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Sample records for opossum didelphis virginiana

  1. Besnoitia darlingi infection in a Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana).

    PubMed

    Shaw, Shannon; Grasperge, Britton; Nevarez, Javier; Reed, Scott; Long, Lauren; Rademacher, Nathalie; Sánchez-Migallón Guzmán, David

    2009-03-01

    This is a case report of natural infection with Besnoitia darlingi in a Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) in Louisiana. Clinical pathologic data included a severe nonregenerative anemia, inflammatory leukogram, increased hepatocellular leakage enzymes, renal azotemia, hyperkalemia, hypoglycemia, hypoalbuminemia, and proteinuria. Tissue cysts containing bradyzoites were found in the majority of organs, especially the skin, mucous membranes, kidneys, adrenals, lungs, and heart. Images of the bradyzoites obtained by transmission electron microscopy were consistent with the previously described ultrastructure of Besnoitia darlingi. This opossum also suffered from an open phalangeal fracture and concurrent gastrointestinal parasites. Histopathologic findings included a glomerulonephritis and hepatic necrosis.

  2. West Nile Virus Isolated from a Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana) in Northwestern Missouri, USA, 2012

    PubMed Central

    Bosco-Lauth, Angela; Harmon, Jessica R.; Lash, R. Ryan; Weiss, Sonja; Langevin, Stanley; Savage, Harry M.; Godsey, Marvin S.; Burkhalter, Kristen; Root, J. Jeffrey; Gidlewski, Thomas; Nicholson, William L.; Brault, Aaron C.; Komar, Nicholas

    2016-01-01

    We describe the isolation of West Nile virus (WNV; Flaviviridae, Flavivirus) from blood of a Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) collected in northwestern Missouri, USA in August 2012. Sequencing determined that the virus was related to lineage 1a WNV02 strains. We discuss the role of wildlife in WNV disease epidemiology. PMID:25098303

  3. West Nile virus isolated from Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) in Northwest Missouri 2012

    DOE PAGES

    Bosco-Lauth, Angela; Harmon, Jessica; Lash, R. Ryan; ...

    2014-12-01

    We describe the isolation of West Nile virus (WNV; Flaviviridae, flavivirus) from blood of a Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) collected in northwestern Missouri, USA in August 2012. Furthermore, sequencing determined that the virus was related to lineage 1a WNV02 strains. We discuss the role of wildlife in WNV disease epidemiology.

  4. Postmortem scavenging by the Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana): Impact on taphonomic assemblages and progression.

    PubMed

    King, Kama A; Lord, Wayne D; Ketchum, Heather R; O'Brien, R Christopher

    2016-09-01

    The Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is a highly active scavenger whose behavior has significant impacts on rates of decomposition and skeletonization, which have previously not been addressed. In this study, scavenging by the opossum led to the skeletonization of carcasses in half of the accumulated degree days (ADD) of a comparable non-scavenged control carcass. Opossums used body orifices, as well as natural tears caused by the decomposition process, to access internal tissues and consume them. This activity resulted in little movement of the carcass and the retained appearance of natural undisturbed decomposition. This concealed activity has the potential to cause drastically incorrect estimates of time since deposition and post-mortem interval. Scavenging by opossums was also found to leave distinct tooth mark and other defects on bone, which have not been previously distinguished in the literature. This research suggests, beyond effects on PMI, that scavenging by opossums has been historically overlooked and misattributed to canid scavengers.

  5. Experimental aerosol inoculation of Mycobacterium bovis in North American opossums (Didelphis virginiana).

    PubMed

    Fitzgerald, Scott D; Zwick, Laura S; Diegel, Kelly L; Berry, Dale E; Church, Steven V; Sikarskie, James G; Kaneene, John B; Reed, Willie M

    2003-04-01

    The goal of this study was to evaluate the susceptibility of North American opossums (Didelphis virginiana) to aerosol inoculation of Mycobacterium bovis at two dose levels in order to gain information on disease pathogenesis, fecal shedding of the organism, and the potential role that opossums play in the spread of this disease in nature. Six opossums received high dose (1 x 10(7) colony forming units (cfu) by aerosol inoculation, six opossums received low dose (1 x 10(3) cfu inoculation, and six opossums were sham-inoculated with sterile water and served as controls. Lungs were the most frequently infected tissues, with nine of 12 inoculated opossums positive for M. bovis on culture. Gross lesions consisted of multifocal pneumonia and enlarged lymph nodes. Microscopically, granulomatous pneumonia and granulomatous lymphadenitis associated with acid-fast bacilli were present in eight of 12 inoculated opossums. Fecal shedding of M. bovis was uncommon at both inoculation doses. While opossums were highly susceptible to aerosol inoculation of M. bovis, they did not become emaciated or develop widely disseminated lesions. From this study, opossums may transmit tuberculosis by aerosol infection to other opossums in close contact and serve as a source of infection to carnivores that feed upon them, however, transmission of the disease to large herbivores by fecal shedding or direct contact may be less likely.

  6. Normal conjunctival flora in the North American opossum (Didelphis virginiana) and raccoon (Procyon lotor).

    PubMed

    Pinard, Chantale L; Brightman, Alan H; Yeary, Teresa J; Everson, Troy D; Cox, Linda K; Chengappa, M M; Davidson, Harriet J

    2002-10-01

    We documented the normal conjunctival bacterial flora from 17 opossums (Didelphis virginiana) and 10 raccoons (Procyon lotor) trapped in Manhattan, Kansas (USA) from November 1999 to January 2000. Both raccoons and opossums were free of apparent ocular disease. The inferior conjunctival sacs of each animal were swabbed for aerobic bacterial and Mycoplasma culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for Mycoplasma and Chlamydia detection. All conjunctival samples were positive for one or more species of aerobic bacteria. The most common isolate from opossums was Staphylococcus spp. Other isolates included Streptococcus spp., Bacillus spp., Corynebacterium spp., and Enterococcus faecalis. The most common isolates in raccoons was Bacillus spp. Other isolates included Streptococcus spp., Staphylococcus spp., non-hemolytic Escherichia coli, and Enterococcus faecalis. Mycoplasma culture was negative in samples from opossums and raccoons. Evidence of Mycoplasma and Chlamydia presence was detected by PCR.

  7. First molecular evidence of Toxoplasma gondii in opossums (Didelphis virginiana) from Yucatan, Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Torres-Castro, M.; Noh-Pech, H.; Puerto-Hernández, R.; Reyes-Hernández, B.; Panti-May, A.; Hernández-Betancourt, S.; Yeh-Gorocica, A.; González-Herrera, L.; Zavala-Castro, J.; Puerto, F.I.

    2016-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular parasite recognized as a causal agent of toxoplasmosis; zoonotic disease endemic in many countries worldwide, including Mexico. Different species of animals participate in the wild cycle infection, including opossums of the species Didelphis virginiana. Thirteen D. virginiana were captured in Yucatan, Mexico. Detection of T. gondii was achieved by Polymerase Chain Reaction, which determined an infection of 76.9% (10/13) in brains. Positive amplicons were sequenced for analysis, this produced results similar to T. gondii with identity and coverage values of 98% and 96-100%, respectively. This study presents the first molecular evidence of the circulation of T. gondii in D. virginiana from Mexico. PMID:27200271

  8. First molecular evidence of Toxoplasma gondii in opossums (Didelphis virginiana) from Yucatan, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Torres-Castro, M; Noh-Pech, H; Puerto-Hernández, R; Reyes-Hernández, B; Panti-May, A; Hernández-Betancourt, S; Yeh-Gorocica, A; González-Herrera, L; Zavala-Castro, J; Puerto, F I

    2016-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular parasite recognized as a causal agent of toxoplasmosis; zoonotic disease endemic in many countries worldwide, including Mexico. Different species of animals participate in the wild cycle infection, including opossums of the species Didelphis virginiana. Thirteen D. virginiana were captured in Yucatan, Mexico. Detection of T. gondii was achieved by Polymerase Chain Reaction, which determined an infection of 76.9% (10/13) in brains. Positive amplicons were sequenced for analysis, this produced results similar to T. gondii with identity and coverage values of 98% and 96-100%, respectively. This study presents the first molecular evidence of the circulation of T. gondii in D. virginiana from Mexico.

  9. Prevalence and risk factors associated with Sarcocystis neurona infections in opossums (Didelphis virginiana) from central California.

    PubMed

    Rejmanek, Daniel; Vanwormer, Elizabeth; Miller, Melissa A; Mazet, Jonna A K; Nichelason, Amy E; Melli, Ann C; Packham, Andrea E; Jessup, David A; Conrad, Patricia A

    2009-12-03

    Sarcocystis neurona, a protozoal parasite shed by opossums (Didelphis virginiana), has been shown to cause significant morbidity and mortality in horses, sea otters, and other marine mammals. Over the course of 3 years (fall 2005-summer 2008), opossums from central California were tested for infection with S. neurona. Of 288 opossums sampled, 17 (5.9%) were infected with S. neurona based on the molecular characterization of sporocysts from intestinal scrapings or feces. Risk factors evaluated for association with S. neurona infection in opossums included: age, sex, location, season, presence of pouch young in females, concomitant infection, and sampling method (live-trapped or traffic-killed). Multivariate logistic regression analysis identified that opossums in the Central Valley were 9 times more likely to be infected than those near the coast (p=0.009). Similarly, opossum infection was 5 times more likely to be detected during the reproductive season (March-July; p=0.013). This first investigation of S. neurona infection prevalence and associated risk factors in opossums in the western United States can be used to develop management strategies aimed at reducing the incidence of S. neurona infections in susceptible hosts, including horses and threatened California sea otters (Enhydra lutris neries).

  10. West Nile virus isolated from Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) in Northwest Missouri 2012

    SciTech Connect

    Bosco-Lauth, Angela; Harmon, Jessica; Lash, R. Ryan; Weiss, Sonja; Langevin, Stanley; Savage, Harry; Marvin S. Godsey, Jr.; Burkhalter, Kristen; Root, J. Jeffrey; Gidlewski, Thomas; Nicholson, William; Brault, Aaron C.; Komar, Nicholas

    2014-12-01

    We describe the isolation of West Nile virus (WNV; Flaviviridae, flavivirus) from blood of a Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) collected in northwestern Missouri, USA in August 2012. Furthermore, sequencing determined that the virus was related to lineage 1a WNV02 strains. We discuss the role of wildlife in WNV disease epidemiology.

  11. Intrahepatic growth and maturation of Gnathostoma turgidum in the natural definitive opossum host, Didelphis virginiana.

    PubMed

    Díaz-Camacho, Sylvia Páz; Delgado-Vargas, Francisco; Willms, Kaethe; de la Cruz-Otero, María del Carmen; Guadalupe Rendón-Maldonado, José; Robert, Lilia; Antuna, Silvia; Nawa, Yukifumi

    2010-09-01

    Gnathostoma turgidum is a gastric nematode parasite of opossums found in the Americas. We recently found that G. turgidum juveniles appear in the liver of the opossums where they become mature adults and almost synchronously move to the stomach during certain months of the year, suggesting the importance of the liver for the growth and maturation of this species in the final hosts. In this study we attempted to detect G. turgidum larvae in the liver of opossums, Didelphis virginiana that are the natural final hosts. The results show that tiny (<3mm in length) third stage larvae (L3) appeared in the liver of opossums around November and December. Also in the liver, we found large L3 of up to about 10mm in length together with juveniles and mature adults from February to March. In spite of their length, large L3 have 4 rows of hooklets, and their gonads remained undeveloped. Morphological features of the small and large L3 of G. turgidum are described including scanning electron microscope images. The seasonal switching of the several growth stages of G. turgidum from small L3 to adult worms in the liver and eventual migration to the stomach in opossums suggests the unique feature of G. turgidum utilizing the liver as the maturation site.

  12. Molecular characterization of Sarcocystis neurona strains from opossums (Didelphis virginiana) and intermediate hosts from Central California.

    PubMed

    Rejmanek, Daniel; Miller, Melissa A; Grigg, Michael E; Crosbie, Paul R; Conrad, Patricia A

    2010-05-28

    Sarcocystis neurona is a significant cause of neurological disease in horses and other animals, including the threatened Southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis). Opossums (Didelphis virginiana), the only known definitive hosts for S. neurona in North America, are an introduced species in California. S. neurona DNA isolated from sporocysts and/or infected tissues of 10 opossums, 6 horses, 1 cat, 23 Southern sea otters, and 1 harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) with natural infections was analyzed based on 15 genetic markers, including the first internal transcribed spacer (ITS-1) region; the 25/396 marker; S. neurona surface antigen genes (snSAGs) 2, 3, and 4; and 10 different microsatellites. Based on phylogenetic analysis, most of the S. neurona strains segregated into three genetically distinct groups. Additionally, fifteen S. neurona samples from opossums and several intermediate hosts, including sea otters and horses, were found to be genetically identical across all 15 genetic markers, indicating that fatal encephalitis in Southern sea otters and equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) in horses is strongly linked to S. neurona sporocysts shed by opossums.

  13. Prevalence of Sarcocystis species sporocysts in Northern Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana).

    PubMed

    Elsheikha, Hany M; Murphy, Alice J; Mansfield, Linda S

    2004-08-01

    A total of 206 Virginia opossums ( Didelphis virginiana) collected from the mid-Michigan region, United States, during a period extending from 1996 to 2002 were sampled for the presence of Sarcocystis spp sporocysts. All isolates were phenotypically identified as Sarcocystis spp and genotyped to the species level by PCR-based techniques. The overall prevalence of Sarcocystis spp in opossums was 18% (37/206). The prevalence of Sarcocystis spp differed significantly with age ( P<0.001) and adult opossums were more commonly infected (14.6%; 30/206) than juveniles (3.4%; 7/206). No significant difference in the prevalence of Sarcocystis spp infection was observed between male and female ( P<0.15). The highest prevalence was recorded during summer (9.2%; 19/206). PCR-RFLP analyses demonstrated the majority of Sarcocystis isolates to be S. neurona, with some animals co-infected with sporocysts of S. falcatula. Out of the 37 Sarcocystis-infected opossums, 23 (62%) had sporocysts of S. neurona only, four (11%) had sporocysts of S. falcatula only, and eight (22%) had a mixture of S. neurona and S. falcatula sporocysts. These findings indicate that mixed Sarcocystis infections in opossums are common. The propensity for Sarcocystis spp to co-exist in the opossum gut enhances dissemination and environmental contamination with these coccidia. Additionally, this increases the chance for sexual recombination between Sarcocystis spp, given the proclivity of these species to reproduce sexually at high numbers in the intestinal cells of their definitive host.

  14. Lack of Sarcocystis neurona antibody response in Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) fed Sarcocystis neurona-infected muscle tissue.

    PubMed

    Cheadle, M A; Lindsay, D S; Greiner, E C

    2006-06-01

    Serum was collected from laboratory-reared Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) to determine whether experimentally infected opossums shedding Sarcocystis neurona sporocysts develop serum antibodies to S. neurona merozoite antigens. Three opossums were fed muscles from nine-banded armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus), and 5 were fed muscles from striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis). Serum was also collected from 26 automobile-killed opossums to determine whether antibodies to S. neurona were present in these opossums. Serum was analyzed using the S. neurona direct agglutination test (SAT). The SAT was modified for use with a filter paper collection system. Antibodies to S. neurona were not detected in any of the serum samples from opossums, indicating that infection in the opossum is localized in the small intestine. Antibodies to S. neurona were detected in filter-paper-processed serum samples from 2 armadillos naturally infected with S. neurona.

  15. CUTANEOUS EPITHELIOTROPIC T-CELL LYMPHOMA WITH METASTASES IN A VIRGINIA OPOSSUM (DIDELPHIS VIRGINIANA).

    PubMed

    Higbie, Christine T; Carpenter, James W; Choudhary, Shambhunath; DeBey, Brad; Bagladi-Swanson, Mary; Eshar, David

    2015-06-01

    A 2-yr-old, captive, intact female Virginia opossum ( Didelphis virginiana ) with a 7-mo history of ulcerative dermatitis and weight loss was euthanatized for progressive worsening of clinical signs. Initially the opossum was treated with several courses of antibiotics, both topically and systemically; systemic nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication; and, later, systemic glucocorticoids, with no improvement in clinical signs. Histopathologic samples of skin lesions taken 3 mo into the course of disease revealed no evidence of neoplasia; however, cytologic samples of a skin lesion taken 5 mo into the course of disease revealed mature lymphocytes, and were suggestive of cutaneous lymphoma. Postmortem histopathology revealed neoplastic cells consistent with lymphoma; these were found in the haired skin of the forearm, axilla, hind limb, face, and lateral body wall, as well as the liver, kidney, axillary lymph node, heart, and spleen. Multifocal neutrophilic and eosinophilic ulcerative and necrotizing dermatitis and folliculitis of the haired skin were also present. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first documented case of cutaneous lymphoma in a Virginia opossum and the first documented case with visceral metastases in a marsupial.

  16. Observations on besnoitiosis in Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) from Michigan, USA.

    PubMed

    El Sheikha, Hany M; Hussein, Hussein S; Monib, Mohammad el-Salahy M; Mansfield, Linda S

    2007-04-01

    Besnoitia tissue cysts were found in five naturally-infected adult opossums (Didelphis virginiana) from Michigan. Details of the microscopy, histopathology, ultra-structure, and genetic features of the cysts were studied to identify their species-specific traits. The materials were differentiated phenotypically from cysts of other Besnoitia spp. by difference in size, pattern of tissue distribution, morphology of pellicle and nucleus, number of micronemes and rhoptries, amount of lipids and amylopectin, and presence of enigmatic bodies. Morphometric variations identified the tissue cysts and the pathologic changes in opossums host to be due to B. darlingi. The data were proved by phylogenetic analysis based on DNA sequences of the first internal transcribed spacer of nuclear rDNA. Cluster analysis showed that B. darlingi was distinct from all other Besnoitia spp. as two distinct phylogenetic clades: I- included Besnoitia spp. described from opossum (B. darlingi), sheep (B. jellisoni), rodent (B. akadoni) and rabbit (B. oryctofelisi) and clade II- encompassed parasites described from cattle (B. besnoiti), equids (B. bennetti) and reindeer (B. tarandi). The genetic attributed particular to the genus Besnoitia complemented the morphologica features and lead to accurate delimitation of Besnoitia species.

  17. Surveillance and movements of Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) in the bovine tuberculosis region of Michigan.

    PubMed

    Walter, W D; Fischer, J W; Anderson, C W; Marks, D R; Deliberto, T; Robbe-Austerman, S; Vercauteren, K C

    2013-07-01

    Wildlife reservoir hosts of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) include Eurasian badgers (Meles meles) and brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) in the UK and New Zealand, respectively. Similar species warrant further investigation in the northern lower peninsula of Michigan, USA due to the continued presence of bTB on cattle farms. Most research in Michigan, USA has focused on interactions between white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and cattle (Bos taurus) for the transmission of the infectious agent of bTB, Mycobacterium bovis, due to high deer densities and feeding practices. However, limited data are available on medium-sized mammals such as Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana; hereafter referred to as opossum) and their movements and home range in Michigan near cattle farms. We conducted surveillance of medium-sized mammals on previously depopulated cattle farms for presence of M. bovis infections and equipped opossum with Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to assess potential differences in home range between farms inside and outside the bTB core area that has had cattle test positive for M. bovis. On farms inside the bTB core area, prevalence in opossum was comparable [6%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.0-11.0] to prevalence in raccoon (Procyon lotor; 4%, 95% CI 1.0-9.0, P=0.439) whereas only a single opossum tested positive for M. bovis on farms outside the bTB core area. The prevalence in opossum occupying farms that had cattle test positive for M. bovis was higher (6.4%) than for opossum occupying farms that never had cattle test positive for M. bovis (0.9%, P=0.01). Mean size of home range for 50% and 95% estimates were similar by sex (P=0.791) both inside or outside the bTB core area (P=0.218). Although surveillance efforts and home range were not assessed on the same farms, opossum use of farms near structures was apparent as was selection for farms over surrounding forested habitats. The use of farms, stored feed, and structures by opossum

  18. Cone pigments in a North American marsupial, the opossum (Didelphis virginiana).

    PubMed

    Jacobs, Gerald H; Williams, Gary A

    2010-05-01

    Only two of the four cone opsin gene families found in vertebrates are represented in contemporary eutherian and marsupial species. Recent genetic studies of two species of South American marsupial detected the presence of representatives from two of the classes of cone opsin genes and the structures of these genes predicted cone pigments with respective peaks in the ultraviolet and long-wavelength portions of the spectrum. The Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana), a profoundly nocturnal animal, is the only marsupial species found in North America. The prospects for cone-based vision in this species were examined through recordings of the electroretinogram (ERG), a commonly examined retinal response to photic stimulation. Recorded under flickering-light conditions that elicit signals from cone photoreceptors, the spectral sensitivity of the opossum eye is well accounted for by contributions from the presence of a single cone pigment having peak absorption at 561-562 nm. A series of additional experiments that employed various chromatic adaptation paradigms were conducted in a search for possible contributions from a second (short-wavelength sensitive) cone pigment. We found no evidence that such a mechanism contributes to the ERG in this marsupial.

  19. Genetically different isolates of Trypanosoma cruzi elicit different infection dynamics in raccoons (Procyon lotor) and Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana).

    PubMed

    Roellig, Dawn M; Ellis, Angela E; Yabsley, Michael J

    2009-12-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi is a genetically and biologically diverse species. In the current study we determined T. cruzi infection dynamics in two common North American reservoirs, Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) and raccoons (Procyon lotor). Based on previous molecular and culture data from naturally-exposed animals, we hypothesised that raccoons would have a longer patent period than opossums, and raccoons would be competent reservoirs for both genotypes T. cruzi I (TcI) and TcIIa, while opossums would only serve as hosts for TcI. Individuals (n=2 or 3) of each species were inoculated with 1x10(6) culture-derived T. cruzi trypomastigotes of TcIIa (North American (NA) - raccoon), TcI (NA - opossum), TcIIb (South American - human), or both TcI and TcIIa. Parasitemias in opossums gradually increased and declined rapidly, whereas parasitemias peaked sooner in raccoons and they maintained relatively high parasitemia for 5weeks. Raccoons became infected with all three T. cruzi strains, while opossums only became infected with TcI and TcIIb. Although opossums were susceptible to TcIIb, infection dynamics were dramatically different compared with TcI. Opossums inoculated with TcIIb seroconverted, but parasitemia duration was short and only detectable by PCR. In addition, raccoons seroconverted sooner (3-7days post inoculation) than opossums (10days post inoculation). These data suggest that infection dynamics of various T. cruzi strains can differ considerably in different wildlife hosts.

  20. Experimental Aerosol Inoculation and Investigation of Potential Lateral Transmission of Mycobacterium bovis in Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana).

    PubMed

    Fenton, Karla A; Fitzgerald, Scott D; Bolin, Steve; Kaneene, John; Sikarskie, James; Greenwald, Rena; Lyashchenko, Konstantin

    2012-01-01

    An endemic focus of Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis) infection in the state of Michigan has contributed to a regional persistence in the animal population. The objective of this study was to determine if Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) contribute to disease persistence by experimentally assessing intraspecies lateral transmission. One wild caught pregnant female opossum bearing 11 joeys (young opossum) and one age-matched joey were obtained for the study. Four joeys were aerosol inoculated with M. bovis (inoculated), four joeys were noninoculated (exposed), and four joeys plus the dam were controls. Four replicate groups of one inoculated and one exposed joey were housed together for 45 days commencing 7 days after experimental inoculation. At day 84 opossums were sacrificed. All four inoculated opossums had a positive test band via rapid test, culture positive, and gross/histologic lesions consistent with caseogranulomatous pneumonia. The exposed and control groups were unremarkable on gross, histology, rapid test, and culture. In conclusion, M. bovis infection within the inoculated opossums was confirmed by gross pathology, histopathology, bacterial culture, and antibody tests. However, M. bovis was not detected in the control and exposed opossums. There was no appreciable lateral transmission of M. bovis after aerosol inoculation and 45 days of cohabitation between infected and uninfected opossums.

  1. Experimental Aerosol Inoculation and Investigation of Potential Lateral Transmission of Mycobacterium bovis in Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana)

    PubMed Central

    Fenton, Karla A.; Fitzgerald, Scott D.; Bolin, Steve; Kaneene, John; Sikarskie, James; Greenwald, Rena; Lyashchenko, Konstantin

    2012-01-01

    An endemic focus of Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis) infection in the state of Michigan has contributed to a regional persistence in the animal population. The objective of this study was to determine if Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) contribute to disease persistence by experimentally assessing intraspecies lateral transmission. One wild caught pregnant female opossum bearing 11 joeys (young opossum) and one age-matched joey were obtained for the study. Four joeys were aerosol inoculated with M. bovis (inoculated), four joeys were noninoculated (exposed), and four joeys plus the dam were controls. Four replicate groups of one inoculated and one exposed joey were housed together for 45 days commencing 7 days after experimental inoculation. At day 84 opossums were sacrificed. All four inoculated opossums had a positive test band via rapid test, culture positive, and gross/histologic lesions consistent with caseogranulomatous pneumonia. The exposed and control groups were unremarkable on gross, histology, rapid test, and culture. In conclusion, M. bovis infection within the inoculated opossums was confirmed by gross pathology, histopathology, bacterial culture, and antibody tests. However, M. bovis was not detected in the control and exposed opossums. There was no appreciable lateral transmission of M. bovis after aerosol inoculation and 45 days of cohabitation between infected and uninfected opossums. PMID:22701815

  2. Prevalence of agglutinating antibodies to Sarcocystis neurona in skunks (Mephitis Mephitis), raccoons (Procyon lotor), and opossums (Didelphis Virginiana) from Connecticut.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Sheila M; Richardson, Dennis J; Cheadle, M Andy; Zajac, Anne M; Lindsay, David S

    2002-10-01

    Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis is the most important protozoan disease of horses in North America and is usually caused by Sarcocystis neurona. Natural cases of encephalitis caused by S. neurona have been reported in skunks (Mephitis mephitis) and raccoons (Procyon lotor). Opossums (Didelphis spp.) are the only known definitive host. Sera from 24 striped skunks, 12 raccoons, and 7 opossums (D. virginiana) from Connecticut were examined for agglutinating antibodies to S. neurona using the S. neurona agglutination test (SAT) employing formalin-fixed merozoites as antigen. The SAT was validated for skunk sera using pre- and postinfection serum samples from 2 experimentally infected skunks. Of the 24 (46%) skunks 11 were positive, and all 12 raccoons were positive for S. neurona antibodies. None of the 7 opossums was positive for antibodies to S. neurona. These results suggest that exposure to sporocysts of S. neurona by intermediate hosts is high in Connecticut. The absence of antibodies in opossums collected from the same areas is most likely because of the absence of systemic infection in the definitive host.

  3. Mammary glands in male marsupials: I. Primordia in neonatal opossums Didelphis virginiana and Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Renfree, M B; Robinson, E S; Short, R V; Vandeberg, J L

    1990-10-01

    Neonates of the American didelphid marsupials Didelphis virginiana and Monodelphis domestica were sexed by karyotype and histologically examined on the day of birth. Mammary anlagen were found in both sexes of both species, but the neonatal males had less than one-third of the full female complement of mammary glands. Male neonates of both species also had paired scrotal bulges anterior to the genital tubercle but these were never present in females, once again raising the question of whether the pouch and scrotum are homologous structures. Mammary anlagen are not found in male neonates of the Australian marsupial species so far studied, which suggests a dichotomy in the control of some aspects of sexual differentiation in the two marsupial lineages.

  4. Sarcocystis neurona infections in raccoons (Procyon lotor): evidence for natural infection with sarcocysts, transmission of infection to opossums (Didelphis virginiana), and experimental induction of neurologic disease in raccoons.

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Saville, W J; Stanek, J F; Lindsay, D S; Rosenthal, B M; Oglesbee, M J; Rosypal, A C; Njoku, C J; Stich, R W; Kwok, O C; Shen, S K; Hamir, A N; Reed, S M

    2001-10-24

    Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) is a serious neurologic disease of horses in the Americas and Sarcocystis neurona is the most common etiologic agent. The distribution of S. neurona infections follows the geographical distributions of its definitive hosts, opossums (Didelphis virginiana, Didelphis albiventris). Recently, cats and skunks were reported as experimental and armadillos as natural intermediate hosts of S. neurona. In the present report, raccoons (Procyon lotor) were identified as a natural intermediate host of S. neurona. Two laboratory-raised opossums were found to shed S. neurona-like sporocysts after ingesting tongues of naturally-infected raccoons. Interferon-gamma gene knockout (KO) mice fed raccoon-opossum-derived sporocysts developed neurologic signs. S. neurona was identified immunohistochemically in tissues of KO mice fed sporocysts and the parasite was isolated in cell cultures inoculated with infected KO mouse tissues. The DNA obtained from the tongue of a naturally-infected raccoon, brains of KO mice that had neurological signs, and from the organisms recovered in cell cultures inoculated with brains of neurologic KO mice, corresponded to that of S. neurona. Two raccoons fed mature S. neurona sarcocysts did not shed sporocysts in their feces, indicating raccoons are not likely to be its definitive host. Two raccoons fed sporocysts from opossum feces developed clinical illness and S. neurona-associated encephalomyelitis was found in raccoons killed 14 and 22 days after feeding sporocysts; schizonts and merozoites were seen in encephalitic lesions.

  5. Prevalence of and risk factors associated with the presence of Sarcocystis neurona sporocysts in opossum (Didelphis virginiana) from Michigan: a retrospective study.

    PubMed

    Elsheikha, Hany M; Murphy, Alice J; Mansfield, Linda S

    2004-11-10

    From April 1996 to December 2002 the prevalence of Sarcocystis neurona sporocysts in North American opossum (Didelphis virginiana) in Southern Michigan was estimated. Sporocysts of S. neurona were found in intestinal scrapings from 31 (15%) of 206 examined opossum. The frequency of infection was higher in adult animals (26/206; 12.6%) and females (19/206; 9.2%) than in juveniles (5/206; 2.4%) and males (12/206; 5.8%). Also, prevalence of S. neurona sporocysts in opossums in relation to factors such as age, sex, season, body condition, presence of concomitant infection, and presence of young in the pouch of females was studied in detail over the course of the year, 2002. Univariate analyses identified the following factors as being associated with the presence of S. neurona sporocysts in opossums: (i) for age, adult (odd ratio [OR] = 2.074, P = 0.0005); (ii) for sex, female (OR = 7.016, P = 0.0119); (iii) for season, summer (OR = 7.917, P = 0.0032) and spring (OR = 4.071, P = 0.1063); (iv) for body condition, poor (OR = 3.50, P = 0.1200) and good (OR = 1.167, P = 0.8637); (v) for the presence of concomitant infection (OR = 23.056, P = 0001), and (vi) for the presence of young in the pouch of females (OR = 40.083, P = 0.0001). Multivariate logistic-regression analyses selected the following factors as being significantly associated with presence of S. neurona sporocysts in opossums: (i) for the presence of concomitant infection (OR = 8.722, P = 0.0160) and (ii) for the presence of young in the pouch of females (OR = 31.915, P = 0.0065). The prevalence of S. neurona sporocysts in D. virginiana suggests that this opossum may constitute an ample reservoir of infection to other animals in the northern United States.

  6. Prevalence of antibodies to Trypanosoma cruzi, Toxoplasma gondii, Encephalitozoon cuniculi, Sarcocystis neurona, Besnoitia darlingi, and Neospora caninum in North American opossums, Didelphis virginiana, from southern Louisiana.

    PubMed

    Houk, Alice E; Goodwin, David G; Zajac, Anne M; Barr, Stephen C; Dubey, J P; Lindsay, David S

    2010-12-01

    We examined the prevalence of antibodies to zoonotic protozoan parasites ( Trypanosoma cruzi, Toxoplasma gondii, and Encephalitozoon cuniculi) and protozoans of veterinary importance ( Neospora caninum, Sarcocystis neurona, and Besnoitia darlingi) in a population of North American opossums ( Didelphis virginiana) from Louisiana. Samples from 30 opossums were collected as part of a survey for T. cruzi in Louisiana. Frozen sera from these 30 opossums were examined using an indirect immunofluorescent antibody test (IFAT) against in vitro-produced antigenic stages of these protozoans. Additionally, 24 of the 30 samples were examined using hemoculture, and all 30 were examined in the modified direct agglutination test (MAT) for antibodies to To. gondii. The prevalences of reactive IFAT samples were as follows: 60% for T. cruzi, 27% for To. gondii, 23% for E. cuniculi, 17% for S. neurona, 47% for B. darlingi, and 0% for N. caninum. Hemoculture revealed that 16 (67%) of 24 samples were positive for T. cruzi, compared to 18 of 30 (60%) by IFAT. The sensitivity and specificity for the IFAT compared to hemoculture was 100% for each. The modified direct agglutination test revealed that 9 (30%) of the 30 samples from opossums had antibodies to To. gondii , compared to 8 (27%) using the IFAT. The sensitivity and specificity of the IFAT compared to the MAT was 100% and 72%, respectively.

  7. Prevalence of antibodies to Trypanosoma cruzi, Toxoplasma gondii, Encephalitozonn cuniculi, Sarcocystis neurona, Besnoitia darlingi, and Neospora caninum in North American opossum, Didelphis virginiana, from Southern Louisian

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We examined the prevalence of antibodies to zoonotic protozoan parasites (Trypanosoma cruzi, Toxoplasma gondii, and Encephalitozoon cuniculi) and protozoan’s of veterinary importance (Neospora caninum, Sarcocystis neurona and Besnoitia darlingi) in a population of North American opossums (Didelphis...

  8. In vivo strains in the femur of the Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) during terrestrial locomotion: testing hypotheses of evolutionary shifts in mammalian bone loading and design.

    PubMed

    Butcher, Michael T; White, Bartholomew J; Hudzik, Nathan B; Gosnell, W Casey; Parrish, John H A; Blob, Richard W

    2011-08-01

    Terrestrial locomotion can impose substantial loads on vertebrate limbs. Previous studies have shown that limb bones from cursorial species of eutherian mammals experience high bending loads with minimal torsion, whereas the limb bones of non-avian reptiles (and amphibians) exhibit considerable torsion in addition to bending. It has been hypothesized that these differences in loading regime are related to the difference in limb posture between upright mammals and sprawling reptiles, and that the loading patterns observed in non-avian reptiles may be ancestral for tetrapod vertebrates. To evaluate whether non-cursorial mammals show loading patterns more similar to those of sprawling lineages, we measured in vivo strains in the femur during terrestrial locomotion of the Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana), a marsupial that uses more crouched limb posture than most mammals from which bone strains have been recorded, and which belongs to a clade phylogenetically between reptiles and the eutherian mammals studied previously. The presence of substantial torsion in the femur of opossums, similar to non-avian reptiles, would suggest that this loading regime likely reflects an ancestral condition for tetrapod limb bone design. Strain recordings indicate the presence of both bending and appreciable torsion (shear strain: 419.1 ± 212.8 με) in the opossum femur, with planar strain analyses showing neutral axis orientations that placed the lateral aspect of the femur in tension at the time of peak strains. Such mediolateral bending was unexpected for a mammal running with near-parasagittal limb kinematics. Shear strains were similar in magnitude to peak compressive axial strains, with opossum femora experiencing similar bending loads but higher levels of torsion compared with most previously studied mammals. Analyses of peak femoral strains led to estimated safety factor ranges of 5.1-7.2 in bending and 5.5-7.3 in torsion, somewhat higher than typical mammalian values

  9. Sarcocystis neurona infections in sea otter (Enhydra lutris): evidence for natural infections with sarcocysts and transmission of infection to opossums (Didelphis virginiana)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dubey, J.P.; Rosypal, A.C.; Rosenthal, B.M.; Thomas, N.J.; Lindsay, D.S.; Stanek, J.F.; Reed, S.M.; Saville, W.J.A.

    2001-01-01

    Although Sarcocystis neurona has been identified in an array of terrestrial vertebrates, recent recognition of its capacity to infect marine mammals was unexpected. Here, sarcocysts from 2 naturally infected sea otters (Enhydra lutris) were characterized biologically, ultrastructurally, and genetically. DNA was extracted from frozen muscle of the first of these sea otters and was characterized as S. neurona by polymerase chain reation (PCR) amplification followed by restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis and sequencing. Sarcocysts from sea otter no. 1 were up to 350 I?m long, and the villar protrusions on the sarcocyst wall were up to 1.3 I?m long and up to 0.25 I?m wide. The villar protrusions were tapered towards the villar tip. Ultrastructurally, sarcocysts were similar to S. neurona sarcocysts from the muscles of cats experimentally infected with S. neurona sporocysts. Skeletal muscles from a second sea otter failed to support PCR amplification of markers considered diagnostic for S. neurona but did induce the shedding of sporocysts when fed to a laboratory-raised opossum (Didelphis virginiana). Such sporocysts were subsequently fed to knockout mice for the interferon-gamma gene, resulting in infections with an agent identified as S. neurona on the basis of immunohistochemistry, serum antibodies, and diagnostic sequence detection. Thus, sea otters exposed to S. neurona may support the development of mature sarcocysts that are infectious to competent definitive hosts.

  10. The development of a testosterone stimulation test in the Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) and its use in evaluating deslorelin contraception.

    PubMed

    Johnston, S D; Camacho, F C; Carrillo, L; Guy, N; Govea, J; Martinez, O; Parãs, A; Lisle, A T; D'Occhio, M

    2008-01-01

    The aims of the present study were to examine the variability of testosterone secretion in the Virginia Opossum over a 24 h period and to develop a testosterone stimulation test that would provide an index of the prevailing testosterone biosynthetic capacity of the testes; the latter was used to clinically evaluate the efficacy of a gonadotrophin-releasing hormone agonist contraceptive. Sexually-mature captive opossums (n = 12) located in Africam Safari (Mexico) sampled every 12 h over 24 h consistently showed basal (<0.21 ng mL(-1)) blood testosterone concentrations. Intra-muscular injection of buserelin (2 microg mL(-1)) and human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG; 1000 IU) resulted in an increase (P < 0.05) of plasma testosterone concentrations with maximal concentrations (3.9 ng mL(-1) and 5.8 ng mL(-1) respectively) occurring 120 min after injection. Plasma testosterone declined relatively rapidly to basal concentrations after 240 min with hCG but remained elevated after the same period of time with buserelin. Male opossums treated with (n = 6) and without (n = 6) a controlled-release deslorelin implant (Suprelorin; 4.7 mg deslorelin) were evaluated over a 10-week period for changes in testosterone secretion (hCG stimulation test) and sperm production (spermatorrhea). At the end of this period, the animals were hemi-castrated and their relative testicular quantitative histology compared. Testosterone concentration decreased over the course of the study in both treated and control animals (P < 0.0001) but there was no apparent effect of deslorelin on testosterone secretion, testicular histology (relative proportions of testicular cell types and seminiferous tubule diameter), or sperm production (presence of sperm in the cauda epididymis or urine).

  11. Evaluation of a rapid immunochromatographic dipstick test for detection of antibodies to Trypanosoma cruzi in dogs experimentally infected with isolates obtained from opossums (Didelphis virginiana), armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus), and dogs (Canis familiaris) from the United States.

    PubMed

    Rosypal, Alexa C; Hill, Roderick; Lewis, Samantha; Barr, Stephen C; Valadas, Samantha; Gennari, Solange Maria; Lindsay, David S

    2011-02-01

    Dogs are reservoir hosts for Trypanosoma cruzi , the causative agent of American trypanosomiasis. A rapid immunochromatographic dipstick test (ICT) is available commercially for canine serological testing. The ICT was developed with the use of sera from South American dogs, but it is not routinely used in the United States. We evaluated the utility of the ICT in detecting anti-T. cruzi antibodies in dogs from the United States. Dogs (N  =  64) were experimentally infected with United States' isolates of T. cruzi from an opossum (Didelphis virginiana), an armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), and a domestic dog (Canis familiaris), and were tested after experimental infection. Sera from uninfected United States dogs (n  =  79; hemaculture negative) were used as negative controls. In a blind study, sera were tested by the ICT and compared to the indirect immunofluorescent antibody test with the use of Brazil-strain epimastigotes as antigen. The sensitivity of the ICT was 91% and the specificity was 98% in dogs experimentally infected with United States isolates. Our study indicates that the ICT could be a useful screening tool for serological surveillance of canine T. cruzi exposure in the United States.

  12. Studies on the energy metabolism of opossum (Didelphis virginiana) erythrocytes: V. Utilization of hypoxanthine for the synthesis of adenine and guanine nucleotides in vitro

    SciTech Connect

    Bethlenfalvay, N.C.; White, J.C.; Chadwick, E.; Lima, J.E. )

    1990-06-01

    High pressure liquid radiochromatography was used to test the ability of opossum erythrocytes to incorporate tracer amounts of (G-{sup 3}H) hypoxanthine (Hy) into ({sup 3}H) labelled triphosphates of adenine and guanine. In the presence of supraphysiologic (30 mM) phosphate which is optimal for PRPP synthesis, both ATP and GTP are extensively labelled. When physiologic (1 mM) medium phosphate is used, red cells incubated under an atmosphere of nitrogen accumulate ({sup 3}H) ATP in a linear fashion suggesting ongoing PRPP synthesis in red cells whose hemoglobin is deoxygenated. In contrast, a lesser increase of labelled ATP is observed in cells incubated under oxygen, suggesting that conditions for purine nucleotide formation from ambient Hy are more favorable in the venous circulation.

  13. INFECTION BY Rickettsia felis IN OPOSSUMS (Didelphis sp.) FROM YUCATAN, MEXICO.

    PubMed

    Peniche-Lara, Gaspar; Ruiz-Piña, Hugo A; Reyes-Novelo, Enrique; Dzul-Rosado, Karla; Zavala-Castro, Jorge

    2016-01-01

    Rickettsia felis is an emergent pathogen and the causative agent of a typhus-like rickettsiosis in the Americas. Its transmission cycle involves fleas as biological vectors (mainly Ctenocephalides felis) and multiple domestic and synanthropic mammal hosts. Nonetheless, the role of mammals in the cycle of R. felis is not well understood and many efforts are ongoing in different countries of America to clarify it. The present study describes for the first time in Mexico the infection of two species of opossum (Didelphis virginiana and D. marsupialis) by R. felis. A diagnosis was carried out from blood samples by molecular methods through the gltA and 17 kDa genes and sequence determination. Eighty-seven opossum samples were analyzed and 28 were found to be infected (32.1%) from five out of the six studied localities of Yucatan. These findings enable recognition of the potential epidemiological implications for public health of the presence of infected synanthropic Didelphis in households.

  14. INFECTION BY Rickettsia felis IN OPOSSUMS (Didelphis sp.) FROM YUCATAN, MEXICO

    PubMed Central

    PENICHE-LARA, Gaspar; RUIZ-PIÑA, Hugo A.; REYES-NOVELO, Enrique; DZUL-ROSADO, Karla; ZAVALA-CASTRO, Jorge

    2016-01-01

    Rickettsia felis is an emergent pathogen and the causative agent of a typhus-like rickettsiosis in the Americas. Its transmission cycle involves fleas as biological vectors (mainly Ctenocephalides felis) and multiple domestic and synanthropic mammal hosts. Nonetheless, the role of mammals in the cycle of R. felis is not well understood and many efforts are ongoing in different countries of America to clarify it. The present study describes for the first time in Mexico the infection of two species of opossum (Didelphis virginiana and D. marsupialis) by R. felis. A diagnosis was carried out from blood samples by molecular methods through the gltAand 17 kDa genes and sequence determination. Eighty-seven opossum samples were analyzed and 28 were found to be infected (32.1%) from five out of the six studied localities of Yucatan. These findings enable recognition of the potential epidemiological implications for public health of the presence of infected synanthropic Didelphis in households. PMID:27074326

  15. Anatomical study of the opossum (Didelphis albiventris) extraocular muscles.

    PubMed Central

    Matheus, S M; Soares, J C; da Silva, A M; Seullner, G

    1995-01-01

    The anatomy of the extraocular muscles was studied in 10 adult opossums (Didelphis albiventris) of both sexes. Eight extraocular muscles were identified: 4 rectus muscles, 2 oblique muscles, the levator palpebrae superioris and the retractor ocular bulbi. The rectus muscles originate very close one to another between the orbital surfaces of the presphenoid and palatine bones. These muscles diverge on the way to their insertion which occurs at about 2 mm from the limbus. The levator palpebrae superioris originates with the dorsal rectus and is positioned dorsally in relation to it. The retractor ocular bulbi forms a cone which embraces the optic nerve and is located internally in relation to the rectus muscles. The dorsal oblique originates on the presphenoid bone and after a tendinous trajectory through a trochlea on the medial wall of the orbit, inserts into the ocular bulb. The only muscle arising from the anterior orbital floor is the ventral oblique. The main nerve supply for these muscles is the oculomotor, except for the dorsal oblique which is innervated by the trochlear nerve, and the lateral rectus which is innervated by the abducens nerve. The retractor ocular bulbi receives branches from the inferior division of the oculomotor nerve and some branches from the abducens nerve. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 PMID:7649843

  16. Leptospira borgpetersenii from free-living white-eared opossum (Didelphis albiventris): first isolation in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Jorge, Sérgio; Hartleben, Cláudia P; Seixas, Fabiana K; Coimbra, Marco A A; Stark, Cledir B; Larrondo, Adriana G; Amaral, Marta G; Albano, Ana Paula N; Minello, Luiz F; Dellagostin, Odir A; Brod, Claudiomar S

    2012-11-01

    Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease that occurs all over the world, caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospira. Marsupial and didelphidae families are considered susceptible to infection caused by a wide range of Leptospira serovars for which they serve as reservoirs. Thirty-three free-living white-eared opossums (Didelphis albiventris) were captured in Southern Brazil and bodily fluids were collected. From the urine samples it was possible to obtain an isolate identified as Leptospira borgpetersenii by rpoB gene sequencing and belonging to serovar Castellonis by Multilocus Variable-Number Tandem-Repeat Analysis. This is the first report of the isolation of Leptospira spp. from the white-eared opossum in Brazil. In addition, the new strain was also virulent in the hamster model of lethal leptospirosis. The microscopic agglutination test (MAT) was used for detecting the presence of antibodies against Leptospira spp. in white-eared opossum, human, cattle and canine sera using a panel of 59 Leptospira strains that included the new isolate. The inclusion of the new strain in the MAT battery increased the MAT sensitivity for canine sera. These findings suggest that the white-eared opossum is an important reservoir of pathogenic Leptospira spp.

  17. Occurrence of gastrointestinal protozoa in Didelphis albiventris (opossum) in the central region of Rio Grande do Sul state.

    PubMed

    Zanette, Régis A; da Silva, Aleksandro S; Lunardi, Fabiane; Santurio, Janio M; Monteiro, Silvia G

    2008-06-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the parasitism by gastrointestinal protozoa in Didelphis albiventris (opossum) in the central region of Rio Grande do Sul state. Fecal samples from six free living opossums were collected for research of parasites. Samples were analyzed by the centrifugal-flotation method with zinc sulfate and parasites were identified microscopically based on (oo)cyst size and morphology. Cysts of Giardia sp. and oocysts of Cryptosporidium sp. and Eimeria sp. were observed in four of the six opossums. All four infected marsupials showed mild infection by protozoa. This is the first report of Giardia sp. in D. albiventris.

  18. Morphologic characterization and distribution of endocrine cells in the large intestine of the opossum Didelphis aurita (Wied-Neuwied, 1826).

    PubMed

    Dos Santos, Daiane Cristina Marques; Cupertino, Marli do Carmo; Novaes, Rômulo Dias; Soares, Ítalo Augusto da Costa; Fonseca, Cláudio César; da Matta, Sérgio Luis Pinto; Sartori, Sirlene Souza Rodrigues

    2013-10-01

    This study was designed to investigate the morphology and distribution of argyrophil, argentaffins, and insulin-immunoreactive endocrine cells in the large intestine of the opossum Didelphis aurita. Fragments of the large intestine of 10 male specimens of the opossum D. aurita were collected, processed, and submitted for histochemistry, immunohistochemistry, and scanning electron microscopy. The tunics of the large intestine of D. aurita presented morphological characteristics that have already been described for eutherian mammals. The morphometric data showed that the inner circular layer of all portions and regions analyzed is thicker relative to the longitudinal layer, and these layers in the rectum are thicker compared to the cecum and ascending colon. The majority of mucus-secreting cells have acid and neutral mucins, suggesting that the production of mucus is mixed. The number of these cells increases in the region of the cecum toward the rectum. Important findings include the occurrence of argyrophil, argentaffins, and insulin-immunoreactive endocrine cells in all segments of the large intestine of the opossum (D. aurita). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report about the presence of insulin-immunoreactive endocrine cells in the large intestine of the opossum (D. aurita).

  19. Resistance of the Opossum (Didelphis Virginiana) to Envenomation by Snakes of the Crotalidae Family.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1976-12-01

    treatment of snakebites . 12 \\l~ C’ ~~~~0 _~~~~ - . Although the lethal doses of venom Vick 1 ~ cites were an average of those used in dogs and...actual snakebite or intravenous injection of 4 to 20 times the dose known to be lethal to susceptible mammals. Some animals that survived the... snakebite were given venom intravenously 40 to 90 minutes after the bite. Heart and respiratory rate, EKG, and blood pressure were monitored for 2 hours

  20. Coccidial dispersion across New World marsupials: Klossiella tejerai Scorza, Torrealba & Dagert, 1957 (Apicomplexa: Adeleorina) from the Brazilian common opossum Didelphis aurita (Wied-Neuwied) (Mammalia: Didelphimorphia).

    PubMed

    Dos Santos, Caroline Spitz; Berto, Bruno Pereira; do Bomfim Lopes, Bruno; Cordeiro, Matheus Dias; da Fonseca, Adivaldo Henrique; Filho, Walter Leira Teixeira; Lopes, Carlos Wilson Gomes

    2014-09-01

    Klossiella tejerai Scorza, Torrealba & Dagert, 1957 is a primitive coccidian parasite reported from the New World marsupials Didelphis marsupialis (Linnaeus) and Marmosa demerarae (Thomas). The current work describes K. tejerai from the Brazilian common opossum Didelphis aurita (Wied-Neuwied) in Southeastern Brazil, evidencing the coccidial dispersion across opossums of the same family. The sporocysts recovered from urine samples were ellipsoidal, 20.4 × 12.7 µm, with sporocyst residuum composed of scattered spherules and c.13 sporozoites per sporocyst, with refractile bodies and nucleus. Macrogametes, microgametes, sporonts, sporoblasts/sporocysts were identified within parasitophorous vacuoles of epithelial cells located near the renal corticomedullary junction. Didelphis marsupialis should not have transmitted K. tejerai to D. aurita because they are not sympatric; however M. demerarae is sympatric with D. marsupialis and D. aurita. Therefore, D. aurita becomes the third host species for K. tejerai in South America.

  1. Endogenous Life Cycle of Eimeria marmosopos (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) from the Opossum, Didelphis marsupialis (Didelphimorphia: Didelphidae) in Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Chinchilla, Misael; Valerio, Idalia; Duszynski, Donald

    2015-08-01

    The endogenous life cycle of Eimeria marmosopos was studied in experimentally infected young opossums, Didelphis marsupialis . All the endogenous stages were located in the epithelial cells of villi in the small intestine. Giemsa-stained mucosal scrapings and histological sections were studied for the diagnosis of all the life cycle stages. Eimeria marmosopos has 3 generations of meronts (M) that differ by size, shape, and number of merozoites (m), which also differ in their size, shape, and location of their nuclei within the cytoplasm of the meronts. The 3 meront types, M(1)-M(3), respectively, had 8-15 (m(1)), 4-9 (m(2)), and 22-30 (m(3)) merozoites. Macrogametocytes and microgametocytes, as well as macrogametes and microgametes, completed the sexual cycle, finishing with the formation of unsporulated oocysts. This parasite's endogenous development produced severe intestinal lesions in experimentally infected opossums. There are 56 Eimeria species known from all marsupials worldwide, but this is the first complete life cycle in which both the asexual and sexual stages have been documented.

  2. Serological evidence of exposure to tick-borne agents in opossums (Didelphis spp.) in the state of São Paulo, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Melo, Andréia Lima Tomé; Aguiar, Daniel Moura de; Spolidorio, Mariana Granziera; Yoshinari, Natalino Hajime; Matushima, Eliana Reiko; Labruna, Marcelo Bahia; Horta, Mauricio Claudio

    2016-06-07

    This work involved a serological investigation of tick-borne pathogens in opossums in eight municipalities of the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Serum samples from 109 opossums (91 Didelphis aurita and 18 Didelphis albiventris) were tested to detect antibodies to Rickettsia rickettsii (Taiaçu strain, 1:64 cut-off) and Ehrlichia canis (São Paulo strain, 1:40 cut-off), by indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA); and against Borrelia burgdorferi (strain G39/40) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The presence of antibodies to anti-R. rickettsii, anti-E. canis and anti-B. burgdorferi was detected in 32 (29.35%), 16 (14.67%) and 30 (27.52%) opossums, respectively. Opossum endpoint titers ranged from 64 to 1,024 for R. rickettsii, from 40 to 160 for E. canis, and from 400 to >51,200 for B. burgdorferi. These serological results suggest that opossums have been exposed to Rickettsia spp., Ehrlichia spp., and B. burgdorferi-related agents in the state of São Paulo. Our study underscores the need for further research about these agents in this study area, in view of the occurrence of Spotted Fever and Baggio-Yoshinari Syndrome disease in humans in the state of São Paulo, Brazil.

  3. Metal accumulation in wild-caught opossum.

    PubMed

    Lockhart, J Mitchell; Siddiqui, Samreen; Loughry, W J; Bielmyer-Fraser, Gretchen K

    2016-06-01

    The Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is widespread in the USA, ranging south through Latin America. The ecology of opossums is such that they are in frequent contact with soils, suggesting that they may function as a valuable bioindicator for chemical contamination in terrestrial environments. Surprisingly, there have been virtually no toxicology studies on opossums. Here, we provide the first analysis of metal contaminants in opossum liver tissues. Liver samples were obtained from 471 opossums, collected from 2003 to 2006, at four sites in North Florida and South Georgia, USA, and concentrations of copper, lead, nickel, selenium, and zinc were measured. We found little evidence of age differences in the concentration of any of the metals. However, there were at least some significant differences between years, males and females, and between sites for each metal, although the pattern of these differences was not always consistent across metals. Concentrations of metals in liver tissue were positively correlated with one another, primarily of each metal (except Pb) with zinc. Reference levels of metal contaminants are not available for opossums, but concentrations of Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn in our samples were for the most part significantly higher than those reported from liver tissues of nine-banded armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus) collected at the same sites and in the same years. Data from other small mammals studied elsewhere further indicate that metal concentrations in opossums were high, but at this time, it is not possible to determine if these elevated levels generated toxicity. The substantial temporal and spatial variation we found in metal concentrations suggests that determination of baseline levels for opossums may not be straightforward. Nonetheless, this is the first study quantifying metal accumulation in the livers of Didelphis virginiana and, as such, provides an important starting point for future research.

  4. Leishmania chagasi in Opossums (Didelphis albiventris) in an Urban Area Endemic for Visceral Leishmaniasis, Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Humberg, Roberta M. P.; Oshiro, Elisa T.; Cruz, Maria do Socorro Pires e; Ribolla, Paulo E. M.; Alonso, Diego P.; Ferreira, Alda M. T.; Bonamigo, Raquel A.; Tasso, Norton; de Oliveira, Alessandra Gutierrez

    2012-01-01

    We investigated the occurrence of Leishmania infantum chagasi in Didelphis albiventris opossums at a wild animal rehabilitation center in the city of Campo Grande, Brazil. A total of 54 opossums were tested for L. i. chagasi infection in peripheral blood and bone marrow samples. The samples were analyzed by direct examination, culturing in a specific medium, and polymerase chain reaction–restriction fragment length polymorphism. Leishmania i. chagasi DNA was detected by polymerase chain reaction–restriction fragment length polymorphism in 11 (20.37%) animals. A total of 81.81% of positive opossums were captured in areas of known visceral leishmaniasis transmission. These results suggest a role for D. albiventris in the urban transmission of visceral leishmaniasis. PMID:22802435

  5. Scanning Electron Microscopic Structure of the Lingual Papillae of the Common Opossum (Didelphis marsupialis)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okada, Shigenori; Schraufnagel, Dean E.

    2005-08-01

    The mammalian tongue has evolved for specialized functions in different species. The structure of its papillae tells about the animal's diet, habit, and taxonomy. The opossum has four kinds of lingual papillae (filiform, conical, fungiform, vallate). Scanning electron microscopy of the external features, connective tissue cores, and corrosion casts of the microvasculature show the filiform papillae have a spearhead-like main process and spiny accessory processes around the apical part of the main process. The shape and number of both processes depend on their position on the tongue. On the apex, the main processes have shovel-like capillary networks and the accessory processes have small conical networks. On the lingual radix, the processes have small capillary loops. In the patch region, conical papillae have capillaries arranged as a full sail curving posteriorly. The fungiform papillae are scattered among the filiform papillae and have capillary baskets beneath each taste bud. Giant fungiform papillae on the tongue tip are three to four times larger than the ones on the lingual body. Capillaries of giant papillae form a fan-shaped network. The opossum has three vallate papillae arranged in a triangle. Their tops have secondary capillary loops but not their lateral surfaces. Mucosal folds on the posterolateral border have irregular, fingerlike projections with cylindrical capillary networks. These findings and the structure of the rest of the masticatory apparatus suggest the lingual papillae of opossum have kept their ancestral carnivorous features but also developed the herbivore characteristics of other marsupials.

  6. Experimental infection of opossums Didelphis aurita by Rickettsia rickettsii and evaluation of the transmission of the infection to ticks Amblyomma cajennense.

    PubMed

    Horta, Maurício C; Moraes-Filho, Jonas; Casagrande, Renata A; Saito, Tais B; Rosa, Simone C; Ogrzewalska, Maria; Matushima, Eliana R; Labruna, Marcelo B

    2009-02-01

    The present study evaluated the infection of opossums (Didelphis aurita) by Rickettsia rickettsii and their role as amplifier hosts for horizontal transmission of R. rickettsii to Amblyomma cajennense ticks. Three groups of opossums were evaluated: on day 0, group 1 (G1) was inoculated intraperitoneally with R. rickettsii; group 2 (G2) was infested by R. rickettsii-infected ticks; and group 3 (G3) was the uninfected control group. Opossum rectal temperature was measured daily. Blood samples were collected every 2 to 4 days during 30 days, and used to (1) inoculate guinea pigs intraperitoneally; (2) extract DNA followed by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting the rickettsial gene gltA; (3) study hematology; (4) detect R. rickettsii-reactive antibodies by indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA). Blood was also collected every 10 days from days 30 to 180, to be tested by serology. Opossums were infested by uninfected A. cajennense larvae and nymphs from days 3 to 15. Engorged ticks were collected and allowed to molt in an incubator. Thereafter, the subsequent flat ticks were allowed to feed on uninfected rabbits, which were tested for seroconversion by IFA. Samples of flat ticks were also tested by real-time PCR. All G1 and G2 opossums became infected by R. rickettsii, as demonstrated by realtime PCR or/and guinea pig inoculation, but they showed no clinical abnormality. Rickettsemia was first detected at days 2 to 8, lasting intermittently till days 1 to 30. Approximately 18% and 5% of the flat ticks previously fed on G1 and G2 opossums, respectively, became infected by R. rickettsii, but only the rabbits infested with G1-derived ticks seroconverted. The study demonstrated that R. rickettsii was capable of infecting opossums without causing illness and developing rickettsemia capable of causing infection in guinea pigs and ticks, although the infection rate in ticks was low.

  7. Inhibition of the hemorrhagic and proteolytic activities of Lansberg's hognose pit viper (Porthidium lansbergii hutmanni) venom by opossum (Didelphis marsupialis) serum: isolation of Didelphis marsupialis 0.15Dm fraction on DEAE-cellulose chromatography.

    PubMed

    Pineda, María E; Girón, María E; Estrella, Amalid; Sánchez, Elda E; Aguilar, Irma; Fernandez, Irma; Vargas, Alba M; Scannone, Héctor; Rodríguez-Acosta, Alexis

    2008-01-01

    Earlier studies have revealed the ability of sera from several mammals to neutralize the toxic effects of snake venom. The Venezuelan opossum (Didelphis marsupialis) is one that has been found to inhibit hemorrhagic and proteolytic activities of venoms from many species of snakes. In this article it is shown that the opossum sera and its 0.15DM fraction were able to completely neutralize both hemorrhagic and hydrolysis (proteolysis) of casein effects induced by venom of the Lansberg's hognose pit viper (Porthidium lansbergii hutmanni). We have used DEAE-cellulose ion exchange chromatography to collect protein fractions from D. marsupialis sera which were able to defend mice from the lethal effects of P.l. hutmanni venom. The fractions separated were homogeneous by conventional electrophoresis using SDS-PAGE. The protein bands obtained contained molecular weights of approximately 6 to 220 kDa. These results revealed the presence of proteases inhibitors in the opossum sera fractions and the inhibition of venom activity by opossum sera suggesting a reciprocal adaptation at the molecular level.

  8. Experimental infection of the opossum Didelphis aurita by Rickettsia felis, Rickettsia bellii, and Rickettsia parkeri and evaluation of the transmission of the infection to ticks Amblyomma cajennense and Amblyomma dubitatum.

    PubMed

    Horta, Maurício C; Sabatini, Guilherme S; Moraes-Filho, Jonas; Ogrzewalska, Maria; Canal, Raoní B; Pacheco, Richard C; Martins, Thiago F; Matushima, Eliana R; Labruna, Marcelo B

    2010-12-01

    This work evaluated the infection of opossums (Didelphis aurita) by Rickettsia felis, Rickettsia bellii, and Rickettsia parkeri and their role as amplifier hosts for horizontal transmission to Amblyomma cajennense and/or Amblyomma dubitatum ticks. Infection in D. aurita was induced by intraperitoneal inoculation with R. felis (n = 4 opossums), R. bellii (n = 4), and R. parkeri (n = 2). Another group of six opossums were inoculated intraperitoneally with Leibovitz-15 sterile culture medium, representing the uninfected groups (n = 2 opossums simultaneously to each infected group). Opossum blood samples collected during the study were used for DNA extraction, followed by real-time polymerase chain reaction targeting the rickettsial gene gltA, hematology, and detection of Rickettsia spp.-reactive antibodies by indirect immunofluorescence assay. Opossums were infested with uninfected A. cajennense and/or A. dubitatum for 30 days postinoculation (DPI). Flat ticks molted from ticks fed on opossums were allowed to feed on uninfected rabbits, which were tested for seroconversion by immunofluorescence assay. Samples of flat ticks were also tested by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Inoculated opossums showed no clinical abnormalities. Antibodies to Rickettsia spp. were first detected at the second to fourth DPI, with detectable titers until the 150th DPI. Rickettsemia was detected only in one opossum inoculated with R. parkeri, at the eighth DPI. Only one A. cajennense tick (2.0%) previously fed on a R. parkeri-inoculated opossum became infected. None of the rabbits infested with opossum-derived ticks seroconverted. The study demonstrated that R. felis, R. bellii, and R. parkeri were capable to produce antibody response in opossums, however, with undetectable rickettsemia for R. felis and R. bellii, and very low rickettsemia for R. parkeri. Further studies must be done with different strains of these rickettsiae, most importantly the strains that have

  9. Helminths of three species of opossums (Mammalia, Didelphidae) from Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Acosta-Virgen, Karla; López-Caballero, Jorge; García-Prieto, Luis; Mata-López, Rosario

    2015-01-01

    Abstract From August 2011 to November 2013, 68 opossums (8 Didelphis sp., 40 Didelphis virginiana, 15 Didelphis marsupialis, and 5 Philander opossum) were collected in 18 localities from 12 Mexican states. A total of 12,188 helminths representing 21 taxa were identified (6 trematodes, 2 cestodes, 3 acanthocephalans and 10 nematodes). Sixty-six new locality records, 9 new host records, and one species, the trematode Brachylaima didelphus, is added to the composition of the helminth fauna of the opossums in Mexico. These data, in conjunction with previous records, bring the number of taxa parasitizing the Mexican terrestrial marsupials to 41. Among these species, we recognized a group of helminths typical of didelphids in other parts of the Americas. This group is constituted by the trematode Rhopalias coronatus, the acanthocephalan Oligacanthorhynchus microcephalus and the nematodes Cruzia tentaculata, Gnathostoma turgidum, and Turgida turgida. In general, the helminth fauna of each didelphid species showed a stable taxonomic composition with respect to previously sampled sites. This situation suggests that the rate of accumulation of helminth species in the inventory of these 3 species of terrestrial marsupials in the Neotropical portion of Mexico is decreasing; however, new samplings in the Nearctic portion of this country will probably increase the richness of the helminthological inventory of this group of mammals. PMID:26257556

  10. Quantification of endocrine cells and ultrastructural study of insulin granules in the large intestine of opossum Didelphis aurita (Wied-Neuwied, 1826).

    PubMed

    dos Santos, Daiane Cristina Marques; Cupertino, Marli do Carmo; Fialho, Maria do Carmo Queiroz; Barbosa, Alfredo Jose Afonso; Fonseca, Cláudio Cesar; Sartori, Sirlene Souza Rodrigues; da Matta, Sérgio Luis Pinto

    2014-02-01

    This study aimed to investigate the distribution of argyrophil, argentaffin, and insulin-immunoreactive endocrine cells in the large intestine of opossums (Didelphis aurita) and to describe the ultrastructure of the secretory granules of insulin-immunoreactive endocrine cells. Fragments of the large intestine of 10 male specimens of D. aurita were collected, processed, and subjected to staining, immunohistochemistry, and transmission electron microscopy. The argyrophil, the argentaffin, and the insulin-immunoreactive endocrine cells were sparsely distributed in the intestinal glands of the mucous layer, among other cell types of the epithelium in all regions studied. Proportionally, the argyrophil, the argentaffin, and the insulin-immunoreactive endocrine cells represented 62.75%, 36.26%, and 0.99% of the total determined endocrine cells of the large intestine, respectively. Quantitatively, there was no difference between the argyrophil and the argentaffin endocrine cells, whereas insulin-immunoreactive endocrine cells were less numerous. The insulin-immunoreactive endocrine cells were elongated or pyramidal, with rounded nuclei of irregularly contoured, and large amounts of secretory granules distributed throughout the cytoplasm. The granules have different sizes and electron densities and are classified as immature and mature, with the mature granules in predominant form in the overall granular population. In general, the granule is shown with an external electron-lucent halo and electron-dense core. The ultrastructure pattern in the granules of the insulin-immunoreactive endocrine cells was similar to that of the B cells of pancreatic islets in rats.

  11. Analysis of the morphology and distribution of argentaffin, argyrophil and insulin-immunoreactive endocrine cells in the small intestine of the adult opossum Didelphis aurita (Wied-Neuwied, 1826).

    PubMed

    Basile, D R S; Novaes, R D; Marques, D C S; Fialho, M C Q; Neves, C A; Fonseca, C C

    2012-10-01

    The aim of this study was to identify and quantify the argyrophil, argentaffin and insulin-immunoreactive cells (IIC) in the small intestine of the opossum Didelphis aurita. Seven adult male specimens of opossums were investigated. The animals were captured, and their blood insulin levels were determined. After euthanasia, fragments of the small intestine were processed for light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy, and submitted to histochemistry and immunohistochemistry for identification of argyrophil and argentaffin endocrine cells, and IIC. Argyrophil and argentaffin cells were identified in the intestinal villi and Liberkühn crypts, whereas IIC were present exclusively in the crypts. Ultrastructure of the IIC revealed cytoplasmic granules of different sizes and electron densities. The numbers of IIC per mm(2) in the duodenum and jejunum were higher than in the ileum (p<0.05). The animals had low levels of blood insulin (2.8 ± 0.78 μIU/ml). There was no correlation between insulin levels and the number of IIC in the small intestine. The IIC presented secretory granules, elongated and variable morphology. It is believed that insulin secretion by the IIC may influence the proliferation of cells in the Liberkühn crypts, and local glucose homeostasis, primarily in animals with low serum insulin levels, such as the opossum.

  12. Isolation and genetic characterisation of Toxoplasma gondii from a red-handed howler monkey (Alouatta belzebul), a jaguarundi (Puma yagouaroundi), and a black-eared opossum (Didelphis aurita) from Brazil.

    PubMed

    Pena, H F J; Marvulo, M F V; Horta, M C; Silva, M A; Silva, J C R; Siqueira, D B; Lima, P-A C P; Vitaliano, S N; Gennari, S M

    2011-02-10

    Toxoplasma gondii isolates are highly diverse in domestic animals from Brazil. However, little is known about the genetics of this parasite from wild mammals in the same region. Reveal genetic similarity or difference of T. gondii among different animal populations is necessary for us to understand transmission of this parasite. Here we reported isolation and genetic characterisation of three T. gondii isolates from wild animals in Brazil. The parasite was isolated by bioassay in mice from tissues of a young male red handed howler monkey (Alouatta belzebul), an adult male jaguarundi (Puma yagouaroundi), and an adult female black-eared opossum (Didelphis aurita). The monkey and the jaguarundi had inhabited the Zoo of Parque Estadual Dois Irmãos, Pernambuco State, Northeastern Brazil, for 1 year and 8 years, respectively. The wild black-eared opossum was captured in São Paulo State, Southeastern Brazil, and euthanised for this study because it was seropositive for T. gondii (titre 1:100 by the modified agglutination test, MAT). Ten PCR-RFLP (Polymerase Chain Reaction-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism) markers, SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1 and Apico, were used to genotype the isolates. T. gondii was isolated from the brain and heart homogenate of the monkey, the muscle homogenate of the jaguarundi, and the heart homogenate of the black-eared opossum. This was the first isolation of T. gondii from a neotropical felid from Brazil. The isolate from the monkey (TgRhHmBr1) was not virulent in mice, whereas the isolates from the jaguarundi (TgJagBr1) and the black-eared opossum (TgOpBr1) were virulent in mice. The genotype of the isolate from the monkey has been identified in isolates from a goat and ten chickens in the same region of Brazil, suggesting that it may be a common lineage circulating in this region. The genotypes of the isolates from the jaguarundi and the black-eared opossum have not been previously reported. Although there

  13. Ectoparasites of opossums and raccoons in southeastern Georgia.

    PubMed

    Pung, O J; Durden, L A; Banks, C W; Jones, D N

    1994-11-01

    Twelve species of ectoparasites (four fleas, three ticks, three chiggers, one macronyssid mite, and one atopomelid mite) were recovered from 42 opossums, Didelphis virginiana Kerr, live-trapped from September 1992 through April 1994 in southeastern Georgia. The fleas, Ctenocephalides felis (Bouché) (prevalence = 19%) and Polygenis gwyni (C. Fox) (36%); the ticks, Dermacentor variabilis (Say) (40%) and Ixodes scapularis Say (19%); and the macronyssid mite, Ornithonyssus wernecki (Fonseca) (21%), exhibited the highest infestation prevalences on opossums. The atopomelid mite, Didelphilichus serrifer Fain, and the chigger mite Leptotrombidium peromysci Vercammen-Grandjean & Langston, both ectoparasites of opossums, are reported from Georgia for the first time. Six species of ectoparasites (one chewing louse, four ticks, and one macronyssid mite) were collected from 58 raccoons, Procyon lotor (L.), examined between October 1992 and September 1993 in the same region. The chewing louse, Trichodectes octomaculatus Paine (prevalence = 24%); and the ticks, Amblyomma americanum (L.) (69%), D. variabilis (55%), and Ixodes texanus Banks (24%), exhibited the highest infestation prevalences on raccoons. Three species of ticks, A. americanum, D. variabilis, and I. scapularis, were the only ectoparasites recovered from both host species. Several of the ectoparasites collected are proven vectors of pathogenic agents that affect humans and animals.

  14. Which Factors Determine Spatial Segregation in the South American Opossums (Didelphis aurita and D. albiventris)? An Ecological Niche Modelling and Geometric Morphometrics Approach

    PubMed Central

    Cáceres, Nilton Carlos; de Moraes Weber, Marcelo; Melo, Geruza Leal; Meloro, Carlo; Sponchiado, Jonas; Carvalho, Renan dos Santos; Bubadué, Jamile de Moura

    2016-01-01

    Didelphis albiventris and D. aurita are Neotropical marsupials that share a unique evolutionary history and both are largely distributed throughout South America, being primarily allopatric throughout their ranges. In the Araucaria moist forest of Southern Brazil these species are sympatric and they might potentially compete having similar ecology. For this reason, they are ideal biological models to address questions about ecological character displacement and how closely related species might share their geographic space. Little is known about how two morphologically similar species of marsupials may affect each other through competition, if by competitive exclusion and competitive release. We combined ecological niche modeling and geometric morphometrics to explore the possible effects of competition on their distributional ranges and skull morphology. Ecological niche modeling was used to predict their potential distribution and this method enabled us to identify a case of biotic exclusion where the habit generalist D. albiventris is excluded by the presence of the specialist D. aurita. The morphometric analyses show that a degree of shape discrimination occurs between the species, strengthened by allometric differences, which possibly allowed them to occupy marginally different feeding niches supplemented by behavioral shift in contact areas. Overlap in skull morphology is shown between sympatric and allopatric specimens and a significant, but weak, shift in shape occurs only in D. aurita in sympatric areas. This could be a residual evidence of a higher past competition between both species, when contact zones were possibly larger than today. Therefore, the specialist D. aurita acts a biotic barrier to D. albiventris when niche diversity is not available for coexistence. On the other hand, when there is niche diversification (e.g. habitat mosaic), both species are capable to coexist with a minimal competitive effect on the morphology of D. aurita. PMID

  15. Experimental infection of Didelphis marsupialis with Vesicular Stomatitis New Jersey Virus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Although vesicular stomatitis has been present for many years in the Americas, many aspects of its natural history remain undefined. In this study we challenged five adult Virginia opossums (Didelphis marsupialis) with vesicular stomatitis New Jersey serotype virus (VSNJV). Opossums had no detecta...

  16. X-linked gene expression in the Virginia opossum: differences between the paternally derived Gpd and Pgk-A loci

    SciTech Connect

    Samollow, P.B.; Ford, A.L.; VandeBerg, J.L.

    1987-01-01

    Expression of X-linked glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) and phosphoglycerate kinase-A (PGK-A) in the Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) was studied electrophoretically in animals from natural populations and those produced through controlled laboratory crosses. Blood from most of the wild animals exhibited a common single-banded phenotype for both enzymes. Rare variant animals, regardless of sex, exhibited single-banded phenotypes different in mobility from the common mobility class of the respective enzyme. The laboratory crosses confirmed the allelic basis for the common and rare phenotypes. Transmission of PGK-A phenotypes followed the pattern of determinate (nonrandom) inactivation of the paternally derived Pgk-A allele, and transmission of G6PD also was consistent with this pattern. A survey of tissue-specific expression of G6PD phenotypes of heterozygous females revealed, in almost all tissues, three-banded patterns skewed in favor of the allele that was expressed in blood cells. Three-banded patterns were never observed in males or in putatively homozygous females. These patterns suggest simultaneous, but unequal, expression of the maternally and paternally derived Gpd alleles within individual cells. The absence of such partial expression was noted in a parallel survey of females heterozygous at the Pgd-A locus. Thus, it appears that Gpd and Pgk-A are X-linked in D. virginiana and subject to preferential paternal allele inactivation, but that dosage compensation may not be complete for all paternally derived X-linked genes.

  17. Thalamic nuclei in the opossum Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Olkowicz, Seweryn; Turlejski, Kris; Bartkowska, Katarzyna; Wielkopolska, Ewa; Djavadian, Rouzanna L

    2008-10-01

    We investigated nuclear divisions of the thalamus in the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica) to gain detailed information for further developmental and comparative studies. Nissl and myelin staining, histochemistry for acetylcholinesterase and immunohistochemistry for calretinin and parvalbumin were performed on parallel series of sections. Many features of the Monodelphis opossum thalamus resemble those in Didelphis and small eutherians showing no particular sensory specializations, particularly in small murid rodents. However, several features of thalamic organization in Monodelphis were distinct from those in rodents. In the opossum the anterior and midline nuclear groups are more clearly separated from adjacent structures than in eutherians. The dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (LGNd) starts more rostrally and occupies a large part of the lateral wall of the thalamus. As in other marsupials, two cytoarchitectonically different parts, alpha and beta are discernible in the LGNd of the opossum. Each of them may be subdivided into two additional bands in acetylcholinesterase staining, while in murid rodents the LGNd consists of a homogeneous mass of cells. Therefore, differentiation of the LGNd of the Monodelphis opossum is more advanced than in murid rodents. The medial geniculate body consists of three nuclei (medial, dorsal and ventral) that are cytoarchitectonically distinct and stain differentially for parvalbumin. The relatively large size of the MG and LGNd points to specialization of the visual and auditory systems in the Monodelphis opossum. In contrast to rodents, the lateral dorsal and lateral posterior nuclei in the opossum are poorly differentiated cytoarchitectonically.

  18. Lumbosacral plexus in Brazilian Common Opossum.

    PubMed

    Senos, R; Ribeiro, M S; Benedicto, H G; Kfoury Júnior, J R

    2016-01-01

    The opossum has been suggested as an animal model for biomedical studies due to its adaptability to captivity and number of births per year. Despite many studies on morphology and experimental neurology using this opossum model, the literature does not offer details of the nerves of the lumbosacral plexus in this species. Ten lumbosacral plexus were dissected to describe the peripheral innervations of the Brazilian Common Opossum (Didelphis aurita) and compare the results with Eutheria clade species. The tensor fasciae latae muscle was absent and there was only one sartorius muscle for each limb. The distribution of the nerves were similar to other mammals, except for the caudal gluteal nerve, sartorius muscle innervations and the position of the pudendal nerve which arose from the major ischiatic foramen together with the ischiatic nerve, the cranial gluteal nerve and the caudal gluteal nerve. No anatomical variation was found. The special position of the pudendal nerve suggested that the Brazilian Common Opossum is a better model than rats or rabbits in surgical procedures with that specific nerve. In addition, the study revealed that the pelvic limb nerves are not an invariable structure of reference for muscle homology and homonym as reported previously. New investigation using other species of opossums are necessary to best comprehend the lumbosacral plexus distribution in the Methatheria clade and to confirm that other opossum species is eligible as a good model for pudendal nerve studies.

  19. Toxocara cati (Nematoda: Ascarididae) in Didelphis albiventris (Marsupialia: Didelphidae) from Brazil: a case of pseudoparasitism.

    PubMed

    Pinto, Hudson Alves; Mati, Vitor Luís Tenório; Melo, Alan Lane de

    2014-01-01

    Eggs of Toxocara cati were found in the feces of Didelphis albiventris from a peridomestic urban environment in Brazil. Negative fecal tests following short-term captivity of the opossums, as well as the absence of ascaridids during necropsy, suggest the occurrence of pseudoparasitism. Implications of the findings for the epidemiology of toxocariasis are discussed.

  20. Natural infection of Didelphis aurita (Mammalia: Marsupialia) with Leishmania infantum in Brazil

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The opossum Didelphis have been considered as natural hosts of Leishmania parasites in the New World, suggesting an important role in the epidemiology of Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL). Among six extant species that belong to the genus Didelphis, only two (D. marsupialis and D. albiventris), have been mentioned as natural hosts of Leishmania infantum in Brazil and Colombia. In the present paper, it is reported for the first time, the observation of intracellular parasites (amastigotes) in tissues of Didelphis aurita naturally infected with Leishmania infantum in Brazil. We also discuss some aspects associated to the relationship between L. infantum and the geographical distribution of some species of the genus Didelphis. Methods The opossums studied were caught by wire traps (Tomahawk) in Barra de Guaratiba, a peri-urban area in Rio de Janeiro. The opossums were killed with an overdose of Thiopental sodium.At necropsy, macroscopic alterations were examined and samples from liver, spleen, lymph nodes, ear, abdominal skin, scent glands and bone marrow were collected for parasitological and molecular diagnoses. Results Forty-eight opossums were captured in an AVL endemic region, 30 being caught in a mangrove area and eighteen animals in a forest area near to some residential-yards. Among the thirty opossums trapped in the mangrove area, all of them were negative by both imprint and sera samples assayed on Dipstick Tests, that is a test based on a combination of protein-A colloidal gold conjugate and rk39 Leishmania antigen to detect anti-Leishmania antibody in serum or plasma. At the macroscopic examination one out of eighteen opossums, caught close to the forest, presented alterations compatible with spleen hypertrophy and three were positive by Dipstick Tests (16.6%) and presented amastigotes in the spleen and in one of them, the parasites were also observed in a submandibular lymph node. Leishmania infantum infections were confirmed through dot blot

  1. Molecular characterization and development of Sarcocystis speeri sarcocysts in gamma interferon gene knockout mice

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The North American opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is the definitive host for at least three named species of Sarcocystis: S. falcatula, S. neurona, and S. speeri. It appears that there may be additional undescribed species of Sarcocystis in D. virginiana feces. The South American opossums (D. albive...

  2. First evidence of gregarious denning in opossums (Didelphimorphia, Didelphidae), with notes on their social behaviour.

    PubMed

    Astúa, Diego; Carvalho, Rafael A; Maia, Paula F; Magalhães, Arthur R; Loretto, Diogo

    2015-06-01

    The Didelphidae are considered solitary opossums with few social interactions, usually limited to mating-related or mother-pouch young interactions. Anecdotal reports suggest that additional interactions occur, including den sharing by a few individuals, usually siblings. Here, we report novel observations that indicate opossums are more social than previously thought. These include nest sharing by males and females of Marmosa paraguayana, Gracilinanus microtarsus and Marmosops incanus prior to the onset of the breeding season and without signs of sexual activity; this is taken to indicate early pair-bonding matching and cooperative nest building. We also recorded den sharing among recently weaned siblings of Didelphis aurita and Caluromys philander. In addition, we observed 13 individuals of Didelphis albiventris representing three age classes resting without agonistic interactions in a communal den. These are the first reports of gregarious behaviour involving so many individuals, which are either unrelated or represent siblings from at least two litters, already weaned, sharing the same den with three adults. Sociality in opossums is probably more complex than previously established, and field experimental designs combining the use of artificial nests with camera traps or telemetry may help to gauge the frequency and extent of these phenomena.

  3. First evidence of gregarious denning in opossums (Didelphimorphia, Didelphidae), with notes on their social behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Astúa, Diego; Carvalho, Rafael A.; Maia, Paula F.; Magalhães, Arthur R.; Loretto, Diogo

    2015-01-01

    The Didelphidae are considered solitary opossums with few social interactions, usually limited to mating-related or mother–pouch young interactions. Anecdotal reports suggest that additional interactions occur, including den sharing by a few individuals, usually siblings. Here, we report novel observations that indicate opossums are more social than previously thought. These include nest sharing by males and females of Marmosa paraguayana, Gracilinanus microtarsus and Marmosops incanus prior to the onset of the breeding season and without signs of sexual activity; this is taken to indicate early pair-bonding matching and cooperative nest building. We also recorded den sharing among recently weaned siblings of Didelphis aurita and Caluromys philander. In addition, we observed 13 individuals of Didelphis albiventris representing three age classes resting without agonistic interactions in a communal den. These are the first reports of gregarious behaviour involving so many individuals, which are either unrelated or represent siblings from at least two litters, already weaned, sharing the same den with three adults. Sociality in opossums is probably more complex than previously established, and field experimental designs combining the use of artificial nests with camera traps or telemetry may help to gauge the frequency and extent of these phenomena. PMID:26085500

  4. Successful laparoscopic transabdominal cerclage in uterus didelphys.

    PubMed

    Ades, Alex; Hong, Phoebe

    2015-11-17

    The incidence of uterus didelphys is around 3/10,000 women. It is a class III Müllerian duct anomaly resulting from a complete non-fusion of the paired Müllerian ducts between the 12th and 16th weeks of gestation. Although the prevalence of cervical insufficiency in women with uterus didelphys is unknown, the incidence of cervical insufficiency in women with Müllerian anomalies has been reported as high as 30%. We present a case of successful pregnancy outcome following a laparoscopic transabdominal cerclage in a woman with uterus didelphys and cervical insufficiency. The case demonstrates that laparoscopic transabdominal cerclage can be performed successfully in women with uterus didelphys and a satisfactory obstetric outcome can be achieved.

  5. Plant Tissue Cultures of Juniperus virginiana.

    PubMed

    Kašparová, Marie; Spilková, Jirina; Cvak, Ladislav; Siatka, Tomáš; Martin, Jan

    2016-05-01

    Callus cultures of Juniperus virginiana L. (varieties 'Hetzii', 'Glauca', 'Grey Owl') were derived from fresh leaves of garden-grown trees on Schenk and Hildebrandt medium supplemented with 3.0 mg/L of α-naphthaleneacetic acid, 0.2 mg/L of kinetin and 15 mg/L of ascorbic acid. The growth characteristics of one-year-old and two-years-old cultures were determined. The maximum biomass in all varieties was achieved on the 35th day of the cultivation period. The increase in fresh weights of two-years-old callus cultures, when compared with one-year-old callus cultures, was as follows: variety 'Hetzii' by 25%, variety 'Glauca' by 29% and variety 'Grey Owl' by 49%. J. virginiana suspension cultures (varieties 'Hetzii', 'Glauca', 'Grey Owl') were derived from two-years-old callus cultures on Schenk and Hildebrandt medium supplemented with 3.0 mg/L of α-naphthaleneacetic acid, 0.2 mg/L of kinetin and 15 mg/L of ascorbic acid. The maximum biomass of all varieties was found on the 21st day of the cultivation period. These results indicate that a sub-cultivation interval of 35 days for callus cultures and of 21st days for suspension cultures can be recommended. The callus and suspension cultures of J. virginiana of the variety 'Glauca' have the best survivability and thus provide the most biomass.

  6. FGF2, FGF3 and FGF4 expression pattern during molars odontogenesis in Didelphis albiventris.

    PubMed

    Dos Santos, Íria Gabriela Dias; Jorge, Erika Cristina; Copola, Aline Gonçalves Lio; Bertassoli, Bruno Machado; Goes, Alfredo Miranda de; Silva, Gerluza Aparecida Borges

    2017-03-01

    Odontogenesis is guided by a complex signaling cascade in which several molecules, including FGF2-4, ensure all dental groups development and specificity. Most of the data on odontogenesis derives from rodents, which does not have all dental groups. Didelphis albiventris is an opossum with the closest dentition to humans, and the main odontogenesis stages occur when the newborns are in the pouch. In this study, D. albiventris postnatals were used to characterize the main stages of their molars development; and also to establish FGF2, FGF3 and FGF4 expression pattern. D. albiventris postnatals were processed for histological and indirect immunoperoxidase analysis of the tooth germs. Our results revealed similar dental structures between D. albiventris and mice. However, FGF2, FGF3 and FGF4 expression patterns were observed in a larger number of dental structures, suggesting broader functions for these molecules in this opossum species. The knowledge of the signaling that determinates odontogenesis in an animal model with complete dentition may contribute to the development of therapies for the replacement of lost teeth in humans. This study may also contribute to the implementation of D. albiventris as model for Developmental Biology studies.

  7. Experimental infection of Didelphis marsupialis with vesicular stomatitis New Jersey virus.

    PubMed

    Trujillo, Carlos M; Rodriguez, Luis; Rodas, Juan D; Arboleda, John Jairo

    2010-01-01

    Although vesicular stomatitis has been present for many years in the Americas, many aspects of its natural history remain undefined. In this study, we challenged five adult Virginia opossums (Didelphis marsupialis) with vesicular stomatitis New Jersey serotype virus (VSNJV). Opossums had no detectable antibodies against VSNJV prior to being inoculated with 10(6.5) median tissue culture infective doses (TCID(50)) of VSNJV by two routes; intraepithelial/subepithelial (IE/SE) inoculation and scarification in the muzzle (SM). Clinical response was monitored daily and animals were tested for viral shedding. All infected animals developed vesicles and ulcers on the tongue and inflammation of the nasal alar folds. Virus was isolated from esophagus-pharynx, nasal, and from ocular swabs and lesions samples. The failure to detect viremia in these animals indicates that a source other than blood may be required for transmission to insect vectors. Our results suggest that D. marsupialis could play a role in the maintenance of VSNJV outside of domestic animal populations and could provide a model to study vesicular stomatitis virus pathogenesis.

  8. Sandflies (Diptera: Psychodidae) associated with opossum nests at urban sites in southeastern Brazil: a risk factor for urban and periurban zoonotic Leishmania transmission?

    PubMed

    Cutolo, Andre Antonio; Teodoro, Anna Karollina Menezes; Ovallos, Fredy Galvis; Allegretti, Silmara Marques; Galati, Eunice Aparecida Bianchi

    2014-06-01

    Sandflies associated with opossum nests are reported for the first time in the yards of residences located in the urban area of the municipality of Monte Mor, situated in the metropolitan region of Campinas, state of São Paulo, Brazil. Eleven specimens of Evandromyia cortelezzii and one of Evandromyia lenti were captured in two Didelphis albiventris nests. Ev. cortelezzii is considered a secondary vector species for the transmission of Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis and Leishmania (Leishmania) infantum in the Neotropics. This association may contribute to the introduction, establishment and maintenance of urban and periurban zoonotic transmission outbreaks of Leishmania and should therefore be investigated further.

  9. Reconstruction of the Strawberry, Fragaria × ananassa, Using Native Genotypes of F. virginiana and F. chiloensis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The germplasm base of strawberries is restricted. The major cultivated strawberry species, Fragaria ananassa, originated about 250 years ago when South American F. chiloensis subsp. chiloensis forma chiloensis and North American F. virginiana subsp. virginiana accidentally hybridized in European ga...

  10. Influence of resource availability on Juniperus virginiana expansion in a forest–prairie ecotone

    EPA Science Inventory

    Despite being native to the United States, Juniperus virginiana has rapidly expanded in prairie ecosystems bringing detrimental ecological effects and increased wildfire risk. We transplanted J. virginiana seedlings in three plant communities to investigate mechanisms driving J. ...

  11. Bobcat (Lynx rufus) as a new natural intermediate host for Sarcocystis neurona

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The protozoan Sarcocystis neurona is an important cause of severe clinical disease of horses (called equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, EPM), marine mammals, companion animals, and several species of wildlife animals in the Americas. The Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is its definitive hos...

  12. Serological response of cats to experimental Besnoitia darlingi and Besnoitia neotomofelis infections and prevalence of antibodies to these parasites in cats from Virginia and Pennsylvania

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Besnoitia darlingi and B. neotomofelis are tissue cyst-forming apicomplexan parasite that use domestic cats (Felis domesticus) as definitive hosts and opossums (Didelphis virginiana) and southern planes woodrats (Neotoma micropus) as intermediate hosts, respectively. Nothing is known about the preva...

  13. The opossum MHC genomic region revisited.

    PubMed

    Krasnec, Katina V; Sharp, Alana R; Williams, Tracey L; Miller, Robert D

    2015-04-01

    The gray short-tailed opossum Monodelphis domestica is one of the few marsupial species for which a high quality whole genome sequence is available and the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) region has been annotated. Previous analyses revealed only a single locus within the opossum MHC region, designated Modo-UA1, with the features expected for encoding a functionally classical class I α-chain. Nine other class I genes found within the MHC are highly divergent and have features usually associated with non-classical roles. The original annotation, however, was based on an early version of the opossum genome assembly. More recent analyses of allelic variation in individual opossums revealed too many Modo-UA1 sequences per individual to be accounted for by a single MHC class I locus found in the genome assembly. A reanalysis of a later generation assembly, MonDom5, revealed the presence of two additional loci, now designated Modo-UA3 and UA4, in a region that was expanded and more complete than in the earlier assembly. Modo-UA1, UA3, and UA4 are all transcribed, although Modo-UA4 transcripts are rarer. Modo-UA4 is also relatively non-polymorphic. Evidence presented support the accuracy of the later assembly and the existence of three related class I genes in the opossum, making opossums more typical of mammals and most tetrapods by having multiple apparent classical MHC class I loci.

  14. Diversity of Sarcocystis spp shed by opossums in Brazil inferred with phylogenetic analysis of DNA coding ITS1, cytochrome B, and surface antigens.

    PubMed

    Valadas, Samantha Y O B; da Silva, Juliana I G; Lopes, Estela Gallucci; Keid, Lara B; Zwarg, Ticiana; de Oliveira, Alice S; Sanches, Thaís C; Joppert, Adriana M; Pena, Hilda F J; Oliveira, Tricia M F S; Ferreira, Helena L; Soares, Rodrigo M

    2016-05-01

    Although few species of Sarcocystis are known to use marsupials of the genus Didelphis as definitive host, an extensive diversity of alleles of surface antigen genes (sag2, sag3, and sag4) has been described in samples of didelphid opossums in Brazil. In this work, we studied 25 samples of Sarcocystis derived from gastrointestinal tract of opossums of the genus Didelphis by accessing the variability of sag2, sag3, sag4, gene encoding cytochrome b (cytB) and first internal transcribed spacer (ITS1). Reference samples of Sarcocystis neurona (SN138) and Sarcocystis falcatula (SF1) maintained in cell culture were also analyzed. We found four allele variants of cytB, seven allele variants of ITS1, 10 allele variants of sag2, 13 allele variants of sag3, and 6 allele variants of sag4. None of the sporocyst-derived sequences obtained from Brazilian opossums revealed 100% identity to SN138 at cytB gene, nor to SN138 or SF1 at ITS1 locus. In addition, none of the sag alleles were found identical to either SF1 or SN138 homologous sequences, and a high number of new sag allele types were found other than those previously described in Brazil. Out of ten sag2 alleles, four are novel, while eight out of 13 sag3 alleles are novel and one out of six sag4 alleles is novel. Further studies are needed to clarify if such a vast repertoire of allele variants of Sarcocystis is the consequence of re-assortments driven by sexual exchange, in order to form individuals with highly diverse characteristics, such as pathogenicity, host spectrum, among others or if it only represents allele variants of different species with different biological traits.

  15. Isolation and characterization of a bactericidal withanolide from Physalis virginiana

    PubMed Central

    Gibson, Kathleen A.; Reese, R. Neil; Halaweish, Fathi T.; Ren, Yulin

    2012-01-01

    Background: Physalis virginiana (Virginia Groundcherry) is a member of the family Solenaceae. Several species of the Physalis genus have been used traditionally by American Indians as medicinal treatments. Materials and Methods: This study investigated the antibacterial activity of chemicals extracted from P. virginiana through antibacterial disc and cytotoxicity assays. Isolation and purification of an antimicrobial compound was achieved through flash chromatography and preparative HPLC. Finally, identification of chemical structure was determined from 1H and 13C NMR and MS. Results: Disc assays showed that crude ethanol extracts were effective antibacterial agents against one gram-negative and seven gram-positive bacterial strains. Cytotoxicity assays indicated that it is less toxic than gentamicin controls. Isolation of the active component showed it to be a relatively polar compound. 1H and 13C NMR chemical shifts together with HRMS indicated a similar structure to withanolides previously identified from Physalis angulata. HRMS analysis showed a molecular mass of 472.2857 which corresponds to a molecular formula C28H40O6. Conclusion: An antibacterial withanolide was isolated from P. virginiana using flash chromatography and HPLC separations. The chemical structure was determined by NMR and MS to be the withanolide physagulin V. PMID:22438659

  16. Endocrine cells and nerve ganglia of the small intestine of the Opossum Didelphis aurita Wied-Neuwied, 1826 (Mammalia: Didelphidae).

    PubMed

    Freitas-Ribeiro, Gláucia M; Fonseca, Cláudio C; Sartori, Sirlene S R; Loures-Ribeiro, Alan; Neves, Clóvis A

    2012-09-01

    The nervous and endocrine systems jointly control intestinal movements, secretions of their glands and also participate of the processes of nutrient digestion and absorption. Therefore, the central objective of this study was to verify the existence of a possible relationship between the number of nervous cells and ganglia of the submucosal and myenteric plexuses and the number of endocrine cells in the small intestine of adult D. aurita. The utilized staining techniques were Grimelius, modified Masson-Fontana, direct immunoperoxidase and H-E. Argyrophillic, argentaffin and insulin immunoreactive endocrine cells do not numerically vary between the initial, mid and final regions of the duodenum, jejunum and ileum (P>0.05), except for argyrophillic cells in the jejunum (P>0.05). No numerical relationship has yet been verified between the number of nerve ganglia and endocrine cells, and also between nervous and endocrine cells. We recommended the use of new immunohistochemical techniques to confirm the numerical correlation between the nervous and endocrine systems in the small intestine. The morphology and distribution of endocrine cells and the nerve ganglia studied were similar to those encountered in eutherian mammals.

  17. The relationships of marsupial-dwelling Viannaiidae and description of Travassostrongylus scheibelorum sp. n. (Trichostrongylina: Heligmosomoidea) from mouse opossums (Didelphidae) from French Guiana.

    PubMed

    Scheibel, R Philip; Catzeflis, François; Jiméñez, F Agustín

    2014-06-01

    The trichostrongylid nematode Travassostrongylus scheibelorum sp. n. from the Linnaeus' mouse opossum, Marmosa murina (Linnaeus) (type host), and the woolly mouse opossum, Marmosa demerarae (Thomas), from French Guiana is described. The nematodes have a synlophe with ridges frontally oriented from right to left, six dorsal and six ventral, at midbody; seven dorsal and seven ventral posterior to the vulva, and two cuticular thickenings within the lateral spaces; a long dorsal ray and a pointed cuticular flap covering the vulva. This is the 12th species of Travassostrongylus Orloff, 1933, which includes species featuring ridges around the synlophe and a didelphic condition. These traits contrast with those in other genera in the Viannaiidae Neveu-Lemaire, 1934, which feature ventral ridges on the synlophe of adults and a monodelphic condition. Members of the family are chiefly Neotropical and are diagnosed based on the presence of a bursa of the type 2-2-1, 2-1-2 or irregular, and cuticle without ridges on the dorsal side (at least during one stage of their development). Herein, we present a reconstruction of the ancestral states of the didelphic/monodelphic condition and the cuticular ridges that form the synlophe in opossum-dwelling trichostrongyles, namely Travassostrongylus and Viannaia Travassos, 1914. Our investigations suggest they are not reciprocal sister taxa and that the change from didelphy to monodelphy and the loss of dorsal ridges, occurred in the common ancestor of species of Viannaia. These results suggest a synlophe with three ventral ridges is not plesiomorphic in the opossum dwelling trichostrongylids.

  18. Superfetation in uterus pseudo didelphys: an unreported event.

    PubMed

    Singhal, Savita Rani; Agarwal, Umber; Sharma, Damyanti; Sen, Jyotsna

    2003-08-01

    A 20-year-old primigravida initially diagnosed at 28 weeks to have superfetation in a case of a bicornuate uterus was subsequently found to have uterus pseudo didelphys during a cesarean section at 35 weeks. This type of uterine anomaly with twin gestation has been previously reported in five case reports, but superfetation with such müllerian abnormality has not been previously described.

  19. Seasonal monoterpene and sesquiterpene emissions from Pinus taeda and Pinus virginiana

    EPA Science Inventory

    Seasonal volatile organic compound emission data from loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) and Virginia pine (Pinus virginiana) were collected using branch enclosure techniques in Central North Carolina, USA. Pinus taeda monoterpene emission rates were at least ten times higher than oxyge...

  20. Topographic Organization and Corticocortical Connections of the Forepaw Representation in Areas S1 and SC of the Opossum: Evidence for a Possible Role of Area SC in Multimodal Processing

    PubMed Central

    Anomal, Renata Figueiredo; Rocha-Rego, Vanessa; Franca, João G.

    2011-01-01

    In small-brained mammals, such as opossums, the cortex is organized in fewer sensory and motor areas than in mammals endowed with larger cortical sheets. The presence of multimodal fields, involved in the integration of sensory inputs has not been clearly characterized in those mammals. In the present study, the corticocortical connections of the forepaw representation in the somatosensory caudal (SC) area of the Didelphis aurita opossum was studied with injections of fluorescent anatomical tracers in SC. Electrophysiological mapping of S1 was used to delimit its respective rostral and caudal borders, and to guide SC injections. The areal borders of S1 and the location of area SC were further confirmed by myeloarchitecture. In S1, we found a well-delimited forepaw representation, although it presented a crude internal topographic organization. Cortical projections to S1 originate in somatosensory areas of the parietal cortex, and appeared to be mostly homotopic. Physiological and connectional evidence were provided for a topographic organization in opossum area SC as well. Most notably, corticocortical projections to the forepaw representation of SC originated from somatosensory cortical areas and from cortex representing other sensory modalities, especially the visual peristriate cortex. This suggests that SC might be involved in multimodal processing similar to the posterior parietal cortex of species with larger brains. PMID:22069381

  1. Anomalous colour in Neotropical mammals: a review with new records for Didelphis sp. (Didelphidae, Didelphimorphia) and Arctocephalus australis (Otariidae, Carnivora).

    PubMed

    Abreu, M S L; Machado, R; Barbieri, F; Freitas, N S; Oliveira, L R

    2013-02-01

    Anomalous colourations occur in many tropical vertebrates. However, they are considered rare in wild populations, with very few records for the majority of animal taxa. We report two new cases of anomalous colouration in mammals. Additionally, we compiled all published cases about anomalous pigmentation registered in Neotropical mammals, throughout a comprehensive review of peer reviewed articles between 1950 and 2010. Every record was classified as albinism, leucism, piebaldism or eventually as undetermined pigmentation. As results, we report the new record of a leucistic specimen of opossum (Didelphis sp.) in southern Brazil, as well as a specimen of South American fur seal (Arctocephalus australis) with piebaldism in Uruguay. We also found 31 scientific articles resulting in 23 records of albinism, 12 of leucism, 71 of piebaldism and 92 records classified as undetermined pigmentation. Anomalous colouration is apparently rare in small terrestrial mammals, but it is much more common in cetaceans and michrochiropterans. Out of these 198 records, 149 occurred in cetaceans and 30 in bats. The results related to cetaceans suggest that males and females with anomolous pigmentation are reproductively successful and as a consequence their frequencies are becoming higher in natural populations. In bats, this result can be related to the fact these animals orient themselves primarily through echolocation, and their refuges provide protection against light and predation. It is possible that anomalous colouration occurs more frequently in other Neotropical mammal orders, which were not formally reported. Therefore, we encourage researchers to publish these events in order to better understand this phenomenon that has a significant influence on animal survival.

  2. Opossum alcohol dehydrogenases: Sequences, structures, phylogeny and evolution: evidence for the tandem location of ADH genes on opossum chromosome 5.

    PubMed

    Holmes, Roger S

    2009-03-16

    BLAT (BLAST-Like Alignment Tool) analyses and interrogations of the recently published opossum genome were undertaken using previously reported rat ADH amino acid sequences. Evidence is presented for six opossum ADH genes localized on chromosome 5 and organized in a comparable ADH gene cluster to that reported for human and rat ADH genes. The predicted amino acid sequences and secondary structures for the opossum ADH subunits and the intron-exon boundaries for opossum ADH genes showed a high degree of similarity with other mammalian ADHs, and four opossum ADH classes were identified, namely ADH1, ADH3, ADH6 and ADH4 (for which three genes were observed: ADH4A, ADH4B and ADH4C). Previous biochemical analyses of opossum ADHs have reported the tissue distribution and properties for these enzymes: ADH1, the major liver enzyme; ADH3, widely distributed in opossum tissues with similar kinetic properties to mammalian class 3 ADHs; and ADH4, for which several forms were localized in extrahepatic tissues, especially in the digestive system and in the eye. These ADHs are likely to perform similar functions to those reported for other mammalian ADHs in the metabolism of ingested and endogenous alcohols and aldehydes. Phylogenetic analyses examined opossum, human, rat, chicken and cod ADHs, and supported the proposed designation of opossum ADHs as class I (ADH1), class III (ADH3), class IV (ADH4A, ADH4B and ADH4C) and class VI (ADH6). Percentage substitution rates were examined for ADHs during vertebrate evolution which indicated that ADH3 is evolving at a much slower rate to that of the other ADH classes.

  3. Critical Fluid Extraction of Juniperus virginiana L. and Bioactivity of Extracts Against Subterranean Termites and Wood-Rot Fungi

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana L.) (Cupresseaceae) is an abundant renewable resource and represents a vast potential source of valuable natural products that may serve as natural biocides. Both the wood and needles from J. virginiana were extracted using liquid carbon dioxide (L-CO2) as we...

  4. Photic preference of the short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Seelke, A M H; Dooley, J C; Krubitzer, L A

    2014-06-06

    The gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica) is a nocturnal South American marsupial that has been gaining popularity as a laboratory animal. However, compared to traditional laboratory animals like rats, very little is known about its behavior, either in the wild or in a laboratory setting. Here we investigated the photic preference of the short-tailed opossum. Opossums were placed in a circular testing arena and allowed to move freely between dark (0 lux) and light (∼1.4, 40, or 400 lux) sides of the arena. In each of these conditions opossums spent significantly more time in the dark than in the illuminated side and a greater proportion of time in the dark than would be expected by chance. In the high-contrast (∼400 lux) illumination condition, the mean bout length (i.e., duration of one trip on the light or dark side) was significantly longer on the dark side than on the light side. When we examined the number of bouts greater than 30 and 60s in duration, we found a significant difference between the light and dark sides in all light contrast conditions. These data indicate that the short-tailed opossum prefers the dark to the light, and can also detect very slight differences in light intensity. We conclude that although rats and opossums share many similar characteristics, including ecological niche, their divergent evolutionary heritage results in vastly different behavioral capabilities. Only by observing the behavioral capabilities and preferences of opossums will we be able to manipulate the experimental environment to best elicit and elucidate their behavior and alterations in behavior that can arise from experimental manipulations.

  5. IMPLICATIONS OF INVASION BY JUNIPERUS VIRGINIANA ON SMALL MAMMALS IN THE SOUTHERN GREAT PLAINS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Changes in landscape cover in the Great Plains are resulting from the range expansion and invasion of eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana). By altering the landscape and local vegetation, red cedar is changing the structure and function of habitat for small mammals. We exam...

  6. Screening and Testing Phytochemicals in Eastern Redcedar (Juniperus virginiana) for Development of Potential Entrepreneurial Opportunities

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana) is often considered a “trash or nuisance” tree. In some states, this species has been declared invasive and management strategies have been adopted to destroy it. However, value-added phytochemical products from eastern redcedar have the potential to create n...

  7. IIMPLICATIONS OF INVASION BY JUNIPERUS VIRGINIANA ON SMALL MAMMALS IN THE SOUTHERN GREAT PLAINS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Changes in landscape cover in the Great Plains are resulting from the range expansion and invasion of eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana). By altering the landscape and local vegetation, red cedar is changing the structure and function of habitat for small mammals. We examin...

  8. Photosynthetic performance of invasive Pinus ponderosa and Juniperus virginiana seedlings under gradual soil water depletion.

    PubMed

    Bihmidine, S; Bryan, N M; Payne, K R; Parde, M R; Okalebo, J A; Cooperstein, S E; Awada, T

    2010-07-01

    Changes in climate, land management and fire regime have contributed to woody species expansion into grasslands and savannas worldwide. In the USA, Pinus ponderosa P.&C. Lawson and Juniperus virginiana L. are expanding into semiarid grasslands of Nebraska and other regions of the Great Plains. We examined P. ponderosa and J. virginiana seedling response to soil water content, one of the most important limiting factors in semiarid grasslands, to provide insight into their success in the region. Photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, maximum photochemical efficiency of PSII, maximum carboxylation velocity, maximum rate of electron transport, stomatal limitation to photosynthesis, water potential, root-to-shoot ratio, and needle nitrogen content were followed under gradual soil water depletion for 40 days. J. virginiana maintained lower L(s), higher A, g(s), and initial F(v)/F(m), and displayed a more gradual decline in V(cmax) and J(max) with increasing water deficit compared to P. ponderosa. J. virginiana also invested more in roots relative to shoots compared to P. ponderosa. F(v)/F(m) showed high PSII resistance to dehydration in both species. Photoinhibition was observed at approximately 30% of field capacity. Soil water content was a better predictor of A and g(s) than Psi, indicating that there are other growth factors controlling physiological processes under increased water stress. The two species followed different strategies to succeed in semiarid grasslands. P. ponderosa seedlings behaved like a drought-avoidant species with strong stomatal control, while J. virginiana was more of a drought-tolerant species, maintaining physiological activity at lower soil water content. Differences between the studied species and the ecological implications are discussed.

  9. Precocity of Gnathostoma turgidum in naturally infected four-eyed opossum Philander opossum pallidus from Temascal, Oaxaca, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Almeyda-Artigas, Roberto Javier; Mosqueda-Cabrera, Miguel Angel; Sánchez-Núñez, Edmundo

    2010-01-01

    Two female advanced third-stage larvae of Gnathostoma turgidum recovered from the liver of one naturally infected four-eyed opossum Philander opossum pallidus collected in Oaxaca, Mexico, were morphologically examined. Because of some characteristics, the larvae do not fit into the typical advanced third-stage. The body shows a size at least three times larger than expected and rows of spines only in the anterior part of the body surface. Consequently, in this research, we document for the first time the precocity in third-stage larvae of G. turgidum, and we also highlight some facts about the fourth larval stage occurring in spirurins.

  10. Genomic identification of chemokines and cytokines in opossum.

    PubMed

    Wong, Emily S W; Papenfuss, Anthony T; Belov, Katherine

    2011-03-01

    The cytokine repertoire of marsupials is largely unknown. The sequencing of the opossum genome has expedited the identification of many immune genes. However, many genes have not been identified using automated annotation pipelines because of high levels of sequence divergence. To fill gaps in our knowledge of the cytokine gene complement in marsupials, we searched the genome assembly of the gray short-tailed opossum for chemokine, interleukin, colony-stimulating factor, tumor necrosis factor, and transforming growth factor genes. In particular, we focused on genes that were not previously identified through Ensembl's automatic annotations. We report that the vast majority of cytokines are conserved, with direct orthologs between therian species. The major exceptions are chemokine genes, which show lineage-specific duplication/loss. Thirty-six chemokines were identified in opossum, including a lineage-specific expansion of macrophage inflammatory protein family genes. Divergent cytokines IL7, IL9, IL31, IL33, and CSF2 were identified. This is the first time IL31 and IL33 have been described outside of eutherian species. The high levels of similarities between the cytokine gene repertoires of therians suggest that the marsupial immune response is highly similar to eutherians.

  11. Visual acuity in the short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Dooley, J C; Nguyen, H M; Seelke, A M H; Krubitzer, L

    2012-10-25

    Monodelphis domestica (short-tailed opossum) is an emerging animal model for studies of neural development due to the extremely immature state of the nervous system at birth and its subsequent rapid growth to adulthood. Yet little is known about its normal sensory discrimination abilities. In the present investigation, visual acuity was determined in this species using the optokinetic test (OPT), which relies on involuntary head tracking of a moving stimulus and can be easily elicited using a rotating visual stimulus of varying spatial frequencies. Using this methodology, we determined that the acuity of Monodelphis is 0.58 cycles per degree (cpd), which is similar to the acuity of rats using the same methodology, and higher than in mice. However, acuity in the short-tailed opossum is lower than in other marsupials. This is in part due to the methodology used to determine acuity, but may also be due to differences in diel patterns, lifestyle and phylogeny. We demonstrate that for the short-tailed opossum, the OPT is a rapid and reliable method of determining a baseline acuity and can be used to study enhanced acuities due to cortical plasticity.

  12. Visual acuity in the short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica)

    PubMed Central

    Dooley, James C.; Nguyen, Hoang; Seelke, Adele M. H.; Krubitzer, Leah

    2013-01-01

    Monodelphis domestica (short-tailed opossum) is an emerging animal model for studies of neural development due to the extremely immature state of the nervous system at birth and its subsequent rapid growth to adulthood. Yet little is known about its normal sensory discrimination abilities. In the present investigation, visual acuity was determined in this species using the optokinetic test (OPT), which relies on involuntary head tracking of a moving stimulus and can be easily elicited using a rotating visual stimulus of varying spatial frequencies. Using this methodology, we determined that the acuity of Monodelphis is 0.58 cycles per degree (cpd), which is similar to the acuity of rats using the same methodology, and higher than in mice. However, acuity in the short-tailed opossum is lower than in other marsupials. This is in part due to the methodology used to determine acuity, but may also be due to differences in diel patterns, lifestyle and phylogeny. We demonstrate that for the short-tailed opossum, the OPT is a rapid and reliable method of determining a baseline acuity and can be used to study enhanced acuities due to cortical plasticity. PMID:22871523

  13. Opossums and Cat Fleas: New Insights in the Ecology of Murine Typhus in Galveston, Texas.

    PubMed

    Blanton, Lucas S; Idowu, Boluwatife M; Tatsch, Tyler N; Henderson, Joshua M; Bouyer, Donald H; Walker, David H

    2016-08-03

    Murine typhus is an acute undifferentiated febrile illness caused by Rickettsia typhi The classic reservoir (Rattus spp.) and flea vector (Xenopsylla cheopis) were once culprits of murine typhus in the United States. Vector and rodent control efforts have drastically decreased the prevalence of disease, except in a few endemic foci where opossums and cat fleas play a role in transmission. Since 2012, there has been a reemergence of murine typhus in Galveston, TX. We hypothesize that opossums and cat fleas are involved in the transmission of R. typhi in Galveston. To explore this, we sought to find the seroprevalence of typhus group antibodies from opossums. We also sought to find the prevalence of R. typhi in fleas parasitizing these animals. We collected blood from 12 opossums and found that eight (66.7%) had the presence of anti-R. typhi antibodies. All opossums were infested with fleas; a total of 250 Ctenocephalides felis fleas were collected from these animals. Seven opossums (53.8%) were infested with fleas that had molecular evidence of R. typhi infection, while six (46.2%) were infested with fleas that contained Candidatus Rickettsia senegalensis, an organism closely related to R. felis The minimum flea infection rate for R. typhi was 7.0%. The minimum infection rate for Candidatus R. senegalensis was 6.1%. Our study demonstrates that fleas infected with R. typhi parasitize opossums in Galveston. It is therefore likely that opossums and their fleas play a role in the city's recent reemergence of murine typhus.

  14. Independent uterine contractions in simultaneous twin pregnancy in each horn of the uterus didelphys.

    PubMed

    Maki, Yohei; Furukawa, Seishi; Sameshima, Hiroshi; Ikenoue, Tsuyomu

    2014-03-01

    The mechanism of synchronizing uterine contractions is not fully understood. We present a case of twin pregnancy in a uterus didelphys and objectively analyze the synchrony of bilateral uterine contractions. A 32-year-old woman, with a history of vaginal septal resection during her previous vaginal delivery, became pregnant with twins in a uterus didelphys in which each uterine horn had one fetus. At 37 weeks and 6 days, the first baby was delivered vaginally. The second baby was delivered by cesarean section due to recurrent late decelerations. Operative findings confirmed the didelphys uterus. We retrospectively reviewed the timing of contractions of both uteruses. The timing was determined by visual analysis as synchronous if both uteruses contracted within 5 s. Otherwise, contractions were considered solitary. Both uterine horns contracted independently in 90% of the incidence throughout labor and delivery. From this rare case of an 'experiment by nature', we speculated that the myometrium must be histologically connected in order to synchronize uterine contractions.

  15. Modest genetic differentiation among North American populations of Sarcocystic neurona may reflect expansion in its geographic range

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sundar, N.; Asmundsson, I.M.; Thomas, N.J.; Samuel, M.D.; Dubey, J.P.; Rosenthal, B.M.

    2008-01-01

    Sarcocystis neurona is an important cause of neurological disease in horses (equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, EPM) and sea otters in the United States. In addition, EPM-like disease has been diagnosed in several other land and marine mammals. Opossums are its only definitive hosts. Little genetic diversity among isolates of S. neurona from different hosts has been reported. Here, we used 11 microsatellites to characterize S. neurona DNA isolated from natural infections in 22 sea otters (Enhydra lutris) from California and Washington and in 11 raccoons (Procyon lotor) and 1 striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) from Wisconsin. By jointly analyzing these 34 isolates with 26 isolates previously reported, we determined that geographic barriers may limit S. neurona dispersal and that only a limited subset of possible parasite genotypes may have been introduced to recently established opossum populations. Moreover, our study confirms that diverse intermediate hosts share a common infection source, the opossum (Didelphis virginiana).

  16. Modest genetic differentiation among North American populations of Sarcocystis neurona may reflect expansion in its geographic range.

    PubMed

    Sundar, N; Asmundsson, I M; Thomas, N J; Samuel, M D; Dubey, J P; Rosenthal, B M

    2008-03-25

    Sarcocystis neurona is an important cause of neurological disease in horses (equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, EPM) and sea otters in the United States. In addition, EPM-like disease has been diagnosed in several other land and marine mammals. Opossums are its only definitive hosts. Little genetic diversity among isolates of S. neurona from different hosts has been reported. Here, we used 11 microsatellites to characterize S. neurona DNA isolated from natural infections in 22 sea otters (Enhydra lutris) from California and Washington and in 11 raccoons (Procyon lotor) and 1 striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) from Wisconsin. By jointly analyzing these 34 isolates with 26 isolates previously reported, we determined that geographic barriers may limit S. neurona dispersal and that only a limited subset of possible parasite genotypes may have been introduced to recently established opossum populations. Moreover, our study confirms that diverse intermediate hosts share a common infection source, the opossum (Didelphis virginiana).

  17. Central nervous system regeneration: from leech to opossum.

    PubMed

    Mladinic, M; Muller, K J; Nicholls, J G

    2009-06-15

    A major problem of neurobiology concerns the failure of injured mammalian spinal cord to repair itself. This review summarizes work done on two preparations in which regeneration can occur: the central nervous system of an invertebrate, the leech, and the spinal cord of an immature mammal, the opossum. The aim is to understand cellular and molecular mechanisms that promote and prevent regeneration. In the leech, an individual axon regrows successfully to re-establish connections with its synaptic target, while avoiding other neurons. Functions that were lost are thereby restored. Moreover, pairs of identified neurons become re-connected with appropriate synapses in culture. It has been shown that microglial cells and nitric oxide play key roles in leech CNS regeneration. In the opossum, the neonatal brain and spinal cord are so tiny that they survive well in culture. Fibres grow across spinal cord lesions in neonatal animals and in vitro, but axon regeneration stops abruptly between postnatal days 9 and 12. A comprehensive search has been made in spinal cords that can and cannot regenerate to identify genes and establish their locations. At 9 days, growth-promoting genes, their receptors and key transcription molecules are up-regulated. By contrast at 12 days, growth-inhibitory molecules associated with myelin are prominent. The complete sequence of the opossum genome and new methods for transfecting genes offer ways to determine which molecules promote and which inhibit spinal cord regeneration. These results lead to questions about how basic research on mechanisms of regeneration could be 'translated' into effective therapies for patients with spinal cord injuries.

  18. Central nervous system regeneration: from leech to opossum

    PubMed Central

    Mladinic, M; Muller, K J; Nicholls, J G

    2009-01-01

    A major problem of neurobiology concerns the failure of injured mammalian spinal cord to repair itself. This review summarizes work done on two preparations in which regeneration can occur: the central nervous system of an invertebrate, the leech, and the spinal cord of an immature mammal, the opossum. The aim is to understand cellular and molecular mechanisms that promote and prevent regeneration. In the leech, an individual axon regrows successfully to re-establish connections with its synaptic target, while avoiding other neurons. Functions that were lost are thereby restored. Moreover, pairs of identified neurons become re-connected with appropriate synapses in culture. It has been shown that microglial cells and nitric oxide play key roles in leech CNS regeneration. In the opossum, the neonatal brain and spinal cord are so tiny that they survive well in culture. Fibres grow across spinal cord lesions in neonatal animals and in vitro, but axon regeneration stops abruptly between postnatal days 9 and 12. A comprehensive search has been made in spinal cords that can and cannot regenerate to identify genes and establish their locations. At 9 days, growth-promoting genes, their receptors and key transcription molecules are up-regulated. By contrast at 12 days, growth-inhibitory molecules associated with myelin are prominent. The complete sequence of the opossum genome and new methods for transfecting genes offer ways to determine which molecules promote and which inhibit spinal cord regeneration. These results lead to questions about how basic research on mechanisms of regeneration could be ‘translated’ into effective therapies for patients with spinal cord injuries. PMID:19525562

  19. Comparative mapping reveals autosomal origin of sex chromosome in octoploid Fragaria virginiana.

    PubMed

    Spigler, Rachel B; Lewers, Kim S; Johnson, Anna L; Ashman, Tia-Lynn

    2010-01-01

    Recent evolution of separate sexes in flowering plants provides unparalleled opportunities for understanding the early stages of sex chromosome evolution, including their origin from autosomes. Moreover, the transition from combined to separate sexes can be associated with speciation via polyploidization in angiosperms, suggesting that genome doubling/merger may facilitate sterility mutations required for sex chromosome formation. To gain insight into the origin of sex chromosomes in a polyploid plant, we doubled the simple sequence repeat (SSR) density and increased genome coverage in a genetic map of octoploid Fragaria virginiana, a species purported to have a "proto-sex" chromosome, where limited recombination occurs between 2 linked "loci" carrying the male- and female-sterility mutations. Incorporation of almost 3 times the number of SSR markers into the current map facilitated complete characterization of the F. virginiana proto-sex chromosome, revealing its largely autosomal nature and the location of the sex-determining region toward the distal end. Furthermore, extensive synteny between our genetic map and a map involving diploid hermaphroditic congeners allowed assignment of linkage groups to homeologous groups, identification of the proto-sex chromosome's autosomal homoeolog, and detection of a putative rearrangement near the sex-determining region. Fine mapping and additional comparative work will shed light on the intriguing possibility that rearrangements during polyploidization were involved in the evolution of sex chromosomes in Fragaria.

  20. Antiinflammatory agents protect opossum esophagus during radiotherapy. [Cobalt 60

    SciTech Connect

    Northway, M.G.; Eastwood, G.L.; Libshitz, H.I.; Feldman, M.S.; Mamel, J.J.; Szwarc, I.A.

    1982-10-01

    Eighteen opossums received 2250 rad /sup 60/Co to the entire esophagus and lower esophageal sphincter. Animals received treatment with 600 mg aspirin, 25 mg/kg hydrocortisone, or saline before irradiation and twice daily for 1 week after irradiation. At 10 days postirradiation, animals were evaluated for signs of acute esophagitis by esophagoscopy and barium esophagram. Each animal was then killed and the esophagus removed and evaluated histologically. Animals treated with either aspirin or hydrocortisone had significantly milder esophagitis than control irradiated animals.

  1. Effect of Lagerstroemia tomentosa and Diospyros virginiana methanolic extracts on different drug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis

    PubMed Central

    Esfahani, B. Nasr; Hozoorbakhsh, F.; Rashed, Kh.; Havaei, S.A.; Heidari, K.; Moghim, Sh.

    2014-01-01

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) is the causative agent of tuberculosis. The increasing incidence of multi drug resistance tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and extensively drug resistance tuberculosis (XDR-TB) worldwide highlighted the urgent need to search for alternative antimycobacterial agents. More and more people in developing countries utilize traditional medicine for their major primary health care needs. It has been determined that pharmaceutical plant, Lagerstroemia tomentosa and Diospyros virginiana, possesses some antibacterial effect. In this study, the antimycobacterial effects of L. tomentosa and D. virginiana methanolic extracts on sensitive and resistant isolates of MTB were examined. Leaf methanolic extract was prepared using methanol 70%. Sensitivity and resistance of isolates was determined by proportion method. The effects of two different methonolic extract concentrations (20 and 40 μg/ml) of the plants were examined against 6 sensitive and resistant strains of MTB with different patterns of drug resistance. MTB H37Rv (ATCC 27294) was set as control in all culturing and sensitivity testing processes. The results showed that L. tomentosa and D. virginiana methanolic extracts had weak inhibitory effect on different strains of MTB. The highest percentage of inhibition for L. tomentosa and D. virginiana was observed 38% and 33.3%, respectively. PMID:25657789

  2. Platypus and opossum calcitonins exhibit strong activities, even though they belong to mammals.

    PubMed

    Yamashita, Teruhito; Udagawa, Nobuyuki; Thirukonda, Gnanasagar Janardhanan; Uehara, Shunsuke; Yamauchi, Hirose; Suzuki, Nobuo; Li, Feng; Kobayashi, Yasuhiro; Takahashi, Naoyuki

    2017-01-04

    In mammalian assay systems, calcitonin peptides of non-mammalian species exhibit stronger activity than those of mammals. Recently, comparative analyses of a wide-range of species revealed that platypus and opossum, which diverged early from other mammals, possess calcitonins that are more similar in amino acid sequence to those of non-mammals than mammals. We herein determined whether platypus and opossum calcitonins exhibit similar biological activities to those of non-mammalian calcitonins using an assay of actin ring formation in mouse osteoclasts. We also compared the dose-dependent effects of each calcitonin on cAMP production in osteoclasts. Consistent with the strong similarities in their primary amino acid sequences, platypus and opossum calcitonins disrupted actin rings with similar efficacies to that of salmon calcitonin. Human calcitonin exhibited the weakest inhibitory potency and required a 100-fold higher concentration (EC50=3×10(-11)M) than that of salmon calcitonin (EC50=2×10(-13)M). Platypus and opossum calcitonins also induced cAMP production in osteoclast cultures with the same efficacies as that of salmon calcitonin. Thus, platypus and opossum calcitonins exhibited strong biological activities, similar to those of the salmon. In addition, phylogenetic analysis revealed that platypus and opossum calcitonins clustered with the salmon-type group but not human- or porcine-type group. These results suggest that platypus and opossum calcitonins are classified into the salmon-type group, in terms of the biological activities and amino acid sequences.

  3. Cage change intervals for opossums (Monodelphis domestica) in individually ventilated cages.

    PubMed

    Allison, Sarah O; Criley, Jennifer M; Kim, Ji Young; Goodly, Lyndon J

    2011-09-01

    The opossum Monodelphis domestica is the most commonly used marsupial in biomedical research. At our institution, these opossums are housed in polycarbonate (35.6 cm × 25.4 cm × 17.8 cm) individually ventilated cages. Previous studies of the cage microenvironment of rodents housed in individually ventilated cages have demonstrated that the cage-change frequency could be extended from 7 to 14 d, without detriment to the animals' wellbeing. We sought to determine whether the cage change frequency for opossums housed in individually ventilated cages could be extended to 14 d. Opossums were placed into 3 experimental groups: singly housed males, singly housed females, and females housed with litters. The 14-d testing period was repeated twice, with temperature, relative humidity, and ammonia levels tested on days 0, 7, and 14. Acceptable ranges for the cage microenvironment were based on standards followed by our institution for housing rodents: temperature between 22 to 26 °C, relative humidity between 30% to 70%, and ammonia less than 25 ppm. Throughout both 14-d testing periods, temperature, relative humidity, and ammonia levels for singly housed male and singly housed female opossums were within acceptable ranges. However, ammonia levels exceeded the recommended 25 ppm on day 7 of both testing periods for female opossums housed with litters. In summary, the cage-change frequency for a singly housed opossum in an individually ventilated cage can be extended to 14 d.

  4. The opossum genome: insights and opportunities from an alternative mammal.

    PubMed

    Samollow, Paul B

    2008-08-01

    The strategic importance of the genome sequence of the gray, short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica, accrues from both the unique phylogenetic position of metatherian (marsupial) mammals and the fundamental biologic characteristics of metatherians that distinguish them from other mammalian species. Metatherian and eutherian (placental) mammals are more closely related to one another than to other vertebrate groups, and owing to this close relationship they share fundamentally similar genetic structures and molecular processes. However, during their long evolutionary separation these alternative mammals have developed distinctive anatomical, physiologic, and genetic features that hold tremendous potential for examining relationships between the molecular structures of mammalian genomes and the functional attributes of their components. Comparative analyses using the opossum genome have already provided a wealth of new evidence regarding the importance of noncoding elements in the evolution of mammalian genomes, the role of transposable elements in driving genomic innovation, and the relationships between recombination rate, nucleotide composition, and the genomic distributions of repetitive elements. The genome sequence is also beginning to enlarge our understanding of the evolution and function of the vertebrate immune system, and it provides an alternative model for investigating mechanisms of genomic imprinting. Equally important, availability of the genome sequence is fostering the development of new research tools for physical and functional genomic analyses of M. domestica that are expanding its versatility as an experimental system for a broad range of research applications in basic biology and biomedically oriented research.

  5. Flea (Pulex simulans) infestation in captive giant anteaters (Myrmecophaga tridactyla).

    PubMed

    Mutlow, Adrian G; Dryden, Michael W; Payne, Patricia A

    2006-09-01

    A pair of captive adult giant anteaters (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) presented heavily infested with a flea species (Pulex simulans) commonly found on Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) and raccoons (Procyon lotor) in the central United States. In this case, the flea was demonstrated to have completed its entire life cycle with the anteaters as the host. A single treatment of topical imidacloprid, coupled with removal and replacement of infested bedding, was rapidly effective at controlling the infestation and no adverse effects of the drug were noted. Control of the anteater infestation also removed the flea infestation of aardvarks in the same building.

  6. Trypanosoma (Herpetosoma) leeuwenhoeki in Choloepus hoffmanni and Didelphis marsupialis of the Pacific Coast of Colombia.

    PubMed

    Travi, B L; Zea, A; D'Alessandro, A

    1989-04-01

    Trypanosoma (Herpetosoma) leeuwenhoeki, originally described in Panamanian sloths, was isolated from Didelphis marsupialis (Marsupialia) and Choloepus hoffmanni (Edentata) inhabiting the Pacific coast of Colombia. Trypanosomes were characterized by their large blood forms (total length 51-53 microns), poor infectivity for mice, and lack of development in Rhodnius prolixus. Isoenzyme studies, with either strains or clones, revealed homogeneous profiles clearly distinct from Trypanosoma cruzi and Trypanosoma rangeli reference strains. The present report extends the geographical distribution of T. leeuwenhoeki to South America and broadens its known host range to another order of mammals.

  7. Congenital pouch colon in a girl associated with bilateral atresia of cervix uteri and uterus didelphys.

    PubMed

    Chadha, Rajiv; Puri, Manju; Saxena, Rahul; Agarwala, Surendrakumar; Puri, Archana; Choudhury, Subhasis Roy

    2013-04-01

    This report describes a girl with congenital pouch colon (CPC), uterus didelphys with septate vagina, and a cloacal anomaly. The girl underwent cloacal reconstruction at the age of 15 months. Subsequently, at puberty, the child had primary amenorrhea with severe cyclic abdominal pain due to endometriosis of both the uteruses and adnexal cysts with hematometra and hematosalpinx. Laparotomy with removal of both uteri and the left fallopian tube was performed. Both uteri had atresia of the cervix uteri. This report emphasizes the need for comprehensive evaluation and a long-term management strategy for associated gynecologic anomalies in girls with CPC, especially with regard to patency of the outflow tract.

  8. Topical wound-healing effects and phytochemical composition of heartwood essential oils of Juniperus virginiana L., Juniperus occidentalis Hook., and Juniperus ashei Juniperus Buchholz

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ethnobotanical surveys indicated that several Juniperus species are utilized as an antihelmintic, diuretic, stimulant, antiseptic, carminative, antirheumatic, antifungal and for wound healing. In the present study, essential oils obtained from heartwood samples of Juniperus virginiana L., J. occide...

  9. Opossums (Mammalia: Didelphidae) in the diets of Neotropical pitvipers (Serpentes: Crotalinae): evidence for alternative coevolutionary outcomes?

    PubMed

    Voss, Robert S

    2013-05-01

    Opossums and pitvipers are sympatric throughout most of the New World, but trophic relationships between these speciose clades have only recently attracted the attention of researchers. Although it is now known that some venom-resistant opossums prey on pitvipers, a review of the literature on diets shows that some Neotropical pitvipers prey on opossums. Interestingly, some pitviper species prey on opossums known or suspected to be venom resistant. If venom resistance and venom potency are coevolved traits, then these observations suggest that alternative outcomes may result in role-switching between victims and exploiters. Because molecular antagonists (e.g., venom toxins and toxin-neutralizing serum proteins) that could mediate such outcomes have been plausibly identified, this system is a potentially fruitful field for evolutionary research.

  10. Novel use of a tracheobronchial stent in a patient with uterine didelphys and obstructed hemivagina

    PubMed Central

    Cooper, Amber R.; Merritt, Diane F.

    2014-01-01

    Objective: To describe a novel use for a tracheobronchial stent to maintain patency after vaginal septum excision in a patient with an obstructed hemivagina and uterine didelphys. Design: Description of a novel technique Setting: University-affiliated Children’s Hospital Patient: One patient with an obstructed hemivagina and uterine didelphys who presented with hematometria and hematocolpos. Intervention: In order to maintain patency and decrease stenosis risk after vaginal septum excision, a coated tracheobronchial stent was deployed and left in place for 6 weeks. Main Outcome Measure: To evaluate ease of stent placement and removal, re-epithelialization and patency of the neo-vagina, and post-operative assessment of pain and recurrent obstruction. Results: The tracheobroncheal stent was easily positioned and deployed with vaginoscopic guidance. Six weeks later it was removed without any tissue in-growth or granulation tissue noted. The vaginal walls were nicely epithelialized. Twelve months post-operatively the patient remained pain free with regular cycles and no evidence of obstruction or abnormality on ultrasound. Conclusion: Use of a coated tracheobronchial stent to maintain patency after septum excision in a patient with an obstructed hemivagina presents a safe, easy and effective option to diminish stenosis risk and avoid infectious complications or hysterectomy. PMID:19064265

  11. Ontogeny of cells containing estrogen receptor-like immunoreactivity in the Brazilian opossum brain.

    PubMed

    Fox, C A; Ross, L R; Jacobson, C D

    1991-11-19

    In this study, we have used the Brazilian short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica) as a model to study the ontogeny of estrogen receptors in the mammalian brain. Monodelphis is a small, pouchless marsupial which breeds well under laboratory conditions and whose young are born in an immature sexually undifferentiated state. The Abbott H222 monoclonal rat estrogen receptor antibody (gift of Abbott Laboratories) was utilized in an indirect immunohistochemical procedure to detect estrogen receptors in developing opossum brains. Estrogen receptors were first expressed in the dorsomedial and ventromedial hypothalamus of the opossum 10 days after birth (10PN). Most regions that contained estrogen receptor-like immunoreactivity (ER LI) in the adult opossum contained ER LI at 15 PN. These areas include the lateral septum, medial preoptic area, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, periventricular preoptic area and hypothalamus, amygdala, dorsomedial and ventromedial hypothalamic nuclei, arcuate nucleus, ventral premammillary nucleus, and the midbrain central grey. The number of cells that contain ER LI increased through 60PN in all regions that will contain ER LI in the adult opossum. These results indicate that estrogen receptors are present in early development of the Monodelphis brain and may mark the beginning of a critical period for sexual differentiation of the opossum brain.

  12. Brief communication: Forelimb compliance in arboreal and terrestrial opossums.

    PubMed

    Schmitt, Daniel; Gruss, Laura T; Lemelin, Pierre

    2010-01-01

    Primates display high forelimb compliance (increased elbow joint yield) compared to most other mammals. Forelimb compliance, which is especially marked among arboreal primates, moderates vertical oscillations of the body and peak vertical forces and may represent a basal adaptation of primates for locomotion on thin, flexible branches. However, Larney and Larson (Am J Phys Anthropol 125 [2004] 42-50) reported that marsupials have forelimb compliance comparable to or greater than that of most primates, but did not distinguish between arboreal and terrestrial marsupials. If forelimb compliance is functionally linked to locomotion on thin branches, then elbow yield should be highest in marsupials relying on arboreal substrates more often. To test this hypothesis, we compared forelimb compliance between two didelphid marsupials, Caluromys philander (an arboreal opossum relying heavily on thin branches) and Monodelphis domestica (an opossum that spends most of its time on the ground). Animals were videorecorded while walking on a runway or a horizontal 7-mm pole. Caluromys showed higher elbow yield (greater changes in degrees of elbow flexion) on both substrates, similar to that reported for arboreal primates. Monodelphis was characterized by lower elbow yield that was intermediate between the values reported by Larney and Larson (Am J Phys Anthropol 125 [2004] 42-50) for more terrestrial primates and rodents. This finding adds evidence to a model suggesting a functional link between arboreality--particularly locomotion on thin, flexible branches--and forelimb compliance. These data add another convergent trait between arboreal primates, Caluromys, and other arboreal marsupials and support the argument that all primates evolved from a common ancestor that was a fine-branch arborealist.

  13. The role of the vomeronasal system in food preferences of the gray short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica

    PubMed Central

    Halpern, Mimi; Daniels, Yasmine; Zuri, Ido

    2005-01-01

    Although feeding deficits have been reported in snakes and lizards following vomeronasal system disruption, no deficit has been previously reported in a mammal. We tested gray short-tailed opossums with items from four different food categories prior to occluding access to the vomeronasal organ. Preoperatively, opossums preferred meat to fruit or vegetables. Following occlusion of the nasopalatine canal, but not after control treatment, opossums failed to demonstrate food preferences. PMID:15725360

  14. Marsupial morphology of reproduction: South America opossum male model.

    PubMed

    De Barros, Michelle Andrade; Panattoni Martins, João Flávio; Samoto, Vivian Yochiko; Oliveira, Vanessa Cristina; Gonçalves, Natalia; Mançanares, Celina Almeida Furlaneto; Vidane, Atanasio; Carvalho, Ana Flávia; Ambrósio, Carlos Eduardo; Miglino, Maria Angélica

    2013-04-01

    This study aims to describe the morphology of Didelphis sp. male genital organs (penis, testes, epididymis, ductus deferens, prostate, and bulbourethral gland). Ten male animals were used, eight for macroscopic and light microscopy analysis, and two for scanning electron microscopy. The testes and epididymis showed similarity to other eutherian mammals. The bifid penis showed the urethra ending in the medial region where the bifurcation begins, occurring in each segment extension of the urethral groove until the beginning of the glans. Histologically, the penis consists of a cavernous and spongy body, covered by stratified squamous epithelium with loose connective tissue. The urethra was lined by transitional stratified epithelium. In the prostate, prostatic segments were found consisting of tubular glands in a radial arrangement around the urethra, coated externally by a dense connective tissue associated with a relatively thick layer of smooth muscle arranged in two layers that surround the glandular tissue. The animals had three pairs of bulbourethral glands placed at the membranous and cavernous urethra junction with descending and parallel excretory ducts ending caudally in the urethral lumen.

  15. Besnoitia oryctofelisi n. sp. (Protozoa: Apicomplexa) from domestic rabbits.

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Sreekumar, C; Lindsay, D S; Hill, D; Rosenthal, B M; Venturini, L; Venturini, M C; Greiner, E C

    2003-06-01

    A species of Besnoitia from naturally infected rabbits from Argentina was propagated experimentally in mice, gerbils, rabbits, cats, and cell cultures. Cats fed tissue cysts from rabbits shed oocysts with a prepatent period of nine to 13 days. Sporulated oocysts were infective to gerbils, rabbits, outbred Swiss Webster and interferon gamma gene knockout mice. Bradyzoites were infective orally to gerbils and cats. Tachyzoites were successfully cultivated and maintained in vitro in bovine monocytes and African green monkey kidney cells. Schizonts were seen in the lamina propria of the small intestine of cats fed tissue cysts; the largest ones measured 52 x 45 microm. Schizonts were also present in mesenteric lymph nodes, livers, and other extra-intestinal organs of cats fed tissue cysts. Oocysts were 10-14 x 10-13 microm in size. This rabbit-derived species of Besnoitia resembled B. darlingi of the North American opossum, Didelphis virginiana with an opossum-cat cycle, but it was not transmissible to D. virginiana, and B. darlingi of opossums was not transmissible to rabbits. Based on biological, serological, antigenic, and molecular differences between the rabbit and the opossum Besnoitia, a new name, B. oryctofelisi is proposed for the parasite from domestic rabbits from Argentina.

  16. Motor function of the opossum sphincter of Oddi.

    PubMed Central

    Toouli, J; Dodds, W J; Honda, R; Sarna, S; Hogan, W J; Komarowski, R A; Linehan, J H; Arndorfer, R C

    1983-01-01

    We studied the opossum sphincter of Oddi (SO) because in this species the SO is approximately 3 cm in length and its extraduodenal location permits recording of motor activity with negligible interference from duodenal motor activity. The SO segment of 120 animals was evaluated by one or more of the following: (a) intraluminal manometry; (b) electromyography; (c) common bile duct (CBD) flow monitored by a drop counter; (d) cineradiography of intraductal contrast medium; and (e) histologic examination. SO pull-throughs using an infused catheter of 0.6-mm o.d. invariably showed a high pressure zone (HPZ) of 18 +/- 3 SE mm Hg in the terminal 4-5 mm of the SO segment. This HPZ had a narrow lumen, 0.5-0.7 mm in diam, and prominent circular muscle. The HPZ in the terminal SO had both active and passive components. HPZ with minimal amplitude and a paucity of underlying smooth muscle were present inconstantly at the junction of the SO segment with the CBD and pancreatic duct, respectively. The dominant feature of the SO segment was rhythmic peristaltic contractions that originated in the proximal SO and propagated toward the duodenum. These contractions occurred spontaneously at a rate of 2-8/min, ranged up to 200 mm Hg in magnitude, had a duration of approximately 5 s and were not abolished by tetrodotoxin. Concurrent myoelectric and manometric recordings showed that each phasic contraction was immediately preceded by an electrical spike burst. Simultaneous recordings of cineradiography, CBD inflow of contrast medium, SO manometry, and SO electromyography indicated that rhythmic peristaltic contractions stripped contrast medium from the SO into the duodenum. During SO systole, CBD emptying was transiently interrupted, whereas SO filling occurred during the diastolic interval between SO peristaltic contractions. SO distention increased the frequency of SO peristalsis. We conclude that (a) the dominant feature of the opossum SO is rhythmic peristaltic contractions that

  17. Evidence of recovery of Juniperus virginiana trees from sulfur pollution after the Clean Air Act.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Richard B; Spal, Scott E; Smith, Kenneth R; Nippert, Jesse B

    2013-09-17

    Using dendroisotopic techniques, we show the recovery of Juniperus virginiana L. (eastern red cedar) trees in the Central Appalachian Mountains from decades of acidic pollution. Acid deposition over much of the 20th century reduced stomatal conductance of leaves, thereby increasing intrinsic water-use efficiency of the Juniperus trees. These data indicate that the stomata of Juniperus may be more sensitive to acid deposition than to increasing atmospheric CO2. A breakpoint in the 100-y δ(13)C tree ring chronology occurred around 1980, as the legacy of sulfur dioxide emissions declined following the enactment of the Clean Air Act in 1970, indicating a gradual increase in stomatal conductance (despite rising levels of atmospheric CO2) and a concurrent increase in photosynthesis related to decreasing acid deposition and increasing atmospheric CO2. Tree ring δ(34)S shows a synchronous change in the sources of sulfur used at the whole-tree level that indicates a reduced anthropogenic influence. The increase in growth and the δ(13)C and δ(34)S trends in the tree ring chronology of these Juniperus trees provide evidence for a distinct physiological response to changes in atmospheric SO2 emissions since ∼1980 and signify the positive impacts of landmark environmental legislation to facilitate recovery of forest ecosystems from acid deposition.

  18. Florivory increases selfing: an experimental study in the wild strawberry, Fragaria virginiana.

    PubMed

    Penet, L; Collin, C L; Ashman, T-L

    2009-01-01

    Florivores are antagonists that damage flowers, and have direct negative effects on flowering and pollination of the attacked plants. While florivory has mainly been studied for its consequences on seed production or siring success, little is known about its impact on mating systems. Damage to flowers can alter pollinator attraction to the plant and may therefore modify patterns of pollen transfer. However, the consequences of damage for mating systems can take two forms: a decrease in flower number reduces opportunities for intra-inflorescence pollen deposition (geitonogamy), which, in turn, may lead to a decrease in selfing; whereas a decrease in floral display may also reduce overall visitation and thus increase the chances of self-pollination via facilitated or autonomous autogamy. We investigated the effects of damage by a bud-clipping weevil (Anthonomus signatus) in Fragaria virginiana in an experimental setting mimicking natural conditions. We found that increased damage led to an increase in selfing, a result consistent with the increased autogamy pathway. We discuss the implications of this finding and evaluate the generality of florivore-mediated mating system expression.

  19. Host density drives the postglacial migration of the tree parasite, Epifagus virginiana

    PubMed Central

    Tsai, Yi-Hsin Erica; Manos, Paul S.

    2010-01-01

    To survive changes in climate, successful species shift their geographic ranges to remain in suitable habitats. For parasites and other highly specialized species, distributional changes not only are dictated by climate but can also be engineered by their hosts. The extent of host control on parasite range expansion is revealed through comparisons of host and parasite migration and demographic histories. However, understanding the codistributional history of entire forest communities is complicated by challenges in synthesizing datasets from multiple interacting species of differing datatypes. Here we integrate genetic and fossil pollen datasets from a host–parasite pair; specifically, the population structure of the parasitic plant (Epifagus virginiana) was compared with both its host (Fagus grandifolia) genetic patterns and abundance data from the paleopollen record of the last 21,000 y. Through tests of phylogeographic structure and spatial linear regression models we find, surprisingly, host range changes had little effect on the parasite's range expansion and instead host density is the main driver of parasite spread. Unlike other symbionts that have been used as proxies to track their host's movements, this parasite's migration routes are incongruent with the host and instead reflect the greater importance of host density in this community's assembly. Furthermore, these results confirm predictions of disease ecological models regarding the role of host density in the spread of pathogens. Due to host density constraints, highly specialized species may have low migration capacities and long lag times before colonization of new areas. PMID:20841421

  20. Cystine and dibasic amino acid uptake by opossum kidney cells

    SciTech Connect

    States, B.; Segal, S. )

    1990-06-01

    The characteristics of the uptake of L-cystine by the continuous opossum kidney cell line, OK, were examined. Uptake of cystine is rapid and, in contrast to other continuous cultured cell lines, these cells retain the cystine/dibasic amino acid transport system which is found in vivo and in freshly isolated kidney tissue. Confluent monolayers of cells also fail to show the presence of the cystine/glutamate transport system present in LLC-PK1 cells, fibroblasts, and cultured hepatocytes. Uptake of cystine occurs via a high-affinity saturable process which is independent of medium sodium concentration. The predominant site of cystine transport is across the apical cell membrane. The intracellular concentration of GSH far exceeds that of cystine with a ratio greater than 100:1 for GSH:cysteine. Incubation of cells for 5 minutes with a physiological level of labelled cystine resulted in the labelling of 66% and 5% of the total intracellular cysteine and glutathione, respectively. The ability of these cells to reflect the shared cystine/dibasic amino acid transport system makes them a suitable model for investigation of the cystine carrier which is altered in human cystinuria.

  1. Characterization of protamine uptake by opossum kidney epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Nagai, Junya; Komeda, Takuji; Katagiri, Yuki; Yumoto, Ryoko; Takano, Mikihisa

    2013-01-01

    Protamine, a mixture of polypeptides that is rich in arginine, has been used clinically as an antidote to heparin overdoses and a complexing agent in a long-acting insulin preparation. When protamine is administered intravenously, its abundant accumulation in the kidneys has been reported. However, the renal uptake mechanism for protamine is not clear. In this study, we examined the transport mechanism for protamine in opossum kidney (OK) cells, a suitable in vitro model for renal proximal tubular epithelial cells. Flow cytometric analysis revealed that the association of fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-labeled protamine from salmon (FITC-protamine) by OK cells was inhibited by unlabeled protamine in a concentration-dependent manner. The association of FITC-protamine was temperature- and energy-dependent. Confocal microscopy analysis showed that the fluorescence was localized in the cytoplasm and nucleus of OK cells. In addition, FITC-protamine association was inhibited by cationic drugs such as polycationic gentamicin and polymixin B, but it was increased by a basic amino acid, arginine. Inhibitors for clathrin- and caveolin-dependent endocytosis showed inhibitory effects on FITC-protamine association. Pretreatment with heparinase III partially but significantly decreased the association of FITC-protamine. These results suggest that protamine may be taken up by OK cells via receptor-mediated endocytosis, which may result in its localization in the cytoplasm and nucleus of the cells.

  2. Basic Maintenance and Breeding of the Opossum Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Keyte, Anna L; Smith, Kathleen K

    2008-10-01

    INTRODUCTIONMonodelphis domestica, the gray, short-tailed, or laboratory opossum, is the most commonly used laboratory marsupial. In addition to the factors that make it a convenient laboratory animal (small size, ease of care, nonseasonal breeding), it is the first marsupial whose genome has been sequenced. Monodelphis has proven useful as a model organism for studies on spinal cord regeneration, ultraviolet (UV)-induced melanoma, and genetic influences on cholesterol, as well as comparative studies of the immune system. In addition, Monodelphis has been used to understand the basic functions of the olfactory system and the role of various olfactory chemicals in social and reproductive behavior. Recently, Monodelphis has been used to understand fundamental aspects of marsupial development, anatomy, evolution, and evolutionary consequences of the derived marsupial mode of development and reproduction. Monodelphis are easily maintained and bred in the lab. To do extensive embryonic work, a reasonably large breeding colony must be maintained. A colony of ~100 animals (~3:1 female:male ratio) allows for sacrifice of up to 12 pregnant females per month for experimental purposes, as well as for replenishment of the colony. However, because adults will fight and often kill one another if kept in the same cage for prolonged periods, we have developed a special breeding protocol that provides high rates of breeding success (75%-90%), with minimal injury due to fighting. Here, we outline this breeding strategy and describe how to successfully maintain a colony of Monodelphis in a laboratory setting.

  3. Chemical communication and reproduction in the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Harder, John D; Jackson, Leslie M

    2010-01-01

    The gray short-tailed opossum is one of the most widely studied of all marsupials and an important model for study of olfactory communication, particularly as it relates to pheromonal activation of reproduction. Males respond to differentially to female skin gland secretions and urine from anestrous females, while females respond only skin gland secretions, particularly that of the suprasternal gland. Divergent responses by male and female opossums to odors from these different body sources are most likely related to sex-specific production and deposition of chemical signals in this species. Female opossums do not have an estrous cycle but are stimulated to estrus by male pheromone. Females nuzzle scent marks from male suprasternal gland secretions, and thereby facilitate delivery of a nonvolatile estrus-inducing pheromone to the chemosensory epithelium of vomeronasal organ. Neuroendocrine correlates of pheromonal induction of estrus include elevated plasma estradiol and upregulation of progesterone receptors in hypothalamic regions that control reproductive behavior.

  4. The partial 5-HT1A receptor agonist buspirone enhances neurogenesis in the opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Grabiec, Marta; Turlejski, Kris; Djavadian, Rouzanna L

    2009-06-01

    We demonstrate for the first time that neurogenesis in the adult Monodelphis opossum has a typical mammalian pattern and occurs only in the dentate gyrus (DG) and subventricular zone (SVZ) of the lateral ventricles. In these two brain regions neurogenesis is present throughout the lifespan, although its rate is reduced by half in the old age. Treatment with buspirone, a partial 5-HT1A receptor agonist which is used in human clinic as an anxiolytic agent, boosts proliferation in the SVZ and DG in both adult and aged opossums. The neuronal phenotype dominates among newly generated cells in both non-treated and buspirone-treated opossums. We suggest that if functional importance of adult neurogenesis is in improving olfactory discrimination and generation of hippocampus-dependent memory, both spatial and emotional, then administration of drugs increasing the rate of neurogenesis via activation of 5-HT1A receptors may be a valuable aid in combating problems of the advanced age.

  5. Common procedures in hedgehogs, prairie dogs, exotic rodents, and companion marsupials.

    PubMed

    Johnson-Delaney, Cathy A

    2006-05-01

    Nondomesticated species are commonly being kept as companion animals. These include the African pygmy hedgehog (Atelerix albi-ventris), the North American black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys lu-dovicianus), and exotic rodents such as the degu (Octodon degus)and duprasi or fat-tailed gerbil (Pachyuromys duprasi). Common companion marsupials include the sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps),Bennett's or Tammar (Dama) wallabies (Macropus rufogriseus rufo-griseus and Macropus eugenii, respectively), the Brazilian or South American gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica), and the North American Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana). Although many of these animals are now bred domestically and are fairly docile when human-raised, they are essentially wild animals and hence have strong instincts to hide illness and pain.

  6. A new species of Pterygodermatites (Nematoda: Rictulariidae) from the Incan shrew opossum, Lestoros inca.

    PubMed

    Jiménez, F Agustín; Patterson, Bruce D

    2012-06-01

    Pterygodermatites ( Paucipectines ) hymanae n. sp. (Rictulariidae) collected from the Incan shrew opossum, Lestoros inca , from Peru is described herein. These nematodes show a subapical, slightly dorsal oral opening and a laterally compressed buccal capsule with 2 conspicuous lateral walls and a dorsal wall. Each lateroventral wall possesses 4 relatively large denticles, and the dorsal wall has 6 denticles. Females are characterized by a conspicuously large postvulvar 37th spine, which may reach 1 mm. This is the first record of endoparasites in the Incan shrew opossum and the fifth species of Pterygodermatites recorded in New World marsupials.

  7. Expansion of Juniperus virginiana L. in the Great Plains: Changes in soil organic carbon dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Dixie L.; Johnson, Loretta C.

    2003-06-01

    Woody encroachment by Juniperus virginiana into Great Plains grasslands allowed us to answer: Does changing the type of plant input to soils alter soil organic carbon (SOC) distribution or soil carbon (C) storage? The answer is critical because woody encroachment may alter C cycling over millions of hectares in the Great Plains and Midwest. We predicted that (1) forest SOC would become concentrated in shallow soil layers compared to SOC distribution in grassland, (2) woody expansion would increase soil C storage, and (3) forest C would be apparent in the larger soil organic matter fractions. Using δ13C signatures of SOC, 1/5 of the C from 0 to 25 cm in juniper forest soils was derived from C3 juniper trees. Forest C3 input occurred primarily in shallow surface layers: Forest soils developed over former C4 prairie contained 42% C3-SOC from 0 to 2.5 cm depth, and decreased to 6% at 25 cm. Isotopic analysis of SOC size fractions revealed that at 0-2.5 cm, the forest soil fraction >212 μm was -25.7‰. The fraction <2 μm had a 13C isotope ratio of -17.0‰ at the same depth, reflecting the predominance of residual prairie C in the smallest fraction. In spite of fast dynamics of soil C turnover, there was no net change in SOC amounts over 40-60 years (cumulative mineral and organic SOC in forest, 8782 g C/m2 ± 810; in grassland, 7699 ± 1004). Thus as junipers expand into mesic areas of the Great Plains, juniper forests will provide little additional soil C storage.

  8. Implications of invasion by Juniperus virginiana on small mammals in the southern Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Horncastle, V.J.; Hellgren, E.C.; Mayer, P.M.; Ganguli, A.C.; Engle, David M.; Leslie, David M.

    2005-01-01

    Changes in landscape cover in the Great Plains are resulting from the range expansion and invasion of eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana). By altering the landscape and local vegetation, red cedar is changing the structure and function of habitat for small mammals. We examined effects of invasion by eastern red cedar on small mammals in 3 plant communities (tallgrass prairie, old field, and cross-timbers forest) in the cross-timbers ecoregion in Oklahoma. We sampled small mammals seasonally from May 2001 to August 2002 by using Sherman live traps and mark-recapture techniques on 3.24-ha, 450-trap grids in each plant community. We sampled vegetation in two hundred twenty-five 12 x 12-m cells within each grid. The structure of the small-mammal community differed among the 3 habitat types, with higher species diversity and richness in the tallgrass-prairie and old-field sites. Overall, the small-mammal community shifted along a gradient of increasing eastern red cedar. In the old-field and tallgrass-prairie plots, occurrence of grassland mammals decreased with increasing red cedar, whereas only 1 woodland mammal species increased. In the cross-timbers forest site, percent woody cover (<1 m in height), rather than cover of red cedar, was the most important factor affecting woodland mammal species. Examination of our data suggests that an increase in overstory cover from 0% to 30% red cedar can change a species-rich prairie community to a depauperate community dominated by 1 species, Peromyscus leucopus. Losses in species diversity and changes in mammal distribution paralleled those seen in avian communities invaded by eastern red cedar. Our results highlight ecological effects of invasion by eastern red cedar on diversity and function at multiple trophic levels. ?? 2005 American Society of Mammalogists.

  9. Virginia Opossums, Minimum Reproduction Age and Predators in the Penna Aging Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Altevolmer, A. K.

    Age-specific predators are introduced into the Penna model of biological aging. It is shown that populations with a variable minimum reproduction age find a stable state with an earlier onset of reproduction, if older ages are eaten by the predators. This behavior agrees with the demographic data of the Virgina opossum.

  10. The laboratory opossum (Monodelphis domestica) as a natural mammalian model for human cancer research.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhiqiang; Hubbard, Gene B; Clubb, Fred J; Vandeberg, John L

    2009-01-01

    This study established that human cancer cells (A375 melanoma, HT-29 colon cancer, PC-3p prostate cancer) that were xenografted into suckling opossums could proliferate and globally metastasize as early as 11 days after injection. Light and electron microscopic examinations (HT-29 colon cancer) determined that the cellular features exhibited by the xenogeneic human tumors grown in laboratory opossums were consistent with those observed in tumors removed from humans. The tumor induction rate, patterns of tumor growth and regression, and types of host immune responses against the xenografted tumors were influenced by injection dosages, injection sites and injection ages of suckling opossums. The results highlight the value of the opossum model as a natural in vivo system for investigating human cancer growth, metastasis and apoptosis at the cellular and molecular levels; enhancing identification of tumor associated antigens or T cell epitopes through use of humoral and cellular expression cloning techniques; elucidating mechanisms utilized by tumor cells to evade host immunosurveillance; and devising diagnostic and therapeutic methods for cancer treatment.

  11. New Aspidoderidae species parasite of Didelphis aurita (Mammalia: Didelphidae): a light and scanning electron microscopy approach.

    PubMed

    Chagas-Moutinho, V A; Sant'anna, V; Oliveira-Menezes, A; De Souza, W

    2014-02-01

    Nematodes of the family Aspidoderidae (Nematoda: Heterakoidea) Skrjabin and Schikobalova, 1947, are widely distributed in the Americas. The family Aspidoderidae includes the subfamilies Aspidoderinae Skrjabin and Schikobalova, 1947, and Lauroiinae Skrjabin and Schikobalova, 1951. These two subfamilies are delineated by the presence or absence of cephalic cordons at the anterior region. The nematodes in the subfamily Aspidoderinae, which includes the genus AspidoderaRailliet and Henry, 1912, are represented by nematodes with anterior cephalic cordons at the anterior end. The nematodes of the genus AspidoderaRailliet and Henry, 1912, are found in the cecum and large intestine of mammals of the orders Edentata, Marsupialia and Rodentia. Species within this genus have many morphological similarities. The use of scanning electron microscopy allows the specific characterization of the species within this genus. In the present work, we describe a new species of Aspidodera parasite of the large intestine of Didelphis aurita (Mammalia: Didelphidae) Wied-Neuwied, 1826, collected from Cachoeiras de Macacu, Rio de Janeiro. The combination of light and scanning electron microscopy allowed us a detailed analysis of this nematode.

  12. Structural and functional analyses of DM43, a snake venom metalloproteinase inhibitor from Didelphis marsupialis serum.

    PubMed

    Neves-Ferreira, Ana G C; Perales, Jonas; Fox, Jay W; Shannon, John D; Makino, Débora L; Garratt, Richard C; Domont, Gilberto B

    2002-04-12

    DM43, an opossum serum protein inhibitor of snake venom metalloproteinases, has been completely sequenced, and its disulfide bond pattern has been experimentally determined. It shows homology to human alpha(1)B-glycoprotein, a plasma protein of unknown function and a member of the immunoglobulin supergene family. Size exclusion and dynamic laser light scattering data indicated that two monomers of DM43, each composed of three immunoglobulin-like domains, associated to form a homodimer in solution. Analysis of its glycan moiety showed the presence of N-acetylglucosamine, mannose, galactose, and sialic acid, most probably forming four biantennary N-linked chains. DM43 inhibited the fibrinogenolytic activities of bothrolysin and jararhagin and formed 1:1 stoichiometric stable complexes with both metalloproteinases. DM43 was ineffective against atrolysin C or A. No complex formation was detected between DM43 and jararhagin C, indicating the essential role of the metalloproteinase domain for interaction. Homology modeling based on the crystal structure of a killer cell inhibitory receptor suggested the existence of an I-type Ig fold, a hydrophobic dimerization surface and six surface loops potentially forming the metalloproteinase-binding surface on DM43.

  13. Receptors and cGMP signalling mechanism for E. coli enterotoxin in opossum kidney

    SciTech Connect

    Forte, L.R.; Krause, W.J.; Freeman, R.H. Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans Medical Center, Columbia, MO )

    1988-11-01

    Receptors for the heat-stable enterotoxin produced by Escherichia coli were found in the kidney and intestine of the North American opossum and in cultured renal cell lines. The enterotoxin markedly increased guanosine 3{prime},5{prime}-cyclic monophosphate (cGMP) production in slices of kidney cortex and medulla, in suspensions of intestinal mucosa, and in the opossum kidney (OK) and rat kangaroo kidney (PtK-2) cell lines. In contrast, atrial natriuretic factor elicited much smaller increases in cGMP levels of kidney, intestine, or cultured kidney cell lines. The enterotoxin receptors in OK cells had a molecular mass of approximately 120 kDa when measured by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of receptors crosslinked with {sup 125}I-enterotoxin. The occurrence of receptors for the E. coli peptide in OK implies that these receptors may be involved in the regulation of renal tubular function in the opossum. E. coli enterotoxin caused a much larger increase in urine cGMP excretion than did atrial natriuretic factor when these peptides were injected intravenously into opossums. However, atrial natriuretic factor elicited a marked diuresis, natriuresis, and increased urinary excretion of calcium, phosphate, potassium, and magnesium. In contrast, the enterotoxin did not acutely influence OK fluid and electrolyte excretion. Thus the substantial increase in cGMP synthesis produced by the bacterial peptide in OK cortex and medulla in vitro and the increased renal excretion of cGMP in vivo were not associated with changes in electrolyte or water excretion. Whether cGMP represents a second messenger molecule in the kidney is an interesting question that was raised but not answered in this series of experiments.

  14. Steatohepatitis in laboratory opossums exhibiting a high lipemic response to dietary cholesterol and fat.

    PubMed

    Chan, Jeannie; Sharkey, Francis E; Kushwaha, Rampratap S; VandeBerg, Jane F; VandeBerg, John L

    2012-07-01

    Plasma VLDL and LDL cholesterol were markedly elevated (>40-fold) in high-responding opossums, but moderately elevated (6-fold) in low-responding opossums after they had consumed a high-cholesterol and high-fat diet for 24 wk. In both high- and low-responding opossums, plasma triglycerides were slightly elevated, threefold and twofold, respectively. Dietary challenge also induced fatty livers in high responders, but not in low responders. We studied the lipid composition, histopathological features, and gene expression patterns of the fatty livers. Free cholesterol (2-fold), esterified cholesterol (11-fold), and triglycerides (2-fold) were higher in the livers of high responders than those in low responders, whereas free fatty acid levels were similar. The fatty livers of high responders showed extensive lobular disarray by histology. Inflammatory cells and ballooned hepatocytes were also present, as were perisinusoidal fibrosis and ductular proliferation. In contrast, liver histology was normal in low responders. Hepatic gene expression revealed differences associated with the development of steatohepatitis in high responders. The accumulation of hepatic cholesterol was concomitant with upregulation of the HMGCR gene and downregulation of the CYP27A1, ABCG8, and ABCB4 genes. Genes involved in inflammation (TNF, NFKB1, and COX2) and in oxidative stress (CYBA and NCF1) were upregulated. Upregulation of the growth factor genes (PDGF and TGFB1) and collagen genes (Col1A1, Col3A1, and Col4A1) was consistent with fibrosis. Some of the histological characteristics of the fatty livers of high-responding opossums imitate those in the livers of humans with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.

  15. Metabolic, ventilatory, and hygric physiology of the gracile mouse opossum (Gracilinanus agilis).

    PubMed

    Cooper, C E; Withers, P C; Cruz-Neto, A P

    2009-01-01

    We present the first complete study of basic laboratory-measured physiological variables (metabolism, thermoregulation, evaporative water loss, and ventilation) for a South American marsupial, the gracile mouse opossum (Gracilinanus agilis). Body temperature (T(b)) was thermolabile below thermoneutrality (T(b) = 33.5 degrees C), but a substantial gradient between T(b) and ambient temperature (T(a)) was sustained even at T(a) = 12 degrees C (T(b) = 30.6 degrees C). Basal metabolic rate of 1.00 mL O2 g(-1) h(-1) at T(a) = 30 degrees C conformed to the general allometric relationship for marsupials, as did wet thermal conductance (5.7 mL O2 g(-1) h(-1) degrees C(-1)). Respiratory rate, tidal volume, and minute volume at thermoneutrality matched metabolic demand such that O2 extraction was 12.4%, and ventilation increased in proportion to metabolic rate at low T(a). Ventilatory accommodation of increased metabolic rate at low T(a) was by an increase in respiratory rate rather than by tidal volume or O2 extraction. Evaporative water loss at the lower limit of thermoneutrality conformed to that of other marsupials. Relative water economy was negative at thermoneutrality but positive below T(a) = 12 degrees C. Interestingly, the Neotropical gracile mouse opossums have a more positive water economy at low T(a) than an Australian arid-zone marsupial, perhaps reflecting seasonal variation in water availability for the mouse opossum. Torpor occurred at low T(a), with spontaneous arousal when T(b) > 20 degrees C. Torpor resulted in absolute energy and water savings but lower relative water economy. We found no evidence that gracile mouse opossums differ physiologically from other marsupials, despite their Neotropical distribution, sympatry with placental mammals, and long period of separation from Australian marsupials.

  16. Cephalic sensory influence on forelimb movement in newborn opossums, Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Adadja, T; Cabana, T; Pflieger, J-F

    2013-01-03

    Like other marsupials, the opossum Monodelphis domestica is born very immature and crawls, unaided by the mother, from the urogenital opening to a nipple where it attaches and pursues its development. If the alternate, rhythmic movements of the forelimbs which allow this locomotion are generated by the developing spinal motor networks, sensory information is nonetheless needed to guide the newborn to a nipple. Behavioral, anatomical and physiological studies suggest that the auditory and the visual systems are insufficiently developed in newborn opossums to influence spinal motor centers, while the vestibular, trigeminal, and olfactory systems are likelier candidates. The trigeminal, vestibular and olfactory regions of the brain were electrically stimulated to test their relative effectiveness at eliciting forelimb movement in newborn opossums, using in vitro preparations of brain-spinal cord with the limbs attached. The minimal stimulation of the cervical spinal cord needed to induce forelimb movement was considered as threshold (T). Stimulations of the trigeminal ganglion (5G) at ∼2T and of the vestibular complex at ∼20T could induce the same movement, and were not statistically different, in contrast to the ∼600T necessary for the olfactory bulb (OB). Neurofilament-200 immunohistochemistry and retrograde tracing with Texas-Red conjugated Dextran Amines were used to study trigeminal innervation of the facial skin and pathways by which trigeminal inputs may be relayed to the spinal cord. Numerous nerve fibers were observed in the snout dermis, especially in the maxillary region, but also elsewhere in the head skin. Some 5G cells project to the upper spinal cord, but more project to the caudal medulla where they could contact secondary trigeminal neurons or reticular cells projecting to the spinal cord. These results support a significant influence of the trigeminal and the vestibular systems, but not of olfaction, on forelimb movement of neonatal opossums.

  17. Torpor in the Patagonian opossum ( Lestodelphys halli): implications for the evolution of daily torpor and hibernation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geiser, Fritz; Martin, Gabriel M.

    2013-10-01

    Hibernation and daily torpor are two distinct forms of torpor, and although they are related, it is not known how and in which sequence they evolved. As the pattern of torpor expressed by the oldest marsupial order the opossums (Didelphimorphia) may provide insights into the evolution of torpor, we aimed to provide the first quantitative data on the thermal biology and torpor expression of the rare Patagonian opossum ( Lestodelphys halli). It is the opossum with the southernmost distribution, has a propensity of autumnal fattening, and therefore, is likely to hibernate. We captured two male Lestodelphys, which while in captivity displayed strong daily fluctuations of body temperatures (Tb) measured with implanted miniature data loggers even when they remained normothermic. In autumn and early winter, torpor was expressed occasionally when food was available, but cold exposure and food withdrawal increased torpor use. The mean Tb throughout the study was 32.2 ± 1.4 °C, the minimum Tb measured in torpid Lestodelphys was 7.7 °C, average torpor bout duration was 10.3 h, and the maximum torpor bout duration was 42.5 h. Thus, the pattern of torpor expressed by Lestodelphys was intermediate between that of daily heterotherms and hibernators suggesting that it may represent an ancestral opportunistic torpor pattern from which the derived patterns of daily torpor and seasonal hibernation diverged.

  18. Computational analyses of mammalian lactate dehydrogenases: human, mouse, opossum and platypus LDHs.

    PubMed

    Holmes, Roger S; Goldberg, Erwin

    2009-10-01

    Computational methods were used to predict the amino acid sequences and gene locations for mammalian lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) genes and proteins using genome sequence databanks. Human LDHA, LDHC and LDH6A genes were located in tandem on chromosome 11, while LDH6B and LDH6C genes were on chromosomes 15 and 12, respectively. Opossum LDHC and LDH6B genes were located in tandem with the opossum LDHA gene on chromosome 5 and contained 7 (LDHA and LDHC) or 8 (LDH6B) exons. An amino acid sequence prediction for the opossum LDH6B subunit gave an extended N-terminal sequence, similar to the human and mouse LDH6B sequences, which may support the export of this enzyme into mitochondria. The platypus genome contained at least 3 LDH genes encoding LDHA, LDHB and LDH6B subunits. Phylogenetic studies and sequence analyses indicated that LDHA, LDHB and LDH6B genes are present in all mammalian genomes examined, including a monotreme species (platypus), whereas the LDHC gene may have arisen more recently in marsupial mammals.

  19. Geographic Association of Rickettsia felis-Infected Opossums with Human Murine Typhus, Texas

    PubMed Central

    Boostrom, Ardys; Beier, Magda S.; Macaluso, Jackie A.; Macaluso, Kevin R.; Sprenger, Daniel; Hayes, Jack; Radulovic, Suzan

    2002-01-01

    Application of molecular diagnostic technology in the past 10 years has resulted in the discovery of several new species of pathogenic rickettsiae, including Rickettsia felis. As more sequence information for rickettsial genes has become available, the data have been used to reclassify rickettsial species and to develop new diagnostic tools for analysis of mixed rickettsial pathogens. R. felis has been associated with opossums and their fleas in Texas and California. Because R. felis can cause human illness, we investigated the distribution dynamics in the murine typhus–endemic areas of these two states. The geographic distribution of R. felis-infected opossum populations in two well-established endemic foci overlaps with that of the reported human cases of murine typhus. Descriptive epidemiologic analysis of 1998 human cases in Corpus Christi, Texas, identified disease patterns consistent with studies done in the 1980s. A close geographic association of seropositive opossums (22% R. felis; 8% R. typhi) with human murine typhus cases was also observed. PMID:12023908

  20. Geographic association of Rickettsia felis-infected opossums with human murine typhus, Texas.

    PubMed

    Boostrom, Ardys; Beier, Magda S; Macaluso, Jacqueline A; Macaluso, Kevin R; Sprenger, Daniel; Hayes, Jack; Radulovic, Suzana; Azad, Abdu F

    2002-06-01

    Application of molecular diagnostic technology in the past 10 years has resulted in the discovery of several new species of pathogenic rickettsiae, including Rickettsia felis. As more sequence information for rickettsial genes has become available, the data have been used to reclassify rickettsial species and to develop new diagnostic tools for analysis of mixed rickettsial pathogens. R. felis has been associated with opossums and their fleas in Texas and California. Because R. felis can cause human illness, we investigated the distribution dynamics in the murine typhus-endemic areas of these two states. The geographic distribution of R. felis-infected opossum populations in two well-established endemic foci overlaps with that of the reported human cases of murine typhus. Descriptive epidemiologic analysis of 1998 human cases in Corpus Christi, Texas, identified disease patterns consistent with studies done in the 1980s. A close geographic association of seropositive opossums (22% R. felis; 8% R. typhi) with human murine typhus cases was also observed.

  1. Adaptive evolution of the venom-targeted vWF protein in opossums that eat pitvipers.

    PubMed

    Jansa, Sharon A; Voss, Robert S

    2011-01-01

    The rapid evolution of venom toxin genes is often explained as the result of a biochemical arms race between venomous animals and their prey. However, it is not clear that an arms race analogy is appropriate in this context because there is no published evidence for rapid evolution in genes that might confer toxin resistance among routinely envenomed species. Here we report such evidence from an unusual predator-prey relationship between opossums (Marsupialia: Didelphidae) and pitvipers (Serpentes: Crotalinae). In particular, we found high ratios of replacement to silent substitutions in the gene encoding von Willebrand Factor (vWF), a venom-targeted hemostatic blood protein, in a clade of opossums known to eat pitvipers and to be resistant to their hemorrhagic venom. Observed amino-acid substitutions in venom-resistant opossums include changes in net charge and hydrophobicity that are hypothesized to weaken the bond between vWF and one of its toxic snake-venom ligands, the C-type lectin-like protein botrocetin. Our results provide the first example of rapid adaptive evolution in any venom-targeted molecule, and they support the notion that an evolutionary arms race might be driving the rapid evolution of snake venoms. However, in the arms race implied by our results, venomous snakes are prey, and their venom has a correspondingly defensive function in addition to its usual trophic role.

  2. Torpor in the Patagonian opossum (Lestodelphys halli): implications for the evolution of daily torpor and hibernation.

    PubMed

    Geiser, Fritz; Martin, Gabriel M

    2013-10-01

    Hibernation and daily torpor are two distinct forms of torpor, and although they are related, it is not known how and in which sequence they evolved. As the pattern of torpor expressed by the oldest marsupial order the opossums (Didelphimorphia) may provide insights into the evolution of torpor, we aimed to provide the first quantitative data on the thermal biology and torpor expression of the rare Patagonian opossum (Lestodelphys halli). It is the opossum with the southernmost distribution, has a propensity of autumnal fattening, and therefore, is likely to hibernate. We captured two male Lestodelphys, which while in captivity displayed strong daily fluctuations of body temperatures (Tb) measured with implanted miniature data loggers even when they remained normothermic. In autumn and early winter, torpor was expressed occasionally when food was available, but cold exposure and food withdrawal increased torpor use. The mean Tb throughout the study was 32.2 ± 1.4 °C, the minimum Tb measured in torpid Lestodelphys was 7.7 °C, average torpor bout duration was 10.3 h, and the maximum torpor bout duration was 42.5 h. Thus, the pattern of torpor expressed by Lestodelphys was intermediate between that of daily heterotherms and hibernators suggesting that it may represent an ancestral opportunistic torpor pattern from which the derived patterns of daily torpor and seasonal hibernation diverged.

  3. ABCB4 mediates diet-induced hypercholesterolemia in laboratory opossums[S

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Jeannie; Mahaney, Michael C.; Kushwaha, Rampratap S.; VandeBerg, Jane F.; VandeBerg, John L.

    2010-01-01

    High-responding opossums are susceptible to developing hypercholesterolemia on a high-cholesterol diet, but low-responding opossums are resistant. The observation of low biliary cholesterol and low biliary phospholipids in high responders suggested that the ABCB4 gene affects response to dietary cholesterol. Two missense mutations (Arg29Gly and Ile235Leu) were found in the ABCB4 gene of high responders. High responders (ATHH strain) were bred with low responders (ATHE or ATHL strain) to produce F1 and F2 progeny in two different genetic crosses (KUSH6 and JCX) to determine the effect of ABCB4 allelic variants on plasma cholesterol concentrations after a dietary challenge. Pedigree-based genetic association analyses consistently implicated a variant in ABCB4 or a closely linked locus as a major, but not the sole, genetic contributor to variation in the plasma cholesterol response to dietary cholesterol. High responders, but not low responders, developed liver injury as indicated by elevated plasma biomarkers of liver function, probably reflecting damage to the canalicular membrane by bile salts because of impaired phospholipid secretion. Our results implicate ABCB4 as a major determinant of diet-induced hypercholesterolemia in high-responding opossums and suggest that other genes interact with ABCB4 to regulate lipemic response to dietary cholesterol. PMID:20488799

  4. Transcriptomic Changes Associated with Pregnancy in a Marsupial, the Gray Short-Tailed Opossum Monodelphis domestica

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Victoria Leigh; Schilkey, Faye Dorothy; Miller, Robert David

    2016-01-01

    Live birth has emerged as a reproductive strategy many times across vertebrate evolution; however, mammals account for the majority of viviparous vertebrates. Marsupials are a mammalian lineage that last shared a common ancestor with eutherians (placental mammals) over 148 million years ago. Marsupials are noted for giving birth to highly altricial young after a short gestation, and represent humans’ most distant viviparous mammalian relatives. Here we ask what insight can be gained into the evolution of viviparity in mammals specifically and vertebrates in general by analyzing the global uterine transcriptome in a marsupial. Transcriptome analyses were performed using NextGen sequencing of uterine RNA samples from the gray short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica. Samples were collected from late stage pregnant, virgin, and non-pregnant experienced breeders. Three different algorithms were used to determine differential expression, and results were confirmed by quantitative PCR. Over 900 opossum gene transcripts were found to be significantly more abundant in the pregnant uterus than non-pregnant, and over 1400 less so. Most with increased abundance were genes related to metabolism, immune systems processes, and transport. This is the first study to characterize the transcriptomic differences between pregnant, non-pregnant breeders, and virgin marsupial uteruses and helps to establish a set of pregnancy-associated genes in the opossum. These observations allowed for comparative analyses of the differentially transcribed genes with other mammalian and non-mammalian viviparous species, revealing similarities in pregnancy related gene expression over 300 million years of amniote evolution. PMID:27598793

  5. An architectonic study of the neocortex of the short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Wong, Peiyan; Kaas, Jon H

    2009-01-01

    Short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica) belong to the branch of marsupial mammals that diverged from eutherian mammals approximately 180 million years ago. They are small in size, lack a marsupial pouch, and may have retained more morphological characteristics of early marsupial neocortex than most other marsupials. In the present study, we used several different histochemical and immunochemical procedures to reveal the architectonic characteristics of cortical areas in short-tailed opossums. Subdivisions of cortex were identified in brain sections cut in the coronal, sagittal, horizontal or tangential planes and processed for a calcium-binding protein, parvalbumin (PV), neurofilament protein epitopes recognized by SMI-32, the vesicle glutamate transporter 2 (VGluT2), myelin, cytochrome oxidase (CO), and Nissl substance. These different procedures revealed similar boundaries among areas, suggesting that functionally relevant borders were detected. The results allowed a fuller description and more precise demarcation of previously identified sensory areas, and the delineation of additional subdivisions of cortex. Area 17 (V1) was especially prominent, with a densely populated layer 4, high myelination levels, and dark staining of PV and VGluT2 immunopositive terminations. These architectonic features were present, albeit less pronounced, in somatosensory and auditory cortex. The major findings support the conclusion that short-tailed opossums have fewer cortical areas and their neocortex is less distinctly laminated than most other mammals.

  6. Cellular basis of differential limb growth in postnatal gray short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Beiriger, Anastasia; Sears, Karen E

    2014-06-01

    While growth has been studied extensively in invertebrates, the mechanisms by which it is controlled in vertebrates, particularly in mammals, remain poorly understood. In this study, we investigate the cellular basis of differential limb growth in postnatal Monodelphis domestica, the gray short-tailed opossum, to gain insights into the mechanisms regulating mammalian growth. Opossums are an ideal model for the study of growth because they are born with relatively large, well-developed forelimbs and small hind limbs that must "catch up" to the forelimb before the animal reaches adulthood. Postnatal Days 1-17 were identified as a key period of growth for the hind limbs, during which they undergo accelerated development and nearly quadruple in length. Histology performed on fore- and hind limbs from this period indicates a higher rate of cellular differentiation in the long bones of the hind limbs. Immunohistochemical assays indicate that cellular proliferation is also occurring at a significantly greater rate in the long bones of the hind limb at 6 days after birth. Taken together, these results suggest that a faster rate of cellular proliferation and differentiation in the long bones of the hind limb relative to those of the forelimb generates a period of accelerated growth through which the adult limb phenotype of M. domestica is achieved. Assays for gene expression suggest that the molecular basis of this differential growth differs from that previously identified for differential pre-natal growth in opossum fore- and hind limbs.

  7. Transcriptomic Changes Associated with Pregnancy in a Marsupial, the Gray Short-Tailed Opossum Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Victoria Leigh; Schilkey, Faye Dorothy; Miller, Robert David

    2016-01-01

    Live birth has emerged as a reproductive strategy many times across vertebrate evolution; however, mammals account for the majority of viviparous vertebrates. Marsupials are a mammalian lineage that last shared a common ancestor with eutherians (placental mammals) over 148 million years ago. Marsupials are noted for giving birth to highly altricial young after a short gestation, and represent humans' most distant viviparous mammalian relatives. Here we ask what insight can be gained into the evolution of viviparity in mammals specifically and vertebrates in general by analyzing the global uterine transcriptome in a marsupial. Transcriptome analyses were performed using NextGen sequencing of uterine RNA samples from the gray short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica. Samples were collected from late stage pregnant, virgin, and non-pregnant experienced breeders. Three different algorithms were used to determine differential expression, and results were confirmed by quantitative PCR. Over 900 opossum gene transcripts were found to be significantly more abundant in the pregnant uterus than non-pregnant, and over 1400 less so. Most with increased abundance were genes related to metabolism, immune systems processes, and transport. This is the first study to characterize the transcriptomic differences between pregnant, non-pregnant breeders, and virgin marsupial uteruses and helps to establish a set of pregnancy-associated genes in the opossum. These observations allowed for comparative analyses of the differentially transcribed genes with other mammalian and non-mammalian viviparous species, revealing similarities in pregnancy related gene expression over 300 million years of amniote evolution.

  8. Microscopic anatomy of the lower respiratory tract of the grey short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Cope, L A; Henry, R W; Reed, R B

    2012-04-01

    The respiratory tracts of seven grey short-tailed opossums were histologically examined. Six opossums were prepared by perfusion with buffered formalin. Opossum seven was perfused with gluteraldehyde. Samples taken from the respiratory passages and lungs of specimens 1-6 were stained with haematoxylin and eosin. A mixture of methylene and azure blue was used for specimen 7. The trachea and right and left principal bronchi are lined with a pseudostratified ciliated columnar epithelium with occasional goblet cells. The secondary and tertiary bronchi and the primary and secondary bronchioles are lined by a simple ciliated columnar epithelium. The terminal bronchioles and a portion of the respiratory bronchioles are lined by a simple ciliated cuboidal epithelium. The terminal portion of the respiratory bronchioles and the alveolar ducts are lined with simple squamous epithelium. Alveoli are lined by type I and II pneumocytes. Tracheal glands are present in the tela submucosa. The fibromusculocartilaginous tunic of the trachea consists of c-shaped cartilage rings and the trachealis muscle. A lamina muscularis mucosa begins in the intrapulmonary portion of the principal bronchus and continues into the respiratory bronchioles. Bronchial glands are present in the propria submucosa and tela submucosa of the principal bronchi. The musculocartilaginous tunic is localized to the extrapulmonary portion of the principal bronchus. The bronchial cartilages are irregular shaped plates and limited to the extrapulmonary portion of the principal bronchus. The visceral pleura is a simple squamous mesothelium covering the outer surface of the lung.

  9. Cell birth and death in the developing retina of the Brazilian opossum, Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Sakaguchi, Donald S; Hoffelen, Samantha Van; Greenlee, M Heather W; Harper, Matthew M; Au, Daniel T

    2008-02-21

    The purpose of this study was to characterize cytogenesis and apoptosis in the developing retina of the Brazilian opossum, Monodelphis domestica. Monodelphis is a small pouchless marsupial whose young undergo a protracted period of postnatal development. Moreover, the Monodelphis retina represents a unique in vivo compartment for investigating cellular interactions that occur during early neural development and is an important system to study plasticity of neural stem cells following transplantation. Using bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) labeling of newly generated cells, double-labeling immunohistochemistry and TUNEL labeling of apoptotic cells we have performed a detailed analysis of cell birth and death in the Monodelphis retina from fetal development through early postnatal life. Pregnant opossums or pups received a single injection of BrdU between gestational day 12 and postnatal day 35 (35PN), eyes were collected two hours after injection or on day 15, 30, or 60 of postnatal life. BrdU-labeled cells were visualized immunohistochemically. Cells were classified according to their morphology, location and immunoreactivity for cell-type specific antibodies. Cell genesis in the opossum retina begins at E13 and was near completion by 25PN. Apoptotic retinal cells were identified using the TUNEL technique for labeling of fragmented DNA. Apoptosis covered a relatively broad period of postnatal development, beginning around 10PN, peaking at 30PN, and concluding before 60PN. These results demonstrate that the retina of Monodelphis, a polyprotodont marsupial, is generated in a similar pattern to the wallaby, a diprotodont marsupial, and to eutherian species.

  10. An Architectonic Study of the Neocortex of the Short-Tailed Opossum (Monodelphis domestica)

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Peiyan; Kaas, Jon H.

    2013-01-01

    Short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica) belong to the branch of marsupial mammals that diverged from eutherian mammals approximately 180 million years ago. They are small in size, lack a marsupial pouch, and may have retained more morphological characteristics of early marsupial neocortex than most other marsupials. In the present study, we used several different histochemical and immunochemical procedures to reveal the architectonic characteristics of cortical areas in short-tailed opossums. Subdivisions of cortex were identified in brain sections cut in the coronal, sagittal, horizontal or tangential planes and processed for a calcium-binding protein, parvalbumin (PV), neurofilament protein epitopes recognized by SMI-32, the vesicle glutamate transporter 2 (VGluT2), myelin, cytochrome oxidase (CO), and Nissl substance. These different procedures revealed similar boundaries among areas, suggesting that functionally relevant borders were detected. The results allowed a fuller description and more precise demarcation of previously identified sensory areas, and the delineation of additional subdivisions of cortex. Area 17 (V1) was especially prominent, with a densely populated layer 4, high myelination levels, and dark staining of PV and VGluT2 immunopositive terminations. These architectonic features were present, albeit less pronounced, in somatosensory and auditory cortex. The major findings support the conclusion that short-tailed opossums have fewer cortical areas and their neocortex is less distinctly laminated than most other mammals. PMID:19546531

  11. The striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) is an intermediate host for Sarcocystis neurona.

    PubMed

    Cheadle, M A; Yowell, C A; Sellon, D C; Hines, M; Ginn, P E; Marsh, A E; MacKay, R J; Dame, J B; Greiner, E C

    2001-06-01

    Striped skunks, initially negative for antibodies to Sarcocystis neurona, formed sarcocysts in skeletal muscles after inoculation with S. neurona sporocysts collected from a naturally infected Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana). Skunks developed antibodies to S. neurona by immunoblot and muscles containing sarcocysts were fed to laboratory-reared opossums which then shed sporulated Sarcocystis sporocysts in their faeces. Mean dimensions for sporocysts were 11.0 x 7.5 microm and each contained four sporozoites and a residuum. Sarcocysts from skunks and sporocysts from opossums fed infected skunk muscle were identified as S. neurona using PCR and DNA sequence analysis. A 2-month-old, S. neurona-naive pony foal was orally inoculated with 5 x 10(5) sporocysts. Commercial immunoblot for antibodies to S. neurona performed using CSF collected from the inoculated pony was low positive at 4 weeks p.i., positive at 6 weeks p.i., and strong positive at 8 weeks p.i. Gamma-interferon gene knockout mice inoculated with skunk/opossum derived sporocysts developed serum antibodies to S. neurona and clinical neurologic disease. Merozoites of S. neurona present in the lung, cerebrum, and cerebellum of mice were detected by immunohistochemistry using polyclonal antibodies to S. neurona. Based on the results of this study, the striped skunk is an intermediate host of S. neurona.

  12. Rickettsial Infections among Ctenocephalides felis and Host Animals during a Flea-Borne Rickettsioses Outbreak in Orange County, California

    PubMed Central

    Fogarty, Carrie; Krueger, Laura; Macaluso, Kevin R.; Odhiambo, Antony; Nguyen, Kiet; Farris, Christina M.; Luce-Fedrow, Alison; Bennett, Stephen; Jiang, Ju; Sun, Sokanary; Cummings, Robert F.; Richards, Allen L.

    2016-01-01

    Due to a resurgence of flea-borne rickettsioses in Orange County, California, we investigated the etiologies of rickettsial infections of Ctenocephalides felis, the predominant fleas species obtained from opossums (Didelphis virginiana) and domestic cats (Felis catus), collected from case exposure sites and other areas in Orange County. In addition, we assessed the prevalence of IgG antibodies against spotted fever group (SFGR) and typhus group (TGR) rickettsiae in opossum sera. Of the 597 flea specimens collected from opossums and cats, 37.2% tested positive for Rickettsia. PCR and sequencing of rickettsial genes obtained from C. felis flea DNA preparations revealed the presence of R. typhi (1.3%), R. felis (28.0%) and R. felis-like organisms (7.5%). Sera from opossums contained TGR-specific (40.84%), but not SFGR-specific antibodies. The detection of R. felis and R. typhi in the C. felis fleas in Orange County highlights the potential risk for human infection with either of these pathogens, and underscores the need for further investigations incorporating specimens from humans, animal hosts, and invertebrate vectors in endemic areas. Such studies will be essential for establishing a link in the ongoing flea-borne rickettsioses outbreaks. PMID:27537367

  13. Effect of light-dark changes on the locomotor activity in open field in adult rats and opossums.

    PubMed

    Klejbor, I; Ludkiewicz, B; Turlejski, K

    2013-11-01

    There have been no reports on how the light-dark changes determine the locomotor activity of animals in the group of high reactivity (HR) and low reactivity (LR). In the present study we have compared selected parameters of the locomotor activity of the HR and the LR groups of the laboratory opossums and Wistar rats during consecutive, light and dark phases in the open field test. Sixty male Wistar adult rats, at an average weight of 350 g each, and 24 adult Monodelphis opossums of both sexes at an average weight of 120 g each were used. The animals' activity for 2 h daily between the hours of 17:30 and 19:30, in line with the natural light-dark cycle were recorded and then analysed using VideoTrack ver.2.0 (Vievpoint France). According to our results, we noted that a change of the experimental conditions from light to dark involves an increase in the locomotor activity in rats and opossums of the HR group, while there is no effect on the activity of the rats and opossums in the LR group. Locomotor activity in the HR rats, both in the light and dark conditions is characterised by a consistent pattern of change - higher activity in the first stage of the recording and a slowdown (habituation) in the second phase of the observation. The locomotor activity of the opossum, during both light and dark conditions, was observed to be at a consistently high level compared to the rats.

  14. Response to novelty in the laboratory Wistar rat, wild-captive WWCPS rat, and the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Pisula, Wojciech; Turlejski, Krzysztof; Stryjek, Rafał; Nałęcz-Tolak, Aleksandra; Grabiec, Marta; Djavadian, Rouzanna L

    2012-10-01

    Behavior of the laboratory gray short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica), Warsaw Wild Captive Pisula Stryjek rats (WWCPS) and laboratory rats (Wistar) has been registered in the period of familiarization with a new environment and consecutive confrontation with a novel, innocuous object placed in that familiarized environment. In the new environment the sequence of anxiety, investigation, and habituation was shortest in the opossum, longer in the laboratory rat and longest in the WWCPS rat. When placed in it, gray short-tailed opossums investigated the new environment with the shortest delay and most intensity. In reaction to novel objects, opossums and laboratory rats prolonged the time spent in the proximity of the new object, while the WWCPS rat did not show that reaction. Both opossums and laboratory rats increased the number of contacts with the new object, whereas WWCPS rats reduced those contacts. Behavior of all three species and lines grouped in different clusters. Some other quantitative and qualitative differences in behavior of the investigated animals are also described, showing a higher level of anxiety in both lines of rats than in the opossum. Behavioral differences between species and lines of animals used in this study may be attributed to different ecological adaptations of rats and opossums and to the effect of domestication in the laboratory rats. These behavioral differences make comparisons of opossums vs rat, and wild rat vs laboratory rat interesting models for studying the brain mechanisms of anxiety and neotic motivations.

  15. Growth inhibition and chromosomal instability of cultured marsupial (opossum) cells after treatment with DNA polymerase α inhibitor.

    PubMed

    Takemura, Masaharu; Kazama, Tomoko; Sakuma, Kurumi; Mizushina, Yoshiyuki; Oshima, Teruyoshi

    2011-01-01

    The DNA replication mechanism has been well established for eutherian mammals (placental mammals such as humans, mice, and cattle), but not, to date, for metatherian mammals (marsupials such as kangaroos, koalas, and opossums). In this study, we found that dehydroaltenusin, a selective inhibitor of mammalian (eutherian) DNA polymerase α, clearly suppressed the growth of metatherian (opossum and rat kangaroo) cultured cells. In cultured opossum (OK) cells, dehydroaltenusin also suppressed the progression of DNA replication. These results suggest that dehydroaltenusin inhibits metatherian as well as eutherian DNA replication. Dehydroaltenusin treatment of OK cells engendered fluctuations in the numbers of chromosomes in the OK cells as well as inhibition of cell growth and DNA replication. This suggests that partial inhibition of DNA replication by dehydroaltenusin causes chromosomal instability in cultured cells.

  16. Making the most of RNA-seq: Pre-processing sequencing data with Opossum for reliable SNP variant detection

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Identifying variants from RNA-seq (transcriptome sequencing) data is a cost-effective and versatile alternative to whole-genome sequencing. However, current variant callers do not generally behave well with RNA-seq data due to reads encompassing intronic regions. We have developed a software programme called Opossum to address this problem. Opossum pre-processes RNA-seq reads prior to variant calling, and although it has been designed to work specifically with Platypus, it can be used equally well with other variant callers such as GATK HaplotypeCaller. In this work, we show that using Opossum in conjunction with either Platypus or GATK HaplotypeCaller maintains precision and improves the sensitivity for SNP detection compared to the GATK Best Practices pipeline. In addition, using it in combination with Platypus offers a substantial reduction in run times compared to the GATK pipeline so it is ideal when there are only limited time or computational resources available. PMID:28239666

  17. Reduction of the number of new cells reaching olfactory bulbs impairs olfactory perception in the adult opossum.

    PubMed

    Grabiec, Marta; Turlejski, Kris; Djavadian, Rouzanna

    2009-01-01

    In adult mammals cells generated in the subventricular zone (SVZ) migrate to olfactory bulbs (OB). Functional significance of this continuous neurogenesis is not clear. We injected opossums (Monodelphis domestica) for seven consecutive days with a 5HT(1A) agonist (8-OH-DPAT or buspirone) or its antagonist WAY100635. One hour after each of these injections bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) a marker of dividing cells was also injected. Two months later, when newly generated neurons settled in the OB and matured the ability of these opossums to detect hidden food by olfactory cues was tested. Afterwards, numbers of BrdU-labeled cell nuclei in their OB were counted and a phenotype of labeled cells established. In all groups investigated the majority of new cells differentiated into neurons (55-76%) and a lower proportion into astroglia (6-12%). Numbers of BrdU-labeled cells differed depending on the applied treatment: both agonists of the 5HT(1A) receptor increased these numbers, while its antagonist decreased them. The increased number of new OB interneurons did not change the time required for finding all three food items and therefore did not improve the opossums' performance in this test of the olfactory perception. However, opossums that had the reduced number of new generated OB cells searched longer for each food item and in consequence took three times longer to find all three crickets, than did opossums from other groups. In conclusion, lower numbers of new neurons in the opossums OB correlated with their worse behavioral performance in a test based on olfactory perception.

  18. Expression, purification and characterization of the recombinant chimeric IgE Fc-fragment opossum-human-opossum (OSO), an active immunotherapeutic vaccine component.

    PubMed

    Xu, Bingze; Lundgren, Mats; Magnusson, Ann-Christine; Fuentes, Alexis

    2010-11-01

    The active vaccine component recombinant chimeric IgE Fc-fragment opossum-human-opossum (OSO) has been expressed in CHO-K1 cells. It contains two identical polypeptide chains with 338 amino acid residues in each chain connected by two disulfide bridges. The cell lines were adapted to suspension culture in a serum-free medium. An expression level of 60 mg/L was obtained after 8 days in a shaking flask at a temperature of 31.5 degrees C. The OSO protein has been purified to homogeneity by a combination of three chromatographic steps. Virus inactivation and reduction by solvent detergent treatment and nano-filtration were included in the process. The residual host cell protein content was less than 50 ng/mg OSO as analyzed by ELISA. Purity was analyzed by SDS-PAGE under reducing and non-reducing conditions and was estimated by densitometry to be above 99.0%. The dimer content was less than 0.1% as estimated by analytical size exclusion chromatography. The molecular mass, as estimated by SDS-PAGE, is 90 kDa. A value of around 74 kDa was calculated from its amino acid composition. This indicates that the protein is heavily glycosylated containing around 18% carbohydrate. Isoelectric focusing in polyacrylamide gel disclosed a ladder type band pattern with pI values in the pH-range 7.0-8.3, indicating a variation in the sialic acid content. The OSO protein is not stable at temperatures above 40 degrees C and at pH values below 4 indicating that virus inactivation by incubating the protein solution at higher temperature or at lower pH is not possible.

  19. Facial Mechanosensory Influence on Forelimb Movement in Newborn Opossums, Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Desmarais, Marie-Josée; Beauregard, France; Cabana, Thérèse; Pflieger, Jean-François

    2016-01-01

    The opossum, Monodelphis domestica, is born very immature but crawls, unaided, with its forelimbs (FL) from the mother's birth canal to a nipple where it attaches to pursue its development. What sensory cues guide the newborn to the nipple and trigger its attachment to it? Previous experiments showed that low intensity electrical stimulation of the trigeminal ganglion induces FL movement in in vitro preparations and that trigeminal innervation of the facial skin is well developed in the newborn. The skin does not contain Vater-Pacini or Meissner touch corpuscles at this age, but it contains cells which appear to be Merkel cells (MC). We sought to determine if touch perceived by MC could exert an influence on FL movements. Application of the fluorescent dye AM1-43, which labels sensory cells such as MC, revealed the presence of a large number of labeled cells in the facial epidermis, especially in the snout skin, in newborn opossums. Moreover, calibrated pressure applied to the snout induced bilateral and simultaneous electromyographic responses of the triceps muscle in in vitro preparations of the neuraxis and FL from newborn. These responses increase with stimulation intensity and tend to decrease over time. Removing the facial skin nearly abolished these responses. Metabotropic glutamate 1 receptors being involved in MC neurotransmission, an antagonist of these receptors was applied to the bath, which decreased the EMG responses in a reversible manner. Likewise, bath application of the purinergic type 2 receptors, used by AM1-43 to penetrate sensory cells, also decreased the triceps EMG responses. The combined results support a strong influence of facial mechanosensation on FL movement in newborn opossums, and suggest that this influence could be exerted via MC.

  20. Male influence on oestrous cycles in female woolly opossum (Caluromys philander).

    PubMed

    Perret, M; Ben M'Barek, S

    1991-03-01

    Plasma progesterone concentrations and the occurrence of oestrous cycles were studied in isolated woolly opossums subsequently subjected to male influences during a 40-day period. Pairing (N = 48) or exposure to male urine (N = 15) resulted in all females exhibiting oestrous during the stimulation phase, providing evidence that the activation of ovarian activity in the woolly opossum involves pheromonal cues from males. The latency of occurrence of oestrous in stimulated females depended upon their sexual state before male stimulation. In anoestrous females, the mean latency was 20.7 +/- 0.9 days (N = 35), a value which agrees with the duration of the follicular phase. In females which first entered oestrous before male stimulation, the latency of induced oestrous was inversely correlated to the date of occurrence of the previous oestrous. The inter-oestrous interval was normal (38.1 +/- 1 days, N = 5) when females were in oestrous at the beginning of male stimulation. In contrast, the inter-oestrous interval was significantly shortened (28.7 +/- 2 days, N = 7) or lengthened (51.1 +/- 1.7 days, N = 16) depending on whether females were in the luteal or follicular phases at the beginning of male stimulation. During pairing several females became pregnant and gave birth 24 +/- 0.9 days (N = 13) after copulation. In the woolly opossum, the response to male influences involves mechanisms similar to those observed in eutherians and results in enhancement and synchronization of oestrous cycles in females. Pheromonal interactions could play an important role in synchronizing oestrous cycles in wild females during the dry season, a period when animals regroup to feed on spatially localized food resources.

  1. Male pheromone stimulates ovarian follicular development and body growth in juvenile female opossums (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Harder, John D; Jackson, Leslie M

    2003-02-11

    Female opossums are induced into estrus by direct exposure to a non-volatile pheromone in male scentmarks. Juvenile females develop this responsiveness by 150 days of age (days), and earlier (130 days) if exposed to male pheromone beginning at 90 days. The goal of this study was to examine the effect of male pheromone on body growth and ovarian follicular development in young opossums. Females (n = 28) were weaned at 56 days and caged individually with ad libitum food and water from 84 days. Body mass was recorded 2-3 times weekly and the onset of estrus was monitored by urogenital sinus cytology. Exposed females were given continuous access to adult male scentmarks from 90 days and randomly selected for necropsy at 105 and 130 days. Unexposed females were isolated from direct contact with males and their scentmarks and randomly selected for necropsy at 90, 105, 130, and 150 days. Exposed females were larger (63.5 +/- 1.1 g) than unexposed females (56.6 +/- 1.1 g) at 130 days, and 4 of 5 had expressed estrus or proestrus. Uterine mass at 130 days was higher (P < 0.05) in exposed (129.8 +/- 28.8 mg) than in unexposed (25.4 +/- 6.7 mg) females, none of which expressed estrus by 150 days. The mean number of developing, antral follicles per female increased from 1.5 +/- 1.5 at 90 days to 17.8 +/- 5.2 at 130 days. Mean diameter of developing antral follicles at 130 days was larger in exposed (534 +/- 54 microm) than in unexposed females (393 +/- 4 microm). The results of this study demonstrate that pheromonal induction of first estrus in juvenile opossums is associated with an increased rate of body growth and follicular development.

  2. Facial Mechanosensory Influence on Forelimb Movement in Newborn Opossums, Monodelphis domestica

    PubMed Central

    Desmarais, Marie-Josée; Beauregard, France; Cabana, Thérèse; Pflieger, Jean-François

    2016-01-01

    The opossum, Monodelphis domestica, is born very immature but crawls, unaided, with its forelimbs (FL) from the mother's birth canal to a nipple where it attaches to pursue its development. What sensory cues guide the newborn to the nipple and trigger its attachment to it? Previous experiments showed that low intensity electrical stimulation of the trigeminal ganglion induces FL movement in in vitro preparations and that trigeminal innervation of the facial skin is well developed in the newborn. The skin does not contain Vater-Pacini or Meissner touch corpuscles at this age, but it contains cells which appear to be Merkel cells (MC). We sought to determine if touch perceived by MC could exert an influence on FL movements. Application of the fluorescent dye AM1-43, which labels sensory cells such as MC, revealed the presence of a large number of labeled cells in the facial epidermis, especially in the snout skin, in newborn opossums. Moreover, calibrated pressure applied to the snout induced bilateral and simultaneous electromyographic responses of the triceps muscle in in vitro preparations of the neuraxis and FL from newborn. These responses increase with stimulation intensity and tend to decrease over time. Removing the facial skin nearly abolished these responses. Metabotropic glutamate 1 receptors being involved in MC neurotransmission, an antagonist of these receptors was applied to the bath, which decreased the EMG responses in a reversible manner. Likewise, bath application of the purinergic type 2 receptors, used by AM1-43 to penetrate sensory cells, also decreased the triceps EMG responses. The combined results support a strong influence of facial mechanosensation on FL movement in newborn opossums, and suggest that this influence could be exerted via MC. PMID:26848758

  3. Molecular, morphological, and ecological niche differentiation of sympatric sister oak species, Quercus virginiana and Q. geminata (Fagaceae).

    PubMed

    Cavender-Bares, Jeannine; Pahlich, Annette

    2009-09-01

    The genus Quercus (the oaks) is notorious for interspecific hybrization, generating questions about the mechanisms that permit coexistence of closely related species. Two sister oak species, Quercus virginiana and Q. geminata, occur in sympatry in Florida and throughout the southeastern United States. In 11 sites from northern and southeastern regions of Florida, we used a leaf-based morphological index to identify individuals to species. Eleven nuclear microsatellite markers significantly differentiated between the species with a high correspondence between molecular and morphological typing of specimens. Nevertheless, Bayesian clustering analysis indicates interspecific gene flow, and six of 109 individuals had mixed ancestry. The identity of several individuals also was mismatched using molecular markers and morphological characters. In a common environment, the two species performed differently in terms of photosynthetic performance and growth, corresponding to their divergent ecological niches with respect to soil moisture and other edaphic properties. Our data support earlier hypotheses that divergence in flowering time causes assortative mating, allowing these ecologically distinct sister species to occur in sympatry. Limited gene flow that permits ecological differentiation helps to explain the overdispersion of oak species in local communities.

  4. Physical mapping of the IGF2 locus in the South American opossum Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Lawton, B R; Obergfell, C; O'Neill, R J; O'Neill, M J

    2007-01-01

    The South American opossum Monodelphis domestica has been a model organism for marsupials for many years and has recently been the subject of a large-scale genome sequencing effort that will provide the foundation for comparative studies of gene function and regulation. Genomic imprinting is one mechanism of gene regulation that has received increasing attention due to the impact of imprinting defects on development and disease. We have mapped the imprinted insulin-like growth factor II (IGF2) gene of M. domestica as a first step in understanding the regulatory mechanisms involved in genomic imprinting in this marsupial.

  5. Nest-building in gray short-tailed opossums: temperature effects and sex differences.

    PubMed

    Fadem, B H; Kraus, D B; Sheffet, R H

    1986-01-01

    The effects of ambient temperature and of sex on nest-building behavior were studied in a laboratory colony of gray short-tailed opossums, small, Brazilian marsupials. At 24 degrees C, both males and females used more nesting material and built larger nests of better quality than at 27 degrees C. Although both males and females built nests using the mouth, forelegs, hindlegs and tail, females built nests more reliably at the higher temperature and used more nesting material than males at both temperatures. These findings are discussed with respect to the thermoregulatory and reproductive characteristics of marsupials.

  6. Different strategies of exploration and phenotypic variability of the locomotor behavior in new environment: Comparative study of the laboratory opossum (Monodelphis domestica) and Wistar rat (Rattus norvegicus).

    PubMed

    Klejbor, Ilona; Turlejski, Krzysztof

    2012-01-01

    Spontaneous locomotor activity of opossums and Wistar rats during a two-hour session in the open field has been recorded, assessed and behavior of individuals of the two species compared. Afterwards, groups of highly active (HA) and low active (LA) opossums and rats were selected on the basis of the distance traveled in the test. Differences between the selected groups were evaluated. Opossums were generally more active, moving faster and covering longer distance. They spent more time in the central part of the open field and traveled across the center more times than rats, therefore they showed also a lower level of anxiety. These data confirm our previous results indicating that opossums preferentially use the risky exploration strategy while rats mainly rely on the defensive behavior. Opossums showed a higher variability of the volume of locomotor activity than rats. Comparison of the HA and LA groups of opossums and rats showed that in each species they differed on another principle: the level of anxiety in Wistar rats and level of locomotor activity in opossums. Therefore results of the open field test might measure different parameters in different species.

  7. Mapping the prion protein distribution in marsupials: insights from comparing opossum with mouse CNS.

    PubMed

    Poggiolini, Ilaria; Legname, Giuseppe

    2012-01-01

    The cellular form of the prion protein (PrP(C)) is a sialoglycoprotein widely expressed in the central nervous system (CNS) of mammalian species during neurodevelopment and in adulthood. The location of the protein in the CNS may play a role in the susceptibility of a species to fatal prion diseases, which are also known as the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). To date, little is known about PrP(C) distribution in marsupial mammals, for which no naturally occurring prion diseases have been reported. To extend our understanding of varying PrP(C) expression profiles in different mammals we carried out a detailed expression analysis of PrP(C) distribution along the neurodevelopment of the metatherian South American short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica). We detected lower levels of PrP(C) in white matter fiber bundles of opossum CNS compared to mouse CNS. This result is consistent with a possible role for PrP(C) in the distinct neurodevelopment and neurocircuitry found in marsupials compared to other mammalian species.

  8. Nitric oxide: Mediator of nonadrenergic noncholinergic hyperpolarization of opossum esophageal circular smooth muscle

    SciTech Connect

    Du, C.; Murray, J.; Conklin, J.L.; Bates, J.N. )

    1991-03-15

    The electromyogram recorded from circular smooth muscle (SM) of opossum esophagus, either during peristalsis or when the intrinsic esophageal nerves are stimulated by an electrical field (EFS), consists of a hyperpolarization followed by a depolarization. This membrane response results from the interaction of a nonadrenergic-noncholinergic (NANC) neurotransmitter with its receptors on SM membrane. N{sup G}-nitro-L-arginine (L-NNA), an inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase, and nitric oxide (NO) were used to test the hypothesis that NO is a mediator of this NANC nerve-induced response. The transmembrane potential difference of circular SM cells of opossum esophagus was recorded with glass microelectrode. The nerve-mediated membrane response was evoked by EFS. L-NNA (50uM) abolished the initial hyperpolarization and reduced the amplitude of and the time to maximal depolarization. L-arginine (1mM), the substrate for NO synthase, antagonized the effect of L-NNA. Neither L-NNA nor L-arginine altered the resting membrane potential. Exogenous NO produced hyperpolarization of SM membrane potential and attenuated the amplitude of EFS-induced hyperpolarization and depolarization. Nitrosocysteine, a NO-containing compound, also hyperpolarized the membrane potential. Effect of NO was neither blocked by L-NNA nor by TTX. The data support the hypothesis that NO or an NO-containing compound mediates NANC nerve-induced responses of the esophageal SM membrane.

  9. Development and plasticity of the retina in the opossum Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Djavadian, Rouzanna; Bisti, Silvia; Maccarone, Rita; Bartkowska, Katarzyna; Turlejski, Krzysztof

    2006-01-01

    We investigated the rate of cell proliferation and death in the retina of the Monodelphis opossum during its postnatal development and the influence of early monocular enucleation on these processes. Our results show that in the opossum, as in other marsupials, the peak of the retinal cells divisions occurs postnatally and that generation of retinal cells continues till the time of eye opening (P34), except of the marginal rim, where it continued till P60. Ganglion and amacrine cells are generated between postnatal days (P) P4 and P9, while bipolar cells and photoreceptors are generated simultaneously between P14 and P25. The peak of ganglion cell death as detected by the TUNEL method occurs around P14-19 in the center of retina. The second peak of apoptosis appears in the inner nuclear layer (INL) at P19-25. Gliogenesis takes place between P25 and P34. We also found that monocular enucleation performed during the early period of retinal development (P0-P7) did not influence proliferation, developmental apoptosis or other developmental processes in the retina of the remaining eye.

  10. On the genomics of immunoglobulins in the gray, short-tailed opossum Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xinxin; Olp, Jonathan J; Miller, Robert D

    2009-08-01

    Annotated maps of the IGH, IGK, and IGL loci in the gray, short-tailed opossum Monodelphis domestica were generated from analyses of the available whole genome sequence for this species. Analyses of their content and organization confirmed a number of previous conclusions based on characterization of complementary DNAs encoding opossum immunoglobulin heavy and light chains and limited genomic analysis, including (a) the predominance of a single immunoglobulin heavy chain variable region (IGHV) subgroup and clan, (b) the presence of a single immunoglobulin (Ig)G subclass, (c) the apparent absence of an IgD, and (d) the general organization and V gene complexity of the IGK and IGL light chain loci. In addition, several unexpected discoveries were made including the presence of a partial V to D, germline-joined IGHV segment, the first germline-joined Ig V gene to be found in a mammal. In addition was the presence of a larger number of IGKV subgroups than had been previously identified. With this report, annotated maps of the major histocompatibility complex, T-cell receptor, and immunoglobulin loci have been completed for M. domestica, the only non-eutherian mammalian species for which this has been accomplished, strengthening the utility of this species as a model organism.

  11. Arrested development of the dorsal column following neonatal spinal cord injury in the opossum, Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Wheaton, Benjamin J; Noor, Natassya M; Dziegielewska, Katarzyna M; Whish, Sophie; Saunders, Norman R

    2015-03-01

    Developmental studies of spinal cord injury in which regrowth of axons occurs across the site of transection rarely distinguish between the recovery of motor-controlling pathways and that of ascending axons carrying sensory information. We describe the morphological changes that occur in the dorsal column (DC) of the grey short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica, following spinal cord injury at two early developmental ages. The spinal cords of opossums that had had their mid-thoracic spinal cords completely transected at postnatal day 7 (P7) or P28 were analysed. Profiles of neurofilament immunoreactivity in transected cords showing DC development were differentially affected by the injury compared with the rest of the cord and cytoarchitecture was modified in an age- and site-dependent manner. The ability of DC neurites to grow across the site of transection was confirmed by injection of fluorescent tracer below the injury. P7 transected cords showed labelling in the DC above the site of original transection indicating that neurites of this sensory tract were able to span the injury. No growth of any neuronal processes was seen after P28 transection. Thus, DC is affected by spinal injury in a differential manner depending on the age at which the transection occurs. This age-differential response, together with other facets of remodelling that occur after neonatal spinal injury, might explain the locomotor adaptations and recovery observed in these animals.

  12. Ultrastructural analysis between fetal and adult wound healing process of marsupial opossum skin.

    PubMed

    Matsuno, Kei; Ihara, Setsunosuke

    2015-01-01

    The opossum delivers a newborn baby equivalent to tremature fetus state by postpregnancy. The peculiarity is advantageous for studies of fetus, because operations to take out fetus from the uterus of a mother are not necessary. When mammalian skin is wounded by full-thickness excision, fetal and adult wound healing processes differ. Fetal-type wound healing does not leave a scar. However, studies of how the fetal wound healing process differs in detail from the adult type are not advanced. We first observed the normal skin development of the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica) using an electron microscope. As for normal skin, an epidermis became multi-layered, and thickened from birth through to 7 days after birth. The quantity of extracellular matrix of the dermis increased thereafter, and several types of cells were found in the dermis. To examine the wound healing, we used material from a 1 day-old newborn baby, and from another 15 days after birth, and compared the wound healing style morphologically. Differences in the constitution of cells and fine structures of the skin were observed, it was obviously suggested that change in the wound healing style from fetal-type to adult-type occurred between 1 to 15 days after birth.

  13. On the prenatal initiation of T cell development in the opossum Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Victoria L; Miller, Robert D

    2017-04-01

    Thymus-dependent lymphocytes (T cells) are a critical cell lineage in the adaptive immune system of all jawed vertebrates. In eutherian mammals the initiation of T cell development takes place prenatally and the offspring of many species are born relatively immuno-competent. Marsupials, in contrast, are born in a comparatively altricial state and with a less well developed immune system. As such, marsupials are valuable models for studying the peri- and postnatal initiation of immune system development in mammals. Previous results supported a lack of prenatal T cell development in a variety of marsupial species. In the gray short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica, however, there was evidence that αβT cells were present on postnatal day 1 and likely initiated development prenatally. Demonstrated here is the presence of CD3ε(+) lymphocytes in late-stage embryos at a site in the upper thoracic cavity, the site of an early developing thymus. CD3ε(+) cells were evident as early as 48 h prior to parturition. In day 14 embryos, where there is clear organogenesis, CD3ε(+) cells were only found at the site of the early thymus, consistent with no extra-thymic sites of T cell development in the opossum. These observations are the first evidence of prenatal T cell lineage commitment in any marsupial.

  14. Dogs and Opossums Positive for Vaccinia Virus during Outbreak Affecting Cattle and Humans, São Paulo State, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Peres, Marina G; Barros, Claudenice B; Appolinário, Camila M; Antunes, João M A P; Mioni, Mateus S R; Bacchiega, Thais S; Allendorf, Susan D; Vicente, Acácia F; Fonseca, Clóvis R; Megid, Jane

    2016-02-01

    During a vaccinia virus (VACV) outbreak in São Paulo State, Brazil, blood samples were collected from cows, humans, other domestic animals, and wild mammals. Samples from 3 dogs and 3 opossums were positive for VACV by PCR. Results of gene sequencing yielded major questions regarding other mammalian species acting as reservoirs of VACV.

  15. Localization of genes for V+LDL plasma cholesterol levels on two diets in the opossum Monodelphis domestica[S

    PubMed Central

    Kammerer, Candace M.; Rainwater, David L.; Gouin, Nicolas; Jasti, Madhuri; Douglas, Kory C.; Dressen, Amy S.; Ganta, Prasanth; VandeBerg, John L.; Samollow, Paul B.

    2010-01-01

    Plasma cholesterol levels among individuals vary considerably in response to diet. However, the genes that influence this response are largely unknown. Non-HDL (V+LDL) cholesterol levels vary dramatically among gray, short-tailed opossums fed an atherogenic diet, and we previously reported that two quantitative trait loci (QTLs) influenced V+LDL cholesterol on two diets. We used hypothesis-free, genome-wide linkage analyses on data from 325 pedigreed opossums and located one QTL for V+LDL cholesterol on the basal diet on opossum chromosome 1q [logarithm of the odds (LOD) = 3.11, genomic P = 0.019] and another QTL for V+LDL on the atherogenic diet (i.e., high levels of cholesterol and fat) on chromosome 8 (LOD = 9.88, genomic P = 5 × 10−9). We then employed a novel strategy involving combined analyses of genomic resources, expression analysis, sequencing, and genotyping to identify candidate genes for the chromosome 8 QTL. A polymorphism in ABCB4 was strongly associated (P = 9 × 10−14) with the plasma V+LDL cholesterol concentrations on the high-cholesterol, high-fat diet. The results of this study indicate that genetic variation in ABCB4, or closely linked genes, is responsible for the dramatic differences among opossums in their V+LDL cholesterol response to an atherogenic diet. PMID:20650928

  16. Localization of genes for V+LDL plasma cholesterol levels on two diets in the opossum Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Kammerer, Candace M; Rainwater, David L; Gouin, Nicolas; Jasti, Madhuri; Douglas, Kory C; Dressen, Amy S; Ganta, Prasanth; Vandeberg, John L; Samollow, Paul B

    2010-10-01

    Plasma cholesterol levels among individuals vary considerably in response to diet. However, the genes that influence this response are largely unknown. Non-HDL (V+LDL) cholesterol levels vary dramatically among gray, short-tailed opossums fed an atherogenic diet, and we previously reported that two quantitative trait loci (QTLs) influenced V+LDL cholesterol on two diets. We used hypothesis-free, genome-wide linkage analyses on data from 325 pedigreed opossums and located one QTL for V+LDL cholesterol on the basal diet on opossum chromosome 1q [logarithm of the odds (LOD) = 3.11, genomic P = 0.019] and another QTL for V+LDL on the atherogenic diet (i.e., high levels of cholesterol and fat) on chromosome 8 (LOD = 9.88, genomic P = 5 x 10(-9)). We then employed a novel strategy involving combined analyses of genomic resources, expression analysis, sequencing, and genotyping to identify candidate genes for the chromosome 8 QTL. A polymorphism in ABCB4 was strongly associated (P = 9 x 10(-14)) with the plasma V+LDL cholesterol concentrations on the high-cholesterol, high-fat diet. The results of this study indicate that genetic variation in ABCB4, or closely linked genes, is responsible for the dramatic differences among opossums in their V+LDL cholesterol response to an atherogenic diet.

  17. Developmental expression of spontaneous activity in the spinal cord of postnatal opossums, Monodelphis domestica: an anatomical study.

    PubMed

    Lavallée, Annie; Pflieger, Jean-François

    2009-07-28

    Using Sulforhodamine-101 (SR101) labeling and calcium imaging on in vitro preparations, we investigated the development of spontaneous activity in the spinal enlargements of a marsupial born more immature than eutherian mammals, the opossum Monodelphis domestica. Following the retrograde transport of Calcium Green dye from the limb nerves, we observed the occurrence of spontaneous calcium waves activating the motor columns of the cervical enlargement of opossums aged from P3 to P15 (day of birth: P0) and of the lumbar enlargement from at least P6 to P12. In other preparations, SR101 was added to the bath to identify the active cells. In P1 opossums, only a few SR101-labeled cells were observed in the cervical enlargement and none in the lumbar enlargement. At P5, their number increased cervically and they appeared in the lumbar enlargement. Motoneurons were the major cell type labeled by SR101 but dye leakage made their quantification inaccurate. SR101-labeled cells also occurred elsewhere in the ventral and dorsal grey. Their number increased until P12-14 in both enlargements and then decreased to disappear by P21, the last age examined. Thus in contrast to eutherian mammals, in which spontaneous activity is mostly prenatal, spontaneous activity occurs predominantly postnatally in opossums. It increases at the time when connections from the brain begin to impinge on spinal neurons and when the limbs, especially the hindlimbs, start moving and then decreases as the systems mature.

  18. Dogs and Opossums Positive for Vaccinia Virus during Outbreak Affecting Cattle and Humans, São Paulo State, Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Peres, Marina G.; Barros, Claudenice B.; Appolinário, Camila M.; Antunes, João M.A.P.; Mioni, Mateus S.R.; Bacchiega, Thais S.; Allendorf, Susan D.; Vicente, Acácia F.; Fonseca, Clóvis R.

    2016-01-01

    During a vaccinia virus (VACV) outbreak in São Paulo State, Brazil, blood samples were collected from cows, humans, other domestic animals, and wild mammals. Samples from 3 dogs and 3 opossums were positive for VACV by PCR. Results of gene sequencing yielded major questions regarding other mammalian species acting as reservoirs of VACV. PMID:26812352

  19. Parastrongylus (=Angiostrongylus) cantonensis now endemic in Louisiana wildlife.

    PubMed

    Kim, D Y; Stewart, T B; Bauer, R W; Mitchell, M

    2002-10-01

    Parastrongylus (=Angiostrongylus) cantonensis, a lung worm of rats, was first reported in the United States in 1987, with a probable introduction by infected rats from ships docking in New Orleans, Louisiana, during the mid-1980s. Since then, it has been reported in nonhuman primates and a boy from New Orleans, and in a horse from Picayune, Mississippi, a distance of 87 km from New Orleans. Parastrongylus cantonensis infection is herein reported in a lemur (Varencia variegata rubra) from New Iberia, Louisiana, a distance of 222 km from New Orleans, and in a wood rat (Neotomafloridanus) and in 4 opossums (Didelphis virginiana) from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a distance of 124 km from New Orleans. The potential of a great variety of gastropods serving as intermediate hosts in Louisiana may pose a threat to wildlife as well as to domesticated animals in the areas where infected Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) are present.

  20. Tannins from Hamamelis virginiana bark extract: characterization and improvement of the antiviral efficacy against influenza A virus and human papillomavirus.

    PubMed

    Theisen, Linda L; Erdelmeier, Clemens A J; Spoden, Gilles A; Boukhallouk, Fatima; Sausy, Aurélie; Florin, Luise; Muller, Claude P

    2014-01-01

    Antiviral activity has been demonstrated for different tannin-rich plant extracts. Since tannins of different classes and molecular weights are often found together in plant extracts and may differ in their antiviral activity, we have compared the effect against influenza A virus (IAV) of Hamamelis virginiana L. bark extract, fractions enriched in tannins of different molecular weights and individual tannins of defined structures, including pseudotannins. We demonstrate antiviral activity of the bark extract against different IAV strains, including the recently emerged H7N9, and show for the first time that a tannin-rich extract inhibits human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16 infection. As the best performing antiviral candidate, we identified a highly potent fraction against both IAV and HPV, enriched in high molecular weight condensed tannins by ultrafiltration, a simple, reproducible and easily upscalable method. This ultrafiltration concentrate and the bark extract inhibited early and, to a minor extent, later steps in the IAV life cycle and tannin-dependently inhibited HPV attachment. We observed interesting mechanistic differences between tannin structures: High molecular weight tannin containing extracts and tannic acid (1702 g/mol) inhibited both IAV receptor binding and neuraminidase activity. In contrast, low molecular weight compounds (<500 g/mol) such as gallic acid, epigallocatechin gallate or hamamelitannin inhibited neuraminidase but not hemagglutination. Average molecular weight of the compounds seemed to positively correlate with receptor binding (but not neuraminidase) inhibition. In general, neuraminidase inhibition seemed to contribute little to the antiviral activity. Importantly, antiviral use of the ultrafiltration fraction enriched in high molecular weight condensed tannins and, to a lesser extent, the unfractionated bark extract was preferable over individual isolated compounds. These results are of interest for developing and improving plant

  1. Spatial patterns of ectomycorrhizal fungal inoculum in arbuscular mycorrhizal barrens communities: implications for controlling invasion by Pinus virginiana.

    PubMed

    Thiet, Rachel K; Boerner, R E J

    2007-09-01

    Invasion of globally threatened ecosystems dominated by arbuscular mycorrhizal plants, such as the alkaline prairies and serpentine barrens of eastern North America, by species of ectomycorrhizal (ECM) pine (Pinus) seriously threatens the persistence, conservation, and ongoing restoration of these rare plant communities. Using Maryland serpentine barrens and an Ohio alkaline prairie complex as model systems, we tested the hypothesis that the invasiveness of Virginia pine (Pinus virginiana L.) into such communities is regulated by the spatial pattern of ECM fungal inoculum in the soil. ECM colonization of pine seedlings can occur by (1) hyphae growing from the roots of mature ECM pines colonizing nearby seedlings (contagion model), (2) pine seedlings being infected after germinating in open areas where spores are concentrated in feces of animals that have consumed sporocarps (centers of infection model), and (3) colonization from spores that are wind-dispersed across the landscape (background model). To test these models of dispersal of ECM fungal inoculum into these barrens, we used autocorrelation and spatially explicit mapping techniques (semivariance analysis and kriging) to characterize the distribution and abundance of ECM inoculum in soil. Our results strongly suggest that ECM fungi most often disperse into open barrens by contagion, thereby facilitating rapid pine colonization in an advancing front from mature pine forests bordering the barrens. Spatial patterns consistent with the centers of infection model were present but less common. Thus, current management techniques that rely on cutting and fire to reverse pine invasion may be ineffective because they do not kill or disrupt hyphal mats attached to mature roots of neighboring pines. Management alternatives are discussed.

  2. Development and cross-species/genera transferability of microsatellite markers discovered using 454 genome sequencing in chokecherry (Prunus virginiana L.).

    PubMed

    Wang, Hongxia; Walla, James A; Zhong, Shaobin; Huang, Danqiong; Dai, Wenhao

    2012-11-01

    Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana L.) (2n = 4x = 32) is a unique Prunus species for both genetics and disease-resistance research due to its tetraploid nature and X-disease resistance. However, no genetic and genomic information on chokecherry is available. A partial chokecherry genome was sequenced using Roche 454 sequencing technology. A total of 145,094 reads covering 4.8 Mbp of the chokecherry genome were generated and 15,113 contigs were assembled, of which 11,675 contigs were larger than 100 bp in size. A total of 481 SSR loci were identified from 234 (out of 11,675) contigs and 246 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primer pairs were designed. Of 246 primers, 212 (86.2 %) effectively produced amplification from the genomic DNA of chokecherry. All 212 amplifiable chokecherry primers were used to amplify genomic DNA from 11 other rosaceous species (sour cherry, sweet cherry, black cherry, peach, apricot, plum, apple, crabapple, pear, juneberry, and raspberry). Thus, chokecherry SSR primers can be transferable across Prunus species and other rosaceous species. An average of 63.2 and 58.7 % of amplifiable chokecherry primers amplified DNA from cherry and other Prunus species, respectively, while 47.2 % of amplifiable chokecherry primers amplified DNA from other rosaceous species. Using random genome sequence data generated from next-generation sequencing technology to identify microsatellite loci appears to be rapid and cost-efficient, particularly for species with no sequence information available. Sequence information and confirmed transferability of the identified chokecherry SSRs among species will be valuable for genetic research in Prunus and other rosaceous species. Key message A total of 246 SSR primers were identified from chokecherry genome sequences. Of which, 212 were confirmed amplifiable both in chokecherry and other 11 other rosaceous species.

  3. The Effect of Exogenous Abscisic Acid on Stomatal Development, Stomatal Mechanics, and Leaf Gas Exchange in Tradescantia virginiana

    PubMed Central

    Franks, Peter J.; Farquhar, Graham D.

    2001-01-01

    Gas exchange parameters and stomatal physical properties were measured in Tradescantia virginiana plants grown under well-watered conditions and treated daily with either distilled water (control) or 3.0 mm abscisic acid (ABA). Photosynthetic capacity (CO2 assimilation rate for any given leaf intercellular CO2 concentration [ci]) and relative stomatal sensitivity to leaf-to-air vapor-pressure difference were unaffected by the ABA treatment. However, at an ambient CO2 concentration (ca) of 350 μmol mol−1, ABA-treated plants operated with significantly lower ci. ABA-treated plants had significantly smaller stomata and higher stomatal density in their lower epidermis. Stomatal aperture versus guard cell pressure (Pg) characteristics measured with a cell pressure probe showed that although the form of the relationship was similar in control and ABA-treated plants, stomata of ABA-treated plants exhibited more complete closure at Pg = 0 MPa and less than half the aperture of stomata in control plants at any given Pg. Scaling from stomatal aperture versus Pg to stomatal conductance versus Pg showed that plants grown under ABA treatment would have had significantly lower maximum stomatal conductance and would have operated with lower stomatal conductance for any given guard cell turgor. This is consistent with the observation of lower ci/ca in ABA-treated plants with a ca of 350 μmol mol−1. It is proposed that the ABA-induced changes in stomatal mechanics and stomatal conductance versus Pg characteristics constitute an improvement in water-use efficiency that may be invoked under prolonged drought conditions. PMID:11161050

  4. Tannins from Hamamelis virginiana Bark Extract: Characterization and Improvement of the Antiviral Efficacy against Influenza A Virus and Human Papillomavirus

    PubMed Central

    Theisen, Linda L.; Erdelmeier, Clemens A. J.; Spoden, Gilles A.; Boukhallouk, Fatima; Sausy, Aurélie; Florin, Luise; Muller, Claude P.

    2014-01-01

    Antiviral activity has been demonstrated for different tannin-rich plant extracts. Since tannins of different classes and molecular weights are often found together in plant extracts and may differ in their antiviral activity, we have compared the effect against influenza A virus (IAV) of Hamamelis virginiana L. bark extract, fractions enriched in tannins of different molecular weights and individual tannins of defined structures, including pseudotannins. We demonstrate antiviral activity of the bark extract against different IAV strains, including the recently emerged H7N9, and show for the first time that a tannin-rich extract inhibits human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16 infection. As the best performing antiviral candidate, we identified a highly potent fraction against both IAV and HPV, enriched in high molecular weight condensed tannins by ultrafiltration, a simple, reproducible and easily upscalable method. This ultrafiltration concentrate and the bark extract inhibited early and, to a minor extent, later steps in the IAV life cycle and tannin-dependently inhibited HPV attachment. We observed interesting mechanistic differences between tannin structures: High molecular weight tannin containing extracts and tannic acid (1702 g/mol) inhibited both IAV receptor binding and neuraminidase activity. In contrast, low molecular weight compounds (<500 g/mol) such as gallic acid, epigallocatechin gallate or hamamelitannin inhibited neuraminidase but not hemagglutination. Average molecular weight of the compounds seemed to positively correlate with receptor binding (but not neuraminidase) inhibition. In general, neuraminidase inhibition seemed to contribute little to the antiviral activity. Importantly, antiviral use of the ultrafiltration fraction enriched in high molecular weight condensed tannins and, to a lesser extent, the unfractionated bark extract was preferable over individual isolated compounds. These results are of interest for developing and improving plant

  5. Behavioural observations of singly-housed grey short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica) in standard and enriched environments.

    PubMed

    Wilkinson, M; Stirton, C; McConnachie, A

    2010-10-01

    The grey short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica) has been used in biomedical research for over three decades. It is normally housed in standard rat cages and appears to have adapted well to captivity. Owing to their aggressive behaviour towards each other, adult males are normally housed singly and may spend considerable periods of time in social isolation. We wanted to carry out a preliminary study on the behaviour of singly-housed male short-tailed opossums in two different settings: a standard rat cage and an enriched floor pen. Five male opossums aged between 10 and 12 weeks were housed for seven days at a time in the two settings and their behaviour was filmed during the dark phase. Recordings were carried out on the first and the last night of housing, from 19:00 to 07:00 h, and all behaviours quantified according to an ethogram. All five males in this study showed stereotypic behaviours while housed in standard rat cages, but no such behaviours were seen when the animals were in the floor pen. In both cases, but very especially in the pen, animals spent less time active as the week came to an end. Some activities such as sniffing the air, manipulating the nest and, especially, interacting with the floor tube occupied the animals' time in the cage considerably more than in the pen. Conversely, the opossums spent considerably more time walking when inside the floor pen than when they were in the cage. The general trend with other activities such as eating, drinking or grooming was one of more time being devoted to them inside the cage than inside the floor pen, but the differences did not approach statistical significance. These findings suggest that single housing of short-tailed opossums in standard rat caging is detrimental to their welfare.

  6. The evolution of active vibrissal sensing in mammals: evidence from vibrissal musculature and function in the marsupial opossum Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Grant, Robyn A; Haidarliu, Sebastian; Kennerley, Natalie J; Prescott, Tony J

    2013-09-15

    Facial vibrissae, or whiskers, are found in nearly all extant mammal species and are likely to have been present in early mammalian ancestors. A sub-set of modern mammals, including many rodents, move their long mystacial whiskers back and forth at high speed whilst exploring in a behaviour known as 'whisking'. It is not known whether the vibrissae of early mammals moved in this way. The grey short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica, is considered a useful species from the perspective of tracing the evolution of modern mammals. Interestingly, these marsupials engage in whisking bouts similar to those seen in rodents. To better assess the likelihood that active vibrissal sensing was present in ancestral mammals, we examined the vibrissal musculature of the opossum using digital miscroscopy to see whether this resembles that of rodents. Although opossums have fewer whiskers than rats, our investigation found that they have a similar vibrissal musculature. In particular, in both rats and opossums, the musculature includes both intrinsic and extrinsic muscles with the intrinsic muscles positioned as slings linking pairs of large vibrissae within rows. We identified some differences in the extrinsic musculature which, interestingly, matched with behavioural data obtained through high-speed video recording, and indicated additional degrees of freedom for positioning the vibrissae in rats. These data show that the whisker movements of opossum and rat exploit similar underlying mechanisms. Paired with earlier results suggesting similar patterns of vibrissal movement, this strongly implies that early therian (marsupial and placental) mammals were whisking animals that actively controlled their vibrissae.

  7. Radiation esophagitis in the opossum: radioprotection with indomethacin. [/sup 60/Co

    SciTech Connect

    Northway, M.G.; Libshitz, H.I.; Osborne, B.M.; Feldman, M.S.; Mamel, J.J.; West, J.H.; Szwarc, I.A.

    1980-05-01

    Twenty-five opossums were evaluated before irradiation by fiberoptic endoscopy and air-contrast barium esophagram examination. All animals received 2250 rad /sup 60/Co-irradiated in a single exposure to the entire esophagus and lower exophageal sphincter. Animals received treatment with indomethacin. Acute esophagitis occurred 7 to 10 days postirradiation in control animals and was characterized by erythema, ulceration, and sloughing of esophageal mucosa as determined by air-contrast barium esophagram, endoscopy, and histology. Prostaglandin-treated animals showed more severe evidence of esophagitis than control animals. Indomethacin-treated animals showed no signs or only mild esophagitis posttreatment. It is concluded that indomethacin treatment may significantly reduce the severity of radiation esophagitis perhaps by blockade of prostaglandin synthesis.

  8. Dietary effects on hematologic and serum chemical values in gray short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    VandeBerg, J L; Cothran, E G; Kelly, C A

    1986-02-01

    At the time of weaning (8 weeks), 57 gray short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica) were placed in four dietary groups. One group was fed a horsemeat-based diet that had been used for 2.5 years in our colony, and three groups were fed three different commercial fox food diets. After the animals had reached sexual maturity (6 months), blood samples were collected and subjected to standard hematologic and serum chemical assays. Significant differences were observed among the dietary groups and between sexes in several values, but all animals appeared to be healthy and robust. The ranges, means, and standard deviations for the values presented here can be used as reference values for healthy young adult animals being fed these particular diets.

  9. Odors as cues for orientation to mothers by weanling Virginia opossums

    SciTech Connect

    Holmes, D.J. )

    1992-12-01

    Three experiments were conducted to investigate whether whole-body and pouch odors facilitate social cohesion between young Virginia opossums and their mothers just prior to weaning. In experiment 1, young oriented toward plastic buckets containing their mothers, directing significantly higher levels of investigative behavior and more distress vocalizations toward them than toward buckets containing unrelated lactating females. In experiment 2, young oriented toward and investigated empty buckets containing whole-body odors of their mothers more than empty buckets containing odors of other females. Similarly, more investigative behavior was directed toward plastic bucket lids containing pouch odors from subjects mothers than toward pouch odors from unrelated females in experiment 3. These results suggest that social odors help young didelphid marsupials maintain contact with their mothers, as in other mammals, and that whole-body and pouch gland odors are important chemical signals in this nongregarious species.

  10. Particle size selection in cadmium uptake by the opossum shrimp, Mysis relicta

    SciTech Connect

    Bigelow, L.K.; Lasenby, D.C. )

    1991-11-01

    Fecal pellets of plankton play a key role in the recycling of trace contaminants within the aquatic environment. This is especially true for those plankton that undergo vertical migration in the water column. The opossum shrimp Mysis relicta is generally thought of as an omnivorous zooplankter occupying the pelagic zone of lakes, making itself available as a food source to a wide variety of fish. Several mechanisms have been suggested to explain the increase in concentration of metals from food source to fecal pellet. This study examines the feeding behavior of M. relicta to test the hypothesis that particle size selection can account for increased metal concentrations found in the fecal pellets of invertebrates.

  11. Topical wound-healing effects and phytochemical composition of heartwood essential oils of Juniperus virginiana L., Juniperus occidentalis Hook., and Juniperus ashei J. Buchholz.

    PubMed

    Tumen, Ibrahim; Süntar, Ipek; Eller, Fred J; Keleş, Hikmet; Akkol, Esra Küpeli

    2013-01-01

    Ethnobotanical surveys indicated that in the traditional medicines worldwide, several Juniperus species are utilized as antihelmintic, diuretic, stimulant, antiseptic, carminative, stomachic, antirheumatic, antifungal, and for wound healing. In the present study, essential oils obtained from heartwood samples of Juniperus virginiana L., Juniperus occidentalis Hook. and Juniperus ashei J. Buchholz were evaluated for wound healing and anti-inflammatory activities by using in vivo experimental methods. The essential oils were obtained by the supercritical carbon dioxide extraction method. Linear incision and circular excision wound models were performed for the wound-healing activity assessment. The tissues were also evaluated for the hydroxyproline content as well as histopathologically. To evaluate the anti-inflammatory activity of the essential oils, the test used was an acetic acid-induced increase in capillary permeability. The essential oil of J. occidentalis showed the highest activity on the in vivo biological activity models. Additionaly, the oil of J. virginiana was found highly effective in the anti-inflammatory activity method. The experimental data demonstrated that essential oil of J. occidentalis displayed significant wound-healing and anti-inflammatory activities.

  12. North American Virginian Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana): Based Scalp Care and Protection for Sensitive Scalp, Red Scalp, and Scalp Burn-Out

    PubMed Central

    Trüeb, Ralph M

    2014-01-01

    Background: A sensitive scalp is a frequent problem in daily clinical practice and often represents a major challenge for dermatologists. Objective: The objective was to evaluate the efficacy of a Northamerican Virginian Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)-based shampoo and tonic (Erol® Energy) for treatment of the sensitive scalp. Methods: Retrospective observational study of male and female patients given Erol® Energy products in the period between August 2010 and December 2013 at the Center for Dermatology and Hair Diseases Professor Trüeb to treat irritable scalp conditions or as concomitant treatment to minoxidil therapy for androgenetic alocepia. Results: Shampoo was applied successfully in 1,373 patients (1,233 women and 140 men). Patients reported improvement of subjective manifestations of irritation and rated tolerance of both products as good to excellent. During this period, 369 (26.9%) have received Erol® shampoo more than once. Conclusions: The choice of appropriate hair-care products represents an important aspect in the management of the sensitive scalp and related conditions. With the Erol® Energy hair-care products, the advantages of H. virginiana are available for successful treatment of the scalp, especially in the context of problems associated with red scalp, scalp burn-out, and the use of topical minoxidil for androgenetic alopecia. PMID:25210333

  13. Evolutionary dynamics of transposable elements in the short-tailed opossum Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Gentles, Andrew J; Wakefield, Matthew J; Kohany, Oleksiy; Gu, Wanjun; Batzer, Mark A; Pollock, David D; Jurka, Jerzy

    2007-07-01

    The genome of the gray short-tailed opossum Monodelphis domestica is notable for its large size ( approximately 3.6 Gb). We characterized nearly 500 families of interspersed repeats from the Monodelphis. They cover approximately 52% of the genome, higher than in any other amniotic lineage studied to date, and may account for the unusually large genome size. In comparison to other mammals, Monodelphis is significantly rich in non-LTR retrotransposons from the LINE-1, CR1, and RTE families, with >29% of the genome sequence comprised of copies of these elements. Monodelphis has at least four families of RTE, and we report support for horizontal transfer of this non-LTR retrotransposon. In addition to short interspersed elements (SINEs) mobilized by L1, we found several families of SINEs that appear to use RTE elements for mobilization. In contrast to L1-mobilized SINEs, the RTE-mobilized SINEs in Monodelphis appear to shift from G+C-rich to G+C-low regions with time. Endogenous retroviruses have colonized approximately 10% of the opossum genome. We found that their density is enhanced in centromeric and/or telomeric regions of most Monodelphis chromosomes. We identified 83 new families of ancient repeats that are highly conserved across amniotic lineages, including 14 LINE-derived repeats; and a novel SINE element, MER131, that may have been exapted as a highly conserved functional noncoding RNA, and whose emergence dates back to approximately 300 million years ago. Many of these conserved repeats are also present in human, and are highly over-represented in predicted cis-regulatory modules. Seventy-six of the 83 families are present in chicken in addition to mammals.

  14. Postnatal development of limb motor innervation in the opossum Monodelphis domestica: immunohistochemical localization of acetylcholine.

    PubMed

    Barthélemy, Dorothy; Cabana, Thérèse

    2005-03-31

    The development of limb motor innervation was studied in the opossum Monodelphis domestica, a marsupial born with immature mobile forelimbs and immobile hindlimbs. Choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), the synthesis enzyme of acetylcholine, was evidenced on sections of the spinal enlargements, and the protein that transports acetylcholine (VAChT) on limb sections. In newborn, ChAT immunolabeling occurred in small, undifferentiated neurons of the ventral horn, presumably motoneurons, and intermediate and dorsal gray matter, and in the presumptive white matter, all less abundant at lumbosacral than brachial levels. Scant immunolabeling for VAChT marked small terminal-looking profiles, presumably growth cones or immature neuromuscular junctions, decreasing proximodistally in each limb and being less abundant in hindlimbs than forelimbs; it was absent distally in the foot where no muscle tissue was formed. ChAT labeling disappeared from the white matter within 1 week while cholinergic neurons increased in number and size. Motoneurons segregated in a medial and lateral group by 4-5 weeks. VAChT-labeled profiles increased in number and size and they flattened along a proximodistal gradient within each limb, but later in the hindlimbs than in the forelimbs. Labeling appeared in distal foot muscle at 1 week. The density, size, and shape of terminals became comparable in all segments of a given limb by 3-4 weeks. Their number and size increased, and by 8 weeks, they clustered in 3 or 4 along muscle fibers. Thus, limb motor innervation develops largely postnatally in the opossum, along rostrocaudal and proximodistal gradients. Its timecourse is compared to the development of motor behaviors.

  15. Seasonal source-sink dynamics at the edge of a species' range

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kanda, L.L.; Fuller, T.K.; Sievert, P.R.; Kellogg, R.L.

    2009-01-01

    The roles of dispersal and population dynamics in determining species' range boundaries recently have received theoretical attention but little empirical work. Here we provide data on survival, reproduction, and movement for a Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) population at a local distributional edge in central Massachusetts (USA). Most juvenile females that apparently exploited anthropogenic resources survived their first winter, whereas those using adjacent natural resources died of starvation. In spring, adult females recolonized natural areas. A life-table model suggests that a population exploiting anthropogenic resources may grow, acting as source to a geographically interlaced sink of opossums using only natural resources, and also providing emigrants for further range expansion to new human-dominated landscapes. In a geographical model, this source-sink dynamic is consistent with the local distribution identified through road-kill surveys. The Virginia opossum's exploitation of human resources likely ameliorates energetically restrictive winters and may explain both their local distribution and their northward expansion in unsuitable natural climatic regimes. Landscape heterogeneity, such as created by urbanization, may result in source-sink dynamics at highly localized scales. Differential fitness and individual dispersal movements within local populations are key to generating regional distributions, and thus species ranges, that exceed expectations. ?? 2009 by the Ecological Society of America.

  16. Experimental inoculation of domestic cats (Felis domesticus) with Sarcocystis neurona or S. neurona-like merozoites.

    PubMed

    Butcher, M; Lakritz, J; Halaney, A; Branson, K; Gupta, G D; Kreeger, J; Marsh, A E

    2002-07-29

    Sarcocystis neurona is the parasite most commonly associated with equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM). Recently, cats (Felis domesticus) have been demonstrated to be an experimental intermediate host in the life cycle of S. neurona. This study was performed to determine if cats experimentally inoculated with culture-derived S. neurona merozoites develop tissue sarcocysts infectious to opossums (Didelphis virginiana), the definitive host of S. neurona. Four cats were inoculated with S. neurona or S. neurona-like merozoites and all developed antibodies reacting to S. neurona merozoite antigens, but tissue sarcocysts were detected in only two cats. Muscle tissues from the experimentally inoculated cats with and without detectable sarcocysts were fed to laboratory-reared opossums. Sporocysts were detected in gastrointestinal (GI) scrapings of one opossum fed experimentally infected feline tissues. The study results suggest that cats can develop tissue cysts following inoculation with culture-derived Sarcocystis sp. merozoites in which the particular isolate was originally derived from a naturally infected cat with tissue sarcocysts. This is in contrast to cats which did not develop tissue cysts when inoculated with S. neurona merozoites originally derived from a horse with EPM. These results indicate present biological differences between the culture-derived merozoites of two Sarcocystis isolates, Sn-UCD 1 and Sn-Mucat 2.

  17. Distribution and function of TrkB receptors in the developing brain of the opossum Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Bartkowska, Katarzyna; Aniszewska, Agata; Turlejski, Kris; Djavadian, Ruzanna L

    2014-07-01

    The expression, development pattern, spatiotemporal distribution, and function of TrkB receptors were investigated during the postnatal brain development of the opossum. Full-length TrkB receptor expression was detectable in the newborn opossum, whereas three different short forms that are expressed in the adult brain were almost undetectable in the newborn opossum brain. The highest level of full-length TrkB receptor expression was observed at P35, which corresponds to the time of eye opening. We found that in different brain structures, TrkB receptors were localized in various compartments of cells. The hypothalamus was distinguished by the presence of TrkB receptors not only in cell bodies but also in the neuropil. Double immunofluroscent staining for TrkB and a marker for the identification of the cell phenotype in several brain regions such as the olfactory bulb, hippocampus, thalamus, and cerebellum showed that unlike in eutherians, in the opossum, TrkB receptors were predominantly expressed in neurons. A lack of TrkB receptors in glial cells, particularly astrocytes and oligodendrocytes, provides evidence that TrkB receptors can play a functionally different role in marsupials than in eutherians. The effects of TrkB signaling on the development of cortical progenitor cells were examined in vitro using shRNAs. Blockade of the endogenous TrkB receptor expression induced a decrease in the number of progenitor cells proliferation, whereas the number of apoptotic progenitor cells increased. These changes were statistically significant but relatively small. In contrast, TrkB signaling was strongly involved in regulation of the cortical progenitor cell differentiation process.

  18. Exceptionally preserved North American Paleogene metatherians: adaptations and discovery of a major gap in the opossum fossil record.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo; Ladevèze, Sandrine; Horovitz, Inés; Argot, Christine; Hooker, Jeremy J; Macrini, Thomas E; Martin, Thomas; Moore-Fay, Scott; de Muizon, Christian; Schmelzle, Thomas; Asher, Robert J

    2007-06-22

    A major gap in our knowledge of the evolution of marsupial mammals concerns the Paleogene of the northern continents, a critical time and place to link the early history of metatherians in Asia and North America with the more recent diversification in South America and Australia. We studied new exceptionally well-preserved partial skeletons of the Early Oligocene fossil Herpetotherium from the White River Formation in Wyoming, which allowed us to test the relationships of this taxon and examine its adaptations. Herpetotheriidae, with a fossil record extending from the Cretaceous to the Miocene, has traditionally been allied with opossums (Didelphidae) based on fragmentary material, mainly dentitions. Analysis of the new material reveals that several aspects of the cranial and postcranial anatomy, some of which suggests a terrestrial lifestyle, distinguish Herpetotherium from opossums. We found that Herpetotherium is the sister group to the crown group Marsupialia and is not a stem didelphid. Combination of the new palaeontological data with molecular divergence estimates, suggests the presence of a long undocumented gap in the fossil record of opossums extending some 45Myr from the Early Miocene to the Cretaceous.

  19. A VpreB3 homologue in a marsupial, the gray short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xinxin; Parra, Zuly E; Miller, Robert D

    2012-08-01

    A VpreB surrogate light (SL) chain was identified for the first time in a marsupial, the opossum Monodelphis domestica. Comparing the opossum VpreB to homologues from eutherian (placental mammals) and avian species supported the marsupial gene being VpreB3. VpreB3 is a protein that is not known to traffic to the cell surface as part of the pre-B cell receptor. Rather, VpreB3 associates with nascent immunoglobulin chains in the endoplasmic reticulum. Homologues of other known SL chains VpreB1, VpreB2, and λ5, which are found in eutherian mammals, were not found in the opossum genome, nor have they been identified in the genomes of nonmammals. VpreB3 likely evolved from earlier gene duplication, independent of that which generated VpreB1 and VpreB2 in eutherians. The apparent absence of VpreB1, VpreB2, and λ5 in marsupials suggests that an extracellular pre-B cell receptor containing SL chains, as it has been defined in humans and mice, may be unique to eutherian mammals. In contrast, the conservation of VpreB3 in marsupials and its presence in nonmammals is consistent with previous hypotheses that it is playing a more primordial role in B cell development.

  20. Pollen limitation and reduced reproductive success are associated with local genetic effects in Prunus virginiana, a widely distributed self-incompatible shrub

    PubMed Central

    Suarez-Gonzalez, Adriana; Good, Sara V.

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims A vast quantity of empirical evidence suggests that insufficient quantity or quality of pollen may lead to a reduction in fruit set, in particular for self-incompatible species. This study uses an integrative approach that combines field research with marker gene analysis to understand the factors affecting reproductive success in a widely distributed self-incompatible species, Prunus virginiana (Rosaceae). Methods Twelve patches of P. virginiana distributed within three populations that differed in degree of disturbance were examined. Two of the sites were small (7–35 km2) remnants of forest in an intensively used agricultural landscape, while the third was continuous (350 km2) and less disturbed. Field studies (natural and hand cross-pollinations) were combined with marker gene analyses (microsatellites and S-locus) in order to explore potential factors affecting pollen delivery and consequently reproductive success at landscape (between populations) and fine scales (within populations). Key Results Reductions in reproductive output were found in the two fragments compared with the continuous population, and suggest that pollen is an important factor limiting fruit production. Genetic analyses carried out in one of the fragments and in the continuous site suggest that even though S-allele diversity is high in both populations, the fragment exhibits an increase in biparental inbreeding and correlated paternity. The increase in biparental inbreeding in the fragment is potentially attributable to variation in the density of individuals and/or the spatial distribution of genotypes among populations, both of which could alter mating dynamics. Conclusions By using a novel integrative approach, this study shows that even though P. virginiana is a widespread species, fragmented populations can experience significant reductions in fruit set and pollen limitation in the field. Deatiled examination of one fragmented population suggests that these

  1. Seasonal changes in depth of water uptake for encroaching trees Juniperus virginiana and Pinus ponderosa and two dominant C4 grasses in a semiarid grassland.

    PubMed

    Eggemeyer, Kathleen D; Awada, Tala; Harvey, F Edwin; Wedin, David A; Zhou, Xinhua; Zanner, C William

    2009-02-01

    We used the natural abundance of stable isotopic ratios of hydrogen and oxygen in soil (0.05-3 m depth), plant xylem and precipitation to determine the seasonal changes in sources of soil water uptake by two native encroaching woody species (Pinus ponderosa P. & C. Lawson, Juniperus virginiana L.), and two C(4) grasses (Schizachyrium scoparium (Michx.) Nash, Panicum virgatum L.), in the semiarid Sandhills grasslands of Nebraska. Grass species extracted most of their water from the upper soil profile (0.05-0.5 m). Soil water uptake from below 0.5 m depth increased under drought, but appeared to be minimal in relation to the total water use of these species. The grasses senesced in late August in response to drought conditions. In contrast to grasses, P. ponderosa and J. virginiana trees exhibited significant plasticity in sources of water uptake. In winter, tree species extracted a large fraction of their soil water from below 0.9 m depth. In spring when shallow soil water was available, tree species used water from the upper soil profile (0.05-0.5 m) and relied little on water from below 0.5 m depth. During the growing season (May-August) significant differences between the patterns of tree species water uptake emerged. Pinus ponderosa acquired a large fraction of its water from the 0.05-0.5 and 0.5-0.9 m soil profiles. Compared with P. ponderosa, J. virginiana acquired water from the 0.05-0.5 m profile during the early growing season but the amount extracted from this profile progressively declined between May and August and was mirrored by a progressive increase in the fraction taken up from 0.5-0.9 m depth, showing plasticity in tracking the general increase in soil water content within the 0.5-0.9 m profile, and being less responsive to growing season precipitation events. In September, soil water content declined to its minimum, and both tree species shifted soil water uptake to below 0.9 m. Tree transpiration rates (E) and water potentials (Psi) indicated

  2. Prevalence of antibodies to Neospora caninum, Sarcocystis neurona, and Toxoplasma gondii in wild horses from central Wyoming.

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Mitchell, S M; Morrow, J K; Rhyan, J C; Stewart, L M; Granstrom, D E; Romand, S; Thulliez, P; Saville, W J; Lindsay, D S

    2003-08-01

    Sarcocystis neurona, Neospora caninum, N. hughesi, and Toxoplasma gondii are 4 related coccidians considered to be associated with encephalomyelitis in horses. The source of infection for N. hughesi is unknown, whereas opossums, dogs, and cats are the definitive hosts for S. neurona, N. caninum, and T. gondii, respectively. Seroprevalence of these coccidians in 276 wild horses from central Wyoming outside the known range of the opossum (Didelphis virginiana) was determined. Antibodies to T. gondii were found only in 1 of 276 horses tested with the modified agglutination test using 1:25, 1:50, and 1:500 dilutions. Antibodies to N. caninum were found in 86 (31.1%) of the 276 horses tested with the Neospora agglutination test--the titers were 1:25 in 38 horses, 1:50 in 15, 1:100 in 9, 1:200 in 8, 1:400 in 4, 1:800 in 2, 1:1,600 in 2, 1:3,200 in 2, and 1:12,800 in 1. Antibodies to S. neurona were assessed with the serum immunoblot; of 276 horses tested, 18 had antibodies considered specific for S. neurona. Antibodies to S. neurona also were assessed with the S. neurona direct agglutination test (SAT). Thirty-nine of 265 horses tested had SAT antibodies--in titers of 1:50 in 26 horses and 1:100 in 13. The presence of S. neurona antibodies in horses in central Wyoming suggests that either there is cross-reactivity between S. neurona and some other infection or a definitive host other than opossum is the source of infection. In a retrospective study, S. neurona antibodies were not found by immunoblot in the sera of 243 horses from western Canada outside the range of D. virginiana.

  3. Final report on the safety assessment of Juniperus communis Extract, Juniperus oxycedrus Extract, Juniperus oxycedrus Tar, Juniperus phoenicea extract, and Juniperus virginiana Extract.

    PubMed

    2001-01-01

    The common juniper is a tree that grows in Europe, Asia, and North America. The ripe fruit of Juniperus communis and Juniperus oxycedrus is alcohol extracted to produce Juniperus Communis Extract and Juniperus Oxycedrus Extract, respectively. Juniperus Oxycedrus Tar is the volatile oil from the wood of J. oxycedrus. Juniperus Phoenicea Extract comes from the gum of Juniperus phoenicea, and Juniperus Virginiana Extract is extracted from the wood of Juniperus virginiana. Although Juniperus Oxycedrus Tar is produced as a by-product of distillation, no information was available on the manufacturing process for any of the Extracts. Oils derived from these varieties of juniper are used solely as fragrance ingredients; they are commonly produced using steam distillation of the source material, but it is not known if that procedure is used to produce extracts. One report does state that the chemical composition of Juniper Communis Oil and Juniperus Communis Extract is similar, each containing a wide variety of terpenoids and aromatic compounds, with the occasional aliphatic alcohols and aldehydes, and, more rarely, alkanes. The principle component of Juniperus Oxycedrus Tar is cadinene, a sesquiterpene, but cresol and guaiacol are also found. No data were available, however, indicating the extent to which there would be variations in composition that may occur as a result of extraction differences or any other factor such as plant growth conditions. Information on the composition of the other ingredients was not available. All of the Extracts function as biological additives in cosmetic formulations, and Juniperus Oxycedrus Tar is used as a hair-conditioning agent and a fragrance component. Most of the available safety test data are from studies using oils derived from the various varieties of juniper. Because of the expected similarity in composition to the extract, these data were considered. Acute studies using animals show little toxicity of the oil or tar. The oils

  4. Overexpression of the pepper transcription factor CaPF1 in transgenic Virginia pine (Pinus Virginiana Mill.) confers multiple stress tolerance and enhances organ growth.

    PubMed

    Tang, Wei; Charles, Thomas M; Newton, Ronald J

    2005-11-01

    Transcription factors play an important role in regulating gene expression in response to stress and pathogen tolerance. We describe here that overexpression of an ERF/AP2 pepper transcription factor (CaPF1) in transgenic Virginia pine (Pinus virginiana Mill.) confers tolerance to heavy metals Cadmium, Copper, and Zinc, to heat, and to pathogens Bacillus thuringiensis and Staphylococcus epidermidis, as by the survival rate of transgenic plants and the number of decreasing pathogen cells in transgenic tissues. Measurement of antioxidant enzymes ascorbate peroxidase (APOX), glutathione reductase (GR), and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities demonstrated that the level of the enzyme activities was higher in transgenic Virginia pine plants overexpressing the CaPF1 gene, which may protect cells from the oxidative damage caused by stresses, compared to the controls. Constitutive overexpression of CaPF1 gene enhanced organ growth by increasing organ size and cell numbers in transgenic Virginia pine plants over those in control plants.

  5. Biochemical genetics of opossum aldehyde dehydrogenase 3: evidence for three ALDH3A-like genes and an ALDH3B-like gene.

    PubMed

    Holmes, Roger S

    2010-04-01

    Mammalian ALDH3 isozymes participate in peroxidic and fatty aldehyde metabolism, and in anterior eye tissue UV-filtration. BLAT analyses were undertaken of the opossum genome using rat ALDH3A1, ALDH3A2, ALDH3B1, and ALDH3B2 amino acid sequences. Two predicted opossum ALDH3A1-like genes and an ALDH3A2-like gene were observed on chromosome 2, as well as an ALDH3B-like gene, which showed similar intron-exon boundaries with other mammalian ALDH3-like genes. Opossum ALDH3 subunit sequences and structures were highly conserved, including residues previously shown to be involved in catalysis and coenzyme binding for rat ALDH3A1. Eleven glycine residues were conserved for all of the opossum ALDH3-like sequences examined, including two glycine residues previously located within the stem of the rat ALDH3A1 active site funnel. Phylogeny studies of human, rat, opossum, and chicken ALDH3-like sequences indicated that the common ancestor for ALDH3A- and ALDH3B-like genes predates the appearance of birds during vertebrate evolution.

  6. Nitric oxide: Mediator of nonadrenergic noncholinergic nerve-induced responses of opossum esophageal muscle

    SciTech Connect

    Murray, J.; Du, C.; Conklin, J.L.; Ledlow, A.; Bates, J.N. )

    1991-03-15

    Nonadrenergic noncholinergic (NANC) nerves of the opossum esophagus mediate relaxation of circular muscle from the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and the off contraction of circular esophageal muscle. The latencies between the end of the stimulus and the off contraction describe a gradient such that the latency is longest in muscle from the caudad esophagus. N{sup G}-nitro-L-arginine (L-NNA), an inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase, and nitric oxide were used to test the hypothesis that NO is a mediator of these nerve-induced responses. Both electrical field stimulation (EFS) of intrinsic esophageal nerves and exogenous NO relaxed LES muscle. Only EFS-induced relaxation was inhibited by L-NNA. L-arginine, the substrate for NO synthase, antagonized the inhibitory effect of L-NNA. Exogenous NO neither relaxed nor contracted circular esophageal muscle. Both the amplitude and the latency of the off contraction were diminished by L-NNA. L-arginine antagonized the action of L-NNA. N{sup G}-nitro-L-arginine also attenuated the gradient in the latency of the off response by shortening latencies in muscle form the caudad esophagus. It had no effect on cholinergic nerve-induced contraction of longitudinal esophageal muscle. These data support the hypothesis that NO or an NO-containing compound mediates NANC nerve-induced responses of the esophagus and LES.

  7. Biogeographic determinants of genetic diversification in the mouse opossum Gracilinanus agilis (Didelphimorphia: Didelphidae).

    PubMed

    Faria, Michel Barros; Nascimento, Fabrícia F; Oliveira, João Alves de; Bonvicino, Cibele Rodrigues

    2013-01-01

    The genetic variation of Brazilian populations of the mouse opossum Gracilinanus agilis was analyzed on the basis of the mitochondrial Cytochrome b gene (mt-Cytb) and the exon 28 of the nuclear Von Willenbrand factor (e28-vWF). The radiation of Gracilinanus was dated at 4.80 Ma, with the appearance of G. agilis around 1.93 Ma. Gracilinanus aceramarcae appeared as the first offshoot of the genus, followed by Gracilinanus emiliae and Gracilinanus microtarsus, which composed a sister clade of G. agilis. Phylogeographic analyses and genetic distance estimates indicate G. agilis as a single species, with haplotypes grouping in three well-supported clades, one from midwestern Brazil, a second one from northeastern Brazil, and a third one from eastern Brazil. Phylogeographic patterns in G. agilis were interpreted in search for congruence between genetic breaks and historic geomorphologic events documented for the region stretching northeastern to central-western of the Brazilian shield. The Rio São Francisco and the Serra Geral de Goiás were found to represent relevant geographic barriers to gene flow for G. agilis populations as well as for populations of several other widespread taxa.

  8. Highly conserved d-loop sequences in woolly mouse opossums Marmosa (Micoureus).

    PubMed

    Rocha, Rita Gomes; Leite, Yuri Luiz Reis; Ferreira, Eduardo; Justino, Juliana; Costa, Leonora Pires

    2012-04-01

    This study reports the occurrence of highly conserved d-loop sequences in the mitochondrial genome of the woolly mouse opossum genus Marmosa subgenus Micoureus (Mammalia, Didelphimorphia, Didelphidae). Sixty-six sequences of Marmosa (Micoureus) demerarae, Marmosa (Micoureus) constantiae, and Marmosa (Micoureus) paraguayanus were amplified using universal d-loop primers and virtually no genetic differences were detected within and among species. These sequences matched the control region of the mitochondrial marsupial genome. Analyses of qualitative aspects of these sequences revealed that their structural composition is very similar to the d-loop region of other didelphid species. However, the total lack of variability has not been reported from other closely related species. The data analyzed here support the occurrence of highly conserved d-loop sequences, and we found no support for the hypothesis that these sequences are d-loop-like nuclear pseudogenes. Furthermore, the control and flanking regions obtained with different primers corroborate the lack of variability of the d-loop sequences in the mitochondrial genome of Marmosa (Micoureus).

  9. Early postnatal B cell ontogeny and antibody repertoire maturation in the opossum, Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xinxin; Sharp, Alana R; Miller, Robert D

    2012-01-01

    Marsupials are a lineage of mammals noted for giving birth to highly altricial young, which complete much of their "fetal" development externally attached to a teat. Postnatal B cell ontogeny and diversity was investigated in a model marsupial species, the gray short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica. The results support the initiation of B cell development late in gestation and progressing into the first two weeks of postnatal life. Transcription of CD79a and CD79b was detected in embryonic tissue prior to birth, while immunoglobulin heavy chain locus transcription was not detected until the first postnatal 24 hours. Transcription of the Ig light chains was not detected until postnatal day 7 at the earliest. The predicted timing of the earliest appearance of mature B cells and completion of gene rearrangements is consistent with previous analyses on the timing of endogenous antibody responses in newborn marsupials. The diversity of early B cell IgH chains is limited, as has been seen in fetal humans and mice, but lacks bias in the gene segments used to encode the variable domains. Newborn light chain diversity is, from the start, comparable to that of the adult, consistent with an earlier hypothesis that light chains contribute extensively to antibody diversity in this species.

  10. Integrated cytogenetic BAC map of the genome of the gray, short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Duke, S E; Samollow, P B; Mauceli, E; Lindblad-Toh, K; Breen, M

    2007-01-01

    The generation of high-quality genome assemblies for numerous species is advancing at a rapid pace. As the number of genome assemblies increases, so does our ability to investigate genome relationships and their contributions to unraveling complex biological, evolutionary, and biomedical processes. A key process in the generation of a genome assembly is to determine and verify the precise physical location and order of the large sequence blocks (scaffolds) that result from the assembly. For organisms of relatively recent common ancestry this process may be achieved largely through comparative sequence alignment. However, as the evolutionary distance between species lengthens, the use of comparative sequence alignment becomes increasingly less reliable. Simultaneous cytogenetic mapping, using multicolor fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH) analysis, offers an alternative means to define the cytogenetic location and relative order of DNA sequences, thereby anchoring the genome sequence to the karyotype. In this article we report the molecular cytogenetic locations of 415 bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones that served to anchor sequence scaffolds of the gray, short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica) to its karyotype, which enabled accurate integration of these regions into the genome assembly.

  11. Estrogen in peripheral plasma during postnatal development in gray short-tailed opossums.

    PubMed

    Fadem, B H; Harder, J D

    1992-09-01

    Plasma samples obtained from gray short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica) at selected ages through adulthood were assayed for estrogen (E). Levels of E in one mixed-sex plasma pool of animals aged postnatal day (pd) 4 and one of two mixed-sex plasma pools of animals aged pd 8 were over 300 pg/ml. On pd 16, E levels in males and females averaged 30 and 47 pg/ml, respectively. While no significant sex differences in E levels were seen on pd 30 or pd 60, mean E levels for animals on pd 30 were significantly higher (275 pg/ml in males and 181 pg/ml in females) than on pd 60 (78 pg/ml in males and 85 pg/ml in females) or pd 145 (adults). In adult animals, estrogen levels in females averaged 54 pg/ml; all adult male E levels were below the limit of sensitivity of the assay. Maternal E levels, which did not vary significantly by age of litter, averaged 10 pg/ml overall. These findings are discussed with respect to possible significance of high E levels in developing marsupials for sexual differentiation and general brain development.

  12. Plasma concentrations of progesterone and testosterone in captive woolly opossums (Caluromys philander).

    PubMed

    Perret, M; Atramentowicz, M

    1989-01-01

    Plasma testosterone and progesterone concentrations were measured in captive woolly opossums, a didelphid marsupial originating from neotropical forests in French Guyana. Although not exposed to cyclic environmental conditions as in the field, both sexes exhibited spontaneous circannual changes in sexual hormones. Males showed synchronous variations in plasma testosterone characterized by significant elevated concentrations during April and September (8.6 +/- 1 ng/ml, N = 5) and lower levels from May to July (3.6 +/- 0.4 ng/ml). In females, synchronous periods of 2-3 successive oestrous cycles occurred. Between these periods, females remained acyclic. The oestrous cycle, determined by urogenital smears, lasted 28-45 days (n = 14) and included a 20-day spontaneous luteal phase in which progesterone concentrations reached 30-40 ng/ml plasma. Even though testosterone concentrations in paired males increased significantly in response to oestrous periods of the paired females, spontaneous circannual rhythms of sexual activity were not well synchronized between the sexes in captivity. When compared to field data, sexual activity of captive animals followed a pattern similar to that in wild animals, without any changes in males but with a delay of 3 months in females.

  13. Postnatal development of Leydig cells in the opossum (Monodelphis domestica): an immunocytochemical and endocrinological study.

    PubMed

    Xie, Q; Mackay, S; Ullmann, S L; Gilmore, D P; Payne, A P; Gray, C

    1998-03-01

    This study involved characterization of Leydig cells of the opossum Monodelphis domestica, functionally by immunocytochemical identification of the enzyme 3 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3 beta-HSD) and by measurement of testosterone levels using RIA. Immunostaining for 3 beta-HSD was first detected in a few Leydig cells on Day 16, was increased by Day 24, reached a peak at 4 mo, and was present even in senescent (3 yr) animals. Plasma testosterone was first measurable (0.35 nM) at prepuberty (3.5 mo). Prior to that, plasma testosterone concentrations were uniformly below the level of detection (< 0.3 nM) in both sexes from Day 5 to 2.5 mo. By 4 mo (puberty), plasma testosterone levels in males had risen significantly to 1.53 +/- 0.35 nM, continuing to increase to 1.79 +/- 0.4 nM at 6 mo and peaking at 2.71 +/- 0.29 nM in the adult (1-2 yr). Ovarian testosterone concentrations were consistently lower than those in the testis, as were those of adrenals of both sexes. Thus the testis would appear to be the major source of androgen production throughout life in this species. Our immunocytochemical study suggests that in Monodelphis, puberty is reached at 4 mo, and this was further supported by a rise in circulating testosterone levels at this time.

  14. Membrane potential and mechanical responses of the opossum esophagus to vagal stimulation and swallowing.

    PubMed

    Rattan, S; Gidda, J S; Goyal, R K

    1983-10-01

    Studies were performed in anesthetized opossums. The electrical changes, recorded using a suction electrode applied to the outside of the esophagus, and mechanical activity, recorded by an intraluminal catheter, were monitored from 5 cm above the lower esophageal sphincter. Swallowing was associated with membrane hyperpolarization followed by depolarization and spike burst. Electrical stimulation of the decentralized vagus also caused a prompt hyperpolarization followed by an overshoot depolarization. Single pulses of stimulation caused primarily hyperpolarization. The amplitude and duration of hyperpolarization increased with increasing frequencies of vagal stimulation. Spike burst occurred as the membrane potential was recovering from the peak hyperpolarization and moving toward peak depolarization. The latency of onset of spike burst decreased with increasing frequency of vagal stimulation. The muscle contraction occurred after a latency. The latency of contractions, like the latency of spike burst, decreased with increased frequency of vagal stimulation. These studies show that (a) membrane hyperpolarization is present during the latent period of contraction associated with swallowing, suggesting that swallow-induced esophageal response may be mediated by vagal inhibitory pathway to the esophagus and (b) spike bursts can be temporally dissociated from depolarization by changing the vagal stimulation frequency, suggesting that spike burst and depolarization may be mediated by different excitatory mechanisms.

  15. Fish and opossum shrimp entrainment in the Mt. Elbert Pumped-Storage Power Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Maiolie, M.A.

    1987-01-01

    Impacts of operating the Mt. Elbert Pumped-Storage Power Plant on fish and opossum shrimp (mysis relicta) were investigated from 1981 to 1985 at Twin Lakes, Colorado to determine any negative effects on the Twin Lakes fishery. Daytime generation cycles entrained shrimp at densities averaging 0.05 to 0.23 shrimp/m/sup 3/ of discharge. Eight hour daytime generation cycles would entrain 50,000 to 300,000 shrimp at these rates. Generation cycles which occurred after dark entrained many times more shrimp with densities as high as 1.21 shrimp/m/sup 3/ of discharge. Entrainment density during nighttime pump-back cycles was much greater; averaging 2 to 17 shrimp/m/sup 3/ discharged. Six to 44 million shrimp were entrained during typical 8 h pump-back cycles. Differences between daytime and nighttime entrainment rates appeared to be caused by migration of shrimp into the water column at night making them more vulnerable to entrainment. Losses were estimated to have reduced Lower Twin Lake shrimp abundance by 39% in 1985.

  16. Seasonal population characteristics of the opossum shrimp, Mysis relicta, in southeastern Lake Michigan, 1970-71

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reynolds, James B.; DeGraeve, G.M.

    1972-01-01

    This study of depth distribution, abundance, growth, reproduction and standing crop of the opossum shrimp, Mysis relicta, in southeastern Lake Michigan was based on monthly samples collected from August 1970 through July 1971 (except February and March). Population density was usually low at 10-20 fathoms, moderate at 25-30 fathoms and relatively high at 35 fathoms and deeper. Abundance was highest in midsummer and lowest in December. Free-living mysids were 3-25 mm long. Average growth rate was 1 mm per month. At maximum lengths, females were longer than males. Weight increased as approximately the cube of the length. The population consisted mostly of juveniles during summer and autumn and subadults and adults in winter and spring. Sizable numbers of adults apparently moved to relatively shallow water (10-35 fathoms) in winter, where they bred and released their young. In deeper water (40 fathoms or more), some reproduction occurred throughout the year. Most recruitment was in April and May. Standing crop ranged as high as 50 kg per hectare. Mysis apparently has a one-year life cycle in southeastern Lake Michigan.

  17. Increase of annexin 1 immunoreactivity in spinal cord of newborn opossum (Monodelphis domestica) at the time when regeneration after injury stops being possible.

    PubMed

    Mladinic, M; Del Bel, E; Nicholls, J

    2007-11-01

    Annexins constitute a family of proteins that associate reversibly with cell membranes in a calcium dependent manner. We have studied the distribution of annexin 1, which is known to mediate anti-inflammatory actions of glucocorticoids, and which is upregulated after spinal cord injury, in newborn and adult South American opossum (Monodelphis domestica) spinal cord. We show the increase in the annexin 1 immunoreactivity in spinal cords of neonatal opossums over the critical period when regeneration after injury ceases to be possible. We further show the restricted and specific sites at which it is detected in adult opossum cerebellum and hippocampus. Since the procedures used in immunochemistry of annexin in CNS have in the past yielded conflicting results, different procedures were tested and shown to be reliable. As a control, annexin 1 distribution was surveyed in kidney.

  18. Angiotensin type 1 receptor resistance to blockade in the opossum proximal tubule cell due to variations in the binding pocket.

    PubMed

    Nistala, Ravi; Andresen, Bradley T; Pulakat, Lakshmi; Meuth, Alex; Sinak, Catherine; Mandavia, Chirag; Thekkumkara, Thomas; Speth, Robert C; Whaley-Connell, Adam; Sowers, James R

    2013-04-15

    Blockade of the angiotensin (ANG) II receptor type 1 (AT(1)R) with angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) is widely used in the treatment of hypertension. However, ARBs are variably effective in reducing blood pressure, likely due, in part, to polymorphisms in the ARB binding pocket of the AT(1)R. Therefore, we need a better understanding of variations/polymorphisms that alter binding of ARBs in heterogeneous patient populations. The opossum proximal tubule cell (OKP) line is commonly used in research to evaluate renal sodium handling and therefore blood pressure. Investigating this issue, we found natural sequence variations in the opossum AT(1)R paralleling those observed in the human AT(1)R. Therefore, we posited that these sequence variations may explain ARB resistance. We demonstrate that OKP cells express AT(1)R mRNA, bind (125)I-labeled ANG II, and exhibit ANG II-induced phosphorylation of Jak2. However, Jak2 phosphorylation is not inhibited by five different ARBs commonly used to treat hypertension. Additionally, nonradioactive ANG II competes (125)I-ANG II efficiently, whereas a 10-fold molar excess of olmesartan and the ANG II receptor type 2 blocker PD-123319 is unable to block (125)I-ANG II binding. In contrast, ANG II binding to OKP cells stably expressing rat AT(1A)Rs, which have a conserved AT(1)R-binding pocket with human AT(1)R, is efficiently inhibited by olmesartan. A novel observation was that resistance to ARB binding to opossum AT(1)Rs correlates with variations from the human receptor at positions 108, 163, 192, and 198 within the ARB-binding pocket. These observations highlight the potential utility of evaluating AT(1)R polymorphisms within the ARB-binding pocket in various hypertensive populations.

  19. Demography and population dynamics of the mouse opossum (Thylamys elegans) in semi-arid Chile: seasonality, feedback structure and climate.

    PubMed Central

    Lima, M.; Stenseth, N. C.; Yoccoz, N. G.; Jaksic, F. M.

    2001-01-01

    Here we present, to the authors' knowledge for the very first time for a small marsupial, a thorough analysis of the demography and population dynamics of the mouse opossum (Thylamys elegans) in western South America. We test the relative importance of feedback structure and climatic factors (rainfall and the Southern Oscillation Index) in explaining the temporal variation in the demography of the mouse opossum. The demographic information was incorporated into a stage-structured population dynamics model and the model's predictions were compared with observed patterns. The mouse opossum's capture rates showed seasonal (within-year) and between-year variability, with individuals having higher capture rates during late summer and autumn and lower capture rates during winter and spring. There was also a strong between-year effect on capture probabilities. The reproductive (the fraction of reproductively active individuals) and recruitment rates showed a clear seasonal and a between-year pattern of variation with the peak of reproductive activity occuring during winter and early spring. In addition, the fraction of reproductive individuals was positively related to annual rainfall, while population density and annual rainfall positively influenced the recruitment rate. The survival rates were negatively related to annual rainfall. The average finite population growth rate during the study period was estimated to be 1.011 +/- 0.0019 from capture-recapture estimates. While the annual growth rate estimated from the seasonal linear matrix models was 1.026, the subadult and adult survival and maturation rates represent between 54% (winter) and 81% (summer) of the impact on the annual growth rate. PMID:11571053

  20. Immunolocalization of cation-chloride cotransporters in the developing and mature spinal cord of opossums, Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Phan, Ha-Loan; Pflieger, Jean-François

    2013-01-01

    Spinal inhibition is required to generate coordinated outputs between antagonistic muscles during locomotion. It relies on low neuronal chloride concentration set by two cation-chloride cotransporters, NKCC1 and KCC2 which, respectively, pumps Cl(-) in or out of neurons. It is generally accepted that NKCC1 is gradually inactivated during development, while KCC2 is upregulated and activated, resulting in low intracellular [Cl(-)]. Newborn opossums are very immature but perform rhythmic and alternate movements of the forelimbs to crawl on the mother's belly and attach to a teat. Their hindlimbs are immobile. The alternation of the forelimbs suggests that mechanisms allowing spinal inhibition are present at birth. We studied the anatomical basis of inhibition in the spinal enlargements of postnatal opossums by immunolocalizing NKCC1 and KCC2. In some specimens, motoneurons and sensory afferents were labeled with TRDA prior to immunolabeling. At birth, both NKCC1 and KCC2 are detected in the presumptive gray and white matter of the ventral and the intermediolateral cord of both enlargements, but are sparse in the dorsal horn, where KCC2 is mostly seen on a small bundle of dendrites along primary afferents. KCC2 labeling is bright and has a mesh-like appearance in the gray matter and a radial appearance in the white matter, whereas NKCC1 is pale and diffuse. The subsequent expression of the cotransporters follows general ventrodorsal and mediolateral gradients, with the lumbar segments slightly lagging the cervical segments, until the mature pattern is observed around the 5th week. At all ages studied, KCC2 labeling is strong in the periphery of neurons. NKCC1 labeling decreases and becomes more uniformly distributed in the cells with age. Despite the significant anatomical and motor differences between the forelimbs and the hindlimbs of neonatal opossums, the maturation of KCC2 and NKCC1 is quite similar in both enlargements.

  1. Correlation between dopaminergic phenotype and expression of calretinin in the midbrain nuclei of the opossum (Monodelphis domestica): an immunohistological study.

    PubMed

    Klejbor, Ilona; Ludkiewicz, Beata; Wojcik, Sławomir; Turlejski, Krzysztof

    2013-01-01

    We investigated distribution and morphology of neurons of the midbrain nuclei: the ventral tegmental area (VTA), substantia nigra (SN) and periaqueductal gray (PAG) of the adult grey short-tailed opossums that were double immunolabeled for the presence of calretinin (CR) and/or tyrosine hydroxylase (TH). The majority of TH-immunopositive neurons and fibers were located in the VTA, SN, and only scarce population of small neurons expressing TH was present in the PAG. In the SN 80 percent of TH-expressing neurons had large cell bodies, and only a small fraction had small perikarya. In the PAG populations of large and medium sized neurons were equal and 20 percent of neurons had small perikarya. Much scarcer population of TH-immunoreactive neurons in the PAG consisted of large or small neurons in its dorsal part (PAGd) and almost exclusively small neurons in the ventral part (PAGv). Distribution of neurons expressing TH and their types in the opossum are similar to those in rodents. The majority of CR-immunolabeled neurons were found in the VTA. In its subdivision, the parabrachal pigmented nucleus (PBP) cells expressing CR were approximately 28 percent more numerous than cells expressing TH. In spite of that, only 42 percent of TH-expressing neurons coexpressed CR. The high degree of colocalization TH and CR was observed in the SN. We propose that a higher percentage of TH/CR colocalization, which is observed in the opossums SN, may give them the ability to adapt to changes in their motor functions.

  2. Myosin isoform expression in the prehensile tails of didelphid marsupials: functional differences between arboreal and terrestrial opossums.

    PubMed

    Rupert, J E; Schmidt, E Cordero; Moreira-Soto, A; Herrera, B Rodríguez; Vandeberg, J L; Butcher, M T

    2014-08-01

    Prehensile tails are defined as having the ability to grasp objects and are commonly used as a fifth appendage during arboreal locomotion. Despite the independent evolution of tail prehensility in numerous mammalian genera, data relating muscle structure, physiology, and function of prehensile tails are largely incomplete. Didelphid marsupials make an excellent model to relate myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoform fiber type with structure/function of caudal muscles, as all opossums have a prehensile tail and tail use varies between arboreal and terrestrial forms. Expanding on our previous work in the Virginia opossum, this study tests the hypothesis that arboreal and terrestrial opossums differentially express faster versus slower MHC isoforms, respectively. MHC isoform expression and percent fiber type distribution were determined in the flexor caudae longus (FCL) muscle of Caluromys derbianus (arboreal) and Monodelphis domestica (terrestrial), using a combination of gel electrophoresis and immunohistochemistry analyses. C. derbianus expresses three MHC isoforms (1, 2A, 2X) that are distributed (mean percentage) as 8.2% MHC-1, 2.6% 1/2A, and 89.2% 2A/X hybrid fibers. M. domestica also expresses MHC-1, 2A, and 2X, in addition to the 2B isoform, distributed as 17.0% MHC-1, 1.3% 1/2A, 9.0% 2A, 75.2% 2A/X, and 0.3% 2X/B hybrid fibers. The distribution of similar isoform fiber types differed significantly between species (P < 0.001). Although not statistically significant, C. derbianus was observed to have larger cross-sectional area (CSA) for each corresponding fiber type along with a greater amount of extra-cellular matrix. An overall faster fiber type composition (and larger fibers) in the tail of an arboreal specialist supports our hypothesis, and correlates with higher muscle force required for tail hanging and arboreal maneuvering on terminal substrates. Conversely, a broader distribution of highly oxidative fibers in the caudal musculature is well suited for

  3. Progesterone receptor in the forebrain of female gray short-tailed opossums: effects of exposure to male stimuli.

    PubMed

    Vitazka, Maria E; Cárdenas, Horacio; Cruz, Yolanda; Fadem, Barbara H; Norfolk, Jennifer R; Harder, John D

    2009-01-01

    Progesterone receptor immunoreactivity (PRir) in brain areas involved in reproductive behavior in eutherian species was examined for the first time in a female marsupial, the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica, hereinafter, opossum). PRir in nuclei of neurons, measured as area covered by stained nuclei, was seen in the arcuate nucleus (Arc); anteroventral periventricular nucleus (AVPv); bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BST); medial preoptic area (MPOA), and ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH), but not in control areas adjacent to the hypothalamus or cortex. Female opossums are induced into cytological, urogenital sinus (UGS), estrus by male pheromones and into behavioral estrus, i.e., receptivity, by pairing with a male, and both estradiol (E) and progesterone (P) are involved in induction of receptivity in intact and ovariectomized females. PRir in the AVPv, MPOA, and VMH was very low in females that had never been exposed to males or their scent marks, i.e., naïve anestrous (NVA) females, and either previous or current exposure to males or their scent marks was associated with elevated PRir. PRir was significantly higher in the AVPv and MPOA of anestrous females with previous but no current exposure to males and their scent marks, i.e., experienced anestrous (EXPA) females, than in NVA females, but PRir was significantly lower in the MPOA and VMH of EXPA females than in females that were behaviorally receptive and had recently copulated, i.e., behavioral receptive estrous (BRE) females. PRir was higher in the VMH of both UGS estrous (UGSE) and BRE females compared to that in EXPA animals, but PRir did not differ between UGSE and BRE females in any of the 3 brain areas examined, including the MPOA These results provide evidence that pheromonal induction of estrus and sexual receptivity in opossums is associated with elevation of PRir in the VMH and MPOA and that prior exposure to males or their pheromones, even in the absence of current male stimuli

  4. Amelotin Gene Structure and Expression during Enamel Formation in the Opossum Monodelphis domestica

    PubMed Central

    Gasse, Barbara; Liu, Xi; Corre, Erwan; Sire, Jean-Yves

    2015-01-01

    Amelotin (AMTN) is an ameloblast-secreted protein that belongs to the secretory calcium-binding phosphoprotein family, which also includes the enamel matrix proteins amelogenin, ameloblastin and enamelin. Although AMTN is supposed to play an important role in enamel formation, data were long limited to the rodents, in which it is expressed during the maturation stage. Recent comparative studies in sauropsids and amphibians revealed that (i) AMTN was expressed earlier, i.e. as soon as ameloblasts are depositing the enamel matrix, and (ii) AMTN structure was different, a change which mostly resulted from an intraexonic splicing in the large exon 8 of an ancestral mammal. The present study was performed to know whether the differences in AMTN structure and expression in rodents compared to non-mammalian tetrapods dated back to an early ancestral mammal or were acquired later in mammalian evolution. We sequenced, assembled and screened the jaw transcriptome of a neonate opossum Monodelphis domestica, a marsupial. We found two AMTN transcripts. Variant 1, representing 70.8% of AMTN transcripts, displayed the structure known in rodents, whereas variant 2 (29.2%) exhibited the nonmammalian tetrapod structure. Then, we studied AMTN expression during amelogenesis in a neonate specimen. We obtained similar data as those reported in rodents. These findings indicate that more than 180 million years ago, before the divergence of marsupials and placentals, changes occurred in AMTN function and structure. The spatiotemporal expression was delayed to the maturation stage of amelogenesis and the intraexonic splicing gave rise to isoform 1, encoded by variant 1 and lacking the RGD motif. The ancestral isoform 2, housing the RGD, was initially conserved, as demonstrated here in a marsupial, then secondarily lost in the placental lineages. These findings bring new elements towards our understanding of the non-prismatic to prismatic enamel transition that occurred at the onset of

  5. Long-term regulation of Na+,K+-ATPase in opossum kidney cells by ouabain.

    PubMed

    Silva, E; Soares-da-Silva, P

    2011-09-01

    Na(+),K(+)-ATPase, a basolateral transporter responsible for tubular reabsorption of Na(+) and for providing the driving force for vectorial transport of various solutes and ions, can also act as a signal transducer in response to the interaction with steroid hormones. At nanomolar concentrations ouabain binding to Na(+),K(+)-ATPase activates a signaling cascade that ultimately regulates several membrane transporters including Na(+),K(+)-ATPase. The present study evaluated the long-term effect of ouabain on Na(+),K(+)-ATPase activity (Na(+) transepithelial flux) and expression in opossum kidney (OK) cells with low (40) and high (80) number of passages in culture, which are known to overexpress Na(+),K(+)-ATPase (Silva et al., 2006, J Membr Biol 212, 163-175). Activation of a signal cascade was evaluated by quantification of ERK1/2 phosphorylation by Western blot. Na(+),K(+)-ATPase activity was determined by electrophysiological techniques and expression by Western blot. Incubation of cells with ouabain induced activation of ERK1/2. Long-term incubation with ouabain induced an increase in Na(+) transepithelial flux and Na(+),K(+)-ATPase expression only in OK cells with 80 passages in culture. This increase was prevented by incubation with inhibitors of MEK1/2 and PI-3K. In conclusion, ouabain-activated signaling cascade mediated by both MEK1/2 and PI-3K is responsible for long-term regulation of Na(+) transepithelial flux in epithelial renal cells. OK cell line with high number of passages is suggested to constitute a particular useful model for the understanding of ouabain-mediated regulation of Na(+) transport.

  6. Protein cytoskeleton and overexpression of Na(+),K(+)-ATPase in opossum kidney cells.

    PubMed

    Silva, Elisabete; Soares-da-Silva, Patrício

    2009-11-01

    Previous studies have shown that over time in culture opossum kidney (OK) cells are endowed with increased Na(+),K(+)-ATPase activity and expression (Silva et al., 2006, J Membr Biol 212:163-175; Silva and Soares-da-Silva, 2007, Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 293:R1764-R1770). The present work evaluated the cytoskeleton reorganization in OK cells at passages 40 and 80 in culture and its possible relationship with membrane transport proteins and cell morphology. It is shown that OK cells with 80 passages in culture have increased size, internal complexity, and total protein expression. In OK cells with 80 passages in culture the use of in-cell western showed that ezrin/radixin/moesin complex was increased by 20%. The most abundant ankyrin-G isoform in OK cells with 40 passages was the approximately 200/220 kDa isoform, whereas in OK cells with 80 passages the most abundant isoform was the approximately 170 kDa isoform. The spectrin-betaII approximately 240 kDa isoform, the predominant isoform in OK cells with 40 passages, was marginally detected in OK cells with 80 passages. Besides Na(+),K(+)-ATPase, GLUT2, and NHE3 expression was also significantly increased in OK cells with 80 passages. It is concluded that the prolonged cell passaging of OK cells results in an interesting and valuable experimental model to analyze the reorganization of the renal cell cytoskeleton proteins and its relationship with transporter and signaling membrane proteins.

  7. Amelotin Gene Structure and Expression during Enamel Formation in the Opossum Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Gasse, Barbara; Liu, Xi; Corre, Erwan; Sire, Jean-Yves

    2015-01-01

    Amelotin (AMTN) is an ameloblast-secreted protein that belongs to the secretory calcium-binding phosphoprotein family, which also includes the enamel matrix proteins amelogenin, ameloblastin and enamelin. Although AMTN is supposed to play an important role in enamel formation, data were long limited to the rodents, in which it is expressed during the maturation stage. Recent comparative studies in sauropsids and amphibians revealed that (i) AMTN was expressed earlier, i.e. as soon as ameloblasts are depositing the enamel matrix, and (ii) AMTN structure was different, a change which mostly resulted from an intraexonic splicing in the large exon 8 of an ancestral mammal. The present study was performed to know whether the differences in AMTN structure and expression in rodents compared to non-mammalian tetrapods dated back to an early ancestral mammal or were acquired later in mammalian evolution. We sequenced, assembled and screened the jaw transcriptome of a neonate opossum Monodelphis domestica, a marsupial. We found two AMTN transcripts. Variant 1, representing 70.8% of AMTN transcripts, displayed the structure known in rodents, whereas variant 2 (29.2%) exhibited the nonmammalian tetrapod structure. Then, we studied AMTN expression during amelogenesis in a neonate specimen. We obtained similar data as those reported in rodents. These findings indicate that more than 180 million years ago, before the divergence of marsupials and placentals, changes occurred in AMTN function and structure. The spatiotemporal expression was delayed to the maturation stage of amelogenesis and the intraexonic splicing gave rise to isoform 1, encoded by variant 1 and lacking the RGD motif. The ancestral isoform 2, housing the RGD, was initially conserved, as demonstrated here in a marsupial, then secondarily lost in the placental lineages. These findings bring new elements towards our understanding of the non-prismatic to prismatic enamel transition that occurred at the onset of

  8. Mitochondrial phenotype of marsupial torpor: Fuel metabolic switch in the Chilean mouse-opossum Thylamys elegans.

    PubMed

    Cortés, Pablo Andres; Bacigalupe, Leonardo Daniel; Mondaca, Fredy; Desrosiers, Véronique; Blier, Pierre U

    2016-01-01

    Torpor is a phenotype characterized by a controlled decline of metabolic rate and body temperature. During arousal from torpor, organs undergo rapid metabolic reactivation and rewarming to near normal levels. As torpor progress, animals show a preference for fatty acids over glucose as primary source of energy. Here, we analyzed for first time the changes in the maximal activity of key enzymes related to fatty acid (Carnitine palmitoyltransferase and β-Hydroxyacyl CoA dehydrogenase) and carbohydrate (Pyruvate kinase, Phosphofructokinase and Lactate dehydrogenase) catabolism, as well as mitochondrial oxidative capacity (Citrate synthase), in six organs of torpid, arousing and euthermic Chilean mouse-opossums (Thylamys elegans). Our results showed that activity of enzymes related to fatty acid and carbohydrate catabolism were different among torpor phases and the pattern of variation differs among tissues. In terms of lipid utilization, maximal enzymatic activities differ in tissues with high oxidative capacity such as heart, kidney, and liver. In terms of carbohydrate use, lower enzymatic activities were observed during torpor in brain and liver. Interestingly, citrate synthase activity did not differ thought torpor-arousal cycle in any tissues analyzed, suggesting no modulation of mitochondrial content in T. elegans. Overall results provide an indication that modulation of enzymes associated with carbohydrate and fatty-acid pathways is mainly oriented to limit energy expensive processes and sustain energy metabolism during transition from torpor to euthermy. Future studies are required to elucidate if physiological events observed for T. elegans are unique from other marsupials, or represents a general response in marsupials. J. Exp. Zool. 325A:41-51, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. The COOH terminus of megalin regulates gene expression in opossum kidney proximal tubule cells

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yuanli; Cong, Rong; Biemesderfer, Daniel

    2008-01-01

    We recently reported that megalin is subjected to regulated intramembrane proteolysis (RIP) and includes 1) protein kinase C (PKC)-regulated, metalloprotease-mediated ectodomain shedding producing a membrane-bound megalin COOH-terminal fragment (MCTF) and 2) γ-secretase-mediated cleavage of the MCTF producing a soluble megalin intracellular domain (MICD). Based on studies of RIP of other receptors, the MICD is predicted to target to the nucleus and regulate gene expression. To determine whether RIP of megalin regulates proximal tubule gene expression, we stably expressed the transfected MCTF (tMCTF) or transfected MICD (tMICD) in opossum kidney proximal tubule (OKP) cells and examined the resulting phenotype. Immunoblotting and immunocytochemical analysis of tMCTF cells showed the tMCTF was expressed and constitutively processed by γ-secretase. Analysis of specific protein expression in tMCTF- and tMICD-transfected cells using Western blot showed endogenous megalin and Na+/H+ exchanger 3 (NHE3) protein expression to be dramatically lower than that of control cells. Expression of other proteins including myosin VI, β-adaptin, and the Na-K-ATPase appeared unchanged. Analysis of specific mRNA expression using quantitative real-time PCR showed megalin and NHE3 mRNA levels were significantly lower in tMCTF- and tMICD-transfected cells compared with controls. Inhibition of γ-secretase activity in tMCTF cells resulted in an 8- to 10-fold recovery of megalin mRNA within 4 h. These data show that the COOH-terminal domain of megalin regulates expression of specific proteins in OKP cells and provides the first evidence that RIP of megalin may be part of a signaling pathway linking protein absorption and gene expression in proximal tubule. PMID:18495814

  10. Detection of Lawsonia intracellularis by real-time PCR in the feces of free-living animals from equine farms with documented occurrence of equine proliferative enteropathy.

    PubMed

    Pusterla, Nicola; Mapes, Samantha; Rejmanek, Daniel; Gebhart, Connie

    2008-10-01

    The objective of this study was to determine whether Lawsonia intracellularis was present in the feces of free-living animals collected on two equine premises with documented occurrence of equine proliferative enteropathy (EPE). Fresh feces from black-tailed jackrabbits (Lepus californicus, n=100), striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis, n=22), feral cats (Felis catus, n=14), Brewer's Blackbirds (Euphagus cyanocephalus, n=10), Virginian opossums (Didelphis virginiana, n=9), raccoons (Procyon lotor, n=4), California ground squirrels (Spermophilus beecheyi, n=3), and coyotes (Canis latrans, n=2) were collected from August 2006 to January 2007 either from the ground while walking the premises or after trapping the animals using live traps. Nucleic acid purified from feces was directly processed for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis using a real-time PCR assay targeting the aspartate ammonia lyase gene of L. intracellularis. Purified DNA samples were also precipitated, preamplified for L. intracellularis, and analyzed using the same real-time PCR assay, to increase the detection limit to one L. intracellularis organism per extracted sample. Feces from jackrabbits, striped skunks, Virginian opossums, and coyotes tested PCR positive for L. intracellularis, whereas all feces from feral cats, Brewer's Blackbirds, raccoons, and ground squirrels tested PCR negative for L. intracellularis. PCR testing on DNA extracted directly from feces was positive for L. intracellularis in six of 164 fecal samples. When DNA purification from feces was followed by a precipitation and preamplification step, five additional fecal samples tested PCR positive for L. intracellularis (11/164). The largest number of PCR positive L. intracellularis fecal samples was observed in striped skunks, followed by Virginian opossums, jackrabbits, and coyotes. This is the first description of L. intracellularis in these four species. Because the fecal samples were collected at equine farms with confirmed

  11. Phylogenetic evaluation of taxonomic definition of didelphid mouse opossum of the genus Thylamys from valleys of Coquimbo region, Chile.

    PubMed

    Boric-Bargetto, Dusan; Zúñiga-Reinoso, Álvaro; Cancino, Ricardo A; González-Acuña, Daniel; Rodríguez-Serrano, Enrique; Palma, R Eduardo; Hernández, Cristián E

    2016-04-21

    Only two species of Didelphidae are currently recognized in Chile, the sister species Thylamys elegans, endemic of Mediterranean ecorregion and Thylamys pallidior, the inhabitant of the Puna and desert canyons. Three subspecies have been described for T. elegans: T. e. elegans, T. e. coquimbensis and T. e. soricinus. However, a recent study based on morphological analyses, synonymized T. elegans coquimbensis from the Coquimbo valleys (30-31° S) with T. pallidior and proposed that T. elegans and T. pallidior could be in sympatry at Coquimbo valleys between Fray Jorge (30°40'S) and Paiguano (30°02' S). We assess the current definition of T. e. coquimbensis and T. e. elegans, as well as this taxonomical conflict among the mouse opossums from the Coquimbo valleys through phylogenetic analyses of cytochrome b mitochondrial gene sequences. In this study, for the first time, we used specimens from the type localities of T. e. coquimbensis and T. e. elegans. In addition, we analyzed diagnostic cranial structures for this taxonomic revision. The results supported two allopatric clades, allowing us to keep the taxonomic definition of T. e. elegans and T. e. coquimbensis as phylogenetic reciprocal monophyletic clades and polyphyletic with T. pallidior. This result corroborates previous morphological analyses, which support that mouse opossums from the Coquimbo valleys are T. e. coquimbensis, thus extending its geographic distribution to the coast of Coquimbo and Atacama regions. We don´t have evidence for sympatric distribution between T. elegans and T. pallidior in the Coquimbo region.

  12. Relationship between sodium-dependent phosphate transporter (NaPi-IIc) function and cellular vacuole formation in opossum kidney cells.

    PubMed

    Shiozaki, Yuji; Segawa, Hiroko; Ohnishi, Saori; Ohi, Akiko; Ito, Mikiko; Kaneko, Ichiro; Kido, Shinsuke; Tatsumi, Sawako; Miyamoto, Ken-ichi

    2015-01-01

    NaPi-IIc/SLC34A3 is a sodium-dependent inorganic phosphate (Pi) transporter in the renal proximal tubules and its mutations cause hereditary hypophosphatemic rickets with hypercalciuria (HHRH). In the present study, we created a specific antibody for opossum SLC34A3, NaPi-IIc (oNaPi-IIc), and analyzed its localization and regulation in opossum kidney cells (a tissue culture model of proximal tubular cells). Immunoreactive oNaPi-IIc protein levels increased during the proliferative phase and decreased during differentiation. Moreover, stimulating cell growth upregulated oNaPi-IIc protein levels, whereas suppressing cell proliferation downregulated oNaPi-IIc protein levels. Immunocytochemistry revealed that endogenous and exogenous oNaPi-IIc proteins localized at the protrusion of the plasma membrane, which is a phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) rich-membrane, and at the intracellular vacuolar membrane. Exogenous NaPi-IIc also induced cellular vacuoles and localized in the plasma membrane. The ability to form vacuoles is specific to electroneutral NaPi-IIc, and not electrogenic NaPi-IIa or NaPi-IIb. In addition, mutations of NaPi-IIc (S138F and R468W) in HHRH did not cause cellular PIP2-rich vacuoles. In conclusion, our data anticipate that NaPi-IIc may regulate PIP2 production at the plasma membrane and cellular vesicle formation.

  13. Are opossums a relevant factor associated with asymptomatic Leishmania infection in the outskirts of the largest Brazilian cities?

    PubMed

    Carranza-Tamayo, César Omar; Werneck, Guilherme Loureiro; Romero, Gustavo Adolfo Sierra

    2016-01-01

    A population survey was conducted to explore the prevalence and factors associated with Leishmania infection in the Fercal region of the Federal District. The Fercal region is a group of neighborhoods in Brasília in which the first cases of visceral leishmaniasis were described. Leishmania infection was established by a positive leishmanin test. Although other tests were performed in the study (an immunochromatographic assay (Kalazar detect(®)) and a molecular assay), only the leishmanin skin test provided sufficient results for the measurement of the disease prevalence. Data on the epidemiological, clinical and environmental characteristics of individuals were collected along with the diagnostic tests. After sampling and enrollment, seven hundred people from 2 to 14 years of age were included in the study. The prevalence of Leishmania infection was 33.28% (95% CI 29.87-36.84). The factors associated with Leishmania infection according to the multivariate analysis were age of more than seven years and the presence of opossums near the home. Age is a known factor associated with Leishmania infection; however, the presence of wild animals, as described, is an understudied factor. The presence of opossums, which are known reservoirs of Leishmania, in peri-urban areas could be the link between the rural and urban occurrence of visceral leishmaniasis in the outskirts of largest Brazilian cities, as suggested by previous studies.

  14. Immunohistological study of the endometrial stromal fibroblasts in the opossum, Monodelphis domestica: evidence for homology with eutherian stromal fibroblasts.

    PubMed

    Kin, Koryu; Maziarz, Jamie; Wagner, Günter P

    2014-05-01

    Molecular phylogenetic studies suggest that the hemochorial placentation and decidualization are ancestral traits of eutherian mammals. While the origin of the placental tissue is well understood, the origin of the decidual cells is unclear. Here we address the origin of decidual cells by examining the expression patterns of six transcription factors (TFs) as well as four structural proteins in the endometrium of a marsupial, Monodelphis domestica, and compared them with the patterns known from eutherian species. We found a mesenchymal cell population in the subepithelial compartment of the opossum endometrium. These cells express a set of TFs, such as homeobox A11 (HOXA11), CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein beta (CEBPB), and progesterone receptor (PGR), that are important for eutherian endometrial stromal cells. On the other hand, we did not find the expression of a decidual cell marker desmin (DES) or of TFs that are important for decidual cell differentiation, such as forkhead box O1 (FOXO1), in those cells. Based on these results, we propose that opossum has cells homologous to eutherian endometrial fibroblasts but no decidual cells. In addition, we describe cellular changes associated with the progression of pregnancy: nuclear localization of CEBPB in luminal epithelial cells as early as 8 days postcoitum, expansion of endometrial glands, nuclear localization of FOXO1 in glandular epithelial cells, and expression of smooth muscle actin in luminal epithelial cells. These data show that the luminal and glandular epithelium react to the presence of the preplacentation conceptus and suggest a limited form of pregnancy recognition.

  15. A genetic analysis of the Virginia opossum mating system: evidence of multiple paternity in a highly fragmented landscape.

    PubMed

    Beasley, James C; Beatty, William S; Olson, Zachary H; Rhodes, Olin E

    2010-01-01

    Using molecular techniques, we examined patterns of paternity in Virginia opossums occupying a highly fragmented agricultural landscape in northern Indiana. During 2008, we collected tissue from 64 females and their pouch young in 34 forest patches distributed over a 1100-km(2) region. Using genotypes from 10 microsatellite loci, we determined the minimum number of fathers contributing to each litter using GERUD 1.0. Genotyped offspring with known mothers were then analyzed using CERVUS 3.0, incorporating genotypes from 317 males sampled from 2007-2008 to identify potential fathers. Our analyses revealed that promiscuity was common among females, with 26 (41%) litters having > or = 2 sires. Despite the fact that we intensively sampled forest patches for potential fathers, we only were able to identify 13 fathers contributing to 14 litters, with an average Euclidean distance of 18.7 km between father-offspring pairs found in disparate patches (N = 6). Our inability to identify most (85%) fathers of sampled litters, coupled with the extensive distances observed between putative father-offspring pairs, suggests that opossums may not maintain explicit home ranges in highly fragmented landscapes.

  16. Sarcocyst Development in Raccoons (Procyon lotor) Inoculated with Different Strains of Sarcocystis neurona Culture-Derived Merozoites.

    PubMed

    Dryburgh, E L; Marsh, A E; Dubey, J P; Howe, D K; Reed, S M; Bolten, K E; Pei, W; Saville, W J A

    2015-08-01

    Sarcocystis neurona is considered the major etiologic agent of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM), a neurological disease in horses. Raccoon ( Procyon lotor ) is considered the most important intermediate host in the life cycle of S. neurona in the United States; S. neurona sarcocysts do mature in raccoon muscles, and raccoons also develop clinical signs simulating EPM. The focus of this study was to determine if sarcocysts would develop in raccoons experimentally inoculated with different host-derived strains of in vitro-cultivated S. neurona merozoites. Four raccoons were inoculated with strains derived from a raccoon, a sea otter, a cat, and a horse. Raccoon tissues were fed to laboratory-raised opossums ( Didelphis virginiana ), the definitive host of S. neurona . Intestinal scraping revealed sporocysts in opossums who received muscle tissue from raccoons inoculated with the raccoon-derived or the sea otter-derived isolates. These results demonstrate that sarcocysts can mature in raccoons inoculated with in vitro-derived S. neurona merozoites. In contrast, the horse and cat-derived isolates did not produce microscopically or biologically detected sarcocysts. Immunoblot analysis revealed both antigenic and antibody differences when testing the inoculated raccoons. Immunohistochemical staining indicated differences in staining between the merozoite and sarcocyst stages. The successful infections achieved in this study indicates that the life cycle can be manipulated in the laboratory without affecting subsequent stage development, thereby allowing further purification of strains and artificial maintenance of the life cycle.

  17. Development of an automated dispenser for the delivery of medicinal or vaccine-laden baits to raccoons (Procyon lotor).

    PubMed

    Smyser, Timothy J; Redding, James V; Bevis, Crystal M; Page, L Kristen; Swihart, Robert K

    2015-04-01

    Medicinal baits are distributed to manage zoonotic diseases, including raccoon (Procyon lotor) rabies, but efficient distribution strategies are needed for suburban environments. We developed an automated dispenser that transfers fishmeal polymer baits at user-specified intervals from a magazine to a receptacle fitted with a filter that exploits raccoon dexterity to limit consumption by nontarget species. We introduce the concept of automated dispensers and describe bait removal success rates for raccoons versus nontarget species. We monitored visitation with remote cameras after deploying a dispenser, programmed to present two baits per night, in three disjunct forest patches in northwest Indiana. Raccoons removed 72% of baits; nontarget, white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) removed 11%; Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) removed 9%. Bait removal success varied significantly between raccoons (76%) and opossums (21%), improving bait delivery specificity relative to hand baiting. Accumulation of baits in receptacles resulted in excess (more than one) bait consumption (39% of baits consumed by raccoons were excess), suggesting design improvements are needed to present additional baits only after previous baits have been consumed. Automated dispensers successfully sustained bait availability throughout the operational period. Subsequent research is needed to determine whether a sustained availability of baits achieved with automated dispensers is more effective for the treatment of raccoons in suburban environments than traditional distribution methods.

  18. Scat removal: A source of bias in feces-related studies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Livingston, T.R.; Gipson, P.S.; Ballard, W.B.; Sanchez, D.M.; Krausman, P.R.

    2005-01-01

    Consumption of feces (coprophagy) may alter findings of dietary studies and population estimates based on fecal analyses, but its magnitude is poorly understood. We investigated seasonal incidence of scat removal on Fort Riley, Kansas, from January through December 2000. We placed feces from captive bobcats (Lynx rufus), captive coyotes (Canis latrans), and free-ranging coyotes randomly on tracking stations in forest and prairie landscapes to determine rates of scat removal by local wildlife. Rates of removal of feces from captive bobcats, captive coyotes, and free-ranging coyotes varied from 7% during spring to 50% during summer. We identified opossums (Didelphis virginiana) as the most common species present at stations where scat removal occurred. Feces may be an important seasonal source of food for opossums and may provide seasonal dietary supplements for other species. Other factors responsible for disturbance of feces included a woodrat (Neotoma floridana) caching coyote feces, removal of captive coyote feces by free-ranging coyotes accompanied by deposition of fresh feces, a bobcat burying a captive bobcat sample and depositing fresh feces, and rain storms. Dietary studies based on fecal analyses could be biased by scat removal, assuming that contents in feces are representative of the proportion of foods consumed.

  19. Relative abundance of mesopredators and size of oak patches in the cross-timbers ecoregion

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Disney, M.R.; Hellgren, E.C.; Davis, C.A.; Leslie, David M.; Engle, David M.

    2008-01-01

    Mesopredators (e.g., raccoon Procyon lotor, Virginia opossum Didelphis virginiana, striped skunk Mephitis mephitis) have received considerable attention because of links to population declines in birds via increased nest predation, especially in landscapes fragmented by anthropogenic forces. Relationships of abundance of mesopredators to size of habitat patches have received less attention than relationships to other metrics of fragmentation, particularly edge characteristics. We tested the hypothesis that relative abundance of mesopredators (e.g., raccoons and Virginia opossums) was related negatively to size of forest patch. We delineated 15 patches of oak (Quercus) forest ranging from 0.2 to 55.3 ha within a grassland-woodland mosaic in the cross-timbers ecoregion of Oklahoma. Scent stations and live traps within these patches were used to index relative abundance of mesopredators in summers 2003 and 2004. Both indices of relative abundance were related weakly and negatively to area of forest patch. However, rate of capture and visitation to scent station were not correlated consistently throughout the study. Our results suggested that the two methods to index abundance provided separate information on functional and numerical responses to size of patch. Our evidence that mesopredators within the cross timbers were more likely to be in smaller patches of oak forest may have implications to success of avian nesting in these patches.

  20. Effects of urbanization on carnivore species distribution and richness

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ordenana, Miguel A.; Crooks, Kevin R.; Boydston, Erin E.; Fisher, Robert N.; Lyren, Lisa M.; Siudyla, Shalene; Haas, Christopher D.; Harris, Sierra; Hathaway, Stacie A.; Turschak, Greta M.; Miles, A. Keith; Van Vuren, Dirk H.

    2010-01-01

    Urban development can have multiple effects on mammalian carnivore communities. We conducted a meta-analysis of 7,929 photographs from 217 localities in 11 camera-trap studies across coastal southern California to describe habitat use and determine the effects of urban proximity (distance to urban edge) and intensity (percentage of area urbanized) on carnivore occurrence and species richness in natural habitats close to the urban boundary. Coyotes (Canis latrans) and bobcats (Lynx rufus) were distributed widely across the region. Domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris), striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis), raccoons (Procyon lotor), gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), mountain lions (Puma concolor), and Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) were detected less frequently, and long-tailed weasels (Mustela frenata), American badgers (Taxidea taxus), western spotted skunks (Spilogale gracilis), and domestic cats (Felis catus) were detected rarely. Habitat use generally reflected availability for most species. Coyote and raccoon occurrence increased with both proximity to and intensity of urbanization, whereas bobcat, gray fox, and mountain lion occurrence decreased with urban proximity and intensity. Domestic dogs and Virginia opossums exhibited positive and weak negative relationships, respectively, with urban intensity but were unaffected by urban proximity. Striped skunk occurrence increased with urban proximity but decreased with urban intensity. Native species richness was negatively associated with urban intensity but not urban proximity, probably because of the stronger negative response of individual species to urban intensity.

  1. Albumin transfer across the choroid plexus of South American opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed Central

    Knott, G W; Dziegielewska, K M; Habgood, M D; Li, Z S; Saunders, N R

    1997-01-01

    1. Blood-cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) transfer of various exogenous albumins has been investigated in developing Monodelphis domestica (South American grey short-tailed opossum) and compared with the steady-state CSF: plasma ratios for endogenous (Monodelphis) albumin. Ratios for Monodelphis albumin and human albumin were similar and were the highest at postnatal day 5 (P5) (48.2 +/- 4.4 and 40.6 +/- 4.5%, respectively). The ratio for bovine albumin was similar to the steady-state ratio for Monodelphis albumin at P7-8 but became consistently lower than the Monodelphis albumin ratio at all other ages until P32-36 when all albumins tested attained a similar low ratio. The CSF:plasma ratio of chemically modified (succinylated) bovine albumin was always significantly lower than that of other albumins, except at the oldest age examined (P32-36). 2. Immunocytochemistry showed that within the brain, albumin was confined to the lumen and endothelial cells of blood vessels. In the choroid plexus only a small proportion (0.2-1.7% of the total cell number) of epithelial cells was positive for albumin, both endogenous and exogenous, at all ages studied (except the 3rd ventricle where cells were only positive from P8). The CSF was strongly positive for all albumins. The peak proportion of positive cells and of albumin concentrations in CSF occurred at P8. These findings suggest that the primary route for penetration of albumin into CSF is directly across the choroid plexus rather than via the brain. 3. Double-labelling immunocytochemistry revealed that the same epithelial cells contained both endogenous (Monodelphis) and exogenous (human) albumin. In contrast, for succinylated albumin, at P7 only about 35% (lateral ventricle) and 50% (4th ventricle) of Monodelphis albumin-positive cells were also positive for succinylated albumin, but by P30 this proportion increased to 90% at both sites. 4. Thus the developing choroid plexus distinguishes between different albumins. Chemical

  2. Effect of ezetimibe on plasma cholesterol levels, cholesterol absorption, and secretion of biliary cholesterol in laboratory opossums with high and low responses to dietary cholesterol.

    PubMed

    Chan, Jeannie; Kushwaha, Rampratap S; Vandeberg, Jane F; Vandeberg, John L

    2008-12-01

    Partially inbred lines of laboratory opossums differ in plasma low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentration and cholesterol absorption on a high-cholesterol diet. The aim of the present studies was to determine whether ezetimibe inhibits cholesterol absorption and eliminates the differences in plasma cholesterol and hepatic cholesterol metabolism between high and low responders on a high-cholesterol diet. Initially, we determined that the optimum dose of ezetimibe was 5 mg/(kg d) and treated 6 high- and 6 low-responding opossums with this dose (with equal numbers of controls) for 3 weeks while the opossums consumed a high-cholesterol and low-fat diet. Plasma and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations decreased significantly (P < .05) in treated but not in untreated high-responding opossums. Plasma cholesterol concentrations increased slightly (P < .05) in untreated low responders but not in treated low responders. The percentage of cholesterol absorption was significantly higher in untreated high responders than in other groups. Livers from high responders with or without treatment were significantly (P < .01) heavier than livers from low responders with or without treatment. Hepatic cholesterol concentrations in untreated high responders were significantly (P < .05) higher than those in low responders with or without treatment (P < .001). The gall bladder bile cholesterol concentrations in untreated high responders were significantly (P < .05) lower than those in other groups. A decrease in biliary cholesterol in low responders treated with ezetimibe was associated with a decrease in hepatic expression of ABCG5 and ABCG8. These studies suggest that ezetimibe decreases plasma cholesterol levels in high responders mainly by decreasing cholesterol absorption and increasing biliary cholesterol concentrations. Because ezetimibe's target is NPC1L1 and NPC1L1 is expressed in the intestine of opossums, its effect on cholesterol absorption may be mediated

  3. Phylogenetic relationships of Sarcocystis neurona of horses and opossums to other cyst-forming coccidia deduced from SSU rRNA gene sequences.

    PubMed

    Elsheikha, Hany M; Lacher, David W; Mansfield, Linda S

    2005-11-01

    Phylogenetic analyses based on sequences of the nuclear-encoded small subunit rRNA (ssurRNA) gene were performed to examine the origin, phylogeny, and biogeographic relationships of Sarcocystis neurona isolates from opossums and horses from the State of Michigan, USA, in relation to other cyst-forming coccidia. A total of 31 taxa representing all recognized subfamilies and genera of Sarcocystidae were included in the analyses with clonal isolates of two opossum and two horse S. neurona. Phylogenies obtained by the four tree-building methods were consistent with the classical taxonomy based on morphological criteria. The "isosporid" coccidia Neospora, Toxoplasma, Besnoitia, Isospora lacking stieda bodies, and Hyaloklossia formed a sister group to the Sarcocystis spp. Sarcocystis species were divided into three main lineages; S. neurona isolates were located in the second lineage and clustered with S. mucosa, S. dispersa, S. lacertae, S. rodentifelis, S. muris, and Frenkelia spp. Alignment of S. neurona SSU rRNA gene sequences of Michigan opossum isolates (MIOP5, MIOP20) and a S. neurona Michigan horse isolate (MIH8) showed 100% identity. These Michigan isolates differed in 2/1085 bp (0.2%) from a Kentucky S. neurona horse isolate (SN5). Additionally, S. neurona isolates from horses and opossums were identical based on the ultrastructural features and PCR-RFLP analyses thus forming a phylogenetically indistinct group in these regions. These findings revealed the concordance between the morphological and molecular data and confirmed that S. neurona from opossums and horses originated from the same phylogenetic origin.

  4. Elevated calcium acutely regulates dynamic interactions of NHERF2 and NHE3 proteins in opossum kidney (OK) cell microvilli.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Xinjun; Cha, Boyoung; Zachos, Nicholas C; Sarker, Rafiquel; Chakraborty, Molee; Chen, Tian-E; Kovbasnjuk, Olga; Donowitz, Mark

    2011-10-07

    The brush border (BB) Na(+)/H(+) exchanger NHE3 is rapidly activated or inhibited by changes in trafficking, which mimics renal and intestinal physiology. However, there is a paradox in that NHE3 has limited mobility in the BB due to its binding to the multi-PDZ domain containing the NHERF family. To allow increased endocytosis, as occurs with elevated intracellular Ca(2+), we hypothesized that NHE3 had to be, at least transiently, released from the BB cytoskeleton. Because NHERF1 and -2 are localized at the BB, where they bind NHE3 as well as the cytoskeleton, we tested whether either or both might dynamically interact with NHE3 as part of Ca(2+) signaling. We employed FRET to study close association of NHE3 and these NHERFs and fluorescence recovery after photobleaching to monitor NHE3 mobility in the apical domain in polarized opossum kidney cells. Under basal conditions, NHERF2 and NHE3 exhibited robust FRET signaling. Within 1 min of A23187 (0.5 μm) exposure, the NHERF2-NHE3 FRET signal was abolished, and BB NHE3 mobility was transiently increased. The dynamics in FRET signal and NHE3 mobility correlated well with a change in co-precipitation of NHE3 and NHERF2 but not NHERF1. We conclude the following. 1) Under basal conditions, NHE3 closely associates with NHERF2 in opossum kidney cell microvilli. 2) Within 1 min of elevated Ca(2+), the close association of NHE3-NHERF2 is abolished but is re-established in ∼60 min. 3) The change in NHE3-NHERF2 association is accompanied by an increased BB mobile fraction of NHE3, which contributes to inhibition of NHE3 transport activity via increased endocytosis.

  5. Weight-bearing locomotion in the developing opossum, Monodelphis domestica following spinal transection: remodeling of neuronal circuits caudal to lesion.

    PubMed

    Wheaton, Benjamin J; Noor, Natassya M; Whish, Sophie C; Truettner, Jessie S; Dietrich, W Dalton; Zhang, Moses; Crack, Peter J; Dziegielewska, Katarzyna M; Saunders, Norman R

    2013-01-01

    Complete spinal transection in the mature nervous system is typically followed by minimal axonal repair, extensive motor paralysis and loss of sensory functions caudal to the injury. In contrast, the immature nervous system has greater capacity for repair, a phenomenon sometimes called the infant lesion effect. This study investigates spinal injuries early in development using the marsupial opossum Monodelphis domestica whose young are born very immature, allowing access to developmental stages only accessible in utero in eutherian mammals. Spinal cords of Monodelphis pups were completely transected in the lower thoracic region, T10, on postnatal-day (P)7 or P28 and the animals grew to adulthood. In P7-injured animals regrown supraspinal and propriospinal axons through the injury site were demonstrated using retrograde axonal labelling. These animals recovered near-normal coordinated overground locomotion, but with altered gait characteristics including foot placement phase lags. In P28-injured animals no axonal regrowth through the injury site could be demonstrated yet they were able to perform weight-supporting hindlimb stepping overground and on the treadmill. When placed in an environment of reduced sensory feedback (swimming) P7-injured animals swam using their hindlimbs, suggesting that the axons that grew across the lesion made functional connections; P28-injured animals swam using their forelimbs only, suggesting that their overground hindlimb movements were reflex-dependent and thus likely to be generated locally in the lumbar spinal cord. Modifications to propriospinal circuitry in P7- and P28-injured opossums were demonstrated by changes in the number of fluorescently labelled neurons detected in the lumbar cord following tracer studies and changes in the balance of excitatory, inhibitory and neuromodulatory neurotransmitter receptors' gene expression shown by qRT-PCR. These results are discussed in the context of studies indicating that although

  6. Locomotor kinetics and kinematics on inclines and declines in the gray short-tailed opossum Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Lammers, Andrew R; Earls, Kathleen D; Biknevicius, Audrone R

    2006-10-01

    Small terrestrial animals continually encounter sloped substrates when moving about their habitat; therefore, it is important to understand the mechanics and kinematics of locomotion on non-horizontal substrates as well as on level terrain. To this end, we trained gray short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica) to move along level, 30 degrees inclined, and 30 degrees declined trackways instrumented with a force platform. Vertical, craniocaudal and mediolateral impulses, peak vertical forces, and required coefficient of friction (mu(req)) of individual limbs were calculated. Two high speed video cameras were used to simultaneously capture whole limb craniocaudal and mediolateral angles at limb touchdown, midstance and lift-off. Patterns on the level terrain were typical for non-primate quadrupeds: the forelimbs supported the majority of the body weight, forelimbs were net braking and hindlimbs net propulsive, and both limb pairs exerted small laterally directed impulses. M. domestica moved more slowly on sloped substrates in comparison to level locomotion, and exhibited a greater mu(req). On inclines, both limb pairs were more protracted at touchdown and more retracted at lift-off, fore- and hindlimbs had equal roles in body weight support, forelimbs exerted greater propulsive impulse than hindlimbs, and mu(req) was greater in the forelimbs than in hindlimbs. On declines, only the forelimbs were more protracted at touchdown; forelimbs supported the great majority of body weight while they generated nearly all of the braking impulse and, despite the disparity in fore- vs hindlimb function on the decline, mu(req) was not significantly different between limbs. These differences on the inclined and declined surfaces most likely result from (1) the location of the opossums' center of mass, which is closer to the forelimbs than to the hindlimbs, and (2) the greater functional range of the forelimbs versus the hindlimbs.

  7. Weight-Bearing Locomotion in the Developing Opossum, Monodelphis domestica following Spinal Transection: Remodeling of Neuronal Circuits Caudal to Lesion

    PubMed Central

    Wheaton, Benjamin J.; Noor, Natassya M.; Whish, Sophie C.; Truettner, Jessie S.; Dietrich, W. Dalton; Zhang, Moses; Crack, Peter J.; Dziegielewska, Katarzyna M.; Saunders, Norman R.

    2013-01-01

    Complete spinal transection in the mature nervous system is typically followed by minimal axonal repair, extensive motor paralysis and loss of sensory functions caudal to the injury. In contrast, the immature nervous system has greater capacity for repair, a phenomenon sometimes called the infant lesion effect. This study investigates spinal injuries early in development using the marsupial opossum Monodelphis domestica whose young are born very immature, allowing access to developmental stages only accessible in utero in eutherian mammals. Spinal cords of Monodelphis pups were completely transected in the lower thoracic region, T10, on postnatal-day (P)7 or P28 and the animals grew to adulthood. In P7-injured animals regrown supraspinal and propriospinal axons through the injury site were demonstrated using retrograde axonal labelling. These animals recovered near-normal coordinated overground locomotion, but with altered gait characteristics including foot placement phase lags. In P28-injured animals no axonal regrowth through the injury site could be demonstrated yet they were able to perform weight-supporting hindlimb stepping overground and on the treadmill. When placed in an environment of reduced sensory feedback (swimming) P7-injured animals swam using their hindlimbs, suggesting that the axons that grew across the lesion made functional connections; P28-injured animals swam using their forelimbs only, suggesting that their overground hindlimb movements were reflex-dependent and thus likely to be generated locally in the lumbar spinal cord. Modifications to propriospinal circuitry in P7- and P28-injured opossums were demonstrated by changes in the number of fluorescently labelled neurons detected in the lumbar cord following tracer studies and changes in the balance of excitatory, inhibitory and neuromodulatory neurotransmitter receptors’ gene expression shown by qRT-PCR. These results are discussed in the context of studies indicating that although

  8. Comparative Myology and Evolution of Marsupials and Other Vertebrates, With Notes on Complexity, Bauplan, and "Scala Naturae".

    PubMed

    Diogo, Rui; Bello-Hellegouarch, Gaelle; Kohlsdorf, Tiana; Esteve-Altava, Borja; Molnar, Julia L

    2016-09-01

    Opossums are frequent subjects of developmental studies because marsupials share developmental features not seen in placentals and because Didelphimorpha is the sister-group of other extant Marsupialia. But is the adult marsupial muscular system markedly different from that of placentals or is it, like the skeletal system, very similar? We provide, for the first time, a brief description of all head and limb muscles of Didelphis virginiana based on our dissections and using a unifying nomenclature by integrating the data gathered in our long-term project on the development, homologies, and evolution of the muscles of all major vertebrate taxa. Our data indicate that there were many more muscle synapomorphic changes from the last common ancestor (LCA) of amniotes to the mammalian LCA (63) and from this LCA to the LCA of extant therians (48) than from this latter LCA to the LCA of extant placentals (10 or 11). Importantly, Didelphis is anatomically more plesiomorphic (only 14 changes from LCA of extant therians) than are rats (37 changes) and humans (63 changes), but its musculature is more complex (193 muscles) than that of humans (only 180 muscles). Of the 194 muscles of Didelphis, 172 (89%) are present in rats, meaning that their adult muscle anatomy is indeed very similar. This similarity supports the existence of a common, easy recognizable therian Bauplan, but one that is caused by developmental constraints and by evolutionary change driven by the needs of the embryos/neonates, rather than by a "goal" toward a specific adult plan/"archetype," as the name Bauplan suggests. Anat Rec, 299:1224-1255, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. A Sarcocystid misidentified as Hepatozoon didelphydis: molecular data from a parasitic infection in the blood of the Southern mouse opossum (Thylamys elegans) from Chile.

    PubMed

    Merino, Santiago; Vásquez, Rodrigo A; Martínez, Javier; Celis-Diez, Juan L; Martínez-de la Puente, Josué; Marín-Vial, Paula; Sánchez-Monsalvez, Inocencia; Peirce, Michael A

    2008-01-01

    The blood of 21 adult South American mouse opossums (Thylamys elegans) captured from April through August of 2005 in central Chile was examined for parasites. Light microscopic analysis of blood smears initially suggested that a highly pleomorphic Hepatozoon species typical of American opossums was infecting erythrocytes. Unexpectedly, amplification by PCR and sequencing of a DNA fragment of the small subunit rDNA combined with phylogenetic analyses indicated that the parasite is not a member of the suborder Adeleorina, which includes the Haemogregarina and Hepatozoon species, but that it is a clearly distinct member of the suborder Eimeriorina, which includes the cyst-forming family Sarcocystidae. Therefore, a reclassification of this unusual intraerythrocytic apicomplexan will require additional life cycle, microscopic, and molecular analyses.

  10. Evidence for high levels of androgen in peripheral plasma during postnatal development in a marsupial: the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Fadem, B H; Harder, J D

    1992-01-01

    Plasma samples were assayed for androgen in gray short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica) on the day of birth and at selected ages through adulthood. Levels of androgen in mixed-sex plasma pools of animals 4 and 8 days of age were higher than in either sex at all other ages examined. At postnatal Days 16, 30, and 60 (weaning), levels of androgen were equivalent in males and females and as high as in adult males. In both sexes, androgen levels were lower at postnatal Day 84 (juveniles) than at younger ages; after puberty, levels were significantly higher in males than in females. These findings are discussed with respect to similarities and differences between marsupials and eutherians in hormonal environment during the perinatal period and with respect to the possible role of androgens in sexual differentiation of the gray opossum brain.

  11. Firing properties of accessory olfactory bulb mitral/tufted cells in response to urine delivered to the vomeronasal organ of gray short-tailed opossums.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jing-Ji; Huang, Guang-Zhe; Halpern, Mimi

    2007-05-01

    In comparison with many mammals, there is limited knowledge of the role of pheromones in conspecific communication in the gray short-tailed opossum. Here we report that mitral/tufted (M/T) cells of the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB) of male opossums responded to female urine but not to male urine with two distinct patterns: excitation followed by inhibition or inhibition. Either pattern could be mimicked by application of guanosine 5'-O-3-thiotriphosphate and blocked by guanosine 5'-O-2-thiodiphosphate, indicating that the response of neurons in this pathway is through a G-protein-coupled receptor mechanism. In addition, the inhibitor of phospholipase C (PLC), U73122, significantly blocked urine-induced responses. Male and female urine were ineffective as stimuli for M/T cells in the AOB of female opossums. These results indicate that urine of diestrous females contains a pheromone that directly stimulates vomeronasal neurons through activation of PLC by G-protein-coupled receptor mechanisms and that the response to urine is sexually dimorphic.

  12. Chromosome-wide profiling of X-chromosome inactivation and epigenetic states in fetal brain and placenta of the opossum, Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xu; Douglas, Kory C; Vandeberg, John L; Clark, Andrew G; Samollow, Paul B

    2014-01-01

    Evidence from a few genes in diverse species suggests that X-chromosome inactivation (XCI) in marsupials is characterized by exclusive, but leaky inactivation of the paternally derived X chromosome. To study the phenomenon of marsupial XCI more comprehensively, we profiled parent-of-origin allele-specific expression, DNA methylation, and histone modifications in fetal brain and extra-embryonic membranes in the gray, short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica). The majority of X-linked genes (152 of 176 genes with trackable SNP variants) exhibited paternally imprinted expression, with nearly 100% of transcripts derived from the maternal allele; whereas 24 loci (14%) escaped inactivation, showing varying levels of biallelic expression. In addition to recently reported evidence of marsupial XCI regulation by the noncoding Rsx transcript, strong depletion of H3K27me3 at escaper gene loci in the present study suggests that histone state modifications also correlate strongly with opossum XCI. In contrast to mouse, the opossum did not show an association between X-linked gene expression and promoter DNA methylation, with one notable exception. Unlike all other X-linked genes examined, Rsx was differentially methylated on the maternal and paternal X chromosomes, and expression was exclusively from the inactive (paternal) X chromosome. Our study provides the first comprehensive catalog of parent-of-origin expression status for X-linked genes in a marsupial and sheds light on the regulation and evolution of imprinted XCI in mammals.

  13. Normal organ weights, serum chemistry, hematology, and cecal and nasopharyngeal bacterial cultures in the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Evans, Kristin D; Hewett, Terry A; Clayton, Cindy J; Krubitzer, Leah A; Griffey, Stephen M

    2010-07-01

    Gray short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica) currently are used in genetic, developmental, oncology, and neurologic research. Little is known about their natural flora or potential for pathogenic infectious disease. The present study aims to improve existing comparative normal blood and organ weight values available to researchers and to describe flora of clinically normal M. domestica to obtain an understanding of potential pathogenic flora in clinically abnormal animals. For evaluation of serum hematology and serum chemistry, clinically normal animals were assigned to 1 of 6 groups stratified by age (younger than 1 y, 1 to 2 y, and 2 to 3 y) and sex. Hemoglobin and phosphorus levels were higher in male than female opossums, whereas monocyte and eosinophil counts were greater in females than males. Hemoglobin concentration decreased with increasing age. The youngest group had significantly higher levels of serum alkaline phosphatase and lower serum protein levels compared with older age groups. Liver and kidney weights of adult animals (1 to 3 y) were greater in female than male opossums. The predominant nasopharyngeal flora in 20 clinically normal animals from the 2- to 3-y-old group were Streptococcus viridans, Escherichia coli, and coagulase-negative Staphylococcus spp.; predominant cecal organisms were Escherichia coli and Citrobacter spp. The availability of reference hematologic values and flora for Monodelphis domestica will aid researchers in comparisons and analysis of experimental data and in diagnosis and evaluation of potential pathogens in clinically ill animals.

  14. Molecular characterisation and expression of CD4 in two distantly related marsupials: the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica) and tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii).

    PubMed

    Duncan, Louise G; Nair, Sham V; Deane, Elizabeth M

    2007-07-01

    The gene and corresponding cDNA for CD4 in the gray short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica, and the cDNA sequence for CD4 in the tammar wallaby, Macropus eugenii, have been characterised. The opossum CD4 homolog reveals conserved synteny, preserved genomic organisation and analogous structural arrangement to human and mouse CD4. Opossum and tammar CD4 exhibit typical eutherian CD4 features including the highly conserved p56(lck) binding motif in the cytoplasmic region and the invariant cysteine residues in extracellular domains 1 and 4. Interestingly, the marsupial CD4 sequences substitute a tryptophan for the first cysteine in domain 2 negating the formation of a disulphide bond as seen in other eutherian CD4 sequences except human and mouse. Overall the marsupial CD4 sequences share amino acid identity of 59% to each other and 37-41% with eutherian mammals. However, in contrast to eutherian homologs, the marsupial CD4 sequences were found to be truncated at the terminal end of the cytoplasmic tail. This is the first report confirming the presence of CD4 in a marsupial and describing its key features.

  15. Distribution of the neuronal gap junction protein Connexin36 in the spinal cord enlargements of developing and adult opossums, Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Lemieux, Maxime; Cabana, Thérèse; Pflieger, Jean-François

    2010-01-01

    We use opossums Monodelphis domestica to study the development of mammalian motor systems. The immature forelimbs of the newborn perform rhythmic and alternating movements that are likely under spinal control. The hindlimbs start moving in the second week. Chemical synapses are scant in the spinal enlargements of neonatal opossums and the presence of electrochemical synapses has not been evaluated in this species or in other marsupials. As a first step aiming at evaluating the existence of such synapses in the neonatal spinal cord, we have investigated the presence of the exclusively neuronal gap junction protein connexin36 (Cx36) by immunohistochemistry in light microscopy. At birth, Cx36 immunoreactivity is moderate in the presumptive gray matter in both enlargements. Thereafter, it decreases gradually, except in the superficial dorsal horn where it increases to a plateau between P10 and P20. Cx36 labeling is detected in the presumptive white matter at birth, but then decreases except in the dorsal part of the lateral funiculus, where it is dense between P10 and P20. Cx36 has become virtually undetectable by P52. The presence of Cx36 in the spinal enlargements of postnatal opossums suggests that neurons might be linked by gap junctions at a time when chemical synapses are only beginning to form. The greater abundance of Cx36 observed transiently in the superficial dorsal horn suggests a stronger involvement of this protein in spinal sensory systems than in direct motor control of the limbs.

  16. The effects of substrate texture on the mechanics of quadrupedal arboreal locomotion in the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Lammers, Andrew R

    2009-12-01

    Among small mammals, the ability to move on tree trunks, branches, and twigs is nearly ubiquitous. Performance and locomotor mechanics on arboreal substrates may be influenced by variation in the coefficient of friction between the hands/feet of the animal and the surface of the arboreal substrate. To test this, I examined speed, substrate reaction forces, and torque around the long axis of two cylindrical trackways with rough and smooth surfaces in gray short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica). Speed was determined with videography, and forces and torques were measured by an instrumented section of the trackway. The opossums traveled more slowly on the smooth arboreal trackway. There was also significant interaction between limb (forelimbs, hindlimbs) and substrate texture (rough, smooth) in braking, propulsive, and laterally directed impulses. Running on the smooth trackway had the effect of reducing some between-limb (forelimb vs. hindlimb) differences. Stability on the rough trackway was probably maintained by relatively high momentum, but on the smooth trackway, the opossums used static methods (many limbs contacting the substrate, greater muscular effort, lower momentum) to remain stable and avoid toppling. Clearly, momentum and dynamics are often important biomechanical considerations for this generalized mammal. Highly arboreal animals can remain dynamically stable on a wider variety of substrate textures.

  17. Chromosome-wide profiling of X-chromosome inactivation and epigenetic states in fetal brain and placenta of the opossum, Monodelphis domestica

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xu; Douglas, Kory C.; VandeBerg, John L.; Clark, Andrew G.; Samollow, Paul B.

    2014-01-01

    Evidence from a few genes in diverse species suggests that X-chromosome inactivation (XCI) in marsupials is characterized by exclusive, but leaky inactivation of the paternally derived X chromosome. To study the phenomenon of marsupial XCI more comprehensively, we profiled parent-of-origin allele-specific expression, DNA methylation, and histone modifications in fetal brain and extra-embryonic membranes in the gray, short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica). The majority of X-linked genes (152 of 176 genes with trackable SNP variants) exhibited paternally imprinted expression, with nearly 100% of transcripts derived from the maternal allele; whereas 24 loci (14%) escaped inactivation, showing varying levels of biallelic expression. In addition to recently reported evidence of marsupial XCI regulation by the noncoding Rsx transcript, strong depletion of H3K27me3 at escaper gene loci in the present study suggests that histone state modifications also correlate strongly with opossum XCI. In contrast to mouse, the opossum did not show an association between X-linked gene expression and promoter DNA methylation, with one notable exception. Unlike all other X-linked genes examined, Rsx was differentially methylated on the maternal and paternal X chromosomes, and expression was exclusively from the inactive (paternal) X chromosome. Our study provides the first comprehensive catalog of parent-of-origin expression status for X-linked genes in a marsupial and sheds light on the regulation and evolution of imprinted XCI in mammals. PMID:24065774

  18. A behaviorally-explicit approach for delivering vaccine baits to mesopredators to control epizootics in fragmented landscapes

    SciTech Connect

    Beasley, James C.; Atwood, Todd C.; Byrne, Michael E.; Vercauteren, Kurt C.; Johnson, Shylo R.; Olin E. Rhodes, Jr.; Schnell, Matthias Johannes

    2015-01-14

    Despite the widespread use of aerial baiting to manage epizootics among free-ranging populations,particularly in rabies management, bait acceptance and seroconversion rates often are lower than required to eliminate spread of disease. Our objectives in this study, therefore, were to evaluate the performance of stratified bait distribution models derived from resource selection functions (RSF) on uptake of placebo rabies baits by raccoons (Procyon lotor) and Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana), as well as the probability of bait uptake as a function of proximity to bait distribution areas in fragmented agricultural ecosystems. Among 478 raccoons and 108 opossums evaluated for presence of Rhodamine B (RB) across 8 sites, only 26% of raccoons and 20% of opossums exhibited marking consistent with bait consumption 14–24 days post-baiting. The effective area treated, based on 90% kernel density estimators of marked individuals, ranged from 99–240 ha larger than bait distribution zones, with RB marked individuals captured up to 753m beyond the bait zone. Despite incorporation of RSF data into bait distribution models, no differences in uptake rates were observed between treatment and control sites. These data likely reflect the underlying constraints imposed by the loss and fragmentation of habitat on animal movement in heterogeneous landscapes, forcing individuals to optimize movements at coarse (i.e., patch-level) rather than fine spatial scales in highly fragmented environments. Our data also confirm that the probability of bait acceptance decreases with increasing distance from bait zone interiors, even within the zone itself. Thus, although bait acceptance was confirmed beyond bait zone boundaries, the proportion of vaccinated individuals may comprise a small minority of the population at increasing distances from baiting interiors. These data suggest focal baiting creates a buffered area of treated individuals around bait zones or bait stations

  19. A behaviorally-explicit approach for delivering vaccine baits to mesopredators to control epizootics in fragmented landscapes

    DOE PAGES

    Beasley, James C.; Atwood, Todd C.; Byrne, Michael E.; ...

    2015-01-14

    Despite the widespread use of aerial baiting to manage epizootics among free-ranging populations,particularly in rabies management, bait acceptance and seroconversion rates often are lower than required to eliminate spread of disease. Our objectives in this study, therefore, were to evaluate the performance of stratified bait distribution models derived from resource selection functions (RSF) on uptake of placebo rabies baits by raccoons (Procyon lotor) and Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana), as well as the probability of bait uptake as a function of proximity to bait distribution areas in fragmented agricultural ecosystems. Among 478 raccoons and 108 opossums evaluated for presence of Rhodaminemore » B (RB) across 8 sites, only 26% of raccoons and 20% of opossums exhibited marking consistent with bait consumption 14–24 days post-baiting. The effective area treated, based on 90% kernel density estimators of marked individuals, ranged from 99–240 ha larger than bait distribution zones, with RB marked individuals captured up to 753m beyond the bait zone. Despite incorporation of RSF data into bait distribution models, no differences in uptake rates were observed between treatment and control sites. These data likely reflect the underlying constraints imposed by the loss and fragmentation of habitat on animal movement in heterogeneous landscapes, forcing individuals to optimize movements at coarse (i.e., patch-level) rather than fine spatial scales in highly fragmented environments. Our data also confirm that the probability of bait acceptance decreases with increasing distance from bait zone interiors, even within the zone itself. Thus, although bait acceptance was confirmed beyond bait zone boundaries, the proportion of vaccinated individuals may comprise a small minority of the population at increasing distances from baiting interiors. These data suggest focal baiting creates a buffered area of treated individuals around bait zones or bait stations, but

  20. α2C-Adrenoceptors modulate L-DOPA uptake in opossum kidney cells and in the mouse kidney.

    PubMed

    Moura, Eduardo; Silva, Elisabete; Serrão, Maria Paula; Afonso, Joana; Kozmus, Carina Esteves Pinto; Vieira-Coelho, Maria Augusta

    2012-10-01

    Targeted deletion or selective pharmacological inhibition of α(2C)-adrenoceptors in mice results in increased brain tissue levels of dopamine and its precursor l-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (l-DOPA), without significant changes in l-DOPA synthesis. l-DOPA uptake is considered the rate-limiting step in dopamine synthesis in the kidney. Since α(2C)-adrenoceptors may influence the transport of l-DOPA, we investigated the effect of α(2C)-adrenoceptor activation on l-DOPA uptake in a kidney cell line (opossum kidney cells). l-DOPA and dopamine kidney tissue levels in α(2C)-adrenoceptor knockout (α(2C)KO) mice and in mice treated with the selective α(2C)-adrenoceptor antagonist JP-1302 were also evaluated. The α(2)-adrenoceptor agonist medetomidine (0.1-1,000 nM) produced a concentration-dependent decrease in l-DOPA uptake in opossum kidney cells (IC(50): 2.5 ± 0.5 nM and maximal effect: 28 ± 5% of inhibition). This effect was abolished by a preincubation with JP-1302 (300 nM). Furthermore, the effect of medetomidine (100 nM) was abolished by a preincubation with U-0126 (10 μM), a MEK1/2 inhibitor. Kidney tissue levels of l-DOPA were significantly higher in α(2C)KO mice compared with wild-type mice (wild-type mice: 58 ± 2 pmol/g tissue and α(2C)KO mice: 81 ± 15 pmol/g tissue, P < 0.05) and in mice treated with JP-1302 (3 μmol/kg body wt) compared with control mice (control mice: 62 ± 2 pmol/g tissue and JP-1302-treated mice: 75 ± 1 pmol/g tissue, P < 0.05), both without significant changes in dopamine kidney tissue levels. However, mice treated with JP-1302 on a high-salt diet presented significantly higher dopamine levels in the kidney and urine compared with control animals on a high-salt diet. In conclusion, in a kidney cell line, α(2C)-adrenoceptor activation inhibits l-DOPA uptake, and in mice, deletion or blockade of α(2C)-adrenoceptors increases l-DOPA kidney tissue levels.

  1. The development and migration of large multipolar neurons into the cochlear nucleus of the North American opossum.

    PubMed

    Willard, F H; Martin, G F

    1986-06-01

    We have studied the maturation of the inferior colliculus and cochlear nuclei of the North American opossum with particular emphasis on the large multipolar neurons of the cochlear nucleus. These neurons include the principal and giant cells of the dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN) and the large neurons of the ventral cochlear nucleus (VCN), all of which can be labelled by horseradish peroxidase (HRP) injections into the contralateral inferior colliculus (IC). The size of these neurons, their characteristic Nissl patterns, and their labelling density after injections into the IC render them distinguishable from other neurons in this nuclei, even in young animals. In Nissl-stained sections of newborn opossums, a band of horizontally oriented neurons can be identified dorsomedial to the vestibular nerve root. This band extends from an apparent cytogenetic zone close to the sulcus limitans, to, but not within, the presumptive cochlear nucleus. Between birth and estimated postnatal day 22 (EPND 22) the band shifts laterally, eventually becoming incorporated into the cochlear nucleus. Many neurons in this band have perinuclear caps of Nissl substance similar to those present in the principal cells of the adult DCN. Injections of HRP into the IC as early as EPND 5 (17 days after conception) labelled neurons in the band referred to above but not in the presumptive cochlear nucleus. By EPND 15, labelled cells were clustered mainly within the nucleus proper. Most of these cells were located in the DCN, but a few were scattered in the dorsocentral VCN. Consistent labelling of small neurons in VCN was not obtained until sometime later. From EPND 15 to EPND 20 most of the labelled cells in DCN reoriented in the vertical plane, aligned in layer II, and differentiated into principal neurons. Some, however, remained deep to layer II and differentiated into giant neurons. The heavily labelled cells in VCN differentiated into large neurons. Our results suggest that the large multipolar

  2. Alpha-2 adrenergic and serotonin-1B receptors in the OK cell, an opossum kidney cell line

    SciTech Connect

    Murphy, T.J.

    1988-01-01

    Alpha-2 adrenergic and serotonin-1B (5HT{sub 1B}) receptors, both negatively-coupled to adenylyl cyclase, were characterized in the OK cell line, a renal proximal tubule epithelial cell line derived from the kidney of a North American opossum. In membrane saturation radioligand binding experiments, ({sup 3}H)yohimbine and ({sup 3}H)rauwolscine labeled an equivalent number of binding sites. Detailed pharmacological analysis of OK cell alpha-2 adrenergic receptors in competition binding assays indicate this receptor is neither an alpha-2A nor an alpha-2B adrenergic receptor subtype, although the alpha-2B receptor subtype-selective drugs prazosin, ARC-239 and chlorpromazine have affinities for OK cell alpha-2 adrenergic receptors similar to those at the alpha-2B receptor subtype. Determinations of agonist potency for inhibition of PTH-stimulated cyclic AMP production and radioligand binding analysis using ({sup 125}I)({minus})-cyanopindolol indicate that a 5HT{sub 1B} receptor is expressed in the OK cell line. A biochemical effector system coupled to this receptor subtype has not been previously described. Several compounds appear to be potent agonists at the 5TH{sub 1B} receptor including the beta adrenergic antagonists cyanopindolol, pindolol, propranolol and alprenolol.

  3. Genetic diversity of laboratory gray short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica): effect of newly introduced wild-caught animals.

    PubMed

    van Oorschot, R A; Williams-Blangero, S; VandeBerg, J L

    1992-06-01

    The colony of gray, short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica) at the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, the primary supplier of this species for research purposes, was founded with nine animals trapped in 1978 in the state of Pernambuco, Brazil. Since 1984, 14 newly acquired founders from the state of Paraiba, Brazil have contributed to the gene pool of the colony. The animals from Paraiba and their descendants are significantly larger than the founders from Pernambuco and their descendants. The two groups also differ significantly in several measurements of morphologic traits. The changes in proportional contribution of each founder to the colony, and changes in inbreeding coefficients during the colony's history, are evaluated. Using previously established markers and three newly identified markers (ACP2, APRT, and DIA1), we show that the Paraiba-derived animals differ significantly from the original founders in allele frequencies and heterozygosity. The genetic diversity of the colony has been substantially increased by acquisition of the new founders from Paraiba. The colony is highly polymorphic, with 22.2% of loci surveyed by protein electrophoresis being variable. We conclude that the genetic differences between populations and among projects within the colony should be considered in future colony management procedures and in selection of experimental subjects.

  4. A microsatellite-based, physically anchored linkage map for the gray, short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Samollow, Paul B; Gouin, Nicolas; Miethke, Pat; Mahaney, Susan M; Kenney, Margaret; VandeBerg, John L; Graves, Jennifer A Marshall; Kammerer, Candace M

    2007-01-01

    The genome of the gray, short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica, will be the first of any marsupial to be fully sequenced. The utility of this sequence will be greatly enhanced by construction and integration of detailed genetic and physical maps. Therefore, it is important to verify the unusual recombinational characteristics that were suggested by the 'first-generation' M. domestica linkage map; specifically, very low levels of recombination and severely reduced female recombination, both of which are contrary to patterns in other vertebrates. We constructed a new linkage map based on a different genetic cross, using a new and much larger set of map markers, and physically anchored and oriented the linkage groups onto chromosomes via fluorescence in-situ hybridization mapping. This map includes 150 loci in eight autosomal linkage groups corresponding to the eight autosome pairs, and spans 86-89% of the autosomal genome. The sex-averaged autosomal map covers 715 cM, with a full-length estimate of 866 cM; the shortest full-length linkage map reported for any vertebrate. The sex-specific maps confirmed severely reduced female recombination in all linkage groups, and an overall F/M map ratio = 0.54. These results greatly extend earlier findings, and provide an improved microsatellite-based linkage map for this species.

  5. Torpor at high ambient temperature in a neotropical didelphid, the grey short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Busse, Sebastian; Lutter, Dominik; Heldmaier, Gerhard; Jastroch, Martin; Meyer, Carola W

    2014-11-01

    The grey short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica, has been an established research animal for more than five decades, but relatively, little is known about its thermophysiology. Here we studied core body temperature (T b) and metabolic rate (MR) of female adult M. domestica housed in the laboratory at an ambient temperature (T a) of 26 °C. In expanding previous reports, the average recorded core T b of M. domestica was 34.3 °C. The T b of an individual M. domestica can drop below 30 °C (minimal T b: 28.6 °C) accompanied by a reduction in MR of up to 52 % even while having ad libitum access to food. These findings demonstrate for the first time the presence of spontaneous torpor in M. domestica. Metabolic suppression at relatively high T a and T b furthermore broadens our perspective on the use of torpor as a metabolic strategy not just restricted to cold climates.

  6. Torpor at high ambient temperature in a neotropical didelphid, the grey short-tailed opossum ( Monodelphis domestica)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Busse, Sebastian; Lutter, Dominik; Heldmaier, Gerhard; Jastroch, Martin; Meyer, Carola W.

    2014-11-01

    The grey short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica, has been an established research animal for more than five decades, but relatively, little is known about its thermophysiology. Here we studied core body temperature ( T b) and metabolic rate (MR) of female adult M. domestica housed in the laboratory at an ambient temperature ( T a) of 26 °C. In expanding previous reports, the average recorded core T b of M. domestica was 34.3 °C. The T b of an individual M. domestica can drop below 30 °C (minimal T b: 28.6 °C) accompanied by a reduction in MR of up to 52 % even while having ad libitum access to food. These findings demonstrate for the first time the presence of spontaneous torpor in M. domestica. Metabolic suppression at relatively high T a and T b furthermore broadens our perspective on the use of torpor as a metabolic strategy not just restricted to cold climates.

  7. Role of dietary fatty acids on energetics and torpor in the Chilean mouse-opossum Thylamys elegans.

    PubMed

    Bozinovic, F; Méndez, M A

    1997-02-01

    We hypothetized that the Chilean mouse-opossum Thylamys elegans needs micronutrients that are in fruits and seeds, and the unsaturated fatty acids are such micronutrients that may allow individuals of this species to experience longer torpor bouts, lower body temperatures during torpor and higher energy savings during wintertime. To test this hypothesis, we studied: 1) wintertime preferences by artificial diets rich in saturated fatty acids, unsaturated fatty acids and control diets, and 2) the effect of acclimation to dietary fatty acids on the energetics and torpor patterns in this species. When individuals where allowed to choose between the experimental diets they always selected the unsaturated fatty acid diet. After 4 weeks of dietary acclimation, the average daily metabolic rate was not significantly different among treatments, neither was minimum metabolic rate during torpor significantly different, in spite of a tendency to lower values that was detected under unsaturated fatty acid treatment. A similar pattern was observed when body temperature during torpor was compared among treatments. Two explanations are proposed: 1) Acclimation time was not sufficient to obtain statistical significance, but physiological differences and 2) metabolic rate during torpor are not affected by dietary lipids in this species.

  8. Skeletal fiber types and spindle distribution in limb and jaw muscles of the adult and neonatal opossum, Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Sciote, J J; Rowlerson, A

    1998-08-01

    The South American opossum, Monodelphis domestica, is very immature at birth, and we wished to assess its potential for studies of jaw muscle development. Given the lack of prior information about any Monodelphis fiber types or spindles, our study aimed to identify for the first time fiber types in both adult and neonatal muscles and the location of spindles in the jaw muscles. Fiber types were identified in frozen sections of adult and 6-day-old jaw and limb muscles by using myosin ATPase and metabolic enzyme histochemistry and by immunostaining for myosin isoforms. The distribution of fiber types and muscle spindles throughout the jaw-closer muscles was identified by immunostaining of sections of methacarnoy-fixed, wax-embedded heads. Most muscles contained one slow (type I) and two fast fiber types (equivalent to types IIA and IIX), which were similar to those in eutherian muscle, and an additional (non-IIB) fast type. In jaw-closer muscles, the main extrafusal fiber type was IIM (characteristic of these muscles in some eutherians), and almost all spindles were concentrated in four restricted areas: one in masseter and three in temporalis. Six-day neonatal muscles were very immature, but future spindle-rich areas were revealed by immunostaining and corresponded in position to the adult areas. Extrafusal and spindle fiber types in Monodelphis share many similarities with eutherian mammalian muscle. This finding, along with the immaturity of myosin isoform expression observed 6 days postnatally, indicates that Monodelphis could provide a valuable model for studying early developmental events in the jaw-closer muscles and their spindles.

  9. Copper complex species within a fragment of the N-terminal repeat region in opossum PrP protein.

    PubMed

    Vagliasindi, Laura I; Arena, Giuseppe; Bonomo, Raffaele P; Pappalardo, Giuseppe; Tabbì, Giovanni

    2011-03-21

    A spectroscopic (UV-Vis, CD and EPR), thermodynamic and voltammetric study of the copper(ii) complexes with the Ac-PHPGGSNWGQ-NH(2) polypeptide (L), a fragment of the opossum PrP protein N-terminal four-repeat region, was carried out in aqueous solution. It suggests the formation of a highly distorted [Cu(L)H(-2)] complex species in the neutral region, the stereochemistry of which is ascribable to a square base pyramid and a CuN(3)O(2) chromophore, resulting from the coordination of a histidine imidazole and two peptide nitrogen atoms and probably oxygen atoms from water molecules. At basic pH values a [Cu(L)H(-3)](-) species with a pseudo-octahedral geometry was also obtained, with four nitrogen donor atoms in its equatorial plane, coming from the histidine residue and from peptidic nitrogen atoms. Interestingly, at pH values relatively higher than the neutrality, the coordination sphere of the copper complex in the [Cu(L)H(-2)] species changes its stereochemistry towards a pseudo-octahedron, as suggested by the change in the parallel copper hyperfine coupling constant of the EPR spectra at low temperature. A slight difference in the redox potentials between this two-faced [Cu(L)H(-2)] complex species seems to confirm this behaviour. Both potentiometric and spectroscopic data were compared with the analogous species obtained with the Ac-PHGGGWGQ-NH(2) peptide, belonging to the octarepeat domain of the human prion protein (hPrP) N-terminal region. The [Cu(L)H(-2)] species formed by the Ac-PHPGGSNWGQ-NH(2) decapeptide, having a slightly lower stability, turned out to be less abundant and to exist within a narrow pH range.

  10. The impact of Quaternary climate oscillations on divergence times and historical population sizes in Thylamys opossums from the Andes.

    PubMed

    Giarla, Thomas C; Jansa, Sharon A

    2015-05-01

    Climate oscillations during the Quaternary altered the distributions of terrestrial animals at a global scale. In mountainous regions, temperature fluctuations may have led to shifts in range size and population size as species tracked their shifting habitats upslope or downslope. This creates the potential for both allopatric speciation and population size fluctuations, as species are either constrained to smaller patches of habitat at higher elevations or able to expand into broader areas at higher latitudes. We considered the impact of climate oscillations on three pairs of marsupial species from the Andes (Thylamys opossums) by inferring divergence times and demographic changes. We compare four different divergence dating approaches, using anywhere from one to 26 loci. Each pair comprises a northern (tropical) lineage and a southern (subtropical to temperate) lineage. We predicted that divergences would have occurred during the last interglacial (LIG) period approximately 125 000 years ago and that population sizes for northern and southern lineages would either contract or expand, respectively. Our results suggest that all three north-south pairs diverged in the late Pleistocene during or slightly after the LIG. The three northern lineages showed no signs of population expansion, whereas two southern lineages exhibited dramatic, recent expansions. We attribute the difference in responses between tropical and subtropical lineages to the availability of 'montane-like' habitats at lower elevations in regions at higher latitudes. We conclude that climate oscillations of the late Quaternary had a powerful impact on the evolutionary history of some of these species, both promoting speciation and leading to significant population size shifts.

  11. Age-dependent changes in the proteome following complete spinal cord transection in a postnatal South American opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Noor, Natassya M; Steer, David L; Wheaton, Benjamin J; Ek, C Joakim; Truettner, Jessie S; Dietrich, W Dalton; Dziegielewska, Katarzyna M; Richardson, Samantha J; Smith, A Ian; VandeBerg, John L; Saunders, Norman R

    2011-01-01

    Recovery from severe spinal injury in adults is limited, compared to immature animals who demonstrate some capacity for repair. Using laboratory opossums (Monodelphis domestica), the aim was to compare proteomic responses to injury at two ages: one when there is axonal growth across the lesion and substantial behavioural recovery and one when no axonal growth occurs. Anaesthetized pups at postnatal day (P) 7 or P28 were subjected to complete transection of the spinal cord at thoracic level T10. Cords were collected 1 or 7 days after injury and from age-matched controls. Proteins were separated based on isoelectric point and subunit molecular weight; those whose expression levels changed following injury were identified by densitometry and analysed by mass spectrometry. Fifty-six unique proteins were identified as differentially regulated in response to spinal transection at both ages combined. More than 50% were cytoplasmic and 70% belonged to families of proteins with characteristic binding properties. Proteins were assigned to groups by biological function including regulation (40%), metabolism (26%), inflammation (19%) and structure (15%). More changes were detected at one than seven days after injury at both ages. Seven identified proteins: 14-3-3 epsilon, 14-3-3 gamma, cofilin, alpha enolase, heart fatty acid binding protein (FABP3), brain fatty acid binding protein (FABP7) and ubiquitin demonstrated age-related differential expression and were analysed by qRT-PCR. Changes in mRNA levels for FABP3 at P7+1day and ubiquitin at P28+1day were statistically significant. Immunocytochemical staining showed differences in ubiquitin localization in younger compared to older cords and an increase in oligodendrocyte and neuroglia immunostaining following injury at P28. Western blot analysis supported proteomic results for ubiquitin and 14-3-3 proteins. Data obtained at the two ages demonstrated changes in response to injury, compared to controls, that were different for

  12. Spontaneous development of full weight-supported stepping after complete spinal cord transection in the neonatal opossum, Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Wheaton, Benjamin J; Callaway, Jennifer K; Ek, C Joakim; Dziegielewska, Katarzyna M; Saunders, Norman R

    2011-01-01

    Spinal cord trauma in the adult nervous system usually results in permanent loss of function below the injury level. The immature spinal cord has greater capacity for repair and can develop considerable functionality by adulthood. This study used the marsupial laboratory opossum Monodelphis domestica, which is born at a very early stage of neural development. Complete spinal cord transection was made in the lower-thoracic region of pups at postnatal-day 7 (P7) or P28, and the animals grew to adulthood. Injury at P7 resulted in a dense neuronal tissue bridge that connected the two ends of the cord; retrograde neuronal labelling indicated that supraspinal and propriospinal innervation spanned the injury site. This repair was associated with pronounced behavioural recovery, coordinated gait and an ability to use hindlimbs when swimming. Injury at P28 resulted in a cyst-like cavity encased in scar tissue forming at the injury site. Using retrograde labelling, no labelled brainstem or propriospinal neurons were found above the lesion, indicating that detectable neuronal connectivity had not spanned the injury site. However, these animals could use their hindlimbs to take weight-supporting steps but could not use their hindlimbs when swimming. White matter, demonstrated by Luxol Fast Blue staining, was present in the injury site of P7- but not P28-injured animals. Overall, these studies demonstrated that provided spinal injury occurs early in development, regrowth of supraspinal innervation is possible. This repair appears to lead to improved functional outcomes. At older ages, even without detectable axonal growth spanning the injury site, substantial development of locomotion was still possible. This outcome is discussed in conjunction with preliminary findings of differences in the local propriospinal circuits following spinal cord injury (demonstrated with fluororuby labelling), which may underlie the weight bearing locomotion observed in the apparent absence of

  13. Asp-ase Activity of the Opossum Granzyme B Supports the Role of Granzyme B as Part of Anti-Viral Immunity Already during Early Mammalian Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Zhirong; Thorpe, Michael; Akula, Srinivas; Hellman, Lars

    2016-01-01

    Granzyme B is one of the key effector molecules in our defense against viruses and intracellular bacteria. This serine protease together with the pore forming protein perforin, induces caspase or Bid-dependent apoptosis in target cells. Here we present the first characterization of a granzyme B homolog, the grathepsodenase, in a non-placental mammal, the American opossum (Monodelphis domestica). The recombinant enzyme was produced in a human cell line and used to study its primary and extended cleavage specificity using a panel of chromogenic substrates and recombinant protein substrates. The opossum granzyme B was found to have a specificity similar to human granzyme B, although slightly less restrictive in its extended specificity. The identification of a granzyme B homolog with asp-ase (cleaving after aspartic acid) specificity in a non-placental mammal provides strong indications that caspase or Bid-dependent apoptosis by a serine protease with a conserved primary specificity has been part of anti-viral immunity since early mammalian evolution. This finding also indicates that an asp-ase together with a chymase were the first two serine protease genes to appear in the mammalian chymase locus. PMID:27152961

  14. Evolution of mammalian CD1: marsupial CD1 is not orthologous to the eutherian isoforms and is a pseudogene in the opossum Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Baker, Michelle L; Miller, Robert D

    2007-05-01

    CD1 is a member of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I family of proteins that present lipid antigens to T cells and natural killer (NK) T cells; it is found in both eutherian mammals and birds. In eutherians, duplication of the CD1 gene has resulted in multiple isoforms. A marsupial CD1 homologue was identified in a set of expressed sequence tags from the thymus of the bandicoot Isoodon macrourus. Southern blot and genomic sequence analyses revealed that CD1 is a single copy gene in both I. macrourus and a distantly related marsupial, the opossum Monodelphis domestica, which is currently the only marsupial species for which a whole genome sequence is available. We found that the opossum CD1 is located in a genomic region with a high degree of conserved synteny to the chromosomal regions containing human and mouse CD1. A phylogenetic analysis of mammalian CD1 revealed that marsupial CD1 is not orthologous to the eutherian CD1 isoforms, consistent with the latter having emerged by duplication after the separation of marsupials and eutherians 170-180 million years ago. The I. macrourus CD1 gene is actively transcribed and appears to encode a functional protein. In contrast, transcription of the M. domestica CD1 was not detected in any tissue and the predicted CD1 gene sequence contains a number of deletions that appear to render the locus a pseudogene.

  15. The biodynamics of arboreal locomotion: the effects of substrate diameter on locomotor kinetics in the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Lammers, Andrew R; Biknevicius, Audrone R

    2004-11-01

    Effects of substrate diameter on locomotor biodynamics were studied in the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica). Two horizontal substrates were used: a flat 'terrestrial' trackway with a force platform integrated into the surface and a cylindrical 'arboreal' trackway (20.3 mm diameter) with a force-transducer instrumented region. On both terrestrial and arboreal substrates, fore limbs exhibited higher vertical impulse and peak vertical force than hind limbs. Although vertical limb impulses were lower on the terrestrial substrate than on the arboreal support, this was probably due to speed effects because the opossums refused to move as quickly on the arboreal trackway. Vertical impulse decreased significantly faster with speed on the arboreal substrate because most of these trials were relatively slow, and stance duration decreased with speed more rapidly at these lower speeds. While braking and propulsive roles were more segregated between limbs on the terrestrial trackway, fore limbs were dominant both in braking and in propulsion on the arboreal trackway. Both fore and hind limbs exerted equivalently strong, medially directed limb forces on the arboreal trackway and laterally directed limb forces on the terrestrial trackway. We propose that the modifications in substrate reaction force on the arboreal trackway are due to the differential placement of the limbs about the dorsolateral aspect of the branch. Specifically, the pes typically made contact with the branch lower and more laterally than the manus, which may explain the significantly lower required coefficient of friction in the fore limbs relative to the hind limbs.

  16. Primary sensory afferent innervation of the developing superficial dorsal horn in the South American opossum Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Kitchener, Peter D; Hutton, Elspeth J; Knott, Graham W

    2006-03-01

    The development of the primary sensory innervation of the superficial dorsal horn (SDH) was studied in postnatal opossums Monodelphis domestica by using DiI labelling of primary afferents and with GSA-IB(4) lectin binding and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) immunoreactivity to label primary afferent subpopulations. We also compared the timing of SDH innervation in the cervical and lumbar regions of the spinal cord. The first primary afferent projections to SDH emerge from the most lateral part of the dorsal root entry zone at postnatal day 5 and project around the lateral edge of the SDH toward lamina V. Innervation of the SDH occurs slowly over the second and third postnatal weeks, with the most dorsal aspect becoming populated by mediolaterally oriented varicose fibers before the rest of the dorsoventral thickness of the SDH becomes innervated by fine branching varicose fibers. Labelling with GSA-IB(4) lectin also labelled fibers at the lateral edge of the dorsal horn and SDH at P5, indicating that the GSA-IB(4) is expressed on SDH/lamina V primary afferents at the time when they are making their projections into the spinal cord. In contrast, CGRP-immunoreactive afferents were not evident until postnatal day 7, when a few short projections into the lateral dorsal horn were observed. These afferents then followed a pattern similar to the development of GSA-IB(4) projects but with a latency of several days. The adult pattern of labelling by GSA-IB(4) is achieved by about postnatal day 20, whereas the adult pattern of CGRP labelling was not seen until postnatal day 30. Electron microscopy revealed a few immature synapses in the region of the developing SDH at postnatal day 10, and processes considered to be precursors of glomerular synapses (and thus of primary afferent origin) were first seen at postnatal day 16 and adopted their definitive appearance between postnatal days 28 and 55. Although structural and functional development of forelimbs of neonatal

  17. Isolation of Mycobacterium avium subsp paratuberculosis (Map) from feral cats on a dairy farm with Map-infected cattle.

    PubMed

    Palmer, Mitchell V; Stoffregen, William C; Carpenter, Jeremy G; Stabel, Judith R

    2005-07-01

    Paratuberculosis is an economically important disease of dairy cattle caused by Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (Map). The role of nonruminant, nondomestic animals in the epidemiology of paratuberculosis in cattle is unclear. To examine nonruminant, nondomestic animals for the presence of Map, 25 feral cats, nine mice (species unknown), eight rabbits (Sylvilagus floridanus), six raccoons (Procyon lotor), and three opossums (Didelphis virginiana) were collected from a mid-western dairy with known Map-infected cattle. Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis was isolated from the mesenteric lymph node from seven of 25 (28%) feral cats. Ileum was culture-positive for three of these seven cats, and an isolation of Map was also made from the ileum of one of nine (11%) mice. Tissue samples from other species were negative as determined by Map culture; microscopic lesions consistent with paratuberculosis were not seen in any animal. Restriction fragment polymorphism analysis of isolates from cats and dairy cattle suggest interspecies transmission. The means by which interspecies transmission occurred may be through ingestion of Map-contaminated feces or waste milk or through ingestion of Map-infected prey. Shedding of Map from infected cats was not evaluated. The epidemiologic role of Map-infected feral cats on dairy farms requires further investigation.

  18. Amblyomma auricularium (Ixodida: Ixodidae) in Florida: New Hosts and Distribution Records.

    PubMed

    Mertins, James W; Vigil, Stacey L; Corn, Joseph L

    2017-01-01

    Previous published evidence for the occurrence of an exotic armadillo tick, Amblyomma auricularium (Conil), in Florida is scant, but we found it is fully established and integrated into the state's tick fauna. We collected 11,192 specimens of this tick from naturalized nine-banded armadillos, Dasypus novemcinctus L., and 14 other species of wild native mammals and birds in Florida, while sampling statewide during 2004 through 2007. In all, we document its specific presence only in 14 contiguous South Florida counties. Moreover, we report the first collections of A. auricularium from the Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana Kerr), common raccoon [Procyon lotor (L.)], cotton deermouse [Peromyscus gossypinus (Le Conte)], gray fox [Urocyon cinereoargenteus (Schreber)], eastern spotted skunk [Spilogale putorius (L.)], and white-tailed deer [Odocoileus virginianus (Zimmerman)]. For the first time on birds, we report the collection of this tick from the broad-winged hawk [Buteo platypterus (Vieillot)], northern cardinal [Cardinalis cardinalis (L.)], Carolina wren [Thryothorus ludovicianus (Latham)], gray catbird [Dumetella carolinensis (L.)], and yellow-rumped warbler [Setophaga coronata (L.)]. In addition, we report unattached A. auricularium collected from humans for the first time, and additional new collections from domestic dogs, Canis lupus familiaris L.

  19. Sarcocystis neurona manipulation using culture-derived merozoites for bradyzoite and sporocyst production.

    PubMed

    Chaney, Sarah B; Marsh, Antoinette E; Lewis, Stephanie; Carman, Michelle; Howe, Daniel K; Saville, William J; Reed, Stephen M

    2017-03-18

    Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) remains a significant central nervous system disease of horses in the American continents. Sarcocystis neurona is considered the primary causative agent and its intermediate life stages are carried by a wide host-range including raccoons (Procyon lotor) in North America. S. neurona sarcocysts mature in raccoon skeletal muscle and can produce central nervous system disease in raccoons, mirroring the clinical presentation in horses. The study aimed to develop laboratory tools whereby the life cycle and various life stages of S. neurona could be better studied and manipulated using in vitro and in vivo systems and compare the biology of two independent isolates. This study utilized culture-derived parasites from S. neurona strains derived from a raccoon or from a horse to initiate raccoon infections. Raccoon tissues, including fresh and cryopreserved tissues, were used to establish opossum (Didelphis virginiana) infections, which then shed sporocyts with retained biological activity to cause encephalitis in mice. These results demonstrate that sarcocysts can be generated using in vitro-derived S. neurona merozoites, including an isolate originally derived from a naturally infected horse with clinical EPM. This study indicates the life cycle can be significantly manipulated in the laboratory without affecting subsequent stage development, allowing further purification of strains and artificial maintenance of the life cycle.

  20. Evaluating wildlife-cattle contact rates to improve the understanding of dynamics of bovine tuberculosis transmission in Michigan, USA.

    PubMed

    Lavelle, Michael J; Kay, Shannon L; Pepin, Kim M; Grear, Daniel A; Campa, Henry; VerCauteren, Kurt C

    2016-12-01

    Direct and indirect contacts among individuals drive transmission of infectious disease. When multiple interacting species are susceptible to the same pathogen, risk assessment must include all potential host species. Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is an example of a disease that can be transmitted among several wildlife species and to cattle, although the potential role of several wildlife species in spillback to cattle remains unclear. To better understand the complex network of contacts and factors driving disease transmission, we fitted proximity logger collars to beef and dairy cattle (n=37), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus; n=29), raccoon (Procyon lotor; n=53), and Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana; n=79) for 16 months in Michigan's Lower Peninsula, USA. We determined inter- and intra-species direct and indirect contact rates. Data on indirect contact was calculated when collared animals visited stationary proximity loggers placed at cattle feed and water resources. Most contact between wildlife species and cattle was indirect, with the highest contact rates occurring between raccoons and cattle during summer and fall. Nearly all visits (>99%) to cattle feed and water sources were by cattle, whereas visitation to stored cattle feed was dominated by deer and raccoon (46% and 38%, respectively). Our results suggest that indirect contact resulting from wildlife species visiting cattle-related resources could pose a risk of disease transmission to cattle and deserves continued attention with active mitigation.

  1. Determining nest predators of the Least Bell's Vireo through point counts, tracking stations, and video photography

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peterson, Bonnie L.; Kus, Barbara E.; Deutschman, Douglas H.

    2004-01-01

    We compared three methods to determine nest predators of the Least Bell's Vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus) in San Diego County, California, during spring and summer 2000. Point counts and tracking stations were used to identify potential predators and video photography to document actual nest predators. Parental behavior at depredated nests was compared to that at successful nests to determine whether activity (frequency of trips to and from the nest) and singing vs. non-singing on the nest affected nest predation. Yellow-breasted Chats (Icteria virens) were the most abundant potential avian predator, followed by Western Scrub-Jays (Aphelocoma californica). Coyotes (Canis latrans) were abundant, with smaller mammalian predators occurring in low abundance. Cameras documented a 48% predation rate with scrub-jays as the major nest predators (67%), but Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana, 17%), gopher snakes (Pituophis melanoleucus, 8%) and Argentine ants (Linepithema humile, 8%) were also confirmed predators. Identification of potential predators from tracking stations and point counts demonstrated only moderate correspondence with actual nest predators. Parental behavior at the nest prior to depredation was not related to nest outcome.

  2. High Prevalence of Porocephalus crotali Infection on a Barrier Island (Cumberland Island) off the Coast of Georgia, with Identification of Novel Intermediate Hosts.

    PubMed

    Yabsley, Michael J; Ellis, Angela E; Cleveland, Christopher A; Ruckdeschel, Carol

    2015-10-01

    Porocephalus crotali is a pentastomid parasite that uses crotaline snakes as definitive hosts and a variety of rodents as intermediate hosts. A study of definitive and intermediate pentastome hosts on Cumberland Island, Georgia, revealed high prevalence of P. crotali infection in crotalid snakes as well as several mammalian species. Despite the presence of numerous nymphs in some animals, clinical signs of disease were not observed. In intermediate hosts, the liver, mesentery, and reproductive organs were most commonly infected. No gross evidence of tissue damage was noted in association with the numerous encysted nymphal pentastomes, and histopathology demonstrated minimal reaction to the encysted nymphs. Partial 18S rRNA gene sequences confirmed the parasites were P. crotali. In contrast to many previous reports in rodents, the prevalence on this barrier island was high, and this is the first report of Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) and any insectivore species as intermediate hosts. Although generally not considered pathogenic, the long-term consequences of high nymph intensities on individuals deserve attention.

  3. Distribution of the parvalbumin, calbindin-D28K and calretinin immunoreactivity in globus pallidus of the Brazilian short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Domaradzka-Pytel, Beata; Majak, Katarzyna; Spodnik, Jan; Olkowicz, Seweryn; Turlejski, Krzysztof; Djavadian, Ruzanna L; Moryś, Janusz

    2007-01-01

    This study describes the topography, borders and divisions of the globus pallidus in the Brazilian short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica) and distribution of the three calcium binding proteins, parvalbumin (PV), calbindin D-28k (CB) and calretinin (CR) in that nucleus. The globus pallidus of the opossum consists of medial and lateral parts that are visible with Nissl or Timm's staining and also in PV and CR immunostained sections. Neurons of the globus pallidus expressing these proteins were classified into three types on the basis of size and shape of their soma and dendritic tree. Type 1 neurons had medium-sized fusiform soma with dendrites sprouting from the opposite poles. Neurons of the type 2 had medium-to-large, multipolar soma with scarce, thin dendrites. Cell bodies of type 3 neurons were small and either ovoid or round. Immunostaining showed that the most numerous were neurons expressing PV that belonged to all three types. Density of the PV-immunopositive fibers and puncta correlated with the density of the PV-labeled neurons. Labeling for CB resulted mainly in the light staining of neuropil in both parts of the nucleus, while the CB-expressing cells (mainly of the type 2) were scarce and placed only along the border of the globus pallidus and putamen. Staining for calretinin resulted in labeling almost exclusively the immunoreactive puncta and fibers that were distributed with medium-to-high density throughout the nucleus. Close to the border of globus pallidus with the putamen these fibers (probably dendrites) were long, thin and varicous, while more medially bundles of thick, short and smooth fibers predominated. Single CR-ir neurons (all of the type 3) were scattered through the globus pallidus. Colocalization of two calcium binding proteins in one neuron was. never observed. The CB-ir puncta (probably terminals of axons projecting to the nucleus) frequently formed basket-like structures around the PV-ir neurons. Therefore, the globus pallidus

  4. Effects of climate and exurban development on nest predation and predator presence in the southern Appalachian Mountains (USA).

    PubMed

    Lumpkin, Heather A; Pearson, Scott M; Turner, Monica G

    2012-08-01

    In the eastern United States, land-use and climate change have likely contributed to declines in the abundance of Neotropical migrant birds that occupy forest interiors, but the mechanisms are not well understood. We conducted a nest-predation experiment in southern Appalachian Mountain forests (North Carolina, U.S.A.) during the 2009 and 2010 breeding seasons to determine the effects of exurban development and temperature on predator presence and the average number of days until eggs in an artificial nest were disturbed by predators. We baited artificial nests with quail (Excalfactoria chinensi) eggs and monitored them for 18 days. We used clay eggs, track plates, and motion-triggered cameras to detect and identify nest predators. The average number of days a nest was undisturbed decreased as mean temperature increased and, to a lesser extent, as the density of buildings increased. Nests on the ground were more often depredated than those in trees, likely due to increased predation by opossum (Didelphis virginiana) and other carnivores. Raccoons (Procyon lotor), opossums, corvids (Corvus brachyrhynchos and Cyanocitta cristata), chipmunks (Tamias striatus), black bears (Ursus americanus), and domestic cats (Felis catus) were the most commonly detected predators. Presence of these predators did not vary as a function of mean temperature. Domestic cats and corvids were detected more frequently in plots with high rather than low densities of buildings. Forest-interior specialists and Neotropical migrants often nest in cool, high-elevation areas with low housing density. These bird species, especially those that nest on the ground, may be most vulnerable to increased nest predation if temperature and exurban development increase at higher elevations as anticipated.

  5. Characterization of beta(2)-microglobulin coding sequence from three non-placental mammals: the duckbill platypus, the short-beaked echidna, and the grey short-tailed opossum.

    PubMed

    Miska, Katarzyna B; Hellman, Lars; Miller, Robert D

    2003-03-01

    To further characterize genes of immunological importance from non-placental mammals, cDNAs encoding beta(2)-microglobulin (beta(2)m) were isolated from two prototherians, the platypus and an echidna, and one metatherian, a grey short-tailed opossum. In addition, a second allele of beta(2)m was identified in another metatherian species, the brushtail possum. Analysis of the deduced translations revealed conservation of key residues in these molecules over a long evolutionary history. The types of nucleotide substitutions present among the various taxa are also consistent with purifying selection at this conserved locus. An evolutionary tree of beta(2)m was constructed that supports the classic view of evolution with prototherians as the basal mammalian group.

  6. Sex differences and the role of aromatization in the control of sexually dimorphic behavior and morphology in gray short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Fadem, B H; Corbett, A

    1993-09-01

    Sex differences in the activating effects of an aromatizable (testosterone, T) and a nonaromatizable (dihydrotestosterone, DHT) androgen on sexually dimorphic scent marking and aggressive behavior were examined in gonadectomized gray short-tailed opossums. When compared with males, females showed less chest, head, flank, and hip marking and more fighting behavior in tests with stimulus females and threat behavior in tests with stimulus males following receipt of subcutaneous T, DHT, or blank (B) implants. Testosterone but not DHT activated hip and head marking while both T and DHT activated flank marking. In tests with stimulus females, only males showed clicking vocalizations and T but not DHT or B stimulated clicking. Animals that received T had significantly larger suprasternal scent glands than those that received DHT or B. The significance of these findings is discussed with respect to the development of sex differences in behavior in eutherian mammals.

  7. Age-related differences in the local cellular and molecular responses to injury in developing spinal cord of the opossum, Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Lane, M A; Truettner, J S; Brunschwig, J-P; Gomez, A; Bunge, M B; Dietrich, W D; Dziegielewska, K M; Ek, C J; Vandeberg, J L; Saunders, N R

    2007-03-01

    Immature spinal cord, unlike adult, has an ability to repair itself following injury. Evidence for regeneration, structural repair and development of substantially normal locomotor behaviour comes from studies of marsupials due to their immaturity at birth. We have compared morphological, cellular and molecular changes in spinal cords transected at postnatal day (P)7 or P14, from 3 h to 2 weeks post-injury, in South American opossums (Monodelphis domestica). A bridge between severed ends of cords was apparent 5 days post-injury in P7 cords, compared to 2 weeks in P14. The volume of neurofilament (axonal) material in the bridge 2 weeks after injury was 30% of control in P7- but < 10% in P14-injured cords. Granulocytes accumulated at the site of injury earlier (3 h) in P7 than in P14 (24 h)-injured animals. Monocytes accumulated 24 h post-injury and accumulation was greater in P14 cords. Accumulation of GFAP-positive astrocytes at the lesion occurred earlier in P14-injured cords. Neurites and growth cones were identified ultrastructurally in contact with astrocytes forming the bridge. Results using mouse inflammatory gene arrays showed differences in levels of expression of many TGF, TNF, cytokine, chemokine and interleukin gene families. Most of the genes identified were up-regulated to a greater extent following injury at P7. Some changes were validated and quantified by RT-PCR. Overall, the results suggest that at least some of the greater ability to recover from spinal cord transection at P7 compared to P14 in opossums is due to differences in inflammatory cellular and molecular responses.

  8. Formation of 5alpha-reduced androgens in the testes and urogenital tract of the grey short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Jean D; Renfree, Marilyn B; Auchus, Richard J; Pask, Andrew J; Shaw, Geoffrey

    2009-01-01

    Testicular 5alpha-reduced androgens, largely 5alpha-androstane-3alpha,17beta-diol (androstanediol), are responsible for virilisation of pouch young in one marsupial (the tammar wallaby), but are not formed until later in development in another marsupial (the brushtail possum) and in rodents. Because the mechanism of virilisation of the urogenital tract in the grey short-tailed opossum Monodelphis domestica has never been defined, androgen formation and metabolism were investigated in this species. Testis fragments from grey short-tailed opossums of a wide range of ages were incubated with [3H]-progesterone and the metabolites were separated by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The only 19-carbon metabolites identified in the youngest ages (5-26 days) and the major metabolites in adult testes were testosterone and androstenedione. At 30, 42 and 49 days of age, dihydrotestosterone and small amounts of androstanediol were present. Time-sequence studies indicated that dihydrotestosterone and androstanediol were formed from the 5alpha-reduction (and 3-keto reduction) of testosterone. In a second series of experiments, tissue fragments of a variety of urogenital tract tissues were incubated with [3H]-testosterone and the metabolites separated by HPLC. During the interval in which male urogenital tract differentiation takes place in this species (between Days 15 and 28), the major metabolite identified was dihydrotestosterone. We conclude that the timing of 5alpha-reductase expression in the testes of the grey short-tailed possum resembles that of rodents and the brushtail possum rather than that of the tammar wallaby and that dihydrotestosterone is probably the intracellular androgen responsible for virilisation of the urogenital tract in this species.

  9. Functional effectiveness of the blood-brain barrier to small water-soluble molecules in developing and adult opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Ek, Carl Joakim; Dziegielewska, Katarzyna Magdalena; Stolp, Helen; Saunders, Norman Ruthven

    2006-05-01

    We have evaluated a small water-soluble molecule, biotin ethylenediamine (BED, 286 Da), as a permeability tracer across the blood-brain barrier. This molecule was found to have suitable characteristics in that it is stable in plasma, has low plasma protein binding, and appears to behave in a similar manner across brain barriers as established by permeability markers such as sucrose. BED, together with a 3000-Da biotin-dextran (BDA3000), was used to investigate the effectiveness of tight junctions in cortical vessels during development and adulthood of a marsupial opossum (Monodelphis domestica). Marsupial species are born at an early stage of brain development when cortical vessels are just beginning to appear. The tracers were administered systemically to opossums at various ages and localized in brains with light and electron microscopy. In adults, the tight junctions restricted the movement of both tracers. In neonates, as soon as vessels grow into the neocortex, their tight junctions are functionally restrictive, a finding supported by the presence of claudin-5 in endothelial cells. However, both tracers are also found within brain extracellular space soon after intraperitoneal administration. The main route of entry for the tracers into immature neocortex appears to be via the cerebrospinal fluid over the outer (subarachnoid) and inner (ventricular) surfaces of the brain. These experiments demonstrate that the previously described higher permeability of barriers to small molecules in the developing brain does not seem to be due to leakiness of cerebral endothelial tight junctions, but to a route of entry probably via the choroid plexuses and cerebrospinal fluid.

  10. Functional conservation of the lncRNA NEAT1 in the ancestrally diverged marsupial lineage: Evidence for NEAT1 expression and associated paraspeckle assembly during late gestation in the opossum Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Cornelis, Guillaume; Souquere, Sylvie; Vernochet, Cécile; Heidmann, Thierry; Pierron, Gérard

    2016-09-01

    Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are widely expressed and play various roles in cell homeostasis. However, because of their low conservation at the sequence level, recapitulating lncRNA evolutionary history is often challenging. While performing an ultrastructural analysis of viral particles present in uterine glands of gestating opossum females, we serendipitously noticed the presence of numerous structures similar to paraspeckles, nuclear bodies which in human and mouse cells are assembled around an architectural NEAT1/MENϵ/β lncRNA. Here, using an opossum kidney (OK) cell line, we confirmed by immuno-electron microscopy the presence of paraspeckles in marsupials. We then identified the orthologous opossum NEAT1 gene which, although poorly conserved at the sequence level, displays NEAT1 characteristic features such as short and long isoforms expressed from a unique promoter and for the latter an RNase P cleavage site at its 3'-end. Combining tissue-specific qRT-PCR, in situ hybridization at the optical and electron microscopic levels, we show that (i) NEAT1 is paraspeckle-associated in opossum (ii) NEAT1 expression is strongly induced in late gestation in uterine/placental extracts (iii) NEAT1 induction occurs in the uterine gland nuclei in which paraspeckles were detected. Finally, treatment of OK cells with proteasome inhibitors induces paraspeckle assembly, as previously observed in human cells. Altogether, these results demonstrate that paraspeckles are tissue-specific, stress-responding nuclear bodies in marsupials, illustrating their structural and functional continuity over 200 My of evolution throughout the mammalian lineage. In contrast, the rapid evolution of the NEAT1 transcripts highlights the relaxed constraint that, despite functional conservation, is exerted on this lncRNA.

  11. The marsupial CD8 gene locus: molecular cloning and expression analysis of the alpha and beta sequences in the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica) and the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii).

    PubMed

    Duncan, Louise G; Nair, Sham V; Deane, Elizabeth M

    2009-05-15

    In eutherian mammals, CD8 is a key receptor of cytotoxic T cells and plays a pivotal role in the recognition and elimination of infected host cells by cell-mediated cytotoxicity. Here, we report the molecular cloning and expression analysis of CD8alpha and CD8beta cDNAs in two marsupial species, the gray short-tailed opossum and the tammar wallaby. The opossum and tammar CD8 sequences share a high degree of amino acid identity of 63% (CD8alpha) and 57% (CD8beta) to each other as well as 36-45% (CD8alpha) and 38-41% (CD8beta) with their eutherian counterparts. In addition, many of the signature features of eutherian CD8alpha and CD8beta are preserved in both marsupials including the two invariant cysteines that form the intra-chain disulphide bond in the extracellular IgSfV domain and the two hinge region cysteines involved in dimerisation between the two subunits. The p56(lck) binding motif in the cytoplasmic tail of the CD8alpha subunit is also conserved. Interestingly, the opossum CD8alpha and the tammar CD8beta sequences have a truncated cytoplasmic tail. RT-PCR analysis of CD8alpha and CD8beta transcripts in the tissues of the adult opossum and tammar showed broad tissue expression with a high level of expression observed in the lymphoid tissues of both marsupials. Furthermore, RT-PCR analysis of CD8alpha and CD8beta transcripts in the immune tissues of tammar young over the first 120 days of pouch life revealed a pattern of expression analogous to the maturation of the lymphoid tissues. This is the first report confirming the presence of CD8 in the tissues of a marsupial and will provide the tools to further analyse T cell subsets in this unique group of mammals.

  12. First-generation linkage map of the gray, short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica, reveals genome-wide reduction in female recombination rates.

    PubMed Central

    Samollow, Paul B; Kammerer, Candace M; Mahaney, Susan M; Schneider, Jennifer L; Westenberger, Scott J; VandeBerg, John L; Robinson, Edward S

    2004-01-01

    The gray, short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica, is the most extensively used, laboratory-bred marsupial resource for basic biologic and biomedical research worldwide. To enhance the research utility of this species, we are building a linkage map, using both anonymous markers and functional gene loci, that will enable the localization of quantitative trait loci (QTL) and provide comparative information regarding the evolution of mammalian and other vertebrate genomes. The current map is composed of 83 loci distributed among eight autosomal linkage groups and the X chromosome. The autosomal linkage groups appear to encompass a very large portion of the genome, yet span a sex-average distance of only 633.0 cM, making this the most compact linkage map known among vertebrates. Most surprising, the male map is much larger than the female map (884.6 cM vs. 443.1 cM), a pattern contrary to that in eutherian mammals and other vertebrates. The finding of genome-wide reduction in female recombination in M. domestica, coupled with recombination data from two other, distantly related marsupial species, suggests that reduced female recombination might be a widespread metatherian attribute. We discuss possible explanations for reduced female recombination in marsupials as a consequence of the metatherian characteristic of determinate paternal X chromosome inactivation. PMID:15020427

  13. Claudin-4 forms a paracellular barrier, revealing the interdependence of claudin expression in the loose epithelial cell culture model opossum kidney cells.

    PubMed

    Borovac, Jelena; Barker, Reid S; Rievaj, Juraj; Rasmussen, Andrew; Pan, Wanling; Wevrick, Rachel; Alexander, R Todd

    2012-12-15

    The effect of claudins on paracellular fluxes has been predominantly studied in either Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) or LLCPK cells. Neither model system has a very low transepithelial resistance (TER) as observed in leaky epithelia. Moreover, results from one model system are not always consistent with another. Opossum kidney (OK) cells form tight junctions yet have a very low TER. We therefore set out to characterize the paracellular transport properties of this cell culture model. Ussing chamber dilution potential measurements revealed that OK cells exhibit a very low TER (11.7 ± 1.4 Ω·cm(2)), slight cation selectivity (P(Na)/P(Cl) = 1.10 ± 0.01), and the Eisenman permeability sequence IV; the permeability of monovalent cations ranking K(+) > Cs(+) > Rb(+) > Na(+) > Li(+). Quantitative real-time PCR studies found that OK cells endogenously express claudin-4 > -1 > -6 > -20 > -9 > -12 > -11 > -15. Overexpression of claudin-4 significantly increased TER, decreased Na(+) and Cl(-) permeability, and increased levels of claudin-1, -6, and -9 mRNA. Knockdown of claudin-4 in the overexpressing cells significantly decreased TER without altering claudin expression; thus claudin-4 forms a barrier in OK cells. Knockdown of endogenous claudin-4 decreased claudin-1, -9, and -12 expression without altering TER. Claudin-2 overexpression decreased TER, significantly increased Na(+) and Cl(-) permeability, and decreased claudin-12 and -6 expression. Together these results demonstrate that claudin expression is tightly coupled in OK cells.

  14. Development, inheritance, and linkage-group assignment of 60 novel microsatellite markers for the gray, short-tailed opossum Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Gouin, Nicolas; Westenberger, Scott J; Mahaney, Susan M; Lindley, Peter; VandeBerg, John L; Samollow, Paul B

    2005-12-01

    Short-tandem-repeat (SSR) or microsatellite polymorphisms are some of the most extensively employed genetic markers in contemporary linkage mapping studies. To date, only a limited number of microsatellites have been isolated in the gray, short-tailed opossum Monodelphis domestica, a South American marsupial widely used for comparative biological and biomedical research. To increase the number of potentially useful mapping markers, we screened 2 microsatellite-enriched genomic libraries containing alternatively (CA)n or (GA)n repeats. A total of 184 clones were sequenced, from which 60 polymorphic microsatellite markers were successfully optimized. The efficiency of this enrichment protocol for M. domestica microsatellite isolation is discussed, and suggestions to improve the outcome are made. All 60 loci showed high allelic diversity, with allele numbers ranging from 2 to 10 in a subset of 33 unrelated animals. Normal Mendelian inheritance was confirmed for all loci by analyzing allelic segregation in 5 two-generation families. One microsatellite appeared to be X linked, and null alleles were found in 5 others. Two-point linkage analyses were implemented using the data on the 5 families, leading to the assignment of 59 of these loci to the existing linkage groups. The 60 novel microsatellites developed in this study will contribute significantly to the M. domestica linkage map, and further QTL mapping studies.

  15. Genome-wide histone state profiling of fibroblasts from the opossum, Monodelphis domestica, identifies the first marsupial-specific imprinted gene

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Imprinted genes have been extensively documented in eutherian mammals and found to exhibit significant interspecific variation in the suites of genes that are imprinted and in their regulation between tissues and developmental stages. Much less is known about imprinted loci in metatherian (marsupial) mammals, wherein studies have been limited to a small number of genes previously known to be imprinted in eutherians. We describe the first ab initio search for imprinted marsupial genes, in fibroblasts from the opossum, Monodelphis domestica, based on a genome-wide ChIP-seq strategy to identify promoters that are simultaneously marked by mutually exclusive, transcriptionally opposing histone modifications. Results We identified a novel imprinted gene (Meis1) and two additional monoallelically expressed genes, one of which (Cstb) showed allele-specific, but non-imprinted expression. Imprinted vs. allele-specific expression could not be resolved for the third monoallelically expressed gene (Rpl17). Transcriptionally opposing histone modifications H3K4me3, H3K9Ac, and H3K9me3 were found at the promoters of all three genes, but differential DNA methylation was not detected at CpG islands at any of these promoters. Conclusions In generating the first genome-wide histone modification profiles for a marsupial, we identified the first gene that is imprinted in a marsupial but not in eutherian mammals. This outcome demonstrates the practicality of an ab initio discovery strategy and implicates histone modification, but not differential DNA methylation, as a conserved mechanism for marking imprinted genes in all therian mammals. Our findings suggest that marsupials use multiple epigenetic mechanisms for imprinting and support the concept that lineage-specific selective forces can produce sets of imprinted genes that differ between metatherian and eutherian lines. PMID:24484454

  16. Distribution and ultrastructure of neurons in opossum piriform cortex displaying immunoreactivity to GABA and GAD and high-affinity tritiated GABA uptake

    SciTech Connect

    Haberly, L.B.; Hansen, D.J.; Feig, S.L.; Presto, S.

    1987-12-08

    GABAergic neurons have been identified in the piriform cortex of the opossum at light and electron microscopic levels by immunocytochemical localization of GABA and the GABA-synthesizing enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase and by autoradiographic visualization of high-affinity /sup 3/H-GABA uptake. Four major neuron populations have been distinguished on the basis of soma size, shape, and segregation at specific depths and locations: large horizontal cells in layer Ia of the anterior piriform cortex, small globular cells with thin dendrites concentrated in layers Ib and II of the posterior piriform cortex, and multipolar and fusiform cells concentrated in the deep part of layer III in anterior and posterior parts of the piriform cortex and the subjacent endopiriform nucleus. All four populations were well visualized with both antisera, but the large layer Ia horizontal cells displayed only very light /sup 3/H-GABA uptake, thus suggesting a lack of local axon collaterals or lack of high-affinity GABA uptake sites. The large, ultrastructurally distinctive somata of layer Ia horizontal cells receive a very small number of symmetrical synapses; the thin, axonlike dendrites of small globular cells are exclusively postsynaptic and receive large numbers of both symmetrical and asymmetrical synapses, in contrast to somata which receive a small number of both types; and the deep multipolar and fusiform cells receive a highly variable number of symmetrical and asymmetrical synapses on somata and proximal dendrites. Labeled puncta of axon terminal dimensions were found in large numbers in the neuropil surrounding pyramidal cell somata in layer II and in the endopiriform nucleus. Moderately large numbers of labeled puncta were found in layer I at the depth of pyramidal cell apical dendrites with greater numbers in layer Ia at the depth of distal apical segments than in layer Ib.

  17. Morphological, morphometric and genetic variation among cryptic and sympatric species of southeastern South American three-striped opossums (Monodelphis: Mammalia: Didelphidae).

    PubMed

    Duda, Rafaela; Costa, Leonora Pires

    2015-03-23

    Monodelphis is the most diverse genus of the family Didelphidae, whose systematics and taxonomy have not yet been well established. Two of the included species, Monodelphis americana and M. iheringi, are difficult to distinguish because both present three dorsal black stripes. Furthermore, they show intra- and interspecific variation related to body size and pelage coloration. Because this variation is not well understood, there are problems in correctly identifying these species, which remain poorly collected and thus rare in zoological collections. This study evaluated the morphological and genetic variations in a sample of striped opossums from a single location in southeastern Brazil to understand if the morphological variation observed in individuals from the same location was indicative of the existence of more than one taxon. The comparative analyses of a series from this single locality with museum specimens of other locations revealed variations in the skin and skull qualitative characters that were related to age and sex. Morphological comparisons led to the identification of two morphogroups, which were corroborated by molecular data; the analysis of cytochrome b sequences indicated the existence of two clades, with an average divergence of 14%. Thus, the results support the existence of two taxa in the sample, defined as M. americana and M. iheringi. We confirmed the sympatry of these two species in a location in southeastern Brazil, presented morphological diagnostic characters to distinguish the two species, provided novel phylogenetic information on the group, and also demonstrated the existence of important intra- and interspecific morphological variations related to sexual dimorphism and ontogeny in the group. These results significantly contribute to information on the systematics of the genus.

  18. Transforming growth factor-β1 reduces megalin- and cubilin-mediated endocytosis of albumin in proximal-tubule-derived opossum kidney cells

    PubMed Central

    Gekle, Michael; Knaus, Petra; Nielsen, Rikke; Mildenberger, Sigrid; Freudinger, Ruth; Wohlfarth, Verena; Sauvant, Christoph; Christensen, Erik I

    2003-01-01

    Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 is a member of a superfamily of multifunctional cytokines involved in several pathological processes of the kidney, including fibrogenesis, apoptosis and epithelial-mesenchymal transition. These events lead to tubulointerstitial fibrosis and glomerulosclerosis. Less is known about TGF-β1-induced alterations of cell function. An important function of proximal tubular cells is reabsorption of filtered proteins, including albumin, via megalin-cubilin-dependent receptor-mediated endocytosis. In this study we used a well established cell culture model (proximal-tubule-derived opossum kidney (OK) cells) in order to test the hypothesis that TGF-β1 reduces megalin-cubilin-mediated endocytosis. Previously we have shown that albumin endocytosis in OK cells is mediated by megalin/cubulin. TGF-β1 led to a time- and dose-dependent downregulation of megalin-cubilin-mediated endocytosis without affecting two other transport systems tested. Binding, internalization and intracellular trafficking of the ligand albumin were affected. Decreased binding resulted from reduced cubilin and megalin expression in the 200 000 g membrane fraction. The underlying mechanism of TGF-β1 action does not involve mitogen-activated protein kinases, protein kinase C or A, or reactive oxygen species. In contrast, TGF-β1-induced downregulation of megalin-cubilin-mediated endocytosis was sensitive to inhibition of translation and transcription and was preceded by Smad2 and 3 phosphorylation. Dominant negative Smad2/3 constructs prevented the effect of TGF-β1. In conclusion our data indicate that enhanced levels of TGF-β1 occurring in various nephropathies can lead to downregulation of megalin-cubilin-dependent endocytosis. Probably, TGF-β1 leads to Smad2- and Smad3-dependent expression of negative regulators of receptor-mediated endocytosis. PMID:14561830

  19. Transforming growth factor-beta1 reduces megalin- and cubilin-mediated endocytosis of albumin in proximal-tubule-derived opossum kidney cells.

    PubMed

    Gekle, Michael; Knaus, Petra; Nielsen, Rikke; Mildenberger, Sigrid; Freudinger, Ruth; Wohlfarth, Verena; Sauvant, Christoph; Christensen, Erik I

    2003-10-15

    Transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta1 is a member of a superfamily of multifunctional cytokines involved in several pathological processes of the kidney, including fibrogenesis, apoptosis and epithelial-mesenchymal transition. These events lead to tubulointerstitial fibrosis and glomerulosclerosis. Less is known about TGF-beta1-induced alterations of cell function. An important function of proximal tubular cells is reabsorption of filtered proteins, including albumin, via megalin-cubilin-dependent receptor-mediated endocytosis. In this study we used a well established cell culture model (proximal-tubule-derived opossum kidney (OK) cells) in order to test the hypothesis that TGF-beta1 reduces megalin-cubilin-mediated endocytosis. Previously we have shown that albumin endocytosis in OK cells is mediated by megalin/cubulin. TGF-beta1 led to a time- and dose-dependent downregulation of megalin-cubilin-mediated endocytosis without affecting two other transport systems tested. Binding, internalization and intracellular trafficking of the ligand albumin were affected. Decreased binding resulted from reduced cubilin and megalin expression in the 200 000 g membrane fraction. The underlying mechanism of TGF-beta1 action does not involve mitogen-activated protein kinases, protein kinase C or A, or reactive oxygen species. In contrast, TGF-beta1-induced downregulation of megalin-cubilin-mediated endocytosis was sensitive to inhibition of translation and transcription and was preceded by Smad2 and 3 phosphorylation. Dominant negative Smad2/3 constructs prevented the effect of TGF-beta1. In conclusion our data indicate that enhanced levels of TGF-beta1 occurring in various nephropathies can lead to downregulation of megalin-cubilin-dependent endocytosis. Probably, TGF-beta1 leads to Smad2- and Smad3-dependent expression of negative regulators of receptor-mediated endocytosis.

  20. Potassium transport in opossum kidney cells: effects of Na-selective and K-selective ionizable cryptands, and of valinomycin, FCCP and nystatin.

    PubMed

    Loiseau, A; Leroy, C; Castaing, M

    1997-11-13

    The effects of two ionizable cryptands, the Na-selective (221)C10 and the K-selective (222)C10, and of valinomycin, FCCP and nystatin on K+ fluxes in opossum kidney (OK) cells have been quantified. The Na,K-ATPase (ouabain-sensitive 86Rb influx) was stimulated by nystatin (> or = 20%), and inhibited by the other ionophores (50-80%), by barium (K-channel blocker) (61%) and by amiloride (Na entry blocker) (34%). The Vmax of the Na,K-ATPase phosphatase activity was unmodified by the ionophores, indicating the absence of direct interaction with the enzyme. The ATPi content was unmodified by the inhibitors and nystatin, but was lowered by (221)C10 (47%), (222)C10 (75%), valinomycin (72%) and FCCP (88%). Amiloride was found to partially remove the inhibition caused by (222)C10 (51%) and valinomycin (49%). Rb efflux was stimulated by nystatin (32%), unmodified by valinomycin, and was inhibited by (221)C10 (19%), (222)C10 (19%) and FCCP (10%). Barium (39%) and amiloride (32%) inhibited this efflux and, in their presence, the nystatin effect persisted, whereas that of the other ionophores vanished. At pH 6.4, the Rb efflux decreased by 14% of its value at pH 7.4, with no additional inhibition by cryptands. Cryptands are shown to inhibit the pH-sensitive K+-conductance, probably by inducing a K+-H+ exchange at the plasma membrane, and by uncoupling oxidative phosphorylation by inducing the entry of K+ and H+ (and possibly Ca2+) ions into the mitochondria.

  1. Carcass Type Affects Local Scavenger Guilds More than Habitat Connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Olson, Zachary H.; Beasley, James C.; Rhodes, Olin E.

    2016-01-01

    Scavengers and decomposers provide an important ecosystem service by removing carrion from the environment. Scavenging and decomposition are known to be temperature-dependent, but less is known about other factors that might affect carrion removal. We conducted an experiment in which we manipulated combinations of patch connectivity and carcass type, and measured responses by local scavenger guilds along with aspects of carcass depletion. We conducted twelve, 1-month trials in which five raccoon (Procyon lotor), Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana), and domestic rabbit (Oryctolagus spp.) carcasses (180 trials total) were monitored using remote cameras in 21 forest patches in north-central Indiana, USA. Of 143 trials with complete data, we identified fifteen species of vertebrate scavengers divided evenly among mammalian (N = 8) and avian species (N = 7). Fourteen carcasses (9.8%) were completely consumed by invertebrates, vertebrates exhibited scavenging behavior at 125 carcasses (87.4%), and four carcasses (2.8%) remained unexploited. Among vertebrates, mammals scavenged 106 carcasses, birds scavenged 88 carcasses, and mammals and birds scavenged 69 carcasses. Contrary to our expectations, carcass type affected the assemblage of local scavenger guilds more than patch connectivity. However, neither carcass type nor connectivity explained variation in temporal measures of carcass removal. Interestingly, increasing richness of local vertebrate scavenger guilds contributed moderately to rates of carrion removal (≈6% per species increase in richness). We conclude that scavenger-specific differences in carrion utilization exist among carcass types and that reliable delivery of carrion removal as an ecosystem service may depend on robust vertebrate and invertebrate communities acting synergistically. PMID:26886299

  2. The role of feral mammals on wildlife infectious disease prevalence in two nature reserves within Mexico City limits.

    PubMed

    Suzán, Gerardo; Ceballos, Gerardo

    2005-09-01

    Wild and feral medium-sized mammals were live trapped at two natural protected areas within the Mexico City limits to determine antibody prevalence for the most common infectious diseases (rabies, toxoplasmosis, and canine parvovirus) in dogs and cats. Mammals were trapped during the dry (March-April) and rainy seasons (July-August) of 1996 and 1997. A total of 68 individuals were captured, representing 8 species: opossums (Didelphis virginiana), ringtails (Bassariscus astutus), spotted skunks (Spilogale gracilis), weasels (Mustela frenata), rock squirrels (Spermophilus variegatus), Mexican gray squirrels (Sciurus aureogaster), feral cats (Felis catus), and feral dogs (Canis familiaris). There was marked seroprevalence for parvovirus (86.6%) and lower seroprevalences for both toxoplasma (23.9%) and rabies (17.9%). There were no significant prevalence differences among mammals in both protected areas, which were of contrasting size and isolation (i.e., small and isolated versus large and nonisolated). We suggest that high seroprevalence of these three infectious agents in wild mammals is a result of the high densities of feral dogs and cats in the two areas sampled. Feral dogs are able to maintain the infectious agents in these localities regardless of the protected area size and isolation. However, the native mammals of the small and isolated reserve are more vulnerable to infectious diseases because of small population size and genetic bottlenecks. Our results indicate that natural areas in and around Mexico City are a refugium for latent infectious agents, several of which are zoonotic. These findings suggest that conservation measures, such as eradication of feral mammals and vaccination programs, in the protected areas and surrounding areas could be beneficial.

  3. Wildlife contact rates at artificial feeding sites in Texas.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Tyler A; Long, David B; Shriner, Susan A

    2013-06-01

    Given the popularity of feeding white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in Texas and the increasing amount of corn that is distributed, more information is needed on the impacts of this activity on non-target wildlife. Our objectives were to report visitation, intra- and interspecific contact, and contact rates of wildlife at artificial feeding sites in Texas. Our study was conducted at three sites in Kleberg and Nueces counties, Texas. We trapped animals from February to April and August to September, 2009 and marked animals with passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags. At each site and season, we placed one feeder system containing a PIT tag reader within 600 m of trap locations. Readers detected PIT tags from a distance of 25 cm. We determined a contact event to occur when two different PIT tags were detected by feeder systems within 5 s. We recorded 62,719 passes by raccoons (Procyon lotor), 103,512 passes by collared peccaries (Pecari tajacu), 2,923 passes by feral swine (Sus scrofa), 1,336 passes by fox squirrels (Sciurus niger), and no passes by opossums (Didelphis virginiana) at feeder systems. For site-season combinations in which contact events occurred, we found intraspecific contact rates (contacts per day) for raccoons, collared peccaries, and feral swine to be 0.81-124.77, 0.69-38.08, and 0.0-0.66, respectively. Throughout our study we distributed ~2,625 kg of whole kernel corn, which resulted in 6,351 contact events between marked wildlife (2.4 contacts per kg of corn). If 136 million kg of corn is distributed in Texas annually, we would expect >5.2 billion unnatural contact events between wildlife would result from this activity each year in Texas. Consequently, we do not believe that it is wise for natural resource managers to maintain artificial feeding sites for white-tailed deer or other wildlife due to pathogen transmission risks.

  4. Genetic variation among isolates of Sarcocystis neurona, the agent of protozoal myeloencephalitis, as revealed by amplified fragment length polymorphism markers.

    PubMed

    Elsheikha, H M; Schott, H C; Mansfield, L S

    2006-06-01

    Sarcocystis neurona causes serious neurological disease in horses and other vertebrates in the Americas. Based on epidemiological data, this parasite has recently emerged. Here, the genetic diversity of Sarcocystis neurona was evaluated using the amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) method. Fifteen S. neurona taxa from different regions collected over the last 10 years were used; six isolates were from clinically diseased horses, eight isolates were from wild-caught opossums (Didelphis virginiana), and one isolate was from a cowbird (Molothrus ater). Additionally, four outgroup taxa were also fingerprinted. Nine primer pairs were used to generate AFLP patterns, with a total number of amplified fragments ranging from 30 to 60, depending on the isolate and primers tested. Based on the presence/absence of amplified AFLP fragments and pairwise similarity values, all the S. neurona isolates tested were clustered in one monophyletic group. No significant correlation could be found between genomic similarity and host origin of the S. neurona isolates. AFLP revealed significant intraspecific genetic variations, and S. neurona appeared as a highly variable species. Furthermore, linkage disequilibrium analysis suggested that S. neurona populations within Michigan have an intermediate type of population structure that includes characteristics of both clonal and panamictic population structures. AFLP is a reliable molecular technique that has provided one of the most informative approaches to ascertain phylogenetic relationships in S. neurona and its closest relatives, allowing them to be clustered by relative similarity using band matching and unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean analysis, which may be applicable to other related protozoal species.

  5. Detection of Sarcocystis spp. infection in bobcats (Lynx rufus)

    PubMed Central

    Verma, S. K.; Calero-Bernal, R.; Lovallo, M. J.; Sweeny, A. R.; Grigg, M. E.; Dubey, J. P.

    2015-01-01

    The protozoan Sarcocystis neurona is an important cause of severe clinical disease of horses (called equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, EPM), marine mammals, companion animals, and several species of wildlife animals in the Americas. The Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is its definitive host in the USA and other animals act as intermediate or aberrant hosts. Samples of tongue and heart from 35 bobcats hunted for fur and food from Mississippi State, USA in February, 2014 were used for the present study. Muscles were examined for Sarcocystis infection by microscopic examination of either unfixed muscle squash preparations or pepsin digests, by histopathology of fixed samples, and by molecular methods. Sarcocystis-like bradyzoites were found in digests of 14 hearts and 10 tongues of 35 bobcats. In histological sections, sarcocysts were found in 26 of 35 bobcats; all appeared relatively thin-walled similar to S. felis sarcocysts under light microscope at 1000x magnification. S. neurona-like sarcocysts having thickened villar tips were seen in unstained muscle squash of tongue of two bobcats and PCR-DNA sequencing identified them definitively as S. neurona-like parasite. DNA extracted from bradyzoites obtained from tongue and heart muscle digests was analyzed by PCR-DNA sequencing at the ITS1 locus. Results indicated the presence of S. neurona-like parasite in 26 of 35 samples. ITS1 sequences identical to S. dayspi were identified in 3 bobcats, 2 of which were also co-infected with S. neurona-like parasite. The high prevalence of sarcocysts in bobcat tissues suggested an efficient sylvatic cycle of Sarcocystis spp. in the remote regions of Mississippi State with the bobcat as a relevant intermediate host. PMID:26138150

  6. Wildlife Contact Rates at Artificial Feeding Sites in Texas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campbell, Tyler A.; Long, David B.; Shriner, Susan A.

    2013-06-01

    Given the popularity of feeding white-tailed deer ( Odocoileus virginianus) in Texas and the increasing amount of corn that is distributed, more information is needed on the impacts of this activity on non-target wildlife. Our objectives were to report visitation, intra- and interspecific contact, and contact rates of wildlife at artificial feeding sites in Texas. Our study was conducted at three sites in Kleberg and Nueces counties, Texas. We trapped animals from February to April and August to September, 2009 and marked animals with passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags. At each site and season, we placed one feeder system containing a PIT tag reader within 600 m of trap locations. Readers detected PIT tags from a distance of 25 cm. We determined a contact event to occur when two different PIT tags were detected by feeder systems within 5 s. We recorded 62,719 passes by raccoons ( Procyon lotor), 103,512 passes by collared peccaries ( Pecari tajacu), 2,923 passes by feral swine ( Sus scrofa), 1,336 passes by fox squirrels ( Sciurus niger), and no passes by opossums ( Didelphis virginiana) at feeder systems. For site-season combinations in which contact events occurred, we found intraspecific contact rates (contacts per day) for raccoons, collared peccaries, and feral swine to be 0.81-124.77, 0.69-38.08, and 0.0-0.66, respectively. Throughout our study we distributed ~2,625 kg of whole kernel corn, which resulted in 6,351 contact events between marked wildlife (2.4 contacts per kg of corn). If 136 million kg of corn is distributed in Texas annually, we would expect >5.2 billion unnatural contact events between wildlife would result from this activity each year in Texas. Consequently, we do not believe that it is wise for natural resource managers to maintain artificial feeding sites for white-tailed deer or other wildlife due to pathogen transmission risks.

  7. Detection of Sarcocystis spp. infection in bobcats (Lynx rufus).

    PubMed

    Verma, S K; Calero-Bernal, R; Lovallo, M J; Sweeny, A R; Grigg, M E; Dubey, J P

    2015-09-15

    The protozoan Sarcocystis neurona is an important cause of severe clinical disease of horses (called equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, EPM), marine mammals, companion animals, and several species of wildlife animals in the Americas. The Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is its definitive host in the USA and other animals act as intermediate or aberrant hosts. Samples of tongue and heart from 35 bobcats hunted for fur and food from Mississippi State, USA in February, 2014 were used for the present study. Muscles were examined for Sarcocystis infection by microscopic examination of either unfixed muscle squash preparations or pepsin digests, by histopathology of fixed samples, and by molecular methods. Sarcocystis-like bradyzoites were found in digests of 14 hearts and 10 tongues of 35 bobcats. In histological sections, sarcocysts were found in 26 of 35 bobcats; all appeared relatively thin-walled similar to S. felis sarcocysts under light microscope at 1000× magnification. S. neurona-like sarcocysts having thickened villar tips were seen in unstained muscle squash of tongue of two bobcats and PCR-DNA sequencing identified them definitively as S. neurona-like parasites. DNA extracted from bradyzoites obtained from tongue and heart muscle digests was analyzed by PCR-DNA sequencing at the ITS1 locus. Results indicated the presence of S. neurona-like parasite in 26 of 35 samples. ITS1 sequences identical to S. dasypi were identified in 3 bobcats, 2 of which were also co-infected with S. neurona-like parasite. The high prevalence of sarcocysts in bobcat tissues suggested an efficient sylvatic cycle of Sarcocystis spp. in the remote regions of Mississippi State with the bobcat as a relevant intermediate host.

  8. An inventory of terrestrial mammals at national parks in the Northeast Temperate Network and Sagamore Hill National Historic Site

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gilbert, Andrew T.; O'Connell, Allan F.; Annand, Elizabeth M.; Talancy, Neil W.; Sauer, John R.; Nichols, James D.

    2008-01-01

    An inventory of mammals was conducted during 2004 at nine national park sites in the Northeast Temperate Network (NETN): Acadia National Park (NP), Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park (NHP), Minute Man NHP, Morristown NHP, Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Site (NHS), Saint-Gaudens NHS, Saugus Iron Works NHS, Saratoga NHP, and Weir Farm NHS. Sagamore Hill NHS, part of the Northeast Coastal and Barrier Network (NCBN), was also surveyed. Each park except Acadia NP was sampled twice, once in the winter/spring and again in the summer/fall. During the winter/spring visit, indirect measure (IM) sampling arrays were employed at 2 to 16 stations and included sampling by remote cameras, cubby boxes (covered trackplates), and hair traps. IM stations were established and re-used during the summer/fall sampling period. Trapping was conducted at 2 to 12 stations at all parks except Acadia NP during the summer/fall period and consisted of arrays of small-mammal traps, squirrel-sized live traps, and some fox-sized live traps. We used estimation-based procedures and probabilistic sampling techniques to design this inventory. A total of 38 species was detected by IM sampling, trapping, and field observations. Species diversity (number of species) varied among parks, ranging from 8 to 24, with Minute Man NHP having the most species detected. Raccoon (Procyon lotor), Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana), Fisher (Martes pennanti), and Domestic Cat (Felis silvestris) were the most common medium-sized mammals detected in this study and White-footed Mouse (Peromyscus leucopus), Northern Short-tailed Shrew (Blarina brevicauda), Deer Mouse (P. maniculatus), and Meadow Vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus) the most common small mammals detected. All species detected are considered fairly common throughout their range including the Fisher, which has been reintroduced in several New England states. We did not detect any state or federal endangered or threatened species.

  9. Deer carcass decomposition and potential scavenger exposure to chronic wasting disease

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jennelle, C.S.; Samuel, M.D.; Nolden, C.A.; Berkley, E.A.

    2009-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy afflicting the Cervidae family in North America, causing neurodegeneration and ultimately death. Although there are no reports of natural cross-species transmission of CWD to noncervids, infected deer carcasses pose a potential risk of CWD exposure for other animals. We placed 40 disease-free white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) carcasses and 10 gut piles in the CWD-affected area of Wisconsin (USA) from September to April in 2003 through 2005. We used photos from remotely operated cameras to characterize scavenger visitation and relative activity. To evaluate factors driving the rate of carcass removal (decomposition), we used KaplanMeier survival analysis and a generalized linear mixed model. We recorded 14 species of scavenging mammals (6 visiting species) and 14 species of scavenging birds (8 visiting species). Prominent scavengers included American crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos), raccoons (Procyon lotor), and Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana). We found no evidence that deer consumed conspecific remains, although they visited gut piles more often than carcasses relative to temporal availability in the environment. Domestic dogs, cats, and cows either scavenged or visited carcass sites, which could lead to human exposure to CWD. Deer carcasses persisted for 18 days to 101 days depending on the season and year, whereas gut piles lasted for 3 days. Habitat did not influence carcass decomposition, but mammalian and avian scavenger activity and higher temperatures were positively associated with faster removal. Infected deer carcasses or gut piles can serve as potential sources of CWD prions to a variety of scavengers. In areas where surveillance for CWD exposure is practical, management agencies should consider strategies for testing primary scavengers of deer carcass material.

  10. Relationships between human disturbance and wildlife land use in urban habitat fragments.

    PubMed

    Markovchick-Nicholls, Lisa; Regan, Helen M; Deutschman, Douglas H; Widyanata, Astrid; Martin, Barry; Noreke, Lani; Hunt, Timothy Ann

    2008-02-01

    Habitat remnants in urbanized areas typically conserve biodiversity and serve the recreation and urban open-space needs of human populations. Nevertheless, these goals can be in conflict if human activity negatively affects wildlife. Hence, when considering habitat remnants as conservation refuges it is crucial to understand how human activities and land uses affect wildlife use of those and adjacent areas. We used tracking data (animal tracks and den or bed sites) on 10 animal species and information on human activity and environmental factors associated with anthropogenic disturbance in 12 habitat fragments across San Diego County, California, to examine the relationships among habitat fragment characteristics, human activity, and wildlife presence. There were no significant correlations of species presence and abundance with percent plant cover for all species or with different land-use intensities for all species, except the opossum (Didelphis virginiana), which preferred areas with intensive development. Woodrats (Neotoma spp.) and cougars (Puma concolor) were associated significantly and positively and significantly and negatively, respectively, with the presence and prominence of utilities. Woodrats were also negatively associated with the presence of horses. Raccoons (Procyon lotor) and coyotes (Canis latrans) were associated significantly and negatively and significantly and positively, respectively, with plant bulk and permanence. Cougars and gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) were negatively associated with the presence of roads. Roadrunners (Geococcyx californianus) were positively associated with litter. The only species that had no significant correlations with any of the environmental variables were black-tailed jackrabbits (Lepus californicus) and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus). Bobcat tracks were observed more often than gray foxes in the study area and bobcats correlated significantly only with water availability, contrasting with results from

  11. ISOLATION OF TOXOPLASMA GONDII FROM ANIMALS IN DURANGO, MEXICO

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Little is known concerning the epidemiology of Toxoplasma gondii infection in people and animals in rural Mexico. Serum samples and tissues from 150 dogs, 150 cats, 65 opossums (Didelphis virginianus), 249 rats (Rattus spp.), 127 mice (Mus musculus), and 69 squirrels (Spermophilus variegatus) from t...

  12. Diversity, Seasonality, and Context of Mammalian Roadkills in the Southern Great Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith-Patten, Brenda D.; Patten, Michael A.

    2008-06-01

    Thousands of mammals are killed annually from vehicle collisions, making the issue an important one for conservation biologists and environmental managers. We recorded all readily identifiable kills on or immediately adjacent to roads in the southern Great Plains from March 2004-March 2007. We also recorded distance traveled, whether a road was paved or divided, the number of lanes, and prevailing habitat. Surveys were opportunistic and were conducted by car during conditions of good visibility. Over our 239 surveys and >16,500 km traveled, we recorded 1412 roadkills from 18 different mammal species (size ranged from Sciurus squirrels to the white-tailed deer, Odocolieus virginianus). The overall kill rate was 8.50 / 100 km. Four species were prone to collisions: the Virginia opossum ( Didelphis virginiana), nine-banded armadillo ( Dasypus novemcinctus), striped skunk ( Mephitis mephitis), and northern raccoon ( Procyon lotor). Together they accounted for approximately 85% (1198) of all roadkills. Mortality rate differed significantly between 2- and 4-lane roads (8.39 versus 7.79 / 100 km). Kill rates were significantly higher on paved versus unpaved roads (8.60 versus 3.65 / 100 km), but did not depend on whether a road was divided. Roadkills were higher in spring than in fall (1.5×), winter (1.4×), or summer (1.3×). The spring peak (in kills / 100 km) was driven chiefly by the armadillo (2.76 in spring/summer versus 0.73 in autumn/winter) and opossum (2.65 versus 1.47). By contrast, seasonality was dampened by a late winter/early spring peak in skunk mortalities, for which 41% occurred in the 6-week period of mid-February through March. The raccoon did not exhibit a strong seasonal pattern. Our data are consistent with dispersal patterns of these species. Our results underscore the high rate of highway mortality in the southern plains, as well as differences in seasonality and road type that contribute to mortality. Conservation and management efforts should

  13. The unique paired retinal vascular pattern in marsupials: structural, functional and evolutionary perspectives based on observations in a range of species

    PubMed Central

    McMenamin, Paul G

    2007-01-01

    Background In the few marsupial species studied to date that possess a retinal vasculature, the arterial and venous segments, down to the smallest calibre capillaries, have been shown to occur in pairs. It is a pattern seen in the marsupial central nervous system (CNS) but not in other tissues in this group or in any tissues in eutherian mammals. The aim of the present study was to investigate the presence of retinal vessels in a range of non‐eutherian mammalian species (marsupials and monotremes) and to determine if the pattern of paired vessels was a widespread phenomenon within this animal group. Methods Species studied included a monotreme, the short‐billed echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) and a range of Australian marsupials, the honey possum (Tarispedidae rostratus), fat‐tailed dunnart (Sminthopsis crassicaudata), grey‐bellied dunnart (Sminthopsis griseoventer), numbat (Myrmecobius fasciatus), broad‐footed marsupial mouse (Antechinus godmani) and the North American opossum (Didelphis virginiana). Eyes were fixed in glutaraldehyde or paraformaldehyde and retinas were embedded in resin for light and electron microscopic analysis. Results Examination revealed that in those species with retinal vessels (fat‐tailed dunnart, grey‐bellied dunnart, numbat, marsupial mouse, North American opossum) the pattern of vessels differs from the conventional plexus‐like arrangement of mammalian retinal vasculature (that is, anastomotic networks of capillaries between arterioles and venules). In marsupials retinal vessels always occur in closely related pairs, with the arteriolar limb usually situated on the vitread aspect. Vessels penetrate the retina and branch to form layers of paired capillaries as far as the outer nuclear layer in some species. The capillaries form blind‐ended hairpin loops and display classical morphological features of CNS capillaries Conclusion The phylogenetic relations of this vascular pattern in the marsupial CNS and retina, and in

  14. New Sylvatic Hosts of Trypanosoma cruzi and Their Reservoir Competence in the Humid Chaco of Argentina: A Longitudinal Study

    PubMed Central

    Orozco, M. Marcela; Enriquez, Gustavo F.; Alvarado-Otegui, Julián A.; Cardinal, M. Victoria; Schijman, Alejandro G.; Kitron, Uriel; Gürtler, Ricardo E.

    2013-01-01

    A four-year longitudinal study of the structure of sylvatic transmission cycles of Trypanosoma cruzi, reservoir host competence and parasite discrete typing units was conducted in a disturbed rural area of the humid Chaco in Argentina. Among 190 mammals examined by xenodiagnosis and polymerase chain reaction amplification, the composite prevalence of infection was substantially higher in Dasypus novemcinctus armadillos (57.7%) and Didelphis albiventris opossums (38.1%) than in Euphractus sexcinctus (20.0%), Tolypeutes matacus (12.5%), and Chaetophractus vellerosus (6.3%) armadillos. Trypanosoma cruzi was detected for the first time in Thylamys pusilla small opossums and in two unidentified small rodents. Infection was spatially aggregated only in armadillos. All Didelphis were infected with T. cruzi I and all armadillo species were infected with T. cruzi III, implying two distinct sylvatic cycles with no inputs from the domestic cycle. Dasypus armadillos and Didelphis opossums were much more infectious to vectors than other armadillos, small opossums, or rodents. PMID:23530075

  15. Molecular characterisation of the CD79a and CD79b subunits of the B cell receptor complex in the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica) and tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii): Delayed B cell immunocompetence in marsupial neonates.

    PubMed

    Duncan, Louise; Webster, Koa; Gupta, Varun; Nair, Sham; Deane, Elizabeth

    2010-08-15

    The B cell receptor (BCR) is a multiprotein complex that is pivotal to antigen recognition and signal transduction in B cells. It consists of an antigen binding component, membrane Ig (mIg), non-covalently associated with the signaling component, a disulphide-linked heterodimer of CD79a and CD79b. In this study, the gene and corresponding cDNA for CD79a and CD79b in the gray short-tailed opossum, as well as the cDNA sequences for CD79a and CD79b in the tammar wallaby, are described. Many of the structural and functional features of CD79a and CD79b were conserved in both marsupials, including the ITAM regulatory motif in the cytoplasmic tails of both subunits. The marsupial CD79 sequences shared a high degree of amino acid identities of 76% (CD79a) and 72% (CD79b) to each other, as well as 60-61% (CD79a) and 58-59% (CD79b) with their eutherian counterparts. RT-PCR analysis of CD79a and CD79b transcripts in the immune tissues of tammar pouch young revealed CD79a transcripts in the bone marrow, cervical thymus and spleen at day 10 postpartum. CD79b transcripts were detected in the bone marrow and cervical thymus at day 10 but were not detected in the spleen until day 21 postpartum. These results suggest that a functional BCR may not be assembled until day 21 postpartum and the tammar neonate may not be capable of mounting an effective adaptive immune response until this time. The molecular information presented here will allow further investigation of the role of the CD79 subunits in marsupial B cell signaling, especially during ontogeny and disease.

  16. Estimates of soil ingestion by wildlife

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beyer, W.N.; Connor, E.E.; Gerould, S.

    1994-01-01

    Many wildlife species ingest soil while feeding, but ingestion rates are known for only a few species. Knowing ingestion rates may be important for studies of environmental contaminants. Wildlife may ingest soil deliberately, or incidentally, when they ingest soil-laden forage or animals that contain soil. We fed white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) diets containing 0-15% soil to relate the dietary soil content to the acid-insoluble ash content of scat collected from the mice. The relation was described by an equation that required estimates of the percent acid-insoluble ash content of the diet, digestibility of the diet, and mineral content of soil. We collected scat from 28 wildlife species by capturing animals, searching appropriate habitats for scat, or removing material from the intestines of animals collected for other purposes. We measured the acid-insoluble ash content of the scat and estimated the soil content of the diets by using the soil-ingestion equation. Soil ingestion estimates should be considered only approximate because they depend on estimated rather than measured digestibility values and because animals collected from local populations at one time of the year may not represent the species as a whole. Sandpipers (Calidris spp.), which probe or peck for invertebrates in mud or shallow water, consumed sediments at a rate of 7-30% of their diets. Nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus, soil = 17% of diet), American woodcock (Scolopax minor, 10%), and raccoon (Procyon lotor, 9%) had high rates of soil ingestion, presumably because they ate soil organisms. Bison (Bison bison, 7%), black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus, 8%), and Canada geese (Branta canadensis, 8%) consumed soil at the highest rates among the herbivores studied, and various browsers studied consumed little soil. Box turtle (Terrapene carolina, 4%), opossum (Didelphis virginiana, 5%), red fox (Vulpes vulpes, 3%), and wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo, 9%) consumed soil

  17. Emerging factors associated with the decline of a gray fox population and multi-scale land cover associations of mesopredators in the Chicago metropolitan area.

    SciTech Connect

    Willingham, Alison N.; /Ohio State U.

    2008-01-01

    Statewide surveys of furbearers in Illinois indicate gray (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) and red (Vulpes vulpes) foxes have experienced substantial declines in relative abundance, whereas other species such as raccoons (Procyon lotor) and coyotes (Canis latrans) have exhibited dramatic increases during the same time period. The cause of the declines of gray and red foxes has not been identified, and the current status of gray foxes remains uncertain. Therefore, I conducted a large-scale predator survey and tracked radiocollared gray foxes from 2004 to 2007 in order to determine the distribution, survival, cause-specific mortality sources and land cover associations of gray foxes in an urbanized region of northeastern Illinois, and examined the relationships between the occurrence of gray fox and the presence other species of mesopredators, specifically coyotes and raccoons. Although generalist mesopredators are common and can reach high densities in many urban areas their urban ecology is poorly understood due to their secretive nature and wariness of humans. Understanding how mesopredators utilize urbanized landscapes can be useful in the management and control of disease outbreaks, mitigation of nuisance wildlife issues, and gaining insight into how mesopredators shape wildlife communities in highly fragmented areas. I examined habitat associations of raccoons, opossums (Didelphis virginiana), domestic cats (Felis catus), coyotes, foxes (gray and red), and striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) at multiple spatial scales in an urban environment. Gray fox occurrence was rare and widely dispersed, and survival estimates were similar to other studies. Gray fox occurrence was negatively associated with natural and semi-natural land cover types. Fox home range size increased with increasing urban development suggesting that foxes may be negatively influenced by urbanization. Gray fox occurrence was not associated with coyote or raccoon presence. However, spatial avoidance and

  18. Long-term reduction of Trypanosoma cruzi infection in sylvatic mammals following deforestation and sustained vector surveillance in northwestern Argentina.

    PubMed

    Ceballos, L A; Cardinal, M V; Vazquez-Prokopec, G M; Lauricella, M A; Orozco, M M; Cortinas, R; Schijman, A G; Levin, M J; Kitron, U; Gürtler, R E

    2006-07-01

    Long-term variations in the dynamics and intensity of sylvatic transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi were investigated around eight rural villages in the semiarid Argentine Chaco in 2002-2004 and compared to data collected locally in 1984-1991. Of 501 wild mammals from 13 identified species examined by xenodiagnosis, only 3 (7.9%) of 38 Didelphis albiventris opossums and 1 (1.1%) of 91 Conepatus chinga skunks were infected by T. cruzi. The period prevalence in opossums was four-fold lower in 2002-2004 than in 1984-1991 (32-36%). The infection prevalence of skunks also decreased five-fold from 4.1-5.6% in 1984-1991 to 1.1% in 2002-2004. Infection in opossums increased with age and from summer to spring in both study periods. The force of infection per 100 opossum-months after weaning declined more than six-fold from 8.2 in 1988-1991 to 1.2 in 2002-2004. Opossums were mainly infected by T. cruzi lineage I and secondarily by lineage IId in 1984-1991, and only by T. cruzi I in 2002-2004; skunks were infected by T. cruzi IId in 1984-1991 and by IIc in 2002-2004. The striking decline of T. cruzi infection in opossums and skunks occurred in parallel to community-wide insecticide spraying followed by selective sprays leading to very low densities of infected Triatoma infestans in domestic and peridomestic habitats since 1992; to massive deforestation around one of the villages or selective extraction of older trees, and apparent reductions in opossum abundance jointly with increases in foxes and skunks. These factors may underlie the dramatic decrease of T. cruzi infection in wild reservoir hosts.

  19. Long-term reduction of Trypanosoma cruzi infection in sylvatic mammals following deforestation and sustained vector surveillance in northwestern Argentina

    PubMed Central

    Ceballos, L.A.; Cardinal, M.V.; Vazquez-Prokopec, G.M.; Lauricella, M.A.; Orozco, M.M.; Cortinas, R.; Schijman, A.G.; Levin, M.J.; Kitron, U.; Gürtler, R.E.

    2007-01-01

    Long-term variations in the dynamics and intensity of sylvatic transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi were investigated around eight rural villages in the semiarid Argentine Chaco in 2002–2004 and compared to data collected locally in 1984–1991. Of 501 wild mammals from 13 identified species examined by xenodiagnosis, only 3 (7.9%) of 38 Didelphis albiventris opossums and 1 (1.1%) of 91 Conepatus chinga skunks were infected by T. cruzi. The period prevalence in opossums was four-fold lower in 2002–2004 than in 1984–1991 (32–36%). The infection prevalence of skunks also decreased five-fold from 4.1–5.6% in 1984–1991 to 1.1% in 2002–2004. Infection in opossums increased with age and from summer to spring in both study periods. The force of infection per 100 opossum-months after weaning declined more than six-fold from 8.2 in 1988–1991 to 1.2 in 2002–2004. Opossums were mainly infected by T. cruzi lineage I and secondarily by lineage IId in 1984–1991, and only by T. cruzi I in 2002–2004; skunks were infected by T. cruzi IId in 1984–1991 and by IIc in 2002–2004. The striking decline of T. cruzi infection in opossums and skunks occurred in parallel to community-wide insecticide spraying followed by selective sprays leading to very low densities of infected Triatoma infestans in domestic and peridomestic habitats since 1992; to massive deforestation around one of the villages or selective extraction of older trees, and apparent reductions in opossum abundance jointly with increases in foxes and skunks. These factors may underlie the dramatic decrease of T. cruzi infection in wild reservoir hosts. PMID:16839513

  20. Disposal and Reuse of Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas. Final Environmental Impact Statement.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1993-07-01

    Scavenger species detected in the landfill area include the opossum (Didelphis marsupialis) and northern raccoon (Procyon lotor). House mice ( Mus musculus ...a, ~ a, CC CU 00 .C UC CC CU m oca Em - ~< 0 EE mU CCJ -a)UCE c:E .0 , 2 48~ C In CC 0 0~ 0 m CU .2~ z. CaU. (C 0U CU CU E C) C- 7E m CU o C E C z E...Disturbed By Phase - Proposed Action ............................ 2-11 2.2-4 Projected Flight Operations - Proposed Action

  1. Photoreception in the opossum shrimp, Mysis relicta Loven

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beeton, Alfred M.

    1959-01-01

    SUMMARY: Evidence from live trapping tests indicated that Peromyscus leucopus did not leave their home ranges because of the attraction of trap bait in nearby areas. A trap line down the center of a heavily live-trapped area caught as many mice before the area trapping as afterward. Thus, there was reason to believe that the area trapping did not serve to pre-bait the mice. Two unbaited lines of live traps caught an equal number of Peromyscus. When one line was baited with rolled oats and peanut butter the efficiency of the traps was improved to the extent that the baited line captured more than twice as many mice as the unbaited line. It is concluded that for the species and habitat tested it is safe to make population calculations based on the assumption that the animals remain within their home ranges and do not tend to move into the trapped area because of the attraction of the trap bait.

  2. Comparative genetic mapping in Fragaria virginiana reveals autosomal origin of sex chromosome

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Although most flowering plants are hermaphrodite, separate sexes (dioecy) have evolved repeatedly. The evolution of sex chromosomes from autosomes can often, but not always, accompany this transition. Thus, many have argued that plant genera that contain both hermaphroditic and dioecious members pro...

  3. Antifungal metabolites from the roots of Diospyros virginiana by overpressure layer chromatography

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A preparative overpressure layer chromatography (OPLC) method was successfully used for the separation of two new natural compounds, 4-hydroxy-5,6-dimethoxy-2-naphthaldehyde (1) and (Delta)12,13-20,29-dihydrobetulin (2) together with nine known compounds including 7-methyl-juglone (3), diospyrin (4)...

  4. The role of fragmentation and landscape changes in the ecological release of common nest predators in the Neotropics

    PubMed Central

    Spínola, R. Manuel; Jackson, Victoria L.; Saénz, Joel C.

    2014-01-01

    Loss of large mammalian carnivores may allow smaller mesopredators to become abundant and threaten other community members. There is considerable debate about mesopredator release and the role that other potential factors such as landscape variables and human alterations to land cover lead to increased mesopredator abundance. We used camera traps to detect four mesopredators (tayra, Eira barbara; white-nosed coati, Nasua narica; northern raccoon, Procyon lotor; and common opossum, Didelphis opossum) in a biological corridor in Costa Rica to estimate habitat covariates that influenced the species’ detection and occurrence. We selected these mesopredators because as semi-arboreal species they might be common nest predators, posing a serious threat to resident and migratory songbirds. Pineapple production had a pronounced positive effect on the detectability of tayras, while forest cover had a negative effect on the detection of coatis. This suggests that abundance might be elevated due to the availability of agricultural food resources and foraging activities are concentrated in forest fragments and pineapple edge habitats. Raccoon and opossum models exhibited little influence on detection from habitat covariates. Occurrence models did not suggest any significant factors influencing site use by nest predators, revealing that all four species are habitat generalists adapted to co-existing in human altered landscapes. Furthermore, fragmentation and land cover changes may predispose nesting birds, herpetofauna, and small mammals to heightened predation risk by mesopredators in the Neotropics. PMID:25071989

  5. Locally advanced adenocarcinoma of the cervix on uterus didelphys: a case report

    PubMed Central

    Escande, Alexandre; Comte, Pauline; Fumagalli, Ingrid; Bresson, Lucie; Mubiayi, Ndaye; Lartigau, Eric

    2017-01-01

    In November 2013, a woman with Herlyn-Werner-Wunderlich (HWW) syndrome was diagnosed with a locally advanced left cervical adenocarcinoma. The patient’s malformation consisted of two uteri with two cervixes, a obstructed vagina, and a left renal agenesis. Classification FIGO: stage IIIa because of infiltration of the inferior third of the vagina wall. Locoregional management comprised an infrarenal lateral aortic lymphadenectomy followed by concomitant radio-chemotherapy to the pelvic (inguinal, pelvic, and infrarenal para aortic nodes) volumes. A total of 50.4 Gy were delivered (1.8 Gy/fraction/day) to the node (inguinal, pelvic, and aortic infrarenal) and pelvic volume; a concomitant boost to the primary cervical tumor and macroscopic nodes to 59.92 Gy (2.14 Gy/fraction/day) was performed. 20 Gy were delivered with intracavitary brachytherapy boost with mold technique and a pulsed-dose-rate technique due to the rarity of this uterine malformation. After 30 months of follow-up, there was no evidence of locoregional or distant recurrence. PMID:28344607

  6. Uterus didelphys with fibroid uterus and ovarian cyst--rare Muellerian malformation.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharya, Kaushik; Ramakrishnan, Ramya; Gopalan, T R; Barua, Pushpalatha; Vijayaraghavan, Jaya

    2006-06-01

    Persistent Muellerian duct syndrome is a very rare anomaly. A woman of 46-year-old was admitted with the history of lower abdominal pain, bleeding per vaginum and irregular menstrual cycles for last 6 months. An irregular non-tender mass of 16 x 10cm in size was palpable in suprapubic region. Per vaginal examination revealed two cervices and an incomplete vaginal septum. Ultrasound abdomen showed one uterus with endometrial cavity clearly delineated with a fibroid and an ovarian cyst in the left lumbar region. On laparotomy, 2 uterii along with a fibroid from the anterior wall of left uterus and a left ovarian cyst was seen. Patient had undergone total abdominal hysterectomy and adnexa removal. The specimen showed florid adenomyosis with leiomyoma of fibroid.

  7. Trichinella infection in wildlife of the southwestern United States.

    PubMed

    Pozio, E; Pence, D B; La Rosa, G; Casulli, A; Henke, S E

    2001-10-01

    Several potential mammalian reservoirs of sylvatic species of Trichinella were examined from Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. During 1998-99, tongues were collected from a black bear (Ursus americanus) in Arizona; from 9 black bears, a coyote (Canis latrans), and a mountain lion (Felis concolor) in New Mexico; and from 154 coyotes, 32 raccoons (Procyon lotor), 13 opossums (Didelphis marsupialis), 4 ocelots (Leopardus pardalis), 3 bobcats (Lynx rufus), and 5 feral hogs (Sus scrofa) in southern Texas. Larvae of Trichinella murrelli were identified by a multiple-polymerase chain reaction analysis in 1 black bear (11.1%) from New Mexico and in 7 coyotes (4.5%) of Texas, whereas Trichinella spiralis larvae were detected in the black bear of Arizona. This is the first report of Trichinella infection in wildlife of New Mexico and Texas and extends the distribution of T. murrelli into the southwestern United States near the border of Mexico.

  8. Panamanian forest mammals as carriers of Salmonella.

    PubMed

    Kourany, M; Bowdre, L; Herrer, A

    1976-05-01

    Enteric bacteria pathogenic to man were sought in a total of 974 forest mammals collected from a variety of sites in rural and jungle areas of Panamá. The highest incidence of infection among the mammals was observed during the Panamanian dry season, which normally extends from January through April. A minimum of 10 Salmonella serotypes including, three of the Arizona group and Ewardsiella tarda, was isolated. Opossums of the genera Philander, 11 of 54 (20.1%), and Didelphis, 12 of 102 (11.8%) demonstrated high infection rates. One sloth of the genus Choloepus and specimens of two genera of rodents also were infected to varying degrees: 1(11.1%) of 9 Choloepus, 8 (1.1%) of 704 Proechimys and 1 (16.7%) of 6 Diplomys.

  9. [Investigation of vectors and reservoirs in an acute Chagas outbreak due to possible oral transmission in Aguachica, Cesar, Colombia].

    PubMed

    Soto, Hugo; Tibaduiza, Tania; Montilla, Marleny; Triana, Omar; Suárez, Diana Carolina; Torres Torres, Mariela; Arias, María Teresa; Lugo, Ligia

    2014-04-01

    Colombia recorded 11 cases of acute Chagas disease and 80 cases of oral contamination with Trypanosoma cruzi. The current study analyzes the entomological and parasitological characteristics of the outbreak in Aguachica, Cesar Department, in 2010. An interdisciplinary group of health professionals and regional university personnel conducted the laboratory tests in the patients and the investigation of the transmission focus. Eleven cases of acute Chagas diseases were detected in a single family in a dwelling with domiciliated triatomines and Rhodnius pallescens, Pantrongylus geniculatus, Eratyrus cuspidatus, and two Didelphis marsupialis opossums infected with T. cruzi in Attalea butyracea and Elaeis oleifera palm trees in the urban area of Aguachica. The study analyzes the role of R. pallescens and palm trees in the wild cycle of T. cruzi and in oral transmission of Chagas disease. Sporadic incursions by wild R. pallescens, P. geniculatus, and E. cuspidatus from the nearby palm trees into human dwellings may cause increasingly frequent outbreaks of oral Chagas disease.

  10. The Araguaia River as an Important Biogeographical Divide for Didelphid Marsupials in Central Brazil.

    PubMed

    Rocha, Rita Gomes; Ferreira, Eduardo; Loss, Ana Carolina; Heller, Rasmus; Fonseca, Carlos; Costa, Leonora Pires

    2015-01-01

    The riverine barrier model suggests that rivers play a significant role in separating widespread organisms into isolated populations. In this study, we used a comparative approach to investigate the phylogeography of 6 didelphid marsupial species in central Brazil. Specifically, we evaluate the role of the mid-Araguaia River in differentiating populations and estimate divergence time among lineages to assess the timing of differentiation of these species, using mitochondrial DNA sequence data. The 6 didelphid marsupials revealed different intraspecific genetic patterns and structure. The 3 larger and more generalist species, Didelphis albiventris, Didelphis marsupialis, and Philander opossum, showed connectivity across the Araguaia River. In contrast the genetic structure of the 3 smaller and specialist species, Gracilinanus agilis, Marmosa (Marmosa) murina, and Marmosa (Micoureus) demerarae was shaped by the mid-Araguaia. Moreover, the split of eastern and western bank populations of the 2 latter species is consistent with the age of Araguaia River sediments formation. We hypothesize that the role of the Araguaia as a riverine barrier is linked to the level of ecological specialization among the 6 didelphid species and differences in their ability to cross rivers or disperse through the associated habitat types.

  11. Differential consumption of eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) by avian and mammalian guilds: Implications for tree invasion

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Horncastle, V.J.; Hellgren, E.C.; Mayer, P.M.; Engle, David M.; Leslie, D.M.

    2004-01-01

    Increased abundance and distribution of eastern redcedar (Juniperns virginiannus), a native species in the Great Plains, has been associated with changes in ecosystem functioning and landscape cover. Knowledge of the main consumers and dispersal agents of eastern red cedar cones is essential to understanding the invasive spread of the species. We examined animal removal of cedar cones in three habitats (tallgrass prairie, eastern red cedar and woodland-prairie margins) in the Cross Timbers ecoregion using three exclosure treatments during autumn and winter. Exclosure treatments excluded study trees from ungulates, from terrestrial rodents and ungulates or from neither (control). Loss of cones from branches varied by a habitat-time interaction, but was not affected by exclosure type. Loss of cones from containers located under experimental trees varied by a habitat-treatment-time interaction. In December and January, cone consumption from containers in no-exclosure treatments was highest in margins, followed by tallgrass prairie and eastern red cedar habitats. We conclude birds consumed the majority of cones from branches and small-and medium-sized mammals consumed cones on the ground. Both birds and mammals likely contribute to the spread of eastern red cedar but at different scales. Limiting invasion of eastern red cedar in forests may require early detection and selective removal of pioneer seedlings in cross timbers and other habitats that attract a high diversity or density of frugivores.

  12. Differential Consumption of Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana) by Avian and Mammalian Guilds: Implications for Tree Invasion

    EPA Science Inventory

    Increased abundance of eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginianus), a native but invasive species in the Great Plains, has been associated with changes in ecosystem functioning and landscape cover. Knowledge of the main consumers and dispersal agents of eastern redcedar fruits is e...

  13. Genetic mapping of sex determination in a wild strawberry, Fragaria virginiana reveals earliest form of sex chromosome

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The evolution of separate sexes (dioecy) from hermaphroditism is one of the major evolutionary transitions in plants and this transition can be accompanied by the development of sex chromosomes. However, we are now just beginning to gain insight into the initial stages of sex chromosome evolution vi...

  14. The sylvatic transmission cycle of Trypanosoma cruzi in a rural area in the humid Chaco of Argentina

    PubMed Central

    Alvarado-Otegui, J.A.; Ceballos, L.A.; Orozco, M.M.; Enriquez, G.F.; Cardinal, M.V.; Cura, C.; Schijman, A.G.; Kitron, U.; Gürtler, R.E.

    2012-01-01

    Little is known about the sylvatic transmission cycle of Trypanosoma cruzi in the Gran Chaco ecoregion. We conducted surveys to identify the main sylvatic hosts of T. cruzi, parasite discrete typing units and vector species involved in Pampa del Indio, a rural area in the humid Argentinean Chaco. A total of 44 mammals from 14 species was captured and examined for infection by xenodiagnosis and polymerase chain reaction amplification of the hyper-variable region of kinetoplast DNA minicircles of T. cruzi (kDNA-PCR). Ten (22.7%) mammals were positive by xenodiagnosis or kDNA-PCR. Four of 11 (36%) Didelphis albiventris (white-eared opossums) and six of nine (67%) Dasypus novemcinctus (nine-banded armadillos) were positive by xenodiagnosis and or kDNA-PCR. Rodents, other armadillo species, felids, crab-eating raccoons, hares and rabbits were not infected. Positive animals were highly infectious to the bugs that fed upon them as determined by xenodiagnosis. All positive opossums were infected with T. cruzi I and all positive nine-banded armadillos with T. cruzi III. Extensive searches in sylvatic habitats using 718 Noireau trap-nights only yielded Triatoma sordida whereas no bug was collected in 26 light-trap nights. Four armadillos or opossums fitted with a spool-and-line device were successfully tracked to their refuges; only one Panstrongylus geniculatus was found in an armadillo burrow. No sylvatic triatomine was infected with T. cruzi by microscopical examination or kDNA-PCR. Our results indicate that two independent sylvatic transmission cycles of T. cruzi occur in the humid Chaco. The putative vectors of both cycles need to be identified conclusively. PMID:22771688

  15. A comparative study of Trypanosoma cruzi infection in sylvatic mammals from a protected and a disturbed area in the Argentine Chaco.

    PubMed

    Orozco, M M; Enriquez, G F; Cardinal, M V; Piccinali, R V; Gürtler, R E

    2016-03-01

    Understanding the complex epidemiology of Trypanosoma cruzi transmission cycles requires comparative studies in widely different environments. We assessed the occurrence of T. cruzi infection in sylvatic mammals, their infectiousness to the vector, and parasite genotypes in a protected area of the Argentine Chaco, and compared them with information obtained similarly in a nearby disturbed area. A total of 278 mammals from >23 species in the protected area were diagnosed for T. cruzi infection using xenodiagnosis, kDNA-PCR and nuclear satellite DNA-PCR (SAT) from blood samples. The relative abundance and species composition differed substantially between areas. Didelphis albiventris opossums were less abundant in the protected area; had a significantly lower body mass index, and a stage structure biased toward earlier stages. The capture of armadillos was lower in the protected area. The composite prevalence of T. cruzi infection across host species was significantly lower in the protected area (11.1%) than in the disturbed area (22.1%), and heterogeneous across species groups. The prevalence of infection in D. albiventris and Thylamys pusilla opossums was significantly lower in the protected area (nil for D. albiventris), whereas infection in sigmodontine rodents was three times higher in the protected area (17.5 versus 5.7%). Parasite isolates from the two xenodiagnosis-positive mammals (1 Dasypus novemcinctus and 1 Conepatus chinga) were typed as TcIII; both specimens were highly infectious to Triatoma infestans. Fat-tailed opossums, bats and rodents were kDNA-PCR-positive and xenodiagnosis-negative. Desmodus rotundus and Myotis bats were found infected with T. cruzi for the first time in the Gran Chaco.

  16. Metabolic changes in the nucleus of the optic tract after monocular enucleation as revealed by cytochrome oxidase histochemistry.

    PubMed

    Vargas, C D; Sousa, A O; Santos, C M; Pereira, A; Bernardes, R F; Rocha-Miranda, C E; Volchan, E

    2001-03-01

    The histochemistry for the mitochondrial enzyme cytochrome oxidase (CO) was used to evaluate the levels of metabolic activity in neurons of the nucleus of the optic tract (NOT) and dorsal terminal nucleus (DTN) in the opossum (Didelphis aurita). The observations were performed in four groups: normal juveniles (4 months old), monocularly enucleated juveniles analysed when adults, normal adults (8 to 18 months old) and monocularly enucleated adults. CO labeled cells were observed to have a similar distribution along the NOT-DTN anteroposterior axis in both juvenile and adult normal animals. Monocular enucleation performed in adults produced a significant reduction of the reactive neuropil but not of the number of CO labeled cells in the deafferented NOT-DTN: the number of labeled neurons per section in the deafferented side matched those of the ipsilateral complex. In juveniles, however, this procedure caused a systematic reduction of the number of CO labeled cells in the contralateral NOT-DTN in comparison to the spared complex. The lack of reduction in the number of neurons found on the deafferented side of the NOT-DTN of monocularly enucleated adult opossums compared with the ipsilateral side might result from the presence of compensatory inputs to maintain their metabolic equivalence. However, when the monocular enucleation was performed in juvenile opossums, a statistically significant asymmetry of CO neurons in the NOT-DTN was observed. In other words, the compensatory mechanisms proposed for the adults were either absent or insufficient to achieve symmetry in juveniles, suggesting a more heavily reliance in the retinal input.

  17. The sylvatic transmission cycle of Trypanosoma cruzi in a rural area in the humid Chaco of Argentina.

    PubMed

    Alvarado-Otegui, J A; Ceballos, L A; Orozco, M M; Enriquez, G F; Cardinal, M V; Cura, C; Schijman, A G; Kitron, U; Gürtler, R E

    2012-10-01

    Little is known about the sylvatic transmission cycle of Trypanosoma cruzi in the Gran Chaco ecoregion. We conducted surveys to identify the main sylvatic hosts of T. cruzi, parasite discrete typing units and vector species involved in Pampa del Indio, a rural area in the humid Argentinean Chaco. A total of 44 mammals from 14 species were captured and examined for infection by xenodiagnosis and polymerase chain reaction amplification of the hyper-variable region of kinetoplast DNA minicircles of T. cruzi (kDNA-PCR). Ten (22.7%) mammals were positive by xenodiagnosis or kDNA-PCR. Four of 11 (36%) Didelphis albiventris (white-eared opossums) and six of nine (67%) Dasypus novemcinctus (nine-banded armadillos) were positive by xenodiagnosis and or kDNA-PCR. Rodents, other armadillo species, felids, crab-eating raccoons, hares and rabbits were not infected. Positive animals were highly infectious to the bugs that fed upon them as determined by xenodiagnosis. All positive opossums were infected with T. cruzi I and all positive nine-banded armadillos with T. cruzi III. Extensive searches in sylvatic habitats using 718 Noireau trap-nights only yielded Triatoma sordida whereas no bug was collected in 26 light-trap nights. Four armadillos or opossums fitted with a spool-and-line device were successfully tracked to their refuges; only one Panstrongylus geniculatus was found in an armadillo burrow. No sylvatic triatomine was infected with T. cruzi by microscopical examination or kDNA-PCR. Our results indicate that two independent sylvatic transmission cycles of T. cruzi occur in the humid Chaco. The putative vectors of both cycles need to be identified conclusively.

  18. Detecting and modelling delayed density-dependence in abundance time series of a small mammal (Didelphis aurita).

    PubMed

    Brigatti, E; Vieira, M V; Kajin, M; Almeida, P J A L; de Menezes, M A; Cerqueira, R

    2016-02-11

    We study the population size time series of a Neotropical small mammal with the intent of detecting and modelling population regulation processes generated by density-dependent factors and their possible delayed effects. The application of analysis tools based on principles of statistical generality are nowadays a common practice for describing these phenomena, but, in general, they are more capable of generating clear diagnosis rather than granting valuable modelling. For this reason, in our approach, we detect the principal temporal structures on the bases of different correlation measures, and from these results we build an ad-hoc minimalist autoregressive model that incorporates the main drivers of the dynamics. Surprisingly our model is capable of reproducing very well the time patterns of the empirical series and, for the first time, clearly outlines the importance of the time of attaining sexual maturity as a central temporal scale for the dynamics of this species. In fact, an important advantage of this analysis scheme is that all the model parameters are directly biologically interpretable and potentially measurable, allowing a consistency check between model outputs and independent measurements.

  19. Detecting and modelling delayed density-dependence in abundance time series of a small mammal (Didelphis aurita)

    PubMed Central

    Brigatti, E.; Vieira, M. V.; Kajin, M.; Almeida, P. J. A. L.; de Menezes, M. A.; Cerqueira, R.

    2016-01-01

    We study the population size time series of a Neotropical small mammal with the intent of detecting and modelling population regulation processes generated by density-dependent factors and their possible delayed effects. The application of analysis tools based on principles of statistical generality are nowadays a common practice for describing these phenomena, but, in general, they are more capable of generating clear diagnosis rather than granting valuable modelling. For this reason, in our approach, we detect the principal temporal structures on the bases of different correlation measures, and from these results we build an ad-hoc minimalist autoregressive model that incorporates the main drivers of the dynamics. Surprisingly our model is capable of reproducing very well the time patterns of the empirical series and, for the first time, clearly outlines the importance of the time of attaining sexual maturity as a central temporal scale for the dynamics of this species. In fact, an important advantage of this analysis scheme is that all the model parameters are directly biologically interpretable and potentially measurable, allowing a consistency check between model outputs and independent measurements. PMID:26865413

  20. Detecting and modelling delayed density-dependence in abundance time series of a small mammal (Didelphis aurita)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brigatti, E.; Vieira, M. V.; Kajin, M.; Almeida, P. J. A. L.; de Menezes, M. A.; Cerqueira, R.

    2016-02-01

    We study the population size time series of a Neotropical small mammal with the intent of detecting and modelling population regulation processes generated by density-dependent factors and their possible delayed effects. The application of analysis tools based on principles of statistical generality are nowadays a common practice for describing these phenomena, but, in general, they are more capable of generating clear diagnosis rather than granting valuable modelling. For this reason, in our approach, we detect the principal temporal structures on the bases of different correlation measures, and from these results we build an ad-hoc minimalist autoregressive model that incorporates the main drivers of the dynamics. Surprisingly our model is capable of reproducing very well the time patterns of the empirical series and, for the first time, clearly outlines the importance of the time of attaining sexual maturity as a central temporal scale for the dynamics of this species. In fact, an important advantage of this analysis scheme is that all the model parameters are directly biologically interpretable and potentially measurable, allowing a consistency check between model outputs and independent measurements.

  1. Effects of Seawater Acidification on the Life Cycle and fitness of Opossum Shrimp Populations

    EPA Science Inventory

    Much of the current concern about ecological effects of ocean acidification focuses on molluscs and coccolithophores because of their importance in the global calcium cycle. However, many other marine organisms are likely to be affected by acidification because of their known ph...

  2. Redescription of Spirura guianensis (Nematoda: Spiruridae) from a rare South American Gracile Opossum.

    PubMed

    Torres, E J Lopes; Maldonado, A; Anjos, D H da Silva; de Souza, W; Miranda, K

    2015-10-01

    Spirura genus Blanchard, 1849 comprise of nematode parasites that infect primate and marsupial species. Although several taxonomical studies have shown that the infection by this species occurs primarily in the esophagus of primates, evidence for the occurrence of these parasites in other hosts (marsupials, rodents and bats) has become the subject of investigation by several groups. In this work, we describe the presence of Spirura guianensis Ortlepp, 1924 in the marsupial Gracilinanus agilis (Marsupialia: Didelphidae) found in the Pantanal of Mato Grosso do Sul state of Brazil. Structural characteristics of this nematode were identified using light microscopy (bright field and fluorescence stereomicroscopy) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) approaches. Details of the surface topography such as cephalic projections, ventral boss, details of the caudal papillae and cuticular ornamentations were shown, providing taxonomic characteristics that may help in the establishment of diagnostic protocols. In addition, the presence of this species in a new host and new geographical area of Brazil provide grounds for a revision on the distribution of S. guianensis in South America.

  3. Environmental DNA Marker Development with Sparse Biological Information: A Case Study on Opossum Shrimp (Mysis diluviana)

    PubMed Central

    Carim, Kellie J.; Christianson, Kyle R.; McKelvey, Kevin M.; Pate, William M.; Silver, Douglas B.; Johnson, Brett M.; Galloway, Bill T.; Young, Michael K.; Schwartz, Michael K.

    2016-01-01

    The spread of Mysis diluviana, a small glacial relict crustacean, outside its native range has led to unintended shifts in the composition of native fish communities throughout western North America. As a result, biologists seek accurate methods of determining the presence of M. diluviana, especially at low densities or during the initial stages of an invasion. Environmental DNA (eDNA) provides one solution for detecting M. diluviana, but building eDNA markers that are both sensitive and species-specific is challenging when the distribution and taxonomy of closely related non-target taxa are poorly understood, published genetic data are sparse, and tissue samples are difficult to obtain. To address these issues, we developed a pair of independent eDNA markers to increase the likelihood of a positive detection of M. diluviana when present and reduce the probability of false positive detections from closely related non-target species. Because tissue samples of closely-related and possibly sympatric, non-target taxa could not be obtained, we used synthetic DNA sequences of closely related non-target species to test the specificity of eDNA markers. Both eDNA markers yielded positive detections from five waterbodies where M. diluviana was known to be present, and no detections in five others where this species was thought to be absent. Daytime samples from varying depths in one waterbody occupied by M. diluviana demonstrated that samples near the lake bottom produced 5 to more than 300 times as many eDNA copies as samples taken at other depths, but all samples tested positive regardless of depth. PMID:27551919

  4. Postnatal development of the reproductive system in the grey short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Mackay, S; Xie, Q; Ullmann, S L; Gilmore, D P; Payne, A P

    2004-05-01

    Postnatal phenotypic sex differentiation has been investigated in a laboratory marsupial, Monodelphis domestica, as part of a larger study to resolve apparent discrepancies between eutherian and marsupial mammals. These include the formation of sex-specific structures in marsupials prior to gonadal differentiation and the retention in both sexes of structures which are sex-specific in eutherians. The time-course and nature of differentiation was investigated in 131 specimens ranging in age from the day of birth to 56 days. Patent wolffian ducts extend to the urogenital sinus in both sexes at birth, while müllerian ducts are identified on day 1 and grow in a cranio-caudal direction to reach the urogenital sinus on day 6. The male müllerian duct shows signs of regression at its cranial end on day 10 and throughout its length on day 12; its lumen has completely disappeared by day 15. By this time the epididymis and vas deferens have developed from the wolffian duct; their histological differentiation occurs between days 26 and 56. Prostatic buds are identifiable in tissue surrounding the male urethra on day 14. In the female, the wolffian duct is larger than the müllerian duct until day 14; thereafter the wolffian duct begins to regress at its cranial end, disappearing by day 17, whereas the müllerian duct begins to enlarge, converging with its fellow at the urogenital sinus by day 19. Lateral vaginae, vaginal culs-de-sac, uteri and oviducts have differentiated from the müllerian ducts by day 25. Gonads of both sexes are elongated in shape at birth, attached along the medial aspect of the large mesonephroi in the abdominal cavity. However, from day 3 onwards the testis becomes more rounded than the ovary. Degeneration of the male mesonephros begins about day 10 and is almost completed by day 19; the female mesonephros is still relatively large at day 14 though it too has almost disappeared by day 19. By postnatal day 13 the abdominal phase of testis descent is underway and the inguinal phase begins at day 15. Testes have reached the scrotal sac by day 24 and achieve their final position at the base of the scrotum by day 28. In summary, postnatal reproductive tract development and gonadal descent has been examined in this important biomedical model, where differentiation of the wolffian and müllerian ducts takes place after gonadal differentiation, according to the normal eutherian pattern.

  5. Effects of Seawater Acidification on the Liffe Cycle and Fitness of Opossum Shrimp Population

    EPA Science Inventory

    Much of the current concern about ecological effects of ocean acidification focuses on molluscs and coccolithophores because of their importance in the global calcium cycle. However, many other marine organisms are likely to be affected by acidification because of their known se...

  6. Opossum peptide that can neutralize rattlesnake venom is expressed in Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Komives, Claire F.; Sanchez, Elda E.; Rathore, Anurag S.; White, Brandon; Suntravat, Montamas; Balderrama, Michael; Cifelli, Angela; Joshi, Varsha

    2016-01-01

    An eleven amino acid ribosomal peptide was shown to completely neutralize Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox) venom in mice when a lethal dose of the venom was pre-incubated with the peptide prior to intravenous injection. We have expressed the peptide as a concatenated chain of peptides and cleaved them apart from an immobilized metal affinity column using a protease. After ultrafiltration steps, the mixture was shown to partially neutralize rattlesnake venom in mice. Preliminary experiments are described here that suggest a potential life-saving therapy could be developed. To date, no recombinant therapies targeting cytotoxic envenomation have been reported. PMID:27718338

  7. Evidence to support horses as natural intermediate hosts for Sarcocystis neurona.

    PubMed

    Mullaney, Thomas; Murphy, Alice J; Kiupel, Matti; Bell, Julia A; Rossano, Mary G; Mansfield, Linda S

    2005-10-10

    Opossums (Didelphis spp.) are the definitive host for the protozoan parasite Sarcocystis neurona, the causative agent of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM). Opossums shed sporocysts in feces that can be ingested by true intermediate hosts (cats, raccoons, skunks, armadillos and sea otters). Horses acquire the parasite by ingestion of feed or water contaminated by opossum feces. However, horses have been classified as aberrant intermediate hosts because the terminal asexual sarcocyst stage that is required for transmission to the definitive host has not been found in their tissues despite extensive efforts to search for them [Dubey, J.P., Lindsay, D.S., Saville, W.J., Reed, S.M., Granstrom, D.E., Speer, C.A., 2001b. A review of Sarcocystis neurona and equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM). Vet. Parasitol. 95, 89-131]. In a 4-month-old filly with neurological disease consistent with EPM, we demonstrate schizonts in the brain and spinal cord and mature sarcocysts in the tongue and skeletal muscle, both with genetic and morphological characteristics of S. neurona. The histological and electron microscopic morphology of the schizonts and sarcocysts were identical to published features of S. neurona [Stanek, J.F., Dubey, J.P., Oglesbee, M.J., Reed, S.M., Lindsay, D.S., Capitini, L.A., Njoku, C.J., Vittitow, K.L., Saville, W.J., 2002. Life cycle of Sarcocystis neurona in its natural intermediate host, the raccoon, Procyon lotor. J. Parasitol. 88, 1151-1158]. DNA from schizonts and sarcocysts from this horse produced Sarcocystis specific 334bp PCR products [Tanhauser, S.M., Yowell, C.A., Cutler, T.J., Greiner, E.C., MacKay, R.J., Dame, J.B., 1999. Multiple DNA markers differentiate Sarcocystis neurona and Sarcocystis falcatula. J. Parasitol. 85, 221-228]. Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of these PCR products showed banding patterns characteristic of S. neurona. Sequencing, alignment and comparison of both schizont and sarcocyst DNA

  8. Invasive plant species alters consumer behavior by providing refuge from predation.

    PubMed

    Dutra, Humberto P; Barnett, Kirk; Reinhardt, Jason R; Marquis, Robert J; Orrock, John L

    2011-07-01

    Understanding the effects of invasive plants on native consumers is important because consumer-mediated indirect effects have the potential to alter the dynamics of coexistence in native communities. Invasive plants may promote changes in consumer pressure due to changes in protective cover (i.e., the architectural complexity of the invaded habitat) and in food availability (i.e., subsidies of fruits and seeds). No experimental studies have evaluated the relative interplay of these two effects. In a factorial experiment, we manipulated cover and food provided by the invasive shrub Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii) to evaluate whether this plant alters the foraging activity of native mammals. Using tracking plates to quantify mammalian foraging activity, we found that removal of honeysuckle cover, rather than changes in the fruit resources it provides, reduced the activity of important seed consumers, mice in the genus Peromyscus. Two mesopredators, Procyon lotor and Didelphis virginiana, were also affected. Moreover, we found rodents used L. maackii for cover only on cloudless nights, indicating that the effect of honeysuckle was weather-dependent. Our work provides experimental evidence that this invasive plant species changes habitat characteristics, and in so doing alters the behavior of small- and medium-sized mammals. Changes in seed predator behavior may lead to cascading effects on the seeds that mice consume.

  9. Frequency of antibodies against Sarcocystis neurona and Neospora caninum in domestic cats in the state of Bahia, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Meneses, Iris Daniela Santos de; Andrade, Müller Ribeiro; Uzêda, Rosângela Soares; Bittencourt, Marta Vasconcelos; Lindsay, David Scott; Gondim, Luís Fernando Pita

    2014-01-01

    Sarcocystis neurona is the major agent of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis. It infects several mammalian species in the Americas, where the definitive hosts, marsupials of the genus Didelphis (D. virginiana and D. albiventris) are found. Domestic cats are one of the confirmed intermediate hosts of the parasite; however, antibodies against S. neurona had never before been demonstrated in Brazilian cats. The aim of this study was to determine whether cats in Bahia, Brazil, are exposed to the parasite. A total of 272 feline serum samples (134 from feral and 138 from house cats) were subjected to an indirect fluorescent antibody test using cultured merozoites of S. neurona as antigen. Positivity was detected in 4.0% (11/272) of the tested samples, with titers ranging from 25 to 800. The feline sera were also tested for antibodies against the protozoan Neospora caninum, with an observed antibody frequency of 2.9%. To the author's knowledge, this is the first study to report antibodies against S. neurona in Brazilian cats. We conclude that cats are exposed to the parasite in the region of this study. Further investigations are needed to confirm the role of cats in the transmission cycle of S. neurona in Brazil.

  10. Opportunistic Sampling of Roadkill as an Entry Point to Accessing Natural Products Assembled by Bacteria Associated with Non-anthropoidal Mammalian Microbiomes

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Few secondary metabolites have been reported from mammalian microbiome bacteria despite the large numbers of diverse taxa that inhabit warm-blooded higher vertebrates. As a means to investigate natural products from these microorganisms, an opportunistic sampling protocol was developed, which focused on exploring bacteria isolated from roadkill mammals. This initiative was made possible through the establishment of a newly created discovery pipeline, which couples laser ablation electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (LAESIMS) with bioassay testing, to target biologically active metabolites from microbiome-associated bacteria. To illustrate this process, this report focuses on samples obtained from the ear of a roadkill opossum (Dideiphis virginiana) as the source of two bacterial isolates (Pseudomonas sp. and Serratia sp.) that produced several new and known cyclic lipodepsipeptides (viscosin and serrawettins, respectively). These natural products inhibited biofilm formation by the human pathogenic yeast Candida albicans at concentrations well below those required to inhibit yeast viability. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequence libraries revealed the presence of diverse microbial communities associated with different sites throughout the opossum carcass. A putative biosynthetic pathway responsible for the production of the new serrawettin analogues was identified by sequencing the genome of the Serratia sp. isolate. This study provides a functional roadmap to carrying out the systematic investigation of the genomic, microbiological, and chemical parameters related to the production of natural products made by bacteria associated with non-anthropoidal mammalian microbiomes. Discoveries emerging from these studies are anticipated to provide a working framework for efforts aimed at augmenting microbiomes to deliver beneficial natural products to a host. PMID:28335605

  11. Development of the ethmoid in Caluromys philander (Didelphidae, Marsupialia) with a discussion on the homology of the turbinal elements in marsupials.

    PubMed

    Macrini, Thomas E

    2014-11-01

    Homology of turbinals, or scroll bones, of the mammalian ethmoid bone is poorly known and complicated by a varied terminology. Positionally, there are two main types of ossified adult turbinals known as endoturbinals and ectoturbinals, and their cartilaginous precursors are called ethmoturbinals and frontoturbinals, respectively. Endoturbinals are considered to be serially homologous due to similarity in their developmental patterns. Consequently, endoturbinals from mammals with differing numbers of elements cannot be individually homogenized. In this study, the development of the ethmoid of Caluromys philander, the bare-tailed woolly opossum, is described based on serial sections of six pouchlings ranging in age from 20 to 84 days postnatal (PND-84), and computed tomography images of an adult skull. I found that four ethmoturbinals initially develop as seen in PND-20 and PND-30 individuals but by PND-64 an interturbinal (corresponding to endoturbinal III in adults) is present between ethmoturbinals II and III. This developmental pattern is identical to that of Monodelphis domestica, the gray short-tailed opossum, and is probably also present in the marsupials Didelphis marsupialis, and Thylacinus cynocephalus based on work of previous authors. These data suggest that endoturbinal III has a developmental pattern that differs from other endoturbinals, and the name interturbinal should be retained for the adult structure in recognition of this difference. These results may prove useful for homologizing this individual turbinal element across marsupials, the majority of which have five endoturbinals as adults. This might also explain the presumed placental ancestral condition of four endoturbinals if the marsupial interturbinal is lost.

  12. Rickettsial Infection in Animals, Humans and Ticks in Paulicéia, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Silveira, I; Martins, T F; Olegário, M M; Peterka, C; Guedes, E; Ferreira, F; Labruna, M B

    2015-11-01

    A previous study in Paulicéia Municipality, south-eastern Brazil, reported 9.7% of the Amblyomma triste ticks to be infected by Rickettsia parkeri, a bacterial pathogen that causes spotted fever in humans. These A. triste ticks were shown to be associated with marsh areas, where the marsh deer Blastocerus dichotomus is a primary host for this tick species. During 2008-2009, blood serum samples were collected from 140 horses, 41 dogs, 5 opossums (Didelphis albiventris) and 26 humans in farms from Pauliceia Municipality. Ticks were collected from these animals, from vegetation and from additional wildlife in these farms. Overall, 25% (35/140) of the horses, 7.3% (3/41) of the dogs, 3.8% (1/26) of the humans and 100% (5/5) of the opossums were seroreactive (titre ≥64) to spotted fever group (SFG) Rickettsia spp. Multivariate statistical analysis indicated that horses that were allowed to forage in the marsh were 4.8 times more likely to be seroreactive to spotted fever group (SFG) Rickettsia spp than horses that did not forage in the marsh. In addition, horses that had been living in the farm for more than 8.5 years were 2.8 times more likely to be seroreactive to SFG Rickettsia spp than horses that were living for ≤8.5 years. Ticks collected from domestic animals or from vegetation included Amblyomma cajennense, Amblyomma coelebs, Amblyomma dubitatum, Dermacentor nitens and Rhipicephalus microplus. By PCR analyses, only one pool of A. coelebs ticks from the vegetation was shown to be infected by rickettsiae, for which DNA sequencing revealed to be Rickettsia amblyommii. Ticks (not tested by PCR) collected from wildlife encompassed A. cajennense and Amblyomma rotundatum on lizards (Tupinambis sp), and A. cajennense and A. triste on the bird Laterallus viridis. Our results indicate that the marsh area of Paulicéia offers risks of infection by SFG rickettsiae.

  13. First finding of Trypanosoma cruzi II in vampire bats from a district free of domestic vector-borne transmission in Northeastern Argentina.

    PubMed

    Argibay, Hernán D; Orozco, M Marcela; Cardinal, M Victoria; Rinas, Miguel A; Arnaiz, María; Mena Segura, Carlos; Gürtler, Ricardo E

    2016-09-01

    Establishing the putative links between sylvatic and domestic transmission cycles of Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of Chagas disease, is of public health relevance. We conducted three surveys to assess T. cruzi infection in wild mammals from a rural and a preserved area in Misiones Province, Northeastern Argentina, which had recently been declared free of vector- and blood-borne transmission of human T. cruzi infection. A total of 200 wild mammals were examined by xenodiagnosis (XD) and/or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of the hyper-variable region of kinetoplast DNA minicircles of T. cruzi (kDNA-PCR). The overall prevalence of T. cruzi infection was 8%. Nine (16%) of 57 Didelphis albiventris opossums and two (7%) of 29 Desmodus rotundus vampire bats were positive by both XD and kDNA-PCR. Additionally, one D. rotundus positive for T. cruzi by kDNA-PCR tested positive by satellite-DNA-PCR (SAT-DNA-PCR). The T. cruzi-infected bats were captured indoors and in the yard of a vacant dwelling. All D. albiventris were infected with TcI and both XD-positive D. rotundus by TcII. Fifty-five opossum cubs within the marsupium were negative by XD. The mean infectiousness to the vector was 62% in D. albiventris and 50% in D. rotundus. Mice experimentally infected with a parasite isolate from a vampire bat displayed lesions typically caused by T. cruzi. Our study documents the presence of the genotype TcII in a sylvatic host for the first time in Argentina, and the occurrence of two transmission cycles of T. cruzi in a district free of domestic vector-borne transmission.

  14. Environmental Impact Research Program. Common Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana). Section 7.5.4, US Army Corps of Engineers Wildlife Resources Management Manual.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1986-07-01

    maple (A. glabrum), bigtooth maple (A. grandidentatum), serviceberries (Amelanchier spp.), pinyon (Pinus edulis), and ponderosa pine (P. ponderosa ...bur oak (Q. macrocarpa) and usually has an overstory of ponderosa pine (Thilenius 1972). In southeastern Montana, choke- cherry is a common shrub...vegetation type; this association also occurs in the more mesic coulees that dissect the ponderosa pine types at higher elevations (Batson and Elliott

  15. An In Silico Insight into Novel Therapeutic Interaction of LTNF Peptide-LT10 and Design of Structure Based Peptidomimetics for Putative Anti-Diabetic Activity

    PubMed Central

    Chavan, Sonali Gopichand; Deobagkar, Deepti Dileep

    2015-01-01

    Lethal Toxin Neutralizing Factor (LTNF) obtained from Opossum serum (Didephis virginiana) is known to exhibit toxin-neutralizing activity for envenomation caused by animals, plants and bacteria. Small synthetic peptide- LT10 (10mer) derived from N-terminal fraction of LTNF exhibit similar anti-lethal and anti-allergic property. In our in silico study, we identified Insulin Degrading Enzyme (IDE) as a potential target of LT10 peptide followed by molecular docking and molecular dynamic (MD) simulation studies which revealed relatively stable interaction of LT10 peptide with IDE. Moreover, their detailed interaction analyses dictate IDE-inhibitory interactions of LT10 peptide. This prediction ofLT10 peptide as a novel putative IDE-inhibitor suggests its possible role in anti-diabetic treatment since IDE- inhibitors are known to assist treatment of Diabetes mellitus by enhancing insulin signalling. Furthermore, series of structure based peptidomimetics were designed from LT10 peptide and screened for their inhibitory interactions which ultimately led to a small set of peptidomimetic inhibitors of IDE. These peptidomimetic thus might provide a new class of IDE-inhibitors, those derived from LT10 peptide. PMID:25816209

  16. Direct molecular identification of Trypanosoma cruzi discrete typing units in domestic and peridomestic Triatoma infestans and Triatoma sordida from the Argentine Chaco.

    PubMed

    Maffey, L; Cardinal, M V; Ordóñez-Krasnowski, P C; Lanati, L A; Lauricella, M A; Schijman, A G; Gürtler, R E

    2012-10-01

    We assessed the distribution of Trypanosoma cruzi Discrete Typing Units (DTUs) in domestic and peridomestic Triatoma infestans and Triatoma sordida specimens collected in a well-defined rural area in Pampa del Indio, northeastern Argentina. Microscopically-positive bugs were randomly selected with a multi-level sampling design, and DTUs were identified using direct PCR strategies. TcVI predominated in 61% of 69 T. infestans and in 56% of 9 T. sordida. TcV was the secondary DTU in T. infestans (16%) and was found in 1 T. sordida specimen (11%). Three T. sordida (33%) were found infected with TcI, a DTU also identified in local Didelphis albiventris opossums. Mixed DTU infections occurred rarely (5%) and were detected both directly from the bugs' rectal ampoule and parasite cultures. The identified DTUs and bug collection sites of T. infestans were significantly associated. Bugs infected with TcV were almost exclusively captured in domiciles whereas those with TcVI were found similarly in domiciles and peridomiciles. All mixed infections occurred in domiciles. TcV-infected bugs fed more often on humans than on dogs, whereas TcVI-infected bugs showed the reverse pattern. T. sordida is a probable sylvatic vector of TcI linked to D. albiventris, and could represent a secondary vector of TcVI and TcV in the domestic/peridomestic cycle.

  17. Direct molecular identification of Trypanosoma cruzi Discrete Typing Units in domestic and peridomestic Triatoma infestans and Triatoma sordida from the Argentine Chaco

    PubMed Central

    MAFFEY, L.; CARDINAL, M.V.; ORDÓÑEZ-KRASNOWSKI, P.C.; LANATI, L.A.; LAURICELLA, M.A.; SCHIJMAN, A.G.; GÜRTLER, R.E.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY We assessed the distribution of Trypanosoma cruzi Discrete Typing Units (DTUs) in domestic and peridomestic Triatoma infestans and Triatoma sordida specimens collected in a well-defined rural area in Pampa del Indio, northeastern Argentina. Microscopically-positive bugs were randomly selected with a multi-level sampling design, and DTUs were identified using direct PCR strategies. TcVI predominated in 61% of 69 T. infestans and in 56% of 9 T. sordida. TcV was the secondary DTU in T. infestans (16%) and was found in one T. sordida specimen (11%). Three T. sordida (33%) were found infected with TcI, a DTU also identified in local Didelphis albiventris opossums. Mixed DTU infections occurred rarely (5%) and were detected both directly from the bugs’ rectal ampoule and parasite cultures. The identified DTUs and bug collection sites of T. infestans were significantly associated. Bugs infected with TcV were almost exclusively captured in domiciles whereas those with TcVI were found similarly in domiciles and peridomiciles. All mixed infections occurred in domiciles. TcV-infected bugs fed more often on humans than on dogs, whereas TcVI-infected bugs showed the reverse pattern. T. sordida is a probable sylvatic vector of TcI linked to D. albiventris, and could represent a secondary vector of TcVI and TcV in the domestic/peridomestic cycle. PMID:23036510

  18. Prevalence of antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii in wild mammals of Missouri and east central Kansas: biologic and ecologic considerations of transmission.

    PubMed

    Smith, D D; Frenkel, J K

    1995-01-01

    Sera from 273 wild mammals from Missouri and Kansas (USA), collected between December 1974 and December 1987, were tested for the presence of antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii using the Sabin-Feldman dye test. Sixty-five (24%) had antibodies at titers of > or = 1:8, including 38 (66%) of 58 carnivores, 14 (15%) of 94 omnivores, 13 (11%) of 117 herbivores, and none of four insectivores. The prevalence of antibodies in mice (Mus musculus and Peromyscus spp.) and rats (Rattus norvegicus and Sigmodon hispidus) was low (3%), while medium sized herbivores such as squirrels (Sciurus spp.), rabbits (Sylvilagus floridanus), and muskrats (Ondatra zibethicus) had prevalences of about 18%. Red foxes (Vulpes fulva) and mink (Mustela vison) had the highest prevalence of antibodies with frequencies of 90 and 66%, respectively. In 32 attempts to isolate Toxoplasma gondii from wild mammals with positive (> or = 1:4) titers, only six (19%) were successful: a gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), a beaver (Castor canadensis), an opossum (Didelphis marsupialis), a red fox and two mink. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the probability of infection with Toxoplasma gondii, and therefore prevalence of antibodies in wildlife, is greatest in carnivores.

  19. Trichinella infection in wild animals from endemic regions of Argentina.

    PubMed

    Ribicich, Mabel; Gamble, H R; Bolpe, Jorge; Scialfa, Exequiel; Krivokapich, Silvio; Cardillo, Natalia; Betti, Adriana; Holzmann, Maria Laura Cambiaggi; Pasqualetti, Mariana; Fariña, Fernando; Rosa, Adriana

    2010-07-01

    Natural infection with Trichinella has been described in more than 150 mammalian species. However, few reports of Trichinella infection in wild animals have come from Argentina. In this study, muscle tissue was obtained from wild animals in Argentina with the aim of evaluating the presence of Trichinella. A total of 169 muscle samples were collected to determine the presence of Trichinella larvae by artificial digestion. The 169 muscle samples originated from 12 species including 36 opossums (Didelphis albiventris), 19 armadillos (Chaetophractus villosus), 9 capybaras (Hydrocaeris hydrocaeris), 1 puma (Puma concolor), 3 grey fox (Lycalopex gymnocercus), 6 coypus (Myocastor coypus), 6 skunks (Conepatus chinga), 2 ferrets (Galictis cuja), 66 rats (Rattus norvegicus), 6 mice (Mus musculus), 12 wild boars (Sus scrofa), and 3 wild cats (Felis geoffroyi). Trichinella infection was detected in 1 puma [2 larvae per gram (LPG)], 3 wild boars (8-420 LPG), 3 armadillos (0.04-0.08 LPG), and 9 rats (0.1 to 150 LPG). Only 3 Trichinella isolates, of 1 rat and 2 wild boars from Neuquén, were identified as Trichinella spiralis by nested PCR. The presence of Trichinella infection among wild animal populations suggests a sylvatic cycle of transmission in Argentina, which can serve as a reservoir for humans and domestic animals. Further, evidence of high prevalence in rats emphasizes the need to improve pig management, mainly in small individual farms without adequate technology, to enhance the quality of feeds, and to improve veterinary services to avoid exposure of pigs to Trichinella.

  20. Trypanosoma (Megatrypanum) lainsoni n. sp. from Mesomys hispidus (Rodentia: Echimyidae) in Brazil: trypomastigotes described from experimentally infected laboratory mice.

    PubMed

    Naiff, Roberto Daibes; Barrett, Toby Vincent

    2013-01-01

    We report the detection, isolation and description of Trypanosoma (Megatrypanum) lainsoni n. sp. from a caviomorph rodent, Mesomys hispidus (Rodentia: Echimyidae), obtained in the Rio Negro region of the state of Amazonas, in northern Brazil. Laboratory-bred white mice (Mus musculus) and rats (Rattus rattus) were inoculated with large numbers of culture forms by intraperitoneal route, and trypomastigotes appeared in their blood 3-8 days post-inoculation. One single epimastigote was also found in Mus musculus. Similar attempts to infect Rattus norvegicus, hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus), the opossum Didelphis marsupialis, the anteater Tamandua tetradactyla and triatomine bugs were unsuccessful, following six months of observations and microscopic examinations of blood films and blood cultures. As we have found no previous record of a Trypanosoma (Megatrypanum) species naturally infecting a member of the family Echimyidae, or any other caviomorph rodent, we conclude that this is the first time such an infection has been reported. The new species is unusual in the subgenus for its infectivity to laboratory mice.

  1. A comparative study of lymph node mast cell populations in five marsupial species.

    PubMed

    Chiarini-Garcia, H; Pereira, F M

    1999-06-01

    In order to determine whether different subpopulations of mast cells exist, mast cells of mandibular and axillary lymph nodes from five species (Didelphis aurita, Metachirus nudicaudatus, Philander opossum, Marmosops incanus and Gracilinanus agilis) of South American marsupials were studied. Our results showed that mast cells present in the connective tissue of the capsule and septa (CTMC) were similar to those described for eutherian mammals. However, a population of mast cells that was present in the lymphatic sinuses and bathed by the lymph, plus in direct contact with granulocytes, lymphocytes, macrophages, and reticular cells, were morphologically and histochemically different from the CTMC. In the five species studied, these cellular types, called lymphatic-sinus mast cells (LSMC), had a lower concentration of intragranular heparin and, in four of the five species, the cytoplasmic granules appeared to be larger than those in CTMC. Although LSMC have been rarely described in eutherian mammals, it was verified, in this study, that LSMC are nevertheless present in lymphatic sinuses of the five metatherian species studied. These observations suggest that the presence of LSMC may be a characteristic of the marsupials and important in the immune response and adaptive success of the Didelphidae.

  2. Using DNA Barcodes to Identify Road-Killed Animals in Two Atlantic Forest Nature Reserves, Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Klippel, Angélica H.; Oliveira, Pablo V.; Britto, Karollini B.; Freire, Bárbara F.; Moreno, Marcel R.; dos Santos, Alexandre R.; Banhos, Aureo; Paneto, Greiciane G.

    2015-01-01

    Road mortality is the leading source of biodiversity loss in the world, especially due to fragmentation of natural habitats and loss of wildlife. The survey of the main species victims of roadkill is of fundamental importance for the better understanding of the problem, being necessary, for this, the correct species identification. The aim of this study was to verify if DNA barcodes can be applied to identify road-killed samples that often cannot be determined morphologically. For this purpose, 222 vertebrate samples were collected in a stretch of the BR-101 highway that crosses two Discovery Coast Atlantic Forest Natural Reserves, the Sooretama Biological Reserve and the Vale Natural Reserve, in Espírito Santo, Brazil. The mitochondrial COI gene was amplified, sequenced and confronted with the BOLD database. It was possible to identify 62.16% of samples, totaling 62 different species, including Pyrrhura cruentata, Chaetomys subspinosus, Puma yagouaroundi and Leopardus wiedii considered Vulnerable in the National Official List of Species of Endangered Wildlife. The most commonly identified animals were a bat (Molossus molossus), an opossum (Didelphis aurita) and a frog (Trachycephalus mesophaeus) species. Only one reptile was identified using the technique, probably due to lack of reference sequences in BOLD. These data may contribute to a better understanding of the impact of roads on species biodiversity loss and to introduce the DNA barcode technique to road ecology scenarios. PMID:26244644

  3. Screening for target toxins of the antiophidic protein DM64 through a gel-based interactomics approach.

    PubMed

    Rocha, Surza L G; Neves-Ferreira, Ana G C; Trugilho, Monique R O; Angulo, Yamileth; Lomonte, Bruno; Valente, Richard H; Domont, Gilberto B; Perales, Jonas

    2017-01-16

    DM64 is a glycosylated protein with antivenom activity isolated from the serum of the opossum Didelphis aurita. It binds non-covalently to myotoxins I (Asp49) and II (Lys49) from Bothrops asper venom and inhibits their myotoxic effect. In this study, an affinity column with immobilized DM64 as bait was used to fish potential target toxins. All ten isolated myotoxins tested were able to effectively bind to the DM64 column. To better access the specificity of the inhibitor, crude venoms from Bothrops (8 species), Crotalus (2 species) and Naja naja atra were submitted to the affinity purification. Venom fractions bound and nonbound to the DM64 column were analyzed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and MALDI-TOF/TOF MS. Although venom fractions bound to the column were mainly composed of basic PLA2, a few spots corresponding to acidic PLA2 were also observed. Some unexpected protein spots were also identified: C-type lectins and CRISP may represent putative new targets for DM64, whereas the presence of serine peptidases in the venom bound fraction is likely a consequence of nonspecific binding to the column matrix. The present results contribute to better delineate the inhibitory potential of DM64, providing a framework for the development of more specific antivenom therapies.

  4. Sarcocystis neurona schizonts-associated encephalitis, chorioretinitis, and myositis in a two-month-old dog simulating toxoplasmosis, and presence of mature sarcocysts in muscles.

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Black, S S; Verma, S K; Calero-Bernal, R; Morris, E; Hanson, M A; Cooley, A J

    2014-05-28

    Sarcocystis neurona is an unusual species of the genus Sarcocystis. Opossums (Didelphis virginianus, D. albiventris) are the definitive hosts and several other species, including dogs, cats, marine mammals, and horses are intermediate or aberrant hosts. Sarcocysts are not known to form in aberrant hosts. Sarcocystis neurona causes fatal disease in horses (Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis, EPM). There are numerous reports of fatal EPM-like infections in other species, usually with central nervous system signs and associated with the schizont stage of S. neurona. Here, we report fatal disseminated S. neurona infection in a nine-week-old golden retriever dog from Mississippi, USA. Protozoal merozoites were identified in smears of the cerebrospinal fluid. Microscopically, lesions and protozoa were identified in eyes, tongue, heart, liver, intestines, nasal turbinates, skeletal muscle and brain, which reacted intensely with S. neurona polyclonal antibodies. Mature sarcocysts were seen in sections of muscles. These sarcocysts were ultrastructurally similar to those of S. neurona from experimentally infected animals. These data suggest that the dog is another intermediate host for S. neurona. Data suggest that the dog was transplacentally infected.

  5. Using DNA Barcodes to Identify Road-Killed Animals in Two Atlantic Forest Nature Reserves, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Klippel, Angélica H; Oliveira, Pablo V; Britto, Karollini B; Freire, Bárbara F; Moreno, Marcel R; Dos Santos, Alexandre R; Banhos, Aureo; Paneto, Greiciane G

    2015-01-01

    Road mortality is the leading source of biodiversity loss in the world, especially due to fragmentation of natural habitats and loss of wildlife. The survey of the main species victims of roadkill is of fundamental importance for the better understanding of the problem, being necessary, for this, the correct species identification. The aim of this study was to verify if DNA barcodes can be applied to identify road-killed samples that often cannot be determined morphologically. For this purpose, 222 vertebrate samples were collected in a stretch of the BR-101 highway that crosses two Discovery Coast Atlantic Forest Natural Reserves, the Sooretama Biological Reserve and the Vale Natural Reserve, in Espírito Santo, Brazil. The mitochondrial COI gene was amplified, sequenced and confronted with the BOLD database. It was possible to identify 62.16% of samples, totaling 62 different species, including Pyrrhura cruentata, Chaetomys subspinosus, Puma yagouaroundi and Leopardus wiedii considered Vulnerable in the National Official List of Species of Endangered Wildlife. The most commonly identified animals were a bat (Molossus molossus), an opossum (Didelphis aurita) and a frog (Trachycephalus mesophaeus) species. Only one reptile was identified using the technique, probably due to lack of reference sequences in BOLD. These data may contribute to a better understanding of the impact of roads on species biodiversity loss and to introduce the DNA barcode technique to road ecology scenarios.

  6. First isolation of Leptospira interrogans from Lycalopex griseus (South American gray fox) in Argentina shows new MLVA genotype.

    PubMed

    Scialfa, Exequiel; Brihuega, Bibiana; Venzano, Agustín; Morris, Winston Eduardo; Bolpe, Jorge; Schettino, Mateo

    2013-01-01

    To identify carriers of Leptospira spp. in Argentina, wild animals were trapped in Buenos Aires Province during three nights, capturing 12 Didelphis albiventris (white-eared opossum), six Chaetophractus villosus (big hairy armadillo), five Lycalopex griseus (South American gray fox), and two Conepatus chinga (Molina's hog-nosed skunk). All were tested by microscopic agglutination test, and five (two gray foxes, two armadillos, and one skunk) were positive for Leptospira interrogans serovars Canicola and Icterohaemorrhagiae, L. borgpetersenii serovar Castellonis, and L. kirschneri serovar Grippotyphosa, at titers of 1:50 and 1:100. Kidney tissue from all animals was cultured, and one isolate of L. interrogans from a gray fox was obtained. Hamsters inoculated with the isolate died after 6 days with no macroscopic lesions at necropsy. However, histologic examination revealed glomerulonephritis, interstitial nephritis, and pneumonia. The Leptospira strain from the South American gray fox was analyzed serologically and its pathogenicity was established. Genotyping through multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis showed that the strain was a new genotype related to the L. interrogans serogroup Icterohaemorrhagiae.

  7. Molecular identification of trypanosomatids in wild animals.

    PubMed

    Tenório, M S; Oliveira e Sousa, L; Alves-Martin, M F; Paixão, M S; Rodrigues, M V; Starke-Buzetti, W A; Araújo Junior, J P; Lucheis, S B

    2014-06-16

    Diverse wild animal species can be reservoirs of zoonotic flagellate parasites, which can cause pathologic Chagas disease. The present study aimed to detect the natural occurrence of flagellate parasites through direct microscopic examination of the parasites in blood samples and through PCR of whole blood and blood culture (haemoculture) samples from 38 captive and 65 free-living wild animals in the Centre for Conservation of Wild Fauna (CCWF), an area endemic for leishmaniasis. For this study, PCR was accomplished using primers for the ribosomal region (ITS-1) of the flagellate parasites. The amplified fragments were cloned and sequenced to identify DNA of the Trypanosomatid parasite species, observed in blood cultures from 3.9% (04/103) of the animals. Through these techniques, Trypanosoma cruzi was identified in haemoculture samples of the following three free-living species: common agouti (Dasyprocta aguti), white-eared opossum (Didelphis albiventris), and nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus). Furthermore, Trypanosoma minasense was identified in whole blood samples from 01 (0.9%) captive animal (black howler monkey-Alouatta caraya). These results demonstrated the first report of T. cruzi isolation in wild species from the CCWF using blood culture, which can be applied in addition to molecular tools for epidemiological studies and to identify trypanosomatids in wild animals.

  8. An outbreak of sarcocystosis in psittacines and a pigeon in a zoological collection in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Ecco, R; Luppi, M M; Malta, M C C; Araújo, M R; Guedes, R M C; Shivaprasad, H L

    2008-12-01

    This report describes an outbreak of acute pulmonary sarcocystosis in different species of captive psittacines and in a Luzon bleeding-heart pigeon (Gallicolumba luzonica) in a zoological collection in Brazil. A majority of the birds were found dead and had exhibited no previous clinical signs. Grossly, pulmonary congestion and edema were the most-common findings. Enlarged and congested livers and spleens were also frequently observed. Microscopically, there was edema, fibrin exudation, congestion, and perivascular and interstitial lymphoplasmacytic infiltration associated with numerous sinuous schizonts of Sarcocystis sp. in the lungs. Mild to moderate myocarditis, hepatitis, splenitis, and interstitial nephritis were also observed in the birds. Immunohistochemistry confirmed Sarcocystis sp. in the capillaries of lungs, hearts, livers, and spleens of most of the birds, but also in the pancreas, kidney, intestine, proventriculus, and brain of a few birds. The probable source of Sarcocystis sp. in these birds was the wild opossum (Didelphis albiventris), a common inhabitant of a local forest that surrounds the Belo Horizonte Zoo (Fundação Zoo-Botânica). This is the first documentation of Sarcocystis infection in psittacines and a pigeon from Brazil.

  9. Molecular detection of Leishmania spp. in road-killed wild mammals in the Central Western area of the State of São Paulo, Brazil

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Road-killed wild animals have been classified as sentinels for detecting such zoonotic pathogens as Leishmania spp., offering new opportunities for epidemiological studies of this infection. Methods This study aimed to evaluate the presence of Leishmania spp. and Leishmania chagasi DNA by PCR in tissue samples (lung, liver, spleen, kidney, heart, mesenteric lymph node and adrenal gland) from 70 road-killed wild animals. Results DNA was detected in tissues of one Cavia aperea (Brazilian guinea pig), five Cerdocyon thous (crab-eating fox), one Dasypus septemcinctus (seven-banded armadillo), two Didelphis albiventris (white-eared opossum), one Hydrochoerus hydrochoeris (capybara), two Myrmecophaga tridactyla (giant anteater), one Procyon cancrivorus (crab-eating raccoon), two Sphiggurus spinosus (porcupine) and one Tamandua tetradactyla (lesser anteater) from different locations in the Central Western part of São Paulo state. The Leishmania chagasi DNA were confirmed in mesenteric lymph node of one Cerdocyon thous. Results indicated common infection in wild animals. Conclusions The approach employed herein proved useful for detecting the environmental occurrence of Leishmania spp. and L. chagasi, as well as determining natural wild reservoirs and contributing to understand the host-parasite interaction. PMID:24963288

  10. Demographic consequences of population subdivision on the long-furred woolly mouse opossum ( Micoureus paraguayanus) from the Atlantic Forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brito, Daniel; da Fonseca, Gustavo A. B.

    2007-01-01

    Habitat destruction and fragmentation severely affected the Atlantic Forest. Formerly contiguous populations may become subdivided into a larger number of smaller populations, threatening their long-term persistence. The computer package VORTEX was used to simulate the consequences of habitat fragmentation and population subdivision on Micoureus paraguayanus, an endemic arboreal marsupial of the Atlantic Forest. Scenarios simulated hypothetical populations of 100 and 2000 animals being partitioned into 1-10 populations, linked by varying rates of inter-patch dispersal, and also evaluated male-biased dispersal. Results demonstrated that a single population was more stable than an ensemble of populations of equal size, irrespective of dispersal rate. Small populations (10-20 individuals) exhibited high instability due to demographic stochasticity, and were characterized by high rates of extinction, smaller values for metapopulation growth and larger fluctuations in population size and growth rate. Dispersal effects on metapopulation persistence were related to the size of the populations and to the sexes that were capable of dispersing. Male-biased dispersal had no noticeable effects on metapopulation extinction dynamics, whereas scenarios modelling dispersal by both sexes positively affected metapopulation dynamics through higher growth rates, smaller fluctuations in growth rate, larger final metapopulation sizes and lower probabilities of extinction. The present study highlights the complex relationships between metapopulation size, population subdivision, habitat fragmentation, rate of inter-patch dispersal and sex-biased dispersal and indicates the importance of gaining a better understanding of dispersal and its interactions with correlations between disturbance events.

  11. Trypanosoma cruzi I genotypes in different geographical regions and transmission cycles based on a microsatellite motif of the intergenic spacer of spliced-leader genes.

    PubMed

    Cura, Carolina I; Mejía-Jaramillo, Ana M; Duffy, Tomás; Burgos, Juan M; Rodriguero, Marcela; Cardinal, Marta V; Kjos, Sonia; Gurgel-Gonçalves, Rodrigo; Blanchet, Denis; De Pablos, Luis M; Tomasini, Nicolás; da Silva, Alexandre; Russomando, Graciela; Cuba, Cesar A Cuba; Aznar, Christine; Abate, Teresa; Levin, Mariano J; Osuna, Antonio; Gürtler, Ricardo E; Diosque, Patricio; Solari, Aldo; Triana-Chávez, Omar; Schijman, Alejandro G

    2010-12-01

    The intergenic region of spliced-leader (SL-IR) genes from 105 Trypanosoma cruzi I (Tc I) infected biological samples, culture isolates and stocks from 11 endemic countries, from Argentina to the USA were characterised, allowing identification of 76 genotypes with 54 polymorphic sites from 123 aligned sequences. On the basis of the microsatellite motif proposed by Herrera et al. (2007) to define four haplotypes in Colombia, we could classify these genotypes into four distinct Tc I SL-IR groups, three corresponding to the former haplotypes Ia (11 genotypes), Ib (11 genotypes) and Id (35 genotypes); and one novel group, Ie (19 genotypes). Genotypes harbouring the Tc Ic motif were not detected in our study. Tc Ia was associated with domestic cycles in southern and northern South America and sylvatic cycles in Central and North America. Tc Ib was found in all transmission cycles from Colombia. Tc Id was identified in all transmission cycles from Argentina and Colombia, including Chagas cardiomyopathy patients, sylvatic Brazilian samples and human cases from French Guiana, Panama and Venezuela. Tc Ie gathered five samples from domestic Triatoma infestans from northern Argentina, nine samples from wild Mepraia spinolai and Mepraia gajardoi and two chagasic patients from Chile and one from a Bolivian patient with chagasic reactivation. Mixed infections by Tc Ia+Tc Id, Tc Ia+Tc Ie and Tc Id+Tc Ie were detected in vector faeces and isolates from human and vector samples. In addition, Tc Ia and Tc Id were identified in different tissues from a heart transplanted Chagas cardiomyopathy patient with reactivation, denoting histotropism. Trypanosoma cruzi I SL-IR genotypes from parasites infecting Triatoma gerstaeckeri and Didelphis virginiana from USA, T. infestans from Paraguay, Rhodnius nasutus and Rhodnius neglectus from Brazil and M. spinolai and M. gajardoi from Chile are to our knowledge described for the first time.

  12. Trypanosoma cruzi I genotypes in different geographic regions and transmission cycles based on a microsatellite motif of the intergenic spacer of spliced leader genes✯

    PubMed Central

    Cura, Carolina I.; Mejía-Jaramillo, Ana M.; Duffy, Tomás; Burgos, Juan M.; Rodriguero, Marcela; Cardinal, Marta V.; Kjos, Sonia; Gurgel-Gonçalves, Rodrigo; Blanchet, Denis; De Pablos, Luis M.; Tomasini, Nicolás; Silva, Alex Da; Russomando, Graciela; Cuba Cuba, Cesar A.; Aznar, Christine; Abate, Teresa; Levin, Mariano J.; Osuna, Antonio; Gürtler, Ricardo E.; Diosque, Patricio; Solari, Aldo; Triana-Chávez, Omar; Schijman, Alejandro G.

    2011-01-01

    The intergenic region of spliced-leader (SL-IR) genes from 105 Trypanosoma cruzi I (Tc I) infected biological samples, culture isolates and stocks from 11 endemic countries, from Argentina to the USA were characterised, allowing identification of 76 genotypes with 54 polymorphic sites from 123 aligned sequences. On the basis of the microsatellite motif proposed by Herrera et al. (2007) to define four haplotypes in Colombia, we could classify these genotypes into four distinct Tc I SL-IR groups, three corresponding to the former haplotypes Ia (11 genotypes), Ib (11 genotypes) and Id (35 genotypes); and one novel group, Ie (19 genotypes). Genotypes harboring the Tc Ic motif were not detected in our study. Tc Ia was associated with domestic cycles in southern and northern South America and sylvatic cycles in Central and North America. Tc Ib was found in all transmission cycles from Colombia. Tc Id was identified in all transmission cycles from Argentina and Colombia, including Chagas cardiomyopathy patients, sylvatic Brazilian samples and human cases from French Guiana, Panama and Venezuela. Tc Ie gathered five samples from domestic Triatoma infestans from northern Argentina, nine samples from wild Mepraia spinolai and Mepraia gajardoi and two chagasic patients from Chile and one from a Bolivian patient with chagasic reactivation. Mixed infections by Tc Ia + Tc Id, Tc Ia + Tc Ie and Tc Id + Tc Ie were detected in vector faeces and isolates from human and vector samples. In addition, Tc Ia and Tc Id were identified in different tissues from a heart transplanted Chagas cardiomyopathy patient with reactivation, denoting histotropism. Trypanosoma cruzi I SL-IR genotypes from parasites infecting Triatoma gerstaeckeri and Didelphis virginiana from USA, T. infestans from Paraguay, Rhodnius nasutus and Rhodnius neglectus from Brazil and M. spinolai and M. gajardoi from Chile are to our knowledge described for the first time. PMID:20670628

  13. Natural history of Ehrlichia chaffeensis (Rickettsiales: Ehrlichieae) in the piedmont physiographic province of Georgia.

    PubMed

    Lockhart, J M; Davidson, W R; Stallknecht, D E; Dawson, J E; Little, S E

    1997-10-01

    The roles of wild mammals and ticks in the epidemiology of Ehrlichia chaffeensis at a suspected endemic site were investigated using serologic testing, culture, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) supported by restriction endonuclease analysis and DNA sequencing. Antibodies reactive to E. chaffeensis (> or = 1:64) were detected in 92% of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), 21% of raccoons (Procyon lotor), and 8% of opossums (Didelphis virginianus), but not in 8 other species of mammals. Of 7 species of ticks found by host and environmental sampling, Amblyomma americanum was the dominant species, accounting for greater than 99% of all ticks collected. Deer, raccoons, and opossums were the only species parasitized by all life stages of A. americanum, and A. americanum was the only tick parasitizing deer. A nested PCR protocol incorporating E. chaffeensis-specific primers detected E. chaffeensis DNA in blood, lymph nodes, or spleen from 54% of deer examined. The nested PCR detected E. chaffeensis DNA in 6 of 50 (12%) individual adult A. americanum collected from the environment, in 14 of 79 (18%) pools representing 402 adult A. americanum collected from the environment, and in 7 of 25 (28%) pools of mixed stages of A. americanum collected from deer. Although no Ehrlichia spp. were isolated in culture, sequencing of representative amplicons from deer and ticks confirmed PCR products as E. chaffeensis. These data provide strong evidence that white-tailed deer and lone star ticks are the primary reservoir and vector of E. chaffeensis, respectively. The same PCR protocol, incorporating primers specific for an Ehrlichia-like organism of white-tailed deer, detected this organism in blood, lymph nodes, or spleen from 96% of these deer. The Ehrlichia-like organism of deer was detected by PCR from 0 of 50 individual ticks, 7 of 79 (9%) pools, and 1 of 25 (4%) pools of A. americanum collected from deer. Sequencing of representative amplicons from deer and ticks

  14. Non-legalized commerce in game meat in the Brazilian Amazon: a case study.

    PubMed

    Baía Jr, Pedro Chaves; Guimarães, Diva Anelie; Le Pendu, Yvonnick

    2010-09-01

    In tropical forests, wild game meat represents an option or the only protein source for some human populations. This study analyzed the wildlife meat trade destined to human consumption in an open market of the Amazon rainforest, Brazil. Wildlife meat trade was monitored during 2005 through interviews to vendors and consumers in order to evaluate the socioeconomic profile of the sellers, the main species and byproducts sold, their geographical origin, commercial value, frequency of sale and product demand. Data indicated that vendors were financially highly dependant of this activity, getting a monthly income up to US$271.49. During the survey, the amount of wildlife meat on sale added a total of 5 970kg, as follows: 63.2% capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris), 34.4% cayman (Melanosuchus niger and/or Caiman crocodilus crocodilus), 1.1% paca (Cuniculus paca); 0.6% armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), 0.5% deer (Mazama americana), 0.2% matamata (Chelus fimbriatus), and 0.1% opossum (Didelphis marsupialis). Most of the commercialized species were not slaughtered locally. The consumption of wildlife meat was admitted by 94% of the interviewed, consisting of 27 ethno-species: 19 mammals, 6 reptiles, and 2 birds. The same percentage of the interviewed (94%) already bought wildlife meat of 18 species: 12 mammals and 6 reptiles. The great amount of wildlife meat traded and the important demand for these products by the local population, point out the necessity to adopt policies for a sustainable management of cinegetic species, guaranteeing the conservation of the environment, the improvement of living standards, and the maintenance of the local culture.

  15. Biochemical, Pharmacological, and Structural Characterization of New Basic PLA2 Bbil-TX from Bothriopsis bilineata Snake Venom

    PubMed Central

    Corasolla Carregari, Victor; Stuani Floriano, Rafael; Rodrigues-Simioni, Lea; Winck, Flavia V.; Baldasso, Paulo Aparecido; Ponce-Soto, Luis Alberto; Marangoni, Sergio

    2013-01-01

    Bbil-TX, a PLA2, was purified from Bothriopsis bilineata snake venom after only one chromatographic step using RP-HPLC on μ-Bondapak C-18 column. A molecular mass of 14243.8 Da was confirmed by Q-Tof Ultima API ESI/MS (TOF MS mode) mass spectrometry. The partial protein sequence obtained was then submitted to BLASTp, with the search restricted to PLA2 from snakes and shows high identity values when compared to other PLA2s. PLA2 activity was presented in the presence of a synthetic substrate and showed a minimum sigmoidal behavior, reaching its maximal activity at pH 8.0 and 25–37°C. Maximum PLA2 activity required Ca2+ and in the presence of Cd2+, Zn2+, Mn2+, and Mg2+ it was reduced in the presence or absence of Ca2+. Crotapotin from Crotalus durissus cascavella rattlesnake venom and antihemorrhagic factor DA2-II from Didelphis albiventris opossum sera under optimal conditions significantly inhibit the enzymatic activity. Bbil-TX induces myonecrosis in mice. The fraction does not show a significant cytotoxic activity in myotubes and myoblasts (C2C12). The inflammatory events induced in the serum of mice by Bbil-TX isolated from Bothriopsis bilineata snake venom were investigated. An increase in vascular permeability and in the levels of TNF-a, IL-6, and IL-1 was was induced. Since Bbil-TX exerts a stronger proinflammatory effect, the phospholipid hydrolysis may be relevant for these phenomena. PMID:23509754

  16. Hosts, distribution and genetic divergence (16S rDNA) of Amblyomma dubitatum (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Nava, Santiago; Venzal, José M; Labruna, Marcelo B; Mastropaolo, Mariano; González, Enrique M; Mangold, Atilio J; Guglielmone, Alberto A

    2010-08-01

    We supply information about hosts and distribution of Amblyomma dubitatum. In addition, we carry out an analysis of genetic divergence among specimens of A. dubitatum from different localities and with respect to other Neotropical Amblyomma species, using sequences of 16S rDNA gene. Although specimens of A. dubitatum were collected on several mammal species as cattle horse, Tapirus terrestris, Mazama gouazoubira, Tayassu pecari, Sus scrofa, Cerdocyon thous, Myocastor coypus, Allouata caraya, Glossophaga soricina and man, most records of immature and adult stages of A. dubitatum were made on Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris, making this rodent the principal host for all parasitic stages of this ticks. Cricetidae rodents (Lundomys molitor, Scapteromys tumidus), opossums (Didelphis albiventris) and vizcacha (Lagostomus maximus) also were recorded as hosts for immature stages. All findings of A. dubitatum correspond to localities of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, and they were concentrated in the Biogeographical provinces of Pampa, Chaco, Cerrado, Brazilian Atlantic Forest, Parana Forest and Araucaria angustifolia Forest. The distribution of A. dubitatum is narrower than that of its principal host, therefore environmental variables rather than hosts determine the distributional ranges of this tick. The intraspecific genetic divergence among 16S rDNA sequences of A. dubitatum ticks collected in different localities from Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay was in all cases lower than 0.8%, whereas the differences with the remaining Amblyomma species included in the analysis were always bigger than 6.8%. Thus, the taxonomic status of A. dubitatum along its distribution appears to be certain at the specific level.

  17. Ultrastructural changes in the uterine luminal and glandular epithelium during the oestrous cycle of the marsupial Monodelphis domestica (grey short-tailed opossum).

    PubMed

    Wick, Regula; Kress, Annetrudi

    2002-01-01

    Ultrastructural changes in the endometrium associated with the oestrous cycle were studied in the South American marsupial Monodelphis domestica. The most conspicuous changes include the height and the differentiation of the uterine luminal and glandular epithelium, which consists of ciliated and non-ciliated cells. The glandular epithelium attains its maximum development during oestrus, the luminal epithelium at postoestrus. A distinct increase in the number of ciliated cells can be observed during pro-oestrus, reaching a maximum number at oestrus; this is followed by a process of deciliation. The presence of solitary cilia on the apices of non-ciliated cells is very conspicuous during all oestrous stages and can best be seen on the luminal epithelium. These findings differ from the observations in eutherian mammals, where solitary cilia are only found in the immature uterus or after ovariectomy. The secretory activity of non-ciliated cells of the luminal epithelium is hardly noticeable along the apical membrane and stains only very faintly with Alcian blue. The glandular epithelium cells are filled apically with exocytotic vesicles at oestrus and early postoestrus. However, in contrast to the cervical gland cells, they hardly stain with Alcian blue, indicating that mucins of a different type must be present. Mechanisms for the remodelling of the luminal and glandular epithelium are especially conspicuous at metoestrus and early pro-oestrus and include the presence of autolysosomes, residual bodies and apoptotic bodies. In the endometrial stroma, around the uterine glands, macrophages accumulate and attain a typical oestrous stage-dependent appearance during their phagocytotic activities.

  18. Age-dependent transcriptome and proteome following transection of neonatal spinal cord of Monodelphis domestica (South American grey short-tailed opossum).

    PubMed

    Saunders, Norman R; Noor, Natassya M; Dziegielewska, Katarzyna M; Wheaton, Benjamin J; Liddelow, Shane A; Steer, David L; Ek, C Joakim; Habgood, Mark D; Wakefield, Matthew J; Lindsay, Helen; Truettner, Jessie; Miller, Robert D; Smith, A Ian; Dietrich, W Dalton

    2014-01-01

    This study describes a combined transcriptome and proteome analysis of Monodelphis domestica response to spinal cord injury at two different postnatal ages. Previously we showed that complete transection at postnatal day 7 (P7) is followed by profuse axon growth across the lesion with near-normal locomotion and swimming when adult. In contrast, at P28 there is no axon growth across the lesion, the animals exhibit weight-bearing locomotion, but cannot use hind limbs when swimming. Here we examined changes in gene and protein expression in the segment of spinal cord rostral to the lesion at 24 h after transection at P7 and at P28. Following injury at P7 only forty genes changed (all increased expression); most were immune/inflammatory genes. Following injury at P28 many more genes changed their expression and the magnitude of change for some genes was strikingly greater. Again many were associated with the immune/inflammation response. In functional groups known to be inhibitory to regeneration in adult cords the expression changes were generally muted, in some cases opposite to that required to account for neurite inhibition. For example myelin basic protein expression was reduced following injury at P28 both at the gene and protein levels. Only four genes from families with extracellular matrix functions thought to influence neurite outgrowth in adult injured cords showed substantial changes in expression following injury at P28: Olfactomedin 4 (Olfm4, 480 fold compared to controls), matrix metallopeptidase (Mmp1, 104 fold), papilin (Papln, 152 fold) and integrin α4 (Itga4, 57 fold). These data provide a resource for investigation of a priori hypotheses in future studies of mechanisms of spinal cord regeneration in immature animals compared to lack of regeneration at more mature stages.

  19. Molecular phylogeny implicates new world opossums (Didelphidae) as the definitive hosts of Sarcocystis ramphastosi, a parasite of the keel-billed toucan (Ramphasotos sulfuratus)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Macroscopic sarcocysts of Sarcocystis ramphastosi Dubey, Lane, and van Wilpe, 2006 were found in a tocan ((Ramphastos sulfuratus) from Costa Rica. The DNA extracted from 11 individual sarcocysts was subjected to PCR amplification assays targeting 1208 bp of 18S ribosomal DNA; data revealed a close ...

  20. Estimating Stage-Specific Vital Rate Responses to Stress within Mixed Age Populations of the Opossum Shrimp Americamysis Bahia Using Digital Imaging (NAC SETAC 2011)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Most observations of stressor effects on marine crustaceans are made on individuals or even-aged cohorts. Results of these studies are difficult to translate into ecological predictions, either because life cycle models are incomplete, or because stressor effects on mixed age po...

  1. Estimating Stage Specific Vital Rate Responses to Stress Within Mixed Age Populations of the Opossum Shrimp Americamysis bahia Using Digital Imaging

    EPA Science Inventory

    Most observations of stressor effects on marine crustaceans are made on individuals or even-aged cohorts. Results of these studies are difficult to translate into ecological predictions, either because life cycle models are incomplete, or because stressor effects on mixed age po...

  2. Age-Dependent Transcriptome and Proteome Following Transection of Neonatal Spinal Cord of Monodelphis domestica (South American Grey Short-Tailed Opossum)

    PubMed Central

    Saunders, Norman R.; Noor, Natassya M.; Dziegielewska, Katarzyna M.; Wheaton, Benjamin J.; Liddelow, Shane A.; Steer, David L.; Ek, C. Joakim; Habgood, Mark D.; Wakefield, Matthew J.; Lindsay, Helen; Truettner, Jessie; Miller, Robert D.; Smith, A. Ian; Dietrich, W. Dalton

    2014-01-01

    This study describes a combined transcriptome and proteome analysis of Monodelphis domestica response to spinal cord injury at two different postnatal ages. Previously we showed that complete transection at postnatal day 7 (P7) is followed by profuse axon growth across the lesion with near-normal locomotion and swimming when adult. In contrast, at P28 there is no axon growth across the lesion, the animals exhibit weight-bearing locomotion, but cannot use hind limbs when swimming. Here we examined changes in gene and protein expression in the segment of spinal cord rostral to the lesion at 24 h after transection at P7 and at P28. Following injury at P7 only forty genes changed (all increased expression); most were immune/inflammatory genes. Following injury at P28 many more genes changed their expression and the magnitude of change for some genes was strikingly greater. Again many were associated with the immune/inflammation response. In functional groups known to be inhibitory to regeneration in adult cords the expression changes were generally muted, in some cases opposite to that required to account for neurite inhibition. For example myelin basic protein expression was reduced following injury at P28 both at the gene and protein levels. Only four genes from families with extracellular matrix functions thought to influence neurite outgrowth in adult injured cords showed substantial changes in expression following injury at P28: Olfactomedin 4 (Olfm4, 480 fold compared to controls), matrix metallopeptidase (Mmp1, 104 fold), papilin (Papln, 152 fold) and integrin α4 (Itga4, 57 fold). These data provide a resource for investigation of a priori hypotheses in future studies of mechanisms of spinal cord regeneration in immature animals compared to lack of regeneration at more mature stages. PMID:24914927

  3. [Diversity, relative abundance and activity patterns of medium and large mammals in a tropical deciduous forest in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, Mexico].

    PubMed

    Cortés-Marcial, Malinalli; Briones-Salas, Miguel

    2014-12-01

    The use of camera traps and mammal track search are complementary methods to monitoring species of which is not well documented their natural history, as in the case of medium and large mammals. To ensure its conservation and good management, it is necessary to generate information about the structure of the community and their populations. The objective of the present study was to estimate the diversity, relative abundance and activity patterns of medium and large mammals in a tropical deciduous forest located in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, Mexico. Samplings were conducted in three month intervals, from September 2011 to May 2013. We used photographic-sampling and track search, two complementary sampling methods. For photographic-sampling, 12 camera traps were placed covering an area of 60 km2, while for the tracks search a monthly tour of four line-transect surveys of three kilometers length each was undertaken. We obtained a total of 344 pictures with 5292 trap-days total sampling effort; in addition, 187 track records in a total of 144 km. With both methods we registered 21 species of mammals, in 13 families and seven orders, and five species resulted in new records to the area. The diversity index of Shannon-Wiener obtained with the method of tracks was H' = 2.41, while the most abundant species were Urocyon cinereoargen- teus (IAR = 0.23) and Pecari tajacu (IAR = 0.20). By the method of trap the most abundant species were P. tajacu (IAR = 2.62) and Nasua narica (IAR = 1.28). In terms of patterns of activity P. tajacu, N. narica and Odocoileus virginianus were primarily diurnal species; Canis latrans and Leopardus pardalis did not show preference for any schedule in particular, and Didelphis virginiana and Dasypus novemcinctus preferred to have nocturnal activity. This information can be of help to the creation of programs of management and conservation of mam- mals of medium and large in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, México.

  4. Landscape ecology of Trypanosoma cruzi in the southern Yucatan Peninsula.

    PubMed

    López-Cancino, Sury Antonio; Tun-Ku, Ezequiel; De la Cruz-Felix, Himmler Keynes; Ibarra-Cerdeña, Carlos Napoleón; Izeta-Alberdi, Amaia; Pech-May, Angélica; Mazariegos-Hidalgo, Carlos Jesús; Valdez-Tah, Alba; Ramsey, Janine M

    2015-11-01

    Landscape interactions of Trypanosoma cruzi (Tc) with Triatoma dimidiata (Td) depend on the presence and relative abundance of mammal hosts. This study analyzed a landscape adjacent to the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, composed of conserved areas, crop and farming areas, and the human community of Zoh Laguna with reported Chagas disease cases. Sylvatic mammals of the Chiroptera, Rodentia, and Marsupialia orders were captured, and livestock and pets were sampled along with T. dimidiata in all habitats. Infection by T. cruzi was analyzed using mtDNA markers, while lineage and DTU was analyzed using the mini-exon. 303 sylvatic specimens were collected, corresponding to 19 species during the rainy season and 114 specimens of 18 species during dry season. Five bats Artibeus jamaicensis, Artibeus lituratus, Sturnira lilium, Sturnira ludovici, Dermanura phaeotis (Dp) and one rodent Heteromys gaumeri were collected in the three habitats. All but Dp, and including Carollia brevicauda and Myotis keaysi, were infected with predominately TcI in the sylvatic habitat and TcII in the ecotone. Sigmodon hispidus was the rodent with the highest prevalence of infection by T. cruzi I and II in ecotone and domestic habitats. Didelphis viginiana was infected only with TcI in both domestic and sylvatic habitats; the only two genotyped human cases were TcII. Two main clades of T. cruzi, lineages I (DTU Ia) and II (DTU VI), were found to be sympatric (all habitats and seasons) in the Zoh-Laguna landscape, suggesting that no species-specific interactions occur between the parasite and any mammal host, in any habitat. We have also found mixed infections of the two principal T. cruzi clades in individuals across modified habitats, particularly in livestock and pets, and in both haplogroups of T. dimidiata. Results are contradictory to the dilution hypothesis, although we did find that most resilient species had an important role as T. cruzi hosts. Our study detected some complex trends in

  5. Disparate Igf1 expression and growth in the fore- and hind limbs of a marsupial mammal (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Sears, Karen E; Patel, Ankit; Hübler, Merla; Cao, Xiaoyi; Vandeberg, John L; Zhong, Sheng

    2012-06-01

    Proper regulation of growth is essential to all stages of life, from development of the egg into an embryo to the maintenance of normal cell cycle progression in adults. However, despite growth's importance to basic biology and health, little is known about how mammalian growth is regulated. In this study, we investigated the molecular basis of the highly disparate growth of opossum fore- and hind limbs in utero. We first used a novel, opossum-specific microarray to identify several growth-related genes that are differentially expressed in opossum fore- and hind limbs of comparable developmental stages. These genes included Igf1. Given Igf1's role in the growth of other systems, we further investigated the role of Igf1 in opossum limb growth. Supporting the microarray results, RT-PCR indicated that Igf1 levels are approximately two times higher in opossum fore- than hind limbs. Consistent with this, while Igf1 transcripts were readily detectable in opossum forelimbs using whole-mount in situ hybridization, they were not detectable in opossum hind limbs. Furthermore, opossum limbs treated with exogenous Igf1 protein experienced significantly greater cellular proliferation and growth than control limbs in vitro. Taken together, results suggest that the differential expression of Igf1 in developing opossum limbs contributes to their divergent rate of growth, and the unique limb phenotype of opossum newborns. This study establishes the opossum limb as a new mammalian model system for study of organ growth.

  6. Environmental Impact Research Program. Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis). Section 4.7.1, US Army Corps of Engineers Wildlife Resources Management Manual.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1986-07-01

    Palmetto Sabal spp. Pawpaw Asimina triloba Pecan Carya illinoensis Persimmon Diospyros virginiana Pine Pinus app. Loblolly pine P. taeda Red mulberry...grandifotia Bitter pecan Carya aquatica Blackberry Rubus app. Black cherry Prunus serotina Blackgum Nyssa sylvatica Black walnut Jugtans nigra Blueberry...americana Hickory Carya Spp. Bitternut hickory C. cordiformis Shagbark hickory C. ovata Shellbark hickory C. Zaciniosa Hophornbeam Ostrya virginiana

  7. Edge effects and geometric constraints: a landscape-level empirical test.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, Suzy E; Prevedello, Jayme A; Delciellos, Ana Cláudia; Vieira, Marcus Vinícius

    2016-01-01

    Edge effects are pervasive in landscapes yet their causal mechanisms are still poorly understood. Traditionally, edge effects have been attributed to differences in habitat quality along the edge-interior gradient of habitat patches, under the assumption that no edge effects would occur if habitat quality was uniform. This assumption was questioned recently after the recognition that geometric constraints tend to reduce population abundances near the edges of habitat patches, the so-called geometric edge effect (GEE). Here, we present the first empirical, landscape-level evaluation of the importance of the GEE in shaping abundance patterns in fragmented landscapes. Using a data set on the distribution of small mammals across 18 forest fragments, we assessed whether the incorporation of the GEE into the analysis changes the interpretation of edge effects and the degree to which predictions based on the GEE match observed responses. Quantitative predictions were generated for each fragment using simulations that took into account home range, density and matrix use for each species. The incorporation of the GEE into the analysis changed substantially the interpretation of overall observed edge responses at the landscape scale. Observed abundances alone would lead to the conclusion that the small mammals as a group have no consistent preference for forest edges or interiors and that the black-eared opossum Didelphis aurita (a numerically dominant species in the community) has on average a preference for forest interiors. In contrast, incorporation of the GEE suggested that the small mammal community as a whole has a preference for forest edges, whereas D. aurita has no preference for forest edges or interiors. Unexplained variance in edge responses was reduced by the incorporation of GEE, but remained large, varying greatly on a fragment-by-fragment basis. This study demonstrates how to model and incorporate the GEE in analyses of edge effects and that this

  8. Husbandry of Monodelphis domestica in the study of mammalian embryogenesis.

    PubMed

    Rousmaniere, Holly; Silverman, Rachel; White, Rachel A; Sasaki, Mark M; Wilson, Siobhan D; Morrison, Jeremy T; Cruz, Yolanda P

    2010-07-01

    Monodelphis domestica, commonly called the laboratory opossum, is a useful laboratory animal for studying marsupial embryogenesis and mammalian development. Females breed year-round and the animals can be sustainably bred indoors. The authors draw on their own laboratory's experience to supplement previously published research on laboratory opossums. They describe a breeding protocol that reliably produces timed-pregnant M. domestica. Additionally, the authors discuss general laboratory opossum husbandry techniques and describe how to collect, handle and culture embryos.

  9. 16 CFR 301.0 - Fur products name guide.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    .... Opossum, Water ......do ......do Chironectes minimus. Otter Carnivora Mustelidae Lutra canadensis, Pteronura brasitionsis, Lutra annectens and Lutra lutra. Otter, Sea ......do ......do Enhydra lutris....

  10. 16 CFR 301.0 - Fur products name guide.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    .... Opossum, Water ......do ......do Chironectes minimus. Otter Carnivora Mustelidae Lutra canadensis, Pteronura brasitionsis, Lutra annectens and Lutra lutra. Otter, Sea ......do ......do Enhydra lutris....

  11. 16 CFR 301.0 - Fur products name guide.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    .... Opossum, Water ......do ......do Chironectes minimus. Otter Carnivora Mustelidae Lutra canadensis, Pteronura brasitionsis, Lutra annectens and Lutra lutra. Otter, Sea ......do ......do Enhydra lutris....

  12. LIMITATIONS TO EASTERN REDCEDAR SURVIVAL AND GROWTH

    EPA Science Inventory

    Invasive woody plant species are degrading the structure and function of rangeland ecosystems throughout the world. A species of particular concern in Great Plains grasslands is eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana), which has rapidly spread due to fire suppression and intenti...

  13. Cultural Resources Survey and Testing Along Ditch 19 and Extensive Testing of 23DU289, Dunklin and Stoddard Counties, Missouri.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-06-30

    Carya illinoensis ) 1 1 Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) T 2 2 Pl.um (Prunus sp.) T Red Haw (Crataegus sp.) T 1 11 Red Mulberry (Morus rubra) T...2 Cherry (Prunus sp.) T Cottonwood (Populus sp.) 1 3 Dogwood (Cornus sp.) 1 Hackberry (Celtus occidentalis) 12 9 Hickory, ( Carya sp.) 5 4 Shellhark... Carya laciniosa) T Hornbeam (Ostrya virginiana) 2 Kentucky Coffee Tree( Gymnoeladus dioica)T Locust, T Black (Robinia pseudo-acacia) T Honey

  14. Cellular and molecular drivers of differential organ growth: insights from the limbs of Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Dowling, Anna; Doroba, Carolyn; Maier, Jennifer A; Cohen, Lorna; VandeBerg, John; Sears, Karen E

    2016-06-01

    A fundamental question in biology is "how is growth differentially regulated during development to produce organs of particular sizes?" We used a new model system for the study of differential organ growth, the limbs of the opossum (Monodelphis domestica), to investigate the cellular and molecular basis of differential organ growth in mammals. Opossum forelimbs grow much faster than hindlimbs, making opossum limbs an exceptional system with which to study differential growth. We first used the great differences in opossum forelimb and hindlimb growth to identify cellular processes and molecular signals that underlie differential limb growth. We then used organ culture and pharmacological addition of FGF ligands and inhibitors to test the role of the Fgf/Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) signaling pathway in driving these cellular processes. We found that molecular signals from within the limb drive differences in cell proliferation that contribute to the differential growth of the forelimb and hindlimbs of opossums. We also found that alterations in the Fgf/MAPK pathway can generate differences in cell proliferation that mirror those observed between wild-type forelimb and hindlimbs of opossums and that manipulation of Fgf/MAPK signaling affects downstream focal adhesion-extracellular matrix (FA-ECM) and Wnt signaling in opossum limbs. Taken together, these findings suggest that evolutionary changes in the Fgf/MAPK pathway could help drive the observed differences in cell behaviors and growth in opossum forelimb and hindlimbs.

  15. A new mammalian model system for thalidomide teratogenesis: Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Sorensen, Daniel; Sackett, Amanda; Urban, Daniel J; Maier, Jennifer; Vargesson, Neil; Sears, Karen E

    2017-01-24

    From 1957 to 1962, thalidomide caused birth defects in >10,000 children. While the drug was pulled from the market, thalidomide is currently prescribed to treat conditions including leprosy. As a result, a new generation of babies with thalidomide defects is being born in the developing world. This represents a serious problem, as the mechanisms by which thalidomide disrupts development remain unresolved. This lack of resolution is due, in part, to the absence of an appropriate mammalian model for thalidomide teratogenesis. We test the hypothesis that opossum (Monodelphis domestica) is well suited to model human thalidomide defects. Results suggest that opossum embryos exposed to thalidomide display a range of phenotypes (e.g., heart, craniofacial, limb defects) and penetrance similar to humans. Furthermore, all opossums with thalidomide defects exhibit vascular disruptions. Results therefore support the hypotheses that opossums make a good mammalian model for thalidomide teratogenesis, and that thalidomide can severely disrupt angiogenesis in mammals.

  16. A Boy or a Girl: Is It Possible to Load the Dice?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ridley, Matt

    1993-01-01

    Presents scientific theories and related research concerning the possibility that animal species, among which are humans, can consciously, or otherwise, biologically determine the sex of their children. Discusses cases involving insects, fish, opossums, primates, and New Zealand women. (MDH)

  17. A new developmental mechanism for the separation of the mammalian middle ear ossicles from the jaw

    PubMed Central

    Urban, Daniel J.; Anthwal, Neal; Luo, Zhe-Xi; Maier, Jennifer A.; Sadier, Alexa

    2017-01-01

    Multiple mammalian lineages independently evolved a definitive mammalian middle ear (DMME) through breakdown of Meckel's cartilage (MC). However, the cellular and molecular drivers of this evolutionary transition remain unknown for most mammal groups. Here, we identify such drivers in the living marsupial opossum Monodelphis domestica, whose MC transformation during development anatomically mirrors the evolutionary transformation observed in fossils. Specifically, we link increases in cellular apoptosis and TGF-BR2 signalling to MC breakdown in opossums. We demonstrate that a simple change in TGF-β signalling is sufficient to inhibit MC breakdown during opossum development, indicating that changes in TGF-β signalling might be key during mammalian evolution. Furthermore, the apoptosis that we observe during opossum MC breakdown does not seemingly occur in mouse, consistent with homoplastic DMME evolution in the marsupial and placental lineages. PMID:28179517

  18. Climate warming and precipitation redistribution modify tree-grass interactions and tree species establishment in a warm-temperate savanna.

    PubMed

    Volder, Astrid; Briske, David D; Tjoelker, Mark G

    2013-03-01

    Savanna tree-grass interactions may be particularly sensitive to climate change. Establishment of two tree canopy dominants, post oak (Quercus stellata) and eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana), grown with the dominant C4 perennial grass (Schizachyrium scoparium) in southern oak savanna of the United States were evaluated under four climatic scenarios for 6 years. Tree-grass interactions were examined with and without warming (+1.5 °C) in combination with a long-term mean rainfall treatment and a modified rainfall regime that redistributed 40% of summer rainfall to spring and fall, intensifying summer drought. The aim was to determine: (1) the relative growth response of these species, (2) potential shifts in the balance of tree-grass interactions, and (3) the trajectory of juniper encroachment into savannas, under these anticipated climatic conditions. Precipitation redistribution reduced relative growth rate (RGR) of trees grown with grass. Warming increased growth of J. virginiana and strongly reduced Q. stellata survival. Tiller numbers of S. scoparium plants were unaffected by warming, but the number of reproductive tillers was increasingly suppressed by intensified drought each year. Growth rates of J. virginiana and Q. stellata were suppressed by grass presence early, but in subsequent years were higher when grown with grass. Quercus stellata had overall reduced RGR, but enhanced survival when grown with grass, while survival of J. virginiana remained near 100% in all treatments. Once trees surpassed a threshold height of 1.1 m, both tiller number and survival of S. scoparium plants were drastically reduced by the presence of J. virginiana, but not Q. stellata. Juniperus virginiana was the only savanna dominant in which neither survival nor final aboveground mass were adversely affected by the climate scenario of warming and intensified summer drought. These responses indicate that climate warming and altered precipitation patterns will further

  19. Sugar and organic acid content of astringent, non-astringent, and pollination variant persimmons (abstract)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Although persimmons are native (Diospyros virginiana) to the United States, commercial production consists almost exclusively of the Asian persimmon, Diospyros kaki. Cultivars within this species are classified by their astringency type; non-astringent, astringent, and pollination variant. In the U...

  20. Validation of Molecular Markers Associated with Perpetual Flowering in Octoploid Fragaria Germplasm

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Perpetual flowering (PF) is a highly desirable trait within cultivated strawberries (Fragaria ×ananassa) for the commercial and home garden markets. The most widely used source of the PF trait was originally introgressed from a wild Fragaria virginiana subsp. glauca accession collected in the Wasatc...

  1. Screening and Testing Phytochemicals in Eastern Redcedar (Juniperus Virginana) for Development of Potential Entrepreneurial Opportunities

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana) is often considered a "trash or nuisance" tree. In some states, this species has been declared invasive and management strategies have been adopted to destroy it. However, value-added phytochemical products from eastern redcedar have the potential to create n...

  2. Molecular and morphological characterization of a Xiphinema chambersi population from live oak trees in Jekyll Island, Georgia, with a redescription of the species and comments on its morphometric variations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A population of Xiphinema chambersi from the root zone around live oak (Quercus virginiana Mill.) trees on Jekyll Island, Georgia, USA is described using both morphological and molecular tools and compared with descriptions of type specimens. Initially, because of a few morphological differences thi...

  3. A new species of Pycnoderiella (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Miridae) from the West Indies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The new eccritotarsine plant bug Pycnoderiella insularis, n. sp. is described from Cuba and Jamaica and compared with the type species of Pycnoderiella Henry, P. virginiana Henry, known from only a restricted coastal area of Virginia, in the eastern United States. Color dorsal and lateral adult ima...

  4. Fragaria cascadensis K. E. Hummer: First investigation of volatile organic compounds of fruit

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In 2012, Fragaria cascadensis was described as a decaploid strawberry species from the Oregon Cascade Mountains. The objective of this study was to examine the aroma patterns of fruits of this F. cascadensis in contrast to those of F. vesca ssp. bracteata (A. Heller) Staudt and F. virginiana ssp. pl...

  5. ASSOCIATIONS OF EASTERN REDCEDAR AND COMMUNITY STRUCTURE OF SMALL MAMMALS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Increased abundance of eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginianas), a native but invasive species in the Great Plains, has been associated with several changes in ecosystem function. It can lead to a reduction in herbaceous biomass in the canopy zone, alter species composition, and...

  6. Assessing Installation Ethnobotanical Resources Using Land Condition Trend Analysis (LCTA) Data: A Fort Riley, Kansas, Case Study

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1998-07-01

    missouriensis G F Gleditsia triacanthos S B Crataegus phaenopyrum G F Glycyrrhiza lepidota S F Croton monanthogynus S F Grindelia squarrosa S B...angustifolia s X Euphorbia marginata s X Fragaria virginiana s X Fraxinus pennsylvanica s X Glycyrrhiza lepidota s X Grindelia squarrosa s X

  7. Field test for repellency of cedarwood oil and cedrol to little fire ants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Eastern red cedars (ERC) (Juniperus virginiana L.) are an abundant renewable resource and represent a vast potential source of valuable natural products that may serve as natural biocides. The aromatic wood can be extracted to obtain cedarwood oil (CWO) and critical carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction o...

  8. Impact of eastern redcedar encroachment on stream discharge in the North Canadian River basin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana L.) is a woody plant that is rapidly encroaching into the grasslands of states located in the US Great Plains. There is some concern that redcedar will adversely impact stream discharge in these water-limited areas through increased transpiration and canopy in...

  9. First Report of a New ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma pini’-related strain Associated with Witches’-broom of Virginia pine in Maryland

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In April of 2015, a pine tree (Pinus virginiana Mill.) in Laurel, Maryland was observed to have abnormal shoot branching and witches’ broom symptoms. Total nucleic acids were extracted from needles collected from a symptomatic branch. Polymerase chain reaction assays (PCRs) for amplification of th...

  10. Virginia Coast Reserve 2007 Remote Sensing Experiment

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-03-09

    SAV species in bold type. Submerged aquatic vegetation species studied in the VCR include Ruppia maritima (Widgeon grass ) and Zostera marina...Andropogon scoparius Cyperus odoratus Hypericum hypericoides Andropogon virginicus Danthonia compressa Ilex opaca Andropogon virginicus Diodea virginiana...Robinia pseudo-acacia Spiranthes Vernalis Panicum amarum Rubus argutus Strophostyles Helvola Panicum amarulum Rumex acetosella Strophostyles Umbellate

  11. Supercritical fluid extraction and bioactivity of cedarwood oil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Supercritical carbon dioxide (70°C, 4,000 psi) was used to extract cedarwood oil from Eastern redcedar, Juniperus virginiana L. The CO2-derived oil was tested for biological activity against several species of arthropods, including mosquitoes, ticks, houseflies, and ants. The cedarwood oil was found...

  12. Ethanol-injection induces attacks by ambrosia beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) on a variety of tree species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Exotic ambrosia beetles have become serious pests in ornamental tree nurseries. Injecting Magnolia virginiana L. with ethanol has reliably induced attacks by exotic ambrosia beetles to facilitate research on their biology and management. In the current study, ethanol-injection was tested on a vari...

  13. Bioactivity of cedarwood oil and cedrol against arthropod pests

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Heartwood samples from Juniperus virginiana, were extracted with liquid carbon dioxide and the bioactivity of carbon dioxide-derived cedarwood oil (CWO) towards several species of arthropods was investigated. Repellency or toxicity was tested for ants, ticks, and cockroaches. Ants in an outdoor bi...

  14. Site Plan, Brief History, Site Elevation, Main Gate Detail, Southern ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    Site Plan, Brief History, Site Elevation, Main Gate Detail, Southern Live Oak (Quercus Virginiana) Information - Main Gate and Auburn Oaks at Toomer's Corner, Entrance to Auburn University's Campus, Intersection of West Magnolia Avenue and South College Street, Auburn, Lee County, AL

  15. Understory Density Characteristics in Several Midlatitude Temperature Forests

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2003-03-01

    Vaccinium corymbosum ), black gum (Nyssa sylvatica), white oak (Q. alba), mockemut hickory (Carya tomentosa), American beech (Fagus grandifolia), and...Cedar Juniperis virginiana Red Juniper U Fraser Magnolia Magnolia fraseri Umbrella-tree U Highbush Blueberry Vaccinium corymbosum Unkn. U Loblolly Pine...plants and shrubs include ferns (many species), lowbush blueberry ( Vaccinium augustifolium), southern running-pine (Lycopodium digitatum), poison ivy

  16. Studies on the Feeding Habits of Lutzomyia (Lutzomyia) longipalpis (Lutz & Neiva, 1912) (Diptera: Psychodidae: Phlebotominae) Populations from Endemic Areas of American Visceral Leishmaniasis in Northeastern Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Afonso, Margarete Martins dos Santos; Duarte, Rosemere; Miranda, José Carlos; Caranha, Lindenbergh; Rangel, Elizabeth Ferreira

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was to identify potential blood feeding sources of L. (L.) longipalpis specimens from populations in Northeastern Brazil, endemic areas of American Visceral Leishmaniasis (AVL) and its correlation with the transmission of L. (L.) i. chagasi. The ELISA technique was applied using bird, dog, goat, opossum, equine, feline, human, sheep, and rodent antisera to analyze 609 females, resulting in an overall positivity of 60%. In all municipalities, females showed higher positivity for bird followed by dog antiserum and sand fly specimens were also positive for equine, feline, human, sheep, goat, opossum, and rodent antisera. The finding for 17 combinations of two or three types of blood in some females corroborates the opportunistic habit of this sand fly species. The results demonstrating the association between L. (L.) longipalpis and opossum suggest the need for further evaluation of the real role of this synanthropic mammal in the eco-epidemiology of AVL. PMID:22315621

  17. Development of the marsupial shoulder girdle complex: a case study in Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Hübler, Merla; Molineaux, Anna C; Keyte, Anna; Schecker, Teresa; Sears, Karen E

    2013-01-01

    During their embryogenesis, marsupials transiently develop a unique structure, the shoulder arch, which provides the structural support and muscle-attachments necessary for the newborn's crawl to the teat. One of the most pronounced and functionally important aspects of the shoulder arch is an enlarged coracoid. The goal of this study is to determine the molecular basis of shoulder arch formation in marsupials. To achieve this goal, this study investigates the relative expression of several genes with known roles in shoulder girdle morphogenesis in a marsupial-the opossum, Monodelphis domestica-and a placental, the mouse, Mus musculus. Results indicate that Hoxc6, a gene involved in coracoid patterning, is expressed for a longer period of time and at higher levels in opossum relative to mouse. Functional manipulation suggests that these differences in Hoxc6 expression are independent of documented differences in retinoic acid signaling in opossum and mouse forelimbs. Results also indicate that Emx2, a gene involved in scapular blade condensation, is upregulated in opossum relative to mouse. However, several other genes involved in shoulder girdle patterning (e.g., Gli3, Pax1, Pbx1, Tbx15) are comparably expressed in these species. These findings suggest that the upregulation of Hoxc6 and Emx2 occurs through independent genetic modifications in opossum relative to mouse. In summary, this study documents a correlation between gene expression and the divergent shoulder girdle morphogenesis of marsupial (i.e., opossum) and placental (i.e., mouse) mammals, and thereby provides a foundation for future research into the genetic basis of shoulder girdle morphogenesis in marsupials. Furthermore, this study supports the hypothesis that the mammalian shoulder girdle is a highly modular structure whose elements are relatively free to evolve independently.

  18. The lamina propria of vertebrate seminiferous tubules: a comparative light and electron microscopic investigation.

    PubMed

    Christl, H W

    1990-01-01

    The lamina propria of the seminiferous tubules was compared by means of light and electron microscopy in specimens obtained from the following vertebrates: Mute swan, northern mallard, blackbird, grey short-tailed opossum, north american opossum, european rabbit, mouse, rat, golden hamster, mini pig, bull, llama, roebuck, horse, coati, cat, dog, java monkey, orang utan. The lamina propria consists of basal lamina, ground substance, collagen fibers, fibroblasts and myofibroblasts. Myofibroblasts are characterized by myofilaments, dense patches and a basal lamina covering their plasmalemma. The layers of myofibroblasts always lie adjacent to the germinal epithelium, while the surrounding fibroblast layers are located peripherally.

  19. Environmental Assessment: Proposed Construction of Army and Air Force Exchange Service New Day Street Shoppette

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2003-10-01

    Table 3-5 Dominant Tree Species at MAFB Common Name Scientific Name Slash pine Pinus elliotti Live oak Quercus virginiana Pecan Carya illinoensis ...of Federal Regulations CO carbon monoxide CRMP Cultural Resource Management Plan CWA Clean Water Act dB decibel dBA A-weighted decibel DoD...consequences: air quality, noise, land use, geological resources, water resources, biological resources, transportation and circulation, cultural

  20. Forest Microclimate Characteristics Review

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-01

    two habitat types are not often measured but implied. Goals of the study were to identify any correlation between vegetation features and the...richness decline along a gradient of increasing Juniperus virginiana midstory canopy cov- er, and if that decline is best correlated with litter...and temperature responses were closely correlated with di- rect radiation. Soil moisture increased in response to canopy caps, and soil moisture is

  1. Juniper Pollen Hotspots in the Southwest

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bunderson, L. D.; VandeWater, P.; Luvall, J.; Levetin, E.

    2013-01-01

    Rationale: Juniperus pollen is a major allergen in Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. While the bulk of pollen may be released in rural areas, large amounts of pollen can be transported to urban areas. Major juniper species in the region include: Juniperus ashei, J. virginiana, J. pinchotii, and J. monosperma. Pollen release is virtually continuous beginning in late September with J. pinchotii and ending in May with J. monosperma. Urban areas in the region were evaluated for the potential of overlapping seasons in order to inform sensitive individuals. Methods: Burkard volumetric pollen traps were established for two consecutive spring seasons at 6 sites in northern New Mexico and 6 sites for two consecutive winter and fall seasons in Texas and Oklahoma Standard methods were used in the preparation and analysis of slides. Results: The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is home to over 6 million people. It is adjacent to populations of J. pinchotii, J. virginiana, and J. ashei. Peak concentration near Dallas for J. ashei in 2011 was 5891 pollen grains/m3 in January 7th. The peak date for J. pinchotii at an upwind sampling location in San Marcos, TX was November 1, 2010 and peak for J. virginiana at a nearby station in Tulsa, OK was November 1, 2010 and peak for J. virginiana at a nearby station in Tulsa, OK was February 20, 2011. Amarillo, TX is adjacent to J. pinchotii, J. ashei, and J. monosperma populations and may be subject to juniper pollen from September through May. Conclusions: Considering the overlapping distributions of juniper trees and the overlapping temporal release of pollen, sensitive patients may benefit from avoiding hotspots.

  2. Environmental Assessment: Relocation of Facilities at Hurlburt Field, Florida

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-11-01

    longleaf pine (Pinus palustris), sand pine (Pinus clausa), live oak (Quercus virginiana), and saw palmetto (Serenoa repens). The entire NE Area is...mesic pine flatwoods (Hurlburt Field, 2008; Hipes and Norden, 2003). The dominant canopy species within the NE Area is longleaf pine . Shrub and...dominated by longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) and shrub and herbaceous species in the area include saw palmetto (Serenoa repens), gallberry (Ilex glabra

  3. Floristic Inventories of Confined Disposal Facilities in the Great Lakes Area of Concern

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-09-01

    with an undergrowth of Urtica dioica (Tall Nettle, C = 1). All of these dominant species are wind pollinated. Figure 2. Recent lift of dredged...branches shade pruned by the 3-m-high sward of P. australis. Scattered growth of forbs Urtica dioica and Polygonum scandens with Hackelia virginiana...of the shrub, Salix exigua; the ground below is dominated by Pilea pumila, Urtica dioica , and Polygonum scandens. Transect 4 (Figure 9) was

  4. Evolution of the Genotype-to-Phenotype Map and the Cost of Pleiotropy in Mammals.

    PubMed

    Porto, Arthur; Schmelter, Ryan; VandeBerg, John L; Marroig, Gabriel; Cheverud, James M

    2016-12-01

    Evolutionary studies have long emphasized that the genetic architecture of traits holds important microevolutionary consequences. Yet, studies comparing the genetic architecture of traits across species are rare, and discussions of the evolution of genetic systems are made on theoretical arguments rather than on empirical evidence. Here, we compared the genetic architecture of cranial traits in two different mammalian model organisms: the gray short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica, and the laboratory mouse, Mus musculus We show that both organisms share a highly polygenic genetic architecture for craniofacial traits, with many loci of small effect. However, these two model species differ significantly in the overall degree of pleiotropy, N, of the genotype-to-phenotype map, with opossums presenting a higher average N They also diverge in their degree of genetic modularity, with opossums presenting less modular patterns of genetic association among traits. We argue that such differences highlight the context dependency of gene effects, with developmental systems shaping the variational properties of genetic systems. Finally, we also demonstrate based on the opossum data that current measurements for the relationship between the mutational effect size and N need to be re-evaluated in relation to the importance of the cost of pleiotropy for mammals.

  5. Aurora-A as a Modifier of Breast Cancer Risk in BRCA 1/2 Mutation Carriers

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-06-01

    Dieter Schaefer, Institute of Human Genetics, University of Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany; Norbert Arnold, University of Schleswig- Holstein , Campus...Intron 2 Opossum Mouse Rat Cow Dog Intron 1 Figure 3 | The FGFR2 locus. a, Map of the whole FGFR2 gene, viewed relative to common SNPs on HapMap

  6. Development of Marine Sediment Toxicity Data for Ordnance Compounds and Toxicity Identification Evaluation Studies at Select Naval Facilities

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2000-08-01

    macro-alga Ulva fasciata; survival and reproductive success of the polychaete Dinophilus gyrociliatus; larvae survival with the redfish Sciaenops ... ocellatus ; and survival of juveniles of the opossum shrimp Mysidopsis bahia. The overall toxicity, chemistry, and TIE test results indicate that ordnance

  7. Making Connections. A Curriculum and Activity Guide to Mammoth Cave National Park. [Grades] K-3.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Park Service (Dept. of Interior), Washington, DC.

    Kentucky's Mammoth Cave National Park is important because of its diversity of life on the surface and underground. Some of the plants in the park include trees such as oaks, hickories, tulip poplars, sycamores, and many types of bushes. The animal population is also very diverse and includes bats, squirrels, deer, raccoons, opossums, chipmunks,…

  8. Qin, Han, and Huang: Text Reproduction and Literacy in Rural China, A Case for Euclid and Homer.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bain, Bruce; Yu, Agnes

    1991-01-01

    Debates the merits of the claim that "symbolic technologies push cognitive growth earlier and longer." The results of an assessment are presented that involved three adult male peasants (two literate, one nonliterate) living in rural China and their ability to recall the text of "The Lonesome Opossum." (25 references) (GLR)

  9. Value-based customer grouping from large retail data sets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strehl, Alexander; Ghosh, Joydeep

    2000-04-01

    In this paper, we propose OPOSSUM, a novel similarity-based clustering algorithm using constrained, weighted graph- partitioning. Instead of binary presence or absence of products in a market-basket, we use an extended 'revenue per product' measure to better account for management objectives. Typically the number of clusters desired in a database marketing application is only in the teens or less. OPOSSUM proceeds top-down, which is more efficient and takes a small number of steps to attain the desired number of clusters as compared to bottom-up agglomerative clustering approaches. OPOSSUM delivers clusters that are balanced in terms of either customers (samples) or revenue (value). To facilitate data exploration and validation of results we introduce CLUSION, a visualization toolkit for high-dimensional clustering problems. To enable closed loop deployment of the algorithm, OPOSSUM has no user-specified parameters. Thresholding heuristics are avoided and the optimal number of clusters is automatically determined by a search for maximum performance. Results are presented on a real retail industry data-set of several thousand customers and products, to demonstrate the power of the proposed technique.

  10. 77 FR 57066 - Proposed Flood Elevation Determinations

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-09-17

    ... Run (backwater effects from Sandlick Creek), Plum Creek (backwater effects from Green River), Plum... Run (backwater effects from Sandlick Creek), Plum Creek (backwater effects from Green River), Plum... Muhlenberg County. 1,175 feet upstream of Opossum Lane. Plum Creek (backwater effects from From the...

  11. 75 FR 28511 - Proposed Flood Elevation Determinations

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-05-21

    ... County. approximately 1,175 feet upstream of Opossum Lane. Plum Creek (Backwater effects from From the... 300 feet of Muhlenberg County. downstream of the confluence with Plum Creek Tributary 4. Plum Creek... Plum Creek to Muhlenberg County. approximately 0.65 mile upstream of the confluence with Plum...

  12. Epidemiologic Evidence for Different Roles of Ultraviolet A and B Radiation in Melanoma Mortality Rates

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2003-03-11

    melanoma is the miniature opossum, Monodelphis domestica . Some adults of these animals develop melanoma upon prolonged exposure to mixed UVB-UVA radiation...Ultraviolet A and melanoma in Monodelphis domestica sucklings. J Natl Cancer Inst 2000. 60. Hutchinson PE, Osborne JE, Lear JT, Smith AG, Bowers PW

  13. 50 CFR 32.32 - Illinois.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... quail, raccoon, opossum, red fox, grey fox, and coyote on designated areas of the refuge in accordance... Hunting. We allow hunting of white-tailed deer and turkey on designated areas of the refuge in accordance... B4 apply. 2. We require all deer and turkey hunters using the “restricted use area” (as described...

  14. 50 CFR 32.68 - West Virginia.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ..., cottontail rabbit, snowshoe hare, red fox, gray fox, bobcat, woodchuck, coyote, opossum, striped skunk, and... allow the hunting of white-tailed deer, black bear, and turkey on designated areas of the refuge in... deer and black bear in the rifle zone. 4. When using shotguns for big game hunting, we only...

  15. 50 CFR 32.68 - West Virginia.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... of this chapter). 9. We close the Research Natural Area except for deer hunting, which we allow for... rabbit, snowshoe hare, red fox, gray fox, bobcat, woodchuck, coyote, opossum, striped skunk, and raccoon... allow the hunting of white-tailed deer, black bear, and turkey on designated areas of the refuge...

  16. 50 CFR 32.32 - Illinois.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... quail, raccoon, opossum, red fox, grey fox, and coyote on designated areas of the refuge in accordance... Hunting. We allow hunting of white-tailed deer and turkey on designated areas of the refuge in accordance... B4 apply. 2. We require all deer and turkey hunters using the “restricted use area” (as described...

  17. 50 CFR 32.32 - Illinois.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... squirrel, rabbit, bobwhite quail, raccoon, opossum, red fox, grey fox, and coyote on designated areas of... of this chapter). C. Big Game Hunting. We allow hunting of white-tailed deer and turkey on designated.... Conditions A1 through A5 and A7, A8, and B4 apply. 2. We require all deer and turkey hunters using...

  18. 50 CFR 32.68 - West Virginia.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... of this chapter). 9. We close the Research Natural Area except for deer hunting, which we allow for... rabbit, snowshoe hare, red fox, gray fox, bobcat, woodchuck, coyote, opossum, striped skunk, and raccoon... allow the hunting of white-tailed deer, black bear, and turkey on designated areas of the refuge...

  19. 50 CFR 32.32 - Illinois.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... quail, raccoon, opossum, red fox, grey fox, and coyote on designated areas of the refuge in accordance... Hunting. We allow hunting of white-tailed deer and turkey on designated areas of the refuge in accordance... B4 apply. 2. We require all deer and turkey hunters using the “restricted use area” (as described...

  20. 50 CFR 32.68 - West Virginia.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... of this chapter). 9. We close the Research Natural Area except for deer hunting, which we allow for... rabbit, snowshoe hare, red fox, gray fox, bobcat, woodchuck, coyote, opossum, striped skunk, and raccoon... allow the hunting of white-tailed deer, black bear, and turkey on designated areas of the refuge...

  1. 50 CFR 32.34 - Iowa.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ..., litter, fish or any parts thereof, on the banks, in the water, or on the ice. 10. We prohibit digging or..., goose, coot, rail (Virginia and sora only), woodcock, and snipe on the Buffalo Creek Bottoms and Schwob...), groundhog, raccoon, opossum, fox, coyote, and crow on Buffalo Creek Bottoms, Schwob Marsh, and the Core...

  2. Learning Excitement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sudore, Gail M.

    1987-01-01

    Provides directions for 18 environmental activities/concepts for adventure programming including games (clam free, habitat lap sit, spirals); warm-ups/stretches (bug tug, stork stretch); trust builders/group initiatives (willow in wind, opossum ferry); low elements (all aboard, trolley); medium elements (rebirth, tire on pole); and high elements…

  3. Immunohistochemical confirmation of Sarcocystis neurona infections in raccoons, mink, cat, skunk, and pony.

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Hamir, A N

    2000-10-01

    In the central nervous system of 2 raccoons, 1 cat, 1 pony, 2 mink, and 1 skunk, protozoa previously thought to be Sarcocystis-like reacted positively to Sarcocystis neurona-specific antibodies in an immunohistochemical test. In addition, S. neurona was identified in the brain of another skunk. These observations indicate that S. neurona is not confined to opossums and horses.

  4. The subventricular zone is the developmental milestone of a 6-layered neocortex: comparisons in metatherian and eutherian mammals.

    PubMed

    Cheung, Amanda F P; Kondo, Shinichi; Abdel-Mannan, Omar; Chodroff, Rebecca A; Sirey, Tamara M; Bluy, Lisa E; Webber, Natalie; DeProto, Jamin; Karlen, Sarah J; Krubitzer, Leah; Stolp, Helen B; Saunders, Norman R; Molnár, Zoltán

    2010-05-01

    The major lineages of mammals (Eutheria, Metatheria, and Monotremata) diverged more than 100 million years ago and have undergone independent changes in the neocortex. We found that adult South American gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica) and tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii) possess a significantly lower number of cerebral cortical neurons compared with the mouse (Mus musculus). To determine whether the difference is reflected in the development of the cortical germinal zones, the location of progenitor cell divisions was examined in opossum, tammar wallaby, and rat. The basic pattern of the cell divisions was conserved, but the emergence of a distinctive band of dividing cells in the subventricular zone (SVZ) occurred relatively later in the opossum (postnatal day [P14]) and the tammar wallaby (P40) than in rodents. The planes of cell divisions in the ventricular zone (VZ) were similar in all species, with comparable mRNA expression patterns of Brn2, Cux2, NeuroD6, Tbr2, and Pax6 in opossum (P12 and P20) and mouse (embryonic day 15 and P0). In conclusion, the marsupial neurodevelopmental program utilizes an organized SVZ, as indicated by the presence of intermediate (or basal) progenitor cell divisions and gene expression patterns, suggesting that the SVZ emerged prior to the Eutherian-Metatherian split.

  5. Expression patterns of Oct4, Cdx2, Tead4, and Yap1 proteins during blastocyst formation in embryos of the marsupial, Monodelphis domestica Wagner.

    PubMed

    Morrison, J T; Bantilan, N S; Wang, V N; Nellett, K M; Cruz, Y P

    2013-05-01

    The marsupial blastocyst forms in an entirely different manner from its eutherian counterpart, involving cell-zona rather than cell-cell adhesion during the 8- to-16-cell transition. While the eutherian blastocyst consists of a spherical trophoblast completely enveloping a pluripotent inner cell mass, or pluriblast, the marsupial blastocyst forms initially as a bowl-shaped monolayer of cells lining the zona pellucida at the embryonic pole (ep). This monolayer contains a small patch of centrally positioned pluriblast cells edged with trophoblast cells that later coalesce at the abembryonic pole. Using immunocytochemistry, we examined the localization of the proteins Oct4, Cdx2, Tead4, Sox2, and Yap1 in opossum embryos to determine if their temporal expression pattern differed from that in the mouse, given the important differences in cell behavior preceding blastocyst formation in these mammals. Our results indicate that these proteins are expressed in similar temporal patterns despite the topological differences between mouse and opossum cleavage-stage embryos and blastocysts. That the Hippo-pathway protein Yap1 localized specifically around the approximately 128-cell stage to opossum trophoblast nuclei but remained in the cytoplasm of pluriblast cells suggests that this transcriptional regulator participates in allocating cells to the trophoblast lineage, as it does in mouse. Interestingly, in both mouse and opossum embryos, expression of the pluripotency marker Oct4 persisted after Cdx2, which signals trophoblast specification, began to be expressed in trophoblast cells. This and the observation that Cdx2 is present in opossum embryos well before blastomere-zona adhesion even occurs suggests that the proteins studied may have other roles in early mammalian embryonic development.

  6. Mitochondrial tRNA-lookalikes in nuclear chromosomes: could they be functional?

    PubMed

    Telonis, Aristeidis G; Kirino, Yohei; Rigoutsos, Isidore

    2015-01-01

    The presence in human nuclear chromosomes of multiple sequences that are highly similar to human mitochondrial tRNAs (tRNA-lookalikes) raises intriguing questions about the possible functionality of these genomic loci. In this perspective, we explore the significance of the mitochondrial tRNA-lookalikes based on a series of properties that argue for their non-accidental nature. We particularly focus on the possibility of transcription as well as on potential functional roles for these sequences that can range from their acting as DNA regulatory elements to forming functional mature tRNAs or tRNA-derived fragments. Extension of our analysis to other simians (chimp, gorilla, rhesus, and squirrel monkey), 2 rodents (mouse and rat), a marsupial (opossum) and 3 invertebrates (fruit-fly, worm, and sponge) revealed that mitochondrial tRNA-lookalikes are prevalent in primates and the opossum but absent from the other analyzed organisms.

  7. Philodryas chamissonis (Reptilia: Squamata: Colubridae) preys on the arboreal marsupial Dromiciops gliroides (Mammalia: Microbiotheria: Microbiotheriidae).

    PubMed

    Muñoz-Leal, S; Ardiles, K; Figueroa, R A; González-Acuña, D

    2013-02-01

    Philodryas chamissonis, the Chilean long-tailed snake, is a diurnal predator mainly of Liolaemus lizards, but also of amphibians, birds, rodents and juvenile rabbits. Dromiciops gliroides (Colocolo opossum) is an arboreal marsupial endemic of temperate rainforest of southern South America. Little information is available about this marsupial's biology and ecology. Here we report the predation of one Colocolo opossum by an adult female P. chamissonis in a mixed Nothofagus forest, composed mainly by N. dombeyi, N. glauca and N. alpina trees, in the "Huemules de Niblinto" National Reserve, Nevados de Chillán, Chile. Since these two species have different activity and habitat use patterns, we discuss how this encounter may have occurred. Although it could just have been an opportunistic event, this finding provides insights into the different components of food chains in forest ecosystems of Chile.

  8. 13C Nuclear magnetic resonance studies to the binding of isocyanides to various hemoglobins and myoglobins.

    PubMed

    Dill, K; Satterlee, J D; Richards, J H

    1978-10-03

    Interactions between ethyl and isopropyl isocyanides and various hemoglobins and myoglobins have been studied by 13C nuclear magnetic resonance. The results indicate that the chemical shift of the bound isocyanide depends on the structure of the hemoglobin subunit or myoglobin. The resonances exhibited by isocyanides bound to myoglobin are sensitive to pH in contrast to the situation with rabbit and human hemoglobins. beta subunits of opossum, rabbit, and human hemoglobins show a significantly greater preferential affinity for CO relative to EIC than do alpha subunits which have allowed the assignment of resonances. Rabbit, human, and opossum hemoglobin subunits bind ethyl isocyanide without observable preferences and an excess of DPG does not appear to affect this random order of ligation. In contrast, an excess of IHP seems to cause preferential ligation of the alpha subunits in these hemoglobins. The results have been used to gain insights into the differing characteristics of the ligand binding pockets of these various hemoglobins.

  9. Impacts of stream flow and climate variability on native and invasive woody species in a riparian ecosystem of a semi-arid region of the Great Plains, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skolaut, K.; Awada, T.; Cherubini, P.; Schapaugh, A.; Huddle, J.

    2012-04-01

    Riparian ecosystems support diverse plant communities that exert direct and indirect biological, physical and chemical influence on, and are influenced by, adjacent water through both above and below-ground interactions. Historically, riparian areas of the northern Great Plains (United States) have been dominated by the native Populus deltoides (eastern cottonwood). This species relies on regular floods for regeneration and groundwater access for success. Over the past sixty years, changes in flow management and agricultural practices, coupled with climate variability and drought, have altered stream flow and caused a dramatic decline in stream water yields and levels of groundwater. These and other biotic factors have promoted the expansion of the upland native woody species Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar), and the invasion of the non-native (introduced) Elaeagnus angustifolia (Russian olive) into riparian ecosystems. This invasion has further altered the water balance in the system and exasperated the problem of water scarcity with negative feedback on ecosystem services and growth of native woody species. The ability of P. deltoides to re-establish and grow is of concern for natural resource managers. The study utilizes tree ring analysis of annual growth rates and stable isotope ratios of 13C and 18O to determine 1) the response P. deltoides and invasive J. virginiana and E. angustifulia have to climate variation and stream flow regulation, and 2) the impacts of the two invasive species on the growth of native P. deltoides. Preliminary results have shown that P. deltoids annual growth rate (using basal area increment growth) continually declined over the last 40 yrs, while that of E. angustifolia steadily increased. Growth of both P. deltoides and J. virginiana displayed greater dependence on climatic factors than E. angustifolia. Ecological and hydrological significance of the results will be presented.

  10. Leishmaniasis in Texas: Isolation of Leishmania mexicana from Neotoma Micropus

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-01-01

    leishmaniasis cases in Texas, 2) Lutzomyia anthophora, a sand fly which has transmitted Leishmania mexicana under laboratory conditions (Endris et al., 1984... temperatures > 37 C are all suggestive of L. mexicana. Isozyme characterization determined that the parasite isolated from N. micropus collected in Texas is L...Addis, 1945). Other vertebrates such as opossums, hispid cotton rats, and armadillos and other sand flies such as Lutzomyia diabolica and Lutzomyia texana

  11. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting (14th) Aquatic Plant Control Research Planning and Operations Review, Held at Lake Eufaula, Oklahoma on 26-29 November 1979.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1980-10-01

    ganisms were selected for inclusion in the LSOMT: a. Neochetina eichhorniac - this insect, the mottled water - hyacinth weevil , has already been...Sigmodon hispidus) and rice rats (Iryzonrys palustris). Because Florida water rats (Neofiber alleni) are relatively invulnerable to capture by...extremes in water levels. Winter and spring trapping produced 26 hispid cotton rats, 8 opossums, 3 rice rats, 4 raccoons, 1 marsh rabbit, 1 river otter

  12. Relevance of in vivo models in melanoma skin cancer

    SciTech Connect

    Setlow, R.B.

    1995-12-31

    A discussion of possible wavelength dependence of induction of cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) is provided. Strengths and weaknesses of various experimental approaches to better understanding of the prevalence of CMM in different human populations including latitude effects are compared. Further the advantages and limitations of the use of the laboratory opossum (Monodelphis domestic), transgenic mice containing SV40 ongogene sequences under tyrosinase promoter control, and a backcross hybrid fish of the genus Xenophorus are contrasted.

  13. The evolution of whisker-mediated somatosensation in mammals: Sensory processing in barrelless S1 cortex of a marsupial, Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Ramamurthy, Deepa L; Krubitzer, Leah A

    2016-12-01

    Movable tactile sensors in the form of whiskers are present in most mammals, but sensory coding in the cortical whisker representation has been studied almost exclusively in mice and rats. Many species that possess whiskers lack the modular "barrel" organization found in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) of mice and rats, but it is unclear how whisker-related input is represented in these species. We used single-unit extracellular recording techniques to characterize receptive fields and response properties in S1 of Monodelphis domestica (short-tailed opossum), a nocturnal, terrestrial marsupial that shared its last common ancestor with placental mammals over 160 million years ago. Short-tailed opossums lack barrels and septa in S1 but show active whisking behavior similar to that of mice and rats. Most neurons in short-tailed opossum S1 exhibited multiwhisker receptive fields, including a single best whisker (BW) and lower magnitude responses to the deflection of surrounding whiskers. Mean tuning width was similar to that reported for mice and rats. Both symmetrical and asymmetrical receptive fields were present. Neurons tuned to ventral whiskers tended to show broad tuning along the rostrocaudal axis. Thus, despite the absence of barrels, most receptive field properties were similar to those reported for mice and rats. However, unlike those species, S1 neuronal responses to BW and surround whisker deflection showed comparable latencies in short-tailed opossums. This dissimilarity suggests that some aspects of barrel cortex function may not generalize to tactile processing across mammalian species and may be related to differences in the architecture of the whisker-to-cortex pathway. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:3587-3613, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. A Study on the Bionomics of Anopheles darlingi Root (Diptera: Culicidae) in Belize, Central America

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-03-01

    Plantation (Figure 11). An observational census of terrestrial animals includes: coral and fer-de-lance snakes; iguana; koatomundi; deer; tapir ...terrestrial animals includes: coral and fer-de-lance snakes; iguana; koatomundi; deer; tapir ; porcupine; opossum; gibnut; yellow-headed parrots; toucans...each distance buffer zone, other wildlife (i.e., tapir , monkey, porcupine, gibnut, armadillos, koatamundi, etc.) abounded in this area and

  15. Epidemiology of Sarcocystis neurona infections in domestic cats (Felis domesticus) and its association with equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) case farms and feral cats from a mobile spay and neuter clinic.

    PubMed

    Stanek, J F; Stich, R W; Dubey, J P; Reed, S M; Njoku, C J; Lindsay, D S; Schmall, L M; Johnson, G K; LaFave, B M; Saville, W J A

    2003-11-28

    Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) is a serious neurologic disease in the horse most commonly caused by Sarcocystis neurona. The domestic cat (Felis domesticus) is an intermediate host for S. neurona. In the present study, nine farms, known to have prior clinically diagnosed cases of EPM and a resident cat population were identified and sampled accordingly. In addition to the farm cats sampled, samples were also collected from a mobile spay and neuter clinic. Overall, serum samples were collected in 2001 from 310 cats, with samples including barn, feral and inside/outside cats. Of these 310 samples, 35 were from nine horse farms. Horse serum samples were also collected and traps were set for opossums at each of the farms. The S. neurona direct agglutination test (SAT) was used for both the horse and cat serum samples (1:25 dilution). Fourteen of 35 (40%) cats sampled from horse farms had circulating S. neurona agglutinating antibodies. Twenty-seven of the 275 (10%) cats from the spay/neuter clinic also had detectable S. neurona antibodies. Overall, 115 of 123 (93%) horses tested positive for anti-S. neurona antibodies, with each farm having greater than a 75% exposure rate among sampled horses. Twenty-one opossums were trapped on seven of the nine farms. Eleven opossums had Sarcocystis sp. sporocysts, six of them were identified as S. neurona sporocysts based on bioassays in gamma-interferon gene knockout mice with each opossum representing a different farm. Demonstration of S. neurona agglutinating antibodies in domestic and feral cats corroborates previous research demonstrating feral cats to be naturally infected, and also suggests that cats can be frequently infected with S. neurona and serve as one of several natural intermediate hosts for S. neurona.

  16. The 1980 Archeological Investigations at the Big Hill Lake, Kansas.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1980-01-01

    rodents and other mammals such as coyotes, raccoons, bobcats, opossums, etc. The bottomland forests are also represented on a small scale in the Big... forests are adjacent to Big Hill creek and its feeder tributaries. These streams, some intermittent, provide suitable habitation for many groups of...points recovered from the areas near the hearths have suggested Preceramic cultural affiliations and have been identified as Afton , Ellis, Lange

  17. Archeological Test Excavations at the Proposed Dry Boat Storage Facility and Archeological Survey of the Neal Road Extension Corridor, Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-11-19

    populations inhabiting the region 7 include white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), black bear (Euarctos americanus...remains indicate that the most commonly taken animals were white-tailed deer , raccoon, wild turkey, and opossum. These animals were hunted from about...N. 1977 The Food Crisis in Prehistory: Overpopulation and the Origins of Agriculture. Yale University Press, New Haven. 105 Collins, M. B. 1979 The

  18. The foods of fur animals of the Patuxent Research Refuge, Maryland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Llewellyn, L.M.; Uhler, F.M.

    1952-01-01

    Approximately 300 digestive tracts of fur animals obtained mostly during the winter trapping season and 560 scats from animals live-trapped on the Patuxent Research Refuge near Laure!, Maryland, were analyzed. The resulting data are summarized and a brief description of the area and important habitat types is given. The animals studied include the raccoon, red fox, gray fox, mink, New York weasel, skunk, opossum, and house cat.

  19. Medical Surveillance Monthly Report (MSMR). Volume 22, Number 8, August 2015

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-08-01

    dogs and lived with her parents and one sibling in a rural area of Texas where there are feral cats , as well as opossums, raccoons, boars, and...coyotes. Th e patient indicated that she does bring feral cats into her bedroom. Shortly aft er arrival at SAMMC, the patient was admitted to the...reservoirs such as rats, opos- sums, and other small animals, including domestic dogs and cats . Murine typhus can cause a mild fever, with rash on the

  20. Carcinogenicity of some folk medicinal herbs in rats.

    PubMed

    Kapadia, G J; Chung, E B; Ghosh, B; Shukla, Y N; Basak, S P; Morton, J F; Pradhan, S N

    1978-03-01

    Twelve medicinal herbs were bioassayed to correlate a high incidence of esophageal carcinoma in natives of different places with their habitual consumption of these products. Outbred NIH Black rats were given 72 weekly sc injections of the total aqueous extracts of the plant materials. The tanninrich plant extracts from Areca catechu and Rhus copallina produced local tumors in 100 and 33%, respectively, of the experimental animals. Other materials included Diospyros virginiana and extracts from plants not rich in tannins. Diospyros and extracts of Sassafras albidum and Chenopodium ambrosiodes were tumorigenic in over 50% of the treated animals.

  1. Impacts of Stream Flow and Climate Variability on Native and Invasive Woody Species in a Riparian Ecosystem of a Semi-Arid Region of the Great Plains, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skolaut, K.; Awada, T.; Cherubini, P.; Schapaugh, A.

    2012-12-01

    Riparian ecosystems support diverse plant communities that exert direct and indirect biological, physical and chemical influence on, and are influenced by, adjacent water through both above and below-ground interactions. Historically, riparian areas of the northern Great Plains, US have been dominated by the native Populus deltoides (eastern cottonwood). This species relies on regular floods for regeneration and groundwater access for success. Over the past sixty years, changes in flow management and agricultural practices, coupled with climate variability and drought have altered stream flow and caused a dramatic decline in stream water yields and levels of groundwater. These and other biotic and biotic factors have promoted the expansion of the upland native woody species Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar), and the invasion of the non-native (introduced) Elaeagnus angustifolia (Russian olive) into riparian ecosystems. This invasion has further altered the water balance in the system and exasperated the problem of water scarcity with negative feedback on ecosystem services and growth of native woody species. The ability of P. deltoides to re-establish and grow is of concern for natural resource managers. Tree ring analysis of annual growth rates were used to determine 1) the responses P. deltoides and invasive J. virginiana and E. angustifulia to climate variability and stream flow regulation, and 2) the impacts of the two invasive species on the growth of native P. deltoides. Results show a dependency of growth for P. deltoides on the previous year summer temperature, and a less significant correlation to annual stream flow. J. virginiana showed the highest correlation to annual stream flow, as well as some dependency on the previous growing season precipitation. While the growth of both P. deltoides and J. virginiana displayed greater dependence on climatic factors, E. angustifolia displayed the lowest mean basal area growth and deviation from the growth. E

  2. Mission Realignment of Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1989-12-01

    amount of 1 inch (2.5 cm) occur only about once a year. Heavy snowfall for this region does occasionally occur (5.8 inches fell in a 24-hour period in...minor additives are included in JP-4 to control oxidation, inhibit corrosion, prevent icing, and protect metal fuel system components (Brewer, 1987). 3...LISTS U I I I I I I * 61 I 1 TABLE A-i 5 PLANTS Common name Scientific NameIMesquite Prosopis sp. Live Oak QuerLLs virginiana Shinnery Oak Quru

  3. Congenital abnormalities of the ovine paramesonephric ducts.

    PubMed

    Smith, K C; Long, S E; Parkinson, T J

    1995-01-01

    A 15 month survey of ovine reproductive tracts was undertaken in slaughterhouses in southwest England. A total of 33506 tracts were examined; 23536 from lambs and 9970 from adults. In total, 3.4% of tracts were pregnant and 3.3% exhibited abnormalities. Twenty cases of uterus unicornis, six of uterus didelphys and 11 of segmental aplasia were encountered, such that partial aplasia of the paramesonephric ducts accounted for 3.3% of all abnormalities. Although developmental abnormalities of the ovine female genital system are relatively uncommon, a substantial proportion of these can be accounted for by development defects of the paramesonephric ducts.

  4. Synanthropic Mammals as Potential Hosts of Tick-Borne Pathogens in Panama.

    PubMed

    Bermúdez, Sergio E; Gottdenker, Nicole; Krishnvajhala, Aparna; Fox, Amy; Wilder, Hannah K; González, Kadir; Smith, Diorene; López, Marielena; Perea, Milixa; Rigg, Chystrie; Montilla, Santiago; Calzada, José E; Saldaña, Azael; Caballero, Carlos M; Lopez, Job E

    2017-01-01

    Synanthropic wild mammals can be important hosts for many vector-borne zoonotic pathogens. The aim of this study was determine the exposure of synanthropic mammals to two types of tick-borne pathogens in Panama, spotted fever group Rickettsia (SFGR) and Borrelia relapsing fever (RF) spirochetes. One hundred and thirty-one wild mammals were evaluated, including two gray foxes, two crab-eating foxes (from zoos), four coyotes, 62 opossum and 63 spiny rats captured close to rural towns. To evaluate exposure to SFGR, serum samples from the animals were tested by indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) using Rickettsia rickettsii and Candidatus Rickettsia amblyommii antigen. Immunoblotting was performed using Borrelia turicatae protein lysates and rGlpQ, to assess infection caused by RF spirochetes. One coyote (25%) and 27 (43%) opossums showed seroreactivity to SFGR. Of these opossums, 11 were seroreactive to C. R. amblyommii. Serological reactivity was not detected to B. turicatae in mammal samples. These findings may reflect a potential role of both mammals in the ecology of tick-borne pathogens in Panama.

  5. Synanthropic Mammals as Potential Hosts of Tick-Borne Pathogens in Panama

    PubMed Central

    Bermúdez, Sergio E.; Gottdenker, Nicole; Krishnvajhala, Aparna; Fox, Amy; Wilder, Hannah K.; González, Kadir; Smith, Diorene; López, Marielena; Perea, Milixa; Rigg, Chystrie; Montilla, Santiago; Calzada, José E.; Saldaña, Azael; Caballero, Carlos M.

    2017-01-01

    Synanthropic wild mammals can be important hosts for many vector-borne zoonotic pathogens. The aim of this study was determine the exposure of synanthropic mammals to two types of tick-borne pathogens in Panama, spotted fever group Rickettsia (SFGR) and Borrelia relapsing fever (RF) spirochetes. One hundred and thirty-one wild mammals were evaluated, including two gray foxes, two crab-eating foxes (from zoos), four coyotes, 62 opossum and 63 spiny rats captured close to rural towns. To evaluate exposure to SFGR, serum samples from the animals were tested by indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) using Rickettsia rickettsii and Candidatus Rickettsia amblyommii antigen. Immunoblotting was performed using Borrelia turicatae protein lysates and rGlpQ, to assess infection caused by RF spirochetes. One coyote (25%) and 27 (43%) opossums showed seroreactivity to SFGR. Of these opossums, 11 were seroreactive to C. R. amblyommii. Serological reactivity was not detected to B. turicatae in mammal samples. These findings may reflect a potential role of both mammals in the ecology of tick-borne pathogens in Panama. PMID:28060928

  6. Aposematism in Archips cerasivoranus not linked to the sequestration of host-derived cyanide.

    PubMed

    Fitzgerald, T D; Stevens, M A; Miller, S; Jeffers, P

    2008-10-01

    This study addressed the question of how caterpillars of Archips cerasivoranus feeding upon Prunus virginiana cope with the cyanogenic compounds of their food. Analysis by ion chromatography showed that young and aged leaves of P. virginiana consumed by the caterpillars during spring have hydrogen cyanide potentials (HCN-ps) of 2,473 +/- 130 ppm and 1,058 +/- 98 ppm, respectively. Although less than 3% of the cyanide released as the caterpillars feed escapes into the atmosphere, the larva's bright-yellow aposematic coloration and conspicuous activity can not be attributed to the sequestration of cyanide. Only six of 25 samples of the caterpillars' defensive regurgitants collected from 12 field colonies contained cyanide (17.6 +/- 6.54 ppm), less than 5% of the quantity previously reported to occur in the regurgitant of the tent caterpillar M. americanum. Only seven of 13 caterpillars assayed had detectable quantities of cyanide in their bodies (3.9 +/- 0.9 ppm). The fecal pellets that encase the cocoon contained no cyanide, nor did the frass that litters the leaf shelters. The small quantities of cyanide that occur in the caterpillar compared to the HCN-p of ingested plant material appear attributable to paced bouts of feeding and the maintenance of a highly alkaline foregut that inhibits cyanogenesis.

  7. Insight into octoploid strawberry (Fragaria) subgenome composition revealed by GISH analysis of pentaploid hybrids.

    PubMed

    Liu, Bo; Poulsen, Elizabeth G; Davis, Thomas M

    2016-02-01

    As the product of interspecific hybridization between its two ancestral octoploid (2n = 8x = 56) species (Fragaria chiloensis and F. virginiana), the cultivated strawberry (F. ×ananassa) is among the most genomically complex of crop plants, harboring subgenomic components derived from as many as four different diploid ancestors. To physically visualize the octoploids' subgenome composition(s), we launched molecular cytogenetic studies using genomic in situ hybridization (GISH), comparative GISH (cGISH), and rDNA-FISH techniques. First, GISH resolution in Fragaria was tested by using diploid and triploid hybrids with predetermined genome compositions. Then, observation of an octoploid genome was implemented by hybridizing chromosomes of pentaploid (2n = 5x = 35) hybrids from F. vesca × F. virginiana with genomic DNA probes derived from diploids (2n = 2x = 14) F. vesca and F. iinumae, which have been proposed by phylogenetic studies to be closely related to the octoploids yet highly divergent from each other. GISH and cGISH results indicated that octoploid-derived gametes (n = 4x = 28) carried seven chromosomes with hybridization affinities to F. vesca, while the remaining 21 chromosomes displayed varying affinities to F. iinumae, indicating differing degrees of subgenomic contribution to the octoploids by these two putatively ancestral diploids. Combined rDNA-FISH revealed severe 25S rDNA loss in both the F. vesca- and F. iinumae-like chromosome groups, while only the prior group retained its 5S loci.

  8. [Obstructed hemivagina and ipsilateral renal anomaly: unusual cause of piocolpos. Report a case and review of literature ].

    PubMed

    Cortés-Contreras, Diana Karen; Juárez-Cruz, Patricio Manuel; Vázquez-Flores, José; Vázquez-Flores, Al David

    2014-10-01

    OHVIRA (Obstructed hemivagina and ipsilateral renal anomaly) by acronym and abbreviations in English or Herlyn Werner Wunderlich syndrome is a rare congenital malformation caused by an alteration in the Mullerian ducts and Wolffian Ducts. Which is characterized by a triad: uterus didelphys, obstructed and ipsilateral renal agenesis hemivagina still uncertain etiology. Patients are usually asymptomatic until menarche where the most common clinical presentation is pelvic pain, followed by a vaginal or abdominal mass, normal menstrual periods, infertility, and vaginal discharge rarely appears. The case of a female patient of 15 years, nubile with chronic fetid vaginal discharge, initially diagnosed and treated as pelvic inflammatory disease occurs, however because it is an exceptional condition with the background of the patient, by complementary studies were conducted where pelvic ultrasound revealed pyocolpos and absence of left kidney, uterus didelphys, blind hemivagina by other imaging studies, where we could integrate Herlyn-Werner-Wunderlich syndrome. In conclusion, abnormalities in the development of the Miillerian ducts are difficult to diagnose early, so you must have the embryological knowledge, conduct thorough clinical assessment and detailed picture in whom the coridition is suspected to identify malformations coexisting urinary tract and vaginal defects with the importance of preserving reproductive success through appropriate planning of surgical approach, given that the fertility rate in these patients is comparable to the average.

  9. Retroviral envelope gene captures and syncytin exaptation for placentation in marsupials

    PubMed Central

    Cornelis, Guillaume; Vernochet, Cécile; Carradec, Quentin; Souquere, Sylvie; Mulot, Baptiste; Catzeflis, François; Nilsson, Maria A.; Menzies, Brandon R.; Renfree, Marilyn B.; Pierron, Gérard; Zeller, Ulrich; Heidmann, Odile; Dupressoir, Anne; Heidmann, Thierry

    2015-01-01

    Syncytins are genes of retroviral origin captured by eutherian mammals, with a role in placentation. Here we show that some marsupials—which are the closest living relatives to eutherian mammals, although they diverged from the latter ∼190 Mya—also possess a syncytin gene. The gene identified in the South American marsupial opossum and dubbed syncytin-Opo1 has all of the characteristic features of a bona fide syncytin gene: It is fusogenic in an ex vivo cell–cell fusion assay; it is specifically expressed in the short-lived placenta at the level of the syncytial feto–maternal interface; and it is conserved in a functional state in a series of Monodelphis species. We further identify a nonfusogenic retroviral envelope gene that has been conserved for >80 My of evolution among all marsupials (including the opossum and the Australian tammar wallaby), with evidence for purifying selection and conservation of a canonical immunosuppressive domain, but with only limited expression in the placenta. This unusual captured gene, together with a third class of envelope genes from recently endogenized retroviruses—displaying strong expression in the uterine glands where retroviral particles can be detected—plausibly correspond to the different evolutionary statuses of a captured retroviral envelope gene, with only syncytin-Opo1 being the present-day bona fide syncytin active in the opossum and related species. This study would accordingly recapitulate the natural history of syncytin exaptation and evolution in a single species, and definitely extends the presence of such genes to all major placental mammalian clades. PMID:25605903

  10. Tracking Marsupial Evolution Using Archaic Genomic Retroposon Insertions

    PubMed Central

    Nilsson, Maria A.; Churakov, Gennady; Sommer, Mirjam; Tran, Ngoc Van; Zemann, Anja; Brosius, Jürgen; Schmitz, Jürgen

    2010-01-01

    The Australasian and South American marsupial mammals, such as kangaroos and opossums, are the closest living relatives to placental mammals, having shared a common ancestor around 130 million years ago. The evolutionary relationships among the seven marsupial orders have, however, so far eluded resolution. In particular, the relationships between the four Australasian and three South American marsupial orders have been intensively debated since the South American order Microbiotheria was taxonomically moved into the group Australidelphia. Australidelphia is significantly supported by both molecular and morphological data and comprises the four Australasian marsupial orders and the South American order Microbiotheria, indicating a complex, ancient, biogeographic history of marsupials. However, the exact phylogenetic position of Microbiotheria within Australidelphia has yet to be resolved using either sequence or morphological data analysis. Here, we provide evidence from newly established and virtually homoplasy-free retroposon insertion markers for the basal relationships among marsupial orders. Fifty-three phylogenetically informative markers were retrieved after in silico and experimental screening of ∼217,000 retroposon-containing loci from opossum and kangaroo. The four Australasian orders share a single origin with Microbiotheria as their closest sister group, supporting a clear divergence between South American and Australasian marsupials. In addition, the new data place the South American opossums (Didelphimorphia) as the first branch of the marsupial tree. The exhaustive computational and experimental evidence provides important insight into the evolution of retroposable elements in the marsupial genome. Placing the retroposon insertion pattern in a paleobiogeographic context indicates a single marsupial migration from South America to Australia. The now firmly established phylogeny can be used to determine the direction of genomic changes and

  11. The cellular composition of the marsupial neocortex.

    PubMed

    Seelke, Adele M H; Dooley, James C; Krubitzer, Leah A

    2014-07-01

    In the current investigation we examined the number and proportion of neuronal and non-neuronal cells in the primary sensory areas of the neocortex of a South American marsupial, the short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica). The primary somatosensory (S1), auditory (A1), and visual (V1) areas were dissected from the cortical sheet and compared with each other and the remaining neocortex using the isotropic fractionator technique. We found that although the overall sizes of V1, S1, A1, and the remaining cortical regions differed from each other, these divisions of the neocortex contained the same number of neurons, but the remaining cortex contained significantly more non-neurons than the primary sensory regions. In addition, the percent of neurons was higher in A1 than in the remaining cortex and the cortex as a whole. These results are similar to those seen in non-human primates. Furthermore, these results indicate that in some respects, such as number of neurons, the neocortex is homogenous across its extent, whereas in other aspects of organization, such as non-neuronal number and percentage of neurons, there is non-uniformity. Whereas the overall pattern of neuronal distribution is similar between short-tailed opossums and eutherian mammals, short-tailed opossum have a much lower cellular and neuronal density than other eutherian mammals. This suggests that the high neuronal density cortices of mammals such as rodents and primates may be a more recently evolved characteristic that is restricted to eutherians, and likely contributes to the complex behaviors we see in modern mammals.

  12. Those other mammals: the immunoglobulins and T cell receptors of marsupials and monotremes.

    PubMed

    Miller, Robert D

    2010-02-01

    This review summarizes analyses of marsupial and monotreme immunoglobulin and T cell receptor genetics and expression published over the past decade. Analyses of recently completed whole genome sequences from the opossum and the platypus have yielded insight into the evolution of the common antigen receptor systems, as well as discovery of novel receptors that appear to have been lost in eutherian mammals. These species are also useful for investigation of the development of the immune system in organisms notable for giving birth to highly altricial young, as well as the evolution of maternal immunity through comparison of oviparous and viviparous mammals.

  13. Neosporosis in South America.

    PubMed

    Moore, D P

    2005-01-20

    This work gathers reports about Neospora-infections in South America. Neospora-infections have been reported from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. Evidence of exposure to N. caninum was mentioned in cattle, goats, sheep, dogs, cats, water buffaloes, alpacas, llamas, South American opossums, wolves and other wild canids. No antibodies were found in horses. Interesting epidemiological and pathological data were described. Two isolations were performed from dogs, one from cattle, and recently five from water buffaloes. Since the cattle industry is important in South America and reproductive losses caused by Neospora-infection have been identified, more investigations are needed in order to understand its epidemiology and control the disease.

  14. Common plankton of Twin Lakes, Colorado

    SciTech Connect

    Lieberman, D.M.

    1983-02-01

    A series of studies is being performed to evaluate the effects of the Mt. Elbert Pumped-Storage Powerplant on the ecology of Twin Lakes. Twin Lakes are a pair of connected dimictic lakes, formed as the result of glacial action on alluvial deposits. This report presents a taxonomic species study of the common plankton collected since 1974 from Twin Lakes. A total of 11 zooplankters and 14 phytoplankters were identified from the limnetic zone of Twin Lakes and the associated Mt. Elbert Forebay. The four divisions of zooplankton included four species of Rotifera (rotifer), three species of Copepoda (copepod), three species of Cladocera (cladoceran), and one species of Mysidacea (opossum shrimp).

  15. 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

  16. Detection of Rickettsia felis in Wild Mammals from Three Municipalities in Yucatan, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Panti-May, Jesús Alonso; Torres-Castro, Marco; Hernández-Betancourt, Silvia; Dzul-Rosado, Karla; Zavala-Castro, Jorge; López-Avila, Karina; Tello-Martín, Raúl

    2015-09-01

    The aim of this study was to provide information of the occurrence of Rickettsia felis in wild mammals from three municipalities in Yucatan, Mexico. The reactivity of rodent serum to Rickettsia antigens was detected in 80.9% (17 of 21) samples using immunofluorescence assay. Polymerase chain reaction identified rickettsial DNA in spleens of 43.5% (10 of 23) rodents and 57.1% (4 of 7) opossums. The identification of the rickettsial DNA was confirmed as R. felis by restriction fragment length polymorphism and DNA sequencing. This study comprises the first report of R. felis detection in wild mammals in Yucatan.

  17. Snake River fall Chinook salmon life history investigations, 1/1/2012 - 12/31/2012: Annual report 2002-032-00

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tiffan, Kenneth F.; Connor, Willam P.; Bellgraph, Brian J.; Chittaro, Paul M.

    2014-01-01

    Finally, we examined the role of different invasive invertebrates in lower Snake River reservoir food webs that are food, or competitors for food, for juvenile fall Chinook salmon. The Siberian prawn, a relatively new invader, is relatively abundant but its role on the food web is largely unexplored. Prawns are successfully reproducing and their diet is 81% Neomysis (an invasive opossum shrimp) which is heavily used at times by juvenile salmon for food. Neomysis has become very abundant in lower Snake River reservoirs in recent years and may be a profitable food item for many fish species.

  18. Deposition of organochlorine pesticides, PCBs (Aroclor 1268), and PBDEs in selected plant species from a Superfund Site at Brunswick, Georgia, USA.

    PubMed

    Sajwan, Kenneth S; Senthil Kumar, Kurunthachalam; Kelley, Sarah; Loganathan, Bommanna G

    2009-04-01

    Deposition of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were measured in Loblolly pine needles (Pinus taeda) collected in and around a Linden Chemicals and Plastics (LCP) Superfund Site at Brunswick, Georgia, USA. For the comparison, foliage of eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) was also collected to monitor contaminant levels. This study revealed that concentrations of OCPs, PCBs and PBDEs ranged from 0.75-10, 3.4-15 to 0.05-3, ng/g wet wt, respectively in both plant species. Total OCPs concentrations in pine needles decreased from 10 to 2.3 ng/g; and total PCBs decreased from 28 to 9.3 ng/g between 1997 and 2006. To our knowledge, this is the first report on PBDEs concentrations in pine needles and red cedar foliage samples from the Superfund Site at Brunswick, Georgia, USA.

  19. Characterization of a new apscaviroid from American persimmon.

    PubMed

    Ito, Takao; Suzaki, Koichi; Nakano, Masaaki; Sato, Akihiko

    2013-12-01

    A unique circular molecule of 358 nucleotides was detected in American persimmon (Diospyros virginiana L.). The molecule was graft-transmissible and had genetic characteristics of members of the genus Apscaviroid. It had the highest sequence similarity (72-73 %) to citrus viroid VI (CVd-VI) and formed a clade with CVd-VI, citrus dwarfing viroid, and apple dimple fruit viroid in a phylogenetic tree. The molecule was not detected in citrus, unlike CVd-VI, which infects citrus and persimmon, and it was genetically distant from persimmon latent viroid, which infects persimmon only. The genetic and biological features indicated that the molecule may be a member of a new apscaviroid species.

  20. Direct seeding woody species for restoration of bottomlands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Twedt, D.J.; Connor, Kristina F

    2006-01-01

    I direct seeded (broadcast) seeds of 39 species of trees and shrubs using an ATV-mounted rotary spreader to initiate restoration of bottomland forest on retired agricultural sites. Four sites were planted during February, 2000, and 13 additional sites were planted during April and May, 2001. After two growing seasons, stem density of direct-seeded species varied greatly among study plots (range = 0 to 888 stems/ha) but averaged only 110 stems/ha. I recommend that future efforts at direct seeding focus on seven shrub species (Amorpha fruticosa L., Cephalanthus occidentalis L., Cornus spp., Crataegus spp., Ilex decidua Walt., Morus rubra L., and Prunus spp.) and seven tree species (Celtis laevigata Willd., Diospyros virginiana L., Fraxinus spp., Gleditsia triacanthos L., Robinia pseudoacacia L., Taxodium distichum (L.) Rich, and Ulmus spp.) that successfully established in these trials.

  1. Apex cryopreservation of several strawberry genotypes by two encapsulation-dehydration methods.

    PubMed

    Clavero-Ramírez, I; Gálvez-Farfán, J; López-Aranda, J M; González-Benito, M E

    2005-01-01

    This paper presents results from a study to develop cryopreservation procedures for apices of several strawberry genotypes. Five Fragaria x ananassa Duch. cultivars and two wild species (F. chiloensis and F. virginiana) have been screened using the encapsulation-dehydration method and/or a protocol which compromises vitrification and encapsulation-dehydration. Apices were encapsulated in an alginate gel, precultured on media containing high levels of sucrose (0.8 M, conventional protocol), or a combination of 0.4 M sucrose and 2 M glycerol. Recovery rates varied among genotypes (23-63%). The latter method reduced considerably the time needed for the cryogenic procedure by eliminating the pre-treatment with 0.8 M sucrose for 19 h prior to dehydration, as required by the conventional procedure.

  2. Nuclear concentration and mitotic dispersion of the essential cell cycle protein, p13suc1, examined in living cells.

    PubMed Central

    Hepler, P K; Sek, F J; John, P C

    1994-01-01

    Stamen hair cells of Tradescantia virginiana have been microinjected with p13suc1 labeled with carboxyfluorescein (CF) and studied throughout the division cycle in living cells by using the confocal laser scanning microscope. The protein, p13suc1, is essential for the rapid inactivation of the key mitotic catalyst, p34cdc2 kinase, at anaphase and for completion of nuclear division. During interphase or prophase, CF-p13suc1 concentrates quickly (< 2 min) in nuclei, reaching levels that are approximately 2-fold greater than those in the cytoplasm. At nuclear envelope breakdown, CF-p13suc1 permeates throughout the entire spindle and nonspindle cytoplasm. The protein is excluded from the tightly condensed chromosomes but otherwise no regions accumulate or exclude the protein. It remains evenly distributed throughout metaphase, anaphase, and well into cytokinesis; however, during telophase CF-p13suc1 reconcentrates in the daughter nuclei. Images PMID:8134368

  3. Taxonomic revision of true morels (Morchella) in Canada and the United States.

    PubMed

    Kuo, Michael; Dewsbury, Damon R; O'Donnell, Kerry; Carter, M Carol; Rehner, Stephen A; Moore, John David; Moncalvo, Jean-Marc; Canfield, Stephen A; Stephenson, Steven L; Methven, Andrew S; Volk, Thomas J

    2012-01-01

    Recent molecular phylogenetic studies have revealed the existence of at least 50 species of Morchella worldwide and demonstrated a high degree of continental endemism within the genus. Here we describe 19 phylogenetic species of Morchella from North America, 14 of which are new (M. diminutiva, M. virginiana, M. esculentoides, M. prava, M. cryptica, M. frustrata, M. populiphila, M. sextelata, M. septimelata, M. capitata, M. importuna, M. snyderi, M. brunnea and M. septentrionalis). Existing species names (M. rufobrunnea, M. tomentosa, M. punctipes and M. angusticeps) are applied to four phylogenetic species, and formal description of one species (M. sp. "Mel-8") is deferred pending study of additional material. Methods for assessing morphological features in Morchella are delineated, and a key to the known phylogenetic species of Morchella in North America is provided. Type studies of M. crassistipa, M. hotsonii, M. angusticeps and M. punctipes are provided. Morchella crassistipa is designated nomen dubium.

  4. A new species of Moraria (Crustacea: Copepoda: Harpacticoida) from the Laurentian Great Lakes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reid, Janet W.; Lesko, Lynn T.

    2003-01-01

    Moraria hudsoni n. sp. is described from Trails End Bay in Lake Michigan and Prentiss Bay in Lake Huron, Michigan, USA. The new species differs from its congeners in chaetotaxy, body ornamentation, and other characters. We review published records of members of Moraria from North and Central America; no species is known from South America. Species of this genus have been found in the mountains of southern Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras, but none of these has been validly described. In North America, eight species have been recorded from Alaska, Canada, and the conterminous USA as far south as North Carolina. We report new geographical records of M. affinis from Virginia, and of both M. cristata and M. virginiana from Maryland and Virginia. We provide a tabular key to aid in identification of the named species of Moraria in North America.

  5. Life cycle assessment of the production of ethanol from eastern redcedar.

    PubMed

    Olukoya, Ife A; Ramachandriya, Karthikeyan D; Wilkins, Mark R; Aichele, Clint P

    2014-12-01

    This life cycle assessment (LCA) evaluates the environmental impacts of an ethanol production system using eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana L.) as the feedstock. Aspen Plus® was used to model the acid bisulfite pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis, fermentation, and distillation steps. A cradle-to-gate LCA was conducted to evaluate the environmental impacts from cutting the trees to the production of anhydrous ethanol. The environmental impacts of the redcedar ethanol process were compared to those from the production of corn ethanol. Inventory data for the system were collected and used to calculate a life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) using the IMPACT 2002+ and BEES+ framework in SimaPro 8.0.0. Four impact categories were evaluated: land occupation, water use, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and non-renewable energy use. Results indicate that acid bisulfite pretreatment contributed to 65% of GHG emissions, 81% of non-renewable energy use, and 77% of water use of the overall process.

  6. Congenital abnormalities of the urogenital tract: the clue is in the cord?

    PubMed

    Daoub, Ahmed; Drake, Thomas M

    2014-12-02

    Congenital abnormalities of the female urogenital tract are not uncommon, with an estimated incidence of 2-4% across the female population. Within this population, up to 40% will have associated renal tract abnormalities. A previously well 12-year-old girl presented to the emergency department with abdominal pain, vomiting and a palpable pelvic mass. Ultrasound and MR scans were performed. The imaging revealed a didelphys uterus, an obstructed hemivagina and ipsilateral renal agenesis, characteristic of Herlyn-Werner-Wunderlich syndrome. The patient was noted at birth to have a single umbilical artery, which is associated with an increased risk of congenital abnormalities and useful information for the early identification of abnormalities that have implications for renal function and future fertility.

  7. Successful term delivery of spontaneous twin pregnancy in a woman with bicorporeal septate uterus: A case report.

    PubMed

    Li, Yanfang; Yang, Lilin; Tian, Yuanyuan; Li, Daocheng; Luo, Songping

    2016-08-01

    Herein, we report the first case of successful term delivery of twins in a patient with bicorporeal septate uterus via natural conception. The patient had been diagnosed with complete septate, didelphys and bicornuate uterus during different phases of her three pregnancies. Based on follow-up data at six weeks and then six months post-partum of the last pregnancy, we found that the abnormalities presented in our case did not fit the criteria of any categories following American Fertility Society and European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology-European Society for Gynaecological Endoscopy classification systems. After comprehensive review of the uterine morphologic characteristics, embryology and pregnancy outcome, we considered 'bicorporeal septate uterus' the most appropriate diagnosis. This case emphasized the atypical changes of uterine shape as twin pregnancy advances and its influence on productive performance and pregnancy outcome in uterine malformation. It also raised concern regarding the usability and comprehensiveness of the two most popular classification systems.

  8. Emerging Chagas disease: trophic network and cycle of transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi from palm trees in the Amazon.

    PubMed Central

    Teixeira, A. R.; Monteiro, P. S.; Rebelo, J. M.; Argañaraz, E. R.; Vieira, D.; Lauria-Pires, L.; Nascimento, R.; Vexenat, C. A.; Silva, A. R.; Ault, S. K.; Costa, J. M.

    2001-01-01

    A trophic network involving molds, invertebrates, and vertebrates, ancestrally adapted to the palm tree (Attalaea phalerata) microhabitat, maintains enzootic Trypanosoma cruzi infections in the Amazonian county Paço do Lumiar, state of Maranhão, Brazil. We assessed seropositivity for T. cruzi infections in the human population of the county, searched in palm trees for the triatomines that harbor these infections, and gathered demographic, environmental, and socioeconomic data. Rhodnius pictipes and R. neglectus in palm-tree frond clefts or in houses were infected with T. cruzi (57% and 41%, respectively). Human blood was found in 6.8% of R. pictipes in houses, and 9 of 10 wild Didelphis marsupialis had virulent T. cruzi infections. Increasing human population density, rain forest deforestation, and human predation of local fauna are risk factors for human T. cruzi infections. PMID:11266300

  9. Increasing Strawberry Fruit Sensorial and Nutritional Quality Using Wild and Cultivated Germplasm

    PubMed Central

    Diamanti, Jacopo; Capocasa, Franco; Balducci, Francesca; Battino, Maurizio; Hancock, Jim; Mezzetti, Bruno

    2012-01-01

    Background Increasing antioxidant levels in fruit through breeding is an important option to support higher antioxidant intake particularly when fruit consumption is low. Indeed, if nutritional components are also combined with a high standard of sensorial fruit quality, the perspective for consumer health can be further improved by encouraging more fruit consumption. Wild species are valued by strawberry breeders as sources of novel traits, especially for pest resistance and abiotic stress tolerance. Furthermore, previous investigations have shown improvements in fruit nutritional quality in breeding material that originated from Fragaria virginiana ssp. glauca (FVG) inter-species crosses. Recently, commercial varieties of strawberries have also shown interesting variability in fruit nutritional quality. Results Strawberry fruit sensorial and nutritional qualities generated by Fragaria inter-species and intra-species crosses were evaluated on 78 offspring derived from 8 families: two that originated from F. × ananassa intra-species crossing; three from back-crossing of F1– FVG × F. × ananassa; and three from back-crossing of BC1– FVG × F. × ananassa. The genetic variability from the three types of cross combinations was analyzed by calculation of the correlations among the fruit sensorial and nutritional parameters. The results obtained show that two subsequent back-crossing generations from an inter-species crossing combination with F. virginiana ssp. glauca provides useful improvement of the fruit nutritional and sensorial qualities that is combined with agronomic standards that are close to those requested at the commercial level. Improvements of these traits can also be achieved by programming F. × ananassa intra-species crosses and producing progeny with productivity traits more similar to those of the commercial cultivars. Conclusions The two types of combination programs (inter-species back-crosses, and intra-species crosses) can be used to

  10. Leaf dynamics and profitability in wild strawberries.

    PubMed

    Jurik, Thomas W; Chabot, Brian F

    1986-05-01

    Leaf dynamics and carbon gain were evaluated for two species of wild strawberry, Fragaria virginiana and F. vesca. Five populations on sites representing a gradient of successional regrowth near Ithaca, N.Y., U.S.A., were studied for two or three years each. A computer-based model of plant growth and CO2 exchange combined field studies of leaf biomass dynamics with previously-determined gas exchange rates to estimate carbon balances of leaves and whole plants in different environments.Leaves were produced throughout the growing season, although there was usually a decline in rate of leaf-production in mid-summer. Leaves produced in late spring had the largest area and longest lifespan (except for overwintering leaves produced in the fall). Specific Leaf Weight (SLW) varied little with time of leaf production, but differed greatly among populations; SLW increased with amount of light received in each habitat. The population in the most open habitat had the least seasonal variation in all leaf characters. F. vesca produced lighter, longer-lived leaves than F. virginiana.Simulations showed that age had the largest effect on leaf carbon gain in high-light environments; water stress and temperature had lesser effects. Leaf carbon gain in lowlight environments was relatively unaffected by age and environmental factors other than light. Leaves in high-light environments had the greatest lifetime profit and the greatest ratio of profit to cost. Increasing lifespan by 1/3 increased profit by 80% in low-light leaves and 50% in high-light leaves. Increasing the number of days during which the leaf had the potential to exhibit high photosynthetic rate in response to high light led to little change in profit of low-light leaves while increasing profit of high-light leaves by 49%.

  11. Host Plants of Xylosandrus mutilatus in Mississippi

    SciTech Connect

    Stone, W.D.; Nebeker, T.E.; Gerard, P.D.

    2007-03-15

    Host range of Xylosandrus mutilatus (Blandford) in North America is reported here for the first time. Descriptive data such as number of attacks per host, size of stems at point of attacks, and height of attacks above ground are presented. Hosts observed in Mississippi were Acer rubrum L., Acer saccharum Marsh., Acer palmatum Thunb., Ostrya virginiana (Mill.) K. Koch., Cornus florida L., Fagus grandifolia Ehrh., Liquidamber styraciflua L., Carya spp., Liriodendron tulipifera L., Melia azedarach L., Pinus taeda L., Prunus serotina Ehrh., Prunus americana Marsh., Ulmus alata Michaux, and Vitus rotundifolia Michaux. Liquidamber styraciflua had significantly more successful attacks, significantly higher probability of attacks, and significantly higher number of adult beetles per host tree than did Carya spp., A. rubrum, and L. tulipifera. This information is relevant in determining the impact this exotic beetle may have in nurseries, urban areas, and other forestry systems where this beetle becomes established. (author) [Spanish] El rango de hospederos de Xylosandrus mutilatus (Blandford) en America del Norte esta reportado aqui por la primera vez. Se presentan datos descriptivos como el numero de ataques por hospederos, el tamano de los tallos en el punto de ataque y la altura por encima del nivel de tierra de los ataques. Los hospederos observados en el estado de Mississippi fueron Acer rubrum L., Acer saccharum Marsh., Acer palmatum Thunb., Ostrya virginiana (Mill.) K. Koch., Cornus florida L., Fagus grandifolia Ehrh., Liquidamber styraciflua L., Carya spp., Liriodendron tulipifera L., Melia azedarach L., Pinus taeda L., Prunus serotina Ehrh., Prunus americana Marsh., Ulmus alata Michaux y Vitus rotundifolia Michaux. Liquidamber styraciflua tuvo ataques significativamente mas exitosos, una probabilidad significativamente mas alta de ataques y un numero significativamente mayor de adultos de escarabajos por arbol hospedero que Carya spp., A. rubrum y L. tulipifera

  12. Groundlayer vegetation gradients across oak woodland canopy gaps

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pavlovic, N.B.; Grundel, R.; Sluis, W.

    2006-01-01

    Frequency of groundlayer plants was measured across oak woodland canopy gaps at three sites in northwest Indiana to examine how vegetation varied with gap size, direction along the gap edge, and microhabitat. Microhabitats were defined as under the canopy adjacent to the gap, along the gap edge, and within the gap. Gap-sites consisted of gaps plus adjacent tree canopy. Gaps were classified as small (16 ± 1 m2), medium (97 ± 8), and large (310 ± 32). Neither richness nor diversity differed among microhabitats, gap sizes, or edges. Similarity between microhabitats wthin a gap-site increased as the distance between plots decreased and as the difference in PAR decreased, the latter explaining twice the variation in percent dissimilarity compared to Mg concentration, A horizon depth, and litter cover. Diervilla lonicera, Frageria virginiana, Helianthus divaricatus, Polygonatum pubescens, Quercus velutina, Smilacena stellata, and Tradescantia ohiensis decreased, whileTephrosia virginiana and legumes increased in frequency, from canopy to gap, and C4 grasses peaked at the gap edge, independent of gap size. Additional species frequency varied across the microhabitat gradient within specific sites. Sorghastrum nutans was three times more frequent in gaps at large sites than elsewhere. The vegetation in medium-sized gap-sites was more variable than within small and large gap-sites, suggesting greater environmental heterogeneity at that scale. Within gap-sites, vegetation was more heterogeneous within