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Sample records for gene-rich vertebrate regions

  1. Comparative analysis of chicken chromosome 28 provides new clues to the evolutionary fragility of gene-rich vertebrate regions

    PubMed Central

    Gordon, Laurie; Yang, Shan; Tran-Gyamfi, Mary; Baggott, Dan; Christensen, Mari; Hamilton, Aaron; Crooijmans, Richard; Groenen, Martien; Lucas, Susan; Ovcharenko, Ivan; Stubbs, Lisa

    2007-01-01

    The chicken genome draft sequence has provided a valuable resource for studies of an important agricultural and experimental model species and an important data set for comparative analysis. However, some of the most gene-rich segments are missing from chicken genome draft assemblies, limiting the analysis of a substantial number of genes and preventing a closer look at regions that are especially prone to syntenic rearrangements. To facilitate the functional and evolutionary analysis of one especially gene-rich, rearrangement-prone genomic region, we analyzed sequence from BAC clones spanning chicken microchromosome GGA28; as a complement we also analyzed a gene-sparse, stable region from GGA11. In these two regions we documented the conservation and lineage-specific gain and loss of protein-coding genes and precisely mapped the locations of 31 major human-chicken syntenic breakpoints. Altogether, we identified 72 lineage-specific genes, many of which are found at or near syntenic breaks, implicating evolutionary breakpoint regions as major sites of genetic innovation and change. Twenty-two of the 31 breakpoint regions have been reused repeatedly as rearrangement breakpoints in vertebrate evolution. Compared with stable GC-matched regions, GGA28 is highly enriched in CpG islands, as are break-prone intervals identified elsewhere in the chicken genome; evolutionary breakpoints are further enriched in GC content and CpG islands, highlighting a potential role for these features in genome instability. These data support the hypothesis that chromosome rearrangements have not occurred randomly over the course of vertebrate evolution but are focused preferentially within “fragile” regions with unusual DNA sequence characteristics. PMID:17921355

  2. Identification and High-Density Mapping of Gene-Rich Regions in Chromosome Group 5 of Wheat

    PubMed Central

    Gill, K. S.; Gill, B. S.; Endo, T. R.; Boyko, E. V.

    1996-01-01

    The distribution of genes and recombination in the wheat genome was studied by comparing physical maps with the genetic linkage maps. The physical maps were generated by mapping 80 DNA and two phenotypic markers on an array of 65 deletion lines for homoeologous group 5 chromosomes. The genetic maps were constructed for chromosome 5B in wheat and 5D in Triticum tauschii. No marker mapped in the proximal 20% chromosome region surrounding the centromere. More than 60% of the long arm markers were present in three major clusters that physically encompassed <18% of the arm. Because 48% of the markers were cDNA clones and the distributions of the cDNA and genomic clones were similar, the marker distribution may represent the distribution of genes. The gene clusters were identified and allocated to very small chromosome regions because of a higher number of deletions in their surrounding regions. The recombination was suppressed in the centromeric regions and mainly occurred in the gene-rich regions. The bp/cM estimates varied from 118 kb for gene-rich regions to 22 Mb for gene-poor regions. The wheat genes present in these clusters are, therefore, amenable to molecular manipulations parallel to the plants with smaller genomes like rice. PMID:8725245

  3. Identification and physical localization of useful genes and markers to a major gene-rich region on wheat group 1S chromosomes.

    PubMed Central

    Sandhu, D; Champoux, J A; Bondareva, S N; Gill, K S

    2001-01-01

    The short arm of Triticeae homeologous group 1 chromosomes is known to contain many agronomically important genes. The objectives of this study were to physically localize gene-containing regions of the group 1 short arm, enrich these regions with markers, and study the distribution of genes and recombination. We focused on the major gene-rich region ("1S0.8 region") and identified 75 useful genes along with 93 RFLP markers by comparing 35 different maps of Poaceae species. The RFLP markers were tested by gel blot DNA analysis of wheat group 1 nullisomic-tetrasomic lines, ditelosomic lines, and four single-break deletion lines for chromosome arm 1BS. Seventy-three of the 93 markers mapped to group 1 and detected 91 loci on chromosome 1B. Fifty-one of these markers mapped to two major gene-rich regions physically encompassing 14% of the short arm. Forty-one marker loci mapped to the 1S0.8 region and 10 to 1S0.5 region. Two cDNA markers mapped in the centromeric region and the remaining 24 loci were on the long arm. About 82% of short arm recombination was observed in the 1S0.8 region and 17% in the 1S0.5 region. Less than 1% recombination was observed for the remaining 85% of the physical arm length. PMID:11290727

  4. Identification and High-Density Mapping of Gene-Rich Regions in Chromosome Group 1 of Wheat

    PubMed Central

    Gill, K. S.; Gill, B. S.; Endo, T. R.; Taylor, T.

    1996-01-01

    We studied the distribution of genes and recombination in wheat (Triticum aestivum) group 1 chromosomes by comparing high-density physical and genetic maps. Physical maps of chromosomes 1A, 1B, and 1D were generated by mapping 50 DNA markers on 56 single-break deletion lines. A consensus physical map was compared with the 1D genetic map of Triticum tauschii (68 markers) and a Triticeae group 1 consensus map (288 markers) to generate a cytogenetic ladder map (CLM). Most group 1 markers (86%) were present in five clusters that encompassed only 10% of the group 1 chromosome. This distribution may reflect that of genes because more than half of the probes were cDNA clones and 30% were PstI genomic. All 14 agronomically important genes in group 1 chromosomes were present in these clusters. Most recombination occurred in gene-cluster regions. Markers fell at an average distance of 244 kb in these regions. The CLM involving the Triticeae consensus genetic map revealed that the above distribution of genes and recombination is the same in other Triticeae species. Because of a significant number of common markers, our CLM can be used for comparative mapping and to estimate physical distances among markers in many Poaceae species including rice and maize. PMID:8978071

  5. Hox Genes and Regional Patterning of the Vertebrate Body Plan

    PubMed Central

    Mallo, Moises; Wellik, Deneen M.; Deschamps, Jacqueline

    2010-01-01

    Several decades have passed since the discovery of Hox genes in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Their unique ability to regulate morphologies along the anteroposterior (AP) axis (Lewis, 1978) earned them well-deserved attention as important regulators of embryonic development. Phenotypes due to loss- and gain-of-function mutations in mouse Hox genes have revealed that the spatiotemporally controlled expression of these genes is critical for the correct morphogenesis of embryonic axial structures. Here, we review recent novel insight into the modalities of Hox protein function in imparting specific identity to anatomical regions of the vertebral column, and in controlling the emergence of these tissues concomitantly with providing them with axial identity. The control of these functions must have been intimately linked to the shaping of the body plan during evolution. PMID:20435029

  6. Hox genes and regional patterning of the vertebrate body plan.

    PubMed

    Mallo, Moises; Wellik, Deneen M; Deschamps, Jacqueline

    2010-08-01

    Several decades have passed since the discovery of Hox genes in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Their unique ability to regulate morphologies along the anteroposterior (AP) axis (Lewis, 1978) earned them well-deserved attention as important regulators of embryonic development. Phenotypes due to loss- and gain-of-function mutations in mouse Hox genes have revealed that the spatio-temporally controlled expression of these genes is critical for the correct morphogenesis of embryonic axial structures. Here, we review recent novel insight into the modalities of Hox protein function in imparting specific identity to anatomical regions of the vertebral column, and in controlling the emergence of these tissues concomitantly with providing them with axial identity. The control of these functions must have been intimately linked to the shaping of the body plan during evolution.

  7. Regions identity between the genome of vertebrates and non-retroviral families of insect viruses

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The scope of our understanding of the evolutionary history between viruses and animals is limited. The fact that the recent availability of many complete insect virus genomes and vertebrate genomes as well as the ability to screen these sequences makes it possible to gain a new perspective insight into the evolutionary interaction between insect viruses and vertebrates. This study is to determine the possibility of existence of sequence identity between the genomes of insect viruses and vertebrates, attempt to explain this phenomenon in term of genetic mobile element, and try to investigate the evolutionary relationship between these short regions of identity among these species. Results Some of studied insect viruses contain variable numbers of short regions of sequence identity to the genomes of vertebrate with nucleotide sequence length from 28 bp to 124 bp. They are found to locate in multiple sites of the vertebrate genomes. The ontology of animal genes with identical regions involves in several processes including chromatin remodeling, regulation of apoptosis, signaling pathway, nerve system development and some enzyme-like catalysis. Phylogenetic analysis reveals that at least some short regions of sequence identity in the genomes of vertebrate are derived the ancestral of insect viruses. Conclusion Short regions of sequence identity were found in the vertebrates and insect viruses. These sequences played an important role not only in the long-term evolution of vertebrates, but also in promotion of insect virus. This typical win-win strategy may come from natural selection. PMID:22073942

  8. Functional conservation of the promoter regions of vertebrate tyrosinase genes.

    PubMed

    Sato, S; Tanaka, M; Miura, H; Ikeo, K; Gojobori, T; Takeuchi, T; Yamamoto, H

    2001-11-01

    Tyrosinase is the key enzyme for synthesizing melanin pigments, which primarily determine mammalian skin coloration. Considering the important roles of pigments in the evolution and the adaptation of vertebrates, phylogenetic changes in the coding and flanking regulatory sequences of the tyrosinase gene are particularly intriguing. We have now cloned cDNA encoding tyrosinase from Japanese quail and snapping turtle. These nonmammalian cDNA are highly homologous to those of the mouse and human tyrosinases, whereas the 5' flanking sequences are far less conserved except for a few short sequence motifs. Nevertheless, we demonstrate that the 5' flanking sequences from the quail or turtle tyrosinase genes are capable of directing the expression of a fused mouse tyrosinase cDNA when introduced into cultured mouse albino melanocytes. This experimental method, which reveals the functional conservation of regulatory sequences in one cell type (the melanocyte), may be utilized to evaluate phylogenetic differences in mechanisms controlling specific gene expression in many other types of cells. We also provide evidence that the 5' flanking sequences from these nonmammalian genes are functional in vivo by producing transgenic mice. Phylogenetic changes of vertebrate tyrosinase promoters and the possible involvement of conserved sequence motifs in melanocyte-specific expression of tyrosinase are discussed. PMID:11764277

  9. ECRbase: Database of Evolutionary Conserved Regions, Promoters, and Transcription Factor Binding Sites in Vertebrate Genomes

    DOE Data Explorer

    Loots, Gabriela G. [LLNL; Ovcharenko, I. [LLNL

    Evolutionary conservation of DNA sequences provides a tool for the identification of functional elements in genomes. This database of evolutionary conserved regions (ECRs) in vertebrate genomes features a database of syntenic blocks that recapitulate the evolution of rearrangements in vertebrates and a comprehensive collection of promoters in all vertebrate genomes generated using multiple sources of gene annotation. The database also contains a collection of annotated transcription factor binding sites (TFBSs) in evolutionary conserved and promoter elements. ECRbase currently includes human, rhesus macaque, dog, opossum, rat, mouse, chicken, frog, zebrafish, and fugu genomes. (taken from paper in Journal: Bioinformatics, November 7, 2006, pp. 122-124

  10. ECRbase: Database of Evolutionary Conserved Regions, Promoters, and Transcription Factor Binding Sites in Vertebrate Genomes

    SciTech Connect

    Loots, G; Ovcharenko, I

    2006-08-08

    Evolutionary conservation of DNA sequences provides a tool for the identification of functional elements in genomes. We have created a database of evolutionary conserved regions (ECRs) in vertebrate genomes entitled ECRbase that is constructed from a collection of pairwise vertebrate genome alignments produced by the ECR Browser database. ECRbase features a database of syntenic blocks that recapitulate the evolution of rearrangements in vertebrates and a collection of promoters in all vertebrate genomes presented in the database. The database also contains a collection of annotated transcription factor binding sites (TFBS) in all ECRs and promoter elements. ECRbase currently includes human, rhesus macaque, dog, opossum, rat, mouse, chicken, frog, zebrafish, and two pufferfish genomes. It is freely accessible at http://ECRbase.dcode.org.

  11. Regional pools and environmental controls of vertebrate richness.

    PubMed

    Belmaker, Jonathan; Jetz, Walter

    2012-04-01

    Abstract The species richness of local communities depends on the richness of the regional pool and the filtering processes that preclude some regional species from occurring locally. These filters may include absolute attributes of the local environment and also how representative the local environment is of the surrounding region. The latter is consistent with a species-sorting perspective, in which regional species only occupy the local habitats to which they are adapted. Here we evaluate the relative effects of local environmental conditions, environmental representativeness, and environment-independent processes on the probability of local species occurrence, given their regional presence, of birds, mammals, and amphibians worldwide. In multipredictor models, environmental representativeness is a strong independent predictor of local species occurrence probability, with a relative contribution greater than that of absolute local environmental conditions. Furthermore, we find that local occurrence probability diminishes with increased regional richness independent of the local environment. This is consistent with reduced local occupancy in richer regions, which is a pattern that could stem from a largely neutral community assembly process. Our results support the importance of both environment-independent and species-sorting processes and suggest that regional richness and environmental representativeness should be jointly used for understanding richness gradients across scales.

  12. Regional variation in morphology of vertebral centra and intervertebral joints in striped bass, Morone saxatilis.

    PubMed

    Nowroozi, B N; Harper, C J; De Kegel, B; Adriaens, D; Brainerd, E L

    2012-04-01

    The vertebral column of fishes has traditionally been divided into just two distinct regions, abdominal and caudal. Recently, however, developmental, morphological, and mechanical investigations have brought this traditional regionalization scheme into question. Alternative regionalization schema advocate the division of the abdominal vertebrae into cervical, abdominal, and in some cases, transitional regions. Here, we investigate regional variation at the level of the vertebrae and intervertebral joint (IVJ) tissues in the striped bass, Morone saxatilis. We use gross dissection, histology, and polarized light imaging to quantify vertebral height, width, length, IVJ length, IVJ tissue volume and cross-sectional area, and vertical septum fiber populations, and angles of insertion. Our results reveal regional differences between the first four (most rostral) abdominal vertebrae and IVJs and the next six abdominal vertebrae and IVJs, supporting the recognition of a distinct cervical region. We found significant variation in vertebral length, width, and height from cranial to caudal. In addition, we see a significant decline in the volume of notochordal cells and the cross-sectional area of the fibrous sheath from cranial to caudal. Further, polarized light imaging revealed four distinct fiber populations within the vertical septum in the cervical and abdominal regions in contrast with just one fiber population found in the caudal region. Measurement of the insertion angles of these fiber populations revealed significant differences between the cervical and abdominal regions. Differences in vertebral, IVJ, and vertical septum morphology all predict greater range of motion and decreased stiffness in the caudal region of the fish compared with the cervical and abdominal regions. PMID:22109664

  13. Regional variation in morphology of vertebral centra and intervertebral joints in striped bass, Morone saxatilis.

    PubMed

    Nowroozi, B N; Harper, C J; De Kegel, B; Adriaens, D; Brainerd, E L

    2012-04-01

    The vertebral column of fishes has traditionally been divided into just two distinct regions, abdominal and caudal. Recently, however, developmental, morphological, and mechanical investigations have brought this traditional regionalization scheme into question. Alternative regionalization schema advocate the division of the abdominal vertebrae into cervical, abdominal, and in some cases, transitional regions. Here, we investigate regional variation at the level of the vertebrae and intervertebral joint (IVJ) tissues in the striped bass, Morone saxatilis. We use gross dissection, histology, and polarized light imaging to quantify vertebral height, width, length, IVJ length, IVJ tissue volume and cross-sectional area, and vertical septum fiber populations, and angles of insertion. Our results reveal regional differences between the first four (most rostral) abdominal vertebrae and IVJs and the next six abdominal vertebrae and IVJs, supporting the recognition of a distinct cervical region. We found significant variation in vertebral length, width, and height from cranial to caudal. In addition, we see a significant decline in the volume of notochordal cells and the cross-sectional area of the fibrous sheath from cranial to caudal. Further, polarized light imaging revealed four distinct fiber populations within the vertical septum in the cervical and abdominal regions in contrast with just one fiber population found in the caudal region. Measurement of the insertion angles of these fiber populations revealed significant differences between the cervical and abdominal regions. Differences in vertebral, IVJ, and vertical septum morphology all predict greater range of motion and decreased stiffness in the caudal region of the fish compared with the cervical and abdominal regions.

  14. Integrating sorghum whole genome sequence information with a compendium of sorghum QTL studies reveals uneven distribution of QTL and of gene-rich regions with significant implications for crop improvement.

    PubMed

    Mace, E S; Jordan, D R

    2011-06-01

    A comprehensive analysis was conducted using 48 sorghum QTL studies published from 1995 to 2010 to make information from historical sorghum QTL experiments available in a form that could be more readily used by sorghum researchers and plant breeders. In total, 771 QTL relating to 161 unique traits from 44 studies were projected onto a sorghum consensus map. Confidence intervals (CI) of QTL were estimated so that valid comparisons could be made between studies. The method accounted for the number of lines used and the phenotypic variation explained by individual QTL from each study. In addition, estimated centimorgan (cM) locations were calculated for the predicted sorghum gene models identified in Phytozome (JGI GeneModels SBI v1.4) and compared with QTL distribution genome-wide, both on genetic linkage (cM) and physical (base-pair/bp) map scales. QTL and genes were distributed unevenly across the genome. Heterochromatic enrichment for QTL was observed, with approximately 22% of QTL either entirely or partially located in the heterochromatic regions. Heterochromatic gene enrichment was also observed based on their predicted cM locations on the sorghum consensus map, due to suppressed recombination in heterochromatic regions, in contrast to the euchromatic gene enrichment observed on the physical, sequence-based map. The finding of high gene density in recombination-poor regions, coupled with the association with increased QTL density, has implications for the development of more efficient breeding systems in sorghum to better exploit heterosis. The projected QTL information described, combined with the physical locations of sorghum sequence-based markers and predicted gene models, provides sorghum researchers with a useful resource for more detailed analysis of traits and development of efficient marker-assisted breeding strategies. PMID:21484332

  15. Regional variation in the mechanical properties of the vertebral column during lateral bending in Morone saxatilis.

    PubMed

    Nowroozi, B N; Brainerd, E L

    2012-10-01

    Unlike mammalian, disc-shaped intervertebral joints (IVJs), the IVJs in fishes are biconid structures, filled with fluid and thought to act as hydrostatic hinge joints during swimming. However, it remains unclear which IVJ structures are dominant in mechanical resistance to forces in fishes, and whether variation in these tissues might impact the function of the vertebral column along its length. Here, we measured the dynamic mechanical behaviour of IVJs from striped bass, Morone saxatilis. During lateral bending, angular stiffness was significantly lower in the caudal and cervical regions, relative to the abdominal region. The neutral zone, defined as the range of motion (ROM) at bending moments less than 0.001 Nm, was longer in the caudal relative to the abdominal IVJs. Hysteresis was 30-40% in all regions, suggesting that IVJs may play a role in energy dissipation during swimming. Cutting the vertical septum had no statistically significant effect, but cutting the encapsulating tissues caused a sharp decline in angular stiffness and a substantial increase in ROM and hysteresis. We conclude that stiffness decreases and ROM increases from cranial to caudal in striped bass, and that the encapsulating tissues play a prominent role in mechanical variation along the length of the vertebral column. PMID:22552920

  16. Physical mapping and microsynteny of Brassica rapa ssp. pekinensis genome corresponding to a 222 kbp gene-rich region of Arabidopsis chromosome 4 and partially duplicated on chromosome 5.

    PubMed

    Park, J Y; Koo, D H; Hong, C P; Lee, S J; Jeon, J W; Lee, S H; Yun, P Y; Park, B S; Kim, H R; Bang, J W; Plaha, P; Bancroft, I; Lim, Y P

    2005-12-01

    We constructed a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library, designated as KBrH, from high molecular weight genomic DNA of Brassica rapa ssp. pekinensis (Chinese cabbage). This library, which was constructed using HindIII-cleaved genomic DNA, consists of 56,592 clones with average insert size of 115 kbp. Using a partially duplicated DNA sequence of Arabidopsis, represented by 19 and 9 predicted genes on chromosome 4 and 5, respectively, and BAC clones from the KBrH library, we studied conservation and microsynteny corresponding to the Arabidopsis regions in B. rapa ssp. pekinensis. The BAC contigs assembled according to the Arabidopsis homoeologues revealed triplication and rearrangements in the Chinese cabbage. In general, collinearity of genes in the paralogous segments was maintained, but gene contents were highly variable with interstitial losses. We also used representative BAC clones, from the assembled contigs, as probes and hybridized them on mitotic (metaphase) and/or meiotic (leptotene/pachytene/metaphase I) chromosomes of Chinese cabbage using bicolor fluorescence in situ hybridization. The hybridization pattern physically identified the paralogous segments of the Arabidopsis homoeologues on B. rapa ssp. pekinensis chromosomes. The homoeologous segments corresponding to chromosome 4 of Arabidopsis were located on chromosomes 2, 8 and 7, whereas those of chromosome 5 were present on chromosomes 6, 1 and 4 of B. rapa ssp. pekinensis.

  17. The human vertebral column at the end of the embryonic period proper. 3. The thoracicolumbar region.

    PubMed Central

    O'Rahilly, R; Müller, F; Meyer, D B

    1990-01-01

    The present study of the thoracicolumbar region continues an investigation of the vertebral column at 8 postovulartory weeks (the end of the embryonic period proper) by means of graphic reconstructions. The cartilaginous vertebrae have short neural processes associated with the normal spina bifida occulta present at this time. The separate cartilaginous centres that several authors believe to exist in the cervical and lumbar costal elements, but which have not been observed by the present authors, have been thought to be the forerunners of extrathoracic ribs. A distinction needs to be made, however, between such centres and ribs. Similarly, in the fetal period, ossific loci in the costal elements of CV 7 are very frequent, whereas cervical ribs in the adult are relatively rare. The neurocentral joints, and hence the boundaries between neural arches and centra, are unclear before ossification has begun and has progressed during the fetal period. The sternal bands are almost completely united and the scapula is high in position. Neural relationships aid in the determination of homologous parts within the vertebral column, but clarification of corresponding parts has not previously been possible within the embryonic period. Areas ventral to the dorsal rami are ribs in the thoracic region and costal elements in other regions. Areas underlying the dorsal rami are transverse processes in the thoracic region and minute 'true' transverse elements in the cervical and lumbar regions. Thus, the descriptive lumbar transverse processes correspond to the true transverse processes and the ribs in the thoracic region. The dorsal rami of the thoracic nerves pass between the transverse processes and the tubercles of the ribs and then divide. The ventral rami of lumbar Nerves 1 and 2 resemble the thoracic in their course, whereas those of Nerves 3-5 are similar to the sacral. The thoracic dorsal roots are sloping and, associated with the greater height of the lumbar centra, the

  18. The human vertebral column at the end of the embryonic period proper. 2. The occipitocervical region.

    PubMed Central

    O'Rahilly, R; Müller, F; Meyer, D B

    1983-01-01

    The present investigation of the cervical region of the vertebral column at eight post-ovulatory weeks is the first such study based on precise reconstructions of staged embryos. At the end of the embryonic period proper, a typical vertebra is a U-shaped piece of cartilage characterized by spina bifida occulta. The notochord ascends through the centra and leaves the dens to enter the basal plate of the skull. The median column of the axis comprises three parts (designated X, Y, Z) which persist well into the fetal period. They are related to the first, second and third cervical nerves, respectively. Part X may project into the foramen magnum and form an occipito-axial joint. Part Z appears to be the centrum of the axis. The articular columns of the cervical vertebrae are twofold, as in the adult: an anterior (atlanto-occipital and atlanto-axial) and a posterior (from the lower aspect of the axis downwards). Alar and transverse ligaments are present. Cavitation is not found in the embryonic period in either the atlanto-occipital or zygapophysial joints, and is generally not present in the median atlanto-axial joint either. Most of the transverse processes exhibit anterior and posterior tubercles. An 'intertubercular lamella' may or may not be present, i.e. the foramina transversaria are being formed around the vertebral artery. The spinal ganglia are generally partly in the vertebral canal and partly on the neural arches, medial to the articular processes. During the fetal period, the articular processes shift to a coronal position and this alteration appears to be associated with a corresponding change in the location of the spinal ganglia. Images Fig. 4 Fig. 7 PMID:6833119

  19. Evolution of the vertebrate genome as reflected in paralogous chromosomal regions in man and the house mouse

    SciTech Connect

    Lundin, L.G. )

    1993-04-01

    Gene constellations on several human chromosomes are interpreted as indications of large regional duplications that took place during evolution of the vertebrate genome. Four groups of paralogous chromosomal regions in man and the house mouse are suggested and are believed to be conserved remnants of the two or three rounds of tetraploidization that are likely to have occurred during evolution of the vertebrates. The phenomenon of differential silencing of genes is described. The importance of conservation of linkage of particular genes is discussed in relation to genetic regulation and cell differentiation. 120 refs., 5 tabs.

  20. Photoelastic analisys in the lower region of vertebral body L4

    PubMed Central

    Fakhouri, Sarah Fakher; Zamarioli, Ariane; Shimano, Marcos Massao; Defino, Helton Luiz Aparecido; Araujo, Cleudmar Amaral; Shimano, Antonio Carlos

    2012-01-01

    Objective To analyze the shear forces on the vertebral body L4 when submitted to a compression force by means of transmission photoelasticity. Methods Twelve photoelastic models were divided into three groups, with four models per group, according to the positioning of the sagittal section vertebrae L4-L5 (sections A, B and C). The simulation was performed using a 15N compression force, and the fringe orders were evaluated in the vertebral body L4 by the Tardy compensation method. Results Photoelastic analysis showed, in general, a homogeneous distribution in the vertebral bodies. The shear forces were higher in section C than B, and higher in B than A. Conclusion The posterior area of L4, mainly in section C, showed higher shear concentrations, corresponding to a more susceptible area for bone fracture and spondylolisthesis. Economic and Decision Analyses - Development of an Economic or Decision Model. Level I PMID:24453574

  1. Vertebrate fossils and trace fossils in Upper Jurassic-Lower cretaceous red beds in the Atacama region, Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bell, C. M.; Suárez, M.

    Pterosaur, dinosaur, and crocodile bones are recorded here for the first time in Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous red beds in the Atacama region east of Copiapó, Chile. Trace fossils produced by vertebrate animals include the footprints of theropod dinosaurs and the depressions of sandstone laminae interpreted as burrows and foot impressions. The fossils occur in the 1500-meter-thick Quebrada Monardes Formation, which consists predominantly of the aeolian and alluvial deposits of a semi-arid terrestrial environment. Vertebrate fossils are very rare in Chile. Dinosaur bones and footprints have previously been recorded at only seven locations, and pterosaur remains at only one location. The newly discovered dinosaur bones are the oldest to be described in Chile.

  2. HNK-1 immunoreactivity during early morphogenesis of the head region in a nonmodel vertebrate, crocodile embryo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kundrát, Martin

    2008-11-01

    The present study examines HNK-1 immunoidentification of a population of the neural crest (NC) during early head morphogenesis in the nonmodel vertebrate, the crocodile ( Crocodylus niloticus) embryos. Although HNK-1 is not an exclusive NC marker among vertebrates, temporospatial immunoreactive patterns found in the crocodile are almost consistent with NC patterns derived from gene expression studies known in birds (the closest living relatives of crocodiles) and mammals. In contrast to birds, the HNK-1 epitope is immunoreactive in NC cells at the neural fold level in crocodile embryos and therefore provides sufficient base to assess early migratory events of the cephalic NC. I found that crocodile NC forms three classic migratory pathways in the head: mandibular, hyoid, and branchial. Further, I demonstrate that, besides this classic phenotype, there is also a forebrain-derived migratory population, which consolidates into a premandibular stream in the crocodile. In contrast to the closely related chick model, crocodilian premandibular and mandibular NC cells arise from the open neural tube suggesting that species-specific heterochronic behavior of NC may be involved in the formation of different vertebrate facial phenotypes.

  3. The vertebrate ancestral repertoire of visual opsins, transducin alpha subunits and oxytocin/vasopressin receptors was established by duplication of their shared genomic region in the two rounds of early vertebrate genome duplications

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Vertebrate color vision is dependent on four major color opsin subtypes: RH2 (green opsin), SWS1 (ultraviolet opsin), SWS2 (blue opsin), and LWS (red opsin). Together with the dim-light receptor rhodopsin (RH1), these form the family of vertebrate visual opsins. Vertebrate genomes contain many multi-membered gene families that can largely be explained by the two rounds of whole genome duplication (WGD) in the vertebrate ancestor (2R) followed by a third round in the teleost ancestor (3R). Related chromosome regions resulting from WGD or block duplications are said to form a paralogon. We describe here a paralogon containing the genes for visual opsins, the G-protein alpha subunit families for transducin (GNAT) and adenylyl cyclase inhibition (GNAI), the oxytocin and vasopressin receptors (OT/VP-R), and the L-type voltage-gated calcium channels (CACNA1-L). Results Sequence-based phylogenies and analyses of conserved synteny show that the above-mentioned gene families, and many neighboring gene families, expanded in the early vertebrate WGDs. This allows us to deduce the following evolutionary scenario: The vertebrate ancestor had a chromosome containing the genes for two visual opsins, one GNAT, one GNAI, two OT/VP-Rs and one CACNA1-L gene. This chromosome was quadrupled in 2R. Subsequent gene losses resulted in a set of five visual opsin genes, three GNAT and GNAI genes, six OT/VP-R genes and four CACNA1-L genes. These regions were duplicated again in 3R resulting in additional teleost genes for some of the families. Major chromosomal rearrangements have taken place in the teleost genomes. By comparison with the corresponding chromosomal regions in the spotted gar, which diverged prior to 3R, we could time these rearrangements to post-3R. Conclusions We present an extensive analysis of the paralogon housing the visual opsin, GNAT and GNAI, OT/VP-R, and CACNA1-L gene families. The combined data imply that the early vertebrate WGD events contributed to the

  4. Vertebrate Dissimilarity Due to Turnover and Richness Differences in a Highly Beta-Diverse Region: The Role of Spatial Grain Size, Dispersal Ability and Distance

    PubMed Central

    Calderón-Patrón, Jaime M.; Moreno, Claudia E.; Pineda-López, Rubén; Sánchez-Rojas, Gerardo; Zuria, Iriana

    2013-01-01

    We explore the influence of spatial grain size, dispersal ability, and geographic distance on the patterns of species dissimilarity of terrestrial vertebrates, separating the dissimilarity explained by species replacement (turnover) from that resulting from richness differences. With data for 905 species of terrestrial vertebrates distributed in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, classified into five groups according to their taxonomy and dispersal ability, we calculated total dissimilarity and its additive partitioning as two components: dissimilarity derived from turnover and dissimilarity derived from richness differences. These indices were compared using fine (10 x 10 km), intermediate (20 x 20 km) and coarse (40 x 40 km) grain grids, and were tested for any correlations with geographic distance. The results showed that total dissimilarity is high for the terrestrial vertebrates in this region. Total dissimilarity, and dissimilarity due to turnover are correlated with geographic distance, and the patterns are clearer when the grain is fine, which is consistent with the distance-decay pattern of similarity. For all terrestrial vertebrates tested on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec both the dissimilarity derived from turnover and the dissimilarity resulting from richness differences make important contributions to total dissimilarity, and dispersal ability does not seem to influence the dissimilarity patterns. These findings support the idea that conservation efforts in this region require a system of interconnected protected areas that embrace the environmental, climatic and biogeographic heterogeneity of the area. PMID:24324840

  5. Phylogeography of a widespread terrestrial vertebrate in a barely-studied Palearctic region: green toads (Bufo viridis subgroup) indicate glacial refugia in Eastern Central Asia.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yi-Jun; Stöck, Matthias; Zhang, Peng; Wang, Xiu-Ling; Zhou, Hui; Qu, Liang-Hu

    2008-11-01

    The phylogeography of western Palearctic species is relatively well studied, but data on Eastern Central Asia are scarce. We present one of the first data sets from a widespread terrestrial vertebrate (Bufo pewzowi) inhabiting Eastern Central Asian mountains and deserts to gain knowledge on its phylogeography in this region. We applied combined phylogenetic and demographic analyses to understand the evolutionary history using mitochondrial DNA D-loop variation of toads from 37 locations. Genetic structure of Bufo pewzowi is strongly affected by landscape: we found three haplotype groups in eastern Kazakhstan, Dzungaria and Tarim Basin, divided by the Tian Shan and Dzungarian Alatau ranges. A vicariant hypothesis may explain divergence among groups. The divergence time of the three major clades was estimated about 0.9 million years ago (confidence interval 0.5-1.4), and is discussed with respect to Quaternary uplifting and glaciation in the Tian Shan. Demographic analyses provided evidence for both historical bottlenecks and population expansions and suggested Pleistocene signatures. Glacial refugia were inferred in the Tarim Basin (around the Turpan depression), in southern Dzungaria (Urumqui region), at the northern foot of the Tian Shan (Gongnaisi) and perhaps at the Altai range (Terekti). Regional Post-Last Glacial Maximum dispersal patterns are proposed. A taxonomic hypothesis is presented. This study provides a detailed history of how a widespread terrestrial vertebrate responded to geological change and Quaternary glacial events in Eastern Central Asia and may have significance for future phylogeographic research in this understudied region.

  6. Evolution of vertebrate IgM: complete amino acid sequence of the constant region of Ambystoma mexicanum mu chain deduced from cDNA sequence.

    PubMed

    Fellah, J S; Wiles, M V; Charlemagne, J; Schwager, J

    1992-10-01

    cDNA clones coding for the constant region of the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) mu heavy immunoglobulin chain were selected from total spleen RNA, using a cDNA polymerase chain reaction technique. The specific 5'-end primer was an oligonucleotide homologous to the JH segment of Xenopus laevis mu chain. One of the clones, JHA/3, corresponded to the complete constant region of the axolotl mu chain, consisting of a 1362-nucleotide sequence coding for a polypeptide of 454 amino acids followed in 3' direction by a 179-nucleotide untranslated region and a polyA+ tail. The axolotl C mu is divided into four typical domains (C mu 1-C mu 4) and can be aligned with the Xenopus C mu with an overall identity of 56% at the nucleotide level. Percent identities were particularly high between C mu 1 (59%) and C mu 4 (71%). The C-terminal 20-amino acid segment which constitutes the secretory part of the mu chain is strongly homologous to the equivalent sequences of chondrichthyans and of other tetrapods, including a conserved N-linked oligosaccharide, the penultimate cysteine and the C-terminal lysine. The four C mu domains of 13 vertebrate species ranging from chondrichthyans to mammals were aligned and compared at the amino acid level. The significant number of mu-specific residues which are conserved into each of the four C mu domains argues for a continuous line of evolution of the vertebrate mu chain. This notion was confirmed by the ability to reconstitute a consistent vertebrate evolution tree based on the phylogenic parsimony analysis of the C mu 4 sequences. PMID:1382992

  7. Vertebral function during tadpole locomotion.

    PubMed

    Azizi, Emanuel; Landberg, Tobias; Wassersug, Richard J

    2007-01-01

    Most anuran larvae show large lateral oscillations at both the tip of the tail and the snout while swimming in a straight line. Although the lateral deflections at the snout have long been considered an inefficient aspect of tadpole locomotion, a recent hydrodynamic model suggests that they may in fact help generate thrust. It is not clear though exactly where this bending takes place. The vertebral column is extremely short and seemingly inflexible in anurans, and any axial flexion that might occur there is hidden within the globose body of the tadpole. Here we test the hypothesis that lateral deflections of the snout correlate with bending of the vertebral column within the torso of tadpoles. To quantify vertebral curvature, three sonomicrometry crystals were surgically implanted along the dorsal midline in locations corresponding to the anterior, middle, and posterior region of the presacral vertebral column. Swimming trials were conducted in a flume where synchronized video recordings were collected in dorsal view. Our results confirm that cyclic lateral bending occurs along the vertebral column during swimming and indicate that vertebral curvature is temporally in phase with lateral oscillation of the snout. Lateral oscillation of the snout increased significantly with increasing vertebral curvature. Similarly, tail beat amplitude also increases significantly with increasing vertebral curvature. Our results suggest that cyclic lateral flexion of the vertebral column, activated by the axial muscle within the torso of tadpoles contributes to snout oscillations and the generation of thrust during undulatory swimming in anuran larvae.

  8. Contaminant exposure and potential effects on terrestrial vertebrates residing in the National Capital Region network and Mid-Atlantic network

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; Ackerson, B.K.

    2006-01-01

    Based upon these and other findings, ecotoxicological monitoring and research investigations of terrestrial vertebrates are warranted at several National Parks. These include Shenandoah National Park, Richmond National Battlefield, Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historic Park, Valley Forge National Historic Park, Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, Monocacy National Battlefield, and Harpers Ferry National Historic Park. The types of investigations vary according to the species present at these parks and potential contaminant threats, but should focus on contemporary use pesticides and herbicides, polychlorinated biphenyls, mercury, lead, and perhaps, emerging contaminants including antibiotics, flame retardants, pharmaceuticals, and surfactants. Other management recommendations include additional training for natural resource staff members in the area of ecotoxicology, inclusion of terrestrial vertebrate contaminant monitoring and the Contaminant Assessment Process (U.S. Geological Survey Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends Project) into the National Park Service Vital Signs Program, development of protocols for hand ling and toxicological analysis of dead or seemingly affected wildlife, consideration of some alternative methods and compounds for pest management and weed control

  9. Contaminant exposure and potential effects on terrestrial vertebrates residing in the National Capital Region network and Mid-Atlantic network

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; Ackerson, B.K.

    2006-01-01

    Based upon these and other findings, ecotoxicological monitoring and research investigations of terrestrial vertebrates are warranted at several National Parks. These include Shenandoah National Park, Richmond National Battlefield, Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historic Park, Valley Forge National Historic Park, Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, Monocacy National Battlefield, and Harpers Ferry National Historic Park. The types of investigations vary according to the species present at these parks and potential contaminant threats, but should focus on contemporary use pesticides and herbicides, polychlorinated biphenyls, mercury, lead, and perhaps, emerging contaminants including antibiotics, flame retardants, pharmaceuticals, and surfactants. Other management recommendations include additional training for natural resource staff members in the area of ecotoxicology, inclusion of terrestrial vertebrate contaminant monitoring and the Contaminant Assessment Process (U.S. Geological Survey Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends Project) into the National Park Service Vital Signs Program, development of protocols for hand ling and toxicological analysis of dead or seemingly affected wildlife, consideration of some alternative methods and compounds for pest management and weed control, and use of non-toxic fishing tackle by visitors. 

  10. Conserved localization of Pax6 and Pax7 transcripts in the brain of representatives of sarcopterygian vertebrates during development supports homologous brain regionalization

    PubMed Central

    Moreno, Nerea; Joven, Alberto; Morona, Ruth; Bandín, Sandra; López, Jesús M.; González, Agustín

    2014-01-01

    Many of the genes involved in brain patterning during development are highly conserved in vertebrates and similarities in their expression patterns help to recognize homologous cell types or brain regions. Among these genes, Pax6 and Pax7 are expressed in regionally restricted patterns in the brain and are essential for its development. In the present immunohistochemical study we analyzed the distribution of Pax6 and Pax7 cells in the brain of six representative species of tetrapods and lungfishes, the closest living relatives of tetrapods, at several developmental stages. The distribution patterns of these transcription factors were largely comparable across species. In all species only Pax6 was expressed in the telencephalon, including the olfactory bulbs, septum, striatum, and amygdaloid complex. In the diencephalon, Pax6 and Pax7 were distinct in the alar and basal parts, mainly in prosomeres 1 and 3. Pax7 specifically labeled cells in the optic tectum (superior colliculus) and Pax6, but not Pax7, cells were found in the tegmentum. Pax6 was found in most granule cells of the cerebellum and Pax7 labeling was detected in cells of the ventricular zone of the rostral alar plate and in migrated cells in the basal plate, including the griseum centrale and the interpeduncular nucleus. Caudally, Pax6 cells formed a column, whereas the ventricular zone of the alar plate expressed Pax7. Since the observed Pax6 and Pax7 expression patterns are largely conserved they can be used to identify subdivisions in the brain across vertebrates that are not clearly discernible with classical techniques. PMID:25147506

  11. Building the Vertebrate Spine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pourquié, Olivier

    2008-03-01

    to scoliosis in humans. Finally, the subsequent regional differentiation of the precursors of the vertebrae is controlled by Hox genes, whose collinear expression controls both gastrulation of somite precursors and their subsequent patterning into region-specific types of structures. Therefore somite development provides an outstanding paradigm to study patterning and differentiation in vertebrate embryos.

  12. Testing Skills in Vertebrates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Funk, Mildred Sears; Tosto, Pat

    2007-01-01

    In this article, the authors present a project that gives students examples of basic skills that many vertebrate species develop as they grow and function in their ecosystem. These activities involve information gathering about surroundings, learning how to use objects, and tracking and searching skills. Different vertebrate species may acquire…

  13. Climate change and marine vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Sydeman, William J; Poloczanska, Elvira; Reed, Thomas E; Thompson, Sarah Ann

    2015-11-13

    Climate change impacts on vertebrates have consequences for marine ecosystem structures and services. We review marine fish, mammal, turtle, and seabird responses to climate change and discuss their potential for adaptation. Direct and indirect responses are demonstrated from every ocean. Because of variation in research foci, observed responses differ among taxonomic groups (redistributions for fish, phenology for seabirds). Mechanisms of change are (i) direct physiological responses and (ii) climate-mediated predator-prey interactions. Regional-scale variation in climate-demographic functions makes range-wide population dynamics challenging to predict. The nexus of metabolism relative to ecosystem productivity and food webs appears key to predicting future effects on marine vertebrates. Integration of climate, oceanographic, ecosystem, and population models that incorporate evolutionary processes is needed to prioritize the climate-related conservation needs for these species. PMID:26564847

  14. Climate change and marine vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Sydeman, William J; Poloczanska, Elvira; Reed, Thomas E; Thompson, Sarah Ann

    2015-11-13

    Climate change impacts on vertebrates have consequences for marine ecosystem structures and services. We review marine fish, mammal, turtle, and seabird responses to climate change and discuss their potential for adaptation. Direct and indirect responses are demonstrated from every ocean. Because of variation in research foci, observed responses differ among taxonomic groups (redistributions for fish, phenology for seabirds). Mechanisms of change are (i) direct physiological responses and (ii) climate-mediated predator-prey interactions. Regional-scale variation in climate-demographic functions makes range-wide population dynamics challenging to predict. The nexus of metabolism relative to ecosystem productivity and food webs appears key to predicting future effects on marine vertebrates. Integration of climate, oceanographic, ecosystem, and population models that incorporate evolutionary processes is needed to prioritize the climate-related conservation needs for these species.

  15. Atypical vertebral Paget's disease.

    PubMed

    Beaudouin, Constance; Dohan, Anthony; Nasrallah, Toufic; Parlier, Caroline; Touraine, Sébastien; Ea, Korng; Kaci, Rachid; Laredo, Jean-Denis

    2014-07-01

    A 40-year-old Mauritanian man consulted for back pain. A computed tomography of the spine showed patchy sclerosis of the fifth and seventh thoracic vertebral bodies with normal neural arch of T5 and sclerosis and hypertrophy of the neural arch of T7, as well as diffuse sclerosis of the T11 vertebral body with a normal neural arch. At MRI, low signal-intensity on T1-weighted images and high signal-intensity on T2-weighted images involved the whole T5 and T7 vertebrae and the vertebral body of T11. Working diagnoses included metastatic disease and lymphoma, and a biopsy of T7 and then T11 was carried out. Both showed pathological findings very suggestive of Paget's disease. Since CT is usually the more specific radiological examination in vertebral Paget's disease, we thought it could be useful to report this atypical CT presentation (patchy sclerosis of the vertebral body without diffuse bone texture changes and isolated involvement of the vertebral body) of vertebral Paget's disease. PMID:24445956

  16. [Vertebral vacuum phenomena].

    PubMed

    Hamzé, B; Leaute, F; Wybier, M; Laredo, J D

    1995-01-01

    The spinal vacuum phenomenon is a collection of gas within the disk space, the vertebral body, the apophyseal joint or the spinal canal. The intradiscal vacuum phenomenon is frequently observed in degenerative disk disease and crystal-induced diskopathy. This has obvious significance to the radiologist, who, on observing a narrowed disk space or collapsed vertebral body, might otherwise consider infectious or neoplastic spondylitis, a likely possibility. The presence of vacuum phenomenon militates against the diagnosis of infection or tumor.

  17. Osteoporotic vertebral fractures redux.

    PubMed

    Lentle, B C; Gordon, P; Ward, L

    2008-02-01

    Osteoporosis remains an important cause of morbidity and mortality especially in the elderly. This fact is largely due to fractures of the proximal femur and spine. As recently recognized, vertebral fractures are as much a threat to health and longevity as fractures of the proximal femur. In recent decades, the development of tools to evaluate fracture risk as well as medications to treat osteoporosis has altered the management of people who are at fracture risk. At the same time identification and management procedures concerning spinal fracturing are not very clear. Besides there is not even clear consensus about what exactly constitutes a vertebral fracture, particularly those of minor degree. While height loss is a simple and valuable tool to detect vertebral fractures, it is neither sensitive nor specific enough to replace radiographs. Some 65% of fractures cause no symptoms. Often vertebral fractures are misdiagnosed, especially if they have occurred silently and if the opportunity for diagnosis arises fortuitously. It is to the patient's benefit that radiologists report and physicians identify vertebral fractures evident on a chest or other radiograph, no matter how incidental to the immediate clinical indication for the examination. Technological evolution now allows dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry machines to be used to take spine images while doing a densitometry. The images are adequate, even if not of high radiographic quality, and, more important, the patient undergoes a smaller radiation dose than with conventional spinal radiographs. Such technology may promote fracture recognition. The recognition of vertebral fractures, as well as the prevention and treatment of further fractures, will likely do much to reduce both the burden of osteoporosis-related morbidity and mortality, as well as fracture-related costs to healthcare systems.

  18. Management of osteoporotic vertebral fractures

    PubMed Central

    Dionyssiotis, Yannis

    2010-01-01

    Osteoporotic vertebral fractures are associated with considerable reduction of quality of life, morbidity, and mortality. The management of patients with vertebral fractures should include treatment for osteoporosis and measures to reduce pain and improve mobility. This article provides information for management and rehabilitation of vertebral fractures based on clinical experience and literature. PMID:20689689

  19. The vertebral column of Australopithecus sediba.

    PubMed

    Williams, Scott A; Ostrofsky, Kelly R; Frater, Nakita; Churchill, Steven E; Schmid, Peter; Berger, Lee R

    2013-04-12

    Two partial vertebral columns of Australopithecus sediba grant insight into aspects of early hominin spinal mobility, lumbar curvature, vertebral formula, and transitional vertebra position. Au. sediba likely possessed five non-rib-bearing lumbar vertebrae and five sacral elements, the same configuration that occurs modally in modern humans. This finding contrasts with other interpretations of early hominin regional vertebral numbers. Importantly, the transitional vertebra is distinct from and above the last rib-bearing vertebra in Au. sediba, resulting in a functionally longer lower back. This configuration, along with a strongly wedged last lumbar vertebra and other indicators of lordotic posture, would have contributed to a highly flexible spine that is derived compared with earlier members of the genus Australopithecus and similar to that of the Nariokotome Homo erectus skeleton.

  20. The vertebral column of Australopithecus sediba.

    PubMed

    Williams, Scott A; Ostrofsky, Kelly R; Frater, Nakita; Churchill, Steven E; Schmid, Peter; Berger, Lee R

    2013-04-12

    Two partial vertebral columns of Australopithecus sediba grant insight into aspects of early hominin spinal mobility, lumbar curvature, vertebral formula, and transitional vertebra position. Au. sediba likely possessed five non-rib-bearing lumbar vertebrae and five sacral elements, the same configuration that occurs modally in modern humans. This finding contrasts with other interpretations of early hominin regional vertebral numbers. Importantly, the transitional vertebra is distinct from and above the last rib-bearing vertebra in Au. sediba, resulting in a functionally longer lower back. This configuration, along with a strongly wedged last lumbar vertebra and other indicators of lordotic posture, would have contributed to a highly flexible spine that is derived compared with earlier members of the genus Australopithecus and similar to that of the Nariokotome Homo erectus skeleton. PMID:23580532

  1. Head segmentation in vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Kuratani, Shigeru; Schilling, Thomas

    2008-01-01

    Classic theories of vertebrate head segmentation clearly exemplify the idealistic nature of comparative embryology prior to the 20th century. Comparative embryology aimed at recognizing the basic, primary structure that is shared by all vertebrates, either as an archetype or an ancestral developmental pattern. Modern evolutionary developmental (Evo-Devo) studies are also based on comparison, and therefore have a tendency to reduce complex embryonic anatomy into overly simplified patterns. Here again, a basic segmental plan for the head has been sought among chordates. We convened a symposium that brought together leading researchers dealing with this problem, in a number of different evolutionary and developmental contexts. Here we give an overview of the outcome and the status of the field in this modern era of Evo-Devo. We emphasize the fact that the head segmentation problem is not fully resolved, and we discuss new directions in the search for hints for a way out of this maze. PMID:20607135

  2. [Vertebral hydatidosis: case report].

    PubMed

    Varela, R; Santelices, J P; Cuzmar, D; Aldunate, J T; Plaza-Guzmán, N; Lizama-Calvo, P

    2015-01-01

    Hydatidosis caused by echinococcus granulosus may affect any organ in the body, with the lungs and the liver as the most commonly affected organs. Vertebral compromise resulting from echinococcus granulosus has a low prevalence and accounts for less than 1% of bone compromise. We report the case of a 50 year-old female who presented at the Trauma Service with progressive low back pain with 5 months of duration that irradiated to the right lower limb, and led to neurologic compromise of the limb. Imaging studies showed spondylodiscitis at T12-L1, confirmed by a biopsy. Treatment of this condition is both orthopedic and surgical. The recurrence rate is high, between 30 and 40%. The objective of describing this case is to propose the differential diagnosis of a vertebral mass of unknown origin and provide details as to how to manage this condition. PMID:27012085

  3. Viruses of lower vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Essbauer, S; Ahne, W

    2001-08-01

    Viruses of lower vertebrates recently became a field of interest to the public due to increasing epizootics and economic losses of poikilothermic animals. These were reported worldwide from both wildlife and collections of aquatic poikilothermic animals. Several RNA and DNA viruses infecting fish, amphibians and reptiles have been studied intensively during the last 20 years. Many of these viruses induce diseases resulting in important economic losses of lower vertebrates, especially in fish aquaculture. In addition, some of the DNA viruses seem to be emerging pathogens involved in the worldwide decline in wildlife. Irido-, herpes- and polyomavirus infections may be involved in the reduction in the numbers of endangered amphibian and reptile species. In this context the knowledge of several important RNA viruses such as orthomyxo-, paramyxo-, rhabdo-, retro-, corona-, calici-, toga-, picorna-, noda-, reo- and birnaviruses, and DNA viruses such as parvo-, irido-, herpes-, adeno-, polyoma- and poxviruses, is described in this review. PMID:11550762

  4. Correlation between Hox code and vertebral morphology in archosaurs.

    PubMed

    Böhmer, Christine; Rauhut, Oliver W M; Wörheide, Gert

    2015-07-01

    The relationship between developmental genes and phenotypic variation is of central interest in evolutionary biology. An excellent example is the role of Hox genes in the anteroposterior regionalization of the vertebral column in vertebrates. Archosaurs (crocodiles, dinosaurs including birds) are highly variable both in vertebral morphology and number. Nevertheless, functionally equivalent Hox genes are active in the axial skeleton during embryonic development, indicating that the morphological variation across taxa is likely owing to modifications in the pattern of Hox gene expression. By using geometric morphometrics, we demonstrate a correlation between vertebral Hox code and quantifiable vertebral morphology in modern archosaurs, in which the boundaries between morphological subgroups of vertebrae can be linked to anterior Hox gene expression boundaries. Our findings reveal homologous units of cervical vertebrae in modern archosaurs, each with their specific Hox gene pattern, enabling us to trace these homologies in the extinct sauropodomorph dinosaurs, a group with highly variable vertebral counts. Based on the quantifiable vertebral morphology, this allows us to infer the underlying genetic mechanisms in vertebral evolution in fossils, which represents not only an important case study, but will lead to a better understanding of the origin of morphological disparity in recent archosaur vertebral columns.

  5. Correlation between Hox code and vertebral morphology in archosaurs

    PubMed Central

    Böhmer, Christine; Rauhut, Oliver W. M.; Wörheide, Gert

    2015-01-01

    The relationship between developmental genes and phenotypic variation is of central interest in evolutionary biology. An excellent example is the role of Hox genes in the anteroposterior regionalization of the vertebral column in vertebrates. Archosaurs (crocodiles, dinosaurs including birds) are highly variable both in vertebral morphology and number. Nevertheless, functionally equivalent Hox genes are active in the axial skeleton during embryonic development, indicating that the morphological variation across taxa is likely owing to modifications in the pattern of Hox gene expression. By using geometric morphometrics, we demonstrate a correlation between vertebral Hox code and quantifiable vertebral morphology in modern archosaurs, in which the boundaries between morphological subgroups of vertebrae can be linked to anterior Hox gene expression boundaries. Our findings reveal homologous units of cervical vertebrae in modern archosaurs, each with their specific Hox gene pattern, enabling us to trace these homologies in the extinct sauropodomorph dinosaurs, a group with highly variable vertebral counts. Based on the quantifiable vertebral morphology, this allows us to infer the underlying genetic mechanisms in vertebral evolution in fossils, which represents not only an important case study, but will lead to a better understanding of the origin of morphological disparity in recent archosaur vertebral columns. PMID:26085583

  6. Reintroduction of locally extinct vertebrates impacts arid soil fungal communities.

    PubMed

    Clarke, Laurence J; Weyrich, Laura S; Cooper, Alan

    2015-06-01

    Introduced species have contributed to extinction of native vertebrates in many parts of the world. Changes to vertebrate assemblages are also likely to alter microbial communities through coextinction of some taxa and the introduction of others. Many attempts to restore degraded habitats involve removal of exotic vertebrates (livestock and feral animals) and reintroduction of locally extinct species, but the impact of such reintroductions on microbial communities is largely unknown. We used high-throughput DNA sequencing of the fungal internal transcribed spacer I (ITS1) region to examine whether replacing exotic vertebrates with reintroduced native vertebrates led to changes in soil fungal communities at a reserve in arid central Australia. Soil fungal diversity was significantly different between dune and swale (interdune) habitats. Fungal communities also differed significantly between sites with exotic or reintroduced native vertebrates after controlling for the effect of habitat. Several fungal operational taxonomic units (OTUs) found exclusively inside the reserve were present in scats from reintroduced native vertebrates, providing a direct link between the vertebrate assemblage and soil microbial communities. Our results show that changes to vertebrate assemblages through local extinctions and the invasion of exotic species can alter soil fungal communities. If local extinction of one or several species results in the coextinction of microbial taxa, the full complement of ecological interactions may never be restored. PMID:25943906

  7. Correlation between Hox code and vertebral morphology in archosaurs.

    PubMed

    Böhmer, Christine; Rauhut, Oliver W M; Wörheide, Gert

    2015-07-01

    The relationship between developmental genes and phenotypic variation is of central interest in evolutionary biology. An excellent example is the role of Hox genes in the anteroposterior regionalization of the vertebral column in vertebrates. Archosaurs (crocodiles, dinosaurs including birds) are highly variable both in vertebral morphology and number. Nevertheless, functionally equivalent Hox genes are active in the axial skeleton during embryonic development, indicating that the morphological variation across taxa is likely owing to modifications in the pattern of Hox gene expression. By using geometric morphometrics, we demonstrate a correlation between vertebral Hox code and quantifiable vertebral morphology in modern archosaurs, in which the boundaries between morphological subgroups of vertebrae can be linked to anterior Hox gene expression boundaries. Our findings reveal homologous units of cervical vertebrae in modern archosaurs, each with their specific Hox gene pattern, enabling us to trace these homologies in the extinct sauropodomorph dinosaurs, a group with highly variable vertebral counts. Based on the quantifiable vertebral morphology, this allows us to infer the underlying genetic mechanisms in vertebral evolution in fossils, which represents not only an important case study, but will lead to a better understanding of the origin of morphological disparity in recent archosaur vertebral columns. PMID:26085583

  8. Aberrant Origin of Vertebral Artery and its Clinical Implications

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Shi-Min

    2016-01-01

    Aberrant origin of vertebral artery is rare. The anatomical features and clinical significance of this lesion remain to be clarified. A comprehensive collection of the pertinent literature resulted in a cohort of 1286 cases involving 955 patients and 331 cadavers. There were more left than right and more unilateral than bilateral aberrant vertebral arteries. Patients with aberrant origin of vertebral artery were often asymptomatic and in only 5.5% of the patients their symptoms were probably related to the aberrant origin of vertebral artery. The acquired cardiovascular lesions were present in 9.5% of the patients, 20.9% of which were vertebral artery-associated lesions. Eight (0.8%) patients had a vertebral artery dissection. Logistic regression analysis showed significant regressions between bovine trunk and left vertebral artery (P=0.000), between the dual origins of vertebral artery and cerebral infarct/thrombus (P=0.041), between associated alternative congenital vascular variants and cervical/aortic dissection/atherosclerosis (P=0.008). Multiple logistic regression demonstrated that side of the aberrant origin of vertebral artery (left vertebral artery) (P=0.014), arch branch pattern (direct arch origin) (P=0.019), presence of the common trunk (P=0.019), associated acquired vascular disorder (P=0.034) and the patients who warranted management (P=0.000) were significant risk predictors for neurological sequelea. The patients with neurological symptoms and those for neck and chest operations/ interventions should be carefully screened for the possibility of an aberrant origin of vertebral artery. The results from the cadaver metrology study are very helpful in the design of the aortic stent. The arch branch pattern has to be taken into consideration before any maneuver in the local region so as to avoid unexpected events in relation to aberrant vertebral artery. PMID:27074275

  9. Molecular organization of the maternal effect region of the Shaker complex of Drosophila: characterization of an IA channel transcript with homology to vertebrate Na+ channel

    PubMed Central

    Baumann, A.; Krah-Jentgens, I.; Müller, R.; Müller-Holtkamp, F.; Seidel, R.; Kecskemethy, N.; Casal, J.; Ferrus, A.; Pongs, O.

    1987-01-01

    We have cloned 215-kb DNA containing the maternal effect region (ME) of the Shaker gene complex (shC) at 16F of the Drosophila X chromosome. Five translocation and deletion breakpoints have been mapped on the cloned DNA allowing a correlation of the genetic map to transcription units. The ME region spans ˜100 kb. The genetic behavior of this region correlates with the occurrence of maternal RNAs in this part of the ShC. Two transcripts have been identified in the vicinity of chromosomal rearrangements which cause a Sh phenotype. These are a 4.5-kb transcript interrupted by T(x;2)B27 and a 2-kb transcript interrupted by T(X;3)ShLC and T(X;Y)W32. The latter transcript is derived from a primary transcript which spans >65 kb genomic DNA. The cDNA-sequencing data show that this Shaker (IAchannel) gene can encode a protein of ˜35 kd with three α-helical membrane-spanning sequences near its carboxyl terminus. These have a striking homology with membrane-spanning sequences of the vertabrate Na+ channel. ImagesFig. 2.Fig. 3.Fig. 4.Fig. 5.Fig. 7.Fig. 8.Fig. 11. PMID:16453805

  10. Non-contiguous multifocal vertebral osteomyelitis caused by Serratia marcescens.

    PubMed

    Lau, Jen Xin; Li, Jordan Yuanzhi; Yong, Tuck Yean

    2015-03-01

    Serratia marcescens is a common nosocomial infection but a rare cause of osteomyelitis and more so of vertebral osteomyelitis. Vertebral osteomyelitis caused by this organism has been reported in few studies. We report a case of S. marcescens vertebral discitis and osteomyelitis affecting multiple non-contiguous vertebras. Although Staphylococcus aureus is the most common cause of vertebral osteomyelitis, rare causes, such as S. marcescens, need to be considered, especially when risk factors such as intravenous heroin use, post-spinal surgery and immunosuppression are present. Therefore, blood culture and where necessary biopsy of the infected region should be undertaken to establish the causative organism and determine appropriate antibiotic susceptibility. Prompt diagnosis of S. marcescens vertebral osteomyelitis followed by the appropriate treatment can achieve successful outcomes.

  11. Vertebral fracture classification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Bruijne, Marleen; Pettersen, Paola C.; Tankó, László B.; Nielsen, Mads

    2007-03-01

    A novel method for classification and quantification of vertebral fractures from X-ray images is presented. Using pairwise conditional shape models trained on a set of healthy spines, the most likely unfractured shape is estimated for each of the vertebrae in the image. The difference between the true shape and the reconstructed normal shape is an indicator for the shape abnormality. A statistical classification scheme with the two shapes as features is applied to detect, classify, and grade various types of deformities. In contrast with the current (semi-)quantitative grading strategies this method takes the full shape into account, it uses a patient-specific reference by combining population-based information on biological variation in vertebra shape and vertebra interrelations, and it provides a continuous measure of deformity. Good agreement with manual classification and grading is demonstrated on 204 lateral spine radiographs with in total 89 fractures.

  12. Opportunistic Identification of Vertebral Fractures.

    PubMed

    Adams, Judith E

    2016-01-01

    Vertebral fractures are powerful predictors of future fracture, so, their identification is important to ensure that patients are commenced on appropriate bone protective or bone-enhancing therapy. Risk factors (e.g., low bone mineral density and increasing age) and symptoms (back pain, loss of height) may herald the presence of vertebral fractures, which are usually confirmed by performing spinal radiographs or, increasingly, using vertebral fracture assessment with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scanners. However, a large number (30% or more) of vertebral fractures are asymptomatic and do not come to clinical attention. There is, therefore, scope for opportunistic (fortuitous) identification of vertebral fractures from various imaging modalities (radiographs, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and radionuclide scans) performed for other clinical indications and which include the spine in the field of view, with midline sagittal reformatted images from computed tomography having the greatest potential for such opportunistic detection. Numerous studies confirm this potential for identification but consistently find underreporting of vertebral fractures. So, a valuable opportunity to improve the management of patients at increased risk of future fracture is being squandered. Educational training programs for all clinicians and constant reiteration, stressing the importance of the accurate and clear reporting of vertebral fractures ("you only see what you look for"), can improve the situation, and automated computer-aided diagnostic tools also show promise to solve the problem of this underreporting of vertebral fractures.

  13. Opportunistic Identification of Vertebral Fractures.

    PubMed

    Adams, Judith E

    2016-01-01

    Vertebral fractures are powerful predictors of future fracture, so, their identification is important to ensure that patients are commenced on appropriate bone protective or bone-enhancing therapy. Risk factors (e.g., low bone mineral density and increasing age) and symptoms (back pain, loss of height) may herald the presence of vertebral fractures, which are usually confirmed by performing spinal radiographs or, increasingly, using vertebral fracture assessment with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scanners. However, a large number (30% or more) of vertebral fractures are asymptomatic and do not come to clinical attention. There is, therefore, scope for opportunistic (fortuitous) identification of vertebral fractures from various imaging modalities (radiographs, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and radionuclide scans) performed for other clinical indications and which include the spine in the field of view, with midline sagittal reformatted images from computed tomography having the greatest potential for such opportunistic detection. Numerous studies confirm this potential for identification but consistently find underreporting of vertebral fractures. So, a valuable opportunity to improve the management of patients at increased risk of future fracture is being squandered. Educational training programs for all clinicians and constant reiteration, stressing the importance of the accurate and clear reporting of vertebral fractures ("you only see what you look for"), can improve the situation, and automated computer-aided diagnostic tools also show promise to solve the problem of this underreporting of vertebral fractures. PMID:26412139

  14. Chemical ecology of vertebrate carrion

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Vertebrate carrion is a nutrient-rich, ephemeral resource that is utilized by many different organisms ranging from vertebrate and invertebrate scavengers to microbes. The organisms that consume carrion play an important ecological role, as decomposition is vital to ecosystem function. Without the...

  15. Comparative anatomy: all vertebrates do have vertebrae.

    PubMed

    Janvier, Philippe

    2011-09-13

    In contrast to lampreys and jawed vertebrates, hagfishes were thought to lack vertebrae. Now, long overlooked vertebral rudiments have been analysed in hagfish, suggesting that vertebrae existed in the last common ancestor of all vertebrates.

  16. A revised metric for quantifying body shape in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Collar, David C; Reynaga, Crystal M; Ward, Andrea B; Mehta, Rita S

    2013-08-01

    Vertebrates exhibit tremendous diversity in body shape, though quantifying this variation has been challenging. In the past, researchers have used simplified metrics that either describe overall shape but reveal little about its anatomical basis or that characterize only a subset of the morphological features that contribute to shape variation. Here, we present a revised metric of body shape, the vertebrate shape index (VSI), which combines the four primary morphological components that lead to shape diversity in vertebrates: head shape, length of the second major body axis (depth or width), and shape of the precaudal and caudal regions of the vertebral column. We illustrate the usefulness of VSI on a data set of 194 species, primarily representing five major vertebrate clades: Actinopterygii, Lissamphibia, Squamata, Aves, and Mammalia. We quantify VSI diversity within each of these clades and, in the course of doing so, show how measurements of the morphological components of VSI can be obtained from radiographs, articulated skeletons, and cleared and stained specimens. We also demonstrate that head shape, secondary body axis, and vertebral characteristics are important independent contributors to body shape diversity, though their importance varies across vertebrate groups. Finally, we present a functional application of VSI to test a hypothesized relationship between body shape and the degree of axial bending associated with locomotor modes in ray-finned fishes. Altogether, our study highlights the promise VSI holds for identifying the morphological variation underlying body shape diversity as well as the selective factors driving shape evolution.

  17. Thyroglobulin Represents a Novel Molecular Architecture of Vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Holzer, Guillaume; Morishita, Yoshiaki; Fini, Jean-Baptiste; Lorin, Thibault; Gillet, Benjamin; Hughes, Sandrine; Tohmé, Marie; Deléage, Gilbert; Demeneix, Barbara; Arvan, Peter; Laudet, Vincent

    2016-08-01

    Thyroid hormones modulate not only multiple functions in vertebrates (energy metabolism, central nervous system function, seasonal changes in physiology, and behavior) but also in some non-vertebrates where they control critical post-embryonic developmental transitions such as metamorphosis. Despite their obvious biological importance, the thyroid hormone precursor protein, thyroglobulin (Tg), has been experimentally investigated only in mammals. This may bias our view of how thyroid hormones are produced in other organisms. In this study we searched genomic databases and found Tg orthologs in all vertebrates including the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus). We cloned a full-size Tg coding sequence from western clawed frog (Xenopus tropicalis) and zebrafish (Danio rerio). Comparisons between the representative mammal, amphibian, teleost fish, and basal vertebrate indicate that all of the different domains of Tg, as well as Tg regional structure, are conserved throughout the vertebrates. Indeed, in Xenopus, zebrafish, and lamprey Tgs, key residues, including the hormonogenic tyrosines and the disulfide bond-forming cysteines critical for Tg function, are well conserved despite overall divergence of amino acid sequences. We uncovered upstream sequences that include start codons of zebrafish and Xenopus Tgs and experimentally proved that these are full-length secreted proteins, which are specifically recognized by antibodies against rat Tg. By contrast, we have not been able to find any orthologs of Tg among non-vertebrate species. Thus, Tg appears to be a novel protein elaborated as a single event at the base of vertebrates and virtually unchanged thereafter. PMID:27311711

  18. A revised metric for quantifying body shape in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Collar, David C; Reynaga, Crystal M; Ward, Andrea B; Mehta, Rita S

    2013-08-01

    Vertebrates exhibit tremendous diversity in body shape, though quantifying this variation has been challenging. In the past, researchers have used simplified metrics that either describe overall shape but reveal little about its anatomical basis or that characterize only a subset of the morphological features that contribute to shape variation. Here, we present a revised metric of body shape, the vertebrate shape index (VSI), which combines the four primary morphological components that lead to shape diversity in vertebrates: head shape, length of the second major body axis (depth or width), and shape of the precaudal and caudal regions of the vertebral column. We illustrate the usefulness of VSI on a data set of 194 species, primarily representing five major vertebrate clades: Actinopterygii, Lissamphibia, Squamata, Aves, and Mammalia. We quantify VSI diversity within each of these clades and, in the course of doing so, show how measurements of the morphological components of VSI can be obtained from radiographs, articulated skeletons, and cleared and stained specimens. We also demonstrate that head shape, secondary body axis, and vertebral characteristics are important independent contributors to body shape diversity, though their importance varies across vertebrate groups. Finally, we present a functional application of VSI to test a hypothesized relationship between body shape and the degree of axial bending associated with locomotor modes in ray-finned fishes. Altogether, our study highlights the promise VSI holds for identifying the morphological variation underlying body shape diversity as well as the selective factors driving shape evolution. PMID:23746908

  19. Vertebral numbers and human evolution.

    PubMed

    Williams, Scott A; Middleton, Emily R; Villamil, Catalina I; Shattuck, Milena R

    2016-01-01

    Ever since Tyson (1699), anatomists have noted and compared differences in the regional numbers of vertebrae among humans and other hominoids. Subsequent workers interpreted these differences in phylogenetic, functional, and behavioral frameworks and speculated on the history of vertebral numbers during human evolution. Even in a modern phylogenetic framework and with greatly expanded sample sizes of hominoid species, researchers' conclusions vary drastically, positing that hominins evolved from either a "long-backed" (numerically long lumbar column) or a "short-backed" (numerically short lumbar column) ancestor. We show that these disparate interpretations are due in part to the use of different criteria for what defines a lumbar vertebra, but argue that, regardless of which lumbar definition is used, hominins are similar to their great ape relatives in possessing a short trunk, a rare occurrence in mammals and one that defines the clade Hominoidea. Furthermore, we address the recent claim that the early hominin thoracolumbar configuration is not distinct from that of modern humans and conclude that early hominins show evidence of "cranial shifting," which might explain the anomalous morphology of several early hominin fossils. Finally, we evaluate the competing hypotheses on numbers of vertebrae and argue that the current data support a hominin ancestor with an African ape-like short trunk and lower back.

  20. Mitotic chromosome condensation in vertebrates

    SciTech Connect

    Vagnarelli, Paola

    2012-07-15

    Work from several laboratories over the past 10-15 years has revealed that, within the interphase nucleus, chromosomes are organized into spatially distinct territories [T. Cremer, C. Cremer, Chromosome territories, nuclear architecture and gene regulation in mammalian cells, Nat. Rev. Genet. 2 (2001) 292-301 and T. Cremer, M. Cremer, S. Dietzel, S. Muller, I. Solovei, S. Fakan, Chromosome territories-a functional nuclear landscape, Curr. Opin. Cell Biol. 18 (2006) 307-316]. The overall compaction level and intranuclear location varies as a function of gene density for both entire chromosomes [J.A. Croft, J.M. Bridger, S. Boyle, P. Perry, P. Teague,W.A. Bickmore, Differences in the localization and morphology of chromosomes in the human nucleus, J. Cell Biol. 145 (1999) 1119-1131] and specific chromosomal regions [N.L. Mahy, P.E. Perry, S. Gilchrist, R.A. Baldock, W.A. Bickmore, Spatial organization of active and inactive genes and noncoding DNA within chromosome territories, J. Cell Biol. 157 (2002) 579-589] (Fig. 1A, A'). In prophase, when cyclin B activity reaches a high threshold, chromosome condensation occurs followed by Nuclear Envelope Breakdown (NEB) [1]. At this point vertebrate chromosomes appear as compact structures harboring an attachment point for the spindle microtubules physically recognizable as a primary constriction where the two sister chromatids are held together. The transition from an unshaped interphase chromosome to the highly structured mitotic chromosome (compare Figs. 1A and B) has fascinated researchers for several decades now; however a definite picture of how this process is achieved and regulated is not yet in our hands and it will require more investigation to comprehend the complete process. From a biochemical point of view a vertebrate mitotic chromosomes is composed of DNA, histone proteins (60%) and non-histone proteins (40%) [6]. I will discuss below what is known to date on the contribution of these two different classes of

  1. Lymphatic regulation in nonmammalian vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Hedrick, Michael S; Hillman, Stanley S; Drewes, Robert C; Withers, Philip C

    2013-08-01

    All vertebrate animals share in common the production of lymph through net capillary filtration from their closed circulatory system into their tissues. The balance of forces responsible for net capillary filtration and lymph formation is described by the Starling equation, but additional factors such as vascular and interstitial compliance, which vary markedly among vertebrates, also have a significant impact on rates of lymph formation. Why vertebrates show extreme variability in rates of lymph formation and how nonmammalian vertebrates maintain plasma volume homeostasis is unclear. This gap hampers our understanding of the evolution of the lymphatic system and its interaction with the cardiovascular system. The evolutionary origin of the vertebrate lymphatic system is not clear, but recent advances suggest common developmental factors for lymphangiogenesis in teleost fishes, amphibians, and mammals with some significant changes in the water-land transition. The lymphatic system of anuran amphibians is characterized by large lymphatic sacs and two pairs of lymph hearts that return lymph into the venous circulation but no lymph vessels per se. The lymphatic systems of reptiles and some birds have lymph hearts, and both groups have extensive lymph vessels, but their functional role in both lymph movement and plasma volume homeostasis is almost completely unknown. The purpose of this review is to present an evolutionary perspective in how different vertebrates have solved the common problem of the inevitable formation of lymph from their closed circulatory systems and to point out the many gaps in our knowledge of this evolutionary progression.

  2. Lymphatic regulation in nonmammalian vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Hedrick, Michael S; Hillman, Stanley S; Drewes, Robert C; Withers, Philip C

    2013-08-01

    All vertebrate animals share in common the production of lymph through net capillary filtration from their closed circulatory system into their tissues. The balance of forces responsible for net capillary filtration and lymph formation is described by the Starling equation, but additional factors such as vascular and interstitial compliance, which vary markedly among vertebrates, also have a significant impact on rates of lymph formation. Why vertebrates show extreme variability in rates of lymph formation and how nonmammalian vertebrates maintain plasma volume homeostasis is unclear. This gap hampers our understanding of the evolution of the lymphatic system and its interaction with the cardiovascular system. The evolutionary origin of the vertebrate lymphatic system is not clear, but recent advances suggest common developmental factors for lymphangiogenesis in teleost fishes, amphibians, and mammals with some significant changes in the water-land transition. The lymphatic system of anuran amphibians is characterized by large lymphatic sacs and two pairs of lymph hearts that return lymph into the venous circulation but no lymph vessels per se. The lymphatic systems of reptiles and some birds have lymph hearts, and both groups have extensive lymph vessels, but their functional role in both lymph movement and plasma volume homeostasis is almost completely unknown. The purpose of this review is to present an evolutionary perspective in how different vertebrates have solved the common problem of the inevitable formation of lymph from their closed circulatory systems and to point out the many gaps in our knowledge of this evolutionary progression. PMID:23640588

  3. Evolution of vertebrate opioid receptors

    PubMed Central

    Dreborg, Susanne; Sundström, Görel; Larsson, Tomas A.; Larhammar, Dan

    2008-01-01

    The opioid peptides and receptors have prominent roles in pain transmission and reward mechanisms in mammals. The evolution of the opioid receptors has so far been little studied, with only a few reports on species other than tetrapods. We have investigated species representing a broader range of vertebrates and found that the four opioid receptor types (delta, kappa, mu, and NOP) are present in most of the species. The gene relationships were deduced by using both phylogenetic analyses and chromosomal location relative to 20 neighboring gene families in databases of assembled genomes. The combined results show that the vertebrate opioid receptor gene family arose by quadruplication of a large chromosomal block containing at least 14 other gene families. The quadruplication seems to coincide with, and, therefore, probably resulted from, the two proposed genome duplications in early vertebrate evolution. We conclude that the quartet of opioid receptors was already present at the origin of jawed vertebrates ≈450 million years ago. A few additional opioid receptor gene duplications have occurred in bony fishes. Interestingly, the ancestral receptor gene duplications coincide with the origin of the four opioid peptide precursor genes. Thus, the complete vertebrate opioid system was already established in the first jawed vertebrates. PMID:18832151

  4. Evolution of a vertebrate social decision-making network.

    PubMed

    O'Connell, Lauren A; Hofmann, Hans A

    2012-06-01

    Animals evaluate and respond to their social environment with adaptive decisions. Revealing the neural mechanisms of such decisions is a major goal in biology. We analyzed expression profiles for 10 neurochemical genes across 12 brain regions important for decision-making in 88 species representing five vertebrate lineages. We found that behaviorally relevant brain regions are remarkably conserved over 450 million years of evolution. We also find evidence that different brain regions have experienced different selection pressures, because spatial distribution of neuroendocrine ligands are more flexible than their receptors across vertebrates. Our analysis suggests that the diversity of social behavior in vertebrates can be explained, in part, by variations on a theme of conserved neural and gene expression networks.

  5. Clinical consequences of vertebral fractures.

    PubMed

    Ross, P D

    1997-08-18

    People with vertebral fractures have greater pain, disability, and healthcare utilization, on average, than those without fractures. Most studies of acute pain and disability have been limited to patients with clinically diagnosed fractures (a subset of all symptomatic patients), representing about one third of all patients with fractures identified radiographically. Acute symptoms vary widely. Some patients experience intolerable pain that can be completely debilitating for several weeks or months, whereas about half of all patients with radiographically identified fractures report having had no symptoms. The reasons for this variability are unknown. Chronic pain and disability among patients with vertebral fractures are significantly greater on average than among people without fractures, even after adjusting for comorbid conditions that are common among the elderly. Similar to acute symptoms, chronic symptoms vary widely and often persist for at least several years. The risk of pain and disability increases progressively with the number and severity of vertebral deformities: the risk is multiplied several times with each additional fracture. On average, physical function is impaired among people with vertebral fractures, whether or not they currently report back pain. Declines in physical function and changes in appearance contribute to social isolation and loss of self-esteem, impairing quality of life. The cumulative impact of vertebral fractures on quality of life may rival that of hip fractures because hip fractures are less frequent and occur later in life. As many as 40% of symptomatic vertebral fractures are initially misdiagnosed, signaling a need for greater awareness among physicians and patients. Prevention of initial vertebral fractures should be actively encouraged; even if the initial fracture is asymptomatic, it indicates a greatly increased risk of subsequent fractures, pain, and physical impairment. PMID:9302895

  6. Independent regulation of vertebral number and vertebral identity by microRNA-196 paralogs

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Siew Fen Lisa; Agarwal, Vikram; Mansfield, Jennifer H.; Denans, Nicolas; Schwartz, Matthew G.; Prosser, Haydn M.; Pourquié, Olivier; Bartel, David P.; Tabin, Clifford J.; McGlinn, Edwina

    2015-01-01

    The Hox genes play a central role in patterning the embryonic anterior-to-posterior axis. An important function of Hox activity in vertebrates is the specification of different vertebral morphologies, with an additional role in axis elongation emerging. The miR-196 family of microRNAs (miRNAs) are predicted to extensively target Hox 3′ UTRs, although the full extent to which miR-196 regulates Hox expression dynamics and influences mammalian development remains to be elucidated. Here we used an extensive allelic series of mouse knockouts to show that the miR-196 family of miRNAs is essential both for properly patterning vertebral identity at different axial levels and for modulating the total number of vertebrae. All three miR-196 paralogs, 196a1, 196a2, and 196b, act redundantly to pattern the midthoracic region, whereas 196a2 and 196b have an additive role in controlling the number of rib-bearing vertebra and positioning of the sacrum. Independent of this, 196a1, 196a2, and 196b act redundantly to constrain total vertebral number. Loss of miR-196 leads to a collective up-regulation of numerous trunk Hox target genes with a concomitant delay in activation of caudal Hox genes, which are proposed to signal the end of axis extension. Additionally, we identified altered molecular signatures associated with the Wnt, Fgf, and Notch/segmentation pathways and demonstrate that miR-196 has the potential to regulate Wnt activity by multiple mechanisms. By feeding into, and thereby integrating, multiple genetic networks controlling vertebral number and identity, miR-196 is a critical player defining axial formulae. PMID:26283362

  7. Independent regulation of vertebral number and vertebral identity by microRNA-196 paralogs.

    PubMed

    Wong, Siew Fen Lisa; Agarwal, Vikram; Mansfield, Jennifer H; Denans, Nicolas; Schwartz, Matthew G; Prosser, Haydn M; Pourquié, Olivier; Bartel, David P; Tabin, Clifford J; McGlinn, Edwina

    2015-09-01

    The Hox genes play a central role in patterning the embryonic anterior-to-posterior axis. An important function of Hox activity in vertebrates is the specification of different vertebral morphologies, with an additional role in axis elongation emerging. The miR-196 family of microRNAs (miRNAs) are predicted to extensively target Hox 3' UTRs, although the full extent to which miR-196 regulates Hox expression dynamics and influences mammalian development remains to be elucidated. Here we used an extensive allelic series of mouse knockouts to show that the miR-196 family of miRNAs is essential both for properly patterning vertebral identity at different axial levels and for modulating the total number of vertebrae. All three miR-196 paralogs, 196a1, 196a2, and 196b, act redundantly to pattern the midthoracic region, whereas 196a2 and 196b have an additive role in controlling the number of rib-bearing vertebra and positioning of the sacrum. Independent of this, 196a1, 196a2, and 196b act redundantly to constrain total vertebral number. Loss of miR-196 leads to a collective up-regulation of numerous trunk Hox target genes with a concomitant delay in activation of caudal Hox genes, which are proposed to signal the end of axis extension. Additionally, we identified altered molecular signatures associated with the Wnt, Fgf, and Notch/segmentation pathways and demonstrate that miR-196 has the potential to regulate Wnt activity by multiple mechanisms. By feeding into, and thereby integrating, multiple genetic networks controlling vertebral number and identity, miR-196 is a critical player defining axial formulae.

  8. Automatic vertebral identification using surface-based registration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herring, Jeannette L.; Dawant, Benoit M.

    2000-06-01

    This work introduces an enhancement to currently existing methods of intra-operative vertebral registration by allowing the portion of the spinal column surface that correctly matches a set of physical vertebral points to be automatically selected from several possible choices. Automatic selection is made possible by the shape variations that exist among lumbar vertebrae. In our experiments, we register vertebral points representing physical space to spinal column surfaces extracted from computed tomography images. The vertebral points are taken from the posterior elements of a single vertebra to represent the region of surgical interest. The surface is extracted using an improved version of the fully automatic marching cubes algorithm, which results in a triangulated surface that contains multiple vertebrae. We find the correct portion of the surface by registering the set of physical points to multiple surface areas, including all vertebral surfaces that potentially match the physical point set. We then compute the standard deviation of the surface error for the set of points registered to each vertebral surface that is a possible match, and the registration that corresponds to the lowest standard deviation designates the correct match. We have performed our current experiments on two plastic spine phantoms and one patient.

  9. Medical treatment of vertebral osteoporosis.

    PubMed

    Lippuner, K

    2003-10-01

    Although osteoporosis is a systemic disease, vertebral fractures due to spinal bone loss are a frequent, sometimes early and often neglected complication of the disease, generally associated with considerable disability and pain. As osteoporotic vertebral fractures are an important predictor of future fracture risk, including at the hip, medical management is targeted at reducing fracture risk. A literature search for randomized, double-blind, prospective, controlled clinical studies addressing medical treatment possibilities of vertebral fractures in postmenopausal Caucasian women was performed on the leading medical databases. For each publication, the number of patients with at least one new vertebral fracture and the number of randomized patients by treatment arm was retrieved. The relative risk (RR) and the number needed to treat (NNT, i.e. the number of patients to be treated to avoid one radiological vertebral fracture over the duration of the study), together with the respective 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) were calculated for each study. Treatment of steroid-induced osteoporosis and treatment of osteoporosis in men were reviewed separately, based on the low number of publications available. Forty-five publications matched with the search criteria, allowing for analysis of 15 different substances tested regarding their anti-fracture efficacy at the vertebral level. Bisphosphonates, mainly alendronate and risedronate, were reported to have consistently reduced the risk of a vertebral fracture over up to 50 months of treatment in four (alendronate) and two (risedronate) publications. Raloxifene reduced vertebral fracture risk in one study over 36 months, which was confirmed by 48 months' follow-up data. Parathormone (PTH) showed a drastic reduction in vertebral fracture risk in early studies, while calcitonin may also be a treatment option to reduce fracture risk. For other substances published data are conflicting (calcitriol, fluoride) or insufficient

  10. Learning about Vertebrate Limb Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liang, Jennifer O.; Noll, Matthew; Olsen, Shayna

    2014-01-01

    We have developed an upper-level undergraduate laboratory exercise that enables students to replicate a key experiment in developmental biology. In this exercise, students have the opportunity to observe live chick embryos and stain the apical ectodermal ridge, a key tissue required for development of the vertebrate limb. Impressively, every…

  11. Vertebral burst fractures: CT analysis of the retropulsed fragment

    SciTech Connect

    Guerra, J. Jr.; Garfin, S.R.; Resnick, D.

    1984-12-01

    Ten cases of retropulsed thoracolumbar vertebral body fragments that had been documented by CT were reviewed to define and characterize the nature, appearance, and position of the retropulsed fragment. All of the retropulsed fragments arose from the superior aspect of the vertebral body. Five of ten patients had a vertical fracture within the retropulsed fragment. Six of ten patients had an associated vertical or Y-shaped fracture originating from the region of the basivertebral foramen and passing into the inferior one-half of the vertebral body. The presence of a retropulsed fragment is nearly pathognomonic of an axial compression injury. Characteristics of this lesion that may hinder surgical reduction are the intra-fragment fracture, rotation, and craniocaudad movement.

  12. Active DNA demethylation at enhancers during the vertebrate phylotypic period.

    PubMed

    Bogdanović, Ozren; Smits, Arne H; de la Calle Mustienes, Elisa; Tena, Juan J; Ford, Ethan; Williams, Ruth; Senanayake, Upeka; Schultz, Matthew D; Hontelez, Saartje; van Kruijsbergen, Ila; Rayon, Teresa; Gnerlich, Felix; Carell, Thomas; Veenstra, Gert Jan C; Manzanares, Miguel; Sauka-Spengler, Tatjana; Ecker, Joseph R; Vermeulen, Michiel; Gómez-Skarmeta, José Luis; Lister, Ryan

    2016-04-01

    The vertebrate body plan and organs are shaped during a conserved embryonic phase called the phylotypic stage. However, the mechanisms that guide the epigenome through this transition and their evolutionary conservation remain elusive. Here we report widespread DNA demethylation of enhancers during the phylotypic period in zebrafish, Xenopus tropicalis and mouse. These enhancers are linked to developmental genes that display coordinated transcriptional and epigenomic changes in the diverse vertebrates during embryogenesis. Binding of Tet proteins to (hydroxy)methylated DNA and enrichment of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in these regions implicated active DNA demethylation in this process. Furthermore, loss of function of Tet1, Tet2 and Tet3 in zebrafish reduced chromatin accessibility and increased methylation levels specifically at these enhancers, indicative of DNA methylation being an upstream regulator of phylotypic enhancer function. Overall, our study highlights a regulatory module associated with the most conserved phase of vertebrate embryogenesis and suggests an ancient developmental role for Tet dioxygenases. PMID:26928226

  13. Active DNA demethylation at enhancers during the vertebrate phylotypic period.

    PubMed

    Bogdanović, Ozren; Smits, Arne H; de la Calle Mustienes, Elisa; Tena, Juan J; Ford, Ethan; Williams, Ruth; Senanayake, Upeka; Schultz, Matthew D; Hontelez, Saartje; van Kruijsbergen, Ila; Rayon, Teresa; Gnerlich, Felix; Carell, Thomas; Veenstra, Gert Jan C; Manzanares, Miguel; Sauka-Spengler, Tatjana; Ecker, Joseph R; Vermeulen, Michiel; Gómez-Skarmeta, José Luis; Lister, Ryan

    2016-04-01

    The vertebrate body plan and organs are shaped during a conserved embryonic phase called the phylotypic stage. However, the mechanisms that guide the epigenome through this transition and their evolutionary conservation remain elusive. Here we report widespread DNA demethylation of enhancers during the phylotypic period in zebrafish, Xenopus tropicalis and mouse. These enhancers are linked to developmental genes that display coordinated transcriptional and epigenomic changes in the diverse vertebrates during embryogenesis. Binding of Tet proteins to (hydroxy)methylated DNA and enrichment of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in these regions implicated active DNA demethylation in this process. Furthermore, loss of function of Tet1, Tet2 and Tet3 in zebrafish reduced chromatin accessibility and increased methylation levels specifically at these enhancers, indicative of DNA methylation being an upstream regulator of phylotypic enhancer function. Overall, our study highlights a regulatory module associated with the most conserved phase of vertebrate embryogenesis and suggests an ancient developmental role for Tet dioxygenases.

  14. The common ancestral core of vertebrate and fungal telomerase RNAs.

    PubMed

    Qi, Xiaodong; Li, Yang; Honda, Shinji; Hoffmann, Steve; Marz, Manja; Mosig, Axel; Podlevsky, Joshua D; Stadler, Peter F; Selker, Eric U; Chen, Julian J-L

    2013-01-01

    Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein with an intrinsic telomerase RNA (TER) component. Within yeasts, TER is remarkably large and presents little similarity in secondary structure to vertebrate or ciliate TERs. To better understand the evolution of fungal telomerase, we identified 74 TERs from Pezizomycotina and Taphrinomycotina subphyla, sister clades to budding yeasts. We initially identified TER from Neurospora crassa using a novel deep-sequencing-based approach, and homologous TER sequences from available fungal genome databases by computational searches. Remarkably, TERs from these non-yeast fungi have many attributes in common with vertebrate TERs. Comparative phylogenetic analysis of highly conserved regions within Pezizomycotina TERs revealed two core domains nearly identical in secondary structure to the pseudoknot and CR4/5 within vertebrate TERs. We then analyzed N. crassa and Schizosaccharomyces pombe telomerase reconstituted in vitro, and showed that the two RNA core domains in both systems can reconstitute activity in trans as two separate RNA fragments. Furthermore, the primer-extension pulse-chase analysis affirmed that the reconstituted N. crassa telomerase synthesizes TTAGGG repeats with high processivity, a common attribute of vertebrate telomerase. Overall, this study reveals the common ancestral cores of vertebrate and fungal TERs, and provides insights into the molecular evolution of fungal TER structure and function.

  15. Morphological castes in a vertebrate.

    PubMed

    O'Riain, M J; Jarvis, J U; Alexander, R; Buffenstein, R; Peeters, C

    2000-11-21

    Morphological specialization for a specific role has, until now, been assumed to be restricted to social invertebrates. Herein we show that complete physical dimorphism has evolved between reproductives and helpers in the eusocial naked mole-rat. Dimorphism is a consequence of the lumbar vertebrae lengthening after the onset of reproduction in females. This is the only known example of morphological castes in a vertebrate and is distinct from continuous size variation between breeders and helpers in other species of cooperatively breeding vertebrates. The evolution of castes in a mammal and insects represents a striking example of convergent evolution for enhanced fecundity in societies characterized by high reproductive skew. Similarities in the selective environment between naked mole-rats and eusocial insect species highlight the selective conditions under which queen/worker castes are predicted to evolve in animal societies.

  16. Globalisation reaches gene regulation: the case for vertebrate limb development.

    PubMed

    Zuniga, Aimée

    2005-08-01

    Analysis of key regulators of vertebrate limb development has revealed that the cis-regulatory regions controlling their expression are often located several hundred kilobases upstream of the transcription units. These far up- or down-stream cis-regulatory regions tend to reside within rather large, functionally and structurally unrelated genes. Molecular analysis is beginning to reveal the complexity of these large genomic landscapes, which control the co-expression of clusters of diverse genes by this novel type of long-range and globally acting cis-regulatory region. An increasing number of spontaneous mutations in vertebrates, including humans, are being discovered inactivating or altering such global control regions. Thereby, the functions of a seemingly distant but essential gene are disrupted rather than the closest.

  17. Vertebral development and amphibian evolution.

    PubMed

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

    1999-01-01

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

  18. Extraneural Glioblastoma Multiforme Vertebral Metastasis

    PubMed Central

    Goodwin, C. Rory; Liang, Lydia; Abu-Bonsrah, Nancy; Hdeib, Alia; Elder, Benjamin D.; Kosztowski, Thomas; Bettegowda, Chetan; Laterra, John; Burger, Peter; Sciubba, Daniel M.

    2016-01-01

    Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common malignant central nervous system tumor; however, extraneural metastasis is uncommon. Of those that metastasize extraneurally, metastases to the vertebral bodies represent a significant proportion. We present a review of 28 cases from the published literature of GBM metastasis to the vertebra. The mean age at presentation was 38.4 years with an average overall survival of 26 months. Patients were either asymptomatic with metastasis discovered at autopsy or presented with varying degrees of pain, weakness of the extremities, or other neurologic deficits. Of the cases that included the time to spinal metastasis, the average time was 26.4 months with a reported survival of 10 months after diagnosis of vertebral metastasis. A significant number of patients had no treatments for their spinal metastasis, although the intracranial lesions were treated extensively with surgery and/or adjuvant therapy. With increasing incremental gains in the survival of patients with GBM, clinicians will encounter patients with extracranial metastasis. As such, this review presents timely information concerning the presentation and outcomes of patients with vertebral metastasis. PMID:26704201

  19. Vertebral development and amphibian evolution.

    PubMed

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

    1999-01-01

    Amphibians provide an unparalleled opportunity to integrate studies of development and evolution through the investigation of the fossil record of larval stages. The pattern of vertebral development in modern frogs strongly resembles that of Paleozoic labyrinthodonts in the great delay in the ossification of the vertebrae, with the centra forming much later than the neural arches. Slow ossification of the trunk vertebrae in frogs and the absence of ossification in the tail facilitate the rapid loss of the tail during metamorphosis, and may reflect retention of the pattern in their specific Paleozoic ancestors. Salamanders and caecilians ossify their centra at a much earlier stage than frogs, which resembles the condition in Paleozoic lepospondyls. The clearly distinct patterns and rates of vertebral development may indicate phylogenetic separation between the ultimate ancestors of frogs and those of salamanders and caecilians within the early radiation of ancestral tetrapods. This divergence may date from the Lower Carboniferous. Comparison with the molecular regulation of vertebral development described in modern mammals and birds suggests that the rapid chondrification of the centra in salamanders relative to that of frogs may result from the earlier migration of sclerotomal cells expressing Pax1 to the area surrounding the notochord. PMID:11324019

  20. Extraneural Glioblastoma Multiforme Vertebral Metastasis.

    PubMed

    Goodwin, C Rory; Liang, Lydia; Abu-Bonsrah, Nancy; Hdeib, Alia; Elder, Benjamin D; Kosztowski, Thomas; Bettegowda, Chetan; Laterra, John; Burger, Peter; Sciubba, Daniel M

    2016-05-01

    Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common malignant central nervous system tumor; however, extraneural metastasis is uncommon. Of those that metastasize extraneurally, metastases to the vertebral bodies represent a significant proportion. We present a review of 28 cases from the published literature of GBM metastasis to the vertebra. The mean age at presentation was 38.4 years with an average overall survival of 26 months. Patients were either asymptomatic with metastasis discovered at autopsy or presented with varying degrees of pain, weakness of the extremities, or other neurologic deficits. Of the cases that included the time to spinal metastasis, the average time was 26.4 months with a reported survival of 10 months after diagnosis of vertebral metastasis. A significant number of patients had no treatments for their spinal metastasis, although the intracranial lesions were treated extensively with surgery and/or adjuvant therapy. With increasing incremental gains in the survival of patients with GBM, clinicians will encounter patients with extracranial metastasis. As such, this review presents timely information concerning the presentation and outcomes of patients with vertebral metastasis. PMID:26704201

  1. Bilateral mechanical rotational vertebral artery occlusion.

    PubMed

    Dargon, Phong T; Liang, Conrad W; Kohal, Anmol; Dogan, Aclan; Barnwell, Stanley L; Landry, Gregory J

    2013-10-01

    Rotational vertebral artery occlusion, or bow hunter's stroke, is reversible, positional symptomatic vertebrobasilar ischemia. The typical mechanism of action is obstruction of a dominant vertebral artery with contralateral head rotation in the setting of baseline ipsilateral vertebral artery stenosis or occlusion. Here we present a rare case of mechanical occlusion of bilateral patent vertebral arteries manifesting as near syncope with rightward head rotation. Diagnostic cerebral angiography showed dynamic right C5 vertebral occlusion and left C2 vertebral occlusion. The patient underwent right C4/5 transverse process decompression. Postoperative angiogram showed patent flow through the right vertebral artery in neutral position and with head turn with resultant resolution of symptoms. PMID:23465174

  2. Ewing's sarcoma of the vertebral column

    SciTech Connect

    Pilepich, M.V.; Vietti, T.J.; Nesbit, M.E.; Tefft, M.; Kissane, J.; Burgert, O.; Pritchard, D.; Gehan, E.A.

    1981-01-01

    Twenty-two patients with vertebral primaries were registered in the Intergroup Ewing's Sarcoma Study between 1973 and 1977. The radiation doses to the primary tumors ranged between 3800 and 6200 rad. All patients received intensive combination chemotherapy. After a followup ranging between 14 and 62 months, 14 patients remained disease-free. All patients with primary tumor of the cervical and dorsal spine remained disease-free. Of eight patients with lesions in the distal spine, (sacrococcygeal region) six developed recurrence, in three a local recurrence was observed despite doses of 6000 rad or higher. Doses of 5000 rad or less (in addition to combination chemotherapy as used in the Intergroup Ewing's Study) appear adequate in controlling the primary tumors of the proximal segments of the spinal column.

  3. Asymmetry in the epithalamus of vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    L. CONCHA, MIGUEL; W. WILSON, STEPHEN

    2001-01-01

    The epithalamus is a major subdivision of the diencephalon constituted by the habenular nuclei and pineal complex. Structural asymmetries in this region are widespread amongst vertebrates and involve differences in size, neuronal organisation, neurochemistry and connectivity. In species that possess a photoreceptive parapineal organ, this structure projects asymmetrically to the left habenula, and in teleosts it is also situated on the left side of the brain. Asymmetries in size between the left and right sides of the habenula are often associated with asymmetries in neuronal organisation, although these two types of asymmetry follow different evolutionary courses. While the former is more conspicuous in fishes (with the exception of teleosts), asymmetries in neuronal organisation are more robust in amphibia and reptiles. Connectivity of the parapineal organ with the left habenula is not always coupled with asymmetries in habenular size and/or neuronal organisation suggesting that, at least in some species, assignment of parapineal and habenular asymmetries may be independent events. The evolutionary origins of epithalamic structures are uncertain but asymmetry in this region is likely to have existed at the origin of the vertebrate, perhaps even the chordate, lineage. In at least some extant vertebrate species, epithalamic asymmetries are established early in development, suggesting a genetic regulation of asymmetry. In some cases, epigenetic factors such as hormones also influence the development of sexually dimorphic habenular asymmetries. Although the genetic and developmental mechanisms by which neuroanatomical asymmetries are established remain obscure, some clues regarding the mechanisms underlying laterality decisions have recently come from studies in zebrafish. The Nodal signalling pathway regulates laterality by biasing an otherwise stochastic laterality decision to the left side of the epithalamus. This genetic mechanism ensures a consistency of

  4. Global patterns in threats to vertebrates by biological invasions.

    PubMed

    Bellard, C; Genovesi, P; Jeschke, J M

    2016-01-27

    Biological invasions as drivers of biodiversity loss have recently been challenged. Fundamentally, we must know where species that are threatened by invasive alien species (IAS) live, and the degree to which they are threatened. We report the first study linking 1372 vertebrates threatened by more than 200 IAS from the completely revised Global Invasive Species Database. New maps of the vulnerability of threatened vertebrates to IAS permit assessments of whether IAS have a major influence on biodiversity, and if so, which taxonomic groups are threatened and where they are threatened. We found that centres of IAS-threatened vertebrates are concentrated in the Americas, India, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. The areas in which IAS-threatened species are located do not fully match the current hotspots of invasions, or the current hotspots of threatened species. The relative importance of biological invasions as drivers of biodiversity loss clearly varies across regions and taxa, and changes over time, with mammals from India, Indonesia, Australia and Europe are increasingly being threatened by IAS. The chytrid fungus primarily threatens amphibians, whereas invasive mammals primarily threaten other vertebrates. The differences in IAS threats between regions and taxa can help efficiently target IAS, which is essential for achieving the Strategic Plan 2020 of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

  5. Global patterns in threats to vertebrates by biological invasions.

    PubMed

    Bellard, C; Genovesi, P; Jeschke, J M

    2016-01-27

    Biological invasions as drivers of biodiversity loss have recently been challenged. Fundamentally, we must know where species that are threatened by invasive alien species (IAS) live, and the degree to which they are threatened. We report the first study linking 1372 vertebrates threatened by more than 200 IAS from the completely revised Global Invasive Species Database. New maps of the vulnerability of threatened vertebrates to IAS permit assessments of whether IAS have a major influence on biodiversity, and if so, which taxonomic groups are threatened and where they are threatened. We found that centres of IAS-threatened vertebrates are concentrated in the Americas, India, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. The areas in which IAS-threatened species are located do not fully match the current hotspots of invasions, or the current hotspots of threatened species. The relative importance of biological invasions as drivers of biodiversity loss clearly varies across regions and taxa, and changes over time, with mammals from India, Indonesia, Australia and Europe are increasingly being threatened by IAS. The chytrid fungus primarily threatens amphibians, whereas invasive mammals primarily threaten other vertebrates. The differences in IAS threats between regions and taxa can help efficiently target IAS, which is essential for achieving the Strategic Plan 2020 of the Convention on Biological Diversity. PMID:26817767

  6. Evolution of vertebrate colour vision.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, Gerald H; Rowe, Mickey P

    2004-07-01

    Recent years have witnessed a growing interest in learning how colour vision has evolved. This trend has been fuelled by an enhanced understanding of the nature and extent of colour vision among contemporary species, by a deeper understanding of the paleontological record and by the application of new tools from molecular biology. This review provides an assessment of the progress in understanding the evolution of vertebrate colour vision. In so doing, we offer accounts of the evolution of three classes of mechanism important for colour vision--photopigment opsins, oil droplets and retinal organisation--and then examine details of how colour vision has evolved among mammals and, more specifically, among primates.

  7. Endocrine disruption in aquatic vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Kloas, Werner; Urbatzka, Ralph; Opitz, Robert; Würtz, Sven; Behrends, Thomas; Hermelink, Björn; Hofmann, Frauke; Jagnytsch, Oana; Kroupova, Hana; Lorenz, Claudia; Neumann, Nadja; Pietsch, Constanze; Trubiroha, Achim; Van Ballegooy, Christoph; Wiedemann, Caterina; Lutz, Ilka

    2009-04-01

    Environmental compounds can interfere with endocrine systems of wildlife and humans. The main sink of such substances, called endocrine disrupters (ED), are surface waters. Thus, aquatic vertebrates, such as fish and amphibians, are most endangered. ED can adversely affect reproductive biology and the thyroid system. ED act by (anti)estrogenic and (anti)androgenic modes of action, resulting in abnormal sexual differentiation and impaired reproduction. These effects are mainly driven by direct interferences of ED with sex steroid receptors rather than indirectly by impacting synthesis and bioavailability of sex steroids, which in turn might affect the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. Recent findings reveal that, in addition to the human-produced waste of ED, natural sources, such as parasites and decomposition of leaves, also might act as ED, markedly affecting sexual differentiation and reproduction in fish and amphibians. Although the thyroid system has essential functions in both fish and amphibians, amphibian metamorphosis has been introduced as the most sensitive model to detect thyroidal ED; no suitable fish model exists. Whereas ED may act primarily on only one specific endocrine target, all endocrine systems will eventually be deregulated as they are intimately connected to each other. The recent ecotoxicological issue of pharmaceutically active compounds (PhACs) present in the aquatic environment indicates a high potential for further endocrine modes of action on aquatic vertebrates by ED derived from PhACs, such as glucocorticoids, progestins, and beta-agonists.

  8. Ghrelin Receptors in Non-Mammalian Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Kaiya, Hiroyuki; Kangawa, Kenji; Miyazato, Mikiya

    2012-01-01

    The growth hormone secretagogue-receptor (GHS-R) was discovered in humans and pigs in 1996. The endogenous ligand, ghrelin, was discovered 3 years later, in 1999, and our understanding of the physiological significance of the ghrelin system in vertebrates has grown steadily since then. Although the ghrelin system in non-mammalian vertebrates is a subject of great interest, protein sequence data for the receptor in non-mammalian vertebrates has been limited until recently, and related biological information has not been well organized. In this review, we summarize current information related to the ghrelin receptor in non-mammalian vertebrates. PMID:23882259

  9. Somitomeres: mesodermal segments of vertebrate embryos.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, A G

    1988-01-01

    Well before the somites form, the paraxial mesoderm of vertebrate embryos is segmented into somitomeres. When newly formed, somitomeres are patterned arrays of mesenchymal cells, arranged into squat, bilaminar discs. The dorsal and ventral faces of these discs are composed of concentric rings of cells. Somitomeres are formed along the length of the embryo during gastrulation, and in the segmental plate and tail bud at later stages. They form in strict cranial to caudal order. They appear in bilateral pairs, just lateral to Hensen's node in the chick embryo. When the nervous system begins to form, the brain parts and neuromeres are in a consistent relationship to the somitomeres. Somitomeres first appear in the head, and the cranial somitomeres do not become somites, but disperse to contribute to the head the same cell types contributed by somites in the trunk region. In the trunk and tail, somitomeres gradually condense and epithelialize to become somites. Models of vertebrate segmentation must now take into account the early presence of these new morphological units, the somitomeres. Somitomeres were discovered in the head of the chick embryo (Meier, 1979), with the use of stereo scanning electron microscopy. The old question of whether the heads of the craniates are segmented is now settled, at least for the paraxial mesoderm. Somitomeres have now been identified in the embryos of a chick, quail, mouse, snapping turtle, newt, anuran (Xenopus) and a teleost (the medaka). In all forms studied, the first pair of somitomeres abut the prosencephalon, but caudal to that, for each tandem pair of somitomeres in the amniote and teleost, there is but one somitomere in the amphibia. The mesodermal segments of the shark embryo are arranged like those of the amphibia.

  10. A descending dopamine pathway conserved from basal vertebrates to mammals

    PubMed Central

    Ryczko, Dimitri; Cone, Jackson J.; Alpert, Michael H.; Goetz, Laurent; Auclair, François; Dubé, Catherine; Parent, Martin; Roitman, Mitchell F.; Alford, Simon; Dubuc, Réjean

    2016-01-01

    Dopamine neurons are classically known to modulate locomotion indirectly through ascending projections to the basal ganglia that project down to brainstem locomotor networks. Their loss in Parkinson’s disease is devastating. In lampreys, we recently showed that brainstem networks also receive direct descending dopaminergic inputs that potentiate locomotor output. Here, we provide evidence that this descending dopaminergic pathway is conserved to higher vertebrates, including mammals. In salamanders, dopamine neurons projecting to the striatum or brainstem locomotor networks were partly intermingled. Stimulation of the dopaminergic region evoked dopamine release in brainstem locomotor networks and concurrent reticulospinal activity. In rats, some dopamine neurons projecting to the striatum also innervated the pedunculopontine nucleus, a known locomotor center, and stimulation of the dopaminergic region evoked pedunculopontine dopamine release in vivo. Finally, we found dopaminergic fibers in the human pedunculopontine nucleus. The conservation of a descending dopaminergic pathway across vertebrates warrants re-evaluating dopamine’s role in locomotion. PMID:27071118

  11. Third-generation percutaneous vertebral augmentation systems.

    PubMed

    Vanni, Daniele; Galzio, Renato; Kazakova, Anna; Pantalone, Andrea; Grillea, Giovanni; Bartolo, Marcello; Salini, Vincenzo; Magliani, Vincenzo

    2016-03-01

    Currently, there is no general consensus about the management of osteoporotic vertebral fractures (OVF). In the past, conservative treatment for at least one month was deemed appropriate for the majority of vertebral fractures. When pain persisted after conservative treatment, it was necessary to consider surgical interventions including: vertebroplasty for vertebral fractures with less than 30% loss of height of the affected vertebral body and kyphoplasty for vertebral fractures with greater than 30% loss of height. Currently, this type of treatment is not feasible. Herein we review the characteristics and methods of operation of three of the most common percutaneous vertebral augmentation systems (PVAS) for the treatment of OVF: Vertebral Body Stenting(®) (VBS), OsseoFix(®) and Spine Jack(®). VBS is a titanium device accompanied by a hydraulic (as opposed to mechanical) working system which allows a partial and not immediate possibility to control the opening of the device. On the other hand, OsseoFix(®) and Spine Jack(®) are accompanied by a mechanical working system which allows a progressive and controlled reduction of the vertebral fracture. Another important aspect to consider is the vertebral body height recovery. OsseoFix(®) has an indirect mechanism of action: the compaction of the trabecular bone causes an increase in the vertebral body height. Unlike the Vertebral Body Stenting(®) and Spine Jack(®), the OsseoFix(®) has no direct lift mechanism. Therefore, for these characteristics and for the force that this device is able to provide. In our opinion, Spine Jack(®) is the only device also suitable for the treatment OVF, traumatic fracture (recent, old or inveterate) and primary or secondary bone tumors. PMID:27683690

  12. Third-generation percutaneous vertebral augmentation systems

    PubMed Central

    Galzio, Renato; Kazakova, Anna; Pantalone, Andrea; Grillea, Giovanni; Bartolo, Marcello; Salini, Vincenzo; Magliani, Vincenzo

    2016-01-01

    Currently, there is no general consensus about the management of osteoporotic vertebral fractures (OVF). In the past, conservative treatment for at least one month was deemed appropriate for the majority of vertebral fractures. When pain persisted after conservative treatment, it was necessary to consider surgical interventions including: vertebroplasty for vertebral fractures with less than 30% loss of height of the affected vertebral body and kyphoplasty for vertebral fractures with greater than 30% loss of height. Currently, this type of treatment is not feasible. Herein we review the characteristics and methods of operation of three of the most common percutaneous vertebral augmentation systems (PVAS) for the treatment of OVF: Vertebral Body Stenting® (VBS), OsseoFix® and Spine Jack®. VBS is a titanium device accompanied by a hydraulic (as opposed to mechanical) working system which allows a partial and not immediate possibility to control the opening of the device. On the other hand, OsseoFix® and Spine Jack® are accompanied by a mechanical working system which allows a progressive and controlled reduction of the vertebral fracture. Another important aspect to consider is the vertebral body height recovery. OsseoFix® has an indirect mechanism of action: the compaction of the trabecular bone causes an increase in the vertebral body height. Unlike the Vertebral Body Stenting® and Spine Jack®, the OsseoFix® has no direct lift mechanism. Therefore, for these characteristics and for the force that this device is able to provide. In our opinion, Spine Jack® is the only device also suitable for the treatment OVF, traumatic fracture (recent, old or inveterate) and primary or secondary bone tumors.

  13. Third-generation percutaneous vertebral augmentation systems

    PubMed Central

    Galzio, Renato; Kazakova, Anna; Pantalone, Andrea; Grillea, Giovanni; Bartolo, Marcello; Salini, Vincenzo; Magliani, Vincenzo

    2016-01-01

    Currently, there is no general consensus about the management of osteoporotic vertebral fractures (OVF). In the past, conservative treatment for at least one month was deemed appropriate for the majority of vertebral fractures. When pain persisted after conservative treatment, it was necessary to consider surgical interventions including: vertebroplasty for vertebral fractures with less than 30% loss of height of the affected vertebral body and kyphoplasty for vertebral fractures with greater than 30% loss of height. Currently, this type of treatment is not feasible. Herein we review the characteristics and methods of operation of three of the most common percutaneous vertebral augmentation systems (PVAS) for the treatment of OVF: Vertebral Body Stenting® (VBS), OsseoFix® and Spine Jack®. VBS is a titanium device accompanied by a hydraulic (as opposed to mechanical) working system which allows a partial and not immediate possibility to control the opening of the device. On the other hand, OsseoFix® and Spine Jack® are accompanied by a mechanical working system which allows a progressive and controlled reduction of the vertebral fracture. Another important aspect to consider is the vertebral body height recovery. OsseoFix® has an indirect mechanism of action: the compaction of the trabecular bone causes an increase in the vertebral body height. Unlike the Vertebral Body Stenting® and Spine Jack®, the OsseoFix® has no direct lift mechanism. Therefore, for these characteristics and for the force that this device is able to provide. In our opinion, Spine Jack® is the only device also suitable for the treatment OVF, traumatic fracture (recent, old or inveterate) and primary or secondary bone tumors. PMID:27683690

  14. Building the backbone: the development and evolution of vertebral patterning.

    PubMed

    Fleming, Angeleen; Kishida, Marcia G; Kimmel, Charles B; Keynes, Roger J

    2015-05-15

    The segmented vertebral column comprises a repeat series of vertebrae, each consisting of two key components: the vertebral body (or centrum) and the vertebral arches. Despite being a defining feature of the vertebrates, much remains to be understood about vertebral development and evolution. Particular controversy surrounds whether vertebral component structures are homologous across vertebrates, how somite and vertebral patterning are connected, and the developmental origin of vertebral bone-mineralizing cells. Here, we assemble evidence from ichthyologists, palaeontologists and developmental biologists to consider these issues. Vertebral arch elements were present in early stem vertebrates, whereas centra arose later. We argue that centra are homologous among jawed vertebrates, and review evidence in teleosts that the notochord plays an instructive role in segmental patterning, alongside the somites, and contributes to mineralization. By clarifying the evolutionary relationship between centra and arches, and their varying modes of skeletal mineralization, we can better appreciate the detailed mechanisms that regulate and diversify vertebral patterning.

  15. Building the backbone: the development and evolution of vertebral patterning.

    PubMed

    Fleming, Angeleen; Kishida, Marcia G; Kimmel, Charles B; Keynes, Roger J

    2015-05-15

    The segmented vertebral column comprises a repeat series of vertebrae, each consisting of two key components: the vertebral body (or centrum) and the vertebral arches. Despite being a defining feature of the vertebrates, much remains to be understood about vertebral development and evolution. Particular controversy surrounds whether vertebral component structures are homologous across vertebrates, how somite and vertebral patterning are connected, and the developmental origin of vertebral bone-mineralizing cells. Here, we assemble evidence from ichthyologists, palaeontologists and developmental biologists to consider these issues. Vertebral arch elements were present in early stem vertebrates, whereas centra arose later. We argue that centra are homologous among jawed vertebrates, and review evidence in teleosts that the notochord plays an instructive role in segmental patterning, alongside the somites, and contributes to mineralization. By clarifying the evolutionary relationship between centra and arches, and their varying modes of skeletal mineralization, we can better appreciate the detailed mechanisms that regulate and diversify vertebral patterning. PMID:25968309

  16. Vertebral fracture assessment in acromegaly.

    PubMed

    Madeira, Miguel; Neto, Leonardo Vieira; Torres, Carolina Hammes; de Mendonça, Laura Maria Carvalho; Gadelha, Mônica Roberto; de Farias, Maria Lúcia Fleiuss

    2013-01-01

    Most vertebral fractures (VFs) are asymptomatic and incidentally found on X-rays. The effects of acromegaly on bone mineral density (BMD) are still controversial, and the prevalence of VFs in this specific population remains uncertain. The objective of this study was to assess VFs in acromegaly through vertebral fracture assessment (VFA) by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Seventy-five acromegalic patients from the same center (53 female; age: 48.9±14.5yr) were enrolled in this study. None of them referred previous fragility fracture. They were divided according to the presence or absence of moderate or severe VFs on VFA, a densitometric spine imaging. Age, gender, estimated duration of disease, insulin-like growth factor I levels, disease control and gonadal status, as well as BMD and body composition (analyzed by DXA) were compared between these 2 groups. A prevalence of 10.6% of clinically unapparent VFs was observed. Eight patients had 13 moderate or severe VFs, and only one of them had osteoporosis at densitometry. There was a trend to longer duration of acromegaly before diagnosis, higher prevalence of hypogonadism, and higher BMD Z-score at lumbar spine and femoral neck in fractured patients, without reaching statistical significance. There is a significant prevalence of moderate and severe VFs in acromegalic patients, independently of BMD. More longitudinal and controlled studies are needed to recommend the use of VFA in all acromegalic patients submitted to DXA scan. VFA is simple, practical, uses low radiation, and may provide important information in the management of acromegaly.

  17. Evolution and Functional Classification of Vertebrate Gene Deserts

    SciTech Connect

    Ovcharenko, I; Loots, G; Nobrega, M; Hardison, R; Miller, W; Stubbs, L

    2004-07-14

    Gene deserts, long stretches of DNA sequence devoid of protein coding genes, span approximately one quarter of the human genome. Through human-chicken genome comparisons we were able to characterized one third of human gene deserts as evolutionarily stable - they are highly conserved in vertebrates, resist chromosomal rearrangements, and contain multiple conserved non-coding elements physically linked to their neighboring genes. A linear relationship was observed between human and chicken orthologous stable gene deserts, where the human deserts appear to have expanded homogeneously by a uniform accumulation of repetitive elements. Stable gene deserts are associated with key vertebrate genes that construct the framework of vertebrate development; many of which encode transcription factors. We show that the regulatory machinery governing genes associated with stable gene deserts operates differently from other regions in the human genome and relies heavily on distant regulatory elements. The regulation guided by these elements is independent of the distance between the gene and its distant regulatory element, or the distance between two distant regulatory cassettes. The location of gene deserts and their associated genes in the genome is independent of chromosomal length or content presenting these regions as well-bounded regions evolving separately from the rest of the genome.

  18. The intravertebral distribution of bone density: correspondence to intervertebral disc health and implications for vertebral strength

    PubMed Central

    Jackman, T. M.; Morgan, S. R.; Barest, G. D.; Morgan, E. F.

    2015-01-01

    Summary This study's goal was to determine associations among the intravertebral heterogeneity in bone density, bone strength, and intervertebral disc (IVD) health. Results indicated that predictions of vertebral strength can benefit from considering the magnitude of the density heterogeneity and the congruence between the spatial distribution of density and IVD health. Introduction This study aims to determine associations among the intravertebral heterogeneity in bone density, bone strength, and IVD health Methods Regional measurements of bone density were performed throughout 30 L1 vertebral bodies using microcomputed tomography (μCT) and quantitative computed tomography (QCT). The magnitude of the intravertebral heterogeneity in density was defined as the interquartile range and quartile coefficient of variation in regional densities. The spatial distribution of density was quantified using ratios of regional densities representing different anatomical zones (e.g., anterior to posterior regional densities). Cluster analysis was used to identify groups of vertebrae with similar spatial distributions of density. Vertebral strength was measured in compression. IVD health was assessed using two scoring systems. Results QCT- and μCT-based measures of the magnitude of the intravertebral heterogeneity in density were strongly correlated with each other (p<0.005). Accounting for the interquartile range in regional densities improved predictions of vertebral strength as compared to predictions based only on mean density (R2=0.59 vs. 0.43; F-test p-value=0.018). Specifically, after adjustment for mean density, vertebral bodies with greater heterogeneity in density exhibited higher strength. No single spatial distribution of density was associated with high vertebral strength. Analyses of IVD scores suggested that the health of the adjacent IVDs may modulate the effect of a particular spatial distribution of density on vertebral strength. Conclusions Noninvasive

  19. Idiopathic segmental sclerosis of vertebral bodies

    SciTech Connect

    McCarthy, E.F.; Dorfman, H.D.

    1982-12-01

    Five cases of idiopathic vetebral sclerosis are presented. The features of this condition are segmental vertebral sclerosis of a single lumbar vertebra in a young adult without disc space narrowing or alteration of vertebral contour. The differential diagnosis is discussed. Lumbar vertebra biopsies of three patients showed reactive nonspecific osteosclerosis.

  20. Comparison of ultra-conserved elements in drosophilids and vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Makunin, Igor V; Shloma, Viktor V; Stephen, Stuart J; Pheasant, Michael; Belyakin, Stepan N

    2013-01-01

    Metazoan genomes contain many ultra-conserved elements (UCEs), long sequences identical between distant species. In this study we identified UCEs in drosophilid and vertebrate species with a similar level of phylogenetic divergence measured at protein-coding regions, and demonstrated that both the length and number of UCEs are larger in vertebrates. The proportion of non-exonic UCEs declines in distant drosophilids whilst an opposite trend was observed in vertebrates. We generated a set of 2,126 Sophophora UCEs by merging elements identified in several drosophila species and compared these to the eutherian UCEs identified in placental mammals. In contrast to vertebrates, the Sophophora UCEs are depleted around transcription start sites. Analysis of 52,954 P-element, piggyBac and Minos insertions in the D. melanogaster genome revealed depletion of the P-element and piggyBac insertions in and around the Sophophora UCEs. We examined eleven fly strains with transposon insertions into the intergenic UCEs and identified associated phenotypes in five strains. Four insertions behave as recessive lethals, and in one case we observed a suppression of the marker gene within the transgene, presumably by silenced chromatin around the integration site. To confirm the lethality is caused by integration of transposons we performed a phenotype rescue experiment for two stocks and demonstrated that the excision of the transposons from the intergenic UCEs restores viability. Sequencing of DNA after the transposon excision in one fly strain with the restored viability revealed a 47 bp insertion at the original transposon integration site suggesting that the nature of the mutation is important for the appearance of the phenotype. Our results suggest that the UCEs in flies and vertebrates have both common and distinct features, and demonstrate that a significant proportion of intergenic drosophila UCEs are sensitive to disruption.

  1. Nanotechnology for treating osteoporotic vertebral fractures

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Chunxia; Wei, Donglei; Yang, Huilin; Chen, Tao; Yang, Lei

    2015-01-01

    Osteoporosis is a serious public health problem affecting hundreds of millions of aged people worldwide, with severe consequences including vertebral fractures that are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. To augment or treat osteoporotic vertebral fractures, a number of surgical approaches including minimally invasive vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty have been developed. However, these approaches face problems and difficulties with efficacy and long-term stability. Recent advances and progress in nanotechnology are opening up new opportunities to improve the surgical procedures for treating osteoporotic vertebral fractures. This article reviews the improvements enabled by new nanomaterials and focuses on new injectable biomaterials like bone cements and surgical instruments for treating vertebral fractures. This article also provides an introduction to osteoporotic vertebral fractures and current clinical treatments, along with the rationale and efficacy of utilizing nanomaterials to modify and improve biomaterials or instruments. In addition, perspectives on future trends with injectable bone cements and surgical instruments enhanced by nanotechnology are provided. PMID:26316746

  2. Lamprey: a model for vertebrate evolutionary research.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yang; Zhu, Si-Wei; Li, Qing-Wei

    2016-09-18

    Lampreys belong to the superclass Cyclostomata and represent the most ancient group of vertebrates. Existing for over 360 million years, they are known as living fossils due to their many evolutionally conserved features. They are not only a keystone species for studying the origin and evolution of vertebrates, but also one of the best models for researching vertebrate embryonic development and organ differentiation. From the perspective of genetic information, the lamprey genome remains primitive compared with that of other higher vertebrates, and possesses abundant functional genes. Through scientific and technological progress, scientists have conducted in-depth studies on the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems of lampreys. Such research has significance for understanding and revealing the origin and evolution of vertebrates, and could contribute to a greater understanding of human diseases and treatments. This review presents the current progress and significance of lamprey research. PMID:27686784

  3. Lamprey: a model for vertebrate evolutionary research

    PubMed Central

    XU, Yang; ZHU, Si-Wei; LI, Qing-Wei

    2016-01-01

    Lampreys belong to the superclass Cyclostomata and represent the most ancient group of vertebrates. Existing for over 360 million years, they are known as living fossils due to their many evolutionally conserved features. They are not only a keystone species for studying the origin and evolution of vertebrates, but also one of the best models for researching vertebrate embryonic development and organ differentiation. From the perspective of genetic information, the lamprey genome remains primitive compared with that of other higher vertebrates, and possesses abundant functional genes. Through scientific and technological progress, scientists have conducted in-depth studies on the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems of lampreys. Such research has significance for understanding and revealing the origin and evolution of vertebrates, and could contribute to a greater understanding of human diseases and treatments. This review presents the current progress and significance of lamprey research. PMID:27686784

  4. Nanotechnology for treating osteoporotic vertebral fractures.

    PubMed

    Gao, Chunxia; Wei, Donglei; Yang, Huilin; Chen, Tao; Yang, Lei

    2015-01-01

    Osteoporosis is a serious public health problem affecting hundreds of millions of aged people worldwide, with severe consequences including vertebral fractures that are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. To augment or treat osteoporotic vertebral fractures, a number of surgical approaches including minimally invasive vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty have been developed. However, these approaches face problems and difficulties with efficacy and long-term stability. Recent advances and progress in nanotechnology are opening up new opportunities to improve the surgical procedures for treating osteoporotic vertebral fractures. This article reviews the improvements enabled by new nanomaterials and focuses on new injectable biomaterials like bone cements and surgical instruments for treating vertebral fractures. This article also provides an introduction to osteoporotic vertebral fractures and current clinical treatments, along with the rationale and efficacy of utilizing nanomaterials to modify and improve biomaterials or instruments. In addition, perspectives on future trends with injectable bone cements and surgical instruments enhanced by nanotechnology are provided. PMID:26316746

  5. Lamprey: a model for vertebrate evolutionary research.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yang; Zhu, Si-Wei; Li, Qing-Wei

    2016-09-18

    Lampreys belong to the superclass Cyclostomata and represent the most ancient group of vertebrates. Existing for over 360 million years, they are known as living fossils due to their many evolutionally conserved features. They are not only a keystone species for studying the origin and evolution of vertebrates, but also one of the best models for researching vertebrate embryonic development and organ differentiation. From the perspective of genetic information, the lamprey genome remains primitive compared with that of other higher vertebrates, and possesses abundant functional genes. Through scientific and technological progress, scientists have conducted in-depth studies on the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems of lampreys. Such research has significance for understanding and revealing the origin and evolution of vertebrates, and could contribute to a greater understanding of human diseases and treatments. This review presents the current progress and significance of lamprey research.

  6. Evolutionary Transition of Promoter and Gene Body DNA Methylation across Invertebrate–Vertebrate Boundary

    PubMed Central

    Keller, Thomas E.; Han, Priscilla; Yi, Soojin V.

    2016-01-01

    Genomes of invertebrates and vertebrates exhibit highly divergent patterns of DNA methylation. Invertebrate genomes tend to be sparsely methylated, and DNA methylation is mostly targeted to a subset of transcription units (gene bodies). In a drastic contrast, vertebrate genomes are generally globally and heavily methylated, punctuated by the limited local hypo-methylation of putative regulatory regions such as promoters. These genomic differences also translate into functional differences in DNA methylation and gene regulation. Although promoter DNA methylation is an important regulatory component of vertebrate gene expression, its role in invertebrate gene regulation has been little explored. Instead, gene body DNA methylation is associated with expression of invertebrate genes. However, the evolutionary steps leading to the differentiation of invertebrate and vertebrate genomic DNA methylation remain unresolved. Here we analyzed experimentally determined DNA methylation maps of several species across the invertebrate–vertebrate boundary, to elucidate how vertebrate gene methylation has evolved. We show that, in contrast to the prevailing idea, a substantial number of promoters in an invertebrate basal chordate Ciona intestinalis are methylated. Moreover, gene expression data indicate significant, epigenomic context-dependent associations between promoter methylation and expression in C. intestinalis. However, there is no evidence that promoter methylation in invertebrate chordate has been evolutionarily maintained across the invertebrate–vertebrate boundary. Rather, body-methylated invertebrate genes preferentially obtain hypo-methylated promoters among vertebrates. Conversely, promoter methylation is preferentially found in lineage- and tissue-specific vertebrate genes. These results provide important insights into the evolutionary origin of epigenetic regulation of vertebrate gene expression. PMID:26715626

  7. Evolution of oxytocin pathways in the brain of vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Knobloch, H Sophie; Grinevich, Valery

    2014-01-01

    The central oxytocin system transformed tremendously during the evolution, thereby adapting to the expanding properties of species. In more basal vertebrates (paraphyletic taxon Anamnia, which includes agnathans, fish and amphibians), magnocellular neurosecretory neurons producing homologs of oxytocin reside in the wall of the third ventricle of the hypothalamus composing a single hypothalamic structure, the preoptic nucleus. This nucleus further diverged in advanced vertebrates (monophyletic taxon Amniota, which includes reptiles, birds, and mammals) into the paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei with accessory nuclei (AN) between them. The individual magnocellular neurons underwent a process of transformation from primitive uni- or bipolar neurons into highly differentiated neurons. Due to these microanatomical and cytological changes, the ancient release modes of oxytocin into the cerebrospinal fluid were largely replaced by vascular release. However, the most fascinating feature of the progressive transformations of the oxytocin system has been the expansion of oxytocin axonal projections to forebrain regions. In the present review we provide a background on these evolutionary advancements. Furthermore, we draw attention to the non-synaptic axonal release in small and defined brain regions with the aim to clearly distinguish this way of oxytocin action from the classical synaptic transmission on one side and from dendritic release followed by a global diffusion on the other side. Finally, we will summarize the effects of oxytocin and its homologs on pro-social reproductive behaviors in representatives of the phylogenetic tree and will propose anatomically plausible pathways of oxytocin release contributing to these behaviors in basal vertebrates and amniots. PMID:24592219

  8. Evolution of oxytocin pathways in the brain of vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Knobloch, H. Sophie; Grinevich, Valery

    2014-01-01

    The central oxytocin system transformed tremendously during the evolution, thereby adapting to the expanding properties of species. In more basal vertebrates (paraphyletic taxon Anamnia, which includes agnathans, fish and amphibians), magnocellular neurosecretory neurons producing homologs of oxytocin reside in the wall of the third ventricle of the hypothalamus composing a single hypothalamic structure, the preoptic nucleus. This nucleus further diverged in advanced vertebrates (monophyletic taxon Amniota, which includes reptiles, birds, and mammals) into the paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei with accessory nuclei (AN) between them. The individual magnocellular neurons underwent a process of transformation from primitive uni- or bipolar neurons into highly differentiated neurons. Due to these microanatomical and cytological changes, the ancient release modes of oxytocin into the cerebrospinal fluid were largely replaced by vascular release. However, the most fascinating feature of the progressive transformations of the oxytocin system has been the expansion of oxytocin axonal projections to forebrain regions. In the present review we provide a background on these evolutionary advancements. Furthermore, we draw attention to the non-synaptic axonal release in small and defined brain regions with the aim to clearly distinguish this way of oxytocin action from the classical synaptic transmission on one side and from dendritic release followed by a global diffusion on the other side. Finally, we will summarize the effects of oxytocin and its homologs on pro-social reproductive behaviors in representatives of the phylogenetic tree and will propose anatomically plausible pathways of oxytocin release contributing to these behaviors in basal vertebrates and amniots. PMID:24592219

  9. The Vertebrate Genome Annotation browser 10 years on

    PubMed Central

    Harrow, Jennifer L.; Steward, Charles A.; Frankish, Adam; Gilbert, James G.; Gonzalez, Jose M.; Loveland, Jane E.; Mudge, Jonathan; Sheppard, Dan; Thomas, Mark; Trevanion, Stephen; Wilming, Laurens G.

    2014-01-01

    The Vertebrate Genome Annotation (VEGA) database (http://vega.sanger.ac.uk), initially designed as a community resource for browsing manual annotation of the human genome project, now contains five reference genomes (human, mouse, zebrafish, pig and rat). Its introduction pages have been redesigned to enable the user to easily navigate between whole genomes and smaller multi-species haplotypic regions of interest such as the major histocompatibility complex. The VEGA browser is unique in that annotation is updated via the Human And Vertebrate Analysis aNd Annotation (HAVANA) update track every 2 weeks, allowing single gene updates to be made publicly available to the research community quickly. The user can now access different haplotypic subregions more easily, such as those from the non-obese diabetic mouse, and display them in a more intuitive way using the comparative tools. We also highlight how the user can browse manually annotated updated patches from the Genome Reference Consortium (GRC). PMID:24316575

  10. Melatonin Receptor Genes in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Li, Di Yan; Smith, David Glenn; Hardeland, Rüdiger; Yang, Ming Yao; Xu, Huai Liang; Zhang, Long; Yin, Hua Dong; Zhu, Qing

    2013-01-01

    Melatonin receptors are members of the G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) family. Three genes for melatonin receptors have been cloned. The MT1 (or Mel1a or MTNR1A) and MT2 (or Mel1b or MTNR1B) receptor subtypes are present in humans and other mammals, while an additional melatonin receptor subtype, Mel1c (or MTNR1C), has been identified in fish, amphibians and birds. Another melatonin related orphan receptor, GPR50, which does not bind melatonin, is found exclusively in mammals. The hormone melatonin is secreted primarily by the pineal gland, with highest levels occurring during the dark period of a circadian cycle. This hormone acts systemically in numerous organs. In the brain, it is involved in the regulation of various neural and endocrine processes, and it readjusts the circadian pacemaker, the suprachiasmatic nucleus. This article reviews recent studies of gene organization, expression, evolution and mutations of melatonin receptor genes of vertebrates. Gene polymorphisms reveal that numerous mutations are associated with diseases and disorders. The phylogenetic analysis of receptor genes indicates that GPR50 is an outgroup to all other melatonin receptor sequences. GPR50 may have separated from a melatonin receptor ancestor before the split between MTNR1C and the MTNR1A/B ancestor. PMID:23712359

  11. Rotations in a Vertebrate Setting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCollum, Gin

    2003-05-01

    Rotational movements of the head are often considered to be measured in a single three dimensional coordinate system implemented by the semicircular canals of the vestibular system of the inner ear. However, the vertebrate body -- including the nervous system -- obeys rectangular symmetries alien to rotation groups. At best, nervous systems mimic the physical rotation group in a fragmented way, only partially reintegrating physical movements in whole organism responses. The vestibular canal reference frame is widely used in nervous systems, for example by eye movements. It is used to some extent even in the cerebrum, as evidenced by the remission of hemineglect -- in which half of space is ignored -- when the vestibular system is stimulated. However, reintegration of space by the organism remains incomplete. For example, compensatory eye movements (which in most cases aid visual fixation) may disagree with conscious self-motion perception. In addition, movement-induced nausea, illusions, and cue-free perceptions demonstrate symmetry breaking or incomplete spatial symmetries. As part of a long-term project to investigate rotation groups in nervous systems, we have analyzed the symmetry group of a primary vestibulo-spinal projection.

  12. Aging and regeneration in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Sousounis, Konstantinos; Baddour, Joelle A; Tsonis, Panagiotis A

    2014-01-01

    Aging is marked by changes that affect organs and resident stem cell function. Shorting of telomeres, DNA damage, oxidative stress, deregulation of genes and proteins, impaired cell-cell communication, and an altered systemic environment cause the eventual demise of cells. At the same time, reparative activities also decline. It is intriguing to correlate aging with the decline of regenerative abilities. Animal models with strong regenerative capabilities imply that aging processes might not be affecting regeneration. In this review, we selectively present age-dependent changes in stem/progenitor cells that are vital for tissue homeostasis and repair. In addition, the aging effect on regeneration following injury in organs such as lung, skeletal muscle, heart, nervous system, cochlear hair, lens, and liver are discussed. These tissues are also known for diseases such as heart attack, stroke, cognitive impairment, cataract, and hearing loss that occur mostly during aging in humans. Conclusively, vertebrate regeneration declines with age with the loss of stem/progenitor cell function. Future studies on improving the function of stem cells, along with studies in fish and amphibians where regeneration does not decline with age, will undoubtedly provide insights into both processes. PMID:24512711

  13. [Venomous and poisonous animals. IV. Envenomations by venomous aquatic vertebrates].

    PubMed

    Bédry, R; De Haro, L

    2007-04-01

    Epidemiological information on marine envenomation is generally less extensive in Europe than in tropical regions where these injuries are more severe and the need for medical advice is more frequent. For these reasons use of regional Poison Control Centers in the area where the injury occurs must be encouraged. The purpose of this review is to describe envenomation by bony fish (lion fish, stone fish, and catfish), cartilaginous fish (stingrays and poisonous sharks), or other venomous aquatic vertebrates (moray-eels and marine snakes). Understanding of these envenomation syndromes is important not only in tropical areas but also in Europe where importation of dangerous species has increased in recent years. PMID:17691425

  14. [Venomous and poisonous animals. IV. Envenomations by venomous aquatic vertebrates].

    PubMed

    Bédry, R; De Haro, L

    2007-04-01

    Epidemiological information on marine envenomation is generally less extensive in Europe than in tropical regions where these injuries are more severe and the need for medical advice is more frequent. For these reasons use of regional Poison Control Centers in the area where the injury occurs must be encouraged. The purpose of this review is to describe envenomation by bony fish (lion fish, stone fish, and catfish), cartilaginous fish (stingrays and poisonous sharks), or other venomous aquatic vertebrates (moray-eels and marine snakes). Understanding of these envenomation syndromes is important not only in tropical areas but also in Europe where importation of dangerous species has increased in recent years.

  15. Comparative promoter analysis in vertebrate genomes with the CORG workbench.

    PubMed

    Dieterich, Christoph; Vingron, Martin

    2006-01-01

    CORG is a versatile web-based workbench for comparative promoter analysis in vertebrate model organisms. Two kinds of information are explicitly considered in the automated annotation process. First, local conservation patterns in upstream regions of homologous genes: These phylogenetic footprints are likely to stem from sequence elements that are under selective pressure. The CORG pipeline detects and exploits patterns of local similarity to annotate promoter regions. Second, experimental data on transcription start sites: exon positions and DNA binding site descriptions complete the promoter annotation. These data are made available via an interactive web portal. Individual promoter studies are supported by a JAVA applet that supplies all data down to the nucleotide level.

  16. Phylostratigraphic profiles in zebrafish uncover chordate origins of the vertebrate brain.

    PubMed

    Šestak, Martin Sebastijan; Domazet-Lošo, Tomislav

    2015-02-01

    An elaborated tripartite brain is considered one of the important innovations of vertebrates. Other extant chordate groups have a more basic brain organization. For instance, cephalochordates possess a relatively simple brain possibly homologous to the vertebrate forebrain and hindbrain, whereas tunicates display the tripartite organization, but without the specialized brain centers. The difference in anatomical complexity is even more pronounced if one compares chordates with other deuterostomes that have only a diffuse nerve net or alternatively a rather simple central nervous system. To gain a new perspective on the evolutionary roots of the complex vertebrate brain, we made here a phylostratigraphic analysis of gene expression patterns in the developing zebrafish (Danio rerio). The recovered adaptive landscape revealed three important periods in the evolutionary history of the zebrafish brain. The oldest period corresponds to preadaptive events in the first metazoans and the emergence of the nervous system at the metazoan-eumetazoan transition. The origin of chordates marks the next phase, where we found the overall strongest adaptive imprint in almost all analyzed brain regions. This finding supports the idea that the vertebrate brain evolved independently of the brains within the protostome lineage. Finally, at the origin of vertebrates we detected a pronounced signal coming from the dorsal telencephalon, in agreement with classical theories that consider this part of the cerebrum a genuine vertebrate innovation. Taken together, these results reveal a stepwise adaptive history of the vertebrate brain where most of its extant organization was already present in the chordate ancestor.

  17. Heat shock during early somitogenesis induces caudal vertebral column defects in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar).

    PubMed

    Wargelius, Anna; Fjelldal, Per Gunnar; Hansen, Tom

    2005-07-01

    In several terrestrial vertebrates, heat shock (HS) during somitogenesis causes vertebral deformities. To determine if vertebral deformities can occur due to sudden temperature changes during early development in fish, Atlantic salmon embryos were HS treated during somitogenesis. Ten months later these individuals displayed a high prevalence of caudal vertebral column condensations (27-34%). The defects were located caudally of the abdominal cavity, displaying an even distribution in this region independent of time of HS. To determine if HS disturbed vertebral development during somitogenesis, two genes coding for markers of skeletal development were identified, namely, the secreted protein Shh (Sashh) and the transcription factor Twist (Satwist). These proteins are involved in the proliferation and specification of presumptive skeletal cells (sclerotome) in vertebrates. The spatial expression pattern of sashh and satwist in salmon indicated a functional conservation of these proteins. Furthermore, HS embryos displayed expressional disturbance in both sashh and satwist, indicating an effect of HS on sclerotomal cell patterning. However, the HS-protecting ability in embryos seems to be individually regulated because reduction in gene expression was not detected at all stages; in addition, HS did not induce somitic disturbance and vertebral deformity in all embryos.

  18. Contribution of the vertebral artery to cerebral circulation in the rat snake Elaphe obsoleta

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zippel, K. C.; Lillywhite, H. B.; Mladinich, C. R.; Hargens, A. (Principal Investigator)

    1998-01-01

    Blood supplying the brain in vertebrates is carried primarily by the carotid vasculature. In most mammals, cerebral blood flow is supplemented by the vertebral arteries, which anastomose with the carotids at the base of the brain. In other tetrapods, cerebral blood is generally believed to be supplied exclusively by the carotid vasculature, and the vertebral arteries are usually described as disappearing into the dorsal musculature between the heart and head. There have been several reports of a vertebral artery connection with the cephalic vasculature in snakes. We measured regional blood flows using fluorescently labeled microspheres and demonstrated that the vertebral artery contributes a small but significant fraction of cerebral blood flow (approximately 13% of total) in the rat snake Elaphe obsoleta. Vascular casts of the anterior vessels revealed that the vertebral artery connection is indirect, through multiple anastomoses with the inferior spinal artery, which connects with the carotid vasculature near the base of the skull. Using digital subtraction angiography, fluoroscopy, and direct observations of flow in isolated vessels, we confirmed that blood in the inferior spinal artery flows craniad from a point anterior to the vertebral artery connections. Such collateral blood supply could potentially contribute to the maintenance of cerebral circulation during circumstances when craniad blood flow is compromised, e.g., during the gravitational stress of climbing.

  19. New insights into the vertebral Hox code of archosaurs.

    PubMed

    Böhmer, Christine; Rauhut, Oliver W M; Wörheide, Gert

    2015-01-01

    Variation in axial formulae (i.e., number and identity of vertebrae) is an important feature in the evolution of vertebrates. Vertebrae at different axial positions exhibit a region-specific morphology. Key determinants for the establishment of particular vertebral shapes are the highly conserved Hox genes. Here, we analyzed Hox gene expression in the presacral vertebral column in the Nile crocodile in order to complement and extend a previous examination in the alligator and thus establish a Hox code for the axial skeleton of crocodilians in general. The newly determined expression of HoxA-4, C-5, B-7, and B-8 all revealed a crocodilian-specific pattern. HoxA-4 and HoxC-5 characterize cervical morphologies and the latter furthermore is associated with the position of the forelimb relative to the axial skeleton. HoxB-7 and HoxB-8 map exclusively to the dorsal vertebral region. The resulting expression patterns of these two Hox genes is the first description of their exact expression in the archosaurian embryo. Our comparative analyses of the Hox code in several amniote taxa provide new evidence that evolutionary differences in the axial skeleton correspond to changes in Hox gene expression domains. We detect two general processes: (i) expansion of a Hox gene's expression domain as well as (ii) a shift of gene expression. We infer that the ancestral archosaur Hox code may have resembled that of the crocodile. In association with the evolution of morphological traits, it may have been modified to patterns that can be observed in birds.

  20. New insights into the vertebral Hox code of archosaurs.

    PubMed

    Böhmer, Christine; Rauhut, Oliver W M; Wörheide, Gert

    2015-01-01

    Variation in axial formulae (i.e., number and identity of vertebrae) is an important feature in the evolution of vertebrates. Vertebrae at different axial positions exhibit a region-specific morphology. Key determinants for the establishment of particular vertebral shapes are the highly conserved Hox genes. Here, we analyzed Hox gene expression in the presacral vertebral column in the Nile crocodile in order to complement and extend a previous examination in the alligator and thus establish a Hox code for the axial skeleton of crocodilians in general. The newly determined expression of HoxA-4, C-5, B-7, and B-8 all revealed a crocodilian-specific pattern. HoxA-4 and HoxC-5 characterize cervical morphologies and the latter furthermore is associated with the position of the forelimb relative to the axial skeleton. HoxB-7 and HoxB-8 map exclusively to the dorsal vertebral region. The resulting expression patterns of these two Hox genes is the first description of their exact expression in the archosaurian embryo. Our comparative analyses of the Hox code in several amniote taxa provide new evidence that evolutionary differences in the axial skeleton correspond to changes in Hox gene expression domains. We detect two general processes: (i) expansion of a Hox gene's expression domain as well as (ii) a shift of gene expression. We infer that the ancestral archosaur Hox code may have resembled that of the crocodile. In association with the evolution of morphological traits, it may have been modified to patterns that can be observed in birds. PMID:26372060

  1. The evolutionary history of vertebrate cranial placodes II. Evolution of ectodermal patterning.

    PubMed

    Schlosser, Gerhard; Patthey, Cedric; Shimeld, Sebastian M

    2014-05-01

    Cranial placodes are evolutionary innovations of vertebrates. However, they most likely evolved by redeployment, rewiring and diversification of preexisting cell types and patterning mechanisms. In the second part of this review we compare vertebrates with other animal groups to elucidate the evolutionary history of ectodermal patterning. We show that several transcription factors have ancient bilaterian roles in dorsoventral and anteroposterior regionalisation of the ectoderm. Evidence from amphioxus suggests that ancestral chordates then concentrated neurosecretory cells in the anteriormost non-neural ectoderm. This anterior proto-placodal domain subsequently gave rise to the oral siphon primordia in tunicates (with neurosecretory cells being lost) and anterior (adenohypophyseal, olfactory, and lens) placodes of vertebrates. Likewise, tunicate atrial siphon primordia and posterior (otic, lateral line, and epibranchial) placodes of vertebrates probably evolved from a posterior proto-placodal region in the tunicate-vertebrate ancestor. Since both siphon primordia in tunicates give rise to sparse populations of sensory cells, both proto-placodal domains probably also gave rise to some sensory receptors in the tunicate-vertebrate ancestor. However, proper cranial placodes, which give rise to high density arrays of specialised sensory receptors and neurons, evolved from these domains only in the vertebrate lineage. We propose that this may have involved rewiring of the regulatory network upstream and downstream of Six1/2 and Six4/5 transcription factors and their Eya family cofactors. These proteins, which play ancient roles in neuronal differentiation were first recruited to the dorsal non-neural ectoderm in the tunicate-vertebrate ancestor but subsequently probably acquired new target genes in the vertebrate lineage, allowing them to adopt new functions in regulating proliferation and patterning of neuronal progenitors.

  2. RFamide Peptides in Early Vertebrate Development

    PubMed Central

    Sandvik, Guro Katrine; Hodne, Kjetil; Haug, Trude Marie; Okubo, Kataaki; Weltzien, Finn-Arne

    2014-01-01

    RFamides (RFa) are neuropeptides involved in many different physiological processes in vertebrates, such as reproductive behavior, pubertal activation of the reproductive endocrine axis, control of feeding behavior, and pain modulation. As research has focused mostly on their role in adult vertebrates, the possible roles of these peptides during development are poorly understood. However, the few studies that exist show that RFa are expressed early in development in different vertebrate classes, perhaps mostly associated with the central nervous system. Interestingly, the related peptide family of FMRFa has been shown to be important for brain development in invertebrates. In a teleost, the Japanese medaka, knockdown of genes in the Kiss system indicates that Kiss ligands and receptors are vital for brain development, but few other functional studies exist. Here, we review the literature of RFa in early vertebrate development, including the possible functional roles these peptides may play. PMID:25538682

  3. A Case of Aerococcus Urinae Vertebral Osteomyelitis

    PubMed Central

    Jerome, Michael; Slim, Jihad; Sison, Raymund; Marton, Randy

    2015-01-01

    Aerococcus urinae is an aerobic, alpha hemolytic gram positive coccus bacterium that grows in pairs or clusters. We report the first case of vertebral osteomyelitis due to A. urinae. This has not been previously reported in the literature. PMID:26069429

  4. Sleep and orexins in nonmammalian vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Volkoff, Hélène

    2012-01-01

    Although a precise definition of "sleep" has yet to be established, sleep-like behaviors have been observed in all animals studied to date including mammals and nonmammalian vertebrates. Orexins are hypothalamic neuropeptides that are involved in the regulation of many physiological functions, including feeding, thermoregulation, cardiovascular control, as well as the control of the sleep-wakefulness cycle. To date, the knowledge on the functions of orexins in nonmammalian vertebrates is still limited, but the similarity of the structures of orexins and their receptors among vertebrates suggest that they have similar conserved physiological functions. This review describes our current knowledge on sleep in nonmammalian vertebrates (birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish) and the possible role of orexins in the regulation of their energy homeostasis and arousal states. PMID:22640621

  5. Automatic segmentation of vertebral arteries in CT angiography using combined circular and cylindrical model fitting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Min Jin; Hong, Helen; Chung, Jin Wook

    2014-03-01

    We propose an automatic vessel segmentation method of vertebral arteries in CT angiography using combined circular and cylindrical model fitting. First, to generate multi-segmented volumes, whole volume is automatically divided into four segments by anatomical properties of bone structures along z-axis of head and neck. To define an optimal volume circumscribing vertebral arteries, anterior-posterior bounding and side boundaries are defined as initial extracted vessel region. Second, the initial vessel candidates are tracked using circular model fitting. Since boundaries of the vertebral arteries are ambiguous in case the arteries pass through the transverse foramen in the cervical vertebra, the circle model is extended along z-axis to cylinder model for considering additional vessel information of neighboring slices. Finally, the boundaries of the vertebral arteries are detected using graph-cut optimization. From the experiments, the proposed method provides accurate results without bone artifacts and eroded vessels in the cervical vertebra.

  6. Vertebral column anomalies in Indo-Pacific and Atlantic humpback dolphins Sousa spp.

    PubMed

    Weir, Caroline R; Wang, John Y

    2016-08-01

    Conspicuous vertebral column abnormalities in humpback dolphins (genus Sousa) were documented for the first time during 3 photo-identification field studies of small populations in Taiwan, Senegal and Angola. Seven Taiwanese humpback dolphins S. chinensis taiwanensis with vertebral column anomalies (lordosis, kyphosis or scoliosis) were identified, along with 2 possible cases of vertebral osteomyelitis. There was evidence from several individuals photographed over consecutive years that the anomalies became more pronounced with age. Three Atlantic humpback dolphins S. teuszii were observed with axial deviations of the vertebral column (lordosis and kyphosis). Another possible case was identified in a calf, and 2 further animals were photographed with dorsal indents potentially indicative of anomalies. Vertebral column anomalies of humpback dolphins were predominantly evident in the lumbo-caudal region, but one Atlantic humpback dolphin had an anomaly in the cervico-thoracic region. Lordosis and kyphosis occurred simultaneously in several individuals. Apart from the described anomalies, all dolphins appeared in good health and were not obviously underweight or noticeably compromised in swim speed. This study presents the first descriptions of vertebral column anomalies in the genus Sousa. The causative factors for the anomalies were unknown in every case and are potentially diverse. Whether these anomalies result in reduced fitness of individuals or populations merits attention, as both the Taiwanese and Atlantic humpback dolphin are species of high conservation concern.

  7. Vertebral column anomalies in Indo-Pacific and Atlantic humpback dolphins Sousa spp.

    PubMed

    Weir, Caroline R; Wang, John Y

    2016-08-01

    Conspicuous vertebral column abnormalities in humpback dolphins (genus Sousa) were documented for the first time during 3 photo-identification field studies of small populations in Taiwan, Senegal and Angola. Seven Taiwanese humpback dolphins S. chinensis taiwanensis with vertebral column anomalies (lordosis, kyphosis or scoliosis) were identified, along with 2 possible cases of vertebral osteomyelitis. There was evidence from several individuals photographed over consecutive years that the anomalies became more pronounced with age. Three Atlantic humpback dolphins S. teuszii were observed with axial deviations of the vertebral column (lordosis and kyphosis). Another possible case was identified in a calf, and 2 further animals were photographed with dorsal indents potentially indicative of anomalies. Vertebral column anomalies of humpback dolphins were predominantly evident in the lumbo-caudal region, but one Atlantic humpback dolphin had an anomaly in the cervico-thoracic region. Lordosis and kyphosis occurred simultaneously in several individuals. Apart from the described anomalies, all dolphins appeared in good health and were not obviously underweight or noticeably compromised in swim speed. This study presents the first descriptions of vertebral column anomalies in the genus Sousa. The causative factors for the anomalies were unknown in every case and are potentially diverse. Whether these anomalies result in reduced fitness of individuals or populations merits attention, as both the Taiwanese and Atlantic humpback dolphin are species of high conservation concern. PMID:27503913

  8. Radiotherapy in the treatment of vertebral hemangiomas

    SciTech Connect

    Faria, S.L.; Schlupp, W.R.; Chiminazzo, H. Jr.

    1985-02-01

    Symptomatic vertebral hemangiomas are not common. Although radiotherapy has been used as treatment, the data are sparse concerning total dose, fractionation and results. The authors report nine patients with vertebral hemangioma treated with 3000-4000 rad, 200 rad/day, 5 fractions per week, followed from 6 to 62 months. Seventy-seven percent had complete or almost complete disappearance of the symptoms. Radiotherapy schedules are discussed.

  9. Vertebrate Cells Express Protozoan Antigen after Hybridization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crane, Mark St. J.; Dvorak, James A.

    1980-04-01

    Epimastigotes, the invertebrate host stage of Trypanosoma cruzi, the protozoan parasite causing Chagas' disease in man, were fused with vertebrate cells by using polyethylene glycol. Hybrid cells were selected on the basis of T. cruzi DNA complementation of biochemical deficiencies in the vertebrate cells. Some clones of the hybrid cells expressed T. cruzi-specific antigen. It might be possible to use selected antigens obtained from the hybrids as vaccines for immunodiagnosis or for elucidation of the pathogenesis of Chagas' disease.

  10. Percutaneous Vertebral Body Augmentation: An Updated Review

    PubMed Central

    Omidi-Kashani, Farzad

    2014-01-01

    There are many medical conditions like osteoporosis, tumor, or osteonecrosis that weaken the structural strength of the vertebral body and prone it to fracture. Percutaneous vertebral augmentation that is usually applied by polymethylmethacrylate is a relatively safe, effective, and long lasting procedure commonly performed in these situations. In this paper, we updated a review of biomechanics, indications, contraindications, surgical techniques, complications, and overall prognosis of these minimally invasive spinal procedures. PMID:25379561

  11. Role of Transpedicular Percutaneous Vertebral Biopsy for Diagnosis of Pathology in Vertebral Compression Fractures

    PubMed Central

    Nadkarni, Sunil; Hardikar, Sharad Moreshwar; Hardikar, Madan Sharad

    2016-01-01

    Study Design Retrospective observational study. Purpose To identify the role of percutaneous vertebral biopsy in histopathological diagnosis of vertebral compression fractures and to identify the frequency of unexpected malignancy in vertebral compression fractures. Overview of Literature Vertebral compression fractures are common in the Indian population. Magnetic resonance imaging and nuclear imaging have some limitations in the diagnosis of definitive pathology of vertebral compression fractures. Therefore, histological confirmation is necessary for definitive diagnosis and to plan appropriate management for patient. Methods A retrospective observational study was conducted involving 84 patients who underwent percutaneous vertebral biopsy between 2010 and 2014. We performed C-arm guided percutaneous transpedicular core vertebral biopsy of vertebral compression fractures under combination of local anesthesia and intravenous conscious sedation. Results Sufficient biopsy material was obtained in 79 of the 84 cases. In the other five cases, biopsy material was not sufficient for reporting. Out of the 79 cases, osteoporotic pathology was detected in 69 patients, malignancy was detected in 8 patients and no pathology was found in 2 patients. Two patients with distant metastases to vertebra were identified. Primary spinal malignancy was detected in 6 patients (1 unsuspected plasmacytoma, 5 diagnosed malignancy preoperatively). So, the frequency of unsuspected malignancy of this study was 1.19% (1/84). None of the patients had any complications. Conclusions C-arm guided percutaneous transpedicular vertebral biopsy is useful in obtaining definitive histopathological diagnosis of vertebral compression fractures, especially in differentiating malignant and non-malignant vertebral compression fractures and helping plan appropriate management of patients. The rate of unexpected malignancy in vertebral compression fracture was 1.19%. PMID:27790322

  12. Retroviral Diversity and Distribution in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Herniou, Elisabeth; Martin, Joanne; Miller, Karen; Cook, James; Wilkinson, Mark; Tristem, Michael

    1998-01-01

    We used the PCR to screen for the presence of endogenous retroviruses within the genomes of 18 vertebrate orders across eight classes, concentrating on reptilian, amphibian, and piscine hosts. Thirty novel retroviral sequences were isolated and characterized by sequencing approximately 1 kb of their encoded protease and reverse transcriptase genes. Isolation of novel viruses from so many disparate hosts suggests that retroviruses are likely to be ubiquitous within all but the most basal vertebrate classes and, furthermore, gives a good indication of the overall retroviral diversity within vertebrates. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that viruses clustering with (but not necessarily closely related to) the spumaviruses and murine leukemia viruses are widespread and abundant in vertebrate genomes. In contrast, we were unable to identify any viruses from hosts outside of mammals and birds which grouped with the other five currently recognized retroviral genera: the lentiviruses, human T-cell leukemia-related viruses, avian leukemia virus-related retroviruses, type D retroviruses, and mammalian type B retroviruses. There was also some indication that viruses isolated from individual vertebrate classes tended to cluster together in phylogenetic reconstructions. This implies that the horizontal transmission of at least some retroviruses, between some vertebrate classes, occurs relatively infrequently. It is likely that many of the retroviral sequences described here are distinct enough from those of previously characterized viruses to represent novel retroviral genera. PMID:9621058

  13. Evolution and development of the vertebrate neck

    PubMed Central

    Ericsson, Rolf; Knight, Robert; Johanson, Zerina

    2013-01-01

    Muscles of the vertebrate neck include the cucullaris and hypobranchials. Although a functional neck first evolved in the lobe-finned fishes (Sarcopterygii) with the separation of the pectoral/shoulder girdle from the skull, the neck muscles themselves have a much earlier origin among the vertebrates. For example, lampreys possess hypobranchial muscles, and may also possess the cucullaris. Recent research in chick has established that these two muscles groups have different origins, the hypobranchial muscles having a somitic origin but the cucullaris muscle deriving from anterior lateral plate mesoderm associated with somites 1–3. Additionally, the cucullaris utilizes genetic pathways more similar to the head than the trunk musculature. Although the latter results are from experiments in the chick, cucullaris homologues occur in a variety of more basal vertebrates such as the sharks and zebrafish. Data are urgently needed from these taxa to determine whether the cucullaris in these groups also derives from lateral plate mesoderm or from the anterior somites, and whether the former or the latter represent the basal vertebrate condition. Other lateral plate mesoderm derivatives include the appendicular skeleton (fins, limbs and supporting girdles). If the cucullaris is a definitive lateral plate-derived structure it may have evolved in conjunction with the shoulder/limb skeleton in vertebrates and thereby provided a greater degree of flexibility to the heads of predatory vertebrates. PMID:22697305

  14. The origins of colour vision in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Collin, Shaun P; Trezise, Ann E O

    2004-07-01

    The capacity for colour vision is mediated by the comparison of the signal intensities from photoreceptors of two or more types that differ in spectral sensitivity. Morphological, physiological and molecular analyses of the retina in an agnathan (jawless) fish, the lamprey Geotria australis, may hold important clues to the origins of colour vision in vertebrates. Lampreys are extant representatives of an ancient group of vertebrates, the origins of which are thought to date back to at least the early Cambrian, approximately 540 million years ago. G. australis possesses five photoreceptor types, each with cone-like ultrastructural features and different spectral sensitivities. Recent molecular genetic studies have also revealed that five visual pigment (opsin) genes are expressed in the retina, each of which is orthologous to the major classes of vertebrate opsin genes. These findings reveal that multiple opsin genes originated very early in vertebrate evolution, prior to the separation of the jawed and jawless vertebrate lineages, thereby providing the genetic basis for colour vision in all vertebrates.

  15. Evolution and development of interhemispheric connections in the vertebrate forebrain

    PubMed Central

    Suárez, Rodrigo; Gobius, Ilan; Richards, Linda J.

    2014-01-01

    Axonal connections between the left and right sides of the brain are crucial for bilateral integration of lateralized sensory, motor, and associative functions. Throughout vertebrate species, forebrain commissures share a conserved developmental plan, a similar position relative to each other within the brain and similar patterns of connectivity. However, major events in the evolution of the vertebrate brain, such as the expansion of the telencephalon in tetrapods and the origin of the six-layered isocortex in mammals, resulted in the emergence and diversification of new commissural routes. These new interhemispheric connections include the pallial commissure, which appeared in the ancestors of tetrapods and connects the left and right sides of the medial pallium (hippocampus in mammals), and the corpus callosum, which is exclusive to eutherian (placental) mammals and connects both isocortical hemispheres. A comparative analysis of commissural systems in vertebrates reveals that the emergence of new commissural routes may have involved co-option of developmental mechanisms and anatomical substrates of preexistent commissural pathways. One of the embryonic regions of interest for studying these processes is the commissural plate, a portion of the early telencephalic midline that provides molecular specification and a cellular scaffold for the development of commissural axons. Further investigations into these embryonic processes in carefully selected species will provide insights not only into the mechanisms driving commissural evolution, but also regarding more general biological problems such as the role of developmental plasticity in evolutionary change. PMID:25071525

  16. Vertebral degenerative disc disease severity evaluation using random forest classification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munoz, Hector E.; Yao, Jianhua; Burns, Joseph E.; Pham, Yasuyuki; Stieger, James; Summers, Ronald M.

    2014-03-01

    Degenerative disc disease (DDD) develops in the spine as vertebral discs degenerate and osseous excrescences or outgrowths naturally form to restabilize unstable segments of the spine. These osseous excrescences, or osteophytes, may progress or stabilize in size as the spine reaches a new equilibrium point. We have previously created a CAD system that detects DDD. This paper presents a new system to determine the severity of DDD of individual vertebral levels. This will be useful to monitor the progress of developing DDD, as rapid growth may indicate that there is a greater stabilization problem that should be addressed. The existing DDD CAD system extracts the spine from CT images and segments the cortical shell of individual levels with a dual-surface model. The cortical shell is unwrapped, and is analyzed to detect the hyperdense regions of DDD. Three radiologists scored the severity of DDD of each disc space of 46 CT scans. Radiologists' scores and features generated from CAD detections were used to train a random forest classifier. The classifier then assessed the severity of DDD at each vertebral disc level. The agreement between the computer severity score and the average radiologist's score had a quadratic weighted Cohen's kappa of 0.64.

  17. Quantitative vertebral compression fracture evaluation using a height compass

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yao, Jianhua; Burns, Joseph E.; Wiese, Tatjana; Summers, Ronald M.

    2012-03-01

    Vertebral compression fractures can be caused by even minor trauma in patients with pathological conditions such as osteoporosis, varying greatly in vertebral body location and compression geometry. The location and morphology of the compression injury can guide decision making for treatment modality (vertebroplasty versus surgical fixation), and can be important for pre-surgical planning. We propose a height compass to evaluate the axial plane spatial distribution of compression injury (anterior, posterior, lateral, and central), and distinguish it from physiologic height variations of normal vertebrae. The method includes four steps: spine segmentation and partition, endplate detection, height compass computation and compression fracture evaluation. A height compass is computed for each vertebra, where the vertebral body is partitioned in the axial plane into 17 cells oriented about concentric rings. In the compass structure, a crown-like geometry is produced by three concentric rings which are divided into 8 equal length arcs by rays which are subtended by 8 common central angles. The radius of each ring increases multiplicatively, with resultant structure of a central node and two concentric surrounding bands of cells, each divided into octants. The height value for each octant is calculated and plotted against octants in neighboring vertebrae. The height compass shows intuitive display of the height distribution and can be used to easily identify the fracture regions. Our technique was evaluated on 8 thoraco-abdominal CT scans of patients with reported compression fractures and showed statistically significant differences in height value at the sites of the fractures.

  18. CRDB: database of chemosensory receptor gene families in vertebrate.

    PubMed

    Dong, Dong; Jin, Ke; Wu, Xiaoli; Zhong, Yang

    2012-01-01

    Chemosensory receptors (CR) are crucial for animals to sense the environmental changes and survive on earth. The emergence of whole-genome sequences provides us an opportunity to identify the entire CR gene repertoires. To completely gain more insight into the evolution of CR genes in vertebrates, we identified the nearly all CR genes in 25 vertebrates using homology-based approaches. Among these CR gene repertoires, nearly half of them were identified for the first time in those previously uncharacterized species, such as the guinea pig, giant panda and elephant, etc. Consistent with previous findings, we found that the numbers of CR genes vary extensively among different species, suggesting an extreme form of 'birth-and-death' evolution. For the purpose of facilitating CR gene analysis, we constructed a database with the goals to provide a resource for CR genes annotation and a web tool for exploring their evolutionary patterns. Besides a search engine for the gene extraction from a specific chromosome region, an easy-to-use phylogenetic analysis tool was also provided to facilitate online phylogeny study of CR genes. Our work can provide a rigorous platform for further study on the evolution of CR genes in vertebrates.

  19. Complete sequence of a sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) mitochondrial genome: Early establishment of the vertebrate genome organization

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, W.J.; Kocher, T.D.

    1995-02-01

    The complete nucleotide sequence of a sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) mitochondrial genome has been determined. The lamprey genome is 16,201 bp in length and contains genes for 13 proteins, two rRNAs, 22 tRNAs and two major noncoding regions. The order and transcriptional polarities of protein-coding genes are basically identical to those of other chordate mtDNAs, demonstrating that the common mitochondrial gene organization of vertebrates was established at early stage of vertebrate evolution. The two major noncoding regions are separated by two tRNA genes. The first region probably functions as the control region because it contains distinctive conserved sequence blocks (CSB-II and III) common to other vertebrate control regions. The central conserved domain observed in other vertebrate control regions is not found in the lamprey, suggesting that it is a recently evolved functional domain in vertebrates. Noncoding segments are not found in the expected position of the origin of replication for the second strand, suggesting either that one of the tRNA genes has a dual function or that the second noncoding region may function as the second-strand origin. The base composition at the wobble positions of fourfold degenerate codon families is highly biased toward thymine (32.7%). Values of GC- and AT-skew are typical of vertebrate mitochondrial genomes. 38 refs., 11 figs., 5 tabs.

  20. Global patterns of terrestrial vertebrate diversity and conservation.

    PubMed

    Jenkins, Clinton N; Pimm, Stuart L; Joppa, Lucas N

    2013-07-01

    Identifying priority areas for biodiversity is essential for directing conservation resources. Fundamentally, we must know where individual species live, which ones are vulnerable, where human actions threaten them, and their levels of protection. As conservation knowledge and threats change, we must reevaluate priorities. We mapped priority areas for vertebrates using newly updated data on >21,000 species of mammals, amphibians, and birds. For each taxon, we identified centers of richness for all species, small-ranged species, and threatened species listed with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Importantly, all analyses were at a spatial grain of 10 × 10 km, 100 times finer than previous assessments. This fine scale is a significant methodological improvement, because it brings mapping to scales comparable with regional decisions on where to place protected areas. We also mapped recent species discoveries, because they suggest where as-yet-unknown species might be living. To assess the protection of the priority areas, we calculated the percentage of priority areas within protected areas using the latest data from the World Database of Protected Areas, providing a snapshot of how well the planet's protected area system encompasses vertebrate biodiversity. Although the priority areas do have more protection than the global average, the level of protection still is insufficient given the importance of these areas for preventing vertebrate extinctions. We also found substantial differences between our identified vertebrate priorities and the leading map of global conservation priorities, the biodiversity hotspots. Our findings suggest a need to reassess the global allocation of conservation resources to reflect today's improved knowledge of biodiversity and conservation.

  1. Vascular Plant and Vertebrate Inventory of Tuzigoot National Monument

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Powell, Brian F.; Albrecht, E.W.; Halvorson, William Lee; Schmidt, Cecilia A.; Anning, P.; Docherty, K.

    2005-01-01

    Executive Summary From 2002 to 2004, we surveyed for plants and vertebrates (amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals) at Tuzigoot National Monument (NM) and adjacent areas in Arizona. This was the first effort of its kind in the area and was part of a larger effort to inventory vascular plants and vertebrates in eight National Park Service units in Arizona and New Mexico. In addition to our own surveys, we also compiled a complete list of species that have been found by previous studies. We found 330 species, including 142 that had not previously been recorded at the monument (Table 1). We found 39 species of non-native plants, 11 non-native fishes, three non-native birds, and one non-native species each of amphibian and mammal. Based on our work and that of others, there have been 597 species of plants and vertebrates found at the monument. The bird community at the monument had the highest species richness of any national park unit in central and southern Arizona. We found all other taxa to have intermediate species richness compared to other park units in the region. This extraordinary species richness observed for birds, as well as for some other taxa, is due primarily to Tavasci Marsh and the Verde River, two critical sources of perennial water, which provide habitat for many regionally rare or uncommon species. The location of the monument at the northern edge of the Sonoran Desert and at the southern edge of the Mogollon Rim also plays an important role in determining the distribution and community composition of the plant and vertebrate communities. Based on our findings, we believe the high number of non-native species, especially fish and plants, should be of particular management concern. We detail other management challenges, most notably the rapid increase in housing and associated commercial development near the monument, which will continue to impact the plant and vertebrate communities. Based on our data and a review of past studies, we believe the

  2. Spatially explicit trends in the global conservation status of vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Ana S L; Brooks, Thomas M; Butchart, Stuart H M; Chanson, Janice; Cox, Neil; Hoffmann, Michael; Stuart, Simon N

    2014-01-01

    The world's governments have committed to preventing the extinction of threatened species and improving their conservation status by 2020. However, biodiversity is not evenly distributed across space, and neither are the drivers of its decline, and so different regions face very different challenges. Here, we quantify the contribution of regions and countries towards recent global trends in vertebrate conservation status (as measured by the Red List Index), to guide action towards the 2020 target. We found that>50% of the global deterioration in the conservation status of birds, mammals and amphibians is concentrated in <1% of the surface area, 39/1098 ecoregions (4%) and eight/195 countries (4%) - Australia, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, and the United States. These countries hold a third of global diversity in these vertebrate groups, partially explaining why they concentrate most of the losses. Yet, other megadiverse countries - most notably Brazil (responsible for 10% of species but just 1% of deterioration), plus India and Madagascar - performed better in conserving their share of global vertebrate diversity. Very few countries, mostly island nations (e.g. Cook Islands, Fiji, Mauritius, Seychelles, and Tonga), have achieved net improvements. Per capita wealth does not explain these patterns, with two of the richest countries - United States and Australia - fairing conspicuously poorly. Different countries were affected by different combinations of threats. Reducing global rates of biodiversity loss will require investment in the regions and countries with the highest responsibility for the world's biodiversity, focusing on conserving those species and areas most in peril and on reducing the drivers with the highest impacts.

  3. Spatially Explicit Trends in the Global Conservation Status of Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Rodrigues, Ana S. L.; Brooks, Thomas M.; Butchart, Stuart H. M.; Chanson, Janice; Cox, Neil; Hoffmann, Michael; Stuart, Simon N.

    2014-01-01

    The world's governments have committed to preventing the extinction of threatened species and improving their conservation status by 2020. However, biodiversity is not evenly distributed across space, and neither are the drivers of its decline, and so different regions face very different challenges. Here, we quantify the contribution of regions and countries towards recent global trends in vertebrate conservation status (as measured by the Red List Index), to guide action towards the 2020 target. We found that>50% of the global deterioration in the conservation status of birds, mammals and amphibians is concentrated in <1% of the surface area, 39/1098 ecoregions (4%) and eight/195 countries (4%) – Australia, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, and the United States. These countries hold a third of global diversity in these vertebrate groups, partially explaining why they concentrate most of the losses. Yet, other megadiverse countries – most notably Brazil (responsible for 10% of species but just 1% of deterioration), plus India and Madagascar – performed better in conserving their share of global vertebrate diversity. Very few countries, mostly island nations (e.g. Cook Islands, Fiji, Mauritius, Seychelles, and Tonga), have achieved net improvements. Per capita wealth does not explain these patterns, with two of the richest countries – United States and Australia – fairing conspicuously poorly. Different countries were affected by different combinations of threats. Reducing global rates of biodiversity loss will require investment in the regions and countries with the highest responsibility for the world's biodiversity, focusing on conserving those species and areas most in peril and on reducing the drivers with the highest impacts. PMID:25426636

  4. Spatially explicit trends in the global conservation status of vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Ana S L; Brooks, Thomas M; Butchart, Stuart H M; Chanson, Janice; Cox, Neil; Hoffmann, Michael; Stuart, Simon N

    2014-01-01

    The world's governments have committed to preventing the extinction of threatened species and improving their conservation status by 2020. However, biodiversity is not evenly distributed across space, and neither are the drivers of its decline, and so different regions face very different challenges. Here, we quantify the contribution of regions and countries towards recent global trends in vertebrate conservation status (as measured by the Red List Index), to guide action towards the 2020 target. We found that>50% of the global deterioration in the conservation status of birds, mammals and amphibians is concentrated in <1% of the surface area, 39/1098 ecoregions (4%) and eight/195 countries (4%) - Australia, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, and the United States. These countries hold a third of global diversity in these vertebrate groups, partially explaining why they concentrate most of the losses. Yet, other megadiverse countries - most notably Brazil (responsible for 10% of species but just 1% of deterioration), plus India and Madagascar - performed better in conserving their share of global vertebrate diversity. Very few countries, mostly island nations (e.g. Cook Islands, Fiji, Mauritius, Seychelles, and Tonga), have achieved net improvements. Per capita wealth does not explain these patterns, with two of the richest countries - United States and Australia - fairing conspicuously poorly. Different countries were affected by different combinations of threats. Reducing global rates of biodiversity loss will require investment in the regions and countries with the highest responsibility for the world's biodiversity, focusing on conserving those species and areas most in peril and on reducing the drivers with the highest impacts. PMID:25426636

  5. Evidence for Natural Selection in Nucleotide Content Relationships Based on Complete Mitochondrial Genomes: Strong Effect of Guanine Content on Separation between Terrestrial and Aquatic Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Sorimachi, Kenji; Okayasu, Teiji

    2015-01-01

    The complete vertebrate mitochondrial genome consists of 13 coding genes. We used this genome to investigate the existence of natural selection in vertebrate evolution. From the complete mitochondrial genomes, we predicted nucleotide contents and then separated these values into coding and non-coding regions. When nucleotide contents of a coding or non-coding region were plotted against the nucleotide content of the complete mitochondrial genomes, we obtained linear regression lines only between homonucleotides and their analogs. On every plot using G or A content purine, G content in aquatic vertebrates was higher than that in terrestrial vertebrates, while A content in aquatic vertebrates was lower than that in terrestrial vertebrates. Based on these relationships, vertebrates were separated into two groups, terrestrial and aquatic. However, using C or T content pyrimidine, clear separation between these two groups was not obtained. The hagfish (Eptatretus burgeri) was further separated from both terrestrial and aquatic vertebrates. Based on these results, nucleotide content relationships predicted from the complete vertebrate mitochondrial genomes reveal the existence of natural selection based on evolutionary separation between terrestrial and aquatic vertebrate groups. In addition, we propose that separation of the two groups might be linked to ammonia detoxification based on high G and low A contents, which encode Glu rich and Lys poor proteins. PMID:25853054

  6. Evidence for Natural Selection in Nucleotide Content Relationships Based on Complete Mitochondrial Genomes: Strong Effect of Guanine Content on Separation between Terrestrial and Aquatic Vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Sorimachi, Kenji; Okayasu, Teiji

    2015-01-01

    The complete vertebrate mitochondrial genome consists of 13 coding genes. We used this genome to investigate the existence of natural selection in vertebrate evolution. From the complete mitochondrial genomes, we predicted nucleotide contents and then separated these values into coding and non-coding regions. When nucleotide contents of a coding or non-coding region were plotted against the nucleotide content of the complete mitochondrial genomes, we obtained linear regression lines only between homonucleotides and their analogs. On every plot using G or A content purine, G content in aquatic vertebrates was higher than that in terrestrial vertebrates, while A content in aquatic vertebrates was lower than that in terrestrial vertebrates. Based on these relationships, vertebrates were separated into two groups, terrestrial and aquatic. However, using C or T content pyrimidine, clear separation between these two groups was not obtained. The hagfish (Eptatretus burgeri) was further separated from both terrestrial and aquatic vertebrates. Based on these results, nucleotide content relationships predicted from the complete vertebrate mitochondrial genomes reveal the existence of natural selection based on evolutionary separation between terrestrial and aquatic vertebrate groups. In addition, we propose that separation of the two groups might be linked to ammonia detoxification based on high G and low A contents, which encode Glu rich and Lys poor proteins.

  7. Jack vertebral dilator kyphoplasty for treatment of osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures.

    PubMed

    Li, Dapeng; Huang, Yonghui; Yang, Huilin; Chen, Qi; Sun, Taicun; Wu, Yan; Li, Xuefeng

    2014-01-01

    Osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (OVCFs) are common in the elderly population and often involve the thoracolumbar vertebrae. Clinical symptoms of OVCFs include severe pain, loss of vertebral height, progressive kyphosis and increased mortality. Jack vertebral dilator kyphoplasty is a recently developed OVCFs treatment modality, with few systematic studies present in the literature. This retrospective study was designed to investigate the safety and efficacy of Jack vertebral dilator kyphoplasty for treating thoracolumbar OVCFs. Sixteen elderly patients (55-85 years) with solitary thoracolumbar OVCFs were treated with this procedure and followed-up (10-27 months). The amount of injected bone cement and operative time, preoperative and postoperative visual analogue scores, anterior and middle vertebral body heights, local kyphosis angle, and complications was analysed. The results showed that the method provided long-term pain relief and restoration of the vertebral body height and spinal alignment. No serious complications occurred, but two patients experienced recompression of the vertebral body, and one patient experienced cement leakage into a disc. In conclusion, Jack vertebral dilator kyphoplasty is a safe and effective minimally invasive procedure for treatment of OVCFs.

  8. Branch management: mechanisms of axon branching in the developing vertebrate CNS

    PubMed Central

    Kalil, Katherine; Dent, Erik W.

    2014-01-01

    The remarkable ability of a single axon to extend multiple branches and form terminal arbors allows vertebrate neurons to integrate information from divergent regions of the nervous system. Axons select appropriate pathways during development, but it is the branches that extend interstitially from the axon shaft and arborize at specific targets that are responsible for virtually all of the synaptic connectivity in the vertebrate CNS. How do axons form branches at specific target regions? Recent studies have identified molecular cues that activate intracellular signalling pathways in axons and mediate dynamic reorganization of the cytoskeleton to promote the formation of axon branches. PMID:24356070

  9. Developmental mechanisms of vertebrate limb evolution.

    PubMed

    Cohn, M J

    2001-01-01

    Over the past few years, our understanding of the evolution of limbs has been improved by important new discoveries in the fossil record. Additionally, rapid progress has been made in identifying the molecular basis of vertebrate limb development. It is now possible to integrate these two areas of research in order to identify the molecular developmental mechanisms underlying the evolution of paired appendages in vertebrates. After the origin of paired appendages, several vertebrate lineages reduced or eliminated fins and limbs and returned to the limbless condition. Examples include eels, caecilians, snakes, slow worms and several marine mammals. Analyses of fossil and extant vertebrates show that evolution of limblessness frequently occurred together with elongation of the trunk and loss of clear morphological boundaries in the vertebral column. This may be suggestive of a common developmental mechanism linking these two processes. We have addressed this question by analysing python embryonic development at tissue, cellular and molecular levels, and we have identified a developmental mechanism which may account for evolution of limb loss in these animals.

  10. Developmental mechanisms of vertebrate limb evolution.

    PubMed

    Cohn, M J

    2001-01-01

    Over the past few years, our understanding of the evolution of limbs has been improved by important new discoveries in the fossil record. Additionally, rapid progress has been made in identifying the molecular basis of vertebrate limb development. It is now possible to integrate these two areas of research in order to identify the molecular developmental mechanisms underlying the evolution of paired appendages in vertebrates. After the origin of paired appendages, several vertebrate lineages reduced or eliminated fins and limbs and returned to the limbless condition. Examples include eels, caecilians, snakes, slow worms and several marine mammals. Analyses of fossil and extant vertebrates show that evolution of limblessness frequently occurred together with elongation of the trunk and loss of clear morphological boundaries in the vertebral column. This may be suggestive of a common developmental mechanism linking these two processes. We have addressed this question by analysing python embryonic development at tissue, cellular and molecular levels, and we have identified a developmental mechanism which may account for evolution of limb loss in these animals. PMID:11277086

  11. Conserved or lost: molecular evolution of the key gene GULO in vertebrate vitamin C biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Yang, Hongwen

    2013-06-01

    L-gulono-gamma-lactone oxidase (GULO) catalyzes the final step in vertebrate vitamin C biosynthesis. Vitamin C-incapable vertebrates lack the GULO gene. Gene structure and phylogenetic analyses showed that vertebrate GULO genes are 64-95% identical at the amino acid level and consist of 11 conserved exons. GULO pseudogenes have multiple indel mutations and premature stop codons in higher primates, guinea pigs, and some bats. No GULO-like sequences were identified in teleost fishes. During animal GULO evolution, exon F was subdivided into F1 and F2. Additional GULO retropseudogenes were identified in dogs, cats, and giant pandas. GULO-flanking genome regions acquired frequent segment translocations and inversions during vertebrate evolution. Purifying selection was detected across vertebrate GULO genes (d(N)/d(S) = 0.069), except for some positively selected sites identified in sharks and frogs. These positive sites demonstrated little functional significance when mapped onto the three-dimensional GULO protein structure. Vertebrate GULO genes are conserved except for those that are lost. PMID:23404229

  12. Epigenetic conservation at gene regulatory elements revealed by non-methylated DNA profiling in seven vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Long, Hannah K; Sims, David; Heger, Andreas; Blackledge, Neil P; Kutter, Claudia; Wright, Megan L; Grützner, Frank; Odom, Duncan T; Patient, Roger; Ponting, Chris P; Klose, Robert J

    2013-01-01

    Two-thirds of gene promoters in mammals are associated with regions of non-methylated DNA, called CpG islands (CGIs), which counteract the repressive effects of DNA methylation on chromatin. In cold-blooded vertebrates, computational CGI predictions often reside away from gene promoters, suggesting a major divergence in gene promoter architecture across vertebrates. By experimentally identifying non-methylated DNA in the genomes of seven diverse vertebrates, we instead reveal that non-methylated islands (NMIs) of DNA are a central feature of vertebrate gene promoters. Furthermore, NMIs are present at orthologous genes across vast evolutionary distances, revealing a surprising level of conservation in this epigenetic feature. By profiling NMIs in different tissues and developmental stages we uncover a unifying set of features that are central to the function of NMIs in vertebrates. Together these findings demonstrate an ancient logic for NMI usage at gene promoters and reveal an unprecedented level of epigenetic conservation across vertebrate evolution. DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00348.001. PMID:23467541

  13. Spinal dermoid sinus in a Dachshund with vertebral and thoracic limb malformations

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Dermoid sinus is an uncommon epithelial-lined fistula that may be associated with vertebral malformations. In humans, Klippel-Feil syndrome (KFS) is a rare condition characterized by congenital cervical vertebral fusion and may be associated with other developmental defects, including dermoid sinus. The present case report describes an adult Dachshund with cervical and cranial thoracic vertebral malformations as well as thoracic limb malformations resembling KFS with a concurrent type IV dermoid sinus. Case presentation A 1.5 year-old Dachshund with congenital thoracic limbs deformities and cervical-thoracic vertebral malformations presented with cervical hyperesthesia, rigidity of the cervical musculature and tetraparesis. Neurologic, radiographic, and computed tomography (CT) (2D, 3D, CT fistulography) examinations revealed skeletal anomalies, a dermoid sinus in the cranial thoracic region and epidural gas within the vertebral canal. Surgical resection and histopathological evaluation of the sinus tract were performed and confirmed a type IV dermoid sinus. The clinical signs progressively recovered postoperatively, and no recurrent signs were observed after 6 months of follow-up. Conclusions Cervical vertebral malformations associated with limbs anomalies have not been reported in dogs and may represent a condition similar to KFS in humans. KFS can occur concurrently with other congenital conditions including dermoid sinus and should be included among the complex congenital anomalies described in dogs. PMID:24593884

  14. The fragmentation of Pangaea and Mesozoic terrestrial vertebrate biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Vavrek, Matthew J

    2016-09-01

    During the Mesozoic (242-66 million years ago), terrestrial regions underwent a massive shift in their size, position and connectivity. At the beginning of the era, the land masses were joined into a single supercontinent called Pangaea. However, by the end of the Mesozoic, terrestrial regions had become highly fragmented, both owing to the drifting apart of the continental plates and the extremely high sea levels that flooded and divided many regions. How terrestrial biodiversity was affected by this fragmentation and large-scale flooding of the Earth's landmasses is uncertain. Based on a model using the species-area relationship (SAR), terrestrial vertebrate biodiversity would be expected to nearly double through the Mesozoic owing to continental fragmentation, despite a decrease of 24% in total terrestrial area. Previous studies of Mesozoic vertebrates have generally found increases in terrestrial diversity towards the end of the era, although these increases are often attributed to intrinsic or climatic factors. Instead, continental fragmentation over this time may largely explain any observed increase in terrestrial biodiversity. This study demonstrates the importance that non-intrinsic effects can have on the taxonomic success of a group, and the importance of geography to understanding past biodiversity. PMID:27651536

  15. Enhancer turnover and conserved regulatory function in vertebrate evolution

    PubMed Central

    Domené, Sabina; Bumaschny, Viviana F.; de Souza, Flávio S. J.; Franchini, Lucía F.; Nasif, Sofía; Low, Malcolm J.; Rubinstein, Marcelo

    2013-01-01

    Mutations in regulatory regions including enhancers are an important source of variation and innovation during evolution. Enhancers can evolve by changes in the sequence, arrangement and repertoire of transcription factor binding sites, but whole enhancers can also be lost or gained in certain lineages in a process of turnover. The proopiomelanocortin gene (Pomc), which encodes a prohormone, is expressed in the pituitary and hypothalamus of all jawed vertebrates. We have previously described that hypothalamic Pomc expression in mammals is controlled by two enhancers—nPE1 and nPE2—that are derived from transposable elements and that presumably replaced the ancestral neuronal Pomc regulatory regions. Here, we show that nPE1 and nPE2, even though they are mammalian novelties with no homologous counterpart in other vertebrates, nevertheless can drive gene expression specifically to POMC neurons in the hypothalamus of larval and adult transgenic zebrafish. This indicates that when neuronal Pomc enhancers originated de novo during early mammalian evolution, the newly created cis- and trans-codes were similar to the ancestral ones. We also identify the neuronal regulatory region of zebrafish pomca and confirm that it is not homologous to the mammalian enhancers. Our work sheds light on the process of gene regulatory evolution by showing how a locus can undergo enhancer turnover and nevertheless maintain the ancestral transcriptional output. PMID:24218639

  16. The fragmentation of Pangaea and Mesozoic terrestrial vertebrate biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Vavrek, Matthew J

    2016-09-01

    During the Mesozoic (242-66 million years ago), terrestrial regions underwent a massive shift in their size, position and connectivity. At the beginning of the era, the land masses were joined into a single supercontinent called Pangaea. However, by the end of the Mesozoic, terrestrial regions had become highly fragmented, both owing to the drifting apart of the continental plates and the extremely high sea levels that flooded and divided many regions. How terrestrial biodiversity was affected by this fragmentation and large-scale flooding of the Earth's landmasses is uncertain. Based on a model using the species-area relationship (SAR), terrestrial vertebrate biodiversity would be expected to nearly double through the Mesozoic owing to continental fragmentation, despite a decrease of 24% in total terrestrial area. Previous studies of Mesozoic vertebrates have generally found increases in terrestrial diversity towards the end of the era, although these increases are often attributed to intrinsic or climatic factors. Instead, continental fragmentation over this time may largely explain any observed increase in terrestrial biodiversity. This study demonstrates the importance that non-intrinsic effects can have on the taxonomic success of a group, and the importance of geography to understanding past biodiversity.

  17. A new mechanistic scenario for the origin and evolution of vertebrate cartilage.

    PubMed

    Cattell, Maria; Lai, Su; Cerny, Robert; Medeiros, Daniel Meulemans

    2011-01-01

    The appearance of cellular cartilage was a defining event in vertebrate evolution because it made possible the physical expansion of the vertebrate "new head". Despite its central role in vertebrate evolution, the origin of cellular cartilage has been difficult to understand. This is largely due to a lack of informative evolutionary intermediates linking vertebrate cellular cartilage to the acellular cartilage of invertebrate chordates. The basal jawless vertebrate, lamprey, has long been considered key to understanding the evolution of vertebrate cartilage. However, histological analyses of the lamprey head skeleton suggest it is composed of modern cellular cartilage and a putatively unrelated connective tissue called mucocartilage, with no obvious transitional tissue. Here we take a molecular approach to better understand the evolutionary relationships between lamprey cellular cartilage, gnathostome cellular cartilage, and lamprey mucocartilage. We find that despite overt histological similarity, lamprey and gnathostome cellular cartilage utilize divergent gene regulatory networks (GRNs). While the gnathostome cellular cartilage GRN broadly incorporates Runx, Barx, and Alx transcription factors, lamprey cellular cartilage does not express Runx or Barx, and only deploys Alx genes in certain regions. Furthermore, we find that lamprey mucocartilage, despite its distinctive mesenchymal morphology, deploys every component of the gnathostome cartilage GRN, albeit in different domains. Based on these findings, and previous work, we propose a stepwise model for the evolution of vertebrate cellular cartilage in which the appearance of a generic neural crest-derived skeletal tissue was followed by a phase of skeletal tissue diversification in early agnathans. In the gnathostome lineage, a single type of rigid cellular cartilage became dominant, replacing other skeletal tissues and evolving via gene cooption to become the definitive cellular cartilage of modern jawed

  18. A new mechanistic scenario for the origin and evolution of vertebrate cartilage.

    PubMed

    Cattell, Maria; Lai, Su; Cerny, Robert; Medeiros, Daniel Meulemans

    2011-01-01

    The appearance of cellular cartilage was a defining event in vertebrate evolution because it made possible the physical expansion of the vertebrate "new head". Despite its central role in vertebrate evolution, the origin of cellular cartilage has been difficult to understand. This is largely due to a lack of informative evolutionary intermediates linking vertebrate cellular cartilage to the acellular cartilage of invertebrate chordates. The basal jawless vertebrate, lamprey, has long been considered key to understanding the evolution of vertebrate cartilage. However, histological analyses of the lamprey head skeleton suggest it is composed of modern cellular cartilage and a putatively unrelated connective tissue called mucocartilage, with no obvious transitional tissue. Here we take a molecular approach to better understand the evolutionary relationships between lamprey cellular cartilage, gnathostome cellular cartilage, and lamprey mucocartilage. We find that despite overt histological similarity, lamprey and gnathostome cellular cartilage utilize divergent gene regulatory networks (GRNs). While the gnathostome cellular cartilage GRN broadly incorporates Runx, Barx, and Alx transcription factors, lamprey cellular cartilage does not express Runx or Barx, and only deploys Alx genes in certain regions. Furthermore, we find that lamprey mucocartilage, despite its distinctive mesenchymal morphology, deploys every component of the gnathostome cartilage GRN, albeit in different domains. Based on these findings, and previous work, we propose a stepwise model for the evolution of vertebrate cellular cartilage in which the appearance of a generic neural crest-derived skeletal tissue was followed by a phase of skeletal tissue diversification in early agnathans. In the gnathostome lineage, a single type of rigid cellular cartilage became dominant, replacing other skeletal tissues and evolving via gene cooption to become the definitive cellular cartilage of modern jawed

  19. Vertebral Development in Paleozoic and Mesozoic Tetrapods Revealed by Paleohistological Data

    PubMed Central

    Danto, Marylène; Witzmann, Florian; Fröbisch, Nadia B.

    2016-01-01

    Basal tetrapods display a wide spectrum of vertebral centrum morphologies that can be used to distinguish different tetrapod groups. The vertebral types range from multipartite centra in stem-tetrapods, temnospondyls, and seymouriamorphs up to monospondylous centra in lepospondyls and have been drawn upon for reconstructing major evolutionary trends in tetrapods that are now considered textbook knowledge. Two modes of vertebral formation have been postulated: the multipartite vertebrae formed first as cartilaginous elements with subsequent ossification. The monospondylous centrum, in contrast, was formed by direct ossification without a cartilaginous precursor. This study describes centrum morphogenesis in basal tetrapods for the first time, based on bone histology. Our results show that the intercentra of the investigated stem-tetrapods consist of a small band of periosteal bone and a dense network of endochondral bone. In stereospondyl temnospondyls, high amounts of calcified cartilage are preserved in the endochondral trabeculae. Notably, the periosteal region is thickened and highly vascularized in the plagiosaurid stereospondyls. Among “microsaur” lepospondyls, the thickened periosteal region is composed of compact bone and the notochordal canal is surrounded by large cell lacunae. In nectridean lepospondyls, the periosteal region has a spongy structure with large intertrabecular spaces, whereas the endochondral region has a highly cancellous structure. Our observations indicate that regardless of whether multipartite or monospondylous, the centra of basal tetrapods display first endochondral and subsequently periosteal ossification. A high interspecific variability is observed in growth rate, organization, and initiation of periosteal ossification. Moreover, vertebral development and structure reflect different lifestyles. The bottom-dwelling Plagiosauridae increase their skeletal mass by hyperplasy of the periosteal region. In nectrideans, the skeletal

  20. Computer-assisted analysis of cervical vertebral bone age using cephalometric radiographs in Brazilian subjects.

    PubMed

    Caldas, Maria de Paula; Ambrosano, Gláucia Maria Bovi; Haiter Neto, Francisco

    2010-01-01

    The aims of this study were to develop a computerized program for objectively evaluating skeletal maturation on cephalometric radiographs, and to apply the new method to Brazilian subjects. The samples were taken from the patient files of Oral Radiological Clinics from the North, Northeast, Midwest and South regions of the country. A total of 717 subjects aged 7.0 to 15.9 years who had lateral cephalometric radiographs and hand-wrist radiographs were selected. A cervical vertebral computerized analysis was created in the Radiocef Studio 2 computer software for digital cephalometric analysis, and cervical vertebral bone age was calculated using the formulas developed by Caldas et al.17 (2007). Hand-wrist bone age was evaluated by the TW3 method. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and the Tukey test were used to compare cervical vertebral bone age, hand-wrist bone age and chronological age (P < 0.05). No significant difference was found between cervical vertebral bone age and chronological age in all regions studied. When analyzing bone age, it was possible to observe a statistically significant difference between cervical vertebral bone age and hand-wrist bone age for female and male subjects in the North and Northeast regions, as well as for male subjects in the Midwest region. No significant difference was observed between bone age and chronological age in all regions except for male subjects in the North and female subjects in the Northeast. Using cervical vertebral bone age, it might be possible to evaluate skeletal maturation in an objective manner using cephalometric radiographs.

  1. Hedgehog Secretion and Signal Transduction in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Ryan, Kaitlyn E.; Chiang, Chin

    2012-01-01

    Signaling by the Hedgehog (Hh) family of secreted proteins is essential for proper embryonic patterning and development. Dysregulation of Hh signaling is associated with a variety of human diseases ranging from developmental disorders such as holoprosencephaly to certain forms of cancer, including medulloblastoma and basal cell carcinoma. Genetic studies in flies and mice have shaped our understanding of Hh signaling and revealed that nearly all core components of the pathway are highly conserved. Although many aspects of the Drosophila Hh pathway are conserved in vertebrates, mechanistic differences between the two species have begun to emerge. Perhaps the most striking divergence in vertebrate Hh signaling is its dependence on the primary cilium, a vestigial organelle that is largely absent in flies. This minireview will provide an overview of Hh signaling and present recent insights into vertebrate Hh secretion, receptor binding, and signal transduction. PMID:22474285

  2. [Amphioxus: how to become a vertebrate].

    PubMed

    Bertrand, Stéphanie; Camasses, Alain; Escriva, Hector

    2007-01-01

    Evo-devo is a young disciplin, which aims to explain the morphological evolution of organisms through developmental mechanisms and genes networks. A major question within this discipline is the origin of vertebrates. It seems now admitted that vertebrates derive from an invertebrate chordate ancestor. Several models among living chordate representatives are used today to answer this question. The small world of evo-evo interested in the emergence of vertebrates is ebullient about the advent of several totally sequenced genomes allowing comparative analyses to become evermore reliable. Furthermore "non classical" models are developed which can be submitted to refined developmental analysis. One of these is amphioxus (genus Branchyostoma), "a peaceful anchory fillet to illuminate chordate evolution" (Garcia-Fernandez, 2006a, b). The features of this model are described in this review.

  3. The origin of the vertebrate skeleton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pivar, Stuart

    2011-01-01

    The anatomy of the human and other vertebrates has been well described since the days of Leonardo da Vinci and Vesalius. The causative origin of the configuration of the bones and of their shapes and forms has been addressed over the ensuing centuries by such outstanding investigators as Goethe, Von Baer, Gegenbauer, Wilhelm His and D'Arcy Thompson, who sought to apply mechanical principles to morphogenesis. However, no coherent causative model of morphogenesis has ever been presented. This paper presents a causative model for the origin of the vertebrate skeleton, based on the premise that the body is a mosaic enlargement of self-organized patterns engrained in the membrane of the egg cell. Drawings illustrate the proposed hypothetical origin of membrane patterning and the changes in the hydrostatic equilibrium of the cytoplasm that cause topographical deformations resulting in the vertebrate body form.

  4. Three Distinct Glutamate Decarboxylase Genes in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Grone, Brian P.; Maruska, Karen P.

    2016-01-01

    Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a widely conserved signaling molecule that in animals has been adapted as a neurotransmitter. GABA is synthesized from the amino acid glutamate by the action of glutamate decarboxylases (GADs). Two vertebrate genes, GAD1 and GAD2, encode distinct GAD proteins: GAD67 and GAD65, respectively. We have identified a third vertebrate GAD gene, GAD3. This gene is conserved in fishes as well as tetrapods. We analyzed protein sequence, gene structure, synteny, and phylogenetics to identify GAD3 as a homolog of GAD1 and GAD2. Interestingly, we found that GAD3 was lost in the hominid lineage. Because of the importance of GABA as a neurotransmitter, GAD3 may play important roles in vertebrate nervous systems. PMID:27461130

  5. The efficacy of radiotherapy for vertebral hemangiomas.

    PubMed

    Miszczyk, L; Ficek, K; Trela, K; Spindel, J

    2001-01-01

    Vertebral hemangiomas are benign, slowly growing tumors sometimes causing local pain in the spine and/or neurologic disorders. The present paper includes 14 cases of painful vertebral hemangiomas treated by radiotherapy. All patients were irradiated using standard fractionation scheme with a total dose 20-30 Gy. One month after the treatment complete pain relief was noted in 36% of cases, five months later in 67% of cases, but in the remaining cases partial pain relief was noted. No correlation between treatment outcome and different biological and technical factors was found. No dose-response relationship was noted. The results suggest that anti-inflamatory effect of radiation plays the major role in this kind of treatment and that radiotherapy for vertebral hemangiomas is easy, short and highly effective analgetic treatment modality.

  6. Cervical Vertebral Body Chordoma in a Cat.

    PubMed

    Hampel, R; Taylor-Brown, F; Priestnall, S L

    2016-05-01

    A 9-year-old, neutered female Maine Coon cat with a 6-week history of progressive ataxia was diagnosed with a cervical vertebral body mass using magnetic resonance imaging. The mass displaced and compressed the cervical spinal cord. The cat was humanely destroyed and necropsy examination confirmed a mass within the second cervical vertebral body. Microscopically, the mass was composed of large, clear, vacuolated ('physaliferous') cells. Immunohistochemically, the neoplastic cells expressed both cytokeratin and vimentin and the final diagnosis was a cervical, vertebral body chordoma. This is only the third report of a chordoma in this species and the first in this location. Chordoma should be considered as a potential differential diagnosis for tumours arising from the cervical vertebrae in the cat.

  7. Chitin is endogenously produced in vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Sohn, Joel J.; Amemiya, Chris T.

    2015-01-01

    Chitin, a biopolymer of N-acetylglucosamine, is abundant in invertebrates and fungi, and is an important structural molecule. There has been a longstanding belief that vertebrates do not produce chitin, however, we have obtained compelling evidence to the contrary. Chitin synthase genes are present in numerous fishes and amphibians, and chitin is localized in situ to the lumen of the developing zebrafish gut, in epithelial cells of fish scales, and in at least three different cell types in larval salamander appendages. Chitin synthase gene knockdowns and various histochemical experiments in zebrafish further authenticated our results. Finally, a polysaccharide was extracted from scales of salmon that exhibited all the chemical hallmarks of chitin. Our data and analyses demonstrate the existence of endogenous chitin in vertebrates and suggest that it serves multiple roles in vertebrate biology. PMID:25772447

  8. The evolution of early vertebrate photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Collin, Shaun P; Davies, Wayne L; Hart, Nathan S; Hunt, David M

    2009-10-12

    Meeting the challenge of sampling an ancient aquatic landscape by the early vertebrates was crucial to their survival and would establish a retinal bauplan to be used by all subsequent vertebrate descendents. Image-forming eyes were under tremendous selection pressure and the ability to identify suitable prey and detect potential predators was thought to be one of the major drivers of speciation in the Early Cambrian. Based on the fossil record, we know that hagfishes, lampreys, holocephalans, elasmobranchs and lungfishes occupy critical stages in vertebrate evolution, having remained relatively unchanged over hundreds of millions of years. Now using extant representatives of these 'living fossils', we are able to piece together the evolution of vertebrate photoreception. While photoreception in hagfishes appears to be based on light detection and controlling circadian rhythms, rather than image formation, the photoreceptors of lampreys fall into five distinct classes and represent a critical stage in the dichotomy of rods and cones. At least four types of retinal cones sample the visual environment in lampreys mediating photopic (and potentially colour) vision, a sampling strategy retained by lungfishes, some modern teleosts, reptiles and birds. Trichromacy is retained in cartilaginous fishes (at least in batoids and holocephalans), where it is predicted that true scotopic (dim light) vision evolved in the common ancestor of all living gnathostomes. The capacity to discriminate colour and balance the tradeoff between resolution and sensitivity in the early vertebrates was an important driver of eye evolution, where many of the ocular features evolved were retained as vertebrates progressed on to land.

  9. Vertebral fractures in males with prolactinoma.

    PubMed

    Mazziotti, Gherardo; Porcelli, Teresa; Mormando, Marilda; De Menis, Ernesto; Bianchi, Antonio; Mejia, Carola; Mancini, Tatiana; De Marinis, Laura; Giustina, Andrea

    2011-06-01

    Data on osteoporotic fractures in hyperprolactinemia are limited. An increased prevalence of radiological vertebral fractures was recently observed in women with prolactin (PRL)-secreting adenoma, whereas it is unknown whether this observation may reflect a more general increased risk of fractures in this disease and whether the prevalence of fractures in males is affected by gonadal status. Thirty-two males (median age 47 years, range: 22-79) with PRL-secreting pituitary adenoma (10 with microadenoma and 22 with macroadenoma) and 64 control males, with normal PRL values and with comparable age to patients with hyperprolactinemia, were evaluated for vertebral fractures by a morphometric approach and for bone mineral density (BMD) by a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry at lumbar spine. Vertebral fractures were shown in 12 patients with PRL-secreting adenoma (37.5%) and in 5 controls (7.8%, P < 0.001). Fractured patients had lower BMD T-score (P = 0.007) and longer duration of disease (P < 0.001) as compared to patients who did not fracture. Fractures occurred more frequently (P = 0.03) in patients with untreated hyperprolactinemia versus patients treated with cabergoline whose frequency of vertebral fractures was still higher than control subjects. The prevalence of vertebral fractures was not significantly different between eugonadal and hypogonadal patients (33.3% vs. 38.5%; P = 0.8). Moreover, no significant (P = 0.4) difference in serum testosterone values was found between fractured and not fractured males. Hyperprolactinemia is associated with high prevalence of radiological vertebral fractures in men with PRL-secreting adenoma. These findings would also suggest that PRL excess may produce negative skeletal effects independently of hypogonadism.

  10. The evolution of vertebrate color vision.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, Gerald H

    2012-01-01

    Color vision is conventionally defined as the ability of animals to reliably discriminate among objects and lights based solely on differences in their spectral properties. Although the nature of color vision varies widely in different animals, a large majority of all vertebrate species possess some color vision and that fact attests to the adaptive importance this capacity holds as a tool for analyzing the environment. In recent years dramatic advances have been made in our understanding of the nature of vertebrate color vision and of the evolution of the biological mechanisms underlying this capacity. In this chapter I review and comment on these advances.

  11. Effort required to finish shotgun-generated genome sequences differs significantly among vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The approaches for shotgun-based sequencing of vertebrate genomes are now well-established, and have resulted in the generation of numerous draft whole-genome sequence assemblies. In contrast, the process of refining those assemblies to improve contiguity and increase accuracy (known as 'sequence finishing') remains tedious, labor-intensive, and expensive. As a result, the vast majority of vertebrate genome sequences generated to date remain at a draft stage. Results To date, our genome sequencing efforts have focused on comparative studies of targeted genomic regions, requiring sequence finishing of large blocks of orthologous sequence (average size 0.5-2 Mb) from various subsets of 75 vertebrates. This experience has provided a unique opportunity to compare the relative effort required to finish shotgun-generated genome sequence assemblies from different species, which we report here. Importantly, we found that the sequence assemblies generated for the same orthologous regions from various vertebrates show substantial variation with respect to misassemblies and, in particular, the frequency and characteristics of sequence gaps. As a consequence, the work required to finish different species' sequences varied greatly. Application of the same standardized methods for finishing provided a novel opportunity to "assay" characteristics of genome sequences among many vertebrate species. It is important to note that many of the problems we have encountered during sequence finishing reflect unique architectural features of a particular vertebrate's genome, which in some cases may have important functional and/or evolutionary implications. Finally, based on our analyses, we have been able to improve our procedures to overcome some of these problems and to increase the overall efficiency of the sequence-finishing process, although significant challenges still remain. Conclusion Our findings have important implications for the eventual finishing of the draft whole

  12. Expression of acid phosphatase in the seminiferous epithelium of vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Peruquetti, R L; Taboga, S R; Azeredo-Oliveira, M T V

    2010-01-01

    Acid phosphatases (AcPs) are known to provide phosphate to tissues that have high energy requirements, especially during development, growth and maturation. During spermatogenesis AcP activity is manifested in heterophagous lysosomes of Sertoli cells. This phagocytic function appears to be hormone-independent. We examined the expression pattern of AcP during the reproductive period of four species belonging to different vertebrate groups: Tilapia rendalli (Teleostei, Cichlidae), Dendropsophus minutus (Amphibia, Anura), Meriones unguiculatus (Mammalia, Rodentia), and Oryctolagus cuniculus (Mammalia, Lagomorpha). To demonstrate AcP activity, cryosections were processed for enzyme histochemistry by a modification of the method of Gömöri. AcP activity was similar in the testes of these four species. Testes of T. rendalli, D. minutus and M. unguiculatus showed an intense reaction in the Sertoli cell region. AcP activity was detected in the testes of D. minutus and O. cuniculus in seminiferous epithelium regions, where cells are found in more advanced stages of development. The seminiferous epithelium of all four species exhibited AcP activity, mainly in the cytoplasm of either Sertoli cells or germ cells. These findings reinforce the importance of AcP activity during the spermatogenesis process in vertebrates. PMID:20391346

  13. Replication-associated strand asymmetries in vertebrate genomes and implications for replicon size, DNA replication origin, and termination.

    PubMed

    Hou, Wen-Ru; Wang, Hai-Fang; Niu, Deng-Ke

    2006-06-16

    Strand compositional asymmetry has been observed in prokaryotes and used in predicting prokaryotic DNA replication origins and termini. However, it was not found in eukaryotic genomes by the same methods. We propose that transcription-associated strand asymmetries mask the replication-associated ones. By analyzing the nucleotide composition of intergenic sequences larger than 50 kb by cumulative skew diagrams (CSD), we found replication-associated strand asymmetry in vertebrate genomes. Furthermore, we found that the most common replicon sizes in vertebrates are 50-100 kb, and show evidence that the replication origin and termination regions of vertebrate genomes range from a discrete site to a broad zone.

  14. Transposon-mediated Genome Manipulations in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Ivics, Zoltán; Li, Meng Amy; Mátés, Lajos; Boeke, Jef D.; Bradley, Allan; Izsvák, Zsuzsanna

    2010-01-01

    Transposable elements are segments of DNA with the unique ability to move about in the genome. This inherent feature can be exploited to harness these elements as gene vectors for diverse genome manipulations. Transposon-based genetic strategies have been established in vertebrate species over the last decade, and current progress in this field indicates that transposable elements will serve as indispensable tools in the genetic toolkit of vertebrate models. In particular, transposons can be applied as vectors for somatic and germline transgenesis, and as insertional mutagens in both loss-of-function and gain-of-function forward mutagenesis screens. The major advantage of using transposons as genetic tools is that they facilitate analysis of gene function in an easy, controlled and scalable manner. Transposon-based technologies are beginning to be exploited to link sequence information to gene functions in vertebrate models. In this article, we provide an overview of transposon-based methods used in vertebrate model organisms, and highlight the most important considerations concerning genetic applications of the transposon systems. PMID:19478801

  15. Vertebral choristoma in lipomyelomeningocele: a case report.

    PubMed

    Joshua, S P; Singh, Pankaj Kumar; Mahapatra, A K

    2012-01-01

    Lipomeningocele is a type of occult spinal dysraphism characterized by a subcutaneous lipomatous mass that protrudes through a midline bony defect. We report a rare presentation of this condition--a vertebral choristoma wherein the lipomatous mass displaced the normally formed posterior elements--lamina and spinous process of L4 vertebra dorsally to an abnormal location in the absence of a bony defect.

  16. Vertebral osteomyelitis due to Staphylococcus lugdunensis.

    PubMed Central

    Murdoch, D R; Everts, R J; Chambers, S T; Cowan, I A

    1996-01-01

    We present the first reported case of vertebral osteomyelitis due to Staphylococcus lugdunensis. The infection occurred in an 80-year-old woman who had been taking glucocorticosteroids. S. lugdunensis is a coagulase-negative staphylococcus with considerable potential as a human pathogen. Isolation of this organism should be regarded as significant unless evidence suggests otherwise. PMID:8815128

  17. [Sex inversion and epigenetic regulation in Vertebrates].

    PubMed

    Trukhina, A V; Lukina, N A; Nekrasova, A A; Smirnov, A F

    2015-03-01

    This review discusses issues related to the regulation of sex determination and differentiation in various groups of Vertebrates. Special attention was paid to factors of external and internal control for various genetic systems of sex determination, as well as to the epigenetic control of this process. Opportunities for sex inversion in various animals were also discussed.

  18. Diagnosis and Management of Vertebral Compression Fractures.

    PubMed

    McCarthy, Jason; Davis, Amy

    2016-07-01

    Vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) are the most common complication of osteoporosis, affecting more than 700,000 Americans annually. Fracture risk increases with age, with four in 10 white women older than 50 years experiencing a hip, spine, or vertebral fracture in their lifetime. VCFs can lead to chronic pain, disfigurement, height loss, impaired activities of daily living, increased risk of pressure sores, pneumonia, and psychological distress. Patients with an acute VCF may report abrupt onset of back pain with position changes, coughing, sneezing, or lifting. Physical examination findings are often normal, but can demonstrate kyphosis and midline spine tenderness. More than two-thirds of patients are asymptomatic and diagnosed incidentally on plain radiography. Acute VCFs may be treated with analgesics such as acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, narcotics, and calcitonin. Physicians must be mindful of medication adverse effects in older patients. Other conservative therapeutic options include limited bed rest, bracing, physical therapy, nerve root blocks, and epidural injections. Percutaneous vertebral augmentation, including vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty, is controversial, but can be considered in patients with inadequate pain relief with nonsurgical care or when persistent pain substantially affects quality of life. Family physicians can help prevent vertebral fractures through management of risk factors and the treatment of osteoporosis. PMID:27386723

  19. Pleistocene vertebrates of the Yukon Territory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harington, C. R.

    2011-08-01

    Unglaciated parts of the Yukon constitute one of the most important areas in North America for yielding Pleistocene vertebrate fossils. Nearly 30 vertebrate faunal localities are reviewed spanning a period of about 1.6 Ma (million years ago) to the close of the Pleistocene some 10 000 BP (radiocarbon years before present, taken as 1950). The vertebrate fossils represent at least 8 species of fishes, 1 amphibian, 41 species of birds and 83 species of mammals. Dominant among the large mammals are: steppe bison ( Bison priscus), horse ( Equus sp.), woolly mammoth ( Mammuthus primigenius), and caribou ( Rangifer tarandus) - signature species of the Mammoth Steppe fauna ( Fig. 1), which was widespread from the British Isles, through northern Europe, and Siberia to Alaska, Yukon and adjacent Northwest Territories. The Yukon faunas extend from Herschel Island in the north to Revenue Creek in the south and from the Alaskan border in the west to Ketza River in the east. The Yukon holds evidence of the earliest-known people in North America. Artifacts made from bison, mammoth and caribou bones from Bluefish Caves, Old Crow Basin and Dawson City areas show that people had a substantial knowledge of making and using bone tools at least by 25 000 BP, and possibly as early as 40 000 BP. A suggested chronological sequence of Yukon Pleistocene vertebrates ( Table 1) facilitates comparison of selected faunas and indicates the known duration of various taxa.

  20. Control of Vertebrate Pests of Agricultural Crops.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wingard, Robert G.; Studholme, Clinton R.

    This agriculture extension service publication of Pennsylvania State University discusses the damage from and control of vertebrate pests. Specific discussions describe the habits, habitat, and various control measures for blackbirds and crows, deer, meadow and pine mice, European starlings, and woodchucks. Where confusion with non-harmful species…

  1. A Cambrian origin for vertebrate rods

    PubMed Central

    Asteriti, Sabrina; Grillner, Sten; Cangiano, Lorenzo

    2015-01-01

    Vertebrates acquired dim-light vision when an ancestral cone evolved into the rod photoreceptor at an unknown stage preceding the last common ancestor of extant jawed vertebrates (∼420 million years ago Ma). The jawless lampreys provide a unique opportunity to constrain the timing of this advance, as their line diverged ∼505 Ma and later displayed high-morphological stability. We recorded with patch electrodes the inner segment photovoltages and with suction electrodes the outer segment photocurrents of Lampetra fluviatilis retinal photoreceptors. Several key functional features of jawed vertebrate rods are present in their phylogenetically homologous photoreceptors in lamprey: crucially, the efficient amplification of the effect of single photons, measured by multiple parameters, and the flow of rod signals into cones. These results make convergent evolution in the jawless and jawed vertebrate lines unlikely and indicate an early origin of rods, implying strong selective pressure toward dim-light vision in Cambrian ecosystems. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07166.001 PMID:26095697

  2. A comparative analysis of vertebrate sex determination.

    PubMed

    Sinclair, Andrew; Smith, Craig; Western, Patrick; McClive, Peter

    2002-01-01

    Sex determination in vertebrates is controlled by a variety of mechanisms. We compared the expression of SF1, DAX1, DMRT1, SOX9 and AMH during gonadogenesis in the mouse, chicken and alligator embryo. In contrast to the expression profile of Sf1 in mouse embryos, chicken and alligator embryos show higher levels of Sf1 expression in the developing ovaries compared to testes. This may reflect the higher level of sex hormone synthesis in the ovary compared to the testis in chickens and alligators. The DAX1 gene has a similar expression profile in all three vertebrate species but appears to have different gene structure. As in mouse, DMRT1 was expressed at very high levels in the chicken and alligator male gonad. The male-specific up-regulation of SOX9 expression appears to be a common feature in all three vertebrates. In the chicken and alligator AMH is expressed prior to SOX9, suggesting that in these species SOX9 cannot initiate AMH expression as it does in mammals. SOX9 acts at multiple points in the vertebrate testis pathway but it appears that only some of these functions have been conserved through evolution. PMID:11990786

  3. Vertebrate Pest Control. Sale Publication 4077.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stimmann, M. W.; Clark, Dell O.

    This guide gives descriptions of common vertebrate pests and guidelines for using some common pesticides. The pests discussed are rats, mice, bats, moles, muskrats, ground squirrels, and gophers. Information is given for each pest on the type of damage the pest can do, the habitat and biology of the pest, and the most effective control methods.…

  4. Diversity and Community Composition of Vertebrates in Desert River Habitats.

    PubMed

    Free, C L; Baxter, G S; Dickman, C R; Lisle, A; Leung, L K-P

    2015-01-01

    Animal species are seldom distributed evenly at either local or larger spatial scales, and instead tend to aggregate in sites that meet their resource requirements and maximise fitness. This tendency is likely to be especially marked in arid regions where species could be expected to concentrate at resource-rich oases. In this study, we first test the hypothesis that productive riparian sites in arid Australia support higher vertebrate diversity than other desert habitats, and then elucidate the habitats selected by different species. We addressed the first aim by examining the diversity and composition of vertebrate assemblages inhabiting the Field River and adjacent sand dunes in the Simpson Desert, western Queensland, over a period of two and a half years. The second aim was addressed by examining species composition in riparian and sand dune habitats in dry and wet years. Vertebrate species richness was estimated to be highest (54 species) in the riverine habitats and lowest on the surrounding dune habitats (45 species). The riverine habitats had different species pools compared to the dune habitats. Several species, including the agamid Gowidon longirostris and tree frog Litoria rubella, inhabited the riverine habitats exclusively, while others such as the skinks Ctenotus ariadnae and C. dux were captured only in the dune habitats. The results suggest that, on a local scale, diversity is higher along riparian corridors and that riparian woodland is important for tree-dependent species. Further, the distribution of some species, such as Mus musculus, may be governed by environmental variables (e.g. soil moisture) associated with riparian corridors that are not available in the surrounding desert environment. We conclude that inland river systems may be often of high conservation value, and that management should be initiated where possible to alleviate threats to their continued functioning. PMID:26637127

  5. Diversity and Community Composition of Vertebrates in Desert River Habitats.

    PubMed

    Free, C L; Baxter, G S; Dickman, C R; Lisle, A; Leung, L K-P

    2015-01-01

    Animal species are seldom distributed evenly at either local or larger spatial scales, and instead tend to aggregate in sites that meet their resource requirements and maximise fitness. This tendency is likely to be especially marked in arid regions where species could be expected to concentrate at resource-rich oases. In this study, we first test the hypothesis that productive riparian sites in arid Australia support higher vertebrate diversity than other desert habitats, and then elucidate the habitats selected by different species. We addressed the first aim by examining the diversity and composition of vertebrate assemblages inhabiting the Field River and adjacent sand dunes in the Simpson Desert, western Queensland, over a period of two and a half years. The second aim was addressed by examining species composition in riparian and sand dune habitats in dry and wet years. Vertebrate species richness was estimated to be highest (54 species) in the riverine habitats and lowest on the surrounding dune habitats (45 species). The riverine habitats had different species pools compared to the dune habitats. Several species, including the agamid Gowidon longirostris and tree frog Litoria rubella, inhabited the riverine habitats exclusively, while others such as the skinks Ctenotus ariadnae and C. dux were captured only in the dune habitats. The results suggest that, on a local scale, diversity is higher along riparian corridors and that riparian woodland is important for tree-dependent species. Further, the distribution of some species, such as Mus musculus, may be governed by environmental variables (e.g. soil moisture) associated with riparian corridors that are not available in the surrounding desert environment. We conclude that inland river systems may be often of high conservation value, and that management should be initiated where possible to alleviate threats to their continued functioning.

  6. Diversity and Community Composition of Vertebrates in Desert River Habitats

    PubMed Central

    Free, C. L.; Baxter, G. S.; Dickman, C. R.; Lisle, A.; Leung, L. K.-P.

    2015-01-01

    Animal species are seldom distributed evenly at either local or larger spatial scales, and instead tend to aggregate in sites that meet their resource requirements and maximise fitness. This tendency is likely to be especially marked in arid regions where species could be expected to concentrate at resource-rich oases. In this study, we first test the hypothesis that productive riparian sites in arid Australia support higher vertebrate diversity than other desert habitats, and then elucidate the habitats selected by different species. We addressed the first aim by examining the diversity and composition of vertebrate assemblages inhabiting the Field River and adjacent sand dunes in the Simpson Desert, western Queensland, over a period of two and a half years. The second aim was addressed by examining species composition in riparian and sand dune habitats in dry and wet years. Vertebrate species richness was estimated to be highest (54 species) in the riverine habitats and lowest on the surrounding dune habitats (45 species). The riverine habitats had different species pools compared to the dune habitats. Several species, including the agamid Gowidon longirostris and tree frog Litoria rubella, inhabited the riverine habitats exclusively, while others such as the skinks Ctenotus ariadnae and C. dux were captured only in the dune habitats. The results suggest that, on a local scale, diversity is higher along riparian corridors and that riparian woodland is important for tree-dependent species. Further, the distribution of some species, such as Mus musculus, may be governed by environmental variables (e.g. soil moisture) associated with riparian corridors that are not available in the surrounding desert environment. We conclude that inland river systems may be often of high conservation value, and that management should be initiated where possible to alleviate threats to their continued functioning. PMID:26637127

  7. [Gas dissection of the vertebral body or the vertebral intrasomatic space phenomenon. Physiopathological arguments].

    PubMed

    Michel, J L; Bouzat, J; Rivoal, A; de Pradel de Lamaze, P; Viallet, J F; Belin, J; Merle, P

    1982-01-01

    Some features concerning the ischemic origin of the gaseous dissection of the vertebral body and the physiopathology of the necrose, are considered in the adult: --in the way, the anterior topography of vaccum phenomenon is on the model of the arterial distribution in the vertebral body, implying ischemic origin of gaseous dissection; --further, two cases of intravertebral vaccum cleft, noticed after minor trauma, suggest the major role of fractures at the origin of ischemia.

  8. Vertebral body stenting: a new method for vertebral augmentation versus kyphoplasty

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Heiner; Fuerderer, Sebastian; Gabl, Michael; Roeder, Christoph; Heini, Paul; Mittlmeier, Thomas

    2010-01-01

    Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are well-established minimally invasive treatment options for compression fractures of osteoporotic vertebral bodies. Possible procedural disadvantages, however, include incomplete fracture reduction or a significant loss of reduction after balloon tamp deflation, prior to cement injection. A new procedure called “vertebral body stenting” (VBS) was tested in vitro and compared to kyphoplasty. VBS uses a specially designed catheter-mounted stent which can be implanted and expanded inside the vertebral body. As much as 24 fresh frozen human cadaveric vertebral bodies (T11-L5) were utilized. After creating typical compression fractures, the vertebral bodies were reduced by kyphoplasty (n = 12) or by VBS (n = 12) and then stabilized with PMMA bone cement. Each step of the procedure was performed under fluoroscopic control and analysed quantitatively. Finally, static and dynamic biomechanical tests were performed. A complete initial reduction of the fractured vertebral body height was achieved by both systems. There was a significant loss of reduction after balloon deflation in kyphoplasty compared to VBS, and a significant total height gain by VBS (mean ± SD in %, p < 0.05, demonstrated by: anterior height loss after deflation in relation to preoperative height [kyphoplasty: 11.7 ± 6.2; VBS: 3.7 ± 3.8], and total anterior height gain [kyphoplasty: 8.0 ± 9.4; VBS: 13.3 ± 7.6]). Biomechanical tests showed no significant stiffness and failure load differences between systems. VBS is an innovative technique which allows for the possibly complete reduction of vertebral compression fractures and helps maintain the restored height by means of a stent. The height loss after balloon deflation is significantly decreased by using VBS compared to kyphoplasty, thus offering a new promising option for vertebral augmentation. PMID:20191393

  9. Determination of vertebral pose in 3D by minimization of vertebral asymmetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vrtovec, Tomaž; Pernuš, Franjo; Likar, Boštjan

    2011-03-01

    The vertebral pose in three dimensions (3D) may provide valuable information for quantitative clinical measurements or aid the initialization of image analysis techniques. We propose a method for automated determination of the vertebral pose in 3D that, in an iterative registration scheme, estimates the position and rotation of the vertebral coordinate system in 3D images. By searching for the hypothetical points, which are located where the boundaries of anatomical structures would have maximal symmetrical correspondences when mirrored over the vertebral planes, the asymmetry of vertebral anatomical structures is minimized. The method was evaluated on 14 normal and 14 scoliotic vertebrae in images acquired by computed tomography (CT). For each vertebra, 1000 randomly initialized experiments were performed. The results show that the vertebral pose can be successfully determined in 3D with mean accuracy of 0.5mm and 0.6° and mean precision of 0.17mm and 0.17. according to the 3D position and 3D rotation, respectively.

  10. Whole Genome Duplications Shaped the Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Repertoire of Jawed Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Brunet, Frédéric G.; Volff, Jean-Nicolas; Schartl, Manfred

    2016-01-01

    The receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) gene family, involved primarily in cell growth and differentiation, comprises proteins with a common enzymatic tyrosine kinase intracellular domain adjacent to a transmembrane region. The amino-terminal portion of RTKs is extracellular and made of different domains, the combination of which characterizes each of the 20 RTK subfamilies among mammals. We analyzed a total of 7,376 RTK sequences among 143 vertebrate species to provide here the first comprehensive census of the jawed vertebrate repertoire. We ascertained the 58 genes previously described in the human and mouse genomes and established their phylogenetic relationships. We also identified five additional RTKs amounting to a total of 63 genes in jawed vertebrates. We found that the vertebrate RTK gene family has been shaped by the two successive rounds of whole genome duplications (WGD) called 1R and 2R (1R/2R) that occurred at the base of the vertebrates. In addition, the Vegfr and Ephrin receptor subfamilies were expanded by single gene duplications. In teleost fish, 23 additional RTK genes have been retained after another expansion through the fish-specific third round (3R) of WGD. Several lineage-specific gene losses were observed. For instance, birds have lost three RTKs, and different genes are missing in several fish sublineages. The RTK gene family presents an unusual high gene retention rate from the vertebrate WGDs (58.75% after 1R/2R, 64.4% after 3R), resulting in an expansion that might be correlated with the evolution of complexity of vertebrate cellular communication and intracellular signaling. PMID:27260203

  11. New Findings Concerning Vertebrate Porin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thinnes, Friedrich P.; Reymann, Susanne

    Eukaryotic porin can be considered to be a good candidate for forming the channel component of the protein complex which, depending on the approach used, may realize its expression either as the outwardly-rectifying depolarization-induced chloride channel or as the volume-sensitive organic osmolyte-anion channel. As a basis for this proposition, we point to a series of correspondences in properties between mammalian porin and the ORDIC channel complex. Specifically, mammalian porin is expressed in the plasmalemma of different cells and chloride channels can be blocked by anti-human porin antibodies in astrocytes and endothelial cells. There is an indication of colocalisation of human porin and the cystic fibrosis (CF) gene product, CFTR, in the apical region of epithelial cells. The primary structure of porin from a CF patient was found to be normal. Cytosol and amniotic fluid fractions influence the channel characteristics of mammalian porin. Channel-active mammalian porin binds ATP and the stilbene disulphonate grouping of the chloride channel inhibitor DIDS. Human porin in black membranes is a pathway for taurine, and biogenic polyamines reduce the voltage dependence of human porin. Assuming the relationship between human porin and the ORDIC channel/VSOAC complex, studies on plasmalemma-integrated human porin have a relevance for CF research. In addition, we refer to a case study on a child with encephalomyopathy in which porin could not be detected using monoclonal anti-human porin antibodies. Our studies were based on purified and sequenced human porin from different cells and from different cell compartments. In addition, we raised antibodies against mature human porin or synthetic parts of the molecule. This provided a firm foundation for our topochemical work with which we were able to establish the multi-topological expression of eukaryotic porin channels. The data are summarized and discussed.

  12. Pneumococcal Vertebral Osteomyelitis after Epidural Injection: A Rare Event

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Tamara M; Chitturi, Chandrika; Lange, Michael; Suh, Jin S; Slim, Jihad

    2016-01-01

    Streptococcus pneumoniae vertebral infections have rarely been reported. Herein, we report a case of pneumococcal vertebral osteomyelitis with paraspinal and epidural abscesses as well as concomitant bacteremia following epidural injection. This will be the second case in the literature reporting pneumococcal vertebral osteomyelitis related to epidural manipulation. PMID:27621563

  13. Pneumococcal Vertebral Osteomyelitis after Epidural Injection: A Rare Event.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Tamara M; Chitturi, Chandrika; Lange, Michael; Suh, Jin S; Slim, Jihad

    2016-01-01

    Streptococcus pneumoniae vertebral infections have rarely been reported. Herein, we report a case of pneumococcal vertebral osteomyelitis with paraspinal and epidural abscesses as well as concomitant bacteremia following epidural injection. This will be the second case in the literature reporting pneumococcal vertebral osteomyelitis related to epidural manipulation. PMID:27621563

  14. The variety of vertebrate mechanisms of sex determination.

    PubMed

    Trukhina, Antonina V; Lukina, Natalia A; Wackerow-Kouzova, Natalia D; Smirnov, Alexander F

    2013-01-01

    The review deals with features of sex determination in vertebrates. The mechanisms of sex determination are compared between fishes, amphibians, reptilians, birds, and mammals. We focus on structural and functional differences in the role of sex-determining genes in different vertebrates. Special attention is paid to the role of estrogens in sex determination in nonmammalian vertebrates. PMID:24369014

  15. Vertebrate Paralogous MEF2 Genes: Origin, Conservation, and Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Wenwu; de Folter, Stefan; Shen, Xia; Zhang, Wenqian; Tao, Shiheng

    2011-01-01

    Background The myocyte enhancer factor 2 (MEF2) gene family is broadly expressed during the development and maintenance of muscle cells. Although a great deal has been elucidated concerning MEF2 transcription factors' regulation of specific gene expression in diverse programs and adaptive responses, little is known about the origin and evolution of the four members of the MEF2 gene family in vertebrates. Methodology/Principal Findings By phylogenetic analyses, we investigated the origin, conservation, and evolution of the four MEF2 genes. First, among the four MEF2 paralogous branches, MEF2B is clearly distant from the other three branches in vertebrates, mainly because it lacks the HJURP_C (Holliday junction recognition protein C-terminal) region. Second, three duplication events might have occurred to produce the four MEF2 paralogous genes and the latest duplication event occurred near the origin of vertebrates producing MEF2A and MEF2C. Third, the ratio (Ka/Ks) of non-synonymous to synonymous nucleotide substitution rates showed that MEF2B evolves faster than the other three MEF2 proteins despite purifying selection on all of the four MEF2 branches. Moreover, a pair model of M0 versus M3 showed that variable selection exists among MEF2 proteins, and branch-site analysis presented that sites 53 and 64 along the MEF2B branch are under positive selection. Finally, and interestingly, substitution rates showed that type II MADS genes (i.e., MEF2-like genes) evolve as slowly as type I MADS genes (i.e., SRF-like genes) in animals, which is inconsistent with the fact that type II MADS genes evolve much slower than type I MADS genes in plants. Conclusion Our findings shed light on the relationship of MEF2A, B, C, and D with functional conservation and evolution in vertebrates. This study provides a rationale for future experimental design to investigate distinct but overlapping regulatory roles of the four MEF2 genes in various tissues. PMID:21394201

  16. Vertebral Augmentation Involving Vertebroplasty or Kyphoplasty for Cancer-Related Vertebral Compression Fractures: An Economic Analysis

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Background Untreated vertebral compression fractures can have serious clinical consequences and impose a considerable impact on patients' quality of life and on caregivers. Since non-surgical management of these fractures has limited effectiveness, vertebral augmentation procedures are gaining acceptance in clinical practice for pain control and fracture stabilization. The objective of this analysis was to determine the cost-effectiveness and budgetary impact of kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty compared with non-surgical management for the treatment of vertebral compression fractures in patients with cancer. Methods We performed a systematic review of health economic studies to identify relevant studies that compare the cost-effectiveness of kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty with non-surgical management for the treatment of vertebral compression fractures in adults with cancer. We also performed a primary cost-effectiveness analysis to assess the clinical benefits and costs of kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty compared with non-surgical management in the same population. We developed a Markov model to forecast benefits and harms of treatments, and corresponding quality-adjusted life years and costs. Clinical data and utility data were derived from published sources, while costing data were derived using Ontario administrative sources. We performed sensitivity analyses to examine the robustness of the results. In addition, a 1-year budget impact analysis was performed using data from Ontario administrative sources. Two scenarios were explored: (a) an increase in the total number of vertebral augmentation procedures performed among patients with cancer in Ontario, maintaining the current proportion of kyphoplasty versus vertebroplasty; and (b) no increase in the total number of vertebral augmentation procedures performed among patients with cancer in Ontario but an increase in the proportion of kyphoplasties versus vertebroplasties. Results The base case considered each of

  17. Vertebral Augmentation Involving Vertebroplasty or Kyphoplasty for Cancer-Related Vertebral Compression Fractures: A Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Background Cancers that metastasize to the spine and primary cancers such as multiple myeloma can result in vertebral compression fractures or instability. Conservative strategies, including bed rest, bracing, and analgesic use, can be ineffective, resulting in continued pain and progressive functional disability limiting mobility and self-care. Surgery is not usually an option for cancer patients in advanced disease states because of their poor medical health or functional status and limited life expectancy. The objectives of this review were to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of percutaneous image-guided vertebral augmentation techniques, vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty, for palliation of cancer-related vertebral compression fractures. Methods We performed a systematic literature search for studies on vertebral augmentation of cancer-related vertebral compression fractures published from January 1, 2000, to October 2014; abstracts were screened by a single reviewer. For those studies meeting the eligibility criteria, full-text articles were obtained. Owing to the heterogeneity of the clinical reports, we performed a narrative synthesis based on an analytical framework constructed for the type of cancer-related vertebral fractures and the diversity of the vertebral augmentation interventions. Results The evidence review identified 3,391 citations, of which 111 clinical reports (4,235 patients) evaluated the effectiveness of vertebroplasty (78 reports, 2,545 patients) or kyphoplasty (33 reports, 1,690 patients) for patients with mixed primary spinal metastatic cancers, multiple myeloma, or hemangiomas. Overall the mean pain intensity scores often reported within 48 hours of vertebral augmentation (kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty), were significantly reduced. Analgesic use, although variably reported, usually involved parallel decreases, particularly in opioids, and mean pain-related disability scores were also significantly improved. In a randomized controlled

  18. Early MR changes in vertebral bone marrow for patients following radiotherapy.

    PubMed

    Onu, M; Savu, M; Lungu-Solomonescu, C; Harabagiu, I; Pop, T

    2001-01-01

    Our study aimed to evaluate the vertebral marrow changes in patients following radiotherapy (RT) by measuring the T2 relaxation times before and during RT. We were mostly interested in evaluating early MR marrow changes during RT. Fifteen patients treated by RT for cervical cancer were submitted to MR examination before and during RT (5-23 days of RT). T2 values were calculated for irradiated and non-irradiated tissues (lumbar and sacral vertebral bone marrow, symphysis pubis marrow, and regional muscle). Fourteen patients presented increased T2 values for irradiated vertebral bone marrow (VBM), and 3 patients showed increased T2 values even for non-irradiated VBM. We found T2 variations for VBM as early as in the fifth day of RT for an absorbed dose as small as 9 Gy. Calculated T2 values in irradiated and also in non-irradiated tissues prove very early tissue alterations.

  19. Evolution of vertebrate mechanosensory hair cells and inner ears: toward identifying stimuli that select mutation driven altered morphologies

    PubMed Central

    Fritzsch, Bernd; Straka, Hans

    2014-01-01

    Among the major distance senses of vertebrates, the ear is unique in its complex morphological changes during evolution. Conceivably, these changes enable the ear to adapt toward sensing various physically well-characterized stimuli. This review develops a scenario that integrates sensory cell with organ evolution. We propose that molecular and cellular evolution of the vertebrate hair cells occurred prior to the formation of the vertebrate ear. We previously proposed that the genes driving hair cell differentiation, were aggregated in the otic region through developmental re-patterning that generated a unique vertebrate embryonic structure, the otic placode. In agreement with the presence of graviceptive receptors in many vertebrate outgroups, it is likely that the vertebrate ear originally functioned as a simple gravity-sensing organ. Based on the rare occurrence of angular acceleration receptors in vertebrate outgroups, we further propose that the canal system evolved with a more sophisticated ear morphogenesis. This evolving morphogenesis obviously turned the initial otocyst into a complex set of canals and recesses, harboring multiple sensory epithelia each adapted to the acquisition of a specific aspect of a given physical stimulus. As support for this evolutionary progression, we provide several details of the molecular basis of ear development. PMID:24281353

  20. Cellular automata segmentation of the boundary between the compacta of vertebral bodies and surrounding structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Egger, Jan; Nimsky, Christopher

    2016-03-01

    Due to the aging population, spinal diseases get more and more common nowadays; e.g., lifetime risk of osteoporotic fracture is 40% for white women and 13% for white men in the United States. Thus the numbers of surgical spinal procedures are also increasing with the aging population and precise diagnosis plays a vital role in reducing complication and recurrence of symptoms. Spinal imaging of vertebral column is a tedious process subjected to interpretation errors. In this contribution, we aim to reduce time and error for vertebral interpretation by applying and studying the GrowCut - algorithm for boundary segmentation between vertebral body compacta and surrounding structures. GrowCut is a competitive region growing algorithm using cellular automata. For our study, vertebral T2-weighted Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans were first manually outlined by neurosurgeons. Then, the vertebral bodies were segmented in the medical images by a GrowCut-trained physician using the semi-automated GrowCut-algorithm. Afterwards, results of both segmentation processes were compared using the Dice Similarity Coefficient (DSC) and the Hausdorff Distance (HD) which yielded to a DSC of 82.99+/-5.03% and a HD of 18.91+/-7.2 voxel, respectively. In addition, the times have been measured during the manual and the GrowCut segmentations, showing that a GrowCutsegmentation - with an average time of less than six minutes (5.77+/-0.73) - is significantly shorter than a pure manual outlining.

  1. Response of thoracolumbar vertebral bodies to high rate compressive loading - biomed 2013.

    PubMed

    Dooley, C J; Wester, B A; Wing, I D; Voo, L M; Armiger, R S; Merkle, A C

    2013-01-01

    Underbody blast (UBB) events created by improvised explosive devices are threats to warfighter survivability. High intensity blast waves emitted from these devices transfer large forces through vehicle structures to occupants, often resulting in injuries including debilitating spinal fractures. The vertical loading vector through the spine generates significant compressive forces at high strain rates. To better understand injury mechanisms and ultimately better protect vehicle occupants against UBB attacks, high-fidelity computational models are being developed to predict the human response to dynamic loading characteristic of these events. This effort details the results from a series of 23 high-rate compression tests on vertebral body specimen. A high-rate servo-hydraulic test system applied a range of compressive loading rates (.01 mm/s to 1238 mm/s) to vertebral bodies in the thoracolumbar region (T7-L5). The force-deflection curves generated indicate rate dependent sensitivity of vertebral stiffness, ultimate load and ultimate deflection. Specimen subjected to high-rate dynamic loading to failure experienced critical structural damage at 5.5% ± 2.1% deflection. Compared to quasi-static loading, vertebral bodies had greater stiffness, greater force to failure, and lower ultimate failure deflection at high rates. Post-failure, an average loss in height of 15% was observed, along with a mean reduction in strength of 48%. The resulting data from these tests will allow for enhanced biofidelity of computational models by characterizing the vertebral stiffness response and ultimate deflection at rates representative of UBB events.

  2. Loss of col8a1a function during zebrafish embryogenesis results in congenital vertebral malformations.

    PubMed

    Gray, Ryan S; Wilm, Thomas P; Smith, Jeff; Bagnat, Michel; Dale, Rodney M; Topczewski, Jacek; Johnson, Stephen L; Solnica-Krezel, Lilianna

    2014-02-01

    Congenital vertebral malformations (CVM) occur in 1 in 1000 live births and in many cases can cause spinal deformities, such as scoliosis, and result in disability and distress of affected individuals. Many severe forms of the disease, such as spondylocostal dystostosis, are recessive monogenic traits affecting somitogenesis, however the etiologies of the majority of CVM cases remain undetermined. Here we demonstrate that morphological defects of the notochord in zebrafish can generate congenital-type spine defects. We characterize three recessive zebrafish leviathan/col8a1a mutant alleles ((m531, vu41, vu105)) that disrupt collagen type VIII alpha1a (col8a1a), and cause folding of the embryonic notochord and consequently adult vertebral column malformations. Furthermore, we provide evidence that a transient loss of col8a1a function or inhibition of Lysyl oxidases with drugs during embryogenesis was sufficient to generate vertebral fusions and scoliosis in the adult spine. Using periodic imaging of individual zebrafish, we correlate focal notochord defects of the embryo with vertebral malformations (VM) in the adult. Finally, we show that bends and kinks in the notochord can lead to aberrant apposition of osteoblasts normally confined to well-segmented areas of the developing vertebral bodies. Our results afford a novel mechanism for the formation of VM, independent of defects of somitogenesis, resulting from aberrant bone deposition at regions of misshapen notochord tissue.

  3. Loss of col8a1a Function during Zebrafish Embryogenesis Results in Congenital Vertebral Malformations

    PubMed Central

    Gray, Ryan S.; Wilm, Thomas; Smith, Jeff; Bagnat, Michel; Dale, Rodney M.; Topczewski, Jacek; Johnson, Stephen L.; Solnica-Krezel, Lilianna

    2014-01-01

    Congenital vertebral malformations (CVM) occur in 1 in 1,000 live births and in many cases can cause spinal deformities, such as scoliosis, and result in disability and distress of affected individuals. Many severe forms of the disease, such as spondylocostal dystostosis, are recessive monogenic traits affecting somitogenesis, however the etiologies of the majority of CVM cases remain undetermined. Here we demonstrate that morphological defects of the notochord in zebrafish can generate congenital-type spine defects. We characterize three recessive zebrafish leviathan/col8a1a mutant alleles (m531, vu41, vu105) that disrupt collagen type VIII alpha1a (col8a1a), and cause folding of the embryonic notochord and consequently adult vertebral column malformations. Furthermore, we provide evidence that a transient loss of col8a1a function or inhibition of Lysyl oxidases with drugs during embryogenesis was sufficient to generate vertebral fusions and scoliosis in the adult spine. Using periodic imaging of individual zebrafish, we correlate focal notochord defects of the embryo with vertebral malformations (VM) in the adult. Finally, we show that bends and kinks in the notochord can lead to aberrant apposition of osteoblasts normally confined to well-segmented areas of the developing vertebral bodies. Our results afford a novel mechanism for the formation of VM, independent of defects of somitogenesis, resulting from aberrant bone deposition at regions of misshapen notochord tissue. PMID:24333517

  4. A reporter assay in lamprey embryos reveals both functional conservation and elaboration of vertebrate enhancers.

    PubMed

    Parker, Hugo J; Sauka-Spengler, Tatjana; Bronner, Marianne; Elgar, Greg

    2014-01-01

    The sea lamprey is an important model organism for investigating the evolutionary origins of vertebrates. As more vertebrate genome sequences are obtained, evolutionary developmental biologists are becoming increasingly able to identify putative gene regulatory elements across the breadth of the vertebrate taxa. The identification of these regions makes it possible to address how changes at the genomic level have led to changes in developmental gene regulatory networks and ultimately to the evolution of morphological diversity. Comparative genomics approaches using sea lamprey have already predicted a number of such regulatory elements in the lamprey genome. Functional characterisation of these sequences and other similar elements requires efficient reporter assays in lamprey. In this report, we describe the development of a transient transgenesis method for lamprey embryos. Focusing on conserved non-coding elements (CNEs), we use this method to investigate their functional conservation across the vertebrate subphylum. We find instances of both functional conservation and lineage-specific functional evolution of CNEs across vertebrates, emphasising the utility of functionally testing homologous CNEs in their host species.

  5. The vertebral column of the Regourdou 1 Neandertal.

    PubMed

    Gómez-Olivencia, Asier; Couture-Veschambre, Christine; Madelaine, Stéphane; Maureille, Bruno

    2013-06-01

    The Regourdou 1 partial skeleton was found in 1957 in level IV of the eponymous site located in Montignac-sur-Vézère (Dordogne, France) and until now it has been only partially published. The ongoing revision of the faunal remains from the site has yielded additional fossils that pertain to this skeleton. Here we study the vertebral column of this individual, providing for the first time detailed descriptions for all of the fossils and reassessing the anatomical position of all of the fragments. The vertebral column of Regourdou 1 is one of the most complete in the Neandertal fossil record with at least 20 pre-sacral vertebrae (seven cervicals, nine thoracic and four lumbars), a partial sacrum and a fragmentary first coccygeal vertebra. When compared with modern humans, the vertebrae of Regourdou 1 display significant metric differences, and fit well within the range of Neandertal variability. A preliminary analysis of the most complete thoracic vertebrae of this individual indicates that Neandertals displayed significant differences from modern humans in the thoracic spine, which adds to the differences already observed in the cervical and lumbar regions. Finally, we have also observed mild signs of osteoarthrosis, albeit to a lower degree of that present in other Neandertals such as La Chapelle-aux-Saints, La Ferrassie 1 or Shanidar 3. This is consistent with the younger adult age for Regourdou 1. PMID:23566460

  6. Major African contributions to Palaeozoic and Mesozoic vertebrate palaeontology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durand, J. F.

    2005-10-01

    Over more than two centuries, Africa has been an important source of knowledge with regard to the origins, evolution and distribution of important animal taxa. Not only did Africa south of the Sahara contain a second zoogeographical region virtually unknown four centuries ago, but also gave the world the first insight into the palaeontological wealth and the existence of Gondwana. The section on Agnatha includes a discussion on conodonts from South Africa, considered to be the some of the oldest and best-preserved vertebrate fossils in the world. The section on the Gnathostomata includes a very brief overview of the most important fish taxa from the Palaeozoic to Mesozoic of Africa. The section on the Tetrapoda includes an overview of the major taxa found in the fossil record of the Palaeozoic and Mesozoic of Africa. The Permian and Triassic tetrapod fossils that indicate the evolution and radiation of the parareptiles, eureptiles and synapsids are highlighted. The most important vertebrate fossils from Africa that contributed to our understanding of the radiation of evolutionary important groups such as the fish, tetrapods, tortoises, snakes, crocodiles, dinosaurs and mammals are discussed. The Jurassic and Cretaceous assemblages containing dinosaur and mammal remains, deposited after the break up of Gondwana, are discussed. Finally a perspective on the importance of Africa as fossil repository and the limitations of palaeontological endeavour in Africa is given.

  7. Anterior-posterior patterning and segmentation of the vertebrate head

    PubMed Central

    Schilling, Thomas F.

    2008-01-01

    Segmentation of the vertebrate head emerges out of earlier processes that establish the anterior-posterior (A-P) axis. Recent genetic studies and comparisons across species have led to a better understanding of the links between A-P patterning and segmentation. These point to similar signals acting on both head and trunk, such as retinoic acid and fibroblast growth factors. These form interacting networks of diffusible morphogen gradients that pattern both hindbrain rhombomeres and mesodermal somites. New computational models, particularly for retinoic acid, have revealed how morphogen gradients are established and made robust to changes in signaling levels. However, the orientations of these gradients, as well as how they interact to generate segments, differ remarkably between germ layers and body regions. Thus, the vertebrate head is, in part, built through modifications of the same processes that link A-P patterning and segmentation in the trunk, but fundamental differences in how these processes are deployed lend further doubt to the notion that head and trunk segments are homologous. PMID:21669823

  8. Vertebral destruction due to abdominal aortic aneurysm

    PubMed Central

    Jiménez Viseu Pinheiro, J.F.; Blanco Blanco, J.F.; Pescador Hernández, D.; García García, F.J.

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Low back pain is a common cause of medical consultation, and usually supposes a non-malignant prognostic. Presentation of case We report an atypical appearance of low back pain associated to shock and pulsatile abdominal mass that made us diagnose an abdominal aortic aneurysm as reason of vertebral lysis and pain. Discusion Surgical repair of contained AAA should be directed to secondary re-rupture prevention, with an approximate survival near to 100% at selected patients for elective surgery. Consequently, orthopedic surgery for back spine stabilization has to be elective in those cases when vertebral destruction is above 30% and clinic is directly related to spine instability. Conclusion We should consider AAA as other cause of low back pain and routinely examine the abdomen and seek complementary imaging proves when risk factors for AAA are present. PMID:25569196

  9. Patterns and Processes of Vertebrate Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carroll, Robert Lynn

    1997-04-01

    This new text provides an integrated view of the forces that influence the patterns and rates of vertebrate evolution from the level of living populations and species to those that resulted in the origin of the major vertebrate groups. The evolutionary roles of behavior, development, continental drift, and mass extinctions are compared with the importance of variation and natural selection that were emphasized by Darwin. It is extensively illustrated, showing major transitions between fish and amphibians, dinosaurs and birds, and land mammals to whales. No book since Simpson's Major Features of Evolution has attempted such a broad study of the patterns and forces of evolutionary change. Undergraduate students taking a general or advanced course on evolution, and graduate students and professionals in evolutionary biology and paleontology will find the book of great interest.

  10. Acute compressive myelopathy due to vertebral haemangioma.

    PubMed

    Macki, Mohamed; Bydon, Mohamad; Kaloostian, Paul; Bydon, Ali

    2014-04-28

    A 47-year-old woman with a history of anaemia presented to the emergency room with an acute onset of leg weakness. Physical examination of the bilateral lower extremities was significant for 0/5 muscle strength in all muscle groups with decreased pinprick and temperature sensation. A sensory level at the umbilicus was appreciated. Fine touch and proprioception were preserved. Bowel and bladder function were intact. CT revealed several thoracic, vertebral haemangiomatas. An MRI was suggestive of an epidural clot at the T8-T10-weighted posterior epidural space. At the level of the lesion, the cerebrospinal fluid space was completely effaced, and the flattened spinal cord exhibited signs of oedema and compressive myelopathy. The patient immediately underwent surgical decompression of the spinal cord. An epidural clot and vessel conglomeration were identified. A postoperative spinal angiogram confirmed the diagnosis of vertebral haemangioma. At 1-month follow-up, the patient regained strength and sensation.

  11. Brain size varies with temperature in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Gillooly, James F; McCoy, Michael W

    2014-01-01

    The tremendous variation in brain size among vertebrates has long been thought to be related to differences in species' metabolic rates. It is thought that species with higher metabolic rates can supply more energy to support the relatively high cost of brain tissue. And yet, while body temperature is known to be a major determinant of metabolic rate, the possible effects of temperature on brain size have scarcely been explored. Thus, here we explore the effects of temperature on brain size among diverse vertebrates (fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals). We find that, after controlling for body size, brain size increases exponentially with temperature in much the same way as metabolic rate. These results suggest that temperature-dependent changes in aerobic capacity, which have long been known to affect physical performance, similarly affect brain size. The observed temperature-dependence of brain size may explain observed gradients in brain size among both ectotherms and endotherms across broad spatial and temporal scales.

  12. Miocene vertebrates and North Florida shorelines

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Olsen, S.J.

    1968-01-01

    Vertebrate fossils from ten localities, spread across northern Florida, give evidence of shorelines and deltas that have previously been established on geologic evidence or invertebrates alone. Terrestrial mammal remains, in association with shallow-water forms, indicate a deltaic assemblage and in several instances specific animals suggest restricted water depths at the time of sediment deposition. Fortunately diagnostic fragments of Miocene horses, Merychippus and Parahippus, are present in these beds, allowing for a rather close age evaluation of these sediments. Adequate fossil material has been collected from these localities to suggest the past environment and ecological conditions for the forms represented. By utilizing a suggested course of experiments with stream table apparatus it is possible to use the orientation of the fossil vertebrate remains as aids in determining past conditions of sediment accumulation. ?? 1968.

  13. Population momentum across vertebrate life histories

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Koons, D.N.; Grand, J.B.; Arnold, J.M.

    2006-01-01

    Population abundance is critically important in conservation, management, and demographic theory. Thus, to better understand how perturbations to the life history affect long-term population size, we examined population momentum for four vertebrate classes with different life history strategies. In a series of demographic experiments we show that population momentum generally has a larger effect on long-term population size for organisms with long generation times than for organisms with short generation times. However, patterns between population momentum and generation time varied across taxonomic groups and according to the life history parameter that was changed. Our findings indicate that momentum may be an especially important aspect of population dynamics for long-lived vertebrates, and deserves greater attention in life history studies. Further, we discuss the importance of population momentum in natural resource management, pest control, and conservation arenas. ?? 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Turning Heads: Development of Vertebrate Branchiomotor Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Chandrasekhar, Anand

    2007-01-01

    The cranial motor neurons innervate muscles that control eye, jaw, and facial movements of the vertebrate head and parasympathetic neurons that innervate certain glands and organs. These efferent neurons develop at characteristic locations in the brainstem, and their axons exit the neural tube in well-defined trajectories to innervate target tissues. This review is focused on a subset of cranial motor neurons called the branchiomotor neurons, which innervate muscles derived from the branchial (pharyngeal) arches. First, the organization of the branchiomotor pathways in zebrafish, chick, and mouse embryos will be compared, and the underlying axon guidance mechanisms will be addressed. Next, the molecular mechanisms that generate branchiomotor neurons and specify their identities will be discussed. Finally, the caudally directed or tangential migration of facial branchiomotor neurons will be examined. Given the advances in the characterization and analysis of vertebrate genomes, we can expect rapid progress in elucidating the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the development of these vital neuronal networks. PMID:14699587

  15. Photoreceptor cell fate specification in vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Brzezinski, Joseph A.; Reh, Thomas A.

    2015-01-01

    Photoreceptors – the light-sensitive cells in the vertebrate retina – have been extremely well-characterized with regards to their biochemistry, cell biology and physiology. They therefore provide an excellent model for exploring the factors and mechanisms that drive neural progenitors into a differentiated cell fate in the nervous system. As a result, great progress in understanding the transcriptional network that controls photoreceptor specification and differentiation has been made over the last 20 years. This progress has also enabled the production of photoreceptors from pluripotent stem cells, thereby aiding the development of regenerative medical approaches to eye disease. In this Review, we outline the signaling and transcription factors that drive vertebrate photoreceptor development and discuss how these function together in gene regulatory networks to control photoreceptor cell fate specification. PMID:26443631

  16. Dynamic epithelia of the developing vertebrate face

    PubMed Central

    Choe, Chong Pyo; Crump, J. Gage

    2015-01-01

    A segmental series of endoderm-derived pouch and ectoderm-derived cleft epithelia act as signaling centers in the developing face. Their precise morphogenesis is therefore essential for proper patterning of the vertebrate head. Intercellular adhesion and polarity are highly dynamic within developing facial epithelial cells, with signaling from the adjacent mesenchyme controlling both epithelial character and directional migration. Endodermal and ectodermal epithelia fuse to form the primary mouth and gill slits, which involves basement membrane dissolution, cell intercalations, and apoptosis, as well as undergo further morphogenesis to generate the middle ear cavity and glands of the neck. Recent studies of facial epithelia are revealing both core programs of epithelial morphogenesis and insights into the coordinated assembly of the vertebrate head. PMID:25748249

  17. Vertebrate hepatic lipase genes and proteins: a review supported by bioinformatic studies.

    PubMed

    Holmes, Roger S; Vandeberg, John L; Cox, Laura A

    2011-04-22

    Hepatic lipase (gene: LIPC; enzyme: HL; E.C.3.1.1.3) is one of three members of the triglyceride lipase family that contributes to vascular lipoprotein degradation and serves a dual role in triglyceride hydrolysis and in facilitating receptor-mediated lipoprotein uptake into the liver. Amino acid sequences, protein structures, and gene locations for vertebrate LIPC (or Lipc for mouse and rat) genes and proteins were sourced from previous reports and vertebrate genome databases. Lipc was distinct from other neutral lipase genes (Lipg encoding endothelial lipase and Lpl encoding lipoprotein lipase [LPL]) and was located on mouse chromosome 9 with nine coding exons on the negative strand. Exon 9 of human LIPC and mouse and rat Lipc genes contained "stop codons" in different positions, causing changes in C-termini length. Vertebrate HL protein subunits shared 58%-97% sequence identities, including active, signal peptide, disulfide bond, and N-glycosylation sites, as well as proprotein convertase ("hinge") and heparin binding regions. Predicted secondary and tertiary structures revealed similarities with the three-dimensional structure reported for horse and human pancreatic lipases. Potential sites for regulating LIPC gene expression included CpG islands near the 5″-untranslated regions of the mouse and rat LIPC genes. Phylogenetic analyses examined the relationships and potential evolutionary origins of the vertebrate LIPC gene family with other neutral triglyceride lipase gene families (LIPG and LPL). We conclude that the triglyceride lipase ancestral gene for vertebrate neutral lipase genes (LIPC, LIPG, and LPL) predated the appearance of fish during vertebrate evolution. PMID:22408368

  18. Group II Intron-Mediated Trans-Splicing in the Gene-Rich Mitochondrial Genome of an Enigmatic Eukaryote, Diphylleia rotans.

    PubMed

    Kamikawa, Ryoma; Shiratori, Takashi; Ishida, Ken-Ichiro; Miyashita, Hideaki; Roger, Andrew J

    2016-02-01

    Although mitochondria have evolved from a single endosymbiotic event, present day mitochondria of diverse eukaryotes display a great range of genome structures, content and features. Group I and group II introns are two features that are distributed broadly but patchily in mitochondrial genomes across branches of the tree of eukaryotes. While group I intron-mediated trans-splicing has been reported from some lineages distantly related to each other, findings of group II intron-mediated trans-splicing has been restricted to members of the Chloroplastida. In this study, we found the mitochondrial genome of the unicellular eukaryote Diphylleia rotans possesses currently the second largest gene repertoire. On the basis of a probable phylogenetic position of Diphylleia, which is located within Amorphea, current mosaic gene distribution in Amorphea must invoke parallel gene losses from mitochondrial genomes during evolution. Most notably, although the cytochrome c oxidase subunit (cox) 1 gene was split into four pieces which located at a distance to each other, we confirmed that a single mature mRNA that covered the entire coding region could be generated by group II intron-mediated trans-splicing. This is the first example of group II intron-mediated trans-splicing outside Chloroplastida. Similar trans-splicing mechanisms likely work for bipartitely split cox2 and nad3 genes to generate single mature mRNAs. We finally discuss origin and evolution of this type of trans-splicing in D. rotans as well as in eukaryotes. PMID:26833505

  19. Group II Intron-Mediated Trans-Splicing in the Gene-Rich Mitochondrial Genome of an Enigmatic Eukaryote, Diphylleia rotans

    PubMed Central

    Kamikawa, Ryoma; Shiratori, Takashi; Ishida, Ken-Ichiro; Miyashita, Hideaki; Roger, Andrew J.

    2016-01-01

    Although mitochondria have evolved from a single endosymbiotic event, present day mitochondria of diverse eukaryotes display a great range of genome structures, content and features. Group I and group II introns are two features that are distributed broadly but patchily in mitochondrial genomes across branches of the tree of eukaryotes. While group I intron-mediated trans-splicing has been reported from some lineages distantly related to each other, findings of group II intron-mediated trans-splicing has been restricted to members of the Chloroplastida. In this study, we found the mitochondrial genome of the unicellular eukaryote Diphylleia rotans possesses currently the second largest gene repertoire. On the basis of a probable phylogenetic position of Diphylleia, which is located within Amorphea, current mosaic gene distribution in Amorphea must invoke parallel gene losses from mitochondrial genomes during evolution. Most notably, although the cytochrome c oxidase subunit (cox) 1 gene was split into four pieces which located at a distance to each other, we confirmed that a single mature mRNA that covered the entire coding region could be generated by group II intron-mediated trans-splicing. This is the first example of group II intron-mediated trans-splicing outside Chloroplastida. Similar trans-splicing mechanisms likely work for bipartitely split cox2 and nad3 genes to generate single mature mRNAs. We finally discuss origin and evolution of this type of trans-splicing in D. rotans as well as in eukaryotes. PMID:26833505

  20. Thoracic and Lumbar Vertebral Bone Mineral Density Changes in a Natural Occurring Dog Model of Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis

    PubMed Central

    De Decker, Steven; Lam, Richard; Packer, Rowena M. A.; Gielen, Ingrid M. V. L.; Volk, Holger A.

    2015-01-01

    Ankylosing spinal disorders can be associated with alterations in vertebral bone mineral density (BMD). There is however controversy about vertebral BMD in patients wuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH). DISH in Boxer dogs has been considered a natural occurring disease model for DISH in people. The purpose of this study was to compare vertebral BMD between Boxers with and without DISH. Fifty-nine Boxers with (n=30) or without (n=29) DISH that underwent computed tomography were included. Vertebral BMD was calculated for each thoracic and lumbar vertebra by using an earlier reported and validated protocol. For each vertebral body, a region of interest was drawn on the axial computed tomographic images at three separate locations: immediately inferior to the superior end plate, in the middle of the vertebral body, and superior to the inferior end plate. Values from the three axial slices were averaged to give a mean Hounsfield Unit value for each vertebral body. Univariate statistical analysis was performed to identify factors to be included in a multivariate model. The multivariate model including all dogs demonstrated that vertebral DISH status (Coefficient 24.63; 95% CI 16.07 to 33.19; p <0.001), lumbar vertebrae (Coefficient -17.25; 95% CI -23.42 to -11.09; p < 0.01), and to a lesser extent higher age (Coefficient -0.56; 95% CI -1.07 to -0.05; p = 0.03) were significant predictors for vertebral BMD. When the multivariate model was repeated using only dogs with DISH, vertebral DISH status (Coefficient 20.67; 95% CI, 10.98 to 30.37; p < 0.001) and lumbar anatomical region (Coefficient -38.24; 95% CI, -47.75 to -28.73; p < 0.001) were again predictors for vertebral BMD but age was not. The results of this study indicate that DISH can be associated with decreased vertebral BMD. Further studies are necessary to evaluate the clinical importance and pathophysiology of this finding. PMID:25898128

  1. Thoracic and lumbar vertebral bone mineral density changes in a natural occurring dog model of diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis.

    PubMed

    De Decker, Steven; Lam, Richard; Packer, Rowena M A; Gielen, Ingrid M V L; Volk, Holger A

    2015-01-01

    Ankylosing spinal disorders can be associated with alterations in vertebral bone mineral density (BMD). There is however controversy about vertebral BMD in patients wuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH). DISH in Boxer dogs has been considered a natural occurring disease model for DISH in people. The purpose of this study was to compare vertebral BMD between Boxers with and without DISH. Fifty-nine Boxers with (n=30) or without (n=29) DISH that underwent computed tomography were included. Vertebral BMD was calculated for each thoracic and lumbar vertebra by using an earlier reported and validated protocol. For each vertebral body, a region of interest was drawn on the axial computed tomographic images at three separate locations: immediately inferior to the superior end plate, in the middle of the vertebral body, and superior to the inferior end plate. Values from the three axial slices were averaged to give a mean Hounsfield Unit value for each vertebral body. Univariate statistical analysis was performed to identify factors to be included in a multivariate model. The multivariate model including all dogs demonstrated that vertebral DISH status (Coefficient 24.63; 95% CI 16.07 to 33.19; p <0.001), lumbar vertebrae (Coefficient -17.25; 95% CI -23.42 to -11.09; p < 0.01), and to a lesser extent higher age (Coefficient -0.56; 95% CI -1.07 to -0.05; p = 0.03) were significant predictors for vertebral BMD. When the multivariate model was repeated using only dogs with DISH, vertebral DISH status (Coefficient 20.67; 95% CI, 10.98 to 30.37; p < 0.001) and lumbar anatomical region (Coefficient -38.24; 95% CI, -47.75 to -28.73; p < 0.001) were again predictors for vertebral BMD but age was not. The results of this study indicate that DISH can be associated with decreased vertebral BMD. Further studies are necessary to evaluate the clinical importance and pathophysiology of this finding. PMID:25898128

  2. Transmission of ranavirus between ectothermic vertebrate hosts.

    PubMed

    Brenes, Roberto; Gray, Matthew J; Waltzek, Thomas B; Wilkes, Rebecca P; Miller, Debra L

    2014-01-01

    Transmission is an essential process that contributes to the survival of pathogens. Ranaviruses are known to infect different classes of lower vertebrates including amphibians, fishes and reptiles. Differences in the likelihood of infection among ectothermic vertebrate hosts could explain the successful yearlong persistence of ranaviruses in aquatic environments. The goal of this study was to determine if transmission of a Frog Virus 3 (FV3)-like ranavirus was possible among three species from different ectothermic vertebrate classes: Cope's gray treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis) larvae, mosquito fish (Gambusia affinis), and red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans). We housed individuals previously exposed to the FV3-like ranavirus with naïve (unexposed) individuals in containers divided by plastic mesh screen to permit water flow between subjects. Our results showed that infected gray treefrog larvae were capable of transmitting ranavirus to naïve larval conspecifics and turtles (60% and 30% infection, respectively), but not to fish. Also, infected turtles and fish transmitted ranavirus to 50% and 10% of the naïve gray treefrog larvae, respectively. Nearly all infected amphibians experienced mortality, whereas infected turtles and fish did not die. Our results demonstrate that ranavirus can be transmitted through water among ectothermic vertebrate classes, which has not been reported previously. Moreover, fish and reptiles might serve as reservoirs for ranavirus given their ability to live with subclinical infections. Subclinical infections of ranavirus in fish and aquatic turtles could contribute to the pathogen's persistence, especially when highly susceptible hosts like amphibians are absent as a result of seasonal fluctuations in relative abundance.

  3. Light sensitivity in a vertebrate mechanoreceptor?

    PubMed Central

    Baker, Gary E.; de Grip, Willem J.; Turton, Michael; Wagner, Hans-Joachim; Foster, Russell G.; Douglas, Ron H.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Using immunohistochemistry and western blot analysis, we demonstrate that melanopsin is localised in cells around the central pore of lateral line neuromasts in the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis. Since melanopsin is a known photoreceptor pigment with diverse functions in vertebrates, we suggest that the lateral line of Xenopus laevis, which is primarily a mechanoreceptor, might also be light sensitive. Potential functions of such photosensitivity are discussed, including its role in mediating locomotor responses following dermal illumination. PMID:26206352

  4. The Timing of Timezyme Diversification in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Cazaméa-Catalan, Damien; Besseau, Laurence; Falcón, Jack; Magnanou, Elodie

    2014-01-01

    All biological functions in vertebrates are synchronized with daily and seasonal changes in the environment by the time keeping hormone melatonin. Its nocturnal surge is primarily due to the rhythmic activity of the arylalkylamine N-acetyl transferase AANAT, which thus became the focus of many investigations regarding its evolution and function. Various vertebrate isoforms have been reported from cartilaginous fish to mammals but their origin has not been clearly established. Using phylogeny and synteny, we took advantage of the increasing number of available genomes in order to test whether the various rounds of vertebrate whole genome duplications were responsible for the diversification of AANAT. We highlight a gene secondary loss of the AANAT2 in the Sarcopterygii, revealing for the first time that the AAANAT1/2 duplication occurred before the divergence between Actinopterygii (bony fish) and Sarcopterygii (tetrapods, lobe-finned fish, and lungfish). We hypothesize the teleost-specific whole genome duplication (WDG) generated the appearance of the AANAT1a/1b and the AANAT2/2′paralogs, the 2′ isoform being rapidly lost in the teleost common ancestor (ray-finned fish). We also demonstrate the secondary loss of the AANAT1a in a Paracantopterygii (Atlantic cod) and of the 1b in some Ostariophysi (zebrafish and cave fish). Salmonids present an even more diverse set of AANATs that may be due to their specific WGD followed by secondary losses. We propose that vertebrate AANAT diversity resulted from 3 rounds of WGD followed by previously uncharacterized secondary losses. Extant isoforms show subfunctionalized localizations, enzyme activities and affinities that have increased with time since their emergence. PMID:25486407

  5. The timing of Timezyme diversification in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Cazaméa-Catalan, Damien; Besseau, Laurence; Falcón, Jack; Magnanou, Elodie

    2014-01-01

    All biological functions in vertebrates are synchronized with daily and seasonal changes in the environment by the time keeping hormone melatonin. Its nocturnal surge is primarily due to the rhythmic activity of the arylalkylamine N-acetyl transferase AANAT, which thus became the focus of many investigations regarding its evolution and function. Various vertebrate isoforms have been reported from cartilaginous fish to mammals but their origin has not been clearly established. Using phylogeny and synteny, we took advantage of the increasing number of available genomes in order to test whether the various rounds of vertebrate whole genome duplications were responsible for the diversification of AANAT. We highlight a gene secondary loss of the AANAT2 in the Sarcopterygii, revealing for the first time that the AAANAT1/2 duplication occurred before the divergence between Actinopterygii (bony fish) and Sarcopterygii (tetrapods, lobe-finned fish, and lungfish). We hypothesize the teleost-specific whole genome duplication (WDG) generated the appearance of the AANAT1a/1b and the AANAT2/2'paralogs, the 2' isoform being rapidly lost in the teleost common ancestor (ray-finned fish). We also demonstrate the secondary loss of the AANAT1a in a Paracantopterygii (Atlantic cod) and of the 1b in some Ostariophysi (zebrafish and cave fish). Salmonids present an even more diverse set of AANATs that may be due to their specific WGD followed by secondary losses. We propose that vertebrate AANAT diversity resulted from 3 rounds of WGD followed by previously uncharacterized secondary losses. Extant isoforms show subfunctionalized localizations, enzyme activities and affinities that have increased with time since their emergence. PMID:25486407

  6. The importance of loading the periphery of the vertebral endplate

    PubMed Central

    Sutterlin, Chester; Dabirrahmani, Danè; Appleyard, Richard

    2016-01-01

    Background Commercial fusion cages typically provide support in the central region of the endplate, failing to utilize the increased compressive strength around the periphery. This study demonstrates the increase in compressive strength that can be achieved if the bony periphery of the endplate is loaded. Methods Sixteen cadaveric lumbar vertebrae (L1–L5) were randomly divided into two even groups. A different commercial mass produced implant (MPI) was allocated to each group: (I) a Polyether-ether-ketone (PEEK) anterior lumber inter-body fusion (ALIF) MPI; and (II) a titanium ALIF MPI. Uniaxial compression at a displacement rate of 0.5 mm/sec was applied to all vertebrae during two phases: (I) with the allocated MPI situated in the central region of the endplate; (II) with an aluminum plate, designed to load the bony periphery of the endplate. The failure load and mode of failure was recorded. Results From phase 1 to phase 2, the failure load increased from 1.1±0.4 to 2.9±1.4 kN for group 1; and from 1.3±1.0 to 3.0±1.9 kN for group 2. The increase in strength from phase 1 to phase 2 was statistically significant for each group (group 1: P<0.01, group 2: P<0.05, paired t-test). There was no significant difference between the groups in either phase (P>0.05, t-test). The mode of failure in phase 1 was the implant being forced through the endplate for both groups. In phase 2, the mode of failure was either a fracture of the epiphyseal rim or buckling of the side wall of the vertebral body. Conclusions Loading the periphery of the vertebral endplate achieved significant increase in compressive load capacity compared to loading the central region of the endplate. Clinically, this implies that patient-specific implants which load the periphery of the vertebral endplate could decrease the incidence of subsidence and improve surgical outcomes. PMID:27757430

  7. The immunoglobulins of cold-blooded vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Pettinello, Rita; Dooley, Helen

    2014-11-24

    Although lymphocyte-like cells secreting somatically-recombining receptors have been identified in the jawless fishes (hagfish and lamprey), the cartilaginous fishes (sharks, skates, rays and chimaera) are the most phylogenetically distant group relative to mammals in which bona fide immunoglobulins (Igs) have been found. Studies of the antibodies and humoral immune responses of cartilaginous fishes and other cold-blooded vertebrates (bony fishes, amphibians and reptiles) are not only revealing information about the emergence and roles of the different Ig heavy and light chain isotypes, but also the evolution of specialised adaptive features such as isotype switching, somatic hypermutation and affinity maturation. It is becoming increasingly apparent that while the adaptive immune response in these vertebrate lineages arose a long time ago, it is most definitely not primitive and has evolved to become complex and sophisticated. This review will summarise what is currently known about the immunoglobulins of cold-blooded vertebrates and highlight the differences, and commonalities, between these and more "conventional" mammalian species.

  8. The molecular biology of vertebrate olfaction.

    PubMed

    Hayden, Sara; Teeling, Emma C

    2014-11-01

    The importance of chemosensation for vertebrates is reflected in the vast and variable nature of their chemosensory tissues, neurons, and genes, which we explore in this review. Immense progress has been made in elucidating the molecular biology of olfaction since the discovery of the olfactory receptor genes by Buck and Axel, which eventually won the authors the Nobel Prize. In particular, research linking odor ligands to olfactory receptors (ORs) is truly revolutionizing our understanding of how a large but limited number of chemosensory receptors can allow us to perceive the massive diversity of odors in our habitat. This research is providing insight into the evolution of genomes and providing the raw data needed to explore links between genotype and phenotype, still a grand challenge in biology. Research into olfaction is still developing and will no doubt continue until we have a clear understanding of how all odors are detected and the evolutionary forces that have molded the chemosensory subgenome in vertebrates. This knowledge will not only be a huge step in elucidating olfactory function, advancing scientific knowledge and techniques, but there are also commercial applications for this research. This review focuses on the molecular basis of chemosensation, particularly olfaction, its evolution across vertebrates and the recent molecular advances linking odors to their cognate receptors. PMID:25312375

  9. Flapping wing aerodynamics: from insects to vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Chin, Diana D; Lentink, David

    2016-04-01

    More than a million insects and approximately 11,000 vertebrates utilize flapping wings to fly. However, flapping flight has only been studied in a few of these species, so many challenges remain in understanding this form of locomotion. Five key aerodynamic mechanisms have been identified for insect flight. Among these is the leading edge vortex, which is a convergent solution to avoid stall for insects, bats and birds. The roles of the other mechanisms - added mass, clap and fling, rotational circulation and wing-wake interactions - have not yet been thoroughly studied in the context of vertebrate flight. Further challenges to understanding bat and bird flight are posed by the complex, dynamic wing morphologies of these species and the more turbulent airflow generated by their wings compared with that observed during insect flight. Nevertheless, three dimensionless numbers that combine key flow, morphological and kinematic parameters - the Reynolds number, Rossby number and advance ratio - govern flapping wing aerodynamics for both insects and vertebrates. These numbers can thus be used to organize an integrative framework for studying and comparing animal flapping flight. Here, we provide a roadmap for developing such a framework, highlighting the aerodynamic mechanisms that remain to be quantified and compared across species. Ultimately, incorporating complex flight maneuvers, environmental effects and developmental stages into this framework will also be essential to advancing our understanding of the biomechanics, movement ecology and evolution of animal flight. PMID:27030773

  10. Effects of hypoxia on vertebrate blood vessels.

    PubMed

    Russell, Michael J; Dombkowski, Ryan A; Olson, Kenneth R

    2008-03-01

    Hypoxia contracts mammalian respiratory vessels and increases vascular resistance in respiratory tissues of many vertebrates. In systemic vessels these responses vary, hypoxia relaxes mammalian vessels and contracts systemic arteries from cyclostomes. It has been proposed that hypoxic vasoconstriction in cyclostome systemic arteries is the antecedent to mammalian hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction, however, phylogenetic characterization of hypoxic responses is lacking. In this study, we characterized the hypoxic response of isolated systemic and respiratory vessels from a variety of vertebrates using standard myography. Pre-gill/respiratory (ventral aorta, afferent branchial artery, pulmonary artery) and post-gill/systemic (dorsal and thoracic aortas, efferent branchial artery) from lamprey (Petromyzon marinus), sandbar shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus), yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares), American bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana), American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), Pekin duck (Anas platyrhynchos domesticus), chicken (Gallus domesticus) and rat (Rattus norvegicus) were exposed to hypoxia at rest or during pre-stimulation (elevated extracellular potassium, epinephrine or norepinephrine). Hypoxia produced a relaxation or transient contraction followed by relaxation in all pre-gill vessels, except for contraction in lamprey, and vasoconstriction or tri-phasic constriction-dilation-constriction in all pulmonary vessels. Hypoxia contracted systemic vessels from all animals except shark and rat and in pre-contracted rat aortas it produced a transient contraction followed by relaxation. These results show that while the classic "systemic hypoxic vasodilation and pulmonary hypoxic vasoconstriction" may occur in the microcirculation, the hypoxic response of the vertebrate macrocirculation is quite variable. These findings also suggest that hypoxic vasoconstriction is a phylogenetically ancient response. PMID:18214862

  11. BK Channels in the Vertebrate Inner Ear.

    PubMed

    Pyott, S J; Duncan, R K

    2016-01-01

    The perception of complex acoustic stimuli begins with the deconstruction of sound into its frequency components. This spectral processing occurs first and foremost in the inner ear. In vertebrates, two very different strategies of frequency analysis have evolved. In nonmammalian vertebrates, the sensory hair cells of the inner ear are intrinsically electrically tuned to a narrow band of acoustic frequencies. This electrical tuning relies on the interplay between BK channels and voltage-gated calcium channels. Systematic variations in BK channel density and kinetics establish a gradient in electrical resonance that enables the coding of a broad range of acoustic frequencies. In contrast, mammalian hair cells are extrinsically tuned by mechanical properties of the cochlear duct. Even so, mammalian hair cells also express BK channels. These BK channels play critical roles in various aspects of mammalian auditory signaling, from developmental maturation to protection against acoustic trauma. This review summarizes the anatomical localization, biophysical properties, and functional contributions of BK channels in vertebrate inner ears. Areas of future research, based on an updated understanding of the biology of both BK channels and the inner ear, are also highlighted. Investigation of BK channels in the inner ear continues to provide fertile research grounds for examining both BK channel biophysics and the molecular mechanisms underlying signal processing in the auditory periphery. PMID:27238269

  12. The immunoglobulins of cold-blooded vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Pettinello, Rita; Dooley, Helen

    2014-01-01

    Although lymphocyte-like cells secreting somatically-recombining receptors have been identified in the jawless fishes (hagfish and lamprey), the cartilaginous fishes (sharks, skates, rays and chimaera) are the most phylogenetically distant group relative to mammals in which bona fide immunoglobulins (Igs) have been found. Studies of the antibodies and humoral immune responses of cartilaginous fishes and other cold-blooded vertebrates (bony fishes, amphibians and reptiles) are not only revealing information about the emergence and roles of the different Ig heavy and light chain isotypes, but also the evolution of specialised adaptive features such as isotype switching, somatic hypermutation and affinity maturation. It is becoming increasingly apparent that while the adaptive immune response in these vertebrate lineages arose a long time ago, it is most definitely not primitive and has evolved to become complex and sophisticated. This review will summarise what is currently known about the immunoglobulins of cold-blooded vertebrates and highlight the differences, and commonalities, between these and more "conventional" mammalian species. PMID:25427250

  13. T-cell receptors in ectothermic vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Charlemagne, J; Fellah, J S; De Guerra, A; Kerfourn, F; Partula, S

    1998-12-01

    The structure and expression of genes encoding molecules homologous to mammalian T-cell receptors (TCR) have been recently studied in ectothermic vertebrate species representative of chondrychthians, teleosts, and amphibians. The overall TCR chain structure is well conserved in phylogeny: TCR beta- and TCR alpha-like chains were detected in all the species analyzed; TCR gamma- and TCR delta-like chains were also present in a chondrychthian species. The diversity potential of the variable (V) and joining (J) segments is rather large and, as in mammals, conserved diversity (D) segments are associated to the TCR beta and TCR delta chains. An important level of junctional diversity occurred at the V-(D)-J junctions, with the potential addition of N- and P-nucleotides. Thus, the conservation of the structure and of the potential of diversity of TCR molecules have been under a permanent selective pressure during vertebrate evolution. The structure of MHC class I and class II molecules was also well conserved in jawed vertebrates. TCR and MHC molecules are strongly functionally linked and play a determinant role in the initiation and the regulation of the specific immune responses; thus, it is not surprising that their structures have been reciprocally frozen during evolution. PMID:9914905

  14. Nestedness of Ectoparasite-Vertebrate Host Networks

    PubMed Central

    Graham, Sean P.; Hassan, Hassan K.; Burkett-Cadena, Nathan D.; Guyer, Craig; Unnasch, Thomas R.

    2009-01-01

    Determining the structure of ectoparasite-host networks will enable disease ecologists to better understand and predict the spread of vector-borne diseases. If these networks have consistent properties, then studying the structure of well-understood networks could lead to extrapolation of these properties to others, including those that support emerging pathogens. Borrowing a quantitative measure of network structure from studies of mutualistic relationships between plants and their pollinators, we analyzed 29 ectoparasite-vertebrate host networks—including three derived from molecular bloodmeal analysis of mosquito feeding patterns—using measures of nestedness to identify non-random interactions among species. We found significant nestedness in ectoparasite-vertebrate host lists for habitats ranging from tropical rainforests to polar environments. These networks showed non-random patterns of nesting, and did not differ significantly from published estimates of nestedness from mutualistic networks. Mutualistic and antagonistic networks appear to be organized similarly, with generalized ectoparasites interacting with hosts that attract many ectoparasites and more specialized ectoparasites usually interacting with these same “generalized” hosts. This finding has implications for understanding the network dynamics of vector-born pathogens. We suggest that nestedness (rather than random ectoparasite-host associations) can allow rapid transfer of pathogens throughout a network, and expand upon such concepts as the dilution effect, bridge vectors, and host switching in the context of nested ectoparasite-vertebrate host networks. PMID:19924299

  15. Fungal osteomyelitis with vertebral re-ossification

    PubMed Central

    O′Guinn, Devon J.; Serletis, Demitre; Kazemi, Noojan

    2015-01-01

    Introduction We present a rare case of thoracic vertebral osteomyelitis secondary to pulmonary Blastomyces dermatitides. Presentation of case A 27-year-old male presented with three months of chest pains and non-productive cough. Examination revealed diminished breath sounds on the right. CT/MR imaging confirmed a right-sided pre-/paravertebral soft tissue mass and destructive lytic lesions from T2 to T6. CT-guided needle biopsy confirmed granulomatous pulmonary Blastomycosis. Conservative management with antifungal therapy was initiated. Neurosurgical review confirmed no clinical or profound radiographic instability, and the patient was stabilized with TLSO bracing. Serial imaging 3 months later revealed near-resolution of the thoracic soft tissue mass, with vertebral re-ossification from T2 to T6. Discussion Fungal osteomyelitis presents a rare entity in the spectrum of spinal infections. In such cases, lytic spinal lesions are classically seen in association with a large paraspinous mass. Fungal infections of the spinal column may be treated conservatively, with surgical intervention reserved for progressive cases manifesting with neurological compromise and/or spinal column instability. Here, we found unexpected evidence for vertebral re-ossification across the affected thoracic levels (T2-6) in response to IV antibiotic therapy and conservative bracing, nearly 3 months later. PMID:26692163

  16. Flapping wing aerodynamics: from insects to vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Chin, Diana D; Lentink, David

    2016-04-01

    More than a million insects and approximately 11,000 vertebrates utilize flapping wings to fly. However, flapping flight has only been studied in a few of these species, so many challenges remain in understanding this form of locomotion. Five key aerodynamic mechanisms have been identified for insect flight. Among these is the leading edge vortex, which is a convergent solution to avoid stall for insects, bats and birds. The roles of the other mechanisms - added mass, clap and fling, rotational circulation and wing-wake interactions - have not yet been thoroughly studied in the context of vertebrate flight. Further challenges to understanding bat and bird flight are posed by the complex, dynamic wing morphologies of these species and the more turbulent airflow generated by their wings compared with that observed during insect flight. Nevertheless, three dimensionless numbers that combine key flow, morphological and kinematic parameters - the Reynolds number, Rossby number and advance ratio - govern flapping wing aerodynamics for both insects and vertebrates. These numbers can thus be used to organize an integrative framework for studying and comparing animal flapping flight. Here, we provide a roadmap for developing such a framework, highlighting the aerodynamic mechanisms that remain to be quantified and compared across species. Ultimately, incorporating complex flight maneuvers, environmental effects and developmental stages into this framework will also be essential to advancing our understanding of the biomechanics, movement ecology and evolution of animal flight.

  17. The Immunoglobulins of Cold-Blooded Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Pettinello, Rita; Dooley, Helen

    2014-01-01

    Although lymphocyte-like cells secreting somatically-recombining receptors have been identified in the jawless fishes (hagfish and lamprey), the cartilaginous fishes (sharks, skates, rays and chimaera) are the most phylogenetically distant group relative to mammals in which bona fide immunoglobulins (Igs) have been found. Studies of the antibodies and humoral immune responses of cartilaginous fishes and other cold-blooded vertebrates (bony fishes, amphibians and reptiles) are not only revealing information about the emergence and roles of the different Ig heavy and light chain isotypes, but also the evolution of specialised adaptive features such as isotype switching, somatic hypermutation and affinity maturation. It is becoming increasingly apparent that while the adaptive immune response in these vertebrate lineages arose a long time ago, it is most definitely not primitive and has evolved to become complex and sophisticated. This review will summarise what is currently known about the immunoglobulins of cold-blooded vertebrates and highlight the differences, and commonalities, between these and more “conventional” mammalian species. PMID:25427250

  18. The molecular biology of vertebrate olfaction.

    PubMed

    Hayden, Sara; Teeling, Emma C

    2014-11-01

    The importance of chemosensation for vertebrates is reflected in the vast and variable nature of their chemosensory tissues, neurons, and genes, which we explore in this review. Immense progress has been made in elucidating the molecular biology of olfaction since the discovery of the olfactory receptor genes by Buck and Axel, which eventually won the authors the Nobel Prize. In particular, research linking odor ligands to olfactory receptors (ORs) is truly revolutionizing our understanding of how a large but limited number of chemosensory receptors can allow us to perceive the massive diversity of odors in our habitat. This research is providing insight into the evolution of genomes and providing the raw data needed to explore links between genotype and phenotype, still a grand challenge in biology. Research into olfaction is still developing and will no doubt continue until we have a clear understanding of how all odors are detected and the evolutionary forces that have molded the chemosensory subgenome in vertebrates. This knowledge will not only be a huge step in elucidating olfactory function, advancing scientific knowledge and techniques, but there are also commercial applications for this research. This review focuses on the molecular basis of chemosensation, particularly olfaction, its evolution across vertebrates and the recent molecular advances linking odors to their cognate receptors.

  19. Common normal variants of pediatric vertebral development that mimic fractures: a pictorial review from a national longitudinal bone health study

    PubMed Central

    Jaremko, Jacob Lester; Siminoski, Kerry; Firth, Gregory; Matzinger, Mary Ann; Shenouda, Nazih; Konji, Victor N.; Roth, Johannes; Sbrocchi, Anne Marie; Reed, Martin; O’Brien, Kathleen; Nadel, Helen; McKillop, Scott; Kloiber, Reinhard; Dubois, Josée; Coblentz, Craig; Charron, Martin; Ward, Leanne M.

    2015-01-01

    Children with glucocorticoid-treated illnesses are at risk for osteoporotic vertebral fractures and growing awareness has led to increased monitoring for these fractures. However scant literature describes developmental changes in vertebral morphology that can mimic fractures. The goal of this paper is to aid in distinguishing between normal variants and fractures. We illustrate differences using lateral spine radiographs obtained annually from children recruited to the Canada-wide STeroid-Associated Osteoporosis in the Pediatric Population (STOPP) observational study, in which 400 children with glucocorticoid-treated leukemia, rheumatic disorders, and nephrotic syndrome were enrolled near glucocorticoid initiation and followed prospectively for 6 years. Normal variants mimicking fractures exist in all regions of the spine and fall into two groups. The first group comprises variants mimicking pathological vertebral height loss, including not-yet-ossified vertebral apophyses superiorly and inferiorly which can lead to a vertebral shape easily over-interpreted as anterior wedge fracture, physiologic beaking, and spondylolisthesis associated with shortened posterior vertebral height. The second group includes variants mimicking other radiologic signs of fractures: anterior vertebral artery groove resembling an anterior buckle fracture, Cupid’s bow balloon disk morphology, Schmorl nodes mimicking concave endplate fractures, and parallax artifact resembling endplate interruption or biconcavity. If an unexpected vertebral body contour is detected, careful attention to its location, detailed morphology, and (if available) serial changes over time may clarify whether it is a fracture requiring change in management or simply a normal variant. Awareness of the variants described in this paper can improve accuracy in the diagnosis of pediatric vertebral fractures. PMID:25828359

  20. Common normal variants of pediatric vertebral development that mimic fractures: a pictorial review from a national longitudinal bone health study.

    PubMed

    Jaremko, Jacob L; Siminoski, Kerry; Firth, Gregory B; Matzinger, Mary Ann; Shenouda, Nazih; Konji, Victor N; Roth, Johannes; Sbrocchi, Anne Marie; Reed, Martin H; O'Brien, Mary Kathleen; Nadel, Helen; McKillop, Scott; Kloiber, Reinhard; Dubois, Josée; Coblentz, Craig; Charron, Martin; Ward, Leanne M

    2015-04-01

    Children with glucocorticoid-treated illnesses are at risk for osteoporotic vertebral fractures, and growing awareness of this has led to increased monitoring for these fractures. However scant literature describes developmental changes in vertebral morphology that can mimic fractures. The goal of this paper is to aid in distinguishing between normal variants and fractures. We illustrate differences using lateral spine radiographs obtained annually from children recruited to the Canada-wide STeroid-Associated Osteoporosis in the Pediatric Population (STOPP) observational study, in which 400 children with glucocorticoid-treated leukemia, rheumatic disorders, and nephrotic syndrome were enrolled near glucocorticoid initiation and followed prospectively for 6 years. Normal variants mimicking fractures exist in all regions of the spine and fall into two groups. The first group comprises variants mimicking pathological vertebral height loss, including not-yet-ossified vertebral apophyses superiorly and inferiorly, which can lead to a vertebral shape easily over-interpreted as anterior wedge fracture, physiological beaking, or spondylolisthesis associated with shortened posterior vertebral height. The second group includes variants mimicking other radiologic signs of fractures: anterior vertebral artery groove resembling an anterior buckle fracture, Cupid's bow balloon disk morphology, Schmorl nodes mimicking concave endplate fractures, and parallax artifact resembling endplate interruption or biconcavity. If an unexpected vertebral body contour is detected, careful attention to its location, detailed morphology, and (if available) serial changes over time may clarify whether it is a fracture requiring change in management or simply a normal variant. Awareness of the variants described in this paper can improve accuracy in the diagnosis of pediatric vertebral fractures. PMID:25828359

  1. FRAX and the effect of teriparatide on vertebral and non-vertebral fracture

    PubMed Central

    Harvey, Nicholas C; Kanis, John A; Odén, Anders; Burge, Russel T; Mitlak, Bruce H; Johansson, Helena; McCloskey, Eugene V

    2016-01-01

    Summary Daily teriparatide injections have been shown to reduce vertebral and non-vertebral fractures. Here we demonstrate that the magnitude of fracture risk reduction is independent of baseline fracture probability assessed by FRAX. Background Daily administration of 20μg or 40μg teriparatide has been shown to significantly decrease the risk of vertebral and non-vertebral fracture compared with placebo. The aim of the present study was to evaluate fracture risk assessed at baseline using the FRAX® tool and to determine the efficacy of teriparatide as a function of baseline fracture risk. Methods 1637 postmenopausal women in the pivotal phase 3 trial, randomly assigned to receive placebo (n=544), teriparatide 20 μg per day (n=541) or teriparatide 40 μg per day (n=552), were studied. Baseline clinical risk factors were entered into country-specific FRAX models to compute the 10-year probability of major osteoporotic fractures with or without input of femoral neck BMD. Because there was no difference in effect of 20 and 40μg teriparatide daily on fracture occurrence, the two active groups were merged. The interaction between probability of a major fracture and treatment efficacy was examined by Poisson regression. Results The 10-year probability of major osteoporotic fractures (with BMD) ranged from 2.2-67.2%. Treatment with teriparatide was associated with a 37% decrease in all non-vertebral fractures (95% CI:10-56 %) and a 56% decrease in low energy non-vertebral fractures (95% CI:24-75%) compared with placebo. The risk of morphometric vertebral fractures decreased significantly by 66% (95% CI:50-77%). Hazard ratios for the effect of teriparatide on the fracture outcome did not change significantly with increasing fracture probability (p>0.30). Similar findings were noted for the interaction when BMD was excluded from the FRAX model, or when probability of hip fracture was used as the marker of baseline risk. Conclusion We conclude that teriparatide

  2. Surgical treatment of aggressive vertebral hemangiomas.

    PubMed

    Vasudeva, Viren S; Chi, John H; Groff, Michael W

    2016-08-01

    OBJECTIVE Vertebral hemangiomas are common tumors that are benign and generally asymptomatic. Occasionally these lesions can exhibit aggressive features such as bony expansion and erosion into the epidural space resulting in neurological symptoms. Surgery is often recommended in these cases, especially if symptoms are severe or rapidly progressive. Some surgeons perform decompression alone, others perform gross-total resection, while others perform en bloc resection. Radiation, embolization, vertebroplasty, and ethanol injection have also been used in combination with surgery. Despite the variety of available treatment options, the optimal management strategy is unclear because aggressive vertebral hemangiomas are uncommon lesions, making it difficult to perform large trials. For this reason, the authors chose instead to report their institutional experience along with a comprehensive review of the literature. METHODS A departmental database was searched for patients with a pathological diagnosis of "hemangioma" between 2008 and 2015. Medical records were reviewed to identify patients with aggressive vertebral hemangiomas, and these cases were reviewed in detail. RESULTS Five patients were identified who underwent surgery for treatment of aggressive vertebral hemangiomas during the specified time period. There were 2 lumbar and 3 thoracic lesions. One patient underwent en bloc spondylectomy, 2 patients had piecemeal gross-total resection, and the remaining 2 had subtotal tumor resection. Intraoperative vertebroplasty was used in 3 cases to augment the anterior column or to obliterate residual tumor. Adjuvant radiation was used in 1 case where there was residual tumor as well. The patient who underwent en bloc spondylectomy experienced several postoperative complications requiring additional medical care and reoperation. At an average follow-up of 31 months (range 3-65 months), no patient had any recurrence of disease and all were clinically asymptomatic, except the

  3. Surgical treatment of aggressive vertebral hemangiomas.

    PubMed

    Vasudeva, Viren S; Chi, John H; Groff, Michael W

    2016-08-01

    OBJECTIVE Vertebral hemangiomas are common tumors that are benign and generally asymptomatic. Occasionally these lesions can exhibit aggressive features such as bony expansion and erosion into the epidural space resulting in neurological symptoms. Surgery is often recommended in these cases, especially if symptoms are severe or rapidly progressive. Some surgeons perform decompression alone, others perform gross-total resection, while others perform en bloc resection. Radiation, embolization, vertebroplasty, and ethanol injection have also been used in combination with surgery. Despite the variety of available treatment options, the optimal management strategy is unclear because aggressive vertebral hemangiomas are uncommon lesions, making it difficult to perform large trials. For this reason, the authors chose instead to report their institutional experience along with a comprehensive review of the literature. METHODS A departmental database was searched for patients with a pathological diagnosis of "hemangioma" between 2008 and 2015. Medical records were reviewed to identify patients with aggressive vertebral hemangiomas, and these cases were reviewed in detail. RESULTS Five patients were identified who underwent surgery for treatment of aggressive vertebral hemangiomas during the specified time period. There were 2 lumbar and 3 thoracic lesions. One patient underwent en bloc spondylectomy, 2 patients had piecemeal gross-total resection, and the remaining 2 had subtotal tumor resection. Intraoperative vertebroplasty was used in 3 cases to augment the anterior column or to obliterate residual tumor. Adjuvant radiation was used in 1 case where there was residual tumor as well. The patient who underwent en bloc spondylectomy experienced several postoperative complications requiring additional medical care and reoperation. At an average follow-up of 31 months (range 3-65 months), no patient had any recurrence of disease and all were clinically asymptomatic, except the

  4. A Classification System for the Spread of Polymethyl Methacrylate in Vertebral Bodies Treated with Vertebral Augmentation

    PubMed Central

    Frankl, Joseph; Sakata, Michael P.; Choudhary, Gagandeep; Hur, Seung; Peterson, Andrew; Hennemeyer, Charles T.

    2016-01-01

    In this study, we develop a classification system for describing polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) spread in vertebral bodies after kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty for vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) and for assessing whether PMMA spread varies between operators, VCF etiology, or vertebral level. Intraoperative fluoroscopic images of 198 vertebral levels were reviewed in 137 patients (women, 84; men, 53; mean age, 75.8 ± 12.5; and those with a diagnosis of osteoporosis, 63%) treated with kyphoplasty between January 01, 2015 and May 31, 2015 at a single center to create a 5-class descriptive system. PMMA spread patterns in the same images were then classified by 2 board-certified radiologists, and a third board-certified radiologist resolved conflicts. A total of 2 primary PMMA spread patterns were identified, namely, acinar and globular, with subtypes of localized acinar, diffuse globular, and mixed, to describe an equal combination of patterns. Interrater reliability using the system was moderate (κ = 0.47). After resolving conflicts, the most common spread class was globular (n = 63), followed by mixed (n = 58), diffuse globular (n = 30), acinar (n = 27), and localized acinar (n = 20). The spread class after treatment by the 2 most frequent operators differed significantly (n1 = 63, n2 = 70; P < .0001). There was no difference in the spread class between VCF etiologies or vertebral levels. PMMA spread may, therefore, be a modifiable parameter that affects kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty efficacy and adverse events. PMID:27795998

  5. Modulation of Fgf8 activity during vertebrate brain development.

    PubMed

    Echevarria, Diego; Belo, Jose Antonio; Martinez, Salvador

    2005-09-01

    In recent years much emphasis has been placed on investigation of the precise control of FGF signaling during brain development. Such control is achieved in part by regulatory elements that determine the domains and levels of expression of genes coding for the diverse FGF ligands via specific molecular signaling pathways. There is new knowledge on the operation of such mechanisms in regions of the neural tube involved in the correct patterning of adjacent territories (known as secondary organizers of neural tube pattern). In the present minireview we intend to summarize recent evidence and emerging conclusions on potent modulators that govern the activity of Fgf8 signals in the developing vertebrate brain, focusing our attention on the best known secondary organizer, the isthmic organizer.

  6. Vertebrate MitBASE: a specialised database on vertebrate mitochondrial DNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Carone, A; Malladi, S B; Attimonelli, M; Saccone, C

    1999-01-01

    Vertebrate MitBASE is a specialized database where all the vertebrate mitochondrial DNA entries from primary databases are collected, revised and integrated with new information emerging from the literature. Variant sequences are also analyzed, aligned and linked to reference sequences. Data related to the same species and fragment can be viewed over the WWW. The database has a flexible interface and a retrieval system to help non-expert users and contains information not currently available in the primary databases. Vertebrate MitBASE is now available through the MitBASE home page at URL: http://www.ebi.ac.uk/htbin/Mitbase/mitb ase.pl. This work is part of a larger project, MitBASE which is a network of databases covering the full panorama of knowledge on mitochondrial DNA from protists to human sequences.

  7. Early Bone Marrow Edema Pattern of the Osteoporotic Vertebral Compression Fracture : Can Be Predictor of Vertebral Deformity Types and Prognosis?

    PubMed Central

    Ahn, Sung Eun; Park, Ji Seon; Jin, Wook; Park, So Young; Kim, Sung Bum

    2016-01-01

    Objective To evaluate whether an early bone marrow edema pattern predicts vertebral deformity types and prognosis in osteoporotic vertebral compression fracture (OVCF). Methods This retrospective study enrolled 64 patients with 75 acute OVCFs who underwent early MRI and followed up MRI. On early MRI, the low SI pattern of OVCF on T1WI were assessed and classified into 3 types (diffuse, globular or patchy, band-like). On followed up MRI, the vertebral deformity types (anterior wedge, biconcave, crush), degree of vertebral body height loss, incidence of vertebral osteonecrosis and spinal stenosis were assessed for each vertebral fracture types. Results According to the early bone marrow edema pattern on T1WI, 26 vertebrae were type 1, 14 vertebrae were type 2 and 35 vertebrae were type 3. On followed up MRI, the crush-type vertebral deformity was most frequent among the type 1 OVCFs, the biconcave-type vertebral deformity was most frequent among the type 2 OVCFs and the anterior wedge-type vertebral deformity was most frequent among the type 3 OVCFs (p<0.001). In addition, type 1 early bone marrow edema pattern of OVCF on T1WI were associated with higher incidence of severe degree vertebral body height loss, vertebral osteonecrosis and spinal stenosis on the follow up MRI. Conclusion Early bone marrow edema pattern of OVCF on T1WI, significant correlated with vertebral deformity types on the follow up MRI. The severe degree of vertebral height loss, vertebral osteonecrosis, and spinal stenosis were more frequent in patients with diffuse low SI pattern. PMID:26962419

  8. Comparative morphometric study of the australopithecine vertebral series Stw-H8/H41.

    PubMed

    Sanders, W J

    1998-03-01

    Lower spinal structure correlates well with positional behavior among mammals. Nonetheless, the functional morphology of the axial post-crania of australopithecines has received less attention than their appendicular skeletons. This paper presents a detailed description and comparative morphometric analysis of the australopithecine thoracolumbar vertebral series Stw-H8/H41, and examines spinal mechanics in early hominids. Stw-H8/H41 is an important specimen, as the australopithecine vertebral sample is small, and vertebral series are more useful than isolated elements for the interpretation of spinal function. Results of the study support the interpretation that australopithecine species are highly sexually dimorphic. The study also reveals a considerable amount of morphometric variation other than size among australopithecine vertebrae, though the sample is too small and incomplete to ascertain whether this indicates significant interspecific differences in spinal function. Most importantly, structural and metric observations confirm that the morphology of the lower spine in australopithecines has no modern analogue in its entirety. Aspects of zygapophyseal structure, numerical composition of the lumbar region, and centrum wedging suggest that the australopithecine vertebral column was adapted to human-like intrinsic lumbar lordosis and stable balance of the trunk over the pelvis in sustained bipedal locomotion. However, relative centrum size in australopithecines indicates that either they had a different mechanism for channeling vertical forces through the vertebral column than humans, or differed behaviorally from humans in ways that produced smaller increments of compression across their centra. These findings have important implications for hypotheses of australopithecine positional behavior, and demonstrate that larger samples and more complete vertebral series are needed to improve our understanding of australopithecine spinal function. PMID:9547457

  9. Comparative morphometric study of the australopithecine vertebral series Stw-H8/H41.

    PubMed

    Sanders, W J

    1998-03-01

    Lower spinal structure correlates well with positional behavior among mammals. Nonetheless, the functional morphology of the axial post-crania of australopithecines has received less attention than their appendicular skeletons. This paper presents a detailed description and comparative morphometric analysis of the australopithecine thoracolumbar vertebral series Stw-H8/H41, and examines spinal mechanics in early hominids. Stw-H8/H41 is an important specimen, as the australopithecine vertebral sample is small, and vertebral series are more useful than isolated elements for the interpretation of spinal function. Results of the study support the interpretation that australopithecine species are highly sexually dimorphic. The study also reveals a considerable amount of morphometric variation other than size among australopithecine vertebrae, though the sample is too small and incomplete to ascertain whether this indicates significant interspecific differences in spinal function. Most importantly, structural and metric observations confirm that the morphology of the lower spine in australopithecines has no modern analogue in its entirety. Aspects of zygapophyseal structure, numerical composition of the lumbar region, and centrum wedging suggest that the australopithecine vertebral column was adapted to human-like intrinsic lumbar lordosis and stable balance of the trunk over the pelvis in sustained bipedal locomotion. However, relative centrum size in australopithecines indicates that either they had a different mechanism for channeling vertical forces through the vertebral column than humans, or differed behaviorally from humans in ways that produced smaller increments of compression across their centra. These findings have important implications for hypotheses of australopithecine positional behavior, and demonstrate that larger samples and more complete vertebral series are needed to improve our understanding of australopithecine spinal function.

  10. Evolution of Vertebrate Phototransduction: Cascade Activation

    PubMed Central

    Lamb, Trevor D.; Patel, Hardip; Chuah, Aaron; Natoli, Riccardo C.; Davies, Wayne I. L.; Hart, Nathan S.; Collin, Shaun P.; Hunt, David M.

    2016-01-01

    We applied high-throughput sequencing to eye tissue from several species of basal vertebrates (a hagfish, two species of lamprey, and five species of gnathostome fish), and we analyzed the mRNA sequences for the proteins underlying activation of the phototransduction cascade. The molecular phylogenies that we constructed from these sequences are consistent with the 2R WGD model of two rounds of whole genome duplication. Our analysis suggests that agnathans retain an additional representative (that has been lost in gnathostomes) in each of the gene families we studied; the evidence is strong for the G-protein α subunit (GNAT) and the cGMP phosphodiesterase (PDE6), and indicative for the cyclic nucleotide-gated channels (CNGA and CNGB). Two of the species (the hagfish Eptatretus cirrhatus and the lamprey Mordacia mordax) possess only a single class of photoreceptor, simplifying deductions about the composition of cascade protein isoforms utilized in their photoreceptors. For the other lamprey, Geotria australis, analysis of the ratios of transcript levels in downstream and upstream migrant animals permits tentative conclusions to be drawn about the isoforms used in four of the five spectral classes of photoreceptor. Overall, our results suggest that agnathan rod-like photoreceptors utilize the same GNAT1 as gnathostomes, together with a homodimeric PDE6 that may be agnathan-specific, whereas agnathan cone-like photoreceptors utilize a GNAT that may be agnathan-specific, together with the same PDE6C as gnathostomes. These findings help elucidate the evolution of the vertebrate phototransduction cascade from an ancestral chordate phototransduction cascade that existed prior to the vertebrate radiation. PMID:27189541

  11. Evolution of Vertebrate Phototransduction: Cascade Activation.

    PubMed

    Lamb, Trevor D; Patel, Hardip; Chuah, Aaron; Natoli, Riccardo C; Davies, Wayne I L; Hart, Nathan S; Collin, Shaun P; Hunt, David M

    2016-08-01

    We applied high-throughput sequencing to eye tissue from several species of basal vertebrates (a hagfish, two species of lamprey, and five species of gnathostome fish), and we analyzed the mRNA sequences for the proteins underlying activation of the phototransduction cascade. The molecular phylogenies that we constructed from these sequences are consistent with the 2R WGD model of two rounds of whole genome duplication. Our analysis suggests that agnathans retain an additional representative (that has been lost in gnathostomes) in each of the gene families we studied; the evidence is strong for the G-protein α subunit (GNAT) and the cGMP phosphodiesterase (PDE6), and indicative for the cyclic nucleotide-gated channels (CNGA and CNGB). Two of the species (the hagfish Eptatretus cirrhatus and the lamprey Mordacia mordax) possess only a single class of photoreceptor, simplifying deductions about the composition of cascade protein isoforms utilized in their photoreceptors. For the other lamprey, Geotria australis, analysis of the ratios of transcript levels in downstream and upstream migrant animals permits tentative conclusions to be drawn about the isoforms used in four of the five spectral classes of photoreceptor. Overall, our results suggest that agnathan rod-like photoreceptors utilize the same GNAT1 as gnathostomes, together with a homodimeric PDE6 that may be agnathan-specific, whereas agnathan cone-like photoreceptors utilize a GNAT that may be agnathan-specific, together with the same PDE6C as gnathostomes. These findings help elucidate the evolution of the vertebrate phototransduction cascade from an ancestral chordate phototransduction cascade that existed prior to the vertebrate radiation. PMID:27189541

  12. DEVELOPMENTAL PALEOBIOLOGY OF THE VERTEBRATE SKELETON

    PubMed Central

    RÜCKLIN, MARTIN; DONOGHUE, PHILIP C. J.; CUNNINGHAM, JOHN A.; MARONE, FEDERICA; STAMPANONI, MARCO

    2015-01-01

    Studies of the development of organisms can reveal crucial information on homology of structures. Developmental data are not peculiar to living organisms, and they are routinely preserved in the mineralized tissues that comprise the vertebrate skeleton, allowing us to obtain direct insight into the developmental evolution of this most formative of vertebrate innovations. The pattern of developmental processes is recorded in fossils as successive stages inferred from the gross morphology of multiple specimens and, more reliably and routinely, through the ontogenetic stages of development seen in the skeletal histology of individuals. Traditional techniques are destructive and restricted to a 2-D plane with the third dimension inferred. Effective non-invasive methods of visualizing paleohistology to reconstruct developmental stages of the skeleton are necessary. In a brief survey of paleohistological techniques we discuss the pros and cons of these methods. The use of tomographic methods to reconstruct development of organs is exemplified by the study of the placoderm dentition. Testing evidence for the presence of teeth in placoderms, the first jawed vertebrates, we compare the methods that have been used. These include inferring the development from morphology, and using serial sectioning, microCT or synchrotron X-ray tomographic microscopy (SRXTM) to reconstruct growth stages and directions of growth. The ensuing developmental interpretations are biased by the methods and degree of inference. The most direct and reliable method is using SRXTM data to trace sclerochronology. The resulting developmental data can be used to resolve homology and test hypotheses on the origin of evolutionary novelties. PMID:26306050

  13. Vertebral Body Growth After Craniospinal Irradiation

    SciTech Connect

    Hartley, Katherine A.; Li Chenghong; Laningham, Fred H.; Krasin, Matthew J.; Xiong Xiaoping; Merchant, Thomas E.

    2008-04-01

    Purpose: To estimate the effects of radiotherapy and clinical factors on vertebral growth in patients with medulloblastoma and supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumors treated with craniospinal irradiation (CSI) and chemotherapy. Methods and Materials: The height of eight individual or grouped vertebral bodies (C3, C3-C4, T4, T4-T5, C6-T3, T4-T7, L3, L1-L5) was measured before and after CSI (23.4 or 36-39.6 Gy) in 61 patients. Of the 61 patients, 40 were boys and 21 were girls (median age, 7 years; range, 3-13 years), treated between October 1996 and October 2003. Sagittal T{sub 1}-weighted magnetic resonance images were used for the craniocaudal measurements. The measurements numbered 275 (median, 5/patient; range, 3-7). The median follow-up after CSI was 44.1 months (range, 13.8-74.9 months). Results: Significant growth was observed in all measured vertebrae. Excluding C3-C4, the growth rate of the grouped vertebrae was affected by age, gender, and CSI dose (risk classification). The risk classification alone affected the growth rates of C3 (p = 0.002) and L3 (p = 0.02). Before CSI, the length of all vertebral bodies was an increasing function of age (p <0.0001). The C3 length before CSI was affected by gender and risk classification: C3 was longer for female (p = 0.07) and high-risk (p = 0.07) patients. Conclusion: All vertebrae grew significantly after CSI, with the vertebrae of the boys and younger patients growing at a rate greater than that of their counterparts. The effect of age was similar across all vertebrae, and gender had the greatest effect on the growth of the lower cervical and upper thoracic vertebrae. The effect of the risk classification was greatest in the lumbar spine by a factor of {<=}10.

  14. Evaluation and Management of Vertebral Compression Fractures

    PubMed Central

    Alexandru, Daniela; So, William

    2012-01-01

    Compression fractures affect many individuals worldwide. An estimated 1.5 million vertebral compression fractures occur every year in the US. They are common in elderly populations, and 25% of postmenopausal women are affected by a compression fracture during their lifetime. Although these fractures rarely require hospital admission, they have the potential to cause significant disability and morbidity, often causing incapacitating back pain for many months. This review provides information on the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of compression fractures, as well as clinical manifestations and treatment options. Among the available treatment options, kyphoplasty and percutaneous vertebroplasty are two minimally invasive techniques to alleviate pain and correct the sagittal imbalance of the spine. PMID:23251117

  15. Quaternary vertebrates from Greenland: A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bennike, Ole

    Remains of fishes, birds and mammals are rarely reported from Quaternary deposits in Greenland. The oldest remains come from Late Pliocene and Early Pleistocene deposits and comprise Atlantic cod, hare, rabbit and ringed seal. Interglacial and interstadial deposits have yielded remains of cod, little auk, collared lemming, ringed seal, reindeer and bowhead whale. Early and Mid-Holocene finds include capelin, polar cod, red fish, sculpin, three-spined stickleback, Lapland longspur, Arctic hare, collared lemming, wolf, walrus, ringed seal, reindeer and bowhead whale. It is considered unlikely that vertebrates could survive in Greenland during the peak of the last glaciation, but many species had probably already immigrated in the Early Holocene.

  16. Intracranial Vertebral Artery Dissections: Evolving Perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Ali, M.S.; Amenta, P.S.; Starke, R.M.; Jabbour, P.M.; Gonzalez, L.F.; Tjoumakaris, S.I.; Flanders, A.E.; Rosenwasser, R.H.; Dumont, A.S.

    2012-01-01

    Summary Intracranial vertebral artery dissection (VAD) represents the underlying etiology in a significant percentage of posterior circulation ischemic strokes and subarachnoid hemorrhages. These lesions are particularly challenging in their diagnosis, management, and in the prediction of long-term outcome. Advances in the understanding of underlying processes leading to dissection, as well as the evolution of modern imaging techniques are discussed. The data pertaining to medical management of intracranial VADs, with emphasis on anticoagulants and antiplatelet agents, is reviewed. Surgical intervention is discussed, including, the selection of operative candidates, open and endovascular procedures, and potential complications. The evolution of endovascular technology and techniques is highlighted. PMID:23217643

  17. Molecular evolution of color vision in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Yokoyama, Shozo

    2002-10-30

    Visual systems of vertebrates exhibit a striking level of diversity, reflecting their adaptive responses to various color environments. The photosensitive molecules, visual pigments, can be synthesized in vitro and their absorption spectra can be determined. Comparing the amino acid sequences and absorption spectra of various visual pigments, we can identify amino acid changes that have modified the absorption spectra of visual pigments. These hypotheses can then be tested using the in vitro assay. This approach has been a powerful tool in elucidating not only the molecular bases of color vision, but the processes of adaptive evolution at the molecular level.

  18. Vertebral pathology in the afar australopithecines.

    PubMed

    Cook, D C; Buikstra, J E; DeRousseau, C J; Johanson, D C

    1983-01-01

    Ten vertebral elements from the AL-288 partial hominid skeleton and 11 elements from the AL-333 collection are described. The AL-288 column presents a marked kyphosis at the level of thoracic vertebrae 6 through 10, with pronounced new bone formation on the ventral surfaces of these vertebrae. These features, associated with narrowed disc space and minor osteophytosis, resemble Scheuermann disease in the human. Even though this diagnosis is consistent with a basically human, bipedal locomotor repertoire, the presence of Scheuermann disease suggests that lifting, climbing, or acrobatic activities may have been important in early hominids.

  19. Evolution of vertebrate forebrain development: how many different mechanisms?

    PubMed

    Foley, A C; Stern, C D

    2001-01-01

    Over the past 50 years and more, many models have been proposed to explain how the nervous system is initially induced and how it becomes subdivided into gross regions such as forebrain, midbrain, hindbrain and spinal cord. Among these models is the 2-signal model of Nieuwkoop & Nigtevecht (1954), who suggested that an initial signal ('activation') from the organiser both neuralises and specifies the forebrain, while later signals ('transformation') from the same region progressively caudalise portions of this initial territory. An opposing idea emerged from the work of Otto Mangold (1933) and other members of the Spemann laboratory: 2 or more distinct organisers, emitting different signals, were proposed to be responsible for inducing the head, trunk and tail regions. Since then, evidence has accumulated that supports one or the other model, but it has been very difficult to distinguish between them. Recently, a considerable body of work from mouse embryos has been interpreted as favouring the latter model, and as suggesting that a 'head organiser', required for the induction of the forebrain, is spatially separate from the classic organiser (Hensen's node). An extraembryonic tissue, the 'anterior visceral endoderm' (AVE), was proposed to be the source of forebrain-inducing signals. It is difficult to find tissues that are directly equivalent embryologically or functionally to the AVE in other vertebrates, which led some (e.g. Kessel, 1998) to propose that mammals have evolved a new way of patterning the head. We will present evidence from the chick embryo showing that the hypoblast is embryologically and functionally equivalent to the mouse AVE. Like the latter, the hypoblast also plays a role in head development. However, it does not act like a true organiser. It induces pre-neural and pre-forebrain markers, but only transiently. Further development of neural and forebrain phenotypes requires additional signals not provided by the hypoblast. In addition, the

  20. Identifying Synonymous Regulatory Elements in Vertebrate Genomes

    SciTech Connect

    Ovcharenko, I; Nobrega, M A

    2005-02-07

    Synonymous gene regulation, defined as driving shared temporal and/or spatial expression of groups of genes, is likely predicated on genomic elements that contain similar modules of certain transcription factor binding sites (TFBS). We have developed a method to scan vertebrate genomes for evolutionary conserved modules of TFBS in a predefined configuration, and created a tool, named SynoR that identify synonymous regulatory elements (SREs) in vertebrate genomes. SynoR performs de novo identification of SREs utilizing known patterns of TFBS in active regulatory elements (REs) as seeds for genome scans. Layers of multiple-species conservation allow the use of differential phylogenetic sequence conservation filters in the search of SREs and the results are displayed as to provide an extensive annotation of genes containing detected REs. Gene Ontology categories are utilized to further functionally classify the identified genes, and integrated GNF Expression Atlas 2 data allow the cataloging of tissue-specificities of the predicted SREs. We illustrate how this new tool can be used to establish a linkage between human diseases and noncoding genomic content. SynoR is publicly available at http://synor.dcode.org.

  1. HOVERGEN: a database of homologous vertebrate genes.

    PubMed Central

    Duret, L; Mouchiroud, D; Gouy, M

    1994-01-01

    Comparison of homologous genes is a major step for many studies related to genome structure, function or evolution. Similarity search programs easily find genes homologous to a given sequence. However, only very tedious manual procedures allow the retrieval of all sets of homologous genes sequenced for a given set of species. Moreover, this search often generates errors due to the complexity of data to be managed simultaneously: phylogenetic trees, alignments, taxonomy, sequences and related information. HOVERGEN helps to solve these problems by integrating all this information. HOVERGEN corresponds to GenBank sequences from all vertebrate species, with some data corrected, clarified, or completed, notably to address the problem of redundancy. Coding sequences have been classified in gene families. Protein multiple alignments and phylogenetic trees have been calculated for each family. Sequences and related information have been structured in an ACNUC database which permits complex selections. A graphical interface has been developed to visualize and edit trees. Genes are displayed in color, according to their taxonomy. Users have directly access to all information attached to sequences and to multiple alignments simply by clicking on genes. This graphical tool gives thus a rapid and simple access to all data necessary to interpret homology relationships between genes. HOVERGEN allows the user to easily select sets of homologous vertebrate genes, and thus is particularly useful for comparative sequence analysis, or molecular evolution studies. Images PMID:8036164

  2. What can vertebrates tell us about segmentation?

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Segmentation is a feature of the body plans of a number of diverse animal groupings, including the annelids, arthropods and chordates. However, it has been unclear whether or not these different manifestations of segmentation are independently derived or have a common origin. Central to this issue is whether or not there are common developmental mechanisms that establish segmentation and the evolutionary origins of these processes. A fruitful way to address this issue is to consider how segmentation in vertebrates is directed. During vertebrate development three different segmental systems are established: the somites, the rhombomeres and the pharyngeal arches. In each an iteration of parts along the long axis is established. However, it is clear that the formation of the somites, rhombomeres or pharyngeal arches have little in common, and as such there is no single segmentation process. These different segmental systems also have distinct evolutionary histories, thus highlighting the fact that segmentation can and does evolve independently at multiple points. We conclude that the term segmentation indicates nothing more than a morphological description and that it implies no mechanistic similarity. Thus it is probable that segmentation has arisen repeatedly during animal evolution. PMID:25009737

  3. Generation of Viable Plant-Vertebrate Chimeras.

    PubMed

    Alvarez, Marjorie; Reynaert, Nicole; Chávez, Myra N; Aedo, Geraldine; Araya, Francisco; Hopfner, Ursula; Fernández, Juan; Allende, Miguel L; Egaña, José T

    2015-01-01

    The extreme dependence on external oxygen supply observed in animals causes major clinical problems and several diseases are related to low oxygen tension in tissues. The vast majority of the animals do not produce oxygen but a few exceptions have shown that photosynthetic capacity is physiologically compatible with animal life. Such symbiotic photosynthetic relationships are restricted to a few aquatic invertebrates. In this work we aimed to explore if we could create a chimerical organism by incorporating photosynthetic eukaryotic cells into a vertebrate animal model. Here, the microalgae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii was injected into zebrafish eggs and the interaction and viability of both organisms were studied. Results show that microalgae were distributed into different tissues, forming a fish-alga chimera organism for a prolonged period of time. In addition, microscopic observation of injected algae, in vivo expression of their mRNA and re-growth of the algae ex vivo suggests that they survived to the developmental process, living for several days after injection. Moreover microalgae did not trigger a significant inflammatory response in the fish. This work provides additional evidence to support the possibility that photosynthetic vertebrates can be engineered. PMID:26126202

  4. Flexible device for vertebral body replacement.

    PubMed

    Main, J A; Wells, M E; Spengler, D M; Strauss, A M; Keller, T S

    1989-03-01

    A novel vertebral prosthesis is presented. The prosthesis was developed for surgical procedures requiring the resection of a complete vertebral body and the adjacent intervertebral discs, the design objective being to develop a flexible implant that would be robust enough to withstand the in vivo stress environment of the human spine. In theory, a flexible implant should preserve a more normal range of motion and apply less stress to surrounding tissue than a rigid implant. A prototype implant was constructed so as to combine a rigid stainless steel structure with flexible silicon rubber elements in order to form an implant with static and dynamic mechanical characteristics similar to those of the anterior spinal column. Implant flexibility characteristics were determined from ex vivo stress-strain behaviour during bending and compressive creep testing. Results from the bending tests indicated good agreement for the lateral and sagittal bending characteristics in comparison with in vitro bending tests of human lumbar motion segments. Comparison of the implant compressive creep response with similar in vitro tests on human lumbar intervertebral discs also demonstrated similarities in the time-dependent mechanical parameters. PMID:2704210

  5. Sensing and surviving hypoxia in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Jonz, Michael G; Buck, Leslie T; Perry, Steve F; Schwerte, Thorsten; Zaccone, Giacomo

    2016-02-01

    Surviving hypoxia is one of the most critical challenges faced by vertebrates. Most species have adapted to changing levels of oxygen in their environment with specialized organs that sense hypoxia, while only few have been uniquely adapted to survive prolonged periods of anoxia. The goal of this review is to present the most recent research on oxygen sensing, adaptation to hypoxia, and mechanisms of anoxia tolerance in nonmammalian vertebrates. We discuss the respiratory structures in fish, including the skin, gills, and air-breathing organs, and recent evidence for chemosensory neuroepithelial cells (NECs) in these tissues that initiate reflex responses to hypoxia. The use of the zebrafish as a genetic and developmental model has allowed observation of the ontogenesis of respiratory and chemosensory systems, demonstration of a putative intracellular O2 sensor in chemoreceptors that may initiate transduction of the hypoxia signal, and investigation into the effects of extreme hypoxia on cardiorespiratory development. Other organisms, such as goldfish and freshwater turtles, display a high degree of anoxia tolerance, and these models are revealing important adaptations at the cellular level, such as the regulation of glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission in defense of homeostasis in central neurons.

  6. "Ostrich sign" indicates bilateral vertebral artery dissection.

    PubMed

    Rose, David Z; Husain, M Rizwan

    2012-11-01

    Vertebral artery dissections (VADs) comprise about 2% of ischemic strokes and can be associated with trauma, chiropractic manipulation, motor vehicle collisions, whiplash, amusement park rides, golfing, and other motion-induced injuries to the neck. We present a case of bilateral extracranial VAD as a complication of conducting an orchestra. To our knowledge, this has not been documented in the literature. Conceivably, vigorous neck twisting in an inexperienced, amateur conductor may place excessive rotational forces upon mobile portions of the verterbral arteries, tear the intima, deposit subintimal blood that extends longitudinally, and cause neck pain and/or posterior fossa ischemic symptoms. Magnetic resonance angiography examinations of axially oriented slices of bilateral VADs resemble the face of an ostrich. This observation is similar to the "puppy sign," in which bilateral internal carotid artery dissections resemble the face of a dog. Craniocervical dissections of either the carotid or vertebral arteries have the potential to form an aneurysm, cause artery-to-artery embolism, or completely occlude the parent artery, resulting in an ischemic stroke. Because bilateral VADs in axial magnetic resonance angiographic sections stand out like the eyes of an ostrich, and because the fast identification of VADs is so critical, we eponymize this image the "ostrich sign."

  7. Generation of Viable Plant-Vertebrate Chimeras

    PubMed Central

    Aedo, Geraldine; Araya, Francisco; Hopfner, Ursula; Fernández, Juan; Allende, Miguel L.; Egaña, José T.

    2015-01-01

    The extreme dependence on external oxygen supply observed in animals causes major clinical problems and several diseases are related to low oxygen tension in tissues. The vast majority of the animals do not produce oxygen but a few exceptions have shown that photosynthetic capacity is physiologically compatible with animal life. Such symbiotic photosynthetic relationships are restricted to a few aquatic invertebrates. In this work we aimed to explore if we could create a chimerical organism by incorporating photosynthetic eukaryotic cells into a vertebrate animal model. Here, the microalgae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii was injected into zebrafish eggs and the interaction and viability of both organisms were studied. Results show that microalgae were distributed into different tissues, forming a fish-alga chimera organism for a prolonged period of time. In addition, microscopic observation of injected algae, in vivo expression of their mRNA and re-growth of the algae ex vivo suggests that they survived to the developmental process, living for several days after injection. Moreover microalgae did not trigger a significant inflammatory response in the fish. This work provides additional evidence to support the possibility that photosynthetic vertebrates can be engineered. PMID:26126202

  8. The characters of Palaeozoic jawed vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Brazeau, Martin D; Friedman, Matt

    2014-01-01

    Newly discovered fossils from the Silurian and Devonian periods are beginning to challenge embedded perceptions about the origin and early diversification of jawed vertebrates (gnathostomes). Nevertheless, an explicit cladistic framework for the relationships of these fossils relative to the principal crown lineages of the jawed vertebrates (osteichthyans: bony fishes and tetrapods; chondrichthyans: sharks, batoids, and chimaeras) remains elusive. We critically review the systematics and character distributions of early gnathostomes and provide a clearly stated hierarchy of synapomorphies covering the jaw-bearing stem gnathostomes and osteichthyan and chondrichthyan stem groups. We show that character lists, designed to support the monophyly of putative groups, tend to overstate their strength and lack cladistic corroboration. By contrast, synapomorphic hierarchies are more open to refutation and must explicitly confront conflicting evidence. Our proposed synapomorphy scheme is used to evaluate the status of the problematic fossil groups Acanthodii and Placodermi, and suggest profitable avenues for future research. We interpret placoderms as a paraphyletic array of stem-group gnathostomes, and suggest what we regard as two equally plausible placements of acanthodians: exclusively on the chondrichthyan stem, or distributed on both the chondrichthyan and osteichthyan stems. PMID:25750460

  9. Permo-Triassic vertebrate extinctions: A program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olson, E. C.

    1988-01-01

    Since the time of the Authors' study on this subject, a great deal of new information has become available. Concepts of the nature of extinctions have changed materially. The Authors' conclusion that a catastrophic event was not responsible for the extinction of vertebrates has modified to the extent that hypotheses involving either the impact of a massive extra-terrestrial body or volcanism provide plausible but not currently fully testable hypotheses. Stated changes resulted in a rapid decrease in organic diversity, as the ratio of origins of taxa to extinctions shifted from strongly positive to negative, with momentary equilibrium being reached at about the Permo-Triassic boundary. The proximate causes of the changes in the terrestrial biota appear to lie in two primary factors: (1) strong climatic changes (global mean temperatures, temperature ranges, humidity) and (2) susceptibility of the dominant vertebrates (large dicynodonts) and the glossopteris flora to disruption of the equlibrium of the world ecosystem. The following proximate causes have been proposed: (1) rhythmic fluctuations in solar radiation, (2) tectonic events as Pangea assembled, altering land-ocean relationships, patterns of wind and water circulation and continental physiography, (3) volcanism, and (4) changes subsequent to impacts of one or more massive extra terrestrial objects, bodies or comets. These hypotheses are discussed.

  10. The evolution of vertebrate opioid receptors

    PubMed Central

    Stevens, Craig W.

    2011-01-01

    The proteins that mediate the analgesic and other effects of opioid drugs and endogenous opioid peptides are known as opioid receptors. Opioid receptors consist of a family of four closely-related proteins belonging to the large superfamily of G-protein coupled receptors. The three types of opioid receptors shown unequivocally to mediate analgesia in animal models are the mu (MOR), delta (DOR), and kappa (KOR) opioid receptor proteins. The role of the fourth member of the opioid receptor family, the nociceptin or orphanin FQ receptor (ORL), is not as clear as hyperalgesia, analgesia, and no effect was reported after administration of ORL agonists. There are now cDNA sequences for all four types of opioid receptors that are expressed in the brain of six species from three different classes of vertebrates. This review presents a comparative analysis of vertebrate opioid receptors using bioinformatics and data from recent human genome studies. Results indicate that opioid receptors arose by gene duplication, that there is a vector of opioid receptor divergence, and that MOR shows evidence of rapid evolution. PMID:19273128

  11. Vertebral artery stenting by using coronary intervention techniques and devices.

    PubMed

    Kilic, Harun; Balci, Mustafa; Akdemir, Ramazan

    2009-04-01

    Atherosclerotic disease of the vertebro/basilar vessels is an important cause of posterior circulation infarction. Commonly, the primary atheroma forms at the origin of the vertebral arteries. Although initial treatment is medical, arch and four-vessel studies (CTA, MRA, or DSA) are warranted if symptoms continue. Endovascular management of vertebral artery stenosis might be highlighted as a good option in selected patients. This is a case of endoluminal stenting of vertebral artery with a durable result. PMID:19476126

  12. Crossveinless-2 is required for the relocalization of Chordin protein within the vertebral field in mouse embryos

    PubMed Central

    Zakin, Lise; Chang, Ellen Y.; Plouhinec, Jean-Louis; De Robertis, E. M.

    2010-01-01

    Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), as well as the BMP-binding molecules Chordin (Chd), Crossveinless-2 (CV2) and Twisted Gastrulation (Tsg), are essential for axial skeletal development in the mouse embryo. We previously reported a strong genetic interaction between CV2 and Tsg and proposed a role for this interaction in the shaping of the BMP morphogenetic field during vertebral development. In the present study we investigated the roles of CV2 and Chd in the formation of the vertebral morphogenetic field. We performed immunostainings for CV2 and Chd protein on wild-type, CV2−/− or Chd−/− mouse embryo sections at the stage of onset of the vertebral phenotypes. By comparing mRNA and protein localizations we found that CV2 does not diffuse away from its place of synthesis, the vertebral body. The most interesting finding of this study was that Chd synthesized in the intervertebral disc accumulates in the vertebral body. This relocalization does not take place in CV2−/− mutants. Instead, Chd was found to accumulate at its site of synthesis in CV2−/− embryos. These results indicate a CV2-dependent flow of Chd protein from the intervertebral disc to the vertebral body. Smad1/5/8 phosphorylation was decreased in CV2−/−vertebral bodies. This impaired BMP signaling may result from the decreased levels of Chd/BMP complexes diffusing from the intervertebral region. The data indicate a role for CV2 and Chd in the establishment of the vertebral morphogenetic field through the long-range relocalization of Chd/BMP complexes. The results may have general implications for the formation of embryonic organ-forming morphogenetic fields. PMID:20807528

  13. The cat vertebral column: stance configuration and range of motion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macpherson, J. M.; Ye, Y.; Peterson, B. W. (Principal Investigator)

    1998-01-01

    This study examined the configuration of the vertebral column of the cat during independent stance and in various flexed positions. The range of motion in the sagittal plane is similar across most thoracic and lumbar joints, with the exception of a lesser range at the transition region from thoracic-type to lumbar-type vertebrae. The upper thoracic column exhibits most of its range in dorsiflexion and the lower thoracic and lumbar in ventroflexion. Lateral flexion is limited to less than 5 degrees at all segments. The range in torsion is almost 180 degrees and occurs primarily in the midthoracic region, T4-T11. Contrary to the depiction in most atlases, the standing cat exhibits several curvatures, including a mild dorsiflexion in the lower lumbar segments, a marked ventroflexion in the lower thoracic and upper lumbar segments, and a profound dorsiflexion in the upper thoracic (above T9) and cervical segments. The curvatures are not significantly changed by altering stance distance but are affected by head posture. During stance, the top of the scapula lies well above the spines of the thoracic vertebrae, and the glenohumeral joint is just below the bodies of vertebrae T3-T5. Using a simple static model of the vertebral column in the sagittal plane, it was estimated that the bending moment due to gravity is bimodal with a dorsiflexion moment in the lower thoracic and lumbar region and a ventroflexion moment in the upper thoracic and cervical region. Given the bending moments and the position of the scapula during stance, it is proposed that two groups of scapular muscles provide the major antigravity support for the head and anterior trunk. Levator scapulae and serratus ventralis form the lateral group, inserting on the lateral processes of cervical vertebrae and on the ribs. The major and minor rhomboids form the medial group, inserting on the spinous tips of vertebrae from C4 to T4. It is also proposed that the hypaxial muscles, psoas major, minor, and quadratus

  14. Facts and fancies about early fossil chordates and vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Janvier, Philippe

    2015-04-23

    The interrelationships between major living vertebrate, and even chordate, groups are now reasonably well resolved thanks to a large amount of generally congruent data derived from molecular sequences, anatomy and physiology. But fossils provide unexpected combinations of characters that help us to understand how the anatomy of modern groups was progressively shaped over millions of years. The dawn of vertebrates is documented by fossils that are preserved as either soft-tissue imprints, or minute skeletal fragments, and it is sometimes difficult for palaeontologists to tell which of them are reliable vertebrate remains and which merely reflect our idea of an ancestral vertebrate.

  15. Candidal Vertebral Osteomyelitis in the Midst of Renal Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Anil; Rao, Srivatsa Nagaraja; Kumar, Krishna; Karim, Shamsul

    2016-01-01

    Vertebral osteomyelitis also known as discitis/pyogenic spondylitis refers to inflammation of the vertebral disc space. It is commonly seen in men and adults more than 50 years of age. Fungal osteomyelitis is a rare scenario compared to its bacterial counterpart. Spinal epidural abscess is a dangerous complication associated with vertebral osteomyelitis. Here, we report two cases of vertebral osteomyelitis caused by Candida tropicalis in patients with renal disorders (stage 5 chronic kidney disease and nephropathy). One of the case discussed here presented with spinal epidural abscess. Both the patients were started on antifungal therapy. One patient responded to treatment while the other was lost to follow up. PMID:27190806

  16. Vascular Plant and Vertebrate Inventory of Coronado National Memorial

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schmidt, Cecilia A.; Powell, Brian F.; Swann, Don E.; Halvorson, William L.

    2007-01-01

    We conducted inventories for amphibians and reptiles, birds, and mammals; and summarized past inventories for vascular plants at Coronado National Memorial (NM) in Arizona. We used our data as well as data from previous research to compile species lists for the memorial, assess inventory completeness, and make suggestions on future monitoring efforts. There have been 940 species of plants and vertebrates recorded at Coronado NM (Table 1), of which 46 (5%) are non-native. The species richness of the memorial is one of the highest in the Sonoran Desert Network of park units, third only to park units that are two and one-half (Chiricahua National Monument), 19 (Saguaro National Park) and 70 (Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument) times larger in area. The high species diversities are due to the large elevational gradient, overlap of bigeographical regions, wide range of geology and soils, and diverse vegetation communities present at the memorial. Changes in species composition have occurred at the memorial over the last 20 years in all major taxonomic groups. These changes are likely due to increases in grassy plant species (both native and non-native) at the lower elevations of the memorial. We suspect that grassy plant cover has increased because of changes in grazing intensity, introduction of some non-native species, and a recent fire. All recent vertebrate inventories have yielded grassland obligate species not previously recorded at the memorial. Based on the review of past studies, we believe the inventory for most taxa, except bats, is nearly complete, though some rare or elusive species will likely be added with additional survey effort.

  17. Functional significance of the taper of vertebrate cone photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Hárosi, Ferenc I.

    2012-01-01

    Vertebrate photoreceptors are commonly distinguished based on the shape of their outer segments: those of cones taper, whereas the ones from rods do not. The functional advantages of cone taper, a common occurrence in vertebrate retinas, remain elusive. In this study, we investigate this topic using theoretical analyses aimed at revealing structure–function relationships in photoreceptors. Geometrical optics combined with spectrophotometric and morphological data are used to support the analyses and to test predictions. Three functions are considered for correlations between taper and functionality. The first function proposes that outer segment taper serves to compensate for self-screening of the visual pigment contained within. The second function links outer segment taper to compensation for a signal-to-noise ratio decline along the longitudinal dimension. Both functions are supported by the data: real cones taper more than required for these compensatory roles. The third function relates outer segment taper to the optical properties of the inner compartment whereby the primary determinant is the inner segment’s ability to concentrate light via its ellipsoid. In support of this idea, the rod/cone ratios of primarily diurnal animals are predicted based on a principle of equal light flux gathering between photoreceptors. In addition, ellipsoid concentration factor, a measure of ellipsoid ability to concentrate light onto the outer segment, correlates positively with outer segment taper expressed as a ratio of characteristic lengths, where critical taper is the yardstick. Depending on a light-funneling property and the presence of focusing organelles such as oil droplets, cone outer segments can be reduced in size to various degrees. We conclude that outer segment taper is but one component of a miniaturization process that reduces metabolic costs while improving signal detection. Compromise solutions in the various retinas and retinal regions occur between

  18. Placoderms (Armored Fish): Dominant Vertebrates of the Devonian Period

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, Gavin C.

    2010-05-01

    Placoderms, the most diverse group of Devonian fishes, were globally distributed in all habitable freshwater and marine environments, like teleost fishes in the modern fauna. Their known evolutionary history (Early Silurian-Late Devonian) spanned at least 70 million years. Known diversity (335 genera) will increase when diverse assemblages from new areas are described. Placoderms first occur in the Early Silurian of China, but their diversity remained low until their main evolutionary radiation in the Early Devonian, after which they became the dominant vertebrates of Devonian seas. Most current placoderm data are derived from the second half of the group's evolutionary history, and recent claims that they form a paraphyletic group are based on highly derived Late Devonian forms; 16 shared derived characters are proposed here to support placoderm monophyly. Interrelationships of seven placoderm orders are unresolved because Silurian forms from China are still poorly known. The relationship of placoderms to the two major extant groups of jawed fishes—osteichthyans (bony fishes) and chondrichthyans (cartilaginous sharks, rays, and chimaeras)—remains uncertain, but the detailed preservation of placoderm internal braincase structures provides insights into the ancestral gnathostome (jawed vertebrate) condition. Placoderms provide the most complex morphological and biogeographic data set for the Middle Paleozoic; marked discrepancies in stratigraphic occurrence between different continental regions indicate strongly endemic faunas that were probably constrained by marine barriers until changes in paleogeography permitted range enlargement into new areas. Placoderm distributions in time and space indicate major faunal interchange between Gondwana and Laurussia near the Frasnian-Famennian boundary; closure of the Devonian equatorial ocean is a possible explanation.

  19. Vertebral column deformities in white-beaked dolphins from the eastern North Atlantic.

    PubMed

    Bertulli, Chiara G; Galatius, Anders; Kinze, Carl C; Rasmussen, Marianne H; Deaville, Rob; Jepson, Paul; Vedder, Elisabeth J; Sánchez Contreras, Guillermo J; Sabin, Richard C; Watson, Alastair

    2015-09-17

    Five white-beaked dolphins Lagenorhynchus albirostris with outwardly vertebral kyphosis, kyphoscoliosis or lordosis were identified during a photo-identification survey of over 400 individuals (2002-2013) in Faxaflói and Skjálfandi Bays, Iceland. In addition, 3 stranding reports from Denmark, The Netherlands and the UK were analysed, providing both external observation and post mortem details of axial deviations of the vertebral column in this species. Two of the free-ranging cases and 2 of the stranded specimens appeared to have an acquired disease, either as a direct result of trauma, or indirectly from trauma/wound and subsequent infection and bony proliferation, although we were unable to specifically identify the causes. Our data represent a starting point to understand vertebral column deformations and their implications in white-beaked dolphins from the eastern North Atlantic. We recommend for future necropsy cases to conduct macro- and microscopic evaluation of muscle from both sides of the deformed region, in order to assess chronic or acute conditions related to the vertebral deformations and cause of death.

  20. Ontogenetic cell death and phagocytosis in the visual system of vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Francisco-Morcillo, Javier; Bejarano-Escobar, Ruth; Rodríguez-León, Joaquín; Navascués, Julio; Martín-Partido, Gervasio

    2014-10-01

    Programmed cell death (PCD), together with cell proliferation, cell migration, and cell differentiation, is an essential process during development of the vertebrate nervous system. The visual system has been an excellent model on which to investigate the mechanisms involved in ontogenetic cell death. Several phases of PCD have been reported to occur during visual system ontogeny. During these phases, comparative analyses demonstrate that dying cells show similar but not identical spatiotemporally restricted patterns in different vertebrates. Additionally, the chronotopographical coincidence of PCD with the entry of specialized phagocytes in some regions of the developing vertebrate visual system suggests that factors released from degenerating cells are involved in the cell migration of macrophages and microglial cells. Contradicting this hypothesis however, in many cases the cell corpses generated during degeneration are rapidly phagocytosed by neighboring cells, such as neuroepithelial cells or Müller cells. In this review, we describe the occurrence and the sites of PCD during the morphogenesis and differentiation of the retina and optic pathways of different vertebrates, and discuss the possible relationship between PCD and phagocytes during ontogeny.

  1. Nervous systems and scenarios for the invertebrate-to-vertebrate transition.

    PubMed

    Holland, Nicholas D

    2016-01-01

    Older evolutionary scenarios for the origin of vertebrates often gave nervous systems top billing in accordance with the notion that a big-brained Homo sapiens crowned a tree of life shaped mainly by progressive evolution. Now, however, tree thinking positions all extant organisms equidistant from the tree's root, and molecular phylogenies indicate that regressive evolution is more common than previously suspected. Even so, contemporary theories of vertebrate origin still focus on the nervous system because of its functional importance, its richness in characters for comparative biology, and its central position in the two currently prominent scenarios for the invertebrate-to-vertebrate transition, which grew out of the markedly neurocentric annelid and enteropneust theories of the nineteenth century. Both these scenarios compare phyla with diverse overall body plans. This diversity, exacerbated by the scarcity of relevant fossil data, makes it challenging to establish plausible homologies between component parts (e.g. nervous system regions). In addition, our current understanding of the relation between genotype and phenotype is too preliminary to permit us to convert gene network data into structural features in any simple way. These issues are discussed here with special reference to the evolution of nervous systems during proposed transitions from invertebrates to vertebrates.

  2. Expression and evolution of Tiki1 and Tiki2 genes in vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    FEISTEL, KERSTIN; BRITO, JOSE M.; AMADO, NATHALIA G.; XU, CHIWEI; ABREU, JOSE G.; HE, XI

    2015-01-01

    Tiki1 is a Wnt protease and antagonist specifically expressed in the Spemann-Mangold Organizer and is required for head formation in Xenopus embryos. Here we report neighbor-joining phylogenetic analysis of vertebrate Tiki genes and their mRNA expression patterns in chick, mouse, and rabbit embryos. Tiki1 and Tiki2 orthologues are highly conserved, and exhibit similar but also different developmental expression patterns among the vertebrate/mammalian species analyzed. The Tiki1 gene is noticeably absent in the rodent lineage, but is present in lagomorphs and all other vertebrate/mammalian species examined. Expression in Hensen’s node, the equivalent of the Xenopus Organizer, was observed for Chick Tiki2 and Rabbit Tiki1 and Tiki2. Mouse Tiki2 was detected at low levels at gastrulation and head fold stages, but not in the node. Mouse Tiki2 and chick Tiki1 display similar expression in the dorsal spinal cord. Chick Tiki1 expression was also detected in the surface ectoderm and maxillary bud, while chick Tiki2 was found in the anterior intestinal portal, head mensenchyme and primitive atrium. Our expression analyses provide evidence that Tiki1 and Tiki2 are evolutionary conserved among vertebrate species and their expression in the Organizer and other regions suggests contributions of these Wnt inhibitors to embryonic patterning as well as organogenesis. Our analyses further reveal mis-regulation of TIKI1 and TIKI2 in human cancer and diseases. PMID:25354456

  3. Evolutionary study of vertebrate and invertebrate members of the dystrophin and utrophin gene family

    SciTech Connect

    Roberts, R.G.; Nicholson, L.; Bobrow, M.

    1994-09-01

    Vertebrates express two members of the dystrophin gene family. The prototype, dystrophin, is expressed in muscle and neural tissue, and is defective in the human disorders Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy (DMD, BMD). The dystrophin homologue utrophin is more generally expressed but has not yet been associated with a genetic disorder. The function of neither protein is clear. A comparison of human utrophin with the known dystrophins (human, mouse, chicken, Torpedo) suggests that dystrophin and utrophin diverged before the vertebrate radiation. We have used reverse-transcript PCR (RT-PCR) directed by degenerate primers to characterize dystrophin and utrophin transcripts from a range of vertebrate and invertebrate animals. Our results suggest that the duplication leading to distinct dystrophin and utrophin genes occurred close to the point of divergence of urochordates from the cephalochordate-vertebrate lineage. This divergence may have occurred to fulfill a novel role which arose at this point, or may reflect a need for separate regulation of the neuromuscular and other functions of the ancient dystrophin. Our data include sequences of the first non-human utrophins to be characterized, and show these to be substantially more divergent than their cognate dystrophins. In addition, our results provide a large body of information regarding the tolerance of amino acid positions in the cysteine-rich and C-terminal domains to substitution. This will aid the interpretations of DMD and BMD missense mutations in these regions.

  4. Vertebral column deformities in white-beaked dolphins from the eastern North Atlantic.

    PubMed

    Bertulli, Chiara G; Galatius, Anders; Kinze, Carl C; Rasmussen, Marianne H; Deaville, Rob; Jepson, Paul; Vedder, Elisabeth J; Sánchez Contreras, Guillermo J; Sabin, Richard C; Watson, Alastair

    2015-09-17

    Five white-beaked dolphins Lagenorhynchus albirostris with outwardly vertebral kyphosis, kyphoscoliosis or lordosis were identified during a photo-identification survey of over 400 individuals (2002-2013) in Faxaflói and Skjálfandi Bays, Iceland. In addition, 3 stranding reports from Denmark, The Netherlands and the UK were analysed, providing both external observation and post mortem details of axial deviations of the vertebral column in this species. Two of the free-ranging cases and 2 of the stranded specimens appeared to have an acquired disease, either as a direct result of trauma, or indirectly from trauma/wound and subsequent infection and bony proliferation, although we were unable to specifically identify the causes. Our data represent a starting point to understand vertebral column deformations and their implications in white-beaked dolphins from the eastern North Atlantic. We recommend for future necropsy cases to conduct macro- and microscopic evaluation of muscle from both sides of the deformed region, in order to assess chronic or acute conditions related to the vertebral deformations and cause of death. PMID:26378408

  5. An Immune Effector System in the Protochordate Gut Sheds Light on Fundamental Aspects of Vertebrate Immunity.

    PubMed

    Liberti, Assunta; Leigh, Brittany; De Santis, Rosaria; Pinto, Maria Rosaria; Cannon, John P; Dishaw, Larry J; Litman, Gary W

    2015-01-01

    A variety of germline and somatic immune mechanisms have evolved in vertebrate and invertebrate species to detect a wide array of pathogenic invaders. The gut is a particularly significant site in terms of distinguishing pathogens from potentially beneficial microbes. Ciona intestinalis, a filter-feeding marine protochordate that is ancestral to the vertebrate form, possesses variable region-containing chitin-binding proteins (VCBPs), a family of innate immune receptors, which recognize bacteria through an immunoglobulin-type variable region. The manner in which VCBPs mediate immune recognition appears to be related to the development and bacterial colonization of the gut, and it is likely that these molecules are critical elements in achieving overall immune and physiological homeostasis. PMID:26537381

  6. Control of Vertebrate Skeletal Mineralization by Polyphosphates

    PubMed Central

    Omelon, Sidney; Georgiou, John; Henneman, Zachary J.; Wise, Lisa M.; Sukhu, Balram; Hunt, Tanya; Wynnyckyj, Chrystia; Holmyard, Douglas; Bielecki, Ryszard; Grynpas, Marc D.

    2009-01-01

    Background Skeletons are formed in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and compositions of organic and mineral components. Many invertebrate skeletons are constructed from carbonate or silicate minerals, whereas vertebrate skeletons are instead composed of a calcium phosphate mineral known as apatite. No one yet knows why the dynamic vertebrate skeleton, which is continually rebuilt, repaired, and resorbed during growth and normal remodeling, is composed of apatite. Nor is the control of bone and calcifying cartilage mineralization well understood, though it is thought to be associated with phosphate-cleaving proteins. Researchers have assumed that skeletal mineralization is also associated with non-crystalline, calcium- and phosphate-containing electron-dense granules that have been detected in vertebrate skeletal tissue prepared under non-aqueous conditions. Again, however, the role of these granules remains poorly understood. Here, we review bone and growth plate mineralization before showing that polymers of phosphate ions (polyphosphates: (PO3−)n) are co-located with mineralizing cartilage and resorbing bone. We propose that the electron-dense granules contain polyphosphates, and explain how these polyphosphates may play an important role in apatite biomineralization. Principal Findings/Methodology The enzymatic formation (condensation) and destruction (hydrolytic degradation) of polyphosphates offers a simple mechanism for enzymatic control of phosphate accumulation and the relative saturation of apatite. Under circumstances in which apatite mineral formation is undesirable, such as within cartilage tissue or during bone resorption, the production of polyphosphates reduces the free orthophosphate (PO43−) concentration while permitting the accumulation of a high total PO43− concentration. Sequestering calcium into amorphous calcium polyphosphate complexes can reduce the concentration of free calcium. The resulting reduction of both free PO43− and free

  7. Carotid and vertebral artery dissection syndromes

    PubMed Central

    Thanvi, B; Munshi, S; Dawson, S; Robinson, T

    2005-01-01

    Cervicocerebral arterial dissections (CAD) are an important cause of strokes in younger patients accounting for nearly 20% of strokes in patients under the age of 45 years. Extracranial internal carotid artery dissections comprise 70%–80% and extracranial vertebral dissections account for about 15% of all CAD. Aetiopathogenesis of CAD is incompletely understood, though trauma, respiratory infections, and underlying arteriopathy are considered important. A typical picture of local pain, headache, and ipsilateral Horner's syndrome followed after several hours by cerebral or retinal ischaemia is rare. Doppler ultrasound, MRI/MRA, and CT angiography are useful non-invasive diagnostic tests. The treatment of extracranial CAD is mainly medical using anticoagulants or antiplatelet agents although controlled studies to show their effectiveness are lacking. The prognosis of extracranial CAD is generally much better than that of the intracranial CAD. Recurrences are rare in CAD. PMID:15937204

  8. Morphogenesis and evolution of vertebrate appendicular muscle

    PubMed Central

    HAINES, LYNN; CURRIE, PETER D.

    2001-01-01

    Two different modes are utilised by vertebrate species to generate the appendicular muscle present within fins and limbs. Primitive Chondricthyan or cartilaginous fishes use a primitive mode of muscle formation to generate the muscle of the fins. Direct epithelial myotomal extensions invade the fin and generate the fin muscles while remaining in contact with the myotome. Embryos of amniotes such as chick and mouse use a similar mechanism to that deployed in the bony teleost species, zebrafish. Migratory mesenchymal myoblasts delaminate from fin/limb level somites, migrate to the fin/limb field and differentiate entirely within the context of the fin/limb bud. Migratory fin and limb myoblasts express identical genes suggesting that they possess both morphogenetic and molecular identity. We conclude that the mechanisms controlling tetrapod limb muscle formation arose prior to the Sarcopterygian or tetrapod radiation. PMID:11523824

  9. Morphogenesis and evolution of vertebrate appendicular muscle.

    PubMed

    Haines, L; Currie, P D

    2001-01-01

    Two different modes are utilised by vertebrate species to generate the appendicular muscle present within fins and limbs. Primitive Chondricthyan or cartilaginous fishes use a primitive mode of muscle formation to generate the muscle of the fins. Direct epithelial myotomal extensions invade the fin and generate the fin muscles while remaining in contact with the myotome. Embryos of amniotes such as chick and mouse use a similar mechanism to that deployed in the bony teleost species, zebrafish. Migratory mesenchymal myoblasts delaminate from fin/limb level somites, migrate to the fin/limb field and differentiate entirely within the context of the fin/limb bud. Migratory fin and limb myoblasts express identical genes suggesting that they possess both morphogenetic and molecular identity. We conclude that the mechanisms controlling tetrapod limb muscle formation arose prior to the Sarcopterygian or tetrapod radiation. PMID:11523824

  10. Magnetic Susceptibility in the Vertebral Column

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schick, F.; Nagele, T.; Lutz, O.; Pfeffer, K.; Giehl, J.

    1994-01-01

    A magnetic resonance method is described which provides good-quality field-mapping images of the spine, although the in vivo signals from red bone marrow of the vertebral bodies exhibit similar fractions of lipid and water protons with their chemical-shift difference of 3.4 ppm. The susceptibilities of bone marrow and intervertebral disks were examined in 20 cadaveric human spines, 9 healthy volunteers, and 9 patients with degenerative disk alterations. The influence of geometrical properties was studied in cylindrical spine phantoms of different size and contents with different susceptibility. The measurements reveal interindividual differences of the susceptibility of the intervertebral disks in healthy subjects. Three out of nine degenerated disks with low signal in T2-weighted spin-echo images showed irregularities of the field distribution within the nucleus pulposus.

  11. Cement augmentation in vertebral burst fractures.

    PubMed

    Zaryanov, Anton V; Park, Daniel K; Khalil, Jad G; Baker, Kevin C; Fischgrund, Jeffrey S

    2014-01-01

    As a result of axial compression, traumatic vertebral burst fractures disrupt the anterior column, leading to segmental instability and cord compression. In situations with diminished anterior column support, pedicle screw fixation alone may lead to delayed kyphosis, nonunion, and hardware failure. Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty (balloon-assisted vertebroplasty) have been used in an effort to provide anterior column support in traumatic burst fractures. Cited advantages are providing immediate stability, improving pain, and reducing hardware malfunction. When used in isolation or in combination with posterior instrumentation, these techniques theoretically allow for improved fracture reduction and maintenance of spinal alignment while avoiding the complications and morbidity of anterior approaches. Complications associated with cement use (leakage, systemic effects) are similar to those seen in the treatment of osteoporotic compression fractures; however, extreme caution must be used in fractures with a disrupted posterior wall.

  12. Cell fate determination in the vertebrate retina.

    PubMed Central

    Cepko, C L; Austin, C P; Yang, X; Alexiades, M; Ezzeddine, D

    1996-01-01

    In the vertebrate central nervous system, the retina has been a useful model for studies of cell fate determination. Recent results from studies conducted in vitro and in vivo suggest a model of retinal development in which both the progenitor cells and the environment change over time. The model is based upon the notion that the mitotic cells within the retina change in their response properties, or "competence", during development. These changes presage the ordered appearance of distinct cell types during development and appear to be necessary for the production of the distinct cell types. As the response properties of the cells change, so too do the environmental signals that the cells encounter. Together, intrinsic properties and extrinsic cues direct the choice of cell fate. Images Fig. 2 Fig. 5 PMID:8570600

  13. Cost minimization by helpers in cooperative vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Russell, A F; Sharpe, L L; Brotherton, P N M; Clutton-Brock, T H

    2003-03-18

    When parents invest heavily in reproduction they commonly suffer significant energetic costs. Parents reduce the long-term fitness implications of these costs through increased foraging and reduced reproductive investment in the future. Similar behavioral modifications might be expected among helpers in societies of cooperative vertebrates, in which helping is associated with energetic costs. By using multivariate analyses and experiments, we show that in cooperative meerkats, Suricata suricatta, helping is associated with substantial short-term growth costs but limited long-term fitness costs. This association forms because individual contributions to cooperation are initially condition dependent, and, because when helpers invest heavily in cooperation, they increase their foraging rate during the subsequent nonbreeding period and reduce their level of cooperative investment in the subsequent reproductive period. These results provide a unique demonstration that despite significant short-term costs, helpers, like breeders, are able to reduce the fitness consequences of these costs through behavioral modifications.

  14. Vertebral Augmentation: State of the Art

    PubMed Central

    Nabhane, Linda; Issa El Khoury, Fouad; Kreichati, Gaby; El Rachkidi, Rami

    2016-01-01

    Osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (OVF) are an increasing public health problem. Cement augmentation (vertebroplasty of kyphoplasty) helps stabilize painful OVF refractory to medical treatment. This stabilization is thought to improve pain and functional outcome. Vertebroplasty consists of injecting cement into a fractured vertebra using a percutaneous transpedicular approach. Balloon kyphoplasty uses an inflatable balloon prior to injecting the cement. Although kyphoplasty is associated with significant improvement of local kyphosis and less cement leakage, this does not result in long-term clinical and functional improvement. Moreover, vertebroplasty is favored by some due to the high cost of kyphoplasty. The injection of cement increases the stiffness of the fracture vertebrae. This can lead, in theory, to adjacent OVF. However, many studies found no increase of subsequent fracture when comparing medical treatment to cement augmentation. Kyphoplasty can have a protective effect due to restoration of sagittal balance. PMID:27114782

  15. Salmonella Typhi Vertebral Osteomyelitis and Epidural Abscess

    PubMed Central

    Chua, Ying Ying; Chen, John L. T.

    2016-01-01

    Salmonella vertebral osteomyelitis is an uncommon complication of Salmonella infection. We report a case of a 57-year-old transgender male who presented with lower back pain for a period of one month following a fall. Physical examination only revealed tenderness over the lower back with no neurological deficits. MRI of the thoracic and lumbar spine revealed a spondylodiscitis at T10-T11 and T12-L1 and right posterior epidural collection at the T9-T10 level. He underwent decompression laminectomy with segmental instrumentation and fusion of T8 to L3 vertebrae. Intraoperatively, he was found to have acute-on-chronic osteomyelitis in T10 and T11, epidural abscess, and discitis in T12-L1. Tissue and wound culture grew Salmonella Typhi and with antibiotics susceptibility guidance he was treated with intravenous ceftriaxone for a period of six weeks. He recovered well with no neurological deficits. PMID:27034871

  16. Planar Cell Polarity in vertebrate limb morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Bo; Yang, Yingzi

    2013-01-01

    Studies of the vertebrate limb development have contributed significantly to understanding the fundamental mechanisms underlying growth, patterning and morphogenesis of a complex multicellular organism. In the limb, well-defined signaling centers interact to coordinate limb growth and patterning along the three axes. Recent analyses of live imaging and mathematical modeling have provided evidence that polarized cell behaviors governed by morphogen gradients play an important role in shaping the limb bud. Furthermore, the Wnt/Planar Cell Polarity (PCP) pathway that controls uniformly polarized cellular behaviors in a field of cells has emerged to be critical for directional morphogenesis in the developing limb. Directional information coded in the morphogen gradient may be interpreted by responding cells through regulating the activities of PCP components in a Wnt morphogen dose-dependent manner. PMID:23747034

  17. Lysophosphatidic Acid (LPA) Signaling in Vertebrate Reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Ye, Xiaoqin; Chun, Jerold

    2009-01-01

    Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) is a cell membrane phospholipid metabolite that can act as an extracellular signal. Its effects are mediated through at least five G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), LPA1-5, and likely others as well. Studies in multiple species including LPA receptor-deficient mice and humans have identified or implicated important roles for receptor-mediated LPA signaling in multiple aspects of vertebrate reproduction. These include ovarian function, spermatogenesis, fertilization, early embryo development, embryo implantation, embryo spacing, decidualization, pregnancy maintenance, and parturition. LPA signaling may also have pathological consequences, influencing aspects of endometriosis and ovarian cancer. Here we review recent progress in LPA signaling research relevant to female and male reproduction. PMID:19836970

  18. Estrogen receptor signaling during vertebrate development

    PubMed Central

    Bondesson, Maria; Hao, Ruixin; Lin, Chin-Yo; Williams, Cecilia; Gustafsson, Jan-Åke

    2014-01-01

    Estrogen receptors are expressed and their cognate ligands produced in all vertebrates, indicative of important and conserved functions. Through evolution estrogen has been involved in controlling reproduction, affecting both the development of reproductive organs and reproductive behavior. This review broadly describes the synthesis of estrogens and the expression patterns of aromatase and the estrogen receptors, in relation to estrogen functions in the developing fetus and child. We focus on the role of estrogens for development of reproductive tissues, as well as non-reproductive effects on the developing brain. We collate data from human, rodent, bird and fish studies and highlight common and species-specific effects of estrogen signaling on fetal development. Morphological malformations originating from perturbed estrogen signaling in estrogen receptor and aromatase knockout mice are discussed, as well as the clinical manifestations of rare estrogen receptor alpha and aromatase gene mutations in humans. PMID:24954179

  19. Cost minimization by helpers in cooperative vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Russell, A F; Sharpe, L L; Brotherton, P N M; Clutton-Brock, T H

    2003-03-18

    When parents invest heavily in reproduction they commonly suffer significant energetic costs. Parents reduce the long-term fitness implications of these costs through increased foraging and reduced reproductive investment in the future. Similar behavioral modifications might be expected among helpers in societies of cooperative vertebrates, in which helping is associated with energetic costs. By using multivariate analyses and experiments, we show that in cooperative meerkats, Suricata suricatta, helping is associated with substantial short-term growth costs but limited long-term fitness costs. This association forms because individual contributions to cooperation are initially condition dependent, and, because when helpers invest heavily in cooperation, they increase their foraging rate during the subsequent nonbreeding period and reduce their level of cooperative investment in the subsequent reproductive period. These results provide a unique demonstration that despite significant short-term costs, helpers, like breeders, are able to reduce the fitness consequences of these costs through behavioral modifications. PMID:12629209

  20. Vertebral surface registration using ridgelines/crestlines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, Sovira; Yao, Jianhua; Yao, Lawrence; Summers, Ronald M.; Ward, Michael M.

    2008-03-01

    The Iterative Closest Point (ICP) algorithm is an efficient and popular technique for surface registration. It however suffers from the well-known problem of local minima that make the algorithm stop before it reaches the desired global solution. ICP can be improved by the use of landmarks or features. We recently developed a level set capable of evolving on the surface of an object represented by a triangular mesh. This level set permits the segmentation of portions of a surface based on curvature features. The boundary of a segmented portion forms a ridgeline/crestline. We show that the ridgelines/crestlines and corresponding enclosed surfaces extracted by the algorithm can substantially improve ICP registration. We compared the performance of an ICP algorithm in three setups: 1) ICP without landmarks. 2) ICP using ridgelines. 3) ICP using ridgelines and corresponding enclosed surfaces. Our material consists of vertebral body surfaces extracted for a study about the progression of Ankylosing Spondylitis. Same vertebrae scanned at intervals of one or two years were rigidly registered. Vertebral body rims and the end plate surfaces they enclose were used as landmarks. The performance measure was the mean error distance between the registered surfaces. From the one hundred registrations that we performed the average mean error was respectively 0.503mm, 0.335mm and 0.254mm for the three setups. Setup 3 almost halved the average error of setup 1. Moreover the error range is dramatically reduced from [0.0985, 2.19]mm to just [0.0865, 0.532]mm, making the algorithm very robust.

  1. Expression of temperature-sensitive ion channel TRPM8 in sperm cells correlates with vertebrate evolution

    PubMed Central

    Majhi, Rakesh Kumar; Saha, Somdatta; Kumar, Ashutosh; Ghosh, Arijit; Swain, Nirlipta; Goswami, Luna; Mohapatra, Pratyush; Maity, Apratim; Kumar Sahoo, Vivek

    2015-01-01

    Transient Receptor Potential cation channel, subfamily Melastatin, member 8 (TRPM8) is involved in detection of cold temperature, different noxious compounds and in execution of thermo- as well as chemo-sensitive responses at cellular levels. Here we explored the molecular evolution of TRPM8 by analyzing sequences from various species. We elucidate that several regions of TRPM8 had different levels of selection pressure but the 4th–5th transmembrane regions remain highly conserved. Analysis of synteny suggests that since vertebrate origin, TRPM8 gene is linked with SPP2, a bone morphogen. TRPM8, especially the N-terminal region of it, seems to be highly variable in human population. We found 16,656 TRPM8 variants in 1092 human genomes with top variations being SNPs, insertions and deletions. A total of 692 missense mutations are also mapped to human TRPM8 protein of which 509 seem to be delateroiours in nature as supported by Polyphen V2, SIFT and Grantham deviation score. Using a highly specific antibody, we demonstrate that TRPM8 is expressed endogenously in the testis of rat and sperm cells of different vertebrates ranging from fish to higher mammals. We hypothesize that TRPM8 had emerged during vertebrate evolution (ca 450 MYA). We propose that expression of TRPM8 in sperm cell and its role in regulating sperm function are important factors that have guided its molecular evolution, and that these understandings may have medical importance. PMID:26500819

  2. Global associations between terrestrial producer and vertebrate consumer diversity.

    PubMed

    Jetz, Walter; Kreft, Holger; Ceballos, Gerardo; Mutke, Jens

    2009-01-22

    In both ecology and conservation, often a strong positive association is assumed between the diversity of plants as primary producers and that of animals, specifically primary consumers. Such a relationship has been observed at small spatial scales, and a begetting of diversity by diversity is expected under various scenarios of co-evolution and co-adaptation. But positive producer-consumer richness relationships may also arise from similar associations with past opportunities for diversification or contemporary environmental conditions, or from emerging properties of plant diversity such as vegetation complexity or productivity. Here we assess whether the producer-consumer richness relationship generalizes from plot to regional scale and provide a first global test of its strength for vascular plants and endothermic vertebrates. We find strong positive richness associations, but only limited congruence of the most diverse regions. The richness of both primary and higher-level consumers increases with plant richness at similar strength and rate. Environmental conditions emerge as much stronger predictors of consumer richness, and after accounting for environmental differences little variation is explained by plant diversity. We conclude that biotic interactions and strong local associations between plants and consumers only relatively weakly scale up to broad geographical scales and to functionally diverse taxa, for which environmental constraints on richness dominate. PMID:18832059

  3. Aquatic vertebrate assemblages of the upper Clear Creek Watershed, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brown, L.R.; May, J.T.

    2007-01-01

    We sampled streams in the Upper Clear Creek Watershed in northwestern California in fall 2004 and fall 2005 to document assemblages of aquatic vertebrates and to provide resource managers with information on the importance of these assemblages in terms of regional biodiversity. We used single-pass backpack electrofishing to sample 15 sites in fall 2004 and the same 15 sites plus 4 new sites in fall 2005. We captured 10 fish taxa and 2 species of larval amphibians. Seven of the fish taxa were native species. Of the exotic species, only brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) occurred at more than 1 site. Ordinations by nonmetric multidimensional scaling indicated a gradient from sites with rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), Pacific giant salamander (Dicamptodon tenebrosus), and tailed frog (Ascaphus truei) to sites dominated by riffle sculpin (Cottus gulosus), California roach (Hesperoleucas symmetricus), and Sacramento sucker (Catostomus occidentalis). The gradient in species composition was associated with changes in elevation, gradient, discharge, and substrate. The Upper Clear Creek Watershed represents a unique area of overlap between the North Coast California amphibian fauna and the Central Valley fish fauna with a notable paucity of exotic fishes and amphibians. Preservation of the integrity of native aquatic assemblages is an important goal for aquatic resource management in the region; our results provide a critcial baseline to gauge future management actions.

  4. Global associations between terrestrial producer and vertebrate consumer diversity

    PubMed Central

    Jetz, Walter; Kreft, Holger; Ceballos, Gerardo; Mutke, Jens

    2008-01-01

    In both ecology and conservation, often a strong positive association is assumed between the diversity of plants as primary producers and that of animals, specifically primary consumers. Such a relationship has been observed at small spatial scales, and a begetting of diversity by diversity is expected under various scenarios of co-evolution and co-adaptation. But positive producer–consumer richness relationships may also arise from similar associations with past opportunities for diversification or contemporary environmental conditions, or from emerging properties of plant diversity such as vegetation complexity or productivity. Here we assess whether the producer–consumer richness relationship generalizes from plot to regional scale and provide a first global test of its strength for vascular plants and endothermic vertebrates. We find strong positive richness associations, but only limited congruence of the most diverse regions. The richness of both primary and higher-level consumers increases with plant richness at similar strength and rate. Environmental conditions emerge as much stronger predictors of consumer richness, and after accounting for environmental differences little variation is explained by plant diversity. We conclude that biotic interactions and strong local associations between plants and consumers only relatively weakly scale up to broad geographical scales and to functionally diverse taxa, for which environmental constraints on richness dominate. PMID:18832059

  5. Evolutionary conservation of regulatory elements in vertebrate HOX gene clusters

    SciTech Connect

    Santini, Simona; Boore, Jeffrey L.; Meyer, Axel

    2003-12-31

    Due to their high degree of conservation, comparisons of DNA sequences among evolutionarily distantly-related genomes permit to identify functional regions in noncoding DNA. Hox genes are optimal candidate sequences for comparative genome analyses, because they are extremely conserved in vertebrates and occur in clusters. We aligned (Pipmaker) the nucleotide sequences of HoxA clusters of tilapia, pufferfish, striped bass, zebrafish, horn shark, human and mouse (over 500 million years of evolutionary distance). We identified several highly conserved intergenic sequences, likely to be important in gene regulation. Only a few of these putative regulatory elements have been previously described as being involved in the regulation of Hox genes, while several others are new elements that might have regulatory functions. The majority of these newly identified putative regulatory elements contain short fragments that are almost completely conserved and are identical to known binding sites for regulatory proteins (Transfac). The conserved intergenic regions located between the most rostrally expressed genes in the developing embryo are longer and better retained through evolution. We document that presumed regulatory sequences are retained differentially in either A or A clusters resulting from a genome duplication in the fish lineage. This observation supports both the hypothesis that the conserved elements are involved in gene regulation and the Duplication-Deletion-Complementation model.

  6. Collection & Processing of Vertebrate Specimens for Arbovirus Studies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sudia, W. Daniel; And Others

    Described are techniques used by the National Communicable Disease Center in obtaining blood and tissues from man and other vertebrates for arbovirus isolation and antibody studies. Also included are techniques for capturing and handling vertebrates; banding and marking; restraining and bleeding; storing of specimens to preserve antibody and…

  7. L1 burst fracture with associated vertebral angioma.

    PubMed

    Armaganian, G; Adetchessi, T; Pech-Gourg, G; Blondel, B; Dufour, H; Fuentes, S

    2013-04-01

    Vertebral angioma is a common bone tumor. We report a case of L1 vertebral angioma revealed by type A3.2 traumatic pathological fracture of the same vertebra. Management comprised emergency percutaneous osteosynthesis and, after stabilization of the multiple trauma, arterial embolization and percutaneous kyphoplasty.

  8. Thoracic vertebral osteomyelitis: an unusual complication of Crohn's disease.

    PubMed

    Ajayi, Olushola; Mayooran, Nithiananthan; Iqbal, Nasir

    2014-01-01

    Vertebral osteomyelitis complicating Crohn's disease is a rare occurrence and mostly occurred in patients with Crohn's disease complicated by an abscess or fistulising disease. We report a case of thoracic vertebral osteomyelitis, occurring in a refractory Crohn's disease without contiguous abscess or fistula with the bowel. PMID:24916975

  9. Vertebrate Osmoregulation: A Student Laboratory Exercise Using Teleost Fish

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boily P.; Rees, B. B.; Williamson, L. A. C.

    2007-01-01

    Here, we describe a laboratory experiment as part of an upper-level vertebrate physiology course for biology majors to investigate the physiological response of vertebrates to osmoregulatory challenges. The experiment involves measuring plasma osmolality and Na[superscript +] -K[superscript +] -ATPase activity in gill tissue of teleost fish…

  10. Cooperative Learning as a Tool To Teach Vertebrate Anatomy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Koprowski, John L.; Perigo, Nan

    2000-01-01

    Describes a method for teaching biology that includes more investigative exercises that foster an environment for cooperative learning in introductory laboratories that focus on vertebrates. Fosters collaborative learning by facilitating interaction between students as they become experts on their representative vertebrate structures. (SAH)

  11. Fossil jawless fish from China foreshadows early jawed vertebrate anatomy.

    PubMed

    Gai, Zhikun; Donoghue, Philip C J; Zhu, Min; Janvier, Philippe; Stampanoni, Marco

    2011-08-17

    Most living vertebrates are jawed vertebrates (gnathostomes), and the living jawless vertebrates (cyclostomes), hagfishes and lampreys, provide scarce information about the profound reorganization of the vertebrate skull during the evolutionary origin of jaws. The extinct bony jawless vertebrates, or 'ostracoderms', are regarded as precursors of jawed vertebrates and provide insight into this formative episode in vertebrate evolution. Here, using synchrotron radiation X-ray tomography, we describe the cranial anatomy of galeaspids, a 435-370-million-year-old 'ostracoderm' group from China and Vietnam. The paired nasal sacs of galeaspids are located anterolaterally in the braincase, and the hypophyseal duct opens anteriorly towards the oral cavity. These three structures (the paired nasal sacs and the hypophyseal duct) were thus already independent of each other, like in gnathostomes and unlike in cyclostomes and osteostracans (another 'ostracoderm' group), and therefore have the condition that current developmental models regard as prerequisites for the development of jaws. This indicates that the reorganization of vertebrate cranial anatomy was not driven deterministically by the evolutionary origin of jaws but occurred stepwise, ultimately allowing the rostral growth of ectomesenchyme that now characterizes gnathostome head development.

  12. Ranking terrestrial vertebrate species for utility in biomonitoring and vulnerability to environmental contaminants

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Golden, N.H.; Rattner, B.A.

    2003-01-01

    The measurement of contaminant tissue concentrations or exposure-related effects in biota has been used extensively to monitor pollution and environmental health. Terrestrial vertebrates have historically been an important group of species in such evaluations, not only because many are excellent sentinels of environmental contamination, but also because they are valued natural resources in their own right that may be adversely affected by toxicant exposure. Selection of appropriate vertebrates for biomonitoring studies frequently relies on expert opinion, although a few rigorous schemes are in use for predicting vulnerability of birds to the adverse effects of petroleum crude oil. A Utility Index that ranks terrestrial vertebrate species as potential sentinels of contaminants in a region, and a Vulnerability Index that assesses the threat of specific groups of contaminants to these species, have been developed to assist decision makers in risk assessments of persistent organic pollutants, cholinesterase-inhibiting pesticides, petroleum crude oil, mercury, and lead shot. Twenty-five terrestrial vertebrate species commonly found in Atlantic Coast estuarine habitat were ranked for their utility as biomonitors of contamination and their vulnerability to pollutants in this region. No single species, taxa or class of vertebrates was found to be an ideal sentinel for all groups of contaminants. Although birds have overwhelmingly been used to monitor contaminants compared to other terrestrial vertebrate classes, the non-migratory nature and dietary habits of the snapping turtle and mink consistently resulted in ranking these species excellent sentinels as well. Vulnerability of Atlantic Coast populations of these species varied considerably among groups of contaminants. Usually a particular species was found to be at high risk to only one or two groups of contaminants, although a noteworthy exception is the bald eagle that is highly vulnerable to all five of the

  13. Midterm Follow-Up of Vertebral Geometry and Remodeling of the Vertebral Bidisk Unit (VDU) After Percutaneous Vertebroplasty of Osteoporotic Vertebral Fractures

    SciTech Connect

    Pitton, Michael Bernhard Koch, Ulrike; Drees, Philip; Dueber, Christoph

    2009-09-15

    The purpose of this study was to investigate geometrical stability and preservation of height gain of vertebral bodies after percutaneous vertebroplasty during 2 years' follow-up and to elucidate the geometric remodeling process of the vertebral bidisk unit (VDU) of the affected segment. Patients with osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures with pain resistant to analgetic drugs were treated with polymethylmethacrylate vertebroplasty. Mean {+-} standard error cement volume was 5.1 {+-} 2.0 ml. Vertebral geometry was documented by sagittal and coronal reformations from multidetector computed tomography data sets: anterior, posterior, and lateral vertebral heights, end plate angles, and compression index (CI = anterior/posterior height). Additionally, the VDU (vertebral bodies plus both adjacent disk spaces) was calculated from the multidetector computed tomography data sets: anterior, posterior, and both lateral aspects. Patients were assigned to two groups: moderate compression with CI of >0.75 (group 1) and severe compression with CI of <0.75 (group 2). A total of 83 vertebral bodies of 30 patients (7 men, 23 women, age 70.7 {+-} 9.7 years, range 40-82 years) were treated with vertebroplasty and prospectively followed for 24 months. In the moderate compression group (group 1), the vertebral heights were stabilized over time at the preinterventional levels. Compared with group 1, group 2 showed a greater anterior height gain (+2.8 {+-} 2.2 mm vs. +0.8 {+-} 2.0 mm, P < 0.001), better reduction of end plate angle (-4.9 {+-} 4.8{sup o} vs. -1.0 {+-} 2.7{sup o}, P < 0.01), and improved CI (+0.12 {+-} 0.13 vs. +0.02 {+-} 0.07, P < 0.01) and demonstrated preserved anterior height gain at 2 years (+1.2 {+-} 3.2 mm, P < 0.01) as well as improved end plate angles (-5.2 {+-} 5.0{sup o}, P < 0.01) and compression indices (+0.11 {+-} 0.15, P < 0.01). Thus, posterior height loss of vertebrae and adjacent intervertebral disk spaces contributed to a remodeling of the VDU

  14. Evolutionary Genomics and Adaptive Evolution of the Hedgehog Gene Family (Shh, Ihh and Dhh) in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Pereira, Joana; Johnson, Warren E.; O’Brien, Stephen J.; Jarvis, Erich D.; Zhang, Guojie; Gilbert, M. Thomas P.; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Antunes, Agostinho

    2014-01-01

    The Hedgehog (Hh) gene family codes for a class of secreted proteins composed of two active domains that act as signalling molecules during embryo development, namely for the development of the nervous and skeletal systems and the formation of the testis cord. While only one Hh gene is found typically in invertebrate genomes, most vertebrates species have three (Sonic hedgehog – Shh; Indian hedgehog – Ihh; and Desert hedgehog – Dhh), each with different expression patterns and functions, which likely helped promote the increasing complexity of vertebrates and their successful diversification. In this study, we used comparative genomic and adaptive evolutionary analyses to characterize the evolution of the Hh genes in vertebrates following the two major whole genome duplication (WGD) events. To overcome the lack of Hh-coding sequences on avian publicly available databases, we used an extensive dataset of 45 avian and three non-avian reptilian genomes to show that birds have all three Hh paralogs. We find suggestions that following the WGD events, vertebrate Hh paralogous genes evolved independently within similar linkage groups and under different evolutionary rates, especially within the catalytic domain. The structural regions around the ion-binding site were identified to be under positive selection in the signaling domain. These findings contrast with those observed in invertebrates, where different lineages that experienced gene duplication retained similar selective constraints in the Hh orthologs. Our results provide new insights on the evolutionary history of the Hh gene family, the functional roles of these paralogs in vertebrate species, and on the location of mutational hotspots. PMID:25549322

  15. Response of thoracolumbar vertebral bodies to high rate compressive loading - biomed 2013.

    PubMed

    Dooley, C J; Wester, B A; Wing, I D; Voo, L M; Armiger, R S; Merkle, A C

    2013-01-01

    Underbody blast (UBB) events created by improvised explosive devices are threats to warfighter survivability. High intensity blast waves emitted from these devices transfer large forces through vehicle structures to occupants, often resulting in injuries including debilitating spinal fractures. The vertical loading vector through the spine generates significant compressive forces at high strain rates. To better understand injury mechanisms and ultimately better protect vehicle occupants against UBB attacks, high-fidelity computational models are being developed to predict the human response to dynamic loading characteristic of these events. This effort details the results from a series of 23 high-rate compression tests on vertebral body specimen. A high-rate servo-hydraulic test system applied a range of compressive loading rates (.01 mm/s to 1238 mm/s) to vertebral bodies in the thoracolumbar region (T7-L5). The force-deflection curves generated indicate rate dependent sensitivity of vertebral stiffness, ultimate load and ultimate deflection. Specimen subjected to high-rate dynamic loading to failure experienced critical structural damage at 5.5% ± 2.1% deflection. Compared to quasi-static loading, vertebral bodies had greater stiffness, greater force to failure, and lower ultimate failure deflection at high rates. Post-failure, an average loss in height of 15% was observed, along with a mean reduction in strength of 48%. The resulting data from these tests will allow for enhanced biofidelity of computational models by characterizing the vertebral stiffness response and ultimate deflection at rates representative of UBB events. PMID:23686197

  16. Computer Based Assessment of Cervical Vertebral Maturation Stages Using Digital Lateral Cephalograms

    PubMed Central

    Dzemidzic, Vildana; Sokic, Emir; Tiro, Alisa; Nakas, Enita

    2015-01-01

    Objective: This study was aimed to investigate the reliability of a computer application for assessment of the stages of cervical vertebra maturation in order to determine the stage of skeletal maturity. Material and methods: For this study, digital lateral cephalograms of 99 subjects (52 females and 47 males) were examined. The following selection criteria were used during the sample composition: age between 9 and 16 years, absence of anomalies of the vertebrae, good general health, no history of trauma at the cervical region. Subjects with lateral cephalograms of low quality were excluded from the study. For the purpose of this study a computer application Cephalometar HF V1 was developed. This application was used to mark the contours of the second, third and fourth cervical vertebrae on the digital lateral cephalograms, which enabled a computer to determine the stage of cervical vertebral maturation. The assessment of the stages of cervical vertebral maturation was carried out by an experienced orthodontist. The assessment was conducted according to the principles of the method proposed by authors Hassel and Farman. The degree of the agreement between the computer application and the researcher was analyzed using by statistical Cohen Kappa test. Results: The results of this study showed the agreement between the computer assessment and the researcher assessment of the cervical vertebral maturation stages, where the value of the Cohen Kappa coefficient was 0.985. Conclusion: The computer application Cephalometar HF V1 proved to be a reliable method for assessing the stages of cervical vertebral maturation. This program could help the orthodontists to identify the stage of cervical vertebral maturation when planning the orthodontic treatment for the patients with skeletal disharmonies. PMID:26862247

  17. Testing the Effectiveness of Environmental Variables to Explain European Terrestrial Vertebrate Species Richness across Biogeographical Scales

    PubMed Central

    Mouchet, Maud; Levers, Christian; Zupan, Laure; Kuemmerle, Tobias; Plutzar, Christoph; Erb, Karlheinz; Lavorel, Sandra; Thuiller, Wilfried; Haberl, Helmut

    2015-01-01

    We compared the effectiveness of environmental variables, and in particular of land-use indicators, to explain species richness patterns across taxonomic groups and biogeographical scales (i.e. overall pan-Europe and ecoregions within pan-Europe). Using boosted regression trees that handle non-linear relationships, we compared the relative influence (as a measure of effectiveness) of environmental variables related to climate, landscape (or habitat heterogeneity), land-use intensity or energy availability to explain European vertebrate species richness (birds, amphibians, and mammals) at the continental and ecoregion scales. We found that dominant land cover and actual evapotranspiration that relate to energy availability were the main correlates of vertebrate species richness over Europe. At the ecoregion scale, we identified four distinct groups of ecoregions where species richness was essentially associated to (i) seasonality of temperature, (ii) actual evapotranspiration and/or mean annual temperature, (iii) seasonality of precipitation, actual evapotranspiration and land cover) and (iv) and an even combination of the environmental variables. This typology of ecoregions remained valid for total vertebrate richness and the three vertebrate groups taken separately. Despite the overwhelming influence of land cover and actual evapotranspiration to explain vertebrate species richness patterns at European scale, the ranking of the main correlates of species richness varied between regions. Interestingly, landscape and land-use indicators did not stand out at the continental scale but their influence greatly increased in southern ecoregions, revealing the long-lasting human footprint on land-use–land-cover changes. Our study provides one of the first multi-scale descriptions of the variability in the ranking of correlates across several taxa. PMID:26161981

  18. Testing the Effectiveness of Environmental Variables to Explain European Terrestrial Vertebrate Species Richness across Biogeographical Scales.

    PubMed

    Mouchet, Maud; Levers, Christian; Zupan, Laure; Kuemmerle, Tobias; Plutzar, Christoph; Erb, Karlheinz; Lavorel, Sandra; Thuiller, Wilfried; Haberl, Helmut

    2015-01-01

    We compared the effectiveness of environmental variables, and in particular of land-use indicators, to explain species richness patterns across taxonomic groups and biogeographical scales (i.e. overall pan-Europe and ecoregions within pan-Europe). Using boosted regression trees that handle non-linear relationships, we compared the relative influence (as a measure of effectiveness) of environmental variables related to climate, landscape (or habitat heterogeneity), land-use intensity or energy availability to explain European vertebrate species richness (birds, amphibians, and mammals) at the continental and ecoregion scales. We found that dominant land cover and actual evapotranspiration that relate to energy availability were the main correlates of vertebrate species richness over Europe. At the ecoregion scale, we identified four distinct groups of ecoregions where species richness was essentially associated to (i) seasonality of temperature, (ii) actual evapotranspiration and/or mean annual temperature, (iii) seasonality of precipitation, actual evapotranspiration and land cover) and (iv) and an even combination of the environmental variables. This typology of ecoregions remained valid for total vertebrate richness and the three vertebrate groups taken separately. Despite the overwhelming influence of land cover and actual evapotranspiration to explain vertebrate species richness patterns at European scale, the ranking of the main correlates of species richness varied between regions. Interestingly, landscape and land-use indicators did not stand out at the continental scale but their influence greatly increased in southern ecoregions, revealing the long-lasting human footprint on land-use-land-cover changes. Our study provides one of the first multi-scale descriptions of the variability in the ranking of correlates across several taxa.

  19. Evolutionary genomics and adaptive evolution of the Hedgehog gene family (Shh, Ihh and Dhh) in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Joana; Johnson, Warren E; O'Brien, Stephen J; Jarvis, Erich D; Zhang, Guojie; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Antunes, Agostinho

    2014-01-01

    The Hedgehog (Hh) gene family codes for a class of secreted proteins composed of two active domains that act as signalling molecules during embryo development, namely for the development of the nervous and skeletal systems and the formation of the testis cord. While only one Hh gene is found typically in invertebrate genomes, most vertebrates species have three (Sonic hedgehog--Shh; Indian hedgehog--Ihh; and Desert hedgehog--Dhh), each with different expression patterns and functions, which likely helped promote the increasing complexity of vertebrates and their successful diversification. In this study, we used comparative genomic and adaptive evolutionary analyses to characterize the evolution of the Hh genes in vertebrates following the two major whole genome duplication (WGD) events. To overcome the lack of Hh-coding sequences on avian publicly available databases, we used an extensive dataset of 45 avian and three non-avian reptilian genomes to show that birds have all three Hh paralogs. We find suggestions that following the WGD events, vertebrate Hh paralogous genes evolved independently within similar linkage groups and under different evolutionary rates, especially within the catalytic domain. The structural regions around the ion-binding site were identified to be under positive selection in the signaling domain. These findings contrast with those observed in invertebrates, where different lineages that experienced gene duplication retained similar selective constraints in the Hh orthologs. Our results provide new insights on the evolutionary history of the Hh gene family, the functional roles of these paralogs in vertebrate species, and on the location of mutational hotspots. PMID:25549322

  20. Nuisance arthropods, nonhost odors, and vertebrate chemical aposematism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weldon, Paul J.

    2010-05-01

    Mosquitoes, ticks, and other ectoparasitic arthropods use chemoreception to avoid vertebrates that are known or presumed to be dangerous or otherwise unprofitable hosts. Nonhosts may belong to a species that is regularly unaccepted or one that includes both accepted and unaccepted individuals. A diverse array of qualities including immunocompetence, vigilant grooming behavior, mechanical inaccessibility, and toxicity have been proposed as the features that render vertebrate chemical emitters unsuitable as hosts for arthropods. In addition to advantages accrued by ectoparasitic arthropods that avoid nonhosts, vertebrates that are not accepted as hosts benefit by evading injurious ectoparasites and the infectious agents they transmit. The conferral of advantages to both chemical receivers (ectoparasitic arthropods) and emitters (unpreferred vertebrates) in these interactions renders nonhost odors aposematic. Chemical aposematism involving ectoparasites selects for vertebrates that emit distinctive odors. In addition, chemical mimicry, where vulnerable organisms benefit when misidentified as nonhosts, may be accommodated by duped ectoparasites.

  1. The generation of vertebral segmental patterning in the chick embryo.

    PubMed

    Senthinathan, Biruntha; Sousa, Cátia; Tannahill, David; Keynes, Roger

    2012-06-01

    We have carried out a series of experimental manipulations in the chick embryo to assess whether the notochord, neural tube and spinal nerves influence segmental patterning of the vertebral column. Using Pax1 expression in the somite-derived sclerotomes as a marker for segmentation of the developing intervertebral disc, our results exclude such an influence. In contrast to certain teleost species, where the notochord has been shown to generate segmentation of the vertebral bodies (chordacentra), these experiments indicate that segmental patterning of the avian vertebral column arises autonomously in the somite mesoderm. We suggest that in amniotes, the subdivision of each sclerotome into non-miscible anterior and posterior halves plays a critical role in establishing vertebral segmentation, and in maintaining left/right alignment of the developing vertebral elements at the body midline.

  2. Management of Vertebral Stenosis Complicated by Presence of Acute Thrombus

    SciTech Connect

    Canyigit, Murat; Arat, Anil Cil, Barbaros E.; Sahin, Gurdal; Turkbey, Baris; Elibol, Bulent

    2007-04-15

    A 44-year-old male presented with multiple punctate acute infarcts of the vertebrobasilar circulation and a computed tomographic angiogram showing stenosis of the right vertebral origin. A digital subtraction angiogram demonstrated a new intraluminal filling defect at the origin of the stenotic vertebral artery where antegrade flow was maintained. This filling defect was accepted to be an acute thrombus of the vertebral origin, most likely due to rupture of a vulnerable plaque. The patient was treated with intravenous heparin. A control angiogram revealed dissolution of the acute thrombus under anticoagulation and the patient was treated with stenting with distal protection. Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated no additional acute ischemic lesions. We were unable to find a similar report in the English literature documenting successful management of an acute vertebral ostial thrombus with anticoagulation. Anticoagulation might be considered prior to endovascular treatment of symptomatic vertebral stenoses complicated by the presence of acute thrombus.

  3. Evolution of the Vertebrate Cranium: Viewed from Hagfish Developmental Studies.

    PubMed

    Kuratani, Shigeru; Oisi, Yasuhiro; Ota, Kinya G

    2016-06-01

    Our knowledge of vertebrate cranium evolution has relied largely on the study of gnathostomes. Recent evolutionary and developmental studies of cyclostomes have shed new light on the history of the vertebrate skull. The recent ability to obtain embryos of the hagfish, Eptatretus burgeri, has enabled new studies which have suggested an embryonic morphological pattern (the "cyclostome pattern") of craniofacial development. This pattern is shared by cyclostomes, but not by modern jawed vertebrates. Because this pattern of embryonic head development is thought to be present in some stem gnathostomes (ostracoderms), it is possible that the cyclostome pattern represents the vertebrate ancestral pattern. The study of cyclostomes may thus lead to an understanding of the most ancestral basis of craniofacial development. In this review, we summarize the development of the hagfish chondrocranium in light of the cyclostome pattern, present an updated comparison of the cyclostome chondrocranium, and discuss several aspects of the evolution and development of the vertebrate skull. PMID:27268976

  4. Segmentation of the spinous process and its acoustic shadow in vertebral ultrasound images.

    PubMed

    Berton, Florian; Cheriet, Farida; Miron, Marie-Claude; Laporte, Catherine

    2016-05-01

    Spinal ultrasound imaging is emerging as a low-cost, radiation-free alternative to conventional X-ray imaging for the clinical follow-up of patients with scoliosis. Currently, deformity measurement relies almost entirely on manual identification of key vertebral landmarks. However, the interpretation of vertebral ultrasound images is challenging, primarily because acoustic waves are entirely reflected by bone. To alleviate this problem, we propose an algorithm to segment these images into three regions: the spinous process, its acoustic shadow and other tissues. This method consists, first, in the extraction of several image features and the selection of the most relevant ones for the discrimination of the three regions. Then, using this set of features and linear discriminant analysis, each pixel of the image is classified as belonging to one of the three regions. Finally, the image is segmented by regularizing the pixel-wise classification results to account for some geometrical properties of vertebrae. The feature set was first validated by analyzing the classification results across a learning database. The database contained 107 vertebral ultrasound images acquired with convex and linear probes. Classification rates of 84%, 92% and 91% were achieved for the spinous process, the acoustic shadow and other tissues, respectively. Dice similarity coefficients of 0.72 and 0.88 were obtained respectively for the spinous process and acoustic shadow, confirming that the proposed method accurately segments the spinous process and its acoustic shadow in vertebral ultrasound images. Furthermore, the centroid of the automatically segmented spinous process was located at an average distance of 0.38 mm from that of the manually labeled spinous process, which is on the order of image resolution. This suggests that the proposed method is a promising tool for the measurement of the Spinous Process Angle and, more generally, for assisting ultrasound-based assessment of scoliosis

  5. The Lamprey: A jawless vertebrate model system for examining origin of the neural crest and other vertebrate traits

    PubMed Central

    Green, Stephen A.; Bronner, Marianne E.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Lampreys are a group of jawless fishes that serve as an important point of comparison for studies of vertebrate evolution. Lampreys and hagfishes are agnathan fishes, the cyclostomes, which sit at a crucial phylogenetic position as the only living sister group of the jawed vertebrates. Comparisons between cyclostomes and jawed vertebrates can help identify shared derived (i.e. synapomorphic) traits that might have been inherited from ancestral early vertebrates, if unlikely to have arisen convergently by chance. One example of a uniquely vertebrate trait is the neural crest, an embryonic tissue that produces many cell types crucial to vertebrate features, such as the craniofacial skeleton, pigmentation of the skin, and much of the peripheral nervous system (Gans and Northcutt, 1983). Invertebrate chordates arguably lack unambiguous neural crest homologs, yet have cells with some similarities, making comparisons with lampreys and jawed vertebrates essential for inferring characteristics of development in early vertebrates, and how they may have evolved from nonvertebrate chordates. Here we review recent research on cyclostome neural crest development, including research on lamprey gene regulatory networks and differentiated neural crest fates. PMID:24560767

  6. The lamprey: a jawless vertebrate model system for examining origin of the neural crest and other vertebrate traits.

    PubMed

    Green, Stephen A; Bronner, Marianne E

    2014-01-01

    Lampreys are a group of jawless fishes that serve as an important point of comparison for studies of vertebrate evolution. Lampreys and hagfishes are agnathan fishes, the cyclostomes, which sit at a crucial phylogenetic position as the only living sister group of the jawed vertebrates. Comparisons between cyclostomes and jawed vertebrates can help identify shared derived (i.e. synapomorphic) traits that might have been inherited from ancestral early vertebrates, if unlikely to have arisen convergently by chance. One example of a uniquely vertebrate trait is the neural crest, an embryonic tissue that produces many cell types crucial to vertebrate features, such as the craniofacial skeleton, pigmentation of the skin, and much of the peripheral nervous system (Gans and Northcutt, 1983). Invertebrate chordates arguably lack unambiguous neural crest homologs, yet have cells with some similarities, making comparisons with lampreys and jawed vertebrates essential for inferring characteristics of development in early vertebrates, and how they may have evolved from nonvertebrate chordates. Here we review recent research on cyclostome neural crest development, including research on lamprey gene regulatory networks and differentiated neural crest fates.

  7. Presentation--HABITAT DISTRIBUTION MODELS FOR 37 VERTEBRATE SPECIES IN THE MOJAVE DESERT ECOREGION OF NEVADA, ARIZONA, AND UTAH

    EPA Science Inventory

    Thirty-seven terrestrial vertebrate species in the Clark County Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP) were previously modeled through the Southwest Regional Gap Analysis Project (SWReGAP), using a deductive approach. To increase the applicability of such habitat models ...

  8. Do lower vertebrates suffer from motion sickness?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lychakov, Dmitri

    The poster presents literature data and results of the author’s studies with the goal to find out whether the lower animals are susceptible to motion sickness (Lychakov, 2012). In our studies, fish and amphibians were tested for 2 h and more by using a rotating device (f = 0.24 Hz, a _{centrifugal} = 0.144 g) and a parallel swing (f = 0.2 Hz, a _{horizontal} = 0.059 g). The performed studies did not revealed in 4 fish species and in toads any characteristic reactions of the motion sickness (sopite syndrome, prodromal preparatory behavior, vomiting). At the same time, in toads there appeared characteristic stress reactions (escape response, an increase of the number of urinations, inhibition of appetite), as well as some other reactions not associated with motion sickness (regular head movements, eye retractions). In trout fry the used stimulation promoted division of the individuals into the groups differing by locomotor reaction to stress, as well as the individuals with the well-expressed compensatory reaction that we called the otolithotropic reaction. Analysis of results obtained by other authors confirms our conclusions. Thus, the lower vertebrates, unlike mammals, are immune to motion sickness either under the land conditions or under conditions of weightlessness. On the basis of available experimental data and theoretical concepts of mechanisms of development the motion sickness, formulated in several hypotheses (mismatch hypothesis, Traisman‘ s hypothesis, resonance hypothesis), there presented the synthetic hypothesis of motion sickness that has the conceptual significance. According to the hypothesis, the unusual stimulation producing sensor-motor or sensor-sensor conflict or an action of vestibular and visual stimuli of frequency of about 0.2 Hz is perceived by CNS as poisoning and causes the corresponding reactions. The motion sickness actually is a byproduct of technical evolution. It is suggested that in the lower vertebrates, unlike mammals

  9. Conservation of Terrestrial Vertebrates in a Global Hotspot of Karst Area in Southwestern China

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Zhenhua; Tang, Songhua; Jiang, Zhigang; Chen, Jing; Fang, Hongxia; Li, Chunwang

    2016-01-01

    The karst area of southwest China (KASC) is the largest piece of karst landscape on the earth and a global biodiversity hot-spot with high concentrations of endemic species. Although a number of nature reserves (NRs) have been established across the region, the representativeness of biodiversity of the NR system is still unknown. Based on comprehensive literature and field surveys, and intensive consultations with zoologists and wildlife managers, we compiled distributions of 1,204 terrestrial vertebrate species and 271 NRs in KASC. We found Jinxiu, Mengla, Hekou, and Jinghong have the richest amphibian species; Jinxiu has the highest species richness of reptiles; Jinghong, Menghai, and Mengla have the largest numbers of avian species; whereas, Mengla, Longzhou, and Ningming have the greatest mammalian diversity in the region. Gap analysis among NR system, species richness pattern, and five biogeographic indicators found insufficient representation of the NR system on territorial vertebrate diversity. The conservation effectiveness in Guizhou Province was much lower than that in Guangxi and Yunnan Provinces. Under-representation and over-representation simultaneously occurred in many of the ecoregions, elevation classes, vegetation types, landcover categories, and human disturbance intensity gradients. For conservation of terrestrial vertebrates in KASC, several suggestions were presented in this study. PMID:27228463

  10. Investigation of biomechanical behavior of lumbar vertebral segments with dynamic stabilization device using finite element approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deoghare, Ashish B.; Kashyap, Siddharth; Padole, Pramod M.

    2013-03-01

    Degenerative disc disease is a major source of lower back pain and significantly alters the biomechanics of the lumbar spine. Dynamic stabilization device is a remedial technique which uses flexible materials to stabilize the affected lumbar region while preserving the natural anatomy of the spine. The main objective of this research work is to investigate the stiffness variation of dynamic stabilization device under various loading conditions under compression, axial rotation and flexion. Three dimensional model of the two segment lumbar spine is developed using computed tomography (CT) scan images. The lumbar structure developed is analyzed in ANSYS workbench. Two types of dynamic stabilization are considered: one with stabilizing device as pedicle instrumentation and second with stabilization device inserted around the inter-vertebral disc. Analysis suggests that proper positioning of the dynamic stabilization device is of paramount significance prior to the surgery. Inserting the device in the posterior region indicates the adverse effects as it shows increase in the deformation of the inter-vertebral disc. Analysis executed by positioning stabilizing device around the inter-vertebral disc yields better result for various stiffness values under compression and other loadings. [Figure not available: see fulltext.

  11. Strategies of vertebrate neurulation and a re-evaluation of teleost neural tube formation.

    PubMed

    Lowery, Laura Anne; Sive, Hazel

    2004-10-01

    The vertebrate neural tube develops by two distinct mechanisms. Anteriorly, in the brain and future trunk (cervicothoracic) region, 'primary neurulation' occurs, where an epithelial sheet rolls or bends into a tube. Posteriorly, in the future lumbar and tail region, the neural tube forms by 'secondary neurulation', where a mesenchymal cell population condenses to form a solid rod that undergoes transformation to an epithelial tube. Teleost neurulation has been described as different from that of other vertebrates. This is principally because the teleost trunk neural tube initially forms a solid rod (the neural keel) that later develops a lumen. This process has also been termed secondary neurulation. However, this description is not accurate since the teleost neural tube derives from an epithelial sheet that folds. This best fits the description of primary neurulation. It has also been suggested that teleost neurulation is primitive, however, both primary and secondary neurulation are found in groups with a more ancient origin than the teleosts. The similarity between neurulation in teleosts and other vertebrates indicates that this group includes viable models (such as the zebrafish) for understanding human neural tube development.

  12. Conservation of Terrestrial Vertebrates in a Global Hotspot of Karst Area in Southwestern China.

    PubMed

    Luo, Zhenhua; Tang, Songhua; Jiang, Zhigang; Chen, Jing; Fang, Hongxia; Li, Chunwang

    2016-05-26

    The karst area of southwest China (KASC) is the largest piece of karst landscape on the earth and a global biodiversity hot-spot with high concentrations of endemic species. Although a number of nature reserves (NRs) have been established across the region, the representativeness of biodiversity of the NR system is still unknown. Based on comprehensive literature and field surveys, and intensive consultations with zoologists and wildlife managers, we compiled distributions of 1,204 terrestrial vertebrate species and 271 NRs in KASC. We found Jinxiu, Mengla, Hekou, and Jinghong have the richest amphibian species; Jinxiu has the highest species richness of reptiles; Jinghong, Menghai, and Mengla have the largest numbers of avian species; whereas, Mengla, Longzhou, and Ningming have the greatest mammalian diversity in the region. Gap analysis among NR system, species richness pattern, and five biogeographic indicators found insufficient representation of the NR system on territorial vertebrate diversity. The conservation effectiveness in Guizhou Province was much lower than that in Guangxi and Yunnan Provinces. Under-representation and over-representation simultaneously occurred in many of the ecoregions, elevation classes, vegetation types, landcover categories, and human disturbance intensity gradients. For conservation of terrestrial vertebrates in KASC, several suggestions were presented in this study.

  13. Conservation of Terrestrial Vertebrates in a Global Hotspot of Karst Area in Southwestern China.

    PubMed

    Luo, Zhenhua; Tang, Songhua; Jiang, Zhigang; Chen, Jing; Fang, Hongxia; Li, Chunwang

    2016-01-01

    The karst area of southwest China (KASC) is the largest piece of karst landscape on the earth and a global biodiversity hot-spot with high concentrations of endemic species. Although a number of nature reserves (NRs) have been established across the region, the representativeness of biodiversity of the NR system is still unknown. Based on comprehensive literature and field surveys, and intensive consultations with zoologists and wildlife managers, we compiled distributions of 1,204 terrestrial vertebrate species and 271 NRs in KASC. We found Jinxiu, Mengla, Hekou, and Jinghong have the richest amphibian species; Jinxiu has the highest species richness of reptiles; Jinghong, Menghai, and Mengla have the largest numbers of avian species; whereas, Mengla, Longzhou, and Ningming have the greatest mammalian diversity in the region. Gap analysis among NR system, species richness pattern, and five biogeographic indicators found insufficient representation of the NR system on territorial vertebrate diversity. The conservation effectiveness in Guizhou Province was much lower than that in Guangxi and Yunnan Provinces. Under-representation and over-representation simultaneously occurred in many of the ecoregions, elevation classes, vegetation types, landcover categories, and human disturbance intensity gradients. For conservation of terrestrial vertebrates in KASC, several suggestions were presented in this study. PMID:27228463

  14. Association of calcium and phosphate ions with collagen in the mineralization of vertebrate tissues.

    PubMed

    Landis, William J; Jacquet, Robin

    2013-10-01

    Among the vertebrate species, collagen is the most abundant protein and is associated with mineralization of their skeleton and dentition in all tissues except enamel. In such tissues, bones, calcifying tendon, dentin, and cementum are comprised principally of type I collagen, which has been proposed as a template for apatite mineral formation. Recent considerations of the interaction between type I collagen and calcium and phosphate ions as the major constituents of apatite have suggested that collagen polypeptide stereochemistry underlies binding of these ions at sites within collagen hole and overlap regions and leads to nucleation of crystals. The concept is fundamental to understanding both normal and abnormal mineralization, and it is reviewed in this article. Given this background, avenues for additional research studies in vertebrate mineralization will also be described. The latter include, for instance, how mineralization events subsequent to nucleation, that is, crystal growth and development, occur and whether they, too, are directed by collagen stereochemical parameters; whether mineralization can be expected in all spaces between collagen molecules; whether the side chains of charged amino acid residues actually point toward and into the hole and overlap collagen spaces to provide putative binding sites for calcium and phosphate ions; and what phenomena may be responsible for mineralization beyond hole and overlap zones and into extracellular tissue regions between collagen structural units. These questions will be discussed to provide a broader understanding of collagen contributions to potential mechanisms of vertebrate mineralization.

  15. Checklist of tapeworms (Platyhelminthes, Cestoda) of vertebrates in Finland

    PubMed Central

    Haukisalmi, Voitto

    2015-01-01

    Abstract A checklist of tapeworms (Cestoda) of vertebrates (fishes, birds and mammals) in Finland is presented, based on published observations, specimens deposited in the collections of the Finnish Museum of Natural History (Helsinki) and the Zoological Museum of the University of Turku, and additional specimens identified by the present author. The checklist includes 170 tapeworm species from 151 host species, comprising 447 parasite species/host species combinations. Thirty of the tapeworm species and 96 of the parasite/host species combinations have not been previously reported from Finland. The total number of tapeworm species in Finland (170 spp.) is significantly lower than the corresponding figure for the Iberian Peninsula (257 spp.), Slovakia (225 spp.) and Poland (279 spp.). The difference between Finland and the other three regions is particularly pronounced for anseriform, podicipediform, charadriiform and passeriform birds, reflecting inadequate and/or biased sampling of these birds in Finland. It is predicted that there are actually ca. 270 species of tapeworms in Finland, assuming that true number of bird tapeworms in Finland corresponds to that in other European countries with more comprehensive knowledge of the local tapeworm fauna. The other main pattern emerging from the present data is the seemingly unexplained absence in (northern) Fennoscandia of several mammalian tapeworms that otherwise have extensive distributions in the Holarctic region or in Eurasia, including the northern regions. Previously unknown type specimens, that is, the holotype of Bothrimonus nylandicus Schneider, 1902 (a junior synonym of Diplocotyle olrikii Krabbe, 1874) (MZH 127096) and the syntypes of Caryophyllaeides fennica (Schneider, 1902) (MZH 127097) were located in the collections of the Finnish Museum of Natural History. PMID:26668540

  16. Gravity and the Adaptation of Form and Function in Lower Vertebrates

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lillywhite, Harvey B.

    1994-01-01

    Comparative data emphasizing lower vertebrates will be used to justify the following generalized conclusions or expectations: 1) Gravitational stress produces adaptive increases in arterial pressure. 2) Gravitational stress produces adaptive reorganization of anatomy. 3) Natural selection favors small body size in high G-stress environments. 4) Gravitational stress produces low-compliant perivascular tissues (morphological antigravity suit). 5) Gradients or regional zonation of vascular characters evolve along the length of elongate vertebrates living in high G-stress environments. Presentation of information will include new data gathered by the author and Dr. Alan Hargens while the author was a NRC Senior Research Associate at NASA Ames Research Center. While there is no published abstract provided at the meeting, a symposium manuscript will be published in a special volume of Journal of Experimental Zoology.

  17. Vertebral fracture after aircraft ejection during Operation Desert Storm.

    PubMed

    Osborne, R G; Cook, A A

    1997-04-01

    During Operation Desert Storm, 21 United States and 2 Italian military personnel were held in Iraq as prisoners of war. Of these, 18 had ejected from fixed-wing, ejection seat-equipped, combat aircraft prior to their capture. Of the 18, 6 (33%) had sustained vertebral fractures; 4 of these were compression fractures. This fracture rate is comparable to that of previously studied groups. Fractures were noted to be at several different vertebral sites and after ejecting from a variety of aircraft. Apart from contusions and abrasions, vertebral fractures were the most common injuries discovered in this repatriated population. None of the vertebral fractures produced recognizable neurological disability. The development of vertebral fractures was neither associated with the use of any particular ejection system or aircraft nor did the development of vertebral fractures appear dependent on the age, height or length of service of the affected personnel. Ejected aircrew with low altitude mission profiles seemed more predisposed to vertebral fracture than those at high altitudes, but with a small sample population, this relationship was not statistically significant (p > 0.25). Reliable data were unavailable on aircrew positioning and preparation time for ejection. PMID:9096832

  18. A unified anatomy ontology of the vertebrate skeletal system.

    PubMed

    Dahdul, Wasila M; Balhoff, James P; Blackburn, David C; Diehl, Alexander D; Haendel, Melissa A; Hall, Brian K; Lapp, Hilmar; Lundberg, John G; Mungall, Christopher J; Ringwald, Martin; Segerdell, Erik; Van Slyke, Ceri E; Vickaryous, Matthew K; Westerfield, Monte; Mabee, Paula M

    2012-01-01

    The skeleton is of fundamental importance in research in comparative vertebrate morphology, paleontology, biomechanics, developmental biology, and systematics. Motivated by research questions that require computational access to and comparative reasoning across the diverse skeletal phenotypes of vertebrates, we developed a module of anatomical concepts for the skeletal system, the Vertebrate Skeletal Anatomy Ontology (VSAO), to accommodate and unify the existing skeletal terminologies for the species-specific (mouse, the frog Xenopus, zebrafish) and multispecies (teleost, amphibian) vertebrate anatomy ontologies. Previous differences between these terminologies prevented even simple queries across databases pertaining to vertebrate morphology. This module of upper-level and specific skeletal terms currently includes 223 defined terms and 179 synonyms that integrate skeletal cells, tissues, biological processes, organs (skeletal elements such as bones and cartilages), and subdivisions of the skeletal system. The VSAO is designed to integrate with other ontologies, including the Common Anatomy Reference Ontology (CARO), Gene Ontology (GO), Uberon, and Cell Ontology (CL), and it is freely available to the community to be updated with additional terms required for research. Its structure accommodates anatomical variation among vertebrate species in development, structure, and composition. Annotation of diverse vertebrate phenotypes with this ontology will enable novel inquiries across the full spectrum of phenotypic diversity.

  19. Fatal Vertebral Artery Injury in Penetrating Cervical Spine Trauma

    PubMed Central

    Tannoury, Chadi; Degiacomo, Anthony

    2015-01-01

    Study Design. This case illustrates complications to a vertebral artery injury (VAI) resulting from penetrating cervical spine trauma. Objectives. To discuss the management of both VAI and cervical spine trauma after penetrating gunshot wound to the neck. Summary of Background Data. Vertebral artery injury following cervical spine trauma is infrequent, and a unilateral VAI often occurs without neurologic sequela. Nevertheless, devastating complications of stroke and death do occur. Methods. A gunshot wound to the neck resulted in a C6 vertebral body fracture and C5–C7 transverse foramina fractures. Neck CT angiogram identified a left vertebral artery occlusion. A cerebral angiography confirmed occlusion of the left extracranial vertebral artery and patency of the remaining cerebrovascular system. Following anterior cervical corpectomy and stabilization, brainstem infarction occurred and resulted in death. Results. A fatal outcome resulted from vertebral artery thrombus propagation with occlusion of the basilar artery triggering basilar ischemia and subsequent brainstem and cerebellar infarction. Conclusions. Vertebral artery injury secondary to cervical spine trauma can lead to potentially devastating neurologic sequela. Early surgical stabilization, along with anticoagulation therapy, contributes towards managing the combination of injuries. Unfortunately, despite efforts, a poor outcome is sometimes inevitable when cervical spine trauma is coupled with a VAI. PMID:26640731

  20. Physiology of cell volume regulation in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Hoffmann, Else K; Lambert, Ian H; Pedersen, Stine F

    2009-01-01

    The ability to control cell volume is pivotal for cell function. Cell volume perturbation elicits a wide array of signaling events, leading to protective (e.g., cytoskeletal rearrangement) and adaptive (e.g., altered expression of osmolyte transporters and heat shock proteins) measures and, in most cases, activation of volume regulatory osmolyte transport. After acute swelling, cell volume is regulated by the process of regulatory volume decrease (RVD), which involves the activation of KCl cotransport and of channels mediating K(+), Cl(-), and taurine efflux. Conversely, after acute shrinkage, cell volume is regulated by the process of regulatory volume increase (RVI), which is mediated primarily by Na(+)/H(+) exchange, Na(+)-K(+)-2Cl(-) cotransport, and Na(+) channels. Here, we review in detail the current knowledge regarding the molecular identity of these transport pathways and their regulation by, e.g., membrane deformation, ionic strength, Ca(2+), protein kinases and phosphatases, cytoskeletal elements, GTP binding proteins, lipid mediators, and reactive oxygen species, upon changes in cell volume. We also discuss the nature of the upstream elements in volume sensing in vertebrate organisms. Importantly, cell volume impacts on a wide array of physiological processes, including transepithelial transport; cell migration, proliferation, and death; and changes in cell volume function as specific signals regulating these processes. A discussion of this issue concludes the review. PMID:19126758

  1. Evolution and development of the vertebrate ear

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fritzsch, B.; Beisel, K. W.

    2001-01-01

    This review outlines major aspects of development and evolution of the ear, specifically addressing issues of cell fate commitment and the emerging molecular governance of these decisions. Available data support the notion of homology of subsets of mechanosensors across phyla (proprioreceptive mechanosensory neurons in insects, hair cells in vertebrates). It is argued that this conservation is primarily related to the specific transducing environment needed to achieve mechanosensation. Achieving this requires highly conserved transcription factors that regulate the expression of the relevant structural genes for mechanosensory transduction. While conserved at the level of some cell fate assignment genes (atonal and its mammalian homologue), the ear has also radically reorganized its development by implementing genes used for cell fate assignment in other parts of the developing nervous systems (e.g., neurogenin 1) and by evolving novel sets of genes specifically associated with the novel formation of sensory neurons that contact hair cells (neurotrophins and their receptors). Numerous genes have been identified that regulate morphogenesis, but there is only one common feature that emerges at the moment: the ear appears to have co-opted genes from a large variety of other parts of the developing body (forebrain, limbs, kidneys) and establishes, in combination with existing transcription factors, an environment in which those genes govern novel, ear-related morphogenetic aspects. The ear thus represents a unique mix of highly conserved developmental elements combined with co-opted and newly evolved developmental elements.

  2. Facultative parthenogenesis discovered in wild vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Booth, Warren; Smith, Charles F.; Eskridge, Pamela H.; Hoss, Shannon K.; Mendelson, Joseph R.; Schuett, Gordon W.

    2012-01-01

    Facultative parthenogenesis (FP)—asexual reproduction by bisexual species—has been documented in a variety of multi-cellular organisms but only recently in snakes, varanid lizards, birds and sharks. Unlike the approximately 80 taxa of unisexual reptiles, amphibians and fishes that exist in nature, FP has yet to be documented in the wild. Based on captive documentation, it appears that FP is widespread in squamate reptiles (snakes, lizards and amphisbaenians), and its occurrence in nature seems inevitable, yet the task of detecting FP in wild individuals has been deemed formidable. Here we show, using microsatellite DNA genotyping and litter characteristics, the first cases of FP in wild-collected pregnant females and their offspring of two closely related species of North American pitviper snakes—the copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) and cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus). Our findings support the view that non-hybrid origins of parthenogenesis, such as FP, are more common in squamates than previously thought. With this confirmation, FP can no longer be viewed as a rare curiosity outside the mainstream of vertebrate evolution. Future research on FP in squamate reptiles related to proximate control of induction, reproductive competence of parthenogens and population genetics modelling is warranted. PMID:22977071

  3. Evolution of the Vertebrate Resistin Gene Family

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Qingda; Tan, Huanran; Irwin, David M.

    2015-01-01

    Resistin (encoded by Retn) was previously identified in rodents as a hormone associated with diabetes; however human resistin is instead linked to inflammation. Resistin is a member of a small gene family that includes the resistin-like peptides (encoded by Retnl genes) in mammals. Genomic searches of available genome sequences of diverse vertebrates and phylogenetic analyses were conducted to determine the size and origin of the resistin-like gene family. Genes encoding peptides similar to resistin were found in Mammalia, Sauria, Amphibia, and Actinistia (coelacanth, a lobe-finned fish), but not in Aves or fish from Actinopterygii, Chondrichthyes, or Agnatha. Retnl originated by duplication and transposition from Retn on the early mammalian lineage after divergence of the platypus, but before the placental and marsupial mammal divergence. The resistin-like gene family illustrates an instance where the locus of origin of duplicated genes can be identified, with Retn continuing to reside at this location. Mammalian species typically have a single copy Retn gene, but are much more variable in their numbers of Retnl genes, ranging from 0 to 9. Since Retn is located at the locus of origin, thus likely retained the ancestral expression pattern, largely maintained its copy number, and did not display accelerated evolution, we suggest that it is more likely to have maintained an ancestral function, while Retnl, which transposed to a new location, displays accelerated evolution, and shows greater variability in gene number, including gene loss, likely evolved new, but potentially lineage-specific, functions. PMID:26076481

  4. Evolution of colour vision in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Bowmaker, J K

    1998-01-01

    The expression of five major families of visual pigments occurred early in vertebrae evolution, probably about 350-400 million years ago, before the separation of the major vertebrate classes. Phylogenetic analysis of opsin gene sequences suggests that the ancestral pigments were cone pigments, with rod pigments evolving last. Modern teleosts, reptiles and birds have genera that possess rods and four spectral classes of cone each representing one of the five visual pigment families. The complement of four spectrally distinct cone classes endows these species with the potential for tetrachromatic colour vision. In contrast, probably because of their nocturnal ancestry, mammals have rod-dominated retinas with colour vision reduced to a basic dichromatic system subserved by only two spectral classes of cone. It is only within primates, about 35 millions years ago, that mammals 're-evolved' a higher level of colour vision: trichromacy. This was achieved by a gene duplication within the longer-wave cone class to produce two spectrally distinct members of the same visual pigment family which, in conjunction with a short-wavelength pigment, provide the three spectral classes of cone necessary to subserve trichromacy.

  5. Molecular evolution of vertebrate visual pigments.

    PubMed

    Yokoyama, S

    2000-07-01

    Dramatic improvement of our understanding of the genetic basis of vision was brought by the molecular characterization of the bovine rhodopsin gene and the human rhodopsin and color opsin genes (Nathans and Hogness, 1983; Nathans et al., 1984, 1986a,b). The availability of cDNA clones from these studies has facilitated the isolation of retinal and nonretinal opsin genes and cDNA clones from a large variety of species. Today, the number of genomic and cDNA clones of opsin genes isolated from different vertebrate species exceeds 100 and is increasing rapidly. The opsin gene sequences reveal the importance of the origin and differentiation of various opsins and visual pigments. To understand the molecular genetic basis of spectral tuning of visual pigments, it is essential to establish correlations between a series of the sequences of visual pigments and their lambda(max) values. The potentially important amino acid changes identified in this way have to be tested whether they are in fact responsible for the lambda(max)-shifts using site-directed mutagenesis and cultured cells. A major goal of molecular evolutionary genetics is to understand the molecular mechanisms involved in functional adaptations of organisms to different environments, including the mechanisms of the regulation of the spectral absorption. Therefore, both molecular evolutionary analyses of visual pigments and vision science have an important common goal.

  6. Vertebral heart scores in eight dog breeds.

    PubMed

    Jepsen-Grant, K; Pollard, R E; Johnson, L R

    2013-01-01

    The vertebral heart score (VHS) measurement is commonly used to provide a more objective measurement of cardiomegaly in canines. However, several studies have shown significant breed variations from the value previously established by Buchanan and Bücheler (9.7 ± 0.5). This study describes VHS measurements in Pug, Pomeranian, Yorkshire Terrier, Dachshund, Bulldog, Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, and Boston Terrier dog breeds. Dogs with two or three view thoracic radiographs, no subjective radiographic evidence of cardiomegaly, and no physical examination findings of heart murmurs or gallop rhythms were included in the study. The Pug, Pomeranian, Bulldog, and Boston Terrier groups were found to have a VHS significantly greater than 9.7 ± 0.5 (P < 0.00001, P = 0.0014, P < 0.0001, P < 0.00001, respectively). Body condition score (BCS) was found to have a significant effect on the VHS of Lhasa Apso group. Anomalous vertebrae in the thoracic column were associated with a significant increase in VHS of the Bulldog (P = 0.028) and Boston Terrier (P = 0.0004) groups. Thoracic depth to width ratio did not have a significant effect on VHS.

  7. New insights into vertebrate skin regeneration.

    PubMed

    Seifert, Ashley W; Maden, Malcolm

    2014-01-01

    Regeneration biology has experienced a renaissance as clinicians, scientists, and engineers have combined forces to drive the field of regenerative medicine. Studies investigating the mechanisms that regulate wound healing in adult mammals have led to a good understanding of the stereotypical processes that lead to scarring. Despite comparative studies of fetal wound healing in which no scar is produced, the fact remains that insights from this work have failed to produce therapies that can regenerate adult human skin. In this review, we analyze past and contemporary accounts of wound healing in a variety of vertebrates, namely, fish, amphibians, and mammals, in order to demonstrate how examples of skin regeneration in adult organisms can impact traditional wound-healing research. When considered together, these studies suggest that inflammation and reepithelialization are necessary events preceding both scarring and regeneration. However, the extent to which these processes may direct one outcome over another is likely weaker than currently accepted. In contrast, the extent to which newly deposited extracellular matrix in the wound bed can be remodeled into new skin, and the intrinsic ability of new epidermis to regenerate appendages, appears to underlie the divergence between scar-free healing and the persistence of a scar. We discuss several ideas that may offer areas of overlap between researchers using these different model organisms and which may be of benefit to the ultimate goal of scar-free human wound healing. PMID:24725426

  8. Evolution of the Vertebrate Resistin Gene Family.

    PubMed

    Hu, Qingda; Tan, Huanran; Irwin, David M

    2015-01-01

    Resistin (encoded by Retn) was previously identified in rodents as a hormone associated with diabetes; however human resistin is instead linked to inflammation. Resistin is a member of a small gene family that includes the resistin-like peptides (encoded by Retnl genes) in mammals. Genomic searches of available genome sequences of diverse vertebrates and phylogenetic analyses were conducted to determine the size and origin of the resistin-like gene family. Genes encoding peptides similar to resistin were found in Mammalia, Sauria, Amphibia, and Actinistia (coelacanth, a lobe-finned fish), but not in Aves or fish from Actinopterygii, Chondrichthyes, or Agnatha. Retnl originated by duplication and transposition from Retn on the early mammalian lineage after divergence of the platypus, but before the placental and marsupial mammal divergence. The resistin-like gene family illustrates an instance where the locus of origin of duplicated genes can be identified, with Retn continuing to reside at this location. Mammalian species typically have a single copy Retn gene, but are much more variable in their numbers of Retnl genes, ranging from 0 to 9. Since Retn is located at the locus of origin, thus likely retained the ancestral expression pattern, largely maintained its copy number, and did not display accelerated evolution, we suggest that it is more likely to have maintained an ancestral function, while Retnl, which transposed to a new location, displays accelerated evolution, and shows greater variability in gene number, including gene loss, likely evolved new, but potentially lineage-specific, functions. PMID:26076481

  9. Facultative parthenogenesis discovered in wild vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Booth, Warren; Smith, Charles F; Eskridge, Pamela H; Hoss, Shannon K; Mendelson, Joseph R; Schuett, Gordon W

    2012-12-23

    Facultative parthenogenesis (FP)-asexual reproduction by bisexual species-has been documented in a variety of multi-cellular organisms but only recently in snakes, varanid lizards, birds and sharks. Unlike the approximately 80 taxa of unisexual reptiles, amphibians and fishes that exist in nature, FP has yet to be documented in the wild. Based on captive documentation, it appears that FP is widespread in squamate reptiles (snakes, lizards and amphisbaenians), and its occurrence in nature seems inevitable, yet the task of detecting FP in wild individuals has been deemed formidable. Here we show, using microsatellite DNA genotyping and litter characteristics, the first cases of FP in wild-collected pregnant females and their offspring of two closely related species of North American pitviper snakes-the copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) and cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus). Our findings support the view that non-hybrid origins of parthenogenesis, such as FP, are more common in squamates than previously thought. With this confirmation, FP can no longer be viewed as a rare curiosity outside the mainstream of vertebrate evolution. Future research on FP in squamate reptiles related to proximate control of induction, reproductive competence of parthenogens and population genetics modelling is warranted. PMID:22977071

  10. Microtubules, polarity and vertebrate neural tube morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Cearns, Michael D; Escuin, Sarah; Alexandre, Paula; Greene, Nicholas D E; Copp, Andrew J

    2016-07-01

    Microtubules (MTs) are key cellular components, long known to participate in morphogenetic events that shape the developing embryo. However, the links between the cellular functions of MTs, their effects on cell shape and polarity, and their role in large-scale morphogenesis remain poorly understood. Here, these relationships were examined with respect to two strategies for generating the vertebrate neural tube: bending and closure of the mammalian neural plate; and cavitation of the teleost neural rod. The latter process has been compared with 'secondary' neurulation that generates the caudal spinal cord in mammals. MTs align along the apico-basal axis of the mammalian neuroepithelium early in neural tube closure, participating functionally in interkinetic nuclear migration, which indirectly impacts on cell shape. Whether MTs play other functional roles in mammalian neurulation remains unclear. In the zebrafish, MTs are important for defining the neural rod midline prior to its cavitation, both by localizing apical proteins at the tissue midline and by orienting cell division through a mirror-symmetric MT apparatus that helps to further define the medial localization of apical polarity proteins. Par proteins have been implicated in centrosome positioning in neuroepithelia as well as in the control of polarized morphogenetic movements in the neural rod. Understanding of MT functions during early nervous system development has so far been limited, partly by techniques that fail to distinguish 'cause' from 'effect'. Future developments will likely rely on novel ways to selectively impair MT function in order to investigate the roles they play.

  11. Gut Melatonin in Vertebrates: Chronobiology and Physiology

    PubMed Central

    Mukherjee, Sourav; Maitra, Saumen Kumar

    2015-01-01

    Melatonin, following discovery in the bovine pineal gland, has been detected in several extra-pineal sources including gastrointestinal tract or gut. Arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT) is the key regulator of its biosynthesis. Melatonin in pineal is rhythmically produced with a nocturnal peak in synchronization with environmental light–dark cycle. A recent study on carp reported first that melatonin levels and intensity of a ~23 kDa AANAT protein in each gut segment also exhibit significant daily variations but, unlike pineal, show a peak at midday in all seasons. Extensive experimental studies ruled out direct role of light–dark conditions in determining temporal pattern of gut melatoninergic system in carp, and opened up possible role of environmental non-photic cue(s) as its synchronizer. Based on mammalian findings, physiological significance of gut-derived melatonin also appears unique because its actions at local levels sharing paracrine and/or autocrine functions have been emphasized. The purpose of this mini review is to summarize the existing data on the chronobiology and physiology of gut melatonin and to emphasize their relation with the same hormone derived in the pineal in vertebrates including fish. PMID:26257705

  12. Earth orbital variations and vertebrate bioevolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mclean, Dewey M.

    1988-01-01

    Cause of the Pleistocene-Holocene transition mammalian extinctions at the end of the last age is the subject of debate between those advocating human predation and climate change. Identification of an ambient air temperature (AAT)-uterine blood flow (UBF) coupling phenomenon supports climate change as a factor in the extinctions, and couples the extinctions to earth orbital variations that drive ice age climatology. The AAT-UBF phenomenon couples mammalian bioevolution directly to climate change via effects of environmental heat upon blood flow to the female uterus and damage to developing embryos. Extinctions were in progress during climatic warming before the Younger Dryas event, and after, at times when the AAT-UBF couple would have been operative; however, impact of a sudden short-term cooling on mammals in the process of adapting to smaller size and relatively larger S/V would have been severe. Variations in earth's orbit, and orbital forcing of atmospheric CO2 concentrations, were causes of the succession of Pleistocene ice ages. Coincidence of mammalian extinctions with terminations of the more intense cold stages links mammalian bioevolution to variations in earth's orbit. Earth orbital variations are a driving source of vertebrate bioevolution.

  13. Timing of genome duplications relative to the origin of the vertebrates: did cyclostomes diverge before or after?

    PubMed

    Kuraku, Shigehiro; Meyer, Axel; Kuratani, Shigeru

    2009-01-01

    Two rounds of whole-genome duplications are thought to have played an important role in the establishment of gene repertoires in vertebrates. These events occurred during chordate evolution after the split of the urochordate and cephalochordate lineages but before the radiation of extant gnathostomes (jawed vertebrates). During this interval, diverse agnathans (jawless fishes), including cyclostomes (hagfishes and lampreys), diverged. However, there is no solid evidence for the timing of these genome duplications in relation to the divergence of cyclostomes from the gnathostome lineage. We conducted cDNA sequencing in diverse early vertebrates for members of homeobox-containing (Dlx and ParaHox) and other gene families that would serve as landmarks for genome duplications. Including these new sequences, we performed a molecular phylogenetic census using the maximum likelihood method for 55 gene families. In most of these gene families, we detected many more gene duplications before the cyclostome-gnathostome split, than after. Many of these gene families (e.g., visual opsins, RAR, Notch) have multiple paralogs in conserved, syntenic genomic regions that must have been generated by large-scale duplication events. Taken together, this indicates that the genome duplications occurred before the cyclostome-gnathostome split. We propose that the redundancy in gene repertoires possessed by all vertebrates, including hagfishes and lampreys, was introduced primarily by genome duplications. Apart from subsequent lineage-specific modifications, these ancient genome duplication events might serve generally to distinguish vertebrates from invertebrates at the genomic level. PMID:18842688

  14. Widespread Forest Vertebrate Extinctions Induced by a Mega Hydroelectric Dam in Lowland Amazonia.

    PubMed

    Benchimol, Maíra; Peres, Carlos A

    2015-01-01

    Mega hydropower projects in tropical forests pose a major emergent threat to terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity worldwide. Despite the unprecedented number of existing, under-construction and planned hydroelectric dams in lowland tropical forests, long-term effects on biodiversity have yet to be evaluated. We examine how medium and large-bodied assemblages of terrestrial and arboreal vertebrates (including 35 mammal, bird and tortoise species) responded to the drastic 26-year post-isolation history of archipelagic alteration in landscape structure and habitat quality in a major hydroelectric reservoir of Central Amazonia. The Balbina Hydroelectric Dam inundated 3,129 km2 of primary forests, simultaneously isolating 3,546 land-bridge islands. We conducted intensive biodiversity surveys at 37 of those islands and three adjacent continuous forests using a combination of four survey techniques, and detected strong forest habitat area effects in explaining patterns of vertebrate extinction. Beyond clear area effects, edge-mediated surface fire disturbance was the most important additional driver of species loss, particularly in islands smaller than 10 ha. Based on species-area models, we predict that only 0.7% of all islands now harbor a species-rich vertebrate assemblage consisting of ≥80% of all species. We highlight the colossal erosion in vertebrate diversity driven by a man-made dam and show that the biodiversity impacts of mega dams in lowland tropical forest regions have been severely overlooked. The geopolitical strategy to deploy many more large hydropower infrastructure projects in regions like lowland Amazonia should be urgently reassessed, and we strongly advise that long-term biodiversity impacts should be explicitly included in pre-approval environmental impact assessments.

  15. Widespread Forest Vertebrate Extinctions Induced by a Mega Hydroelectric Dam in Lowland Amazonia

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Mega hydropower projects in tropical forests pose a major emergent threat to terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity worldwide. Despite the unprecedented number of existing, under-construction and planned hydroelectric dams in lowland tropical forests, long-term effects on biodiversity have yet to be evaluated. We examine how medium and large-bodied assemblages of terrestrial and arboreal vertebrates (including 35 mammal, bird and tortoise species) responded to the drastic 26-year post-isolation history of archipelagic alteration in landscape structure and habitat quality in a major hydroelectric reservoir of Central Amazonia. The Balbina Hydroelectric Dam inundated 3,129 km2 of primary forests, simultaneously isolating 3,546 land-bridge islands. We conducted intensive biodiversity surveys at 37 of those islands and three adjacent continuous forests using a combination of four survey techniques, and detected strong forest habitat area effects in explaining patterns of vertebrate extinction. Beyond clear area effects, edge-mediated surface fire disturbance was the most important additional driver of species loss, particularly in islands smaller than 10 ha. Based on species-area models, we predict that only 0.7% of all islands now harbor a species-rich vertebrate assemblage consisting of ≥80% of all species. We highlight the colossal erosion in vertebrate diversity driven by a man-made dam and show that the biodiversity impacts of mega dams in lowland tropical forest regions have been severely overlooked. The geopolitical strategy to deploy many more large hydropower infrastructure projects in regions like lowland Amazonia should be urgently reassessed, and we strongly advise that long-term biodiversity impacts should be explicitly included in pre-approval environmental impact assessments. PMID:26132139

  16. The distribution and genetic structure of Escherichia coli in Australian vertebrates: host and geographic effects.

    PubMed

    Gordon, David M; Cowling, Ann

    2003-12-01

    Escherichia coli was isolated from more than 2300 non-domesticated vertebrate hosts living in Australia. E. coli was most prevalent in mammals, less prevalent in birds and uncommon in fish, frogs and reptiles. Mammals were unlikely to harbour E. coli if they lived in regions with a desert climate and less likely to have E. coli if they lived in the tropics than if they lived in semi-arid or temperate regions. In mammals, the likelihood of isolating E. coli from an individual depended on the diet of the host and E. coli was less prevalent in carnivores than in herbivores or omnivores. In both birds and mammals, the probability of isolating E. coli increased with the body mass of the host. Hosts living in close proximity to human habitation were more likely to harbour E. coli than hosts living away from people. The relative abundance of E. coli groups A, B1, B2 and D strains in mammals depended on climate, host diet and body mass. Group A strains were uncommon, but were isolated from both ectothermic and endothermic vertebrates. Group B1 strains could also be isolated from any vertebrate group, but were predominant in ectothermic vertebrates, birds and carnivorous mammals. Group B2 strains were unlikely to be isolated from ectotherms and were most abundant in omnivorous and herbivorous mammals. Group D strains were rare in ectotherms and uncommon in endotherms, but were equally abundant in birds and mammals. The results of this study suggest that, at the species level, the ecological niche of E. coli is mammals with hindgut modifications to enable microbial fermentation, or in the absence of a modified hindgut, E. coli can only establish a population in 'large-bodied' hosts. The non-random distribution of E. coli genotypes among the different host groups indicates that strains of the four E. coli groups may differ in their ecological niches and life-history characteristics.

  17. Extraordinary diversity of chemosensory receptor gene repertoires among vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Shi, P; Zhang, J

    2009-01-01

    Chemosensation (smell and taste) is important to the survival and reproduction of vertebrates and is mediated by specific bindings of odorants, pheromones, and tastants by chemoreceptors that are encoded by several large gene families. This review summarizes recent comparative genomic and evolutionary studies of vertebrate chemoreceptor genes. It focuses on the remarkable diversity of chemoreceptor gene repertoires in terms of gene number and gene sequence across vertebrates and the evolutionary mechanisms that are responsible for generating this diversity. We argue that the great among-species variation of chemoreceptor gene repertoires is a result of adaptations of individual species to their environments and diets. PMID:19145414

  18. DiGeorge syndrome with vertebral and rib dysplasia

    SciTech Connect

    Puno-Cocuzza, C.; David, K.; Kogekar, N.

    1994-09-01

    DiGeorge syndrome results from defect in the development of the third and fourth pharyngeal pouches, and is characterized by conotruncal heart defects, aplasia or hypoplasia of thymus and parathyroid glands resulting in immune deficiency and hypocalcemia. Other associated abnormalities include renal, thyroid and diaphragmatic defects, oral clefting, etc. Etiologically, it is heterogeneous, with a microdeletion of 22q11 present in over 80% of cases. Our patient was born following a pregnancy complicated by insulin dependent gestational diabetes. There was truncus arteriosus type 2, absense of thymic shadow on CXR with severe deficiency of T cell function, and persistent hypocalcemia with low parathormone. Right kidney was absent. Dysplastic ribs including fused and bifid ribs were noted. Hypoplastic vertebrae and hemivertebrae were present through thoracic and lumbar regions. Chromosome analysis was normal, and metaphase FISH analysis with probe N25 representing locus D22S75 did not show any deletion of 22q11.2. The skeletal findings similar to these have not been previously reported in association with DiGeorge syndrome to our knowledge. Vertebral and rib abnormalities are known to occur with pregestational maternal diabetes. Maternal diabetes has also been suggested to be a possible etiology in a very small proportion of DiGeorge syndrome cases. It is possible that these findings occured together on account of gestational maternal diabetes in our case.

  19. GLOBAL PATTERNS OF LEPTOSPIRA PREVALENCE IN VERTEBRATE RESERVOIR HOSTS.

    PubMed

    Andersen-Ranberg, Emilie U; Pipper, Christian; Jensen, Per M

    2016-07-01

    Leptospirosis is a widespread emerging bacterial zoonosis. As the transmission is believed to be predominantly waterborne, human incidence is expected to increase in conjunction with global climate change and associated extreme weather events. Providing more accurate predictions of human leptospirosis requires more detailed information on animal reservoirs that are the source of human infection. We evaluated the prevalence of Leptospira in vertebrates worldwide and its association with taxonomy, geographic region, host biology, ambient temperature, and precipitation patterns. A multivariate regression analysis with a meta-analysis-like approach was used to analyze compiled data extracted from 300 Leptospira-related peer reviewed papers. A fairly uniform Leptospira infection prevalence of about 15% was found in the majority of mammalian families. Higher prevalence was frequently associated with species occupying urban habitats, and this may explain why climatic factors were not significantly correlated with prevalence as consistently as expected. Across different approaches of the multiple regression analyses, the variables most frequently correlated with Leptospira infection prevalence were the host's ability to swim, minimum ambient temperature, and methodologic quality of the study. Prevalence in carnivores was not associated with any climatic variable, and the importance of environmental risk factors were indicated to be of lesser consequence in nonhuman mammals. The dataset is made available for further analysis. PMID:27187029

  20. Avoidance and tolerance of freezing in ectothermic vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Costanzo, Jon P; Lee, Richard E

    2013-06-01

    Ectothermic vertebrates have colonized regions that are seasonally or perpetually cold, and some species, particularly terrestrial hibernators, must cope with temperatures that fall substantially below 0°C. Survival of such excursions depends on either freeze avoidance through supercooling or freeze tolerance. Supercooling, a metastable state in which body fluids remain liquid below the equilibrium freezing/melting point, is promoted by physiological responses that protect against chilling injury and by anatomical and behavioral traits that limit risk of inoculative freezing by environmental ice and ice-nucleating agents. Freeze tolerance evolved from responses to fundamental stresses to permit survival of the freezing of a substantial amount of body water under thermal and temporal conditions of ecological relevance. Survival of freezing is promoted by a complex suite of molecular, biochemical and physiological responses that limit cell death from excessive shrinkage, damage to macromolecules and membranes, metabolic perturbation and oxidative stress. Although freeze avoidance and freeze tolerance generally are mutually exclusive strategies, a few species can switch between them, the mode used in a particular instance of chilling depending on prevailing physiological and environmental conditions.

  1. Wnt proteins can direct planar cell polarity in vertebrate ectoderm

    PubMed Central

    Chu, Chih-Wen; Sokol, Sergei Y

    2016-01-01

    The coordinated orientation of cells across the tissue plane, known as planar cell polarity (PCP), is manifested by the segregation of core PCP proteins to different sides of the cell. Secreted Wnt ligands are involved in many PCP-dependent processes, yet whether they act as polarity cues has been controversial. We show that in Xenopus early ectoderm, the Prickle3/Vangl2 complex was polarized to anterior cell edges and this polarity was disrupted by several Wnt antagonists. In midgastrula embryos, Wnt5a, Wnt11, and Wnt11b, but not Wnt3a, acted across many cell diameters to orient Prickle3/Vangl2 complexes away from their sources regardless of their positions relative to the body axis. The planar polarity of endogenous Vangl2 in the neuroectoderm was similarly redirected by an ectopic Wnt source and disrupted after depletion of Wnt11b in the presumptive posterior region of the embryo. These observations provide evidence for the instructive role of Wnt ligands in vertebrate PCP. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.16463.001 PMID:27658614

  2. Checklist of the terrestrial vertebrates of the Guiana Shield

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    2005-01-01

    Distributions are given for 1850 species of terrestrial vertebrates in the Guiana Shield region of northeastern South America, with introductory text by the authors of each section. Distributions cover the three Guianas (Guyana, Surinam, and French Guiana), and the states of the Venezuelan Guayna (Amazonas, Bolivar, and Delta Amacuro), and in some cases the states of the Brazilian portion of the Guiana Shield (Amazonas, Roraima, Para, and Amapa), and the Colombian portion of the Guiana Shield. The first section is a checklist of amphibians of the Guiana Shield, by J. Celsa Sefiaris and Ross MacCulloch, detailing the distribution of 269 species. The second section is a checklist of the reptiles of the Guiana Shield by Teresa C. S. de Avila Pires, detailing the distribution of 295 species. The third section is a checklist of the birds of the Guiana Shield, by Chris Milensky, Wiltshire Hinds, Alexandre Aleixo, and Maria de Fatima C. Lima, detailing the distribution of 1004 species. The fourth section is a checklist of the mammals of the Guiana Shield, by Burton K. Lim, Mark D. Engstrom, and Jose Ochoa G., detailing the distribution of 282 species.

  3. Avoidance and tolerance of freezing in ectothermic vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Costanzo, Jon P; Lee, Richard E

    2013-06-01

    Ectothermic vertebrates have colonized regions that are seasonally or perpetually cold, and some species, particularly terrestrial hibernators, must cope with temperatures that fall substantially below 0°C. Survival of such excursions depends on either freeze avoidance through supercooling or freeze tolerance. Supercooling, a metastable state in which body fluids remain liquid below the equilibrium freezing/melting point, is promoted by physiological responses that protect against chilling injury and by anatomical and behavioral traits that limit risk of inoculative freezing by environmental ice and ice-nucleating agents. Freeze tolerance evolved from responses to fundamental stresses to permit survival of the freezing of a substantial amount of body water under thermal and temporal conditions of ecological relevance. Survival of freezing is promoted by a complex suite of molecular, biochemical and physiological responses that limit cell death from excessive shrinkage, damage to macromolecules and membranes, metabolic perturbation and oxidative stress. Although freeze avoidance and freeze tolerance generally are mutually exclusive strategies, a few species can switch between them, the mode used in a particular instance of chilling depending on prevailing physiological and environmental conditions. PMID:23678097

  4. Early Vertebrate Evolution of the Host Restriction Factor Tetherin

    PubMed Central

    Heusinger, Elena; Kluge, Silvia F.; Kirchhoff, Frank

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Tetherin is an interferon-inducible restriction factor targeting a broad range of enveloped viruses. Its antiviral activity depends on an unusual topology comprising an N-terminal transmembrane domain (TMD) followed by an extracellular coiled-coil region and a C-terminal glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor. One of the two membrane anchors is inserted into assembling virions, while the other remains in the plasma membrane of the infected cell. Thus, tetherin entraps budding viruses by physically bridging viral and cellular membranes. Although tetherin restricts the release of a large variety of diverse human and animal viruses, only mammalian orthologs have been described to date. Here, we examined the evolutionary origin of this protein and demonstrate that tetherin orthologs are also found in fish, reptiles, and birds. Notably, alligator tetherin efficiently blocks the release of retroviral particles. Thus, tetherin emerged early during vertebrate evolution and acquired its antiviral activity before the mammal/reptile divergence. Although there is only limited sequence homology, all orthologs share the typical topology. Two unrelated proteins of the slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum also adopt a tetherin-like configuration with an N-terminal TMD and a C-terminal GPI anchor. However, these proteins showed no evidence for convergent evolution and failed to inhibit virion release. In summary, our findings demonstrate that tetherin emerged at least 450 million years ago and is more widespread than previously anticipated. The early evolution of antiviral activity together with the high topology conservation but low sequence homology suggests that restriction of virus release is the primary function of tetherin. IMPORTANCE The continuous arms race with viruses has driven the evolution of a variety of cell-intrinsic immunity factors that inhibit different steps of the viral replication cycle. One of these restriction factors, tetherin, inhibits the

  5. Trunk Muscle Activity Is Modified in Osteoporotic Vertebral Fracture and Thoracic Kyphosis with Potential Consequences for Vertebral Health

    PubMed Central

    Greig, Alison M.; Briggs, Andrew M.; Bennell, Kim L.; Hodges, Paul W.

    2014-01-01

    This study explored inter-relationships between vertebral fracture, thoracic kyphosis and trunk muscle control in elderly people with osteoporosis. Osteoporotic vertebral fractures are associated with increased risk of further vertebral fractures; but underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Several factors may explain this association, including changes in postural alignment (thoracic kyphosis) and altered trunk muscle contraction patterns. Both factors may increase risk of further fracture because of increased vertebral loading and impaired balance, which may increase falls risk. This study compared postural adjustments in 24 individuals with osteoporosis with and without vertebral fracture and with varying degrees of thoracic kyphosis. Trunk muscle electromyographic activity (EMG) associated with voluntary arm movements was recorded and compared between individuals with and without vertebral fracture, and between those with low and high thoracic kyphosis. Overall, elderly participants in the study demonstrated co-contraction of the trunk flexor and extensor muscles during forwards arm movements, but those with vertebral fractures demonstrated a more pronounced co-contraction than those without fracture. Individuals with high thoracic kyphosis demonstrated more pronounced alternating flexor and extensor EMG bursts than those with less kyphosis. Co-contraction of trunk flexor and extensor muscles in older individuals contrasts the alternating bursts of antagonist muscle activity in previous studies of young individuals. This may have several consequences, including altered balance efficacy and the potential for increased compressive loads through the spine. Both of these outcomes may have consequences in a population with fragile vertebrae who are susceptible to fracture. PMID:25285908

  6. Decay of vertebrate characters in hagfish and lamprey (Cyclostomata) and the implications for the vertebrate fossil record.

    PubMed

    Sansom, Robert S; Gabbott, Sarah E; Purnell, Mark A

    2011-04-22

    The timing and sequence of events underlying the origin and early evolution of vertebrates remains poorly understood. The palaeontological evidence should shed light on these issues, but difficulties in interpretation of the non-biomineralized fossil record make this problematic. Here we present an experimental analysis of decay of vertebrate characters based on the extant jawless vertebrates (Lampetra and Myxine). This provides a framework for the interpretation of the anatomy of soft-bodied fossil vertebrates and putative cyclostomes, and a context for reading the fossil record of non-biomineralized vertebrate characters. Decay results in transformation and non-random loss of characters. In both lamprey and hagfish, different types of cartilage decay at different rates, resulting in taphonomic bias towards loss of 'soft' cartilages containing vertebrate-specific Col2α1 extracellular matrix proteins; phylogenetically informative soft-tissue characters decay before more plesiomorphic characters. As such, synapomorphic decay bias, previously recognized in early chordates, is more pervasive, and needs to be taken into account when interpreting the anatomy of any non-biomineralized fossil vertebrate, such as Haikouichthys, Mayomyzon and Hardistiella.

  7. T-cell receptor gene homologs are present in the most primitive jawed vertebrates.

    PubMed Central

    Rast, J P; Litman, G W

    1994-01-01

    The phylogenetic origins of T-cell immunity and T-cell antigen receptor (TCR) genes have not been established. A PCR approach using short, minimally degenerate oligodeoxynucleotide primers complementing conserved variable region segments amplifies TCR-like products from the genomic DNA of Heterodontus francisci (horned shark), a representative phylogenetically primitive cartilaginous fish. One of these products has been used as a probe to screen a Heterodontus spleen cDNA library and a clone was identified that is most related at the nucleotide sequence and predicted peptide levels to higher vertebrate TCR beta-chain genes. Genomic analyses of the TCR homologs indicate that recombining variable and joining region segments as well as constant region exons are encoded by extensive gene families, organized in the multicluster form, characteristic of both the immunoglobulin heavy- and light-chain gene loci in the cartilaginous fishes. Greater numbers of homologous products were identified when a probe complementing the putative constant region of the TCR homolog was used to screen the same cDNA library. A high degree of intergenic variation is associated with the putative variable region segments of these isolates. Direct evidence is presented for TCR-like genes, which presumably are associated with T-cell function, at the earliest stages in the phylogenetic emergence of jawed vertebrates. Images PMID:7937749

  8. Opportunities and costs for preventing vertebrate extinctions.

    PubMed

    Conde, Dalia A; Colchero, Fernando; Güneralp, Burak; Gusset, Markus; Skolnik, Ben; Parr, Michael; Byers, Onnie; Johnson, Kevin; Young, Glyn; Flesness, Nate; Possingham, Hugh; Fa, John E

    2015-03-16

    Despite an increase in policy and management responses to the global biodiversity crisis, implementation of the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets still shows insufficient progress [1]. These targets, strategic goals defined by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), address major causes of biodiversity loss in part by establishing protected areas (Target 11) and preventing species extinctions (Target 12). To achieve this, increased interventions will be required for a large number of sites and species. The Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) [2], a consortium of conservation-oriented organisations that aims to protect Critically Endangered and Endangered species restricted to single sites, has identified 920 species of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, conifers and reef-building corals in 588 'trigger' sites [3]. These are arguably the most irreplaceable category of important biodiversity conservation sites. Protected area coverage of AZE sites is a key indicator of progress towards Target 11 [1]. Moreover, effective conservation of AZE sites is essential to achieve Target 12, as the loss of any of these sites would certainly result in the global extinction of at least one species [2]. However, averting human-induced species extinctions within AZE sites requires enhanced planning tools to increase the chances of success [3]. Here, we assess the potential for ensuring the long-term conservation of AZE vertebrate species (157 mammals, 165 birds, 17 reptiles and 502 amphibians) by calculating a conservation opportunity index (COI) for each species. The COI encompasses a set of measurable indicators that quantify the possibility of achieving successful conservation of a species in its natural habitat (COIh) and by establishing insurance populations in zoos (COIc). PMID:25784036

  9. Opportunities and costs for preventing vertebrate extinctions.

    PubMed

    Conde, Dalia A; Colchero, Fernando; Güneralp, Burak; Gusset, Markus; Skolnik, Ben; Parr, Michael; Byers, Onnie; Johnson, Kevin; Young, Glyn; Flesness, Nate; Possingham, Hugh; Fa, John E

    2015-03-16

    Despite an increase in policy and management responses to the global biodiversity crisis, implementation of the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets still shows insufficient progress [1]. These targets, strategic goals defined by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), address major causes of biodiversity loss in part by establishing protected areas (Target 11) and preventing species extinctions (Target 12). To achieve this, increased interventions will be required for a large number of sites and species. The Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) [2], a consortium of conservation-oriented organisations that aims to protect Critically Endangered and Endangered species restricted to single sites, has identified 920 species of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, conifers and reef-building corals in 588 'trigger' sites [3]. These are arguably the most irreplaceable category of important biodiversity conservation sites. Protected area coverage of AZE sites is a key indicator of progress towards Target 11 [1]. Moreover, effective conservation of AZE sites is essential to achieve Target 12, as the loss of any of these sites would certainly result in the global extinction of at least one species [2]. However, averting human-induced species extinctions within AZE sites requires enhanced planning tools to increase the chances of success [3]. Here, we assess the potential for ensuring the long-term conservation of AZE vertebrate species (157 mammals, 165 birds, 17 reptiles and 502 amphibians) by calculating a conservation opportunity index (COI) for each species. The COI encompasses a set of measurable indicators that quantify the possibility of achieving successful conservation of a species in its natural habitat (COIh) and by establishing insurance populations in zoos (COIc).

  10. Treatment of Ruptured Vertebral Artery Dissecting Aneurysms

    PubMed Central

    Hamasaki, Osamu; Ikawa, Fusao; Hidaka, Toshikazu; Kurokawa, Yasuharu; Yonezawa, Ushio

    2014-01-01

    Summary We evaluated the outcomes of endovascular or surgical treatment of ruptured vertebral artery dissecting aneurysms (VADAs), and investigated the relations between treatment complications and the development and location of the posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA). We treated 14 patients (12 men, two women; mean age, 56.2 years) with ruptured VADAs between March 1999 and June 2012 at our hospital. Six and eight patients had Hunt and Hess grades 1-3 and 4-5, respectively. Twelve patients underwent internal endovascular trapping, one underwent proximal endovascular occlusion alone, and one underwent proximal endovascular occlusion in the acute stage and occipital artery (OA)-PICA anastomosis and surgical trapping in the chronic stage. The types of VADA based on their location relative to the ipsilateral PICA were distal, PICA-involved, and non-PICA in nine, two, and three patients, respectively. The types of PICA based on their development and location were bilateral anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA)-PICA, ipsilateral AICA-PICA, extradural, and intradural type in one, two, two, and nine patients, respectively. Two patients with high anatomical risk developed medullary infarction, but their midterm outcomes were better than in previous reports. The modified Rankin scale indicated grades 0-2, 3-5, and 6 in eight, three, and three patients, respectively. A good outcome is often obtained in the treatment of ruptured VADA using internal endovascular trapping, except in the PICA-involved type, even with high-grade subarachnoid hemorrhage. Treatment of the PICA-involved type is controversial. The anatomical location and development of PICA may be predicted by complications with postoperative medullary infarction. PMID:24976093

  11. The 'Tully monster' is a vertebrate.

    PubMed

    McCoy, Victoria E; Saupe, Erin E; Lamsdell, James C; Tarhan, Lidya G; McMahon, Sean; Lidgard, Scott; Mayer, Paul; Whalen, Christopher D; Soriano, Carmen; Finney, Lydia; Vogt, Stefan; Clark, Elizabeth G; Anderson, Ross P; Petermann, Holger; Locatelli, Emma R; Briggs, Derek E G

    2016-04-28

    Problematic fossils, extinct taxa of enigmatic morphology that cannot be assigned to a known major group, were once a major issue in palaeontology. A long-favoured solution to the 'problem of the problematica', particularly the 'weird wonders' of the Cambrian Burgess Shale, was to consider them representatives of extinct phyla. A combination of new evidence and modern approaches to phylogenetic analysis has now resolved the affinities of most of these forms. Perhaps the most notable exception is Tullimonstrum gregarium, popularly known as the Tully monster, a large soft-bodied organism from the late Carboniferous Mazon Creek biota (approximately 309-307 million years ago) of Illinois, USA, which was designated the official state fossil of Illinois in 1989. Its phylogenetic position has remained uncertain and it has been compared with nemerteans, polychaetes, gastropods, conodonts, and the stem arthropod Opabinia. Here we review the morphology of Tullimonstrum based on an analysis of more than 1,200 specimens. We find that the anterior proboscis ends in a buccal apparatus containing teeth, the eyes project laterally on a long rigid bar, and the elongate segmented body bears a caudal fin with dorsal and ventral lobes. We describe new evidence for a notochord, cartilaginous arcualia, gill pouches, articulations within the proboscis, and multiple tooth rows adjacent to the mouth. This combination of characters, supported by phylogenetic analysis, identifies Tullimonstrum as a vertebrate, and places it on the stem lineage to lampreys (Petromyzontida). In addition to increasing the known morphological disparity of extinct lampreys, a chordate affinity for T. gregarium resolves the nature of a soft-bodied fossil which has been debated for more than 50 years. PMID:26982721

  12. The 'Tully monster' is a vertebrate.

    PubMed

    McCoy, Victoria E; Saupe, Erin E; Lamsdell, James C; Tarhan, Lidya G; McMahon, Sean; Lidgard, Scott; Mayer, Paul; Whalen, Christopher D; Soriano, Carmen; Finney, Lydia; Vogt, Stefan; Clark, Elizabeth G; Anderson, Ross P; Petermann, Holger; Locatelli, Emma R; Briggs, Derek E G

    2016-04-28

    Problematic fossils, extinct taxa of enigmatic morphology that cannot be assigned to a known major group, were once a major issue in palaeontology. A long-favoured solution to the 'problem of the problematica', particularly the 'weird wonders' of the Cambrian Burgess Shale, was to consider them representatives of extinct phyla. A combination of new evidence and modern approaches to phylogenetic analysis has now resolved the affinities of most of these forms. Perhaps the most notable exception is Tullimonstrum gregarium, popularly known as the Tully monster, a large soft-bodied organism from the late Carboniferous Mazon Creek biota (approximately 309-307 million years ago) of Illinois, USA, which was designated the official state fossil of Illinois in 1989. Its phylogenetic position has remained uncertain and it has been compared with nemerteans, polychaetes, gastropods, conodonts, and the stem arthropod Opabinia. Here we review the morphology of Tullimonstrum based on an analysis of more than 1,200 specimens. We find that the anterior proboscis ends in a buccal apparatus containing teeth, the eyes project laterally on a long rigid bar, and the elongate segmented body bears a caudal fin with dorsal and ventral lobes. We describe new evidence for a notochord, cartilaginous arcualia, gill pouches, articulations within the proboscis, and multiple tooth rows adjacent to the mouth. This combination of characters, supported by phylogenetic analysis, identifies Tullimonstrum as a vertebrate, and places it on the stem lineage to lampreys (Petromyzontida). In addition to increasing the known morphological disparity of extinct lampreys, a chordate affinity for T. gregarium resolves the nature of a soft-bodied fossil which has been debated for more than 50 years.

  13. Experiment K307: Vertebral body strength of rat spinal columns

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kazarian, L. E.

    1981-01-01

    The effects of space flight on vertebral body bone strength excised were investigated. Comparative biomechanical investigations of vertebral body strength for flight, synchronous, and vivarium rats following spacecraft recovery (R+0), at R+6 and R+29 days post flight recovery are presented. Statistical analyses are presented for the mechanical properties of stiffness, ultimate load, displacement to ultimate load, and energy to ultimate load. At R+0 all of the above properties show that the vertebral body exhibits an increasing susceptibility to fracture. The reduction of bone strength is inhomogeneous and dependent on vertebral level. The R+6 recovery data was inconclusive since it varied above and below the R+0 data. At R+29 ultimate load values showed a statistically significant increase in bone strength approaching that of the vivarium or control group.

  14. A common fold mediates vertebrate defense and bacterial attack.

    PubMed

    Rosado, Carlos J; Buckle, Ashley M; Law, Ruby H P; Butcher, Rebecca E; Kan, Wan-Ting; Bird, Catherina H; Ung, Kheng; Browne, Kylie A; Baran, Katherine; Bashtannyk-Puhalovich, Tanya A; Faux, Noel G; Wong, Wilson; Porter, Corrine J; Pike, Robert N; Ellisdon, Andrew M; Pearce, Mary C; Bottomley, Stephen P; Emsley, Jonas; Smith, A Ian; Rossjohn, Jamie; Hartland, Elizabeth L; Voskoboinik, Ilia; Trapani, Joseph A; Bird, Phillip I; Dunstone, Michelle A; Whisstock, James C

    2007-09-14

    Proteins containing membrane attack complex/perforin (MACPF) domains play important roles in vertebrate immunity, embryonic development, and neural-cell migration. In vertebrates, the ninth component of complement and perforin form oligomeric pores that lyse bacteria and kill virus-infected cells, respectively. However, the mechanism of MACPF function is unknown. We determined the crystal structure of a bacterial MACPF protein, Plu-MACPF from Photorhabdus luminescens, to 2.0 angstrom resolution. The MACPF domain reveals structural similarity with poreforming cholesterol-dependent cytolysins (CDCs) from Gram-positive bacteria. This suggests that lytic MACPF proteins may use a CDC-like mechanism to form pores and disrupt cell membranes. Sequence similarity between bacterial and vertebrate MACPF domains suggests that the fold of the CDCs, a family of proteins important for bacterial pathogenesis, is probably used by vertebrates for defense against infection.

  15. Case Study: Giant Cell Arteritis with Vertebral Artery Stenosis.

    PubMed

    Daniel Chomlak, R; Ghazanfari, Farshad; Datta, Mineesh

    2016-01-01

    In giant cell arteritis (GCA), involvement of the vertebral arteries is rare with reported rates of 3%-4% for ischemic events secondary to vertebral artery stenosis or occlusion for those patients with GCA. This case study describes a patient who initially presented with acute onset of vertigo but was also found to have transient, side-alternating upper limb neurological findings. While initial imaging showed no vascular abnormalities, it was not until GCA was eventually confirmed with a temporal artery biopsy that the initial scans were shown to have bilateral narrowing of the vertebral arteries. While rare, vertebral artery involvement is an important complication to consider in the setting of GCA due to the high rate of associated mortality, despite immunosuppressive therapy. PMID:27279753

  16. Do Vertebrate Gut Metagenomes Confer Rapid Ecological Adaptation?

    PubMed

    Alberdi, Antton; Aizpurua, Ostaizka; Bohmann, Kristine; Zepeda-Mendoza, Marie Lisandra; Gilbert, M Thomas P

    2016-09-01

    During times of rapid environmental change, survival of most vertebrate populations depends on their phenomic plasticity. Although differential gene-expression and post-transcriptional processes of the host genome receive focus as the main molecular mechanisms, growing evidence points to the gut microbiota as a key driver defining hosts' phenotypes. We propose that the plasticity of the gut microbiota might be an essential factor determining phenomic plasticity of vertebrates, and that it might play a pivotal role when vertebrates acclimate and adapt to fast environmental variation. We contemplate some key questions and suggest methodological approaches and experimental designs that can be used to evaluate whether gut microorganisms provide a boost of plasticity to vertebrates' phenomes, thereby increasing their acclimation and adaptation capacity.

  17. Understanding Balloon Kyphoplasty and Myeloma-Induced Vertebral Compression Fractures

    MedlinePlus

    ... back and the ribs. More often than not, back pain and generalized weakness are what bring many undiagnosed ... the doctor in the first place. Sudden severe back pain can indicate that the vertebral body *Words appearing ...

  18. [About evolution of sleep-wakefulness cycle in vertebrates].

    PubMed

    Oganesian, G A; Aristakesian, E A; Vataev, S I

    2012-10-01

    Data about behavioral, somato-vegetative and neurophysiological parameters of sleep and wakefulness in insects, cold- and warm-blooded vertebrates are provided. Hypotheses existing now about evolutionary formation of separate sleep phases and stages in vertebrates are considered. In the review are shown the data about correlations of quantitative characteristics of sleep and wake in some mammals with basic metabolic rate, lifestyle, environmental habits. The original experimental results at formation of neurophysiological characteristics of sleep and wake in vertebrates, phylogeny and in ontogeny of mature and immature mammals are provided in detail. On the basis of own concepts about evolutionary development of sleep-wakefulness cycle in vertebrates the interactions of telencephalic, diencephalic and rhombencepalic parts of brain in the processes of cycle wakefulness cycle integration are discussed. PMID:23401913

  19. Explaining large-scale patterns of vertebrate diversity.

    PubMed

    Wiens, John J

    2015-07-01

    The major clades of vertebrates differ dramatically in their current species richness, from 2 to more than 32,000 species each, but the causes of this variation remain poorly understood. For example, a previous study noted that vertebrate clades differ in their diversification rates, but did not explain why they differ. Using a time-calibrated phylogeny and phylogenetic comparative methods, I show that most variation in diversification rates among 12 major vertebrate clades has a simple ecological explanation: predominantly terrestrial clades (i.e. birds, mammals, and lizards and snakes) have higher net diversification rates than predominantly aquatic clades (i.e. amphibians, crocodilians, turtles and all fish clades). These differences in diversification rates are then strongly related to patterns of species richness. Habitat may be more important than other potential explanations for richness patterns in vertebrates (such as climate and metabolic rates) and may also help explain patterns of species richness in many other groups of organisms. PMID:26202428

  20. A Common Fold Mediates Vertebrate Defense and Bacterial Attack

    SciTech Connect

    Rosado, Carlos J.; Buckle, Ashley M.; Law, Ruby H.P.; Butcher, Rebecca E.; Kan, Wan-Ting; Bird, Catherina H.; Ung, Kheng; Browne, Kylie A.; Baran, Katherine; Bashtannyk-Puhalovich, Tanya A.; Faux, Noel G.; Wong, Wilson; Porter, Corrine J.; Pike, Robert N.; Ellisdon, Andrew M.; Pearce, Mary C.; Bottomley, Stephen P.; Emsley, Jonas; Smith, A. Ian; Rossjohn, Jamie; Hartland, Elizabeth L.; Voskoboinik, Ilia; Trapani, Joseph A.; Bird, Phillip I.; Dunstone, Michelle A.; Whisstock, James C.

    2008-10-02

    Proteins containing membrane attack complex/perforin (MACPF) domains play important roles in vertebrate immunity, embryonic development, and neural-cell migration. In vertebrates, the ninth component of complement and perforin form oligomeric pores that lyse bacteria and kill virus-infected cells, respectively. However, the mechanism of MACPF function is unknown. We determined the crystal structure of a bacterial MACPF protein, Plu-MACPF from Photorhabdus luminescens, to 2.0 angstrom resolution. The MACPF domain reveals structural similarity with poreforming cholesterol-dependent cytolysins (CDCs) from Gram-positive bacteria. This suggests that lytic MACPF proteins may use a CDC-like mechanism to form pores and disrupt cell membranes. Sequence similarity between bacterial and vertebrate MACPF domains suggests that the fold of the CDCs, a family of proteins important for bacterial pathogenesis, is probably used by vertebrates for defense against infection.

  1. Explaining large-scale patterns of vertebrate diversity

    PubMed Central

    Wiens, John J.

    2015-01-01

    The major clades of vertebrates differ dramatically in their current species richness, from 2 to more than 32 000 species each, but the causes of this variation remain poorly understood. For example, a previous study noted that vertebrate clades differ in their diversification rates, but did not explain why they differ. Using a time-calibrated phylogeny and phylogenetic comparative methods, I show that most variation in diversification rates among 12 major vertebrate clades has a simple ecological explanation: predominantly terrestrial clades (i.e. birds, mammals, and lizards and snakes) have higher net diversification rates than predominantly aquatic clades (i.e. amphibians, crocodilians, turtles and all fish clades). These differences in diversification rates are then strongly related to patterns of species richness. Habitat may be more important than other potential explanations for richness patterns in vertebrates (such as climate and metabolic rates) and may also help explain patterns of species richness in many other groups of organisms. PMID:26202428

  2. The evolutionary landscape of alternative splicing in vertebrate species.

    PubMed

    Barbosa-Morais, Nuno L; Irimia, Manuel; Pan, Qun; Xiong, Hui Y; Gueroussov, Serge; Lee, Leo J; Slobodeniuc, Valentina; Kutter, Claudia; Watt, Stephen; Colak, Recep; Kim, TaeHyung; Misquitta-Ali, Christine M; Wilson, Michael D; Kim, Philip M; Odom, Duncan T; Frey, Brendan J; Blencowe, Benjamin J

    2012-12-21

    How species with similar repertoires of protein-coding genes differ so markedly at the phenotypic level is poorly understood. By comparing organ transcriptomes from vertebrate species spanning ~350 million years of evolution, we observed significant differences in alternative splicing complexity between vertebrate lineages, with the highest complexity in primates. Within 6 million years, the splicing profiles of physiologically equivalent organs diverged such that they are more strongly related to the identity of a species than they are to organ type. Most vertebrate species-specific splicing patterns are cis-directed. However, a subset of pronounced splicing changes are predicted to remodel protein interactions involving trans-acting regulators. These events likely further contributed to the diversification of splicing and other transcriptomic changes that underlie phenotypic differences among vertebrate species. PMID:23258890

  3. Case Study: Giant Cell Arteritis with Vertebral Artery Stenosis

    PubMed Central

    Daniel Chomlak, R.; Ghazanfari, Farshad; Datta, Mineesh

    2016-01-01

    In giant cell arteritis (GCA), involvement of the vertebral arteries is rare with reported rates of 3%–4% for ischemic events secondary to vertebral artery stenosis or occlusion for those patients with GCA. This case study describes a patient who initially presented with acute onset of vertigo but was also found to have transient, side-alternating upper limb neurological findings. While initial imaging showed no vascular abnormalities, it was not until GCA was eventually confirmed with a temporal artery biopsy that the initial scans were shown to have bilateral narrowing of the vertebral arteries. While rare, vertebral artery involvement is an important complication to consider in the setting of GCA due to the high rate of associated mortality, despite immunosuppressive therapy. PMID:27279753

  4. Relevant signs of stable and unstable thoracolumbar vertebral column trauma

    SciTech Connect

    Gehweiler, J.A.; Daffner, R.H.; Osborne, R.L.

    1981-12-01

    One-hundred and seventeen patients with acute thoracolumbar vertebral column fracture or fracture-dislocations were analyzed and classified into stable (36%) and unstable (64%). Eight helpful roentgen signs were observed that may serve to direct attention to serious underlying, often occult, fractures and dislocations. The changes fall into four principal groups: abnormal soft tissues, abnormal vertebral alignment, abnormal joints, and widened vertebral canal. All stable and unstable lesions showed abnormal soft tissues, while 70% demonstrated kyphosis and/or scoliosis, and an abnormal adjacent intervertebral disk space. All unstable lesions showed one or more of the following signs: displaced vertebra, widened interspinous space, abnormal apophyseal joint(s), and widened vertebral canal.

  5. Duplications of hox gene clusters and the emergence of vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Soshnikova, Natalia; Dewaele, Romain; Janvier, Philippe; Krumlauf, Robb; Duboule, Denis

    2013-06-15

    The vertebrate body plan is characterized by an increased complexity relative to that of all other chordates and large-scale gene amplifications have been associated with key morphological innovations leading to their remarkable evolutionary success. Here, we use compound full Hox clusters deletions to investigate how Hox genes duplications may have contributed to the emergence of vertebrate-specific innovations. We show that the combined deletion of HoxA and HoxB leads to an atavistic heart phenotype, suggesting that the ancestral HoxA/B cluster was co-opted to help in diversifying the complex organ in vertebrates. Other phenotypic effects observed seem to illustrate the resurgence of ancestral (plesiomorphic) features. This indicates that the duplications of Hox clusters were associated with the recruitment or formation of novel cis-regulatory controls, which were key to the evolution of many vertebrate features and hence to the evolutionary radiation of this group.

  6. DESIGN PRINCIPLES OF INSECT AND VERTEBRATE VISUAL SYSTEMS

    PubMed Central

    Sanes, Joshua R.; Zipursky, S. Lawrence

    2010-01-01

    A century ago, Cajal noted striking similarities between the neural circuits that underlie vision in vertebrates and flies. Over the past few decades, structural and functional studies have provided strong support for Cajal’s view. In parallel, genetic studies have revealed some common molecular mechanisms controlling development of vertebrate and fly visual systems and suggested that they share a common evolutionary origin. Here, we review these shared features, focusing on the first several layers - retina, optic tectum (superior colliculus) and lateral geniculate nucleus in vertebrates, and retina, lamina and medulla in fly. We argue that vertebrate and fly visual circuits utilize common design principles, and that taking advantage of this phylogenetic conservation will speed progress in elucidating both functional strategies and developmental mechanisms, as has already occurred in other areas of neurobiology ranging from electrical signaling and synaptic plasticity to neurogenesis and axon guidance. PMID:20399726

  7. Do Vertebrate Gut Metagenomes Confer Rapid Ecological Adaptation?

    PubMed

    Alberdi, Antton; Aizpurua, Ostaizka; Bohmann, Kristine; Zepeda-Mendoza, Marie Lisandra; Gilbert, M Thomas P

    2016-09-01

    During times of rapid environmental change, survival of most vertebrate populations depends on their phenomic plasticity. Although differential gene-expression and post-transcriptional processes of the host genome receive focus as the main molecular mechanisms, growing evidence points to the gut microbiota as a key driver defining hosts' phenotypes. We propose that the plasticity of the gut microbiota might be an essential factor determining phenomic plasticity of vertebrates, and that it might play a pivotal role when vertebrates acclimate and adapt to fast environmental variation. We contemplate some key questions and suggest methodological approaches and experimental designs that can be used to evaluate whether gut microorganisms provide a boost of plasticity to vertebrates' phenomes, thereby increasing their acclimation and adaptation capacity. PMID:27453351

  8. Catalog of microRNA seed polymorphisms in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Zorc, Minja; Skok, Dasa Jevsinek; Godnic, Irena; Calin, George Adrian; Horvat, Simon; Jiang, Zhihua; Dovc, Peter; Kunej, Tanja

    2012-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of non-coding RNA that plays an important role in posttranscriptional regulation of mRNA. Evidence has shown that miRNA gene variability might interfere with its function resulting in phenotypic variation and disease susceptibility. A major role in miRNA target recognition is ascribed to complementarity with the miRNA seed region that can be affected by polymorphisms. In the present study, we developed an online tool for the detection of miRNA polymorphisms (miRNA SNiPer) in vertebrates (http://www.integratomics-time.com/miRNA-SNiPer) and generated a catalog of miRNA seed region polymorphisms (miR-seed-SNPs) consisting of 149 SNPs in six species. Although a majority of detected polymorphisms were due to point mutations, two consecutive nucleotide substitutions (double nucleotide polymorphisms, DNPs) were also identified in nine miRNAs. We determined that miR-SNPs are frequently located within the quantitative trait loci (QTL), chromosome fragile sites, and cancer susceptibility loci, indicating their potential role in the genetic control of various complex traits. To test this further, we performed an association analysis between the mmu-miR-717 seed SNP rs30372501, which is polymorphic in a large number of standard inbred strains, and all phenotypic traits in these strains deposited in the Mouse Phenome Database. Analysis showed a significant association between the mmu-miR-717 seed SNP and a diverse array of traits including behavior, blood-clinical chemistry, body weight size and growth, and immune system suggesting that seed SNPs can indeed have major pleiotropic effects. The bioinformatics analyses, data and tools developed in the present study can serve researchers as a starting point in testing more targeted hypotheses and designing experiments using optimal species or strains for further mechanistic studies.

  9. [Complex forms of behavior in a series of vertebrates].

    PubMed

    Maliukova, I V

    1978-01-01

    Within evolutionary line of vertebrates, correlation between the degree of differentiation of the brain and peculiarities of the formation of complex behavioural acts may be observed. Gradual evolution in the organization of complex motor food-searching conditioned reflexes and the capacity to visual discrimination was revealed in phylogenetic line of vertebrates: elasmobranchs (rays and sharks), marine teleosts, reptiles (terrestrial tortoises), insectivores (hedgehogs), rodents (rats) and primates (lower monkeys).

  10. Vertebral Osteomyelitis Due to Granulicatella Adiacens, a Nutritionally Variant Streptococci

    PubMed Central

    York, Jonathan; Chapman, Jens

    2016-01-01

    Vertebral osteomyelitis is a common pathology affecting the spine. We present the case of a 46-year-old male who was diagnosed with progressive L2 vertebral osteomyelitis due to a rare pathogen, Granulicatella adiacens. Granulicatella adiacens is part of the normal body flora and is often difficult to culture on traditional mediums. The patient required a lateral corpectomy and posterior fixation for spinal stabilization and source control. PMID:27800289

  11. The sarcoplasmic reticulum and the evolution of the vertebrate heart.

    PubMed

    Shiels, Holly A; Galli, Gina L J

    2014-11-01

    The sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) is crucial for contraction and relaxation of the mammalian cardiomyocyte, but its role in other vertebrate classes is equivocal. Recent evidence suggests differences in SR function across species may have an underlying structural basis. Here, we discuss how SR recruitment relates to the structural organization of the cardiomyocyte to provide new insight into the evolution of cardiac design and function in vertebrates.

  12. Functionally conserved enhancers with divergent sequences in distant vertebrates

    SciTech Connect

    Yang, Song; Oksenberg, Nir; Takayama, Sachiko; Heo, Seok -Jin; Poliakov, Alexander; Ahituv, Nadav; Dubchak, Inna; Boffelli, Dario

    2015-10-30

    To examine the contributions of sequence and function conservation in the evolution of enhancers, we systematically identified enhancers whose sequences are not conserved among distant groups of vertebrate species, but have homologous function and are likely to be derived from a common ancestral sequence. In conclusion, our approach combined comparative genomics and epigenomics to identify potential enhancer sequences in the genomes of three groups of distantly related vertebrate species.

  13. Ancient deuterostome origins of vertebrate brain signalling centres.

    PubMed

    Pani, Ariel M; Mullarkey, Erin E; Aronowicz, Jochanan; Assimacopoulos, Stavroula; Grove, Elizabeth A; Lowe, Christopher J

    2012-03-14

    Neuroectodermal signalling centres induce and pattern many novel vertebrate brain structures but are absent, or divergent, in invertebrate chordates. This has led to the idea that signalling-centre genetic programs were first assembled in stem vertebrates and potentially drove morphological innovations of the brain. However, this scenario presumes that extant cephalochordates accurately represent ancestral chordate characters, which has not been tested using close chordate outgroups. Here we report that genetic programs homologous to three vertebrate signalling centres-the anterior neural ridge, zona limitans intrathalamica and isthmic organizer-are present in the hemichordate Saccoglossus kowalevskii. Fgf8/17/18 (a single gene homologous to vertebrate Fgf8, Fgf17 and Fgf18), sfrp1/5, hh and wnt1 are expressed in vertebrate-like arrangements in hemichordate ectoderm, and homologous genetic mechanisms regulate ectodermal patterning in both animals. We propose that these genetic programs were components of an unexpectedly complex, ancient genetic regulatory scaffold for deuterostome body patterning that degenerated in amphioxus and ascidians, but was retained to pattern divergent structures in hemichordates and vertebrates.

  14. Molecular Evolutionary Analysis of β-Defensin Peptides in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Tu, Jianbo; Li, Diyan; Li, Qingqing; Zhang, Long; Zhu, Qing; Gaur, Uma; Fan, Xiaolan; Xu, Huailiang; Yao, Yongfang; Zhao, Xiaoling; Yang, Mingyao

    2015-01-01

    Vertebrate β-defensins comprise an important family of antimicrobial peptides that protect organisms from a diverse spectrum of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoan parasites. Previous studies have shown a marked variation in the number of β-defensins among species, but the underlying reason is unclear. To address this question, we performed comprehensive computational searches to study the intact β-defensin genes from 29 vertebrates. Phylogenetic analysis of the β-defensin genes in vertebrates identified frequent changes in the number of β-defensin genes and multiple species-specific gene gains and losses that have been occurring throughout the evolution of vertebrates. The number of intact β-defensin genes varied from 1 in the western clawed frog to 20 in cattle, with numerous expansions and contractions of the gene family throughout vertebrates, especially among tetrapods. The β-defensin gene number in a species is relevant to the ever-changing microbial challenges from the environment that they inhabit. Selection pressure analysis shows there exist three amino acid sites under significant positive selection. Protein structural characteristics analysis suggests that structural diversity determines the diverse functions of β-defensins. Our study provides a new perspective on the relationships among vertebrate β-defensin gene repertoires and different survival circumstances, which helps explain how β-defensins have evolved. PMID:26056425

  15. A central role for the notochord in vertebral patterning.

    PubMed

    Fleming, Angeleen; Keynes, Roger; Tannahill, David

    2004-02-01

    The vertebrates are defined by their segmented vertebral column, and vertebral periodicity is thought to originate from embryonic segments, the somites. According to the widely accepted 'resegmentation' model, a single vertebra forms from the recombination of the anterior and posterior halves of two adjacent sclerotomes on both sides of the embryo. Although there is supporting evidence for this model in amniotes, it remains uncertain whether it applies to all vertebrates. To explore this, we have investigated vertebral patterning in the zebrafish. Surprisingly, we find that vertebral bodies (centra) arise by secretion of bone matrix from the notochord rather than somites; centra do not form via a cartilage intermediate stage, nor do they contain osteoblasts. Moreover, isolated, cultured notochords secrete bone matrix in vitro, and ablation of notochord cells at segmentally reiterated positions in vivo prevents the formation of centra. Analysis of fss mutant embryos, in which sclerotome segmentation is disrupted, shows that whereas neural arch segmentation is also disrupted, centrum development proceeds normally. These findings suggest that the notochord plays a key, perhaps ancient, role in the segmental patterning of vertebrae.

  16. Molecular Evolutionary Analysis of β-Defensin Peptides in Vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Tu, Jianbo; Li, Diyan; Li, Qingqing; Zhang, Long; Zhu, Qing; Gaur, Uma; Fan, Xiaolan; Xu, Huailiang; Yao, Yongfang; Zhao, Xiaoling; Yang, Mingyao

    2015-01-01

    Vertebrate β-defensins comprise an important family of antimicrobial peptides that protect organisms from a diverse spectrum of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoan parasites. Previous studies have shown a marked variation in the number of β-defensins among species, but the underlying reason is unclear. To address this question, we performed comprehensive computational searches to study the intact β-defensin genes from 29 vertebrates. Phylogenetic analysis of the β-defensin genes in vertebrates identified frequent changes in the number of β-defensin genes and multiple species-specific gene gains and losses that have been occurring throughout the evolution of vertebrates. The number of intact β-defensin genes varied from 1 in the western clawed frog to 20 in cattle, with numerous expansions and contractions of the gene family throughout vertebrates, especially among tetrapods. The β-defensin gene number in a species is relevant to the ever-changing microbial challenges from the environment that they inhabit. Selection pressure analysis shows there exist three amino acid sites under significant positive selection. Protein structural characteristics analysis suggests that structural diversity determines the diverse functions of β-defensins. Our study provides a new perspective on the relationships among vertebrate β-defensin gene repertoires and different survival circumstances, which helps explain how β-defensins have evolved. PMID:26056425

  17. Craniofacial development of hagfishes and the evolution of vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Oisi, Yasuhiro; Ota, Kinya G; Kuraku, Shigehiro; Fujimoto, Satoko; Kuratani, Shigeru

    2013-01-10

    Cyclostomes, the living jawless vertebrates including hagfishes and lampreys, represent the most basal lineage of vertebrates. Although the monophyly of cyclostomes has been supported by recent molecular analyses, the phenotypic traits of hagfishes, especially the lack of some vertebrate-defining features and the reported endodermal origin of the adenohypophysis, have been interpreted as hagfishes exhibiting a more ancestral state than those of all other vertebrates. Furthermore, the adult anatomy of hagfishes cannot be compared easily with that of lampreys. Here we describe the craniofacial development of a series of staged hagfish embryos, which shows that their adenohypophysis arises ectodermally, consistent with the molecular phylogenetic data. This finding also allowed us to identify a pan-cyclostome pattern, one not shared by jawed vertebrates. Comparative analyses indicated that many of the hagfish-specific traits can be explained by changes secondarily introduced into the hagfish lineage. We also propose a possibility that the pan-cyclostome pattern may reflect the ancestral programme for the craniofacial development of all living vertebrates.

  18. The pre-vertebrate origins of neurogenic placodes.

    PubMed

    Abitua, Philip Barron; Gainous, T Blair; Kaczmarczyk, Angela N; Winchell, Christopher J; Hudson, Clare; Kamata, Kaori; Nakagawa, Masashi; Tsuda, Motoyuki; Kusakabe, Takehiro G; Levine, Michael

    2015-08-27

    The sudden appearance of the neural crest and neurogenic placodes in early branching vertebrates has puzzled biologists for over a century. These embryonic tissues contribute to the development of the cranium and associated sensory organs, which were crucial for the evolution of the vertebrate "new head". A previous study suggests that rudimentary neural crest cells existed in ancestral chordates. However, the evolutionary origins of neurogenic placodes have remained obscure owing to a paucity of embryonic data from tunicates, the closest living relatives to those early vertebrates. Here we show that the tunicate Ciona intestinalis exhibits a proto-placodal ectoderm (PPE) that requires inhibition of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) and expresses the key regulatory determinant Six1/2 and its co-factor Eya, a developmental process conserved across vertebrates. The Ciona PPE is shown to produce ciliated neurons that express genes for gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), a G-protein-coupled receptor for relaxin-3 (RXFP3) and a functional cyclic nucleotide-gated channel (CNGA), which suggests dual chemosensory and neurosecretory activities. These observations provide evidence that Ciona has a neurogenic proto-placode, which forms neurons that appear to be related to those derived from the olfactory placode and hypothalamic neurons of vertebrates. We discuss the possibility that the PPE-derived GnRH neurons of Ciona resemble an ancestral cell type, a progenitor to the complex neuronal circuit that integrates sensory information and neuroendocrine functions in vertebrates. PMID:26258298

  19. Audiological findings in patients with oculo-auriculo-vertebral spectrum.

    PubMed

    Sleifer, Pricila; Gorsky, Natalya de Souza; Goetze, Thayse Bienert; Rosa, Rafael Fabiano Machado; Zen, Paulo Ricardo Gazzola

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Oculo-auriculo-vertebral spectrum, also referred to as Goldenhar syndrome, is a condition characterized by alterations involving the development of the structures of the first and second branchial arches. The abnormalities primarily affect the face, the eyes, the spine, and the ears, and the auricular abnormalities are associated with possible hearing loss. Objective To analyze the audiological findings of patients with oculo-auriculo-vertebral spectrum through liminal pure-tone audiometry and speech audiometry test. Methods Cross-sectional study conducted on 10 patients with oculo-auriculo-vertebral spectrum and clinical findings on at least two of the following areas: orocraniofacial, ocular, auricular, and vertebral. All patients underwent tonal and vocal hearing evaluations. Results Seven patients were male and three were female; all had ear abnormalities, and the right side was the most often affected. Conductive hearing loss was the most common (found in 10 ears), followed by sensorineural hearing loss (in five ears), with mixed hearing loss in only one ear. The impairment of the hearing loss ranged from mild to moderate, with one case of profound loss. Conclusions The results show a higher frequency of conductive hearing loss among individuals with the oculo-auriculo-vertebral spectrum phenotype, especially moderate loss affecting the right side. Furthermore, research in auditory thresholds in the oculo-auriculo-vertebral spectrum is important in speech therapy findings about the disease to facilitate early intervention for possible alterations. PMID:25992144

  20. The origin of conodonts and of vertebrate mineralized skeletons

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Murdock, Duncan J.E.; Dong, Xi-Ping; Repetski, John E.; Marone, Federica; Stampanoni, Marco; Donoghue, Philip C.J.

    2013-01-01

    Conodonts are an extinct group of jawless vertebrates whose tooth-like elements are the earliest instance of a mineralized skeleton in the vertebrate lineage, inspiring the ‘inside-out’ hypothesis that teeth evolved independently of the vertebrate dermal skeleton and before the origin of jaws. However, these propositions have been based on evidence from derived euconodonts. Here we test hypotheses of a paraconodont ancestry of euconodonts using synchrotron radiation X-ray tomographic microscopy to characterize and compare the microstructure of morphologically similar euconodont and paraconodont elements. Paraconodonts exhibit a range of grades of structural differentiation, including tissues and a pattern of growth common to euconodont basal bodies. The different grades of structural differentiation exhibited by paraconodonts demonstrate the stepwise acquisition of euconodont characters, resolving debate over the relationship between these two groups. By implication, the putative homology of euconodont crown tissue and vertebrate enamel must be rejected as these tissues have evolved independently and convergently. Thus, the precise ontogenetic, structural and topological similarities between conodont elements and vertebrate odontodes appear to be a remarkable instance of convergence. The last common ancestor of conodonts and jawed vertebrates probably lacked mineralized skeletal tissues. The hypothesis that teeth evolved before jaws and the inside-out hypothesis of dental evolution must be rejected; teeth seem to have evolved through the extension of odontogenic competence from the external dermis to internal epithelium soon after the origin of jaws.

  1. Facultative parthenogenesis in vertebrates: reproductive error or chance?

    PubMed

    Lampert, K P

    2008-01-01

    Parthenogenesis, the development of an embryo from a female gamete without any contribution of a male gamete, is very rare in vertebrates. Parthenogenetically reproducing species have, so far, only been found in the Squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes). Facultative parthenogenesis, switching between sexual and clonal reproduction, although quite common in invertebrates, e.g. Daphnia and aphids, seems to be even rarer in vertebrates. However, isolated cases of parthenogenetic development have been reported in all vertebrate groups. Facultative parthenogenesis in vertebrates has only been found in captive animals but might simply have been overlooked in natural populations. Even though its evolutionary impact is hard to determine and very likely varies depending on the ploidy restoration mechanisms and sex-determining mechanisms involved, facultative parthenogenesis is already discussed in conservation biology and medical research. To raise interest for facultative parthenogenesis especially in evolutionary biology, I summarize the current knowledge about facultative parthenogenesis in the different vertebrate groups, introduce mechanisms of diploid oocyte formation and discuss the genetic consequences and potential evolutionary impact of facultative parthenogenesis in vertebrates.

  2. Audiological Findings in Patients with Oculo-Auriculo-Vertebral Spectrum

    PubMed Central

    Sleifer, Pricila; Gorsky, Natalya de Souza; Goetze, Thayse Bienert; Rosa, Rafael Fabiano Machado; Zen, Paulo Ricardo Gazzola

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Oculo-auriculo-vertebral spectrum, also referred to as Goldenhar syndrome, is a condition characterized by alterations involving the development of the structures of the first and second branchial arches. The abnormalities primarily affect the face, the eyes, the spine, and the ears, and the auricular abnormalities are associated with possible hearing loss. Objective To analyze the audiological findings of patients with oculo-auriculo-vertebral spectrum through liminal pure-tone audiometry and speech audiometry test. Methods Cross-sectional study conducted on 10 patients with oculo-auriculo-vertebral spectrum and clinical findings on at least two of the following areas: orocraniofacial, ocular, auricular, and vertebral. All patients underwent tonal and vocal hearing evaluations. Results Seven patients were male and three were female; all had ear abnormalities, and the right side was the most often affected. Conductive hearing loss was the most common (found in 10 ears), followed by sensorineural hearing loss (in five ears), with mixed hearing loss in only one ear. The impairment of the hearing loss ranged from mild to moderate, with one case of profound loss. Conclusions The results show a higher frequency of conductive hearing loss among individuals with the oculo-auriculo-vertebral spectrum phenotype, especially moderate loss affecting the right side. Furthermore, research in auditory thresholds in the oculo-auriculo-vertebral spectrum is important in speech therapy findings about the disease to facilitate early intervention for possible alterations. PMID:25992144

  3. Bow hunter's syndrome secondary to bilateral dynamic vertebral artery compression.

    PubMed

    Healy, Andrew T; Lee, Bryan S; Walsh, Kevin; Bain, Mark D; Krishnaney, Ajit A

    2015-01-01

    Bow hunter's syndrome is a condition in which vertebrobasilar insufficiency is resultant from head rotation, clinically manifested by presyncopal sensation, syncope, dizziness, and nausea. It is usually diagnosed clinically, with supporting vascular imaging demonstrating an occluded or at the very least compromised unilateral vertebral artery, while the dominant vertebral artery remains patent in the neutral position. Dynamic imaging is utilized to confirm the rotational compression of the dominant vertebral artery. We present the rare case of a patient with typical Bow hunter's symptoms, bilaterally patent vertebral arteries on neutral imaging, and bilateral compromise with head rotation. Our patient underwent posterior decompression of the culprit atlanto-axial transverse foramen and subaxial cervical fusion, with resolution of his symptoms. Our patient exemplifies the possibility of bilateral dynamic vertebral artery occlusion. We show that Bow hunter's syndrome cannot be ruled out in the setting of bilaterally patent vertebral arteries on neutral imaging and that severe cervical spondylosis should impart further clinical suspicion of this unusual phenomenon. PMID:25070633

  4. GC skew is a conserved property of unmethylated CpG island promoters across vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Hartono, Stella R.; Korf, Ian F.; Chédin, Frédéric

    2015-01-01

    GC skew is a measure of the strand asymmetry in the distribution of guanines and cytosines. GC skew favors R-loops, a type of three stranded nucleic acid structures that form upon annealing of an RNA strand to one strand of DNA, creating a persistent RNA:DNA hybrid. Previous studies show that GC skew is prevalent at thousands of human CpG island (CGI) promoters and transcription termination regions, which correspond to hotspots of R-loop formation. Here, we investigated the conservation of GC skew patterns in 60 sequenced chordates genomes. We report that GC skew is a conserved sequence characteristic of the CGI promoter class in vertebrates. Furthermore, we reveal that promoter GC skew peaks at the exon 1/ intron1 junction and that it is highly correlated with gene age and CGI promoter strength. Our data also show that GC skew is predictive of unmethylated CGI promoters in a range of vertebrate species and that it imparts significant DNA hypomethylation for promoters with intermediate CpG densities. Finally, we observed that terminal GC skew is conserved for a subset of vertebrate genes that tend to be located significantly closer to their downstream neighbors, consistent with a role for R-loop formation in transcription termination. PMID:26253743

  5. Deep learning for automatic localization, identification, and segmentation of vertebral bodies in volumetric MR images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suzani, Amin; Rasoulian, Abtin; Seitel, Alexander; Fels, Sidney; Rohling, Robert N.; Abolmaesumi, Purang

    2015-03-01

    This paper proposes an automatic method for vertebra localization, labeling, and segmentation in multi-slice Magnetic Resonance (MR) images. Prior work in this area on MR images mostly requires user interaction while our method is fully automatic. Cubic intensity-based features are extracted from image voxels. A deep learning approach is used for simultaneous localization and identification of vertebrae. The localized points are refined by local thresholding in the region of the detected vertebral column. Thereafter, a statistical multi-vertebrae model is initialized on the localized vertebrae. An iterative Expectation Maximization technique is used to register the vertebral body of the model to the image edges and obtain a segmentation of the lumbar vertebral bodies. The method is evaluated by applying to nine volumetric MR images of the spine. The results demonstrate 100% vertebra identification and a mean surface error of below 2.8 mm for 3D segmentation. Computation time is less than three minutes per high-resolution volumetric image.

  6. Comparative genetic diversity of Lyme disease bacteria in Northern Californian ticks and their vertebrate hosts.

    PubMed

    Swei, Andrea; Bowie, Verna C; Bowie, Rauri C K

    2015-04-01

    Vector-borne pathogens are transmitted between vertebrate hosts and arthropod vectors, two immensely different environments for the pathogen. There is further differentiation among vertebrate hosts that often have complex, species-specific immunological responses to the pathogen. All this presents a heterogeneous environmental and immunological landscape with possible consequences on the population genetic structure of the pathogen. We evaluated the differential genetic diversity of the Lyme disease pathogen, Borrelia burgdorferi, in its vector, the western black-legged tick (Ixodes pacificus), and in its mammal host community using the 5S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer region. We found differences in haplotype distribution of B. burgdorferi in tick populations from two counties in California as well as between a sympatric tick and vertebrate host community. In addition, we found that three closely related haplotypes consistently occurred in high frequency in all sample types. Lastly, our study found lower species diversity of the B. burgdorferi species complex, known as B. burgdorferi sensu lato, in small mammal hosts versus the tick populations in a sympatric study area.

  7. Two Rounds of Whole Genome Duplication in the AncestralVertebrate

    SciTech Connect

    Dehal, Paramvir; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2005-04-12

    The hypothesis that the relatively large and complex vertebrate genome was created by two ancient, whole genome duplications has been hotly debated, but remains unresolved. We reconstructed the evolutionary relationships of all gene families from the complete gene sets of a tunicate, fish, mouse, and human, then determined when each gene duplicated relative to the evolutionary tree of the organisms. We confirmed the results of earlier studies that there remains little signal of these events in numbers of duplicated genes, gene tree topology, or the number of genes per multigene family. However, when we plotted the genomic map positions of only the subset of paralogous genes that were duplicated prior to the fish-tetrapod split, their global physical organization provides unmistakable evidence of two distinct genome duplication events early in vertebrate evolution indicated by clear patterns of 4-way paralogous regions covering a large part of the human genome. Our results highlight the potential for these large-scale genomic events to have driven the evolutionary success of the vertebrate lineage.

  8. Evolutionary origins of the vertebrate dentition: phylogenetic patterns and developmental evolution.

    PubMed

    Smith, M M; Coates, M I

    1998-01-01

    The theory that teeth evolved from dermal denticles linked with the origin of jaws no longer accounts for the diversity of new data emerging from the fossil record. We have reviewed oropharyngeal dental patterns in all fossil groups of early vertebrates to establish the primitive condition, in order to understand the polarity of change. The evolutionary precedence of dermal denticles before teeth now seems less likely; both may be alternative manifestations of a common morphogenetic system. This developmental system involves regulatory changes affecting the odontode, a fundamental exoskeletal unit, and can explain skeletal diversity. However, tooth and denticle differences may have diverged at loci deep within vertebrate phylogeny, as real differences exist between them. Teeth were conceived as evolving from non-growing odontodes with regulation of precise increase in size, position, sequence of time of development, and polarity of shape. A characteristic feature of teeth is the ability to replace from a developing sequence, programmed with these parameters, prior to demand. Tooth whorls, a feature of denticles in the oropharyngeal region, may be regarded as a preadaptation of this tooth replacement mechanism. The new fossil evidence suggests that teeth may have evolved from these more specialised oropharyngeal denticles in agnathan vertebrates.

  9. Cis-regulatory programs in the development and evolution of vertebrate paired appendages.

    PubMed

    Gehrke, Andrew R; Shubin, Neil H

    2016-09-01

    Differential gene expression is the core of development, mediating the genetic changes necessary for determining cell identity. The regulation of gene activity by cis-acting elements (e.g., enhancers) is a crucial mechanism for determining differential gene activity by precise control of gene expression in embryonic space and time. Modifications to regulatory regions can have profound impacts on phenotype, and therefore developmental and evolutionary biologists have increasingly focused on elucidating the transcriptional control of genes that build and pattern body plans. Here, we trace the evolutionary history of transcriptional control of three loci key to vertebrate appendage development (Fgf8, Shh, and HoxD/A). Within and across these regulatory modules, we find both complex and flexible regulation in contrast with more fixed enhancers that appear unchanged over vast timescales of vertebrate evolution. The transcriptional control of vertebrate appendage development was likely already incredibly complex in the common ancestor of fish, implying that subtle changes to regulatory networks were more likely responsible for alterations in phenotype rather than the de novo addition of whole regulatory domains. Finally, we discuss the dangers of relying on inter-species transgenesis when testing enhancer function, and call for more controlled regulatory swap experiments when inferring the evolutionary history of enhancer elements. PMID:26783722

  10. Interferon regulatory factor 10 (IRF10): Cloning in orange spotted grouper, Epinephelus coioides, and evolutionary analysis in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Huang, Bei; Jia, Qin Qin; Liang, Ying; Huang, Wen Shu; Nie, P

    2015-10-01

    IRF10 gene was cloned in orange spotted grouper, Epinephelus coioides, and its expression was examined following poly(I:C) stimulation and bacterial infection. The cDNA sequence of grouper IRF10 contains an open reading frame of 1197 bp, flanked by 99 bp 5'-untranslated region and 480 bp 3'- untranslated region. Multiple alignments showed that the grouper IRF10 has a highly conserved DNA binding domain in the N terminus with characteristic motif containing five tryptophan residues. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis revealed that the expression of IRF10 was responsive to both poly(I:C) stimulation and Vibrio parahemolyticus infection, with a higher increase to poly(I:C), indicating an important role of IRF10 in host immune response during infection. A phyletic distribution of IRF members was also examined in vertebrates, and IRF10 was found in most lineages of vertebrates, not in modern primates and rodents. It is suggested that the first divergence of IRF members might have occurred before the evolutionary split of vertebrate and cephalochordates, producing ancestors of IRF (1/2/11) and IRF (4/8/9/10)[(3/7) (5/6)], and that the second and/or third divergence of IRF members occurred following the split, thus leading to the subsets of the IRF family in vertebrates. PMID:26260314

  11. Interferon regulatory factor 10 (IRF10): Cloning in orange spotted grouper, Epinephelus coioides, and evolutionary analysis in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Huang, Bei; Jia, Qin Qin; Liang, Ying; Huang, Wen Shu; Nie, P

    2015-10-01

    IRF10 gene was cloned in orange spotted grouper, Epinephelus coioides, and its expression was examined following poly(I:C) stimulation and bacterial infection. The cDNA sequence of grouper IRF10 contains an open reading frame of 1197 bp, flanked by 99 bp 5'-untranslated region and 480 bp 3'- untranslated region. Multiple alignments showed that the grouper IRF10 has a highly conserved DNA binding domain in the N terminus with characteristic motif containing five tryptophan residues. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis revealed that the expression of IRF10 was responsive to both poly(I:C) stimulation and Vibrio parahemolyticus infection, with a higher increase to poly(I:C), indicating an important role of IRF10 in host immune response during infection. A phyletic distribution of IRF members was also examined in vertebrates, and IRF10 was found in most lineages of vertebrates, not in modern primates and rodents. It is suggested that the first divergence of IRF members might have occurred before the evolutionary split of vertebrate and cephalochordates, producing ancestors of IRF (1/2/11) and IRF (4/8/9/10)[(3/7) (5/6)], and that the second and/or third divergence of IRF members occurred following the split, thus leading to the subsets of the IRF family in vertebrates.

  12. Emergence of an Ancestral Glycoprotein Hormone in the Pituitary of the Sea Lamprey, a Basal Vertebrate.

    PubMed

    Sower, Stacia A; Decatur, Wayne A; Hausken, Krist N; Marquis, Timothy J; Barton, Shannon L; Gargan, James; Freamat, Mihael; Wilmot, Michael; Hollander, Lian; Hall, Jeffrey A; Nozaki, Masumi; Shpilman, Michal; Levavi-Sivan, Berta

    2015-08-01

    The gnathostome (jawed vertebrates) classical pituitary glycoprotein hormones, FSH, LH, and TSH, consist of a common α-subunit (GpA1) and unique β-subunits (Gpβ1, -2, and -3), whereas a recently identified pituitary glycoprotein hormone, thyrostimulin, consists of GpA2 and GpB5. This paper reports the identification, expression, and function of an ancestral, nonclassical, pituitary heterodimeric glycoprotein hormone (GpH) consisting of the thyrostimulin A2 subunit with the classical β-subunit in the sea lamprey, Petromyzon marinus, a jawless basal vertebrate. Lamprey (l) GpA2, and lGpHβ were shown to form a heterodimer by coimmunoprecipitation of lGpA2 with FLAG-tagged lGpHβ after the overexpression in transiently transfected COS7 cells using a bipromoter vector. Dual-label fluorescent in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry showed the coexpression of individual subunits in the proximal pars distalis of the pituitary. GnRH-III (1μΜ) significantly increased the expression of lGpHβ and lGpA2 in in vitro pituitary culture. Recombinant lamprey GpH was constructed by tethering the N terminal of lGpA2 to the C terminal of lGpHβ with a linker region composed of six histidine residues followed by three glycine-serine repeats. This recombinant lamprey GpH activated the lamprey glycoprotein hormone receptor I as measured by increased cAMP/luciferase activity. These data are the first to demonstrate a functional, unique glycoprotein heterodimer that is not found in any other vertebrate. These data suggest an intermediate stage of the structure-function of the gonadotropin/thyroid-stimulating hormone in a basal vertebrate, leading to the emergence of the highly specialized gonadotropin hormones and thyroid stimulating hormones in gnathostomes.

  13. Implications of Scientific Collaboration Networks on Studies of Aquatic Vertebrates in the Brazilian Amazon.

    PubMed

    Salinero, María Celeste; Michalski, Fernanda

    2016-01-01

    The quantity of wildlife extracted from the Amazon has increased in the past decades as a consequence of an increase in human population density and income growth. To evaluate the spatial distribution of studies on subsistence and/or commercial hunting conducted in the Brazilian Amazon, we selected eight mid-sized and large-bodied aquatic vertebrate species with a history of human exploitation in the region. We used a combination of searches in the gray and scientific literature from the past 24 years to provide an updated distributional map of studies on the target species. We calculated the distances between the study sites and the locations of the research institutes/universities that the first and last authors of the same study were affiliated to. For the period of 1990 to 2014, we found 105 studies on the subsistence and/or commercial hunting of aquatic vertebrates in the Brazilian Amazon in 271 locations that involved 43 institutions (37 Brazilian and 6 international). The spatial distribution of the studies across the Brazilian Amazon varied, but over 80% took place in the northeast and central Amazon, encompassing three States of the Legal Brazilian Amazon (Amazonas, 51.42%; Pará, 19.05%; and Amapá, 16.19%). Over half of the research study sites (52.91%) were within 500 km of the research institute/university of the first or last authors. Some research institutes/universities did not have any inter-institutional collaborations, while others collaborated with eight or more institutes. Some research institutes/universities conducted many studies, had an extensive collaboration network, and contributed greatly to the network of studies on Amazonian aquatic vertebrates. Our research contributes to the knowledge of studies on the subsistence and/or commercial hunting of the most exploited aquatic vertebrates of the Brazilian Amazon, illustrates the impact that collaboration networks have on research, and highlights potential areas for improvement and the

  14. Implications of Scientific Collaboration Networks on Studies of Aquatic Vertebrates in the Brazilian Amazon

    PubMed Central

    Salinero, María Celeste; Michalski, Fernanda

    2016-01-01

    The quantity of wildlife extracted from the Amazon has increased in the past decades as a consequence of an increase in human population density and income growth. To evaluate the spatial distribution of studies on subsistence and/or commercial hunting conducted in the Brazilian Amazon, we selected eight mid-sized and large-bodied aquatic vertebrate species with a history of human exploitation in the region. We used a combination of searches in the gray and scientific literature from the past 24 years to provide an updated distributional map of studies on the target species. We calculated the distances between the study sites and the locations of the research institutes/universities that the first and last authors of the same study were affiliated to. For the period of 1990 to 2014, we found 105 studies on the subsistence and/or commercial hunting of aquatic vertebrates in the Brazilian Amazon in 271 locations that involved 43 institutions (37 Brazilian and 6 international). The spatial distribution of the studies across the Brazilian Amazon varied, but over 80% took place in the northeast and central Amazon, encompassing three States of the Legal Brazilian Amazon (Amazonas, 51.42%; Pará, 19.05%; and Amapá, 16.19%). Over half of the research study sites (52.91%) were within 500 km of the research institute/university of the first or last authors. Some research institutes/universities did not have any inter-institutional collaborations, while others collaborated with eight or more institutes. Some research institutes/universities conducted many studies, had an extensive collaboration network, and contributed greatly to the network of studies on Amazonian aquatic vertebrates. Our research contributes to the knowledge of studies on the subsistence and/or commercial hunting of the most exploited aquatic vertebrates of the Brazilian Amazon, illustrates the impact that collaboration networks have on research, and highlights potential areas for improvement and the

  15. Implications of Scientific Collaboration Networks on Studies of Aquatic Vertebrates in the Brazilian Amazon.

    PubMed

    Salinero, María Celeste; Michalski, Fernanda

    2016-01-01

    The quantity of wildlife extracted from the Amazon has increased in the past decades as a consequence of an increase in human population density and income growth. To evaluate the spatial distribution of studies on subsistence and/or commercial hunting conducted in the Brazilian Amazon, we selected eight mid-sized and large-bodied aquatic vertebrate species with a history of human exploitation in the region. We used a combination of searches in the gray and scientific literature from the past 24 years to provide an updated distributional map of studies on the target species. We calculated the distances between the study sites and the locations of the research institutes/universities that the first and last authors of the same study were affiliated to. For the period of 1990 to 2014, we found 105 studies on the subsistence and/or commercial hunting of aquatic vertebrates in the Brazilian Amazon in 271 locations that involved 43 institutions (37 Brazilian and 6 international). The spatial distribution of the studies across the Brazilian Amazon varied, but over 80% took place in the northeast and central Amazon, encompassing three States of the Legal Brazilian Amazon (Amazonas, 51.42%; Pará, 19.05%; and Amapá, 16.19%). Over half of the research study sites (52.91%) were within 500 km of the research institute/university of the first or last authors. Some research institutes/universities did not have any inter-institutional collaborations, while others collaborated with eight or more institutes. Some research institutes/universities conducted many studies, had an extensive collaboration network, and contributed greatly to the network of studies on Amazonian aquatic vertebrates. Our research contributes to the knowledge of studies on the subsistence and/or commercial hunting of the most exploited aquatic vertebrates of the Brazilian Amazon, illustrates the impact that collaboration networks have on research, and highlights potential areas for improvement and the

  16. A novel vertebral stabilization method for producing contusive spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Walker, Melissa J; Walker, Chandler L; Zhang, Y Ping; Shields, Lisa B E; Shields, Christopher B; Xu, Xiao-Ming

    2015-01-01

    Clinically-relevant animal cervical spinal cord injury (SCI) models are essential for developing and testing potential therapies; however, producing reliable cervical SCI is difficult due to lack of satisfactory methods of vertebral stabilization. The conventional method to stabilize the spine is to suspend the rostral and caudal cervical spine via clamps attached to cervical spinous processes.  However, this method of stabilization fails to prevent tissue yielding during the contusion as the cervical spinal processes are too short to be effectively secured by the clamps (Figure 1).  Here we introduce a new method to completely stabilize the cervical vertebra at the same level of the impact injury.  This method effectively minimizes movement of the spinal column at the site of impact, which greatly improves the production of consistent SCIs.  We provide visual description of the equipment (Figure 2-4), methods, and a step-by-step protocol for the stabilization of the cervical 5 vertebra (C5) of adult rats, to perform laminectomy (Figure 5) and produce a contusive SCI thereafter.  Although we only demonstrate a cervical hemi-contusion using the NYU/MASCIS impactor device, this vertebral stabilization technique can be applied to other regions of the spinal cord, or be adapted to other SCI devices.  Improving spinal cord exposure and fixation through vertebral stabilization may be valuable for producing consistent and reliable injuries to the spinal cord.  This vertebral stabilization method can also be used for stereotactic injections of cells and tracers, and for imaging using two-photon microscopy in various neurobiological studies. PMID:25590284

  17. A Novel Vertebral Stabilization Method for Producing Contusive Spinal Cord Injury

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Y. Ping; Shields, Lisa B. E.; Shields, Christopher B.; Xu, Xiao-Ming

    2015-01-01

    Clinically-relevant animal cervical spinal cord injury (SCI) models are essential for developing and testing potential therapies; however, producing reliable cervical SCI is difficult due to lack of satisfactory methods of vertebral stabilization. The conventional method to stabilize the spine is to suspend the rostral and caudal cervical spine via clamps attached to cervical spinous processes.  However, this method of stabilization fails to prevent tissue yielding during the contusion as the cervical spinal processes are too short to be effectively secured by the clamps (Figure 1).  Here we introduce a new method to completely stabilize the cervical vertebra at the same level of the impact injury.  This method effectively minimizes movement of the spinal column at the site of impact, which greatly improves the production of consistent SCIs.  We provide visual description of the equipment (Figure 2-4), methods, and a step-by-step protocol for the stabilization of the cervical 5 vertebra (C5) of adult rats, to perform laminectomy (Figure 5) and produce a contusive SCI thereafter.  Although we only demonstrate a cervical hemi-contusion using the NYU/MASCIS impactor device, this vertebral stabilization technique can be applied to other regions of the spinal cord, or be adapted to other SCI devices.  Improving spinal cord exposure and fixation through vertebral stabilization may be valuable for producing consistent and reliable injuries to the spinal cord.  This vertebral stabilization method can also be used for stereotactic injections of cells and tracers, and for imaging using two-photon microscopy in various neurobiological studies. PMID:25590284

  18. DNA Editing of LTR Retrotransposons Reveals the Impact of APOBECs on Vertebrate Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Knisbacher, Binyamin A.; Levanon, Erez Y.

    2016-01-01

    Long terminal repeat retrotransposons (LTR) are widespread in vertebrates and their dynamism facilitates genome evolution. However, these endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) must be restricted to maintain genomic stability. The APOBECs, a protein family that can edit C-to-U in DNA, do so by interfering with reverse transcription and hypermutating retrotransposon DNA. In some cases, a retrotransposon may integrate into the genome despite being hypermutated. Such an event introduces a unique sequence into the genome, increasing retrotransposon diversity and the probability of developing new function at the locus of insertion. The prevalence of this phenomenon and its effects on vertebrate genomes are still unclear. In this study, we screened ERV sequences in the genomes of 123 diverse species and identified hundreds of thousands of edited sites in multiple vertebrate lineages, including placental mammals, marsupials, and birds. Numerous edited ERVs carry high mutation loads, some with greater than 350 edited sites, profoundly damaging their open-reading frames. For many of the species studied, this is the first evidence that APOBECs are active players in their innate immune system. Unexpectedly, some birds and especially zebra finch and medium ground-finch (one of Darwin’s finches) are exceptionally enriched in DNA editing. We demonstrate that edited retrotransposons may be preferentially retained in active genomic regions, as reflected from their enrichment in genes, exons, promoters, and transcription start sites, thereby raising the probability of their exaptation for novel function. In conclusion, DNA editing of retrotransposons by APOBECs has a substantial role in vertebrate innate immunity and may boost genome evolution. PMID:26541172

  19. Molecular signatures that are distinctive characteristics of the vertebrates and chordates and supporting a grouping of vertebrates with the tunicates.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Radhey S

    2016-01-01

    Members of the phylum Chordata and the subphylum Vertebrata are presently distinguished solely on the basis of morphological characteristics. The relationship of the vertebrates to the two non-vertebrate chordate subphyla is also a subject of debate. Analyses of protein sequences have identified multiple conserved signature indels (CSIs) that are specific for Chordata or for Vertebrata. Five CSIs in 4 important proteins are specific for the Vertebrata, whereas two other CSIs are uniquely found in all sequenced chordate species including Ciona intestinalis and Oikapleura dioica (Tunicates) as well as Branchiostoma floridae (Cephalochordates). The shared presence of these molecular signatures by all vertebrates/chordate species, but in no other animal taxa, strongly indicates that the genetic changes represented by the identified CSIs diagnose monophyletic groups. Two other discovered CSIs are uniquely shared by different vertebrate species and by either one (Ciona intestinalis) or both tunicate (Ciona and Oikapleura) species, but they are not found in Branchiostoma or other animal species. Specific presence of these CSIs in different vertebrates and either one or both tunicate species provides strong independent evidence that the vertebrate species are more closely related to the urochordates (tunicates) than to the cephalochordates. PMID:26419477

  20. Computer Simulation and Analysis on Flow Characteristics and Distribution Patterns of Polymethylmethacrylate in Lumbar Vertebral Body and Vertebral Pedicle

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Da; Liu, Xu-li; Zhang, Bo; Liao, Dong-fa; Li, Zhi-qiang; Zhou, Jiang-jun; Kang, Xia; Zheng, Wei; Lei, Wei

    2015-01-01

    This study was designed to analyze the flow and distribution of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) in vertebral body through computer simulation. Cadaveric lumbar vertebrae were scanned through electron beam tomography (EBT). The data was imported into Mimics software to build computational model. Vertebral body center and junction of pedicle and vertebral body were chosen as injection points. Silicone oil with viscosity of 100,000 cSt matching with PMMA bone cement was chosen for injection. The flow and distribution of silicone oil were analyzed using Fluent software. In vertebral body, silicone oil formed a circle-like shape centered by injection point on transverse and longitudinal sections, finally forming a sphere-like shape as a whole. Silicone oil diffused along lateral and posterior walls forming a circle-like shape on transverse section centered by injection point in pedicle, eventually forming a sphere-like shape as a whole. This study demonstrated that silicone oil flowed and diffused into a circle-like shape centered by injection point and finally formed a sphere-like shape as a whole in both vertebral body and pedicle. The flow and distribution of silicon oil in computational model could simulate PMMA distribution in vertebral body. It may provide theoretical evidence to reduce PMMA leakage risk during percutaneous vertebroplasty. PMID:26770969

  1. An experimental and morphometric test of the relationship between vertebral morphology and joint stiffness in Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus).

    PubMed

    Molnar, Julia L; Pierce, Stephanie E; Hutchinson, John R

    2014-03-01

    Despite their semi-aquatic mode of life, modern crocodylians use a wide range of terrestrial locomotor behaviours, including asymmetrical gaits otherwise only found in mammals. The key to these diverse abilities may lie in the axial skeleton. Correlations between vertebral morphology and both intervertebral joint stiffness and locomotor behaviour have been found in other animals, but the vertebral mechanics of crocodylians have not yet been experimentally and quantitatively tested. We measured the passive mechanics and morphology of the thoracolumbar vertebral column in Crocodylus niloticus in order to validate a method to infer intervertebral joint stiffness based on morphology. Passive stiffness of eight thoracic and lumbar joints was tested in dorsal extension, ventral flexion and mediolateral flexion using cadaveric specimens. Fifteen measurements that we deemed to be potential correlates of stiffness were taken from each vertebra and statistically tested for correlation with joint stiffness. We found that the vertebral column of C. niloticus is stiffer in dorsoventral flexion than in lateral flexion and, in contrast to that of many mammals, shows an increase in joint stiffness in the lumbar region. Our findings suggest that the role of the axial column in crocodylian locomotion may be functionally different from that in mammals, even during analogous gaits. A moderate proportion of variation in joint stiffness (R(2)=0.279-0.520) was predicted by centrum width and height, neural spine angle and lamina width. These results support the possible utility of some vertebral morphometrics in predicting mechanical properties of the vertebral column in crocodiles, which also should be useful for forming functional hypotheses of axial motion during locomotion in extinct archosaurs.

  2. Effects of reconstruction of a pre-European vertebrate assemblage on ground-dwelling arachnids in arid Australia.

    PubMed

    Silvey, Colin J; Hayward, Matthew W; Gibb, Heloise

    2015-06-01

    Species loss can result in changes in assemblage structure and ecosystem function through ecological cascades. Australian vertebrate assemblages changed significantly following European colonisation, which resulted in the establishment of invasive vertebrates and the loss of native marsupials, many of which consume invertebrates. Conservation focusses on the removal of invasive carnivores and the reintroduction of regionally extinct species to fenced sites, resulting in what could be considered a reconstruction of pre-European vertebrate assemblages. In semi-arid Australian spinifex mallee ecosystems, we asked: (1) what is the effect of reconstructed pre-European vertebrate assemblages on native arachnid assemblages? and (2) what direct or indirect mechanisms (predation, disturbance and/or competition) could plausibly be responsible for these effects? We compared sites with reconstructed vertebrate assemblages with paired control sites. Arachnids were sampled using pitfall trapping and direct searching. Hypotheses regarding mechanisms were tested using scat analysis (predation) and by comparing burrow depth (disturbance) and scorpion mass (competition) between control and reconstructed sites. The dominant dune scorpion, Urodacus yaschenkoi, was less abundant and a wolf spider (Lycosa gibsoni species group) more abundant in reconstructed sites. Differences in spider assemblage composition were marginally non-significant. Scat analysis confirmed native vertebrate predation on scorpions and we found no evidence that competition or disturbance affected scorpions. We, thus, suggest that changes in spider assemblages may have resulted from ecological cascades via decreases in dune scorpions. The loss of omnivorous mammals and other changes associated with the invasion of carnivores may, therefore, have had broad-reaching consequences for native arachnid assemblages in Australian ecosystems.

  3. Environmental contaminant exposure data and monitoring priorities for wild terrestrial vertebrates at national parks in coastal and estuarine habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; Ackerson, B.K.; Eisenreich, K.M.; McKernan, M.A.; Harmon, David

    2006-01-01

    The Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends (BEST) Project of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) assesses the exposure and effects of environmental contaminants on select species and habitats in the United States. One of the many BEST Project activities entails the development of decision-support tools to assist in the identification of chemical threats to species and lands under the stewardship of the Department of the Interior. Although there are many ecotoxicological monitoring programs that focus on aquatic species and habitats, there are currently no large-scale efforts that are focused on terrestrial vertebrates in the United States. Nonetheless, organochlorine contaminants, metals, and new pollutants continue to pose hazards to terrestrial vertebrates at many spatial scales (ranging from small hazardous-waste-site point sources to entire watersheds). To evaluate and prioritize pollutant hazards for terrestrial vertebrates, a ?Contaminant Exposure and EffectsTerrestrial Vertebrates? (CEE-TV) database (www.pwrc.usgs.gov/contaminants-online) was developed. The CEE-TV database has been used to conduct simple searches for exposure and biological effects information for a given species or location, identification of temporal contaminant exposure trends, information gap analyses for national wildlife refuge and national park units, and ranking of terrestrial vertebrate ecotoxicological information needs based on data density and water quality problems. Despite widespread concerns about environmental contamination, during the past decade only about one-half of the coastal National Park units appear to have terrestrial vertebrate ecotoxicological data. Based upon known environmental contaminant hazards, it is recommended that regionalized monitoring programs or efforts focused on lands managed by the Department of the Interior should be undertaken to prevent serious natural resource problems.

  4. Effects of reconstruction of a pre-European vertebrate assemblage on ground-dwelling arachnids in arid Australia.

    PubMed

    Silvey, Colin J; Hayward, Matthew W; Gibb, Heloise

    2015-06-01

    Species loss can result in changes in assemblage structure and ecosystem function through ecological cascades. Australian vertebrate assemblages changed significantly following European colonisation, which resulted in the establishment of invasive vertebrates and the loss of native marsupials, many of which consume invertebrates. Conservation focusses on the removal of invasive carnivores and the reintroduction of regionally extinct species to fenced sites, resulting in what could be considered a reconstruction of pre-European vertebrate assemblages. In semi-arid Australian spinifex mallee ecosystems, we asked: (1) what is the effect of reconstructed pre-European vertebrate assemblages on native arachnid assemblages? and (2) what direct or indirect mechanisms (predation, disturbance and/or competition) could plausibly be responsible for these effects? We compared sites with reconstructed vertebrate assemblages with paired control sites. Arachnids were sampled using pitfall trapping and direct searching. Hypotheses regarding mechanisms were tested using scat analysis (predation) and by comparing burrow depth (disturbance) and scorpion mass (competition) between control and reconstructed sites. The dominant dune scorpion, Urodacus yaschenkoi, was less abundant and a wolf spider (Lycosa gibsoni species group) more abundant in reconstructed sites. Differences in spider assemblage composition were marginally non-significant. Scat analysis confirmed native vertebrate predation on scorpions and we found no evidence that competition or disturbance affected scorpions. We, thus, suggest that changes in spider assemblages may have resulted from ecological cascades via decreases in dune scorpions. The loss of omnivorous mammals and other changes associated with the invasion of carnivores may, therefore, have had broad-reaching consequences for native arachnid assemblages in Australian ecosystems. PMID:25874858

  5. Origins of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) in vertebrates: identification of a novel GnRH in a basal vertebrate, the sea lamprey.

    PubMed

    Kavanaugh, Scott I; Nozaki, Masumi; Sower, Stacia A

    2008-08-01

    We cloned a cDNA encoding a novel (GnRH), named lamprey GnRH-II, from the sea lamprey, a basal vertebrate. The deduced amino acid sequence of the newly identified lamprey GnRH-II is QHWSHGWFPG. The architecture of the precursor is similar to that reported for other GnRH precursors consisting of a signal peptide, decapeptide, a downstream processing site, and a GnRH-associated peptide; however, the gene for lamprey GnRH-II does not have introns in comparison with the gene organization for all other vertebrate GnRHs. Lamprey GnRH-II precursor transcript was widely expressed in a variety of tissues. In situ hybridization of the brain showed expression and localization of the transcript in the hypothalamus, medulla, and olfactory regions, whereas immunohistochemistry using a specific antiserum showed only GnRH-II cell bodies and processes in the preoptic nucleus/hypothalamus areas. Lamprey GnRH-II was shown to stimulate the hypothalamic-pituitary axis using in vivo and in vitro studies. Lamprey GnRH-II was also shown to activate the inositol phosphate signaling system in COS-7 cells transiently transfected with the lamprey GnRH receptor. These studies provide evidence for a novel lamprey GnRH that has a role as a third hypothalamic GnRH. In summary, the newly discovered lamprey GnRH-II offers a new paradigm of the origin of the vertebrate GnRH family. We hypothesize that due to a genome/gene duplication event, an ancestral gene gave rise to two lineages of GnRHs: the gnathostome GnRH and lamprey GnRH-II.

  6. Vascular plant and vertebrate species richness in national parks of the eastern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hatfield, Jeffrey S.; Myrick, Kaci E.; Huston, Michael A.; Weckerly, Floyd W.; Green, M. Clay

    2013-01-01

    species richness. Plant species richness should be included with other variables such as area and climate when considering strategies to manage and conserve species in US National Parks. It is not always appropriate to draw conclusions about analyses of taxonomic surrogates from one area to another. Two patterns evident from the linear regressions were the increase in species richness with the increase of park area and with increase of vascular plant species richness. To test whether there were differences in these patterns among networks, we used analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). Differences among networks were detected only in bird species richness versus plant species richness and for all taxa except mammals for vertebrate species richness versus park area. Some of these results may be due to small sample size among networks, and therefore, low statistical power. Other factors that could have contributed to these results were differences in average park area and habitat heterogeneity among networks, latitudinal gradients, low variation in mean annual precipitation, and different use of vegetation by migratory species. Based on these results we recommend that management of biodiversity be approached from local and site specific criteria rather than applying management directives derived from other regions of the US. It is also recommended that analyses similar to those presented here be conducted for all national parks, once data become available for all networks in the US, to gain a better understanding of how vascular plant species richness, area, and vertebrate species richness are related in the US.

  7. Monitoring change in vertebrate abundance: the living planet index.

    PubMed

    Collen, Ben; Loh, Jonathan; Whitmee, Sarah; McRae, Louise; Amin, Rajan; Baillie, Jonathan E M

    2009-04-01

    The task of measuring the decline of global biodiversity and instituting changes to halt and reverse this downturn has been taken up in response to the Convention on Biological Diversity's 2010 target. It is an undertaking made more difficult by the complex nature of biodiversity and the consequent difficulty in accurately gauging its depletion. In the Living Planet Index, aggregated population trends among vertebrate species indicate the rate of change in the status of biodiversity, and this index can be used to address the question of whether or not the 2010 target has been achieved. We investigated the use of generalized additive models in aggregating large quantities of population trend data, evaluated potential bias that results from collation of existing trends, and explored the feasibility of disaggregating the data (e.g., geographically, taxonomically, regionally, and by thematic area). Our results show strengths in length and completeness of data, little evidence of bias toward threatened species, and the possibility of disaggregation into meaningful subsets. Limitations of the data set are still apparent, in particular the dominance of bird data and gaps in tropical-species population coverage. Population-trend data complement the longer-term, but more coarse-grained, perspectives gained by evaluating species-level extinction rates. To measure progress toward the 2010 target, indicators must be adapted and strategically supplemented with existing data to generate meaningful indicators in time. Beyond 2010, it is critical a strategy be set out for the future development of indicators that will deal with existing data gaps and that is intricately tied to the goals of future biodiversity targets.

  8. Patterns of Vertebrate Diversity and Protection in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Jenkins, Clinton N; Alves, Maria Alice S; Uezu, Alexandre; Vale, Mariana M

    2015-01-01

    Most conservation decisions take place at national or finer spatial scales. Providing useful information at such decision-making scales is essential for guiding the practice of conservation. Brazil is one of the world's megadiverse countries, and consequently decisions about conservation in the country have a disproportionate impact on the survival of global biodiversity. For three groups of terrestrial vertebrates (birds, mammals, and amphibians), we examined geographic patterns of diversity and protection in Brazil, including that of endemic, small-ranged, and threatened species. To understand potential limitations of the data, we also explored how spatial bias in collection localities may influence the perceived patterns of diversity. The highest overall species richness is in the Amazon and Atlantic Forests, while the Atlantic Forest dominates in terms of country endemics and small-ranged species. Globally threatened species do not present a consistent pattern. Patterns for birds were similar to overall species richness, with higher concentrations of threatened species in the Atlantic Forest, while mammals show a more generalized pattern across the country and a high concentration in the Amazon. Few amphibians are listed as threatened, mostly in the Atlantic Forest. Data deficient mammals occur across the country, concentrating in the Amazon and southeast Atlantic Forest, and there are no data deficient birds in Brazil. In contrast, nearly a third of amphibians are data deficient, widespread across the country, but with a high concentration in the far southeast. Spatial biases in species locality data, however, possibly influence the perceived patterns of biodiversity. Regions with low sampling density need more biological studies, as do the many data deficient species. All biomes except the Amazon have less than 3% of their area under full protection. Reassuringly though, rates of protection do correlate with higher biodiversity, including higher levels of

  9. Mannose 6-phosphate receptors in an ancient vertebrate, zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Nolan, Catherine M; McCarthy, Karena; Eivers, Edward; Jirtle, Randy L; Byrnes, Lucy

    2006-03-01

    The endosome/lysosome system plays key roles in embryonic development, but difficulties posed by inaccessible mammalian embryos have hampered detailed studies. The accessible, transparent embryos of Danio rerio, together with the genetic and experimental approaches possible with this organism, provide many advantages over rodents. In mammals, mannose 6-phosphate receptors (MPRs) target acid hydrolases to endosomes and lysosomes, but nothing is known of acid hydrolase targeting in zebrafish. Here, we describe the sequence of the zebrafish cation-dependent MPR (CD-MPR) and cation-independent MPR (CI-MPR), and compare them with their mammalian orthologs. We show that all residues critical for mannose 6-phosphate (M6P) recognition are present in the extracellular domains of the zebrafish receptors, and that trafficking signals in the cytoplasmic tails are also conserved. This suggests that the teleost receptors possess M6P binding sites with properties similar to those of mammalian MPRs, and that targeting of lysosomal enzymes by MPRs represents an ancient pathway in vertebrate cell biology. We also determined the expression patterns of the CD-MPR and CI-MPR during embryonic development in zebrafish. Both genes are expressed from the one-cell stage through to the hatching period. In early embryos, expression is ubiquitous, but in later stages, expression of both receptors is restricted to the anterior region of the embryo, covering the forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain. The expression patterns suggest time- and tissue-specific functions for the receptors, with particular evidence for roles in neural development. Our study establishes zebrafish as a novel, genetically tractable model for in vivo studies of MPR function and lysosome biogenesis. PMID:16411117

  10. Patterns of Vertebrate Diversity and Protection in Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Jenkins, Clinton N.; Alves, Maria Alice S.; Uezu, Alexandre; Vale, Mariana M.

    2015-01-01

    Most conservation decisions take place at national or finer spatial scales. Providing useful information at such decision-making scales is essential for guiding the practice of conservation. Brazil is one of the world’s megadiverse countries, and consequently decisions about conservation in the country have a disproportionate impact on the survival of global biodiversity. For three groups of terrestrial vertebrates (birds, mammals, and amphibians), we examined geographic patterns of diversity and protection in Brazil, including that of endemic, small-ranged, and threatened species. To understand potential limitations of the data, we also explored how spatial bias in collection localities may influence the perceived patterns of diversity. The highest overall species richness is in the Amazon and Atlantic Forests, while the Atlantic Forest dominates in terms of country endemics and small-ranged species. Globally threatened species do not present a consistent pattern. Patterns for birds were similar to overall species richness, with higher concentrations of threatened species in the Atlantic Forest, while mammals show a more generalized pattern across the country and a high concentration in the Amazon. Few amphibians are listed as threatened, mostly in the Atlantic Forest. Data deficient mammals occur across the country, concentrating in the Amazon and southeast Atlantic Forest, and there are no data deficient birds in Brazil. In contrast, nearly a third of amphibians are data deficient, widespread across the country, but with a high concentration in the far southeast. Spatial biases in species locality data, however, possibly influence the perceived patterns of biodiversity. Regions with low sampling density need more biological studies, as do the many data deficient species. All biomes except the Amazon have less than 3% of their area under full protection. Reassuringly though, rates of protection do correlate with higher biodiversity, including higher levels of

  11. Patterns of Vertebrate Diversity and Protection in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Jenkins, Clinton N; Alves, Maria Alice S; Uezu, Alexandre; Vale, Mariana M

    2015-01-01

    Most conservation decisions take place at national or finer spatial scales. Providing useful information at such decision-making scales is essential for guiding the practice of conservation. Brazil is one of the world's megadiverse countries, and consequently decisions about conservation in the country have a disproportionate impact on the survival of global biodiversity. For three groups of terrestrial vertebrates (birds, mammals, and amphibians), we examined geographic patterns of diversity and protection in Brazil, including that of endemic, small-ranged, and threatened species. To understand potential limitations of the data, we also explored how spatial bias in collection localities may influence the perceived patterns of diversity. The highest overall species richness is in the Amazon and Atlantic Forests, while the Atlantic Forest dominates in terms of country endemics and small-ranged species. Globally threatened species do not present a consistent pattern. Patterns for birds were similar to overall species richness, with higher concentrations of threatened species in the Atlantic Forest, while mammals show a more generalized pattern across the country and a high concentration in the Amazon. Few amphibians are listed as threatened, mostly in the Atlantic Forest. Data deficient mammals occur across the country, concentrating in the Amazon and southeast Atlantic Forest, and there are no data deficient birds in Brazil. In contrast, nearly a third of amphibians are data deficient, widespread across the country, but with a high concentration in the far southeast. Spatial biases in species locality data, however, possibly influence the perceived patterns of biodiversity. Regions with low sampling density need more biological studies, as do the many data deficient species. All biomes except the Amazon have less than 3% of their area under full protection. Reassuringly though, rates of protection do correlate with higher biodiversity, including higher levels of

  12. Mannose 6-phosphate receptors in an ancient vertebrate, zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Nolan, Catherine M; McCarthy, Karena; Eivers, Edward; Jirtle, Randy L; Byrnes, Lucy

    2006-03-01

    The endosome/lysosome system plays key roles in embryonic development, but difficulties posed by inaccessible mammalian embryos have hampered detailed studies. The accessible, transparent embryos of Danio rerio, together with the genetic and experimental approaches possible with this organism, provide many advantages over rodents. In mammals, mannose 6-phosphate receptors (MPRs) target acid hydrolases to endosomes and lysosomes, but nothing is known of acid hydrolase targeting in zebrafish. Here, we describe the sequence of the zebrafish cation-dependent MPR (CD-MPR) and cation-independent MPR (CI-MPR), and compare them with their mammalian orthologs. We show that all residues critical for mannose 6-phosphate (M6P) recognition are present in the extracellular domains of the zebrafish receptors, and that trafficking signals in the cytoplasmic tails are also conserved. This suggests that the teleost receptors possess M6P binding sites with properties similar to those of mammalian MPRs, and that targeting of lysosomal enzymes by MPRs represents an ancient pathway in vertebrate cell biology. We also determined the expression patterns of the CD-MPR and CI-MPR during embryonic development in zebrafish. Both genes are expressed from the one-cell stage through to the hatching period. In early embryos, expression is ubiquitous, but in later stages, expression of both receptors is restricted to the anterior region of the embryo, covering the forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain. The expression patterns suggest time- and tissue-specific functions for the receptors, with particular evidence for roles in neural development. Our study establishes zebrafish as a novel, genetically tractable model for in vivo studies of MPR function and lysosome biogenesis.

  13. Enteric neural crest cells regulate vertebrate stomach patterning and differentiation.

    PubMed

    Faure, Sandrine; McKey, Jennifer; Sagnol, Sébastien; de Santa Barbara, Pascal

    2015-01-15

    In vertebrates, the digestive tract develops from a uniform structure where reciprocal epithelial-mesenchymal interactions pattern this complex organ into regions with specific morphologies and functions. Concomitant with these early patterning events, the primitive GI tract is colonized by the vagal enteric neural crest cells (vENCCs), a population of cells that will give rise to the enteric nervous system (ENS), the intrinsic innervation of the GI tract. The influence of vENCCs on early patterning and differentiation of the GI tract has never been evaluated. In this study, we report that a crucial number of vENCCs is required for proper chick stomach development, patterning and differentiation. We show that reducing the number of vENCCs by performing vENCC ablations induces sustained activation of the BMP and Notch pathways in the stomach mesenchyme and impairs smooth muscle development. A reduction in vENCCs also leads to the transdifferentiation of the stomach into a stomach-intestinal mixed phenotype. In addition, sustained Notch signaling activity in the stomach mesenchyme phenocopies the defects observed in vENCC-ablated stomachs, indicating that inhibition of the Notch signaling pathway is essential for stomach patterning and differentiation. Finally, we report that a crucial number of vENCCs is also required for maintenance of stomach identity and differentiation through inhibition of the Notch signaling pathway. Altogether, our data reveal that, through the regulation of mesenchyme identity, vENCCs act as a new mediator in the mesenchymal-epithelial interactions that control stomach development.

  14. Caribbean biogeography: molecular evidence for dispersal in West Indian terrestrial vertebrates.

    PubMed Central

    Hedges, S B; Hass, C A; Maxson, L R

    1992-01-01

    The geological association of the Greater Antilles with North and South America in the late Cretaceous led to the hypothesis that the present Antillean biota reflects those ancient land connections. Molecular data from diverse West Indian amphibians and reptiles and their mainland relatives support a more recent derivation of the Antillean vertebrate fauna by overwater dispersal. The catastrophic bolide impact in the Caribbean region at the close of the Cretaceous provides a proximate cause for the absence of an ancient West Indian biota. PMID:11607282

  15. The vertebrate diencephalic MCH system: a versatile neuronal population in an evolving brain.

    PubMed

    Croizier, S; Cardot, J; Brischoux, F; Fellmann, D; Griffond, B; Risold, P Y

    2013-04-01

    Neurons synthesizing melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) are described in the posterior hypothalamus of all vertebrates investigated so far. However, their anatomy is very different according to species: they are small and periventricular in lampreys, cartilaginous fishes or anurans, large and neuroendocrine in bony fishes, or distributed over large regions of the lateral hypothalamus in many mammals. An analysis of their comparative anatomy alongside recent data about the development of the forebrain, suggests that although very different, MCH neurons of the caudal hypothalamus are homologous. We further hypothesize that their divergent anatomy is linked to divergence in the forebrain - in particular telencephalic evolution.

  16. Development of respiratory rhythm generation in ectothermic vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Hedrick, Michael S

    2005-11-15

    Compared with birds and mammals, very little is known about the development and regulation of respiratory rhythm generation in ectothermic vertebrates. The development and regulation of respiratory rhythm generation in ectothermic vertebrates (fish, amphibians and reptiles) should provide insight into the evolution of these mechanisms. One useful model for examining the development of respiratory rhythm generation in ectothermic vertebrates has emerged from studies with the North American bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana). A major advantage of bullfrogs as a comparative model for respiratory rhythm generation is that respiratory output may be measured at all stages of development, both in vivo and in vitro. An emerging view of recent studies in developing bullfrogs is that many of the mechanisms of respiratory rhythm generation are very similar to those seen in birds and mammals. The overall conclusion from these studies is that respiratory rhythm generation during development may be highly conserved during evolution. The development of respiratory rhythm generation in mammals may, therefore, reflect the antecedent mechanisms seen in ectothermic vertebrates. The main focus of this brief review is to discuss recent data on the development of respiratory rhythm generation in ectothermic vertebrates, with particular emphasis on the North American bullfrog (R. catesbeiana) as a model. PMID:15914099

  17. An interactive tutorial-based training technique for vertebral morphometry.

    PubMed

    Gardner, J C; von Ingersleben, G; Heyano, S L; Chesnut, C H

    2001-01-01

    The purpose of this work was to develop a computer-based procedure for training technologists in vertebral morphometry. The utility of the resulting interactive, tutorial based training method was evaluated in this study. The training program was composed of four steps: (1) review of an online tutorial, (2) review of analyzed spine images, (3) practice in fiducial point placement and (4) testing. During testing, vertebral heights were measured from digital, lateral spine images containing osteoporotic fractures. Inter-observer measurement precision was compared between research technicians, and between technologists and radiologist. The technologists participating in this study had no prior experience in vertebral morphometry. Following completion of the online training program, good inter-observer measurement precision was seen between technologists, showing mean coefficients of variation of 2.33% for anterior, 2.87% for central and 2.65% for posterior vertebral heights. Comparisons between the technicians and radiologist ranged from 2.19% to 3.18%. Slightly better precision values were seen with height measurements compared with height ratios, and with unfractured compared with fractured vertebral bodies. The findings of this study indicate that self-directed, tutorial-based training for spine image analyses is effective, resulting in good inter-observer measurement precision. The interactive tutorial-based approach provides standardized training methods and assures consistency of instructional technique over time.

  18. Contribution of the live-vertebrate trade toward taxonomic homogenization.

    PubMed

    Romagosa, Christina M; Guyer, Craig; Wooten, Michael C

    2009-08-01

    The process of taxonomic homogenization occurs through two mechanisms, extinctions and introductions, and leads to a reduction of global biodiversity. We used available U.S. trade data as a proxy for global trade in live vertebrates to assess the contribution of trade to the process of taxonomic homogenization. Data included all available U.S. importation and exportation records, estimation of extinction risk, and reports of establishment outside the native range for species within six vertebrate groups. Based on Monte Carlo sampling, the number of species traded, established outside of the native range, and threatened with extinction was not randomly distributed among vertebrate families. Twenty-eight percent of vertebrate families that were traded preferentially were also established or threatened with extinction, an unusually high percentage compared with the 7% of families that were not traded preferentially but that became established or threatened with extinction. The importance of trade in homogenization of vertebrates suggests that additional efforts should be made to prevent introductions and extinctions through this medium.

  19. Vertebral evolution and the diversification of squamate reptiles.

    PubMed

    Bergmann, Philip J; Irschick, Duncan J

    2012-04-01

    Taxonomic, morphological, and functional diversity are often discordant and independent components of diversity. A fundamental and largely unanswered question in evolutionary biology is why some clades diversify primarily in some of these components and not others. Dramatic variation in trunk vertebral numbers (14 to >300) among squamate reptiles coincides with different body shapes, and snake-like body shapes have evolved numerous times. However, whether increased evolutionary rates or numbers of vertebrae underlie body shape and taxonomic diversification is unknown. Using a supertree of squamates including 1375 species, and corresponding vertebral and body shape data, we show that increased rates of evolution in vertebral numbers have coincided with increased rates and disparity in body shape evolution, but not changes in rates of taxonomic diversification. We also show that the evolution of many vertebrae has not spurred or inhibited body shape or taxonomic diversification, suggesting that increased vertebral number is not a key innovation. Our findings demonstrate that lineage attributes such as the relaxation of constraints on vertebral number can facilitate the evolution of novel body shapes, but that different factors are responsible for body shape and taxonomic diversification.

  20. The amphioxus genome illuminates vertebrate origins and cephalochordate biology

    PubMed Central

    Holland, Linda Z.; Albalat, Ricard; Azumi, Kaoru; Benito-Gutiérrez, Èlia; Blow, Matthew J.; Bronner-Fraser, Marianne; Brunet, Frederic; Butts, Thomas; Candiani, Simona; Dishaw, Larry J.; Ferrier, David E.K.; Garcia-Fernàndez, Jordi; Gibson-Brown, Jeremy J.; Gissi, Carmela; Godzik, Adam; Hallböök, Finn; Hirose, Dan; Hosomichi, Kazuyoshi; Ikuta, Tetsuro; Inoko, Hidetoshi; Kasahara, Masanori; Kasamatsu, Jun; Kawashima, Takeshi; Kimura, Ayuko; Kobayashi, Masaaki; Kozmik, Zbynek; Kubokawa, Kaoru; Laudet, Vincent; Litman, Gary W.; McHardy, Alice C.; Meulemans, Daniel; Nonaka, Masaru; Olinski, Robert P.; Pancer, Zeev; Pennacchio, Len A.; Pestarino, Mario; Rast, Jonathan P.; Rigoutsos, Isidore; Robinson-Rechavi, Marc; Roch, Graeme; Saiga, Hidetoshi; Sasakura, Yasunori; Satake, Masanobu; Satou, Yutaka; Schubert, Michael; Sherwood, Nancy; Shiina, Takashi; Takatori, Naohito; Tello, Javier; Vopalensky, Pavel; Wada, Shuichi; Xu, Anlong; Ye, Yuzhen; Yoshida, Keita; Yoshizaki, Fumiko; Yu, Jr-Kai; Zhang, Qing; Zmasek, Christian M.; de Jong, Pieter J.; Osoegawa, Kazutoyo; Putnam, Nicholas H.; Rokhsar, Daniel S.; Satoh, Noriyuki; Holland, Peter W.H.

    2008-01-01

    Cephalochordates, urochordates, and vertebrates evolved from a common ancestor over 520 million years ago. To improve our understanding of chordate evolution and the origin of vertebrates, we intensively searched for particular genes, gene families, and conserved noncoding elements in the sequenced genome of the cephalochordate Branchiostoma floridae, commonly called amphioxus or lancelets. Special attention was given to homeobox genes, opsin genes, genes involved in neural crest development, nuclear receptor genes, genes encoding components of the endocrine and immune systems, and conserved cis-regulatory enhancers. The amphioxus genome contains a basic set of chordate genes involved in development and cell signaling, including a fifteenth Hox gene. This set includes many genes that were co-opted in vertebrates for new roles in neural crest development and adaptive immunity. However, where amphioxus has a single gene, vertebrates often have two, three, or four paralogs derived from two whole-genome duplication events. In addition, several transcriptional enhancers are conserved between amphioxus and vertebrates—a very wide phylogenetic distance. In contrast, urochordate genomes have lost many genes, including a diversity of homeobox families and genes involved in steroid hormone function. The amphioxus genome also exhibits derived features, including duplications of opsins and genes proposed to function in innate immunity and endocrine systems. Our results indicate that the amphioxus genome is elemental to an understanding of the biology and evolution of nonchordate deuterostomes, invertebrate chordates, and vertebrates. PMID:18562680

  1. Otx genes in evolution: are they involved in instructing the vertebrate brain morphology?

    PubMed Central

    ACAMPORA, DARIO; BOYL, PIETRO PILO; MARTINEZ-BARBERA, JUAN PEDRO; ANNINO, ALESSANDRO; SIGNORE, MASSIMO; SIMEONE, ANTONIO

    2001-01-01

    Previous mouse models have indicated that Otx1 and Otx2 play an important role in brain and sense organ development and, together with the Drosophila orthodenticle (otd) gene, they share a high degree of reciprocal functional equivalence. Interestingly, mouse models replacing the same region of the Otx2 locus with Otx1, otd or lacZ genes have revealed the existence of a differential post-transcriptional control between the visceral endoderm (VE) and epiblast cells. Indeed Otx1, otd or lacZ mRNA were transcribed in both tissues but translated only in the VE. Embryos lacking OTX1 or OTD proteins in the epiblast and derived tissues, such as the neuroectoderm and axial mesendoderm (AME), fail to maintain the anterior identity and result in a headless phenotype. This finding leads us to hypothesise that, during evolution, the specification of the vertebrate-type brain may have required epiblast cells to translate Otx2 mRNA in order to establish maintenance properties. The establishment of this regulatory control might have been reflected into a remarkable reorganisation of the rostral CNS architecture and might have represented an important event in the evolution of the vertebrate head. Current data suggest that the Otx2 replaced region and in particular the 3′ untranslated region (UTR), may contain regulatory element(s) necessary to translate and/or stabilise Otx2 mRNA in epiblast and its derivatives. PMID:11523829

  2. Chemical shift magnetic resonance imaging in differentiation of benign from malignant vertebral collapse in a rural tertiary care hospital in North India

    PubMed Central

    Mittal, Puneet; Gupta, Ranjana; Mittal, Amit; Joshi, Sandeep

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the modality of the first choice for evaluation of vertebral compression/collapse. Many MRI qualitative features help to differentiate benign from malignant collapse. We conducted this study to look for a quantitative difference in chemical shift values in benign and malignant collapse using dual-echo gradient echo in-phase/out-phase imaging. Materials and Methods: MRI examinations of a total of 38 patients were retrospectively included in the study who had vertebral compression/collapse with marrow edema in which final diagnosis was available at the time of imaging/follow-up. Signal intensity value in the region of abnormal marrow signal and adjacent normal vertebra was measured on in phase/out phase images. Signal intensity ratio (SIR) was measured by dividing signal intensity value on opposite phase images to that on in phase images. SIR was compared in normal vertebrae and benign and malignant vertebral collapse. Results: There were 21 males and 17 females with mean age of 52.4 years (range 28–76 years). Out of total 38 patients, 18 were of benign vertebral collapse and 20 of malignant vertebral collapse. SIR in normal vertebrae was 0.30 ± 0.14, 0.67 ± 0.18 in benign vertebral collapse, and 1.20 ± 0.27 in malignant vertebral collapse with significant difference in SIR of normal vertebrae versus benign collapse (P < 0.01) and in benign collapse versus malignant collapse (P < 0.01). Assuming a cutoff of <0.95 for benign collapse and ≥0.95 for malignant collapse, chemical shift imaging had a sensitivity of 90% and specificity of 94.4%. Conclusion: Chemical shift imaging is a rapid and useful sequence in differentiating benign from malignant vertebral collapse with good specificity and sensitivity. PMID:27695225

  3. Chemical shift magnetic resonance imaging in differentiation of benign from malignant vertebral collapse in a rural tertiary care hospital in North India

    PubMed Central

    Mittal, Puneet; Gupta, Ranjana; Mittal, Amit; Joshi, Sandeep

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the modality of the first choice for evaluation of vertebral compression/collapse. Many MRI qualitative features help to differentiate benign from malignant collapse. We conducted this study to look for a quantitative difference in chemical shift values in benign and malignant collapse using dual-echo gradient echo in-phase/out-phase imaging. Materials and Methods: MRI examinations of a total of 38 patients were retrospectively included in the study who had vertebral compression/collapse with marrow edema in which final diagnosis was available at the time of imaging/follow-up. Signal intensity value in the region of abnormal marrow signal and adjacent normal vertebra was measured on in phase/out phase images. Signal intensity ratio (SIR) was measured by dividing signal intensity value on opposite phase images to that on in phase images. SIR was compared in normal vertebrae and benign and malignant vertebral collapse. Results: There were 21 males and 17 females with mean age of 52.4 years (range 28–76 years). Out of total 38 patients, 18 were of benign vertebral collapse and 20 of malignant vertebral collapse. SIR in normal vertebrae was 0.30 ± 0.14, 0.67 ± 0.18 in benign vertebral collapse, and 1.20 ± 0.27 in malignant vertebral collapse with significant difference in SIR of normal vertebrae versus benign collapse (P < 0.01) and in benign collapse versus malignant collapse (P < 0.01). Assuming a cutoff of <0.95 for benign collapse and ≥0.95 for malignant collapse, chemical shift imaging had a sensitivity of 90% and specificity of 94.4%. Conclusion: Chemical shift imaging is a rapid and useful sequence in differentiating benign from malignant vertebral collapse with good specificity and sensitivity.

  4. Vertebrate assemblages from the early Late Cretaceous of southeastern Morocco: An overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cavin, L.; Tong, H.; Boudad, L.; Meister, C.; Piuz, A.; Tabouelle, J.; Aarab, M.; Amiot, R.; Buffetaut, E.; Dyke, G.; Hua, S.; Le Loeuff, J.

    2010-07-01

    Fossils of vertebrates have been found in great abundance in the continental and marine early Late Cretaceous sediments of Southeastern Morocco for more than 50 years. About 80 vertebrate taxa have so far been recorded from this region, many of which were recognised and diagnosed for the first time based on specimens recovered from these sediments. In this paper, we use published data together with new field data to present an updated overview of Moroccan early Late Cretaceous vertebrate assemblages. The Cretaceous series we have studied encompasses three Formations, the Ifezouane and Aoufous Formations, which are continental and deltaic in origin and are often grouped under the name "Kem Kem beds", and the Akrabou Formation which is marine in origin. New field observations allow us to place four recognised vertebrate clusters, corresponding to one compound assemblage and three assemblages, within a general temporal framework. In particular, two ammonite bioevents characterise the lower part of the Upper Cenomanian ( Calycoceras guerangeri Zone) at the base of the Akrabou Formation and the upper part of the Lower Turonian ( Mammites nodosoides Zone), that may extend into the Middle Turonian within the Akrabou Formation, and allow for more accurate dating of the marine sequence in the study area. We are not yet able to distinguish a specific assemblage that characterises the Ifezouane Formation when compared to the similar Aoufous Formation, and as a result we regard the oldest of the four vertebrate "assemblages" in this region to be the compound assemblage of the "Kem Kem beds". This well-known vertebrate assemblage comprises a mixture of terrestrial (and aerial), freshwater and brackish vertebrates. The archosaur component of this fauna appears to show an intriguingly high proportion of large-bodied carnivorous taxa, which may indicate a peculiar trophic chain, although collecting biases alter this palaeontological signal. A small and restricted assemblage, the

  5. Unexpected inheritance: multiple integrations of ancient bornavirus and ebolavirus/marburgvirus sequences in vertebrate genomes.

    PubMed

    Belyi, Vladimir A; Levine, Arnold J; Skalka, Anna Marie

    2010-01-01

    Vertebrate genomes contain numerous copies of retroviral sequences, acquired over the course of evolution. Until recently they were thought to be the only type of RNA viruses to be so represented, because integration of a DNA copy of their genome is required for their replication. In this study, an extensive sequence comparison was conducted in which 5,666 viral genes from all known non-retroviral families with single-stranded RNA genomes were matched against the germline genomes of 48 vertebrate species, to determine if such viruses could also contribute to the vertebrate genetic heritage. In 19 of the tested vertebrate species, we discovered as many as 80 high-confidence examples of genomic DNA sequences that appear to be derived, as long ago as 40 million years, from ancestral members of 4 currently circulating virus families with single strand RNA genomes. Surprisingly, almost all of the sequences are related to only two families in the Order Mononegavirales: the Bornaviruses and the Filoviruses, which cause lethal neurological disease and hemorrhagic fevers, respectively. Based on signature landmarks some, and perhaps all, of the endogenous virus-like DNA sequences appear to be LINE element-facilitated integrations derived from viral mRNAs. The integrations represent genes that encode viral nucleocapsid, RNA-dependent-RNA-polymerase, matrix and, possibly, glycoproteins. Integrations are generally limited to one or very few copies of a related viral gene per species, suggesting that once the initial germline integration was obtained (or selected), later integrations failed or provided little advantage to the host. The conservation of relatively long open reading frames for several of the endogenous sequences, the virus-like protein regions represented, and a potential correlation between their presence and a species' resistance to the diseases caused by these pathogens, are consistent with the notion that their products provide some important biological

  6. A comparative view of regenerative neurogenesis in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Alunni, Alessandro; Bally-Cuif, Laure

    2016-03-01

    In all vertebrate species studied thus far, the adult central nervous system harbors neural stem cells that sustain constitutive neurogenesis, as well as latent neural progenitors that can be awakened in lesional contexts. In spite of this common theme, many species differ dramatically in their ability to recruit constitutive progenitors, to awaken latent progenitors, or to enhance or bias neural progenitor fate to achieve successful neuronal repair. This Review summarizes the striking similarities in the essential molecular and cellular properties of adult neural stem cells between different vertebrate species, both under physiological and reparative conditions. It also emphasizes the differences in the reparative process across evolution and how the study of non-mammalian models can provide insights into both basic neural stem cell properties and stimulatory cues shared between vertebrates, and subsequent neurogenic events, which are abortive under reparative conditions in mammals. PMID:26932669

  7. Evolutionary perspectives on clonal reproduction in vertebrate animals

    PubMed Central

    Avise, John C.

    2015-01-01

    A synopsis is provided of different expressions of whole-animal vertebrate clonality (asexual organismal-level reproduction), both in the laboratory and in nature. For vertebrate taxa, such clonal phenomena include the following: human-mediated cloning via artificial nuclear transfer; intergenerational clonality in nature via parthenogenesis and gynogenesis; intergenerational hemiclonality via hybridogenesis and kleptogenesis; intragenerational clonality via polyembryony; and what in effect qualifies as clonal replication via self-fertilization and intense inbreeding by simultaneous hermaphrodites. Each of these clonal or quasi-clonal mechanisms is described, and its evolutionary genetic ramifications are addressed. By affording an atypical vantage on standard vertebrate reproduction, clonality offers fresh perspectives on the evolutionary and ecological significance of recombination-derived genetic variety. PMID:26195735

  8. Congenital malformations of the vertebral column in ancient amphibians.

    PubMed

    Witzmann, F; Rothschild, B M; Hampe, O; Sobral, G; Gubin, Y M; Asbach, P

    2014-04-01

    Temnospondyls, the largest group of Palaeozoic and Mesozoic amphibians, primitively possess rhachitomous vertebrae with multipartite centra (consisting of one horse-shoe-shaped inter- and paired pleurocentra). In a group of temnospondyls, the stereospondyls, the intercentra became pronounced and disc-like, whereas the pleurocentra were reduced. We report the presence of congenital vertebral malformations (hemi, wedge and block vertebrae) in Permian and Triassic temnospondyls, showing that defects of formation and segmentation in the tetrapod vertebral column represent a fundamental failure of somitogenesis that can be followed throughout tetrapod evolution. This is irrespective of the type of affected vertebra, that is, rhachitomous or stereospondylous, and all components of the vertebra can be involved (intercentrum, pleurocentrum and neural arch), either together or independently on their own. This is the oldest known occurrence of wedge vertebra and congenital block vertebra described in fossil tetrapods. The frequency of vertebral congenital malformations in amphibians appears unchanged from the Holocene.

  9. A comparison of potato and vertebrate lactate dehydrogenases.

    PubMed Central

    Poerio, E; Davies, D D

    1980-01-01

    A 2000-fold purification of L(+)-lactate dehydrogenase from potatoes is reported. Five isoenzymes of lactate dehydrogenase can be detected in crude extracts of potato, and three of these are present in the purified preparation. The enzyme (mol.wt. 150 000), which is composed of four subunits (mol.wt. 37 500), is active with the same oxo acids and hydroxy acids that have been reported as substrates with the same oxo acids and hydroxy acids that have been reported as substrates for vertebrate lactate dehydrogenases. These similarities between potato and vertebrate lactate dehydrogenases contrast sharply with some other reports on potato lactate dehydrogenase. These discrepancies are discussed in relation to the proposition that vertebrate and potato lactate dehydrogenases share a common evolutionary origin. PMID:7236200

  10. Percutaneous Technique for Sclerotherapy of Vertebral Hemangioma Compressing Spinal Cord

    SciTech Connect

    Gabal, Abdelwahab M.

    2002-12-15

    Purpose: In this study we report a percutaneous technique to achieve sclerosis of vertebral hemangioma and decompression of the spinal cord and nerve roots. Methods: Under CT guidance the affected vertebral body is punctured by a biopsy needle and sclerosant is injected directly into the tumor. In the case of large paravertebral extension, additional injection is given in the paravertebral soft tissue component to induce shrinkage of the whole tumor mass and release of the compressed spinal cord. Results: Using this technique we treated five patients in whom vertebral hemangioma gave rise to neurologic symptoms.In three patients, sclerotherapy was the only treatment given. In the other two patients, sclerotherapy was preceded by transcatheter embolization. Neither decompressive surgery, radiation therapy nor stabilization was required with this technique. Conclusion: Our experience with CT-guided intraosseous sclerotherapy has proved highly satisfactory.

  11. Evolutionary perspectives on clonal reproduction in vertebrate animals.

    PubMed

    Avise, John C

    2015-07-21

    A synopsis is provided of different expressions of whole-animal vertebrate clonality (asexual organismal-level reproduction), both in the laboratory and in nature. For vertebrate taxa, such clonal phenomena include the following: human-mediated cloning via artificial nuclear transfer; intergenerational clonality in nature via parthenogenesis and gynogenesis; intergenerational hemiclonality via hybridogenesis and kleptogenesis; intragenerational clonality via polyembryony; and what in effect qualifies as clonal replication via self-fertilization and intense inbreeding by simultaneous hermaphrodites. Each of these clonal or quasi-clonal mechanisms is described, and its evolutionary genetic ramifications are addressed. By affording an atypical vantage on standard vertebrate reproduction, clonality offers fresh perspectives on the evolutionary and ecological significance of recombination-derived genetic variety. PMID:26195735

  12. Evolutionary perspectives on clonal reproduction in vertebrate animals.

    PubMed

    Avise, John C

    2015-07-21

    A synopsis is provided of different expressions of whole-animal vertebrate clonality (asexual organismal-level reproduction), both in the laboratory and in nature. For vertebrate taxa, such clonal phenomena include the following: human-mediated cloning via artificial nuclear transfer; intergenerational clonality in nature via parthenogenesis and gynogenesis; intergenerational hemiclonality via hybridogenesis and kleptogenesis; intragenerational clonality via polyembryony; and what in effect qualifies as clonal replication via self-fertilization and intense inbreeding by simultaneous hermaphrodites. Each of these clonal or quasi-clonal mechanisms is described, and its evolutionary genetic ramifications are addressed. By affording an atypical vantage on standard vertebrate reproduction, clonality offers fresh perspectives on the evolutionary and ecological significance of recombination-derived genetic variety.

  13. Cement Leakage into Adjacent Vertebral Body Following Percutaneous Vertebroplasty

    PubMed Central

    Park, Jae Hoo; Kim, Hyeun Sung

    2016-01-01

    Percutaneous vertebroplasty (PV) is a minimally invasive procedure for osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures that fail to respond to conventional conservative treatment. It significantly improves intolerable back pain within hours, and has a low complication rate. Although rare, PV is not free of complications, most of which are directly related to cement leakage. Because of its association with new adjacent fracture, the importance of cement leakage into the adjacent disc space is paramount. Here, we report an interesting case of cement leakage into the adjacent upper vertebral body as well as disc space following PV. To the best of our knowledge, there has been no report of cement leakage into the adjacent vertebral body following PV. This rare case is presented along with a review of the literature. PMID:27437018

  14. A comparative view of regenerative neurogenesis in vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Alunni, Alessandro; Bally-Cuif, Laure

    2016-01-01

    In all vertebrate species studied thus far, the adult central nervous system harbors neural stem cells that sustain constitutive neurogenesis, as well as latent neural progenitors that can be awakened in lesional contexts. In spite of this common theme, many species differ dramatically in their ability to recruit constitutive progenitors, to awaken latent progenitors, or to enhance or bias neural progenitor fate to achieve successful neuronal repair. This Review summarizes the striking similarities in the essential molecular and cellular properties of adult neural stem cells between different vertebrate species, both under physiological and reparative conditions. It also emphasizes the differences in the reparative process across evolution and how the study of non-mammalian models can provide insights into both basic neural stem cell properties and stimulatory cues shared between vertebrates, and subsequent neurogenic events, which are abortive under reparative conditions in mammals. PMID:26932669

  15. Evolution and ecology of retinal photoreception in early vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Collin, Shaun P

    2010-01-01

    Visual ecology or the relationship between the visual system of an animal and its environment has proven to be a crucial research field for establishing general concepts of adaptation, specialization and evolution. The visual neuroscientist is indeed confronted with a plethora of different visual characteristics, each seemingly optimised for each species' ecological niche, but often without a clear understanding of the evolutionary constraints at play. However, before we are able to fully understand the influence(s) of ecology and phylogeny on visual system design in vertebrates, it is first necessary to understand the basic bauplan of key representatives of each taxa. This review examines photoreception in hagfishes, lampreys, cartilaginous fishes and lungfishes with an eye to their ecology using a range of neurobiological methods including anatomy, microspectrophotometry and molecular genetics. These early vertebrates represent critical stages in evolution and surprisingly possess a level of visual complexity that is almost unrivalled in other vertebrates.

  16. Vertebrate palaeontology of Australasia into the twenty-first century.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Jacqueline M T; Molak, Martyna; Black, Karen H; Fitzgerald, Erich M G; Travouillon, Kenny J; Ho, Simon Y W

    2011-12-23

    The 13th Conference on Australasian Vertebrate Evolution Palaeontology and Systematics (CAVEPS) took place in Perth, Western Australia, from 27 to 30 April 2011. This biennial meeting was jointly hosted by Curtin University, the Western Australian Museum, Murdoch University and the University of Western Australia. Researchers from diverse disciplines addressed many aspects of vertebrate evolution, including functional morphology, phylogeny, ecology and extinctions. New additions to the fossil record were reported, especially from hitherto under-represented ages and clades. Yet, application of new techniques in palaeobiological analyses dominated, such as dental microwear and geochronology, and technological advances, including computed tomography and ancient biomolecules. This signals a shift towards increased emphasis in interpreting broader evolutionary patterns and processes. Nonetheless, further field exploration for new fossils and systematic descriptions will continue to shape our understanding of vertebrate evolution in this little-studied, but most unusual, part of the globe.

  17. The largest Silurian vertebrate and its palaeoecological implications.

    PubMed

    Choo, Brian; Zhu, Min; Zhao, Wenjin; Jia, Liaotao; Zhu, You'an

    2014-06-12

    An apparent absence of Silurian fishes more than half-a-metre in length has been viewed as evidence that gnathostomes were restricted in size and diversity prior to the Devonian. Here we describe the largest pre-Devonian vertebrate (Megamastax amblyodus gen. et sp. nov.), a predatory marine osteichthyan from the Silurian Kuanti Formation (late Ludlow, ~423 million years ago) of Yunnan, China, with an estimated length of about 1 meter. The unusual dentition of the new form suggests a durophagous diet which, combined with its large size, indicates a considerable degree of trophic specialisation among early osteichthyans. The lack of large Silurian vertebrates has recently been used as constraint in palaeoatmospheric modelling, with purported lower oxygen levels imposing a physiological size limit. Regardless of the exact causal relationship between oxygen availability and evolutionary success, this finding refutes the assumption that pre-Emsian vertebrates were restricted to small body sizes.

  18. Fish and frogs: models for vertebrate cilia signaling

    PubMed Central

    Wessely, Oliver; Obara, Tomoko

    2013-01-01

    The presence of cilia in many vertebrate cell types and its function has been ignored for many years. Only in the past few years has its importance been rediscovered. In part, this was triggered by the realization that many gene products mutated in polycystic kidney diseases are localized to cilia and dysfunctional cilia result in kidney disease. Another breakthrough was the observation that the establishment of the left-right body axis is dependent on cilia function. Since then, many other developmental paradigms have been shown to rely on cilia-dependent signaling. In addition to mouse and Chlamydomonas, lower vertebrate model systems such as zebrafish, medaka and Xenopus have provided important new insights into cilia signaling and its role during embryonic development. This review will summarize those studies. We will also illustrate how these lower vertebrates are promising model systems for future studies defining the physiological function of cilia during organogenesis and disease pathophysiology. PMID:17981674

  19. Heparan sulfate proteoglycans: a sugar code for vertebrate development?

    PubMed

    Poulain, Fabienne E; Yost, H Joseph

    2015-10-15

    Heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) have long been implicated in a wide range of cell-cell signaling and cell-matrix interactions, both in vitro and in vivo in invertebrate models. Although many of the genes that encode HSPG core proteins and the biosynthetic enzymes that generate and modify HSPG sugar chains have not yet been analyzed by genetics in vertebrates, recent studies have shown that HSPGs do indeed mediate a wide range of functions in early vertebrate development, for example during left-right patterning and in cardiovascular and neural development. Here, we provide a comprehensive overview of the various roles of HSPGs in these systems and explore the concept of an instructive heparan sulfate sugar code for modulating vertebrate development. PMID:26487777

  20. The largest Silurian vertebrate and its palaeoecological implications

    PubMed Central

    Choo, Brian; Zhu, Min; Zhao, Wenjin; Jia, Liaotao; Zhu, You'an

    2014-01-01

    An apparent absence of Silurian fishes more than half-a-metre in length has been viewed as evidence that gnathostomes were restricted in size and diversity prior to the Devonian. Here we describe the largest pre-Devonian vertebrate (Megamastax amblyodus gen. et sp. nov.), a predatory marine osteichthyan from the Silurian Kuanti Formation (late Ludlow, ~423 million years ago) of Yunnan, China, with an estimated length of about 1 meter. The unusual dentition of the new form suggests a durophagous diet which, combined with its large size, indicates a considerable degree of trophic specialisation among early osteichthyans. The lack of large Silurian vertebrates has recently been used as constraint in palaeoatmospheric modelling, with purported lower oxygen levels imposing a physiological size limit. Regardless of the exact causal relationship between oxygen availability and evolutionary success, this finding refutes the assumption that pre-Emsian vertebrates were restricted to small body sizes. PMID:24921626

  1. Translational control of tropomyosin expression in vertebrate hearts.

    PubMed

    Dube, Dipak K; McLean, Matthew D; Dube, Syamalima; Poiesz, Bernard J

    2014-09-01

    The tropomyosin (TM) gene family produces a set of related TM proteins with important functions in striated and smooth muscle, and nonmuscle cells. In vertebrate striated muscle, the thin filament consists largely of actin, TM, the troponin (Tn) complex (Tn-I, Tn-C and Tn-T), and tropomodulin (Tmod) and is responsible for mediating Ca(2+) control of muscle contraction and relaxation. There are four known genes (designated as TPM1, TPM2, TPM3, and TPM4) for TM in vertebrates. The four TM genes generate a multitude of tissue- and developmental-specific isoforms through the use of different promoters, alternative mRNA splicing, different 3'-end mRNA processing and tissue-specific translational control. In this review, we have focused mainly on the regulation of TM expression in striated muscles, primarily in vertebrate hearts with special emphasis on translational control using mouse and Mexican axolotl animal models. PMID:25125172

  2. Vertebral discitis after laparoscopic resection rectopexy: a rare differential diagnosis.

    PubMed

    Probst, Pascal; Knoll, Sarah-Noemi; Breitenstein, Stefan; Karrer, Urs

    2014-01-01

    Vertebral discitis usually arises from haematogenous spread of pathogens to the discs and bones. Vertebral discitis can rarely occur as a complication after laparoscopic operations with fixating sutures on the promontory. We report the case of an 81-year-old woman who underwent a laparoscopic resection rectopexy because of rectal prolapse. Weeks after the operation, the patient developed lower back pain with radiation to both legs not responding to symptomatic therapy. Two months later, a magnetic resonance imaging of the lumbar spine showed vertebral osteomyelitis and discitis. A fixation on the promontory may be sufficiently traumatic to the spine to pave the way for subsequent infection. A high index of suspicion should be raised in patients with persistent, severe back pain. Anamnesis, imageing and an adequate specimen from the affected area for microbiological analysis are crucial for timely diagnosis and appropriate management involving targeted and prolonged antimicrobial therapy.

  3. Vertebral discitis after laparoscopic resection rectopexy: a rare differential diagnosis

    PubMed Central

    Probst, Pascal; Knoll, Sarah-Noemi; Breitenstein, Stefan; Karrer, Urs

    2014-01-01

    Vertebral discitis usually arises from haematogenous spread of pathogens to the discs and bones. Vertebral discitis can rarely occur as a complication after laparoscopic operations with fixating sutures on the promontory. We report the case of an 81-year-old woman who underwent a laparoscopic resection rectopexy because of rectal prolapse. Weeks after the operation, the patient developed lower back pain with radiation to both legs not responding to symptomatic therapy. Two months later, a magnetic resonance imaging of the lumbar spine showed vertebral osteomyelitis and discitis. A fixation on the promontory may be sufficiently traumatic to the spine to pave the way for subsequent infection. A high index of suspicion should be raised in patients with persistent, severe back pain. Anamnesis, imageing and an adequate specimen from the affected area for microbiological analysis are crucial for timely diagnosis and appropriate management involving targeted and prolonged antimicrobial therapy. PMID:25084791

  4. Concordia discors: duality in the origin of the vertebrate tail.

    PubMed

    Handrigan, Gregory R

    2003-03-01

    The vertebrate tail is an extension of the main body axis caudal to the anus. The developmental origin of this structure has been a source of debate amongst embryologists for the past century. Some view tail development as a continuation of the morphogenetic processes that shape the head and trunk (i.e. gastrulation). The alternative view, secondary development, holds that the tail forms in a manner similar to limb development, i.e. by secondary induction. Previous developmental studies have provided support for both views. Here I revisit these studies, describing caudal morphogenesis in select vertebrates, the associated genes and developmental defects, and, as a relevant aside, consider the developmental and evolutionary relationships of primary and secondary neurulation. I conclude that caudal development enlists both gastrulation and secondary induction, and that the application of recent high-resolution cell labelling technology may clarify how these discordant programmes interact in building the vertebrate tail.

  5. The vertebrate fauna of Ichauway, Baker County, GA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, L.L.; Steen, D.A.; Stober, J.M.; Freeman, Mary C.; Golladay, S.W.; Conner, L.M.; Cochrane, J.

    2006-01-01

    Less than 4% of the once extensive Pinus palustris (longleaf pine) ecosystem remains today. Although longleaf pine habitats are recognized for their high species diversity, few published accounts document the vertebrate faunas of remaining tracts. Here we report on the vertebrate species richness of lchauway, an 11,300-ha property in Baker County, GA. The property includes ca. 7300 ha of longleaf pine with native ground cover, along with more than 30 seasonal wetlands and ca. 45 km of riparian habitat associated with Ichawaynochaway Creek, Big Cypress Creek, and the Flint River. The fauna includes 61 species of fish, 31 amphibians, 53 reptiles, 191 birds, and 41 mammals. Despite the relative isolation of the property from other natural ecosystems, the vertebrate fauna of lchauway is remarkably diverse and may offer an example of reference conditions to guide restoration of longleaf pine forests, associated seasonal wetlands, and riparian areas elsewhere in the southeastern U S.

  6. Presynaptic active zones in invertebrates and vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Ackermann, Frauke; Waites, Clarissa L; Garner, Craig C

    2015-08-01

    The regulated release of neurotransmitter occurs via the fusion of synaptic vesicles (SVs) at specialized regions of the presynaptic membrane called active zones (AZs). These regions are defined by a cytoskeletal matrix assembled at AZs (CAZ), which functions to direct SVs toward docking and fusion sites and supports their maturation into the readily releasable pool. In addition, CAZ proteins localize voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels at SV release sites, bringing the fusion machinery in close proximity to the calcium source. Proteins of the CAZ therefore ensure that vesicle fusion is temporally and spatially organized, allowing for the precise and reliable release of neurotransmitter. Importantly, AZs are highly dynamic structures, supporting presynaptic remodeling, changes in neurotransmitter release efficacy, and thus presynaptic forms of plasticity. In this review, we discuss recent advances in the study of active zones, highlighting how the CAZ molecularly defines sites of neurotransmitter release, endocytic zones, and the integrity of synapses.

  7. Presynaptic active zones in invertebrates and vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Ackermann, Frauke; Waites, Clarissa L; Garner, Craig C

    2015-01-01

    The regulated release of neurotransmitter occurs via the fusion of synaptic vesicles (SVs) at specialized regions of the presynaptic membrane called active zones (AZs). These regions are defined by a cytoskeletal matrix assembled at AZs (CAZ), which functions to direct SVs toward docking and fusion sites and supports their maturation into the readily releasable pool. In addition, CAZ proteins localize voltage-gated Ca2+ channels at SV release sites, bringing the fusion machinery in close proximity to the calcium source. Proteins of the CAZ therefore ensure that vesicle fusion is temporally and spatially organized, allowing for the precise and reliable release of neurotransmitter. Importantly, AZs are highly dynamic structures, supporting presynaptic remodeling, changes in neurotransmitter release efficacy, and thus presynaptic forms of plasticity. In this review, we discuss recent advances in the study of active zones, highlighting how the CAZ molecularly defines sites of neurotransmitter release, endocytic zones, and the integrity of synapses. PMID:26160654

  8. A single three-dimensional chromatin compartment in amphioxus indicates a stepwise evolution of vertebrate Hox bimodal regulation.

    PubMed

    Acemel, Rafael D; Tena, Juan J; Irastorza-Azcarate, Ibai; Marlétaz, Ferdinand; Gómez-Marín, Carlos; de la Calle-Mustienes, Elisa; Bertrand, Stéphanie; Diaz, Sergio G; Aldea, Daniel; Aury, Jean-Marc; Mangenot, Sophie; Holland, Peter W H; Devos, Damien P; Maeso, Ignacio; Escrivá, Hector; Gómez-Skarmeta, José Luis

    2016-03-01

    The HoxA and HoxD gene clusters of jawed vertebrates are organized into bipartite three-dimensional chromatin structures that separate long-range regulatory inputs coming from the anterior and posterior Hox-neighboring regions. This architecture is instrumental in allowing vertebrate Hox genes to pattern disparate parts of the body, including limbs. Almost nothing is known about how these three-dimensional topologies originated. Here we perform extensive 4C-seq profiling of the Hox cluster in embryos of amphioxus, an invertebrate chordate. We find that, in contrast to the architecture in vertebrates, the amphioxus Hox cluster is organized into a single chromatin interaction domain that includes long-range contacts mostly from the anterior side, bringing distant cis-regulatory elements into contact with Hox genes. We infer that the vertebrate Hox bipartite regulatory system is an evolutionary novelty generated by combining ancient long-range regulatory contacts from DNA in the anterior Hox neighborhood with new regulatory inputs from the posterior side.

  9. Semi-automatic segmentation of vertebral bodies in volumetric MR images using a statistical shape+pose model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suzani, Amin; Rasoulian, Abtin; Fels, Sidney; Rohling, Robert N.; Abolmaesumi, Purang

    2014-03-01

    Segmentation of vertebral structures in magnetic resonance (MR) images is challenging because of poor con­trast between bone surfaces and surrounding soft tissue. This paper describes a semi-automatic method for segmenting vertebral bodies in multi-slice MR images. In order to achieve a fast and reliable segmentation, the method takes advantage of the correlation between shape and pose of different vertebrae in the same patient by using a statistical multi-vertebrae anatomical shape+pose model. Given a set of MR images of the spine, we initially reduce the intensity inhomogeneity in the images by using an intensity-correction algorithm. Then a 3D anisotropic diffusion filter smooths the images. Afterwards, we extract edges from a relatively small region of the pre-processed image with a simple user interaction. Subsequently, an iterative Expectation Maximization tech­nique is used to register the statistical multi-vertebrae anatomical model to the extracted edge points in order to achieve a fast and reliable segmentation for lumbar vertebral bodies. We evaluate our method in terms of speed and accuracy by applying it to volumetric MR images of the spine acquired from nine patients. Quantitative and visual results demonstrate that the method is promising for segmentation of vertebral bodies in volumetric MR images.

  10. Taphonomic aspects of the Pleistocene vertebrate assemblage of Itaboraí, state of Rio de Janeiro, southeastern Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Araújo Júnior, Hermínio Ismael de; Dominato, Victor Hugo; Bertoni-Machado, Cristina; Avilla, Leonardo dos Santos

    2013-10-01

    Pleistocene vertebrates from Itaboraí Basin have not been taphonomically studied prior to this work, limiting the understanding of the deposition and preservation of the only Pleistocene vertebrate accumulation known for the state of Rio de Janeiro. In this work, the taphonomic signatures of the Pleistocene vertebrate assemblage of Itaboraí are identified and interpreted in order to increase the knowledge about the formation of this fossil association and the paleoecology of the region of Rio de Janeiro during the late Pleistocene. Our analysis shows that the thanatocoenosis was exposed to the biostratinomic processes during a small time span; that it is parautochthonous; and experienced short transport distances by normal fluvial streams and floods. Subsequently, the fossiliferous horizon was quickly covered by the superjacent soil. Yet, the skeletal elements were fractured and deformed during the sedimentary compaction. The differential preservation of megamammal bones is associated to the bone resistance against those destructive processes and to the specific anatomical features. Comparison between Itaboraí and other Brazilian Pleistocene vertebrate accumulations shows that the Itaboraí fossil accumulation was less affected by taphonomic processes, although it is also a time-averaged fossil concentration. Finally, some of the taphonomic features indicate an arid paleoclimate.

  11. A single three-dimensional chromatin compartment in amphioxus indicates a stepwise evolution of vertebrate Hox bimodal regulation.

    PubMed

    Acemel, Rafael D; Tena, Juan J; Irastorza-Azcarate, Ibai; Marlétaz, Ferdinand; Gómez-Marín, Carlos; de la Calle-Mustienes, Elisa; Bertrand, Stéphanie; Diaz, Sergio G; Aldea, Daniel; Aury, Jean-Marc; Mangenot, Sophie; Holland, Peter W H; Devos, Damien P; Maeso, Ignacio; Escrivá, Hector; Gómez-Skarmeta, José Luis

    2016-03-01

    The HoxA and HoxD gene clusters of jawed vertebrates are organized into bipartite three-dimensional chromatin structures that separate long-range regulatory inputs coming from the anterior and posterior Hox-neighboring regions. This architecture is instrumental in allowing vertebrate Hox genes to pattern disparate parts of the body, including limbs. Almost nothing is known about how these three-dimensional topologies originated. Here we perform extensive 4C-seq profiling of the Hox cluster in embryos of amphioxus, an invertebrate chordate. We find that, in contrast to the architecture in vertebrates, the amphioxus Hox cluster is organized into a single chromatin interaction domain that includes long-range contacts mostly from the anterior side, bringing distant cis-regulatory elements into contact with Hox genes. We infer that the vertebrate Hox bipartite regulatory system is an evolutionary novelty generated by combining ancient long-range regulatory contacts from DNA in the anterior Hox neighborhood with new regulatory inputs from the posterior side. PMID:26829752

  12. Do global diversity patterns of vertebrates reflect those of monocots?

    PubMed

    McInnes, Lynsey; Jones, F Andrew; Orme, C David L; Sobkowiak, Benjamin; Barraclough, Timothy G; Chase, Mark W; Govaerts, Rafaël; Soltis, Douglas E; Soltis, Pamela S; Savolainen, Vincent

    2013-01-01

    Few studies of global diversity gradients in plants exist, largely because the data are not available for all species involved. Instead, most global studies have focussed on vertebrates, as these taxa have historically been associated with the most complete data. Here, we address this shortfall by first investigating global diversity gradients in monocots, a morphologically and functionally diverse clade representing a quarter of flowering plant diversity, and then assessing congruence between monocot and vertebrate diversity patterns. To do this, we create a new dataset that merges biome-level associations for all monocot genera with country-level associations for almost all ∼70,000 species. We then assess the evidence for direct versus indirect effects of this plant diversity on vertebrate diversity using a combination of linear regression and structural equation modelling (SEM). Finally, we also calculate overlap of diversity hotspots for monocots and each vertebrate taxon. Monocots follow a latitudinal gradient although with pockets of extra-tropical diversity, mirroring patterns in vertebrates. Monocot diversity is positively associated with vertebrate diversity, but the strength of correlation varies depending on the clades being compared. Monocot diversity explains marginal amounts of variance (<10%) after environmental factors have been accounted for. However, correlations remain among model residuals, and SEMs apparently reveal some direct effects of monocot richness. Our results suggest that collinear responses to environmental gradients are behind much of the congruence observed, but that there is some evidence for direct effects of producer diversity on consumer diversity. Much remains to be done before broad-scale diversity gradients among taxa are fully explained. Our dataset of monocot distributions will aid in this endeavour. PMID:23658679

  13. Unexpected multiplicity of QRFP receptors in early vertebrate evolution.

    PubMed

    Larhammar, Dan; Xu, Bo; Bergqvist, Christina A

    2014-01-01

    The neuropeptide QRFP, also called 26RFa, and its G protein-coupled receptor GPR103 have been identified in all vertebrates investigated. In mammals, this peptide-receptor pair has been found to have several effects including stimulation of appetite. Recently, we reported that a QRFP peptide is present in amphioxus, Branchiostoma floridae, and we also identified a QRFP receptor (QRFPR) that mediates a functional response to sub-nanomolar concentrations of the amphioxus peptide as well as short and long human QRFP (Xu et al., submitted). Because the ancestral vertebrate underwent two tetraploidizations, it might be expected that duplicates of the QRFP gene and its receptor gene may exist. Indeed, we report here the identification of multiple vertebrate QRFPR genes. Three QRFPR genes are present in the coelacanth Latimeria chalumnae, representing an early diverging sarcopterygian lineage. Three QRFPR genes are present in the basal actinopterygian fish, the spotted gar. Phylogenetic and chromosomal analyses show that only two of these receptor genes are orthologous between the two species, thus demonstrating a total of four distinct vertebrate genes. Three of the QRFPR genes resulted from the early vertebrate tetraploidizations and were copied along with syntenic neuropeptide Y receptor genes. The fourth QRFPR gene may be an even older and distinct lineage. Because mammals and birds have only a single QRFPR gene, this means that three genes have been lost in these lineages, and at least one of these was lost independently in mammals and birds because it is still present in a turtle. In conclusion, these results show that the QRFP system gained considerable complexity in the early stages of vertebrate evolution and still maintains much of this in some lineages, and that it has been secondarily reduced in mammals.

  14. Prevalent Morphometric Vertebral Fractures in Professional Male Rugby Players

    PubMed Central

    Hind, Karen; Birrell, Fraser; Beck, Belinda

    2014-01-01

    There is an ongoing concern about the risk of injury to the spine in professional rugby players. The objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence of vertebral fracture using vertebral fracture assessment (VFA) dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) imaging in professional male rugby players. Ninety five professional rugby league (n = 52) and union (n = 43) players (n = 95; age 25.9 (SD 4.3) years; BMI: 29.5 (SD 2.9) kg.m2) participated in the research. Each participant received one VFA, and one total body and lumbar spine DXA scan (GE Lunar iDXA). One hundred and twenty vertebral fractures were identified in over half of the sample by VFA. Seventy four were graded mild (grade 1), 40 moderate (grade 2) and 6 severe (grade 3). Multiple vertebral fractures (≥2) were found in 37 players (39%). There were no differences in prevalence between codes, or between forwards and backs (both 1.2 v 1.4; p>0.05). The most common sites of fracture were T8 (n = 23), T9 (n = 18) and T10 (n = 21). The mean (SD) lumbar spine bone mineral density Z-score was 2.7 (1.3) indicating high player bone mass in comparison with age- and sex-matched norms. We observed a high number of vertebral fractures using DXA VFA in professional rugby players of both codes. The incidence, aetiology and consequences of vertebral fractures in professional rugby players are unclear, and warrant timely, prospective investigation. PMID:24846310

  15. Uniextrapedicular kyphoplasty for the treatment of thoracic osteoporotic vertebral fractures.

    PubMed

    Ge, Zhaohui; Ma, Rong; Chen, Zhen; Zhang, Huiyong; Ding, Huiqiang; Liang, Siming; Suo, Zhigang

    2013-08-01

    Osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures are common and cause pain and disability. Most osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures occur in the lower thoracic and thoracolumbar spine. Percutaneous balloon kyphoplasty through a transpedicular approach is a classic procedure performed to treat osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures. However, due to the slender morphology of the pedicles, small pedicle size, and the angular severity of thoracic kyphosis, performing kyphoplasty in middle and high thoracic levels is technically challenging. The purpose of this retrospective study was to evaluate the clinical outcomes of single-balloon kyphoplasty for the treatment of thoracic osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures via an extrapedicular approach. Between July 2004 and May 2008, thirty-eight patients with thoracic osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures underwent percutaneous kyphoplasty via a unilateral extrapedicular approach. Average patient age was 60.3 years. Symptomatic levels ranged from T4 to T12. All affected vertebrae were identified via physical examination, magnetic resonance imaging, and radiographs. Pain relief, vertebral height restoration, and kyphosis correction were compared pre- and postoperatively using the visual analog scale and radiographs. The operation was successful in all patients. Average injected bone cement volume was 3.2±1.4 mL. Mean follow-up was 9.5 months. Visual analog scale pain score improved in 36 of 38 patients postoperatively. Mean visual analog scale pain score was 8.92±0.682 preoperatively and 2.40±0.31 postoperatively and remained at 2.80±0.34 until last follow-up. Mean middle body height correction ratio was 50.9%±34.6%. No lateral wedging was found in the coronal alignment of the treated vertebrae. Three (7.9%) patients sustained cement extravasation with no adverse events. Kyphoplasty through a unilateral extrapedicular approach can achieve convergent and proper cement filling in the affected

  16. Unexpected multiplicity of QRFP receptors in early vertebrate evolution

    PubMed Central

    Larhammar, Dan; Xu, Bo; Bergqvist, Christina A.

    2014-01-01

    The neuropeptide QRFP, also called 26RFa, and its G protein-coupled receptor GPR103 have been identified in all vertebrates investigated. In mammals, this peptide-receptor pair has been found to have several effects including stimulation of appetite. Recently, we reported that a QRFP peptide is present in amphioxus, Branchiostoma floridae, and we also identified a QRFP receptor (QRFPR) that mediates a functional response to sub-nanomolar concentrations of the amphioxus peptide as well as short and long human QRFP (Xu et al., submitted). Because the ancestral vertebrate underwent two tetraploidizations, it might be expected that duplicates of the QRFP gene and its receptor gene may exist. Indeed, we report here the identification of multiple vertebrate QRFPR genes. Three QRFPR genes are present in the coelacanth Latimeria chalumnae, representing an early diverging sarcopterygian lineage. Three QRFPR genes are present in the basal actinopterygian fish, the spotted gar. Phylogenetic and chromosomal analyses show that only two of these receptor genes are orthologous between the two species, thus demonstrating a total of four distinct vertebrate genes. Three of the QRFPR genes resulted from the early vertebrate tetraploidizations and were copied along with syntenic neuropeptide Y receptor genes. The fourth QRFPR gene may be an even older and distinct lineage. Because mammals and birds have only a single QRFPR gene, this means that three genes have been lost in these lineages, and at least one of these was lost independently in mammals and birds because it is still present in a turtle. In conclusion, these results show that the QRFP system gained considerable complexity in the early stages of vertebrate evolution and still maintains much of this in some lineages, and that it has been secondarily reduced in mammals. PMID:25386115

  17. Distribution, adaptation and physiological meaning of thiols from vertebrate hemoglobins.

    PubMed

    Reischl, Evaldo; Dafre, Alcir Luiz; Franco, Jeferson Luis; Wilhelm Filho, Danilo

    2007-01-01

    In the present review, the sequences of hemoglobins (Hb) of 267 adult vertebrate species belonging to eight major vertebrate taxa are examined for the presence and location of cysteinyl residues in an attempt at correlation with their ecophysiology. Essentially, all vertebrates have surface cysteinyl residues in Hb molecules whereby their thiol groups may become highly reactive. Thiol-rich Hbs may display eight or more thiols per tetramer. In vertebrates so far examined, the cysteinyl residues occur in 44 different sequence positions in alpha chains and 41 positions in beta chains. Most of them are conservatively located and occur in only a few positions in Teleostei, Aves and Mammalia, whereas they are dispersed in Amphibia. The internal cysteinyl residue alpha104 is ubiquitous in vertebrates. Residue beta93 is highly conserved in reptiles, birds and mammals. The number of cysteine residues per tetramer with solvent access varies in vertebrates, mammalians and bony fish having the lowest number of external residues, whereas nearly all external cysteine residues in Aves and Lepidosauria are of the surface crevice type. In cartilaginous fish, amphibians, Crocodylidae and fresh water turtles, a substantial portion of the solvent accessible thiols are of the totally external type. Recent evidence shows that some Hb thiol groups are highly reactive and undergo extensive and reversible S-thiolation, and that they may be implicated in interorgan redox equilibrium processes. Participation of thiol groups in nitric oxide ((*)NO) metabolism has also been proved. The evidence argues for a new physiologically relevant role for Hb via involvement in free radical and antioxidant metabolism. PMID:17368111

  18. Do Global Diversity Patterns of Vertebrates Reflect Those of Monocots?

    PubMed Central

    McInnes, Lynsey; Jones, F. Andrew; Orme, C. David L.; Sobkowiak, Benjamin; Barraclough, Timothy G.; Chase, Mark W.; Govaerts, Rafaël; Soltis, Douglas E.; Soltis, Pamela S.; Savolainen, Vincent

    2013-01-01

    Few studies of global diversity gradients in plants exist, largely because the data are not available for all species involved. Instead, most global studies have focussed on vertebrates, as these taxa have historically been associated with the most complete data. Here, we address this shortfall by first investigating global diversity gradients in monocots, a morphologically and functionally diverse clade representing a quarter of flowering plant diversity, and then assessing congruence between monocot and vertebrate diversity patterns. To do this, we create a new dataset that merges biome-level associations for all monocot genera with country-level associations for almost all ∼70,000 species. We then assess the evidence for direct versus indirect effects of this plant diversity on vertebrate diversity using a combination of linear regression and structural equation modelling (SEM). Finally, we also calculate overlap of diversity hotspots for monocots and each vertebrate taxon. Monocots follow a latitudinal gradient although with pockets of extra-tropical diversity, mirroring patterns in vertebrates. Monocot diversity is positively associated with vertebrate diversity, but the strength of correlation varies depending on the clades being compared. Monocot diversity explains marginal amounts of variance (<10%) after environmental factors have been accounted for. However, correlations remain among model residuals, and SEMs apparently reveal some direct effects of monocot richness. Our results suggest that collinear responses to environmental gradients are behind much of the congruence observed, but that there is some evidence for direct effects of producer diversity on consumer diversity. Much remains to be done before broad-scale diversity gradients among taxa are fully explained. Our dataset of monocot distributions will aid in this endeavour. PMID:23658679

  19. Vascular Plant and Vertebrate Inventory of Tumacacori National Historical Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Powell, Brian F.; Albrecht, Eric W.; Halvorson, William L.; Schmidt, Cecilia A.; Anning, Pamela; Docherty, Kathleen

    2005-01-01

    Executive Summary This report summarizes the results of the first comprehensive biological inventory of Tumacacori National Historical Park (NHP) in southern Arizona. These surveys were part of a larger effort to inventory vascular plants and vertebrates in eight National Park Service units in Arizona and New Mexico. From 2000 to 2003 we surveyed for vascular plants and vertebrates (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals) at Tumacacori NHP to document presence of species within the administrative boundaries of the park's three units. Because we used repeatable study designs and standardized field techniques, these inventories can serve as the first step in a long-term monitoring program. We recorded 591 species at Tumacacori NHP, significantly increasing the number of known species for the park (Table 1). Species of note in each taxonomic group include: * Plants: second record in Arizona of muster John Henry, a non-native species that is ranked a 'Class A noxious weed' in California; * Amphibian: Great Plains narrow-mouthed toad; * Reptiles: eastern fence lizard and Sonoran mud turtle; * Birds: yellow-billed cuckoo, green kingfisher, and one observation of the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher; * Fishes: four native species including an important population of the endangered Gila topminnow in the Tumacacori Channel; * Mammals: black bear and all four species of skunk known to occur in Arizona. We recorded 79 non-native species (Table E.S.1), many of which are of management concern, including: Bermudagrass, tamarisk, western mosquitofish, largemouth bass, bluegill, sunfish, American bullfrog, feral cats and dogs, and cattle. We also noted an abundance of crayfish (a non-native invertebrate). We review some of the important non-native species and make recommendations to remove them or to minimize their impacts on the native biota of the park. Based on the observed species richness, Tumacacori NHP possesses high biological diversity of plants, fish

  20. The Intriguing Dual Lattices of the Myosin Filaments in Vertebrate Striated Muscles: Evolution and Advantage

    PubMed Central

    Luther, Pradeep K.; Squire, John M.

    2014-01-01

    Myosin filaments in vertebrate striated muscle have a long roughly cylindrical backbone with cross-bridge projections on the surfaces of both halves except for a short central bare zone. In the middle of this central region the filaments are cross-linked by the M-band which holds them in a well-defined hexagonal lattice in the muscle A-band. During muscular contraction the M-band-defined rotation of the myosin filaments around their long axes influences the interactions that the cross-bridges can make with the neighbouring actin filaments. We can visualise this filament rotation by electron microscopy of thin cross-sections in the bare-region immediately adjacent to the M-band where the filament profiles are distinctly triangular. In the muscles of teleost fishes, the thick filament triangular profiles have a single orientation giving what we call the simple lattice. In other vertebrates, for example all the tetrapods, the thick filaments have one of two orientations where the triangles point in opposite directions (they are rotated by 60° or 180°) according to set rules. Such a distribution cannot be developed in an ordered fashion across a large 2D lattice, but there are small domains of superlattice such that the next-nearest neighbouring thick filaments often have the same orientation. We believe that this difference in the lattice forms can lead to different contractile behaviours. Here we provide a historical review, and when appropriate cite recent work related to the emergence of the simple and superlattice forms by examining the muscles of several species ranging back to primitive vertebrates and we discuss the functional differences that the two lattice forms may have. PMID:25478994

  1. The intriguing dual lattices of the Myosin filaments in vertebrate striated muscles: evolution and advantage.

    PubMed

    Luther, Pradeep K; Squire, John M

    2014-01-01

    Myosin filaments in vertebrate striated muscle have a long roughly cylindrical backbone with cross-bridge projections on the surfaces of both halves except for a short central bare zone. In the middle of this central region the filaments are cross-linked by the M-band which holds them in a well-defined hexagonal lattice in the muscle A-band. During muscular contraction the M-band-defined rotation of the myosin filaments around their long axes influences the interactions that the cross-bridges can make with the neighbouring actin filaments. We can visualise this filament rotation by electron microscopy of thin cross-sections in the bare-region immediately adjacent to the M-band where the filament profiles are distinctly triangular. In the muscles of teleost fishes, the thick filament triangular profiles have a single orientation giving what we call the simple lattice. In other vertebrates, for example all the tetrapods, the thick filaments have one of two orientations where the triangles point in opposite directions (they are rotated by 60° or 180°) according to set rules. Such a distribution cannot be developed in an ordered fashion across a large 2D lattice, but there are small domains of superlattice such that the next-nearest neighbouring thick filaments often have the same orientation. We believe that this difference in the lattice forms can lead to different contractile behaviours. Here we provide a historical review, and when appropriate cite recent work related to the emergence of the simple and superlattice forms by examining the muscles of several species ranging back to primitive vertebrates and we discuss the functional differences that the two lattice forms may have. PMID:25478994

  2. Vertebral venous channels: CT appearance and differential considerations

    SciTech Connect

    Sartoris, D.J.; Resnick, D.; Guerra, J. Jr.

    1985-06-01

    A comprehensive study of the anatomy, radiologic images, and pathology of venous channels in the thoracic and lumbar vertebral bodies was performed using cadavers and patients. These structures may be mistaken for fractures, lytic lesions, or other abnormalities on high-resolution axial computed tomographic (CT) scans of the spine. A distinct osseous wall, absence of extension over multiple contiguous levels, lack of displacement, and predominant localization in the mid-axial plane of the vertebral body are characteristic features of venous channels. An understanding of the normal intraosseous venous anatomy should prevent misinterpretation of clinical CT studies in most instances.

  3. Nucleic Acid Templated Chemical Reaction in a Live Vertebrate

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Nucleic acid templated reactions are enabled by the hybridization of probe-reagent conjugates resulting in high effective reagent concentration and fast chemical transformation. We have developed a reaction that harnesses cellular microRNA (miRNA) to yield the cleavage of a linker releasing fluorogenic rhodamine in a live vertebrate. The reaction is based on the catalytic photoreduction of an azide by a ruthenium complex. We showed that this system reports specific expression of miRNA in living tissues of a vertebrate. PMID:27413783

  4. Changes in the adult vertebrate auditory sensory epithelium after trauma.

    PubMed

    Oesterle, Elizabeth C

    2013-03-01

    Auditory hair cells transduce sound vibrations into membrane potential changes, ultimately leading to changes in neuronal firing and sound perception. This review provides an overview of the characteristics and repair capabilities of traumatized auditory sensory epithelium in the adult vertebrate ear. Injured mammalian auditory epithelium repairs itself by forming permanent scars but is unable to regenerate replacement hair cells. In contrast, injured non-mammalian vertebrate ear generates replacement hair cells to restore hearing functions. Non-sensory support cells within the auditory epithelium play key roles in the repair processes.

  5. Age of sex-determining mechanisms in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    WITSCHI, E

    1959-08-14

    Certain characteristic patterns of physiologic sex determination are not causally linked with types of genic and chromosomal constitution (XX-XY or ZW-ZZ). The observed widespread but not universal parallelism in the distribution of genetic and physiologic patterns among vertebrate groups expresses genealogic relationship. On the basis of this interpretation one may estimate the approximate evolutionary age of the mechanism of genetic sex determination. It is concluded that in all tetrapod vertebrates these mechanisms originated during the Jurassic period. Environmental conditions seem to affect the progress of this evolution. PMID:13675759

  6. Nucleic Acid Templated Chemical Reaction in a Live Vertebrate.

    PubMed

    Holtzer, Laurent; Oleinich, Igor; Anzola, Marcello; Lindberg, Eric; Sadhu, Kalyan K; Gonzalez-Gaitan, Marcos; Winssinger, Nicolas

    2016-06-22

    Nucleic acid templated reactions are enabled by the hybridization of probe-reagent conjugates resulting in high effective reagent concentration and fast chemical transformation. We have developed a reaction that harnesses cellular microRNA (miRNA) to yield the cleavage of a linker releasing fluorogenic rhodamine in a live vertebrate. The reaction is based on the catalytic photoreduction of an azide by a ruthenium complex. We showed that this system reports specific expression of miRNA in living tissues of a vertebrate.

  7. Continuum theory of gene expression waves during vertebrate segmentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jörg, David J.; Morelli, Luis G.; Soroldoni, Daniele; Oates, Andrew C.; Jülicher, Frank

    2015-09-01

    The segmentation of the vertebrate body plan during embryonic development is a rhythmic and sequential process governed by genetic oscillations. These genetic oscillations give rise to traveling waves of gene expression in the segmenting tissue. Here we present a minimal continuum theory of vertebrate segmentation that captures the key principles governing the dynamic patterns of gene expression including the effects of shortening of the oscillating tissue. We show that our theory can quantitatively account for the key features of segmentation observed in zebrafish, in particular the shape of the wave patterns, the period of segmentation and the segment length as a function of time.

  8. Age of sex-determining mechanisms in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    WITSCHI, E

    1959-08-14

    Certain characteristic patterns of physiologic sex determination are not causally linked with types of genic and chromosomal constitution (XX-XY or ZW-ZZ). The observed widespread but not universal parallelism in the distribution of genetic and physiologic patterns among vertebrate groups expresses genealogic relationship. On the basis of this interpretation one may estimate the approximate evolutionary age of the mechanism of genetic sex determination. It is concluded that in all tetrapod vertebrates these mechanisms originated during the Jurassic period. Environmental conditions seem to affect the progress of this evolution.

  9. Genetics and evolution of ultraviolet vision in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Yokoyama, S; Shi, Y

    2000-12-01

    Various vertebrates use ultraviolet (UV) vision for such basic behaviors as mating, foraging, and predation. We have successfully interchanged the color-sensitivities of the mouse UV pigment and the human blue pigment by introducing forward and reverse mutations at five sites. This unveils for the first time the general mechanism of UV vision. Most contemporary UV pigments in vertebrates have maintained their ancestral functions by accumulating no more than one of the five specific amino acid changes. The avian lineage is an exception, where the ancestral pigment lost UV-sensitivity but some descendants regained it by one amino acid replacement at an entirely different site.

  10. Extracranial Vertebral Artery Involvement in Neurofibromatosis Type I

    PubMed Central

    Pereira, V.M.; Geiprasert, S.; Krings, T.; Caldas, J.G.M.P.; Toulgoat, F.; Ozanne, A.; Mercier, P.; Lasjaunias, P. L.

    2007-01-01

    Summary Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF-1) is one of the most common inherited diseases and as an autosomal dominant genetic disorder results from NF-1 gene mutation with 100% penetration and wide phenotypic variability. The disease can involve a wide variety of tissues derived from all three embryonic layers. NF-1 vasculopathy has been described primarily in peripheral arteries, but arteries supplying the CNS may also be involved. Of those, extracranial vertebral involvement is the commonest and most important. A series of four patients with NF-1 and vascular disease of the vertebral artery is described with a review of the pathophysiology, vascular phenotypes, their management and the pertinent literature. PMID:20566100

  11. Left hemibody myoclonus due to anomalous right vertebral artery.

    PubMed

    Coelho, Miguel; Marti, Maria J; Valls-Solé, Josep; Pujol, Teresa; Tolosa, Eduardo

    2005-01-01

    A 43-year-old man presented with sporadic, sudden, brief, and involuntary jerks of his left limbs and trunk muscles. The electromyographic recordings showed short-lasting highly synchronized bursts, compatible with myoclonus limited to the left hemibody. Blink reflex, masseter silent period, cortical and spinal magnetic stimulation, somatosensory cortical evoked potentials, and electroencephalogram (EEG) were normal; the EEG back-averaging showed no spikes preceding the myoclonus. Magnetic resonance imaging and magnetic resonance angiography showed the presence of an anomalous nonectasic right vertebral artery compressing the right side of ventral medulla oblongata. We hypothesize that the aberrant right vertebral artery induced abnormal activation of descending motor tracts responsible for the myoclonus.

  12. Noncanonical Wnt/PCP signaling during vertebrate gastrulation.

    PubMed

    Tada, Masazumi; Kai, Masatake

    2009-03-01

    The branch of the Wnt pathway, related to planar cell polarity signaling in Drosophila, is fundamental not only to the establishment of tissue polarity but also to a variety of morphogenetic processes in vertebrates. The genetic pathway has been noted for its similarity as well as divergence of between vertebrates and Drosophila. This review focuses on issues related to the complexity of the output of the planar cell polarity pathway during gastrulation in zebrafish and Xenopus and, to a lesser extent, during gastrulation/neurulation in mice.

  13. Vertebrate LTR retrotransposons of the Tf1/sushi group.

    PubMed