Science.gov

Sample records for pikas ochotona princeps

  1. Plastic pikas: Behavioural flexibility in low-elevation pikas (Ochotona princeps)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Varner, Johanna; Horns, Joshua J.; Lambert, Mallory S.; Westberg, Elizabeth; Ruff, James; Wolfenberger, Katelyn; Beever, Erik; Dearing, M. Denise

    2016-01-01

    Behaviour is an important mechanism for accommodating rapid environmental changes. Understanding a species’ capacity for behavioural plasticity is therefore a key, but understudied, aspect of developing tractable conservation and management plans under climate-change scenarios. Here, we quantified behavioural differences between American pikas (Ochotona princeps) living in an atypical, low-elevation habitat versus those living in a more-typical, alpine habitat. With respect to foraging strategy, low-elevation pikas spent more time consuming vegetation and less time caching food for winter, compared to high-elevation pikas. Low-elevation pikas were also far more likely to be detected in forested microhabitats off the talus than their high-elevation counterparts at midday. Finally, pikas living in the atypical habitat had smaller home range sizes compared to those in typical habitat or any previously published home ranges for this species. Our findings indicate that behavioural plasticity likely allows pikas to accommodate atypical conditions in this low-elevation habitat, and that they may rely on critical habitat factors such as suitable microclimate refugia to behaviourally thermoregulate. Together, these results suggest that behavioural adjustments are one important mechanism by which pikas can persist outside of their previously appreciated dietary and thermal niches.

  2. North American Pika ( Ochotona princeps) as a Late Quaternary Biogeographic Indicator Species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hafner, David J.

    1993-05-01

    Reevaluation of Quaternary sites of fossil pika ( Ochotona) lends no support for the inference that Nearctic pikas were not restricted to rocky habitat. The saxicolous nature of all widespread, isolated populations of extant Nearctic pikas and their closest Palearctic sister taxa support consideration of O. princeps, and perhaps all Nearctic Quaternary Ochotona , as indicators of cool, mesic, rocky situations. As indicators of rocky microhabitat, fossil remains of O. princeps do not require that the entire region was cool and mesic, but only that suitable rocky microhabitat existed in the vicinity. Use of fossil pika dung alone as indicative of pikas in the immediate community is suspect, as the small, round, and buoyant pellets may be transported downslope by hydraulic flushing of talus habitat. Current local elevational lower limits ( E) of appropriate habitat for paleoecological reconstruction at extralimital fossil sites are predicted by the equation: E(m) = 14087 - (56.6)°N - (82.9)°W.

  3. Use of non-alpine anthropogenic habitats by American pikas (Ochotona princeps) in western Oregon, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Manning, Tom; Hagar, Joan C.

    2011-01-01

    The American pika (Ochotona princeps Richardson) has long been characterized in field guides and popular literature as an obligate inhabitant of alpine talus and as having relatively low dispersal capability. However, recent work reveals pikas to have broader habitat associations than previously reported. Over a large portion of the western slope of the Cascade Range in Oregon, pikas inhabit relatively low-elevation sites far from alpine areas and frequently occur in rocky man-made habitats such as roadcuts or rock quarries. We present observations of pikas in these previously overlooked habitats and discuss implications for (1) the proposed listing of the American pika as an endangered or threatened species; (2) furthering our understanding of pika population dynamics, habitat associations, and dispersal capabilites; and (3) management of federal, state, and private forest lands.

  4. Stress hormone concentration in Rocky Mountain populations of the American pika (Ochotona princeps).

    PubMed

    Wilkening, Jennifer L; Ray, Chris; Sweazea, Karen L

    2013-01-01

    The American pika (Ochotona princeps) is considered a sentinel species for detecting ecological effects of climate change. Pikas are declining within a large portion of their range, but previous studies have focused only on local pika extinction as a metric of change. We designed a procedure which can provide an earlier warning signal, based on non-invasive sampling and analysis of physiological stress in living pikas. Pikas were sampled at several locations in the Rocky Mountains for the measurement of glucocorticoid metabolites (GCMs) in faeces. Using a time series of faecal pellets from 12 individuals, we detected a significant increase in faecal GCM level in response to capture, thus biologically validating the use of a corticosterone enzyme immunoassay. We also established baseline, peak, and post-peak GCM concentrations for pikas in the Rocky Mountains, which varied according to gender and individual. This is the first study to measure stress hormone metabolites in any species of pika. The methods developed and validated in this study can be used to add non-invasive measurements of physiological stress to pika monitoring programmes and other research designed to assess pika vulnerability to predicted changes in climate. Pika monitoring programmes currently in place use a protocol that relates current site use by pikas with data on local habitat characteristics, such as elevation, to infer potential effects of climate change. Data generated by these monitoring studies can be used to identify the trends in site use by pikas in relationship to habitat covariates. However, this approach does not take into account the role of behavioural thermoregulation and the pika's use of microhabitats to ameliorate variations in climate. Incorporating a stress metric, such as GCM concentration, will provide relatively direct evidence for or against the hypothesis that pikas can be stressed by climate regardless of behavioural adaptations. PMID:27293611

  5. Stress hormone concentration in Rocky Mountain populations of the American pika (Ochotona princeps).

    PubMed

    Wilkening, Jennifer L; Ray, Chris; Sweazea, Karen L

    2013-01-01

    The American pika (Ochotona princeps) is considered a sentinel species for detecting ecological effects of climate change. Pikas are declining within a large portion of their range, but previous studies have focused only on local pika extinction as a metric of change. We designed a procedure which can provide an earlier warning signal, based on non-invasive sampling and analysis of physiological stress in living pikas. Pikas were sampled at several locations in the Rocky Mountains for the measurement of glucocorticoid metabolites (GCMs) in faeces. Using a time series of faecal pellets from 12 individuals, we detected a significant increase in faecal GCM level in response to capture, thus biologically validating the use of a corticosterone enzyme immunoassay. We also established baseline, peak, and post-peak GCM concentrations for pikas in the Rocky Mountains, which varied according to gender and individual. This is the first study to measure stress hormone metabolites in any species of pika. The methods developed and validated in this study can be used to add non-invasive measurements of physiological stress to pika monitoring programmes and other research designed to assess pika vulnerability to predicted changes in climate. Pika monitoring programmes currently in place use a protocol that relates current site use by pikas with data on local habitat characteristics, such as elevation, to infer potential effects of climate change. Data generated by these monitoring studies can be used to identify the trends in site use by pikas in relationship to habitat covariates. However, this approach does not take into account the role of behavioural thermoregulation and the pika's use of microhabitats to ameliorate variations in climate. Incorporating a stress metric, such as GCM concentration, will provide relatively direct evidence for or against the hypothesis that pikas can be stressed by climate regardless of behavioural adaptations.

  6. Stress hormone concentration in Rocky Mountain populations of the American pika (Ochotona princeps)

    PubMed Central

    Wilkening, Jennifer L.; Ray, Chris; Sweazea, Karen L.

    2013-01-01

    The American pika (Ochotona princeps) is considered a sentinel species for detecting ecological effects of climate change. Pikas are declining within a large portion of their range, but previous studies have focused only on local pika extinction as a metric of change. We designed a procedure which can provide an earlier warning signal, based on non-invasive sampling and analysis of physiological stress in living pikas. Pikas were sampled at several locations in the Rocky Mountains for the measurement of glucocorticoid metabolites (GCMs) in faeces. Using a time series of faecal pellets from 12 individuals, we detected a significant increase in faecal GCM level in response to capture, thus biologically validating the use of a corticosterone enzyme immunoassay. We also established baseline, peak, and post-peak GCM concentrations for pikas in the Rocky Mountains, which varied according to gender and individual. This is the first study to measure stress hormone metabolites in any species of pika. The methods developed and validated in this study can be used to add non-invasive measurements of physiological stress to pika monitoring programmes and other research designed to assess pika vulnerability to predicted changes in climate. Pika monitoring programmes currently in place use a protocol that relates current site use by pikas with data on local habitat characteristics, such as elevation, to infer potential effects of climate change. Data generated by these monitoring studies can be used to identify the trends in site use by pikas in relationship to habitat covariates. However, this approach does not take into account the role of behavioural thermoregulation and the pika's use of microhabitats to ameliorate variations in climate. Incorporating a stress metric, such as GCM concentration, will provide relatively direct evidence for or against the hypothesis that pikas can be stressed by climate regardless of behavioural adaptations. PMID:27293611

  7. Facing a changing world: Thermal physiology of American pikas (Ochotona princeps)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Otto, Hans W; Wilson, James A; Beever, Erik

    2015-01-01

    American pikas (Ochotona princeps) are of concern with respect to warming montane temperatures; however, little information exists regarding their physiological ability to adapt to warming temperatures. Previous studies have shown that pikas have high metabolism and low thermal conductance, which allow survival during cold winters. It has been hypothesized that these characteristics may be detrimental, given the recent warming trends observed in montane ecosystems. We examined resting metabolic rate, surface activity, and den and ambient temperatures (Ta) of pikas in late summer (August 2011 and 2012) at 2 locations in the Rocky Mountains. Resting metabolic rate was calculated to be 2.02 mL O2 · g-1h-1, with a lower critical temperature (LCT) of 28.1 ± 0.2 °C. No upper critical temperature (UCT) could be determined from our data; therefore, the estimated thermoneutral zone (TNZ) was 28.1 °C to at least 35.0 °C (upper experimental temperature). Pikas in this study showed the same bimodal above-talus activity patterns reported in previous studies. Den temperatures in Colorado were correlated with, but consistently lower than, current ambient temperatures. Wyoming den temperatures showed a weak correlation with Ta 20 min prior to the current den temperature. This study is one of few to present data on the physiological response pikas may have to current warming conditions, and the first to perform metabolic measurements in situ. Our data support conclusions of previous studies, specifically MacArthur and Wang (1973, 1974) and Smith (1974), which indicated American pikas may not have the physiological ability to cope with high Ta. Our results also highlight the importance of shaded regions below the talus rocks for behavioral thermoregulation by pikas.

  8. Alpine biodiversity and assisted migration: The case of the American pika (Ochotona princeps)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wilkening, Jennifer L.; Ray, Chris; Ramsay, Nathan G.; Klingler, Kelly

    2015-01-01

    Alpine mammals are predicted to be among the species most threatened by climate change, due to the projected loss and further fragmentation of alpine habitats. As temperature or precipitation regimes change, alpine mammals may also be faced with insurmountable barriers to dispersal. The slow rate or inability to adjust to rapidly shifting environmental conditions may cause isolated alpine species to become locally extirpated, resulting in reduced biodiversity. One proposed method for mitigating the impacts of alpine species loss is assisted migration. This method, which involves translocating a species to an area with more favourable climate and habitat characteristics, has become the subject of debate and controversy in the conservation community. The uncertainty associated with climate change projections, coupled with the thermal sensitivity of many alpine mammals, makes it difficult to a priori assess the efficacy of this technique as a conservation management tool. Here we present the American pika (Ochotona princeps) as a case study. American pikas inhabit rocky areas throughout the western US, and populations in some mountainous areas have become locally extirpated in recent years. We review known climatic and habitat requirements for this species, and also propose protocols designed to reliably identify favourable relocation areas. We present data related to the physiological constraints of this species and outline specific requirements which must be addressed for translocation of viable populations, including wildlife disease and genetic considerations. Finally, we discuss potential impacts on other alpine species and alpine communities, and overall implications for conserving alpine biodiversity in a changing climate.

  9. American pikas (Ochotona princeps) in northwestern Nevada: A newly discovered population at a low-elevation site

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beever, E.A.; Wilkening, J.L.; McIvor, D.E.; Weber, S.S.; Brussard, P.F.

    2008-01-01

    The central tenet of island biogeography theory - that species assemblages on islands are functions of island area, isolation from mainlands, and vicariance - has been altered by the demonstrable effects that rapid climate change is imposing on insular faunas, at least in isolated mountaintops. Although populations of American pikas (Ochotona princeps) continue to suffer extirpations, and although the lower bounds of the pika's elevational distribution are shifting upslope across the Great Basin, we report here on the new discovery of a low-elevation population of pikas in a mountain range from which they had not been reported previously. This discovery, particularly in the context of relatively rapid ecological change, highlights the importance of seeking out original sources of information and performing spatially extensive fieldwork. Results presented here further illustrate that although thermal influences appear to be the single strongest determinant of pika distribution currently, such influences interact with a number of other factors to determine persistence.

  10. Patterns of apparent extirpation among isolated populations of pikas (Ochotona princeps) in the Great Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beever, Erik A.; Brussard, P.F.; Berger, Joel

    2003-01-01

    We conducted exploratory analyses to examine the relative roles played by natural and anthropogenic influences on persistence of a montane mammal. We revisited historical locations of pikas (Ochotona princeps) within the hydrographic Great Basin during summers of 1994-1999. Seven of 25 populations (28%) reported earlier in the 20th century appeared to have experienced recent extirpations. We assessed causative agents of faunal change using several alternative, but not mutually exclusive, hypotheses. Higher probability of persistence was correlated with greater area of talus habitat at local and mountain-range scales, higher elevation, more easterly longitude, more southern latitude, lack of livestock grazing, greater distance to primary roads, and wilderness management. However, only area of habitat in the mountain range, maximum elevation of talus habitat, and distance to primary roads appeared in the most parsimonious model of persistence when we used Akaike's information criterion model-selection technique. These results suggest that relaxation of montane faunas may occur more rapidly than previously expected; that biogeographic models of species occurrence can be refined by including more proximate factors (e.g., grazing status, proximity to roads); and that habitat-based approaches to modelling vertebrate trends should be accompanied by field data because population loss can occur with no apparent change in habitat.

  11. On the generality of a climate-mediated shift in the distribution of the American pika (Ochotona princeps).

    PubMed

    Erb, Liesl P; Ray, Chris; Guralnick, Robert

    2011-09-01

    Alpine species are among those most threatened by climatic shifts due to their physiological and geographic constraints. The American pika (Ochotona princeps), a small mammal found in mountainous, rocky habitats throughout much of western North America, has experienced recent population extirpations in the Great Basin linked to climatic drivers. It remains unclear whether these patterns of climate-related loss extend to other portions of the species' range. We investigated the distribution of the American pika and the climatic processes shaping this distribution within the Southern Rocky Mountain region. Results from a survey of 69 sites historically occupied by pikas indicate that only four populations have been extirpated within this region over the past few decades. Despite relatively few extirpations, low annual precipitation is implicated as a limiting factor for pika persistence in the Southern Rockies. Extirpations occurred only at sites that were consistently dry over the last century. While there was no climate change signal in our results, these data provide valuable insight into the potential future effects of climate change on O. princeps throughout its range.

  12. Relating sub-surface ice features to physiological stress in a climate sensitive mammal, the American pika (Ochotona princeps).

    PubMed

    Wilkening, Jennifer L; Ray, Chris; Varner, Johanna

    2015-01-01

    The American pika (Ochotona princeps) is considered a sentinel species for detecting ecological effects of climate change. Pikas are declining within a large portion of their range, and ongoing research suggests loss of sub-surface ice as a mechanism. However, no studies have demonstrated physiological responses of pikas to sub-surface ice features. Here we present the first analysis of physiological stress in pikas living in and adjacent to habitats underlain by ice. Fresh fecal samples were collected non-invasively from two adjacent sites in the Rocky Mountains (one with sub-surface ice and one without) and analyzed for glucocorticoid metabolites (GCM). We also measured sub-surface microclimates in each habitat. Results indicate lower GCM concentration in sites with sub-surface ice, suggesting that pikas are less stressed in favorable microclimates resulting from sub-surface ice features. GCM response was well predicted by habitat characteristics associated with sub-surface ice features, such as lower mean summer temperatures. These results suggest that pikas inhabiting areas without sub-surface ice features are experiencing higher levels of physiological stress and may be more susceptible to changing climates. Although post-deposition environmental effects can confound analyses based on fecal GCM, we found no evidence for such effects in this study. Sub-surface ice features are key to water cycling and storage and will likely represent an increasingly important component of water resources in a warming climate. Fecal samples collected from additional watersheds as part of current pika monitoring programs could be used to further characterize relationships between pika stress and sub-surface ice features.

  13. Relating Sub-Surface Ice Features to Physiological Stress in a Climate Sensitive Mammal, the American Pika (Ochotona princeps)

    PubMed Central

    Wilkening, Jennifer L.; Ray, Chris; Varner, Johanna

    2015-01-01

    The American pika (Ochotona princeps) is considered a sentinel species for detecting ecological effects of climate change. Pikas are declining within a large portion of their range, and ongoing research suggests loss of sub-surface ice as a mechanism. However, no studies have demonstrated physiological responses of pikas to sub-surface ice features. Here we present the first analysis of physiological stress in pikas living in and adjacent to habitats underlain by ice. Fresh fecal samples were collected non-invasively from two adjacent sites in the Rocky Mountains (one with sub-surface ice and one without) and analyzed for glucocorticoid metabolites (GCM). We also measured sub-surface microclimates in each habitat. Results indicate lower GCM concentration in sites with sub-surface ice, suggesting that pikas are less stressed in favorable microclimates resulting from sub-surface ice features. GCM response was well predicted by habitat characteristics associated with sub-surface ice features, such as lower mean summer temperatures. These results suggest that pikas inhabiting areas without sub-surface ice features are experiencing higher levels of physiological stress and may be more susceptible to changing climates. Although post-deposition environmental effects can confound analyses based on fecal GCM, we found no evidence for such effects in this study. Sub-surface ice features are key to water cycling and storage and will likely represent an increasingly important component of water resources in a warming climate. Fecal samples collected from additional watersheds as part of current pika monitoring programs could be used to further characterize relationships between pika stress and sub-surface ice features. PMID:25803587

  14. Why museums matter: a tale of pinworms (Oxyuroidea: Heteroxynematidae) among pikas (Ochotona princeps and O. collaris) in the American west.

    PubMed

    Hoberg, E P; Pilitt, P A; Galbreath, K E

    2009-04-01

    Permanent and well-supported museum or natural history collections provide a solid foundation for the process of systematics research through creation of an empirical record which validates our understanding of the biosphere. We explore the role of museums in ongoing studies of the complex helminth fauna characteristic of pikas (Ochotona spp.) in the American west. These studies address the taxonomy for pinworms of the Labiostomatinae and the problems associated with the absence of adequate type series and vouchers and with misidentifications in original descriptions. We demonstrate that the types for Labiostomum (Labiostomum) coloradensis are identical to some specimens in the syntype series representing L. (Eugenuris) utahensis, although the published descriptions are in disagreement. Both are identical to L. (Eugenuris) talkeetnaeuris and, as a consequence, are reduced as junior synonyms. Only 2 species of large pinworms, namely L. (Labiostomum) rauschi and L. (Eugenuris) talkeetnaeuris, are widely distributed in Ochotona collaris and O. princeps. Although this serves to clarify the taxonomy for species in these genera, prior records remain confused, as representative voucher specimens from all major surveys in North America were never submitted to museum collections. We strongly suggest that type and voucher series should not be held in private or personal collections, where such are eventually lost, discarded, or destroyed through neglect due to inattention and the absence of curation. The potential to accumulate meaningful baselines for assessment of environmental change is jeopardized if materials from survey and inventory are not routinely submitted to museum collections. The capacity of museum repositories, as a focus for systematics, ecology, and evolutionary studies and for the development of resources for biodiversity informatics, continues to be undervalued and poorly utilized by a cadre of scientists who are dependant on accurate and definitive

  15. Pika (Ochotona princeps) losses from two isolated regions reflect temperature and water balance, but reflect habitat area in a mainland region

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beever, Erik A.; Perrine, John D.; Rickman, Tom; Flores, Mary; Clark, John P.; Waters, Cassie; Weber, Shana S.; Yardley, Braden; Thoma, David P.; Chesley-Preston, Tara; Goehring, Kenneth E.; Magnuson, Michael; Nordensten, Nancy; Nelson, Melissa; Collins, Gail H.

    2016-01-01

    Although biotic responses to contemporary climate change are spatially pervasive and often reflect synergies between climate and other ecological disturbances, the relative importance of climatic factors versus habitat extent for species persistence remains poorly understood. To address this shortcoming, we performed surveys for American pikas (Ochotona princeps) at > 910 locations in 3 geographic regions of western North America during 2014 and 2015, complementing earlier modern (1994–2013) and historical (1898–1990) surveys. We sought to compare extirpation rates and the relative importance of climatic factors versus habitat area for pikas in a mainland-versus-islands framework. In each region, we found widespread evidence of distributional loss—local extirpations, upslope retractions, and encounter of only old sign. Locally comprehensive surveys suggest extirpation of O. princeps from 5 of 9 new sites from the hydrographic Great Basin and from 11 of 29 sites in northeastern California. Although American pikas were recorded as recently as 2011 in Zion National Park and in 2012 from Cedar Breaks National Monument in Utah, O. princeps now appears extirpated from all reported localities in both park units. Multiple logistic regressions for each region suggested that both temperature-related and water-balance-related variables estimated from DAYMET strongly explained pika persistence at sites in the Great Basin and in Utah but not in the Sierra-Cascade “mainland” portion of northeastern California. Conversely, talus-habitat area did not predict American pika persistence in the Great Basin or Utah but strongly predicted persistence in the Sierra-Cascade mainland. These results not only add new areas to our understanding of long-term trend of the American pika’s distribution, but also can inform decisions regarding allocation of conservation effort and management actions. Burgeoning research on species such as O. princeps has collectively demonstrated the

  16. Using High Resolution Remotely Sensed Data to Predict Territory Occupancy and Mircrorefugia for a Habitat Specialist, the American Pika (Ochotona princeps)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beers, A.; Ray, C.

    2015-12-01

    Climate change is likely to affect mountainous areas unevenly due to the complex interactions between topography, vegetation, and the accumulation of snow and ice. This heterogeneity will complicate relationships between species presence and large-scale drivers such as precipitation and make predicting habitat extent and connectivity much more difficult. We studied the potential for fine-scale variation in climate and habitat use throughout the year in the American pika (Ochotona princeps), a talus specialist of mountainous western North America known for strong microhabitat affiliation. Not all areas of talus are likely to be equally hospitable, which may reduce connectivity more than predicted by large-scale occupancy drivers. We used high resolution remotely sensed data to create metrics of the terrain and land cover in the Niwot Ridge (NWT) LTER site in Colorado. We hypothesized that pikas preferentially use heterogeneous terrain, as it might foster greater snow accumulation, and used radio telemetry to test this with radio-collared pikas. Pikas use heterogeneous terrain during snow covered periods and less heterogeneous area during the summer. This suggests that not all areas of talus habitat are equally suitable as shelter from extreme conditions but that pikas need more than just shelter from winter cold. With those results we created a predictive map using the same habitat metrics to model the extent of suitable habitat across the NWT area. These strong effects of terrain on pika habitat use and territory occupancy show the great utility that high resolution remotely sensed data can have in ecological applications. With increasing effects of climate change in mountainous regions, this modeling approach is crucial for quantifying habitat connectivity at both small and large scales and to identify potential refugia for threatened or isolated species.

  17. Climate Tolerances and Habitat Requirements Jointly Shape the Elevational Distribution of the American Pika (Ochotona princeps), with Implications for Climate Change Effects.

    PubMed

    Yandow, Leah H; Chalfoun, Anna D; Doak, Daniel F

    2015-01-01

    Some of the most compelling examples of ecological responses to climate change are elevational range shifts of individual species, which have been observed throughout the world. A growing body of evidence, however, suggests substantial mediation of simple range shifts due to climate change by other limiting factors. Understanding limiting factors for a species within different contexts, therefore, is critical for predicting responses to climate change. The American pika (Ochotona princeps) is an ideal species for investigating distributions in relation to climate because of their unusual and well-understood natural history as well as observed shifts to higher elevation in parts of their range. We tested three hypotheses for the climatic or habitat characteristics that may limit pika presence and abundance: summer heat, winter snowpack, and forage availability. We performed these tests using an index of pika abundance gathered in a region where environmental influences on pika distribution have not been well-characterized. We estimated relative pika abundance via scat surveys and quantified climatic and habitat characteristics across two North-Central Rocky Mountain Ranges, the Wind River and Bighorn ranges in Wyoming, USA. Pika scat density was highest at mid-elevations and increased linearly with forage availability in both ranges. Scat density also increased with temperatures conducive to forage plant growth, and showed a unimodal relationship with the number of days below -5°C, which is modulated by insulating snowpack. Our results provide support for both the forage availability and winter snowpack hypotheses. Especially in montane systems, considering the context-dependent nature of climate effects across regions and elevations as well as interactions between climatic and other critical habitat characteristics, will be essential for predicting future species distributions.

  18. Climate Tolerances and Habitat Requirements Jointly Shape the Elevational Distribution of the American Pika (Ochotona princeps), with Implications for Climate Change Effects.

    PubMed

    Yandow, Leah H; Chalfoun, Anna D; Doak, Daniel F

    2015-01-01

    Some of the most compelling examples of ecological responses to climate change are elevational range shifts of individual species, which have been observed throughout the world. A growing body of evidence, however, suggests substantial mediation of simple range shifts due to climate change by other limiting factors. Understanding limiting factors for a species within different contexts, therefore, is critical for predicting responses to climate change. The American pika (Ochotona princeps) is an ideal species for investigating distributions in relation to climate because of their unusual and well-understood natural history as well as observed shifts to higher elevation in parts of their range. We tested three hypotheses for the climatic or habitat characteristics that may limit pika presence and abundance: summer heat, winter snowpack, and forage availability. We performed these tests using an index of pika abundance gathered in a region where environmental influences on pika distribution have not been well-characterized. We estimated relative pika abundance via scat surveys and quantified climatic and habitat characteristics across two North-Central Rocky Mountain Ranges, the Wind River and Bighorn ranges in Wyoming, USA. Pika scat density was highest at mid-elevations and increased linearly with forage availability in both ranges. Scat density also increased with temperatures conducive to forage plant growth, and showed a unimodal relationship with the number of days below -5°C, which is modulated by insulating snowpack. Our results provide support for both the forage availability and winter snowpack hypotheses. Especially in montane systems, considering the context-dependent nature of climate effects across regions and elevations as well as interactions between climatic and other critical habitat characteristics, will be essential for predicting future species distributions. PMID:26244851

  19. Climate Tolerances and Habitat Requirements Jointly Shape the Elevational Distribution of the American Pika (Ochotona princeps), with Implications for Climate Change Effects

    PubMed Central

    Yandow, Leah H.; Chalfoun, Anna D.; Doak, Daniel F.

    2015-01-01

    Some of the most compelling examples of ecological responses to climate change are elevational range shifts of individual species, which have been observed throughout the world. A growing body of evidence, however, suggests substantial mediation of simple range shifts due to climate change by other limiting factors. Understanding limiting factors for a species within different contexts, therefore, is critical for predicting responses to climate change. The American pika (Ochotona princeps) is an ideal species for investigating distributions in relation to climate because of their unusual and well-understood natural history as well as observed shifts to higher elevation in parts of their range. We tested three hypotheses for the climatic or habitat characteristics that may limit pika presence and abundance: summer heat, winter snowpack, and forage availability. We performed these tests using an index of pika abundance gathered in a region where environmental influences on pika distribution have not been well-characterized. We estimated relative pika abundance via scat surveys and quantified climatic and habitat characteristics across two North-Central Rocky Mountain Ranges, the Wind River and Bighorn ranges in Wyoming, USA. Pika scat density was highest at mid-elevations and increased linearly with forage availability in both ranges. Scat density also increased with temperatures conducive to forage plant growth, and showed a unimodal relationship with the number of days below -5°C, which is modulated by insulating snowpack. Our results provide support for both the forage availability and winter snowpack hypotheses. Especially in montane systems, considering the context-dependent nature of climate effects across regions and elevations as well as interactions between climatic and other critical habitat characteristics, will be essential for predicting future species distributions. PMID:26244851

  20. Endogenization of mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV)-like elements in genomes of pikas (Ochotona sp.).

    PubMed

    Lemos de Matos, Ana; de Sousa-Pereira, Patrícia; Lissovsky, Andrey A; van der Loo, Wessel; Melo-Ferreira, José; Cui, Jie; Esteves, Pedro J

    2015-12-01

    Despite the finding in European rabbit and other leporid genomes of the first ever described endogenous lentivirus and of a European rabbit exclusive endogenous gammaretrovirus, until now no exogenous retroviruses have been isolated in Lagomorpha species. Nevertheless, looking for the presence of endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) in the species genomes could lead to the discovery of retroviral lineages yet to be found in Lagomorpha. Different mammalian genomes harbor endogenous viral sequences phylogenetically close to the betaretrovirus mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV), propelling us to look for such retroviral "fossil" in American pika (Ochotona princeps) and European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) genomes. By performing genomic mining using MMTV gag and LTR as query sequences, we found that such viral elements were absent from the European rabbit genome. Oppositely, significant matches were found in American pika, and more importantly, a nearly complete MMTV-like virus (Pika-BERV) was identified. Using Pika-BERV gag and LTR as templates, we found similar sequences endogenized in different pika (Ochotona sp.) species. The orthology of the LTR flanking region between some pika species supported shared ancestry of specific endogenous betaretroviruses, while in other pika species similar sequences, but not orthologous, should have resulted from independent insertions. Our study supports the possible existence of infecting exogenous betaretroviruses for a long term, after the divergence of Ochotonidae from Leporidae, but yet to be identified. PMID:26151606

  1. Discovery of new Ohbayashinema spp. (nematoda: heligomosomoidea) in Ochotona princeps and O. cansus (lagomorpha: ochotonidae) from western North America and central Asia, with considerations of historical biogeography

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Three new species of Ohbayashinema (Nematoda, Heligmosomoidea) are described from localities in western North America and central Asia. Two of these species, Ohbayashinema nearctica n. sp and O. aspeira n. sp. are parasitic in American pika, Ochotona princeps. Ohbayashinema nearctica is differentiat...

  2. Discovery of new Ohbayashinema spp. (Nematoda: Heligmosomoidea) in Ochotona princeps and Ochotona cansus (Lagomorpha: Ochotonidae) from western North America and Central Asia, with considerations of historical biogeography.

    PubMed

    Durette-Desset, M-C; Galbreath, K E; Hoberg, E P

    2010-06-01

    Three new species of Ohbayashinema (Nematoda, Heligmosomoidea) are described from localities in western North America and central Asia. Two of these species, Ohbayashinema nearctica n. sp. and Ohbayashinema aspeira n. sp., are parasitic in American pika, Ochotona princeps. Ohbayashinema nearctica is differentiated from the 5 known species of the genus parasitic in Ochotonidae from the Old World by very long spicules and an oblique axis of orientation for the ridges composing the synlophe. Ohbayashinema aspeira, described only from females, is similar to Oh. nearctica based on the number of cuticular ridges at the mid-body. It is mainly differentiated by an uncoiled anterior extremity and by near equal dimensions of the vestibule and the uterus. The third species, Ohbayashinema patriciae n. sp., is parasitic in Gansu pika, Ochotona cansus , from China. It is similar to Ohbayashinema erbaevae parasitic in Ochotona dauurica from Buriatia and Ohbayashinema ochotoni in Ochotona macrotis from Nepal, based on the length of the spicules and the ratio of spicule length to body length. It differs from the former species by possessing a smaller number of cuticular ridges and in the comparative length of the vestibule and infundibulum. Related to Oh. ochotoni by an identical number of cuticular ridges at the mid-body, it differs from this species in having smaller ridges in the dorsal rather than ventral field and in the dimensions of the dorsal ray where rays 9 are less than rays 10. Species of Ohbayashinema appear to be host-specific among the Ochotonidae but had not been previously reported in pikas from the Nearctic. Although much remains to be demonstrated about the diversity for helminths in pikas, it is apparent that factors associated with the assembly and structure of parasite faunas have been complex, involving episodic processes for geographic and host colonization along with coevolutionary mechanisms. Understanding the historical factors, particularly climate

  3. Molecular systematics of pikas (genus Ochotona) inferred from mitochondrial DNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Yu, N; Zheng, C; Zhang, Y P; Li, W H

    2000-07-01

    The phylogenetic relationships among worldwide species of genus Ochotona were investigated by sequencing mitochondrial cytochrome b and ND4 genes. Parsimony and neighbor-joining analyses of the sequence data yielded congruent results that strongly indicated three major clusters: the shrub-steppe group, the northern group, and the mountain group. The subgeneric classification of Ochotona species needs to be revised because each of the two subgenera in the present classification contains species from the mountain group. To solve this taxonomic problem so that each taxon is monophyletic, i.e. , represents a natural clade, Ochotona could be divided into three subgenera, one for the shrub-steppe species, a second for the northern species, and a third for the mountain species. The inferred tree suggests that the differentiation of this genus in the Palearctic Region was closely related to the gradual uplifting of the Tibet (Qinghai-Xizang) Plateau, as hypothesized previously, and that vicariance might have played a major role in the differentiation of this genus on the Plateau. On the other hand, the North American species, O. princeps, is most likely a dispersal event, which might have happened during the Pliocene through the opening of the Bering Strait. The phylogenetic relationships within the shrub-steppe group are worth noting in that instead of a monophyletic shrub-dwelling group, shrub dwellers and steppe dwellers are intermingled with each other. Moreover, the sequence divergence within the sister taxa of one steppe dweller and one shrub dweller is very low. These findings support the hypothesis that pikas have entered the steppe environment several times and that morphological similarities within steppe dwellers were due to convergent evolution. PMID:10877942

  4. Relationships of Periglacial Processes to Habitat Quality and Thermal Environment of Pikas (Lagomorpha, Ochotona) in Alpine and High-Latitude Environments (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Millar, C. I.; Smith, A. T.; Hik, D. S.

    2009-12-01

    Patterned-ground and related periglacial features such as rock-glaciers and fractured-rock talus are emblematic of cold and dry arctic environments. The freeze-thaw processes that cause these features were first systematically investigated in the pioneering work of Linc Washburn. Unusual internal and autonomous micro-climatic and hydrologic processes of these features, however, are only beginning to be understood. Such features occur also in temperate latitude mountains, often in surprising abundance in regions such as the Great Basin (NV, USA) and San Juan Mtns (CO, USA), where they occur as active as well as relict (neoglacial or Pleistocene) features. Rock-dwelling species of pikas (Ochotona) in temperate North American and Asian mountains and in North American high-latitudes have long been known for their preference for talus habitats. We are investigating geomorphic, climatic, and hydrologic attributes of these periglacial features for their role in habitat quality and thermal environment of pikas. PRISM-modeled and observed climatic conditions from a range of talus types for Ochotona princeps in California and the western Great Basin (USA) indicate that, 1) thermal conditions of intra-talus-matrix in summer are significantly colder than talus-surface temperatures and colder than adjacent slopes and forefield wetlands where pika forage; 2) near-talus-surface locations (where haypiles are situated) are warmer in winter than intra-talus-matrix temperatures; 3) high-quality wetland vegetation in talus forefields is promoted by year-round persistence of outlet springs, seeps, and streams characteristic of active taluses. The importance of snowpack to winter thermal conditions is highlighted from these observations, suggesting a greater sensitivity of habitat in dry temperate regions such as eastern California and Nevada USA to warming winter minimum temperatures than in regions or elevations where snowpacks are more persistent. In regions where warming air

  5. Opioid receptor types in the brain of the Afghan pika (Ochotona rufescens), a species which is naturally tolerant to morphine.

    PubMed

    Farges, R C; Puget, A; Moisand, C; Meunier, J C

    1988-01-01

    The rabbit is normally sensitive to morphine while another lagomorph, the Afghan pika Ochotona rufescens is naturally tolerant to the analgesic effects elicited by the opium alkaloid. In spite of the different responsiveness of the two species to morphine we find that the pika brain and the rabbit brain both contain a mixture of mu-, delta- and kappa-opioid sites in nearly the same proportions: 46-47% mu, 23% delta and 28-30% kappa. Moreover, apparent binding of morphine in pika and rabbit brain membranes is inhibited in the presence of Na+ ions and/or of 5-guanylylimidodiphosphate indicating that morphine should behave as an opiate agonist (analgesic) not only in rabbits, which it does but also in pikas, which it does not. Taken together these results suggest that the natural tolerance of the Afghan pika to morphine may not reside in modified opioid receptor types and that its origin should be sought elsewhere.

  6. Comparative ventilatory strategies of acclimated rats and burrowing plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) in response to hypoxic-hypercapnia.

    PubMed

    Pichon, Aurélien; Voituron, Nicolas; Bai, Zhenzhong; Jeton, Florine; Tana, Wuren; Marchant, Dominique; Jin, Guoen; Richalet, Jean-Paul; Ge, Ri-Li

    2015-09-01

    The objective of this study was to compare the different ventilatory strategies that help in coping with hypoxic-hypercapnia environment among two species: use acclimated rats and plateau pikas (Ochotona curzoniae) that live in Tibetan plateaus, and have been well adjusted to high altitude. Arterial blood samples taken at 4100 m of elevation in acclimatized rats and adapted pikas revealed inter-species differences with lower hemoglobin and hematocrit and higher blood pH in pikas. A linear and significant increase in minute ventilation was observed in pikas, which help them to cope with hypoxic-hypercapnia. Pikas also displayed a high inspiratory drive and an invariant respiratory timing regardless of the conditions. Biochemical analysis revealed that N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDA) receptor gene and nNOS gene are highly conserved between rats and pikas, however pikas have higher expression of NMDA receptors and nNOS compared to rats at the brainstem level. Taken together, these results suggest that pikas have developed a specific ventilatory pattern supported by a modification of the NMDA/NO ventilatory central pathways to survive in extreme conditions imposed on the Tibetan plateaus. These physiological adaptive strategies help in maintaining a better blood oxygenation despite high CO2 concentration in burrows at high altitude. PMID:25988712

  7. Enzymatic Kinetic Properties of the Lactate Dehydrogenase Isoenzyme C4 of the Plateau Pika (Ochotona curzoniae)

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yang; Wei, Lian; Wei, Dengbang; Li, Xiao; Xu, Lina; Wei, Linna

    2016-01-01

    Testis-specific lactate dehydrogenase (LDH-C4) is one of the lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) isozymes that catalyze the terminal reaction of pyruvate to lactate in the glycolytic pathway. LDH-C4 in mammals was previously thought to be expressed only in spermatozoa and testis and not in other tissues. Plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) belongs to the genus Ochotona of the Ochotonidea family. It is a hypoxia-tolerant species living in remote mountain areas at altitudes of 3000–5000 m above sea level on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Surprisingly, Ldh-c is expressed not only in its testis and sperm, but also in somatic tissues of plateau pika. To shed light on the function of LDH-C4 in somatic cells, Ldh-a, Ldh-b, and Ldh-c of plateau pika were subcloned into bacterial expression vectors. The pure enzymes of Lactate Dehydrogenase A4 (LDH-A4), Lactate Dehydrogenase B4 (LDH-B4), and LDH-C4 were prepared by a series of expression and purification processes, and the three enzymes were identified by the method of sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE). The enzymatic kinetics properties of these enzymes were studied by Lineweaver-Burk double-reciprocal plots. The results showed the Michaelis constant (Km) of LDH-C4 for pyruvate and lactate was 0.052 and 4.934 mmol/L, respectively, with an approximate 90 times higher affinity of LDH-C4 for pyruvate than for lactate. At relatively high concentrations of lactate, the inhibition constant (Ki) of the LDH isoenzymes varied: LDH-A4 (Ki = 26.900 mmol/L), LDH-B4 (Ki = 23.800 mmol/L), and LDH-C4 (Ki = 65.500 mmol/L). These data suggest that inhibition of lactate by LDH-A4 and LDH-B4 were stronger than LDH-C4. In light of the enzymatic kinetics properties, we suggest that the plateau pika can reduce reliance on oxygen supply and enhance its adaptation to the hypoxic environments due to increased anaerobic glycolysis by LDH-C4. PMID:26751442

  8. [Functional difference of malate-aspartate shuttle system in liver between plateau zokor (Myospalax baileyi) and plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae)].

    PubMed

    Zhu, Rui-Juan; Rao, Xin-Feng; Wei, Deng-Bang; Wang, Duo-Wei; Wei, Lian; Sun, Sheng-Zhen

    2012-04-25

    To explore the adaptive mechanisms of plateau zokor (Myospalax baileyi) to the enduring digging activity in the hypoxic environment and of plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) to the sprint running activity, the functional differences of malate-aspartate shuttle system (MA) in liver of plateau zokor and plateau pika were studied. The ratio of liver weight to body weight, the parameters of mitochondria in hepatocyte and the contents of lactic acid in serum were measured; the open reading frame of cytoplasmic malate dehydrogenase (MDH1), mitochondrial malate dehydrogenase (MDH2), and the partial sequence of aspartate glutamate carrier (AGC) and oxoglutarate malate carrier (OMC) genes were cloned and sequenced; MDH1, MDH2, AGC and OMC mRNA levels were determined by real-time PCR; the specific activities of MDH1 and MDH2 in liver of plateau zokor and plateau pika were measured using enzymatic methods. The results showed that, (1) the ratio of liver weight to body weight, the number and the specific surface of mitochondria in hepatocyte of plateau zokor were markedly higher than those of plateau pika (P < 0.01 or P < 0.05), but the content of lactic acid in serum of plateau pika was significantly higher than that of plateau zokor (P < 0.01); (2) MDH1 and MDH2 mRNA levels as well as their enzymatic activities in liver of plateau zokor were significantly higher than those of plateau pika (P < 0.01 or 0.05), AGC mRNA level of the zokor was significantly higher than that of the pika (P < 0.01), while no difference was found at OMC mRNA level between them (P > 0.05); (3) mRNA level and enzymatic activity of MDH1 was significantly lower than those of MDH2 in the pika liver (P < 0.01), MDH1 mRNA level of plateau zokor was markedly higher than that of MDH2 (P < 0.01), but the activities had no difference between MDH1 and MDH2 in liver of the zokor (P > 0.05). These results indicate that the plateau zokor obtains ATP in the enduring digging activity by enhancing the function of MA

  9. Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli in Plateau Pika (Ochotona curzoniae) on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China.

    PubMed

    Bai, Xiangning; Zhang, Wang; Tang, Xinyuan; Xin, Youquan; Xu, Yanmei; Sun, Hui; Luo, Xuelian; Pu, Ji; Xu, Jianguo; Xiong, Yanwen; Lu, Shan

    2016-01-01

    Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) are an emerging group of zoonotic pathogens. Ruminants are the natural reservoir of STEC. In this study we determined the prevalence and characteristics of the STEC in plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China. A total of 1116 pika samples, including 294 intestinal contents samples, 317 fecal samples, and 505 intestinal contents samples, were collected from May to August in the years 2012, 2013, and 2015, respectively. Twenty-one samples (1.88%) yielded at least one STEC isolate; in total, 22 STEC isolates were recovered. Thirteen different O serogroups and 14 serotypes were identified. One stx 1 subtype (stx 1a) and three stx 2 subtypes (stx 2a, stx 2b, and stx 2d) were present in the STEC isolates. Fifteen, fourteen, and three STEC isolates harbored the virulence genes ehxA, subA, and astA, respectively. Adherence-associated genes iha and saa were, respectively, present in 72.73 and 68.18% of the STEC isolates. Twenty antibiotics were active against all the STEC isolates; all strains were resistant to penicillin G, and some to cephalothin or streptomycin. The 22 STEC isolates were divided into 16 pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns and 12 sequence types. Plateau pikas may play a role in the ongoing circulation of STEC in the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau. This study provides the first report on STEC in plateau pikas and new information about STEC reservoirs in wildlife. Based on the serotypes, virulence gene profiles and multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) analysis, the majority of these pika STECs may pose a low public health risk. PMID:27047483

  10. Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli in Plateau Pika (Ochotona curzoniae) on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China

    PubMed Central

    Bai, Xiangning; Zhang, Wang; Tang, Xinyuan; Xin, Youquan; Xu, Yanmei; Sun, Hui; Luo, Xuelian; Pu, Ji; Xu, Jianguo; Xiong, Yanwen; Lu, Shan

    2016-01-01

    Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) are an emerging group of zoonotic pathogens. Ruminants are the natural reservoir of STEC. In this study we determined the prevalence and characteristics of the STEC in plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China. A total of 1116 pika samples, including 294 intestinal contents samples, 317 fecal samples, and 505 intestinal contents samples, were collected from May to August in the years 2012, 2013, and 2015, respectively. Twenty-one samples (1.88%) yielded at least one STEC isolate; in total, 22 STEC isolates were recovered. Thirteen different O serogroups and 14 serotypes were identified. One stx1 subtype (stx1a) and three stx2 subtypes (stx2a, stx2b, and stx2d) were present in the STEC isolates. Fifteen, fourteen, and three STEC isolates harbored the virulence genes ehxA, subA, and astA, respectively. Adherence-associated genes iha and saa were, respectively, present in 72.73 and 68.18% of the STEC isolates. Twenty antibiotics were active against all the STEC isolates; all strains were resistant to penicillin G, and some to cephalothin or streptomycin. The 22 STEC isolates were divided into 16 pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns and 12 sequence types. Plateau pikas may play a role in the ongoing circulation of STEC in the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau. This study provides the first report on STEC in plateau pikas and new information about STEC reservoirs in wildlife. Based on the serotypes, virulence gene profiles and multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) analysis, the majority of these pika STECs may pose a low public health risk. PMID:27047483

  11. The earliest occurrence of the steppe pika ( Ochotona pusilla) in Europe near the Pliocene/Pleistocene boundary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fostowicz-Frelik, Łucja; Frelik, Grzegorz J.

    2010-03-01

    The steppe pika ( Ochotona pusilla), a representative of the lagomorph family Ochotonidae, is restricted today to Kazakhstan and Russia. This subspecies-rich form belongs to a morphologically distinct, monospecific group of relatively small pikas, inhabiting steppe-like habitat. In the fossil record, it serves as a bioindicator of dry, grassland environment. The steppe pika was abundant and widespread in Europe during the Last Glaciation, and its unquestionable presence has been reported there since the middle Pleistocene. A new discovery of O. pusilla, from the Kielniki 3B locality (Poland), dated to the latest Pliocene, moves back the species appearance in Europe about one million years, almost coeval with its first record from the late Pliocene of Kazakhstan. Presence of such a typical steppe inhabitant as O. pusilla indicates significant climate change towards more arid, continental conditions, which started influencing Europe at 2.6 Ma. We present the first reliable record of the earliest O. pusilla entry deep into Europe in the latest Pliocene.

  12. Feeding and excretion in the Afghan pika (Ochotona rufescens rufescens), a new laboratory animal.

    PubMed

    Matsuzawa, T; Nakata, M; Tsushima, M

    1981-10-01

    Food and water intake and the excretion of urine and faecal pellets during the day (0500-2100) and at night (2100-0500) were observed in Afghan pikas, rats and guineapigs fed appropriate diets. Urine composition was observed in these species after they had been fed the pika diet for 4 weeks. Rats ate more at night than did pikas or guineapigs. The pikas excreted numerous small, hard faeces and soft faeces, the latter being reingested. On the pika diet all species gained about 10% in bodyweight. Food consumption was similar to that shown by each species on its own diet. All animals fed the pika diet excreted alkaline urine. Chloride concentration in pika urine was similar to that of the rat and was significantly higher than that of the guineapig. The ratio of sodium to potassium in pika urine was 2.8 and 1.7 fold that of the rat and guineapig respectively. Osmolality of pika urine was slightly higher than that of the rat, and was 3.8 fold that of the guineapig.

  13. Bartonella Species Detected in the Plateau Pikas (Ochotona curzoiae) from Qinghai Plateau in China.

    PubMed

    Rao, Hua Xiang; Yu, Juan; Guo, Peng; Ma, Yong Cheng; Liu, Qi Yong; Jiao, Ming; Ma, Zhong Wen; Ge, Hua; Wang, Chun Xiang; Song, Xiu Ping; Shi, Yan; Li, Dong Mei

    2015-09-01

    Bartonella species can infect a variety of mammalian hosts and cause a broad spectrum of diseases in humans, but there have been no reports of Bartonella infection in Ochotonidae. This is the first study to detect Bartonella in plateau pikas in the Qinghai plateau, providing baseline data for the risk assessment of human Bartonella infection in this area. We obtained 15 Bartonella strains from 79 pikas in Binggou and Maixiu areas of Qinghai with a positive rate of 18.99%. Based on the phylogenetic analysis of the Bartonella citrate synthase (gltA) gene sequences, most strains were closely related to B. taylorii (3/15) and B. grahamii (12/15). The latter is a pathogenic strain in humans. Our results suggest that a corresponding prevention and control strategy should be taken into consideration in the Qinghai province.

  14. Morphological and molecular characterization of Oestromyia leporina (Pallas, 1778) (Diptera: Hypodermatinae) from wild plateau pikas(Ochotona curzoniae) in Qinghai province, China.

    PubMed

    Fu, Yong; Li, Wei; Duo, Hong; Guo, Zhihong; Dang, Zhisheng; Shen, Xiuying; Peng, Mao; Zhang, Yanming

    2016-02-01

    The objective of this article was to investigate the morphological and molecular characterization of Oestromyia leporina (Pallas, 1778) from wild plateau pikas (Ochotona curzoniae) in Qinghai province, China. The third-stage larvae of O. leporina were examined by scanning electron microscopy revealing morphology characteristics of the spines on the cephalic, the thoracic segments, the abdominal segments and the spiracular plates. The coding regions of 25 cytochrome oxidase I (COI) genes of O. leporina were investigated. Eighty-one variable sites and 21 haplotypes were identified and the nucleotide and haplotype diversities were 0.04456 and 0.9767, respectively, indicating a rich genetic diversity in O. leporina. Phylogenetic analysis utilizing sequences of COI revealed two distinct lineages. These findings revealed ultrastructure and molecular characterization among the O. leporina from plateau pikas in Qinghai province, China and had implications for studying morphological identification, molecular epidemiology and population genetics of O. leporina. PMID:26708934

  15. [The expression of the sperm-specific lactate dehydrogenase gene Ldh-c in plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) cardiac muscle and its effect on the anaerobic glycolysis].

    PubMed

    Li, Xiao; Wei, Lian; Wang, Yang; Xu, Li-Na; Wei, Lin-Na; Wei, Deng-Bang

    2015-06-25

    The plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) has a strong adaptability to hypoxic plateau environment. We found that the sperm-specific lactate dehydrogenase (LDH-C4) gene Ldh-c expressed in plateau pika cardiac muscle. In order to shed light on the effect of LDH-C4 on the anaerobic glycolysis in plateau pika cardiac muscle, 20 pikas were randomly divided into the inhibitor group and the control group, and the sample size of each group was 10. The pikas of inhibitor group were injected with 1 mL 1 mol/L N-isopropyl oxamate, a specific LDH-C4 inhibitor, in biceps femoris muscle of hind legs, each leg with 500 μL. The pikas of control group were injected with the same volume of normal saline (0.9% NaCl). The mRNA and protein expression levels of Ldh-c gene in plateau pika cardiac muscle were determined by real-time PCR and Western blot. The activities of LDH, and the contents of lactate (LD) and ATP in cardiac muscle were compared between the inhibitor group and the control group. The results showed that 1) the expression levels of Ldh-c mRNA and protein were 0.47 ± 0.06 and 0.68 ± 0.08, respectively; 2) 30 min after injection of 1 mL 1 mol/L N-isopropyl oxamate in biceps femoris muscle, the concentration of N-isopropyl oxamate in blood was 0.08 mmol/L; 3) in cardiac muscle of the inhibitor group and the control group, the LDH activities were (6.18 ± 0.48) U/mg and (9.08 ± 0.58) U/mg, the contents of LD were (0.21 ± 0.03) mmol/g and (0.26 ± 0.04) mmol/g, and the contents of ATP were (4.40 ± 0.69) nmol/mg and (6.18 ± 0.73) nmol/mg (P < 0.01); 5) the inhibition rates of N-isopropyl oxamate to LDH, LD and ATP were 31.98%, 20.90% and 28.70%, respectively. The results suggest that Ldh-c expresses in cardiac muscle of plateau pika, and the pika cardiac muscle may get at least 28% ATP for its activities by LDH-C4 catalyzed anaerobic glycolysis, which reduces the dependence on oxygen and enhances the adaptation to the hypoxic environments.

  16. Inhibition of inducible nitric oxide synthase expression and nitric oxide production in plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) at high altitude on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

    PubMed

    Xie, Ling; Zhang, Xuze; Qi, Delin; Guo, Xinyi; Pang, Bo; Du, Yurong; Zou, Xiaoyan; Guo, Songchang; Zhao, Xinquan

    2014-04-30

    Nitric oxide (NO), a potent vasodilator, plays an important role in preventing hypoxia induced pulmonary hypertension. Endogenous NO is synthesized by nitric oxide synthases (NOSs) from l-arginine. In mammals, three different NOSs have been identified, including neuronal NOS (nNOS), endothelial NOS (eNOS) and inducible NOS (iNOS). Plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) is a typical hypoxia tolerant mammal that lives at 3000-5000 m above sea level on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The aim of this study was to investigate whether NOS expression and NO production are regulated by chronic hypoxia in plateau pika. Quantitative real-time PCR and western blot analyses were conducted to quantify relative abundances of iNOS and eNOS transcripts and proteins in the lung tissues of plateau pikas at different altitudes (4550, 3950 and 3200 m). Plasma NO metabolites, nitrite/nitrate (NO(x)⁻) levels were also examined by Ion chromatography to determine the correlation between NO production and altitude level. The results revealed that iNOS transcript levels were significantly lower in animals at high altitudes (decreased by 53% and 57% at altitude of 3950 and 4550 m compared with that at 3200 m). Similar trends in iNOS protein abundances were observed (26% and 41% at 3950 and 4550 m comparing with at 3200 m). There were no significant differences in eNOS mRNA and protein levels in the pika lungs among different altitudes. The plasma NO(x)⁻ levels of the plateau pikas at high altitudes significantly decreased (1.65±0.19 μg/mL at 3200 m to 0.44±0.03 μg/mL at 3950 m and 0.24±0.01 μg/mL at 4550 m). This is the first evidence describing the effects of chronic hypoxia on NOS expression and NO levels in the plateau pika in high altitude adaptation. We conclude that iNOS expression and NO production are suppressed at high altitudes, and the lower NO concentration at high altitudes may serve crucial roles for helping the plateau pika to survive at hypoxic environment.

  17. [Reduction of plant fibers in the digestive tract of two pika species (Ochotona pallasi and O. dauurica, Lagomorpha, Ochotonidae)].

    PubMed

    Naumova, E I; Zharova, G K; Chistova, T Yu; Varshavskii, A A; Formozov, N A

    2015-01-01

    The distribution of fibers of different sizes in the gastrointestinal tract in two species of pikas--Pallas' pika Ochotonapallasi and daurian pika O. dauurica--was studied. It was established that fibers of small-sized fractions dominated in all organs of the digestive tract of both pika species, the proportion of which in the stomach proved to be even higher than in fine-grinding voles. No distinct changes in the composition of the size fractions of fibers from organ to organ were observed in the studied individuals of both species, which may be due to frequent consumption of finely dispersed cecotrophs by pikas, which enrich the primary chewed food with small fibers. PMID:26021158

  18. WHY MUSEUMS MATTER: A TALE OF PINWORMS (OXYUROIDEA: HETEROXYNEMATIDAE) AMONG PIKAS (OCHOTONA PRINCEPS AND O. COLLARIS) IN THE AMERICAN WEST.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Permanent and well supported museum collections provide a solid foundation for the process of systematics research through creation of an empirical record which validates our understanding of the biosphere. We explore the role of museums in ongoing studies of the complex helminth fauna characterist...

  19. American pika in a low-elevation lava landscape: expanding the known distribution of a temperature-sensitive species.

    PubMed

    Shinderman, Matt

    2015-09-01

    In 2010, the American pika (Ochotona princeps fenisex) was denied federal protection based on limited evidence of persistence in low-elevation environments. Studies in nonalpine areas have been limited to relatively few environments, and it is unclear whether patterns observed elsewhere (e.g., Bodie, CA) represent other nonalpine habitats. This study was designed to establish pika presence in a new location, determine distribution within the surveyed area, and evaluate influences of elevation, vegetation, lava complexity, and distance to habitat edge on pika site occupancy. In 2011 and 2012, we conducted surveys for American pika on four distinct subalpine lava flows of Newberry National Volcanic Monument, Oregon, USA. Field surveys were conducted at predetermined locations within lava flows via silent observation and active searching for pika sign. Site habitat characteristics were included as predictors of occupancy in multinomial regression models. Above and belowground temperatures were recorded at a subsample of pika detection sites. Pika were detected in 26% (2011) and 19% (2012) of survey plots. Seventy-four pika were detected outside survey plot boundaries. Lava complexity was the strongest predictor of pika occurrence, where pika were up to seven times more likely to occur in the most complicated lava formations. Pika were two times more likely to occur with increasing elevation, although they were found at all elevations in the study area. This study expands the known distribution of the species and provides additional evidence for persistence in nonalpine habitats. Results partially support the predictive occupancy model developed for pika at Craters of the Moon National Monument, another lava environment. Characteristics of the lava environment clearly influence pika site occupancy, but habitat variables reported as important in other studies were inconclusive here. Further work is needed to gain a better understanding of the species' current

  20. American pika in a low-elevation lava landscape: expanding the known distribution of a temperature-sensitive species

    PubMed Central

    Shinderman, Matt

    2015-01-01

    In 2010, the American pika (Ochotona princeps fenisex) was denied federal protection based on limited evidence of persistence in low-elevation environments. Studies in nonalpine areas have been limited to relatively few environments, and it is unclear whether patterns observed elsewhere (e.g., Bodie, CA) represent other nonalpine habitats. This study was designed to establish pika presence in a new location, determine distribution within the surveyed area, and evaluate influences of elevation, vegetation, lava complexity, and distance to habitat edge on pika site occupancy. In 2011 and 2012, we conducted surveys for American pika on four distinct subalpine lava flows of Newberry National Volcanic Monument, Oregon, USA. Field surveys were conducted at predetermined locations within lava flows via silent observation and active searching for pika sign. Site habitat characteristics were included as predictors of occupancy in multinomial regression models. Above and belowground temperatures were recorded at a subsample of pika detection sites. Pika were detected in 26% (2011) and 19% (2012) of survey plots. Seventy-four pika were detected outside survey plot boundaries. Lava complexity was the strongest predictor of pika occurrence, where pika were up to seven times more likely to occur in the most complicated lava formations. Pika were two times more likely to occur with increasing elevation, although they were found at all elevations in the study area. This study expands the known distribution of the species and provides additional evidence for persistence in nonalpine habitats. Results partially support the predictive occupancy model developed for pika at Craters of the Moon National Monument, another lava environment. Characteristics of the lava environment clearly influence pika site occupancy, but habitat variables reported as important in other studies were inconclusive here. Further work is needed to gain a better understanding of the species’ current

  1. Colonization from divergent ancestors: glaciation signatures on contemporary patterns of genomic variation in Collared Pikas (Ochotona collaris).

    PubMed

    Lanier, Hayley C; Massatti, Rob; He, Qixin; Olson, Link E; Knowles, L Lacey

    2015-07-01

    Identifying the genetic structure of a species and the factors that drive it is an important first step in modern population management, in part because populations evolving from separate ancestral sources may possess potentially different characteristics. This is especially true for climate-sensitive species such as pikas, where the delimitation of distinct genetic units and the characterization of population responses to contemporary and historical environmental pressures are of particular interest. We combined a restriction site-associated DNA sequencing (RADSeq) data set containing 4156 single nucleotide polymorphisms with ecological niche models (ENMs) of present and past habitat suitability to characterize population composition and evaluate the effects of historical range shifts, contemporary climates and landscape factors on gene flow in Collared Pikas, which are found in Alaska and adjacent regions of northwestern Canada and are the lesser-studied of North America's two pika species. The results suggest that contemporary environmental factors contribute little to current population connectivity. Instead, genetic diversity is strongly shaped by the presence of three ancestral lineages isolated during the Pleistocene (~148 and 52 kya). Based on ENMs and genetic data, populations originating from a northern refugium experienced longer-term stability, whereas both southern lineages underwent population expansion - contradicting the southern stability and northern expansion patterns seen in many other taxa. Current populations are comparable with respect to generally low diversity within populations and little-to-no recent admixture. The predominance of divergent histories structuring populations implies that if we are to understand and manage pika populations, we must specifically assess and accurately account for the forces underlying genetic similarity. PMID:26096099

  2. Ochotona(Lagomorpha) from Late Quaternary Cave Deposits in Eastern North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mead, Jim I.; Grady, Frederick

    1996-01-01

    Pikas ( Ochtona)—small gnawing mammals, related to rabbits—range today throughout parts of the Northern Hemisphere, but had a wider distribution during the Pleistocene. Nine caves from northeastern North America (a region not occupied by pikas today) have Pleistocene deposits containing remains of Ochotona.We examine 526 fossil specimens (ranging in age from approximately 850,000 to 8670 yr B.P.) from five of these caves. Two morphological forms of Ochotonalived in northeastern North America during the late Pleistocene—a large species (probably O. whartoni) and a small species (probably O. princeps). Ochotonaof glacial age are not necessarily indicative of talus slopes and mesic communities. O. princeps-like of the Irvingtonian of West Virginia were living with an amphibian-reptilian assemblage found in the area today, implying winters not much, if at all, colder than at present. Late glacial and postglacial change in climate south of the ice sheets in effect would have isolated Ochotonain eastern North America, where they were unable to retreat to the west or north. Whereas western pika had the option of moving up in elevation, into boreal islands, eastern forms became restricted to ever-diminishing habitats, culminating in extinction and extirpation. Radiocarbon ages imply that Ochotonalived in eastern North America during the late Pleistocene (late Rancholabrean) and into the earliest Holocene. We describe the youngest remains of Ochotonain eastern North America and the youngest for the extinct large form, O. whartoni.

  3. An eco-evolutionary IBM improves predictions of future geneticconnectivity for American Pikas (Ochotona princeps) in Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

    EPA Science Inventory

    In the face of rapid, contemporary climate change, conservationbiologists are relying heavily on species distribution models (SDMs)to predict shifting occupancy and distribution patterns in responseto future conditions. These models are critical tools for assessingvulnerability t...

  4. Determinants of pika population density vs. occupancy in the Southern Rocky Mountains.

    PubMed

    Erb, Liesl P; Ray, Chris; Guralnick, Robert

    2014-04-01

    Species distributions are responding rapidly to global change. While correlative studies of local extinction have been vital to understanding the ecological impacts of global change, more mechanistic lines of inquiry are needed for enhanced forecasting. The current study assesses whether the predictors of local extinction also explain population density for a species apparently impacted by climate change. We tested a suite of climatic and habitat metrics as predictors of American pika (Ochotona princeps) relative population density in the Southern Rocky Mountains, USA. Population density was indexed as the density of pika latrine sites. Negative binomial regression and AICc showed that the best predictors of pika latrine density were patch area followed by two measures of vegetation quality: the diversity and relative cover of forbs. In contrast with previous studies of habitat occupancy in the Southern Rockies, climatic factors were not among the top predictors of latrine density. Populations may be buffered from decline and ultimately from extirpation at sites with high-quality vegetation. Conversely, populations at highest risk for declining density and extirpation are likely to be those in sites with poor-quality vegetation. PMID:24834730

  5. Determinants of pika population density vs. occupancy in the Southern Rocky Mountains.

    PubMed

    Erb, Liesl P; Ray, Chris; Guralnick, Robert

    2014-04-01

    Species distributions are responding rapidly to global change. While correlative studies of local extinction have been vital to understanding the ecological impacts of global change, more mechanistic lines of inquiry are needed for enhanced forecasting. The current study assesses whether the predictors of local extinction also explain population density for a species apparently impacted by climate change. We tested a suite of climatic and habitat metrics as predictors of American pika (Ochotona princeps) relative population density in the Southern Rocky Mountains, USA. Population density was indexed as the density of pika latrine sites. Negative binomial regression and AICc showed that the best predictors of pika latrine density were patch area followed by two measures of vegetation quality: the diversity and relative cover of forbs. In contrast with previous studies of habitat occupancy in the Southern Rockies, climatic factors were not among the top predictors of latrine density. Populations may be buffered from decline and ultimately from extirpation at sites with high-quality vegetation. Conversely, populations at highest risk for declining density and extirpation are likely to be those in sites with poor-quality vegetation.

  6. Novel genomic resources for a climate change sensitive mammal: characterization of the American pika transcriptome

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background When faced with climate change, species must either shift their home range or adapt in situ in order to maintain optimal physiological balance with their environment. The American pika (Ochotona princeps) is a small alpine mammal with limited dispersal capacity and low tolerance for thermal stress. As a result, pikas have become an important system for examining biotic responses to changing climatic conditions. Previous research using amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs) has revealed evidence for environmental-mediated selection in O. princeps populations distributed along elevation gradients, yet the anonymity of AFLP loci and lack of available genomic resources precluded the identification of associated gene regions. Here, we harnessed next-generation sequencing technology in order to characterize the American pika transcriptome and identify a large suite of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which can be used to elucidate elevation- and site-specific patterns of sequence variation. Results We constructed pooled cDNA libraries of O. princeps from high (1400m) and low (300m) elevation sites along a previously established transect in British Columbia. Transcriptome sequencing using the Roche 454 GS FLX titanium platform generated 780 million base pairs of data, which were assembled into 7,325 high coverage contigs. These contigs were used to identify 24,261 novel SNP loci. Using high resolution melt analysis, we developed 17 of these SNPs into genotyping assays, which were validated with independent DNA samples from British Columbia Canada and Oregon State USA. In addition, we detected haplotypes in the NADH dehydrogenase subunit 5 of the mitochondrial genome that were fixed and different among elevations, suggesting that this may be an informative target gene for studying the role of cellular respiration in local adaptation. We also identified contigs that were unique to each elevation, including a high elevation-specific contig that was

  7. Mechanistic variables can enhance predictive models of endotherm distributions: The American pika under current, past, and future climates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mathewson, Paul; Moyer-Horner, Lucas; Beever, Erik; Briscoe, Natalie; Kearney, Michael T; Yahn, Jeremiah; Porter, Warren P.

    2016-01-01

    How climate constrains species’ distributions through time and space is an important question in the context of conservation planning for climate change. Despite increasing awareness of the need to incorporate mechanism into species distribution models (SDMs), mechanistic modeling of endotherm distributions remains limited in this literature. Using the American pika (Ochotona princeps) as an example, we present a framework whereby mechanism can be incorporated into endotherm SDMs. Pika distribution has repeatedly been found to be constrained by warm temperatures, so we used Niche Mapper, a mechanistic heat-balance model, to convert macroclimate data to pika-specific surface activity time in summer across the western United States. We then explored the difference between using a macroclimate predictor (summer temperature) and using a mechanistic predictor (predicted surface activity time) in SDMs. Both approaches accurately predicted pika presences in current and past climate regimes. However, the activity models predicted 8–19% less habitat loss in response to annual temperature increases of ~3–5 °C predicted in the region by 2070, suggesting that pikas may be able to buffer some climate change effects through behavioral thermoregulation that can be captured by mechanistic modeling. Incorporating mechanism added value to the modeling by providing increased confidence in areas where different modeling approaches agreed and providing a range of outcomes in areas of disagreement. It also provided a more proximate variable relating animal distribution to climate, allowing investigations into how unique habitat characteristics and intraspecific phenotypic variation may allow pikas to exist in areas outside those predicted by generic SDMs. Only a small number of easily obtainable data are required to parameterize this mechanistic model for any endotherm, and its use can improve SDM predictions by explicitly modeling a widely applicable direct physiological effect

  8. Sex differences in the ontogeny of social behavior in pikas: possible relationships to dispersal and territoriality

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    1984-01-01

    A laboratory study on the ontogeny of social behavior in pikas (Ochotona princeps), an alpine lagomorph, was conducted to determine the role of early relationships between adult females and young and among siblings in the development of territorial and dispersal behaviors. Sex differences during development were examined because field studies have reported greater dispersal distances in young females than young males. At birth, females were significantly heavier than males. There were no sex differences in nursing frequency until after the 2nd week of age, when males initiated more nursing attempts than females. By the end of the weaning period (weeks 5 and 6), adult females became non-interactive with young, but aggression of young toward littermates and the mother increased until the eighth week. At this time, young males outweighed their sibling females. Young were dominant over their mothers by the age of 5 weeks, and young males were dominant over their sibling females. Sex differences were observed in aggression, scent-marking, exploratory activity, and submissive vocalizations, with higher rates in young males, except for submissive vocalizations, which were higher in females (Table 2). Vocalizations and scent-marking behavior increased over time, and were positively correlated with interaction rates. These data support the hypothesis that female young disperse farther than male young largely as the result of unsuccessful competition with male siblings for available territories close to the birthplace. A dispersal strategy for pikas is proposed.

  9. The idiosyncrasies of place: geographic variation in the climate-distribution relationships of the American pika.

    PubMed

    Jeffress, Mackenzie R; Rodhouse, Thomas J; Ray, Chris; Wolff, Susan; Epps, Clinton W

    2013-06-01

    Although climate acts as a fundamental constraint on the distribution of organisms, understanding how this relationship between climate and distribution varies over a species' range is critical for addressing the potential impacts of accelerated climate change on biodiversity. Bioclimatic niche models provide compelling evidence that many species will experience range shifts under scenarios of global change, yet these broad, macroecological perspectives lack specificity at local scales, where unique combinations of environment, biota, and history conspire against generalizations. We explored how these idiosyncrasies of place affect the climate-distribution relationship of the American pika (Ochotona princeps) by replicating intensive field surveys across bioclimatic gradients in eight U.S. national parks. At macroecological scales, the importance of climate as a constraint on pika distribution appears unequivocal; forecasts suggest that the species' range will contract sharply in coming decades. However, the species persists outside of its modeled bioclimatic envelope in many locations, fueling uncertainty and debate over its conservation status. Using a Bayesian hierarchical approach, we modeled variation in local patterns of pika distribution along topographic position, vegetation cover, elevation, temperature, and precipitation gradients in each park landscape. We also accounted for annual turnover in site occupancy probabilities. Topographic position and vegetation cover influenced occurrence in all parks. After accounting for these factors, pika occurrence varied widely among parks along bioclimatic gradients. Precipitation by itself was not a particularly influential predictor. However, measures of heat stress appeared most influential in the driest parks, suggesting an interaction between the strength of climate effects and the position of parks along precipitation gradients. The combination of high elevation, cold temperatures, and high precipitation

  10. The idiosyncrasies of place: geographic variation in the climate-distribution relationships of the American pika.

    PubMed

    Jeffress, Mackenzie R; Rodhouse, Thomas J; Ray, Chris; Wolff, Susan; Epps, Clinton W

    2013-06-01

    Although climate acts as a fundamental constraint on the distribution of organisms, understanding how this relationship between climate and distribution varies over a species' range is critical for addressing the potential impacts of accelerated climate change on biodiversity. Bioclimatic niche models provide compelling evidence that many species will experience range shifts under scenarios of global change, yet these broad, macroecological perspectives lack specificity at local scales, where unique combinations of environment, biota, and history conspire against generalizations. We explored how these idiosyncrasies of place affect the climate-distribution relationship of the American pika (Ochotona princeps) by replicating intensive field surveys across bioclimatic gradients in eight U.S. national parks. At macroecological scales, the importance of climate as a constraint on pika distribution appears unequivocal; forecasts suggest that the species' range will contract sharply in coming decades. However, the species persists outside of its modeled bioclimatic envelope in many locations, fueling uncertainty and debate over its conservation status. Using a Bayesian hierarchical approach, we modeled variation in local patterns of pika distribution along topographic position, vegetation cover, elevation, temperature, and precipitation gradients in each park landscape. We also accounted for annual turnover in site occupancy probabilities. Topographic position and vegetation cover influenced occurrence in all parks. After accounting for these factors, pika occurrence varied widely among parks along bioclimatic gradients. Precipitation by itself was not a particularly influential predictor. However, measures of heat stress appeared most influential in the driest parks, suggesting an interaction between the strength of climate effects and the position of parks along precipitation gradients. The combination of high elevation, cold temperatures, and high precipitation

  11. Pika Gut May Select for Rare but Diverse Environmental Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Li, Huan; Li, Tongtong; Yao, Minjie; Li, Jiabao; Zhang, Shiheng; Wirth, Stephan; Cao, Weidong; Lin, Qiang; Li, Xiangzhen

    2016-01-01

    The composition of the mammalian gut bacterial communities can be influenced by the introduction of environmental bacteria in their respective habitats. However, there are no extensive studies examining the interactions between environmental bacteriome and gut bacteriome in wild mammals. Here, we explored the relationship between the gut bacterial communities of pika (Ochotona spp.) and the related environmental bacteria across host species and altitudinal sites using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Plateau pikas (O. curzoniae) and Daurian pikas (O. daurica) were sampled at five different sites, and plant and soil samples were collected at each site as well. Our data indicated that Plateau pikas and Daurian pikas had distinct bacterial communities. The pika, plant and soil bacterial communities were also distinct. Very little overlap occurred in the pika core bacteria and the most abundant environmental bacteria. The shared OTUs between pikas and environments were present in the environment at relatively low abundance, whereas they were affiliated with diverse bacterial taxa. These results suggested that the pika gut may mainly select for low-abundance but diverse environmental bacteria in a host species-specific manner. PMID:27582734

  12. Pika Gut May Select for Rare but Diverse Environmental Bacteria.

    PubMed

    Li, Huan; Li, Tongtong; Yao, Minjie; Li, Jiabao; Zhang, Shiheng; Wirth, Stephan; Cao, Weidong; Lin, Qiang; Li, Xiangzhen

    2016-01-01

    The composition of the mammalian gut bacterial communities can be influenced by the introduction of environmental bacteria in their respective habitats. However, there are no extensive studies examining the interactions between environmental bacteriome and gut bacteriome in wild mammals. Here, we explored the relationship between the gut bacterial communities of pika (Ochotona spp.) and the related environmental bacteria across host species and altitudinal sites using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Plateau pikas (O. curzoniae) and Daurian pikas (O. daurica) were sampled at five different sites, and plant and soil samples were collected at each site as well. Our data indicated that Plateau pikas and Daurian pikas had distinct bacterial communities. The pika, plant and soil bacterial communities were also distinct. Very little overlap occurred in the pika core bacteria and the most abundant environmental bacteria. The shared OTUs between pikas and environments were present in the environment at relatively low abundance, whereas they were affiliated with diverse bacterial taxa. These results suggested that the pika gut may mainly select for low-abundance but diverse environmental bacteria in a host species-specific manner. PMID:27582734

  13. [Impacts of Ochotona pallasi disturbance on alpine grassland community characteristics].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Guo-qin; Li, Guang-yong; Ma, Wen-hu; Zhao, Dian-zhi; Li, Xiao-yan

    2013-08-01

    Plateau pika is the main fossorial mammal in the alpine grassland in Qinghai Lake Watershed of Northwest China. Based on the field investigation data from 18 alpine grassland quadrats in the Watershed, and by using redundancy analysis (RDA) and the surface fitting offered by 'R-Vegan' , the disturbance intensity of plateau pika (Ochotona pallasi) was classified as four levels. In order to explore the impacts of plateau pika disturbance on the alpine grassland ecosystem and its grazing quality, the community characteristics under different disturbance intensities by plateau pika were analyzed, and a conceptual model about the alpine grassland community succession was proposed. The results showed that with the increase of the disturbance intensity, the dominant species changed from Juncus roemerianus to Poa pratensis and Laux maritima. When the disturbance was small, the community had high quantitative values of coverage, aboveground biomass, biodiversity, and species richness, but the proportion of weeds was also high. When the disturbance was large, the quantitative values were the lowest, while the proportion of weeds was the highest. When the disturbance was moderate, the community had relatively high quantitative values, and the proportion of grasses and sedges was the highest. It was concluded that the community' s characteristic values under low plateau pika disturbance intensity were high but the grazing quality was low, while high disturbance intensity resulted in the grassland degradation. Therefore, the disturbance intensity in the threshold could maintain the stability of alpine grassland ecosystem and improve its grazing quality.

  14. Are pikas exposed to and affected by selenium deficiency?

    PubMed

    Palmer, K M; Stanton, N L; Ben-David, M; Mionczynski, J; Williams, S E

    2007-07-01

    Regional extirpations of pikas (Ochatona princeps) within the last few decades have been attributed to global warming. Other recent global alterations such as increased nitrogen (N) deposition and associated selenium (Se) deficiency may further stress pika populations. In 2003 and 2004, we live-trapped pikas from three populations in Wyoming and measured Se values in their hair. We also sampled hair and liver from museum specimens collected throughout the Northern Rocky Mountains in 1987 and 1988. Our results suggest that liver and hair values were related, and that pika hair reflected the Se concentrations of the geologic parent materials. We determined that animals residing in several remote areas in the Rocky Mountain region could be Se deficient and that increase in N deposition correlated with an increase rather than a decrease in Se values in pika hair. In addition, we found no relation between Se contents in hair and body condition index, suggesting that low Se levels may not have negative effects on individual pikas. Whether Se levels influence reproductive success of pikas is unknown and should be the focus of future studies. PMID:17699085

  15. Growth of pika in laboratory confinement.

    PubMed

    Whitworth, M R; Southwick, C H

    1981-01-01

    Captive-born pikas (Ochotoma princeps) from 13 litters were maintained for up to three months in a laboratory setting. Mean litter size was 2.69 +/- 0.75, with litters of three the most frequent, and representing 68% of all litters observed. Mean individual birthweight was 11.7 g with a range of 8.8 to 16.8 g. Weights were taken every other day from birth, which yielded a growth curve equation of y = 12.18 + 1.72x. There was a strong positive linear correlation between bodyweight and time (r = 0.98, P less than 0.001), and a significant difference was noted between sexes, with females the heaviest. Subjects reached adult weight within 3 months. These data represent the first reports of growth in this species, and indicate that pikas are among the fastest growing species within the order Lagomorpha. PMID:7227850

  16. Diversity of diazotrophic gut inhabitants of pikas (Ochotonidae) revealed by PCR-DGGE analysis.

    PubMed

    Kizilova, A K; Kravchenko, I K

    2014-01-01

    Diazotrophic gut symbionts are considered to act as nitrogen providers for their hosts, as was shown for various termite species. Although the diet of lagomorphs, like pikas or rabbits, is very poor in nitrogen and energy, their fecal matter contains 30-40% of protein. Since our hypothesis was that pikas maintained a diazotrophic consortium in their gastrointestinal tract, we conducted the first investigation of microbial diversity in pika guts. We obtained gut samples from animals of several Ochotona species, O. hyperborea (Northern pika), O. mantchurica (Manchurian pika), and O. dauurica (Daurian pika), in order to retrieve and compare the nitrogen-fixing communities of different pika species. The age and gender of the animals were taken into consideration. We amplified 320-bp long fragments of the nifH gene using the DNA extracted directly from the colon and cecum samples of pika's gut, resolved them by DGGE, and performed phylogenetic reconstruction of 51 sequences obtained from excised bands. No significant difference was detected between the nitrogen-fixing gut inhabitants of different pika species. NifH sequences fell into two clusters. The first cluster contained the sequences affiliated with NifH Cluster I (Zehr et al., 2003) with similarity to Sphingomonas sp., Bradyrhizobium sp., and various uncultured bacteria from soil and rhizosphere. Sequences from the second group were related to Treponema sp., Fibrobacter succinogenes, and uncultured clones from the guts of various termites and belonged to NifH Cluster III. We suggest that diazotrophic organisms from the second cluster are genuine endosymbionts of pikas and provide nitrogen for further synthesis processes thus allowing these animals not to be short of protein. PMID:25842897

  17. Diversity of diazotrophic gut inhabitants of pikas (Ochotonidae) revealed by PCR-DGGE analysis.

    PubMed

    Kizilova, A K; Kravchenko, I K

    2014-01-01

    Diazotrophic gut symbionts are considered to act as nitrogen providers for their hosts, as was shown for various termite species. Although the diet of lagomorphs, like pikas or rabbits, is very poor in nitrogen and energy, their fecal matter contains 30-40% of protein. Since our hypothesis was that pikas maintained a diazotrophic consortium in their gastrointestinal tract, we conducted the first investigation of microbial diversity in pika guts. We obtained gut samples from animals of several Ochotona species, O. hyperborea (Northern pika), O. mantchurica (Manchurian pika), and O. dauurica (Daurian pika), in order to retrieve and compare the nitrogen-fixing communities of different pika species. The age and gender of the animals were taken into consideration. We amplified 320-bp long fragments of the nifH gene using the DNA extracted directly from the colon and cecum samples of pika's gut, resolved them by DGGE, and performed phylogenetic reconstruction of 51 sequences obtained from excised bands. No significant difference was detected between the nitrogen-fixing gut inhabitants of different pika species. NifH sequences fell into two clusters. The first cluster contained the sequences affiliated with NifH Cluster I (Zehr et al., 2003) with similarity to Sphingomonas sp., Bradyrhizobium sp., and various uncultured bacteria from soil and rhizosphere. Sequences from the second group were related to Treponema sp., Fibrobacter succinogenes, and uncultured clones from the guts of various termites and belonged to NifH Cluster III. We suggest that diazotrophic organisms from the second cluster are genuine endosymbionts of pikas and provide nitrogen for further synthesis processes thus allowing these animals not to be short of protein.

  18. Collared Pikas as a Model Species for Studying the Biological Impacts of Climate Change in Alpine Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Donovan, K. S.; Hik, D.

    2007-12-01

    Climate models suggest that global temperatures could rise between 1.4° C and 5.8° C over the next 100 years, and that these effects will be most extreme in northern mountain regions. Pikas (Ochotona, Lagomorpha) are widespread small mammals in the alpine environments of Asia and North America. They are cold adapted and consequently sensitive to warming global temperatures. Considerable research has shown a poleward migration of many species as a result of rising temperatures, but high alpine dwelling species, like the pika, may already be trapped at the top of mountains. Little is known about the threshold values of environmental conditions under which pikas either persist or disappear. Collared pikas (Ochotona collaris) inhabit alpine meadows in the Kluane region of the southwest Yukon. Sites located along an environmental gradient from nunataks in the St Elias Icefields to the Ruby Range Mountains have experienced different climatic and glacial histories. Using baseline data from the long-term study in the Ruby Ranges, we report on differences in the ecological and climatic conditions of sites along this gradient and how this translates into differences in the behavioural and population ecology of the pikas living there. By looking at these differences we can infer the potential impacts of a warming climate, and the subsequent ecological changes on collared pika populations in order to clarify the causes of local extinction and allow us to develop models for predicting ecological responses as conditions change under future climate regimes.

  19. Effect of Hypoxia on Ldh-c Expression in Somatic Cells of Plateau Pika.

    PubMed

    Wei, Dengbang; Wei, Linna; Li, Xiao; Wang, Yang; Wei, Lian

    2016-08-01

    Sperm specific lactate dehydrogenases (LDH-C₄) is a lactate dehydrogenase that catalyzes the conversion of pyruvate to lactate. In mammals, Ldh-c was originally thought to be expressed only in testes and spermatozoa. Plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae), which belongs to the genus Ochotona of the Ochotonidea family, is a hypoxia-tolerant mammal living 3000-5000 m above sea level on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, an environment which is strongly hypoxic. Ldh-c is expressed not only in testes and sperm, but also in the somatic tissues of plateau pika. To reveal the effect of hypoxia on pika Ldh-c expression, we investigated the mRNA and protein level of Ldh-c as well as the biochemical index of anaerobic glycolysis in pika somatic tissues at the altitudes of 2200 m, 3200 m and 3900 m. Our results showed that mRNA and protein expression levels of Ldh-c in the tissues of pika's heart, liver, brain and skeletal muscle were increased significantly from 2200 m to 3200 m, but had no difference from 3200 m to 3900 m; the activities of LDH and the contents of lactate showed no difference from 2200 m to 3200 m, but were increased significantly from 3200 m to 3900 m. Hypoxia up-regulated and maintained the expression levels of Ldh-c in the pika somatic cells. Under the hypoxia condition, plateau pikas increased anaerobic glycolysis in somatic cells by LDH-C₄, and that may have reduced their dependence on oxygen and enhanced their adaptation to the hypoxic environment.

  20. Effect of Hypoxia on Ldh-c Expression in Somatic Cells of Plateau Pika.

    PubMed

    Wei, Dengbang; Wei, Linna; Li, Xiao; Wang, Yang; Wei, Lian

    2016-01-01

    Sperm specific lactate dehydrogenases (LDH-C₄) is a lactate dehydrogenase that catalyzes the conversion of pyruvate to lactate. In mammals, Ldh-c was originally thought to be expressed only in testes and spermatozoa. Plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae), which belongs to the genus Ochotona of the Ochotonidea family, is a hypoxia-tolerant mammal living 3000-5000 m above sea level on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, an environment which is strongly hypoxic. Ldh-c is expressed not only in testes and sperm, but also in the somatic tissues of plateau pika. To reveal the effect of hypoxia on pika Ldh-c expression, we investigated the mRNA and protein level of Ldh-c as well as the biochemical index of anaerobic glycolysis in pika somatic tissues at the altitudes of 2200 m, 3200 m and 3900 m. Our results showed that mRNA and protein expression levels of Ldh-c in the tissues of pika's heart, liver, brain and skeletal muscle were increased significantly from 2200 m to 3200 m, but had no difference from 3200 m to 3900 m; the activities of LDH and the contents of lactate showed no difference from 2200 m to 3200 m, but were increased significantly from 3200 m to 3900 m. Hypoxia up-regulated and maintained the expression levels of Ldh-c in the pika somatic cells. Under the hypoxia condition, plateau pikas increased anaerobic glycolysis in somatic cells by LDH-C₄, and that may have reduced their dependence on oxygen and enhanced their adaptation to the hypoxic environment. PMID:27490559

  1. Spatially explicit models of dynamic histories: examination of the genetic consequences of Pleistocene glaciation and recent climate change on the American Pika.

    PubMed

    Brown, Jason L; Knowles, L Lacey

    2012-08-01

    A central goal of phylogeography is to identify and characterize the processes underlying divergence. One of the biggest impediments currently faced is how to capture the spatiotemporal dynamic under which a species evolved. Here, we described an approach that couples species distribution models (SDMs), demographic and genetic models in a spatiotemporally explicit manner. Analyses of American Pika (Ochotona princeps) from the sky islands of the central Rocky Mountains of North America are used to provide insights into key questions about integrative approaches in landscape genetics, population genetics and phylogeography. This includes (i) general issues surrounding the conversion of time-specific SDMs into simple continuous, dynamic landscapes from past to current, (ii) the utility of SDMs to inform demographic models with deme-specific carrying capacities and migration potentials as well as (iii) the contribution of the temporal dynamic of colonization history in shaping genetic patterns of contemporary populations. Our results support that the inclusion of a spatiotemporal dynamic is an important factor when studying the impact of distributional shifts on patterns of genetic data. Our results also demonstrate the utility of SDMs to generate species-specific predictions about patterns of genetic variation that account for varying degrees of habitat specialization and life history characteristics of taxa. Nevertheless, the results highlight some key issues when converting SDMs for use in demographic models. Because the transformations have direct effects on the genetic consequence of population expansion by prescribing how habitat heterogeneity and spatiotemporal variation is related to the species-specific demographic model, it is important to consider alternative transformations when studying the genetic consequences of distributional shifts.

  2. Spatially explicit models of dynamic histories: examination of the genetic consequences of Pleistocene glaciation and recent climate change on the American Pika.

    PubMed

    Brown, Jason L; Knowles, L Lacey

    2012-08-01

    A central goal of phylogeography is to identify and characterize the processes underlying divergence. One of the biggest impediments currently faced is how to capture the spatiotemporal dynamic under which a species evolved. Here, we described an approach that couples species distribution models (SDMs), demographic and genetic models in a spatiotemporally explicit manner. Analyses of American Pika (Ochotona princeps) from the sky islands of the central Rocky Mountains of North America are used to provide insights into key questions about integrative approaches in landscape genetics, population genetics and phylogeography. This includes (i) general issues surrounding the conversion of time-specific SDMs into simple continuous, dynamic landscapes from past to current, (ii) the utility of SDMs to inform demographic models with deme-specific carrying capacities and migration potentials as well as (iii) the contribution of the temporal dynamic of colonization history in shaping genetic patterns of contemporary populations. Our results support that the inclusion of a spatiotemporal dynamic is an important factor when studying the impact of distributional shifts on patterns of genetic data. Our results also demonstrate the utility of SDMs to generate species-specific predictions about patterns of genetic variation that account for varying degrees of habitat specialization and life history characteristics of taxa. Nevertheless, the results highlight some key issues when converting SDMs for use in demographic models. Because the transformations have direct effects on the genetic consequence of population expansion by prescribing how habitat heterogeneity and spatiotemporal variation is related to the species-specific demographic model, it is important to consider alternative transformations when studying the genetic consequences of distributional shifts. PMID:22702844

  3. After the frass: foraging pikas select patches previously grazed by caterpillars.

    PubMed

    Barrio, Isabel C; Hik, David S; Peck, Kristen; Bueno, C Guillermo

    2013-06-23

    Interactions among herbivores can shape the structure of their communities and drive their dynamics. However, detecting herbivore interactions can be challenging when they are deferred in space or time. Moreover, interactions among distantly related groups of herbivores, such as vertebrates and invertebrates, are poorly understood. We investigated the effect of invertebrate herbivory on the subsequent foraging choices of a small alpine-dwelling vertebrate, the collared pika (Ochotona collaris). We carried out a field experiment within pika territories, by presenting them with a choice of foraging sites following manipulation of invertebrate (caterpillar) herbivory. Pikas actively selected areas with increased, recent invertebrate herbivory. While the underlying mechanisms behind this interaction remain unknown, our results demonstrate a positive effect of invertebrate herbivores on subsequent vertebrate foraging preferences for the first time. Even among distantly related taxa, such interactions where one herbivore is cueing on the foraging of another, could drive the creation of herbivory hotspots, with cascading consequences for ecosystem processes.

  4. Effect of Hypoxia on Ldh-c Expression in Somatic Cells of Plateau Pika

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Dengbang; Wei, Linna; Li, Xiao; Wang, Yang; Wei, Lian

    2016-01-01

    Sperm specific lactate dehydrogenases (LDH-C4) is a lactate dehydrogenase that catalyzes the conversion of pyruvate to lactate. In mammals, Ldh-c was originally thought to be expressed only in testes and spermatozoa. Plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae), which belongs to the genus Ochotona of the Ochotonidea family, is a hypoxia-tolerant mammal living 3000–5000 m above sea level on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, an environment which is strongly hypoxic. Ldh-c is expressed not only in testes and sperm, but also in the somatic tissues of plateau pika. To reveal the effect of hypoxia on pika Ldh-c expression, we investigated the mRNA and protein level of Ldh-c as well as the biochemical index of anaerobic glycolysis in pika somatic tissues at the altitudes of 2200 m, 3200 m and 3900 m. Our results showed that mRNA and protein expression levels of Ldh-c in the tissues of pika’s heart, liver, brain and skeletal muscle were increased significantly from 2200 m to 3200 m, but had no difference from 3200 m to 3900 m; the activities of LDH and the contents of lactate showed no difference from 2200 m to 3200 m, but were increased significantly from 3200 m to 3900 m. Hypoxia up-regulated and maintained the expression levels of Ldh-c in the pika somatic cells. Under the hypoxia condition, plateau pikas increased anaerobic glycolysis in somatic cells by LDH-C4, and that may have reduced their dependence on oxygen and enhanced their adaptation to the hypoxic environment. PMID:27490559

  5. Postnatal ontogenetic size and shape changes in the craniums of plateau pika and woolly hare (Mammalia: Lagomorpha)

    PubMed Central

    Zhi-Gui, ZHANG; De-Yan, GE

    2014-01-01

    In the present study, postnatal ontogenetic size and shape changes in the cranium of two lagomorph species, the plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) and woolly hare (Lepus oiostolus), were investigated by geometric morphometrics. The ontogenetic size and shape changes of their cranium exhibited different growth patterns in response to similar environmental pressures on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. The overall size change in the cranium of the plateau pika was slower than that of the woolly hare. The percentage of ontogenetic shape variance explained by size in the woolly hare was greater than that in the plateau pika. The overall shape of the cranium was narrowed in both species, and morphological components in relation to neural maturity showed negative allometry, while those responsible for muscular development showed isometric or positive allometry. The most remarkable shape variations in the plateau pika were associated with food acquisition (temporalis development), though other remarkable shape variations in the incisive and palatal foramen in the ventral view were also observed. The most important shape change in the woolly hare was demonstrated by the elongation of the nasal bones, expansion of the supra-orbital process and shape variation of the neurocranium. PMID:25017747

  6. Diet Diversity Is Associated with Beta but not Alpha Diversity of Pika Gut Microbiota.

    PubMed

    Li, Huan; Li, Tongtong; Beasley, DeAnna E; Heděnec, Petr; Xiao, Zhishu; Zhang, Shiheng; Li, Jiabao; Lin, Qiang; Li, Xiangzhen

    2016-01-01

    Wild mammals often consume different food sources as they become geographical available. This change in diet composition is likely to influence the gut microbial community, yet it remains unclear what the relationship looks like-particularly in small herbivores-under natural conditions. We used DNA sequencing approaches to characterize the diet composition and gut microbial community of wild plateau pikas (Ochotona curzoniae) collected from three altitudes. We tested if diet and gut microbiota composition changes across altitudes, and the relationship between diet diversity and gut microbiota diversity. Our results showed that altitude significantly influences the composition of diet and gut microbial communities. Notably, the alpha diversity (Shannon diversity and observed OTUs) of individual diet was not significantly correlated with that of gut microbiota, whereas the beta diversity (Jaccard and Bray-Curtis dissimilarity) of diet was positively correlated with that of gut microbiota. Our study is the first time to highlight the relationship between diet and gut microbiota composition in wild pikas on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. It suggests that the species richness within individual gut microbiota does not linearly increase with diet diversity, whereas those individuals that are more similar in diet composition harbor more similar gut microbiota. PMID:27512391

  7. Pika Population Density Is Associated with the Composition and Diversity of Gut Microbiota.

    PubMed

    Li, Huan; Qu, Jiapeng; Li, Tongtong; Li, Jiabao; Lin, Qiang; Li, Xiangzhen

    2016-01-01

    Host population density is positively associated with the strength of social interactions or the frequency of physical contacts, and thus potentially influences microbial transmission among individuals. However, the relationship between host density and gut microbiota remains unknown. Here, we characterized the gut microbiota of plateau pikas (Ochotona curzoniae) in wild experimental fields with different host population densities. The abundance of some gut microbes significantly correlated with host density, such as Ruminococcaceae, Lachnospiraceae, and Staphylococcaceae. Intriguingly, host density was positively correlated with alpha diversity (Shannon diversity and observed species) of gut microbial communities. The inter-individual gut microbiota within high-density groups were more similar to each other than those of low-density groups. Host density significantly explained the variations in the gut microbiota, even after controlling sex, weight, diet and geographical locations. Based on the PICRUSt metagenome prediction, positive correlations were observed between host density and the relative abundances of 12 gene functions involved in cellular processes, environmental information processing and metabolism. These results indicate the importance of host density as a factor in shaping gut microbial composition and diversity in plateau pikas, and may further help us understand the social transmission of gut microbiota. PMID:27242770

  8. Pika Population Density Is Associated with the Composition and Diversity of Gut Microbiota

    PubMed Central

    Li, Huan; Qu, Jiapeng; Li, Tongtong; Li, Jiabao; Lin, Qiang; Li, Xiangzhen

    2016-01-01

    Host population density is positively associated with the strength of social interactions or the frequency of physical contacts, and thus potentially influences microbial transmission among individuals. However, the relationship between host density and gut microbiota remains unknown. Here, we characterized the gut microbiota of plateau pikas (Ochotona curzoniae) in wild experimental fields with different host population densities. The abundance of some gut microbes significantly correlated with host density, such as Ruminococcaceae, Lachnospiraceae, and Staphylococcaceae. Intriguingly, host density was positively correlated with alpha diversity (Shannon diversity and observed species) of gut microbial communities. The inter-individual gut microbiota within high-density groups were more similar to each other than those of low-density groups. Host density significantly explained the variations in the gut microbiota, even after controlling sex, weight, diet and geographical locations. Based on the PICRUSt metagenome prediction, positive correlations were observed between host density and the relative abundances of 12 gene functions involved in cellular processes, environmental information processing and metabolism. These results indicate the importance of host density as a factor in shaping gut microbial composition and diversity in plateau pikas, and may further help us understand the social transmission of gut microbiota. PMID:27242770

  9. Diet Diversity Is Associated with Beta but not Alpha Diversity of Pika Gut Microbiota

    PubMed Central

    Li, Huan; Li, Tongtong; Beasley, DeAnna E.; Heděnec, Petr; Xiao, Zhishu; Zhang, Shiheng; Li, Jiabao; Lin, Qiang; Li, Xiangzhen

    2016-01-01

    Wild mammals often consume different food sources as they become geographical available. This change in diet composition is likely to influence the gut microbial community, yet it remains unclear what the relationship looks like—particularly in small herbivores—under natural conditions. We used DNA sequencing approaches to characterize the diet composition and gut microbial community of wild plateau pikas (Ochotona curzoniae) collected from three altitudes. We tested if diet and gut microbiota composition changes across altitudes, and the relationship between diet diversity and gut microbiota diversity. Our results showed that altitude significantly influences the composition of diet and gut microbial communities. Notably, the alpha diversity (Shannon diversity and observed OTUs) of individual diet was not significantly correlated with that of gut microbiota, whereas the beta diversity (Jaccard and Bray-Curtis dissimilarity) of diet was positively correlated with that of gut microbiota. Our study is the first time to highlight the relationship between diet and gut microbiota composition in wild pikas on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. It suggests that the species richness within individual gut microbiota does not linearly increase with diet diversity, whereas those individuals that are more similar in diet composition harbor more similar gut microbiota. PMID:27512391

  10. Pika Population Density Is Associated with the Composition and Diversity of Gut Microbiota.

    PubMed

    Li, Huan; Qu, Jiapeng; Li, Tongtong; Li, Jiabao; Lin, Qiang; Li, Xiangzhen

    2016-01-01

    Host population density is positively associated with the strength of social interactions or the frequency of physical contacts, and thus potentially influences microbial transmission among individuals. However, the relationship between host density and gut microbiota remains unknown. Here, we characterized the gut microbiota of plateau pikas (Ochotona curzoniae) in wild experimental fields with different host population densities. The abundance of some gut microbes significantly correlated with host density, such as Ruminococcaceae, Lachnospiraceae, and Staphylococcaceae. Intriguingly, host density was positively correlated with alpha diversity (Shannon diversity and observed species) of gut microbial communities. The inter-individual gut microbiota within high-density groups were more similar to each other than those of low-density groups. Host density significantly explained the variations in the gut microbiota, even after controlling sex, weight, diet and geographical locations. Based on the PICRUSt metagenome prediction, positive correlations were observed between host density and the relative abundances of 12 gene functions involved in cellular processes, environmental information processing and metabolism. These results indicate the importance of host density as a factor in shaping gut microbial composition and diversity in plateau pikas, and may further help us understand the social transmission of gut microbiota.

  11. Herbivory and Competition of Tibetan Steppe Vegetation in Winter Pasture: Effects of Livestock Exclosure and Plateau Pika Reduction.

    PubMed

    Harris, Richard B; Wenying, Wang; Badinqiuying; Smith, Andrew T; Bedunah, Donald J

    2015-01-01

    Rangeland degradation has been identified as a serious concern in alpine regions of western China on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau (QTP). Numerous government-sponsored programs have been initiated, including many that feature long-term grazing prohibitions and some that call for eliminating pastoralism altogether. As well, government programs have long favored eliminating plateau pikas (Ochotona curzoniae), assumed to contribute to degraded conditions. However, vegetation on the QTP evolved in the presence of herbivory, suggesting that deleterious effects from grazing are, to some extent, compensated for by reduced plant-plant competition. We examined the dynamics of common steppe ecosystem species as well as physical indicators of rangeland stress by excluding livestock and reducing pika abundance on experimental plots, and following responses for 4 years. We established 12 fenced livestock exclosures within pastures grazed during winter by local pastoralists, and removed pikas on half of these. We established paired, permanent vegetation plots within and outside exclosures and measured indices of erosion and biomass of common plant species. We observed modest restoration of physical site conditions (reduced bare soil, erosion, greater vegetation cover) with both livestock exclusion and pika reduction. As expected in areas protected from grazing, we observed a reduction in annual productivity of plant species avoided by livestock and assumed to compete poorly when protected from grazing. Contrary to expectation, we observed similar reductions in annual productivity among palatable, perennial graminoids under livestock exclusion. The dominant grass, Stipa purpurea, displayed evidence of density-dependent growth, suggesting that intra-specific competition exerted a regulatory effect on annual production in the absence of grazing. Complete grazing bans on winter pastures in steppe habitats on the QTP may assist in the recovery of highly eroded pastures, but may not

  12. Herbivory and Competition of Tibetan Steppe Vegetation in Winter Pasture: Effects of Livestock Exclosure and Plateau Pika Reduction

    PubMed Central

    Harris, Richard B.; Wenying, Wang; Badinqiuying; Smith, Andrew T.

    2015-01-01

    Rangeland degradation has been identified as a serious concern in alpine regions of western China on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau (QTP). Numerous government-sponsored programs have been initiated, including many that feature long-term grazing prohibitions and some that call for eliminating pastoralism altogether. As well, government programs have long favored eliminating plateau pikas (Ochotona curzoniae), assumed to contribute to degraded conditions. However, vegetation on the QTP evolved in the presence of herbivory, suggesting that deleterious effects from grazing are, to some extent, compensated for by reduced plant-plant competition. We examined the dynamics of common steppe ecosystem species as well as physical indicators of rangeland stress by excluding livestock and reducing pika abundance on experimental plots, and following responses for 4 years. We established 12 fenced livestock exclosures within pastures grazed during winter by local pastoralists, and removed pikas on half of these. We established paired, permanent vegetation plots within and outside exclosures and measured indices of erosion and biomass of common plant species. We observed modest restoration of physical site conditions (reduced bare soil, erosion, greater vegetation cover) with both livestock exclusion and pika reduction. As expected in areas protected from grazing, we observed a reduction in annual productivity of plant species avoided by livestock and assumed to compete poorly when protected from grazing. Contrary to expectation, we observed similar reductions in annual productivity among palatable, perennial graminoids under livestock exclusion. The dominant grass, Stipa purpurea, displayed evidence of density-dependent growth, suggesting that intra-specific competition exerted a regulatory effect on annual production in the absence of grazing. Complete grazing bans on winter pastures in steppe habitats on the QTP may assist in the recovery of highly eroded pastures, but may not

  13. Influence of food hoarding behavior on the over-winter survival of pikas in strongly seasonal environments.

    PubMed

    Morrison, Shawn F; Pelchat, Graeme; Donahue, Aaron; Hik, David S

    2009-02-01

    Food hoarding is a behavioral adaptation of some herbivores to manage food availability through time and space. In strongly seasonal environments, where summer growing seasons are short relative to winter, an earlier start to hoarding should increase the amount of vegetation stored for winter and improve subsequent survival. We examined hoarding behavior ('haying') and its impact on survival for a small alpine lagomorph, the collared pika (Ochotona collaris) in Yukon, Canada. We used a combination of video surveillance, haypile measurements, and survival data from marked individuals of known age and sex. Annual haypile initiation was strongly influenced by age and year. Adult pikas began haying an average of 16 days earlier in 2004 relative to 2005, whereas young of the year (juveniles) did not vary in the timing of haypile initiation. The mean haying rate per hour increased monthly from 3.7 +/- 0.7 trips in June to 6.6 +/- 0.8 trips in August. Simulation analysis estimated the median haypile mass (dry weight) by mid-September to be 5.5 kg. At least 75% of simulated haypiles had a minimum of 90 days (3 months) of food reserves, and 50% of simulated haypiles had a minimum of 177 days (5.9 months) of food reserves by mid-September, supporting the hypothesis that haypiles serve as the primary source of food during winter. Survival was greatest for pikas in 2005 when they began haying prior to 31 July, but the benefits of earlier accumulation of vegetation on survival also varied between years. The implications of earlier spring snowmelt are discussed with respect to pika foraging and overwinter survival.

  14. How Far into Europe Did Pikas (Lagomorpha: Ochotonidae) Go during the Pleistocene? New Evidence from Central Iberia.

    PubMed

    Laplana, César; Sevilla, Paloma; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Arriaza, Mari Carmen; Baquedano, Enrique; Pérez-González, Alfredo; López-Martínez, Nieves

    2015-01-01

    This paper reports the first find of pika remains in the Iberian Peninsula, at a site in central Spain. A fragmented mandible of Ochotona cf. pusilla was unearthed from Layer 3 (deposited some 63.4±5.5 ka ago as determined by thermoluminescence) of the Buena Pinta Cave. This record establishes new limits for the genus geographic distribution during the Pleistocene, shifting the previous edge of its known range southwest by some 500 km. It also supports the idea that, even though Europe's alpine mountain ranges represented a barrier that prevented the dispersal into the south to this and other taxa of small mammals from central and eastern Europe, they were crossed or circumvented at the coldest time intervals of the end of the Middle Pleistocene and of the Late Pleistocene. During those periods both the reduction of the forest cover and the emersion of large areas of the continental shelf due to the drop of the sea level probably provided these species a way to surpass this barrier. The pika mandible was found accompanying the remains of other small mammals adapted to cold climates, indicating the presence of steppe environments in central Iberia during the Late Pleistocene. PMID:26535576

  15. How Far into Europe Did Pikas (Lagomorpha: Ochotonidae) Go during the Pleistocene? New Evidence from Central Iberia

    PubMed Central

    Laplana, César; Sevilla, Paloma; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Arriaza, Mari Carmen; Baquedano, Enrique; Pérez-González, Alfredo

    2015-01-01

    This paper reports the first find of pika remains in the Iberian Peninsula, at a site in central Spain. A fragmented mandible of Ochotona cf. pusilla was unearthed from Layer 3 (deposited some 63.4±5.5 ka ago as determined by thermoluminescence) of the Buena Pinta Cave. This record establishes new limits for the genus geographic distribution during the Pleistocene, shifting the previous edge of its known range southwest by some 500 km. It also supports the idea that, even though Europe’s alpine mountain ranges represented a barrier that prevented the dispersal into the south to this and other taxa of small mammals from central and eastern Europe, they were crossed or circumvented at the coldest time intervals of the end of the Middle Pleistocene and of the Late Pleistocene. During those periods both the reduction of the forest cover and the emersion of large areas of the continental shelf due to the drop of the sea level probably provided these species a way to surpass this barrier. The pika mandible was found accompanying the remains of other small mammals adapted to cold climates, indicating the presence of steppe environments in central Iberia during the Late Pleistocene. PMID:26535576

  16. Pika and vole mitochondrial genomes increase support for both rodent monophyly and glires.

    PubMed

    Lin, Yu-Hsin; Waddell, Peter J; Penny, David

    2002-07-10

    Complete mitochondrial genomes are reported for a pika (Ochotona collaris) and a vole (Volemys kikuchii) then analysed together with 35 other mitochondrial genomes from mammals. With standard phylogenetic methods the pika joins with the other lagomorph (rabbit) and the vole with the other murid rodents (rat and mouse). In addition, with hedgehog excluded, the seven rodent genomes consistently form a homogeneous group in the unrooted placental tree. Except for uncertainty of the position of tree shrew, the clade Glires (monophyletic rodents plus lagomorphs) is consistently found. The unrooted tree obtained by ProtML (Protein Maximum Likelihood, a program in MOLPHY) is compatible with a reclassification of mammals [Syst. Biol. 48, 1-5 (1999)] which is also supported by other recent studies. However, when this tree is rooted with marsupials plus platypus, the outgroup often joins the lineage leading to the three murid rodents, so the rodents are no longer monophyletic. Apart from misplacing the root, the presence of the outgroups also distorts other parts of the unrooted tree. Either constraining the tree to maintain rodents monophyletic, or omitting murids, maintains the ingroup tree and sees the outgroup join on the edge to Xenarthra, to Afrotheria, or to these two groups together. This emphasises the importance of carrying out both an unrooted and a rooted analysis. It is known from cancer research that murid rodents have reduced activity in some DNA repair mechanisms and this alters their substitution pattern - this may be the case for mitochnodrial DNA as well. Comparing nucleotide compositions may identify taxa that differ in aspects of their DNA repair mechanisms.

  17. Artemisia princeps Inhibits Biofilm Formation and Virulence-Factor Expression of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria.

    PubMed

    Choi, Na-Young; Kang, Sun-Young; Kim, Kang-Ju

    2015-01-01

    In this study, we used ethanol extract of A. princeps and investigated its antibacterial effects against MRSA. Ethanol extract of A. princeps significantly inhibited MRSA growth and organic acid production during glucose metabolism at concentrations greater than 1 mg/mL (P < 0.05). MRSA biofilm formation was observed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and safranin staining. A. princeps extract was found to inhibit MRSA biofilm formation at concentrations higher than 2 mg/mL significantly (P < 0.05). Bactericidal effects of the A. princeps were observed using confocal laser microscopy, which showed that A. princeps was bactericidal in a dose-dependent manner. Using real-time PCR, expression of mecA, an antibiotic-resistance gene of MRSA, was observed, along with that of sea, agrA, and sarA. A. princeps significantly inhibited mecA, sea, agrA, and sarA, mRNA expression at the concentrations greater than 1 mg/mL (P < 0.05). The phytochemical analysis of A. princeps showed a relatively high content of organic acids and glycosides. The results of this study suggest that the ethanol extract of A. princeps may inhibit proliferation, acid production, biofilm formation, and virulence gene expressions of MRSA, which may be related to organic acids and glycosides, the major components in the extract.

  18. Artemisia princeps Inhibits Biofilm Formation and Virulence-Factor Expression of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Na-Young; Kang, Sun-Young; Kim, Kang-Ju

    2015-01-01

    In this study, we used ethanol extract of A. princeps and investigated its antibacterial effects against MRSA. Ethanol extract of A. princeps significantly inhibited MRSA growth and organic acid production during glucose metabolism at concentrations greater than 1 mg/mL (P < 0.05). MRSA biofilm formation was observed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and safranin staining. A. princeps extract was found to inhibit MRSA biofilm formation at concentrations higher than 2 mg/mL significantly (P < 0.05). Bactericidal effects of the A. princeps were observed using confocal laser microscopy, which showed that A. princeps was bactericidal in a dose-dependent manner. Using real-time PCR, expression of mecA, an antibiotic-resistance gene of MRSA, was observed, along with that of sea, agrA, and sarA. A. princeps significantly inhibited mecA, sea, agrA, and sarA, mRNA expression at the concentrations greater than 1 mg/mL (P < 0.05). The phytochemical analysis of A. princeps showed a relatively high content of organic acids and glycosides. The results of this study suggest that the ethanol extract of A. princeps may inhibit proliferation, acid production, biofilm formation, and virulence gene expressions of MRSA, which may be related to organic acids and glycosides, the major components in the extract. PMID:26247012

  19. Understanding relationships among abundance, extirpation, and climate at ecoregional scales.

    PubMed

    Beever, Erik A; Dobrowski, S Z; Long, J; Mynsberge, A R; Piekielek, N B

    2013-07-01

    Recent research on mountain-dwelling species has illustrated changes in species distributional patterns in response to climate change. Abundance of a species will likely provide an earlier warning indicator of change than will occupancy, yet relationships between abundance and climatic factors have received less attention. We tested whether predictors of counts of American pikas (Ochotona princeps) during surveys from the Great Basin region in 1994-1999 and 2003-2008 differed between the two periods. Additionally, we tested whether various modeled aspects of ecohydrology better predicted relative density than did average annual precipitation, and whether risk of site-wide extirpation predicted subsequent population counts of pikas. We observed several patterns of change in pika abundance at range edges that likely constitute early warnings of distributional shifts. Predictors of pika abundance differed strongly between the survey periods, as did pika extirpation patterns previously reported from this region. Additionally, maximum snowpack and growing-season precipitation resulted in better-supported models than those using average annual precipitation, and constituted two of the top three predictors of pika density in the 2000s surveys (affecting pikas perhaps via vegetation). Unexpectedly, we found that extirpation risk positively predicted subsequent population size. Our results emphasize the need to clarify mechanisms underlying biotic responses to recent climate change at organism-relevant scales, to inform management and conservation strategies for species of concern.

  20. Understanding relationships among abundance, extirpation,and climate at ecoregional scales

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beever, Erik A.; Solomon Dubrowski,; ,; ,; J. Long,; ,; A. Mysnberge,; Piekielek, N. B.

    2014-01-01

    Recent research on mountain-dwelling species has illustrated changes in species’ distributional patterns in response to climate change. Abundance of a species will likely provide an earlier warning indicator of change than will occupancy, yet relationships between abundance and climatic factors have received less attention. We tested whether predictors of counts of American pikas (Ochotona princeps) during surveys from the Great Basin region in 1994–1999 and 2003–2008 differed between the two periods. Additionally, we tested whether various modeled aspects of ecohydrology better predicted relative density than did average annual precipitation, and whether risk of site-wide extirpation predicted subsequent population counts of pikas. We observed several patterns of change in pika abundance at range edges that likely constitute early warnings of distributional shifts. Predictors of pika abundance differed strongly between the survey periods, as did pika extirpation patterns previously reported from this region. Additionally, maximum snowpack and growing-season precipitation resulted in better-supported models than those using average annual precipitation, and constituted two of the top three predictors of pika density in the 2000s surveys (affecting pikas perhaps via vegetation). Unexpectedly, we found that extirpation risk positively predicted subsequent population size. Our results emphasize the need to clarify mechanisms underlying biotic responses to recent climate change at organism-relevant scales, to inform management and conservation strategies for species of concern.

  1. Characterization of H7N2 Avian Influenza Virus in Wild Birds and Pikas in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Area

    PubMed Central

    Su, Shuo; Xing, Gang; Wang, Junhua; Li, Zengkui; Gu, Jinyan; Yan, Liping; Lei, Jing; Ji, Senlin; Hu, Boli; Gray, Gregory C.; Yan, Yan; Zhou, Jiyong

    2016-01-01

    Qinghai Lake is a major migrating bird breeding site that has experienced several recent highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) epizootics. From 2006 to 2009 we studied Qinghai’s wild birds and pikas for evidence of AIV infections. We sampled 941 healthy wild animals and isolated seventeen H7N2 viruses (eight from pikas and nine from wild birds). The H7N2 viruses were phylogenetically closely related to each other and to viruses isolated in Hong Kong in the 1970s. We determined the pathogenicity of the H7N2 viruses by infecting chickens and mice. Our results suggest that pikas might play an important role in the ecology of AIVs, acting as intermediate hosts in which viruses become more adapted to mammals. Our findings of AI infection in pikas are consistent with previous observations and raise the possibility that pikas might play a previously unrecognized role in the ecology of AIVs peridomestic aquatic environments. PMID:27553660

  2. Characterization of H7N2 Avian Influenza Virus in Wild Birds and Pikas in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Area.

    PubMed

    Su, Shuo; Xing, Gang; Wang, Junhua; Li, Zengkui; Gu, Jinyan; Yan, Liping; Lei, Jing; Ji, Senlin; Hu, Boli; Gray, Gregory C; Yan, Yan; Zhou, Jiyong

    2016-08-24

    Qinghai Lake is a major migrating bird breeding site that has experienced several recent highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) epizootics. From 2006 to 2009 we studied Qinghai's wild birds and pikas for evidence of AIV infections. We sampled 941 healthy wild animals and isolated seventeen H7N2 viruses (eight from pikas and nine from wild birds). The H7N2 viruses were phylogenetically closely related to each other and to viruses isolated in Hong Kong in the 1970s. We determined the pathogenicity of the H7N2 viruses by infecting chickens and mice. Our results suggest that pikas might play an important role in the ecology of AIVs, acting as intermediate hosts in which viruses become more adapted to mammals. Our findings of AI infection in pikas are consistent with previous observations and raise the possibility that pikas might play a previously unrecognized role in the ecology of AIVs peridomestic aquatic environments.

  3. Characterization of H7N2 Avian Influenza Virus in Wild Birds and Pikas in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Area.

    PubMed

    Su, Shuo; Xing, Gang; Wang, Junhua; Li, Zengkui; Gu, Jinyan; Yan, Liping; Lei, Jing; Ji, Senlin; Hu, Boli; Gray, Gregory C; Yan, Yan; Zhou, Jiyong

    2016-01-01

    Qinghai Lake is a major migrating bird breeding site that has experienced several recent highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) epizootics. From 2006 to 2009 we studied Qinghai's wild birds and pikas for evidence of AIV infections. We sampled 941 healthy wild animals and isolated seventeen H7N2 viruses (eight from pikas and nine from wild birds). The H7N2 viruses were phylogenetically closely related to each other and to viruses isolated in Hong Kong in the 1970s. We determined the pathogenicity of the H7N2 viruses by infecting chickens and mice. Our results suggest that pikas might play an important role in the ecology of AIVs, acting as intermediate hosts in which viruses become more adapted to mammals. Our findings of AI infection in pikas are consistent with previous observations and raise the possibility that pikas might play a previously unrecognized role in the ecology of AIVs peridomestic aquatic environments. PMID:27553660

  4. Symmetric peace education as advanced by Anatol Pikas — A critique and an analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brock-Utne, Birgit

    1983-09-01

    The ideas of symmetric peace and symmetric peace education, developed by Anatol Pikas in the preceding article, are here criticised for their lack of definition; it is also alleged that inadequate explanation is given of how the concepts may be applied — for example, in the case of a strong power oppressing a weak one. In particular, this critique concentrates on Pikas' assumption of who the antagonists are, and on his belief in the value of prepared teaching materials. Brock-Utne argues that the common enemy is the arms race itself and that the inculcation of critical and discriminating attitudes is likely to be more effective than producing teaching packages. Constructive alternative ideas, incorporating some of Pikas' thinking, are offered. These emphasize (1) the importance of joint cultural/education exchange programmes for promoting international understanding at grass-roots level; (2) the need to put one's own house in order before criticising the neighbour's — a reference to Sweden's policies, with which Pikas claims to identify, and to the implications of Norway's membership of NATO for those in that country concerned with building peace; and (3) the desirability of setting up fora where, under the right conditions, a type of symmetric peace education can be pursued.

  5. Phytochemical Characteristics of Seeds and Its Effects on the Intestinal Motility and Toxicity of Joannesia princeps.

    PubMed

    Araújo, Adriano Cressoni; Guiguer, Élen Landgraf; Barbalho, Sandra Maria; Bueno, Patrícia C S; Lopes, Juliana Agostinho; da Silva, Bruna Ferreira; Girotto, Letícia Cabrini; de Paula, Marina Guirro; Zeber, Paulo Vitor; de Alvares Goulart, Ricardo

    2016-01-01

    Joannesia princeps is a plant commonly used in folk medicine as laxative for menstrual discomfort and as antihelminthic and antimicrobial to reduce edema and improve tissue healing. The seeds are used in many regions of Brazil as laxative; however, studies are needed to confirm its effectiveness and safety. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of using seeds of this plant on intestinal motility of Wistar rats, evaluate the effects and acute toxicity of its management, as well as determine its phytochemical profile. The evaluation of the effect on the intestinal motility was performed according to the model described by Michelin and Salgado (2004) with modifications. For the evaluation of acute toxicity, we used the model described by Craveiro et al. (2008) and Goloni et al. (2005), and for the analysis of the presence of alkaloids, flavonoids, anthraquinones, steroids, and other components, we used the method described by Carvalho et al. (2006). The results showed that J. princeps exhibits laxative effects similar to those of Senna species such as Cassia angustifolia and the phytochemical analysis of ethanol and aqueous extracts showed the presence of alkaloids, triterpenes, and/or steroids compounds. Acute toxicity showed in the first 12 h: piloerection, contortion, decreased respiratory rate, diarrhea, and weight loss. After this period, these changes were no longer observed. It was concluded that the seeds of this plant have potential laxative activity, confirming the popular use and that the dose of 5 g/kg can be considered safe for consumption.

  6. The memory-ameliorating effects of Artemisia princeps var. orientalis against cholinergic dysfunction in mice.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiaotong; Kim, Dong Hyun; Kim, Jong Min; Park, Se Jin; Cai, Mudan; Jang, Dae Sik; Ryu, Jong Hoon

    2012-01-01

    Artemisia princeps var. orientalis (Compositae) is widely distributed in China, Japan and Korea and is known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative activities. The ethyl acetate fraction of ethanolic extract of A. princeps var. orientalis (AEA) was found to inhibit acetylcholinesterase activity in a dose-dependent manner in vitro (IC(50) value: 541.4 ± 67.5 μg/ml). Therefore, we investigated the effects of AEA on scopolamine-induced learning and memory impairment using the passive avoidance, the Y-maze, and the Morris water maze tasks in mice. AEA (100 or 200 mg/kg, p.o.) significantly ameliorated scopolamine-induced cognitive impairments in the passive avoidance and Y-maze tasks (p < 0.05). In the Morris water maze task, AEA (200 mg/kg, p.o.) significantly shortened escape latencies in training trials and increased both swimming time spent in the target zone and probe crossing numbers during the probe trial as compared with scopolamine-treated mice (p < 0.05). Additionally, the ameliorating effect of AEA on scopolamine-induced memory impairment was antagonized by a subeffective dose of MK-801. These results suggest that AEA could be an effective treatment against cholinergic dysfunction and its effect is mediated by the enhancement of the cholinergic neurotransmitter system via NMDA receptor signaling or acetylcholinesterase inhibition.

  7. Parasite structure of the Ocean Whitefish Caulolatilus princeps from Baja California, México (East Pacific)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodríguez-Santiago, M. A.; Rosales-Casián, J. A.

    2011-06-01

    The metazoan parasite fauna of Caulolatilus princeps from northern Baja California, Mexico is quantitatively described for the first time. Further, the ecological aspects of prevalence, abundance, and intensity of infection are examined through an annual cycle. Six parasite species were recorded; 2 ectoparasites (1 monogenean and 1 copepod) and 4 endoparasites (2 digeneans and 2 nematodes). The digeneans Choanodera caulolatili and Bianium plicitum, the nematodes Anisakis sp. and Hysterothylacium sp., and the copepod Hatschekia sp. set new geographical and host records. The highest values of prevalence and abundance were in Anisakis sp. (prevalence = 93.3%, abundance = 12.4 ± 4.7 ind/host) and in Hysterothylacium sp. (prevalence = 86.6%, abundance = 16.5 ± 3.4 ind/host). The mean intensity of infection showed maximum values in summer (August = 14.2) and minimums in winter (February = 4.2). The mean intensity was higher in Hatschekia sp. (20.3 ± 7.8) followed by Hysterothylacium sp. (18.6 ± 1.4) and Anisakis sp. (12.9 ± 2.2). Larval stages of Anisakis and Hysterothylacium were particularly important due to their high abundance and prevalence, because they represent a human health risk (anisakiasis). In addition, the relationships between the metazoan parasites of C. princeps and host size and weight, fish condition and water temperature (bottom) are discussed.

  8. Role of glutamate and serotonin on the hypoxic ventilatory response in high-altitude-adapted plateau Pika.

    PubMed

    Bai, Zhenzhong; Voituron, Nicolas; Wuren, Tana; Jeton, Florine; Jin, Guoen; Marchant, Dominique; Richalet, Jean-Paul; Ge, Ri-Li; Pichon, Aurélien P

    2015-07-01

    The highland "plateau Pika" is considered to be adapted to chronic hypoxia. We hypothesized that glutamate N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) and non-NMDA receptors, nitric oxide (NO) synthase, and serotonin are involved in hypoxic ventilatory response (HVR) in Pikas. We tested the effects of NMDA (memantine) and non-NMDA receptors (DNQX) antagonists, NO synthase inhibitor (L-NAME), and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (fluoxetine) on ventilation and HVR in Pikas. Ventilatory parameters were measured before and after drug (or vehicle) injections in conscious Pikas at their natural living altitude (PIO2 86 mmHg) and after a hypoxic challenge (PIO2 57 mmHg, 3 min) to assess the influence of peripheral chemoreceptor on HVR. Minute ventilation (VI) and tidal volume (Vt) increased during hypoxic challenge after vehicle injection, whereas the Ti/Ttot ratio remained unchanged. The increase in VI and Vt observed with vehicle at PIO2-57, when compared with PIO2-86, was inhibited after memantine and fluoxetine injection, whereas the DNQX injection increased HVR. At PIO2-57, L-NAME induced an increase in the Ti/Ttot ratio when compared with vehicle. Therefore, the glutamate through NMDA-R/AMPA receptor bindings and serotonin pathway are implicated at the peripheral chemoreceptor level in HVR in Pikas. However, NO influences the ventilatory pattern of Pikas at their habitual living altitude.

  9. Allelopathic effects of water extracts ofArtemisia princeps var.orientalis on selected plant species.

    PubMed

    Kil, B S; Yun, K W

    1992-01-01

    The allelopathic effects of wormwood plants (Artemisia princeps var.orientalis) and their possible phytotoxicity on receptor species were investigated. The aqueous extracts of mature leaf, stem, and root of wormwood plants caused significant inhibition in germination and decreased seedling elongation of receptor plants, whereas germination of some species was not inhibited by extracts of stems and roots. Dry weight growth was slightly increased at lower concentrations of the extract, whereas it was proportionally inhibited at higher concentrations. The calorie value of the organic matter in receptor plants measured by bomb calorimeter was reduced proportionally to the extract concentration. However, results with extracts of juvenile leaf did not correlate with inhibition or promotion of elongation and dry weight. PMID:24254631

  10. Reproduction and embryonic development in two species of squaliform sharks, Centrophorus granulosus and Etmopterus princeps: Evidence of matrotrophy?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cotton, Charles F.; Dean Grubbs, R.; Dyb, Jan E.; Fossen, Inge; Musick, John A.

    2015-05-01

    Modes of reproduction and embryonic development vary greatly among the elasmobranchs, and prior studies have suggested that the energetic toll of embryogenesis in lecithotrophic species depletes embryonic organic matter by 20% or more. Matrotrophic species experience a lesser reduction or an increase in organic matter during embryogenesis. To investigate the maternal-embryonic nutritional relationship, we measured changes in organic matter from fertilization to near-parturition in embryos of Centrophorus granulosus and Etmopterus princeps. Embryos of C. granulosus experienced a reduction of 19.5% in organic matter, while E. princeps embryos experienced a reduction of 7.7% in organic matter over the course of embryonic development, suggesting some level of matrotrophy occurs, particularly for the latter species. Uterine villi were present in both species and developed concurrently with the embryos, increasing in length and thickness while becoming progressively vascularized. Embryos of C. granulosus were dissected to track the partitioning of water, organic matter, and inorganic matter to the liver, external yolk sac, internal yolk sac, digestive tract, and evicerated body throughout development. Mating was aseasonal for both species and spatially-mediated segregation by sex and maturity stage was observed. Ovarian cycles were concurrent for C. granulosus and consecutive for E. princeps. Size at maturity for C. granulosus was determined to be 111 cm TL for males and 143 cm TL for females, with an average fecundity of 5.3 embryos (range=4-7). Size at maturity for E. princeps was determined to be 56.5 cm TL for males and 61 cm TL for females north of the Azores and 54 cm TL for males and 69 cm TL for females near the Charlie Gibbs Fracture Zone. Average fecundity was 11.2 embryos (range=7-18) for this species. This is the first reporting of reproductive parameters for these two species, and the information provided will be valuable for informing stock assessment

  11. A novel rabies vaccine based-on toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) agonist PIKA adjuvant exhibiting excellent safety and efficacy in animal studies.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yi; Zhang, Shoufeng; Li, Wei; Hu, Yuchi; Zhao, Jinyan; Liu, Fang; Lin, Haixiang; Liu, Yuan; Wang, Liliang; Xu, Shu; Hu, Rongliang; Shao, Hui; Li, Lietao

    2016-02-01

    Vaccination alone is not sufficiently effective to protect human from post-exposure rabies virus infection due to delayed generation of rabies virus neutralizing antibodies and weak cellular immunity. Therefore, it is vital to develop safer and more efficacious vaccine against rabies. PIKA, a stabilized chemical analog of double-stranded RNA that interacts with TLR3, was employed as adjuvant of rabies vaccine. The efficacy and safety of PIKA rabies vaccine were evaluated. The results showed that PIKA rabies vaccine enhanced both humoral and cellular immunity. After viral challenge, PIKA rabies vaccine protected 70-80% of animals, while the survival rate of non-adjuvant vaccine group (control) was 20-30%. According to the results of toxicity tests, PIKA and PIKA rabies vaccine are shown to be well tolerated in mice. Thus, this study indicates that PIKA rabies vaccine is an effective and safe vaccine which has the potential to develop next-generation rabies vaccine and encourage the start of clinical studies.

  12. A novel rabies vaccine based-on toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) agonist PIKA adjuvant exhibiting excellent safety and efficacy in animal studies.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yi; Zhang, Shoufeng; Li, Wei; Hu, Yuchi; Zhao, Jinyan; Liu, Fang; Lin, Haixiang; Liu, Yuan; Wang, Liliang; Xu, Shu; Hu, Rongliang; Shao, Hui; Li, Lietao

    2016-02-01

    Vaccination alone is not sufficiently effective to protect human from post-exposure rabies virus infection due to delayed generation of rabies virus neutralizing antibodies and weak cellular immunity. Therefore, it is vital to develop safer and more efficacious vaccine against rabies. PIKA, a stabilized chemical analog of double-stranded RNA that interacts with TLR3, was employed as adjuvant of rabies vaccine. The efficacy and safety of PIKA rabies vaccine were evaluated. The results showed that PIKA rabies vaccine enhanced both humoral and cellular immunity. After viral challenge, PIKA rabies vaccine protected 70-80% of animals, while the survival rate of non-adjuvant vaccine group (control) was 20-30%. According to the results of toxicity tests, PIKA and PIKA rabies vaccine are shown to be well tolerated in mice. Thus, this study indicates that PIKA rabies vaccine is an effective and safe vaccine which has the potential to develop next-generation rabies vaccine and encourage the start of clinical studies. PMID:26765968

  13. Critical Analysis of a Social and Scientific Moral Dilemma: Fifth Graders and Veterans Respond to "Hiroshima No Pika."

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Storey, Dee

    This document presents results of a survey studying the Japanese picture book, "Hiroshima No Pika." The story aptly captures how a family of three find their lives shattered in a matter of seconds when the atomic bomb is dropped on Hiroshima (Japan) in World War II. Issues presented in the story are: (1) immediate survival in the face of a nuclear…

  14. Allohumibacter endophyticus gen. nov., sp. nov., isolated from the root of wild Artemisia princeps (mugwort).

    PubMed

    Ri Kim, Yu; Kim, Tae-Su; Han, Ji-Hye; Joung, Yochan; Park, Jisun; Kim, Seung Bum

    2016-04-01

    A novel actinobacterium designated strain MWE-A11T was isolated from the root of wild Artemisia princeps (mugwort). The isolate was aerobic, Gram-stain-positive and short rod-shaped, and the colonies were yellow and circular with entire margin. Strain MWE-A11T grew at 15-37 °C and pH 6.0-8.0. The predominant isoprenoid quinones were MK-11 and MK-10. The predominant fatty acids were anteiso-C15:0 and iso-C16:0, and the DNA G+C content was 68.8 mol%. The main polar lipids were diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylglycerol and an unidentified glycolipid. The peptidoglycan contained 2,4-diaminobutyric acid as the diagnostic diamino acid, and the acyl type was glycolyl. Phylogenetic analyses based on 16S rRNA gene sequence comparisons indicated that strain MWE-A11T was affiliated with the family Microbacteriaceae, and was most closely related to the type strains of Humibacter antri (96.4% 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity), Herbiconiux moechotypicola (96.3%), Leifsonia soli (96.3%), Leifsonia lichenia (96.2%), Leifsonia xyli subsp. cynodontis (96.1%), Microbacterium testaceum (96.0%) and Humibacter albus (96.0%). However, the combination of chemotaxonomic properties clearly distinguished strain MWE-A11T from the related taxa at genus level. Accordingly, Allohumibacter endophyticus gen. nov., sp. nov. is proposed to accommodate a new member of the family Microbacteriaceae. The type strain of the type species is MWE-A11T (=JCM 19371T=KCTC 29232T). PMID:26842896

  15. Changes in the morphology and protein expression of germ cells and Sertoli cells in plateau pikas testes during non-breeding season

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Ming; Cao, Guangming; Zhang, Yanming; Qu, Jiapeng; Li, Wei; Wan, Xinrong; Li, Yu-xia; Zhang, Zhibin; Wang, Yan-ling; Gao, Fei

    2016-01-01

    Plateau pikas are seasonally breeding small herbivores that inhabit the meadow ecosystem of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Testis regression in plateau pikas begins in early June, and the male pikas are completely infertile, with a dramatically reduced testis size, in late July. In this study, a decreased germ cell number in the testes was first noted in early June. By late June, only Sertoli cells and a small number of spermatogonia remained. Interestingly, large gonocyte-like germ cells were observed in early July. In late July, the number of gonocyte-like cells per tubule increased significantly, and most of the Sertoli cell nuclei moved to and clustered in the center of the seminiferous tubules. The gonocyte-like germ cells and Sertoli cells began to express AP-2γ and anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) proteins, which were detected in the germ cells and Sertoli cells of juvenile pikas but not in adult testes. Simultaneously, LC3 puncta dramatically increased in the seminiferous tubules of the pikas’ testes during the non-breeding season. Our study found that spermatogonia and Sertoli cells in non-breeding adult pikas morphologically resembled those in juvenile pikas and expressed specific markers, indicating that de-differentiation-like transitions may occur during this process. PMID:26939551

  16. Too hot to trot? evaluating the effects of wildfire on patterns of occupancy and abundance for a climate-sensitive habitat-specialist

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Varner, Johanna; Lambert, Mallory S.; Horns, Joshua J.; Laverty, Sean; Dizney, Laurie; Beever, Erik; Dearing, M. Denise

    2015-01-01

    Wildfires are increasing in frequency and severity as a result of climate change in many ecosystems; however, effects of altered disturbance regimes on wildlife remain poorly quantified. Here, we leverage an unexpected opportunity to investigate how fire affects the occupancy and abundance of a climate-sensitive habitat specialist, the American pika (Ochotona princeps). We determine the effects of a fire on microclimates within talus and explore habitat factors promoting persistence and abundance in fire-affected habitat. During the fire, temperatures in talus interstices remained below 19°C, suggesting that animals could have survived in situ. Within 2 years, pikas were widely distributed throughout burned areas and did not appear to be physiologically stressed at severely burned sites. Furthermore, pika densities were better predicted by topographic variables known to affect this species than by metrics of fire severity. This widespread distribution may reflect quick vegetation recovery and the fact that the fire did not alter the talus microclimates in the following years. Together, these results highlight the value of talus as a thermal refuge for small animals during and after fire. They also underscore the importance of further study in individual species’ responses to typical and altered disturbance regimes.

  17. Genetic Evidence for Restricted Dispersal along Continuous Altitudinal Gradients in a Climate Change-Sensitive Mammal: The American Pika

    PubMed Central

    Henry, Philippe; Sim, Zijian; Russello, Michael A.

    2012-01-01

    When faced with rapidly changing environments, wildlife species are left to adapt, disperse or disappear. Consequently, there is value in investigating the connectivity of populations of species inhabiting different environments in order to evaluate dispersal as a potential strategy for persistence in the face of climate change. Here, we begin to investigate the processes that shape genetic variation within American pika populations from the northern periphery of their range, the central Coast Mountains of British Columbia, Canada. At these latitudes, pikas inhabit sharp elevation gradients ranging from sea level to 1500 m, providing an excellent system for studying the effects of local environmental conditions on pika population genetic structure and gene flow. We found low levels of neutral genetic variation compared to previous studies from more southerly latitudes, consistent with the relatively recent post-glacial colonization of the study location. Moreover, significant levels of inbreeding and marked genetic structure were detected within and among sites. Although low levels of recent gene flow were revealed among elevations within a transect, potentially admixed individuals and first generation migrants were identified using discriminant analysis of principal components between populations separated by less than five kilometers at the same elevations. There was no evidence for historical population decline, yet there was signal for recent demographic contractions, possibly resulting from environmental stochasticity. Correlative analyses revealed an association between patterns of genetic variation and annual heat-to-moisture ratio, mean annual precipitation, precipitation as snow and mean maximum summer temperature. Changes in climatic regimes forecasted for the region may thus potentially increase the rate of population extirpation by further reducing dispersal between sites. Consequently, American pika may have to rely on local adaptations or phenotypic

  18. Genetic evidence for restricted dispersal along continuous altitudinal gradients in a climate change-sensitive mammal: the American Pika.

    PubMed

    Henry, Philippe; Sim, Zijian; Russello, Michael A

    2012-01-01

    When faced with rapidly changing environments, wildlife species are left to adapt, disperse or disappear. Consequently, there is value in investigating the connectivity of populations of species inhabiting different environments in order to evaluate dispersal as a potential strategy for persistence in the face of climate change. Here, we begin to investigate the processes that shape genetic variation within American pika populations from the northern periphery of their range, the central Coast Mountains of British Columbia, Canada. At these latitudes, pikas inhabit sharp elevation gradients ranging from sea level to 1500 m, providing an excellent system for studying the effects of local environmental conditions on pika population genetic structure and gene flow. We found low levels of neutral genetic variation compared to previous studies from more southerly latitudes, consistent with the relatively recent post-glacial colonization of the study location. Moreover, significant levels of inbreeding and marked genetic structure were detected within and among sites. Although low levels of recent gene flow were revealed among elevations within a transect, potentially admixed individuals and first generation migrants were identified using discriminant analysis of principal components between populations separated by less than five kilometers at the same elevations. There was no evidence for historical population decline, yet there was signal for recent demographic contractions, possibly resulting from environmental stochasticity. Correlative analyses revealed an association between patterns of genetic variation and annual heat-to-moisture ratio, mean annual precipitation, precipitation as snow and mean maximum summer temperature. Changes in climatic regimes forecasted for the region may thus potentially increase the rate of population extirpation by further reducing dispersal between sites. Consequently, American pika may have to rely on local adaptations or phenotypic

  19. Neuroprotective effect of caffeoylquinic acids from Artemisia princeps Pampanini against oxidative stress-induced toxicity in PC-12 cells.

    PubMed

    Lee, Sang Gil; Lee, Hyungjae; Nam, Tae Gyu; Eom, Seok Hyun; Heo, Ho Jin; Lee, Chang Yong; Kim, Dae-Ok

    2011-03-01

    Phenolics in dry Artemisia princeps Pampanini, an herbal plant traditionally consumed as food ingredients in Korea was extracted, fractionated, and quantified as well as evaluated for its neuroprotection for PC-12 cells. Whole extract had 5,852 mg gallic acid equivalents/100 g of total phenolics and 6,274 mg and 9,698 mg vitamin C equivalents/100 g of antioxidant capacities assayed by DPPH and ABTS radicals, respectively. The fraction extracted with n-butanol had the highest levels of total phenolics and antioxidant capacity than the other fractions (n-hexane, chloroform, ethyl acetate, and water). Using a reversed-phase HPLC system, caffeoylquinic acid (CQA) and its derivatives such as 3-CQA, 4-CQA, 5-CQA, 1,5-diCQA, 3,4-diCQA, 3,5-diCQA, and 4,5-diCQA were isolated and quantified. The whole extract and its n-butanol fraction yielded 3,5-diCQA with the highest amount, which consisted of approximately 36.8% and 33.5%, respectively. The whole extract, the n-butanol fraction, and 3,5-diCQA showed neuroprotective effect on PC-12 cells under the insult of amyloid ß peptide in a dose-dependent manner. Treatments of the whole extract and the n-butanol fraction for PC-12 cells under oxidative stress increased approximately 1.6 and 2.4 times higher cell viability, compared with the control without treatments. For PC-12 cells treated with 3,5-diCQA, intracellular oxidative stress decreased by 51.3% and cell viability increased up to 2.8 times compared to the control with oxidative insult of amyloid ß peptide only. These results indicate that phenolics from A. princeps Pampanini alleviated the oxidative stress and enhanced the viability of PC-12 cells, suggesting that it may be applied as a dietary antineurodegenerative agent in functional foods.

  20. Distribution of a climate-sensitive species at an interior range margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ray, Chris; Beever, Erik; Rodhouse, Thomas J.

    2016-01-01

    Advances in understanding the factors that limit a species’ range, particularly in the context of climate change, have come disproportionately through investigations at range edges or margins. The margins of a species’ range might often correspond with anomalous microclimates that confer habitat suitability where the species would otherwise fail to persist. We addressed this hypothesis using data from an interior, climatic range margin of the American pika (Ochotona princeps), an indicator of relatively cool, mesic climates in rocky habitats of western North America. Pikas in Lava Beds National Monument, northeastern California, USA, occur at elevations much lower than predicted by latitude and longitude. We hypothesized that pika occurrence within Lava Beds would be associated primarily with features such as “ice caves” in which sub-surface ice persists outside the winter months. We used data loggers to monitor sub-surface temperatures at cave entrances and at non-cave sites, confirming that temperatures were cooler and more stable at cave entrances. We surveyed habitat characteristics and evidence of pika occupancy across a random sample of cave and non-cave sites over a 2-yr period. Pika detection probability was high (~0.97), and the combined occupancy of cave and non-cave sites varied across the 2 yr from 27% to 69%. Contrary to our hypothesis, occupancy was not higher at cave sites. Vegetation metrics were the best predictors of site use by pikas, followed by an edge effect and elevation. The importance of vegetation as a predictor of pika distribution at this interior range margin is congruent with recent studies from other portions of the species’ range. However, we caution that vegetation composition depends on microclimate, which might be the proximal driver of pika distribution. The microclimates available in non-cave crevices accessible to small animals have not been characterized adequately for lava landscapes. We advocate innovation in the

  1. Testing alternative models of climate-mediated extirpations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beever, E.A.; Chris, R.A.Y.; Mote, P.W.; Wilkening, J.L.

    2010-01-01

    Biotic responses to climate change will vary among taxa and across latitudes, elevational gradients, and degrees of insularity. However, due to factors such as phenotypic plasticity, ecotypic variation, and evolved tolerance to thermal stress, it remains poorly understood whether losses should be greatest in populations experiencing the greatest climatic change or living in places where the prevailing climate is closest to the edge of the species' bioclimatic envelope (e.g., at the hottest, driest sites). Research on American pikas (Ochotona princeps) in montane areas of the Great Basin during 1994-1999 suggested that 20th-century population extirpations were predicted by a combination of biogeographic, anthropogenic, and especially climatic factors. Surveys during 2005-2007 documented additional extirpations and within-site shifts of pika distributions at remaining sites. To evaluate the evidence in support of alternative hypotheses involving effects of thermal stress on pikas, we placed temperature sensors at 156 locations within pika habitats in the vicinity of 25 sites with historical records of pikas in the Basin. We related these time series of sensor data to data on ambient temperature from weather stations within the Historical Climate Network. We then used these highly correlated relationships, combined with long-term data from the same weather stations, to hindcast temperatures within pika habitats from 1945 through 2006. To explain patterns of loss, we posited three alternative classes of direct thermal stress: (1) acute cold stress (number of days below a threshold temperature); (2) acute heat stress (number of days above a threshold, temperature); and. (3) chronic heat stress (average summer temperature). Climate change was defined as change in our thermal metrics between two 31-y.r periods: 1945-1975 and 1976-2006. We found that patterns of persistence were well predicted by metrics of climate. Our best models suggest some effects of climate change

  2. PRINCEPS: A computer-based approach to the structural description and recognition of trends within structural databases, and its application to the Ce-Ni-Si System

    DOE PAGES

    Guo, Yiming; Fredrickson, Daniel C.

    2016-04-01

    Intermetallic crystal structures offer an enormous structural diversity, with an endless array of structural motifs whose connection to stability and physical properties are often mysterious. Making sense of the often complex crystal structures that arise here, developing a clear structural description, and identifying connections to other phases can be laborious and require an encyclopedic knowledge of structure types. In this Article, we present PRINCEPS, an algorithm based on a new coordination environment projection scheme that facilitates the structural analysis and comparison of such crystal structures. We demonstrate the potential of this approach by applying it to the complex Ce-Ni-Si ternarymore » system, whose 17 binary and 21 ternary phases would present a daunting challenge to one seeking to understand the system by manual inspection (but has nonetheless been well-described through the heroic efforts of previous researchers). With the help of PRINCEPS, most of the ternary phases in this system can be rationalized as intergrowths of simple structural fragments, and grouped into a handful of structural series (with some outliers). Lastly, these results illustrate how the PRINCEPS approach can be used to organize a vast collection of crystal structures into structurally meaningful families, and guide the description of complex atomic arrangements.« less

  3. Epistasis Constrains Mutational Pathways of Hemoglobin Adaptation in High-Altitude Pikas

    PubMed Central

    Tufts, Danielle M.; Natarajan, Chandrasekhar; Revsbech, Inge G.; Projecto-Garcia, Joana; Hoffmann, Federico G.; Weber, Roy E.; Fago, Angela; Moriyama, Hideaki; Storz, Jay F.

    2015-01-01

    A fundamental question in evolutionary genetics concerns the roles of mutational pleiotropy and epistasis in shaping trajectories of protein evolution. This question can be addressed most directly by using site-directed mutagenesis to explore the mutational landscape of protein function in experimentally defined regions of sequence space. Here, we evaluate how pleiotropic trade-offs and epistatic interactions influence the accessibility of alternative mutational pathways during the adaptive evolution of hemoglobin (Hb) function in high-altitude pikas (Mammalia: Lagomorpha). By combining ancestral protein resurrection with a combinatorial protein-engineering approach, we examined the functional effects of sequential mutational steps in all possible pathways that produced an increased Hb–O2 affinity. These experiments revealed that the effects of mutations on Hb–O2 affinity are highly dependent on the temporal order in which they occur: Each of three β-chain substitutions produced a significant increase in Hb–O2 affinity on the ancestral genetic background, but two of these substitutions produced opposite effects when they occurred as later steps in the pathway. The experiments revealed pervasive epistasis for Hb–O2 affinity, but affinity-altering mutations produced no significant pleiotropic trade-offs. These results provide insights into the properties of adaptive substitutions in naturally evolved proteins and suggest that the accessibility of alternative mutational pathways may be more strongly constrained by sign epistasis for positively selected biochemical phenotypes than by antagonistic pleiotropy. PMID:25415962

  4. When can we measure stress noninvasively? Postdeposition effects on a fecal stress metric confound a multiregional assessment.

    PubMed

    Wilkening, Jennifer L; Ray, Chris; Varner, Johanna

    2016-01-01

    Measurement of stress hormone metabolites in fecal samples has become a common method to assess physiological stress in wildlife populations. Glucocorticoid metabolite (GCM) measurements can be collected noninvasively, and studies relating this stress metric to anthropogenic disturbance are increasing. However, environmental characteristics (e.g., temperature) can alter measured GCM concentration when fecal samples cannot be collected immediately after defecation. This effect can confound efforts to separate environmental factors causing predeposition physiological stress in an individual from those acting on a fecal sample postdeposition. We used fecal samples from American pikas (Ochotona princeps) to examine the influence of environmental conditions on GCM concentration by (1) comparing GCM concentration measured in freshly collected control samples to those placed in natural habitats for timed exposure, and (2) relating GCM concentration in samples collected noninvasively throughout the western United States to local environmental characteristics measured before and after deposition. Our timed-exposure trials clarified the spatial scale at which exposure to environmental factors postdeposition influences GCM concentration in pika feces. Also, fecal samples collected from occupied pika habitats throughout the species' range revealed significant relationships between GCM and metrics of climate during the postdeposition period (maximum temperature, minimum temperature, and precipitation during the month of sample collection). Conversely, we found no such relationships between GCM and metrics of climate during the predeposition period (prior to the month of sample collection). Together, these results indicate that noninvasive measurement of physiological stress in pikas across the western US may be confounded by climatic conditions in the postdeposition environment when samples cannot be collected immediately after defecation. Our results reiterate the importance

  5. A New Member of Gamma-Conotoxin Family Isolated from Conus princeps Displays a Novel Molecular Target

    PubMed Central

    Bernáldez, Johanna; Jiménez, Samanta; González, Luis Javier; Ferro, Jesús Noda; Soto, Enrique; Salceda, Emilio; Chávez, Daniela; Aguilar, Manuel B.; Licea-Navarro, Alexei

    2016-01-01

    A novel conotoxin, named as PiVIIA, was isolated from the venom of Conus princeps, a marine predatory cone snail collected in the Pacific Southern Coast of Mexico. Chymotryptic digest of the S-alkylated peptide in combination with liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry, were used to define the sequencing of this peptide. Eleven N-terminal amino acids were verified by automated Edman degradation. PiVIIA is a 25-mer peptide (CDAOTHYCTNYWγCCSGYCγHSHCW) with six cysteine residues forming three disulphide bonds, a hydroxyproline (O) and two gamma carboxyglutamic acid (γ) residues. Based on the arrangement of six Cys residues (C-C-CC-C-C), this conotoxin might belong to the O2-superfamily. Moreover, PiVIIA has a conserved motif (-γCCS-) that characterizes γ-conotoxins from molluscivorous Conus. Peptide PiVIIA has 45% sequence identity with γ-PnVIIA—the prototype of this family. Biological activity of PiVIIA was assessed by voltage-clamp recording in rat dorsal root ganglion neurons. Perfusion of PiVIIA in the µM range produces a significant increase in the Ca2+ currents, without significantly modifying the Na+, K+ or proton-gated acid sensing ionic currents. These results indicate that PiVIIA is a new conotoxin whose activity deserves further studies to define its potential use as a positive modulator of neuronal activity. PMID:26861393

  6. Long-term Treatment with Oriental Medicinal Herb Artemisia princeps Alters Neuroplasticity in a Rat Model of Ovarian Hormone Deficiency

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hyun-Bum; Kwon, Byeong-Jae; Cho, Hyun-Ji; Kim, Ji-Won; Chon, Jeong-Woo; Do, Moon-Ho; Park, Sang-Yong; Kim, Sun-Yeou; Maeng, Sung-Ho; Park, Yoo-Kyoung

    2015-01-01

    Artemisia princeps (AP) is a flowering perennial used as a traditional medicine and dietary supplement across East Asia. No study has yet assessed its effects on synaptic plasticity in hippocampus and much less in a model of ovarian hormone deficiency. We examined the influence of chronic oral AP ethanol extract treatment in ovariectomized rats on the induction of long-term depression in a representative synapse (CA3-CA1) of the hippocampus. Ovariectomized rats demonstrated lower trabecular mean bone mineral densities than sham, validating the establishment of pathology. Against this background of pathology, AP-treated ovariectomized rats exhibited attenuated long-term depression (LTD) in CA1 relative to water-treated controls as measured by increased field excitatory post-synaptic potentials (fEPSP) activation averages over the post-stimulation period. While pathological significance of long-term depression (LTD) in ovariectomized rats is conflicting, that AP treatment significantly affected its induction offers justification for further study of its influences on plasticity and its related disorders. PMID:25792871

  7. A New Member of Gamma-Conotoxin Family Isolated from Conus princeps Displays a Novel Molecular Target.

    PubMed

    Bernáldez, Johanna; Jiménez, Samanta; González, Luis Javier; Ferro, Jesús Noda; Soto, Enrique; Salceda, Emilio; Chávez, Daniela; Aguilar, Manuel B; Licea-Navarro, Alexei

    2016-02-05

    A novel conotoxin, named as PiVIIA, was isolated from the venom of Conus princeps, a marine predatory cone snail collected in the Pacific Southern Coast of Mexico. Chymotryptic digest of the S-alkylated peptide in combination with liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry, were used to define the sequencing of this peptide. Eleven N-terminal amino acids were verified by automated Edman degradation. PiVIIA is a 25-mer peptide (CDAOTHYCTNYWγCCSGYCγHSHCW) with six cysteine residues forming three disulphide bonds, a hydroxyproline (O) and two gamma carboxyglutamic acid (γ) residues. Based on the arrangement of six Cys residues (C-C-CC-C-C), this conotoxin might belong to the O2-superfamily. Moreover, PiVIIA has a conserved motif (-γCCS-) that characterizes γ-conotoxins from molluscivorous Conus. Peptide PiVIIA has 45% sequence identity with γ-PnVIIA-the prototype of this family. Biological activity of PiVIIA was assessed by voltage-clamp recording in rat dorsal root ganglion neurons. Perfusion of PiVIIA in the µM range produces a significant increase in the Ca(2+) currents, without significantly modifying the Na⁺, K⁺ or proton-gated acid sensing ionic currents. These results indicate that PiVIIA is a new conotoxin whose activity deserves further studies to define its potential use as a positive modulator of neuronal activity.

  8. Adaptive divergence along environmental gradients in a climate-change-sensitive mammal

    PubMed Central

    Henry, P; Russello, M A

    2013-01-01

    In the face of predicted climate change, a broader understanding of biotic responses to varying environments has become increasingly important within the context of biodiversity conservation. Local adaptation is one potential option, yet remarkably few studies have harnessed genomic tools to evaluate the efficacy of this response within natural populations. Here, we show evidence of selection driving divergence of a climate-change-sensitive mammal, the American pika (Ochotona princeps), distributed along elevation gradients at its northern range margin in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia (BC), Canada. We employed amplified-fragment-length-polymorphism-based genomic scans to conduct genomewide searches for candidate loci among populations inhabiting varying environments from sea level to 1500 m. Using several independent approaches to outlier locus detection, we identified 68 candidate loci putatively under selection (out of a total 1509 screened), 15 of which displayed significant associations with environmental variables including annual precipitation and maximum summer temperature. These candidate loci may represent important targets for predicting pika responses to climate change and informing novel approaches to wildlife conservation in a changing world. PMID:24198948

  9. A noninvasive hair sampling technique to obtain high quality DNA from elusive small mammals.

    PubMed

    Henry, Philippe; Henry, Alison; Russello, Michael A

    2011-03-13

    Noninvasive genetic sampling approaches are becoming increasingly important to study wildlife populations. A number of studies have reported using noninvasive sampling techniques to investigate population genetics and demography of wild populations. This approach has proven to be especially useful when dealing with rare or elusive species. While a number of these methods have been developed to sample hair, feces and other biological material from carnivores and medium-sized mammals, they have largely remained untested in elusive small mammals. In this video, we present a novel, inexpensive and noninvasive hair snare targeted at an elusive small mammal, the American pika (Ochotona princeps). We describe the general set-up of the hair snare, which consists of strips of packing tape arranged in a web-like fashion and placed along travelling routes in the pikas' habitat. We illustrate the efficiency of the snare at collecting a large quantity of hair that can then be collected and brought back to the lab. We then demonstrate the use of the DNA IQ system (Promega) to isolate DNA and showcase the utility of this method to amplify commonly used molecular markers including nuclear microsatellites, amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs), mitochondrial sequences (800bp) as well as a molecular sexing marker. Overall, we demonstrate the utility of this novel noninvasive hair snare as a sampling technique for wildlife population biologists. We anticipate that this approach will be applicable to a variety of small mammals, opening up areas of investigation within natural populations, while minimizing impact to study organisms.

  10. Limb bone morphology, bone strength, and cursoriality in lagomorphs

    PubMed Central

    Young, Jesse W; Danczak, Robert; Russo, Gabrielle A; Fellmann, Connie D

    2014-01-01

    The primary aim of this study is to broadly evaluate the relationship between cursoriality (i.e. anatomical and physiological specialization for running) and limb bone morphology in lagomorphs. Relative to most previous studies of cursoriality, our focus on a size-restricted, taxonomically narrow group of mammals permits us to evaluate the degree to which ‘cursorial specialization’ affects locomotor anatomy independently of broader allometric and phylogenetic trends that might obscure such a relationship. We collected linear morphometrics and μCT data on 737 limb bones covering three lagomorph species that differ in degree of cursoriality: pikas (Ochotona princeps, non-cursorial), jackrabbits (Lepus californicus, highly cursorial), and rabbits (Sylvilagus bachmani, level of cursoriality intermediate between pikas and jackrabbits). We evaluated two hypotheses: cursoriality should be associated with (i) lower limb joint mechanical advantage (i.e. high ‘displacement advantage’, permitting more cursorial species to cycle their limbs more quickly) and (ii) longer, more gracile limb bones, particularly at the distal segments (as a means of decreasing rotational inertia). As predicted, highly cursorial jackrabbits are typically marked by the lowest mechanical advantage and the longest distal segments, non-cursorial pikas display the highest mechanical advantage and the shortest distal segments, and rabbits generally display intermediate values for these variables. Variation in long bone robusticity followed a proximodistal gradient. Whereas proximal limb bone robusticity declined with cursoriality, distal limb bone robusticity generally remained constant across the three species. The association between long, structurally gracile limb bones and decreased maximal bending strength suggests that the more cursorial lagomorphs compromise proximal limb bone integrity to improve locomotor economy. In contrast, the integrity of distal limb bones is maintained with

  11. Limb bone morphology, bone strength, and cursoriality in lagomorphs.

    PubMed

    Young, Jesse W; Danczak, Robert; Russo, Gabrielle A; Fellmann, Connie D

    2014-10-01

    The primary aim of this study is to broadly evaluate the relationship between cursoriality (i.e. anatomical and physiological specialization for running) and limb bone morphology in lagomorphs. Relative to most previous studies of cursoriality, our focus on a size-restricted, taxonomically narrow group of mammals permits us to evaluate the degree to which 'cursorial specialization' affects locomotor anatomy independently of broader allometric and phylogenetic trends that might obscure such a relationship. We collected linear morphometrics and μCT data on 737 limb bones covering three lagomorph species that differ in degree of cursoriality: pikas (Ochotona princeps, non-cursorial), jackrabbits (Lepus californicus, highly cursorial), and rabbits (Sylvilagus bachmani, level of cursoriality intermediate between pikas and jackrabbits). We evaluated two hypotheses: cursoriality should be associated with (i) lower limb joint mechanical advantage (i.e. high 'displacement advantage', permitting more cursorial species to cycle their limbs more quickly) and (ii) longer, more gracile limb bones, particularly at the distal segments (as a means of decreasing rotational inertia). As predicted, highly cursorial jackrabbits are typically marked by the lowest mechanical advantage and the longest distal segments, non-cursorial pikas display the highest mechanical advantage and the shortest distal segments, and rabbits generally display intermediate values for these variables. Variation in long bone robusticity followed a proximodistal gradient. Whereas proximal limb bone robusticity declined with cursoriality, distal limb bone robusticity generally remained constant across the three species. The association between long, structurally gracile limb bones and decreased maximal bending strength suggests that the more cursorial lagomorphs compromise proximal limb bone integrity to improve locomotor economy. In contrast, the integrity of distal limb bones is maintained with increasing

  12. The effect of essential oils of dietary wormwood (Artemisia princeps), with and without added vitamin E, on oxidative stress and some genes involved in cholesterol metabolism.

    PubMed

    Chung, Mi Ja; Kang, Ah-Young; Park, Sung-Ok; Park, Kuen-Woo; Jun, Hee-Jin; Lee, Sung-Joon

    2007-08-01

    Wormwood (Artemisia princeps) due to the abundance of antioxidant in its essential oils (EO), has been used as a traditional drug and health food in Korea. Oxidative stress plays an important role in the etiology of atherosclerosis thus antioxidative chemicals improves hepatic lipid metabolism partly by reducing oxysterol formation. The antioxidant activity was assessed using two methods, human low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation and the anti-DPPH free radical assays. It was found that the antioxidant activity of EO with vitamin E higher than EO alone. To study mechanisms accounting for the antiatherosclerotic properties of this wormwood EO, we examined the expression of key genes in cholesterol metabolism such as the LDL receptor, the 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase and sterol regulatory element binding proteins. The induction was increased up to twofold at 0.05 mg/mL of EO treatment in HepG2 cells for 24h. When EO (0.2 mg/mL) was co-incubated with vitamin E, interestingly, the LDL receptor was dramatically induced by 5-6-folds. HMG-CoA reductase did not change. However, treatment with the higher concentration resulted in cytotoxicity. Our data suggest that wormwood EO with vitamin E may be anti-atherogenic due to their inhibition of LDL oxidation and upregulation of the LDL receptor.

  13. The Late Quaternary biogeographic histories of some Great Basin mammals (western USA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grayson, Donald K.

    2006-11-01

    The Great Basin of arid western North America provides one of the most detailed late Pleistocene and Holocene mammal records available for any part of the world, though the record is by far strongest for small mammals. Of the 35 genera of now-extinct North American Pleistocene mammals, 19 are known to have occurred in the Great Basin, a list that is likely to be complete or nearly so. Of these 19, seven can be shown to have survived beyond 12,000 radiocarbon years ago, a proportion similar to that for North America as a whole. Horses, camels, mammoth, and helmeted musk-oxen appear to have been the most abundant of these genera. Pygmy rabbits ( Brachylagus idahoensis), yellow-bellied marmots ( Marmota flaviventris), and bushy-tailed woodrats ( Neotoma cinerea) declined in abundance at the end of the Pleistocene, at about the same time as populations south of their current arid western distributional boundary were extirpated. Subsequent declines occurred during the hot/dry middle Holocene. Pygmy rabbits also declined as modern pinyon-juniper woodlands developed across the Great Basin. The Snake Range of eastern Nevada has seen the late Pleistocene or Holocene extinction of both northern pocket gophers ( Thomomys talpoides) and pikas ( Ochotona princeps). Coupled with the rarity of yellow-bellied marmots here, these histories make the Snake Range a biogeographic oddity. These and other Great Basin mammal histories provide significant insights into the possible responses of Great Basin small mammals to global warming.

  14. From promise to practice: pairing non-invasive sampling with genomics in conservation

    PubMed Central

    Waterhouse, Matthew D.; Etter, Paul D.; Johnson, Eric A.

    2015-01-01

    Conservation genomics has become an increasingly popular term, yet it remains unclear whether the non-invasive sampling that is essential for many conservation-related studies is compatible with the minimum requirements for harnessing next-generation sequencing technologies. Here, we evaluated the feasibility of using genotyping-by-sequencing of non-invasively collected hair samples to simultaneously identify and genotype single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in a climate-sensitive mammal, the American pika (Ochotona princeps). We identified and genotyped 3,803 high-confidence SNPs across eight sites distributed along two elevational transects using starting DNA amounts as low as 1 ng. Fifty-five outlier loci were detected as candidate gene regions under divergent selection, constituting potential targets for future validation. Genome-wide estimates of gene diversity significantly and positively correlated with elevation across both transects, with all low elevation sites exhibiting significant heterozygote deficit likely due to inbreeding. More broadly, our results highlight a range of issues that must be considered when pairing genomic data collection with non-invasive sampling, particularly related to field sampling protocols for minimizing exogenous DNA, data collection strategies and quality control steps for enhancing target organism yield, and analytical approaches for maximizing cost-effectiveness and information content of recovered genomic data. PMID:26244114

  15. Late Quaternary environments and biogeography in the Great Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, R. S.; Mead, J. I.

    1982-01-01

    Plant and animal remains found in packrat ( Neotoma spp.) middens and cave fill from the eastern and southern Great Basin region reveal the presence of subalpine conifers and boreal mammals at relatively low elevations during the Late Wisconsin. Limber pine ( Pinus flexilis) and bristlecone pine ( P. longaeva) were important in the late Pleistocene plant communities throughout this region. Spruce ( Picea cf. engelmannii) and common juniper ( Juniperus communis) were present in some of the more northerly localities, and Douglas fir ( Pseudotsuga menziesii) and white fir ( Abies concolor) were present in southern and eastern localities. Single needle pinyon pine ( Pinus monophylla), common across this region today, was apparently not present north of the Sheep Range of southern Nevada during the Late Wisconsin. Pikas ( Ochotona cf. princeps), small boreal mammals present in only a few Great Basin mountain ranges today, were common throughout the region. Heather voles ( Phenacomys cf. intermedius) have been found in two cave fill deposits in Nevada, though they are unknown in the Great Basin today. Limber and bristlecone pines are generally restricted to rocky substrates in modern subalpine habitats in the Great Basin, and this may also have been the case when these plants grew at lower elevations during the Late Wisconsin. Subalpine conifers were present on the rock outcrops sampled by the packrat middens, but shrub communities, perhaps dominated by sagebrush ( Artemisia spp.), may have been present on alluvial valley-bottom substrates. Forested habitats would thus have been isolated habitat islands, as they are today. Boreal small mammals, including pikas and heather voles, were able to colonize the Great Basin mountain ranges during the late Pleistocene. We suggest that these mammals were able to survive in the intervening valley-bottoms under a cool-summer climatic regime, and that continuous forest or woodland corridors were not necessary for migration.

  16. LaGomiCs-Lagomorph Genomics Consortium: An International Collaborative Effort for Sequencing the Genomes of an Entire Mammalian Order.

    PubMed

    Fontanesi, Luca; Di Palma, Federica; Flicek, Paul; Smith, Andrew T; Thulin, Carl-Gustaf; Alves, Paulo C

    2016-07-01

    The order Lagomorpha comprises about 90 living species, divided in 2 families: the pikas (Family Ochotonidae), and the rabbits, hares, and jackrabbits (Family Leporidae). Lagomorphs are important economically and scientifically as major human food resources, valued game species, pests of agricultural significance, model laboratory animals, and key elements in food webs. A quarter of the lagomorph species are listed as threatened. They are native to all continents except Antarctica, and occur up to 5000 m above sea level, from the equator to the Arctic, spanning a wide range of environmental conditions. The order has notable taxonomic problems presenting significant difficulties for defining a species due to broad phenotypic variation, overlap of morphological characteristics, and relatively recent speciation events. At present, only the genomes of 2 species, the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and American pika (Ochotona princeps) have been sequenced and assembled. Starting from a paucity of genome information, the main scientific aim of the Lagomorph Genomics Consortium (LaGomiCs), born from a cooperative initiative of the European COST Action "A Collaborative European Network on Rabbit Genome Biology-RGB-Net" and the World Lagomorph Society (WLS), is to provide an international framework for the sequencing of the genome of all extant and selected extinct lagomorphs. Sequencing the genomes of an entire order will provide a large amount of information to address biological problems not only related to lagomorphs but also to all mammals. We present current and planned sequencing programs and outline the final objective of LaGomiCs possible through broad international collaboration. PMID:26921276

  17. Effect of dietary supplementation of Lactobacillus-fermented Artemisia princeps on growth performance, meat lipid peroxidation, and intestinal microflora in Hy-line Brown male chickens.

    PubMed

    Kim, C H; Kim, G-B; Chang, M B; Bae, G S; Paik, I K; Kil, D Y

    2012-11-01

    The objective of this experiment was to investigate the effect of dietary supplementation of Lactobacillus-fermented Artemisia princeps (LFA) on growth performance, meat lipid peroxidation, and intestinal microflora in Hy-line Brown male chickens. A total of six hundred twenty-four 1-d-old Hy-Line Brown male chicks were randomly allotted to 3 dietary treatments with 4 replicated pens consisting of 52 chicks. The control diet was formulated to be adequate in energy and nutrients. Two additional diets were prepared by adding 2.5 or 5.0 g/kg of LFA to the control diet. The experimental diets were fed on an ad libitum basis to the birds during 7 wk. Body weight gain and feed intake were recorded at 2 and 7 wk. At the end of the experiment, 2 birds from each treatment were killed by cervical dislocation and the samples for ileal content, breast, and thigh meat were collected for the determination of meat lipid peroxidation and microbial population. Results indicated that increasing inclusion level of LFA in diets improved BW gain (linear and quadratic, P < 0.05) and tended to improve feed efficiency (linear and quadratic, P < 0.10) of birds during 0 to 7 wk. Feeding the diets containing increasing amounts of LFA to birds reduced (quadratic, P < 0.05) thiobarbituric acid-reactive substance (TBARS) values in breast and thigh meat during 15 d of storage. The concentrations of Lactobacillus spp. in the ileal content of birds increased (linear and quadratic, P < 0.05), but those of Salmonella spp. tended to be decreased (quadratic, P < 0.10) as inclusion level of LFA in diets increased. These results suggest that dietary LFA may be used as a functional ingredient to improve growth performance, meat lipid stability, and intestinal health of birds. PMID:23091141

  18. Diversity of A-conotoxins of three worm-hunting cone snails (Conus brunneus, Conus nux, and Conus princeps) from the Mexican Pacific coast.

    PubMed

    Morales-González, Daniel; Flores-Martínez, Ernesto; Zamora-Bustillos, Roberto; Rivera-Reyes, Reginaldo; Michel-Morfín, Jesús Emilio; Landa-Jaime, Víctor; Falcón, Andrés; Aguilar, Manuel B

    2015-06-01

    Conus marine snails (∼500 species) are tropical predators that use venoms mainly to capture prey and defend themselves from predators. The principal components of these venoms are peptides that are known as "conotoxins" and generally comprise 7-40 amino acid residues, including 0-5 disulfide bridges and distinct posttranslational modifications. The most common molecular targets of conotoxins are voltage- and ligand-gated ion channels, G protein-coupled receptors, and neurotransmitter transporters, to which they bind, typically, with high affinity and specificity. Due to these properties, several conotoxins have become molecular probes, medicines, and leads for drug design. Conotoxins have been classified into genetic superfamilies based on the signal sequence of their precursors, and into pharmacological families according to their molecular targets. The objective of this work was to identify and analyze partial cDNAs encoding conotoxin precursors belonging to the A superfamily from Conus brunneus, Conus nux, and Conus princeps. These are vermivorous species of the Mexican Pacific coast from which only one A-conotoxin, and few O- and I2-conotoxins have been reported. Employing RT-PCR, we identified 30 distinct precursors that contain 13 different predicted mature toxins. With the exception of two groups of four highly similar peptides, these toxins are diverse at both the sequence and the physicochemical levels, and they belong to the 4/3, 4/4, 4/5, 4/6, and 4/7 structural subfamilies. These toxins are predicted to target diverse nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtypes: nx1d, muscle; pi1a-pi1d, α3β2, α7, and/or α9α10; br1a, muscle, α3β4, and/or α4β2; and nx1a-nx1c/pi1g and pi1h, α3β2, α3β4, α9β10, and/or α7.

  19. Diversity of A-conotoxins of three worm-hunting cone snails (Conus brunneus, Conus nux, and Conus princeps) from the Mexican Pacific coast.

    PubMed

    Morales-González, Daniel; Flores-Martínez, Ernesto; Zamora-Bustillos, Roberto; Rivera-Reyes, Reginaldo; Michel-Morfín, Jesús Emilio; Landa-Jaime, Víctor; Falcón, Andrés; Aguilar, Manuel B

    2015-06-01

    Conus marine snails (∼500 species) are tropical predators that use venoms mainly to capture prey and defend themselves from predators. The principal components of these venoms are peptides that are known as "conotoxins" and generally comprise 7-40 amino acid residues, including 0-5 disulfide bridges and distinct posttranslational modifications. The most common molecular targets of conotoxins are voltage- and ligand-gated ion channels, G protein-coupled receptors, and neurotransmitter transporters, to which they bind, typically, with high affinity and specificity. Due to these properties, several conotoxins have become molecular probes, medicines, and leads for drug design. Conotoxins have been classified into genetic superfamilies based on the signal sequence of their precursors, and into pharmacological families according to their molecular targets. The objective of this work was to identify and analyze partial cDNAs encoding conotoxin precursors belonging to the A superfamily from Conus brunneus, Conus nux, and Conus princeps. These are vermivorous species of the Mexican Pacific coast from which only one A-conotoxin, and few O- and I2-conotoxins have been reported. Employing RT-PCR, we identified 30 distinct precursors that contain 13 different predicted mature toxins. With the exception of two groups of four highly similar peptides, these toxins are diverse at both the sequence and the physicochemical levels, and they belong to the 4/3, 4/4, 4/5, 4/6, and 4/7 structural subfamilies. These toxins are predicted to target diverse nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtypes: nx1d, muscle; pi1a-pi1d, α3β2, α7, and/or α9α10; br1a, muscle, α3β4, and/or α4β2; and nx1a-nx1c/pi1g and pi1h, α3β2, α3β4, α9β10, and/or α7. PMID:25703301

  20. Effect of dietary supplementation of Lactobacillus-fermented Artemisia princeps on growth performance, meat lipid peroxidation, and intestinal microflora in Hy-line Brown male chickens.

    PubMed

    Kim, C H; Kim, G-B; Chang, M B; Bae, G S; Paik, I K; Kil, D Y

    2012-11-01

    The objective of this experiment was to investigate the effect of dietary supplementation of Lactobacillus-fermented Artemisia princeps (LFA) on growth performance, meat lipid peroxidation, and intestinal microflora in Hy-line Brown male chickens. A total of six hundred twenty-four 1-d-old Hy-Line Brown male chicks were randomly allotted to 3 dietary treatments with 4 replicated pens consisting of 52 chicks. The control diet was formulated to be adequate in energy and nutrients. Two additional diets were prepared by adding 2.5 or 5.0 g/kg of LFA to the control diet. The experimental diets were fed on an ad libitum basis to the birds during 7 wk. Body weight gain and feed intake were recorded at 2 and 7 wk. At the end of the experiment, 2 birds from each treatment were killed by cervical dislocation and the samples for ileal content, breast, and thigh meat were collected for the determination of meat lipid peroxidation and microbial population. Results indicated that increasing inclusion level of LFA in diets improved BW gain (linear and quadratic, P < 0.05) and tended to improve feed efficiency (linear and quadratic, P < 0.10) of birds during 0 to 7 wk. Feeding the diets containing increasing amounts of LFA to birds reduced (quadratic, P < 0.05) thiobarbituric acid-reactive substance (TBARS) values in breast and thigh meat during 15 d of storage. The concentrations of Lactobacillus spp. in the ileal content of birds increased (linear and quadratic, P < 0.05), but those of Salmonella spp. tended to be decreased (quadratic, P < 0.10) as inclusion level of LFA in diets increased. These results suggest that dietary LFA may be used as a functional ingredient to improve growth performance, meat lipid stability, and intestinal health of birds.

  1. Evaluation of nutritional and economic feed values of spent coffee grounds and Artemisia princeps residues as a ruminant feed using in vitro ruminal fermentation.

    PubMed

    Seo, Jakyeom; Jung, Jae Keun; Seo, Seongwon

    2015-01-01

    Much research on animal feed has focused on finding alternative feed ingredients that can replace conventional ones (e.g., grains and beans) to reduce feed costs. The objective of this study was to evaluate the economic, as well as nutritional value of spent coffee grounds (SCG) and Japanese mugwort (Artemisia princeps) residues (APR) as alternative feed ingredients for ruminants. We also investigated whether pre-fermentation using Lactobacillus spp. was a feasible way to increase the feed value of these by-products. Chemical analyses and an in vitro study were conducted for SCG, APR, and their pre-fermented forms. All the experimental diets for in vitro ruminal fermentation were formulated to contain a similar composition of crude protein, neutral detergent fiber and total digestible nutrients at 1x maintenance feed intake based on the dairy National Research Council (NRC). The control diet was composed of ryegrass, corn, soybean meal, whereas the treatments consisted of SCG, SCG fermented with Lactobacillus spp. (FSCG), APR, and its fermented form (FAPR). The treatment diets replaced 100 g/kg dry matter (DM) of the feed ingredients in the control. Costs were lower for the all treatments, except FAPR, than that of the control. After 24-h incubation, the NDF digestibility of the diets containing SCG and its fermented form were significantly lower than those of the other diets (P < 0.01); pre-fermentation tended to increase NDF digestibility (P = 0.07), especially for APR. Supplementation of SCG significantly decreased total gas production (ml/g DM) after 24-h fermentation in comparison with the control (P < 0.05); however, there were no significant differences between the control and the SCG or the APR diets in total gas production, as expressed per Korean Won (KRW). Diets supplemented with SCG or FSCG tended to have a higher total volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentration, expressed as per KRW, compared with the control (P = 0.06). Conversely, the fermentation

  2. Evaluation of nutritional and economic feed values of spent coffee grounds and Artemisia princeps residues as a ruminant feed using in vitro ruminal fermentation

    PubMed Central

    Seo, Jakyeom; Jung, Jae Keun

    2015-01-01

    Much research on animal feed has focused on finding alternative feed ingredients that can replace conventional ones (e.g., grains and beans) to reduce feed costs. The objective of this study was to evaluate the economic, as well as nutritional value of spent coffee grounds (SCG) and Japanese mugwort (Artemisia princeps) residues (APR) as alternative feed ingredients for ruminants. We also investigated whether pre-fermentation using Lactobacillus spp. was a feasible way to increase the feed value of these by-products. Chemical analyses and an in vitro study were conducted for SCG, APR, and their pre-fermented forms. All the experimental diets for in vitro ruminal fermentation were formulated to contain a similar composition of crude protein, neutral detergent fiber and total digestible nutrients at 1x maintenance feed intake based on the dairy National Research Council (NRC). The control diet was composed of ryegrass, corn, soybean meal, whereas the treatments consisted of SCG, SCG fermented with Lactobacillus spp. (FSCG), APR, and its fermented form (FAPR). The treatment diets replaced 100 g/kg dry matter (DM) of the feed ingredients in the control. Costs were lower for the all treatments, except FAPR, than that of the control. After 24-h incubation, the NDF digestibility of the diets containing SCG and its fermented form were significantly lower than those of the other diets (P < 0.01); pre-fermentation tended to increase NDF digestibility (P = 0.07), especially for APR. Supplementation of SCG significantly decreased total gas production (ml/g DM) after 24-h fermentation in comparison with the control (P < 0.05); however, there were no significant differences between the control and the SCG or the APR diets in total gas production, as expressed per Korean Won (KRW). Diets supplemented with SCG or FSCG tended to have a higher total volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentration, expressed as per KRW, compared with the control (P = 0.06). Conversely, the fermentation

  3. Identification, by RT-PCR, of eight novel I₂-conotoxins from the worm-hunting cone snails Conus brunneus, Conus nux, and Conus princeps from the eastern Pacific (Mexico).

    PubMed

    Zamora-Bustillos, R; Rivera-Reyes, R; Aguilar, M B; Michel-Morfín, E; Landa-Jaime, V; Falcón, A; Heimer, E P

    2014-03-01

    Marine snails of the genus Conus (∼500 species) are tropical predators that produce venoms for capturing prey, defense and competitive interactions. These venoms contain 50-200 different peptides ("conotoxins") that generally comprise 7-40 amino acid residues (including 0-5 disulfide bridges), and that frequently contain diverse posttranslational modifications, some of which have been demonstrated to be important for folding, stability, and biological activity. Most conotoxins affect voltage- and ligand-gated ion channels, G protein-coupled receptors, and neurotransmitter transporters, generally with high affinity and specificity. Due to these features, several conotoxins are used as molecular tools, diagnostic agents, medicines, and models for drug design. Based on the signal sequence of their precursors, conotoxins have been classified into genetic superfamilies, whereas their molecular targets allow them to be classified into pharmacological families. The objective of this work was to identify and analyze partial cDNAs encoding precursors of conotoxins belonging to I superfamily from three vermivorous species of the Mexican Pacific coast: C. brunneus, C. nux and C. princeps. The precursors identified contain diverse numbers of amino acid residues (C. brunneus, 65 or 71; C. nux, 70; C. princeps, 72 or 73), and all include a highly conserved signal peptide, a C-terminal propeptide, and a mature toxin. All the latter have one of the typical Cys frameworks of the I-conotoxins (C-C-CC-CC-C-C). The prepropeptides belong to the I2-superfamily, and encode eight different hydrophilic and acidic mature toxins, rather similar among them, and some of which have similarity with I2-conotoxins targeting voltage- and voltage-and-calcium-gated potassium channels.

  4. Identification, by RT-PCR, of eight novel I₂-conotoxins from the worm-hunting cone snails Conus brunneus, Conus nux, and Conus princeps from the eastern Pacific (Mexico).

    PubMed

    Zamora-Bustillos, R; Rivera-Reyes, R; Aguilar, M B; Michel-Morfín, E; Landa-Jaime, V; Falcón, A; Heimer, E P

    2014-03-01

    Marine snails of the genus Conus (∼500 species) are tropical predators that produce venoms for capturing prey, defense and competitive interactions. These venoms contain 50-200 different peptides ("conotoxins") that generally comprise 7-40 amino acid residues (including 0-5 disulfide bridges), and that frequently contain diverse posttranslational modifications, some of which have been demonstrated to be important for folding, stability, and biological activity. Most conotoxins affect voltage- and ligand-gated ion channels, G protein-coupled receptors, and neurotransmitter transporters, generally with high affinity and specificity. Due to these features, several conotoxins are used as molecular tools, diagnostic agents, medicines, and models for drug design. Based on the signal sequence of their precursors, conotoxins have been classified into genetic superfamilies, whereas their molecular targets allow them to be classified into pharmacological families. The objective of this work was to identify and analyze partial cDNAs encoding precursors of conotoxins belonging to I superfamily from three vermivorous species of the Mexican Pacific coast: C. brunneus, C. nux and C. princeps. The precursors identified contain diverse numbers of amino acid residues (C. brunneus, 65 or 71; C. nux, 70; C. princeps, 72 or 73), and all include a highly conserved signal peptide, a C-terminal propeptide, and a mature toxin. All the latter have one of the typical Cys frameworks of the I-conotoxins (C-C-CC-CC-C-C). The prepropeptides belong to the I2-superfamily, and encode eight different hydrophilic and acidic mature toxins, rather similar among them, and some of which have similarity with I2-conotoxins targeting voltage- and voltage-and-calcium-gated potassium channels. PMID:24486530

  5. A Noninvasive Hair Sampling Technique to Obtain High Quality DNA from Elusive Small Mammals

    PubMed Central

    Henry, Philippe; Henry, Alison; Russello, Michael A.

    2011-01-01

    Noninvasive genetic sampling approaches are becoming increasingly important to study wildlife populations. A number of studies have reported using noninvasive sampling techniques to investigate population genetics and demography of wild populations1. This approach has proven to be especially useful when dealing with rare or elusive species2. While a number of these methods have been developed to sample hair, feces and other biological material from carnivores and medium-sized mammals, they have largely remained untested in elusive small mammals. In this video, we present a novel, inexpensive and noninvasive hair snare targeted at an elusive small mammal, the American pika (Ochotona princeps). We describe the general set-up of the hair snare, which consists of strips of packing tape arranged in a web-like fashion and placed along travelling routes in the pikas’ habitat. We illustrate the efficiency of the snare at collecting a large quantity of hair that can then be collected and brought back to the lab. We then demonstrate the use of the DNA IQ system (Promega) to isolate DNA and showcase the utility of this method to amplify commonly used molecular markers including nuclear microsatellites, amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs), mitochondrial sequences (800bp) as well as a molecular sexing marker. Overall, we demonstrate the utility of this novel noninvasive hair snare as a sampling technique for wildlife population biologists. We anticipate that this approach will be applicable to a variety of small mammals, opening up areas of investigation within natural populations, while minimizing impact to study organisms. PMID:21445038

  6. Adapting to climate change at Glacier National Park, Montana, USA (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fagre, D. B.

    2009-12-01

    The impact of climate change on mountain watersheds has been studied at Glacier National Park, Montana since 1991. Despite a 14% increase in annual precipitation, glaciers have receded, snow packs have diminished, and late season stream discharge has declined. Snow melts one month earlier in the spring, leading to earlier hydrologic peaks and tree invasions of subalpine meadows. This has been largely driven by annual temperature increases that are 2-3 times greater than the global average for the past century. How do scientists and park managers adapt? Although stopping the glaciers from disappearing is not a management option, park staff have embarked on an aggressive education and interpretation effort to use melting glaciers as the segue into dialog about climate change. Media such as podcasts, handouts, posters, visitor center displays and roadside signage complement interpretive ranger-led talks about climate change and incorporate the latest glacial data from ongoing research. With few historic data on most animal populations, Glacier Park staff and other scientists are unable to assess the impacts of climate change to resources that the public cares about. They have recently initiated alpine wildlife monitoring programs to track populations of potentially climate-sensitive organisms such as the American pika (Ochotona princeps). Recognizing that climate change increases the frequency and severity of extreme weather events, design specifications for reconstruction of an alpine highway were adjusted to include larger culverts and hardened rock walls. Species that are dependent on cold water will be at risk as glaciers and snowfields disappear but managers cannot control these processes. However, they are proactively reducing other stressors to sensitive native fish species by removing exotic, introduced species that are competitors. In addition to these adaptation measures, Glacier Park has implemented shuttles, fleet conversions and enhanced building

  7. Sierra Nevada Rock Glaciers: Biodiversity Refugia in a Warming World?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Millar, C. I.; Westfall, R. D.

    2007-12-01

    also mapped 125 discrete locations of American pika (Ochotona princeps) and found a strong association of pika presence with active and relict RIFs, in particular cirque rock glaciers, valley rock glaciers, and boulder streams. Using the PRISM climate model and a small network of temperature dataloggers from RIF habitats, we present a climate envelope for the pika habitats we surveyed. We propose that the large area of RIFs in the Sierra Nevada over a range of elevations could provide extensive habitat for pika in the warming future. RIFs in general are a group of landforms little studied in high mountains of western North America but of potential increasing importance to hydrologic and ecologic function as climate warms in the future. Millar, C.I. and R.D. Westfall. In press. Rock glaciers and periglacial rock-ice features in the Sierra Nevada; Classification, distribution, and climate relationships. Quaternary International.

  8. [Change in the habitat of Yersinia pestis in the Gorno-Altaisk natural focus of plague].

    PubMed

    Korzun, V M; Chipanin, E V; Balakhonov, S V; Denisov, A V; Rozhdestvenskiĭ, E N; Mihaĭlov, E P; Iarygina, M B; Kosilko, S A

    2014-01-01

    The paper analyzes the change that occurred in the habitat of the causative agent of plague in its Gorno-Altaisk natural focus in 1961 to 2012. Since 1961 when the plague microbe was found to come from the southern slopes of the Saylyugem mountain range, which are located in Mongolia, to the northern slopes situated in Russia, a gradual expansion of the habitat of Yersenia pestis subsp. altaica had commenced in South-Eastern Altai. During the considered period, the area where epizootic manifestations were registered showed an 11-fold increase. In most cases, the spread of the plague pathogen within the focus was natural and occurred in the successive and closely related settlements of Mongolian pikas (Ochotona pallasi). By now, the plague microbe has been widely distributed in three populations of this small animal, which inhabit the territory of South-Eastern Altai.

  9. The link between independent acquisition of intracellular gamma-endosymbionts and concerted evolution in Tremblaya princeps

    PubMed Central

    López-Madrigal, Sergio; Latorre, Amparo; Moya, Andrés; Gil, Rosario

    2015-01-01

    Many insect species establish mutualistic symbiosis with intracellular bacteria that complement their unbalanced diets. The betaproteobacterium “Candidatus Tremblaya” maintains an ancient symbiosis with mealybugs (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae), which are classified in subfamilies Phenacoccinae and Pseudococcinae. Most Phenacoccinae mealybugs have “Candidatus Tremblaya phenacola” as their unique endosymbiont, while most Pseudococcinae mealybugs show a nested symbiosis (a bacterial symbiont placed inside another one) where every “Candidatus Tremblaya princeps” cell harbors several cells of a gammaproteobacterium. Genomic characterization of the endosymbiotic consortium from Planococcus citri, composed by “Ca. Tremblaya princeps” and “Candidatus Moranella endobia,” unveiled several atypical features of the former's genome, including the concerted evolution of paralogous loci. Its comparison with the genome of “Ca. Tremblaya phenacola” PAVE, single endosymbiont of Phenacoccus avenae, suggests that the atypical reductive evolution of “Ca. Tremblaya princeps” could be linked to the acquisition of “Ca. Moranella endobia,” which possess an almost complete set of genes encoding proteins involved in homologous recombination. In order to test this hypothesis, we performed comparative genomics between “Ca. Tremblaya phenacola” and “Ca. Tremblaya princeps” and searched for the co-occurrence of concerted evolution and homologous recombination genes in endosymbiotic consortia from four unexplored mealybug species, Dysmicoccus boninsis, Planococcus ficus, Pseudococcus longispinus, and Pseudococcus viburni. Our results support a link between concerted evolution and nested endosymbiosis. PMID:26161080

  10. Crushed and Injected Buprenorphine Tablets: Characteristics of Princeps and Generic Solutions

    PubMed Central

    Bouquié, Régis; Wainstein, Laura; Pilet, Paul; Mussini, Jean-Marie; Deslandes, Guillaume; Clouet, Johann; Dailly, Eric; Jolliet, Pascale; Victorri-Vigneau, Caroline

    2014-01-01

    Self-injection of high-dose buprenorphine is responsible for well-described complications. In 2011, we have been alerted by unusual but serious cutaneous complication among injection buprenorphine users. A prospective data collection identified 30 cases of necrotic cutaneous lesions after injection of filtered buprenorphine solution, among which 25 cases occurred following injection of buprenorphine generics. The main goal of our study was to put forward particularities that could explain the cutaneous complications, by qualitatively and quantitatively confronting particles present in Subutex and generics solutions. We used the same protocol that injected-buprenorphine users: generic or subutex tablets were crushed in sterile water and filtered through 2 filters commonly used (cotton-pad and sterifilt). Solutions were analyzed by laser granulometry, flow cytometry and scanning electron microscopy. We have highlighted the wide variation of the quantity and the size of the particles present in solution between the two drugs after cotton-pad filtration. The proportion of particles <10 µm is systematically higher in the generic solutions than with Subutex. All of the insoluble particles found in generic solutions contain silica, whereas non- organic element was to be identified in the insoluble particles of Subutex. One skin biopsy obtained from one patient who developed a necrotic lesion after intravenous injection of filtrated solution of buprenorphine generic, shows non-organic elements. Identification of particles in situ enables us to confirm the presence of silica in the biopsy. Actually the monitoring of patient receiving generic of buprenorphine must be strengthened. PMID:25474108

  11. [The use of opium in Roman society and the dependence of Princeps Marcus Aurelius].

    PubMed

    Trancas, Bruno; Borja Santos, Nuno; Patrício, Luís D

    2008-01-01

    Opium was known and frequently used in Roman society. Medical practice recognized its usefulness as an analgesic, soporific, anti-tussic or anti-diarrheic agent, as well as other currently unsupported uses with quasi-magical properties. It was additionally used as an ingredient in antidotes, panaceas and poisons. The authors present a non-exhaustive compilation of opium use according to medical doctors, writers and encyclopaedists of the time. Mythological and literary representations of the opium poppy reflected its diverse roles, being associated with prosperity and fertility, sleep, death and the underworld and with the art of medicine. Despite its free and routine use, there is no solid evidence of addiction, except the putative case of emperor Marcus Aurelius, consistently reported as one of the most likely cases of addiction to opium.

  12. Return to Beringia: parasites reveal cryptic biogeographic history of North American pikas

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As a dispersal corridor between the northern continents, the Bering Land Bridge played a key role in shaping Holarctic biotas. The Beringian paradigm identifies the land bridge as a zone of predominantly eastward expansion from Eurasia and a staging area for subsequent colonization of lower latitude...

  13. Expertly Validated Models and Phylogenetically-Controlled Analysis Suggests Responses to Climate Change Are Related to Species Traits in the Order Lagomorpha

    PubMed Central

    Leach, Katie; Kelly, Ruth; Cameron, Alison; Montgomery, W. Ian; Reid, Neil

    2015-01-01

    Climate change during the past five decades has impacted significantly on natural ecosystems, and the rate of current climate change is of great concern among conservation biologists. Species Distribution Models (SDMs) have been used widely to project changes in species’ bioclimatic envelopes under future climate scenarios. Here, we aimed to advance this technique by assessing future changes in the bioclimatic envelopes of an entire mammalian order, the Lagomorpha, using a novel framework for model validation based jointly on subjective expert evaluation and objective model evaluation statistics. SDMs were built using climatic, topographical, and habitat variables for all 87 lagomorph species under past and current climate scenarios. Expert evaluation and Kappa values were used to validate past and current models and only those deemed ‘modellable’ within our framework were projected under future climate scenarios (58 species). Phylogenetically-controlled regressions were used to test whether species traits correlated with predicted responses to climate change. Climate change is likely to impact more than two-thirds of lagomorph species, with leporids (rabbits, hares, and jackrabbits) likely to undertake poleward shifts with little overall change in range extent, whilst pikas are likely to show extreme shifts to higher altitudes associated with marked range declines, including the likely extinction of Kozlov’s Pika (Ochotona koslowi). Smaller-bodied species were more likely to exhibit range contractions and elevational increases, but showing little poleward movement, and fecund species were more likely to shift latitudinally and elevationally. Our results suggest that species traits may be important indicators of future climate change and we believe multi-species approaches, as demonstrated here, are likely to lead to more effective mitigation measures and conservation management. We strongly advocate studies minimising data gaps in our knowledge of the

  14. Expertly validated models and phylogenetically-controlled analysis suggests responses to climate change are related to species traits in the order lagomorpha.

    PubMed

    Leach, Katie; Kelly, Ruth; Cameron, Alison; Montgomery, W Ian; Reid, Neil

    2015-01-01

    Climate change during the past five decades has impacted significantly on natural ecosystems, and the rate of current climate change is of great concern among conservation biologists. Species Distribution Models (SDMs) have been used widely to project changes in species' bioclimatic envelopes under future climate scenarios. Here, we aimed to advance this technique by assessing future changes in the bioclimatic envelopes of an entire mammalian order, the Lagomorpha, using a novel framework for model validation based jointly on subjective expert evaluation and objective model evaluation statistics. SDMs were built using climatic, topographical, and habitat variables for all 87 lagomorph species under past and current climate scenarios. Expert evaluation and Kappa values were used to validate past and current models and only those deemed 'modellable' within our framework were projected under future climate scenarios (58 species). Phylogenetically-controlled regressions were used to test whether species traits correlated with predicted responses to climate change. Climate change is likely to impact more than two-thirds of lagomorph species, with leporids (rabbits, hares, and jackrabbits) likely to undertake poleward shifts with little overall change in range extent, whilst pikas are likely to show extreme shifts to higher altitudes associated with marked range declines, including the likely extinction of Kozlov's Pika (Ochotona koslowi). Smaller-bodied species were more likely to exhibit range contractions and elevational increases, but showing little poleward movement, and fecund species were more likely to shift latitudinally and elevationally. Our results suggest that species traits may be important indicators of future climate change and we believe multi-species approaches, as demonstrated here, are likely to lead to more effective mitigation measures and conservation management. We strongly advocate studies minimising data gaps in our knowledge of the Order

  15. Antioxidant action of ganghwayakssuk (Artemisia princeps Pamp.) in combination with ascorbic acid to increase the shelf life in raw and deep fried chicken nuggets.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Ko-Eun; Choi, Yun-Sang; Choi, Sun-Mi; Kim, Hyun-Wook; Choi, Ji-Hun; Lee, Mi-Ai; Kim, Cheon-Jei

    2013-11-01

    Raw and deep fried chicken nuggets containing various levels of ganghwayakssuk ethanolic extract (GE) in combination with ascorbic acid (Aa) were evaluated for shelf-life during refrigerated storage (4°C). The pH and color (lightness, redness, and yellowness) values of raw and deep fried samples were significantly affected by the addition of GE (P<0.05). All antioxidant combinations except for Aa+GE 0.01 were effective at delaying lipid oxidation (CD, POV, and TBARS) when compared to the control or Aa. Raw samples with GE 0.2 and Aa+GE 0.1 exhibited lower bacterial populations during storage. The sensory characteristics (color, juiciness, flavor, tenderness, and overall acceptability) did not differ significantly in all deep fried chicken nugget samples, except color, whereas storage time had a significant effect (P<0.05). The results suggest the possibility of utilizing raw and deep fried chicken nuggets with a mixture of ganghwayakssuk and ascorbic acid for the increase of shelf-life and quality.

  16. Characterization of Nutritional Composition, Antioxidative Capacity, and Sensory Attributes of Seomae Mugwort, a Native Korean Variety of Artemisia argyi H. Lév. & Vaniot.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jae Kyeom; Shin, Eui-Cheol; Lim, Ho-Jeong; Choi, Soo Jung; Kim, Cho Rong; Suh, Soo Hwan; Kim, Chang-Ju; Park, Gwi Gun; Park, Cheung-Seog; Kim, Hye Kyung; Choi, Jong Hun; Song, Sang-Wook; Shin, Dong-Hoon

    2015-01-01

    Few studies have investigated Seomae mugwort (a Korean native mugwort variety of Artemisia argyi H. Lév. & Vaniot), exclusively cultivated in the southern Korean peninsula, and the possibility of its use as a food resource. In the present study, we compared the nutritional and chemical properties as well as sensory attributes of Seomae mugwort and the commonly consumed species Artemisia princeps Pamp. In comparison with A. princeps, Seomae mugwort had higher contents of polyunsaturated fatty acids, total phenolic compounds, vitamin C, and essential amino acids. In addition, Seomae mugwort had better radical scavenging activity and more diverse volatile compounds than A. princeps as well as favorable sensory attributes when consumed as tea. Given that scant information is available regarding the Seomae mugwort and its biological, chemical, and sensory characteristics, the results herein may provide important characterization data for further industrial and research applications of this mugwort variety. PMID:26550520

  17. Characterization of Nutritional Composition, Antioxidative Capacity, and Sensory Attributes of Seomae Mugwort, a Native Korean Variety of Artemisia argyi H. Lév. & Vaniot

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Jae Kyeom; Shin, Eui-Cheol; Lim, Ho-Jeong; Choi, Soo Jung; Kim, Cho Rong; Suh, Soo Hwan; Kim, Chang-Ju; Park, Gwi Gun; Park, Cheung-Seog; Kim, Hye Kyung; Choi, Jong Hun; Song, Sang-Wook; Shin, Dong-Hoon

    2015-01-01

    Few studies have investigated Seomae mugwort (a Korean native mugwort variety of Artemisia argyi H. Lév. & Vaniot), exclusively cultivated in the southern Korean peninsula, and the possibility of its use as a food resource. In the present study, we compared the nutritional and chemical properties as well as sensory attributes of Seomae mugwort and the commonly consumed species Artemisia princeps Pamp. In comparison with A. princeps, Seomae mugwort had higher contents of polyunsaturated fatty acids, total phenolic compounds, vitamin C, and essential amino acids. In addition, Seomae mugwort had better radical scavenging activity and more diverse volatile compounds than A. princeps as well as favorable sensory attributes when consumed as tea. Given that scant information is available regarding the Seomae mugwort and its biological, chemical, and sensory characteristics, the results herein may provide important characterization data for further industrial and research applications of this mugwort variety. PMID:26550520

  18. Heritability of symbiont density reveals distinct regulatory mechanisms in a tripartite symbiosis.

    PubMed

    Parkinson, Jasmine F; Gobin, Bruno; Hughes, William O H

    2016-04-01

    Beneficial eukaryotic-bacterial partnerships are integral to animal and plant evolution. Understanding the density regulation mechanisms behind bacterial symbiosis is essential to elucidating the functional balance between hosts and symbionts. Citrus mealybugs, Planococcus citri (Risso), present an excellent model system for investigating the mechanisms of symbiont density regulation. They contain two obligate nutritional symbionts, Moranella endobia, which resides inside Tremblaya princeps, which has been maternally transmitted for 100-200 million years. We investigate whether host genotype may influence symbiont density by crossing mealybugs from two inbred laboratory-reared populations that differ substantially in their symbiont density to create hybrids. The density of the M. endobia symbiont in the hybrid hosts matched that of the maternal parent population, in keeping with density being determined either by the symbiont or the maternal genotype. However, the density of the T. princeps symbiont was influenced by the paternal host genotype. The greater dependency of T. princeps on its host may be due to its highly reduced genome. The decoupling of T. princeps and M. endobia densities, in spite of their intimate association, suggests that distinct regulatory mechanisms can be at work in symbiotic partnerships, even when they are obligate and mutualistic. PMID:27099709

  19. The Method of Shared Concern as an Intervention Technique to Address Bullying in Schools: An Overview and Appraisal

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rigby, Ken

    2005-01-01

    This article outlines and appraises the method of shared concern as developed by Anatol Pikas and applied as a technique for resolving bully-victim problems in schools. It includes a description of how the method can be applied in schools, and critically examines some objections that have been raised to its use. These objections are shown to be…

  20. 75 FR 6437 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-month Finding on a Petition to List the...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-02-09

    ..., 2009 (74 FR 21301), we reviewed the petition, petition supplement, supporting information provided by... Laramie, Wasatch, and Black Hills (Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) 2009, p. 1). American pikas are... sites throughout much of the State (Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) 2009, p. 1). The IDFG...

  1. Habitat availability and gene flow influence diverging local population trajectories under scenarios of climate change: a place-based approach.

    PubMed

    Schwalm, Donelle; Epps, Clinton W; Rodhouse, Thomas J; Monahan, William B; Castillo, Jessica A; Ray, Chris; Jeffress, Mackenzie R

    2016-04-01

    Ecological niche theory holds that species distributions are shaped by a large and complex suite of interacting factors. Species distribution models (SDMs) are increasingly used to describe species' niches and predict the effects of future environmental change, including climate change. Currently, SDMs often fail to capture the complexity of species' niches, resulting in predictions that are generally limited to climate-occupancy interactions. Here, we explore the potential impact of climate change on the American pika using a replicated place-based approach that incorporates climate, gene flow, habitat configuration, and microhabitat complexity into SDMs. Using contemporary presence-absence data from occupancy surveys, genetic data to infer connectivity between habitat patches, and 21 environmental niche variables, we built separate SDMs for pika populations inhabiting eight US National Park Service units representing the habitat and climatic breadth of the species across the western United States. We then predicted occurrence probability under current (1981-2010) and three future time periods (out to 2100). Occurrence probabilities and the relative importance of predictor variables varied widely among study areas, revealing important local-scale differences in the realized niche of the American pika. This variation resulted in diverse and - in some cases - highly divergent future potential occupancy patterns for pikas, ranging from complete extirpation in some study areas to stable occupancy patterns in others. Habitat composition and connectivity, which are rarely incorporated in SDM projections, were influential in predicting pika occupancy in all study areas and frequently outranked climate variables. Our findings illustrate the importance of a place-based approach to species distribution modeling that includes fine-scale factors when assessing current and future climate impacts on species' distributions, especially when predictions are intended to manage and

  2. Palmar arch reconstruction using dorsal venous arch of foot for revascularisation of multiple digits

    PubMed Central

    Krishnakumar, K. S.; Petkar, Kiran; Lateef, Sameer; Rasalkar, Jyoti; Arun, T. J.; Suresh, V.

    2014-01-01

    A case of trauma causing total loss of superficial and deep palmar arches of hand with ischemia of all the digits was managed using dorsal venous arch of the foot to reconstruct the palmar arch. The ends of the venous arch were anastomosed to radial and ulnar arteries and the tributaries to the arch were coapted to the cut ends of the common digital vessels and princeps pollicis. The surgery yielded gratifying results, successfully revascularising all the digits. PMID:24987216

  3. Mealybugs with distinct endosymbiotic systems living on the same host plant.

    PubMed

    Koga, Ryuichi; Nikoh, Naruo; Matsuura, Yu; Meng, Xian-Ying; Fukatsu, Takema

    2013-01-01

    Mealybugs (Homoptera: Coccoidea: Pseudococcidae) possess a large bacteriome consisting of a number of bacteriocytes whose cytoplasm is populated by endosymbiotic bacteria. In many mealybugs of the subfamily Pseudococcinae, a peculiar endosymbiotic configuration has been identified: within the bacteriocytes, the primary betaproteobacterial endosymbiont Tremblaya princeps endocellularly harbor secondary gammaproteobacterial endosymbionts in a nested manner. Meanwhile, some mealybugs of the subfamily Phenacoccinae are associated only with a betaproteobacterial endosymbiont, designated as Tremblaya phenacola, which constitutes a distinct sister clade of T. princeps. However, cytological configuration of the endosymbiotic system in the phenacoccine mealybugs has not been established. Here, we investigated the endosymbiotic systems of the azalea mealybugs Crisicoccus azaleae (Pseudococcinae) and Phenacoccus azaleae (Phenacoccinae) living on the same host plants. Crisicoccus azaleae possessed a nested endosymbiotic system with T. princeps within the bacteriocyte cytoplasm and itself endocellularly harboring gammaproteobacterial cells, whereas P. azaleae exhibited a simple endosymbiotic system in which T. phenacola cells are localized within the bacteriocytes without additional gammaproteobacterial associates. Considering that these mealybugs live on the identical plant phloem sap, these different endosymbiotic consortia likely play similar biological roles for their host insects. The findings presented here should be helpful for future functional and comparative genomics toward elucidating evolutionary pathways of mealybugs and their endosymbionts.

  4. Genetic characterization of interleukins (IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12A, IL-12B, IL-15 and IL-18) with relevant biological roles in lagomorphs

    PubMed Central

    Neves, Fabiana; Abrantes, Joana; Almeida, Tereza; de Matos, Ana Lemos; Costa, Paulo P

    2015-01-01

    ILs, as essential innate immune modulators, are involved in an array of biological processes. In the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12A, IL-12B, IL-15 and IL-18 have been implicated in inflammatory processes and in the immune response against rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus and myxoma virus infections. In this study we characterized these ILs in six Lagomorpha species (European rabbit, pygmy rabbit, two cottontail rabbit species, European brown hare and American pika). Overall, these ILs are conserved between lagomorphs, including in their exon/intron structure. Most differences were observed between leporids and American pika. Indeed, when comparing both, some relevant differences were observed in American pika, such as the location of the stop codon in IL-1α and IL-2, the existence of a different transcript in IL8 and the number of cysteine residues in IL-1β. Changes at N-glycosylation motifs were also detected in IL-1, IL-10, IL-12B and IL-15. IL-1α is the protein that presents the highest evolutionary distances, which is in contrast to IL-12A where the distances between lagomorphs are the lowest. For all these ILs, sequences of human and European rabbit are more closely related than between human and mouse or European rabbit and mouse. PMID:26395994

  5. Genetic characterization of interleukins (IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12A, IL-12B, IL-15 and IL-18) with relevant biological roles in lagomorphs.

    PubMed

    Neves, Fabiana; Abrantes, Joana; Almeida, Tereza; de Matos, Ana Lemos; Costa, Paulo P; Esteves, Pedro J

    2015-11-01

    ILs, as essential innate immune modulators, are involved in an array of biological processes. In the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12A, IL-12B, IL-15 and IL-18 have been implicated in inflammatory processes and in the immune response against rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus and myxoma virus infections. In this study we characterized these ILs in six Lagomorpha species (European rabbit, pygmy rabbit, two cottontail rabbit species, European brown hare and American pika). Overall, these ILs are conserved between lagomorphs, including in their exon/intron structure. Most differences were observed between leporids and American pika. Indeed, when comparing both, some relevant differences were observed in American pika, such as the location of the stop codon in IL-1α and IL-2, the existence of a different transcript in IL8 and the number of cysteine residues in IL-1β. Changes at N-glycosylation motifs were also detected in IL-1, IL-10, IL-12B and IL-15. IL-1α is the protein that presents the highest evolutionary distances, which is in contrast to IL-12A where the distances between lagomorphs are the lowest. For all these ILs, sequences of human and European rabbit are more closely related than between human and mouse or European rabbit and mouse. PMID:26395994

  6. Molecular Identification of Echinococcus multilocularis Infection in Small Mammals from Northeast, Iran

    PubMed Central

    Beiromvand, Molouk; Akhlaghi, Lame; Fattahi Massom, Seyed Hossein; Meamar, Ahmad Reza; Darvish, Jamshid; Razmjou, Elham

    2013-01-01

    Background Alveolar echinococcosis is a zoonotic disease caused by the metacestode of Echinococcus multilocularis. Many species of small mammals, including arvicolid rodents or Ochotona spp., are natural intermediate hosts of the cestode. The main aim of this study was to identify natural intermediate hosts of E. multilocularis in Chenaran County, Razavi Khorasan Province, northeastern Iran, where the prevalence of infected wild and domestic carnivores is high. Methodology/Principal Findings A program of trapping was carried out in five villages in which this cestode was reported in carnivores. The livers of 85 small mammals were investigated for the presence of E. multilocularis infection using multiplex PCR of mitochondrial genes. Infections were identified in 30 specimens: 23 Microtus transcaspicus, three Ochotona rufescens, two Mus musculus, one Crocidura gmelini, and one Apodemus witherbyi. Conclusions/Significance A range of small mammals therefore act as natural intermediate hosts for the transmission of E. multilocularis in Chenaran County, and the prevalence suggested that E. multilocularis infection is endemic in this region. The existence of the life cycle of this potentially lethal cestode in the vicinity of human habitats provides a significant risk of human infection. PMID:23875048

  7. Revision of some ophiuroid records (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea) from Argentina.

    PubMed

    Brogger, Martin I; O'Hara, Timothy D

    2015-06-12

    The taxonomy of some ophiuroids reported from off Argentina, western Antarctica and the SW Atlantic Ocean is reviewed. The species Amphilepis sanmatiensis, known only from the small holotype, is a synonym of Amphioplus lucyae. This synonymy removes the only reported endemic ophiuroid from Argentina. The species name "Ophiacantha ingrata Koehler, 1923" used for specimens from South Georgia is invalid; the specimens are likely to belong to one of two cryptic species within the O. vivipara complex. Specimens of Amphiura joubini reported from Argentina are re-identified as Amphiura princeps, and specimens of Ophiactis amator from the Antarctic Peninsula are re-identified as Ophiactis asperula.

  8. Gaussia-luciferase as a sensitive reporter gene for monitoring promoter activity in the nucleus of the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

    PubMed

    Ruecker, Ovidiu; Zillner, Karina; Groebner-Ferreira, Regina; Heitzer, Markus

    2008-08-01

    For the model organism Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, a codon-adapted gene variant of the extracellular luciferase of Gaussia princeps was generated as a sensitive molecular tool to study gene expression from the nuclear genome. In the past, monitoring promoter activity in Chlamydomonas employing the commonly used luciferase encoded by Renilla reniformis was hampered due to the detection limit of the reporter assay, especially if analyzing weak promoters. In this work, the expression of Gaussia-luciferase from such promoters resulted in an average luminescent activity at least 500 times higher than that detected for the Renilla enzyme. The wildtype signal peptide of Gaussia princeps efficiently mediated the export of the luciferase into the culture medium of Chlamydomonas strain cw15arg ( - ), and the characterization of the secreted protein showed an unexpected temperature instability, probably arising from post-translational modifications made by the algae. To further test the utility of Gaussia-luciferase, promoter sequences originating from different viral genomes were analyzed for their ability to drive transgene expression in Chlamydomonas. Solely, the 35S-promoter of the Cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) displayed a significant transcriptional activity and this happened only when the shunting region of the 5'-untranslated region of the 35S-sequence was omitted from the luciferase expression cassette. Gaussia-luciferase proved to be a superior quantifiable reporter gene for the analysis of constitutive promoter sequences in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

  9. Variations in the superficial palmar arch of the hand.

    PubMed

    Bataineh, Ziad M; Habbal, Omar; Moqattash, Satei T

    2009-01-01

    Variations in the pattern of the hand blood supply are frequently encountered. Awareness and identification of such variations is crucial during hand surgery. Thirty formaline fixed hands of male and female cadavers were dissected. All arteries contributing to the superficial palmar arch (SPA) of the hand were verified. In addition to the frequently encountered types of SPA, three very rare cases were described. In the first case, the superficial branch of the radial artery passed superficial to the thenar muscles with a diameter larger than that of the ulnar artery. In addition to the common palmar digital artery to the second web space, it gave the princeps pollicis and radialis indicis arteries. In the second case, the SPA was formed by the ulnar artery and was completed by a small branch from the deep branch of the radial artery. The palmar digital artery to the ulnar side of the fifth finger and the common palmar digital artery to the fourth web space arose from a common trunk. In the third case, incomplete SPA was formed by the median artery which only gave the princeps pollicis and radialis indicis arteries, while the ulnar artery supplied the rest of the hand except the ulnar side of the third finger and the second web space which were supplied by the deep palmar arch. Therefore, sound knowledge of the pattern of the blood supply of the hand by various techniques is crucial to avoid possible complications during hand surgery.

  10. Multiplex PCR method to discriminate Artemisia iwayomogi from other Artemisia plants.

    PubMed

    Doh, Eui Jeong; Oh, Seung-Eun

    2012-01-01

    Some plants in the genus Artemisia have been used for medicinal purposes. Among them, Artemisia iwayomogi, commonly referred to as "Haninjin," is one of the major medicinal materials used in traditional Korean medicine. By contrast, Artemisia capillaris and both Artemisia argyi and Artemisia princeps, referred to as "Injinho" and "Aeyup," respectively, are used to treat diseases different from those for which "Haninjin" is prescribed. Therefore, the development of a reliable method to differentiate each Artemisia herb is necessary. We found that a random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) method can be used to efficiently discriminate a few Artemisia plants from one another. To improve the reliability of RAPD amplification, we designed primer sets based on the nucleotide sequences of RAPD products to amplify a sequence-characterized amplified region (SCAR) marker of A. iwayomogi. In addition, we designed two other primer sets to amplify SCAR markers of "Aeyup" (A. argyi and A. princeps) along with "Injinho" (A. capillaris) and Artemisia japonica, which are also traded in Korean herbal markets. Using these three primer sets, we developed a multiplex PCR method concurrently not only to discriminate A. iwayomogi from other Artemisia plants, but also to identify Artemisia plants using a single PCR process.

  11. Mealybugs nested endosymbiosis: going into the ‘matryoshka’ system in Planococcus citri in depth

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background In all branches of life there are plenty of symbiotic associations. Insects are particularly well suited to establishing intracellular symbiosis with bacteria, providing them with metabolic capabilities they lack. Essential primary endosymbionts can coexist with facultative secondary symbionts which can, eventually, establish metabolic complementation with the primary endosymbiont, becoming a co-primary. Usually, both endosymbionts maintain their cellular identity. An exception is the endosymbiosis found in mealybugs of the subfamily Pseudoccinae, such as Planococcus citri, with Moranella endobia located inside Tremblaya princeps. Results We report the genome sequencing of M. endobia str. PCVAL and the comparative genomic analyses of the genomes of strains PCVAL and PCIT of both consortium partners. A comprehensive analysis of their functional capabilities and interactions reveals their functional coupling, with many cases of metabolic and informational complementation. Using comparative genomics, we confirm that both genomes have undergone a reductive evolution, although with some unusual genomic features as a consequence of coevolving in an exceptional compartmentalized organization. Conclusions M. endobia seems to be responsible for the biosynthesis of most cellular components and energy provision, and controls most informational processes for the consortium, while T. princeps appears to be a mere factory for amino acid synthesis, and translating proteins, using the precursors provided by M. endobia. In this scenario, we propose that both entities should be considered part of a composite organism whose compartmentalized scheme (somehow) resembles a eukaryotic cell. PMID:23548081

  12. Evolutionary Insights into IL17A in Lagomorphs

    PubMed Central

    Neves, Fabiana; Abrantes, Joana; Almeida, Tereza; Costa, Paulo P.; Esteves, Pedro J.

    2015-01-01

    In leporids, IL17A had been implicated in the host defense against extracellular pathogens, such as Francisella tularensis that infects hares and rabbits and causes the zoonotic disease tularemia. Here, we studied IL17A from five lagomorphs, European rabbit, pygmy rabbit, brush rabbit, European brown hare, and American pika. We observed that this protein is highly conserved between these species, with a similarity of 97–99% in leporids and ~88% between leporids and American pika. The exon/intron structure, N-glycosylation sites, and cysteine residues are conserved between lagomorphs. However, at codon 88, one of the interaction sites between IL17A and its receptor IL17RA, there is an Arg>Pro mutation that only occurs in European rabbit and European brown hare. This could induce critical alterations in the IL17A structure and conformation and consequently modify its function. The differences observed between leporids and humans or rodents might also represent important alterations in protein structure and function. In addition, as for other interleukins, IL17A sequences of human and European rabbit are more closely related than the sequences of human and mouse or European rabbit and mouse. This study gives further support to the hypothesis that European rabbit might be a more suitable animal model for studies on human IL17. PMID:26788019

  13. Snow Micro-Structure Model

    2014-06-25

    PIKA is a MOOSE-based application for modeling micro-structure evolution of seasonal snow. The model will be useful for environmental, atmospheric, and climate scientists. Possible applications include application to energy balance models, ice sheet modeling, and avalanche forecasting. The model implements physics from published, peer-reviewed articles. The main purpose is to foster university and laboratory collaboration to build a larger multi-scale snow model using MOOSE. The main feature of the code is that it is implementedmore » using the MOOSE framework, thus making features such as multiphysics coupling, adaptive mesh refinement, and parallel scalability native to the application. PIKA implements three equations: the phase-field equation for tracking the evolution of the ice-air interface within seasonal snow at the grain-scale; the heat equation for computing the temperature of both the ice and air within the snow; and the mass transport equation for monitoring the diffusion of water vapor in the pore space of the snow.« less

  14. Snow Micro-Structure Model

    SciTech Connect

    Micah Johnson, Andrew Slaughter

    2014-06-25

    PIKA is a MOOSE-based application for modeling micro-structure evolution of seasonal snow. The model will be useful for environmental, atmospheric, and climate scientists. Possible applications include application to energy balance models, ice sheet modeling, and avalanche forecasting. The model implements physics from published, peer-reviewed articles. The main purpose is to foster university and laboratory collaboration to build a larger multi-scale snow model using MOOSE. The main feature of the code is that it is implemented using the MOOSE framework, thus making features such as multiphysics coupling, adaptive mesh refinement, and parallel scalability native to the application. PIKA implements three equations: the phase-field equation for tracking the evolution of the ice-air interface within seasonal snow at the grain-scale; the heat equation for computing the temperature of both the ice and air within the snow; and the mass transport equation for monitoring the diffusion of water vapor in the pore space of the snow.

  15. Microsatellite DNA markers for assessing phylogeographic and population structure in Preble's meadow jumping mice (Zapus hudsonius preblei) and cross-amplification among neighbouring taxa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    King, T.L.; Eackles, M.S.; Young, C.C.

    2006-01-01

    We document the isolation and characterization of 14 tetranucleotide microsatellite DNA markers in Preble's meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius preblei). The identified markers displayed moderate levels of allelic diversity (averaging 4.9 alleles per locus) and heterozygosity (averaging 55.1%). Genotypic and allelic frequencies in a collection of 30 individuals conformed to Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium expectations and indicated no linkage disequilibrium. High levels of cross-amplification (95% overall) among neighbouring subspecies and two congeners (Zapus princeps and Zapus trinotatus) were observed. Multilocus genotypes resulting from these markers appear to provide ample genetic diversity for studies assessing individual- and population-level ecological interactions within Z. h. preblei and evolutionary relationships among neighbouring subspecies (Z. h. campestris, Z. h. intermedius, Z. h. pallidus and Z. h. luteus). ?? 2006 The Authors.

  16. Superluminescent variants of marine luciferases for bioassays.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sung Bae; Suzuki, Hideyuki; Sato, Moritoshi; Tao, Hiroaki

    2011-11-15

    In this study, a rational synthesis of superluminescent variants from marine luciferases with prolonged bioluminescence has been demonstrated. A putative active site of a model marine luciferase, Gaussia princeps Luciferase (GLuc), was assigned and modified by a site-directed mutagenesis. The potent variants were found to generate up to 10 times stronger bioluminescence, emitting red shifts of up to 33 nm with natural coelenterazine than native GLuc, rendering an efficient optical signature in bioassays. The advantageous properties were demonstrated with mammalian two-hybrid assays, single-chain probes, and metastases of murine B16 melanoma in BALB/c nude mice. The unique ideas for engineering GLuc are proved to be valid even for other marine luciferases. PMID:21951281

  17. Analysis of Dragonfly Take-off Mechanism: Initial Impulse Generated by Aerodynamic Forces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Ruijie; Bode-Oke, Ayodeji; Ren, Yan; Dong, Haibo; Flow Simulation Research Team

    2013-11-01

    Take-off is a critical part of insect flight due to not only that every single flight initiates from take-off, but also that the take-off period, despite its short duration, accounts for a relatively large fraction of the total energy consumption. Thus, studying the mechanism of insect take-off will help to improve the design of Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs) in two major properties, the success rate and the energy efficiency of take-off. In this work, we study 20 cases in which dragonflies (species including Pachydiplax longipennis, Epitheca Cynosura, Epitheca princeps etc.) take off from designed platform. By high-speed photogrammetry, 3-d reconstruction and numerical simulation, we explore how dragonflies coordinate different body parts to help take-off. We evaluate how aerodynamic forces generated by wing flapping create the initial impulse, and how these forces help save energy consumption. Supported by NSF CBET-1343154.

  18. Foliicolous microfungi occurring on Encephalartos.

    PubMed

    Crous, P W; Wood, A R; Okada, G; Groenewald, J Z

    2008-12-01

    Species of Encephalartos, commonly known as bread trees, bread palms or cycads are native to Africa; the genus encompasses more than 60 species and represents an important component of the indigenous African flora. Recently, a leaf blight disease was noted on several E. altensteinii plants growing at the foot of Table Mountain in the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens of South Africa. Preliminary isolations from dead and dying leaves of E. alten-steinii, E. lebomboensis and E. princeps, collected from South Africa, revealed the presence of several novel microfungi on this host. Novelties include Phaeomoniella capensis, Saccharata kirstenboschensis, Teratosphaeria altensteinii and T. encephalarti. New host records of species previously only known to occur on Proteaceae include Cladophialophora proteae and Catenulostroma microsporum, as well as a hyperparasite, Dactylaria leptosphaeriicola, occurring on ascomata of T. encephalarti. PMID:20396583

  19. Aminoglycoside-induced damage in the statocyst of the longfin inshore squid, Doryteuthis pealeii.

    PubMed

    Scharr, Alexandra L; Mooney, T Aran; Schweizer, Felix E; Ketten, Darlene R

    2014-08-01

    Squid are a significant component of the marine biomass and are a long-established model organism in experimental neurophysiology. The squid statocyst senses linear and angular acceleration and is the best candidate for mediating squid auditory responses, but its physiology and morphology are rarely studied. The statocyst contains mechano-sensitive hair cells that resemble hair cells in the vestibular and auditory systems of other animals. We examined whether squid statocyst hair cells are sensitive to aminoglycosides, a group of antibiotics that are ototoxic in fish, birds, and mammals. To assess aminoglycoside-induced damage, we used immunofluorescent methods to image the major cell types in the statocyst of longfin squid (Doryteuthis pealeii). Statocysts of live, anesthetized squid were injected with either a buffered saline solution or neomycin at concentrations ranging from 0.05 to 3.0 mmol l(-1). The statocyst hair cells of the macula statica princeps were examined 5 h post-treatment. Anti-acetylated tubulin staining showed no morphological differences between the hair cells of saline-injected and non-injected statocysts. The hair cell bundles of the macula statica princeps in aminoglycoside-injected statocysts were either missing or damaged, with the amount of damage being dose-dependent. The proportion of missing hair cells did not increase at the same rate as damaged cells, suggesting that neomycin treatment affects hair cells in a nonlethal manner. These experiments provide a reliable method for imaging squid hair cells. Further, aminoglycosides can be used to induce hair cell damage in a primary sensory area of the statocyst of squid. Such results support further studies on loss of hearing and balance in squid.

  20. Evolutionary relationships among primary endosymbionts of the mealybug subfamily phenacoccinae (hemiptera: Coccoidea: Pseudococcidae).

    PubMed

    Gruwell, Matthew E; Hardy, Nate B; Gullan, Penny J; Dittmar, Katharina

    2010-11-01

    Mealybugs (Coccoidea: Pseudococcidae) are sap-sucking plant parasites that harbor bacterial endosymbionts within specialized organs. Previous studies have identified two subfamilies, Pseudococcinae and Phenacoccinae, within mealybugs and determined the primary endosymbionts (P-endosymbionts) of the Pseudococcinae to be Betaproteobacteria ("Candidatus Tremblaya princeps") containing Gammaproteobacteria secondary symbionts. Here, the P-endosymbionts of phenacoccine mealybugs are characterized based on 16S rRNA from the bacteria of 20 species of phenacoccine mealybugs and four outgroup Puto species (Coccoidea: Putoidae) and aligned to more than 100 published 16S rRNA sequences from symbiotic and free-living bacteria. Phylogenetic analyses recovered three separate lineages of bacteria from the Phenacoccinae, and these are considered to be the P-endosymbionts of their respective mealybug hosts, with those from (i) the mealybug genus Rastrococcus belonging to the Bacteroidetes, (ii) the subterranean mealybugs, tribe Rhizoecini, also within Bacteroidetes, in a clade sister to cockroach endosymbionts (Blattabacterium), and (iii) the remaining Phenacoccinae within the Betaproteobacteria, forming a well-supported sister group to "Candidatus Tremblaya princeps." Names are proposed for two strongly supported lineages: "Candidatus Brownia rhizoecola" for P-endosymbionts of Rhizoecini and "Candidatus Tremblaya phenacola" for P-endosymbionts of Phenacoccinae excluding Rastrococcus and Rhizoecini. Rates of nucleotide substitution among lineages of Tremblaya were inferred to be significantly faster than those of free-living Betaproteobacteria. Analyses also recovered a clade of Gammaproteobacteria, sister to the P-endosymbiont lineage of aphids ("Candidatus Buchnera aphidicola"), containing the endosymbionts of Putoidae, the secondary endosymbionts of pseudococcine mealybugs, and the endosymbionts of several other insect groups.

  1. Signaling Active CD95 Receptor Molecules Trigger Co-translocation of Inactive CD95 Molecules into Lipid Rafts*

    PubMed Central

    Lang, Isabell; Fick, Andrea; Schäfer, Viktoria; Giner, Tina; Siegmund, Daniela; Wajant, Harald

    2012-01-01

    The capability of soluble CD95L trimers to trigger CD95-associated signaling pathways is drastically increased by oligomerization. The latter can be achieved, for example, by antibodies recognizing a N-terminal epitope tag in recombinant CD95L variants or by genetic engineering-enforced formation of hexamers. Using highly sensitive and accurate binding studies with recombinant CD95L variants equipped with a Gaussia princeps luciferase reporter domain, we found that oligomerization of CD95L has no major effect on CD95 occupancy. This indicates that the higher activity of oligomerized CD95L trimers is not related to an avidity-related increase in apparent affinity and points instead to a crucial role of aggregation of initially formed trimeric CD95L-CD95 complexes in CD95 activation. Furthermore, binding of soluble CD95L trimers was found to be insufficient to increase the association of CD95 with the lipid raft-containing membrane fraction. However, when Gaussia princeps luciferase-CD95L trimers were used as tracers to “mark” inactive CD95 molecules, increased association of these inactive receptors was observed upon activation of the remaining CD95 molecules by help of highly active hexameric Fc-CD95L or membrane CD95L. Moreover, in cells expressing endogenous CD95 and chimeric CD40-CD95 receptors, triggering of CD95 signaling via endogenous CD95 resulted in co-translocation of CD40-CD95 to the lipid raft fraction, whereas vice versa activation of CD95-associated pathways with Fc-CD40L via CD40-CD95 resulted in co-translocation of endogenous CD95. In sum, this shows that signaling-active CD95 molecules not only enhance their own association with the lipid raft-containing membrane fraction but also those of inactive CD95 molecules. PMID:22645131

  2. [A NATURAL PLAGUE FOCUS. IN GORNYI ALTAI: FORMATION, DEVELOPMENT, AND FUNCTIONING].

    PubMed

    Korzun, V M; Balakhoiov, S V; Chpanin, E V; Denisov, A V; Mikhailov, E P; Mischenko, A J; Yarygina, M B; Rozhdestvensky, E N; Fomina, L A

    2016-01-01

    The paper gives the results of analyzing the data of long-term studies of the natural focal pattern of plague in the Gornyi Altai natural focus. It describes a wide range of biological processes occurring in the focus and shows the most important patterns of its functioning as a complex multilevel ecological system. The key features of the formation of the focus have been revealed. The plague focus in South-Western Altai has formed relatively, recently, about half a century ago, then it has intensively developed and its enzootic area and the activity of epizootic manifestations have considerably increased. This process is due to the space-time transformations of the basic ecological and population characteristics of Pallas' pika (Ochotoma pallasi), the principal vector of the pathogen of plague and fleas parasitizing the mammal, which is in turn related to the aridization of mountain steppes in South-Western Altai. PMID:27029141

  3. Radiometric and geometric analysis of hyperspectral imagery acquired from an unmanned aerial vehicle

    SciTech Connect

    Hruska, Ryan; Mitchell, Jessica; Anderson, Matthew; Glenn, Nancy F.

    2012-09-17

    During the summer of 2010, an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) hyperspectral in-flight calibration and characterization experiment of the Resonon PIKA II imaging spectrometer was conducted at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory (INL) UAV Research Park. The purpose of the experiment was to validate the radiometric calibration of the spectrometer and determine the georegistration accuracy achievable from the on-board global positioning system (GPS) and inertial navigation sensors (INS) under operational conditions. In order for low-cost hyperspectral systems to compete with larger systems flown on manned aircraft, they must be able to collect data suitable for quantitative scientific analysis. The results of the in-flight calibration experiment indicate an absolute average agreement of 96.3%, 93.7% and 85.7% for calibration tarps of 56%, 24%, and 2.5% reflectivity, respectively. The achieved planimetric accuracy was 4.6 meters (based on RMSE).

  4. [A NATURAL PLAGUE FOCUS. IN GORNYI ALTAI: FORMATION, DEVELOPMENT, AND FUNCTIONING].

    PubMed

    Korzun, V M; Balakhoiov, S V; Chpanin, E V; Denisov, A V; Mikhailov, E P; Mischenko, A J; Yarygina, M B; Rozhdestvensky, E N; Fomina, L A

    2016-01-01

    The paper gives the results of analyzing the data of long-term studies of the natural focal pattern of plague in the Gornyi Altai natural focus. It describes a wide range of biological processes occurring in the focus and shows the most important patterns of its functioning as a complex multilevel ecological system. The key features of the formation of the focus have been revealed. The plague focus in South-Western Altai has formed relatively, recently, about half a century ago, then it has intensively developed and its enzootic area and the activity of epizootic manifestations have considerably increased. This process is due to the space-time transformations of the basic ecological and population characteristics of Pallas' pika (Ochotoma pallasi), the principal vector of the pathogen of plague and fleas parasitizing the mammal, which is in turn related to the aridization of mountain steppes in South-Western Altai.

  5. [Macro- and microevolution as related to the problem of origin and global expansion of the plague pathogen Yersinia pestis].

    PubMed

    Suntsov, V V; Suntsova, N I

    2008-01-01

    The ratio of macro- and microevolutionary processes is considered with reference to the ecological scenario of the origin of the plague pathogen and its subsequent natural and anthropogenic global expansion. The macroevolutionary transformation of the ancestral pseudotuberculosis microbe clone into the initial plague microbe Yersinia pestis tarbagani occurred in Central Asia at the end of the Late Pleistocene by a "vertical" Darwinian way in an inadaptive heterothermal continual intermediate environment--the Mongolian marmot Marmota sibirica-flea Oropsylla silantiewi system--via a sequence of unstable and currently extinct intermediate forms. Its natural geographic expansion on the "oil spot" principle in the postglacial time led to the microevolutionary formation of 20-30 hostal subspecies circulating in populations of the background species of burrowing rodents and pikas in arid areas of Eurasia. The intercontinental spread of the "marmot" and "rat" pathogen subspecies in the past few centuries has been exclusively anthropogenic, with the involvement of synanthropic (ship) rats.

  6. Detection of diverse novel astroviruses from small mammals in China.

    PubMed

    Hu, Ben; Chmura, Aleksei A; Li, Jialu; Zhu, Guangjian; Desmond, James S; Zhang, Yunzhi; Zhang, Wei; Epstein, Jonathan H; Daszak, Peter; Shi, Zhengli

    2014-11-01

    Astroviruses infect humans and many animal species and cause gastroenteritis. To extensively understand the distribution and genetic diversity of astrovirus in small mammals, we tested 968 anal swabs from 39 animal species, most of which were bats and rodents. We detected diverse astroviruses in 10 bat species, including known bat astroviruses and a large number of novel viruses. Meanwhile, novel groups of astroviruses were identified in three wild rodent species and a remarkably high genetic diversity of astrovirus was revealed in Eothenomys cachinus. We detected astroviruses in captive-bred porcupines and a nearly full-length genome sequence was determined for one strain. Phylogenetic analysis of the complete ORF2 sequence suggested that this strain may share a common ancestor with porcine astrovirus type 2. Moreover, to our knowledge, this study reports the first discovery of astroviruses in shrews and pikas. Our results provide new insights for understanding these small mammals as natural reservoirs of astroviruses. PMID:25034867

  7. The plateau zokors' learning and memory ability is related to the high expression levels of foxP2 in the brain.

    PubMed

    Ma, Ben-Yuan; Wei, Lian; Sun, Sheng-Zhen; Wang, Duo-Wei; Wei, Deng-Bang

    2014-04-25

    Plateau zokor (Myospalax baileyi) is a subterranean mammal. Plateau zokor has high learning and memory ability, and can determine the location of blocking obstacles in their tunnels. Forkhead box p2 (FOXP2) is a transcription factor implicated in the neural control of orofacial coordination and sensory-motor integration, particularly with respect to learning, memory and vocalization. To explore the association of foxP2 with the high learning and memory ability of plateau zokor, the cDNA of foxP2 of plateau zokor was sequenced; by using plateau pika as control, the expression levels of foxP2 mRNA and FOXP2 protein in brain of plateau zokor were determined by real-time PCR and Western blot, respectively; and the location of FOXP2 protein in the brain of plateau zokor was determined by immunohistochemistry. The result showed that the cDNA sequence of plateau zokor foxP2 was similar to that of other mammals and the amino acid sequences showed a relatively high degree of conservation, with the exception of two particular amino acid substitutions [a Gln (Q)-to-His (H) change at position 231 and a Ser (S)-to-Ile (I) change at position 235]. Higher expression levels of foxP2 mRNA (3-fold higher) and FOXP2 protein (>2-fold higher) were detected in plateau zokor brain relative to plateau pika brain. In plateau zokor brain, FOXP2 protein was highly expressed in the cerebral cortex, thalamus and the striatum (a basal ganglia brain region). The results suggest that the high learning and memory ability of plateau zokor is related to the high expression levels of foxP2 in the brain.

  8. Nidicolous ticks of small mammals in Anaplasma phagocytophilum-enzootic sites in northern California

    PubMed Central

    Foley, Janet; Rejmanek, Daniel; Fleer, Katryna; Nieto, Nathan

    2011-01-01

    Ixodes spp. tick-borne zoonotic diseases are present across the Holarctic in humans, domestic animals, and wildlife. Small mammals are reservoirs for the rickettsial pathogen Anaplasma phagocytophilum and tick vectors may include catholic-feeding bridge vectors as well as host-specialist or nidicolous ticks. Far western North American communities in which A. phagocytophilum is maintained are complex ecologically, with multiple reservoir host and tick species, multiple strains of the bacterial pathogen A. phagocytophilum and differences in dynamics of hosts and vectors across heterogeneous landscapes. We evaluated sites in northern California in order to identify primarily nidicolous ticks and the hosts they infest. A total of 667 ticks was found in 11 study sites, including 288 on flags and 379 attached to small mammals. Larvae were over-represented among attached ticks and adults on flags. The most abundant species was I. pacificus. Two-hundred fourteen nidicolous ticks were found, most abundantly I. angustus and I. spinipalpis. All adult I. ochotonae, I. auritulus, I. angustus, I. jellisoni, and I. woodi were female, while the male:female ratio of I. spinipalpis was 1.2:1 and 1:1 for I. pacificus. The greatest number of ticks was obtained from Tamias ochrogenys, Peromyscus spp., and Neotoma fuscipes. Of 234 small mammal individuals that were infested with Ixodes spp., only 81 (34.6%) were infested with I. pacificus. The remaining infested small mammals hosted nidicolous tick species. Eight ticks were PCR-positive, including 6 I. pacificus (one adult, one larva, and 6 nymphs), and 2 adult I. ochotonae and high PCR prevalences of 18% and 9% were detected in woodrats and chipmunks, respectively. Nymphal I. angustus ticks were active year-long with a possible increase in August while larval activity was only observed in December and spring months and adults only during spring and fall. Overall, we show high tick species richness and year-round high levels of

  9. Saker falcon research and conservation efforts in Mongolia, 1997

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ellis, D.H.; Tsengeg, P.; Whitlock, P.L.

    1998-01-01

    This past summer. our small field team followed a 4000 km route through central and eastern Mongolia. Even though there was a population crash underway for picas (Ochotona sp.) and voles (Microtus sp.). we found 38 new saker nests and visited 60 eyries found in previous years. Many of the former eyries were unoccupied. Others were occupied but without young. Productivity was good at eyries with large young. and southeastern Mongolia seemed unaffected by food shortages. The main goal for 1997 was to create new eyries and enlarge. stabilise. or otherwise alter marginal eyries. \\Ve created 65 eyries as follows: 8 on wooden powerlines or telephone supports, 8 on metal power line towers, 3 in trees, 3 on boulders, 11 on cliffs, 17 on abandoned buildings, 9 on metal geological survey towers, and 6 on miscellaneous structures. \\Ve also enlarged or repaired three establishedeyries and did minor repairs on several others. Lesser accomplishments include what may be the first observation of siblicide for the saker falcon (please contact us immediately if you have other records of sakerchicks attacking or killing their nest mates) and the description of a new saker flight display. We also documented an unusual golden eagle eyrie containing the remains of nearly 30 foxes, several predatory birds, and a number of gazelle. In 1998. we plan to return to Mongolia to see how many of our 'fake eyries' attracted falcons. Our work in 1997 was supported by Mr. Howell. another philanthropist (anonymous) and the Institute of Raptor Studies.

  10. Vector biodiversity did not associate with tick-borne pathogen prevalence in small mammal communities in northern and central California.

    PubMed

    Foley, Janet; Piovia-Scott, Jonah

    2014-04-01

    Vector and host abundance affect infection transmission rates, prevalence, and persistence in communities. Biological diversity in hosts and vectors may provide "rescue" hosts which buffer against pathogen extinction and "dilution" hosts which reduce the force of infection in communities. Anaplasma phagocytophilum is a tick-transmitted zoonotic pathogen that circulates in small mammal and tick communities characterized by varying levels of biological diversity. We examined the prevalence of A. phagocytophilum in Ixodes spp. ticks in 11 communities in northern and central California. A total of 1020 ticks of 8 species was evaluated. Five percent of ticks (5 species) were PCR-positive, with the highest prevalence (6-7%) in I. pacificus and I. ochotonae. In most species, adults had a higher prevalence than nymphs or larvae. PCR prevalence varied between 0% and 40% across sites; the infection probability in ticks increased with infestation load and prevalence in small mammals, but not tick species richness, diversity, evenness, or small mammal species richness. No particular tick species was likely to "rescue" infection in the community; rather the risk of A. phagocytophilum infection is related to exposure to particular tick species and life stages, and overall tick abundance.

  11. The Importance of Habitat in the Ecology of Decomposition on Rabbit Carcasses in Malaysia: Implications in Forensic Entomology.

    PubMed

    Silahuddin, Siti Aisyah; Latif, Baha; Kurahashi, Hiromu; Walter, David Evans; Heo, Chong Chin

    2015-01-01

    The stages of decomposition and the faunal succession on rabbit carcasses in three different habitats, namely jungle, rural, and highland areas, were studied. Three New Zealand White rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) carcasses weighing ∼2 kg were sampled daily until the decomposition process was completed. Representative specimens of adult flies, larvae, pupa, and mites were collected from the carcasses and processed in the laboratory. There were differences in decomposition rate and faunal succession between the carcasses. The fastest rate of decomposition was recorded in rural area, and the slowest rate of decomposition was recorded in highland area. The carcasses exhibited the same pattern of colonization by adult flies, but the dominant species of larvae and adult flies on each carcass in specific habitats were different. The primary species of flies recorded in jungle were Chrysomya megacephala F., Chrysomya rufifacies (Macquart), Chrysomya chani Kurahashi, Chrysomya villenuevi Patton, Chrysomya nigripes Aubertin, Chrysomya pinguis (Walker), Hemipyrellia ligurriens (Wiedemann), Hemipyrellia tagaliana (Bigot), Hypopyiopsis fumipennis (Walker), Hypopygiopsis violacea (Macquart), and Hydrotaea spinigera Stein represented by both adults and larvae. Musca domestica L., Atherigona sp., Lioproctia pattoni (Senior-White), Lioproctia saprianovae Pape & Bänziger, and Seniorwhitea princeps (Wiedemann) were represented by adults only. The biodiversity of flies in the rural area were C. megacephala, C. rufifacies, H. ligurriens, Fannia canicularis L., Hydrotaea chalcogaster (Wiedemann), and Hyd. spinigera represented by both adults and larvae, meanwhile M. domestica, Atherigona sp., Boettcherisca peregrina (Robineau-Desvoidy), Parasarcophaga taenionota Wiedemann, Parasarcophaga scopariiformis Senior-White, and S. princeps were represented by adults only. The species of flies collected in the highland area were Lucilia porphyrina (Walker), C. megacephala, C. rufifacies, C

  12. Molecular and Histological Characterization of Primary (Betaproteobacteria) and Secondary (Gammaproteobacteria) Endosymbionts of Three Mealybug Species

    PubMed Central

    Sutherland, Paul; Forgie, Shaun A.; Kaji, Ryohei; Christeller, John T.

    2012-01-01

    Microscopic localization of endosymbiotic bacteria in three species of mealybug (Pseudococcus longispinus, the long-tailed mealybug; Pseudococcus calceolariae, the citrophilus mealybug; and Pseudococcus viburni, the obscure mealybug) showed these organisms were confined to bacteriocyte cells within a bacteriome centrally located within the hemocoel. Two species of bacteria were present, with the secondary endosymbiont, in all cases, living within the primary endosymbiont. DNA from the dissected bacteriomes of all three species of mealybug was extracted for analysis. Sequence data from selected 16S rRNA genes confirmed identification of the primary endosymbiont as “Candidatus Tremblaya princeps,” a betaproteobacterium, and the secondary endosymbionts as gammaproteobacteria closely related to Sodalis glossinidius. A single 16S rRNA sequence of the primary endosymbiont was found in all individuals of each mealybug species. In contrast, the presence of multiple divergent strains of secondary endosymbionts in each individual mealybug suggests different evolutionary and transmission histories of the two endosymbionts. Mealybugs are known vectors of the plant pathogen Grapevine leafroll-associated virus 3. To examine the possible role of either endosymbiont in virus transmission, an extension of the model for interaction of proteins with bacterial chaperonins, i.e., GroEL protein homologs, based on mobile-loop amino acid sequences of their GroES homologs, was developed and used for analyses of viral coat protein interactions. The data from this model are consistent with a role for the primary endosymbiont in mealybug transmission of Grapevine leafroll-associated virus 3. PMID:22156418

  13. A portable bioluminescence engineered cell-based biosensor for on-site applications.

    PubMed

    Roda, Aldo; Cevenini, Luca; Michelini, Elisa; Branchini, Bruce R

    2011-04-15

    We have developed a portable biosensing device based on genetically engineered bioluminescent (BL) cells. Cells were immobilized on a 4 × 3 multiwell cartridge using a new biocompatible matrix that preserved their vitality. Using a fiber optic taper, the cartridge was placed in direct contact with a cooled CCD sensor to image and quantify the BL signals. Yeast and bacterial cells were engineered to express recognition elements, whose interaction with the analyte led to luciferase expression, via reporter gene technology. Three different biosensors were developed. The first detects androgenic compounds using yeast cells carrying a green-emitting P. pyralis luciferase regulated by the human androgen receptor and a red mutant of the same species as internal vitality control. The second biosensor detects two classes of compounds (androgens and estrogens) using yeast strains engineered to express green-or red-emitting mutant firefly luciferases in response to androgens or estrogens, respectively. The third biosensor detects lactose analogue isopropyl β-d-1-thiogalactopyranoside using two E. coli strains. One strain exploits the lac operon as recognition element for the expression of P. pyralis luciferase. The other strain serves as a vitality control expressing Gaussia princeps luciferase, which requires a different luciferin substrate. The immobilized cells were stable for up to 1 month. The analytes could be detected at nanomolar levels with good precision and accuracy when the specific signal was corrected using the internal vitality control. This portable device can be used for on-site multiplexed bioassays for different compound classes. PMID:21388801

  14. Annotated type catalogue of the Orthalicoidea (Mollusca, Gastropoda) in the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin

    PubMed Central

    Breure, Abraham S.H.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The type status is described of 96 taxa classified within the superfamily Orthalicoidea and present in the Mollusca collection of the Museum für Naturkunde der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Lectotypes are designated for the following taxa: Orthalicus elegans Rolle, 1895; Bulimus maranhonensis Albers, 1854; Orthalicus nobilis Rolle, 1895; Orthalichus tricinctus Martens, 1893. Orthalicus sphinx tresmariae is introduced as new name for Zebra sphinx turrita Strebel, 1909, not Zebra quagga turrita Strebel, 1909. The following synonyms are established: Zebra crosseifischeri Strebel, 1909 = Orthalicus princeps fischeri Martens, 1893; Orthalicus isabellinus Martens, 1873 = Orthalicus bensoni (Reeve, 1849); Zebra zoniferus naesiotes Strebel, 1909 = Orthalicus undatus (Bruguière, 1789); Porphyrobaphe (Myiorthalicus) dennisoni pallida Strebel, 1909 = Hemibulimus dennisoni (Reeve, 1848); Zebra delphinus pumilio Strebel, 1909 = Orthalicus delphinus (Strebel, 1909); Orthalicus (Laeorthalicus) reginaeformis Strebel, 1909 = Corona perversa (Swainson, 1821); Bulimus (Eurytus) corticosus Sowerby III, 1895 = Plekocheilus (Eurytus) stuebeli Martens, 1885. The taxon Bulimus (Eudioptus) psidii Martens, 1877 is now placed within the family Sagdidae, tentatively in the genus Platysuccinea. Appendices are included with an index to all the types of Orthalicoidea extant (including those listed by Köhler 2007) and a partial list of letters present in the correspondence archives. PMID:23794831

  15. Molecular evidence for ongoing complementarity and horizontal gene transfer in endosymbiotic systems of mealybugs.

    PubMed

    López-Madrigal, Sergio; Beltrà, Aleixandre; Resurrección, Serena; Soto, Antonia; Latorre, Amparo; Moya, Andrés; Gil, Rosario

    2014-01-01

    Intracellular bacterial supply of essential amino acids is common among sap-feeding insects, thus complementing the scarcity of nitrogenous compounds in plant phloem. This is also the role of the two mealybug endosymbiotic systems whose genomes have been sequenced. In the nested endosymbiotic system from Planococcus citri (Pseudococcinae), "Candidatus Tremblaya princeps" and "Candidatus Moranella endobia" cooperate to synthesize essential amino acids, while in Phenacoccus avenae (Phenacoccinae) this function is performed by its single endosymbiont "Candidatus Tremblaya phenacola." However, little is known regarding the evolution of essential amino acid supplementation strategies in other mealybug systems. To address this knowledge gap, we screened for the presence of six selected loci involved in essential amino acid biosynthesis in five additional mealybug species. We found evidence of ongoing complementarity among endosymbionts from insects of subfamily Pseudococcinae, as well as horizontal gene transfer affecting endosymbionts from insects of family Phenacoccinae, providing a more comprehensive picture of the evolutionary history of these endosymbiotic systems. Additionally, we report two diagnostic motifs to help identify invasive mealybug species.

  16. Combined effects between temporal heterogeneity of water supply, nutrient level, and population density on biomass of four broadly distributed herbaceous species.

    PubMed

    Hagiwara, Yousuke; Kachi, Naoki; Suzuki, Jun-Ichirou

    2012-01-01

    Temporal heterogeneity of water supply affects grassland community productivity and it can interact with nutrient level and intraspecific competition. To understand community responses, the responses of individual species to water heterogeneity must be evaluated while considering the interactions of this heterogeneity with nutrient levels and population density. We compared responses of four herbaceous species grown in monocultures to various combinations of water heterogeneity, nutrient level, and population density: two grasses (Cynodon dactylon and Lolium perenne), a forb (Artemisia princeps), and a legume (Trifolium repens). Treatment effects on shoot and root biomass were analyzed. In all four species, shoot biomass was larger under homogeneous than under heterogeneous water supply. Shoot responses of L. perenne tended to be greater at high nutrient levels. Although root biomass was also larger under homogeneous water supply, effects of water heterogeneity on root biomass were not significant in the grasses. Trifolium repens showed marked root responses, particularly at high population density. Although greater shoot and root growth under homogeneous water supply appears to be a general trend among herbaceous species, our results suggested differences among species could be found in the degree of response to water heterogeneity and its interactions with nutrient level and intraspecific competition.

  17. Biodiversity of microalgae in Western and Eastern Ghats, India.

    PubMed

    Suresh, A; Kumar, R Praveen; Dhanasekaran, D; Thajuddin, N

    2012-10-01

    The systematic study was conducted on the microalgal flora of Western Ghats and other parts of Eastern Ghats revealed a rich wetland algal resource for biotechnological exploration. The present study reveals with the diversity of microalgal flora in the region of Kodaikanal (10 degrees 14' N, 77 degrees 28' E), Gudalur (9 degrees 19'N 77 degrees 12'E), Agasthiyar falls (9 degrees 58'N, 78 degrees 10'E) and Kolli hills (10 degrees 12'N, 77 degrees 56'E) located in Western and Eastern Ghats of Tamilnadu, India collected in May 2011. In total, 97 species of micro algae belonging to three taxonomic groups were identified, of which 41 species belonging to Cyanophyceae, 38 species from Chlorophyceae and 18 species from Bacillariophyceae. The predominant species in Cyanophyceae were Aphanothece microscopica, Chroococcus minutus, Coelospharium dubium, Hydrococcus rivularism, Oscillatoria princeps, Nostoc muscorum, Nostoc puncteforme, Nostoc commune, Gleotricha gausii, Calothrix braunii, Rivellaria sp., Tolypothrix tenuis, Scytonema schmidtii, whereas in Chlorophyceae, Chlorella sp., Scenedesmus sp., Pediastrum duplex, Cosmarium consperum, Euastrum elagans, Micrasterias americana and in Bacillariophyceae, Navicula hallophyla, Rhophaldia gebrella, Fragellaria intermedia, Pinnularia virdis, Nitzchia palliate. Physicochemical nature of water samples were analyzed and correlated with the total microalgal diversity. Based on the correlation coefficient data, the micro algae showed positive relationship with dissolved oxygen, salinity, nutrients and negative relationship with temperature and turbidity. The species diversity index (H'), Species Richness (SR) and species evenness (J') were calculated and analyzed for microalgal population dynamic variation in the Western and Eastern Ghats.

  18. Analysis of classical swine fever virus RNA replication determinants using replicons.

    PubMed

    Risager, Peter Christian; Fahnøe, Ulrik; Gullberg, Maria; Rasmussen, Thomas Bruun; Belsham, Graham J

    2013-08-01

    Self-replicating RNAs (replicons), with or without reporter gene sequences, derived from the genome of the Paderborn strain of classical swine fever virus (CSFV) have been produced. The full-length viral cDNA, propagated within a bacterial artificial chromosome, was modified by targeted recombination within Escherichia coli. RNA transcripts were produced in vitro and introduced into cells by electroporation. The translation and replication of the replicon RNAs could be followed by the accumulation of luciferase (from Renilla reniformis or Gaussia princeps) protein expression (where appropriate), as well as by detection of CSFV NS3 protein production within the cells. Inclusion of the viral E2 coding region within the replicon was advantageous for replication efficiency. Production of chimeric RNAs, substituting the NS2 and NS3 coding regions (as a unit) from the Paderborn strain with the equivalent sequences from the highly virulent Koslov strain or the vaccine strain Riems, blocked replication. However, replacing the Paderborn NS5B coding sequence with the RNA polymerase coding sequence from the Koslov strain greatly enhanced expression of the reporter protein from the replicon. In contrast, replacement with the Riems NS5B sequence significantly impaired replication efficiency. Thus, these replicons provide a system for determining specific regions of the CSFV genome required for genome replication without the constraints of maintaining infectivity. PMID:23580431

  19. Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Artemisia Leaf Extract in Mice with Contact Dermatitis In Vitro and In Vivo.

    PubMed

    Yun, Chanyong; Jung, Youngchul; Chun, Wonjoo; Yang, Beodeul; Ryu, Junghyun; Lim, Chiyeon; Kim, Jung-Hoon; Kim, Hyungwoo; Cho, Su-In

    2016-01-01

    The leaves of Artemisia argyi Lev. et Vant. and A. princeps Pamp. are well known medicinal herbs used to treat patients in China, Japan, and Korea with skin problems such as eczema and itching, as well as abdominal pain and dysmenorrhoea. We investigated the anti-inflammatory effects of Artemisia leaf extract (ALE) using CD mice and Raw 264.7 cells. The effects of ALE on histopathological changes and cytokine production in ear tissues were assessed in mice with CD induced by 1-fluoro-2,4-dinitrobenzene (DNFB). Moreover, the anti-inflammatory effects on production levels of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and nitric oxide (NO) and expression levels of cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) were investigated in Raw 264.7 cells. Topical application of ALE effectively prevented ear swelling induced by repeated DNFB application. ALE prevented epidermal hyperplasia and infiltration of immune cells and lowered the production of interferon- (IFN-) gamma (γ), tumour necrosis factor- (TNF-) alpha (α), and interleukin- (IL-) 6 in inflamed tissues. In addition, ALE inhibited expression of COX-2 and iNOS and production of NO and PGE2 in Raw 264.7 cells. These results indicate that Artemisia leaf can be used as a therapeutic agent for inflammatory skin diseases and that its anti-inflammatory effects are closely related to the inhibition of inflammatory mediator release from macrophages and inflammatory cytokine production in inflamed tissues. PMID:27647952

  20. Annotated type catalogue of the Orthalicoidea (Mollusca, Gastropoda) in the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin.

    PubMed

    Breure, Abraham S H

    2013-01-01

    The type status is described of 96 taxa classified within the superfamily Orthalicoidea and present in the Mollusca collection of the Museum für Naturkunde der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Lectotypes are designated for the following taxa: Orthalicus elegans Rolle, 1895; Bulimus maranhonensis Albers, 1854; Orthalicus nobilis Rolle, 1895; Orthalichus tricinctus Martens, 1893. Orthalicus sphinx tresmariae is introduced as new name for Zebra sphinx turrita Strebel, 1909, not Zebra quagga turrita Strebel, 1909. The following synonyms are established: Zebra crosseifischeri Strebel, 1909 = Orthalicus princeps fischeri Martens, 1893; Orthalicus isabellinus Martens, 1873 = Orthalicus bensoni (Reeve, 1849); Zebra zoniferus naesiotes Strebel, 1909 = Orthalicus undatus (Bruguière, 1789); Porphyrobaphe (Myiorthalicus) dennisoni pallida Strebel, 1909 = Hemibulimus dennisoni (Reeve, 1848); Zebra delphinus pumilio Strebel, 1909 = Orthalicus delphinus (Strebel, 1909); Orthalicus (Laeorthalicus) reginaeformis Strebel, 1909 = Corona perversa (Swainson, 1821); Bulimus (Eurytus) corticosus Sowerby III, 1895 = Plekocheilus (Eurytus) stuebeli Martens, 1885. The taxon Bulimus (Eudioptus) psidii Martens, 1877 is now placed within the family Sagdidae, tentatively in the genus Platysuccinea. Appendices are included with an index to all the types of Orthalicoidea extant (including those listed by Köhler 2007) and a partial list of letters present in the correspondence archives. PMID:23794831

  1. The Anti-Inflammatory Effects and Mechanisms of Eupafolin in Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Inflammatory Responses in RAW264.7 Macrophages

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Chin-Chaun; Lin, Ming-Wei; Liang, Chan-Jung; Wang, Shu-Huei

    2016-01-01

    Eupafolin is a flavone isolated from Artemisia princeps Pampanini (family Asteraceae). The aim of this study was to examine the anti-inflammatory effects of eupafolin in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated RAW264.7 macrophages and LPS-induced mouse skin and lung inflammation models and to identify the mechanism underlying these effects. Eupafolin decreased the LPS-induced release of inflammatory mediators (iNOS, COX-2 and NO) and proinflammatory cytokines (IL-6 and TNF-α) from the RAW264.7 macrophages. Eupafolin inhibited the LPS-induced phosphorylation of p38 MAPK, ERK1/2, JNK, AKT and p65 and the nuclear translocation of p65 and c-fos. These effects were mainly mediated by the inhibition of JNK. In the mouse paw and lung models, eupafolin effectively suppressed the LPS-induced edema formation and down-regulated iNOS and COX-2 expression. These results demonstrated that eupafolin exhibits anti-inflammatory properties and suggested that eupafolin can be developed as an anti-inflammatory agent. PMID:27414646

  2. Proximate composition, fatty acid and lipid class composition of the muscle from deep-sea teleosts and elasmobranchs.

    PubMed

    Økland, Hege M W; Stoknes, Iren S; Remme, Jannicke F; Kjerstad, Margareth; Synnes, Marianne

    2005-03-01

    Proximate composition of muscle was determined for the following deep-sea fish species: roughhead grenadier (Macrourus berglax), mora/deep-sea cod (Mora moro), Portuguese dogfish (Centroscymnus coelolepis), black dogfish (Centroscyllium fabricii), leafscale gulper shark (Centrophorus squamosus), greater lantern shark (Etmopterus princeps), smalleyed rabbitfish/ghostshark (Hydrolagus affinis), birdbeak dogfish (Deania calcea) and two species of smooth head (Alepocephalus bairdii and Alepocephalus agassizii). The first eight species contained less than 1% fat in the muscle, while the last two contained 3.0% and 3.6% fat, respectively. Fatty acid and lipid class composition was determined for the first five fish species and showed that the dominant class of lipids was phospholipids. The lipids consisted mainly of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) was the dominant fatty acid. Roughhead grenadier and mora showed resemblance to cod (Gadus morhua) regarding protein content, fat content and fatty acid composition. However, the muscle from the deep-sea fish species did contain a higher proportion of arachidonic acid (20:4n-6) than cod muscle.

  3. The Anti-Inflammatory Effects and Mechanisms of Eupafolin in Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Inflammatory Responses in RAW264.7 Macrophages.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chin-Chaun; Lin, Ming-Wei; Liang, Chan-Jung; Wang, Shu-Huei

    2016-01-01

    Eupafolin is a flavone isolated from Artemisia princeps Pampanini (family Asteraceae). The aim of this study was to examine the anti-inflammatory effects of eupafolin in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated RAW264.7 macrophages and LPS-induced mouse skin and lung inflammation models and to identify the mechanism underlying these effects. Eupafolin decreased the LPS-induced release of inflammatory mediators (iNOS, COX-2 and NO) and proinflammatory cytokines (IL-6 and TNF-α) from the RAW264.7 macrophages. Eupafolin inhibited the LPS-induced phosphorylation of p38 MAPK, ERK1/2, JNK, AKT and p65 and the nuclear translocation of p65 and c-fos. These effects were mainly mediated by the inhibition of JNK. In the mouse paw and lung models, eupafolin effectively suppressed the LPS-induced edema formation and down-regulated iNOS and COX-2 expression. These results demonstrated that eupafolin exhibits anti-inflammatory properties and suggested that eupafolin can be developed as an anti-inflammatory agent. PMID:27414646

  4. Permanent Genetic Resources added to Molecular Ecology Resources database 1 January 2009-30 April 2009.

    PubMed

    Abercrombie, L G; Anderson, C M; Baldwin, B G; Bang, I C; Beldade, R; Bernardi, G; Boubou, A; Branca, A; Bretagnolle, F; Bruford, M W; Buonamici, A; Burnett, R K; Canal, D; Cárdenas, H; Caullet, C; Chen, S Y; Chun, Y J; Cossu, C; Crane, C F; Cros-Arteil, S; Cudney-Bueno, R; Danti, R; Dávila, J A; Della Rocca, G; Dobata, S; Dunkle, L D; Dupas, S; Faure, N; Ferrero, M E; Fumanal, B; Gigot, G; González, I; Goodwin, S B; Groth, D; Hardesty, B D; Hasegawa, E; Hoffman, E A; Hou, M L; Jamsari, A F J; Ji, H J; Johnson, D H; Joseph, L; Justy, F; Kang, E J; Kaufmann, B; Kim, K S; Kim, W J; Koehler, A V; Laitung, B; Latch, P; Liu, Y D; Manjerovic, M B; Martel, E; Metcalfe, S S; Miller, J N; Midgley, J J; Migeon, A; Moore, A J; Moore, W L; Morris, V R F; Navajas, M; Navia, D; Neel, M C; De Nova, P J G; Olivieri, I; Omura, T; Othman, A S; Oudot-Canaff, J; Panthee, D R; Parkinson, C L; Patimah, I; Pérez-Galindo, C A; Pettengill, J B; Pfautsch, S; Piola, F; Potti, J; Poulin, R; Raimondi, P T; Rinehart, T A; Ruzainah, A; Sarver, S K; Scheffler, B E; Schneider, A R R; Silvain, J F; Siti Azizah, M N; Springer, Y P; Stewart, C N; Sun, W; Tiedemann, R; Tsuji, K; Trigiano, R N; Vendramin, G G; Wadl, P A; Wang, L; Wang, X; Watanabe, K; Waterman, J M; Weisser, W W; Westcott, D A; Wiesner, K R; Xu, X F; Yaegashi, S; Yuan, J S

    2009-09-01

    This article documents the addition of 283 microsatellite marker loci to the Molecular Ecology Resources Database. Loci were developed for the following species: Agalinis acuta; Ambrosia artemisiifolia; Berula erecta; Casuarius casuarius; Cercospora zeae-maydis; Chorthippus parallelus; Conyza canadensis; Cotesia sesamiae; Epinephelus acanthistius; Ficedula hypoleuca; Grindelia hirsutula; Guadua angustifolia; Leucadendron rubrum; Maritrema novaezealandensis; Meretrix meretrix; Nilaparvata lugens; Oxyeleotris marmoratus; Phoxinus neogaeus; Pristomyrmex punctatus; Pseudobagrus brevicorpus; Seiridium cardinale; Stenopsyche marmorata; Tetranychus evansi and Xerus inauris. These loci were cross-tested on the following species: Agalinis decemloba; Agalinis tenella; Agalinis obtusifolia; Agalinis setacea; Agalinis skinneriana; Cercospora zeina; Cercospora kikuchii; Cercospora sorghi; Mycosphaerella graminicola; Setosphaeria turcica; Magnaporthe oryzae; Cotesia flavipes; Cotesia marginiventris; Grindelia Xpaludosa; Grindelia chiloensis; Grindelia fastigiata; Grindelia lanceolata; Grindelia squarrosa; Leucadendron coniferum; Leucadendron salicifolium; Leucadendron tinctum; Leucadendron meridianum; Laodelphax striatellus; Sogatella furcifera; Phoxinus eos; Phoxinus rigidus; Phoxinus brevispinosus; Phoxinus bicolor; Tetranychus urticae; Tetranychus turkestani; Tetranychus ludeni; Tetranychus neocaledonicus; Tetranychus amicus; Amphitetranychus viennensis; Eotetranychus rubiphilus; Eotetranychus tiliarium; Oligonychus perseae; Panonychus citri; Bryobia rubrioculus; Schizonobia bundi; Petrobia harti; Xerus princeps; Spermophilus tridecemlineatus and Sciurus carolinensis.

  5. Variant Superficial Branch of Radial Artery along with Supplementary Tendons on the Dorsum of the Hand and Their Surgical Implications

    PubMed Central

    Shetty, Surekha D.

    2016-01-01

    Variations of radial artery, in both its course and branching pattern in the anatomical snuffbox, are clinically significant for the plastic surgeons, cardiologists, and radiologists. Reports on its abnormal high origin and subsequent superficial course have been well documented. Herein, we report an unusual superficial branch of the radial artery given off before its entry into the palm by passing between the two heads of first dorsal interosseous. It eventually divided into princeps pollicis and radialis indicis arteries at the first web space of palm as a unique vascular variation. Apart from this, in the present case, the tendon of extensor digiti minimi and of extensor indicis divided into two parts. The split tendons of extensor digiti minimi were inserted to the dorsal digital expansion of the digitus minimus. However, lateral tendon of split extensor indicis was inserted along with the tendon of extensor digitorum to the index finger and the medial one was inserted along with the tendon of extensor digitorum to the middle finger. Unusual superficial branch of radial artery on the dorsum of the hand is vulnerable for an iatrogenic injury during surgical approaches in the region. Supplementary extensor tendons on the hand are one of the potential causes for the tenosynovitis.

  6. Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Artemisia Leaf Extract in Mice with Contact Dermatitis In Vitro and In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Yun, Chanyong; Jung, Youngchul; Chun, Wonjoo; Yang, Beodeul; Ryu, Junghyun; Cho, Su-In

    2016-01-01

    The leaves of Artemisia argyi Lev. et Vant. and A. princeps Pamp. are well known medicinal herbs used to treat patients in China, Japan, and Korea with skin problems such as eczema and itching, as well as abdominal pain and dysmenorrhoea. We investigated the anti-inflammatory effects of Artemisia leaf extract (ALE) using CD mice and Raw 264.7 cells. The effects of ALE on histopathological changes and cytokine production in ear tissues were assessed in mice with CD induced by 1-fluoro-2,4-dinitrobenzene (DNFB). Moreover, the anti-inflammatory effects on production levels of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and nitric oxide (NO) and expression levels of cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) were investigated in Raw 264.7 cells. Topical application of ALE effectively prevented ear swelling induced by repeated DNFB application. ALE prevented epidermal hyperplasia and infiltration of immune cells and lowered the production of interferon- (IFN-) gamma (γ), tumour necrosis factor- (TNF-) alpha (α), and interleukin- (IL-) 6 in inflamed tissues. In addition, ALE inhibited expression of COX-2 and iNOS and production of NO and PGE2 in Raw 264.7 cells. These results indicate that Artemisia leaf can be used as a therapeutic agent for inflammatory skin diseases and that its anti-inflammatory effects are closely related to the inhibition of inflammatory mediator release from macrophages and inflammatory cytokine production in inflamed tissues.

  7. Reversible Low-Light Induced Photoswitching of Crowned Spiropyran-DO3A Complexed with Gadolinium(III) Ions

    PubMed Central

    Kruttwig, Klaus; Yankelevich, Diego R.; Brueggemann, Chantal; Tu, Chuqiao; L’Etoile, Noelle; Knoesen, André; Louie, Angelique Y.

    2016-01-01

    Photoswitchable spiropyran has been conjugated to the crowned ring system DO3A, which improves its solubility in dipolar and polar media and stabilizes the merocyanine isomer. Adding the lanthanide ion gadolinium(III) to the macrocyclic ring system leads to a photoresponsive magnetic resonance imaging contrast agent that displays an increased spin-lattice relaxation time (T1) upon visible light stimulation. In this work, the photoresponse of this photochromic molecule to weak light illumination using blue and green light emitting diodes was investigated, simulating the emission spectra from bioluminescent enzymes. Photon emission rate of the light emitting diodes was changed, from 1.75 × 1016 photons·s−1 to 2.37 × 1012 photons·s−1. We observed a consistent visible light-induced isomerization of the merocyanine to the spiropyran form with photon fluxes as low as 2.37 × 1012 photons·s−1 resulting in a relaxivity change of the compound. This demonstrates the potential for use of the described imaging probes in low light level applications such as sensing bioluminescence enzyme activity. The isomerization behavior of gadolinium(III)-ion complexed and non-complexed spiropyran-DO3A was analyzed in water and ethanol solution in response to low light illumination and compared to the emitted photon emission rate from over-expressed Gaussia princeps luciferase. PMID:22728357

  8. Recombinant Gaussia luciferase. Overexpression, purification, and analytical application of a bioluminescent reporter for DNA hybridization.

    PubMed

    Verhaegent, Monique; Christopoulos, Theodore K

    2002-09-01

    The cDNA for Gaussia luciferase (GLuc), the enzyme responsible for the bioluminescent reaction of the marine copepod Gaussia princeps, has been cloned recently. GLuc (MW = 19 900) catalyzes the oxidative decarboxylation of coelenterazine to produce coelenteramide and light. We report the first quantitative anaytical study of GLuc and examine its potential as a new reporter for DNA hybridization. A plasmid encoding both a biotin acceptor peptide-GLuc fusion protein as well as the enzyme biotin protein ligase (BPL) is engineered by using GLuc cDNA as a starting template. BPL catalyzes the covalent attachment of a single biotin to the fusion protein in vivo. Purification of GLuc is then accomplished by affinity chromatography using immobilized monomeric avidin. Moreover, the in vivo biotinylation enables subsequent complexation of GLuc with streptavidin (SA), thereby avoiding chemical conjugation reactions that are known to inactivate luciferases. Purified GLuc can be detected down to 1 amol with a signal-to-background ratio of 2 and a linear range extending over 5 orders of magnitude. The background luminescence of coelenterazine is the main limiting factor for even higher detectability of GLuc. Furthermore, the GLuc-SA complex is used as a detection reagent in a microtiter well-based DNA hybridization assay. The analytical range extends from 1.6 to 800 pmol/L of target DNA. Biotinylated GLuc produced from 1 L of bacterial culture is sufficient for 150,000 hybridization assays.

  9. Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Artemisia Leaf Extract in Mice with Contact Dermatitis In Vitro and In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Yun, Chanyong; Jung, Youngchul; Chun, Wonjoo; Yang, Beodeul; Ryu, Junghyun; Cho, Su-In

    2016-01-01

    The leaves of Artemisia argyi Lev. et Vant. and A. princeps Pamp. are well known medicinal herbs used to treat patients in China, Japan, and Korea with skin problems such as eczema and itching, as well as abdominal pain and dysmenorrhoea. We investigated the anti-inflammatory effects of Artemisia leaf extract (ALE) using CD mice and Raw 264.7 cells. The effects of ALE on histopathological changes and cytokine production in ear tissues were assessed in mice with CD induced by 1-fluoro-2,4-dinitrobenzene (DNFB). Moreover, the anti-inflammatory effects on production levels of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and nitric oxide (NO) and expression levels of cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) were investigated in Raw 264.7 cells. Topical application of ALE effectively prevented ear swelling induced by repeated DNFB application. ALE prevented epidermal hyperplasia and infiltration of immune cells and lowered the production of interferon- (IFN-) gamma (γ), tumour necrosis factor- (TNF-) alpha (α), and interleukin- (IL-) 6 in inflamed tissues. In addition, ALE inhibited expression of COX-2 and iNOS and production of NO and PGE2 in Raw 264.7 cells. These results indicate that Artemisia leaf can be used as a therapeutic agent for inflammatory skin diseases and that its anti-inflammatory effects are closely related to the inhibition of inflammatory mediator release from macrophages and inflammatory cytokine production in inflamed tissues. PMID:27647952

  10. Contributions to the moss flora of Giresun Region (Sebinkarahisar and Alucra district).

    PubMed

    Ozdemir, T; Batan, N

    2008-08-15

    The aim of the study was to obtain knowledge on the moss flora of the Giresun Region-rather than to identify the entire range moss flora of the region. After the identification of 287 moss specimens collected from the research area between June and August in 2007 and 2008, total 85 taxa were defined. These taxa belong to 17 families and 37 genera of Bryopsida (Musci). Among them, 14 taxa -Hygroamblystegium irriguum Hedw., Rhynchostegium confertum (Dicks.) B. S. G., Rhynchostegium alpinum Huds. ex With., Bryum dichotomum Hedw., Bryum laevifilum Syed., Hygrohypnum smithii (Sw.) Broth., Grimmia decipiens (Schultz) Lindb., Grimmia tergestina Tomm. Ex Bruch and Schimp., Schistidium flaccidum (DeNot.) Ochyra., Schistidium platyphyllum (Mitt.) Kindb., Palustriella decipens (De Not.) Ochyra., Desmatodon latifolius (Hedw.) Brid., Phascum curvicolle Hedw., Syntrichia princeps (De Not.) Mitt. new for A4 grid square (40 degrees- 42' N, 38 degrees -42' E) which was adopted by Henderson. Thirty six taxa are new for Giresun Province. All taxa are new for study area. For every each taxon, the habitat pattern and distribution data are presented. PMID:19266904

  11. The tmRNA website: reductive evolution of tmRNA in plastids and other endosymbionts.

    PubMed

    Gueneau de Novoa, Pulcherie; Williams, Kelly P

    2004-01-01

    tmRNA combines tRNA- and mRNA-like properties and ameliorates problems arising from stalled ribosomes. Research on the mechanism, structure and biology of tmRNA is served by the tmRNA website (http://www.indiana.edu/~ tmrna), a collection of sequences, alignments, secondary structures and other information. Because many of these sequences are not in GenBank, a BLAST server has been added; another new feature is an abbreviated alignment for the tRNA-like domain only. Many tmRNA sequences from plastids have been added, five found in public sequence data and another 10 generated by direct sequencing; detection in early-branching members of the green plastid lineage brings coverage to all three primary plastid lineages. The new sequences include the shortest known tmRNA sequence. While bacterial tmRNAs usually have a lone pseudoknot upstream of the mRNA segment and a string of three or four pseudoknots downstream, plastid tmRNAs collectively show loss of pseudoknots at both postions. The pseudoknot-string region is also too short to contain the usual pseudoknot number in another new entry, the tmRNA sequence from a bacterial endosymbiont of insect cells, Tremblaya princeps. Pseudoknots may optimize tmRNA function in free-living bacteria, yet become dispensible when the endosymbiotic lifestyle relaxes selective pressure for fast growth.

  12. Paulus Aegineta, a seventh century encyclopedist and surgeon: his role in the history of plastic surgery.

    PubMed

    Gurunluoglu, R; Gurunluoglu, A

    2001-12-01

    Paulus Aegineta (625-690 ad), born on the island of Aegina, practiced medicine at Alexandria. The last of the eclectic Greek compilers in the Byzantine period, he wrote an Epitome of medicine in seven books. The sixth book, which is considered the best section of his work, is devoted mainly to surgery. The first edition, "editio princeps," of his Epitome was published in Greek by the Aldine press in Venice in 1528 and later translated into English for the Sydenham Society by Francis Adams of Banchory (1844-1847). Paulus was not only a compiler but also a competent and skillful surgeon. In addition to his achievements in general surgical progress, Paulus Aegineta, especially in the book on surgery, made valuable contributions in the history of plastic surgery. He may be considered as one of the originators of plastic surgery as it is known today. He described procedures varying from the treatment of nasal and jaw fractures to operations for gynecomastia, ganglion, and hypospadias. This Grecian master influenced not only his own but also the subsequent ages. Rhazes, Haly Abbas, Albucasis, Avicenna, and Fabricius ab Aquapendente were the greatest physicians influenced by Paulus Aegineta. Because the work of Paulus Aegineta was the only source for many of the surgical treatises of Arabian authors, his Epitome bridged Western and Eastern medicine and conveyed surgical experience and knowledge, including several plastic surgery procedures, to the subsequent ages. PMID:11743404

  13. Biophysical characterization of highly active recombinant Gaussia luciferase expressed in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Rathnayaka, Tharangani; Tawa, Minako; Sohya, Shihori; Yohda, Masafumi; Kuroda, Yutaka

    2010-09-01

    Recently, the smallest bioluminescent protein (MW: 19.9 kDa), Gaussia luciferase (GLuc), has been isolated from the marine copepod Gaussia princeps and has attracted much attention as a reporter protein. However, preparation of large quantities of homogeneous natively folded recombinant GLuc appears to be difficult due to its ten cysteines. Here, we report the biophysical characterization of recombinant GLuc expressed using a novel Escherichia coli expression system based on a cold induced expression vector (pCold). Using this system, a large fraction of the protein was expressed in the soluble fraction. GLuc, purified exclusively from the supernatant using nickel affinity chromatography, yielded a large amount of pure GLuc with a native disulfide bond pattern (Soluble-GLuc). Soluble-GLuc had a strong bioluminescence activity and it retained 65% of its activity after 30 min incubation at 95 degrees C. Soluble-GLuc remained fully folded until 40 degrees C, as assessed by circular dichroism; and the thermal denaturation curve was S-shaped, indicating a cooperative transition, with a midpoint temperature of 56 degrees C. These results indicate that both the structure and bioluminescence activity of GLuc remain stable at high temperatures, and they strongly suggest GLuc's potential as a reporter protein. PMID:20452471

  14. Arthropod vectors and vector-borne bacterial pathogens in Yosemite National Park.

    PubMed

    Fleer, Katryna A; Foley, Patrick; Calder, Lee; Foley, Janet E

    2011-01-01

    Ticks, fleas, and vector-borne pathogens were surveyed in diverse small mammals in Yosemite National Park, California, from 2005 to 2007. A total of 450 unique captures of small mammals was collected during a 3-yr period and yielded 16 species of fleas and 10 species of ticks, including known vectors of Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Borrelia burgdorferi and plague. Serology was performed for A. phagocytophilum, spotted fever group Rickettsia spp., B. burgdorferi, and Yersinia pestis. A. phagocytophilum exposure was identified in 12.1% of all wild small mammals tested, with seropositive animals in 10 species, notably Belding's ground squirrels (Spermophilus beldingi), jumping mice (Zapus princeps), and voles (Microtus sp.). Spotted fever group Rickettsia spp. exposure was detected in 13.9% of all small mammals tested, with seropositive animals in eight species. Additionally, 37.0% of rodents in five species tested were seropositive for B. burgdorferi. No individuals were seropositive for Y. pestis. No animals were polymerase chain reaction positive for any pathogen tested. These results provide baseline data for future research and prediction of emerging vector-borne disease in Yosemite National Park, as well as adding to the known ranges and host species for tick and fleas in California. PMID:21337955

  15. Evolution of CCL11: genetic characterization in lagomorphs and evidence of positive and purifying selection in mammals.

    PubMed

    Neves, Fabiana; Abrantes, Joana; Esteves, Pedro J

    2016-07-01

    The interactions between chemokines and their receptors are crucial for differentiation and activation of inflammatory cells. CC chemokine ligand 11 (CCL11) binds to CCR3 and to CCR5 that in leporids underwent gene conversion with CCR2. Here, we genetically characterized CCL11 in lagomorphs (leporids and pikas). All lagomorphs have a potentially functional CCL11, and the Pygmy rabbit has a mutation in the stop codon that leads to a longer protein. Other mammals also have mutations at the stop codon that result in proteins with different lengths. By employing maximum likelihood methods, we observed that, in mammals, CCL11 exhibits both signatures of purifying and positive selection. Signatures of purifying selection were detected in sites important for receptor binding and activation. Of the three sites detected as under positive selection, two were located close to the stop codon. Our results suggest that CCL11 is functional in all lagomorphs, and that the signatures of purifying and positive selection in mammalian CCL11 probably reflect the protein's biological roles. PMID:27189425

  16. Radiometric and geometric analysis of hyperspectral imagery acquired from an unmanned aerial vehicle

    DOE PAGES

    Hruska, Ryan; Mitchell, Jessica; Anderson, Matthew; Glenn, Nancy F.

    2012-09-17

    During the summer of 2010, an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) hyperspectral in-flight calibration and characterization experiment of the Resonon PIKA II imaging spectrometer was conducted at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory (INL) UAV Research Park. The purpose of the experiment was to validate the radiometric calibration of the spectrometer and determine the georegistration accuracy achievable from the on-board global positioning system (GPS) and inertial navigation sensors (INS) under operational conditions. In order for low-cost hyperspectral systems to compete with larger systems flown on manned aircraft, they must be able to collect data suitable for quantitative scientific analysis.more » The results of the in-flight calibration experiment indicate an absolute average agreement of 96.3%, 93.7% and 85.7% for calibration tarps of 56%, 24%, and 2.5% reflectivity, respectively. The achieved planimetric accuracy was 4.6 meters (based on RMSE).« less

  17. High-resolution magnetic signature of active hydrothermal systems in the back-arc spreading region of the southern Mariana Trough

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujii, Masakazu; Okino, Kyoko; Honsho, Chie; Dyment, Jerome; Szitkar, Florent; Mochizuki, Nobutatsu; Asada, Miho

    2015-05-01

    High-resolution vector magnetic measurements were performed on five hydrothermal vent fields of the back-arc spreading region of the southern Mariana Trough using Shinkai 6500, a deep-sea manned submersible. A new 3-D forward scheme was applied that exploits the surrounding bathymetry and varying altitudes of the submersible to estimate absolute crustal magnetization. The results revealed that magnetic-anomaly-derived absolute magnetizations show a reasonable correlation with natural remanent magnetizations of rock samples collected from the seafloor of the same region. The distribution of magnetic-anomaly-derived absolute magnetization suggests that all five andesite-hosted hydrothermal fields are associated with a lack of magnetization, as is generally observed at basalt-hosted hydrothermal sites. Furthermore, both the Pika and Urashima sites were found to have their own distinct low-magnetization zones, which could not be distinguished in magnetic anomaly data collected at higher altitudes by autonomous underwater vehicle due to their limited extension. The spatial extent of the resulting low magnetization is approximately 10 times wider at off-axis sites than at on-axis sites, possibly reflecting larger accumulations of nonmagnetic sulfides, stockwork zones, and/or alteration zones at the off-axis sites.

  18. Laboratory rearing of the Amami rabbits (Pentalagus furnessi Stone, 1900) in captivity.

    PubMed

    Matsuzaki, T; Suzuki, H; Kamiya, M

    1989-01-01

    Five Amami rabbits in each sex were firstly introduced into the Central Institute for Experimental Animals. The authors intended to breed the Amami rabbits in the laboratory. During breeding, the Amami rabbits were nervous to external stimuli, easily frightened and always showed escaped behaviour. They were given pelleted foods for rabbits and pikas and also given apples and sweet potatoes as additional foods. The Amami rabbits were showed to practice coprophagy in the same way as laboratory rabbits. After introduction, they required 13 months to reach the maximum body weights which were 2.73 kg for females and 2.71 kg for males. Matings were attempted with one female and one male in newly deviced reproductive cages. By seventy-four matings, one pregnancy was produced and one child was delivered. This neonate (2 day old) had closed eyes and ears, incisors and brown short hair and weighed 100 g. Unfortunately, the pup died on the 4th day. The body length of this stage was 15 cm.

  19. Phylogenetic correlates of extinction risk in mammals: species in older lineages are not at greater risk.

    PubMed

    Verde Arregoitia, Luis Darcy; Blomberg, Simon P; Fisher, Diana O

    2013-08-22

    Phylogenetic information is becoming a recognized basis for evaluating conservation priorities, but associations between extinction risk and properties of a phylogeny such as diversification rates and phylogenetic lineage ages remain unclear. Limited taxon-specific analyses suggest that species in older lineages are at greater risk. We calculate quantitative properties of the mammalian phylogeny and model extinction risk as an ordinal index based on International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List categories. We test for associations between lineage age, clade size, evolutionary distinctiveness and extinction risk for 3308 species of terrestrial mammals. We show no significant global or regional associations, and three significant relationships within taxonomic groups. Extinction risk increases for evolutionarily distinctive primates and decreases with lineage age when lemurs are excluded. Lagomorph species (rabbits, hares and pikas) that have more close relatives are less threatened. We examine the relationship between net diversification rates and extinction risk for 173 genera and find no pattern. We conclude that despite being under-represented in the frequency distribution of lineage ages, species in older, slower evolving and distinct lineages are not more threatened or extinction-prone. Their extinction, however, would represent a disproportionate loss of unique evolutionary history.

  20. Ecology and geographic distribution of Yersinia enterocolitica among livestock and wildlife in China.

    PubMed

    Liang, Junrong; Duan, Ran; Xia, Shengli; Hao, Qiong; Yang, Jinchuan; Xiao, Yuchun; Qiu, Haiyan; Shi, Guoxiang; Wang, Shukun; Gu, Wenpeng; Wang, Chunxiang; Wang, Mingliu; Tian, Kecheng; Luo, Longze; Yang, Meng; Tian, Huaiyu; Wang, Jiazheng; Jing, Huaiqi; Wang, Xin

    2015-07-01

    The results in this study show the prevalence of Yersinia enterocolitica varies in different animal species and regions of China. The highest prevalence is among pigs (12.91%), followed by dogs (9.80%), Ochotona curzoniae (plateau pica) (6.76%), chickens (4.50%), rodents (3.40%), cattle (2.78%) and sheep (0.89%). Pathogenic isolates comprised the majority of the Y. enterocolitica recovered from pigs (73.50%) and dogs (59.44%); whereas the nonpathogenic Y. enterocolitica made up most of poultry and wildlife recovered strains. A correlation analysis comparing the prevalence and geographic factors showed the isolation rate of Y. enterocolitica in pigs and dogs was negatively correlated with elevation (r=-0.50, P<0.05) and annual average air temperature (r=-0.43, P<0.05), but there was positive correlation with annual precipitation (r=0.43, P<0.05); conversely, the isolation rate from wildlife is positively correlated with elevation (r=0.3, P<0.05) contrary to the result seen in livestock. Twelve novel biotype 2 pathogenic Y. enterocolitica carried ail and ystB virulence genes, and one biotype 1A nonpathogenic strain positive with ail, ystB and ystA genes were isolated from Microtus fuscus (Qinghai vole) on plague foci of the Qinghai-Xizang plateau. The PFGE pattern K6GN11C30021 was predominant in pigs (44.25%) and patients (41.18%); K6GN11C30068 was predominant in dogs (40.16%). Animal isolates from the same region shared the same pattern (K6GN11C30021 and K6GN11C30012), indicating they may be from the same clone and arose through cross infection. Moreover, the identical PFGE pattern among local animals and diarrhea patients suggested that the animals may be the source of infections in these areas.

  1. Microalgal diversity in relation to the physicochemical parameters of some Industrial sites in Mangalore, South India.

    PubMed

    Miranda, Jyothi; Krishnakumar, G

    2015-11-01

    This study is undertaken to understand the microalgal species composition, diversity, abundance and their association with the polluted sites of an industrial area. The microalgae and the wastewater samples collected from these sites were preserved and analysed using standard methods. One hundred and eight species of the microalgae, belonging to Cyanophyceae, Chlorophyceae, Euglenophyceae, Bacillariophyceace and Desmidaceae, were identified. Of these, the members of Cyanophyceae formed the dominant flora. It was observed that the family Oscillatoriaceae was the most diverse family. In this family, the most diverse genus was found to be the Oscillatoria, with 13 species. Further, the abundance of Oscillatoria princeps indicated that these species are tolerant to the pollution and therefore considered as the 'marker species' of the habitat. The abundance of the Cyanophyceae in these sites was found to be due to the favourable contents of the oxidizable organic matter and the presence of the nutrients, such as the nitrates and the phosphates, in abundance, with less dissolved oxygen. The lesser percentage of the Bacillariophyceae (14%), and the negligible number of the euglenoids (2%) indicated that the sites were rich in the inorganic pollutants and poor in the organic pollutants. The range of Shannon diversity indices was found between 2.10 and 3.50, while the dominance index was found between 0.03 and 0.14, the species evenness between 0.73 and 0.93 and the Margalef index between 1.8 and 6.3. The diversity indices indicated that there is light to moderate level of pollution in the studied sites, with moderate diversity level. The principal component analysis (PCA) of the physicochemical parameters identified the four possible groups, which were responsible for the data structure, explaining the 74% of the total variance of the data set. In the PCA performed using all the variables, the first principal component showed the positive correlation with the total

  2. Microalgal diversity in relation to the physicochemical parameters of some Industrial sites in Mangalore, South India.

    PubMed

    Miranda, Jyothi; Krishnakumar, G

    2015-11-01

    This study is undertaken to understand the microalgal species composition, diversity, abundance and their association with the polluted sites of an industrial area. The microalgae and the wastewater samples collected from these sites were preserved and analysed using standard methods. One hundred and eight species of the microalgae, belonging to Cyanophyceae, Chlorophyceae, Euglenophyceae, Bacillariophyceace and Desmidaceae, were identified. Of these, the members of Cyanophyceae formed the dominant flora. It was observed that the family Oscillatoriaceae was the most diverse family. In this family, the most diverse genus was found to be the Oscillatoria, with 13 species. Further, the abundance of Oscillatoria princeps indicated that these species are tolerant to the pollution and therefore considered as the 'marker species' of the habitat. The abundance of the Cyanophyceae in these sites was found to be due to the favourable contents of the oxidizable organic matter and the presence of the nutrients, such as the nitrates and the phosphates, in abundance, with less dissolved oxygen. The lesser percentage of the Bacillariophyceae (14%), and the negligible number of the euglenoids (2%) indicated that the sites were rich in the inorganic pollutants and poor in the organic pollutants. The range of Shannon diversity indices was found between 2.10 and 3.50, while the dominance index was found between 0.03 and 0.14, the species evenness between 0.73 and 0.93 and the Margalef index between 1.8 and 6.3. The diversity indices indicated that there is light to moderate level of pollution in the studied sites, with moderate diversity level. The principal component analysis (PCA) of the physicochemical parameters identified the four possible groups, which were responsible for the data structure, explaining the 74% of the total variance of the data set. In the PCA performed using all the variables, the first principal component showed the positive correlation with the total

  3. Reporter enzyme inhibitor study to aid assembly of orthogonal reporter gene assays.

    PubMed

    Ho, Pei-i; Yue, Kimberley; Pandey, Pramod; Breault, Lyne; Harbinski, Fred; McBride, Aaron J; Webb, Brian; Narahari, Janaki; Karassina, Natasha; Wood, Keith V; Hill, Adam; Auld, Douglas S

    2013-05-17

    Reporter gene assays (RGAs) are commonly used to measure biological pathway modulation by small molecules. Understanding how such compounds interact with the reporter enzyme is critical to accurately interpret RGA results. To improve our understanding of reporter enzymes and to develop optimal RGA systems, we investigated eight reporter enzymes differing in brightness, emission spectrum, stability, and substrate requirements. These included common reporter enzymes such as firefly luciferase (Photinus pyralis), Renilla reniformis luciferase, and β-lactamase, as well as mutated forms of R. reniformis luciferase emitting either blue- or green-shifted luminescence, a red-light emitting form of Luciola cruciata firefly luciferase, a mutated form of Gaussia princeps luciferase, and a proprietary luciferase termed "NanoLuc" derived from the luminescent sea shrimp Oplophorus gracilirostris. To determine hit rates and structure-activity relationships, we screened a collection of 42,460 PubChem compounds at 10 μM using purified enzyme preparations. We then compared hit rates and chemotypes of actives for each enzyme. The hit rates ranged from <0.1% for β-lactamase to as high as 10% for mutated forms of Renilla luciferase. Related luciferases such as Renilla luciferase mutants showed high degrees of inhibitor overlap (40-70%), while unrelated luciferases such as firefly luciferases, Gaussia luciferase, and NanoLuc showed <10% overlap. Examination of representative inhibitors in cell-based assays revealed that inhibitor-based enzyme stabilization can lead to increases in bioluminescent signal for firefly luciferase, Renilla luciferase, and NanoLuc, with shorter half-life reporters showing increased activation responses. From this study we suggest strategies to improve the construction and interpretation of assays employing these reporter enzymes.

  4. Exploration of binary virus-host interactions using an infectious protein complementation assay.

    PubMed

    Munier, Sandie; Rolland, Thomas; Diot, Cédric; Jacob, Yves; Naffakh, Nadia

    2013-10-01

    A precise mapping of pathogen-host interactions is essential for comprehensive understanding of the processes of infection and pathogenesis. The most frequently used techniques for interactomics are the yeast two-hybrid binary methodologies, which do not recapitulate the pathogen life cycle, and the tandem affinity purification mass spectrometry co-complex methodologies, which cannot distinguish direct from indirect interactions. New technologies are thus needed to improve the mapping of pathogen-host interactions. In the current study, we detected binary interactions between influenza A virus polymerase and host proteins during the course of an actual viral infection, using a new strategy based on trans-complementation of the Gluc1 and Gluc2 fragments of Gaussia princeps luciferase. Infectious recombinant influenza viruses that encode a Gluc1-tagged polymerase subunit were engineered to infect cultured cells transiently expressing a selected set of Gluc2-tagged cellular proteins involved in nucleocytoplasmic trafficking pathways. A random set and a literature-curated set of Gluc2-tagged cellular proteins were tested in parallel. Our assay allowed the sensitive and accurate recovery of previously described interactions, and it revealed 30% of positive, novel viral-host protein-protein interactions within the exploratory set. In addition to cellular proteins involved in the nuclear import pathway, components of the nuclear pore complex such as NUP62 and mRNA export factors such as NXF1, RMB15B, and DDX19B were identified for the first time as interactors of the viral polymerase. Gene silencing experiments further showed that NUP62 is required for efficient viral replication. Our findings give new insights regarding the subversion of host nucleocytoplasmic trafficking pathways by influenza A viruses. They also demonstrate the potential of our infectious protein complementation assay for high-throughput exploration of influenza virus interactomics in infected cells

  5. [Bioaccumulation of heavy metals by the dominant plants growing in Huayuan manganese and lead/zinc mineland, Xiangxi].

    PubMed

    Yang, Sheng-Xiang; Tian, Qi-Jian; Liang, Shi-Chu; Zhou, Yao-Yu; Zou, Hui-Cheng

    2012-06-01

    Heavy metal pollution is a major environmental problem of mine wasteland. Finding out the tolerant plants, which can adapt to the local climate and the soil conditions, is the premise of vegetation restoration. An extensive vegetation survey and sampling were conducted in Huayuan Mn and Pb/Zn mineland, 76 species belonging to 69 genera and 39 families were recorded. The main dominant species and their associated soils were determined for heavy metal concentrations. The results showed that soil Pb, Zn and Cd levels exceeded the threshold levels of Class II of China Environmental Quality Standard for Soils, which suggested minesoils might be polluted by the three elements. The main dominant plants can adapt to the unfavorable edaphic conditions of mineland and were tolerant to heavy metals. There were great variations of metal uptake and accumulation among different plant species. They were classified into three types according to the metal concentrations in the plant shoots and roots: the accumulator, e. g. Camellia oleifera and Dicranopteris dichotoma, absorbed a large amount of heavy metals by the roots and transported to the shoots, which can be used to clean up the soils containing light to moderate toxic metal concentration and with high-value; the root compartment, e. g. Rubus tephrodes, R. corchorifolius, R. chroosepalus, Artemisia princeps and Pteridium aquilinum also absorbed a large amount of heavy metals but held in the roots; and the excluder, e. g. Miscanthus sinensis, Imperata cylindrica, Indocalamus tessellatus and Toddalia asiatica, absorbed less heavy metals than the accumulators. The root compartment and the excluder were more suitable for remediation of the mine wastelands with high heavy metal concentration, low-value and extensive area.

  6. Studies of binding of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-like weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK) to fibroblast growth factor inducible 14 (Fn14).

    PubMed

    Fick, Andrea; Lang, Isabell; Schäfer, Viktoria; Seher, Axel; Trebing, Johannes; Weisenberger, Daniela; Wajant, Harald

    2012-01-01

    To perform highly sensitive cellular binding studies with TNF-like weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK), we developed a bioluminescent variant of soluble TWEAK (GpL-FLAG-TNC-TWEAK) by fusing it genetically to the C terminus of the luciferase of Gaussia princeps (GpL). Equilibrium binding studies on human (HT1080 and HT29) and murine (Renca and B16) cell lines at 37 °C revealed high affinities of human TWEAK from 53 to 112 pm. The dissociation rate constant of the TWEAK-Fn14 interaction was between 0.48×10(-3) s(-1) (HT29) and 0.58×10(-3) s(-1) (HT1080) for the human molecules, and the association rate constant obtained was 3.3×10(6) m(-1) s(-1) for both cell lines. It has been shown previously that oligomerization of soluble TWEAK trimers results in enhanced Fn14-mediated activation of the classical NFκB pathway. Binding studies with GpL-FLAG-TNC-TWEAK trimers oligomerized by help of a FLAG tag-specific antibody gave no evidence for a major increase in Fn14 occupancy by oligomerized ligand despite strongly enhanced induction of the NFκB target IL8. Thus, aggregated complexes of soluble TWEAK and Fn14 have a higher intrinsic activity to stimulate the classical NFκB pathway and qualitatively differ from isolated trimeric TWEAK-Fn14 complexes. Furthermore, determination of IL8 induction as a function of occupied activated receptors revealed that the intrinsic capability of TNFR1 to stimulate the classical NFκB pathway and IL8 production was ∼100-fold higher than Fn14. Thus, although ∼25 activated TNFR1 trimers were sufficient to trigger half-maximal IL8 production, more than 2500 cell-bound oligomerized TWEAK trimers were required to elicit a similar response. PMID:22081603

  7. Cestodes from deep-water squaliform sharks in the Azores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caira, Janine N.; Pickering, Maria

    2013-12-01

    The majority of our knowledge on marine tapeworms (cestodes) is limited to taxa that are relatively easy to obtain (i.e., those that parasitize shallower-water species). The invitation to participate in a deep-water research survey off the Condor seamount in the Azores offered the opportunity to gain information regarding parasites of the less often studied sharks of the mesopelagic and bathypelagic zone. All tapeworms (Platyhelminthes: Cestoda) found parasitizing the spiral intestine of squaliform shark species (Elasmobranchii: Squaliformes) encountered as part of this survey, as well as some additional Azorean sampling from previous years obtained from local fishermen are reported. In total, 112 shark specimens of 12 species of squaliform sharks representing 4 different families from depths ranging between 400 and 1290 m were examined. Cestodes were found in the spiral intestines from 11 of the 12 squaliform species examined: Deania calcea, D. cf. profundorum, D. profundorum, Etmopterus princeps, E. pusillus, E. spinax, Centroscyllium fabricii, Centroscymnus coelolepis, C. cryptacanthus, C. crepidater, and Dalatias licha. No cestodes were found in the spiral intestines of Centrophorus squamosus. Light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy revealed several potentially novel trypanorhynch and biloculated tetraphyllidean species. Aporhynchid and gilquiniid trypanorhynchs dominated the adult cestode fauna of Etmopterus and Deania host species, respectively, while larval phyllobothriids were found across several host genera, including, Deania, Centroscyllium, and Centroscymnus. These results corroborate previous findings that deep-water cestode faunas are relatively depauperate and consist primarily of trypanorhynchs of the families Gilquiniidae and Aporhynchidae and larval tetraphyllideans. A subset of specimens of most cestode species was preserved in ethanol for future molecular analysis to allow more definitive determinations of the identification of the

  8. Field evaluation of traditionally used plant-based insect repellents and fumigants against the malaria vector Anopheles darlingi in Riberalta, Bolivian Amazon.

    PubMed

    Moore, Sarah J; Hill, Nigel; Ruiz, Carmen; Cameron, Mary M

    2007-07-01

    Inexpensive insect repellents may be needed to supplement the use of impregnated bed-nets in the Amazon region, where the primary malaria vector, Anopheles darlingi (Root), is exophilic and feeds in the early evening. Three plants that are traditionally used to repel mosquitoes in Riberalta, Bolivian Amazon, were identified by focus group, and then they were tested against An. darlingi as well as Mansonia indubitans (Dyar & Shannon)/Mansonia titillans (Walker). Cymbopogon citratus (Staph), Guatemalan lemongrass, essential oil at 25% was used as a skin repellent, and it provided 74% protection for 2.5 h against predominantly An. darlingi and 95% protection for 2.5 h against Mansonia spp. Attalea princeps (name not verified) husks, burned on charcoal in the traditional way provided 35 and 51% protection against An. darlingi and Mansonia spp., respectively. Kerosene lamps, often used to light rural homes, were used as a heat source to volatilize 100% Mentha arvensis (Malinv ex. Bailey) essential oil, and they reduced biting by 41% inside traditional homes against Mansonia spp., although they were ineffective outdoors against An. darlingi. All three plant-based repellents provided significant protection compared with controls. Plant-based repellents, although less effective than synthetic alternatives, were shown by focus groups to be more culturally acceptable in this setting, in particular para-menthane-3, 8, idol derived from lemon eucalyptus, Corymbia citriodora (Hook). Plant-based repellents have the potential to be produced locally and therefore sold more cheaply than synthetic commercial repellents. Importantly, their low cost may encourage user compliance among indigenous and marginalized populations. PMID:17695017

  9. [Healing and the Roman imperial culture].

    PubMed

    Ziethen, G

    1994-01-01

    From the time of Augustus till Late Antiquity one of the important elements of Roman Imperial policy was the celebration of rituals honouring the Roman Emperor. Elements of Hellenistic ruler cult and traditions of the Roman Republican Age were connected with Roman administration, the economic life and military organisation. Thereby the Roman Emperor generally was considered not only as a powerful and legitimate political leader but also as a well-educated and informed princeps with some kind of ritual sphere. Continuing the traditions of kingship risen in the Oriental monarchies and traduced to the Hellenistic rulers, the Roman Emperor seemed--pictured as Asclepius or Sarapis--to be able to heal not only incurable persons by magic therapy, but also to give a cure to mishandled affairs of state. The hope of the people in the panacea founded on the Emperor's knowledge was explained differently on two intellectual levels: the belief in magical-medical practices against threatening demons and the sophisticated comparisons of the eras of the Roman Empire expressed as the progress of human life from the cradle of iuventus to the old age of senectus. With the image of the Roman State as a human being a tradition began which had been prepared by the parable of the body and the limbs since early Roman historiography. From paganism to the Christianisation of the Roman Empire the vocabulary of healing and therapy was used in papyrological, literary, juridical and theological texts expressing the expectation in impersonation and ceremony of the Roman and Byzantine Emperors till the godblessed monarchs in Christian Europe.

  10. Infection dynamics of coexisting beta- and gammaproteobacteria in the nested endosymbiotic system of mealybugs.

    PubMed

    Kono, Marie; Koga, Ryuichi; Shimada, Masakazu; Fukatsu, Takema

    2008-07-01

    We investigated the infection dynamics of endosymbiotic bacteria in the developmental course of the mealybugs Planococcus kraunhiae and Pseudococcus comstocki. Molecular phylogenetic analyses identified a betaproteobacterium and a gammaproteobacterium from each of the mealybug species. The former bacterium was related to the beta-endosymbionts of other mealybugs, i.e., "Candidatus Tremblaya princeps," and formed a compact clade in the Betaproteobacteria. Meanwhile, the latter bacterium was related to the gamma-endosymbionts of other mealybugs but belonged to distinct clades in the Gammaproteobacteria. Whole-mount in situ hybridization confirmed the peculiar nested formation in the endosymbiotic system of the mealybugs: the beta-endosymbiont cells were present in the cytoplasm of the bacteriocytes, and the gamma-endosymbiont cells were located in the beta-endosymbiont cells. In nymphal and female development, a large oval bacteriome consisting of a number of bacteriocytes was present in the abdomen, wherein the endosymbionts were harbored. In male development, strikingly, the bacteriome progressively degenerated in prepupae and pupae and became almost unrecognizable in adult males. In the degeneration process, the gamma-endosymbionts disappeared more rapidly than the beta-endosymbionts did. Quantitative PCR analyses revealed that (i) the population dynamics of the endosymbionts in female development reflected the reproductive activity of the insects, (ii) the population dynamics of the endosymbionts were strikingly different between female development and male development, (iii) the endosymbiont populations drastically decreased in male development, and (iv) the gamma-endosymbiont populations decreased more rapidly than the beta-endosymbiont populations in male development. Possible mechanisms underlying the uncoupled regulation of the beta- and gamma-endosymbiont populations are discussed in relation to the establishment and evolution of this unique prokaryote

  11. Fermented rice bran prevents atopic dermatitis in DNCB-treated NC/Nga mice

    PubMed Central

    Saba, Evelyn; Lee, Chun Hee; Jeong, Da Hye; Lee, Kija; Kim, Tae-Hwan; Roh, Seong-Soo; Kim, Seung-Hyung; Rhee, Man Hee

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The fermentation of natural plants has a favorable effect on the functional and biological activities of living systems. These include anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, and anti-platelet aggregation activities. This is attributed to the chemical conversion of the parent plants to functional constituents, which show more potent biological activity. In our study, rice bran along with oriental medicinal plants (Angelicae gigantis, Cnidium officinale, Artemisia princeps, and Camellia sinensis) was fermented by Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Pichia deserticola (FRBE). We evaluated the effects of oral administration of FRBE on atopic dermatitis in 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene (DNCB)-treated NC/Nga mice. FRBE significantly ameliorated the macroscopic and microscopic appearance of skin lesions in DNCB-induced atopic dermatitis and reduced levels of serum immunoglobulin E and the differential white blood cell count. In addition, it reduced skin thickness compared to that of atopic dermatitis-affected skin. FRBE treatment also reduced mast cell incorporation in skin lesions of atopic dermatitis. The total cell number in dorsal skin tissue and the axillary lymph node increased following DNCB application, and this was normalized by FRBE treatment. Moreover, it decreased the levels of CD8+ helper T cells and Gr-1+/CD11b+ B cells in peripheral blood mononuclear cells and skin lesions in DNCB-induced atopic dermatitis. Using real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis, we demonstrated that FRBE significantly inhibited mRNA expression of cytokines (e.g., interleukin-5 and interleukin-13) and cyclooxygenase-2 in AD skin lesions. These results suggest that FRBE could be a valuable herbal remedy for the treatment of atopic dermatitis. PMID:27323667

  12. Topsoil, ripping, and herbicides influence tree survival and growth on coal minesoil after nine years

    SciTech Connect

    Kost, D.A.; Brown, J.H.; Vimmerstedt, J.P. |

    1998-12-31

    On reclaimed coal surface mines trees are stressed by soil compaction, herbaceous competition, and animal damage. The authors tested treatments to modify soils and herbaceous competition in a split-split-plot experiment on calcareous minesoils in southeastern Ohio. They measured tree survival and growth as affected by minesoil surface (standard graded topsoil, ripped topsoil, graded overburden) and herbicide applications (type, rate, and frequency). Green ash, silver maple, European alder, black pine, eastern white pine, and Virginia pine were planted into a grass/legume ground cover seeded 18 months earlier. Herbicides were applied over the trees at two rates and two frequencies (first year only, two consecutive years) for all species except Virginia pine. After nine years, only green ash (95%) and black pine (48%) had adequate survival. Silver maple (16%), alder (7%), Virginia pine (6%) and white pine (<1%) had low survival by the fifth year. Black pine survived better on standard topsoil (60%) than on graded overburden (37%) and was 43% taller on both topsoils (165 or 168 cm total height) than on graded overburden (116 cm). Green ash height varied significantly on all soil surfaces (172 cm on ripped topsoil, 136 cm on standard topsoil, 102 cm on graded overburden). Survival on herbicide treated plots was greater than on untreated controls only for Virginia pine sprayed with Princep or Oust and for silver maple sprayed with Stomp, but both species had less than 25% survival even when treated by these herbicides. Green ash survival decreased with both rates of Oust and with increasing frequency of Oust. Green ash height was increased on average of 19% by either rate of Dowpon or Surflan. Longer term tree growth was benefited more by topsoil replacement and ripping than by herbicide treatments.

  13. Predation on larval suckers in the Williamson River Delta revealed by molecular genetic assays—A pilot study

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hereford, Danielle M.; Ostberg, Carl O.; Burdick, Summer M.

    2016-06-13

    Predation of endangered Lost River suckers (Deltistes luxatus) and shortnose suckers (Chasmistes brevirostris) during larval egress to Upper Klamath Lake from the Williamson River is poorly understood but may be an important factor limiting recruitment into adult spawning populations. Native and non-native piscivores are abundant in nursery wetland habitat, but larval predation has not been directly studied for all species. Larvae lack hard body structures and digest rapidly in predator digestive systems. Therefore, traditional visual methods for diet analysis may fail to identify the extent of predation on larvae. The goals of this study were to (1) use quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) assays developed for Lost River and shortnose suckers to assay predator stomach contents for sucker DNA, and (2) to assess our ability to use this technique to study predation. Predators were captured opportunistically during larval sucker egress. Concurrent feeding trials indicate that most predators—yellow perch (Perca flaverscens), fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas), blue chub (Gila coerulea), Klamath tui chub (Siphatales bicolor bicolor), Klamath Lake sculpin (Cottus princeps), slender sculpin (Cottus tenuis)—preyed on sucker larvae in the laboratory. However, sucker DNA was not detected in fathead minnow stomachs. Of the stomachs screened from fish captured in the Williamson River Delta, 15.6 percent of yellow perch contained sucker DNA. This study has demonstrated that the application of qPCR and SNP assays is effective for studying predation on larval suckers. We suggest that techniques associated with dissection or detection of sucker DNA from fathead minnow stomachs need improvement.

  14. Fermented rice bran prevents atopic dermatitis in DNCB-treated NC/Nga mice.

    PubMed

    Saba, Evelyn; Lee, Chun Hee; Jeong, Da Hye; Lee, Kija; Kim, Tae-Hwan; Roh, Seong-Soo; Kim, Seung-Hyung; Rhee, Man Hee

    2016-07-01

    The fermentation of natural plants has a favorable effect on the functional and biological activities of living systems. These include anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, and anti-platelet aggregation activities. This is attributed to the chemical conversion of the parent plants to functional constituents, which show more potent biological activity. In our study, rice bran along with oriental medicinal plants (Angelicae gigantis, Cnidium officinale, Artemisia princeps, and Camellia sinensis) was fermented by Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Pichia deserticola (FRBE). We evaluated the effects of oral administration of FRBE on atopic dermatitis in 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene (DNCB)-treated NC/Nga mice. FRBE significantly ameliorated the macroscopic and microscopic appearance of skin lesions in DNCB-induced atopic dermatitis and reduced levels of serum immunoglobulin E and the differential white blood cell count. In addition, it reduced skin thickness compared to that of atopic dermatitis-affected skin. FRBE treatment also reduced mast cell incorporation in skin lesions of atopic dermatitis. The total cell number in dorsal skin tissue and the axillary lymph node increased following DNCB application, and this was normalized by FRBE treatment. Moreover, it decreased the levels of CD8(+) helper T cells and Gr-1(+)/CD11b(+) B cells in peripheral blood mononuclear cells and skin lesions in DNCB-induced atopic dermatitis. Using real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis, we demonstrated that FRBE significantly inhibited mRNA expression of cytokines (e.g., interleukin-5 and interleukin-13) and cyclooxygenase-2 in AD skin lesions. These results suggest that FRBE could be a valuable herbal remedy for the treatment of atopic dermatitis. PMID:27323667

  15. The Purisima Formation at Capitola Beach, Santa Cruz County, CA: A Deeper Examination of Pliocene Fossils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, L. D.; Brooks, K.; Chen, R.; Chen, T.; James, T.; Gonzales, J.; Schumaker, D.; Williams, D.

    2005-12-01

    Fossil samples from the Pliocene Purisima Formation at Capitola Beach in Santa Cruz County, CA were collected in July-August 2005. The Purisima Formation composes the bulk of the cliffs exposed at Capitola Beach and a rich assemblage of well-preserved fossils occur in gray to brown sandstone and siltstone. Erosion of the cliff face averages 0.3 meter/year and fresh cliff falls in the winter and spring months of 2005 provided an excellent opportunity to resample the Capitola Beach section of the Purisima Formation previously documented by Perry (1988). Organisms were identified from information in Perry (1988) and were compared with collections at the California Academy of Sciences. The most abundant fossils found are from the phylum Mollusca, classes Bivalvia and Gastropoda. Abundant bivalve taxa are: Anadara trilineata, Clinocardium meekianum, Macoma sp., Protothaca staleyi, and Tresus pajaroanus. Also common are the gastropods, Calyptraea fastigata, Crepdiula princeps, Mitrella gausapata, Nassarius grammatus, Nassarius californianus, Natica clausa, and Olivella pedroana. Less common invertebrate fossils are from the phylum Echinodermata ( Dendraster sp., the extinct fossil sand dollar) and from the phylum Arthropoda ( Crustacea), crab fragments ( Cancer) and barnacles ( Balanus). Because numerous fossils are concentrated as fragments in shell beds, Norris (1986) and Perry (1988) believe many were redeposited as storm beds during strong current events that promoted rapid burial. In contrast, whale and other vertebrate bones are common in certain horizons and their presence may be related to the conditions that promoted phosphate mineralization, such as episodes of low sedimentation rates and prolonged exposure on the seafloor (Föllmi and Garrison, 1991). The bone beds, together with the rich infaunal and epifaunal invertebrate assemblages, represent a community of invertebrate organisms that thrived in a shallow marine sea during the Pliocene epoch, approximately

  16. Candida albicans biofilm development on medically-relevant foreign bodies in a mouse subcutaneous model followed by bioluminescence imaging.

    PubMed

    Kucharíková, Soňa; Vande Velde, Greetje; Himmelreich, Uwe; Van Dijck, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    Candida albicans biofilm development on biotic and/or abiotic surfaces represents a specific threat for hospitalized patients. So far, C. albicans biofilms have been studied predominantly in vitro but there is a crucial need for better understanding of this dynamic process under in vivo conditions. We developed an in vivo subcutaneous rat model to study C. albicans biofilm formation. In our model, multiple (up to 9) Candida-infected devices are implanted to the back part of the animal. This gives us a major advantage over the central venous catheter model system as it allows us to study several independent biofilms in one animal. Recently, we adapted this model to study C. albicans biofilm development in BALB/c mice. In this model, mature C. albicans biofilms develop within 48 hr and demonstrate the typical three-dimensional biofilm architecture. The quantification of fungal biofilm is traditionally analyzed post mortem and requires host sacrifice. Because this requires the use of many animals to perform kinetic studies, we applied non-invasive bioluminescence imaging (BLI) to longitudinally follow up in vivo mature C. albicans biofilms developing in our subcutaneous model. C. albicans cells were engineered to express the Gaussia princeps luciferase gene (gLuc) attached to the cell wall. The bioluminescence signal is produced by the luciferase that converts the added substrate coelenterazine into light that can be measured. The BLI signal resembled cell counts obtained from explanted catheters. Non-invasive imaging for quantifying in vivo biofilm formation provides immediate applications for the screening and validation of antifungal drugs under in vivo conditions, as well as for studies based on host-pathogen interactions, hereby contributing to a better understanding of the pathogenesis of catheter-associated infections.

  17. Variation in phenology of hibernation and reproduction in the endangered New Mexico meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius luteus)

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Hibernation is a key life history feature that can impact many other crucial aspects of a species’ biology, such as its survival and reproduction. I examined the timing of hibernation and reproduction in the federally endangered New Mexico meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius luteus), which occurs across a broad range of latitudes and elevations in the American Southwest. Data from museum specimens and field studies supported predictions for later emergence and shorter active intervals in montane populations relative to lower elevation valley populations. A low-elevation population located at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge (BANWR) in the Rio Grande valley was most similar to other subspecies of Z. hudsonius: the first emergence date was in mid-May and there was an active interval of 162 days. In montane populations of Z. h. luteus, the date of first emergence was delayed until mid-June and the active interval was reduced to ca 124–135 days, similar to some populations of the western jumping mouse (Z. princeps). Last date of immergence into hibernation occurred at about the same time in all populations (mid to late October). In montane populations pregnant females are known from July to late August and evidence suggests that they have a single litter per year. At BANWR two peaks in reproduction were expected based on similarity of active season to Z. h. preblei. However, only one peak was clearly evident, possibly due to later first reproduction and possible torpor during late summer. At BANWR pregnant females are known from June and July. Due to the short activity season and geographic variation in phenology of key life history events of Z. h. luteus, recommendations are made for the appropriate timing for surveys for this endangered species. PMID:26290794

  18. DNA Barcode for Identifying Folium Artemisiae Argyi from Counterfeits.

    PubMed

    Mei, Quanxi; Chen, Xiaolu; Xiang, Li; Liu, Yue; Su, Yanyan; Gao, Yuqiao; Dai, Weibo; Dong, Pengpeng; Chen, Shilin

    2016-01-01

    Folium Artemisiae Argyi is an important herb in traditional Chinese medicine. It is commonly used in moxibustion, medicine, etc. However, identifying Artemisia argyi is difficult because this herb exhibits similar morphological characteristics to closely related species and counterfeits. To verify the applicability of DNA barcoding, ITS2 and psbA-trnH were used to identify A. argyi from 15 closely related species and counterfeits. Results indicated that total DNA was easily extracted from all the samples and that both ITS2 and psbA-trnH fragments can be easily amplified. ITS2 was a more ideal barcode than psbA-trnH and ITS2+psbA-trnH to identify A. argyi from closely related species and counterfeits on the basis of sequence character, genetic distance, and tree methods. The sequence length was 225 bp for the 56 ITS2 sequences of A. argyi, and no variable site was detected. For the ITS2 sequences, A. capillaris, A. anomala, A. annua, A. igniaria, A. maximowicziana, A. princeps, Dendranthema vestitum, and D. indicum had single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). The intraspecific Kimura 2-Parameter distance was zero, which is lower than the minimum interspecific distance (0.005). A. argyi, the closely related species, and counterfeits, except for Artemisia maximowicziana and Artemisia sieversiana, were separated into pairs of divergent clusters by using the neighbor joining, maximum parsimony, and maximum likelihood tree methods. Thus, the ITS2 sequence was an ideal barcode to identify A. argyi from closely related species and counterfeits to ensure the safe use of this plant. PMID:27582332

  19. Multidimensional effects of biologically synthesized silver nanoparticles in Helicobacter pylori, Helicobacter felis, and human lung (L132) and lung carcinoma A549 cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gurunathan, Sangiliyandi; Jeong, Jae-Kyo; Han, Jae Woong; Zhang, Xi-Feng; Park, Jung Hyun; Kim, Jin-Hoi

    2015-02-01

    Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are prominent group of nanomaterials and are recognized for their diverse applications in various health sectors. This study aimed to synthesize the AgNPs using the leaf extract of Artemisia princeps as a bio-reductant. Furthermore, we evaluated the multidimensional effect of the biologically synthesized AgNPs in Helicobacter pylori, Helicobacter felis, and human lung (L132) and lung carcinoma (A549) cells. UV-visible (UV-vis) spectroscopy confirmed the synthesis of AgNPs. X-ray diffraction (XRD) indicated that the AgNPs are specifically indexed to a crystal structure. The results from Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) indicate that biomolecules are involved in the synthesis and stabilization of AgNPs. Dynamic light scattering (DLS) studies showed the average size distribution of the particle between 10 and 40 nm, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) confirmed that the AgNPs were significantly well separated and spherical with an average size of 20 nm. AgNPs caused dose-dependent decrease in cell viability and biofilm formation and increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and DNA fragmentation in H. pylori and H. felis. Furthermore, AgNPs induced mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis in A549 cells; conversely, AgNPs had no significant effects on L132 cells. The results from this study suggest that AgNPs could cause cell-specific apoptosis in mammalian cells. Our findings demonstrate that this environmentally friendly method for the synthesis of AgNPs and that the prepared AgNPs have multidimensional effects such as anti-bacterial and anti-biofilm activity against H. pylori and H. felis and also cytotoxic effects against human cancer cells. This report describes comprehensively the effects of AgNPs on bacteria and mammalian cells. We believe that biologically synthesized AgNPs will open a new avenue towards various biotechnological and biomedical applications in the near future.

  20. Evolutionary Relationships among Primary Endosymbionts of the Mealybug Subfamily Phenacoccinae (Hemiptera: Coccoidea: Pseudococcidae) ▿

    PubMed Central

    Gruwell, Matthew E.; Hardy, Nate B.; Gullan, Penny J.; Dittmar, Katharina

    2010-01-01

    Mealybugs (Coccoidea: Pseudococcidae) are sap-sucking plant parasites that harbor bacterial endosymbionts within specialized organs. Previous studies have identified two subfamilies, Pseudococcinae and Phenacoccinae, within mealybugs and determined the primary endosymbionts (P-endosymbionts) of the Pseudococcinae to be Betaproteobacteria (“Candidatus Tremblaya princeps”) containing Gammaproteobacteria secondary symbionts. Here, the P-endosymbionts of phenacoccine mealybugs are characterized based on 16S rRNA from the bacteria of 20 species of phenacoccine mealybugs and four outgroup Puto species (Coccoidea: Putoidae) and aligned to more than 100 published 16S rRNA sequences from symbiotic and free-living bacteria. Phylogenetic analyses recovered three separate lineages of bacteria from the Phenacoccinae, and these are considered to be the P-endosymbionts of their respective mealybug hosts, with those from (i) the mealybug genus Rastrococcus belonging to the Bacteroidetes, (ii) the subterranean mealybugs, tribe Rhizoecini, also within Bacteroidetes, in a clade sister to cockroach endosymbionts (Blattabacterium), and (iii) the remaining Phenacoccinae within the Betaproteobacteria, forming a well-supported sister group to “Candidatus Tremblaya princeps.” Names are proposed for two strongly supported lineages: “Candidatus Brownia rhizoecola” for P-endosymbionts of Rhizoecini and “Candidatus Tremblaya phenacola” for P-endosymbionts of Phenacoccinae excluding Rastrococcus and Rhizoecini. Rates of nucleotide substitution among lineages of Tremblaya were inferred to be significantly faster than those of free-living Betaproteobacteria. Analyses also recovered a clade of Gammaproteobacteria, sister to the P-endosymbiont lineage of aphids (“Candidatus Buchnera aphidicola”), containing the endosymbionts of Putoidae, the secondary endosymbionts of pseudococcine mealybugs, and the endosymbionts of several other insect groups. PMID:20851962

  1. Variation in phenology of hibernation and reproduction in the endangered New Mexico meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius luteus).

    PubMed

    Frey, Jennifer K

    2015-01-01

    Hibernation is a key life history feature that can impact many other crucial aspects of a species' biology, such as its survival and reproduction. I examined the timing of hibernation and reproduction in the federally endangered New Mexico meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius luteus), which occurs across a broad range of latitudes and elevations in the American Southwest. Data from museum specimens and field studies supported predictions for later emergence and shorter active intervals in montane populations relative to lower elevation valley populations. A low-elevation population located at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge (BANWR) in the Rio Grande valley was most similar to other subspecies of Z. hudsonius: the first emergence date was in mid-May and there was an active interval of 162 days. In montane populations of Z. h. luteus, the date of first emergence was delayed until mid-June and the active interval was reduced to ca 124-135 days, similar to some populations of the western jumping mouse (Z. princeps). Last date of immergence into hibernation occurred at about the same time in all populations (mid to late October). In montane populations pregnant females are known from July to late August and evidence suggests that they have a single litter per year. At BANWR two peaks in reproduction were expected based on similarity of active season to Z. h. preblei. However, only one peak was clearly evident, possibly due to later first reproduction and possible torpor during late summer. At BANWR pregnant females are known from June and July. Due to the short activity season and geographic variation in phenology of key life history events of Z. h. luteus, recommendations are made for the appropriate timing for surveys for this endangered species.

  2. Predation on larval suckers in the Williamson River Delta revealed by molecular genetic assays—A pilot study

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hereford, Danielle M.; Ostberg, Carl O.; Burdick, Summer M.

    2016-01-01

    Predation of endangered Lost River suckers (Deltistes luxatus) and shortnose suckers (Chasmistes brevirostris) during larval egress to Upper Klamath Lake from the Williamson River is poorly understood but may be an important factor limiting recruitment into adult spawning populations. Native and non-native piscivores are abundant in nursery wetland habitat, but larval predation has not been directly studied for all species. Larvae lack hard body structures and digest rapidly in predator digestive systems. Therefore, traditional visual methods for diet analysis may fail to identify the extent of predation on larvae. The goals of this study were to (1) use quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) assays developed for Lost River and shortnose suckers to assay predator stomach contents for sucker DNA, and (2) to assess our ability to use this technique to study predation. Predators were captured opportunistically during larval sucker egress. Concurrent feeding trials indicate that most predators—yellow perch (Perca flaverscens), fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas), blue chub (Gila coerulea), Klamath tui chub (Siphatales bicolor bicolor), Klamath Lake sculpin (Cottus princeps), slender sculpin (Cottus tenuis)—preyed on sucker larvae in the laboratory. However, sucker DNA was not detected in fathead minnow stomachs. Of the stomachs screened from fish captured in the Williamson River Delta, 15.6 percent of yellow perch contained sucker DNA. This study has demonstrated that the application of qPCR and SNP assays is effective for studying predation on larval suckers. We suggest that techniques associated with dissection or detection of sucker DNA from fathead minnow stomachs need improvement.

  3. Chemical characteristics of magma and related seafloor sulfide deposits on back-arc spreading center and off-ridge volcanoes in Southern Mariana Trough

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urabe, T.; Kanamori, S.; Ishibashi, J.; Kentaro, K.; Sato, H.; Kato, S.; Toyoda, S.

    2012-12-01

    The back-arc basalt in Mariana Trough is characterized by fluid-dominated components (Stolper and Newman, 1994). They suggested that the H2O-enriched magma of the Mariana Trough is formed as melting mixture between MORB-type mantle source and H2O-rich component which is likely to be derived from the subducting slab. Four active and one inactive hydrothermal sites were found within a distance of 5 km in Southern Mariana Trough; that is, Snail site (12o57.19'N, 143o37.16'E, depth:2861m) and Yamanaka site (12o56.64'N, 143o36.80'E, depth: 2823m) on the spreading-axis, Archean site (12o56.35'N, 143o37.89'E, depth: 2986m), and Pika+Urashima sites (12o55.13'N, 143o38.92'E, depth: 2773m) on the off-axis seamount, respectively. We conducted nine BMS (Benthic Multi-coring System) drillings during the Hakurei-Maru No.2 cruise of TAIGA project (see below) in June 2010. Both basalt glasses and associated seafloor massive sulfide ores from these sites are cored and served for ICP-MS analyses. Multi-element plot of basalt glass indicates that both on-axis and off-axis basalts have similar pattern and are categorized as differentiated MORB and basaltic andesite which cannot be produced by fractionation of MORB, respectively. Sulfide ores at on-axis and off-axis sites show similar mineral assemblage of pyrite/marcasite, sphalerite, chalcopyrite, barite, and limited occurrence of galena only at on-axis site. Fluid-mobile elements such as As, Ba, Pb and others in sulfide ores show systematic increase at off-axis sites which reflect the influence of subduction zone fluids towards the Mariana arc. The sulfur isotope composition of pyrite/marcasite from on-axis sites shows values (+6.4 - +7.9 permil) typically observed in arc magma-related hydrothermal deposits (Suzuki, unpubl. data). On the other hand, those observed at off-axis sites (Archean; +3.6 - +6.9 permil, Pika; +0.8 - +3.5 permil) are similar to the composition of sulfides on mid-ocean ridges where the influence of sulfur

  4. Molecular characterization of adipose tissue in the African elephant (Loxodonta africana).

    PubMed

    Nilsson, Emeli M; Fainberg, Hernan P; Choong, Siew S; Giles, Thomas C; Sells, James; May, Sean; Stansfield, Fiona J; Allen, William R; Emes, Richard D; Mostyn, Alison; Mongan, Nigel P; Yon, Lisa

    2014-01-01

    Adipose tissue (AT) is a dynamic and flexible organ with regulatory roles in physiological functions including metabolism, reproduction and inflammation; secreted adipokines, including leptin, and fatty acids facilitate many of these roles. The African elephant (Loxodonta africana) is experiencing serious challenges to optimal reproduction in captivity. The physiological and molecular basis of this impaired fertility remains unknown. AT production of leptin is a crucial molecular link between nutritional status, adiposity and fertility in many species. We propose that leptin has a similar function in the African elephant. African elephant visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue (AT) was obtained from both sexes and a range of ages including females with known pregnancy status. RNA was extracted and histological sections created and analyzed by microarray, PCR and immunohistochemistry respectively. Gas-chromatography was used to determine the fatty acid composition of AT. Microarray expression profiling was used to compare gene expression profiles of AT from pre-pubertal versus reproductively competent adult African elephants. This study demonstrates, for the first time, leptin mRNA and protein expression in African elephant AT. The derived protein sequence of the elephant leptin protein was exploited to determine its relationship within the class I helical cytokine superfamily, which indicates that elephant leptin is most closely related to the leptin orthologs of Oryctolagus cuniculus (European rabbit), Lepus oiostolus (woolly hare), and members of the Ochotonidae (Pika). Immunohistological analysis identified considerable leptin staining within the cytoplasm of adipocytes. Significant differences in fatty acid profiles between pregnant and non-pregnant animals were revealed, most notably a reduction in both linoleic and α linoleic acid in pregnant animals. This report forms the basis for future studies to address the effect of nutrient composition and body

  5. Evolutionary History of Lagomorphs in Response to Global Environmental Change

    PubMed Central

    Ge, Deyan; Wen, Zhixin; Xia, Lin; Zhang, Zhaoqun; Erbajeva, Margarita; Huang, Chengming; Yang, Qisen

    2013-01-01

    Although species within Lagomorpha are derived from a common ancestor, the distribution range and body size of its two extant groups, ochotonids and leporids, are quite differentiated. It is unclear what has driven their disparate evolutionary history. In this study, we compile and update all fossil records of Lagomorpha for the first time, to trace the evolutionary processes and infer their evolutionary history using mitochondrial genes, body length and distribution of extant species. We also compare the forage selection of extant species, which offers an insight into their future prospects. The earliest lagomorphs originated in Asia and later diversified in different continents. Within ochotonids, more than 20 genera occupied the period from the early Miocene to middle Miocene, whereas most of them became extinct during the transition from the Miocene to Pliocene. The peak diversity of the leporids occurred during the Miocene to Pliocene transition, while their diversity dramatically decreased in the late Quaternary. Mantel tests identified a positive correlation between body length and phylogenetic distance of lagomorphs. The body length of extant ochotonids shows a normal distribution, while the body length of extant leporids displays a non-normal pattern. We also find that the forage selection of extant pikas features a strong preference for C3 plants, while for the diet of leporids, more than 16% of plant species are identified as C4 (31% species are from Poaceae). The ability of several leporid species to consume C4 plants is likely to result in their size increase and range expansion, most notably in Lepus. Expansion of C4 plants in the late Miocene, the so-called ‘nature’s green revolution’, induced by global environmental change, is suggested to be one of the major ‘ecological opportunities’, which probably drove large-scale extinction and range contraction of ochotonids, but inversely promoted diversification and range expansion of leporids

  6. Comparative phylogeography highlights the double-edged sword of climate change faced by arctic- and alpine-adapted mammals.

    PubMed

    Lanier, Hayley C; Gunderson, Aren M; Weksler, Marcelo; Fedorov, Vadim B; Olson, Link E

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that alpine and arctic organisms may have distinctly different phylogeographic histories from temperate or tropical taxa, with recent range contraction into interglacial refugia as opposed to post-glacial expansion out of refugia. We use a combination of phylogeographic inference, demographic reconstructions, and hierarchical Approximate Bayesian Computation to test for phylodemographic concordance among five species of alpine-adapted small mammals in eastern Beringia. These species (Collared Pikas, Hoary Marmots, Brown Lemmings, Arctic Ground Squirrels, and Singing Voles) vary in specificity to alpine and boreal-tundra habitat but share commonalities (e.g., cold tolerance and nunatak survival) that might result in concordant responses to Pleistocene glaciations. All five species contain a similar phylogeographic disjunction separating eastern and Beringian lineages, which we show to be the result of simultaneous divergence. Genetic diversity is similar within each haplogroup for each species, and there is no support for a post-Pleistocene population expansion in eastern lineages relative to those from Beringia. Bayesian skyline plots for four of the five species do not support Pleistocene population contraction. Brown Lemmings show evidence of late Quaternary demographic expansion without subsequent population decline. The Wrangell-St. Elias region of eastern Alaska appears to be an important zone of recent secondary contact for nearctic alpine mammals. Despite differences in natural history and ecology, similar phylogeographic histories are supported for all species, suggesting that these, and likely other, alpine- and arctic-adapted taxa are already experiencing population and/or range declines that are likely to synergistically accelerate in the face of rapid climate change. Climate change may therefore be acting as a double-edged sword that erodes genetic diversity within populations but promotes divergence and the generation of

  7. Appearance of Iron-based Microbial Ecosystems on and below the Seafloor: a Case Study of the Southern Mariana Trough

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kato, S.; Kentaro, K.; Toki, T.; Ishibashi, J.; Tsunogai, U.; Hirota, A.; Suzuki, K.; Moriya, O.; Yamagishi, A.

    2012-12-01

    Microbial community structures in deep-sea hydrothermal vents fields are constrained by available energy yields provided by inorganic redox reactions, which are in turn controlled by chemical composition of hydrothermal fluids. To date, geochemical and microbiological studies have been conducted in deep-sea hydrothermal vents at three geographically different areas (Snail, Archaean and Pika sites) of the Southern Mariana Trough (SMT). A variety of geochemical data of hydrothermal fluids and an unparalleled microbiological data of various samples (i.e., sulfide structures of active vents, iron-rich microbial mats, borehole fluids and surrounding bottom seawater) are available for comparative analyses. In the present study, we summarize these geochemical and microbiological characteristics and assess the relationship between the microbial community structures and the fluid geochemistry in the SMT by thermodynamic modeling. In the high-temperature vent fluids, aerobic sulfide-oxidation has the potential to yield large amounts of bioavailable energy in the vent fluids, which is consistent with the detection of species related to sulfide-oxidizing bacteria (such as Thiomicrospira in the Gammaproteobacteria and Sulfurimonas in the Epsilonproteobacteria). In contrast, the bioavailable energy yield from aerobic iron-oxidation reactions in the low-temperature fluids collected from man-made boreholes and several natural vents were comparable to or higher than those from sulfide-oxidation. This is consistent with the detection of species related to iron-oxidizing bacteria (Mariprofundus in the Zetaproteobacteria) in these low-temperature samples. These results provide novel insights into the presence and significance of iron-based microbial ecosystems in deep-sea hydrothermal fields.

  8. Novel picornavirus in domestic rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus var. domestica).

    PubMed

    Pankovics, Péter; Boros, Ákos; Bíró, Hunor; Horváth, Katalin Barbara; Phan, Tung Gia; Delwart, Eric; Reuter, Gábor

    2016-01-01

    Picornaviruses (family Picornaviridae) are small, non-enveloped viruses with positive sense, single-stranded RNA genomes. The numbers of the novel picornavirus species and genera are continuously increasing. Picornaviruses infect numerous vertebrate species from fish to mammals, but have not been identified in a member of the Lagomorpha order (pikas, hares and rabbits). In this study, a novel picornavirus was identified in 16 (28.6%) out of 56 faecal samples collected from clinically healthy rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus var. domestica) in two (one commercial and one family farms) of four rabbit farms in Hungary. The 8364 nucleotide (2486 amino acid) long complete genome sequence of strain Rabbit01/2013/HUN (KT325852) has typical picornavirus genome organization with type-V IRES at the 5'UTR, encodes a leader (L) and a single 2A(H-box/NC) proteins, contains a hepatitis-A-virus-like cis-acting replication element (CRE) in the 2A, but it does not contain the sequence forming a "barbell-like" secondary structure in the 3'UTR. Rabbit01/2013/HUN has 52.9%, 52% and 57.2% amino acid identity to corresponding proteins of species Aichivirus A (genus Kobuvirus): to murine Kobuvirus (JF755427) in P1, to canine Kobuvirus (JN387133) in P2 and to feline Kobuvirus (KF831027) in P3, respectively. The sequence and phylogenetic analysis indicated that Rabbit01/2013/HUN represents a novel picornavirus species possibly in genus Kobuvirus. This is the first report of detection of picornavirus in rabbit. Further study is needed to clarify whether this novel picornavirus plays a part in any diseases in domestic or wild rabbits.

  9. Novel picornavirus in domestic rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus var. domestica).

    PubMed

    Pankovics, Péter; Boros, Ákos; Bíró, Hunor; Horváth, Katalin Barbara; Phan, Tung Gia; Delwart, Eric; Reuter, Gábor

    2016-01-01

    Picornaviruses (family Picornaviridae) are small, non-enveloped viruses with positive sense, single-stranded RNA genomes. The numbers of the novel picornavirus species and genera are continuously increasing. Picornaviruses infect numerous vertebrate species from fish to mammals, but have not been identified in a member of the Lagomorpha order (pikas, hares and rabbits). In this study, a novel picornavirus was identified in 16 (28.6%) out of 56 faecal samples collected from clinically healthy rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus var. domestica) in two (one commercial and one family farms) of four rabbit farms in Hungary. The 8364 nucleotide (2486 amino acid) long complete genome sequence of strain Rabbit01/2013/HUN (KT325852) has typical picornavirus genome organization with type-V IRES at the 5'UTR, encodes a leader (L) and a single 2A(H-box/NC) proteins, contains a hepatitis-A-virus-like cis-acting replication element (CRE) in the 2A, but it does not contain the sequence forming a "barbell-like" secondary structure in the 3'UTR. Rabbit01/2013/HUN has 52.9%, 52% and 57.2% amino acid identity to corresponding proteins of species Aichivirus A (genus Kobuvirus): to murine Kobuvirus (JF755427) in P1, to canine Kobuvirus (JN387133) in P2 and to feline Kobuvirus (KF831027) in P3, respectively. The sequence and phylogenetic analysis indicated that Rabbit01/2013/HUN represents a novel picornavirus species possibly in genus Kobuvirus. This is the first report of detection of picornavirus in rabbit. Further study is needed to clarify whether this novel picornavirus plays a part in any diseases in domestic or wild rabbits. PMID:26588888

  10. Evolutionary history of lagomorphs in response to global environmental change.

    PubMed

    Ge, Deyan; Wen, Zhixin; Xia, Lin; Zhang, Zhaoqun; Erbajeva, Margarita; Huang, Chengming; Yang, Qisen

    2013-01-01

    Although species within Lagomorpha are derived from a common ancestor, the distribution range and body size of its two extant groups, ochotonids and leporids, are quite differentiated. It is unclear what has driven their disparate evolutionary history. In this study, we compile and update all fossil records of Lagomorpha for the first time, to trace the evolutionary processes and infer their evolutionary history using mitochondrial genes, body length and distribution of extant species. We also compare the forage selection of extant species, which offers an insight into their future prospects. The earliest lagomorphs originated in Asia and later diversified in different continents. Within ochotonids, more than 20 genera occupied the period from the early Miocene to middle Miocene, whereas most of them became extinct during the transition from the Miocene to Pliocene. The peak diversity of the leporids occurred during the Miocene to Pliocene transition, while their diversity dramatically decreased in the late Quaternary. Mantel tests identified a positive correlation between body length and phylogenetic distance of lagomorphs. The body length of extant ochotonids shows a normal distribution, while the body length of extant leporids displays a non-normal pattern. We also find that the forage selection of extant pikas features a strong preference for C(3) plants, while for the diet of leporids, more than 16% of plant species are identified as C(4) (31% species are from Poaceae). The ability of several leporid species to consume C(4) plants is likely to result in their size increase and range expansion, most notably in Lepus. Expansion of C(4) plants in the late Miocene, the so-called 'nature's green revolution', induced by global environmental change, is suggested to be one of the major 'ecological opportunities', which probably drove large-scale extinction and range contraction of ochotonids, but inversely promoted diversification and range expansion of leporids. PMID

  11. Landscape Composition and Spatial Prediction of Alveolar Echinococcosis in Southern Ningxia, China

    PubMed Central

    Pleydell, David R. J.; Yang, Yu Rong; Danson, F. Mark; Raoul, Francis; Craig, Philip S.; McManus, Donald P.; Vuitton, Dominique A.; Wang, Qian; Giraudoux, Patrick

    2008-01-01

    Background Alveolar echinococcosis (AE) presents a serious public health challenge within China. Mass screening ultrasound surveys can detect pre-symptomatic AE, but targeting areas identified from hospital records is inefficient regarding AE. Prediction of undetected or emerging hotspots would increase detection rates. Voles and lemmings of the subfamily Arvicolinae are important intermediate hosts in sylvatic transmission systems. Their populations reach high densities in productive grasslands where food and cover are abundant. Habitat availability is thought to affect arvicoline population dynamic patterns and definitive host–intermediate host interactions. Arvicoline habitat correlates with AE prevalence in Western Europe and southern Gansu Province, China. Methods and Findings Xiji County, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, borders southern Gansu. The aims of this study were to map AE prevalence across Xiji and test arvicoline habitat as a predictor. Land cover was mapped using remotely sensed (Landsat) imagery. Infection status of 3,205 individuals screened in 2002–2003 was related, using generalised additive mixed models, to covariates: gender; farming; ethnicity; dog ownership; water source; and areal cover of mountain pasture and lowland pasture. A Markov random field modelled additional spatial variation and uncertainty. Mountain pasture and lowland pasture were associated with below and above average AE prevalence, respectively. Conclusions Low values of the normalised difference vegetation index indicated sub-optimality of lowland pasture for grassland arvicolines. Unlike other known endemic areas, grassland arvicolines probably did not provide the principal reservoir for Echinococcus multilocularis in Xiji. This result is consistent with recent small mammal surveys reporting low arvicoline densities and high densities of hamsters, pikas and jerboas, all suitable intermediate hosts for E. multilocularis, in reforested lowland pasture. The risk of re

  12. Comparative Phylogeography Highlights the Double-Edged Sword of Climate Change Faced by Arctic- and Alpine-Adapted Mammals

    PubMed Central

    Lanier, Hayley C.; Gunderson, Aren M.; Weksler, Marcelo; Fedorov, Vadim B.; Olson, Link E.

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that alpine and arctic organisms may have distinctly different phylogeographic histories from temperate or tropical taxa, with recent range contraction into interglacial refugia as opposed to post-glacial expansion out of refugia. We use a combination of phylogeographic inference, demographic reconstructions, and hierarchical Approximate Bayesian Computation to test for phylodemographic concordance among five species of alpine-adapted small mammals in eastern Beringia. These species (Collared Pikas, Hoary Marmots, Brown Lemmings, Arctic Ground Squirrels, and Singing Voles) vary in specificity to alpine and boreal-tundra habitat but share commonalities (e.g., cold tolerance and nunatak survival) that might result in concordant responses to Pleistocene glaciations. All five species contain a similar phylogeographic disjunction separating eastern and Beringian lineages, which we show to be the result of simultaneous divergence. Genetic diversity is similar within each haplogroup for each species, and there is no support for a post-Pleistocene population expansion in eastern lineages relative to those from Beringia. Bayesian skyline plots for four of the five species do not support Pleistocene population contraction. Brown Lemmings show evidence of late Quaternary demographic expansion without subsequent population decline. The Wrangell-St. Elias region of eastern Alaska appears to be an important zone of recent secondary contact for nearctic alpine mammals. Despite differences in natural history and ecology, similar phylogeographic histories are supported for all species, suggesting that these, and likely other, alpine- and arctic-adapted taxa are already experiencing population and/or range declines that are likely to synergistically accelerate in the face of rapid climate change. Climate change may therefore be acting as a double-edged sword that erodes genetic diversity within populations but promotes divergence and the generation of

  13. Comparative phylogeography highlights the double-edged sword of climate change faced by arctic- and alpine-adapted mammals.

    PubMed

    Lanier, Hayley C; Gunderson, Aren M; Weksler, Marcelo; Fedorov, Vadim B; Olson, Link E

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that alpine and arctic organisms may have distinctly different phylogeographic histories from temperate or tropical taxa, with recent range contraction into interglacial refugia as opposed to post-glacial expansion out of refugia. We use a combination of phylogeographic inference, demographic reconstructions, and hierarchical Approximate Bayesian Computation to test for phylodemographic concordance among five species of alpine-adapted small mammals in eastern Beringia. These species (Collared Pikas, Hoary Marmots, Brown Lemmings, Arctic Ground Squirrels, and Singing Voles) vary in specificity to alpine and boreal-tundra habitat but share commonalities (e.g., cold tolerance and nunatak survival) that might result in concordant responses to Pleistocene glaciations. All five species contain a similar phylogeographic disjunction separating eastern and Beringian lineages, which we show to be the result of simultaneous divergence. Genetic diversity is similar within each haplogroup for each species, and there is no support for a post-Pleistocene population expansion in eastern lineages relative to those from Beringia. Bayesian skyline plots for four of the five species do not support Pleistocene population contraction. Brown Lemmings show evidence of late Quaternary demographic expansion without subsequent population decline. The Wrangell-St. Elias region of eastern Alaska appears to be an important zone of recent secondary contact for nearctic alpine mammals. Despite differences in natural history and ecology, similar phylogeographic histories are supported for all species, suggesting that these, and likely other, alpine- and arctic-adapted taxa are already experiencing population and/or range declines that are likely to synergistically accelerate in the face of rapid climate change. Climate change may therefore be acting as a double-edged sword that erodes genetic diversity within populations but promotes divergence and the generation of

  14. Molecular Characterization of Adipose Tissue in the African Elephant (Loxodonta africana)

    PubMed Central

    Choong, Siew S.; Giles, Thomas C.; Sells, James; May, Sean; Stansfield, Fiona J.; Allen, William R.; Emes, Richard D.; Mostyn, Alison; Mongan, Nigel P.; Yon, Lisa

    2014-01-01

    Adipose tissue (AT) is a dynamic and flexible organ with regulatory roles in physiological functions including metabolism, reproduction and inflammation; secreted adipokines, including leptin, and fatty acids facilitate many of these roles. The African elephant (Loxodonta africana) is experiencing serious challenges to optimal reproduction in captivity. The physiological and molecular basis of this impaired fertility remains unknown. AT production of leptin is a crucial molecular link between nutritional status, adiposity and fertility in many species. We propose that leptin has a similar function in the African elephant. African elephant visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue (AT) was obtained from both sexes and a range of ages including females with known pregnancy status. RNA was extracted and histological sections created and analyzed by microarray, PCR and immunohistochemistry respectively. Gas-chromatography was used to determine the fatty acid composition of AT. Microarray expression profiling was used to compare gene expression profiles of AT from pre-pubertal versus reproductively competent adult African elephants. This study demonstrates, for the first time, leptin mRNA and protein expression in African elephant AT. The derived protein sequence of the elephant leptin protein was exploited to determine its relationship within the class I helical cytokine superfamily, which indicates that elephant leptin is most closely related to the leptin orthologs of Oryctolagus cuniculus (European rabbit), Lepus oiostolus (woolly hare), and members of the Ochotonidae (Pika). Immunohistological analysis identified considerable leptin staining within the cytoplasm of adipocytes. Significant differences in fatty acid profiles between pregnant and non-pregnant animals were revealed, most notably a reduction in both linoleic and α linoleic acid in pregnant animals. This report forms the basis for future studies to address the effect of nutrient composition and body

  15. Faster speciation and reduced extinction in the tropics contribute to the Mammalian latitudinal diversity gradient.

    PubMed

    Rolland, Jonathan; Condamine, Fabien L; Jiguet, Frederic; Morlon, Hélène

    2014-01-01

    The increase in species richness from the poles to the tropics, referred to as the latitudinal diversity gradient, is one of the most ubiquitous biodiversity patterns in the natural world. Although understanding how rates of speciation and extinction vary with latitude is central to explaining this pattern, such analyses have been impeded by the difficulty of estimating diversification rates associated with specific geographic locations. Here, we use a powerful phylogenetic approach and a nearly complete phylogeny of mammals to estimate speciation, extinction, and dispersal rates associated with the tropical and temperate biomes. Overall, speciation rates are higher, and extinction rates lower, in the tropics than in temperate regions. The diversity of the eight most species-rich mammalian orders (covering 92% of all mammals) peaks in the tropics, except that of the Lagomorpha (hares, rabbits, and pikas) reaching a maxima in northern-temperate regions. Latitudinal patterns in diversification rates are strikingly consistent with these diversity patterns, with peaks in species richness associated with low extinction rates (Primates and Lagomorpha), high speciation rates (Diprotodontia, Artiodactyla, and Soricomorpha), or both (Chiroptera and Rodentia). Rates of range expansion were typically higher from the tropics to the temperate regions than in the other direction, supporting the "out of the tropics" hypothesis whereby species originate in the tropics and disperse into higher latitudes. Overall, these results suggest that differences in diversification rates have played a major role in shaping the modern latitudinal diversity gradient in mammals, and illustrate the usefulness of recently developed phylogenetic approaches for understanding this famous yet mysterious pattern.

  16. The ecology of tick-transmitted infections in the redwood chipmunk (Tamias ochrogenys).

    PubMed

    Foley, Janet E; Nieto, Nathan C

    2011-06-01

    The redwood chipmunk contributes to the maintenance of tick-borne diseases in northern California. The range of redwood chipmunks overlaps that of western black-legged ticks and tick-borne disease, including granulocytic anaplasmosis and Lyme borreliosis. Chipmunks have high Anaplasma phagocytophilum PCR- and seroprevalence, are infested with a diversity of Ixodes spp. ticks, and are reservoir competent for Borrelia burgdorferi. We hypothesized that chipmunks could maintain tick-borne disease on the forest floor while also potentially bridging infection to arboreal sciurids as well. We used radio-telemetry to evaluate chipmunk movement and use of trees, characterized burrows, described prevalence of tick-borne disease, and identified ticks on these chipmunks. A total of 192 chipmunks from Hendy Woods, Mendocino County, California, USA, was evaluated between November 2005 and April 2009. The mean density was 2.26-5.8 chipmunks/ha. The longest detected life span was 3 years. Female weights ranged from 80-120 g and males from 80-180 g. The A. phagocytophilum and Borrelia spp. seroprevalence was 21.4% and 24.7%, respectively, and PCR prevalence for these pathogens was 10.6% and 0%, respectively. Ixodes spp. ticks included I. angustus, I. ochotonae, I. pacificus, and I. spinipalpis. The mean infestation level was 0.92 ticks/chipmunk. Based on telemetry of 11 chipmunks, the greatest distance traveled ranged from 0.14-0.63 km for females and 0.1-1.26 km for males. Areas occupied by chipmunks ranged from 0.005-0.24 km(2) for females and 0.006-0.73 km(2) for males. On 3 occasions, chipmunks were found in trees. Burrows were identified under a moss-covered redwood log, deep under a live redwood tree, under a Douglas fir log, in a clump of huckleberry, in a root collection from an overturned Douglas fir tree, and in a cluster of exposed huckleberry roots. The biology of the redwood chipmunk has multiple features that allow it to be an important reservoir host for tick

  17. The ecology of tick-transmitted infections in the redwood chipmunk (Tamias ochrogenys)

    PubMed Central

    Foley, Janet E.; Nieto, Nathan C.

    2011-01-01

    The redwood chipmunk contributes to the maintenance of tick-borne diseases in northern California. The range of redwood chipmunks overlaps that of western black-legged ticks and tick-borne disease, including granulocytic anaplasmosis and Lyme borreliosis. Chipmunks have high Anaplasma phagocytophilum PCR- and seroprevalence, are infested with a diversity of Ixodes spp. ticks, and are reservoir competent for Borrelia burgdorferi. We hypothesized that chipmunks could maintain tick-borne disease on the forest floor while also potentially bridging infection to arboreal sciurids as well. We used radio-telemetry to evaluate chipmunk movement and use of trees, characterized burrows, described prevalence of tick-borne disease, and identified ticks on these chipmunks. A total of 192 chipmunks from Hendy Woods, Mendocino County, California, USA, was evaluated between November 2005 and April 2009. The mean density was 2.26–5.8 chipmunks/ha. The longest detected life span was 3 years. Female weights ranged from 80–120 g and males from 80–180 g. The A. phagocytophilum and Borrelia spp. seroprevalence was 21.4% and 24.7%, respectively, and PCR prevalence for these pathogens was 10.6% and 0%, respectively. Ixodes spp. ticks included I. angustus, I. ochotonae, I. pacificus, and I. spinipalpis. The mean infestation level was 0.92 ticks/chipmunk. Based on telemetry of 11 chipmunks, the greatest distance traveled ranged from 0.14–0.63 km for females and 0.1–1.26 km for males. Areas occupied by chipmunks ranged from 0.005–0.24 km2 for females and 0.006–0.73 km2 for males. On 3 occasions, chipmunks were found in trees. Burrows were identified under a moss-covered redwood log, deep under a live redwood tree, under a Douglas fir log, in a clump of huckleberry, in a root collection from an overturned Douglas fir tree, and in a cluster of exposed huckleberry roots. The biology of the redwood chipmunk has multiple features that allow it to be an important reservoir host for

  18. Development of a Lentivirus Vector-Based Assay for Non-Destructive Monitoring of Cell Fusion Activity

    PubMed Central

    Neshati, Zeinab; Liu, Jia; Zhou, Guangqian; Schalij, Martin J.; de Vries, Antoine A. F.

    2014-01-01

    Cell-to-cell fusion can be quantified by endowing acceptor and donor cells with latent reporter genes/proteins and activators of these genes/proteins, respectively. One way to accomplish this goal is by using a bipartite lentivirus vector (LV)-based cell fusion assay system in which the cellular fusion partners are transduced with a flippase-activatable Photinus pyralis luciferase (PpLuc) expression unit (acceptor cells) or with a recombinant gene encoding FLPeNLS+, a nuclear-targeted and molecularly evolved version of flippase (donor cells). Fusion of both cell populations will lead to the FLPe-dependent generation of a functional PpLuc gene. PpLuc activity is typically measured in cell lysates, precluding consecutive analysis of one cell culture. Therefore, in this study the PpLuc-coding sequence was replaced by that of Gaussia princeps luciferase (GpLuc), a secretory protein allowing repeated analysis of the same cell culture. In myotubes the spread of FLPeNLS+ may be limited due to its nuclear localization signal (NLS) causing low signal outputs. To test this hypothesis, myoblasts were transduced with LVs encoding either FLPeNLS+ or an NLS-less version of FLPe (FLPeNLS−) and subsequently co-cultured in different ratios with myoblasts containing the FLPe-activatable GpLuc expression cassette. At different times after induction of cell-to-cell fusion the GpLuc activity in the culture medium was determined. FLPeNLS+ and FLPeNLS− both activated the latent GpLuc gene but when the percentage of FLPe-expressing myoblasts was limiting, FLPeNLS+ generally yielded slightly higher signals than FLPeNLS− while at low acceptor-to-donor cell ratios FLPeNLS− was usually superior. The ability of FLPeNLS+ to spread through myofibers and to induce reporter gene expression is thus not limited by its NLS. However, at high FLPe concentrations the presence of the NLS negatively affected reporter gene expression. In summary, a rapid and simple chemiluminescence assay for

  19. Goat Meat Does Not Cause Increased Blood Pressure

    PubMed Central

    Sunagawa, Katsunori; Kishi, Tetsuya; Nagai, Ayako; Matsumura, Yuka; Nagamine, Itsuki; Uechi, Shuntoku

    2014-01-01

    While there are persistent rumors that the consumption of goat meat dishes increases blood pressure, there is no scientific evidence to support this. Two experiments were conducted to clarify whether or not blood pressure increases in conjunction with the consumption of goat meat dishes. In experiment 1, 24 Dahl/Iwai rats (15 weeks old, body weight 309.3±11.1 g) were evenly separated into 4 groups. The control group (CP) was fed a diet containing 20% chicken and 0.3% salt on a dry matter basis. The goat meat group (GM) was fed a diet containing 20% goat meat and 0.3% salt. The goat meat/salt group (GS) was fed a diet containing 20% goat meant and 3% to 4% salt. The Okinawan mugwort (Artemisia Princeps Pampan)/salt group (GY) was fed a diet containing 20% goat meat, 3% to 4% salt and 5% of freeze-dried mugwort powder. The experiment 1 ran for a period of 14 weeks during which time the blood pressure of the animals was recorded. The GS, and GY groups consumed significantly more water (p<0.01) than the CP and GM groups despite the fact that their diet consumption levels were similar. The body weight of animals in the CP, GM, and GS groups was similar while the animals in the GY group were significantly smaller (p<0.01). The blood pressure in the GM group was virtually the same as the CP group throughout the course of the experiment. In contrast, while the blood pressure of the animals in the GS and GY group from 15 to 19 weeks old was the same as the CP group, their blood pressures were significantly higher (p<0.01) after 20 weeks of age. The GY group tended to have lower blood pressure than the GS group. In experiment 2, in order to clarify whether or not the increase in blood pressure in the GS group and the GY group in experiment 1 was caused by an excessive intake of salt, the effects on blood pressure of a reduction of salt in diet were investigated. When amount of salt in the diet of the GS and GY group was reduced from 4% to 0.3%, the animal’s blood pressure

  20. Antioxidative and melanogenesis-inhibitory activities of caffeoylquinic acids and other compounds from moxa.

    PubMed

    Akihisa, Toshihiro; Kawashima, Kohta; Orido, Masashi; Akazawa, Hiroyuki; Matsumoto, Masahiro; Yamamoto, Ayako; Ogihara, Eri; Fukatsu, Makoto; Tokuda, Harukuni; Fuji, Jizaemon

    2013-03-01

    The MeOH extract of moxa, the processed leaves of Artemisia princeps PAMP. (Asteraceae), exhibited potent 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical-scavenging activity and melanogenesis-inhibitory activity in α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH)-stimulated B16 melanoma cells. Eight caffeoylquinic acids, 1 and 6-12, five flavonoids, 13-17, two benzoic acid derivatives, 18 and 19, three coumarin derivatives, 20-22, four steroids, 23-26, and six triterpenoids, 27-32, were isolated from the MeOH extract. Upon evaluation of compounds 1, 6-23, and four semisynthetic caffeoylquinic acid esters, 2-5, for their DPPH radical-scavenging activity, 15 compounds, 1-13, 17, and 19, showed potent activities (IC(50) 3.1-16.8 μM). The 15 compounds exhibited, moreover, potent inhibitory activities (51.1-92.5% inhibition) against peroxidation of linoleic acid emulsion at 10 μg/ml concentration. In addition, when 27 compounds, 1-8, 10, 12, 13, 15-18, 20-25, and 27-32, were evaluated for their inhibitory activity against melanogenesis in α-MSH-stimulated B16 melanoma cells, five caffeoylquinic acids, i.e., chlorogenic acid (1), ethyl chlorogenate (3), propyl chlorogenate (4), isopropyl chlorogenate (5), and butyl chlorogenate (6), along with homoorientin (17) and vanillic acid (18), exhibited inhibitory activities with 33-62% reduction of melanin content at 100 μM concentration with no or almost no toxicity to the cells (89-114% of cell viability at 100 μM). Western blot analysis showed that compound 6 reduced the protein levels of microphtalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), tyrosinase, tyrosine-related protein 1 (TRP-1), and TRP-2 mostly in a concentration-dependent manner, suggesting that this compound inhibits melanogenesis on α-MSH-stimulated B16 melanoma cells by, at least in part, inhibiting the expression of MITF, followed by decreasing the expression of tyrosinase, TRP-1, and TRP-2. Furthermore, four compounds, 13, 15, 16, and 30, exhibited

  1. Does exposure to noise from human activities compromise sensory information from cephalopod statocysts?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solé, Marta; Lenoir, Marc; Durfort, Mercè; López-Bejar, Manel; Lombarte, Antoni; van der Schaar, Mike; André, Michel

    2013-10-01

    Many anthropogenic noise sources are nowadays contributing to the general noise budget of the oceans. The extent to which sound in the sea impacts and affects marine life is a topic of considerable current interest both to the scientific community and to the general public. Cepaholopods potentially represent a group of species whose ecology may be influenced by artificial noise that would have a direct consequence on the functionality and sensitivity of their sensory organs, the statocysts. These are responsible for their equilibrium and movements in the water column. Controlled Exposure Experiments, including the use of a 50-400Hz sweep (RL=157±5dB re 1μPa with peak levels up to SPL=175dB re 1μPa) revealed lesions in the statocysts of four cephalopod species of the Mediterranean Sea, when exposed to low frequency sounds: (n=76) of Sepia officinalis, (n=4) Octopus vulgaris, (n=5) Loligo vulgaris and (n=2) Illex condietii. The analysis was performed through scanning (SEM) and transmission (TEM) electron microscopical techniques of the whole inner structure of the cephalopods' statocyst, especially on the macula and crista. All exposed individuals presented the same lesions and the same incremental effects over time, consistent with a massive acoustic trauma observed in other species that have been exposed to much higher intensities of sound: Immediately after exposure, the damage was observed in the macula statica princeps (msp) and in the crista sensory epithelium. Kinocilia on hair cells were either missing or were bent or flaccid. A number of hair cells showed protruding apical poles and ruptured lateral plasma membranes, most probably resulting from the extrusion of cytoplasmic material. Hair cells were also partially ejected from the sensory epithelium, and spherical holes corresponding to missing hair cells were visible in the epithelium. The cytoplasmic content of the damaged hair cells showed obvious changes, including the presence of numerous vacuoles

  2. Stable nuclear transformation of Eudorina elegans

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background A fundamental step in evolution was the transition from unicellular to differentiated, multicellular organisms. Volvocine algae have been used for several decades as a model lineage to investigate the evolutionary aspects of multicellularity and cellular differentiation. There are two well-studied volvocine species, a unicellular alga (Chlamydomonas reinhardtii) and a multicellular alga with differentiated cell types (Volvox carteri). Species with intermediate characteristics also exist, which blur the boundaries between unicellularity and differentiated multicellularity. These species include the globular alga Eudorina elegans, which is composed of 16–32 cells. However, detailed molecular analyses of E. elegans require genetic manipulation. Unfortunately, genetic engineering has not yet been established for Eudorina, and only limited DNA and/or protein sequence information is available. Results Here, we describe the stable nuclear transformation of E. elegans by particle bombardment using both a chimeric selectable marker and reporter genes from different heterologous sources. Transgenic algae resistant to paromomycin were achieved using the aminoglycoside 3′-phosphotransferase VIII (aphVIII) gene of Streptomyces rimosus, an actinobacterium, under the control of an artificial promoter consisting of two V. carteri promoters in tandem. Transformants exhibited an increase in resistance to paromomycin by up to 333-fold. Co-transformation with non-selectable plasmids was achieved with a rate of 50 - 100%. The luciferase (gluc) gene from the marine copepod Gaussia princeps, which previously was engineered to match the codon usage of C. reinhardtii, was used as a reporter gene. The expression of gluc was mediated by promoters from C. reinhardtii and V. carteri. Heterologous heat shock promoters induced an increase in luciferase activity (up to 600-fold) at elevated temperatures. Long-term stability and both constitutive and inducible expression of the co

  3. Development of a lentivirus vector-based assay for non-destructive monitoring of cell fusion activity.

    PubMed

    Neshati, Zeinab; Liu, Jia; Zhou, Guangqian; Schalij, Martin J; de Vries, Antoine A F

    2014-01-01

    Cell-to-cell fusion can be quantified by endowing acceptor and donor cells with latent reporter genes/proteins and activators of these genes/proteins, respectively. One way to accomplish this goal is by using a bipartite lentivirus vector (LV)-based cell fusion assay system in which the cellular fusion partners are transduced with a flippase-activatable Photinus pyralis luciferase (PpLuc) expression unit (acceptor cells) or with a recombinant gene encoding FLPeNLS+, a nuclear-targeted and molecularly evolved version of flippase (donor cells). Fusion of both cell populations will lead to the FLPe-dependent generation of a functional PpLuc gene. PpLuc activity is typically measured in cell lysates, precluding consecutive analysis of one cell culture. Therefore, in this study the PpLuc-coding sequence was replaced by that of Gaussia princeps luciferase (GpLuc), a secretory protein allowing repeated analysis of the same cell culture. In myotubes the spread of FLPeNLS+ may be limited due to its nuclear localization signal (NLS) causing low signal outputs. To test this hypothesis, myoblasts were transduced with LVs encoding either FLPeNLS+ or an NLS-less version of FLPe (FLPeNLS-) and subsequently co-cultured in different ratios with myoblasts containing the FLPe-activatable GpLuc expression cassette. At different times after induction of cell-to-cell fusion the GpLuc activity in the culture medium was determined. FLPeNLS+ and FLPeNLS- both activated the latent GpLuc gene but when the percentage of FLPe-expressing myoblasts was limiting, FLPeNLS+ generally yielded slightly higher signals than FLPeNLS- while at low acceptor-to-donor cell ratios FLPeNLS- was usually superior. The ability of FLPeNLS+ to spread through myofibers and to induce reporter gene expression is thus not limited by its NLS. However, at high FLPe concentrations the presence of the NLS negatively affected reporter gene expression. In summary, a rapid and simple chemiluminescence assay for quantifying

  4. Temperature-Sensitive Mutants in the Influenza A Virus RNA Polymerase: Alterations in the PA Linker Reduce Nuclear Targeting of the PB1-PA Dimer and Result in Viral Attenuation

    PubMed Central

    Da Costa, Bruno; Sausset, Alix; Munier, Sandie; Ghounaris, Alexandre; Naffakh, Nadia; Le Goffic, Ronan

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The influenza virus RNA-dependent RNA polymerase catalyzes genome replication and transcription within the cell nucleus. Efficient nuclear import and assembly of the polymerase subunits PB1, PB2, and PA are critical steps in the virus life cycle. We investigated the structure and function of the PA linker (residues 197 to 256), located between its N-terminal endonuclease domain and its C-terminal structured domain that binds PB1, the polymerase core. Circular dichroism experiments revealed that the PA linker by itself is structurally disordered. A large series of PA linker mutants exhibited a temperature-sensitive (ts) phenotype (reduced viral growth at 39.5°C versus 37°C/33°C), suggesting an alteration of folding kinetic parameters. The ts phenotype was associated with a reduced efficiency of replication/transcription of a pseudoviral reporter RNA in a minireplicon assay. Using a fluorescent-tagged PB1, we observed that ts and lethal PA mutants did not efficiently recruit PB1 to reach the nucleus at 39.5°C. A protein complementation assay using PA mutants, PB1, and β-importin IPO5 tagged with fragments of the Gaussia princeps luciferase showed that increasing the temperature negatively modulated the PA-PB1 and the PA-PB1-IPO5 interactions or complex stability. The selection of revertant viruses allowed the identification of different types of compensatory mutations located in one or the other of the three polymerase subunits. Two ts mutants were shown to be attenuated and able to induce antibodies in mice. Taken together, our results identify a PA domain critical for PB1-PA nuclear import and that is a “hot spot” to engineer ts mutants that could be used to design novel attenuated vaccines. IMPORTANCE By targeting a discrete domain of the PA polymerase subunit of influenza virus, we were able to identify a series of 9 amino acid positions that are appropriate to engineer temperature-sensitive (ts) mutants. This is the first time that a large

  5. Vulnerability on the Roof of the World: Resilience to Climate Change and Natural Resource Policies on the Tibetan Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klein, J. A.; Hopping, K. A.; Yeh, E.; Hu, J.; Nyima, Y.; Boone, R.; Galvin, K.; Kang, S.; Ojima, D. S.

    2010-12-01

    Pastoralists on the Tibetan Plateau are a marginalized people living in an extreme environment and may be especially vulnerable as the system approaches critical thresholds. In Tibet, temperatures are increasing several times more than the global average while the frequency and severity of severe snowstorms is predicted to increase. Pastoralists are also experiencing reduced mobility and severe grazing restrictions. We are using interdisciplinary frameworks and methods that include a multifactor ecological experiment, household interviews, remote sensing, and a coupled ecosystem and household decision-making model to examine herder and ecosystem vulnerability to climate change and extreme weather events within the context of changing natural resource policies in China. The fully factorial ecological experiment includes two climate changes (warming and spring snow additions) and two types of grazing (yak and pika). We established the experiment in 2008 within the Tibet Autonomous Region (4,870 m) and are monitoring microclimate, vegetation, nutrient availability, carbon fluxes and stable isotopes. We are investigating the sensitivity of the system, whether it is likely to cross critical thresholds, and how resilient this system may be to predicted climate and land use changes. Semi-structured interviews on indigenous knowledge and vulnerability complement the ecological experimental work. We are asking herders about climatic and ecological change and vulnerability to snow disasters. To integrate our ecological and social findings, we are coupling an ecosystem model to an agent-based pastoral household model. Our results from the experiment and the indigenous knowledge study suggest that Kobresia pygmaea, the dominant species and primary grazing resource, is vulnerable to warming. Snow additions can partially mediate this effect. Herders throughout this region share common knowledge about both climatic and ecological changes, but appear to be more closely attuned to

  6. Rabbits, if anything, are likely Glires.

    PubMed

    Douzery, Emmanuel J P; Huchon, Dorothée

    2004-12-01

    Rodentia (e.g., mice, rats, dormice, squirrels, and guinea pigs) and Lagomorpha (e.g., rabbits, hares, and pikas) are usually grouped into the Glires. Status of this controversial superorder has been evaluated using morphology, paleontology, and mitochondrial plus nuclear DNA sequences. This growing corpus of data has been favoring the monophyly of Glires. Recently, Misawa and Janke [Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 28 (2003) 320] analyzed the 6441 amino acids of 20 nuclear proteins for six placental mammals (rat, mouse, rabbit, human, cattle, and dog) and two outgroups (chicken and xenopus), and observed a basal position of the two murine rodents among the former. They concluded that "the Glires hypothesis was rejected." We here reanalyzed [loc. cit.] data set under maximum likelihood and Bayesian tree-building approaches, using phylogenetic models that take into account among-site variation in evolutionary rates and branch-length variation among proteins. Our observations support both the association of rodents and lagomorphs and the monophyly of Euarchontoglires (=Supraprimates) as the most likely explanation of the protein alignments. We conducted simulation studies to evaluate the appropriateness of lissamphibian and avian outgroups to root the placental tree. When the outgroup-to-ingroup evolutionary distance increases, maximum parsimony roots the topology along the long Mus-Rattus branch. Maximum likelihood, in contrast, roots the topology along different branches as a function of their length. Maximum likelihood appears less sensitive to the "long-branch attraction artifact" than is parsimony. Our phylogenetic conclusions were confirmed by the analysis of a different protein data set using a similar sample of species but different outgroups. We also tested the effect of the addition of afrotherian and xenarthran taxa. Using the linearized tree method, [loc. cit.] estimated that mice and rats diverged about 35 million years ago. Molecular dating based on the Bayesian

  7. Environmental change and cultural adaptation in the southern Caucasus: latest results from Aghitu-3 Cave, Armenia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kandel, Andrew; Gasparyan, Boris; Bruch, Angela; Nahapetyan, Samvel; Weissbrod, Lior

    2014-05-01

    consisting of fine silt horizons with alternating layers of frost shattered basalt slabs. Pollen shows a change to boreal forest, and the increased presence of pika among the micromammals suggests colder and more barren conditions than today. The wide spectrum of micromammals further points to their likely accumulation by a non-selective raptor such as eagle owl. Fish remains of brown trout confirm the presence of a significant fluvial corridor, likely the nearby Vorotan River. This agrees with the charcoal remains identified thus far, which have the signature of a riparian woodland. The sedimentary sequence ends here, truncated at about 24,000 cal BP by late Holocene deposits of anthropogenic origin.

  8. Pasture degradation modifies soil organic matter properties and biochemical functioning in Tibetan grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spielvogel, Sandra; Steingräber, Laura; Schleuß, Per; Kuzyakov, Yakov; Guggenberger, Georg

    2015-04-01

    Kobresia pastures of the Tibetan Plateau represent the world's largest alpine ecosystem. Moderate husbandry on Kobresia pastures is beneficial for the storage of soil organic carbon (OC), nitrogen (N) and other nutrients and prevents erosion by establishment of sedge-turf root mats with high OC allocation rates below ground. However, undisturbed root mats are affected by freezing and thawing processes, which cause initial ice cracks. As a consequence decomposition of root mat layers will be accelerated and current sedentarization programs with concomitant increased grazing intensity may additionally enhance root mat degradation. Finally, cracks are enlarged by water and wind erosion as well as pika activities until bare soil surface areas without root mat horizons occur. The aim of this study was to understand the impact of the root mat layer on soil organic carbon stabilization and microbial functioning depending on soil depths and to predict future changes (OC, N and nutrient losses, soil microbial functioning in SOM transformation) by overgrazing and climate change. We investigated the mineral soil below Kobresia root mats along a false time degradation sequence ranging from stage 1 (intact root mat) to stage 4 (mats with large cracks and bare soil patches). Vertical gradients of δ13C values, neutral sugar, cutin and suberin contents as well as microbial biomass estimated by total phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA), microbial community composition (PLFA profiles) and activities of six extracellular enzymes involved in the C, N, and P cycle were assessed. Soil OC and N contents as well as C/N ratios indicate an increasing illuviation of topsoil material into the subsoil with advancing root mat degradation. This was confirmed by more negative δ13C values as well as significantly (p ≤ 0.05) increasing contributions of cutin derived hydroxy fatty acids to OC in the subsoils from degradation stages 1 to 4. PLFA profiles were surprisingly similar in the subsoils of

  9. Biodiversity and biogeography of hydrothermal vent species in the western Pacific: a biological perspective of TAIGA project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seo, M.; Watanabe, H.; Nakamura, M.; Sasaki, T.; Ogura, T.; Yahagi, T.; Takahashi, Y.; Ishibashi, J.; Kojima, S.

    2012-12-01

    Deep-sea hydrothermal vents are scientifically interesting environments where strong interactions of geology, chemistry, and biology can be observed. The hydrothermal vents are geologically controlled in association with magmatic activities while diversity of chemicals (such as hydrogen sulfide) contained in hydrothermal fluid is controlled by geochemical interaction between heated seawater and surrounding rocks. In addition to those geological and chemical characters of hydrothermal vents, high biomasses of chemosynthetic community have been known around many vents since the first discovery in the 1970s. To understand the unique system and diversity of biological communities associated with vents is highly valuable in geological, chemical, and biological sciences. As an activity of the research project "TAIGA (Trans-crustal Advection & In-situ bio-geochemical processes of Global sub-seafloor Aquifer)" (Representative: Tetsuro Urabe, Department of Earth & Planetary Science, the University of Tokyo), we analyzed population structures and connectivity as well as larval ecology of various hydrothermal vent species in the Okinawa Trough and the Mariana Trough in an attempt to estimate faunal transitional history associated with hydrothermal activities. The specimens analyzed in the present study were collected by R/V Yokosuka with manned submersible Shinkai6500 and R/V Natsushima with ROV Hyper-Dolphin during YK10-11 and NT11-20 cruises, respectively. In the Mariana Trough (YK10-11), benthic and planktonic faunas were investigated by multiple sampling and use of plankton samplers in three hydrothermal vents (Snail, Archaean, and Urashima-Pika fields). Faunal compositions were then compared as well as size compositions and genetic diversities of major vent species among local populations. In the Okinawa Trough (NT11-20), multiple quantitative sampling was made with simultaneous environmental measurements at more than two sites in five hydrothermal vents (Minami

  10. Exploring the ecologic basis for extreme susceptibility of Pallas' cats (Otocolobus manul) to fatal toxoplasmosis.

    PubMed

    Brown, Meredith; Lappin, Michael R; Brown, Janine L; Munkhtsog, Bariushaa; Swanson, William F

    2005-10-01

    Recent efforts by North American zoos to establish a genetically viable captive population of Pallas' cats (Otocolobus manul) have been compromised by high newborn mortality (approximately 60%), primarily because of toxoplasmosis. The basis for this extreme susceptibility to toxoplasmosis is unknown. In the present study, the general health status of wild Pallas' cats in Mongolia was evaluated, including assessment of basal hematologic parameters and fecal corticoid metabolite concentrations. The prevalence of exposure to Toxoplasma gondii in Mongolian Pallas' cats, local domestic cats, and prey species also was determined based on serology and/or polymerase chain reaction analysis. Biologic samples (blood, feces, and/or brain tissue) were obtained from 15 wild Pallas' cats, 15 domestic cats, and 45 prey animals (rodents and pikas) captured in Mongolia during the summers of 2000 and 2001. Comparative data were obtained from nine captive Pallas' cats maintained in North American zoos. Based on physical examinations, complete blood counts, and blood chemistry analyses, only minor differences were observed in the general health status of wild and captive Pallas' cats. Fecal cortisol metabolite concentrations did not differ (P > 0.05) between populations, indicating that Pallas' cats in captivity and in the wild have similar basal adrenocortical activity. A pronounced difference (P < 0.01) in seroprevalence to T. gondii was observed between populations. Whereas all captive Pallas' cats exhibited elevated immunoglobulin titers (IgG > 2,048) to T. gondii, only two of 15 (13%) wild Pallas' cats were seropositive, with both cats having lower IgG titers (< 1,024). Furthermore, no evidence of exposure to this parasite was found in any of the Mongolian domestic cats or prey species. These findings suggest that wild Pallas' cats have minimal opportunity for exposure to T. gondii in their natural habitat and, typically, do not become infected with this parasite until being

  11. GEOSS AIP-2 Climate Change and Biodiversity Use Scenarios: Interoperability Infrastructures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nativi, Stefano; Santoro, Mattia

    2010-05-01

    publish climate, environmental and biodiversity datasets; e)Ecological Niche Model Server: this component is able to run one or more Ecological Niche Models (ENM) on selected biodiversity and climate datasets; f)Data Access Transaction server: this component publishes the model outputs. This framework was assessed in two use scenarios of GEOSS AIP-2 Climate Change and Biodiversity WG. Both scenarios concern the prediction of species distributions driven by climatological change forecasts. The first scenario dealt with the Pikas specie regional distribution in the Great Basin area (North America). While, the second one concerned the modeling of the Arctic Food Chain species in the North Pole area -the relationships between different environmental parameters and Polar Bears distribution was analyzed. The scientific patronage was provided by the University of Colorado and the University of Alaska, respectively. Results are published in the GEOSS AIP-2 web site: http://www.ogcnetwork.net/AIP2develop.

  12. GEOSS AIP-2 Climate Change and Biodiversity Use Scenarios: Interoperability Infrastructures (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nativi, S.; Santoro, M.

    2009-12-01

    Transaction server: this component publishes the model outputs. The framework was successfully tested in two use scenarios of the GEOSS AIP-2 Climate Change and Biodiversity WG aiming to predict species distribution changes due to Climate Change factors, with the scientific patronage of the University of Colorado and the University of Alaska. The first scenario dealt with the Pikas specie regional distribution in the Great Basin area (North America). While, the second one concerned the modeling of the Arctic Food Chain species in the North Pole area -the relationships between different environmental parameters and Polar Bears distribution was analyzed. Results are published in the GEOSS AIP-2 web site: http://www.ogcnetwork.net/AIP2develop .

  13. A technology framework to analyse the Climate Change impact on biodiversity species distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nativi, S.; Khalsa, S. J.; Geller, G. N.; O'Tuama, E.; Thomas, D.; Mazzetti, P.; Santoro, M.

    2009-04-01

    successfully experimented in the GEOSS Interoperability Process Pilot Project (IP3) and demonstrated at the IV Ministerial summit in Cape Town -November 2007. Presently, the framework is used for the GEOSS Architecture Implementation Pilot project -phase 2. The usage case of the impact of climate change on the distribution of Pikas in North America is presented and discussed. This usage case is based on research being done at the University of Colorado. The used presence datasets were collected by the Scientist and from the GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility) Data Portal. Climate datasets were discovered and collected by the WMO publications and distribution system.

  14. Six new deep-water sternaspid species (Annelida, Sternaspidae) from the Pacific Ocean.

    PubMed

    Salazar-Vallejo, Sergio I; Buzhinskaja, Galina

    2013-01-01

    Most sternaspid species have been described from shallow water, and Caulleryaspis Sendall & Salazar-Vallejo, 2013 includes one deep water species: C. gudmundssoni Sendall & Salazar-Vallejo, 2013 from Iceland. In Sternaspis Otto, 1821, the most speciose genus, most species were described from shallow water and only three thrive in deep water: S. maior Chamberlin, 1919 from the Gulf of California, S. princeps Selenka, 1885 from New Zealand, and S. riestchi Caullery, 1944 from Indonesia. The study of some deep sea sternaspids from the Pacific Ocean in the collections of six research institutions resulted in the discovery of six undescribed species, and for three of them there were abundant materials showing ventro-caudal shield development. Caulleryaspis fauchaldi sp. n. is described based on specimens from Oregon and California; it differs from the known species because it has a shield with rounded anterior margins and its peg chaetae form thin, small spines. Caulleryaspis nuda sp. n. was collected off Oregon; it is unique because its shield lacks a layer of sediment particles firmly attached, but has instead a thin layer of small particles loosely attached. Four other species are newly described in Sternaspis: S. annenkovae sp. n. was collected east off the northern Kurile Islands in about 4,000 m depth; it differs from other species by having a bicolored body, with the introvert darker than the abdomen, and its ventro-caudal shield plates are divergent resulting in a divided fan. The second species, S. maureri sp. n. was found off Peru in 1296-6489 m water depths and in the Southwestern Pacific in 795-3830 m; it resembles S. williamsae sp. n. but differs because its shield has better-developed ribs, the fan has a shallow or indistinct median notch and has lateral notches well-developed. The third species, S. uschakovi sp. n., was found in the Okhotsk Sea in 592-1366 m, off California in 1585 m, Gulf of California in 1200-1274 m, and Western Mexico in 2548 m; it

  15. Revision of sternaspis otto, 1821 (polychaeta, sternaspidae).

    PubMed

    Sendall, Kelly; Salazar-Vallejo, Sergio I

    2013-01-01

    To the memory of William Ronald Sendall Sternaspid polychaetes are common and often abundant in soft bottoms in the world oceans. Some authors suggest that only one species should be recognized, whereas others regard a few species as widely distributed in many seas and variable depths from the low intertidal to about 4400 m. There are some problems with species delineation and the distinctive ventro-caudal shield has been disregarded or barely used for identifying species. In order to clarify these issues, the ventral shield is evaluated in specimens from the same locality and its diagnostic potential is confirmed. On this basis, a revision of Sternaspis Otto, 1821 (Polychaeta: Sternaspidae) is presented based upon type materials, or material collected from type localities. The sternaspid body, introvert hooks and shield show three distinct patterns, two genera have seven abdominal segments and tapered introvert hooks, and one genus has eight abdominal segments and spatulate introvert hooks. The ventro-caudal shield has three different patterns: stiff with ribs, and sometimes concentric lines, stiff with feebly-defined ribs but no concentric lines, and soft with firmly adhered sediment particles. Sternaspis is restricted to include species with seven abdominal segments, falcate introvert hooks, and stiff shields, often exhibiting radial ribs, concentric lines or both. Sternaspis includes, besides the type species, Sternaspis thalassemoides Otto, 1821 from the Mediterranean Sea, Sternaspis affinis Stimpson, 1864 from the Northeastern Pacific, Sternaspis africana Augener, 1918, stat. n. from Western Africa, Sternaspis andamanensis sp. n. from the Andaman Sea, Sternaspis costata von Marenzeller, 1879 from Japan, Sternaspis fossor Stimpson, 1853 from the Northwestern Atlantic, Sternaspis islandica Malmgren, 1867 from Iceland, Sternaspis maior Chamberlin, 1919 from the Gulf of California, Sternaspis princeps Selenka, 1885 from New Zealand, Sternaspis rietschi Caullery

  16. Revision of Sternaspis Otto, 1821 (Polychaeta, Sternaspidae)

    PubMed Central

    Sendall, Kelly; Salazar-Vallejo, Sergio I.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract To the memory of William Ronald Sendall Sternaspid polychaetes are common and often abundant in soft bottoms in the world oceans. Some authors suggest that only one species should be recognized, whereas others regard a few species as widely distributed in many seas and variable depths from the low intertidal to about 4400 m. There are some problems with species delineation and the distinctive ventro-caudal shield has been disregarded or barely used for identifying species. In order to clarify these issues, the ventral shield is evaluated in specimens from the same locality and its diagnostic potential is confirmed. On this basis, a revision of Sternaspis Otto, 1821 (Polychaeta: Sternaspidae) is presented based upon type materials, or material collected from type localities. The sternaspid body, introvert hooks and shield show three distinct patterns, two genera have seven abdominal segments and tapered introvert hooks, and one genus has eight abdominal segments and spatulate introvert hooks. The ventro-caudal shield has three different patterns: stiff with ribs, and sometimes concentric lines, stiff with feebly-defined ribs but no concentric lines, and soft with firmly adhered sediment particles. Sternaspis is restricted to include species with seven abdominal segments, falcate introvert hooks, and stiff shields, often exhibiting radial ribs, concentric lines or both. Sternaspis includes, besides the type species, Sternaspis thalassemoides Otto, 1821 from the Mediterranean Sea, Sternaspis affinis Stimpson, 1864 from the Northeastern Pacific, Sternaspis africana Augener, 1918, stat. n. from Western Africa, Sternaspis andamanensis sp. n. from the Andaman Sea, Sternaspis costata von Marenzeller, 1879 from Japan, Sternaspis fossor Stimpson, 1853 from the Northwestern Atlantic, Sternaspis islandica Malmgren, 1867 from Iceland, Sternaspis maior Chamberlin, 1919 from the Gulf of California, Sternaspis princeps Selenka, 1885 from New Zealand, Sternaspis rietschi

  17. Demersal fish assemblages off the Seine and Sedlo seamounts (northeast Atlantic)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menezes, Gui M.; Rosa, Alexandra; Melo, Octávio; Pinho, Mário R.

    2009-12-01

    hypothesis [Isaacs, J.D., Schwartzlose, R.A., 1965. Migrant sound scatterers: interaction with the sea floor. Science 150, 1810-1813]. At both seamounts mesopelagic feeders (e.g., Beryx splendens) dominate the upper-slope assemblages (<800 m), while the mid-slope assemblages (800-1200/1300 m) and the lower-slope assemblages (>1300 m) were dominated by squaliform species (e.g., Centrophorus squamosus, Centroscymnus coelolepis, Etmopterus princeps) along with Mora moro or the Antimora rostrata. The lower abundance of C. squamosus observed at Seine may be a result of the fishing activities in the area, since the species is an important by-catch of the black-scabbard fish fishery in the Madeira archipelago. The slightly higher predominance of scavenger species at Seine in deeper assemblages may be the result of an ecological response favouring this functional group in lower productivity regimes. Especially relevant was the record of large reproductive aggregations of B. splendens and Epigonus telescopus found at the edge of the Sedlo plateau.

  18. Six new deep-water sternaspid species (Annelida, Sternaspidae) from the Pacific Ocean

    PubMed Central

    Salazar-Vallejo, Sergio I.; Buzhinskaja, Galina

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Most sternaspid species have been described from shallow water, and Caulleryaspis Sendall & Salazar-Vallejo, 2013 includes one deep water species: C. gudmundssoni Sendall & Salazar-Vallejo, 2013 from Iceland. In Sternaspis Otto, 1821, the most speciose genus, most species were described from shallow water and only three thrive in deep water: S. maior Chamberlin, 1919 from the Gulf of California, S. princeps Selenka, 1885 from New Zealand, and S. riestchi Caullery, 1944 from Indonesia. The study of some deep sea sternaspids from the Pacific Ocean in the collections of six research institutions resulted in the discovery of six undescribed species, and for three of them there were abundant materials showing ventro-caudal shield development. Caulleryaspis fauchaldi sp. n. is described based on specimens from Oregon and California; it differs from the known species because it has a shield with rounded anterior margins and its peg chaetae form thin, small spines. Caulleryaspis nuda sp. n. was collected off Oregon; it is unique because its shield lacks a layer of sediment particles firmly attached, but has instead a thin layer of small particles loosely attached. Four other species are newly described in Sternaspis: S. annenkovae sp. n. was collected east off the northern Kurile Islands in about 4,000 m depth; it differs from other species by having a bicolored body, with the introvert darker than the abdomen, and its ventro-caudal shield plates are divergent resulting in a divided fan. The second species, S. maureri sp. n. was found off Peru in 1296–6489 m water depths and in the Southwestern Pacific in 795–3830 m; it resembles S. williamsae sp. n. but differs because its shield has better-developed ribs, the fan has a shallow or indistinct median notch and has lateral notches well-developed. The third species, S. uschakovi sp. n., was found in the Okhotsk Sea in 592–1366 m, off California in 1585 m, Gulf of California in 1200–1274 m, and Western Mexico

  19. Methane Distribution In Plumes Of The South Mariana Back-arc Spreading Center

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toki, T.; Hirota, A.; Tsunogai, U.; Gamo, T.; Nakamura, K.; Noguchi, T.; Taira, N.; Oomori, T.; Ishibashi, J.; Utsumi, M.

    2004-12-01

    In the South Mariana Back-arc Spreading Center, two methane plumes were observed in water column based on analysis of methane in seawater samples collected during the R/V Thompson expeditions in 2003 around water depth of 2,700 m over the Fryer site on the ridge-axis seamount (12\\deg57.22N, 143\\deg37.16E, depth: 2,850 m). The estimated end-member isotopic compositions of methane in the two plumes are \\delta13C_{CH4} = -5‰ PDB and -50‰ PDB. These values indicated that the two plumes were originated from the different sources. During YK03-09 cruise using the submersible Shinkai 6500 from October to November in 2003, detailed seafloor observation discovered sulfide chimneys emitting black and clear hydrothermal fluid on the off-axis seamount at Pika site (12°55.15N, 143°36.96E, depth: 2,773 m). The result of analysis of isotopic composition of methane in the hydrothermal fluids recovered from the off-axis hydrothermal vents using WHATS (Water and Hydrothermal Atsuryoku Tight Sampler) was averaged value of -4‰ PDB (standard deviation = 1‰ PDB, n = 3). Hydrothermal fluids from the Fryer site were also sampled and were measured: average value = -6.7‰ PDB, standard deviation = 0.3‰ PDB, n = 3. During the R/V Thompson expeditions in March 2004 using ROV ROPOS, 11 ROPOS dives and CTD-RMS plume surveys were conducted, and newly discovered a huge hydrothermal structure with active fluid venting at Achaean site on the ridge skirt (12°56.37N, 143°37.92E, depth: 2,990 m). The δ ^{13}C_{CH4} value of the fluid sample from the site using ROCS (Rotary Clean Seawater sampler) was -14.7‰ PDB. Analysis of isotopic composition of methane in the plume samples collected using the CTD-hydrocast at water depth of 2,500 m over the Archaean site showed -45‰ PDB. Source of methane (δ ^{13}C_{CH4} = -50‰ PDB), however, in the two plumes of the South Mariana Back-arc Spreading Center has been missing. The δ ^{13}C of methane cannot be considered in sediment

  20. Using a Multi-Method Approach to Examine Social-Ecological Vulnerability to Climate Change and Natural Resource Policies on the Tibetan Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klein, J.; Hopping, K. A.; Yeh, E.; Nyima, Y.; Galvin, K.; Boone, R.; Dorje, T.; Ojima, D. S.

    2012-12-01

    Pastoralists and ecosystems on the Tibetan Plateau are facing a suite of novel stresses. Temperatures are increasing several times more than the global average. The frequency and severity of severe snowstorms, which lead to critical losses of livestock, are also increasing. Pastoralists are also experiencing changes to their livelihood activities, including reduced mobility and severe grazing restrictions. We are using interdisciplinary frameworks and methods that integrate results from a multifactor ecological experiment, household interviews, remote sensing, and a coupled ecosystem and household decision-making model to examine herder and ecosystem vulnerability to climate change and extreme weather events (snow disasters) within the context of changing natural resource management policies in China. The fully factorial ecological experiment includes two climate changes (warming and spring snow additions) and two types of grazing (yak and pika) that are being affected by current policy. We established the experiment in 2008 within the Tibet Autonomous Region. We are monitoring microclimate, vegetation, nutrient availability, ecosystem carbon fluxes and stable isotope signatures of select plant species. Through this experiment, we are investigating the sensitivity of the system, whether it can cross critical thresholds, and how resilient this system may be to predicted future climate and land use changes. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews on indigenous knowledge and vulnerability complement the ecological experimental work. We are asking herders about climate and ecological change and their drivers and are also conducting interviews on vulnerability to snow disasters across a three site, 300-500mm precipitation gradient. We are using remote sensing to identify biophysical landscape change over time. To integrate our ecological and social findings, we are coupling the Savanna ecosystem model to the DECUMA agent-based pastoral household model. Our results to date