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Sample records for plethodontid salamander mitochondrial

  1. Molecular mechanisms of extensive mitochondrial gene rearrangementin plethodontid salamanders

    SciTech Connect

    Mueller, Rachel Lockridge; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2005-06-01

    Extensive gene rearrangement is reported in the mitochondrial genomes of lungless salamanders (Plethodontidae). In each genome with a novel gene order, there is evidence that the rearrangement was mediated by duplication of part of the mitochondrial genome, including the presence of both pseudogenes and additional, presumably functional, copies of duplicated genes. All rearrangement-mediating duplications include either the origin of light strand replication and the nearby tRNA genes or the regions flanking the origin of heavy strand replication. The latter regions comprise nad6, trnE, cob, trnT, an intergenic spacer between trnT and trnP and, in some genomes, trnP, the control region, trnF, rrnS, trnV, rrnL, trnL1, and nad1. In some cases, two copies of duplicated genes, presumptive regulatory regions, and/or sequences with no assignable function have been retained in the genome following the initial duplication; in other genomes, only one of the duplicated copies has been retained. Both tandem and non-tandem duplications are present in these genomes, suggesting different duplication mechanisms. In some of these mtDNAs, up to 25 percent of the total length is composed of tandem duplications of non-coding sequence that includes putative regulatory regions and/or pseudogenes of tRNAs and protein-coding genes along with otherwise unassignable sequences. These data indicate that imprecise initiation and termination of replication, slipped-strand mispairing, and intra-molecular recombination may all have played a role in generating repeats during the evolutionary history of plethodontid mitochondrial genomes.

  2. Plethodontid salamander mitochondrial genomics: A parsimonyevaluation of character conflict and implications for historicalbiogeography

    SciTech Connect

    Macey, J. Robert

    2005-01-19

    A new parsimony analysis of 27 complete mitochondrial genomic sequences is conducted to investigate the phylogenetic relationships of plethodontid salamanders. This analysis focuses on the amount of character conflict between phylogenetic trees recovered from newly conducted parsimony searches and the Bayesian and maximum likelihood topology reported by Mueller et al. (2004, PNAS, 101, 13820-13825). Strong support for Hemidactylium as the sister taxon to all other plethodontids is recovered from parsimony analyses. Plotting area relationships on the most parsimonious phylogenetic tree suggests that eastern North America is the origin of the family Plethodontidae supporting the ''Out of Appalachia'' hypothesis. A new taxonomy that recognizes clades recovered from phylogenetic analyses is proposed.

  3. Morphological homoplasy, life history evolution, and historical biogeography of plethodontid salamanders inferred from complete mitochondrial genomes

    PubMed Central

    Mueller, Rachel Lockridge; Macey, J. Robert; Jaekel, Martin; Wake, David B.; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2004-01-01

    The evolutionary history of the largest salamander family (Plethodontidae) is characterized by extreme morphological homoplasy. Analysis of the mechanisms generating such homoplasy requires an independent molecular phylogeny. To this end, we sequenced 24 complete mitochondrial genomes (22 plethodontids and two outgroup taxa), added data for three species from GenBank, and performed partitioned and unpartitioned Bayesian, maximum likelihood, and maximum parsimony phylogenetic analyses. We explored four dataset partitioning strategies to account for evolutionary process heterogeneity among genes and codon positions, all of which yielded increased model likelihoods and decreased numbers of supported nodes in the topologies (Bayesian posterior probability >0.95) relative to the unpartitioned analysis. Our phylogenetic analyses yielded congruent trees that contrast with the traditional morphology-based taxonomy; the monophyly of three of four major groups is rejected. Reanalysis of current hypotheses in light of these evolutionary relationships suggests that (i) a larval life history stage reevolved from a direct-developing ancestor multiple times; (ii) there is no phylogenetic support for the “Out of Appalachia” hypothesis of plethodontid origins; and (iii) novel scenarios must be reconstructed for the convergent evolution of projectile tongues, reduction in toe number, and specialization for defensive tail loss. Some of these scenarios imply morphological transformation series that proceed in the opposite direction than was previously thought. In addition, they suggest surprising evolutionary lability in traits previously interpreted to be conservative. PMID:15365171

  4. Morphological homoplasy, life history evolution, and historical biogeography of plethodontid salamanders inferred from complete mitochondrial genomes

    SciTech Connect

    Mueller, Rachel Lockridge; Macey, J. Robert; Jaekel, Martin; Wake, David B.; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2004-08-01

    The evolutionary history of the largest salamander family (Plethodontidae) is characterized by extreme morphological homoplasy. Analysis of the mechanisms generating such homoplasy requires an independent, molecular phylogeny. To this end, we sequenced 24 complete mitochondrial genomes (22 plethodontids and two outgroup taxa), added data for three species from GenBank, and performed partitioned and unpartitioned Bayesian, ML, and MP phylogenetic analyses. We explored four dataset partitioning strategies to account for evolutionary process heterogeneity among genes and codon positions, all of which yielded increased model likelihoods and decreased numbers of supported nodes in the topologies (PP > 0.95) relative to the unpartitioned analysis. Our phylogenetic analyses yielded congruent trees that contrast with the traditional morphology-based taxonomy; the monophyly of three out of four major groups is rejected. Reanalysis of current hypotheses in light of these new evolutionary relationships suggests that (1) a larval life history stage re-evolved from a direct-developing ancestor multiple times, (2) there is no phylogenetic support for the ''Out of Appalachia'' hypothesis of plethodontid origins, and (3) novel scenarios must be reconstructed for the convergent evolution of projectile tongues, reduction in toe number, and specialization for defensive tail loss. Some of these novel scenarios imply morphological transformation series that proceed in the opposite direction than was previously thought. In addition, they suggest surprising evolutionary lability in traits previously interpreted to be conservative.

  5. Plethodontid salamander response to Silvilcultural Practices in Missouri Ozark forests

    Treesearch

    Laura A. Herbeck; David R. Larsen

    1999-01-01

    There is little information on the effects of tree harvest on salamander populations in the midwestern United States. We present data on plethodontid salamander densities in replicated stands of three forest age classes in the southeastern Ozarks of Missouri. Forest age classes consisted of regeneration-cut sites

  6. Characterization of the ecological requirements for three plethodontid salamander species

    Treesearch

    Jessica A. Wooten; William B. Sutton; Thomas K. Pauley

    2010-01-01

    Increased availability of habitat and climate data has facilitated much research concerning the influence of these characteristics on the structure of salamander communities. We aimed to outline environmental requirements influencing the distribution of three sympatric plethodontid salamander species, including Plethodon cinereus, Desmognathus ochrophaeus...

  7. Maintaining plethodontid salamanders in the laboratory for regeneration studies.

    PubMed

    Arenas, Claudia Marcela; Gómez-Molina, Andrea; Delgado, Jean Paul

    2015-01-01

    Limb regeneration studies have been extensively carried out in species of Ambystomatidae and Salamandridae families. So far limited research has been conducted in species belonging to the Plethodontidae family, where some of the species differs from other salamander families due to their direct development, thus absence of a larval life. Here, we describe a protocol to maintain the plethodontid salamanders of genus Bolitoglossa species under laboratory conditions to perform regeneration studies.

  8. Prey detection by vomeronasal chemoreception in a plethodontid salamander.

    PubMed

    Placyk, John S; Graves, Brent M

    2002-05-01

    While chemoreception is involved in a wide variety of salamander behaviors, the chemosensory system that mediates specific behaviors is rarely known. We investigated the role of the vomeronasal system (VNS) in foraging behavior of the red-backed salamander (Plethodon cinereus) by manipulating salamanders' abilities to detect nonvolatile chemical cues emitted by potential prey. Subjects received one of three treatments: (1) impaired vomeronasal system, (2) sham manipulation, and (3) no manipulation. The role of the VNS in mediating foraging on motile prey (Drosophila melanogaster) was investigated under three light conditions (bright, dim, dark). Salamanders with impaired VNSs foraged less efficiently than either of the other experimental groups by displaying the longest latency to attack and the lowest rate of prey capture, especially in the absence of visual cues. A second experiment utilized freshly killed prey to determine whether the VNS takes on added importance in the absence of visual or tactile cues associated with moving prey. Animals with impaired VNSs showed a decreased foraging efficiency on stationary prey under both dark and light conditions. In addition, a mark-recapture study of VNS-impaired and sham salamanders in the field also indicated that salamanders with impaired VNSs consumed fewer stationary prey compared to shams. The study indicates that the VNS plays a substantial role in the foraging behavior of the plethodontid salamander, P. cinereus.

  9. Detection of an enigmatic plethodontid Salamander using Environmental DNA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pierson, Todd W.; Mckee, Anna; Spear, Stephen F.; Maerz, John C.; Camp, Carlos D.; Glenn, Travis C.

    2016-01-01

    The isolation and identification of environmental DNA (eDNA) offers a non-invasive and efficient method for the detection of rare and secretive aquatic wildlife, and it is being widely integrated into inventory and monitoring efforts. The Patch-Nosed Salamander (Urspelerpes brucei) is a tiny, recently discovered species of plethodontid salamander known only from headwater streams in a small region of Georgia and South Carolina. Here, we present results of a quantitative PCR-based eDNA assay capable of detecting Urspelerpes in more than 75% of 33 samples from five confirmed streams. We deployed the method at 31 additional streams and located three previously undocumented populations of Urspelerpes. We compare the results of our eDNA assay with our attempt to use aquatic leaf litterbags for the rapid detection of Urspelerpes and demonstrate the relative efficacy of the eDNA assay. We suggest that eDNA offers great potential for use in detecting other aquatic and semi-aquatic plethodontid salamanders.

  10. Comparing population size estimators for plethodontid salamanders

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bailey, L.L.; Simons, T.R.; Pollock, K.H.

    2004-01-01

    Despite concern over amphibian declines, few studies estimate absolute abundances because of logistic and economic constraints and previously poor estimator performance. Two estimation approaches recommended for amphibian studies are mark-recapture and depletion (or removal) sampling. We compared abundance estimation via various mark-recapture and depletion methods, using data from a three-year study of terrestrial salamanders in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Our results indicate that short-term closed-population, robust design, and depletion methods estimate surface population of salamanders (i.e., those near the surface and available for capture during a given sampling occasion). In longer duration studies, temporary emigration violates assumptions of both open- and closed-population mark-recapture estimation models. However, if the temporary emigration is completely random, these models should yield unbiased estimates of the total population (superpopulation) of salamanders in the sampled area. We recommend using Pollock's robust design in mark-recapture studies because of its flexibility to incorporate variation in capture probabilities and to estimate temporary emigration probabilities.

  11. Spermatogenic cycle of a plethodontid salamander, Eurycea longicauda (Amphibia, Urodela)

    PubMed Central

    Siegel, Dustin S; Alvino, Sam; Trauth, Stanley E; Sever, David M; Gribbins, Kevin M

    2014-01-01

    Previous investigators have described the spermatogenic cycles of numerous species of plethodontid salamanders. Most studies describe a fairly stereotypical cycle with meiotic divisions of spermatogenesis commencing in the spring/summer. However, many studies lack details obtainable from histological examination and/or testicular squashes and, instead, provide only mensural data from the testes. Studies that lacked microscopic evaluation often revealed spermatogenic cycles that varied greatly from that of the stereotypical cycle with meiotic divisions commencing in the fall/winter. Those studies hamper comparisons between the spermatogenic cycles of different species and their environments, as they do not provide a correlation between testicular size and any aspect of the spermatogenic cycle. In the following manuscript, we elucidate the spermatogenic cycle of Eurycea longicauda longicauda in an effort to outline an appropriate protocol for analyzing spermatogenesis in salamanders that will facilitate future comparative studies. Like many Nearctic plethodontids, E. l. longicauda exhibits a meiotic wave that travels through the testes during the summer; this process is followed by spermiogenesis, spermiation, and recrudescence in the fall, winter, and spring. PMID:26413402

  12. Spermatogenic cycle of a plethodontid salamander, Eurycea longicauda (Amphibia, Urodela).

    PubMed

    Siegel, Dustin S; Alvino, Sam; Trauth, Stanley E; Sever, David M; Gribbins, Kevin M

    2014-01-01

    Previous investigators have described the spermatogenic cycles of numerous species of plethodontid salamanders. Most studies describe a fairly stereotypical cycle with meiotic divisions of spermatogenesis commencing in the spring/summer. However, many studies lack details obtainable from histological examination and/or testicular squashes and, instead, provide only mensural data from the testes. Studies that lacked microscopic evaluation often revealed spermatogenic cycles that varied greatly from that of the stereotypical cycle with meiotic divisions commencing in the fall/winter. Those studies hamper comparisons between the spermatogenic cycles of different species and their environments, as they do not provide a correlation between testicular size and any aspect of the spermatogenic cycle. In the following manuscript, we elucidate the spermatogenic cycle of Eurycea longicauda longicauda in an effort to outline an appropriate protocol for analyzing spermatogenesis in salamanders that will facilitate future comparative studies. Like many Nearctic plethodontids, E. l. longicauda exhibits a meiotic wave that travels through the testes during the summer; this process is followed by spermiogenesis, spermiation, and recrudescence in the fall, winter, and spring.

  13. Life History of a Unique Asian Plethodontid Salamander, Karsenia koreana.

    PubMed

    Song, Jae-Young; Matsui, Masafumi; Matsuki, Takashi; Nishikawa, Kanto; Koo, Kyo-Soung; Oh, Hong-Shik

    2017-04-01

    Using preserved specimens, we studied the basic life history of the topotypic population of the unique Asian plethodontid salamander, Karsenia koreana. Of 51 individuals examined, 11 males and 13 females were judged as mature from the development of gonads. The ovarian eggs were large (diameter 3.7-4.8 mm) and yellow to orange in color, and the clutch size was about 8-10. These values approximate those of actually spawned eggs recently reported. Skeletochronological analyses revealed the average age of males (5.3 years) to be lower than females (7.3 years). The age at maturity and maximum observed longevity were four and nine years in males and five and 10 years in females, respectively. In the growth curves estimated by a von Bertalanffy growth model, the growth coefficient and asymptotic SVL did not differ between the sexes, although males (40.6 mm) were smaller than females (45.3 mm) in the average snout-vent length. The time and place of courtship behavior, oval development, hatching, and especially, whether the species shows aquatic larval stage or direct development, are important topics to be resolved in future.

  14. A case for using Plethodontid salamanders for monitoring biodiversity and ecosystem integrity of North American forests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Welsh, H.H.; Droege, S.

    2001-01-01

    Terrestrial salamanders of the family P!ethodontidae have unique attributes that make them excellent indicators of biodiversity and ecosystem integrity in forested habitats. Their longevity, small territory size, site fidelity, sensitivity to natural and anthropogenic perturbations, tendency to occur in high densities, and low sampling costs mean that counts of plethodontid salamanders provide numerous advantages over counts of other North American forest organisms for indicating environmental change. Furthermore, they are tightly linked physiologically to microclimatic and successional processes that influence the distribution and abundance of numerous other hydrophilic but difficult-to-study forest-dwelling plants and animals. Ecosystem processes such as moisture cycling, food-web dynamics, and succession, with their related structural and microclimatic variability, all affect forest biodiversity and have been shown to affect salamander populations as well. We determined the variability associated with sampling for plethodontid salamanders by estimating the coefficient of variation (CV) from available time-series data. The median coefficient of variation indicated that variation in counts of individuals among studies was much lower in plethodonticis (27%) than in lepidoptera (93%), passerine birds (57%), small mammals (69%), or other amphibians (37-46%), which means plethodontid salamanders provide an important statistical advantage over other species for monitoring long-term forest health.

  15. Rapid diversification and dispersal during periods of global warming by plethodontid salamanders.

    PubMed

    Vieites, David R; Min, Mi-Sook; Wake, David B

    2007-12-11

    A phylogeny and timescale derived from analyses of multilocus nuclear DNA sequences for Holarctic genera of plethodontid salamanders reveal them to be an old radiation whose common ancestor diverged from sister taxa in the late Jurassic and underwent rapid diversification during the late Cretaceous. A North American origin of plethodontids was followed by a continental-wide diversification, not necessarily centered only in the Appalachian region. The colonization of Eurasia by plethodontids most likely occurred once, by dispersal during the late Cretaceous. Subsequent diversification in Asia led to the origin of Hydromantes and Karsenia, with the former then dispersing both to Europe and back to North America. Salamanders underwent rapid episodes of diversification and dispersal that coincided with major global warming events during the late Cretaceous and again during the Paleocene-Eocene thermal optimum. The major clades of plethodontids were established during these episodes, contemporaneously with similar phenomena in angiosperms, arthropods, birds, and mammals. Periods of global warming may have promoted diversification and both inter- and transcontinental dispersal in northern hemisphere salamanders by making available terrain that shortened dispersal routes and offered new opportunities for adaptive and vicariant evolution.

  16. Rapid diversification and dispersal during periods of global warming by plethodontid salamanders

    PubMed Central

    Vieites, David R.; Min, Mi-Sook; Wake, David B.

    2007-01-01

    A phylogeny and timescale derived from analyses of multilocus nuclear DNA sequences for Holarctic genera of plethodontid salamanders reveal them to be an old radiation whose common ancestor diverged from sister taxa in the late Jurassic and underwent rapid diversification during the late Cretaceous. A North American origin of plethodontids was followed by a continental-wide diversification, not necessarily centered only in the Appalachian region. The colonization of Eurasia by plethodontids most likely occurred once, by dispersal during the late Cretaceous. Subsequent diversification in Asia led to the origin of Hydromantes and Karsenia, with the former then dispersing both to Europe and back to North America. Salamanders underwent rapid episodes of diversification and dispersal that coincided with major global warming events during the late Cretaceous and again during the Paleocene–Eocene thermal optimum. The major clades of plethodontids were established during these episodes, contemporaneously with similar phenomena in angiosperms, arthropods, birds, and mammals. Periods of global warming may have promoted diversification and both inter- and transcontinental dispersal in northern hemisphere salamanders by making available terrain that shortened dispersal routes and offered new opportunities for adaptive and vicariant evolution. PMID:18077422

  17. Climate change and shrinking salamanders: alternative mechanisms for changes in plethodontid salamander body size.

    PubMed

    Connette, Grant M; Crawford, John A; Peterman, William E

    2015-08-01

    An increasing number of studies have demonstrated relationships between climate trends and body size change of organisms. In many cases, climate might be expected to influence body size by altering thermoregulation, energetics or food availability. However, observed body size change can result from a variety of ecological processes (e.g. growth, selection, population dynamics) or imperfect observation of biological systems. We used two extensive datasets to evaluate alternative mechanisms for recently reported changes in the observed body size of plethodontid salamanders. We found that mean adult body size of salamanders can be highly sensitive to survey conditions, particularly rainfall. This systematic bias in the detection of larger or smaller individuals could result in a signature of body size change in relation to reported climate trends when it is simply observation error. We also identify considerable variability in body size distributions among years and find that individual growth rates can be strongly influenced by weather. Finally, our study demonstrates that measures of mean adult body size can be highly variable among surveys and that large sample sizes may be required to make reliable inferences. Identifying the effects of climate change is a critical area of research in ecology and conservation. Researchers should be aware that observed changes in certain organisms can result from multiple ecological processes or systematic bias due to nonrandom sampling of populations. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Endoparasites of plethodontid salamanders from Paradise Brook, New Hampshire.

    PubMed

    Muzzall, P M; Peebles, C R; Burton, T M

    1997-12-01

    Totals of 52 dusky salamanders Desmognathus fuscus, 51 two-lined salamanders Eurycea bislineata, 54 red-backed salamanders Plethodon cinereus, and 3 spring salamanders Gyrinophilus porphyriticus (Plethodontidae) collected in June and August 1995 from Paradise Brook, a tributary to Hubbard Brook, New Hampshire, were examined for parasites. Parasites found were Brachycoelium storeriae, Brachycoelium sp., Bothriocephalus rarus, Falcaustra sp., Omeia sp., Batracholandros magnavulvaris, and Cepedietta michiganensis. Eighty-six percent of the red-backed salamanders, a terrestrial species, harbored 1 or more parasites. Among the aquatic and semiaquatic species, 27% of the dusky and 45% of the two-lined salamanders were infected with 1 or more parasites.

  19. LTR retrotransposons contribute to genomic gigantism in plethodontid salamanders.

    PubMed

    Sun, Cheng; Shepard, Donald B; Chong, Rebecca A; López Arriaza, José; Hall, Kathryn; Castoe, Todd A; Feschotte, Cédric; Pollock, David D; Mueller, Rachel Lockridge

    2012-01-01

    Among vertebrates, most of the largest genomes are found within the salamanders, a clade of amphibians that includes 613 species. Salamander genome sizes range from ~14 to ~120 Gb. Because genome size is correlated with nucleus and cell sizes, as well as other traits, morphological evolution in salamanders has been profoundly affected by genomic gigantism. However, the molecular mechanisms driving genomic expansion in this clade remain largely unknown. Here, we present the first comparative analysis of transposable element (TE) content in salamanders. Using high-throughput sequencing, we generated genomic shotgun data for six species from the Plethodontidae, the largest family of salamanders. We then developed a pipeline to mine TE sequences from shotgun data in taxa with limited genomic resources, such as salamanders. Our summaries of overall TE abundance and diversity for each species demonstrate that TEs make up a substantial portion of salamander genomes, and that all of the major known types of TEs are represented in salamanders. The most abundant TE superfamilies found in the genomes of our six focal species are similar, despite substantial variation in genome size. However, our results demonstrate a major difference between salamanders and other vertebrates: salamander genomes contain much larger amounts of long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons, primarily Ty3/gypsy elements. Thus, the extreme increase in genome size that occurred in salamanders was likely accompanied by a shift in TE landscape. These results suggest that increased proliferation of LTR retrotransposons was a major molecular mechanism contributing to genomic expansion in salamanders.

  20. Evaluating Multi-Level Models to Test Occupancy State Responses of Plethodontid Salamanders.

    PubMed

    Kroll, Andrew J; Garcia, Tiffany S; Jones, Jay E; Dugger, Katie; Murden, Blake; Johnson, Josh; Peterman, Summer; Peerman, Summer; Brintz, Ben; Rochelle, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Plethodontid salamanders are diverse and widely distributed taxa and play critical roles in ecosystem processes. Due to salamander use of structurally complex habitats, and because only a portion of a population is available for sampling, evaluation of sampling designs and estimators is critical to provide strong inference about Plethodontid ecology and responses to conservation and management activities. We conducted a simulation study to evaluate the effectiveness of multi-scale and hierarchical single-scale occupancy models in the context of a Before-After Control-Impact (BACI) experimental design with multiple levels of sampling. Also, we fit the hierarchical single-scale model to empirical data collected for Oregon slender and Ensatina salamanders across two years on 66 forest stands in the Cascade Range, Oregon, USA. All models were fit within a Bayesian framework. Estimator precision in both models improved with increasing numbers of primary and secondary sampling units, underscoring the potential gains accrued when adding secondary sampling units. Both models showed evidence of estimator bias at low detection probabilities and low sample sizes; this problem was particularly acute for the multi-scale model. Our results suggested that sufficient sample sizes at both the primary and secondary sampling levels could ameliorate this issue. Empirical data indicated Oregon slender salamander occupancy was associated strongly with the amount of coarse woody debris (posterior mean = 0.74; SD = 0.24); Ensatina occupancy was not associated with amount of coarse woody debris (posterior mean = -0.01; SD = 0.29). Our simulation results indicate that either model is suitable for use in an experimental study of Plethodontid salamanders provided that sample sizes are sufficiently large. However, hierarchical single-scale and multi-scale models describe different processes and estimate different parameters. As a result, we recommend careful consideration of study questions

  1. Evaluating multi-level models to test occupancy state responses of Plethodontid salamanders

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kroll, Andrew J.; Garcia, Tiffany S.; Jones, Jay E.; Dugger, Catherine; Murden, Blake; Johnson, Josh; Peerman, Summer; Brintz, Ben; Rochelle, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Plethodontid salamanders are diverse and widely distributed taxa and play critical roles in ecosystem processes. Due to salamander use of structurally complex habitats, and because only a portion of a population is available for sampling, evaluation of sampling designs and estimators is critical to provide strong inference about Plethodontid ecology and responses to conservation and management activities. We conducted a simulation study to evaluate the effectiveness of multi-scale and hierarchical single-scale occupancy models in the context of a Before-After Control-Impact (BACI) experimental design with multiple levels of sampling. Also, we fit the hierarchical single-scale model to empirical data collected for Oregon slender and Ensatina salamanders across two years on 66 forest stands in the Cascade Range, Oregon, USA. All models were fit within a Bayesian framework. Estimator precision in both models improved with increasing numbers of primary and secondary sampling units, underscoring the potential gains accrued when adding secondary sampling units. Both models showed evidence of estimator bias at low detection probabilities and low sample sizes; this problem was particularly acute for the multi-scale model. Our results suggested that sufficient sample sizes at both the primary and secondary sampling levels could ameliorate this issue. Empirical data indicated Oregon slender salamander occupancy was associated strongly with the amount of coarse woody debris (posterior mean = 0.74; SD = 0.24); Ensatina occupancy was not associated with amount of coarse woody debris (posterior mean = -0.01; SD = 0.29). Our simulation results indicate that either model is suitable for use in an experimental study of Plethodontid salamanders provided that sample sizes are sufficiently large. However, hierarchical single-scale and multi-scale models describe different processes and estimate different parameters. As a result, we recommend careful consideration of study questions

  2. Evaluating Multi-Level Models to Test Occupancy State Responses of Plethodontid Salamanders

    PubMed Central

    Kroll, Andrew J.; Garcia, Tiffany S.; Jones, Jay E.; Dugger, Katie; Murden, Blake; Johnson, Josh; Peerman, Summer; Brintz, Ben; Rochelle, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Plethodontid salamanders are diverse and widely distributed taxa and play critical roles in ecosystem processes. Due to salamander use of structurally complex habitats, and because only a portion of a population is available for sampling, evaluation of sampling designs and estimators is critical to provide strong inference about Plethodontid ecology and responses to conservation and management activities. We conducted a simulation study to evaluate the effectiveness of multi-scale and hierarchical single-scale occupancy models in the context of a Before-After Control-Impact (BACI) experimental design with multiple levels of sampling. Also, we fit the hierarchical single-scale model to empirical data collected for Oregon slender and Ensatina salamanders across two years on 66 forest stands in the Cascade Range, Oregon, USA. All models were fit within a Bayesian framework. Estimator precision in both models improved with increasing numbers of primary and secondary sampling units, underscoring the potential gains accrued when adding secondary sampling units. Both models showed evidence of estimator bias at low detection probabilities and low sample sizes; this problem was particularly acute for the multi-scale model. Our results suggested that sufficient sample sizes at both the primary and secondary sampling levels could ameliorate this issue. Empirical data indicated Oregon slender salamander occupancy was associated strongly with the amount of coarse woody debris (posterior mean = 0.74; SD = 0.24); Ensatina occupancy was not associated with amount of coarse woody debris (posterior mean = -0.01; SD = 0.29). Our simulation results indicate that either model is suitable for use in an experimental study of Plethodontid salamanders provided that sample sizes are sufficiently large. However, hierarchical single-scale and multi-scale models describe different processes and estimate different parameters. As a result, we recommend careful consideration of study questions

  3. Heterochrony repolarized: a phylogenetic analysis of developmental timing in plethodontid salamanders

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Disentangling evolutionary shifts in developmental timing (heterochony) is dependent upon accurate estimates of ancestral patterns. However, many classic assessments of heterochronic patterns predate robust phylogenetic hypotheses and methods for trait reconstruction, and therefore may have been polarized with untested ‘primitive’ conditions. Here we revisit the heterochronic modes of development that underlie the evolution of metamorphosis, maturation, and paedomorphosis in plethodontid salamanders. We focus on the tribe Spelerpini, which is a diverse clade that exhibits tremendous variation in timing of metamorphosis and maturation, as well as multiple independent instances of larval form paedomorphosis. Based on morphology and biogeography, early investigators concluded that the most recent common ancestors of plethodontids, and also spelerpines, were large salamanders, with very long larval periods and late maturation times. This prevailing assumption influenced subsequent heterochronic assessments, which concluded that most modern spelerpines (with shorter larval periods) were derived through multiple independent accelerations in larval development. It was also concluded that most occurrences of larval form paedomorphosis in this clade resulted from progenesis (acceleration of gonadal development relative to metamorphosis). Results By reconstructing the time to metamorphosis on a molecular-based phylogeny of plethodontids, we find that ancestral spelerpines likely had relatively shorter larval periods than previously proposed. Taken together with the credibility interval from our ancestral state estimation we show that very long larval periods are likely derived decelerations, only a few lineages have undergone appreciable accelerations in metamorphic timing, and the remaining taxa have lower probabilities of being different than the ancestral condition (possibly due to stasis). Reconstructing maturation age across nodes concomitant with the

  4. Resistance to chytridiomycosis in European plethodontid salamanders of the genus Speleomantes.

    PubMed

    Pasmans, Frank; Van Rooij, Pascale; Blooi, Mark; Tessa, Giulia; Bogaerts, Sergé; Sotgiu, Giuseppe; Garner, Trenton W J; Fisher, Matthew C; Schmidt, Benedikt R; Woeltjes, Tonnie; Beukema, Wouter; Bovero, Stefano; Adriaensen, Connie; Oneto, Fabrizio; Ottonello, Dario; Martel, An; Salvidio, Sebastiano

    2013-01-01

    North America and the neotropics harbor nearly all species of plethodontid salamanders. In contrast, this family of caudate amphibians is represented in Europe and Asia by two genera, Speleomantes and Karsenia, which are confined to small geographic ranges. Compared to neotropical and North American plethodontids, mortality attributed to chytridiomycosis caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has not been reported for European plethodontids, despite the established presence of Bd in their geographic distribution. We determined the extent to which Bd is present in populations of all eight species of European Speleomantes and show that Bd was undetectable in 921 skin swabs. We then compared the susceptibility of one of these species, Speleomantes strinatii, to experimental infection with a highly virulent isolate of Bd (BdGPL), and compared this to the susceptible species Alytes muletensis. Whereas the inoculated A. muletensis developed increasing Bd-loads over a 4-week period, none of five exposed S. strinatii were colonized by Bd beyond 2 weeks post inoculation. Finally, we determined the extent to which skin secretions of Speleomantes species are capable of killing Bd. Skin secretions of seven Speleomantes species showed pronounced killing activity against Bd over 24 hours. In conclusion, the absence of Bd in Speleomantes combined with resistance to experimental chytridiomycosis and highly efficient skin defenses indicate that the genus Speleomantes is a taxon unlikely to decline due to Bd.

  5. Gender-dependent dimorphic teeth in four species of Mesoamerican plethodontid salamanders (Urodela, Amphibia).

    PubMed

    Ehmcke, Jens; Wistuba, Joachim; Clemen, Günter

    2004-06-01

    The tooth shapes of premaxillary and maxillary teeth of adults of four Mesoamerican salamander species (Urodela, Plethodontidae) were examined. Using scanning electron microscopy we determined whether the monocuspid teeth that are present only on the premaxillary of sexually mature males belong to the conical, unbladed, monocuspid tooth type found in urodele larvae or whether they represent morphological variations of the typical, bladed, bicuspid teeth of metamorphosed individuals. The teeth of some studied species are, in fact, unbladed and in some cases show one very reduced tip. But none of the studied teeth is per definitionem monocuspid and no tooth shows an enameloid layer between dentine shaft and enamel cap, which is always present in the teeth of early urodele larvae. The "monocuspid" teeth of adult males of Mesoamerican plethodontid salamanders have to be considered a morphological variation of the metamorphosed, bicuspid tooth type typical for metamorphosed urodeles.

  6. Trends in Ranavirus Prevalence Among Plethodontid Salamanders in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

    PubMed

    Sutton, William B; Gray, Matthew J; Hoverman, Jason T; Secrist, Richard G; Super, Paul E; Hardman, Rebecca H; Tucker, Jennifer L; Miller, Debra L

    2015-06-01

    Emerging pathogens are a potential contributor to global amphibian declines. Ranaviruses, which infect ectothermic vertebrates and are common in aquatic environments, have been implicated in die-offs of at least 72 amphibian species worldwide. Most studies on the subject have focused on pool-breeding amphibians, and infection trends in other amphibian species assemblages have been understudied. Our primary study objective was to evaluate hypotheses explaining ranavirus prevalence within a lungless salamander assemblage (Family Plethodontidae) in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, USA. We sampled 566 total plethodontid salamanders representing 14 species at five sites over a 6-year period (2007-2012). We identified ranavirus-positive individuals in 11 of the 14 (78.6%) sampled species, with salamanders in the genus Desmognathus having greatest infection prevalence. Overall, we found the greatest support for site elevation and sampling year determining infection prevalence. We detected the greatest number of infections in 2007 with 82.5% of sampled individuals testing positive for ranavirus, which we attribute to record drought during this year. Infection prevalence remained relatively high in low-elevation sites in 2008 and 2009. Neither body condition nor aquatic dependence was a significant predictor of ranavirus prevalence. Overall, our results indicate that life history differences among species play a minor role determining ranavirus prevalence compared to the larger effects of site elevation and yearly fluctuations (likely due to environmental stressors) during sampling years.

  7. The skull structure of six species of Mesoamerican plethodontid salamanders (Amphibia, Urodela).

    PubMed

    Ehmcke, Jens; Clemen, Günter

    2003-06-01

    The skulls of six species of plethodontid salamanders of the genus Bolitoglossa from Costa Rica and Panama, Bolitoglossa colonnea, B. dofleini, B. lignicolor, B. marmorea, B. schizodactyla and B. striatula are comparatively analysed. All species are terrestrial or slightly arboreal and show no life-mode-dependent skull characteristics. Heads cleared by transparent preparation and stained in toto were used for examination of the skull structure and paraffin sections of the gonads were prepared to confirm sexual maturity of each individual. Focussing on the size of the premaxillary pars dentalis, the degree of fusion of the processus dorsales praemaxillares and the presence or absence of the paired prefrontals we state that B. dofleini and B. striatula possess more ancestral characteristics, B. marmorea is situated in an intermediate position and B. colonnea, B. lignicolor and B. schizodactyla show more advanced characteristics.

  8. Tail regeneration in the plethodontid salamander, Plethodon cinereus: induced autotomy versus surgical amputation.

    PubMed

    Dinsmore, C E

    1977-02-01

    Regeneration of the tail in the plethodontid salamander, Plethodon cinereus, occurs following either surgical amputation or induced autotomy. Autotomy may occur along any one of the caudal myosepta which form natural cleavage planes. The distally attached myofibers break away from the myoseptum which then becomes part of the stump surface remaining intact during subsequent regeneration of the distal segments. Under these conditions, therefore, muscle fibers do not normally participate in tail regeneration. If, however, the myofibers of a caudal myotome are interrupted as in mid-segment amputation, the damaged fibers undergo hyaline degeneration and are largely replaced by connective tissue often as far proximally as the next myoseptum. Other tissues at the amputation surface are concurrently engaged in the epimorphic regeneration of the tail, including myogenesis, though at a slower initial rate than that following autotomy. Muscle cells, therefore, appear not to participate in epimorphic tail regeneration in Plethodon cinereus following either surgical amputation or induced autotomy.

  9. Effect of acute low body temperature on predatory behavior and prey-capture efficiency in a plethodontid salamander.

    PubMed

    Marvin, Glenn A; Davis, Kayla; Dawson, Jacob

    2016-05-01

    The low-temperature limit for feeding in some salamander species (Desmognathus, Plethodontidae) has been inferred from field studies of seasonal variation in salamander activity and gut contents, which could not determine whether feeding is more dependent on environmental conditions influencing salamander foraging behavior or prey availability and movement. We performed two controlled laboratory experiments to examine the effect of short-term (acute) low body temperature on predatory behavior and prey-capture efficiency in a semiaquatic plethodontid salamander (Desmognathus conanti). In the first experiment, we quantified variation in the feeding responses of cold salamanders (at 1, 3, 5 and 7°C) to a video recording of a walking, warm (15°C) cricket to determine the lower thermal limit for predatory behavior, independent of any temperature effect on movement of prey. Experimental-group salamanders exhibited vigorous feeding responses at 5 and 7°C, large variation in feeding responses both among and within individuals (over time) at 3°C, and little to no feeding response at 1°C. Feeding responses at both 1 and 3°C were significantly less than at each higher temperature, whereas responses of control-group individuals at 15°C did not vary over time. In the second experiment, we quantified feeding by cold salamanders (at 3, 5, 7 and 11°C) on live, warm crickets to examine thermal effects on prey-capture ability. The mean feeding response to live crickets was significantly less at 3°C than at higher temperatures; however, 50% of salamanders captured and ingested prey with high efficiency at this temperature. We conclude that many individuals stalk and capture prey at very low temperatures (down to 3°C). Our results support a growing body of data that indicate many plethodontid salamanders feed at temperatures only a few degrees above freezing.

  10. Evolution of paedomorphosis in plethodontid salamanders: ecological correlates and re-evolution of metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Bonett, Ronald M; Steffen, Michael A; Lambert, Shea M; Wiens, John J; Chippindale, Paul T

    2014-02-01

    Life-history modes can profoundly impact the biology of a species, and a classic example is the dichotomy between metamorphic (biphasic) and paedomorphic (permanently aquatic) life-history strategies in salamanders. However, despite centuries of research on this system, several basic questions about the evolution of paedomorphosis in salamanders have not been addressed. Here, we use a nearly comprehensive, time-calibrated phylogeny of spelerpine plethodontids to reconstruct the evolution of paedomorphosis and to test if paedomorphosis is (1) reversible; (2) associated with living in caves; (3) associated with relatively dry climatic conditions on the surface; and (4) correlated with limited range size and geographic dispersal. We find that paedomorphosis arose multiple times in spelerpines. We also find evidence for re-evolution of metamorphosis after several million years of paedomorphosis in a lineage of Eurycea from the Edwards Plateau region of Texas. We also show for the first time using phylogenetic comparative methods that paedomorphosis is highly correlated with cave-dwelling, arid surface environments, and small geographic range sizes, providing insights into both the causes and consequences of this major life history transition.

  11. Reduced effects of thyroid hormone on gene expression and metamorphosis in a paedomorphic plethodontid salamander.

    PubMed

    Aran, Robert P; Steffen, Michael A; Martin, Samuel D; Lopez, Olivia I; Bonett, Ronald M

    2014-07-01

    It has been over a century since Gudernatsch (1912, Wilhelm Roux Arch Entwickl Mech Org 35:457-483) demonstrated that mammalian thyroid gland extracts can stimulate tadpole metamorphosis. Despite the tremendous developmental diversity of amphibians, mechanisms of metamorphosis have mostly been studied in a few model systems. This limits our understanding of the processes that influence the evolution of developmental aberrations. Here we isolated thyroid hormone receptors alpha (TRα) and beta (TRβ) from Oklahoma salamanders (Eurycea tynerensis), which exhibit permanently aquatic (paedomorphic) or biphasic (metamorphic) developmental modes in different populations. We found that TRα and TRβ were upregulated by thyroid hormone (T3 ) in tail tissues of larvae from metamorphic populations, but basal levels of TR expression and T3 responsiveness were reduced in larvae from paedomorphic populations. Likewise, we found that T3 treatment resulted in complete loss of larval epibranchials in larvae from metamorphic populations, but little to no epibranchial remodeling occurred in larvae from paedomorphic populations over the same duration. This is the first study to directly demonstrate reduced gene expression and metamorphic responses to T3 in a paedomorphic plethodontid compared to metamorphic conspecifics, and the first salamander system to show differential expression of thyroid hormone receptors associated with alternative developmental patterns.

  12. Streambed microstructure predicts evolution of development and life history mode in the plethodontid salamander Eurycea tynerensis.

    PubMed

    Bonett, Ronald M; Chippindale, Paul T

    2006-03-02

    Habitat variation strongly influences the evolution of developmentally flexible traits, and may drive speciation and diversification. The plethodontid salamander Eurycea tynerensis is endemic to the geologically diverse Ozark Plateau of south-central North America, and comprises both strictly aquatic paedomorphic populations (achieving reproductive maturity while remaining in the larval form) and more terrestrial metamorphic populations. The switch between developmental modes has occurred many times, but populations typically exhibit a single life history mode. This unique system offers an opportunity to study the specific ecological circumstances under which alternate developmental and life history modes evolve. We use phylogenetic independent contrasts to test for relationships between a key microhabitat feature (streambed sediment) and this major life history polymorphism. We find streambed microstructure (sediment particle size, type and degree of sorting) to be highly correlated with life-history mode. Eurycea tynerensis is paedomorphic in streams containing large chert gravel, but metamorphoses in nearby streams containing poorly sorted, clastic material such as sandstone or siltstone. Deposits of large chert gravel create loosely associated streambeds, which provide access to subsurface water during dry summer months. Conversely, streambeds composed of more densely packed sandstone and siltstone sediments leave no subterranean refuge when surface water dries, presumably necessitating metamorphosis and use of terrestrial habitats. This represents a clear example of the relationship between microhabitat structure and evolution of a major developmental and life history trait, and has broad implications for the role of localized ecological conditions on larger-scale evolutionary processes.

  13. Streambed microstructure predicts evolution of development and life history mode in the plethodontid salamander Eurycea tynerensis

    PubMed Central

    Bonett, Ronald M; Chippindale, Paul T

    2006-01-01

    Background Habitat variation strongly influences the evolution of developmentally flexible traits, and may drive speciation and diversification. The plethodontid salamander Eurycea tynerensis is endemic to the geologically diverse Ozark Plateau of south-central North America, and comprises both strictly aquatic paedomorphic populations (achieving reproductive maturity while remaining in the larval form) and more terrestrial metamorphic populations. The switch between developmental modes has occurred many times, but populations typically exhibit a single life history mode. This unique system offers an opportunity to study the specific ecological circumstances under which alternate developmental and life history modes evolve. We use phylogenetic independent contrasts to test for relationships between a key microhabitat feature (streambed sediment) and this major life history polymorphism. Results We find streambed microstructure (sediment particle size, type and degree of sorting) to be highly correlated with life-history mode. Eurycea tynerensis is paedomorphic in streams containing large chert gravel, but metamorphoses in nearby streams containing poorly sorted, clastic material such as sandstone or siltstone. Conclusion Deposits of large chert gravel create loosely associated streambeds, which provide access to subsurface water during dry summer months. Conversely, streambeds composed of more densely packed sandstone and siltstone sediments leave no subterranean refuge when surface water dries, presumably necessitating metamorphosis and use of terrestrial habitats. This represents a clear example of the relationship between microhabitat structure and evolution of a major developmental and life history trait, and has broad implications for the role of localized ecological conditions on larger-scale evolutionary processes. PMID:16512919

  14. Three new helminth species from two endemic plethodontid salamanders, Typhlomolge rathbuni and Eurycea nana, in central Texas.

    PubMed

    Moravec, F; Huffman, D G

    2000-01-01

    Helminthological examination of two rare, endemic species of plethodontid salamanders, the Texas blind salamander (Typhlomolge rathbuni Stejneger) and the San Marcos dwarf salamander (Eurycea nana Bishop), from the subterranean waters and springs in San Marcos, Hays County, central Texas, USA revealed the presence of three new, previously undescribed species of intestinal helminths: Brachycoelium longleyi sp. n. (Trematoda) from T. rathbuni (type host) and E. nana, Dendronucleata americana sp. n. (Acanthocephala) from T. rathbuni, and Amphibiocapillaria texensis sp. n. (Nematoda) from T. rathbuni; nematode larvae probably belonging to the last named species were recorded from E. nana. Brachycoelium longleyi can be distinguished from all congeners primarily by its conspicuously small eggs among other features, whereas A. texensis differs from its closest congeneric species A. tritonispiunctati mainly in the structure of mature eggs and a markedly shorter spicule. Dendronucleata americana is the first species of the family Dendronucleatidae from the New World, differing from its Asian congeners mainly in the number and arrangement of proboscis hooks, number of giant hypodermic nuclei and in the position of testes.

  15. Thermal equilibrium and temperature differences among body regions in European plethodontid salamanders.

    PubMed

    Lunghi, Enrico; Manenti, Raoul; Canciani, Giancarlo; Scarì, Giorgio; Pennati, Roberta; Ficetola, Gentile Francesco

    2016-08-01

    Information on species thermal physiology is extremely important to understand species responses to environmental heterogeneity and changes. Thermography is an emerging technology that allows high resolution and accurate measurement of body temperature, but until now it has not been used to study thermal physiology of amphibians in the wild. Hydromantes terrestrial salamanders are strongly depending on ambient temperature for their activity and gas exchanges, but information on their body temperature is extremely limited. In this study we tested if Hydromantes salamanders are thermoconform, we assessed whether there are temperature differences among body regions, and evaluated the time required to reach the thermal equilibrium. During summers of 2014 and 2015 we analysed 56 salamanders (Hydromantes ambrosii and Hydromantes italicus) using infrared thermocamera. We photographed salamanders at the moment in which we found them and 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 15min after having kept them in the hands. Body temperature was equal to air temperature; salamanders attained the equilibrium with air temperature in about 8min, the time required to reach equilibrium was longer in individuals with large body size. We detected small temperature differences between body parts, the head being slightly warmer than the body and the tail (mean difference: 0.05°C). These salamanders quickly reach the equilibrium with the environment, thus microhabitat measurement allows obtaining accurate information on their tolerance limits. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Effects of host species and environment on the skin microbiome of Plethodontid salamanders.

    PubMed

    Muletz Wolz, Carly R; Yarwood, Stephanie A; Campbell Grant, Evan H; Fleischer, Robert C; Lips, Karen R

    2017-07-06

    The amphibian skin microbiome is recognized for its role in defence against pathogens, including the deadly fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Yet, we have little understanding of evolutionary and ecological processes that structure these communities, especially for salamanders and closely related species. We investigated patterns in the distribution of bacterial communities on Plethodon salamander skin across host species and environments. Quantifying salamander skin microbiome structure contributes to our understanding of how host-associated bacteria are distributed across the landscape, among host species, and their putative relationship with disease. We characterized skin microbiome structure (alpha-diversity, beta-diversity and bacterial operational taxonomic unit [OTU] abundances) using 16S rRNA gene sequencing for co-occurring Plethodon salamander species (35 Plethodon cinereus, 17 Plethodon glutinosus, 10 Plethodon cylindraceus) at three localities to differentiate the effects of host species from environmental factors on the microbiome. We sampled the microbiome of P. cinereus along an elevational gradient (n = 50, 700-1,000 m a.s.l.) at one locality to determine whether elevation predicts microbiome structure. Finally, we quantified prevalence and abundance of putatively anti-Bd bacteria to determine if Bd-inhibitory bacteria are dominant microbiome members. Co-occurring salamanders had similar microbiome structure, but among sites salamanders had dissimilar microbiome structure for beta-diversity and abundance of 28 bacterial OTUs. We found that alpha-diversity increased with elevation, beta-diversity and the abundance of 17 bacterial OTUs changed with elevation (16 OTUs decreasing, 1 OTU increasing). We detected 11 putatively anti-Bd bacterial OTUs that were present on 90% of salamanders and made up an average relative abundance of 83% (SD ± 8.5) per salamander. All salamanders tested negative for Bd. We conclude that

  17. Potential rapid evolution of foot morphology in Italian plethodontid salamanders (Hydromantes strinatii) following the colonization of an artificial cave.

    PubMed

    Salvidio, S; Crovetto, F; Adams, D C

    2015-07-01

    How organisms respond to environmental change is a long-standing question in evolutionary biology. Species invading novel habitats provide an opportunity to examine contemporary evolution in action and decipher the pace of evolutionary change over short timescales. Here, we characterized phenotypic evolution in the Italian plethodontid salamander, Hydromantes strinatii, following the recent colonization of an artificial cave by a forest floor population. When compared with a nearby and genetically related population in the natural forest floor and a nearby cave population, the artificial cave population displayed significant differences in overall foot shape, with more interdigital webbing relative to the other populations. Further, this population evolved significantly larger feet, which corresponded more closely to those found in other cave populations than to forest floor populations to which the cave population is closely related. Finally, we quantified the rate of evolution for both foot shape and foot area, and found that both traits displayed large and significant evolutionary rates, at levels corresponding to other classic cases of rapid evolution in vertebrates. Together, these findings reveal that the response to novel environmental pressures can be large and rapid and that the anatomical shifts observed in the artificial cave population of H. strinatii may represent a case of rapid evolution in response to novel environmental pressures. © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  18. Bayesian salamanders: analysing the demography of an underground population of the European plethodontid Speleomantes strinatii with state-space modelling

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background It has been suggested that Plethodontid salamanders are excellent candidates for indicating ecosystem health. However, detailed, long-term data sets of their populations are rare, limiting our understanding of the demographic processes underlying their population fluctuations. Here we present a demographic analysis based on a 1996 - 2008 data set on an underground population of Speleomantes strinatii (Aellen) in NW Italy. We utilised a Bayesian state-space approach allowing us to parameterise a stage-structured Lefkovitch model. We used all the available population data from annual temporary removal experiments to provide us with the baseline data on the numbers of juveniles, subadults and adult males and females present at any given time. Results Sampling the posterior chains of the converged state-space model gives us the likelihood distributions of the state-specific demographic rates and the associated uncertainty of these estimates. Analysing the resulting parameterised Lefkovitch matrices shows that the population growth is very close to 1, and that at population equilibrium we expect half of the individuals present to be adults of reproductive age which is what we also observe in the data. Elasticity analysis shows that adult survival is the key determinant for population growth. Conclusion This analysis demonstrates how an understanding of population demography can be gained from structured population data even in a case where following marked individuals over their whole lifespan is not practical. PMID:20122249

  19. Acclimation to constant and variable temperatures in plethodontid salamanders--I. Rates of oxygen consumption.

    PubMed

    Feder, M E

    1985-01-01

    In preliminary experiments, salamanders of three species (Desmognathus ochrophaeus, Plethodon cinereus and Plethodon jordani) required 5-11 days to complete metabolic acclimation to a constant warm temperature; the rate of oxygen consumption (VO2) decreased 16-28% during acclimation. Unfed animals of each species underwent cyclic exposure to 5 and 21 degrees C at three different cycle periods (12 hr, 4-5 days, 51 days), or constant exposure to 14 degrees C for 102 days. The experimental treatments significantly affected the VO2 measured at 5, 14, 17.5 and 21 degrees C. The direction and magnitude of the acclimatory effects upon VO2 were inconsistent among species and among experimental temperatures, and resulted in little energy saving. The VO2 during exposure to cyclic temperatures averaged only 83% of that during preliminary experiments, perhaps as a response to starvation.

  20. Stoichiometry of a semi-aquatic plethodontid salamander: intraspecific variation due to location, size and diet.

    PubMed

    Milanovich, Joseph R; Hopton, Matthew E

    2014-11-01

    Ecological stoichiometry provides a framework to investigate an organism's relationship to nutrient cycles. An organism's stoichiometry is thought to constrain its contribution to nutrient cycles (recycling or storage), and to limit its growth and reproduction. Factors that influence the stoichiometry of a consumer are largely unstudied, but what is known is that consumer stoichiometry is influenced by the elemental requirements of the consumer (e.g. for growth, reproduction and cell maintenance) and the availability of elements. We examined whole-body stoichiometry of larval southern two-lined salamanders (Eurycea cirrigera) and described the influence of location, body size, stoichiometry of diet items, and environmental nutrient supply on whole-body stoichiometry. Mean composition of phosphorous was 2.6%, nitrogen was 11.3%, and carbon was 39.6%, which are similar for other aquatic vertebrate taxa. The most significant predictor of whole-body stoichiometry was the site where the samples were collected, which was significant for each nutrient and nutrient ratio. Body size and stoichiometry of diet items were also predictors of Eurycea cirrigera stoichiometry. Our study suggests that spatial differences in environmental nutrient supply have a stronger influence on consumer whole-body stoichiometry among similar-sized larvae compared to life history traits, such as body size or diet.

  1. Low metabolic rates in salamanders are correlated with weak selective constraints on mitochondrial genes.

    PubMed

    Chong, Rebecca A; Mueller, Rachel Lockridge

    2013-03-01

    Mitochondria are the site for the citric acid cycle and oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), the final steps of ATP synthesis via cellular respiration. Each mitochondrion contains its own genome; in vertebrates, this is a small, circular DNA molecule that encodes 13 subunits of the multiprotein OXPHOS electron transport complexes. Vertebrate lineages vary dramatically in metabolic rates; thus, functional constraints on mitochondrial-encoded proteins likely differ, potentially impacting mitochondrial genome evolution. Here, we examine mitochondrial genome evolution in salamanders, which have the lowest metabolic requirements among tetrapods. We show that salamanders experience weaker purifying selection on protein-coding sequences than do frogs, a comparable amphibian clade with higher metabolic rates. In contrast, we find no evidence for weaker selection against mitochondrial genome expansion in salamanders. Together, these results suggest that different aspects of mitochondrial genome evolution (i.e., nucleotide substitution, accumulation of noncoding sequences) are differently affected by metabolic variation across tetrapod lineages.

  2. Larval masquerade: a new species of paedomorphic salamander (Caudata: Plethodontidae: Eurycea) from the Ouachita Mountains of North America.

    PubMed

    Steffen, Michael A; Irwin, Kelly J; Blair, Andrea L; Bonett, Ronald M

    2014-04-11

    Species with truncated developmental patterns may go undetected if they resemble the juveniles of their close relatives. Herein we present an example of this phenomenon with the description of a highly divergent, relict species of stream-dwelling plethodontid salamander from the Ouachita Mountains of North America. Both mitochondrial and nuclear sequence data show that this new species is most closely related to its syntopic relative, Eurycea multiplicata. Interestingly, E. multiplicata exhibits the ancestral biphasic (metamorphic) life cycle, whereas the new species maintains an aquatic larval form throughout life (paedomorphic) and superficially resembles larval E. multiplicata. The new species is the first known paedomorphic plethodontid from the Ouachita Mountains, and the most divergent paedomorphic salamander discovered in over seventy years. This species represents an independent instance of the evolution of paedomorphosis associated with a porous streambed, which may facilitate vertical seasonal movements. This new species currently has an extremely limited known distribution and is of immediate conservation concern.

  3. Higher-level salamander relationships and divergence dates inferred from complete mitochondrial genomes.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Peng; Wake, David B

    2009-11-01

    Phylogenetic relationships among the salamander families have been difficult to resolve, largely because the window of time in which major lineages diverged was very short relative to the subsequently long evolutionary history of each family. We present seven new complete mitochondrial genomes representing five salamander families that have no or few mitogenome records in GenBank in order to assess the phylogenetic relationships of all salamander families from a mitogenomic perspective. Phylogenetic analyses of two data sets-one combining the entire mitogenome sequence except for the D-loop, and the other combining the deduced amino acid sequences of all 13 mitochondrial protein-coding genes-produce nearly identical well-resolved topologies. The monophyly of each family is supported, including the controversial Proteidae. The internally fertilizing salamanders are demonstrated to be a clade, concordant with recent results using nuclear genes. The internally fertilizing salamanders include two well-supported clades: one is composed of Ambystomatidae, Dicamptodontidae, and Salamandridae, the other Proteidae, Rhyacotritonidae, Amphiumidae, and Plethodontidae. In contrast to results from nuclear loci, our results support the conventional morphological hypothesis that Sirenidae is the sister-group to all other salamanders and they statistically reject the hypothesis from nuclear genes that the suborder Cryptobranchoidea (Cryptobranchidae+Hynobiidae) branched earlier than the Sirenidae. Using recently recommended fossil calibration points and a "soft bound" calibration strategy, we recalculated evolutionary timescales for tetrapods with an emphasis on living salamanders, under a Bayesian framework with and without a rate-autocorrelation assumption. Our dating results indicate: (i) the widely used rate-autocorrelation assumption in relaxed clock analyses is problematic and the accuracy of molecular dating for early lissamphibian evolution is questionable; (ii) the initial

  4. Conflicting patterns of genetic structure produced by nuclear and mitochondrial markers in the Oregon Slender Salamander (Batrachoseps wrighti): implications for conservation efforts and species management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, Mark; Haig, Susan M.; Wagner, R.S.

    2005-01-01

    Endemic to Oregon in the northwestern US, the Oregon slender salamander (Batrachoseps wrighti) is a terrestrial plethodontid found associated with late successional mesic forests. Consequently, forest management practices such as timber harvesting may impact their persistence. Therefore, to infer possible future effects of these practices on population structure and differentiation, we used mitochondrial DNA sequences (cytochrome b) and RAPD markers to analyze 22 populations across their range. Phylogenetic analyses of sequence data (774 bp) revealed two historical lineages corresponding to northern and southern-distributed populations. Relationships among haplotypes and haplotype diversity within lineages suggested that the northern region may have more recently been colonized compared to the southern region. In contrast to the mitochondrial data, analyses of 46 RAPD loci suggested an overall pattern of isolation-by-distance in the set of populations examined and no particularly strong clustering of populations based on genetic distances. We propose two non-exclusive hypotheses to account for discrepancies between mitochondrial and nuclear data sets. First, our data may reflect an overall ancestral pattern of isolation-by-distance that has subsequently been influenced by vicariance. Alternately, our analyses may suggest that male-mediated gene flow and female philopatry are important contributors to the pattern of genetic diversity. We discuss the importance of distinguishing between these two hypotheses for the purposes of identifying conservation units and note that, regardless of the relative contribution of each mechanism towards the observed pattern of diversity, protection of habitat will likely prove critical for the long-term persistence of this species.

  5. Transcriptional and phylogenetic analysis of five complete ambystomatid salamander mitochondrial genomes.

    PubMed

    Samuels, Amy K; Weisrock, David W; Smith, Jeramiah J; France, Katherine J; Walker, John A; Putta, Srikrishna; Voss, S Randal

    2005-04-11

    We report on a study that extended mitochondrial transcript information from a recent EST project to obtain complete mitochondrial genome sequence for 5 tiger salamander complex species (Ambystoma mexicanum, A. t. tigrinum, A. andersoni, A. californiense, and A. dumerilii). We describe, for the first time, aspects of mitochondrial transcription in a representative amphibian, and then use complete mitochondrial sequence data to examine salamander phylogeny at both deep and shallow levels of evolutionary divergence. The available mitochondrial ESTs for A. mexicanum (N=2481) and A. t. tigrinum (N=1205) provided 92% and 87% coverage of the mitochondrial genome, respectively. Complete mitochondrial sequences for all species were rapidly obtained by using long distance PCR and DNA sequencing. A number of genome structural characteristics (base pair length, base composition, gene number, gene boundaries, codon usage) were highly similar among all species and to other distantly related salamanders. Overall, mitochondrial transcription in Ambystoma approximated the pattern observed in other vertebrates. We inferred from the mapping of ESTs onto mtDNA that transcription occurs from both heavy and light strand promoters and continues around the entire length of the mtDNA, followed by post-transcriptional processing. However, the observation of many short transcripts corresponding to rRNA genes indicates that transcription may often terminate prematurely to bias transcription of rRNA genes; indeed an rRNA transcription termination signal sequence was observed immediately following the 16S rRNA gene. Phylogenetic analyses of salamander family relationships consistently grouped Ambystomatidae in a clade containing Cryptobranchidae and Hynobiidae, to the exclusion of Salamandridae. This robust result suggests a novel alternative hypothesis because previous studies have consistently identified Ambystomatidae and Salamandridae as closely related taxa. Phylogenetic analyses of tiger

  6. Complete nucleotide sequence of the mitochondrial genome of a salamander, Mertensiella luschani.

    PubMed

    Zardoya, Rafael; Malaga-Trillo, Edward; Veith, Michael; Meyer, Axel

    2003-10-23

    The complete nucleotide sequence (16,650 bp) of the mitochondrial genome of the salamander Mertensiella luschani (Caudata, Amphibia) was determined. This molecule conforms to the consensus vertebrate mitochondrial gene order. However, it is characterized by a long non-coding intervening sequence with two 124-bp repeats between the tRNA(Thr) and tRNA(Pro) genes. The new sequence data were used to reconstruct a phylogeny of jawed vertebrates. Phylogenetic analyses of all mitochondrial protein-coding genes at the amino acid level recovered a robust vertebrate tree in which lungfishes are the closest living relatives of tetrapods, salamanders and frogs are grouped together to the exclusion of caecilians (the Batrachia hypothesis) in a monophyletic amphibian clade, turtles show diapsid affinities and are placed as sister group of crocodiles+birds, and the marsupials are grouped together with monotremes and basal to placental mammals. The deduced phylogeny was used to characterize the molecular evolution of vertebrate mitochondrial proteins. Amino acid frequencies were analyzed across the main lineages of jawed vertebrates, and leucine and cysteine were found to be the most and least abundant amino acids in mitochondrial proteins, respectively. Patterns of amino acid replacements were conserved among vertebrates. Overall, cartilaginous fishes showed the least variation in amino acid frequencies and replacements. Constancy of rates of evolution among the main lineages of jawed vertebrates was rejected.

  7. Concurrent speciation in the eastern woodland salamanders (Genus Plethodon): DNA sequences of the complete albumin nuclear and partial mitochondrial 12s genes.

    PubMed

    Highton, Richard; Hastings, Amy Picard; Palmer, Catherine; Watts, Richard; Hass, Carla A; Culver, Melanie; Arnold, Stevan J

    2012-05-01

    Salamanders of the North American plethodontid genus Plethodon are important model organisms in a variety of studies that depend on a phylogenetic framework (e.g., chemical communication, ecological competition, life histories, hybridization, and speciation), and consequently their systematics has been intensively investigated over several decades. Nevertheless, we lack a synthesis of relationships among the species. In the analyses reported here we use new DNA sequence data from the complete nuclear albumin gene (1818 bp) and the 12s mitochondrial gene (355 bp), as well as published data for four other genes (Wiens et al., 2006), up to a total of 6989 bp, to infer relationships. We relate these results to past systematic work based on morphology, allozymes, and DNA sequences. Although basal relationships show a strong consensus across studies, many terminal relationships remain in flux despite substantial sequencing and other molecular and morphological studies. This systematic instability appears to be a consequence of contemporaneous bursts of speciation in the late Miocene and Pliocene, yielding many closely related extant species in each of the four eastern species groups. Therefore we conclude that many relationships are likely to remain poorly resolved in the face of additional sequencing efforts. On the other hand, the current classification of the 45 eastern species into four species groups is supported. The Plethodon cinereus group (10 species) is the sister group to the clade comprising the other three groups, but these latter groups (Plethodon glutinosus [28 species], Plethodon welleri [5 species], and Plethodon wehrlei [2 species]) probably diverged from each other at approximately the same time. Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  8. Evolution along the mutation gradient in the dynamic mitochondrial genome of salamanders.

    PubMed

    Chong, Rebecca A; Mueller, Rachel Lockridge

    2013-01-01

    Mitochondria are intracellular organelles where oxidative phosphorylation is carried out to complete ATP synthesis. Mitochondria have their own genome; in metazoans, this is a small, circular molecule encoding 13 electron transport proteins, 22 tRNAs, and 2 rRNAs. In invertebrates, mitochondrial gene rearrangement is common, and it is correlated with increased substitution rates. In vertebrates, mitochondrial gene rearrangement is rare, and its relationship to substitution rate remains unexplored. Mitochondrial genes can also show spatial variation in substitution rates around the genome due to the mechanism of mtDNA replication, which produces a mutation gradient. To date, however, the strength of the mutation gradient and whether movement along the gradient in rearranged (or otherwise modified) genomes impacts genic substitution rates remain unexplored in the majority of vertebrates. Salamanders include both normal mitochondrial genomes and independently derived rearrangements and expansions, providing a rare opportunity to test the effects of large-scale changes to genome architecture on vertebrate mitochondrial gene sequence evolution. We show that: 1) rearranged/expanded genomes have higher substitution rates; 2) most genes in rearranged/expanded genomes maintain their position along the mutation gradient, substitution rates of the genes that do move are unaffected by their new position, and the gradient in salamanders is weak; and 3) genomic rearrangements/expansions occur independent of levels of selective constraint on genes. Together, our results demonstrate that large-scale changes to genome architecture impact mitochondrial gene evolution in predictable ways; however, despite these impacts, the same functional constraints act on mitochondrial protein-coding genes in both modified and normal genomes.

  9. Evolution Along the Mutation Gradient in the Dynamic Mitochondrial Genome of Salamanders

    PubMed Central

    Chong, Rebecca A.; Mueller, Rachel Lockridge

    2013-01-01

    Mitochondria are intracellular organelles where oxidative phosphorylation is carried out to complete ATP synthesis. Mitochondria have their own genome; in metazoans, this is a small, circular molecule encoding 13 electron transport proteins, 22 tRNAs, and 2 rRNAs. In invertebrates, mitochondrial gene rearrangement is common, and it is correlated with increased substitution rates. In vertebrates, mitochondrial gene rearrangement is rare, and its relationship to substitution rate remains unexplored. Mitochondrial genes can also show spatial variation in substitution rates around the genome due to the mechanism of mtDNA replication, which produces a mutation gradient. To date, however, the strength of the mutation gradient and whether movement along the gradient in rearranged (or otherwise modified) genomes impacts genic substitution rates remain unexplored in the majority of vertebrates. Salamanders include both normal mitochondrial genomes and independently derived rearrangements and expansions, providing a rare opportunity to test the effects of large-scale changes to genome architecture on vertebrate mitochondrial gene sequence evolution. We show that: 1) rearranged/expanded genomes have higher substitution rates; 2) most genes in rearranged/expanded genomes maintain their position along the mutation gradient, substitution rates of the genes that do move are unaffected by their new position, and the gradient in salamanders is weak; and 3) genomic rearrangements/expansions occur independent of levels of selective constraint on genes. Together, our results demonstrate that large-scale changes to genome architecture impact mitochondrial gene evolution in predictable ways; however, despite these impacts, the same functional constraints act on mitochondrial protein-coding genes in both modified and normal genomes. PMID:23918809

  10. Phylogeny and genetic history of the Siberian salamander (Salamandrella keyserlingii, Dybowski, 1870) inferred from complete mitochondrial genomes.

    PubMed

    Malyarchuk, Boris; Derenko, Miroslava; Denisova, Galina

    2013-05-01

    We assessed phylogeny of the Siberian salamander (Salamandrella keyserlingii, Dybowski, 1870), the most northern ectothermic, terrestrial vertebrate in Eurasia, by sequence analysis of complete mitochondrial genomes in 26 specimens from different localities (China, Khabarovsk region, Sakhalin, Yakutia, Magadan region, Chukotka, Kamchatka, Ural, European part of Russia). In addition, a complete mitochondrial genome of the Schrenck salamander, Salamandrella schrenckii, was determined for the first time. Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of the entire mtDNA genomes of S. keyserlingii demonstrates that two haplotype clades, AB and C, radiated about 1.4 million years ago (Mya). Bayesian skyline plots of population size change through time show an expansion around 250 thousand years ago (kya) and then a decline around the Last Glacial Maximum (25 kya) with subsequent restoration of population size. Climatic changes during the Quaternary period have dramatically affected the population genetic structure of the Siberian salamanders. In addition, complete mtDNA sequence analysis allowed us to recognize that the vast area of Northern Eurasia was colonized only by the Siberian salamander clade C1b during the last 150 kya. Meanwhile, we were unable to find evidence of molecular adaptation in this clade by analyzing the whole mitochondrial genomes of the Siberian salamanders.

  11. Projected loss of a salamander diversity hotspot as a consequence of projected global climate change

    Treesearch

    Joseph R. Milanovich; William E. Peterman; Nathan P. Nibbelink; John C. Maerz

    2010-01-01

    Background: Significant shifts in climate are considered a threat to plants and animals with significant physiological limitations and limited dispersal abilities. The southern Appalachian Mountains are a global hotspot for plethodontid salamander diversity. Plethodontids are lungless ectotherms, so their ecology is strongly governed by temperature and precipitation....

  12. GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION OF MITOCHONDRIAL DNA VARIANTS AND THE HISTORICAL BIOGEOGRAPHY OF THE SPOTTED SALAMANDER, AMBYSTOMA MACULATUM.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Christopher A

    1994-06-01

    I analyzed geographic partitioning of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) restriction-site variants in the spotted salamander, Ambystoma maculatum. Two highly divergent and geographically separate genetic lineages were identified that differed by a minimum of 19 restriction sites (6% sequence divergence). One of the lineages has a disjunct distribution with very closely related haplotypes occurring in Missouri, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Virginia. The other lineage is found in Michigan, Illinois, and Alabama. The geographic separation of highly divergent mtDNA haplotypes, a pattern that was predicted based on the sedentary nature of these salamanders, is evidence for long-term barriers to gene flow. In contrast, the large-scale disjunction of very similar haplotypes suggests recent, long-distance gene flow and does not match the phylogeographic expectation for a small terrestrial vertebrate. I explain this potential contradiction in the level of importance assigned to gene flow by a scenario in which historical barriers to gene flow account for the two divergent mtDNA assemblages, but stochastic sorting of ancestral polymorphism is responsible for the large-scale geographic disjunction. Ten of 16 populations collected in the Ozark Highlands were fixed for the same haplotype. I attribute this lack of detectable variation to recent colonization of this area, a hypothesis that is supported by paleoecological data and demonstrates the potential benefits of combining data from paleobotany, geology, and other disciplines to reconstruct the historical biogeography of a species. © 1994 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  13. Mitochondrial cytochrome B phylogeny and historical biogeography of the Tohoku salamander, Hynobius lichenatus (Amphibia, Caudata).

    PubMed

    Aoki, Gen; Matsui, Masafumi; Nishikawa, Kanto

    2013-03-01

    The Tohoku salamander, Hynobius lichenatus Boulenger, 1883, is a lentic breeding species widespread throughout montane regions of northeastern Japan. To explore intraspecific genetic variation and infer evolutionary history of H. lichenatus, we performed mitochondrial DNA analysis (complete 1141 bp sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene) using 215 adult and larval individuals collected from 75 localities, encompassing known distributional range of the species. Hynobius lichenatus proved to be monophyletic, including three well-supported and geographically structured clades (Clade I from northern Kanto, Clade II from southern Tohoku, and Clade III from northern Tohoku). These clades, respectively, comprise several subclades, and show genetic distances as large as those seen between different species of Hynobius. Results of population statistic analyses indicate that all clades and most subclades have maintained high genetic diversity and demographic stability over long periods. Molecular dating indicates divergence in H. lichenatus concords with topographic evolution of northeastern Japan from late Miocene to early Pleistocene, suggesting that paleogeographic events in this region, such as orogenesis, sea level change, and volcanic activity, have been crucial for shaping genetic patterns and diversity in this species. Hynobius lichenatus greatly differs from many other animal species from northeastern Japan in its much older periods and the pattern of genetic differentiation, and is suggested as an old faunal element in this region.

  14. Variable infection of stream salamanders in the southern Appalachians by the trematode Metagonimoides oregonensis (family: Heterophyidae)

    Treesearch

    Jennie A. Wyderko; Ernest F. Benfield; John C. Maerz; Kristen C. Cecala; Lisa K. Belden

    2015-01-01

    Many factors contribute to parasites varying in host specificity and distribution among potential hosts. Metagonimoides oregonensis is a digenetic trematode that uses stream-dwelling plethodontid salamanders as second intermediate hosts in the Eastern US. We completed a field survey to identify which stream salamander species, at a regional level, are most...

  15. Population structure of the salamander Hynobius retardatus inferred from a partial sequence of the mitochondrial DNA control region.

    PubMed

    Azuma, Noriko; Hangui, Jun-ichi; Wakahara, Masami; Michimae, Hirofumi

    2013-01-01

    We investigated population structure of the salamander Hynobius retardatus in Hokkaido, Japan using partial sequences of the mitochondrial DNA control region (490 bp) from 105 individuals. The salamanders were collected from 28 localities representing the entire regional distribution of this species. Twenty different haplotypes distributed across three haplotype groups were identified. Group 1 was widely distributed in central, northern, and eastern Hokkaido, except Erimo; Groups 2 and 3 appeared exclusively in Erimo and southern Hokkaido, respectively. The genetic distance between the three groups was not very large, but the distributions of the groups never overlapped spatially, indicating a hierarchical population structure comprising three regional groups, which was also supported by analysis of molecular variance. The results suggest that the present population structure is affected by current genetic barriers, as well as by historical transitions of climate and landscape.

  16. Experimental infection of native north Carolina salamanders with Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    PubMed

    Chinnadurai, Sathya K; Cooper, David; Dombrowski, Daniel S; Poore, Matthew F; Levy, Michael G

    2009-07-01

    Chytridiomycosis is an often fatal fungal disease of amphibians caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. This disease has been implicated in the worldwide decline of many anuran species, but studies of chytridiomycosis in wild salamanders are limited. Between August 2006 and December 2006, we tested wild amphibians in North Carolina, USA (n=212) by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). We identified three PCR-positive animals: one Rana clamitans and two Plethodontid salamanders. We experimentally infected two species of native North Carolina Plethodontid salamanders, the slimy salamander (Plethodon glutinosus) and the Blue Ridge Mountain dusky salamander (Desmognathus orestes) with 1,000,000 zoospores of B. dendrobatidis per animal. Susceptibility was species dependent; all slimy salamanders developed clinical signs of chytridiomycosis, and one died, whereas dusky salamanders remained unaffected. In a second experiment, we challenged naïve slimy salamanders with either 10,000 or 100,000 motile zoospores per animal. Clinical signs consistent with chytridiomycosis were not observed at either dose or in uninfected controls during the 45 days of this experiment. All animals inoculated with B. dendrobatidis in both experiments, regardless of dose, tested positive by PCR. Our study indicates that slimy salamanders are more susceptible to clinical chytridiomycosis than dusky salamanders, and in a laboratory setting, a dose greater than 100,000 zoospores per animal is required to induce clinical disease. This study also indicates that PCR is a very sensitive tool for detecting B. dendrobatidis infection, even in animals that are clinically unaffected, thus positive results should be interpreted with caution.

  17. Ecological radiation with limited morphological diversification in salamanders.

    PubMed

    Blankers, Thomas; Adams, D C; Wiens, J J

    2012-04-01

    A major goal of evolutionary biology is to explain morphological diversity among species. Many studies suggest that much morphological variation is explained by adaptation to different microhabitats. Here, we test whether morphology and microhabitat use are related in plethodontid salamanders, which contain the majority of salamander species, and have radiated into a striking diversity of microhabitats. We obtained microhabitat data for 189 species that also had both morphometric and phylogenetic data. We then tested for associations between morphology and microhabitat categories using phylogenetic comparative methods. Associations between morphology and ecology in plethodontids are largely confined to a single clade within one subfamily (Bolitoglossinae), whereas variation in morphology across other plethodontids is unrelated to microhabitat categories. These results demonstrate that ecological radiation and morphological evolution can be largely decoupled in a major clade. The results also offer a striking contrast to lizards, which typically show close relationships between morphology and microhabitat.

  18. Nuclear and mitochondrial multilocus phylogeny and survey of alkaloid content in true salamanders of the genus Salamandra (Salamandridae).

    PubMed

    Vences, Miguel; Sanchez, Eugenia; Hauswaldt, J Susanne; Eikelmann, Daniel; Rodríguez, Ariel; Carranza, Salvador; Donaire, David; Gehara, Marcelo; Helfer, Véronique; Lötters, Stefan; Werner, Philine; Schulz, Stefan; Steinfartz, Sebastian

    2014-04-01

    The genus Salamandra represents a clade of six species of Palearctic salamanders of either contrasted black-yellow, or uniformly black coloration, known to contain steroidal alkaloid toxins in high concentrations in their skin secretions. This study reconstructs the phylogeny of the genus Salamandra based on DNA sequences of segments of 10 mitochondrial and 13 nuclear genes from 31 individual samples representing all Salamandra species and most of the commonly recognized subspecies. The concatenated analysis of the complete dataset produced a fully resolved tree with most nodes strongly supported, suggesting that a clade composed of the Alpine salamander (S. atra) and the Corsican fire salamander (S. corsica) is the sister taxon to a clade containing the remaining species, among which S. algira and S. salamandra are sister species. Separate analyses of mitochondrial and nuclear data partitions disagreed regarding basal nodes and in the position of the root but concordantly recovered the S. atra/S. corsica as well as the S. salamandra/S. algira relationship. A species-tree analysis suggested almost simultaneous temporal splits between these pairs of species, which we hypothesize was caused by vicariance events after the Messinian salinity crisis (from late Miocene to early Pliocene). A survey of toxins with combined gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy confirmed the presence of samandarine and/or samandarone steroidal alkaloids in all species of Salamandra as well as in representatives of their sister group, Lyciasalamandra. Samandarone was also detected in lower concentrations in other salamandrids including Calotriton, Euproctus, Lissotriton, and Triturus, suggesting that the presence and possible biosynthesis of this alkaloid is plesiomorphic within the Salamandridae. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Detecting cryptic species in phylogeographic studies: speciation in the California Slender Salamander, Batrachoseps attenuatus.

    PubMed

    Highton, Richard

    2014-02-01

    A study of DNA sequence variation in the plethodontid salamander Batrachoseps attenuatus by Martínez-Solano et al. (2007) revealed more species than acknowledged by the authors. They sequenced 677 base pairs of the cytochrome-b mitochondrial gene in 178 individuals from 123 populations of the currently recognized species B. attenuatus from throughout most of its known range in southwestern Oregon and northern and central California. Their data show that the common ancestor of the species diverged into five clades during the late Miocene Epoch, an estimated 9.2-5.5 mya, with subsequent divergences producing at least 39 living lineages that replace each other geographically. These groups have been diverging independently from each other throughout the Pleistocene Epoch and many of them have probably reached the species level of divergence.

  20. Spatial variation in water loss predicts terrestrial salamander distribution and population dynamics.

    PubMed

    Peterman, W E; Semlitsch, R D

    2014-10-01

    Many patterns observed in ecology, such as species richness, life history variation, habitat use, and distribution, have physiological underpinnings. For many ectothermic organisms, temperature relationships shape these patterns, but for terrestrial amphibians, water balance may supersede temperature as the most critical physiologically limiting factor. Many amphibian species have little resistance to water loss, which restricts them to moist microhabitats, and may significantly affect foraging, dispersal, and courtship. Using plaster models as surrogates for terrestrial plethodontid salamanders (Plethodon albagula), we measured water loss under ecologically relevant field conditions to estimate the duration of surface activity time across the landscape. Surface activity time was significantly affected by topography, solar exposure, canopy cover, maximum air temperature, and time since rain. Spatially, surface activity times were highest in ravine habitats and lowest on ridges. Surface activity time was a significant predictor of salamander abundance, as well as a predictor of successful recruitment; the probability of a juvenile salamander occupying an area with high surface activity time was two times greater than an area with limited predicted surface activity. Our results suggest that survival, recruitment, or both are demographic processes that are affected by water loss and the ability of salamanders to be surface-active. Results from our study extend our understanding of plethodontid salamander ecology, emphasize the limitations imposed by their unique physiology, and highlight the importance of water loss to spatial population dynamics. These findings are timely for understanding the effects that fluctuating temperature and moisture conditions predicted for future climates will have on plethodontid salamanders.

  1. Determining sex and life stage of Del Norte salamanders from external cues

    Treesearch

    Lisa Ollivier; Hartwell H. Welsh Jr

    2003-01-01

    Life stage determination for many western plethodontids often requires dissection of the specimen. Availability of reliable external measures that could be applied under field conditions would enhance future studies of the genus Plethodon. We examined preserved specimens of the Del Norte Salamander, Plethodon elongatus, taken from...

  2. Survey for the Pathogenic Chytrid Fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Southwestern North Carolina Salamander Populations

    Treesearch

    S. Keitzer; Reuben Goforth; Allan Pessier; April Johnson

    2011-01-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is a fungal pathogen responsible for a potentially fatal disease of amphibians. We conducted a survey for B. dendrobatidis in the Appalachian Mountains of southwestern North Carolina, USA, from 10 June to 23 July 23 2009. Ventral skin swabs were collected from plethodontid salamanders (n=278) and real-time PCR was performed to test for...

  3. Proximate contributions to adult body size in two species of Dusky Salamanders (Plethodontidae: Desmognathus)

    Treesearch

    Richard Bruce

    2010-01-01

    I used skeletochronological data to evaluate the contributions of propagule size, larval/juvenile growth, and age at first reproduction to differences in adult body size in two species of plethodontid salamanders of the genus Desmognathus. The traits in question were evaluated in populations of the larger D. quadramaculatus and smaller D. monticola in the southern Blue...

  4. Newly discovered populations of salamanders from Siskiyou County California represent a species distinct from Plethodon Stormi.

    Treesearch

    Louise S. Mead; David R. Clayton; Richard S. Nauman; Deanna H. Olson; Michael E. Pfrender

    2005-01-01

    Plethodon stormi and Plethodon elongatus are two closely related species of plethodontid salamanders that are restricted to the Klamath Province of northwestern California and southwestern Oregon. Discovery of three localities south of the Klamath River, in the Scott River drainage, not assignable to either P....

  5. Woodland salamanders as metrics of forest ecosystem recovery: a case study from California’s redwoods

    Treesearch

    Hart Welsh; Garth Hodgson

    2013-01-01

    Woodland (Plethodontid) salamanders occur in huge numbers in healthy forests in North America where the abundances of many species vary along successional gradients. Their high numbers and trophic role as predators on shredder and decomposer arthropods influence nutrient and carbon pathways at the leaf litter/soil interface. Their extreme niche conservatism and low...

  6. Plethodontid salamander distributions in managed forest headwaters in western Oregon

    Treesearch

    Deanna H. Olson; Matthew R. Kluber

    2014-01-01

    We examined terrestrial amphibians in managed headwater forest stands in western Oregon from 1998 to 2009. We assessed: (1) temporal and spatial patterns of species capture rates, and movement patterns with distance from streams and forest management treatments of alternative riparian buffer widths and upland thinning; (2) species survival and recapture probabilities;...

  7. Phylogenetic analysis of Common Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) stomach contents detects cryptic range of a secretive salamander (Ensatina eschscholtzii oregonensis) Herpetological Conservation and Biology 5(3):395–402

    Treesearch

    Sean B. Reilly; Andrew D Gottsho; Justin M. Garwood; Bryan. Jennings

    2010-01-01

    Given the current global amphibian decline, it is crucial to obtain accurate and current information regarding species distributions. Secretive amphibians such as plethodontid salamanders can be difficult to detect in many cases, especially in remote, high elevation areas. We used molecular phylogenetic analyses to identify three partially digested salamanders palped...

  8. Enlarged Multilocus Data set Provides Surprisingly Younger Time of Origin for the Plethodontidae, the Largest Family of Salamanders.

    PubMed

    Shen, Xing-Xing; Liang, Dan; Chen, Meng-Yun; Mao, Rong-Li; Wake, David B; Zhang, Peng

    2016-01-01

    Deep phylogenetic relationships of the largest salamander family Plethodontidae have been difficult to resolve, probably reflecting a rapid diversification early in their evolutionary history. Here, data from 50 independent nuclear markers (total 48,582 bp) are used to reconstruct the phylogeny and divergence times for plethodontid salamanders, using both concatenation and coalescence-based species tree analyses. Our results robustly resolve the position of the enigmatic eastern North American four-toed salamander (Hemidactylium) as the sister taxon of Batrachoseps + Tribe Bolitoglossini, thus settling a long-standing question. Furthermore, we statistically reject sister taxon status of Karsenia and Hydromantes, the only plethodontids to occur outside the Americas, leading us to new biogeographic hypotheses. Contrary to previous long-standing arguments that plethodontid salamanders are an old lineage originating in the Cretaceous (more than 90 Ma), our analyses lead to the hypothesis that these salamanders are much younger, arising close to the K-T boundary (~66 Ma). These time estimates are highly stable using alternative calibration schemes and dating methods. Our data simulation highlights the potential risk of making strong arguments about phylogenetic timing based on inferences from a handful of nuclear genes, a common practice. Based on the newly obtained timetree and ancestral area reconstruction results, we argue that (i) the classic "Out of Appalachia" hypothesis of plethodontid origins is problematic; (ii) the common ancestor of extant plethodontids may have originated in northwestern North America in the early Paleocene; (iii) origins of Eurasian plethodontids likely result from two separate dispersal events from western North America via Beringia in the late Eocene (~42 Ma) and the early Miocene (~23 Ma), respectively.

  9. Convergent evolutionary reduction of atrial septation in lungless salamanders.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Zachary R; Hanken, James

    2017-01-01

    Nearly two thirds of the approximately 700 species of living salamanders are lungless. These species respire entirely through the skin and buccopharyngeal mucosa. Lung loss dramatically impacts the configuration of the circulatory system but the effects of evolutionary lung loss on cardiac morphology have long been controversial. For example, there is presumably little need for an atrial septum in lungless salamanders due to the absence of pulmonary veins and the presence of a single source of mixed blood flowing into the heart, but whether lungless salamanders possess an atrial septum and whether the sinoatrial aperture is located in the left or right atrium are unresolved; authors have stated opposing claims since the late 1800s. Here, we use micro-computed tomography (μ-CT) imaging, gross dissection and histological reconstruction to compare cardiac morphology among lungless plethodontid salamanders (Plethodontidae), salamanders with lungs, and the convergently lungless species Onychodactylus japonicus (Hynobiidae). Plethodontid salamanders have partial atrial septa and incomplete separation of the atrium into left and right halves. Partial septation is also seen in O. japonicus. Hence, lungless salamanders from two lineages convergently evolved similar morphology of the atrial septum. The partial septum in lungless salamanders can make it appear that the sinoatrial aperture is in the left atrium, but this interpretation is incorrect. Outgroup comparisons demonstrate that the aperture is located in a posterodorsal extension of the right atrium into the left side of the heart. Independent evolutionary losses of the atrial septum may have a similar developmental basis. In mammals, the lungs induce formation of the atrial septum by secreting morphogens to neighboring mesenchyme. We hypothesize that the lungs induce atrial septum development in amphibians in a similar fashion to mammals, and that atrial septum reduction in lungless salamanders is a direct result

  10. Hellbender genome sequences shed light on genomic expansion at the base of crown salamanders.

    PubMed

    Sun, Cheng; Mueller, Rachel Lockridge

    2014-07-01

    Among animals, genome sizes range from 20 Mb to 130 Gb, with 380-fold variation across vertebrates. Most of the largest vertebrate genomes are found in salamanders, an amphibian clade of 660 species. Thus, salamanders are an important system for studying causes and consequences of genomic gigantism. Previously, we showed that plethodontid salamander genomes accumulate higher levels of long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons than do other vertebrates, although the evolutionary origins of such sequences remained unexplored. We also showed that some salamanders in the family Plethodontidae have relatively slow rates of DNA loss through small insertions and deletions. Here, we present new data from Cryptobranchus alleganiensis, the hellbender. Cryptobranchus and Plethodontidae span the basal phylogenetic split within salamanders; thus, analyses incorporating these taxa can shed light on the genome of the ancestral crown salamander lineage, which underwent expansion. We show that high levels of LTR retrotransposons likely characterize all crown salamanders, suggesting that disproportionate expansion of this transposable element (TE) class contributed to genomic expansion. Phylogenetic and age distribution analyses of salamander LTR retrotransposons indicate that salamanders' high TE levels reflect persistence and diversification of ancestral TEs rather than horizontal transfer events. Finally, we show that relatively slow DNA loss rates through small indels likely characterize all crown salamanders, suggesting that a decreased DNA loss rate contributed to genomic expansion at the clade's base. Our identification of shared genomic features across phylogenetically distant salamanders is a first step toward identifying the evolutionary processes underlying accumulation and persistence of high levels of repetitive sequence in salamander genomes.

  11. The trophic role of a forest salamander: impacts on invertebrates, leaf litter retention, and the humification process

    Treesearch

    M. L. Best; H. H. Welsh

    2014-01-01

    Woodland (Plethodontid) salamanders are the most abundant vertebrates in North American forests, functioning as predators on invertebrates and prey for higher trophic levels. We investigated the role of Ensatina (Ensatina eschscholtzii) in regulating invertebrate numbers and leaf litter retention in a northern California forest. Our objective was...

  12. Gene lineages and eastern North American palaeodrainage basins: phylogeography and speciation in salamanders of the Eurycea bislineata species complex.

    PubMed

    Kozak, Kenneth H; Blaine, Russell A; Larson, Allan

    2006-01-01

    Contemporary North American drainage basins are composites of formerly isolated drainages, suggesting that fragmentation and fusion of palaeodrainage systems may have been an important factor generating current patterns of genetic and species diversity in stream-associated organisms. Here, we combine traditional molecular-phylogenetic, multiple-regression, nested clade, and molecular-demographic analyses to investigate the relationship between phylogeographic variation and the hydrogeological history of eastern North American drainage basins in semiaquatic plethodontid salamanders of the Eurycea bislineata species complex. Four hundred forty-two sequences representing 1108 aligned bases from the mitochondrial genome are reported for the five formally recognized species of the E. bislineata complex and three outgroup taxa. Within the in-group, 270 haplotypes are recovered from 144 sampling locations. Geographic patterns of mtDNA-haplotype coalescence identify 13 putatively independent population-level lineages, suggesting that the current taxonomy of the group underestimates species-level diversity. Spatial and temporal patterns of phylogeographic divergence are strongly associated with historical rather than modern drainage connections, indicating that shifts in major drainage patterns played a pivotal role in the allopatric fragmentation of populations and build-up of lineage diversity in these stream-associated salamanders. More generally, our molecular genetic results corroborate geological and faunistic evidence suggesting that palaeodrainage connections altered by glacial advances and headwater erosion occurring between the mid-Miocene and Pleistocene epochs explain regional patterns of biodiversity in eastern North American streams.

  13. Estimating occurrence and detection probabilities for stream-breeding salamanders in the Gulf Coastal Plain

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lamb, Jennifer Y.; Waddle, J. Hardin; Qualls, Carl P.

    2017-01-01

    Large gaps exist in our knowledge of the ecology of stream-breeding plethodontid salamanders in the Gulf Coastal Plain. Data describing where these salamanders are likely to occur along environmental gradients, as well as their likelihood of detection, are important for the prevention and management of amphibian declines. We used presence/absence data from leaf litter bag surveys and a hierarchical Bayesian multispecies single-season occupancy model to estimate the occurrence of five species of plethodontids across reaches in headwater streams in the Gulf Coastal Plain. Average detection probabilities were high (range = 0.432–0.942) and unaffected by sampling covariates specific to the use of litter bags (i.e., bag submergence, sampling season, in-stream cover). Estimates of occurrence probabilities differed substantially between species (range = 0.092–0.703) and were influenced by the size of the upstream drainage area and by the maximum proportion of the reach that dried. The effects of these two factors were not equivalent across species. Our results demonstrate that hierarchical multispecies models successfully estimate occurrence parameters for both rare and common stream-breeding plethodontids. The resulting models clarify how species are distributed within stream networks, and they provide baseline values that will be useful in evaluating the conservation statuses of plethodontid species within lotic systems in the Gulf Coastal Plain.

  14. Projected Loss of a Salamander Diversity Hotspot as a Consequence of Projected Global Climate Change

    PubMed Central

    Milanovich, Joseph R.; Peterman, William E.; Nibbelink, Nathan P.; Maerz, John C.

    2010-01-01

    Background Significant shifts in climate are considered a threat to plants and animals with significant physiological limitations and limited dispersal abilities. The southern Appalachian Mountains are a global hotspot for plethodontid salamander diversity. Plethodontids are lungless ectotherms, so their ecology is strongly governed by temperature and precipitation. Many plethodontid species in southern Appalachia exist in high elevation habitats that may be at or near their thermal maxima, and may also have limited dispersal abilities across warmer valley bottoms. Methodology/Principal Findings We used a maximum-entropy approach (program Maxent) to model the suitable climatic habitat of 41 plethodontid salamander species inhabiting the Appalachian Highlands region (33 individual species and eight species included within two species complexes). We evaluated the relative change in suitable climatic habitat for these species in the Appalachian Highlands from the current climate to the years 2020, 2050, and 2080, using both the HADCM3 and the CGCM3 models, each under low and high CO2 scenarios, and using two-model thresholds levels (relative suitability thresholds for determining suitable/unsuitable range), for a total of 8 scenarios per species. Conclusion/Significance While models differed slightly, every scenario projected significant declines in suitable habitat within the Appalachian Highlands as early as 2020. Species with more southern ranges and with smaller ranges had larger projected habitat loss. Despite significant differences in projected precipitation changes to the region, projections did not differ significantly between global circulation models. CO2 emissions scenario and model threshold had small effects on projected habitat loss by 2020, but did not affect longer-term projections. Results of this study indicate that choice of model threshold and CO2 emissions scenario affect short-term projected shifts in climatic distributions of species; however

  15. Salamander Saver

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ilseman, Kelly; Hoffmann, Kristine

    2016-01-01

    On a spring morning in Maine, traps made of nets rise above vernal pools in a small wetland, ready to collect salamanders. The traps were designed by groups of rural and urban high school students from Maine and Massachusetts participating in the University of Maine Upward Bound Math Science Program (UBMS) at the university campus in Orono, Maine.…

  16. Salamander Saver

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ilseman, Kelly; Hoffmann, Kristine

    2016-01-01

    On a spring morning in Maine, traps made of nets rise above vernal pools in a small wetland, ready to collect salamanders. The traps were designed by groups of rural and urban high school students from Maine and Massachusetts participating in the University of Maine Upward Bound Math Science Program (UBMS) at the university campus in Orono, Maine.…

  17. Context-dependent movement behavior of woodland salamanders (Plethodon) in two habitat types.

    PubMed

    Connette, Grant M; Semlitsch, Raymond D

    2013-12-01

    Animal movement is critical to the maintenance of functional connectivity at the landscape scale and can play a key role in population persistence and metapopulation dynamics. The permeability of habitat to animal movement may vary as a result of either differential mortality, physical resistance, or simply the behavioral responses of organisms to perceived habitat quality. Understanding how and when animal movement behavior varies among habitat types is critical for identifying barriers to dispersal and predicting species distributions in relation to landscape features. We conducted an experimental translocation study and compared the movement success and behavioral strategies of plethodontid salamanders in both forest and open-canopy habitat. We found that individuals in closed-canopy forest oriented more strongly towards their home ranges and moved significantly farther on their release night. In spite of the clear differences in movement paths, the ultimate movement success of homing salamanders did not appear to vary with habitat type. Our study contributes to a growing body of literature suggesting the importance of recognizing the context dependence of animal movement behavior. Because the movement rates of displaced salamanders were significantly reduced in open-canopy, dispersal rates of plethodontid salamanders in open-canopy habitat are likely lower than in control forest. Further mechanistic studies focusing on habitat-specific movement behavior and survival costs will be valuable for effectively identifying and mitigating barriers to animal movement.

  18. Separating Population Structure from Population History: A Cladistic Analysis of the Geographical Distribution of Mitochondrial DNA Haplotypes in the Tiger Salamander, Ambystoma Tigrinum

    PubMed Central

    Templeton, A. R.; Routman, E.; Phillips, C. A.

    1995-01-01

    Nonrandom associations of alleles or haplotypes with geographical location can arise from restricted gene flow, historical events (fragmentation, range expansion, colonization), or any mixture of these factors. In this paper, we show how a nested cladistic analysis of geographical distances can be used to test the null hypothesis of no geographical association of haplotypes, test the hypothesis that significant associations are due to restricted gene flow, and identify patterns of significant association that are due to historical events. In this last case, criteria are given to discriminate among contiguous range expansion, long-distance colonization, and population fragmentation. The ability to make these discriminations depends critically upon an adequate geographical sampling design. These points are illustrated with a worked example: mitochondrial DNA haplotypes in the salamander Ambystoma tigrinum. For this example, prior information exists about restricted gene flow and likely historical events, and the nested cladistic analyses were completely concordant with this prior information. This concordance establishes the plausibility of this nested cladistic approach, but much future work will be necessary to demonstrate robustness and to explore the power and accuracy of this procedure. PMID:7498753

  19. Do larval traits re-evolve? Evidence from the embryogenesis of a direct-developing salamander, Plethodon cinereus.

    PubMed

    Kerney, Ryan R; Blackburn, David C; Müller, Hendrik; Hanken, James

    2012-01-01

    Recent molecular phylogenies suggest the surprising reacquisition of posthatching metamorphosis within an otherwise direct-developing clade of lungless salamanders (family Plethodontidae). Metamorphosis was long regarded as plesiomorphic for plethodontids, yet the genus Desmognathus, which primarily includes metamorphosing species, is now nested within a much larger clade of direct-developing species. The extent to which the putative reacquisition of metamorphosis in Desmognathus represents a true evolutionary reversal is contingent upon the extent to which both larva-specific features and metamorphosis were actually lost during the evolution of direct development. In this study we analyze development of the hyobranchial skeleton, which is dramatically remodeled during salamander metamorphosis, in the direct-developing red-backed salamander, Plethodon cinereus. We find dramatic remodeling of the hyobranchial skeleton during embryogenesis in P. cinereus and the transient appearance of larva-specific cartilages. Hyobranchial development in this direct-developing plethodontid is highly similar to that in metamorphosing plethodontids (e.g., Desmognathus). The proposed reacquisition of hyobranchial metamorphosis within Desmognathus does not represent the "re-evolution" of a lost phenotype, but instead the elaboration of an existing developmental sequence. © 2011 The Author(s). Evolution © 2011 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  20. Phylogeography and evolution of the Red Salamander (Pseudotriton ruber).

    PubMed

    Folt, Brian; Garrison, Nicole; Guyer, Craig; Rodriguez, Juanita; Bond, Jason E

    2016-05-01

    Phylogeographic studies frequently result in the elevation of subspecific taxa to species given monophyly, or the synonymy of subspecies that are not monophyletic. However, given limited or incongruent datasets, retention of subspecies can be useful to describe hypothesized incipient species or to illustrate interesting biological phenomena driving morphological diversity. Four subspecific taxa have been used to describe largely allopatric geographic variation within the species Pseudotriton ruber, a plethodontid salamander occupying stream and spring habitats across eastern North America: P. r. vioscai occurs in lowland Coastal Plain habitats, while P. r. ruber, P. r. nitidus, and P. r. schencki occupy upland regions in and around the Appalachian Mountains. Pseudotriton ruber co-occurs through its distribution with the aposematic newt Notophthalmus viridescens, and both species are hypothesized to be part of a Müllerian mimicry complex. In this study, we sequenced regions of two mitochondrial (cytochrome b, NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2) and one single copy nuclear protein-coding gene (pro-opiomelanocortin) from individuals sampled across much of the distribution of P. ruber and then used maximum-likelihood and Bayesian phylogenetic inference to test the monophyly of subspecies, reconstruct biogeographic history, and make inferences about morphological evolution. Phylogeographic hypotheses from mitochondrial and nuclear datasets described structure among populations of P. ruber which separated Coastal Plain and upland Appalachian populations, but subspecies were not monophyletic. Biogeographic reconstruction estimated the ancestor of all populations to have occupied and initially diverged in the Coastal Plain during the Pliocene (∼3.6mya), before one lineage subsequently invaded upland areas of Appalachia. Bold bright coloration of high elevation subspecies P. r. nitidus and P. r. schencki appears to have evolved twice. We hypothesize that the Müllerian mimicry

  1. Proteomic analyses of courtship pheromones in the redback salamander, Plethodon cinereus.

    PubMed

    Wilburn, Damien B; Bowen, Kathleen E; Feldhoff, Pamela W; Feldhoff, Richard C

    2014-08-01

    The evolutionary success of plethodontid salamanders for ~100 MY is due partly to the use of courtship pheromones that regulate female receptivity. In ~90 % of plethodontid species, males deliver pheromones by "scratching" a female's dorsum, where pheromones diffuse transdermally into the bloodstream. However, in a single clade, representing ~10 % of Plethodon spp., males apply pheromones to the female's nares for olfactory delivery. Molecular studies have identified three major pheromone families: Plethodontid Receptivity Factor (PRF), Plethodontid Modulating Factor (PMF), and Sodefrin Precursor-like Factor (SPF). SPF and PMF genes are relatively ancient and found in all plethodontid species; however, PRF is found exclusively in the genus Plethodon - which includes species with transdermal, olfactory, and intermediate delivery behaviors. While previous proteomic analyses suggested PRF and PMF are dominant in slapping species and SPF is dominant in non-Plethodon scratching species, it was unclear how protein expression of different pheromone components may vary across delivery modes within Plethodon. Therefore, the aim of this study was to proteomically characterize the pheromones of a key scratching species in this evolutionary transition, Plethodon cinereus. Using mass spectrometry-based techniques, our data support the functional replacement of SPF by PRF in Plethodon spp. and an increase in PMF gene duplication events in both lineage-dependent and delivery-dependent manners. Novel glycosylation was observed on P. cinereus PRFs, which may modulate the metabolism and/or mechanism of action for PRF in scratching species. Cumulatively, these molecular data suggest that the replacement of pheromone components (e.g., SPF by PRF) preceded the evolutionary transition of the functional complex from transdermal to olfactory delivery.

  2. What are the consequences of combining nuclear and mitochondrial data for phylogenetic analysis? Lessons from Plethodon salamanders and 13 other vertebrate clades

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The use of mitochondrial DNA data in phylogenetics is controversial, yet studies that combine mitochondrial and nuclear DNA data (mtDNA and nucDNA) to estimate phylogeny are common, especially in vertebrates. Surprisingly, the consequences of combining these data types are largely unexplored, and many fundamental questions remain unaddressed in the literature. For example, how much do trees from mtDNA and nucDNA differ? How are topological conflicts between these data types typically resolved in the combined-data tree? What determines whether a node will be resolved in favor of mtDNA or nucDNA, and are there any generalities that can be made regarding resolution of mtDNA-nucDNA conflicts in combined-data trees? Here, we address these and related questions using new and published nucDNA and mtDNA data for Plethodon salamanders and published data from 13 other vertebrate clades (including fish, frogs, lizards, birds, turtles, and mammals). Results We find widespread discordance between trees from mtDNA and nucDNA (30-70% of nodes disagree per clade), but this discordance is typically not strongly supported. Despite often having larger numbers of variable characters, mtDNA data do not typically dominate combined-data analyses, and combined-data trees often share more nodes with trees from nucDNA alone. There is no relationship between the proportion of nodes shared between combined-data and mtDNA trees and relative numbers of variable characters or levels of homoplasy in the mtDNA and nucDNA data sets. Congruence between trees from mtDNA and nucDNA is higher on branches that are longer and deeper in the combined-data tree, but whether a conflicting node will be resolved in favor mtDNA or nucDNA is unrelated to branch length. Conflicts that are resolved in favor of nucDNA tend to occur at deeper nodes in the combined-data tree. In contrast to these overall trends, we find that Plethodon have an unusually large number of strongly supported conflicts between

  3. Dramatic declines in neotropical salamander populations are an important part of the global amphibian crisis

    PubMed Central

    Rovito, Sean M.; Parra-Olea, Gabriela; Vásquez-Almazán, Carlos R.; Papenfuss, Theodore J.; Wake, David B.

    2009-01-01

    We document major declines of many species of salamanders at several sites in Central America and Mexico, with emphasis on the San Marcos region of Guatemala, one of the best studied and most diverse salamander communities in the Neotropics. Profound declines of several formerly abundant species, including 2 apparent extinctions, are revealed. Terrestrial microhabitat specialists at mid- to high elevations have declined more than microhabitat generalists. These terrestrial microhabitat specialists have largely disappeared from multiple sites in western Guatemala, including in well-protected areas, suggesting that the phenomenon cannot be explained solely by localized habitat destruction. Major declines in southern Mexican plethodontid salamanders occurred in the late 1970s to early 1980s, concurrent with or preceding many reported frog declines. The species in decline comprise several major evolutionary lineages of tropical salamanders, underscoring that significant portions of the phylogenetic diversity of Neotropical salamanders are at risk. Our results highlight the urgent need to document and understand Neotropical salamander declines as part of the larger effort to conserve global amphibian diversity. PMID:19204286

  4. New species of salamander (Caudata: Plethodontidae: Cryptotriton) from Quebrada Cataguana, Francisco Morazán, Honduras, with comments on the taxonomic status of Cryptotriton wakei.

    PubMed

    Mccranie, James R; Rovito, Sean M

    2014-05-09

    We describe a new species of the plethodontid salamander genus Cryptotriton from Honduras after comparing morphological, molecular, and osteological data from the holotype to that of the other nominal forms of the genus. The new species differs from all of the known species of Cryptotriton in at least one character from all three datasets. We also suggest placing C. wakei in the synonymy of C. nasalis after examining the morphological and osteological characters of the single known specimen of C. wakei.

  5. Variable infection of stream salamanders in the southern Appalachians by the trematode Metagonimoides oregonensis (family: Heterophyidae).

    PubMed

    Wyderko, Jennie A; Benfield, Ernest F; Maerz, John C; Cecala, Kristen C; Belden, Lisa K

    2015-08-01

    Many factors contribute to parasites varying in host specificity and distribution among potential hosts. Metagonimoides oregonensis is a digenetic trematode that uses stream-dwelling plethodontid salamanders as second intermediate hosts in the Eastern US. We completed a field survey to identify which stream salamander species, at a regional level, are most likely to be important for transmission to raccoon definitive hosts. We surveyed six plethodontid species (N = 289 salamanders) from 23 Appalachian headwater sites in North Carolina: Desmognathus quadramaculatus (n = 69), Eurycea wilderae (n = 160), Desmognathus ocoee (n = 31), Desmognathus monticola (n = 3), Eurycea guttolineata (n = 7), and Gyrinophilus porphyriticus (n = 19). We found infection in all species except D. monticola. Further analysis focused on comparing infection in the two most abundant species, D. quadramaculatus and E. wilderae. We found that D. quadramaculatus had significantly higher infection prevalence and intensity, probably due to a longer aquatic larval period and larger body sizes and thus greater cumulative exposure to the parasite.

  6. Diseases of salamanders

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Converse, K.A.; Green, D.E.; Majumdar, S.K.; Huffman, J.E.; Brenner, F.J.; Panah, A.I.

    2005-01-01

    Few diseases are reported in salamanders. Two notable exceptions are infections by Ranavirus and Ichthyophonus. Except for mortality events associated with ranaviruses in tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum) and spotted salamanders (A. maculatum), dieoffs of salamanders are rarely detected or reported. Diseases presented in this chapter are those encountered in free-living salamanders of the United States and Canada. A few additional diseases that are occasionally seen in captive and zoo animals have been reviewed by Green (2001). This chapter on Diseases of Salamanders will address five common infectious diseases of free-living larval and adult salamanders: Ranavirus (iridovims) infection, chytrid fungal infection, ichthyophoniasis, Clinostomum metacercaria, chiggers. Many helminthic parasites infect salamanders, but with few exceptions, these infections are unlikely to cause illness (morbidity) or death (mortality). Readers are referred to parasitology texts for a review of protozoan, helminthic and ectoparasitic organisms of amphibians (Flynn, 1973; Poynton and Whitaker, 2001).

  7. Ancestry of unisexual salamanders.

    PubMed

    Hedges, S B; Bogart, J P; Maxson, L R

    1992-04-23

    In eastern North America there are populations of all-female salamanders that incorporate the nuclear genomes of two or three of four sympatric bisexual species. The hybrids can be diploid, triploid, tetraploid or pentaploid, and 18 different combinations have been reported. All hybrids require sperm from a sympatric male of one of the bisexual species to reproduce, but the sperm may or may not be incorporated in the egg. Some of the hybrids are believed to represent separate, clonal species, but little is known of the origin of this hybrid complex. Vertebrate mitochondrial DNA is inherited maternally, allowing identification of the female parent that gave rise to hybrid lineages. A portion of the cytochrome b gene was sequenced from diploid and triploid hybrids that represent combinations of all four species. Nearly all hybrids had a similar mitochondrial genome sequence, independent of nuclear genome composition and ploidy, and the sequence was distinct from that of any of the four bisexual species. The hybrids maintain a mitochondrial lineage that has evolved independently of their nuclear genome and represent the most ancient known unisexual vertebrate lineage.

  8. Digits Lost or Gained? Evidence for Pedal Evolution in the Dwarf Salamander Complex (Eurycea, Plethodontidae)

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Change in digit number, particularly digit loss, has occurred repeatedly over the evolutionary history of tetrapods. Although digit loss has been documented among distantly related species of salamanders, it is relatively uncommon in this amphibian order. For example, reduction from five to four toes appears to have evolved just three times in the morphologically and ecologically diverse family Plethodontidae. Here we report a molecular phylogenetic analysis for one of these four-toed lineages – the Eurycea quadridigitata complex (dwarf salamanders) – emphasizing relationships to other species in the genus. A multilocus phylogeny reveals that dwarf salamanders are paraphyletic with respect to a complex of five-toed, paedomorphic Eurycea from the Edwards Plateau in Texas. We use this phylogeny to examine evolution of digit number within the dwarf−Edwards Plateau clade, testing contrasting hypotheses of digit loss (parallelism among dwarf salamanders) versus digit gain (re-evolution in the Edwards Plateau complex). Bayes factors analysis provides statistical support for a five-toed common ancestor at the dwarf-Edwards node, favoring, slightly, the parallelism hypothesis for digit loss. More importantly, our phylogenetic results pinpoint a rare event in the pedal evolution of plethodontid salamanders. PMID:22649536

  9. Decline of disjunct green salamander (Aneides aeneus) populations in the southern appalachians

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Corser, J.D.

    2001-01-01

    Coincident with other amphibians around the world Aneides aeneus, a terrestrial plethodontid salamander, suffered a population collapse in a disjunct portion of its range in the mid-late 1970s. Long-term monitoring of seven historical green salamander populations throughout the 1990s showed a 98% decline in relative abundance since 1970. Three out of six populations first discovered in 1991 also crashed in 1996-1997. The synchronized suddenness of the declines, their region-wide impact, and effects on both small and larger populations, suggest the role of a novel agent of mortality beginning in the mid-late 1970s. Acting alone, but more likely in concert, habitat loss, overcollecting, epidemic disease and climate change could account for this region-wide decline.

  10. Survey for the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in southwestern North Carolina salamander populations.

    PubMed

    Keitzer, S Conor; Goforth, Reuben; Pessier, Allan P; Johnson, April J

    2011-04-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is a fungal pathogen responsible for a potentially fatal disease of amphibians. We conducted a survey for B. dendrobatidis in the Appalachian Mountains of southwestern North Carolina, USA, from 10 June to 23 July 23 2009. Ventral skin swabs were collected from plethodontid salamanders (n=278) and real-time PCR was performed to test for the presence of B. dendrobatidis. We found no evidence of B. dendrobatidis, suggesting that B. dendrobatidis is absent or present in such low levels that it was undetected. If B. dendrobatidis was present at the time of our sampling, this survey supports evidence of low prevalence of B. dendrobatidis in North American headwater stream salamander populations.

  11. Stoichiometry of a semi-aquatic plethodontid salamander: Intraspecific variation due to location, size and diet

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological stoichiometry provides a framework to investigate an organism's relationship to nutrient cycles. An organism's stoichiometry is thought to constrain its contribution to nutrient cycles (recycling or storage), and to limit its growth and reproduction. Factors that influ...

  12. Stoichiometry of a semi-aquatic plethodontid salamander: Intraspecific variation due to location, size and diet

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological stoichiometry provides a framework to investigate an organism's relationship to nutrient cycles. An organism's stoichiometry is thought to constrain its contribution to nutrient cycles (recycling or storage), and to limit its growth and reproduction. Factors that influ...

  13. Plethodontid salamander population ecology in managed forest headwaters in the Oregon coast range

    Treesearch

    Matthew R. Kluber; Deanna H. Olson

    2013-01-01

    We examined temporal and spatial patterns of terrestrial amphibian species abundances and individual movements in western Oregon managed headwater forest stands using artifi cial cover object (ACO) arrays. Using mark-recapture methods, we estimated the eff ects of species and seasonality on apparent survival rates and recapture probabilities. We captured, marked, and...

  14. Osteological Variation among Extreme Morphological Forms in the Mexican Salamander Genus Chiropterotriton (Amphibia: Plethodontidae): Morphological Evolution And Homoplasy

    PubMed Central

    Darda, David M.; Wake, David B.

    2015-01-01

    Osteological variation is recorded among and within four of the most distinctive species of the Mexican salamander genus Chiropterotriton. Analysis of the data is consistent with the monophyletic status of the genus and documents previously unrecorded intraspecific and interspecific variation. Most of the recorded variation involves qualitative and quantitative proportional differences, but four fixed differences constitute autapomorphic states that affirm and diagnose some species (C. dimidiatus, C. magnipes). Osteological variation in 15 characters is analyzed with respect to predictions generated from four hypotheses: 1) phylogeny, 2) adaptation to specific habitats (the four species include cave-dwelling, terrestrial, and arboreal forms), 3) size-free shape, and 4) size. High levels of intraspecific variation suggest that the characters studied are not subject to rigid functional constraints in salamanders, regardless of size. The pattern predicted by the hypothesis based on size differences seen among these four Chiropterotriton species matches most closely the observed pattern of relative skull robustness. Since size change and heterochrony are often associated in plethodontid evolution, it is likely that changes in developmental timing play a role in the morphological transitions among these morphologically diverse taxa. Webbed feet, miniaturization, body shape, and an unusual tarsal arrangement are morphologies exhibited in species of Chiropterotrition that are shown to be homoplastic with other clades of tropical plethodontids. Although extensive homoplasy in salamanders might be seen as a roadblock to unraveling phylogenetic hypotheses, the homologous developmental systems that appear to underlie such homoplasy may reveal common and consistent evolutionary processes at work. PMID:26060996

  15. Osteological Variation among Extreme Morphological Forms in the Mexican Salamander Genus Chiropterotriton (Amphibia: Plethodontidae): Morphological Evolution And Homoplasy.

    PubMed

    Darda, David M; Wake, David B

    2015-01-01

    Osteological variation is recorded among and within four of the most distinctive species of the Mexican salamander genus Chiropterotriton. Analysis of the data is consistent with the monophyletic status of the genus and documents previously unrecorded intraspecific and interspecific variation. Most of the recorded variation involves qualitative and quantitative proportional differences, but four fixed differences constitute autapomorphic states that affirm and diagnose some species (C. dimidiatus, C. magnipes). Osteological variation in 15 characters is analyzed with respect to predictions generated from four hypotheses: 1) phylogeny, 2) adaptation to specific habitats (the four species include cave-dwelling, terrestrial, and arboreal forms), 3) size-free shape, and 4) size. High levels of intraspecific variation suggest that the characters studied are not subject to rigid functional constraints in salamanders, regardless of size. The pattern predicted by the hypothesis based on size differences seen among these four Chiropterotriton species matches most closely the observed pattern of relative skull robustness. Since size change and heterochrony are often associated in plethodontid evolution, it is likely that changes in developmental timing play a role in the morphological transitions among these morphologically diverse taxa. Webbed feet, miniaturization, body shape, and an unusual tarsal arrangement are morphologies exhibited in species of Chiropterotrition that are shown to be homoplastic with other clades of tropical plethodontids. Although extensive homoplasy in salamanders might be seen as a roadblock to unraveling phylogenetic hypotheses, the homologous developmental systems that appear to underlie such homoplasy may reveal common and consistent evolutionary processes at work.

  16. Salamander abundance along road edges and within abandoned logging roads in Appalachian forests.

    PubMed

    Semlitsch, Raymond D; Ryan, Travis J; Hamed, Kevin; Chatfield, Matt; Drehman, Bethany; Pekarek, Nicole; Spath, Mike; Watland, Angie

    2007-02-01

    Roads may be one of the most common disturbances in otherwise continuous forested habitat in the southern Appalachian Mountains. Despite their obvious presence on the landscape, there is limited data on the ecological effects along a road edge or the size of the "road-effect zone." We sampled salamanders at current and abandoned road sites within the Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina (U.S.A.) to determine the road-effect zone for an assemblage of woodland salamanders. Salamander abundance near the road was reduced significantly, and salamanders along the edges were predominantly large individuals. These results indicate that the road-effect zone for these salamanders extended 35 m on either side of the relatively narrow, low-use forest roads along which we sampled. Furthermore, salamander abundance was significantly lower on old, abandoned logging roads compared with the adjacent upslope sites. These results indicate that forest roads and abandoned logging roads have negative effects on forest-dependent species such as plethodontid salamanders. Our results may apply to other protected forests in the southern Appalachians and may exemplify a problem created by current and past land use activities in all forested regions, especially those related to road building for natural-resource extraction. Our results show that the effect of roads reached well beyond their boundary and that abandonment or the decommissioning of roads did not reverse detrimental ecological effects; rather, our results indicate that management decisions have significant repercussions for generations to come. Furthermore, the quantity of suitable forested habitat in the protected areas we studied was significantly reduced: between 28.6% and 36.9% of the area was affected by roads. Management and policy decisions must use current and historical data on land use to understand cumulative impacts on forest-dependent species and to fully protect biodiversity on national lands.

  17. Lagged influence of North Atlantic Oscillation on population dynamics of a Mediterranean terrestrial salamander

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salvidio, Sebastiano; Oneto, Fabrizio; Ottonello, Dario; Pastorino, Mauro V.

    2016-04-01

    The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is a large-scale climatic pattern that strongly influences the atmospheric circulation in the northern Hemisphere and by consequence the long-term variability of marine and terrestrial ecosystem over great part of northern Europe and western Mediterranean. In the Mediterranean, the effects of the NAO on vertebrates has been studied mainly on bird populations but was rarely analysed in ectothermic animals, and in particular in amphibians. In this study, we investigated the relationships between winter, spring and summer NAO indexes and the long-term population dynamics of the plethodontid salamander Speleomantes strinatii. This terrestrial salamander was monitored inside an artificial cave in NW Italy for 24 consecutive years. The relationships between seasonal NAO indexes and the salamander dynamics were assessed by cross-correlation function (CCF) analysis, after prewhitening the time series by autoregressive moving average statistical modelling. Results of CCF analyses indicated that the salamander abundance varied in relation to the one-year ahead winter NAO ( P = 0.018), while no relationships were found with spring and summer indexes. These results strengthen some previous findings that suggested a high sensitivity of temperate terrestrial amphibians to wintertime climatic conditions.

  18. Embryonic staging table for a direct-developing salamander, Plethodon cinereus (Plethodontidae).

    PubMed

    Kerney, Ryan

    2011-11-01

    This work presents a refined staging table for the direct-developing red-backed salamander Plethodon cinereus, which is based on the incomplete staging system of James Norman Dent (J Morphol 1942; 71:577-601). This common species from eastern North America is a member of the species-rich lungless salamander family Plethodontidae. The staging table presented here covers several stages omitted by Dent and reveals novel developmental features of P. cinereus embryos. These include putative Leydig cells and open gill clefts, which are found in larvae of metamorphosing species but were previously reported as absent in direct-developing Plethodon. Other features found in larvae of metamorphosing salamander species, such as the palatopterygoid bone and lateral line neuromasts, were not observed in this material. The occurrence of larval and metamorphic features in these embryos has direct bearing on the patterns of life history evolution within the plethodontidae family. This study emphasizes the degree to which typically larval structures are retained in this direct-developing species and provides a staging table for further investigations into the development and evolution of plethodontid salamanders.

  19. Lagged influence of North Atlantic Oscillation on population dynamics of a Mediterranean terrestrial salamander.

    PubMed

    Salvidio, Sebastiano; Oneto, Fabrizio; Ottonello, Dario; Pastorino, Mauro V

    2016-04-01

    The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is a large-scale climatic pattern that strongly influences the atmospheric circulation in the northern Hemisphere and by consequence the long-term variability of marine and terrestrial ecosystem over great part of northern Europe and western Mediterranean. In the Mediterranean, the effects of the NAO on vertebrates has been studied mainly on bird populations but was rarely analysed in ectothermic animals, and in particular in amphibians. In this study, we investigated the relationships between winter, spring and summer NAO indexes and the long-term population dynamics of the plethodontid salamander Speleomantes strinatii. This terrestrial salamander was monitored inside an artificial cave in NW Italy for 24 consecutive years. The relationships between seasonal NAO indexes and the salamander dynamics were assessed by cross-correlation function (CCF) analysis, after prewhitening the time series by autoregressive moving average statistical modelling. Results of CCF analyses indicated that the salamander abundance varied in relation to the one-year ahead winter NAO (P = 0.018), while no relationships were found with spring and summer indexes. These results strengthen some previous findings that suggested a high sensitivity of temperate terrestrial amphibians to wintertime climatic conditions.

  20. Evolution of gigantism in amphiumid salamanders.

    PubMed

    Bonett, Ronald M; Chippindale, Paul T; Moler, Paul E; Van Devender, R Wayne; Wake, David B

    2009-05-20

    The Amphiumidae contains three species of elongate, permanently aquatic salamanders with four diminutive limbs that append one, two, or three toes. Two of the species, Amphiuma means and A. tridactylum, are among the largest salamanders in the world, reaching lengths of more than one meter, whereas the third species (A. pholeter), extinct amphiumids, and closely related salamander families are relatively small. Amphiuma means and A. tridactylum are widespread species and live in a wide range of lowland aquatic habitats on the Coastal Plain of the southeastern United States, whereas A. pholeter is restricted to very specialized organic muck habitats and is syntopic with A. means. Here we present analyses of sequences of mitochondrial and nuclear loci from across the distribution of the three taxa to assess lineage diversity, relationships, and relative timing of divergence in amphiumid salamanders. In addition we analyze the evolution of gigantism in the clade. Our analyses indicate three lineages that have diverged since the late Miocene, that correspond to the three currently recognized species, but the two gigantic species are not each other's closest relatives. Given that the most closely related salamander families and fossil amphiumids from the Upper Cretaceous and Paleocene are relatively small, our results suggest at least two extreme changes in body size within the Amphuimidae. Gigantic body size either evolved once as the ancestral condition of modern amphiumas, with a subsequent strong size reduction in A. pholeter, or gigantism independently evolved twice in the modern species, A. means and A. tridactylum. These patterns are concordant with differences in habitat breadth and range size among lineages, and have implications for reproductive isolation and diversification of amphiumid salamanders.

  1. Evolution of Gigantism in Amphiumid Salamanders

    PubMed Central

    Bonett, Ronald M.; Chippindale, Paul T.; Moler, Paul E.; Van Devender, R. Wayne; Wake, David B.

    2009-01-01

    The Amphiumidae contains three species of elongate, permanently aquatic salamanders with four diminutive limbs that append one, two, or three toes. Two of the species, Amphiuma means and A. tridactylum, are among the largest salamanders in the world, reaching lengths of more than one meter, whereas the third species (A. pholeter), extinct amphiumids, and closely related salamander families are relatively small. Amphiuma means and A. tridactylum are widespread species and live in a wide range of lowland aquatic habitats on the Coastal Plain of the southeastern United States, whereas A. pholeter is restricted to very specialized organic muck habitats and is syntopic with A. means. Here we present analyses of sequences of mitochondrial and nuclear loci from across the distribution of the three taxa to assess lineage diversity, relationships, and relative timing of divergence in amphiumid salamanders. In addition we analyze the evolution of gigantism in the clade. Our analyses indicate three lineages that have diverged since the late Miocene, that correspond to the three currently recognized species, but the two gigantic species are not each other's closest relatives. Given that the most closely related salamander families and fossil amphiumids from the Upper Cretaceous and Paleocene are relatively small, our results suggest at least two extreme changes in body size within the Amphuimidae. Gigantic body size either evolved once as the ancestral condition of modern amphiumas, with a subsequent strong size reduction in A. pholeter, or gigantism independently evolved twice in the modern species, A. means and A. tridactylum. These patterns are concordant with differences in habitat breadth and range size among lineages, and have implications for reproductive isolation and diversification of amphiumid salamanders. PMID:19461997

  2. Population dynamics and regulation in the cave salamander Speleomantes strinatii.

    PubMed

    Salvidio, Sebastiano

    2007-05-01

    Time series analysis has been used to evaluate the mechanisms regulating population dynamics of mammals and insects, but has been rarely applied to amphibian populations. In this study, the influence of endogenous (density-dependent) and exogenous (density-independent) factors regulating population dynamics of the terrestrial plethodontid salamander Speleomantes strinatii was analysed by means of time series and multiple regression analyses. During the period 1993-2005, S. strinatii population abundance, estimated by a standardised temporary removal method, displayed relatively low fluctuations, and the autocorrelation function (ACF) analysis showed that the time series had a noncyclic structure. The partial rate correlation function (PRCF) indicated that a strong first-order negative feedback dominated the endogenous dynamics. Stepwise multiple regression analysis showed that the only climatic factor influencing population growth rate was the minimum winter temperature. Thus, at least during the study period, endogenous, density-dependent negative feedback was the main factor affecting the growth rate of the salamander population, whereas stochastic environmental variables, such as temperature and rainfall, seemed to play a minor role in regulation. These results stress the importance of considering both exogenous and endogenous factors when analysing amphibian long-term population dynamics.

  3. Variation in mating systems of salamanders: mate guarding or territoriality?

    PubMed

    Deitloff, Jennifer; Alcorn, Michael A; Graham, Sean P

    2014-07-01

    Two of the most common mating tactics in vertebrates are mate guarding and territoriality, yet much of the research on these strategies has focused on mating systems in birds, despite novel insights gained from studying less traditional systems. North American stream salamanders that comprise the Eurycea bislineata complex represent an excellent nontraditional system for comparing mating strategies because these species exhibit a continuum of male morphologies, diverse habitat associations, and various potential mating strategies. We studied two species within this complex that exhibit the extremes of this continuum, Eurycea aquatica (robust morph) and Eurycea cirrigera (slender morph). The larger head in males of E. aquatica is due to larger musculature around the jaw and may be associated with aggressive behavior. Therefore, we hypothesized that the robust morphology exhibited by males of E. aquatica provides benefits during either territorial defense or mate defense and that males of E. cirrigera would not exhibit aggression in either scenario. We found that neither species exhibited aggressive behavior to defend a territory. However, in the presence of a female, males of E. aquatica were significantly more aggressive toward intruding males than were males of E. cirrigera. Therefore, mate-guarding behavior occurs in E. aquatica, and the enlarged head of males likely aids in deterring rivals. This is the first demonstration of mate-guarding behavior in a plethodontid, the most speciose family of salamanders.

  4. Population dynamics and regulation in the cave salamander Speleomantes strinatii

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salvidio, Sebastiano

    2007-05-01

    Time series analysis has been used to evaluate the mechanisms regulating population dynamics of mammals and insects, but has been rarely applied to amphibian populations. In this study, the influence of endogenous (density-dependent) and exogenous (density-independent) factors regulating population dynamics of the terrestrial plethodontid salamander Speleomantes strinatii was analysed by means of time series and multiple regression analyses. During the period 1993 2005, S. strinatii population abundance, estimated by a standardised temporary removal method, displayed relatively low fluctuations, and the autocorrelation function (ACF) analysis showed that the time series had a noncyclic structure. The partial rate correlation function (PRCF) indicated that a strong first-order negative feedback dominated the endogenous dynamics. Stepwise multiple regression analysis showed that the only climatic factor influencing population growth rate was the minimum winter temperature. Thus, at least during the study period, endogenous, density-dependent negative feedback was the main factor affecting the growth rate of the salamander population, whereas stochastic environmental variables, such as temperature and rainfall, seemed to play a minor role in regulation. These results stress the importance of considering both exogenous and endogenous factors when analysing amphibian long-term population dynamics.

  5. Histology and ultrastructure of the caudal courtship glands of the red-backed salamander, Plethodon cinereus (Amphibia: Plethodontidae).

    PubMed

    Sever, David M; Siegel, Dustin S

    2015-03-01

    Caudal courtship glands (CCGs) are sexually dimorphic glands described in the skin of the dorsal tail base of some male salamanders in the genera Desmognathus, Eurycea, and Plethodon in the family Plethodontidae. These glands are believed to deliver pheromones to females during courtship, when the female rests her chin on the dorsal tail base during the stereotypic tail straddling walk unique to plethodontids. Although CCGs have been studied histologically, no investigations of their ultrastructure have been made. This article presents the first study on the fine structure and seasonal variation of CCGs, using the plethodontid Plethodon cinereus. The CCGs vary seasonally in height and secretory activity. The mature secretory granules observed in males collected in October and April consist of oval, biphasic granules that are eosinophilic and give positive reactions to periodic acid-Schiff for neutral carbohydrates but do not stain for acidic mucosusbtances or proteins with alcian blue and bromphenol blue, respectively. Granular glands, some of which contain mucous demilunes, are twice as large as CCGs, are syncytial (unlike CCGs), and stain for proteins. Mucous glands are similar in size to CCGs, but are basophilic, show no seasonal variation in secretory activity, and stain positive for acidic mucosubstances. CCGs do not resemble cytologically the sexually dimorphic mental glands of some plethodontids, which contain round or oval granules filled with an electron-dense amorphous substance. The CCGs are similar histologically to sexually dimorphic skin glands described in some anurans, but more comparative work is needed.

  6. Diversity of cutaneous bacteria with antifungal activity isolated from female four-toed salamanders.

    PubMed

    Lauer, Antje; Simon, Mary Alice; Banning, Jenifer L; Lam, Brianna A; Harris, Reid N

    2008-02-01

    Among the microbiota of amphibian skin are bacteria that produce antifungal compounds. We isolated cutaneous bacteria from the skins of three populations of the nest-attending plethodontid salamander Hemidactylium scutatum and subsequently tested the bacterial isolates against two different fungi (related to Mariannaea elegans and Rhizomucor variabilis) that were obtained from dead salamander eggs. The culturable antifungal bacteria were phylogenetically characterized based on 16S rRNA phylogeny, and belonged to four phyla, comprising 14 bacterial families, 16 genera and 48 species. We found that about half of the antifungal bacterial genera and families were shared with a related salamander species, but there was virtually no overlap at the species level. The proportion of culturable antifungal bacterial taxa shared between two large populations of H. scutatum was the same as the proportion of taxa shared between H. scutatum and Plethodon cinereus, suggesting that populations within a species have unique antifungal bacterial species. Approximately 30% of individuals from both salamander species carried anti-M. elegans cutaneous bacteria and almost 90% of P. cinereus and 100% of H. scutatum salamanders carried anti-R. variabilis cutaneous bacteria. A culture independent method (PCR/DGGE) revealed a shared resident bacterial community of about 25% of the entire resident bacterial community within and among populations of H. scutatum. Thus, the culturable antifungal microbiota was far more variable on salamander skins than was the bacterial microbiota detected by PCR/DGGE. The resident cutaneous antifungal bacteria may play an important role in amphibians' innate defense against pathogens, including the lethal chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

  7. Fluctuations in a metapopulation of nesting four-toed salamanders, Hemidactylium scutatum, in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, USA, 1999-2003

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Corser, J.D.; Dodd, C.K.

    2004-01-01

    We tested two predictions associated with the hypothesis that certain populations of pond-breeding amphibians are structured into metapopulations using minimum relative abundance estimates of nesting four-toed salamanders (Hemidactylium scutatum Schlegel) from 11 different ponds in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Coefficients of variation (CV) for counts at individual ponds ranged from 0.25 to 1.26, and the overall mean CV at all 11 ponds was 0.34. Many pairs of ponds had negative correlations in abundance from 1999-2003, whereas others had various degrees of positive correlation (mean r = 0.29). Thus, nesting population size fluctuated semi-independently among the ponds from year to year, inferring the existence of inter-pond dispersal. The mean number of nesting females at a pond was negatively, but non-significantly, correlated (r = -0.27; P = 0.40; 10 d.f.) to the pond's isolation. Owing to physiological constraints on plethodontid salamander energetics, precipitation during the nesting season (February and March) appeared to play an important role (r = 0.78; P = 0.12; 4 d.f.) in the number of nesting females we observed. Unlike some other plethodontid salamander populations in more fragmented southern Appalachian forest ecosystems, this (meta)population within Great Smoky Mountains National Park does not appear to be declining.

  8. Concurrent speciation in the eastern woodland salamanders (Genus Plethodon):DNA sequences of the complete albumin nuclear and partialmitochondrial 12s genes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Highton, Richard; Hastings, Amy Picard; Palmer, Catherine; Watts, Richard; Hass, Carla A.; Culver, Melanie; Arnold, Stevan

    2012-01-01

    Salamanders of the North American plethodontid genus Plethodon are important model organisms in a variety of studies that depend on a phylogenetic framework (e.g., chemical communication, ecological competition, life histories, hybridization, and speciation), and consequently their systematics has been intensively investigated over several decades. Nevertheless, we lack a synthesis of relationships among the species. In the analyses reported here we use new DNA sequence data from the complete nuclear albumin gene (1818 bp) and the 12s mitochondrial gene (355 bp), as well as published data for four other genes (Wiens et al., 2006), up to a total of 6989 bp, to infer relationships. We relate these results to past systematic work based on morphology, allozymes, and DNA sequences. Although basal relationships show a strong consensus across studies, many terminal relationships remain in flux despite substantial sequencing and other molecular and morphological studies. This systematic instability appears to be a consequence of contemporaneous bursts of speciation in the late Miocene and Pliocene, yielding many closely related extant species in each of the four eastern species groups. Therefore we conclude that many relationships are likely to remain poorly resolved in the face of additional sequencing efforts. On the other hand, the current classification of the 45 eastern species into four species groups is supported. The Plethodon cinereus group (10 species) is the sister group to the clade comprising the other three groups, but these latter groups (Plethodon glutinosus [28 species], Plethodon welleri [5 species], and Plethodon wehrlei [2 species]) probably diverged from each other at approximately the same time.

  9. Potential reduction in terrestrial salamander ranges associated with Marcellus shale development

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brand, Adrianne; Wiewel, Amber N. M.; Grant, Evan H. Campbell

    2014-01-01

    Natural gas production from the Marcellus shale is rapidly increasing in the northeastern United States. Most of the endemic terrestrial salamander species in the region are classified as ‘globally secure’ by the IUCN, primarily because much of their ranges include state- and federally protected lands, which have been presumed to be free from habitat loss. However, the proposed and ongoing development of the Marcellus gas resources may result in significant range restrictions for these and other terrestrial forest salamanders. To begin to address the gaps in our knowledge of the direct impacts of shale gas development, we developed occurrence models for five species of terrestrial plethodontid salamanders found largely within the Marcellus shale play. We predicted future Marcellus shale development under several scenarios. Under scenarios of 10,000, 20,000, and 50,000 new gas wells, we predict 4%, 8%, and 20% forest loss, respectively, within the play. Predictions of habitat loss vary among species, but in general, Plethodon electromorphus and Plethodonwehrlei are predicted to lose the greatest proportion of forested habitat within their ranges if future Marcellus development is based on characteristics of the shale play. If development is based on current well locations,Plethodonrichmondi is predicted to lose the greatest proportion of habitat. Models showed high uncertainty in species’ ranges and emphasize the need for distribution data collected by widespread and repeated, randomized surveys.

  10. The dynamic evolutionary history of genome size in North American woodland salamanders.

    PubMed

    Newman, Catherine E; Gregory, T Ryan; Austin, Christopher C

    2017-04-01

    The genus Plethodon is the most species-rich salamander genus in North America, and nearly half of its species face an uncertain future. It is also one of the most diverse families in terms of genome sizes, which range from 1C = 18.2 to 69.3 pg, or 5-20 times larger than the human genome. Large genome size in salamanders results in part from accumulation of transposable elements and is associated with various developmental and physiological traits. However, genome sizes have been reported for only 25% of the species of Plethodon (14 of 55). We collected genome size data for Plethodon serratus to supplement an ongoing phylogeographic study, reconstructed the evolutionary history of genome size in Plethodontidae, and inferred probable genome sizes for the 41 species missing empirical data. Results revealed multiple genome size changes in Plethodon: genomes of western Plethodon increased, whereas genomes of eastern Plethodon decreased, followed by additional decreases or subsequent increases. The estimated genome size of P. serratus was 21 pg. New understanding of variation in genome size evolution, along with genome size inferences for previously unstudied taxa, provide a foundation for future studies on the biology of plethodontid salamanders.

  11. Unexpected Rarity of the Pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Appalachian Plethodon Salamanders: 1957–2011

    PubMed Central

    Muletz, Carly; Caruso, Nicholas M.; Fleischer, Robert C.; McDiarmid, Roy W.; Lips, Karen R.

    2014-01-01

    Widespread population declines in terrestrial Plethodon salamanders occurred by the 1980s throughout the Appalachian Mountains, the center of global salamander diversity, with no evident recovery. We tested the hypothesis that the historic introduction and spread of the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) into the eastern US was followed by Plethodon population declines. We expected to detect elevated prevalence of Bd prior to population declines as observed for Central American plethodontids. We tested 1,498 Plethodon salamanders of 12 species (892 museum specimens, 606 wild individuals) for the presence of Bd, and tested 94 of those for Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bs) and for ranavirus. Field samples were collected in 2011 from 48 field sites across a 767 km transect. Historic samples from museum specimens were collected at five sites with the greatest number and longest duration of collection (1957–987), four of which were sampled in the field in 2011. None of the museum specimens were positive for Bd, but four P. cinereus from field surveys were positive. The overall Bd prevalence from 1957–2011 for 12 Plethodon species sampled across a 757 km transect was 0.2% (95% CI 0.1–0.7%). All 94 samples were negative for Bs and ranavirus. We conclude that known amphibian pathogens are unlikely causes for declines in these Plethodon populations. Furthermore, these exceptionally low levels of Bd, in a region known to harbor Bd, may indicate that Plethodon specific traits limit Bd infection. PMID:25084159

  12. Unexpected rarity of the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Appalachian Plethodon Salamanders: 1957-2011.

    PubMed

    Muletz, Carly; Caruso, Nicholas M; Fleischer, Robert C; McDiarmid, Roy W; Lips, Karen R

    2014-01-01

    Widespread population declines in terrestrial Plethodon salamanders occurred by the 1980s throughout the Appalachian Mountains, the center of global salamander diversity, with no evident recovery. We tested the hypothesis that the historic introduction and spread of the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) into the eastern US was followed by Plethodon population declines. We expected to detect elevated prevalence of Bd prior to population declines as observed for Central American plethodontids. We tested 1,498 Plethodon salamanders of 12 species (892 museum specimens, 606 wild individuals) for the presence of Bd, and tested 94 of those for Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bs) and for ranavirus. Field samples were collected in 2011 from 48 field sites across a 767 km transect. Historic samples from museum specimens were collected at five sites with the greatest number and longest duration of collection (1957-987), four of which were sampled in the field in 2011. None of the museum specimens were positive for Bd, but four P. cinereus from field surveys were positive. The overall Bd prevalence from 1957-2011 for 12 Plethodon species sampled across a 757 km transect was 0.2% (95% CI 0.1-0.7%). All 94 samples were negative for Bs and ranavirus. We conclude that known amphibian pathogens are unlikely causes for declines in these Plethodon populations. Furthermore, these exceptionally low levels of Bd, in a region known to harbor Bd, may indicate that Plethodon specific traits limit Bd infection.

  13. Co-option and evolution of non-olfactory proteinaceous pheromones in a terrestrial lungless salamander.

    PubMed

    Doty, Kari A; Wilburn, Damien B; Bowen, Kathleen E; Feldhoff, Pamela W; Feldhoff, Richard C

    2016-03-01

    Gene co-option is a major force in the evolution of novel biological functions. In plethodontid salamanders, males deliver proteinaceous courtship pheromones to the female olfactory system or transdermally to the bloodstream. Molecular studies identified three families of highly duplicated, rapidly evolving pheromones (PRF, PMF, and SPF). Analyses for Plethodon salamanders revealed pheromone mixtures of primarily PRF and PMF. The current study demonstrates that in Desmognathus ocoee--a plesiomorphic species with transdermal delivery--SPF is the major pheromone component representing >30% of total protein. Chromatographic profiles of D. ocoee pheromones were consistent from May through October. LC/MS-MS analysis suggested uniform SPF isoform expression between individual male D. ocoee. A gene ancestry for SPF with the Three-Finger Protein superfamily was supported by intron-exon boundaries, but not by the disulfide bonding pattern. Further analysis of the pheromone mixture revealed paralogs to peptide hormones that contained mutations in receptor binding regions, such that these novel molecules may alter female physiology by acting as hormone agonists/antagonists. Cumulatively, gene co-option, duplication, and neofunctionalization have permitted recruitment of additional gene families for pheromone activity. Such independent co-option events may be playing a key role in salamander speciation by altering male traits that influence reproductive success. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Conservation genetics of extremely isolated urban populations of the northern dusky salamander (Desmognathus fuscus) in New York City.

    PubMed

    Munshi-South, Jason; Zak, Yana; Pehek, Ellen

    2013-01-01

    Urbanization is a major cause of amphibian decline. Stream-dwelling plethodontid salamanders are particularly susceptible to urbanization due to declining water quality and hydrological changes, but few studies have examined these taxa in cities. The northern dusky salamander (Desmognathus fuscus) was once common in the New York City metropolitan area, but has substantially declined throughout the region in recent decades. We used five tetranucleotide microsatellite loci to examine population differentiation, genetic variation, and bottlenecks among five remnant urban populations of dusky salamanders in NYC. These genetic measures provide information on isolation, prevalence of inbreeding, long-term prospects for population persistence, and potential for evolutionary responses to future environmental change. All populations were genetically differentiated from each other, and the most isolated populations in Manhattan have maintained very little genetic variation (i.e. <20% heterozygosity). A majority of the populations also exhibited evidence of genetic bottlenecks. These findings contrast with published estimates of high genetic variation within and lack of structure between populations of other desmognathine salamanders sampled over similar or larger spatial scales. Declines in genetic variation likely resulted from population extirpations and the degradation of stream and terrestrial paths for dispersal in NYC. Loss of genetic variability in populations isolated by human development may be an underappreciated cause and/or consequence of the decline of this species in urbanized areas of the northeast USA.

  15. Conservation genetics of extremely isolated urban populations of the northern dusky salamander (Desmognathus fuscus) in New York City

    PubMed Central

    Zak, Yana; Pehek, Ellen

    2013-01-01

    Urbanization is a major cause of amphibian decline. Stream-dwelling plethodontid salamanders are particularly susceptible to urbanization due to declining water quality and hydrological changes, but few studies have examined these taxa in cities. The northern dusky salamander (Desmognathus fuscus) was once common in the New York City metropolitan area, but has substantially declined throughout the region in recent decades. We used five tetranucleotide microsatellite loci to examine population differentiation, genetic variation, and bottlenecks among five remnant urban populations of dusky salamanders in NYC. These genetic measures provide information on isolation, prevalence of inbreeding, long-term prospects for population persistence, and potential for evolutionary responses to future environmental change. All populations were genetically differentiated from each other, and the most isolated populations in Manhattan have maintained very little genetic variation (i.e. <20% heterozygosity). A majority of the populations also exhibited evidence of genetic bottlenecks. These findings contrast with published estimates of high genetic variation within and lack of structure between populations of other desmognathine salamanders sampled over similar or larger spatial scales. Declines in genetic variation likely resulted from population extirpations and the degradation of stream and terrestrial paths for dispersal in NYC. Loss of genetic variability in populations isolated by human development may be an underappreciated cause and/or consequence of the decline of this species in urbanized areas of the northeast USA. PMID:23646283

  16. Evolutionary cytogenetics in salamanders.

    PubMed

    Sessions, Stanley K

    2008-01-01

    Salamanders (Amphibia: Caudata/Urodela) have been the subject of numerous cytogenetic studies, and data on karyotypes and genome sizes are available for most groups. Salamanders show a more-or-less distinct dichotomy between families with large chromosome numbers and interspecific variation in chromosome number, relative size, and shape (i.e. position of the centromere), and those that exhibit very little variation in these karyological features. This dichotomy is the basis of a major model of karyotype evolution in salamanders involving a kind of 'karyotypic orthoselection'. Salamanders are also characterized by extremely large genomes (in terms of absolute mass of nuclear DNA) and extensive variation in genome size (and overall size of the chromosomes), which transcends variation in chromosome number and shape. The biological significance and evolution of chromosome number and shape within the karyotype is not yet understood, but genome size variation has been found to have strong phenotypic, biogeographic, and phylogenetic correlates that reveal information about the biological significance of this cytogenetic variable. Urodeles also present the advantage of only 10 families and less than 600 species, which facilitates the analysis of patterns within the entire order. The purpose of this review is to present a summary of what is currently known about overall patterns of variation in karyology and genome size in salamanders. These patterns are discussed within an evolutionary context.

  17. Olfactory effects of a hypervariable multicomponent pheromone in the red-legged salamander, Plethodon shermani

    PubMed Central

    Doty, Kari A.; Chouinard, Adam J.; Eddy, Sarah L.; Woodley, Sarah K.; Houck, Lynne D.; Feldhoff, Richard C.

    2017-01-01

    Chemical communication via chemosensory signaling is an essential process for promoting and modifying reproductive behavior in many species. During courtship in plethodontid salamanders, males deliver a mixture of non-volatile proteinaceous pheromones that activate chemosensory neurons in the vomeronasal epithelium (VNE) and increase female receptivity. One component of this mixture, Plethodontid Modulating Factor (PMF), is a hypervariable pheromone expressed as more than 30 unique isoforms that differ between individual males—likely driven by co-evolution with female receptors to promote gene duplication and positive selection of the PMF gene complex. Courtship trials with females receiving different PMF isoform mixtures had variable effects on female mating receptivity, with only the most complex mixtures increasing receptivity, such that we believe that sufficient isoform diversity allows males to improve their reproductive success with any female in the mating population. The aim of this study was to test the effects of isoform variability on VNE neuron activation using the agmatine uptake assay. All isoform mixtures activated a similar number of neurons (>200% over background) except for a single purified PMF isoform (+17%). These data further support the hypothesis that PMF isoforms act synergistically in order to regulate female receptivity, and different putative mechanisms are discussed. PMID:28358844

  18. Quantity discrimination in salamanders.

    PubMed

    Krusche, Paul; Uller, Claudia; Dicke, Ursula

    2010-06-01

    We investigated discrimination of large quantities in salamanders of the genus Plethodon. Animals were challenged with two different quantities (8 vs 12 or 8 vs 16) in a two-alternative choice task. Stimuli were live crickets, videos of live crickets or images animated by a computer program. Salamanders reliably chose the larger of two quantities when the ratio between the sets was 1:2 and stimuli were live crickets or videos thereof. Magnitude discrimination was not successful when the ratio was 2:3, or when the ratio was 1:2 when stimuli were computer animated. Analysis of the salamanders' success and failure as well as analysis of stimulus features points towards movement as a dominant feature for quantity discrimination. The results are generally consistent with large quantity discrimination investigated in many other animals (e.g. primates, fish), current models of quantity representation (analogue magnitudes) and data on sensory aspects of amphibian prey-catching behaviour (neuronal motion processing).

  19. [Selective processes and adaptive evolution of the cytochrome b gene in salamanders of the genus Salamandrella].

    PubMed

    Maliarchuk, B A

    2012-06-01

    Sequence analysis of the cytochrome b gene fragment in the salamanders of the genus Salamandrella, Siberian salamander and Schrenk salamander was performed with the purpose to elucidate the effect of natural selection on the evolution of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in these species. It was demonstrated that despite of notable influence of negative selection (expressed as very low dN/dS values), speciation and intraspecific divergence in salamanders was accompanied by the appearance of radical amino acid substitutions, caused by the influence of positive (directional) selection. To examine the evolutionary pattern of synonymous mtDNA sites, distribution of conservative and non-conservative substitutions was analyzed. The rates of conservative and non-conservative substitutions were nearly equal, pointing to neutrality of mutation process at synonymous mtDNA sites of salamanders. Analysis of conservative and non-conservative synonymous substitution distributions in different parts of phylogenetic trees showed that the differences between the synonymous groups compared were statistically significant only in one phylogenetic group of Siberian salamander (haplogroup C) (P = 0.02). In the group of single substitutions, located at terminal phylogenetic branches of Siberian salamanders from group C, increased rate of conservative substitutions was observed. Based on these findings, it was suggested that selective processes could have an influence on the formation of the synonymous substitution profile in the Siberian salamander mtDNA fragment examined.

  20. What explains patterns of species richness? The relative importance of climatic-niche evolution, morphological evolution, and ecological limits in salamanders.

    PubMed

    Kozak, Kenneth H; Wiens, John J

    2016-08-01

    A major goal of evolutionary biology and ecology is to understand why species richness varies among clades. Previous studies have suggested that variation in richness among clades might be related to variation in rates of morphological evolution among clades (e.g., body size and shape). Other studies have suggested that richness patterns might be related to variation in rates of climatic-niche evolution. However, few studies, if any, have tested the relative importance of these variables in explaining patterns of richness among clades. Here, we test their relative importance among major clades of Plethodontidae, the most species-rich family of salamanders. Earlier studies have suggested that climatic-niche evolution explains patterns of diversification among plethodontid clades, whereas rates of morphological evolution do not. A subsequent study stated that rates of morphological evolution instead explained patterns of species richness among plethodontid clades (along with "ecological limits" on richness of clades, leading to saturation of clades with species, given limited resources). However, they did not consider climatic-niche evolution. Using phylogenetic multiple regression, we show that rates of climatic-niche evolution explain most variation in richness among plethodontid clades, whereas rates of morphological evolution do not. We find little evidence that ecological limits explain patterns of richness among plethodontid clades. We also test whether rates of morphological and climatic-niche evolution are correlated, and find that they are not. Overall, our results help explain richness patterns in a major amphibian group and provide possibly the first test of the relative importance of climatic niches and morphological evolution in explaining diversity patterns.

  1. Side-by-side secretion of Late Palaeozoic diverged courtship pheromones in an aquatic salamander

    PubMed Central

    Van Bocxlaer, Ines; Treer, Dag; Maex, Margo; Vandebergh, Wim; Janssenswillen, Sunita; Stegen, Gwij; Kok, Philippe; Willaert, Bert; Matthijs, Severine; Martens, Erik; Mortier, Anneleen; de Greve, Henri; Proost, Paul; Bossuyt, Franky

    2015-01-01

    Males of the advanced salamanders (Salamandroidea) attain internal fertilization without a copulatory organ by depositing a spermatophore on the substrate in the environment, which females subsequently take up with their cloaca. The aquatically reproducing modern Eurasian newts (Salamandridae) have taken this to extremes, because most species do not display close physical contact during courtship, but instead largely rely on females following the male track at spermatophore deposition. Although pheromones have been widely assumed to represent an important aspect of male courtship, molecules able to induce the female following behaviour that is the prelude for successful insemination have not yet been identified. Here, we show that uncleaved sodefrin precursor-like factor (SPF) protein pheromones are sufficient to elicit such behaviour in female palmate newts (Lissotriton helveticus). Combined transcriptomic and proteomic evidence shows that males simultaneously tail-fan multiple ca 20 kDa glycosylated SPF proteins during courtship. Notably, molecular dating estimates show that the diversification of these proteins already started in the late Palaeozoic, about 300 million years ago. Our study thus not only extends the use of uncleaved SPF proteins outside terrestrially reproducing plethodontid salamanders, but also reveals one of the oldest vertebrate pheromone systems. PMID:25694622

  2. Side-by-side secretion of Late Palaeozoic diverged courtship pheromones in an aquatic salamander.

    PubMed

    Van Bocxlaer, Ines; Treer, Dag; Maex, Margo; Vandebergh, Wim; Janssenswillen, Sunita; Stegen, Gwij; Kok, Philippe; Willaert, Bert; Matthijs, Severine; Martens, Erik; Mortier, Anneleen; de Greve, Henri; Proost, Paul; Bossuyt, Franky

    2015-03-22

    Males of the advanced salamanders (Salamandroidea) attain internal fertilization without a copulatory organ by depositing a spermatophore on the substrate in the environment, which females subsequently take up with their cloaca. The aquatically reproducing modern Eurasian newts (Salamandridae) have taken this to extremes, because most species do not display close physical contact during courtship, but instead largely rely on females following the male track at spermatophore deposition. Although pheromones have been widely assumed to represent an important aspect of male courtship, molecules able to induce the female following behaviour that is the prelude for successful insemination have not yet been identified. Here, we show that uncleaved sodefrin precursor-like factor (SPF) protein pheromones are sufficient to elicit such behaviour in female palmate newts (Lissotriton helveticus). Combined transcriptomic and proteomic evidence shows that males simultaneously tail-fan multiple ca 20 kDa glycosylated SPF proteins during courtship. Notably, molecular dating estimates show that the diversification of these proteins already started in the late Palaeozoic, about 300 million years ago. Our study thus not only extends the use of uncleaved SPF proteins outside terrestrially reproducing plethodontid salamanders, but also reveals one of the oldest vertebrate pheromone systems.

  3. Identification of conservation units of the hynobiid salamander Pachyhynobius shangchengensis.

    PubMed

    Su, L-N; Zhao, Y-Y; Wu, X-M; Zhang, H-F; Li, X-C

    2015-08-19

    The evolutionary significant units (ESUs) of the salamander Pachyhynobius shangchengensis (Hynobiidae) in the Dabieshan mountains, southeastern China, were identified based on mitochondrial DNA data. We used methods for detecting cryptic species, such as the minimum spanning tree, the automatic barcode gap discovery, and the generalized mixed Yule-coalescent model; geographical partitioning was also used to identify the ESUs. A total of four ESUs were identified.

  4. Plethodon cinereus (Redback Salamander) predation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jung, R.E.; Ward, W.L.; Kings, C.O.; Weir, L.A.

    2000-01-01

    In 1999 at the Patuxent Research Refuge, we observed a large rove beetle (Staphylinus maculosus) consuming an eviscerated redback salamander (Plethodon cinereus) underneath a coverboard. Rove beetles typically eat invertebrates.

  5. Landmark learning by juvenile salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum).

    PubMed

    Heuring, Whitney L; Mathis, Alicia

    2014-10-01

    Learning to use a landmark as a beacon to locate resources is one of the simplest forms of spatial learning. We tested whether landmark learning occurs in a semifossorial salamander that migrates annually to breeding ponds as adults. Juvenile spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) were tested in square containers with a plastic feeding dish in each corner, and a piece of earthworm was placed in one randomly-chosen dish. For landmark-trained salamanders, a rock was placed beside the dish containing the prey. For control salamanders, the rock was placed beside a randomly selected feeding dish. Each salamander was trained once every 2 days for 30 days. Significantly more landmark-trained salamanders than control salamanders entered the landmark area first, and landmark-trained individuals had faster latencies to enter the landmark area and longer stay-times. These results suggest that spotted salamanders are able to locate resources by associating their positions with landmarks.

  6. A little bit is better than nothing: the incomplete parthenogenesis of salamanders, frogs and fish.

    PubMed

    Lampert, Kathrin P; Schartl, Manfred

    2010-08-03

    A re-examination of the mitochondrial genomes of unisexual salamander lineages, published in BMC Evolutionary Biology, shows them to be the oldest unisexual vertebrates known, having been around for 5 million years. This presents a challenge to the prediction that lack of genetic recombination is a fast track to extinction. See research article http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2148/10/238.

  7. Fine-Scale Habitat Associations of a Terrestrial Salamander: The Role of Environmental Gradients and Implications for Population Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Peterman, William E.; Semlitsch, Raymond D.

    2013-01-01

    Environmental gradients are instrumental in shaping the distribution and local abundance of species because at the most fundamental level, an organism’s performance is constrained by the environment it inhabits. In topographically complex landscapes, slope, aspect, and vegetative cover interact to affect solar exposure, creating temperature-moisture gradients and unique microclimates. The significance of the interaction of abiotic gradients and biotic factors such as competition, movement, or physiology has long been recognized, but the scale at which these factors vary on the landscape has generally precluded their inclusion in spatial abundance models. We used fine-scale spatial data relating to surface-soil moisture, temperature, and canopy cover to describe the spatial distribution of abundance of a terrestrial salamander, Plethodon albagula, across the landscape. Abundance was greatest in dense-canopy ravine habitats with high moisture and low solar exposure, resulting in a patchy distribution of abundance. We hypothesize that these patterns reflect the physiological constraints of Plethodontid salamanders. Furthermore, demographic cohorts were not uniformly distributed among occupied plots on the landscape. The probability of gravid female occurrence was nearly uniform among occupied plots, but juveniles were much more likely to occur on plots with lower surface temperatures. The disconnect between reproductive effort and recruitment suggests that survival differs across the landscape and that local population dynamics vary spatially. Our study demonstrates a connection between abundance, fine-scale environmental gradients, and population dynamics, providing a foundation for future research concerning movement, population connectivity, and physiology. PMID:23671586

  8. Early Miocene origin and cryptic diversification of South American salamanders

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The currently recognized species richness of South American salamanders is surprisingly low compared to North and Central America. In part, this low richness may be due to the salamanders being a recent arrival to South America. Additionally, the number of South American salamander species may be underestimated because of cryptic diversity. The aims of our present study were to infer evolutionary relationships, lineage diversity, and timing of divergence of the South American Bolitoglossa using mitochondrial and nuclear sequence data from specimens primarily from localities in the Andes and upper Amazon Basin. We also estimated time of colonization of South America to test whether it is consistent with arrival via the Panamanian Isthmus, or land bridge connection, at its traditionally assumed age of 3 million years. Results Divergence time estimates suggest that Bolitoglossa arrived in South America from Central America by at least the Early Miocene, ca. 23.6 MYA (95% HPD 15.9-30.3 MYA), and subsequently diversified. South American salamanders of the genus Bolitoglossa show strong phylogeographic structure at fine geographic scales and deep divergences at the mitochondrial gene cytochrome b (Cytb) and high diversity at the nuclear recombination activating gene-1 (Rag1). Species often contain multiple genetically divergent lineages that are occasionally geographically overlapping. Single specimens from two southeastern localities in Ecuador are sister to the equatoriana-peruviana clade and genetically distinct from all other species investigated to date. Another single exemplar from the Andes of northwestern Ecuador is highly divergent from all other specimens and is sister to all newly studied samples. Nevertheless, all sampled species of South American Bolitoglossa are members of a single clade that is one of several constituting the subgenus Eladinea, one of seven subgenera in this large genus. Conclusions The ancestors of South American salamanders

  9. Rates of morphological evolution are correlated with species richness in salamanders.

    PubMed

    Rabosky, Daniel L; Adams, Dean C

    2012-06-01

    The tempo and mode of species diversification and phenotypic evolution vary widely across the tree of life, yet the relationship between these processes is poorly known. Previous tests of the relationship between rates of phenotypic evolution and rates of species diversification have assumed that species richness increases continuously through time. If this assumption is violated, simple phylogenetic estimates of net diversification rate may bear no relationship to processes that influence the distribution of species richness among clades. Here, we demonstrate that the variation in species richness among plethodontid salamander clades is unlikely to have resulted from simple time-dependent processes, leading to fundamentally different conclusions about the relationship between rates of phenotypic evolution and species diversification. Morphological evolutionary rates of both size and shape evolution are correlated with clade species richness, but are uncorrelated with simple estimators of net diversification that assume constancy of rates through time. This coupling between species diversification and phenotypic evolution is consistent with the hypothesis that clades with high rates of morphological trait evolution may diversify more than clades with low rates. Our results indicate that assumptions about underlying processes of diversity regulation have important consequences for interpreting macroevolutionary patterns. © 2012 The Author(s). Evolution © 2012 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  10. 'Salamander plague' on Britain's doorstep.

    PubMed

    Mills, Georgina

    2015-01-24

    Chytridiomycosis can cause mass declines in amphibians, and the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is the classic cause of this disease. However, recently, a second strain of chytrid fungus has emerged in Europe, resulting in major declines in fire salamanders. The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) discussed this, and the implications for the UK, at a meeting in December in London. Georgina Mills reports. British Veterinary Association.

  11. Earliest known crown-group salamanders.

    PubMed

    Gao, Ke-Qin; Shubin, Neil H

    2003-03-27

    Salamanders are a model system for studying the rates and patterns of the evolution of new anatomical structures. Recent discoveries of abundant Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous salamanders are helping to address these issues. Here we report the discovery of well-preserved Middle Jurassic salamanders from China, which constitutes the earliest known record of crown-group urodeles (living salamanders and their closest relatives). The new specimens are from the volcanic deposits of the Jiulongshan Formation (Bathonian), Inner Mongolia, China, and represent basal members of the Cryptobranchidae, a family that includes the endangered Asian giant salamander (Andrias) and the North American hellbender (Cryptobranchus). These fossils document a Mesozoic record of the Cryptobranchidae, predating the previous record of the group by some 100 million years. This discovery provides evidence to support the hypothesis that the divergence of the Cryptobranchidae from the Hynobiidae had taken place in Asia before the Middle Jurassic period.

  12. Late Jurassic salamanders from northern China.

    PubMed

    Gao, K Q; Shubin, N H

    2001-03-29

    With ten extant families, salamanders (urodeles) are one of the three major groups of modern amphibians (lissamphibians). Extant salamanders are often used as a model system to assess fundamental issues of developmental, morphological and biogeographical evolution. Unfortunately, our understanding of these issues has been hampered by the paucity of fossil evidence available to assess the early history of the group. Here we report the discovery of an extraordinary sample of salamander fossils, some with rare soft-tissue impressions, from the Upper Jurassic of China. With over 500 articulated specimens, this assemblage documents the morphological diversity of early urodeles and includes larvae and adults of both neotenic and metamorphosed taxa. Phylogenetic analysis confirms that these salamanders are primitive, and reveals that all basal salamander clades have Asian distributions. This is compelling evidence for an Asian origin of Recent salamanders, as well as for an extensive and early radiation of several major lineages. These discoveries show that the evolution of salamanders has involved phylogenetic and ecological diversification around a body plan that has remained fundamentally stable for over 150 million years.

  13. Ambystoma maculatum (spotted salamander). Reproduction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Glorioso, Brad M.; Waddle, Hardin; Hefner, Jeromi

    2012-01-01

    The Spotted Salamander is a wide-ranging salamander of the eastern United States that typically breeds in winter or early spring in ephemeral pools in lowland forests. Ambystoma maculatum is known to deposit 2-4 egg masses per year, each containing 1-250 eggs. As part of ongoing research into the ecology and reproductive biology of Spotted Salamanders in the Kisatchie District of Kisatchie National Forest in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, USA, we have been counting the number of embryos per egg mass. We captured seven female A. maculatum in a small pool, six of which were still gravid. We took standard measurements, including SVL, and then implanted a Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT tag) into each adult female as was the protocol. About an hour after processing these animals we marked new A. maculatum egg masses found in the same small pool using PVC pin flags pushed carefully through the outer jelly. We did not have enough time to process them that evening, and it was not until a few days later that we photographed those masses. We discovered that one of the masses contained a PIT tag in the outer jelly that corresponded to one of the six gravid females that were marked that same evening. To our knowledge, this is the first report of PIT tags being the means, albeit coincidentally, by which a particular egg mass of Ambystoma maculatum has been assigned to a particular female. For our purposes, losing the PIT tag from the adult female is counter to the goals of our study of this population, and we will no longer be implanting PIT tags into gravid females.

  14. Phylogeographic concordance in the southeastern United States: the flatwoods salamander, Ambystoma cingulatum, as a test case.

    PubMed

    Pauly, Gregory B; Piskurek, Oliver; Shaffer, H Bradley

    2007-01-01

    Well-supported, congruent phylogeographic and biogeographic patterns permit the development of a priori phylogeographic and distributional predictions. In the southeastern Coastal Plain of the United States, the common discovery of east-west disjunctions (phylogeographic breaks and species' distributional boundaries) suggests that similar disjunctions should occur in codistributed taxa. Despite the near ubiquity of these disjunctions, the most recent morphological analyses of the flatwoods salamander, Ambystoma cingulatum, indicate that none occur in this low-vagility, Coastal Plain endemic. We conducted molecular and morphological analyses to test whether the flatwoods salamander is an exception to this common biogeographic pattern. Assessing geographic variation in this species is also an important management tool for this threatened, declining amphibian. We demonstrate that flatwoods salamanders, as predicted by comparisons to codistributed taxa, are polytypic with a major disjunction at the Apalachicola River. This drainage is a common site for east-west phylogeographic breaks, probably because repeated marine embayments during the Pliocene and Pleistocene interglacials generated barriers to gene flow. Based on mitochondrial DNA, morphology, and allozymes, we recognize two species of flatwoods salamanders -- Ambystoma cingulatum to the east of the Apalachicola drainage and Ambystoma bishopi to the west. Given this increased diversity, the conservation status of these two taxa may warrant re-evaluation. More generally, these results emphasize that in the absence of taxon-specific data, established comparative patterns can provide strong expectations for designing management units for unstudied species of conservation concern.

  15. Shifty salamanders: transient trophic polymorphism and cannibalism within natural populations of larval ambystomatid salamanders.

    PubMed

    Jefferson, Dale M; Ferrari, Maud Co; Mathis, Alicia; Hobson, Keith A; Britzke, Eric R; Crane, Adam L; Blaustein, Andrew R; Chivers, Douglas P

    2014-01-01

    Many species of ambystomatid salamanders are dependent upon highly variable temporary wetlands for larval development. High larval densities may prompt the expression of a distinct head morphology that may facilitate cannibalism. However, few studies have characterized structural cannibalism within natural populations of larval salamanders. In this study we used two species of larval salamanders, long-toed (Ambystoma macrodactylum) and ringed salamanders (A. annulatum). Head morphometrics and stable isotopic values of carbon (δ(13)C) and nitrogen (δ(15)N) were used to identify the presence or absence of structural cannibalism. Weather conditions were also analyzed as a potential factor associated with the expression of cannibalistic morphology. Populations of salamander larvae did not consistently exhibit cannibalistic morphologies throughout collection periods. Larval long-toed salamanders exhibited trophic polymorphisms when relatively lower precipitation amounts were observed. Larval ringed salamanders were observed to be cannibalistic but did not exhibit polymorphisms in this study. Structural cannibalism may be transient in both species; however in long-toed salamanders this morphology is necessary for cannibalism. Ringed salamanders can be cannibalistic without morphological adaptations; however the cannibal morph may prolong the viable time period for cannibalism. Additionally, weather conditions may alter pond hydroperiod, subsequently influencing head morphology and cannibalism.

  16. Phylogenetic relationships of the endangered Shenandoah salamander (Plethodon shenandoah) and other salamanders of the Plethodon cinereus group (Caudata : Plethodontidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sites, J.W.; Morando, M.; Highton, R.; Huber, F.; Jung, R.E.

    2004-01-01

    The Shenandoah salamander (Plethodon shenandoah), known from isolated talus slopes on three of the highest mountains in Shenandoah National Park, is listed as state-endangered in Virginia and federally endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. A 1999 paper by G. R. Thurow described P. shenandoah-like salamanders from three localities further south in the Blue Ridge Physiographic Province, which, if confirmed, would represent a range extension for P. shenandoah of approximately 90 km from its nearest known locality. Samples collected from two of these three localities were included in a molecular phylogenetic study of the known populations of P. shenandoah, and all other recognized species in the Plethodon cinereus group, using a 792 bp region of the mitochondrial cytochrome-b gene. Phylogenetic estimates were based on Bayesian, maximum likelihood, and maximum parsimony methods and topologies examined for placement of the new P. shenandoah-like samples relative to all others. All topologies recovered all haplotypes of the P. shenandoah-like animals nested within P. cinereus, and a statistical comparison of the best likelihood tree topology with one with an enforced (Thurow + Shenandoah P. shenandoah) clade revealed that the unconstrained tree had a significantly lower -In L score (P < 0.05, using the Shimodaira-Hasegawa test) than the constraint tree. This result and other anecdotal information give us no solid reason to consider the Thurow report valid. The current recovery program for P. shenandoah should remain focused on populations in Shenandoah National Park.

  17. Electrical discharges in Chinese salamander Andrias davidianus.

    PubMed

    Olshanskii, V M; Baron, V D; Wei, Xue

    2016-11-01

    In 2-year-old Chinese giant salamanders Andrias davidianus, occasional electric discharges with a characteristic pattern similar to the electric discharges of weakly electric catfish, Polypterus and Protopterus, were recorded for the first time. The discharges markedly differ in shape from the myograms accompanying abrupt movements of the salamander or exceeded them in amplitude by more than an order of magnitude. The discharges were recorded both in the autonomous experiment in the absence of experimenters and at a weak tactile stimulation.

  18. Conservation assessment for the Siskiyou Mountains salamander and Scott Bar salamander in northern California.

    SciTech Connect

    Vinikour, W. S.; LaGory, K. E.; Adduci, J. J.; Environmental Science Division

    2006-10-20

    The purpose of this conservation assessment is to summarize existing knowledge regarding the biology and ecology of the Siskiyou Mountains salamander and Scott Bar salamander, identify threats to the two species, and identify conservation considerations to aid federal management for persistence of the species. The conservation assessment will serve as the basis for a conservation strategy for the species.

  19. Cardiac effects of hypoxia in the neotenous tiger salamander Ambystoma tigrinum.

    PubMed

    McKean, Tom; Li, Guolian; Wei, Kong

    2002-06-01

    The aquatic form of the tiger salamander Ambystoma tigrinum lives in high-altitude ponds and is exposed to a hypoxic environment that may be either chronic or intermittent. In many animal species, exposure to hypoxia stimulates cardiac output and is followed by an increase in cardiac mass. The working hypothesis of the present study was that the hearts of these aquatic salamanders exposed to 10-14 days of 5 % oxygen in a laboratory setting would become larger and would differentially express proteins that would help confer tolerance to hypoxia. During exposure to hypoxia, cardiac output increased, as did hematocrit. Cardiac mass also increased, but mitotic figures were not detected in the cardiac myocytes of colchicine-injected animals. The mass increase was probably due to hypertrophy, although a very slow rate of hyperplasia cannot be ruled out. Representational difference analysis indicated that at least 14 mRNAs were expressed in hearts from the hypoxic animals that were not expressed in hearts from normoxic animals. The differentially expressed genes were cloned and sequenced and confirmed as coming from the ventricles of the hypoxic salamanders. Genes differentially expressed include mitochondrial genes and genes for elongation factor 2, a protein synthesis gene. The mechanical performance of buffer-perfused hearts isolated from normoxic and hypoxic animals did not differ. Acute responses to hypoxia were also measured. The rate of oxygen consumption of unanesthetized salamanders in metabolism chambers decreased when chamber oxygen concentration was reduced below 12 % oxygen. At a chamber oxygen concentration of 4-6 %, the rate of oxygen consumption of the salamanders was reduced to approximately one-third of the normoxic rate.

  20. Dynamics and thermal sensitivity of ballistic and non-ballistic feeding in salamanders.

    PubMed

    Deban, Stephen M; Scales, Jeffrey A

    2016-02-01

    Low temperature reduces the performance of muscle-powered movements, but in movements powered by elastic recoil mechanisms, this effect can be mitigated and performance can be increased. To better understand the morphological basis of high performance and thermal robustness of elastically powered movements, we compared feeding dynamics at a range of temperatures (5-25°C) in two species of terrestrial plethodontid salamanders, Plethodon metcalfi and Ensatina eschscholtzii, which differ in tongue muscle architecture and the mechanism of tongue projection. We found that Ensatina is capable of ballistic projection with a mean muscle mass-specific power of 2100 W kg(-1), revealing an elastic mechanism. Plethodon, in contrast, projected its tongue non-ballistically with a mean power of only 18 W kg(-1), indicating it is muscle powered. Ensatina projected its tongue significantly farther than Plethodon and with dynamics that had significantly lower thermal sensitivity at temperatures below 15°C. These performance differences were correlated with morphological differences, namely elongated collagenous aponeuroses in the projector muscle of Ensatina as compared with Plethodon, which are likely the site of energy storage, and the absence in Ensatina of projector muscle fibers attaching to the tongue skeleton that allows projection to be truly ballistic. These findings demonstrate that, in these otherwise similar species, the presence in one species of elaborated connective tissue in series with myofibers confers not only 10-fold greater absolute performance but also greater thermal robustness of performance. We conclude that changes in muscle and connective tissue architecture are sufficient to alter significantly the mechanics, performance and thermal robustness of musculoskeletal systems. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  1. Biodiversity of Costa Rican salamanders: Implications of high levels of genetic differentiation and phylogeographic structure for species formation

    PubMed Central

    García-París, Mario; Good, David A.; Parra-Olea, Gabriela; Wake, David B.

    2000-01-01

    Although salamanders are characteristic amphibians in Holarctic temperate habitats, in tropical regions they have diversified evolutionarily only in tropical America. An adaptive radiation centered in Middle America occurred late in the history of a single clade, the supergenus Bolitoglossa (Plethodontidae), and large numbers of species now occur in diverse habitats. Sublineages within this clade decrease in number from the northern to southern parts of Middle America, and in Costa Rica, there are but three. Despite this phylogenetic constraint, Costa Rica has many species; the number of salamander species on one local elevational transect in the Cordillera de Talamanca may be the largest for any such transect in the world. Extraordinary variation in sequences of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome b within a clade of the genus Bolitoglossa in Costa Rica reveals strong phylogeographic structure within a single species, Bolitoglossa pesrubra. Allozymic variation in 19 proteins reveals a pattern largely concordant with the mitochondrial DNA phylogeography. More species exist than are currently recognized. Diversification occurs in restricted geographic areas and involves sharp geographic and elevational differentiation and zonation. In their degree of genetic differentiation at a local scale, these species of the deep tropics exceed the known variation of extratropical salamanders, which also differ in being less restricted in elevational range. Salamanders display “tropicality” in that although speciose, they are usually local in distribution and rare. They display strong ecological and physiological differentiation that may contribute importantly to morphological divergence and species formation. PMID:10677512

  2. ARE SALAMANDERS USEFUL INDICATORS OF HYDROLOGIC PERMANENCE IN HEADWATER STREAMS?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Regulatory agencies need appropriate indicators of stream permanence to aid in jurisdictional determinations for headwater streams. We evaluated salamanders as permanence indicators because they are often abundant in fishless headwaters. Salamander and habitat data were collect...

  3. ARE SALAMANDERS USEFUL INDICATORS OF HYDROLOGIC PERMANENCE IN HEADWATER STREAMS?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Regulatory agencies need appropriate indicators of stream permanence to aid in jurisdictional determinations for headwater streams. We evaluated salamanders as permanence indicators because they are often abundant in fishless headwaters. Salamander and habitat data were collect...

  4. [Peculiarities of phosphoglycerate kinase-1 pseudogene evolution in Schrenck salamander (Salamandrella schrenckii Strauch, 1870)].

    PubMed

    Malyarchuk, B A; Denisova, G A; Derenko, M V

    2013-07-01

    Processed copies of genes generally evolve in neutral mode as pseudogenes, however, some of them might be important sources of new functional genes. The psiPGK1 pseudogene has been discovered in Schrenck salamander (Salamandrella schrenckii, Amphibia, Caudata, Hynobiidae) via polymerase chain reaction used to amplify the phosphoglycerate kinase 1 gene (PGK1). This pseudogene is an intronless copy of PGK1 gene absent of exon 6. Analysis of psiPGK1 pseudogene polymorphism has demonstrated that it lacks mutations, which results in shifts in the stop codons and reading frames, as well as that the interspecies variation of this pseudogene was inconsistent with the neutral model of evolution. In addition, the pattern of phylogeographic differentiation of the psiPGK1 variants mainly coincides with that observed in mitochondrial DNA. These observations allow it to be suggested that the psiPGK1 pseudogene is a new functional gene in the Schrenck salamander.

  5. Invasive Asian Earthworms Negatively Impact Keystone Terrestrial Salamanders.

    PubMed

    Ziemba, Julie L; Hickerson, Cari-Ann M; Anthony, Carl D

    2016-01-01

    Asian pheretimoid earthworms (e.g. Amynthas and Metaphire spp.) are invading North American forests and consuming the vital detrital layer that forest floor biota [including the keystone species Plethodon cinereus (Eastern Red-backed Salamander)], rely on for protection, food, and habitat. Plethodon cinereus population declines have been associated with leaf litter loss following the invasion of several exotic earthworm species, but there have been few studies on the specific interactions between pheretimoid earthworms and P. cinereus. Since some species of large and active pheretimoids spatially overlap with salamanders beneath natural cover objects and in detritus, they may distinctively compound the negative consequences of earthworm-mediated resource degradation by physically disturbing important salamander activities (foraging, mating, and egg brooding). We predicted that earthworms would exclude salamanders from high quality microhabitat, reduce foraging efficiency, and negatively affect salamander fitness. In laboratory trials, salamanders used lower quality microhabitat and consumed fewer flies in the presence of earthworms. In a natural field experiment, conducted on salamander populations from "non-invaded" and "pheretimoid invaded" sites in Ohio, salamanders and earthworms shared cover objects ~60% less than expected. Earthworm abundance was negatively associated with juvenile and male salamander abundance, but had no relationship with female salamander abundance. There was no effect of pheretimoid invasion on salamander body condition. Juvenile and non-resident male salamanders do not hold stable territories centered beneath cover objects such as rocks or logs, which results in reduced access to prey, greater risk of desiccation, and dispersal pressure. Habitat degradation and physical exclusion of salamanders from cover objects may hinder juvenile and male salamander performance, ultimately reducing recruitment and salamander abundance following Asian

  6. Invasive Asian Earthworms Negatively Impact Keystone Terrestrial Salamanders

    PubMed Central

    Ziemba, Julie L.

    2016-01-01

    Asian pheretimoid earthworms (e.g. Amynthas and Metaphire spp.) are invading North American forests and consuming the vital detrital layer that forest floor biota [including the keystone species Plethodon cinereus (Eastern Red-backed Salamander)], rely on for protection, food, and habitat. Plethodon cinereus population declines have been associated with leaf litter loss following the invasion of several exotic earthworm species, but there have been few studies on the specific interactions between pheretimoid earthworms and P. cinereus. Since some species of large and active pheretimoids spatially overlap with salamanders beneath natural cover objects and in detritus, they may distinctively compound the negative consequences of earthworm-mediated resource degradation by physically disturbing important salamander activities (foraging, mating, and egg brooding). We predicted that earthworms would exclude salamanders from high quality microhabitat, reduce foraging efficiency, and negatively affect salamander fitness. In laboratory trials, salamanders used lower quality microhabitat and consumed fewer flies in the presence of earthworms. In a natural field experiment, conducted on salamander populations from “non-invaded” and “pheretimoid invaded” sites in Ohio, salamanders and earthworms shared cover objects ~60% less than expected. Earthworm abundance was negatively associated with juvenile and male salamander abundance, but had no relationship with female salamander abundance. There was no effect of pheretimoid invasion on salamander body condition. Juvenile and non-resident male salamanders do not hold stable territories centered beneath cover objects such as rocks or logs, which results in reduced access to prey, greater risk of desiccation, and dispersal pressure. Habitat degradation and physical exclusion of salamanders from cover objects may hinder juvenile and male salamander performance, ultimately reducing recruitment and salamander abundance

  7. Salamander occupancy in headwater stream networks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grant, E.H.C.; Green, L.E.; Lowe, W.H.

    2009-01-01

    1. Stream ecosystems exhibit a highly consistent dendritic geometry in which linear habitat units intersect to create a hierarchical network of connected branches. 2. Ecological and life history traits of species living in streams, such as the potential for overland movement, may interact with this architecture to shape patterns of occupancy and response to disturbance. Specifically, large-scale habitat alteration that fragments stream networks and reduces connectivity may reduce the probability a stream is occupied by sensitive species, such as stream salamanders. 3. We collected habitat occupancy data on four species of stream salamanders in first-order (i.e. headwater) streams in undeveloped and urbanised regions of the eastern U.S.A. We then used an information-theoretic approach to test alternative models of salamander occupancy based on a priori predictions of the effects of network configuration, region and salamander life history. 4. Across all four species, we found that streams connected to other first-order streams had higher occupancy than those flowing directly into larger streams and rivers. For three of the four species, occupancy was lower in the urbanised region than in the undeveloped region. 5. These results demonstrate that the spatial configuration of stream networks within protected areas affects the occurrences of stream salamander species. We strongly encourage preservation of network connections between first-order streams in conservation planning and management decisions that may affect stream species.

  8. Evolving possibilities: Post-embryonic axial elongation in salamanders with biphasic (Eurcyea cirrigera, E. longicauda, E. quadridigitata) and paedomorphic life cycles (Eurycea nana and Ambystoma mexicanum). Submitted Acta Zoologica.

    PubMed

    Vaglia, Janet L; White, Kurt; Case, Alison

    2012-01-01

    Typically the number of vertebrae an organism will have post-embryonically is determined during embryogenesis via the development of paired somites. Our research investigates the phenomenon of post-embryonic vertebral addition in salamander tails. We describe body and tail growth, and patterns of postsacral vertebral addition and elongation in context with caudal morphology for four plethodontids (Eurycea), and one ambystomatid. Eurycea nana and A. mexicanum have paedomorphic life cycles; E. cirrigera, E. longicauda and E. quadridigitata are biphasic. Specimens were collected, borrowed and/or purchased, and cleared and stained for bone and cartilage. Data collected include snout-vent length (SVL), tail length (TL), vertebral counts and centrum lengths. Eurycea species with biphasic life cycles had TLs that surpassed SVL following metamorphosis. Tails in paedomorphic species elongated but rarely exceeded body length. Larger TLs were associated with more vertebrae and longer vertebrae in all species. We observed that rates of postsacral vertebral addition varied little amongst species. Regional variation along the tail becomes prominent following metamorphosis in biphasic developers. In all species vertebrae in the posterior one-half of the tail taper towards the tip. We suggest a developmental link might exist between the ability to continually add vertebrae and regeneration in salamanders.

  9. The First Salamander Defensin Antimicrobial Peptide

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Ke; Rong, Mingqiang; Lai, Ren

    2013-01-01

    Antimicrobial peptides have been widely identified from amphibian skins except salamanders. A novel antimicrobial peptide (CFBD) was isolated and characterized from skin secretions of the salamander, Cynops fudingensis. The cDNA encoding CFBD precursor was cloned from the skin cDNA library of C. fudingensis. The precursor was composed of three domains: signal peptide of 17 residues, mature peptide of 41 residues and intervening propeptide of 3 residues. There are six cysteines in the sequence of mature CFBD peptide, which possibly form three disulfide-bridges. CFBD showed antimicrobial activities against Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Candida albicans and Escherichia coli. This peptide could be classified into family of β-defensin based on its seqeuence similarity with β-defensins from other vertebrates. Evolution analysis indicated that CFBD was close to fish β-defensin. As far as we know, CFBD is the first β-defensin antimicrobial peptide from salamanders. PMID:24386139

  10. The first salamander defensin antimicrobial peptide.

    PubMed

    Meng, Ping; Yang, Shilong; Shen, Chuanbin; Jiang, Ke; Rong, Mingqiang; Lai, Ren

    2013-01-01

    Antimicrobial peptides have been widely identified from amphibian skins except salamanders. A novel antimicrobial peptide (CFBD) was isolated and characterized from skin secretions of the salamander, Cynops fudingensis. The cDNA encoding CFBD precursor was cloned from the skin cDNA library of C. fudingensis. The precursor was composed of three domains: signal peptide of 17 residues, mature peptide of 41 residues and intervening propeptide of 3 residues. There are six cysteines in the sequence of mature CFBD peptide, which possibly form three disulfide-bridges. CFBD showed antimicrobial activities against Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Candida albicans and Escherichia coli. This peptide could be classified into family of β-defensin based on its sequence similarity with β-defensins from other vertebrates. Evolution analysis indicated that CFBD was close to fish β-defensin. As far as we know, CFBD is the first β-defensin antimicrobial peptide from salamanders.

  11. Effects of Timber Harvests and Silvicultural Edges on Terrestrial Salamanders

    PubMed Central

    MacNeil, Jami E.; Williams, Rod N.

    2014-01-01

    Balancing timber production and conservation in forest management requires an understanding of how timber harvests affect wildlife species. Terrestrial salamanders are useful indicators of mature forest ecosystem health due to their importance to ecosystem processes and sensitivity to environmental change. However, the effects of timber harvests on salamanders, though often researched, are still not well understood. To further this understanding, we used artificial cover objects to monitor the relative abundance of terrestrial salamanders for two seasons (fall and spring) pre-harvest and five seasons post-harvest in six forest management treatments, and for three seasons post-harvest across the edge gradients of six recent clearcuts. In total, we recorded 19,048 encounters representing nine species of salamanders. We observed declines in mean encounters of eastern red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) and northern slimy salamanders (P. glutinosus) from pre- to post-harvest in group selection cuts and in clearcuts. However, we found no evidence of salamander declines at shelterwoods and forested sites adjacent to harvests. Edge effects induced by recent clearcuts influenced salamanders for approximately 20 m into the forest, but edge influence varied by slope orientation. Temperature, soil moisture, and canopy cover were all correlated with salamander counts. Our results suggest silvicultural techniques that remove the forest canopy negatively affect salamander relative abundance on the local scale during the years immediately following harvest, and that the depth of edge influence of clearcuts on terrestrial salamanders is relatively shallow (<20 m). Small harvests (<4 ha) and techniques that leave the forest canopy intact may be compatible with maintaining terrestrial salamander populations across a forested landscape. Our results demonstrate the importance of examining species-specific responses and monitoring salamanders across multiple seasons and years

  12. Effects of timber harvests and silvicultural edges on terrestrial salamanders.

    PubMed

    MacNeil, Jami E; Williams, Rod N

    2014-01-01

    Balancing timber production and conservation in forest management requires an understanding of how timber harvests affect wildlife species. Terrestrial salamanders are useful indicators of mature forest ecosystem health due to their importance to ecosystem processes and sensitivity to environmental change. However, the effects of timber harvests on salamanders, though often researched, are still not well understood. To further this understanding, we used artificial cover objects to monitor the relative abundance of terrestrial salamanders for two seasons (fall and spring) pre-harvest and five seasons post-harvest in six forest management treatments, and for three seasons post-harvest across the edge gradients of six recent clearcuts. In total, we recorded 19,048 encounters representing nine species of salamanders. We observed declines in mean encounters of eastern red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) and northern slimy salamanders (P. glutinosus) from pre- to post-harvest in group selection cuts and in clearcuts. However, we found no evidence of salamander declines at shelterwoods and forested sites adjacent to harvests. Edge effects induced by recent clearcuts influenced salamanders for approximately 20 m into the forest, but edge influence varied by slope orientation. Temperature, soil moisture, and canopy cover were all correlated with salamander counts. Our results suggest silvicultural techniques that remove the forest canopy negatively affect salamander relative abundance on the local scale during the years immediately following harvest, and that the depth of edge influence of clearcuts on terrestrial salamanders is relatively shallow (<20 m). Small harvests (<4 ha) and techniques that leave the forest canopy intact may be compatible with maintaining terrestrial salamander populations across a forested landscape. Our results demonstrate the importance of examining species-specific responses and monitoring salamanders across multiple seasons and years

  13. Social monogamy in a territorial salamander.

    PubMed

    Gillette; Jaeger; Peterson

    2000-06-01

    Social monogamy, which does not necessarily imply mating or genetic monogamy, is important in the formation of male-female pair associations. We operationally define social monogamy as occurring when two heterosexual adults, exclusive of kin-directed behaviour, direct significantly less aggression and significantly more submission towards each other, and/or spend significantly more time associating with each other relative to other adult heterosexual conspecifics. Long-term pair associations (i.e. those lasting through a lengthy breeding season) that are characteristic of social monogamy are common in some taxa but are virtually unknown in amphibians. Recent studies, however, have suggested that red-backed salamanders, Plethodon cinereus, have complex (for amphibians) social systems. Our laboratory experiments tested the hypothesis that red-backed salamanders found in pairs in the forest display behaviours consistent with social monogamy. During the summer noncourtship season, newly collected male-females pairs showed no preference to associate with their partners more than with a novel conspecific of the opposite sex. However, during the autumn courtship season, paired males and females significantly directed preferential behaviours towards their partners rather than towards a surrogate or a novel paired salamander. Focal animals showed no significant preferences when presented with their partner and a novel single salamander, but they never directed preferential behaviours towards a novel salamander (whether paired or single) or a surrogate. These results are the first to suggest that a salamander species engages in social monogamy. Furthermore, our results suggest that social monogamy may not inhibit paired males and females from displaying alternative strategies: preferring partners when extrapair associations may be disadvantageous (i.e. the extrapair animal is already paired) but not preferring partners when extrapair associations may be advantageous (i

  14. Phylogeography of Sardinian cave salamanders (genus Hydromantes) is mainly determined by geomorphology.

    PubMed

    Chiari, Ylenia; van der Meijden, Arie; Mucedda, Mauro; Lourenço, João M; Hochkirch, Axel; Veith, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Detecting the factors that determine the interruption of gene flow between populations is key to understanding how speciation occurs. In this context, caves are an excellent system for studying processes of colonization, differentiation and speciation, since they represent discrete geographical units often with known geological histories. Here, we asked whether discontinuous calcareous areas and cave systems represent major barriers to gene flow within and among the five species of Sardinian cave salamanders (genus Hydromantes) and whether intraspecific genetic structure parallels geographic distance within and among caves. We generated mitochondrial cytochrome b gene sequences from 184 individuals representing 48 populations, and used a Bayesian phylogeographic approach to infer possible areas of cladogenesis for these species and reconstruct historical and current dispersal routes among distinct populations. Our results show deep genetic divergence within and among all Sardinian cave salamander species, which can mostly be attributed to the effects of mountains and discontinuities in major calcareous areas and cave systems acting as barriers to gene flow. While these salamander species can also occur outside caves, our results indicate that there is a very poor dispersal of these species between separate cave systems.

  15. Sex in unisexual salamanders: discovery of a new sperm donor with ancient affinities.

    PubMed

    Bogart, J P; Bartoszek, J; Noble, D W A; Bi, K

    2009-12-01

    Although bisexual reproduction has considerable evolutionary benefits, several all-female vertebrates exist. Unisexual salamanders in the genus Ambystoma are common around the Great Lakes region in eastern North America. They originated from a hybridization event that involved a female that shared a common ancestor with Ambystoma barbouri 2.4 to 3.9 million years ago but, unexpectedly, A. barbouri nuclear genomes were unknown in unisexuals. Unisexual salamanders steal sperm from donors of normally bisexual species, so their reproductive mode is described as kleptogenesis. Most known unisexuals are polyploid and they all possess at least one A. laterale genome. One or more other genomes are taken from sperm donors that may include A. jeffersonianum, A. laterale, A. texanum and A. tigrinum. We examined unisexual adults and larvae in a southern Ohio pond where unisexual individuals coexist with male A. barbouri. This population provided an opportunity to test hypotheses pertaining to the role of A. barbouri in the evolution of the disparate cytoplasmic and nuclear genomes in unisexual salamanders. Microsatellite DNA loci, mitochondrial DNA sequences and genomic in situ hybridization were used to identify the genomic constitution of individuals. A. barbouri was found to be an acceptable sperm donor for unisexuals but only contributed genomes in ploidy-elevated individuals. In the absence of A. jeffersonianum, this Ohio population is likely experiencing a recent switch in sperm donors from A. jeffersonianum to A. barbouri and demonstrates the evolutionary flexibility and dynamics of kleptogenesis.

  16. Phylogeography of Sardinian Cave Salamanders (Genus Hydromantes) Is Mainly Determined by Geomorphology

    PubMed Central

    Chiari, Ylenia; van der Meijden, Arie; Mucedda, Mauro; Lourenço, João M.; Hochkirch, Axel; Veith, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Detecting the factors that determine the interruption of gene flow between populations is key to understanding how speciation occurs. In this context, caves are an excellent system for studying processes of colonization, differentiation and speciation, since they represent discrete geographical units often with known geological histories. Here, we asked whether discontinuous calcareous areas and cave systems represent major barriers to gene flow within and among the five species of Sardinian cave salamanders (genus Hydromantes) and whether intraspecific genetic structure parallels geographic distance within and among caves. We generated mitochondrial cytochrome b gene sequences from 184 individuals representing 48 populations, and used a Bayesian phylogeographic approach to infer possible areas of cladogenesis for these species and reconstruct historical and current dispersal routes among distinct populations. Our results show deep genetic divergence within and among all Sardinian cave salamander species, which can mostly be attributed to the effects of mountains and discontinuities in major calcareous areas and cave systems acting as barriers to gene flow. While these salamander species can also occur outside caves, our results indicate that there is a very poor dispersal of these species between separate cave systems. PMID:22427830

  17. Large geographic range size reflects a patchwork of divergent lineages in the long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum).

    PubMed

    Lee-Yaw, J A; Irwin, D E

    2012-11-01

    For northern taxa, persistence in multiple vs. single Pleistocene refugia may have been an important determinant of contemporary range size, with larger ranges achieved by species that colonized the north from several glacial refugia. Under this hypothesis, widespread species are expected to demonstrate marked phylogeographic structure in previously glaciated regions. We use a genome-wide survey to characterize genetic structure and evaluate this hypothesis in the most widely distributed salamander in the Pacific Northwest, the long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum). Patterns of variation based on 751 amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) loci and mitochondrial sequence data were concordant and support the recognition of at least four distinct lineages of long-toed salamander. The distributions of these lineages indicate that multiple refugia contributed to the species' large contemporary range. At the same time, with up to 133 AFLP bands differing between lineages and levels of sequence divergence ranging from 2.5 to 5.8%, these lineages would be considered separate species by some definitions. Such splitting would partition the large geographic range of the long-toed salamander into several relatively restricted ranges. Our results thus also underscore the potential for estimates of geographic range size to vary considerably depending on the taxonomic treatment of cryptic lineages.

  18. Structural insights into the evolution of a sexy protein: novel topology and restricted backbone flexibility in a hypervariable pheromone from the red-legged salamander, Plethodon shermani.

    PubMed

    Wilburn, Damien B; Bowen, Kathleen E; Doty, Kari A; Arumugam, Sengodagounder; Lane, Andrew N; Feldhoff, Pamela W; Feldhoff, Richard C

    2014-01-01

    In response to pervasive sexual selection, protein sex pheromones often display rapid mutation and accelerated evolution of corresponding gene sequences. For proteins, the general dogma is that structure is maintained even as sequence or function may rapidly change. This phenomenon is well exemplified by the three-finger protein (TFP) superfamily: a diverse class of vertebrate proteins co-opted for many biological functions - such as components of snake venoms, regulators of the complement system, and coordinators of amphibian limb regeneration. All of the >200 structurally characterized TFPs adopt the namesake "three-finger" topology. In male red-legged salamanders, the TFP pheromone Plethodontid Modulating Factor (PMF) is a hypervariable protein such that, through extensive gene duplication and pervasive sexual selection, individual male salamanders express more than 30 unique isoforms. However, it remained unclear how this accelerated evolution affected the protein structure of PMF. Using LC/MS-MS and multidimensional NMR, we report the 3D structure of the most abundant PMF isoform, PMF-G. The high resolution structural ensemble revealed a highly modified TFP structure, including a unique disulfide bonding pattern and loss of secondary structure, that define a novel protein topology with greater backbone flexibility in the third peptide finger. Sequence comparison, models of molecular evolution, and homology modeling together support that this flexible third finger is the most rapidly evolving segment of PMF. Combined with PMF sequence hypervariability, this structural flexibility may enhance the plasticity of PMF as a chemical signal by permitting potentially thousands of structural conformers. We propose that the flexible third finger plays a critical role in PMF:receptor interactions. As female receptors co-evolve, this flexibility may allow PMF to still bind its receptor(s) without the immediate need for complementary mutations. Consequently, this unique

  19. Structural Insights into the Evolution of a Sexy Protein: Novel Topology and Restricted Backbone Flexibility in a Hypervariable Pheromone from the Red-Legged Salamander, Plethodon shermani

    PubMed Central

    Wilburn, Damien B.; Bowen, Kathleen E.; Doty, Kari A.; Arumugam, Sengodagounder; Lane, Andrew N.; Feldhoff, Pamela W.; Feldhoff, Richard C.

    2014-01-01

    In response to pervasive sexual selection, protein sex pheromones often display rapid mutation and accelerated evolution of corresponding gene sequences. For proteins, the general dogma is that structure is maintained even as sequence or function may rapidly change. This phenomenon is well exemplified by the three-finger protein (TFP) superfamily: a diverse class of vertebrate proteins co-opted for many biological functions – such as components of snake venoms, regulators of the complement system, and coordinators of amphibian limb regeneration. All of the >200 structurally characterized TFPs adopt the namesake “three-finger” topology. In male red-legged salamanders, the TFP pheromone Plethodontid Modulating Factor (PMF) is a hypervariable protein such that, through extensive gene duplication and pervasive sexual selection, individual male salamanders express more than 30 unique isoforms. However, it remained unclear how this accelerated evolution affected the protein structure of PMF. Using LC/MS-MS and multidimensional NMR, we report the 3D structure of the most abundant PMF isoform, PMF-G. The high resolution structural ensemble revealed a highly modified TFP structure, including a unique disulfide bonding pattern and loss of secondary structure, that define a novel protein topology with greater backbone flexibility in the third peptide finger. Sequence comparison, models of molecular evolution, and homology modeling together support that this flexible third finger is the most rapidly evolving segment of PMF. Combined with PMF sequence hypervariability, this structural flexibility may enhance the plasticity of PMF as a chemical signal by permitting potentially thousands of structural conformers. We propose that the flexible third finger plays a critical role in PMF:receptor interactions. As female receptors co-evolve, this flexibility may allow PMF to still bind its receptor(s) without the immediate need for complementary mutations. Consequently, this

  20. On the ecological role of salamanders

    Treesearch

    Robert D. Davic; Hartwell H. Welsh Jr.

    2004-01-01

    Salamanders are cryptic and, though largely unrecognized as such, extremely abundant vertebrates in a variety of primarily forest and grassland environments, where they regulate food webs and contribute to ecosystem resilience-resistance (= stability) in several ways: (a) As mid-level vertebrate predators, they provide direct and indirect biotic control of species...

  1. Aneides ferreus (clouded salamander): arboreal activity

    Treesearch

    William W. Price; Clinton P. Landon; Eric D. Forsman

    2010-01-01

    Aneides ferreus (clouded salamander) inhabits the forests of western Oregon and extreme northwestern California. Although thought to be primarily terrestrial, A. ferreus has occasionally been found as high as 60 m up in trees and two recent reports suggest that it may be more arboreal than previously believed. However, it is...

  2. Homing orientation in salamanders: A mechanism involving chemical cues

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Madison, D. M.

    1972-01-01

    A detailed description is given of experiments made to determine the senses and chemical cues used by salamanders for homing orientation. Sensory impairment and cue manipulative techniques were used in the investigation. All experiments were carried out at night. Results show that sense impaired animals did not home as readily as those who were blind but retained their sensory mechanism. This fact suggests that the olfactory mechanism is necessary for homing in the salamander. It was determined that after the impaired salamander regenerated its sensory mechanism it too returned home. It was concluded that homing ability in salamanders is direction independent, distant dependent, and vision independent.

  3. Lethal effects of water quality on threatened California salamanders but not on co-occurring hybrid salamanders.

    PubMed

    Ryan, Maureen E; Johnson, Jarrett R; Fitzpatrick, Benjamin M; Lowenstine, Linda J; Picco, Angela M; Shaffer, H Bradley

    2013-02-01

    Biological invasions and habitat alteration are often detrimental to native species, but their interactions are difficult to predict. Interbreeding between native and introduced species generates novel genotypes and phenotypes, and human land use alters habitat structure and chemistry. Both invasions and habitat alteration create new biological challenges and opportunities. In the intensively farmed Salinas Valley, California (U.S.A.), threatened California tiger salamanders (Ambystoma californiense) have been replaced by hybrids between California tiger salamander and introduced barred tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum mavortium). We conducted an enclosure experiment to examine the effects habitat modification and relative frequency of hybrid and native California tiger salamanders have on recruitment of salamanders and their prey, Pacific chorus frogs (Pseudacris regilla). We tested whether recruitment differed among genetic classes of tiger salamanders (hybrid or native) and pond hydroperiod (seasonal or perennial). Roughly 6 weeks into the experiment, 70% (of 378 total) of salamander larvae died in 4 out of 6 ponds. Native salamanders survived (n = 12) in these ponds only if they had metamorphosed prior to the die-offs. During die-offs, all larvae of native salamanders died, whereas 56% of hybrid larvae died. We necropsied native and hybrid salamanders, tested water quality, and queried the California Department of Pesticide Regulation database to investigate possible causes of the die-offs. Salamander die-offs, changes in the abundance of other community members (invertebrates, algae, and cyanobacteria), shifts in salamander sex ratio, and patterns of pesticide application in adjacent fields suggest that pesticide use may have contributed to die-offs. That all survivors were hybrids suggests that environmental stress may promote rapid displacement of native genotypes.

  4. Stream salamanders as indicators of stream quality in Maryland, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Southerland, M.T.; Jung, R.E.; Baxter, D.P.; Chellman, I.C.; Mercurio, G.; Volstad, J.H.

    2004-01-01

    Biological indicators are critical to the protection of small, headwater streams and the ecological values they provide. Maryland and other state monitoring programs have determined that fish indicators are ineffective in small streams, where stream salamanders may replace fish as top predators. Because of their life history, physiology, abundance, and ubiquity, stream salamanders are likely representative of biological integrity in these streams. The goal of this study was to determine whether stream salamanders are effective indicators of ecological conditions across biogeographic regions and gradients of human disturbance. During the summers of 2001 and 2002, we intensively surveyed for stream salamanders at 76 stream sites located west of the Maryland Coastal Plain, sites also monitored by the Maryland Biological Stream Survey (MBSS) and City of Gaithersburg. We found 1,584 stream salamanders, including all eight species known in Maryland, using two 15 ? 2 m transects and two 4 m2 quadrats that spanned both stream bank and channel. We performed removal sampling on transects to estimate salamander species detection probabilities, which ranged from 0.67-0.85. Stepwise regressions identified 15 of 52 non-salamander variables, representing water quality, physical habitat, land use, and biological conditions, which best predicted salamander metrics. Indicator development involved (1) identifying reference (non-degraded) and degraded sites (using percent forest, shading, riparian buffer width, aesthetic rating, and benthic macroinvertebrate and fish indices of biotic integrity); (2) testing 12 candidate salamander metrics (representing species richness and composition, abundance, species tolerance, and reproductive function) for their ability to distinguish reference from degraded sites; and (3) combining metrics into an index that effectively discriminated sites according to known stream conditions. Final indices for Highlands, Piedmont, and Non-Coastal Plain

  5. Reproductive biology of Ambystoma salamanders in the southeastern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Glorioso, Brad M.; Waddle, J. Hardin; Hefner, Jeromi M.

    2015-01-01

    Reproductive aspects of Ambystoma salamanders were investigated at sites in Louisiana (2010–12) and Mississippi (2013). Three species occurred at the Louisiana site, Spotted Salamander (A. maculatum), Marbled Salamander (A. opacum), and Mole Salamander (A. talpoideum), whereas only Spotted Salamanders were studied at the Mississippi site. A total of 162 and 71 egg masses of Spotted Salamanders were examined at the Louisiana and Mississippi sites, respectively. Significantly more Spotted Salamander eggs per egg mass were observed at the Mississippi site (x̄ = 78.2) than the Louisiana site (x̄ = 53.8; P < 0.001). The mean snout–vent length of female Spotted Salamanders at the Mississippi site (82.9 mm) was significantly larger than the Louisiana site (76.1 mm; P < 0.001). Opaque Spotted Salamander egg masses were not found at the Mississippi site, but accounted for 11% of examined egg masses at the Louisiana site. The mean number of eggs per egg mass at the Louisiana site did not differ between opaque (47.3) and clear (54.6) egg masses (P = 0.21). A total of 47 egg masses of the Mole Salamander were examined, with a mean number of 6.7 embryos per mass. Twenty-three individual nests of the Marbled Salamander were found either under or in decaying logs in the dry pond basins. There was no difference between the mean numbers of eggs per mass of attended nests (93.0) versus those that were discovered unattended (86.6; P = 0.67). Females tended to place their nests at intermediate heights within the pond basin.

  6. Skeletal muscle dedifferentiation during salamander limb regeneration.

    PubMed

    Wang, Heng; Simon, András

    2016-10-01

    Salamanders can regenerate entire limbs throughout their life. A critical step during limb regeneration is formation of a blastema, which gives rise to the new extremity. Salamander limb regeneration has historically been tightly linked to the term dedifferentiation, however, with refined research tools it is important to revisit the definition of dedifferentiation in the context. To what extent do differentiated cells revert their differentiated phenotypes? To what extent do progeny from differentiated cells cross lineage boundaries during regeneration? How do cell cycle plasticity and lineage plasticity relate to each other? What is the relationship between dedifferentiation of specialized cells and activation of tissue resident stem cells in terms of their contribution to the new limb? Here we highlight these problems through the case of skeletal muscle.

  7. Kinship affects morphogenesis in cannibalistic salamanders.

    PubMed

    Pfennig, D W; Collins, J P

    1993-04-29

    Inclusive fitness theory predicts that organisms can often increase their fitness by helping relatives. Indeed, many animals modify their behaviour towards kin in a fashion consistent with theory. Morphogenesis may also be sensitive to kinship environment, especially in species that facultatively produce distinct morphs that differ in their ability to harm relatives, such as those that produce alternative cannibalistic and non-cannibalistic phenotypes. We tested this hypothesis by examining whether consanguinity affected the probability that structurally distinctive cannibal morphs would develop in larval Arizona tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum nebulosum). We report here that when tiger salamander larvae are reared in mixed-brood groups they are significantly more likely to develop the cannibal morphology and at an earlier age than siblings reared in pure-sibship groups. In general, morphogenesis may be responsive to kinship in any species that facultatively develops structures that can be used against conspecifics as weaponry.

  8. Bromeliad Selection by Two Salamander Species in a Harsh Environment

    PubMed Central

    Ruano-Fajardo, Gustavo; Rovito, Sean M.; Ladle, Richard J.

    2014-01-01

    Bromeliad phytotelmata are frequently used by several Neotropical amphibian taxa, possibly due to their high humidity, microclimatic stability, and role as a refuge from predators. Indeed, the ability of phytotelmata to buffer against adverse environmental conditions may be instrumental in allowing some amphibian species to survive during periods of environmental change or to colonize sub-optimal habitats. Association between bromeliad traits and salamanders has not been studied at a fine scale, despite the intimate association of many salamander species with bromeliads. Here, we identify microhabitat characteristics of epiphytic bromeliads used by two species of the Bolitoglossa morio group (B. morio and B. pacaya) in forest disturbed by volcanic activity in Guatemala. Specifically, we measured multiple variables for bromeliads (height and position in tree, phytotelma water temperature and pH, canopy cover, phytotelma size, leaf size, and tree diameter at breast height), as well as salamander size. We employed a DNA barcoding approach to identify salamanders. We found that B. morio and B. pacaya occurred in microsympatry in bromeliads and that phytotelmata size and temperature of bromeliad microhabitat were the most important factors associated with the presence of salamanders. Moreover, phytotelmata with higher pH contained larger salamanders, suggesting that larger salamanders or aggregated individuals might modify pH. These results show that bromeliad selection is nonrandom with respect to microhabitat characteristics, and provide insight into the relationship between salamanders and this unique arboreal environment. PMID:24892414

  9. Predicting variation in microhabitat utilization of terrestrial salamanders

    Treesearch

    Katherine M. O' Donnell; Frank R. Thompson; Raymond D. Semlitsch

    2014-01-01

    Understanding patterns of microhabitat use among terrestrial salamanders is important for predicting their responses to natural and anthropogenic disturbances. The dependence of terrestrial salamanders on cutaneous respiration limits their spatial distribution to moist, humid areas. Although many studies have shown negative effects of canopy removal on terrestrial...

  10. Bromeliad selection by two salamander species in a harsh environment.

    PubMed

    Ruano-Fajardo, Gustavo; Rovito, Sean M; Ladle, Richard J

    2014-01-01

    Bromeliad phytotelmata are frequently used by several Neotropical amphibian taxa, possibly due to their high humidity, microclimatic stability, and role as a refuge from predators. Indeed, the ability of phytotelmata to buffer against adverse environmental conditions may be instrumental in allowing some amphibian species to survive during periods of environmental change or to colonize sub-optimal habitats. Association between bromeliad traits and salamanders has not been studied at a fine scale, despite the intimate association of many salamander species with bromeliads. Here, we identify microhabitat characteristics of epiphytic bromeliads used by two species of the Bolitoglossa morio group (B. morio and B. pacaya) in forest disturbed by volcanic activity in Guatemala. Specifically, we measured multiple variables for bromeliads (height and position in tree, phytotelma water temperature and pH, canopy cover, phytotelma size, leaf size, and tree diameter at breast height), as well as salamander size. We employed a DNA barcoding approach to identify salamanders. We found that B. morio and B. pacaya occurred in microsympatry in bromeliads and that phytotelmata size and temperature of bromeliad microhabitat were the most important factors associated with the presence of salamanders. Moreover, phytotelmata with higher pH contained larger salamanders, suggesting that larger salamanders or aggregated individuals might modify pH. These results show that bromeliad selection is nonrandom with respect to microhabitat characteristics, and provide insight into the relationship between salamanders and this unique arboreal environment.

  11. Northwestern salamanders Ambystoma gracile in mountain lakes: record oviposition depths among salamanders

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hoffman, R.; Pearl, C.A.; Larson, G.L.; Samora, B.

    2012-01-01

    Oviposition timing, behaviors, and microhabitats of ambystomatid salamanders vary considerably (Egan and Paton 2004; Figiel and Semlitsch 1995; Howard and Wallace 1985; Mac-Cracken 2007). Regardless of species, however, females typically oviposit using sites conducive to embryo development and survival. For example, the results of an experiment by Figiel and Semlitsch (1995) on Ambystoma opacum (Marbled Salamander) oviposition indicated that females actively selected sites that were under grass clumps in wet versus dry treatments, and surmised that environmental conditions such as humidity, moisture, and temperature contributed to their results. Other factors associated with ambystomatid oviposition and embryo survival include water temperature (Anderson 1972; Brown 1976), dissolved oxygen concentration (Petranka et al. 1982; Sacerdote and King 2009), oviposition depth (Dougherty et al. 2005; Egan and Paton 2004), and oviposition attachment structures such as woody vegetation (McCracken 2007; Nussbaum et al. 1983). Resetarits (1996), in creating a model of oviposition site selection for anuran amphibians, hypothesized that oviparous organisms were also capable of modifying oviposition behavior and site selection to accommodate varying habitat conditions and to minimize potential negative effects of environmental stressors. Kats and Sih (1992), investigating the oviposition of Ambystoma barbouri (Streamside Salamander) in pools of a Kentucky stream, found that females preferred pools without predatory Lepomis cyanellus (Green Sunfish), and that the number of egg masses present in a pool historically containing fish increased significantly the year after fish had been extirpated from the pool. Palen et al. (2005) determined that Ambystoma gracile (Northwestern Salamander) and Ambystoma macrodactylum (Longtoed Salamander) eggs were deposited either at increased depth or in full shaded habitats, respectively, as water transperancy to UV-B radiation increased.

  12. Fine-Scale Genetic Differentiation in a Salamander Hynobius tokyoensis Living in Fragmented Urban Habitats in and Around Tokyo, Japan.

    PubMed

    Sugawara, Hirotaka; Kusano, Tamotsu; Hayashi, Fumio

    2016-10-01

    Salamanders are expected to differentiate genetically among local populations due to their low dispersal ability, and are potentially susceptible to loss of genetic diversity if the population is isolated by habitat fragmentation. The salamander Hynobius tokyoensis is a lowland lentic breeder and endemic to a narrow area of central Japan. In this urban area, H. tokyoensis habitats are extensively fragmented and several populations are threatened with extinction, but information on genetic divergence and loss of genetic diversity is scarce. We performed mitochondrial (cyt b) and microsatellite (five loci) DNA analyses of 815 individuals from 46 populations in 12 regions across their entire distribution range. As a result, populations were clearly separated into northern and southern groups, and genetic differentiation among the 12 regions was also evident. Regional differentiation appears to be affected by a complex geographical history, but the genetic diversity of each population may have also been affected by recent habitat fragmentation. There were positive correlations between the mitochondrial and microsatellite DNA diversities. Some populations have lost genetic diversity in both mitochondrial and microsatellite DNAs; all such populations were at the peripheral edges of the species distribution range. Thus, even in attempts to restore genetic diversity in a small population by the transfer of outside individuals, efforts must be made to avoid genetic pollution.

  13. Effects of red-backed salamanders on ecosystem functions.

    PubMed

    Hocking, Daniel J; Babbitt, Kimberly J

    2014-01-01

    Ecosystems provide a vast array of services for human societies, but understanding how various organisms contribute to the functions that maintain these services remains an important ecological challenge. Predators can affect ecosystem functions through a combination of top-down trophic cascades and bottom-up effects on nutrient dynamics. As the most abundant vertebrate predator in many eastern US forests, woodland salamanders (Plethodon spp.) likely affect ecosystems functions. We examined the effects of red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) on a variety of forest ecosystem functions using a combined approach of large-scale salamander removals (314-m(2) plots) and small-scale enclosures (2 m(2)) where we explicitly manipulated salamander density (0, 0.5, 1, 2, 4 m(-2)). In these experiments, we measured the rates of litter and wood decomposition, potential nitrogen mineralization and nitrification rates, acorn germination, and foliar insect damage on red oak seedlings. Across both experimental venues, we found no significant effect of red-backed salamanders on any of the ecosystem functions. We also found no effect of salamanders on intraguild predator abundance (carabid beetles, centipedes, spiders). Our study adds to the already conflicting evidence on effects of red-backed salamander and other amphibians on terrestrial ecosystem functions. It appears likely that the impact of terrestrial amphibians on ecosystem functions is context dependent. Future research would benefit from explicitly examining terrestrial amphibian effects on ecosystem functions under a variety of environmental conditions and in different forest types.

  14. Effects of Red-Backed Salamanders on Ecosystem Functions

    PubMed Central

    Hocking, Daniel J.; Babbitt, Kimberly J.

    2014-01-01

    Ecosystems provide a vast array of services for human societies, but understanding how various organisms contribute to the functions that maintain these services remains an important ecological challenge. Predators can affect ecosystem functions through a combination of top-down trophic cascades and bottom-up effects on nutrient dynamics. As the most abundant vertebrate predator in many eastern US forests, woodland salamanders (Plethodon spp.) likely affect ecosystems functions. We examined the effects of red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) on a variety of forest ecosystem functions using a combined approach of large-scale salamander removals (314-m2 plots) and small-scale enclosures (2 m2) where we explicitly manipulated salamander density (0, 0.5, 1, 2, 4 m−2). In these experiments, we measured the rates of litter and wood decomposition, potential nitrogen mineralization and nitrification rates, acorn germination, and foliar insect damage on red oak seedlings. Across both experimental venues, we found no significant effect of red-backed salamanders on any of the ecosystem functions. We also found no effect of salamanders on intraguild predator abundance (carabid beetles, centipedes, spiders). Our study adds to the already conflicting evidence on effects of red-backed salamander and other amphibians on terrestrial ecosystem functions. It appears likely that the impact of terrestrial amphibians on ecosystem functions is context dependent. Future research would benefit from explicitly examining terrestrial amphibian effects on ecosystem functions under a variety of environmental conditions and in different forest types. PMID:24466269

  15. Ecological separation in a polymorphic terrestrial salamander.

    PubMed

    Anthony, Carl D; Venesky, Matthew D; Hickerson, Cari-Ann M

    2008-07-01

    1. When studying speciation, researchers commonly examine reproductive isolation in recently diverged populations. Polymorphic species provide an opportunity to examine the role of reproductive isolation in populations that may be in the process of divergence. 2. We examined a polymorphic population of Plethodon cinereus (red-backed salamanders) for evidence of sympatric ecological separation by colour morphology. Recent studies have correlated temperature and climate with colour morphology in this species, but no studies have looked at differences in diet or mate choice between colour morphs. We used artificial cover objects to assess salamander diet, mating preference and surface activity over a 2-year period at a field site in north-eastern Ohio. 3. We detected differences in diet between two colour morphs, striped and unstriped. The diets of striped individuals were significantly more diverse and were made up of more profitable prey than the diets of unstriped salamanders. 4. Opposite sex pairs were made up of individuals of the same colour morph and striped males were found more often with larger females than were unstriped males. 5. We corroborate findings of earlier studies suggesting that the unstriped form is adapted to warmer conditions. Unstriped individuals were the first to withdraw from the forest floor as temperatures fell in the late fall. We found no evidence that the colour morphs responded differently to abiotic factors such as soil moisture and relative humidity, and responses to surface temperatures were also equivocal. 6. We conclude that the two colour morphs exhibit some degree of ecological separation and tend to mate assortatively, but are unlikely to be undergoing divergence given the observed frequency of intermorph pairings.

  16. Effects of urbanization on occupancy of stream salamanders.

    PubMed

    Price, Steven J; Cecala, Kristen K; Browne, Robert A; Dorcas, Michael E

    2011-06-01

    Urban development is the most common form of land conversion in the United States. Using a before-after control-impact study design, we investigated the effects of urbanization on larval and adult stages of southern two-lined salamanders (Eurycea cirrigera) and northern dusky salamanders (Desmognathus fuscus). Over 5 years, we estimated changes in occupancy and probabilities of colonization and survival in 13 stream catchments after urbanization and in 17 catchments that were not urbanized. We also examined effects of proportion of urbanized area in a catchment and distance of the salamander population to the nearest stream on probabilities of colonization and survival. Before urbanization, adult and larval stages of the two salamander species occupied nearly all surveyed streams, with occupancy estimates ranging from 1.0 to 0.78. Four years after urbanization mean occupancy of larval and adult two-lined salamanders had decreased from 0.87 and 0.78 to 0.57 and 0.39, respectively. Estimates of mean occupancy of larval northern dusky salamanders decreased from 1.0 to 0.57 in urban streams 4 years after urbanization; however, adult northern dusky salamander occupancy remained close to 1.0 in urban streams over 5 years. Occupancy estimates in control streams were similar for each species and stage over 5 years. Urbanization was associated with decreases in survival probabilities of adult and larval two-lined salamanders and decreases in colonization probabilities of larval dusky salamanders. Nevertheless, proportion of impervious surface and distance to nearest stream had little effect on probabilities of survival and colonization. Our results imply that in the evaluation of the effects of urbanization on species, such as amphibians, with complex life cycles, consideration of the effects of urbanization on both adult and larval stages is required. ©2010 Society for Conservation Biology.

  17. Ancient DNA Assessment of Tiger Salamander Population in Yellowstone National Park

    PubMed Central

    McMenamin, Sarah K.; Hadly, Elizabeth A.

    2012-01-01

    Recent data indicates that blotched tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum melanostictum) in northern regions of Yellowstone National Park are declining due to climate-related habitat changes. In this study, we used ancient and modern mitochondrial haplotype diversity to model the effective size of this amphibian population through recent geological time and to assess past responses to climatic changes in the region. Using subfossils collected from a cave in northern Yellowstone, we analyzed >700 base pairs of mitochondrial sequence from 16 samples ranging in age from 100 to 3300 years old and found that all shared an identical haplotype. Although mitochondrial diversity was extremely low within the living population, we still were able to detect geographic subdivision within the local area. Using serial coalescent modelling with Bayesian priors from both modern and ancient genetic data we simulated a range of probable population sizes and mutation rates through time. Our simulations suggest that regional mitochondrial diversity has remained relatively constant even through climatic fluctuations of recent millennia. PMID:22427878

  18. Ancient DNA assessment of tiger salamander population in Yellowstone National Park.

    PubMed

    McMenamin, Sarah K; Hadly, Elizabeth A

    2012-01-01

    Recent data indicates that blotched tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum melanostictum) in northern regions of Yellowstone National Park are declining due to climate-related habitat changes. In this study, we used ancient and modern mitochondrial haplotype diversity to model the effective size of this amphibian population through recent geological time and to assess past responses to climatic changes in the region. Using subfossils collected from a cave in northern Yellowstone, we analyzed >700 base pairs of mitochondrial sequence from 16 samples ranging in age from 100 to 3300 years old and found that all shared an identical haplotype. Although mitochondrial diversity was extremely low within the living population, we still were able to detect geographic subdivision within the local area. Using serial coalescent modelling with Bayesian priors from both modern and ancient genetic data we simulated a range of probable population sizes and mutation rates through time. Our simulations suggest that regional mitochondrial diversity has remained relatively constant even through climatic fluctuations of recent millennia.

  19. Generation of aneurogenic larvae by parabiosis of salamander embryos.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Anoop; Delgado, Jean Paul

    2015-01-01

    Limb regeneration of salamanders is nerve dependent, and the removal of the nerves in early stages of limb regeneration severely curtails the proliferation of the blastemal cells and growth of the regenerate. The removal of the neural tube from a developing salamander embryo results in an aneurogenic larva and the aneurogenic limb (ANL) develops independently without innervation. Paradoxically, the limb in an ANL is capable of regeneration in a nerve-independent manner. Here, we describe a detailed method for the generation of ANL in the spotted salamander, Ambystoma maculatum, for regeneration studies.

  20. Locomotion and visually guided behavior in salamander: a neuromechanical study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ijspeert, Auke J.; Arbib, Michael A.

    2000-10-01

    This article investigates the neural mechanisms underlying locomotion and visually-guided behavior in a lower vertebrate: the salamander. We develop connectionist models of the salamander's locomotor circuitry and visual system, and analyze their functioning by embedding them into a biomechanical simulation of the salamander's body. This work is therefore an experiment in computational neuroethology which aims at investigating how behavior results from the coupling of a central nervous system (CNS) and a body, and from the interactions of the CNS-body pair with the environment. We believe that understanding these mechanisms is not only relevant for neurobiology but also for potential applications in robotics.

  1. Could we also be regenerative superheroes, like salamanders?

    PubMed

    Dall'Agnese, Alessandra; Puri, Pier Lorenzo

    2016-09-01

    Development of methods to reawaken the semi-dormant regenerative potential that lies within adult human tissues would hold promise for the restoration of diseased or damaged organs and tissues. While most of the regeneration potential is suppressed in many vertebrates, including humans, during adult life, urodele amphibians (salamanders) retain their regenerative ability throughout adulthood. Studies in newts and axolotls, two salamander models, have provided significant knowledge about adult limb regeneration. In this review, we present a comparative analysis of salamander and mammalian regeneration and discuss how evolutionarily altered properties of the regenerative environment can be exploited to restore full regenerative potential in the human body.

  2. Evidence for multiple Pleistocene refugia in the postglacial expansion of the eastern tiger salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum tigrinum.

    PubMed

    Church, Sheri A; Kraus, Johanna M; Mitchell, Joseph C; Church, Don R; Taylor, Douglas R

    2003-02-01

    Pleistocene glaciations were important determinants of historical migration and, hence, current levels of genetic diversity within and among populations. In many cases, these historical migrations led to the existence of disjunct populations of plants and animals. However, the origin and timing of arrival of these disjunct populations is often debated. In the current study, we identify potential refugia and estimate the timing of vicariance events of the eastern tiger salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum tigrinum, using mitochondrial sequence data. The results suggest a vicariant event 0.75-2 million years ago, separating the tiger salamanders to the east and west of the Apalachicola River Basin. East of the Appalachians, there appear to be multiple independent refugia with little migration among the remaining populations. In particular, populations along the Atlantic Coastal Plain were likely isolated in a coastal plain refugium in the Carolinas. Migrants from this refugium were the likely source of colonists for populations occupying previously glaciated areas along the northeastern Atlantic Coast. A second potential refugium occurs in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western Virginia. This refugium contains a disjunct population of the eastern tiger salamander, as well as a community of nearly 70 other disjunct plant and animal species. The tiger salamanders here have been isolated from other populations for 200,000-500,000 years. These results suggest that disjunct mountain populations of Coastal Plain species may have existed in situ throughout the Pleistocene in Appalachian refugia. Therefore, these disjunct populations are not of recent origin, but rather exist as relicts of a warmer, more widespread fauna and flora that is now restricted to the Coastal Plain.

  3. Reduced genetic variation in the Japanese giant salamander, Andrias japonicus (Amphibia: Caudata).

    PubMed

    Matsui, Masafumi; Tominaga, Atsushi; Liu, Wan-zhao; Tanaka-Ueno, Tomoko

    2008-10-01

    The phylogenetic relationships among 46 samples from 27 populations of the Japanese giant salamander, Andriasjaponicus and its congener, A. davidianus from China was investigated, using 3664 bp sequences of the mitochondrial genes NADH1, NADH3, cyt b and CR, partial NADH6 and intervening genes. In phylogenetic trees constructed by MP, ML, and Bayesian methods, the family Cryptobranchidae and the genus Andrias both form monophyletic groups. Japanese A. japonicus and Chinese A. davidianus are sister taxa and can be regarded as separate species despite a small degree of genetic differentiation. Andriasjaponicus is divided into central and western clades, but the phylogenetic relationships within the latter clade are unresolved. As previously reported from allozyme analyses, A. japonicus exhibits little genetic differentiation, in strong contrast to salamanders of the genus Hynobius with which their distributions overlap. This reduced genetic variability in A. japonicus is attributable to a unique mating system of polygyny, delayed sexual maturity, notable longevity, life in a stable aquatic environment, and gigantism, as well as bottleneck effects following habitat fragmentation and extinction of local populations during Quaternary glaciations. The species is thus susceptible to extinction by potential environmental fluctuations, and requires extensive conservation measures.

  4. Sexual dimorphism and age of Mediterranean salamanders.

    PubMed

    Reinhard, Sandy; Renner, Sandra; Kupfer, Alexander

    2015-02-01

    We analysed sexual size dimorphism (SSD) for two Mediterranean species of the "true" salamander clade possessing distinct life histories (Salamandra algira and Mertensiella caucasica) and equilibrated the morphometric approach to individual age by using skeletochronology. For species that have a short breeding season and live at high altitudes, such as Mediterranean amphibians, the fecundity advantage hypothesis predicts female-biased SSD to maximise reproductive success. Our results showed no SSD in either species; however, morphometric data indicated a male-biased dimorphism in limb (arm and leg) dimensions in both species when compared to body size. Limb dimorphisms are likely related to the particular mating system, which involves an amplexus during spermatophore transfer. Arm length appeared sexually dimorphic during ontogeny both in viviparous S. algira and oviparous M. caucasica. A review on SSD indicated monomorphy of body size as a common lineage-specific pattern among the "true" salamander clade, but also the common presence of other traits such as sexually dimorphic limb proportions.

  5. Escape to Alcatraz: evolutionary history of slender salamanders (Batrachoseps) on the islands of San Francisco Bay

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Solano, Iñigo; Lawson, Robin

    2009-01-01

    Background Island populations are excellent model systems for studies of phenotypic, ecological and molecular evolution. In this study, molecular markers of mitochondrial and nuclear derivation were used to investigate the evolution, structure and origin of populations of the California slender salamander (Batrachoseps attenuatus) inhabiting the six major islands of San Francisco Bay, formed following the rising of sea level around 9,000 years ago. Results There was a high degree of congruence in the results of analyses of nucleotide and allozyme data, both of which strongly support the hypothesis that, for the majority of the islands, salamanders are descended from hilltop populations that became isolated with the formation of the Bay ca. 9,000 years ago. There are two exceptions (Alcatraz and Yerba Buena) where the evidence suggests that salamander populations are wholly or in part, the result of anthropogenic introductions. Comparison of the molecular data and the interpretations drawn therefrom with an earlier morphological study of many of the same salamander populations show some of the same evolutionary trends. Conclusion In spite of marked differences between the evolutionary rates of the two kinds of molecular markers, both indicate distinctive and similar patterns of population structure for B. attenuatus in the San Francisco Bay Area and its islands. With the two noted exceptions, it is clear that most island populations were established prior to the 9,000 years since the formation of the Bay. Results of coalescence-based analyses suggest that for most island populations the mtDNA lineages from which they were derived date from the Pleistocene. It can be said that, based on observed values of genetic diversity, the last 9,000 years of evolution on these islands have been characterized by relative stability, with the occasional extinction of some haplotypes or alleles that were formerly shared between island and mainland populations but overall

  6. Habitat requirements of New Mexico’s endangered salamanders

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ramotnik, Cindy A.; Scott, N.J.

    1988-01-01

    We measured habitat components for two state-listed endangered salamanders in New Mexico in 1986 and 1987. Both species are restricted to mesic environments within high-elevation, mixed coniferous forests. Steep slope and high elevation were the most useful variables for predicting the occurrence of Jemez Mountains salamanders and Sacramento Mountain salamanders, respectively. Although the discriminant models show some predictive value in detecting salamanders based on habitat variables, we believe that the best survey technique is ground-truth surveys in wet weather. A better fit of the discriminant models might be obtained by including variables not measured e.g., fire and logging history, and soil characteristics. We offer interim management guidelines as a result of our analysis.

  7. Salamander-like development in a seymouriamorph revealed by palaeohistology.

    PubMed

    Sanchez, Sophie; Klembara, Jozef; Castanet, Jacques; Steyer, J Sébastien

    2008-08-23

    The amniotes generally lay eggs on land and are thereby differentiated from lissamphibians (salamanders, frogs and caecilians) by their developmental pattern. Although a number of 330-300-Myr old fossils are regarded as early tetrapods placed close to amniotes on the basis of anatomical data, we still do not know whether their developmental pattern was more similar to those of lissamphibians or amniotes. Here we report palaeohistological and skeletochronological evidence supporting a salamander-like development in the seymouriamorph Discosauriscus. Its long-bone growth pattern, slow diaphyseal growth rate and delayed sexual maturity (at more than 10 years old) are more comparable with growth features of extant salamanders rather than extant amniotes, even though they are mostly hypothesized to be phylogenetically closer to living amniotes than salamanders.

  8. Historical Demography of an Endangered Salamander, Ranodon sibiricus (Amphibia, Urodela, Hynobiidae): A Reassessment.

    PubMed

    Nishikawa, Kanto; Dujsebayeva, Tatjana; Matsui, Masafumi; Yoshikawa, Natsuhiko; Tominaga, Atsushi

    2017-02-01

    Chinese populations of the endangered Siberian salamander Ranodon sibiricus are reported to have diverged only about 120 years ago, and to have the lowest genetic diversity of any amphibian. However, these conclusions require verification, as the main range of the species is in Kazakhstan. Moreover, the generation time used for estimating divergence time has a weak ground. In order to clarify these problems, we investigated the molecular phylogenetic relationship and historical demography of the species covering its whole distribution range using the mitochondrial DNA region reported for Chinese population (1072 bp sequences of the control region), while conducting skeletochronological analysis to estimate accurate generation time. As a result, the range expansion was estimated at 88,000-50,000 YA, based on the generation time of 6-10 years. Degree of intraspecific genetic differentiation is actually very small, but, as a single species, is not so small as had been reported for Chinese population alone.

  9. Terrestrial salamander abundance on reclaimed mountaintop removal mines

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wood, Petra Bohall; Williams, Jennifer M.

    2013-01-01

    Mountaintop removal mining, a large-scale disturbance affecting vegetation, soil structure, and topography, converts landscapes from mature forests to extensive grassland and shrubland habitats. We sampled salamanders using drift-fence arrays and coverboard transects on and near mountaintop removal mines in southern West Virginia, USA, during 2000–2002. We compared terrestrial salamander relative abundance and species richness of un-mined, intact forest with habitats on reclaimed mountaintop removal mines (reclaimed grassland, reclaimed shrubland, and fragmented forest). Salamanders within forests increased in relative abundance with increasing distance from reclaimed mine edge. Reclaimed grassland and shrubland habitats had lower relative abundance and species richness than forests. Characteristics of reclaimed habitats that likely contributed to lower salamander abundance included poor soils (dry, compacted, little organic matter, high rock content), reduced vertical structure of vegetation and little tree cover, and low litter and woody debris cover. Past research has shown that salamander populations reduced by clearcutting may rebound in 15–24 years. Time since disturbance was 7–28 years in reclaimed habitats on our study areas and salamander populations had not reached levels found in adjacent mature forests.

  10. Defining evolutionary boundaries across parapatric ecomorphs of Black Salamanders (Aneides flavipunctatus) with conservation implications.

    PubMed

    Reilly, Sean B; Marks, Sharyn B; Jennings, W Bryan

    2012-12-01

    The accurate delimitation of evolutionary population units represents an important component in phylogeographic and conservation genetic studies. Here, we used a combined population assignment and historical demographic approach to study a complex of ecomorphologically distinctive populations of Black Salamanders (Aneides flavipunctatus) that are parapatrically distributed and meet at a three-way contact zone in north-western California. We used mitochondrial tree-based and multilocus clustering methods to evaluate a priori two- (Northern and Southern) and three (Northern, Coast and Inland) population hypotheses derived from previous studies. Mitochondrial results were consistent with the two- and three-population hypotheses, while the nDNA clustering results supported only the two-population hypothesis. Historical demographic analyses and mtDNA gene divergence estimates revealed that the Northern and Southern populations split during the Pliocene (2-5 Ma). Subdivision of the Southern population into Coast and Inland populations was estimated to be late Pleistocene (0.24 Ma), although our mtDNA results suggested a Pliocene divergence. Effective gene flow estimates (2N(e)m) suggest that either the two- or three-population hypotheses remain valid. However, our results unexpectedly revealed that the Northern population might instead represent two parapatric populations that separated nearly 4 Ma. These results are surprising because the Pliocene divergence between these ecomorphologically conservative forms is similar or older than for the ecomorphologically divergent Coast and Inland sister populations. We conclude that Black Salamanders in north-western California belong to at least three or four populations or species, and these all meet criteria for being Evolutionary Significant Units or 'ESUs' and therefore warrant conservation consideration.

  11. Influence of headwater site conditions and riparian buffers on terrestrial salamander response to forest thinning.

    Treesearch

    D.E. Rundio; D.H. Olson

    2007-01-01

    We examined the effect of forest thinning and riparian buffers along headwater streams on terrestrial salamanders at two sites in western Oregon. Salamander numbers were reduced postthinning at one site with lower down-wood volume. Terrestrial salamander distributions along stream-to-upslope transects suggest benefits of one and two site-potential tree-height stream...

  12. A potential wound-healing-promoting peptide from salamander skin.

    PubMed

    Mu, Lixian; Tang, Jing; Liu, Han; Shen, Chuanbin; Rong, Mingqiang; Zhang, Zhiye; Lai, Ren

    2014-09-01

    Although it is well known that wound healing proceeds incredibly quickly in urodele amphibians, such as newts and salamanders, little is known about skin-wound healing, and no bioactive/effector substance that contributes to wound healing has been identified from these animals. As a step toward understanding salamander wound healing and skin regeneration, a potential wound-healing-promoting peptide (tylotoin; KCVRQNNKRVCK) was identified from salamander skin of Tylototriton verrucosus. It shows comparable wound-healing-promoting ability (EC50=11.14 μg/ml) with epidermal growth factor (EGF; NSDSECPLSHDGYCLHDGVCMYIEALDKYACNCVVGYIGERCQYRDLKWWELR) in a murine model of full-thickness dermal wound. Tylotoin directly enhances the motility and proliferation of keratinocytes, vascular endothelial cells, and fibroblasts, resulting in accelerated reepithelialization and granulation tissue formation in the wound site. Tylotoin also promotes the release of transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) and interleukin 6 (IL-6), which are essential in the wound healing response. Gene-encoded tylotoin secreted in salamander skin is possibly an effector molecule for skin wound healing. This study may facilitate understanding of the cellular and molecular events that underlie quick wound healing in salamanders.

  13. Thyroid hormone responsive QTL and the evolution of paedomorphic salamanders

    PubMed Central

    Voss, S R; Kump, D K; Walker, J A; Shaffer, H B; Voss, G J

    2012-01-01

    The transformation of ancestral phenotypes into novel traits is poorly understood for many examples of evolutionary novelty. Ancestrally, salamanders have a biphasic life cycle with an aquatic larval stage, a brief and pronounced metamorphosis, followed by a terrestrial adult stage. Repeatedly during evolution, metamorphic timing has been delayed to exploit growth-permissive environments, resulting in paedomorphic salamanders that retain larval traits as adults. We used thyroid hormone (TH) to rescue metamorphic phenotypes in paedomorphic salamanders and then identified quantitative trait loci (QTL) for life history traits that are associated with amphibian life cycle evolution: metamorphic timing and adult body size. We demonstrate that paedomorphic tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum complex) carry alleles at three moderate effect QTL (met1–3) that vary in responsiveness to TH and additively affect metamorphic timing. Salamanders that delay metamorphosis attain significantly larger body sizes as adults and met2 explains a significant portion of this variation. Thus, substitution of alleles at TH-responsive loci suggests an adaptive pleiotropic basis for two key life-history traits in amphibians: body size and metamorphic timing. Our study demonstrates a likely pathway for the evolution of novel paedomorphic species from metamorphic ancestors via selection of TH-response alleles that delay metamorphic timing and increase adult body size. PMID:22850698

  14. Variation in salamanders: an essay on genomes, development, and evolution.

    PubMed

    Brockes, Jeremy P

    2015-01-01

    Regeneration is studied in a few model species of salamanders, but the ten families of salamanders show considerable variation, and this has implications for our understanding of salamander biology. The most recent classification of the families identifies the cryptobranchoidea as the basal group which diverged in the early Jurassic. Variation in the sizes of genomes is particularly obvious, and reflects a major contribution from transposable elements which is already present in the basal group.Limb development has been a focus for evodevo studies, in part because of the variable property of pre-axial dominance which distinguishes salamanders from other tetrapods. This is thought to reflect the selective pressures that operate on a free-living aquatic larva, and might also be relevant for the evolution of limb regeneration. Recent fossil evidence suggests that both pre-axial dominance and limb regeneration were present 300 million years ago in larval temnospondyl amphibians that lived in mountain lakes. A satisfying account of regeneration in salamanders may need to address all these different aspects in the future.

  15. Are Salamanders Useful Indicators of Hydrologic Permanence in Headwater Streams?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, B.; Fritz, K.

    2005-05-01

    Regulatory agencies need appropriate indicators of stream permanence to aid in jurisdictional determinations for headwater streams. We evaluated salamanders as permanence indicators because they are often abundant in fishless headwaters. Salamander and habitat data were collected in spring and summer 2003 from 59 sites located longitudinally along 17 forested streams in KY, IN, and OH. Larval Eurycea bislineata/cirrigera dominated all forests, and their abundances were highly correlated with drainage areas and channel dimensions. Appalachian streams were more diverse and had intermittent sites with more Desmognathus and Gyrinophilus spp. Of 22 sites where larvae were collected in spring, 9 sites subsequently dried in summer, suggesting salamanders either emigrated or died. We therefore only used taxa with multi-year larval stages as indicators of perennial water. Salamander larvae >1 yr old were collected from each locality in drainage areas <0.17 km2. However, these older larvae were often found in isolated pools that serve as refugia during dry periods. Findings suggest salamanders with multi-year larval periods can indicate perennial waters and that their use is more effective in Appalachia where abundance and diversity are high. Although this work was reviewed by EPA and approved for publication, it may not necessarily reflect official Agency policy.

  16. Thyroid hormone responsive QTL and the evolution of paedomorphic salamanders.

    PubMed

    Voss, S R; Kump, D K; Walker, J A; Shaffer, H B; Voss, G J

    2012-11-01

    The transformation of ancestral phenotypes into novel traits is poorly understood for many examples of evolutionary novelty. Ancestrally, salamanders have a biphasic life cycle with an aquatic larval stage, a brief and pronounced metamorphosis, followed by a terrestrial adult stage. Repeatedly during evolution, metamorphic timing has been delayed to exploit growth-permissive environments, resulting in paedomorphic salamanders that retain larval traits as adults. We used thyroid hormone (TH) to rescue metamorphic phenotypes in paedomorphic salamanders and then identified quantitative trait loci (QTL) for life history traits that are associated with amphibian life cycle evolution: metamorphic timing and adult body size. We demonstrate that paedomorphic tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum complex) carry alleles at three moderate effect QTL (met1-3) that vary in responsiveness to TH and additively affect metamorphic timing. Salamanders that delay metamorphosis attain significantly larger body sizes as adults and met2 explains a significant portion of this variation. Thus, substitution of alleles at TH-responsive loci suggests an adaptive pleiotropic basis for two key life-history traits in amphibians: body size and metamorphic timing. Our study demonstrates a likely pathway for the evolution of novel paedomorphic species from metamorphic ancestors via selection of TH-response alleles that delay metamorphic timing and increase adult body size.

  17. Invasive hybrid tiger salamander genotypes impact native amphibians.

    PubMed

    Ryan, Maureen E; Johnson, Jarrett R; Fitzpatrick, Benjamin M

    2009-07-07

    Although the ecological consequences of species invasions are well studied, the ecological impacts of genetic introgression through hybridization are less understood. This is particularly true of the impacts of hybridization on "third party" community members not genetically involved in hybridization. We also know little about how direct interactions between hybrid and parental individuals influence fitness. Here, we examined the ecological effects of hybridization between the native, threatened California Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma californiense) and the introduced Barred Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum mavortium). Native x introduced hybrids are widespread in California, where they are top predators in seasonal ponds. We examined the impacts of early generation hybrids (first 2 generations of parental crosses) and contemporary hybrids derived from ponds where hybrids have been under selection in the wild for 20 generations. We found that most classes of hybrid tiger salamander larvae dramatically reduced survival of 2 native community members, the Pacific Chorus Frog (Pseudacris regilla) and the California Newt (Taricha torosa). We also found that native A. californiense larvae were negatively impacted by the presence of hybrid larvae: Native survival and size at metamorphosis were reduced and time to metamorphosis was extended. We also observed a large influence of Mendelian dominance on size, metamorphic timing and predation rate of hybrid tiger salamanders. These results suggest that both genetic and ecological factors are likely to influence the dynamics of admixture, and that tiger salamander hybridization might constitute a threat to additional pond-breeding species of concern in the region.

  18. Invasive hybrid tiger salamander genotypes impact native amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Ryan, Maureen E.; Johnson, Jarrett R.; Fitzpatrick, Benjamin M.

    2009-01-01

    Although the ecological consequences of species invasions are well studied, the ecological impacts of genetic introgression through hybridization are less understood. This is particularly true of the impacts of hybridization on “third party” community members not genetically involved in hybridization. We also know little about how direct interactions between hybrid and parental individuals influence fitness. Here, we examined the ecological effects of hybridization between the native, threatened California Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma californiense) and the introduced Barred Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum mavortium). Native x introduced hybrids are widespread in California, where they are top predators in seasonal ponds. We examined the impacts of early generation hybrids (first 2 generations of parental crosses) and contemporary hybrids derived from ponds where hybrids have been under selection in the wild for 20 generations. We found that most classes of hybrid tiger salamander larvae dramatically reduced survival of 2 native community members, the Pacific Chorus Frog (Pseudacris regilla) and the California Newt (Taricha torosa). We also found that native A. californiense larvae were negatively impacted by the presence of hybrid larvae: Native survival and size at metamorphosis were reduced and time to metamorphosis was extended. We also observed a large influence of Mendelian dominance on size, metamorphic timing and predation rate of hybrid tiger salamanders. These results suggest that both genetic and ecological factors are likely to influence the dynamics of admixture, and that tiger salamander hybridization might constitute a threat to additional pond-breeding species of concern in the region. PMID:19564601

  19. Effects of mercury on behavior and performance of northern two-lined salamanders (Eurycea bislineata).

    PubMed

    Burke, John N; Bergeron, Christine M; Todd, Brian D; Hopkins, William A

    2010-12-01

    Mercury (Hg) causes a range of deleterious effects in wildlife, but little is known about its effects on amphibians. Our objective was to determine whether Hg affects performance and behavior in two-lined salamanders (Eurycea bislineata). We collected salamanders from Hg-contaminated and reference sites and assessed speed, responsiveness, and prey capture ability. Mercury concentrations were >17× higher in salamanders from the contaminated sites and were among the highest documented in amphibians. In the first, but not in the second, locomotion trial, we found a significant effect of Hg on speed and responsiveness. In the prey capture experiment, reference salamanders ate approximately twice as many prey items as the contaminated salamanders. Together, our results suggest that sublethal Hg concentrations may negatively affect salamanders by reducing their ability to successfully execute tasks critical to survival. Future work is warranted to determine whether Hg has other sublethal effects on salamanders and whether other amphibians are similarly affected.

  20. From lamprey to salamander: an exploratory modeling study on the architecture of the spinal locomotor networks in the salamander.

    PubMed

    Bicanski, Andrej; Ryczko, Dimitri; Cabelguen, Jean-Marie; Ijspeert, Auke Jan

    2013-10-01

    The evolutionary transition from water to land required new locomotor modes and corresponding adjustments of the spinal "central pattern generators" for locomotion. Salamanders resemble the first terrestrial tetrapods and represent a key animal for the study of these changes. Based on recent physiological data from salamanders, and previous work on the swimming, limbless lamprey, we present a model of the basic oscillatory network in the salamander spinal cord, the spinal segment. Model neurons are of the Hodgkin-Huxley type. Spinal hemisegments contain sparsely connected excitatory and inhibitory neuron populations, and are coupled to a contralateral hemisegment. The model yields a large range of experimental findings, especially the NMDA-induced oscillations observed in isolated axial hemisegments and segments of the salamander Pleurodeles waltlii. The model reproduces most of the effects of the blockade of AMPA synapses, glycinergic synapses, calcium-activated potassium current, persistent sodium current, and [Formula: see text]-current. Driving segments with a population of brainstem neurons yields fast oscillations in the in vivo swimming frequency range. A minimal modification to the conductances involved in burst-termination yields the slower stepping frequency range. Slow oscillators can impose their frequency on fast oscillators, as is likely the case during gait transitions from swimming to stepping. Our study shows that a lamprey-like network can potentially serve as a building block of axial and limb oscillators for swimming and stepping in salamanders.

  1. Salamander limb development: integrating genes, morphology, and fossils.

    PubMed

    Fröbisch, Nadia B; Shubin, Neil H

    2011-05-01

    The development of the tetrapod limb during skeletogenesis follows a highly conservative pattern characterized by a general proximo-distal progression in the establishment of skeletal elements and a postaxial polarity in digit development. Salamanders represent the only exception to this pattern and display an early establishment of distal autopodial structures, specifically the basale commune, an amalgamation of distal carpal and tarsal 1 and 2, and a distinct preaxial polarity in digit development. This deviance from the conserved tetrapod pattern has resulted in a number of hypotheses to explain its developmental basis and evolutionary history. Here we summarize the current knowledge of salamander limb development under consideration of the fossil record to provide a deep time perspective of this evolutionary pathway and highlight what data will be needed in the future to gain a better understanding of salamander limb development specifically and tetrapod limb development and evolution more broadly.

  2. Duration of immobility in salamanders, genus Plethodon (Caudata: Plethodontidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dodd, C. Kenneth

    1989-01-01

    Immobility is a potentially important antipredator behavior in salamanders, especially for those posessing noxious skin secretions. The duration of immobility in 15 species of terrestrial salamanders (Plethodon) varied among species. Most salamanders (78.8%) became immobile when initially contacted under field conditions, and remained immobile from 1-180 s. Immobility duration was inversely correlated with substrate temperature and covaried with air temperature, but snout-vent level (SVL) had no effect on duration. Only immobility times of Plethodon shenandoah were significantly different from any other species. Substrate temperature, air temperature, SVL, and species accounted for only a small percentage of the variance (r2=0.09). The degree of disturbance received during a predator-prey encounter is probably more important than the subtle effects of temperature and SVL in determining immobility duration.

  3. Banding differences between tiger salamander and axolotl chromosomes.

    PubMed

    Cuny, R; Malacinski, G M

    1985-10-01

    The Hoechst 33258 - Giemsa banding patterns were compared on axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum Shaw) and axolotl - tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum Green) species hybrid prophase chromosomes. Approximately 369 bands per haploid chromosome set were seen in the axolotl and about 344 bands in the tiger salamander. In the haploid set of 14 chromosomes, chromosome 3 has a constant short or q-arm terminal constriction at the location of the nucleolar organizer. Chromosomes 14 Z and W carry the sex determinants, the female being the heterogametic sex (ZW). The banding patterns of chromosomes 1, 6, 11, and 14 Z of the two species are apparently indistinguishable by our banding method. In the axolotl, chromosome 9 has a small long or p-arm terminal deletion. In the tiger salamander, the remaining 10 chromosomes have terminal or internal deletions. No translocations or inversions seem to have occurred since the gene pool separation of the two closely related species.

  4. Time and time again: unisexual salamanders (genus Ambystoma) are the oldest unisexual vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The age of unisexual salamanders of the genus Ambystoma is contentious. Recent and ancient evolutionary histories of unisexual Ambystoma were proposed by a few separate studies that constructed phylogenies using mitochondrial DNA markers (cytochrome b gene vs. non-coding region). In contrast to other studies showing that unisexual Ambystoma represent the most ancient unisexual vertebrates, a recent study by Robertson et al. suggests that this lineage has a very recent origin of less than 25,000 years ago. Results We re-examined the phylogenetic relationship of the unisexuals to A. barbouri from various populations using both mitochondrial markers as well as the complete mitochondrial genomes of A. barbouri and a unisexual individual from Kentucky. Lineage dating was conducted using BEAST and MultiDivTime on a complete mitochondrial genome phylogeny. Our results support a monophyletic lineage for unisexual Ambystoma that shares its most recent common ancestor with an A. barbouri lineage from western Kentucky. In contrast to the Robertson et al.'s study, no A. barbouri individual shared an identical or almost identical cytochrome b haplotype with any unisexual. Molecular dating supports an early Pliocene origin for the unisexual linage (~5 million years ago). We propose that a unisexual-like cytochrome b numt (or pseudogene) exists in the controversial A. barbouri individuals from Kentucky, which was likely the cause of an erroneous phylogeny and time estimate in Robertson et al.'s study. Conclusion We reject a recent origin of unisexual Ambystoma and provide strong evidence that unisexual Ambystoma are the most ancient unisexual vertebrates known to exist. The likely presence of an ancient cytochrome b numt in some Kentucky A. barbouri represents a molecular "fossil" reinforcing the hypothesis that these individuals are some of the closest extant relatives to unisexual Ambystoma. PMID:20682056

  5. Perceived predation risk as a function of predator dietary cues in terrestrial salamanders.

    PubMed

    Murray; Jenkins

    1999-01-01

    Prey often avoid predator chemical cues, and in aquatic systems, prey may even appraise predation risk via cues associated with the predator's diet. However, this relationship has not been shown for terrestrial predator-prey systems, where the proximity of predators and prey, and the intensity of predator chemical cues in the environment, may be less than in aquatic systems. In the laboratory, we tested behavioural responses (avoidance, habituation and activity) of terrestrial red-backed salamanders, Plethodon cinereus, to chemical cues from garter snakes, Thamnophis sirtalis, fed either red-backed salamanders or earthworms (Lumbricus spp.). We placed salamanders in arenas lined with paper towels pretreated with snake chemicals, and monitored salamander movements during 120 min. Salamanders avoided substrates preconditioned by earthworm-fed (avoidanceX+/-SE=91.1+/-2.5%, N=25) and salamander-fed (95.2+/-2.5%, N=25) snakes, when tested against untreated substrate (control). Salamanders avoided cues from salamander-fed snakes more strongly (75.2+/-5.5%, N=25) than earthworm-fed snakes when subjected to both treatments simultaneously, implying that salamanders were sensitive to predator diet. Salamanders tended to avoid snake substrate more strongly during the last 60 min of a trial, but activity patterns were similar between salamanders exposed exclusively to control substrate versus those subject to snake cues. In another experiment, salamanders failed to avoid cues from dead conspecifics, suggesting that the stronger avoidance of salamander-fed snakes in the previous experiment was not directly due to chemical cues emitted by predator-killed salamanders. Salamanders also did not discriminate between cues from a salamander-fed snake versus a salamander-fed snake that was recently switched (i.e. <14 days) to an earthworm diet. Our results imply that terrestrial salamanders are sensitive to perceived predation risk via by-products of predator diet, and that snake

  6. Ontogenetic evidence for the Paleozoic ancestry of salamanders.

    PubMed

    Schoch, Rainer R; Carroll, Robert L

    2003-01-01

    The phylogenetic positions of frogs, salamanders, and caecilians have been difficult to establish. Data matrices based primarily on Paleozoic taxa support a monophyletic origin of all Lissamphibia but have resulted in widely divergent hypotheses of the nature of their common ancestor. Analysis that concentrates on the character states of the stem taxa of the extant orders, in contrast, suggests a polyphyletic origin from divergent Paleozoic clades. Comparison of patterns of larval development in Paleozoic and modern amphibians provides a means to test previous phylogenies based primarily on adult characteristics. This proves to be highly informative in the case of the origin of salamanders. Putative ancestors of salamanders are recognized from the Permo-Carboniferous boundary of Germany on the basis of ontogenetic changes observed in fossil remains of larval growth series. The entire developmental sequence from hatching to metamorphosis is revealed in an assemblage of over 600 specimens from a single locality, all belonging to the genus Apateon. Apateon forms the most speciose genus of the neotenic temnospondyl family Branchiosauridae. The sequence of ossification of individual bones and the changing configuration of the skull closely parallel those observed in the development of primitive living salamanders. These fossils provide a model of how derived features of the salamander skull may have evolved in the context of feeding specializations that appeared in early larval stages of members of the Branchiosauridae. Larvae of Apateon share many unique derived characters with salamanders of the families Hynobiidae, Salamandridae, and Ambystomatidae, which have not been recognized in any other group of Paleozoic amphibians.

  7. Ecological implications of metabolic compensation at low temperatures in salamanders

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Global warming is influencing the biology of the world’s biota. Temperature increases are occurring at a faster pace than that experienced by organisms in their evolutionary histories, limiting the organisms’ response to new conditions. Mechanistic models that include physiological traits can help predict species’ responses to warming. Changes in metabolism at high temperatures are often examined; yet many species are behaviorally shielded from high temperatures. Salamanders generally favor cold temperatures and are one of few groups of metazoans to be most species-rich in temperate regions. I examined variation in body temperature, behavioral activity, and temperature dependence of resting heart rate, used as a proxy for standard metabolic rate, in fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra). Over 26 years, I found that salamanders are behaviorally active at temperatures as low as 1 °C, and aestivate at temperatures above 16 °C. Infrared thermography indicates limited thermoregulation opportunities for these nocturnal amphibians. Temperature affects resting heart rate, causing metabolic depression above 11 °C, and metabolic compensation below 8 °C: heart rate at 3 °C is 224% the expected heart rate. Thus, salamanders operating at low temperatures during periods of peak behavioral activity are able to maintain a higher metabolic rate than the rate expected in absence of compensation. This compensatory mechanism has important ecological implications, because it increases estimated seasonal heart rates. Increased heart rate, and thus metabolism, will require higher caloric intake for field-active salamanders. Thus, it is important to consider a species performance breadth over the entire temperature range, and particularly low temperatures that are ecologically relevant for cold tolerant species such as salamanders. PMID:27257549

  8. Stabilization of a salamander moving hybrid zone.

    PubMed

    Visser, Michaël; de Leeuw, Maarten; Zuiderwijk, Annie; Arntzen, Jan W

    2017-01-01

    When related species meet upon postglacial range expansion, hybrid zones are frequently formed. Theory predicts that such zones may move over the landscape until equilibrium conditions are reached. One hybrid zone observed to be moving in historical times (1950-1979) is that of the pond-breeding salamanders Triturus cristatus and Triturus marmoratus in western France. We identified the ecological correlates of the species hybrid zone as elevation, forestation, and hedgerows favoring the more terrestrial T. marmoratus and pond density favoring the more aquatic T. cristatus. The past movement of the zone of ca. 30 km over three decades has probably been driven by the drastic postwar reduction of the "bocage" hedgerow landscape, favoring T. cristatus over T. marmoratus. No further hybrid zone movement was observed from 1979 to the present. To explain the changing dynamics of the hybrid zone, we propose that it stalled, either because an equilibrium was found at an altitude of ca. 140 m a.s.l. or due to pond loss and decreased population densities. While we cannot rule out the former explanation, we found support for the latter. Under agricultural intensification, ponds in the study area are lost at an unprecedented rate of 5.5% per year, so that remaining Triturus populations are increasingly isolated, hampering dispersal and further hybrid zone movement.

  9. Nitric oxide synthase in tiger salamander retina.

    PubMed

    Kurenni, D E; Thurlow, G A; Turner, R W; Moroz, L L; Sharkey, K A; Barnes, S

    1995-10-23

    Previous studies have indicated that nitric oxide, a labile freely diffusible biological messenger synthesized by nitric oxide synthase, may modulate light transduction and signal transmission in the retina. In the present work, the large size of retinal cells in tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) allowed the utilization of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH)-diaphorase histochemistry and nitric oxide synthase immunocytochemistry to delineate the cell-specific intracellular localization of nitric oxide synthase. NADPH-diaphorase activity was highly concentrated in the outer retina, in rod and cone inner segment ellipsoids, and between and adjacent to the photoreceptor cell bodies in the outer nuclear layer. Examination of enzymatically isolated retinal cells indicated that outer nuclear layer NADPH-diaphorase activity was localized to the distal processes of the retinal glial (Müller) cells and to putative bipolar cell Landolt clubs. Less intense NADPH-diaphorase activity was seen in the photoreceptor inner segment myoid region, in a small number of inner nuclear layer cells, in cap-like configurations at the distal poles of cells in the ganglion cell layer and surrounding ganglion cell layer somata, and in punctate form within both plexiform layers, the pigment epithelium, and the optic nerve. Nitric oxide synthase-like immunoreactivity was similarly localized, but was also concentrated along a thin sublamina centered within the inner plexiform layer. The potential for nitric oxide generation at multiple retinal sites suggests that this molecule may play a number of roles in the processing of visual information in the retina.

  10. Modular functional organisation of the axial locomotor system in salamanders.

    PubMed

    Cabelguen, Jean-Marie; Charrier, Vanessa; Mathou, Alexia

    2014-02-01

    Most investigations on tetrapod locomotion have been concerned with limb movements. However, there is compelling evidence that the axial musculoskeletal system contributes to important functions during locomotion. Adult salamanders offer a remarkable opportunity to examine these functions because these amphibians use axial undulations to propel themselves in both aquatic and terrestrial environments. In this article, we review the currently available biological data on axial functions during various locomotor modes in salamanders. We also present data showing the modular organisation of the neural networks that generate axial synergies during locomotion. The functional implication of this modular organisation is discussed.

  11. Biochemical plasticity in the Arizona tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum nebulosum).

    PubMed

    Begun, D J; Collins, J P

    1992-01-01

    The Arizona tiger salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum nebulosum, is a developmentally polymorphic species. Some individuals become sexually mature while retaining some larval traits (paedomorphs), while other individuals mature as metamorphosed salamanders. In this study, relative enzyme activities of the products of two duplicate loci in each of three enzyme systems (aconitase, malate dehydrogenase, and isocitrate dehydrogenase) were measured in paedomorphs and in paedomorphs forced to metamorphose by treatment with thyroxine. We found that thyroxine and laboratory conditions affect enzyme activities of four of the six enzymes examined and that activities of products of duplicate loci are altered to different degrees.

  12. Cyto-nuclear discordance suggests complex evolutionary history in the cave-dwelling salamander, Eurycea lucifuga.

    PubMed

    Edgington, Hilary A; Ingram, Colleen M; Taylor, Douglas R

    2016-09-01

    Our understanding of the evolutionary history and ecology of cave-associated species has been driven historically by studies of morphologically adapted cave-restricted species. Our understanding of the evolutionary history and ecology of nonrestricted cave species, troglophiles, is limited to a few studies, which present differing accounts of troglophiles' relationship with the cave habitat, and its impact on population dynamics. Here, we used phylogenetics, demographic statistics, and population genetic methods to study lineage divergence, dates of divergence, and population structure in the Cave Salamander, Eurycea lucifuga, across its range. In order to perform these analyses, we sampled 233 individuals from 49 populations, using sequence data from three gene loci as well as genotyping data from 19 newly designed microsatellite markers. We find, as in many other species studied in a phylogeographic context, discordance between patterns inferred from mitochondrial relationships and those inferred by nuclear markers indicating a complicated evolutionary history in this species. Our results suggest Pleistocene-based divergence among three main lineages within E. lucifuga corresponding to the western, central, and eastern regions of the range, similar to patterns seen in species separated in multiple refugia during climatic shifts. The conflict between mitochondrial and nuclear patterns is consistent with what we would expect from secondary contact between regional populations following expansion from multiple refugia.

  13. Dusky salamanders (Desmognathus, Plethodontidae) from the Coastal Plain: multiple independent lineages and their bearing on the molecular phylogeny of the genus.

    PubMed

    Beamer, David A; Lamb, Trip

    2008-04-01

    Recent phylogenetic reassessment of the lungless salamanders (Plethodontidae) confirmed a major life-history reversal-from direct development to an aquatic larval stage-in the dusky salamanders (Desmognathus) of eastern North America. This reversal initiated high rates of lineage accumulation, reputedly generating the species richness and ecological breath that now characterize Desmognathus. Certain important aspects of the radiation, e.g., ecomorphological evolution, have been identified through intense sampling effort of Appalachian Highland lineages. However, the research preoccupation on montane species has left overlooked a significant component of dusky salamander distribution-the Coastal Plain. We present the first molecular phylogeny for Desmognathus to incorporate extensive coverage from the Atlantic and Gulf coastal plains. We examined 38 Coastal Plain populations in conjunction with 45 additional populations, representing 16 of the 19 nominal species. Bayesian analysis of 88 mitochondrial cox1 haplotypes diagnosed eight independent population lineages within the Coastal Plain, a number at odds with the region's three currently recognized species. Desmognathus has apparently experienced a complex biogeographic history in this physiographic region, one involving multiple invasions and several ecological transitions from lotic to lentic habitats.

  14. Mitochondrial evidence on the phylogenetic position of caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed Central

    Zardoya, R; Meyer, A

    2000-01-01

    The complete nucleotide sequence (17,005 bp) of the mitochondrial genome of the caecilian Typhlonectes natans (Gymnophiona, Amphibia) was determined. This molecule is characterized by two distinctive genomic features: there are seven large 109-bp tandem repeats in the control region, and the sequence for the putative origin of replication of the L strand can potentially fold into two alternative secondary structures (one including part of the tRNA(Cys)). The new sequence data were used to assess the phylogenetic position of caecilians and to gain insights into the origin of living amphibians (frogs, salamanders, and caecilians). Phylogenetic analyses of two data sets-one combining protein-coding genes and the other combining tRNA genes-strongly supported a caecilian + frog clade and, hence, monophyly of modern amphibians. These two data sets could not further resolve relationships among the coelacanth, lungfishes, and tetrapods, but strongly supported diapsid affinities of turtles. Phylogenetic relationships among a larger set of species of frogs, salamanders, and caecilians were estimated with a mitochondrial rRNA data set. Maximum parsimony analysis of this latter data set also recovered monophyly of living amphibians and favored a frog + salamander (Batrachia) relationship. However, bootstrap support was only moderate at these nodes. This is likely due to an extensive among-site rate heterogeneity in the rRNA data set and the narrow window of time in which the three main groups of living amphibians were originated. PMID:10835397

  15. Mitochondrial evidence on the phylogenetic position of caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Zardoya, R; Meyer, A

    2000-06-01

    The complete nucleotide sequence (17,005 bp) of the mitochondrial genome of the caecilian Typhlonectes natans (Gymnophiona, Amphibia) was determined. This molecule is characterized by two distinctive genomic features: there are seven large 109-bp tandem repeats in the control region, and the sequence for the putative origin of replication of the L strand can potentially fold into two alternative secondary structures (one including part of the tRNA(Cys)). The new sequence data were used to assess the phylogenetic position of caecilians and to gain insights into the origin of living amphibians (frogs, salamanders, and caecilians). Phylogenetic analyses of two data sets-one combining protein-coding genes and the other combining tRNA genes-strongly supported a caecilian + frog clade and, hence, monophyly of modern amphibians. These two data sets could not further resolve relationships among the coelacanth, lungfishes, and tetrapods, but strongly supported diapsid affinities of turtles. Phylogenetic relationships among a larger set of species of frogs, salamanders, and caecilians were estimated with a mitochondrial rRNA data set. Maximum parsimony analysis of this latter data set also recovered monophyly of living amphibians and favored a frog + salamander (Batrachia) relationship. However, bootstrap support was only moderate at these nodes. This is likely due to an extensive among-site rate heterogeneity in the rRNA data set and the narrow window of time in which the three main groups of living amphibians were originated.

  16. Tracing the first step to speciation: ecological and genetic differentiation of a salamander population in a small forest.

    PubMed

    Steinfartz, Sebastian; Weitere, Markus; Tautz, Diethard

    2007-11-01

    Mechanisms and processes of ecologically driven adaptive speciation are best studied in natural situations where the splitting process is still occurring, i.e. before complete reproductive isolation is achieved. Here, we present a case of an early stage of adaptive differentiation under sympatric conditions in the fire salamander, Salamandra salamandra, that allows inferring the underlying processes for the split. Larvae of S. salamandra normally mature in small streams until metamorphosis, but in an old, continuous forest area near Bonn (the Kottenforst), we found salamander larvae not only in small streams but also in shallow ponds, which are ecologically very different from small streams. Common-environment experiments with larvae from both habitat types reveal specific adaptations to these different ecological conditions. Mitochondrial and microsatellite analyses show that the two ecologically differentiated groups also show signs of genetic differentiation. A parallel analysis of animals from a neighbouring much larger forest area (the Eifel), in which larvae mature only in streams, shows no signs of genetic differentiation, indicating that gene flow between ecologically similar types can occur over large distances. Hence, geographical factors cannot explain the differential larval habitat adaptations in the Kottenforst, in particular since adult life and mating of S. salamandra is strictly terrestrial and not associated with larval habitats. We propose therefore that the evolution of these adaptations was coupled with the evolution of cues for assortative mating which would be in line with models of sympatric speciation that suggest a co-evolution of habitat adaptations and associated mating signals.

  17. The molecular phylogenetics of endangerment: cryptic variation and historical phylogeography of the California tiger salamander, Ambystoma californiense.

    PubMed

    Shaffer, H Bradley; Pauly, Gregory B; Oliver, Jeffrey C; Trenham, Peter C

    2004-10-01

    A primary goal of conservation genetics is the discovery, delimitation and protection of phylogenetic lineages within sensitive or endangered taxa. Given the importance of lineage protection, a combination of phylogeography, historical geology and molecular clock analyses can provide an important historical context for overall species conservation. We present the results of a range-wide survey of genetic variation in the California tiger salamander, Ambystoma californiense, as well as a summary of the past several million years of inundation and isolation of the Great Central Valley and surrounding uplands that constitute its limited range. A combination of population genetic and phylogenetic analyses of mitochondrial DNA variation among 696 samples from 84 populations revealed six well-supported genetic units that are geographically discrete and characterized by nonoverlapping haplotype distributions. Populations from Santa Barbara and Sonoma Counties are particularly well differentiated and geographically isolated from all others. The remaining units in the Southern San Joaquin Valley, Central Coast Range, Central Valley and Bay Area are separated by geological features, ecological zone boundaries, or both. The geological history of the California landscape is consistent with molecular clock evidence suggesting that the Santa Barbara unit has been isolated for at least 0.74-0.92 Myr, and the Sonoma clade is equally ancient. Our work places patterns of genetic differentiation into both temporal- and landscape-level contexts, providing important insights into the conservation genetics of the California tiger salamander.

  18. Acid precipitation and reproductive success of Ambystoma salamanders

    Treesearch

    F. Harvey Pough; Richard E. Wilson

    1976-01-01

    The two species of mole salamander that occur in the Ithaca, New York, region (Ambystoma maculatum and A. jeffersonianum) breed in temporary ponds that are formed by accumulation of melted snow and spring rains. Water in many of these pools during the breeding season is acid; pH values as low as 3.5 have been measured. In...

  19. Digit reduction, body size, and paedomorphosis in salamanders.

    PubMed

    Wiens, John J; Hoverman, Jason T

    2008-01-01

    The loss of digits is a widespread evolutionary trend in tetrapods which occurs in nearly every major clade. Alberch and Gale showed that the order in which digits are evolutionarily lost in salamanders versus frogs corresponds to the order in which they develop in each group, providing a classic example of developmental constraint. However, what actually drives the loss of digits in salamanders has remained unclear. Alberch and Gale suggested that loss of digits might be associated with paedomorphosis or with reduced body size. We test these hypotheses by combining morphometric and phylogenetic information for 98 species of salamanders. We find that digit loss is associated with both paedomorphosis and reduction in body size. However, these trends are surprisingly contradictory, in that paedomorphosis is significantly associated with an increase in body size in salamanders. Thus, much of the extreme digit reduction is found in the smaller species within paedomorphic clades that have, on average, unusually large body size. Our results show that the consequences of changes in body size on morphology are highly context dependent. We also show (possibly for the first time) a significant association between paedomorphosis and increased body size, rather than the expected association with reduced body size.

  20. Reproductive biology of the Del Norte salamander (Plethodon elongatus).

    Treesearch

    Clara A. Wheeler; Hartwell H. Welsh Jr.; Lisa M. Ollivier

    2013-01-01

    We examined seasonal reproductive patterns of the Del Norte Salamander, Plethodon elongatus, in mixed conifer and hardwood forests of northwestern California and southwestern Oregon. Seasonal size differences in reproductive structures suggested that maximum spermatogenic activity occurred during the late summer, with spermatozoa transfer to the...

  1. Life-history perspective of adaptive radiation in desmognathine salamanders

    Treesearch

    Richard C. Bruce

    1996-01-01

    This study investigates interspecific variation in age at first reproduction, fecundity, and body size in multispecies assemblages of desmognathine salamanders. The hypotheses tested are that interspecific differences in body size among desmognathines stem proximately from variation in age at first reproduction and that variation in the latter trait is positively...

  2. Overview of the status of the Cheat Mountain salamander

    Treesearch

    Thomas K. Pauley

    2010-01-01

    Plethodon nettingi, the Cheat Mountain salamander, is endemic to the high elevations of the Allegheny Mountains in eastern West Virginia. In 1938, N.B. Green named the species from specimens collected at Barton Knob, Randolph County, in honor of his friend and colleague Graham Netting.

  3. Adaptation to temporal contrast in primate and salamander retina.

    PubMed

    Chander, D; Chichilnisky, E J

    2001-12-15

    Visual adaptation to temporal contrast (intensity modulation of a spatially uniform, randomly flickering stimulus) was examined in simultaneously recorded ensembles of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in tiger salamander and macaque monkey retina. Slow contrast adaptation similar to that recently discovered in salamander and rabbit retina was observed in monkey retina. A novel method was developed to quantify the effect of temporal contrast on steady-state sensitivity and kinetics of light responses, separately from nonlinearities that would otherwise significantly contaminate estimates of sensitivity. Increases in stimulus contrast progressively and reversibly attenuated and sped light responses in both salamander and monkey RGCs, indicating that a portion of the contrast adaptation observed in visual cortex originates in the retina. The effect of adaptation on sensitivity and kinetics differed in simultaneously recorded populations of ON and OFF cells. In salamander, adaptation affected the sensitivity of OFF cells more than ON cells. In monkey, adaptation affected the sensitivity of ON cells more than OFF cells. In both species, adaptation sped the light responses of OFF cells more than ON cells. Functionally defined subclasses of ON and OFF cells also exhibited asymmetric adaptation. These findings indicate that contrast adaptation differs in parallel retinal circuits that convey distinct visual signals to the brain.

  4. Reproductive allometry in three species of Dusky Salamanders

    Treesearch

    Richard C. Bruce

    2014-01-01

    Desmognathus comprises 21 currently recognized species of salamanders in eastern North America. Assemblages of 3–6 species occur in the Appalachian Mountains, wherein the larger species are more aquatic and the smaller more terrestrial. Adaptive divergence along the habitat gradient from stream to forest involves variation in such life-history traits as age and size at...

  5. Intracellular invasion of green algae in a salamander host

    PubMed Central

    Kerney, Ryan; Kim, Eunsoo; Hangarter, Roger P.; Heiss, Aaron A.; Bishop, Cory D.; Hall, Brian K.

    2011-01-01

    The association between embryos of the spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) and green algae (“Oophila amblystomatis” Lamber ex Printz) has been considered an ectosymbiotic mutualism. We show here, however, that this symbiosis is more intimate than previously reported. A combination of imaging and algal 18S rDNA amplification reveals algal invasion of embryonic salamander tissues and cells during development. Algal cells are detectable from embryonic and larval Stages 26–44 through chlorophyll autofluorescence and algal 18S rDNA amplification. Algal cell ultrastructure indicates both degradation and putative encystment during the process of tissue and cellular invasion. Fewer algal cells were detected in later-stage larvae through FISH, suggesting that the decline in autofluorescent cells is primarily due to algal cell death within the host. However, early embryonic egg capsules also contained encysted algal cells on the inner capsule wall, and algal 18S rDNA was amplified from adult reproductive tracts, consistent with oviductal transmission of algae from one salamander generation to the next. The invasion of algae into salamander host tissues and cells represents a unique association between a vertebrate and a eukaryotic alga, with implications for research into cell–cell recognition, possible exchange of metabolites or DNA, and potential congruence between host and symbiont population structures. PMID:21464324

  6. Elevation, aspect, and cove size effects on southern Appalachian salamanders

    Treesearch

    W. Mark Ford; Michael A. Menzel; Richard H. Odom

    2002-01-01

    Using museum collection records and variables computed by digital terrain modeling in a geographic information system, we examined the relationship of elevation, aspect, and "cove" patch size to the presence or absence of 7 common woodland salamanders in mature cove hardwood and northern hardwood forests in the southern Appalachians of Georgia, North Carolina...

  7. Seasonality and microhabitat selection in a forest-dwelling salamander.

    PubMed

    Basile, Marco; Romano, Antonio; Costa, Andrea; Posillico, Mario; Scinti Roger, Daniele; Crisci, Aldo; Raimondi, Ranieri; Altea, Tiziana; Garfì, Vittorio; Santopuoli, Giovanni; Marchetti, Marco; Salvidio, Sebastiano; De Cinti, Bruno; Matteucci, Giorgio

    2017-09-12

    Many small terrestrial vertebrates exhibit limited spatial movement and are considerably exposed to changes in local environmental variables. Among such vertebrates, amphibians at present experience a dramatic decline due to their limited resilience to environmental change. Since the local survival and abundance of amphibians is intrinsically related to the availability of shelters, conservation plans need to take microhabitat requirements into account. In order to gain insight into the terrestrial ecology of the spectacled salamander Salamandrina perspicillata and to identify appropriate forest management strategies, we investigated the salamander's seasonal variability in habitat use of trees as shelters in relation to tree features (size, buttresses, basal holes) and environmental variables in a beech forest in Italy. We used the occupancy approach to assess tree suitability on a non-conventional spatial scale. Our approach provides fine-grained parameters of microhabitat suitability and elucidates many aspects of the salamander's terrestrial ecology. Occupancy changed with the annual life cycle and was higher in autumn than in spring, when females were found closer to the stream in the study area. Salamanders showed a seasonal pattern regarding the trees they occupied and a clear preference for trees with a larger diameter and more burrows. With respect to forest management, we suggest maintaining a suitable number of trees with a trunk diameter exceeding 30 cm. A practice of selective logging along the banks of streams could help maintain an adequate quantity of the appropriate microhabitat. Furthermore, in areas with a presence of salamanders, a good forest management plan requires leaving an adequate buffer zone around streams, which should be wider in autumn than in spring.

  8. Slow DNA loss in the gigantic genomes of salamanders.

    PubMed

    Sun, Cheng; López Arriaza, José R; Mueller, Rachel Lockridge

    2012-01-01

    Evolutionary changes in genome size result from the combined effects of mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift. Insertion and deletion mutations (indels) directly impact genome size by adding or removing sequences. Most species lose more DNA through small indels (i.e., ~1-30 bp) than they gain, which can result in genome reduction over time. Because this rate of DNA loss varies across species, small indel dynamics have been suggested to contribute to genome size evolution. Species with extremely large genomes provide interesting test cases for exploring the link between small indels and genome size; however, most large genomes remain relatively unexplored. Here, we examine rates of DNA loss in the tetrapods with the largest genomes-the salamanders. We used low-coverage genomic shotgun sequence data from four salamander species to examine patterns of insertion, deletion, and substitution in neutrally evolving non-long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposon sequences. For comparison, we estimated genome-wide DNA loss rates in non-LTR retrotransposon sequences from five other vertebrate genomes: Anolis carolinensis, Danio rerio, Gallus gallus, Homo sapiens, and Xenopus tropicalis. Our results show that salamanders have significantly lower rates of DNA loss than do other vertebrates. More specifically, salamanders experience lower numbers of deletions relative to insertions, and both deletions and insertions are skewed toward smaller sizes. On the basis of these patterns, we conclude that slow DNA loss contributes to genomic gigantism in salamanders. We also identify candidate molecular mechanisms underlying these differences and suggest that natural variation in indel dynamics provides a unique opportunity to study the basis of genome stability.

  9. Seasonality and microhabitat selection in a forest-dwelling salamander

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basile, Marco; Romano, Antonio; Costa, Andrea; Posillico, Mario; Scinti Roger, Daniele; Crisci, Aldo; Raimondi, Ranieri; Altea, Tiziana; Garfì, Vittorio; Santopuoli, Giovanni; Marchetti, Marco; Salvidio, Sebastiano; De Cinti, Bruno; Matteucci, Giorgio

    2017-10-01

    Many small terrestrial vertebrates exhibit limited spatial movement and are considerably exposed to changes in local environmental variables. Among such vertebrates, amphibians at present experience a dramatic decline due to their limited resilience to environmental change. Since the local survival and abundance of amphibians is intrinsically related to the availability of shelters, conservation plans need to take microhabitat requirements into account. In order to gain insight into the terrestrial ecology of the spectacled salamander Salamandrina perspicillata and to identify appropriate forest management strategies, we investigated the salamander's seasonal variability in habitat use of trees as shelters in relation to tree features (size, buttresses, basal holes) and environmental variables in a beech forest in Italy. We used the occupancy approach to assess tree suitability on a non-conventional spatial scale. Our approach provides fine-grained parameters of microhabitat suitability and elucidates many aspects of the salamander's terrestrial ecology . Occupancy changed with the annual life cycle and was higher in autumn than in spring, when females were found closer to the stream in the study area. Salamanders showed a seasonal pattern regarding the trees they occupied and a clear preference for trees with a larger diameter and more burrows. With respect to forest management, we suggest maintaining a suitable number of trees with a trunk diameter exceeding 30 cm. A practice of selective logging along the banks of streams could help maintain an adequate quantity of the appropriate microhabitat. Furthermore, in areas with a presence of salamanders, a good forest management plan requires leaving an adequate buffer zone around streams, which should be wider in autumn than in spring.

  10. Native Salamanders and Introduced Fish: Changing the Nature of Mountain Lakes and Ponds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larson, Gary L.; Hoffman, Robert L.

    2003-01-01

    During the last century, many fishless mountain lakes and ponds in the Pacific Northwest were stocked with non-native fish, such as brook trout, for recreational purposes. These introduced fish replaced long-toed and northwestern salamander larvae as the top aquatic vertebrate predator by preying on salamander larvae. This predatory interaction has been shown to reduce the abundances of larval salamander populations. We conducted studies in two national parks to assess the abundances of salamander larvae in lakes with and without introduced fish. These studies suggest that the two salamander species were affected quite differently by the presence of introduced fish because of different life-history traits and different distributions of salamanders and fish within each park.

  11. New species of kathlaniid (Nematoda: Cosmocercoidea) collected from hynobiid salamanders in Japan.

    PubMed

    Hasegawa, Hideo; Nishikawa, Kanto

    2009-02-01

    Falcaustra odaiensis n. sp. (Nematoda: Cosmocercoidea: Kathlaniidae) is described from the Japanese clawed salamander, Onychodactylus japonicus (Houttuyn, 1782), and Ishizuchi salamander, Hynobius hirosei Lantz, 1931 (Caudata: Hynobiidae), in Japan. This nematode is characterized by having multiple pseudosuckers in the male. It resembles Falcaustra araxiana, Falcaustra duyagi, Falcaustra lambdiensis, Falcaustra pillaii, Falcaustra siamensis, and Falcaustra washingtonensis, but is readily distinguished by the spicule length and/or egg size. This is the first Falcaustra species described from Japanese salamanders.

  12. Variation in phenology and density differentially affects predator-prey interactions between salamanders.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Thomas L; Rowland, Freya E; Semlitsch, Raymond D

    2017-09-11

    Variation in the timing of breeding (i.e., phenological variation) can affect species interactions and community structure, in part by shifting body size differences between species. Body size differences can be further altered by density-dependent competition, though synergistic effects of density and phenology on species interactions are rarely evaluated. We tested how field-realistic variation in phenology and density affected ringed salamander (Ambystoma annulatum) predation on spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum), and whether these altered salamander dynamics resulted in trophic cascades. In outdoor mesocosms, we experimentally manipulated ringed salamander density (low/high) and breeding phenology (early/late) of both species. Ringed salamander body size at metamorphosis, development, and growth were reduced at higher densities, while delayed phenology increased hatchling size and larval development, but reduced relative growth rates. Survival of ringed salamanders was affected by the interactive effects of phenology and density. In contrast, spotted salamander growth, size at metamorphosis, and survival, as well as the biomass of lower trophic levels, were negatively affected primarily by ringed salamander density. In an additional mesocosm experiment, we isolated whether ringed salamanders could deplete shared resources prior to their interactions with spotted salamanders, but instead found direct interactions (e.g., predation) were the more likely mechanism by which ringed salamanders limited spotted salamanders. Overall, our results indicate the effects of phenological variability on fitness-related traits can be modified or superseded by differences in density dependence. Identifying such context dependencies will lead to greater insight into when phenological variation will likely alter species interactions.

  13. Mitochondrial Diseases

    MedlinePlus

    ... disorder, something goes wrong with this process. Mitochondrial diseases are a group of metabolic disorders. Mitochondria are ... cells and cause damage. The symptoms of mitochondrial disease can vary. It depends on how many mitochondria ...

  14. Impact of valley fills on streamside salamanders in southern West Virginia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wood, Petra Bohall; Williams, Jennifer M.

    2013-01-01

    Valley fills associated with mountaintop-removal mining bury stream headwaters and affect water quality and ecological function of reaches below fills. We quantified relative abundance of streamside salamanders in southern West Virginia during 2002 in three streams below valley fills (VFS) and in three reference streams (RS). We surveyed 36 10- × 2-m stream transects, once in summer and fall, paired by order and structure. Of 2,343 salamanders captured, 66.7% were from RS. Total salamanders (adults plus larvae) were more abundant in RS than VFS for first-order and second-order reaches. Adult salamanders had greater abundance in first-order reaches of RS than VFS. Larval salamanders were more abundant in second-order reaches of RS than VFS. No stream width or mesohabitat variables differed between VFS and RS. Only two cover variables differed. Silt cover, greater in VFS than RS first-order reaches, is a likely contributor to reduced abundance of salamanders in VFS. Second-order RS had more boulder cover than second-order VFS, which may have contributed to the higher total and larval salamander abundance in RS. Water chemistry assessments of our VFS and RS reported elevated levels of metal and ion concentrations in VFS, which can depress macroinvertebrate populations and likely affect salamander abundance. Valley fills appear to have significant negative effects on stream salamander abundance due to alterations in habitat structure, water quality and chemistry, and macroinvertebrate communities in streams below fills.

  15. High occupancy of stream salamanders despite high ranavirus prevalence in a southern appalachians watershed.

    PubMed

    Rothermel, Betsie B; Travis, Emilie R; Miller, Debra L; Hill, Robert L; McGuire, Jessica L; Yabsley, Michael J

    2013-06-01

    The interactive effects of environmental stressors and emerging infectious disease pose potential threats to stream salamander communities and their headwater stream ecosystems. To begin assessing these threats, we conducted occupancy surveys and pathogen screening of stream salamanders (Family Plethodontidae) in a protected southern Appalachians watershed in Georgia and North Carolina, USA. Of the 101 salamanders screened for both chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) and Ranavirus, only two exhibited low-level chytrid infections. Prevalence of Ranavirus was much higher (30.4% among five species of Desmognathus). Despite the ubiquity of ranaviral infections, we found high probabilities of site occupancy (≥0.60) for all stream salamander species.

  16. Effects of predator chemical cues and behavioral biorhythms on foraging activity of terrestrial salamanders.

    PubMed

    Maerz, J C; Panebianco, N L; Madison, D M

    2001-07-01

    Red-backed salamanders, Plethodon cinereus, show a variety of alarm responses to chemical cues from eastern garter snakes, Thamnophis sirtalis. We measured the foraging activity of red-backed salamanders exposed to water soiled by a garter snake (fed P. cinereus) or to unsoiled water. Salamanders exposed to snake-soiled water showed less foraging activity than salamanders exposed to unsoiled water; therefore, predators could have nonlethal effects on salamander populations. Our results also show additional factors influenced salamander foraging activity. Salamander foraging activity and responsiveness to chemical cues do not appear to have been affected by sex or food deprivation. Salamander foraging activity does appear to have been influenced by activity biorhythms. Foraging activity of animals in both treatments showed a bimodal periodicity that is consistent with natural activity patterns controlled by internal biorhythms. Exposure to snake-soiled water significantly reduced foraging activity during periods of peak foraging activity, but had a subtler effect on foraging activity during natural lulls in activity. We suggest that both activity biorhythms and exposure to chemical cues are important factors affecting salamander foraging behavior.

  17. Apparent predation by Gray Jays, Perisoreus canadensis, on Long-toed Salamanders, Ambystoma macrodactylum, in the Oregon Cascade Range

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Murray, M.P.; Pearl, C.A.; Bury, R.B.

    2005-01-01

    We report observations of Gray Jays (Perisoreus canadensis) appearing to consume larval Long-toed Salamanders (Ambystoma macrodactylum) in a drying subalpine pond in Oregon, USA. Corvids are known to prey upon a variety of anuran amphibians, but to our knowledge, this is the first report of predation by any corvid on aquatic salamanders. Long-toed Salamanders appear palatable to Gray Jays, and may provide a food resource to Gray Jays when salamander larvae are concentrated in drying temporary ponds.

  18. Characterization of displaced bipolar cells in the tiger salamander retina.

    PubMed

    Maple, Bruce R; Zhang, Jian; Pang, Ji-Jie; Gao, Fan; Wu, Samuel M

    2005-03-01

    In immunocytochemical studies of the tiger salamander retina, 17% of neurons in the outer nuclear layer did not label for recoverin, a photoreceptor marker. Lucifer yellow injection showed a population of cells in the ONL to be displaced bipolar cells, with axon terminals that stratified exclusively in the OFF sublamina of the inner plexiform layer (IPL), and predominately within the cone-dominated region of the OFF sublamina. Glutamate generated a dendritic cationic conductance increase in all displaced bipolar cells tested, and typical cone-dominated bipolar cell light responses were observed among displaced cells that stratified in the central IPL. We conclude that displaced bipolar cells in the tiger salamander retina are entirely OFF-center cells, and predominately cone-dominated cells.

  19. Salamander Blue-sensitive Cones Lost During Metamorphosis†

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Ying; Znoiko, Sergey; DeGrip, Willem J.; Crouch, Rosalie K.; Ma, Jian-xing

    2009-01-01

    The tiger salamander lives in shallow water with bright light in the aquatic phase, and in dim tunnels or caves in the terrestrial phase. In the aquatic phase, there are five types of photoreceptors—two types of rods and three types of cones. Our previous studies showed that the green rods and blue-sensitive cones contain the same visual pigment and have the same absorbance spectra; however, the green rods have a larger photon-catch area and thus have higher light sensitivity than the blue-sensitive cones. Here we show that after metamorphosis, the terrestrial salamander looses the blue-sensitive cones, while the density of the green rods increases. Moreover, the size of the green rod outer segments is increased in the terrestrial phase, compared to that in the aquatic phase. This switch from the blue-sensitive cones to the green rods may represent an adaptation to the dim light environment of the terrestrial phase. PMID:18331398

  20. Adaptive Linkage Disequilibrium Between Two Esterase Loci of a Salamander

    PubMed Central

    Webster, T. Preston

    1973-01-01

    In some populations of the salamander Plethodon cinereus, two polymorphic esterase loci are in linkage disequilibrium. Short-term stability of the linkage disequilibrium is demonstrated by an age class analysis. Long, perhaps very long, term stability is suggested by its distribution. This stability and concordant geographic variation in allelic frequencies imply selective origin and maintenance. Data on the frequencies of two color morphs suggest that formation of the linkage disequilibrium is dependent on the genetic background. Images PMID:4515614

  1. Age-related changes in the tiger salamander retina.

    PubMed

    Townes-Anderson, E; Colantonio, A; St Jules, R S

    1998-05-01

    Tiger salamanders have been used in visual science because of the large size of their cells and the ease of preparation and maintenance of in vitro retinal preparations. We have found that salamanders over 27 cm in length show a variety of visual abnormalities. Compared to smaller animals (15-23 cm), large animals exhibited a decrease in visual responses determined by tests of the optomotor reflex. Small animals responded correctly an average of 84.5% of the time in visual testing at three light levels compared to an average of 68.4% for the large animals with the poorest visual performance at the lowest level of illumination. In addition, large animals contained (i) histological degeneration of the outer retina, in particular, loss and disruption of outer segments and abnormalities of the retinal pigmented epithelium, (ii) loss of cells, including photoreceptors, by apoptosis as evaluated with the TUNEL technique, and (iii) an increase in the number of macrophages and lymphocytes within the retina as determined by morphological examination. These histological changes were present in all large animals and all quadrants of their retinas. In contrast, small animals showed virtually no retinal degeneration, no TUNEL-positive cells, and few immune-like cells in the retina. Since large animals are also older animals. the visual changes are age-related. Loss of visual function and histological degeneration in the outer retina also typify aged human eyes. Thus, we propose that large salamanders serve as an animal model for age-related retinal degeneration. In addition to providing a source of aging retina that is readily accessible to experimental manipulation, the salamander provides a pigmented retina with a mixed (2:1, rod:cone) population of photoreceptors, similar to the degeneration-prone parafoveal region of the human eye.

  2. Salamander growth rates increase along an experimental stream phosphorus gradient.

    PubMed

    Bumpers, Phillip M; Maerz, John C; Rosemond, Amy D; Benstead, Jonathan P

    2015-11-01

    Nutrient-driven perturbations to the resource base of food webs are predicted to attenuate with trophic distance, so it is unclear whether higher-level consumers will generally respond to anthropogenic nutrient loading. Few studies have tested whether nutrient (specifically, nitrogen [N] and phosphorus [P]) enrichment of aquatic ecosystems propagates through multiple trophic levels to affect predators, or whether N vs. P is relatively more important in driving effects on food webs. We conducted two-year whole-stream N and P additions to five streams to generate gradients in N and P concentration and N:P ratio (target N:P = 2, 8, 16, 32, 128). Larval salamanders are vertebrate predators of primary and secondary macroinvertebrate consumers in many heterotrophic headwater streams in which the basal resources are detritus and associated microorganisms. We determined the effects of N and P on the growth rates of caged and free-roaming larval Desmognathus quadramaculatus and the average body size of larval Eurycea wilderae. Growth rates and average body size increased by up to 40% and 60%, respectively, with P concentration and were negatively related to N:P ratio. These findings were consistent across both species of salamanders using different methodologies (cage vs. free-roaming) and at different temporal scales (3 months vs. 2 yr). Nitrogen concentration was not significantly related to increased growth rate or body size of the salamander species tested. Our findings suggest that salamander growth responds to the relaxation of ecosystem-level P limitation and that moderate P enrichment can have relatively large effects on vertebrate predators in detritus-based food webs.

  3. Ancestry of an isolated subspecies of salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum stebbinsi Lowe: the evolutionary significance of hybridization.

    PubMed

    Jones, T R; Routman, E J; Begun, D J; Collins, J P

    1995-06-01

    Most phylogenetic systematists assume speciation results in dichotomously branching phylogenies. Hybridization that gives rise to a new lineage can produce character homoplasty that might obscure a species' true history. We report the results of a restriction-enzyme analysis of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation in three tiger salamander subspecies (Ambystoma trigrinum mavortium, Ambystoma tigrinum nebulosum, and Ambystoma trigrinum stebbinsi) and compare the results to studies of morphological and allozymic variation in these taxa. Allozymically, A. t. mavortium and A. t. nebulosum share most of their genomes (although each has several unique alleles), yet color pattern and mtDNA haplotypes are distinct. Color pattern and allozyme data suggest that A. t. stebbinsi shares a common ancestor with A. t. mavortium, while the A. t. stebbinsi mtDNA haplotype is derived from an A. t. nebulosum haplotype. Thus, our data suggest that A. t. stebbinsi originated through hybridization between A. t. mavortium and A. t. nebulosum. That hybridization can produce recognizably distinct evolutionary entities has long been recognized for plants, but the evolutionary significance of hybridization in animals should be examined more closely. Conservation agencies must recognize that hybrids and hybrid taxa are not necessarily evolutionary "mistakes," and they might have significant importance in the production of natural biodiversity.

  4. Extensive unidirectional introgression between two salamander lineages of ancient divergence and its evolutionary implications

    PubMed Central

    Canestrelli, Daniele; Bisconti, Roberta; Nascetti, Giuseppe

    2014-01-01

    Hybridization and introgression, contrary to previous beliefs, are now considered to be widespread processes even among animal species. Nonetheless, the range of their possible outcomes and roles in moulding biodiversity patterns are still far from being fully appraised. Here we investigated the pattern of hybridization and introgression between Salamandrina perspicillata and S. terdigitata, two salamanders endemic to the Italian peninsula. Using a set of diagnostic or differentiated genetic markers (9 nuclear and 1 mitochondrial), we documented extensive unidirectional introgression of S. terdigitata alleles into the S. perspicillata gene pool in central Italy, indicating that barriers against hybridization were permeable when they came into secondary contact, and despite their ancient divergence. Nonetheless, purebred S. terdigitata, as well as F1, F2, and backcrosses were not found within the hybrid zone. Moreover, Bayesian analyses of population structure identified admixed populations belonging to a differentiated gene pool with respect to both parental populations. Overall, the observed genetic structure, together with their geographic pattern of distribution, suggests that Salamandrina populations in central Italy could have entered a distinct evolutionary pathway. How far they have gone along this pathway will deserve future investigation. PMID:25269625

  5. Extensive unidirectional introgression between two salamander lineages of ancient divergence and its evolutionary implications.

    PubMed

    Canestrelli, Daniele; Bisconti, Roberta; Nascetti, Giuseppe

    2014-10-01

    Hybridization and introgression, contrary to previous beliefs, are now considered to be widespread processes even among animal species. Nonetheless, the range of their possible outcomes and roles in moulding biodiversity patterns are still far from being fully appraised. Here we investigated the pattern of hybridization and introgression between Salamandrina perspicillata and S. terdigitata, two salamanders endemic to the Italian peninsula. Using a set of diagnostic or differentiated genetic markers (9 nuclear and 1 mitochondrial), we documented extensive unidirectional introgression of S. terdigitata alleles into the S. perspicillata gene pool in central Italy, indicating that barriers against hybridization were permeable when they came into secondary contact, and despite their ancient divergence. Nonetheless, purebred S. terdigitata, as well as F1, F2, and backcrosses were not found within the hybrid zone. Moreover, Bayesian analyses of population structure identified admixed populations belonging to a differentiated gene pool with respect to both parental populations. Overall, the observed genetic structure, together with their geographic pattern of distribution, suggests that Salamandrina populations in central Italy could have entered a distinct evolutionary pathway. How far they have gone along this pathway will deserve future investigation.

  6. Better than fish on land? Hearing across metamorphosis in salamanders

    PubMed Central

    Christensen, Christian Bech; Lauridsen, Henrik; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob; Pedersen, Michael; Madsen, Peter Teglberg

    2015-01-01

    Early tetrapods faced an auditory challenge from the impedance mismatch between air and tissue in the transition from aquatic to terrestrial lifestyles during the Early Carboniferous (350 Ma). Consequently, tetrapods may have been deaf to airborne sounds for up to 100 Myr until tympanic middle ears evolved during the Triassic. The middle ear morphology of recent urodeles is similar to that of early ‘lepospondyl’ microsaur tetrapods, and experimental studies on their hearing capabilities are therefore useful to understand the evolutionary and functional drivers behind the shift from aquatic to aerial hearing in early tetrapods. Here, we combine imaging techniques with neurophysiological measurements to resolve how the change from aquatic larvae to terrestrial adult affects the ear morphology and sensory capabilities of salamanders. We show that air-induced pressure detection enhances underwater hearing sensitivity of salamanders at frequencies above 120 Hz, and that both terrestrial adults and fully aquatic juvenile salamanders can detect airborne sound. Collectively, these findings suggest that early atympanic tetrapods may have been pre-equipped to aerial hearing and are able to hear airborne sound better than fish on land. When selected for, this rudimentary hearing could have led to the evolution of tympanic middle ears. PMID:25652830

  7. Mechanisms underlying vertebrate limb regeneration: lessons from the salamander.

    PubMed

    Brockes, Jeremy P; Gates, Phillip B

    2014-06-01

    Limb regeneration in adult salamanders proceeds by formation of a mound of progenitor cells called the limb blastema. It provides several pointers for regenerative medicine. These include the role of differentiated cells in the origin of the blastema, the role of regenerating axons of peripheral nerves and the importance of cell specification in conferring morphogenetic autonomy on the blastema. One aspect of regeneration that has received less attention is the ability to undergo multiple episodes without detectable change in the outcome, and with minimal effect of aging. We suggest that, although such pointers are valuable, it is important to understand why salamanders are the only adult tetrapod vertebrates able to regenerate their limbs. Although this remains a controversial issue, the existence of salamander-specific genes that play a significant role in the mechanism of regeneration provides evidence for the importance of local evolution, rather than a purely ancestral mechanism. The three-finger protein called Prod1 is discussed in the present article as an exemplar of this approach.

  8. Origin and diversification of a salamander sex pheromone system.

    PubMed

    Janssenswillen, Sunita; Vandebergh, Wim; Treer, Dag; Willaert, Bert; Maex, Margo; Van Bocxlaer, Ines; Bossuyt, Franky

    2015-02-01

    Sex pheromones form an important facet of reproductive strategies in many organisms throughout the Animal Kingdom. One of the oldest known sex pheromones in vertebrates are proteins of the Sodefrin Precursor-like Factor (SPF) system, which already had a courtship function in early salamanders. The subsequent evolution of salamanders is characterized by a diversification in courtship and reproduction, but little is known on how the SPF pheromone system diversified in relation to changing courtship strategies. Here, we combined transcriptomic, genomic, and phylogenetic analyses to investigate the evolution of the SPF pheromone system in nine salamandrid species with distinct courtship displays. First, we show that SPF originated from vertebrate three-finger proteins and diversified through multiple gene duplications in salamanders, while remaining a single copy in frogs. Next, we demonstrate that tail-fanning newts have retained a high phylogenetic diversity of SPFs, whereas loss of tail-fanning has been associated with a reduced importance or loss of SPF expression in the cloacal region. Finally, we show that the attractant decapeptide sodefrin is cleaved from larger SPF precursors that originated by a 62 bp insertion and consequent frameshift in an ancestral Cynops lineage. This led to the birth of a new decapeptide that rapidly evolved a pheromone function independently from uncleaved proteins.

  9. Cannibalistic-morph Tiger Salamanders in unexpected ecological contexts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McLean, Kyle I.; Stockwell, Craig A.; Mushet, David M.

    2016-01-01

    Barred tiger salamanders [Ambystoma mavortium (Baird, 1850)] exhibit two trophic morphologies; a typical and a cannibalistic morph. Cannibalistic morphs, distinguished by enlarged vomerine teeth, wide heads, slender bodies, and cannibalistic tendencies, are often found where conspecifics occur at high density. During 2012 and 2013, 162 North Dakota wetlands and lakes were sampled for salamanders. Fifty-one contained A. mavortium populations; four of these contained cannibalistic morph individuals. Two populations with cannibalistic morphs occurred at sites with high abundances of conspecifics. However, the other two populations occurred at sites with unexpectedly low conspecific but high fathead minnow [Pimephales promelas (Rafinesque, 1820)] abundances. Further, no typical morphs were observed in either of these later two populations, contrasting with earlier research suggesting cannibalistic morphs only occur at low frequencies in salamander populations. Another anomaly of all four populations was the occurrence of cannibalistic morphs in permanent water sites, suggesting their presence was due to factors other than faster growth allowing them to occupy ephemeral habitats. Therefore, our findings suggest environmental factors inducing the cannibalistic morphism may be more complex than previously thought.

  10. Evolutionary history of a complex adaptation: tetrodotoxin resistance in salamanders.

    PubMed

    Hanifin, Charles T; Gilly, William F

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the processes that generate novel adaptive phenotypes is central to evolutionary biology. We used comparative analyses to reveal the history of tetrodotoxin (TTX) resistance in TTX-bearing salamanders. Resistance to TTX is a critical component of the ability to use TTX defensively but the origin of the TTX-bearing phenotype is unclear. Skeletal muscle of TTX-bearing salamanders (modern newts, family: Salamandridae) is unaffected by TTX at doses far in excess of those that block action potentials in muscle and nerve of other vertebrates. Skeletal muscle of non-TTX-bearing salamandrids is also resistant to TTX but at lower levels. Skeletal muscle TTX resistance in the Salamandridae results from the expression of TTX-resistant variants of the voltage-gated sodium channel NaV 1.4 (SCN4a). We identified four substitutions in the coding region of salSCN4a that are likely responsible for the TTX resistance measured in TTX-bearing salamanders and variation at one of these sites likely explains variation in TTX resistance among other lineages. Our results suggest that exaptation has played a role in the evolution of the TTX-bearing phenotype and provide empirical evidence that complex physiological adaptations can arise through the accumulation of beneficial mutations in the coding region of conserved proteins.

  11. Predator perception of Batesian mimicry and conspicuousness in a salamander.

    PubMed

    Kraemer, Andrew C; Adams, Dean C

    2014-04-01

    In Batesian mimicry a palatable mimic deceives predators by resembling an unpalatable model. The evolution of Batesian mimicry relies on the visual capabilities of the potential predators, as prey detection provides the selective force driving evolutionary change. We compared the visual capabilities of several potential predators to test predictions stemming from the hypothesis of Batesian mimicry between two salamanders: the model species Notophthalmus viridescens, and polymorphic mimic, Plethodon cinereus. First, we found mimicry to be restricted to coloration, but not brightness. Second, only bird predators appeared able to discriminate between the colors of models and nonmimic P. cinereus. Third, estimates of salamander conspicuousness were background dependent, corresponding to predictions only for backgrounds against which salamanders are most active. These results support the hypothesis that birds influence the evolution of Batesian mimicry in P. cinereus, as they are the only group examined capable of differentiating N. viridescens and nonmimetic P. cinereus. Additionally, patterns of conspicuousness suggest that selection from predators may drive the evolution of conspicuousness in this system. This study confirms the expectation that the visual abilities of predators may influence the evolution of Batesian mimicry, but the role of conspicuousness may be more complex than previously thought. © 2013 The Author(s). Evolution © 2013 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  12. Better than fish on land? Hearing across metamorphosis in salamanders.

    PubMed

    Christensen, Christian Bech; Lauridsen, Henrik; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob; Pedersen, Michael; Madsen, Peter Teglberg

    2015-03-07

    Early tetrapods faced an auditory challenge from the impedance mismatch between air and tissue in the transition from aquatic to terrestrial lifestyles during the Early Carboniferous (350 Ma). Consequently, tetrapods may have been deaf to airborne sounds for up to 100 Myr until tympanic middle ears evolved during the Triassic. The middle ear morphology of recent urodeles is similar to that of early 'lepospondyl' microsaur tetrapods, and experimental studies on their hearing capabilities are therefore useful to understand the evolutionary and functional drivers behind the shift from aquatic to aerial hearing in early tetrapods. Here, we combine imaging techniques with neurophysiological measurements to resolve how the change from aquatic larvae to terrestrial adult affects the ear morphology and sensory capabilities of salamanders. We show that air-induced pressure detection enhances underwater hearing sensitivity of salamanders at frequencies above 120 Hz, and that both terrestrial adults and fully aquatic juvenile salamanders can detect airborne sound. Collectively, these findings suggest that early atympanic tetrapods may have been pre-equipped to aerial hearing and are able to hear airborne sound better than fish on land. When selected for, this rudimentary hearing could have led to the evolution of tympanic middle ears. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  13. Effects of hatching time for larval ambystomatid salamanders

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boone, M.D.; Scott, D.E.; Niewiarowski, P.H.

    2002-01-01

    In aquatic communities, the phenology of breeding may influence species interactions. In the early-breeding marbled salamander, Ambystoma opacum, timing of pond filling may determine whether interactions among larvae are competitive or predatory. The objectives of our studies were to determine how time of egg hatching affected size, larval period, and survival to metamorphosis in A. opacum, and if early-hatching in A. opacum influenced the competitive and predator-prey relationships with smaller larvae of the mole salamander, Ambystoma talpoideum. Salamander larvae were reared from hatching through metamorphosis in large, outdoor enclosures located in a natural temporary pond in Aiken County, South Carolina, in two experiments. In study 1, we reared early- and late-hatching A. opacum larvae separately from hatching through metamorphosis. In study 2, we examined how early- versus late-hatching A. opacum affected a syntopic species, A. talpoideum. In general, early-hatching A. opacum were larger and older at metamorphosis, had greater survival, and left the pond earlier than late-hatching larvae. Ambystoma talpoideum reared in the presence of early-hatching A. opacum had lower survival than in controls, suggesting that A. opacum may predate upon A. talpoideum when they gain a growth advantage over later-hatching larvae. Our studies demonstrate that time of pond filling and phenology of breeding may influence population dynamics and alter the nature of relationships that develop among species.

  14. Multiple visual pigments in a photoreceptor of the salamander retina

    PubMed Central

    1996-01-01

    Although a given retina typically contains several visual pigments, each formed from a retinal chromophore bound to a specific opsin protein, single photoreceptor cells have been thought to express only one type of opsin. This design maximizes a cell's sensitivity to a particular wavelength band and facilitates wavelength discrimination in retinas that process color. We report electrophysiological evidence that the ultraviolet-sensitive cone of salamander violates this rule. This cell contains three different functional opsins. The three opsins could combine with the two different chromophores present in salamander retina to form six visual pigments. Whereas rods and other cones of salamander use both chromophores, they appear to express only one type of opsin per cell. In visual pigment absorption spectra, the bandwidth at half-maximal sensitivity increases as the pigment's wavelength maximum decreases. However, the bandwidth of the UV-absorbing pigment deviates from this trend; it is narrow like that of a red-absorbing pigment. In addition, the UV-absorbing pigment has a high apparent photosensitivity when compared with that of red- and blue-absorbing pigments and rhodopsin. These properties suggest that the mechanisms responsible for spectrally tuning visual pigments separate two absorption bands as the wavelength of maximal sensitivity shifts from UV to long wavelengths. PMID:8817382

  15. Drivers of salamander extirpation mediated by Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans.

    PubMed

    Stegen, Gwij; Pasmans, Frank; Schmidt, Benedikt R; Rouffaer, Lieze O; Van Praet, Sarah; Schaub, Michael; Canessa, Stefano; Laudelout, Arnaud; Kinet, Thierry; Adriaensen, Connie; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Bert, Wim; Bossuyt, Franky; Martel, An

    2017-04-19

    The recent arrival of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans in Europe was followed by rapid expansion of its geographical distribution and host range, confirming the unprecedented threat that this chytrid fungus poses to western Palaearctic amphibians. Mitigating this hazard requires a thorough understanding of the pathogen's disease ecology that is driving the extinction process. Here, we monitored infection, disease and host population dynamics in a Belgian fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra) population for two years immediately after the first signs of infection. We show that arrival of this chytrid is associated with rapid population collapse without any sign of recovery, largely due to lack of increased resistance in the surviving salamanders and a demographic shift that prevents compensation for mortality. The pathogen adopts a dual transmission strategy, with environmentally resistant non-motile spores in addition to the motile spores identified in its sister species B. dendrobatidis. The fungus retains its virulence not only in water and soil, but also in anurans and less susceptible urodelan species that function as infection reservoirs. The combined characteristics of the disease ecology suggest that further expansion of this fungus will behave as a 'perfect storm' that is able to rapidly extirpate highly susceptible salamander populations across Europe.

  16. Evolutionary history of a complex adaptation: Tetrodotoxin resistance in salamanders

    PubMed Central

    Hanifin, Charles T.; Gilly, William F.

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the processes that generate novel adaptive phenotypes is central to evolutionary biology. We used comparative analyses to reveal the history of tetrodotoxin (TTX) resistance in TTX-bearing salamanders. Resistance to TTX is a critical component of the ability to use TTX defensively but the origin of the TTX-bearing phenotype is unclear. Skeletal muscle of TTX-bearing salamanders (modern newts, family: Salamandridae) is unaffected by TTX at doses far in excess of those that block action potentials in muscle and nerve of other vertebrates. Skeletal muscle of non-TTX-bearing salamandrids is also resistant to TTX but at lower levels. Skeletal muscle TTX resistance in the Salamandridae results from the expression of TTX-resistant variants of the voltage-gated sodium channel NaV 1.4 (SCN4a). We identified four substitutions in the coding region of salSCN4a that are likely responsible for the TTX resistance measured in TTX-bearing salamanders and variation at one of these sites likely explains variation in TTX resistance among other lineages. Our results suggest that exaptation has played a role in the evolution of the TTX-bearing phenotype and provide empirical evidence that complex physiological adaptations can arise through the accumulation of beneficial mutations in the coding region of conserved proteins. PMID:25346116

  17. Extreme morphological and ecological homoplasy in tropical salamanders

    PubMed Central

    Parra-Olea, Gabriela; Wake, David B.

    2001-01-01

    Fossorial salamanders typically have elongate and attenuated heads and bodies, diminutive limbs, hands and feet, and extremely elongate tails. Batrachoseps from California, Lineatriton from eastern México, and Oedipina from southern México to Ecuador, all members of the family Plethodontidae, tribe Bolitoglossini, resemble one another in external morphology, which has evolved independently. Whereas Oedipina and Batrachoseps are elongate because there are more trunk vertebrae, a widespread homoplasy (parallelism) in salamanders, the genus Lineatriton is unique in having evolved convergently by an alternate “giraffe-neck” developmental program. Lineatriton has the same number of trunk vertebrae as related, nonelongated taxa, but individual trunk vertebrae are elongated. A robust phylogenetic hypothesis, based on sequences of three mtDNA genes, finds Lineatriton to be deeply nested within a clade characterized by generalized ecology and morphology. Lineatriton lineolus, the only currently recognized taxon in the genus, shows unanticipated genetic diversity. Surprisingly, geographically separated populations of L. lineolus are not monophyletic, but are sister taxa of different species of the morphologically generalized genus Pseudoeurycea. Lineatriton, long thought to be a unique monospecific lineage, is polyphyletic. Accordingly, the specialized morphology of Lineatriton displays homoplasy at two hierarchical levels: (i) with respect to other elongate lineages in the family (convergence), and (ii) within what is currently recognized as a single taxon (parallelism). These evolutionary events are of adaptive significance because to invade the lowland tropics salamanders must be either arboreal or fossorial; the repeated evolution of elongation and attenuation has led to multiple lowland invasions. PMID:11427707

  18. Mitochondrial Cardiomyopathies.

    PubMed

    El-Hattab, Ayman W; Scaglia, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    Mitochondria are found in all nucleated human cells and perform various essential functions, including the generation of cellular energy. Mitochondria are under dual genome control. Only a small fraction of their proteins are encoded by mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), whereas more than 99% of them are encoded by nuclear DNA (nDNA). Mutations in mtDNA or mitochondria-related nDNA genes result in mitochondrial dysfunction leading to insufficient energy production required to meet the needs for various organs, particularly those with high energy requirements, including the central nervous system, skeletal and cardiac muscles, kidneys, liver, and endocrine system. Because cardiac muscles are one of the high energy demanding tissues, cardiac involvement occurs in mitochondrial diseases with cardiomyopathies being one of the most frequent cardiac manifestations found in these disorders. Cardiomyopathy is estimated to occur in 20-40% of children with mitochondrial diseases. Mitochondrial cardiomyopathies can vary in severity from asymptomatic status to severe manifestations including heart failure, arrhythmias, and sudden cardiac death. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the most common type; however, mitochondrial cardiomyopathies might also present as dilated, restrictive, left ventricular non-compaction, and histiocytoid cardiomyopathies. Cardiomyopathies are frequent manifestations of mitochondrial diseases associated with defects in electron transport chain complexes subunits and their assembly factors, mitochondrial transfer RNAs, ribosomal RNAs, ribosomal proteins, translation factors, mtDNA maintenance, and coenzyme Q10 synthesis. Other mitochondrial diseases with cardiomyopathies include Barth syndrome, Sengers syndrome, TMEM70-related mitochondrial complex V deficiency, and Friedreich ataxia.

  19. Mitochondrial Cardiomyopathies

    PubMed Central

    El-Hattab, Ayman W.; Scaglia, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    Mitochondria are found in all nucleated human cells and perform various essential functions, including the generation of cellular energy. Mitochondria are under dual genome control. Only a small fraction of their proteins are encoded by mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), whereas more than 99% of them are encoded by nuclear DNA (nDNA). Mutations in mtDNA or mitochondria-related nDNA genes result in mitochondrial dysfunction leading to insufficient energy production required to meet the needs for various organs, particularly those with high energy requirements, including the central nervous system, skeletal and cardiac muscles, kidneys, liver, and endocrine system. Because cardiac muscles are one of the high energy demanding tissues, cardiac involvement occurs in mitochondrial diseases with cardiomyopathies being one of the most frequent cardiac manifestations found in these disorders. Cardiomyopathy is estimated to occur in 20–40% of children with mitochondrial diseases. Mitochondrial cardiomyopathies can vary in severity from asymptomatic status to severe manifestations including heart failure, arrhythmias, and sudden cardiac death. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the most common type; however, mitochondrial cardiomyopathies might also present as dilated, restrictive, left ventricular non-compaction, and histiocytoid cardiomyopathies. Cardiomyopathies are frequent manifestations of mitochondrial diseases associated with defects in electron transport chain complexes subunits and their assembly factors, mitochondrial transfer RNAs, ribosomal RNAs, ribosomal proteins, translation factors, mtDNA maintenance, and coenzyme Q10 synthesis. Other mitochondrial diseases with cardiomyopathies include Barth syndrome, Sengers syndrome, TMEM70-related mitochondrial complex V deficiency, and Friedreich ataxia. PMID:27504452

  20. Mitochondrial vasculopathy

    PubMed Central

    Finsterer, Josef; Zarrouk-Mahjoub, Sinda

    2016-01-01

    Mitochondrial disorders (MIDs) are usually multisystem disorders (mitochondrial multiorgan disorder syndrome) either on from onset or starting at a point during the disease course. Most frequently affected tissues are those with a high oxygen demand such as the central nervous system, the muscle, endocrine glands, or the myocardium. Recently, it has been shown that rarely also the arteries may be affected (mitochondrial arteriopathy). This review focuses on the type, diagnosis, and treatment of mitochondrial vasculopathy in MID patients. A literature search using appropriate search terms was carried out. Mitochondrial vasculopathy manifests as either microangiopathy or macroangiopathy. Clinical manifestations of mitochondrial microangiopathy include leukoencephalopathy, migraine-like headache, stroke-like episodes, or peripheral retinopathy. Mitochondrial macroangiopathy manifests as atherosclerosis, ectasia of arteries, aneurysm formation, dissection, or spontaneous rupture of arteries. The diagnosis relies on the documentation and confirmation of the mitochondrial metabolic defect or the genetic cause after exclusion of non-MID causes. Treatment is not at variance compared to treatment of vasculopathy due to non-MID causes. Mitochondrial vasculopathy exists and manifests as micro- or macroangiopathy. Diagnosing mitochondrial vasculopathy is crucial since appropriate treatment may prevent from severe complications. PMID:27231520

  1. Effects of microhabitat and land use on stream salamander abundance in the southwest Virginia coalfields

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sweeten, Sara E.; Ford, William

    2015-01-01

    Large-scale land uses such as residential wastewater discharge and coal mining practices, particularly surface coal extraction and associated valley fills, are of particular ecological concern in central Appalachia. Identification and quantification of both alterations across scales are a necessary first-step to mitigate negative consequences to biota. In central Appalachian headwater streams absent of fish, salamanders are the dominant, most abundant vertebrate predator providing a significant intermediate trophic role. Stream salamander species are considered to be sensitive to aquatic stressors and environmental alterations, and past research has shown linkages among microhabitat parameters, large-scale land use such as urbanization and logging with salamander abundances. However, little is known about these linkages in the coalfields of central Appalachia. In the summer of 2013, we visited 70 sites (sampled three times each) in the southwest Virginia coalfields to survey salamanders and quantify stream and riparian microhabitat parameters. Using an information-theoretic framework we compared the effects of microhabitat and large-scale land use on salamander abundances. Our findings indicate that dusky salamander (Desmognathus spp.) abundances are more correlated to microhabitat parameters such as canopy cover than to subwatershed land uses. Brook salamander (Eurycea spp.) abundances show strong negative associations to the suspended sediments and stream substrate embeddedness. Neither Desmognathus spp. nor Eurycea spp. abundances were influenced by water conductivity. These suggest protection or restoration of riparian habitats and erosion control is an important conservation component for maintaining stream salamanders in the mined landscapes of central Appalachia.

  2. A nondestructive technique to monitor the relative abundance of terrestrial salamanders

    Treesearch

    Richard M. DeGraaf; Mariko. Yamasaki

    1992-01-01

    Salamanders are abundant vertebrates in many forest ecosystems, and their annual biomass production can be important in forest food webs (Pough et al. 1987). Population densities of eastern redback salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) can exceed 2 individuals/m2 in deciduous forests of the United States (Heatwole 1962, Jaeger 1980...

  3. 77 FR 36287 - Proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the California Tiger Salamander, Calaveras...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-06-18

    ... Fish and Wildlife Service Proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the California Tiger... listed animal, the threatened Central California Distinct Population Segment of the California tiger salamander (tiger salamander). The applicant would implement a conservation program to minimize and mitigate...

  4. Effects of edge contrast on redback salamander distribution in even-aged northern hardwoods

    Treesearch

    Richard M. DeGraaf; Mariko. Yamasaki

    2002-01-01

    Terrestrial salamanders are sensitive to forest disturbance associated with even-aged management. We studied the distribution of redback salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) for 4 yr at edges between even-aged northern hardwood stands along three replicate transects in each of three edge contrast types: regeneration/mature, sapling/mature, and...

  5. The Abundance of Salamanders in Forest Stands with Different Histories of Disturbance

    Treesearch

    F. Harvey Pough; Donald H. Rhodes; Andres Collazo

    1987-01-01

    Because of the importance of salamanders in forest food chains, the effects of forest management practices on populations of these animals warrant consideration. We compared the numbers and activity patterns of salamanders in areas of a deciduous forest in central New York State that had been cut selectively for firewood, or c1earcut, or planted with conifers. Numbers...

  6. Using a GIS model to assess terrestrial salamander response to alternative forest management plans

    Treesearch

    Eric J. Gustafson; Nathan L. Murphy; Thomas R. Crow

    2001-01-01

    A GIS model predicting the spatial distribution of terrestrial salamander abundance based on topography and forest age was developed using parameters derived from the literature. The model was tested by sampling salamander abundance across the full range of site conditions used in the model. A regression of the predictions of our GIS model against these sample data...

  7. HEMATOLOGY AND PLASMA BIOCHEMISTRY INTERVALS FOR CAPTIVE-BORN CALIFORNIA TIGER SALAMANDERS (AMBYSTOMA CALIFORNIENSE).

    PubMed

    Brady, Sean; Burgdorf-Moisuk, Anne; Kass, Philip H; Brady, Jacqueline; Wack, Raymund F

    2016-09-01

    Hematology and plasma biochemistry parameters were determined for 34 captive-born California tiger salamanders ( Ambystoma californiense ). The animals were manually restrained for general examination and venipuncture. This is the first comprehensive report of hematology and plasma biochemistry parameters in apparently healthy California tiger salamanders and may serve as a reference for clinical assessment and future study of this species.

  8. Response of two terrestrial salamander species to spring burning in the Sierra Nevada, California

    Treesearch

    Karen E. Bagne; Kathryn L. Purcell

    2009-01-01

    Terrestrial salamanders may be vulnerable to prescribed fire applications due to their moist, permeable skin and limited mobility. We present data collected on terrestrial salamander populations in a ponderosa pine-dominated forest in the Sierra Nevada where fire was applied in the spring. Two species, Sierra ensatina (Ensatina eschscholtzi platensis...

  9. Relative abundance and species richness of terrestrial salamanders on hardwood ecosystem experiment sites before harvesting

    Treesearch

    Jami E. MacNeil; Rod N. Williams

    2013-01-01

    Terrestrial salamanders are ideal indicators of forest ecosystem integrity due to their abundance, their role in nutrient cycling, and their sensitivity to environmental change. To understand better how terrestrial salamanders are affected by forest management practices, we monitored species diversity and abundance before implementation of timber harvests within the...

  10. Diet of the Del Norte Salamander (Plethodon elongatus): Differences by age, gender, and season.

    Treesearch

    Clara A. Wheeler; Nancy E. Karraker; Hartwell H. Welsh; Lisa M. Ollivier

    2007-01-01

    Terrestrial salamanders are integral components of forest ecosystems and the examination of their feeding habits may provide useful information regarding various ecosystem processes. We studied the diet of the Del Norte Salamander (Plethodon elongatus) and assessed diet differences between age classes, genders, and seasons. The stomachs of 309...

  11. Short-Term Response of Jordan's Salamander to a Shelterwood Timber Harvest in Western North Carolina

    Treesearch

    Chad E. Bartman; Kathleen C. Parker; Joshua Laerm; Timothy S. McCay

    2001-01-01

    The effects of shelterwood cutting on the abundance of Jordan's salamander (Plethodon jordani) in western North Carolina were examined during 1997 and 1998. Terrestrial salamander assemblages were sampled before, immediately after, and one year after timber harvest on control and treatment plots to estimate abundance. We also surveyed...

  12. The influence of red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) on nutrient cycling in Appalachian hardwood forests

    Treesearch

    Eric B. Sucre; Jessica A. Homyack; Thomas R. Fox; Carola A. Haas

    2010-01-01

    The use of amphibians as biological indicators of ecosystem health has received considerable attention because of the increasing importance placed upon maintaining biodiversity in forested ecosystems. In this study, we imposed three different eastern red-backed salamander (Plethodon cinereus) treatments: 1) low (n = 4; added 0 salamanders to each...

  13. Habitat relationships of eastern red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) in Appalachian agroforestry and grazing systems

    Treesearch

    Breanna L. Riedel; Kevin R. Russell; W. Mark Ford; Katherine P. O' Neill; Harry W. Godwin

    2008-01-01

    Woodland salamander responses to either traditional grazing or silvopasture systems are virtually unknown. An information-theoretic modelling approach was used to evaluate responses of red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) to silvopasture and meadow conversions in southern West Virginia. Searches of area-constrained plots and artificial...

  14. Do silvicultural practices to restore oaks affect salamanders in the short term?

    Treesearch

    Amy L. Raybuck; Christopher E. Moorman; Sarah R. Fritts; Cathryn H. Greenberg; Christopher S. Deperno; Dean M. Simon; Gordon S. Warburton

    2015-01-01

    Salamanders are an important ecological component of eastern hardwood forests and may be affected by natural or silvicultural disturbances that alter habitat structure and associated microclimate. From May to August in 2008 (pre- treatment) and 2011 (post-treatment), we evaluated the response of salamanders to three silvicultural practices designed to promote oak...

  15. Salamander rods and cones contain distinct transducin alpha subunits.

    PubMed

    Ryan, J C; Znoiko, S; Xu, L; Crouch, R K; Ma, J X

    2000-01-01

    The mammalian retina is known to contain two distinct transducins that interact with their respective rod and cone pigments. However, there are no reports of a nonmammalian species having two distinct transducins. In the present study, we report the cloning and cellular localization of two transducin a subunits (G alpha t) from the tiger salamander. Through degenerate polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and subsequent screening of a salamander retina cDNA library, we have identified two forms of G alpha t. When compared to existing sequences in GenBank, the cloned subunits showed high similarity to rod and cone transducins. The salamander G alpha t-1 has 91.2-93.7% amino acid sequence identity to mammalian rod G alpha t subunits and 79.7-80.9% to mammalian cone Gats. The salamander G alpha t-2 has 86.2-87.9% sequence identity to mammalian cone G alpha ts and 78.9-80.9% to mammalian rod G alpha ts at the amino acid level. The G alpha t-1 cDNA encodes 350 amino acids while the G alpha t-2 cDNA encodes 354 residues, which is typical for rod and cone G alpha ts, respectively, and we thus identified the G alpha t- 1 as rod and G alpha t-2 as cone G alpha t. Sequences identified as effector binding sites and GTPase activity regions are highly conserved between the two subunits. Genomic Southern blot analysis showed that rod and cone G alpha t subunits are both encoded by single-copy genes. Northern blot analysis identified retina-specific transcripts of 3.0 kb for rod G alpha t and 2.6 kb for cone G alpha t. Immunohistochemistry in the flat-mounted salamander retina demonstrated that rod G alpha t is localized to rods, predominantly in the outer segments; similarly, cone G alpha t is localized to cone outer segments. The results confirm that the two sequences encode rod and cone transducins and demonstrate that this lower vertebrate contains two distinct transducins that are localized specifically to rod and cone photoreceptors.

  16. Deep divergences and extensive phylogeographic structure in a clade of lowland tropical salamanders

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The complex geological history of Mesoamerica provides the opportunity to study the impact of multiple biogeographic barriers on population differentiation. We examine phylogeographic patterns in a clade of lowland salamanders (Bolitoglossa subgenus Nanotriton) using two mitochondrial genes and one nuclear gene. We use several phylogeographic analyses to infer the history of this clade and test hypotheses regarding the geographic origin of species and location of genetic breaks within species. We compare our results to those for other taxa to determine if historical events impacted different species in a similar manner. Results Deep genetic divergence between species indicates that they are relatively old, and two of the three widespread species show strong phylogeographic structure. Comparison of mtDNA and nuclear gene trees shows no evidence of hybridization or introgression between species. Isolated populations of Bolitoglossa rufescens from Los Tuxtlas region constitute a separate lineage based on molecular data and morphology, and divergence between Los Tuxtlas and other areas appears to predate the arrival of B. rufescens in other areas west of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. The Isthmus appears responsible for Pliocene vicariance within B. rufescens, as has been shown for other taxa. The Motagua-Polochic fault system does not appear to have caused population vicariance, unlike in other systems. Conclusions Species of Nanotriton have responded to some major geological events in the same manner as other taxa, particularly in the case of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. The deep divergence of the Los Tuxtlas populations of B. rufescens from other populations highlights the contribution of this volcanic system to patterns of regional endemism, and morphological differences observed in the Los Tuxtlas populations suggests that they may represent an undescribed species of Bolitoglossa. The absence of phylogeographic structure in B. nympha, in contrast to the

  17. Significance of pre-Quaternary climate change for montane species diversity: insights from Asian salamanders (Salamandridae: Pachytriton).

    PubMed

    Wu, Yunke; Wang, Yuezhao; Jiang, Ke; Hanken, James

    2013-01-01

    Despite extensive focus on the genetic legacy of Pleistocene glaciation, impacts of earlier climatic change on biodiversity are poorly understood. Because amphibians are highly sensitive to variations in precipitation and temperature, we use a genus of Chinese montane salamanders (Salamandridae: Pachytriton) to study paleoclimatic change in East Asia, which experienced intensification of its monsoon circulation in the late Miocene associated with subsequent Pliocene warming. Using both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequences, we reconstruct the species tree under a coalescent model and demonstrate that all major lineages originated before the Quaternary. Initial speciation within the genus occurred after the summer monsoon entered a stage of substantial intensification. Heavy summer precipitation established temporary water connectivity through overflows between adjacent stream systems, which may facilitate geographic range expansion by aquatic species such as Pachytriton. Species were formed in allopatry likely through vicariant isolation during or after range expansion. To evaluate the influence of Pliocene warming on these cold-adapted salamanders, we construct a novel temperature buffer-zone model, which suggests widespread physiological stress or even extinction during the warming period. A significant deceleration of species accumulation rate is consistent with Pliocene range contraction, which affected P. granulosus and P. archospotus the most because they lack large temperature buffer zones. In contrast, demographic growth occurred in species for which refugia persist. The buffer-zone model reveals the Huangshan Mountain as a potential climatic refugium, which is similar to that found for other East Asian organisms. Our approach can incorporate future climatic data to evaluate the potential impact of ongoing global warming on montane species (particularly amphibians) and to predict possible population declines.

  18. Earthworms, as ecosystem engineers, influence multiple aspects of a salamander's ecology.

    PubMed

    Ransom, Tami S

    2011-03-01

    Ecosystem engineers create habitat that can be used by other species in multiple ways, such as refugees from predators, places to breed, or areas with increased prey resources. I conducted a series of enclosure experiments to: (1) determine if salamanders use earthworm burrows, and (2) examine the potential influence of earthworm burrow use and indirect effects on salamander intra- and interspecific competition, predator avoidance, and seasonal performance. I found that one species of woodland salamander, Plethodon cinereus, used earthworm burrows 50% of the time when burrows were present. Neither adults nor juveniles of the congeneric P. glutinosus used earthworm burrows. Intraspecific, but not interspecific, competition by P. cinereus affected salamander behavior when earthworms were absent, with P. cinereus found under cover objects >70% of the time when alone or with a P. glutinosus, but only 40% of the time when with another P. cinereus. When earthworms were present, the behavior of P. cinereus was similar across salamander treatments. Earthworms decreased the amount of leaf litter and microinvertebrates, although this did not affect salamander mass. In subsequent experiments using only P. cinereus, the refuge provided by earthworm burrows increased the survival of P. cinereus over the winter and allowed P. cinereus to avoid being consumed by the common garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis). Because earthworm burrows provide a refuge for P. cinereus during intraspecific encounters, in the presence of a predator and over the winter, they may serve as an important belowground-aboveground linkage in eastern forests where salamanders are common.

  19. Salamander paedomorphosis: linking thyroid hormone to life history and life cycle evolution.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Carlena K; Voss, S Randal

    2013-01-01

    Many salamanders have biphasic life cycles with aquatic larval and terrestrial adult phases. In these species, the transition between phases-metamorphosis-requires thyroid hormone (TH) activation of transcriptional programs that cause regression of larval traits and development of adult traits. During salamander evolution, TH signaling pathways have been altered in biphasic species to yield paedomorphic salamanders that retain larval traits and attain sexual maturity in larval aquatic habitats. We review literature concerning the ecology, evolution, and hormonal regulation of metamorphic, paedomorphic, and facultative salamander life histories. We then discuss recent microarray results that detail gene expression signatures of metamorphosis and paedomorphosis, and genetic results that establish TH responsiveness as a continuous trait with a quantitative trait locus (QTL) basis. TH-responsive QTL from ambystomatid salamanders explain variation in metamorphic timing, expression of metamorphosis versus paedomorphosis, and adult fitness traits. We propose a model for salamander life history evolution that links adaptation to aquatic habitats with TH-responsive loci that pleiotropically alter metamorphic timing and adult body size. Future studies that adopt genetic and genomic approaches will further establish salamanders as ideal models for investigating TH signaling mechanisms that regulate postembryonic development and the expression of alternate life histories.

  20. What Do Owls, Salamanders, Flycatchers and Cuckoos Have In Common?

    SciTech Connect

    Musgrave, Maria A.

    2016-09-27

    This is an article from the Los Alamos Living magazine. Los Alamos National Laboratory sits on a beautiful and unique landscape that provides important protected habitat to many species, including a few that are federally-listed as threatened or endangered. These species are the Jemez Mountains Salamander, the Mexican Spotted Owl, the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, the Yellow-billed Cuckoo, and the New Mexico Meadow Jumping Mouse. Part of the job of the Laboratory's wildlife biologists is to survey for these species each year and determine what actions need to be taken if they are found.

  1. Acid precipitation and embryonic mortality of spotted salamanders, Ambystoma maculatum.

    PubMed

    Pough, F H

    1976-04-02

    Spotted salamanders breed in temporary pools formed in early spring by melted snow and rain. Many of these pools reflect the low pH of precipitation in the northeastern United States. Egg mortality is low (less than 1 percent) in pools near neutrality, but high (greater than 60 percent) in pools more acid than pH 6. Developmental anomalies and the embryonic stage at which death occurs are the same in field situations as at corresponding pH's in laboratory experiments.

  2. Telocytes in ileum of the Chinese giant salamander: ultrastructural evidence.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hui; Zhong, Shengwei; Ge, Tingting; Peng, Shasha; Yu, Pengcheng; Zhou, Zuohong; Guo, Xiaoquan

    2016-03-01

    Telocytes (TCs) and their telopodes (Tps) have been found in various organs of many mammals, including in lower animals. However, knowledge of TCs in lower animals is still very limited. This study identified TCs and their Tps in the ileum of the Chinese giant salamander, Andrias davidianus (Amphibia: Caudata), by transmission electron microscopy. The TCs/Tps were found near epithelial cells, glandular cells and unmyelinated nerve fibres. Moreover, exosomes were also found to be present in between TCs/Tps and these cells.

  3. A field test of the effect of acidic rain on ion balance in a woodland salamander

    SciTech Connect

    Frisbie, M.P.; Wyman, R.L. )

    1994-06-01

    Earlier laboratory studies demonstrated that red-backed salamanders, Plethodon cinereus, are susceptible to osmotic disruption by low pH substrates. In natural systems, however, acidic input from precipitation may be mediated by soils before it impacts salamanders. We tested the effect of acidic rain on sodium balance in salamanders by confining individuals in enclosure in two forest types (hemlock, beech) for 34 d. Enclosures received artificial rain of either pH 3 or 5 every 3-4 d. Soils inside enclosures in the hemlock forest were more acidic than those in the beech forest at the outset. At termination, [H[sup +

  4. Extreme negative temperatures and body mass loss in the Siberian salamander (Salamandrella keyserlingii, amphibia, hynobiidae).

    PubMed

    Berman, D I; Meshcheryakova, E N; Bulakhova, N A

    2016-05-01

    Frozen Siberian salamander safely tolerates long (45 days) stay at-35°C. Short-term (3 days) cooling down to-50°C was tolerable for 40% of adult individuals; down to-55°C, for 80% of the underyearlings. Generally, the salamanders lose about 28% of the body mass during the pre-hibernating period (before winter, at temperatures as low as 0°C) and during the process of freezing (as low as-5°C). The body weight remained constant upon further cooling (to-35°C). The frozen salamanders have no physiological mechanisms protecting from sublimation.

  5. A new species of salamander (Caudata: Plethodontidae, Bolitoglossa) from Sierra Nevada de Mérida, Venezuela.

    PubMed

    García-Gutiérrez, Javier; Escalona, Moisés; Mora, Andrés; Díaz De Pascual, Amelia; Fermin, Gustavo

    2013-01-01

    In this article, a new species of salamander of the genus Bolitoglossa (Eladinea) from the cloud forest near La Mucuy in Sierra Nevada de Mérida, Venezuelan Andes, is described. Bolitoglossa mucuyensis sp. nov. differs from all Venezuelan salamanders, except B. orestes, by a larger SVL/TL ratio, and from La Culata salamander B. orestes by a reduced webbing extension of the front and hind limbs. Additionally, B. mucuyensis sp. nov. and B. orestes diverge 3.12% in terms of the nucleotide sequence of the 16S rRNA gene, as previously reported, and in 8.1% for the cytb gene as shown in this study.

  6. Science Review for the Scott Bar Salamander (Plethodon asupak) and the Siskiyou Mountains Salamander (P. stormi): Biology, Taxonomy, Habitat, and Detection Probabilities/Occupancy

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeGross, Douglas J.; Bury, R. Bruce

    2007-01-01

    The Plethodon elongatus Complex in the Klamath-Siskiyou Ecoregion of southern Oregon and northern California includes three species: the Del Norte salamander, Plethodon elongatus; the Siskiyou Mountains salamander, P. stormi; and the Scott Bar salamander, P. asupak. This review aims to summarize the current literature and information available on select topics for P. stormi and P. asupak. These are both terrestrial salamanders belonging to the Family Plethodontidae, which contains more species and has a wider geographic distribution than any other family of salamanders (Wake 1966, 2006; Pough 1989). The genera of this family have greatly diversified ecologically across North America, Central America, northern South America, Sardinia, southeastern France and northwestern Italy, and have recently been discovered on the Korean peninsula (Min et al. 2005). The genus Plethodon is found exclusively in North America and is split into three distinct clades, based upon morphology and phylogenetics (Highton and Larson 1979): eastern small Plethodon, eastern large Plethodon, and the western Plethodon. The western Plethodon are the greatest representation of Plethodontidae in the Pacific Northwest, with 8 species. The two species with the most restricted ranges of these regional congeners are the Siskiyou Mountains and Scott Bar salamanders. These salamanders occupy the interior of the Klamath-Siskiyou Ecoregion which straddles the California and Oregon state lines, between Siskiyou County (CA) and Jackson and Josephine Counties (OR). The relatively recent discovery of P. asupak (Mead et al. 2005) and the limited range of both species have created an environment of uncertain conservation status for these species. This review will focus on four central topics of concern for land and resource managers: Biology; Taxonomy; Habitat; and Detection Probabilities/Occupancy.

  7. Mitochondrial DNA.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wright, Russell G.; Bottino, Paul J.

    1986-01-01

    Provides background information for teachers on mitochondrial DNA, pointing out that it may have once been a free-living organism. Includes a ready-to-duplicate exercise titled "Using Microchondrial DNA to Measure Evolutionary Distance." (JN)

  8. Mitochondrial DNA.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wright, Russell G.; Bottino, Paul J.

    1986-01-01

    Provides background information for teachers on mitochondrial DNA, pointing out that it may have once been a free-living organism. Includes a ready-to-duplicate exercise titled "Using Microchondrial DNA to Measure Evolutionary Distance." (JN)

  9. Mitochondrial genetics

    PubMed Central

    Chinnery, Patrick Francis; Hudson, Gavin

    2013-01-01

    Introduction In the last 10 years the field of mitochondrial genetics has widened, shifting the focus from rare sporadic, metabolic disease to the effects of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation in a growing spectrum of human disease. The aim of this review is to guide the reader through some key concepts regarding mitochondria before introducing both classic and emerging mitochondrial disorders. Sources of data In this article, a review of the current mitochondrial genetics literature was conducted using PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/). In addition, this review makes use of a growing number of publically available databases including MITOMAP, a human mitochondrial genome database (www.mitomap.org), the Human DNA polymerase Gamma Mutation Database (http://tools.niehs.nih.gov/polg/) and PhyloTree.org (www.phylotree.org), a repository of global mtDNA variation. Areas of agreement The disruption in cellular energy, resulting from defects in mtDNA or defects in the nuclear-encoded genes responsible for mitochondrial maintenance, manifests in a growing number of human diseases. Areas of controversy The exact mechanisms which govern the inheritance of mtDNA are hotly debated. Growing points Although still in the early stages, the development of in vitro genetic manipulation could see an end to the inheritance of the most severe mtDNA disease. PMID:23704099

  10. [Mitochondrial myopathies].

    PubMed

    Finsterer, J

    2009-11-01

    The organ most frequently affected in mitochondrial disorders is the skeletal muscle (mitochondrial myopathy). Mitochondrial myopathies may be part of syndromic as well as non-syndromic mitochondrial disorders. Involvement of the skeletal muscle may remain subclinical, may manifest as isolated elevation of the creatine-kinase, or as weakness and wasting of one or several muscle groups. The course of mitochondrial myopathies is usually slowly progressive and only rarely rapidly progressive leading to restriction of mobility and requirement of a wheel chair or even muscular respiratory insufficiency. Frequently reported symptoms of mitochondrial myopathies are permanent tiredness, easy fatigability, muscle aching at rest or already after moderate exercise, muscle cramps, muscle stiffness, fasciculations and muscle weakness. The diagnosis is based on the history, clinical neurologic examination, blood chemical investigations, lactate stress test, electromyography, magnetic resonance imaging, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, muscle biopsy, biochemical investigations of the skeletal muscles, and genetic investigations. Only symptomatic therapy is available and includes physiotherapy and orthopedic supportive devices, diet, symptomatic drug therapy (analgetics, cramp-releasing drugs, antioxidants, lactate-lowering drugs, alternative energy sources, co-factors), avoidance of mitochondrion-toxic drugs, surgery (correction of ptosis or orthopedic problems), and invasive or non-invasive mechanical ventilation. General anesthesia needs to be performed in the same way as in patients with susceptibility for malignant hyperthermia. Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart, New York.

  11. Macrophages are required for adult salamander limb regeneration.

    PubMed

    Godwin, James W; Pinto, Alexander R; Rosenthal, Nadia A

    2013-06-04

    The failure to replace damaged body parts in adult mammals results from a muted growth response and fibrotic scarring. Although infiltrating immune cells play a major role in determining the variable outcome of mammalian wound repair, little is known about the modulation of immune cell signaling in efficiently regenerating species such as the salamander, which can regrow complete body structures as adults. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of immune signaling during limb regeneration in axolotl, an aquatic salamander, and reveal a temporally defined requirement for macrophage infiltration in the regenerative process. Although many features of mammalian cytokine/chemokine signaling are retained in the axolotl, they are more dynamically deployed, with simultaneous induction of inflammatory and anti-inflammatory markers within the first 24 h after limb amputation. Systemic macrophage depletion during this period resulted in wound closure but permanent failure of limb regeneration, associated with extensive fibrosis and disregulation of extracellular matrix component gene expression. Full limb regenerative capacity of failed stumps was restored by reamputation once endogenous macrophage populations had been replenished. Promotion of a regeneration-permissive environment by identification of macrophage-derived therapeutic molecules may therefore aid in the regeneration of damaged body parts in adult mammals.

  12. Iteroparity in the variable environment of the salamander Ambystoma tigrinum

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Church, D.R.; Bailey, L.L.; Wilbur, H.M.; Kendall, W.L.; Hines, J.E.

    2007-01-01

    Simultaneous estimation of survival, reproduction, and movement is essential to understanding how species maximize lifetime reproduction in environments that vary across space and time. We conducted a four-year, capture–recapture study of three populations of eastern tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum tigrinum) and used multistate mark–recapture statistical methods to estimate the manner in which movement, survival, and breeding probabilities vary under different environmental conditions across years and among populations and habitats. We inferred how individuals may mitigate risks of mortality and reproductive failure by deferring breeding or by moving among populations. Movement probabilities among populations were extremely low despite high spatiotemporal variation in reproductive success and survival, suggesting possible costs to movements among breeding ponds. Breeding probabilities varied between wet and dry years and according to whether or not breeding was attempted in the previous year. Estimates of survival in the nonbreeding, forest habitat varied among populations but were consistent across time. Survival in breeding ponds was generally high in years with average or high precipitation, except for males in an especially ephemeral pond. A drought year incurred severe survival costs in all ponds to animals that attempted breeding. Female salamanders appear to defer these episodic survival costs of breeding by choosing not to breed in years when the risk of adult mortality is high. Using stochastic simulations of survival and breeding under historical climate conditions, we found that an interaction between breeding probabilities and mortality limits the probability of multiple breeding attempts differently between the sexes and among populations.

  13. Evidence for Sex Chromosome Turnover in Proteid Salamanders.

    PubMed

    Sessions, Stanley K; Bizjak Mali, Lilijana; Green, David M; Trifonov, Vladimir; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm

    2016-01-01

    A major goal of genomic and reproductive biology is to understand the evolution of sex determination and sex chromosomes. Species of the 2 genera of the Salamander family Proteidae - Necturus of eastern North America, and Proteus of Southern Europe - have similar-looking karyotypes with the same chromosome number (2n = 38), which differentiates them from all other salamanders. However, Necturus possesses strongly heteromorphic X and Y sex chromosomes that Proteus lacks. Since the heteromorphic sex chromosomes of Necturus were detectable only with C-banding, we hypothesized that we could use C-banding to find sex chromosomes in Proteus. We examined mitotic material from colchicine-treated intestinal epithelium, and meiotic material from testes in specimens of Proteus, representing 3 genetically distinct populations in Slovenia. We compared these results with those from Necturus. We performed FISH to visualize telomeric sequences in meiotic bivalents. Our results provide evidence that Proteus represents an example of sex chromosome turnover in which a Necturus-like Y-chromosome has become permanently translocated to another chromosome converting heteromorphic sex chromosomes to homomorphic sex chromosomes. These results may be key to understanding some unusual aspects of demographics and reproductive biology of Proteus, and are discussed in the context of models of the evolution of sex chromosomes in amphibians.

  14. Atrazine increases ranavirus susceptibility in the tiger salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum.

    PubMed

    Forson, Diane Denise; Storfer, Andrew

    2006-12-01

    Pathogenic diseases and environmental contaminants are two of the leading hypotheses for global amphibian declines, yet few studies have examined the influence of contaminants on disease susceptibility. In this study, we examined effects of ecologically relevant doses of atrazine (0, 1.6, 16, and 160 microg/L), sodium nitrate (0, 6.8, 68 mg/L), and their interactions on susceptibility of four laboratory-bred tiger salamander families to Ambystoma tigrinum virus (ATV), a pathogen implicated in global amphibian die-offs. Salamanders were from Arizona populations where a coevolutionary history with ATV is supported, and thus cofactors rather than recent introduction may contribute to disease epizootics. Use of atrazine and nitrogenous fertilizers are ubiquitous; therefore, the impact of these cofactors on disease susceptibility is an important consideration. Atrazine and sodium nitrate significantly decreased peripheral leukocyte levels, suggesting an impact of these contaminants on the immune system. As expected from this result, atrazine significantly increased susceptibility of larvae to ATV infection. In contrast, nitrate had a marginally significant main effect and significantly decreased infection rate at the highest level. However, neither atrazine nor sodium nitrate had significant effects on viral copy number per individual. These results suggest that ecologically relevant concentrations of atrazine and nitrates have immunosuppressive effects, and atrazine may contribute to ATV epizootics, raising concerns about the influence of contaminants on diseases in general.

  15. Iteroparity in the variable environment of the salamander Ambystoma tigrinum.

    PubMed

    Church, Don R; Bailey, Larissa L; Wilbur, Henry M; Kendall, William L; Hines, James E

    2007-04-01

    Simultaneous estimation of survival, reproduction, and movement is essential to understanding how species maximize lifetime reproduction in environments that vary across space and time. We conducted a four-year, capture-recapture study of three populations of eastern tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum tigrinum) and used multistate mark-recapture statistical methods to estimate the manner in which movement, survival, and breeding probabilities vary under different environmental conditions across years and among populations and habitats. We inferred how individuals may mitigate risks of mortality and reproductive failure by deferring breeding or by moving among populations. Movement probabilities among populations were extremely low despite high spatiotemporal variation in reproductive success and survival, suggesting possible costs to movements among breeding ponds. Breeding probabilities varied between wet and dry years and according to whether or not breeding was attempted in the previous year. Estimates of survival in the nonbreeding, forest habitat varied among populations but were consistent across time. Survival in breeding ponds was generally high in years with average or high precipitation, except for males in an especially ephemeral pond. A drought year incurred severe survival costs in all ponds to animals that attempted breeding. Female salamanders appear to defer these episodic survival costs of breeding by choosing not to breed in years when the risk of adult mortality is high. Using stochastic simulations of survival and breeding under historical climate conditions, we found that an interaction between breeding probabilities and mortality limits the probability of multiple breeding attempts differently between the sexes and among populations.

  16. Sensitivity of two salamander (Ambystoma) species to ultraviolet radiation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Calfee, R.D.; Bridges, C.M.; Little, E.E.

    2006-01-01

    Increased ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation reaching the Earth's surface has been implicated in amphibian declines. Recent studies have shown that many amphibian species have differences in sensitivity depending on developmental stage. Embryos and larvae of Ambystoma maculatum (Spotted Salamander) and larvae of Ambystoma talpoideum (Mole Salamander) were exposed to five simulated UV-B treatments in controlled laboratory experiments to determine the relative sensitivity of different lifestages. Hatching success of the embryos exceeded 95% in all treatments; however, the larvae of both species exhibited greater sensitivity to UV-B exposure. Older larvae of A. maculatum that were not exposed to UV-B as embryos were more sensitive than larvae that had hatched during exposure to UV-B. Growth of surviving larvae of A. maculatum was significantly reduced as UV-B intensity increased, whereas growth of A. talpoideum was unaffected. These results were compared to ambient UV-B conditions in natural environments. It appears that the embryo stage is relatively unaffected by UV-B levels observed in natural habitats, probably because of protection from vegetation, organic matter in the water column, oviposition depth, and egg jelly. The larval stage of these species may be at greater risk, particularly if there is an increase in UV-B radiation exposure caused by increases in water clarity and/or decreases in dissolved organic carbon.

  17. Conservation genetics of the endangered Shenandoah salamander (Plethodon shenandoah, Plethodontidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carpenter, D.W.; Jung, R.E.; Sites, J.W.

    2001-01-01

    The Shenandoah salamander (Plethodon shenandoah) is restricted to three isolated talus outcrops in Shenandoah National Park, VA, USA and has one of the smallest ranges of any tetrapod vertebrate. This species was listed as endangered under the US Endangered Species Act in 1989 over concern that direct competition with the red-backed salamander (Plethodon cinereus), successional habitat changes, and human impacts may cause its decline and possible extinction. We address two issues herein: (1) whether extensive introgression (through long-term hybridization) is present between the two species and threatens the survival of P. shenandoah, and (2) the level of population structure within P. shenandoah. We provide evidence from mtDNA haplotypes that shows no genetic differentiation among the three isolates of P. shenandoah, suggesting that their fragmentation is a geologically recent event, and/or that the isolates are still connected by occasional gene flow. There is also no evidence for extensive introgression of alleles in either direction between P. cinereus and P. shenandoah, which suggests that P. shenandoah may not be in danger of being genetically swamped out through hybridization with P. cinereus.

  18. Telocytes in pancreas of the Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hui; Yu, Pengcheng; Zhong, Shengwei; Ge, Tingting; Peng, Shasha; Guo, Xiaoquan; Zhou, Zuohong

    2016-11-01

    Telocytes (TCs), novel interstitial cells, have been identified in various organs of many mammals. However, information about TCs of lower animals remains rare. Herein, pancreatic TCs of the Chinese giant salamanders (Andrias davidianus) were identified by CD34 immunohistochemistry (IHC) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The IHC micrographs revealed CD34(+) TCs with long telopodes (Tps) that were located in the interstitium of the pancreas. CD34(+) TCs/Tps were frequently observed between exocrine acinar cells and were close to blood vessels. The TEM micrographs also showed the existence of TCs in the interstitium of the pancreas. TCs had distinctive ultrastructural features, such as one to three very long and thin Tps with podoms and podomers, caveolae, dichotomous branching, neighbouring exosomes and vesicles. The Tps and exosomes were found in close proximity to exocrine acinar cells and α cells. It is suggested that TCs may play a role in the regeneration of acinar cells and α cells. In conclusion, our results demonstrated the presence of TCs in the pancreas of the Chinese giant salamander. This finding will assist us in a better understanding of TCs functions in the amphibian pancreas. © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Foundation for Cellular and Molecular Medicine.

  19. Functional organization of ganglion cells in the salamander retina.

    PubMed

    Segev, Ronen; Puchalla, Jason; Berry, Michael J

    2006-04-01

    Recently, we reported a novel technique for recording all of the ganglion cells in a retinal patch and showed that their receptive fields cover visual space roughly 60 times over in the tiger salamander. Here, we carry this analysis further and divide the population of ganglion cells into functional classes using quantitative clustering algorithms that combine several response characteristics. Using only the receptive field to classify ganglion cells revealed six cell types, in agreement with anatomical studies. Adding other response measures served to blur the distinctions between these cell types rather than resolve further classes. Only the biphasic off type had receptive fields that tiled the retina. Even when we attempted to split these classes more finely, ganglion cells with almost identical functional properties were found to have strongly overlapping spatial receptive fields. A territorial spatial organization, where ganglion cell receptive fields tend to avoid those of other cells of the same type, was only found for the biphasic off cell. We further studied the functional segregation of the ganglion cell population by computing the amount of visual information shared between pairs of cells under natural movie stimulation. This analysis revealed an extensive mixing of visual information among cells of different functional type. Together, our results indicate that the salamander retina uses a population code in which every point in visual space is represented by multiple neurons with subtly different visual sensitivities.

  20. Elevated plasma corticosterone increases metabolic rate in a terrestrial salamander.

    PubMed

    Wack, Corina L; DuRant, Sarah E; Hopkins, William A; Lovern, Matthew B; Feldhoff, Richard C; Woodley, Sarah K

    2012-02-01

    Plasma glucocorticoid hormones (GCs) increase intermediary metabolism, which may be reflected in whole-animal metabolic rate. Studies in fish, birds, and reptiles have shown that GCs may alter whole-animal energy expenditure, but results are conflicting and often involve GC levels that are not physiologically relevant. A previous study in red-legged salamanders found that male courtship pheromone increased plasma corticosterone (CORT; the primary GC in amphibians) concentrations in males, which could elevate metabolic processes to sustain courtship behaviors. To understand the possible metabolic effect of elevated plasma CORT, we measured the effects of male courtship pheromone and exogenous application of CORT on oxygen consumption in male red-legged salamanders (Plethodon shermani). Exogenous application of CORT elevated plasma CORT to physiologically relevant levels. Compared to treatment with male courtship pheromone and vehicle, treatment with CORT increased oxygen consumption rates for several hours after treatment, resulting in 12% more oxygen consumed (equivalent to 0.33 J) during our first 2h sampling period. Contrary to our previous work, treatment with pheromone did not increase plasma CORT, perhaps because subjects used in this study were not in breeding condition. Pheromone application did not affect respiration rates. Our study is one of the few to evaluate the influence of physiologically relevant elevations in CORT on whole-animal metabolism in vertebrates, and the first to show that elevated plasma CORT increases metabolism in an amphibian.

  1. Evolutionary basis of mitonuclear discordance between sister species of mole salamanders (Ambystoma sp.).

    PubMed

    Denton, Robert D; Kenyon, Laura J; Greenwald, Katherine R; Gibbs, H Lisle

    2014-06-01

    Distinct genetic markers should show similar patterns of differentiation between species reflecting their common evolutionary histories, yet there are increasing examples of differences in the biogeographic distribution of species-specific nuclear (nuDNA) and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variants within and between species. Identifying the evolutionary processes that underlie these anomalous patterns of genetic differentiation is an important goal. Here, we analyse the putative mitonuclear discordance observed between sister species of mole salamanders (Ambystoma barbouri and A. texanum) in which A. barbouri-specific mtDNA is found in animals located within the range of A. texanum. We test three hypotheses for this discordance (undetected range expansion, mtDNA introgression, and hybridization) using nuDNA and mtDNA data analysed with methods that varied in the parameters estimated and the timescales measured. Results from a Bayesian clustering technique (structure), bidirectional estimates of gene flow (migrate-n and IMa2) and phylogeny-based methods (*beast, bucky) all support the conclusion that the discordance is due to geographically restricted mtDNA introgression from A. barbouri into A. texanum. Limited data on species-specific tooth morphology match this conclusion. Significant differences in environmental conditions exist between sites where A. texanum with and without A. barbouri-like mtDNA occur, suggesting a possible role for selection in the process of introgression. Overall, our study provides a general example of the value of using complimentary analyses to make inferences of the directionality, timescale, and source of mtDNA introgression in animals.

  2. Salamander regeneration as a model for developing novel regenerative and anticancer therapies.

    PubMed

    Fior, Jonathan

    2014-01-01

    Among vertebrates, urodele amphibians are the only tetrapods with the ability to regenerate complex structures such as limbs, tail, and spinal cord throughout their lives. Furthermore, the salamander regeneration process has been shown to reverse tumorigenicity. Fibroblasts are essential for salamander regeneration, but the mechanisms underlying their role in the formation of a regeneration blastema remain unclear. Here, I review the role of fibroblasts in salamander limb regeneration and how their activity compares with that of human fibroblasts. In addition, the question of whether salamander blastema tissue could induce regeneration and tumor regression in animals with a limited regeneration ability is discussed. A deeper understanding of these processes may lead to the development of novel regenerative and anticancer therapies.

  3. Larval salamanders and channel geomorphology are indicators of hydrologic permanence in forested headwater streams

    EPA Science Inventory

    Regulatory agencies need rapid indicators of hydrologic permanence for jurisdictional determinations of headwater streams. Our study objective was to assess the utility of larval salamander presence and assemblage structure and habitat variables for determining stream permanence ...

  4. SPATIALLY AUTOCORRELATED DEMOGRAPHY AND INTERPOND MIGRATION IN THE CALIFORNIA TIGER SALAMANDER (AMBYSTOME CALIFORNIENSE)

    EPA Science Inventory

    We investigated the metapopulation structure of the California tiger salamander (Ambystoma californiense) using a combination of indirect and direct methods to evaluate two key requirements of modern metapopulation models: 1) that patches support somewhat independent populations ...

  5. Territories of male and female terrestrial salamanders: costs, benefits, and intersexual spatial associations.

    PubMed

    Mathis, Alicia

    1991-05-01

    I used a mark-recapture study to estimate home areas for 107 red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) in a natural forest habitat. Both males and females of this species defend feeding territories, but I presume that some individuals in this relatively highdensity population (approximately 2.8 salamanders per m(2)) are nonterritorial floaters. Although territorial salamanders exhibited greater numbers of tail autotomies, they had significantly longer relative tail lengths. This difference suggests that territorial individuals gain benefits from territorial ownership. From the observation that home area size was inversely correlated with body size, I infer that larger animals gained higher quality foraging areas. Home areas of adults were significantly more segregated intrasexually and more aggregated intersexually than would be expected from a random distribution. Furthermore, intersexual overlap of home areas was significantly greater than intrasexual home area overlap. Territorial defense of feeding areas by male and female red-backed salamanders therefore also may play a role in mating behavior.

  6. [Phylogenetic relationships among Asiatic salamanders of the genus Salamandrella based on variability of nuclear genes].

    PubMed

    Maliarchuk, B A; Derenko, M V; Denisova, G A

    2015-01-01

    Based on sequence variation of three nuclear genome genes (BDNF, POMC, and RAG1), the phylogenetic relationships among Asiatic salamanders of the genus Salamandrella, Siberian salamander (S. keyserlingii) and Schrenk salamander (S. schrenkii), were examined. Both species demonstrated high levels of heterozygosity determined by intraspecific polymorphism. Fixed interspecific differences were revealed at one nucleotide position of the RAG1 gene, and thus the level of interspecific divergence over the three genes constituted only 0.04%. Analysis of the RAG1 polymorphism across the whole range of S. keyserlingii showed that only one gene variant, encoding for modified RAG1 recombinase, had the highest distribution to the north of the Amur region (west and northeast of Siberia). It is possible that the changes in the RAG1 gene in Siberian salamander are of an adaptive nature. However, cases of interspecific hybridization were identified in Jewish autonomous oblast (JAO), which contains one of the range borders between the two Salamandrella species.

  7. Overwintered Bullfrog tadpoles negatively affect Salamanders and Anurans in native amphibian communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boone, M.D.; Little, E.E.; Semlitsch, R.D.

    2004-01-01

    We examined the interactive effects of overwintered Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) tadpoles and pond hydroperiod on a community of larval amphibians in outdoor mesocosms including American Toads (Bufo americanus), Southern Leopard Frogs (Rana sphenocephala), and Spotted Salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) - species within the native range of Bullfrogs. Spotted Salamanders and Southern Leopard Frogs were negatively influenced by the presence of overwintered Bullfrogs. Spotted Salamanders had shorter larval periods and slightly smaller masses at metamorphosis, and Southern Leopard Frogs had smaller masses at metamorphosis when reared with Bullfrogs than without. Presence of overwintered Bullfrogs, however, did not significantly affect American Toads. Longer pond hydroperiods resulted in greater survival, greater size at metamorphosis, longer larval periods, and later time until emergence of the first metamorphs for Southern Leopard Frog tadpoles and Spotted Salamander larvae. Our study demonstrated that overwintered Bullfrog tadpoles can respond to changing pond hydroperiods and can negatively impact metamorphosis of native amphibians.

  8. Larval salamanders and channel geomorphology are indicators of hydrologic permanence in forested headwater streams

    EPA Science Inventory

    Regulatory agencies need rapid indicators of hydrologic permanence for jurisdictional determinations of headwater streams. Our study objective was to assess the utility of larval salamander presence and assemblage structure and habitat variables for determining stream permanence ...

  9. SPATIALLY AUTOCORRELATED DEMOGRAPHY AND INTERPOND MIGRATION IN THE CALIFORNIA TIGER SALAMANDER (AMBYSTOME CALIFORNIENSE)

    EPA Science Inventory

    We investigated the metapopulation structure of the California tiger salamander (Ambystoma californiense) using a combination of indirect and direct methods to evaluate two key requirements of modern metapopulation models: 1) that patches support somewhat independent populations ...

  10. Diagnostic and molecular evaluation of three iridovirus-associated salamander mortality events

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Docherty, D.E.; Meteyer, C.U.; Wang, Jingyuan; Mao, J.; Case, S.T.; Chinchar, V.G.

    2003-01-01

    In 1998 viruses were isolated from tiger salamander larvae (Ambystoma tigrinum diaboli and A. tigrinum melanostictum) involved in North Dakota and Utah (USA) mortality events and spotted salamander (A. maculatum) larvae in a third event in Maine (USA). Although sympatric caudates and anurans were present at all three sites only ambystomid larvae appeared to be affected. Mortality at the North Dakota site was in the thousands while at the Utah and Maine sites mortality was in the hundreds. Sick larvae were lethargic and slow moving. They swam in circles with obvious buoyancy problems and were unable to remain upright. On the ventral surface, near the gills and hind limbs, red spots or swollen areas were noted. Necropsy findings included: hemorrhages and ulceration of the skin, subcutaneous and intramuscular edema, swollen and pale livers with multifocal hemorrhage, and distended fluid-filled intestines with areas of hemorrhage. Light microscopy revealed intracytoplasmic inclusions, suggestive of a viral infection, in a variety of organs. Electron microscopy of ultra thin sections of the same tissues revealed iridovirus-like particles within the inclusions. These viruses were isolated from a variety of organs, indicating a systemic infection. Representative viral isolates from the three mortality events were characterized using molecular assays. Characterization confirmed that the viral isolates were iridoviruses and that the two tiger salamander isolates were similar and could be distinguished from the spotted salamander isolate. The spotted salamander isolate was similar to frog virus 3, the type species of the genus Ranavirus, while the tiger salamander isolates were not. These data indicate that different species of salamanders can become infected and die in association with different iridoviruses. Challenge assays are required to determine the fish and amphibian host range of these isolates and to assess the susceptibility of tiger and spotted salamanders to

  11. Tiger salamanders' (Ambystoma tigrinum) response learning and usage of visual cues.

    PubMed

    Kundey, Shannon M A; Millar, Roberto; McPherson, Justin; Gonzalez, Maya; Fitz, Aleyna; Allen, Chadbourne

    2016-05-01

    We explored tiger salamanders' (Ambystoma tigrinum) learning to execute a response within a maze as proximal visual cue conditions varied. In Experiment 1, salamanders learned to turn consistently in a T-maze for reinforcement before the maze was rotated. All learned the initial task and executed the trained turn during test, suggesting that they learned to demonstrate the reinforced response during training and continued to perform it during test. In a second experiment utilizing a similar procedure, two visual cues were placed consistently at the maze junction. Salamanders were reinforced for turning towards one cue. Cue placement was reversed during test. All learned the initial task, but executed the trained turn rather than turning towards the visual cue during test, evidencing response learning. In Experiment 3, we investigated whether a compound visual cue could control salamanders' behaviour when it was the only cue predictive of reinforcement in a cross-maze by varying start position and cue placement. All learned to turn in the direction indicated by the compound visual cue, indicating that visual cues can come to control their behaviour. Following training, testing revealed that salamanders attended to stimuli foreground over background features. Overall, these results suggest that salamanders learn to execute responses over learning to use visual cues but can use visual cues if required. Our success with this paradigm offers the potential in future studies to explore salamanders' cognition further, as well as to shed light on how features of the tiger salamanders' life history (e.g. hibernation and metamorphosis) impact cognition.

  12. Estimation of stream salamander (Plethodontidae, Desmognathinae and Plethodontinae) populations in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jung, R.E.; Royle, J. Andrew; Sauer, J.R.; Addison, C.; Rau, R.D.; Shirk, J.L.; Whissel, J.C.

    2005-01-01

    Stream salamanders in the family Plethodontidae constitute a large biomass in and near headwater streams in the eastern United States and are promising indicators of stream ecosystem health. Many studies of stream salamanders have relied on population indices based on counts rather than population estimates based on techniques such as capture-recapture and removal. Application of estimation procedures allows the calculation of detection probabilities (the proportion of total animals present that are detected during a survey) and their associated sampling error, and may be essential for determining salamander population sizes and trends. In 1999, we conducted capture-recapture and removal population estimation methods for Desmognathus salamanders at six streams in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, USA. Removal sampling appeared more efficient and detection probabilities from removal data were higher than those from capture-recapture. During 2001-2004, we used removal estimation at eight streams in the park to assess the usefulness of this technique for long-term monitoring of stream salamanders. Removal detection probabilities ranged from 0.39 to 0.96 for Desmognathus, 0.27 to 0.89 for Eurycea and 0.27 to 0.75 for northern spring (Gyrinophilus porphyriticus) and northern red (Pseudotriton ruber) salamanders across stream transects. Detection probabilities did not differ across years for Desmognathus and Eurycea, but did differ among streams for Desmognathus. Population estimates of Desmognathus decreased between 2001-2002 and 2003-2004 which may be related to changes in stream flow conditions. Removal-based procedures may be a feasible approach for population estimation of salamanders, but field methods should be designed to meet the assumptions of the sampling procedures. New approaches to estimating stream salamander populations are discussed.

  13. Diagnostic and molecular evaluation of three iridovirus-associated salamander mortality events.

    PubMed

    Docherty, Douglas E; Meteyer, Carol U; Wang, Jun; Mao, Jinghe; Case, Steven T; Chinchar, V Gregory

    2003-07-01

    In 1998 viruses were isolated from tiger salamander larvae (Ambystoma tigrinum diaboli and A. tigrinum melanostictum) involved in North Dakota and Utah (USA) mortality events and spotted salamander (A. maculatum) larvae in a third event in Maine (USA). Although sympatric caudates and anurans were present at all three sites only ambystomid larvae appeared to be affected. Mortality at the North Dakota site was in the thousands while at the Utah and Maine sites mortality was in the hundreds. Sick larvae were lethargic and slow moving. They swam in circles with obvious buoyancy problems and were unable to remain upright. On the ventral surface, near the gills and hind limbs, red spots or swollen areas were noted. Necropsy findings included: hemorrhages and ulceration of the skin, subcutaneous and intramuscular edema, swollen and pale livers with multifocal hemorrhage, and distended fluid-filled intestines with areas of hemorrhage. Light microscopy revealed intracytoplasmic inclusions, suggestive of a viral infection, in a variety of organs. Electron microscopy of ultra thin sections of the same tissues revealed iridovirus-like particles within the inclusions. These viruses were isolated from a variety of organs, indicating a systemic infection. Representative viral isolates from the three mortality events were characterized using molecular assays. Characterization confirmed that the viral isolates were iridoviruses and that the two tiger salamander isolates were similar and could be distinguished from the spotted salamander isolate. The spotted salamander isolate was similar to frog virus 3, the type species of the genus Ranavirus, while the tiger salamander isolates were not. These data indicate that different species of salamanders can become infected and die in association with different iridoviruses. Challenge assays are required to determine the fish and amphibian host range of these isolates and to assess the susceptibility of tiger and spotted salamanders to

  14. Evaluation of terrestrial and streamside salamander monitoring techniques at Shenandoah National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jung, R.E.; Droege, S.; Sauer, J.R.; Landy, R.B.

    2000-01-01

    In response to concerns about amphibian declines, a study evaluating and validating amphibian monitoring techniques was initiated in Shenandoah and Big Bend National Parks in the spring of 1998. We evaluate precision, bias, and efficiency of several sampling methods for terrestrial and streamside salamanders in Shenandoah National Park and assess salamander abundance in relation to environmental variables, notably soil and water pH. Terrestrial salamanders, primarily redback salamanders (Plethodon cinereus), were sampled by searching under cover objects during the day in square plots (10 to 35 m2). We compared population indices (mean daily and total counts) with adjusted population estimates from capture-recapture. Analyses suggested that the proportion of salamanders detected (p) during sampling varied among plots, necessitating the use of adjusted population estimates. However, adjusted population estimates were less precise than population indices, and may not be efficient in relating salamander populations to environmental variables. In future sampling, strategic use of capture-recapture to verify consistency of p's among sites may be a reasonable compromise between the possibility of bias in estimation of population size and deficiencies due to inefficiency associated with the estimation of p. The streamside two-lined salamander (Eurycea bislineata) was surveyed using four methods: leaf litter refugia bags, 1 m2 quadrats, 50 x 1 m visual encounter transects, and electric shocking. Comparison of survey methods at nine streams revealed congruent patterns of abundance among sites, suggesting that relative bias among the methods is similar, and that choice of survey method should be based on precision and logistical efficiency. Redback and two-lined salamander abundance were not significantly related to soil or water pH, respectively.

  15. Local and landscape scale factors influencing edge effects on woodland salamanders.

    PubMed

    Moseley, Kurtis R; Ford, W Mark; Edwards, John W

    2009-04-01

    We examined local and landscape-scale variable influence on the depth and magnitude of edge effects on woodland salamanders in mature mixed mesophytic and northern hardwood forest adjacent to natural gas well sites maintained as wildlife openings. We surveyed woodland salamander occurrence from June-August 2006 at 33 gas well sites in the Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia. We used an information-theoretic approach to test nine a priori models explaining landscape-scale effects on woodland salamander capture proportion within 20 m of field edge. Salamander capture proportion was greater within 0-60 m than 61-100 m of field edges. Similarly, available coarse woody debris proportion was greater within 0-60 m than 61-100 m of field edge. Our ASPECT model, that incorporated the single variable aspect, received the strongest support for explaining landscape-scale effects on salamander capture proportion within 20 m of opening edge. The ASPECT model indicated that fewer salamanders occurred within 20 m of opening edges on drier, hotter southwestern aspects than in moister, cooler northeastern aspects. Our results suggest that forest habitat adjacent to maintained edges and with sufficient cover still can provide suitable habitat for woodland salamander species in central Appalachian mixed mesophytic and northern hardwood forests. Additionally, our modeling results support the contention that edge effects are more severe on southwesterly aspects. These results underscore the importance of distinguishing among different edge types as well as placing survey locations within a landscape context when investigating edge impacts on woodland salamanders.

  16. Reintroduction and Post-Release Survival of a Living Fossil: The Chinese Giant Salamander

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Lu; Jiang, Wei; Wang, Qi-Jun; Zhao, Hu; Zhang, Hong-Xing; Marcec, Ruth M.; Willard, Scott T.; Kouba, Andrew J.

    2016-01-01

    Captive rearing and reintroduction / translocation are increasingly used as tools to supplement wild populations of threatened species. Reintroducing captive-reared Chinese giant salamanders may help to augment the declining wild populations and conserve this critically endangered amphibian. We released 31 captive-reared juvenile giant salamanders implanted with VHF radio transmitters at the Heihe River (n = 15) and the Donghe River (n = 16) in the Qinling Mountains of central China. Salamanders were monitored every day for survival from April 28th 2013 to September 3rd 2014. We attempted to recapture all living individuals by the end of the study, measured their body mass and total body length, and checked for abnormalities and presence of external parasites. Two salamanders at the Heihe River and 10 animals at the Donghe River survived through the project timeline. Nine salamanders were confirmed dead, while the status of the other 10 animals was undetermined. The annual survival rate of giant salamanders at the Donghe River (0.702) was 1.7-fold higher than that at the Heihe River (0.405). Survival increased as individuals were held longer following surgery, whereas body mass did not have a significant impact on survival rate. All salamanders recaptured from the Donghe River (n = 8) increased in mass (0.50 ± 0.13 kg) and length (5.5 ± 1.5 cm) after approximately 11 months in the wild, and they were only 7% lighter than wild animals of the same length (mean residual = -0.033 ± 0.025). Our results indicate that captive-reared Chinese giant salamanders can survive in the wild one year after release and adequate surgical recovery time is extremely important to post-release survival. Future projects may reintroduce older juveniles to achieve better survival and longer monitoring duration. PMID:27258650

  17. Reintroduction and Post-Release Survival of a Living Fossil: The Chinese Giant Salamander.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lu; Jiang, Wei; Wang, Qi-Jun; Zhao, Hu; Zhang, Hong-Xing; Marcec, Ruth M; Willard, Scott T; Kouba, Andrew J

    2016-01-01

    Captive rearing and reintroduction / translocation are increasingly used as tools to supplement wild populations of threatened species. Reintroducing captive-reared Chinese giant salamanders may help to augment the declining wild populations and conserve this critically endangered amphibian. We released 31 captive-reared juvenile giant salamanders implanted with VHF radio transmitters at the Heihe River (n = 15) and the Donghe River (n = 16) in the Qinling Mountains of central China. Salamanders were monitored every day for survival from April 28th 2013 to September 3rd 2014. We attempted to recapture all living individuals by the end of the study, measured their body mass and total body length, and checked for abnormalities and presence of external parasites. Two salamanders at the Heihe River and 10 animals at the Donghe River survived through the project timeline. Nine salamanders were confirmed dead, while the status of the other 10 animals was undetermined. The annual survival rate of giant salamanders at the Donghe River (0.702) was 1.7-fold higher than that at the Heihe River (0.405). Survival increased as individuals were held longer following surgery, whereas body mass did not have a significant impact on survival rate. All salamanders recaptured from the Donghe River (n = 8) increased in mass (0.50 ± 0.13 kg) and length (5.5 ± 1.5 cm) after approximately 11 months in the wild, and they were only 7% lighter than wild animals of the same length (mean residual = -0.033 ± 0.025). Our results indicate that captive-reared Chinese giant salamanders can survive in the wild one year after release and adequate surgical recovery time is extremely important to post-release survival. Future projects may reintroduce older juveniles to achieve better survival and longer monitoring duration.

  18. Woodland salamander responses to a shelterwood harvest-prescribed burn silvicultural treatment within Appalachian mixed-oak forests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ford, W. Mark; Mahoney, Kathleen R.; Russell, Kevin R.; Rodrigue, Jane L.; Riddle, Jason D.; Schuler, Thomas M.; Adams, Mary Beth

    2015-01-01

    Forest management practices that mimic natural canopy disturbances, including prescribed fire and timber harvests, may reduce competition and facilitate establishment of favorable vegetative species within various ecosystems. Fire suppression in the central Appalachian region for almost a century has contributed to a transition from oak-dominated to more mesophytic, fire-intolerant forest communities. Prescribed fire coupled with timber removal is currently implemented to aid in oak regeneration and establishment but responses of woodland salamanders to this complex silvicultural system is poorly documented. The purpose of our research was to determine how woodland salamanders respond to shelterwood harvests following successive burns in a central Appalachian mixed-oak forest. Woodland salamanders were surveyed using coverboard arrays in May, July, and August–September 2011 and 2012. Surveys were conducted within fenced shelterwood-burn (prescribed fires, shelterwood harvest, and fencing to prevent white-tailed deer [Odocoileus virginianus] herbivory), shelterwood-burn (prescribed fires and shelterwood harvest), and control plots. Relative abundance was modeled in relation to habitat variables measured within treatments for mountain dusky salamanders (Desmognathus ochrophaeus), slimy salamanders (Plethodon glutinosus), and eastern red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus). Mountain dusky salamander relative abundance was positively associated with canopy cover and there were significantly more individuals within controls than either shelterwood-burn or fenced shelterwood-burn treatments. Conversely, habitat variables associated with slimy salamanders and eastern red-backed salamanders did not differ among treatments. Salamander age-class structure within controls did not differ from shelterwood-burn or fenced shelterwood-burn treatments for any species. Overall, the woodland salamander assemblage remained relatively intact throughout the shelterwoodburn

  19. Leaf litter bags as an index to populations of northern two-lined salamanders (Eurycea bislineata)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chalmers, R.J.; Droege, S.

    2002-01-01

    Concern about recent amphibian declines has led to research on amphibian populations, but few statistically tested, standardized methods of counting amphibians exist. We tested whether counts of northern two-lined salamander larvae (Eurycea bislineata) sheltered in leaf litter bags--a relatively new, easily replicable survey technique--had a linear correlation to total number of larvae. Using experimental enclosures placed in streams, we compared number of salamanders found in artificial habitat (leaf litter bags) with total number of salamanders in each enclosure. Low numbers of the animals were found in leaf litter bags, and the relative amount of variation in the index (number of animals in leaf litter bags compared to total number of animals in stream enclosures) was high. The index of salamanders in leaf litter bags was not significantly related to total number of salamanders in enclosures for two-thirds of the replicates or with pooled replicates (P= 0.066). Consequently, we cannot recommend using leaf litter bags to index populations of northern two-lined salamanders.

  20. Pathology, isolation, and preliminary molecular characterization of a novel iridovirus from tiger salamanders in Saskatchewan.

    PubMed

    Bollinger, T K; Mao, J; Schock, D; Brigham, R M; Chinchar, V G

    1999-07-01

    All iridovirus was confirmed to be the cause of an epizootic in larval and adult tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum diaboli) from four separate ponds in southern Saskatchewan (Canada) during the summer of 1997. This organism also is suspected, based on electron microscopic findings, to be the cause of mortality of larval tiger salamanders in a pond over 200 km to the north during the same year. Salamanders developed a generalized viremia which resulted in various lesions including: necrotizing, vesicular and ulcerative dermatitis; gastrointestinal ulceration; and necrosis of hepatic, splenic, renal, lymphoid, and hematopoietic tissues. In cells associated with these lesions, large lightly basophilic cytoplasmic inclusions and vacuolated nuclei with marginated chromatin were consistently found. Virus was isolated from tissue homogenates of infected salamanders following inoculation of epithelioma papilloma cyprini (EPC) cells. The virus, provisionally designated Regina ranavirus (RRV), was initially identified as an iridovirus by electron microscopy. Subsequent molecular characterization, including partial sequence analysis of the major capsid protein (MCP) gene, confirmed this assignment and established that RRV was a ranavirus distinct from frog virus 3 (FV3) and other members of the genus Ranavirus. Intraperitoneal inoculation of 5 x 10(6.23) TCID50 of the field isolate caused mortality in inoculated salamanders at 13 days post infection. Field, clinical, and molecular studies jointly suggest that the etiological agent of recent salamander mortalities is a highly infectious novel ranavirus.

  1. Mercury bioaccumulation in northern two-lined salamanders from streams in the northeastern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bank, M.S.; Loftin, C.S.; Jung, R.E.

    2005-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) bioaccumulation in salamanders has received little attention despite widespread Hg contamination of aquatic ecosystems and worldwide amphibian declines. Here we report concentrations of methyl Hg (MeHg) and total Hg in larval northern two-lined salamanders (Eurycea bislineata bislineata) collected from streams in Acadia National Park (ANP), Maine, and Bear Brook Watershed, Maine (BBWM; a paired, gauged watershed treated with bimonthly applications (25 kg/ha/yr) of ammonium sulfate [(NH4)(2)SO4]) since 1989), and Shenandoah National Park (SNP), Virginia. MeHg comprised 73-97% of total Hg in the larval salamander composite samples from ANP. At BBWM we detected significantly higher total Hg levels in larvae from the (NH4)(2)SO4 treatment watershed. At ANP total Hg concentrations in salamander larvae were significantly higher from streams in unburned watersheds in contrast with larval samples collected from streams located in watersheds burned by the 1947 Bar Harbor fire. Additionally, total Hg levels were significantly higher in salamander larvae collected at ANP in contrast with SNP. Our results suggest that watershed-scale attributes including. re history, whole-catchment (NH4)(2)SO4 additions, wetland extent, and forest cover type influence mercury bioaccumulation in salamanders inhabiting lotic environments. We also discuss the use of this species as an indicator of Hg bioaccumulation in stream ecosystems.

  2. Soil acidity affects distribution, behavior, and physiology of the salamander Plethodon cinereus

    SciTech Connect

    Wyman, R.L.; Hawksley-Lescault, D.S.

    1987-12-01

    Censuses at two sites in Delaware County, New York from spring 1981 through spring 1985 indicated that the density and distribution of Plethodon cinereus were influenced by soil pH but not by soil temperature or moisture. Of 1044 1-m/sup 2/ quadrats of forest litter searched, 284 had a pH of 3.7 or less and only 25 of these (8.8%) contained salamanders. Of 760 quadrats with a pH 3.8 or more, 386 (50.8%) contained salamanders. Juvenile salamanders were never found on soils with a pH less than or equal to 3.7. Seasonal salamander density was correlated (r = -0.92) with the percentage of quadrats with a pH of 3.7 and less. Salamanders apparently were excluded from 27% of forest habitat because of low soil pH. In the laboratory, P. cinereus preferred to occupy substrates near neutral pH when given a choice among three levels of substrate acidity. The acutely lethal pH was between 2.5 and 3 and the 8-mo chronically lethal pH was between 3 and 4. Growth and respiration were reduced at low pHs. The influence of soil pH on salamander distribution might fundamentally change the forest floor decomposer food web of which P. cinereus is an upper-level consumer.

  3. Mercury bioaccumulation in northern two-lined salamanders from streams in the northeastern United States.

    PubMed

    Bank, Michael S; Loftin, Cynthia S; Jung, Robin E

    2005-03-01

    Mercury (Hg) bioaccumulation in salamanders has received little attention despite widespread Hg contamination of aquatic ecosystems and worldwide amphibian declines. Here we report concentrations of methyl Hg (MeHg) and total Hg in larval northern two-lined salamanders (Eurycea bislineata bislineata) collected from streams in Acadia National Park (ANP), Maine, and Bear Brook Watershed, Maine (BBWM; a paired, gauged watershed treated with bimonthly applications (25 kg/ha/yr) of ammonium sulfate [(NH4)2SO4]) since 1989), and Shenandoah National Park (SNP), Virginia. MeHg comprised 73-97% of total Hg in the larval salamander composite samples from ANP. At BBWM we detected significantly higher total. Hg levels in larvae from the (NH4)2SO4 treatment watershed. At ANP total Hg concentrations in salamander larvae were significantly higher from streams in unburned watersheds in contrast with larval samples collected from streams located in watersheds burned by the 1947 Bar Harbor fire. Additionally, total Hg levels were significantly higher in salamander larvae collected at ANP in contrast with SNP. Our results suggest that watershed-scale attributes including fire history, whole-catchment (NH4)2SO4 additions, wetland extent, and forest cover type influence mercury bioaccumulation in salamanders inhabiting lotic environments. We also discuss the use of this species as an indicator of Hg bioaccumulation in stream ecosystems.

  4. Organisation of the spinal central pattern generators for locomotion in the salamander: biology and modelling.

    PubMed

    Chevallier, Stéphanie; Jan Ijspeert, Auke; Ryczko, Dimitri; Nagy, Frédéric; Cabelguen, Jean-Marie

    2008-01-01

    Among living tetrapods, salamanders are regarded as most closely resembling the first terrestrial vertebrates, and are therefore an interesting group in which the evolutionary changes in the locomotor behaviour from aquatic to terrestrial habitats can be inferred. Salamanders exhibit two locomotor modes: swimming and terrestrial stepping. The swimming is anguilliform and resembles closely that of the lamprey. On the ground, the salamander switches to a stepping gait with axial undulations that is also observed in many reptiles. The salamander is therefore ideally suited for examining the neural mechanisms for the generation of these two locomotor modes, as well as the neural mechanisms of gait transition. In the present paper, we describe the kinematics and patterns of activation of axial and limb muscles during stepping and swimming in adult salamanders. We then review the current neurobiological data about the organisation of the spinal networks underlying swimming and stepping, and the mechanisms of gait transition. Finally we report modelling studies aimed at understanding the organisation and operation of the salamander locomotor circuits. Altogether, the neurobiological and the modelling data support the hypothesis of a phylogenetic conservatism from agnathians to amphibians of the spinal locomotor networks generating axial motor patterns.

  5. Three decades of urbanization: Estimating the impact of land-cover change on stream salamander populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Price, S.J.; Dorcas, M.E.; Gallant, A.L.; Klaver, R.W.; Willson, J.D.

    2006-01-01

    Urbanization has become the dominant form of landscape disturbance in parts of the United States. Small streams in the Piedmont region of the eastern United States support high densities of salamanders and are often the first habitats to be affected by landscape-altering factors such as urbanization. We used US Geological Survey land cover data from 1972 to 2000 and a relation between stream salamanders and land cover, established from recent research, to estimate the impact of contemporary land-cover change on the abundance of stream salamanders near Davidson, North Carolina, a Piedmont locale that has experienced rapid urbanization during this time. Our analysis indicates that southern two-lined salamander (Eurycea cirrigera) populations have decreased from 32% to 44% while northern dusky salamanders (Desmognathus fuscus) have decreased from 21% to 30% over the last three decades. Our results suggest that the widespread conversion of forest to urban land in small catchments has likely resulted in a substantial decline of populations of stream salamanders and could have serious effects on stream ecosystems. ?? 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Detection of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in endemic salamander species from central Texas.

    PubMed

    Gaertner, James P; Forstner, Michael R J; O'Donnell, Lisa; Hahn, Dittmar

    2009-03-01

    A nested PCR protocol was used to analyze five endemic salamander species from Central Texas for the presence of the emerging pathogen, chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis). Chytrid fungus was detected from samples of each of the five species sampled: with low abundance, in the Texas salamander (Eurycea neotenes) (1 positive out of 16 individuals tested; 1/16), the Blanco River Springs salamander (E. pterophila) (1/20), the threatened San Marcos salamander (E. nana) (1/17), and the endangered Barton Springs salamander (E. sosorum) (1/7); much higher abundance was obtained for the Jollyville Plateau salamander (E. tonkawae) (6/14), which has recently been petitioned for addition to the USA endangered species list. With one exception, sequences of PCR products were identical to the 5.8S rRNA gene, and nearly so for the flanking internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions of B. dendrobatidis which confirmed the detection of chytrid fungus, and thus demonstrated the presence of this pathogen in populations of endangered species in Central Texas. These confirmations were obtained from nonconsumptive tail clippings which confirms the applicability of historically collected samples from other studies in the examination of the fungus across time.

  7. Predicted changes in climatic niche and climate refugia of conservation priority salamander species in the northeastern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sutton, William B.; Barrett, Kyle; Moody, Allison T.; Loftin, Cynthia S.; deMaynadier, Phillip G.; Nanjappa, Priya

    2015-01-01

    Global climate change represents one of the most extensive and pervasive threats to wildlife populations. Amphibians, specifically salamanders, are particularly susceptible to the effects of changing climates due to their restrictive physiological requirements and low vagility; however, little is known about which landscapes and species are vulnerable to climate change. Our study objectives included, (1) evaluating species-specific predictions (based on 2050 climate projections) and vulnerabilities to climate change and (2) using collective species responses to identify areas of climate refugia for conservation priority salamanders in the northeastern United States. All evaluated salamander species were projected to lose a portion of their climatic niche. Averaged projected losses ranged from 3%–100% for individual species, with the Cow Knob Salamander (Plethodon punctatus), Cheat Mountain Salamander (Plethodon nettingi), Shenandoah Mountain Salamander (Plethodon virginia), Mabee’s Salamander (Ambystoma mabeei), and Streamside Salamander (Ambystoma barbouri) predicted to lose at least 97% of their landscape-scale climatic niche. The Western Allegheny Plateau was predicted to lose the greatest salamander climate refugia richness (i.e., number of species with a climatically-suitable niche in a landscape patch), whereas the Central Appalachians provided refugia for the greatest number of species during current and projected climate scenarios. Our results can be used to identify species and landscapes that are likely to be further affected by climate change and potentially resilient habitats that will provide consistent climatic conditions in the face of environmental change.

  8. Plethodon cinerius (eastern red-backed salamander) movement

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sterrett, Sean; Brand, Adrianne; Fields, William R.; Katz, Rachel A.; Grant, Evan H. Campbell

    2015-01-01

    Lungless salamanders (family Plethodontidae) are relatively sedentary and are presumed to have limited dispersal ability (Marsh et al. 2004. Ecology 85:3396–3405). Site fidelity in Plethodontidae is high, and individuals displaced 90 m return to home territories (Kleeberger and Werner 1982. Copeia 1982:409–415). Individuals defend territories (Jaeger et al. 1982. Anim. Behav. 30:490–496) and female home ranges have been estimated to be 24.34 m2 (Kleeberger and Werner 1982, op. cit.). Females may seek out suitable subsurface habitat to oviposit eggs, yet little is known about their maximum movement distances (Petranka 1998. Salamanders of the United States and Canada. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington. 587 pp.).On 18 September 2014, a female P. cinereus (lead back morphotype; SVL = 44.68 mm; 0.89 g) was found under a coverboard during a standard sampling event and uniquely marked using visual implant elastomer at the S.O. Conte Anadromous Fish Research Center, Massachusetts, USA (42.59280°N, 72.58070°W, datum WGS84; elev. 74 m). This individual was subsequently recaptured at ~1500 h on 8 October 2014 under a coverboard within 3 m of the original capture location and then again ~1430 h on 16 October 2014 under a log, within the same forest patch, though in a 50 x 150 m area adjacent to the original study area. Because we found the marked salamander while collecting multiple individuals for a laboratory study, the exact recapture location of the marked individual is not known. However, the distance between the 8 October capture location and the nearest edge of the 16 October search area (i.e. 50 x 150 m) was 143 m, indicating a minimum movement distance. As far as we are aware, this is the longest recorded movement for P. cinereus by more than 53 m (Kleeberger and Werner 1982, op. cit.). This finding followed a rain event of 1.63 cm within 24 h and the second largest sustained rain event during October. The movement we observed may have been due to

  9. Cloning and functional characterization of salamander rod and cone arrestins.

    PubMed

    Smith, W C; Gurevich, E V; Dugger, D R; Vishnivetskiy, S A; Shelamer, C L; McDowell, J H; Gurevich, V V

    2000-08-01

    To clone, localize, and determine functional binding characteristics of rod and cone arrestins from the retina of the tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum). Two arrestins from salamander retina were cloned on the basis of their homology to known arrestins from other species. The expression pattern of these arrestins (SalArr1 and SalArr2) in the retina was determined by immunocytochemistry and in situ hybridization. SalArr1 and SalArr2 were expressed and functionally characterized. Both immunocytochemistry and in situ hybridization show that SalArr1 and SalArr2 localized specifically to rod and cone photoreceptors, respectively. SalArr1 demonstrated a characteristic high selectivity for light-activated phosphorylated rhodopsin (P-Rh*) and significant species selectivity, binding preferentially to amphibian rhodopsin over bovine rhodopsin. Mutant constitutively active forms of SalArr1 demonstrated a 2- to 4-fold increase in P-Rh* binding (compared with wild-type protein) and an even more dramatic (up to 25-fold) increase in binding to unphosphorylated Rh* and dark P-Rh. Constitutively active SalArr1 mutants also showed a reduced specificity for amphibian rhodopsin. The ability of Escherichia coli-expressed SalArr1, SalArr2, and an SalArr1-3A (L369A,V370A,F371A) mutant to bind to frog Rh* and P-Rh* and to compete with tritiated SalArr1 for amphibian P-Rh* was compared. SalArr1 and its mutant form bound to amphibian P-Rh* with high affinity (Ki = 179 and 74 nM, respectively), whereas the affinity of SalArr2 for P-Rh* was substantially lower (Ki = 9.1 microM). SalArr1 and SalArr2 are salamander rod and cone arrestins, respectively. Crucial regulatory elements in SalArr1 are conserved and play functional roles similar to those of their counterparts in bovine rod arrestin. Rod and cone arrestins are relatively specific for their respective receptors.

  10. Positional identity of adult stem cells in salamander limb regeneration.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Anoop; Gates, Phillip B; Brockes, Jeremy P

    2007-01-01

    Limb regeneration in larval and adult salamanders proceeds from a mound of mesenchymal stem cells called the limb blastema. The blastema gives rise just to those structures distal to its level of origin, and this property of positional identity is reset to more proximal values by treatment with retinoic acid. We have identified a cell surface protein, called Prod1/CD59, which appears to be a determinant of proximodistal identity. Prod1 is expressed in an exponential gradient in an adult limb as determined by detection of both mRNA and immunoreactive protein. Prod1 protein is up-regulated after treatment of distal blastemas with RA and this is particularly marked in cells of the dermis. These cells have previously been implicated in pattern formation during limb regeneration.

  11. Innovative techniques for sampling stream-inhabiting salamanders

    SciTech Connect

    T.M. Luhring; C.A. Young

    2006-01-01

    Although salamanders are excellent indicators of environmental health, the ability to catch them efficiently without substantially disrupting their habitat is not always practical or even possible with current techniques. Ripping open logs and raking leaf packs onto shore (Bruce 1972) are examples of such practices that are disruptive but widely used by herpetologists who have no other means of efficient collection. Drift fences with pitfall traps are effective in catching animals moving within or between habitats but are time consuming and require an initial financial investment and constant upkeep to maintain functionality and prevent animal fatalities (Gibbons and Semlitsch 1981). One current alternative to drift fences is the use of coverboards (Grant et al. 1992), which require less maintenance and sampling effort than drift fences. However, coverboards do not integrate captures over a long time period and often result in a lower number of captures per trap (Grant et al. 1992).

  12. Predator-prey relationships among larval dragonflies, salamanders, and frogs.

    PubMed

    Caldwell, J P; Thorp, J H; Jervey, T O

    1980-09-01

    Tadpoles of the barking tree frog, Hyla gratiosa, are abundant in spring and summer in some ponds and Carolina bays on the Savannah River Plant near Aiken, South Carolina. To determine how these tadpoles survive in the presence of predaceous salamander larvae, Ambystoma talpoideum, and larvae of an aeshnid dragonfly, Anax junius, we determined fields densities and sizes of the predators and the prey and conducted predation experiments in the laboratory. Tadpoles rapidly grow to a size not captured by Ambystoma, although Anax larvae can capture slightly larger tadpoles. Differing habitat preferences among the tadpoles and the two predator species probably aid in reducing predation pressure. Preliminary work indicates that the tadpoles may have an immobility response to an attack by a predator. In addition, the smallest, most vulnerable tadpoles have a distinctive color pattern which may function to disrupt the body outline and make them indiscernable to predators.

  13. Ambient ultraviolet radiation causes mortality in salamander eggs

    SciTech Connect

    Blaustein, A.R.; Edmond, B.; Kiesecker, J.M.

    1995-08-01

    Previous research has shown that amphibian species have differential sensitivity to ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation. In some anuran species, ambient levels of UV-B cause mortality in embryonic stages and hatching success is significantly reduced. Projected increases in UV-B may affect an increasing number of species. The adverse effects of UV-B may eventually be manifested at the population level and may ultimately contribute to population declines. Using field experiments, we investigated the effects of ambient UV-B on salamander (Ambystoma gracile) embryos developing at natural oviposition sites. We show that the hatching success of eggs of A. gracile shielded from UV-B is significantly higher than those not shielded from UV-B. 27 refs., 1 fig.

  14. Immunocytochemical analysis of photoreceptors in the tiger salamander retina.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jian; Wu, Samuel M

    2009-01-01

    In the tiger salamander retina, visual signals are transmitted to the inner retina via six morphologically distinct types of photoreceptors: large/small rods, large/small single cones, and double cones composed of principal and accessory members. The objective of this study was to determine the morphology of these photoreceptors and their synaptic interconnection with bipolar cells and horizontal cells in the outer plexiform layer (OPL). Here we showed that glutamate antibodies labeled all photoreceptors and recovering antibodies strongly labeled all cones and weakly labeled all rods. Antibodies against calbindin selectively stained accessory members of double cones. Antibodies against S-cone opsin stained small rods, a subpopulation of small single cones, and the outer segments of accessory double cones and a subtype of unidentified single cones. On average, large rods and small S-cone opsin positive rods accounted for 98.6% and 1.4% of all rods, respectively. Large/small cones, principle/accessory double cones, S-cone opsin positive small single cones, and S-cone opsin positive unidentified single cones accounted for about 66.9%, 23%, 4.5%, and 5.6% of the total cones, respectively. Moreover, the differential connection between rods/cones and bipolar/horizontal cells and the wide distribution of AMPA receptor subunits GluR2/3 and GluR4 at the rod/cone synapses were observed. These results provide anatomical evidence for the physiological findings that bipolar/horizontal cells in the salamander retina are driven by rod/cone inputs of different weights, and that AMPA receptors play an important role in glutamatergic neurotransmission at the first visual synapses. The different photoreceptors selectively contacting bipolar and horizontal cells support the idea that visual signals may be conveyed to the inner retina by different functional pathways in the outer retina.

  15. Immunocytochemical analysis of photoreceptors in the tiger salamander retina

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jian; Wu, Samuel M.

    2013-01-01

    In the tiger salamander retina, visual signals are transmitted to the inner retina via six morphologically distinct types of photoreceptors: large/small rods, large/small single cones, and double cones composed of principal and accessory members. The objective of this study was to determine the morphology of these photoreceptors and their synaptic interconnection with bipolar cells and horizontal cells in the outer plexiform layer (OPL). Here we showed that glutamate antibodies labeled all photoreceptors and recoverin antibodies strongly labeled all cones and weakly labeled all rods. Antibodies against calbindin selectively stained accessory members of double cones. Antibodies against S-cone opsin stained small rods, a subpopulation of small single cones, and the outer segments of accessory double cones and a subtype of unidentified single cones. On average, large rods and small S-cone opsin positive rods accounted for 98.6% and 1.4% of all rods, respectively. Large/small cones, principle/accessory double cones, S-cone opsin positive small single cones, and S-cone opsin positive unidentified single cones accounted for about 66.9%, 23%, 4.5%, and 5.6% of the total cones, respectively. Moreover, the differential connection between rods/cones and bipolar/horizontal cells and the wide distribution of AMPA receptor subunits GluR2/3 and GluR4 at the rod/cone synapses were observed. These results provide anatomical evidence for the physiological findings that bipolar/horizontal cells in the salamander retina are driven by rod/cone inputs of different weights, and that AMPA receptors play an important role in glutamatergic neurotransmission at the first visual synapses. The different photoreceptors selectively contacting bipolar and horizontal cells support the idea that visual signals may be conveyed to the inner retina by different functional pathways in the outer retina. PMID:18977238

  16. Goalpha labels ON bipolar cells in the tiger salamander retina.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jian; Wu, Samuel M

    2003-06-23

    By using double-label immunocytochemistry and confocal microscopy, we studied rod and cone synaptic contacts, photoreceptor-bipolar cell convergence, and patterns of axon terminal ramification of ON bipolar cells in the tiger salamander retina. An antibody to recoverin, a calcium-binding protein found in photoreceptors and other retinal neurons in various vertebrates, differentially labeled rods and cones by lightly staining rod cell bodies, axons, and synaptic pedicles and heavily staining cone cell bodies and pedicles. An antibody to G(oalpha) labeled most ON bipolar cells, with axon terminals ramified mainly in strata 6-9 and a minor band in stratum 3 of the inner plexiform layer (IPL). Stratum 10 of the IPL was G(oalpha) negative, and previous studies showed that axon terminals of rod-dominated ON bipolar cells are monostratified in that stratum. The axonal morphology of G(oalpha)-positive cells resembled that of the cone-dominated (DBC(C)) or mixed rod and cone ON (DBC(M)) bipolar cells. The G(oalpha)-positive dendritic processes made close contact with all cone pedicles and superficial contact with some rod pedicles, consistent with the idea that G(oalpha) subunits are present in DBC(C)s and DBC(M)s. The size and density of these cells were analyzed, and their spatial distributions were determined. To our knowledge, this is the first study to characterize photoreceptor inputs and axon terminal morphology of a population of ON bipolar cell with the use of a G(oalpha) antibody as an immunomarker in the salamander retina. Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  17. A connectionist central pattern generator for the aquatic and terrestrial gaits of a simulated salamander.

    PubMed

    Ijspeert, A J

    2001-05-01

    This article investigates the neural mechanisms underlying salamander locomotion, and develops a biologically plausible connectionist model of a central pattern generator capable of producing the typical aquatic and terrestrial gaits of the salamander. It investigates, in particular, what type of neural circuitry can produce and modulate the two locomotor programs identified within the salamander's spinal cord; namely, a traveling wave of neural activity for swimming and a standing wave for trotting. A two-dimensional biomechanical simulation of the salamander's body is developed whose muscle contraction is determined by the locomotion controller simulated as a leaky-integrator neural network. While the connectivity of the neural circuitry underlying locomotion in the salamander has not been decoded for the moment, this article presents the design of a neural circuit that has a general organization corresponding to that hypothesized by neurobiologists. In particular, the locomotion controller is based on a body central pattern generator (CPG) corresponding to a lamprey-like swimming controller, and is extended with a limb CPG for controlling the salamander's limbs. The complete controller is developed in three stages: first the development of segmental oscillators, second the development of intersegmental coupling for the making of a lamprey-like swimming CPG, and finally the development of the limb CPG and its coupling to the body CPG. A genetic algorithm is used to determine the parameters of the neural circuit for the different stages, given a high-level description of the desired state space trajectories of the different subnetworks. A controller is thus developed that can produce neural activities and locomotion gaits very similar to those observed in the real salamander. By varying the tonic (i.e. non-oscillating) excitation applied to the network, the speed, direction and type of gait can be varied.

  18. Declines in woodland salamander abundance associated with non-native earthworm and plant invasions.

    PubMed

    Maerz, John C; Nuzzo, Victoria A; Blossey, Bernd

    2009-08-01

    Factors that negatively affect the quality of wildlife habitat are a major concern for conservation. Non-native species invasions, in particular, are perceived as a global threat to the quality of wildlife habitat. Recent evidence indicates that some changes to understory plant communities in northern temperate forests of North America, including invasions by 3 non-native plant species, are facilitated by non-native earthworm invasion. Furthermore, non-native earthworm invasions cause a reduction in leaf litter on the forest floor, and the loss of forest leaf litter is commonly associated with declines in forest fauna, including amphibians. We conducted a mark-recapture study of woodland salamander abundance across plant invasion fronts at 10 sites to determine whether earthworm or plant invasions were associated with reduced salamander abundance. Salamander abundance declined exponentially with decreasing leaf litter volume. There was no significant relationship between invasive plant cover and salamander abundance, independent of the effects of leaf litter loss due to earthworm invasion. An analysis of selected salamander prey abundance (excluding earthworms) at 4 sites showed that prey abundance declined with declining leaf litter. The loss of leaf litter layers due to non-native earthworm invasions appears to be negatively affecting woodland salamander abundance, in part, because of declines in the abundance of small arthropods that are a stable resource for salamanders. Our results demonstrate that earthworm invasions pose a significant threat to woodland amphibian fauna in the northeastern United States, and that plant invasions are symptomatic of degraded amphibian habitat but are not necessarily drivers of habitat degradation.

  19. COI is better than 16S rRNA for DNA barcoding Asiatic salamanders (Amphibia: Caudata: Hynobiidae).

    PubMed

    Xia, Yun; Gu, Hai-Feng; Peng, Rui; Chen, Qin; Zheng, Yu-Chi; Murphy, Robert W; Zeng, Xiao-Mao

    2012-01-01

    The 5' region of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) gene cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) is the standard marker for DNA barcoding. However, because COI tends to be highly variable in amphibians, sequencing is often challenging. Consequently, another mtDNA gene, 16S rRNA gene, is often advocated for amphibian barcoding. Herein, we directly compare the usefulness of COI and 16S in discriminating species of hynobiid salamanders using 130 individuals. Species identification and classification of these animals, which are endemic to Asia, are often based on morphology only. Analysis of Kimura 2-parameter genetic distances (K2P) documents the mean intraspecific variation for COI and 16S rRNA genes to be 1.4% and 0.3%, respectively. Whereas COI can always identify species, sometimes 16S cannot. Intra- and interspecific genetic divergences occasionally overlap in both markers, thus reducing the value of a barcoding gap to identify genera. Regardless, COI is the better DNA barcoding marker for hynobiids. In addition to the comparison of two potential markers, high levels of intraspecific divergence in COI (>5%) suggest that both Onychodactylus fischeri and Salamandrella keyserlingii might be composites of cryptic species.

  20. Individual performance in relation to cytonuclear discordance in a northern contact zone between long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum) lineages.

    PubMed

    Lee-Yaw, Julie A; Jacobs, Chris G C; Irwin, Darren E

    2014-09-01

    Cytonuclear discordance in contact zones between related lineages is common, with mitochondrial clines often being displaced from clines in nuclear allele frequency. Proposed explanations for such a pattern include adaptive introgression of mtDNA or a neutral wake of mtDNA being left behind following hybrid zone movement. However, studies investigating these hypotheses are rare. Our previous survey of genetic variation in the long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum) highlighted a potential case of cytonuclear discordance between two lineages in western Canada. Here, we use additional markers and samples to clarify the extent of this discordance. We simultaneously assess the feeding performance of individuals in a common environment to test for an association between mitotype and individual performance. The genetic results confirm a general pattern of cytonuclear discordance in the focal region. However, we also observed more limited introgression of a diagnostic nuclear marker. Intriguingly, although there were differences in individual performance associated with the transition between mitotypes, these differences were not fully explained by mitotype. Instead, the lowest performance was observed in individuals demonstrating the greatest mismatch between mtDNA and all nuclear markers, suggesting the potential for cytonuclear incompatibilities to be acting. These results highlight the complexity of understanding the causes and consequences of mtDNA introgression and cytonuclear discordance in contact zones.

  1. THE POLYTYPIC SPECIES REVISITED: GENETIC DIFFERENTIATION AND MOLECULAR PHYLOGENETICS OF THE TIGER SALAMANDER AMBYSTOMA TIGRINUM (AMPHIBIA: CAUDATA) COMPLEX.

    PubMed

    Shaffer, H Bradley; McKnight, Mark L

    1996-02-01

    We present a phylogenetic analysis of the Ambystoma tigrinum complex, based on approximately 840 base pairs of mitochondrial-DNA sequence from the rapidly evolving D-loop and an adjacent intron. Our samples include populations of the continentally distributed species, A. tigrinum, plus all described species of Mexican ambystomatids. Sequence divergence is low, ranging from 0-8.5%, and most phylogenetic groupings are weakly supported statistically. We identified eight reasonably well-defined clades from the United States and Mexico, with the geographically isolated A. californiense from California as the probable sister group to the remaining taxa. Our sequence data are not capable of resolving the relationships among these clades, although the pattern of transitional-site evolution suggests that these eight lineages diverged during a period of rapid cladogenesis. We roughly calibrate a molecular clock and identify a few lineages that significantly deviate from the slow, baseline rate of 0.5-0.75% per million years. Our data also suggest that species boundaries for several U.S. and Mexican species need to be altered and that the concept of a continentally distributed, polytypic tiger salamander is not valid. © 1996 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  2. Multiple nuclear gene sequences identify phylogenetic species boundaries in the rapidly radiating clade of Mexican ambystomatid salamanders.

    PubMed

    Weisrock, David W; Shaffer, H Bradley; Storz, Brian L; Storz, Shonna R; Voss, S Randal

    2006-08-01

    Delimiting the boundaries of species involved in radiations is critical to understanding the tempo and mode of lineage formation. Single locus gene trees may or may not reflect the underlying pattern of population divergence and lineage formation, yet they constitute the vast majority of the empirical data in species radiations. In this study we make use of an expressed sequence tag (EST) database to perform nuclear (nDNA) and mitochondrial (mtDNA) genealogical tests of species boundaries in Ambystoma ordinarium, a member of an adaptive radiation of metamorphic and paedomorphic salamanders (the Ambystoma tigrinum complex) that have diversified across terrestrial and aquatic environments. Gene tree comparisons demonstrate extensive nonmonophyly in the mtDNA genealogy of A. ordinarium, while seven of eight independent nuclear loci resolve the species as monophyletic or nearly so, and diagnose it as a well-resolved genealogical species. A differential introgression hypothesis is supported by the observation that western A. ordinarium localities contain mtDNA haplotypes that are identical or minimally diverged from haplotypes sampled from a nearby paedomorphic species, Ambystoma dumerilii, while most nDNA trees place these species in distant phylogenetic positions. These results provide a strong example of how historical introgression can lead to radical differences between gene trees and species histories, even among currently allopatric species with divergent life history adaptations and morphologies. They also demonstrate how EST-based nuclear resources can be used to more fully resolve the phylogenetic history of species radiations.

  3. Range-wide phylogeography and conservation genetics of a narrowly endemic stream salamander, Pachyhynobius shangchengensis (Caudata, Hynobiidae): implications for conservation.

    PubMed

    Pan, T; Wang, H; Hu, C-C; Shi, W-B; Zhao, K; Huang, X; Zhang, B-W

    2014-02-13

    The Shangcheng stout salamander (Pachyhynobius shangchengensis) is an endangered amphibian endemic to the Dabie Mountains, southeast China, and is currently threatened by habitat loss and illegal poaching. Here we used the mitochondrial DNA control region sequence (768 bp) to conduct a comprehensive investigation of genetic diversity, phylogeographic pattern, and demographic history of the species across its geographic distribution to assist its conservation. We concluded that the levels of genetic variation are relatively low in all four populations. Analysis of molecular variance indicated that the most likely phylogeographic pattern is [JGT] [KHJ] [TM, BYM]. Two distinct clades were identified in the phylogenetic tree of 28 haplotypes, corresponding to the two southern populations (TM, BYM) and two northern populations (JGT, KHJ). Significant population differentiation (FST) was detected among all populations. Among the four populations, historical demographic analyses (e.g., the g parameter, the Tajima D test, and the Fu Fs test) did not reveal definite information on population expansion except for the BYM population, which had undergone a strong population expansion event. Based on the analysis of a Bayesian skyline plot, the total population underwent a significant population fluctuation around 20 kya. This may have been triggered by the end of the last glacial maximum. In conclusion, the existence of three evolutionarily significant units (BMY-TM, KHJ, and JGT) and four management units (BMY, TM, KHJ, and JGT) is supported by our study.

  4. Copiea - excretion rates of salamaders

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Stoichiometry of excreta and excretion rates of a stream-dwelling plethodontid salamander in Cincinnati, OH, USAThis dataset is associated with the following publication:Milanovich , J., and M. Hopton. Stoichiometry of excreta in larval stream salamanders: implications regarding the ecological roles of salamanders. FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY. Blackwell Publishing, Malden, MA, USA, 00, (2012).

  5. Hybridization during altitudinal range shifts: nuclear introgression leads to extensive cyto-nuclear discordance in the fire salamander.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Ricardo J; Martínez-Solano, Iñigo; Buckley, David

    2016-04-01

    Ecological models predict that, in the face of climate change, taxa occupying steep altitudinal gradients will shift their distributions, leading to the contraction or extinction of the high-elevation (cold-adapted) taxa. However, hybridization between ecomorphologically divergent taxa commonly occurs in nature and may lead to alternative evolutionary outcomes, such as genetic merger or gene flow at specific genes. We evaluate this hypothesis by studying patterns of divergence and gene flow across three replicate contact zones between high- and low-elevation ecomorphs of the fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra) that have experienced altitudinal range shifts over the current postglacial period. Strong population structure with high genetic divergence in mitochondrial DNA suggests that vicariant evolution has occurred over several glacial-interglacial cycles and that it has led to cryptic differentiation within ecomorphs. In current parapatric boundaries, we do not find evidence for local extinction and replacement upon postglacial expansion. Instead, parapatric taxa recurrently show discordance between mitochondrial and nuclear markers, suggesting nuclear-mediated gene flow across contact zones. Isolation with migration models support this hypothesis by showing significant gene flow across all five parapatric boundaries. Together, our results suggest that, while some genomic regions, such as the mitochondria, may follow morphologic species traits and retreat to isolated mountain tops, other genomic regions, such as nuclear markers, may flow across parapatric boundaries, sometimes leading to a complete genetic merger. We show that despite high ecologic and morphologic divergence over prolonged periods of time, hybridization allows for evolutionary outcomes alternative to extinction and replacement of taxa in response to climate change. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. IMPACT OF GUTHION ON SURVIVAL AND GROWTH OF THE FROG PSEUDACRIS REGILLA AND THE SALAMANDERS AMBYSTOMA GRACILE AND AMBYSTOMA MACULATUM

    EPA Science Inventory

    The effects of the insecticides Guthion (technical grade) and Guthion 2S(commercial formulation) on survival and growth of tadpoles of the Pacific treefrog Pseudacris regilla, and larvae of the Northwestern salamander Ambystoma gracile and the spotted salamander Ambystoma macula...

  7. 76 FR 44036 - Proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the California Tiger Salamander, AT&T Portable...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-07-22

    ... Salamander, AT&T Portable Generator Storage Facility, Yolo County, CA AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service... the construction of a portable generator storage facility located at 26120 County Road 6, Dunnigan, CA... for the California tiger salamander into a new storage facility for portable generators within the...

  8. Woodland salamander and small mammal responses to alternative silvicultural practices in the Southern Appalachians of North Carolina

    Treesearch

    W. Mark Ford; Michael A. Menzel; Timothy S. McCay; Jonathan W. Gassett; Joshua Laerm

    2000-01-01

    The effects of 2 years post-treatment of group selection and 2-aged timber harvests on woodland salamanders and mammals were assessed on stands in high elevation, southern Appalachian northern red oak (Quercus rubra)-flame azalea (Rhododendron calendulaceum) communities, in the Nantahala National Forest. We collected 4 salamander...

  9. Strategies for modeling habitat relationships of uncommon species: An example using the Siskiyou Mountains salamander (Plethodon stormi).

    Treesearch

    Hartwell H. Welsh; Howard Stauffer; David R. Clayton; Lisa M. Ollivier

    2007-01-01

    We analyzed environmental relationships of the Siskiyou Mountains salamander, comparing attributes at the landscape, macro- and micro-environmental scales, and the three scales combined, to determine which attributes best predicted salamander presence. Separate analyses were conducted for sites on the north and south sides of the Siskiyou Mountains which basically...

  10. Abundance of western red-backed salamanders (Plethodon vehiculum) in the Washington Coast Range after headwater stream-buffer manipulation

    Treesearch

    Randall J. Wilk; Jeffrey D. Ricklefs; Martin G. Raphael

    2014-01-01

    We evaluated the effect of forest riparian alternative tree buffer designs on Western Red-backed Salamanders (Plethodon vehiculum) along headwater stream banks in managed forests of the Washington Coast Range. We used pit trap live removals in early autumn to estimate relative abundances of surface-active salamanders before and after 3 levels of riparian buffer...

  11. Stream water temperature limits occupancy of salamanders in mid-Atlantic protected areas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Wiewel, Amber N. M.; Rice, Karen C.

    2014-01-01

    Stream ecosystems are particularly sensitive to urbanization, and tolerance of water-quality parameters is likely important to population persistence of stream salamanders. Forecasted climate and landscape changes may lead to significant changes in stream flow, chemical composition, and temperatures in coming decades. Protected areas where landscape alterations are minimized will therefore become increasingly important for salamander populations. We surveyed 29 streams at three national parks in the highly urbanized greater metropolitan area of Washington, DC. We investigated relationships among water-quality variables and occupancy of three species of stream salamanders (Desmognathus fuscus, Eurycea bislineata, and Pseudotriton ruber). With the use of a set of site-occupancy models, and accounting for imperfect detection, we found that stream-water temperature limits salamander occupancy. There was substantial uncertainty about the effects of the other water-quality variables, although both specific conductance (SC) and pH were included in competitive models. Our estimates of occupancy suggest that temperature, SC, and pH have some importance in structuring stream salamander distribution.

  12. Estimating superpopulation size and annual probability of breeding for pond-breeding salamanders

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kinkead, K.E.; Otis, D.L.

    2007-01-01

    It has long been accepted that amphibians can skip breeding in any given year, and environmental conditions act as a cue for breeding. In this paper, we quantify temporary emigration or nonbreeding probability for mole and spotted salamanders (Ambystoma talpoideum and A. maculatum). We estimated that 70% of mole salamanders may skip breeding during an average rainfall year and 90% may skip during a drought year. Spotted salamanders may be more likely to breed, with only 17% avoiding the breeding pond during an average rainfall year. We illustrate how superpopulations can be estimated using temporary emigration probability estimates. The superpopulation is the total number of salamanders associated with a given breeding pond. Although most salamanders stay within a certain distance of a breeding pond for the majority of their life spans, it is difficult to determine true overall population sizes for a given site if animals are only captured during a brief time frame each year with some animals unavailable for capture at any time during a given year. ?? 2007 by The Herpetologists' League, Inc.

  13. Anatomy, function, and evolution of jaw and hyobranchial muscles in cryptobranchoid salamander larvae.

    PubMed

    Kleinteich, Thomas; Herzen, Julia; Beckmann, Felix; Matsui, Masafumi; Haas, Alexander

    2014-02-01

    Larval salamanders (Lissamphibia: Caudata) are known to be effective suction feeders in their aquatic environments, although they will eventually transform into terrestrial tongue feeding adults during metamorphosis. Early tetrapods may have had a similar biphasic life cycle and this makes larval salamanders a particularly interesting model to study the anatomy, function, development, and evolution of the feeding apparatus in terrestrial vertebrates. Here, we provide a description of the muscles that are involved in the feeding strike in salamander larvae of the Hynobiidae and compare them to larvae of the paedomorphic Cryptobranchidae. We provide a functional and evolutionary interpretation for the observed muscle characters. The cranial muscles in larvae from species of the Hynobiidae and Cryptobranchidae are generally very similar. Most notable are the differences in the presence of the m. hyomandibularis, a muscle that connects the hyobranchial apparatus with the lower jaw. We found this muscle only in Onychodactylus japonicus (Hynobiidae) but not in other hynobiid or cryptobranchid salamanders. Interestingly, the m. hyomandibularis in O. japonicus originates from the ceratobranchial I and not the ceratohyal, and thus exhibits what was previously assumed to be the derived condition. Finally, we applied a biomechanical model to simulate suction feeding in larval salamanders. We provide evidence that a flattened shape of the hyobranchial apparatus in its resting position is beneficial for a fast and successful suction feeding strike. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Hybrid vigor between native and introduced salamanders raises new challenges for conservation.

    PubMed

    Fitzpatrick, Benjamin M; Shaffer, H Bradley

    2007-10-02

    Hybridization between differentiated lineages can have many different consequences depending on fitness variation among hybrid offspring. When introduced organisms hybridize with natives, the ensuing evolutionary dynamics may substantially complicate conservation decisions. Understanding the fitness consequences of hybridization is an important first step in predicting its evolutionary outcome and conservation impact. Here, we measured natural selection caused by differential viability of hybrid larvae in wild populations where native California Tiger Salamanders (Ambystoma californiense) and introduced Barred Tiger Salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum mavortium) have been hybridizing for 50-60 years. We found strong evidence of hybrid vigor; mixed-ancestry genotypes had higher survival rates than genotypes containing mostly native or mostly introduced alleles. Hybrid vigor may be caused by heterozygote advantage (overdominance) or recombinant hybrid vigor (due to epistasis or complementation). These genetic mechanisms are not mutually exclusive, and we find statistical support for both overdominant and recombinant contributions to hybrid vigor in larval tiger salamanders. Because recombinant homozygous genotypes can breed true, a single highly fit genotype with a mosaic of native and introduced alleles may eventually replace the historically pure California Tiger Salamander (listed as Threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act). The management implications of this outcome are complex: Genetically pure populations may not persist into the future, but average fitness and population viability of admixed California Tiger Salamanders may be enhanced. The ecological consequences for other native species are unknown.

  15. Salamanders increase their feeding activity when infected with the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    PubMed

    Hess, Alexandra; McAllister, Caroline; DeMarchi, Joseph; Zidek, Makenzie; Murone, Julie; Venesky, Matthew D

    2015-10-27

    Immune function is a costly line of defense against parasitism. When infected with a parasite, hosts frequently lose mass due to these costs. However, some infected hosts (e.g. highly resistant individuals) can clear infections with seemingly little fitness losses, but few studies have tested how resistant hosts mitigate these costly immune defenses. We explored this topic using eastern red-backed salamanders Plethodon cinereus and the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Bd is generally lethal for amphibians, and stereotypical symptoms of infection include loss in mass and deficits in feeding. However, individuals of P. cinereus can clear their Bd infections with seemingly few fitness costs. We conducted an experiment in which we repeatedly observed the feeding activity of Bd-infected and non-infected salamanders. We found that Bd-infected salamanders generally increased their feeding activity compared to non-infected salamanders. The fact that we did not observe any differences in mass change between the treatments suggests that increased feeding might help Bd-infected salamanders minimize the costs of an effective immune response.

  16. Molecular characterization of major histocompatibility complex class II alleles in wild tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum).

    PubMed

    Bos, David H; DeWoody, J Andrew

    2005-11-01

    Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II genes are usually among the most polymorphic in vertebrate genomes because of their critical role (antigen presentation) in immune response. Prior to this study, the MHC was poorly characterized in tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum), but the congeneric axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is thought to have an unusual MHC. Most notably, axolotl class II genes lack allelic variation and possess a splice variant without a full peptide binding region (PBR). The axolotl is considered immunodeficient, but it is unclear how or to what extent MHC genetics and immunodeficiency are interrelated. To study the evolution of MHC genes in urodele amphibians, we describe for the first time an expressed polymorphic class II gene in wild tiger salamanders. We sequenced the PBR of a class II gene from wild A. tigrinum (n=33) and identified nine distinct alleles. Observed heterozygosity was 73%, and there were a total of 46 polymorphic sites, most of which correspond to amino acid positions that bind peptides. Patterns of nucleotide substitutions exhibit the signature of diversifying selection, but no recombination was detected. Not surprisingly, trans-species evolution of tiger salamander and axolotl class II alleles was apparent. We have no direct data on the immunodeficiency of tiger salamanders, but the levels of polymorphism in our study population should suffice to bind a variety of foreign peptides (unlike axolotls). Our tiger salamander data suggest that the monomorphism and immunodeficiencies associated with axolotl class II genes is a relic of their unique historical demography, not their phylogenetic legacy.

  17. Genetic drift and mutational hazard in the evolution of salamander genomic gigantism.

    PubMed

    Mohlhenrich, Erik Roger; Mueller, Rachel Lockridge

    2016-12-01

    Salamanders have the largest nuclear genomes among tetrapods and, excepting lungfishes, among vertebrates as a whole. Lynch and Conery (2003) have proposed the mutational-hazard hypothesis to explain variation in genome size and complexity. Under this hypothesis, noncoding DNA imposes a selective cost by increasing the target for degenerative mutations (i.e., the mutational hazard). Expansion of noncoding DNA, and thus genome size, is driven by increased levels of genetic drift and/or decreased mutation rates; the former determines the efficiency with which purifying selection can remove excess DNA, whereas the latter determines the level of mutational hazard. Here, we test the hypothesis that salamanders have experienced stronger long-term, persistent genetic drift than frogs, a related clade with more typically sized vertebrate genomes. To test this hypothesis, we compared dN/dS and Kr/Kc values of protein-coding genes between these clades. Our results do not support this hypothesis; we find that salamanders have not experienced stronger genetic drift than frogs. Additionally, we find evidence consistent with a lower nucleotide substitution rate in salamanders. This result, along with previous work showing lower rates of small deletion and ectopic recombination in salamanders, suggests that a lower mutational hazard may contribute to genomic gigantism in this clade. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution © 2016 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  18. Larval long-toed salamanders incur nonconsumptive effects in the presence of nonnative trout

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kenison, Erin K.; Litt, Andrea R.; Pilliod, David; McMahon, Thomas E.

    2016-01-01

    Predators can influence prey directly through consumption or indirectly through nonconsumptive effects (NCEs) by altering prey behavior, morphology, and life history. We investigated whether predator-avoidance behaviors by larval long-toed salamanders (Ambystoma macrodactylum) in lakes with nonnative trout result in NCEs on morphology and development. Field studies in lakes with and without trout were corroborated by experimental enclosures, where prey were exposed only to visual and chemical cues of predators. We found that salamanders in lakes with trout were consistently smaller than in lakes without trout: 38% lower weight, 24% shorter body length, and 29% shorter tail length. Similarly, salamanders in protective enclosures grew 2.9 times slower when exposed to visual and olfactory trout cues than when no trout cues were present. Salamanders in trout-free lakes and enclosures were 22.7 times and 1.48 times, respectively, more likely to metamorphose during the summer season than those exposed to trout in lakes and/or their cues. Observed changes in larval growth rate and development likely resulted from a facultative response to predator-avoidance behavior and demonstrate NCEs occurred even when predation risk was only perceived. Reduced body size and growth, as well as delayed metamorphosis, could have ecological consequences for salamander populations existing with fish if those effects carry-over into lower recruitment, survival, and fecundity.

  19. Hybrid vigor between native and introduced salamanders raises new challenges for conservation

    PubMed Central

    Fitzpatrick, Benjamin M.; Shaffer, H. Bradley

    2007-01-01

    Hybridization between differentiated lineages can have many different consequences depending on fitness variation among hybrid offspring. When introduced organisms hybridize with natives, the ensuing evolutionary dynamics may substantially complicate conservation decisions. Understanding the fitness consequences of hybridization is an important first step in predicting its evolutionary outcome and conservation impact. Here, we measured natural selection caused by differential viability of hybrid larvae in wild populations where native California Tiger Salamanders (Ambystoma californiense) and introduced Barred Tiger Salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum mavortium) have been hybridizing for 50–60 years. We found strong evidence of hybrid vigor; mixed-ancestry genotypes had higher survival rates than genotypes containing mostly native or mostly introduced alleles. Hybrid vigor may be caused by heterozygote advantage (overdominance) or recombinant hybrid vigor (due to epistasis or complementation). These genetic mechanisms are not mutually exclusive, and we find statistical support for both overdominant and recombinant contributions to hybrid vigor in larval tiger salamanders. Because recombinant homozygous genotypes can breed true, a single highly fit genotype with a mosaic of native and introduced alleles may eventually replace the historically pure California Tiger Salamander (listed as Threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act). The management implications of this outcome are complex: Genetically pure populations may not persist into the future, but average fitness and population viability of admixed California Tiger Salamanders may be enhanced. The ecological consequences for other native species are unknown. PMID:17884982

  20. Decoding the mechanisms of gait generation in salamanders by combining neurobiology, modeling and robotics.

    PubMed

    Bicanski, Andrej; Ryczko, Dimitri; Knuesel, Jérémie; Harischandra, Nalin; Charrier, Vanessa; Ekeberg, Örjan; Cabelguen, Jean-Marie; Ijspeert, Auke Jan

    2013-10-01

    Vertebrate animals exhibit impressive locomotor skills. These locomotor skills are due to the complex interactions between the environment, the musculo-skeletal system and the central nervous system, in particular the spinal locomotor circuits. We are interested in decoding these interactions in the salamander, a key animal from an evolutionary point of view. It exhibits both swimming and stepping gaits and is faced with the problem of producing efficient propulsive forces using the same musculo-skeletal system in two environments with significant physical differences in density, viscosity and gravitational load. Yet its nervous system remains comparatively simple. Our approach is based on a combination of neurophysiological experiments, numerical modeling at different levels of abstraction, and robotic validation using an amphibious salamander-like robot. This article reviews the current state of our knowledge on salamander locomotion control, and presents how our approach has allowed us to obtain a first conceptual model of the salamander spinal locomotor networks. The model suggests that the salamander locomotor circuit can be seen as a lamprey-like circuit controlling axial movements of the trunk and tail, extended by specialized oscillatory centers controlling limb movements. The interplay between the two types of circuits determines the mode of locomotion under the influence of sensory feedback and descending drive, with stepping gaits at low drive, and swimming at high drive.

  1. Sequence capture and next-generation sequencing of ultraconserved elements in a large-genome salamander.

    PubMed

    Newman, Catherine E; Austin, Christopher C

    2016-12-01

    Amidst the rapid advancement in next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology over the last few years, salamanders have been left behind. Salamanders have enormous genomes-up to 40 times the size of the human genome-and this poses challenges to generating NGS data sets of quality and quantity similar to those of other vertebrates. However, optimization of laboratory protocols is time-consuming and often cost prohibitive, and continued omission of salamanders from novel phylogeographic research is detrimental to species facing decline. Here, we use a salamander endemic to the southeastern United States, Plethodon serratus, to test the utility of an established protocol for sequence capture of ultraconserved elements (UCEs) in resolving intraspecific phylogeographic relationships and delimiting cryptic species. Without modifying the standard laboratory protocol, we generated a data set consisting of over 600 million reads for 85 P. serratus samples. Species delimitation analyses support recognition of seven species within P. serratus sensu lato, and all phylogenetic relationships among the seven species are fully resolved under a coalescent model. Results also corroborate previous data suggesting nonmonophyly of the Ouachita and Louisiana regions. Our results demonstrate that established UCE protocols can successfully be used in phylogeographic studies of salamander species, providing a powerful tool for future research on evolutionary history of amphibians and other organisms with large genomes.

  2. Survey of Pathogenic Chytrid Fungi (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and B. salamandrivorans) in Salamanders from Three Mountain Ranges in Europe and the Americas.

    PubMed

    Parrott, Joshua Curtis; Shepack, Alexander; Burkart, David; LaBumbard, Brandon; Scimè, Patrick; Baruch, Ethan; Catenazzi, Alessandro

    2017-06-01

    Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) is a virulent fungal pathogen that infects salamanders. It is implicated in the recent collapse of several populations of fire salamanders in Europe. This pathogen seems much like that of its sister species, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the agent responsible for anuran extinctions and extirpations worldwide, and is considered to be an emerging global threat to salamander communities. Bsal thrives at temperatures found in many mountainous regions rich in salamander species; because of this, we have screened specimens of salamanders representing 17 species inhabiting mountain ranges in three continents: The Smoky Mountains, the Swiss Alps, and the Peruvian Andes. We screened 509 salamanders, with 192 representing New World salamanders that were never tested for Bsal previously. Bsal was not detected, and Bd was mostly present at low prevalence except for one site in the Andes.

  3. What Is Mitochondrial DNA?

    MedlinePlus

    ... DNA What is mitochondrial DNA? What is mitochondrial DNA? Although most DNA is packaged in chromosomes within ... proteins. For more information about mitochondria and mitochondrial DNA: Molecular Expressions, a web site from the Florida ...

  4. Fundamental differences in dedifferentiation and stem cell recruitment during skeletal muscle regeneration in two salamander species.

    PubMed

    Sandoval-Guzmán, Tatiana; Wang, Heng; Khattak, Shahryar; Schuez, Maritta; Roensch, Kathleen; Nacu, Eugeniu; Tazaki, Akira; Joven, Alberto; Tanaka, Elly M; Simon, András

    2014-02-06

    Salamanders regenerate appendages via a progenitor pool called the blastema. The cellular mechanisms underlying regeneration of muscle have been much debated but have remained unclear. Here we applied Cre-loxP genetic fate mapping to skeletal muscle during limb regeneration in two salamander species, Notophthalmus viridescens (newt) and Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl). Remarkably, we found that myofiber dedifferentiation is an integral part of limb regeneration in the newt, but not in axolotl. In the newt, myofiber fragmentation results in proliferating, PAX7(-) mononuclear cells in the blastema that give rise to the skeletal muscle in the new limb. In contrast, myofibers in axolotl do not generate proliferating cells, and do not contribute to newly regenerated muscle; instead, resident PAX7(+) cells provide the regeneration activity. Our results therefore show significant diversity in limb muscle regeneration mechanisms among salamanders and suggest that multiple strategies may be feasible for inducing regeneration in other species, including mammals.

  5. Salamander limb regeneration involves the activation of a multipotent skeletal muscle satellite cell population.

    PubMed

    Morrison, Jamie I; Lööf, Sara; He, Pingping; Simon, András

    2006-01-30

    In contrast to mammals, salamanders can regenerate complex structures after injury, including entire limbs. A central question is whether the generation of progenitor cells during limb regeneration and mammalian tissue repair occur via separate or overlapping mechanisms. Limb regeneration depends on the formation of a blastema, from which the new appendage develops. Dedifferentiation of stump tissues, such as skeletal muscle, precedes blastema formation, but it was not known whether dedifferentiation involves stem cell activation. We describe a multipotent Pax7+ satellite cell population located within the skeletal muscle of the salamander limb. We demonstrate that skeletal muscle dedifferentiation involves satellite cell activation and that these cells can contribute to new limb tissues. Activation of salamander satellite cells occurs in an analogous manner to how the mammalian myofiber mobilizes stem cells during skeletal muscle tissue repair. Thus, limb regeneration and mammalian tissue repair share common cellular and molecular programs. Our findings also identify satellite cells as potential targets in promoting mammalian blastema formation.

  6. An orphan gene is necessary for preaxial digit formation during salamander limb development.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Anoop; Gates, Phillip B; Czarkwiani, Anna; Brockes, Jeremy P

    2015-10-26

    Limb development in salamanders differs from other tetrapods in that the first digits to form are the two most anterior (preaxial dominance). This has been proposed as a salamander novelty and its mechanistic basis is unknown. Salamanders are the only adult tetrapods able to regenerate the limb, and the contribution of preaxial dominance to limb regeneration is unclear. Here we show that during early outgrowth of the limb bud, a small cohort of cells express the orphan gene Prod1 together with Bmp2, a critical player in digit condensation in amniotes. Disruption of Prod1 with a gene-editing nuclease abrogates these cells, and blocks formation of the radius and ulna, and outgrowth of the anterior digits. Preaxial dominance is a notable feature of limb regeneration in the larval newt, but this changes abruptly after metamorphosis so that the formation of anterior and posterior digits occurs together within the autopodium resembling an amniote-like pattern.

  7. Wildlife disease. Recent introduction of a chytrid fungus endangers Western Palearctic salamanders.

    PubMed

    Martel, A; Blooi, M; Adriaensen, C; Van Rooij, P; Beukema, W; Fisher, M C; Farrer, R A; Schmidt, B R; Tobler, U; Goka, K; Lips, K R; Muletz, C; Zamudio, K R; Bosch, J; Lötters, S; Wombwell, E; Garner, T W J; Cunningham, A A; Spitzen-van der Sluijs, A; Salvidio, S; Ducatelle, R; Nishikawa, K; Nguyen, T T; Kolby, J E; Van Bocxlaer, I; Bossuyt, F; Pasmans, F

    2014-10-31

    Emerging infectious diseases are reducing biodiversity on a global scale. Recently, the emergence of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans resulted in rapid declines in populations of European fire salamanders. Here, we screened more than 5000 amphibians from across four continents and combined experimental assessment of pathogenicity with phylogenetic methods to estimate the threat that this infection poses to amphibian diversity. Results show that B. salamandrivorans is restricted to, but highly pathogenic for, salamanders and newts (Urodela). The pathogen likely originated and remained in coexistence with a clade of salamander hosts for millions of years in Asia. As a result of globalization and lack of biosecurity, it has recently been introduced into naïve European amphibian populations, where it is currently causing biodiversity loss.

  8. Two new species of Salamanders, Genus Bolitoglossa (Amphibia: Plethodontidae), from the Eastern Colombian Andes.

    PubMed

    Acevedo, Aldemar A; Wake, David B; Márquez, Roberto; Silva, Karen; Franco, Rosmery; Amézquita, Adolfo

    2013-01-25

    The salamander fauna of Colombia is very poorly known, probably because most research efforts have been devoted to anurans during the last two decades. Here, we describe two new species of the genus Bolitoglossa (Eladinea) from the eastern flank of the Eastern Colombian Andes (Cordillera Oriental), near the border with Venezuela. Bolitoglossa tamaense sp. nov. is distributed between 2000 to 2700 m.a.s.l. and Bolitoglossa leandrae sp. nov. is distributed in the low-lands at about 600 m. The new species are diagnosed by a combination of molecular (16S rRNA sequences), coloration, body size, and morphometric (number of maxillary and vomerine teeth and differences in foot webbing) characters. Both species face threats such as chytridiomycosis infections and habitat fragmentation that have already affected other sala-manders in the country. Thus, intensive field and museum work is needed to better document and perhaps protect the local salamander diversity.

  9. Scoliosis in a tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) associated with encysted digenetic trematodes of the genus Clinostomum.

    PubMed

    Perpiñán, David; Garner, Michael M; Trupkiewicz, John G; Malarchik, Jennifer; Armstrong, Douglas L; Lucio-Forster, Araceli; Bowman, Dwight D

    2010-04-01

    A group of 202 tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum) was brought into captivity due to habitat destruction. Half of these animals died, over two mo, showing generalized hemorrhages compatible with an infectious disease, but an etiologic agent was not determined. Encysted metacercarial stages of trematodes within the skeletal musculature, coelomic cavity, and subcutaneous space were additional necropsy findings. One salamander had scoliosis and multiple skin nodules. A radiograph showed no skeletal abnormality to explain the scoliosis; however, numerous round nodules were more radiodense than the surrounding tissue. A presumptive diagnosis of generalized trematodiasis was made, yet the salamander did not improve after a course of praziquantel and subsequently died. Necropsy revealed massive, encysted trematode infection. Histologic examination revealed marked multifocal intramuscular, subcutaneous, and coelomic trematodiasis with associated necrosis and inflammation. Based on gross morphology, the trematode was identified as a member of the genus Clinostomum.

  10. Susceptibility of the endangered California tiger salamander, Ambystoma californiense, to ranavirus infection.

    PubMed

    Picco, Angela M; Brunner, Jesse L; Collins, James P

    2007-04-01

    Emerging infectious diseases are implicated in the declines and extinctions of amphibians worldwide. Ranaviruses in the family Iridoviridae are a global concern and have caused amphibian die-offs in wild populations in North America, Europe, South America, and in commercial populations in Asia and South America. The movement of amphibians for bait, food, pets, and research provides a route for the introduction of ranaviruses into naive and potentially endangered species. In this report, we demonstrate that the California tiger salamander, Ambystoma californiense, is susceptible to Ambystoma tigrinum virus (ATV). This virus has not been previously reported in California tiger salamander, but observed mortality in experimentally infected animals suggests that California tiger salamander populations could be adversely affected by an ATV introduction.

  11. Effects of warming conditions in eastern North American forests on red-backed salamander morphology.

    PubMed

    Gibbs, James P; Karraker, Nancy E

    2006-06-01

    Several studies have reported climate-associated changes in phenotypically plastic traits of amphibians, yet it remains unknown whether amphibians can manifest an evolutionary response to global climate change at the rate and magnitude that it is occurring. To assess this issue, we examined temporal change in the morphology of the red-backed salamander (Plethodon cinereus), a small, abundant woodland salamander distributed widely in eastern North America with two distinct morphotypes: striped individuals associated with cooler microclimates and unstriped individuals associated with warmer microclimates. We compiled morph frequencies for 50,960 individual salamanders from 558 sites as recorded in the published literature and in unpublished field notes of herpetologists between 1908 and 2004. We observed that striping probability increased with increasing latitude, longitude, and elevation and decreased (from 80% to 74% range wide) with time. The combined forces of regional climate warming and, particularly, forest disturbance have evidently been sufficient to cause morphological evolution in this amphibian over the last century.

  12. Resource partitioning in two stream salamanders, Dicamptodon tenebrosus and Rhyacotriton cascadae, from the Oregon Cascade Mountains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cudmore, Wynn W.; Bury, R. Bruce

    2014-01-01

    We investigated the potential for resource partitioning between the Coastal giant salamander (Dicamptodon tenebrosus) and the Cascade torrent salamander (Rhyacotriton cascadae) by examining their diet and microhabitats in forest streams. Larval D. tenebrosus and R. cascadae fed primarily upon aquatic insect larvae. We found similar foods in larval and adult R. cascadae and combined these results. Dicamptodon larvae consumed ephemeropteran, plecopteran, and trichopteran larvae in about equal amounts whereas R. cascadae ate more trichopteran and less ephemeropteran larvae than D. tenebrosus. Diet of all R. cascadae overlapped more with smaller than larger sized D. tenebrosus larvae. Comparisons of diets with available foods indicated R. cascadae is more selective or more gape-limited in its feeding habits than D. tenebrosus larvae. The two salamanders differed in use of microhabitats in creeks, which may contribute to their diet differences.

  13. Heterogeneous vesicles in mucous epithelial cells of posterior esophagus of Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus).

    PubMed

    Zhang, H; Guo, X; Zhong, S; Ge, T; Peng, S; Yu, P; Zhou, Z

    2015-08-25

    The Chinese giant salamander belongs to an old lineage of salamanders and endangered species. Many studies of breeding and disease regarding this amphibian had been implemented. However, the studies on the ultrastructure of this amphibian are rare. In this work, we provide a histological and ultrastructural investigation on posterior esophagus of Chinese giant salamander. The sections of amphibian esophagus were stained by hematoxylin & eosin (H&E). Moreover, the esophageal epithelium was observed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The results showed that esophageal epithelium was a single layer epithelium, which consisted of mucous cells and columnar cells. The esophageal glands were present in submucosa. The columnar cells were ciliated. According to the diverging ultrastructure of mucous vesicles, three types of mucous cells could be identified in the esophageal mucosa: i) electron-lucent vesicles mucous cell (ELV-MC); ii) electron-dense vesicles mucous cell (EDV-MC); and iii) mixed vesicles mucous cell (MV-MC).

  14. Where are we in understanding salamander locomotion: biological and robotic perspectives on kinematics.

    PubMed

    Karakasiliotis, Konstantinos; Schilling, Nadja; Cabelguen, Jean-Marie; Ijspeert, Auke Jan

    2013-10-01

    Salamanders have captured the interest of biologists and roboticists for decades because of their ability to locomote in different environments and their resemblance to early representatives of tetrapods. In this article, we review biological and robotic studies on the kinematics (i.e., angular profiles of joints) of salamander locomotion aiming at three main goals: (i) to give a clear view of the kinematics, currently available, for each body part of the salamander while moving in different environments (i.e., terrestrial stepping, aquatic stepping, and swimming), (ii) to examine what is the status of our current knowledge and what remains unclear, and (iii) to discuss how much robotics and modeling have already contributed and will potentially contribute in the future to such studies.

  15. An orphan gene is necessary for preaxial digit formation during salamander limb development

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Anoop; Gates, Phillip B.; Czarkwiani, Anna; Brockes, Jeremy P.

    2015-01-01

    Limb development in salamanders differs from other tetrapods in that the first digits to form are the two most anterior (preaxial dominance). This has been proposed as a salamander novelty and its mechanistic basis is unknown. Salamanders are the only adult tetrapods able to regenerate the limb, and the contribution of preaxial dominance to limb regeneration is unclear. Here we show that during early outgrowth of the limb bud, a small cohort of cells express the orphan gene Prod1 together with Bmp2, a critical player in digit condensation in amniotes. Disruption of Prod1 with a gene-editing nuclease abrogates these cells, and blocks formation of the radius and ulna, and outgrowth of the anterior digits. Preaxial dominance is a notable feature of limb regeneration in the larval newt, but this changes abruptly after metamorphosis so that the formation of anterior and posterior digits occurs together within the autopodium resembling an amniote-like pattern. PMID:26498026

  16. An integrative approach to phylogeography: investigating the effects of ancient seaways, climate, and historical geology on multi-locus phylogeographic boundaries of the Arboreal Salamander (Aneides lugubris).

    PubMed

    Reilly, Sean B; Corl, Ammon; Wake, David B

    2015-11-04

    Phylogeography is an important tool that can be used to reveal cryptic biodiversity and to better understand the processes that promote lineage diversification. We studied the phylogeographic history of the Arboreal Salamander (Aneides lugubris), a wide-ranging species endemic to the California floristic province. We used multi-locus data to reconstruct the evolutionary history of A. lugubris and to discover the geographic location of major genetic breaks within the species. We also used species distribution modeling and comparative phylogeography to better understand the environmental factors that have shaped the genetic history of A. lugubris. We found six major mitochondrial clades in A. lugubris. Nuclear loci supported the existence of at least three genetically distinct groups, corresponding to populations north of the San Francisco Bay and in the Sierra Nevada, in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and in the central coast and southern California. All of the genetic breaks in mitochondrial and nuclear loci corresponded to regions where historical barriers to dispersal have been observed in other species. Geologic or water barriers likely were the most important factors restricting gene flow among clades. Climatic unsuitability during glacial maximum may have contributed to the isolation of the mitochondrial clades in the central coast and southern California. A projection of our species distribution model to a future scenario with a moderate amount of climate change suggests that most of the range of A. lugubris will remain climatically suitable, but climatic conditions in the Sierra Nevada and low elevation areas in Southern California are likely to deteriorate. Aneides lugubris contains substantial cryptic genetic diversity as a result of historical isolation of populations. At least two (and perhaps three) evolutionarily significant units in A. lugubris merit protection; all six mitochondrial clades should be considered as management units within the species.

  17. Different season, different strategies: Feeding ecology of two syntopic forest-dwelling salamanders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sebastiano, Salvidio; Antonio, Romano; Fabrizio, Oneto; Dario, Ottonello; Roberta, Michelon

    2012-08-01

    Trophic niche may be the most important ecological dimension for some vertebrate groups and in particular for terrestrial amphibians, that are important predators of soil invertebrates. In general, resource partitioning occurs between syntopic species with similar ecological niches, and coexistence patterns seem to be regulated by temporal resource variability. However most of the generalization on foraging strategies of terrestrial salamanders are extrapolated from studies on New World temperate species, thus we investigated the seasonal effect of resource variation in an European forest ecosystem, in which two ecologically similar but phylogenetically distinct salamander species are found. The diet of adult and juvenile cave salamanders (Speleomantes strinati), and of adult spectacled salamander (Salamandrina perspicillata) was obtained by stomach flushing, and results showed large seasonal changes both in prey availability and in salamander realised trophic niche. Values of trophic diversity were similar and niche overlaps were large among all salamander groups in spring, during high prey availability. Conversely in autumn, when a two-fold reduction in prey biomass was observed, there was a clear niche partitioning as the smaller S. perspicillata shifted from a generalist to a specialized trophic strategy. Juvenile Speleomantes strinatii, that largely overlapped in size with S. perspicillata, did not show any change in diet, suggesting that the feeding strategies were species-specific and not size-mediated. The observed patterns of variation in feeding ecology indicate that similar predators may react differently to changing prey availability to enhance niche partitioning. We also observed an increased energy intake during autumn for S perspicillata and S. strinatii juveniles, possibly related to differences in microhabitat use and activity patterns.

  18. Fictive rhythmic motor patterns produced by the tail spinal cord in salamanders.

    PubMed

    Charrier, V; Cabelguen, J-M

    2013-01-01

    Most investigations into the role of the body axis in vertebrate locomotion have focused on the trunk, although in most tetrapods, the tail also plays an active role. In salamanders, the tail contributes to propulsion during swimming and to dynamic balance and maneuverability during terrestrial locomotion. The aim of the present study was to obtain information concerning the neural mechanisms that produce tail muscle contractions during locomotion in the salamander Pleurodeles waltlii. We recorded the ventral root activities in in vitro spinal cord preparations in which locomotor-like activity was induced via bath application of N-methyl-d-aspartate (20μM) and d-serine (10μM). Recordings showed that the tail spinal cord is capable of producing propagated waves of motor activity that alternate between the left and right sides. Lesion experiments further revealed that the tail rhythmogenic network is composed of a double chain of identical hemisegmental oscillators. Finally, using spinal cord preparations bathed in a chamber partitioned into two pools, we revealed efficient short-distance coupling between the trunk and tail networks. Together, our results demonstrate the existence of a pattern generator for rhythmic tail movements in the salamander and show that the global architecture of the tail network is similar to that previously proposed for the mid-trunk locomotor network in the salamander. Our findings further support the view that salamanders can control their trunk and tail independently during stepping movements. The relevance of our results in relation to the generation of tail muscle contractions in freely moving salamanders is discussed.

  19. Antifungal bacteria on woodland salamander skin exhibit high taxonomic diversity and geographic variability

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muletz-Wolz, Carly R.; DiRenzo, Graziella V.; Yarwood, Stephanie A.; Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Fleischer, Robert C.; Lips, Karen R.

    2017-01-01

    Diverse bacteria inhabit amphibian skin; some of those bacteria inhibit growth of the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Yet there has been no systematic survey of anti-B. dendrobatidis bacteria across localities, species, and elevations. This is important given geographic and taxonomic variations in amphibian susceptibility to B. dendrobatidis. Our collection sites were at locations within the Appalachian Mountains where previous sampling had indicated low B. dendrobatidis prevalence. We determined the numbers and identities of anti-B. dendrobatidis bacteria on 61 Plethodon salamanders (37 P. cinereus, 15 P. glutinosus, 9 P. cylindraceus) via culturing methods and 16S rRNA gene sequencing. We sampled co-occurring species at three localities and sampled P. cinereus along an elevational gradient (700 to 1,000 meters above sea level [masl]) at one locality. We identified 50 anti-B. dendrobatidis bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) and found that the degree of B. dendrobatidis inhibition was not correlated with relatedness. Five anti-B. dendrobatidis bacterial strains occurred on multiple amphibian species at multiple localities, but none were shared among all species and localities. The prevalence of anti-B. dendrobatidis bacteria was higher at Shenandoah National Park (NP), VA, with 96% (25/26) of salamanders hosting at least one anti-B. dendrobatidis bacterial species compared to 50% (7/14) at Catoctin Mountain Park (MP), MD, and 38% (8/21) at Mt. Rogers National Recreation Area (NRA), VA. At the individual level, salamanders at Shenandoah NP had more anti-B. dendrobatidis bacteria per individual (μ = 3.3) than those at Catoctin MP (μ = 0.8) and at Mt. Rogers NRA (μ = 0.4). All salamanders tested negative for B. dendrobatidis. Anti-B. dendrobatidis bacterial species are diverse in central Appalachian Plethodon salamanders, and their distribution varied geographically. The antifungal bacterial species that we identified may play a protective

  20. Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans is the predominant chytrid fungus in Vietnamese salamanders

    PubMed Central

    Laking, Alexandra E.; Ngo, Hai Ngoc; Pasmans, Frank; Martel, An; Nguyen, Tao Thien

    2017-01-01

    The amphibian chytrid fungi, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and B. salamandrivorans (Bsal), pose a major threat to amphibian biodiversity. Recent evidence suggests Southeast Asia as a potential cradle for both fungi, which likely resulted in widespread host-pathogen co-existence. We sampled 583 salamanders from 8 species across Vietnam in 55 locations for Bsal and Bd, determined scaled mass index as a proxy for fitness and collected environmental data. Bsal was found within 14 of the 55 habitats (2 of which it was detected in 2013), in 5 salamandrid species, with a prevalence of 2.92%. The globalized pandemic lineage of Bd was found within one pond on one species with a prevalence of 0.69%. Combined with a complete lack of correlation between infection and individual body condition and absence of indication of associated disease, this suggests low level pathogen endemism and Bsal and Bd co-existence with Vietnamese salamandrid populations. Bsal was more widespread than Bd, and occurs at temperatures higher than tolerated by the type strain, suggesting a wider thermal niche than currently known. Therefore, this study provides support for the hypothesis that these chytrid fungi may be endemic to Asia and that species within this region may act as a disease reservoir. PMID:28287614

  1. Road deicing salt irreversibly disrupts osmoregulation of salamander egg clutches.

    PubMed

    Karraker, Nancy E; Gibbs, James P

    2011-03-01

    It has been postulated that road deicing salts are sufficiently diluted by spring rains to ameliorate any physiological impacts to amphibians breeding in wetlands near roads. We tested this conjecture by exposing clutches of the spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) to three chloride concentrations (1 mg/L, 145 mg/L, 945 mg/L) for nine days, then transferred clutches to control water for nine days, and measured change in mass at three-day intervals. We measured mass change because water uptake by clutches reduces risks to embryos associated with freezing, predation, and disease. Clutches in controls sequestered water asymptotically. Those in the moderate concentrations lost 18% mass initially and regained 14% after transfer to control water. Clutches in high concentration lost 33% mass and then lost an additional 8% after transfer. Our results suggest that spring rains do not ameliorate the effects of deicing salts in wetlands with extremely high chloride concentrations. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Testicular structure and germ cells morphology in salamanders

    PubMed Central

    Uribe, Mari Carmen; Mejía-Roa, Víctor

    2014-01-01

    Testes of salamanders or urodeles are paired elongated organs that are attached to the dorsal wall of the body by a mesorchium. The testes are composed of one or several lobes. Each lobe is morphologically and functionally a similar testicular unit. The lobes of the testis are joined by cords covered by a single peritoneal epithelium and subjacent connective tissue. The cords contain spermatogonia. Spermatogonia associate with Sertoli cells to form spermatocysts or cysts. The spermatogenic cells in a cyst undergo their development through spermatogenesis synchronously. The distribution of cysts displays the cephalo-caudal gradient in respect to the stage of spermatogenesis. The formation of cysts at cephalic end of the testis causes their migration along the lobules to the caudal end. Consequently, the disposition in cephalo-caudal regions of spermatogenesis can be observed in longitudinal sections of the testis. The germ cells are spermatogonia, diploid cells with mitotic activity; primary and second spermatocytes characterized by meiotic divisions that develop haploid spermatids; during spermiogenesis the spermatids differentiate to spermatozoa. During spermiation the cysts open and spermatozoa leave the testicular lobules. After spermiation occurs the development of Leydig cells into glandular tissue. This glandular tissue regressed at the end of the reproductive cycle. PMID:26413406

  3. Multiple paternity in a salamander with socially monogamous behaviour.

    PubMed

    Liebgold, Eric B; Cabe, Paul R; Jaeger, Robert G; Leberg, Paul L

    2006-11-01

    In the majority of birds and mammals, social monogamy is not congruent with genetic monogamy. No research to date has compared social and genetic monogamy in amphibians. We analysed paternity in clutches of red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus), a species in which social monogamy has been demonstrated in the laboratory, and 28% of individuals in the forest are found in male-female pairs in the noncourtship season. We collected 16 clutches of eggs of P. cinereus in the southern Appalachian Mountains of Virginia and collected tail clippings from attending mothers. We genotyped embryos and adults at five microsatellite loci in order to analyse paternity of clutches. Most clutches (84.6%) had multiple sires, with two to three sires per clutch. In this study, 25% of clutches had males in addition to females attending eggs. None of the mothers of these clutches were genetically monogamous. All attending males sired some of the offspring in the clutch that they attended (between 9% and 50%) but never sired a majority in that clutch. We conclude that, at least in this population, social monogamy in P. cinereus is not concomitant with genetic monogamy.

  4. Olfactory receptor gene expression in tiger salamander olfactory epithelium.

    PubMed

    Marchand, James E; Yang, Xinhai; Chikaraishi, Dona; Krieger, Jurgen; Breer, Heinz; Kauer, John S

    2004-06-28

    Physiological studies of odor-elicited responses from the olfactory epithelium and bulb in the tiger salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum, have elucidated a number of features of olfactory coding that appear to be conserved across several vertebrate species. This animal model has provided an accessible in vivo system for observing individual and ensemble olfactory responses to odorant stimulation using biochemical, neurophysiological, and behavioral assays. In this paper we have complemented these studies by characterizing 35 candidate odorant receptor genes. These receptor sequences are similar to those of the large families of olfactory receptors found in mammals and fish. In situ hybridization, using RNA probes to 20 of these sequences, demonstrates differential distributions of labeled cells across the extent and within the depth of the olfactory epithelium. The distributions of cells labeled with probes to different receptors show spatially restricted patterns that are generally localized to different degrees in medial-lateral and anterior-posterior directions. The patterns of receptor expression in the ventral olfactory epithelium (OE) are mirrored in the dorsal OE. We present a hypothesis as to how the sensory neuron populations expressing different receptor types responding to a particular odorant may relate to the distribution patterns of epithelial and bulbar responses previously characterized using single-unit and voltage-sensitive dye recording methods. Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  5. The effect of waist twisting on walking speed of an amphibious salamander like robot

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yin, Xin-Yan; Jia, Li-Chao; Wang, Chen; Xie, Guang-Ming

    2016-06-01

    Amphibious salamanders often swing their waist to coordinate quadruped walking in order to improve their crawling speed. A robot with a swing waist joint, like an amphibious salamander, is used to mimic this locomotion. A control method is designed to allow the robot to maintain the rotational speed of its legs continuous and avoid impact between its legs and the ground. An analytical expression is established between the amplitude of the waist joint and the step length. Further, an optimization amplitude is obtained corresponding to the maximum stride. The simulation results based on automatic dynamic analysis of mechanical systems (ADAMS) and physical experiments verify the rationality and validity of this expression.

  6. From swimming to walking with a salamander robot driven by a spinal cord model.

    PubMed

    Ijspeert, Auke Jan; Crespi, Alessandro; Ryczko, Dimitri; Cabelguen, Jean-Marie

    2007-03-09

    The transition from aquatic to terrestrial locomotion was a key development in vertebrate evolution. We present a spinal cord model and its implementation in an amphibious salamander robot that demonstrates how a primitive neural circuit for swimming can be extended by phylogenetically more recent limb oscillatory centers to explain the ability of salamanders to switch between swimming and walking. The model suggests neural mechanisms for modulation of velocity, direction, and type of gait that are relevant for all tetrapods. It predicts that limb oscillatory centers have lower intrinsic frequencies than body oscillatory centers, and we present biological data supporting this.

  7. Infection of spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) with Ichthyophonus-like organisms in Virginia.

    PubMed

    Ware, Joy L; Viverette, Cathy; Kleopfer, John D; Pletcher, Leeanna; Massey, Davis; Wright, Anne

    2008-01-01

    Ichthyophonus-like organisms were found in two free-ranging adult spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) captured within two different vernal ponds in the Virginia Commonwealth University Rice Center for Environmental Life Sciences in Charles City County, Virginia. Histopathologic examination of necropsied specimens revealed large spores, often enclosed by granulomas. These enclosed spores resembled those caused by the fish pathogen Ichthyophonus hoeferi. One salamander displayed an externally visible large swelling beneath the jaws. The other lacked macroscopic abnormalities, but histologic sections of ventral muscle revealed early-stage Ichthyophonus-like organisms and minimal granulomatous reactions. This is the first report of Ichthyophonus-like infection of Ambystoma maculatum in Virginia.

  8. Salamanders ( Plethodon cinereus) go for more: rudiments of number in an amphibian.

    PubMed

    Uller, Claudia; Jaeger, Robert; Guidry, Gena; Martin, Carolyn

    2003-06-01

    Techniques traditionally used in developmental research with infants have been widely used with nonhuman primates in the investigation of comparative cognitive abilities. Recently, researchers have shown that human infants and monkeys select the larger of two numerosities in a spontaneous forced-choice discrimination task. Here we adopt the same method to assess in a series of experiments spontaneous choice of the larger of two numerosities in a species of amphibian, red-backed salamanders ( Plethodon cinereus). The findings indicate that salamanders "go for more," just like human babies and monkeys. This rudimentary capacity is a type of numerical discrimination that is spontaneously present in this amphibian.

  9. Mitochondrial biosensors.

    PubMed

    De Michele, Roberto; Carimi, Francesco; Frommer, Wolf B

    2014-03-01

    Biosensors offer an innovative tool for measuring the dynamics of a wide range of metabolites in living organisms. Biosensors are genetically encoded, and thus can be specifically targeted to specific compartments of organelles by fusion to proteins or targeting sequences. Mitochondria are central to eukaryotic cell metabolism and present a complex structure with multiple compartments. Over the past decade, genetically encoded sensors for molecules involved in energy production, reactive oxygen species and secondary messengers have helped to unravel key aspects of mitochondrial physiology. To date, sensors for ATP, NADH, pH, hydrogen peroxide, superoxide anion, redox state, cAMP, calcium and zinc have been used in the matrix, intermembrane space and in the outer membrane region of mitochondria of animal and plant cells. This review summarizes the different types of sensors employed in mitochondria and their main limits and advantages, and it provides an outlook for the future application of biosensor technology in studying mitochondrial biology. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Mitochondrial ataxias.

    PubMed

    Finsterer, Josef

    2009-09-01

    Mitochondrial disorders (MIDs) are an increasingly recognized condition. The second most frequently affected organ in MIDs is the central nervous system. One of the most prevalent clinical CNS manifestations of MIDs is ataxia. Ataxia may be even the dominant manifestation of a MID. This is why certain MIDs should be included in the classification of heredoataxias or at least considered as differentials of classical heredoataxias. MIDs due to mutations of the mitochondrial DNA, which develop ataxia include the MERRF, NARP, MILS, or KSS syndrome. More rarely, ataxia may be a feature of MELAS, LHON, PS, MIDD, or MSL. MIDs due to mutations of the nuclear DNA, which develop ataxia include LS, SANDO, SCAE, AHS, XSLA/A, IOSCA, MIRAS, MEMSA, or LBSL syndrome. More rarely ataxia can be found in AD-CPEO, AR-CPEO, MNGIE, DIDMOAD, CoQ-deficiency, ADOAD, DCMA, or PDC-deficiency. MIDs most frequently associated with ataxia are the non-syndromic MIDs. Syndromic and non-syndromic MIDs with ataxia should be delineated from classical heredoataxias to initiate appropriate symptomatic or supportive treatment.

  11. Mitochondrial fusion, fission, and mitochondrial toxicity.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Joel N; Leuthner, Tess C; Luz, Anthony L

    2017-08-05

    Mitochondrial dynamics are regulated by two sets of opposed processes: mitochondrial fusion and fission, and mitochondrial biogenesis and degradation (including mitophagy), as well as processes such as intracellular transport. These processes maintain mitochondrial homeostasis, regulate mitochondrial form, volume and function, and are increasingly understood to be critical components of the cellular stress response. Mitochondrial dynamics vary based on developmental stage and age, cell type, environmental factors, and genetic background. Indeed, many mitochondrial homeostasis genes are human disease genes. Emerging evidence indicates that deficiencies in these genes often sensitize to environmental exposures, yet can also be protective under certain circumstances. Inhibition of mitochondrial dynamics also affects elimination of irreparable mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) damage and transmission of mtDNA mutations. We briefly review the basic biology of mitodynamic processes with a focus on mitochondrial fusion and fission, discuss what is known and unknown regarding how these processes respond to chemical and other stressors, and review the literature on interactions between mitochondrial toxicity and genetic variation in mitochondrial fusion and fission genes. Finally, we suggest areas for future research, including elucidating the full range of mitodynamic responses from low to high-level exposures, and from acute to chronic exposures; detailed examination of the physiological consequences of mitodynamic alterations in different cell types; mechanism-based testing of mitotoxicant interactions with interindividual variability in mitodynamics processes; and incorporating other environmental variables that affect mitochondria, such as diet and exercise. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Long bone histology of the stem salamander Kokartus honorarius (Amphibia: Caudata) from the Middle Jurassic of Kyrgyzstan.

    PubMed

    Skutschas, Pavel; Stein, Koen

    2015-04-01

    Kokartus honorarius from the Middle Jurassic (Bathonian) of Kyrgyzstan is one of the oldest salamanders in the fossil record, characterized by a mixture of plesiomorphic morphological features and characters shared with crown-group salamanders. Here we present a detailed histological analysis of its long bones. The analysis of a growth series demonstrates a significant histological maturation during ontogeny, expressed by the progressive appearance of longitudinally oriented primary vascular canals, primary osteons, growth marks, remodelling features in primary bone tissues, as well as progressive resorption of the calcified cartilage, formation of endochondral bone and development of cartilaginous to bony trabeculae in the epiphyses. Apart from the presence of secondary osteons, the long bone histology of Kokartus is very similar to that of miniaturized temnospondyls, other Jurassic stem salamanders, miniaturized seymouriamorphs and modern crown-group salamanders. We propose that the presence of secondary osteons in Kokartus honorarius is a plesiomorphic feature, and the loss of secondary osteons in the long bones of crown-group salamanders as well as in those of miniaturized temnospondyls is the result of miniaturization processes. Hitherto, all stem salamander long bong histology (Kokartus, Marmorerpeton and 'salamander A') has been generally described as having paedomorphic features (i.e. the presence of Katschenko's Line and a layer of calcified cartilage), these taxa were thus most likely neotenic forms. The absence of clear lines of arrested growth and annuli in long bones of Kokartus honorarius suggests that the animals lived in an environment with stable local conditions. © 2015 Anatomical Society.

  13. Effect of arsenic on p53 mutation and occurrence of teratogenic salamanders: their potential as ecological indicators for arsenic contamination.

    PubMed

    Chang, Jin-Soo; Gu, Man Bock; Kim, Kyoung-Woong

    2009-05-01

    The p53 mutation in salamanders can be used as an indicator of arsenic contamination. The influence of arsenic exposure was studied on mutation of tumor suppressor gene in salamanders collected from several As-contaminated mine areas in Korea. Salamander eggs and larvae were exposed to arsenic in a toxicity test, and teratogenic salamanders found in heavy metal- and As-contaminated water from As-Bi mines were evaluated using PCR-SSCP to determine if they would be useful as an ecological indicator species. Changes in amino acids were shown to have occurred as a result of an arsenic-accumulating event that occurred after the DNA damage. In addition, both of the Hynobius leechii exposed groups were primarily affected by forms of skin damage, changes in the lateral tail/dorsal flexure and/or abnormality teratogenesis. Single-base sense mutation in codons 346 (AAG: Lys to ATG: Met), 224 (TTT: Phe to TTA: Leu), 211 (ATG: Met to AAG: Lys), 244 (TTT: Phe to TTTG: insertion), 245 (Glu GAG to Gln CAG) and 249 (TGT Cys to TGA stop) of the p53 gene were simultaneously found in mutated salamanders. Based on the results of our data illustrating the effect of arsenic exposure on the p53 mutation of salamanders in arsenic-contaminated mine areas, these mutated salamanders can be used as potential ecological indicators in the arsenic-contaminated ecosystems.

  14. Long bone histology of the stem salamander Kokartus honorarius (Amphibia: Caudata) from the Middle Jurassic of Kyrgyzstan

    PubMed Central

    Skutschas, Pavel; Stein, Koen

    2015-01-01

    Kokartus honorarius from the Middle Jurassic (Bathonian) of Kyrgyzstan is one of the oldest salamanders in the fossil record, characterized by a mixture of plesiomorphic morphological features and characters shared with crown-group salamanders. Here we present a detailed histological analysis of its long bones. The analysis of a growth series demonstrates a significant histological maturation during ontogeny, expressed by the progressive appearance of longitudinally oriented primary vascular canals, primary osteons, growth marks, remodelling features in primary bone tissues, as well as progressive resorption of the calcified cartilage, formation of endochondral bone and development of cartilaginous to bony trabeculae in the epiphyses. Apart from the presence of secondary osteons, the long bone histology of Kokartus is very similar to that of miniaturized temnospondyls, other Jurassic stem salamanders, miniaturized seymouriamorphs and modern crown-group salamanders. We propose that the presence of secondary osteons in Kokartus honorarius is a plesiomorphic feature, and the loss of secondary osteons in the long bones of crown-group salamanders as well as in those of miniaturized temnospondyls is the result of miniaturization processes. Hitherto, all stem salamander long bong histology (Kokartus, Marmorerpeton and ‘salamander A’) has been generally described as having paedomorphic features (i.e. the presence of Katschenko's Line and a layer of calcified cartilage), these taxa were thus most likely neotenic forms. The absence of clear lines of arrested growth and annuli in long bones of Kokartus honorarius suggests that the animals lived in an environment with stable local conditions. PMID:25682890

  15. Antifungal Bacteria on Woodland Salamander Skin Exhibit High Taxonomic Diversity and Geographic Variability.

    PubMed

    Muletz-Wolz, Carly R; DiRenzo, Graziella V; Yarwood, Stephanie A; Campbell Grant, Evan H; Fleischer, Robert C; Lips, Karen R

    2017-05-01

    Diverse bacteria inhabit amphibian skin; some of those bacteria inhibit growth of the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Yet there has been no systematic survey of anti-B. dendrobatidis bacteria across localities, species, and elevations. This is important given geographic and taxonomic variations in amphibian susceptibility to B. dendrobatidis Our collection sites were at locations within the Appalachian Mountains where previous sampling had indicated low B. dendrobatidis prevalence. We determined the numbers and identities of anti-B. dendrobatidis bacteria on 61 Plethodon salamanders (37 P. cinereus, 15 P. glutinosus, 9 P. cylindraceus) via culturing methods and 16S rRNA gene sequencing. We sampled co-occurring species at three localities and sampled P. cinereus along an elevational gradient (700 to 1,000 meters above sea level [masl]) at one locality. We identified 50 anti-B. dendrobatidis bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) and found that the degree of B. dendrobatidis inhibition was not correlated with relatedness. Five anti-B. dendrobatidis bacterial strains occurred on multiple amphibian species at multiple localities, but none were shared among all species and localities. The prevalence of anti-B. dendrobatidis bacteria was higher at Shenandoah National Park (NP), VA, with 96% (25/26) of salamanders hosting at least one anti-B. dendrobatidis bacterial species compared to 50% (7/14) at Catoctin Mountain Park (MP), MD, and 38% (8/21) at Mt. Rogers National Recreation Area (NRA), VA. At the individual level, salamanders at Shenandoah NP had more anti-B. dendrobatidis bacteria per individual (μ = 3.3) than those at Catoctin MP (μ = 0.8) and at Mt. Rogers NRA (μ = 0.4). All salamanders tested negative for B. dendrobatidis Anti-B. dendrobatidis bacterial species are diverse in central Appalachian Plethodon salamanders, and their distribution varied geographically. The antifungal bacterial species that we identified may play a protective

  16. Responses of Eastern red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) to chemical cues of prey presented in soluble and volatile forms.

    PubMed

    Telfer, A C; Laberge, F

    2013-04-10

    Terrestrial salamanders are able to detect prey items using chemical cues, but the nature of the cues involved is uncertain. This study aimed to tease apart the roles of the soluble and volatile components of prey cues detected by Eastern red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus), assuming the likelihood that these different components are respectively detected by the vomeronasal (accessory) and main olfactory organs. Wild-caught salamanders were exposed to control or soluble and volatile cricket cues in two different behavioural assays conducted in the laboratory. The first series of assays focused on localized presentation of soluble cues on the substrate, and the second on point sources of volatile cues delivered through plastic tubes. Room temperature was varied across experiments. Salamanders increased chemoinvestigation of the substrate via nosetapping when soluble prey cues were distributed non-uniformly on the substrate. In the warmer of two temperatures tested, salamanders additionally showed a spatial preference for location of soluble cue deposition. Attraction to a point source of volatile cues was not evident when examining the responses of salamanders grouped together; however, investigation of the volatile point source was significantly correlated with side preference only when both soluble cues and a volatile point source were present. The latter suggests that a subset of salamanders were attracted to the point source of volatile cues in the presence of soluble cues on the substrate. This study indicates that soluble prey cues alone are sufficient to trigger salamander foraging behaviour, and that temperature influences this foraging response. It supports the notion that the vomeronasal system plays an important role in prey detection, but suggests that volatile cues are also investigated by some salamanders when soluble prey cues have been detected.

  17. Methodological considerations for detection of terrestrial small-body salamander eDNA and implications for biodiversity conservation.

    PubMed

    Walker, Donald M; Leys, Jacob E; Dunham, Kelly E; Oliver, Joshua C; Schiller, Emily E; Stephenson, Kelsey S; Kimrey, John T; Wooten, Jessica; Rogers, Mark W

    2017-03-15

    Environmental DNA (eDNA) can be used as an assessment tool to detect populations of threatened species and provide fine-scale data required to make management decisions. The objectives of this project were to use quantitative PCR (qPCR) to: (i) detect spiked salamander DNA in soil, (ii) quantify eDNA degradation over time, (iii) determine detectability of salamander eDNA in a terrestrial environment using soil, faeces, and skin swabs, (iv) detect salamander eDNA in a mesocosm experiment. Salamander eDNA was positively detected in 100% of skin swabs and 66% of faecal samples and concentrations did not differ between the two sources. However, eDNA was not detected in soil samples collected from directly underneath wild-caught living salamanders. Salamander genomic DNA (gDNA) was detected in all qPCR reactions when spiked into soil at 10.0, 5.0, and 1.0 ng/g soil and spike concentration had a significant effect on detected concentrations. Only 33% of samples showed recoverable eDNA when spiked with 0.25 ng/g soil, which was the low end of eDNA detection. To determine the rate of eDNA degradation, gDNA (1 ng/g soil) was spiked into soil and quantified over seven days. Salamander eDNA concentrations decreased across days, but eDNA was still amplifiable at day 7. Salamander eDNA was detected in two of 182 mesocosm soil samples over 12 weeks (n = 52 control samples; n = 65 presence samples; n = 65 eviction samples). The discrepancy in detection success between experiments indicates the potential challenges for this method to be used as a monitoring technique for small-bodied wild terrestrial salamander populations. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Mitochondrial DNA polymorphism in mitochondrial myopathy.

    PubMed

    Holt, I J; Harding, A E; Morgan-Hughes, J A

    1988-05-01

    In order to test the hypothesis that mitochondrial myopathy may be caused by mutation of the mitochondrial (mt) genome, restriction fragment length polymorphism in leucocyte mt DNA has been studied in 38 patients with mitochondrial myopathy, 44 of their unaffected matrilineal relatives, and 35 normal control subjects. Previously unreported mt DNA polymorphisms were identified in both patients and controls. No differences in restriction fragment patterns were observed between affected and unaffected individuals in the same maternal line, and there was no evidence of major deletion of mt DNA in patients. This study provides no positive evidence of mitochondrial inheritance in mitochondrial myopathy, but this has not been excluded.

  19. Mitochondrial Dynamics and Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Diabetes.

    PubMed

    Wada, Jun; Nakatsuka, Atsuko

    2016-06-01

    The mitochondria are involved in active and dynamic processes, such as mitochondrial biogenesis, fission, fusion and mitophagy to maintain mitochondrial and cellular functions. In obesity and type 2 diabetes, impaired oxidation, reduced mitochondrial contents, lowered rates of oxidative phosphorylation and excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) production have been reported. Mitochondrial biogenesis is regulated by various transcription factors such as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator-1α (PGC-1α), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs), estrogen-related receptors (ERRs), and nuclear respiratory factors (NRFs). Mitochondrial fusion is promoted by mitofusin 1 (MFN1), mitofusin 2 (MFN2) and optic atrophy 1 (OPA1), while fission is governed by the recruitment of dynamin-related protein 1 (DRP1) by adaptor proteins such as mitochondrial fission factor (MFF), mitochondrial dynamics proteins of 49 and 51 kDa (MiD49 and MiD51), and fission 1 (FIS1). Phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN)-induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1) and PARKIN promote DRP1-dependent mitochondrial fission, and the outer mitochondrial adaptor MiD51 is required in DRP1 recruitment and PARKIN-dependent mitophagy. This review describes the molecular mechanism of mitochondrial dynamics, its abnormality in diabetes and obesity, and pharmaceuticals targeting mitochondrial biogenesis, fission, fusion and mitophagy.

  20. Mitochondrial Aging: Is There a Mitochondrial Clock?

    PubMed

    Zorov, Dmitry B; Popkov, Vasily A; Zorova, Ljubava D; Vorobjev, Ivan A; Pevzner, Irina B; Silachev, Denis N; Zorov, Savva D; Jankauskas, Stanislovas S; Babenko, Valentina A; Plotnikov, Egor Y

    2017-09-01

    Fragmentation (fission) of mitochondria, occurring in response to oxidative challenge, leads to heterogeneity in the mitochondrial population. It is assumed that fission provides a way to segregate mitochondrial content between the "young" and "old" phenotype, with the formation of mitochondrial "garbage," which later will be disposed. Fidelity of this process is the basis of mitochondrial homeostasis, which is disrupted in pathological conditions and aging. The asymmetry of the mitochondrial fission is similar to that of their evolutionary ancestors, bacteria, which also undergo an aging process. It is assumed that mitochondrial markers of aging are recognized by the mitochondrial quality control system, preventing the accumulation of dysfunctional mitochondria, which normally are subjected to disposal. Possibly, oncocytoma, with its abnormal proliferation of mitochondria occupying the entire cytoplasm, represents the case when segregation of damaged mitochondria is impaired during mitochondrial division. It is plausible that mitochondria contain a "clock" which counts the degree of mitochondrial senescence as the extent of flagging (by ubiquitination) of damaged mitochondria. Mitochondrial aging captures the essence of the systemic aging which must be analyzed. We assume that the mitochondrial aging mechanism is similar to the mechanism of aging of the immune system which we discuss in detail. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  1. Woodland salamander response to two prescribed fires in the central Appalachians

    Treesearch

    W. Mark Ford; Jane L. Rodrigue; Ella L. Rowan; Steven B. Castleberry; Thomas M. Schuler

    2010-01-01

    Using coverboard arrays, we monitored woodland salamanders on the Fernow Experimental Forest in the central Appalachian Mountains, West Virginia, USA prior to and following two prescribed fires in mixed oak (Quercus spp.) forest stands. Treatments were burn plots on upper slopes or lower slopes fenced to prevent white-tailed deer (Odocoileus...

  2. A reference transcriptome and inferred proteome for the salamander Notophthalmus viridescens.

    PubMed

    Abdullayev, Ilgar; Kirkham, Matthew; Björklund, Åsa K; Simon, András; Sandberg, Rickard

    2013-05-01

    Salamanders have a remarkable capacity to regenerate complex tissues, such as limbs and brain, and are therefore an important comparative model system for regenerative medicine. Despite these unique properties among adult vertebrates, the genomic information for amphibians in general, and salamanders in particular, is scarce. Here, we used massive parallel sequencing to reconstruct a de novo reference transcriptome of the red spotted newt (Notophthalmus viridescens) containing 118,893 transcripts with a N50 length of 2016 nts. Comparisons to other vertebrates revealed a newt transcriptome that is comparable in size and characteristics to well-annotated vertebrate transcriptomes. Identification of putative open reading frames (ORFs) enabled us to infer a comprehensive proteome, including the annotation of 19,903 newt proteins. We used the identified domain architectures (DAs) to assign ORFs phylogenetic positions, which also revealed putative salamander specific proteins. The reference transcriptome and inferred proteome of the red spotted newt will facilitate the use of systematic genomic technologies for regeneration studies in salamanders and enable evolutionary analyses of vertebrate regeneration at the molecular level.

  3. Pathological and microbiological findings from mortality of the Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus).

    PubMed

    Meng, Yan; Ma, Jie; Jiang, Nan; Zeng, Ling-Bing; Xiao, Han-Bing

    2014-06-01

    The Chinese giant salamander, Andrias davidianus, is a nationally protected and cultured species in China. Recently, a severe epizootic occurred in cultured Chinese giant salamanders in Hubei, Hunan, Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Zhejiang provinces of China, causing substantial economic losses. The typical clinical signs of diseased larval animals were jaw and abdominal swelling and subcutaneous hemorrhaging. Diseased adult animals exhibited skin hemorrhages, ulceration of the hind limbs, and multiple hemorrhagic spots in the visceral organs. Histopathological observation indicated tissue necrosis and cytoplasmic inclusions in the spleen, liver and kidney, suggestive of viral disease. A viral agent was isolated from affected tissues in cell culture. The virus was determined to be pathogenic after experimental infection. Electron microscopy revealed iridovirus-like virions with a size of 140-180 nm in diameter inside the kidney of naturally infected animals and in cell culture. The major capsid protein (MCP) of the virus exhibited 98-99 % sequence identity to ranaviruses. Additionally, phylogenetic analysis indicated that the virus belonged to the genus Ranavirus. Comparative analysis of the MCP gene sequence with those of other viruses previously isolated from Chinese giant salamanders revealed that these isolates were highly similar, although a few variations were observed. The virus was preliminarily named Chinese giant salamander iridovirus (GSIV).

  4. Factors Affecting Salamander Density and Distribution within Four Forest Types in Southern Appalachian Mountains

    Treesearch

    Craig A. Harper; David C. Guynn

    1999-01-01

    We used a terrestrial vacuum to sample known area plots in order to obtain density estimates of salamanders and their primary prey, invertebrates of the forest floor. We sampled leaf litter and measured various vegetative and topographic parameters within four forest types (oak-pine, oak-hickory, mixed mesophytic and northern hardwoods) and three age classes (0-12,13-...

  5. Using the Eastern Hellbender Salamander in a High School Genetics & Ecological Conservation Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chudyk, Sarah; McMillan, Amy; Lange, Catherine

    2014-01-01

    This article contains an original 5E lesson plan developed from conservation genetics research on the giant North American hellbender salamander, Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis. The lesson plan provides background information on the hellbender, reviews basic genetics, and exposes students to the scientific process that is used during…

  6. Geographic variation, genetic structure, and conservation unit designation in the Larch Mountain salamander (Plethodon larselli).

    Treesearch

    R. Steven Wagner; Mark P. Miller; Charles M. Crisafulli; Susan M. Haig

    2005-01-01

    The Larch Mountain salamander (Plethodon larselli Burns, 1954) is an endemic species in the Pacific northwestern United States facing threats related to habitat destruction. To facilitate development of conservation strategies, we used DNA sequences and RAPDs (random amplified polymorphic DNA) to examine differences among populations of this...

  7. Survival of spotted salamander eggs in temporary woodland ponds of coastal Maryland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Albers, P.H.; Prouty, R.M.

    1987-01-01

    Temporary ponds on the Atlantic Coastal Plain in maryland were characterized according to water chemistry, rain input, phytoplankton, zooplankton and use by the spotted salamander Ambystoma maculatum during March-October 1983-1984. Neither the number of egg masses per unit of pond surface (abundance) nor the survival of spotted salamander embryos was significantly correlated (P>0.05) with pond pH. Rainfall during May-July significantly increased the hydrogen ion concentration of 5 of 11 ponds evaluated for the impact of rainfall during the previous 48h and the previous week. Survival of egg masses transferred among eight ponds with pH3.66-4.45 and one pond with pH5.18 was significantly reduced (Psalamander. At the present time, pond longevity, water temperature and possibly, oxygen content, seem more important to spotted salamander reproduction than chemical changes caused by annual acidic deposition.

  8. Survival of spotted salamander eggs in temporary woodland ponds of coastal Maryland.

    PubMed

    Albers, P H; Prouty, R M

    1987-01-01

    Temporary ponds on the Atlantic Coastal Plain in maryland were characterized according to water chemistry, rain input, phytoplankton, zooplankton and use by the spotted salamander Ambystoma maculatum during March-October 1983-1984. Neither the number of egg masses per unit of pond surface (abundance) nor the survival of spotted salamander embryos was significantly correlated (P>0.05) with pond pH. Rainfall during May-July significantly increased the hydrogen ion concentration of 5 of 11 ponds evaluated for the impact of rainfall during the previous 48h and the previous week. Survival of egg masses transferred among eight ponds with pH3.66-4.45 and one pond with pH5.18 was significantly reduced (Psalamander. At the present time, pond longevity, water temperature and possibly, oxygen content, seem more important to spotted salamander reproduction than chemical changes caused by annual acidic deposition.

  9. Near infrared reflectance spectroscopy studies of Chinese giant salamanders in aquaculture production

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    NIR spectra were collected at three surface locations for Chinese giant salamanders to ascertain whether spectral signatures could be separated by anatomical, presumably physiologically-based, locations. The first location was the smooth area immediately above the cloaca on the animal’s abdomen, whi...

  10. Elimination kinetics of acetylene and Freon 22 in resting and active lungless salamanders.

    PubMed

    Feder, M E; Full, R J; Piiper, J

    1988-05-01

    To quantify diffusion limitation in cutaneous gas exchange, the elimination of two inert gases of different diffusivity, Freon 22 (CHC1F2) and acetylene (C2H2), was measured simultaneously in exclusively skin-breathing lungless salamanders, Desmognathus quadramaculatus. In resting salamanders, elimination of both gases could be described as the sum of three exponential terms. For both the medium and the slow exponential component, the ratio of the respective rate constants (k) for acetylene and Freon averaged 1.77. This value is between the values expected for perfusion limitation (1.00) and diffusion limitation (1.94), indicating combined diffusion and perfusion limitation. In salamanders stimulated to run on a treadmill, the elimination rates and the rate constants increased more for Freon than for acetylene. During spontaneous activity, the increase in elimination of Freon was larger than that of acetylene. These findings suggest an increase in the diffusing capacity of the skin during exercise. Thus the diffusing capacity of salamander skin for gases appears to be variable and to be adjusted to meet the increased O2 requirement during exercise.

  11. A single nucleotide polymorphism assay for the identification of unisexual Ambystoma salamanders.

    PubMed

    Greenwald, Katherine R; Lisle Gibbs, H

    2012-03-01

    Unisexual (all female) salamanders in the genus Ambystoma are animals of variable ploidy (2N-5N) that reproduce via a unique system of 'leaky' gynogenesis. As a result, these salamanders have a diverse array of nuclear genome combinations from up to five sexual species: the blue-spotted (A. laterale), Jefferson (A. jeffersonianum), smallmouth (A. texanum), tiger (A. tigrinum) and streamside (A. barbouri) salamanders. Identifying the genome complement, or biotype, is a critical first step in addressing a broad range of ecological and evolutionary questions about these salamanders. Previous work relied upon genome-related differences in allele size distributions for specific microsatellite loci, but overlap in these distributions among different genomes makes definitive identification and ploidy determination in unisexuals difficult or impossible. Here, we develop the first single nucleotide polymorphism assay for the identification of unisexual biotypes, based on species-specific nucleotide polymorphisms in noncoding DNA loci. Tests with simulated and natural unisexual DNA samples show that this method can accurately identify genome complement and estimate ploidy, making this a valuable tool for assessing the genome composition of unisexual samples.

  12. Coexistence in streams: Do source-sink dynamics allow salamanders to persist with fish predators?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sepulveda, A.J.; Lowe, W.H.

    2011-01-01

    Theory suggests that source-sink dynamics can allow coexistence of intraguild predators and prey, but empirical evidence for this coexistence mechanism is limited. We used capture-mark-recapture, genetic methods, and stable isotopes to test whether source-sink dynamics promote coexistence between stream fishes, the intraguild predator, and stream salamanders (Dicamptodon aterrimus), the intraguild prey. Salamander populations from upstream reaches without fish were predicted to maintain or supplement sink populations in downstream reaches with fish. We found instead that downstream reaches with fish were not sinks even though fish consumed salamander larvae-apparent survival, recruitment, and population growth rate did not differ between upstream and downstream reaches. There was also no difference between upstream and downstream reaches in net emigration. We did find that D. aterrimus moved frequently along streams, but believe that this is a response to seasonal habitat changes rather than intraguild predation. Our study provides empirical evidence that local-scale mechanisms are more important than dispersal dynamics to coexistence of streams salamanders and fish. More broadly, it shows the value of empirical data on dispersal and gene flow for distinguishing between local and spatial mechanisms of coexistence. ?? 2011 Springer-Verlag.

  13. The amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, in fully aquatic salamanders from Southeastern North America.

    PubMed

    Chatfield, Matthew W H; Moler, Paul; Richards-Zawacki, Corinne L

    2012-01-01

    Little is known about the impact that the pathogenic amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has on fully aquatic salamander species of the eastern United States. As a first step in determining the impacts of Bd on these species, we aimed to determine the prevalence of Bd in wild populations of fully aquatic salamanders in the genera Amphiuma, Necturus, Pseudobranchus, and Siren. We sampled a total of 98 salamanders, representing nine species from sites in Florida, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Overall, infection prevalence was found to be 0.34, with significant differences among genera but no clear geographic pattern. We also found evidence for seasonal variation, but additional sampling throughout the year is needed to clarify this pattern. The high rate of infection discovered in this study is consistent with studies of other amphibians from the southeastern United States. Coupled with previously published data on life histories and population densities, the results presented here suggest that fully aquatic salamanders may be serving as important vectors of Bd and the interaction between these species and Bd warrants additional research.

  14. A survey for Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in endangered and highly susceptible Vietnamese salamanders (Tylototriton spp.).

    PubMed

    Thien, Tao Nguyen; Martel, An; Brutyn, Melanie; Bogaerts, Sergé; Sparreboom, Max; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Fisher, Matthew C; Beukema, Wouter; Van, Tang Duong; Chiers, Koen; Pasmans, Frank

    2013-09-01

    Until now, Asian amphibians appear to have largely escaped declines driven by chytridiomycosis. Vietnamese salamanders that belong to the genus Tylototriton are rare and have a patchy distribution in mountainous areas, falling within the proposed environmental envelope of chytrid infections, surrounded by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infected regions. If these salamanders are susceptible to chytridiomycosis, then their populations could be highly vulnerable after the introduction of B. dendrobatidis. Examination for the presence of the chytrid fungus in skin swabs from 19 Tylototriton asperrimus and 104 Tylototriton vietnamensis by using quantitative polymerase chain reaction was performed. Susceptibility of T. asperrimus to experimental infection by using the global panzootic lineage (BdGPL) strain of B. dendrobatidis was examined. The fungus was absent in all samples from all wild salamanders examined. Inoculation with the BdGPL strain resulted in mortality of all five inoculated salamanders within 3 weeks after inoculation with infected animals that manifested severe orthokeratotic hyperkeratosis, epidermal hyperplasia, and spongiosis. Although infection by B. dendrobatidis currently appears absent in Vietnamese Tylototriton populations, the rarity of these animals, their pronounced susceptibility to chytridiomycosis, an apparently suitable environmental context and increasing likelihood of the pathogen being introduced, together suggest the need of urgent measures to avoid future scenarios of extinction as witnessed in Central America and Australia.

  15. Coexistence in streams: do source-sink dynamics allow salamanders to persist with fish predators?

    PubMed

    Sepulveda, Adam J; Lowe, Winsor H

    2011-08-01

    Theory suggests that source-sink dynamics can allow coexistence of intraguild predators and prey, but empirical evidence for this coexistence mechanism is limited. We used capture-mark-recapture, genetic methods, and stable isotopes to test whether source-sink dynamics promote coexistence between stream fishes, the intraguild predator, and stream salamanders (Dicamptodon aterrimus), the intraguild prey. Salamander populations from upstream reaches without fish were predicted to maintain or supplement sink populations in downstream reaches with fish. We found instead that downstream reaches with fish were not sinks even though fish consumed salamander larvae-apparent survival, recruitment, and population growth rate did not differ between upstream and downstream reaches. There was also no difference between upstream and downstream reaches in net emigration. We did find that D. aterrimus moved frequently along streams, but believe that this is a response to seasonal habitat changes rather than intraguild predation. Our study provides empirical evidence that local-scale mechanisms are more important than dispersal dynamics to coexistence of streams salamanders and fish. More broadly, it shows the value of empirical data on dispersal and gene flow for distinguishing between local and spatial mechanisms of coexistence.

  16. Sensitive species of snakes, frogs, and salamanders in southern California conifer forest areas: status and management

    Treesearch

    Glenn R. Stewart; Mark R. Jennings; Robert H. Jr. Goodman

    2005-01-01

    At least 35 species of amphibians and reptiles occur regularly in the conifer forest areas of southern California. Twelve of them have some or all of their populations identified as experiencing some degree of threat. Among the snakes, frogs, and salamanders that we believe need particular attention are the southern rubber boa (Charina bottae umbratica...

  17. Using the Eastern Hellbender Salamander in a High School Genetics & Ecological Conservation Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chudyk, Sarah; McMillan, Amy; Lange, Catherine

    2014-01-01

    This article contains an original 5E lesson plan developed from conservation genetics research on the giant North American hellbender salamander, Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis. The lesson plan provides background information on the hellbender, reviews basic genetics, and exposes students to the scientific process that is used during…

  18. Maximizing Sampling Efficiency and Minimizing Uncertainty in Presence/Absence Classification of Rare Salamander Populations

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-10-31

    25 Fig. 11. Parallel logging skidder tracks along the periphery of a Fort Stewart pond. ................. 26 Fig... tracks [t]), five ponds at St Marks NMR, three ponds at Apalachicola NF, and one pond at Eglin AFB. Number of larvae captured by individual netters...under sphagnum moss, leaf litter , or dead grass) (Anderson and Williamson 1976). Ambystoma opacum Gravenhorst (marbled salamander), also a fall

  19. Exceptional soft tissues preservation in a mummified frog-eating Eocene salamander

    PubMed Central

    Rage, Jean-Claude; Laurin, Michel

    2017-01-01

    Fossils are almost always represented by hard tissues but we present here the exceptional case of a three-dimensionally preserved specimen that was ‘mummified’ (likely between 40 and 34 million years ago) in a terrestrial karstic environment. This fossil is the incomplete body of a salamander, Phosphotriton sigei, whose skeleton and external morphology are well preserved, as revealed by phase-contrast synchrotron X-ray microtomography. In addition, internal structures composed of soft tissues preserved in three dimensions are now identified: a lung, the spinal cord, a lumbosacral plexus, the digestive tract, muscles and urogenital organs that may be cloacal glands. These are among the oldest known cases of three-dimensional preservation of these organs in vertebrates and shed light on the ecology of this salamander. Indeed, the digestive tract contains remains of a frog, which represents the only known case of an extinct salamander that fed on a frog, an extremely rare type of predation in extant salamanders. These new data improve our scarce knowledge on soft tissue anatomy of early urodeles and should prove useful for future biologists and palaeontologists working on urodele evolutionary biology. We also suggest that the presence of bat guano and carcasses represented a close source of phosphorus, favouring preservation of soft tissues. Bone microanatomy indicates that P. sigei was likely amphibious or terrestrial, and was probably not neotenic. PMID:29018606

  20. Exceptional soft tissues preservation in a mummified frog-eating Eocene salamander.

    PubMed

    Tissier, Jérémy; Rage, Jean-Claude; Laurin, Michel

    2017-01-01

    Fossils are almost always represented by hard tissues but we present here the exceptional case of a three-dimensionally preserved specimen that was 'mummified' (likely between 40 and 34 million years ago) in a terrestrial karstic environment. This fossil is the incomplete body of a salamander, Phosphotriton sigei, whose skeleton and external morphology are well preserved, as revealed by phase-contrast synchrotron X-ray microtomography. In addition, internal structures composed of soft tissues preserved in three dimensions are now identified: a lung, the spinal cord, a lumbosacral plexus, the digestive tract, muscles and urogenital organs that may be cloacal glands. These are among the oldest known cases of three-dimensional preservation of these organs in vertebrates and shed light on the ecology of this salamander. Indeed, the digestive tract contains remains of a frog, which represents the only known case of an extinct salamander that fed on a frog, an extremely rare type of predation in extant salamanders. These new data improve our scarce knowledge on soft tissue anatomy of early urodeles and should prove useful for future biologists and palaeontologists working on urodele evolutionary biology. We also suggest that the presence of bat guano and carcasses represented a close source of phosphorus, favouring preservation of soft tissues. Bone microanatomy indicates that P. sigei was likely amphibious or terrestrial, and was probably not neotenic.

  1. Oviposition site of the southern torrent salamander (Rhyacotriton variegatus) in northwestern California

    Treesearch

    Nancy E. Karraker; Lisa M. Ollivier; Garth R. Hodgson

    2005-01-01

    Oviposition sites and reproductive ecology of the southern-torrent salamander (Rhyacotriton variegatus) remain poorly documented. This species oviposits in cryptic locations making the detection of eggs difficult. Here we describe the discovery of 1 clutch of eggs of R. variegatus from northern California, which further expands our...

  2. Immunolocalisation of nitric oxide synthase isoforms in the epidermis of the tiger salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum.

    PubMed

    Zaccone, Giacomo; Mauceri, Angela; Maisano, Maria; Fasulo, Salvatore

    2006-01-01

    A. tigrinum: Immunoreactivity for isoforms of nitric oxidase synthase is found in the flash cells and outer-deep epidermal cell layers of the tiger salamander A. tigrinum. Despite the absence of physiological data we assume NO may be lumped together as cytocrine regulators in the amphibian epidermis.

  3. Size-Mediated Tradeoffs in Life-History Traits in Dusky Salamanders

    Treesearch

    Richard C. Bruce

    2013-01-01

    Among salamanders of the genus Desmognathus, the larger species tend to be more aquatic and the smaller more terrestrial. I studied life histories in assemblages of Desmognathus in the southern Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina at sites in the Cowee and southern Nantahala Mountains. Traits evaluated included mortality/survival...

  4. Bottom-up limitation of a stream salamander in a detritus-based food web

    Treesearch

    Brent R. Johnson; J. Bruce Wallace

    2005-01-01

    The indirect effects that resources can have on higher trophic levels remain poorly understood for detritus-based ecosystems. Our objective was to examine effects of long-term terrestrial litter exclusion on a larval salamander, Eurycea wilderae, in a detritus-based stream. After 4 years of exclusion treatment, we conducted a mark-recapture study and...

  5. Cutaneous Bacteria of the Redback Salamander Prevent Morbidity Associated with a Lethal Disease

    PubMed Central

    Becker, Matthew H.; Harris, Reid N.

    2010-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is an infectious disease that causes population declines of many amphibians. Cutaneous bacteria isolated from redback salamanders, Plethodon cinereus, and mountain yellow-legged frogs, Rana muscosa, inhibit the growth of Bd in vitro. In this study, the bacterial community present on the skin of P. cinereus individuals was investigated to determine if it provides protection to salamanders from the lethal and sub-lethal effects of chytridiomycosis. When the cutaneous bacterial community was reduced prior to Bd exposure, salamanders experienced a significantly greater decrease in body mass, which is a symptom of the disease, when compared to infected individuals with a normal bacterial community. In addition, a greater proportion of infected individuals with a reduced bacterial community experienced limb-lifting, a behavior seen only in infected individuals. Overall, these results demonstrate that the cutaneous bacterial community of P. cinereus provides protection to the salamander from Bd and that alteration of this community can change disease resistance. Therefore, symbiotic microbes associated with this species appear to be an important component of its innate skin defenses. PMID:20532032

  6. Cutaneous bacteria of the redback salamander prevent morbidity associated with a lethal disease.

    PubMed

    Becker, Matthew H; Harris, Reid N

    2010-06-04

    Chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is an infectious disease that causes population declines of many amphibians. Cutaneous bacteria isolated from redback salamanders, Plethodon cinereus, and mountain yellow-legged frogs, Rana muscosa, inhibit the growth of Bd in vitro. In this study, the bacterial community present on the skin of P. cinereus individuals was investigated to determine if it provides protection to salamanders from the lethal and sub-lethal effects of chytridiomycosis. When the cutaneous bacterial community was reduced prior to Bd exposure, salamanders experienced a significantly greater decrease in body mass, which is a symptom of the disease, when compared to infected individuals with a normal bacterial community. In addition, a greater proportion of infected individuals with a reduced bacterial community experienced limb-lifting, a behavior seen only in infected individuals. Overall, these results demonstrate that the cutaneous bacterial community of P. cinereus provides protection to the salamander from Bd and that alteration of this community can change disease resistance. Therefore, symbiotic microbes associated with this species appear to be an important component of its innate skin defenses.

  7. Rapid classical conditioning of odor response in a physiological model for olfactory research, the tiger salamander.

    PubMed

    Dorries, K M; White, J; Kauer, J S

    1997-06-01

    In recent years there have been a number of important advances in the understanding of cellular mechanisms related to olfactory function. Hypotheses regarding the complex relationships among odorant structure, physiological activity and behavioral outcome generated by these findings, however, remain largely untested due to a paucity of psychophysical data on stimulus discrimination in the same experimental species. Comparisons between behavioral and physiological responses are essential for elucidating the critical aspects of stimulus coding in sensory systems. We have developed a method for generating psychophysical data in one of the primary model species used in olfactory research, the tiger salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum. These psychophysical experiments are carried out under the same conditions as physiological experiments in our laboratory. Using classical conditioning, individual salamanders are trained over a period of 2-3 h to show skin potential responses to odor and not air. Failure to train using backward pairing demonstrates that the response is not due to sensitization or pseudoconditioning. The conditioned response is mediated by the olfactory pathway, as it is blocked by olfactory nerve section. We show that salamanders detect three odorants that are commonly used stimuli in physiological experiments (butyl alcohol, butyl acetate and amyl acetate), but cannot detect a fourth common experimental odorant, camphor. This method should be a powerful tool for studying olfactory information processing by providing data on discriminability of stimuli used in salamander physiological studies.

  8. Limb regeneration in salamanders and digital tip regeneration in experimental mice: implications for the hand surgeon.

    PubMed

    Al-Qattan, M M; Al-Qattan, A M; Al-Maged Ahmed, D A; Abd Al-Wahed, M M; Shier, M K

    2014-11-01

    Several lessons and observations from limb regeneration in animals could open new insights to direct related research in the field of hand surgery. This article briefly reviews the biology of limb regeneration in salamanders and experimental mice, with special emphasis on implications for hand surgery. 5. © The Author(s) 2014.

  9. Sal-Site: integrating new and existing ambystomatid salamander research and informational resources.

    PubMed

    Smith, Jeramiah J; Putta, Srikrishna; Walker, John A; Kump, D Kevin; Samuels, Amy K; Monaghan, James R; Weisrock, David W; Staben, Chuck; Voss, S Randal

    2005-12-16

    Salamanders of the genus Ambystoma are a unique model organism system because they enable natural history and biomedical research in the laboratory or field. We developed Sal-Site to integrate new and existing ambystomatid salamander research resources in support of this model system. Sal-Site hosts six important resources: 1) Salamander Genome Project: an information-based web-site describing progress in genome resource development, 2) Ambystoma EST Database: a database of manually edited and analyzed contigs assembled from ESTs that were collected from A. tigrinum tigrinum and A. mexicanum, 3) Ambystoma Gene Collection: a database containing full-length protein-coding sequences, 4) Ambystoma Map and Marker Collection: an image and database resource that shows the location of mapped markers on linkage groups, provides information about markers, and provides integrating links to Ambystoma EST Database and Ambystoma Gene Collection databases, 5) Ambystoma Genetic Stock Center: a website and collection of databases that describe an NSF funded salamander rearing facility that generates and distributes biological materials to researchers and educators throughout the world, and 6) Ambystoma Research Coordination Network: a web-site detailing current research projects and activities involving an international group of researchers. Sal-Site is accessible at http://www.ambystoma.org.

  10. Foraging under the risk of cannibalism leads to divergence in body size among tiger salamander larvae.

    PubMed

    Ziemba, R E; Myers, M T; Collins, J P

    2000-08-01

    Populations of plants and animals are almost always made up of individuals of different sizes. In populations where cannibalism is common, this size variation can influence rates of mortality and growth and affect population regulation. Size variation can be caused by a variety of mechanisms. One of these is due to size-specific responses to the threat of predation by potentially cannibalistic conspecifics. We investigated the role of anti-predator behavior in size structure development within single-aged cohorts of Arizona tiger salamander larvae. In a laboratory experiment, we show that size variation increases over time within groups of salamanders, even if they are fed in isolation. We also show that increasing the size of neighbors decreases the feeding rate of small salamander larvae. However, increasing density of neighbors did not have a significant effect on feeding rate. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that size variation among tiger salamander larvae is, in part, a result of size-specific responses to predation risk. We discuss the potential for feedback between size structure development, predation risk, and rates of cannibalism.

  11. Sal-Site: Integrating new and existing ambystomatid salamander research and informational resources

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Jeramiah J; Putta, Srikrishna; Walker, John A; Kump, D Kevin; Samuels, Amy K; Monaghan, James R; Weisrock, David W; Staben, Chuck; Voss, S Randal

    2005-01-01

    Salamanders of the genus Ambystoma are a unique model organism system because they enable natural history and biomedical research in the laboratory or field. We developed Sal-Site to integrate new and existing ambystomatid salamander research resources in support of this model system. Sal-Site hosts six important resources: 1) Salamander Genome Project: an information-based web-site describing progress in genome resource development, 2) Ambystoma EST Database: a database of manually edited and analyzed contigs assembled from ESTs that were collected from A. tigrinum tigrinum and A. mexicanum, 3) Ambystoma Gene Collection: a database containing full-length protein-coding sequences, 4) Ambystoma Map and Marker Collection: an image and database resource that shows the location of mapped markers on linkage groups, provides information about markers, and provides integrating links to Ambystoma EST Database and Ambystoma Gene Collection databases, 5) Ambystoma Genetic Stock Center: a website and collection of databases that describe an NSF funded salamander rearing facility that generates and distributes biological materials to researchers and educators throughout the world, and 6) Ambystoma Research Coordination Network: a web-site detailing current research projects and activities involving an international group of researchers. Sal-Site is accessible at . PMID:16359543

  12. Transcriptomic analysis of the host response to an iridovirus infection in Chinese giant salamander, Andrias davidianus.

    PubMed

    Fan, Yuding; Chang, Ming Xian; Ma, Jie; LaPatra, Scott E; Hu, Yi Wei; Huang, Lili; Nie, Pin; Zeng, Lingbing

    2015-11-20

    The emergence of an infectious viral disease caused by the Chinese giant salamander iridovirus (GSIV) has led to substantial economic losses. However, no more molecular information is available for the understanding of the mechanisms associated with virus-host interaction. In this study, de novo sequencing was used to obtain abundant high-quality ESTs and investigate differentially-expressed genes in the spleen of Chinese giant salamanders that were either infected or mock infected with GSIV. Comparative expression analysis indicated that 293 genes were down-regulated and 220 genes were up-regulated. Further enrichment analysis showed that the most enriched pathway is "complement and coagulation cascades", and significantly enriched diseases include "inherited thrombophilia", "immune system diseases", "primary immunodeficiency", "complement regulatory protein defects", and "disorders of nucleotide excision repair". Additionally, 30 678 simple sequence repeats (SSRs) from all spleen samples, 26 355 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from the spleens of uninfected animals and 36 070 SNPs from the spleens of infected animals were detected. The large amount of variation was specific for the Chinese giant salamanders that were infected with GSIV. The results reported herein provided significant and new EST information that could contribute greatly in investigations into the molecular functions of immune genes in the Chinese giant salamander.

  13. Macrohabitat models of occurrence for the threatened Cheat Mountain salamander, Plethodon nettingi

    Treesearch

    Lester O. Dillard; Kevin R. Russell; W. Mark Ford

    2008-01-01

    The federally threatened Cheat Mountain salamander (Plethodon nettingi; hereafter CMS) is known to occur at approximately 70 small, scattered sites in the Allegheny Mountains of eastern West Virginia. We used a comparative modeling approach to explain the landscape-level distribution and habitat relationships of CMS in relation to a suite of biotic...

  14. Prescribed fire and timber harvest effects on terrestrial salamander abundance, detectability, and microhabitat use

    Treesearch

    Katherine M. O' Donnell; Frank R. Thompson; Raymond D. Semlitsch

    2015-01-01

    Prescribed fire and timber harvest are anthropogenic disturbances that modify resource availability and ecosystem structure, and can affect wildlife both directly and indirectly. Terrestrial salamanders are effective indicators of forest health due to their high abundance and sensitivity to microclimatic conditions. Given their ecological importance, it is critical to...

  15. The Amphibian Chytrid Fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, in Fully Aquatic Salamanders from Southeastern North America

    PubMed Central

    Chatfield, Matthew W. H.; Moler, Paul; Richards-Zawacki, Corinne L.

    2012-01-01

    Little is known about the impact that the pathogenic amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has on fully aquatic salamander species of the eastern United States. As a first step in determining the impacts of Bd on these species, we aimed to determine the prevalence of Bd in wild populations of fully aquatic salamanders in the genera Amphiuma, Necturus, Pseudobranchus, and Siren. We sampled a total of 98 salamanders, representing nine species from sites in Florida, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Overall, infection prevalence was found to be 0.34, with significant differences among genera but no clear geographic pattern. We also found evidence for seasonal variation, but additional sampling throughout the year is needed to clarify this pattern. The high rate of infection discovered in this study is consistent with studies of other amphibians from the southeastern United States. Coupled with previously published data on life histories and population densities, the results presented here suggest that fully aquatic salamanders may be serving as important vectors of Bd and the interaction between these species and Bd warrants additional research. PMID:22984569

  16. Stand age and habitat influences on salamanders in Appalachian cove hardwood forests

    Treesearch

    W. Mark Ford; Brian R. Chapman; Michael A. Menzel; Richard H. Odom

    2002-01-01

    We surveyed cove hardwood stands aged 15, 25, 50, and ≥85 years following clearcutting in the southern Appalachian Mountains of northern Georgia to assess the effects of stand age and stand habitat characteristics on salamander communities using drift-fence array and pitfall methodologies from May 1994 to April 1995. Over a 60,060 pitfall trapnight effort, we...

  17. The Dynamics of Two Hybrid Zones in Appalachian Salamanders of the Genus Plethodon

    Treesearch

    Nelson G. Hairston; R. Haven Wiley; Charles K. Smith; Kenneth A. Kneidel

    1992-01-01

    Two zones of intergradation between populations of Plethodon have been studied for 18 and 20 years, respectively. The data consist of systematic scores of colors, made at least twice annually. Near Heintooga Overlook in the Balsam Mountains (Great Smoky Mountains National Park), the salamanders' cheeks are gray. Proceeding north toward the...

  18. Salamander retina phospholipids and their localization by MALDI imaging mass spectrometry at cellular size resolution.

    PubMed

    Roy, Michael C; Nakanishi, Hiroki; Takahashi, Kazuteru; Nakanishi, Setsuko; Kajihara, Shigeki; Hayasaka, Takahiro; Setou, Mitsutoshi; Ogawa, Kiyoshi; Taguchi, Ryo; Naito, Takayuki

    2011-03-01

    Salamander large cells facilitated identification and localization of lipids by MALDI imaging mass spectrometry. Salamander retina lipid extract showed similarity with rodent retina lipid extract in phospholipid content and composition. Like rodent retina section, distinct layer distributions of phospholipids were observed in the salamander retina section. Phosphatidylcholines (PCs) composing saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids (PC 32:0, PC 32:1, and PC 34:1) were detected mainly in the outer and inner plexiform layers (OPL and IPL), whereas PCs containing polyunsaturated fatty acids (PC 36:4, PC 38:6, and PC 40:6) composed the inner segment (IS) and outer segment (OS). The presence of PCs containing polyunsaturated fatty acids in the OS layer implied that these phospholipids form flexible lipid bilayers, which facilitate phototransduction process occurring in the rhodopsin rich OS layer. Distinct distributions and relative signal intensities of phospholipids also indicated their relative abundance in a particular cell or a cell part. Using salamander large cells, a single cell level localization and identification of biomolecules could be achieved by MALDI imaging mass spectrometry.

  19. Stream salamander species richness and abundance in relation to environmental factors in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Campbell Grant, Evan H.; Jung, Robin E.; Rice, Karen C.

    2005-01-01

    Stream salamanders are sensitive to acid mine drainage and may be sensitive to acidification and low acid neutralizing capacity (ANC) of a watershed. Streams in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, are subject to episodic acidification from precipitation events. We surveyed 25 m by 2 m transects located on the stream bank adjacent to the water channel in Shenandoah National Park for salamanders using a stratified random sampling design based on elevation, aspect and bedrock geology. We investigated the relationships of four species (Eurycea bislineata, Desmognathus fuscus, D. monticola and Gyrinophilus porphyriticus) to habitat and water quality variables. We did not find overwhelming evidence that stream salamanders are affected by the acid-base status of streams in Shenandoah National Park. Desmognathus fuscus and D. monticola abundance was greater both in streams that had a higher potential to neutralize acidification, and in higher elevation (>700 m) streams. Neither abundance of E. bislineata nor species richness were related to any of the habitat variables. Our sampling method preferentially detected the adult age class of the study species and did not allow us to estimate population sizes. We suggest that continued monitoring of stream salamander populations in SNP will determine the effects of stream acidification on these taxa.

  20. Vertebral development of modern salamanders provides insights into a unique event of their evolutionary history.

    PubMed

    Boisvert, Catherine Anne

    2009-01-15

    The origin of salamanders and their interrelationships to the two other modern amphibian orders (frogs and caecilians) are problematic owing to an 80-100 million year gap in the fossil record between the Carboniferous to the Lower Jurassic. This is compounded by a scarcity of adult skeletal characters linking the early representatives of the modern orders to their stem-group in the Paleozoic. The use of ontogenetic characters can be of great use in the resolution of these questions. Growth series of all ten modern salamander families (a 120 cleared and stained larvae) were examined for pattern and timing of vertebral elements chondrification and ossification. The primitive pattern is that of the neural arches developing before the centra, while the reverse represents the derived condition. Both the primitive and derived conditions are observed within the family Hynobiidae, whereas only the derived condition is observed in all other salamanders. This provides support to the claims that Hynobiidae is both the most basal of modern families and potentially polyphyletic (with Ranodon and Hybobius forming the most basal clade and Salamandrella being a part of the most derived clade). This provides insight into a unique event in salamander evolutionary history and suggests that the developmental pattern switch occurred between the Triassic and the mid-Jurassic before the last major radiation.

  1. A stem batrachian from the Early Permian of Texas and the origin of frogs and salamanders.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Jason S; Reisz, Robert R; Scott, Diane; Fröbisch, Nadia B; Sumida, Stuart S

    2008-05-22

    The origin of extant amphibians (Lissamphibia: frogs, salamanders and caecilians) is one of the most controversial questions in vertebrate evolution, owing to large morphological and temporal gaps in the fossil record. Current discussions focus on three competing hypotheses: a monophyletic origin within either Temnospondyli or Lepospondyli, or a polyphyletic origin with frogs and salamanders arising among temnospondyls and caecilians among the lepospondyls. Recent molecular analyses are also controversial, with estimations for the batrachian (frog-salamander) divergence significantly older than the palaeontological evidence supports. Here we report the discovery of an amphibamid temnospondyl from the Early Permian of Texas that bridges the gap between other Palaeozoic amphibians and the earliest known salientians and caudatans from the Mesozoic. The presence of a mosaic of salientian and caudatan characters in this small fossil makes it a key taxon close to the batrachian (frog and salamander) divergence. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that the batrachian divergence occurred in the Middle Permian, rather than the late Carboniferous as recently estimated using molecular clocks, but the divergence with caecilians corresponds to the deep split between temnospondyls and lepospondyls, which is congruent with the molecular estimates.

  2. Application of the Gompertz function in studies of growth in dusky salamanders (Plethodontidae: Desmognathus )

    Treesearch

    Richard C. Bruce

    2016-01-01

    Gompertz growth functions were fitted to skeletochronological data sets of three species of desmognathine salamanders from an assemblage (Wolf Creek) in the Cowee Mountains of southwestern North Carolina. The results were compared to earlier evaluations of growth in desmognathines from a nearby assemblage (Coweeta) in the Nantahala Mountains. In two of the species,...

  3. Landscape genetics of the blotched tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum melanostictum).

    PubMed

    Spear, Stephen F; Peterson, Charles R; Matocq, Marjorie D; Storfer, Andrew

    2005-07-01

    The field of landscape genetics has great potential to identify habitat features that influence population genetic structure. To identify landscape correlates of genetic differentiation in a quantitative fashion, we developed a novel approach using geographical information systems analysis. We present data on blotched tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum melanostictum) from 10 sites across the northern range of Yellowstone National Park in Montana and Wyoming, USA. We used eight microsatellite loci to analyse population genetic structure. We tested whether landscape variables, including topographical distance, elevation, wetland likelihood, cover type and number of river and stream crossings, were correlated with genetic subdivision (F(ST)). We then compared five hypothetical dispersal routes with a straight-line distance model using two approaches: (i) partial Mantel tests using Akaike's information criterion scores to evaluate model robustness and (ii) the BIOENV procedure, which uses a Spearman rank correlation to determine the combination of environmental variables that best fits the genetic data. Overall, gene flow appears highly restricted among sites, with a global F(ST) of 0.24. While there is a significant isolation-by-distance pattern, incorporating landscape variables substantially improved the fit of the model (from an r2 of 0.3 to 0.8) explaining genetic differentiation. It appears that gene flow follows a straight-line topographic route, with river crossings and open shrub habitat correlated with lower F(ST) and thus, decreased differentiation, while distance and elevation difference appear to increase differentiation. This study demonstrates a general approach that can be used to determine the influence of landscape variables on population genetic structure.

  4. Vesicle Pool Size at the Salamander Cone Ribbon Synapse

    PubMed Central

    Bartoletti, Theodore M.; Babai, Norbert

    2010-01-01

    Cone light responses are transmitted to postsynaptic neurons by changes in the rate of synaptic vesicle release. Vesicle pool size at the cone synapse constrains the amount of release and can thus shape contrast detection. We measured the number of vesicles in the rapidly releasable and reserve pools at cone ribbon synapses by performing simultaneous whole cell recording from cones and horizontal or off bipolar cells in the salamander retinal slice preparation. We found that properties of spontaneously occurring miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) are representative of mEPSCs evoked by depolarizing presynaptic stimulation. Strong, brief depolarization of the cone stimulated release of the entire rapidly releasable pool (RRP) of vesicles. Comparing charge transfer of the EPSC with mEPSC charge transfer, we determined that the fast component of the EPSC reflects release of ∼40 vesicles. Comparing EPSCs with simultaneous presynaptic capacitance measurements, we found that horizontal cell EPSCs constitute 14% of the total number of vesicles released from a cone terminal. Using a fluorescent ribeye-binding peptide, we counted ∼13 ribbons per cone. Together, these results suggest each cone contacts a single horizontal cell at ∼2 ribbons. The size of discrete components in the EPSC amplitude histogram also suggested ∼2 ribbon contacts per cell pair. We therefore conclude there are ∼20 vesicles per ribbon in the RRP, similar to the number of vesicles contacting the plasma membrane at the ribbon base. EPSCs evoked by lengthy depolarization suggest a reserve pool of ∼90 vesicles per ribbon, similar to the number of additional docking sites further up the ribbon. PMID:19923246

  5. Endogenous calcium buffering at photoreceptor synaptic terminals in salamander retina

    PubMed Central

    Van Hook, Matthew J.; Thoreson, Wallace B.

    2014-01-01

    Calcium operates by several mechanisms to regulate glutamate release at rod and cone synaptic terminals. In addition to serving as the exocytotic trigger, Ca2+ accelerates replenishment of vesicles in cones and triggers Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release (CICR) in rods. Ca2+ thereby amplifies sustained exocytosis, enabling photoreceptor synapses to encode constant and changing light. A complete picture of the role of Ca2+ in regulating synaptic transmission requires an understanding of the endogenous Ca2+ handling mechanisms at the synapse. We therefore used the “added buffer” approach to measure the endogenous Ca2+ binding ratio (κendo) and extrusion rate constant (γ) in synaptic terminals of photoreceptors in retinal slices from tiger salamander. We found that κendo was similar in both cell types - approximately 25 and 50 in rods and cones, respectively. Using measurements of the decay time constants of Ca2+ transients, we found that γ was also similar, with values of approximately 100 s−1 and 160 s−1 in rods and cones, respectively. The measurements of κendo differ considerably from measurements in retinal bipolar cells, another ribbon-bearing class of retinal neurons, but are comparable to similar measurements at other conventional synapses. The values of γ are slower than at other synapses, suggesting that Ca2+ ions linger longer in photoreceptor terminals, supporting sustained exocytosis, CICR, and Ca2+-dependent ribbon replenishment. The mechanisms of endogenous Ca2+ handling in photoreceptors are thus well-suited for supporting tonic neurotransmission. Similarities between rod and cone Ca2+ handling suggest that neither buffering nor extrusion underlie differences in synaptic transmission kinetics. PMID:25049035

  6. Glycinergic synaptic inputs to bipolar cells in the salamander retina

    PubMed Central

    Maple, Bruce R; Wu, Samuel M

    1998-01-01

    Glycine activated strychnine-sensitive chloride conductances at both the dendrites and the axonal telodendria of most bipolar cells in the salamander retina. The chloride equilibrium potential of bipolar cells was found to be negative to -50 mV, indicating that glycinergic synapses on bipolar cells are inhibitory. Some bipolar cells exhibited discrete, strychnine-sensitive, chloride-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs). These were elicited by focal application of glutamate at the inner plexiform layer (IPL). Glycinergic synapses were localized using simultaneous focal application of calcium to retinal slices bathed in calcium-free media. Both dendritic and telodendritic glycinergic IPSCs were observed. The decay of the telodendritic IPSCs was well fitted by a single exponential with a time constant of 17.7 ± 8.7 ms. Similar kinetics were observed for dendritic IPSCs in some cells, but in one class of on-centre bipolar cell the decay of the dendritic IPSCs was better fitted by a sum of two exponentials with time constants 9.9 ± 4.3 and 51.3 ± 24.3 ms. The dendritic IPSCs were best driven by application of glutamate at the distal IPL (the off sublamina), while the telodendritic IPSCs were driven best by application near the telodendria. These results suggest that bipolar cell dendrites receive inhibitory glycinergic inputs from interplexiform cells that are excited by off-centre bipolar cells, whereas bipolar cell telodendria receive glycinergic amacrine cell inputs that are antagonistic to the photoreceptor inputs. Both inputs could be elicited in the presence of tetrodotoxin (TTX), but the dendritic IPSCs were sometimes abolished by TTX, suggesting that sodium-dependent spikes play an important role in the transmission of interplexiform cell signals to the outer plexiform layer. PMID:9503334

  7. Microarray analysis of a salamander hopeful monster reveals transcriptional signatures of paedomorphic brain development

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is considered a hopeful monster because it exhibits an adaptive and derived mode of development - paedomorphosis - that has evolved rapidly and independently among tiger salamanders. Unlike related tiger salamanders that undergo metamorphosis, axolotls retain larval morphological traits into adulthood and thus present an adult body plan that differs dramatically from the ancestral (metamorphic) form. The basis of paedomorphic development was investigated by comparing temporal patterns of gene transcription between axolotl and tiger salamander larvae (Ambystoma tigrinum tigrinum) that typically undergo a metamorphosis. Results Transcript abundances from whole brain and pituitary were estimated via microarray analysis on four different days post hatching (42, 56, 70, 84 dph) and regression modeling was used to independently identify genes that were differentially expressed as a function of time in both species. Collectively, more differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified as unique to the axolotl (n = 76) and tiger salamander (n = 292) than were identified as shared (n = 108). All but two of the shared DEGs exhibited the same temporal pattern of expression and the unique genes tended to show greater changes later in the larval period when tiger salamander larvae were undergoing anatomical metamorphosis. A second, complementary analysis that directly compared the expression of 1320 genes between the species identified 409 genes that differed as a function of species or the interaction between time and species. Of these 409 DEGs, 84% exhibited higher abundances in tiger salamander larvae at all sampling times. Conclusions Many of the unique tiger salamander transcriptional responses are probably associated with metamorphic biological processes. However, the axolotl also showed unique patterns of transcription early in development. In particular, the axolotl showed a genome-wide reduction in mRNA abundance

  8. Microarray analysis of a salamander hopeful monster reveals transcriptional signatures of paedomorphic brain development.

    PubMed

    Page, Robert B; Boley, Meredith A; Smith, Jeramiah J; Putta, Srikrishna; Voss, Stephen R

    2010-06-28

    The Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is considered a hopeful monster because it exhibits an adaptive and derived mode of development - paedomorphosis - that has evolved rapidly and independently among tiger salamanders. Unlike related tiger salamanders that undergo metamorphosis, axolotls retain larval morphological traits into adulthood and thus present an adult body plan that differs dramatically from the ancestral (metamorphic) form. The basis of paedomorphic development was investigated by comparing temporal patterns of gene transcription between axolotl and tiger salamander larvae (Ambystoma tigrinum tigrinum) that typically undergo a metamorphosis. Transcript abundances from whole brain and pituitary were estimated via microarray analysis on four different days post hatching (42, 56, 70, 84 dph) and regression modeling was used to independently identify genes that were differentially expressed as a function of time in both species. Collectively, more differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified as unique to the axolotl (n = 76) and tiger salamander (n = 292) than were identified as shared (n = 108). All but two of the shared DEGs exhibited the same temporal pattern of expression and the unique genes tended to show greater changes later in the larval period when tiger salamander larvae were undergoing anatomical metamorphosis. A second, complementary analysis that directly compared the expression of 1320 genes between the species identified 409 genes that differed as a function of species or the interaction between time and species. Of these 409 DEGs, 84% exhibited higher abundances in tiger salamander larvae at all sampling times. Many of the unique tiger salamander transcriptional responses are probably associated with metamorphic biological processes. However, the axolotl also showed unique patterns of transcription early in development. In particular, the axolotl showed a genome-wide reduction in mRNA abundance across loci, including genes

  9. At random meetings to the creation of new species of Salamander

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brillant, Marie-Pierre

    2013-04-01

    The pupils in final year of high school (15-18 years old) study the notion "species" and the creation of new species in various ways. Having studied genetic admixtures, this activity allows the pupils to build a scenario explaining the creation of a new species of Salamander in southern California from an ancestral population existing in northern Oregon. They can observe, on Google Earth, various populations of Salamander of the genus Ensatina. Salamanders of the genus Ensatina live in California around the Joaquin and Sacramento dry valleys. In this software, the pupils get information about the salamanders' environment and photographs of individuals and environments. During a migratory movement toward new territories to be colonized, these salamanders meet an inhospitable environment that they can not occupy. This population then splits up into two migratory branches, east and west, each overcoming the obstacles in different ways. The two groups gradually colonized southern territories but they avoided the too dry and hot San Joaquin plains. The two main branches of the original population gradually move away from each other, and genetic exchanges between them decrease over time. Eventually, we can find various populations of Salamander on both sides of the valleys, since the salamanders occupied new territories and diversified along the way. Among mutations that randomly occur, only those mutations that are best adapted in the origin were conserved in the genetic heritage of every population. When the individuals stemming from different western populations met, they were interfertile and give fertile hybrids, which was verified in the laboratory. Likewise, when individuals of the different eastern subspecies met accidentally, fertile hybrids also could arise from these crossings. The pupils can observe what happens in the overlap of various populations : interfertility or not. They also have geological, geographical and climatic information about the San Joaquin

  10. Mercury Speciation and Trophic Magnification Slopes in Giant Salamander Larvae from the Pacific Northwest, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bank, M. S.; Crocker, J.; Wachtl, J.; Kleeman, P.; Fellers, G.; Currens, C.; Hothem, R.; Madej, M. A.

    2014-12-01

    Mercury (Hg) contamination of stream salamanders in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States has received little attention. Here we report total Hg (HgT) and methyl mercury (MeHg) concentrations in larval giant salamanders (Dicamptodon spp.) and surface water from forested and chaparral lotic ecosystems distributed along a latitudinal gradient throughout Northern California and Washington. To test hypotheses related to potential effects from mining land-use activities, salamander larvae were also sampled from a reference site at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, California, and at a nearby, upstream site (Shasta county) on Bureau of Land Management land where Hg contamination from gold mining activities has been documented. HgT concentrations in whole body larvae ranged from 4.6 to 74.5 ng/g wet wt. and percent MeHg ranged from 67% to 86%. Both HgT and MeHg larval tissue concentrations were significantly higher at the mining site in comparison to measured background levels (P < 0.001). We conclude that salamander larvae in remote stream ecosystems, where Hg sources were dominated by atmospheric deposition, were generally low in HgT and MeHg and, in comparison, watersheds with a legacy of land-use practices (i.e., mining operations) had approximately 4.5 - 5.5 times the level of HgT bioaccumulation. Moreover, trophic magnification slopes were highest in the Shasta county region where mining was present. These findings suggest that mining activities increase HgT and MeHg exposure to salamander larvae in the region and may present a threat to other higher trophically positioned organisms, and their associated food webs.

  11. Low levels of LTR retrotransposon deletion by ectopic recombination in the gigantic genomes of salamanders.

    PubMed

    Frahry, Matthew Blake; Sun, Cheng; Chong, Rebecca A; Mueller, Rachel Lockridge

    2015-02-01

    Across the tree of life, species vary dramatically in nuclear genome size. Mutations that add or remove sequences from genomes-insertions or deletions, or indels-are the ultimate source of this variation. Differences in the tempo and mode of insertion and deletion across taxa have been proposed to contribute to evolutionary diversity in genome size. Among vertebrates, most of the largest genomes are found within the salamanders, an amphibian clade with genome sizes ranging from ~14 to ~120 Gb. Salamander genomes have been shown to experience slower rates of DNA loss through small (i.e., <30 bp) deletions than do other vertebrate genomes. However, no studies have addressed DNA loss from salamander genomes resulting from larger deletions. Here, we focus on one type of large deletion-ectopic-recombination-mediated removal of LTR retrotransposon sequences. In ectopic recombination, double-strand breaks are repaired using a "wrong" (i.e., ectopic, or non-allelic) template sequence-typically another locus of similar sequence. When breaks occur within the LTR portions of LTR retrotransposons, ectopic-recombination-mediated repair can produce deletions that remove the internal transposon sequence and the equivalent of one of the two LTR sequences. These deletions leave a signature in the genome-a solo LTR sequence. We compared levels of solo LTRs in the genomes of four salamander species with levels present in five vertebrates with smaller genomes. Our results demonstrate that salamanders have low levels of solo LTRs, suggesting that ectopic-recombination-mediated deletion of LTR retrotransposons occurs more slowly than in other vertebrates with smaller genomes.

  12. Immunological responses and protection in Chinese giant salamander Andrias davidianus immunized with inactivated iridovirus.

    PubMed

    Liu, Wenzhi; Xu, Jin; Ma, Jie; LaPatra, Scott E; Meng, Yan; Fan, Yuding; Zhou, Yong; Yang, Xin; Zeng, Lingbing

    2014-12-05

    Chinese giant salamander hemorrhage is a newly emerged infectious disease in China and has caused huge economic losses. The causative pathogen has been identified as the giant salamander iridovirus (GSIV). In this study, the immunological responses and protection in Chinese giant salamander immunized with β-propiolactone inactivated GSIV are reported. Red and white blood cell counting and classification, phagocytic activity, neutralizing antibody titration, immune-related gene expression and determination of the relative percent survival were evaluated after vaccination. The red and white blood cell counts showed that the numbers of erythrocytes and leukocytes in the peripheral blood of immunized Chinese giant salamanders increased significantly on days 4 and 7 post-injection (P<0.01). Additionally, the differential leukocyte count of monocytes and neutrophils were significantly different compared to the control group (P<0.01); the percentage of lymphocytes was 70.45±7.52% at day 21. The phagocytic percentage and phagocytic index was 38.78±4.33% and 3.75±0.52, respectively, at day 4 post-immunization which were both significantly different compared to the control group (P<0.01). The serum neutralizing antibody titer increased at day 14 post-immunization and reached the highest titer (341±9.52) at day 21. The quantitative PCR analysis revealed that the immunization significantly up-regulated the expression of immune related genes TLR-9 and MyD88 the first two weeks after immunization. The challenge test conducted at day 30 post-injection demonstrated that the immunized group produced a relative survival of 72%. These results indicate that the inactivated GSIV could elicit significant non-specific and specific immunological responses in Chinese giant salamander that resulted in significant protection against GSIV induced disease.

  13. Three ferritin subunit analogs in Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus) and their response to microbial stimulation.

    PubMed

    You, Xiuling; Sheng, Jianghong; Liu, Liu; Nie, Dongsong; Liao, Zhiyong

    2015-10-01

    Ferritin, an evolutionarily conserved iron-binding protein, plays important roles in iron storage and detoxification and in host immune response to invading stimulus as well. In the present study, we identified three ferritin subunit analog cDNAs from Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus). All the three ferritin subunit cDNAs had a putative iron responsive element in the 5'-untranslated region. Two deduced ferritin subunits (designated as cgsFerH and cgsFerM) had the highest identity of 90% to H type subunit of vertebrate ferritins, while another deduced ferritin subunit (designated as cgsFerL) had the highest identity of 84% to L type subunit of vertebrate ferritins. The Chinese giant salamander ferritin (cgsFer) was widely expressed in various tissues, with highest expression for cgsFerH and cgsFerL in liver and highest expression for cgsFerM in spleen. Infection of Chinese giant salamander with A. davidianus ranavirus showed significant induction of cgsFer expression. Both lipopolysaccharide and iron challenge drastically augmented cgsFer expression in the splenocytes and hepatocytes from Chinese giant salamander. In addition, recombinant cgsFers bound to ferrous iron in a dose-dependent manner, with significant ferroxidase activity. Furthermore, the recombinant cgsFer inhibited the growth of the pathogen Vibrio anguillarum. These results indicated that cgsFer was potential candidate of immune molecules involved in acute phase response to invading microbial pathogens in Chinese giant salamander possibly through its regulatory roles in iron homeostasis.

  14. Ecological resistance surfaces predict fine-scale genetic differentiation in a terrestrial woodland salamander.

    PubMed

    Peterman, William E; Connette, Grant M; Semlitsch, Raymond D; Eggert, Lori S

    2014-05-01

    Landscape genetics has seen tremendous advances since its introduction, but parameterization and optimization of resistance surfaces still poses significant challenges. Despite increased availability and resolution of spatial data, few studies have integrated empirical data to directly represent ecological processes as genetic resistance surfaces. In our study, we determine the landscape and ecological factors affecting gene flow in the western slimy salamander (Plethodon albagula). We used field data to derive resistance surfaces representing salamander abundance and rate of water loss through combinations of canopy cover, topographic wetness, topographic position, solar exposure and distance from ravine. These ecologically explicit composite surfaces directly represent an ecological process or physiological limitation of our organism. Using generalized linear mixed-effects models, we optimized resistance surfaces using a nonlinear optimization algorithm to minimize model AIC. We found clear support for the resistance surface representing the rate of water loss experienced by adult salamanders in the summer. Resistance was lowest at intermediate levels of water loss and higher when the rate of water loss was predicted to be low or high. This pattern may arise from the compensatory movement behaviour of salamanders through suboptimal habitat, but also reflects the physiological limitations of salamanders and their sensitivity to extreme environmental conditions. Our study demonstrates that composite representations of ecologically explicit processes can provide novel insight and can better explain genetic differentiation than ecologically implicit landscape resistance surfaces. Additionally, our study underscores the fact that spatial estimates of habitat suitability or abundance may not serve as adequate proxies for describing gene flow, as predicted abundance was a poor predictor of genetic differentiation.

  15. The hyal and ventral branchial muscles in caecilian and salamander larvae: homologies and evolution.

    PubMed

    Kleinteich, Thomas; Haas, Alexander

    2011-05-01

    Amphibians (Lissamphibia) are characterized by a bi-phasic life-cycle that comprises an aquatic larval stage and metamorphosis to the adult. The ancestral aquatic feeding behavior of amphibian larvae is suction feeding. The negative pressure that is needed for ingestion of prey is created by depression of the hyobranchial apparatus as a result of hyobranchial muscle action. Understanding the homologies of hyobranchial muscles in amphibian larvae is a crucial step in understanding the evolution of this important character complex. However, the literature mostly focuses on the adult musculature and terms used for hyal and ventral branchial muscles in different amphibians often do not reflect homologies across lissamphibian orders. Here we describe the hyal and ventral branchial musculature in larvae of caecilians (Gymnophiona) and salamanders (Caudata), including juveniles of two permanently aquatic salamander species. Based on previous alternative terminology schemes, we propose a terminology for the hyal and ventral branchial muscles that reflects the homologies of muscles and that is suited for studies on hyobranchial muscle evolution in amphibians. We present a discussion of the hyal and ventral branchial muscles in larvae of the most recent common ancestor of amphibians (i.e. the ground plan of Lissamphibia). Based on our terminology, the hyal and ventral branchial musculature of caecilians and salamanders comprises the following muscles: m. depressor mandibulae, m. depressor mandibulae posterior, m. hyomandibularis, m. branchiohyoideus externus, m. interhyoideus, m. interhyoideus posterior, m. subarcualis rectus I, m. subarcualis obliquus II, m. subarcualis obliquus III, m. subarcualis rectus II-IV, and m. transversus ventralis IV. Except for the m. branchiohyoideus externus, all muscles considered herein can be assigned to the ground plan of the Lissamphibia with certainty. The m. branchiohyoideus externus is either apomorphic for the Batrachia (frogs

  16. Multilocus Phylogeography and Species Delimitation in the Cumberland Plateau Salamander, Plethodon kentucki: Incongruence among Data Sets and Methods.

    PubMed

    Kuchta, Shawn R; Brown, Ashley D; Converse, Paul E; Highton, Richard

    2016-01-01

    Species are a fundamental unit of biodiversity, yet can be challenging to delimit objectively. This is particularly true of species complexes characterized by high levels of population genetic structure, hybridization between genetic groups, isolation by distance, and limited phenotypic variation. Previous work on the Cumberland Plateau Salamander, Plethodon kentucki, suggested that it might constitute a species complex despite occupying a relatively small geographic range. To examine this hypothesis, we sampled 135 individuals from 43 populations, and used four mitochondrial loci and five nuclear loci (5693 base pairs) to quantify phylogeographic structure and probe for cryptic species diversity. Rates of evolution for each locus were inferred using the multidistribute package, and time calibrated gene trees and species trees were inferred using BEAST 2 and *BEAST 2, respectively. Because the parameter space relevant for species delimitation is large and complex, and all methods make simplifying assumptions that may lead them to fail, we conducted an array of analyses. Our assumption was that strongly supported species would be congruent across methods. Putative species were first delimited using a Bayesian implementation of the GMYC model (bGMYC), Geneland, and Brownie. We then validated these species using the genealogical sorting index and BPP. We found substantial phylogeographic diversity using mtDNA, including four divergent clades and an inferred common ancestor at 14.9 myr (95% HPD: 10.8-19.7 myr). By contrast, this diversity was not corroborated by nuclear sequence data, which exhibited low levels of variation and weak phylogeographic structure. Species trees estimated a far younger root than did the mtDNA data, closer to 1.0 myr old. Mutually exclusive putative species were identified by the different approaches. Possible causes of data set discordance, and the problem of species delimitation in complexes with high levels of population structure and

  17. Multilocus Phylogeography and Species Delimitation in the Cumberland Plateau Salamander, Plethodon kentucki: Incongruence among Data Sets and Methods

    PubMed Central

    Kuchta, Shawn R.; Brown, Ashley D.; Converse, Paul E.; Highton, Richard

    2016-01-01

    Species are a fundamental unit of biodiversity, yet can be challenging to delimit objectively. This is particularly true of species complexes characterized by high levels of population genetic structure, hybridization between genetic groups, isolation by distance, and limited phenotypic variation. Previous work on the Cumberland Plateau Salamander, Plethodon kentucki, suggested that it might constitute a species complex despite occupying a relatively small geographic range. To examine this hypothesis, we sampled 135 individuals from 43 populations, and used four mitochondrial loci and five nuclear loci (5693 base pairs) to quantify phylogeographic structure and probe for cryptic species diversity. Rates of evolution for each locus were inferred using the multidistribute package, and time calibrated gene trees and species trees were inferred using BEAST 2 and *BEAST 2, respectively. Because the parameter space relevant for species delimitation is large and complex, and all methods make simplifying assumptions that may lead them to fail, we conducted an array of analyses. Our assumption was that strongly supported species would be congruent across methods. Putative species were first delimited using a Bayesian implementation of the GMYC model (bGMYC), Geneland, and Brownie. We then validated these species using the genealogical sorting index and BPP. We found substantial phylogeographic diversity using mtDNA, including four divergent clades and an inferred common ancestor at 14.9 myr (95% HPD: 10.8–19.7 myr). By contrast, this diversity was not corroborated by nuclear sequence data, which exhibited low levels of variation and weak phylogeographic structure. Species trees estimated a far younger root than did the mtDNA data, closer to 1.0 myr old. Mutually exclusive putative species were identified by the different approaches. Possible causes of data set discordance, and the problem of species delimitation in complexes with high levels of population structure and

  18. From species divergence to population structure: a multimarker approach on the most basal lineage of Salamandridae, the spectacled salamanders (genus Salamandrina) from Italy.

    PubMed

    Hauswaldt, J Susanne; Angelini, Claudio; Gehara, Marcelo; Benavides, Edgar; Polok, Andy; Steinfartz, Sebastian

    2014-01-01

    The Apennine Peninsula is one of Europe's main glacial refugial areas and harbors a large number of lineages and species. Here, a pattern of higher genetic diversity in the south compared to that of the north is characteristic of most vertebrates; however, most studies that have produced these results have relied only on inferences based on mitochondrial DNA. The spectacled salamanders (genus Salamandrina) are endemic to the Apennine Peninsula and have diverged into two sibling species: S. terdigitata (in the south) and S. perspicillata (in the north), presumably in the late Miocene or early Pliocene. By sequencing one mitochondrial (cytb) and two nuclear genes (RAG1 and POMC) and genotyping 10 microsatellite loci, we traced the evolution of these sibling species from their divergence to their contemporary population structure at a fine scale. Using a multilocus coalescent-based approach, we estimated the temporal divergence of both species at approximately 2.25 mya (million years ago), which, hence, is much younger than previous estimates. The classical pattern of high genetic diversity in the south and lower diversity in the north was confirmed only for some markers, and the demographic histories of the two species differed substantially. Whereas S. perspicillata (north) expanded from a single major refugium in the center of the Apennine Peninsula, populations of S. terdigitata (south) persisted through cooler periods in multiple refugia. Further, the fine-scale population genetic structure of 16 S. perspicillata populations revealed significant genetic differentiation, even across short geographic distances. The results of our study stress that for a better understanding of phylogeographic patterns and past demographic processes, both mitochondrial and multiple nuclear loci should be analyzed to avoid gene-specific, and possibly biased results.

  19. Impacts of a gape limited Brook Trout, Salvelinus fontinalis, on larval Northwestern salamander, Ambystoma gracile, growth: A field enclosure experiment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Currens, C.R.; Liss, W.J.; Hoffman, R.L.

    2007-01-01

    The formation of amphibian population structure is directly affected by predation. Although aquatic predators have been shown to have direct negative effects on larval salamanders in laboratory and field experiments, the potential impacts of gape-limited fish on larval salamander growth has been largely underexplored. We designed an enclosure experiment conducted in situ to quantify the effects of gape-limited Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) on larval Northwestern Salamander (Ambystoma gracile) growth. We specifically tested whether the presence of fish too small to consume larvae had a negative effect on larval growth. The results of this study indicate that the presence of a gape-limited S. fontinalis can have a negative effect on growth of larval A. gracile salamanders. Copyright 2007 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.

  20. Simulation and robotics studies of salamander locomotion: applying neurobiological principles to the control of locomotion in robots.

    PubMed

    Ijspeert, Auke Jan; Crespi, Alessandro; Cabelguen, Jean-Marie

    2005-01-01

    This article presents a project that aims at understanding the neural circuitry controlling salamander locomotion, and developing an amphibious salamander-like robot capable of replicating its bimodal locomotion, namely swimming and terrestrial walking. The controllers of the robot are central pattern generator models inspired by the salamander's locomotion control network. The goal of the project is twofold: (1) to use robots as tools for gaining a better understanding of locomotion control in vertebrates and (2) to develop new robot and control technologies for developing agile and adaptive outdoor robots. The article has four parts. We first describe the motivations behind the project. We then present neuromechanical simulation studies of locomotion control in salamanders. This is followed by a description of the current stage of the robotic developments. We conclude the article with a discussion on the usefulness of robots in neuroscience research with a special focus on locomotion control.

  1. Distribution of monoamine oxidase activity in tissues of the urodeles Ambystoma tigrinum (tiger salamander) and Necturus maculosus (mudpuppy).

    PubMed

    Hall, T R; Urueña, G

    1983-01-01

    1. Monoamine oxidase (MAO) activity was determined fluorometrically in tissues of adult mudpuppies, and pre- (young) and post- (adult) metamorphic tiger salamanders. 2. From responses to specific inhibitors it was determined that 95% activity was MAO type A in all tissues. 3. In young salamanders MAO activity was greater in brain and intestine of males than of females, and was considerably higher in kidney of both sexes and in intestine of males compared to adults. 4. MAO activity was distributed differently in the mudpuppy compared to the salamander. Intestine and liver contained high activity and brain had relatively little MAO activity compared to salamander. 5. The apparent Michaelis constant of MAO activity in the different groups and tissues was generally similar, suggesting a similarity of the MAO molecule.

  2. Complete nucleotide sequence and gene rearrangement of the mitochondrial genome of the bell-ring frog, Buergeria buergeri (family Rhacophoridae).

    PubMed

    Sano, Naomi; Kurabayashi, Atsushi; Fujii, Tamotsu; Yonekawa, Hiromichi; Sumida, Masayuki

    2004-06-01

    In this study we determined the complete nucleotide sequence (19,959 bp) of the mitochondrial DNA of the rhacophorid frog Buergeria buergeri. The gene content, nucleotide composition, and codon usage of B. buergeri conformed to those of typical vertebrate patterns. However, due to an accumulation of lengthy repetitive sequences in the D-loop region, this species possesses the largest mitochondrial genome among all the vertebrates examined so far. Comparison of the gene organizations among amphibian species (Rana, Xenopus, salamanders and caecilians) revealed that the positioning of four tRNA genes and the ND5 gene in the mtDNA of B. buergeri diverged from the common vertebrate gene arrangement shared by Xenopus, salamanders and caecilians. The unique positions of the tRNA genes in B. buergeri are shared by ranid frogs, indicating that the rearrangements of the tRNA genes occurred in a common ancestral lineage of ranids and rhacophorids. On the other hand, the novel position of the ND5 gene seems to have arisen in a lineage leading to rhacophorids (and other closely related taxa) after ranid divergence. Phylogenetic analysis based on nucleotide sequence data of all mitochondrial genes also supported the gene rearrangement pathway.

  3. Life history as a predictor of salamander recovery rate from timber harvest in southern appalachian forests, USA.

    PubMed

    Connette, Grant M; Semlitsch, Raymond D

    2013-12-01

    Forest management often represents a balance between social, economic, and ecological objectives. In the eastern United States, numerous studies have established that terrestrial salamander populations initially decline in abundance following timber harvest, yet the large-scale and long-term consequences are relatively unknown. We used count data from terrestrial survey points to examine the relation between salamander abundance and historic timber harvest while accounting for imperfect detection of individuals. Overall, stream- and terrestrial-breeding salamanders appeared to differ by magnitude of population decline, rate of population recovery, and extent of recolonization from surrounding forest. Specifically, estimated abundance of both species groups was positively associated with stand age and recovery rates were predicted to increase over time for red-legged salamanders (Plethodon shermani) and decrease in stream-breeding species. Abundance of stream-breeding salamanders was predicted to reach a peak by 100 years after timber harvest, and the population growth rate of red-legged salamanders was predicted to undergo a significant increase 100 years after harvest. Estimated abundance of stream-breeding salamanders in young forest stands was also negatively associated with the distance to adjacent forest, a result that suggests immigration has a role in the recovery of these species. Our results indicate that salamander abundance in young forest stands may be only modestly lower than in more mature forest but that full recovery from timber harvest may take a substantial amount of time and that species life history may affect patterns of recovery. Historia de Vida como un Vaticinador de la Tasa de Recuperación de una Salamandra a la Colecta de Madera en los Bosques del Sur de los Apalaches, E.U.A. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  4. A New Species of Eimeria (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) from the marbled salamander, Ambystoma opacum (Caudata: Ambystomatidae), from northern Louisiana.

    PubMed

    McAllister, Chris T; Upton, Steve J

    2008-06-01

    Between December 2002 and June 2004, 10 marbled salamanders, Ambystoma opacum, were examined for coccidian parasites. Salamanders were collected in Bradley (n = 2), Little River (n = 1), Miller (n = 1), and Sevier (n = 1) Counties, Arkansas; Webster Parish, Louisiana (n = 2); and Bowie (n = 1) and Nacogdoches (n = 2) Counties, Texas. Two of 10 (20%) A. opacum from Louisiana harbored an undescribed species of Eimeria. Oocysts of Eimeria trauthi n. sp. were ellipsoidal, 36.6 x 33.1 (33-40 x 29-37) microm, with a thin, single-layered wall; shape index 1.1. Polar granule(s) and micropyle were absent. Oocyst residuum was composed of hundreds of loosely packed homogenous granules of various sizes enclosing a vacuole. Sporocysts were elongate-ellipsoidal, 20.8 x 8.1 (19-22 x 7-9) microm; shape index 2.6. Sporocyst residuum was spherical and composed of a cluster of granules often membrane-bound. This is the first time a coccidium has been reported from an amphibian species in Louisiana and the second time a coccidium has been described from this salamander host. In addition, the following 26 salamanders from various counties in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas were surveyed during the study period and were negative for coccidia: Ambystomatidae, 4 spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) and 7 mole salamanders (Ambystoma talpoideum); Cryptobranchidae, 4 Ozark hellbenders (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis bishopi); Plethodontidae, 6 spotted dusky salamanders (Desmognathus conanti) and 3 many-ribbed salamanders (Eurycea multiplicata multiplicata); and Salamandridae, 2 central newts (Notophthalmus viridescens louisianensis).

  5. Vaccination with Recombinant Baculovirus Expressing Ranavirus Major Capsid Protein Induces Protective Immunity in Chinese Giant Salamander, Andrias davidianus.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xiaoyuan; Zhang, Xinglang; Han, Yahui; Jia, Qiuhong; Gao, Hongwei

    2017-07-25

    The Chinese giant salamander iridovirus (CGSIV), belonging to the genus Ranavirus in the family Iridoviridae, is the causative agent of an emerging infectious disease causing high mortality of more than 90% and economic losses in Chinese giant salamanders in China. In this study, a recombinant baculovirus-based vaccine expressing the CGSIV major capsid protein (MCP) was developed and its protective immunity in Chinese giant salamanders was evaluated. The recombinant Autographacalifornica nucleopolyhedrosis virus (AcNPV), expressing CGSIV MCP, designated as AcNPV-MCP, was generated with the highest titers of 1 × 10⁸ plaque forming units/mL (PFU/mL) and confirmed by Western blot and indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) assays. Western blot analysis revealed that the expressed MCP reacted with mouse anti-MCP monoclonal antibodies at the band of about 53 kDa. The results of IIF indicated that the MCP was expressed in the infected Spodoptera frugiperda 9 (Sf9) cells with the recombinant baculovirus, and the Chinese giant salamander muscle cells also transduced with the AcNPV-MCP. Immunization with the recombinant baculovirus of AcNPV-MCP elicited robust specific humoral immune responses detected by ELISA and neutralization assays and potent cellular immune responses in Chinese giant salamanders. Importantly, the effective immunization conferred highly protective immunity for Chinese giant salamanders against CGSIV challenge and produced a relative percent of survival rate of 84%. Thus, the recombinant baculovirus expressing CGSIV MCP can induce significant immune responses involving both humoral and cell-mediated immunity in Chinese giant salamanders and might represent a potential baculovirus based vaccine candidate for Chinese giant salamanders against CGSIV.

  6. Neurofilaments are prominent in bullfrog olfactory axons but are rarely seen in those of the tiger salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum.

    PubMed

    Burton, P R; Wentz, M A

    1992-03-22

    Bullfrog olfactory axons show variable numbers (0-29) of structurally typical neurofilaments (NFs) about 10 nm in diameter. In studies tracking these NFs through serial sections of axons in cross section, they were found to be discontinuous, with a calculated average length of about 118 microns. In contrast to olfactory axons in bullfrogs, those of the tiger salamander Ambystoma trigrinum rarely show NFs. To be certain that the absence of NFs is a specific characteristic of olfactory axons, pieces of salamander spinal cord, optic nerve, and sciatic nerve were examined and found to contain typical NFs. To minimize the possibility that NFs in salamander olfactory axons were degraded or poorly fixed during preparation for electron microscopy, samples were fixed by using a variety of fixative and buffer combinations. To exclude the possibility that proteases degraded NFs during processing, prior to fixation some pieces of olfactory nerve were incubated in physiological saline containing protease inhibitors. Regardless of the preparation method, NFs were generally not seen in salamander olfactory axons. Extracts of salamander olfactory nerve were subjected to SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) and immunoblotting studies with monoclonal antibodies to the three NF subunit proteins. The immunoblots showed negligible or trace amounts of NF-L (light) and NF-H (heavy), while an NF-M (medium) protein having a molecular mass (Mr) of 160 kD was present in abundance. Extracts of salamander spinal cord, on the other hand, showed all three subunit proteins (with Mrs of 230, 160, and 77 kD). If one assumes that cells assemble structural elements to provide for a given function, the findings suggest that NFs in olfactory neurons of bullfrogs provide a function that may be missing in olfactory neurons of the salamander; the evidence also suggests that the absence of NFs in the salamander may be due to a deficiency in two of the three NF subunit proteins.

  7. Taxonomic revision of the moss salamander Nototriton barbouri (Schmidt (Caudata: Plethodontidae), with description of two new species from the Cordillera Nombre de Dios, Honduras.

    PubMed

    Townsend, Josiah H

    2016-11-24

    Moss salamanders (genus Nototriton) are represented in northern Central America by nine putative species: N. barbouri, N. brodiei, N. lignicola, N. limnospectator, N. mime, N. picucha, N. saslaya, N. stuarti, and N. tomamorum. I estimate the phylogenetic relationships for these species based on data from three mitochondrial gene fragments (16S, cytochrome b, and COI), and compare morphological variation among putative taxa. As evidenced here and in previous studies, the taxon N. barbouri is paraphyletic with respect to populations from the Cordillera Nombre de Dios in northern Honduras. I restrict this taxon to populations from the Sierra de Sulaco in central Yoro, Honduras, and describe two new species from the Cordillera Nombre de Dios.

  8. First report of a ranavirus associated with morbidity and mortality in farmed Chinese giant salamanders (Andrias davidianus).

    PubMed

    Geng, Y; Wang, K Y; Zhou, Z Y; Li, C W; Wang, J; He, M; Yin, Z Q; Lai, W M

    2011-07-01

    From February to May 2010, an outbreak of disease occurred amongst farmed Chinese giant salamanders (Andrias davidianus) in Hanzhong County, Shanxi Province, China. Clinical signs included anorexia, lethargy, ecchymoses and swollen areas on the head and limbs, and skin ulceration. The aim of this study was to determine the cause of this disease. Necropsy examination revealed subcutaneous and intramuscular oedema, swollen and pale livers with multifocal haemorrhage, swollen kidneys with multifocal haemorrhage and distended fluid-filled intestines with areas of haemorrhage. Light microscopy revealed intracytoplasmic inclusions suggestive of a viral infection in a variety of organs, as well as degeneration and necrosis of these organs. Electron microscopy of ultrathin sections of the same tissues revealed iridovirus-like particles within the inclusions. Of the six specimens tested, all were positive for ranavirus major capsid protein (MCP) gene. Sequence alignments of the ranavirus MCP gene from these specimens showed 95-98% similarity with published ranavirus data. The virus, provisionally designated as Chinese giant salamander virus (CGSV), was isolated from tissue homogenates of diseased salamanders following inoculation of epithelioma papilloma cyprini cells. Sequence analysis of the MCP genes showed that the isolated virus was a ranavirus with marked sequence identity to other members of the genus Ranavirus. Koch's postulates were fulfilled by infecting healthy Chinese giant salamanders with the CGSV. These salamanders all died within 6-8 days. This is the first report of ranavirus infection associated with mass mortality in Chinese giant salamanders.

  9. Identification of a non-mammalian leptin-like gene: characterization and expression in the tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum).

    PubMed

    Boswell, Timothy; Dunn, Ian C; Wilson, Peter W; Joseph, Nerine; Burt, David W; Sharp, Peter J

    2006-04-01

    Leptin is well established as a multifunctional cytokine in mammals. However, little is known about the evolution of the leptin gene in other vertebrates. A recently published set of ESTs from the tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) contains a sequence sharing 56% nucleotide sequence identity with the human leptin cDNA. To confirm that the EST is naturally expressed in the salamander, a 409bp cDNA was amplified by RT-PCR of salamander testis and stomach mRNAs. The coding sequence of the cDNA is predicted to encode 169 amino acids, and the mature peptide to consist of 146 residues, as in mammals. Although the overall amino acid identity with mammalian leptins is only 29%, the salamander and mammalian peptides share common structural features. An intron was identified between coding exons providing evidence that the sequence is present in the salamander genome. Phylogenetic analysis showed a rate of molecular divergence consistent with the accepted view of vertebrate evolution. The pattern of tissue expression of the leptin-like cDNA differed between metamorphosed adult individuals of different sizes suggesting possible developmental regulation. Expression was most prominent in the skin and testis, but was also detected in tissues in which leptin mRNA is present in mammals, including the fat body, stomach, and muscle. The characterization of a salamander leptin-like gene provides a basis for understanding how the structure and functions of leptin have altered during the evolution of tetrapod vertebrates.

  10. Abundances of northwestern salamander larvae in montane lakes with and without fish, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larson, Gary L.; Hoffman, Robert L.

    2002-01-01

    In Mount Rainier National Park, the northwestern salamander usually inhabits relatively large and deep lakes and ponds (average size = 0.3 ha; average depth > 2 m) that contain flocculent, organic bottom sediments and abundant coarse wood. Prior to 1970, salmonids were introduced into many of the park's lakes and ponds that were typical habitat of the northwestern salamander. The objective of this study was to compare, in lakes and ponds with suitable habitat characteristics for northwestern salamanders, the observed abundances of larvae in takes and ponds with and without these introduced salmonids. Day surveys of 61 lakes were conducted between 1993 and 1999. Fish were limited to takes and ponds deeper than 2 in. For the 48 lakes and ponds deeper than 2 in (i.e., 25 fishless lakes and 23 fish lakes), the mean and median observed abundances of northwestern salamander larvae in fishless lakes and ponds was significantly greater than the mean and median observed abundances of larvae in lakes and ponds with fish. Northwestern salamander larvae were not observed in 11 fish lakes. These lakes were similar in median elevation, surface area, and maximum depth to the fishless lakes. The 12 fish lakes with observed larvae were significantly lower in median elevation, larger in median surface area, and deeper in median maximum depth than the fishless lakes. Low to null observed abundances of northwestern salamander larvae in lakes and ponds with fish were attributed to a combination of fish predation of larvae and changes in larval behavior.

  11. Environmental acidification is not associated with altered plasma corticosterone levels in the stream-side salamander, Desmognathus ochrophaeus.

    PubMed

    Woodley, Sarah K; Freeman, Peter; Ricciardella, Lauren F

    2014-05-15

    As environments become increasingly altered due to anthropogenic factors, interest is growing in how endocrine systems respond to pollution and environmental degradation. Glucocorticoid hormones (GCs) are a type of stress hormones that are released upon activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and have widespread effects throughout the body. We tested the hypothesis that exposure to environmental acidification is associated with altered levels of plasma GCs in adult, stream-side Allegheny Mountain dusky salamanders (Desmognathus ochrophaeus). We compared plasma corticosterone (CORT) in salamanders living in 9 streams that differed in pH. Although capture and handling induced a robust increase in plasma CORT in all populations of salamanders, we discerned no significant effect of environmental pH on baseline CORT or handling-induced CORT levels. In a laboratory study, low pH decreased salamander locomotory activity compared to acid-neutral controls, but there was no effect of pH on plasma CORT. Decreased locomotory activity is a common amphibian response to stress, indicating that low pH has adverse effects on Allegheny Mountain dusky salamanders. Overall, we conclude that the effects of environmental pH on salamander behavior and other potential responses are not mediated by changes in plasma CORT levels. We discuss alternative explanations for our results and describe difficulties involved in searching for relationships between plasma GCs and environmental degradation.

  12. Mitochondrial inheritance in a mitochondrially mediated disease.

    PubMed

    Egger, J; Wilson, J

    1983-07-21

    Mendelian inheritance involves the transmission to successive generations of DNA contained in genes in the nucleus, but DNA is also contained in mitochondria, where it is believed to be responsible for the encoding of certain mitochondrial enzymes. Since nearly all mitochondrial DNA is maternally transmitted, one might expect a nonmendelian pattern of inheritance in mitochondrial cytopathy, a syndrome in which there are abnormalities in mitochondrial structure and deficiencies in a variety of mitochondrial enzymes. We studied the pedigrees of 6 affected families whose members we had examined personally and of 24 families described in the literature. In 27 families, exclusively maternal transmission occurred; in 3 there was also paternal transmission in one generation. Altogether, 51 mothers but only 3 fathers had transmitted the condition. These results are consistent with mitochondrial transmission of mitochondrial cytopathy; the inheritance and enzyme defects of mitochondrial cytopathy can be considered in the light of recent evidence that subunits of respiratory-enzyme complexes are encoded solely by mitochondrial DNA. The occasional paternal transmission may be explained if certain enzyme subunits that are encoded by nuclear DNA are affected.

  13. Interactions between introduced trout and larval salamanders (Ambystoma macrodactylum) in high-elevation lakes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tyler, T.; Liss, W.J.; Ganio, L.; Larson, Gary L.; Hoffman, Robert L.; Deimling, E.; Lomnicky, G.A.

    1998-01-01

    The larval stage of the long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum) is the top vertebrate predator in high-elevation fishless lakes in the North Cascades National Park Service Complex, Washington (U.S.A.). Although most of these high-elevation lakes were naturally fishless, trout have been stocked in many of them. We sought to determine the effects of physicochemical factors and introduced trout on abundance and behavior of A. macrodactylum larvae. Larval salamander densities were estimated by snorkeling. Snorkelers carefully searched through substrate materials within 2 m of the shoreline and recorded the number of larvae observed and if larvae were hidden in benthic substrates. Physicochemical factors were measured in each lake on the same day that snorkel surveys were conducted. In fishless lakes, larval salamander densities were positively related to total Kjeldahl-N concentration and negatively related to lake elevation. Crustacean zooplankton, especially cladocerans, were important food resources for larval A. macrodactylum. Crustacean zooplankton and cladoceran densities were positively related to total Kjeldahl-N, suggesting that increased food resources contributed to increased densities of larval A. macrodactylum. Differences in larval salamander densities between fish and fishless lakes were related to total Kjeldahl-N concentrations and the reproductive status of trout. Mean larval salamander densities for fishless lakes with total Kjeldahl-N < 0.045 mg/L were not significantly different from mean larval densities in lakes with reproducing trout or in lakes with nonreproducing trout. In fishless lakes with total Kjeldahl-N a?Y 0.045 mg/L, however, mean larval densities were significantly higher than in lakes with reproducing trout where fish reached high densities. In fishless lakes with total Kjeldahl-N a?Y 0.095 mg/L, mean larval densities were significantly higher than in lakes with nonreproducing trout where trout fry were stocked at low

  14. Mitochondrial Disease: Possible Symptoms

    MedlinePlus

    ... Mitochondrial Medical & Scientific Meetings Grand Rounds Researcher Education Research Grants Funded Projects Patient Evaluation for Professionals Energy Metabolism Review Mitochondrial Structure, Function and Diseases Review Cell Biology of Diagnosis ...

  15. Mitochondrial biogenesis and turnover.

    PubMed

    Diaz, Francisca; Moraes, Carlos T

    2008-07-01

    Mitochondrial biogenesis is a complex process involving the coordinated expression of mitochondrial and nuclear genes, the import of the products of the latter into the organelle and turnover. The mechanisms associated with these events have been intensively studied in the last 20 years and our understanding of their details is much improved. Mitochondrial biogenesis requires the participation of calcium signaling that activates a series of calcium-dependent protein kinases that in turn activate transcription factors and coactivators such as PGC-1alpha that regulates the expression of genes coding for mitochondrial components. In addition, mitochondrial biogenesis involves the balance of mitochondrial fission-fusion. Mitochondrial malfunction or defects in any of the many pathways involved in mitochondrial biogenesis can lead to degenerative diseases and possibly play an important part in aging.

  16. Isolation of Mitochondrial Ribosomes.

    PubMed

    Carroll, Adam J

    2017-01-01

    Translation of mitochondrial encoded mRNAs by mitochondrial ribosomes is thought to play a major role in regulating the expression of mitochondrial proteins. However, the structure and function of plant mitochondrial ribosomes remains poorly understood. To study mitochondrial ribosomes, it is necessary to separate them from plastidic and cytosolic ribosomes that are generally present at much higher concentrations. Here, a straight forward protocol for the preparation of fractions highly enriched in mitochondrial ribosomes from plant cells is described. The method begins with purification of mitochondria followed by mitochondrial lysis and ultracentrifugation of released ribosomes through sucrose cushions and gradients. Dark-grown Arabidopsis cells were used in this example because of the ease with which good yields of pure mitochondria can be obtained from them. However, the steps for isolation of ribosomes from mitochondria could be applied to mitochondria obtained from other sources. Proteomic analyses of resulting fractions have confirmed strong enrichment of mitochondrial ribosomal proteins.

  17. Climate-mediated competition in a high-elevation salamander community

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dallalio, Eric A.; Brand, Adrianne; Grant, Evan H. Campbell

    2017-01-01

    The distribution of the federally endangered Shenandoah Salamander (Plethodon shenandoah) is presumed to be limited by competition with the Red-backed Salamander (Plethodon cinereus). In particular, the current distribution of P. shenandoah is understood to be restricted to warmer and drier habitats because of interspecific interactions. These habitats may be particularly sensitive to climate change, though the influence of competition may also be affected by temperature and relative humidity. We investigated the response of P. shenandoah to competition with P. cinereus under four climate scenarios in 3-dimensional mesocosms. The results suggest that, although climate change may alleviate competitive pressure from P. cinereus, warmer temperatures may also significantly influence the persistence of the species across its known range.

  18. Distribution of the Sonora Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma mavortium stebbinsi) in Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hossack, Blake R.; Muths, Erin L.; Rorabaugh, James C.; Lemos Espinal, Julio A.; Sigafus, Brent H.; Chambert, Thierry A; Carreon Arroyo, Gerardo; Hurtado Felix, David; Toyos Martinez, Daniel; Jones, Thomas R.

    2016-01-01

    The Sonoran Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma mavortium stebbinsi Lowe, 1954) was listed as federally endangered in the USA in 1997 (USFWS 1997). In the USA, the distribution of A. mavortium stebbinsi is limited to the San Rafael Valley (approximately 567 km2), between the Sierra San Antonio (called the Patagonia Mountains in Arizona) and Huachuca Mountains, and south of the Canelo Hills, Arizona (Fig. 1). The USA listing was triggered by loss of natural wetland habitats, threats from invasive predators, frequent die-offs from disease, introgression with the introduced Barred Tiger Salamander (A. mavortium mavortium), and small range and number of breeding sites that increases susceptibility to stochastic events (USFWS 1997). Small population sizes and limited gene flow have caused inbreeding, which may further reduce population viability and the potential for recovery (Jones et al. 1988; Storfer et al. 2014). 

  19. The spinal cord supports of vertebrae in the crown-group salamanders (Caudata, Urodela).

    PubMed

    Skutschas, Pavel P; Baleeva, Nataly V

    2012-09-01

    The development of spinal cord supports (bony thickenings which extend into the vertebral canal of vertebrae) in primitive (Salamandrella keyserlingii) and derived (Lissotriton vulgaris) salamanders were described. The spinal cord supports develop as the protuberances of periostal bone of the neural arches in the anteroproximal part of the septal collagenous fibers which connect a transverse myoseptum with the notochord and spinal cord, in the septal bundle inside the vertebral canal. Spinal cord supports were also found in some teleostean (Salmo salar, Oncorhynchus mykiss) and dipnoan (Protopterus sp.) fishes. The absence of the spinal cord supports in vertebrates with cartilaginous vertebrae (lampreys, chondrichthyan, and chondrostean fishes) corresponds to the fact that the spinal cord supports are bone structures. The absence of the spinal cord supports in frogs correlates with the lack of the well developed septal bundles inside the vertebral canal. The spinal cord supports are, presumably, a synapomorphic character for salamanders which originated independently of those observed in teleostean and dipnoan fishes.

  20. Embryo development inside female salamander (Ambystoma jeffersonianum-laterale) prior to egg laying.

    PubMed

    Charney, Noah D; Castorino, John J; Dobro, Megan J; Steely, Sarah L

    2014-01-01

    The length of embryo retention prior to oviposition is a critical evolutionary trait. In all oviparous salamanders, which include the vast majority of species in the order, fertilization is thought to occur at the time of egg laying. Embryos then enter the first cleavage stage several hours after being deposited. This pattern holds for previously studied individuals in the Ambystoma jeffersonianum-laterale complex. Here, we document an instance in which a female Ambystoma jeffersonianum-laterale was carrying embryos internally that had already reached stage 10 of development. Development likely began several days prior to the start of migration to the breeding pond. This is the first such record for any egg-laying salamander, and suggests a degree of plasticity in the timing of fertilization and development not previously recognized. Further work is needed to ascertain the prevalence, mechanics, and evolutionary significance of this phenomenon.

  1. Intracapsular algae provide fixed carbon to developing embryos of the salamander Ambystoma maculatum.

    PubMed

    Graham, Erin R; Fay, Scott A; Davey, Adam; Sanders, Robert W

    2013-02-01

    Each spring, North American spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) females each lay hundreds of eggs in shallow pools of water. Eggs are surrounded by jelly layers and are deposited as large gelatinous masses. Following deposition, masses are penetrated by a mutualistic green alga, Oophila amblystomatis, which enters individual egg capsules, proliferates and aggregates near the salamander embryo, providing oxygen that enhances development. We examined the effects of population density of intracapsular O. amblystomatis on A. maculatum embryos and show that larger algal populations promote faster embryonic growth and development. Also, we show that carbon fixed by O. amblystomatis is transferred to the embryos, providing the first evidence of direct translocation of photosynthate from a symbiont to a vertebrate host.

  2. Effects of histamine on light responses of amacrine cells in tiger salamander retina.

    PubMed

    Yu, Yongchun; Satoh, Hiromasa; Vila, Alejandro; Wu, Samuel M; Marshak, David W

    2011-04-01

    Using immunofluorescence, we showed that histamine receptor 1 is expressed by horizontal cell axons and a subset of amacrine cells in the tiger salamander retina. The effects of histamine on light responses of amacrine cells were studied in slice preparations. Histamine modulated the light responses of many salamander amacrine cells, depending upon the morphological type. The most pronounced effects of histamine were decreases in the light responses of broadly stratified amacrine cells, particularly those having medium-sized dendritic field diameters. To determine whether the effects of histamine were direct, Co(++) was substituted for Ca(++) in the extracellular medium to block synaptic transmission. Histamine still affected broadly stratified amacrine cells, but not narrowly stratified amacrine cells under these conditions. Taken together, these findings suggest that inhibitory interactions between strata of the IPL and within the classical receptive fields of the ganglion cells would be particularly sensitive to histamine released from retinopetal axons.

  3. gamma-aminobutyric acid transporter-mediated current from bipolar cells in tiger salamander retinal slices.

    PubMed

    Yang, C Y

    1998-09-01

    About 10% of bipolar cells in salamander retina synthesize and take up gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and may use GABA as a neurotransmitter. As GABA uptake is electrogenic, bipolar cells expressing GABA transporters (GATs) should give transport current (IGAT) to extracellular GABA. Using whole-cell patch recording, 28 bipolar cells responded to 30-200 microM GABA puffed to the axon terminals with a picrotoxin (PTX)-sensitive chloride current (ICI) only. Another three bipolar cells had, in addition to ICI, a PTX-resistant, sodium-dependent current that was completely and reversibly blocked by NO-711, an IGAT inhibitor, indicating that this component was an IGAT. This finding provides further support for a subset of GABAergic bipolar cells in the salamander retina.

  4. Acetazolamide does not disrupt limb regenerate morphogenesis in the salamander, Plethodon cinereus.

    PubMed

    Dinsmore, C E; Maren, T H

    1986-02-01

    Acetazolamide, a potent and highly specific inhibitor of carbonic anhydrase, is teratogenic in mammalian embryos and when administered during early limb development causes unique limb defects in a time- and dose-dependent manner. The regenerating urodele limb is often considered to be a good experimental analog of limb development and, if it employs the same mechanisms of tissue interactions during pattern formation, should be susceptible to teratogens which selectively disrupt developmental limb patterning. This study demonstrates that while carbonic anhydrase inhibition is toxic to the red-backed salamander, Plethodon cinereus, it does not have the same teratogenic effect on limb regeneration as seen in mammalian limb development. Several points are considered as to why the regenerating limb, at least in this salamander species, may not be suitable for studying this class of teratogen.

  5. Allometry of red cell oxygen binding and hematology in larvae of the salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum.

    PubMed

    Burggren, W W; Dupré, R K; Wood, S C

    1987-10-01

    Very few studies have attempted to relate blood characteristics to body mass within, rather than between, species. Thus, respiratory and hematological properties of the blood of larval tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum) have been measured in animals ranging in body mass from approximately 2 to 112 g. This amphibian species was chosen because larvae of very different body mass may be of similar developmental stage, minimizing interference from ontogenetic factors. Mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular Hb, hematocrit, blood Hb concentration, blood O2 capacity and Hill's n were all positively correlated with body mass (P less than 0.005). Blood O2 affinity (P50) and Bohr shift were not significantly correlated with body mass (P greater than 0.20). The findings are discussed in the context of the general effect of body mass upon metabolic rate in vertebrates, as well as environmental and biological factors specific to larvae of the tiger salamander.

  6. Immunocytochemical analysis of cholinergic amacrine cells in the tiger salamander retina.

    PubMed

    Zhang, J; Wu, S M

    2001-05-25

    Cholinergic amacrine cells in the tiger salamander retina were observed for the first time by using antibodies against choline acetyltransferase (ChAT). ChAT-immunoreactive cells were present in the inner nuclear layer (INL) and in the ganglion cell layer (GCL), and the somas of the former population (average diameter = 15.13 microm) were slightly smaller than those of the latter population (average diameter = 16.42 microm). The processes of these cells form two distinct narrow bands in the inner plexiform layer (IPL), one located near 0.2 inner plexiform units (IU) and the other near 0.65-0.7 IU. Soma size, cell density and spatial distribution of ChAT-positive cells were quantitatively analyzed. Our results suggest that cholinergic amacrine cells in the salamander retina are very similar to their counter parts in other species, and they can be used as a model system for studying cholinergic functions in the visual system.

  7. Tissue lesions of tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum): relationship to sewage effluents.

    PubMed

    Rose, F L

    1978-09-29

    A population of facultative neotenous tiger salamanders (A. tigrinum) inhabiting a sewage lagoon at Reese AFB, Hurlwood, Texas, was found to have an exceptionally high rate of spontaneous tissue lesions. The population is composed of an estimated 28,000 large, reproductively mature larvae that are restricted to the lagoon. Only about 17% of the population metamorphoses normally. In contrast, tiger salamanders from uncontaminated lagoons in the same general vicinity metamorphose normally; however, no neoplasms were discovered in larvae sampled from the nonsewage lagoosn. N-nitrosamine analyses of water and tissue samples of larvae were negative. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon analyses revealed traces of benzo[a]pyrene in the sludge; however, perylene, a constituent of jet fuel, was found in high concentration (300 ppb). These results indicate tat preylene, which was previously found not be tumorigenic to mice and rats, should be retested as a possible agent for nonmammalian species.

  8. Effects of Histamine on Light Responses of Amacrine Cells in Tiger Salamander Retina

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Yongchun; Satoh, Hiromasa; Vila, Alejandro; Wu, Samuel M.; Marshak, David W.

    2011-01-01

    Using immunofluorescence, we showed that histamine receptor 1 is expressed by horizontal cell axons and a subset of amacrine cells in the tiger salamander retina. The effects of histamine on light responses of amacrine cells were studied in slice preparations. Histamine modulated the light responses of many salamander amacrine cells, depending upon the morphological type. The most pronounced effects of histamine were decreases in the light responses of broadly stratified amacrine cells, particularly those having medium-sized dendritic field diameters. To determine whether the effects of histamine were direct, Co++ was substituted for Ca++ in the extracellular medium to block synaptic transmission. Histamine still affected broadly stratified amacrine cells, but not narrowly stratified amacrine cells under these conditions. Taken together, these findings suggest that inhibitory interactions between strata of the IPL and within the classical receptive fields of the ganglion cells would be particularly sensitive to histamine released from retinopetal axons. PMID:20878231

  9. Normal table of embryonic development in the four-toed salamander, Hemidactylium scutatum.

    PubMed

    Hurney, C A; Babcock, S K; Shook, D R; Pelletier, T M; Turner, S D; Maturo, J; Cogbill, S; Snow, M C; Kinch, K

    2015-05-01

    We present a complete staging table of normal development for the lungless salamander, Hemidactylium scutatum (Caudata: Plethodontidae). Terrestrial egg clutches from naturally ovipositing females were collected and maintained at 15 °C in the laboratory. Observations, photographs, and time-lapse movies of embryos were taken throughout the 45-day embryonic period. The complete normal table of development for H. scutatum is divided into 28 stages and extends previous analyses of H. scutatum embryonic development (Bishop, 1920; Humphrey, 1928). Early embryonic stage classifications through neu