the role of liganded TRβ in launching metamorphosis. PMID:27254593

  7. Transcriptome profiles of metamorphosis in the ornamented pygmy frog Microhyla fissipes clarify the functions of thyroid hormone receptors in metamorphosis

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Lanying; Liu, Lusha; Wang, Shouhong; Wang, Hongyuan; Jiang, Jianping

    2016-01-01

    Anuran metamorphosis is an excellent system in which to study postembryonic development. Studies on Xenopus (Mesobatrachia) show that thyroid hormone receptors (TRs) regulate metamorphosis in a ligand-dependent manner by coordinating the action of hundreds of genes. However, whether this mechanism is conserved among amphibians is still unknown. To understand the molecular mechanism of this universal phenomenon, we report the transcriptional profiles of the three key developmental stages in Microhyla fissipes (Neobatrachia): premetamorphosis (PM), metamorphic climax (MC) and completion of metamorphosis (CM). In total, 2,293 differentially expressed genes were identified from comparisons of transcriptomes, and these genes showed stage-specific expression patterns. Unexpectedly, we found that TRα was highly expressed in Xenopus laevis and Bufo gargarizans at premetamorphosis but showed low expression in M. fissipes. In contrast, TRβ was highly expressed during metamorphosis in M. fissipes and X. laevis. This result may imply that TRβ is essential for initiating metamorphosis, at least in M. fissipes. Thus, our work not only identifies genes that are likely to be involved in Neobatrachia metamorphosis but also clarifies the roles of unliganded TRα in regulating tadpole growth and timing of metamorphosis, which may be conserved in anurans, and the role of liganded TRβ in launching metamorphosis. PMID:27254593

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

    Monaghan, James R; Stier, Adrian C; Michonneau, François; Smith, Matthew D; Pasch, Bret; Maden, Malcolm; Seifert, Ashley W

    2014-02-01

    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

  10. 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.

  11. 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, ...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Calcific Metamorphosis: A Review.

    PubMed

    Siddiqui, Shoaib Haider; Mohamed, Ahmed Nabil

    2016-07-01

    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

  15. Comparative evaluation of genotoxicity of captan in amphibian larvae (Xenopus laevis and Pleurodeles waltl) using the comet assay and the micronucleus test.

    PubMed

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

    2006-06-01

    Captan (N-trichloromethylthio-4-cyclohexene-1,2-dicarboximide) is a fungicide used to inhibit the growth of many types of fungi on plants used as foodstuffs. The toxic and genotoxic potentials of captan were evaluated with the micronucleus test (MNT; AFNOR,2000) and the comet assay (CA) using amphibian larvae (Xenopus laevis and Pleurodeles waltl). Acute toxicity results showed that captan was toxic (1) to Xenopus larvae exposed to from 2 mg/L to 125 or 62.5 microg/L, depending on the nature of the water [reconstituted water containing mineral salts or mineral water (MW; Volvic, Danone, France)] and (2) to Pleurodeles exposed to from 2 mg/L to 125 microg/L in both types of water. The MNT results obtained in MW showed that captan (62.5 microg/L) was genotoxic to Xenopus but not genotoxic to Pleurodeles at all concentrations tested. CA established that the genotoxicity of captan to Xenopus and Pleurodeles larvae depended on the concentration, the exposure times, and the comet parameters (tail DNA, TEM, OTM, and TL). The CA and MNT results were compared for their ability to detect DNA damage at the concentrations of captan and the exposure times applied. CA showed captan to be genotoxic from the first day of exposure. In amphibians, CA appears to be a sensitive and suitable method for detecting genotoxicity such as that caused by captan.

  16. 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.

  17. 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. PMID:27139940

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Targeted chromatin binding and histone acetylation in vivo by thyroid hormone receptor during amphibian development.

    PubMed

    Sachs, L M; Shi, Y B

    2000-11-21

    Amphibian metamorphosis is marked by dramatic, thyroid hormone (TH)-induced changes involving gene regulation by TH receptor (TR). It has been postulated that TR-mediated gene regulation involves chromatin remodeling. In the absence of ligand, TR can repress gene expression by recruiting a histone deacetylase complex, whereas liganded TR recruits a histone acetylase complex for gene activation. Earlier studies have led us to propose a dual function model for TR during development. In premetamorphic tadpoles, unliganded TR represses transcription involving histone deacetylation. During metamorphosis, endogenous TH allows TR to activate gene expression through histone acetylation. Here using chromatin immunoprecipitation assay, we directly demonstrate TR binding to TH response genes constitutively in vivo in premetamorphic tadpoles. We further show that TH treatment leads to histone deacetylase release from TH response gene promoters. Interestingly, in whole animals, changes in histone acetylation show little correlation with the expression of TH response genes. On the other hand, in the intestine and tail, where TH response genes are known to be up-regulated more dramatically by TH than in most other organs, we demonstrate that TH treatment induces gene activation and histone H4 acetylation. These data argue for a role of histone acetylation in transcriptional regulation by TRs during amphibian development in some tissues, whereas in others changes in histone acetylation levels may play no or only a minor role, supporting the existence of important alternative mechanisms in gene regulation by TR.

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Effect of thyroid hormone concentration on the transcriptional response underlying induced metamorphosis in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma)

    PubMed Central

    Page, Robert B; Voss, Stephen R; Samuels, Amy K; Smith, Jeramiah J; Putta, Srikrishna; Beachy, Christopher K

    2008-01-01

    Background Thyroid hormones (TH) induce gene expression programs that orchestrate amphibian metamorphosis. In contrast to anurans, many salamanders do not undergo metamorphosis in nature. However, they can be induced to undergo metamorphosis via exposure to thyroxine (T4). We induced metamorphosis in juvenile Mexican axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) using 5 and 50 nM T4, collected epidermal tissue from the head at four time points (Days 0, 2, 12, 28), and used microarray analysis to quantify mRNA abundances. Results Individuals reared in the higher T4 concentration initiated morphological and transcriptional changes earlier and completed metamorphosis by Day 28. In contrast, initiation of metamorphosis was delayed in the lower T4 concentration and none of the individuals completed metamorphosis by Day 28. We identified 402 genes that were statistically differentially expressed by ≥ two-fold between T4 treatments at one or more non-Day 0 sampling times. To complement this analysis, we used linear and quadratic regression to identify 542 and 709 genes that were differentially expressed by ≥ two-fold in the 5 and 50 nM T4 treatments, respectively. Conclusion We found that T4 concentration affected the timing of gene expression and the shape of temporal gene expression profiles. However, essentially all of the identified genes were similarly affected by 5 and 50 nM T4. We discuss genes and biological processes that appear to be common to salamander and anuran metamorphosis, and also highlight clear transcriptional differences. Our results show that gene expression in axolotls is diverse and precise, and that axolotls provide new insights about amphibian metamorphosis. PMID:18267027

  10. Effects of sublethal concentrations of atrazine and nitrate on metamorphosis of the African clawed frog.

    PubMed

    Sullivan, Karen Brown; Spence, Karla M

    2003-03-01

    Tadpoles of the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) were exposed to sublethal concentrations of atrazine (0, 40, and 320 microg/L) and nitrate (0, 37, and 292 mg/L) from feeding stage to metamorphosis. A 3 x 3 factorial design was used to identify both single and interactive effects. At metamorphosis, tadpole weight, snout-vent length (SVL), and hematocrit were determined. Mean mortality was greater in tanks receiving 320 microg/L atrazine; nitrate had no effect on mortality. Significant differences for all mean traits at metamorphosis occurred among atrazine treatments; higher atrazine exposure increased time to metamorphosis and decreased weight, SVL, and hematocrit. Nitrate treatments were not significantly different. Significant interaction tests between atrazine and nitrate occurred for weight and SVL at metamorphosis; the specific type of interaction varied among treatments. Assuming an additive mixture model, at low atrazine (40 microg/L), the addition of 37 mg/L nitrate produced SVL values less than expected (a synergistic effect) while the addition of 292 mg/L nitrate yielded SVL values greater than expected (an antagonistic effect). A similar response was noted for tadpoles in the 320-microg/L atrazine treatments. These results indicate that environmentally realistic concentrations of atrazine exert a negative impact on amphibian metamorphosis. Also, this study suggests that mixtures of agricultural chemicals, even if sublethal, may exert negative and not necessarily consistent mixture effects.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Amphibian parathyroids: morphological and functional aspects.

    PubMed

    Srivastav, A K; Das, V K; Das, S; Sasayama, Y; Suzuki, N

    1995-10-01

    Amphibians living partially or totally in a terrestrial environment are the first tetrapods to possess parathyroid glands. Purely aquatic amphibians and amphibian larvae lack these endocrine glands. The parathyroids develop at the time of metamorphosis. The parathyroid glands in caecilians consist of a single cell type, that of urodeles may be composed of basal (supporting) cells and suprabasal (chief) cells, and that of anurans of small and large chief cells. Parathyroid glands of caecilians and anurans lack connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerves. The parathyroid cells become activated in response to decreased blood calcium concentration and undergo changes indicating increased parathyroid hormone secretion. Increased blood calcium concentration suppresses secretory activity. Usually, parathyroidectomy elicits hypocalcemia in most amphibians. Such operations have no effect in lower urodeles. Parathyroid hormone administration provokes hypercalcemia in most amphibians. The parathyroids of caecilians have not been studied in detail. The urodeles and anurans exhibit seasonal changes in the parathyroid glands. These changes may be initiated by environmental stimuli such as light, temperature, or alterations in blood calcium levels caused by natural hibernation.

  14. Amphibian parathyroids: morphological and functional aspects.

    PubMed

    Srivastav, A K; Das, V K; Das, S; Sasayama, Y; Suzuki, N

    1995-10-01

    Amphibians living partially or totally in a terrestrial environment are the first tetrapods to possess parathyroid glands. Purely aquatic amphibians and amphibian larvae lack these endocrine glands. The parathyroids develop at the time of metamorphosis. The parathyroid glands in caecilians consist of a single cell type, that of urodeles may be composed of basal (supporting) cells and suprabasal (chief) cells, and that of anurans of small and large chief cells. Parathyroid glands of caecilians and anurans lack connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerves. The parathyroid cells become activated in response to decreased blood calcium concentration and undergo changes indicating increased parathyroid hormone secretion. Increased blood calcium concentration suppresses secretory activity. Usually, parathyroidectomy elicits hypocalcemia in most amphibians. Such operations have no effect in lower urodeles. Parathyroid hormone administration provokes hypercalcemia in most amphibians. The parathyroids of caecilians have not been studied in detail. The urodeles and anurans exhibit seasonal changes in the parathyroid glands. These changes may be initiated by environmental stimuli such as light, temperature, or alterations in blood calcium levels caused by natural hibernation. PMID:8580512

  15. Variation in somatic and ovarian development: predicting susceptibility of amphibians to estrogenic contaminants.

    PubMed

    Storrs, Sara I; Semlitsch, Raymond D

    2008-05-01

    Although amphibian sex determination is genetic, it can be manipulated by exogenous hormone exposure during sexual differentiation. The timing of sexual differentiation varies among anuran amphibians such that species may or may not be a tadpole during this period, and therefore, may or may not be exposed to aquatic contaminants. Estrogenic contamination is present in amphibian habitats worldwide. We examined three species with varying somatic and ovarian developmental rates to assess their susceptibility to estrogenic contaminants. American toads (Bufo americanus), gray treefrogs (Hyla versicolor), and Southern leopard frogs (Ranasphenocephala) were exposed as larvae to 17-beta-estradiol (10(-7)M), three concentrations of a widespread herbicide (1, 3, 30 ppb atrazine), or a solvent control (ethanol). Somatic and ovarian developmental stages as well as time to metamorphosis were recorded. Toads and treefrogs were examined at three weeks and metamorphosis, while leopard frogs were examined at three, six, and nine weeks as well as at metamorphosis. Our results demonstrate that each species displays heterochronic somatic and ovarian development. Further, the more rapid of the two rates determines the susceptibility to estrogenic contaminants. These results suggests that amphibians with shorter larval periods, and therefore quicker somatic developmental rates (i.e. American toads, gray treefrogs), are more susceptible to somatic treatment effects (i.e. prolonged time to metamorphosis) due to estrogenic contaminants. Moreover, the results suggest that amphibians with relatively rapid ovarian development (i.e. Southern leopard frogs) are more susceptible to gonadal treatment effects caused by estrogenic contaminants.

  16. Consequences of metamorphosis for the locomotor performance and thermal physiology of the newt Triturus cristatus.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Robbie S

    2005-01-01

    During metamorphosis, most amphibians undergo rapid shifts in their morphology that allow them to move from an aquatic to a more terrestrial existence. Two important challenges associated with this shift in habitat are the necessity to switch from an aquatic to terrestrial mode of locomotion and changes in the thermal environment. In this study, I investigated the consequences of metamorphosis to the burst swimming and running performance of the European newt Triturus cristatus to determine the nature and magnitude of any locomotor trade-offs that occur across life-history stages. In addition, I investigated whether there were any shifts in the thermal dependence of performance between life-history stages of T. cristatus to compensate for changes in their thermal environment during metamorphosis. A trade-off between swimming and running performance was detected across life-history stages, with metamorphosis resulting in a simultaneous decrease in swimming and increase in running performance. Although the terrestrial habitat of postmetamorphic stages of the newt T. cristatus experienced greater daily fluctuations in temperature than the aquatic habitat of the larval stage, no differences in thermal sensitivity of locomotor performance were detected between the larval aquatic and postmetamorphic stages. The absence of variation across life-history stages of T. cristatus may indicate that thermal sensitivity may be a conservative trait across ontogenetic stages in amphibians, but further studies are required to investigate this assertion.

  17. 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. PMID:27452629

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Metamorphosis in a frog that does not have a tadpole.

    PubMed

    Elinson, Richard P

    2013-01-01

    The evolutionary removal of the tadpole from the frog life history is a very successful strategy, particularly in the tropics. These direct developers form limbs and a frog-like head early in embryogenesis, and they have reduced or lost tadpole-specific structures, like gills, a long, coiled intestine, and tadpole teeth and jaws. Despite the apparently continuous development to the frog morphology, the direct developer, Eleutherodactylus coqui, undergoes a cryptic metamorphosis requiring thyroid hormone. As in Xenopus laevis, there is a stimulation by corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) and an upregulation of thyroid hormone receptor β (thrb). In addition to changes in skin and muscle, thyroid hormone stimulates yolk utilization for froglet growth from a novel tissue, the nutritional endoderm. The activities of CRF and corticosterone (CORT) in metamorphosis may provide the basis for the multiple evolutionary origins of direct development in anuran amphibians. Potential roles for maternally supplied thyroid hormone and its receptor and for deiodinases in regulating tissue sensitivity to thyroid hormone should be the subjects of future investigations. PMID:23347522

  5. 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.

  6. Compromised metamorphosis and thyroid hormone changes in wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) raised on reclaimed wetlands on the Athabasca oil sands.

    PubMed

    Hersikorn, Blair D; Smits, Judit E G

    2011-02-01

    The wet landscape approach to oil sands tailings reclamation in the Athabasca Oil Sands region involves creating wetlands from fluid tailings in mined-out pits. We measured time to metamorphosis, thyroid hormone status, and detoxification enzyme (EROD) induction in Wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) tadpoles raised on reclaimed oil sands wetlands of different ages [young (≤ 7 yr) vs. old (> 7 yr)] and compared data with tadpoles raised on reference (control) wetlands. Metamorphosis was delayed or never occurred in tadpoles raised in young tailings; those exposed to older tailings developed similarly to those in reference wetlands. Thyroid hormone disruption likely played an important role in the metamorphosis delay as the T3:T4 ratio was lowest in tadpoles raised in young, tailings-affected wetlands. Our findings suggest tailings wetlands become less toxic with age, and that these amphibians will be able to complete their life cycle in tailing wetlands that have sufficiently detoxified with age.

  7. A Role for Taiman in Insect Metamorphosis

    PubMed Central

    Lozano, Jesus; Kayukawa, Takumi; Shinoda, Tetsuro; Belles, Xavier

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies in vitro have reported that the Methoprene-tolerant (Met) and Taiman (Tai) complex is the functional receptor of juvenile hormone (JH). Experiments in vivo of Met depletion have confirmed this factor's role in JH signal transduction, however, there is no equivalent data regarding Tai because its depletion in larval or nymphal stages of the beetle Tribolium castaneum and the bug Pyrrhocoris apterus results in 100% mortality. We have discovered that the cockroach Blattella germanica possesses four Tai isoforms resulting from the combination of two indels in the C-terminal region of the sequence. The presence of one equivalent indel-1 in Tai sequences in T. castaneum and other species suggests that Tai isoforms may be common in insects. Concomitant depletion of all four Tai isoforms in B. germanica resulted in 100% mortality, but when only the insertion 1 (IN-1) isoforms were depleted, mortality was significantly reduced and about half of the specimens experienced precocious adult development. This shows that Tai isoforms containing IN-1 are involved in transducing the JH signal that represses metamorphosis. Reporter assays indicated that both T. castaneum Tai isoforms, one that contains the IN-1 and another that does not (DEL-1) activated a JH response element (kJHRE) in Krüppel homolog 1 in conjunction with Met and JH. The results indicate that Tai is involved in the molecular mechanisms that repress metamorphosis, at least in B. germanica, and highlight the importance of distinguishing Tai isoforms when studying the functions of this transcription factor in development and other processes. PMID:25356827

  8. 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.

  9. 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. PMID:26587739

  10. 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.

  11. Spatiotemporal expression profile of no29/nucleophosmin3 in the intestine of Xenopus laevis during metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Motoi, Natsuki; Hasebe, Takashi; Suzuki, Ken-Ichi T; Ishizuya-Oka, Atsuko

    2011-06-01

    A Xenopus laevis homolog of nucleophosmin/nucleoplasmin3 (NPM3), no29, has been previously identified as a thyroid hormone (TH)-response gene during TH-induced metamorphosis. X. laevis has another NPM3 homolog (npm3) in the pseudo-tetraploid genome, whereas X. tropicalis possesses one ortholog in the diploid genome. To assess the possible roles of these NPM3 homologs in amphibian metamorphosis, we have analyzed their expression profiles in X. laevis tadpoles. Levels of no29 and npm3 mRNA are rapidly up-regulated by exogenous TH in various organs of the premetamorphic tadpoles. Notably, in the small intestine, no29 and npm3 mRNA levels are transiently up-regulated during metamorphic climax, when progenitor/stem cells of the adult epithelium appear and actively proliferate. In situ hybridization analysis has revealed that the no29 transcript is specifically localized in adult epithelial progenitor/stem cells of the intestine during natural and TH-induced metamorphosis. Double-staining for in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry has shown co-expression of no29 mRNA and no38 protein (an ortholog of NPM1), which is known to interact with NPM3 and to regulate cell proliferation in mammals. Thus, no29/npm3 might serve as a stem cell marker in the intestine during metamorphosis.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Boone, Michelle D; Semlitsch, Raymond D; Little, Edward E; Doyle, Meaghan 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. PMID:17479852

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Sparling, Donald W; Fellers, Gary M

    2009-08-01

    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 microg/L in P. regilla and 66.5 microg/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 microg/L for P. regilla and 0.55 microg/L for R. boylii. All R. boylii exposed to concentrations of greater than 0.8 microg/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.

  17. 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.

  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. PMID:11324019

  19. 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.

  20. Interactive effects of competition and predator cues on immune responses of leopard frogs at metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Groner, Maya L; Rollins-Smith, Louise A; Reinert, Laura K; Hempel, John; Bier, Mark E; Relyea, Rick A

    2014-02-01

    Recent hypotheses suggest that immunosuppression, resulting from altered environmental conditions, may contribute to the increased incidence of amphibian disease around the world. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) in amphibian skin are an important innate immune defense against fungal, viral and bacterial pathogens. Their release is tightly coupled with release of the stress hormone noradrenaline (norepinephrine). During metamorphosis, AMPs may constitute the primary immune response in the skin of some species because acquired immune functions are temporarily suppressed in order to prevent autoimmunity against new adult antigens. Suppression of AMPs during this transitional stage may impact disease rates. We exposed leopard frog tadpoles (Lithobates pipiens) to a factorial combination of competitor and caged-predator environments and measured their development, growth and production of hydrophobic skin peptides after metamorphosis. In the absence of predator cues, or if the exposure to predator cues was late in ontogeny, competition caused more than a 250% increase in mass-standardized hydrophobic skin peptides. Predator cues caused a decrease in mass-standardized hydrophobic skin peptides when the exposure was late in ontogeny under low competition, but otherwise had no effect. Liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry of the skin peptides showed that they include six AMPs in the brevinin and temporin families and at least three of these peptides are previously uncharacterized. Both of these peptide families have previously been shown to inhibit harmful microbes including Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, the fungal pathogen associated with global amphibian declines. Our study shows that amphibians may be able to adjust their skin peptide defenses in response to stressors that are experienced early in ontogeny and that these effects extend through an important life-history transition. PMID:24115058

  1. Interactive effects of competition and predator cues on immune responses of leopard frogs at metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Groner, Maya L; Rollins-Smith, Louise A; Reinert, Laura K; Hempel, John; Bier, Mark E; Relyea, Rick A

    2014-02-01

    Recent hypotheses suggest that immunosuppression, resulting from altered environmental conditions, may contribute to the increased incidence of amphibian disease around the world. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) in amphibian skin are an important innate immune defense against fungal, viral and bacterial pathogens. Their release is tightly coupled with release of the stress hormone noradrenaline (norepinephrine). During metamorphosis, AMPs may constitute the primary immune response in the skin of some species because acquired immune functions are temporarily suppressed in order to prevent autoimmunity against new adult antigens. Suppression of AMPs during this transitional stage may impact disease rates. We exposed leopard frog tadpoles (Lithobates pipiens) to a factorial combination of competitor and caged-predator environments and measured their development, growth and production of hydrophobic skin peptides after metamorphosis. In the absence of predator cues, or if the exposure to predator cues was late in ontogeny, competition caused more than a 250% increase in mass-standardized hydrophobic skin peptides. Predator cues caused a decrease in mass-standardized hydrophobic skin peptides when the exposure was late in ontogeny under low competition, but otherwise had no effect. Liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry of the skin peptides showed that they include six AMPs in the brevinin and temporin families and at least three of these peptides are previously uncharacterized. Both of these peptide families have previously been shown to inhibit harmful microbes including Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, the fungal pathogen associated with global amphibian declines. Our study shows that amphibians may be able to adjust their skin peptide defenses in response to stressors that are experienced early in ontogeny and that these effects extend through an important life-history transition.

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

    Ringler, Eva; Mangione, Rosanna; Ringler, Max

    2015-07-01

    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.

  4. 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

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:26611925

  9. 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.

  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. An endogenous peptide is involved in internal control of metamorphosis in the marine invertebrate Cassiopea xamachana (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa).

    PubMed

    Thieme, C; Hofmann, D K

    2003-03-01

    In the metagenetic life-cycle of the scyphozoan Cassiopea xamachana metamorphosis of planula-larvae or larva-like buds to polyps is triggered by specific external cues which are transmitted inside the larva or bud where internal signals finally coordinate the initiation of metamorphosis. This study deals with an endogenous metamorphosis inducer present in planulae and buds of Cassiopea. The inductive cue is localized in the basal part of the buds and can be characterized as a peptide with an apparent molecular weight of about 7,000 Da. Further purification was performed via reversed phase HPLC on a C18 column. Additional inhibitor assays revealed that protein kinase C and PI3 kinase, two known elements of the metamorphosis-inducing signal transduction cascade in Cassiopea, may act downstream of the endogenous inducing peptide. PMID:12632179

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

    PubMed

    Krynak, Katherine L; Burke, David J; Benard, Michael F

    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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

    Krynak, Katherine L; Burke, David J; Benard, Michael F

    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. 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.

  16. 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. PMID:24643944

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Exploring nervous system transcriptomes during embryogenesis and metamorphosis in Xenopus tropicalis using EST analysis

    PubMed Central

    Fierro, Ana C; Thuret, Raphaël; Coen, Laurent; Perron, Muriel; Demeneix, Barbara A; Wegnez, Maurice; Gyapay, Gabor; Weissenbach, Jean; Wincker, Patrick; Mazabraud, André; Pollet, Nicolas

    2007-01-01

    Background The western African clawed frog Xenopus tropicalis is an anuran amphibian species now used as model in vertebrate comparative genomics. It provides the same advantages as Xenopus laevis but is diploid and has a smaller genome of 1.7 Gbp. Therefore X. tropicalis is more amenable to systematic transcriptome surveys. We initiated a large-scale partial cDNA sequencing project to provide a functional genomics resource on genes expressed in the nervous system during early embryogenesis and metamorphosis in X. tropicalis. Results A gene index was defined and analysed after the collection of over 48,785 high quality sequences. These partial cDNA sequences were obtained from an embryonic head and retina library (30,272 sequences) and from a metamorphic brain and spinal cord library (27,602 sequences). These ESTs are estimated to represent 9,693 transcripts derived from an estimated 6,000 genes. Comparison of these cDNA sequences with protein databases indicates that 46% contain their start codon. Further annotation included Gene Ontology functional classification, InterPro domain analysis, alternative splicing and non-coding RNA identification. Gene expression profiles were derived from EST counts and used to define transcripts specific to metamorphic stages of development. Moreover, these ESTs allowed identification of a set of 225 polymorphic microsatellites that can be used as genetic markers. Conclusion These cDNA sequences permit in silico cloning of numerous genes and will facilitate studies aimed at deciphering the roles of cognate genes expressed in the nervous system during neural development and metamorphosis. The genomic resources developed to study X. tropicalis biology will accelerate exploration of amphibian physiology and genetics. In particular, the model will facilitate analysis of key questions related to anuran embryogenesis and metamorphosis and its associated regulatory processes. PMID:17506875

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-07-01

    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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. Antiviral Immunity in Amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Guangchun; Robert, Jacques

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:22163335

  15. 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.

  16. Amphibian biology and husbandry.

    PubMed

    Pough, F Harvey

    2007-01-01

    Extant amphibians comprise three lineages-- salamanders (Urodela or Caudata), frogs and toads (Anura), and caecilians (Gymnophiona, Apoda, or Caecilia)--which contain more than 6,000 species. Fewer than a dozen species of amphibians are commonly maintained in laboratory colonies, and the husbandry requirements for the vast majority of amphibians are poorly known. For these species, a review of basic characteristics of amphibian biology supplemented by inferences drawn from the morphological and physiological characteristics of the species in question provides a basis for decisions about housing and feeding. Amphibians are ectotherms, and their skin is permeable to water, ions, and respiratory gases. Most species are secretive and, in many cases, nocturnal. The essential characteristics of their environment include appropriate levels of humidity, temperature, and lighting as well as retreat sites. Terrestrial and arboreal species require moist substrates, water dishes, and high relative humidity. Because temperature requirements for most species are poorly known, it is advisable to use a temperature mosaic that will allow an animal to find an appropriate temperature within its cage. Photoperiod may affect physiology and behavior (especially reproduction and hibernation), and although the importance of ultraviolet light for calcium metabolism by amphibians is not yet known, ecological observations suggest that it might be important for some species of frogs. Some amphibians are territorial, and some use olfactory cues to mark their territory and to recognize other individuals of their species. All amphibians are carnivorous as adults, and the feeding response of many species is elicited by the movement of prey. Diets should include a mixture of prey species, and it may be advisable to load prey with vitamins and minerals. PMID:17592184

  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. 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.

  19. 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 structural…

  20. 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)

  1. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. 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. PMID:23664831

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

  10. Molecular mechanisms of corticosteroid synergy with thyroid hormone during tadpole metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Bonett, Ronald M; Hoopfer, Eric D; Denver, Robert J

    2010-09-01

    Corticosteroids (CS) act synergistically with thyroid hormone (TH) to accelerate amphibian metamorphosis. Earlier studies showed that CS increase nuclear 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T(3)) binding capacity in tadpole tail, and 5' deiodinase activity in tadpole tissues, increasing the generation of T(3) from thyroxine (T(4)). In the present study we investigated CS synergy with TH by analyzing expression of key genes involved in TH and CS signaling using tadpole tail explant cultures, prometamorphic tadpoles, and frog tissue culture cells (XTC-2 and XLT-15). Treatment of tail explants with T(3) at 100 nM, but not at 10 nM caused tail regression. Corticosterone (CORT) at three doses (100, 500 and 3400 nM) had no effect or increased tail size. T(3) at 10 nM plus CORT caused tails to regress similar to 100 nM T(3). Thyroid hormone receptor beta (TRbeta) mRNA was synergistically upregulated by T(3) plus CORT in tail explants, tail and brain in vivo, and tissue culture cells. The activating 5' deiodinase type 2 (D2) mRNA was induced by T(3) and CORT in tail explants and tail in vivo. Thyroid hormone increased expression of glucocorticoid (GR) and mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) mRNAs. Our findings support that the synergistic actions of TH and CS in metamorphosis occur at the level of expression of genes for TRbeta and D2, enhancing tissue sensitivity to TH. Concurrently, TH enhances tissue sensitivity to CS by upregulating GR and MR. Environmental stressors can modulate the timing of tadpole metamorphosis in part by CS enhancing the response of tadpole tissues to the actions of TH.

  11. Skull development during anuran metamorphosis: III. Role of thyroid hormone in chondrogenesis.

    PubMed

    Hanken, J; Summers, C H

    1988-05-01

    Metamorphosis of cranial cartilages in anuran amphibians constitutes one of the most dramatic and extensive ontogenetic transformations in vertebrates. We quantitatively examined the role of thyroid hormone (3,3',5-triiodo-L-thyronine; T3) in mediating gross aspects of this morphological repatterning in the skull of the Oriental fire-bellied toad, Bombina orientalis. T3 was administered via plastic (Elvax) micropellets in three treatment dosages (2.5, 0.25, and 0.025 microgram) and one control dosage (0 microgram) to tadpoles of three Gosner developmental stages--28/29, 30/31, and 32/33; tadpoles were recoved up to 8 d (treatment and control dosages) or 14 d (control dosage) later. Response of larval cartilages to exogenous T3 was dosage dependent but not implant-stage dependent; chondrogenic tissues that participate in metamorphic transformation are competent to respond to T3 well before they normally do. Metamorphic effects of T3 were visible within 2 d; in most treatment groups, the normal metamorphic sequence was two-thirds complete after 8 d. While T3 also induced precocious ossification, the normal temporal relation between bone formation and cartilage transformation was dissociated in experimental groups. Morphological integration between cartilage and bone during cranial metamorphosis is at least partly the result of each tissue responding independently to endocrine factors.

  12. 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.

  13. Autoinduction of thyroid hormone receptor during metamorphosis is reproduced in Xenopus XTC-2 cells.

    PubMed

    Machuca, I; Tata, J R

    1992-09-01

    To determine if the autoinduction of thyroid hormone receptor (TR) alpha and beta mRNAs during metamorphosis in Xenopus tadpoles can be reproduced in cultured cells, we have screened four Xenopus cell lines (XTC-2, XL-177, XL2 and Kr) for receptor transcripts and their response to thyroid hormone. Exposure of XTC-2 cells to 10(-9) M triiodothyronine (T3) for 24 h upregulated TR alpha and beta mRNAs by 2-4- and 10-40-fold, respectively. In view of the marked similarity of the differential distribution of the two transcripts and their upregulation by T3 to the pattern of autoinduction seen in whole tadpoles, the process was studied in greater detail in XTC-2 cells. The time-course of autoinduction of TR alpha and beta mRNAs in these cells also resembled that in vivo, the two transcripts being significantly induced by 3-6 h after T3. Dose-response to T3, and the relative responses to its active and inactive analogs, confirmed that the process of autoinduction was initiated by thyroid hormone receptor with the same functional characteristics as that found in all amphibian and mammalian tissues. Experiments performed with cycloheximide suggested that intermediary protein(s) were involved in autoinduction, so that TR genes cannot be considered as 'immediate early' genes for this process. The possible advantages of studying thyroid hormone action in metamorphosis in XTC-2 cells are briefly discussed.

  14. Differential patterns of accumulation and depuration of dietary selenium and vanadium during metamorphosis in the Gray Treefrog (Hyla versicolor).

    PubMed

    Rowe, Christopher L; Heyes, Andrew; Hilton, Jessica

    2011-02-01

    Selenium (Se) and vanadium (V) are contaminants commonly found in aquatic systems affected by wastes derived from fossil fuels. To examine their effects on a widely distributed species of amphibian, we exposed gray tree frogs (Hyla versicolor) to Se (as SeO₂) or V (as NaVO₃) in their diet from the early larval period to metamorphosis. Concentrations of Se in Se-enriched food were 1.0 (Se control), 7.5 (Se low), and 32.7 (Se high) μg/g dw. Concentrations of V in V-enriched food were 3.0 (V control), 132.1 (V low), and 485.7 (V high) μg/g dw. Although we observed bioaccumulation of both metals throughout the larval period, no effects on growth, survival, metabolic rate, or lipid content were observed. Se concentrations in tissues did not vary among life stages, neither in Se low nor Se high treatments, such that maximum accumulation had occurred by the mid-larval period. In addition, there was no evidence of depuration of Se in either the Se low or the Se high treatments during metamorphosis. A strikingly different pattern of accumulation and depuration occurred in V-exposed individuals. In treatments V low and V high, maximum body burdens occurred in "premetamorphs" (i.e., animals with developed forelimbs but in which tail resorption had not begun), whereas body burdens in animals having completed metamorphosis were much lower and similar to those in larvae. These results suggest that compared with Se-exposed animals, V-exposed animals were able to depurate a substantial amount of accumulated V during the metamorphic period. In an ecologic context, it appears that amphibians exposed to Se during the larval period may serve as a vector of the metal to terrestrial predators, yet potential transfer of accumulated V to predators would largely be restricted to the aquatic habitat.

  15. Adult amphibian epidermal proteins: biochemical characterization and developmental appearance.

    PubMed

    Reeves, O R

    1975-08-01

    The keratin-like proteins (KLPs) from the epidermis of adult frogs of the species Xenopus laevis have been isolated and biochemically characterized by means of polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, amino acid analysis, tryptic peptide mapping, amino-terminal end-group analysis and isoelectric focusing. One particular protein fraction of rather unusual amino acid composition found only in epidermal tissue was isolated in quantity by preparative gel electrophoresis and monospecific antibodies prepared against it. Using this anti-KLP antibody preparation it was possible to show that at least one kine of keratin-like protein characteristic of the adult epidermis first appears within the larval epidermis during metamorphosis. This is the first reported biochemical characterization of a tissue-specific protien from adult amphibian skin.

  16. 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. PMID:26873819

  17. 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.

  18. 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)

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. Active metabolism of thyroid hormone during metamorphosis of amphioxus.

    PubMed

    Paris, Mathilde; Hillenweck, Anne; Bertrand, Stéphanie; Delous, Georges; Escriva, Hector; Zalko, Daniel; Cravedi, Jean-Pierre; Laudet, Vincent

    2010-07-01

    Thyroid hormones (THs), and more precisely the 3,3',5-triiodo-l-thyronine (T(3)) acetic derivative 3,3',5-triiodothyroacetic acid (TRIAC), have been shown to activate metamorphosis in amphioxus. However, it remains unknown whether TRIAC is endogenously synthesized in amphioxus and more generally whether an active TH metabolism is regulating metamorphosis. Here we show that amphioxus naturally produces TRIAC from its precursors T(3) and l-thyroxine (T(4)), supporting its possible role as the active TH in amphioxus larvae. In addition, we show that blocking TH production inhibits metamorphosis and that this effect is compensated by exogenous T(3), suggesting that a peak of TH production is important for advancement of proper metamorphosis. Moreover, several amphioxus genes encoding proteins previously proposed to be involved in the TH signaling pathway display expression profiles correlated with metamorphosis. In particular, thyroid hormone receptor (TR) and deiodinases gene expressions are either up- or down-regulated during metamorphosis and by TH treatments. Overall, these results suggest that an active TH metabolism controls metamorphosis in amphioxus, and that endogenous TH production and metabolism as well as TH-regulated metamorphosis are ancestral in the chordate lineage.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  6. Opposing aminergic modulation of distinct spinal locomotor circuits and their functional coupling during amphibian metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Rauscent, Aude; Einum, James; Le Ray, Didier; Simmers, John; Combes, Denis

    2009-01-28

    The biogenic amines serotonin (5-HT) and noradrenaline (NA) are well known modulators of central pattern-generating networks responsible for vertebrate locomotion. Here we have explored monoaminergic modulation of the spinal circuits that generate two distinct modes of locomotion in the metamorphosing frog Xenopus laevis. At metamorphic climax when propulsion is achieved by undulatory larval tail movements and/or by kicking of the newly developed adult hindlimbs, the underlying motor networks remain spontaneously active in vitro, producing either separate fast axial and slow appendicular rhythms or a single combined rhythm that drives coordinated tail-based and limb-based swimming in vivo. In isolated spinal cords already expressing distinct axial and limb rhythms, bath-applied 5-HT induced coupled network activity through an opposite slowing of axial rhythmicity (by increasing motoneuron burst and cycle durations) and an acceleration of limb rhythmicity (by decreasing burst and cycle durations). In contrast, in preparations spontaneously expressing coordinated fictive locomotion, exogenous NA caused a dissociation of spinal activity into separate faster axial and slower appendicular rhythms by decreasing and increasing burst and cycle durations, respectively. Moreover, in preparations from premetamorphic and postmetamorphic animals that express exclusively axial-based or limb-based locomotion, 5-HT and NA modified the developmentally independent rhythms in a similar manner to the amines' opposing effects on the coexisting circuits at metamorphic climax. Thus, by exerting differential modulatory actions on one network that are opposite to their influences on a second adjacent circuit, these two amines are able to precisely regulate the functional relationship between different rhythmogenic networks in a developing vertebrate's spinal cord.

  7. Sex determination in amphibians.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Masahisa

    2009-05-01

    The heterogametic sex is male in all mammals, whereas it is female in almost all birds. By contrast, there are two heterogametic types (XX/XY and ZZ/ZW) for genetic sex determination in amphibians. Though the original heterogametic sex was female in amphibians, the two heterogametic types were probably interchangeable, suggesting that sex chromosomes evolved several times in this lineage. Indeed, the frog Rana rugosa has the XX/XY and ZZ/ZW sex-determining systems within a single species, depending on the local population in Japan. The XY and ZW geographic forms with differentiated sex chromosomes probably have a common origin as undifferentiated sex chromosomes resulted from the hybridization between the primary populations of West Japan and Kanto forms. It is clear that the sex chromosomes are still undergoing evolution in this species group. Regardless of the presence of a sex-determining gene in amphibians, the gonadal sex of some species can be changed by sex steroids. Namely, sex steroids can induce the sex reversal, with estrogens inducing the male-to-female sex reversal, whereas androgens have the opposite effect. In R. rugosa, gonadal activity of CYP19 (P450 aromatase) is correlated with the feminization of gonads. Of particular interest is that high levels of CYP19 expression are observed in indifferent gonads at time before sex determination. Increases in the expression of CYP19 in female gonads and CYP17 (P450 17alpha-hydroxylase/C17-20 lyase) in male gonads suggest that the former plays an important role in phenotypic female determination, whereas the latter is needed for male determination. Thus, steroids could be the key factor for sex determination in R. rugosa. In addition to the role of sex steroids in gonadal sex determination in this species, Foxl2 and Sox3 are capable of promoting CYP19 expression. Since both the genes are autosomal, another factor up-regulating CYP19 expression must be recruited. The factor, which may be located on the X or W

  8. 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.

  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. PMID:27327181

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24966319

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    PubMed

    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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:26611041

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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)

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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. PMID:25740483

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:26986217

  13. Skull development during anuran metamorphosis: I. Early development of the first three bones to form--the exoccipital, the parasphenoid, and the frontoparietal.

    PubMed

    Hanken, J; Hall, B K

    1988-03-01

    In anuran amphibians, cranial bones typically first form at metamorphosis when they rapidly invest or replace the cartilaginous larval skull. We describe early development of the first three bones to form in the Oriental fire-bellied toad, Bombina orientalis--the parasphenoid, the frontoparietal, and the exoccipital--based on examination of serial sections. Each of these bones is fully differentiated by Gosner stage 31 (hindlimb in paddle stage) during premetamorphosis. This is at least six Gosner developmental stages before they are first visible in whole-mount preparations at the beginning of prometamorphosis. Thus, developmental events that precede and mediate the initial differentiation of these cranial osteogenic sites occur very early in metamorphosis--a period generally considered to lack significant morphological change. Subsequent development of these centers at later stages primarily reflects cell proliferation and calcified matrix deposition, possibly in response to increased circulating levels of thyroid hormone which are characteristic of later metamorphic stages. Interspecific differences in the timing of cranial ossification may reflect one or both of these phases of bone development. These results may qualify the use of whole-mount preparations for inferring the sequence and absolute timing of cranial ossification in amphibians.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Why does Amphibian Chytrid (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) not occur everywhere? An exploratory study in Missouri ponds.

    PubMed

    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.

  20. Climate warming mediates negative impacts of rapid pond drying for three amphibian species.

    PubMed

    O'Regan, Sacha M; Palen, Wendy J; Anderson, Sean C

    2014-04-01

    Anthropogenic climate change will present both opportunities and challenges for pool-breeding amphibians. Increased water temperature and accelerated drying may directly affect larval growth, development, and survival, yet the combined effects of these processes on larvae with future climate change remain poorly understood. Increased surface temperatures are projected to warm water and decrease water inputs, leading to earlier and faster wetland drying. So it is often assumed that larvae will experience negative synergistic impacts with combined warming and drying. However, an alternative hypothesis is that warming-induced increases in metabolic rate and aquatic resource availability might compensate for faster drying rates, generating antagonistic larval responses. We conducted a mesocosm experiment to test the individual and interactive effects of pool permanency (permanent vs. temporary) and water temperature (ambient vs. (+) -3 degrees C) on three anurans with fast-to-slow larval development rates (Great Basin spadefoot [Spea intermontana], Pacific chorus frog [Pseudacris regilla], and northern red-legged frog [Rana aurora]). We found that although tadpoles in warmed pools reached metamorphosis 15-17 days earlier, they did so with little cost (< 2 mm) to size, likely due to greater periphyton growth in warmed pools easing drying-induced resource competition. Warming and drying combined to act antagonistically on early growth (P = 0.06) and survival (P = 0.06), meaning the combined impact was less than the sum of the individual impacts. Warming and drying acted additively on time to and size at metamorphosis. These nonsynergistic impacts may result from cotolerance of larvae to warming and drying, as well as warming helping to offset negative impacts of drying. Our results indicate that combined pool warming and drying may not always be harmful for larval amphibians. However, they also demonstrate that antagonistic responses are difficult to predict, which poses

  1. Dietary antioxidants enhance immunocompetence in larval amphibians.

    PubMed

    Szuroczki, Dorina; Koprivnikar, Janet; Baker, Robert L

    2016-11-01

    Dietary antioxidants have been shown to confer a variety of benefits through their ability to counter oxidative stress, including increased immunocompetence and reduced susceptibility to both infectious and non-infectious diseases. However, little is known about the effects of dietary antioxidants on immune function in larval amphibians, a group experiencing worldwide declines driven by factors that likely involve altered immunocompetence. We investigated the effects of dietary antioxidants (quercetin, vitamin E, and β-carotene) on two components of the immune system, as well as development and growth. Lithobates pipiens tadpoles fed diets with supplemental β-carotene or vitamin E exhibited an enhanced swelling response as measured with a phytohemagglutinin assay (PHA), but there was no induced antibody response. Effects were often dose-dependent, with higher antioxidant levels generally conferring stronger swelling that possibly corresponds to the innate immune response. Our results indicate that the antioxidant content of the larval amphibian diets not only had a detectable effect on their immune response capability, but also promoted tadpole growth (mass gain), although developmental stage was not affected. Given that many environmental perturbations may cause oxidative stress or reduce immunocompetence, it is critical to understand how nutrition may counter these effects. PMID:27475300

  2. 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.

  3. Skull development during anuran metamorphosis. II. Role of thyroid hormone in osteogenesis.

    PubMed

    Hanken, J; Hall, B K

    1988-01-01

    We examined the role of thyroid hormone (TH) in mediating cranial ossification during metamorphosis in the Oriental fire-bellied toad, Bombina orientalis. Exogenous T3 (3,3',5-triiodo-L-thyronine) was administered in three treatment dosages (0.025, 0.25, and 2.5 micrograms) plus a control dosage via plastic micropellets implanted within the dermis of tadpoles of three Gosner developmental stages: 28/29, 30/31, 32/33. Tadpoles were recovered after 2, 4, 6, and 8 d, and scored for the presence of three bones - median parasphenoid and paired frontoparietals and exoccipitals--as seen in cleared-and-stained, whole-mount preparations. T3 induced precocious ossification in both a stage-dependent and a dosage-dependent manner; stage dependence corresponded precisely with the degree of osteogenic differentiation at the time of hormone administration. Precocious ossification thus was due to the T3-promoted growth and calcified matrix deposition of these centers. Differential TH sensitivity among osteogenic sites may underlie both the temporal cranial ossification sequences characteristic of metamorphosing amphibians as well as sequence differences commonly observed among taxa.

  4. 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...

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. A screening assay for thyroid hormone signaling disruption based on thyroid hormone-response gene expression analysis in the frog Pelophylax nigromaculatus.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yinfeng; Li, Yuanyuan; Qin, Zhanfen; Wang, Huili; Li, Jianzhong

    2015-08-01

    Amphibian metamorphosis provides a wonderful model to study the thyroid hormone (TH) signaling disrupting activity of environmental chemicals, with Xenopus laevis as the most commonly used species. This study aimed to establish a rapid and sensitive screening assay based on TH-response gene expression analysis using Pelophylax nigromaculatus, a native frog species distributed widely in East Asia, especially in China. To achieve this, five candidate TH-response genes that were sensitive to T3 induction were chosen as molecular markers, and T3 induction was determined as 0.2 nmol/L T3 exposure for 48 hr. The developed assay can detect the agonistic activity of T3 with a lowest observed effective concentration of 0.001 nmol/L and EC50 at around 0.118-1.229 nmol/L, exhibiting comparable or higher sensitivity than previously reported assays. We further validated the efficiency of the developed assay by detecting the TH signaling disrupting activity of tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA), a known TH signaling disruptor. In accordance with previous reports, we found a weak TH agonistic activity for TBBPA in the absence of T3, whereas a TH antagonistic activity was found for TBBPA at higher concentrations in the presence of T3, showing that the P. nigromaculatus assay is effective for detecting TH signaling disrupting activity. Importantly, we observed non-monotonic dose-dependent disrupting activity of TBBPA in the presence of T3, which is difficult to detect with in vitro reporter gene assays. Overall, the developed P. nigromaculatus assay can be used to screen TH signaling disrupting activity of environmental chemicals with high sensitivity. PMID:26257357

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Exposure to the herbicide acetochlor alters thyroid hormone-dependent gene expression and metamorphosis in Xenopus Laevis.

    PubMed Central

    Crump, Doug; Werry, Kate; Veldhoen, Nik; Van Aggelen, Graham; Helbing, Caren C

    2002-01-01

    A growing number of substances released into the environment disrupt normal endocrine mechanisms in a wide range of vertebrates. Little is known about the effects and identities of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that target thyroid hormone (TH) action, particularly at the cellular level. Frog tadpole metamorphosis depends completely on TH, which has led to the suggestion of a metamorphosis-based assay for screening potential EDCs. A major mechanism of TH action is the alteration of gene expression via hormone-bound nuclear receptors. To assess the gene expression profiles in the frog model, we designed a novel multispecies frog cDNA microarray. Recently, the preemergent herbicide acetochlor was shown to accelerate 3,5,3 -triiodothyronine (T3)-induced forelimb emergence and increase mRNA expression of thyroid hormone ss receptors in ranid tadpoles. Here we show that T3-induced metamorphosis of Xenopus laevis, a species commonly used in the laboratory, is accelerated upon acute exposure to an environmentally relevant level of acetochlor. The morphologic changes observed are preceded by alterations in gene expression profiles detected in the tadpole tail, and the nature of these profiles suggest a novel mechanism of action for acetochlor. PMID:12460798

  12. METAPOPULATION DYNAMICS AND AMPHIBIAN CONSERVATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    In many respects, amphibian spatial dynamics resemble classical metapopulation models, where subpopulations in breeding ponds blink in and out of existance and where extinction and colonization rates are functions of pond spatial arrangement. This "ponds-as-patches" view of amphi...

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Plasticity of lung development in the amphibian, Xenopus laevis

    PubMed Central

    Rose, Christopher S.; James, Brandon

    2013-01-01

    Summary Contrary to previous studies, we found that Xenopus laevis tadpoles raised in normoxic water without access to air can routinely complete metamorphosis with lungs that are either severely stunted and uninflated or absent altogether. This is the first demonstration that lung development in a tetrapod can be inhibited by environmental factors and that a tetrapod that relies significantly on lung respiration under unstressed conditions can be raised to forego this function without adverse effects. This study compared lung development in untreated, air-deprived (AD) and air-restored (AR) tadpoles and frogs using whole mounts, histology, BrdU labeling of cell division and antibody staining of smooth muscle actin. We also examined the relationship of swimming and breathing behaviors to lung recovery in AR animals. Inhibition and recovery of lung development occurred at the stage of lung inflation. Lung recovery in AR tadpoles occurred at a predictable and rapid rate and correlated with changes in swimming and breathing behavior. It thus presents a new experimental model for investigating the role of mechanical forces in lung development. Lung recovery in AR frogs was unpredictable and did not correlate with behavioral changes. Its low frequency of occurrence could be attributed to developmental, physical and behavioral changes, the effects of which increase with size and age. Plasticity of lung inflation at tadpole stages and loss of plasticity at postmetamorphic stages offer new insights into the role of developmental plasticity in amphibian lung loss and life history evolution. PMID:24337117

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:24934557

  20. 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.

  1. Coral Larvae under Ocean Acidification: Survival, Metabolism, and Metamorphosis

    PubMed Central

    Nakamura, Masako; Ohki, Shun; Suzuki, Atsushi; Sakai, Kazuhiko

    2011-01-01

    Ocean acidification may negatively impact the early life stages of some marine invertebrates including corals. Although reduced growth of juvenile corals in acidified seawater has been reported, coral larvae have been reported to demonstrate some level of tolerance to reduced pH. We hypothesize that the observed tolerance of coral larvae to low pH may be partly explained by reduced metabolic rates in acidified seawater because both calcifying and non-calcifying marine invertebrates could show metabolic depression under reduced pH in order to enhance their survival. In this study, after 3-d and 7-d exposure to three different pH levels (8.0, 7.6, and 7.3), we found that the oxygen consumption of Acropora digitifera larvae tended to be suppressed with reduced pH, although a statistically significant difference was not observed between pH conditions. Larval metamorphosis was also observed, confirming that successful recruitment is impaired when metamorphosis is disrupted, despite larval survival. Results also showed that the metamorphosis rate significantly decreased under acidified seawater conditions after both short (2 h) and long (7 d) term exposure. These results imply that acidified seawater impacts larval physiology, suggesting that suppressed metabolism and metamorphosis may alter the dispersal potential of larvae and subsequently reduce the resilience of coral communities in the near future as the ocean pH decreases. PMID:21264208

  2. 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)

  3. Elemental concentration in mealworm beetle (Tenebrio molitor L.) during metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Simon, Edina; Baranyai, Edina; Braun, Mihály; Fábián, István; Tóthmérész, Béla

    2013-07-01

    Mealworm beetles have been used in numerous experiments as bioindicators. The aim of our experiment was to study the elemental composition in three larvae, pupae and first and second generation adult stages during their life cycle. We selected 180 larvae from a genetically similar population and put them in three groups, in two boxes (60 larvae in each box). Larvae were fed with mashed potato made of the same quality and quantity of potato powder. Then, we selected 10 individuals from each stage to the elemental analysis, using the ICP-OES method. The following elements were analysed in the studied stages: Ca, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Na, P, S, Sr and Zn. The results of principal component analysis demonstrated that based on elemental composition, different stages were separated with each other, but in the cases of the three larvae stages, high overlap was found. The results of the GLM ANOVA showed significant differences between the different stages of metamorphosis-based elemental composition. Our results show that the calcium and magnesium were found in a relatively high concentration, while the iron and zinc may be essential elements during the metamorphosis. Our results also show that in insect, the concentration of sodium was higher than in the pupa which may cause by hemolymph. We also demonstrated that the metamorphosis has an effect on the concentration of elements. Our study shows that in the different stages of insects, there are significant changes in the elemental composition of different stages of insects during their metamorphosis.

  4. Pesticide mixtures, endocrine disruption, and amphibian declines: are we underestimating the impact?

    PubMed

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

    2006-04-01

    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

  5. Efficacy of SYBR 14/propidium iodide viability stain for the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    PubMed

    Stockwell, M P; Clulow, J; Mahony, M J

    2010-01-25

    The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is a recently described pathogen that has been implicated as a causal agent in the global decline in amphibians. Research into its biology and epidemiology has frequently involved in vitro experimentation. However, this research is currently limited by the inability to differentiate between viable and inviable zoospores. Stains are frequently used to determine cell viability, and this study tested a 2-colour fluorescence assay for the detection and quantification of viable B. dendrobatidis zoospores. The results show that the nucleic acid stains SYBR 14 and propidium iodide are effective in distinguishing live from dead zoospores, and a protocol has been optimized for their use. This viability assay provides an efficient and reliable tool that will have applications in B. dendrobatidis challenge and amphibian exposure experiments.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:25354647

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

    PubMed

    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.

  13. 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

  14. Female sexual arousal in amphibians.

    PubMed

    Wilczynski, Walter; Lynch, Kathleen S

    2011-05-01

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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. PMID:25335651

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:25669915

  20. Neuroendocrine-immune system interactions in amphibians: implications for understanding global amphibian declines.

    PubMed

    Rollins-Smith, L A

    2001-01-01

    Amphibians are ancient creatures valued by biologists and naturalists around the world. They share with all other vertebrates a complex neuroendocrine system that enables them to flourish in a variety of aquatic and semiaquatic environments. Studies from a number of laboratories have demonstrated that the immune system of amphibian species is nearly as complex as that of mammals. Yet for reasons that are not well understood, amphibian species are facing greater survival challenges than in the recent past. This article will review our current understanding of the neuroendocrine immune system interactions in amphibians and address the question of whether environmental stressors may contribute to immunosuppression and amphibian declines.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Pigment Cell Progenitors in Zebrafish Remain Multipotent through Metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Singh, Ajeet Pratap; Dinwiddie, April; Mahalwar, Prateek; Schach, Ursula; Linker, Claudia; Irion, Uwe; Nüsslein-Volhard, Christiane

    2016-08-01

    The neural crest is a transient, multipotent embryonic cell population in vertebrates giving rise to diverse cell types in adults via intermediate progenitors. The in vivo cell-fate potential and lineage segregation of these postembryonic progenitors is poorly understood, and it is unknown if and when the progenitors become fate restricted. We investigate the fate restriction in the neural crest-derived stem cells and intermediate progenitors in zebrafish, which give rise to three distinct adult pigment cell types: melanophores, iridophores, and xanthophores. By inducing clones in sox10-expressing cells, we trace and quantitatively compare the pigment cell progenitors at four stages, from embryogenesis to metamorphosis. At all stages, a large fraction of the progenitors are multipotent. These multipotent progenitors have a high proliferation ability, which diminishes with fate restriction. We suggest that multipotency of the nerve-associated progenitors lasting into metamorphosis may have facilitated the evolution of adult-specific traits in vertebrates. PMID:27453500

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Molecular mechanisms for thyroid hormone-induced remodeling in the amphibian digestive tract: a model for studying organ regeneration.

    PubMed

    Ishizuya-Oka, Atsuko; Shi, Yun-Bo

    2005-12-01

    During amphibian metamorphosis the digestive tract is extensively remodeled under the control of epithelial-connective tissue interactions. At the cellular level, larval epithelial cells undergo apoptosis, while a small number of stem cells appear, actively proliferate, and then differentiate to form adult epithelium that is analogous to its mammalian counterpart. Therefore the amphibian digestive tract is a unique model system for the study of postembryonic organ regeneration. As amphibian intestinal remodeling can be triggered by thyroid hormone (TH), the molecular mechanisms involved can be studied from the perspective of examining the expression cascade of TH response genes. A number of these genes have been isolated from the intestine of Xenopus laevis. Recent progress in the functional analysis of this cascade has shed light on key molecules in intestinal remodeling such as matrix metalloproteinase-11, sonic hedgehog, and bone morphogenetic protein-4. These genes are also thought to play key roles in organogenesis and/or homeostasis in both chick and mammalian digestive tract, suggesting the existence of conserved mechanisms underlying such events in terrestrial vertebrates. In this article, we review our recent findings in this field, focusing on the development of adult epithelium in the X. laevis intestine.

  7. Cartilage on the Move: Cartilage Lineage Tracing During Tadpole Metamorphosis

    PubMed Central

    Kerney, Ryan R.; Brittain, Alison L.; Hall, Brian K.; Buchholz, Daniel R.

    2012-01-01

    The reorganization of cranial cartilages during tadpole metamorphosis is a set of complex processes. The fates of larval cartilage-forming cells (chondrocytes) and sources of adult chondrocytes are largely unknown. Individual larval cranial cartilages may either degenerate or remodel, while many adult cartilages appear to form de novo during metamorphosis. Determining the extent to which adult chondrocytes/cartilages are derived from larval chondrocytes during metamorphosis requires new techniques in chondrocyte lineage tracing. We have developed two transgenic systems to label cartilage cells throughout the body with fluorescent proteins. One system strongly labels early tadpole cartilages only. The other system inducibly labels forming cartilages at any developmental stage. We examined cartilages of the skull (viscero- and neurocranium), and identified larval cartilages that either resorb or remodel into adult cartilages. Our data show that the adult otic capsules, tecti anterius and posterius, hyale, and portions of Meckel’s cartilage are derived from larval chondrocytes. Our data also suggest that most adult cartilages form de novo, though we cannot rule out the potential for extreme larval chondrocyte proliferation or de- and re-differentiation, which could dilute our fluorescent protein signal. The transgenic lineage tracing strategies developed here are the first examples of inducible, skeleton-specific, lineage tracing in Xenopus. PMID:23036161

  8. Yorkie Facilitates Organ Growth and Metamorphosis in Bombyx.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shumin; Zhang, Panli; Song, Hong-Sheng; Qi, Hai-Sheng; Wei, Zhao-Jun; Zhang, Guozheng; Zhan, Shuai; Liu, Zhihong; Li, Sheng

    2016-01-01

    The Hippo pathway, which was identified from genetic screens in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, has a major size-control function in animals. All key components of the Hippo pathway, including the transcriptional coactivator Yorkie that is the most critical substrate and downstream effector of the Hippo kinase cassette, are found in the silkworm, Bombyx mori. As revealed by microarray and quantitative real-time PCR, expression of Hippo pathway genes is particularly enriched in several mitotic tissues, including the ovary, testis, and wing disc. Developmental profiles of Hippo pathway genes are generally similar (with the exception of Yorkie) within each organ, but vary greatly in different tissues showing nearly opposing expression patterns in the wing disc and the posterior silk gland (PSG) on day 2 of the prepupal stage. Importantly, the reduction of Yorkie expression by RNAi downregulated Yorkie target genes in the ovary, decreased egg number, and delayed larval-pupal-adult metamorphosis. In contrast, baculovirus-mediated Yorkie(CA) overexpression upregulated Yorkie target genes in the PSG, increased PSG size, and accelerated larval-pupal metamorphosis. Together the results show that Yorkie potentially facilitates organ growth and metamorphosis, and suggest that the evolutionarily conserved Hippo pathway is critical for size control, particularly for PSG growth, in the silkworm. PMID:27489496

  9. Yorkie Facilitates Organ Growth and Metamorphosis in Bombyx

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Shumin; Zhang, Panli; Song, Hong-Sheng; Qi, Hai-Sheng; Wei, Zhao-Jun; Zhang, Guozheng; Zhan, Shuai; Liu, Zhihong; Li, Sheng

    2016-01-01

    The Hippo pathway, which was identified from genetic screens in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, has a major size-control function in animals. All key components of the Hippo pathway, including the transcriptional coactivator Yorkie that is the most critical substrate and downstream effector of the Hippo kinase cassette, are found in the silkworm, Bombyx mori. As revealed by microarray and quantitative real-time PCR, expression of Hippo pathway genes is particularly enriched in several mitotic tissues, including the ovary, testis, and wing disc. Developmental profiles of Hippo pathway genes are generally similar (with the exception of Yorkie) within each organ, but vary greatly in different tissues showing nearly opposing expression patterns in the wing disc and the posterior silk gland (PSG) on day 2 of the prepupal stage. Importantly, the reduction of Yorkie expression by RNAi downregulated Yorkie target genes in the ovary, decreased egg number, and delayed larval-pupal-adult metamorphosis. In contrast, baculovirus-mediated YorkieCA overexpression upregulated Yorkie target genes in the PSG, increased PSG size, and accelerated larval-pupal metamorphosis. Together the results show that Yorkie potentially facilitates organ growth and metamorphosis, and suggest that the evolutionarily conserved Hippo pathway is critical for size control, particularly for PSG growth, in the silkworm. PMID:27489496

  10. Ecological regulation of development: induction of marine invertebrate metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Daniel; Leys, Sally P; Hinman, Veronica F; Woods, Rick; Lavin, Martin F; Degnan, Bernard M

    2002-01-01

    In the marine environment a wide range of invertebrates have a pelagobenthic lifecycle that includes planktonic larval and benthic adult phases. Transition between these morphologically and ecologically distinct phases typically occurs when the developmentally competent larva comes into contact with a species-specific environmental cue. This cue acts as a morphogenetic signal that induces the completion of the postlarval/juvenile/adult developmental program at metamorphosis. The development of competence often occurs hours to days after the larva is morphologically mature. In the non-feeding--lecithotrophic--larvae of the ascidian Herdmania curvata and the gastropod mollusc Haliotis asinina, gene expression patterns in pre-competent and competent stages are markedly different, reflecting the different developmental states of these larval stages. For example, the expression of Hemps, an EGF-like signalling peptide required for the induction of Herdmania metamorphosis, increases in competent larvae. Induction of settlement and metamorphosis results in further changes in developmental gene expression, which apparently is necessary for the complete transformation of the larval body plan into the adult form.

  11. Urban amphibian assemblages as metacommunities.

    PubMed

    Parris, Kirsten M

    2006-05-01

    1. Urban ecosystems are expanding throughout the world, and urban ecology is attracting increasing research interest. Some authors have questioned the value of existing ecological theories for understanding the processes and consequences of urbanization. 2. In order to assess the applicability of metacommunity theory to urban systems, I evaluated three assumptions that underlie the theory - the effect of patch area, the effect of patch isolation, and species-environment relations - using data on assemblages of pond-breeding amphibians in the Greater Melbourne area of Australia. I also assessed the relative impact of habitat fragmentation, habitat isolation, and changes to habitat quality on these assemblages. 3. Poisson regression modelling provided support for an important increase in species richness with patch area (pond size) and a decrease in species richness with increasing patch isolation, as measured by surrounding road cover. Holding all other variables constant, species richness was predicted to be 2.8-5.5 times higher at the largest pond than at the smallest, while the most isolated pond was predicted to have 12-19% of the species richness of the least isolated pond. Thus, the data were consistent with the first two assumptions of metacommunity theory evaluated. 4. The quality of habitat at a pond was also important, with a predicted 44-56% decrease in the number of species detected at ponds with a surrounding vertical wall compared with those with a gently sloping bank. This demonstrates that environmental differences between habitat patches were also influencing amphibian assemblages, providing support for the species-sorting and/or mass-effect perspectives of metacommunity theory. 5. Without management intervention, urbanization may lead to a reduction in the number of amphibian species persisting in urban ponds, particularly where increasing isolation of ponds by roads and associated infrastructure reduces the probability of re-colonization following

  12. Ecology and pathology of amphibian ranaviruses.

    PubMed

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

    2009-12-01

    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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. NUDC expression during amphibian development.

    PubMed

    Moreau, N; Aumais, J P; Prudhomme, C; Morris, S M; Yu-Lee, L Y

    2001-10-01

    To identify gene products important for gastrulation in the amphibian Pleurodeles waltl, a screen for regional differences in new protein expression at the early gastrula stage was performed. A 45 kDa protein whose synthesis was specific for progenitor endodermal cells was identified. Microsequencing and cDNA cloning showed that P45 is highly homologous to rat NUDC, a protein suggested to play a role in nuclear migration. Although PNUDC can be detected in all regions of the embryo, its de novo synthesis is tightly regulated spatially and temporally throughout oogenesis and embryonic development. New PNUDC synthesis in the progenitor endodermal cells depends on induction by the mesodermal cells in the gastrula. During development, PNUDC is localized in the egg cortical cytoplasm, at the cleavage furrow during the first embryonic division, around the nuclei and cortical regions of bottle cells in the gastrula, and at the basal region of polarized tissues in the developing embryo. These results show for the first time the expression and compartmentalization of PNUDC at distinct stages during amphibian development. PMID:11732844

  19. Amphibian declines in the twenty-first century: why we need assisted reproductive technologies.

    PubMed

    Clulow, John; Trudeau, Vance L; Kouba, Andrew J

    2014-01-01

    Each amphibian species is evolutionarily distinct, having developed highly specialized and diverse reproductive strategies in both terrestrial and aquatic environments. These unique reproductive patterns and mechanisms, key to species propagation, have only been explored in a limited number of laboratory models. Although the development of applied reproductive technologies for amphibians has proven useful for a few threatened species, the real benefit of this technology has been new insights into the reproductive adaptations, behavior, endocrinology, and physiological mechanisms that have evolved over millions of years. As the basic fundamental database on amphibian reproductive physiology has grown, so has the applied benefit for species conservation. In particular, technologies such as non-invasive fecal and urinary hormone assays, hormone treatments for induced breeding or gamete collection, in vitro fertilization, and the ability to establish genome resource banks have all played important roles in monitoring or managing small populations of captive species. Amphibians have the ability to produce a large excess of germplasm (up to 10,000 ovulated eggs in a single reproductive event) that if not collected and preserved, would represent a wasted valuable resource. We discuss the current state of knowledge in assisted reproductive technologies for amphibians and why their extinction crisis means these available tools can no longer be implemented as small-scale, last-ditch efforts. The reproductive technologies must be established early as a key component of large-scale species recovery.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Heavy metals alter the survival, growth, metamorphosis, and antipredatory behavior of Columbia spotted frog (Rana luteiventris) tadpoles.

    PubMed

    Lefcort, H; Meguire, R A; Wilson, L H; Ettinger, W F

    1998-10-01

    Amphibian populations appear to be declining around the world. Although there is no single cause, one factor may be pollution from heavy metals. As a result of mining in the Silver Valley of Idaho, heavy metals have been released into habitats containing many species of sensitive organisms, including spotted frogs (Rana luteiventris). While the gross extent of pollution has been well documented, the more subtle behavioral effects of heavy metals such as lead, zinc, and cadmium are less well studied. We tested the effects of heavy metals on the short-term survival (LC50) of spotted frog tadpoles. Compared to single metals, metals presented together were toxic at lower doses. We also raised the tadpoles in outdoor mini-ecosystems containing either a single heavy metal or soil from an EPA Superfund site in the Silver Valley known to be composed of numerous heavy metals. Exposure to Silver Valley soil resulted in delayed metamorphosis. We tested the ability of metal-exposed tadpoles to detect and respond to chemical cues emanating from predacious rainbow trout. We found that high levels of Silver Valley soil, medium levels of zinc, and medium and high levels of lead resulted in a decreased fright response. Low levels of cadmium, zinc, and lead did not cause a significant effect, but low levels of soil did result in a decreased fright response. Heavy metals may alter interactions between tadpoles and their predators. PMID:9732476

  3. 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. PMID:27214195

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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. PMID:25296396

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. [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.

  11. 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. PMID:25279727

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Cardiovascular physiology and diseases of amphibians.

    PubMed

    Heinz-Taheny, Kathleen M

    2009-01-01

    The class Amphibia includes three orders of amphibians: the anurans (frogs and toads), urodeles (salamanders, axolotls, and newts), and caecilians. The diversity of lifestyles across these three orders has accompanying differences in the cardiovascular anatomy and physiology allowing for adaptations to aquatic or terrestrial habitats, pulmonic or gill respiration, hibernation, and body elongation (in the caecilian). This article provides a review of amphibian cardiovascular anatomy and physiology with discussion of unique species adaptations. In addition, amphibians as cardiovascular animal models and commonly encountered natural diseases are covered. PMID:19131029

  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. 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.

  19. Metabolomic insights into system-wide coordination of vertebrate metamorphosis

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background After completion of embryogenesis, many organisms experience an additional obligatory developmental transition to attain a substantially different juvenile or adult form. During anuran metamorphosis, the aquatic tadpole undergoes drastic morphological changes and remodelling of tissues and organs to become a froglet. Thyroid hormones are required to initiate the process, but the mechanism whereby the many requisite changes are coordinated between organs and tissues is poorly understood. Metabolites are often highly conserved biomolecules between species and are the closest reflection of phenotype. Due to the extensive distribution of blood throughout the organism, examination of the metabolites contained therein provides a system-wide overview of the coordinated changes experienced during metamorphosis. We performed an untargeted metabolomic analysis on serum samples from naturally-metamorphosing Rana catesbeiana from tadpoles to froglets using ultraperformance liquid chromatography coupled to a mass spectrometer. Total and aqueous metabolite extracts were obtained from each serum sample to select for nonpolar and polar metabolites, respectively, and selected metabolites were validated by running authentic compounds. Results The majority of the detected metabolites (74%) showed statistically significant abundance changes (padj < 0.001) between metamorphic stages. We observed extensive remodelling of five core metabolic pathways: arginine and purine/pyrimidine, cysteine/methionine, sphingolipid, and eicosanoid metabolism and the urea cycle, and found evidence for a major role for lipids during this postembryonic process. Metabolites traditionally linked to human disease states were found to have biological linkages to the system-wide changes occuring during the events leading up to overt morphological change. Conclusions To our knowledge, this is the first wide-scale metabolomic study of vertebrate metamorphosis identifying fundamental pathways

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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).

  3. Adenosine triphosphatase localization in amphibian epidermis.

    PubMed

    Farquhar, M G; Palade, G E

    1966-08-01

    The localization of ATPase(1) activity has been studied by light and electron microscopy in the epidermis of Rana pipiens, Rana catesbiana, and Bufo marinus. The reaction was carried out on skin (glutaraldehyde-fixed or fresh) sectioned with or without freezing. Best results were obtained with nonfrozen sections of fixed tissue. The incubation mixture was either a Wachstein-Meisel medium, or a modification which approximates assay systems used in biochemical studies of transport ATPases. The reaction product was found localized in contact with the outer leaflet of all cell membranes facing the labyrinth of intercellular spaces of the epidermis. It was absent from: (a) membrane areas involved in cell junctions (desmosomes, zonulae and maculae occludentes); (b) cell membranes facing the external medium (i.e., those on the distal aspect of the ultimate cell layer in s. corneum); (c) cell membranes facing the dermis (those on the proximal aspect of cells in s. germinativum). In the presence of (Na(+) + K(+)) the localization did not change, but the reaction was not appreciably activated. A similar though less intense reaction was obtained with ITP, but not with ADP, AMP, and GP as substrates. The results are discussed in relation to available data on transport ATPases in general, and on the morphology and physiology of amphibian skin in particular. Assuming that the ATPase studied is related to transport ATPase, the findings suggest a series of modifications to the frog skin model proposed by Koefoed-Johnsen and Ussing. The salient feature of this modified model is the localization of the Na(+) pump along all cell membranes facing the intercellular spaces of the epidermis. PMID:4226195

  4. 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.

  5. Muscle segmentation in time series images of Drosophila metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Yadav, Kuleesha; Lin, Feng; Wasser, Martin

    2015-01-01

    In order to study genes associated with muscular disorders, we characterize the phenotypic changes in Drosophila muscle cells during metamorphosis caused by genetic perturbations. We collect in vivo images of muscle fibers during remodeling of larval to adult muscles. In this paper, we focus on the new image processing pipeline designed to quantify the changes in shape and size of muscles. We propose a new two-step approach to muscle segmentation in time series images. First, we implement a watershed algorithm to divide the image into edge-preserving regions, and then, we classify these regions into muscle and non-muscle classes on the basis of shape and intensity. The advantage of our method is two-fold: First, better results are obtained because classification of regions is constrained by the shape of muscle cell from previous time point; and secondly, minimal user intervention results in faster processing time. The segmentation results are used to compare the changes in cell size between controls and reduction of the autophagy related gene Atg 9 during Drosophila metamorphosis.

  6. Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva: mechanisms and models of skeletal metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Frederick S; Chakkalakal, Salin A; Shore, Eileen M

    2012-11-01

    Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP; MIM #135100) is a debilitating genetic disorder of connective tissue metamorphosis. It is characterized by malformation of the great (big) toes during embryonic skeletal development and by progressive heterotopic endochondral ossification (HEO) postnatally, which leads to the formation of a second skeleton of heterotopic bone. Individuals with these classic clinical features of FOP have the identical heterozygous activating mutation (c.617G>A; R206H) in the gene encoding ACVR1 (also known as ALK2), a bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) type I receptor. Disease activity caused by this ACVR1 mutation also depends on altered cell and tissue physiology that can be best understood in the context of a high-fidelity animal model. Recently, we developed such a knock-in mouse model for FOP (Acvr1(R206H/+)) that recapitulates the human disease, and provides a valuable new tool for testing and developing effective therapies. The FOP knock-in mouse and other models in Drosophila, zebrafish, chickens and mice provide an arsenal of tools for understanding BMP signaling and addressing outstanding questions of disease mechanisms that are relevant not only to FOP but also to a wide variety of disorders associated with regenerative medicine and tissue metamorphosis.

  7. Amphibian chytridiomycosis in Japan: distribution, haplotypes and possible route of entry into Japan.

    PubMed

    Goka, Koichi; Yokoyama, Jun; Une, Yumi; Kuroki, Toshiro; Suzuki, Kazutaka; Nakahara, Miri; Kobayashi, Arei; Inaba, Shigeki; Mizutani, Tomoo; Hyatt, Alex D

    2009-12-01

    A serious disease of amphibians caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis was first found in Japan in December 2006 in imported pet frogs. This was the first report of chytridiomycosis in Asia. To assess the risk of pandemic chytridiomycosis to Japanese frogs, we surveyed the distribution of the fungus among captive and wild frog populations. We established a nested PCR assay that uses two pairs of PCR primers to amplify the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of a ribosomal RNA cassette to detect mild fungal infections from as little as 0.001 pg (1 fg) of B. dendrobatidis DNA. We collected swab samples from 265 amphibians sold at pet shops, 294 bred at institutes and 2103 collected at field sites from northern to southwestern Japan. We detected infections in native and exotic species, both in captivity and in the field. Sequencing of PCR products revealed 26 haplotypes of the B. dendrobatidis ITS region. Phylogenetic analysis showed that three of these haplotypes were specific to the Japanese giant salamander (Andrias japonicus) and appeared to have established a commensal relationship with this native amphibian. Many other haplotypes were carried by alien amphibians. The highest genetic diversity of B. dendrobatidis was found in the American bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana). Some strains of B. dendrobatidis appeared to be endemic to Japanese native amphibians, but many alien strains are being introduced into Japan via imported amphibians. To improve chytridiomycosis risk management, we must consider the risk of B. dendrobatidis changing hosts as a result of anthropogenic disturbance of the host-specific distribution of the fungus. PMID:19840263

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Emerging infectious disease as a proximate cause of amphibian mass mortality.

    PubMed

    Rachowicz, Lara J; Knapp, Roland A; Morgan, Jess A T; Stice, Mary J; Vredenburg, Vance T; Parker, John M; Briggs, Cheryl J

    2006-07-01

    A newly discovered infectious disease of amphibians, chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, is implicated in population declines and possible extinctions throughout the world. The purpose of our study was to examine the effects of B. dendrobatidis on the mountain yellow-legged frog (Rana muscosa) in the Sierra Nevada of California (USA). We (1) quantified the prevalence and incidence of B. dendrobatidis through repeat surveys of several hundred R. muscosa populations in the southern Sierra Nevada; (2) described the population-level effects of B. dendrobatidis on R. muscosa population abundance; and (3) compared the mortality rates of infected and uninfected R. muscosa individuals from pre- through post-metamorphosis using both laboratory and field experiments. Mouthpart inspections conducted in 144 and 132 R. muscosa populations in 2003 and 2004, respectively, indicated that 19% of R. muscosa populations in both years showed indications of chytridiomycosis. Sixteen percent of populations that were uninfected in 2003 became infected by 2004. Rana muscosa population sizes were reduced by an average of 88% following B. dendrobatidis outbreaks at six sites, but at seven B. dendrobatidis-negative sites, R. muscosa population sizes increased by an average of 45% over the same time period. In the laboratory, all infected R. muscosa developed fatal chytridiomycosis after metamorphosis, while all uninfected individuals remained healthy. In the field experiment in which R. muscosa tadpoles were caged at infected and uninfected sites, 96% of the individuals that metamorphosed at infected sites died vs. 5% at the uninfected sites. These studies indicate that chytridiomycosis causes high mortality in post-metamorphic R. muscosa, that this emerging disease is the proximate cause of numerous observed R. muscosa population declines, and that the disease threatens this species with extirpation at numerous sites in California's Sierra Nevada.

  12. Heterochrony in a complex world: disentangling environmental processes of facultative paedomorphosis in an amphibian.

    PubMed

    Denoël, Mathieu; Ficetola, Gentile F

    2014-05-01

    Heterochrony, the change in the rate or timing of development between ancestors and their descendants, plays a major role in evolution. When heterochrony produces polymorphisms, it offers the possibility to test hypotheses that could explain its success across environments. Amphibians are particularly suitable to exploring these questions because they express complex life cycles (i.e. metamorphosis) that have been disrupted by heterochronic processes (paedomorphosis: retention of larval traits in adults). The large phenotypic variation across populations suggests that more complex processes than expected are operating, but they remain to be investigated through multivariate analyses over a large range of natural populations across time. In this study, we compared the likelihood of multiple potential environmental determinants of heterochrony. We gathered data on the proportion of paedomorphic and metamorphic palmate newts (Lissotriton helveticus) across more than 150 populations during 10 years and used an information-theoretic approach to compare the support of multiple potential processes. Six environmental processes jointly explained the proportion of paedomorphs in populations: predation, water availability, dispersal limitation, aquatic breathing, terrestrial habitat suitability and antipredator refuges. Analyses of variation across space and time supported models based on the advantage of paedomorphosis in favourable aquatic habitats. Paedomorphs were favoured in deep ponds, in conditions favourable to aquatic breathing (high oxygen content), with lack of fish and surrounded by suitable terrestrial habitat. Metamorphs were favoured by banks allowing easy dispersal. These results indicate that heterochrony relies on complex processes involving multiple ecological variables and exemplifies why heterochronic patterns occur in contrasted environments. On the other hand, the fast selection of alternative morphs shows that metamorphosis and paedomorphosis

  13. 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

  14. 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

    2011-10-01

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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...

  1. ESTIMATING AMPHIBIAN OCCUPANCY RATES IN PONDS UNDER COMPLEX SURVEY DESIGNS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Monitoring the occurrence of specific amphibian species in ponds is one component of the US Geological Survey's Amphibian Monitoring and Research Initiative. Two collaborative studies were conducted in Olympic National Park and southeastern region of Oregon. The number of ponds...

  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 do not follow Bergmann's rule.

    PubMed

    Adams, Dean C; Church, James O

    2008-02-01

    The tendency for organisms to be larger in cooler climates (Bergmann's rule) is widely observed in endotherms, and has been reputed to apply to some ectotherms including amphibians. However, recent reports provide conflicting support for the pattern, questioning whether Bergmann's clines are generally present in amphibians. In this study, we measured 96,996 adult Plethodon from 3974 populations to test for the presence of Bergmann's clines in these salamanders. Only three Plethodon species exhibited a significant negative correlation between body size and temperature consistent with Bergmann's rule, whereas 37 of 40 species did not display a pattern consistent with this prediction. Further, a phylogenetic comparative analysis found no relationship between body size and temperature among species. A meta-analysis combining our data with the available data for other amphibian species revealed no support for Bergmann's rule at the genus (Plethodon), order (Caudata), or class (Amphibia) levels. Our findings strongly suggest that negative thermal body size clines are not common in amphibians, and we conclude that Bergmann's rule is not generally applicable to these taxa. Thus, evolutionary explanations of Bergmann's clines in other tetrapods need not account for unique life-history attributes of amphibians.

  4. Amphibian defenses against ultraviolet-B radiation.

    PubMed

    Blaustein, Andrew R; Belden, Lisa K

    2003-01-01

    As part of an overall decline in biodiversity, amphibian populations throughout the world are disappearing. There are a number of potential causes for these declines, including those related to environmental changes such as increasing ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation due to stratospheric ozone depletion. UV-B radiation can kill amphibian embryos or can cause sublethal effects that can harm amphibians in later life stages. However, amphibians have defenses against UV-B damage that can limit damage or repair it after exposure to UV-B radiation. These include behavioral, physiological, and molecular defenses. These defenses differ interspecifically, with some species more able to cope with exposure to UV-B than others. Unfortunately, the defense mechanisms of many species may not be effective against increasing persistent levels of UV-B radiation that have only been present for the past several decades due to human-induced environmental damage. Moreover, we predict that persistent UV-B-induced mortality and sublethal damage in species without adequate defenses could lead to changes in community structure. In this article we review the effects of UV-B radiation on amphibians and the defenses they use to avoid solar radiation and make some predictions regarding community structure in light of interspecific differences in UV-B tolerance. PMID:12492415

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Amphibians of the northern Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larson, Diane L.; Euliss, Ned H.; Lannoo, Michael J.; Mushet, David M.; Mac, M.J.; Opler, P.A.; Puckett Haecker, C. E.; Doran, P.D.

    1998-01-01

    No cry of alarm has been sounded over the fate of amphibian populations in the northern grasslands of North America, yet huge percentages of prairie wetland habitat have been lost, and the destruction continues. Scarcely 30% of the original mixedgrass prairie remains in Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota (See Table 1 in this chapter). If amphibian populations haven’t declined, why haven’t they? Or, have we simply failed to notice? Amphibians in the northern grasslands evolved in a boom-or-bust environment: species that were unable to survive droughts lasting for years died out long before humans were around to count them. Species we find today are expert at seizing the rare, wet moment to rebuild their populations in preparation for the next dry season. When numbers can change so rapidly, who can say if a species is rare or common? A lot depends on when you look.

  9. 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

  10. Origin of the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus

    PubMed Central

    du Preez, Louis H.; Hyatt, Alex D.; Muller, Reinhold; Speare, Rick

    2004-01-01

    The sudden appearance of chytridiomycosis, the cause of amphibian deaths and population declines in several continents, suggests that its etiologic agent, the amphibian chytrid Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, was introduced into the affected regions. However, the origin of this virulent pathogen is unknown. A survey was conducted of 697 archived specimens of 3 species of Xenopus collected from 1879 to 1999 in southern Africa in which the histologic features of the interdigital webbing were analyzed. The earliest case of chytridiomycosis found was in a Xenopus laevis frog in 1938, and overall prevalence was 2.7%. The prevalence showed no significant differences between species, regions, season, or time period. Chytridiomycosis was a stable endemic infection in southern Africa for 23 years before any positive specimen was found outside Africa. We propose that Africa is the origin of the amphibian chytrid and that the international trade in X. laevis that began in the mid-1930s was the means of dissemination. PMID:15663845

  11. 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. PMID:25821449

  12. 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.

  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. 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.

  15. Physiological, Behavioral and Maternal Factors That Contribute to Size Variation in Larval Amphibian Populations

    PubMed Central

    Warne, Robin W.; Kardon, Adam; Crespi, Erica J.

    2013-01-01

    Size variance among similarly aged individuals within populations is a pattern common to many organisms that is a result of interactions between intrinsic and extrinsic traits of individuals. While genetic and maternal effects, as well as physiological and behavioral traits have been shown to contribute to size variation in animal populations, teasing apart the influence of such factors on individual growth rates remain a challenge. Furthermore, tracing the effects of these interactions across life stages and in shaping adult phenotypes also requires further exploration. In this study we investigated the relationship between genetics, hatching patterns, behaviors, neuroendocrine stress axis activity and variance in growth and metamorphosis among same-aged larval amphibians. Through parallel experiments we found that in the absence of conspecific interactions, hatch time and to a lesser extent egg clutch identity (i.e. genetics and maternal effects) influenced the propensity for growth and development in individual tadpoles and determined metamorphic traits. Within experimental groups we found that variance in growth rates was associated with size-dependent foraging behaviors and responses to food restriction. We also found an inverse relationship between glucocorticoid (GC) hormone levels and body mass and developmental stage among group-reared tadpoles, which suggests that GC expression plays a role in regulating differing within-population growth trajectories in response to density-dependent conditions. Taken together these findings suggest that factors that influence hatching conditions can have long-term effects on growth and development. These results also raise compelling questions regarding the extent to which maternal and genetic factors influence physiological and behavioral profiles in amphibians. PMID:24143188

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  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

    2016-09-01

    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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

    2016-09-01

    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. 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.

  3. 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)

  4. The amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis detected in a community of stream and wetland amphibians

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grant, E.H.C.; Bailey, L.L.; Ware, J.L.; Duncan, K.C.

    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.

  5. Possible interrelations among environmental toxicants, amphibian development, and decline of amphibian populations.

    PubMed

    Carey, C; Bryant, C J

    1995-05-01

    Many amphibian populations are declining in a number of geographical locations throughout the world. In most cases, the cause or causes are unknown, but are assumed to result from man-made alterations in the environment. We review existing evidence concerning how environmental xenobiotics could contribute to declines of amphibian populations by impacting growth and development of the young. This paper examines the potential roles of toxicants in: a) affecting the susceptibility of young to disease; b) retarding growth and development of amphibian young; c) affecting the ability of larvae to avoid predation; d) affecting the development of physiological, morphological, or behavioral processes in a manner that subsequently impairs the ability of the young for future reproduction; and e) directly causing mortality of young. These issues are not well studied, and more studies are needed before the roles of environmental xenobiotics in amphibian declines are fully understood. PMID:7556018

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Chytrid fungus infections in laboratory and introduced Xenopus laevis populations: assessing the risks for U.K. native amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Tinsley, Richard C.; Coxhead, Peter G.; Stott, Lucy C.; Tinsley, Matthew C.; Piccinni, Maya Z.; Guille, Matthew J.

    2015-01-01

    The chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is notorious amongst current conservation biology challenges, responsible for mass mortality and extinction of amphibian species. World trade in amphibians is implicated in global dissemination. Exports of South African Xenopus laevis have led to establishment of this invasive species on four continents. Bd naturally infects this host in Africa and now occurs in several introduced populations. However, no previous studies have investigated transfer of infection into co-occurring native amphibian faunas. A survey of 27 U.K. institutions maintaining X. laevis for research showed that most laboratories have low-level infection, a risk for native species if animals are released into the wild. RT-PCR assays showed Bd in two introduced U.K. populations of X. laevis, in Wales and Lincolnshire. Laboratory and field studies demonstrated that infection levels increase with stress, especially low temperature. In the U.K., native amphibians may be exposed to intense transmission in spring when they enter ponds to spawn alongside X. laevis that have cold-elevated Bd infections. Exposure to cross-infection has probably been recurrent since the introduction of X. laevis, >20 years in Lincolnshire and 50 years in Wales. These sites provide an important test for assessing the impact of X. laevis on Bd spread. However, RT-PCR assays on 174 native amphibians (Bufo, Rana, Lissotriton and Triturus spp.), sympatric with the Bd-infected introduced populations, showed no foci of self-sustaining Bd transmission associated with X. laevis. The abundance of these native amphibians suggested no significant negative population-level effect after the decades of co-occurrence. PMID:25843959

  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. 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. PMID:24599336

  14. 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

  15. 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)

  16. 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.

  17. 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. PMID:22145866

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Channel metamorphosis, floodplain disturbance, and vegetation development: Ain River, France

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marston, Richard A.; Girel, Jacky; Pautou, Guy; Piegay, Herve; Bravard, Jean-Paul; Arneson, Chris

    1995-09-01

    The purpose of this paper is to describe and explain channel metamorphosis of the Ain River in east-central France and the effects of this metamorphosis on floodplain disturbance and vegetation development. The Ain River is a 195 km long stream originating in the Jura Mountains which flows into the Rhône River between Lyon, France, and Geneva, Switzerland. The lower 40 km of the Ain River, beyond the mountain front, are situated in a valley of outwash deposits where the floodplain is 0.2 to 1.2 km wide. A complex mosaic of floodplain landscape units has developed. Maps dating back to 1766 and six sets of aerial photographs dated between 1945 and 1991 were used to document changes in channel pattern. Aerial photos and field surveys were used to compile maps of landscape units based on dominant vegetation life-forms, species, and substrate. Six maps dated between 1945 and 1991 were digitized in ARC/INFO and an overlay was generated to determine the changes in landscape units as related to channel disturbance. Change from a braided to a single-thread meandering channel probably took place in the period 1930-1950. The process of river entrenchment has occurred throughout the Holocene but has accelerated in the present century due to shortening of the river course, construction of lateral embankments, and vegetation encroachment following reservoir construction and cessation of wood-cutting and grazing. The increase in horizontal channel stability coupled with channel entrenchment have decreased floodplain disturbance and lowered the water table by approximately one meter. Pioneer and disturbance-dependent landscape units have experienced a more terrestrial-like succession to an alluvial forest. Abandoned channels have also been replaced by alluvial forests. On poorly drained soils, shrub-swamp communities of willow and hydrophytic herbaceous plants have been replaced by mixed forests of ash, alder, black poplar, and oak. On well drained alluvial soils, ash and oak

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Vestibular Lesion-Induced Developmental Plasticity in Spinal Locomotor Networks during Xenopus laevis Metamorphosis

    PubMed Central

    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

  6. 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. PMID:25255994

  7. 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.

  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. Histone variants of the insect Plodia interpunctella during metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Pataryas, T A; Sekeri-Pataryas, K T; Bonner, W M; Marinou, V A

    1984-01-01

    The pattern of histone variants from the meal moth Plodia interpunctella was compared to the mouse histone variant pattern. Plodia contains histones which comigrate on two dimensional gels with H3.2, H3.3, H4 and H2A.Z in mouse. Plodia H2A.1 and H2B.1 migrate somewhat differently from the respective mouse histones. Comparison of the iodinated tryptic peptides of H2A.1 and H2A.Z from mouse and Plodia showed that the H2A.Z proteins have two iodinated peptides that comigrate in the two species and three more that are different. The H2A.1 proteins in the two species have one iodinated peptide which comigrates and two more which migrate very close to each other. The histone variants from three developmental stages, larval, pupal and adult of Plodia interpunctella were also identified and compared. The same histone variant pattern is found through all stages of development. It is concluded that histone gene expression does not change during metamorphosis in Plodia .

  11. Frederick Sanger, Erwin Chargaff, and the metamorphosis of specificity.

    PubMed

    Judson, H F

    1993-12-15

    That a transformation of ruling ideas in genetics and biochemistry took place at the dawn of molecular biology, in the late 1940s, is a commonplace; but the nature and components of that transformation are widely misunderstood. The change is often identified with the importation into biology of new styles of thought and new rigor by the many scientists trained in physics or chemistry who came into the nascent field--notably, Max Delbrück, Max Perutz, Francis Crick, John Kendrew, Maurice Wilkins, Rosalind Franklin. Most generally, the change is supposed to be the realization that genes are made not of protein but of nucleic acid--and this change was initiated, of course, by the work of Oswald Avery and his colleagues. These changes are not mutually exclusive, and both were surely important to the genesis of molecular biology. But logically prior to them, more fundamental, was another transformation in ruling preconceptions, one that has been neglected: the revolution in understanding of the chemical structures--the sequences of subunits--of proteins and of nucleic acids which was wrought by the work of Frederick Sanger and of Erwin Chargaff. This was a metamorphosis in the understanding of biochemical specificity, and while it astonished many biochemists it set free the small groups of those who were beginning to call themselves molecular biologists, enabling them to think of the relationship between genes and proteins in entirely new ways.

  12. 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

  13. The metamorphosis of managed care: implications for health reform internationally.

    PubMed

    Rodwin, Marc A

    2010-01-01

    The conventional wisdom is that managed care's brief life is over and we are now in a post-managed care era. In fact, managed care has a long history and continues to thrive. Writers also often assume that managed care is a fixed thing. They overlook that managed care has evolved and neglect to examine the role that it plays in the health system. Furthermore, private actors and the state have used managed care tools to promote diverse goals. These include the following: increasing access to medical care; restricting physician entrepreneurialism; challenging professional control over the medical economy; curbing medical spending; managing medical practice and markets; furthering the growth of medical markets and private insurance; promoting for-profit medical facilities and insurers; earning bounties for reducing medical expenditures: and reducing governmental responsibility for, and oversight of, medical care. Struggles over these competing goals spurred the metamorphosis of managed care. This article explores how managed care transformed physicians' conflicts of interests and responses to them. It also examines how managed care altered the opportunities for patients/medical consumers to use exit and voice to spur change.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Functional divergence of the miRNA transcriptome at the onset of Drosophila metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Yeh, Shu-Dan; von Grotthuss, Marcin; Gandasetiawan, Kania A; Jayasekera, Suvini; Xia, Xiao-Qin; Chan, Carolus; Jayaswal, Vivek; Ranz, José M

    2014-10-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenous RNA molecules that regulate gene expression posttranscriptionally. To date, the emergence of miRNAs and their patterns of sequence evolution have been analyzed in great detail. However, the extent to which miRNA expression levels have evolved over time, the role different evolutionary forces play in shaping these changes, and whether this variation in miRNA expression can reveal the interplay between miRNAs and mRNAs remain poorly understood. This is especially true for miRNA expressed during key developmental transitions. Here, we assayed miRNA expression levels immediately before (≥18BPF [18 h before puparium formation]) and after (PF) the increase in the hormone ecdysone responsible for triggering metamorphosis. We did so in four strains of Drosophila melanogaster and two closely related species. In contrast to their sequence conservation, approximately 25% of miRNAs analyzed showed significant within-species variation in male expression levels at ≥18BPF and/or PF. Additionally, approximately 33% showed modifications in their pattern of expression bias between developmental timepoints. A separate analysis of the ≥18BPF and PF stages revealed that changes in miRNA abundance accumulate linearly over evolutionary time at PF but not at ≥18BPF. Importantly, ≥18BPF-enriched miRNAs showed the greatest variation in expression levels both within and between species, so are the less likely to evolve under stabilizing selection. Functional attributes, such as expression ubiquity, appeared more tightly associated with lower levels of miRNA expression polymorphism at PF than at ≥18BPF. Furthermore, ≥18BPF- and PF-enriched miRNAs showed opposite patterns of covariation in expression with mRNAs, which denoted the type of regulatory relationship between miRNAs and mRNAs. Collectively, our results show contrasting patterns of functional divergence associated with miRNA expression levels during Drosophila ontogeny.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murphy, Tony P.

    2001-12-01

    A pilot on-line course on amphibians was offered free to 20 educators around the United States in 1999. This course, called Helping Your Local Amphibians (HYLA), was the first of its kind on-line course for educators dealing with amphibian issues. It also used these animals as a focus to teach about the environment. The course lasted 9 weeks with some additional time for continued discussions and used various aspects of Internet technology (including a virtual conference center), media, and traditional paper-based products to complete the learning process. Five teachers were selected to attend a national amphibian summit hosted by the Center for Global Environmental Education, Hamline University, St. Paul, MN. The course was aimed primarily at upper elementary and middle school teachers, but participants included formal and nonformal educators. For the most part, educators expressed satisfaction with the course and the content, as well as the structure of the web site. For 80% of the group, this was their first Internet-based course. In addition, as part of the course, the educators were expected to take some action with their primary audiences to help local amphibian populations. This mainly took the form of surveys or habitat clean-ups. The development of the course was underwritten by grants from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Best Buy Children's Foundation, and Hamline University.

  18. 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.

  19. Identification of genes differentially expressed during larval molting and metamorphosis of Helicoverpa armigera

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Du-Juan; He, Hong-Juan; Chai, Lian-Qin; Jiang, Xiao-Juan; Wang, Jin-Xing; Zhao, Xiao-Fan

    2007-01-01

    Background Larval molting and metamorphosis are important physiological processes in the life cycle of the holometabolous insect. We used suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) to identify genes differentially expressed during larval molting and metamorphosis. Results We performed SSH between tissues from a variety of developmental stages, including molting 5th and feeding 6th instar larvae, metamorphically committed and feeding 5th instar larvae, and feeding 5th instar and metamorphically committed larvae. One hundred expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were identified and included 73 putative genes with similarity to known genes, and 27 unknown ESTs. SSH results were further characterized by dot blot, Northern blot, and RT-PCR. The expression levels of eleven genes were found to change during larval molting or metamorphosis, suggesting a functional role during these processes. Conclusion These results provide a new set of genes expressed specifically during larval molt or metamorphosis that are candidates for further studies into the regulatory mechanisms of those stage-specific genes during larval molt and metamorphosis PMID:17588272

  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. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. Research proceedings on amphibian model organisms.

    PubMed

    Liu, Lu-Sha; Zhao, Lan-Ying; Wang, Shou-Hong; Jiang, Jian-Ping

    2016-07-18

    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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Wetland Management for Amphibians in the Willamette Valley

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Adams, Michael J.; Pearl, Christopher A.; Bury, R. Bruce

    2004-01-01

    Introduction In the past two decades, scientists around the world have increasingly noted losses of amphibian populations. Many of these declines have occurred in protected areas like national parks, where the causes mostly remain mysterious. However, in multipleuse landscapes, resource managers frequently face more obvious conservation problems and must make decisions that will affect amphibians. The purpose of this fact sheet is to present recent findings pertinent to wetland management and amphibians in a multiple-use landscape.

  11. 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).

  12. The first anionic defensin from amphibians.

    PubMed

    Wei, Lin; Che, Helong; Han, Yi; Lv, Jing; Mu, Lixian; Lv, Lechun; Wu, Jing; Yang, Hailong

    2015-07-01

    A variety of antimicrobial peptides against infection have been identified from the skin of amphibians. However, knowledge on amphibian defensins is very limited. A novel anionic defensin designated PopuDef was purified from the skin of tree frog Polypedates puerensis, and the cDNA encoding PopuDef precursor was cloned from the skin cDNA library. The amino acid sequence of PopuDef (net charge: -2, pI: 4.75) shared the highest identity of 57 % (25/44) with the salamander defensin CFBD-1 (net charge: 0, pI: 6.14) from urodela amphibians. PopuDef showed moderate antimicrobial activities against P. aeruginosa and S. aureus (MICs are 19.41 and 17.25 μM, respectively), and relatively weak activities against E. coli and B. subtilis (MICs are 38.82 and 43.14 μM, respectively). Tissue distribution analysis indicated that relatively high expression level of PopuDef mRNA was observed in immune-related tissues including skin, gut, lung and spleen. Furthermore, the expression level of PopuDef was significantly upregulated in these tissues after tree frogs were infected with different bacteria strains mentioned above. Interestingly, the induction of PopuDef challenged with E. coli or B. subtilis, which was less sensitive to PopuDef, was much higher than that did with P. aeruginosa or S. aureus. These findings highlight the key role of PopuDef in innate immunity against infection. To our knowledge, PopuDef is the first anionic defensin characterized from amphibians.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Complex causes of amphibian population declines.

    PubMed

    Kiesecker, J M; Blaustein, A R; Belden, L K

    2001-04-01

    Amphibian populations have suffered widespread declines and extinctions in recent decades. Although climatic changes, increased exposure to ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation and increased prevalence of disease have all been implicated at particular localities, the importance of global environmental change remains unclear. Here we report that pathogen outbreaks in amphibian populations in the western USA are linked to climate-induced changes in UV-B exposure. Using long-term observational data and a field experiment, we examine patterns among interannual variability in precipitation, UV-B exposure and infection by a pathogenic oomycete, Saprolegnia ferax. Our findings indicate that climate-induced reductions in water depth at oviposition sites have caused high mortality of embryos by increasing their exposure to UV-B radiation and, consequently, their vulnerability to infection. Precipitation, and thus water depth/UV-B exposure, is strongly linked to El Niño/Southern Oscillation cycles, underscoring the role of large-scale climatic patterns involving the tropical Pacific. Elevated sea-surface temperatures in this region since the mid-1970s, which have affected the climate over much of the world, could be the precursor for pathogen-mediated amphibian declines in many regions. PMID:11287952

  17. Amphibian Decline: An Integrated Analysis of Multiple Stressor Effects

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Linder, G.; Krest, S.K.; Sparling, D.W.

    2003-01-01

    Although the effects of contaminants on amphibians have been studied for decades, relatively little is known about these effects compared to the more intensively studied mammals. and birds. Science has advanced its understanding of the complexities linked to declining amphibian populations; however, there are many remaining questions whose answers would directly benefit amphibians and adaptive management plans ministering to them. In an effort to answer those questions and focus on ecological risk assessment of amphibians, scientists, researchers, and resource management professionals from diverse fields participated in a Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC)-Johnson Foundation Wingspread conference with three goals: characterize a process that would bring a range of interdisciplinary technical and management tools to the tasks of causal analysis; demonstrate the current state of available technical tools to assess amphibian populations exposed to various environmental stressors; and focus on identifying research that would likely benefit sustainable populations through adaptive management programs. A result of the Wingspread conference, Amphibian Decline examines the ecotoxicology and stressors of amphibians in an attempt to address issues related to declining amphibian populations and the role that various stressors might have in those losses. It identifies gaps in current data, interprets information into an existing framework, and points toward critical areas for future research. Through the combined efforts of research and resource management communities, recommendations can be developed to change current policies and management actions to address the problem of amphibian decline.

  18. Status and trends of amphibian declines and extinctions worldwide.

    PubMed

    Stuart, Simon N; Chanson, Janice S; Cox, Neil A; Young, Bruce E; Rodrigues, Ana S L; Fischman, Debra L; Waller, Robert W

    2004-12-01

    The first global assessment of amphibians provides new context for the well-publicized phenomenon of amphibian declines. Amphibians are more threatened and are declining more rapidly than either birds or mammals. Although many declines are due to habitat loss and overutilization, other, unidentified processes threaten 48% of rapidly declining species and are driving species most quickly to extinction. Declines are nonrandom in terms of species' ecological preferences, geographic ranges, and taxonomic associations and are most prevalent among Neotropical montane, stream-associated species. The lack of conservation remedies for these poorly understood declines means that hundreds of amphibian species now face extinction.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. [Modulating effect of weak combined magnetic fields on duration of mealworm beetle Tenebrio molitor metamorphosis stage].

    PubMed

    Novikov, V V; Sheĭman, I M; Iablokova, E V; Fesenko, E E

    2014-01-01

    It is shown that an exposure of pupae of the mealworm beetle Tenebrio molitor to the combined static (42 μT) and very weak alternating (250 nT) magnetic fields exerts different influence, depending on the frequency of the alternating magnetic field, on duration of metamorphosis processes in these insects. For instance, an exposure of pupae to weak combined magnetic fields, adjusted to the frequency of ion cyclotron resonance for glutaminic acid (4,4 Hz), stimulates metamorphosis process--a transitional stage from pupae to imago lasts shorter. An inhibiting effect was observed when adjusted to the frequency of ion cyclotron resonance for Ca2 (32,2 Hz). At some frequencies this effect is not seen. For instance, an exposure at a frequency of ion cyclotron resonance for K+ (16,5 Hz) exerts no noticeable effect on the duration of the pupal metamorphosis stage.

  4. 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.

  5. [Modulating effect of weak combined magnetic fields on duration of mealworm beetle Tenebrio molitor metamorphosis stage].

    PubMed

    Novikov, V V; Sheĭman, I M; Iablokova, E V; Fesenko, E E

    2014-01-01

    It is shown that an exposure of pupae of the mealworm beetle Tenebrio molitor to the combined static (42 μT) and very weak alternating (250 nT) magnetic fields exerts different influence, depending on the frequency of the alternating magnetic field, on duration of metamorphosis processes in these insects. For instance, an exposure of pupae to weak combined magnetic fields, adjusted to the frequency of ion cyclotron resonance for glutaminic acid (4,4 Hz), stimulates metamorphosis process--a transitional stage from pupae to imago lasts shorter. An inhibiting effect was observed when adjusted to the frequency of ion cyclotron resonance for Ca2 (32,2 Hz). At some frequencies this effect is not seen. For instance, an exposure at a frequency of ion cyclotron resonance for K+ (16,5 Hz) exerts no noticeable effect on the duration of the pupal metamorphosis stage. PMID:25715625

  6. Selective opioid agonist and antagonist competition for [3H]-naloxone binding in amphibian spinal cord

    PubMed Central

    Newman, Leslie C.; Wallace, David R.; Stevens, Craig W.

    2011-01-01

    Opioids elicit antinociception in mammals through three distinct types of receptors designated as μ, κ and δ. However, it is not clear what type of opioid receptor mediates antinociception in non-mammalian vertebrates. Radioligand binding techniques were employed to characterize the site(s) of opioid action in the amphibian, Rana pipiens. Naloxone is a general opioid antagonist that has not been characterized in Rana pipiens. Using the non-selective opioid antagonist, [3H]-naloxone, opioid binding sites were characterized in amphibian spinal cord. Competitive binding assays were done using selective opioid agonists and highly-selective opioid antagonists. Naloxone bound to a single-site with an affinity of 11.3 nM and 18.7 nM for kinetic and saturation studies, respectively. A Bmax value of 2725 fmol/mg protein in spinal cord was observed. The competition constants (Ki) of unlabeled μ, κ and δ ranged from 2.58 nM to 84 μM. The highly-selective opioid antagonists yielded similar Ki values ranging from 5.37 to 31.1 nM. These studies are the first to examine opioid binding in amphibian spinal cord. In conjunction with previous behavioral data, these results suggest that non-mammalian vertebrates express a unique opioid receptor which mediates the action of selective μ, κ and δ opioid agonists. PMID:11082500

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Precocious Metamorphosis in the Juvenile Hormone–Deficient Mutant of the Silkworm, Bombyx mori

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:22412378

  10. 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.

  11. Functional modifications associated with gastrointestinal tract organogenesis during metamorphosis in Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus)

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Flatfish metamorphosis is a hormone regulated post-embryonic developmental event that transforms a symmetric larva into an asymmetric juvenile. In altricial-gastric teleost fish, differentiation of the stomach takes place after the onset of first feeding, and during metamorphosis dramatic molecular and morphological modifications of the gastrointestinal (GI-) tract occur. Here we present the functional ontogeny of the developing GI-tract from an integrative perspective in the pleuronectiforme Atlantic halibut, and test the hypothesis that the multiple functions of the teleost stomach develop synchronously during metamorphosis. Results Onset of gastric function was determined with several approaches (anatomical, biochemical, molecular and in vivo observations). In vivo pH analysis in the GI-tract lumen combined with quantitative PCR (qPCR) of α and β subunits of the gastric proton pump (H+/K+-ATPase) and pepsinogen A2 indicated that gastric proteolytic capacity is established during the climax of metamorphosis. Transcript abundance of ghrelin, a putative orexigenic signalling molecule produced in the developing stomach, correlated (p < 0.05) with the emergence of gastric proteolytic activity, suggesting that the stomach’s role in appetite regulation occurs simultaneously with the establishment of proteolytic function. A 3D models series of the GI-tract development indicated a functional pyloric sphincter prior to first feeding. Observations of fed larvae in vivo confirmed that stomach reservoir function was established before metamorphosis, and was thus independent of this event. Mechanical breakdown of food and transportation of chyme through the GI-tract was observed in vivo and resulted from phasic and propagating contractions established well before metamorphosis. The number of contractions in the midgut decreased at metamorphic climax synchronously with establishment of the stomach’s proteolytic capacity and its increased peristaltic

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Developmental responses of amphibians to solar and artificial UVB sources: a comparative study.

    PubMed

    Hays, J B; Blaustein, A R; Kiesecker, J M; Hoffman, P D; Pandelova, I; Coyle, D; Richardson, T

    1996-09-01

    Many amphibian species, in widely scattered locations, currently show population declines and/or reductions in range, but other amphibian species show no such declines. There is no known single cause for these declines. Differential sensitivity to UVB radiation among species might be one contributing factor. We have focused on amphibian eggs, potentially the most UVB-sensitive stage, and compared their resistance to UVB components of sunlight with their levels of photolyase, typically the most important enzyme for repair of the major UV photoproducts in DNA, cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers. Photolyase varied 100-fold among eggs/oocytes of 10 species. Among three species-Hyla regilla, Rana cascadae, and Bufo boreas-for which resistance of eggs to solar UVB irradiance in their natural locations was measured, hatching success correlated strongly with photolyase. Two additional species, Rana aurora and Ambystoma gracile, now show similar correlations. Among the low-egg-photolyase species, R. cascadae and B. boreas are showing declines, and the status of A. gracile is not known. Of the two high-photolyase species, populations of H. regilla remain robust, but populations of R. aurora are showing declines. To determine whether levels of photolyase or other repair activities are affected by solar exposures during amphibian development, we have initiated an extended study of H. regilla and R. cascadae, and of Xenopus laevis, laboratory-reared specimens of which previously showed very low photolyase levels. Hyla regilla and R. cascadae tadpoles are being reared to maturity in laboratories supplemented with modest levels of UV light or light filtered to remove UVB wavelengths. Young X. laevis females are being reared indoors and outdoors. Initial observations reveal severe effects of both UVA and UVB light on H. regilla and R. cascadae tadpoles and metamorphs, including developmental abnormalities and high mortalities. Assays of photolyase levels in the skins of young animals

  15. First survey for the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Connecticut (USA) finds widespread prevalence.

    PubMed

    Richards-Hrdlicka, Kathryn L; Richardson, Jonathan L; Mohabir, Leon

    2013-02-28

    The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is an emerging infectious fungal pathogen of amphibians and is linked to global population declines. Until now, there has only been 1 survey for the fungus in the northeastern USA, which focused primarily on northern New England. We tested for Bd in a large number of samples (916 individuals from 116 sites) collected throughout the state of Connecticut, representing 18 native amphibian species. In addition, 239 preserved wood frog Lithobates sylvaticus tadpoles from throughout the state were screened for the fungus. Bd presence was assessed in both the fresh field swabs and the preserved samples using a sensitive quantitative PCR assay. Our contemporary survey found widespread Bd prevalence throughout Connecticut, occurring in 14 species and in 28% of all sampled animals. No preserved L. sylvaticus specimens tested positive for the fungus. Two common species, bullfrogs R. catesbeiana and green frogs R. clamitans had particularly high infection rates (0.21-0.39 and 0.33-0.42, respectively), and given their wide distribution throughout the state, we suggest they may serve as sentinels for Bd occurrence in this region. Further analyses found that several other factors increase the likelihood of infection, including life stage, host sex, and host family. Within sites, ponds with ranids, especially green frogs, increased the likelihood of Bd prevalence. By studying Bd in populations not facing mass declines, the results from this study are an important contribution to our understanding of how some amphibian species and populations remain infected yet exhibit no signs of chytridiomycosis even when Bd is widely distributed.

  16. First survey for the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Connecticut (USA) finds widespread prevalence.

    PubMed

    Richards-Hrdlicka, Kathryn L; Richardson, Jonathan L; Mohabir, Leon

    2013-02-28

    The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is an emerging infectious fungal pathogen of amphibians and is linked to global population declines. Until now, there has only been 1 survey for the fungus in the northeastern USA, which focused primarily on northern New England. We tested for Bd in a large number of samples (916 individuals from 116 sites) collected throughout the state of Connecticut, representing 18 native amphibian species. In addition, 239 preserved wood frog Lithobates sylvaticus tadpoles from throughout the state were screened for the fungus. Bd presence was assessed in both the fresh field swabs and the preserved samples using a sensitive quantitative PCR assay. Our contemporary survey found widespread Bd prevalence throughout Connecticut, occurring in 14 species and in 28% of all sampled animals. No preserved L. sylvaticus specimens tested positive for the fungus. Two common species, bullfrogs R. catesbeiana and green frogs R. clamitans had particularly high infection rates (0.21-0.39 and 0.33-0.42, respectively), and given their wide distribution throughout the state, we suggest they may serve as sentinels for Bd occurrence in this region. Further analyses found that several other factors increase the likelihood of infection, including life stage, host sex, and host family. Within sites, ponds with ranids, especially green frogs, increased the likelihood of Bd prevalence. By studying Bd in populations not facing mass declines, the results from this study are an important contribution to our understanding of how some amphibian species and populations remain infected yet exhibit no signs of chytridiomycosis even when Bd is widely distributed. PMID:23446966

  17. Interacting Symbionts and Immunity in the Amphibian Skin Mucosome Predict Disease Risk and Probiotic Effectiveness

    PubMed Central

    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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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...

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. Current and Future Effects of Climate Change on Montane Amphibians

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corn, S.

    2002-05-01

    Breeding phenology of amphibians in inextricably linked to weather, and change in the timing of breeding resulting from climate change may have consequences for the fitness of individuals and may affect persistence of amphibian populations. Amphibians in some north temperate locations have been observed to breed earlier in recent years in response to warmer spring temperatures, but this is not a universal phenomenon. In mountain populations, phenology is influenced by snow deposition as much as temperature. A trend towards earlier breeding, associated with increasing El Niño frequency, may be occurring in the Cascade Mountains in Oregon, but only at lower elevations. There is no evidence for changes in the dates of breeding activity by amphibians in the Rocky Mountains. Too few amphibian species have been studied, and those for which data exist have been studied for too brief a span of years to allow general conclusions about the effects of climate change. However, regardless of whether climate change has contributed to current amphibian declines, changes in temperature and the extent and duration of snow cover predicted for the next century will have increasingly severe consequences for the persistence of some species. Additional observations from amphibian populations, and spatial and temporal modeling of climate variables are needed to generate predictions of past and future breeding phenology, and the effects on amphibian population dynamics.

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Ecology: global warming and amphibian losses.

    PubMed

    Alford, Ross A; Bradfield, Kay S; Richards, Stephen J

    2007-05-31

    Is global warming contributing to amphibian declines and extinctions by promoting outbreaks of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis? Analysing patterns from the American tropics, Pounds et al. envisage a process in which a single warm year triggers die-offs in a particular area (for instance, 1987 in the case of Monteverde, Costa Rica). However, we show here that populations of two frog species in the Australian tropics experienced increasing developmental instability, which is evidence of stress, at least two years before they showed chytrid-related declines. Because the working model of Pounds et al. is incomplete, their test of the climate-linked epidemic hypothesis could be inconclusive.

  14. Late Cretaceous vicariance in Gondwanan amphibians.

    PubMed

    Van Bocxlaer, Ines; Roelants, Kim; Biju, S D; Nagaraju, J; Bossuyt, Franky

    2006-01-01

    Overseas dispersals are often invoked when Southern Hemisphere terrestrial and freshwater organism phylogenies do not fit the sequence or timing of Gondwana fragmentation. We used dispersal-vicariance analyses and molecular timetrees to show that two species-rich frog groups, Microhylidae and Natatanura, display congruent patterns of spatial and temporal diversification among Gondwanan plates in the Late Cretaceous, long after the presumed major tectonic break-up events. Because amphibians are notoriously salt-intolerant, these analogies are best explained by simultaneous vicariance, rather than by oceanic dispersal. Hence our results imply Late Cretaceous connections between most adjacent Gondwanan landmasses, an essential concept for biogeographic and palaeomap reconstructions. PMID:17183706

  15. 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

  16. 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, ...

  17. 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

    2014-09-01

    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. PMID:25093980

  18. 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.

  19. 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,...

  20. 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.

  1. 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

    2014-09-01

    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.

  2. 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), ...

  3. 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…

  4. Effects of fluoride on metamorphosis, thyroid and skeletal development in Bufo gargarizans tadpoles.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Hongfeng; Chai, Lihong; Wang, Hongyuan

    2013-09-01

    This study examined the effects of chronic fluoride exposure on metamorphosis, thyroid and skeletal development in tadpoles of Chinese Toad, Bufo gargarizans. The tadpoles were exposed to fluoride concentrations either at 0, 1, 5, 10, or at 50 mg L(-1) from Gosner stage 26 to Gosner stage 42. Body weight, total length and percentage of tadpoles reaching metamorphosis climax were recorded, and thyroid histological examinations were employed. In addition, mRNA expression of both deiodinase type 2 (D2) and deiodinase type 3 (D3) was analyzed by using RT-PCR and skeletal systems were investigated by using double-staining methodology at stage 42. Results showed that total length and body weight were unaffected by fluoride exposure at all concentrations while metamorphosis was strongly inhibited only by 50 mg L(-1) fluoride. Histomorphological measurements showed the percentage of colloid depletion in thyroid gland increased significantly, while the average diameter of follicles was significantly shorter at 50 mg L(-1) concentration. In addition, fluoride at 5 mg L(-1) can stimulate bone mineralization, while fluoride at 50 mg L(-1) can retard deposition of calcium. In conclusion, our study suggests that 50 mg L(-1) fluoride could damage follicular cells in thyroid gland and induce a sharp reduction in thyroid hormone probably through the up-regulation of D3 mRNA expression, and these influences on thyroid system may delay metamorphosis as well as ossification in bone tissue by inhibiting calcium deposition.

  5. Are G-protein-coupled receptors involved in mediating larval settlement and metamorphosis of coral planulae?

    PubMed

    Tran, Cawa; Hadfield, Michael G

    2012-04-01

    Larvae of the scleractinian coral Pocillopora damicornis are induced to settle and metamorphose by the presence of marine bacterial biofilms, and the larvae of Montipora capitata respond to a combination of filamentous and crustose coralline algae. The primary goal of this study was to better understand metamorphosis of cnidarian larvae by determining what types of receptors and signal-transduction pathways are involved during stimulation of metamorphosis of P. damicornis and M. capitata. Evidence from studies on larvae of hydrozoans suggests that G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are good candidates. Settlement experiments were conducted in which competent larvae were exposed to neuropharmacological agents that affect GPCRs and their associated signal-transduction pathways, AC/cAMP and PI/DAG/PKC. On the basis of the results of these experiments, we conclude that GPCRs and these pathways do not mediate settlement and metamorphosis in either coral species. Two compounds that had an effect on both species, forskolin and phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (TPA), may be acting on other cellular processes not related to GPCRs. This study strengthens our understanding of the underlying physiological mechanisms that regulate metamorphosis in coral larvae. PMID:22589403

  6. 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....

  7. Change of body height is regulated by thyroid hormone during metamorphosis in flatfishes and zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Xu, Juan; Ke, Zhonghe; Xia, Jianhong; He, Fang; Bao, Baolong

    2016-09-15

    Flatfishes with more body height after metamorphosis should be better adapted to a benthic lifestyle. In this study, we quantified the changes in body height during metamorphosis in two flatfish species, Paralichthys olivaceus and Platichthys stellatus. The specific pattern of cell proliferation along the dorsal and ventral edge of the body to allow fast growth along the dorsal/ventral axis might be related to the change of body height. Thyroid hormone (T4 and T3) and its receptors showed distribution or gene expression patterns similar to those seen for the cell proliferation. 2-Mercapto-1-methylimidazole, an inhibitor of endogenous thyroid hormone synthesis, inhibited cell proliferation and decreased body height, suggesting that the change in body shape was dependent on the local concentration of thyroid hormone to induce cell proliferation. In addition, after treatment with 2-mercapto-1-methylimidazole, zebrafish larvae were also shown to develop a slimmer body shape. These findings enrich our knowledge of the role of thyroid hormone during flatfish metamorphosis, and the role of thyroid hormone during the change of body height during post-hatching development should help us to understand better the biology of metamorphosis in fishes. PMID:27340040

  8. Effects of atrazine on metamorphosis, growth, and gonadal development in the green frog (Rana clamitans).

    PubMed

    Coady, Katherine; Murphy, Margaret; Villeneuve, Daniel; Hecker, Markus; Jones, Paul; Carr, James; Solomon, Keith; Smith, Ernest; Van Der Kraak, Glen; Kendall, Ronald; Giesy, John

    2004-06-25

    Embryos of the green frog (Rana clamitans) were collected from the field and exposed to 1 of 6 water-borne treatments for 273 d (mid July 2001 to mid April 2002). The treatments were 0, 10, or 25 microg/L atrazine, 0.005% ethanol (EtOH), or 0.1 mg/L estradiol or dihydrotestosterone carried in 0.005% EtOH. Treatments were applied in a static renewal system with a 50% test solution replacement approximately every 3 d. Following the exposure period, tadpoles were reared in freshwater until metamorphosis or until study termination (at d 506). Time to initiate and complete metamorphosis, stage-specific mortality, length and weight at metamorphosis, and gross morphology and histology of the gonads were examined. At environmentally relevant concentrations, atrazine did not consistently affect growth or metamorphosis. Compared to controls, the length of the larval period was greater in tadpoles exposed to 10 microg/L atrazine. However, the length of the larval period was not markedly different between tadpoles in the control and 25 microg/L atrazine treatments. Neither gross gonadal morphology nor histopathology of the gonads in postmetamorphic frogs was significantly altered in response to atrazine exposure. This study provides evidence that environmentally relevant concentrations of atrazine do not adversely affect the growth or reproductive development of R. clamitans.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:26438855

  13. 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

  14. Phylogenetically-informed priorities for amphibian conservation.

    PubMed

    Isaac, Nick J B; Redding, David W; Meredith, Helen M; Safi, Kamran

    2012-01-01

    The amphibian decline and extinction crisis demands urgent action to prevent further large numbers of species extinctions. Lists of priority species for conservation, based on a combination of species' threat status and unique contribution to phylogenetic diversity, are one tool for the direction and catalyzation of conservation action. We describe the construction of a near-complete species-level phylogeny of 5713 amphibian species, which we use to create a list of evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered species (EDGE list) for the entire class Amphibia. We present sensitivity analyses to test the robustness of our priority list to uncertainty in species' phylogenetic position and threat status. We find that both sources of uncertainty have only minor impacts on our 'top 100' list of priority species, indicating the robustness of the approach. By contrast, our analyses suggest that a large number of Data Deficient species are likely to be high priorities for conservation action from the perspective of their contribution to the evolutionary history.

  15. 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

  16. Nitrogen pollution: an assessment of its threat to amphibian survival.

    PubMed Central

    Rouse, J D; Bishop, C A; Struger, J

    1999-01-01

    The potential for nitrate to affect amphibian survival was evaluated by examining the areas in North America where concentrations of nitrate in water occur above amphibian toxicity thresholds. Nitrogen pollution from anthropogenic sources enters bodies of water through agricultural runoff or percolation associated with nitrogen fertilization, livestock, precipitation, and effluents from industrial and human wastes. Environmental concentrations of nitrate in watersheds throughout North America range from < 1 to > 100 mg/L. Of the 8,545 water quality samples collected from states and provinces bordering the Great Lakes, 19.8% contained nitrate concentrations exceeding those which can cause sublethal effects in amphibians. In the laboratory lethal and sublethal effects in amphibians are detected at nitrate concentrations between 2.5 and 100 mg/L. Furthermore, amphibian prey such as insects and predators of amphibians such as fish are also sensitive to these elevated levels of nitrate. From this we conclude that nitrate concentrations in some watersheds in North America are high enough to cause death and developmental anomalies in amphibians and impact other animals in aquatic ecosystems. In some situations, the use of vegetated buffer strips adjacent to water courses can reduce nitrogen contamination of surface waters. Ultimately, there is a need to reduce runoff, sewage effluent discharge, and the use of fertilizers, and to establish and enforce water quality guidelines for nitrate for the protection of aquatic organisms. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 PMID:10504145

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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. PMID:26169394

  3. [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. PMID:26638239

  4. 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.

  5. [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.

  6. Mesoderm induction in amphibians: the role of TGF-beta 2-like factors.

    PubMed

    Rosa, F; Roberts, A B; Danielpour, D; Dart, L L; Sporn, M B; Dawid, I B

    1988-02-12

    Mesoderm induction in the amphibian embryo can be studied by exposing animal region explants (destined to become ectoderm) to appropriate stimuli and assaying the appearance of mesodermal products like alpha-actin messenger RNA. Transforming growth factor beta 2 (TGF-beta 2), but not TGF-beta 1, was active in alpha-actin induction, while addition of fibroblast growth factor had a small synergistic effect. Medium conditioned by Xenopus XTC cells (XTC-CM), known to have powerful mesoderm-inducing activity, was shown to contain TGF-beta-like activity as measured by a radioreceptor binding assay, colony formation in NRK cells, and growth inhibition in CCL64 cells. The activity of XTC-CM in mesoderm induction and in growth inhibition of CCL64 cells was inhibited partially by antibodies to TGF-beta 2 but not by antibodies to TGF-beta 1. Thus, a TGF-beta 2-like molecule may be involved in mesoderm induction.

  7. Cellulase Assays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Y. H. Percival; Hong, Jiong; Ye, Xinhao

    Cellulose is a heterogeneous polysaccharide, and its enzymatic hydrolysis requires endoglucanase, exoglucanase (cellobiohydrolase), and β-glucosidase to work together. We summarize the most commonly used assays for individual enzymes and cellulase mixture.

  8. 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 ...

  9. 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.

  10. ASSESSMENT OF THE RISK OF SOLAR ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION TO AMPHIBIANS. II: IN SITU CHARACTERIZATION OF SOLAR ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION IN AMPHIBIAN HABITATS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation has been hypothesized as a potential cause of amphibian population declines and increased incidences of malformations. Realistic studies documenting UV irradiance or dose have rarely been conducted in wetlands used by amphibians. We demonstrate that ...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

    2015-02-01

    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.

  15. Autocrine regulation of ecdysone synthesis by β3-octopamine receptor in the prothoracic gland is essential for Drosophila metamorphosis

    PubMed Central

    Ohhara, Yuya; Shimada-Niwa, Yuko; Niwa, Ryusuke; Kayashima, Yasunari; Hayashi, Yoshiki; Akagi, Kazutaka; Ueda, Hitoshi; Yamakawa-Kobayashi, Kimiko; Kobayashi, Satoru

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25605909

  16. 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. PMID:20138045

  17. Conservation needs of amphibians in China: a review.

    PubMed

    Xie, Feng; Lau, Michael Wai Neng; Stuart, Simon N; Chanson, Janice S; Cox, Neil A; Fischman, Debra L

    2007-04-01

    The conservation status of all the amphibians in China is analyzed, and the country is shown to be a global priority for conservation in comparison to many other countries of the world. Three Chinese regions are particularly rich in amphibian diversity: Hengduan, Nanling, and Wuyi mountains. Salamanders are more threatened than frogs and toads. Several smaller families show a high propensity to become seriously threatened: Bombinatoridae, Cryptobranchidae, Hynobiidae and Salamandridae. Like other parts of the world, stream-breeding, high-elevation forest amphibians have a much higher likelihood of being seriously threatened. Habitat loss, pollution, and over-harvesting are the most serious threats to Chinese amphibians. Over-harvesting is a less pervasive threat than habitat loss, but it is more likely to drive a species into rapid decline. Five conservation challenges are mentioned with recommendations for the highest priority research and conservation actions.

  18. 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...

  19. An alternative framework for responding to the amphibian crisis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muths, Erin L.; Fisher, Robert N.

    2015-01-01

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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. 

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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 ...

  6. 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.

  7. Ambient UV-B radiation causes deformities in amphibian embryos.

    PubMed

    Blaustein, A R; Kiesecker, J M; Chivers, D P; Anthony, R G

    1997-12-01

    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. PMID:9391095

  8. 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

    2014-01-01

    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.  PMID:25082165

  9. 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...

  10. Trends in amphibian occupancy in the United States.

    PubMed

    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.

  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. 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.

  13. [Effect of weak electromagnetic radiation on larva development and metamorphosis of grain beetle Tenebrio molitor].

    PubMed

    Sheĭman, I M; Shkutin, M F

    2003-01-01

    The effect of weak electromagnetic radiation (36 GHz, 100 mu W/cm2) on the development of the grain beetle Tenebrio molitor was studied. Insects were irradiated in different larval instars and at the pupal stage. It was found that weak electromagnetic radiation stimulated the molting and pupation of larvae and the metamorphosis of pupae. The stimulating effect of radiation was weak when animals were exposed in the initial period of the instar and the pupal stage and was more pronounced if the irradiation was carried out in the second half of the current instar and the pupil stage. The effect of weak electromagnetic radiation on the development of beetle can be related to the function of the hormones of metamorphosis.

  14. Population differentiation of temperate amphibians in unpredictable environments.

    PubMed

    Chan, Lauren M; Zamudio, Kelly R

    2009-08-01

    Amphibians are a globally distributed and diverse lineage, but much of our current understanding of their population genetic structure comes from studies in mesic temperate habitats. We characterize the population genetic structure of two sympatric explosive breeding amphibians in the southwestern deserts of the United States: the Great Plains toad (Anaxyrus cognatus) and Couch's spadefoot toad (Scaphiopus couchii). For both species, we find limited genetic differentiation even between populations in adjacent valleys separated by dispersal barriers such as mountainous habitats. To understand how population genetic patterns in these two arid-adapted species compare to taxa in more mesic environments, we computed a standardized measure of population differentiation for A. cognatus, S. couchii, and for pond-breeding amphibians that inhabit mesic temperate environments. Our results indicate that the arid-adapted species have lower population genetic structure at fine and moderate scales than most other amphibian species we surveyed. We hypothesize that stochasticity in the availability of appropriate breeding sites as well as landscape homogeneity may result in increased population connectivity in desert-adapted frogs. Future work examining fine-scale population structure in amphibians from a diversity of habitats will test the generality of our findings. Intraspecific comparisons among localities with varied seasonality and habitats will be particularly useful for investigating the interaction between species-typical population dynamics and environmental characteristics as determinants of population connectivity in pond-breeding amphibians.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Environmental and historical constraints on global patterns of amphibian richness.

    PubMed

    Buckley, Lauren B; Jetz, Walter

    2007-05-01

    Our knowledge of the broad-scale ecology of vertebrate ectotherms remains very limited. Despite ongoing declines and sensitivity to environmental change, amphibian distributions are particularly poorly understood. We present a global analysis of contemporary environmental and historical constraints on amphibian richness, the first for an ectotherm clade at this scale. Amphibians are presumed to experience environmental constraints distinct from those of better studied endothermic taxa due to their stringent water requirements and the temperature dependence of their energetic costs and performance. Single environmental predictors set upper bounds on, but do not exclusively determine, amphibian richness. Accounting for differing regional histories of speciation and extinction helps resolve triangular or scattered relationships between core environmental predictors and amphibian richness, as the relationships' intercepts or slopes can vary regionally. While the magnitude of richness is strongly determined by regional history, within-region patterns are consistently jointly driven by water and temperature. This confirms that ecophysiological constraints extend to the broad scale. This coupling suggests that shifts in climatic regimes will probably have dramatic consequences for amphibians. Our results illustrate how the environmental and historical explanations of species richness gradients can be reconciled and how the perspectives are complements for understanding broad-scale patterns of diversity.

  4. Predation of Ladybird Beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) by Amphibians.

    PubMed

    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.

  5. 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. PMID:17213318

  6. 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. PMID:26210189

  7. 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.

  8. 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 t