Science.gov

Sample records for biomphalaria alexandrina snails

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  4. Molluscicidal Activity of Some Solanum Species Extracts against the Snail Biomphalaria alexandrina.

    PubMed

    El-Sherbini, Gehad T; Zayed, Rawia A; El-Sherbini, Eman T

    2009-01-01

    Background. Snails' species are associated with transmission parasitic disease as intermediate host. Biological control stands to be a better alternative to the chemical controls aimed against snails. The search of herbal preparations that do not produce any adverse effects in the non-target organisms and are easily biodegradable remains a top research issue for scientists associated with alternative molluscicides control. Method. Solvent extracts of fresh mature leaves of S. nigrum, S. villosum, and S. sinaicum were tested against Biomphalaria alexandrina, a common intermediate host of schistosoma mansoni. A phytochemical analysis of chloroform: ethanol extract was performed to search for active toxic ingredient. The lethal concentration was determined. Results. Extracts isolated from mature leaves of Solanum species were found to be having molluscicidal properties. S. nigrum extract was recorded as the highest mortality rate. When the mortality of different solvent extracts was compared, the maximum (P < .05) mortality was recorded at a concentration of 90 ppm of ethanol extract of S. nigrum. Conclusion. Extract of mature leaves of S. nigrum exhibited molluscicidal activity followed by S. sinaicum and the less one was S. villosum. The study provides considerable scope in exploiting local indigenous resources for snails' molluscicidal agents.

  5. The endocrine disruptor effect of the herbicides atrazine and glyphosate on Biomphalaria alexandrina snails.

    PubMed

    Omran, Nahla Elsayed; Salama, Wesam Mohamed

    2016-04-01

    Atrazine (AZ) and glyphosate (GL) are herbicides that are widely applied to cereal crops in Egypt. The present study was designed to investigate the response of the snailBiomphalaria alexandrina(Mollusca: Gastropoda) as a bioindicator for endocrine disrupters in terms of steroid levels (testosterone (T) and 17β-estradiol (E)), alteration of microsomal CYP4501B1-like immunoreactivity, total protein (TP) level, and gonadal structure after exposure to sublethal concentrations of AZ or GL for 3 weeks. In order to study the ability of the snails' recuperation, the exposed snails were subjected to a recovery period for 2 weeks. The results showed that the level of T, E, and TP contents were significantly decreased (p ≤ 0.05) in both AZ- and GL-exposed groups compared with control (unexposed) group. The level of microsomal CYP4501B1-like immunoreactivity increased significantly (p ≤ 0.05) in GL- and AZ-exposed snails and reach nearly a 50% increase in AZ-exposed group. Histological investigation of the ovotestis showed that AZ and GL caused degenerative changes including azoospermia and oocytes deformation. Interestingly, all the recovered groups did not return back to their normal state. It can be concluded that both herbicides are endocrine disrupters and cause cellular toxicity indicated by the decrease of protein content and the increase in CYP4501B1-like immunoreactivity. This toxicity is irreversible and the snail is not able to recover its normal state. The fluctuation of CYP4501B1 suggests that this vertebrate-like enzyme may be functional also in the snail and may be used as a biomarker for insecticide toxicity.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Spotlight on the in vitro effect of artemisinin-naphthoquine phosphate on Schistosoma mansoni and its snail host Biomphalaria alexandrina.

    PubMed

    El-Beshbishi, Samar N; El Bardicy, Samia; Tadros, Menerva; Ayoub, Magda; Taman, Amira

    2015-01-01

    Malaria and schistosomiasis are the two most important parasitic diseases in the tropics and sub-tropics with geographic overlap. Efforts have been made for developing new schistosomicidal drugs, or testing existing drugs originally used for non-related diseases. The antimalarial artemisinin-naphthoquine phosphate combination (CO-ArNp) was recently reported to be a promising novel antischistosomal therapy with potent in vivo activity against Schistosoma mansoni. In this work, we report the in vitro dose- and time-response effect of CO-ArNp against the Egyptian strain of S. mansoni, and its snail host, Biomphalaria alexandrina. Incubation of adult S. mansoni with CO-ArNp at 40 or 20 μg/ml for 48 or 72 h killed all worms. Exposure of S. mansoni miracidia and cercariae to the molluscicidal LC50 of CO-ArNp (16.8 μg/ml) resulted in 100% mortality of the free larval stages within 90 and 15 min, respectively. Moreover, incubation of adult B. alexandrina snails with this drug combination killed all snails at 40 μg/ml within 24h. Scanning electron microscope revealed marked morphological and tegumental alterations on the different stages of the parasite and its snail soft tissue. Our study highlights the schistosomicidal and molluscicidal effects of artemisinin-naphthoquine phosphate. No doubt more studies are needed to clarify its potential value to control schistosomiasis.

  8. Molluscicidal Activity of the Methanol Extract of Callistemon viminalis (Sol. ex Gaertner) G.Don ex Loudon Fruits, Bark and Leaves against Biomphalaria alexandrina Snails

    PubMed Central

    A Gohar, Ahmed; T Maatooq, Galal; R Gadara, Sahar; S Aboelmaaty, Walaa; M El-Shazly, Atef

    2014-01-01

    Methanol extracts of Callistemon viminalis (Sol. Ex Gaertner) G.Don Ex Loudon fruits, bark and leaves were tested for molluscicidal activity. Snails were collected and kept in dechlorinated water under standard condition. Ten adults Biomphalaria Alexandrina, of the same size, were introduced in plastic acquaria for each experiment. The fruits, barks and leaves were extracted with methanol and the methanol extracts were kept for testing as molluscicides. Different extracts proved to have molluscicidal activity against the vector of schistosomiasis, B. alexandrina snails. LC50 values for C. viminalis fruits, bark and leaves were 6.2, 32 and 40 ppm respectively. The C. viminalis fruits extract showed the highest effect against the tested snails. Histopathological studies proved that the site of action of all tested extracts was localized in the digestive system and hermaphrodite gland. PMID:25237345

  9. Molluscicidal Activity of the Methanol Extract of Callistemon viminalis (Sol. ex Gaertner) G.Don ex Loudon Fruits, Bark and Leaves against Biomphalaria alexandrina Snails.

    PubMed

    A Gohar, Ahmed; T Maatooq, Galal; R Gadara, Sahar; S Aboelmaaty, Walaa; M El-Shazly, Atef

    2014-01-01

    Methanol extracts of Callistemon viminalis (Sol. Ex Gaertner) G.Don Ex Loudon fruits, bark and leaves were tested for molluscicidal activity. Snails were collected and kept in dechlorinated water under standard condition. Ten adults Biomphalaria Alexandrina, of the same size, were introduced in plastic acquaria for each experiment. The fruits, barks and leaves were extracted with methanol and the methanol extracts were kept for testing as molluscicides. Different extracts proved to have molluscicidal activity against the vector of schistosomiasis, B. alexandrina snails. LC50 values for C. viminalis fruits, bark and leaves were 6.2, 32 and 40 ppm respectively. The C. viminalis fruits extract showed the highest effect against the tested snails. Histopathological studies proved that the site of action of all tested extracts was localized in the digestive system and hermaphrodite gland.

  10. Effect of the plant Cupressus macro-carpa (Cupressacea) on some haematolo-gical and biochemical parameters of Biomphalaria alexandrina snails.

    PubMed

    El-Sayed, Kamelia A

    2006-12-01

    The dry powder of the plant aereal part; Cupressus macro-carpa (Cupressacea) was tested against Biomphalaria alexandrina. LC50 & LC90 values were 59.5 & 98.8 ppm, respec-tively. Exposure of B. alexandrina to sublethal concentrations (LC0, LC10 & LC25) of C. macrocarpa for three weeks signi-ficantly decreased the number of circulating hemocytes. The magnitude of reduction was increased with increasing of the tested concentration. The main type of cell in the hemolymph of B. alexandrina was the granulocyte (71.8%), followed by large round cells or hyalinocytes (19.0%) and small round cells or undifferentiate cells (9.2%). The percentage of different hemocyte categories was changed in treated snails. In snails maintained at LC25, showed significantly higher percentages of small round cells than controls, 56.2% & 9.2% respectively. Maintainence of B. alexandrina in sublethal concentrations for three weeks significantly reduced protein & hemoglobin content in the hemolymph. Reduction in enzyme activities occurred in the hemolymph and tissues of treated snails. The enzymes were pyruvate kinase (PK), lactat dehydrogenase (LDH), hexokinase (HK) and phosphoenol pyruvate carboxy kinase (PEPCK) which are very important in metabolism of the protein and carbohydrate. The infectivity of Schistosoma mansoni miracidia was greatly reduced by exposure to the sublethal concentrations (LC0, LC10 & LC25) of Cupressus. Infection rate of B. alexandrina reached to 54.5%, 37.5% & 16.7%, respectively compared to control (81.25%). Duration of cercarial shedding and the total periodic cercarial production/snail showed significant reduction while the parasite incubation period was significantly longer (p<0.05).

  11. Alterations in the fatty acid profile, antioxidant enzymes and protein pattern of Biomphalaria alexandrina snails exposed to the pesticides diazinon and profenfos.

    PubMed

    Bakry, Fayez A; El-Hommossany, Karem; Abd El-Atti, Mahmoud; Ismail, Somaya M

    2016-04-01

    The use of pesticides is widespread in agricultural activities. These pesticides may contaminate the irrigation and drainage systems during agriculture activities and pests' control and then negatively affect the biotic and a biotic component of the polluted water courses. The present study aimed to evaluate the effect of the pesticides diazinon and profenfos on some biological activities of Biomphalaria alexandrina snails such as fatty acid profile, some antioxidant enzymes (thioredoxin reductase (TrxR), sorbitol dehydrogenase (SDH), superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) as well as glutathione reductase (GR) and lipid peroxidation (LP)) and protein patterns in snails' tissues exposed for 4 weeks to LC10 of diazinon and profenfos. The results showed that the two pesticides caused considerable reduction in survival rates and egg production of treated snails. Identification of fatty acid composition in snail tissues treated with diazinon and profenfos pesticides was carried out using gas-liquid chromatography (GLC). The results declared alteration in fatty acid profile, fluctuation in percentage of long chain and short chain fatty acid contributions either saturated or unsaturated ones, and a decrease in total lipid content in tissues of snails treated with these pesticides. The data demonstrate that there was a significant inhibition in the activities of tissues SOD, CAT, glutathione reductase (GR), TrxR, and SDH in tissues of treated snails, while a significant elevation was detected in LP as compared to the normal control. On the other hand, the electrophoretic pattern of total protein showed differences in number and molecular weights of protein bands due to the treatment of snails. It was concluded that the residues of diazinon and profenfos pesticides in aquatic environments have toxic effects onB. alexandrina snails.

  12. Biomphalaria alexandrina in Egypt: past, present and future.

    PubMed

    Abou-El-Naga, Iman F

    2013-09-01

    The African species of Biomphalaria appeared as a result of the relatively recent west-to-east trans-Atlantic dispersal of the Biomphalaria glabrata-like taxon. In Egypt, Biomphalaria alexandrina is the intermediate host for Schistosoma mansoni. Biomphalaria alexandrina originated in the area between Alexandria and Rosetta and has historically been confined to the Nile Delta. Schistosoma mansoni reached Egypt via infected slaves and baboons from the Land of Punt through migrations that occurred as early as the Vth Dynasty. The suggestion of the presence of Schistosoma mansoni infection in Lower Egypt during Pharaonic times is discussed despite the fact that that there is no evidence of such infection in Egyptian mummies. It is only recently that Biomphalaria alexandrina colonized the Egyptian Nile from the Delta to Lake Nasser. This change was likely due to the construction of huge water projects, the development of new water resources essential for land reclamation projects and the movement of refugees from the Suez Canal zone to the Delta and vice versa. The situation with respect to Biomphalaria in Egypt has become complicated in recent years by the detection of Biomphalaria glabrata and a hybrid between both species; however, follow-up studies have demonstrated the disappearance of such species within Egypt. The National Schistosoma Control Program has made great strides with respect to the eradication of schistosoma; however, there has unfortunately been a reemergence of Schistosoma mansoni resistant to praziquantel. There are numerous factors that may influence the prevalence of snails in Egypt, including the construction of water projects, the increase in reclaimed areas, global climate change and pollution. Thus, continued field studies in addition to the cooperation of several scientists are needed to obtain an accurate representation of the status of this species. In addition, the determination of the genome sequence for Biomphalaria alexandrina and the

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  15. Cercarial production from Biomphalaria alexandrina infected with Schistosoma mansoni.

    PubMed

    Chu, K Y; Dawood, I K

    1970-01-01

    The present paper deals with longitudinal and cross-sectional methods of counting cercariae shed from Biomphalaria alexandrina in Egypt, both experimentally and naturally infected with schistosomes. By the longitudinal method, the daily output of cercariae was counted from the first shedding from experimentally infected snails and from the day of collection from naturally infected ones. The results show that the size of the snails at the time of shedding exerts a very large effect on the output of cercariae and that the numbers obtained in the laboratory are not representative of cercarial output in the field. By the cross-sectional method, the cercarial output in the first 24 hours from infected snails collected in different months from the field was counted. The results show that output is size-specific. When the size-specific output is adjusted to the size-composition of infected snails taken from the field, it is estimated that the daily output from infected snails in the field may be 957.7 cercariae. However, this number may vary with the season.

  16. The ecology of Bulinus truncatus and Biomphalaria alexandrina and its implications for the control of bilharziasis in the Egypt-49 project area

    PubMed Central

    Dazo, B. C.; Hairston, Nelson G.; Dawood, I. K.

    1966-01-01

    The respective vectors of the two forms of bilharziasis in Egypt do not have the same ecological distribution. Bulinus truncatus is most abundant in large canals, and decreases in density as the water approaches and flows into drains. Biomphalaria alexandrina is most abundant in drains, and decreases in density upstream from these habitats. Both species are most abundant in the presence of aquatic vegetation, but they differ in their respective associations with the water hyacinth, Eichhornia crassipes. Biomph. alexandrina reaches maximum abundance in the presence of this plant, but Bul. truncatus is as uncommon in the absence of plants as in the presence of E. crassipes. Calculation of life-table parameters from field data shows that, under optimum field conditions, both species can double their populations in 14-16 days. The reproductive rates of both species are greatest in March and the death rates in midsummer. The observed peak densities in May and June give a false impression of optima because of undercollection of young snails, which are most abundant in March and April. Control operations should take advantage of the findings on population parameters. A single area-wide treatment with molluscicide in April is recommended. During the remainder of the year, search for isolated foci of snail breeding and individual treatment of these will effect large savings of chemical and will be effective in controlling the transmission of the parasites. PMID:5297630

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-06-01

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

  19. Spot light survey on fresh-water snails of medical importance in Al Fayoum Governorate, Egypt.

    PubMed

    Abo-Madyan, Ahmed A; Morsy, Tosson A; Motawea, Saad M; El Garhy, Manal F; Massoud, Ahmed M A

    2005-04-01

    In a survey carried out during Summer and Autumn of 2004, for snails of medical importance, nine species were recovered. These were Biomphalaria alexandrina, B. glabrata, B. pfeifferi, Bulinus truncatus, B. forskalii, Lymnaea natalensis, Bellamya (=Vivipara) unicolor, Physa acuta and Hydrobia musaensis. Parasitological examination revealed that B. alexandrina, B. glabrata and L. natalensis harboured immature stages of their concerned trematode parasites. Moreover, P. acuta harboured the immature stage of the nematode parasite Parastrongylus cantonensis.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Al-Daihan, Sooad

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

  2. Compatibility of Ugandan Schistosoma mansoni isolates with Biomphalaria snail species from Lake Albert and Lake Victoria.

    PubMed

    Adriko, Moses; Standley, Claire J; Tinkitina, Benjamin; Mwesigwa, Gerald; Kristensen, Thomas K; Stothard, J Russell; Kabatereine, Narcis B

    2013-11-01

    In order to investigate the capacity of being intermediate host for Schistosoma mansoni, the Ugandan F1 generation of Biomphalaria snail species that were laboratory-bred from parent populations originally collected from either Lake Victoria or Lake Albert was challenged with sympatric and non-sympatric S. mansoni isolates. After a prepatent period of 20 days, a daily 10-hourly snail shedding for cercariae was done to determine the infection rate, cercarial production per hour and survival period of infected snails. The study suggests that when parasite strains from a different geographical origin is used for infection, survival of infected snails increase, leading to an increased transmission potential. Although earlier literature had indicated that the Lake Victoria Biomphalaria sudanica is refractory to S. mansoni, we showed that all Ugandan Biomphalaria spp., including B. sudanica from all locations, were highly susceptible to the S. mansoni isolates. Thus if B. choanomphala, which is an efficient intermediate host in Lake Victoria, is given an opportunity to occupy Lake Albert, it will most likely be compatible with the Albertine S. mansoni parasites. Equally, if B. stanleyi, currently restricted to Lake Albert invades Lake Victoria, it is likely to act as an efficient intermediate host. Future work should concentrate on intraspecific population-level differences in compatibility.

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

    PubMed

    Ittiprasert, Wannaporn; Knight, Matty

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Molluscicidal activity of some marine substances against the snail Biomphalaria glabrata (Mollusca, Planorbidae).

    PubMed

    Miyasato, P A; Kawano, T; Freitas, J C; Berlinck, R G S; Nakano, E; Tallarico, L F

    2012-05-01

    Freshwater snails of the genus Biomphalaria play a major role as intermediate hosts of Schistosoma mansoni, the etiologic agent of schistosomiasis. While Biomphalaria spp. control by molluscicides is one of the main strategies to reduce the snail population in infected areas, there are few effective molluscicides commercially available. Natural products may be considered as potentially useful and safe molluscicides. We have evaluated the molluscicidal activity of 12 extracts from ten marine organisms on adult and embryonic stages of Biomphalaria glabrata. Only extracts of the red algae Liagora farinosa and of the sponge Amphimedon viridis presented molluscicidal activity. Lethal concentration (LC)(50) values obtained were 120 μg/mL for L. farinosa CH(2)Cl(2) extract (apolar fraction) and 20 μg/mL for A. viridis extract and halitoxin. The polar alga fraction and halitoxin had no effect on B. glabrata embryos. The algae apolar fraction was active on B. glabrata in all embryonic development stages, with LC(50) values for blastulae at 42 μg/mL, gastrulae at 124 μg/mL, trochophore at 180 μg/mL, and veliger at 222 μg/mL. This is the first report of extracts from marine organisms which presented molluscicidal activity.

  5. Development of the Statocyst in the Freshwater Snail Biomphalaria Glabrata (Pulmonata, Basommatophora)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gao, Wenyuan; Wiederhold, Michael; Hejl, Robert

    1997-01-01

    The development of the statocyst of the freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata has been examined from embryo to adult. Special emphasis was put on the growth of the statoconia in the statocysts. In the statocysts of embryonic snails (90-120 h after oviposition) there is not a single statolith but an average of 40-50 statoconia per statocyst. The number of statoconia increases to 385-400 when the snails reach a shell diameter of 4 mm and remains relatively constant thereafter, irrespective of shell size. Small statoconia are found in supporting cells, which suggests that the statoconia are produced within these cells. The average diameter of statoconia and the total mass of statoconia increase with increasing shell diameter. The average number of large statoconia (diameter greater than 7 micrometers) per statocyst continues to increase from 2 to 10 mm animals while the number of small ones (diameter less than 4 micrometers) initially rises and then decreases after 4 mm. These results demonstrate continuous growth of the statoconia in the cyst lumen of Biomphalaria. The single statoconia vibrate in a regular pattern in vivo, indicating beating of the statocyst cilia. The statoconia sink under the influence of gravity to load and stimulate receptor cells which are at the bottom. The length of cilia and the size of statocyst gradually increase as the animal grows. However, the increase in the volume of the statocyst is relatively small compared with the increase in body weight during normal development.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  7. Effects of 17α-methyltestosterone on the reproduction of the freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata.

    PubMed

    Rivero-Wendt, C L G; Borges, A C; Oliveira-Filho, E C; Miranda-Vilela, A L; Ferreira, M F N; Grisolia, C K

    2014-01-28

    17-α-methyltestosterone (MT) is a synthetic hormone used in fish hatcheries to induce male monosex. Snails hold promise as possible test models to assess chemicals acting on the endocrine system. Biomphalaria glabrata is an aquatic gastropod mollusk (Pulmonata, Planorbidae) that can be easily maintained in aquaria, predisposing the species for use in ecotoxicological testing. This study evaluated the reproductive effects of MT on B. glabrata by examining histological changes and its reproductive performance. Ten snails per group were exposed for 4 weeks to different concentrations of MT (0.01, 0.1, and 1.0 mg/L). The total number of laid eggs, egg mass per group, size of type V oocytes, and production of spermatozoids were determined. Reproduction of B. glabrata was affected by MT. At the lowest concentration (0.01 mg/L), MT caused a statistically significant increase in the number of egg mass per snail compared with controls unexposed to MT. Histopathology analyses showed an increase in the sperm production at the higher MT concentrations of 0.1 and 1.0 mg/L. Chromatographic analyses of water samples showed that MT concentrations rapidly declined within a 96-h period. These results highlight the importance of giving more support to regulatory authorities, since MT is not registered for use on fish hatcheries in many countries around the world. Wastewater from fish farms discharged into aquatic ecosystems should be monitored for MT residues, since its presence could compromise the reproduction of other native snail species.

  8. The Structure of the Statocyst of the Freshwater Snail Biomphalaria Glabrata (Pulmonata, Basommatophora)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gao, Wenyuan; Wiederhold, Michael L.

    1997-01-01

    The structure of the statocyst of the freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata has been examined by light and electron microscopy. The two statocysts are located on the dorsal-lateral side of the left and right pedal ganglion. The statocysts are spherical, fluid-filled capsules with a diameter of approximately 60 microns for young and 110 microns for adult snails. The wall of the cyst is composed of large receptor cells and many smaller supporting cells. The receptor cells bear cilia which are evenly distributed on the apical surface. The cilia have the typical 9+2 internal tubule configuration. Striate rootlets originate from the base of the basal body and run downward into the cytoplasm. Side-roots arise from one side of the basal body and a basal foot from the other. For each receptor cell, the basal foot always points to the periphery of the surface, indicating that the receptor cell is non-polarized. The receptor cells contain cytoplasmic organelles such as mitochondria, ribosomes, rough and smooth endoplasmic reticulum, compact Golgi bodies and multivesicular bodies. Supporting cells bearing microvilli are interposed between the receptor cells. The junction complex between the supporting cells and the receptor cells is composed of adherens and septate junctions, while between supporting cells only the adherens junctions are present. The static nerve arises from the lateral side of the cyst and contains axons in which parallel neurotubules and mitochondria are found. The axons arise directly from the base of the receptor cells without synapse. In the cyst lumen there are unattached statoconia. The statoconia have a plate-like or concentric membranous ring structure. Based on the morphology, the function of the statocyst in Biomphalaria is discussed.

  9. The Planorbid Snail Biomphalaria glabrata Expresses a Hemocyanin-Like Sequence in the Albumen Gland

    PubMed Central

    Peña, Janeth J.; Adema, Coen M.

    2016-01-01

    The parasitic flatworm Schistosoma mansoni, causative agent of human intestinal schistosomiasis in South America, relies importantly on the freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata as intermediate host to achieve development of cercariae that infect humans. The recommendation from the World Health Organization (WHO) to integrate snail control in efforts to counter schistosomiasis transmission provides impetus for in depth study of B. glabrata biology. Our analysis indicates that two distinct hemocyanin-like genes (hcl-1 and hcl-2) are present in B. glabrata, a snail that uses hemoglobin for oxygen transport. Characterization of BAC clones yielded the full length hcl-1 gene, which is comprised of three functional unit (FU) domains at the amino acid level. Database searches and in silico analyses identified the second hcl gene (hcl-2), composed of six FU domains. Both genes are unusual for lacking canonical residues and having fewer FU domains than typical molluscan hemocyanins that contain 7–8 FUs. Reverse transcription PCR demonstrated that Hcl-1 is expressed in a manner that correlates with reproductive maturity in the albumen gland (AG), an immune- and reproduction-relevant organ. Immune cross-reactivity with anti-keyhole limpet hemocyanin (α-KLH) antiserum and tandem-mass spectrometry validated the presence of Hcl-1 protein in the AG and egg mass fluid (EMF). The evolutionary conservation of hemocyanin-like sequences in B. glabrata in the presence of the oxygen carrier hemoglobin, combined with our results, suggest that the Hcl-1protein has a functional role in general and/or reproductive biology. Further investigations are needed to explore Hcl-1 as a potential target for snail control. PMID:28036345

  10. H+ channels in embryonic Biomphalaria glabrata cell membranes: Putative roles in snail host-schistosome interactions

    PubMed Central

    Wright, Brandon J.; Bickham-Wright, Utibe; Yoshino, Timothy P.; Jackson, Meyer B.

    2017-01-01

    The human blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni causes intestinal schistosomiasis, a widespread neglected tropical disease. Infection of freshwater snails Biomphalaria spp. is an essential step in the transmission of S. mansoni to humans, although the physiological interactions between the parasite and its obligate snail host that determine success or failure are still poorly understood. In the present study, the B. glabrata embryonic (Bge) cell line, a widely used in vitro model for hemocyte-like activity, was used to investigate membrane properties, and assess the impact of larval transformation proteins (LTP) on identified ion channels. Whole-cell patch clamp recordings from Bge cells demonstrated that a Zn2+-sensitive H+ channel serves as the dominant plasma membrane conductance. Moreover, treatment of Bge cells with Zn2+ significantly inhibited an otherwise robust production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), thus implicating H+ channels in the regulation of this immune function. A heat-sensitive component of LTP appears to target H+ channels, enhancing Bge cell H+ current over 2-fold. Both Bge cells and B. glabrata hemocytes express mRNA encoding a hydrogen voltage-gated channel 1 (HVCN1)-like protein, although its function in hemocytes remains to be determined. This study is the first to identify and characterize an H+ channel in non-neuronal cells of freshwater molluscs. Importantly, the involvement of these channels in ROS production and their modulation by LTP suggest that these channels may function in immune defense responses against larval S. mansoni. PMID:28319196

  11. Histamine Immunoreactive Elements in the Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems of the Snail, Biomphalaria spp., Intermediate Host for Schistosoma mansoni.

    PubMed

    Habib, Mohamed R; Mohamed, Azza H; Osman, Gamalat Y; Sharaf El-Din, Ahmed T; Mossalem, Hanan S; Delgado, Nadia; Torres, Grace; Rolón-Martínez, Solymar; Miller, Mark W; Croll, Roger P

    2015-01-01

    Histamine appears to be an important transmitter throughout the Animal Kingdom. Gastropods, in particular, have been used in numerous studies establishing potential roles for this biogenic amine in the nervous system and showing its involvement in the generation of diverse behaviours. And yet, the distribution of histamine has only previously been described in a small number of molluscan species. The present study examined the localization of histamine-like immunoreactivity in the central and peripheral nervous systems of pulmonate snails of the genus Biomphalaria. This investigation demonstrates immunoreactive cells throughout the buccal, cerebral, pedal, left parietal and visceral ganglia, indicative of diverse regulatory functions in Biomphalaria. Immunoreactivity was also present in statocyst hair cells, supporting a role for histamine in graviception. In the periphery, dense innervation by immunoreactive fibers was observed in the anterior foot, perioral zone, and other regions of the body wall. This study thus shows that histamine is an abundant transmitter in these snails and its distribution suggest involvement in numerous neural circuits. In addition to providing novel subjects for comparative studies of histaminegic neurons in gastropods, Biomphalaria is also the major intermediate host for the digenetic trematode parasite, which causes human schistosomiasis. The study therefore provides a foundation for understanding potential roles for histamine in interactions between the snail hosts and their trematode parasites.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  13. The influence of stream geology on the distribution of the bilharzia host snails, Biomphalaria pfeifferi and Bulinus (physopsis) sp.

    PubMed

    Appleton, C C

    1975-06-01

    The Gladdespruit and Komati River surveys have shown that similar environmental conditions have developed where the watercourses flowed over particular rock types. In these watercourses a potentially useful association was found between the occurrence of permanent, lentic habitats produced by the weathering of bedrock with a hardness above 5 in Mohs' Scale of Hardness and the longitudinal distribution of persistent populations of the bilharzia intermediate host snails Biomphalaria pfeifferi and Bulinus (Physopsis) sp. Bilharzia transmission follows this pattern in these waterways. Weathering of bedrock with hardness below 5 in Mohs' scale, and/or flow over beds of alluvial sand, produced perpetually lotic (flowing) environments without persistent host snail populations because of the snail's inability to tolerate high current speeds. However a few temporary populations survived in temporarily lentic habitats during the dry winter season.

  14. Genetic differentiation, dispersal and mating system in the schistosome-transmitting freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata.

    PubMed

    Mavárez, J; Pointier, J-P; David, P; Delay, B; Jarne, P

    2002-10-01

    Biomphalaria glabrata is the main intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoni in America and one of the most intensely studied species of freshwater snail, yet very little is known about its population biology. Here, we used seven highly polymorphic microsatellite loci to analyse genetic diversity in populations from three regions (Lesser Antilles, Venezuela and southern Brazil). Considerable genetic variation was detected, with an average (s.d.) H(0) = 0.32 (0.24). More diversity per population was found in the Valencia lake basin in Central Venezuela, which suggests an influence of dispersal (via inter-population connectivity) on the restoring of genetic diversity after the demographic bottlenecks recurrently experienced by populations. A marked population structure was detected and there seems to be a relationship between mean differentiation and genetic diversity within regions. There is also a significant isolation-by-distance pattern. The Lesser Antilles populations appear clearly differentiated from the rest, which suggests a single colonisation event followed by local radiation within these islands or multiple colonisation events from the same source area. Our results indicate that B. glabrata essentially cross-fertilises, with little variation in selfing rates among populations. However, significant deficits in heterozygotes and linkage disequilibria were detected in two Venezuelan populations suggesting a mixture of at least two different genetic entities, probably with differences in their respective mating systems.

  15. Genetic diversity, fixation and differentiation of the freshwater snail Biomphalaria pfeifferi (Gastropoda, Planorbidae) in arid lands.

    PubMed

    Mintsa Nguema, Rodrigue; Langand, Juliette; Galinier, Richard; Idris, Mohamed A; Shaban, Mahmoud A; Al Yafae, Salem; Moné, Hélène; Mouahid, Gabriel

    2013-06-01

    The freshwater snail Biomphalaria pfeifferi is the main intermediate host of human intestinal Bilharziasis. It is widely distributed in Africa, Madagascar and middle-eastern countries, and its habitat includes wetlands, and arid to semi-arid areas. Based on analysis of 18 microsatellites, we investigated reference allelic variation among 30 populations of B. pfeifferi from three drainage basins in Dhofar, Oman (the eastern limit of its distribution). This is an arid to semi-arid region, with a 9,000-year history of very low rainfall, but is subject to unpredictable and destructive flash floods. In this context we showed that genetic fixation was very high compared to genetic differentiation which was moderate and, that, relative to B. pfeifferi populations from wetlands, the populations in Dhofar show evidence of lower levels of genetic diversity, a higher degree of genetic fixation, a quasi-absence of migration, and a higher level of genetic drift. Despite the extreme conditions in the Dhofar habitat of this species, it is able to survive because of its very high self-fertilization (approaching 100 %) and fecundity rates.

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

    PubMed Central

    Sturrock, R. F.

    1975-01-01

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

  17. Ionotropic Receptors Identified within the Tentacle of the Freshwater Snail Biomphalaria glabrata, an Intermediate Host of Schistosoma mansoni

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Di; Wang, Tianfang; Rotgans, Bronwyn A.; McManus, Donald P.; Cummins, Scott F.

    2016-01-01

    Biomphalaria glabrata (B. glabrata) is an air-breathing aquatic mollusc found in freshwater habitats across the Western Hemisphere. It is most well-known for its recognized capacity to act as a major intermediate host for Schistosoma mansoni, the human blood fluke parasite. Ionotropic receptors (IRs), a variant family of the ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluR), have an evolutionary ancient function in detecting odors to initiate chemosensory signaling. In this study, we applied an array of methods towards the goal of identifying IR-like family members in B. glabrata, ultimately revealing two types, the iGluR and IR. Sequence alignment showed that three ligand-binding residues are conserved in most Biomphalaria iGluR sequences, while the IRs did exhibit a variable pattern, lacking some or all known glutamate-interactingresidues, supporting their distinct classification from the iGluRs. We show that B. glabrata contains 7 putative IRs, some of which are expressed within its chemosensory organs. To further investigate a role for the more ancient IR25a type in chemoreception, we tested its spatial distribution pattern within the snail cephalic tentacle by in situ hybridization. The presence of IR25a within presumptive sensory neurons supports a role for this receptor in olfactory processing, contributing to our understanding of the molecular pathways that are involved in Biomphalaria olfactory processing. PMID:27253696

  18. Characterization of South American Snails of the Genus Biomphalaria (Basommatophora: Planorbidae) and Schistosoma mansoni (Platyhelminthes: Trematoda) in Molluscs by PCR-RFLP.

    PubMed

    Caldeira, Roberta Lima; Teodoro, Tatiana Maria; Jannotti-Passos, Liana Konovaloff; Lira-Moreira, Pollanah M; Goveia, Christiane De Oliveira; Carvalho, Omar Dos Santos

    2016-01-01

    The identification of snails of the genus Biomphalaria can be done using morphological characteristics which depends on the size of the snails and skill and knowledge of researcher. These methods sometimes are not adequate for identification of species. The PCR-RFLP, using the ITS region of the rDNA, has been used to identify Brazilian species of the genus Biomphalaria. Nevertheless, there is a lack of information about snails from other Latin American countries. In addition, some snails may be infected by Schistosoma mansoni and when submitted to PCR-RFLP they show molecular profiles different from those previously standardized for the other mollusc species. In this work the molecular profiles of 15 species and the subspecies were established by PCR-RFLP of ITS-rDNA with the enzyme DdeI. Moreover, the molecular profiles of host species, B. glabrata, B. straminea, B. tenagophila, and B. prona, infected by S. mansoni were also established. The molluscs were dissected to permit morphological identification. These results contribute to a correct identification of snails of the genus Biomphalaria and detection of these snails infected by S. mansoni.

  19. Characterization of South American Snails of the Genus Biomphalaria (Basommatophora: Planorbidae) and Schistosoma mansoni (Platyhelminthes: Trematoda) in Molluscs by PCR-RFLP

    PubMed Central

    Teodoro, Tatiana Maria; Jannotti-Passos, Liana Konovaloff; Lira-Moreira, Pollanah M.; Goveia, Christiane De Oliveira; Carvalho, Omar dos Santos

    2016-01-01

    The identification of snails of the genus Biomphalaria can be done using morphological characteristics which depends on the size of the snails and skill and knowledge of researcher. These methods sometimes are not adequate for identification of species. The PCR-RFLP, using the ITS region of the rDNA, has been used to identify Brazilian species of the genus Biomphalaria. Nevertheless, there is a lack of information about snails from other Latin American countries. In addition, some snails may be infected by Schistosoma mansoni and when submitted to PCR-RFLP they show molecular profiles different from those previously standardized for the other mollusc species. In this work the molecular profiles of 15 species and the subspecies were established by PCR-RFLP of ITS-rDNA with the enzyme DdeI. Moreover, the molecular profiles of host species, B. glabrata, B. straminea, B. tenagophila, and B. prona, infected by S. mansoni were also established. The molluscs were dissected to permit morphological identification. These results contribute to a correct identification of snails of the genus Biomphalaria and detection of these snails infected by S. mansoni. PMID:27981045

  20. Interactions between St. Lucian Biomphalaria glabrata and Helisoma duryi, a possible competitor snail, in a semi-natural habitat.

    PubMed

    Christie, J D; Edward, J; Goolaman, K; James, B O; Simon, J; Dugat, P S; Treinen, R

    1981-12-01

    In artificial drains similar to those used in banana culture on St. Lucia, Helisoma duryi, the rams-horn snail, controlled Biomphalaria glabrata, intermediate host of schistosomiasis on that island. Time required for elimination of B. glabrata depended on environmental temperature and numbers of H. duryi initially introduced in the drains. Best fit to the data was given by the equation for the logistic curve rather than by an equation for unlimited growth. Multiple regression analyses of natality and mortality rates of both species of snails indicated that populations of B. glabrata were regulated by temperature rather than by density-dependent means while numbers of H. duryi were strongly influenced by numbers of rams-horn snails already present in the drains. Fitting of snail shell growth to von Bertalanffy equations showed that H. duryi shell diameter was uninfluenced by environmental temperatures or presence of B. glabrata while growth of the intermediate host was strongly affected both by temperature and numbers of H. duryi.

  1. Monoamines in the albumen gland, plasma, and central nervous system of the snail Biomphalaria glabrata during egg-laying.

    PubMed

    Boyle, Jon P; Yoshino, Timothy P

    2002-06-01

    The potential role of selected biogenic monoamines and related compounds in the reproductive physiology of the freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata was investigated. Extracts of the albumen gland (AG), plasma, and central nervous system (CNS) were subjected to high pressure liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection (HPLC-ED), and under the extraction and separation conditions employed the following amines were detected: tyrosine, dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA), dopamine, and tryptophan in the AG; DOPA, tyrosine, and tryptophan in the plasma; DOPA, tyrosine, dopamine and 5-hydroxytryptamine in the CNS. These compounds were then quantified in individual samples taken from snails known to be in a particular stage of the egg-laying process. AG dopamine levels were highest in snails in the first stage of the reproductive process, when the AG is secreting perivitelline fluid around each fertilized ovum. Significant decreases in AG protein content during the later stages of the egg-laying process were also evident. Plasma tyrosine and DOPA levels were lowest in snails that contained a fully packaged egg mass, while no changes in monoamine content were observed in the CNS. These data provide insights into the role(s) that monoamines, especially catecholamine-related compounds, may play in B. glabrata reproductive physiology.

  2. Successful parasitism of vector snail Biomphalaria glabrata by the human blood fluke (trematode) Schistosoma mansoni: a 2009 assessment

    PubMed Central

    Bayne, Christopher J.

    2009-01-01

    Schistosomiasis, caused by infections by human blood flukes (Trematoda), continues to disrupt the lives of over 200,000,000 people in over 70 countries, inflicting misery and precluding the individuals’ otherwise reasonable expectations of productive lives. Infection requires contact with freshwater in which infected snails (the intermediate hosts of schistosomes) have released cercariae larvae. Habitats suitable for the host snails continue to expand as a consequence of water resource development. No vaccine is available, and the emergence and spread of resistance to the single licensed schistosomicide drug would be devastating. Since human infections would cease if parasite infections in snails were prevented, efforts are being made to discover requirements of intra-molluscan development of these parasites. Wherever blood flukes occur, naturally resistant conspecific snails are present. To understand the mechanisms used by parasites to ensure their survival in immunocompetent hosts, one must comprehend the internal defense mechanisms that are available to the host. For one intermediate host snail (Biomphalaria glabrata) and trematodes for which it serves as vector, molecular genetic and proteomic surveys for genes and proteins influencing the outcomes on infections are yielding lists of candidates. A comparative approach drawing on data from studies in divergent species provides a robust basis for hypothesis generation to drive decisions as to which candidates merit detailed further investigation. For example, reactive oxygen and nitrogen species are known mediators or effectors in battles between infectious agents and their hosts. An approach targeting genes involved in relevant pathways has been fruitful in the Schistosoma mansoni-B. glabrata parasitism, leading to discovery of a functionally relevant gene set (encoding enzymes responsible for the leukocyte respiratory burst) that associates significantly with host resistance phenotype. This review summarizes

  3. Regulation of laboratory populations of snails (Biomphalaria and Bulinus spp.) by river prawns, Macrobrachium spp. (Decapoda, Palaemonidae): implications for control of schistosomiasis.

    PubMed

    Sokolow, Susanne H; Lafferty, Kevin D; Kuris, Armand M

    2014-04-01

    Human schistosomiasis is a common parasitic disease endemic in many tropical and subtropical countries. One barrier to achieving long-term control of this disease has been re-infection of treated patients when they swim, bathe, or wade in surface fresh water infested with snails that harbor and release larval parasites. Because some snail species are obligate intermediate hosts of schistosome parasites, removing snails may reduce parasitic larvae in the water, reducing re-infection risk. Here, we evaluate the potential for snail control by predatory freshwater prawns, Macrobrachium rosenbergii and M. vollenhovenii, native to Asia and Africa, respectively. Both prawn species are high value, protein-rich human food commodities, suggesting their cultivation may be beneficial in resource-poor settings where few other disease control options exist. In a series of predation trials in laboratory aquaria, we found both species to be voracious predators of schistosome-susceptible snails, hatchlings, and eggs, even in the presence of alternative food, with sustained average consumption rates of 12% of their body weight per day. Prawns showed a weak preference for Bulinus truncatus over Biomphalaria glabrata snails. Consumption rates were highly predictable based on the ratio of prawn: snail body mass, suggesting satiation-limited predation. Even the smallest prawns tested (0.5-2g) caused snail recruitment failure, despite high snail fecundity. With the World Health Organization turning attention toward schistosomiasis elimination, native prawn cultivation may be a viable snail control strategy that offers a win-win for public health and economic development.

  4. The spatial and seasonal distribution of Bulinus truncatus, Bulinus forskalii and Biomphalaria pfeifferi, the intermediate host snails of schistosomiasis, in N'Djamena, Chad.

    PubMed

    Moser, Wendelin; Greter, Helena; Schindler, Christian; Allan, Fiona; Ngandolo, Bongo N R; Moto, Daugla D; Utzinger, Jürg; Zinsstag, Jakob

    2014-11-01

    There is a paucity of epidemiological and malacological data pertaining to schistosomiasis in Chad. In view of a recently articulated elimination agenda, a deeper understanding of the spatio-temporal distribution of schistosomiasis intermediate host snails is pivotal. We conducted cross-sectional malacological surveys during the dry season (April/May 2013) and after the short rainy season (October 2013) in N'Djamena, the capital of Chad. Snails were identified at the genus and species level using morphological keys and molecular DNA barcoding approaches. Those belonging to Bulinus and Biomphalaria were examined for cercarial shedding. Snail habitats were characterised and their predictive potential for the presence of schistosomiasis intermediate host snails explored. Seasonal patterns were studied using geographical information system and kriging in order to interpolate snail abundance data to make predictions at non-sampled locations across N'Djamena. Overall, 413 Bulinus truncatus, 369 Bulinus forskalii and 108 Biomphalaria pfeifferi snails were collected and subjected to cercarial shedding. During the dry season, one Bu. truncatus of 119 snails collected shed Schistosoma spp. cercariae (0.84%), while S. mansoni was shed by one of 108 Bi. pfeifferi snails (0.93%). None of the snails collected after the rainy season shed Schistosoma spp. cercariae. The abundance of Bu. truncatus and Bu. forskalii showed an inverse U-shape relationship with the square term of conductivity, i.e. low abundance at the lowest and highest levels of conductivity and high abundance at intermediate levels. Bi. pfeifferi showed a negative, linear association with pH in the dry seasons. It is planned to link these intermediate host snail data to infection data in human populations with the goal to draw a predictive risk map that can be utilised for control and elimination of schistosomiasis in N'Djamena.

  5. Trans-generation study of the effects of nonylphenol ethoxylate on the reproduction of the snail Biomphalaria tenagophila.

    PubMed

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

    2009-02-01

    Nonylphenols ethoxylates (NPEs) are surfactants used in a variety of products. They are found in domestic sewage, industrial effluents and as contaminants in water bodies. This study was undertaken to evaluate the effects of NPE with 9.5 ethoxylate units (NPE9.5; 0, 0.01, 0.1, 1.0 mg/L) on the reproduction of the snail Biomphalaria tenagophila. Adult snails (F0 generation) were exposed to NPE for 8 weeks. The F1 generation continued to be exposed from embryo to reproductive maturity while their descendants (F2) were exposed until day 10 after spawning. We determined the effects of NPE9.5 on the fecundity (8-week production of eggs and egg masses) of mature F0 and F1 snails. Developmental toxicity was investigated in F1 and F2 embryos. The two highest concentrations of NPE9.5 reduced the fecundity of F0. In the F1 generation, the lowest concentration enhanced the number of eggs laid per snail while the intermediate concentration had no effect and the highest one decreased the fecundity thereby suggesting a biphasic effect of NPE9.5. Study-derived NOECs (no-observed-effect-concentrations) for NPE were: fecundity, F0=10 microg/L, F1<10 microg/L; developmental toxicity, F1=100 microg/L, F2<10 microg/L. Results, therefore, indicated that B. tenagophila is highly vulnerable to NPE and that trans-generation exposure to NPE9.5 aggravates its reproductive toxicity.

  6. Nimbus (BgI): an active non-LTR retrotransposon of the Schistosoma mansoni snail host Biomphalaria glabrata.

    PubMed

    Raghavan, Nithya; Tettelin, Hervé; Miller, André; Hostetler, Jessica; Tallon, Luke; Knight, Matty

    2007-10-01

    The freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata is closely associated with the transmission of human schistosomiasis. An ecologically sound method has been proposed to control schistosomiasis using genetically modified snails to displace endemic, susceptible ones. To assess the viability of this form of biological control, studies towards understanding the molecular makeup of the snail relative to the presence of endogenous mobile genetic elements are being undertaken since they can be exploited for genetic transformation studies. We previously cloned a 1.95kb BamHI fragment in B. glabrata (BGR2) with sequence similarity to the human long interspersed nuclear element (LINE or L1). A contiguous, full-length sequence corresponding to BGR2, hereafter-named nimbus (BgI), has been identified from a B. glabrata bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library. Sequence analysis of the 65,764bp BAC insert contained one full-length, complete nimbus (BgI) element (element I), two full-length elements (elements II and III) containing deletions and flanked by target site duplications and 10 truncated copies. The intact nimbus (BgI) contained two open-reading frames (ORFs 1 and 2) encoding the characteristic hallmark domains found in non-long terminal repeat retrotransposons belonging to the I-clade; a nucleic acid binding protein in ORF1 and an apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease, reverse transcriptase and RNase H in ORF2. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that nimbus (BgI) is closely related to Drosophila (I factor), mosquito Aedes aegypti (MosquI) and chordate ascidian Ciona intestinalis (CiI) retrotransposons. Nimbus (BgI) represents the first complete mobile element characterised from a mollusk that appears to be transcriptionally active and is widely distributed in snails of the neotropics and the Old World.

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

    PubMed

    Rashed, A A

    2002-12-01

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

  8. Developmental toxicity, acute toxicity and mutagenicity testing in freshwater snails Biomphalaria glabrata (Mollusca: Gastropoda) exposed to chromium and water samples.

    PubMed

    Tallarico, Lenita de Freitas; Borrely, Sueli Ivone; Hamada, Natália; Grazeffe, Vanessa Siqueira; Ohlweiler, Fernanda Pires; Okazaki, Kayo; Granatelli, Amanda Tosatte; Pereira, Ivana Wuo; Pereira, Carlos Alberto de Bragança; Nakano, Eliana

    2014-12-01

    A protocol combining acute toxicity, developmental toxicity and mutagenicity analysis in freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata for application in ecotoxicological studies is described. For acute toxicity testing, LC50 and EC50 values were determined; dominant lethal mutations induction was the endpoint for mutagenicity analysis. Reference toxicant potassium dichromate (K2Cr2O7) was used to characterize B. glabrata sensitivity for toxicity and cyclophosphamide to mutagenicity testing purposes. Compared to other relevant freshwater species, B. glabrata showed high sensitivity: the lowest EC50 value was obtained with embryos at veliger stage (5.76mg/L). To assess the model applicability for environmental studies, influent and effluent water samples from a wastewater treatment plant were evaluated. Gastropod sensitivity was assessed in comparison to the standardized bioassay with Daphnia similis exposed to the same water samples. Sampling sites identified as toxic to daphnids were also detected by snails, showing a qualitatively similar sensitivity suggesting that B. glabrata is a suitable test species for freshwater monitoring. Holding procedures and protocols implemented for toxicity and developmental bioassays showed to be in compliance with international standards for intra-laboratory precision. Thereby, we are proposing this system for application in ecotoxicological studies.

  9. Schistosome infectivity in the snail, Biomphalaria glabrata, is partially dependent on the expression of Grctm6, a Guadeloupe Resistance Complex protein.

    PubMed Central

    Tennessen, Jacob A.; Bollmann, Stephanie R.; Hanington, Patrick C.; Bayne, Christopher J.; Blouin, Michael S.

    2017-01-01

    Schistosomiasis is one of the most important neglected tropical diseases. Despite effective chemotherapeutic treatments, this disease continues to afflict hundreds of millions of people. Understanding the natural intermediate snail hosts of schistosome parasites is vital to the suppression of this disease. A recently identified genomic region in Caribbean Biomphalaria glabrata snails strongly influences their resistance to infection by Schistosoma mansoni. This region contains novel genes having structural similarity to known pathogen recognition proteins. Here we elaborate on the probable structure and role of one of these genes, grctm6. We characterised the expression of Grctm6 in a population of Caribbean snails, and performed a siRNA knockdown of Grctm6. We show that this protein is not only expressed in B. glabrata hemolymph, but that it also has a role in modulating the number of S. mansoni cercariae released by infected snails, making it a possible target for the biological control of schistosomiasis. PMID:28158185

  10. Low genetic diversity in a snail intermediate host (Biomphalaria pfeifferi Krass, 1848) and schistosomiasis transmission in the Senegal River Basin.

    PubMed

    Campbell, G; Noble, L R; Rollinson, D; Southgate, V R; Webster, J P; Jones, C S

    2010-01-01

    Population genetic perturbations of intermediate hosts, often a consequence of human pressure on environmental resources, can precipitate unexpectedly severe disease outbreaks. Such disturbances are set to become increasingly common following range changes concomitant with climate shifts, dwindling natural resources and major infrastructure changes such as hydroprojects. Construction of the Diama dam in the Senegal River Basin (SRB) reduced river salinity, enabling the freshwater snail intermediate host Biomphalaria pfeifferi to rapidly expand its distribution. A serious public health problem ensued, with an epidemic of intestinal schistosomiasis occurring in the previously schistosome-free Richard-Toll region within 2 years. The current study aimed to assess the population variability of B. pfeifferi in the SRB, and speculate upon its subsequent impact on host-parasite interactions following such engineered ecological change. Genetic variation at nine polymorphic microsatellite loci revealed little population differentiation in SRB snails compared with those from natural habitats in Zimbabwe, where Schistosoma mansoni transmission is much lower. 'Open' SRB habitats are associated with greater water contact, smaller population sizes and less genetic diversity, with sites downstream of Richard-Toll showing greater inter- and intrapopulation variation, concomitant with less frequent human contact. These observations may be explained by rapid expansion into pristine habitat selecting for high fecundity genotypes at the expense of schistosome resistance, presenting S. mansoni with genetically homogenous highly fecund susceptible populations around the focal point, promoting development of a highly compatible host-parasite relationship. Longitudinal study of such systems may prove important in predicting public health risks engendered by future environmental engineering projects.

  11. Biompha-LAMP: A New Rapid Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification Assay for Detecting Schistosoma mansoni in Biomphalaria glabrata Snail Host

    PubMed Central

    Hernández-Goenaga, Juan; López-Abán, Julio; Vicente, Belén; Muro, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    Background Schistosomiasis remains one of the most common endemic parasitic diseases affecting over 230 million people worlwide. Schistosoma mansoni is the main species causing intestinal and hepatic schistosomiasis and the fresh water pulmonate snails of the genus Biomphalaria are best known for their role as intermediate hosts of the parasite. The development of new molecular monitoring assays for large-scale screening of snails from transmission sites to detect the presence of schistosomes is an important point to consider for snail control interventions related to schistosomiasis elimination. Our work was focussed on developing and evaluating a new LAMP assay combined with a simple DNA extraction method to detect S. mansoni in experimentally infected snails as a diagnostic tool for field conditions. Methodology/Principal findings A LAMP assay using a set of six primers targeting a sequence of S. mansoni ribosomal intergenic spacer 28S-18S rRNA was designed. The detection limit of the LAMP assay was 0.1 fg of S. mansoni DNA at 63°C for 50 minutes. LAMP was evaluated by examining S. mansoni DNA in B. glabrata snails experimentally exposed to miracidia at different times post-exposure: early prepatent period (before cercarial shedding), light infections (snails exposed to a low number of miracidia) and detection of infected snails in pooled samples (within a group of uninfected snails). DNA for LAMP assays was obtained by using a commercial DNA extraction kit or a simple heat NaOH extraction method. We detected S. mansoni DNA in all groups of snails by using no complicated requirement procedure for DNA obtaining. Conclusions/Significance Our LAMP assay, named Biompha-LAMP, is specific, sensitive, rapid and potentially adaptable as a cost-effective method for screening of intermediate hosts infected with S. mansoni in both individual snails and pooled samples. The assay could be suitable for large-scale field surveys for schistosomes control campaigns in endemic

  12. Regulation of laboratory populations of snails (Biomphalaria and Bulinus spp.) by river prawns, Macrobrachium spp. (Decapoda, Palaemonidae): implications for control of schistosomiasis

    PubMed Central

    Lafferty, Kevin D.; Kuris, Armand M.

    2014-01-01

    Human schistosomiasis is a common parasitic disease endemic in many tropical and subtropical countries. One barrier to achieving long-term control of this disease has been re-infection of treated patients when they swim, bathe, or wade in surface fresh water infested with snails that harbor and release larval parasites. Because some snail species are obligate intermediate hosts of schistosome parasites, removing snails may reduce parasitic larvae in the water, reducing re-infection risk. Here, we evaluate the potential for snail control by predatory freshwater prawns, Macrobrachium rosenbergii and M. vollenhovenii, native to Asia and Africa, respectively. Both prawn species are high value, protein-rich human food commodities, suggesting their cultivation may be beneficial in resource-poor settings where few other disease control options exist. In a series of predation trials in laboratory aquaria, we found both species to be voracious predators of schistosome-susceptible snails, hatchlings, and eggs, even in the presence of alternative food, with sustained average consumption rates of 12% of their body weight per day. Prawns showed a weak preference for Bulinus truncatus over Biomphalaria glabrata snails. Consumption rates were highly predictable based on the ratio of prawn: snail body mass, suggesting satiation-limited predation. Even the smallest prawns tested (0.5–2g) caused snail recruitment failure, despite high snail fecundity. With the World Health Organization turning attention toward schistosomiasis elimination, native prawn cultivation may be a viable snail control strategy that offers a win-win for public health and economic development. PMID:24388955

  13. Evolutionary history and phylogeography of the schistosome-vector freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata based on nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Mavárez, J; Steiner, C; Pointier, J-P; Jarne, P

    2002-10-01

    The phylogeography of the freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata remains poorly known, although this species is the major vector of schistosomiasis in the New World. It was here investigated in South America and the Lesser Antilles, based on partial mitochondrial large ribosomal subunit (16S rDNA) and nuclear internal transcribed spacer-2 (ITS-2) gene sequences. Sampling included 17 populations from a large part of the current geographic range of the species (Brazil, Venezuela and Lesser Antilles). Substantial variability was detected, as well as a high amount of phylogenetically informative signal. The molecular phylogeny inferred splits B. glabrata into Northern and Southern clades separated by the Amazon river, and may even suggest a supra-specific status for B. glabrata. Brazilian populations were the most diverse and appeared basal to the other populations. Venezuelan haplotypes formed a single clade, albeit not strongly supported. Two Venezuelan haplotypes appear rather similar to Brazilian haplotypes. Similarly, Lesser Antilles haplotypes clustered in the same monophyletic clade, which suggests that the recent colonisation of the Antilles has a northern South American origin. However, the estimated divergence time between Antilles and Venezuelan sequences is extremely large (conservatively higher than 10(5) years). These results are discussed in the light of (i) phylogeographic patterns at South American scale, and (ii) recurrent introduction of molluscs, especially in the Antilles, as a consequence of human activities.

  14. Fine-scale population structure and dispersal in Biomphalaria glabrata, the intermediate snail host of Schistosoma mansoni, in Venezuela.

    PubMed

    Mavárez, J; Amarista, M; Pointier, J-P; Jarne, P

    2002-05-01

    Biomphalaria glabrata is the main intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoni in America and one of the most intensely studied species of freshwater snails, yet very little is known about its population biology. Here, we used seven highly polymorphic microsatellite loci to analyse genetic diversity in the Valencia lake basin, which represents the core of the endemic area for schistosomiasis in Venezuela. Populations were sampled at short spatial scale (a few kilometres), both inside the lake and in ponds or rivers near the lake. Our results indicate that B. glabrata essentially cross-fertilizes, with little variation in selfing rates among populations. Our markers detected considerable genetic variation, with an average heterozygosity of 0.60. More diversity per population was found within than outside the lake, suggesting an influence of connectivity among populations on the levels of genetic diversity. A marked population structure was detected and lake populations were less structured than other populations. Most individuals were assigned to their population of origin using an assignment test. No strong demographic signal (e.g. bottleneck) was detected, though lake populations are likely to experience bottlenecks more frequently than the other populations analysed. Differences in gene flow therefore seem to play an important role in population differentiation and in the restoring of genetic diversity in demographically unstable populations.

  15. Bioactivity Evaluation of Plant Extracts Used in Indigenous Medicine against the Snail, Biomphalaria glabrata, and the Larvae of Aedes aegypti

    PubMed Central

    dos Santos, Edilson Alves; de Carvalho, Cenira M.; Costa, Ana L. S.; Conceição, Adilva S.; Moura, Flávia de B. Prado; Santana, Antônio Euzébio Goulart

    2012-01-01

    This investigation examined the molluscicidal and larvicidal activity of eight plants that are used in the traditional medicine of the Pankararé indigenous people in the Raso da Catarina region, Bahia state, Brazil. The tested plants were chosen based on the results of previous studies. Only those plants that were used either as insect repellents or to treat intestinal parasitic infections were included in the study. Crude extracts (CEs) of these plants were tested for their larvicidal activity (against Aedes aegypti larvae in the fourth instar) and molluscicidal activity (against the snail Biomphalaria glabrata). The plant species Scoparia dulcis and Helicteres velutina exhibited the best larvicidal activities (LC50 83.426 mg/L and LC50 138.896 mg/L, resp.), and Poincianella pyramidalis, Chenopodium ambrosoides, and Mimosa tenuiflora presented the best molluscicidal activities (LC50 0.94 mg/L, LC50 13.51 mg/L, and LC50 20.22 mg/L, resp.). As we used crude extracts as the tested materials, further study is warranted to isolate and purify the most active compounds. PMID:22194773

  16. Acetylcholine-binding protein in the hemolymph of the planorbid snail Biomphalaria glabrata is a pentagonal dodecahedron (60 subunits).

    PubMed

    Saur, Michael; Moeller, Vanessa; Kapetanopoulos, Katharina; Braukmann, Sandra; Gebauer, Wolfgang; Tenzer, Stefan; Markl, Jürgen

    2012-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) play important neurophysiological roles and are of considerable medical relevance. They have been studied extensively, greatly facilitated by the gastropod acetylcholine-binding proteins (AChBP) which represent soluble structural and functional homologues of the ligand-binding domain of nAChR. All these proteins are ring-like pentamers. Here we report that AChBP exists in the hemolymph of the planorbid snail Biomphalaria glabrata (vector of the schistosomiasis parasite) as a regular pentagonal dodecahedron, 22 nm in diameter (12 pentamers, 60 active sites). We sequenced and recombinantly expressed two ∼25 kDa polypeptides (BgAChBP1 and BgAChBP2) with a specific active site, N-glycan site and disulfide bridge variation. We also provide the exon/intron structures. Recombinant BgAChBP1 formed pentamers and dodecahedra, recombinant BgAChBP2 formed pentamers and probably disulfide-bridged di-pentamers, but not dodecahedra. Three-dimensional electron cryo-microscopy (3D-EM) yielded a 3D reconstruction of the dodecahedron with a resolution of 6 Å. Homology models of the pentamers docked to the 6 Å structure revealed opportunities for chemical bonding at the inter-pentamer interfaces. Definition of the ligand-binding pocket and the gating C-loop in the 6 Å structure suggests that 3D-EM might lead to the identification of functional states in the BgAChBP dodecahedron.

  17. The Effect of Simulating Different Intermediate Host Snail Species on the Link between Water Temperature and Schistosomiasis Risk

    PubMed Central

    McCreesh, Nicky; Booth, Mark

    2014-01-01

    Introduction A number of studies have attempted to predict the effects of climate change on schistosomiasis risk. The importance of considering different species of intermediate host snails separately has never previously been explored. Methods An agent-based model of water temperature and Biomphalaria pfeifferi population dynamics and Schistosoma mansoni transmission was parameterised to two additional species of snail: B. glabrata and B. alexandrina. Results Simulated B. alexandrina populations had lower minimum and maximum temperatures for survival than B. pfeifferi populations (12.5–29.5°C vs. 14.0–31.5°C). B. glabrata populations survived over a smaller range of temperatures than either B. pfeifferi or B. alexandrina (17.0°C–29.5°C). Infection risk peaked at 16.5°C, 25.0°C and 19.0°C respectively when B. pfeifferi, B. glabrata and B. alexandrina were simulated. For all species, infection risk increased sharply once a minimum temperature was reached. Conclusions The results from all three species suggest that infection risk may increase dramatically with small increases in temperature in areas at or near the currents limits of schistosome transmission. The effect of small increases in temperature in areas where schistosomiasis is currently found will depend both on current temperatures and on the species of snail acting as intermediate host(s) in the area. In most areas where B. pfeifferi is the host, infection risk is likely to decrease. In cooler areas where B. glabrata is the host, infection risk may increase slightly. In cooler areas where B. alexandrina is the host, infection risk may more than double with only 2°C increase in temperature. Our results show that it is crucial to consider the species of intermediate host when attempting to predict the effects of climate change on schistosomiasis. PMID:24988377

  18. Altered Gene Expression in the Schistosome-Transmitting Snail Biomphalaria glabrata following Exposure to Niclosamide, the Active Ingredient in the Widely Used Molluscicide Bayluscide

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Si-Ming; Buddenborg, Sarah K.; Adema, Coen M.; Sullivan, John T.; Loker, Eric S.

    2015-01-01

    In view of the call by the World Health Organization (WHO) for elimination of schistosomiasis as a public health problem by 2025, use of molluscicides in snail control to supplement chemotherapy–based control efforts is likely to increase in the coming years. The mechanisms of action of niclosamide, the active ingredient in the most widely used molluscicides, remain largely unknown. A better understanding of its toxicology at the molecular level will both improve our knowledge of snail biology and may offer valuable insights into the development of better chemical control methods for snails. We used a recently developed Biomphalaria glabrata oligonucleotide microarray (31K features) to investigate the effect of sublethal exposure to niclosamide on the transcriptional responses of the snail B. glabrata relative to untreated snails. Most of the genes highly upregulated following exposure of snails to niclosamide are involved in biotransformation of xenobiotics, including genes encoding cytochrome P450s (CYP), glutathione S-transferases (GST), and drug transporters, notably multi-drug resistance protein (efflux transporter) and solute linked carrier (influx transporter). Niclosamide also induced stress responses. Specifically, six heat shock protein (HSP) genes from three super-families (HSP20, HSP40 and HSP70) were upregulated. Genes encoding ADP-ribosylation factor (ARF), cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) and coatomer, all of which are involved in vesicle trafficking in the Golgi of mammalian cells, were also upregulated. Lastly, a hemoglobin gene was downregulated, suggesting niclosamide may affect oxygen transport. Our results show that snails mount substantial responses to sublethal concentrations of niclosamide, at least some of which appear to be protective. The topic of how niclosamide’s lethality at higher concentrations is determined requires further study. Given that niclosamide has also been used as an anthelmintic drug for decades and has

  19. Altered Gene Expression in the Schistosome-Transmitting Snail Biomphalaria glabrata following Exposure to Niclosamide, the Active Ingredient in the Widely Used Molluscicide Bayluscide.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Si-Ming; Buddenborg, Sarah K; Adema, Coen M; Sullivan, John T; Loker, Eric S

    2015-01-01

    In view of the call by the World Health Organization (WHO) for elimination of schistosomiasis as a public health problem by 2025, use of molluscicides in snail control to supplement chemotherapy-based control efforts is likely to increase in the coming years. The mechanisms of action of niclosamide, the active ingredient in the most widely used molluscicides, remain largely unknown. A better understanding of its toxicology at the molecular level will both improve our knowledge of snail biology and may offer valuable insights into the development of better chemical control methods for snails. We used a recently developed Biomphalaria glabrata oligonucleotide microarray (31K features) to investigate the effect of sublethal exposure to niclosamide on the transcriptional responses of the snail B. glabrata relative to untreated snails. Most of the genes highly upregulated following exposure of snails to niclosamide are involved in biotransformation of xenobiotics, including genes encoding cytochrome P450s (CYP), glutathione S-transferases (GST), and drug transporters, notably multi-drug resistance protein (efflux transporter) and solute linked carrier (influx transporter). Niclosamide also induced stress responses. Specifically, six heat shock protein (HSP) genes from three super-families (HSP20, HSP40 and HSP70) were upregulated. Genes encoding ADP-ribosylation factor (ARF), cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) and coatomer, all of which are involved in vesicle trafficking in the Golgi of mammalian cells, were also upregulated. Lastly, a hemoglobin gene was downregulated, suggesting niclosamide may affect oxygen transport. Our results show that snails mount substantial responses to sublethal concentrations of niclosamide, at least some of which appear to be protective. The topic of how niclosamide's lethality at higher concentrations is determined requires further study. Given that niclosamide has also been used as an anthelmintic drug for decades and has been

  20. Effects of γ-Fe2O3 nanoparticles on the survival and reproduction of Biomphalaria glabrata (Say, 1818) and their elimination from this benthic aquatic snail.

    PubMed

    Oliveira-Filho, Eduardo C; Filho, José Sousa; Novais, Luana A; Peternele, Wilson S; Azevedo, Ricardo B; Grisolia, Cesar K

    2016-09-01

    This study aims to evaluate the effects of maghemite nanoparticles (γ-Fe2O3) coated with meso-2, 3-dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) stabilizer on the survival and reproduction of the aquatic snail Biomphalaria glabrata. The cumulative means of egg masses and eggs per individual in the control group at the end of 4 weeks were 18.8 and 326.7, respectively. These values at the concentration of 1 mg/L were 17.2 and 291.6; at 10 mg/L, they were 19.6 and 334.4 ,and at 100 mg/L, they were 14.3 and 311.1. Results showed no significant differences between the tested and the control groups at the level of p < 0.05. Exposure of embryos for 10 days showed absence of mortality, malformation, or hatching delay. X-ray microtomography confirmed the presence of nanoparticles in exposed individuals and showed the complete elimination of the nanoparticles after 30 days in clean water. In the studied conditions, it is clear that γ-Fe2O3 coated with stabilizing DMSA did not alter the fecundity or the fertility of the snail B. glabrata after 4 weeks of exposure, and accumulation was not present after 30 days in clean water.

  1. Snail

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Yadi

    2010-01-01

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

  2. Pathogen-associated molecular patterns activate expression of genes involved in cell proliferation, immunity and detoxification in the amebocyte-producing organ of the snail Biomphalaria glabrata

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Si-Ming; Loker, Eric S.; Sullivan, John T.

    2017-01-01

    The anterior pericardial wall of the snail Biomphalaria glabrata has been identified as a site of hemocyte production, hence has been named the amebocyte-producing organ (APO). A number of studies have shown that exogenous abiotic and biotic substances, including pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMPs), are able to stimulate APO mitotic activity and/or enlarge its size, implying a role for the APO in innate immunity. The molecular mechanisms underlying such responses have not yet been explored, in part due to the difficulty in obtaining sufficient APO tissue for gene expression studies. By using a modified RNA extraction technique and microarray technology, we investigated transcriptomic responses of APOs dissected from snails at 24 hours post-injection with two bacterial PAMPs, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and peptidoglycan (PGN), or with fucoidan (FCN), which may mimic fucosyl-rich glycan PAMPs on sporocysts of Schistosoma mansoni. Based upon the number of genes differentially expressed, LPS exhibited the strongest activity, relative to saline-injected controls. A concurrent activation of genes involved in cell proliferation, immune response and detoxification metabolism was observed. A gene encoding checkpoint 1 kinase, a key regulator of mitosis, was highly expressed after stimulation by LPS. Also, seven different aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases that play an essential role in protein synthesis were found to be highly expressed. In addition to stimulating genes involved in cell proliferation, the injected substances, especially LPS, also induced expression of a number of immune-related genes including arginase, peptidoglycan recognition protein short form, tumor necrosis factor receptor, ficolin, calmodulin, bacterial permeability increasing proteins and E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase. Importantly, significant up-regulation was observed in four GiMAP (GTPase of immunity-associated protein) genes, a result which provides the first evidence suggesting an immune role of

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

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

  4. Notocotylus biomphalariae n. sp. (Digenea: Notocotylidae)from Biomphalaria peregrina (Gastropoda: Pulmonata) in Patagonia, Argentina.

    PubMed

    Flores, Verónica; Brugni, Norma

    2005-07-01

    A new species of Notocotylus was found parasiting a freshwater pulmonate snail, Biomphalaria peregrina. Naturally infected snails were collected from two temporary ponds in the Nahuel Huapí National Park in Patagonia. The characteristics of the larval stages are presented. Experimental adults were recovered from the intestinal caeca of ducks and chicks. Adults of Notocotylus biomphalariae n. sp. exhibit an aspinose tegument, two lateral rows of 11 ventral glands and a median row of four, a uterus with 12-16 coils of which 2-4 are previtelline, a metraterm equivalent in size to 65-68% of the cirrus-sac length, a previtelline field which extends to the middle of the body, a lobed testis and a genital pore closely posterior to the intestinal bifurcation. The rediae have one to three cercariae. The cercariae, when shed, are trioculate and have a long tail; they encyst in the environment and become infective 12 days after encystment.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1972-01-01

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

  6. Effects of Schistosoma mansoni infection on phagocytosis and killing of Proteus vulgaris in Biomphalaria glabrata hemocytes.

    PubMed

    Douglas, J S; Hunt, M D; Sullivan, J T

    1993-04-01

    With the use of a fluorescence microassay, in vitro phagocytosis and killing of Proteus vulgaris were measured in hemocytes of NIH albino Biomphalaria glabrata infected with Schistosoma mansoni for 1, 2, 3, or 4 wk. Although hemocytes of infected snails displayed decreased phagocytosis, relative to hemocytes of uninfected snails, at 4 wk postinfection (PI), they exhibited enhanced microbicidal activity at 3 wk PI. No microbicidal activity was detected in the plasma of either infected or uninfected snails.

  7. The influence of Angiostrongylus cantonensis (Nematoda, Metastrongylidae) infection on the aerobic metabolism of Biomphalaria straminea and Biomphalaria tenagophila (Mollusca, Gastropoda).

    PubMed

    Lima, Mariana G; Tunholi-Alves, Vinícius M; Gaudêncio, Fabrício N; Martins, Florence G; Castro, Rosane N; Thiengo, Silvana C; Garcia, Juberlan S; Maldonado, Arnaldo; Pinheiro, Jairo

    2016-12-01

    Angiostrongylus cantonensis is considered the main agent responsible for human eosinophilic meningoencephalitis. This parasite has low specificity for mollusk hosts and it can also use aquatic snails as auxiliary hosts. Studies based on the metabolic profile of Biomphalaria spp. infected by A. cantonensis have been conducted to observe parasite-host interactions. In the present study, the glucose content in the hemolymph and glycogen content in the digestive gland and cephalopedal mass of Biomphalaria tenagophila and Biomphalaria straminea experimentally infected by A. cantonensis were evaluated, along with the activity of LDH. The snails were dissected from 6 to 21days after infection to collect the hemolymph and separate the tissues. Decreases of 96% and 6.4% in the glucose content triggered a transition from aerobic to anaerobic metabolism in the two infected snail species, B. straminea and B. tenagophila, respectively. That finding was confirmed by high-performance liquid chromatography. These results indicate that when infected, these snails are able to change their metabolic profile, suggesting a strategy to maintain their homeostatic balance.

  8. Freshwater snails (Mollusca: Gastropoda) from the Commonwealth of Dominica with a discussion of their roles in the transmission of parasites

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We collected six species of freshwater snails from Dominica, including Biomphalaria kuhniana, Gundlachia radiata Helisoma (= Planorbella) trivolvis, Melanoides tuberculata, Neritina punctulata, and Physa marmorata. Our collections indicate that un-reported species such as Gundlachia radiata and Hel...

  9. Update on the distribution and phylogenetics of Biomphalaria (Gastropoda: Planorbidae) populations in Guangdong Province, China.

    PubMed

    Attwood, Stephen W; Huo, Guan-Nan; Qiu, Jian-Wen

    2015-01-01

    In 1973 planorbid snails then identified as Biomphalaria straminea were discovered in Hong Kong, China. It was assumed that these snails had been introduced to Hong Kong via the import of tropical fish by air from South America. In 2012 Biomphalaria were found for the first time in Guangdong Province, China. In view of the renewed interest in these invasive snails, a morphological and DNA-sequence based phylogenetic study was undertaken for seven populations of Biomphalaria snails collected in Guangdong. Morphologically and phylogenetically, five of the populations clustered more closely with Biomphalaria kuhniana than with B. straminea. Levels of genetic diversity among the populations were about half those of autochthonous populations in Brazil, the phylogenetic relationships did not correlate with a radiation from any one international port in China, and different lineages appeared associated with different ports. Consequently in explaining the current distribution of the snails, multiple colonization events, each establishing a new local snail population near to maritime international container ports, were considered more likely than the spread of snails from Hong Kong to China. The displacement of B. straminea by B. kuhniana in Guangdong is considered as an explanation for the habitat changes observed among the snails between Hong Kong in the 1980s and the present. The conclusions of the study are that any risk of Schistosoma mansoni transmission in China is more likely to come from parasite importation in the intramolluscan stage, than from transmission by migrant workers from South America or Africa. In addition, although likely to be rare, sporadic outbreaks of imported schistosomiasis (caused by invading infected snails) could be a threat to public health in the vicinity of International container ports (not only in Guangdong Province). Further work is called for to investigate further the presence of B. kuhniana and its potential interactions with B

  10. New insights into the amphibious life of Biomphalaria glabrata and susceptibility of its egg masses to fungal infection

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Egg masses of an aquatic snail, Biomphalaria glabrata, matured, and juveniles subsequently eclosed and were mobile in a stable water film of transitory habitats simulated by two different simple test devices described here. The viability of eggs maintained in an unstable film due to low ambient mois...

  11. A fresh insight into transmission of schistosomiasis: a misleading tale of Biomphalaria in Lake Victoria.

    PubMed

    Standley, Claire J; Wade, Christopher M; Stothard, J Russell

    2011-01-01

    Lake Victoria is a known hot-spot for Schistosoma mansoni, which utilises freshwater snails of the genus Biomphalaria as intermediate hosts. Different species of Biomphalaria are associated with varying parasite compatibility, affecting local transmission. It is thought that two species, B. choanomphala and B. sudanica, inhabit Lake Victoria; despite their biomedical importance, the taxonomy of these species has not been thoroughly examined. This study combined analysis of morphological and molecular variables; the results demonstrated that molecular groupings were not consistent with morphological divisions. Habitat significantly predicted morphotype, suggesting that the different Lake Victorian forms of Biomphalaria are ecophentoypes of one species. The nomenclature should be revised accordingly; the names B. choanomphala choanomphala and B. c. sudanica are proposed. From a public health perspective, these findings can be utilised by policy-makers for better understanding of exposure risk, resulting in more effective and efficient control initiatives.

  12. A Fresh Insight into Transmission of Schistosomiasis: A Misleading Tale of Biomphalaria in Lake Victoria

    PubMed Central

    Standley, Claire J.; Wade, Christopher M.; Stothard, J. Russell

    2011-01-01

    Lake Victoria is a known hot-spot for Schistosoma mansoni, which utilises freshwater snails of the genus Biomphalaria as intermediate hosts. Different species of Biomphalaria are associated with varying parasite compatibility, affecting local transmission. It is thought that two species, B. choanomphala and B. sudanica, inhabit Lake Victoria; despite their biomedical importance, the taxonomy of these species has not been thoroughly examined. This study combined analysis of morphological and molecular variables; the results demonstrated that molecular groupings were not consistent with morphological divisions. Habitat significantly predicted morphotype, suggesting that the different Lake Victorian forms of Biomphalaria are ecophentoypes of one species. The nomenclature should be revised accordingly; the names B. choanomphala choanomphala and B. c. sudanica are proposed. From a public health perspective, these findings can be utilised by policy-makers for better understanding of exposure risk, resulting in more effective and efficient control initiatives. PMID:22046308

  13. Snail Snooping.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Dorothy

    1993-01-01

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

  14. [The occurrence of Biomphalaria straminea (Pulmonata: Planorbidae) on an aquaculture farm of IBAMA in Uberlândia, MG. Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente a dos Recursos Naturais Renováveis].

    PubMed

    Silveira, E de P; Marçal Júnior, O; Machado, M I

    1997-01-01

    This work evaluates the occurrence of freshwater snails in the IBAMA's fish breeding station in Uberlândia, Minas Gerais State. We verified the presence of Biomphalaria straminea in 39.5% of all breeding tanks. None of the snails were infected by Schistosoma mansoni, but further investigation should be done in the area.

  15. A Novel Bacterial Pathogen of Biomphalaria glabrata: A Potential Weapon for Schistosomiasis Control?

    PubMed Central

    Duval, David; Galinier, Richard; Mouahid, Gabriel; Toulza, Eve; Allienne, Jean François; Portela, Julien; Calvayrac, Christophe; Rognon, Anne; Arancibia, Nathalie; Mitta, Guillaume; Théron, André; Gourbal, Benjamin

    2015-01-01

    Background Schistosomiasis is the second-most widespread tropical parasitic disease after malaria. Various research strategies and treatment programs for achieving the objective of eradicating schistosomiasis within a decade have been recommended and supported by the World Health Organization. One of these approaches is based on the control of snail vectors in endemic areas. Previous field studies have shown that competitor or predator introduction can reduce snail numbers, but no systematic investigation has ever been conducted to identify snail microbial pathogens and evaluate their molluscicidal effects. Methodology/Principal findings In populations of Biomphalaria glabrata snails experiencing high mortalities, white nodules were visible on snail bodies. Infectious agents were isolated from such nodules. Only one type of bacteria, identified as a new species of Paenibacillus named Candidatus Paenibacillus glabratella, was found, and was shown to be closely related to P. alvei through 16S and Rpob DNA analysis. Histopathological examination showed extensive bacterial infiltration leading to overall tissue disorganization. Exposure of healthy snails to Paenibacillus-infected snails caused massive mortality. Moreover, eggs laid by infected snails were also infected, decreasing hatching but without apparent effects on spawning. Embryonic lethality was correlated with the presence of pathogenic bacteria in eggs. Conclusions/Significance This is the first account of a novel Paenibacillus strain, Ca. Paenibacillus glabratella, as a snail microbial pathogen. Since this strain affects both adult and embryonic stages and causes significant mortality, it may hold promise as a biocontrol agent to limit schistosomiasis transmission in the field. PMID:25719489

  16. Use of Molecular Methods for the Rapid Mass Detection of Schistosoma mansoni (Platyhelminthes: Trematoda) in Biomphalaria spp. (Gastropoda: Planorbidae)

    PubMed Central

    Jannotti-Passos, Liana Konovaloffi; Dos Santos Carvalho, Omar

    2017-01-01

    The low stringency-polymerase chain reaction (LS-PCR) and loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assays were used to detect the presence of S. mansoni DNA in (1) Brazilian intermediate hosts (Biomphalaria glabrata, B. straminea, and B. tenagophila) with patent S. mansoni infections, (2) B. glabrata snails with prepatent S. mansoni infections, (3) various mixtures of infected and noninfected snails; and (4) snails infected with other trematode species. The assays showed high sensitivity and specificity and could detect S. mansoni DNA when one positive snail was included in a pool of 1,000 negative specimens of Biomphalaria. These molecular approaches can provide a low-cost, effective, and rapid method for detecting the presence of S. mansoni in pooled samples of field-collected Biomphalaria. These assays should aid mapping of transmission sites in endemic areas, especially in low prevalence regions and improve schistosomiasis surveillance. It will be a useful tool to monitor low infection rates of snails in areas where control interventions are leading towards the elimination of schistosomiasis. PMID:28246533

  17. Environmental epidemiology of intestinal schistosomiasis in Uganda: population dynamics of biomphalaria (gastropoda: planorbidae) in Lake Albert and Lake Victoria with observations on natural infections with digenetic trematodes.

    PubMed

    Rowel, Candia; Fred, Besigye; Betson, Martha; Sousa-Figueiredo, Jose C; Kabatereine, Narcis B; Stothard, J Russell

    2015-01-01

    This study documented the population dynamics of Biomphalaria and associated natural infections with digenetic trematodes, along the shores of Lake Albert and Lake Victoria, recording local physicochemical factors. Over a two-and-a-half-year study period with monthly sampling, physicochemical factors were measured at 12 survey sites and all freshwater snails were collected. Retained Biomphalaria were subsequently monitored in laboratory aquaria for shedding trematode cercariae, which were classified as either human infective (Schistosoma mansoni) or nonhuman infective. The population dynamics of Biomphalaria differed by location and by lake and had positive relationship with pH (P < 0.001) in both lakes and negative relationship with conductivity (P = 0.04) in Lake Albert. Of the Biomphalaria collected in Lake Albert (N = 6,183), 8.9% were infected with digenetic trematodes of which 15.8% were shedding S. mansoni cercariae and 84.2% with nonhuman infective cercariae. In Lake Victoria, 2.1% of collected Biomphalaria (N = 13,172) were infected with digenetic trematodes with 13.9% shedding S. mansoni cercariae, 85.7% shedding nonhuman infective cercariae, and 0.4% of infected snails shedding both types of cercariae. Upon morphological identification, species of Biomphalaria infected included B. sudanica, B. pfeifferi, and B. stanleyi in Lake Albert and B. sudanica, B. pfeifferi, and B. choanomphala in Lake Victoria. The study found the physicochemical factors that influenced Biomphalaria population and infections. The number and extent of snails shedding S. mansoni cercariae illustrate the high risk of transmission within these lake settings. For better control of this disease, greater effort should be placed on reducing environmental contamination by improvement of local water sanitation and hygiene.

  18. Mathematical simulation of an aquatic snail population*

    PubMed Central

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

    1967-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Reproductive activity alterations on the Biomphalaria glabrata exposed to Euphorbia splendens var. hislopii latex.

    PubMed

    Mello-Silva, Clélia Christina; Vilar, Mônica Magno; Bezerra, José Clecildo Barreto; Vasconcellos, Maurício Carvalho de; Pinheiro, Jairo; Rodrigues, Maria de Lurdes de A

    2007-09-01

    The reproductive activity of Biomphalaria glabrata exposed to Euphorbia splendens var. hislopii latex was evaluated. Parameters related to fecundity and fertility were observed. The snails were exposed to the LD50 (1 mg/l) of crude latex. At the first week post exposure (p.e.), the egg laying was reduced. After the fourth week p.e., an increase of the number of eggs/snail occurred. The results showed a marked reduction in the hatching of the snails, revealing an interference of latex exposure with the reproductive process of B. glabrata of E. splendens var. hislopii. The LD50 of the latex may be used as an alternative method to control the size of the populations of B. glabrata in field.

  1. Effects of aestivation and starvation on the neutral lipid and phospholipid content of Biomphalaria glabrata infected with Schistosoma mansoni.

    PubMed

    White, Meredith M; Fried, Bernard; Sherma, Joseph

    2007-02-01

    The effects of aestivation or starvation on the neutral lipid and phospholipid content of Biomphalaria glabrata patently infected with Schistosoma mansoni were determined by high-performance thin-layer chromatography-densitometry. Infected-aestivated snails were maintained in a moist chamber at 24 +/- 1 C and a relative humidity of 98 +/- 1%. Infected-starved snails were maintained in artificial spring water (ASW) at 23 +/- 1 C without exogenous food. Infected snails (the controls) were maintained in ASW at 23 +/- 1 C and fed lettuce ad libitum. The 3 groups were maintained in the laboratory for 7 days, and then the lipids from the digestive gland-gonad complex (DGG) were extracted and analyzed by class. Infected-aestivated snails exhibited greater mortality rate and weight loss after 7 days than did the infected-starved snails. The steryl ester concentration in the infected-starved snails was significantly increased (P = 0.010) compared with the controls but not compared with infected-aestivated snails; the concentration of phosphatidylcholine in infected-aestivated snails was significantly decreased (P = 0.007) compared with the controls but not when compared with the infected-starved snails. Aestivation or starvation had a significant effect on the concentration of certain lipid classes in the DGG of B. glabrata infected with S. mansoni.

  2. Early Differential Gene Expression in Haemocytes from Resistant and Susceptible Biomphalaria glabrata Strains in Response to Schistosoma mansoni

    PubMed Central

    Lockyer, Anne E.; Emery, Aidan M.; Kane, Richard A.; Walker, Anthony J.; Mayer, Claus D.; Mitta, Guillaume; Coustau, Christine; Adema, Coen M.; Hanelt, Ben; Rollinson, David; Noble, Leslie R.; Jones, Catherine S.

    2012-01-01

    The outcome of infection in the host snail Biomphalaria glabrata with the digenean parasite Schistosoma mansoni is determined by the initial molecular interplay occurring between them. The mechanisms by which schistosomes evade snail immune recognition to ensure survival are not fully understood, but one possibility is that the snail internal defence system is manipulated by the schistosome enabling the parasite to establish infection. This study provides novel insights into the nature of schistosome resistance and susceptibility in B. glabrata at the transcriptomic level by simultaneously comparing gene expression in haemocytes from parasite-exposed and control groups of both schistosome-resistant and schistosome-susceptible strains, 2 h post exposure to S. mansoni miracidia, using an novel 5K cDNA microarray. Differences in gene expression, including those for immune/stress response, signal transduction and matrix/adhesion genes were identified between the two snail strains and tests for asymmetric distributions of gene function also identified immune-related gene expression in resistant snails, but not in susceptible. Gene set enrichment analysis revealed that genes involved in mitochondrial electron transport, ubiquinone biosynthesis and electron carrier activity were consistently up-regulated in resistant snails but down-regulated in susceptible. This supports the hypothesis that schistosome-resistant snails recognize schistosomes and mount an appropriate defence response, while in schistosome-susceptible snails the parasite suppresses this defence response, early in infection. PMID:23300533

  3. Snail Trails

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Galus, Pamela

    2002-01-01

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

  4. Susceptibility of Biomphalaria amazonica and Biomphalaria occidentalis from Manso Dam, Mato Grosso, Brazil to infection with three strains of Schistosoma mansoni.

    PubMed

    Fernandez, Monica Ammon; Thiengo, Silvana Carvalho

    2006-09-01

    As well as malaria and yellow fever, schistosomiasis is one of the main endemic diseases associated to environments which suffered some impact related to the development of great economic projects, as for example the construction of hydroelectric power stations. Aiming to investigate the occurrence and distribution of freshwater snails of medical and veterinary importance in the area which suffered impact from the Manso hydroelectric power station a survey was performed during the period of 2002 to 2003 and revealed the occurrence of populations of Biomphalaria amazonica and Biomphalaria occidentalis. Studies on parasite-mollusc compatibility were undertaken using five B. amazonica colonies (Barão de Melgaço, Poconé, Santo Antônio do Leverger, and Chapada dos Guimarães, in the Manso and Casca rivers), and four B. occidentalis colonies (Cuiabá, Santo Antônio do Leverger, and Chapada dos Guimarães, in the Agua Fria district and Casca river) were exposed to miracidia of Schistosoma mansoni. Of 257 snails of B. amazonica used, 17 became infected (infection index of 6.61%) and all specimens of B. occidentalis proved unsusceptible. According to the strains used, of the 158 snails exposed to BH miracidia, 6 became infected (3.79%); of the 44 exposed to SJ miracidia, 6 became infected (13.63%); and of the 55 snails of B. amazonica exposed to EC miracidia, 5 became infected (9.09%). These results point out the low possibility of introduction of schistosomiasis in those areas, but we believe it can not be discarded as due the presence of B. amazonica.

  5. Schistosomes and snails: a molecular encounter

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  7. Snails home

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  8. Physiological changes and molluscicidal effects of crude latex and Milin on Biomphalaria glabrata.

    PubMed

    Yadav, Subhash C; Jagannadham, M V

    2008-04-01

    Euphorbian latex is commonly used as molluscicides and the Euphorbia milii latex was reported as most powerful molluscicidal agents. The physiological and lethal effects of the latex components of Euphorbia milii, on the intermediate host Biomphalaria spp., of the human liver parasite Schistosoma mansoni were described in this study. The standard methodologies for testing plant derived molluscicides formulated by World Health Organisation (WHO) were followed with some modifications. The young specimen of fresh water snails showed altered physiological and physical response towards latex components. The working concentration of non-proteinaceous fraction (up to 0.1%) of the latex reduced the active physiological behaviour but was non-lethal to young specimen of snails. However, proteinaceous fractions (0.1mg/l) of the latex were found lethal to snail population, and lethality was enhanced with small amount of the non-proteinaceous fraction (0.01%) of the latex. Milin, a serine protease(up to 0.1mg/l), isolated from the latex of Euphorbia milii significantly reduced the growth and feeding activity but was not lethal to young specimen of snails. With an addition of 0.01% of non-proteinaceous fractions to Milin, lethality result was similar to that of crude latex. Milin is likely to be responsible for alteration of normal physiological functions and lethality of snails, thus it may be used as a molluscicide to control transmission of the endemic disease schistosomiasis.

  9. Snail control in urban sites in Brazil with slow-release hexabutyldistannoxane and pentachlorophenol*

    PubMed Central

    Toledo, J. V.; Da Silva, C. S. Monteiro; Bulhões, M. S.; Leme, L. A. Paes; Netto, J. A. Da Silva; Gilbert, B.

    1976-01-01

    Slow release formulations of hexabutyldistannoxane (TBTO) and pentachlorophenol (PCP) were tested for the control of Biomphalaria tenagophila in 52 urban sites in Rio de Janeiro. TBTO acted faster and lasted longer than PCP and at 15 g/m2 it eliminated snails from 76% of the treated sites for 1 year. Water pollution and rate of flow had no significant influence on the molluscicidal properties of either compound, but alkalinity lowered the activity of TBTO. Failure to control snail populations was due mainly to human interference and to the non-treatment of adjacent breeding sites that were temporarily dry and therefore overlooked. PMID:1088356

  10. Screening for novel plant sources of prenyloxyanthraquinones: Senna alexandrina Mill. and Aloe vera (L.) Burm. F.

    PubMed

    Epifano, Francesco; Fiorito, Serena; Locatelli, Marcello; Taddeo, Vito Alessandro; Genovese, Salvatore

    2015-01-01

    As a continuation of our ongoing studies aimed to reveal the presence of oxyprenylated anthraquinones in plants claimed to have a laxative effect, in this article, we describe the extraction and HPLC separation of madagascin (3-isopentenyloxyemodin) and 3-geranyloxyemodine from dried leaves and fruits of Senna alexandrina Mill. (Leguminosae) and leaves and gel of Aloe vera (L.) Burm. F. (Xanthorrhoeaceae). Both compounds are described herein for the first time as components of extracts of the title plants.

  11. A Novel Toll-Like Receptor (TLR) Influences Compatibility between the Gastropod Biomphalaria glabrata, and the Digenean Trematode Schistosoma mansoni.

    PubMed

    Pila, Emmanuel A; Tarrabain, Mahmoud; Kabore, Alethe L; Hanington, Patrick C

    2016-03-01

    Schistosomiasis, a devastating disease caused by parasitic flatworms of the genus Schistosoma, affects over 260 million people worldwide especially in tropical and sub-tropical regions. Schistosomes must undergo their larval development within specific species of snail intermediate hosts, a trait that is shared among almost all digenean trematodes. This unique and long-standing host-parasite relationship presents an opportunity to study both the importance of conserved immunological features in novel immunological roles, as well as new immunological adaptations that have arisen to combat a very specific type of immunological challenge. While it is well supported that the snail immune response is important for protecting against schistosome infection, very few specific snail immune factors have been identified and even fewer have been functionally characterized. Here, we provide the first functional report of a snail Toll-like receptor, which we demonstrate as playing an important role in the cellular immune response of the snail Biomphalaria glabrata following challenge with Schistosoma mansoni. This TLR (BgTLR) was identified as part of a peptide screen of snail immune cell surface proteins that differed in abundance between B. glabrata snails that differ in their compatibility phenotype to challenge by S. mansoni. The S. mansoni-resistant strain of B. glabrata (BS-90) displayed higher levels of BgTLR compared to the susceptible (M-line) strain. Transcript expression of BgTLR was found to be very responsive in BS-90 snails when challenged with S. mansoni, increasing 27 fold relative to β-actin (non-immune control gene); whereas expression in susceptible M-line snails was not significantly increased. Knockdown of BgTLR in BS-90 snails via targeted siRNA oligonucleotides was confirmed using a specific anti-BgTLR antibody and resulted in a significant alteration of the resistant phenotype, yielding patent infections in 43% of the normally resistant snails, which

  12. A Novel Toll-Like Receptor (TLR) Influences Compatibility between the Gastropod Biomphalaria glabrata, and the Digenean Trematode Schistosoma mansoni

    PubMed Central

    Pila, Emmanuel A.; Tarrabain, Mahmoud; Kabore, Alethe L.; Hanington, Patrick C.

    2016-01-01

    Schistosomiasis, a devastating disease caused by parasitic flatworms of the genus Schistosoma, affects over 260 million people worldwide especially in tropical and sub-tropical regions. Schistosomes must undergo their larval development within specific species of snail intermediate hosts, a trait that is shared among almost all digenean trematodes. This unique and long-standing host-parasite relationship presents an opportunity to study both the importance of conserved immunological features in novel immunological roles, as well as new immunological adaptations that have arisen to combat a very specific type of immunological challenge. While it is well supported that the snail immune response is important for protecting against schistosome infection, very few specific snail immune factors have been identified and even fewer have been functionally characterized. Here, we provide the first functional report of a snail Toll-like receptor, which we demonstrate as playing an important role in the cellular immune response of the snail Biomphalaria glabrata following challenge with Schistosoma mansoni. This TLR (BgTLR) was identified as part of a peptide screen of snail immune cell surface proteins that differed in abundance between B. glabrata snails that differ in their compatibility phenotype to challenge by S. mansoni. The S. mansoni-resistant strain of B. glabrata (BS-90) displayed higher levels of BgTLR compared to the susceptible (M-line) strain. Transcript expression of BgTLR was found to be very responsive in BS-90 snails when challenged with S. mansoni, increasing 27 fold relative to β-actin (non-immune control gene); whereas expression in susceptible M-line snails was not significantly increased. Knockdown of BgTLR in BS-90 snails via targeted siRNA oligonucleotides was confirmed using a specific anti-BgTLR antibody and resulted in a significant alteration of the resistant phenotype, yielding patent infections in 43% of the normally resistant snails, which

  13. The susceptibility of Biomphalaria glabrata throughout its life-history to N-tritylmorpholine

    PubMed Central

    Boyce, C. B. C.; Tieze-Dagevos, J. W.; Larman, V. N.

    1967-01-01

    This study was undertaken as part of a detailed investigation of the molluscicidal properties of N-tritylmorpholine (Frescon, WL 8008). It is shown that the stage of development of Biomphalaria glabrata has a pronounced influence on its susceptibility to N-tritylmorpholine. As the snails grow from hatching to a diameter of 3 mm, the LC50 falls from 0.04 ppm to 0.02 ppm, but further growth results in a progressive increase in LC50 until, at a shell diameter of 20 mm, it is 0.17 ppm. N-Tritylmorpholine is much less toxic to snail eggs when used in short exposures. However, young embryos in capsules treated with 5 ppm for 24 hours developed abnormally and died without hatching. Older embryos developed normally but died after hatching. This delayed effect is attributed to contact, during hatching, with N-tritylmorpholine which is associated with the jelly. The difference in susceptibility between snails and eggs is attributed to a slow rate of penetration of the egg membrane. ImagesFIG. 5 PMID:5300047

  14. Morphological and ITS2 Molecular Characterization of Ribeiroia Cercariae (Digenea: Psilostomidae) from Biomphalaria spp. (Gastropoda: Planorbidae) in Northern Argentina.

    PubMed

    Davies, Dora; Davies, Carolina; Lauthier, Juan José; Hamann, Monika; Ostrowski de Núñez, Margarita

    2015-10-01

    Species of Ribeiroia use planorbid snails as intermediate host. Since there is little information about these digenean parasites in South America, we aimed to assess whether Ribeiroia cercariae from 3 north Argentina locations belonged to the same species and differed from Ribeiroia cercariae described elsewhere. Specimens were obtained from Biomphalaria tenagophila and Biomphalaria orbignyi (Salta Province), and Biomphalaria occidentalis (Corrientes Province). Morphological traits of cercariae were analyzed, as well as their sequence of the ribosomal internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2). The ITS2 region consisted of 426 nucleotides identical in all samples, suggesting that all specimens belong to the same species in spite of their morphological differences and first intermediate host species. Comparison of the ITS2 region with GenBank database records showed that specimens from Argentina were different from Ribeiroia ondatrae (0.9% divergence), Ribeiroia marini (0.7% divergence), and Cercaria lileta (0.2% divergence). In summary, morphological, ecological, and ITS2 molecular data suggest that specimens from Argentina belong to a different species.

  15. Molecular evidence supports an african affinity of the neotropical freshwater gastropod, Biomphalaria glabrata, say 1818, an intermediate host for Schistosoma mansoni.

    PubMed Central

    Campbell, G; Jones, C S; Lockyer, A E; Hughes, S; Brown, D; Noble, L R; Rollinson, D

    2000-01-01

    Freshwater snails of the genus Biomphalaria, Preston 1910, are the most important and widely distributed intermediate hosts of Schistosoma mansoni, the blood fluke responsible for human intestinal schistosomiasis, in Africa and the Neotropics. S. mansoni is thought to have been imported repeatedly into the Americas during the last 500 years with the African slave trade. Surprisingly considering that the New and Old World separated 95-106 million years (Myr) ago, the disease rapidly became established due to the presence of endemic susceptible hosts. Reconstructing the phylogenetic relationships within Biomphalaria may provide insights into the successful intercontinental spread of S. mansoni. Parsimony and distance analyses of mitochondrial and nuclear sequences show African taxa to be monophyletic and Neotropical species paraphyletic, with Biomphalaria glabrata forming a separate clade from other Neotropical Biomphalaria, and ancestral to the African taxa. A west to east trans-Atlantic dispersal of a B. glabrata-like taxon, possibly as recently as the Plio-Pleistocene (1.8-3.6 Myr ago) according to a general mitochondrial clock, would fit these observations. Vicariance or an African origin for B. glabrata followed by multiple introductions to South America over the past 500 years with the African slave trade seem unlikely explanations. Knowledge of the phylogenetic relationships among important intermediate host species may prove useful in furthering control measures which exploit genetic differences in susceptibility to parasites, and in elucidating the evolution of schistosome resistance. PMID:11133023

  16. Localization of serotonin in the nervous system of Biomphalaria glabrata, an intermediate host for schistosomiasis.

    PubMed

    Delgado, Nadia; Vallejo, Deborah; Miller, Mark W

    2012-10-01

    The digenetic trematode Schistosoma mansoni that causes the form of schistosomiasis found in the Western Hemisphere requires the freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata as its primary intermediate host. It has been proposed that the transition from the free-living S. mansoni miracidium to parasitic mother sporocyst depends on uptake of biogenic amines, e.g. serotonin, from the snail host. However, little is known about potential sources of serotonin in B. glabrata tissues. This investigation examined the localization of serotonin-like immunoreactivity (5HTli) in the central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral tissues of B. glabrata. Emphasis was placed on the cephalic and anterior pedal regions that are commonly the sites of S. mansoni miracidium penetration. The anterior foot and body wall were densely innervated by 5HTli fibers but no peripheral immunoreactive neuronal somata were detected. Within the CNS, clusters of 5HTli neurons were observed in the cerebral, pedal, left parietal, and visceral ganglia, suggesting that the peripheral serotonergic fibers originate from the CNS. Double-labeling experiments (biocytin backfill × serotonin immunoreactivity) of the tentacular nerve and the three major pedal nerves (Pd n. 10, Pd n. 11, and Pd n. 12) disclosed central neurons that project to the cephalopedal periphery. Overall, the central distribution of 5HTli neurons suggests that, as in other gastropods, serotonin regulates the locomotion, reproductive, and feeding systems of Biomphalaria. The projections to the foot and body wall indicate that serotonin may also participate in defensive, nociceptive, or inflammation responses. These observations identify potential sources of host-derived serotonin in this parasite-host system. Inc.

  17. A multistrain approach to studying the mechanisms underlying compatibility in the interaction between Biomphalaria glabrata and Schistosoma mansoni

    PubMed Central

    Moné, Yves; Duval, David; Grunau, Christoph; Genthon, Clémence; Rognon, Anne; Arancibia, Nathalie; Dejean, Bernard; Théron, André; Gourbal, Benjamin; Mitta, Guillaume

    2017-01-01

    In recent decades, numerous studies have sought to better understand the mechanisms underlying the compatibility between Biomphalaria glabrata and Schistosoma mansoni. The developments of comparative transcriptomics, comparative genomics, interactomics and more targeted approaches have enabled researchers to identify a series of candidate genes. However, no molecular comparative work has yet been performed on multiple populations displaying different levels of compatibility. Here, we seek to fill this gap in the literature. We focused on B. glabrata FREPs and S. mansoni SmPoMucs, which were previously demonstrated to be involved in snail/schistosome compatibility. We studied the expression and polymorphisms of these factors in combinations of snail and schistosome isolates that display different levels of compatibility. We found that the polymorphism and expression levels of FREPs and SmPoMucs could be linked to the compatibility level of S. mansoni. These data and our complementary results obtained by RNA-seq of samples from various snail strains indicate that the mechanism of compatibility is much more complex than previously thought, and that it is likely to be highly variable within and between populations. This complexity must be taken into account if we hope to identify the molecular pathways that are most likely to be good targets for strategies aimed at blocking transmission of the parasite through the snail intermediate host. PMID:28253264

  18. Steroid Androgen Exposure during Development Has No Effect on Reproductive Physiology of Biomphalaria glabrata.

    PubMed

    Kaur, Satwant; Baynes, Alice; Lockyer, Anne E; Routledge, Edwin J; Jones, Catherine S; Noble, Leslie R; Jobling, Susan

    2016-01-01

    Gastropod mollusks have been proposed as alternative models for male reproductive toxicity testing, due to similarities in their reproductive anatomy compared to mammals, together with evidence that endocrine disrupting chemicals can cause effects in some mollusks analogous to those seen in mammals. To test this hypothesis, we used the freshwater pulmonate snail, Biomphalaria glabrata, for which various genetic tools and a draft genome have recently become available, to investigate the effects of two steroid androgens on the development of mollusk secondary sexual organs. Here we present the results of exposures to two potent androgens, the vertebrate steroid; 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and the pharmaceutical anabolic steroid; 17α-methyltestosterone (MT), under continuous flow-through conditions throughout embryonic development and up to sexual maturity. Secondary sexual gland morphology, histopathology and differential gene expression analysis were used to determine whether steroid androgens stimulated or inhibited organ development. No significant differences between tissues from control and exposed snails were identified, suggesting that these androgens elicited no biologically detectable response normally associated with exposure to androgens in vertebrate model systems. Identifying no effect of androgens in this mollusk is significant, not only in the context of the suitability of mollusks as alternative model organisms for testing vertebrate androgen receptor agonists but also, if applicable to other similar mollusks, in terms of the likely impacts of androgens and anti-androgenic pollutants present in the aquatic environment.

  19. Steroid Androgen Exposure during Development Has No Effect on Reproductive Physiology of Biomphalaria glabrata

    PubMed Central

    Lockyer, Anne E.; Routledge, Edwin J.; Jones, Catherine S.; Noble, Leslie R.; Jobling, Susan

    2016-01-01

    Gastropod mollusks have been proposed as alternative models for male reproductive toxicity testing, due to similarities in their reproductive anatomy compared to mammals, together with evidence that endocrine disrupting chemicals can cause effects in some mollusks analogous to those seen in mammals. To test this hypothesis, we used the freshwater pulmonate snail, Biomphalaria glabrata, for which various genetic tools and a draft genome have recently become available, to investigate the effects of two steroid androgens on the development of mollusk secondary sexual organs. Here we present the results of exposures to two potent androgens, the vertebrate steroid; 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and the pharmaceutical anabolic steroid; 17α-methyltestosterone (MT), under continuous flow-through conditions throughout embryonic development and up to sexual maturity. Secondary sexual gland morphology, histopathology and differential gene expression analysis were used to determine whether steroid androgens stimulated or inhibited organ development. No significant differences between tissues from control and exposed snails were identified, suggesting that these androgens elicited no biologically detectable response normally associated with exposure to androgens in vertebrate model systems. Identifying no effect of androgens in this mollusk is significant, not only in the context of the suitability of mollusks as alternative model organisms for testing vertebrate androgen receptor agonists but also, if applicable to other similar mollusks, in terms of the likely impacts of androgens and anti-androgenic pollutants present in the aquatic environment. PMID:27448327

  20. Parental transfer of the antimicrobial protein LBP/BPI protects Biomphalaria glabrata eggs against oomycete infections.

    PubMed

    Baron, Olga Lucia; van West, Pieter; Industri, Benoit; Ponchet, Michel; Dubreuil, Géraldine; Gourbal, Benjamin; Reichhart, Jean-Marc; Coustau, Christine

    2013-01-01

    Vertebrate females transfer antibodies via the placenta, colostrum and milk or via the egg yolk to protect their immunologically immature offspring against pathogens. This evolutionarily important transfer of immunity is poorly documented in invertebrates and basic questions remain regarding the nature and extent of parental protection of offspring. In this study, we show that a lipopolysaccharide binding protein/bactericidal permeability increasing protein family member from the invertebrate Biomphalaria glabrata (BgLBP/BPI1) is massively loaded into the eggs of this freshwater snail. Native and recombinant proteins displayed conserved LPS-binding, antibacterial and membrane permeabilizing activities. A broad screening of various pathogens revealed a previously unknown biocidal activity of the protein against pathogenic water molds (oomycetes), which is conserved in human BPI. RNAi-dependent silencing of LBP/BPI in the parent snails resulted in a significant reduction of reproductive success and extensive death of eggs through oomycete infections. This work provides the first functional evidence that a LBP/BPI is involved in the parental immune protection of invertebrate offspring and reveals a novel and conserved biocidal activity for LBP/BPI family members.

  1. Parental Transfer of the Antimicrobial Protein LBP/BPI Protects Biomphalaria glabrata Eggs against Oomycete Infections

    PubMed Central

    Baron, Olga Lucia; van West, Pieter; Industri, Benoit; Ponchet, Michel; Dubreuil, Géraldine; Gourbal, Benjamin; Reichhart, Jean-Marc; Coustau, Christine

    2013-01-01

    Vertebrate females transfer antibodies via the placenta, colostrum and milk or via the egg yolk to protect their immunologically immature offspring against pathogens. This evolutionarily important transfer of immunity is poorly documented in invertebrates and basic questions remain regarding the nature and extent of parental protection of offspring. In this study, we show that a lipopolysaccharide binding protein/bactericidal permeability increasing protein family member from the invertebrate Biomphalaria glabrata (BgLBP/BPI1) is massively loaded into the eggs of this freshwater snail. Native and recombinant proteins displayed conserved LPS-binding, antibacterial and membrane permeabilizing activities. A broad screening of various pathogens revealed a previously unknown biocidal activity of the protein against pathogenic water molds (oomycetes), which is conserved in human BPI. RNAi-dependent silencing of LBP/BPI in the parent snails resulted in a significant reduction of reproductive success and extensive death of eggs through oomycete infections. This work provides the first functional evidence that a LBP/BPI is involved in the parental immune protection of invertebrate offspring and reveals a novel and conserved biocidal activity for LBP/BPI family members. PMID:24367257

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Evaluation of the mitochondrial system in the gonad-digestive gland complex of Biomphalaria glabrata (Mollusca, Gastropoda) after infection by Echinostoma paraensei (Trematoda, Echinostomatidae).

    PubMed

    Tunholi, Victor Menezes; Tunholi-Alves, Vinícius Menezes; Santos, Anderson Teixeira; Garcia, Juberlan da Silva; Maldonado, Arnaldo; da-Silva, Wagner Seixas; Rodrigues, Maria de Lurdes de Azevedo; Pinheiro, Jairo

    2016-05-01

    The effect of infection by Echinostoma paraensei on the mitochondrial physiology of Biomphalaria glabrata was investigated after exposure to 50 miracidia. The snails were dissected one, two, three and four weeks after infection for collection and mechanical permeabilization of the gonad-digestive gland (DGG) complex. The results obtained indicate that prepatent infection by this echinostomatid fluke significantly suppresses the phosphorylation state (respiratory state 3) and basal oxygen consumption of B. glabrata, demonstrating that the infection reduces the ability of the intermediate host to carry out aerobic oxidative reactions. Additionally, relevant variations related to the uncoupled mitochondrial (state 3u) of B. glabrata infected by E. paraensei were observed. Four weeks after exposure, a significant reduction in mitochondrial oxygen consumption after addition of ADP (3.68±0.26pmol O2/mg proteins) was observed in the infected snails in comparison with the respective control group (5.14±0.25). In the uncoupled state, the infected snails consumed about 62% less oxygen than the infected snails (7.87±0.84pmol O2/mg proteins) in the same period. These results demonstrate a reduction in oxidative decarboxylation rate of the tricarboxylic acid cycle and faster anaerobic degradation of carbohydrates in the infected snails. The possible mechanisms that explain this new metabolic condition in the infected organisms are discussed.

  4. Usnic Acid Potassium Salt: An Alternative for the Control of Biomphalaria glabrata (Say, 1818)

    PubMed Central

    Lima, Vera L. M.; Pereira, Eugênia C.; Falcão, Emerson P. S.; Melo, Ana M. M. A.; da Silva, Nicácio Henrique

    2014-01-01

    In Brazil, the snail Biomphalaria glabrata is the most important vector of schistosomiasis due to its wide geographical distribution, high infection rate and efficient disease transmission. Among the methods of schistosomiasis control, the World Health Organization recommends the use of synthetic molluscicides, such as niclosamide. However, different substances of natural origin have been tested as alternatives for the control or eradication of mollusks. The literature describes the antitumor, antimicrobial and antiviral properties of usnic acid as well as other important activities of common interest between medicine and the environment. However, usnic acid has a low degree of water solubility, which can be a limiting factor for its use, especially in aquatic environments, since the organic solvents commonly used to solubilize this substance can have toxic effects on aquatic biota. Thus, the aim of the present study was to test the potassium salt of usnic acid (potassium usnate) with regard to molluscicidal activity and toxicity to brine shrimp (Artemia salina). To obtain potassium usnate, usnic acid was extracted with diethyl ether isolated and purified from the lichen Cladonia substellata. Biological assays were performed with embryos and adult snails of B. glabrata exposed for 24 h to the usnate solution solubilized in dechlorinated water at 2.5; 5 and 10 µg/ml for embryos, 0.5; 0.9; 1;5 and 10 µg/ml for mollusks and 0.5; 1; 5; 10 µg/ml for A. salina. The lowest lethal concentration for the embryos and adult snails was 10 and 1 µg/ml, respectively. No toxicity to A. salina was found. The results show that modified usnic acid has increased solubility (100%) without losing its biological activity and may be a viable alternative for the control of B. glabrata. PMID:25375098

  5. The Nuclear Receptors of Biomphalaria glabrata and Lottia gigantea: Implications for Developing New Model Organisms

    PubMed Central

    Kaur, Satwant; Jobling, Susan; Jones, Catherine S.; Noble, Leslie R.; Routledge, Edwin J.; Lockyer, Anne E.

    2015-01-01

    Nuclear receptors (NRs) are transcription regulators involved in an array of diverse physiological functions including key roles in endocrine and metabolic function. The aim of this study was to identify nuclear receptors in the fully sequenced genome of the gastropod snail, Biomphalaria glabrata, intermediate host for Schistosoma mansoni and compare these to known vertebrate NRs, with a view to assessing the snail's potential as a invertebrate model organism for endocrine function, both as a prospective new test organism and to elucidate the fundamental genetic and mechanistic causes of disease. For comparative purposes, the genome of a second gastropod, the owl limpet, Lottia gigantea was also investigated for nuclear receptors. Thirty-nine and thirty-three putative NRs were identified from the B. glabrata and L. gigantea genomes respectively, based on the presence of a conserved DNA-binding domain and/or ligand-binding domain. Nuclear receptor transcript expression was confirmed and sequences were subjected to a comparative phylogenetic analysis, which demonstrated that these molluscs have representatives of all the major NR subfamilies (1-6). Many of the identified NRs are conserved between vertebrates and invertebrates, however differences exist, most notably, the absence of receptors of Group 3C, which includes some of the vertebrate endocrine hormone targets. The mollusc genomes also contain NR homologues that are present in insects and nematodes but not in vertebrates, such as Group 1J (HR48/DAF12/HR96). The identification of many shared receptors between humans and molluscs indicates the potential for molluscs as model organisms; however the absence of several steroid hormone receptors indicates snail endocrine systems are fundamentally different. PMID:25849443

  6. Assessment of toxicity of Moringa oleifera flower extract to Biomphalaria glabrata, Schistosoma mansoni and Artemia salina.

    PubMed

    Rocha-Filho, Cláudio A A; Albuquerque, Lidiane P; Silva, Luanna R S; Silva, Patrícia C B; Coelho, Luana C B B; Navarro, Daniela M A F; Albuquerque, Monica C P A; Melo, Ana Maria M A; Napoleão, Thiago H; Pontual, Emmanuel V; Paiva, Patrícia M G

    2015-08-01

    This study reports the effect of an aqueous extract from Moringa oleifera Lam. flowers on Biomphalaria glabrata embryos and adults and on Schistosoma mansoni adult worms. The extract contains tannins, saponins, flavones, flavonols, xanthones, and trypsin inhibitor activity. The toxicity of the extract on Artemia salina larvae was also investigated to determine the safety of its use for schistosomiasis control. After incubation for 24h, the flower extract significantly (p<0.05) delayed the development of B. glabrata embryos and promoted mortality of adult snails (LC50: 2.37±0.5mgmL(-1)). Furthermore, treatment with the extract disrupted the development of embryos generated by snails, with most of them remaining in the blastula stage while control embryos were already in the gastrula stage. Flower extract killed A. salina larvae with a LC50 value (0.2±0.015mgmL(-1)) lower than that determined for snails. A small reduction (17%) in molluscicidal activity was detected when flower extract (2.37mgmL(-1)) was exposed to tropical environmental conditions (UVI index ranging from 1 to 14, temperature from 25 to 30°C, and 65% relative humidity). Toxicity to A. salina was also reduced (LC50 value of 0.28±0.01mgmL(-1)). In conclusion, M. oleifera flower extract had deleterious effects on B. glabrata adults and embryos. However, unrestricted use to control schistosomiasis should be avoided due to the toxicity of this extract on A. salina.

  7. Differential transcriptomic responses of Biomphalaria glabrata (Gastropoda, Mollusca) to bacteria and metazoan parasites, Schistosoma mansoni and Echinostoma paraensei (Digenea, Platyhelminthes)

    PubMed Central

    Adema, Coen M; Hanington, Patrick C.; Lun, Cheng-Man; Rosenberg, George H.; Aragon, Anthony D; Stout, Barbara A; Richard, Mara L. Lennard; Gross, Paul S.; Loker, Eric S

    2009-01-01

    A 70-mer oligonucleotide-based microarray (1152 features) that emphasizes stress and immune responses factors was constructed to study transcriptomic responses of the snail Biomphalaria glabrata to different immune challenges. In addition to sequences with relevant putative ID and Gene Ontology (GO) annotation, the array features non-immune factors and unknown B. glabrata ESTs for functional gene discovery. The transcription profiles of B. glabrata (3 biological replicates, each a pool of 5 snails) were recorded at 12 hours post wounding, exposure to Gram negative or Gram positive bacteria (Escherichia coli and Micrococcus luteus, respectively), or infection with compatible trematode parasites (S. mansoni or E. paraensei, 20 miracidia/snail), relative to controls, using universal reference RNA. The data were subjected to Significance Analysis for Microarrays (SAM), with a false positive rate (FPR) ≤10%. Wounding yielded a modest differential expression profile (27 up/21 down) with affected features mostly dissimilar from other treatments. Partially overlapping, yet distinct expression profiles were recorded from snails challenged with E. coli (83 up/20 down) or M. luteus (120 up/42 down), mostly showing up-regulation of defense and stress-related features. Significantly altered expression of selected immune features indicates that B. glabrata detects and responds differently to compatible trematodes. Echinostoma paraensei infection was associated mostly with down regulation of many (immune-) transcripts (42 up/68 down), whereas S. mansoni exposure yielded a preponderance of up-regulated features (140 up/23 down), with only few known immune genes affected. These observations may reflect the divergent strategies developed by trematodes during their evolution as specialized pathogens of snails to negate host defense responses. Clearly, the immune defenses of B. glabrata distinguish and respond differently to various immune challenges. PMID:19962194

  8. Integrated multi-omic analyses in Biomphalaria-Schistosoma dialogue reveal the immunobiological significance of FREP-SmPoMuc interaction.

    PubMed

    Portet, Anaïs; Pinaud, Silvain; Tetreau, Guillaume; Galinier, Richard; Cosseau, Céline; Duval, David; Grunau, Christoph; Mitta, Guillaume; Gourbal, Benjamin

    2017-02-28

    The fresh water snail Biomphalaria glabrata is one of the vectors of the trematode pathogen Schistosoma mansoni, which is one of the agents responsible of human schistosomiasis. In this host-parasite interaction, co-evolutionary dynamic results into an infectivity mosaic known as compatibility polymorphism. Integrative approaches including large scale molecular approaches have been conducted in recent years to improve our understanding of the mechanisms underlying compatibility. This review presents the combination of integrated Multi-Omic approaches leading to the discovery of two repertoires of polymorphic and/or diversified interacting molecules: the parasite antigens S. mansoni polymorphic mucins (SmPoMucs) and the B. glabrata immune receptors fibrinogen-related proteins (FREPs). We argue that their interactions may be major components for defining the compatible/incompatible status of a specific snail/schistosome combination.

  9. Snail Shell Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Matthews, Catherine

    1992-01-01

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

  10. The Classroom Animal: Snails.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kramer, David S.

    1985-01-01

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

  11. Circulating Biomphalaria glabrata hemocyte subpopulations possess shared schistosome glycans and receptors capable of binding larval glycoconjugates

    PubMed Central

    Yoshino, Timothy P.; Wu, Xiao-Jun; Gonzalez, Laura A.; Hokke, Cornelis H.

    2013-01-01

    Host lectin-like recognition molecules may play an important role in innate resistance in Biomphalaria glabrata snails to larval schistosome infection, thus implicating parasite-expressed glycans as putative ligands for these lectin receptors. While host lectins may utilize specific glycan structures for parasite recognition, it also has been hypothesized that the parasite may use this system to evade immune detection by mimicking naturally-expressed host glycans, resulting in reduced immunorecognition capacity. By employing immunocytochemical (ICC) and Western blot assays using schistosome glycan-specific monoclonal antibodies (mABs) we sought to identify specific glycan epitopes (glycotopes) shared in common between larval S. mansoni and B. glabrata hemocytes, the primary immune effector cells in snails. Results confirmed the presence of selected larval glycotopes on subpopulations of hemocytes by ICC and association with numerous hemocyte proteins by Western blot analyses, including a trimannosyl core N-glycan (TriMan), and two fucosylated lacdiNAc (LDN) variants, F-LDN and F-LDN-F. Snail strain differences were seen in the prevalence of constitutively expressed F-LDN on hemocytes, and in the patterns of protein immunoreactivity with these mABs. In contrast, there was little to no hemocyte reactivity with mABs for Lewis X (LeX), LDN, LDN-F or LDN-DF. When intact hemocytes were exposed to larval transformation products (LTPs), distinct cell subpopulations displayed weak (LeX, LDN-DF) to moderate (LDN, LDN-F) glycotope reactivity by ICC, including snail strain differences in the prevalence of LDN-reactive cellular subsets. Far-Western blot analyses of the hemocytes following exposure to larval transformation proteins (LTPs) also revealed multiple mAB-reactive hemocyte protein bands for LeX, LDN, LDN-F, and LDN-DF. These results demonstrate the existence of complex patterns of shared larval glycan constitutively expressed on hemocytes and their proteins, as well as

  12. Circulating Biomphalaria glabrata hemocyte subpopulations possess shared schistosome glycans and receptors capable of binding larval glycoconjugates.

    PubMed

    Yoshino, Timothy P; Wu, Xiao-Jun; Gonzalez, Laura A; Hokke, Cornelis H

    2013-01-01

    Host lectin-like recognition molecules may play an important role in innate resistance in Biomphalaria glabrata snails to larval schistosome infection, thus implicating parasite-expressed glycans as putative ligands for these lectin receptors. While host lectins may utilize specific glycan structures for parasite recognition, it also has been hypothesized that the parasite may use this system to evade immune detection by mimicking naturally-expressed host glycans, resulting in reduced immunorecognition capacity. By employing immunocytochemical (ICC) and Western blot assays using schistosome glycan-specific monoclonal antibodies (mABs) we sought to identify specific glycan epitopes (glycotopes) shared in common between larval Schistosoma mansoni and B. glabrata hemocytes, the primary immune effector cells in snails. Results confirmed the presence of selected larval glycotopes on subpopulations of hemocytes by ICC and association with numerous hemocyte proteins by Western blot analyses, including a trimannosyl core N-glycan (TriMan), and two fucosylated lacdiNAc (LDN) variants, F-LDN and F-LDN-F. Snail strain differences were seen in the prevalence of constitutively expressed F-LDN on hemocytes, and in the patterns of protein immunoreactivity with these mABs. In contrast, there was little to no hemocyte reactivity with mABs for Lewis X (LeX), LDN, LDN-F or LDN-DF. When intact hemocytes were exposed to larval transformation products (LTPs), distinct cell subpopulations displayed weak (LeX, LDN-DF) to moderate (LDN, LDN-F) glycotope reactivity by ICC, including snail strain differences in the prevalence of LDN-reactive cellular subsets. Far-Western blot analyses of the hemocytes following exposure to larval transformation proteins (LTPs) also revealed multiple mAB-reactive hemocyte protein bands for LeX, LDN, LDN-F, and LDN-DF. These results demonstrate the existence of complex patterns of shared larval glycan constitutively expressed on hemocytes and their proteins

  13. Localization of carbohydrate determinants common to Biomphalaria glabrata as well as to sporocysts and miracidia of Schistosoma mansoni.

    PubMed

    Lehr, T; Beuerlein, K; Doenhoff, M J; Grevelding, C G; Geyer, R

    2008-07-01

    The presence of antigenic carbohydrate epitopes shared by Biomphalaria glabrata as well as by the sporocysts and miracidia representing snail-pathogenic larval stages of Schistosoma mansoni was assayed by immunohistochemical staining of paraformaldehyde-fixed tissues. To this end, both polyclonal rabbit antiserum raised against soluble egg antigens (SEA) of S. mansoni and monoclonal antibodies recognizing the carbohydrate epitopes LDN [GalNAc(beta1-4)GlcNAc(beta1-)], F-LDN [Fuc(alpha1-3)GalNAc(beta1-4)GlcNAc(beta1-)], LDN-F [GalNAc(beta1-4)[Fuc(alpha1-3)]GlcNAc(beta1-)], LDN-DF [GalNAc(beta1-4)[Fuc(alpha1-2)Fuc(alpha1-3)]GlcNAc(beta1-)] and Lewis X [Gal(beta1-4)[Fuc(alpha1-3)]GlcNAc(beta1-)] were used. Intriguingly, anti-SEA serum as well as anti-F-LDN antibodies displayed significant binding in the foot region, anterior tissue and the hepatopancreas of uninfected snails, whereas the Lewis X epitope was only weakly detectable in the latter tissue. In contrast, increased binding of antibodies recognizing LDN, LDN-F and LDN-DF was observed in infected snail tissue, in particular in regions involved in sporocystogenesis, in addition to an enhanced binding of anti-SEA serum and antibodies reacting with F-LDN. A pronounced expression of most of these carbohydrate antigens was also observed at the surface of miracidia. Hence, the detection of shared carbohydrate determinants in uninfected snail tissue, sporocysts and miracidia may support the hypothesis of carbohydrate-based molecular mimicry as a survival strategy of S. mansoni.

  14. Effects of varying concentrations of the crude aqueous and ethanolic extracts of Dalbergia sissoo plant parts on Biomphalaria pfeifferi egg masses.

    PubMed

    Adenusi, Adedotun A; Odaibo, Alexander B

    2009-03-07

    This study evaluated, using replicated laboratory bioassays, the toxicities of the crude aqueous and ethanolic extracts of Dalbergia sissoo Roxb. 1832 (family Leguminosae) fruits, leaves, roots and stem bark against egg masses of Biomphalaria pfeifferi (Krauss, 1848), the snail intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoni (Sambon, 1907) in Nigeria. Viable 0-24 hr-old embryonated egg masses were separately exposed to five different concentrations (7.81-2000 mg/l) of extracts for 24 hrs, washed in dechlorinated tap water and incubated at room temperature for a maximum of 4 weeks. The LC(50) and LC(90) values of test extracts for egg masses were calculated by probit analysis. The activities of the tested extracts were concentration-dependent. However, only the ethanolic extract of the fruits demonstrated significant activity (24 hr-LC(90) value < 100 mg/l: 89.29 mg/l). Mortalities of eggs were manifested at the gastrula/exogastrula and or the prehatch snail stage of development. The percentage of dead embryos at the prehatch snail stage decreased while the deaths of embryos at the gastrula/exogastrula stage increased, with increasing concentration of extract. Lethality of the ethanolic extract of D. sissoo fruits to embryonated egg masses of B. pfeifferi is an added advantage to its potential development for use as a plant molluscicide, as the overall efficacy of a molluscicide is greatly enhanced if it also shows significant toxicity towards snail eggs.

  15. Susceptibility of Snails to Infection with Schistosomes is influenced by Temperature and Expression of Heat Shock Proteins.

    PubMed

    Knight, Matty; Elhelu, O; Smith, M; Haugen, B; Miller, A; Raghavan, N; Wellman, C; Cousin, C; Dixon, F; Mann, V; Rinaldi, G; Ittiprasert, W; Brindley, P J

    2015-06-01

    The freshwater snail, Biomphalaria glabrata is the obligate intermediate host for the transmission of the parasitic trematode, Schistosoma mansoni the causative agent of the chronic debilitating neglected tropical disease, schistosomiasis. We showed previously that in juvenile snails, early and significant induction of stress manifested by the expression of stress proteins, Hsp 70, Hsp 90 and reverse transcriptase (RT) of the non- LTR retrotransposon, nimbus, is a characteristic feature of juvenile susceptible NMRI but not resistant BS-90 snails. These latter, however, could be rendered susceptible after mild heat shock at 32°C, revealing that resistance in the BS-90 resistant snail to schistosomes is a temperature dependent trait. Here we tested the hypothesis that maintenance of BS-90 resistant snails at the permissive temperature for several generations affects the resistance phenotype displayed at the non-permissive temperature of 25°C. The progeny of BS-90 snails bred and maintained through several generations (F1 to F4) at 32°C were susceptible to the schistosome infection when returned to room temperature, shedding cercariae at four weeks post-infection. Moreover, the study of expression levels of the heat shock protein (Hsp) 70 protein by ELISA and western blot analysis, showed that this protein is also differentially expressed between susceptible and resistant snails, with susceptible snails expressing more protein than their resistant counterparts after early exposure to wild-type but not to radiation-attenuated miracidia. These data suggested that in the face of global warming, the ability to sustain a reduction in schistosomiasis by using refractory snails as a strategy to block transmission of the disease might prove challenging since non-lethal elevation in temperature, affects snail susceptibility to S. mansoni.

  16. Susceptibility of Snails to Infection with Schistosomes is influenced by Temperature and Expression of Heat Shock Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Knight, Matty; Elhelu, O; Smith, M; Haugen, B; Miller, A; Raghavan, N; Wellman, C; Cousin, C; Dixon, F; Mann, V; Rinaldi, G; Ittiprasert, W; Brindley, PJ

    2015-01-01

    The freshwater snail, Biomphalaria glabrata is the obligate intermediate host for the transmission of the parasitic trematode, Schistosoma mansoni the causative agent of the chronic debilitating neglected tropical disease, schistosomiasis. We showed previously that in juvenile snails, early and significant induction of stress manifested by the expression of stress proteins, Hsp 70, Hsp 90 and reverse transcriptase (RT) of the non- LTR retrotransposon, nimbus, is a characteristic feature of juvenile susceptible NMRI but not resistant BS-90 snails. These latter, however, could be rendered susceptible after mild heat shock at 32°C, revealing that resistance in the BS-90 resistant snail to schistosomes is a temperature dependent trait. Here we tested the hypothesis that maintenance of BS-90 resistant snails at the permissive temperature for several generations affects the resistance phenotype displayed at the non-permissive temperature of 25°C. The progeny of BS-90 snails bred and maintained through several generations (F1 to F4) at 32°C were susceptible to the schistosome infection when returned to room temperature, shedding cercariae at four weeks post-infection. Moreover, the study of expression levels of the heat shock protein (Hsp) 70 protein by ELISA and western blot analysis, showed that this protein is also differentially expressed between susceptible and resistant snails, with susceptible snails expressing more protein than their resistant counterparts after early exposure to wild-type but not to radiation-attenuated miracidia. These data suggested that in the face of global warming, the ability to sustain a reduction in schistosomiasis by using refractory snails as a strategy to block transmission of the disease might prove challenging since non-lethal elevation in temperature, affects snail susceptibility to S. mansoni. PMID:26504668

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  18. Comparative toxicity of Euphorbia milii latex and synthetic molluscicides to Biomphalaria glabrata embryos.

    PubMed

    Oliveira-Filho, Eduardo C; Geraldino, Barbara R; Coelho, Deise R; De-Carvalho, Rosângela R; Paumgartten, Francisco J R

    2010-09-01

    Plant molluscicides have been regarded as possible alternatives to the costly and environmentally hazardous molluscicides currently available. This study was undertaken to compare the developmental toxicity of a plant molluscicide (Euphorbia milii latex, LAT) with that of three synthetic molluscicidal compounds. Biomphalaria glabrata egg masses (0-15 h after spawning) were exposed to molluscicides for 96 h and thereafter examined up to the 14th day after spawning. Embryo deaths, abnormal embryo development (malformations) and the day of hatching were recorded. Although exhibiting a weak ovicidal effect, LAT markedly impaired the development of snail embryos at concentrations 1000 microg L(-1) and produced anomalies (EC(50)=2040 microg L(-1)) such as abnormal shells, hydropic embryos, cephalic and non-specific malformations. Embryolethal potencies of molluscicides were as follows: triphenyltin hydroxide (TPTH; LC(50)=0.30 microg L(-1))>niclosamide (NCL; LC(50)=70 microg L(-1))>copper sulphate (CuSO(4); LC(50)=2190 microg L(-1)) > LAT (LC(50)=34030 microg L(-1)). A few malformations were recorded in embryos exposed to concentrations of TPTH within the range of lethal concentrations, while almost no anomalies were noted among those treated with NCL or CuSO(4). A hatching delay (hatching on day 10 after spawning or later) was observed among LAT-exposed embryos. The effects of NCL, TPTH and CuSO4 on hatching were to some extent masked by their marked embryolethality. The no-observed effect concentrations (NOEC) for embryotoxicity were as follows: TPTH, 0.1 microg L(-1); NCL, 25.0 microg L(-1); CuSO(4), 500.0 microg L(-1) and LAT, 500.0 microg L(-1). Results from this study suggest that, although LAT was not acutely embryolethal after a short-term exposure, it markedly disrupted snail development. The marked embryotoxicity of E. milii possibly contributes to its effectiveness as a molluscicide.

  19. Profile of organic acid concentrations in the digestive gland and hemolymph of Biomphalaria glabrata under estivation.

    PubMed

    Bezerra, J C; Kemper, A; Becker, W

    1999-01-01

    Using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis it was possible to determine simultaneously the concentration of organic acids (pyruvate, lactate, succinate, fumarate, malate, acetate, propionate, acetoacetate, and ss-hydroxybutyrate) in the digestive gland and the extracellular concentration of these same acids in the hemolymph of estivating Biomphalaria glabrata, the intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoni. After a 7 day period of estivation, there was a significant increase in the tissue levels of lactate, succinate, malate and acetate compared to non-estivating snails. After 14 days of estivation, the levels of lactate and acetate were also significantly elevated. The hemolymph concentrations of pyruvate and acetate increased significantly after 7 days and acetate concentrations continued to be significantly increased up to 14 days of estivation. The other organic acids studied, such as ketone body acetoacetate and ss-hydroxybutyrate or the volatile acid propionate, did not accumulate. Their tissue concentrations, however, increased on the 7th day of estivation and reached normal levels within two weeks of estivation for some of them. One should take into consideration how the reduction in metabolism can be handled under aerobic conditions, and what role anaerobic pathways may play in both energy formation and redox balance processes.

  20. A water snail catches a ride on STS-90 as part of Neurolab

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    A water snail (Biomphalaria glabrata), like those that are part of the Neurolab payload on Space Shuttle Mission STS-90, is held up for inspection in the Operations and Checkout Building. The snails will fly in the Closed Equilibrated Biological Aquatic System (CEBAS) Minimodule, a middeck locker-sized fresh water habitat, designed to allow the controlled incubation of aquatic species in a self-stabilizing, artifical ecosystem for up to three weeks under space conditions. Investigations during the Neurolab mission will focus on the effects of microgravity on the nervous system. The crew of STS-90, slated for launch April 16 at 2:19 p.m. EDT, includes Commander Richard Searfoss, Pilot Scott Altman, Mission Specialists Richard Linnehan, D.V.M., Dafydd (Dave) Williams, M.D., and Kathryn (Kay) Hire, and Payload Specialists Jay Buckey, M.D., and James Pawelczyk, Ph.D.

  1. Experimental evaluation of Candonocypris novaezelandiae (Crustacea: Ostracoda) in the biocontrol of Schistosomiasis mansoni transmission

    PubMed Central

    Yousif, Fouad; Hafez, Sherif; El Bardicy, Samia; Tadros, Menerva; Taleb, Hoda Abu

    2013-01-01

    Objective To test Candonocypris novaezelandiae (Baird) (C. novaezelandiae), sub-class Ostracoda, obtained from the Nile, Egypt for its predatory activity on snail, Biomphalaria alexandrina (B. alexandrina), intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoni (S. mansoni) and on the free-living larval stages of this parasite (miracidia and cercariae). Methods The predatory activity of C. novaezelandiae was determined on B. alexandrina snail (several densities of eggs, newly hatched and juveniles). This activity was also determined on S. mansoni miracidia and cercariae using different volumes of water and different numbers of larvae. C. novaezelandiae was also tested for its effect on infection of snails and on the cercarial production. Results C. novaezelandiae was found to feed on the eggs, newly hatched and juvenile snails, but with significant reduction in the consumption in the presence of other diet like the blue green algae (Nostoc muscorum). This ostracod also showed considerable predatory activity on the free-living larval stages of S. mansoni which was affected by certain environmental factors such as volume of water, density of C. novaezelandiae and number of larvae of the parasite. Conclusions The presence of this ostracod in the aquatic habitat led to significant reduction of snail population, infection rate of snails with schistosme miracidia as well as of cercarial production from the infected snails. This may suggest that introducing C. novaezelandiae into the habitat at schistosome risky sites could suppress the transmission of the disease. PMID:23620849

  2. The role of light and gravity in the experimental transmission of Echinostoma caproni (Digenea: Echinostomatidae) cercariae to the second intermediate host, Biomphalaria glabrata (Gastropoda: Pulmonata).

    PubMed

    Platt, Thomas R; Burnside, Lindsay; Bush, Elizabeth

    2009-06-01

    Trematode cercariae inhabit predictable environments and respond to trigger cues with genetically fixed releaser responses when foraging for the upstream host. The effect of light and gravity on the transmission of Echinostoma caproni cercariae to Biomphalaria glabrata was investigated experimentally. Transmission chambers were constructed of clear polyvinyl chloride pipe. Snails were constrained within the chamber to prevent movement, while permitting the cercariae to swim freely. A trial consisted of 2 infected B. glabrata shedding E. caproni cercariae placed at the center of the chamber, with 5 uninfected B. glabrata placed 10 cm on either side (or above and below) of the shedding snails as sentinels. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of infection sentinel snails in either experiment (light vs. dark or top vs. bottom); however, mean intensity was significantly higher in sentinel snails in the dark portion of the chamber (42.5 vs. 10.4; P = 0.001) and the top of the transmission chamber (66.1 vs. 38.0; P = 0.0003). There was a high correlation between the number of metacercariae collected from sentinel snails and the total number of infective units (metacercariae + unsuccessful cercariae): r = 0.992 (light vs. dark) and r = 0.957 (top vs. bottom), respectively, at cercariae densities estimated from 22 to 3,304/L. The results suggest that cercariae of E. caproni exhibit negative photo- and geotaxis in searching for a second intermediate host. Stereotypical releaser responses to environmental trigger cues (light and gravity) allow E. caproni cercariae to exploit flexible strategies for completing the life cycle consistent with the broad range second intermediate and definitive hosts used by E. caproni cercariae and adults, respectively.

  3. Effects of Cu/Zn Superoxide Dismutase (sod1) Genotype and Genetic Background on Growth, Reproduction and Defense in Biomphalaria glabrata

    PubMed Central

    Bonner, Kaitlin M.; Bayne, Christopher J.; Larson, Maureen K.; Blouin, Michael S.

    2012-01-01

    Resistance of the snail Biomphalaria glabrata to the trematode Schistosoma mansoni is correlated with allelic variation at copper-zinc superoxide dismutase (sod1). We tested whether there is a fitness cost associated with carrying the most resistant allele in three outbred laboratory populations of snails. These three populations were derived from the same base population, but differed in average resistance. Under controlled laboratory conditions we found no cost of carrying the most resistant allele in terms of fecundity, and a possible advantage in terms of growth and mortality. These results suggest that it might be possible to drive resistant alleles of sod1 into natural populations of the snail vector for the purpose of controlling transmission of S. mansoni. However, we did observe a strong effect of genetic background on the association between sod1 genotype and resistance. sod1 genotype explained substantial variance in resistance among individuals in the most resistant genetic background, but had little effect in the least resistant genetic background. Thus, epistatic interactions with other loci may be as important a consideration as costs of resistance in the use of sod1 for vector manipulation. PMID:22724037

  4. Endogenous growth factor stimulation of hemocyte proliferation induces resistance to Schistosoma mansoni challenge in the snail host.

    PubMed

    Pila, Emmanuel A; Gordy, Michelle A; Phillips, Valerie K; Kabore, Alethe L; Rudko, Sydney P; Hanington, Patrick C

    2016-05-10

    Digenean trematodes are a large, complex group of parasitic flatworms that infect an incredible diversity of organisms, including humans. Larval development of most digeneans takes place within a snail (Gastropoda). Compatibility between snails and digeneans is often very specific, such that suitable snail hosts define the geographical ranges of diseases caused by these worms. The immune cells (hemocytes) of a snail are sentinels that act as a crucial barrier to infection by larval digeneans. Hemocytes coordinate a robust and specific immunological response, participating directly in parasite killing by encapsulating and clearing the infection. Hemocyte proliferation and differentiation are influenced by unknown digenean-specific exogenous factors. However, we know nothing about the endogenous control of hemocyte development in any gastropod model. Here, we identify and functionally characterize a progranulin [Biomphalaria glabrata granulin (BgGRN)] from the snail B. glabrata, a natural host for the human blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni Granulins are growth factors that drive proliferation of immune cells in organisms, spanning the animal kingdom. We demonstrate that BgGRN induces proliferation of B. glabrata hemocytes, and specifically drives the production of an adherent hemocyte subset that participates centrally in the anti-digenean defense response. Additionally, we demonstrate that susceptible B. glabrata snails can be made resistant to infection with S. mansoni by first inducing hemocyte proliferation with BgGRN. This marks the functional characterization of an endogenous growth factor of a gastropod mollusc, and provides direct evidence of gain of resistance in a snail-digenean infection model using a defined factor to induce snail resistance to infection.

  5. Endogenous growth factor stimulation of hemocyte proliferation induces resistance to Schistosoma mansoni challenge in the snail host

    PubMed Central

    Pila, Emmanuel A.; Gordy, Michelle A.; Phillips, Valerie K.; Kabore, Alethe L.; Rudko, Sydney P.; Hanington, Patrick C.

    2016-01-01

    Digenean trematodes are a large, complex group of parasitic flatworms that infect an incredible diversity of organisms, including humans. Larval development of most digeneans takes place within a snail (Gastropoda). Compatibility between snails and digeneans is often very specific, such that suitable snail hosts define the geographical ranges of diseases caused by these worms. The immune cells (hemocytes) of a snail are sentinels that act as a crucial barrier to infection by larval digeneans. Hemocytes coordinate a robust and specific immunological response, participating directly in parasite killing by encapsulating and clearing the infection. Hemocyte proliferation and differentiation are influenced by unknown digenean-specific exogenous factors. However, we know nothing about the endogenous control of hemocyte development in any gastropod model. Here, we identify and functionally characterize a progranulin [Biomphalaria glabrata granulin (BgGRN)] from the snail B. glabrata, a natural host for the human blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni. Granulins are growth factors that drive proliferation of immune cells in organisms, spanning the animal kingdom. We demonstrate that BgGRN induces proliferation of B. glabrata hemocytes, and specifically drives the production of an adherent hemocyte subset that participates centrally in the anti-digenean defense response. Additionally, we demonstrate that susceptible B. glabrata snails can be made resistant to infection with S. mansoni by first inducing hemocyte proliferation with BgGRN. This marks the functional characterization of an endogenous growth factor of a gastropod mollusc, and provides direct evidence of gain of resistance in a snail-digenean infection model using a defined factor to induce snail resistance to infection. PMID:27114544

  6. The ecological differences between Bulinus beccari, the intermediate host of Schistsoma haematobium and Biomphalaria pfeifferi the intermediate host of S. mansoni in in Jazan Region, Saudi Arabia.

    PubMed

    Al-Sheikh, Adel H; Dagal, M A

    2011-12-01

    Bulinus beccari, intermediate host of Schistsoma haematobium, and Biomphalaria pfeifferi, intermediate host of S. mansoni have different geographical distribution in Jazan Region. The role of rain fall, ionic composition of water. water temperature and pH Grades were studied. Fluctuation of snail population densities were accompanied with corresponding fluctuation rates of rainfall. B. pfeifferi showed a wider and heavier shell than B. beccari, which might enable it to resist the effects of flash floods. B. beccari showed a higher tolerance of total dissolved solids and calcium carbonate than B. pfeifferi. Average maximum tolerated concentration of dissolved solids and calcium carbonate for B. beccari was 1254ppm and 813ppm, while that of B. pfeifferi was 455ppm and 603ppm. Average water temperature of B. beccari habitats was 25-36.3 degrees C while that of B. pfeifferi was 25-28 degrees C. No significant statistical difference in different pH grades was observed.

  7. Lichen endozoochory by snails.

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-13

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

  8. A large-scale experiment in the control of aquatic snails by the use of molluscicides on a sugar estate in the Northern Region of Tanganyika*

    PubMed Central

    Crossland, N. O.

    1963-01-01

    The author describes a large-scale experiment in which the molluscicide Bayer 73 (Bayluscide) was used in an attempt to eliminate Biomphalaria pfeifferi, the snail host of Schistosoma mansoni, from an irrigation system in Tanganyika. Applied at a concentration of 1 p.p.m., the molluscicide gave a very high kill of snails and much of the treated area remained completely free of vector snails for seven months after treatment. However, there were a few survivors in small pockets associated with a drainage area that became flooded during heavy rains coincident with the application of molluscicide. From these survivors a dramatic resurgence of snails occurred in some of the treated canals. This resurgence may be analogous to similar phenomena observed in some insecticide work. The suggestion is made that removal of parasites and predators, in particular trematode parasites, by a molluscicide might increase the snail's capacity for repopulation. Studies of the seasonal fluctuations of snail population density in an adjacent, but separate, irrigation system suggest that molluscicide applications would be more effective if timed to coincide with the end of the rainy seasons. ImagesFIG. 2 PMID:14103411

  9. Inquiry, Land Snails, and Environmental Factors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barrow, Lloyd H.; Krantz, Patrick D.

    2002-01-01

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

  10. Inhibition of cholinesterases and carboxylesterases of two invertebrate species, Biomphalaria glabrata and Lumbriculus variegatus, by the carbamate pesticide carbaryl.

    PubMed

    Kristoff, Gisela; Guerrero, Noemi R Verrengia; Cochón, Adriana C

    2010-01-31

    In this study, the effects of sublethal concentrations of the carbamate carbaryl on the cholinesterase (ChE) and carboxylesterase (CES) activities present in the oligochaete Lumbriculus variegatus and in the pigmented Biomphalaria glabrata gastropod were investigated. The results showed that ChE activity from both species was inhibited by in vivo and in vitro exposure to carbaryl, with EC(50) and IC(50) values approximately 20 times lower for the oligochaete than for the gastropod. On the other hand, the recovery process in uncontaminated media was more efficient in oligochaetes than in snails. Thus, in only 2h the oligochaetes showed no inhibition with respect to control values whereas the snails did not reach control values even after 48h of being in pesticide-free water. CES activity was investigated in whole body soft tissue homogenates using three different substrates: p-nitrophenyl butyrate, 1-naphthyl acetate (NA) and 2-NA. In addition, the presence of multiple CES isozymes in L. variegatus and B. glabrata extracts, with activity towards 1- and 2-NA, was confirmed by native polyacrylamide electrophoresis. In both species, the activities measured using the naphthyl substrates were higher than the activity towards p-nitrophenyl butyrate. In addition, B. glabrata showed a higher CES activity than L. variegatus independently of the substrate used. In L. variegatus, in vivo CES activity towards the different substrates was less sensitive to carbaryl inhibition than ChE activity. In contrast, in B. glabrata, CES activity towards p-nitrophenyl butyrate was inhibited at lower insecticide concentrations than ChE. The results of this study contribute to the knowledge of the sensitivity of non-target freshwater invertebrate Type B-esterases towards pesticides.

  11. EVALUATION OF THE MOLLUSCICIDAL POTENTIAL OF HYDROALCOHOLIC EXTRACTS OF Jatropha gossypiifolia Linnaeus, 1753 ON Biomphalaria glabrata (Say, 1818)

    PubMed Central

    Pereira, Adalberto Alves; França, Clícia Rosane Costa; Oliveira, Dorlam's da Silva; Mendes, Renato Juvino de Aragão; Gonçalves, José de Ribamar Santos; Rosa, Ivone Garros

    2014-01-01

    The action of extracts from the stem, leaves, and fruit of Jatropha gossypiifolia on Biomphalaria glabrata was studied by analyzing survival, feeding capacity and oviposition ability. The extracts were obtained by macerating the plant parts in 92% ethanol, which were then evaporated until a dry residue was obtained and phytochemically studied. The molluscicidal activity on B. glabrata was investigated using the procedures recommended by WHO (1965). The amount of food ingested and oviposition were measured during each experiment. The extract of leaves from J. gossypiifolia was shown to be a strong molluscicidal agent, causing 100% mortality of B. glabrata, even in the lowest concentration tested, of 25 ppm. Regarding the fruit extract, there was variation in the mortality, depending on the concentration used (100, 75, 50 and 25 ppm). The snails that were in contact with the fruit extract had significant reduction in feeding and number of embryos in comparison to the control. The stem extract did not present molluscicidal activity nor had any influence on the feeding and oviposition abilities of B. glabrata, in the concentrations tested. In conclusion, the extracts of leaves and fruits of J. gossypiifolia investigated in this work show molluscicidal effect and may be sources of useful compounds for the schistosomiasis control. PMID:25351545

  12. Biomphalysin, a new β pore-forming toxin involved in Biomphalaria glabrata immune defense against Schistosoma mansoni.

    PubMed

    Galinier, Richard; Portela, Julien; Moné, Yves; Allienne, Jean François; Henri, Hélène; Delbecq, Stéphane; Mitta, Guillaume; Gourbal, Benjamin; Duval, David

    2013-03-01

    Aerolysins are virulence factors belonging to the β pore-forming toxin (β-PFT) superfamily that are abundantly distributed in bacteria. More rarely, β-PFTs have been described in eukaryotic organisms. Recently, we identified a putative cytolytic protein in the snail, Biomphalaria glabrata, whose primary structural features suggest that it could belong to this β-PFT superfamily. In the present paper, we report the molecular cloning and functional characterization of this protein, which we call Biomphalysin, and demonstrate that it is indeed a new eukaryotic β-PFT. We show that, despite weak sequence similarities with aerolysins, Biomphalysin shares a common architecture with proteins belonging to this superfamily. A phylogenetic approach revealed that the gene encoding Biomphalysin could have resulted from horizontal transfer. Its expression is restricted to immune-competent cells and is not induced by parasite challenge. Recombinant Biomphalysin showed hemolytic activity that was greatly enhanced by the plasma compartment of B. glabrata. We further demonstrated that Biomphalysin with plasma is highly toxic toward Schistosoma mansoni sporocysts. Using in vitro binding assays in conjunction with Western blot and immunocytochemistry analyses, we also showed that Biomphalysin binds to parasite membranes. Finally, we showed that, in contrast to what has been reported for most other members of the family, lytic activity of Biomphalysin is not dependent on proteolytic processing. These results provide the first functional description of a mollusk immune effector protein involved in killing S. mansoni.

  13. Identification of protein components of egg masses indicates parental investment in immunoprotection of offspring by Biomphalaria glabrata (gastropoda, mollusca).

    PubMed

    Hathaway, Jennifer J M; Adema, Coen M; Stout, Barbara A; Mobarak, Charlotte D; Loker, Eric S

    2010-04-01

    The macromolecules contributed by the freshwater gastropod Biomphalaria glabrata, intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoni, to developing offspring inside egg masses are poorly known. SDS-PAGE fractionated egg mass fluids (EMF) of M line and BB02 B. glabrata were analyzed by MALDI-TOF (MS and tandem MS). A MASCOT database was assembled with EST data from B. glabrata and other molluscs to aid in sequence characterization. Of approximately 20 major EMF polypeptides, 16 were identified as defense-related, including protease inhibitors, a hemocyanin-like factor and tyrosinase (each with possible phenoloxidase activity), extracellular Cu-Zn SOD, two categories of C-type lectins, Gram-negative bacteria-binding protein (GNBP), aplysianin/achacin-like protein, as well as versions of lipopolysaccharide binding protein/bacterial permeability-increasing proteins (LBP/BPI) that differed from those previously described from hemocytes. Along with two sequences that were encoded by "unknown" ESTs, EMF also yielded a compound containing a vWF domain that is likely involved in defense and a polypeptide with homology to the Aplysia pheromone temptin. Further study of B. glabrata pheromones is warranted as these could be useful in efforts to control these schistosome-transmitting snails. Several of the EMF polypeptides were contained in the albumen gland, the organ that produces most EMF. Thus, parental investment of B. glabrata in immunoprotection of its offspring is indicated to be considerable.

  14. Evaluation of the molluscicidal potential of hydroalcoholic extracts of Jatropha gossypiifolia Linnaeus, 1753 on Biomphalaria glabrata (Say, 1818).

    PubMed

    Pereira Filho, Adalberto Alves; França, Clícia Rosane Costa; Oliveira, Dorlam's da Silva; Mendes, Renato Juvino de Aragão; Gonçalves, José de Ribamar Santos; Rosa, Ivone Garros

    2014-01-01

    The action of extracts from the stem, leaves, and fruit of Jatropha gossypiifolia on Biomphalaria glabrata was studied by analyzing survival, feeding capacity and oviposition ability. The extracts were obtained by macerating the plant parts in 92% ethanol, which were then evaporated until a dry residue was obtained and phytochemically studied. The molluscicidal activity on B. glabrata was investigated using the procedures recommended by WHO (1965). The amount of food ingested and oviposition were measured during each experiment. The extract of leaves from J. gossypiifolia was shown to be a strong molluscicidal agent, causing 100% mortality of B. glabrata, even in the lowest concentration tested, of 25 ppm. Regarding the fruit extract, there was variation in the mortality, depending on the concentration used (100, 75, 50 and 25 ppm). The snails that were in contact with the fruit extract had significant reduction in feeding and number of embryos in comparison to the control. The stem extract did not present molluscicidal activity nor had any influence on the feeding and oviposition abilities of B. glabrata, in the concentrations tested. In conclusion, the extracts of leaves and fruits of J. gossypiifolia investigated in this work show molluscicidal effect and may be sources of useful compounds for the schistosomiasis control.

  15. Susceptibility of Biomphalaria straminea from Peixe Angical dam, Tocantins, Brazil to infection with three strains of Schistosoma mansoni.

    PubMed

    Fernandez, Monica Ammon; Thiengo, Silvana Carvalho

    2010-07-01

    Environmental changes from water resource developmental projects affect the epidemiology of water-associated diseases, as well as malaria and schistosomiasis. Aiming to investigate the occurrence and distribution of freshwater snails of medical and veterinary importance in the area of influence of the Peixe Angical hydroelectric dam, a survey has been conducted over four years (2004-2008). The study has revealed the occurrence of populations of Biomphalaria straminea (Dunker) in all municipalities surrounding the lake. Studies on parasite-mollusc compatibility were undertaken using 35 populations of B. straminea, descendants of specimens obtained from that area and three strains of Schistosoma mansoni (Sambon) (BH, CM and CMO). The main results are as follows: (i) among the 1,314 specimens used, eight had been infected (infection index of 0.6%) with only the BH strain, (ii) for B. straminea populations, the mortality index was 6.8% and, depending on the strain used, the indexes were 4.6%, 8.49% and 19% with BH, CM and CMO strains, respectively, (iii) the infection indexes varied according to the B. straminea populations, ranging from 0-12.5% and (iv) the duration of the precercarial period varied from 25-49 days. These results, in addition to environmental and social changes that took place in the Peixe Angical dam region, indicate the possibility of B. straminea emerging as a schistosomiasis vector in this area.

  16. Extreme drought causes distinct water acidification and eutrophication in the Lower Lakes (Lakes Alexandrina and Albert), Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Siyue; Bush, Richard T.; Mao, Rong; Xiong, Lihua; Ye, Chen

    2017-01-01

    Droughts are set to increase in frequency and magnitude with climate change and water extraction, and understanding their influence on ecosystems is urgent in the Holocene. Low rainfall across the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) of Australia resulted in an unprecedented water level decline in the Lower Lakes (Lakes Alexandrina and Albert) at the downstream end of the river system. A comprehensive data covering pre-drought (2004-2006), drought (2007-2010) and post-drought (2010-2013) was firstly used to unravel drought effects on water quality in the contrasting main parts and margins of the two Lakes, particularly following water acidification resulting from acid sulfate soil oxidation. Salinity, nutrients and Chl-a significantly increased during the drought in the Lake main waterbody, while pH remained stable or showed minor shifts. In contrast to the Lake Alexandrina, total dissolved solid (TDS) and electrical conductivity (EC) during the post-drought more than doubled the pre-drought period in the Lake Albert as being a terminal lake system with narrow and shallow entrance. Rewetting of the exposed pyrite-containing sediment resulted in very low pH (below 3) in Lake margins, which positively contributed to salinity increases via SO42- release and limestone dissolution. Very acidic water (pH 2-3) was neutralised naturally by lake refill, but aerial limestone dosing was required for neutralisation of water acidity during the drought period. The Lower Lakes are characterized as hypereutrophic with much higher salinity, nutrient and algae concentrations than guideline levels for aquatic ecosystem. These results suggest that, in the Lower Lakes, drought could cause water quality deterioration through water acidification and increased nutrient and Chl-a concentrations, more effective water management in the lake catchment is thus crucial to prevent the similar water quality deterioration since the projected intensification of droughts. A comparative assessment on lake

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Air-water CO2 outgassing in the Lower Lakes (Alexandrina and Albert, Australia) following a millennium drought.

    PubMed

    Li, Siyue; Bush, Richard T; Ward, Nicholas J; Sullivan, Leigh A; Dong, Fangyong

    2016-01-15

    Lakes are an important source and sink of atmospheric CO2, and thus are a vital component of the global carbon cycle. However, with scarce data on potentially important subtropical and tropical areas for whole continents such as Australia, the magnitude of large-scale lake CO2 emissions is unclear. This study presents spatiotemporal changes of dissolved inorganic carbon and water - to - air interface CO2 flux in the two of Australia's largest connected, yet geomorphically different freshwater lakes (Lake Alexandrina and Lake Albert, South Australia), during drought (2007 to September-2010) and post-drought (October 2010 to 2013). Lake levels in the extreme drought were on average approximately 1m lower than long-term average (0.71 m AHD). Drought was associated with an increase in the concentrations of dissolved inorganic species, organic carbon, nitrogen, Chl-a and major ions, as well as water acidification as a consequence of acid sulfate soil (ASS) exposure, and hence, had profound effects on lake pCO2 concentrations. Lakes Alexandrina and Albert were a source of CO2 to the atmosphere during the drought period, with efflux ranging from 0.3 to 7.0 mmol/m(2)/d. The lake air-water CO2 flux was negative in the post-drought, ranging between -16.4 and 0.9 mmol/m(2)/d. The average annual CO2 emission was estimated at 615.5×10(6) mol CO2/y during the drought period. These calculated emission rates are in the lower range for lakes, despite the potential for drought conditions that shift the lakes from sink to net source for atmospheric CO2. These observations have significant implications in the context of predicted increasing frequency and intensity of drought as a result of climate change. Further information on the spatial and temporal variability in CO2 flux from Australian lakes is urgently warranted to revise the global carbon budget for lakes.

  19. Associations between trematode infections in cattle and freshwater snails in highland and lowland areas of Iringa Rural District, Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Nzalawahe, Jahashi; Kassuku, Ayub A; Stothard, J Russell; Coles, Gerald C; Eisler, Mark C

    2015-09-01

    The epidemiology of trematode infections in cattle was investigated within highland and lowland areas of Iringa Rural District, in southern Tanzania. Fecal samples were collected from 450 cattle in 15 villages at altitudes ranging from 696 to 1800 m above the sea level. Freshwater snails were collected from selected water bodies and screened for emergence of cercariae. The infection rates in cattle were Fasciola gigantica 28·2%, paramphistomes 62·8% and Schistosoma bovis 4·8%. Notably, prevalence of trematode infections in cattle was much higher in highland (altitude > 1500 m) as compared with lowland (altitude < 1500 m) areas and was statistically significant (P-value = 0·000) for F. gigantica and paramphistomes but not for S. bovis. The snails collected included Lymnaea natalensis, Bulinus africanus, Bulinus tropicus, Bulinus forskali, Biomphalaria pfeifferi, Melanoides tuberculata and Bellamya constricta with a greater proportion of highland (75%) than lowland (36%) water bodies harbouring snails. Altitude is a major factor shaping the epidemiology of F. gigantica and paramphistomes infections in cattle in Iringa Rural District with greater emphasis upon control needed in highland areas.

  20. Observations on bilharziasis and the potential snail hosts in the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville)

    PubMed Central

    McCullough, Fergus S.

    1964-01-01

    In 1962, the author conducted a preliminary investigation of bilharziasis in the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville), at the request of the Government, in order to review existing information and work done on bilharziasis, to assess the prevalence and distribution of the disease, to make observations on the potential snail hosts, and to propose further suitable studies and control measures. Although little time was available for this study, it appears reasonable to conclude that Schistosoma haematobium is confined to a few foci in the west of the country, the main snail host being a new subspecies of Bulinus (B.) truncatus. Intestinal bilharziasis is apparently very rare, but systematic stool surveys have not been done; S. mansoni may be, or become, endemic at Dolisie, where Biomphalaria camerunensis is abundant. The main factors governing the restricted distribution of bilharziasis are discussed. Bilharziasis control appears to merit relatively low priority compared with that due to several other diseases, and the author concludes that bilharziasis is unlikely to become widespread in future years unless there is major environmental change, although the intensity of transmission may increase in some present endemic foci. PMID:14163961

  1. The Development of Snail Control Methods on an Irrigated Sugar-Cane Estate in Northern Tanzania*

    PubMed Central

    Fenwick, A.

    1970-01-01

    In an attempt to prevent the transmission of Schistosoma mansoni on an irrigated sugar-cane estate, molluscicide experiments were carried out to find the optimum methods for controlling the intermediate-host snails, Biomphalaria pfeifferi. The ease of application of N-tritylmorpholine led to its adoption as the molluscicide of choice for the two separate irrigation systems on the estate. Experiments on the frequency and duration of molluscicide treatments were carried out, and from these it was concluded that 5-day applications of N-tritylmorpholine at 0.025 ppm every 7 weeks might lead to a break in transmission by control of the snails. In another set of trials, drainage ditches were treated alternately with N-tritylmorpholine and niclosamide ethanolamine salt, and although the chemicals differed only slightly in their effect, the latter—being ovicidal—was chosen to be applied at approximately 4 ppm by knapsack sprayer every 8 weeks. Extra treatment of small pools with the same compound was carried out during the long rains when irrigation was unnecessary and most of the canals were dry. It is pointed out that the effect of the control methods on S. mansoni transmission will need to be evaluated by studying the incidence of the disease in the population. PMID:5310954

  2. Demographic responses to multi-generation cadmium exposure in two strains of the freshwater gastropod, Biomphalaria glabrata.

    SciTech Connect

    Salice, Christopher J.; Miller, Thomas J.; Roesijadi, Guritno

    2008-08-20

    A life table response experiment (LTRE) was used to quantify the population-level effects of continuous, multi-generation cadmium exposure on two strains of the freshwater gastropod, Biomphalaria glabrata; the parasite resistant BS90 and parasite susceptible NMRI strains. Snails were exposed to waterborne cadmium for three consecutive generations. Survival, growth and reproduction were measured empirically and incorporated into a stage-based, deterministic population model. Cadmium significantly affected hatching success, time to maturity and juvenile and adult survival in both strains. There were significant effects of generation on fecundity, hatching success time to maturity and juvenile survival in NMRI and time to maturity and adult survival in BS90. Cadmium significantly affected the population growth rate, lambda (λ), in BS90. Cadmium, generation and the cadmium x generation interaction had significant effects on λ in NMRI. At the high cadmium exposure, λ for NMRI showed a decrease from generation 1 to generation 2 followed by and increase from generation 2 to 3. Lambda in high cadmium BS90 steadily decreased over the three generations while NMRI at this same concentration was similar to the controls. The results indicated that strain-specific differences in response to multi-generation cadmium exposure are evident in B. glabrata. Moreover, effects seen in the first generation are not necessarily indicative of effects in subsequent generations. Changes in λ over the course of the three-generation exposure suggest that acclimation and/or adaptation to cadmium may have occurred, particularly in NMRI at the high cadmium exposure level.

  3. Effects of azinphos-methyl exposure on enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidant defenses in Biomphalaria glabrata and Lumbriculus variegatus.

    PubMed

    Kristoff, Gisela; Verrengia Guerrero, Noemí R; Cochón, Adriana C

    2008-07-01

    Azinphos-methyl is an organophosphate insecticide used for pest control on a number of food crops in many parts of the world. The oligochaete Lumbriculus variegatus and pigmented and non-pigmented specimens of the gastropod Biomphalaria glabrata are freshwater invertebrates that have been recommended for contamination studies. Recently, it has been shown that L. variegatus worms exhibit a higher cholinesterase (ChE) activity and a greater sensitivity to in vivo ChE inhibition by azinphos-methyl than pigmented B. glabrata snails. The aims of the present study were (1) to investigate if, in addition to its anticholinesterase action, azinphos-methyl has also pro-oxidant activity in L. variegatus and B. glabrata, and (2) to examine if species that are highly susceptible to the neurotoxic effects of organophosphates also suffer a greater degree of oxidative stress. Therefore, total glutathione (t-GSH) levels and activities of cholinesterase (ChE), superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione S-transferase (GST), and glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH) were measured in the whole body soft tissue of organisms exposed for 48 and 96 h to a level of azinphos-methyl that produces 50% of inhibition on ChE. Results showed different patterns of antioxidant responses between the gastropods and the oligochaetes, and even between the two phenotypes of gastropods: (1) in exposed L. variegatus t-GSH levels increased and CAT and SOD activities decreased with respect to control organisms, (2) in pigmented gastropods, SOD decreased while CAT transiently diminished, and (3) in non-pigmented gastropods, SOD activity showed a biphasic response. GST and G6PDH were not altered by azinphos-methyl exposure. Of note, t-GSH levels were 4-fold times higher in L. variegatus than in both phenotypes of B. glabrata. This may suggest that GSH could play a more important role in antioxidant defense in L. variegatus than in B. glabrata.

  4. Desmettianosides A and B, bisdesmosidic furostanol saponins with molluscicidal activity from Yucca desmettiana.

    PubMed

    Diab, Yasser; Ioannou, Efstathia; Emam, Ahmed; Vagias, Constantinos; Roussis, Vassilios

    2012-05-01

    Bioactivity-guided separation of the aqueous methanolic extract of Yucca desmettiana leaves, which in a preliminary screening exhibited significant molluscicidal activity, led to the isolation and structure elucidation of two new steroidal saponins (1 and 2). The structures of desmettianosides A and B, identified as bisdesmosidic furostanol glycosides with six and five sugar units, respectively, were established by detailed spectroscopic analyses of their NMR and MS data. Compounds 1 and 2 exhibited high molluscicidal activity against Biomphalaria alexandrina snails with LC100 values of 6 and 11 mg/L, respectively.

  5. Small Molecules in the Cone Snail Arsenal.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-16

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

  6. Characterization of the Life Cycle of a Fish Eye Fluke, Austrodiplostomum ostrowskiae (Digenea: Diplostomidae), with Notes on Two Other Diplostomids Infecting Biomphalaria havanensis (Mollusca: Planorbidae) from Catfish Aquaculture Ponds in Mississippi, USA.

    PubMed

    Rosser, Thomas G; Alberson, Neely R; Khoo, Lester H; Woodyard, Ethan T; Pote, Linda M; Griffin, Matt J

    2016-04-01

    Ocular diplostomiasis is caused by trematode species in the family Diplostomidae, specifically those in the genera Austrodiplostomum, Diplostomum, and Tylodelphys. Diplostomid trematodes are globally distributed parasites of fish. Heavy infections of diplostomids that parasitize the eyes of fish can result in acute mortality while chronic infections are often characterized by impaired vision or blindness. In the southeastern United States, commercial catfish production is threatened by piscivorous birds and the many trematode species that parasitize them. The life cycles typically involve a piscivorous avian definitive host, a mollusk first intermediate host, and a fish second intermediate host. A survey of parasites infecting the snail host Biomphalaria havanensis (= B. obstructa ) in catfish production ponds was undertaken. Snails were collected from 2 separate ponds during the summer of 2014 and observed for the release of trematode cercariae. A total of 1,740 snails were collected. Three distinct longifurcate pharyngeate cercariae were observed and these cercariae were characterized morphologically and molecularly. Sequencing of ∼4,200 base pairs (bp) of the nuclear ribosomal genes and ∼450 bp of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase gene revealed 3 genetically distinct species. One morphotype shared 99-100% sequence identity with metacercariae from the aqueous and vitreous humors of gizzard shad Dorosoma cepedianum and channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus as well as an adult trematode, Austrodiplostomum ostrowskiae, a parasite of the double-crested cormorant Nannopterum auritus. The remaining 2 cercariae morphotypes shared 99-100% sequence identity with an unidentified Tylodelphys sp. and Austrodiplostomum sp. metacercaria from the brain and eyes of several freshwater fish. Herein we molecularly link the cercaria, metacercaria, and adult stage of the life cycle of A. ostrowskiae, identifying the snail host for this parasite, in addition to providing notes

  7. Molluscicidal and schistosomicidal activities of a steroidal saponin containing fraction from Dracaena fragrans (L.).

    PubMed

    Tadros, M M; Ghaly, N S; Moharib, M N

    2008-08-01

    The steroidal saponin-containing fraction from methanolic extract of Dracaena fragrans (Family: Agavaceae) was tested for molluscicidal and ovicidal activities against Biomphalaria alexandrina and Bulinus truncatus, the snail vectors of Schistosoma mansoni and S. haematobium in Egypt, respectively. It was also tested for schistosemicidal activity in vitro on adult S. mansoni and against the free-living miracidia and cercariae of the parasite. The homogenated soft body of B. alexandrina was used to determine the effect of the saponin fraction on total protein, albumen, aminotransferase enzymes and acetylcholin esterase. The results showed that the saponin fraction had considerable molluscicidal activity; LC50 & LC90 were 2.7 ppm & 3.7 ppm for B. alexandrina and 2 ppm & 2.5 ppm for B. truncatus, respectively. Snail eggs did not hatch in concentration as low as half molluscicidal LC50 (1.35 ppm). The LC50 killed all miracidia and cercariae in 30 seconds and after 22 & 40 minutes at a very low concentration (0.165 ppm) respectively, and had in vitro lethal effect on adults with LC50 18.4 microg/ml 4 days post-exposure. The snail tissue homogenate showed significant increase in total protein content & albumen, in aminotransferases and acetylcholinesterase activities.

  8. Interaction between the intermediate host of Schistosomiasis in Brazil Biomphalaria glabrata (Planorbidae) and a possible competitor Melanoides tuberculata (Thiaridae): I. Laboratory experiments.

    PubMed

    Giovanelli, Alexandre; Vieira, Marcus Vinícius; Coelho da Silva, Cesar Luiz Pinto Ayres

    2002-04-01

    The biological control of Biomphalaria glabrata, intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoni, is one the accepted options to fight schistosomiasis. One of the most promising candidates to control B. glabrata is the snail Melanoides tuberculata, a potential competitor. However, the mechanisms of interaction between the two species are not clear. Our objective is to determine if M. tuberculata indeed compete with B. glabrata, using two laboratory experiments. In Experiment 1, we tested the effect of the presence of M. tuberculata on the fecundity and mortality rates of B. glabrata. In Experiment 2, we tested if there was a direct or indirect interaction between the two species. In Experiment 1, M. tuberculata was eliminated after the peak in reproductive activity of B. glabrata. In Experiment 2, B. glabrata produced more egg masses when raised with M. tuberculata. The conditions leading to this unexpected positive effect of M. tuberculata on the fecundity of B. glabrata need further clarification, but emphasize that detailed studies of the interaction between these species in the conditions of the local environment should be considered.

  9. Susceptibility of Biomphalaria straminea (Dunker, 1848) from Serra da Mesa Dam, Goiás, Brazil to infection with three strains of Schistosoma mansoni Sambon, 1907.

    PubMed

    Fernandez, Monica Ammon; Thiengo, Silvana Carvalho

    2002-01-01

    Ecological changes from water resources development projects often affect the epidemiology of water-associated diseases. In order to investigate the occurrence and distribution of freshwater snails of medical and veterinary importance in the area of influence of the Serra da Mesa Hydroelectric a survey has been performed since 1997 and revealed the occurrence of well-established populations of Biomphalaria straminea (Dunker, 1848) in the 8 municipalities surrounding the lake. Areas of epidemiologic risk for schistosomiasis were selected and studies of parasite-mollusc compatibility were undertaken using specimens from 19 populations of B. straminea and 3 strains (CM, EC and PB) originally isolated from B. straminea. Among 1,135 specimens used 15 became infected (infection index of 1.3%) and 8 populations were susceptible to the schistosome strains: B. straminea from Campinorte (Castelão, susceptible to CM and EC strains, and Planeta Agua, EC strain), Colinas (Tocantinzinho river, CM and EC strains), Minaçu (Canabrava river, EC strain), Niquelândia (Codemin, CM and PB strains, and Almas river, CM strain), Uruaçu (touristic area, PB strain) and Santa Rita do Novo Destino (Maranhão river, CM and EC strains). These results, associated with marked social and ecological changes occurred, strongly suggest the possibility of B. straminea coming to act as a vector of schistosomiasis in the studied area.

  10. Identification and characterisation of functional expressed sequence tags-derived simple sequence repeat (eSSR) markers for genetic linkage mapping of Schistosoma mansoni juvenile resistance and susceptibility loci in Biomphalaria glabrata

    PubMed Central

    Ittiprasert, Wannaporn; Miller, André; Su, Xin-zhuan; Mu, Jianbing; Bhusudsawang, Ganlayarat; Ukoskit, Kitipat; Knight, Matty

    2013-01-01

    Biomphalaria glabrata susceptibility to Schistosoma mansoni has a strong genetic component, offering the possibility for investigating host–parasite interactions at the molecular level, perhaps leading to novel control approaches. The identification, mapping and molecular characterisation of genes that influence the outcome of parasitic infection in the intermediate snail host is, therefore, seen as fundamental to the control of schistosomiasis. To better understand the evolutionary processes driving disease resistance/susceptibility phenotypes, we previously identified polymorphic random amplification of polymorphic DNA and genomic simple sequence repeats from B. glabrata. In the present study we identified and characterised polymorphic expressed simple sequence repeats markers (Bg-eSSR) from existing B. glabrata expressed sequence tags. Using these markers, and with previously identified genomic simple sequence repeats, genetic linkage mapping for parasite refractory and susceptibility phenotypes, the first known for B. glabrata, was initiated. Data mining of 54,309 expressed sequence tag, produced 660 expressed simple sequence repeats of which dinucleotide motifs (TA)n were the most common (37.88%), followed by trinucleotide (29.55%), mononucleotide (18.64%) and tetranucleotide (10.15%). Penta- and hexanucleotide motifs represented <3% of the Bg-eSSRs identified. While the majority (71%) of Bg-eSSRs were monomorphic between resistant and susceptible snails, several were, however, useful for the construction of a genetic linkage map based on their inheritance in segregating F2 progeny snails derived from crossing juvenile BS-90 and NMRI snails. Polymorphic Bg-eSSRs assorted into six linkage groups at a logarithm of odds score of 3. Interestingly, the heritability of four markers (Prim1_910, Prim1_771, Prim6_1024 and Prim7_823) with juvenile snail resistance were, by t-test, significant (P < 0.05) while an allelic marker, Prim24_524, showed linkage with the

  11. Snail modulates cell metabolism in MDCK cells

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-03-22

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

  12. Celss nutrition system utilizing snails

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  13. CELSS nutrition system utilizing snails.

    PubMed

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

    1993-08-01

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

  14. Fungal farming in a snail

    PubMed Central

    Silliman, Brian R.; Newell, Steven Y.

    2003-01-01

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

  15. Production of apple snail for space diet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  16. Inquiry, Land Snails, and Environmental Factors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barrow, Lloyd H.; Krantz, Patrick D.

    2005-01-01

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

  17. Modeling apple snail population dynamics on the Everglades landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Large-scale snail control trial with trifenmorph in the Gezira irrigation scheme, Sudan

    PubMed Central

    Amin, M. A.; Fenwick, A.; Osgerby, J. M.; Warley, A. P.; Wright, A. N.

    1976-01-01

    A large-scale field trial was carried out during December 1973 to assess the effect of trifenmorph on Bulinus truncatus and Biomphalaria pfeifferi in 379 000 feddans (≈159 000 ha) of the Gezira irrigation system in the Sudan. The commercial formulation used (Frescon) is an emulsifiable concentrate containing 16.5% trifenmorph. Five dispensers were used to add the commercial product to the water continuously for 7.5 days; 18 121 litres were used to treat 28.4 million m3 of water. In addition, each minor canal was hand-sprayed from the tail to 300 m upstream of the last open field outlet pipe; 360 litres of the commercial formulation were used for this operation. A minimum concentration of 0.035 mg trifenmorph per litre of water was produced at the head of each minor canal. The use of caged snails showed that a concentration as low as 0.015 mg/litre was sufficient to produce 100% mortality in B. truncatus in 7.5 days; this is equivalent to a concentration × time product of 0.12 mg/litre days. PMID:1088406

  19. Cercarial Dermatitis Transmitted by Exotic Marine Snail

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  20. Ichthyotoxicity caused by marine cone snail venoms?

    PubMed

    Mebs, Dietrich; Kauferstein, Silke

    2005-09-01

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

  1. Field tests of hexabutyldistannoxane (TBTO) in slow-release formulations against Biomphalaria spp

    PubMed Central

    Gilbert, B.; Leme, L. A. Paes; Ferreira, A. M.; Bulhões, M. S.; Castleton, C.

    1973-01-01

    Hexabutyldistannoxane (TBTO) in an asphalt base was found to retain molluscicidal activity for more than a year in the field. It was not deactivated by immersion in mud or by drying and exposure to the sun. Complete elimination of planorbid snails was achieved and maintained when repopulation pressure was sporadic, but control of a continuously entering population was not practicable. Fixing the product at the site is important, and a formulation in fragments of rubber that floated failed after 1-2 months. TBTO apparently acts cumulatively in snails, but is only initially toxic to aquatic insects and fish, which return to repopulate treated areas that remain snail-free. PMID:4548389

  2. Studies on the effect of pollution on Lake Manzala ecosystem in Port-Said, Damietta and Dakahlia Governorates Egypt.

    PubMed

    El-Khayat, Hanaa M M; Mahmoud, Kadria M A; Gaber, Hanan S; Abdel-Hamid, Hoda; Abu Taleb, Hoda M A

    2015-04-01

    This work studied how pollution impacts the ecosystem of Lake Manzala by determination of physicochemical parameters, studying biodiversity of aquatic plants and macroinvertebrates, and determining bioaccumulation of Pb, Cu, Cd & Zn in some major organisms, Biomphalaria alexandrina and Melanoides tuberculata snails and Oreochromis niloticus fish. The more near to Mediterranean Sea and to the industrial area, Port-Said and Damietta sites showed higher dissolved oxygen and conductivity than Dakahlia sites. Distribution percentage of Eichhornia crassipes is high among Port-Said and Dakahlia sites of 100 and 88%, respectively, while Lemna giba is the most abundant among Damietta sites of 60%. The maximum macroinvertebrate taxa richness was obtained at Gammalya, Dakahlia of 16 species while the maximum abundance was registered at Annanya, Damietta of 591 organisms. Gastropoda are the most distributed organisms in Lake Manzala followed by Hemiptera and Plecoptera then shrimps and scud. All the medically important snails, B. alexandrina, B. truncatus and L. natalensis were recorded in Dakahlia, but only B. alexandrina was in Damietta and Port-Said sites. The collected water samples from Damietta sites showed the highest significant Cu & Cd concentration while Port-Said samples showed the highest Pb concentration and Dakahlia showed the highest Zn concentration. The metals concentrations were higher in snail tissue and in fish liver, kidney and most of muscle samples as compared in surface water. The higher metal bioaccumulation was determined in snails collected from sites showed higher water metals concentrations. Fish muscle showed the least residues than liver and kidney for all the measured metals. Pb and Cd were more accumulated in kidneys, Cu was more accumulated in liver and Zn was accumulated in all examined fish parts in descending order as follows Kidney > liver > muscle.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tiwari, Farindra; Singh, D. K.

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

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

    PubMed

    Wang, Fei; Dai, Jian-Rong

    2012-12-01

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

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-01

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

  7. Aquatic snails, passive hosts of Mycobacterium ulcerans.

    PubMed

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

    2004-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Wada, Shinichiro; Chiba, Satoshi

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Modeling snail breeding in a bioregenerative life support system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kovalev, V. S.; Manukovsky, N. S.; Tikhomirov, A. A.; Kolmakova, A. A.

    2015-07-01

    The discrete-time model of snail breeding consists of two sequentially linked submodels: "Stoichiometry" and "Population". In both submodels, a snail population is split up into twelve age groups within one year of age. The first submodel is used to simulate the metabolism of a single snail in each age group via the stoichiometric equation; the second submodel is used to optimize the age structure and the size of the snail population. Daily intake of snail meat by crewmen is a guideline which specifies the population productivity. The mass exchange of the snail unit inhabited by land snails of Achatina fulica is given as an outcome of step-by-step modeling. All simulations are performed using Solver Add-In of Excel 2007.

  10. Snail promotes an invasive phenotype in lung carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Novel pharmacological targets from Indian cone snails.

    PubMed

    Ramasamy, M Santhana; Manikandan, S

    2011-02-01

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

  12. Vector snail control in Qalyub, Egypt

    PubMed Central

    van der Schalie, Henry

    1958-01-01

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

  13. Mate desertion in the snail kite

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1988-01-01

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

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-01-26

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Najarian, H. H.

    1961-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stewart, Arthur J.; Ryon, Michael G.

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Solem, Alan; Yochelson, Ellis Leon

    1979-01-01

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

  2. Microhabitats within venomous cone snails contain diverse actinobacteria.

    PubMed

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

    2009-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. An evaluation of techniques used in estimating snail populations

    PubMed Central

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

    1958-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  8. Modeling snail breeding in Bioregenerative Life Support System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  9. Barbatic Acid Offers a New Possibility for Control of Biomphalaria Glabrata and Schistosomiasis.

    PubMed

    Martins, Mônica Cristina Barroso; Silva, Monique Costa; Silva, Hianna Arely Milca Fagundes; Silva, Luanna Ribeiro Santos; Albuquerque, Mônica Camelo Pessoa de Azevedo; Aires, André Lima; Falcão, Emerson Peter da Silva; Pereira, Eugênia C; de Melo, Ana Maria Mendonça Albuquerque; da Silva, Nicácio Henrique

    2017-03-31

    This study evaluated the biological activity of an ether extract and barbatic acid (BAR) from Cladia aggregata on embryos and adult mollusks of Biomphalaria glabrata, cercariae of Schistosoma mansoni and the microcrustacean Artemia salina. The ether extract and BAR were obtained by successive extractions with diethyl ether. The obtained extracts were analyzed using thin-layer chromatography (TLC), high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), proton nuclear magnetic resonance (¹H-NMR) and infrared (IR) spectroscopy. The results demonstrated that the ether extract exerted embryotoxic effects at 50 and 100 µg/mL and molluscicidal effects at 20 and 25 µg/mL. BAR exhibited no embryotoxicity, and its molluscicidal concentration was equal to that of the ether extract. However, after 60 min of exposure, 1 µg/mL BAR presented cercaricidal activity against the parasite S. mansoni at the second larval stage. Neither substance induced toxicity against A. salina. These results indicate the potential molluscicidal activities of the ether extract and BAR against B. glabrata and S. mansoni cercariae. In addition to these effects, there was a lack of toxicity against the aquatic environment and no damage to the biota, indicating the potential of these products for large-scale control and/or eradication of schistosomiasis.

  10. Susceptibility of Biomphalaria glabrata submitted to concomitant infection with Angiostrongylus costaricensis and Schistosoma mansoni.

    PubMed

    Guerino, L R; Carvalho, J F; Magalhães, L A; Zanotti-Magalhães, E M

    2016-09-26

    The easy adaptation of Angiostrongylus costaricensis, nematode responsible for abdominal angiostrongyliasis to several species of terrestrial and freshwater molluscs and the differences observed in the interactions of trematodes with their intermediate hosts have induced us to study the concomitant infection of Biomphalaria glabrata with Schistosoma mansoni and A. costaricensis. Prior exposure of B. glabrata to A. costaricensis (with an interval of 48 hours), favored the development of S. mansoni, observing higher infection rate, increased release of cercariae and increased survival of molluscs, when compared to molluscs exposed only to S. mansoni. Prior exposure of B. glabrata to A. costaricensis and then to S. mansoni also enabled the development of A. costaricensis since in the ninth week of infection, higher amount of A. costaricensis L3 larvae was recovered (12 larvae / mollusc) while for molluscs exposed only to A. costaricensis, the number of larvae recovered was lower (8 larvae / mollusc). However, pre-exposure of B. glabrata to S. mansoni (with an interval of 24 hours), and subsequently exposure to A. costaricensis proved to be very harmful to B. glabrata, causing extensive mortality of molluscs, reduced pre-patent period to release cercariae and greater recovery of L3 A. costaricensis larvae.

  11. Larvicidal Activity against Aedes aegypti and Molluscicidal Activity against Biomphalaria glabrata of Brazilian Marine Algae.

    PubMed

    Guedes, Elíca Amara Cecília; de Carvalho, Cenira M; Ribeiro Junior, Karlos Antonio Lisboa; Lisboa Ribeiro, Thyago Fernando; de Barros, Lurdiana Dayse; de Lima, Maria Raquel Ferreira; Prado Moura, Flávia de Barros; Goulart Sant'ana, Antônio Euzebio

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated the biological activities of five benthic marine algae collected from Northeastern Region of Brazil. The tested activities included larvicidal activity against Aedes aegypti, molluscicidal activity against Biomphalaria glabrata, and toxicity against Artemia salina. Extracts of Ulva lactuca (Chlorophyta), Padina gymnospora, Sargassum vulgare (Phaeophyta), Hypnea musciformis, and Digenea simplex (Rhodophyta) were prepared using different solvents of increasing polarity, including dichloromethane, methanol, ethanol, and water. Of the extracts screened, the dichloromethane extracts of H. musciformis and P. gymnospora exhibited the highest activities and were subjected to bioassay-guided fractionation in hexane and chloroform. The chloroform fractions of the P. gymnospora and H. musciformis extracts showed molluscicidal activity at values below 40  μ g·mL(-1) (11.1460  μ g·mL(-1) and 25.8689  μ g·mL(-1), resp.), and the chloroform and hexane fractions of P. gymnospora showed larvicidal activity at values below 40  μ g·mL(-1) (29.018  μ g·mL(-1) and 17.230  μ g·mL(-1), resp.). The crude extracts were not toxic to A. salina, whereas the chloroform and hexane fractions of P. gymnospora (788.277  μ g·mL(-1) and 706.990  μ g·mL(-1)) showed moderate toxicity, indicating that the toxic compounds present in these algae are nonpolar.

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

    PubMed

    Zheng, Shimei; Zhou, Qixing

    2017-01-01

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

  13. Crawling beneath the free surface: Water snail locomotion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-08-01

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

  14. Schistosomiasis Control Using Piplartine against Biomphalaria glabrata at Different Developmental Stages

    PubMed Central

    Rapado, Ludmila Nakamura; Pinheiro, Alessandro de Sá; Lopes, Priscila Orechio de Moraes Victor; Fokoue, Harold Hilarion; Scotti, Marcus Tullius; Marques, Joaquim Vogt; Ohlweiler, Fernanda Pires; Borrely, Sueli Ivone; Pereira, Carlos Alberto de Bragança; Kato, Massuo Jorge; Nakano, Eliana; Yamaguchi, Lydia Fumiko

    2013-01-01

    Background Schistosomiasis is one of the most significant diseases in tropical countries and affects almost 200 million people worldwide. The application of molluscicides to eliminate the parasite's intermediate host, Biomphalaria glabrata, from infected water supplies is one strategy currently being used to control the disease. Previous studies have shown a potent molluscicidal activity of crude extracts from Piper species, with extracts from Piper tuberculatum being among the most active. Methods and Findings The molluscicidal activity of P. tuberculatum was monitored on methanolic extracts from different organs (roots, leaves, fruit and stems). The compounds responsible for the molluscicidal activity were identified using 1H NMR and ESIMS data and multivariate analyses, including principal component analysis and partial least squares. These results indicated that the high molluscicidal activity displayed by root extracts (LC50 20.28 µg/ml) was due to the presence of piplartine, a well-known biologically-active amide. Piplartine was isolated from P. tuberculatum root extracts, and the molluscicidal activity of this compound on adults and embryos of B. glabrata was determined. The compound displayed potent activity against all developmental stages of B. glabrata. Next, the environmental toxicity of piplartine was evaluated using the microcrustacean Daphnia similis (LC50 7.32 µg/ml) and the fish Danio rerio (1.69 µg/ml). The toxicity to these organisms was less compared with the toxicity of niclosamide, a commercial molluscicide. Conclusions The development of a new, natural molluscicide is highly desirable, particularly because the commercially available molluscicide niclosamide is highly toxic to some organisms in the environment (LC50 0.25 µg/ml to D. similis and 0.12 µg/ml to D. rerio). Thus, piplartine is a potential candidate for a natural molluscicide that has been extracted from a tropical plant species and showed less toxic to environment. PMID

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  17. Some aspects of snail ecology in South Africa

    PubMed Central

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

    1958-01-01

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

  18. Snails, stable iostopes, and southwestern desert paleoclimates

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  1. Reproductive Ecology of the Giant African Snail in South Florida: Implications for Eradication Programs

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Giant African snail (Achatina fulica (Bowdich, 1822)), an important invasive snail, was recently found in South Florida, USA. An extensive eradication effort was initiated consisting of pesticide applications, debris removal and hand collections. We studied the reproduction capacity and population dynamics of snails collected from 22 populations for two years to help evaluate the likely success of the eradication program. A total of 23,890 snails, ranging from 25–131 mm, were measured, dissected and the number of eggs in each snail counted. Gravid snails ranged from 48–128 mm. Only 5% of snails had eggs, which were found year round. As the snails increased in size, they were more likely to include reproducing individuals. However, the percentage of gravid snails peaked when snails were approximately 90 mm. Although more prevalent, small (<65 mm) adults contributed fewer eggs to the population than the larger snails. We evaluated the effect of control measures on six populations having >1000 adult snails and used data from the two largest populations to investigate how environmental factors (temperature, humidity, and rainfall) interacted with population dynamics and control measures. More snails were collected in weeks with high humidity and more gravid snails were collected when the temperature was higher. The addition of metaldehyde pesticides had the greatest impact on population dynamics by reducing snail numbers. In populations with fewer snails, their numbers were already declining before the use of metaldehyde, although the new treatment accelerated the process. As a consequence of the eradication program, egg-producing snails were no longer collected from most populations by the end of the study. The aggressive and persistent control efforts apparently lead to reduced populations of egg producing snails, eventually resulting in local extinctions of this important pest. PMID:27861504

  2. Reproductive Ecology of the Giant African Snail in South Florida: Implications for Eradication Programs.

    PubMed

    Roda, Amy; Nachman, Gösta; Weihman, Scott; Yong Cong, Mary; Zimmerman, Fredrick

    2016-01-01

    Giant African snail (Achatina fulica (Bowdich, 1822)), an important invasive snail, was recently found in South Florida, USA. An extensive eradication effort was initiated consisting of pesticide applications, debris removal and hand collections. We studied the reproduction capacity and population dynamics of snails collected from 22 populations for two years to help evaluate the likely success of the eradication program. A total of 23,890 snails, ranging from 25-131 mm, were measured, dissected and the number of eggs in each snail counted. Gravid snails ranged from 48-128 mm. Only 5% of snails had eggs, which were found year round. As the snails increased in size, they were more likely to include reproducing individuals. However, the percentage of gravid snails peaked when snails were approximately 90 mm. Although more prevalent, small (<65 mm) adults contributed fewer eggs to the population than the larger snails. We evaluated the effect of control measures on six populations having >1000 adult snails and used data from the two largest populations to investigate how environmental factors (temperature, humidity, and rainfall) interacted with population dynamics and control measures. More snails were collected in weeks with high humidity and more gravid snails were collected when the temperature was higher. The addition of metaldehyde pesticides had the greatest impact on population dynamics by reducing snail numbers. In populations with fewer snails, their numbers were already declining before the use of metaldehyde, although the new treatment accelerated the process. As a consequence of the eradication program, egg-producing snails were no longer collected from most populations by the end of the study. The aggressive and persistent control efforts apparently lead to reduced populations of egg producing snails, eventually resulting in local extinctions of this important pest.

  3. Snails and trematode infection after Indian Ocean tsunami in Phang-Nga Province, southern Thailand.

    PubMed

    Sri-Aroon, Pusadee; Chusongsang, Phiraphol; Chusongsang, Yupa; Pornpimol, Surinthwong; Butraporn, Piyarat; Lohachit, Chantima

    2010-01-01

    The tsunami and non-tsunami affected areas of Takua Pa District, Phang-Nga Province were investigated for fresh- and brackish-water snails that transmit human parasitic diseases during 2006 and 2007. Among 46 snail species found, 17 species of 8 families were freshwater snails, 28 species of another 7 families were brackish-water snails, and 1 species was a land snail. Of these species, 11 freshwater snails, 4 brackish-water snails and 1 land snail were of medical importance. The fresh-water snails were Pomacea canaliculata, Pila angelica, P. gracilis, P. polita, Filopaludina (S.) martensi, F. (F.) s. polygramma, Melanoides tuberculata, Indoplanorbis exuxtus, Radix rubiginosa, Helicorbis umbilicalis, Gyraulus convexiusculus. Four brackish-water snails were Cerithidea cingulata, C. djadjarensis, C. alata, Sermyla riqueti and Achatina fulica was the land snail. I. exutus, M. tuberculata and F. (F.) s. polygramma harbored Xiphidio, Microcercus, Furocercus, Echinostome cercariae, and cercaria without eyespots or tail with hair. Three species of brackish-water snails, Cerithidia cingulata, C. djadjariensis, and C. alata presented with 6 types of trematode cercariae and rediae. Knowledge of medically important snails and their parasitic diseases, and prevention were given to Takua Pa people by poster, pamphlets and broadcasting through community radio.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sykes, P.W.

    1987-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Morii, Yuta; Prozorova, Larisa; Chiba, Satoshi

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-11-01

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

  10. 75 FR 35424 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed Reclassification of the Tulotoma Snail...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-06-22

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  12. Molluscicidal activity of Physalis angulata L. extracts and fractions on Biomphalaria tenagophila (d'Orbigny, 1835) under laboratory conditions.

    PubMed

    dos Santos, José Augusto A; Tomassini, Therezinha Coelho B; Xavier, Deise Cristina Drummond; Ribeiro, Ivone Maria; da Silva, Melissa Teixeira G; de Morais Filho, Zenildo Buarque

    2003-04-01

    The main objective of this research is to evaluate the molluscicide activity of Physalis angulata L. Biomphalaria tenagophila specimens under laboratory conditions. Extracts and fractions were supplied by the Laborat rio de Qu mica de Produtos Naturais, Farmanguinhos-Fiocruz. Experiments were performed according to the methodology described by the World Health Organization for molluscicide tests using the concentrations from 0.1 to 500 mg/l of the extracts, fractions and of a pool of physalins modified steroids present in this species. The results show that ethyl acetate and acetone extracts from the whole plant, the ethanolic extracts of the roots and the physalins pool from stems and leaves were active. Only the whole plant extracts were available in sufficient quantity for the determination of LD50 and LD90 values.

  13. Controlled Chaos of Polymorphic Mucins in a Metazoan Parasite (Schistosoma mansoni) Interacting with Its Invertebrate Host (Biomphalaria glabrata)

    PubMed Central

    Roger, Emmanuel; Grunau, Christoph; Pierce, Raymond J.; Hirai, Hirohisa; Gourbal, Benjamin; Galinier, Richard; Emans, Rémi; Cesari, Italo M.; Cosseau, Céline; Mitta, Guillaume

    2008-01-01

    Invertebrates were long thought to possess only a simple, effective and hence non-adaptive defence system against microbial and parasitic attacks. However, recent studies have shown that invertebrate immunity also relies on immune receptors that diversify (e.g. in echinoderms, insects and mollusks (Biomphalaria glabrata)). Apparently, individual or population-based polymorphism-generating mechanisms exists that permit the survival of invertebrate species exposed to parasites. Consequently, the generally accepted arms race hypothesis predicts that molecular diversity and polymorphism also exist in parasites of invertebrates. We investigated the diversity and polymorphism of parasite molecules (Schistosoma mansoni Polymorphic Mucins, SmPoMucs) that are key factors for the compatibility of schistosomes interacting with their host, the mollusc Biomphalaria glabrata. We have elucidated the complex cascade of mechanisms acting both at the genomic level and during expression that confer polymorphism to SmPoMuc. We show that SmPoMuc is coded by a multi-gene family whose members frequently recombine. We show that these genes are transcribed in an individual-specific manner, and that for each gene, multiple splice variants exist. Finally, we reveal the impact of this polymorphism on the SmPoMuc glycosylation status. Our data support the view that S. mansoni has evolved a complex hierarchical system that efficiently generates a high degree of polymorphism—a “controlled chaos”—based on a relatively low number of genes. This contrasts with protozoan parasites that generate antigenic variation from large sets of genes such as Trypanosoma cruzi, Trypanosoma brucei and Plasmodium falciparum. Our data support the view that the interaction between parasites and their invertebrate hosts are far more complex than previously thought. While most studies in this matter have focused on invertebrate host diversification, we clearly show that diversifying mechanisms also exist on

  14. Biomphalaria straminea (Mollusca: Planorbidae) as an intermediate host of Drepanocephalus spp. (Trematoda: Echinostomatidae) in Brazil: a morphological and molecular study.

    PubMed

    Pinto, Hudson A; Griffin, Matt J; Quiniou, Sylvie M; Ware, Cynthia; Melo, Alan L

    2016-01-01

    Species of trematodes belonging to the genus Drepanocephalus are intestinal parasites of piscivorous birds, primarily cormorants (Phalachrocorax spp.), and are widely reported in the Americas. During a 4-year malacological study conducted on an urban lake in Brazil, 27-collar-spined echinostome cercariae were found in 1665/15,459 (10.7 %) specimens of Biomphalaria straminea collected. The cercariae were identified as Drepanocephalus spp. by sequencing the 18S (SSU) rDNA, ITS1/5.8S rDNA/ITS2 (ITS), 28S (LSU) rDNA region, cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (CO1), and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide dehydrogenase subunit 1 (ND1) markers. In experimental life cycle studies, metacercariae developed in laboratory-reared guppies (Poecilia reticulata); however, attempts to infect birds and rodents were unsuccessful. Two closely related morphotypes of cercariae were characterized. One species, identified by molecular markers as a genetic variant of Drepanocephalus auritus (99.9 % similarity at SSU, ITS, LSU; 97.2 % at CO1; 95.8 % at ND1), differs slightly from an archived North American isolate of this species also sequenced as part of this study. A second species, putatively identified as Drepanocephalus sp., has smaller cercariae and demonstrates significant differences from D. auritus at the CO1 (11.0 %) and ND1 (13.6 %) markers. Aspects related to the morphological taxonomic identification of 27-collar-spined echinostome metacercariae are briefly discussed. This is the first report of the involvement of molluscs of the genus Biomphalaria in the transmission of Drepanocephalus and the first report of D. auritus in South America.

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

    PubMed

    Boettiger, Alistair Nicol; Levine, Michael

    2013-01-31

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

  16. MTA3 regulates CGB5 and Snail genes in trophoblast

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-04-19

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Bourdeau, Paul E

    2009-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1993-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Gustafson, Kyle D; Bolek, Matthew G

    2016-03-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. 78 FR 12346 - Jennings Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Morro Shoulderband Snail, Community of Los...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-22

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1984-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  12. A snail-eating snake recognizes prey handedness

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  15. Snail Shells in a Practical Application of Statistical Procedures

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gill, John; Howell, Pauline

    1985-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Perry, D M

    1987-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-10-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-03-28

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

  6. [Dynamic transmission of Schistosoma by Biomphalaria pfeifferi in the region of Man in Côte d'Ivoire].

    PubMed

    Yapi Yapi, G; Touré, M; Boka, O M; Tia, E; Boby, O A-M

    2014-12-01

    Intestinal schistosomiasis by Schistosoma mansoni is a parasitary affection transmitted in West Africa by the mollusc Biomphalaria pfeifferi. Transmission dynamic of schistosomiasis by Biomphalaria pfeifferi has seldom been investigated in Côte d'Ivoire. In the framework of a research project on the epidemiology of schistosomiasis in the natural forest ecosystems, this study was performed longitudinally over a period of three years in Man region, in western Côte d'Ivoire. The trial set up from 1986 to 1989 and the project was funded by the World Health Organization. The general objective is to design a strategy of schistosomiasis control based on chemotherapy. The approach aims at interrupting or considerably reducing the reinfections, prolonging in that way the duration of the positive effects of the chemotherapy. The specific objectives assigned to the work consisted in studying the dynamic of the B. pfeifferi population and the infection of B. pfeifferi. To achieve our objectives, diverse methods (i: the molluscs sampling by two prospectors during 15 minutes per study site and ii: individual isolation of molluscs in test tubes with 5 or 10 mL of filtered water and exposure to light) have been used. They enabled us in the sampling of the intermediary host molluscs of Schistosoma and seek their infections. The results show that apparent high densities of B. pfeifferi can be observed at the end of the dry season and at the beginning of rainy seasons. In addition, the variation of relative abundance of intermediary host molluscs of Schistosoma is significantly influenced by rainfall and the system of water ways. The period of transmission of the infection to man is six months at Gueupleu village and ten months at Botonguiné village. In order to optimize the effect of chemotherapy in these sites of transmission characterized by a high level of endemy (68 %), an extreme mobility of human populations and a multiplicity of contamination sites, this study should not

  7. Metabolic acceleration in the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Experimental and molecular study of cercariae of Clinostomum sp. (Trematoda: Clinostomidae) from Biomphalaria spp. (Mollusca: Planorbidae) in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Pinto, H A; Caffara, M; Fioravanti, M L; Melo, A L

    2015-02-01

    Despite the large number of reports of species of Clinostomum from vertebrate hosts in South America, studies evaluating the molluscan transmitters of these parasites are scarce. In the present study, clinostomatoid cercariae shed from 0.02% (4/17,485) specimens of Biomphalaria spp., collected at the Pampulha reservoir, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil, were used for experimental infection of Poecilia reticulata . Samples of cercariae from molluscs and metacercariae experimentally obtained from fish were subjected to morphological and molecular analyses and compared with species of Clinostomum reported in the Americas. The cercariae and metacercariae, here identified as Clinostomum sp., present general morphology similar to that reported for Clinostomum marginatum , however, from molecular point of view, differ significantly from North American C. marginatum and other species of Clinostomum reported in South America. These results suggest that the diversity of Clinostomum found in Brazil may be underestimated. Additional studies aimed at molecular characterization of South American species of Clinostomum, including the finding of specimens with sequences similar to that reported for C. marginatum in North America are required.

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Yang, Xiangshan; Shi, Ranran; Zhang, Jing

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1987-01-01

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

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Athawale, Madhura S; Reddy, S Raghupathi Rami

    2002-11-01

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

  19. Multiple paternity in the freshwater snail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1997-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-06

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

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

    PubMed

    Konuma, Junji; Nagata, Nobuaki; Sota, Teiji

    2011-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Biswas, Hirak; Longmore, Gregory D.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hodgson, Alan N.; Dickens, John

    2012-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Stewart, Julia; Gilly, William F

    2005-10-01

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

  14. Impact of cigarette butt leachate on tidepool snails.

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-15

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Bergey, Elizabeth A; Figueroa, Laura L

    2016-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Eeva, Tapio; Rainio, Kalle; Suominen, Otso

    2010-09-01

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

  19. 77 FR 54605 - Longworth Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Morro Shoulderband Snail, Community of Los...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-09-05

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

  20. 76 FR 41811 - Kellaway Proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Morro Shoulderband Snail, San Luis...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-07-15

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

  1. 78 FR 14587 - Kelley-McDonough Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Morro Shoulderband Snail, Community...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-03-06

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stewart, Timothy W.

    2007-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  5. 75 FR 52272 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removal of the Utah (Desert) Valvata Snail From...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-08-25

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

  6. 76 FR 41810 - Francis Proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Morro Shoulderband Snail, Los Osos...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-07-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1994-06-01

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

  8. 50 CFR 17.45 - Special rules-snails and clams. [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

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

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

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

  10. 50 CFR 17.45 - Special rules-snails and clams. [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

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

  11. 50 CFR 17.45 - Special rules-snails and clams. [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

  15. 50 CFR 17.45 - Special rules-snails and clams. [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-12-10

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Solntseva, S V; Nikitin, V P

    2008-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Solntseva, S V; Nikitin, v P

    2008-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Munn, Adam J; Treloar, Marguerite

    2016-12-26

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

  6. Snails and slugs damaging the cut foliage, Cordyline fruticosa and use of biorationals towards their management.

    PubMed

    Karthiga, S; Jegathambigai, V; Karunarathne, M D S D; Svinningen, A; Mikunthan, G

    2012-01-01

    Snails and slugs became a serious molluscan pests and damaging leaves of purple compacta, Cordyline fruticosa extensively grown for export at Green Farm Ltd, Sri Lanka. The export quality of leaves of C. fruticosa is lowered due to feeding of snails, Achantina fulica (Bowditch), Opeas pyrgula Schmacker and Boettgerx and Helix aspersa Muller and slugs incurring great loss to cut foliage industry. Paucity of information is available to understand snails and slugs damage and their host range that limits to develop suitable management practices. Therefore this study was aimed to determine damage, alternate hosts and to develop possible management practices. Snails and slugs damaged mainly fresh leaves of C. fruticosa. The severity of damage was 44.5% in infested field based on the visual rating method. Leaves of cassava, sting bean, okra, cucumber, passion fruit, papaya, Glyricidia and shoe flower were identified as alternate hosts and neem, Ixora and Dracaena spp were not served as alternate hosts. Among the plant materials tested for their repellence against snails and slugs revealed that neem seed powder was an irritant; neem leaves, mint leaves and Lantana leaves were acted as anti-feedant and Salt as chemical repellent. Among the barrier and bait experiments Bordeaux mixture exhibited a significant barrier effect against horizontal movement of snails. Baits made out of Metaldehyde bait, vegetables bait and jaggery had a strong effect in repelling the snails and slugs. Mulching with Madhuca longifolia punnac was the best to reduce the snails and slugs population compared to M. longifolia seed kernel powder. Oil from M. longifolia failed to reduce their population. Hence the results revealed that saponin containing M. longifolia punnac helped to eliminate snails and slugs when used as mulch. Metaldehyde, vegetable and jaggery baits are also useful to minimize their colonization further. Hence combination of these methods will help to prevent snails and slugs from

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Fruson, Lee; Dalesman, Sarah; Lukowiak, Ken

    2012-10-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hermes-Lima, M; Storey, K B

    1995-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  14. Exposure to parasites increases promiscuity in a freshwater snail

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Vetter, Irina; Lewis, Richard J

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jianping; Zhou, Yunzhe; Yang, Yonggang

    2015-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-06-01

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

  2. Nicotinic acid inhibits glioma invasion by facilitating Snail1 degradation

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  3. Snail Family Transcription Factors Are Implicated in Thyroid Carcinogenesis

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1989-01-01

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

  5. Inhibition of cholinesterase activity by azinphos-methyl in two freshwater invertebrates: Biomphalaria glabrata and Lumbriculus variegatus.

    PubMed

    Kristoff, Gisela; Guerrero, Noemi Verrengia; de D'Angelo, Ana María Pechén; Cochón, Adriana C

    2006-05-15

    In this study, some biochemical features and the extent of inhibition induced by the organophosphorous pesticide azinphos-methyl on the cholinesterase (ChE) activity present in whole soft tissue of two freshwater invertebrate species, the gastropod Biomphalaria glabrata and the oligochaete Lumbriculus variegatus were investigated. Both invertebrate organisms presented marked differences in ChE activity, type of enzymes and subcellular location. Acetylthiocholine was the substrate preferred by B. glabrata ChE. The enzyme activity was located preferentially in the supernatant of 11,000 x g centrifugation and was inhibited by increasing concentrations of substrate but not by iso-OMPA. Results showed that there were progressive inhibitions of the enzyme activity, with values 21%, 59%, 72%, 76%, and 82% lower than the control at levels of 1, 10, 50, 100 and 1000 microM of eserine, respectively. In contrast, L. variegatus ChE activity was distributed both in the supernatant and pellet fractions, with values approximately 6 and 20 times higher than B. glabrata, respectively. Studies with butyrylthiocholine and iso-OMPA suggested that about 72% of the activity corresponded to butyrylcholinesterase. A strong enzyme inhibition (88-94%) was found at low eserine concentrations (1-10 microM). ChE activity from L. variegatus and B. glabrata was inhibited by in vivo exposure to azinphos-methyl suggesting that both species can form the oxon derivative of this pesticide. However, both invertebrate species showed a very different susceptibility to the insecticide. The NOEC and EIC50 values were 500 and 1000 times lower for L. variegatus than for B. glabrata, reflecting that the oligochaetes were much more sensitive organisms. A different pattern was also observed for the recovery of the enzymatic activity when the organisms were transferred to clean water. The recuperation process was faster for the oligochaetes than for the gastropods. Mortality was not observed in either of the

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

    PubMed

    Thomas, J D

    1995-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    O'Dwyer, Katie; Poulin, Robert

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1995-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pickford, Martin

    1995-04-01

    This study deals with the Neogene and extant land snails of tropical East Africa and their implications for interpreting the paleoenvironments of the numerous localities at which they have been found. Of major significance to the study is the intimate association between the terrestrial molluscs and the rich mammalian faunas, hominoids included, of East Africa. Thus, palaeoecological reconstructions based on land snails are directly applicable to the mammalian faunas. Palaeoecological reconstructions are proposed for most of the Lower and Middle Miocene hominoids, including Proconsul, Rangwapithecus, Limnopithecus, Micropithecus, Nyanzapithecus, Kenyapithecus and others, and for the mid-Pliocene Australopithecus from Laetoli, Tanzania. The departure point for the palaeoecological reconstructions is a comprehensive study of extant terrestrial molluscs of East Africa, the habitat preferences of which are well documented. All the fossil gastropods studied comprise extant genera and even species, so the usual problems regarding the application of actualism to fossil assemblages is avoided. Furthermore, the fossil gastropod assemblages resemble extant ones, confirming their utility for such reconstructions. Among the parameters examined are rainfall, altitude, vegetation cover and type and zoogeography. A further point of interest is that the samples are more than adequate for the purposes of the study, many of the fossil localities having yielded several thousand specimens. Finally, more than 40% of the extant genera of East Africa have now been recognized in the fossil state. The molluscs are thus, by far, the best represented biological group known in the fossil record of Africa and as such hold great potential for understanding the past. This study ends with reconstructions of the palaeoecology of numerous fossiliferous localities in East Africa which have yielded molluscs and mammals. Changes through the geological column are documented and the habitat preferences

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-23

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Control of Biomphalaria pfeifferi population and schistosomiasis transmission in Ethiopia using the soap berry endod (Phytolacca dodecandra), with special emphasis on application methods.

    PubMed

    Abebe, F; Erko, B; Gemetchu, T; Gundersen, S G

    2005-10-01

    The endod (Phytolacca dodecandra)-based schistosomiasis mansoni control project was implemented in Ethiopia between 1994 and 1999. The aim was to develop an effective, cheap and sustainable method of controlling schistosomiasis. First, different formulations of the Ethiopian endod strain 44 (E-44) were compared for potency in the laboratory. Secondly, spray and drip-feeding methods were compared for simplicity and effectiveness in the field. Lastly, the efficacy of endod powder soap was compared with the endod spray method. In Bati stream, endod powder soap was distributed to the residents every weekend at laundry sites. In Worke stream, endod was sprayed along a 1-km stretch of the stream at 3-month intervals. No endod was applied in Harbu stream. The immediate and long-term effects of endod application on the snail population and schistosomal infection were determined. Using the spray method, 100% snail mortality could be obtained, and it was simpler and more effective than the drip-feeding method. Snail mortality ranged from 20 to 100% using endod soap. There was a progressive decline in the snail population and infection in Bati stream compared with Worke stream, mainly due to sustained use of endod soap. The advantages and disadvantages of the different endod delivery systems are discussed.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-08

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1979-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Agrahari, P; Singh, D K

    2010-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Deheyn, Dimitri D.; Wilson, Nerida G.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  10. Solar radio-transmitters on snail kites in Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1989-01-01

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

  11. Evening roosts of the snail kite in Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sykes, P.W.

    1985-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sykes, P.W.

    1985-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1987-07-01

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

  14. Optimal designs of mollusk shells from bivalves to snails

    PubMed Central

    Okabe, Takuya; Yoshimura, Jin

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Becker, Stefan; Terlau, Heinrich

    2008-05-01

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

  17. Trematode parasites infect or die in snail hosts

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Diversity increases biomass production for trematode parasites in snails

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Schamp, Brandon; Horsák, Michal; Hájek, Michal

    2010-07-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lorda, Julio; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ekundayo, J A; Benka-Coker, M O

    1994-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  6. The Giant Snail Achatina fulica as a Candidate Species for Advanced Bioregenerative Life Support Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verbitskaya, Olga; Manukovsky, Nickolay; Kovalev, Vladimir

    Maintenance of crew health is of paramount importance for long duration space missions. Weight loss, bone and calcium loss, increased exposure to radiation and oxidative stress are critical concerns that need to be alleviated. Rational nutrition is a resource for mitigating the influence of unfavorable conditions. The insufficiency of vegetarian diet has been examined by the Japanese, Chinese and U.S. developers of bioregenerative life support systems (BLSS). Hence, inclusion of animals such as silkworm in BLSS looks justified. The giant snail is currently under studying as a source of animal food and a species of reducing waste in BLSS. An experimental system to conduct cultivation of giant snail was developed. It was established that there are some reasons to use the giant snails in BLSS. It could be a source of delicious meat. A. fulica is capable of consuming a wide range of feedstuffs including plant residues. Cultivation of snail in the limited volume does not demand the big expenditures of labor. The production of crude edible biomass and protein of A. fulica was 60±15 g and 7±1.8 g respectively per 1 kg of consumed forage (fresh salad leaves, root and leafy tops of carrot). To satisfy daily animal protein needs (30-35 g) a crewman has to consume 260-300 g of snail meat. To produce such amount of snail protein it takes to use 4.3-5.0 kg of plant forage daily. The nutritional composition of A. fulica whole bodies (without shell) and a meal prepared in various ways was quantitatively determined. Protein, carbohydrate, fat acid and ash content percentages were different among samples prepared in various ways. The protein content was highest (68 %) in the dry sample washed with CH3 COOH solution. Taking into consideration the experimental results a conceptual configuration of BLSS with inclusion of giant snail was developed and mass flow rates between compartments were calculated. Keywords: animal food; protein; giant snail; BLSS; conceptual configuration.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

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

  11. Bacterial diversity in different regions of gastrointestinal tract of Giant African Snail (Achatina fulica)

    PubMed Central

    Pawar, Kiran D; Banskar, Sunil; Rane, Shailendra D; Charan, Shakti S; Kulkarni, Girish J; Sawant, Shailesh S; Ghate, Hemant V; Patole, Milind S; Shouche, Yogesh S

    2012-01-01

    The gastrointestinal (GI) tract of invasive land snail Achatina fulica is known to harbor metabolically active bacterial communities. In this study, we assessed the bacterial diversity in the different regions of GI tract of Giant African snail, A. fulica by culture-independent and culture-dependent methods. Five 16S rRNA gene libraries from different regions of GI tract of active snails indicated that sequences affiliated to phylum γ-Proteobacteria dominated the esophagus, crop, intestine, and rectum libraries, whereas sequences affiliated to Tenericutes dominated the stomach library. On phylogenetic analysis, 30, 27, 9, 27, and 25 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) from esophagus, crop, stomach, intestine, and rectum libraries were identified, respectively. Estimations of the total bacterial diversity covered along with environmental cluster analysis showed highest bacterial diversity in the esophagus and lowest in the stomach. Thirty-three distinct bacterial isolates were obtained, which belonged to 12 genera of two major bacterial phyla namely γ-Proteobacteria and Firmicutes. Among these, Lactococcus lactis and Kurthia gibsonii were the dominant bacteria present in all GI tract regions. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) analysis indicated significant differences in bacterial load in different GI tract regions of active and estivating snails. The difference in the bacterial load between the intestines of active and estivating snail was maximum. Principal component analysis (PCA) of terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism suggested that bacterial community structure changes only in intestine when snail enters estivation state. PMID:23233413

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Agrahari, P; Singh, D K

    2013-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1988-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Tomono, Takumi; Yano, Kentaro; Ogihara, Takuo

    2017-03-17

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-28

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

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

    PubMed

    Peña, Silvia C; Pocsidio, Glorina N

    2007-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foote, B. A.

    2005-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Yeung, Norine W; Hayes, Kenneth A

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Molluscicidal and Mosquitocidal activities of the essential oils of Thymus capitatus Hoff. et Link. and Marrubium vulgare L.

    PubMed

    Salama, Maha M; Taher, Eman E; El-Bahy, Mohamed M

    2012-01-01

    Steam distillation of essential oils of aerial parts of Thymus capitatus and Marrubium vulgare L. collected at North cost of Egypt yielded 0.5% and 0.2%, respectively. Results of Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analyses of the two samples identified 96.27% and 90.19% of the total oil composition for T. capitatus and M. vulgare, respectively. The two oil samples appeared dominated by the oxygenated constituents (88.22% for T. capitatus and 57.50% for M. vulgare), composed of phenols, mainly carvacrol (32.98%) and thymol (32.82%) in essential oil of T. capitatus, and thymol (34.55%) in essential oil of M. vulgare. It was evaluated the molluscicidal activity of T. capitatus and M. vulgare essential oils on adult and eggs of Biomphalaria alexandrina as well as their mosquitocidal activity on Culex pipiens. The LC50 and LC90 of T. capitatus essential oil against adult snails was 200 and 400 ppm/3hrs, respectively, while for M. vulgare it was 50 and 100 ppm/3hrs, respectively. Moreover, M. vulgare showed LC100 ovicidal activity at 200 ppm/24 hrs while T. capitatus oil showed no ovicidal activity. It was verified mosquitocidal activity, with LC50 and LC90 of 100 and 200 ppm/12hrs respectively for larvae, and 200 and 400 ppm/12hrs respectively for pupae of C. pipiens.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Sanford, Eric; Worth, David J

    2010-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Westerfield, M; Lux, H D

    1982-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Weng, Mo

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-08

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Sunita, Kumari; Singh, D. K.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-10

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

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

    PubMed

    Madsen, H; Hung, N M

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-28

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-23

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El-Amri, F. A.

    2003-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Gomot de Vaufleury, A; Pihan, F

    2000-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Tepler, Sarah; Mach, Katharine; Denny, Mark

    2011-04-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-12-31

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-12-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Cherniack, E Paul

    2011-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Brönmark, Christer; Lakowitz, Thomas; Hollander, Johan

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Jakubowski, Jennifer A; Kelley, Wayne P; Sweedler, Jonathan V; Gilly, William F; Schulz, Joseph R

    2005-08-01

    Venom peptides from two species of fish-hunting cone snails (Conus striatus and Conus catus) were characterized using microbore liquid chromatography coupled with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight-mass spectrometry and electrospray ionization-ion trap-mass spectrometry. Both crude venom isolated from the venom duct and injected venom obtained by milking were studied. Based on analysis of injected venom samples from individual snails, significant intraspecific variation (i.e. between individuals) in the peptide complement is observed. The mixture of peptides in injected venom is simpler than that in the crude duct venom from the same snail, and the composition of crude venom is more consistent from snail to snail. While there is animal-to-animal variation in the peptides present in the injected venom, the composition of any individual's injected venom remains relatively constant over time in captivity. Most of the Conus striatus individuals tested injected predominantly a combination of two neuroexcitatory peptides (s4a and s4b), while a few individuals had unique injected-venom profiles consisting of a combination of peptides, including several previously characterized from the venom duct of this species. Seven novel peptides were also putatively identified based on matches of their empirically derived masses to those predicted by published cDNA sequences. Profiling injected venom of Conus catus individuals using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight-mass spectrometry demonstrates that intraspecific variation in the mixture of peptides extends to other species of piscivorous cone snails. The results of this study imply that novel regulatory mechanisms exist to select specific venom peptides for injection into prey.

  19. Physiological, Diurnal and Stress-Related Variability of Cadmium-Metallothionein Gene Expression in Land Snails.

    PubMed

    Pedrini-Martha, Veronika; Niederwanger, Michael; Kopp, Renate; Schnegg, Raimund; Dallinger, Reinhard

    2016-01-01

    The terrestrial Roman snail Helix pomatia has successfully adapted to strongly fluctuating conditions in its natural soil habitat. Part of the snail's stress defense strategy is its ability to express Metallothioneins (MTs). These are multifunctional, cysteine-rich proteins that bind and inactivate transition metal ions (Cd(2+), Zn(2+), Cu(+)) with high affinity. In Helix pomatia a Cadmium (Cd)-selective, inducible Metallothionein Isoform (CdMT) is mainly involved in detoxification of this harmful metal. In addition, the snail CdMT has been shown to also respond to certain physiological stressors. The aim of the present study was to investigate the physiological and diurnal variability of CdMT gene expression in snails exposed to Cd and non-metallic stressors such as desiccation and oxygen depletion. CdMT gene expression was upregulated by Cd exposure and desiccation, whereas no significant impact on the expression of CdMT was measured due to oxygen depletion. Overall, Cd was clearly more effective as an inducer of the CdMT gene expression compared to the applied non-metallic stressors. In unexposed snails, diurnal rhythmicity of CdMT gene expression was observed with higher mRNA concentrations at night compared to daytime. This rhythmicity was severely disrupted in Cd-exposed snails which exhibited highest CdMT gene transcription rates in the morning. Apart from diurnal rhythmicity, feeding activity also had a strong impact on CdMT gene expression. Although underlying mechanisms are not completely understood, it is clear that factors increasing MT expression variability have to be considered when using MT mRNA quantification as a biomarker for environmental stressors.

  20. Mucus trail tracking in a predatory snail: olfactory processing retooled to serve a novel sensory modality

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Kinjal; Shaheen, Nagma; Witherspoon, Jessica; Robinson, Natallia; Harrington, Melissa A

    2014-01-01

    Introduction The rosy wolfsnail (Euglandina rosea), a predatory land snail, finds prey snails and potential mates by following their mucus trails. Euglandina have evolved unique, mobile lip extensions that detect mucus and aid in following trails. Currently, little is known of the neural substrates of the trail-following behavior. Methods To investigate the neural correlates of trail following we used tract-tracing experiments in which nerves were backfilled with either nickel-lysine or Lucifer yellow, extracellular recording of spiking neurons in snail procerebra using a multielectrode array, and behavioral assays of trail following and movement toward the source of a conditioned odor. Results The tract-tracing experiments demonstrate that in Euglandina, the nerves carrying mucus signals innervate the same region of the central ganglia as the olfactory nerves, while the electrophysiology studies show that mucus stimulation of the sensory epithelium on the lip extensions alters the frequency and pattern of neural activity in the procerebrum in a manner similar to odor stimulation of the olfactory epithelium on the optic tentacles of another land snail species, Cantareus aspersa (previously known as Helix aspersa). While Euglandina learn to follow trails of novel chemicals that they contact with their lip extensions in one to three trials, these snails proved remarkably resistant to associative learning in the olfactory modality. Even after seven to nine pairings of odorant molecules with food, they showed no orientation toward the conditioned odor. This is in marked contrast to Cantareus snails, which reliably oriented toward conditioned odors after two to three trials. Conclusions The apparent inability of Euglandina to learn to associate food with odors and use odor cues to drive behavior suggests that the capability for sophisticated neural processing of nonvolatile mucus cues detected by the lip extensions has evolved at the expense of processing of odorant

  1. Suppression of Na+/K+-ATPase activity during estivation in the land snail Otala lactea.

    PubMed

    Ramnanan, Christopher J; Storey, Kenneth B

    2006-02-01

    Entry into the hypometabolic state of estivation requires a coordinated suppression of the rate of cellular ATP turnover, including both ATP-generating and ATP-consuming reactions. As one of the largest consumers of cellular ATP, the plasma membrane Na+/K+-ATPase is a potentially key target for regulation during estivation. Na+/K+-ATPase was investigated in foot muscle and hepatopancreas of the land snail Otala lactea, comparing active and estivating states. In both tissues enzyme properties changed significantly during estivation: maximal activity was reduced by about one-third, affinity for Mg.ATP was reduced (Km was 40% higher), and activation energy (derived from Arrhenius plots) was increased by approximately 45%. Foot muscle Na+/K+-ATPase from estivated snails also showed an 80% increase in Km Na+ and a 60% increase in Ka Mg2+ as compared with active snails, whereas hepatopancreas Na+/K+-ATPase showed a 70% increase in I50 K+ during estivation. Western blotting with antibodies recognizing the alpha subunit of Na+/K+-ATPase showed no change in the amount of enzyme protein during estivation. Instead, the estivation-responsive change in Na+/K+-ATPase activity was linked to posttranslational modification. In vitro incubations manipulating endogenous kinase and phosphatase activities indicated that Na+/K+-ATPase from estivating snails was a high phosphate, low activity form, whereas dephosphorylation returned the enzyme to a high activity state characteristic of active snails. Treatment with protein kinases A, C or G could all mediate changes in enzyme properties in vitro that mimicked the effect of estivation, whereas treatments with protein phosphatase 1 or 2A had the opposite effect. Reversible phosphorylation control of Na+/K+-ATPase can provide the means of coordinating ATP use by this ion pump with the rates of ATP generation by catabolic pathways in estivating snails.

  2. Seasonal modulation of free radical metabolism in estivating land snails Helix aspersa.

    PubMed

    Ramos-Vasconcelos, Gabriella R; Cardoso, Luciano A; Hermes-Lima, Marcelo

    2005-02-01

    We investigated the regulation of free radical metabolism in Helix aspersa snails during a cycle of 20-day estivation and 24-h arousal in summer in comparison with estivation/arousal in winter-snails. In winter-snails (J. Exp. Biol. 206, 675-685, 2003), we had already observed an increase in the selenium-dependent glutathione-peroxidase (Se-GPX) activity in foot muscle and hepatopancreas and in the contents of hepatopancreas GSH-equivalents (GSH-eq=GSH+2 GSSG) during estivation compared with 24-h aroused snails. Summer-estivation prompted a 3.6-fold increase in Se-GPX activity in hepatopancreas, though not in foot muscle. Total-superoxide dismutase and catalase activities in hepatopancreas decreased (by 30-40%) during summer-estivation; however, no changes occurred in the activities of glutathione reductase, glutathione S-transferase and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase in the two organs. GSH-eq levels were increased (by 54%) in foot muscle during estivation, but were unchanged in hepatopancreas. In contrast with winter-snails, oxidative stress markers (lipid peroxidation, carbonyl protein, and the GSSG/GSH-eq ratio) were unaltered during estivation/arousal in summer. These results demonstrate that seasonality modulates not only the absolute activities/levels of antioxidants (enzymes and GSH-eq) in H. aspersa, but also the regulatory process that controls the snail's antioxidant capacity during estivation/arousal. These results suggest that H. aspersa has an "internal clock" controlling the regulation of free radical metabolism in the different seasons.

  3. KSHV-Mediated Regulation of Par3 and SNAIL Contributes to B-Cell Proliferation

    PubMed Central

    Jha, Hem C.; Sun, Zhiguo; Upadhyay, Santosh K.; El-Naccache, Darine W.; Singh, Rajnish K.; Sahu, Sushil K.; Robertson, Erle S.

    2016-01-01

    Studies have suggested that Epithelial–Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) and transformation is an important step in progression to cancer. Par3 (partitioning-defective protein) is a crucial factor in regulating epithelial cell polarity. However, the mechanism by which the latency associated nuclear antigen (LANA) encoded by Kaposi's Sarcoma associated herpesvirus (KSHV) regulates Par3 and EMTs markers (Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition) during viral-mediated B-cell oncogenesis has not been fully explored. Moreover, several studies have demonstrated a crucial role for EMT markers during B-cell malignancies. In this study, we demonstrate that Par3 is significantly up-regulated in KSHV-infected primary B-cells. Further, Par3 interacted with LANA in KSHV positive and LANA expressing cells which led to translocation of Par3 from the cell periphery to a predominantly nuclear signal. Par3 knockdown led to reduced cell proliferation and increased apoptotic induction. Levels of SNAIL was elevated, and E-cadherin was reduced in the presence of LANA or Par3. Interestingly, KSHV infection in primary B-cells led to enhancement of SNAIL and down-regulation of E-cadherin in a temporal manner. Importantly, knockdown of SNAIL, a major EMT regulator, in KSHV cells resulted in reduced expression of LANA, Par3, and enhanced E-cadherin. Also, SNAIL bound to the promoter region of p21 and can regulate its activity. Further a SNAIL inhibitor diminished NF-kB signaling through upregulation of Caspase3 in KSHV positive cells in vitro. This was also supported by upregulation of SNAIL and Par3 in BC-3 transplanted NOD-SCID mice which has potential as a therapeutic target for KSHV-associated B-cell lymphomas. PMID:27463802

  4. Physiological changes in Biomphalaria glabrata Say, 1818 (Pulmonata: Planorbidae) caused by sub-lethal concentrations of the latex of Euphorbia splendens var. hislopii N.E.B (Euphorbiaceae).

    PubMed

    Mello-Silva, Clélia Christina; Vasconcellos, Maurício Carvalho de; Pinheiro, Jairo; Rodrigues, Maria de Lurdes de Azevedo

    2006-02-01

    Molluscides have been used as one of the strategies to control schistosomiasis. Many plant extracts with molluscidal effects have been tested, but the action of the latex of Euphorbia splendens var. hislopii is considered the most promising because it meets the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO). The objective of this study was to determine the lethal dose and identify the effects of the different doses of latex of E. splendens var. hislopii on the physiology of Biomphalaria glabrata submitted to treatment for 24 h. The concentrations of glucose, uric acid and total proteins in the hemolymph and of glycogen in the digestive gland and cephalopodal mass were determined. The LD50 value was 1 mg/l. The highest escape index was found to be at a concentration of 0.6 mg/l. The results showed that the latex of E. splendens var. hislopii caused a sharp reduction in the reserves of glycogen in the digestive gland and elevation of the protein content in the hemolymph of B. glabrata.

  5. Linking calcification by exotic snails to stream inorganic carbon cycling.

    PubMed

    Hotchkiss, Erin R; Hall, Robert O

    2010-05-01

    Biotic calcification is rarely considered in freshwater C budgets, despite calculations suggesting that calcifying animals can alter inorganic C cycling. Most studies that have quantified biocalcification in aquatic ecosystems have not directly linked CO(2) fluxes from biocalcification with whole-ecosystem rates of inorganic C cycling. The freshwater snail, Melanoides tuberculata, has achieved a high abundance and 37.4 g biomass m(-2) after invading Kelly Warm Springs in Grand Teton National Park. This high biomass suggests that introduced populations of Melanoides may alter ecosystem processes. We measured Melanoides growth rates and biomass to calculate the production of biomass, shell mass, and CO(2). We compared Melanoides biomass and inorganic C production with ecosystem C pools and fluxes, as well as with published rates of CO(2) production by other calcifying organisms. Melanoides calcification in Kelly Warm Springs produced 12.1 mmol CO(2) m(-2) day(-1) during summer months. We measured high rates of gross primary productivity and respiration in Kelly Warm Springs (-378 and 533 mmol CO(2) m(-2) day(-1), respectively); CO(2) produced from biocalcification increased net CO(2) production in Kelly Warm Springs from 155 to 167 mmol CO(2) m(-2) day(-1). This rate of CO(2) production via biocalcification is within the published range of calcification by animals. But these CO(2) fluxes are small when compared to ecosystem C fluxes from stream metabolism. The influence of animals is relative to ecosystem processes, and should always be compared with ecosystem fluxes to quantify the importance of a specific animal in its environment.

  6. Sex determination and gender expression: Reproductive investment in snails.

    PubMed

    Koene, Joris M

    2017-02-01

    Sex determination is generally seen as an issue of importance for separate-sexed organisms; however, when considering other sexual systems, such as hermaphroditism, sex allocation is a less-binary form of sex determination. As illustrated here, with examples from molluscs, this different vantage point can offer important evolutionary insights. After all, males and females produce only one type of gamete, whereas hermaphrodites produce both. In addition, sperm and accessory gland products are donated bidirectionally. For reciprocal mating, this is obvious since sperm are exchanged within one mating interaction; but even unilaterally mating species end up mating in both sexual roles, albeit not simultaneously. With this in mind, I highlight two factors that play an important role in how reproductive investment is divided in snails: First, the individual's motivation to preferentially donate rather than receive sperm (or vice versa) leads to flexible behavioral performance, and thereby investment, of either sex. Second, due to the presence of both sexual roles within the same individual, partners are potentially able to influence investment in both sexual functions of their partner to their own benefit. The latter has already led to novel insights into how accessory gland products may evolve. Moreover, the current evidence points towards different ways in which allocation to reproduction can be changed in simultaneous hermaphrodites. These often differ from the separate-sexed situation, highlighting that comparison across different sexual systems may help identify commonalities and differences in physiological, and molecular mechanisms as well as evolutionary patterns. Mol. Reprod. Dev. 84: 132-143, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Molecular Evolution of Freshwater Snails with Contrasting Mating Systems.

    PubMed

    Burgarella, Concetta; Gayral, Philippe; Ballenghien, Marion; Bernard, Aurélien; David, Patrice; Jarne, Philippe; Correa, Ana; Hurtrez-Boussès, Sylvie; Escobar, Juan; Galtier, Nicolas; Glémin, Sylvain

    2015-09-01

    Because mating systems affect population genetics and ecology, they are expected to impact the molecular evolution of species. Self-fertilizing species experience reduced effective population size, recombination rates, and heterozygosity, which in turn should decrease the efficacy of natural selection, both adaptive and purifying, and the strength of meiotic drive processes such as GC-biased gene conversion. The empirical evidence is only partly congruent with these predictions, depending on the analyzed species, some, but not all, of the expected effects have been observed. One possible reason is that self-fertilization is an evolutionary dead-end, so that most current selfers recently evolved self-fertilization, and their genome has not yet been strongly impacted by selfing. Here, we investigate the molecular evolution of two groups of freshwater snails in which mating systems have likely been stable for several millions of years. Analyzing coding sequence polymorphism, divergence, and expression levels, we report a strongly reduced genetic diversity, decreased efficacy of purifying selection, slower rate of adaptive evolution, and weakened codon usage bias/GC-biased gene conversion in the selfer Galba compared with the outcrosser Physa, in full agreement with theoretical expectations. Our results demonstrate that self-fertilization, when effective in the long run, is a major driver of population genomic and molecular evolutionary processes. Despite the genomic effects of selfing, Galba truncatula seems to escape the demographic consequences of the genetic load. We suggest that the particular ecology of the species may buffer the negative consequences of selfing, shedding new light on the dead-end hypothesis.

  8. Snail shells as larval habitat of Limatus durhamii (Diptera: Culicidae) in the Yungas of Argentina.

    PubMed

    Mangudo, Carolina; Campos, Raúl E; Rossi, Gustavo C; Gleiser, Raquel M

    2017-03-01

    The shells of dead snails collect water from rainfalls producing aquatic microenvironments called gastrotelmata. These habitats are small and hold simple detritus based on animal communities, being rotifers and culicids the most studied. Although a high diversity of aquatic microhabitats has been reported as larval habitats of mosquitoes in Argentina, the shell of snails has not been investigated yet. We report the shells of three species of native Megalobulimus genus as larval habitats of a neotropical mosquito and suspected vector of bunyaviruses, Limatus durhamii, and describe these microhabitats in the Yungas forest of Argentina.

  9. Snail shape and growth rates: Evidence for plastic shell allometry in Littorina littorea

    PubMed Central

    Kemp, Paul; Bertness, Mark D.

    1984-01-01

    The periwinkle Littorina littorea exhibits morphological variation among southern New England populations that appear to be genetically continuous. In dense populations, individuals have relatively elongate shells in comparison to individuals in sparse populations, which have rounder, globose shells. We experimentally demonstrate that this shell variation is a function of snail growth rate. Rapidly growing snails develop thin, globose shells that accommodate more body mass than thicker, more elongate shells. The implications of these results are discussed in relation to interpreting morphological variation in extant gastropods and in the molluscan fossil record. PMID:16593415

  10. Silencing Snail suppresses tumor cell proliferation and invasion by reversing epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and arresting G2/M phase in non-small cell lung cancer.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xueying; Han, Mengmeng; Han, Haibo; Wang, Bingjing; Li, Sheng; Zhang, Zhiqian; Zhao, Wei

    2017-04-01

    Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is essential for tumor invasion and metastasis. Snail has been proven to be a key regulator of EMT. Several studies have shown compelling evidence that Snail is also an important regulator of tumor growth and aggression; however, the role of Snail in the cell cycle has not been clarified. We decreased Snail expression by siRNA transfection and lentiviral‑mediated RNAi, to explore the effect of silencing Snail on the tumorigenicity and migration of lung carcinoma (lung cancer) cells. The results showed that silencing Snail conferred significant anti-proliferative activity and inhibited cell migration, tumor growth and metastasis both in vitro and in vivo. To understand the mechanism of these effects, we further investigated correlations among Snail expression, EMT and cell cycle. Significantly, Snail knockdown reversed EMT processes in lung cancer cells. Furthermore, the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor P21 was upregulated after silencing Snail. P21 upregulation manifested its tumor suppressor effects and arrested cells in the G2/M phase, not the G1/S phase following Snail depletion in lung cancer cells. These data suggest that silencing Snail decreases the malignant behaviors of lung cancer cells by reversing EMT processes and causing cell cycle defects.

  11. Role of the lymnaeid snail Pseudosuccinea columella in the transmission of the liver fluke Fasciola hepatica in Egypt.

    PubMed

    Dar, Y; Vignoles, P; Rondelaud, D; Dreyfuss, G

    2015-11-01

    Experimental infections of three Egyptian Pseudosuccinea columella populations with sympatric miracidia of Fasciola sp., coming from cattle- or sheep-collected eggs, were carried out to determine the capacity of this lymnaeid to support larval development of the parasite. Using microsatellite markers, the isolates of Egyptian miracidia were identified as Fasciola hepatica. Apart from being independent of snail origin, prevalences ranging from 60.4 to 75.5% in snails infected with five miracidia of F. hepatica were significantly higher than values of 30.4 to 42.2% in snails with bi-miracidial infections. The number of metacercariae ranged from 243 to 472 per cercarial-shedding snail and was independent of snail origin, parasite origin and miracidial dose used for infection. If P. columella was subjected to two successive bi-miracidial infections with F. hepatica, prevalence of infection was 63.3%, with a mean of 311 metacercariae per snail. These values were clearly greater than those already reported for Radix natalensis infected with the same parasite and the same protocol. Successful experimental infection of P. columella with F. hepatica suggests that this lymnaeid snail is an important intermediate host for the transmission of fascioliasis in Egypt.

  12. Survival of the faucet snail after chemical disinfection, pH extremes, and heated water bath treatments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mitchell, A.J.; Cole, R.A.

    2008-01-01

    The faucet snail Bithynia tentaculata, a nonindigenous aquatic snail from Eurasia, was introduced into Lake Michigan in 1871 and has spread to the mid-Atlantic states, the Great Lakes region, Montana, and most recently, the Mississippi River. The faucet snail serves as intermediate host for several trematodes that have caused large-scale mortality among water birds, primarily in the Great Lakes region and Montana. It is important to limit the spread of the faucet snail; small fisheries equipment can serve as a method of snail distribution. Treatments with chemical disinfection, pH extremes, and heated water baths were tested to determine their effectiveness as a disinfectant for small fisheries equipment. Two treatments eliminated all test snails: (1) a 24-h exposure to Hydrothol 191 at a concentration of at least 20 mg/L and (2) a treatment with 50??C heated water for 1 min or longer. Faucet snails were highly resistant to ethanol, NaCl, formalin, Lysol, potassium permanganate, copper sulfate, Baquacil, Virkon, household bleach, and pH extremes (as low as 1 and as high as 13).

  13. Reversibility of the Snail-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition revealed by the Cre-loxP system.

    PubMed

    Ozawa, Masayuki; Kobayashi, Wakako

    2015-03-13

    The epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), a key process in the tumor metastatic cascade, is characterized by the loss of cell-cell junctions and cell polarity, as well as the acquisition of migratory and invasive properties. Snail is an EMT-inducer whose expression in several different epithelial cells, e.g., Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK), leads to EMT. To further understand EMT induced by Snail expression, the Cre-loxP site-specific recombination system was used to investigate its reversibility. Transfection of MDCK cells with loxP-flanked Snail (Snail-loxP) resulted in EMT induction, which included the acquisition of a spindle-shaped fibroblastic morphology, the downregulation of epithelial markers, and the upregulation of mesenchymal markers. DNA methylation of the E-cadherin promoter, which often occurs during E-cadherin downregulation, was not observed in Snail+ cells. After Cre-mediated excision of Snail-loxP, the cells reacquired an epithelial morphology, upregulated epithelial markers, and downregulated mesenchymal markers. Thus, EMT induced by Snail expression was reversible.

  14. New insight in lymnaeid snails (Mollusca, Gastropoda) as intermediate hosts of Fasciola hepatica (Trematoda, Digenea) in Belgium and Luxembourg

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The present study aims to assess the epidemiological role of different lymnaeid snails as intermediate hosts of the liver fluke Fasciola hepatica in Belgium and Luxembourg. Methods During summer 2008, 7103 lymnaeid snails were collected from 125 ponds distributed in 5 clusters each including 25 ponds. Each cluster was located in a different biogeographic area of Belgium and Luxembourg. In addition, snails were also collected in sixteen other biotopes considered as temporary wet areas. These snails were identified as Galba truncatula (n = 2474) (the main intermediate host of F. hepatica in Europe) and Radix sp. (n = 4629). Moreover, several biological and non-biological variables were also recorded from the different biotopes. DNA was extracted from each snail collected using Chelex® technique. DNA samples were screened through a multiplex PCR that amplifies lymnaeid internal transcribed spacer 2 gene sequences (500–600 bp) (acting as an internal control) and a 124 bp fragment of repetitive DNA from Fasciola sp. Results Lymnaeid snails were found in 75 biotopes (53.2%). Thirty individuals of G. truncatula (1.31%) and 7 of Radix sp. (0.16%) were found to be positive for Fasciola sp. The seven positive Radix sp. snails all belonged to the species R. balthica (Linnaeus, 1758). Classification and regression tree analysis were performed in order to better understand links and relative importance of the different recorded factors. One of the best explanatory variables for the presence/absence of the different snail species seems to be the geographic location, whereas for the infection status of the snails no obvious relationship was linked to the presence of cattle. Conclusions Epidemiological implications of these findings and particularly the role of R. balthica as an alternative intermediate host in Belgium and Luxembourg were discussed. PMID:24524623

  15. Field and laboratory evaluation of the influence of copper-diquat on apple snails in southern Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Winger, P.V.; Imlay, M.J.; McMillan, W.E.; Martin, T.W.; Takekawa, J.; Johnson, W.W.

    1984-01-01

    The recent decline of apple snail (Pomacea paludosa) populations in canals surrounding Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in southern Florida coincided with the use of copper-diquat for the control of the aquatic weed hydrilla (Hydrilla ver/icillara). Field and laboratory studies were designed to assess the effects of copper-diquat on apple snails, which are the primary food of the endangered snail kite Rostrhamus sociabilis (formerly known as the Everglade kite). Acute toxicities (96-h LC50 values) of Cutrine-Plus and Komeen (chelated formulations of copper) to immature apple snails were 22 and 241-?g/L, respectively. Diquat was toxic at a concentration of 1,800 I-?g/L and did not increase the toxicity of copper when the chemicals were used in combination. Evaluation of field samples indicated that copper concentrations were higher in detritus than in water. plants and mud, and that there was a gradient of copper concentration from the canal to the interior, the highest residues being in samples from the canal. Copper associated with detritus (up to 150 ?g/g) had no effect on growth or survival of apple snails in field cage and tank studies. Also, field applications of copper.diquat to hydrilla had no effect on survival of caged adult and immature snails. Copper from field applications was rapidly taken out of solution by plants and organic material in the water and subsequently incorporated into the bottom detritus. Although the effects of repeated applications of copper-diquat and high body burdens of copper (accumulated during exposure to herbicidal treatment) on survival and reproduction of apple snails are not known, the information available indicates that treatment of hydrilla with copper-diquat was probably not responsible for the decline in the apple snail population. Application at recommended rates should pose no threat to these snails in the organically rich waters of southern Florida.

  16. Elevated Snail Expression Mediates Tumor Progression in Areca Quid Chewing-Associated Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma via Reactive Oxygen Species

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Shiuan-Shinn; Tsai, Chung-Hung; Yu, Cheng-Chia; Chang, Yu-Chao

    2013-01-01

    Background Snail is an important transcription factor implicated in several tumor progression and can be induced by reactive oxygen species (ROS). Areca quid chewing is a major risk factor of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Therefore, we hypothesize that the major areca nut alkaloid arecoline may induce Snail via ROS and involve in the pathogenesis of areca quid chewing-associated OSCC. Methodology/Principal Finding Thirty-six OSCC and ten normal oral epithelium specimens were examined by immunohistochemistry and analyzed by the clinico-pathological profiles. Cytotoxicity, 2′, 7′-dichlorofluorescein diacetate assay, and western blot were used to investigate the effects of arecoline in human oral keratinocytes (HOKs) and oral epithelial cell line OECM-1 cells. In addition, antioxidants N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), curcumin, and epigallocatechin-3 gallate (EGCG) were added to find the possible regulatory mechanisms. Initially, Snail expression was significantly higher in OSCC specimens (p<0.05). Elevated Snail expression was associated with lymph node metastasis (p = 0.031) and poor differentiation (p = 0.017). Arecoline enhanced the generation of intracellular ROS at the concentration higher than 40 µg/ml (p<0.05). Arecoline was also found to induced Snail expression in a dose- and time-dependent manner (p<0.05). Treatment with NAC, curcumin, and EGCG markedly inhibited arecoline induced Snail expression (p<0.05). Conclusion/Significance: Our results suggest that Snail overexpression in areca quid chewing-associated OSCC is associated with tumors differentiation and lymph node metastasis. Arecoline-upregulated Snail expression may be mediated by ROS generation. In addition, arecoline induced Snail expression was downregulated by NAC, curcumin, and EGCG. PMID:23874481

  17. Molecular Evidence of Trichobilharzia Species (Digenea: Schistosomatidae) in the Snails of Lymnaea auricularia from Urmia Suburb, North West Iran

    PubMed Central

    YAKHCHALI, Mohammad; HOSSEINPANAHI, Asaad; MALEKZADEH-VIAYEH, Reza

    2016-01-01

    Background: The present study was carried out to detect the infection of larval stages of Trichobilharzia species in the snail Lymnaea auricularia in northwestern Iran based on DNA analysis. Methods: A total number of 320 snails of L. auricularia were sampled from four water-bodies located in the suburb of Urmia City, North West Iran, during May to November 2011. The snails were first microscopically inspected for the infection with larval stages of trematodes. Genomic DNA was extracted from the snails and PCR was performed to amplify a fragment of the ribosomal DNA of Trichobilharzia species in the infected snails. Results: Microscopic examinations indicated that 11.25% (36 out of 320) of the snails were infected with larval stages of trematodes, while the PCR patterns showed a much higher infection rate (31.25%, 100/320). According to the PCR, the infections were caused by the larval stages of T. szidati (21.56%, 69/320) and T. franki (9.69%, 31/320) or both of them (8.44%, 27/320). The infected snails were observed in three out of the four studied sites. The highest infection rate in a single site was 50% (25/50). Only 7.81% (25 out of 320) of the infected snails were from the plain areas, while the remaining was from high altitudes. Conclusion: Results of this study contribute the utility of the employed technique for quick and accurate detection of the infection with trichobilharzian species in their intermediate host snails, which may have potential zoonotic role in the region. PMID:28127334

  18. Population genetics and the effects of a severe bottleneck in an ex situ population of critically endangered Hawaiian tree snails.

    PubMed

    Price, Melissa R; Hadfield, Michael G

    2014-01-01

    As wild populations decline, ex situ propagation provides a potential bank of genetic diversity and a hedge against extinction. These programs are unlikely to succeed if captive populations do not recover from the severe bottleneck imposed when they are founded with a limited number of individuals from remnant populations. In small captive populations allelic richness may be lost due to genetic drift, leading to a decline in fitness. Wild populations of the Hawaiian tree snail Achatinella lila, a hermaphroditic snail with a long life history, have declined precipitously due to introduced predators and other human impacts. A captive population initially thrived after its founding with seven snails, exceeding 600 captive individuals in 2009, but drastically declined in the last five years. Measures of fitness were examined from 2,018 captive snails that died between 1998 and 2012, and compared with genotypic data for six microsatellite loci from a subset of these deceased snails (N = 335), as well as live captive snails (N = 198) and wild snails (N = 92). Surprisingly, the inbreeding coefficient (Fis) declined over time in the captive population, and is now approaching values observed in the 2013 wild population, despite a significant decrease in allelic richness. However, adult annual survival and fecundity significantly declined in the second generation. These measures of fitness were positively correlated with heterozygosity. Snails with higher measures of heterozygosity had more offspring, and third generation offspring with higher measures of heterozygosity were more likely to reach maturity. These results highlight the importance of maintaining genetic diversity in captive populations, particularly those initiated with a small number of individuals from wild remnant populations. Genetic rescue may allow for an increase in genetic diversity in the captive population, as measures of heterozygosity and rarified allelic richness were higher in wild tree

  19. Intensity of parasitic mite infection decreases with hibernation duration of the host snail.

    PubMed

    Haeussler, E M; Pizá, J; Schmera, D; Baur, B

    2012-07-01

    Temperature can be a limiting factor on parasite development. Riccardoella limacum, a haematophagous mite, lives in the mantle cavity of helicid land snails. The prevalence of infection by R. limacum in populations of the land snail Arianta arbustorum is highly variable (0-78%) in Switzerland. However, parasitic mites do not occur in host populations at altitudes of 1290 m or higher. It has been hypothesized that the host's hibernation period might be too long at high elevations for mites and their eggs to survive. To test this hypothesis, we experimentally infected snails and allowed them to hibernate at 4°C for periods of 4-7 months. Winter survival of host snails was negatively affected by R. limacum. The intensity of mite infection decreased with increasing hibernation duration. Another experiment with shorter recording intervals revealed that mites do not leave the host when it buries in the soil at the beginning of hibernation. The number of mites decreased after 24 days of hibernation, whereas the number of eggs attached to the lung tissue remained constant throughout hibernation. Thus, R. limacum survives the winter in the egg stage in the host. Low temperature at high altitudes may limit the occurrence of R. limacum.

  20. Tropical sea snail shells: Possible exotic sources for ceramic biomaterial synthesis

    SciTech Connect

    Oktar, F. N.; Kiyici, I. A.; Gökçe, H.; Ağaogulları, D.; Kayali, E. S.

    2013-12-16