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Sample records for free-living atlantic walruses

  1. Neutralizing antibodies to phocine distemper virus in Atlantic walruses (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) from Arctic Canada.

    PubMed

    Duignan, P J; Saliki, J T; St Aubin, D J; House, J A; Geraci, J R

    1994-01-01

    The first evidence of phocine distemper virus (PDV) infection in Atlantic walruses (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) from Nottingham Island, Northwest Territories, Canada, is reported. Blood samples were collected from three male walruses killed by Inuit hunters in the fall of 1990. Differential virus neutralization test for each animal yielded higher titers against PDV than against other members of the Morbillivirus genus including canine distemper, peste des petits ruminants, rinderpest and measles viruses. Thus, PDV infection may be enzootic in walruses of the eastern Canadian Arctic.

  2. A morbillivirus antibody survey of Atlantic walrus, narwhal and beluga in Canada.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, O; Stewart, R E; Measures, L; Duignan, P; House, C

    2000-07-01

    A longitudinal serologic survey was conducted for morbillivirus antibodies in Atlantic walruses (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus), narwhal (Monodon monoceros), and beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) from the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and the St. Lawrence estuary (Canada). Sixty-five of 131 (50%) walruses sampled between 1984 and 1993 had detectable morbillivirus neutralizing antibodies. Positive walrus were identified from four of five Arctic sampling sites, to as far back as 1984. Prevalence of morbillivirus neutralizing antibodies in walruses from Foxe Basin ranged from a high of 76% (n = 21) in 1993 to a low of 22% (n = 28) in 1984. Limitations in sample acquisition may have produced underestimates for the 1984 data. There are no reports of clinical morbillivirus infection in walruses. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that a morbillivirus similar or identical to phocine distemper virus (PDV) has circulated among walrus populations of the eastern Canadian Arctic, at least since the early 1980s. No narwhal (n = 79) or beluga (n = 445) from Arctic waters were identified as having antibodies to dolphin morbilivirus (DMV) above the threshold serum dilution of log2 4. Also, none of the beach-cast cetacean carcasses (n = 28) from the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the St. Lawrence estuary were positive for antibodies to DMV. This indicates that Gulf of St. Lawrence, St. Lawrence estuary, and Arctic cetaceans either have not been exposed to DMV or an antigenically related morbillivirus, or are not susceptible to infection.

  3. Population structure and gene flow of the Atlantic walrus (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) in the eastern Atlantic Arctic based on mitochondrial DNA and microsatellite variation.

    PubMed

    Andersen, L W; Born, E W; Gjertz, I; Wiig, O; Holm, L E; Bendixen, C

    1998-10-01

    The population structure of the Atlantic walrus, Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus, was studied using 11 polymorphic microsatellites and restriction fragment length polymorphism detected in the NADH-dehydrogenase ND1, ND2 and ND3/4 segments in mtDNA. A total of 105 walrus samples were analysed from northwest (NW) Greenland, east (E) Greenland, Svalbard and Franz Joseph Land. Two of the 10 haplotypes detected in the four samples were diagnostic for the NW Greenland sample, which implied that the group of walruses in this area is evolutionary distinct from walruses in the other three areas. One individual sampled in E Greenland exhibited a Pacific haplotype, which proved a connection between the Pacific walrus and walruses in eastern Greenland. The Franz Joseph Land, Svalbard and E Greenland samples shared the most common haplotype, indicating very little differentiation at the mtDNA level. Gene flow (Nm) estimates among the four areas indicated a very restricted exchange of female genes between NW Greenland and the more eastern Atlantic Arctic samples, and a closer relationship between the three samples composing the eastern Atlantic Arctic. The genetic variation at 11 polymorphic microsatellite loci grouped individuals into three populations, NW Greenland, E Greenland and a common Franz Joseph Land-Svalbard population, which were connected by moderate gene flow.

  4. Levels of cadmium and mercury in the hair of Atlantic walruses (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) from Svalbard, Norway

    SciTech Connect

    Wiig, O.; Renzoni, A.; Gjertz, I.

    1999-08-01

    Hair samples of 15 adult male Atlantic walruses (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) collected from anesthetized individuals at Svalbard, Norway, were analyzed for cadmium and total mercury. The mean level of cadmium was 0.860 {+-} 0.321 {micro}g/g dry weight and the mean level of mercury was 0.235 {+-} 0.100 {micro}g/g dry weight. Levels of cadmium and mercury in hair of walruses from other areas are not known. Both cadmium and mercury levels in hair of walruses from Svalbard are relatively low compared to the levels found in the hair of other marine mammal species. It has been documented from a number of marine species, including marine mammals such as ringed seals and polar bears, that both cadmium and mercury levels of Svalbard are lower than in other areas. It is uncertain as to what degree levels in hair reflect levels in internal organs in walruses. In rare and highly endangered species or populations tissue samples can be difficult to collect. In walruses, it is possible to collect hair from anesthetized individuals or at the haul-out sites during molt, to monitor heavy metal levels of the population.

  5. Towards a Better Understanding of the Effects of UV on Atlantic Walruses, Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus: A Study Combining Histological Data with Local Ecological Knowledge.

    PubMed

    Martinez-Levasseur, Laura M; Furgal, Chris M; Hammill, Mike O; Burness, Gary

    2016-01-01

    Walruses, Odobenus rosmarus, play a key role in the Arctic ecosystem, including northern Indigenous communities, which are reliant upon walruses for aspects of their diet and culture. However, walruses face varied environmental threats including rising sea-water temperatures and decreasing ice cover. An underappreciated threat may be the large amount of solar ultraviolet radiation (UV) that continues to reach the Arctic as a result of ozone loss. UV has been shown to negatively affect whales. Like whales, walrus skin is unprotected by fur, but in contrast, walruses spend long periods of time hauled-out on land. In this study, we combined the results of histological analyses of skin sections from five Atlantic walruses, Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus, collected in Nunavik (Northern Quebec, Canada) with qualitative data obtained through the interviews of 33 local walrus hunters and Inuit Elders. Histological analyses allowed us to explore UV-induced cellular lesions and interviews with experienced walrus hunters and Elders helped us to study the incidences and temporal changes of UV-induced gross lesions in walruses. At the microscopic scale, we detected a range of skin abnormalities consistent with UV damage. However, currently such UV effects do not seem to be widely observed at the whole-animal level (i.e., absence of skin blistering, erythema, eye cataract) by individuals interviewed. Although walruses may experience skin damage under normal everyday UV exposure, the long-term data from local walrus hunters and Inuit Elders did not report a relation between the increased sun radiation secondary to ozone loss and walrus health.

  6. Towards a Better Understanding of the Effects of UV on Atlantic Walruses, Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus: A Study Combining Histological Data with Local Ecological Knowledge

    PubMed Central

    Martinez-Levasseur, Laura M.; Furgal, Chris M.; Hammill, Mike O.; Burness, Gary

    2016-01-01

    Walruses, Odobenus rosmarus, play a key role in the Arctic ecosystem, including northern Indigenous communities, which are reliant upon walruses for aspects of their diet and culture. However, walruses face varied environmental threats including rising sea-water temperatures and decreasing ice cover. An underappreciated threat may be the large amount of solar ultraviolet radiation (UV) that continues to reach the Arctic as a result of ozone loss. UV has been shown to negatively affect whales. Like whales, walrus skin is unprotected by fur, but in contrast, walruses spend long periods of time hauled-out on land. In this study, we combined the results of histological analyses of skin sections from five Atlantic walruses, Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus, collected in Nunavik (Northern Quebec, Canada) with qualitative data obtained through the interviews of 33 local walrus hunters and Inuit Elders. Histological analyses allowed us to explore UV-induced cellular lesions and interviews with experienced walrus hunters and Elders helped us to study the incidences and temporal changes of UV-induced gross lesions in walruses. At the microscopic scale, we detected a range of skin abnormalities consistent with UV damage. However, currently such UV effects do not seem to be widely observed at the whole-animal level (i.e., absence of skin blistering, erythema, eye cataract) by individuals interviewed. Although walruses may experience skin damage under normal everyday UV exposure, the long-term data from local walrus hunters and Inuit Elders did not report a relation between the increased sun radiation secondary to ozone loss and walrus health. PMID:27049757

  7. Mother-calf vocal communication in Atlantic walrus: a first field experimental study.

    PubMed

    Charrier, Isabelle; Aubin, Thierry; Mathevon, Nicolas

    2010-05-01

    In all colonial pinnipeds studied, mother-young vocal recognition exists and allows rapid and reliable meetings in spite of the confusing environment of the breeding colony. The efficiency of this recognition process guarantees pup survival, especially in species where females alternate foraging sea trips and lactation periods on land. The Atlantic Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) is a highly gregarious pinniped with females attending their calves for an extended period of time (2-3 years). Although we expect mother-calf vocal recognition to occur in this species due to the high density of individuals packed in herds, it has never been experimentally demonstrated. Here, we assessed the individual stereotypy of both mother and calf barks recorded in the wild by measuring frequency and temporal acoustic parameters. Both discriminant function and artificial neural network analyses resulted in high correct classification rates, underlying a well-defined individual stereotypy in parameters related to frequency modulation and frequency values. Playback experiments showed that mothers were more responsive to the barks of their own calf than to those of unrelated young. Finally, propagation experiments revealed that barks propagate at greater distances over water surface than over ice, acoustic features such as frequency modulation and frequency spectrum being highly resistant to degradation during propagation. Thus, acoustic analysis and propagation experiments suggest that these frequency parameters might be the key acoustic features involved in the individual identification process. This experimental study clearly demonstrates that Atlantic walrus has developed a highly reliable mother-calf vocal communication allowing such strong social bond.

  8. Serum chemistry reference values in free-ranging north Atlantic male walruses (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) from the Svalbard archipelago.

    PubMed

    Tryland, Morten; Lydersen, Christian; Kovacs, Kit M; Thoresen, Stein Istre

    2009-12-01

    Information regarding health and disease is limited for walruses, a keystone species in arctic marine ecosystems. Serum chemistry analysis is a useful clinical tool for the health assessment of walruses, but only a few captive Pacific walruses have been evaluated. The aim of this study was to determine serum chemistry reference values for free-ranging male Atlantic walruses (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) on Svalbard and to assess potential differences in animals with low and high tissue levels of organic pollutants. Blood samples were collected from 17 wild, adult, male Atlantic walruses chemically immobilized with etorphine at eastern Svalbard (Norway). Serum was obtained for routine biochemical analysis as well as nonesterified free fatty acids (NEFA) and cortisol tests. Serum protein concentration was also measured by agarose gel electrophoresis. Reference values (ranges) included alanine aminotransferase (12-51 U/L), aspartate aminotransferase (54-137 U/L), alkaline phosphatase (42-243 U/L), creatine kinase (32-506 U/L), lactate dehydrogenase (480-1322 U/L), amylase (0-23 U/L), lipase (68-298 U/L), total protein (68-91 g/L), albumin (25.3-34.8 g/L), creatinine (84-137 mumol/L), urea (8.2-19.9 mmol/L), bilirubin (0-4 mumol/L), cholesterol (4.4-7.3 mmol/L), NEFA (0.1-0.4 mmol/L), triglycerides (0.6-2.2 mmol/L), calcium (2.0-2.7 mmol/L), phosphorus (1.7-2.8 mmol/L), sodium (147-162 mmol/L), potassium (4.7-7.4 mmol/L), chloride (102-115 mmol/L), and cortisol (<28-214 nmol/L). Walruses exposed to high levels of organic pollutants (n=6) had significantly lower (P=.022) phosphorus concentration than those with low levels of pollutants (n=6). The clinical chemistry reference values determined in this study can serve as baseline data for future health-related studies of walruses in a changing Arctic and may also be helpful for health evaluations of walruses in captivity. Impacts of the exposure of marine mammals to organic pollutants should be further investigated.

  9. Co-occurrence Analysis of Microbial Taxa in the Atlantic Ocean Reveals High Connectivity in the Free-Living Bacterioplankton

    PubMed Central

    Milici, Mathias; Deng, Zhi-Luo; Tomasch, Jürgen; Decelle, Johan; Wos-Oxley, Melissa L.; Wang, Hui; Jáuregui, Ruy; Plumeier, Iris; Giebel, Helge-Ansgar; Badewien, Thomas H.; Wurst, Mascha; Pieper, Dietmar H.; Simon, Meinhard; Wagner-Döbler, Irene

    2016-01-01

    We determined the taxonomic composition of the bacterioplankton of the epipelagic zone of the Atlantic Ocean along a latitudinal transect (51°S–47°N) using Illumina sequencing of the V5-V6 region of the 16S rRNA gene and inferred co-occurrence networks. Bacterioplankon community composition was distinct for Longhurstian provinces and water depth. Free-living microbial communities (between 0.22 and 3 μm) were dominated by highly abundant and ubiquitous taxa with streamlined genomes (e.g., SAR11, SAR86, OM1, Prochlorococcus) and could clearly be separated from particle-associated communities which were dominated by Bacteroidetes, Planktomycetes, Verrucomicrobia, and Roseobacters. From a total of 369 different communities we then inferred co-occurrence networks for each size fraction and depth layer of the plankton between bacteria and between bacteria and phototrophic micro-eukaryotes. The inferred networks showed a reduction of edges in the deepest layer of the photic zone. Networks comprised of free-living bacteria had a larger amount of connections per OTU when compared to the particle associated communities throughout the water column. Negative correlations accounted for roughly one third of the total edges in the free-living communities at all depths, while they decreased with depth in the particle associated communities where they amounted for roughly 10% of the total in the last part of the epipelagic zone. Co-occurrence networks of bacteria with phototrophic micro-eukaryotes were not taxon-specific, and dominated by mutual exclusion (~60%). The data show a high degree of specialization to micro-environments in the water column and highlight the importance of interdependencies particularly between free-living bacteria in the upper layers of the epipelagic zone. PMID:27199970

  10. Co-occurrence Analysis of Microbial Taxa in the Atlantic Ocean Reveals High Connectivity in the Free-Living Bacterioplankton.

    PubMed

    Milici, Mathias; Deng, Zhi-Luo; Tomasch, Jürgen; Decelle, Johan; Wos-Oxley, Melissa L; Wang, Hui; Jáuregui, Ruy; Plumeier, Iris; Giebel, Helge-Ansgar; Badewien, Thomas H; Wurst, Mascha; Pieper, Dietmar H; Simon, Meinhard; Wagner-Döbler, Irene

    2016-01-01

    We determined the taxonomic composition of the bacterioplankton of the epipelagic zone of the Atlantic Ocean along a latitudinal transect (51°S-47°N) using Illumina sequencing of the V5-V6 region of the 16S rRNA gene and inferred co-occurrence networks. Bacterioplankon community composition was distinct for Longhurstian provinces and water depth. Free-living microbial communities (between 0.22 and 3 μm) were dominated by highly abundant and ubiquitous taxa with streamlined genomes (e.g., SAR11, SAR86, OM1, Prochlorococcus) and could clearly be separated from particle-associated communities which were dominated by Bacteroidetes, Planktomycetes, Verrucomicrobia, and Roseobacters. From a total of 369 different communities we then inferred co-occurrence networks for each size fraction and depth layer of the plankton between bacteria and between bacteria and phototrophic micro-eukaryotes. The inferred networks showed a reduction of edges in the deepest layer of the photic zone. Networks comprised of free-living bacteria had a larger amount of connections per OTU when compared to the particle associated communities throughout the water column. Negative correlations accounted for roughly one third of the total edges in the free-living communities at all depths, while they decreased with depth in the particle associated communities where they amounted for roughly 10% of the total in the last part of the epipelagic zone. Co-occurrence networks of bacteria with phototrophic micro-eukaryotes were not taxon-specific, and dominated by mutual exclusion (~60%). The data show a high degree of specialization to micro-environments in the water column and highlight the importance of interdependencies particularly between free-living bacteria in the upper layers of the epipelagic zone.

  11. Feeding behaviour of free-ranging walruses with notes on apparent dextrality of flipper use

    PubMed Central

    Levermann, Nette; Galatius, Anders; Ehlme, Göran; Rysgaard, Søren; Born, Erik W

    2003-01-01

    Background Direct observations of underwater behaviour of free-living marine mammals are rare. This is particularly true for large and potentially dangerous species such as the walrus (Odobenus rosmarus). Walruses are highly specialised predators on benthic invertebrates – especially bivalves. The unique feeding niche of walruses has led to speculations as to their underwater foraging behaviour. Based on observations of walruses in captivity and signs of predation left on the sea floor by free-living walruses, various types of feeding behaviour have been suggested in the literature. In this study, however, the underwater feeding behaviour of wild adult male Atlantic walruses (O. r. rosmarus) is documented for the first time in their natural habitat by scuba-divers. The video recordings indicated a predisposition for use of the right front flipper during feeding. This tendency towards dextrality was explored further by examining a museum collection of extremities of walrus skeletons. Results During July and August 2001, twelve video-recordings of foraging adult male walruses were made in Young Sound (74°18 N; 20°15 V), Northeast Greenland. The recordings did not allow for differentiation among animals, however based on notes by the photographer at least five different individuals were involved. The walruses showed four different foraging behaviours; removing sediment by beating the right flipper, removing sediment by beating the left flipper, removing sediment by use of a water-jet from the mouth and rooting through sediment with the muzzle. There was a significant preference for using right flipper over left flipper during foraging. Measurements of the dimensions of forelimbs from 23 walrus skeletons revealed that the length of the right scapula, humerus, and ulna was significantly greater than that of the left, supporting our field observations of walruses showing a tendency of dextrality in flipper use. Conclusion We suggest that the four feeding behaviours

  12. Feeding behaviour of free-ranging walruses with notes on apparent dextrality of flipper use.

    PubMed

    Levermann, Nette; Galatius, Anders; Ehlme, Göran; Rysgaard, Søren; Born, Erik W

    2003-10-23

    Direct observations of underwater behaviour of free-living marine mammals are rare. This is particularly true for large and potentially dangerous species such as the walrus (Odobenus rosmarus). Walruses are highly specialised predators on benthic invertebrates - especially bivalves. The unique feeding niche of walruses has led to speculations as to their underwater foraging behaviour. Based on observations of walruses in captivity and signs of predation left on the sea floor by free-living walruses, various types of feeding behaviour have been suggested in the literature. In this study, however, the underwater feeding behaviour of wild adult male Atlantic walruses (O. r. rosmarus) is documented for the first time in their natural habitat by scuba-divers. The video recordings indicated a predisposition for use of the right front flipper during feeding. This tendency towards dextrality was explored further by examining a museum collection of extremities of walrus skeletons. During July and August 2001, twelve video-recordings of foraging adult male walruses were made in Young Sound (74 degrees 18 N; 20 degrees 15 V), Northeast Greenland. The recordings did not allow for differentiation among animals, however based on notes by the photographer at least five different individuals were involved. The walruses showed four different foraging behaviours; removing sediment by beating the right flipper, removing sediment by beating the left flipper, removing sediment by use of a water-jet from the mouth and rooting through sediment with the muzzle. There was a significant preference for using right flipper over left flipper during foraging. Measurements of the dimensions of forelimbs from 23 walrus skeletons revealed that the length of the right scapula, humerus, and ulna was significantly greater than that of the left, supporting our field observations of walruses showing a tendency of dextrality in flipper use. We suggest that the four feeding behaviours observed are

  13. Free-living nematode species (Nematoda) dwelling in hydrothermal sites of the North Mid-Atlantic Ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tchesunov, Alexei V.

    2015-12-01

    Morphological descriptions of seven free-living nematode species from hydrothermal sites of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge are presented. Four of them are new for science: Paracanthonchus olgae sp. n. (Chromadorida, Cyatholaimidae), Prochromadora helenae sp. n. (Chromadorida, Chromadoridae), Prochaetosoma ventriverruca sp. n. (Desmodorida, Draconematidae) and Leptolaimus hydrothermalis sp. n. (Plectida, Leptolaimidae). Two species have been previously recorded in hydrothermal habitats, and one species is recorded for the first time in such an environment. Oncholaimus scanicus (Enoplida, Oncholaimidae) was formerly known from only the type locality in non-hydrothermal shallow milieu of the Norway Sea. O. scanicus is a very abundant species in Menez Gwen, Lucky Strike and Lost City hydrothermal sites, and population of the last locality differs from other two in some morphometric characteristics. Desmodora marci (Desmodorida, Desmodoridae) was previously known from other remote deep-sea hydrothermal localities in south-western and north-eastern Pacific. Halomonhystera vandoverae (Monhysterida, Monhysteridae) was described and repeatedly found in mass in Snake Pit hydrothermal site. The whole hydrothermal nematode assemblages are featured by low diversity in comparison with either shelf or deep-sea non-hydrothermal communities. The nematode species list of the Atlantic hydrothermal vents consists of representatives of common shallow-water genera; the new species are also related to some shelf species. On the average, the hydrothermal species differ from those of slope and abyssal plains of comparable depths by larger sizes, diversity of buccal structures, presence of food content in the gut and ripe eggs in uteri.

  14. Discovery of free-living Fe-oxidizing Zetaproteobacteria at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emerson, D.; Scott, J.; MacDonald, D.; Findlay, A.; Luther, G. W.

    2013-12-01

    Chemolithoautotrophic Fe-oxidizing bacteria play an essential role in the iron cycle on the Earth. Thus far, the majority of marine Fe-oxidizers have been associated with a novel class, Zetaproteobacteria, within the phylum Proteobacteria. Fe-oxidizing communities have been found at volcanically-active seamounts, crustal spreading centers, and in coastal waters. One conspicuous absence is at hydrothermal systems associated with the slow-crustal spreading center along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR). We used the DSV Jason to visit three well-known hydrothermal vents at the MAR: Rainbow, TAG, and Snakepit, to determine if Fe-oxidizing Zetaproteobacteria were present. Small, diffuse flow venting areas with high Fe(II) concentrations, and rust-colored microbial mats were observed at all three sites proximal to black smoker chimneys. A novel, syringe-based precision sampler was used to collect multiple, individual microbial iron mats at all three sites. Morphologically, sheath-forming Fe-oxidizers were observed at all sites, although the degree of mineralization varied substantially between the samples. Tagged pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene from these samples revealed that Zetaproteobacteria were the most abundant class of any bacterial group in all the samples (5.1-92.0%; m=55.2%). Beta diversity estimates showed that there was as much variability between microbial mats at a specific vent site as there was between different vent fields. Principal component analysis revealed two distinct clusters of samples dominated by five different Zeta operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Single cell genome analysis of two representative samples was also dominated by Zetas, and confirmed the pyrosequencing results. We are in the process of associating community diversity data with in situ geochemical analysis to determine what geochemical factor(s) might be driving these patterns of diversity and community assembly. Together these data confirm that Fe-oxidizing Zetaproteobacteria

  15. Genetic diversity of historical Atlantic walruses (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) from Bjørnøya and Håøya (Tusenøyane), Svalbard, Norway.

    PubMed

    Lindqvist, Charlotte; Roy, Tilottama; Lydersen, Christian; Kovacs, Kit M; Aars, Jon; Wiig, Øystein; Bachmann, Lutz

    2016-02-18

    The population size of Atlantic walruses (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) is depleted relative to historical abundance levels. In Svalbard, centuries of over-exploitation brought the walrus herds to the verge of extinction, and such bottlenecks may have caused loss of genetic variation. To address this for Svalbard walruses, mitochondrial haplotypes of historical walruses from two major haul-out sites, Bjørnøya and Håøya, within the Archipelago were explored using bone samples from animals killed during the peak period of harvesting. Using ancient DNA methodologies, the mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase 1 (ND1) gene, the cytochrome c oxidase 1 (COI) gene, and the control region (CR) were targeted for 15 specimens from Bjørnøya (of which five were entirely negative) and 9 specimens from Håøya (of which one was entirely negative). While ND1 and COI sequences were obtained for only a few samples, the CR delivered the most comprehensive data set, and the average genetic distance among historic Svalbard samples was 0.0028 (SD = 0.0023). The CR sequences from the historical samples appear to be nested among contemporary Atlantic walruses, and no distinct mitochondrial haplogroups were identified in the historical samples that may have been lost during the periods of extensive hunting. However, given the low sample size and poor phylogenetic resolution it cannot be excluded that such haplogroups existed.

  16. The late Wisconsinan and Holocene record of Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) from North America: A review with new data from Arctic and Atlantic Canada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dyke, A.S.; Hooper, J.; Harington, C.R.; Savelle, J.M.

    1999-01-01

    The Late Wisconsinan and Holocene record of the Atlantic walrus is known from numerous collections of bones and tusks from Arctic Canada and south to North Carolina, as well as from many archaeological sites in the Arctic and Subarctic. In contrast, the Pacific walrus has no dated Late Wisconsinan or early Holocene record in North America, and it may have been displaced into the northwest Pacific at Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). The Atlantic walrus rapidly exploited newly deglaciated territory, moving northward from its LGM refugium and reaching the Bay of Fundy by 12800 B.P., the Grand Banks by 12500 B.P., southern Labrador by 11500 B.P., and the central Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA) by 9700 B.P. Its southern range limit may have retracted to the Bay of Fundy by ca. 7500 B.P. Within the CAA, walrus remains cluster in two main age groups: 9700 to 8500 B.P. and 5000 to 4/3000 B.P. This pattern strongly resembles the distribution of bowhead whale radiocarbon ages from the same area, which suggests a common control by sea-ice conditions. Walrus remains occur in Indian culture archaeological sites as old as 7500 B.P. and, in some cases (Namu, British Columbia, and Mackinac Island, Michigan), they evidently represent long-distance human transport. They are much more common in Paleoeskimo and Neoeskimo culture sites. However, they occur in very low abundances, and generally as debitage, in sites older than Dorset (2500 B.P.). The walrus, therefore, may not have been hunted by early Paleoeskimos. Beginning with Early Dorset, walrus remains occur in definite diet-related contexts. Middle Dorset (2300 to 1500 B.P.) and late Thule (<400 B.P.) sites are missing from the High Arctic, and there may be a similar gap in the middle Pre-Dorset (3400 to 2600 B.P.). Sea-ice conditions at these times may have adversely affected availability of walrus and other marine mammal resources. Walrus is a prominent faunal element in Middle Dorset sites on the Labrador coast; this is

  17. The Effect of Land-use Change and Management on Free-living N2 fixation in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Oliveira Bomfim, B.; Silva, L. C. R.; Horwath, W. R.; Hello, J.; Doane, T. A.

    2016-12-01

    Globally, primary tropical forests are increasingly disturbed by deforestation, urbanization, agriculture, and cattle ranching. It has been recognized that the resulting (secondary) forests now play a key role in global biogeochemical cycles; however, little is known about alterations in forest function caused by the combination of disturbance and land use change. Fire, deforestation, and forest-to-monocrop conversion are all likely to affect biotic N inputs, yet our understanding of how free-living N2 fixation influences ecosystem response after disturbance remains poorly understood. Our research is assessing the role of asymbiotic (free-living) biological nitrogen fixation (BNF), a microbially-mediated process responsible for providing N inputs across terrestrial ecosystems and modulating the effect of fire and land cover in secondary forest succession. Free-living BNF is being quantified through incubations using stable isotope (15N2 labeling experiment) in different substrates (soil and leaf litter) under contrasting land use and management in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, the most deforested Biome in Brazil with only 7% of its original cover. Soil and litter samples were collected in primary forests, 12-year secondary forests, Eucalyptus spp. plantations and 10-year Brachiaria brizantha pastures. Preliminary results indicate that free-living BNF rates did not vary significantly between either secondary land use (0.02 to 0.46 µg N2 fixed gDW-1 h-1), but rates were significantly higher in the litter layer (0.32 to 3.8 µg N2 fixed gDW-1 h-1) than in the surface soil (0 - 10 cm and 10 - 30 cm). Free-living BNF in this stretch of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest seems not to be significantly affected by contrasting land use and management.

  18. Free-living ixodid ticks in an urban Atlantic Forest fragment, state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Pinheiro, Michele da Costa; Lourenço, Elizabete Captivo; Patrício, Priscilla Maria Peixoto; Sá-Hungaro, Iwine Joyce Barbosa de; Famadas, Kátia Maria

    2014-01-01

    As a consequence of the importance of ticks in forests in protected areas, was conducted survey of species of free-living ticks in the Natural Park Municipal Curió, state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Monthly samples were taken by dragging method, dry ice traps and visual search in two transects. Adults and nymphs of Amblyomma cajennense (n= 147), Amblyomma brasiliense (n= 4) and Amblyomma parvum (n= 1) were collected. This is the first occurrence of A. parvum in the state. No correlation was found between the abundance of stages of A. cajennense and rainfall, temperature and relative humidity. The highest abundances of adults were in the months of January and May, and nymphs in September and October. The low diversity of parasites on Curió Park can be attributed to the proximity of households with pets, which would also explain the higher abundance of A. cajennense that is commonly found in areas impacted by anthropogenic pressure.

  19. Demographic inferences using short-read genomic data in an approximate Bayesian computation framework: in silico evaluation of power, biases and proof of concept in Atlantic walrus.

    PubMed

    Shafer, Aaron B A; Gattepaille, Lucie M; Stewart, Robert E A; Wolf, Jochen B W

    2015-01-01

    Approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) is a powerful tool for model-based inference of demographic histories from large genetic data sets. For most organisms, its implementation has been hampered by the lack of sufficient genetic data. Genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) provides cheap genome-scale data to fill this gap, but its potential has not fully been exploited. Here, we explored power, precision and biases of a coalescent-based ABC approach where GBS data were modelled with either a population mutation parameter (θ) or a fixed site (FS) approach, allowing single or several segregating sites per locus. With simulated data ranging from 500 to 50 000 loci, a variety of demographic models could be reliably inferred across a range of timescales and migration scenarios. Posterior estimates were informative with 1000 loci for migration and split time in simple population divergence models. In more complex models, posterior distributions were wide and almost reverted to the uninformative prior even with 50 000 loci. ABC parameter estimates, however, were generally more accurate than an alternative composite-likelihood method. Bottleneck scenarios proved particularly difficult, and only recent bottlenecks without recovery could be reliably detected and dated. Notably, minor-allele-frequency filters - usual practice for GBS data - negatively affected nearly all estimates. With this in mind, we used a combination of FS and θ approaches on empirical GBS data generated from the Atlantic walrus (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus), collectively providing support for a population split before the last glacial maximum followed by asymmetrical migration and a high Arctic bottleneck. Overall, this study evaluates the potential and limitations of GBS data in an ABC-coalescence framework and proposes a best-practice approach.

  20. Molecular method for determining sex of walruses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fischbach, A.S.; Jay, C.V.; Jackson, J.V.; Andersen, L.W.; Sage, G.K.; Talbot, S.L.

    2008-01-01

    We evaluated the ability of a set of published trans-species molecular sexing primers and a set of walrus-specific primers, which we developed, to accurately identify sex of 235 Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens). The trans-species primers were developed for mammals and targeted the X- and Y-gametologs of the zinc finger protein genes (ZFX, ZFY). We extended this method by using these primers to obtain sequence from Pacific and Atlantic walrus (0. r. rosmarus) ZFX and ZFY genes to develop new walrus-specific primers, which yield polymerase chain reaction products of distinct lengths (327 and 288 base pairs from the X- and Y-chromosome, respectively), allowing them to be used for sex determination. Both methods yielded a determination of sex in all but 1-2% of samples with an accuracy of 99.6-100%. Our walrus-specific primers offer the advantage of small fragment size and facile application to automated electrophoresis and visualization.

  1. Population genetics studies of the walrus (Odobenus rosmarus): A summary and interpretation of results and research needs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scribner, Kim T.; Hills, Susan; Fain, Steven R.; Cronin, Matthew A.; Dizon, Andrew E.; Chivers, Susan J.; Perrin, William F.

    1997-01-01

    A summary of population genetics data is presented for the walrus (Odobenus rosmarus). Current information on the ecology and behavior of the species is highlighted to aid in the interpretation of genetics results and to suggest future areas of research. Walruses are discontinuously distributed across the Arctic and are currently subdivided into six regional populations on the basis of historical distribution and morphology. Few population genetics studies have been conducted on the walrus. Only three of the six trigonal populations have been surveyed with biochemical or molecular techniques. Analysis of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation among walruses from the northern Pacific (Chukchi Sea) and western Atlantic (Greenland) regions revealed 13 haplotypes; 6 were found only in Pacific walruses while 7 were unique to the Atlantic subspecies. Estimates of sequence divergence between Atlantic and Pacific haplotypes were 1.0%-1.6%. No evidence of microgeographic structuring within the northern Pacific or western Atlantic regional populations was found on the basis of mtDNA haplotype frequency distributions or multilocus minisatellite band sharing. Minisatellite analysis of adult-juvenile and adult-adult pairs suggests that assemblages of walruses on individual ice floes are made up at least in part by groups of related individuals from more than one generation. Furthermore, high mtDNA haplotype diversities and low minisatellite band-sharing values suggest that both the northern Pacific and western Atlantic walruses have retained a high degree of genetic variability.

  2. Spatial variation and low diversity in the major histocompatibility complex in walrus (Odobenus rosmarus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Fales, Krystal; Jay, Chadwick V.; Sage, George K.; Talbot, Sandra L.

    2014-01-01

    Increased global temperature and associated changes to Arctic habitats will likely result in the northward advance of species, including an influx of pathogens novel to the Arctic. How species respond to these immunological challenges will depend in part on the adaptive potential of their immune response system. We compared levels of genetic diversity at a gene associated with adaptive immune response [Class II major histocompatibility complex (MHC), DQB exon 2] between populations of walrus (Odobenus rosmarus), a sea ice-dependent Arctic species. Walrus was represented by only five MHC DQB alleles, with frequency differences observed between Pacific and Atlantic populations. MHC DQB alleles appear to be under balancing selection, and most (80 %; n = 4/5) of the alleles were observed in walruses from both oceans, suggesting broad scale differences in the frequency of exposure and diversity of pathogens may be influencing levels of heterozygosity at DQB in walruses. Limited genetic diversity at MHC, however, suggests that walrus may have a reduced capacity to respond to novel immunological challenges associated with shifts in ecological communities and environmental stressors predicted for changing climates. This is particularly pertinent for walrus, since reductions in summer sea ice may facilitate both northward expansion of marine species and associated pathogens from more temperate regions, and exchange of marine mammals and associated pathogens through the recently opened Northwest Passage between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans in the Canadian high Arctic.

  3. Temporal and spatial trends of persistent organochlorines in Greenland walrus (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus).

    PubMed

    Muir, D C; Born, E W; Koczansky, K; Stern, G A

    2000-01-17

    Persistent organochlorines [PCBs, DDT and chlordane related compounds, dieldrin, toxaphene, hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH), chlorobenzenes] were determined in blubber of Atlantic walrus (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) in 1978 and 1988 from the Avanersuaq (Thule) region of north-west Greenland and in 1989 from Ittoqqortoormiit (Scoresbysund) in east Greenland. Lowest concentrations of organochlorines (OCs) were found in the samples from the Avanersuaq region while much higher levels of all compounds, except HCH isomers and mono/dichlorobiphenyls (CB5/8), were observed in samples (all males) from Ittoqqortoormiit. Total PCBs (sigma PCB) averaged 246 ng/g (wet wt.) male walrus from Avanersuaq and 2860 ng/g in samples from Ittoqqortoormiit. DDT isomers showed the greatest difference between the two locations, 50 x for p,p'-DDE and 69 x higher for p,p'-DDT. Ittoqqortoormiit walrus showed the pattern of OCs characteristic of seal-eating animals although the consumption of other organisms cannot be ruled out. The higher levels of OCs in east Greenland compared to north-west Greenland animals were consistent with results for polar bears, seals and gulls from the same regions. Principal components analysis showed that the pattern of OCs in Ittoqqortoormiit walrus was very similar to that in walrus from Inukjuaq in east Hudson Bay, which have previously been reported to be seal eaters, and quite distinct from the Avanersuaq walrus. No significant differences in mean concentrations of any OCs were found between male walrus from 1978 and 1988. For females, there were significantly higher levels of CB5/8, trichlorobiphenyls, dieldrin, toxaphene and alpha HCH as well as sigma HCH but not for sigma PCBs or DDT compounds. The data for Greenland walrus from the 1970s and late 1980s provide a baseline for future trend monitoring in walrus.

  4. Behavioral sleep in the walrus.

    PubMed

    Pryaslova, Julia P; Lyamin, Oleg I; Siegel, Jerome M; Mukhametov, Lev M

    2009-07-19

    In this study we examined behavioral sleep in the walrus, the only living species of the family Odobenidae. The behavior of four 1.5-2-year-old captive walruses was videotaped continuously for 7-17 days and scored in 1-min epochs. When walruses had access to water and land, behavioral sleep, the combined amount of quiet and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, occupied on average 17+/-4% of 24 h (n=4) with the majority of sleep occurring on land. All walruses alternated periods of almost continuous swimming lasting for 40-84 h with periods of rest on land lasting for 2-19 h. When in water they were predominantly awake (88-99% of the time). On land walruses were asleep on average 40-74% of the time. The total sleep time varied between 0 and 60% of 24h with the daily amount of REM sleep ranging from 0 to 5% of 24 h. In water, walruses slept while floating at the surface, lying on the bottom or standing and leaning against the pool wall. REM sleep in water occurred in all positions. On land the breathing pattern was regular during quiet sleep (most pauses were <30s) and arrhythmic in REM sleep (apneas lasted up to 160 s). While in water the irregularity of breathing further increased (apneas were >4 min) and all REM sleep episodes occurred during a single apnea. Data indicate that the pattern of sleep and breathing in walruses is similar to the Otariidae seals while on land and the Phocidae seals while in water.

  5. Drug immobilization of walrus (Odobenus rosmarus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeMaster, D.P.; Faro, J.B.; Estes, J.A.; Taggart, James; Zabel, C.

    1981-01-01

    Five out of nine walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) were successfully immobilized at Round Island, Alaska, in May of 1978 by combinations of phencyclidine hydrochloride and acepromazine hydrochloride. A crossbow was an effective delivery technique. Walruses that had recently hauled out were more suitable for immobilization than well-rested animals. Care was taken to prevent walruses from overheating or suffocating.

  6. Microorganisms resistant to free-living amoebae.

    PubMed

    Greub, Gilbert; Raoult, Didier

    2004-04-01

    Free-living amoebae feed on bacteria, fungi, and algae. However, some microorganisms have evolved to become resistant to these protists. These amoeba-resistant microorganisms include established pathogens, such as Cryptococcus neoformans, Legionella spp., Chlamydophila pneumoniae, Mycobacterium avium, Listeria monocytogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Francisella tularensis, and emerging pathogens, such as Bosea spp., Simkania negevensis, Parachlamydia acanthamoebae, and Legionella-like amoebal pathogens. Some of these amoeba-resistant bacteria (ARB) are lytic for their amoebal host, while others are considered endosymbionts, since a stable host-parasite ratio is maintained. Free-living amoebae represent an important reservoir of ARB and may, while encysted, protect the internalized bacteria from chlorine and other biocides. Free-living amoebae may act as a Trojan horse, bringing hidden ARB within the human "Troy," and may produce vesicles filled with ARB, increasing their transmission potential. Free-living amoebae may also play a role in the selection of virulence traits and in adaptation to survival in macrophages. Thus, intra-amoebal growth was found to enhance virulence, and similar mechanisms seem to be implicated in the survival of ARB in response to both amoebae and macrophages. Moreover, free-living amoebae represent a useful tool for the culture of some intracellular bacteria and new bacterial species that might be potential emerging pathogens.

  7. Microorganisms Resistant to Free-Living Amoebae

    PubMed Central

    Greub, Gilbert; Raoult, Didier

    2004-01-01

    Free-living amoebae feed on bacteria, fungi, and algae. However, some microorganisms have evolved to become resistant to these protists. These amoeba-resistant microorganisms include established pathogens, such as Cryptococcus neoformans, Legionella spp., Chlamydophila pneumoniae, Mycobacterium avium, Listeria monocytogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Francisella tularensis, and emerging pathogens, such as Bosea spp., Simkania negevensis, Parachlamydia acanthamoebae, and Legionella-like amoebal pathogens. Some of these amoeba-resistant bacteria (ARB) are lytic for their amoebal host, while others are considered endosymbionts, since a stable host-parasite ratio is maintained. Free-living amoebae represent an important reservoir of ARB and may, while encysted, protect the internalized bacteria from chlorine and other biocides. Free-living amoebae may act as a Trojan horse, bringing hidden ARB within the human “Troy,” and may produce vesicles filled with ARB, increasing their transmission potential. Free-living amoebae may also play a role in the selection of virulence traits and in adaptation to survival in macrophages. Thus, intra-amoebal growth was found to enhance virulence, and similar mechanisms seem to be implicated in the survival of ARB in response to both amoebae and macrophages. Moreover, free-living amoebae represent a useful tool for the culture of some intracellular bacteria and new bacterial species that might be potential emerging pathogens. PMID:15084508

  8. Chlamydial infections in free-living birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brand, C.J.

    1989-01-01

    Most studies of chlamydial infections in free-living wild birds have been limited to surveys for the presence of Chlamydia psittaci or antibody to C psittaci and have largely been done in association with the identification of chlamydiosis in human beings, commercial fowl, or pet birds. The emphasis of these studies has been to determine the prevalence of infection and the potential role of wild birds in the spread of chlamydiae to domestic birds and human beings. Little is known about the epizootiology of chlamydiosis in free-living birds or its affect on their population dynamics. The following article is a summary of reported studies of chlamydiosis in free-living wild birds in relation to host range, ecologic aspects of transmission and maintenance, and the prevalence of disease.

  9. Ecology of free-living metacercariae (Trematoda).

    PubMed

    Morley, Neil J

    2015-06-01

    The presence of trematodes with a free-living metacercarial stage is a common feature of most habitats and includes important species such as Fasciola hepatica, Parorchis acanthus and Zygocotyle lunata. These trematodes encyst on the surface of an animal or plant that can act as a transport host, which form the diet of the target definitive host. Although these species are often considered individually, they display common characteristics in their free-living biology indicating a shared transmission strategy, yet in comparison to species with penetrative cercariae this aspect of their life cycles remains much overlooked. This review integrates the diverse data and presents a novel synthesis of free-living metacercariae using epibiosis as the basis of a new framework to describe the relationship between transport hosts and parasites. All aspects of their biology during the period that they are metabolically independent of a host are considered, from cercarial emergence to metacercarial excystment. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. New Calicivirus isolated from walrus.

    PubMed

    Ganova-Raeva, Lilia; Smith, Alvin W; Fields, Howard; Khudyakov, Yury

    2004-06-15

    The nucleotide sequence and genome organization of a new member of Caliciviridae was determined. Cell culture inoculated with fecal matter from walrus was used to recover fragments of a new virus by Suppression Subtractive Hybridization (SSH). The isolate was identified as a member of the Vesivirus genus of Caliciviridae and designated the name Walrus Calicivirus (WCV). Sets of PCR primers spanning the entire putative genome were designed using known sequences of other vesiviruses. The assembled genome was 8289 nucleotides (nt) long and shared no more than 87% identity with sequences of the other members of the genus Vesivirus. The largest open reading frame (ORF1) between positions 4-5646 encoded a polyprotein. ORF2, found at position 5652-7778, encoded a putative capsid protein. ORF3 overlapped ORF2 and encoded a small basic protein. Comparative analysis of multiple caliciviral capsid proteins was performed to propose a uniform capsid structural organization for this viral family.

  11. Developmental diversity in free-living flatworms

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Flatworm embryology has attracted attention since the early beginnings of comparative evolutionary biology. Considered for a long time the most basal bilaterians, the Platyhelminthes (excluding Acoelomorpha) are now robustly placed within the Spiralia. Despite having lost their relevance to explain the transition from radially to bilaterally symmetrical animals, the study of flatworm embryology is still of great importance to understand the diversification of bilaterians and of developmental mechanisms. Flatworms are acoelomate organisms generally with a simple centralized nervous system, a blind gut, and lacking a circulatory organ, a skeleton and a respiratory system other than the epidermis. Regeneration and asexual reproduction, based on a totipotent neoblast stem cell system, are broadly present among different groups of flatworms. While some more basally branching groups - such as polyclad flatworms - retain the ancestral quartet spiral cleavage pattern, most flatworms have significantly diverged from this pattern and exhibit unique strategies to specify the common adult body plan. Most free-living flatworms (i.e. Platyhelminthes excluding the parasitic Neodermata) are directly developing, whereas in polyclads, also indirect developers with an intermediate free-living larval stage and subsequent metamorphosis are found. A comparative study of developmental diversity may help understanding major questions in evolutionary biology, such as the evolution of cleavage patterns, gastrulation and axial specification, the evolution of larval types, and the diversification and specialization of organ systems. In this review, we present a thorough overview of the embryonic development of the different groups of free-living (turbellarian) platyhelminths, including the Catenulida, Macrostomorpha, Polycladida, Lecithoepitheliata, Proseriata, Bothrioplanida, Rhabdocoela, Fecampiida, Prolecithophora and Tricladida, and discuss their main features under a consensus phylogeny

  12. Developmental diversity in free-living flatworms.

    PubMed

    Martín-Durán, José María; Egger, Bernhard

    2012-03-19

    Flatworm embryology has attracted attention since the early beginnings of comparative evolutionary biology. Considered for a long time the most basal bilaterians, the Platyhelminthes (excluding Acoelomorpha) are now robustly placed within the Spiralia. Despite having lost their relevance to explain the transition from radially to bilaterally symmetrical animals, the study of flatworm embryology is still of great importance to understand the diversification of bilaterians and of developmental mechanisms. Flatworms are acoelomate organisms generally with a simple centralized nervous system, a blind gut, and lacking a circulatory organ, a skeleton and a respiratory system other than the epidermis. Regeneration and asexual reproduction, based on a totipotent neoblast stem cell system, are broadly present among different groups of flatworms. While some more basally branching groups - such as polyclad flatworms - retain the ancestral quartet spiral cleavage pattern, most flatworms have significantly diverged from this pattern and exhibit unique strategies to specify the common adult body plan. Most free-living flatworms (i.e. Platyhelminthes excluding the parasitic Neodermata) are directly developing, whereas in polyclads, also indirect developers with an intermediate free-living larval stage and subsequent metamorphosis are found. A comparative study of developmental diversity may help understanding major questions in evolutionary biology, such as the evolution of cleavage patterns, gastrulation and axial specification, the evolution of larval types, and the diversification and specialization of organ systems. In this review, we present a thorough overview of the embryonic development of the different groups of free-living (turbellarian) platyhelminths, including the Catenulida, Macrostomorpha, Polycladida, Lecithoepitheliata, Proseriata, Bothrioplanida, Rhabdocoela, Fecampiida, Prolecithophora and Tricladida, and discuss their main features under a consensus phylogeny

  13. Infections with free-living amebae.

    PubMed

    Visvesvara, Govinda S

    2013-01-01

    Acanthamoeba spp., Balamuthia mandrillaris, and Naegleria fowleri are mitochondria-bearing, free-living eukaryotic amebae that have been known to cause infections of the central nervous system (CNS) of humans and other animals. Several species of Acanthamoeba belonging to several different genotypes cause an insidious and chronic disease, granulomatous amebic encephalitis (GAE), principally in immunocompromised hosts including persons infected with HIV/AIDS. Acanthamoeba spp., belonging to mostly group 2, also cause infection of the human cornea, Acanthamoeba keratitis. Balamuthia mandrillaris causes GAE in both immunocompromised and immunocompetent hosts mostly in the very young or very old individuals. Both Acanthamoeba spp. and B. mandrillaris also cause a disseminated disease including the lungs, skin, kidneys, and uterus. Naegleria fowleri, on the other hand, causes an acute and fulminating, necrotizing infection of the CNS called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) in children and young adults with a history of recent exposure to warm fresh water. Additionally, another free-living ameba Sappinia pedata, previously described as S. diploidea, also has caused a single case of amebic meningoencephalitis. In this review the biology of these amebae, clinical manifestations, molecular and immunological diagnosis, and epidemiological features associated with GAE and PAM are discussed.

  14. Assessment of the extirpated Maritimes walrus using morphological and ancient DNA analysis.

    PubMed

    McLeod, Brenna A; Frasier, Timothy R; Lucas, Zoe

    2014-01-01

    Species biogeography is a result of complex events and factors associated with climate change, ecological interactions, anthropogenic impacts, physical geography, and evolution. To understand the contemporary biogeography of a species, it is necessary to understand its history. Specimens from areas of localized extinction are important, as extirpation of species from these areas may represent the loss of unique adaptations and a distinctive evolutionary trajectory. The walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) has a discontinuous circumpolar distribution in the arctic and subarctic that once included the southeastern Canadian Maritimes region. However, exploitation of the Maritimes population during the 16th-18th centuries led to extirpation, and the species has not inhabited areas south of 55°N for ∼250 years. We examined genetic and morphological characteristics of specimens from the Maritimes, Atlantic (O. r. rosmarus) and Pacific (O. r. divergens) populations to test the hypothesis that the first group was distinctive. Analysis of Atlantic and Maritimes specimens indicated that most skull and mandibular measurements were significantly different between the Maritimes and Atlantic groups and discriminant analysis of principal components confirmed them as distinctive groups, with complete isolation of skull features. The Maritimes walrus appear to have been larger animals, with larger and more robust tusks, skulls and mandibles. The mtDNA control region haplotypes identified in Maritimes specimens were unique to the region and a greater average number of nucleotide differences were found between the regions (Atlantic and Maritimes) than within either group. Levels of diversity (h and π) were lower in the Maritimes, consistent with other studies of species at range margins. Our data suggest that the Maritimes walrus was a morphologically and genetically distinctive group that was on a different evolutionary path from other walrus found in the north Atlantic.

  15. Assessment of the Extirpated Maritimes Walrus Using Morphological and Ancient DNA Analysis

    PubMed Central

    McLeod, Brenna A.; Frasier, Timothy R.; Lucas, Zoe

    2014-01-01

    Species biogeography is a result of complex events and factors associated with climate change, ecological interactions, anthropogenic impacts, physical geography, and evolution. To understand the contemporary biogeography of a species, it is necessary to understand its history. Specimens from areas of localized extinction are important, as extirpation of species from these areas may represent the loss of unique adaptations and a distinctive evolutionary trajectory. The walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) has a discontinuous circumpolar distribution in the arctic and subarctic that once included the southeastern Canadian Maritimes region. However, exploitation of the Maritimes population during the 16th-18th centuries led to extirpation, and the species has not inhabited areas south of 55°N for ∼250 years. We examined genetic and morphological characteristics of specimens from the Maritimes, Atlantic (O. r. rosmarus) and Pacific (O. r. divergens) populations to test the hypothesis that the first group was distinctive. Analysis of Atlantic and Maritimes specimens indicated that most skull and mandibular measurements were significantly different between the Maritimes and Atlantic groups and discriminant analysis of principal components confirmed them as distinctive groups, with complete isolation of skull features. The Maritimes walrus appear to have been larger animals, with larger and more robust tusks, skulls and mandibles. The mtDNA control region haplotypes identified in Maritimes specimens were unique to the region and a greater average number of nucleotide differences were found between the regions (Atlantic and Maritimes) than within either group. Levels of diversity (h and π) were lower in the Maritimes, consistent with other studies of species at range margins. Our data suggest that the Maritimes walrus was a morphologically and genetically distinctive group that was on a different evolutionary path from other walrus found in the north Atlantic. PMID:24924490

  16. Pacific Walrus Response to Arctic Sea Ice Losses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jay, Chadwick V.; Fischbach, Anthony S.

    2008-01-01

    Sea ice plays an important role in the life of the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens). U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists are seeking to understand how losses of sea ice during summer over important foraging grounds in the Chukchi Sea will affect walruses. USGS scientists recently modified a remotely deployed satellite radio-tag that will aid in studying walrus foraging habitats and behaviors. Information from the tags will help USGS understand how walruses are responding to their changing environment.

  17. 50 CFR 18.94 - Pacific walrus (Alaska).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 8 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Pacific walrus (Alaska). 18.94 Section 18... Marine Mammal Species § 18.94 Pacific walrus (Alaska). (a) Pursuant to sections 101(a)(3)(A) 103, and 109... walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) in waters or on lands subject to the jurisdiction of the State of Alaska,...

  18. 50 CFR 18.94 - Pacific walrus (Alaska).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Pacific walrus (Alaska). 18.94 Section 18... Marine Mammal Species § 18.94 Pacific walrus (Alaska). (a) Pursuant to sections 101(a)(3)(A) 103, and 109... walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) in waters or on lands subject to the jurisdiction of the State of Alaska,...

  19. 50 CFR 18.94 - Pacific walrus (Alaska).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Pacific walrus (Alaska). 18.94 Section 18... Marine Mammal Species § 18.94 Pacific walrus (Alaska). (a) Pursuant to sections 101(a)(3)(A) 103, and 109... walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) in waters or on lands subject to the jurisdiction of the State of Alaska,...

  20. 50 CFR 216.85 - Walrus and Otter Islands.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Walrus and Otter Islands. 216.85 Section... MAMMALS Pribilof Islands Administration § 216.85 Walrus and Otter Islands. By Executive Order 1044, dated February 27, 1909, Walrus and Otter Islands were set aside as bird reservations. All persons are prohibited...

  1. 50 CFR 216.85 - Walrus and Otter Islands.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Walrus and Otter Islands. 216.85 Section... MAMMALS Pribilof Islands Administration § 216.85 Walrus and Otter Islands. By Executive Order 1044, dated February 27, 1909, Walrus and Otter Islands were set aside as bird reservations. All persons are prohibited...

  2. 50 CFR 18.94 - Pacific walrus (Alaska).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 6 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Pacific walrus (Alaska). 18.94 Section 18... Marine Mammal Species § 18.94 Pacific walrus (Alaska). (a) Pursuant to sections 101(a)(3)(A) 103, and 109... walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) in waters or on lands subject to the jurisdiction of the State of Alaska, the...

  3. 50 CFR 216.85 - Walrus and Otter Islands.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Walrus and Otter Islands. 216.85 Section... MAMMALS Pribilof Islands Administration § 216.85 Walrus and Otter Islands. By Executive Order 1044, dated February 27, 1909, Walrus and Otter Islands were set aside as bird reservations. All persons are prohibited...

  4. 50 CFR 216.85 - Walrus and Otter Islands.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Walrus and Otter Islands. 216.85 Section... MAMMALS Pribilof Islands Administration § 216.85 Walrus and Otter Islands. By Executive Order 1044, dated February 27, 1909, Walrus and Otter Islands were set aside as bird reservations. All persons are prohibited...

  5. 50 CFR 18.94 - Pacific walrus (Alaska).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Pacific walrus (Alaska). 18.94 Section 18... Marine Mammal Species § 18.94 Pacific walrus (Alaska). (a) Pursuant to sections 101(a)(3)(A) 103, and 109... walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) in waters or on lands subject to the jurisdiction of the State of Alaska, the...

  6. 50 CFR 216.85 - Walrus and Otter Islands.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Walrus and Otter Islands. 216.85 Section... MAMMALS Pribilof Islands Administration § 216.85 Walrus and Otter Islands. By Executive Order 1044, dated February 27, 1909, Walrus and Otter Islands were set aside as bird reservations. All persons are prohibited...

  7. Free-living amoebae: Health concerns in the indoor environment

    SciTech Connect

    Tyndall, R.L.; Ironside, K.S.

    1990-01-01

    Free-living amoebae are the most likely protozoa implicated in health concerns of the indoor environment. These amoebae can be the source of allergic reactions, eye infections or, on rare occasions, encephalitis. While too large to be effectively aerosolized, free- living amoebae can support the multiplication of pathogens such as Legionella which are easily aerosolized and infectious via the pulmonary route. Traditional detection methods for free-living amoebae are laborious and time consuming. Newer techniques for rapidly detecting and quantitating free-living amoebae such as monoclonal antibodies, flow cytometry, gene probes, and laser optics have or could be employed. 25 refs.

  8. Hemosporidian parasites of free-living birds in the São Paulo Zoo, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Chagas, Carolina Romeiro Fernandes; Guimarães, Lilian de Oliveira; Monteiro, Eliana Ferreira; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Katayama, Michele Viana; Santos, Stéfanie Vanessa; Guida, Fernanda Junqueira Vaz; Simões, Roseli França; Kirchgatter, Karin

    2016-04-01

    Numerous studies addressed the diversity of bird Plasmodium and Haemoproteus parasites. However, a few have been carried out in continental avian hotspot regions such as Brazil, a country with markedly different biomes, including Amazon, Brazilian Savanna, Atlantic Forest, Caatinga, Pantanal, and Pampas. We present the first study on hemosporidian (Haemosporida) parasites in free-living birds from an Atlantic Forest fragment where more than 80 avian species have been reported. Within this area, the São Paulo Zoo locates, and it is the fourth largest zoo in the world and the largest in Latin America. A total of 133 free-living bird samples representing 12 species were collected in the zoo, with the overall hemosporidian prevalence of 18 % by PCR-based diagnostics. Twenty-four positive PCR signals were reported from four different bird species, including migratory ones. Columba livia, an urban species, considered nowadays a pest in big cities, showed 100 % prevalence of Haemoproteus spp., mainly Haemoproteus columbae. We discuss the epidemiological importance of new parasites introduced by migratory birds in the São Paulo Zoo area and the risk it poses to the captive species, which are natives or exotics. We also warn about the influence these parasites can have on the biodiversity and the structure of host populations by altering the competitive interaction between the free-living and the captive birds.

  9. Blood protozoa of free-living birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Herman, C.M.; McDiarmid, Archibald

    1969-01-01

    Blood protozoa were first reported from wild birds in 1884. Since then numerous surveys throughout the world have demonstrated their presence in a wide variety of hosts and localities with continuing designations of new species. Taxonomic determinations include parasites in the genera Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, Leucocytozoon, Babesia, Lankesterella and Trypanosoma. Transmission of Plasmodium by mosquitoes was demonstrated with a bird parasite before these insects were proven as vectors of human malaria. All the genera under consideration require an insect vector to complete their life-cycles and susceptible vectors have been demonstrated. Most experimental work on the blood protozoa of birds has been carried on with captive birds. An extensive volume of research has been conducted on Plasmodium because of its close similarity to malaria in man. Field studies that would provide information on the epizootiology of occurrence of these parasites in wild populations have been very limited, mainly confined to single blood film surveys. Such data are inadequate to provide an understanding of true prevalence or incidence or of factual knowledge of their impact on the wild population. Mechanisms for procuring such information are available in some cases and can be developed to fit other situations. Isodiagnosis, inoculation of blood from wild birds into susceptible captive hosts, has revealed a prevalence of over 60 % for Plasmodium in situations where microscope examination of single peripheral blood preparations yielded less than 1 %. Culture of bone marrow collected by biopsy demonstrates high prevalence of trypanosomes even when none are evident from microscopic examination of blood. Often preparations of tissues collected at necropsy reveal Leucocytozoon and Lankesterella when examination of peripheral blood gave no indication of infection. Methods developed by bird ringers provide techniques for obtaining repeat examinations of free-living birds that can yield further

  10. Ecology of free-living amoebae.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Zaragoza, S

    1994-01-01

    Small free-living amoebae (FLA) are the main predators controlling bacterial populations in soils. They are distributed in the rhizospheric zone and the surrounding bulk soil; however, they may spread deeper, reaching the vadose zone of groundwater systems, especially where bacterial populations get to high densities. Soil texture is the physical factor controlling the distribution of FLA because it determines the mean bore pore of soil aggregates and other important physical factors. FLA help maintain the high bacterial mineralization rate of organic matter through predation. As attachment onto a surface is necessary for feeding, the quantity of available surfaces is very important for developing this activity. However, the role of protozoa on plant growth promotion is still unclear because they may increase this effect by feeding on both fungi and bacteria. Small FLA are found in soils or sediments, as well as attached to suspended particulate matter in water columns, in the first 30 microns of water surface, or on the bodies of submerged animals and plants. These microorganisms do not distinguish between terrestrial or aquatic environments because they live in the interfaces between them. However, their importance in aquatic systems has been considered as negligible because they are outcompeted by free swimmers. The water conditions affecting amoebae survival are pH, temperature, concentration of sulfhydric acid and salinity. These factors have a strong influence on the structure of amoebae communities in aquatic environments. FLA are considered cosmopolitan as a group, and they live inside vertebrates, in soils, freshwater, marine waters, and on the aerial parts of plants and animals. These microbes, are spread by wind and water currents. Once in the air, cysts and trophozoites behave like any other suspended particulate matter. Therefore, suspension transportation, and removal depend on atmospheric dynamics rather than on their own mechanisms. Ultraviolet

  11. The use of singleplex and nested PCR to detect Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in free-living frogs

    PubMed Central

    Coutinho, Selene Dall'Acqua; Burke, Julieta Catarina; de Paula, Catia Dejuste; Rodrigues, Miguel Trefaut; Catão-Dias, José Luiz

    2015-01-01

    Many microorganisms are able to cause diseases in amphibians, and in the past few years one of the most reported has been Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. This fungus was first reported in Brazil in 2005; following this, other reports were made in specimens deposited in museum collections, captive and free-living frogs. The aim of this study was to compare singleplex and nested-PCR techniques to detect B. dendrobatidis in free-living and apparently healthy adult frogs from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. The sample collection area was a protected government park, with no general entrance permitted and no management of the animals there. Swabs were taken from the skin of 107 animals without macroscopic lesions and they were maintained in ethanol p.a. Fungal DNA was extracted and identification of B. dendrobatidis was performed using singleplex and nested-PCR techniques, employing specific primers sequences. B. dendrobatidis was detected in 61/107 (57%) and 18/107 (17%) animals, respectively by nested and singleplex-PCR. Nested-PCR was statistically more sensible than the conventional for the detection of B. dendrobatidis (Chi-square = 37.1; α = 1%) and the agreement between both techniques was considered just fair (Kappa = 0.27). The high prevalence obtained confirms that these fungi occur in free-living frogs from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest with no macroscopic lesions, characterizing the state of asymptomatic carrier. We concluded that the nested-PCR technique, due to its ease of execution and reproducibility, can be recommended as one of the alternatives in epidemiological surveys to detect B. dendrobatidis in healthy free-living frog populations. PMID:26273273

  12. The use of singleplex and nested PCR to detect Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in free-living frogs.

    PubMed

    Coutinho, Selene Dall'Acqua; Burke, Julieta Catarina; de Paula, Catia Dejuste; Rodrigues, Miguel Trefaut; Catão-Dias, José Luiz

    2015-06-01

    Many microorganisms are able to cause diseases in amphibians, and in the past few years one of the most reported has been Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. This fungus was first reported in Brazil in 2005; following this, other reports were made in specimens deposited in museum collections, captive and free-living frogs. The aim of this study was to compare singleplex and nested-PCR techniques to detect B. dendrobatidis in free-living and apparently healthy adult frogs from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. The sample collection area was a protected government park, with no general entrance permitted and no management of the animals there. Swabs were taken from the skin of 107 animals without macroscopic lesions and they were maintained in ethanol p.a. Fungal DNA was extracted and identification of B. dendrobatidis was performed using singleplex and nested-PCR techniques, employing specific primers sequences. B. dendrobatidis was detected in 61/107 (57%) and 18/107 (17%) animals, respectively by nested and singleplex-PCR. Nested-PCR was statistically more sensible than the conventional for the detection of B. dendrobatidis (Chi-square = 37.1; α = 1%) and the agreement between both techniques was considered just fair (Kappa = 0.27). The high prevalence obtained confirms that these fungi occur in free-living frogs from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest with no macroscopic lesions, characterizing the state of asymptomatic carrier. We concluded that the nested-PCR technique, due to its ease of execution and reproducibility, can be recommended as one of the alternatives in epidemiological surveys to detect B. dendrobatidis in healthy free-living frog populations.

  13. Study of sleep in a walrus.

    PubMed

    Lyamin, O I; Kosenko, P O; Vyssotski, A L; Lapierre, J L; Siegel, J M; Mukhametov, L M

    2012-01-01

    Several behavioral and physiological adaptations have been developed in evolution of Pinnipeds allowing them to sleep both on land and in water. To date sleep has been examined in detail in eared and true seals (the families of Otariidae and Phocidae). The aim of this study was to examine sleep in another semiaquatic mammal - the walrus, which is the only extant representative of the family Odobenidae. Slow wave and paradoxical sleep (SWS and PS) in the examined walrus (2 year old female, weight 130 kg) averaged 19.4 ± 2.0 and 6.9 ± 1.1% of 24-h when on land, and 20.5 ± 0.8% of 24-h and 1.1 ± 0.6% when in water, respectively. The average duration of PS episode was 6.4 ± 0.6 min (maximum 23 min) when on land and 1.8 ± 0.1 min (maximum 3.3 min) when in water. In water, sleep occurred predominantly while the walrus submerged and lay on the bottom of the pool (89% of total sleep time). The walrus usually woke up while emerging to the surface for breathing. Most often EEG slow waves developed synchronously in both cortical hemispheres (90% of SWS time when on land and 97% when in water). Short episodes of interhemispheric EEG asymmetry usually coincided with brief opening of one eye. The pattern of sleep in the walrus was similar to the pattern of sleep in the Otariidae seals while on land (predominantly bilateral SWS, accompanied by regular breathing) and to the pattern of sleep in the Phocidae while in water (sleep during apneas both in depth and at the surface, interrupted by brief arousal when emerging for breathing).

  14. First Gammaherpesvirus detection in a free-living Mediterranean bottlenose dolphin.

    PubMed

    Lecis, Roberta; Tocchetti, Marco; Rotta, Andrea; Naitana, Salvatore; Ganges, Llilianne; Pittau, Marco; Alberti, Alberto

    2014-12-01

    Recently, herpes viruses have been detected in different cetacean species from the Atlantic and in Mediterranean striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba). While pathogens such as cetacean morbillivirus have been widely studied following recent epizootics, herpesvirus (HV) distribution and pathogenic effects in cetaceans are still understudied. This study reports the first molecular identification of a Gammaherpesvirus in the genital mucosa of a free-living Mediterranean bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) stranded off the coast of central Italy. Sequenced herpesviral PCR product was closely related to other HVs recently isolated in the genital mucosa of various cetacean species.

  15. Ocean environmental effects on walrus communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Denes, Samuel L.

    This work aimed to develop source characteristics and transmission effects for the acoustic breeding displays of male Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens). Pacific walrus breeding activities occur in late winter in the Bering Sea, an area renowned for extreme weather conditions and high biological productivity. During the breeding season, males perform acoustic displays while swimming in the vicinity of females hauled out on ice. Underwater vocalizations heard by individuals hauled out on ice may be important in the mate selection process. The extreme environment in which walrus breeding activities occur precludes direct observation of these animals during this important period and has resulted in a lack of data. A combination of remote-sensing data, captive animal research, controlled environment experiment, and computational modeling was used to increase our understanding of the acoustic displays of Pacific walrus. Analysis of recordings of captive and wild male Pacific walrus vocalizations during breeding season provided quantification of source characteristics. Working with a captive animal provided the ability to make direct observations of a male producing breeding vocalizations and the direct calculation of source level. The mean peak to peak source level of the impulsive knocks produced by the captive male was 183 dB (re: 1 microPa) with the middle 95% of the knocks between 168 dB and 195 dB. The broadband knock signals contained significant acoustic energy up to 13 kHz. To estimate source level from wild vocalizations, the location of the source walrus first needed to be determined. Using a method of relative multipath arrival time, more than 37,000 knocks were localized from six years of data from autonomous recorders deployed in the Bering Sea. The mean peak-peak source level from the wild recordings was 177 dB (re: 1 microPa) with 95% of the knocks between 163 dB and 189 dB. For both wild and captive vocalizations, a significant relationship

  16. The Hauling-Out Behavior of the Pacific Walrus.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1980-09-08

    sea ice with walruses in order to meet the stated objectives of this contract. These objectives were to: 1. determine hauling - out ...air and water temperatures with a thermometer, and the surface temperatures of hauled - out walruses with the Barnes radiation thermometer. Ice ...that area did not change, but rather that the proportion hauled out changed. We obtained similar information of walrus site tenacity relative to ice

  17. Proceedings of a workshop concerning walrus survey methods

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Garlich-Miller, Joel L.; Jay, Chadwick V.

    2000-01-01

    In March 2000, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Geological Survey hosted a workshop to evaluate various techniques and approaches to estimate the size and trend of the Pacific walrus population. Workshop participants included American and Russian experts in walrus biology and survey design, subsistence hunters, and resource managers. Workshop participants reviewed previous efforts to survey the Pacific walrus population and identified problems that were encountered in designing and conducting those surveys. The group also summarized survey conditions by season and evaluated potential tools and techniques for surveying walrus populations.

  18. Event-based analysis of free-living behaviour.

    PubMed

    Granat, Malcolm H

    2012-11-01

    The quantification of free-living physical activities is important in understanding how physical activity and sedentary behaviour impact on health and also on how interventions might modify free-living behaviour to enhance health. Quantification, and the terminology used, has in many ways been determined by the choice of measurement technique. The inter-related issues around measurement devices and terminology used are explored. This paper proposes a terminology and a systematic approach for the analysis of free-living activity information using event-based activity data. The event-based approach uses a flexible hierarchical classification of events and, dependent on the research question, analysis can then be undertaken on a selection of these events. The quantification of free-living behaviour is therefore the result of the analysis on the patterns of these chosen events. The application of this approach is illustrated with results from a range of published studies by our group showing how event-based analysis provides a flexible yet robust method of addressing the research question(s) and provides a deeper insight into free-living behaviour. It is proposed that it is through event-based analysis we can more clearly understand how behaviour is related to health and also how we can produce more relevant outcome measures.

  19. Free-living flatworms under the knife: past and present

    PubMed Central

    Gschwentner, Robert; Rieger, Reinhard

    2006-01-01

    Traditionally, regeneration research has been closely tied to flatworm research, as flatworms (Plathelminthes) were among the first animals where the phenomenon of regeneration was discovered. Since then, the main focus of flatworm regeneration research was on triclads, for which various phenomena were observed and a number of theories developed. However, free-living flatworms encompass a number of other taxa where regeneration was found to be possible. This review aims to display and to compare regeneration in all major free-living flatworm taxa, with special focus on a new player in the field of regeneration, Macrostomum lignano (Macrostomorpha). Findings on the regeneration capacity of this organism provide clues for links between regeneration and (post-)embryonic development, starvation, and asexual reproduction. The role of the nervous system and especially the brain for regeneration is discussed, and similarities as well as particularities in regeneration among free-living flatworms are pointed out. PMID:17146688

  20. Free-living flatworms under the knife: past and present.

    PubMed

    Egger, Bernhard; Gschwentner, Robert; Rieger, Reinhard

    2007-02-01

    Traditionally, regeneration research has been closely tied to flatworm research, as flatworms (Plathelminthes) were among the first animals where the phenomenon of regeneration was discovered. Since then, the main focus of flatworm regeneration research was on triclads, for which various phenomena were observed and a number of theories developed. However, free-living flatworms encompass a number of other taxa where regeneration was found to be possible. This review aims to display and to compare regeneration in all major free-living flatworm taxa, with special focus on a new player in the field of regeneration, Macrostomum lignano (Macrostomorpha). Findings on the regeneration capacity of this organism provide clues for links between regeneration and (post-)embryonic development, starvation, and asexual reproduction. The role of the nervous system and especially the brain for regeneration is discussed, and similarities as well as particularities in regeneration among free-living flatworms are pointed out.

  1. Application of airborne thermal imagery to surveys of Pacific walrus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burn, D.M.; Webber, M.A.; Udevitz, M.S.

    2006-01-01

    We conducted tests of airborne thermal imagery of Pacific walrus to determine if this technology can be used to detect walrus groups on sea ice and estimate the number of walruses present in each group. In April 2002 we collected thermal imagery of 37 walrus groups in the Bering Sea at spatial resolutions ranging from 1-4 m. We also collected high-resolution digital aerial photographs of the same groups. Walruses were considerably warmer than the background environment of ice, snow, and seawater and were easily detected in thermal imagery. We found a significant linear relation between walrus group size and the amount of heat measured by the thermal sensor at all 4 spatial resolutions tested. This relation can be used in a double-sampling framework to estimate total walrus numbers from a thermal survey of a sample of units within an area and photographs from a subsample of the thermally detected groups. Previous methods used in visual aerial surveys of Pacific walrus have sampled only a small percentage of available habitat, resulting in population estimates with low precision. Results of this study indicate that an aerial survey using a thermal sensor can cover as much as 4 times the area per hour of flight time with greater reliability than visual observation.

  2. Perceptions of food healthiness among free-living women.

    PubMed

    Rizk, Marianne T; Treat, Teresa A

    2015-12-01

    Improving our understanding of food-related healthiness perception may be beneficial to assist those with eating- and weight-related problems. This study replicates and extends prior work by examining normative and person-specific predictors of the perceived healthiness of foods in a sample of free-living women. One hundred sixty-nine women from the community judged the healthiness of 104 foods that varied in fat, fiber, sugar, and protein content. Mixed-effects modeling estimated normative influences of food-specific and individual-specific characteristics on each participant's utilization of the nutrients when judging healthiness. When judging healthiness, free-living women relied substantially on fat and fiber independently of other nutrients. In contrast, reliance on fat and fiber was moderated by the presence of protein and sugar. Three bivariate interactions emerged between: 1) fiber and sugar; 2) fat and protein; and 3) fiber and protein. Binge-eating symptoms and frequency of healthy food consumption positively correlated with independent reliance on fat as a predictor of perceived healthiness. Public health campaigns should continue to encourage free-living women to consume adequate amounts of protein. Additionally, free-living women should be reminded that the presence of sugar in foods without nourishing components (i.e., fiber, protein) is problematic, and consuming these foods in excess should be avoided. Healthy food consumption appears to enhance perceptions of food healthiness. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Inactivation and Removal of Free-Living Amoebae.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) are ubiquitous protozoan that are predominantly harmless to humans. There are a few genera that cause disease in humans, Balamuthia, Naegleria, and Acanthamoeba. These organisms are not easily removed by physical means or inactivated by chemic...

  4. Accuracy of Step Recording in Free-Living Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Behrens, Timothy K.; Dinger, Mary K.; Vesely, Sara K.; Fields, David A.

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate how accurately free-living adults record their pedometer steps on step logs. Researchers used three different methods to examine the accuracy of participant-recorded steps: tests of equivalence, correlation coefficients, and Bland-Altman plots. Findings indicate that participant-recorded steps…

  5. Feeding enrichment methods for Pacific walrus calves.

    PubMed

    Kastelein, Ronald A; Jennings, Nancy; Postma, Jacobus

    2007-05-01

    In the wild, walrus calves are occupied with many behaviors necessary for survival. In captivity there is usually less to occupy them. Therefore it is necessary to develop other ways to occupy the animals to prevent negative behavior. In the present study, food in four different types of dispensers were tested on two walrus calves: fish in ice, fish in a nine-hole container, fish in a two-hole container, and fish in ice in a one-hole container. All four methods of offering fish had an effect on the animals' behavior. There were differences in the way the two animals responded to each of the four dispensers. The dispensers occupied one animal on average between 32-95% of the 90-min test periods, and the other animal for between 14-57% of the test periods. Due to the effect of learning and rapid development of the calves, which were shifting from a 100% formula diet to a 100% fish diet during the study period, the four methods cannot be compared. Besides the time feeding methods occupy animals, the practicality of a dispenser determines how often it will be used by the keepers. Of the four dispenser types tested in the present study, the nine-hole container was the most practical and was still used frequently by the keepers years after the study. Zoo Biol 0:1-12, 2007. (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  6. Normal Hemostatic Profiles and Coagulation Factors in Healthy Free-Living Florida Manatees ( Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Barratclough, Ashley; Floyd, Ruth Francis; Conner, Bobbi; Reep, Roger; Ball, Ray; Stacy, Nicole

    2016-10-01

    Hemostatic disorders presumptively play an important role in the pathophysiology of several important disease conditions in the Florida manatee ( Trichechus manatus latirostris). Prior to pursuing such clinical implications, it is essential to establish normal hemostatic profiles in clinically healthy animals. During annual health assessments of free-living manatees organized by the US Geological Survey, blood samples were collected from 12 healthy animals from the Atlantic coast and 28 from the Gulf of Mexico coast of Florida, with body lengths of 210-324 cm. The following analyses were performed on citrated plasma: prothrombin (PT), partial thromboplastin time (PTT), and concentrations of fibrinogen, D-dimers, and coagulation factors VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, and XII. Compared to other mammalian species, manatees had short PT (9.2±1.5 s) and PTT (10.7±0.5 s), fibrinogen was 369±78.7 mg/dL, antithrombin III was 132±11%, and D-dimer was 142±122 ng/mL. Baseline concentrations for the listed coagulation factors were established. When comparing coagulation factors between locations, Atlantic coast manatees had significantly higher factors VIII, IX, and X than did Gulf Coast manatees. This finding may reflect differences in water salinity, diet, or genetics. There were no differences in coagulation factors when among sexes and sizes. These baselines for hemostatic profiles and coagulation factors in healthy free-living manatees lay the foundation for diagnosis and future research of hemostatic disorders and contribute to understanding their role in the pathophysiology of manatees affected by various diseases.

  7. Divergent movements of walrus and sea ice in the Nothern Bering Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jay, Chadwick V.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Kwok, Ron; Fischbach, Anthony S.; Douglas, David C.

    2010-01-01

    The Pacific walrus Odobenus rosmarus divergens is a large Arctic pinniped of the Chukchi and Bering Seas. Reductions of sea ice projected to occur in the Arctic by mid-century raise concerns for conservation of the Pacific walrus. To understand the significance of sea ice loss to the viability of walruses, it would be useful to better understand the spatial associations between the movements of sea ice and walruses. We investigated whether local-scale (~1 to 100 km) walrus movements correspond to movements of sea ice in the Bering Sea in early spring, using locations from radio-tracked walruses and measures of ice floe movements from processed synthetic aperture radar satellite imagery. We used generalized linear mixed-effects models to analyze the angle between walrus and ice floe movement vectors and the distance between the final geographic position of walruses and their associated ice floes (displacement), as functions of observation duration, proportion of time the walrus was in water, and geographic region. Analyses were based on 121 walrus-ice vector pairs and observations lasting 12 to 36 h. Angles and displacements increased with observation duration, proportion of time the walrus spent in the water, and varied among regions (regional mean angles ranged from 40° to 81° and mean displacements ranged from 15 to 35 km). Our results indicated a lack of correspondence between walruses and their initially associated ice floes, suggesting that local areas of walrus activities were independent of the movement of ice floes.

  8. Muscle metabolic function and free-living physical activity.

    PubMed

    Hunter, Gary R; Larson-Meyer, D Enette; Sirikul, Bovorn; Newcomer, Bradley R

    2006-11-01

    We have previously shown that muscle metabolic function measured during exercise is related to exercise performance and subsequent 1-yr weight gain. Because it is well established that physical activity is important in weight maintenance, we examined muscle function relationships with free-living energy expenditure and physical activity. Subjects were 71 premenopausal black and white women. Muscle metabolism was evaluated by (31)P magnetic resonance spectroscopy during 90-s isometric plantar flexion contractions (45% maximum). Free-living energy expenditure (TEE) was measured using doubly labeled water, activity-related energy expenditure (AEE) was calculated as 0.9 x TEE - sleeping energy expenditure from room calorimetry, and free-living physical activity (ARTE) was calculated by dividing AEE by energy cost of standard physical activities. At the end of exercise, anaerobic glycolytic rate (ANGLY) and muscle concentration of phosphomonoesters (PME) were negatively related to TEE, AEE, and ARTE (P < 0.05). Multiple regression analysis showed that both PME (partial r = -0.29, <0.02) and ANGLY (partial r = -0.24, P < 0.04) were independently related to ARTE. PME, primarily glucose-6-phosphate and fructose-6-phosphate, was significantly related to ratings of perceived exertion (r = 0.21, P < or = 0.05) during a maximal treadmill test. PME was not related to ARTE after inclusion of RPE in the multiple regression model, suggesting that PME may be obtaining its relationship with ARTE through an increased perception of effort during physical activity. In conclusion, physically inactive individuals tend to be more dependent on anaerobic glycolysis during exercise while relying on a glycolytic pathway that may not be functioning optimally.

  9. Identifying endosymbiont bacteria associated with free-living amoebae.

    PubMed

    Goñi, Pilar; Fernández, María Teresa; Rubio, Encarnación

    2014-02-01

    The association between free-living amoebae and pathogenic bacteria is an issue that has gained great importance due to the environmental and health consequences that it implies. In this paper, we analyse the techniques to follow an epidemiological study to identify associations between genera, species, genotypes and subgenotypes of amoebae with pathogenic bacteria, analysing their evolution and considering their usefulness. In this sense, we highlight the combination of microscopic and molecular techniques as the most appropriate way to obtain fully reliable results as well as the need to achieve the standardization of these techniques to allow the comparison of both environmental and clinical results.

  10. Pathogenic free-living amoebae: epidemiology and clinical review.

    PubMed

    Trabelsi, H; Dendana, F; Sellami, A; Sellami, H; Cheikhrouhou, F; Neji, S; Makni, F; Ayadi, A

    2012-12-01

    Free-living amoebae are widely distributed in soil and water. Small number of them was implicated in human disease: Acanthamoeba spp., Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris and Sappinia diploidea. Some of the infections were opportunistic, occurring mainly in immunocompromised hosts (Acanthamoeba and Balamuthia encephalitis) while others are non opportunistic (Acanthamoeba keratitis, Naegleria meningoencephalitis and some cases of Balamuthia encephalitis). Although, the number of infections caused by these amoebae is low, their diagnosis was still difficult to confirm and so there was a higher mortality, particularly, associated with encephalitis. In this review, we present some information about epidemiology, ecology and the types of diseases caused by these pathogens amoebae.

  11. Lack of heme synthesis in a free-living eukaryote

    PubMed Central

    Rao, Anita U.; Carta, Lynn K.; Lesuisse, Emmanuel; Hamza, Iqbal

    2005-01-01

    In most free-living eukaryotes studied thus far, heme is synthesized from a series of intermediates through a well defined evolutionarily conserved pathway. We found that free-living worms, including the model genetic organism Caenorhabditis elegans, and parasitic helminths are unable to synthesize heme de novo, even though these animals contain hemoproteins that function in key biological processes. Radioisotope, fluorescence labeling, and heme analog studies suggest that C. elegans acquires heme from exogenous sources. Iron-deprived worms were unable to grow in the presence of adequate heme unless rescued by increasing heme levels in the growth medium. These data indicate that although worms use dietary heme for incorporation into hemoproteins, ingested heme is also used as an iron source when iron is limiting. Our results provide a biochemical basis for the dependence of worm growth and development on heme, and they suggest that pharmacologic targeting of heme transport pathways in worms could be an important control measure for helminthic infections. PMID:15767563

  12. Cultivation of Pathogenic and Opportunistic Free-Living Amebas

    PubMed Central

    Schuster, Frederick L.

    2002-01-01

    Free-living amebas are widely distributed in soil and water, particularly members of the genera Acanthamoeba and Naegleria. Since the early 1960s, they have been recognized as opportunistic human pathogens, capable of causing infections of the central nervous system (CNS) in both immunocompetent and immunocompromised hosts. Naegleria is the causal agent of a fulminant CNS condition, primary amebic meningoencephalitis; Acanthamoeba is responsible for a more chronic and insidious infection of the CNS termed granulomatous amebic encephalitis, as well as amebic keratitis. Balamuthia sp. has been recognized in the past decade as another ameba implicated in CNS infections. Cultivation of these organisms in vitro provides the basis for a better understanding of the biology of these amebas, as well as an important means of isolating and identifying them from clinical samples. Naegleria and Acanthamoeba can be cultured axenically in cell-free media or on tissue culture cells as feeder layers and in cultures with bacteria as a food source. Balamuthia, which has yet to be isolated from the environment, will not grow on bacteria. Instead, it requires tissue culture cells as feeder layers or an enriched cell-free medium. The recent identification of another ameba, Sappinia diploidea, suggests that other free-living forms may also be involved as causal agents of human infections. PMID:12097243

  13. Natural infection by endoparasites among free-living wild animals.

    PubMed

    Holsback, Luciane; Cardoso, Mauro José Lahm; Fagnani, Rafael; Patelli, Thaís Helena Constantino

    2013-01-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the frequency of occurrence and variety of intestinal parasites among free-living wild animals. Fecal samples from wild mammals and birds at rehabilitation centers in the states of Mato Grosso do Sul and São Paulo were analyzed by sedimentation and flotation-centrifugation methods. Parasite eggs, oocysts, cysts and/or trophozoites were found in 71% of the samples. Cryptosporidium sp. oocysts were detected in fecal samples from oncillas (Leopardus tigrinus) and scaly-headed parrots (Pionus maximiliani). Giardia cysts were identified in the feces of a gray brocket (Mazama gouazoubira). Among the most common parasites found, there were eggs from Toxocara cati, Toxascaris leonina and Ancylostoma tubaeforme, and from Cestoda. Several Enterobius sp. eggs were found in the feces of red howler monkeys (Alouatta seniculus). It can be concluded from this study that despite the small number of samples, the diversity of parasites found was noteworthy. Additional information about parasite endofauna in wild animals is needed, since their presence might suggest that there could be proximity to and interactions with domestic animals and/or humans. In addition, further studies on parasites from free-living wild animals are of prime importance for understanding the intensity of anthropic changes in wild environments.

  14. Repertoire of free-living protozoa in contact lens solutions.

    PubMed

    Bouchoucha, Ibtissem; Aziz, Aurore; Hoffart, Louis; Drancourt, Michel

    2016-10-29

    The repertoire of free-living protozoa in contact lens solutions is poorly known despite the fact that such protozoa may act as direct pathogens and may harbor intra-cellular pathogens. Between 2009 and 2014, the contact lens solutions collected from patients presenting at our Ophthalmology Department for clinically suspected keratitis, were cultured on non-nutrient agar examined by microscope for the presence of free-living protozoa. All protozoa were identified by 18S rRNA gene sequencing. A total of 20 of 233 (8.6 %) contact lens solution specimens collected from 16 patients were cultured. Acanthamoeba amoeba in 16 solutions (80 %) collected from 12 patients and Colpoda steini, Cercozoa sp., Protostelium sp. and a eukaryotic more closely related to Vermamoeba sp., were each isolated in one solution. Cercozoa sp., Colpoda sp., Protostelium sp. and Vermamoeba sp. are reported for the first time as contaminating contact lens solutions. The repertoire of protozoa in contact lens solutions is larger than previously known.

  15. Genetic Variation in the Free-Living Amoeba Naegleria fowleri

    PubMed Central

    Pélandakis, Michel; De Jonckheere, Johan F.; Pernin, Pierre

    1998-01-01

    In this study, 30 strains of the pathogenic free-living amoeba Naegleria fowleri were investigated by using the randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) method. The present study confirmed our previous finding that RAPD variation is not correlated with geographical origin. In particular, Mexican strains belong to the variant previously detected in Asia, Europe, and the United States. In France, surprisingly, strains from Cattenom gave RAPD patterns identical to those of the Japanese strains. In addition, all of these strains, together with an additional French strain from Chooz, exhibited similarities to South Pacific strains. The results also confirmed the presence of numerous variants in Europe, whereas only two variants were detected in the United States. The two variants found in the United States were different from the South Pacific variants. These findings do not support the previous hypothesis concerning the origin and modes of dispersal of N. fowleri. PMID:9687460

  16. Cocultivation of Legionella pneumophila and free-living amoebae.

    PubMed Central

    Tyndall, R L; Domingue, E L

    1982-01-01

    Studies of the interaction of Legionella pneumophila with free-living amoebae showed that Naegleria lovaniensis and Acanthamoeba royreba could use L. pneumophila as a sole food source. However, growth of the amoebae on nonnutrient agar plates seeded with L. pneumophila was slower than growth on nonnutrient agar plates seeded with Escherichia coli. On inoculation of L. pneumophila into axenic cultures of N. lovaniensis and A. royreba, 99.9% of the L. pneumophila was destroyed within 24 h. After several weeks, however, some amoeba cultures became chronically infected and supported the growth of L. pneumophila. Amoebae exposed to L. pneumophila and containing adhered L. pneumophila, L. pneumophila antigens, or both, showed no increased pathogenic potential on intranasal inoculation of weanling mice. Similarly, L. pneumophila propagated in chronically infected amoeba cultures showed no increase in virulence on intraperitoneal inoculation of guinea pigs relative to L. pneumophila grown in yeast extract broth. Images PMID:7149720

  17. Cocultivation of Legionella pneumophila and free-living amoebae

    SciTech Connect

    Tyndall, R.L.; Domingue, E.L.

    1982-10-01

    Studies of the interaction of Legionella pneumophila with free-living amoebae showed that Naegleria lovaniensis and Acanthamoeba royreba could use L. pneumophia as a sole food source. However, growth of the amoebae on nonnutrient agar plates seeded with L. pneumophila was slower than growth on nonnutrient agar plates seeded with Escherichia coli. On inoculation of L. pneumophila into axenic cultures of N. lovaniensis and A. roryba, 99.9% of the L. pneumophila was destroyed within 24 h. After several weeks, however, some amoeba cultures became chronically infected and supported the growth of L. pneumophila. Amoebae exposed to L. pneumophila and containing adhered L. pneumophila, L. pneumophila antigens, or both, showed no increased pathogenic potential on intranasal inoculation of weanling mice. Similarly, L. pneumophila propagated in chronically infected amoeba cultures showed no increase in virulence on intraperitoneal inoculation of guinea pigs relative to L. pneumophila grown in yeast extract broth. 20 references, 1 figure, 4 tables.

  18. Intestinal proteases of free-living and parasitic astigmatid mites.

    PubMed

    Holt, Deborah C; Burgess, Stewart T G; Reynolds, Simone L; Mahmood, Wajahat; Fischer, Katja

    2013-02-01

    Among arthropod pests, mites are responsible for considerable damage to crops, humans and other animals. However, detailed physiological data on these organisms remain sparse, mainly because of their small size but possibly also because of their extreme diversity. Focusing on intestinal proteases, we draw together information from three distinct mite species that all feed on skin but have separately adapted to a free-living, a strictly ecto-parasitic and a parasitic lifestyle. A wide range of studies involving immunohistology, molecular biology, X-ray crystallography and enzyme biochemistry of mite gut proteases suggests that these creatures have diverged considerably as house dust mites, sheep scab mites and scabies mites. Each species has evolved a particular variation of a presumably ancestral repertoire of digestive enzymes that have become specifically adapted to their individual environmental requirements.

  19. Using cadence to study free-living ambulatory behaviour.

    PubMed

    Tudor-Locke, Catrine; Rowe, David A

    2012-05-01

    The health benefits of a physically active lifestyle across a person's lifespan have been established. If there is any single physical activity behaviour that we should measure well and promote effectively, it is ambulatory activity and, more specifically, walking. Since public health physical activity guidelines include statements related to intensity of activity, it follows that we need to measure and promote free-living patterns of ambulatory activity that are congruent with this intent. The purpose of this review article is to present and summarize the potential for using cadence (steps/minute) to represent such behavioural patterns of ambulatory activity in free-living. Cadence is one of the spatio-temporal parameters of gait or walking speed. It is typically assessed using short-distance walks in clinical research and practice, but free-living cadence can be captured with a number of commercially available accelerometers that possess time-stamping technology. This presents a unique opportunity to use the same metric to communicate both ambulatory performance (assessed under testing conditions) and behaviour (assessed in the real world). Ranges for normal walking cadence assessed under laboratory conditions are 96-138 steps/minute for women and 81-135 steps/minute for men across their lifespan. The correlation between mean cadence and intensity (assessed with indirect calorimetry and expressed as metabolic equivalents [METs]) based on five treadmill/overground walking studies, is r = 0.93 and 100 steps/minute is considered to be a reasonable heuristic value indicative of walking at least at absolutely-defined moderate intensity (i.e. minimally, 3 METs) in adults. The weighted mean cadence derived from eight studies that have observed pedestrian cadence under natural conditions was 115.2 steps/minute, demonstrating that achieving 100 steps/minute is realistic in specific settings that occur in real life. However, accelerometer data collected in a large

  20. Spontaneous magnetic alignment behaviour in free-living lizards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diego-Rasilla, Francisco J.; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín; Pérez-Cembranos, Ana

    2017-04-01

    Several species of vertebrates exhibit spontaneous longitudinal body axis alignment relative to the Earth's magnetic field (i.e., magnetic alignment) while they are performing different behavioural tasks. Since magnetoreception is still not fully understood, studying magnetic alignment provides evidence for magnetoreception and broadens current knowledge of magnetic sense in animals. Furthermore, magnetic alignment widens the roles of magnetic sensitivity in animals and may contribute to shed new light on magnetoreception. In this context, spontaneous alignment in two species of lacertid lizards ( Podarcis muralis and Podarcis lilfordi) during basking periods was monitored. Alignments in 255 P. muralis and 456 P. lilfordi were measured over a 5-year period. The possible influence of the sun's position (i.e., altitude and azimuth) and geomagnetic field values corresponding to the moment in which a particular lizard was observed on lizards' body axis orientation was evaluated. Both species exhibited a highly significant bimodal orientation along the north-northeast and south-southwest magnetic axis. The evidence from this study suggests that free-living lacertid lizards exhibit magnetic alignment behaviour, since their body alignments cannot be explained by an effect of the sun's position. On the contrary, lizard orientations were significantly correlated with geomagnetic field values at the time of each observation. We suggest that this behaviour might provide lizards with a constant directional reference while they are sun basking. This directional reference might improve their mental map of space to accomplish efficient escape behaviour. This study is the first to provide spontaneous magnetic alignment behaviour in free-living reptiles.

  1. Viruses in close associations with free-living amoebae.

    PubMed

    Scheid, Patrick

    2015-11-01

    As both groups of organisms, free-living amoebae (FLA) and viruses, can be found in aquatic environments side by side, it appears obvious that there are multiple interactions with respect to host-endocytobiont relationships. Several relationships between viruses and protozoan hosts are described and it was the discovery of the so called "giant viruses," associated with amoebae, which gave another dimension to these interactions. Mimiviruses, Pandoraviruses and Pithoviruses are examples for interesting viral endocytobionts within FLA. In the Mimivirus viral factories, viral DNA undergoes replication and transcription, and the DNA is prepared to be packed in procapsids. Theses Mimivirus factories can be considered as efficient "production lines" where, at any given moment, all stages of viral generation including membrane biogenesis, capsid assembly and genome encapsidation, are occurring concomitantly. There are some hints that similar replication factories are involved as well during the Pandoravirus development. Some scientists favour the assumption that the giant viruses have received many of their genes from their hosts or from sympatric occurring endocytobionts via lateral gene transfer. This hypothesis would mean that this type of transfer has been an important process in the evolution of genomes in the context of the intracellular parasitic or endocytobiotic lifestyle. In turn, that would migitate against hypothesizing development of a new branch in the tree of life. Based on the described scenarios to explain the presence of genes related to translation, it is also possible that earlier ancestors of today's DNA viruses were involved in the origin of eukaryotes. That possibly could in turn support the idea that cellular organisms could have evolved from viruses with growing autarkic properties. In future we expect the discovery of further (giant) viruses within free-living amoebae and other protozoa through genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic analyses.

  2. Spontaneous magnetic alignment behaviour in free-living lizards.

    PubMed

    Diego-Rasilla, Francisco J; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín; Pérez-Cembranos, Ana

    2017-04-01

    Several species of vertebrates exhibit spontaneous longitudinal body axis alignment relative to the Earth's magnetic field (i.e., magnetic alignment) while they are performing different behavioural tasks. Since magnetoreception is still not fully understood, studying magnetic alignment provides evidence for magnetoreception and broadens current knowledge of magnetic sense in animals. Furthermore, magnetic alignment widens the roles of magnetic sensitivity in animals and may contribute to shed new light on magnetoreception. In this context, spontaneous alignment in two species of lacertid lizards (Podarcis muralis and Podarcis lilfordi) during basking periods was monitored. Alignments in 255 P. muralis and 456 P. lilfordi were measured over a 5-year period. The possible influence of the sun's position (i.e., altitude and azimuth) and geomagnetic field values corresponding to the moment in which a particular lizard was observed on lizards' body axis orientation was evaluated. Both species exhibited a highly significant bimodal orientation along the north-northeast and south-southwest magnetic axis. The evidence from this study suggests that free-living lacertid lizards exhibit magnetic alignment behaviour, since their body alignments cannot be explained by an effect of the sun's position. On the contrary, lizard orientations were significantly correlated with geomagnetic field values at the time of each observation. We suggest that this behaviour might provide lizards with a constant directional reference while they are sun basking. This directional reference might improve their mental map of space to accomplish efficient escape behaviour. This study is the first to provide spontaneous magnetic alignment behaviour in free-living reptiles.

  3. Human infections caused by free-living amoebae.

    PubMed

    Król-Turmińska, Katarzyna; Olender, Alina

    2017-05-11

    [b]Abstract Introduction[/b]. Among free-living amoebae that are widely distributed in nature only four genera/species are known as agents of human infections:[i] Acanthamoeba spp., Naegleriafowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris[/i] and[i] Sappiniapedata[/i]. These amoebae are not well adapted to parasitism, and could exist in the human environment without the need for a host. Infections due to these amoebae, despite low morbidity, are characterized by relatively high mortality rate and pose serious clinical problems. [b]Objectve[/b]. This review study presents and summarizes current knowledge about infections due to pathogenic and opportunistic free-living amoebae focused on epidemiology, clinical manifestations, diagnosis and treatment based on global literature. [b]State of knowledge[/b]. All four genera have been recognized as etiologic factors of fatal central nervous system infections and other serious diseases in humans. [i]N. fowleri[/i] causes an acute fulminating meningoencephalitis in children and young adults. [i]Acanthamoeba spp[/i]. and [i]B.mandrillaris[/i] are opportunistic pathogens causing granulomatous amoebic encephalitis and disseminated or localized infections which could affect the skin, sinuses, lungs, adrenals and/or bones. [i]Acanthamoeba spp[/i]. is also the main agent of acute eye infection -[i] Acanthamoeba keratitis, [/i]mostly in contact lens wearers. However, there is only one recognized case of encephalitis caused by [i]S. pedata. [/i] [b]Conclusions[/b]. Amoebic diseases are difficult to diagnose which leads to delayed treatment, and result in a high mortality rate. Considering those issues, there is an urgent need to draw more attention to this type of diseases.

  4. Arctic trichinosis: two Alaskan outbreaks from walrus meat.

    PubMed

    Margolis, H S; Middaugh, J P; Burgess, R D

    1979-01-01

    The arctic form of Trichinella spiralis that infects terrestrial and marine mammals is of importance in public health because persons living in arctic regions still depend on wild animals for economic subsistence. In 1975, an extended common-source epidemic of trichinosis attributed to consumption of walrus meat involved 29 persons in Barrow, Alaska. Of those persons eating this meat, 64% became ill, and the rate of infection of persons eating meat prepared with little or no cooking was four times as great as that of persons eating cooked meat. One year later a second outbreak occurred when a family ate partially cooked meat from an infected walrus. Clinical illness differed little from the disease acquired in temperature climates; however, only 70% had a positive bentonite flocculation titer, whereas 96% had eosinophilia. These epidemics of trichinosis are the first reported in Alaska to be associated with the consumption of walrus meat.

  5. Pacific Walrus and climate change: observations and predictions

    PubMed Central

    MacCracken, James G

    2012-01-01

    The extent and duration of sea-ice habitats used by Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) are diminishing resulting in altered walrus behavior, mortality, and distribution. I document changes that have occurred over the past several decades and make predictions to the end of the 21st century. Climate models project that sea ice will monotonically decline resulting in more ice-free summers of longer duration. Several stressors that may impact walruses are directly influenced by sea ice. How these stressors materialize were modeled as most likely-case, worst-case, and best-case scenarios for the mid- and late-21st century, resulting in four comprehensive working hypotheses that can help identify and prioritize management and research projects, identify comprehensive mitigation actions, and guide monitoring programs to track future developments and adjust programs as needed. In the short term, the most plausible hypotheses predict a continuing northward shift in walrus distribution, increasing use of coastal haulouts in summer and fall, and a population reduction set by the carrying capacity of the near shore environment and subsistence hunting. Alternatively, under worst-case conditions, the population will decline to a level where the probability of extinction is high. In the long term, walrus may seasonally abandon the Bering and Chukchi Seas for sea-ice refugia to the northwest and northeast, ocean warming and pH decline alter walrus food resources, and subsistence hunting exacerbates a large population decline. However, conditions that reverse current trends in sea ice loss cannot be ruled out. Which hypothesis comes to fruition depends on how the stressors develop and the success of mitigation measures. Best-case scenarios indicate that successful mitigation of unsustainable harvests and terrestrial haulout-related mortalities can be effective. Management and research should focus on monitoring, elucidating effects, and mitigation, while ultimately

  6. Pacific Walrus and climate change: observations and predictions.

    PubMed

    Maccracken, James G

    2012-08-01

    The extent and duration of sea-ice habitats used by Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) are diminishing resulting in altered walrus behavior, mortality, and distribution. I document changes that have occurred over the past several decades and make predictions to the end of the 21st century. Climate models project that sea ice will monotonically decline resulting in more ice-free summers of longer duration. Several stressors that may impact walruses are directly influenced by sea ice. How these stressors materialize were modeled as most likely-case, worst-case, and best-case scenarios for the mid- and late-21st century, resulting in four comprehensive working hypotheses that can help identify and prioritize management and research projects, identify comprehensive mitigation actions, and guide monitoring programs to track future developments and adjust programs as needed. In the short term, the most plausible hypotheses predict a continuing northward shift in walrus distribution, increasing use of coastal haulouts in summer and fall, and a population reduction set by the carrying capacity of the near shore environment and subsistence hunting. Alternatively, under worst-case conditions, the population will decline to a level where the probability of extinction is high. In the long term, walrus may seasonally abandon the Bering and Chukchi Seas for sea-ice refugia to the northwest and northeast, ocean warming and pH decline alter walrus food resources, and subsistence hunting exacerbates a large population decline. However, conditions that reverse current trends in sea ice loss cannot be ruled out. Which hypothesis comes to fruition depends on how the stressors develop and the success of mitigation measures. Best-case scenarios indicate that successful mitigation of unsustainable harvests and terrestrial haulout-related mortalities can be effective. Management and research should focus on monitoring, elucidating effects, and mitigation, while ultimately

  7. Results and evaluation of a survey to estimate Pacific walrus population size, 2006

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Speckman, S.G.; Chernook, V.I.; Burn, D.M.; Udevitz, M.S.; Kochnev, A.A.; Vasilev, A.; Jay, C.V.; Lisovsky, A.; Fischbach, A.S.; Benter, R.B.

    2011-01-01

    In spring 2006, we conducted a collaborative U.S.-Russia survey to estimate abundance of the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens). The Bering Sea was partitioned into survey blocks, and a systematic random sample of transects within a subset of the blocks was surveyed with airborne thermal scanners using standard strip-transect methodology. Counts of walruses in photographed groups were used to model the relation between thermal signatures and the number of walruses in groups, which was used to estimate the number of walruses in groups that were detected by the scanner but not photographed. We also modeled the probability of thermally detecting various-sized walrus groups to estimate the number of walruses in groups undetected by the scanner. We used data from radio-tagged walruses to adjust on-ice estimates to account for walruses in the water during the survey. The estimated area of available habitat averaged 668,000 km2 and the area of surveyed blocks was 318,204 km2. The number of Pacific walruses within the surveyed area was estimated at 129,000 with 95% confidence limits of 55,000-507,000 individuals. Poor weather conditions precluded surveying in other areas; therefore, this value represents the number of Pacific walruses within about half of potential walrus habitat. ?? 2010 by the Society for Marine Mammalogy.

  8. Walrus distributional and foraging response to changing ice and benthic conditions in the Chukchi Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jay, Chadwick V.; Grebmeier, Jacqueline M.; Fischbach, Anthony S.

    2012-01-01

    Arctic species such as the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) are facing a rapidly changing environment. Walruses are benthic foragers and may shift their spatial patterns of foraging in response to changes in prey distribution. We used data from satellite radio-tags attached to walruses in 2009-2010 to map walrus foraging locations with concurrent sampling of benthic infauna to examine relationships between distributions of dominant walrus prey and spatial patterns of walrus foraging. Walrus foraging was concentrated offshore in the NE Chukchi Sea, and coastal areas of northwestern Alaska when sea ice was sparse. Walrus foraging areas in August-September were coincident with the biomass of two dominant bivalve taxa (Tellinidae and Nuculidae) and sipunculid worms. Walrusforaging costs associated with increased travel time to higher biomass food patches from land may be significantly higher than the costs from sea ice haul-outs and result in reduced energy storesin walruses. Identifying what resources are selected by walruses and how those resources are distributed in space and time will improve our ability to forecast how walruses might respond to a changing climate.

  9. Evaluation of an aerial survey of Pacific walruses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Estes, J.A.; Gilbert, James R.

    1978-01-01

    An aerial survey of Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) was evaluated to determine the reliability of estimates of population abundance. The probability of detecting groups of walruses on the pack ice remained uniform to at least 0.93 km from the flight line, whereas the probability of detection decreased significantly beyond 0.23 km for walruses in the water. Walruses were more abundant along the ice-edge zone between 162 and 165°W than in other areas of the Chukchi Sea during September 1975. Few walruses were observed in consolidated pack ice north of the ice-edge zone or in ice-free water to the south. More walrus groups and larger mean group size were observed on September 8 than on other days. We estimated abundance for each day and all days combined using methods based on sample area and numbers of strip samples. Estimates varied among days by over an order of magnitude; this variation is attributed to the combined effect of chance sampling of an aggregated population and variation in the fraction of walruses hauled out. The coefficient of variation of the estimates ranged between 0.25 and 0.99. This imprecision was due to the aggregated distribution of walruses and the large variation in group size. Using the survey data as a basis for stratification, we calculated that, due to the high variability within strata, a sample size of 40% of the total area or 56% of the total available strips would be required to obtain 95% confidence limits within 10% of the estimate of total abundance. Variation contributed by observer error in estimating group size also is relatively unimportant to the precision of abundance estimates. Studies of natural history, particularly those oriented toward activity and habitat selection, would help investigators estimate bias due to the variable fraction hauled out and design surveys based on meaningful strata. Estimates of total abundance based on limited survey efforts will provide information of little reliability.

  10. Light pollution disrupts sleep in free-living animals.

    PubMed

    Raap, Thomas; Pinxten, Rianne; Eens, Marcel

    2015-09-04

    Artificial lighting can alter individual behaviour, with often drastic and potentially negative effects on biological rhythms, daily activity and reproduction. Whether this is caused by a disruption of sleep, an important widespread behaviour enabling animals to recover from daily stress, is unclear. We tested the hypothesis that light pollution disrupts sleep by recording individual sleep behaviour of great tits, Parus major, that were roosting in dark nest-boxes and were exposed to light-emitting diode light the following night. Their behaviour was compared to that of control birds sleeping in dark nest-boxes on both nights. Artificial lighting caused experimental birds to wake up earlier, sleep less (-5%) and spent less time in the nest-box as they left their nest-box earlier in the morning. Experimental birds did not enter the nest-box or fall asleep later than controls. Although individuals in lit nest-boxes did not wake up more often nor decreased the length of their sleep bouts, females spent a greater proportion of the night awake. Our study provides the first direct proof that light pollution has a significant impact on sleep in free-living animals, in particular in the morning, and highlights a mechanism for potential effects of light pollution on fitness.

  11. Oxalate nephropathy in free-living American bullfrog tadpoles.

    PubMed

    Tokiwa, Toshihiro; Kadekaru, Sho; Ito, Masao; Yoshida, Makoto; Une, Yumi

    2015-10-27

    In February 2014, wild American bullfrog Lithobates catesbeianus tadpoles from an artificial pond in the Kyusyu region, Japan, presented with coelomic and subcutaneous edema and erythema within the skin. A pathological examination of 57 tadpoles of American bullfrogs in the region was conducted to evaluate the disease. Crystal deposition of varying degrees was found in the kidneys of 35 tadpoles (61.4%). The crystals were transparent, pleomorphic in shape, highly birefringent in polarized light, and arranged in a radial pattern within the renal tubular lumen. Using Alizarin Red S stain and liquid chromatography, these crystals were identified as calcium oxalate. Severe coelomic and subcutaneous edema was observed in 7 of these 35 tadpoles (20.0%). Ammonia levels in coelomic fluid were extremely elevated (>1000 µg dl(-1)) in 4 tadpoles examined. These findings suggest that oxalate deposition in kidneys causes metabolic disorder with renal nephropathy. The source of the oxalate could not be determined; however, the presence of calcium oxalates in pond sediments, as revealed by liquid chromatography, suggested that the deposition was most likely due to ingestion of oxalate materials from the environment. This is the first report of oxalate nephropathy in free-living amphibians.

  12. Protein and Overtraining: Potential Applications for Free-Living Athletes

    PubMed Central

    Lowery, Lonnie; Forsythe, Cassandra E

    2006-01-01

    Despite a more than adequate protein intake in the general population, athletes have special needs and situations that bring it to the forefront. Overtraining is one example. Hard-training athletes are different from sedentary persons from the sub-cellular to whole-organism level. Moreover, competitive, "free-living" (less-monitored) athletes often encounter negative energy balance, sub-optimal dietary variety, injuries, endocrine exacerbations and immune depression. These factors, coupled with "two-a-day" practices and in-season demands require that protein not be dismissed as automatically adequate or worse, deleterious to health. When applying research to practice settings, one should consider methodological aspects such as population specificity and control variables such as energy balance. This review will address data pertinent to the topic of athletic protein needs, particularly from a standpoint of overtraining and soft tissue recovery. Research-driven strategies for adjusting nutrition and exercise assessments will be offered for consideration. Potentially helpful nutrition interventions for preventing and treating training complications will also be presented. PMID:18500962

  13. Body temperature and fever in a free-living bird.

    PubMed

    Møller, Anders Pape

    2010-05-01

    Fever is an adaptive physiological response that animals use to fight infections by microorganisms. Although used routinely by veterinary and medical doctors for assessment of health status, there are hardly any studies of fever in free-living animals. Body temperature in a sample of more than 500 adult barn swallows Hirundo rustica varied considerably, but was consistent among capture events. Body temperature increased during the day, and reached a minimum in the middle of the breeding season. A normal quantile plot revealed that 4.5% of adults constituted a separate population that had fever. There were only marginal effects of handling on body temperature. Body temperature increased by 2.6 standard deviations following injection with LPS, showing that body temperature indeed increased with an immune challenge. Body temperature was negatively related to abundance of feather mites, but was not related to abundance of other ectoparasites or size of the uropygial gland. Barn swallows with high body temperatures also had large body mass and showed weak stress responses as reflected by their tonic immobility. Barn swallows in large colonies had lower body temperatures than solitary or less colonial individuals. Body temperature was not related to arrival date, timing of breeding, annual fecundity or adult survival. However, individuals that were easier to catch had higher body temperatures. These findings suggest that body temperature is a consistent physiological parameter of individuals, a small fraction of individuals has fever, and that febrile individuals have specific parasite loads, body mass, social environment and ability to escape capture.

  14. In silico ionomics segregates parasitic from free-living eukaryotes.

    PubMed

    Greganova, Eva; Steinmann, Michael; Mäser, Pascal; Fankhauser, Niklaus

    2013-01-01

    Ion transporters are fundamental to life. Due to their ancient origin and conservation in sequence, ion transporters are also particularly well suited for comparative genomics of distantly related species. Here, we perform genome-wide ion transporter profiling as a basis for comparative genomics of eukaryotes. From a given predicted proteome, we identify all bona fide ion channels, ion porters, and ion pumps. Concentrating on unicellular eukaryotes (n = 37), we demonstrate that clustering of species according to their repertoire of ion transporters segregates obligate endoparasites (n = 23) on the one hand, from free-living species and facultative parasites (n = 14) on the other hand. This surprising finding indicates strong convergent evolution of the parasites regarding the acquisition and homeostasis of inorganic ions. Random forest classification identifies transporters of ammonia, plus transporters of iron and other transition metals, as the most informative for distinguishing the obligate parasites. Thus, in silico ionomics further underscores the importance of iron in infection biology and suggests access to host sources of nitrogen and transition metals to be selective forces in the evolution of parasitism. This finding is in agreement with the phenomenon of iron withholding as a primordial antimicrobial strategy of infected mammals.

  15. Protein and overtraining: potential applications for free-living athletes.

    PubMed

    Lowery, Lonnie; Forsythe, Cassandra E

    2006-06-05

    Despite a more than adequate protein intake in the general population, athletes have special needs and situations that bring it to the forefront. Overtraining is one example. Hard-training athletes are different from sedentary persons from the sub-cellular to whole-organism level. Moreover, competitive, "free-living" (less-monitored) athletes often encounter negative energy balance, sub-optimal dietary variety, injuries, endocrine exacerbations and immune depression. These factors, coupled with "two-a-day" practices and in-season demands require that protein not be dismissed as automatically adequate or worse, deleterious to health. When applying research to practice settings, one should consider methodological aspects such as population specificity and control variables such as energy balance. This review will address data pertinent to the topic of athletic protein needs, particularly from a standpoint of overtraining and soft tissue recovery. Research-driven strategies for adjusting nutrition and exercise assessments will be offered for consideration. Potentially helpful nutrition interventions for preventing and treating training complications will also be presented.

  16. Light pollution disrupts sleep in free-living animals

    PubMed Central

    Raap, Thomas; Pinxten, Rianne; Eens, Marcel

    2015-01-01

    Artificial lighting can alter individual behaviour, with often drastic and potentially negative effects on biological rhythms, daily activity and reproduction. Whether this is caused by a disruption of sleep, an important widespread behaviour enabling animals to recover from daily stress, is unclear. We tested the hypothesis that light pollution disrupts sleep by recording individual sleep behaviour of great tits, Parus major, that were roosting in dark nest-boxes and were exposed to light-emitting diode light the following night. Their behaviour was compared to that of control birds sleeping in dark nest-boxes on both nights. Artificial lighting caused experimental birds to wake up earlier, sleep less (–5%) and spent less time in the nest-box as they left their nest-box earlier in the morning. Experimental birds did not enter the nest-box or fall asleep later than controls. Although individuals in lit nest-boxes did not wake up more often nor decreased the length of their sleep bouts, females spent a greater proportion of the night awake. Our study provides the first direct proof that light pollution has a significant impact on sleep in free-living animals, in particular in the morning, and highlights a mechanism for potential effects of light pollution on fitness. PMID:26337732

  17. Nutrient compensatory foraging in a free-living social insect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christensen, Keri L.; Gallacher, Anthony P.; Martin, Lizzie; Tong, Desmond; Elgar, Mark A.

    2010-10-01

    The geometric framework model predicts that animal foraging decisions are influenced by their dietary history, with animals targeting a combination of essential nutrients through compensatory foraging. We provide experimental confirmation of nutrient-specific compensatory foraging in a natural, free-living population of social insects by supplementing their diet with sources of protein- or carbohydrate-rich food. Colonies of the ant Iridomyrmex suchieri were provided with feeders containing food rich in either carbohydrate or protein for 6 days, and were then provided with a feeder containing the same or different diet. The patterns of recruitment were consistent with the geometric framework: while feeders with a carbohydrate diet typically attracted more workers than did feeders with protein diet, the difference in recruitment between the two nutrients was smaller if the colonies had had prior access to carbohydrate than protein. Further, fewer ants visited feeders if the colony had had prior access to protein than to carbohydrates, suggesting that the larvae play a role in worker foraging behaviour.

  18. Mycoprotein reduces blood lipids in free-living subjects.

    PubMed

    Turnbull, W H; Leeds, A R; Edwards, D G

    1992-02-01

    Mycoprotein is a food produced by continuous fermentation of Fusarium graminearum (Schwabe). A previous metabolic study showed that mycoprotein decreased total and low-density-lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and increased high-density-lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. This study was undertaken to determine the effects of mycoprotein under free-living conditions. Two groups of subjects with slightly raised cholesterol concentrations participated in the 8-wk study. The experimental group was fed cookies containing mycoprotein and the control group was fed a nutrient-balanced cookie without mycoprotein. After 8 wk of treatment total cholesterol was reduced by 0.46 mmol/L in the control group and 0.95 mmol/L in the mycoprotein group, and LDL was reduced by 0.34 mmol/L in the control group and 0.84 mmol/L in the mycoprotein group. All analysis of variance differences were statistically significant. This study confirms the metabolic-study results and we are now relatively confident that mycoprotein exerts a beneficial effect on blood lipids.

  19. Telomere shortening and survival in free-living corvids.

    PubMed

    Salomons, H M; Mulder, G A; van de Zande, L; Haussmann, M F; Linskens, M H K; Verhulst, S

    2009-09-07

    Evidence accumulates that telomere shortening reflects lifestyle and predicts remaining lifespan, but little is known of telomere dynamics and their relation to survival under natural conditions. We present longitudinal telomere data in free-living jackdaws (Corvus monedula) and test hypotheses on telomere shortening and survival. Telomeres in erythrocytes were measured using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Telomere shortening rates within individuals were twice as high as the population level slope, demonstrating that individuals with short telomeres are less likely to survive. Further analysis showed that shortening rate in particular predicted survival, because telomere shortening was much accelerated during a bird's last year in the colony. Telomere shortening was also faster early in life, even after growth was completed. It was previously shown that the lengths of the shortest telomeres best predict cellular senescence, suggesting that shorter telomeres should be better protected. We test the latter hypothesis and show that, within individuals, long telomeres shorten faster than short telomeres in adults and nestlings, a result not previously shown in vivo. Moreover, survival selection in adults was most conspicuous on relatively long telomeres. In conclusion, our longitudinal data indicate that the shortening rate of long telomeres may be a measure of 'life stress' and hence holds promise as a biomarker of remaining lifespan.

  20. In Silico Ionomics Segregates Parasitic from Free-Living Eukaryotes

    PubMed Central

    Greganova, Eva; Steinmann, Michael; Mäser, Pascal; Fankhauser, Niklaus

    2013-01-01

    Ion transporters are fundamental to life. Due to their ancient origin and conservation in sequence, ion transporters are also particularly well suited for comparative genomics of distantly related species. Here, we perform genome-wide ion transporter profiling as a basis for comparative genomics of eukaryotes. From a given predicted proteome, we identify all bona fide ion channels, ion porters, and ion pumps. Concentrating on unicellular eukaryotes (n = 37), we demonstrate that clustering of species according to their repertoire of ion transporters segregates obligate endoparasites (n = 23) on the one hand, from free-living species and facultative parasites (n = 14) on the other hand. This surprising finding indicates strong convergent evolution of the parasites regarding the acquisition and homeostasis of inorganic ions. Random forest classification identifies transporters of ammonia, plus transporters of iron and other transition metals, as the most informative for distinguishing the obligate parasites. Thus, in silico ionomics further underscores the importance of iron in infection biology and suggests access to host sources of nitrogen and transition metals to be selective forces in the evolution of parasitism. This finding is in agreement with the phenomenon of iron withholding as a primordial antimicrobial strategy of infected mammals. PMID:24048281

  1. Microbiome of free-living amoebae isolated from drinking water.

    PubMed

    Delafont, Vincent; Brouke, Amélie; Bouchon, Didier; Moulin, Laurent; Héchard, Yann

    2013-12-01

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) are protozoa that can be found in water networks where they prey on bacteria within biofilms. Most bacteria are digested rapidly by phagocytosis, however some are able to survive within amoebae and some are even able to multiply, as it is the case for Legionella pneumophila. These resisting bacteria are a potential health problem as they could also resist to macrophage phagocytosis. Several publications already reported intra-amoebal bacteria but the methods of identification did not allow metagenomic analysis and are partly based on co-culture with one selected amoebal strain. The aim of our study was to conduct a rRNA-targeted metagenomic analysis on amoebae and intra-amoebal bacteria found in drinking water network, to provide the first FLA microbiome in environmental strains. Three sites of a water network were sampled during four months. Culturable FLA were isolated and total DNA was prepared, allowing purification of both amoebal and bacterial DNA. Metagenomic studies were then conducted through 18S or 16S amplicons sequencing. Hartmannella was by far the most represented genus of FLA. Regarding intra-amoebal bacteria, 54 genera were identified, among which 21 were newly described intra-amoebal bacteria, underlying the power of our approach. There were high differences in bacterial diversity between the three sites. Several genera were highly represented and/or found at least in two sites, underlying that these bacteria could be able to multiply within FLA. Our method is therefore useful to identify FLA microbiome and could be applied to other networks to have a more comprehensive view of intra-amoebal diversity.

  2. Short-term dietary compensation in free-living adults.

    PubMed

    McKiernan, F; Hollis, J H; Mattes, R D

    2008-03-18

    Evidence suggests that compensatory behaviors operate in infants and pre-school children, such that the high variance characteristic of single eating occasions is much reduced over the day. However, the concept has not been fully explored in adults. The present within-subject, observational study investigated short-term dietary compensation patterns in fifty, weight-stable, normal weight (n=27), overweight (n=14), and obese (n=9) free-living adults (11 M, 39 F; age 30+/-11 y; BMI 26.3+/-5.9). Twenty four-hour diet recalls were obtained for 7 consecutive days, by the multi-pass technique. Each 24-h period was divided into 7 eating occasions. The coefficient of variation for energy intake was calculated for each adult, for each eating occasion, and over each 24-h period. Sub-group variability was assessed by BMI and frequency of consumption of sweetened energy-yielding beverages. The mean coefficient of variation for energy intake for the 7 eating occasions was 110.5%, compared to 28.9% for the day as a whole. Correlations between energy intakes at successive eating events were uniformly negative. No significant differences were noted in the sub-group analyses. Significantly greater variation in energy intake was noted for snacks compared to meals (P<0.0001). These data suggest that adults regulate energy intake over a 24-h period more closely than they do at individual eating occasions, similar to the pattern previously observed in children. Further studies of compensatory responses by larger sub-groups of individuals at risk for weight gain are warranted.

  3. Indication of two Pacific walrus stocks from whole tooth elemental analysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jay, C.V.; Outridge, P.M.; Garlich-Miller, J. L.

    2008-01-01

    The Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) is considered to be a single panmictic population for management purposes. However, studies on population structuring in this species are limited; in part, because portions of the population's range are often inaccessible. Therefore, alternative and complementary methods for investigating stock structure in the Pacific walrus are of particular interest. We used measures of elemental concentrations in whole tooth sections from ICP-MS in a discriminant analysis to investigate evidence of stock separation between walruses from two of three known breeding areas (S.E. Bering, St Lawrence, and Anadyr Gulf). Elemental compositions of teeth from female and male walruses from the S.E. Bering and St Lawrence breeding areas were significantly different, providing evidence of separate stocks. We also obtained insights into the potential relation of walruses from non-breeding areas to walruses from these breeding groups based on similarities in their dental elemental profiles. ?? 2008 Springer-Verlag.

  4. Diversity of free-living amoebae in a dual distribution (potable and recycled) water system

    EPA Science Inventory

    Free-living amoebae are known to facilitate the growth of water associated pathogens. This study, for the first time, explored the diversity of free-living amoebae in a dual distribution (potable and recycled) water system in Rouse Hill NSW, Australia. Water and biofilm samples w...

  5. Diversity of free-living amoebae in a dual distribution (potable and recycled) water system

    EPA Science Inventory

    Free-living amoebae are known to facilitate the growth of water associated pathogens. This study, for the first time, explored the diversity of free-living amoebae in a dual distribution (potable and recycled) water system in Rouse Hill NSW, Australia. Water and biofilm samples w...

  6. Free-living fungal symbionts (Lepiotaceae) of fungus-growing ants (Attini: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Vo, Tanya L; Mueller, Ulrich G; Mikheyev, Alexander S

    2009-01-01

    Surveys of leucocoprinaceous fungi (Lepiotaceae, Agaricales, Basidiomycota) in the rainforests of Panama and Brazil revealed several free-living counterparts of fungi cultivated by primitive attine ants (the lower Attini, Formicidae, Hymenoptera), adding to two such collections identified in a survey by Mueller et al (1998). The accumulated evidence supports the hypothesis that perhaps all fungi of lower attine ants have close free-living relatives. Free-living counterparts of ant-cultivated fungi are collected most readily during the early rainy season; in particular these are free-living mushrooms of fungal counterparts that are cultivated as yeasts in gardens of ants in the Cyphomyrmex rimosus group. Free-living and symbiotic fungi of these yeast-cultivating ant species might represent a promising study system to compare the biology of sympatric, conspecific fungi existing outside versus inside the attine symbiosis.

  7. Results and evaluation of a survey to estimate Pacific walrus population size, 2006

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Speckman, Suzann G.; Chernook, Vladimir I.; Burn, Douglas M.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Kochnev, Anatoly A.; Vasilev, Alexander; Jay, Chadwick V.; Lisovsky, Alexander; Fischbach, Anthony S.; Benter, R. Bradley

    2011-01-01

    In spring 2006, we conducted a collaborative U.S.-Russia survey to estimate abundance of the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens). The Bering Sea was partitioned into survey blocks, and a systematic random sample of transects within a subset of the blocks was surveyed with airborne thermal scanners using standard strip-transect methodology. Counts of walruses in photographed groups were used to model the relation between thermal signatures and the number of walruses in groups, which was used to estimate the number of walruses in groups that were detected by the scanner but not photographed. We also modeled the probability of thermally detecting various-sized walrus groups to estimate the number of walruses in groups undetected by the scanner. We used data from radio-tagged walruses to adjust on-ice estimates to account for walruses in the water during the survey. The estimated area of available habitat averaged 668,000 km2 and the area of surveyed blocks was 318,204 km2. The number of Pacific walruses within the surveyed area was estimated at 129,000 with 95% confidence limits of 55,000 to 507,000 individuals. This value can be used by managers as a minimum estimate of the total population size.

  8. Vocal learning in seals, sea lions, and walruses.

    PubMed

    Reichmuth, Colleen; Casey, Caroline

    2014-10-01

    The pinnipeds provide a variety of clues to those interested in the vocal learning capabilities of non-human animals. Observational and experimental studies of seals, sea lions, and walruses reveal elements of vocal development, contextual control, plasticity in expression and learning, and even imitation of complex sounds. Consideration of the factors that influence the expression of these capabilities informs understanding of the behavioral and structural mechanisms that support vocal learning in mammals and the evolutionary forces shaping these capabilities.

  9. Summer diving behavior of male walruses in Bristol Bay, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jay, C.V.; Farley, Sean D.; Garner, G.W.

    2001-01-01

    Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) make trips from ice or land haul-out sites to forage for benthic prey. We describe dive and trip characteristics from time-depth-recorder data collected over a one-month period during summer from four male Pacific walruses in Bristol Bay, Alaska. Dives were classified into four types. Shallow (4 m), short (2.7 min), square-shaped dives accounted for 11% of trip time, and many were probably associated with traveling. Shallow (2 m) and very short (0.5 min) dives composed only 1% of trip time. Deep (41 m), long (7.2 min), square-shaped dives accounted for 46% of trip time and were undoubtedly associated with benthic foraging. V-shaped dives ranged widely in depth, were of moderate duration (4.7 min), and composed 3% of trip time. These dives may have been associated with navigation or exploration of the seafloor for potential prey habitat. Surface intervals between dives were similar among dive types, and generally lasted 1-2 min. Total foraging time was strongly correlated with trip duration and there was no apparent diel pattern of diving in any dive type among animals. We found no correlation between dive duration and postdive surface interval within dive types, suggesting that diving occurred within aerobic dive limits. Trip duration varied considerably within and among walruses (0.3-9.4 d), and there was evidence that some of the very short trips were unrelated to foraging. Overall, walruses were in the water for 76.6% of the time, of which 60.3% was spent diving.

  10. Detection and Identification of Free-living Amoeba from Environmental Water in Taiwan by PCR Method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsai, H. F.; Hsu, B. M.; Huang, K. H.; She, C. Y.; Kao, P. M.; Shen, S. M.; Tseng, S. F.; Chen, J. S.

    2012-04-01

    Acanthamoeba, Naegleria, Balamuthia and Hartmannella all belong to free-living amoebae that are present ubiquitously in the environment including water, soil, and air. Free-living amoebae are parasites which can infect humans and can lead to serious illness and even death. The aim of this study is to investigate the presence of free-living amoebae in aquatic environment in Taiwan, and to compare the differences between Acanthamoeba and Naegleria in diverse cultivation methods and conditions. In this study, we used molecular method by PCR amplification with specific primers to analyze the occurrence of free-living amoebae. We collected 176 samples from environmental water including drinking water treatment plants, stream water, and hot spring recreational areas in Taiwan. Based on the results of PCR, 43 water samples (24.4%) were detected positive for free-living amoebae. The most common Acanthamoeba genotype isolated from samples including T2, T4, T5, T12, and T15. N. australiensis and N. lovaniensis were also identified by molecular biology techniques. Furthermore, we found that both Acanthamoeba and Naegleria can be cultured by PYG in 30° C, but not all free-living amoebae can be isolated and enriched by using storage-cultivation method. Because of the widespread presence of Acanthamoeba and Naegleria in aquatic environments, the water quality and safety of aquatic environments should be more conscious in Taiwan and worldwide. Keywords: free-living amoebae; Acanthamoeba; Naegleria; Balamuthia; Hartmannella; PCR

  11. Free-living pathogens: life-history constraints and strain competition

    PubMed Central

    Caraco, Thomas; Wang, Ing-Nang

    2008-01-01

    Many pathogen life histories include a free-living stage, often with anatomical and physiological adaptations promoting persistence outside of host tissues. More durable particles presumably require that the pathogen metabolize more resources per particle. Therefore, we hypothesize functional dependencies, pleiotropic constraints, between the rate at which free-living particles decay outside of host tissues and other pathogen traits, including virulence, the probability of infecting a host upon contact, and pathogen reproduction within host tissues. Assuming that pathogen strains compete for hosts preemptively, we find patterns in trait dependencies predicting whether or not strain competition favors a highly persistent free-living stage. PMID:18062992

  12. Comparative analyses of semen and endocrine characteristics of free-living versus captive jaguars (Panthera onca).

    PubMed

    Morato, R G; Conforti, V A; Azevedo, F C; Jacomo, A T; Silveira, L; Sana, D; Nunes, A L; Guimarães, M A; Barnabe, R C

    2001-11-01

    Semen and blood samples were obtained from free-living (n = 6) and captive (n = 8) jaguars (Panthera onca) to compare reproductive characteristics between the two populations. Semen samples were analysed for volume (ml), percentage of motile spermatozoa, rate of forward progression (0-5), concentration (10(6) ml(-1)), total sperm count (10(6)) and sperm morphology. Serum testosterone concentration was determined by radioimmunoassay. Although ejaculate volume was greater in captive jaguars (n = 47 samples) than in free-living jaguars (n = 7 samples) (P < 0.05), the free-living jaguars produced more total spermatozoa (59.3 +/- 12.8 versus 152.0 +/- 88.0 x 10(6), respectively; not significant) with better viability and forward progression (2.8 +/- 0.1 versus 3.5 +/- 0.2, respectively; P < 0.05) and more spermatozoa with normal morphology (73.5 +/- 3.9 versus 5.0 +/- 1.1%, respectively; P < 0.05). Serum testosterone concentrations were similar for captive and free-living male jaguars (3.1 +/- 0.7 and 2.1 +/- 0.8 ng ml(-1), respectively). In summary, the data showed that semen may be collected successfully from free-living jaguars and evaluated under field conditions to establish normative reproductive values in this species. The results also indicate that jaguars maintained in zoos show inferior seminal characteristics compared with free-living animals.

  13. Pathogenic Free-Living Amoebae Isolated From Contact Lenses of Keratitis Patients

    PubMed Central

    HAJIALILO, Elham; NIYYATI, Maryam; SOLAYMANI, Mohammad; REZAEIAN, Mostafa

    2015-01-01

    Background: Free-living amoeba (FLA)-related keratitis is a progressive infection of the cornea with poor prognosis. The present study aimed to investigates the contact lenses of patients with keratitis for pathogenic free-living amoebae. Methods: Overall, 62 contact lenses and their paraphernalia of patients with keratitis cultured and tested for the presence of free-living amoebae using morphological criteria. Unusual plates including plates containing mix amoebae and Vermamoeba were submitted to molecular analysis. Results: Out of 62 plates, 11 revealed the outgrowth of free living amoeba of which 9 were Acanthamoeba, one plates contained mix amoebae including Acanthamoeba and Vermamoeba and one showed the presence of Vermamoeba. These two latter plates belonged to patients suffered from unilateral keratitis due to the misused of soft contact lenses. One of the patients had mix infection of Acanthamoeba (T4) and V. vermiformis meanwhile the other patient was infected with the V. vermiformis. Conclusion: Amoebic keratitis continues to rise in Iran and worldwide. To date, various genera of free-living amoebae such as Vermamoeba could be the causative agent of keratitis. Soft contact lens wearers are the most affected patients in the country, thus awareness of high-risk people for preventing free-living amoebae related keratitis is of utmost importance. PMID:26811719

  14. Sub-Regional Sea Ice Preferences of Pacific Walrus in the Bering Sea Using SAR Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sacco, A.; Mahoney, A. R.; Eicken, H.; Johnson, M. A.; Ray, C.

    2014-12-01

    The Pacific walrus (O. r. divergens) uses winter sea ice in the Bering Sea for numerous parts of its natural history including courtship, foraging, and migration. Recent and predicted loss of sea ice has caused the Pacific walrus to be considered for an elevated status under the Endangered Species Act. Study of the ice conditions during this period is required to investigate changes in the Bering Sea ice pack and its effects on walrus sustainability. Using Radarsat-1 data and second-order texture statistics, a classification system was devised to separate sea ice into three distinguishable classes based on walrus needs of open water availability in the pack ice: discontinuous pack ice, continuous pack ice, and open water. Classifications are performed on sub-regional image areas to facilitate classification of heterogeneous seascapes which are thought to be distinguishable by walrus. Spatial, as well as temporal, changes in the seascape cover, based on the classification, are achieved. These results are then combined with ship-based observations of walrus to quantify walrus habitat preference. The three-class algorithm has a success rate of 94% for the discontinuous ice and continuous pack ice. Radarsat-1 images from 2004 - 2008 were analyzed for changes in seasonal and annual discontinuous ice extent. After classification, the spatial extent of discontinuous ice was found to vary throughout 2004 - 2008 in the Bering Sea shelf. Walrus are also shown to prefer discontinuous pack far from the southernmost ice edge. Maps of walrus habitat preference and persistent areas of sea ice seascapes are created and then can be used for the walrus' status consideration under the Endangered Species Act in addition to general species management issues.

  15. Detecting free-living steps and walking bouts: validating an algorithm for macro gait analysis.

    PubMed

    Hickey, Aodhán; Del Din, Silvia; Rochester, Lynn; Godfrey, Alan

    2017-01-01

    Research suggests wearables and not instrumented walkways are better suited to quantify gait outcomes in clinic and free-living environments, providing a more comprehensive overview of walking due to continuous monitoring. Numerous validation studies in controlled settings exist, but few have examined the validity of wearables and associated algorithms for identifying and quantifying step counts and walking bouts in uncontrolled (free-living) environments. Studies which have examined free-living step and bout count validity found limited agreement due to variations in walking speed, changing terrain or task. Here we present a gait segmentation algorithm to define free-living step count and walking bouts from an open-source, high-resolution, accelerometer-based wearable (AX3, Axivity). Ten healthy participants (20-33 years) wore two portable gait measurement systems; a wearable accelerometer on the lower-back and a wearable body-mounted camera (GoPro HERO) on the chest, for 1 h on two separate occasions (24 h apart) during free-living activities. Step count and walking bouts were derived for both measurement systems and compared. For all participants during a total of almost 20 h of uncontrolled and unscripted free-living activity data, excellent relative (rho  ⩾  0.941) and absolute (ICC(2,1)  ⩾  0.975) agreement with no presence of bias were identified for step count compared to the camera (gold standard reference). Walking bout identification showed excellent relative (rho  ⩾  0.909) and absolute agreement (ICC(2,1)  ⩾  0.941) but demonstrated significant bias. The algorithm employed for identifying and quantifying steps and bouts from a single wearable accelerometer worn on the lower-back has been demonstrated to be valid and could be used for pragmatic gait analysis in prolonged uncontrolled free-living environments.

  16. Performance of Activity Classification Algorithms in Free-Living Older Adults.

    PubMed

    Sasaki, Jeffer Eidi; Hickey, Amanda M; Staudenmayer, John W; John, Dinesh; Kent, Jane A; Freedson, Patty S

    2016-05-01

    The objective of this study is to compare activity type classification rates of machine learning algorithms trained on laboratory versus free-living accelerometer data in older adults. Thirty-five older adults (21 females and 14 males, 70.8 ± 4.9 yr) performed selected activities in the laboratory while wearing three ActiGraph GT3X+ activity monitors (in the dominant hip, wrist, and ankle; ActiGraph, LLC, Pensacola, FL). Monitors were initialized to collect raw acceleration data at a sampling rate of 80 Hz. Fifteen of the participants also wore GT3X+ in free-living settings and were directly observed for 2-3 h. Time- and frequency-domain features from acceleration signals of each monitor were used to train random forest (RF) and support vector machine (SVM) models to classify five activity types: sedentary, standing, household, locomotion, and recreational activities. All algorithms were trained on laboratory data (RFLab and SVMLab) and free-living data (RFFL and SVMFL) using 20-s signal sampling windows. Classification accuracy rates of both types of algorithms were tested on free-living data using a leave-one-out technique. Overall classification accuracy rates for the algorithms developed from laboratory data were between 49% (wrist) and 55% (ankle) for the SVMLab algorithms and 49% (wrist) to 54% (ankle) for the RFLab algorithms. The classification accuracy rates for SVMFL and RFFL algorithms ranged from 58% (wrist) to 69% (ankle) and from 61% (wrist) to 67% (ankle), respectively. Our algorithms developed on free-living accelerometer data were more accurate in classifying the activity type in free-living older adults than those on our algorithms developed on laboratory accelerometer data. Future studies should consider using free-living accelerometer data to train machine learning algorithms in older adults.

  17. Performance of Activity Classification Algorithms in Free-living Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Sasaki, Jeffer Eidi; Hickey, Amanda; Staudenmayer, John; John, Dinesh; Kent, Jane A.; Freedson, Patty S.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose To compare activity type classification rates of machine learning algorithms trained on laboratory versus free-living accelerometer data in older adults. Methods Thirty-five older adults (21F and 14M ; 70.8 ± 4.9 y) performed selected activities in the laboratory while wearing three ActiGraph GT3X+ activity monitors (dominant hip, wrist, and ankle). Monitors were initialized to collect raw acceleration data at a sampling rate of 80 Hz. Fifteen of the participants also wore the GT3X+ in free-living settings and were directly observed for 2-3 hours. Time- and frequency- domain features from acceleration signals of each monitor were used to train Random Forest (RF) and Support Vector Machine (SVM) models to classify five activity types: sedentary, standing, household, locomotion, and recreational activities. All algorithms were trained on lab data (RFLab and SVMLab) and free-living data (RFFL and SVMFL) using 20 s signal sampling windows. Classification accuracy rates of both types of algorithms were tested on free-living data using a leave-one-out technique. Results Overall classification accuracy rates for the algorithms developed from lab data were between 49% (wrist) to 55% (ankle) for the SVMLab algorithms, and 49% (wrist) to 54% (ankle) for RFLab algorithms. The classification accuracy rates for SVMFL and RFFL algorithms ranged from 58% (wrist) to 69% (ankle) and from 61% (wrist) to 67% (ankle), respectively. Conclusion Our algorithms developed on free-living accelerometer data were more accurate in classifying activity type in free-living older adults than our algorithms developed on laboratory accelerometer data. Future studies should consider using free-living accelerometer data to train machine-learning algorithms in older adults. PMID:26673129

  18. Genetic diversity of free-living Symbiodinium in the Caribbean: the importance of habitats and seasons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Granados-Cifuentes, Camila; Neigel, Joseph; Leberg, Paul; Rodriguez-Lanetty, Mauricio

    2015-09-01

    Although reef corals are dependent of the dinoflagellate Symbiodinium, the large majority of corals spawn gametes that do not contain their vital symbiont. This suggests the existence of a pool of Symbiodinium in the environment, of which surprisingly little is known. Reefs around Curaçao (Caribbean) were sampled for free-living Symbiodinium at three time periods (summer 2009, summer 2010, and winter 2010) to characterize different habitats (water column, coral rubble, sediment, the macroalgae Halimeda spp., Dictyota spp., and Lobophora variegata, and the seagrass Thalassia testudinum) that could serve as environmental sources of symbionts for corals. We detected the common clades of Symbiodinium that engage in symbiosis with Caribbean coral hosts A, B, and C using Symbiodinium-specific primers of the hypervariable region of the chloroplast 23S ribosomal DNA gene. We also discovered clade G and, for the first time in the Caribbean, the presence of free-living Symbiodinium clades F and H. Additionally, this study expands the habitat range of free-living Symbiodinium as environmental Symbiodinium was detected in T. testudinum seagrass beds. The patterns of association between free-living Symbiodinium types and habitats were shown to be complex. An interesting, strong association was seen between some clade A sequence types and sediment, suggesting that sediment could be a niche where clade A radiated from a free-living ancestor. Other interesting relationships were seen between sequence types of Symbiodinium clade C with Halimeda spp. and clades B and F with T. testudinium. These relationships highlight the importance of some macroalgae and seagrasses in hosting free-living Symbiodinium. Finally, studies spanning beyond a 1-yr cycle are needed to further expand on our results in order to better understand the variation of Symbiodinium in the environment through time. All together, results presented here showed that the great diversity of free-living Symbiodinium has

  19. Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) resource selection in the northern Bering Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jay, Chadwick V.; Grebmeier, Jacqueline M.; Fischbach, Anthony S.; McDonald, Trent L.; Cooper, Lee W.; Hornsby, Fawn

    2014-01-01

    The Pacific walrus is a large benthivore with an annual range extending across the continental shelves of the Bering and Chukchi Seas. We used a discrete choice model to estimate site selection by adult radio-tagged walruses relative to the availability of the caloric biomass of benthic infauna and sea ice concentration in a prominent walrus wintering area in the northern Bering Sea (St. Lawrence Island polynya) in 2006, 2008, and 2009. At least 60% of the total caloric biomass of dominant macroinfauna in the study area was composed of members of the bivalve families Nuculidae, Tellinidae, and Nuculanidae. Model estimates indicated walrus site selection was related most strongly to tellinid bivalve caloric biomass distribution and that walruses selected lower ice concentrations from the mostly high ice concentrations that were available to them (quartiles: 76%, 93%, and 99%). Areas with high average predicted walrus site selection generally coincided with areas of high organic carbon input identified in other studies. Projected decreases in sea ice in the St. Lawrence Island polynya and the potential for a concomitant decline of bivalves in the region could result in a northward shift in the wintering grounds of walruses in the northern Bering Sea.

  20. Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) resource selection in the Northern Bering Sea.

    PubMed

    Jay, Chadwick V; Grebmeier, Jacqueline M; Fischbach, Anthony S; McDonald, Trent L; Cooper, Lee W; Hornsby, Fawn

    2014-01-01

    The Pacific walrus is a large benthivore with an annual range extending across the continental shelves of the Bering and Chukchi Seas. We used a discrete choice model to estimate site selection by adult radio-tagged walruses relative to the availability of the caloric biomass of benthic infauna and sea ice concentration in a prominent walrus wintering area in the northern Bering Sea (St. Lawrence Island polynya) in 2006, 2008, and 2009. At least 60% of the total caloric biomass of dominant macroinfauna in the study area was composed of members of the bivalve families Nuculidae, Tellinidae, and Nuculanidae. Model estimates indicated walrus site selection was related most strongly to tellinid bivalve caloric biomass distribution and that walruses selected lower ice concentrations from the mostly high ice concentrations that were available to them (quartiles: 76%, 93%, and 99%). Areas with high average predicted walrus site selection generally coincided with areas of high organic carbon input identified in other studies. Projected decreases in sea ice in the St. Lawrence Island polynya and the potential for a concomitant decline of bivalves in the region could result in a northward shift in the wintering grounds of walruses in the northern Bering Sea.

  1. It's in Their Bones: 2000 Years of Pacific Walrus Adaptability and Resilience

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Misarti, N.; Horstmann, L.; Clark, C. T.; Charapata, P.; Olson, L.; Fulton, T. L.; Jensen, A. M.

    2016-02-01

    One of the many species affected by climate change in the Arctic, and receiving attention from the general public, is the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens). Walruses are of critical importance to subsistence consumers in Alaska (and other Arctic regions) both for practical, financial reasons as well as cultural ones. Despite the quality data from in-depth studies of Pacific walruses over the last 40-50 years, it is difficult to implement proposed co-management and conservation plans based on data from such a relatively short time span; much less to project the impact of further changes to the Arctic ecosystem on both walruses and humans subsisting on them. We are presenting the first data from our project, integrating several disciplines including archaeology, ethnology, biology, and ecology utilizing proxy data, such as DNA, stable isotope (SI), steroid hormones, and trace element analysis as well as ascertain long-term trends of walrus feeding ecology, foraging location, and stock genetics over the last 2000 years. Each set of proxy data acts as a building block to better understand walruses, and how they adapt to change in the Arctic ecosystem. Our preliminary data show that steroid hormone levels change during some decades, including most recently, compared with prehistoric levels and might be associated with walrus population size. SI has revealed several shifts in feeding habits; the last 5 years are significantly different from the historic time periods as well as the prehistoric time frame. Both SI and hormone data are corroborated by traditional ecological knowledge.

  2. Pacific Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) Resource Selection in the Northern Bering Sea

    PubMed Central

    Jay, Chadwick V.; Grebmeier, Jacqueline M.; Fischbach, Anthony S.; McDonald, Trent L.; Cooper, Lee W.; Hornsby, Fawn

    2014-01-01

    The Pacific walrus is a large benthivore with an annual range extending across the continental shelves of the Bering and Chukchi Seas. We used a discrete choice model to estimate site selection by adult radio-tagged walruses relative to the availability of the caloric biomass of benthic infauna and sea ice concentration in a prominent walrus wintering area in the northern Bering Sea (St. Lawrence Island polynya) in 2006, 2008, and 2009. At least 60% of the total caloric biomass of dominant macroinfauna in the study area was composed of members of the bivalve families Nuculidae, Tellinidae, and Nuculanidae. Model estimates indicated walrus site selection was related most strongly to tellinid bivalve caloric biomass distribution and that walruses selected lower ice concentrations from the mostly high ice concentrations that were available to them (quartiles: 76%, 93%, and 99%). Areas with high average predicted walrus site selection generally coincided with areas of high organic carbon input identified in other studies. Projected decreases in sea ice in the St. Lawrence Island polynya and the potential for a concomitant decline of bivalves in the region could result in a northward shift in the wintering grounds of walruses in the northern Bering Sea. PMID:24717979

  3. Detection and identification of free-living amoeba from aquatic environment in Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiun Tzeng, Kai; Che Tung, Min; Hsu, Bing Mu; Tsai, Hsiu Feng; Huang, Po Hsiang; Hao Huang, Kuan; Kao, Po Min; Shen, Shu Min; Chen, Jung Sheng

    2013-04-01

    Free-living amoebae including Acanthamoeba, Naegleria, Balamuthia and Hartmannella are widely distributed in water, soil, and air. They can infect humans and can lead to serious illness even death. The aim of this study is to investigate the presence of free-living amoebae from aquatic environment in Taiwan, and to compare the differences between Acanthamoeba and Naegleria in different cultivation methods and conditions. In this study, we used molecular method with specific primers by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) to amplify and to analyze the occurrence of free-living amoebae in aquatic environment. We collected 92 samples from environmental water in Taiwan. The results show that 33 water samples (35.9%) and 11 water samples (12.0%) were detected positive for Acanthamoeba and Naegleria, respectively. Furthermore, both Acanthamoeba and Naegleria can be cultured by PYG in 30° C, but not all free-living amoebae can be enriched and isolated by using storage-cultivation method. Due to the presence of Acanthamoeba and Naegleria in aquatic environment, the water quality monitoring should be more conscious. Keywords: free-living amoebae; Acanthamoeba; Naegleria; Balamuthia; Hartmannella; PCR

  4. Sustaining a healthy human-walrus relationship in a dynamic environment: challenges for comanagement.

    PubMed

    Metcalf, Vera; Robards, Martin

    2008-03-01

    Native communities in the Bering and Chukchi seas have long relied on walrus for a multitude of nutritional, social, and cultural needs. Impacts to walrus in the past have resulted in profound consequences to these communities. For example, on St. Lawrence Island during the 1878-1880 "Great Famine" as many as 2000 people (> 90% of the island's population) starved after the walrus herds were decimated by Yankee whalers. Loss of walrus was further confounded by a wave of fatal contagion and difficult hunting conditions attributable to short-term climatic changes. Today, the ability of coastal hunters to access, harvest, transport, store, and utilize walrus is still affected by a dynamic suite of endogenous and exogenous factors, including ecological, social, economic, and political conditions. Impacts specifically as a result of changing climate will affect Native Alaskan hunters within the context of these diverse and sometimes global factors. The Eskimo Walrus Commission (EWC) works within a comanagement agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to address these challenges. However, the EWC's goals may differ from the USFWS within the current comanagement and policy context. Whereas the USFWS is primarily interested in walrus population health (assessed through estimates of population size and native harvest), EWC is primarily interested in a broader scope, encompassing the health of the human-walrus relationship. New scientific tools associated with the study and management of linked human-ecological systems may provide a framework within which to address these goals. Here we present an overview of the challenges, needs, and research relating to climate change that are of interest to the EWC and in particular, the sustained health of the human-walrus relationship.

  5. An improved procedure for detection and enumeration of walrus signatures in airborne thermal imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burn, Douglas M.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Speckman, Suzann G.; Benter, R. Bradley

    2009-10-01

    In recent years, application of remote sensing to marine mammal surveys has been a promising area of investigation for wildlife managers and researchers. In April 2006, the United States and Russia conducted an aerial survey of Pacific walrus ( Odobenus rosmarus divergens) using thermal infrared sensors to detect groups of animals resting on pack ice in the Bering Sea. The goal of this survey was to estimate the size of the Pacific walrus population. An initial analysis of the U.S. data using previously-established methods resulted in lower detectability of walrus groups in the imagery and higher variability in calibration models than was expected based on pilot studies. This paper describes an improved procedure for detection and enumeration of walrus groups in airborne thermal imagery. Thermal images were first subdivided into smaller 200 × 200 pixel "tiles." We calculated three statistics to represent characteristics of walrus signatures from the temperature histogram for each tile. Tiles that exhibited one or more of these characteristics were examined further to determine if walrus signatures were present. We used cluster analysis on tiles that contained walrus signatures to determine which pixels belonged to each group. We then calculated a thermal index value for each walrus group in the imagery and used generalized linear models to estimate detection functions (the probability of a group having a positive index value) and calibration functions (the size of a group as a function of its index value) based on counts from matched digital aerial photographs. The new method described here improved our ability to detect walrus groups at both 2 m and 4 m spatial resolution. In addition, the resulting calibration models have lower variance than the original method. We anticipate that the use of this new procedure will greatly improve the quality of the population estimate derived from these data. This procedure may also have broader applicability to thermal

  6. Walrus areas of use in the Chukchi Sea during sparse sea ice cover

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jay, Chadwick V.; Fischbach, Anthony S.; Kochnev, Anatoly A.

    2012-01-01

    The Pacific walrus Odobenus rosmarus divergens feeds on benthic invertebrates on the continental shelf of the Chukchi and Bering Seas and rests on sea ice between foraging trips. With climate warming, ice-free periods in the Chukchi Sea have increased and are projected to increase further in frequency and duration. We radio-tracked walruses to estimate areas of walrus foraging and occupancy in the Chukchi Sea from June to November of 2008 to 2011, years when sea ice was sparse over the continental shelf in comparison to historical records. The earlier and more extensive sea ice retreat in June to September, and delayed freeze-up of sea ice in October to November, created conditions for walruses to arrive earlier and stay later in the Chukchi Sea than in the past. The lack of sea ice over the continental shelf from September to October caused walruses to forage in nearshore areas instead of offshore areas as in the past. Walruses did not frequent the deep waters of the Arctic Basin when sea ice retreated off the shelf. Walruses foraged in most areas they occupied, and areas of concentrated foraging generally corresponded to regions of high benthic biomass, such as in the northeastern (Hanna Shoal) and southwestern Chukchi Sea. A notable exception was the occurrence of concentrated foraging in a nearshore area of northwestern Alaska that is apparently depauperate in walrus prey. With increasing sea ice loss, it is likely that walruses will increase their use of coastal haul-outs and nearshore foraging areas, with consequences to the population that are yet to be understood.

  7. An improved procedure for detection and enumeration of walrus signatures in airborne thermal imagery

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burn, Douglas M.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Speckman, Suzann G.; Benter, R. Bradley

    2009-01-01

    In recent years, application of remote sensing to marine mammal surveys has been a promising area of investigation for wildlife managers and researchers. In April 2006, the United States and Russia conducted an aerial survey of Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) using thermal infrared sensors to detect groups of animals resting on pack ice in the Bering Sea. The goal of this survey was to estimate the size of the Pacific walrus population. An initial analysis of the U.S. data using previously-established methods resulted in lower detectability of walrus groups in the imagery and higher variability in calibration models than was expected based on pilot studies. This paper describes an improved procedure for detection and enumeration of walrus groups in airborne thermal imagery. Thermal images were first subdivided into smaller 200 x 200 pixel "tiles." We calculated three statistics to represent characteristics of walrus signatures from the temperature histogram for each the. Tiles that exhibited one or more of these characteristics were examined further to determine if walrus signatures were present. We used cluster analysis on tiles that contained walrus signatures to determine which pixels belonged to each group. We then calculated a thermal index value for each walrus group in the imagery and used generalized linear models to estimate detection functions (the probability of a group having a positive index value) and calibration functions (the size of a group as a function of its index value) based on counts from matched digital aerial photographs. The new method described here improved our ability to detect walrus groups at both 2 m and 4 m spatial resolution. In addition, the resulting calibration models have lower variance than the original method. We anticipate that the use of this new procedure will greatly improve the quality of the population estimate derived from these data. This procedure may also have broader applicability to thermal infrared

  8. Development of airborne remote sensing methods for surveys of Pacific walrus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burn, Douglas M.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Webber, M.A.; Garlich-Miller, Joel L.

    2006-01-01

    In April 2003, we conducted an operational test of an airborne multispectral scanner (AMS) over pack ice in the Bering Sea to evaluate the potential of this system as a survey tool for Pacific walruses. We scanned a total of 28,875 km2 of sea ice habitat at a spatial resolution of 4 m and collected high resolution photographs from a subset of the thermally detected walrus groups. We found a significant positive relationship between walrus group size and the amount of heat measured by the AMS and used this relationship to estimate total walrus numbers in the survey area. The number of walruses hauled out onto sea ice in our study area was estimated at 4,785 animals with a 95% confidence interval of 2,499–7,111. We believe that the AMS system as configured for this study would be a highly effective tool for surveying large areas of sea ice habitat for walrus groups. With a 6 km swath width, it should be possible to sample more 10,000 km2 in an 8-hr flight. Although walrus groups > 4 animals were easily detected and enumerated in the 4 m thermal data, the system was unable to detect individual walruses or seals (Phoca spp. and Erignathus barbatus). We found that most (94.6%) of the walruses photographed in our survey area occurred in groups > 6 animals, therefore we expect the magnitude of any bias due to undetected groups of hauled out animals would be relatively small.

  9. Coccidioidomycosis in a Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens).

    PubMed

    Schmitt, Todd L; Procter, Diana G

    2014-03-01

    An 11 yr-old female Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) demonstrated decreased appetite and weight loss approximately 4 wk after truck transport from a northern California facility to a southern California facility. An initial blood analysis revealed a leukocytosis of 22,800 white blood cells (WBC)/microl, with a left shift, low iron (58 microg/dl), and mild hyperglobulinemia (4.3 g/dl). Empiric antibiotic therapy was started with amoxicillin and clavulanic acid (14 mg/kg p.o. b.i.d.). Clinical improvement was observed initially; however, follow-up blood analysis demonstrated a persistent leukocytosis (24,000 WBC/microl), with left shift and progressive hyperglobulinemia (6.7 mg/dl). As a result of the relapse of clinical signs on antibiotic therapy, aggressive antifungal therapy was initiated with voriconazole (1.8 mg/kg p.o. s.i.d.). Concurrent fungal immunodiffusion antibody assays and complement fixation were repetitively positive for coccidioidomycosis. The walrus improved clinically over the next 3 mo and is currently stable on antifungal therapy at its originating facility in northern California.

  10. Viral and bacterial serology of free-ranging Pacific walrus.

    PubMed

    Calle, Paul P; Seagars, Dana J; McClave, Catherine; Senne, Dennis; House, Carol; House, James A

    2002-01-01

    Serum or heparinized plasma samples were obtained between 1994 and 1996 from 20 male and 20 female adult free-ranging Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) from St. Lawrence Island and Round Island, Alaska. Samples were screened for antibodies to some potentially pathogenic bacteria and viruses. No sample had detectable antibody to Brucella spp. Three of 40 (8%) had low antibody titers to Leptospira interrogans serovars. Phocine distemper virus antibodies were not detected. Serologic responses to one or more caliciviruses (San Miguel sea lion virus 12 or vesicular exanthema of swine serotypes E54, F55, G55, 1934B) were detected in 18% (seven of 40) walrus. Antibodies to one or more subtypes of influenza A virus (H10, N2, N3, N5, N6, N7) were detected in 21% (eight of 38). Periodic screening of free-ranging populations for exposure to infectious diseases has become an important component of bio-monitoring programs to facilitate understanding and detecting trends in marine mammal populations.

  11. Toxoplasmosis in captive dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and walrus (Odobenus rosmarus).

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Mergl, J; Gehring, E; Sundar, N; Velmurugan, G V; Kwok, O C H; Grigg, M E; Su, C; Martineau, D

    2009-02-01

    Toxoplasma gondii infection in marine mammals is intriguing and indicative of contamination of the ocean environment and coastal waters with oocysts. Toxoplasma gondii infection was detected in captive marine mammals at a sea aquarium in Canada. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in all 7 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) tested. Two of these dolphins, as well as a walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) at the facility, died. Encephalitis and T. gondii tissue cysts were identified in histological sections of the brain of 1 dolphin (dolphin no. 1). Another dolphin (dolphin no. 2) had mild focal encephalitis without visible organisms, but viable T. gondii was isolated by bioassay in mice and cats from its brain and skeletal muscle; this strain was designated TgDoCA1. The PCR-RFLP typing using 11 markers (B1, SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1, and Apico) identified a Type II strain. The DNA sequencing of B1 and SAG1 alleles amplified from TgDoCA1 and directly from the brains of dolphin no. 1 and the walrus showed archetypal alleles consistent with infection by a Type II strain. No unique polymorphisms were detected. This is apparently the first report of isolation of T. gondii from a marine mammal in Canada.

  12. TOXOPLASMOSIS IN CAPTIVE DOLPHINS (TURSIOPS TRUNCATUS) AND WALRUS (ODOBENUS ROSMARUS)

    PubMed Central

    Dubey, J. P.; Mergl, J.; Gehring, E.; Sundar, N.; Velmurugan, G. V.; Kwok, O. C. H.; Grigg, M. E.; Su, C.; Martineau, D.

    2014-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii infection in marine mammals is intriguing and indicative of contamination of the ocean environment and coastal waters with oocysts. Toxoplasma gondii infection was detected in captive marine mammals at a sea aquarium in Canada. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in all 7 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) tested. Two of these dolphins, as well as a walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) at the facility, died. Encephalitis and T. gondii tissue cysts were identified in histological sections of the brain of 1 dolphin (dolphin no. 1). Another dolphin (dolphin no. 2) had mild focal encephalitis without visible organisms, but viable T. gondii was isolated by bioassay in mice and cats from its brain and skeletal muscle; this strain was designated TgDoCA1. The PCR-RFLP typing using 11 markers (B1, SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1, and Apico) identified a Type II strain. The DNA sequencing of B1 and SAG1 alleles amplified from TgDoCA1 and directly from the brains of dolphin no. 1 and the walrus showed archetypal alleles consistent with infection by a Type II strain. No unique polymorphisms were detected. This is apparently the first report of isolation of T. gondii from a marine mammal in Canada. PMID:19245284

  13. A common scaling rule for abundance, energetics, and production of parasitic and free-living species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hechinger, Ryan F.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Dobson, Andy P.; Brown, James H.; Kuris, Armand M.

    2011-01-01

    The metabolic theory of ecology uses the scaling of metabolism with body size and temperature to explain the causes and consequences of species abundance. However, the theory and its empirical tests have never simultaneously examined parasites alongside free-living species. This is unfortunate because parasites represent at least half of species diversity. We show that metabolic scaling theory could not account for the abundance of parasitic or free-living species in three estuarine food webs until accounting for trophic dynamics. Analyses then revealed that the abundance of all species uniformly scaled with body mass to the - 3/4 power. This result indicates "production equivalence," where biomass production within trophic levels is invariant of body size across all species and functional groups: invertebrate or vertebrate, ectothermic or endothermic, and free-living or parasitic.

  14. Functional ecology of free-living nitrogen fixation: A contemporary perspective

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reed, Sasha C.; Cleveland, Cory C.; Townsend, Alan R.

    2011-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) availability is thought to frequently limit terrestrial ecosystem processes, and explicit consideration of N biogeochemistry, including biological N2 fixation, is central to understanding ecosystem responses to environmental change. Yet, the importance of free-living N2 fixation—a process that occurs on a wide variety of substrates, is nearly ubiquitous in terrestrial ecosystems, and may often represent the dominant pathway for acquiring newly available N—is often underappreciated. Here, we draw from studies that investigate free-living N2 fixation from functional, physiological, genetic, and ecological perspectives. We show that recent research and analytical advances have generated a wealth of new information that provides novel insight into the ecology of N2 fixation as well as raises new questions and priorities for future work. These priorities include a need to better integrate free-living N2 fixation into conceptual and analytical evaluations of the N cycle's role in a variety of global change scenarios.

  15. A common scaling rule for abundance, energetics, and production of parasitic and free-living species.

    PubMed

    Hechinger, Ryan F; Lafferty, Kevin D; Dobson, Andy P; Brown, James H; Kuris, Armand M

    2011-07-22

    The metabolic theory of ecology uses the scaling of metabolism with body size and temperature to explain the causes and consequences of species abundance. However, the theory and its empirical tests have never simultaneously examined parasites alongside free-living species. This is unfortunate because parasites represent at least half of species diversity. We show that metabolic scaling theory could not account for the abundance of parasitic or free-living species in three estuarine food webs until accounting for trophic dynamics. Analyses then revealed that the abundance of all species uniformly scaled with body mass to the -¾ power. This result indicates "production equivalence," where biomass production within trophic levels is invariant of body size across all species and functional groups: invertebrate or vertebrate, ectothermic or endothermic, and free-living or parasitic.

  16. Polynucleobacter necessarius, a model for genome reduction in both free-living and symbiotic bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Boscaro, Vittorio; Felletti, Michele; Vannini, Claudia; Ackerman, Matthew S.; Chain, Patrick S. G.; Malfatti, Stephanie; Vergez, Lisa M.; Shin, Maria; Doak, Thomas G.; Lynch, Michael; Petroni, Giulio

    2013-01-01

    We present the complete genomic sequence of the essential symbiont Polynucleobacter necessarius (Betaproteobacteria), which is a valuable case study for several reasons. First, it is hosted by a ciliated protist, Euplotes; bacterial symbionts of ciliates are still poorly known because of a lack of extensive molecular data. Second, the single species P. necessarius contains both symbiotic and free-living strains, allowing for a comparison between closely related organisms with different ecologies. Third, free-living P. necessarius strains are exceptional by themselves because of their small genome size, reduced metabolic flexibility, and high worldwide abundance in freshwater systems. We provide a comparative analysis of P. necessarius metabolism and explore the peculiar features of a genome reduction that occurred on an already streamlined genome. We compare this unusual system with current hypotheses for genome erosion in symbionts and free-living bacteria, propose modifications to the presently accepted model, and discuss the potential consequences of translesion DNA polymerase loss. PMID:24167248

  17. Effects of Holothuroid Ichtyotoxic Saponins on the Gills of Free-Living Fishes and Symbiotic Pearlfishes.

    PubMed

    Eeckhaut, Igor; Caulier, Guillaume; Brasseur, Lola; Flammang, Patrick; Gerbaux, Pascal; Parmentier, Eric

    2015-06-01

    Several carapid fishes, known as pearlfishes, are endosymbiotic in holothuroids and asteroids. These echinoderms contain a strong concentration of saponins that are efficient membranolytic repellents to predators. We compared the effects of exposure to saponins from the sea cucumber body wall and from the Cuvierian tubules on the behavior and gill ultrastructure of pearlfishes and free-living fishes. Saponins were extracted from the body wall of two holothuroids, the Mediterranean Holothuria forskali and the tropical Bohadschia atra, and from the water surrounding the Cuvierian tubules of B. atra. Five species of carapids that live in symbiosis with holothuroids and seven species of free-living fishes were exposed to these extracts. The free-living fishes exhibited a stress response and died about 45 times faster than pearlfishes when exposed to the same quantity of saponins. Cuvierian tubules and saponins extracted from the body wall were lethal to the free-living fishes, whereas the carapids were much less sensitive. The carapids did not exhibit a stress response. The high toxicity shown by Cuvierian tubules was not explained by the nature of the saponins that were identified by mass spectrometry, but it is likely due to the higher concentration of saponins in the tubules. Histology and scanning and transmission electron microscopy of the gills of the free-living fishes and pearlfishes showed that saponins act at the level of the secondary lamellae where they induce the detachment of the epithelia, create edema at the level of the epithelia, and induce pores in the epithelial cells that lead to their destruction and the invasion of inner cells (pillar cells and red blood cells). This sequence of events happens 5 min after saponin exposure in free-living fishes and after 1 h in carapids.

  18. Free-living ameba contamination in natural hot springs in Thailand.

    PubMed

    Lekkla, Amorn; Sutthikornchai, Chantira; Bovornkitti, Somchai; Sukthana, Yaowalark

    2005-01-01

    Thermo tolerant free-living ameba, Naegleria spp and Acanthamoeba spp contamination in natural hot springs in Thailand were carried out from 13 provinces. The temperature of hot springs water varied from 28 degrees-65 degrees C and pH from 6-8. We found that 38.2 % (26/68) of water samples were positive, Acanthamoeba was 13.2% (9/68) whilst Naegleria was 35.3% (24/68). Contamination by free-living ameba in natural hot springs may pose a significant health risk to people who use such water for recreation activities.

  19. Free-living marine nematodes from San Antonio Bay (Río Negro, Argentina)

    PubMed Central

    Villares, Gabriela; Lo Russo, Virginia; Pastor de Ward, Catalina; Milano, Viviana; Miyashiro, Lidia; Mazzanti, Renato

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The dataset of free-living marine nematodes of San Antonio Bay is based on sediment samples collected in February 2009 during doctoral theses funded by CONICET grants. A total of 36 samples has been taken at three locations in the San Antonio Bay, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina on the coastal littoral at three tidal levels. This presents a unique and important collection for benthic biodiversity assessment of Patagonian nematodes as this area remains one of the least known regions. In total 7,743 specimens of free-living marine nematodes belonging to two classes, eight orders, 37 families, 94 genera and 104 species were collected. PMID:27110176

  20. Unraveling fabrication and calibration of wearable gas monitor for use under free-living conditions.

    PubMed

    Yue Deng; Cheng Chen; Tsow, Francis; Xiaojun Xian; Forzani, Erica

    2016-08-01

    Volatile organic compounds (VOC) are organic chemicals that have high vapor pressure at regular conditions. Some VOC could be dangerous to human health, therefore it is important to determine real-time indoor and outdoor personal exposures to VOC. To achieve this goal, our group has developed a wearable gas monitor with a complete sensor fabrication and calibration protocol for free-living conditions. Correction factors for calibrating the sensors, including sensitivity, aging effect, and temperature effect are implemented into a Quick Response Code (QR code), so that the pre-calibrated quartz tuning fork (QTF) sensor can be used with the wearable monitor under free-living conditions.

  1. A preliminary investigation on the infectivity of Trichinella larvae in traditional preparations of walrus meat.

    PubMed

    Leclair, Daniel; Forbes, Lorry B; Suppa, Sandy; Proulx, Jean-François; Gajadhar, Alvin A

    2004-08-01

    This study evaluated the infectivity of Trichinella nativa in freshly frozen walrus meat and traditionally aged walrus meat (igunaq) associated with two human outbreaks of trichinellosis in the Canadian Arctic. Trichinella larvae recovered from walrus meat stored at -20 degrees C for up to 20 months remained infective for guinea pigs inoculated with 135 or 716 larval doses. However, none of the 4-5 and 10-month-old igunaq preparations contained infective T. nativa larvae as measured by bioassays using mice and guinea pigs at inoculation doses ranging from 6 to 500 larvae. This indicates that the degradation process that occurred in the field can be sufficient to either kill Trichinella larvae or render them non-infective for mice and guinea pigs. Further research is needed to evaluate the food safety risk of traditional walrus igunaq aged under different field conditions and storage times.

  2. Dental and Temporomandibular Joint Pathology of the Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus).

    PubMed

    Winer, J N; Arzi, B; Leale, D M; Kass, P H; Verstraete, F J M

    2016-01-01

    Maxillae and/or mandibles from 76 walruses (Odobenus rosmarus) were examined macroscopically according to predefined criteria. The museum specimens were acquired between 1932 and 2014. Forty-five specimens (59.2%) were from male animals, 29 (38.2%) from female animals and two (2.6%) from animals of unknown sex, with 58 adults (76.3%) and 18 young adults (23.7%) included in this study. The number of teeth available for examination was 830 (33.6%); 18.5% of teeth were absent artefactually, 3.3% were deemed to be absent due to acquired tooth loss and 44.5% were absent congenitally. The theoretical complete dental formula was confirmed to be I 3/3, C 1/1, P 4/3, M 2/2, while the most probable dental formula is I 1/0, C 1/1, P 3/3, M 0/0; none of the specimens in this study possessed a full complement of theoretically possible teeth. The majority of teeth were normal in morphology; only five teeth (0.6% of available teeth) were malformed. Only one tooth had an aberrant number of roots and only one supernumerary tooth was encountered. No persistent deciduous teeth were found in any of the young adult or adult specimens, nor were any specimens affected by enamel hypoplasia. The majority of teeth (85.5%) displayed attrition/abrasion. Of the adult and young adult specimens, 90.8% showed some degree of attrition/abrasion on at least one tooth. Tooth fractures were noted in eight walruses, affecting 10.5% of specimens and 1.3% of the total number of teeth, nearly three-quarters of which were maxillary canine teeth (tusks). Three specimens (3.9%), all adult males, displayed overt periapical disease. The majority (99.2%) of dental alveoli did not have bony changes indicative of periodontitis, with only five specimens (6.6%) affected by periodontitis. Lesions consistent with temporomandibular joint osteoarthritis (TMJ-OA) were found in 46 specimens (60.5%) and TMJ-OA was significantly more common in adults than young adults and males than females. Although the clinical

  3. Pacific walrus coastal haulout database, 1852-2016— Background report

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fischbach, Anthony S.; Kochnev, Anatoly A.; Garlich-Miller, Joel L.; Jay, Chadwick V.

    2016-01-01

    Walruses are large benthic predators that rest out of water between foraging bouts. Coastal “haulouts” (places where walruses rest) are formed by adult males in summer and sometimes by females and young when sea ice is absent, and are often used repeatedly across seasons and years. Understanding the geography and historical use of haulouts provides a context for conservation efforts. We summarize information on Pacific walrus haulouts from available reports (n =151), interviews with coastal residents and aviators, and personal observations of the authors. We provide this in the form of a georeferenced database that can be queried and displayed with standard geographic information system and database management software. The database contains 150 records of Pacific walrus haulouts, with a summary of basic characteristics on maximum haulout aggregation size, age-sex composition, season of use, and decade of most recent use. Citations to reports are provided in the appendix and as a bibliographic database. Haulouts were distributed across the coasts of the Pacific walrus range; however, the largest (maximum >10,000 walruses) of the haulouts reported in the recent 4 decades (n=19) were concentrated on the Russian shores in regions near the Bering Strait and northward into the western Chukchi Sea (n=17). Haulouts of adult female and young walruses primarily occurred in the Bering Strait region and areas northward, with others occurring in the central Bering Sea, Gulf of Anadyr, and Saint Lawrence Island regions. The Gulf of Anadyr was the only region to contain female and young walrus haulouts, which formed after the northward spring migration and prior to autumn ice formation.

  4. Comparison of Yamax pedometer and GT3X accelerometer steps in a free-living sample

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Our objective was to compare steps detected by the Yamax pedometer (PEDO) versus the GT3X accelerometer (ACCEL) in free-living adults. Daily PEDO and ACCEL steps were collected from a sample of 23 overweight and obese participants (18 females; mean +/- sd: age = 52.6 +/- 8.4 yr.; body mass index = 3...

  5. [Isolation of free-living amoebae from the nasal mucosa of man. Potential risk (author's transl)].

    PubMed

    Simitzis, A M; Le Goff, F; L'Azou, M T

    1979-01-01

    From march 1976 until december 1978, we have analysed 1039 nasal swabs in order to discover the healthy free-living amoebae carriers. So, we have isolated 9 strains of which one Hartmannella vermiformis. From the 8 remaining Acanthamoebae, only one, ORL 561 (Acanthamoeba hatchetti) is as pathogenic for mice as the 2 other identical known strains and A. culbertsoni.

  6. On the run: free-living mushroom corals avoiding interaction with sponges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoeksema, B. W.; de Voogd, N. J.

    2012-06-01

    Individuals of the free-living mushroom coral Heliofungia fralinae moved away when placed in contact with fragments of the toxic haplosclerid sponge Callyspongia (Euplacella) biru. This reaction was not evoked by three other sponge species. The experiment demonstrated that mobility of mushroom corals helps them to flee from organisms that secrete secondary metabolites in competition for space.

  7. TOXOPLASMA GONDII : UPTAKE AND SURVIVAL OF OOCYSTS IN FREE-LIVING AMOEBAE

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Waterborne transmission of the oocyst stage of Toxoplasma gondii can cause outbreaks of clinical toxoplasmosis in humans and infection of marine mammals. In water-related environments and soil, free-living amoebae are considered potential carriers of various pathogens, but knowledge on interactions ...

  8. Isolation of free-living amoebas from the intestinal contents of reptiles.

    PubMed

    Sesma, M J; Ramos, L Z

    1989-04-01

    A total of 508 reptiles captured at Canary Islands (Spain) was examined for free-living amoebas. Two hundred seventy-three clones of amoebas were isolated by culture of gut contents, 157 of them belonging to the genus Acanthamoeba and 12 to the genus Naegleria.

  9. Quantifying the effect of fire disturbance on free-living nitrogen fixation in tropical ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Oliveira Bomfim, B.; Silva, L. C. R.; Marimon-Junior, B. H.; Marimon, B.; Horwath, W. R.; Neves, L.

    2015-12-01

    Tropical forests and savannas are among the most important biomes on Earth, supporting more than half of all plant and animal species on the planet. Despite growing interest in biogeochemical processes that affect tropical forest dynamics, many, including biological nitrogen fixation (BNF), are still poorly understood. Free-living N-fixers are thought to play a key role in tropical ecosystems, alleviating N and P limitation, supporting above and below ground biomass production, as well as carbon storage in plants and soil, but this influence has yet to be quantified. Of particular interest, the spatial distribution and identity of free-living BNF under disturbance regimes that commonly lead to the conversion of forests to savannas is currently unknown. To address this critical gap in knowledge, we measured free-living BNF quantifying rates of N fixation under contrasting fire regimes in the Amazon-Cerrado transition of central Brazil. Samples were collected in 4 ha of floodable forests affected by fire and 1 ha of unburned (seasonally flooded) forest located at the Araguaia State Park, Mato Grosso State, Brazil. Free-living N-fixation rates were measured by both 15N2 (98 atom% 15N) and acethylene reduction assay (ARA). Samples were incubated in the field and left in the dark at room temperature for 12 hours. In the next few weeks we will quantify N fixation rates that will be presented in the upcoming AGU meeting.

  10. Persistence of Free-Living Protozoan Communities across Rearing Cycles in Commercial Poultry Houses ▿

    PubMed Central

    Baré, Julie; Houf, Kurt; Verstraete, Tine; Vaerewijck, Mario; Sabbe, Koen

    2011-01-01

    The introduction and survival of zoonotic bacterial pathogens in poultry farming have been linked to bacterial association with free-living protozoa. To date, however, no information is available on the persistence of protozoan communities in these environments across consecutive rearing cycles and how it is affected by farm- and habitat-specific characteristics and management strategies. We therefore investigated the spatial and temporal dynamics of free-living protozoa in three habitats (pipeline, water, and miscellaneous samples) in three commercial poultry houses across three rearing cycles by using the molecular fingerprinting technique denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Our study provides strong evidence for the long-term (ca. 6-month) persistence of protozoa in broiler houses across consecutive rearing cycles. Various free-living protozoa (flagellates, ciliates, and amoebae), including known vectors of bacterial pathogens, were observed during the down periods in between rearing cycles. In addition, multivariate analysis and variation partitioning showed that the protozoan community structure in the broiler houses showed almost no change across rearing cycles and remained highly habitat and farm specific. Unlike in natural environments, protozoan communities inside broiler houses are therefore not seasonal. Our results imply that currently used biosecurity measures (cleaning and disinfection) applied during the down periods are not effective against many protozoans and therefore cannot prevent potential cross-contamination of bacterial pathogens via free-living protozoa between rearing cycles. PMID:21239551

  11. Persistence of free-living protozoan communities across rearing cycles in commercial poultry houses.

    PubMed

    Baré, Julie; Houf, Kurt; Verstraete, Tine; Vaerewijck, Mario; Sabbe, Koen

    2011-03-01

    The introduction and survival of zoonotic bacterial pathogens in poultry farming have been linked to bacterial association with free-living protozoa. To date, however, no information is available on the persistence of protozoan communities in these environments across consecutive rearing cycles and how it is affected by farm- and habitat-specific characteristics and management strategies. We therefore investigated the spatial and temporal dynamics of free-living protozoa in three habitats (pipeline, water, and miscellaneous samples) in three commercial poultry houses across three rearing cycles by using the molecular fingerprinting technique denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Our study provides strong evidence for the long-term (ca. 6-month) persistence of protozoa in broiler houses across consecutive rearing cycles. Various free-living protozoa (flagellates, ciliates, and amoebae), including known vectors of bacterial pathogens, were observed during the down periods in between rearing cycles. In addition, multivariate analysis and variation partitioning showed that the protozoan community structure in the broiler houses showed almost no change across rearing cycles and remained highly habitat and farm specific. Unlike in natural environments, protozoan communities inside broiler houses are therefore not seasonal. Our results imply that currently used biosecurity measures (cleaning and disinfection) applied during the down periods are not effective against many protozoans and therefore cannot prevent potential cross-contamination of bacterial pathogens via free-living protozoa between rearing cycles.

  12. Sensitivity of free-living amoeba trophozoites and cysts to water disinfectants.

    PubMed

    Dupuy, Mathieu; Berne, Florence; Herbelin, Pascaline; Binet, Marie; Berthelot, Nelsie; Rodier, Marie-Hélène; Soreau, Sylvie; Héchard, Yann

    2014-03-01

    Free-living amoebae are naturally present in water. These protozoa could be pathogenic and could also shelter pathogenic bacteria. Thus, they are described as a potential hazard for health. Also, free-living amoebae have been described to be resistant to biocides, especially under their cyst resistant form. There are several studies on amoeba treatments but none of them compare sensitivity of trophozoites and cysts from different genus to various water disinfectants. In our study, we tested chlorine, monochloramine and chlorine dioxide on both cysts and trophozoites from three strains, belonging to the three main genera of free-living amoebae. The results show that, comparing cysts to trophozoites inactivation, only the Acanthamoeba cysts were highly more resistant to treatment than trophozoites. Comparison of the disinfectant efficiency led to conclude that chlorine dioxide was the most efficient treatment in our conditions and was particularly efficient against cysts. In conclusion, our results would help to adapt water treatments in order to target free-living amoebae in water networks.

  13. Influence of Activity Monitor Location and Bout Duration on Free-Living Physical Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heil, Daniel P.; Bennett, Gary G.; Bond, Kathleen S.; Webster, Michael D.; Wolin, Kathleen Y.

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of the location (ankle, hip, wrist) where an activity monitor (AM) is worn and of the minimum bout duration (BD) on physical activity (PA) variables during free-living monitoring. Study 1 participants wore AMs at three locations for 1 day while wearing the Intelligent Device for Energy…

  14. Aerobic cloacal and pharyngeal bacterial flora in six species of free-living birds.

    PubMed

    Stenkat, J; Krautwald-Junghanns, M-E; Schmitz Ornés, A; Eilers, A; Schmidt, V

    2014-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the culturable aerobic pharyngeal and cloacal bacterial flora of free-living birds, to determine the physiological bacterial microbiota, to identify possible interactions between feeding behaviour and the composition of the pharyngeal and cloacal microflora and to investigate the occurrence of pathogenic bacteria. Cloacal and pharyngeal swabs of 167 free-living birds, including water rails (Rallus aquaticus), spotted crakes (Porzana porzana), mute swans (Cygnus olor), barn swallows (Hirundo rustica), reed warblers (Acrocephalus scirpaceus) and black cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo) from Germany, were cultured to determine the prevalence of aerobic bacteria. Statistical analysis of bacterial findings and feeding behaviour was performed. A widespread soil and water bacteria were isolated, which are expected to be present in the habitat and food. However, some potentially avian- and human-pathogenic bacteria, such as Aeromonas hydrophila, Elizabethkingia meningoseptica, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli, were also recovered. Free-living birds of the examined species harbour several environmental bacteria, which could be facultative pathogenic. Prevalence of bacteria in healthy free-living birds of the species included in this survey is influenced by environmental and alimentary factors. © 2014 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  15. Presence of rotavirus and free-living amoebae in the water supplies of Karachi, Pakistan

    PubMed Central

    Yousuf, Farzana Abubakar; Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Rotavirus and pathogenic free-living amoebae are causative agents of important health problems, especially for developing countries like Pakistan where the population has limited access to clean water supplies. Here, we evaluated the prevalence of rotavirus and free-living amoebae (Acanthamoeba spp., Balamuthia mandrillaris, Naegleria fowleri) in drinking water supplies of Karachi, Pakistan. Six water filtration plants that supply drinking water to the population of Karachi were investigated. Additionally, drinking water samples from households were analyzed for the presence of rotavirus and free-living amoebae. Rotavirus was present in 35% of the water samples collected from water filtration plants; however, domestic tap water samples had a prevalence of only 5%. Out of 20 water samples from filtration plants, 13 (65%) were positive for Acanthamoeba spp., and one (5%) was positive for B. mandrillaris. Out of 20 drinking water samples collected from different areas of Karachi, 35% were positive for Acanthamoeba spp. Rotavirus was detected in 5% of the drinking water samples tested. Overall, these findings showed for the first time the presence of rotavirus, in addition to pathogenic free-living amoebae in drinking water supplies of Karachi that could be an important public health risk for the affected population. PMID:28591260

  16. Influence of Activity Monitor Location and Bout Duration on Free-Living Physical Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heil, Daniel P.; Bennett, Gary G.; Bond, Kathleen S.; Webster, Michael D.; Wolin, Kathleen Y.

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of the location (ankle, hip, wrist) where an activity monitor (AM) is worn and of the minimum bout duration (BD) on physical activity (PA) variables during free-living monitoring. Study 1 participants wore AMs at three locations for 1 day while wearing the Intelligent Device for Energy…

  17. Presence of rotavirus and free-living amoebae in the water supplies of Karachi, Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Yousuf, Farzana Abubakar; Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2017-06-01

    Rotavirus and pathogenic free-living amoebae are causative agents of important health problems, especially for developing countries like Pakistan where the population has limited access to clean water supplies. Here, we evaluated the prevalence of rotavirus and free-living amoebae (Acanthamoeba spp., Balamuthia mandrillaris, Naegleria fowleri) in drinking water supplies of Karachi, Pakistan. Six water filtration plants that supply drinking water to the population of Karachi were investigated. Additionally, drinking water samples from households were analyzed for the presence of rotavirus and free-living amoebae. Rotavirus was present in 35% of the water samples collected from water filtration plants; however, domestic tap water samples had a prevalence of only 5%. Out of 20 water samples from filtration plants, 13 (65%) were positive for Acanthamoeba spp., and one (5%) was positive for B. mandrillaris. Out of 20 drinking water samples collected from different areas of Karachi, 35% were positive for Acanthamoeba spp. Rotavirus was detected in 5% of the drinking water samples tested. Overall, these findings showed for the first time the presence of rotavirus, in addition to pathogenic free-living amoebae in drinking water supplies of Karachi that could be an important public health risk for the affected population.

  18. Biogeography of free-living soil nematodes from the perspective of plate tectonics.

    PubMed

    Ferris, V R; Goseco, C G; Ferris, J M

    1976-08-06

    In this first biogeographical synthesis based on the morphology and known distribution of a group of free-living soil nematodes, data indicate a pre-Jurassic origin followed by West Gondwanaland radiation for some genera and Laurasian radiation for others.

  19. Dietary Adherence Monitoring Tool for Free-living, Controlled Feeding Studies

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Objective: To devise a dietary adherence monitoring tool for use in controlled human feeding trials involving free-living study participants. Methods: A scoring tool was devised to measure and track dietary adherence for an 8-wk randomized trial evaluating the effects of two different dietary patter...

  20. Fatty acid composition of free-living and parasitic stages of the bovine lungworm Dictyocaulus viviparus.

    PubMed

    Becker, Ann-Christin; Willenberg, Ina; Springer, Andrea; Schebb, Nils Helge; Steinberg, Pablo; Strube, Christina

    2017-09-01

    The development of parasitic nematodes proceeds via multiple stages, often implicating the necessity to adapt to different environments. Especially the transition from free-living to parasitic stages is accompanied by a significant change in the environmental conditions. To shed light on possible adaptations to these transitions, the fatty acid composition of different developmental stages of the bovine lungworm Dictyocaulus viviparus was investigated. Fatty acids of D. viviparus eggs, the free-living first, second and third larval stage (L1-L3) as well as the parasitic preadult stage and adult male and female worms residing in the lungs of infected hosts were quantified by gas chromatography after transesterification to their fatty acid methyl esters. The fatty acid content and diversity were higher in parasitic stages compared to those of free-living larvae. The most prevalent fatty acids in both parasitic and free-living stages were stearic (C18:0), palmitic (C16:0), palmitoleic (C16:1) and caprylic acid (C8:0). A variety of (poly-)unsaturated FAs was found in the parasitic stages and in the eggs, which was similar to the variety of FAs found in bovine surfactant. This finding indicates that parasitic stages of D. viviparus take up FAs from their environment. While eggs contained the highest concentration of fatty acids, a decrease was observed from eggs to L1 and further from L2 to L3. The lowest concentration was found in 38-days-old L3, which suggests that FAs serve as an energy reserve for the free-living, non-feeding larval stages. The free-living larvae contained mainly saturated fatty acids and only traces of unsaturated fatty acids, which is in contrast to the phospholipid saturation hypothesis of cold tolerance. Instead, a trade-off between desiccation stress and temperature adaptation may favour a higher amount of saturated FAs in the free-living larval stages. Further studies explicitly examining the FA composition of the different classes of lipids

  1. Comparison of serum hormone levels of captive and free-living maned wolves Chrysocyon brachyurus.

    PubMed

    Maia, O B; Jácomo, A T A; Bringel, B A; Kashivakura, C K; Oliveira, C A; Teodoro, L O F; Silveira, L; Teixeira da Costa, M E L; Malta, M C C; Furtado, M M; Torres, N M; Mattos, P S R; Viau, P; Lima, T F G; Morato, R G

    2008-02-01

    Serum hormone levels were compared between captive and free-living maned wolves and seasonal variations of sex hormones were studied. Blood samples were collected from 16 male and 26 female adult animals from Brazilian zoos, and from 30 male and 24 female free-living adults to determine serum progesterone and testosterone by radioimmunoassay. Serum testosterone concentrations varied (P < 0.05) across seasons for 16 captive males, being higher in autumn (2184.7 +/- 355.1 pg/mL) than in summer (1080.7 +/- 205.4 pg/mL), winter (1270.1 +/- 276.6 pg/mL) and spring (963.9 +/- 248.1 pg/mL), although they did not differ between summer, winter and spring. Testosterone concentration of 30 free-living males differed (P < 0.05) between autumn (824.1 +/- 512.2 pg/mL), winter (14.4 +/- 8.0 pg/mL) and spring (151.9 +/- 90.5 pg/mL). Comparison between captive and free-living animals showed no difference in autumn (P > 0.05). Sixteen captive males showed higher testosterone concentration during winter and spring compared with 30 free-living animals (P < 0.05). Progesterone concentration varied among seasons in 26 captive females (P < 0.05), being higher in autumn (15.3 +/- 3.1 ng/mL) than in summer (6.6 +/- 1.5 ng/mL), winter (5.3 +/- 3.1 ng/mL) and spring (4.3 +/- 0.7 ng/mL). Progesterone concentration of 24 free-living females varied between autumn (17.1 +/- 6.0 ng/mL) and winter (1.7 +/- 0.3 ng/mL) (P < 0.05), but we could not obtain data for spring or summer. No difference in progesterone levels was observed between captive and free-living females in autumn and winter.

  2. Object-Oriented Analysis of Sea Ice Fragmentation Using SAR Imagery to Determine Pacific Walrus Habitat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brigham, C.; Kolkowitz, I.; Dolson, M.; Rudy, J.; Brooks, A.; Hiatt, C.; Schmidt, C. L.; Skiles, J.

    2006-12-01

    Changes in climate are causing alterations in sea ice formation resulting in a changing habitat for Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens). Students from NASA Ames Research Center's DEVELOP Internship Program worked with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in Alaska to assess the use of satellite imagery for studying walrus habitat on sea ice. Few studies use satellite imagery to observe marine mammal habitats in polar regions because of the difficulty in obtaining imagery and georeferenced data points of species location for the same time period. This study used a method for sea ice image analysis that incorporated remote sensing segmentation and classification techniques with RADARSAT1 SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) imagery. Results were correlated with ground point data to determine the relationships of sea ice features to walrus' preferred habitat. MODIS data were utilized, where possible, to verify the classifications of sea ice surfaces obtained by RADARSAT1. The goal of the study was to define geophysical information from radar images that correlate with georeferenced species data points for the same time period. The students determined that walrus prefer thin to medium ice thicknesses. This finding means that aircraft census of walrus populations will not need to be done over areas of thick ice, saving flight time and allowing USFWS personnel to concentrate on locations where walrus populations can be expected to be found.

  3. BESMEX: Bering Sea marine mammal experiment. [with the primary target species being the walrus and bowhead whale

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ray, G. C.; Wartzok, D.

    1974-01-01

    Predictive ecological models are being studied for the management and conservation of the walrus, and the bowhead whale in the Bering Sea. The influence of sea ice on the distribution, and carrying capacity of the area for these two mammals is to be investigated with the primary target species being the walrus. Remote sensing and radio tracking is considered a requirement for assessing the walrus ecosystem.

  4. Tree species control rates of free-living nitrogen fixation in a tropical rain forest.

    PubMed

    Reed, Sasha C; Cleveland, Cory C; Townsend, Alan R

    2008-10-01

    Tropical rain forests represent some of the most diverse ecosystems on earth, yet mechanistic links between tree species identity and ecosystem function in these forests remains poorly understood. Here, using free-living nitrogen (N) fixation as a model, we explore the idea that interspecies variation in canopy nutrient concentrations may drive significant local-scale variation in biogeochemical processes. Biological N fixation is the largest "natural" source of newly available N to terrestrial ecosystems, and estimates suggest the highest such inputs occur in tropical ecosystems. While patterns of and controls over N fixation in these systems remain poorly known, the data we do have suggest that chemical differences among tree species canopies could affect free-living N fixation rates. In a diverse lowland rain forest in Costa Rica, we established a series of vertical, canopy-to-soil profiles for six common canopy tree species, and we measured free-living N fixation rates and multiple aspects of chemistry of live canopy leaves, senesced canopy leaves, bulk leaf litter, and soil for eight individuals of each tree species. Free-living N fixation rates varied significantly among tree species for all four components, and independent of species identity, rates of N fixation ranged by orders of magnitude along the vertical profile. Our data suggest that variations in phosphorus (P) concentration drove a significant fraction of the observed species-specific variation in free-living N fixation rates within each layer of the vertical profile. Furthermore, our data suggest significant links between canopy and forest floor nutrient concentrations; canopy P was correlated with bulk leaf litter P below individual tree crowns. Thus, canopy chemistry may affect a suite of ecosystem processes not only within the canopy itself, but at and beneath the forest floor as well.

  5. Population size and incidence of virus infection in free-living populations of Cucurbita pepo.

    PubMed

    Quemada, Hector; Strehlow, Laura; Decker-Walters, Deena S; Staub, Jack E

    2008-01-01

    Impact assessments of virus resistance transgene introgression into wild, free-living populations are important for determining whether these transgenes present a risk to agriculture or the environment. Transgenic virus-resistant Cucurbita pepo ssp. ovifera var. ovifera L. (squash) cultivars have been commercialized, and may be cultivated in close proximity to cross-compatible wild, free-living relatives (C. pepo subsp. pepo vars. ozarkana and texana). Therefore, the potential impact of these virus resistance transgenes was studied by surveying the incidence and fluctuations of virus infection (as assayed by ELISA), virus symptoms (which may not be seen in an infected plant) and population size in forty-three free-living C. pepo populations in Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. Ten of these populations were studied over three consecutive seasons. Depending on the year, 61% to 78% percent of the populations had at least one individual infected by at CMV, ZYMV or WMV2, but the median incidence of infection within populations was 13%. The observed infection level in free-living populations was consistent with levels defined as "low" in field plot experiments conducted by others, leading to the conclusion that transgenic virus resistance should not provide a significant fitness advantage to the free-living populations examined. Viral symptoms were detected in only 2% of plants observed, indicating that severity of viral infection was low. CMV, ZYMV, and WMV2 were not the only viruses infecting these populations, further reducing the likelihood that resistance to these viruses would release populations from constraints imposed by virus diseases.

  6. Potatoes, glycemic index, and weight loss in free-living individuals: practical implications.

    PubMed

    Randolph, Jody M; Edirisinghe, Indika; Masoni, Amber M; Kappagoda, Tissa; Burton-Freeman, Britt

    2014-01-01

    The role of glycemic index (GI) and foods with negative attributes related to GI as part of a weight loss regimen has not been thoroughly assessed in free-living individuals. This study examined the effects of a dietary prescription for energy intake modification, GI, and potato consumption on weight loss, dietary prescription adherence, body composition, and glucose control in a free-living, self-selecting overweight population. Ninety overweight (body mass index [BMI] 29.6 ± 3.9) men and women were randomly assigned to one of 3 groups for 12 weeks. Two groups were counseled to reduce their energy intake by 500 kcal/day and consume diets that were predominantly composed of either low- or high-GI foods (low glycemic index energy reduced [LGI-ER] or high glycemic index energy reduced [HGI-ER] diet, respectively). The third group received no energy restriction, GI provision, or nutritional counseling. All groups were instructed to consume 5-7 servings of potatoes per week. Changes in weight, body composition, glucose tolerance, and triglycerides were determined at baseline and 12 weeks. There were no significant differences in weight loss or changes in body composition between the groups; however, modest weight loss and body composition changes were seen from week 0 to week 12 for all groups (p < 0.05). Difficulty achieving the prescribed GI diets was evident in this free-living setting. There were no significant changes within or among treatments for fasting concentrations of triglycerides, glucose tolerance, insulin, or insulin sensitivity. The results indicate that in a free-living population of men and women, weight loss is associated with energy intake reduction. Potato intake did not cause weight gain and following either a high- or low-GI dietary prescription was difficult for free-living subjects, emphasizing the complex nature of changing dietary patterns.

  7. Focal palatine erosion in captive and free-living cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) and other felid species.

    PubMed

    Zordan, Martýn; Deem, Sharon L; Sanchez, Carlos R

    2012-01-01

    We examined 1,092 skulls of captive and free-living individuals, representing 33 felid species, to determine the prevalence of focal palatine erosion (FPE). FPE was detected in 3.2% of cats evaluated, including cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) and 14 other felid species. The prevalence of FPE between cheetah (9.4%; n = 64) and non-cheetah species (2.8%; n = 1,028) (χ(2) test; P = 0.004) and between captive (5.7%; n = 246) and free-living (2.4%; n = 824) individuals (χ(2) test; P = 0.010) were significantly different, with prevalence between captive (19%; n = 21) and free-living (2.9%; n = 34) cheetahs approaching significance (Fisher's exact test; P = 0.064). FPE was diagnosed with equal prevalence in skulls from individuals in which the lower molars did not meet the palatine bone (60.6%) and individuals in which it did (39.4%; n = 33) (χ(2) test; P = 0.139). In cheetahs with FPE, one was a captive animal in Germany, one a free-living cheetah from Mali, one captive cheetah from Kenya, and three captive cheetahs of unknown origin. Additionally, we evaluated the medical records of 49 captive cheetahs in Namibia. Of these cheetahs, 48 (98.0%) had clinical signs consistent with FPE, although only 16 of these 48 (39.6%) had perforation of the palatine bone. Based on physical examinations, FPE was diagnosed in two caracals (Caracal caracal) and one fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) from a North American Zoo. Results from this study confirm FPE in cheetahs outside of Namibia, in a minimum of 15 felid species, and a higher FPE prevalence in captive individuals than free-living ones. Clinical implications of these findings and recommendations for future studies are provided.

  8. Detection and identification of free-living amoeba from aquatic environment in different seasons in Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tzeng, K.; Hsu, B.; Tsai, H.; Huang, P.; Tsai, J.; Kao, P.; Huang, K.; Chen, J.

    2013-12-01

    Free-living amoeba includes Acanthamoeba and Naegleria, which are widely distributed in water and soil. Human infection with free-living amoeba leads to serious illness, even lethal. For example, central nervous system infection will cause amoebic meningoencephalitis, and infections will cause amoebic keratitis. The presence of free-living amoeba in environment water can be used as a water quality indicator in ecosystem assessment. In Taiwan, reservoirs are indispensable because of the water source are limited by the steep terrain and the short river flow. Therefore, we need to pay more attention in the quality control of reservoirs water. The aims of this study are to investigate the presence of free-living amoeba in Taiwan reservoirs, and to compare the differences among seasons. At last, the identification and genotyping of Acanthamoeba and Naegleria are investigated. In this study, we use polymerase chain reaction with specific primers to analyze the presence of free-living amoeba in aquatic environment. We collected total 60 samples from reservoirs in Taiwan. The water samples are divided into two parts for both direct concentration method and culture method. The results show the different detection rates among seasons. For Acanthamoeba, the detection rates were 28.3% (17 of 60 water samples), 21.7% (13 of 60 water samples) and 8.3% (5 of 60 water samples) in autumn, winter and spring, respectively. For Naegleria, the detection rates were 6.7% (4 of 60 water samples), 0% (0 of 60 water samples) and 0% (0 of 60 water samples) were detected positive in autumn, winter and spring, respectively. Sequence analysis showed that the major genotypes in Acanthamoeba were T3, T4, T10 and T11 in autumn, T2, T4 and T10 in winter, T4 in spring. Due to the presences of Acanthamoeba and Naegleria in reservoirs, we should pay more attention in water quality monitoring to prevent the potential risks of diseases. Keywords: free-living amoeba, Acanthamoeba, Naegleria, polymerase

  9. A Reevaluation of the Morphology, Paleoecology, and Phylogenetic Relationships of the Enigmatic Walrus Pelagiarctos

    PubMed Central

    Boessenecker, Robert W.; Churchill, Morgan

    2013-01-01

    Background A number of aberrant walruses (Odobenidae) have been described from the Neogene of the North Pacific, including specialized suction-feeding and generalist fish-eating taxa. At least one of these fossil walruses has been hypothesized to have been a specialized predator of other marine mammals, the middle Miocene walrus Pelagiarctos thomasi from the Sharktooth Hill Bonebed of California (16.1–14.5 Ma). Methodology/Principal Findings A new specimen of Pelagiarctos from the middle Miocene “Topanga” Formation of southern California (17.5–15 Ma) allows a reassessment of the morphology and feeding ecology of this extinct walrus. The mandibles of this new specimen are robust with large canines, bulbous premolars with prominent paraconid, metaconid, hypoconid cusps, crenulated lingual cingula with small talonid basins, M2 present, double-rooted P3–M1, single-rooted P1 and M2, and a P2 with a bilobate root. Because this specimen lacks a fused mandibular symphysis like Pelagiarctos thomasi, it is instead referred to Pelagiarctos sp. This specimen is more informative than the fragmentary holotype of Pelagiarctos thomasi, permitting Pelagiarctos to be included within a phylogenetic analysis for the first time. Analysis of a matrix composed of 90 cranial, dental, mandibular and postcranial characters indicates that Pelagiarctos is an early diverging walrus and sister to the late Miocene walrus Imagotaria downsi. We reevaluate the evidence for a macropredatory lifestyle for Pelagiarctos, and we find no evidence of specialization towards a macrophagous diet, suggesting that Pelagiarctos was a generalist feeder with the ability to feed on large prey. Conclusions/Significance This new specimen of Pelagiarctos adds to the knowledge of this problematic taxon. The phylogenetic analysis conclusively demonstrates that Pelagiarctos is an early diverging walrus. Pelagiarctos does not show morphological specializations associated with macrophagy, and was likely a

  10. Energy demands for maintenance, growth, pregnancy, and lactation of female Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens).

    PubMed

    Noren, Shawn R; Udevitz, Mark S; Jay, Chadwick V

    2014-01-01

    Decreases in sea ice have altered habitat use and activity patterns of female Pacific walruses Odobenus rosmarus divergens and could affect their energetic demands, reproductive success, and population status. However, a lack of physiological data from walruses has hampered efforts to develop the bioenergetics models required for fully understanding potential population-level impacts. We analyzed long-term longitudinal data sets of caloric consumption and body mass from nine female Pacific walruses housed at six aquaria using a hierarchical Bayesian approach to quantify relative energetic demands for maintenance, growth, pregnancy, and lactation. By examining body mass fluctuations in response to food consumption, the model explicitly uncoupled caloric demand from caloric intake. This is important for pinnipeds because they sequester and deplete large quantities of lipids throughout their lifetimes. Model outputs were scaled to account for activity levels typical of free-ranging Pacific walruses, averaging 83% of the time active in water and 17% of the time hauled-out resting. Estimated caloric requirements ranged from 26,900 kcal d(-1) for 2-yr-olds to 93,370 kcal d(-1) for simultaneously lactating and pregnant walruses. Daily consumption requirements were higher for pregnancy than lactation, reflecting energetic demands of increasing body size and lipid deposition during pregnancy. Although walruses forage during lactation, fat sequestered during pregnancy sustained 27% of caloric requirements during the first month of lactation, suggesting that walruses use a mixed strategy of capital and income breeding. Ultimately, this model will aid in our understanding of the energetic and population consequences of sea ice loss.

  11. Projected status of the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) in the twenty-first century

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jay, C.V.; Marcot, B.G.; Douglas, D.C.

    2011-01-01

    Extensive and rapid losses of sea ice in the Arctic have raised conservation concerns for the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens), a large pinniped inhabiting arctic and subarctic continental shelf waters of the Chukchi and Bering seas. We developed a Bayesian network model to integrate potential effects of changing environmental conditions and anthropogenic stressors on the future status of the Pacific walrus population at four periods through the twenty-first century. The model framework allowed for inclusion of various sources and levels of knowledge, and representation of structural and parameter uncertainties. Walrus outcome probabilities through the century reflected a clear trend of worsening conditions for the subspecies. From the current observation period to the end of century, the greatest change in walrus outcome probabilities was a progressive decrease in the outcome state of robust and a concomitant increase in the outcome state of vulnerable. The probabilities of rare and extirpated states each progressively increased but remained >10% through the end of the century. The summed probabilities of vulnerable, rare, and extirpated (P(v,r,e)) increased from a current level of 10% in 2004 to 22% by 2050 and 40% by 2095. The degree of uncertainty in walrus outcomes increased monotonically over future periods. In the model, sea ice habitat (particularly for summer/fall) and harvest levels had the greatest influence on future population outcomes. Other potential stressors had much smaller influences on walrus outcomes, mostly because of uncertainty in their future states and our current poor understanding of their mechanistic influence on walrus abundance. ?? 2011 US Government.

  12. A reevaluation of the morphology, paleoecology, and phylogenetic relationships of the enigmatic walrus Pelagiarctos.

    PubMed

    Boessenecker, Robert W; Churchill, Morgan

    2013-01-01

    A number of aberrant walruses (Odobenidae) have been described from the Neogene of the North Pacific, including specialized suction-feeding and generalist fish-eating taxa. At least one of these fossil walruses has been hypothesized to have been a specialized predator of other marine mammals, the middle Miocene walrus Pelagiarctos thomasi from the Sharktooth Hill Bonebed of California (16.1-14.5 Ma). A new specimen of Pelagiarctos from the middle Miocene "Topanga" Formation of southern California (17.5-15 Ma) allows a reassessment of the morphology and feeding ecology of this extinct walrus. The mandibles of this new specimen are robust with large canines, bulbous premolars with prominent paraconid, metaconid, hypoconid cusps, crenulated lingual cingula with small talonid basins, M₂ present, double-rooted P₃-M₁, single-rooted P₁ and M₂, and a P₂ with a bilobate root. Because this specimen lacks a fused mandibular symphysis like Pelagiarctos thomasi, it is instead referred to Pelagiarctos sp. This specimen is more informative than the fragmentary holotype of Pelagiarctos thomasi, permitting Pelagiarctos to be included within a phylogenetic analysis for the first time. Analysis of a matrix composed of 90 cranial, dental, mandibular and postcranial characters indicates that Pelagiarctos is an early diverging walrus and sister to the late Miocene walrus Imagotaria downsi. We reevaluate the evidence for a macropredatory lifestyle for Pelagiarctos, and we find no evidence of specialization towards a macrophagous diet, suggesting that Pelagiarctos was a generalist feeder with the ability to feed on large prey. This new specimen of Pelagiarctos adds to the knowledge of this problematic taxon. The phylogenetic analysis conclusively demonstrates that Pelagiarctos is an early diverging walrus. Pelagiarctos does not show morphological specializations associated with macrophagy, and was likely a generalist predator, feeding on fish, invertebrates, and the occasional

  13. Energy demands for maintenance, growth, pregnancy, and lactation of female Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Noren, Shawn R.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Jay, Chadwick V.

    2014-01-01

    Decreases in sea ice have altered habitat use and activity patterns of female Pacific walruses Odobenus rosmarus divergens and could affect their energetic demands, reproductive success, and population status. However, a lack of physiological data from walruses has hampered efforts to develop the bioenergetics models required for fully understanding potential population-level impacts. We analyzed long-term longitudinal data sets of caloric consumption and body mass from nine female Pacific walruses housed at six aquaria using a hierarchical Bayesian approach to quantify relative energetic demands for maintenance, growth, pregnancy, and lactation. By examining body mass fluctuations in response to food consumption, the model explicitly uncoupled caloric demand from caloric intake. This is important for pinnipeds because they sequester and deplete large quantities of lipids throughout their lifetimes. Model outputs were scaled to account for activity levels typical of free-ranging Pacific walruses, averaging 83% of the time active in water and 17% of the time hauled-out resting. Estimated caloric requirements ranged from 26,900 kcal d−1 for 2-yr-olds to 93,370 kcal d−1 for simultaneously lactating and pregnant walruses. Daily consumption requirements were higher for pregnancy than lactation, reflecting energetic demands of increasing body size and lipid deposition during pregnancy. Although walruses forage during lactation, fat sequestered during pregnancy sustained 27% of caloric requirements during the first month of lactation, suggesting that walruses use a mixed strategy of capital and income breeding. Ultimately, this model will aid in our understanding of the energetic and population consequences of sea ice loss.

  14. Projected status of the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) in the twenty-first century

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jay, Chadwick V.; Marcot, Bruce G.; Douglas, David C.

    2011-01-01

    Extensive and rapid losses of sea ice in the Arctic have raised conservation concerns for the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens), a large pinniped inhabiting arctic and subarctic continental shelf waters of the Chukchi and Bering seas. We developed a Bayesian network model to integrate potential effects of changing environmental conditions and anthropogenic stressors on the future status of the Pacific walrus population at four periods through the twenty-first century. The model framework allowed for inclusion of various sources and levels of knowledge, and representation of structural and parameter uncertainties. Walrus outcome probabilities through the century reflected a clear trend of worsening conditions for the subspecies. From the current observation period to the end of century, the greatest change in walrus outcome probabilities was a progressive decrease in the outcome state of robust and a concomitant increase in the outcome state of vulnerable. The probabilities of rare and extirpated states each progressively increased but remained <10% through the end of the century. The summed probabilities of vulnerable, rare, and extirpated (P(v,r,e)) increased from a current level of 10% in 2004 to 22% by 2050 and 40% by 2095. The degree of uncertainty in walrus outcomes increased monotonically over future periods. In the model, sea ice habitat (particularly for summer/fall) and harvest levels had the greatest influence on future population outcomes. Other potential stressors had much smaller influences on walrus outcomes, mostly because of uncertainty in their future states and our current poor understanding of their mechanistic influence on walrus abundance.

  15. Streptococcus pyogenes Infection in a Free-Living European Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus).

    PubMed

    Franklinos, Lydia H V; Efstratiou, Androulla; Macgregor, Shaheed K; John, Shinto K; Hopkins, Timothy; Cunningham, Andrew A; Lawson, Becki

    2015-12-01

    Streptococcus pyogenes, a common pathogen of humans, was isolated from the carcass of a free-living European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) found in northern England in June 2014. The animal had abscessation of the deep right cervical lymph node, mesenteric lymph nodes and liver. The S. pyogenes strain isolated from the lesions, peritoneal and pleural cavities was characterised as emm 28, which can be associated with invasive disease in humans. This is the first known report of S. pyogenes in a hedgehog and in any free-living wild animal that has been confirmed by gene sequencing. As close associations between wild hedgehogs and people in England are common, we hypothesise that this case might have resulted from anthroponotic infection.

  16. Immunity to pathogenic free-living amoebae: role of humoral antibody.

    PubMed Central

    Cursons, R T; Brown, T J; Keys, E A; Moriarty, K M; Till, D

    1980-01-01

    Pathogenic free-living amoebae are common in nature, but few clinical infections by these amoebae have been reported. This has prompted studies of host susceptibility factors in humans. A survey of normal human sera from three New Zealand Health Districts was made; antibodies to pathogenic free-living amoebae were found in all sera, with titers ranging from 1:5 to 1:20 for Naegleria spp. and from 1:20 to 1:80 for Acanthamoeba spp. The antibodies belonged mainly to immunoglobulin G and immunoglobulin M classes. The presence of a specific neutralizing factor against Acanthamoeba spp. but not Naegleria spp. was demonstrated. Possible protective mechanisms are discussed. PMID:7216418

  17. Rhizobitoxine inhibition of hydrogenase synthesis in free-living Bradyrhizobium japonicum.

    PubMed Central

    Minamisawa, K; Fukai, K; Asami, T

    1990-01-01

    Rhizobitoxine produced by Bradyrhizobium species strongly prevented derepression of hydrogenase expression in free-living Bradyrhizobium japonicum, although the toxin had no effect on the activity of cells which had already synthesized hydrogenase protein. Dihydrorhizobitoxine, a structural analog of rhizobitoxine, proved to be a less potent inhibitor of hydrogenase derepression. Rhizobitoxine did not cause cell death at a concentration sufficient to eliminate hydrogenase expression. The large subunit of hydrogenase was not detectable with antibody after derepression in the presence of rhizobitoxine. The general pattern of proteins synthesized from 14C-labeled amino acids during derepression was not significantly different in the presence or absence of rhizobitoxine. These results indicated that rhizobitoxine inhibited hydrogenase synthesis in free-living B. japonicum. Cystathionine and methionine strongly prevented the inhibition of hydrogenase derepression by rhizobitoxine, suggesting that the inhibition involves the level of sulfur-containing amino acids in the cell. Images PMID:2198262

  18. Free-living amoebae: Biological by-passes in water treatment.

    PubMed

    Loret, Jean-François; Greub, Gilbert

    2010-06-01

    Free-living amoebae constitute reservoirs for many bacteria including not only well-known pathogens but also emerging pathogens responsible for respiratory diseases, and contribute to the protection, survival and dissemination of these bacteria in water systems, despite the application of disinfection or thermal treatments. In this article we review the available information on the presence of free-living amoebae and amoebae-resisting bacteria in drinking water systems, on the factors that contribute to their presence in the water and/or the biofilms, on the possible control measures and their effectiveness, and we identify some gaps in current knowledge needing further research. Copyright 2010 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  19. [Distribution of cestodes among domestic ducks and free-living aquatic birds].

    PubMed

    Valkounová, J

    1983-01-01

    In 1959-1975, 3404 water birds of 18 species belonging to six orders were examined for the presence of cestodes. The birds came from 52 localities (ponds) in Bohemia and Moravia where domestic ducks were kept by the State Fishery and where also wild water fowl occurred. Cestodes of 31 species of the families Hymenolepididae, Dilepididae, Amabiliidae and Diploposthidae were found. The total number of examined birds included 2476 domestic ducks (1406 of them, i. e. 56.8%, were positive for cestodes) and 928 free-living water birds (873 of them, i. e. 94.1%, were 30 cestode species. Eight free-living bird species of the orders Anseriformes and Ralliformes (Anas platyrhynchos, Aythya ferina, A. fuligula, Fulica atra, Aythya nyroca, Anas crecca, A. querquedula and A. strepera) are significant for the circulation of cestodes as they harbour 16 cestode species also occurring in Anas platyrhynchos dom.

  20. Toxoplasma gondii: uptake and survival of oocysts in free-living amoebae.

    PubMed

    Winiecka-Krusnell, Jadwiga; Dellacasa-Lindberg, Isabel; Dubey, J P; Barragan, Antonio

    2009-02-01

    Waterborne transmission of the oocyst stage of Toxoplasma gondii can cause outbreaks of clinical toxoplasmosis in humans and infection of marine mammals. In water-related environments and soil, free-living amoebae are considered potential carriers of various pathogens, but knowledge on interactions with parasitic protozoa remains elusive. In the present study, we assessed whether the free-living Acanthamoeba castellanii, due to its phagocytic activity, can interact with T. gondii oocysts. We report that amoebae can internalize T. gondii oocysts by active uptake. Intracellular oocysts in amoebae rarely underwent phagocytic lysis, retained viability and established infection in mice. Interaction of T. gondii with amoebae did not reduce the infectivity and pathogenicity of oocysts even after prolonged co-cultivation. Our results show that uptake of oocysts by A. castellanii does not restrain the transmission of T. gondii in a murine infection model.

  1. Occurrence of Infected Free-Living Amoebae in Cooling Towers of Southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Soares, Scheila S; Souza, Thamires K; Berté, Francisco K; Cantarelli, Vlademir V; Rott, Marilise B

    2017-08-24

    This study determined the occurrence of potentially pathogenic free-living amoebae (FLA) and bacteria associated with amoebae in air-conditioning cooling towers in southern Brazil. Water samples were collected from 36 cooling systems from air-conditioning in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The organisms were identified using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequencing automated. The results showed that these aquatic environments, with variable temperature, are potential "hot spots" for emerging human pathogens like free-living amoebae and bacteria associated. In total, 92% of the cooling-tower samples analyzed were positive for FLA, and Acanthamoeba was the dominant genus by culture and PCR. Amoebal isolates revealed intracellular bacteria in 39.3% of them and all were confirmed as members of the genus Pseudomonas. The results obtained show the important role of cooling towers as a source of amoebae-associated pathogens.

  2. Mercury poisoning in a free-living northern river otter (Lontra canadensis).

    PubMed

    Sleeman, Jonathan M; Cristol, Daniel A; White, Ariel E; Evers, David C; Gerhold, R W; Keel, Michael K

    2010-07-01

    A moribund 5-year-old female northern river otter (Lontra canadensis) was found on the bank of a river known to be extensively contaminated with mercury. It exhibited severe ataxia and scleral injection, made no attempt to flee, and died shortly thereafter of drowning. Tissue mercury levels were among the highest ever reported for a free-living terrestrial mammal: kidney, 353 microg/g; liver, 221 microg/g; muscle, 121 microg/g; brain (three replicates from cerebellum), 142, 151, 151 microg/g (all dry weights); and fur, 183 ug/g (fresh weight). Histopathologic findings including severe, diffuse, chronic glomerulosclerosis and moderate interstitial fibrosis were the presumptive cause of clinical signs and death. This is one of a few reports to document the death of a free-living mammal from presumed mercury poisoning.

  3. Free-Living Amoebae as Hosts for and Vectors of Intracellular Microorganisms with Public Health Significance.

    PubMed

    Balczun, Carsten; Scheid, Patrick L

    2017-04-01

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) are parasites within both humans and animals causing a wide range of symptoms and act as hosts of, and vehicles for phylogenetically diverse microorganisms, called endocytobionts. The interaction of the FLA with sympatric microorganisms leads to an exceptional diversity within FLA. Some of these bacteria, viruses, and even eukaryotes, can live and replicate intracellularly within the FLA. This relationship provides protection to the microorganisms from external interventions and a dispersal mechanism across various habitats. Among those intracellularly-replicating or -residing organisms there are obligate and facultative pathogenic microorganisms affecting the health of humans or animals and are therefore of interest to Public Health Authorities. Mimiviruses, Pandoraviruses, and Pithoviruses are examples for interesting viral endocytobionts within FLA. Future research is expected to reveal further endocytobionts within free-living amoebae and other protozoa through co-cultivation studies, genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic analyses.

  4. REFRACTOMETRIC URINE SPECIFIC GRAVITY OF FREE-LIVING EGYPTIAN FRUIT BATS (ROUSETTUS AEGYPTIACUS).

    PubMed

    Eshar, David; Lapid, Roi; Weinberg, Maya; King, Roni; Pohlman, Lisa M

    2017-09-01

    In both human and veterinary medicine, urine specific gravity (USG) is commonly measured by refractometry to indirectly reflect the osmolality of urine to thereby evaluate the kidney's ability to concentrate or dilute urine according to physiologic need and certain disease conditions. However, for accurate interpretation of the significance of any value, knowledge of the expected USG for the healthy species in question is required. It is generally believed that fruit bats, and Egyptian fruit bats (Rousettus aegyptiacus) in particular, are unable to highly concentrate their urine. In this study, the USG was determined using a handheld urine refractometer in 43 free-living Egyptian fruit bats of both sexes. The calculated nonparametric 90% confidence interval for Egyptian fruit bats in this study was 1.006-1.050, with no association with capture site, sex, weight, or packed cell volume and total solids. Results suggest that free-living Egyptian fruit bats are able to highly concentrate their urine.

  5. Randomised controlled trials of physical activity promotion in free living populations: a review.

    PubMed Central

    Hillsdon, M; Thorogood, M; Anstiss, T; Morris, J

    1995-01-01

    OBJECTIVES--To review evidence on the effectiveness of trials of physical activity promotion in healthy, free living adults. To identify the more effective intervention programmes. METHODS--Computerised databases and references were searched. Experts were contacted and asked for information about existing work. INCLUSION CRITERIA--Randomised controlled trials of healthy, free living adult subjects, where exercise behaviour was the dependent variable were included. CONCLUSIONS--Ten trials were identified. The small number of trials limits the strength of any conclusions and highlights the need for more research. No UK based studies were found. Previously sedentary adults can increase activity levels and sustain them. Promotion of these changes requires personal instruction, continued support, and exercise of moderate intensity which does not depend on attendance at a facility. The exercise should be easily included into an existing lifestyle and should be enjoyable. Walking is the exercise most likely to fulfil these criteria. PMID:7499985

  6. Free-living marine nematodes from San Julián Bay (Santa Cruz, Argentina)

    PubMed Central

    Pastor de Ward, Catalina; Lo Russo, Virginia; Villares, Gabriela; Milano, Viviana; Miyashiro, Lidia; Mazzanti, Renato

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The free-living marine nematodes of San Julián Bay dataset is based on sediment samples collected in January 2009 during the project PICT AGENCIA-FONCYT 2/33345-2005. A total of 36 samples have been taken at three locations in the San Julián Bay, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina on the coastal littoral at three tidal levels. This presents a unique and important collection for the nematode benthic biodiversity assessment as this area remains one of the least known regions in Patagonia. In total 10,030 specimens of free-living marine nematodes belonging to 2 classes, 9 orders, 35 families, 78 genera and 125 species were collected. The San Julián city site presented a very high species richness. PMID:25878534

  7. Free-living amoebae isolated from water-hyacinth root (Eichhornia crassipes).

    PubMed

    Ramirez, Elizabeth; Robles, Esperanza; Martinez, Blanca

    2010-09-01

    Free-living amoebae are widely distributed in aquatic environments and their hygienic, medical and ecological relationships to man are increasingly important. The purpose of this study was to isolate free-living amoebae from water-hyacinth root (Eichhornia crassipes) and the water of an urban lake in Mexico City. Five grams of wet root were seeded on non-nutritive agar with Enterobacter aerogenes (NNE). Water samples were concentrated by centrifugation at 1200g for 15min and the pellet was seeded on NNE. Of the 16 isolated genera, 10 were detected in both habitats. The most frequent were Vannella in root and Acanthamoeba and Naegleria in water. The total number of isolates and genera isolated from root was higher than that isolated from water. The differences between root and water are probably due to the morphological characteristics of water-hyacinth root, which provides a large habitat and refuge area for many organisms.

  8. Distribution of free-living amoebae in James River, Virginia, USA.

    PubMed

    Ettinger, Matthew R; Webb, Stanley R; Harris, Shelley A; McIninch, Stephen P; C Garman, Gregory; Brown, Bonnie L

    2003-01-01

    A comprehensive survey to document the presence of free-living amoebae was conducted along 58 km of James River, near Richmond, Virginia, USA. Sites included tidal and non-tidal freshwater areas, near 40 combined sewer outflows, three municipal wastewater treatment plant release sites, and thermal discharge from a coal-fired power plant. Amoebae were present on all collection dates, spring through autumn, and at all sites ( n=330). Five genera, Naegleria, Vannella, Acanthamoeba, Vahlkampfia, and Hartmannella were present in both the water column and sediment. The most common isolates from the water column were Naegleria and Vannella. Water conditions conducive to the presence of large quantities of fecal coliform bacteria were correlated with the prevalence of free-living amoebae. Some of the amoebae in this complex ecosystem can act as opportunistic pathogens, may play a role in diseases of aquatic organisms in this heavily urbanized river, and may present a risk to human health.

  9. Free-Living Amoebae as Hosts for and Vectors of Intracellular Microorganisms with Public Health Significance

    PubMed Central

    Balczun, Carsten; Scheid, Patrick L.

    2017-01-01

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) are parasites within both humans and animals causing a wide range of symptoms and act as hosts of, and vehicles for phylogenetically diverse microorganisms, called endocytobionts. The interaction of the FLA with sympatric microorganisms leads to an exceptional diversity within FLA. Some of these bacteria, viruses, and even eukaryotes, can live and replicate intracellularly within the FLA. This relationship provides protection to the microorganisms from external interventions and a dispersal mechanism across various habitats. Among those intracellularly-replicating or -residing organisms there are obligate and facultative pathogenic microorganisms affecting the health of humans or animals and are therefore of interest to Public Health Authorities. Mimiviruses, Pandoraviruses, and Pithoviruses are examples for interesting viral endocytobionts within FLA. Future research is expected to reveal further endocytobionts within free-living amoebae and other protozoa through co-cultivation studies, genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic analyses. PMID:28368313

  10. A new pentaplex-nested PCR to detect five pathogenic bacteria in free living amoebae.

    PubMed

    Calvo, L; Gregorio, I; García, A; Fernández, M T; Goñi, P; Clavel, A; Peleato, M L; Fillat, M F

    2013-02-01

    Changes in water use and anthropogenic activity have major impacts on the quality of natural aquatic ecosystems, water distribution and wastewater plants. One of the main problems is the presence of some pathogenic microorganisms that are resistant to disinfection procedures when they are hosted by free living amoeba and that in many cases are hardly detectable by culture-based procedures. In this work we report a sensitive, low-cost procedure consisting of a pentaplex-nested PCR that allows simultaneous detection of Legionella pneumophila, Mycobacterium spp., Pseudomonas spp., Vibrio cholerae and the microcystin-producing cyanobacteria Microcystis aeruginosa. The method has been used to detect the presence of these pathogenic bacteria in water and inside free living amoeba. Its validation in 72 samples obtained from different water sources from Aragon (Spain) evidences that Mycobacterium and Pseudomonas spp are prevailing as amoeba-resistant bacteria.

  11. Detection of Hartmannella sp, a free-living amoeba from Sungai Setiu, Terengganu.

    PubMed

    Mat Amin, Nakisah; Najmiah Mustaffa, Nurul; Md Arshad, Norlieyana

    2004-12-01

    Hartmannella sp is one of the free-living amoebae that have the ability to infect animal tissues because it has been found in human's nasal mucosa, dog's bronchial and turkey's intestine. Treatment for diseases inflicted by free-living amoebae is difficult because most of them infect and damage the host's tissues, so preventive measures are better to take rather than to cure the diseases. In this study, water taken from several stations namely Kampung Padang, Kampung Besut, Ibu Bekalan Setiu, Kampung Tasik, Kampung Guntung, Kampung Nyatoh, Kampung Penarik and Kampung Mangkok) along Sungai Setiu, Terengganu was examined for the presence of Hartmannella sp. The results of this study indicated that only Ibu Bekalan Setiu station was found positive to have the amoeba. Detail results on the water quality and nutrient contents measured in relation to the distribution of the amoeba at Ibu Bekalan Setiu station are presented and discussed.

  12. The effect of triflumuron (SIR8514) on the free-living stages of sheep nematodes.

    PubMed

    Waller, P J; Lacey, E

    1986-06-01

    Studies both in vitro and in vivo showed that the insect growth regulator, triflumuron, exhibited potent larvacidal effects against the free-living stages of Trichostrongylus colubriformis. Effects were not as marked on the closely related nematodes, Haemonchus contortus and Ostertagia circumcincta. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that growth regulators may be used to develop novel methods of nematode control, and thus offer alternatives or adjuncts to conventional anthelmintic therapy and at the same time reduce the selection for anthelmintic resistance.

  13. Cadmium, lead, and mercury exposure assessment among croatian consumers of free-living game.

    PubMed

    Lazarus, Maja; Prevendar Crnić, Andreja; Bilandžić, Nina; Kusak, Josip; Reljić, Slaven

    2014-09-29

    Free-living game can be an important source of dietary cadmium and lead; the question is whether exposure to these two elements is such that it might cause adverse health effects in the consumers. The aim of this study was to estimate dietary exposure to cadmium, lead, and mercury from free-living big game (fallow deer, roe deer, red deer, wild boar, and brown bear), and to mercury from small game (pheasant and hare), hunted in Croatia from 1990 to 2012. The exposure assessment was based on available literature data and our own measurements of metal levels in the tissues of the game, by taking into account different consumption frequencies (four times a year, once a month and once a week). Exposure was expressed as percentage of (provisional) tolerable weekly intake [(P)TWI] values set by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Consumption of game meat (0.002-0.5 % PTWI) and liver (0.005-6 % PTWI) assumed for the general population (four times a year) does not pose a health risk to consumers from the general population, nor does monthly (0.02-6 % PTWI) and weekly (0.1-24 % PTWI) consumption of game meat. However, because of the high percentage of free-living game liver and kidney samples exceeding the legislative limits for cadmium (2-99 %) and lead (1-82 %), people should keep the consumption of certain game species' offal as low as possible. Children and pregnant and lactating women should avoid eating game offal altogether. Free-living game liver could be an important source of cadmium if consumed on a monthly basis (3-74 % TWI), and if consumed weekly (11-297 % TWI), it could even give rise to toxicological concern.

  14. Free-living monitoring of Parkinson's disease: Lessons from the field.

    PubMed

    Del Din, Silvia; Godfrey, Alan; Mazzà, Claudia; Lord, Sue; Rochester, Lynn

    2016-09-01

    Wearable technology comprises miniaturized sensors (eg, accelerometers) worn on the body and/or paired with mobile devices (eg, smart phones) allowing continuous patient monitoring in unsupervised, habitual environments (termed free-living). Wearable technologies are revolutionizing approaches to health care as a result of their utility, accessibility, and affordability. They are positioned to transform Parkinson's disease (PD) management through the provision of individualized, comprehensive, and representative data. This is particularly relevant in PD where symptoms are often triggered by task and free-living environmental challenges that cannot be replicated with sufficient veracity elsewhere. This review concerns use of wearable technology in free-living environments for people with PD. It outlines the potential advantages of wearable technologies and evidence for these to accurately detect and measure clinically relevant features including motor symptoms, falls risk, freezing of gait, gait, functional mobility, and physical activity. Technological limitations and challenges are highlighted, and advances concerning broader aspects are discussed. Recommendations to overcome key challenges are made. To date there is no fully validated system to monitor clinical features or activities in free-living environments. Robust accuracy and validity metrics for some features have been reported, and wearable technology may be used in these cases with a degree of confidence. Utility and acceptability appears reasonable, although testing has largely been informal. Key recommendations include adopting a multidisciplinary approach for standardizing definitions, protocols, and outcomes. Robust validation of developed algorithms and sensor-based metrics is required along with testing of utility. These advances are required before widespread clinical adoption of wearable technology can be realized. © 2016 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

  15. Distribution of free-living amoebae in a treatment system of textile industrial wastewater.

    PubMed

    Ramirez, Elizabeth; Robles, Esperanza; Martinez, Blanca; Ayala, Reynaldo; Sainz, Guadalupe; Martinez, Maria Elena; Gonzalez, Maria Elena

    2014-11-01

    Free-living amoebae have been found in soil, air and a variety of aquatic environments, but few studies have been conducted on industrial wastewater and none on wastewater from the textile industry. The aim of this study was to determine the presence and distribution of free-living amoebae in a biological treatment system that treats textile industrial wastewater. Samples were taken from input, aeration tank, sedimentation tank and output. Samples were centrifuged at 1200g for 15min, the sediment was seeded on non-nutritive agar with Enterobacter aerogenes (NNE) and the plates were incubated at 30 and 37°C. Free-living amoebae were present in all stages of the treatment system. The highest number of amoebic isolates was found in the aeration tank and no seasonal distribution was observed during the year. A total of 14 amoeba genera were isolated: Acanthamoeba, Echinamoeba, Korotnevella, Mayorella, Naegleria, Platyamoeba, Saccamoeba, Stachyamoeba, Thecamoeba, Vahlkampfia, Vannella, Vermamoeba, Vexillifera and Willaertia. The most frequently found amoebae were Acanthamoeba and Vermamoeba which were found in all treatment system stages. The constant presence and diversity of free-living amoebae in the treatment system were important findings due to the characteristics of the wastewater from the textile plant in terms of the residue content from colorants, fixers, carriers, surfactants, etc., used in fabric dyeing and finishing processes. The factors that determined the presence and distribution of amoebae in the activated sludge system were their capacity to form cysts, which allowed them to resist adverse conditions; food availability; an average temperature of 27-33°C; dissolved oxygen in average concentrations above 2mg/L, and pH in a range of 5.9-7.1. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Noninvasive Tuberculosis Screening in Free-Living Primate Populations in Gombe National Park, Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Wolf, Tiffany M; Sreevatsan, Srinand; Singer, Randall S; Lipende, Iddi; Collins, Anthony; Gillespie, Thomas R; Lonsdorf, Elizabeth V; Travis, Dominic A

    2016-03-01

    Recent advances in noninvasive detection methods for mycobacterial infection in primates create new opportunities for exploring the epidemiology of tuberculosis in free-living species. Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) and baboons (Papio anubis) in Gombe National Park, Tanzania, were screened for infection with pathogens of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Complex using Fecal IS6110 PCR; none was positive. This study demonstrates the feasibility of large-scale mycobacterial screening in wild primates.

  17. Hip and Wrist Accelerometer Algorithms for Free-Living Behavior Classification.

    PubMed

    Ellis, Katherine; Kerr, Jacqueline; Godbole, Suneeta; Staudenmayer, John; Lanckriet, Gert

    2016-05-01

    Accelerometers are a valuable tool for objective measurement of physical activity (PA). Wrist-worn devices may improve compliance over standard hip placement, but more research is needed to evaluate their validity for measuring PA in free-living settings. Traditional cut-point methods for accelerometers can be inaccurate and need testing in free living with wrist-worn devices. In this study, we developed and tested the performance of machine learning (ML) algorithms for classifying PA types from both hip and wrist accelerometer data. Forty overweight or obese women (mean age = 55.2 ± 15.3 yr; BMI = 32.0 ± 3.7) wore two ActiGraph GT3X+ accelerometers (right hip, nondominant wrist; ActiGraph, Pensacola, FL) for seven free-living days. Wearable cameras captured ground truth activity labels. A classifier consisting of a random forest and hidden Markov model classified the accelerometer data into four activities (sitting, standing, walking/running, and riding in a vehicle). Free-living wrist and hip ML classifiers were compared with each other, with traditional accelerometer cut points, and with an algorithm developed in a laboratory setting. The ML classifier obtained average values of 89.4% and 84.6% balanced accuracy over the four activities using the hip and wrist accelerometer, respectively. In our data set with average values of 28.4 min of walking or running per day, the ML classifier predicted average values of 28.5 and 24.5 min of walking or running using the hip and wrist accelerometer, respectively. Intensity-based cut points and the laboratory algorithm significantly underestimated walking minutes. Our results demonstrate the superior performance of our PA-type classification algorithm, particularly in comparison with traditional cut points. Although the hip algorithm performed better, additional compliance achieved with wrist devices might justify using a slightly lower performing algorithm.

  18. Accuracy of three Android-based pedometer applications in laboratory and free-living settings.

    PubMed

    Leong, Jia Yan; Wong, Jyh Eiin

    2017-01-01

    This study examines the accuracy of three popular, free Android-based pedometer applications (apps), namely, Runtastic (RT), Pacer Works (PW), and Tayutau (TY) in laboratory and free-living settings. Forty-eight adults (22.5 ± 1.4 years) completed 3-min bouts of treadmill walking at five incremental speeds while carrying a test smartphone installed with the three apps. Experiment was repeated thrice, with the smartphone placed either in the pants pockets, at waist level, or secured to the left arm by an armband. The actual step count was manually counted by a tally counter. In the free-living setting, each of the 44 participants (21.9 ± 1.6 years) carried a smartphone with installed apps and a reference pedometer (Yamax Digi-Walker CW700) for 7 consecutive days. Results showed that TY produced the lowest mean absolute percent error (APE 6.7%) and was the only app with acceptable accuracy in counting steps in a laboratory setting. RT consistently underestimated steps with APE of 16.8% in the laboratory. PW significantly underestimated steps when the smartphone was secured to the arm, but overestimated under other conditions (APE 19.7%). TY was the most accurate app in counting steps in a laboratory setting with the lowest APE of 6.7%. In the free-living setting, the APE relative to the reference pedometer was 16.6%, 18.0%, and 16.8% for RT, PW, and TY, respectively. None of the three apps counted steps accurately in the free-living setting.

  19. In situ transplant analysis of free-living bacteria in a lotic ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Or, Amitai; Comay, Orr; Gophna, Uri

    2013-04-01

    The Yarqon is a slow-flowing Mediterranean stream with three ecologically distinct sections, with varying abiotic conditions and anthropogenic influences. We used the Yarqon as a test habitat to study the effect of flow on microbial communities. Stream water samples from three distinct abiotic conditions: "clean", "human-impacted" and "brackish" sections were incubated in situ in dialysis bags at each of these sections for approximately 73 h. The samples were retrieved and analyzed by ARISA (automated ribosomal internal spacer analysis) and viable counts. Diversity estimates showed that free-living assemblages from the middle human-impacted section increased in diversity, while assemblages from the upper-clean section decreased in diversity unless planted in their site of origin. Samples originating from the brackish western section decreased in diversity wherever they were incubated. The ARISA profiles of the samples usually grouped by origin rather than by incubation location, implying that the rate of change of the free-living bacterial assemblages due to the shift in environment is relatively slow. Nevertheless, introducing free-living bacteria from the human-impacted section into the freshwater section resulted in a profile more similar to the latter, indicating a profound niche influence on these microbial assemblages.

  20. Cooling and freezing of sperm from captive, free-living and endangered squirrel monkey species.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Karol G; Santos, Regiane R; Leão, Danuza L; Brito, Adriel B; Lima, Julianne S; Sampaio, Wlaísa V; Domingues, Sheyla F S

    2016-06-01

    Germoplasm banking is an important tool for the preservation of genetic material from Neotropical primates in captivity, and from free living species, especially the endangered ones like Saimiri vanzolinii (Black-headed squirrel monkey), a primate with a low incidence area (870 km(2) of floodplains) in the southern part of the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve, Brazil. Therefore, in the present study we aimed to develop a sperm cryopreservation protocol comparing sperm cooling in presence (T1) and absence (T2) of egg yolk, and to test freezing protocols to preserve semen from captive (Saimiri collinsi), and free-living (Saimiri vanzolinii, Saimiri cassiquiarensis and Saimiri macrodon) New World primates. Cooling preserved sperm of S. collinsi in all evaluated microscopic parameters, except for sperm motility. No differences were observed among the treatments, indicating that semen of this species can be cooled without egg yolk. Freezing did not affect sperm quality of S. collinsi, except plasma membrane integrity that was negatively affected. Generally, a good maintenance rate was observed between cooling and thawing of semen for the four species, showing the positive translational application of protocols from S. collinsi to the free-living species. Developed freezing protocol proved to be useful for sperm cryopreservation of S. collinsi and in field conditions. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Bovine virus diarrhea virus in free-living deer from Denmark.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, S S; Roensholt, L; Bitsch, V

    2000-07-01

    Free-living deer are suggested as a possible source of infection of cattle with bovine virus diarrhea (BVD) virus. To examine this hypothesis blood samples from 476 free-living deer were collected during two different periods and tested for BVD virus and antibody in Denmark. In 1995-96, 207 animals were tested. These included 149 roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), 29 fallow deer (Dama dama), 20 red deer (Cervus elaphus) and one sika deer (Cervus sika). For the remaining eight animals no species information was available. In 1998-99, 269 animals were tested including 212 roe deer and 57 red deer. The animals were selected from areas with a relatively high prevalence of cattle herds with a BVD persistent infection status in 1997 and 1998. All 207 samples from 1995-96 were found antibody-negative except two samples from red deer. Only 158 of the 207 samples were tested for virus and were all found negative. Of the 269 samples from 1998-99 all but one were antibody negative. The positive sample was from a red deer. All samples were virus-negative. It appears that BVD infection does not occur in roe deer in Denmark. The presence of antibody in a few red deer from various districts in Jutland probably results from cattle to deer transmission, rather than spread among deer. Hence, the possibility of free-living deer as a source of infection for cattle in Denmark seems to be remote.

  2. Causes of morbidity and mortality in free-living birds in an urban environment in Germany.

    PubMed

    Stenkat, Julia; Krautwald-Junghanns, M-E; Schmidt, Volker

    2013-12-01

    Free-living birds are often presented to veterinarians at rehabilitation centers as well as in private practice. Information about disease processes and causes of death of indigenous free-living birds can aid the clinician in establishing proper treatment and in the assessment of potential zoonotic risks. For the present study, pathogens as causes of morbidity and mortality were determined by performing a complete necropsy on free-living birds presented to the Clinic for Birds and Reptiles of the University of Leipzig (Germany) that died shortly after admission or were euthanized due to an unfavorable prognosis. Over a 2-year period, 251 birds representing 13 families (Accipitridae, Apodidae, Columbidae, Corvidae, Falconidae, Fringillidae, Hirundinidae, Paridae, Passeridae, Picidae, Strigidae, Sturnidae and Turdidae) were examined. Trauma (62%), including several bite injuries inducing bacterial septicemia caused by Pasteurella multocida, was the most common cause of morbidity. Parasitic disease (18%) was mainly caused by Trichomonas gallinae, Eucoleus dispar and Syngamus trachea. Metabolic disease (13%), including fibrous osteodystrophy, was almost exclusively limited to juvenile specimens. Different Enterobacteriaceae including E. coli, Salmonella Typhimurium DT040 as well as Mycobacterium avium ssp. avium were identified as causal agents of primary bacterial disease (5%). Primary bacterial infection as cause of death or disease was of major importance in nestlings. Viral infections, mycoses and intoxication had minor significance as causes of morbidity.

  3. Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) carriage in different free-living wild animal species in Spain.

    PubMed

    Porrero, M Concepción; Mentaberre, Gregorio; Sánchez, Sergio; Fernández-Llario, Pedro; Gómez-Barrero, Susana; Navarro-Gonzalez, Nora; Serrano, Emmanuel; Casas-Díaz, Encarna; Marco, Ignasi; Fernández-Garayzabal, José-Francisco; Mateos, Ana; Vidal, Dolors; Lavín, Santiago; Domínguez, Lucas

    2013-10-01

    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a life-threatening pathogen in humans and its presence in animals is a public health concern. The aim of this study was to measure the prevalence of MRSA in free-living wild animals. Samples from red deer (n=273), Iberian ibex (n=212), Eurasian Griffon vulture (n=40) and wild boar (n=817) taken from different areas in Spain between June 2008 and November 2011 were analyzed. Characterization of the isolates was performed by spa typing, multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) and antimicrobial susceptibility testing. A low prevalence of MRSA was found with 13 isolates obtained from 12 animals (0.89%; 95% CI: 0.46-1.56). All MRSA sequence types belonged to ST398 (t011 and t1451) and ST1 (t127). Genotypes and antimicrobial susceptibility patterns (tetracycline resistance in ST398 and clindamycin-erythromycin-tetracycline resistance in ST1) suggest that the MRSA found probably originated in livestock (ST398) or humans (ST1). This is the first report of MRSA carriers in free-living wild animals in Europe. Although our data showed that MRSA prevalence is currently low, free-living wild animals might act as reservoir and represent a potential risk for human health.

  4. Molecular detection of murine herpesvirus 68 in ticks feeding on free-living reptiles.

    PubMed

    Ficová, Martina; Betáková, Tatiana; Pančík, Peter; Václav, Radovan; Prokop, Pavol; Halásová, Zuzana; Kúdelová, Marcela

    2011-11-01

    The MHV-68 (designed as Murid herpesvirus 4 (MuHV 4) strain 68) isolated from two rodents, Myodes glareolus and Apodemus flavicollis, is considered as a natural pathogen of free-living murid rodents. Recently, the detection of MHV antibodies in the blood of animals living in the same biotope as MHV-infected mice has suggested that ticks may have a role in the transmission of this pathogen. Ixodes ricinus is one the most abundant tick species in Europe known to transmit multiple pathogens causing human and animal diseases. In this study, nymphs and larvae feeding on 116 individuals of a temperate lizard species-the green lizard Lacerta viridis captured in the Slovak Karst National Park, were examined for MHV-68. The specific sequence of virion glycoprotein 150 was amplified in DNA individually isolated from I. ricinus ticks using single-copy sensitive nested polymerase chain reaction. MHV-68 was detected in ten of 649 nymphs and in five of 150 larvae, respectively. We found that 9.6% of green lizards fed at least one MHV-68-infected immature tick. Occurrence of MHV-68 within all ticks tested was 1.8%. This study is first to show that immature I. ricinus ticks feeding on free-living lizards in a Central European region could be infected with gammaherpesvirus (MHV-68), naturally infecting free-living murid rodents. Our results provide evidence supporting the hypothesis that ticks may play a mediating role in circulation of MHV-68 in nature.

  5. The phylogenetic structure of microbial biofilms and free-living bacteria in a small stream.

    PubMed

    Brablcová, Lenka; Buriánková, Iva; Badurová, Pavlína; Rulík, Martin

    2013-05-01

    The phylogenetic composition, bacterial biomass, and biovolume of both planktonic and biofilm communities were studied in a low-order Bystřice stream near Olomouc City, in the Czech Republic. The aim of the study was to compare the microbial communities colonizing different biofilm substrata (stream aggregates, stream sediment, underwater tree roots, stream stones, and aquatic macrophytes) to those of free-living bacteria. The phylogenetic composition was analyzed using fluorescence in situ hybridization for main phylogenetic groups. All phylogenetic groups studied were detected in all sample types. The stream stone was the substratum where nearly all phylogenetic groups were the most abundant, while the lowest proportion to the DAPI-stained cells was found for free-living bacteria. The probe specific for the domain Bacteria detected 20.6 to 45.8 % of DAPI-stained cells while the probe specific for the domain Archaea detected 4.3 to 17.9 %. The most abundant group of Proteobacteria was Alphaproteobacteria with a mean of 14.2 %, and the least abundant was Betaproteobacteria with a mean of 11.4 %. The average value of the Cytophaga-Flavobacteria group was 10.5 %. Total cell numbers and bacterial biomass were highest in sediment and root biofilm. The value of cell biovolume was highest in stone biofilm and lowest in sediment. Overall, this study revealed relevant differences in phylogenetic composition, bacterial biomass, and biovolume between different stream biofilms and free-living bacteria.

  6. ISOLATION AND GENOTYPING OF CLOSTRIDIUM PERFRINGENS FROM FREE-LIVING SOUTH AMERICAN COATI (NASUA NASUA).

    PubMed

    Silva, Rodrigo O S; Almeida, Lara R; Oliveira Junior, Carlos A; Lima, Paula C S; Soares, Danielle F M; Pereira, Pedro L L; Silva, Israel J; Lobato, Francisco C F

    2016-03-01

    The importance of Clostridium perfringens for most wild animal species remains unclear. This study aimed to isolate and genotype C. perfringens in stool samples from free-living South American coati (Nasua nasua) in Brazil. Forty-six free-living N. nasua were trapped and stool samples were collected. Two different protocols for C. perfringens isolation were tested: direct plating onto selective agar and pre-enrichment in broth followed by plating in selective agar. Clostridium perfringens type A was isolated from 15 (32.6%) animals by direct plating and 36 (78.3%) animals by broth PE, and the rate of isolation was significantly different between these two methods (P < 0.01). Twelve of the 36 (33.3%) isolated strains by the PE protocol were positive for the β-2 toxin-encoding gene (cpb2) whereas the enterotoxin-encoding gene (cpe) and necrotic enteritis like-B toxin gene (netb) were not found. These results suggest that C. perfringens is commonly part of the microbiota of free-living coatis. Additionally, the use of a PE protocol appears to be essential for studies on C. perfringens in this species.

  7. Rearing conditions have long-term consequences for stress responsiveness in free-living great tits.

    PubMed

    Landys, Mėta M; Goymann, Wolfgang; Slagsvold, Tore

    2011-11-01

    In captivity, the adrenocortical stress response can be permanently altered by events that occur during early life. Free-living animals have rarely been examined in this regard. To examine whether early-life events impact the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in the natural setting, we evaluated the stress response of free-living interspecifically cross-fostered great tits (Parus major). Cross-fostered birds may show a long-term potentiation of the adrenocortical stress response because species-specific nutritional requirements may not be met in the nest and/or cross-fostered birds may experience psychosocial stress while being raised by heterospecifics. Nevertheless, we hypothesized that in the natural setting, programmed changes in HPA function would be eclipsed by reactive responses to the immediate environment. Thus, we predicted that adult cross-fostered great tits and controls would show no differences in their adrenocortical stress response. Contrary to predictions, we found that stress responsiveness (i.e., the rate of the corticosterone increase associated with capture and handling) was significantly higher in cross-fostered great tits than in controls. Further, stress responsiveness was not significantly different between mature adults and first-year juveniles. Thus, data indicate significant effects of early rearing conditions on adrenocortical reactivity in the natural setting and also suggest that effects of rearing conditions in free-living animals can last into adulthood.

  8. Evolutionary analysis of mitogenomes from parasitic and free-living flatworms.

    PubMed

    Solà, Eduard; Álvarez-Presas, Marta; Frías-López, Cristina; Littlewood, D Timothy J; Rozas, Julio; Riutort, Marta

    2015-01-01

    Mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes) are useful and relatively accessible sources of molecular data to explore and understand the evolutionary history and relationships of eukaryotic organisms across diverse taxonomic levels. The availability of complete mitogenomes from Platyhelminthes is limited; of the 40 or so published most are from parasitic flatworms (Neodermata). Here, we present the mitogenomes of two free-living flatworms (Tricladida): the complete genome of the freshwater species Crenobia alpina (Planariidae) and a nearly complete genome of the land planarian Obama sp. (Geoplanidae). Moreover, we have reanotated the published mitogenome of the species Dugesia japonica (Dugesiidae). This contribution almost doubles the total number of mtDNAs published for Tricladida, a species-rich group including model organisms and economically important invasive species. We took the opportunity to conduct comparative mitogenomic analyses between available free-living and selected parasitic flatworms in order to gain insights into the putative effect of life cycle on nucleotide composition through mutation and natural selection. Unexpectedly, we did not find any molecular hallmark of a selective relaxation in mitogenomes of parasitic flatworms; on the contrary, three out of the four studied free-living triclad mitogenomes exhibit higher A+T content and selective relaxation levels. Additionally, we provide new and valuable molecular data to develop markers for future phylogenetic studies on planariids and geoplanids.

  9. Evolutionary Analysis of Mitogenomes from Parasitic and Free-Living Flatworms

    PubMed Central

    Frías-López, Cristina; Littlewood, D. Timothy J.; Rozas, Julio; Riutort, Marta

    2015-01-01

    Mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes) are useful and relatively accessible sources of molecular data to explore and understand the evolutionary history and relationships of eukaryotic organisms across diverse taxonomic levels. The availability of complete mitogenomes from Platyhelminthes is limited; of the 40 or so published most are from parasitic flatworms (Neodermata). Here, we present the mitogenomes of two free-living flatworms (Tricladida): the complete genome of the freshwater species Crenobia alpina (Planariidae) and a nearly complete genome of the land planarian Obama sp. (Geoplanidae). Moreover, we have reanotated the published mitogenome of the species Dugesia japonica (Dugesiidae). This contribution almost doubles the total number of mtDNAs published for Tricladida, a species-rich group including model organisms and economically important invasive species. We took the opportunity to conduct comparative mitogenomic analyses between available free-living and selected parasitic flatworms in order to gain insights into the putative effect of life cycle on nucleotide composition through mutation and natural selection. Unexpectedly, we did not find any molecular hallmark of a selective relaxation in mitogenomes of parasitic flatworms; on the contrary, three out of the four studied free-living triclad mitogenomes exhibit higher A+T content and selective relaxation levels. Additionally, we provide new and valuable molecular data to develop markers for future phylogenetic studies on planariids and geoplanids. PMID:25793530

  10. Characterization of Salmonella isolated from captive and free-living snakes in Germany.

    PubMed

    Krautwald-Junghanns, Maria-Elisabeth; Stenkat, Julia; Szabo, Istvan; Ortlieb, Falk; Blindow, Irmgard; Neul, Ann-Kathrin; Pees, Michael; Schmidt, Volker

    2013-01-01

    Reptiles are well-known reservoirs of Salmonella spp. and cases of reptile-associated salmonellosis (RAS) are increasing since reptiles are becoming more popular as pets. In the present study, the presence, distribution and prevalence of serovars of Salmonella was investigated in captive snakes (n = 87) and in free-living snakes (n = 87) in Germany. A total of 43 S. enterica-isolates were recovered from organ samples and cloacal swabs, predominantly belonging to the subspecies diarizonae (IIIb) (n = 27), enterica (I) (n = 7) and houtenae (IV) (n = 6). S. enterica subsp. enterica (I) serovar Paratyphi B (n = 4) and S. enterica subsp. diarizonae (IIIb) serovar 47:l,v:z (n = 3) were the most frequently isolated serotypes. Nevertheless, the fact that most serotypes were only represented by a single isolate points out the high diversity of Salmonella present among snakes. Salmonella enterica subsp. diarizonae (IIIb) serotype 40:i:z53, which was isolated twice from two free-living Eurasian adders (Vipera berus) captured at different locations, has not been previously described. Our results confirm the role of both free-living and captive snakes as reservoirs of S. enterica in Germany.

  11. Optimizing culture conditions for free-living stages of the nematode parasite Strongyloides ratti.

    PubMed

    Dulovic, Alex; Puller, Vadim; Streit, Adrian

    2016-09-01

    The rat parasitic nematode Strongyloides ratti (S. ratti) has recently emerged as a model system for various aspects of parasite biology and evolution. In addition to parasitic parthenogenetic females, this species can also form facultative free-living generations of sexually reproducing adults. These free-living worms are bacteriovorous and grow very well when cultured in the feces of their host. However, in fecal cultures the worms are rather difficult to find for observation and experimental manipulation. Therefore, it has also been attempted to raise S. ratti on Nematode Growth Media (NGM) plates with Escherichia coli OP50 as food, exactly as described for the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Whilst worms did grow on these plates, their longevity and reproductive output compared to fecal cultures were dramatically reduced. In order to improve the culture success we tested other plates occasionally used for C. elegans and, starting from the best performing one, systematically varied the plate composition, the temperature and the food in order to further optimize the conditions. Here we present a plate culturing protocol for free-living stages of S. ratti with strongly improved reproductive success and longevity. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Estimating Age Ratios and Size of Pacific Walrus Herds on Coastal Haulouts using Video Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Monson, Daniel H.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Jay, Chadwick V.

    2013-01-01

    During Arctic summers, sea ice provides resting habitat for Pacific walruses as it drifts over foraging areas in the eastern Chukchi Sea. Climate-driven reductions in sea ice have recently created ice-free conditions in the Chukchi Sea by late summer causing walruses to rest at coastal haulouts along the Chukotka and Alaska coasts, which provides an opportunity to study walruses at relatively accessible locations. Walrus age can be determined from the ratio of tusk length to snout dimensions. We evaluated use of images obtained from a gyro-stabilized video system mounted on a helicopter flying at high altitudes (to avoid disturbance) to classify the sex and age of walruses hauled out on Alaska beaches in 2010–2011. We were able to classify 95% of randomly selected individuals to either an 8- or 3-category age class, and we found measurement-based age classifications were more repeatable than visual classifications when using images presenting the correct head profile. Herd density at coastal haulouts averaged 0.88 walruses/m2 (std. err. = 0.02), herd size ranged from 8,300 to 19,400 (CV 0.03–0.06) and we documented ∼30,000 animals along ∼1 km of beach in 2011. Within the herds, dependent walruses (0–2 yr-olds) tended to be located closer to water, and this tendency became more pronounced as the herd spent more time on the beach. Therefore, unbiased estimation of herd age-ratios will require a sampling design that allows for spatial and temporal structuring. In addition, randomly sampling walruses available at the edge of the herd for other purposes (e.g., tagging, biopsying) will not sample walruses with an age structure representative of the herd. Sea ice losses are projected to continue, and population age structure data collected with aerial videography at coastal haulouts may provide demographic information vital to ongoing efforts to understand effects of climate change on this species. PMID:23936106

  13. Estimating age ratios and size of pacific walrus herds on coastal haulouts using video imaging.

    PubMed

    Monson, Daniel H; Udevitz, Mark S; Jay, Chadwick V

    2013-01-01

    During Arctic summers, sea ice provides resting habitat for Pacific walruses as it drifts over foraging areas in the eastern Chukchi Sea. Climate-driven reductions in sea ice have recently created ice-free conditions in the Chukchi Sea by late summer causing walruses to rest at coastal haulouts along the Chukotka and Alaska coasts, which provides an opportunity to study walruses at relatively accessible locations. Walrus age can be determined from the ratio of tusk length to snout dimensions. We evaluated use of images obtained from a gyro-stabilized video system mounted on a helicopter flying at high altitudes (to avoid disturbance) to classify the sex and age of walruses hauled out on Alaska beaches in 2010-2011. We were able to classify 95% of randomly selected individuals to either an 8- or 3-category age class, and we found measurement-based age classifications were more repeatable than visual classifications when using images presenting the correct head profile. Herd density at coastal haulouts averaged 0.88 walruses/m(2) (std. err. = 0.02), herd size ranged from 8,300 to 19,400 (CV 0.03-0.06) and we documented ∼30,000 animals along ∼1 km of beach in 2011. Within the herds, dependent walruses (0-2 yr-olds) tended to be located closer to water, and this tendency became more pronounced as the herd spent more time on the beach. Therefore, unbiased estimation of herd age-ratios will require a sampling design that allows for spatial and temporal structuring. In addition, randomly sampling walruses available at the edge of the herd for other purposes (e.g., tagging, biopsying) will not sample walruses with an age structure representative of the herd. Sea ice losses are projected to continue, and population age structure data collected with aerial videography at coastal haulouts may provide demographic information vital to ongoing efforts to understand effects of climate change on this species.

  14. Estimating age ratios and size of Pacific walrus herds on coastal haulouts using video imaging

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Monson, Daniel H.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Jay, Chadwick V.

    2013-01-01

    During Arctic summers, sea ice provides resting habitat for Pacific walruses as it drifts over foraging areas in the eastern Chukchi Sea. Climate-driven reductions in sea ice have recently created ice-free conditions in the Chukchi Sea by late summer causing walruses to rest at coastal haulouts along the Chukotka and Alaska coasts, which provides an opportunity to study walruses at relatively accessible locations. Walrus age can be determined from the ratio of tusk length to snout dimensions. We evaluated use of images obtained from a gyro-stabilized video system mounted on a helicopter flying at high altitudes (to avoid disturbance) to classify the sex and age of walruses hauled out on Alaska beaches in 2010–2011. We were able to classify 95% of randomly selected individuals to either an 8- or 3-category age class, and we found measurement-based age classifications were more repeatable than visual classifications when using images presenting the correct head profile. Herd density at coastal haulouts averaged 0.88 walruses/m2 (std. err. = 0.02), herd size ranged from 8,300 to 19,400 (CV 0.03–0.06) and we documented ~30,000 animals along ~1 km of beach in 2011. Within the herds, dependent walruses (0–2 yr-olds) tended to be located closer to water, and this tendency became more pronounced as the herd spent more time on the beach. Therefore, unbiased estimation of herd age-ratios will require a sampling design that allows for spatial and temporal structuring. In addition, randomly sampling walruses available at the edge of the herd for other purposes (e.g., tagging, biopsying) will not sample walruses with an age structure representative of the herd. Sea ice losses are projected to continue, and population age structure data collected with aerial videography at coastal haulouts may provide demographic information vital to ongoing efforts to understand effects of climate change on this species.

  15. The effect of elevated temperature and substrate on free-living Symbiodinium cultures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nitschke, M. R.; Davy, S. K.; Cribb, T. H.; Ward, S.

    2015-03-01

    Elevated temperatures can produce a range of serious, deleterious effects on marine invertebrate— Symbiodinium symbioses. The responses of free-living Symbiodinium to elevated temperature, however, have been little studied, especially in the context of their natural habitat. In this study, we investigated physiological responses of two Symbiodinium cultures to elevated temperature, an exclusively free-living ITS2 clade A (strain HI-0509) and the symbiosis-forming ITS2 type A1 (strain CCMP2467). Free-living Symbiodinium strains have recently been isolated from benthic sediments, and both cultures were therefore grown with or without a microhabitat of carbonate sediment at 25, 28 or 31 °C. Maximum quantum yield of photosystem II ( F v/ F m) and specific growth rate were measured as response variables. In culture, Symbiodinium cells exhibit motility in a helical swimming pattern, and therefore, revolutions per minute (RPM) were also measured with video microscopy. The exclusively free-living clade A was physiologically superior to Symbiodinium A1 across all measured variables and treatment combinations. F v/ F m remained relatively stable through time (at approximately 0.55) and was not substantially affected by temperature or the presence or the absence of sediment. Populations of the exclusively free-living Symbiodinium A reproduced faster with sediment than without and exhibited high levels of motility across all treatments (surpassing 300 RPM). In contrast, the F v/ F m of A1 dropped to 0.42 in sediment (relative to cultures without sediment) and exhibited dramatic declines in cell concentration, most severely at 31 °C. A > 50 % reduction in motility was also observed at 31 °C. Even in the absence of sediment, elevated temperature was observed to reduce population growth and cell motility of type A1. We suggest that vital behaviours linked to motility (such as vertical migration and the locating of potential hosts) may become impaired during future thermal

  16. Decadal Bering Sea seascape change: consequences for Pacific walruses and indigenous hunters.

    PubMed

    Ray, G Carleton; Hufford, Gary L; Overland, James E; Krupnik, Igor; McCormick-Ray, Jerry; Frey, Karen; Labunski, Elizabeth

    2016-01-01

    The most significant factors currently affecting the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) population are climate change and consequent changes in sea-ice morphology and dynamics. This paper integrates recent physical sea-ice change in the Bering Sea with biological and ecological conditions of walruses in their winter-spring reproductive habitat. Historically, walrus in winter-spring depended on a critical mass of sea-ice habitat to optimize social networking, reproductive fitness, feeding behavior, migration, and energetic efficiency. During 2003-2013, our cross-disciplinary, multiscale analysis from shipboard observations, satellite imagery, and ice-floe tracking, reinforced by information from indigenous subsistence hunters, documented change of sea-ice structure from a plastic continuum to a "mixing bowl" of ice floes moving more independently. This fragmentation of winter habitat preconditions the walrus population toward dispersal mortality and will also negatively affect the availability of resources for indigenous communities. We urge an expanded research and management agenda that integrates walrus natural history and habitat more completely with changing sea-ice morphology and dynamics at multiple scales, while also meeting the needs of local communities.

  17. Effect of climatic warming on the Pacific walrus, and potential modification of its helminth fauna.

    PubMed

    Rausch, Robert L; George, John C; Brower, Harry K

    2007-10-01

    The decreasing extent of sea-ice in the arctic basin as a consequence of climatic warming is modifying the behavior and diets of pagophilic pinnipeds, including the Pacific walrus, Odobenus rosmarus divergens Illiger, the species emphasized here. Mammals such as the walrus and bearded seal, Erignathus barbatus (Erxleben), cannot remain associated with the sea-ice, and continue to feed on their usual diet of benthic invertebrates inhabiting coastal waters to a depth of approximately 100 m, when the northwestward retreating ice reaches deep waters beyond the margins of the continental shelf. With reduction of their customary substrate (ice), the walrus has become more pelagic and preys more often on ringed seals, Phoca hispida Schreber. Dietary changes, with modifications of helminth faunas, may be induced by various factors. Increased consumption of mammals or their remains by walruses may lead to a higher prevalence of trichinellosis in them and to more frequent occurrence in indigenous peoples inhabiting the arctic coasts. To assess predicted effects on the composition of helminth fauna of the walrus, we recommend systematic surveys of their helminths as part of research on effects of climatic warming.

  18. Modeling haul-out behavior of walruses in Bering Sea ice

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Udevitz, M.S.; Jay, C.V.; Fischbach, A.S.; Garlich-Miller, J. L.

    2009-01-01

    Understanding haul-out behavior of ice-associated pinnipeds is essential for designing and interpreting popula-tion surveys and for assessing effects of potential changes in their ice environments. We used satellite-linked transmitters to obtain sequential information about location and haul-out state for Pacific walruses, Odobenus rosmarus divergens (Il-liger, 1815), in the Bering Sea during April of 2004, 2005, and 2006. We used these data in a generalized mixed model of haul-out bout durations and a hierarchical Bayesian model of haul-out probabilities to assess factors related to walrus haul-out behavior, and provide the first predictive model of walrus haul-out behavior in sea ice habitat. Average haul-out bout duration was 9 h, but durations of haul-out bouts tended to increase with durations of preceding in-water bouts. On aver-age, tagged walruses spent only about 17% of their time hauled out on sea ice. Probability of being hauled out decreased with wind speed, increased with temperature, and followed a diurnal cycle with the highest values in the evening. Our haul-out probability model can be used to estimate the proportion of the population that is unavailable for detection in spring surveys of Pacific walruses on sea ice.

  19. Novel sound production through contingency learning in the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens).

    PubMed

    Schusterman, Ronald J; Reichmuth, Colleen

    2008-04-01

    Walruses (Odobenus rosmarus) are highly vocal amphibious mammals with a range of anatomical specializations that can provide plasticity to their sound emissions. The objective of this descriptive study was to determine whether contingency learning could be used to increase variability and induce novelty in the acoustic behavior of walruses. The subjects were two twelve-year-old captive walruses, a male and a female that had previously been conditioned using food reinforcement to produce several specific sounds in response to different discriminative cues. In the current task, these individuals were encouraged to produce novel sounds and novel sound combinations in air by withholding reinforcement for sounds previously emitted in a given session and providing reinforcement only for qualitative differences in emitted sounds. Following training in air, the walruses were tested under water with the same reinforcement contingency. The subjects responded as they had done in air, by varying their underwater sound emissions until reinforcement was provided. Many of the sounds and sound combinations produced by the subjects during underwater testing were quite different from those produced during training in air and those produced under water during baseline observations. Both the male and female spontaneously emitted knocks and soft bells which are components of the songs known to be emitted by mature male walruses during the breeding season. The finding that reinforced variability can induce creativity in sound production is consistent with recent experiments on budgerigar birds showing that vocal topographies, like motor responses, may be influenced by contingency learning.

  20. Estimation of walrus populations on sea ice with infrared imagery and aerial photography

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Udevitz, M.S.; Burn, D.M.; Webber, M.A.

    2008-01-01

    Population sizes of ice-associated pinnipeds have often been estimated with visual or photographic aerial surveys, but these methods require relatively slow speeds and low altitudes, limiting the area they can cover. Recent developments in infrared imagery and its integration with digital photography could allow substantially larger areas to be surveyed and more accurate enumeration of individuals, thereby solving major problems with previous survey methods. We conducted a trial survey in April 2003 to estimate the number of Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) hauled out on sea ice around St. Lawrence Island, Alaska. The survey used high altitude infrared imagery to detect groups of walruses on strip transects. Low altitude digital photography was used to determine the number of walruses in a sample of detected groups and calibrate the infrared imagery for estimating the total number of walruses. We propose a survey design incorporating this approach with satellite radio telemetry to estimate the proportion of the population in the water and additional low-level flights to estimate the proportion of the hauled-out population in groups too small to be detected in the infrared imagery. We believe that this approach offers the potential for obtaining reliable population estimates for walruses and other ice-associated pinnipeds. ?? 2007 by the Society for Marine Mammalogy.

  1. Temperature data from Norwegian and Russian waters of the northern Barents Sea collected by free-living ringed seals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lydersen, Christian; Anders Nøst, Ole; Kovacs, Kit M.; Fedak, Mike A.

    2004-05-01

    Free-living ringed seals ( N=11) equipped with satellite-relayed data loggers (SRDLs) with incorporated oceanographic-quality temperature sensors were used to collect data from a large sector of the northern Barents Sea during the autumn and early winter. A total of 2346 temperature profiles were collected over a 4-month period from Norwegian and Russian arctic waters in areas that were at times 90-100% ice-covered. Temperature distributions at different depths from northeastern parts of Svalbard, Norway show warm North Atlantic water (NAW) flowing along the continental slope and gradually cooling at all depths as it flows eastwards. The data suggest that most of the cooling takes place west of 30°E. Vertical temperature profiles from the area between Svalbard and Franz Josef Land, Russia show how the surface water cools during freeze-up and demonstrate a warm water flow, which is probably NAW, coming in from the north through a deep trench west of Franz Josef Land. Global oceanographic and climate models require improved oceanographic databases from crucial areas where important hydrological phenomena occur. Such areas in arctic waters are often inaccessible during winter and logistically difficult to reach even in summer. The present study demonstrates how large amounts of oceanographic information can be collected and retrieved in a cost-efficient manner using ice-associated marine mammals as carrier of oceanographic sampling equipment. In addition to the oceanographic value of the data collected by marine mammals in this manner, a vast amount of information regarding the habitat of these animals is concomitantly sampled.

  2. Organochlorine compounds and aliphatic hydrocarbons in Pacific walrus blubber.

    PubMed

    Seagars, D J; Garlich-Miller, J

    2001-01-01

    Blubber samples were collected from 8 male and 19 female Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) taken during a 1991 joint USA/USSR cruise traveling widely through the Bering Sea. Dieldrin was found at a level similar to that reported 10 years earlier; oxychlordane was found at a slightly higher concentration than reported previously (Taylor et aL, 1989). Heptachlor epoxide was detected for the first time and found at a low concentration. An initial testing for alpha-, beta- and gamma-HCH detected concentrations similar to those in other Bering Sea pinnipeds. Mean summation of PCB was 0.45 microg g(-1) wet weight in males and 0.16 microg g(-1) in females; only one sample was > 1 microg g(-1). Traces of aliphatic hydrocarbons were detected in all sampled animals, only pristane (x = 0.48 microg g(-1)) was found in concentrations > 1 microg g(-1). Small sample sizes, a lack of samples from immature animals, and uniformly low concentrations of contaminants precluded meaningful analysis of age-related effects and regional differences.

  3. Movements of walruses radio-tagged in Bristol Bay, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jay, C.V.; Hills, Susan

    2005-01-01

    Satellite radio-location data from 57 adult male Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) were used to estimate haul-out fidelity, broadly describe seasonal foraging distributions, and determine the approximate timing of autumn migration from Bristol Bay, Alaska. Data were collected intermittently during 1987-91 and 1995-2000, primarily during the period from May to October. Transmitter longevity ranged from less than 1 day to 560 days (median 75 d). The four tagging sites were the only haul-outs that were commonly used in the bay from spring through autumn. Mean fidelity, defined as the chance that an animal will return to an area where it previously hauled out, was 0.56 (SE = 0.09). However, small sample sizes precluded comparisons of fidelity among years and among haul-outs by season. No tagged animals migrated out of the bay between spring and early autumn. Combined monthly locations suggest that foraging occurred primarily in the southern and eastern areas of the bay in spring and gradually shifted towards northwestern areas in late autumn and winter. Ninety-eight percent of the in-water locations were in waters under 60 m deep, which account for 76% of the study area. Some animals migrated out of the bay in late autumn and winter; others remained within the bay throughout the year. Those making long-range migrations departed the bay during November and December. ?? The Arctic Institute of North America.

  4. Polar bear and walrus response to the rapid decline in Arctic sea ice

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Oakley, K.; Whalen, M.; Douglas, D.; Udevitz, M.; Atwood, T.; Jay, C.

    2012-01-01

    The Arctic is warming faster than other regions of the world due to positive climate feedbacks associated with loss of snow and ice. One highly visible consequence has been a rapid decline in Arctic sea ice over the past 3 decades - a decline projected to continue and result in ice-free summers likely as soon as 2030. The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) and the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) are dependent on sea ice over the continental shelves of the Arctic Ocean's marginal seas. The continental shelves are shallow regions with high biological productivity, supporting abundant marine life within the water column and on the sea floor. Polar bears use sea ice as a platform for hunting ice seals; walruses use sea ice as a resting platform between dives to forage for clams and other bottom-dwelling invertebrates. How have sea ice changes affected polar bears and walruses? How will anticipated changes affect them in the future?

  5. Resource partitioning between Pacific walruses and bearded seals in the Alaska Arctic and sub-Arctic.

    PubMed

    Oxtoby, L E; Horstmann, L; Budge, S M; O'Brien, D M; Wang, S W; Schollmeier, T; Wooller, M J

    2017-06-01

    Climate-mediated changes in the phenology of Arctic sea ice and primary production may alter benthic food webs that sustain populations of Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) and bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus). Interspecific resource competition could place an additional strain on ice-associated marine mammals already facing loss of sea ice habitat. Using fatty acid (FA) profiles, FA trophic markers, and FA stable carbon isotope analyses, we found that walruses and bearded seals partitioned food resources in 2009-2011. Interspecific differences in FA profiles were largely driven by variation in non-methylene FAs, which are markers of benthic invertebrate prey taxa, indicating varying consumption of specific benthic prey. We used Bayesian multi-source FA stable isotope mixing models to estimate the proportional contributions of particulate organic matter (POM) from sympagic (ice algal), pelagic, and benthic sources to these apex predators. Proportional contributions of FAs to walruses and bearded seals from benthic POM sources were high [44 (17-67)% and 62 (38-83)%, respectively] relative to other sources of POM. Walruses also obtained considerable contributions of FAs from pelagic POM sources [51 (32-73)%]. Comparison of δ(13)C values of algal FAs from walruses and bearded seals to those from benthic prey from different feeding groups from the Chukchi and Bering seas revealed that different trophic pathways sustained walruses and bearded seals. Our findings suggest that (1) resource partitioning may mitigate interspecific competition, and (2) climate change impacts on Arctic food webs may elicit species-specific responses in these high trophic level consumers.

  6. Do Fleas Affect Energy Expenditure of Their Free-Living Hosts?

    PubMed Central

    Kam, Michael; Degen, A. Allan; Khokhlova, Irina S.; Krasnov, Boris R.; Geffen, Eli

    2010-01-01

    Background Parasites can cause energetically costly behavioural and immunological responses which potentially can reduce host fitness. However, although most laboratory studies indicate that the metabolic rate of the host increases with parasite infestation, this has never been shown in free-living host populations. In fact, studies thus far have shown no effect of parasitism on field metabolic rate (FMR). Methodology and Results We tested the effect of parasites on the energy expenditure of a host by measuring FMR using doubly-labelled water in free-living Baluchistan gerbils (Gerbillus nanus) infested by naturally occurring fleas during winter, spring and summer. We showed for the first time that FMR of free-living G. nanus was significantly and positively correlated with parasite load in spring when parasite load was highest; this relationship approached significance in summer when parasite load was lowest but was insignificant in winter. Among seasons, winter FMRs were highest and summer FMRs were lowest in G. nanus. Discussion The lack of parasite effect on FMR in winter could be related to the fact that FMR rates were highest among seasons. In this season, thermoregulatory costs are high which may indicate that less energy could be allocated to defend against parasites or to compensate for other costly activities. The question about the cost of parasitism in nature is now one of the major themes in ecological physiology. Our study supports the hypothesis that parasites can elevate FMR of their hosts, at least under certain conditions. However, the effect is complex and factors such as season and parasite load are involved. PMID:21060688

  7. Interaction of a free-living soil nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, with surrogates of foodborne pathogenic bacteria.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Gary L; Caldwell, Krishaun N; Beuchat, Larry R; Williams, Phillip L

    2003-09-01

    Free-living nematodes may harbor, protect, and disperse bacteria, including those ingested and passed in viable form in feces. These nematodes are potential vectors for human pathogens and may play a role in foodborne diseases associated with fruits and vegetables eaten raw. In this study, we evaluated the associations between a free-living soil nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, and Escherichia coli, an avirulent strain of Salmonella Typhimurium, Listeria welshimeri, and Bacillus cereus. On an agar medium, young adult worms quickly moved toward colonies of all four bacteria; over 90% of 3-day-old adult worms entered colonies within 16 min after inoculation. After 48 h, worms moved in and out of colonies of L. welshimeri and B. cereus but remained associated with E. coli and Salmonella Typhimurium colonies for at least 96 h. Young adult worms fed on cells of the four bacteria suspended in K medium. Worms survived and reproduced with the use of nutrients derived from all test bacteria, as determined for eggs laid by second-generation worms after culturing for 96 h. Development was slightly slower for worms fed gram-positive bacteria than for worms fed gram-negative bacteria. Worms that fed for 24 h on bacterial lawns formed on tryptic soy agar dispersed bacteria over a 3-h period when they were transferred to a bacteria-free agar surface. The results of this study suggest that C. elegans and perhaps other free-living nematodes are potential vectors for both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, including foodborne pathogens in soil.

  8. Biofilm formation enables free-living nitrogen-fixing rhizobacteria to fix nitrogen under aerobic conditions.

    PubMed

    Wang, Di; Xu, Anming; Elmerich, Claudine; Ma, Luyan Z

    2017-07-01

    The multicellular communities of microorganisms known as biofilms are of high significance in agricultural setting, yet it is largely unknown about the biofilm formed by nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Here we report the biofilm formation by Pseudomonas stutzeri A1501, a free-living rhizospheric bacterium, capable of fixing nitrogen under microaerobic and nitrogen-limiting conditions. P. stutzeri A1501 tended to form biofilm in minimal media, especially under nitrogen depletion condition. Under such growth condition, the biofilms formed at the air-liquid interface (termed as pellicles) and the colony biofilms on agar plates exhibited nitrogenase activity in air. The two kinds of biofilms both contained large ovoid shape 'cells' that were multiple living bacteria embedded in a sac of extracellular polymeric substances (EPSs). We proposed to name such large 'cells' as A1501 cyst. Our results suggest that the EPS, especially exopolysaccharides enabled the encased bacteria to fix nitrogen while grown under aerobic condition. The formation of A1501 cysts was reversible in response to the changes of carbon or nitrogen source status. A1501 cyst formation depended on nitrogen-limiting signaling and the presence of sufficient carbon sources, yet was independent of an active nitrogenase. The pellicles formed by Azospirillum brasilense, another free-living nitrogen-fixing rhizobacterium, which also exhibited nitrogenase activity and contained the large EPS-encapsuled A1501 cyst-like 'cells'. Our data imply that free-living nitrogen-fixing bacteria could convert the easy-used carbon sources to exopolysaccharides in order to enable nitrogen fixation in a natural aerobic environment.

  9. Variation in plasma leptin-like immunoreactivity in free-living European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).

    PubMed

    Kordonowy, Lauren L; McMurtry, John P; Williams, Tony D

    2010-03-01

    Leptin, a protein hormone secreted by fat cells, is best known for its role as an adiposity signal; however, leptin has diverse physiological roles ranging from regulation of feeding behavior and body weight, to effects on reproduction and immune function. Although leptin has been extensively studied in mammals, the identification and function of leptin in birds remains controversial, and studies have focused on captive or domesticated species. Here, we describe changes in plasma leptin-like immunoreactivity during the reproductive and non-reproductive seasons in free-living female European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). Plasma leptin-like immunoreactivity was high during egg-laying (27.8+/-2.4 ng/mL) and clutch completion (23.8+/-1.6 ng/mL), decreased during incubation (13.0+/-1.6 ng/mL) and chick-rearing (12.0+/-1.3 ng/mL), but was elevated again in non-breeders in November (23.7+/-1.1 ng/mL). Although there was marked and consistent variation in total body mass and body composition with breeding stage and season in this population, plasma leptin-like immunoreactivity did not parallel changes in body mass or body composition. These data suggest that the strong positive relationship between plasma leptin-like immunoreactivity and body mass reported for captive birds and mammals does not hold for free-living birds. Rather, among free-living female European starlings, variation in plasma leptin-like immunoreactivity is associated with breeding stage or seasonal variation per se, and we discuss possible mechanisms underlying this variation, focusing on ovarian function and egg production. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Blood pressure change in a free-living population-based dietary modification study in Japan.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Yoshiko; Sasaki, Satoshi; Okubo, Shunji; Hayashi, Masato; Tsugane, Shoichiro

    2006-03-01

    To assess whether dietary intervention in free-living healthy subjects is effective in improving blood pressure levels. Open randomised, controlled trial. Free-living healthy subjects in two rural villages in north-eastern Japan. Five hundred and fifty healthy volunteers aged 40-69 years. Tailored dietary education to encourage a decrease in sodium intake and an increase in the intake of vitamin C and carotene, and of fruit and vegetables. Blood pressure, dietary intake and urinary excretion of sodium, dietary carotene and vitamin C, and fruit and vegetable intake data were collected at 1 year after the start of the intervention. During the first year, changes differed significantly between the intervention and control groups for dietary (P = 0.002) and urinary excretion (P < 0.001) of sodium and dietary vitamin C and carotene (P = 0.003). Systolic blood pressure decreased from 127.9 to 125.2 mmHg (2.7 mmHg decrease; 95% confidence interval, -4.6 to -0.8) in the intervention group, whereas it increased from 128.0 to 128.5 mmHg (0.5 increase; -1.3 to 2.3) in the control group. This change was statistically significant (P = 0.007). In contrast, the change in diastolic blood pressure did not significantly differ between the groups. In hypertensive subjects, a significant difference in systolic blood pressure reduction was seen between the groups (P = 0.032). Moderate-intensity dietary counseling in free-living healthy subjects achieved significant dietary changes, which resulted in a significant decrease in systolic blood pressure.

  11. Clinical utility of a complete diagnostic protocol for the ocular evaluation of free-living raptors.

    PubMed

    Labelle, Amber L; Whittington, Julia K; Breaux, Carrie B; Labelle, Philippe; Mitchell, Mark A; Zarfoss, Mitzi K; Schmidt, Stephanie A; Hamor, Ralph E

    2012-01-01

      To describe a protocol for the examination of free-living raptors and report the ophthalmic examination findings of seven raptor species native to central Illinois, namely the barred owl, Cooper's hawk, eastern screech owl, great horned owl, American kestrel, red-tailed hawk, and turkey vulture and to determine if the findings relative to visual prognosis affected eligibility for future release.   Seventy-nine free-living raptors.   Under manual restraint, complete ophthalmic examination including slit-lamp biomicroscopy and indirect funduscopy, applanation tonometry, rebound tonometry, ocular morphometrics, B-mode ultrasound, and electroretinography (ERG) were performed on each bird. Histopathology of enucleated globes was performed after euthanasia or death in selected cases.   The examination protocol was easily performed using manual restraint alone on all birds. Ocular lesions were detected in 48.1% of birds, with 47.3% affected unilaterally and 52.6% affected bilaterally. Ocular lesions were considered to be vision threatening in 29.0% of the unilaterally affected birds and 29.0% of the bilaterally affected birds. The most common case outcomes were discharge from hospital to rehabilitation facility (45.6%) followed by euthanasia (43.0%). The presence of an ocular lesion or a vision-threatening ocular lesion was not significantly associated with outcome. Reference ranges are reported for B-mode ultrasound, ocular morphometrics, and horizontal corneal diameter in all species.   Complete ophthalmic examination can be supplemented by the use of ocular morphometrics, ultrasound, and ERG in the manually restrained raptor. These advanced diagnostic techniques may be useful in developing more objective criteria for evaluating eligibility for release following rehabilitation of free-living birds of prey. © 2011 American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.

  12. Estimation of free-living energy expenditure using a novel activity monitor designed to minimize obtrusiveness.

    PubMed

    Bonomi, Alberto G; Plasqui, Guy; Goris, Annelies H C; Westerterp, Klass R

    2010-09-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the ability of a novel activity monitor designed to be minimally obtrusive in predicting free-living energy expenditure. Subjects were 18 men and 12 women (age: 41 +/- 11 years, BMI: 24.4 +/- 3 kg/m(2)). The habitual physical activity was monitored for 14 days using a DirectLife triaxial accelerometer for movement registration (Tracmor(D)) (Philips New Wellness Solutions, Lifestyle Incubator, the Netherlands). Tracmor(D) output was expressed as activity counts per day (Cnts/d). Simultaneously, total energy expenditure (TEE) was measured in free living conditions using doubly labeled water (DLW). Activity energy expenditure (AEE) and the physical activity level (PAL) were determined from TEE and sleeping metabolic rate (SMR). A multiple-linear regression model predicted 76% of the variance in TEE, using as independent variables SMR (partial-r(2) = 0.55, P < 0.001), and Cnts/d (partial r(2) = 0.21, P < 0.001). The s.e. of TEE estimates was 0.9 MJ/day or 7.4% of the average TEE. A model based on body mass (partial-r(2) = 0.31, P < 0.001) and Cnts/d (partial-r(2) = 0.23, P < 0.001) predicted 54% of the variance in TEE. Cnts/d were significantly and positively associated with AEE (r = 0.54, P < 0.01), PAL (r = 0.68, P < 0.001), and AEE corrected by body mass (r = 0.71, P < 0.001). This study showed that the Tracmor(D) is a highly accurate instrument for predicting free-living energy expenditure. The miniaturized design did not harm the ability of the instrument in measuring physical activity and in determining outcome parameters of physical activity such as TEE, AEE, and PAL.

  13. Diversity of free-Living nitrogen fixing Streptomyces in soils of the badlands of South Dakota.

    PubMed

    Dahal, Bibha; NandaKafle, Gitanjali; Perkins, Lora; Brözel, Volker S

    2017-01-01

    Biological Nitrogen Fixation is critical for ecosystem productivity. Select members of Bacteria and Archaea express a nitrogenase enzyme complex that reduces atmospheric nitrogen to ammonia. Several nitrogen fixing bacteria form symbiotic associations with plants, but free-living diazotrophs also contribute a substantial amount of nitrogen to ecosystems. The aim of this study was to isolate and characterize free-living diazotrophs in arid lands of South Dakota Badlands. Samples were obtained from sod tables and the surrounding base in spring and fall. Diazotrophs were isolated on solid nitrogen free medium (NFM) under hypoxic conditions, and their16S rRNA and nifH genes sequenced. nifH was also amplified directly from soil DNA extracts. The 16S rRNA gene data indicated a diversity of putative free-living diazotrophs across 4 phyla (Actinomycetes, Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Firmicutes), but ∼50% of these clustered with Streptomyces. These Streptomyces isolates grew in liquid NFM in an ammonia-depleted environment. Only 5 of these yielded a nifH gene product using the PolF/PolR primer set. Four of these aligned with nifH of the cyanobacteria Scytonema and Nostoc, and the other one aligned with nifH of Bradyrhizobium. Six selected Streptomyces isolates, three of which were nifH positive by PCR, all indicated (15)N2 incorporation, providing strong support of nitrogen fixation. All nifH amplicons from soil DNA extract resembled Cyanobacteria. This is the first known report of diazotrophic Streptomyces, other than the thermophilic, autotrophic S. thermoautotrophicus. nifH genes of these Streptomyces were related to those from Cyanobacteria. It is possible that the cyanobacteria-like nifH amplicons obtained from soil DNA were associated with Streptomyces. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  14. Relationship between free-living daily physical activity and peripheral circulation in patients with intermittent claudication.

    PubMed

    Gardner, A W; Killewich, L A; Katzel, L I; Womack, C J; Montgomery, P S; Otis, R B; Fonong, T

    1999-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between free-living daily physical activity and peripheral circulation under resting, reactive hyperemia, and maximal exercise conditions in peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAOD) patients with intermittent claudication. Sixty-one PAOD patients (age = 70 +/- 6 years, ankle/brachial index [ABI] = 0.57 +/- 0.24) were recruited from the Vascular Clinic at the Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center and from radio and newspaper advertisements. Free-living daily physical activity was measured as the energy expenditure of physical activity (EEPA), determined from doubly labeled water and indirect calorimetry. Patients also were characterized on ankle/brachial index, calf blood flow, calf transcutaneous oxygen tension (TcPO2), and calf transcutaneous heating power (TcHP). ABI and calf blood flow served as markers of the macrocirculation of the lower extremity, while TcPO2 and TcHP served as markers of the microcirculation. The claudication patients were sedentary, reflected by a mean EEPA value of 486 +/- 274 kcal/day. EEPA was related to calf TcHP at rest (282 +/- 24 mW; r = -0.413, p = 0.002), after postocclusion reactive hyperemia (275 +/- 22 mW; r = -0.381, p = 0.004), and after maximal exercise (276 +/- 20 mW; r = -0.461, p<0.001). ABI, calf blood flow, and calf TcPO2 were not related to EEPA under any condition. In conclusion, higher levels of free-living daily physical activity were associated with better microcirculation of the calf musculature in older PAOD patients with intermittent claudication.

  15. Investigating the Role of Free-living Amoebae as a Reservoir for Mycobacterium ulcerans

    PubMed Central

    Amissah, Nana Ama; Gryseels, Sophie; Tobias, Nicholas J.; Ravadgar, Bahram; Suzuki, Mitsuko; Vandelannoote, Koen; Durnez, Lies; Leirs, Herwig; Stinear, Timothy P.; Portaels, Françoise; Ablordey, Anthony; Eddyani, Miriam

    2014-01-01

    Background The reservoir and mode of transmission of Mycobacterium ulcerans, the causative agent of Buruli ulcer, still remain a mystery. It has been suggested that M. ulcerans persists with difficulty as a free-living organism due to its natural fragility and inability to withstand exposure to direct sunlight, and thus probably persists within a protective host environment. Methodology/Principal Findings We investigated the role of free-living amoebae as a reservoir of M. ulcerans by screening the bacterium in free-living amoebae (FLA) cultures isolated from environmental specimens using real-time PCR. We also followed the survival of M. ulcerans expressing green fluorescence protein (GFP) in Acanthameoba castellanii by flow cytometry and observed the infected cells using confocal and transmission electron microscopy for four weeks in vitro. IS2404 was detected by quantitative PCR in 4.64% of FLA cultures isolated from water, biofilms, detritus and aerosols. While we could not isolate M. ulcerans, 23 other species of mycobacteria were cultivated from inside FLA and/or other phagocytic microorganisms. Laboratory experiments with GFP-expressing M. ulcerans in A. castellani trophozoites for 28 days indicated the bacteria did not replicate inside amoebae, but they could remain viable at low levels in cysts. Transmission electron microscopy of infected A. castellani confirmed the presence of bacteria within both trophozoite vacuoles and cysts. There was no correlation of BU notification rate with detection of the IS2404 in FLA (r = 0.07, n = 539, p = 0.127). Conclusion/Significance This study shows that FLA in the environment are positive for the M. ulcerans insertion sequence IS2404. However, the detection frequency and signal strength of IS2404 positive amoabae was low and no link with the occurrence of BU was observed. We conclude that FLA may host M. ulcerans at low levels in the environment without being directly involved in the transmission to humans

  16. Atherosclerosis with multifocal myocardial infarction in a Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens Illiger).

    PubMed

    Gruber, Achim D; Peters, Martin; Knieriem, Andreas; Wohlsein, Peter

    2002-06-01

    A 25-yr-old male captive walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens Illiger) died after suffering from periods of inactivity, anorexia, and weight loss for 8 wk. Necropsy revealed prominent, generalized atherosclerosis of cardiac arteries with widespread chronic myocardial infarction. Severe disseminated myocardial fibrosis most likely resulted in insidious cardiac failure that was ultimately the cause of death. Bouts of abdominal pain and disseminated cutaneous ulcers that had been observed 3 and 4 days before death, respectively, were attributed to circulatory failure and thrombosis. The cause of the vascular lesions remains unknown. When compared with humans, atherosclerosis is rare in animals and has not been described in a walrus.

  17. Gray whale and walrus feeding excavation on the Bering Shelf, Alaska.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nelson, C.H.; Johnson, K.R.; Barber, J.H.

    1987-01-01

    The gray whales (average mouth length, 2.0 m), when suction feeding on infaunal amphipods, create shallow pits in the sea floor, typically 2.5m x 1.5m x 10cm deep, which are distinct and mappable on sidescan sonographs. Similarly, walrus, when foraging for shallow clams, create long, linear feeding furrows that average 47 x 0.4 x 0.1m (length-width-depth). The whale feeding pits are commonly enlarged and oriented by seasonal storm-related scour. Walrus-feeding features are smaller, formed in higher-energy environments, and modified more rapidly than whale-feeding pits. -from Authors

  18. Monitoring of Yersinia enterocolitica strains from free-living animals using different methods.

    PubMed

    Syczyło, K; Platt-Samoraj, A; Bancerz-Kisiel, A; Szczerba-Turek, A; Lipczyńska, K; Jabłoński, A; Procajło, Z; Szweda, W

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the study was to monitor Y. enterocolitica strains from free-living animals captured during 2011-2014 hunting seasons in Poland using warm (ITC) and cold (PSB) enrichment and molecular examination. Over 1600 samples have been cultured. After ITC/PSB enrichment 237 strains presenting features characteristic for Y. enterocolitica were isolated. Molecular examination using multiplex PCR revealed 140 isolates from PSB and 78 from ITC. The concentration of pathogenic Yersinia in asymptomatic carriers is low and the PCR detection should be preceded by bacteriological examination.

  19. Interactions among roots, mycorrhizas and free-living microbial communities differentially impact soil carbon processes

    DOE PAGES

    Moore, Jessica A. M.; Jiang, Jiang; Patterson, Courtney M.; ...

    2015-10-20

    Plant roots, their associated microbial community and free-living soil microbes interact to regulate the movement of carbon from the soil to the atmosphere, one of the most important and least understood fluxes of terrestrial carbon. Our inadequate understanding of how plant-microbial interactions alter soil carbon decomposition may lead to poor model predictions of terrestrial carbon feedbacks to the atmosphere. Roots, mycorrhizal fungi and free-living soil microbes can alter soil carbon decomposition through exudation of carbon into soil. Exudates of simple carbon compounds can increase microbial activity because microbes are typically carbon limited. When both roots and mycorrhizal fungi are presentmore » in the soil, they may additively increase carbon decomposition. However, when mycorrhizas are isolated from roots, they may limit soil carbon decomposition by competing with free-living decomposers for resources. We manipulated the access of roots and mycorrhizal fungi to soil insitu in a temperate mixed deciduous forest. We added 13C-labelled substrate to trace metabolized carbon in respiration and measured carbon-degrading microbial extracellular enzyme activity and soil carbon pools. We used our data in a mechanistic soil carbon decomposition model to simulate and compare the effects of root and mycorrhizal fungal presence on soil carbon dynamics over longer time periods. Contrary to what we predicted, root and mycorrhizal biomass did not interact to additively increase microbial activity and soil carbon degradation. The metabolism of 13C-labelled starch was highest when root biomass was high and mycorrhizal biomass was low. These results suggest that mycorrhizas may negatively interact with the free-living microbial community to influence soil carbon dynamics, a hypothesis supported by our enzyme results. Our steady-state model simulations suggested that root presence increased mineral-associated and particulate organic carbon pools, while mycorrhizal

  20. Interactions among roots, mycorrhizas and free-living microbial communities differentially impact soil carbon processes

    SciTech Connect

    Moore, Jessica A. M.; Jiang, Jiang; Patterson, Courtney M.; Mayes, Melanie A.; Wang, Gangsheng; Classen, Aimée T.

    2015-10-20

    Plant roots, their associated microbial community and free-living soil microbes interact to regulate the movement of carbon from the soil to the atmosphere, one of the most important and least understood fluxes of terrestrial carbon. Our inadequate understanding of how plant-microbial interactions alter soil carbon decomposition may lead to poor model predictions of terrestrial carbon feedbacks to the atmosphere. Roots, mycorrhizal fungi and free-living soil microbes can alter soil carbon decomposition through exudation of carbon into soil. Exudates of simple carbon compounds can increase microbial activity because microbes are typically carbon limited. When both roots and mycorrhizal fungi are present in the soil, they may additively increase carbon decomposition. However, when mycorrhizas are isolated from roots, they may limit soil carbon decomposition by competing with free-living decomposers for resources. We manipulated the access of roots and mycorrhizal fungi to soil insitu in a temperate mixed deciduous forest. We added 13C-labelled substrate to trace metabolized carbon in respiration and measured carbon-degrading microbial extracellular enzyme activity and soil carbon pools. We used our data in a mechanistic soil carbon decomposition model to simulate and compare the effects of root and mycorrhizal fungal presence on soil carbon dynamics over longer time periods. Contrary to what we predicted, root and mycorrhizal biomass did not interact to additively increase microbial activity and soil carbon degradation. The metabolism of 13C-labelled starch was highest when root biomass was high and mycorrhizal biomass was low. These results suggest that mycorrhizas may negatively interact with the free-living microbial community to influence soil carbon dynamics, a hypothesis supported by our enzyme results. Our steady-state model simulations suggested that root presence increased mineral-associated and particulate organic carbon pools, while

  1. Ultrastructural analysis and identification of membrane proteins in the free-living amoeba Difflugia corona.

    PubMed

    Silva-Briano, Marcelo; Martínez-Hernández, Sandra Luz; Adabache-Ortíz, Araceli; Ventura-Juárez, Javier; Salinas, Eva; Quintanar, J Luis

    2007-08-01

    Syntaxin-1 and 25-kDa Synaptosome-associated Protein (SNAP-25) are present in the plasma membrane of several different secretory cell types and are involved in the exocytosis process. In this work, the free-living amoeba Difflugia corona was studied in relation to ultrastructure, structural membrane proteins, and proteins such as Syntaxin-1 and SNAP-25. Our results obtained by scanning electron microscopy in the amoeba without its theca, showed many membrane projections and several pore-like structures. Using immunocytochemistry, we found structural proteins Syntaxin-1 and SNAP-25.

  2. Effects of a subminiature radiocollar on activity of free-living white-footed mice

    SciTech Connect

    Ormiston, B.G.

    1984-07-01

    The effects of a subminiature (1.1 g) radiocollar on activity of free-living Peromyscus leucopus were examined by comparing recapture frequency, persistence, apparent reproduction, body weight, and ranging activity of 43 collared and 304 uncollared mice. Although some differences between collar treatment groups were noted for most measures, no significant deleterious effects of wearing the radiocollar were detected. Collared juveniles weighing from 12 to 16 g appeared to grow and mature similarly relative to uncollared juveniles. The results suggest that this radiocollar-package can be used to provide reliable information about the natural acitivity of both immature and adult P. leucopus. 14 references, 2 tables.

  3. Free-living amoebae promote growth and survival of Helicobacter pylori.

    PubMed

    Winiecka-Krusnell, Jadwiga; Wreiber, Karin; von Euler, Ann; Engstrand, Lars; Linder, Ewert

    2002-01-01

    Transmission routes of Helicobacter pylori remain poorly understood. The finding of bacterial DNA in water suggests the involvement of environmental factors. Here we report successful co-cultivation of H. pylori with Acanthamoeba castellanii, which circumvents the requirement of this bacterium for precise microaerobic conditions and a large supply of nutrients in order to grow. H. pylori was able to propagate and remain viable for several weeks in the presence of amoebae under experimental conditions. Intact, metabolically active bacteria could be demonstrated in vacuoles. The putative dependence of H. pylori on free-living amoebae in nature could be important with respect to transmission and prevalence, as shown for some other pathogenic bacteria.

  4. Epidemiologic determinants of aural abscessation in free-living eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina) in Virginia.

    PubMed

    Brown, Justin D; Sleeman, Jonathan M; Elvinger, François

    2003-10-01

    Epidemiologic determinants of 46 cases of aural abscessation in free-living eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina) admitted to the Wildlife Center of Virginia (Virginia, USA) from 1991 to 2000 were evaluated. County human population density, year and season of admission, weight, and sex did not affect the risk for box turtles to develop aural abscessation. Counties with cases of aural abscessation were not randomly distributed, but rather were clustered into two multi-county regions. Geographic location was the only risk factor associated with aural abscessation in box turtles found in this study. Possible etiologies could include chronic infectious disease, malnutrition, or chronic exposure to environmental contamination with organochlorine compounds.

  5. Cellular, Biochemical, and Molecular Changes during Encystment of Free-Living Amoebae

    PubMed Central

    Fouque, Emilie; Trouilhé, Marie-Cécile; Thomas, Vincent; Hartemann, Philippe; Rodier, Marie-Hélène

    2012-01-01

    Free-living amoebae are protozoa found in soil and water. Among them, some are pathogenic and many have been described as potential reservoirs of pathogenic bacteria. Their cell cycle is divided into at least two forms, the trophozoite and the cyst, and the differentiation process is named encystment. As cysts are more resistant to disinfection treatments than trophozoites, many studies focused on encystment, but until recently, little was known about cellular, biochemical, and molecular modifications operating during this process. Important signals and signaling pathways at play during encystment, as well as cell responses at the molecular level, have been described. This review summarizes our knowledge and focuses on new findings. PMID:22366126

  6. Cellular, biochemical, and molecular changes during encystment of free-living amoebae.

    PubMed

    Fouque, Emilie; Trouilhé, Marie-Cécile; Thomas, Vincent; Hartemann, Philippe; Rodier, Marie-Hélène; Héchard, Yann

    2012-04-01

    Free-living amoebae are protozoa found in soil and water. Among them, some are pathogenic and many have been described as potential reservoirs of pathogenic bacteria. Their cell cycle is divided into at least two forms, the trophozoite and the cyst, and the differentiation process is named encystment. As cysts are more resistant to disinfection treatments than trophozoites, many studies focused on encystment, but until recently, little was known about cellular, biochemical, and molecular modifications operating during this process. Important signals and signaling pathways at play during encystment, as well as cell responses at the molecular level, have been described. This review summarizes our knowledge and focuses on new findings.

  7. [Structure of the glial cells in the nervous system of parasitic and free-living flatworms].

    PubMed

    Biserova, N M; Gordeev, I I; Korneva, Zh V; Sal'nikova, M M

    2010-01-01

    This study is devoted to ultrastructural and immunosytochemical investigation of the nervous system in parasitic and free-living platyhelminthes to learn if glial cells exist in the nervous system of flatworms. We described the ultrastructure of different types of glial cells and the peculiarities of myelinization of gigantic axons; immunoreactivity to the S100b protein is revealed. Comparative analysis of the glia structure of annelids and platods is given; structural, functional, and evolutionary aspects of myelinization of gigantic axons, which are revealed in cestodes, are discussed.

  8. Extrapolating laboratory avian toxicity data to free-living birds: Comparison of the toxicity of parathion to captive and free-living European starlings

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grue, C.E.; Rattner, B.A.; Bunck, C.M.

    1993-01-01

    In 1985 and 1986, we captured nesting wild female European starlings with young 8-10 days of age. Birds were weighted, banded, and given one of four dosages of the OP insecticide parathion (50, 72, 104 or 150 mg/kg dissolved in corn oil) or pure corn-oil (control). and their young weighed. Nest boxes (7- 12/treatment) were observed and young re-weighed 2-3 days postdose to determine presence/absence of the females. If necessary, males were captured and fate of young used to confirm female response. Brain ChE inhibition in dosed birds (based on a pilot study) was 55-74%. EC50's (failure to return to nest box) for the females was 74 mg/kg in 1985 and 92 mg/kg in 1986. Confidence limit (95%) for these estimates overlapped LD50's for captive female starlings dosed with the OP in spring and early summer 1987 (136, 128 mg/kg, respectively). Results suggest that responses of captive and free-living birds to potentially lethal concentrations of OP's are similar, despite the additional stresses in the wild.

  9. Response of Pacific walruses to disturbances from capture and handling activities at a haul-out in Bristol Bay, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jay, C.V.; Olson, Tamara L.; Garner, G.W.; Ballachey, Brenda E.

    1998-01-01

    Observations were made on hems of the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) to study their response during the capturing and handling of adult males in summer 1995 at a haul-out at Cape Peirce in southwestern Alaska. Three behaviors (alertness, displacement, and dispersal) were quantified from 16 capture sessions. Herd sizes ranged from 622 to 5,289 walruses. Handling of an immobilized walrus consisted of attempts to attach telemetry devices to the tusks and collect various biological samples. Handling activities resulted in an average of about 10-fold or greater levels of behavior in alertness, displacement, and dispersal than during precapture and darting periods. High levels of behavior usually occurred within the first 45 min of handling. In 8 of 10 capture sessions, walruses returned to predisturbance levels of behavior within 40 min of cessation of the handling disturbance. Alertness and displacement were moderately and negatively correlated with herd size during the handling period, which may reflect an effect of a threshold distance from the point of disturbance to responding individuals. Observations of walruses tagged with VHF radio transmitters indicated that the activities from a given capture session did not preclude tagged walruses from using the haul-out over a subsequent 11-wk monitoring period. Moreover, non-tagged walruses continued to extensively use the haul-out during and after the period in which capture sessions were conducted.

  10. Free-Living Nematodes in the Freshwater Food Web: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Majdi, Nabil; Traunspurger, Walter

    2015-01-01

    Free-living nematodes are well-recognized as an abundant and ubiquitous component of benthic communities in inland waters. Compelling evidence from soil and marine ecosystems has highlighted the importance of nematodes as trophic intermediaries between microbial production and higher trophic levels. However, the paucity of empirical evidence of their role in freshwater ecosystems has hampered their inclusion in our understanding of freshwater food web functioning. This literature survey provides an overview of research efforts in the field of freshwater nematode ecology and of the complex trophic interactions between free-living nematodes and microbes, other meiofauna, macro-invertebrates, and fishes. Based on an analysis of the relevant literature and an appreciation of the potential of emerging approaches for the evaluation of nematode trophic ecology, we point out research gaps and recommend relevant directions for further research. The latter include (i) interactions of nematodes with protozoans and fungi; (ii) nonconsumptive effects of nematodes on microbial activity and the effects of nematodes on associated key ecosystem processes (decomposition, primary production); and (iii) the feeding selectivity and intraspecific feeding variability of nematodes and their potential impacts on the structure of benthic communities. PMID:25861114

  11. [Helminth fauna of free living European bison Bison bonasus (L.) in Bieszczady Mountains (Karpatian Mountains, Poland)].

    PubMed

    Drózdz, J; Demiaszkiewicz, A W; Lachowicz, J

    2000-01-01

    Four free living European bison from Białowieza/Caucasus line shot in February 1997 within Lutowiska Forestry District in the Bieszczady Mountains were used in investigations. All examined animals were infected with helminths. There were found 10 species of parasites. Five species of them Ostertagia leptospicularis, O. kolchida, Spiculopteragia boehmi, Cooperia pectinata and Ashworthius sidemi are thypical parasites of Cervides, and from them were infected bison in Bieszczady. In all necropsied animals was found invasion of nematode A. sidemi, with mean intensity 1542 specimens. It is the first registration of A. sidemi in Poland and European bison is a new host for this parasite. It seems that the source of infection A. sidemi in European bison in Bieszczady is the local population of deer, which during their migrations could bring this parasite from neighbouring Ukraine and Slovakia, where this nematode have been introduced together with deer Cervus nippon. There are also presented results of coproscopic examinations of 17 fecal samples from free living European bison in Bieszczady.

  12. Response of Plant Parasitic and Free Living Soil Nematodes to Composted Animal Manure Soil Amendments

    PubMed Central

    Renčo, M.; Kováčik, P.

    2012-01-01

    In an outside pot experiment, dry pig manure processed on pine sawdust litter and fermented for seven days by house fly larvae (fermented manure), and pine sawdust applied alone, and in combination with a spring application of inorganic nitrogen fertilizer were used to determine their effects on plant parasitic and free-living soil nematodes on sugar beets (cv. Antek). Non amended soil was used as a control. All treatments with fermented pig manure and sawdust with nitrogen fertilizer decreased number of plant parasitic nematodes and also root-fungal feeding nematodes compared to the untreated control. Sawdust applied alone had no effect on plant parasitic and root-fungal feeding nematode suppression. Free-living nematodes which were mainly bacteriovores and fungivores were significantly more abundant in soil amended with fermented pig manure, while the sawdust had no effect on these nematodes. The effect of all tested treatments on omnivores-predators was rather random, and in general, the number of these nematodes decreased after soil amendment applications compared to the untreated control. PMID:23482503

  13. Isolation and Molecular Characterization of Free-Living Amoebae from Different Water Sources in Italy

    PubMed Central

    Montalbano Di Filippo, Margherita; Santoro, Maristella; Lovreglio, Piero; Monno, Rosa; Capolongo, Carmen; Calia, Carla; Fumarola, Luciana; D’Alfonso, Rossella; Berrilli, Federica; Di Cave, David

    2015-01-01

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) are protozoa ubiquitous in Nature, isolated from a variety of environments worldwide. In addition to their natural distribution, some species have been found to be pathogenic to humans. In the present study a survey was conducted in order to evaluate the presence and to characterize at molecular level the isolates of amoebic organisms collected from different water sources in Italy. A total of 160 water samples were analyzed by culture and microscopic examination. FLA were found in 46 (28.7%) of the investigated water samples. Groundwater, well waters, and ornamental fountain waters were the sources with higher prevalence rates (85.7%, 50.0%, and 45.9%, respectively). Identification of FLA species/genotypes, based on the 18S rDNA regions, allowed to identify 18 (39.1%) Acanthamoeba isolates (genotypes T4 and T15) and 21 (45.6%) Vermamoeba vermiformis isolates. Other FLA species, including Vahlkampfia sp. and Naegleria spp., previously reported in Italy, were not recovered. The occurrence of potentially pathogenic free-living amoebae in habitats related to human population, as reported in the present study, supports the relevance of FLA as a potential health threat to humans. PMID:25811766

  14. Eating frequency and energy regulation in free-living adults consuming self-selected diets.

    PubMed

    McCrory, Megan A; Howarth, Nancy C; Roberts, Susan B; Huang, Terry T-K

    2011-01-01

    The relative importance of eating frequency to weight control is poorly understood. This review examines the evidence to date on the role of eating frequency in weight control in free-living adults. The majority of cross-sectional studies in free-living adults show an inverse relationship between eating frequency and adiposity; however, this is likely an artifact produced by the underreporting of eating frequency concurrent with underreporting of energy intake. When implausible energy intake reporting (which is mostly underreporting) is taken into account, the association between eating frequency and adiposity becomes positive. In studies in which eating frequency is prescribed and food intake is mostly self-selected, there is either no effect or a minor positive effect of eating frequency on energy intake. Most of those studies have been short-term and lack the necessary dietary biomarkers to validate reported energy intakes and eating frequencies. In conclusion, there is some suggestion from cross-sectional studies in which energy intake underreporting is taken into account and from experimental studies to date that greater eating frequency may promote positive energy balance. However, experimental studies of longer-term duration that include objective dietary biomarkers are necessary before firm conclusions about the relative importance of eating frequency in weight control can be made.

  15. Selective disappearance of individuals with high levels of glycated haemoglobin in a free-living bird.

    PubMed

    Récapet, Charlotte; Sibeaux, Adélaïde; Cauchard, Laure; Doligez, Blandine; Bize, Pierre

    2016-08-01

    Although disruption of glucose homeostasis is a hallmark of ageing in humans and laboratory model organisms, we have little information on the importance of this process in free-living animals. Poor control of blood glucose levels leads to irreversible protein glycation. Hence, levels of protein glycation are hypothesized to increase with age and to be associated with a decline in survival. We tested these predictions by measuring blood glycated haemoglobin in 274 adult collared flycatchers of known age and estimating individual probability of recapture in the following 2 years. Results show a strong decrease in glycated haemoglobin from age 1 to 5 years and an increase thereafter. Individuals with high levels of glycated haemoglobin had a lower probability of recapture, even after controlling for effects of age and dispersal. Altogether, our findings suggest that poor control of glucose homoeostasis is associated with lower survival in this free-living bird population, and that the selective disappearance of individuals with the highest glycation levels could account for the counterintuitive age-related decline in glycated haemoglobin in the early age categories.

  16. Pathogenic and opportunistic free-living amoebae: Acanthamoeba spp., Balamuthia mandrillaris, Naegleria fowleri, and Sappinia diploidea.

    PubMed

    Visvesvara, Govinda S; Moura, Hercules; Schuster, Frederick L

    2007-06-01

    Among the many genera of free-living amoebae that exist in nature, members of only four genera have an association with human disease: Acanthamoeba spp., Balamuthia mandrillaris, Naegleria fowleri and Sappinia diploidea. Acanthamoeba spp. and B. mandrillaris are opportunistic pathogens causing infections of the central nervous system, lungs, sinuses and skin, mostly in immunocompromised humans. Balamuthia is also associated with disease in immunocompetent children, and Acanthamoeba spp. cause a sight-threatening infection, Acanthamoeba keratitis, mostly in contact-lens wearers. Of more than 30 species of Naegleria, only one species, N. fowleri, causes an acute and fulminating meningoencephalitis in immunocompetent children and young adults. In addition to human infections, Acanthamoeba, Balamuthia and Naegleria can cause central nervous system infections in animals. Because only one human case of encephalitis caused by Sappinia diploidea is known, generalizations about the organism as an agent of disease are premature. In this review we summarize what is known of these free-living amoebae, focusing on their biology, ecology, types of disease and diagnostic methods. We also discuss the clinical profiles, mechanisms of pathogenesis, pathophysiology, immunology, antimicrobial sensitivity and molecular characteristics of these amoebae.

  17. Pathogenic waterborne free-living amoebae: An update from selected Southeast Asian countries

    PubMed Central

    Abdul Majid, Mohamad Azlan; Mahboob, Tooba; Mong, Brandon G. J.; Jaturas, Narong; Richard, Reena Leeba; Tian-Chye, Tan; Phimphila, Anusorn; Mahaphonh, Panomphanh; Aye, Kyaw Nyein; Aung, Wai Lynn; Chuah, Joon; Ziegler, Alan D.; Yasiri, Atipat; Sawangjaroen, Nongyao; Lim, Yvonne A. L.; Nissapatorn, Veeranoot

    2017-01-01

    Data on the distribution of free-living amoebae is still lacking especially in Southeast Asian region. The aquatic environment revealed a high occurrence of free-living amoebae (FLA) due to its suitable condition and availability of food source, which subsequently causes infection to humans. A total of 94 water samples consisted of both treated and untreated from Laos (31), Myanmar (42), and Singapore (21) were investigated for the presence of pathogenic FLA. Each water sample was filtered and cultured onto non-nutrient agar seeded with live suspension of Escherichia coli and incubated at room temperature. Morphological identification was conducted for both trophozoites and cysts via microscopic stains (Giemsa and immunofluorescence). The presence of Naegleria-like structures was the most frequently encountered in both treated and untreated water samples, followed by Acanthamoeba-like and Vermamoeba-like features. To identify the pathogenic isolates, species-specific primer sets were applied for molecular identification of Acanthamoeba, Naegleria, and Vermamoeba. The pathogenic species of Acanthamoeba lenticulata and A. triangularis were detected from untreated water samples, while Vermamoeba vermiformis was found in both treated and untreated water samples. Our results suggested that poor water quality as well as inadequate maintenance and treatment might be the cause of this alarming problem since chlorine disinfection is ineffective in eradicating these amoebas in treated water samples. Regular monitoring and examination of water qualities are necessary in order to control the growth, hence, further preventing the widespread of FLA infections among the public. PMID:28212409

  18. Free-living amoebae used to isolate consortia capable of degrading trichloroethylene

    SciTech Connect

    Tyndall, R.L.; Katz, D.S.; Little, C.D.; Kennedy, J.R.

    1991-12-31

    The interaction of protozoa with prokaryotes is well documented. These interactions can be either ecto- or endosymbiotic. An example of photosynthetic symbiosis is the well-defined interaction between paramecium and entrapped Chlorella. Paramecium can also form symbiotic relationships with gram-negative heterotrophic bacteria. Jeon has described an interaction between amoebae and engulfed bacteria, that eventuated into a dependency of the amoebae on the presence of the engulfed bacterium. Free-living amoebae and tetrahymena can engulf and subsequently provide the necessary niche for the replication of Legionella. Acanthamoebae trophozoites and cysts can harbor and support the replication of unidentified gram-negative bacteria. King has recently shown that bacteria associated with free-living amoebae are more resistant to toxic environments. Assuming that methylotrophic bacteria in situ are a part of a mixed community, and based on our observations that bacteria associated with protozoa may not be easily isolated by standard techniques, we attempted to use protozoa as a tool to isolate TCE-degrading bacteria.

  19. Differential expression of disulfide reductase enzymes in a free-living platyhelminth (Dugesia dorotocephala)

    PubMed Central

    Herrera-Juárez, Álvaro Miguel; Martínez-González, José de Jesús; del Arenal Mena, Irene Patricia; Flores-Herrera, Óscar

    2017-01-01

    A search of the disulfide reductase activities expressed in the adult stage of the free-living platyhelminth Dugesia dorotocephala was carried out. Using GSSG or DTNB as substrates, it was possible to obtain a purified fraction containing both GSSG and DTNB reductase activities. Through the purification procedure, both disulfide reductase activities were obtained in the same chromatographic peak. By mass spectrometry analysis of peptide fragments obtained after tryptic digestion of the purified fraction, the presence of glutathione reductase (GR), thioredoxin-glutathione reductase (TGR), and a putative thioredoxin reductase (TrxR) was detected. Using the gold compound auranofin to selectively inhibit the GSSG reductase activity of TGR, it was found that barely 5% of the total GR activity in the D. dorotocephala extract can be assigned to GR. Such strategy did allow us to determine the kinetic parameters for both GR and TGR. Although It was not possible to discriminate DTNB reductase activity due to TrxR from that of TGR, a chromatofocusing experiment with a D. dorotocephala extract resulted in the obtention of a minor protein fraction enriched in TrxR, strongly suggesting its presence as a functional protein. Thus, unlike its parasitic counterparts, in the free-living platyhelminth lineage the three disulfide reductases are present as functional proteins, albeit TGR is still the major disulfide reductase involved in the reduction of both Trx and GSSG. This fact suggests the development of TGR in parasitic flatworms was not linked to a parasitic mode of life. PMID:28787021

  20. Pathogenic and free-living amoebae isolated from swimming pools and physiotherapy tubs in Mexico.

    PubMed

    Rivera, F; Ramírez, E; Bonilla, P; Calderón, A; Gallegos, E; Rodríguez, S; Ortiz, R; Zaldívar, B; Ramírez, P; Durán, A

    1993-07-01

    A protozoological survey was done to isolate free-living amoebae from swimming pools and physiotherapy tubs in Mexico City. Amoebae were isolated by culture in nonnutritive agar medium combined with Escherichia coli. Identification of the isolates was done by morphology using specialized taxonomic keys and by isoelectric focusing of total proteins and isoenzymes in agarose. Pathogenicity of the isolates was determined in 3-week-old mice by intracerebral and intranasal inoculations. Statistical tools were used to determine the existence of significant differences on the incidence and diversity of the isolates in relation to the two types of water bodies analyzed. Water and environmental temperatures, pH, and chloride concentrations were determined at each sampling site. Twenty-nine amoebic strains from eight genera were isolated. Most frequently found were specimens of the genera (Acanthamoeba (with four pathogenic strains), Vahlkampfia, Hartmannella, and Naegleria. Amoebae were isolated more frequently in spring and summer, and could not be recovered from pools with chloride levels of 5.31 mg/ml or more. This survey demonstrates that chloride concentrations commonly used in recreative pools and therapy tubs are not sufficient to eliminate viable cysts of most free-living amoebae. Significantly higher numbers of isolates were retrieved from the pools than from the tubs.

  1. Integrating physiology, behavior, and energetics: Biologging in a free-living arctic hibernator.

    PubMed

    Williams, Cory T; Barnes, Brian M; Buck, C Loren

    2016-12-01

    The use of animal-borne instruments (ABIs), including biologgers and biotransmitters, has played an integral role in advancing our understanding of adjustments made by animals in their physiology and behavior across their annual and daily cycles and in response to weather and environmental change. Here, we review our research employing body temperature (Tb), light, and acceleration biologgers to measure patterns of physiology and behavior of a free-living, semi-fossorial hibernator, the arctic ground squirrel (Urocitellus parryii). We have used these devices to address a variety of physiological, ecological, and evolutionary questions within the fields of hibernation physiology, phenology, behavioral ecology, and chronobiology. We have also combined biologging with other approaches, such as endocrinology and tracking the thermal environment, to provide insights into the physiological mechanisms that underlie fundamental questions in biology including physiological performance trade-offs, timing and functional energetics. Finally, we explore the practical and methodological considerations that need to be addressed in biologging studies of free-living vertebrates and discuss future technological advancements that will increase the power and potential of biologging as a tool for assessing physiological function in dynamic and changing environments. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Granulomatous encephalitis, intracranial arteritis, and mycotic aneurysm due to a free-living ameba.

    PubMed

    Martínez, A J; Sotelo-Avila, C; Alcalá, H; Willaert, E

    1980-01-01

    Primary amebic meningoencephalitis and granulomatous amebic encephalitis are well recognized clinicopathological entities caused by free-living amebas. Associated arteritis and "mycotic aneurysms" with infiltration of intracranial arteries by lymphocytes, amebic trophozoites and cysts have not been previously reported. A 26-month-old girl had a 3-week history of encephalitis, characterized, initially, by vomiting and low-grade fever. Subsequently, she developed ataxia, generalized weakness, lethargy, and esotropia. The first CSF showed 490 RBC/microliters, 705 WBC/microliters with 90% mononuclears. Her pupils reacted briskly to light. Moderate nuchal rigidity, nystagmus, fixed downward gaze, anisocoria, bilateral 6th nerve palsy, left arm monoparesis and left Babinski were present. CAT scan revealed slight symmetrical dilatation of anterior horns of lateral ventricles and an area of abnormal enhancement above the 3rd ventricle. She died 14 days after admission, 5 weeks after onset of symptoms. The brain showed focal necrotizing encephalopathy, involving thalami, cerebellum, brain stem, and cervical and upper thoracic spinal cord. Numerous free-living amebic trophozoites and cysts were present within a chronic granulomatous encephalitis. There were trombosis of basilar, posterior cerebral, and vertebral arteries with profuse chronic panarteritis, fibrinoid necrosis, and mycotic aneurysms.

  3. Pathology of aural abscesses in free-living Eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina).

    PubMed

    Brown, Justin D; Richards, Jean M; Robertson, John; Holladay, Steven; Sleeman, Jonathan M

    2004-10-01

    Aural abscess or abscess of the middle ear is common in free-living Eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina) of Virginia (USA) and elsewhere. Although its etiology remains unknown, hypovitaminosis A has been suggested on the basis of similar lesions occurring in captive chelonians fed diets that are deficient in vitamin A. This hypothesis was supported by significantly greater body burdens of organochlorine compounds (reported disruptors of vitamin A metabolism) and a nonsignificant trend toward lower serum and hepatic vitamin A levels in free-living box turtles with this lesion. The tympanic epithelium was evaluated in 27 box turtles (10 with aural abscesses and 17 without). Lesions of the tympanic epithelium of box turtles with aural abscesses included hyperplasia, squamous metaplasia, hyperemia, cellular sloughing, granulomatous inflammation, and bacterial infection. These changes were more severe in turtles with aural abscesses than in those without and were more severe in tympanic cavities that had an abscess compared to those without when the lesion was unilateral. Organs from 21 box turtles (10 with aural abscesses and 11 without) from the study population were examined for microscopic lesions, and minimal histopathologic changes were found, none of which were similar to those found in the tympanic epithelium. Histopathologic changes in box turtles with aural abscesses were consistent with a syndrome that may involve hypovitaminosis A.

  4. Resistance training increases total energy expenditure and free-living physical activity in older adults.

    PubMed

    Hunter, G R; Wetzstein, C J; Fields, D A; Brown, A; Bamman, M M

    2000-09-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine what effects 26 wk of resistance training have on resting energy expenditure (REE), total free-living energy expenditure (TEE), activity-related energy expenditure (AEE), engagement in free-living physical activity as measured by the activity-related time equivalent (ARTE) index, and respiratory exchange ratio (RER) in 61- to 77-yr-old men (n = 8) and women (n = 7). Before and after training, body composition (four-compartment model), strength, REE, TEE (doubly labeled water), AEE (TEE - REE + thermic response to meals), and ARTE (AEE adjusted for energy cost of standard activities) were evaluated. Strength (36%) and fat-free mass (2 kg) significantly increased, but body weight did not change. REE increased 6.8%, whereas resting RER decreased from 0.86 to 0.83. TEE (12%) and ARTE (38%) increased significantly, and AEE (30%) approached significance (P = 0.06). The TEE increase remained significant even after adjustment for the energy expenditure of the resistance training. In response to resistance training, TEE increased and RER decreased. The increase in TEE occurred as a result of increases in both REE and physical activity. These results suggest that resistance training may have value in increasing energy expenditure and lipid oxidation rates in older adults, thereby improving their metabolic profiles.

  5. Nematofauna in the Adriatic Sea: review and check-list of free-living nematode species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Travizi, Ana; Vidaković, Jasna

    1998-02-01

    The present paper presents a collection and synthesis of data found in numerous publications on Adriatic Sea nematofauna, as well as unpublished, data mentioned in annotations. For this purpose, a chronological order of investigations and a general survey of the species that occurred in the Adriatic Sea are given. In all, 281 free-living nematode species comprised in 133 genera and 34 families were discerned and listed in a taxonomic review, according to their spatial distribution. In special cases, descriptions of habitat features were noted. The position of species characterized by high population densities, their importance, and contribution to the faunistic composition of certain parts of the Adriatic were also discussed. The summary of the results, of prevailing research on free-living marine nematodes serves as a tool for making distinctions concerning the research level and state of nematofauna knowledge in different parts of the Adriatic Sea. Northern Adriatic nematofauna has been considerably more intensively investigated than that of the Central and South Adriatic.

  6. A Model of Extracellular Enzymes in Free-Living Microbes: Which Strategy Pays Off?

    PubMed Central

    Thygesen, Uffe H.; Riemann, Lasse; Stedmon, Colin A.

    2015-01-01

    An initial modeling approach was applied to analyze how a single, nonmotile, free-living, heterotrophic bacterial cell may optimize the deployment of its extracellular enzymes. Free-living cells live in a dilute and complex substrate field, and to gain enough substrate, their extracellular enzymes must be utilized efficiently. The model revealed that surface-attached and free enzymes generate unique enzyme and substrate fields, and each deployment strategy has distinctive advantages. For a solitary cell, surface-attached enzymes are suggested to be the most cost-efficient strategy. This strategy entails potential substrates being reduced to very low concentrations. Free enzymes, on the other hand, generate a radically different substrate field, which suggests significant benefits for the strategy if free cells engage in social foraging or experience high substrate concentrations. Swimming has a slight positive effect for the attached-enzyme strategy, while the effect is negative for the free-enzyme strategy. The results of this study suggest that specific dissolved organic compounds in the ocean likely persist below a threshold concentration impervious to biological utilization. This could help explain the persistence and apparent refractory state of oceanic dissolved organic matter (DOM). Microbial extracellular enzyme strategies, therefore, have important implications for larger-scale processes, such as shaping the role of DOM in ocean carbon sequestration. PMID:26253668

  7. Application of flow cytometry to studies of pathogenic free-living amoebae.

    PubMed Central

    Muldrow, L L; Tyndall, R L; Fliermans, C B

    1982-01-01

    Species of small, free-living amoebae of the genera Naegleria and Acanthamoeba can cause fatal amoebic meningoencephalitis. Previous investigations have shown that pathogenic amoebae are associated with thermally altered water. Flow cytometric techniques for identifying species of pathogenic and nonpathogenic amoebae from such water have been developed, using immunofluorescence and fluorescein-bound concanavalin A. Flow cytometry is accomplished with a cytofluorograph, in which cells are dispersed in a suspended carrier liquid and passed in front of a focused argon ion laser beam. Cells are then distinguished by the degree of scattered light (size) or fluorescence. Flow cytometry techniques have proven efficient for environmental samples, as indicated by the identification of pathogenic Naegleria fowleri and nonpathogenic Naegleri gruberi and Acanthamoeba castellanii isolated from the Savannah River Plant in South Carolina. Cytofluorographic analysis of environmental samples has several advantages over the current methods of isolation and classification of free-living amoebae. With this system, it is possible to rapidly identify species and quantitate mixtures of pathogenic amoebae in environmental samples. Cytofluorographic analysis of amoebic isolates reduces the time presently required to screen environmental sites for pathogenic amoebae. The cytofluorograph permits detection and species identification of nonthermophilic Naegleria spp. and Acanthamoeba spp. that could not easily be isolated for species identification by conventional methods. Other advantages of flow cytometry over fluorescent microscopy include a high degree of statistical precision due to the large numbers measured, high immunofluorescent titers, and elimination of subjectivity and fluorescence fading. PMID:6186196

  8. Specific Hopanoid Classes Differentially Affect Free-Living and Symbiotic States of Bradyrhizobium diazoefficiens

    PubMed Central

    Kulkarni, Gargi; Busset, Nicolas; Molinaro, Antonio; Gargani, Daniel; Chaintreuil, Clemence; Silipo, Alba

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT A better understanding of how bacteria resist stresses encountered during the progression of plant-microbe symbioses will advance our ability to stimulate plant growth. Here, we show that the symbiotic system comprising the nitrogen-fixing bacterium Bradyrhizobium diazoefficiens and the legume Aeschynomene afraspera requires hopanoid production for optimal fitness. While methylated (2Me) hopanoids contribute to growth under plant-cell-like microaerobic and acidic conditions in the free-living state, they are dispensable during symbiosis. In contrast, synthesis of extended (C35) hopanoids is required for growth microaerobically and under various stress conditions (high temperature, low pH, high osmolarity, bile salts, oxidative stress, and antimicrobial peptides) in the free-living state and also during symbiosis. These defects might be due to a less rigid membrane resulting from the absence of free or lipidA-bound C35 hopanoids or the accumulation of the C30 hopanoid diploptene. Our results also show that C35 hopanoids are necessary for symbiosis only with the host Aeschynomene afraspera but not with soybean. This difference is likely related to the presence of cysteine-rich antimicrobial peptides in Aeschynomene nodules that induce drastic modification in bacterial morphology and physiology. The study of hopanoid mutants in plant symbionts thus provides an opportunity to gain insight into host-microbe interactions during later stages of symbiotic progression, as well as the microenvironmental conditions for which hopanoids provide a fitness advantage. PMID:26489859

  9. Growth ability of Gram negative bacteria in free-living amoebae.

    PubMed

    Zeybek, Zuhal; Binay, Ali Rıza

    2014-11-01

    When bacteria and free-living amoebae (FLAs) live both in natural waters and man-made aquatic systems, they constantly interact with each other. Some bacteria can survive and grow within FLAs. Therefore, it has recently been thought that FLAs play an important role in spreading pathogenic bacteria in aquatic systems. In this study we investigated the intracellular growing ability of 7 different Gram-negative bacteria (Pseudomonas fluorescens, Pseudomonas putida, Pasteurella pneumotropica, Aeromonas salmonicida, Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1, L. pneumophila serogroup 3, L. pneumophila serogroup 6) in four different FLA isolates (A1-A4). Among these, four bacterial isolates (P. fluorescens, P.putida, P.pneumotropica, A.salmonicida) and two free-living amoebae isolates (A3, A4) were isolated from the tap water in our city (Istanbul). It was found that 4 different Gram-negative bacteria could grow in A1, 2 different Gram-negative bacteria could grow in A2, 4 different Gram-negative bacteria could grow in A3, 1 Gram-negative bacterium could grow in A4. In conclusion, we think that this ability of growth could vary according to the characteristics of both bacteria and FLA isolates. Also, other factors such as environmental temperature, bacterial concentration, and extended incubation period may play a role in these interactions. This situation can be clarified with future studies.

  10. The field energetics and water fluxes of free-living wombats (Marsupialia: Vombatidae).

    PubMed

    Evans, Murray; Green, Brian; Newgrain, Keith

    2003-10-01

    Wombats are large, fossorial, herbivorous marsupials exhibiting physical and behavioural characteristics indicative of extreme energy conservation. Previous energetics studies have been limited to their basal metabolism under laboratory conditions; little is known of the energetics of free-living wombats. We measured seasonal field metabolic rates (FMR) and water fluxes in the three species of free-living wombat using the doubly labelled water technique, to further investigate the extent of energy conservation in the Vombatidae. Measurements were taken during the wet and dry annual extremes of their characteristically harsh environments, which corresponded to seasonal extremes of food and water availability. Seasonal FMRs for all wombat species were lower than that recorded for other marsupials and well below that predicted for herbivorous mammals. Dry-season FMR of Lasiorhinus kreftii was 40% of that predicted for a mammal. Wombats maintained energy balance during the poor season by reducing FMR to about half that of the good season. Water flux rates during the dry season for the arid-adapted Lasiorhinus are amongst the lowest recorded for mammals, being only 25% of that predicted for a similarly sized herbivorous mammal. These low water flux rates enable wombats in semi-arid areas to maintain water balance without drinking. Estimated food and nitrogen intake rates were also low. We conclude that the energetically frugal lifestyle of the Vombatidae is amongst the most extreme for mammals.

  11. Interaction of free-living marine nematodes in the artificial mangrove environment (Southeast Coast of India).

    PubMed

    Ansari, K G Mohamed Thameemul; Manokaran, S; Raja, S; Lyla, P S; Khan, S Ajmal

    2014-01-01

    Free-living marine nematode diversity was analyzed between Avicennia marina and Rhizophora mucronata mangrove covers of the Vellar Estuary (southeast coast of India). A total of 4,976 specimens of free-living marine nematodes were collected in 56 species. Comparatively, a higher species richness was obtained for A. marina (52 species) than for R. mucronata (44 species), whereas 40 species commonly existed in both mangrove covers. A higher density of nematodes was found in sediments of sandy nature, whereas there was lower total organic carbon compared to silt/clay composition; epigrowth feeders were dominant over the other feeding groups based on organic enrichment in surface sediments. Principal component analysis clearly explained the relationship between the environmental parameters of various months. Higher R values of analysis of similarities revealed significant differences in nematode assemblages between months, and it was quite evident by non-metric multidimensional scaling. Diversity indices showed higher values in the dry months. RELATE analysis explained serial changes in nematode species composition between months, and a relationship between biotic and abiotic variables was clarified using the BIO-ENV procedure. Viscosia spp., Metachromadora spp., Theristus spp., and Sphaerolaimus spp. were candidate species of A. marina leaf interaction by observation.

  12. A model of extracellular enzymes in free-living microbes: which strategy pays off?

    PubMed

    Traving, Sachia J; Thygesen, Uffe H; Riemann, Lasse; Stedmon, Colin A

    2015-11-01

    An initial modeling approach was applied to analyze how a single, nonmotile, free-living, heterotrophic bacterial cell may optimize the deployment of its extracellular enzymes. Free-living cells live in a dilute and complex substrate field, and to gain enough substrate, their extracellular enzymes must be utilized efficiently. The model revealed that surface-attached and free enzymes generate unique enzyme and substrate fields, and each deployment strategy has distinctive advantages. For a solitary cell, surface-attached enzymes are suggested to be the most cost-efficient strategy. This strategy entails potential substrates being reduced to very low concentrations. Free enzymes, on the other hand, generate a radically different substrate field, which suggests significant benefits for the strategy if free cells engage in social foraging or experience high substrate concentrations. Swimming has a slight positive effect for the attached-enzyme strategy, while the effect is negative for the free-enzyme strategy. The results of this study suggest that specific dissolved organic compounds in the ocean likely persist below a threshold concentration impervious to biological utilization. This could help explain the persistence and apparent refractory state of oceanic dissolved organic matter (DOM). Microbial extracellular enzyme strategies, therefore, have important implications for larger-scale processes, such as shaping the role of DOM in ocean carbon sequestration. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  13. Effects of pyrrolizidine alkaloids on the performance of plant-parasitic and free-living nematodes.

    PubMed

    Thoden, Tim C; Boppré, Michael; Hallmann, Johannes

    2009-07-01

    Chemical nematicides such as methyl bromide have for decades played a significant role in the management of plant-parasitic nematodes. Their application is problematic because of negative environmental impacts, and therefore methyl bromide was phased out in Europe in 2005. A possible alternative to synthetically derived nematicides is seen in the use of plants and/or their secondary metabolites. These plants could either be used as nematicidal green manure or as a source for nematicidal extracts. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of 1,2-dehydropyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs), a group of secondary plant metabolites found in hundreds of plant species throughout the world, on the performance of plant-parasitic and free-living nematodes. PAs induced nematicidal, ovicidal and repellent effects on different plant-parasitic and free-living nematodes. There was no conclusive ranking in toxicity for the different structural types of PAs tested. However, the effects were often more pronounced for the tertiary than for the oxidised form of PAs. Further, large differences were observed in the susceptibility of different nematode species to PAs. PAs do affect several performance parameters and developmental stages of nematodes. Therefore, PA-producing plants such as species of Crotalaria, Ageratum or Senecio might be promising candidates for nematode management strategies. [Correction made here after initial online publication]. (c) 2009 Society of Chemical Industry.

  14. Hygienic evaluation of terraria inhabited by amphibians and reptiles: cryptosporidia, free-living amebas, salmonella.

    PubMed

    Hassl, Andreas; Benyr, Gerald

    2003-01-01

    Amphibians and reptiles are popular pet animals in about 90.000 Austrian households despite their frequently debated capacity to transmit diseases associated with animal keeping. We studied the epidemiological significance of the triangle animal keeper, exotic pet animal, and feed mice by investigating the frequency of three intestinal infestations, caused by cryptosporidia, opportunistic free-living amebas and salmonella, in amphibians and reptiles living in a public vivarium. In addition to recording the first known occurrence of Naegleria australiensis in Austria, and of this species and of Acanthamoeba polyphaga in the feces of reptiles worldwide, we also detected a strong association between Salmonella subspecies I and captive reptiles and between S. sub-species III and free-living lizards. Thus, animal keeper, the exotic animals kept, and the feed mice may constitute an epidemiological pool for the interchange of these infectious agents. This new epidemiological situation may cause an increase of some opportunistic and exotic diseases such as reptile-borne salmonellosis. Despite the perceived benefits of keeping exotic animals in a household, the general public and especially those who have an immunodeficiency must be made aware of the danger of infectious diseases possibly being spread by their pets.

  15. Tyrosinase expression during black truffle development: from free living mycelium to ripe fruit body.

    PubMed

    Zarivi, Osvaldo; Bonfigli, Antonella; Colafarina, Sabrina; Aimola, Pierpaolo; Ragnelli, Anna Maria; Pacioni, Giovanni; Miranda, Michele

    2011-12-01

    The present work studies the expression of tyrosinase (monophenol:diphenol oxygen oxidoreductase, EC 1.14.18.1) during the development of the black truffle Tuber melanosporum Vittad., an ectomycorrhizal fungus of great biological and economic interest. As widely reported in the literature, melanins and the enzymes that synthesize them, are of paramount importance in fungal development and sexual differentiation. Tyrosinase and laccase are the enzymes that produce melanins from monophenols and diphenols. We have detected tyrosinase expression from the stage of free living mycelium, through the mychorrizal stage and the six fruit body developmental stages by measuring the levels of tyrosinase mRNA by quantitative PCR (q-PCR), spectrophotometry, histochemistry, immunohistochemistry and electrophoresis. Tyrosinase is always expressed, from the free living mycelium to the ripe fruit body developmental stages, when it is very low. The switching off of the tyrosinase gene during T. melanosporum development when the fruit body is ripe and no more cell walls are to be built is discussed in relation of thioflavour production. Specific primers, prepared from the cloned T. melanosporum tyrosinase cDNA were used for the q-PCR and the deduced aminoacid sequences of the CuA and CuB binding sites were compared to those of various ascomycetes and basidiomycetes.

  16. Inbreeding effects on immune response in free-living song sparrows (Melospiza melodia)

    PubMed Central

    Reid, Jane M; Arcese, Peter; Keller, Lukas F; Elliott, Kyle H; Sampson, Laura; Hasselquist, Dennis

    2006-01-01

    The consequences of inbreeding for host immunity to parasitic infection have broad implications for the evolutionary and dynamical impacts of parasites on populations where inbreeding occurs. To rigorously assess the magnitude and the prevalence of inbreeding effects on immunity, multiple components of host immune response should be related to inbreeding coefficient (f) in free-living individuals. We used a pedigreed, free-living population of song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) to test whether individual responses to widely used experimental immune challenges varied consistently with f. The patagial swelling response to phytohaemagglutinin declined markedly with f in both females and males in both 2002 and 2003, although overall inbreeding depression was greater in males. The primary antibody response to tetanus toxoid declined with f in females but not in males in both 2004 and 2005. Primary antibody responses to diphtheria toxoid were low but tended to decline with f in 2004. Overall inbreeding depression did not solely reflect particularly strong immune responses in outbred offspring of immigrant–native pairings or weak responses in highly inbred individuals. These data indicate substantial and apparently sex-specific inbreeding effects on immune response, implying that inbred hosts may be relatively susceptible to parasitic infection to differing degrees in males and females. PMID:17254994

  17. Compromised immune competence in free-living tree swallows exposed to mercury.

    PubMed

    Hawley, Dana M; Hallinger, Kelly K; Cristol, Daniel A

    2009-07-01

    Mercury is a pervasive environmental contaminant and a well-documented immunosuppressor. However, little is known about the effects of mercury contamination on health of free-living vertebrate populations. The South River in Virginia, USA was heavily contaminated with industrial mercury from 1929 to 1950, and recent studies have documented high levels of circulating mercury in riparian songbirds breeding below the site of contamination. Here we used two standardized immune assays, mitogen-induced swelling in response to phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) and antibody response to sheep red blood cells (SRBCs), to test for effects of mercury toxicity on the immune system of female tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) which feed on terrestrial and aquatic insects along the contaminated waterway. We found that females breeding at mercury-contaminated sites mounted significantly weaker PHA-induced swelling responses than those at reference sites in both years of study. However, among females on the contaminated sites, individual bloodstream mercury concentration did not predict the extent of mitogen-induced swelling. We did not detect any differences between reference and contaminated females in the strength of antibody responses to SRBCs, but sample sizes for this assay were significantly smaller. Overall, our results suggest that mercury toxicity can exert sub-lethal immunosuppression in free-living, insectivorous songbirds. The potential fitness consequences of the detected differences in immunocompetence caused by mercury toxicity warrant further study.

  18. Pathogenic waterborne free-living amoebae: An update from selected Southeast Asian countries.

    PubMed

    Abdul Majid, Mohamad Azlan; Mahboob, Tooba; Mong, Brandon G J; Jaturas, Narong; Richard, Reena Leeba; Tian-Chye, Tan; Phimphila, Anusorn; Mahaphonh, Panomphanh; Aye, Kyaw Nyein; Aung, Wai Lynn; Chuah, Joon; Ziegler, Alan D; Yasiri, Atipat; Sawangjaroen, Nongyao; Lim, Yvonne A L; Nissapatorn, Veeranoot

    2017-01-01

    Data on the distribution of free-living amoebae is still lacking especially in Southeast Asian region. The aquatic environment revealed a high occurrence of free-living amoebae (FLA) due to its suitable condition and availability of food source, which subsequently causes infection to humans. A total of 94 water samples consisted of both treated and untreated from Laos (31), Myanmar (42), and Singapore (21) were investigated for the presence of pathogenic FLA. Each water sample was filtered and cultured onto non-nutrient agar seeded with live suspension of Escherichia coli and incubated at room temperature. Morphological identification was conducted for both trophozoites and cysts via microscopic stains (Giemsa and immunofluorescence). The presence of Naegleria-like structures was the most frequently encountered in both treated and untreated water samples, followed by Acanthamoeba-like and Vermamoeba-like features. To identify the pathogenic isolates, species-specific primer sets were applied for molecular identification of Acanthamoeba, Naegleria, and Vermamoeba. The pathogenic species of Acanthamoeba lenticulata and A. triangularis were detected from untreated water samples, while Vermamoeba vermiformis was found in both treated and untreated water samples. Our results suggested that poor water quality as well as inadequate maintenance and treatment might be the cause of this alarming problem since chlorine disinfection is ineffective in eradicating these amoebas in treated water samples. Regular monitoring and examination of water qualities are necessary in order to control the growth, hence, further preventing the widespread of FLA infections among the public.

  19. Restless roosts: Light pollution affects behavior, sleep, and physiology in a free-living songbird.

    PubMed

    Ouyang, Jenny Q; de Jong, Maaike; van Grunsven, Roy H A; Matson, Kevin D; Haussmann, Mark F; Meerlo, Peter; Visser, Marcel E; Spoelstra, Kamiel

    2017-06-09

    The natural nighttime environment is increasingly polluted by artificial light. Several studies have linked artificial light at night to negative impacts on human health. In free-living animals, light pollution is associated with changes in circadian, reproductive, and social behavior, but whether these animals also suffer from physiologic costs remains unknown. To fill this gap, we made use of a unique network of field sites which are either completely unlit (control), or are artificially illuminated with white, green, or red light. We monitored nighttime activity of adult great tits, Parus major, and related this activity to within-individual changes in physiologic indices. Because altered nighttime activity as a result of light pollution may affect health and well-being, we measured oxalic acid concentrations as a biomarker for sleep restriction, acute phase protein concentrations and malaria infection as indices of immune function, and telomere lengths as an overall measure of metabolic costs. Compared to other treatments, individuals roosting in the white light were much more active at night. In these individuals, oxalic acid decreased over the course of the study. We also found that individuals roosting in the white light treatment had a higher probability of malaria infection. Our results indicate that white light at night increases nighttime activity levels and sleep debt and affects disease dynamics in a free-living songbird. Our study offers the first evidence of detrimental effects of light pollution on the health of free-ranging wild animals. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Apoptosis as a mechanism of cytolysis of tumor cells by a pathogenic free-living amoeba.

    PubMed Central

    Alizadeh, H; Pidherney, M S; McCulley, J P; Niederkorn, J Y

    1994-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that trophozoites of the pathogenic free-living amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii rapidly lysed a variety of tumor cells in vitro. Tumor cells undergoing parasite-mediated lysis displayed characteristic cell membrane blebbing reminiscent of apoptosis. The present investigation examined the role of apoptosis (programmed cell death) in Acanthamoeba-mediated tumor cell lysis. The results showed that more than 70% of tumor cell DNA was fragmented following exposure to Acanthamoeba cell extracts. By contrast, only 7% of untreated control cells underwent DNA fragmentation. DNA fragmentation increased significantly in a dose-dependent fashion following concentration of the parasite extract. Apoptosis was also confirmed by DNA ladder formation. Characteristic DNA ladders, consisting of multimers of approximately 180 to 200 bp, were produced by tumor cells exposed to Acanthamoeba cell extracts. The morphology of tumor cell lysis was examined by light and scanning electron microscopy. Tumor cells exposed to parasite extract displayed morphological features characteristic of apoptosis including cell shrinkage, cell membrane blebbing, formation of apoptotic bodies, and nuclear condensation. By contrast, similar effects were not found in tumor cells exposed to extract similarly prepared from normal mammalian cells (i.e., human keratocytes). The results suggest that at least one species of pathogenic free-living amoeba is able to lyse tumor cells by a process that culminates in apoptosis. Images PMID:8132336

  1. Isolation, identification and antibiotic resistance of Campylobacter strains isolated from domestic and free-living pigeons.

    PubMed

    Dudzic, A; Urban-Chmiel, R; Stępień-Pyśniak, D; Dec, M; Puchalski, A; Wernicki, A

    2016-04-01

    1. The aim of this study was to evaluate the occurrence of Campylobacter spp. in domestic and free-living pigeons and to evaluate the antibiotic resistance profiles. 2. The material consisted of cloacal swabs obtained from 108 homing pigeons and fresh faeces from 72 wild birds from Lublin and its vicinity. The identification of strains isolated on differential/selective media for Campylobacter spp. was carried out by MALDI-TOF and PCR. The susceptibility to antibiotics was evaluated by minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) in Mueller-Hinton broth. 3. A total of 35 strains of Campylobacter spp. were isolated; 27 were identified as Campylobacter jejuni and 8 as Campylobacter coli. Over half of the isolates were resistant to erythromycin and streptomycin, 40% of strains were resistant to tetracycline and ampicillin and 37% isolates were resistant to amoxicillin. Resistance to two or more antibiotics was observed in all strains tested. 4. The results indicate that both domestic and free-living pigeons are reservoirs for bacteria of the genus Campylobacter, which are characterised by varied and growing resistance to commonly used antibiotics.

  2. Genetic Correlates of Individual Differences in Sleep Behavior of Free-Living Great Tits (Parus major).

    PubMed

    Stuber, Erica F; Baumgartner, Christine; Dingemanse, Niels J; Kempenaers, Bart; Mueller, Jakob C

    2016-01-06

    Within populations, free-living birds display considerable variation in observable sleep behaviors, reflecting dynamic interactions between individuals and their environment. Genes are expected to contribute to repeatable between-individual differences in sleep behaviors, which may be associated with individual fitness. We identified and genotyped polymorphisms in nine candidate genes for sleep, and measured five repeatable sleep behaviors in free-living great tits (Parus major), partly replicating a previous study in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus). Microsatellites in the CLOCK and NPAS2 clock genes exhibited an association with sleep duration relative to night length, and morning latency to exit the nest box, respectively. Furthermore, microsatellites in the NPSR1 and PCSK2 genes associated with relative sleep duration and proportion of time spent awake at night, respectively. Given the detection rate of associations in the same models run with random markers instead of candidate genes, we expected two associations to arise by chance. The detection of four associations between candidate genes and sleep, however, suggests that clock genes, a clock-related gene, or a gene involved in the melanocortin system, could play key roles in maintaining phenotypic variation in sleep behavior in avian populations. Knowledge of the genetic architecture underlying sleep behavior in the wild is important because it will enable ecologists to assess the evolution of sleep in response to selection.

  3. Updated inventory and distribution of free-living flatworms from Tunisian waters.

    PubMed

    Gammoudi, Mehrez; Garbouj, Myriam; Egger, Bernhard; Tekaya, Saïda

    2017-05-08

    Records of free-living flatworms (turbellarians) from Tunisian waters are scattered. Based on new material and published accounts, an annotated checklist of free-living flatworm species from Tunisian waters is provided. A total of 29 species is recorded, including 18 species with new material and 11 species only from literature records. For each species, information on systematics, habitats and distribution is supplied, together with taxonomic or biological remarks. Three species, the acotylean polyclads Cestoplana rubrocinta Lang, 1884 and Comoplana agilis (Lang, 1884) as well as the marine triclad Cercyra hastata Schmidt, 1861 are recorded for the first time in Tunisia. The controversial occurrence of the leptoplanid polyclad Leptoplana tremellaris in the Mediterranean is supported with histological sections and embryological data. The proseriate Monocelis fusca Örsted, 1843 previously reported from Tunisia is considered to be a misidentification.By presenting a checklist of the recorded species, this work summarizes our current knowledge of the turbellarian fauna diversity in Tunisia, providing baseline data for future biogeographical, ecological, behavioral and evolutionary investigations.

  4. Space use of a dominant Arctic vertebrate: Effects of prey, sea ice, and land on Pacific walrus resource selection

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beatty, William; Jay, Chadwick V.; Fischbach, Anthony S.; Grebmeier, Jacqueline M.; Taylor, Rebecca L.; Blanchard, Arny L.; Jewett, Stephen C.

    2016-01-01

    Sea ice dominates marine ecosystems in the Arctic, and recent reductions in sea ice may alter food webs throughout the region. Sea ice loss may also stress Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens), which feed on benthic macroinvertebrates in the Bering and Chukchi seas. However, no studies have examined the effects of sea ice on foraging Pacific walrus space use patterns. We tested a series of hypotheses that examined walrus foraging resource selection as a function of proximity to resting substrates and prey biomass. We quantified walrus prey biomass with 17 benthic invertebrate families, which included bivalves, polychaetes, amphipods, tunicates, and sipunculids. We included covariates for distance to sea ice and distance to land, and systematically developed a series of candidate models to examine interactions among benthic prey biomass and resting substrates. We ranked candidate models with Bayesian Information Criterion and made inferences on walrus resource selection based on the top-ranked model. Based on the top model, biomass of the bivalve family Tellinidae, distance to ice, distance to land, and the interaction of distances to ice and land all positively influenced walrus foraging resource selection. Standardized model coefficients indicated that distance to ice explained the most variation in walrus foraging resource selection followed by Tellinidae biomass. Distance to land and the interaction of distances to ice and land accounted for similar levels of variation. Tellinidae biomass likely represented an index of overall bivalve biomass, indicating walruses focused foraging in areas with elevated levels of bivalve and tellinid biomass. Our results also emphasize the importance of sea ice to walruses. Projected sea ice loss will increase the duration of the open water season in the Chukchi Sea, altering the spatial distribution of resting sites relative to current foraging areas and possibly affecting the spatial structure of benthic communities.

  5. Persistent organic pollutants in Alaskan ringed seal (Phoca hispida) and walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) blubber

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kucklick, John R.; Krahn, Margaret M.; Becker, Paul R.; Porter, Barbara J.; Schantz, Michele M.; York, Geoffrey S.; O'Hara, Todd M.; Wise, Stephen A.

    2006-01-01

    Since 1987, the Alaska Marine Mammal Tissue Archival Project (AMMTAP) has collected tissues from 18 marine mammal species. Specimens are archived in the National Institute of Standards and Technology's National Biomonitoring Specimen Bank (NIST-NBSB). AMMTAP has collected blubber, liver and/or kidney specimens from a number of ringed seals (Phoca hispida) from the areas near Nome and Barrow, Alaska and walruses (Odobenus rosmarus) from several locations in the Bering Sea. Thirty-three ringed seal and 15 walrus blubber samples from the NIST-NBSB were analyzed for persistent organic pollutants (POPs). The compounds determined included PCBs (28 congeners or congener groups), DDT and related compounds, hexachlorobenzene (HCB), hexachlorocyclohexane isomers (HCHs), chlordanes, dieldrin, and mirex. POP concentrations in ringed seal blubber were significantly higher in Barrow than in Nome when statistically accounting for the interaction of age and gender; HCB, however, was not statistically different between the two locations. Unlike males, POP concentrations and age were not significantly correlated in females probably as a result of lactational loss. POP concentrations in walrus blubber were lower than in ringed seal blubber for ΣPCBs, chlordanes, and HCHs, but higher for dieldrin and mirex. POP concentrations in ringed seals and walrus from Alaska provide further evidence that the western Arctic tends to have lower or similar POP concentrations compared to the eastern Canadian Arctic.

  6. Projected status of the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) in the twenty-first century

    Treesearch

    Chadwick V. Jay; Bruce G. Marcot; David C. Douglas

    2011-01-01

    Extensive and rapid losses of sea ice in the Arctic have raised conservation concerns for the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens), a large pinniped inhabiting arctic and subarctic continental shelf waters of the Chukchi and Bering seas. We developed a Bayesian network model to integrate potential effects of changing environmental...

  7. Persistent organic pollutants in Alaskan ringed seal (Phoca hispida) and walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) blubber.

    PubMed

    Kucklick, John R; Krahn, Margaret M; Becker, Paul R; Porter, Barbara J; Schantz, Michele M; York, Geoffrey S; O'Hara, Todd M; Wise, Stephen A

    2006-08-01

    Since 1987, the Alaska Marine Mammal Tissue Archival Project (AMMTAP) has collected tissues from 18 marine mammal species. Specimens are archived in the National Institute of Standards and Technology's National Biomonitoring Specimen Bank (NIST-NBSB). AMMTAP has collected blubber, liver and/or kidney specimens from a number of ringed seals (Phoca hispida) from the areas near Nome and Barrow, Alaska and walruses (Odobenus rosmarus) from several locations in the Bering Sea. Thirty-three ringed seal and 15 walrus blubber samples from the NIST-NBSB were analyzed for persistent organic pollutants (POPs). The compounds determined included PCBs (28 congeners or congener groups), DDT and related compounds, hexachlorobenzene (HCB), hexachlorocyclohexane isomers (HCHs), chlordanes, dieldrin, and mirex. POP concentrations in ringed seal blubber were significantly higher in Barrow than in Nome when statistically accounting for the interaction of age and gender; HCB, however, was not statistically different between the two locations. Unlike males, POP concentrations and age were not significantly correlated in females probably as a result of lactational loss. POP concentrations in walrus blubber were lower than in ringed seal blubber for SigmaPCBs, chlordanes, and HCHs, but higher for dieldrin and mirex. POP concentrations in ringed seals and walrus from Alaska provide further evidence that the western Arctic tends to have lower or similar POP concentrations compared to the eastern Canadian Arctic.

  8. Antibodies to marine caliciviruses in the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens Illiger).

    PubMed

    Barlough, J E; Berry, E S; Skilling, D E; Smith, A W; Fay, F H

    1986-04-01

    Sera from 155 Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens Illiger), sampled in the Chukchi Sea during the summer of 1983, were tested for serum neutralizing (SN) antibodies to six marine calicivirus serotypes. Serotypes tested included San Miguel sea lion virus (SMSV) types 1, 5, 8, and 10, previously isolated from northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus Linné) in the Bering Sea; walrus calicivirus (WCV), previously isolated from walrus feces collected off sea ice in the Chukchi Sea; and Tillamook calicivirus (TCV), a bovine isolate from Oregon of suspected marine origin. No antibodies were found to SMSV-1, SMSV-10, or TCV. Antibodies to SMSV-5 were found in two animals (titers 1:20 and 1:160); antibodies to SMSV-8 were found in four animals (all 1:20); and antibodies to WCV were found in one animal (titer 1:40). Antibodies to WCV have been found in the Pacific walrus previously; however, this represents the first report of antibodies to any of the SMSV serotypes in this marine mammal.

  9. Comparison of methods used to estimate numbers of walruses on sea ice

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Udevitz, Mark S.; Gilbert, James R.; Fedoseev, Gennadii A.

    2001-01-01

    The US and former USSR conducted joint surveys of Pacific walruses on sea ice and at land haul-outs in 1975, 1980, 1985, and 1990. One of the difficulties in interpreting results of these surveys has been that, except for the 1990 survey, the Americans and Soviets used different methods for estimating population size from their respective portions of the sea ice data. We used data exchanged between Soviet and American scientists to compare and evaluate the two estimation procedures and to derive a set of alternative estimates from the 1975, 1980, and 1985 surveys based on a single consistent procedure. Estimation method had only a small effect on total population estimates because most walruses were found at land haul-outs. However, the Soviet method is subject to bias that depends on the distribution of the population on the sea ice and this has important implications for interpreting the ice portions of previously reported surveys for walruses and other pinniped species. We recommend that the American method be used in future surveys. Future research on survey methods for walruses should focus on other potential sources of bias and variation.

  10. Demography of the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens): 1974-2006

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Taylor, Rebecca L.; Udevitz, Mark S.

    2015-01-01

    Global climate change may fundamentally alter population dynamics of many species for which baseline population parameter estimates are imprecise or lacking. Historically, the Pacific walrus is thought to have been limited by harvest, but it may become limited by global warming-induced reductions in sea ice. Loss of sea ice, on which walruses rest between foraging bouts, may reduce access to food, thus lowering vital rates. Rigorous walrus survival rate estimates do not exist, and other population parameter estimates are out of date or have well-documented bias and imprecision. To provide useful population parameter estimates we developed a Bayesian, hidden process demographic model of walrus population dynamics from 1974 through 2006 that combined annual age-specific harvest estimates with five population size estimates, six standing age structure estimates, and two reproductive rate estimates. Median density independent natural survival was high for juveniles (0.97) and adults (0.99), and annual density dependent vital rates rose from 0.06 to 0.11 for reproduction, 0.31 to 0.59 for survival of neonatal calves, and 0.39 to 0.85 for survival of older calves, concomitant with a population decline. This integrated population model provides a baseline for estimating changing population dynamics resulting from changing harvests or sea ice.

  11. Persistent organic pollutants in Alaskan ringed seal (Phoca hispida) and walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) blubber

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kucklick, J.R.; Krahn, M.M.; Becker, P.R.; Porter, B.J.; Schantz, M.M.; York, G.S.; O'Hara, T. M.; Wise, S.A.

    2006-01-01

    Since 1987, the Alaska Marine Mammal Tissue Archival Project (AMMTAP) has collected tissues from 18 marine mammal species. Specimens are archived in the National Institute of Standards and Technology's National Biomonitoring Specimen Bank (NIST-NBSB). AMMTAP has collected blubber, liver and/or kidney specimens from a number of ringed seals (Phoca hispida) from the areas near Nome and Barrow, Alaska and walruses (Odobenus rosmarus) from several locations in the Bering Sea. Thirty-three ringed seal and 15 walrus blubber samples from the NIST-NBSB were analyzed for persistent organic pollutants (POPs). The compounds determined included PCBs (28 congeners or congener groups), DDT and related compounds, hexachlorobenzene (HCB), hexachlorocyclohexane isomers (HCHs), chlordanes, dieldrin, and mirex. POP concentrations in ringed seal blubber were significantly higher in Barrow than in Nome when statistically accounting for the interaction of age and gender; HCB, however, was not statistically different between the two locations. Unlike males, POP concentrations and age were not significantly correlated in females probably as a result of lactational loss. POP concentrations in walrus blubber were lower than in ringed seal blubber for ??PCBs, chlordanes, and HCHs, but higher for dieldrin and mirex. POP concentrations in ringed seals and walrus from Alaska provide further evidence that the western Arctic tends to have lower or similar POP concentrations compared to the eastern Canadian Arctic. ?? The Royal Society of Chemistry 2006.

  12. Concurrent Validity of Wearable Activity Trackers Under Free-Living Conditions.

    PubMed

    Brooke, Skyler M; An, Hyun-Sung; Kang, Seoung-Ki; Noble, John M; Berg, Kris E; Lee, Jung-Min

    2017-04-01

    Brooke, SM, An, H-S, Kang, S-K, Noble, JM, Berg, KE, and Lee, J-M. Concurrent validity of wearable activity trackers under free-living conditions. J Strength Cond Res 31(4): 1097-1106, 2017-The purpose of this study is to evaluate the concurrent validity of wearable activity trackers in energy expenditure (EE) and sleep period time (SPT) under free-living conditions. Ninety-five (28.5 ± 9.8 years) healthy men (n = 34) and women (n = 61) participated in this study. The total EE and SPT were measured using 8 monitors: Nike+ FuelBand SE (NFB), Garmin VivoFit (VF), Misfit Shine (MF), Fitbit Flex (FF), Jawbone UP (JU), Polar Loop (PL), Fitbit Charge HR (FC), and SenseWear Armband Mini (SWA) (criterion measures: SWA for EE and a sleep log for SPT). The mean absolute percent error (MAPE) for EE was 13.0, 15.2, 15.5, 16.1, 16.2, 22.8, and 24.5% for PL, MF, FF, NFB, FC, JU, and VF, respectively. Mean absolute percent errors were calculated for SPT to be 4.0, 8.8, 10.2, 11.5, 12.9, 13.6, 17.5, and 21.61% for VF, FF, JU, FC, MF, SWA laying down, PL, and SWA, respectively. Concurrent validity was examined using equivalence testing on EE (equivalence zone: 2,889.7-3,531.9 kcal); 2 trackers fell short of falling in the zone: PL (2,714.4-3,164.8 kcal) and FC (2,473.8-3,066.5 kcal). For SPT (equivalence zone: 420.6-514.0 minutes), several monitors fell in the zone: PL (448.3-485.6 minutes), MS (442.8-492.2 minutes), and FF (427.7-486.7 minutes). This study suggests that the PL and FC provide a reasonable estimate of EE under free-living conditions. The PL, FC, and MF were the most valid monitors used for measuring SPT.

  13. Patterns of physical activity in free-living adults in the Southern United States.

    PubMed

    Buchowski, M S; Acra, S; Majchrzak, K M; Sun, M; Chen, K Y

    2004-05-01

    To examine the relationship between the amount and patterns of physical activity (PA), body fatness, and age in a heterogeneous adult population in the free living. Cross-sectional study of the amount of PA over a 1-week period. The amount of body movements during PA (PA counts*10(3)) and time spent on various PA intensity categories were calculated from a triaxial accelerometer and compared with subject characteristics, including body fat from hydrodensitometry. Adult healthy men (n=48) and women (n=72) were recruited from the Nashville, Tennessee area and their PA was monitored in their free-living environment. The average weekday PA counts (176.5+/-60.3, P=0.002, r(2)=0.294), PA counts day-to-day variability (47.3+/-32.7, P=0.002, r(2)=0.286), daily maximum PA counts (241.9+/-89.2, P=0.001, r(2)=0.327), minute-to-minute variability on weekdays (0.281+/-0.091, P=0.001, r(2)=0.362), and the difference between maximum and minimum daily PA counts (130.6+/-78.3, P=0.008, r(2)=0.243) were significantly and negatively correlated with body fatness. During awake time, both men and women spent 10-12 h on low intensity (1.0-2.9 metabolic equivalents (METs)) PA, approximately 1 h on moderate (3.0-5.9 MET), and less than 10 min on vigorous (>6.0 MET) PA each day. On weekends, men and women spent more time at rest (1 MET), less time on low-intensity PA, and men spent more time on moderate PA than on weekdays. In adults living in the Southern US the amount of free-living PA was negatively correlated with body fatness. Both men and women spent the majority of active time on low and moderate PA. PA patterns on weekends were different than on weekdays and were related to sex and age, but not to body fatness. National Institutes of Health, US.

  14. A Method to Estimate Free-Living Active and Sedentary Behavior from an Accelerometer

    PubMed Central

    Lyden, Kate; Keadle, Sarah Kozey; Staudenmayer, John; Freedson, Patty S.

    2013-01-01

    Methods to estimate physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior (SB) from wearable monitors need to be validated in free-living settings. PURPOSE The purpose of this study was to develop and validate two novel machine-learning methods (soj-1x and soj-3x) in a free-living setting. METHODS Participants were directly observed in their natural environment for ten consecutive hours on three separate occasions. PA and SB estimated from soj-1x, soj-3x and a neural network previously calibrated in the laboratory (lab-nnet) were compared to direct observation. RESULTS Compared to the lab-nnet, soj-1x and soj-3x improved estimates of MET-hours (lab-nnet: % bias (95% CI) = 33.1 (25.9, 40.4), rMSE = 5.4 (4.6, 6.2), soj-1x: % bias = 1.9 (−2.0, 5.9), rMSE = 1.0 (0.6, 1.3), soj-3x: % bias = 3.4 (0.0, 6.7), rMSE = 1.0 (0.6, 1.5)) and minutes in different intensity categories (lab-nnet: % bias = −8.2 (sedentary), −8.2 (light) and 72.8 (MVPA), soj-1x: % bias = 8.8 (sedentary), −18.5 (light) and −1.0 (MVPA), soj-3x: % bias = 0.5 (sedentary), −0.8 (light) and −1.0 (MVPA)). Soj-1x and soj-3x also produced accurate estimates of guideline minutes and breaks from sedentary time. CONCLUSION Compared to the lab-nnet algorithm, soj-1x and soj-3x improved the accuracy and precision in estimating free-living MET-hours, sedentary time, and time spent in light intensity activity and MVPA. Additionally, soj-3x is superior to soj-1x in differentiating sedentary behavior from light intensity activity. PMID:23860415

  15. Is there a link between free-living nitrogen fixation rates and nitrogen mineralization rates?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smercina, D.; Tiemann, L. K.; Friesen, M.; Evans, S. E.; West, W.

    2016-12-01

    Plant accessible nitrogen (N) is controlled by the rates of N fixation (N-fix) and N mineralization (N-min), yet the relationship between these two processes is relatively unexplored. In particular, we know relatively little about the rates of free-living N-fix, thought to be supported mainly by plant root exudates. Furthermore, there is no consensus on the link between N-fix and N-min rates in terrestrial soil systems. To address this knowledge gap, we are using a three-pronged approach, including a meta-analysis, a greenhouse study and field experiments. Following an extensive literature search, we found 12 papers that simultaneously reported N-fix and N-min rates. Surprisingly, these data indicated a positive relationship between N-fix and N-min rates; however, the scarcity of data limits our ability to draw any strong conclusions. We have explored the relationship between N-fix and N-min in a controlled greenhouse experiment using switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) because recent evidence suggests switchgrass may support free-living N-fix when N limited. Indeed, in our study, switchgrass and soils exposed to N limiting conditions experienced no adverse effects, namely no differences in plant growth or tissue chemistry (C:N), or soil enzyme activities compared to non-N limiting conditions. Soils used in this study are from marginal lands, low in soil organic matter and N, so it is likely N deficits are compensated for via N-fix. Analysis of 15N2 -fix and gross N-min rates, determined via 15N pool dilution, will elucidate this source of N. Finally, our field experiment encompasses six marginal land sites across MI and WI, part of the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center. In 2016, we measured N-fix and N-min rates in switchgrass monoculture plots at all six sites once, at the peak of growing season, and bi-weekly, from April to September, at two MI field sites. Data collected to date from two MI sites show no difference in N-min rates in N fertilized versus

  16. Purifying selection in mitochondria, free-living and obligate intracellular proteobacteria.

    PubMed

    Mamirova, Leila; Popadin, Konstantin; Gelfand, Mikhail S

    2007-02-12

    The effectiveness of elimination of slightly deleterious mutations depends mainly on drift and recombination frequency. Here we analyze the influence of these two factors on the strength of the purifying selection in mitochondrial and proteobacterial orthologous genes taking into account the differences in the organism lifestyles. (I) We found that the probability of fixation of nonsynonymous substitutions (Kn/Ks) in mitochondria is significantly lower compared to obligate intracellular bacteria and even marginally significantly lower compared to free-living bacteria. The comparison of bacteria of different lifestyles demonstrates more effective elimination of slightly deleterious mutations in (II) free-living bacteria as compared to obligate intracellular species and in (III) obligate intracellular parasites as compared to obligate intracellular symbionts. (IV) Finally, we observed that the level of the purifying selection (i.e. 1-Kn/Ks) increases with the density of mobile elements in bacterial genomes. This study shows that the comparison of patterns of molecular evolution of orthologous genes between ecologically different groups of organisms allow to elucidate the genetic consequences of their various lifestyles. Comparing the strength of the purifying selection among proteobacteria with different lifestyles we obtained results, which are in concordance with theoretical expectations: (II) low effective population size and level of recombination in obligate intracellular proteobacteria lead to less effective elimination of mutations compared to free-living relatives; (III) rare horizontal transmissions, i.e. effectively zero recombination level in symbiotic obligate intracellular bacteria leads to less effective purifying selection than in parasitic obligate intracellular bacteria; (IV) the increased frequency of recombination in bacterial genomes with high mobile element density leads to a more effective elimination of slightly deleterious mutations. At the

  17. Bioenergetics model for estimating food requirements of female Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Noren, S.R.; Udevitz, M.S.; Jay, C.V.

    2012-01-01

    Pacific walruses Odobenus rosmarus divergens use sea ice as a platform for resting, nursing, and accessing extensive benthic foraging grounds. The extent of summer sea ice in the Chukchi Sea has decreased substantially in recent decades, causing walruses to alter habitat use and activity patterns which could affect their energy requirements. We developed a bioenergetics model to estimate caloric demand of female walruses, accounting for maintenance, growth, activity (active in-water and hauled-out resting), molt, and reproductive costs. Estimates for non-reproductive females 0–12 yr old (65−810 kg) ranged from 16359 to 68960 kcal d−1 (74−257 kcal d−1 kg−1) for years with readily available sea ice for which we assumed animals spent 83% of their time in water. This translated into the energy content of 3200–5960 clams per day, equivalent to 7–8% and 14–9% of body mass per day for 5–12 and 2–4 yr olds, respectively. Estimated consumption rates of 12 yr old females were minimally affected by pregnancy, but lactation had a large impact, increasing consumption rates to 15% of body mass per day. Increasing the proportion of time in water to 93%, as might happen if walruses were required to spend more time foraging during ice-free periods, increased daily caloric demand by 6–7% for non-lactating females. We provide the first bioenergetics-based estimates of energy requirements for walruses and a first step towards establishing bioenergetic linkages between demography and prey requirements that can ultimately be used in predicting this population’s response to environmental change.

  18. Adaptive Management Approach to Oil and Gas Activities in Areas Occupied by Pacific Walrus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ireland, D.; Broker, K.; San Filippo, V.; Brzuzy, L.; Morse, L.

    2016-12-01

    During Shell's 2015 exploration drilling program in the Chukchi Sea, activities were conducted in accordance with a Letter of Authorization issued by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service that allowed the incidental harassment of Pacific Walrus and Polar Bears under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. As a part of the request for authorization, Shell proposed a process to monitor and assess the potential for activities to interact with walruses on ice, especially if ice posed a potential threat to the drill site. The process assimilated near real-time information from multiple data sources including vessel-based observations, aerial surveys, satellite-linked GPS tags on walrus, and satellite imagery of ice conditions and movements. These data were reviewed daily and assessed in the context of planned activities to assign a risk level (low, medium, or high). The risk level was communicated to all assets in the field and decision makers during morning briefings. A low risk level meant that planned activities could occur without further review. A medium risk level meant that some operations had a greater potential of interacting with walrus on ice and that additional discussions of those activities were required to determine the relative risk of potential impacts compare to the importance of the planned activity. A high risk level meant that the planned activities were necessary and walrus on ice were likely to be encountered. Assignment of a high risk level triggered contact with agency personnel and directly incorporated them into the assessment and decision making process. This process made effective use of relevant available information to provide meaningful assessments at temporal and spatial scales that allowed approved activities to proceed while minimizing potential impacts. More so, this process provides a valuable alternative to large-scale restriction areas with coarse temporal resolution without reducing protection to target species.

  19. Adaptive Management Approach to Oil and Gas Activities in Areas Occupied by Pacific Walrus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ireland, D.; Broker, K.; San Filippo, V.; Brzuzy, L.; Morse, L.

    2016-02-01

    During Shell's 2015 exploration drilling program in the Chukchi Sea, activities were conducted in accordance with a Letter of Authorization issued by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service that allowed the incidental harassment of Pacific Walrus and Polar Bears under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. As a part of the request for authorization, Shell proposed a process to monitor and assess the potential for activities to interact with walruses on ice, especially if ice posed a potential threat to the drill site. The process assimilated near real-time information from multiple data sources including vessel-based observations, aerial surveys, satellite-linked GPS tags on walrus, and satellite imagery of ice conditions and movements. These data were reviewed daily and assessed in the context of planned activities to assign a risk level (low, medium, or high). The risk level was communicated to all assets in the field and decision makers during morning briefings. A low risk level meant that planned activities could occur without further review. A medium risk level meant that some operations had a greater potential of interacting with walrus on ice and that additional discussions of those activities were required to determine the relative risk of potential impacts compare to the importance of the planned activity. A high risk level meant that the planned activities were necessary and walrus on ice were likely to be encountered. Assignment of a high risk level triggered contact with agency personnel and directly incorporated them into the assessment and decision making process. This process made effective use of relevant available information to provide meaningful assessments at temporal and spatial scales that allowed approved activities to proceed while minimizing potential impacts. More so, this process provides a valuable alternative to large-scale restriction areas with coarse temporal resolution without reducing protection to target species.

  20. Ontogeny of innate and adaptive immune defense components in free-living tree swallows, Tachycineta bicolor.

    PubMed

    Palacios, Maria G; Cunnick, Joan E; Vleck, David; Vleck, Carol M

    2009-04-01

    Little is known about the development of immune function in wild animals. We investigated the ontogeny of immune defense in a free-living bird, the tree swallow. We assessed total and differential leukocyte counts, natural antibodies, complement activity, in vivo skin swelling response, and in vitro lymphocyte proliferation and compared the levels of development between nestlings and young adults. We also assessed whether body condition explained variation in these immune components. We found some support for the prediction that innate defenses, which do not need to generate a broad repertoire of specific receptors, would reach adult levels earlier than adaptive defenses. In contrast, we found limited support for the prediction that adaptive defenses, which are thought to be more costly to develop, would be more related to body condition than innate defenses. We discuss our findings in the context of other studies on the ontogeny of immune function.

  1. Avian pox infection in a free-living crested serpent eagle (Spilornis cheela) in southern Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Chen, C C; Pei, K J C; Lee, F R; Tzeng, M P; Chang, T C

    2011-03-01

    Avian pox viruses (APVs) have been reported to cause infection in diverse avian species worldwide. Herein we report the first case of APV infection in a free-living bird, a subadult crested serpent eagle (Spilornis cheela), in Taiwan. In addition to the typical wart-like lesions distributed on the cere, eyelid, and face, there were also yellowish nodules below the tongue and on the hard palate. Phylogenetic analysis of the 4b core protein gene showed that the APV is very close to that found in white-tailed sea eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) in Japan recently. Because both cases are located on the same major flyway for migratory birds, the impact of this virus with regard to the wild and migratory raptor species along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway and West Pacific Flyway requires immediate investigation.

  2. Two FMRFamide-like peptides from the free-living nematode Panagrellus redivivus.

    PubMed

    Geary, T G; Price, D A; Bowman, J W; Winterrowd, C A; Mackenzie, C D; Garrison, R D; Williams, J F; Friedman, A R

    1992-01-01

    Peptides of the FXRFamide family, where X = M, I or L, are broadly distributed among invertebrates. Two such peptides were purified and sequenced from the free-living nematode, Panagrellus redivivus. Immunohistochemical techniques localized FMRFamide-like material in several regions of these organisms, including the nerve cords and, most prominently, in paired groups of cells located caudally to the base of the pharynx. RIA determinations gave an estimate of 2.8 nmol immunoreactive peptide/g of an acetone extract of P. redivivus. Four sequential HPLC purification steps, followed by sequencing by automated Edman degradation and FAB-MS, led to the identification of Ser-Asp-Pro-Asn-Phe-Leu-Arg-Phe-amide (SDPNFLRFamide) and Ser-Ala-Asp-Pro-Asn-Phe-Leu-Arg-Phe-amide (SADPNFLRFamide) as members of the FXRFamide family in this nematode.

  3. Microtopography of Nippostrongylus brasiliensis (Nematoda: Heligmosomatidae): free-living larval stages.

    PubMed

    Nembo, B; Goudey-Perriere, F; Gayral, P; Perriere, C; Brousse-Gaury, P

    1993-09-01

    Microtopographic features of the various growth stages of the three free-living larval stages of the rat hookworm Nippostrongylus brasiliensis (Nematoda) were surveyed by scanning electron microscopy. These worms have a rounded anterior end and an elongated tail. Cuticular annulations were observed along the body, which also bore two ribbon-like lateral alae. Two rings of six lip-like lappets were observed around the triradiate oral opening in all larval stages. The cephalic space contained two lateral amphidial pits. The excretory pore in the third anterior part was observed in a ventral view of the larvae. No deirids were observed. The anus with a crescent-shape opening was located posteriorly. Phasmidial apertures, only observed in the third-stage larvae, opened on the lateral alae in the tail region.

  4. Effect of flagellates on free-living bacterial abundance in an organically contaminated aquifer

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kinner, N.E.; Harvey, R.W.; Kazmierkiewicz-Tabaka, M.

    1997-01-01

    Little is known about the role of protists in the saturated subsurface. Porous media microcosms containing bacteria and protists, were used to determine whether flagellates from an organically contaminated aquifer could substantively affect the number of free- living bacteria (FLB). When flagellates were present, the 3-40% maximum breakthrough of fluorescent y labelled FLB injected into the microcosms was much lower than the 60-130% observed for killed controls Grazing and clearance rates (3-27 FLB flag-1 h-1 and 12-23 nI flag-1 h-1, respectively) calculated from the data were in the range reported for flagellates in other aqueous environments. The data provide evidence that flagellate bacterivory is an important control on groundwater FLB populations.

  5. Predator or prey? Chlamydophila abortus infections of a free-living amoebae, Acanthamoeba castellani 9GU.

    PubMed

    Wirz, Mirjam; Polkinghorne, Adam; Dumrese, Claudia; Ziegler, Urs; Greub, Gilbert; Pospischil, Andreas; Vaughan, Lloyd

    2008-05-01

    Limited evidence exists to suggest that the ability to invade and escape protozoan host cell bactericidal activity extends to members of the Chlamydiaceae, intracellular pathogens of humans and animals and evolutionary descendants of amoeba-resisting Chlamydia-like organisms. PCR and microscopic analyses of Chlamydophila abortus infections of Acanthamoeba castellani revealed uptake of this chlamydial pathogen but, unlike the well-described inhabitant of A. castellani, Parachlamydia acanthamoebae, Cp. abortus did not appear to propagate and is likely digested by its amoebal host. These data raise doubts about the ability of free-living amoebae to serve as hosts and vectors of pathogenic members of the Chlamydiaceae but reveal opportunities, via comparative genomics, to understand virulence mechanisms used by Chlamydia-like organisms to avoid amoebal digestion.

  6. Free-living amoebae: what part do they play in healthcare-associated infections?

    PubMed

    Cateau, E; Delafont, V; Hechard, Y; Rodier, M H

    2014-07-01

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) are ubiquitous protozoa that do not require a host organism for survival. They are found in natural environments such as water or soil, and man-made environments including tap water or swimming pools, where they may interact with other micro-organisms, including bacteria, fungi and viruses. FLA can harbour micro-organisms including those found in hospital water systems, offering them protection against hostile conditions, providing a vehicle of dissemination, and enabling them to prepare for subsequent survival in macrophages. The interaction between Legionella pneumophila and FLA has been studied extensively; subsequent investigations have shown that FLA may serve as a reservoir for other bacteria including mycobacteria, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumannii, or even fungi and viruses. Amoebae found in hospital water systems can serve as a reservoir of potential pathogens and thus be indirectly related to healthcare-associated infections.

  7. Nippostrongylus brasiliensis and Ascaridia galli: mitochondrial respiration in free-living and parasitic stages.

    PubMed

    Fry, M; Jenkins, D C

    1983-08-01

    Aerobic respiratory pathways have been delineated and respiratory efficiency has been assessed in mitochondria isolated from embryonated eggs, infective larvae, and adult Nippostrongylus brasiliensis and Ascaridia galli. Mitochondrial respiration in free-living stages of N. brasiliensis is mediated mainly by a mammalian-like antimycin A- and cyanide-sensitive pathway; specific respiratory activity is high and oxidative phosphorylation efficient. In mitochondria of adult N. brasiliensis, antimycin A- and cyanide-sensitive respiration is decreased relative to respiration though an alternative pathway, and specific respiratory activity and mitochondrial efficiency are lower. Respiration in mitochondria from embryonated eggs and tissues of adult A. galli is comparable, and apparently mediated by an antimycin A- and cyanide-insensitive alternative respiratory pathway; no evidence for the presence of a mammalian-like respiratory pathway in embryonated eggs of A. galli was found. The results of this study are compared to mitochondrial respiration in eggs, larvae, and adult body wall muscle of Ascaris suum.

  8. A new species of free-living marine nematode (Nematoda: Chromadoridae) from the East China Sea.

    PubMed

    Chunming, Wang; Liguo, An; Yong, Huang

    2015-04-15

    A new species of free-living marine nematodes, Ptycholaimellus longibulbus sp. nov., is described from the East China Sea. Ptycholaimellus longibulbus sp. nov. is characterized by having body length of about 1100-1400 μm, cephalic seta 9 µm long (half a head diameter), a relatively long double posterior pharyngeal bulb occupying 44-49% of pharyngeal length, a voluminous ventral gland with a large ampulla, cuticle with transverse rows of punctations and lateral differentiation with two longitudinal rows of thick dots, relatively long spicules 45-55 μm long, an arcuate gubernaculum 25 µm long, and a conico-cylindrical tail with a distinct long finger-like spinneret. A key to species of Ptycholaimellus is given.

  9. MOLECULAR IDENTIFICATION AND SEQUENCE CHARACTERIZATION OF MYCOPLASMAS IN FREE-LIVING BIRDS OF PREY.

    PubMed

    Lecis, Roberta; Secci, Fabio; Mandas, Lucio; Muzzeddu, Marco; Pittau, Marco; Alberti, Alberti

    2016-09-01

    Mycoplasma spp. have been detected in birds of prey, but their prevalence in free living raptors and their significance to birds' health need further investigation. Molecular techniques have been increasingly used to identify mycoplasmas in various avian species, due to the fastidious nature of these pathogens hampering traditional bacteriologic tests. This study reports the identification of 23 novel mycoplasma sequences during the monitoring of 62 birds of prey on admission to wildlife centers in Sardinia, Italy. Molecular investigation performed on pharyngeal swabs revealed 26 birds positive to Mycoplasma (42%). Sequence analysis based on 16S rRNA, 16S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer, and RNA polymerase β subunit (rpoB) gene highlighted cluster assignment and phylogenetic relationships among the identified types, classified within the hominis group. Additionally, Ornithobacterium rhinotracheale , associated with respiratory disease in poultry, was identified in 17 birds (27%). Potential coinfection and mycoplasma opportunistic nature present implications for raptor species conservation.

  10. Atypical Toxoplasma gondii strain from a free-living jaguar (Panthera onca) in French Guiana.

    PubMed

    Demar, M; Ajzenberg, D; Serrurier, B; Dardé, M L; Carme, B

    2008-02-01

    Like domestic cats, wild felids are involved in the complete infective cycle of Toxoplasma gondii because they can host in their gastrointestinal tract sexually mature parasites and shed infective oocysts in their feces. We report, to our knowledge, the first isolation and molecular characterization of a T. gondii strain from the heart tissue of a free-living jaguar (Panthera onca) in French Guiana. Sequencing at six polymorphic markers indicated that the jaguar isolate had an atypical genotype, including an allele at TgM-A previously found only in isolates from South America, and an allele at GRA6, which was previously reported only in Californian sea otter isolates. These findings are consistent with the recent description of atypical T. gondii strains involved in severe toxoplasmoses in immunocompetent patients in French Guiana that seemed to be linked to a neotropical forest-based cycle involving wild cats and their prey.

  11. Ecosystem energetic implications of parasite and free-living biomass in three estuaries

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kuris, Armand M.; Hechinger, Ryan F.; Shaw, Jenny C.; Whitney, Kathleen L.; Aguirre-Macedo, Leopoldina; Boch, Charlie A.; Dobson, Andrew P.; Dunham, Eleca J.; Fredensborg, Brian L.; Huspeni, Todd C.; Lorda, Julio; Mababa, Luzviminda; Mancini, Frank T.; Mora, Adrienne B.; Pickering, Maria; Talhouk, Nadia L.; Torchin, Mark E.; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2008-01-01

    Parasites can have strong impacts but are thought to contribute little biomass to ecosystems. We quantified the biomass of free-living and parasitic species in three estuaries on the Pacific coast of California and Baja California. Here we show that parasites have substantial biomass in these ecosystems. We found that parasite biomass exceeded that of top predators. The biomass of trematodes was particularly high, being comparable to that of the abundant birds, fishes, burrowing shrimps and polychaetes. Trophically transmitted parasites and parasitic castrators subsumed more biomass than did other parasitic functional groups. The extended phenotype biomass controlled by parasitic castrators sometimes exceeded that of their uninfected hosts. The annual production of free-swimming trematode transmission stages was greater than the combined biomass of all quantified parasites and was also greater than bird biomass. This biomass and productivity of parasites implies a profound role for infectious processes in these estuaries.

  12. Populational genetic structure of free-living maned wolves (Chrysocyon brachyurus) determined by proteic markers.

    PubMed

    De Mattos, P S R; Del Lama, M A; Toppa, R H; Schwantes, A R

    2004-08-01

    Electrophoretic analysis of presumptive twenty gene loci products was conducted in hemolisates and plasma samples of twenty-eight maned wolves (Chrysocyon brachyurus) from an area in northeastern São Paulo State, Brazil. The area sampled was divided into three sub-areas, with the Mogi-Guaçu and Pardo rivers regarded as barriers to the gene flow. The polymorphism degree and heterozygosity level (intralocus and average) estimated in this study were similar to those detected by other authors for maned wolves and other species of wild free-living canids. The samples of each sub-area and the total sample exhibited genotype frequencies consistent with the genetic equilibrium model. The values of the F-statistics evidenced absence of inbreeding and population subdivision and, consequently, low genetic distances were found among the samples of each area.

  13. The in vitro efficacy of antimicrobial agents against the pathogenic free-living amoeba Balamuthia mandrillaris.

    PubMed

    Ahmad, Arine F; Heaselgrave, Wayne; Andrew, Peter W; Kilvington, Simon

    2013-01-01

    The free-living amoeba Balamuthia mandrillaris causes usually fatal encephalitis in humans and animals. Only limited studies have investigated the efficacy of antimicrobial agents against the organism. Assay methods were developed to assess antimicrobial efficacy against both the trophozoite and cyst stage of B. mandrillaris (ATCC 50209). Amphotericin B, ciclopirox olamine, miltefosine, natamycin, paromomycin, pentamidine isethionate, protriptyline, spiramycin, sulconazole and telithromycin had limited activity with amoebacidal levels of > 135-500 μM. However, diminazene aceturate (Berenil(®) ) was amoebacidal at 7.8 μM and 31.3-61.5 μM for trophozoites and cysts, respectively. Assays for antimicrobial testing may improve the prognosis for infection and aid in the development of primary selective culture isolation media.

  14. Rhabdomyosarcoma of the pectoral muscles of a free-living European robin (Erithacus rubecula).

    PubMed

    Manarolla, G; Radaelli, E; Pisoni, G; Sironi, G; Rampin, T

    2008-06-01

    An adult free-living European robin (Erithacus rubecula) with a large, firm, subcutaneous mass on the pectoral muscle was examined. The bird was unable to fly and died spontaneously. Necropsy revealed a yellowish, bilobate mass almost completely replacing the pectoral muscles with extensive osteolysis of the keel bone. Histopathology revealed a poorly demarcated, highly cellular sarcomatous tumour with metastases to the lungs, pulmonary blood vessels and heart. Immunohistochemistry was negative for neuron-specific enolase, S-100 protein and the p-27 major capsid protein of avian leukosis viruses. The homogeneously positive immunolabelling for vimentin and scattered positivity for myoglobin and desmin suggested a diagnosis of rhabdomyosarcoma. A retrospective examination of the records for 194 birds of the thrush family, including 64 robins submitted over a 20-year period, showed no diagnoses of neoplasia.

  15. When the lights go out: the evolutionary fate of free-living colorless green algae.

    PubMed

    Figueroa-Martinez, Francisco; Nedelcu, Aurora M; Smith, David R; Adrian, Reyes-Prieto

    2015-05-01

    The endosymbiotic origin of plastids was a launching point for eukaryotic evolution. The autotrophic abilities bestowed by plastids are responsible for much of the eukaryotic diversity we observe today. But despite its many advantages, photosynthesis has been lost numerous times and in disparate lineages throughout eukaryote evolution. For example, among green algae, several groups have lost photosynthesis independently and in response to different selective pressures; these include the parasitic/pathogenic trebouxiophyte genera Helicosporidium and Prototheca, and the free-living chlamydomonadalean genera Polytomella and Polytoma. Here, we examine the published data on colorless green algae and argue that investigations into the different evolutionary routes leading to their current nonphotosynthetic lifestyles provide exceptional opportunities to understand the ecological and genomic factors involved in the loss of photosynthesis.

  16. Bone assessment of free-living red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) from the United Kingdom.

    PubMed

    Garriga, Rosa M; Sainsbury, Anthony W; Goodship, Allen E

    2004-07-01

    Metabolic bone disease has been reported in free-living red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) in the United Kingdom but the prevalence of this disease is unknown. In this study the bone quality of free-living red squirrels in the UK was assessed by radiology and bone densitometry. The study comprised 20 red squirrels found dead and submitted to the Zoological Society of London (UK) between 1997 and 1998, 10 were from the Isle of Wight (IoW), where gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) are absent, and 10 were from Cumbria (Cu), where gray squirrels are present. Gray squirrels are considered potential competitors for red squirrels. Radiologic evaluation of humerus, femur, tibia, radius, and ilium revealed a slightly lower bone density and thinner cortices in red squirrels from the IoW when compared with those from Cu. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry was used to measure bone mineral content and density of the isolated right humerus and femur of 19 of the 20 red squirrels. The bone densitometry study reinforced the radiographic findings. The IoW specimens had lower bone mineral density values, although statistical significance (P<0.05) between animals from the IoW and Cu was only reached for the proximal epiphysis of the femur and between males from the IoW and males from Cu for the proximal epiphysis of the humerus. A highly positive correlation (r>0.94) was found when the bone mineral content and density between the femur and the humerus among groups and within each group were compared, showing a uniform level of mineralization between upper and lower limbs. These findings suggested generalized bone loss for the IoW red squirrels that may be compatible with some degree of osteopenia. Within the wide range of causes that lead to osteopenia, malnutrition (especially protein deficiency), calcium and copper deficiencies, and genetic factors remain as possible etiologies.

  17. Genotyping of Cryptosporidium spp. from free-living wild birds from Brazil.

    PubMed

    Sevá, Anaiá da Paixão; Funada, Mikaela Renata; Richtzenhain, Leonardo; Guimarães, Marta Brito; Souza, Sheila de Oliveira; Allegretti, Luciana; Sinhorini, Juliana Anaya; Duarte, Vanessa Vertematti; Soares, Rodrigo Martins

    2011-01-10

    In wild and domestic birds, cryptosporidiosis is often associated with infections by Cryptosporidium galli, Cryptosporidium baileyi and Cryptosporidium meleagridis. In addition to these species, a number of avian Cryptosporidium species yet to be fully characterized are commonly found among exotic and wild avian isolates. The present study aimed to detect and identify samples of Cryptosporidium spp. from free-living wild birds, in order to contribute to the knowledge of the variability of this parasite in the free-living population of Brazil. Stool samples were collected from 242 birds, with the following proportions of individuals: 50 Emberizidae (20.7%), 112 Psittacidae (46.3%), 44 Cardinalidae (18.2%), 12 Turdidae (5.0%), eight Ramphastidae (3.3%), seven Icteridae (2.9%), three Estrilididae (1.2%), two Contigidae (0.8%), two Thraupidae (0.8%) and two Fringilidae (0.8%). Among the 242 fecal samples from wild birds, 16 (6.6%) were positive for the presence of oocysts of Cryptosporidium. Molecular characterization of the 16 samples of Cryptosporidium, were performed with phylogenetic reconstructions employing 292 positions of 18S rDNA. None of the samples of birds was characterized as C. meleagridis. C. galli was identified in one rufous-bellied thrush (Turdus rufiventris), five green-winged saltators (Saltator similis), one slate-coloured seedeater (Sporophila schistacea), one goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) and three saffron finches (Sicalis flaveola). One goldfinch isolate, one buffy-fronted seedeater (Sporophila frontalis), one red-cowled cardinal (Paroaria dominicana) and one other saffron finch (S. flaveola) were identified as C. baileyi. Avian genotype II was found in an isolate from a white-eyed parakeet (Aratinga leucophthalma). Clinical symptoms of cryptosporidiosis in birds have already been described and the number of wild birds which were shedding parasites was high. Therefore, further epidemiological research and disease surveillance of birds in the

  18. Assessment of energy expenditure associated with physical activities in free-living obese and nonobese adolescents.

    PubMed

    Lazzer, Stefano; Boirie, Yves; Bitar, Abdelali; Montaurier, Christophe; Vernet, Jean; Meyer, Martine; Vermorel, Michel

    2003-09-01

    Information on activity patterns and the energy cost of activities is critically missing. We measured the energy cost of and time devoted to various activities in obese and nonobese adolescents. Daily energy expenditure (DEE) and its main components were determined in 27 obese and 50 nonobese adolescents aged 12-16 y by using whole-body calorimetry with the same activity program and the heart rate-recording method in free-living conditions. In whole-body calorimetry, energy expenditures (EEs) during sleep and sedentary activities were 18.9% and 21.5%, respectively, higher in obese subjects than in nonobese subjects (P < 0.001), but not significantly different after adjustment for fat-free mass (FFM). EEs during walking and DEEs were significantly higher in obese than in nonobese subjects, both absolutely (71% and 33%, respectively) and after adjustment for body weight or FFM (16% and 11%, respectively). In free-living conditions, EEs associated with physical activities did not differ significantly between obese and nonobese subjects, but they were 51% lower in obese subjects after adjustment for body weight (P < 0.001). The obese adolescents spent more time in light physical activities but much less time in moderate activities and sports than did the nonobese subjects. The activity-related time equivalent corrected for sedentary EE (ARTE EE(2)) averaged 69 and 122 min/d in obese and nonobese subjects, respectively (P < 0.01). Physical activity is low in obese subjects and can be assessed satisfactorily in both obese and nonobese adolescents by using ARTE EE(2) when DEE and the basal metabolic rate are known.

  19. A year long study of the presence of free living amoeba in Spain.

    PubMed

    Magnet, A; Fenoy, S; Galván, A L; Izquierdo, F; Rueda, C; Fernandez Vadillo, C; Del Aguila, C

    2013-12-01

    Free-living amoeba such as Acanthamoeba and Balamuthia mandrillaris can act as opportunistic parasites on a wide range of vertebrates and they are becoming a serious threat to human health due to the resistance of their cysts to harsh environmental conditions, disinfectants, some water treatment practices and their ubiquitous distribution. This work was carried out in order to study the presence of these free-living amoebae (FLA) and their possible seasonality in a continental-Mediterranean climate in different types of water. For this purpose, a total of 223 water samples were collected during one year from four drinking water treatment plants (DWTP), seven wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) and six locations of influence (LI) on four river basins from Spain. Water samples were concentrated using the IDEXX Filta-Max(®) system and analyzed by a triplex real time PCR that detects Acanthamoeba, B. mandrillaris and Naegleria fowleri. Agar plates were also seeded for Acanthamoeba culture. From the three FLA studied, N. fowleri was not detected in any sample while B. mandrillaris was found at the entrance of a DWTP; this being, to our knowledge, the first report of these protozoa in water worldwide. On the other hand, the presence of Acanthamoeba observed was higher, 94.6% of the studied points were positive by real time PCR and 85.2% by culture, resulting in 99.1% positive for Acanthamoeba with both methods. All genetically analyzed Acanthamoeba were genotype T4 but nine different T4/DF3 sequences were observed, three of them being described for the first time, assigning new codes. No seasonal distribution of Acanthamoeba was found. These facts should serve as a warning to contact lens wearers of the risk of a poor hygiene when handling their contact lenses. It should also serve as a signal to physicians to consider FLA as a possible causative agent of nervous system infections as well as Acanthamoeba keratitis due to their high environmental presence shown in this

  20. Development of a direct isolation procedure for free-living diazotrophs under controlled hypoxic conditions.

    PubMed

    Mirza, Babur S; Rodrigues, Jorge L M

    2012-08-01

    Free-living diazotrophs are diverse and ubiquitous in soil, contributing the nitrogen pool in natural ecosystems. The isolation of nitrogen-fixing microorganisms has relied on semisolid nitrogen-free medium enrichment, followed by multiple subculturing steps. These procedures limit the diversity of recovered isolates. In the current study, we investigated three different isolation strategies for free-living diazotrophs using a soil sample from the Amazon forest. The methods were (i) direct plating on solid nitrogen-free medium under a 2% O(2) concentration, (ii) enrichment in semisolid nitrogen-free medium before plating on solid nitrogen-free medium under 2% O(2), and (iii) enrichment followed by subculturing in the semisolid nitrogen-free medium before plating on nitrogen containing medium under a 21% O(2) concentration. A total of 794 isolates were differentiated by their genomic fingerprinting patterns, and strains with unique profiles were identified on the basis of sequencing of their 16S rRNA gene. Isolates belonged to four bacterial phyla: Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, and Bacteriodetes. The novel strategy of combining a solid N-free medium and hypoxic conditions showed an increase of 62.6% in the diversity of diazotrophs in comparison to that obtained by the conventional semisolid medium-based methods. All isolates grew on the nitrogen-free medium under a 2% O(2) concentration, 78% of them showed the presence of the nifH gene, and 39% tested positive for acetylene reduction activity. Our results suggest that direct plating of soil dilutions on nitrogen-free solid medium under a 2% O(2) concentration is a useful strategy for the isolation of the diverse diazotrophic communities.

  1. Microbiological diagnosis and antimicrobial sensitivity profiles in diseased free-living raptors.

    PubMed

    Vidal, Anna; Baldomà, Laia; Molina-López, Rafael A; Martin, Marga; Darwich, Laila

    2017-08-01

    Free-living raptors (birds of prey) can act as reservoirs of potentially zoonotic agents, but they also can be affected by microorganisms as target hosts. In this retrospective study, microbiological results (n = 663) and antibiotic sensitivity profiles (n = 108) of bacterial isolates were analysed from diseased free-living raptors. Sixty-nine percent of cases (n = 457) yielded bacteria: 58% were in pure culture and 42% were of different species. Remarkably, samples from necropsies (47%) had higher percentage of pure isolations than those obtained from clinical (31%) samples (P < 0.001). Among bacterial isolates, Escherichia coli was the most common agent (35%), principally recovered from necropsied birds with clinical signs of septicaemia or respiratory disorders. Pseudomonas aeruginosa (7%) was isolated from birds with systemic infection and from oral lesions, especially in nocturnal raptors (P < 0.001). Staphylococcus spp. (5%), mainly Staphylococcus aureus, was found to be the most prevalent cause of pododermatitis (35%) and Staphylococcus hyicus was isolated from conjunctivitis (18.2%). Interestingly, 8% of samples with lesions compatible with avian tuberculosis were positive to the Mycobacterium avium complex. The most frequent fungi associated with pneumonic lesions and ingluvitis were Aspergillus spp. and Candida spp., respectively. More than 50% of the 108 isolates (34 different bacterial spp.) demonstrated resistance to clindamycin, ampicillin, tetracycline, cefuroxime, enrofloxacin and trimethoprim/sulphamethoxazole. Among the E. coli strains, 71% (27/38) presented a multidrug-resistance pattern to >3 antimicrobials. Detection in wildlife of antimicrobial-resistant pathogens that might be significant at the animal-human-ecosystem interface is of great relevance under the 'One Health' approach.

  2. Proteomic and metabolomic profiles demonstrate variation among free-living and symbiotic vibrio fischeri biofilms.

    PubMed

    Chavez-Dozal, Alba; Gorman, Clayton; Nishiguchi, Michele K

    2015-10-23

    A number of bacterial species are capable of growing in various life history modes that enable their survival and persistence in both planktonic free-living stages as well as in biofilm communities. Mechanisms contributing to either planktonic cell or biofilm persistence and survival can be carefully delineated using multiple differential techniques (e.g., genomics and transcriptomics). In this study, we present both proteomic and metabolomic analyses of Vibrio fischeri biofilms, demonstrating the potential for combined differential studies for elucidating life-history switches important for establishing the mutualism through biofilm formation and host colonization. The study used a metabolomics/proteomics or "meta-proteomics" approach, referring to the combined protein and metabolic data analysis that bridges the gap between phenotypic changes (planktonic cell to biofilm formation) with genotypic changes (reflected in protein/metabolic profiles). Our methods used protein shotgun construction, followed by liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (LC-MS) detection and quantification for both free-living and biofilm forming V. fischeri. We present a time-resolved picture of approximately 100 proteins (2D-PAGE and shotgun proteomics) and 200 metabolites that are present during the transition from planktonic growth to community biofilm formation. Proteins involved in stress response, DNA repair damage, and transport appeared to be highly expressed during the biofilm state. In addition, metabolites detected in biofilms correspond to components of the exopolysaccharide (EPS) matrix (sugars and glycerol-derived). Alterations in metabolic enzymes were paralleled by more pronounced changes in concentration of intermediates from the glycolysis pathway as well as several amino acids. This combined analysis of both types of information (proteins, metabolites) has provided a more complete picture of the biochemical processes of biofilm formation and what determines

  3. Nervous system immunohistochemistry of the parasitic cnidarian Polypodium hydriforme at its free-living stage.

    PubMed

    Raikova, Ekaterina V; Raikova, Olga I

    2016-04-01

    Polypodium hydriforme, the only species in Polypodiozoa, which is currently considered a class of Cnidaria, and likely a sister group to Medusozoa (together with Myxozoa), is a cnidarian adapted to intracellular parasitism inside sturgeon oocytes. Free-living P. hydriforme lives on river bottoms; it walks on supporting tentacles and uses sensory tentacles to capture food and bring it to the mouth. The nervous system of free-living P. hydriforme was studied by confocal microscopy and immunohistochemistry using antibodies to FMRF-amide and α-tubulin combined with phalloidin-staining of F-actin fibres. A sensory FMRF-amide immunoreactive (IR) nerve net and an α-tubulin IR nerve net have been identified. The FMRF-amide IR nerve net underlies the epidermis along the tentacles and around the mouth; it consists of neurites emanating from epidermal sensory cells and basiepidermal ganglion cells, and it connects with cnidocytes. A deeper-lying α-tubulin IR nerve net occurs only in tentacles and looks like chains of different-sized beads crossing the mesoglea and entwining muscles. Anti-α-tubulin staining also reveals microtubules in muscle cells following the longitudinal muscle fibres or the thin circular F-actin fibres of the tentacles. Cnidocytes in the tentacles are embedded in a regular hexagonal non-neural network formed by the tubulin IR cytoskeleton of epidermal cells. Cnidocils of the cnidocytes around the mouth and in walking tentacles are identical, but those in sensory tentacles differ in length and width. The possible homology of the tubulin IR nerve net with motor nerve nets of cnidarians is discussed. The absence of a classic nerve ring around the mouth and the lack of specialised sense organs are considered to be plesiomorphic characters for Cnidaria.

  4. Ecologically Relevant Cooling Early in Life Alters Prefledging Adrenocortical Response in Free-Living Songbirds.

    PubMed

    Lynn, Sharon E; Kern, Michael D

    In vertebrates, exposure to stressful stimuli early in development may alter the activity of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, with the potential for fitness consequences later in life. For altricial species, whose young rely on their parents for food, warmth, and protection from predators, adult behavior can modify the impact of some stressors on their offspring after birth or hatching. We have shown that single bouts of cooling that normally occur when brooding females leave the nest elevate corticosterone secretion in very young free-living eastern bluebird (Sialia sialis) chicks. Thus, natural variation in maternal brooding patterns can result in differential exposure of offspring to cooling, and also to glucocorticoids, very early in development. We tested the hypothesis that exposure to repeated bouts of cooling (mimicking those that occur normally when females leave the nest) would alter the activity of the chicks' HPA axis later in life. We exposed free-living chicks to either four 18-min bouts of cooling or brooding temperatures (control) during the first week after hatching. Then, just before fledging (i.e., at least 7 d after the cooling treatments had ceased), we assessed their corticosterone responses to restraint. Repeatedly cooled chicks had a significantly lower corticosterone response to restraint than did control chicks but did not differ from controls in other measures of growth and development. Our data suggest that natural variation in maternal brooding patterns, and hence natural variation in the chicks' body temperature, can alter the activity of the HPA axis well beyond the brooding period.

  5. Energetic Assessment of the Nonexercise Activities under Free-Living Conditions

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Nonexercise activities (NAs) are common types of physical activity in daily life and critical component in energy expenditure. However, energetic assessment of NA, particularly in free-living subjects, is a technical challenge. In this study, mechanical modeling and portable device were used to evaluate five common types of NA in daily life: sit to stand, lie to sit, bowing while standing, squat, and right leg over left. A human indirect calorimeter was used to measure the activity energy expenditure of NA. Mechanical work and mechanical efficiency of NA were calculated for mechanical modeling. Thirty-two male subjects were recruited for the study (20 subjects for the development of models and 12 subjects for evaluation of models). The average (mean ± SD) mechanical work of 5 NAs was 2.31 ± 0.50, 2.88 ± 0.57, 1.75 ± 0.55, 3.96 ± 1.25, and 1.25 ± 0.51 J/kg·m, respectively. The mean mechanical efficiencies of those activities were 22.0 ± 3.3%, 26.5 ± 5.1%, 19.8 ± 3.7%, 24.0 ± 5.5%, and 26.3 ± 5.5%. The activity energy expenditure estimated by the models was not significantly different from the measurements by the calorimeter (p > 0.05) with accuracies of 102.2 ± 20.7%, 103.7 ± 25.8%, 105.6 ± 14.6%, 101.1 ± 28.0%, and 95.8 ± 20.7%, respectively, for those activities. These findings suggest that the mechanical models combined with a portable device can provide an alternative method for the energetic analysis of nonexercise activities under free-living condition. PMID:27493966

  6. The influence of androgens on hibernation phenology of free-living male arctic ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Richter, M M; Barnes, B M; O'Reilly, K M; Fenn, A M; Buck, C L

    2017-03-01

    Free-living ground squirrel species are sexually dimorphic in hibernation phenology. The underlying causes of these differences are not yet known. Androgens, testosterone (T) in particular, inhibit hibernation. To determine the influence of endogenous androgens on annual timing of hibernation we first measured circulating levels of T and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), an adrenal androgen implicated in non-mating season aggression in other species, in free-living male arctic ground squirrels (Urocitellus parryii, AGS). We also manipulated endogenous androgen levels by surgical castration, and consequently compared body temperature records from intact (n=24) and castrated (n=9) males to elucidate the influence of endogenous androgens on annual body temperature cycles. The highest T levels (0.53±0.10ng/mL) were in reproductively mature male AGS in spring; whereas, both immature males in spring and all males in late summer had T levels an order of magnitude lower (0.07±0.01 and 0.06±0.00ng/mL, respectively). DHEA levels were higher in males during the late summer compared to reproductively mature males in spring (120.6±18.9 and 35.9±2.3pg/mL, respectively). Eliminating gonadal androgens via castration resulted in males delaying euthermy by extending heterothermy significantly in spring (Apr 22 ±2.9) than reproductive males (Mar 28 ±3.9) but did not change the timing of hibernation onset (castrate: Oct 12 ±1.0 vs. intact: Oct 3 ±3.1). We conclude that while androgens play a significant role in spring hibernation phenology of males, their role in fall hibernation onset is unclear. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Short communication: Patterns of dairy consumption in free-living children and adolescents.

    PubMed

    Green, Benjamin P; Turner, Louise; Stevenson, Emma; Rumbold, Penny L S

    2015-06-01

    According to national survey data, dairy food consumption has fallen in recent years and declines further with age, especially from childhood to adolescence. Dietary surveys typically rely on retrospective dietary assessment methods and use broad age groupings (4-10 yr; 11-18 yr), making it challenging to differentiate between middle-childhood and adolescence. Consequently, there is a need to assess dairy food consumption during middle-childhood and adolescence using more robust dietary assessment tools. Therefore, the present study aimed to describe and compare patterns of dairy consumption throughout middle-childhood and adolescence. Dairy food consumption was assessed during school term-time over 4 consecutive days, including 2 weekdays and 2 weekend days, in a sample of free-living children (9-11 yr, n=40) and adolescents (15-18 yr, n=35). For children, free-living dairy intake was evaluated through parental-weighed food records, and for adolescents, a combined weighed self-reported food record and 24-h dietary recall technique was utilized. Food records were explored to determine types, amounts, and frequency of dairy food consumption, and were analyzed for differences between middle-childhood and adolescence using a between group 2×2 (age×sex) ANOVA. Descriptive data suggested that milk was the most popular dairy product consumed by both children and adolescents. Statistical analysis revealed a main effect for sex on total milk consumption (mL) and number of daily milk portions consumed. No interaction or main effect was present for any other variable. The present study indicates that independent of age, boys consumed greater amounts of milk compared with girls. Contrary to existing literature, findings suggest no difference in milk-based dairy consumption between middle-childhood and adolescence.

  8. Clinical and serological tests for arboviruses in free-living domestic pigeons (Columba livia)

    PubMed Central

    Ramos, Bruna Alves; Chiang, Jannifer Oliveira; Martins, Lívia Carício; Chagas, Liliane Leal das; Silva, Franko de Arruda e; Ferreira, Milene Silveira; Freitas, Maria Nazaré Oliveira; de Alcantara, Bianca Nascimento; da Silva, Sandro Patroca; Miranda, Stefânia Araújo; Sepulvreda, Barbara Alves; Corrêa, Layna Thayssa Guimarães; Negrão, Andréa Maria Góes; Vasconcelos, Pedro Fernando da Costa; Casseb, Alexandre do Rosário

    2017-01-01

    BACKGROUND In this study, we evaluated the role of free-living domestic pigeons (Columba livia) as a reservoir of arboviruses in the city of Belém, state of Pará, Brazil. We investigated the presence of antibodies against the most prevalent arboviruses. OBJECTIVES This study was aimed at evaluating some clinical and physical parameters of domestic pigeons, including the presence of antibodies to Amazon-endemic arboviruses. METHODS Eighty-five healthy pigeons were captured in Mangal das Garças Park, in Belém, and were bled. Upon capture, the birds were subjected to a clinical examination in search of alterations that could indicate the presence of arboviruses. Blood samples were converted to serum and tested using the haemagglutination inhibition (HI) technique with a panel of 19 antigens of arboviruses circulating in the Amazon. The confirmation assay for the positive reactions to the viral species tested by HI was a neutralisation test in new-born Swiss albino mice (Mus musculus) [mouse neutralisation test (MNT)]. FINDINGS A total of 10 (11.8%) serum samples tested positive for antiflavivirus antibodies by HI. All the samples positive for the HI test were subjected to MNT for detection of viruses and yielded negative results (logarithmic neutralisation index < 1.7). MAIN CONCLUSION The results represent the first serological detection of antiarbovirus antibodies in domestic pigeons as potential hosts of arboviruses in Brazil. The detection of haemagglutination-inhibiting antibodies against genus Flavivirus indicated that there was recent contact between the analysed domestic pigeons and these arboviruses. Further studies are needed to evaluate the role of free-living pigeons in the maintenance cycle and spread of arboviruses in the Amazon. PMID:28767977

  9. Relationships between macronutrient intake, handicaps, and cognitive impairments in free living elderly people.

    PubMed

    Pradignac, A; Schlienger, J L; Velten, M; Mejean, L

    1995-02-01

    It is still unknown what if any relationships exist between intake of macronutrients by the elderly, and their functional or cognitive handicaps, particularly for free living elderly people. We investigated 226 men and 215 women, aged 65 or more, free living and in good health. They were randomly selected in the département of Bas-Rhin, after stratification for age, sex and residence (rural or urban). Handicaps and cognitive functions of each subject were assessed with the Géronte scale and the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), respectively. Food intake was measured by a three-day record. A multiple correspondence analysis concluded that functional parameters and macronutrient intakes were rather independent. The relationships found were detailed by a backward stepwise logistic regression. In men, alcohol intake was associated with an improvement in functional and cognitive parameters, and polyunsaturated fatty acids with the capacity to move outside the home. In women, lipid intake increased the MMSE score. Overweight in women was linked with better functional and cognitive performances, and in men with the capacity to move outside the home. In both sexes, age worsened the score of functional and cognitive parameters. In conclusion, macronutrient intakes and functional or cognitive parameters were found to be mutually independent; this suggests that macronutrient deficiencies are of little importance in the worsening functional or mental autonomy of the elderly. The relationships found between functional variables and alcohol or polyunsaturated fatty acid intakes in men, and lipid intakes in women, and overweight in both sexes might evidence a better state of health.

  10. Climate changes influence free-living stages of soil-transmitted parasites of European rabbits.

    PubMed

    Hernandez, Alexander D; Poole, Adam; Cattadori, Isabella M

    2013-04-01

    Climate warming has been suggested to augment the risk of infectious disease outbreaks by extending the seasonal window for parasite growth and by increasing the rate of transmission. Understanding how this occurs in parasite-host systems is important for appreciating long-term and seasonal changes in host exposure to infection and to reduce species extinction caused by diseases. We investigated how free-living stages of two soil-transmitted helminths of the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) responded to experimental changes in temperature by performing laboratory experiments with environmental chambers and field manipulations using open-top-chambers. This study was motivated by our previous observations that air temperature has increased over the last 30 years in our field site and that during this period intensity of infection of Graphidium strigosum but not Trichostrongylus retortaeformis was positively associated with this temperature increase. Laboratory and field experiments showed that both parasites accelerated egg development and increased hatching rate and larval survival in response to accumulating thermal energy. Both parasites behaved similarly when exposed to diverse temperature regimes, decadal trends, and monthly fluctuations, however, T. retortaeformis was more successful than G. strigosum by showing higher rates of egg hatching and larval survival. Across the months, the first day of hatching occurred earlier in warmer conditions suggesting that climate warming can lengthen the period of parasite growth and host exposure to infective stages. Also, T. retortaeformis hatched earlier than G. strigosum. These findings showed that seasonal changes in intensity, frequency, and duration of daily temperature are important causes of variability in egg hatching and larva survival. Overall, this study emphasizes the important role of climate warming and seasonality on the dynamics of free-living stages in soil-transmitted helminths and their

  11. Prevalence of influenza A viruses in livestock and free-living waterfowl in Uganda.

    PubMed

    Kirunda, Halid; Erima, Bernard; Tumushabe, Agnes; Kiconco, Jocelyn; Tugume, Titus; Mulei, Sophia; Mimbe, Derrick; Mworozi, Edison; Bwogi, Josephine; Luswa, Lukwago; Kibuuka, Hannah; Millard, Monica; Byaruhanga, Achilles; Ducatez, Mariette F; Krauss, Scott; Webby, Richard J; Webster, Robert G; Wurapa, Kofi; Byarugaba, Denis K; Wabwire-Mangen, Fred

    2014-02-27

    Avian influenza viruses may cause severe disease in a variety of domestic animal species worldwide, with high mortality in chickens and turkeys. To reduce the information gap about prevalence of these viruses in animals in Uganda, this study was undertaken. Influenza A virus prevalence by RT-PCR was 1.1% (45/4,052) while seroprevalence by ELISA was 0.8% (24/2,970). Virus prevalence was highest in domestic ducks (2.7%, 17/629) and turkeys (2.6%, 2/76), followed by free-living waterfowl (1.3%, 12/929) and swine (1.4%, 7/511). A lower proportion of chicken samples (0.4%, 7/1,865) tested positive. No influenza A virus was isolated. A seasonal prevalence of these viruses in waterfowl was 0.7% (4/561) for the dry and 2.2% (8/368) for the wet season. In poultry, prevalence was 0.2% (2/863) for the dry and 1.4% (24/1,713) for the wet season, while that of swine was 0.0% (0/159) and 2.0% (7/352) in the two seasons, respectively. Of the 45 RT-PCR positive samples, 13 (28.9%) of them were H5 but none was H7. The 19 swine sera positive for influenza antibodies by ELISA were positive for H1 antibodies by HAI assay, but the subtype(s) of ELISA positive poultry sera could not be determined. Antibodies in the poultry sera could have been those against subtypes not included in the HAI test panel. The study has demonstrated occurrence of influenza A viruses in animals in Uganda. The results suggest that increase in volumes of migratory waterfowl in the country could be associated with increased prevalence of these viruses in free-living waterfowl and poultry.

  12. Thioredoxin and glutathione systems differ in parasitic and free-living platyhelminths.

    PubMed

    Otero, Lucía; Bonilla, Mariana; Protasio, Anna V; Fernández, Cecilia; Gladyshev, Vadim N; Salinas, Gustavo

    2010-04-13

    The thioredoxin and/or glutathione pathways occur in all organisms. They provide electrons for deoxyribonucleotide synthesis, function as antioxidant defenses, in detoxification, Fe/S biogenesis and participate in a variety of cellular processes. In contrast to their mammalian hosts, platyhelminth (flatworm) parasites studied so far, lack conventional thioredoxin and glutathione systems. Instead, they possess a linked thioredoxin-glutathione system with the selenocysteine-containing enzyme thioredoxin glutathione reductase (TGR) as the single redox hub that controls the overall redox homeostasis. TGR has been recently validated as a drug target for schistosomiasis and new drug leads targeting TGR have recently been identified for these platyhelminth infections that affect more than 200 million people and for which a single drug is currently available. Little is known regarding the genomic structure of flatworm TGRs, the expression of TGR variants and whether the absence of conventional thioredoxin and glutathione systems is a signature of the entire platyhelminth phylum. We examine platyhelminth genomes and transcriptomes and find that all platyhelminth parasites (from classes Cestoda and Trematoda) conform to a biochemical scenario involving, exclusively, a selenium-dependent linked thioredoxin-glutathione system having TGR as a central redox hub. In contrast, the free-living platyhelminth Schmidtea mediterranea (Class Turbellaria) possesses conventional and linked thioredoxin and glutathione systems. We identify TGR variants in Schistosoma spp. derived from a single gene, and demonstrate their expression. We also provide experimental evidence that alternative initiation of transcription and alternative transcript processing contribute to the generation of TGR variants in platyhelminth parasites. Our results indicate that thioredoxin and glutathione pathways differ in parasitic and free-living flatworms and that canonical enzymes were specifically lost in the

  13. Thioredoxin and glutathione systems differ in parasitic and free-living platyhelminths

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The thioredoxin and/or glutathione pathways occur in all organisms. They provide electrons for deoxyribonucleotide synthesis, function as antioxidant defenses, in detoxification, Fe/S biogenesis and participate in a variety of cellular processes. In contrast to their mammalian hosts, platyhelminth (flatworm) parasites studied so far, lack conventional thioredoxin and glutathione systems. Instead, they possess a linked thioredoxin-glutathione system with the selenocysteine-containing enzyme thioredoxin glutathione reductase (TGR) as the single redox hub that controls the overall redox homeostasis. TGR has been recently validated as a drug target for schistosomiasis and new drug leads targeting TGR have recently been identified for these platyhelminth infections that affect more than 200 million people and for which a single drug is currently available. Little is known regarding the genomic structure of flatworm TGRs, the expression of TGR variants and whether the absence of conventional thioredoxin and glutathione systems is a signature of the entire platyhelminth phylum. Results We examine platyhelminth genomes and transcriptomes and find that all platyhelminth parasites (from classes Cestoda and Trematoda) conform to a biochemical scenario involving, exclusively, a selenium-dependent linked thioredoxin-glutathione system having TGR as a central redox hub. In contrast, the free-living platyhelminth Schmidtea mediterranea (Class Turbellaria) possesses conventional and linked thioredoxin and glutathione systems. We identify TGR variants in Schistosoma spp. derived from a single gene, and demonstrate their expression. We also provide experimental evidence that alternative initiation of transcription and alternative transcript processing contribute to the generation of TGR variants in platyhelminth parasites. Conclusions Our results indicate that thioredoxin and glutathione pathways differ in parasitic and free-living flatworms and that canonical enzymes

  14. Hox genes and the parasitic flatworms: new opportunities, challenges and lessons from the free-living.

    PubMed

    Olson, P D

    2008-03-01

    Research into the roles played by Hox and related homeotic gene families in the diverse and complex developmental programmes exhibited by parasitic flatworms (Platyhelminthes) can hardly be said to have begun, and thus presents considerable opportunity for new research. Although featured in some of the earliest screens for homeotic genes outside Drosophila and mice, surveys in parasitic flatworms are few in number and almost nothing is yet known of where or when the genes are expressed during ontogeny. This contrasts sharply with a significant body of literature concerning Hox genes in free-living flatworms which have long served as models for the study of regeneration and the maintenance of omnipotent cell lines. Nevertheless, available information suggests that the complement of Hox genes and other classes of homeobox-containing genes in parasitic flatworms is typical of their free-living cousins and of other members of the Lophotrochozoa. Recent work on Schistosoma combined with information on Hox gene expression in planarians indicates that at least some disruption of the clustered genomic arrangement of the genes, as well as of the strict spatial and temporal colinear patterns of expression typical in other groups, may be characteristic of flatworms. However, available data on the genomic arrangement and expression of flatworm Hox genes is so limited at present that such generalities are highly tenuous. Moreover, a basic underlying pattern of colinearity is still observed in their spatial expression patterns making them suitable as cell or region-specific markers. I discuss a number of fundamental developmental questions and some of the challenges to addressing them in relation to each of the major parasitic lineages. In addition, I present newly characterized Hox genes from the model tapeworm Hymenolepis and analyze these by Bayesian inference together with >100 Hox and ParaHox homeodomains of flatworms and select lophotrochozoan taxa, providing a

  15. Coexistence of free-living amoebae and bacteria in selected South African hospital water distribution systems.

    PubMed

    Muchesa, P; Leifels, M; Jurzik, L; Hoorzook, K B; Barnard, T G; Bartie, C

    2017-01-01

    Pathogenic free-living amoebae (FLA), such as Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris and Acanthamoeba species isolated from aquatic environments have been implicated in central nervous system, eye and skin human infections. They also allow the survival, growth and transmission of bacteria such as Legionella, Mycobacteria and Vibrio species in water systems. The purpose of this study was to investigate the co-occurrence of potentially pathogenic FLA and their associated bacteria in hospital water networks in Johannesburg, South Africa. A total of 178 water (n = 95) and swab (n = 83) samples were collected from two hospital water distribution systems. FLA were isolated using the amoebal enrichment technique and identified using PCR and 18S rDNA sequencing. Amoebae potentially containing intra-amoebal bacteria were lysed and cultured on blood agar plates. Bacterial isolates were characterized using the VITEK®2 compact System. Free-living amoebae were isolated from 77 (43.3 %) of the samples. Using microscopy, PCR and 18S rRNA sequencing, Acanthamoeba spp. (T3 and T20 genotypes), Vermamoeba vermiformis and Naegleria gruberi specie were identified. The Acanthamoeba T3 and T20 genotypes have been implicated in eye and central nervous system infections. The most commonly detected bacterial species were Serratia marcescens, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Delftia acidovorans, Sphingomonas paucimobilis and Comamonas testosteroni. These nosocomial pathogenic bacteria are associated with systematic blood, respiratory tract, the urinary tract, surgical wounds and soft tissues infections. The detection of FLA and their associated opportunistic bacteria in the hospital water systems point out to a potential health risk to immune-compromised individuals.

  16. Predicting free-living energy expenditure using a miniaturized ear-worn sensor: an evaluation against doubly labeled water.

    PubMed

    Bouarfa, Loubna; Atallah, Louis; Kwasnicki, Richard Mark; Pettitt, Claire; Frost, Gary; Yang, Guang-Zhong

    2014-02-01

    Accurate estimation of daily total energy expenditure (EE)is a prerequisite for assisted weight management and assessing certain health conditions. The use of wearable sensors for predicting free-living EE is challenged by consistent sensor placement, user compliance, and estimation methods used. This paper examines whether a single ear-worn accelerometer can be used for EE estimation under free-living conditions.An EE prediction model as first derived and validated in a controlled setting using healthy subjects involving different physical activities. Ten different activities were assessed showing a tenfold cross validation error of 0.24. Furthermore, the EE prediction model shows a mean absolute deviation(MAD) below 1.2 metabolic equivalent of tasks. The same model was applied to a free-living setting with a different population for further validation. The results were compared against those derived from doubly labeled water. In free-living settings, the predicted daily EE has a correlation of 0.74, p 0.008, and a MAD of 272 kcal day. These results demonstrate that laboratory-derived prediction models can be used to predict EE under free-living conditions [corrected].

  17. Comparison of Extracellular Enzyme Activities and Community Composition of Attached and Free-Living Bacteria in Porous Media Columns

    SciTech Connect

    Lehman, Richard Michael

    2002-04-01

    Free-living and surface-associated microbial communities in sand-packed columns perfused with groundwater were compared by examination of compositional and functional characteristics. The composition of the microbial communities was assessed by bulk DNA extraction, PCR amplification of 16S ribosomal DNA fragments, separation of these fragments by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, and sequence analysis. Community function was assessed by measurement of ß-glucosidase and aminopeptidase extracellular enzyme activities. Free-living populations in the aqueous phase exhibited a greater diversity of phylotypes than populations associated with the solid phase. The attached bacterial community displayed significantly greater ß-glucosidase and aminopeptidase enzyme activities per volume of porous medium than those of the free-living community. On a per-cell basis, the attached community had a significantly higher cell-specific aminopeptidase enzyme activity (1.07 x 10-7 nmol cell-1 h-1) than the free-living community (5.02 x 10-8 nmol cell-1 h-1). Conversely, the free-living community had a significantly higher cell-specific ß-glucosidase activity (1.92 x 10-6 nmol cell-1 h-1) than the surface-associated community (6.08 x 10-7 nmol cell-1 h-1). The compositional and functional differences observed between these two communities may reflect different roles for these distinct but interacting communities in the decomposition of natural organic matter or biodegradation of xenobiotics in aquifers.

  18. Grapevine red blotch-associated virus is Present in Free-Living Vitis spp. Proximal to Cultivated Grapevines.

    PubMed

    Perry, Keith L; McLane, Heather; Hyder, Muhammad Z; Dangl, Gerald S; Thompson, Jeremy R; Fuchs, Marc F

    2016-06-01

    Red blotch is an emerging disease of grapevine associated with grapevine red blotch-associated virus (GRBaV). The virus spreads with infected planting stocks but no vector of epidemiological significance has been conclusively identified. A vineyard block of red-blotch-affected Vitis vinifera 'Cabernet franc' clone 214 was observed in California, with a clustering of infected, symptomatic vines focused along one edge of the field proximal to a riparian habitat with free-living Vitis spp. No genetic heterogeneity was observed in a 587-nucleotide region of the GRBaV genome in a population of 44 Cabernet franc clone 214 isolates. By contrast, genetic differences were observed in isolates from other cultivars and clones growing in adjacent blocks. GRBaV was confirmed infecting four free-living vines, two of which were shown to be V. californica × V. vinifera hybrids. The genomes of three free-living GRBaV vine isolates and seven from V. vinifera cultivars were compared; free-living vine isolates were shown to be more similar to each other and a 'Merlot' isolate than to the other cultivated vine isolates. The finding that GRBaV is present in free-living Vitis spp. indicates the virus can be spread by natural (nonhuman-mediated) means, and we hypothesize that in-field spread of GRBaV is occurring.

  19. The Wageningen Lowland Runoff Simulator (WALRUS): a lumped rainfall-runoff model for catchments with shallow groundwater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brauer, C. C.; Teuling, A. J.; Torfs, P. J. J. F.; Uijlenhoet, R.

    2014-02-01

    We present the Wageningen Lowland Runoff Simulator (WALRUS), a novel rainfall-runoff model to fill the gap between complex, spatially distributed models which are often used in lowland catchments and simple, parametric (conceptual) models which have mostly been developed for mountainous catchments. WALRUS explicitly accounts for processes that are important in lowland areas, notably (1) groundwater-unsaturated zone coupling, (2) wetness-dependent flow routes, (3) groundwater-surface water feedbacks and (4) seepage and surface water supply. WALRUS consists of a coupled groundwater-vadose zone reservoir, a quickflow reservoir and a surface water reservoir. WALRUS is suitable for operational use because it is computationally efficient and numerically stable (achieved with a flexible time step approach). In the open source model code default relations have been implemented, leaving only four parameters which require calibration. For research purposes, these defaults can easily be changed. Numerical experiments show that the implemented feedbacks have the desired effect on the system variables.

  20. The Wageningen Lowland Runoff Simulator (WALRUS): a lumped rainfall-runoff model for catchments with shallow groundwater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brauer, C. C.; Teuling, A. J.; Torfs, P. J. J. F.; Uijlenhoet, R.

    2014-10-01

    We present the Wageningen Lowland Runoff Simulator (WALRUS), a novel rainfall-runoff model to fill the gap between complex, spatially distributed models which are often used in lowland catchments and simple, parametric (conceptual) models which have mostly been developed for sloping catchments. WALRUS explicitly accounts for processes that are important in lowland areas, notably (1) groundwater-unsaturated zone coupling, (2) wetness-dependent flow routes, (3) groundwater-surface water feedbacks and (4) seepage and surface water supply. WALRUS consists of a coupled groundwater-vadose zone reservoir, a quickflow reservoir and a surface water reservoir. WALRUS is suitable for operational use because it is computationally efficient and numerically stable (achieved with a flexible time step approach). In the open source model code default relations have been implemented, leaving only four parameters which require calibration. For research purposes, these defaults can easily be changed. Numerical experiments show that the implemented feedbacks have the desired effect on the system variables.

  1. Sea-ice habitat preference of the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) in the Bering Sea: A multiscaled approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sacco, Alexander Edward

    The goal of this thesis is to define specific parameters of mesoscale sea-ice seascapes for which walruses show preference during important periods of their natural history. This research thesis incorporates sea-ice geophysics, marine-mammal ecology, remote sensing, computer vision techniques, and traditional ecological knowledge of indigenous subsistence hunters in order to quantitatively study walrus preference of sea ice during the spring migration in the Bering Sea. Using an approach that applies seascape ecology, or landscape ecology to the marine environment, our goal is to define specific parameters of ice patch descriptors, or mesoscale seascapes in order to evaluate and describe potential walrus preference for such ice and the ecological services it provides during an important period of their life-cycle. The importance of specific sea-ice properties to walrus occupation motivates an investigation into how walruses use sea ice at multiple spatial scales when previous research suggests that walruses do not show preference for particular floes. Analysis of aerial imagery, using image processing techniques and digital geomorphometric measurements (floe size, shape, and arrangement), demonstrated that while a particular floe may not be preferred, at larger scales a collection of floes, specifically an ice patch (< 4 km2), was preferred. This shows that walruses occupy ice patches with distinct ice features such as floe convexity, spatial density, and young ice and open water concentration. Ice patches that are occupied by adult and juvenile walruses show a small number of characteristics that vary from those ice patches that were visually unoccupied. Using synthetic aperture radar imagery, we analyzed co-located walrus observations and statistical texture analysis of radar imagery to quantify seascape preferences of walruses during the spring migration. At a coarse resolution of 100 -- 9,000 km2, seascape analysis shows that, for the years 2006 -- 2008

  2. Ability to negotiate stairs predicts free-living physical activity in community-dwelling people with stroke: an observational study.

    PubMed

    Alzahrani, Matar Abdullah; Dean, Catherine M; Ada, Louise

    2009-01-01

    Which clinical measures of walking performance best predict free-living physical activity in community-dwelling people with stroke? Cross-sectional observational study. 42 community-dwelling stroke survivors. Predictors were four clinical measures of walking performance (speed, automaticity, capacity, and stairs ability). The outcome of interest was free-living physical activity, measured as frequency (activity counts) and duration (time on feet), collected using an activity monitor called the Intelligent Device for Energy Expenditure and Physical Activity. Time on feet was predicted by stairs ability alone (B 166, 95% CI 55 to 278) which accounted for 48% of the variance. Activity counts were also predicted by stairs ability alone (B 6486, 95% CI 2922 to 10 050) which accounted for 58% of the variance. The best predictor of free-living physical activity in community-dwelling people with stroke was stairs ability.

  3. Status of free-living amoebae (Acanthamoeba spp., Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris) in drinking water supplies in Karachi, Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Yousuf, Farzana Abubakar; Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah; Subhani, Faysal; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2013-06-01

    The ability of pathogenic free-living amoebae to produce infections is a growing concern. In this study, we investigated the presence of free-living amoebae (Acanthamoeba spp., Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris) in drinking water supplies in Karachi, Pakistan. Fifty-two domestic tap water samples were examined. Amoebae were identified by morphological characteristics and polymerase chain reaction. Thirty percent of the examined samples were positive for Acanthamoeba spp., 8% for N. fowleri while B. mandrillaris were not recovered. Additionally we examined secretory IgA antibody to Acanthamoeba and B. mandrillaris. Acanthamoeba antibody prevalence rate was 100% in both males and females, while B. mandrillaris antibody prevalence rate was 5.5% in males only (females were negative). Our findings suggest that free-living amoebae are a potential health hazard in domestic water supplies in Karachi, Pakistan.

  4. Evaluation of a method using survey counts and tag data to estimate the number of Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) using a coastal haulout in northwestern Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Battaile, Brian; Jay, Chadwick V.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Fischbach, Anthony S.

    2017-01-01

    Increased periods of sparse sea ice over the continental shelf of the Chukchi Sea in late summer have reduced offshore haulout habitat for Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) and increased opportunities for human activities in the region. Knowing how many walruses could be affected by human activities would be useful to conservation decisions. Currently, there are no adequate estimates of walrus abundance in the northeastern Chukchi Sea during summer–early autumn. Estimating abundance in autumn might be possible from coastal surveys of hauled out walruses during periods when offshore sea ice is unavailable to walruses. We evaluated methods to estimate the size of the walrus population that was using a haulout on the coast of northwestern Alaska in autumn by using aerial photography to count the number of hauled out walruses (herd size) and data from 37 tagged walruses to estimate availability (proportion of population hauled out). We used two methods to estimate availability, direct proportions of hauled out tagged walruses and smoothed proportions using local polynomial regression. Point estimates of herd size (4200–38,000 walruses) and total population size (76,000–287,000 walruses) ranged widely among days and between the two methods of estimating availability. Estimates of population size were influenced most by variation in estimates of availability. Coastal surveys might be improved most by counting walruses when the greatest numbers are hauled out, thereby reducing the influence of availability on population size estimates. The chance of collecting data during peak haulout periods would be improved by conducting multiple surveys.

  5. Cardiorespiratory fitness estimation using wearable sensors: Laboratory and free-living analysis of context-specific submaximal heart rates.

    PubMed

    Altini, Marco; Casale, Pierluigi; Penders, Julien; Ten Velde, Gabrielle; Plasqui, Guy; Amft, Oliver

    2016-05-01

    In this work, we propose to use pattern recognition methods to determine submaximal heart rate (HR) during specific contexts, such as walking at a certain speed, using wearable sensors in free living, and using context-specific HR to estimate cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF). CRF of 51 participants was assessed by a maximal exertion test (V̇o2 max). Participants wore a combined accelerometer and HR monitor during a laboratory-based simulation of activities of daily living and for 2 wk in free living. Anthropometrics, HR while lying down, and walking at predefined speeds in laboratory settings were used to estimate CRF. Explained variance (R(2)) was 0.64 for anthropometrics, and increased up to 0.74 for context-specific HR (0.73-0.78 when including fat-free mass). Next, we developed activity recognition and walking speed estimation algorithms to determine the same contexts (i.e., lying down and walking) in free living. Context-specific HR in free living was highly correlated with laboratory measurements (Pearson's r = 0.71-0.75). R(2) for CRF estimation was 0.65 when anthropometrics were used as predictors, and increased up to 0.77 when including free-living context-specific HR (i.e., HR while walking at 5.5 km/h). R(2) varied between 0.73 and 0.80 when including fat-free mass among the predictors. Root mean-square error was reduced from 354.7 to 281.0 ml/min by the inclusion of context-specific HR parameters (21% error reduction). We conclude that pattern recognition techniques can be used to contextualize HR in free living and estimated CRF with accuracy comparable to what can be obtained with laboratory measurements of HR response to walking.

  6. A novel method to remotely measure food intake of free-living people in real-time

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Corby K.; Han, Hongmei; Coulon, Sandra M.; Allen, H. Raymond; Champagne, Catherine M.; Anton, Stephen D.

    2008-01-01

    The aim of this study was to report the first reliability and validity tests of the Remote Food Photography Method (RFPM), which consists of camera-enabled cell phones with data transfer capability. Participants take and transmit photographs of food selection and plate waste to researchers/clinicians for analysis. Following two pilot studies, adult participants (N=52, 20≤BMI≤35) were randomly assigned to the dine-in or take-out group. Energy intake (EI) was measured for three days. The dine-in group ate lunch and dinner in the laboratory. The take-out group ate lunch in the laboratory and dinner in free-living conditions (participants received a cooler with pre-weighed food that they returned the following morning). Energy intake was measured with the RFPM and by directly weighing foods. The RFPM was tested in laboratory and free-living conditions. Reliability was tested over three days and validity was tested by comparing directly weighed EI to EI estimated with the RFPM using Bland-Altman analysis. The RFPM produced reliable EI estimates over three days in laboratory (r=.62, p<.0001) and free-living (r=.68, p<.0001) conditions. Weighed EI correlated highly with EI estimated with the RFPM in laboratory and free-living conditions (r’s>.93, p<.0001). In two laboratory-based validity tests, the RFPM underestimated EI by -4.7% (p=.046) and -5.5% (p=.076). In free-living conditions, the RFPM underestimated EI by -6.6% (p=.017). Bias did not differ by body weight or age. The RFPM is a promising new method for accurately measuring the EI of free-living people. Error associated with the method is small compared to self-report methods. PMID:18616837

  7. Diversity and activity of free-living nitrogen-fixing bacteria and total bacteria in organic and conventionally managed soils.

    PubMed

    Orr, Caroline H; James, Angela; Leifert, Carlo; Cooper, Julia M; Cummings, Stephen P

    2011-02-01

    Agricultural soils are heterogeneous environments in which conditions affecting microbial growth and diversity fluctuate widely in space and time. In this study, the molecular ecology of the total bacterial and free-living nitrogen-fixing communities in soils from the Nafferton Factorial Systems Comparison (NFSC) study in northeast England were examined. The field experiment was factorial in design, with organic versus conventional crop rotation, crop protection, and fertility management factors. Soils were sampled on three dates (March, June, and September) in 2007. Total RNA was extracted from all soil samples and reverse transcribed. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and quantitative PCR (qPCR) were used to analyze nifH and 16S rRNA genes in order to study free-living diazotrophs and the total bacterial community, respectively. Crop rotation was shown to have a significant effect on total bacterial diversity (and that of free-living N fixers) (P ≤ 0.001). On all three dates, nifH activity was higher in the conventional crop rotation. In contrast, qPCR analysis of free-living N fixers indicated significantly higher levels of activity in conventionally fertilized plots in June (P = 0.0324) and in plots with organic crop protection in September (P = 0.0143). To our knowledge, the effects of organic and conventional farming systems on free-living diazotrophs have never been studied. An increased understanding of the impacts of management practices on free-living N fixers could allow modifications in soil management practices to optimize the activity of these organisms.

  8. Comparison of nucleic acid content in populations of free-living and symbiotic Rhizobium meliloti by flow microfluorometry.

    PubMed Central

    Paau, A S; Lee, D; Cowles, J R

    1977-01-01

    Populations of symbiotic Rhizobium meliloti extracted from alfalfa nodules were shown by flow microfluorometry to contain a significant number of bacteroids with higher nucleic acid content than the free-living rhizobia. Bacteroids with lower nucleic acid content than the free-living bacteria were not detected in significant quantities in these populations. These results indicate that the incapability of bacteroids to reestablish growth in nutrient media may not be caused by a decrease in nucleic acid content of the symbiotic rhizobia. PMID:838682

  9. A Comparison of Two Motion Sensors for the Assessment of Free-Living Physical Activity of Adolescents

    PubMed Central

    Cuberek, Roman; Ansari, Walid El; Frömel, Karel; Skalik, Krzysztof; Sigmund, Erik

    2010-01-01

    This study assessed and compared the daily step counts recorded by two different motion sensors in order to estimate the free-living physical activity of 135 adolescent girls. Each girl concurrently wore a Yamax pedometer and an ActiGraph accelerometer (criterion measure) every day for seven consecutive days. The convergent validity of the pedometer can be considered intermediate when used to measure the step counts in free-living physical activity; but should be considered with caution when used to classify participants’ step counts into corresponding physical activity categories because of a likelihood of ‘erroneous’ classification in comparison with the accelerometer. PMID:20617046

  10. Mechanical and free living comparisons of four generations of the Actigraph activity monitor

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background More studies include multiple generations of the Actigraph activity monitor. So far no studies have compared the output including the newest generation and investigated the impact on the output of the activity monitor when enabling the low frequency extension (LFE) option. The aims were to study the responses of four generations (AM7164, GT1M, GT3X and GT3X+) of the Actigraph activity monitor in a mechanical setup and a free living environment with and without enabling the LFE option. Methods The monitors were oscillated in a mechanical setup using two radii in the frequency range 0.25-3.0 Hz. Following the mechanical study a convenience sample (N = 20) wore three monitors (one AM7164 and two GT3X) for 24 hours. Results The AM7164 differed from the newer generations across frequencies (p < 0.05) in the mechanical setup. The AM7164 produced a higher output at the lower and at the highest intensities, whereas the output was lower at the middle intensities in the mid-range compared to the newer generations. The LFE option decreased the differences at the lower frequencies, but increased differences at the higher. In free living, the mean physical activity level (PA) of the GT3X was 18 counts per minute (CPM) (8%) lower compared to the AM7164 (p < 0.001). Time spent in sedentary intensity was 26.6 minutes (95% CI 15.6 to 35.3) higher when assessed by the GT3X compared to the AM7164 (p < 0.001). Time spend in light and vigorous PA were 23.3 minutes (95% CI 31.8 to 14.8) and 11.7 minutes (95% CI 2.8 to 0.7) lower when assessed by the GT3X compared to the AM7164 (p < 0.05). When enabling the LFE the differences in the sedentary and light PA intensity (<333 counts*10 sec-1) were attenuated (p > 0.05 for differences between generations) thus attenuated the difference in mean PA (p > 0.05) when the LFE option was enabled. However, it did not attenuate the difference in time spend in vigorous PA and it introduced a difference

  11. Are baseline and short-term corticosterone stress responses in free-living amphibians repeatable?

    PubMed

    Narayan, Edward J; Cockrem, John F; Hero, Jean-Marc

    2013-01-01

    Amphibians respond to environmental stressors by secreting corticosterone, a stress hormone which promotes physiological and behavioral responses. Capture handling can be used to stimulate physiological stress response in amphibians. The use of single blood sampling and presentation of mean data often limits the quantification of within and between individual variation in baseline and short-term corticosterone stress responses in amphibians. It is important for studies of amphibian physiological ecology to determine whether baseline and short-term corticosterone stress responses are consistent or not. We quantified repeatability (r), a statistical measure of consistency, in baseline and short-term corticosterone stress responses to a standard capture and handling stress protocol in free-living adult male cane toads (Rhinella marina). Corticosterone metabolite concentrations were measured entirely non-invasively in male toad urine samples via an enzyme-immunoassay. During the first sampling occasion, urine samples were collected manually from individual male toads (n=20) immediately upon field capture. Toads were handled for 5min then transferred to plastic bags (constituting a mild stressor), and urine samples were collected hourly over 8h in the field. The toads were resampled for baseline (0h) urine corticosterone with hourly urine sampling over 8h (for quantification of the stress induced corticosterone) at 14 day intervals on three consecutive occasions. Within and between sample variations in urinary corticosterone metabolite concentrations were also quantified. All toads expressed a corticosterone stress response over 8h to our standard capture and handling stress protocol. Variations both within and between toads was higher for corrected integrated corticosterone concentrations than corticosterone concentrations at baseline, 3 or 6h. Baseline urinary corticosterone metabolite concentration of the male toads was highly repeatable (r=0.877) together with high

  12. Free-living turtles are a reservoir for Salmonella but not for Campylobacter.

    PubMed

    Marin, Clara; Ingresa-Capaccioni, Sofia; González-Bodi, Sara; Marco-Jiménez, Francisco; Vega, Santiago

    2013-01-01

    Different studies have reported the prevalence of Salmonella in turtles and its role in reptile-associated salmonellosis in humans, but there is a lack of scientific literature related with the epidemiology of Campylobacter in turtles. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of Campylobacter and Salmonella in free-living native (Emys orbicularis, n=83) and exotic (Trachemysscripta elegans, n=117) turtles from 11 natural ponds in Eastern Spain. In addition, different types of samples (cloacal swabs, intestinal content and water from Turtle containers) were compared. Regardless of the turtle species, natural ponds where individuals were captured and the type of sample taken, Campylobacter was not detected. Salmonella was isolated in similar proportions in native (8.0 ± 3.1%) and exotic (15.0 ± 3.3%) turtles (p=0.189). The prevalence of Salmonella positive turtles was associated with the natural ponds where animals were captured. Captured turtles from 8 of the 11 natural ponds were positive, ranged between 3.0 ± 3.1% and 60.0 ± 11.0%. Serotyping revealed 8 different serovars among four Salmonella enterica subspecies: S. enterica subsp. enterica (n = 21), S. enterica subsp. salamae (n = 2), S. enterica subsp. diarizonae (n = 3), and S. enterica subsp. houtenae (n = 1). Two serovars were predominant: S. Thompson (n=16) and S. typhimurium (n=3). In addition, there was an effect of sample type on Salmonella detection. The highest isolation of Salmonella was obtained from intestinal content samples (12.0 ± 3.0%), while lower percentages were found for water from the containers and cloacal swabs (8.0 ± 2.5% and 3.0 ± 1.5%, respectively). Our results imply that free-living turtles are a risk factor for Salmonella transmission, but do not seem to be a reservoir for Campylobacter. We therefore rule out turtles as a risk factor for human campylobacteriosis. Nevertheless, further studies should be undertaken in other countries to confirm these results.

  13. Heterothermy and the water economy of free-living Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx).

    PubMed

    Ostrowski, Stéphane; Williams, Joseph B; Ismael, Khairi

    2003-05-01

    To test the idea that large, free-living, desert ungulates use heterothermy to reduce water loss, we measured core body temperature (T(b)) of six free-ranging, adult Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx) during 2 years in the arid desert of west-central Saudi Arabia. We report the first case of heterothermy in a free-living ruminant in a desert environment: T(b) varied by 4.1+/-1.7 degrees C day(-1) during summer (June to September) and by 1.5+/-0.6 degrees C day (-1) during winter (November to March). Over both seasons, mean T(b) was 38.4+/-1.3 degrees C. During the day in both summer and winter, T(b) increased continually, suggesting that oryx store heat instead of dissipating it by evaporation, whereas at night T(b) decreased. The minimum T(b) was lower in summer (36.5+/-1.16 degrees C) than in winter (37.5+/-0.51 degrees C) despite the fact that the temperature gradient between T(b) and air temperature (T(a)) was larger and solar radiation was lower in winter. Throughout the year, daily variation in T(b) appeared to reflect thermal load (T(a,max)-T(a,min)) rather than an endogenous rhythm. Behavioural thermoregulation was used by oryx to cope with thermal stress during summer: animals lay down in shade in the morning shortly before T(a) exceeded T(b) and remained there until evening when T(b)-T(a) became positive. The use of heterothermy by oryx resulted in storage of 672.4 kJ day(-1) animal(-1) in summer and 258.6 kJ day(-1) animal(-1) in winter, if heat storage is based on calculations involving mean T(b). To dissipate this heat by evaporation would require 0.28 litres H(2)O day(-1) animal(-1) and 0.11 litres H(2)O day(-1) animal(-1) in summer and winter, respectively. Without heat storage in summer, we estimated that oryx would have to increase their water intake by 19%, a requirement that would be difficult to meet in their desert environment. If heat storage was calculated based on the daily change in T(b) rather than on heat storage above mean T(b) then we

  14. A model for the dynamics of the free-living stages of equine cyathostomins.

    PubMed

    Leathwick, Dave M; Donecker, John M; Nielsen, Martin K

    2015-04-30

    Anthelmintic resistance in strongyle nematode parasites of horses is an expanding global problem and steps need to be taken to slow its development before control becomes more problematic. A move away from traditional deworming programmes, involving frequent whole-herd treatments with broad spectrum anthelmintics, to a more strategic or targeted use of chemicals is required. However, anthelmintic resistance management strategies which also maintain effective control are invariably more complicated and often require a greater understanding of both nematode epidemiology and grazing management, than does the simple routine use of chemicals. Here, as a first step in applying a modelling approach to resistance management in horses, a model is proposed to describe the dynamics on pasture of the free-living stages of equine cyathostomins. Firstly, the development and survival of the pre-infective stages is considered as a single process driven by temperature, and secondly, two populations of infective stage larvae (L3) are considered; those within the faecal pat and those on the herbage. Both are modelled using the box-car train approach which allows for variable development rates within a cohort of individuals and full overlap of generations. Uniquely, L3 survival is modelled as an ageing process where larvae progress through physiological age classes at a rate determined by temperature and rainfall. Model output reflects the dynamics of free-living stages under a range of environments. Under extreme cold, there is no development to L3 but eggs can survive for long periods to develop if conditions become favourable, while L3 survival is reduced under repeated freeze-thaw cycles. Under tropical conditions, development is rapid and a large number of L3 can be produced but survival of L3 is short. In temperate climates development tends to be slower, with large numbers of L3 produced over the warmer months but fewer over winter, and L3 survival tends to be higher all year

  15. Effects of harmful cyanobacteria on the freshwater pathogenic free-living amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed

    Urrutia-Cordero, Pablo; Agha, Ramsy; Cirés, Samuel; Lezcano, María Ángeles; Sánchez-Contreras, María; Waara, Karl-Otto; Utkilen, Hans; Quesada, Antonio

    2013-04-15

    Grazing is a major regulating factor in cyanobacterial population dynamics and, subsequently, considerable effort has been spent on investigating the effects of cyanotoxins on major metazoan grazers. However, protozoan grazers such as free-living amoebae can also feed efficiently on cyanobacteria, while simultaneously posing a major threat for public health as parasites of humans and potential reservoirs of opportunistic pathogens. In this study, we conducted several experiments in which the freshwater amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii was exposed to pure microcystin-LR (MC-LR) and six cyanobacterial strains, three MC-producing strains (MC-LR, MC-RR, MC-YR, MC-WR, [Dha7] MC-RR) and three strains containing other oligopeptides such as anabaenopeptins and cyanopeptolins. Although the exposure to high concentrations of pure MC-LR yielded no effects on amoeba, all MC-producing strains inflicted high mortality rates on amoeba populations, suggesting that toxic effects must be mediated through the ingestion of toxic cells. Interestingly, an anabaenopeptin-producing strain caused the greatest inhibition of amoeba growth, indicating that toxic bioactive compounds other than MCs are of great importance for amoebae grazers. Confocal scanning microscopy revealed different alterations in amoeba cytoskeleton integrity and as such, the observed declines in amoeba densities could have indeed been caused via a cascade of cellular events primarily triggered by oligopeptides with protein-phosphatase inhibition capabilities such as MCs or anabaenopeptins. Moreover, inducible-defense mechanisms such as the egestion of toxic, MC-producing cyanobacterial cells and the increase of resting stages (encystation) in amoebae co-cultivated with all cyanobacterial strains were observed in our experiments. Consequently, cyanobacterial strains showed different susceptibilities to amoeba grazing which were possibly influenced by the potentiality of their toxic secondary metabolites. Hence, this

  16. Free-Living Turtles Are a Reservoir for Salmonella but Not for Campylobacter

    PubMed Central

    Marin, Clara; Ingresa-Capaccioni, Sofia; González-Bodi, Sara; Marco-Jiménez, Francisco; Vega, Santiago

    2013-01-01

    Different studies have reported the prevalence of Salmonella in turtles and its role in reptile-associated salmonellosis in humans, but there is a lack of scientific literature related with the epidemiology of Campylobacter in turtles. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of Campylobacter and Salmonella in free-living native (Emys orbicularis, n=83) and exotic (Trachemysscriptaelegans, n=117) turtles from 11 natural ponds in Eastern Spain. In addition, different types of samples (cloacal swabs, intestinal content and water from Turtle containers) were compared. Regardless of the turtle species, natural ponds where individuals were captured and the type of sample taken, Campylobacter was not detected. Salmonella was isolated in similar proportions in native (8.0±3.1%) and exotic (15.0±3.3%) turtles (p=0.189). The prevalence of Salmonella positive turtles was associated with the natural ponds where animals were captured. Captured turtles from 8 of the 11 natural ponds were positive, ranged between 3.0±3.1% and 60.0±11.0%. Serotyping revealed 8 different serovars among four Salmonella enterica subspecies: S. enterica subsp. enterica (n = 21), S. enterica subsp. salamae (n = 2), S. enterica subsp. diarizonae (n = 3), and S. enterica subsp. houtenae (n = 1). Two serovars were predominant: S. Thompson (n=16) and S. typhimurium (n=3). In addition, there was an effect of sample type on Salmonella detection. The highest isolation of Salmonella was obtained from intestinal content samples (12.0±3.0%), while lower percentages were found for water from the containers and cloacal swabs (8.0±2.5% and 3.0±1.5%, respectively). Our results imply that free-living turtles are a risk factor for Salmonella transmission, but do not seem to be a reservoir for Campylobacter. We therefore rule out turtles as a risk factor for human campylobacteriosis. Nevertheless, further studies should be undertaken in other countries to confirm these results. PMID:23951312

  17. Walrus foraging marks on the seafloor in Bristol Bay, Alaska: A reconnaissance survey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bornhold, B.D.; Jay, C.V.; McConnaughey, R.; Rathwell, G.; Rhynas, K.; Collins, W.

    2005-01-01

    A reconnaissance sidescan sonar survey in Bristol Bay, Alaska revealed extensive areas of seafloor with features related to walrus foraging. They are similar to those seen in areas such as the outer Bering Sea and Chukchi Sea. Two types of feature were observed: (a) small (??? 1 m diameter) shallow pits, often in clusters ranging in density from 5 pits per hectare to 35 pits per hectare; and, (b) more abundant, narrow, sinuous furrows, typically 5 to 10 m long with some reaching 20 m or more. Most foraging marks were in less than 60 m water depth in areas of sandy seafloor that were smooth, hummocky or characterized by degraded bedforms; the absence of foraging marks in other areas may be related, in part, to their more dynamic nature. The distribution of foraging marks was consistent in a general way with walrus locations from satellite telemetry studies. ?? Springer-Verlag 2005.

  18. Walrus foraging marks on the seafloor in Bristol Bay, Alaska: a reconnaissance survey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bornhold, B.D.; Jay, C.V.; McConnaughey, R.; Rathwell, G.; Rhynas, K.; Collins, W.

    2005-01-01

    A reconnaissance sidescan sonar survey in Bristol Bay, Alaska revealed extensive areas of seafloor with features related to walrus foraging. They are similar to those seen in areas such as the outer Bering Sea and Chukchi Sea. Two types of feature were observed: (a) small (<<1 m diameter) shallow pits, often in clusters ranging in density from 5 to 35 pits per hectare; and, (b) more abundant, narrow, sinuous furrows, typically 5 to 10 m long with some reaching 20 m or more. Most foraging marks were in less than 60 m water depth in areas of sandy seafloor that were smooth, hummocky or characterized by degraded bedforms; the absence of foraging marks in other areas may be related, in part, to their more dynamic nature. The distribution of foraging marks was consistent in a general way with walrus locations from satellite telemetry studies.

  19. Temporal association of serum progesterone concentrations and vaginal cytology in walruses (Odobenus rosmarus).

    PubMed

    Kinoshita, K; Kiwata, M; Kuwano, R; Sato, N; Tanaka, T; Nagata, M; Taira, H; Kusunoki, H

    2012-03-15

    Concentrations of serum estradiol-17β and progesterone were monitored in six female walruses using an enzyme immunoassay. Progesterone concentrations increased from March to May in females aged 6 y or older, and subsequently declined (October). No significant elevation of estradiol-17β concentration was detected before an elevation of progesterone concentration. Vaginal smears from four females were examined with Papanicolaou staining. In all females, most epithelial cells were basophilic intermediate-superficial cells; no color change from basophilic to eosinophilic of the cells was detected. Meanwhile, the percentage of anucleate cells in vaginal smears reached its highest value before the elevation of progesterone concentration, followed by an increase in the percentage of leukocytes. We inferred that the change in populations of anucleate cells and leukocytes in vaginal smears reflected ovarian status and CL formation in female walruses.

  20. Carnivora: the primary structure of the Pacific Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens, Pinnipedia) hemoglobin.

    PubMed

    Lin, H X; Kleinschmidt, T; Johnson, M L; Braunitzer, G

    1989-02-01

    The primary structure of the alpha- and beta-chains of the hemoglobin from the Pacific Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens, Pinnipedia) is presented. Sequence analysis revealed only one hemoglobin component whereas two bands were found in polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The globin chains were separated by high-performance liquid chromatography and the sequences determined by automatic liquid- and gas-phase sequencing of the chains and their tryptic peptides. The alpha-chains show 20 and the beta-chains 12 exchanges compared to the corresponding human chains. In the alpha-chains one heme- and two alpha 1/beta 1-contacts were exchanged whereas in the beta-chains one alpha 1/beta 1-, one alpha 1/beta 2-and one heme-contact are substituted. Compared to Harbour Seal (Phoca vitulina) the Walrus hemoglobin shows 9 amino-acid replacements in the alpha-chains and 5 in the beta-chains. The relation between Pinnipedia and Arctoidea is discussed.

  1. Walrus foraging marks on the seafloor in Bristol Bay, Alaska: a reconnaissance survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bornhold, Brian D.; Jay, Chadwick V.; McConnaughey, Robert; Rathwell, Glenda; Rhynas, Karl; Collins, William

    2005-11-01

    A reconnaissance sidescan sonar survey in Bristol Bay, Alaska revealed extensive areas of seafloor with features related to walrus foraging. They are similar to those seen in areas such as the outer Bering Sea and Chukchi Sea. Two types of feature were observed: (a) small (≪1 m diameter) shallow pits, often in clusters ranging in density from 5 pits per hectare to 35 pits per hectare; and, (b) more abundant, narrow, sinuous furrows, typically 5 to 10 m long with some reaching 20 m or more. Most foraging marks were in less than 60 m water depth in areas of sandy seafloor that were smooth, hummocky or characterized by degraded bedforms; the absence of foraging marks in other areas may be related, in part, to their more dynamic nature. The distribution of foraging marks was consistent in a general way with walrus locations from satellite telemetry studies.

  2. Daily foraging patterns in free-living birds: exploring the predation–starvation trade-off

    PubMed Central

    Bonter, David N.; Zuckerberg, Benjamin; Sedgwick, Carolyn W.; Hochachka, Wesley M.

    2013-01-01

    Daily patterns in the foraging behaviour of birds are assumed to balance the counteracting risks of predation and starvation. Predation risks are a function of the influence of weight on flight performance and foraging behaviours that may expose individuals to predators. Although recent research sheds light on daily patterns in weight gain, little data exist on daily foraging routines in free-living birds. In order to test the predictions of various hypotheses about daily patterns of foraging, we quantified the activity of four species of passerines in winter using radio-frequency identification receivers built into supplemental feeding stations. From records of 472 368 feeder visits by tagged birds, we found that birds generally started to feed before sunrise and continued to forage at a steady to increasing rate throughout the day. Foraging in most species terminated well before sunset, suggesting their required level of energy reserves was being reached before the end of the day. These results support the risk-spreading theorem over a long-standing hypothesis predicting bimodality in foraging behaviour purportedly driven by a trade-off between the risks of starvation and predation. Given the increased energetic demands experienced by birds during colder weather, our results suggest that birds' perceptions of risk are biased towards starvation avoidance in winter. PMID:23595267

  3. Longitudinal gonadal steroid excretion in free-living male and female meerkats (Suricata suricatta).

    PubMed

    Moss, A M; Clutton-Brock, T H; Monfort, S L

    2001-05-01

    Slender-tailed meerkats (Suricata suricatta) are small, diurnal, cooperatively breeding mongooses of the family Herpestidae. A prerequisite to fully understanding the mating system of meerkats is the development of a normative reproductive-endocrine database. This study examined longitudinal gonadal steroid excretion in all adult and juvenile individuals of both sexes within a social group of free-living meerkats sampled across an entire breeding season. The specific objectives of this study were to (1) validate noninvasive (fecal and urinary) gonadal steroid hormone monitoring techniques in male (testosterone) and female (estrogens, progestagens) meerkats; (2) test the feasibility of using these noninvasive methods under field conditions; (3) characterize the endocrine correlates associated with the female reproductive cycle, including estrus, gestation, and postpartum estrus; (4) examine longitudinal androgen excretion in males; and (5) determine whether social status (i.e., dominant versus subordinate) affected gonadal steroid excretion. In females, the results demonstrated the physiological validity of noninvasive monitoring in meerkats by corresponding excretory hormone concentrations to major reproductive events (i.e., estrous, pregnancy, parturition). Hormone excretory patterns during estrous intervals suggested possible mechanisms whereby reproductive suppression may operate in female meerkats. In males, androgen excretion did not correspond to changes in reproductive and aggressive behaviors, suggesting that dominance, and hence breeding access to females, was not regulated strictly by gonadal steroid production. The consistency in androgen excretion among male meerkats indicated that reproductive suppression may be mediated by behavioral (i.e., intermale aggression) rather than physiological (i.e., depressed spermatogenesis) mechanisms.

  4. A novel free-living prochlorophyte abundant in the oceanic euphotic zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chisholm, Sallie W.; Olson, Robert J.; Zettler, Erik R.; Goericke, Ralf; Waterbury, John B.; Welschmeyer, Nicholas A.

    1988-07-01

    The recent discovery of photosynthetic picoplankton has changed our understanding of marine food webs1. Both prokaryotic2,3 and eukaryotic4,5 species occur in most of the world's oceans and account for a significant proportion of global productivity6. Using shipboard flow cytometry, we have identified a new group of picoplankters which are extremely abundant, and barely visible using traditional microscopic techniques. These cells are smaller than the coccoid cyanobacteria and reach concentrations greater than 105 cells ml-1 in the deep euphotic zone. They fluoresce red and contain a divinyl chlorophyll a-like pigment, as well as chlorophyll b, α-carotene, and zeaxanthin. This unusual combination of pigments, and a distinctive prokaryotic ultrastructure, suggests that these picoplankters are free-living relatives of Prochloron7. They differ from previously reported prochlorophytes-the putative ancestors of the chloroplasts of higher plants-in that they contain α-carotene rather than β-carotene and contain a divinyl chlorophyll a-like pigment as the dominant chlorophyll.

  5. Observations on the free-living stages of cattle gastrointestinal nematodes.

    PubMed

    Fiel, C A; Fernández, A S; Rodríguez, E M; Fusé, L A; Steffan, P E

    2012-06-08

    A 4-year study on the free-living stages of cattle gastrointestinal nematodes was conducted to determine (a) the development time from egg to infective larvae (L3) inside the faecal pats, (b) the pasture infectivity levels over time, and (c) the survival of L3 on pasture. Naturally infected calves were allowed to contaminate 16 plots on monthly basis. Weekly monitoring of eggs per gram of faeces (epg) values and faecal cultures from these animals provided data for the contamination patterns and the relative nematode population composition. At the same time, faecal pats were shaped and deposited monthly onto herbage and sampled weekly to determine the development time from egg to L3. Herbage samples were collected fortnightly over a 16-month period after deposition to evaluate the pasture larval infectivity and survival of L3 over time. The development time from egg to L3 was 1-2 weeks in summer, 3-5 weeks in autumn, 4-6 weeks in winter, and 1-4 weeks in spring. The levels of contamination and pasture infectivity showed a clear seasonality during autumn-winter and spring, whilst a high mortality of larvae on pasture occurred in summer. Ostertagia spp., Cooperia spp. and Trichostrongylus spp. were predominant and a survival of L3 on pasture over a 1-year period was recorded in this study.

  6. Associations of free-living bacteria and dissolved organic compounds in a plume of contaminated groundwater

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harvey, Ronald W.; Barber, Larry B.

    1992-01-01

    Associations of free-living bacteria (FLB) and dissolved organic contaminants in a 4-km-long plume of sewage-contaminated groundwater were investigated. Abundance of FLB in the core of the plume (as delineated by maximum specific conductance) steadily decreased in the direction of flow from a point 0.25 km downgradient from the source to the toe of the plume. At 0.25 km downgradient, FLB comprised up to 31% of the total bacterial population, but constituted <7% of the population at 2 km downgradient. Abundance of FLB correlated strongly (r = 0.80, n = 23) with total dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in contaminated groundwater between 0.64 and 2.1 km downgradient, although distributions of individual contaminants such as di-, tri- and tetrachloroethene were highly variable, and their association with FLB less clear. Numbers of FLB in the downgradient portion of the plume which is contaminated with branched-chain alkylbenzenesulfonate (ABS) surfactants were low (<5 · 108/L) in spite of relatively high levels of DOC (up to 4 mg/L). However, abundance of FLB correlated strongly with non-surfactant DOC along vertical transects through the plume. The ratio of FLB to DOC and the ratio of FLB to attached bacteria generally decreased in the direction of flow and, consequently, with the age of the organic contaminants.

  7. Associations of free-living bacteria and dissolved organic compounds in a plume of contaminated groundwater

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harvey, R.W.; Barber, L.B.; ,

    1992-01-01

    Associations of free-living bacteria (FLB) and dissolved organic contaminants in a 4-km-long plume of sewage-contaminated groundwater were investigated. Abundance of FLB in the core of the plume (as delineated by maximum specific conductance) steadily decreased in the direction of flow from a point 0.25 km downgradient from the source to the toe of the plume. At 0.25 km downgradient, FLB comprised up to 31% of the total bacterial population, but constituted < 7% of the population at 2 km downgradient. Abundance of FLB correlated strongly (r = 0.80 n = 23) with total dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in contaminated groundwater between 0.64 and 2.1 km downgradient, although distributions of individual contaminants such as di-, tri- and tetrachloroethene were highly variable, and their association with FLB less clear. Numbers of FLB in the downgradient portion of the plume which is contaminated with branched-chain alkylbenzenesulfonate (ABS) surfactants were low (< 5??108/L) in spite of relatively high levels of DOC (up to 4 mg/L). However, abundance of FLB correlated strongly with non-surfactant DOC along vertical transects through the plume. The ratio of FLB to DOC and the ratio of FLB to attached bacteria generally decreased in the direction of flow and, consequently, with the age of the organic contaminants.

  8. Clinical pathology and parasitologic evaluation of free-living nestlings of the Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus).

    PubMed

    Allgayer, M C; Guedes, N M R; Chiminazzo, C; Cziulik, M; Weimer, T A

    2009-10-01

    This study evaluated the health status and established hematologic and serum biochemistry parameters for free-living nestlings of the Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) from the Brazilian Pantanal (19 degrees 51'-19 degrees 58'S; 56 degrees 17'-56 degrees 24'W), for four consecutive years (from December 2003 through December 2006). Physical examinations indicated that all the birds were in good health. Endoparasites and blood parasites were not detected in any of the nestlings, and ectoparasites seemed to be limited to Philornis sp. (Diptera: Muscidae). Significantly higher levels of total white blood cells and heterophils, glucose, total protein, triglycerides, and phosphorus were observed in females. In females, higher cholesterol levels and packed cell volumes were observed in older birds, and total white blood cell and heterophil counts were higher in young animals. In males, uric acid levels were higher in older individuals. Wild Pantanal Hyacinth Macaws feed on only two species of palm nuts (Acrocomia totai and Scheelea phalerta). This limited food habit has a strong impact on population size and may alter the clinical pathology parameters of these birds. Therefore, knowledge of blood levels in normal individuals is essential to assess the physiologic and pathologic condition of wild macaws, to assess the effects of environmental changes on their health, and to contribute to conservation strategies of this endangered species.

  9. Free-living amoebae (FLA) co-occurring with legionellae in industrial waters☆

    PubMed Central

    Scheikl, Ute; Sommer, Regina; Kirschner, Alexander; Rameder, Alexandra; Schrammel, Barbara; Zweimüller, Irene; Wesner, Wolfgang; Hinker, Manfred; Walochnik, Julia

    2014-01-01

    Legionella pneumophila is known as the causative agent of Legionnaires’ disease and free-living amoebae (FLA) can serve as vehicles for legionellae. The aim of this study was to screen industrial waters for the occurrence of FLA and their co-occurrence with legionellae. A total of 201 water samples, including 129 cooling waters and 72 process waters, and 30 cooling lubricants were included in the study. Treated waters were screened periodically, pre and post treatment. Altogether, 72.6% of the water samples were positive for FLA, acanthamoebae being most prevalent (in 23.9% of the samples) followed by Vermamoeba vermiformis (19.4%). Only one cooling lubricant was positive (Acanthamoeba genotype T4). Legionella spp. were detected in 34.8% of the water samples and in 15% in high concentrations (>1000 CFU/100 ml). Altogether, 81.4% of the Legionella-positive samples were positive for FLA by standard methods. By applying a highly sensitive nested PCR to a representative set of random samples it was revealed that Legionella spp. always co-occurred with Acanthamoeba spp. Although the addition of disinfectants did influence amoebal density and diversity, treated waters showed no difference concerning FLA in the interphases of disinfection. It appears that FLA can re-colonize treated waters within a short period of time. PMID:25062389

  10. Toward a low-cost gait analysis system for clinical and free-living assessment.

    PubMed

    Ladha, Cassim; Del Din, Silvia; Nazarpour, Kianoush; Hickey, Aodhan; Morris, Rosie; Catt, Michael; Rochester, Lynn; Godfrey, Alan

    2016-08-01

    Gait is an important clinical assessment tool since changes in gait may reflect changes in general health. Measurement of gait is a complex process which has been restricted to bespoke clinical facilities until recently. The use of inexpensive wearable technologies is an attractive alternative and offers the potential to assess gait in any environment. In this paper we present the development of a low cost analysis gait system built using entirely open source components. The system is used to capture spatio-temporal gait characteristics derived from an existing conceptual model, sensitive to ageing and neurodegenerative pathology (e.g. Parkinson's disease). We demonstrate the system is suitable for use in a clinical unit and will lead to pragmatic use in a free-living (home) environment. The system consists of a wearable (tri-axial accelerometer and gyroscope) with a Raspberry Pi module for data storage and analysis. This forms ongoing work to develop gait as a low cost diagnostic in modern healthcare.

  11. Free-living freshwater amoebae differ in their susceptibility to the pathogenic bacterium Legionella pneumophila.

    PubMed

    Dey, Rafik; Bodennec, Jacques; Mameri, Mouh Oulhadj; Pernin, Pierre

    2009-01-01

    Legionella pneumophila is known as a facultative intracellular parasite of free-living soil and freshwater amoebae, of which several species have been shown to support the growth of the pathogenic bacteria. We report for the first time the behaviour of two strains (c2c and Z503) of the amoeba Willaertia magna towards different strains of L. pneumophila serogroup 1 and compared it with Acanthamoeba castellanii and Hartmannella vermiformis, known to be L. pneumophila permissive. In contrast to the results seen with other amoebae, W. magna c2c inhibited the growth of one strain of Legionella (L. pneumophila, Paris), but not of others belonging to the same serogroup (L. pneumophila, Philadelphia and L. pneumophila, Lens). Also, the different L. pneumophila inhibited cell growth and induced cell death in A. castellanii, H. vermiformis and W. magna Z503 within 3-4 days while W. magna c2c strain remained unaffected even up to 7 days. Electron microscopy demonstrated that the formation of numerous replicative phagosomes observed within Acanthamoeba and Hartmannella is rarely seen in W. magna c2c cocultured with L. pneumophila. Moreover, the morphological differences were observed between L. pneumophila cultured either with Willaertia or other amoebae. These observations show that amoebae are not all equally permissive to L. pneumophila and highlight W. magna c2c as particularly resistant towards some strains of this bacterium.

  12. Isolation and Identification of Free-Living Amoebae from Tap Water in Sivas, Turkey

    PubMed Central

    Coşkun, Kübra Açıkalın; Özçelik, Semra; Elaldı, Nazif; Tutar, Yusuf

    2013-01-01

    The present work focuses on a local survey of free-living amoebae (FLA) that cause opportunistic and nonopportunistic infections in humans. Determining the prevalence of FLA in water sources can shine a light on the need to prevent FLA related illnesses. A total of 150 samples of tap water were collected from six districts of Sivas province. The samples were filtered and seeded on nonnutrient agar containing Escherichia coli spread. Thirty-three (22%) out of 150 samples were found to be positive for FLA. The FLA were identified by morphology and by PCR using 18S rDNA gene. The morphological analysis and partial sequencing of the 18S rDNA gene revealed the presence of three different species, Acanthamoeba castellanii, Acanthamoeba polyphaga, and Hartmannella vermiformis. Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris, or Sappinia sp. was not isolated during the study. All A. castellanii and A. polyphaga sequence types were found to be genotype T4 that contains most of the pathogenic Acanthamoeba strains. The results indicated the occurrence and distribution of FLA species in tap water in these localities of Sivas, Turkey. Furthermore, the presence of temperature tolerant Acanthamoeba genotype T4 in tap water in the region must be taken into account for health risks. PMID:23971043

  13. Wild, free-living rufous hummingbirds do not use geometric cues in a spatial task.

    PubMed

    Hornsby, Mark A W; Hurly, T Andrew; Hamilton, Caitlin E; Pritchard, David J; Healy, Susan D

    2014-10-01

    In the laboratory, many species orient themselves using the geometric properties of an enclosure or array and geometric information is often preferred over visual cues. Whether animals use geometric cues when relocating rewarded locations in the wild, however, has rarely been investigated. We presented free-living rufous hummingbirds with a rectangular array of four artificial flowers to investigate learning of rewarded locations using geometric cues. In one treatment, we rewarded two of four flowers at diagonally opposite corners. In a second treatment, we provided a visual cue to the rewarded flower by connecting the flowers with "walls" consisting of four dowels (three white, one blue) laid on the ground connecting each of the flowers. Neither treatment elicited classical geometry results; instead, hummingbirds typically chose one particular flower over all others. When we exchanged that flower with another, hummingbirds tended to visit the original flower. These results suggest that (1) hummingbirds did not use geometric cues, but instead may have used a visually derived cue on the flowers themselves, and (2) using geometric cues may have been more difficult than using visual characteristics. Although hummingbirds typically prefer spatial over visual information, we hypothesize that they will not use geometric cues over stable visual features but that they make use of small, flower-specific visual cues. Such cues may play a more important role in foraging decisions than previously thought. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Proteases from Entamoeba spp. and Pathogenic Free-Living Amoebae as Virulence Factors

    PubMed Central

    Serrano-Luna, Jesús; Piña-Vázquez, Carolina; Reyes-López, Magda; Ortiz-Estrada, Guillermo

    2013-01-01

    The standard reference for pathogenic and nonpathogenic amoebae is the human parasite Entamoeba histolytica; a direct correlation between virulence and protease expression has been demonstrated for this amoeba. Traditionally, proteases are considered virulence factors, including those that produce cytopathic effects in the host or that have been implicated in manipulating the immune response. Here, we expand the scope to other amoebae, including less-pathogenic Entamoeba species and highly pathogenic free-living amoebae. In this paper, proteases that affect mucin, extracellular matrix, immune system components, and diverse tissues and cells are included, based on studies in amoebic cultures and animal models. We also include proteases used by amoebae to degrade iron-containing proteins because iron scavenger capacity is currently considered a virulence factor for pathogens. In addition, proteases that have a role in adhesion and encystation, which are essential for establishing and transmitting infection, are discussed. The study of proteases and their specific inhibitors is relevant to the search for new therapeutic targets and to increase the power of drugs used to treat the diseases caused by these complex microorganisms. PMID:23476670

  15. Metabolic Capacity of Mitochondrion-related Organelles in the Free-living Anaerobic Stramenopile Cantina marsupialis.

    PubMed

    Noguchi, Fumiya; Shimamura, Shigeru; Nakayama, Takuro; Yazaki, Euki; Yabuki, Akinori; Hashimoto, Tetsuo; Inagaki, Yuji; Fujikura, Katsunori; Takishita, Kiyotaka

    2015-11-01

    Functionally and morphologically degenerate mitochondria, so-called mitochondrion-related organelles (MROs), are frequently found in eukaryotes inhabiting hypoxic or anoxic environments. In the last decade, MROs have been discovered from a phylogenetically broad range of eukaryotic lineages and these organelles have been revealed to possess diverse metabolic capacities. In this study, the biochemical characteristics of an MRO in the free-living anaerobic protist Cantina marsupialis, which represents an independent lineage in stramenopiles, were inferred based on RNA-seq data. We found transcripts for proteins known to function in one form of MROs, the hydrogenosome, such as pyruvate:ferredoxin oxidoreductase, iron-hydrogenase, acetate:succinate CoA-transferase, and succinyl-CoA synthase, along with transcripts for acetyl-CoA synthetase (ADP-forming). These proteins possess putative mitochondrial targeting signals at their N-termini, suggesting dual ATP generation systems through anaerobic pyruvate metabolism in Cantina MROs. In addition, MROs in Cantina were also shown to share several features with canonical mitochondria, including amino acid metabolism and an "incomplete" tricarboxylic acid cycle. Transcripts for all four subunits of complex II (CII) of the electron transport chain were detected, while there was no evidence for the presence of complexes I, III, IV, or F1Fo ATPase. Cantina MRO biochemistry challenges the categories of mitochondrial organelles recently proposed.

  16. Occurrence of free-living amoebae in streams of the Mexico Basin.

    PubMed

    Bonilla-Lemus, Patricia; Caballero Villegas, Adán S; Carmona Jiménez, Javier; Lugo Vázquez, Alfonso

    2014-11-01

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) are protozoa that are widely distributed in nature. They are important in the cycling of nutrients in aquatic food chains, but their distribution in natural aquatic environments is not well known. We conducted a survey to determine the presence and distribution of FLA and their relation to some physicochemical parameters in streams of the Mexico Basin in Central Mexico. Thirty-two sites from 18 streams were sampled. Samples were centrifuged and cultured onto NNA-media to isolate amoebae. Identifications were based on morphology. The pathogenicity of Acanthamoeba isolates was tested. Oxygen saturation, temperature, pH, specific conductance, water flow, dissolved reactive phosphorus, nitrites, nitrates, ammonia, dissolved inorganic nitrogen and coliforms were determined. One hundred-and-twenty FLA representing 18 genera were identified. The most frequent genera were Vannella, Rosculus and Acanthamoeba. The frequency of potentially pathogenic FLA was low and only 3 Acanthamoeba isolates were invasive in mice. The highest species richness of FLA was found in streams located into agriculture activity areas and those close to small villages that discharge wastewater into them. Water temperatures were always below 17°C. Oxygen saturation and pH were within the limits for the growth of most FLA. The presence of Acanthamoeba and Naegleria was low; nevertheless, they include potentially pathogenic species and can act as vectors and reservoirs for microbial pathogens and can produce human infections. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Free-living spirochetes from Cape Cod microbial mats detected by electron microscopy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Teal, T. H.; Chapman, M.; Guillemette, T.; Margulis, L.

    1996-01-01

    Spirochetes from microbial mats and anaerobic mud samples collected in salt marshes were studied by light microscopy, whole mount and thin section transmission electron microscopy. Enriched in cellobiose-rifampin medium, selective for Spirochaeta bajacaliforniensis, seven distinguishable spirochete morphotypes were observed. Their diameters ranged from 0.17 micron to > 0.45 micron. Six of these morphotypes came from southwest Cape Cod, Massachusetts: five from Microcoleus-dominated mat samples collected at Sippewissett salt marsh and one from anoxic mud collected at School Street salt marsh (on the east side of Eel Pond). The seventh morphotype was enriched from anoxic mud sampled from the north central Cape Cod, at the Sandy Neck salt marsh. Five of these morphotypes are similar or identical to previously described spirochetes (Leptospira, Spirochaeta halophila, Spirochaeta bajacaliforniensis, Spirosymplokos deltaeiberi and Treponema), whereas the other two have unique features that suggest they have not been previously described. One of the morphotypes resembles Spirosymplokos deltaeiberi (the largest free-living spirochete described), in its large variable diameter (0.4-3.0 microns), cytoplasmic granules, and spherical (round) bodies with composite structure. This resemblance permits its tentative identification as a Sippewissett strain of Spirosymplokos deltaeiberi. Microbial mats samples collected in sterile Petri dishes and stored dry for more than four years yielded many organisms upon rewetting, including small unidentified spirochetes in at least 4 out of 100 enrichments.

  18. Daily laying time in free-living European starlings: solar noon, a potential synchronizer.

    PubMed

    Houdelier, Cécilia; Bertin, Aline; Guyomarc'h, Catherine; Richard, Marie-Annick; Lumineau, Sophie

    2007-01-01

    Reproduction is generally controlled by important temporal constraints involving complex adaptive mechanisms. Birds, in temperate zones, present marked breeding seasonality as well as marked daily organization of reproductive behavior, especially laying. Intra-specific variability and determinants of this pattern have been investigated mainly in domestic non-passerine birds. The present study analyzed the daily temporal organization of laying in a free-living species, the European starling, Sturnus vulgaris. Breeding in a starling colony was monitored for five consecutive years using a non-invasive method (infrared video camera) to precisely estimate laying times. European starlings present a marked daily laying rhythm, ovipositions occurring only during a morning species-specific temporal window. Inside this laying window, time intervals between successive eggs varied greatly among females. Contrary to many species, the light/dark cycle did not appear to control laying time in European starlings, but daily variations of the ultraviolet composition of the solar spectrum appeared to be a possible Zeitgeber of this behavior.

  19. High cold tolerance through four seasons and all free-living stages in an ectoparasite.

    PubMed

    Härkönen, Laura; Kaitala, Arja; Kaunisto, Sirpa; Repo, Tapani

    2012-06-01

    Off-host stages of temperate parasites must cope with low temperatures. Cold tolerance is often highest in winter, as a result of diapause and cold acclimation, and low during the active summer stages. In some blood-feeding ectoparasites, offspring provisioning determines cold tolerance through all the non-feeding, off-host stages. Large size increases survival in the cold, but so far seasonal variation in within-female offspring size has not been associated with offspring cold tolerance. The deer ked (Lipoptena cervi) reproduces on cervids from autumn to spring. Newborn pupae drop off the host, facing frosts without any acclimation. We examined cold tolerance through 4 seasons and from birth to adulthood by means of short- and long-term frost exposure. We expected females to produce more tolerant offspring in winter than in spring. Large spring pupae survived prolonged frosts better than did small winter pupae. Thus more tolerant offspring were not produced when the temperature outside the host is at its lowest. Unexpectedly, the freezing points were -20 °C or below all year round. We showed that high cold tolerance is possible without acclimation regardless of life stage, which presumably correlates with other survival characteristics, such as the starvation resistance of free-living ectoparasites.

  20. Daily foraging patterns in free-living birds: exploring the predation-starvation trade-off.

    PubMed

    Bonter, David N; Zuckerberg, Benjamin; Sedgwick, Carolyn W; Hochachka, Wesley M

    2013-06-07

    Daily patterns in the foraging behaviour of birds are assumed to balance the counteracting risks of predation and starvation. Predation risks are a function of the influence of weight on flight performance and foraging behaviours that may expose individuals to predators. Although recent research sheds light on daily patterns in weight gain, little data exist on daily foraging routines in free-living birds. In order to test the predictions of various hypotheses about daily patterns of foraging, we quantified the activity of four species of passerines in winter using radio-frequency identification receivers built into supplemental feeding stations. From records of 472,368 feeder visits by tagged birds, we found that birds generally started to feed before sunrise and continued to forage at a steady to increasing rate throughout the day. Foraging in most species terminated well before sunset, suggesting their required level of energy reserves was being reached before the end of the day. These results support the risk-spreading theorem over a long-standing hypothesis predicting bimodality in foraging behaviour purportedly driven by a trade-off between the risks of starvation and predation. Given the increased energetic demands experienced by birds during colder weather, our results suggest that birds' perceptions of risk are biased towards starvation avoidance in winter.

  1. Portion size effects on weight gain in a free living setting

    PubMed Central

    French, Simone A; Mitchell, Nathan R; Wolfson, Julian; Harnack, Lisa J; Jeffery, Robert W; Gerlach, Anne F; Blundell, John E; Pentel, Paul R

    2014-01-01

    Objective Examine the effect of weekday exposure over six months to different lunch sizes on energy intake and body weight in a free-living sample of working adults. Design and Methods Adults (n=233) were randomly assigned to one of three lunch size groups (400 kcal; 800 kcal; 1600 kcal) or to a no-free lunch control group for six months. Weight and energy intake were measured at baseline, and months 1, 3, and 6. Results Lunch energy was significantly higher in the 800 and 1600 kcal groups compared to the 400 kcal group (p < 0.0001). Total energy was significantly higher for the 1600 kcal group compared to the 400 and 800 kcal groups (p = 0.02). Body weight change at six months did not significantly differ at the 5% level by experimental group (1600 kcal group: +1.1 kg (sd=0.44); 800 kcal group: −0.1 kg (sd=0.42); 400 kcal group: −0.1 kg (sd=0.43); control group: 1.1 (sd=0.42); p=.07). Weight gain over time was significant in the 1600 kcal box lunch group (p < 0.05). Conclusions Weekday exposure for six months to a 1600 kcal lunch caused significant increases in total energy intake and weight gain. PMID:24510841

  2. Fecal water genotoxicity in healthy free-living young Italian people.

    PubMed

    Daniela, Erba; Sara, Soldi; Marcella, Malavolti; Giovanni, Aragone; Meynier, Alexandra; Sophie, Vinoy; Cristina, Casiraghi M

    2014-02-01

    Dietary habit affects the composition of human feces thus determining intestinal environment and exposure of colon mucosa to risk factors. Fecal water (FW) citotoxicity and genotoxicity were investigated in 33 healthy young Italian people, as well as the relationship between genotoxicity and nutrient intake or microflora composition. Two fecal samples were collected at 2 weeks apart and 3-d dietary diary was recorded for each volunteer. Cytotoxicity was measured using the Trypan Blue Dye Exclusion assay and genotoxicity using the Comet Assay (alkaline single-cell electrophoresis). Fecal bifidobacteria, total microbial count and nutrient intakes were also assessed. High intra- and inter-variability in genotoxicity data and in bacteria counts were found. None of the FW samples were citotoxic, but 90% of FW samples were genotoxic. Seventy five percent indicated intermediate and 15% were highly genotoxic. There was a different sex-related distribution. Genotoxicity was positively correlated to the total lipid intake in females and to the bifidobacteria/total bacteria count ratio in male volunteers. These results demonstrate that the majority of FW samples isolated from free-living Italian people show intermediate level of genotoxicity and sustain a relation between this possible non-invasive marker of colorectal cancer risk with both dietary habits and colonic ecosystem.

  3. Acanthamoeba and other free-living amoebae in bat guano, an extreme habitat.

    PubMed

    Mulec, Janez; Dietersdorfer, Elisabeth; Üstüntürk-Onan, Miray; Walochnik, Julia

    2016-04-01

    Several representatives of the so-called free-living amoebae (FLA) are of medical relevance, not only as facultative pathogens but also as vehicles for pathogenic bacteria. Some FLA can survive and even grow under extreme environmental conditions. Bat guano is an exceptional habitat, the conditions becoming gradually more extreme with aging. In the current study, samples of bat guano of different ages from five caves in Slovenia were screened for the presence of FLA. FLA were isolated from almost all guano samples, including guano with a pH of 3.5. Only the two samples that had been drawn from >20-year-old guano were negative for FLA. Generally, FLA diversity correlated to high concentrations of cultivable bacteria (∼10(8) CFU/g) and fungi (∼10(5) CFU/g). Interestingly, the absence of FLA in seasoned guanos was mirrored by the presence of dictyostelid slime moulds. The isolated amoebae were identified as belonging to the genera Acanthamoeba, Copromyxa, Naegleria, Sappinia, Tetramitus, Thecamoeba, Vahlkampfia, Vannella and Vermamoeba. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study on the diversity of FLA in guano.

  4. Proteases from Entamoeba spp. and Pathogenic Free-Living Amoebae as Virulence Factors.

    PubMed

    Serrano-Luna, Jesús; Piña-Vázquez, Carolina; Reyes-López, Magda; Ortiz-Estrada, Guillermo; de la Garza, Mireya

    2013-01-01

    The standard reference for pathogenic and nonpathogenic amoebae is the human parasite Entamoeba histolytica; a direct correlation between virulence and protease expression has been demonstrated for this amoeba. Traditionally, proteases are considered virulence factors, including those that produce cytopathic effects in the host or that have been implicated in manipulating the immune response. Here, we expand the scope to other amoebae, including less-pathogenic Entamoeba species and highly pathogenic free-living amoebae. In this paper, proteases that affect mucin, extracellular matrix, immune system components, and diverse tissues and cells are included, based on studies in amoebic cultures and animal models. We also include proteases used by amoebae to degrade iron-containing proteins because iron scavenger capacity is currently considered a virulence factor for pathogens. In addition, proteases that have a role in adhesion and encystation, which are essential for establishing and transmitting infection, are discussed. The study of proteases and their specific inhibitors is relevant to the search for new therapeutic targets and to increase the power of drugs used to treat the diseases caused by these complex microorganisms.

  5. Effect of daytime protein restriction on nutrient intakes of free-living Parkinson's disease patients.

    PubMed

    Paré, S; Barr, S I; Ross, S E

    1992-03-01

    Studies have shown that severe daytime restriction of dietary protein improves the efficacy of L-dopa and reduces response fluctuations in some Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. This study investigated the nutritional adequacy of the daytime restricted-protein diet. Eleven free-living PD patients suffering from unpredictable response fluctuations to L-dopa were counseled to limit protein intake to approximately 10 g before 1700. Three sets of 6-d food records obtained during the 8-wk study showed that while on the test diet, mean intakes of most nutrients remained above the recommended nutrient intakes, although significant decreases occurred in protein, calcium, iron, phosphorus, riboflavin, and niacin intakes. The impact of the test diet on nutritional status as evaluated by changes in body weight and serum prealbumin was small. We conclude that healthy and highly motivated patients can maintain adequate intakes of most nutrients while restricting daytime protein intake. However, nutrient intakes might be compromised in patients whose regular diets are marginally adequate.

  6. Intracellular survival and replication of Vibrio cholerae O139 in aquatic free-living amoebae.

    PubMed

    Abd, Hadi; Weintraub, Andrej; Sandström, Gunnar

    2005-07-01

    Vibrio cholerae is a highly infectious bacterium responsible for large outbreaks of cholera among humans at regular intervals. A seasonal distribution of epidemics is known but the role of naturally occurring habitats are virtually unknown. Plankton has been suggested to play a role, because bacteria can attach to such organisms forming a biofilm. Acanthamoebea castellanii is an environmental amoeba that has been shown to be able to ingest and promote growth of several bacteria of different origin. The aim of the present study was to determine whether or not an intra-amoebic behaviour of V. cholerae O139 exists. Interaction between these microorganisms in co-culture was studied by culturable counts, gentamicin assay, electron microscopy, and polymerase chain reaction. The interaction resulted in intra-amoebic growth and survival of V. cholerae in the cytoplasm of trophozoites as well as in the cysts of A. castellanii. These data show symbiosis between these microorganisms, a facultative intracellular behaviour of V. cholerae contradicting the generally held view, and a role of free-living amoebae as hosts for V. cholerae O139. Taken together, this opens new doors to study the ecology, immunity, epidemiology, and treatment of cholera.

  7. Epidemiology of viral haemorrhagic disease and myxomatosis in a free-living population of wild rabbits.

    PubMed

    Calvete, C; Estrada, R; Villafuerte, R; Osácar, J J; Lucientes, J

    2002-06-22

    From January 1993 to June 1996, the epidemiology of myxomatosis and viral haemorrhagic disease (VHD) was studied in a free-living population of wild rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in Spain by means of serological surveys and radiotracking. Myxomatosis was endemic and associated with the breeding period. Its serological pattern was characterised by a 100 per cent prevalence of antibodies in adult rabbits and a rapid increase in antibodies in young rabbits in their first year. No mortality from myxomatosis was detected in adults, and mortality in young rabbits could not be estimated because of interference by predators and scavengers and the deaths of many radiotagged rabbits inside their burrows. VHD was also an endemic disease associated with the breeding period. Adults had a higher prevalence of antibodies against VHD than young rabbits, reaching values of 80 to 90 per cent. During the study, there was an increase in rabbit numbers as a result of a decrease in mortality from predation which was associated with an increase in mortality due to VHD and in the prevalence of antibodies to VHD. Mortality from VHD was lower in rabbits with VHD antibodies than in seronegative rabbits, but some mortality from the disease was also detected in seropositive rabbits. The annual mean mortality rate due to VHD in adult rabbits was estimated to be 21.8 per cent.

  8. Comparative genomics of free-living Gammaproteobacteria: pathogenesis-related genes or interaction-related genes?

    PubMed

    Vázquez-Rosas-Landa, Mirna; Ponce-Soto, Gabriel Yaxal; Eguiarte, Luis E; Souza, V

    2017-07-31

    Bacteria have numerous strategies to interact with themselves and with their environment, but genes associated with these interactions are usually cataloged as pathogenic. To understand the role that these genes have not only in pathogenesis but also in bacterial interactions, we compared the genomes of eight bacteria from human-impacted environments with those of free-living bacteria from the Cuatro Ciénegas Basin (CCB), a relatively pristine oligotrophic site. Fifty-one genomes from CCB bacteria, including Pseudomonas, Vibrio, Photobacterium and Aeromonas, were analyzed. We found that the CCB strains had several virulence-related genes, 15 of which were common to all strains and were related to flagella and chemotaxis. We also identified the presence of Type III and VI secretion systems, which leads us to propose that these systems play an important role in interactions among bacterial communities beyond pathogenesis. None of the CCB strains had pathogenicity islands, despite having genes associated with antibiotics. Integrons were rare, while CRISPR elements were common. The idea that pathogenicity-related genes in many cases form part of a wider strategy used by bacteria to interact with other organisms could help us to understand the role of pathogenicity-related elements in an ecological and evolutionary framework leading toward a more inclusive One Health concept. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  9. Free-living spirochetes from Cape Cod microbial mats detected by electron microscopy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Teal, T. H.; Chapman, M.; Guillemette, T.; Margulis, L.

    1996-01-01

    Spirochetes from microbial mats and anaerobic mud samples collected in salt marshes were studied by light microscopy, whole mount and thin section transmission electron microscopy. Enriched in cellobiose-rifampin medium, selective for Spirochaeta bajacaliforniensis, seven distinguishable spirochete morphotypes were observed. Their diameters ranged from 0.17 micron to > 0.45 micron. Six of these morphotypes came from southwest Cape Cod, Massachusetts: five from Microcoleus-dominated mat samples collected at Sippewissett salt marsh and one from anoxic mud collected at School Street salt marsh (on the east side of Eel Pond). The seventh morphotype was enriched from anoxic mud sampled from the north central Cape Cod, at the Sandy Neck salt marsh. Five of these morphotypes are similar or identical to previously described spirochetes (Leptospira, Spirochaeta halophila, Spirochaeta bajacaliforniensis, Spirosymplokos deltaeiberi and Treponema), whereas the other two have unique features that suggest they have not been previously described. One of the morphotypes resembles Spirosymplokos deltaeiberi (the largest free-living spirochete described), in its large variable diameter (0.4-3.0 microns), cytoplasmic granules, and spherical (round) bodies with composite structure. This resemblance permits its tentative identification as a Sippewissett strain of Spirosymplokos deltaeiberi. Microbial mats samples collected in sterile Petri dishes and stored dry for more than four years yielded many organisms upon rewetting, including small unidentified spirochetes in at least 4 out of 100 enrichments.

  10. Particle-Associated Differ from Free-Living Bacteria in Surface Waters of the Baltic Sea

    PubMed Central

    Rieck, Angelika; Herlemann, Daniel P. R.; Jürgens, Klaus; Grossart, Hans-Peter

    2015-01-01

    Many studies on bacterial community composition (BCC) do not distinguish between particle-associated (PA) and free-living (FL) bacteria or neglect the PA fraction by pre-filtration removing most particles. Although temporal and spatial gradients in environmental variables are known to shape BCC, it remains unclear how and to what extent PA and FL bacterial diversity responds to such environmental changes. To elucidate the BCC of both bacterial fractions related to different environmental settings, we studied surface samples of three Baltic Sea stations (marine, mesohaline, and oligohaline) in two different seasons (summer and fall/winter). Amplicon sequencing of the 16 S rRNA gene revealed significant differences in BCC of both bacterial fractions among stations and seasons, with a particularly high number of PA operational taxonomic units (OTUs at genus-level) at the marine station in both seasons. “Shannon and Simpson indices” showed a higher diversity of PA than FL bacteria at the marine station in both seasons and at the oligohaline station in fall/winter. In general, a high fraction of bacterial OTUs was found exclusively in the PA fraction (52% of total OTUs). These findings indicate that PA bacteria significantly contribute to overall bacterial richness and that they differ from FL bacteria. Therefore, to gain a deeper understanding on diversity and dynamics of aquatic bacteria, PA and FL bacteria should be generally studied independently. PMID:26648911

  11. Aspects of nitrogen-fixing Actinobacteria, in particular free-living and symbiotic Frankia.

    PubMed

    Sellstedt, Anita; Richau, Kerstin H

    2013-05-01

    Studies of nitrogen-fixing properties among the Gram-positive Actinobacteria revealed that some species of Arthrobacter, Agromyces, Corynebacterium, Mycobacterium, Micromonospora, Propionibacteria and Streptomyces have nitrogen-fixing capacity. This is also valid for Frankia that fix nitrogen both in free-living and in symbiotic conditions. Frankia symbiosis results from interaction between the Frankia bacteria and dicotyledonous plants, that is, actinorhiza. These plants, which are important in forestry and agroforestry, form, together with the legumes (Fabales), a single nitrogen-fixing clade. It has been shown that a receptor-like kinase gene, SymRK, is necessary for nodulation in actinorhizal plants as well as in legumes and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Recently, the involvement of isoflavonoids as signal molecules during nodulation of an actinorhizal plant was shown. The genome sizes of three Frankia species, Frankia EANpec, ACN14a and CcI3, are different, revealing a relationship between genome size and geographical distribution. Recent genomic sequencing data of Frankia represent genomes from cluster I to IV, indicating that the genome of DgI is one of the smallest genomes in Frankia. In addition, nonsymbiotic Frankiales such as Acidothermus cellulolyticus, Blastococcus saxoobsidens, Geodermatophilus obscurus and Modestobacter marinus have a variety of genome sizes ranging from 2.4 to 5.57 Mb. © 2013 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Seasonal plasticity of gut morphology and small intestinal enzymes in free-living Mongolian gerbils.

    PubMed

    Liu, Quan-Sheng; Zhang, Zhi-Qiang; Caviedes-Vidal, Enrique; Wang, De-Hua

    2013-05-01

    The phenotypic plasticity of the digestive system may determine the diversity of animal diets and, thus, their niche width. This study examines the effects of seasonal fluctuations in food quality and temperature on the gut morphology and the activity of sucrase, maltase, and aminopeptidase-N in the small intestinal brush-border membrane of male Mongolian gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus). Based on the adaptive modulation hypothesis and the principle of optimal gut function design, we hypothesize that the gut size, tissue-specific activity, and total hydrolytic capacity of intestinal digestive enzyme are upregulated in winter and downregulated in summer in response to diet shifts and energy demand in free-living Mongolian gerbils. Various seasonal modulation patterns in digestive enzyme activity in different regions of the small intestines were observed. The results show that male gerbils have the longest and heaviest small intestines in winter. This mechanism may be adapted to increase their food intake during winter. Male gerbils also exhibit the highest tissue-specific and total sucrase, maltase, and aminopeptidase-N activity in winter and in spring. Seasonal modulations are more distinct in the jejunum than in the duodenum and the ileum of the small intestines. The digestive phenotypic flexibility of male gerbils effectively corresponded with seasonal diet shifts and temperature fluctuations.

  13. Nutritional content of the diets of free-living scarlet macaw chicks in southeastern Peru.

    PubMed

    Brightsmith, Donald J; McDonald, Debra; Matsafuji, Daphne; Bailey, Christopher A

    2010-03-01

    To provide novel information on psittacine diets, we analyzed the texture, crude protein, crude fat, Ca, P (total), Mg, K, Na, S, Cu, Fe, and Zn concentrations of crop contents from 10 free-living scarlet macaw (Ara macao) chicks from lowland forests of southeastern Peru. We compared our results with nutrient concentrations of known wild parrot foods and published psittacine dietary recommendations to highlight similarities and differences and suggest future avenues of research. The diets were much coarser textured than those recommended for hand feeding. Soil in the diet provided an important source of Na, but Na levels were still lower than all recommendations. Concentrations of protein, Zn, K, Cu, and P (total) were near to or within the range of recommendations for captive psittacine birds. Fat, Ca, and Mg concentrations were greater in crop contents than in the average food plants and greater than published recommendations. The Na:K ratios were only one-twentieth of those recommended for young poultry. Future analyses should investigate the bioavailability of Fe, Ca, and Zn in these diets and the effects of varying concentrations of fat, Na, Ca, Mg, and Na:K ratio on psittacine growth and development.

  14. Phylogenetic Diversity of NTT Nucleotide Transport Proteins in Free-Living and Parasitic Bacteria and Eukaryotes

    PubMed Central

    Major, Peter; Embley, T. Martin

    2017-01-01

    Plasma membrane-located nucleotide transport proteins (NTTs) underpin the lifestyle of important obligate intracellular bacterial and eukaryotic pathogens by importing energy and nucleotides from infected host cells that the pathogens can no longer make for themselves. As such their presence is often seen as a hallmark of an intracellular lifestyle associated with reductive genome evolution and loss of primary biosynthetic pathways. Here, we investigate the phylogenetic distribution of NTT sequences across the domains of cellular life. Our analysis reveals an unexpectedly broad distribution of NTT genes in both host-associated and free-living prokaryotes and eukaryotes. We also identify cases of within-bacteria and bacteria-to-eukaryote horizontal NTT transfer, including into the base of the oomycetes, a major clade of parasitic eukaryotes. In addition to identifying sequences that retain the canonical NTT structure, we detected NTT gene fusions with HEAT-repeat and cyclic nucleotide binding domains in Cyanobacteria, pathogenic Chlamydiae and Oomycetes. Our results suggest that NTTs are versatile functional modules with a much wider distribution and a broader range of potential roles than has previously been appreciated. PMID:28164241

  15. Leptospira borgpetersenii from free-living white-eared opossum (Didelphis albiventris): first isolation in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Jorge, Sérgio; Hartleben, Cláudia P; Seixas, Fabiana K; Coimbra, Marco A A; Stark, Cledir B; Larrondo, Adriana G; Amaral, Marta G; Albano, Ana Paula N; Minello, Luiz F; Dellagostin, Odir A; Brod, Claudiomar S

    2012-11-01

    Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease that occurs all over the world, caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospira. Marsupial and didelphidae families are considered susceptible to infection caused by a wide range of Leptospira serovars for which they serve as reservoirs. Thirty-three free-living white-eared opossums (Didelphis albiventris) were captured in Southern Brazil and bodily fluids were collected. From the urine samples it was possible to obtain an isolate identified as Leptospira borgpetersenii by rpoB gene sequencing and belonging to serovar Castellonis by Multilocus Variable-Number Tandem-Repeat Analysis. This is the first report of the isolation of Leptospira spp. from the white-eared opossum in Brazil. In addition, the new strain was also virulent in the hamster model of lethal leptospirosis. The microscopic agglutination test (MAT) was used for detecting the presence of antibodies against Leptospira spp. in white-eared opossum, human, cattle and canine sera using a panel of 59 Leptospira strains that included the new isolate. The inclusion of the new strain in the MAT battery increased the MAT sensitivity for canine sera. These findings suggest that the white-eared opossum is an important reservoir of pathogenic Leptospira spp. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Chronic stress in free-living European starlings reduces corticosterone concentrations and reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Cyr, Nicole E; Michael Romero, L

    2007-03-01

    Chronic increases in stress hormones such as glucocorticoids are maladaptive, yet studies demonstrating a causal relationship among chronic stress, increases in glucocorticoid concentrations, and subsequent fitness costs in free-living animals are lacking. We experimentally induced chronic psychological stress in female European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) by subjecting half of the females at our study site to a chronic stress protocol consisting of 4, 30 min stressors (loud radio, predator calls, a novel object, or predator decoys including a snake, rat, and owl) administered in random order daily for 8 days after clutch completion. Experimental females were captured at the end of the chronic stress protocol (9 days after the onset of the chronic stress protocol), and unstressed control females were captured at the same stage of the nesting cycle. Chronically stressed females had lower baseline corticosterone (CORT, the avian glucocorticoid) concentrations and lower reproductive success than unstressed females. Furthermore, surviving nestlings in experimentally stressed broods showed sensitization of the CORT response to acute stress, which is a physiological change that could persist to adulthood. Attenuation of baseline CORT concentrations in adult females is contrary to the general assumption that elevated CORT concentrations indicate stress, suggesting that more research is necessary before CORT concentrations can be used to accurately assess chronic stress in field studies.

  17. Multiple roles of siderophores in free-living nitrogen-fixing bacteria.

    PubMed

    Kraepiel, A M L; Bellenger, J P; Wichard, T; Morel, F M M

    2009-08-01

    Free-living nitrogen-fixing bacteria in soils need to tightly regulate their uptake of metals in order to acquire essential metals (such as the nitrogenase metal cofactors Fe, Mo and V) while excluding toxic ones (such as W). They need to do this in a soil environment where metal speciation, and thus metal bioavailability, is dependent on a variety of factors such as organic matter content, mineralogical composition, and pH. Azotobacter vinelandii, a ubiquitous gram-negative soil diazotroph, excretes in its external medium catechol compounds, previously identified as siderophores, that bind a variety of metals in addition to iron. At low concentrations, complexes of essential metals (Fe, Mo, V) with siderophores are taken up by the bacteria through specialized transport systems. The specificity and regulation of these transport systems are such that siderophore binding of excess Mo, V or W effectively detoxifies these metals at high concentrations. In the topsoil (leaf litter layer), where metals are primarily bound to plant-derived organic matter, siderophores extract essential metals from natural ligands and deliver them to the bacteria. This process appears to be a key component of a mutualistic relationship between trees and soil diazotrophs, where tree-produced leaf litter provides a living environment rich in organic matter and micronutrients for nitrogen-fixing bacteria, which in turn supply new nitrogen to the ecosystem.

  18. A survey of pathogenic and free-living amoebae inhabiting swimming pool water in Mexico City.

    PubMed

    Rivera, F; Ramírez, P; Vilaclara, G; Robles, E; Medina, F

    1983-10-01

    A survey of pathogenic and free-living amoebae in swimming pool waters of Mexico City was performed. Among the organisms isolated those which have public health importance were Naegleria fowleri Carter and Acanthamoeba castellanii Douglas. Amoebae of the genera Acanthamoeba, Naegleria, and Vahlkampfia were recovered in their cystic stage while those specimens of the genera Amoeba, Entamoeba, Thecamoeba, and Vanella were recovered only in their trophic stage during this study. Amoebae were concentrated through filtration procedures and subsequently cultured in different culture media. Nonpathogenic amoebae also isolated by culture included: Amoeba proteus (Pallas) Leidy, Amoeba striata Penard, Paratetramitus jugosus Page, Acanthamoeba astronyxis Ray and Hayes, Vahlkampfia avara Page, Vahlkampfia inornata Page, Thecamoeba verrucosa Ehrenberg, and Vanella mira Schaeffer. Trophozoites of Entamoeba gingivalis Gros, were also recovered, both directly and by culture. Most commonly found were amoebae of the species Naegleria gruberi Schardinger (59.02%), N. fowleri (16.77%), and A. castellanii (7.64%). Least-frequently found amoebae belonged to the species Thecamoeba verrucosa (0.12%). All isolated strains of N. fowleri and A. castellanii were thermophilic at 45 and 40 degrees C, respectively, and also pathogenic when inoculated into white mice. More populated by amoebae were those swimming pools of the indoor type with an inner side garden. It was also shown that the free residual chloride values of 0.50 to 1.5 mg/liter, ordinarily used in pool waters, are not adequate for elimination of amoebae.

  19. Effect of cytokinins and auxins on the growth of free-living conchocelis of Porphyra yezoensis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de-Lin, Duan; Xiu-Geng, Fei; Hong-Xu, Ren; Xiong, Chen; Ying, Zhu

    1995-09-01

    IAA 3-Indolylacetic acid, NAA a-Naphthylacetic acid and cytokinins in PESI culture medium were used in a study on the effects of plant hormones on the growth of free-living conchocelis of Porphyra yezoensis which showed that its growth in medium with cytokinins, IAA and NAA was more rapid than that in medium with non—phytohormones; that the optimal concentrations for promoting growth were 10 μg/L for IAA and ZA (Zeatin), and 0.1 μg/L for BA 6-Benzyl amino purine and KIN 6-Furfurylamino- purine. Mix use of NAA, IAA and cytokinins, NAA/ZA 1-1000/1 μg/L, NAA/BA 10/1-1000 μg/L, NAA/KIN 1/1-1000 μg/L promoted growth. IAA/ZA 0.1-1/0.1-1 μg/L; IAA/BA 0.1-1/0.1-10 μg/L IAA/KIN 1/0.1-1000 μg/L also promoted growth.

  20. The control of food intake of free-living humans: putting the pieces back together.

    PubMed

    de Castro, John M

    2010-07-14

    The control of food intake has been studied using reductionism; by separately investigating environmental, physiological, and genetic variables. The general model of intake regulation attempts to reassemble the pieces into an organized whole. It postulates that intake is influenced by sets of both physiological factors which have negative feedback loops to intake and environmental factors which do not. Data and behavioral genetic analysis on a number of environmental, psychological, dietary, and social variables demonstrate that they have large impacts on the intake of free-living humans in their everyday environments and their magnitude and impact on intake are influenced by heredity. Recent evidence of built environment influences on activity and intake further indicate the profound influence of environmental circumstances on both intake and expenditure. A computer simulation of the general model of intake regulation demonstrates that the model predicts different maintained levels of intake and body weight depending upon the external environment and that change in the environment can produce new sustained levels. It is suggested that eating is influenced by a myriad of physiological and non-physiological factors and that total intake results from the integral of their influences. It is concluded that recombining the components broken down in the reductionistic process results in a functional whole that can well describe human behavior in natural environments. The paper represents an invited review by a symposium, award winner or keynote speaker at the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior [SSIB] Annual Meeting in Portland, July 2009.

  1. Seroepizootiology of selected infectious disease agents in free-living birds of prey in Germany.

    PubMed

    Schettler, E; Langgemach, T; Sömmer, P; Streich, J; Frölich, K

    2001-01-01

    Four hundred forty-eight blood plasma samples from free-living birds of prey from Berlin and the Brandenburg area in eastern Germany were tested for antibodies against Newcastle disease virus (NDV), falcon herpesvirus (FHV), owl herpesvirus (OHV), and Chlamydia psittaci. Antibodies to NDV were detected in 6 (2%) of 346 tested diurnal birds of prey, whereas none of the owls (n = 55) was positive. The positive samples originated from two common buzzards (Buteo buteo), three ospreys (Pandion haliactus) and one marsh harrier (Circus aeruginosus). Titers varied between 1:8 and 1:32. Of 253 birds of prey one osprey (<1%) tested positive for antibodies to FHV with low titer of 1:6. This is the first detection of antibodies against FHV in an osprey. Furthermore, antibodies against OHV could be found in one tawny owl (Strix aluco) and one common buzzard (2 of 253, 1%) with low titers of 1:6. Of 422 birds of prey 267 (63%) tested positive for antibodies to Chlamydia psittaci with titers varying between 1:5 and 1:256 which reflects the ubiquitous occurrence of Chlamydia psittaci in these birds of prey.

  2. Seasonal patterns in body temperature of free-living rock hyrax (Procavia capensis).

    PubMed

    Brown, Kelly J; Downs, Colleen T

    2006-01-01

    Rock hyrax (Procavia capensis) are faced with large daily fluctuations in ambient temperature during summer and winter. In this study, peritoneal body temperature of free-living rock hyrax was investigated. During winter, when low ambient temperatures and food supply prevail, rock hyrax maintained a lower core body temperature relative to summer. In winter body temperatures during the day were more variable than at night. This daytime variability is likely a result of body temperatures being raised from basking in the sun. Body temperatures recorded during winter never fell to low levels recorded in previous laboratory studies. During summer ambient temperatures exceeded the thermoneutral zone of the rock hyrax throughout most of the day, while crevice temperatures remained within the thermoneutral zone of rock hyrax. However, in summer variation in core body temperature was small. Minimum and maximum body temperatures did not coincide with minimum and maximum ambient temperatures. Constant body temperatures were also recorded when ambient temperatures reached lethal limits. During summer it is likely that rock hyrax select cooler refugia to escape lethal temperatures and to prevent excessive water loss. Body temperature of rock hyrax recorded in this study reflects the adaptability of this animal to the wide range of ambient temperatures experienced in its natural environment.

  3. A smartphone-driven methodology for estimating physical activities and energy expenditure in free living conditions.

    PubMed

    Guidoux, Romain; Duclos, Martine; Fleury, Gérard; Lacomme, Philippe; Lamaudière, Nicolas; Manenq, Pierre-Henri; Paris, Ludivine; Ren, Libo; Rousset, Sylvie

    2014-12-01

    This paper introduces a function dedicated to the estimation of total energy expenditure (TEE) of daily activities based on data from accelerometers integrated into smartphones. The use of mass-market sensors such as accelerometers offers a promising solution for the general public due to the growing smartphone market over the last decade. The TEE estimation function quality was evaluated using data from intensive numerical experiments based, first, on 12 volunteers equipped with a smartphone and two research sensors (Armband and Actiheart) in controlled conditions (CC) and, then, on 30 other volunteers in free-living conditions (FLC). The TEE given by these two sensors in both conditions and estimated from the metabolic equivalent tasks (MET) in CC served as references during the creation and evaluation of the function. The TEE mean gap in absolute value between the function and the three references was 7.0%, 16.4% and 2.7% in CC, and 17.0% and 23.7% according to Armband and Actiheart, respectively, in FLC. This is the first step in the definition of a new feedback mechanism that promotes self-management and daily-efficiency evaluation of physical activity as part of an information system dedicated to the prevention of chronic diseases.

  4. Comparison of total energy expenditure assessed by two devices in controlled and free-living conditions.

    PubMed

    Rousset, Sylvie; Fardet, Anthony; Lacomme, Philippe; Normand, Sylvie; Montaurier, Christophe; Boirie, Yves; Morio, Béatrice

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the validity of total energy expenditure (TEE) provided by Actiheart and Armband. Normal-weight adult volunteers wore both devices either for 17 hours in a calorimetric chamber (CC, n = 49) or for 10 days in free-living conditions (FLC) outside the laboratory (n = 41). The two devices and indirect calorimetry or doubly labelled water, respectively, were used to estimate TEE in the CC group and FLC group. In the CC, the relative value of TEE error was not significant (p > 0.05) for Actiheart but significantly different from zero for Armband, showing TEE underestimation (-4.9%, p < 0.0001). However, the mean absolute values of errors were significantly different between Actiheart and Armband: 8.6% and 6.7%, respectively (p = 0.05). Armband was more accurate for estimating TEE during sleeping, rest, recovery periods and sitting-standing. Actiheart provided better estimation during step and walking. In FLC, no significant error in relative value was detected. Nevertheless, Armband produced smaller errors in absolute value than Actiheart (8.6% vs. 12.8%). The distributions of differences were more scattered around the means, suggesting a higher inter-individual variability in TEE estimated by Actiheart than by Armband. Our results show that both monitors are appropriate for estimating TEE. Armband is more effective than Actiheart at the individual level for daily light-intensity activities.

  5. Comparison of wrist-worn and hip-worn activity monitors under free living conditions.

    PubMed

    Hargens, Trent A; Deyarmin, Kayla N; Snyder, Kelsey M; Mihalik, Allison G; Sharpe, Lauren E

    2017-04-01

    Current recommendations state that individuals engage in 150 min of moderate or 75 min of vigorous intensity physical activity (PA) each week. Commercial PA monitors are becoming popular for everyday use. The accuracy of these devices, however, is not well understood. We sought to examine the accuracy of two commercial devices, one wrist and one hip-worn, under free-living conditions. Twenty-two subjects wore two commercially available devices and one ActiGraph (AG) for seven consecutive days under normal activity. Mean steps per day between all three devices differed significantly. No differences were found in moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MPVA). Daily energy expenditure (EE) also differed significantly between the AG and the commercial devices. Bland-Altman analysis found poor agreement between the AG and the commercial devices with regards to steps and EE, but good agreement in MVPA. Results suggest that the commercial devices are less accurate in estimating steps and EE. These devices did show good agreement with regards to MVPA, suggesting that they may provide useful feedback for individuals seeking to achieve the current PA guidelines for MVPA. Improvements are needed with regards to steps and EE estimation.

  6. Biodiversity of free-living marine nematodes in the southern Yellow Sea, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Xiaoshou; Xu, Man; Hua, Er; Zhang, Zhinan

    2016-02-01

    Biodiversity patterns of free-living marine nematodes were studied using specific, taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity measures in the southern Yellow Sea, China. The results showed that the average of Shannon-Wiener diversity index ( H') in the study area was 3.17. The higher values were distributed in the east part of Shandong coastal waters and north part of Jiangsu coastal waters, while the lower values were distributed in the southern Yellow Sea Cold Water Mass (YSCWM). The average of taxonomic diversity ( Δ) was 62.09 in the study region. The higher values were distributed in the transitional areas between the coastal areas and the southern YSCWM, while the lower values were distributed near the north part of Jiangsu coastal waters and the YSCWM. Results of correlation analysis of species diversity and taxonomic diversity showed that some of the two kinds of diversity index were independent, which suggested that combining the two kinds of diversity indices can reflect the ecological characteristics better. A test for 95% probability funnels of average taxonomic distinctness and variation in taxonomic distinctness suggested that Station 8794 (in the YSCWM) was outside of the 95% probability funnels, which may be due to the environmental stress. Results of correlation analysis between marine nematodes biodiversity and environmental variables showed that the sediment characteristics (Mdø and Silt-clay fraction) and phaeophorbide a (Pha- a) were the most important factors to determine the biodiversity patterns of marine nematodes.

  7. Sex differences in leucocyte telomere length in a free-living mammal.

    PubMed

    Watson, Rebecca L; Bird, Ellen J; Underwood, Sarah; Wilbourn, Rachael V; Fairlie, Jennifer; Watt, Kathryn; Salvo-Chirnside, Eliane; Pilkington, Jill G; Pemberton, Josephine M; McNeilly, Tom N; Froy, Hannah; Nussey, Daniel H

    2017-06-01

    Mounting evidence suggests that average telomere length reflects previous stress and predicts subsequent survival across vertebrate species. In humans, leucocyte telomere length (LTL) is consistently shorter during adulthood in males than in females, although the causes of this sex difference and its generality to other mammals remain unknown. Here, we measured LTL in a cross-sectional sample of free-living Soay sheep and found shorter telomeres in males than in females in later adulthood (>3 years of age), but not in early life. This observation was not related to sex differences in growth or parasite burden, but we did find evidence for reduced LTL associated with increased horn growth in early life in males. Variation in LTL was independent of variation in the proportions of different leucocyte cell types, which are known to differ in telomere length. Our results provide the first evidence of sex differences in LTL from a wild mammal, but longitudinal studies are now required to determine whether telomere attrition rates or selective disappearance are responsible for these observed differences. © 2016 The Authors. Molecular Ecology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Enhanced survival but not amplification of Francisella spp. in the presence of free-living amoebae.

    PubMed

    Buse, Helen Y; Schaefer, Frank W; Rice, Eugene W

    2016-12-08

    Transmission of Francisella tularensis, the etiologic agent of tularemia, has been associated with various water sources. Survival of many waterborne pathogens within free-living amoeba (FLA) is well documented; however, the role of amoebae in the environmental persistence of F. tularensis is unclear. In this study, axenic FLA cultures of Acanthamoeba castellanii, Acanthamoeba polyphaga, and Vermamoeba vermiformis were each inoculated with virulent strains of F. tularensis (Types A and B), the attenuated live vaccine strain, and Francisella novicida. Experimental parameters included low and high multiplicity of infection and incubation temperatures of 25 and 30 °C for 0-10 days. Francisella spp. survival was enhanced by the presence of FLA; however, bacterial growth and protozoa infectivity were not observed. In contrast, co-infections of A. polyphaga and Legionella pneumophila, used as an amoeba pathogen control, resulted in bacterial proliferation, cytopathic effects, and amoebal lysis. Collectively, even though short-term incubation with FLA was beneficial, the long-term effects on Francisella survival are unknown, especially given the expenditure of available amoebal derived nutrients and the fastidious nature of Francisella spp. These factors have clear implications for the role of FLA in Francisella environmental persistence.

  9. Free-living amoebae (FLA) co-occurring with legionellae in industrial waters.

    PubMed

    Scheikl, Ute; Sommer, Regina; Kirschner, Alexander; Rameder, Alexandra; Schrammel, Barbara; Zweimüller, Irene; Wesner, Wolfgang; Hinker, Manfred; Walochnik, Julia

    2014-08-01

    Legionella pneumophila is known as the causative agent of Legionnaires' disease and free-living amoebae (FLA) can serve as vehicles for legionellae. The aim of this study was to screen industrial waters for the occurrence of FLA and their co-occurrence with legionellae. A total of 201 water samples, including 129 cooling waters and 72 process waters, and 30 cooling lubricants were included in the study. Treated waters were screened periodically, pre and post treatment. Altogether, 72.6% of the water samples were positive for FLA, acanthamoebae being most prevalent (in 23.9% of the samples) followed by Vermamoeba vermiformis (19.4%). Only one cooling lubricant was positive (Acanthamoeba genotype T4). Legionella spp. were detected in 34.8% of the water samples and in 15% in high concentrations (>1000 CFU/100 ml). Altogether, 81.4% of the Legionella-positive samples were positive for FLA by standard methods. By applying a highly sensitive nested PCR to a representative set of random samples it was revealed that Legionella spp. always co-occurred with Acanthamoeba spp. Although the addition of disinfectants did influence amoebal density and diversity, treated waters showed no difference concerning FLA in the interphases of disinfection. It appears that FLA can re-colonize treated waters within a short period of time.

  10. Complementary data on four methods for sampling free-living ticks in the Brazilian Pantanal.

    PubMed

    Ramos, Vanessa do Nascimento; Osava, Carolina Fonseca; Piovezan, Ubiratan; Szabó, Matias Pablo Juan

    2014-01-01

    In this study, four methods for sampling free-living ticks that are used in ecological and human tick-bite risk studies were evaluated. Cloth dragging, carbon dioxide traps and visual searches and inspection of plant litter on the ground were used in field and forest areas within the Brazilian Pantanal. Among the three tick species collected, Amblyomma sculptum predominated, followed by Amblyomma parvum and Amblyomma ovale. Dragging, a cheap and simple technique, yielded the highest numbers of ticks, particularly nymphs. The visual search detected a high number of adult ticks and provided information on tick questing height. Even though laborious, plant litter examination showed that large numbers of ticks may use this stratum. Carbon dioxide (CO2) traps are expensive and difficult to handle, but they are highly efficient for adult ticks, especially A. parvum. These data indicate that one method alone is incapable of providing a representative sample of the tick fauna in a particular area and that multiple techniques should be used for tick population studies.

  11. Persistent diel melatonin rhythmicity during the Arctic summer in free-living willow warblers.

    PubMed

    Silverin, Bengt; Gwinner, Eberhard; Van't Hof, Thomas J; Schwabl, Ingrid; Fusani, Leonida; Hau, Michaela; Helm, Barbara

    2009-06-01

    Arctic environments are challenging for circadian systems. Around the solstices, the most important zeitgeber, the change between night and day, is reduced to minor fluctuations in light intensities. However, many species including songbirds nonetheless show clear diel activity patterns. Here we examine the possible physiological basis underlying diel rhythmicity under continuous Arctic summer light. Rhythmic secretion of the hormone melatonin constitutes an important part of the songbird circadian system and its experimental suppression, e.g., by constant light, usually leads to behavioral arrhythmia. We therefore studied melatonin patterns in a free-living migratory songbird, the willow warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus), that maintains diel activity during the Arctic summer. We compared melatonin profiles during late spring and summer solstice in two Swedish populations from the south (58 degrees N) and near the Arctic circle (66 degrees N). We found the northern Swedish population maintained clear diel changes in melatonin secretion during the summer solstice, although peak concentrations were lower than in southern Sweden. Melatonin levels were highest before midnight and in good accordance with periods of reduced activity. The maintenance of diel melatonin rhythmicity under conditions of continuous light may be one of the physiological mechanisms that enables continued functioning of the circadian system.

  12. Heritable variation in circulating glucocorticoids and endocrine flexibility in a free-living songbird.

    PubMed

    Stedman, J M; Hallinger, K K; Winkler, D W; Vitousek, M N

    2017-09-01

    Phenotypic flexibility is a central way that organisms cope with challenging and changing environments. As endocrine signals mediate many phenotypic traits, heritable variation in hormone levels, or their context-dependent flexibility, could present an important target for selection. Several studies have estimated the heritability of circulating glucocorticoid levels under acute stress conditions, but little is known about the potential for either baseline hormone levels or rapid endocrine flexibility to evolve. Here, we assessed the potential for selection to operate on the elevation (circulating hormone levels) and flexibility of glucocorticoid reaction norms to acute restraint stress. Multivariate animal models revealed low but significant heritability in baseline (h(2)  = 0.13-0.14) and stress-induced glucocorticoids (h(2)  = 0.18), and moderate heritability in glucocorticoid flexibility in response to acute stress (h(2)  = 0.38) in free-living juvenile tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor; n = 408). Baseline glucocorticoids were not genetically correlated with either stress-induced glucocorticoids or glucocorticoid flexibility. These findings indicate that baseline glucocorticoids and the acute stress response are distinct traits that can be independently shaped by selection. Microevolutionary changes that influence the expression or flexibility of these endocrine mediators of phenotype may be an important way that populations adapt to changing environments and novel threats. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  13. Behavioral correlates of heart rates of free-living Greater White-fronted Geese

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ely, C.R.; Ward, D.H.; Bollinger, K.S.

    1999-01-01

    We simultaneously monitored the heart rate and behavior of nine free-living Greater White-fronted Geese (Anser albifrons) on their wintering grounds in northern California. Heart rates of wild geese were monitored via abdominally-implanted radio transmitters with electrodes that received electrical impulses of the heart and emitted a radio signal with each ventricular contraction. Post-operative birds appeared to behave normally, readily rejoining flocks and flying up to 15 km daily from night-time roost sites to feed in surrounding agricultural fields. Heart rates varied significantly among individuals and among behaviors, and ranged from less than 100 beats per minute (BPM) during resting, to over 400 BPM during flight. Heart rates varied from 80 to 140 BPM during non-strenuous activities such as walking, feeding, and maintenance activities, to about 180 BPM when birds became alert, and over 400 BPM when birds were startled, even if they did not take flight. Postflight heart rate recovery time averaged < 10 sec. During agonistic encounters, heart rate exceeded 400 BPM; heart rates during social interactions were not predictable solely from postures, as heart rates were context-dependent, and were highest in initial encounters among individuals. Instantaneous measures of physiological parameters, such as heart rate, are often better indicators of the degree of response to external stimuli than visual observations and can be used to improve estimates of energy expenditure based solely on activity data.

  14. Physical activity and fracture risk in a free-living elderly cohort.

    PubMed

    Sorock, G S; Bush, T L; Golden, A L; Fried, L P; Breuer, B; Hale, W E

    1988-09-01

    A prospective study to determine if regular leisure-time physical activity (including recreational walking) is associated with fracture risk was conducted in a large cohort (N = 3110) of free-living elderly men and women in the retirement community of Dunedin, Florida. Sixty-three percent of the cohort was female, all were white, and the average age was 73.0 years +/- 5.3 (SD). Participants in regular physical activity at baseline had a reduced risk of fracture; the risk ratio (RR) of fracture for men and women, respectively, was RR = 0.41, 95% CI = 0.17 to 1.01 and RR = 0.76, 95% CI = 0.50 to 1.15. Walking at least one mile 3 times/week appeared to offer a protective effect for both sexes. After controlling for potentially confounding variables including body mass and selected health conditions, the RR for regular physical activity on fracture incidence in men and women remained essentially unchanged. We conclude that regular physical activity such as walking may protect against fracture in older persons.

  15. Relevance of free-living amoebae as hosts for phylogenetically diverse microorganisms.

    PubMed

    Scheid, Patrick

    2014-07-01

    In addition to their role as parasites, free-living amoebae (FLA) can act as hosts of and vehicles for phylogentically diverse microorganisms while some of them replicate intracellularly. These microorganisms are adapted to the intracellular conditions in the amoeba, find suitable conditions and protection from negative environmental influences and take advantage of the dispersal in the environment by their amoebic host. It is expedient to call these organisms "endocytobionts", at least during the initial steps of any studies. By doing so, it is not necessary to go into potential characteristics of these relationships such as parasitism, phoresy, zoochory, or mutualism at an early stage of study. Among those organisms resisting the lysis within their amoebic host, there are obligate and facultative pathogenic microorganisms affecting the health of humans or animals. FLA-endocytobiont relationships are not only important for the tenacity of the involved microorganisms. Especially if FLA are present in biofilms and there are close ties with many other microorganisms, the odds are for some of these microorganisms to develop human pathogenic properties. Here, the amoebic passage seems to be a prerequisite for the development of virulence factors and it may have an impact on evolutionary processes.

  16. Isolation and identification of free-living amoebae from tap water in Sivas, Turkey.

    PubMed

    Coşkun, Kübra Açıkalın; Ozçelik, Semra; Tutar, Lütfi; Elaldı, Nazif; Tutar, Yusuf

    2013-01-01

    The present work focuses on a local survey of free-living amoebae (FLA) that cause opportunistic and nonopportunistic infections in humans. Determining the prevalence of FLA in water sources can shine a light on the need to prevent FLA related illnesses. A total of 150 samples of tap water were collected from six districts of Sivas province. The samples were filtered and seeded on nonnutrient agar containing Escherichia coli spread. Thirty-three (22%) out of 150 samples were found to be positive for FLA. The FLA were identified by morphology and by PCR using 18S rDNA gene. The morphological analysis and partial sequencing of the 18S rDNA gene revealed the presence of three different species, Acanthamoeba castellanii, Acanthamoeba polyphaga, and Hartmannella vermiformis. Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris, or Sappinia sp. was not isolated during the study. All A. castellanii and A. polyphaga sequence types were found to be genotype T4 that contains most of the pathogenic Acanthamoeba strains. The results indicated the occurrence and distribution of FLA species in tap water in these localities of Sivas, Turkey. Furthermore, the presence of temperature tolerant Acanthamoeba genotype T4 in tap water in the region must be taken into account for health risks.

  17. Do free-living amoebae in treated drinking water systems present an emerging health risk?

    PubMed

    Thomas, Jacqueline M; Ashbolt, Nicholas J

    2011-02-01

    There is an expanding body of evidence that free-living amoebae (FLA) increase both the numbers and virulence of water-based, human-pathogenic, amoeba-resisting microorganisms (ARM). Legionella spp., Mycobacterium spp., and other opportunistic human pathogens are known to be both ARM and also the etiologic agents of potentially fatal human lung infections. However, comparatively little is known about the FLA that may facilitate ARM growth in drinking water. This review examines the available literature on FLA in treated drinking water systems; in total 26 studies from 18 different countries. FLA were reported to breakthrough the water treatment barrier and enter distribution systems, in addition to the expected post-treatment system ingress. Once in the distribution system there is evidence of FLA colonization and regrowth especially in reservoirs and in-premise plumbing storage tanks. At the point of use the average FLA detection rate was 45% but highly variable (n = 16, σ = 31) due to both differences in both assay methods and the type of water systems examined. This review reveals that FLA are consistently detected in treated drinking water systems around the world and present a yet unquantified emerging health risk. However, more research is urgently required before accurate risks assessments can be undertaken to assess the impacts on human health, in households and institutions, due to exposure to FLA facilitated pathogenic ARM.

  18. Ophthalmology hospital wards contamination to pathogenic free living Amoebae in Iran.

    PubMed

    Lasjerdi, Zohreh; Niyyati, Maryam; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob; Haghighi, Ali; Taghipour, Niloofar

    2015-09-01

    The present study was conducted to determine the occurrence of potentially pathogenic free-living amoeba in ophthalmology wards in reference hospitals in Iran. Since an increasing number of Acanthamoeba Keratitis cases after eye surgery and eye trauma have been recently observed in this country, it could be possible that the disinfection procedures undertaken in the clinical setting may not have a good hygiene and disinfection procedures, hence the aim of this study. Therefore, 42 dust and biofilm samples were collected from different areas of ophthalmology wards and checked for the presence of FLA using morphological criteria, PCR based analysis and DNA sequencing. Of the 42 samples from dust and biofilm sources, 18(42.86%) isolates were found to contain FLA and 12(92.3%) isolates belonged to Acanthamoeba T4 genotype. Isolation of the pathogenic genotype T4 from medical instruments, including slit lamp in corneal wards, may be a threat for patients undergoing eye surgery in these wards. Other FLA isolated in this study included Acanthamoeba genotype T5, Vahlkampfia sp, Naegleria australiensis, Vermamoeba vermiformis and Echinamoeba exudans. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the presence of potentially pathogenic FLA in ophthalmology wards in Iran. Improved disinfection methods and monitoring of hospitals ward are thus necessary in this area in order to minimize the risk of infection in patients.

  19. Abundance, diversity and community composition of free-living protozoa on vegetable sprouts.

    PubMed

    Chavatte, N; Lambrecht, E; Van Damme, I; Sabbe, K; Houf, K

    2016-05-01

    Interactions with free-living protozoa (FLP) have been implicated in the persistence of pathogenic bacteria on food products. In order to assess the potential involvement of FLP in this contamination, detailed knowledge on their occurrence, abundance and diversity on food products is required. In the present study, enrichment and cultivation methods were used to inventory and quantify FLP on eight types of commercial vegetable sprouts (alfalfa, beetroot, cress, green pea, leek, mung bean, red cabbage and rosabi). In parallel, total aerobic bacteria and Escherichia coli counts were performed. The vegetable sprouts harbored diverse communities of FLP, with Tetrahymena (ciliate), Bodo saltans and cercomonads (flagellates), and Acanthamoeba and Vannella (amoebae) as the dominant taxa. Protozoan community composition and abundance significantly differed between the sprout types. Beetroot harbored the most abundant and diverse FLP communities, with many unique species such as Korotnevella sp., Vannella sp., Chilodonella sp., Podophrya sp. and Sphaerophrya sp. In contrast, mung bean sprouts were species-poor and had low FLP numbers. Sampling month and company had no significant influence, suggesting that seasonal and local factors are of minor importance. Likewise, no significant relationship between protozoan community composition and bacterial load was observed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Evidence for free-living Bacteroides in Cladophora along the shores of the Great Lakes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Whitman, Richard L.; Byappanahalli, Muruleedhara; Spoljaric, Ashley; Przybyla-Kelly, Katarzyna; Shively, Dawn A.; Nevers, Meredith

    2014-01-01

    Bacteroides is assumed to be restricted to the alimentary canal of animals and humans and is considered to be non-viable in ambient environments. We hypothesized that Bacteroides could persist and replicate within beach-stranded Cladophora glomerata mats in southern Lake Michigan, USA. Mean Bacteroides concentration (per GenBac3 Taqman quantitative PCR assay) during summer 2012 at Jeorse Park Beach was 5.2 log calibrator cell equivalents (CCE) g-1 dry weight (dw), ranging from 3.7 to 6.7. We monitored a single beach-stranded mat for 3 wk; bacterial concentrations increased by 1.6 log CCE g-1 dw and correlated significantly with ambient temperature (p = 0.003). Clonal growth was evident, as observed by >99% nucleotide sequence similarity among clones. In in vitro studies, Bacteroides concentrations increased by 5.5 log CCE g-1 after 7 d (27°C) in fresh Cladophora collected from rocks. Partial sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene of 36 clones from the incubation experiment showed highly similar genotypes (≥97% sequence overlap). The closest enteric Bacteroides spp. from the National Center for Biotechnology Information database were only 87 to 91% similar. Genomic similarity, clonality, growth, and persistence collectively suggest that putative, free-living Bacteroides inhabit Cladophora mats of southern Lake Michigan. These findings may have important biological, medical, regulatory, microbial source tracking, and public health implications.

  1. Assessment of nutritional status in free-living elderly individuals by bioelectrical impedance vector analysis.

    PubMed

    Buffa, Roberto; Floris, Giovanni; Marini, Elisabetta

    2009-01-01

    The aim of the present research was to examine bioelectrical vector changes in relation to nutritional status in a sample of healthy free-living elderly people. The study group consisted of 170 men and women 70 to 99 y of age. Anthropometric and bioelectrical (resistance and reactance, 50 kHz, 800 muA) measurements were taken. Bioelectrical impedance vector analysis was applied. Nutritional status was determined by the Mini-Nutritional Assessment. Bioelectrical characteristics of normal and undernourished individuals were compared statistically with Hotelling's T(2) test and graphically with 95% probability confidence ellipses. The impedance and multidimensional approaches showed a clear association. Undernourished subjects had a smaller phase angle (men 5.2 +/- 1.3 versus 5.7 +/- 1.0 degrees, P = 0.027; women 5.0 +/- 1.0 versus 5.4 +/- 0.9 degrees, P = 0.065) than normally nourished subjects. Bioelectrical impedance vector analysis represents a promising indicator of nutritional status, suitable in screening programs and clinical practice.

  2. Hematologic and Total Plasma Protein Values in Free-Living Red-tailed Amazon Parrot Nestlings (Amazona brasiliensis) in Paraná State, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Vaz, Frederico F; Locatelli-Dittrich, Rosangela; Sipinski, Elenise A B; Abbud, Maria C; Sezerban, Rafael M; Schmidt, Elizabeth M S; Dittrich, Jaqueline; Cavalheiro, Maria L

    2015-09-01

    The red-tailed Amazon parrot (Amazona brasiliensis) is an endangered psittacid species that is endemic in the south and southeast Brazilian Atlantic coastal region. Hematologic evaluation is important to monitor the health of these birds, and information about laboratory values for this species is scarce. Hematologic and total plasma protein profiles were determined for 33 free-living nestling parrots in Paraná state, Brazil. Parrots were temporarily removed from the nest and manually restrained to record body weight and collect blood samples. Mean body weight was <400 g in 13 birds (group 1) and >400 g in 20 birds (group 2). Significantly higher levels of mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentrations, white blood cell counts, monocytes, and basophils were observed in younger birds (group 1). A stress leukogram (high white blood cell and heterophil count) was found in all nestlings, suggesting stress induced by capture and restraint. Parameters obtained in this study will be essential to assess the physiologic and pathologic condition of wild parrots, to evaluate the effects of environmental changes on their health, and to contribute to conservation efforts of this endangered species.

  3. Sex-Specific Energetics of Pacific Walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) during the Nursing Interval.

    PubMed

    Noren, Shawn R; Udevitz, Mark S; Jay, Chadwick V

    2016-01-01

    Habitat use and activity patterns of Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) have changed with climate-induced reductions in sea ice. Increases in the time active in water could result in negative energy balance, precluding females from sustaining lactation, which could impact population demographics. Little is known about lactation costs in walruses. We examined the energetics of 0-2-yr-old walrus calves by using Bayesian hierarchical models based on longitudinal husbandry records of growth (n = 6 females and 7 males) and caloric intake (n = 5 females and 6 males) as a proxy for maternal lactation costs. Males and females had similar growth patterns; mean mass increased from 68 kg at birth to 301 kg by 2 yr. Females had a 2,000 kcal kg(-1) higher mass storage (growth) cost than males; females typically synthesize and deposit greater amounts of adipose, which is more energy dense than lean tissue. In contrast, males had higher metabolic (basal and activity) costs, ranging from 600 to 1,800 kcal d(-1) greater than similarly sized females; males are typically leaner, and muscle is more metabolically active than adipose. Yet total daily energy requirements (storage plus metabolic components) were similar across sexes, summing to approximately 190,000 kcal over the first month postpartum. Based on these estimates and assuming that 8,103 kcal is recovered from 1 kg of mass loss in adult female walruses, suckling calves could deplete 23 kg of their mother's body mass over the first month after parturition if none of the lactation costs is met through ingested prey.

  4. The Wageningen Lowland Runoff Simulator (WALRUS): application to the Hupsel Brook catchment and the Cabauw polder

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brauer, C. C.; Torfs, P. J. J. F.; Teuling, A. J.; Uijlenhoet, R.

    2014-10-01

    The Wageningen Lowland Runoff Simulator (WALRUS) is a new parametric (conceptual) rainfall-runoff model which accounts explicitly for processes that are important in lowland areas, such as groundwater-unsaturated zone coupling, wetness-dependent flowroutes, groundwater-surface water feedbacks, and seepage and surface water supply (see companion paper by Brauer et al., 2014). Lowland catchments can be divided into slightly sloping, freely draining catchments and flat polders with controlled water levels. Here, we apply WALRUS to two contrasting Dutch catchments: the Hupsel Brook catchment and the Cabauw polder. In both catchments, WALRUS performs well: Nash-Sutcliffe efficiencies obtained after calibration on 1 year of discharge observations are 0.87 for the Hupsel Brook catchment and 0.83 for the Cabauw polder, with values of 0.74 and 0.76 for validation. The model also performs well during floods and droughts and can forecast the effect of control operations. Through the dynamic division between quick and slow flowroutes controlled by a wetness index, temporal and spatial variability in groundwater depths can be accounted for, which results in adequate simulation of discharge peaks as well as low flows. The performance of WALRUS is most sensitive to the parameter controlling the wetness index and the groundwater reservoir constant, and to a lesser extent to the quickflow reservoir constant. The effects of these three parameters can be identified in the discharge time series, which indicates that the model is not overparameterised (parsimonious). Forcing uncertainty was found to have a larger effect on modelled discharge than parameter uncertainty and uncertainty in initial conditions.

  5. Rapid maturation of the muscle biochemistry that supports diving in Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens).

    PubMed

    Noren, Shawn R; Jay, Chadwick V; Burns, Jennifer M; Fischbach, Anthony S

    2015-10-01

    Physiological constraints dictate animals' ability to exploit habitats. For marine mammals, it is important to quantify physiological limits that influence diving and their ability to alter foraging behaviors. We characterized age-specific dive limits of walruses by measuring anaerobic (acid-buffering capacity) and aerobic (myoglobin content) capacities of the muscles that power hind (longissimus dorsi) and fore (supraspinatus) flipper propulsion. Mean buffering capacities were similar across muscles and age classes (a fetus, five neonatal calves, a 3 month old and 20 adults), ranging from 41.31 to 54.14 slykes and 42.00 to 46.93 slykes in the longissimus and supraspinatus, respectively. Mean myoglobin in the fetus and neonatal calves fell within a narrow range (longissimus: 0.92-1.68 g 100 g(-1) wet muscle mass; supraspinatus: 0.88-1.64 g 100 g(-1) wet muscle mass). By 3 months post-partum, myoglobin in the longissimus increased by 79%, but levels in the supraspinatus remained unaltered. From 3 months post-partum to adulthood, myoglobin increased by an additional 26% in the longissimus and increased by 126% in the supraspinatus; myoglobin remained greater in the longissimus compared with the supraspinatus. Walruses are unique among marine mammals because they are born with a mature muscle acid-buffering capacity and attain mature myoglobin content early in life. Despite rapid physiological development, small body size limits the diving capacity of immature walruses and extreme sexual dimorphism reduces the diving capacity of adult females compared with adult males. Thus, free-ranging immature walruses likely exhibit the shortest foraging dives while adult males are capable of the longest foraging dives.

  6. The Wageningen Lowland Runoff Simulator (WALRUS): application to the Hupsel Brook catchment and Cabauw polder

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brauer, C. C.; Torfs, P. J. J. F.; Teuling, A. J.; Uijlenhoet, R.

    2014-02-01

    The Wageningen Lowland Runoff Simulator (WALRUS) is a new parametric (conceptual) rainfall-runoff model which accounts explicitly for processes that are important in lowland areas, such as groundwater-unsaturated zone coupling, wetness-dependent flowroutes, groundwater-surface water feedbacks, and seepage and surface water supply (see companion paper by Brauer et al., 2014). Lowland catchments can be divided into slightly sloping, freely draining catchments and flat polders with controlled water levels. Here, we apply WALRUS to two contrasting Dutch catchments: the Hupsel Brook catchment and Cabauw polder. In both catchments, WALRUS performs well: Nash-Sutcliffe efficiencies obtained after calibration on one year of discharge observations are 0.87 for the Hupsel Brook catchment and 0.83 for the Cabauw polder, with values of 0.74 and 0.76 for validation. The model also performs well during floods and droughts and can forecast the effect of control operations. Through the dynamic division between quick and slow flowroutes controlled by a wetness index, temporal and spatial variability in groundwater depths can be accounted for, which results in adequate simulation of discharge peaks as well as low flows. The performance of WALRUS is most sensitive to the parameter controlling the wetness index and the groundwater reservoir constant, and to a lesser extent to the quickflow reservoir constant. The effects of these three parameters can be identified in the discharge time series, which indicates that the model is not overparameterised (parsimonious). Forcing uncertainty was found to have a larger effect on modelled discharge than parameter uncertainty and uncertainty in initial conditions.

  7. 137Cs and 210Po in Pacific walrus and bearded seal from St. Lawrence Island, Alaska.

    PubMed

    Hamilton, Terry; Seagars, Dana; Jokela, Terry; Layton, David

    2008-06-01

    The activity concentration of Cesium-137 ((137)Cs) and naturally-occurring Polonium-210 ((210)Po) were measured in the muscle tissue, kidney and liver of Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) and bearded seal (Erignathus barbatus) collected by native hunters from the Bering Sea during May 1996. The mean (137)Cs concentrations in muscle, liver and kidney of Pacific walrus were 0.07, 0.09 and 0.07 Bq kg(-1) (n=5, wet weight), respectively, and 0.17, 0.10, and 0.17 Bq kg(-1) (n=2, wet weight), respectively, in bearded seal. In general, (137)Cs tissue concentrations are significantly lower than those previously reported for mammals from other regions. By comparison, (210)Po activity concentrations are more variable and appear to be higher level compared with mammal data from other regions. The mean (210)Po concentration in the muscle tissue, liver and kidney of Pacific walrus (n=5, wet weight) were 28.7, 189, and 174 Bq kg(-1), respectively. This compares with (210)Po concentration values (n=2, wet weight) of 27, 207 and 68 Bq kg(-1) measured in the muscle tissue, liver and kidney, of bearded seal, respectively. Estimated concentration factors--as defined by the radionuclide concentration ratio between the target tissue to that in sea water--were two to three orders of magnitude higher for (210)Po that those of (137)Cs. We conclude from radiological dose estimates that ingestion of (137)Cs in foods derived from walrus and seal will pose no threat to human health. This work has important implications for assessment of risks of Alaskan coastal communities concerned about the dumping of nuclear waste in the Russia Arctic.

  8. Sex-specific energetics of Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) during the nursing interval

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Noren, Shawn R.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Jay, Chadwick V.

    2016-01-01

    Habitat use and activity patterns of Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) have changed with climate-induced reductions in sea ice. Increases in the time active in water could result in negative energy balance, precluding females from sustaining lactation, which could impact population demographics. Little is known about lactation costs in walruses. We examined the energetics of 0–2-yr-old walrus calves by using Bayesian hierarchical models based on longitudinal husbandry records of growth (n = 6 females and 7 males) and caloric intake (n = 5 females and 6 males) as a proxy for maternal lactation costs. Males and females had similar growth patterns; mean mass increased from 68 kg at birth to 301 kg by 2 yr. Females had a 2,000 kcal kg−1 higher mass storage (growth) cost than males; females typically synthesize and deposit greater amounts of adipose, which is more energy dense than lean tissue. In contrast, males had higher metabolic (basal and activity) costs, ranging from 600 to 1,800 kcal d−1 greater than similarly sized females; males are typically leaner, and muscle is more metabolically active than adipose. Yet total daily energy requirements (storage plus metabolic components) were similar across sexes, summing to approximately 190,000 kcal over the first month postpartum. Based on these estimates and assuming that 8,103 kcal is recovered from 1 kg of mass loss in adult female walruses, suckling calves could deplete 23 kg of their mother’s body mass over the first month after parturition if none of the lactation costs is met through ingested prey.

  9. Rapid maturation of the muscle biochemistry that supports diving in Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Norem, Shawn R.; Jay, Chadwick V.; Burns, Jennifer M.; Fischbach, Anthony S.

    2015-01-01

    Physiological constraints dictate animals’ ability to exploit habitats. For marine mammals, it is important to quantify physiological limits that influence diving and their ability to alter foraging behaviors. We characterized age-specific dive limits of walruses by measuring anaerobic (acid-buffering capacity) and aerobic (myoglobin content) capacities of the muscles that power hind (longissimus dorsi) and fore (supraspinatus) flipper propulsion. Mean buffering capacities were similar across muscles and age classes (a fetus, five neonatal calves, a 3 month old and 20 adults), ranging from 41.31 to 54.14 slykes and 42.00 to 46.93 slykes in the longissimus and supraspinatus, respectively. Mean myoglobin in the fetus and neonatal calves fell within a narrow range (longissimus: 0.92–1.68 g 100 g−1 wet muscle mass; supraspinatus: 0.88–1.64 g 100 g−1 wet muscle mass). By 3 months post-partum, myoglobin in the longissimus increased by 79%, but levels in the supraspinatus remained unaltered. From 3 months post-partum to adulthood, myoglobin increased by an additional 26% in the longissimus and increased by 126% in the supraspinatus; myoglobin remained greater in the longissimus compared with the supraspinatus. Walruses are unique among marine mammals because they are born with a mature muscle acid-buffering capacity and attain mature myoglobin content early in life. Despite rapid physiological development, small body size limits the diving capacity of immature walruses and extreme sexual dimorphism reduces the diving capacity of adult females compared with adult males. Thus, free-ranging immature walruses likely exhibit the shortest foraging dives while adult males are capable of the longest foraging dives.

  10. 137Cs and 210Po in Pacific Walrus and Bearded Seal from St. Lawrence Island, Alaska

    SciTech Connect

    Hamilton, T F; Seagars, D J; Jokela, T; Layton, D

    2005-02-02

    The activity concentration of Cesium-137 ({sup 137}Cs) and naturally-occurring Polonium-210 ({sup 210}Po) were measured in the muscle tissue, kidney and liver of Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) and bearded seal (Erignathus barbatus) collected by native hunters from the Bering Sea. The mean {sup 137}Cs concentrations in muscle, liver and kidney of Pacific walrus were 0.07, 0.09 and 0.07 Bq kg{sup -1} (N= 5, wet weight), respectively, and 0.17, 0.10, and 0.17 Bq kg{sup -1} (N=2, wet weight), respectively, in bearded seal. In general, {sup 137}Cs tissue concentrations are significantly lower than those previously reported for mammals from other regions. By comparison, {sup 210}Po activity concentrations appear to be higher than those reported elsewhere but a larger variation. The mean {sup 210}Po concentration in the muscle tissue, liver and kidney of Pacific walrus (N=5, wet weight) were 28.7, 189, and 174 Bq kg{sup -1}, respectively. This compares with {sup 210}Po concentration values (N=2, wet weight) of 27, 207, and 68 Bq kg{sup -1} measured in the muscle tissue, liver and kidney, of bearded seal, respectively. Estimated bioaccumulation factors--as defined by the radionuclide concentration ratio between the target tissue to that in sea water--were two to three orders of magnitude higher for {sup 210}Po that those of {sup 137}Cs. We conclude from radiological dose estimates that ingestion of {sup 137}Cs in foods derived from walrus and seal will pose no threat to human health. This work has important implications for assessing health risks to Alaskan coastal communities concerned about the dumping of nuclear waste in the Russia Arctic.

  11. Description of free-living marine nematodes found in the intestine of fishes from the Brazilian coast.

    PubMed

    Abolafia, Joaquín; Ruiz-Cuenca, Alba N; Fernandes, Berenice M M; Cohen, Simone C; Cárdenas, Melissa Q

    2015-04-22

    The marine nematodes usually comprise free-living species, although a few are parasitic. However, several cases of free-living nematodes found accidentally in the digestive tract of certain vertebrates, especially fishes, have sometimes been recorded and categorized as pseudoparasites. In the present work, two species of marine fishes, the rhomboid crappie, Diapterus rhombeus, and the silvered crappie, Eucinostomus argenteus (Perciformes: Gerreidae), from Angra dos Reis on the coast of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) were examined. Seven species of free-living marine nematodes were found in the digestive tract of these fish. Several of these species remain unknown as free-living forms in Brazil. The combination of the fish feeding strategies and the poor preservation of the body of the nematode specimens found could indicate that these nematodes are pseudoparasites, appearing in the fishes' digestive tracts through accidental ingestion and thereafter surviving for brief periods of time. Descriptions, illustrations and tables of measurements are provided for all species. Six of these species (Croconema torquens, Dorylaimopsis pellucida, Oncholaimellus labiatus, Parodontophora breviamphida, Prooncholaimus ornatus, Trissonchulus latus) have been reported for the first time from the Brazilian coast.

  12. The clinico-pathology and mechanisms of trypanosomosis in captive and free-living wild animals: a review.

    PubMed

    Mbaya, A W; Aliyu, M M; Ibrahim, U I

    2009-10-01

    Reports on the clinico-pathology and mechanisms of trypanosomosis in free-living and captive wild animals showed that clinical disease and outbreaks occur more commonly among captive than free-living wild animals. This is because the free-living wild animals co-exist with the disease until subjected to captivity. In exceptional cases however, draught, starvation and intercurrent diseases often compromised trypanotolerance leading to overt trypanosomosis in free-living wild animals. Meanwhile, in captivity, space restriction, reduced social interactions, change in social herd structure, reduced specie-to-specie specific behaviors, altered habitat and translocation were the major stressors that precipitated the disease. The cumulative effect of these factors produced severe physiological and somatic stress leading to diminished immune response due to increased blood cortisol output from adrenal cortex. The major symptoms manifested were pyrexia, innapetence, increased respiration, anaemia, cachexia and death. At necropsy, pulmonary oedema, splenomegally, hepatomegally, lympadenopathy and atrophy of body fats were the gross changes encountered. At the ultra-structural level, the tissues manifested degenerative changes, haemorghages, necrosis and mononuclear cellular infiltrations. The mechanisms of cellular and tissue injuries were primarily associated with physical and metabolic activities of the organisms. From the foregoing, it is evident that stress is the underlying mechanism that compromises trypanotolerance in wild animals leading to severe clinico-pathological effects.

  13. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in free-living Amazon river dolphins (Inia geoffrensis) from central Amazon, Brazil

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Toxoplasma gondii is an important pathogen in aquatic mammals and its presence in these animals may indicate water contamination of aquatic environment by oocysts. Serum samples from 95 dolphins from free-living Amazon River dolphins (Inia geoffrensis) from Sustainable Development Reserve Mamirauá (...

  14. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in free-living amazon river dolphins (Inia geoffrensis) from central Amazon, Brazil

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Toxoplasma gondii is an important pathogen in aquatic mammals and its presence in these animals may indicate water contamination of aquatic environment by oocysts. Serum samples from 95 dolphins from free-living Amazon River dolphins (Inia geoffrensis) from Sustainable Development Reserve Mamirauá (...

  15. Confirmation and phylogenetic analysis of rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus in free-living rabbits from the Netherlands.

    PubMed

    van de Bildt, M W G; van Bolhuis, G H; van Zijderveld, F; van Riel, D; Drees, J M; Osterhaus, A D M E; Kuiken, T

    2006-10-01

    The number of free-living European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in the Netherlands has declined dramatically in recent years. Although rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) infection has been implicated as a possible cause of this decline, the definitive diagnosis has not been reported. We examined three free-living rabbits found dead in the Netherlands in 2004 by use of gross pathology, histopathology, immunohistochemistry, and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. We subsequently compared the identified virus with RHDV from elsewhere in the world by phylogenetic analysis. There was widespread necrosis, hemorrhage, or both in liver, kidney, spleen, and lungs of all three rabbits, consistent with RHDV infection. The presence of RHDV in affected tissues was demonstrated by immunohistochemistry and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. The RHDV from the Netherlands showed the highest identity, 99%, with a strain from France in 2000, and fitted in genogroup G5. These results prove that RHDV infection causes mortality of free-living rabbits in the Netherlands and suggest that RHDV strains circulating in free-living rabbits in the Netherlands and France have a common source or that one has originated from the other.

  16. Assessment of metabolic modulation in free-living versus endosymbiotic Symbiodinium using synchrotron radiation-based infrared microspectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Shao-En; Chen, Chii-Shiarng; Song, Yen-Fang; Huang, Huai-Ting; Jiang, Pei-Luen; Chen, Wan-Nan U.; Fang, Lee-Shing; Lee, Yao-Chang

    2012-01-01

    The endosymbiotic relationship between coral hosts and dinoflagellates of the genus Symbiodinium is critical for the growth and productivity of coral reef ecosystems. Here, synchrotron radiation-based infrared microspectroscopy was applied to examine metabolite concentration differences between endosymbiotic (within the anemone Aiptasia pulchella) and free-living Symbiodinium over the light–dark cycle. Significant differences in levels of lipids, nitrogenous compounds, polysaccharides and putative cell wall components were documented. Compared with free-living Symbiodinium, total lipids, unsaturated lipids and polysaccharides were relatively enriched in endosymbiotic Symbiodinium during both light and dark photoperiods. Concentrations of cell wall-related metabolites did not vary temporally in endosymbiotic samples; in contrast, the concentrations of these metabolites increased dramatically during the dark photoperiod in free-living samples, possibly reflecting rhythmic cell-wall synthesis related to light-driven cell proliferation. The level of nitrogenous compounds in endosymbiotic cells did not vary greatly across the light–dark cycle and in general was significantly lower than that observed in free-living samples collected during the light. Collectively, these data suggest that nitrogen limitation is a factor that the host cell exploits to induce the biosynthesis of lipids and polysaccharides in endosymbiotic Symbiodinium. PMID:22090199

  17. Bilateral microphthalmia and aphakia associated with multiple eye abnormalities in a free-living European red deer calf (Cervus elaphus).

    PubMed

    Mutinelli, Franco; Vercelli, Antonella; Carminato, Antonio; Luchesa, Lucio; Pasolli, Claudio; Cova, Mariapia; Marchioro, Wendy; Melchiotti, Erica; Vascellari, Marta

    2012-04-01

    A free-living European red deer calf (Cervus elaphus) was euthanized due to bilateral microphthalmia. Lens was missing, replaced by proliferating squamous epithelial cells; hyperplastic squamous cells, sebaceous and mucinous glands were observed within the cornea with the characteristics of inclusion cyst. Findings were consistent with congenital microphthalmia/aphakia, with multiple eye abnormalities.

  18. Relationship between the Intracellular Integrity and the Morphology of the Capsular Envelope in Attached and Free-Living Marine Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Heissenberger, A.; Leppard, G. G.; Herndl, G. J.

    1996-01-01

    The integrity of the intracellular structures and the presence and dimension of the capsular envelope were investigated in marine snow-associated and marine free-living bacteria by transmission electron microscopy and special fixation techniques. Three categories depending on the presence of internal structures were differentiated. In marine snow, 51% of the marine snow-associated bacterial community was considered intact, 26% had a partly degraded internal structure, and 23% were empty with only the cell wall remaining. For the free-living bacterial community, 34% were intact cells, 42% exhibited damage, and 24% of the cells were lacking any internal structure. We also investigated the morphology and the extent of the bacterial capsular envelope. More than 95% of all intact marine snow-associated bacteria were surrounded by a capsule while (apprx=)55% of empty marine snow-associated bacteria had no capsule. For free-living bacteria, (apprx=)65% of the intact cells had a capsule while (apprx=)80% of the empty free-living bacteria lacked a capsule. Thus there is a clear trend from intact cells which are commonly surrounded by a capsular envelope to empty bacteria for which only the cell wall is remaining. Since bacterioplankton represent the largest living surface in the ocean, it is concluded that the release of intracellular material from bacteria into the environment as well as the release of extracellular capsular material might fuel the dissolved organic matter pool of the ocean. PMID:16535466

  19. Tracking of Pacific walruses in the Chukchi Sea using a single hydrophone.

    PubMed

    Mouy, Xavier; Hannay, David; Zykov, Mikhail; Martin, Bruce

    2012-02-01

    The vocal repertoire of Pacific walruses includes underwater sound pulses referred to as knocks and bell-like calls. An extended acoustic monitoring program was performed in summer 2007 over a large region of the eastern Chukchi Sea using autonomous seabed-mounted acoustic recorders. Walrus knocks were identified in many of the recordings and most of these sounds included multiple bottom and surface reflected signals. This paper investigates the use of a localization technique based on relative multipath arrival times (RMATs) for potential behavior studies. First, knocks are detected using a semi-automated kurtosis-based algorithm. Then RMATs are matched to values predicted by a ray-tracing model. Walrus tracks with vertical and horizontal movements were obtained. The tracks included repeated dives between 4.0 m and 15.5 m depth and a deep dive to the sea bottom (53 m). Depths at which bell-like sounds are produced, average knock production rate and source levels estimates of the knocks were determined. Bell sounds were produced at all depths throughout the dives. Average knock production rates varied from 59 to 75 knocks/min. Average source level of the knocks was estimated to 177.6 ± 7.5 dB re 1 μPa peak @ 1 m.

  20. Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook — A Collaboration to Benefit Both Stakeholders and Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Creek, K. R.

    2015-12-01

    Started in 2010, the Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook (SIWO, http://www.arcus.org/search-program/siwo) is a collaborative effort between stakeholders, forecasters, and researchers. An annual project that runs roughly from April to June, dependent on ice conditions, SIWO serves as a resource for Alaska Native subsistence hunters and coastal communities. It provides weekly reports with information on sea ice conditions relevant to walrus in the Northern Bering Sea and southern Chukchi Sea regions of Alaska. Weather and ice forecasters at the National Weather Service provide ten-day outlooks on upcoming conditions, climate scientists and sea-ice researchers at NOAA and the University of Alaska contribute their perspectives and in-situ observations, the Eskimo Walrus Commission provides connections with local communities, and Alaska Native sea-ice experts submit on-the-ground observations. The project is managed by the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS, with funding from the National Science Foundation's Division of Arctic Sciences). The goal of the SIWO project is to assist village communities while simultaneously evaluating the accuracy of scientific forecasts. Originally conceptualized by stakeholders themselves, various organizations and researchers became involved to fulfill and support its different roles. Stakeholders have used data from the project both to help plan hunting trips and also to assist in obtaining a declaration of emergency status after a particularly poor hunting season.

  1. First molecular detection and characterization of herpesvirus and poxvirus in a Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens).

    PubMed

    Melero, Mar; García-Párraga, Daniel; Corpa, Juan Manuel; Ortega, Joaquín; Rubio-Guerri, Consuelo; Crespo, José Luis; Rivera-Arroyo, Belén; Sánchez-Vizcaíno, José Manuel

    2014-12-21

    Herpesvirus and poxvirus can infect a wide range of species: herpesvirus genetic material has been detected and amplified in five species of the superfamily Pinnipedia; poxvirus genetic material, in eight species of Pinnipedia. To date, however, genetic material of these viruses has not been detected in walrus (Odobenus rosmarus), another marine mammal of the Pinnipedia clade, even though anti-herpesvirus antibodies have been detected in these animals. In February 2013, a 9-year-old healthy captive female Pacific walrus died unexpectedly at L'Oceanografic (Valencia, Spain). Herpesvirus was detected in pharyngeal tonsil tissue by PCR. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the virus belongs to the subfamily Gammaherpesvirinae. Poxvirus was also detected by PCR in skin, pre-scapular and tracheobronchial lymph nodes and tonsils. Gross lesions were not detected in any tissue, but histopathological analyses of pharyngeal tonsils and lymph nodes revealed remarkable lymphoid depletion and lymphocytolysis. Similar histopathological lesions have been previously described in bovine calves infected with an alphaherpesvirus, and in northern elephant seals infected with a gammaherpesvirus that is closely related to the herpesvirus found in this case. Intracytoplasmic eosinophilic inclusion bodies, consistent with poxviral infection, were also observed in the epithelium of the tonsilar mucosa. To our knowledge, this is the first molecular identification of herpesvirus and poxvirus in a walrus. Neither virus was likely to have contributed directly to the death of our animal.

  2. Can seal eating explain elevated levels of PCBs and organochlorine pesticides in walrus blubber from eastern Hudson Bay (Canada)?

    PubMed

    Muir, D C; Segstro, M D; Hobson, K A; Ford, C A; Stewart, R E; Olpinski, S

    1995-01-01

    Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) blubber samples from Inukjuak and Akulivik (East Hudson Bay), Foxe Basin (Igloolik and Hall Beach) and Loks Land (East Baffin Island) were analysed for PCB congeners (ortho and non-ortho substituted) and other persistent organochlorines (DDT, toxaphene, chlordanes, dieldrin, mirex), as well as chlorinated dioxins/furans, to document spatial trends in contaminants in Canadian Arctic marine biota. Samples from 19 of 53 individuals had concentrations of SigmaPCBs greater than 1000 ng g(-1) (wet wt); the remaining individuals had much lower concentrations (50-600 ng g(-1)). Highest concentrations were found in samples from Inukjuak where average concentrations in blubber of females (N = 9) were 1450 +/- 954 ng g(-1) toxaphene, 2750 +/- 1780 ng g(-1) SigmaCHLOR, 2160 +/- 925 ng g(-1) SigmaDDT and 4790 +/- 2380 ng g(-1) SigmaPCB. SigmaPCB and SigmaDDT concentrations greater than 1000 ng g(-1) were unexpected based on previous studies of walrus from Greenland and Alaska. Local contamination was ruled out because levels of all organochlorines were elevated in each animal from Inukjuak, and elevated levels were also found in animals from Akulivik and Loks Land. Walrus from Inukjuak had sigma13C and sigma15N values in muscle intermediate between those of ringed seals (Phoca hispida) and those of walrus from Akulivik with low organochlorine levels. There was a weak but significant correlation between and sigma15N and (log)SigmaPCB. The Inukjuak walrus also had higher proportions of highly chlorinated PCB congeners, and higher DDE/SigmaDDT ratios than walrus from Igloolik or Akulivik. The results suggest that the walrus with elevated organochlorines are feeding at a higher trophic level than those with low levels and are probably utilizing ringed seals for a portion of their diet.

  3. Unraveling the Photoprotective Response of Lichenized and Free-Living Green Algae (Trebouxiophyceae, Chlorophyta) to Photochilling Stress.

    PubMed

    Míguez, Fátima; Schiefelbein, Ulf; Karsten, Ulf; García-Plazaola, José I; Gustavs, Lydia

    2017-01-01

    Lichens and free-living terrestrial algae are widespread across many habitats and develop successfully in ecosystems where a cold winter limits survival. With the goal of comparing photoprotective responses in free-living and lichenized algae, the physiological responses to chilling and photochilling conditions were studied in three lichens and their isolated algal photobionts together as well as in a fourth free-living algal species. We specifically addressed the following questions: (i) Are there general patterns of acclimation in green algae under chilling and photochilling stresses? (ii) Do free-living algae exhibit a similar pattern of responses as their lichenized counterparts? (iii) Are these responses influenced by the selection pressure of environmental conditions or by the phylogenetic position of each species? To answer these questions, photosynthetic fluorescence measurements as well as pigment and low molecular weight carbohydrate pool analyses were performed under controlled laboratory conditions. In general, photochemical efficiency in all free-living algae decreased with increasing duration of the stress, while the majority of lichens maintained an unchanged photochemical activity. Nevertheless, these patterns cannot be generalized because the alga Trebouxia arboricola and the lichen Ramalina pollinaria (associated with Trebouxia photobionts) both showed a similar decrease in photochemical efficiency. In contrast, in the couple Elliptochloris bilobata-Baeomyces rufus, only the algal partner exhibited a broad physiological performance under stress. This study also highlights the importance of the xanthophyll cycle in response to the studied lichens and algae to photochilling stress, while the accumulation of sugars was not related to cold acclimation, except in the alga E. bilobata. The differences in response patterns detected among species can be mainly explained by their geographic origin, although the phylogenetic position should also be

  4. Unraveling the Photoprotective Response of Lichenized and Free-Living Green Algae (Trebouxiophyceae, Chlorophyta) to Photochilling Stress

    PubMed Central

    Míguez, Fátima; Schiefelbein, Ulf; Karsten, Ulf; García-Plazaola, José I.; Gustavs, Lydia

    2017-01-01

    Lichens and free-living terrestrial algae are widespread across many habitats and develop successfully in ecosystems where a cold winter limits survival. With the goal of comparing photoprotective responses in free-living and lichenized algae, the physiological responses to chilling and photochilling conditions were studied in three lichens and their isolated algal photobionts together as well as in a fourth free-living algal species. We specifically addressed the following questions: (i) Are there general patterns of acclimation in green algae under chilling and photochilling stresses? (ii) Do free-living algae exhibit a similar pattern of responses as their lichenized counterparts? (iii) Are these responses influenced by the selection pressure of environmental conditions or by the phylogenetic position of each species? To answer these questions, photosynthetic fluorescence measurements as well as pigment and low molecular weight carbohydrate pool analyses were performed under controlled laboratory conditions. In general, photochemical efficiency in all free-living algae decreased with increasing duration of the stress, while the majority of lichens maintained an unchanged photochemical activity. Nevertheless, these patterns cannot be generalized because the alga Trebouxia arboricola and the lichen Ramalina pollinaria (associated with Trebouxia photobionts) both showed a similar decrease in photochemical efficiency. In contrast, in the couple Elliptochloris bilobata-Baeomyces rufus, only the algal partner exhibited a broad physiological performance under stress. This study also highlights the importance of the xanthophyll cycle in response to the studied lichens and algae to photochilling stress, while the accumulation of sugars was not related to cold acclimation, except in the alga E. bilobata. The differences in response patterns detected among species can be mainly explained by their geographic origin, although the phylogenetic position should also be

  5. Data logging of body temperatures provides precise information on phenology of reproductive events in a free-living arctic hibernator

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, C.T.; Sheriff, M.J.; Schmutz, J.A.; Kohl, F.; Toien, O.; Buck, C.L.; Barnes, B.M.

    2011-01-01

    Precise measures of phenology are critical to understanding how animals organize their annual cycles and how individuals and populations respond to climate-induced changes in physical and ecological stressors. We show that patterns of core body temperature (T b) can be used to precisely determine the timing of key seasonal events including hibernation, mating and parturition, and immergence and emergence from the hibernacula in free-living arctic ground squirrels (Urocitellus parryii). Using temperature loggers that recorded T b every 20 min for up to 18 months, we monitored core T b from three females that subsequently gave birth in captivity and from 66 female and 57 male ground squirrels free-living in the northern foothills of the Brooks Range Alaska. In addition, dates of emergence from hibernation were visually confirmed for four free-living male squirrels. Average T b in captive females decreased by 0.5–1.0°C during gestation and abruptly increased by 1–1.5°C on the day of parturition. In free-living females, similar shifts in T b were observed in 78% (n = 9) of yearlings and 94% (n = 31) of adults; females without the shift are assumed not to have given birth. Three of four ground squirrels for which dates of emergence from hibernation were visually confirmed did not exhibit obvious diurnal rhythms in T b until they first emerged onto the surface when T b patterns became diurnal. In free-living males undergoing reproductive maturation, this pre-emergence euthermic interval averaged 20.4 days (n = 56). T b-loggers represent a cost-effective and logistically feasible method to precisely investigate the phenology of reproduction and hibernation in ground squirrels.

  6. Genetic diversity of free-living Symbiodinium in surface water and sediment of Hawai`i and Florida

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takabayashi, M.; Adams, L. M.; Pochon, X.; Gates, R. D.

    2012-03-01

    Marine dinoflagellates in the genus Symbiodinium are primarily known for their symbiotic associations with invertebrates and protists, although they are also found free-living in nanoplankton and microphytobenthic communities. Free-living Symbiodinium are necessary for hosts that must acquire their symbionts anew each generation and for the possible reestablishment of endosymbiosis in bleached adults. The diversity and ecology of free-living Symbiodinium are not well studied by comparison with their endosymbiotic counterparts, and as a result, our understanding of the linkages between free-living and endosymbiotic Symbiodinium is poor. Here, we begin to address this knowledge gap by describing the genetic diversity of Symbiodinium in the surface water and reef sediments of Hawai`i and Florida using Symbiodinium-specific primers for the hypervariable region of the chloroplast 23S domain V (cp23S-HVR). In total, 29 Symbiodinium sequence types were detected, 16 of which were novel. The majority of Symbiodinium sequence types in free-living environments belonged to clades A and B, but smaller numbers of sequence types belonging to clades C, D, and G were also detected. The majority of sequences recovered from Hawai`i belonged to clades A and C and those from Florida to clade B. Such distribution patterns are consistent with the endosymbiotic diversity previously reported for these two regions. The ancestral sequence types in each clade were typically recovered from surface water and sediments both in Hawai`i and Florida and have been previously reported as endosymbionts of a range of invertebrates, suggesting that these types have the capacity to exploit a range of very different habitats. More derived sequence types in clades A, B, C, and G were not recovered here, suggesting they are potentially restricted to endosymbiotic environments.

  7. Free-living gait characteristics in ageing and Parkinson's disease: impact of environment and ambulatory bout length.

    PubMed

    Del Din, Silvia; Godfrey, Alan; Galna, Brook; Lord, Sue; Rochester, Lynn

    2016-05-12

    Gait is emerging as a powerful diagnostic and prognostic tool, and as a surrogate marker of disease progression for Parkinson's disease (PD). Accelerometer-based body worn monitors (BWMs) facilitate the measurement of gait in clinical environments. Moreover they have the potential to provide a more accurate reflection of gait in the home during habitual behaviours. Emerging research suggests that measurement of gait using BWMs is feasible but this has not been investigated in depth. The aims of this study were to explore (i) the impact of environment and (ii) ambulatory bout (AB) length on gait characteristics for discriminating between people with PD and age-matched controls. Fourteen clinically relevant gait characteristics organised in five domains (pace, variability, rhythm, asymmetry, postural control) were quantified using laboratory based and free-living data collected over 7 days using a BWM placed on the lower back in 47 PD participants and 50 controls. Free-living data showed that both groups walked with decreased pace and increased variability, rhythm and asymmetry compared to walking in the laboratory setting. Four of the 14 gait characteristics measured in free-living conditions were significantly different between controls and people with PD compared to two measured in the laboratory. Between group differences depended on bout length and were more apparent during longer ABs. ABs ≤ 10s did not discriminate between groups. Medium to long ABs highlighted between-group significant differences for pace, rhythm and asymmetry. Longer ABs should therefore be taken into account when evaluating gait characteristics in free-living conditions. This study provides encouraging results to support the use of a single BWM for free-living gait evaluation in people with PD with potential for research and clinical application.

  8. Comparative anatomy of internal incubational sacs in cupuladriid bryozoans and the evolution of brooding in free-living cheilostomes.

    PubMed

    Ostrovsky, Andrew N; O'Dea, Aaron; Rodríguez, Felix

    2009-12-01

    Numerous gross morphological attributes are shared among unrelated free-living bryozoans revealing convergent evolution associated with functional demands of living on soft sediments. Here, we show that the reproductive structures across free-living groups evolved convergently. The most prominent convergent traits are the collective reduction of external brood chambers (ovicells) and the acquisition of internal brooding. Anatomical studies of four species from the cheilostome genera Cupuladria and Discoporella (Cupuladriidae) show that these species incubate their embryos in internal brooding sacs located in the coelom of the maternal nonpolymorphic autozooids. This sac consists of a main chamber and a narrow neck communicating to the vestibulum. The distal wall of the vestibulum possesses a cuticular thickening, which may further isolate the brood cavity. The presence of this character in all four species strongly supports grouping Cupuladria and Discoporella in one taxon. Further evidence suggests that the Cupuladriidae may be nested within the Calloporidae. Based on the structure of brooding organs, two scenarios are proposed to explain the evolution of the internal brooding in cupuladriids. The evolution of brood chambers and their origin in other free-living cheilostomes is discussed. Unlike the vast majority of Neocheilostomina, almost all free-living cheilostomes possess nonprominent chambers for embryonic incubation, either endozooidal and immersed ovicells or internal brooding sacs, supporting the idea that internal embryonic incubation is derived. We speculate that prominent skeletal brood chambers are disadvantageous to a free-living mode of life that demands easy movement through sediment in instable sea-floor settings. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  9. Measuring Physical Activity in Free-Living Conditions—Comparison of Three Accelerometry-Based Methods

    PubMed Central

    Leinonen, Anna-Maiju; Ahola, Riikka; Kulmala, Janne; Hakonen, Harto; Vähä-Ypyä, Henri; Herzig, Karl-Heinz; Auvinen, Juha; Keinänen-Kiukaanniemi, Sirkka; Sievänen, Harri; Tammelin, Tuija H.; Korpelainen, Raija; Jämsä, Timo

    2017-01-01

    We examined the agreement in time spent on different physical activity (PA) levels using (1) mean amplitude deviation (MAD) of raw acceleration from the hip, (2) wrist-worn Polar Active, and (3) hip-worn Actigraph counts using Freedson's cut-points among adults under free-living conditions. PA was measured in 41 volunteers (mean age 47.6 years) for 14 days. Two MET-based threshold sets were used for MAD and Polar Active for sedentary time (ST) and time spent in light (LPA), moderate (MPA), and vigorous (VPA) PA. Actigraph counts were divided into PA classes, ≤100 counts/min for ST and Freedson's cut-points for LPA, MPA, and VPA. Analysis criteria were simultaneous use of devices for at least 4 days of >500 min/d. The between-method differences were analyzed using a repeated measures analysis of variance test. Bland-Altman plots and ROC graphs were also employed. Valid data were available from 27 participants. Polar Active produced the highest amount of VPA with both thresholds (≥5 and ≥6 MET; mean difference 17.9–30.9 min/d, P < 0.001). With the threshold 3–6 MET for MPA, Polar Active indicated 19.2 min/d more than MAD (95% CI 5.8–32.6) and 51.0 min/d more than Actigraph (95% CI 36.7–65.2). The results did not differ with 3.5–5 MET for MPA [F(1.44, 37.43) = 1.92, P = 0.170]. MAD and Actigraph were closest to each other for ST with the threshold < 1.5 MET (mean difference 22.2 min/d, 95% CI 7.1–37.3). With the threshold <2 MET, Polar Active and Actigraph provided similar results (mean difference 7.0 min/d, 95% CI −17.8–31.7). Moderate to high agreement (area under the ROC curve 0.806–0.963) was found between the methods for the fulfillment of the recommendation for daily moderate-to-vigorous PA of 60 min. In free-living conditions the agreement between MAD, Polar Active, and Actigraph for measuring time spent on different activity levels in adults was dependent on the activity thresholds used and PA intensity. ROC analyses showed moderate to

  10. Underwater Acoustic Localization and Tracking of Pacific Walruses in the Northeastern Chukchi Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rideout, Brendan Pearce

    This thesis develops and demonstrates an approach for estimating the three-dimensional (3D) location of a vocalizing underwater marine mammal using acoustic arrival time measurements at three spatially separated receivers while providing rigorous location uncertainties. To properly account for uncertainty in the measurements of receiver parameters (e.g., 3D receiver locations and synchronization times) and environmental parameters (water depth and sound speed correction), these quantities are treated as unknowns constrained with prior estimates and prior uncertainties. While previous localization algorithms have solved for an unknown scaling factor on the prior uncertainties as part of the inversion, in this work unknown scaling factors on both the prior and arrival time uncertainties are estimated. Maximum a posteriori estimates for sound source locations and times, receiver parameters, and environmental parameters are calculated simultaneously. Posterior uncertainties for all unknowns are calculated and incorporate both arrival time and prior uncertainties. Simulation results demonstrated that, for the case considered here, linearization errors are generally small and that the lack of an accurate sound speed profile does not necessarily cause large uncertainties or biases in the estimated positions. The primary motivation for this work was to develop an algorithm for locating underwater Pacific walruses in the coastal waters around Alaska. In 2009, an array of approximately 40 underwater acoustic receivers was deployed in the northeastern Chukchi Sea (northwest of Alaska) from August to October to record the vocalizations of marine mammals including Pacific walruses and bowhead whales. Three of these receivers were placed in a triangular arrangement approximately 400 m apart near the Hanna Shoal (northwest of Wainwright, Alaska). A sequence of walrus knock vocalizations from this data set was processed using the localization algorithm developed in this thesis

  11. Hibernation and circadian rhythms of body temperature in free-living Arctic ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Williams, Cory T; Barnes, Brian M; Richter, Melanie; Buck, C Loren

    2012-01-01

    In mammals, the circadian master clock generates daily rhythms of body temperature (T(b)) that act to entrain rhythms in peripheral circadian oscillators. The persistence and function of circadian rhythms during mammalian hibernation is contentious, and the factors that contribute to the reestablishment of rhythms after hibernation are unclear. We collected regular measures of core T(b) (every 34 min) and ambient light conditions (every 30 s) before, during, and following hibernation in free-living male arctic ground squirrels. Free-running circadian T(b) rhythms at euthermic levels of T(b) persisted for up to 10 d in constant darkness after animals became sequestered in their hibernacula in fall. During steady state torpor, T(b) was constant and arrhythmic for up to 13 d (within the 0.19°C resolution of loggers). In spring, males ended heterothermy but remained in their burrows at euthermic levels of T(b) for 22-26 d; patterns of T(b) were arrhythmic for the first 10 d of euthermia. One of four squirrels exhibited a significant free-running T(b) rhythm (τ = 22.1 h) before emergence; this squirrel had been briefly exposed to low-amplitude light before emergence. In all animals, diurnal T(b) rhythms were immediately reestablished coincident with emergence to the surface and the resumption of surface activity. Our results support the hypothesis that clock function is inhibited during hibernation and reactivated by exposure to light, although resumption of extended surface activity does not appear to be necessary to reinitiate T(b) cycles.

  12. Regime shifts in coastal lagoons: Evidence from free-living marine nematodes

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    We test the validity of using the regime shift theory to account for differences in environmental state of coastal lagoons as a response to variation in connectivity with the sea, using free-living nematodes as a surrogate. The study is based on sediment samples from the inner and outer portions of 15 coastal lagoons (5 open to the sea, 5 intermittently open/closed, and 5 permanently closed lakes) along the southern coast of Brazil. Environmental data suggested that there are two contrasting environmental conditions, with coastal lakes being significantly different from open and intermittent lagoons. Marine nematode assemblages corroborate these two mutually exclusive alternative stable states (open vs. closed systems), but assemblages from the intermittently open/closed lagoons showed a gradual change in species composition between both systems independently of the environmental conditions. The gradient in the structural connectivity among lagoons and the sea, due to their regime shifts, changes the movement of resources and consumers and the internal physico-chemical gradients, directly affecting regional species diversity. Whereas openness to the sea increased similarity in nematode assemblage composition among connected lagoons, isolation increased dissimilarity among closed lagoons. Our results from a large-scale sampling program indicated that as lagoons lose connectivity with the sea, shifting the environmental state, local processes within individual intermittently open/closed lagoons and particularly within coastal lakes become increasingly more important in structuring these communities. The main implication of these findings is that depending on the local stable state we may end up with alternative regional patterns of biodiversity. PMID:28235030

  13. Genome sequence of the Fleming strain of Micrococcus luteus, a simple free- living actinobacterium

    SciTech Connect

    Young, Michael; Artsatbanov, Vladislav; Beller, Harry R.; Chandra, Govind; Chater, Keith F.; Dover, Lynn G.; Goh, Ee-Been; Kahan, Tamar; Kaprelyants, Arseny S.; Kyrpides, Nikos; Lapidus, Alla; Lowry, Stephen R.; Lykidis, Athanasios; Mahillon, Jacques; Markowitz, Viktor; Mavrommatis, Konstantinos; Mukamolova, Galina V.; Oren, Aharon; Rokem, J. Stefan; Smith, Margaret C. M.; Young, Danielle I.; Greenblatt, Charles L.

    2009-11-01

    Micrococcus luteus (NCTC2665, Fleming strain) has one of the smallest genomes of free living actinobacteria sequenced to date, comprising a single circular chromosome of 2,501,097 bp (G+C content 73%) predicted to encode 2403 proteins. The genome shows extensive synteny with that of the closely related organism, Kocuria rhizophila, from which it was taxonomically separated relatively recently. Despite its small size, the genome harbors 73 IS elements, almost all of which are closely related to elements found in other actinobacteria. An IS element is inserted into the rrs gene of one of only two rrn operons found in M. luteus. The genome encodes only four sigma factors and fourteen response regulators, indicative of adaptation to a rather strict ecological niche (mammalian skin). The high sensitivity of M. luteus to {Beta}-lactam antibiotics may result from the presence of a reduced set of penicillin binding proteins and the absence of a wblC gene, which plays an important role in antibiotic resistance in other actinobacteria. Consistent with the restricted range of compounds it can use as a sole source of carbon for energy and growth, M. luteus has a minimal complement of genes concerned with carbohydrate transport and metabolism and its inability to utilize glucose as a sole carbon source may be due to the apparent absence of a gene encoding glucokinase. Uniquely among characterized bacteria, M. luteus appears to be able to metabolize glycogen only via trehalose, and to make trehalose only via glycogen. It has very few genes associated with secondary metabolism. In contrast to other actinobacteria, M. luteus encodes only one resuscitation-promoting factor (Rpf) required for emergence from dormancy and its complement of other dormancy-related proteins is also much reduced. M. luteus is capable of long-chain alkene biosynthesis, which is of interest for advanced biofuel production; a three gene cluster essential for this metabolism has been identified in the genome.

  14. COMPARISON OF TOTAL LEUKOCYTE QUANTIFICATION METHODS IN FREE-LIVING GALAPAGOS TORTOISES (CHELONOIDIS SPP.).

    PubMed

    Sheldon, Julie D; Stacy, Nicole I; Blake, Stephen; Cabrera, Fredy; Deem, Sharon L

    2016-03-01

    Reptile hematologic data provide important health information for conservation efforts of vulnerable wildlife species such as the Galapagos tortoise (Chelonoidis spp.). Given the reported discrepancies between manual leukocyte counts for nonmammalian species, two manual leukocyte quantification methods, the Natt and Herrick's (NH) and the Eopette (EO), were compared to white blood cell (WBC) estimates from blood films of 42 free-living, clinically healthy, adult female Galapagos tortoises. To investigate the effects of delay in sample processing, estimated WBC counts and leukocyte differentials were compared for blood films prepared at time of collection under field conditions (T0) to blood films prepared from samples that were stored for 18-23 hr at 4°C in the laboratory (T1). Passing-Bablok regression analysis revealed no constant or proportional error between the NH and WBC estimates (T0 and T1) with slopes of 1.1 and 0.9, respectively. However both constant and proportional errors were present between EO and WBC estimates (T0 and T1) with slopes of 3.1 and 2.7, respectively. Bland Altman plots also showed agreement between the NH and WBC estimates where the points fell within the confidence-interval limit lines and were evenly distributed about the mean. In contrast, the EO and WBC estimate comparisons showed numerous points above the upper limit line, especially at higher concentrations. WBC estimates obtained from T0 and T1 films were in agreement, whereas heterophil and monocyte percentages based on differentials were not. Cell morphology and preservation were superior in T0 blood films because thrombocytes exhibited swelling after storage, becoming difficult to differentiate from lymphocytes. In this study, the highest quality and most reliable hematologic data in Galapagos tortoises were obtained by combining immediate blood film preparation with the NH leukocyte quantification method and a confirmatory WBC estimate from the blood film.

  15. Diversity of free-living marine nematodes (Enoplida) from Baja California assessed by integrative taxonomy.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Tiago José; Fonseca, Gustavo; Mundo-Ocampo, Manuel; Guilherme, Betânia Cristina; Rocha-Olivares, Axayácatl

    2010-01-01

    We used morphological and molecular approaches to evaluate the diversity of free-living marine nematodes (order Enoplida) at four coastal sites in the Gulf of California and three on the Pacific coast of Baja California, Mexico. We identified 22 morphological species belonging to six families, of which Thoracostomopsidae and Oncholaimidae were the most diverse. The genus Mesacanthion (Thoracostomopsidae) was the most widespread and diverse. Five allopatric species, genetically and morphologically differentiated, were found in two localities in the Gulf of California (M. sp1 and M. sp2) and three in the Pacific coast (M. sp3, M. sp4 and M. sp5). Overall, we produced 19 and 20 sequences for the 18S and 28S genes, respectively. Neither gene displayed intraspecific polymorphisms, which allowed us to establish that some morphological variation was likely either ontogenetic or due to phenotypic plasticity. Although 18S and 28S phylogenies were topologically congruent (incongruence length difference test, P > 0.05), divergences between species were much higher in the 28S gene. Moreover, this gene possessed a stronger phylogenetic signal to resolve relationships involving Rhabdodemania and Bathylaimus. On the other hand, the close relationship of Pareurystomina (Enchilidiidae) with oncholaimids warrants further study. The 28S sequences (D2D3 domain) may be better suited for DNA barcoding of marine nematodes than those from the 18S rDNA, particularly for differentiating closely related or cryptic species. Finally, our results underline the relevance of adopting an integrative approach encompassing morphological and molecular analyses to improve the assessment of marine nematode diversity and advance their taxonomy.

  16. Carriage of Staphylococcus aureus by free-living wild animals in Spain.

    PubMed

    Porrero, M Concepción; Mentaberre, Gregorio; Sánchez, Sergio; Fernández-Llario, Pedro; Casas-Díaz, Encarna; Mateos, Ana; Vidal, Dolors; Lavín, Santiago; Fernández-Garayzábal, José-Francisco; Domínguez, Lucas

    2014-08-01

    The presence of methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) was analyzed in different free-living wild animals to assess the genetic diversity and predominant genotypes on each animal species. Samples were taken from the skin and/or nares, and isolates were characterized by spa typing, multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and antimicrobial susceptibility testing. The proportion of MSSA carriers were 5.00, 22.93, 19.78, and 17.67% in Eurasian griffon vulture, Iberian ibex, red deer, and wild boar, respectively (P = 0.057). A higher proportion of isolates (P = 0.000) were recovered from nasal samples (78.51%) than skin samples (21.49%), but the 9.26% of red deer and 18.25% of wild boar would have been undetected if only nasal samples had been tested. Sixty-three different spa types were identified, including 25 new spa types. The most common were t528 (43.59%) in Iberian ibex, t548 and t11212 (15.79% and 14.04%) in red deer, and t3750 (36.11%) in wild boar. By MLST, 27 STs were detected, of which 12 had not been described previously. The most frequent were ST581 for Iberian ibex (48.72%), ST425 for red deer (29.82%), and ST2328 for wild boar (42.36%). Isolates from Eurasian griffon vulture belong to ST133. Host specificity has been observed for the most frequent spa types and STs (P = 0.000). The highest resistance percentage was found against benzylpenicillin (average, 22.2%), although most of the S. aureus isolates were susceptible to all antimicrobial tested. Basically, MSSA isolates were different from those MRSA isolates previously detected in the same animal species. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  17. Presence of Legionella and Free-Living Amoebae in Composts and Bioaerosols from Composting Facilities

    PubMed Central

    Conza, Lisa; Pagani, Simona Casati; Gaia, Valeria

    2013-01-01

    Several species of Legionella cause Legionnaires’ disease (LD). Infection may occur through inhalation of Legionella or amoebal vesicles. The reservoirs of Legionella are water, soil, potting soil and compost. Some species of free-living amoebae (FLA) that are naturally present in water and soil were described as hosts for Legionella. This study aimed to understand whether or not the composting facilities could be sources of community-acquired Legionella infections after development of bioaerosols containing Legionella or FLA. We looked for the presence of Legionella (by co-culture) and FLA (by culture) in composts and bioaerosols collected at four composting facilities located in southern Switzerland. We investigated the association between the presence of Legionella and compost and air parameters and presence of FLA. Legionella spp. (including L. pneumophila) were detected in 69.3% (61/88) of the composts and FLA (mainly Acanthamoeba, Vermamoeba, Naegleria and Stenamoeba) in 92.0% (81/88). L. pneumophila and L. bozemanii were most frequently isolated. FLA as potential host for Legionella spp. were isolated from 40.9% (36/88) of the composts in all facilities. In Legionella-positive samples the temperature of compost was significantly lower (P = 0.012) than in Legionella-negative samples. Of 47 bioaerosol samples, 19.1% (9/47) were positive for FLA and 10.6% (5/47) for L. pneumophila. Composts (62.8%) were positive for Legionella and FLA contemporaneously, but both microorganisms were never detected simultaneously in bioaerosols. Compost can release bioaerosol containing FLA or Legionella and could represent a source of infection of community-acquired Legionella infections for workers and nearby residents. PMID:23844174

  18. Seasonal Succession of Free-Living Bacterial Communities in Coastal Waters of the Western Antarctic Peninsula

    PubMed Central

    Luria, Catherine M.; Amaral-Zettler, Linda A.; Ducklow, Hugh W.; Rich, Jeremy J.

    2016-01-01

    The marine ecosystem along the Western Antarctic Peninsula undergoes a dramatic seasonal transition every spring, from almost total darkness to almost continuous sunlight, resulting in a cascade of environmental changes, including phytoplankton blooms that support a highly productive food web. Despite having important implications for the movement of energy and materials through this ecosystem, little is known about how these changes impact bacterial succession in this region. Using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing, we measured changes in free-living bacterial community composition and richness during a 9-month period that spanned winter to the end of summer. Chlorophyll a concentrations were relatively low until summer when a major phytoplankton bloom occurred, followed 3 weeks later by a high peak in bacterial production. Richness in bacterial communities varied between ~1,200 and 1,800 observed operational taxonomic units (OTUs) before the major phytoplankton bloom (out of ~43,000 sequences per sample). During peak bacterial production, OTU richness decreased to ~700 OTUs. The significant decrease in OTU richness only lasted a few weeks, after which time OTU richness increased again as bacterial production declined toward pre-bloom levels. OTU richness was negatively correlated with bacterial production and chlorophyll a concentrations. Unlike the temporal pattern in OTU richness, community composition changed from winter to spring, prior to onset of the summer phytoplankton bloom. Community composition continued to change during the phytoplankton bloom, with increased relative abundance of several taxa associated with phytoplankton blooms, particularly Polaribacter. Bacterial community composition began to revert toward pre-bloom conditions as bacterial production declined. Overall, our findings clearly demonstrate the temporal relationship between phytoplankton blooms and seasonal succession in bacterial growth and community composition. Our study highlights

  19. Evaluating energy intake measurement in free-living subjects: when to record and for how long?

    PubMed

    Fyfe, Claire L; Stewart, Joanne; Murison, Sandra D; Jackson, Diane M; Rance, Kellie; Speakman, John R; Horgan, Graham W; Johnstone, Alexandra M

    2010-02-01

    To nutritionally analyse mean energy intake (EI) from different 3 d intervals within a 7 d recording period and to evaluate the seasonal effect on energy and nutrient intake. Cross-sectional study of dietary intake collected with 7 d food diaries. Aberdeen, north-east Scotland, UK, between 2002 and 2004. Participants from two long-term trials were pooled. These trials, investigating genetic and environmental influences on body weight, were the Genotyping And Phenotyping (GAP) study and a cohort observational study, Rowett Assessment of Childhood Appetite and metaboLism (RASCAL). There were 260 Caucasian adults, BMI range 16.7-49.3 kg/m2, age range 21-64 years. Mean EI for Wednesday, Friday and Saturday had the closest approximation to the 7 d mean (0.1 % overestimate). A gender x season interaction (P = 0.019) with a different intake pattern for females and males was observed. For females, lower mean (se) EI was recorded in summer (8117 (610) kJ) and autumn (7941 (699) kJ) compared with spring (8929 (979) kJ) and winter (8132 (1041) kJ). For males, higher mean (se) EI was recorded in summer (10 420 (736) kJ) and autumn (10 490 (1041) kJ) compared with spring (9319 (1441) kJ) and winter (9103 (1505) kJ). The study results indicate that 3 d weighed intakes recorded from Wednesday, Friday and Saturday are most representative of 7 d habitual intake in free-living subjects. They also indicate that seasonality has a limited effect on EI and no effect on macronutrient intake.

  20. Effects of filter choice in GT3X accelerometer assessments of free-living activity.

    PubMed

    Wanner, Miriam; Martin, Brian W; Meier, Flurina; Probst-Hensch, Nicole; Kriemler, Susi

    2013-01-01

    ActiGraph accelerometers are widely used devices to objectively assess physical activity. The GT3X version has two filter options to be selected before data assessment (normal and low-frequency extension filter option). It is not clear whether the resulting physical activity levels differ depending on the choice of the filter. The aims were to compare GT3X data collected using the different filter options during free-living activities and to establish correction factors if the results were not comparable. Sixty-five participants of the population-based SAPALDIA-cohort (50.8% women, age range = 40-80 yr) wore two GT3X accelerometers with different filter selections simultaneously during 8 d. Spearman correlations, Wilcoxon rank sum tests, McNemar tests, scatter plots, and Bland-Altman plots were used to compare the data. Correction factors were established using linear regression models. Although Spearman correlations were high (r ≥ 0.93), there were significant differences in minutes per day between filter options for nonwearing time and time spent in sedentary, light, and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (all P < 0.001), with more remarkable differences in the lower range of activity (sedentary and light activities). Mean counts per minute and steps per day were significantly higher using the low-frequency extension filter (P < 0.001). Most differences could be resolved using the correction factors. The observed differences are especially important when research is focusing on sedentary and light activities. In future studies, it is important to carefully evaluate the suitable filter option and to specify the filter choice in publications. The correction factors can be used to make data assessed using the low-frequency extension filter comparable to data assessed using the normal filter option.

  1. Morphological and molecular identification of free living amoeba isolated from hospital water in Tunisia.

    PubMed

    Trabelsi, Houaida; Dendana, F; Neji, S; Sellami, H; Cheikhrouhou, F; Makni, F; Ayadi, A

    2016-01-01

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) are opportunistic and ubiquitous protozoa that are widely found in various environmental sources. They are known to cause serious human infections. The aim of our study was to detect FLA and Acanthamoeba spp. in hospital water circuits. Eighty-four water samples were collected over a period of 4 months (September-December 2011) from different wards of the Sfax University Hospital (surgical services, intensive care unit, operating theater, and water storage tanks). FLA were detected in 53.5 % of samples as follows: surgical services (80 %), operating theater and surgical intensive care unit (13.3 %), medical intensive care unit (0 %), water storage tanks (6.6 %). The predominant morphotype was the acanthopodial (89 %). The others morphotypes were as follows: monopodial (40 %), dactylopodial (22 %), rugosa (62 %), eruptive (24 %), fan shaped (18 %), and polypodial (18 %). Acanthamoeba was found in 40 samples (47.6 %). 64.2 % of isolates were identified as Acanthamoeba spp. by PCR, using primers to amplify a region of 18S rDNA which showed variation in the product length. Sequence analysis of five PCR products identified Acanthamoeba sp. These isolates belong to T4, T10, and T11 genotypes, and to our knowledge this is the first report of the T10 and T11 genotype in Tunisia.The occurrence of potentially pathogenic FLA in the hospital environment may represent a health risk for patients, since these organisms can cause severe opportunistic illness and also can harbor pathogenic agents. Thus, increased awareness regarding these parasites and recognition of their importance, particularly in immunocompromised patients is crucial.

  2. Experimental relationships between levels of corticosterone in plasma and feathers in a free-living bird.

    PubMed

    Fairhurst, Graham D; Marchant, Tracy A; Soos, Catherine; Machin, Karen L; Clark, Robert G

    2013-11-01

    Integrated measures of corticosterone (CORT), such as from feathers (CORTf), have intuitive appeal because they incorporate both the duration and amplitude of glucocorticoid secretion. An association between CORTf and plasma CORT has never been shown in wild birds, and it is unclear as to when and whether these measures should be correlated, given that they are fundamentally different yet related measures of physiology. We hypothesized that CORTf should correlate with instantaneous measurements of plasma CORT when the latter reflect sustained changes in the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. To test this, we experimentally manipulated levels of plasma CORT in wild nestling tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) using 5 day time-release CORT pellets, and measured plasma CORT and growth parameters before, during and at the end of hormone manipulation (days 7, 9 and 11 post-hatch, respectively). CORTf and plasma CORT were significantly positively related only when the latter was at its highest and most variable among individuals (day 9). A similar relationship was expected at day 11, but plasma CORT had returned to near-original levels. Nestlings with higher CORTf were smaller, lighter and less likely to fledge, but we did not detect seasonal effects on CORTf. Our results clearly demonstrate that CORTf from free-living birds can reflect plasma CORT, but correlations may not always be expected, especially if elevations in plasma CORT are relatively modest and of short duration. Our work suggests that CORTf is best used to study the activity of the HPA axis over relatively long time frames and can be used effectively to advance avian ecology.

  3. Interrelated effects of mycorrhiza and free-living nitrogen fixers cascade up to aboveground herbivores

    PubMed Central

    Khaitov, Botir; Patiño-Ruiz, José David; Pina, Tatiana; Schausberger, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Aboveground plant performance is strongly influenced by belowground microorganisms, some of which are pathogenic and have negative effects, while others, such as nitrogen-fixing bacteria and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, usually have positive effects. Recent research revealed that belowground interactions between plants and functionally distinct groups of microorganisms cascade up to aboveground plant associates such as herbivores and their natural enemies. However, while functionally distinct belowground microorganisms commonly co-occur in the rhizosphere, their combined effects, and relative contributions, respectively, on performance of aboveground plant-associated organisms are virtually unexplored. Here, we scrutinized and disentangled the effects of free-living nitrogen-fixing (diazotrophic) bacteria Azotobacter chroococcum (DB) and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi Glomus mosseae (AMF) on host plant choice and reproduction of the herbivorous two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae on common bean plants Phaseolus vulgaris. Additionally, we assessed plant growth, and AMF and DB occurrence and density as affected by each other. Both AMF alone and DB alone increased spider mite reproduction to similar levels, as compared to the control, and exerted additive effects under co-occurrence. These effects were similarly apparent in host plant choice, that is, the mites preferred leaves from plants with both AMF and DB to plants with AMF or DB to plants grown without AMF and DB. DB, which also act as AMF helper bacteria, enhanced root colonization by AMF, whereas AMF did not affect DB abundance. AMF but not DB increased growth of reproductive plant tissue and seed production, respectively. Both AMF and DB increased the biomass of vegetative aboveground plant tissue. Our study breaks new ground in multitrophic belowground–aboveground research by providing first insights into the fitness implications of plant-mediated interactions between interrelated belowground fungi

  4. Disruption of MDCK cell tight junctions by the free-living amoeba Naegleria fowleri.

    PubMed

    Shibayama, Mineko; Martínez-Castillo, Moisés; Silva-Olivares, Angélica; Galindo-Gómez, Silvia; Navarro-García, Fernando; Escobar-Herrera, Jaime; Sabanero, Myrna; Tsutsumi, Víctor; Serrano-Luna, Jesús

    2013-02-01

    Naegleria fowleri is the aetiological agent of primary amoebic meningoencephalitis. This parasite invades its host by penetrating the olfactory mucosa. However, the mechanism of epithelium penetration is not well understood. In the present study, we evaluated the effect of N. fowleri trophozoites and the non-pathogenic Naegleria gruberi on Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) tight junction proteins, including claudin-1, occludin and ZO-1, as well as on the actin cytoskeleton. Trophozoites from each of the free-living amoeba species were co-cultured with MDCK cells in a 1 : 1 ratio for 1, 3, 6 or 10 h. Light microscopy revealed that N. fowleri caused morphological changes as early as 3 h post-infection in an epithelial MDCK monolayer. Confocal microscopy analysis revealed that after 10 h of co-culture, N. fowleri trophozoites induced epithelial cell damage, which was characterized by changes in the actin apical ring and disruption of the ZO-1 and claudin-1 proteins but not occludin. Western blot assays revealed gradual degradation of ZO-1 and claudin-1 as early as 3 h post-infection. Likewise, there was a drop in transepithelial electrical resistance that resulted in increased epithelial permeability and facilitated the invasion of N. fowleri trophozoites by a paracellular route. In contrast, N. gruberi did not induce alterations in MDCK cells even at 10 h post-infection. Based on these results, we suggest that N. fowleri trophozoites disrupt epithelial monolayers, which could enable their penetration of the olfactory epithelium and subsequent invasion of the central nervous system.

  5. Osteoarthritis of the temporo-mandibular joint in free-living Soay sheep on St Kilda.

    PubMed

    Arthur, Colin; Watt, Kathryn; Nussey, Daniel H; Pemberton, Josephine M; Pilkington, Jill G; Herman, Jeremy S; Timmons, Zena L; Clements, Dylan N; Scott, Philip R

    2015-01-01

    Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common degenerative disease of synovial joints with the potential to cause pathology and welfare issues in both domestic and wild ruminants. Previous work has identified OA of the elbow joint in domestic sheep, but the prevalence of OA of the jaw and in particular the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) has not been previously reported. Following up a previous report of a single case of TMJ OA in a free-living population of Soay sheep on St Kilda in the Outer Hebrides, an archive of 2736 jaw bones collected from this population between 1985 and 2010 was surveyed. Evidence of TMJ OA was found in 35 sheep. Of these, 15 cases were unilateral (11 right side, 4 left side) and the remaining 20 were bilateral. TMJ pathology was much more common in females than males: only 3/35 cases were in males, with overall prevalence at 2.3% for females and 0.2% in males. Radiographic examination of TMJ with OA revealed extensive bone re-modelling with osteophytosis, particularly of the condyle of the mandible. There was a highly significant age-dependence in TMJ OA incidence among age classes: 30/35 cases occurred in geriatric sheep (aged 7 years or more; 11.1% prevalence within this age class), four in adults (2-6 years old; 0.9% prevalence), one in yearlings (0.3% prevalence) and none in lambs. The low incidence in males was confounded by sex differences in longevity: while 18% of females sampled died in the geriatric age class, only 2% of males did so. Although the low prevalence of the pathology limited the ability to test its association with other traits, it was possible to examine relationships with reproductive performance measures amongst geriatric females with and without TMJ OA. Although there were trends towards lower fecundity and lower lamb birth weight in the breeding season prior to death, these were not statistically significant.

  6. Predictors of Handgrip Strength among the Free Living Elderly in Rural Pahang, Malaysia

    PubMed Central

    Moy, FM; Chang, EWH; Kee, KW

    2011-01-01

    Background Reduced handgrip strength is an aging process that significantly influences the living activities of elderly. It is linked to premature mortality, disability and other health complications among elderly. Therefore, we aim to determine the associated predictors with handgrip strength among the free living elderly in Malaysia. Methods: This was a cross sectional study conducted in a rural state in Malaysia. A total of 434 elderly individuals performed handgrip assessment. Socio-demographic characteristics, medical conditions, occupational history, functional ability (ADL) and depression (GDS) were enquired. Anthropometric measurements (weight and height) were also obtained. Results: Majority of the respondents were Malays with mean age of 67.9 ± 6.3 years. Maximum handgrip strength of males and females were 28.8±9.2 kg and 18.9±6.9 kg respectively (P<0.05). The aborigines had significantly lower handgrip strength (P<0.05) compared to Malays, Chinese and Indians. Handgrip strength was positively correlated (P<0.05) with weight, height and ADL, while negatively associated (P<0.05) with GDS for both gender. In the multivariate linear regression analysis; weight, height and race significantly predicted handgrip strength among both male and female elderly after adjustment for all potential confounders. However, GDS and ADL were only found to significantly predict handgrip strength among the male elderly; while age was only significant among the females. Conclusion: Our sample population has significantly lower handgrip strength than the Western counterpart. Weight, height and race significantly predict handgrip strength among both male and female elderly. GDS, ADL are only found to be significant in males while age was only significant among the females. PMID:23113102

  7. High frequency of albinism and tumours in free-living birds around Chernobyl.

    PubMed

    Møller, A P; Bonisoli-Alquati, A; Mousseau, T A

    2013-09-18

    The effects of radioactive contamination on the phenotype of free-living organisms are poorly understood, mainly because of the difficulty of capturing the large numbers of individual specimens that are required to quantify rare events such as albinism and tumour formation. We hypothesized that the frequency of abnormalities like albinism and the frequency of radiation-induced diseases like cancer would increase with the level of background radiation, that the two markers of radiation would be positively correlated, and that the reduction in abundance of animals would be greater in species with a higher frequency of albinism and tumour formation, if these markers reliably reflected poor viability. Here we analyzed the frequency of albinistic feathers and tumours in a sample of 1669 birds captured during 2010-2012 at eight sites around Chernobyl that varied in level of background radiation from 0.02 to more than 200μSv/h. We recorded 111 cases of partial albinism and 25 cases of tumour formation. Nominal logistic models were used to partition the variance into components due to species and background radiation. Radiation was a strong predictor of the two markers in birds, with a small, but significant effect of species for albinism. The slope of the relationship between abundance and radiation in different bird species was significantly inversely correlated with the frequency of albinism and tumours, as was to be expected if a common underlying cause (i.e. radiation) affects both variables. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that background radiation is a cause of albinism and tumours, that albinism and tumours are biomarkers of radiation exposure, and that high frequencies of albinism and tumours were present despite the low viability of birds with these conditions.

  8. Regime shifts in coastal lagoons: Evidence from free-living marine nematodes.

    PubMed

    Netto, Sergio A; Fonseca, Gustavo

    2017-01-01

    We test the validity of using the regime shift theory to account for differences in environmental state of coastal lagoons as a response to variation in connectivity with the sea, using free-living nematodes as a surrogate. The study is based on sediment samples from the inner and outer portions of 15 coastal lagoons (5 open to the sea, 5 intermittently open/closed, and 5 permanently closed lakes) along the southern coast of Brazil. Environmental data suggested that there are two contrasting environmental conditions, with coastal lakes being significantly different from open and intermittent lagoons. Marine nematode assemblages corroborate these two mutually exclusive alternative stable states (open vs. closed systems), but assemblages from the intermittently open/closed lagoons showed a gradual change in species composition between both systems independently of the environmental conditions. The gradient in the structural connectivity among lagoons and the sea, due to their regime shifts, changes the movement of resources and consumers and the internal physico-chemical gradients, directly affecting regional species diversity. Whereas openness to the sea increased similarity in nematode assemblage composition among connected lagoons, isolation increased dissimilarity among closed lagoons. Our results from a large-scale sampling program indicated that as lagoons lose connectivity with the sea, shifting the environmental state, local processes within individual intermittently open/closed lagoons and particularly within coastal lakes become increasingly more important in structuring these communities. The main implication of these findings is that depending on the local stable state we may end up with alternative regional patterns of biodiversity.

  9. Tick-borne bacteria in free-living jaguars (Panthera onca) in Pantanal, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Widmer, Cynthia E; Azevedo, Fernando C C; Almeida, Aliny P; Ferreira, Fernando; Labruna, Marcelo B

    2011-08-01

    Tick-borne bacteria were investigated in 10 free-living jaguars and their ticks in the Pantanal biome, Brazil. Jaguar sera were