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Sample records for potential schistosome-vector snails

  1. Evolutionary history and phylogeography of the schistosome-vector freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata based on nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Mavárez, J; Steiner, C; Pointier, J-P; Jarne, P

    2002-10-01

    The phylogeography of the freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata remains poorly known, although this species is the major vector of schistosomiasis in the New World. It was here investigated in South America and the Lesser Antilles, based on partial mitochondrial large ribosomal subunit (16S rDNA) and nuclear internal transcribed spacer-2 (ITS-2) gene sequences. Sampling included 17 populations from a large part of the current geographic range of the species (Brazil, Venezuela and Lesser Antilles). Substantial variability was detected, as well as a high amount of phylogenetically informative signal. The molecular phylogeny inferred splits B. glabrata into Northern and Southern clades separated by the Amazon river, and may even suggest a supra-specific status for B. glabrata. Brazilian populations were the most diverse and appeared basal to the other populations. Venezuelan haplotypes formed a single clade, albeit not strongly supported. Two Venezuelan haplotypes appear rather similar to Brazilian haplotypes. Similarly, Lesser Antilles haplotypes clustered in the same monophyletic clade, which suggests that the recent colonisation of the Antilles has a northern South American origin. However, the estimated divergence time between Antilles and Venezuelan sequences is extremely large (conservatively higher than 10(5) years). These results are discussed in the light of (i) phylogeographic patterns at South American scale, and (ii) recurrent introduction of molluscs, especially in the Antilles, as a consequence of human activities.

  2. Modeling freshwater snail habitat suitability and areas of potential snail-borne disease transmission in Uganda.

    PubMed

    Stensgaard, A S; Jørgensen, A; Kabatereine, N B; Rahbek, C; Kristensen, T K

    2006-11-01

    Geographic information system (GIS-based modeling of an intermediate host snail species environmental requirements using known occurrence records can provide estimates of its spatial distribution. When other data are lacking, this can be used as a rough spatial prediction of potential snail-borne disease transmission areas. Furthermore, knowledge of abiotic factors affecting intra-molluscan parasitic development can be used to make "masks" based on remotely sensed climatic data, and these can in turn be used to refine these predictions. We used data from a recent freshwater snail survey from Uganda, environmental data and the genetic algorithm for rule-set prediction (GARP) to map the potential distribution of snail species known to act as intermediate hosts of several human and animal parasites. The results suggest that large areas of Uganda are suitable habitats for many of these snail species, indicating a large potential for disease transmission. The lack of parasitological data still makes it difficult to determine the magnitude of actual disease transmission, but the predicted snail distributions might be used as indicators of potential present and future risk areas. Some of the predicted snail distribution maps were furthermore combined with temperature masks delineating suitable temperature regimes of the parasites they host. This revealed the coinciding suitable areas for snail and parasite, but also areas suitable for host snails, but apparently not for the parasites. Assuming that the developed models correctly reflect areas suitable for transmission, the applied approach could prove useful for targeting control interventions.

  3. Snail

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Yadi

    2010-01-01

    Snail has moved into the fast lane of development and cancer biology with the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) emerging as one of the hottest topics in medical science within the past few years. Snail not only acts primarily as a key inducer of EMT but also plays an important role in cell survival, immune regulation and stem cell biology. This review focuses on the regulation of Snail and discusses the EMT-dependent and -independent functions of Snail in development and disease. Understanding the regulation and functional roles of Snail will shed new light on the mechanism of tumor progression and the development of novel cancer therapies. PMID:20168078

  4. A conserved role for Snail as a potentiator of active transcription

    PubMed Central

    Rembold, Martina; Ciglar, Lucia; Yáñez-Cuna, J. Omar; Zinzen, Robert P.; Girardot, Charles; Jain, Ankit; Welte, Michael A.; Stark, Alexander; Leptin, Maria; Furlong, Eileen E.M.

    2014-01-01

    The transcription factors of the Snail family are key regulators of epithelial–mesenchymal transitions, cell morphogenesis, and tumor metastasis. Since its discovery in Drosophila ∼25 years ago, Snail has been extensively studied for its role as a transcriptional repressor. Here we demonstrate that Drosophila Snail can positively modulate transcriptional activation. By combining information on in vivo occupancy with expression profiling of hand-selected, staged snail mutant embryos, we identified 106 genes that are potentially directly regulated by Snail during mesoderm development. In addition to the expected Snail-repressed genes, almost 50% of Snail targets showed an unanticipated activation. The majority of “Snail-activated” genes have enhancer elements cobound by Twist and are expressed in the mesoderm at the stages of Snail occupancy. Snail can potentiate Twist-mediated enhancer activation in vitro and is essential for enhancer activity in vivo. Using a machine learning approach, we show that differentially enriched motifs are sufficient to predict Snail's regulatory response. In silico mutagenesis revealed a likely causative motif, which we demonstrate is essential for enhancer activation. Taken together, these data indicate that Snail can potentiate enhancer activation by collaborating with different activators, providing a new mechanism by which Snail regulates development. PMID:24402316

  5. Therapeutic potential of cone snail venom peptides (conopeptides).

    PubMed

    Vetter, Irina; Lewis, Richard J

    2012-01-01

    Cone snails have evolved many 1000s of small, structurally stable venom peptides (conopeptides) for prey capture and defense. Whilst < 0.1% have been pharmacologically characterised, those with known function typically target membrane proteins of therapeutic importance, including ion channels, transporters and GPCRs. Several conopeptides reduce pain in animals models, with one in clinical development (χ-conopeptide analogue Xen2174) and one marketed (ω- conotoxin MVIIA or Prialt) for the treatment of severe pain. In addition to their therapeutic potential, conopeptides have been valuable probes for studying the role of a number of key membrane proteins in normal and disease physiology.

  6. Release of Lungworm Larvae from Snails in the Environment: Potential for Alternative Transmission Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Giannelli, Alessio; Colella, Vito; Abramo, Francesca; do Nascimento Ramos, Rafael Antonio; Falsone, Luigi; Brianti, Emanuele; Varcasia, Antonio; Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Knaus, Martin; Fox, Mark T.; Otranto, Domenico

    2015-01-01

    Background Gastropod-borne parasites may cause debilitating clinical conditions in animals and humans following the consumption of infected intermediate or paratenic hosts. However, the ingestion of fresh vegetables contaminated by snail mucus and/or water has also been proposed as a source of the infection for some zoonotic metastrongyloids (e.g., Angiostrongylus cantonensis). In the meantime, the feline lungworms Aelurostrongylus abstrusus and Troglostrongylus brevior are increasingly spreading among cat populations, along with their gastropod intermediate hosts. The aim of this study was to assess the potential of alternative transmission pathways for A. abstrusus and T. brevior L3 via the mucus of infected Helix aspersa snails and the water where gastropods died. In addition, the histological examination of snail specimens provided information on the larval localization and inflammatory reactions in the intermediate host. Methodology/Principal Findings Twenty-four specimens of H. aspersa received ~500 L1 of A. abstrusus and T. brevior, and were assigned to six study groups. Snails were subjected to different mechanical and chemical stimuli throughout 20 days in order to elicit the production of mucus. At the end of the study, gastropods were submerged in tap water and the sediment was observed for lungworm larvae for three consecutive days. Finally, snails were artificially digested and recovered larvae were counted and morphologically and molecularly identified. The anatomical localization of A. abstrusus and T. brevior larvae within snail tissues was investigated by histology. L3 were detected in the snail mucus (i.e., 37 A. abstrusus and 19 T. brevior) and in the sediment of submerged specimens (172 A. abstrusus and 39 T. brevior). Following the artificial digestion of H. aspersa snails, a mean number of 127.8 A. abstrusus and 60.3 T. brevior larvae were recovered. The number of snail sections positive for A. abstrusus was higher than those for T. brevior

  7. Release of lungworm larvae from snails in the environment: potential for alternative transmission pathways.

    PubMed

    Giannelli, Alessio; Colella, Vito; Abramo, Francesca; do Nascimento Ramos, Rafael Antonio; Falsone, Luigi; Brianti, Emanuele; Varcasia, Antonio; Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Knaus, Martin; Fox, Mark T; Otranto, Domenico

    2015-04-01

    Gastropod-borne parasites may cause debilitating clinical conditions in animals and humans following the consumption of infected intermediate or paratenic hosts. However, the ingestion of fresh vegetables contaminated by snail mucus and/or water has also been proposed as a source of the infection for some zoonotic metastrongyloids (e.g., Angiostrongylus cantonensis). In the meantime, the feline lungworms Aelurostrongylus abstrusus and Troglostrongylus brevior are increasingly spreading among cat populations, along with their gastropod intermediate hosts. The aim of this study was to assess the potential of alternative transmission pathways for A. abstrusus and T. brevior L3 via the mucus of infected Helix aspersa snails and the water where gastropods died. In addition, the histological examination of snail specimens provided information on the larval localization and inflammatory reactions in the intermediate host. Twenty-four specimens of H. aspersa received ~500 L1 of A. abstrusus and T. brevior, and were assigned to six study groups. Snails were subjected to different mechanical and chemical stimuli throughout 20 days in order to elicit the production of mucus. At the end of the study, gastropods were submerged in tap water and the sediment was observed for lungworm larvae for three consecutive days. Finally, snails were artificially digested and recovered larvae were counted and morphologically and molecularly identified. The anatomical localization of A. abstrusus and T. brevior larvae within snail tissues was investigated by histology. L3 were detected in the snail mucus (i.e., 37 A. abstrusus and 19 T. brevior) and in the sediment of submerged specimens (172 A. abstrusus and 39 T. brevior). Following the artificial digestion of H. aspersa snails, a mean number of 127.8 A. abstrusus and 60.3 T. brevior larvae were recovered. The number of snail sections positive for A. abstrusus was higher than those for T. brevior. Results of this study indicate that A

  8. Experimental Quantification of Long Distance Dispersal Potential of Aquatic Snails in the Gut of Migratory Birds

    PubMed Central

    van Leeuwen, Casper H. A.; van der Velde, Gerard; van Lith, Bart; Klaassen, Marcel

    2012-01-01

    Many plant seeds and invertebrates can survive passage through the digestive system of birds, which may lead to long distance dispersal (endozoochory) in case of prolonged retention by moving vectors. Endozoochorous dispersal by waterbirds has nowadays been documented for many aquatic plant seeds, algae and dormant life stages of aquatic invertebrates. Anecdotal information indicates that endozoochory is also possible for fully functional, active aquatic organisms, a phenomenon that we here address experimentally using aquatic snails. We fed four species of aquatic snails to mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), and monitored snail retrieval and survival over time. One of the snail species tested was found to survive passage through the digestive tract of mallards as fully functional adults. Hydrobia (Peringia) ulvae survived up to five hours in the digestive tract. This suggests a maximum potential transport distance of up to 300 km may be possible if these snails are taken by flying birds, although the actual dispersal distance greatly depends on additional factors such as the behavior of the vectors. We put forward that more organisms that acquired traits for survival in stochastic environments such as wetlands, but not specifically adapted for endozoochory, may be sufficiently equipped to successfully pass a bird's digestive system. This may be explained by a digestive trade-off in birds, which maximize their net energy intake rate rather than digestive efficiency, since higher efficiency comes with the cost of prolonged retention times and hence reduces food intake. The resulting lower digestive efficiency allows species like aquatic snails, and potentially other fully functional organisms without obvious dispersal adaptations, to be transported internally. Adopting this view, endozoochorous dispersal may be more common than up to now thought. PMID:22403642

  9. Experimental quantification of long distance dispersal potential of aquatic snails in the gut of migratory birds.

    PubMed

    van Leeuwen, Casper H A; van der Velde, Gerard; van Lith, Bart; Klaassen, Marcel

    2012-01-01

    Many plant seeds and invertebrates can survive passage through the digestive system of birds, which may lead to long distance dispersal (endozoochory) in case of prolonged retention by moving vectors. Endozoochorous dispersal by waterbirds has nowadays been documented for many aquatic plant seeds, algae and dormant life stages of aquatic invertebrates. Anecdotal information indicates that endozoochory is also possible for fully functional, active aquatic organisms, a phenomenon that we here address experimentally using aquatic snails. We fed four species of aquatic snails to mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), and monitored snail retrieval and survival over time. One of the snail species tested was found to survive passage through the digestive tract of mallards as fully functional adults. Hydrobia (Peringia) ulvae survived up to five hours in the digestive tract. This suggests a maximum potential transport distance of up to 300 km may be possible if these snails are taken by flying birds, although the actual dispersal distance greatly depends on additional factors such as the behavior of the vectors. We put forward that more organisms that acquired traits for survival in stochastic environments such as wetlands, but not specifically adapted for endozoochory, may be sufficiently equipped to successfully pass a bird's digestive system. This may be explained by a digestive trade-off in birds, which maximize their net energy intake rate rather than digestive efficiency, since higher efficiency comes with the cost of prolonged retention times and hence reduces food intake. The resulting lower digestive efficiency allows species like aquatic snails, and potentially other fully functional organisms without obvious dispersal adaptations, to be transported internally. Adopting this view, endozoochorous dispersal may be more common than up to now thought.

  10. Zinc-dependent action potentials in giant neurons of the snail, Euhadra quaestia.

    PubMed

    Kawa, K

    1979-09-14

    In giant neurons of subesophageal ganglion of the Japanese land snail, Euhadra quaestia Deshayes, permeation of Zn ions through Ca channels were investigated with a conventional current clamp method. All-or-none action potentials of long duration (90 to 120 sec) were evoked in 24 mM Zn containing salines. The overshoots were about +10 mV and the maximum rate of rises (MRRs) was about 2.9 V/sec. The amplitudes and the MRRs of the action potentials depended on external Zn ion concentrations. The action potentials were suppressed by specific Ca-channel inhibitors such as Co2+, La3+ and Verapamil, but they were resistant to Na-channel inhibitor, tetrodotoxin, even at 30 microM. It is concluded that these action potentials are generated by Zn ions permeating Ca channels in snail neuronal membrane. On the basis of Hagiwara and Takahashi's (S. Hagiwara & K. Takahashi, 1967, J. Gen. Physiol. 50:583) model of Ca channels, it is inferred that Zn ions are 5 to 10 times stronger in affinity to Ca channels than Ca ions, but 10 to 20 times less permeable.

  11. Evaluation of the genotoxic potential of soil contaminated with mineral coal tailings on snail Helix aspersa.

    PubMed

    de Souza, Melissa Rosa; da Silva, Fernanda Rabaioli; de Souza, Claudia Telles; Niekraszewicz, Liana; Dias, Johnny Ferraz; Premoli, Suziane; Corrêa, Dione Silva; Soares, Mariana do Couto; Marroni, Norma Possa; Morgam-Martins, Maria Isabel; da Silva, Juliana

    2015-11-01

    Coal remains an important source of energy, although the fuel is a greater environmental pollutant. Coal is a mixture of several chemicals, especially inorganic elements and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). Many of these compounds have mutagenic and carcinogenic effects on organisms exposed to this mineral. In the town of Charqueadas (Brazil), the tailings from mining were used for landfill in the lower areas of the town, and the consequence is the formation of large deposits of this material. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the genotoxic potential of soil samples contaminated by coal waste in different sites at Charqueadas, using the land snail Helix aspersa as a biomonitor organism. Thirty terrestrial snails were exposed to different treatments: 20 were exposed to the soil from two different sites in Charqueadas (site 1 and 2; 10 in each group) and 10 non-exposed (control group). Hemolymph cells were collected after 24h, 5days and 7days of exposure and comet assay, micronucleus test, oxidative stress tests were performed. Furthermore, this study quantified the inorganic elements present in soil samples by the PIXE technique and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) by HPLC. This evaluation shows that, in general, soils from sites in Charqueadas, demonstrated a genotoxic effect associated with increased oxidative stress, inorganic and PAH content. These results demonstrate that the coal pyrite tailings from Charqueadas are potentially genotoxic and that H. aspersa is confirmed to be a sensitive instrument for risk assessment of environmental pollution.

  12. Action potential bursts in central snail neurons elicited by procaine: roles of ionic currents.

    PubMed

    Lin, Chia-Hsien; Lin, Pei-Lin; Tsai, Ming-Cheng; Hsu, Hui-Yu; Yang, Han-Yin; Chuang, Chieh-Min; Chen, Yi-Hung

    2010-10-31

    The role of ionic currents on procaine-elicited action potential bursts was studied in an identifiable RP1 neuron of the African snail, Achatina fulica Ferussac, using the two-electrode voltage clamp method. The RP1 neuron generated spontaneous action potentials and bath application of procaine at 10 mM reversibly elicited action potential bursts in a concentration-dependent manner. Voltage clamp studies revealed that procaine at 10 mM decreased [1] the Ca2+ current, [2] the Na+ current, [3] the delayed rectifying K+ current I(KD), and [4] the fast-inactivating K+ current (I(A)). Action potential bursts were not elicited by 4-aminopyridine (4-AP), an inhibitor of I(A), whereas they were seen after application of tetraethylammonium chloride (TEA), a blocker of the I(K)(Ca) and I(KD) currents, and tacrine, an inhibitor of I(KD). Pretreatment with U73122, a phospholipase C inhibitor, blocked the action potential bursts elicited by procaine. U73122 did not affect the I(KD) of the RP1 neuron; however, U73122 decreased the inhibitory effect of procaine on the I(KD). Tacrine decreased the TEA-sensitive I(KD) of RP1 neuron but did not significantly affect the I(A). Tacrine also successfully induced action potential bursts in the RP1 neuron. It is concluded that the inhibition on the I(KD) is responsible for the generation of action potential bursts in the central snail RP1 neuron. Further, phospholipase C activity is involved in the procaine-elicited I(KD) inhibition and action potential bursts.

  13. Comparative evaluation of haemagglutination potential of haemolymph from two species of giant African land snails (Archachatina marginata and Achatina achatina).

    PubMed

    Abiona, John Adesanya; Akinduti, Paul Akinniyi; Oyekunle, Mufutao Atanda; Osinowo, Olusegun Ayodeji; Onagbesan, A Okanlawon Mohammed

    2014-05-01

    A comparative study was conducted to evaluate haemagglutination potential in the haemolymph of two species of giant African land snails (Archachatina marginata and Achatina achatina). Three liveweight groups of snails (<100 g, 101-150 g and >150 g) were used with 4 replicates per liveweight per species for haemagglutination assay (HA). The effect of aestivation on haemagglutination potential was also evaluated. Erythrocytes (2%) from cattle, sheep, goat and chicken were used for HA assay. Results showed that agglutinin-like substances that agglutinate erythrocytes of sheep, goat, cattle and chicken were present in the haemolymph of the two species of giant African land snails. Effect of species was found to be significant (P < 0.001) on haemagglutination titre. Haemolymph of A. marginata, had higher haemagglutination titre than that of A. achatina across the three liveweight groups used in this study. Snail liveweight had no significant effect (P > 0.05) on agglutinin content of the haemolymph in both species. Agglutination level depended on the source of erythrocyte used. Sheep erythrocyte recorded the highest haemagglutination titre, followed by goat, cattle, and chicken in that order. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence that Giant African land snails (GALS) haemolymph contain agglutinins as previously reported for Helix species. This evidence may be the basis for its survivability in the wild and thus establish the use of GALS for African herbal medicinal applications.

  14. Snail Snooping.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Dorothy

    1993-01-01

    Presents an activity in which students in grades 5-8 learn about snail reproduction by observing and charting the activities of land snails, freshwater snails, and slugs. Instructions to implement and extend the activity are provided. (MDH)

  15. Snail Snooping.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Dorothy

    1993-01-01

    Presents an activity in which students in grades 5-8 learn about snail reproduction by observing and charting the activities of land snails, freshwater snails, and slugs. Instructions to implement and extend the activity are provided. (MDH)

  16. Observations on bilharziasis and the potential snail hosts in the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville)

    PubMed Central

    McCullough, Fergus S.

    1964-01-01

    In 1962, the author conducted a preliminary investigation of bilharziasis in the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville), at the request of the Government, in order to review existing information and work done on bilharziasis, to assess the prevalence and distribution of the disease, to make observations on the potential snail hosts, and to propose further suitable studies and control measures. Although little time was available for this study, it appears reasonable to conclude that Schistosoma haematobium is confined to a few foci in the west of the country, the main snail host being a new subspecies of Bulinus (B.) truncatus. Intestinal bilharziasis is apparently very rare, but systematic stool surveys have not been done; S. mansoni may be, or become, endemic at Dolisie, where Biomphalaria camerunensis is abundant. The main factors governing the restricted distribution of bilharziasis are discussed. Bilharziasis control appears to merit relatively low priority compared with that due to several other diseases, and the author concludes that bilharziasis is unlikely to become widespread in future years unless there is major environmental change, although the intensity of transmission may increase in some present endemic foci. PMID:14163961

  17. Minocycline inhibits D-amphetamine-elicited action potential bursts in a central snail neuron.

    PubMed

    Chen, Y-H; Lin, P-L; Wong, R-W; Wu, Y-T; Hsu, H-Y; Tsai, M-C; Lin, M-J; Hsu, Y-C; Lin, C-H

    2012-10-25

    Minocycline is a second-generation tetracycline that has been reported to have powerful neuroprotective properties. In our previous studies, we found that d-amphetamine (AMPH) elicited action potential bursts in an identifiable RP4 neuron of the African snail, Achatina fulica Ferussac. This study sought to determine the effects of minocycline on the AMPH-elicited action potential pattern changes in the central snail neuron, using the two-electrode voltage clamping method. Extracellular application of AMPH at 300 μM elicited action potential bursts in the RP4 neuron. Minocycline dose-dependently (300-900 μM) inhibited the action potential bursts elicited by AMPH. The inhibitory effects of minocycline on AMPH-elicited action potential bursts were restored by forskolin (50 μM), an adenylate cyclase activator, and by dibutyryl cAMP (N(6),2'-O-Dibutyryladenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate; 1mM), a membrane-permeable cAMP analog. Co-administration of forskolin (50 μM) plus tetraethylammonium chloride (TEA; 5mM) or co-administration of TEA (5mM) plus dibutyryl cAMP (1mM) also elicited action potential bursts, which were prevented and inhibited by minocycline. In addition, minocycline prevented and inhibited forskolin (100 μM)-elicited action potential bursts. Notably, TEA (50mM)-elicited action potential bursts in the RP4 neuron were not affected by minocycline. Minocycline did not affect steady-state outward currents of the RP4 neuron. However, minocycline did decrease the AMPH-elicited steady-state current changes. Similarly, minocycline decreased the effects of forskolin-elicited steady-state current changes. Pretreatment with H89 (N-[2-(p-Bromocinnamylamino)ethyl]-5-isoquinolinesulfonamide dihydrochloride; 10 μM), a protein kinase A inhibitor, inhibited AMPH-elicited action potential bursts and decreased AMPH-elicited steady-state current changes. These results suggest that the cAMP-protein kinase A signaling pathway and the steady-state current are involved in

  18. Predation potential of the water bugs Sphaerodema rusticum on the sewage snails Physa acuta.

    PubMed

    Aditya, G; Raut, S K

    2002-06-01

    The sewage snail Physa acuta is a serious threat to certain economic plants and to the purification plant of sewage works by rendering the biofilters ineffective. Various attempts are being made to control it. The efficacy of the predacious water bugs Sphaerodema rusticum was judged experimentally, in the laboratory in the potential control of P. acuta. It is revealed that, when supplied separately, the first, second and third instar and the adult S. rusticum did not attack P. acuta belonging to 3.1-8 mm, 5.1-8 mm, 7.1-8 mm and snails P. acuta.

  19. An artificial perch to help Snail Kites handle an exotic Apple Snail

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pias, Kyle E.; Welch, Zach C.; Kitchens, Wiley M.

    2012-01-01

    In the United States, the Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus) is a federally endangered species and restricted to the wetlands of south-central Florida where the current population numbers less than 1,500. The Snail Kite is an extreme dietary specialist, previously feeding almost exclusively on one species of snail, the Florida Apple Snail (Pomacea paludosa). Within the past decade, an exotic species of apple snail, the Island Apple Snail (Pomacea insularum), has become established on lakes in central Florida. Island Apple Snails are larger than the native Florida Apple Snails, and Snail Kites handle the exotic snails less efficiently. Juvenile Snail Kites, in particular, have lower daily energy balances while feeding on Island Apple Snails. An inexpensive, easy-to-construct platform was developed that would provide Snail Kites with a flat, stable surface on which to extract snails. The platform has the potential to reduce the difficulties Snail Kites experience when handling exotic snails, and may benefit the Snail Kite population as a whole. Initial observations indicate that Snail Kites use the platforms frequently, and snails extracted at the platforms are larger than snails extracted at other perches.

  20. Ionic differences between somatic and axonal action potentials in snail giant neurones

    PubMed Central

    Wald, Flora

    1972-01-01

    1. The ionic requirements of the somatic and axonal action potentials of `H' neurones of the snail Cryptomphallus aspersa were studied using intracellular micro-electrodes. 2. The overshoot of the somatic action potential increased by 10 mV for a tenfold increase in [Ca2+]o. In calcium-free media the action potential decreased gradually to values of 50 to 90% of the control and they could be completely eliminated with 2 mM-EGTA. The maximum rate of rise also varied with [Ca2+]o. 3. After 2 hr in sodium-free solution the somatic action potential decreased 6% in overshoot and 24% in rate of rise. 4. The somatic action potential was not affected by TTX, 5 × 10-6 g/ml. Procaine, 18 mM, reduced its rate of rise but did not eliminate it whereas 30 mM-CoCl2 did. 5. The size of the axonal action potential increased with increased [Na+]o, but decreased with an increase in [Ca2+]o. 6. Procaine, 18 mM, abolished the axonal action potential whereas it was not affected by TTX, 5 × 10-6 g/ml., nor, usually, by 30 mM-CoCl2. 7. The results obtained by studying the compound action potential of the nerves were similar to those from axonal action potentials. 8. The possibility that the somatic action potential is mainly calcium dependent while the axonal action potential is mainly produced by sodium is discussed. PMID:5014099

  1. Color polymorphism in a land snail Cepaea nemoralis (Pulmonata: Helicidae) as viewed by potential avian predators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Surmacki, Adrian; Ożarowska-Nowicka, Agata; Rosin, Zuzanna M.

    2013-06-01

    Avian predation is one of the most probable factors maintaining polymorphism of shell coloration in Cepaea nemoralis. This assumption is justified by the fact that birds frequently forage on snails and their prey choice varies with morph coloration. However, in all preceding studies, the conspicuousness of morphs was determined only by using human vision which is significantly different from birds' visual perception. In this study, we assessed how birds perceive colors of four Cepaea nemoralis morphs using physiological models of avian color vision. We calculated combined chromatic and achromatic contrast between shells and three habitat background types as a measure of shell conspicuousness. The degree of background color matching in Cepaea nemoralis depended on both shell morph and habitat type. On average, banded morphs were more conspicuous than unbanded morphs. Morphs were the most cryptic against dry vegetation and the most conspicuous on bare ground. We also found a significant interaction between habitat type and color morph. The relative conspicuousness of shell morphs depended on habitat and was the most variable against green vegetation. Our study provides the first insight into how potential avian predators view Cepaea nemoralis morphs. The results are discussed in light of multiple hypotheses explaining selective predation on Cepaea nemoralis morphs.

  2. Speciation of cone snails and interspecific hyperdivergence of their venom peptides. Potential evolutionary significance of introns.

    PubMed

    Olivera, B M; Walker, C; Cartier, G E; Hooper, D; Santos, A D; Schoenfeld, R; Shetty, R; Watkins, M; Bandyopadhyay, P; Hillyard, D R

    1999-05-18

    All 500 species of cone snails (Conus) are venomous predators. From a biochemical/genetic perspective, differences among Conus species may be based on the 50-200 different peptides in the venom of each species. Venom is used for prey capture as well as for interactions with predators and competitors. The venom of every species has its own distinct complement of peptides. Some of the interspecific divergence observed in venom peptides can be explained by differential expression of venom peptide superfamilies in different species and of peptide superfamily branching in various Conus lineages into pharmacologic groups with different targeting specificity. However, the striking interspecific divergence of peptide sequences is the dominant factor in the differences observed between venoms. The small venom peptides (typically 10-35 amino acids in length) are processed from larger prepropeptide precursors (ca. 100 amino acids). If interspecific comparisons are made between homologous prepropeptides, the three different regions of a Conus peptide precursor (signal sequence, pro-region, mature peptide) are found to have diverged at remarkably different rates. Analysis of synonymous and nonsynonymous substitution rates for the different segments of a prepropeptide suggests that mutation frequency varies by over an order of magnitude across the segments, with the mature toxin region undergoing the highest rate. The three sections of the prepropeptide which exhibit apparently different mutation rates are separated by introns. This striking segment-specific rate of divergence of Conus prepropeptides suggests a role for introns in evolution: exons separated by introns have the potential to evolve very different mutation rates. Plausible mechanisms that could underlie differing mutational frequency in the different exons of a gene are discussed.

  3. Bursts of potential elicited by d-amphetamine in central snail neuron: effect of sodium azide.

    PubMed

    Lin, Pei-Lin; Lu, Kuan-Ling; Lee, Ya-Ling; Chen, Yi-Hung; Chang, Yu-Chi; Chou, Hong-Nong; Tsai, Ming-Cheng

    2007-10-01

    Effects of sodium azide (NaN(3)) on spontaneously generated action potential and bursts of potential elicited by d-amphetamine (d-amphetamine-elicited BoP) were studied on the right parietal 4 (RP4) neuron of the snail Achatina fulica Ferussac in vitro. Sodium azide altered the spontaneous action potential of RP4 neuron in a concentration-dependent manner. In lower concentrations, neither NaN(3) (30, 100, 300 microM; 1 and 3 mM) nor d-amphetamine (135 microM) affect the resting membrane potential, amplitude and frequency of RP4 neurons, while in the higher concentrations NaN(3) (30 mM) did abolish the spontaneous action potential on RP4 neurons and depolarized the RP4 neurons reversibly. At lower concentration, NaN(3) (30 microM) facilitated the d-amphetamine-elicited BoP. The BoP elicited by NaN(3) (30 microM) and d-amphetamine (135 microM) were decreased following treatment with KT5720 (protein kinase A inhibitor), or intracellular injection of EGTA [ethylene glycol-bis(2-aminoethyl ether)-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid]. However, the BoP was not affected by applying U73122 (1-[6-[((17beta)-3-methoxyestra-1,3,5[10]-trien-17-yl)amino]hexyl]-1H-pyrrole-2,5-dione) or neomycin (phospholipase inhibitors). Voltage clamp studies revealed that NaN(3) (30 microM) did not alter the total fast inwards currents (70 msec.) and the steady-state outwards currents (5 sec.). It appeared that the BoP elicited by NaN(3) (30 microM) and d-amphetamine (135 microM) was mainly due to protein kinase A-related messenger system and intracellular calcium. It is concluded that d-amphetamine-elicited BoP was not mainly due to inhibition of the function of mitochondria in the neuron while the function of mitochondria did alter the BoP elicited by amphetamine.

  4. Guanine and inosine nucleotides, nucleosides and oxypurines in snail muscles as potential biomarkers of fluoride toxicity.

    PubMed

    Rać, Monika E; Safranow, Krzysztof; Dołegowska, Barbara; Machoy, Zygmunt

    2007-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to determine the toxicity of fluorides on energy metabolism in muscles of the Helix aspersa maxima snail. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of purine compounds was performed in slices of foot from mature snails with high-performance liquid chromatography. Fluoride concentrations were measured using an ion-selective electrode and gas chromatography. The results show that exposure to fluoride pollution was accompanied by a statistically significant increase in fluoride concentrations in soft tissues. This effect was already noticeable with the smallest fluoride dose. Accumulation was greatest in the shell. There is a significant and positive correlation between fluoride concentrations in foot muscles and guanine and inosine nucleotides or uridine content. The content of low-energy guanylate, inosylate and oxypurine in foot muscles significantly increased with rising dose of fluoride. The difference as compared with controls was significant only for the highest dose of fluoride. Interestingly, uric acid, the final product of purine catabolism, dominated quantitatively in the foot muscles of snails. In conclusion, increased low-energy guanylate and inosylate as well as decreased xanthine concentrations in snail muscle can be indicators of the toxic influence of fluoride on the organism. The measuring of fluoride accumulation in the shell is the most suitable bioindicator of fluoride pollution in the environment.

  5. Ecstasy and methamphetamine elicit action potential bursts via different mechanisms in a central snail neuron.

    PubMed

    Lin, Pei-Lin; Tsai, Ming-Cheng; Lu, Guan-Ling; Lu, Dah-Yuu; Chuang, Chieh-Min; Yang, Han-Yin; Huang, Shiang-Suo; Chen, Yi-Hung

    2010-01-01

    This study sought to determine the effects of (+) methamphetamine (METH) and its ring-substituted analog (+/-)3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; ecstasy) on electrophysiological behavior and their relationships to second messenger systems in an identifiable RP4 neuron of the African snail, Achatina fulica Ferussac. Extracellular application of MDMA at 1mM and METH at 3mM elicited action potential bursts that were not blocked after immersing the neurons in Ca(2+)-free solution. Notably, MDMA- (1mM) elicited action potential bursts were blocked by pretreatment with the protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitors chelerythrine (20 microM) and Ro 31-8220 (20 microM), but not by the PKA inhibitors KT-5720 (10 microM) and H89 (10 microM). The PKC activator phorbol 12,13-dibutyrate (PDBu; 3 microM), but not the PKA activator forskolin (50 microM), facilitated the induction of bursts elicited by MDMA at a lower concentration (0.3mM). In contrast, METH- (3mM) elicited action potential bursts were blocked by pretreatment with KT-5720 (10 microM) and H89 (10 microM), but not by chelerythrine (20 microM) and Ro 31-8220 (20 microM). Forskolin (50 microM), but not PDBu (3 microM) facilitated the induction of bursts elicited by METH at a lower concentration (1mM). Tetraethylammonium chloride (TEA), a blocker of the delayed rectifying K(+) current (I(KD)), did not elicit bursts at a concentration of 5mM but did facilitate the induction of action potential bursts elicited by both METH and MDMA. Voltage clamp studies revealed that both METH and MDMA decreased the TEA-sensitive I(KD) of the RP4 neuron. Forskolin (50 microM) or dibutyryl cAMP (1mM), a membrane-permeable cAMP analog, alone did not elicit action potential bursts. However, co-administration with forskolin (50 microM) and TEA (5mM) or co-administration with dibutyryl cAMP (1mM) and TEA (50mM) elicited action potential bursts in the presence of the PKC inhibitor chelerythrine (20 microM). Similarly, PDBu (10 microM) or phorbol

  6. Potential Use of Biomphalaria alexandrina Snail Antigens for Serodiagnosis of Schistosomiasis Mansoni by Immunoblot Analysis.

    PubMed

    Basyoni, Maha Ma; El-Wahab, Azza Abd

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the possible use of Biomphalaria alexandrina snail antigens in diagnosis of schistosomiasis mansoni using enzyme linked immunolectrotransfere blot (EITB). S. mansoni adult worm crude antigens (AWA), feet and visceral humps of B. alexandrina and Bulinus truncatus were used. Hyperimmune mice sera (HIS) versus each antigen were prepared for diagnosis of S. mansoni using western blot (WB). Snail foot antigens were more specific in antibodies detection than visceral hump antigens. Three of five polypeptides of B. alexandrina foot antigen identified by S. mansoni HIS showed specific positive reactivity. These polypeptides were at MW of 31/32 and 43 kDa. While, only one of the six polypeptides of B. alexandrina hepatopancrease antigen identified by S. mansoni HIS, at a MW of 43 kDa was specific. Similarly, 2 polypeptides at MW of 44 and 55 kDa were specific in detection of anti- S. haematobium antibodies. However, the antigenically active polypeptide of B. truncatus hepatopancrease antigen had no specific reactivity towards anti-S. haematobium antibodies. B. alexandrina foot antigens were the most specific of the tested snail antigens in diagnosis of schistosomiasis mansoni.

  7. Snail Trails

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Galus, Pamela

    2002-01-01

    The slime trails of snails lead the author's students to a better understanding of science as inquiry and the processes of science. During this five-day activity, students get up close and personal with one of her favorite creatures, the land snail. Students begin by observing the organism and recording their observations. After making initial…

  8. Snail Trails

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Galus, Pamela

    2002-01-01

    The slime trails of snails lead the author's students to a better understanding of science as inquiry and the processes of science. During this five-day activity, students get up close and personal with one of her favorite creatures, the land snail. Students begin by observing the organism and recording their observations. After making initial…

  9. Snails home

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunstan, D. J.; Hodgson, D. J.

    2014-06-01

    Many gardeners and horticulturalists seek non-chemical methods to control populations of snails. It has frequently been reported that snails that are marked and removed from a garden are later found in the garden again. This phenomenon is often cited as evidence for a homing instinct. We report a systematic study of the snail population in a small suburban garden, in which large numbers of snails were marked and removed over a period of about 6 months. While many returned, inferring a homing instinct from this evidence requires statistical modelling. Monte Carlo techniques demonstrate that movements of snails are better explained by drift under the influence of a homing instinct than by random diffusion. Maximum likelihood techniques infer the existence of two groups of snails in the garden: members of a larger population that show little affinity to the garden itself, and core members of a local garden population that regularly return to their home if removed. The data are strongly suggestive of a homing instinct, but also reveal that snail-throwing can work as a pest management strategy.

  10. Climate and pH predict the potential range of the invasive apple snail (Pomacea insularum) in the southeastern United States.

    PubMed

    Byers, James E; McDowell, William G; Dodd, Shelley R; Haynie, Rebecca S; Pintor, Lauren M; Wilde, Susan B

    2013-01-01

    Predicting the potential range of invasive species is essential for risk assessment, monitoring, and management, and it can also inform us about a species' overall potential invasiveness. However, modeling the distribution of invasive species that have not reached their equilibrium distribution can be problematic for many predictive approaches. We apply the modeling approach of maximum entropy (MaxEnt) that is effective with incomplete, presence-only datasets to predict the distribution of the invasive island apple snail, Pomacea insularum. This freshwater snail is native to South America and has been spreading in the USA over the last decade from its initial introductions in Texas and Florida. It has now been documented throughout eight southeastern states. The snail's extensive consumption of aquatic vegetation and ability to accumulate and transmit algal toxins through the food web heighten concerns about its spread. Our model shows that under current climate conditions the snail should remain mostly confined to the coastal plain of the southeastern USA where it is limited by minimum temperature in the coldest month and precipitation in the warmest quarter. Furthermore, low pH waters (pH <5.5) are detrimental to the snail's survival and persistence. Of particular note are low-pH blackwater swamps, especially Okefenokee Swamp in southern Georgia (with a pH below 4 in many areas), which are predicted to preclude the snail's establishment even though many of these areas are well matched climatically. Our results elucidate the factors that affect the regional distribution of P. insularum, while simultaneously presenting a spatial basis for the prediction of its future spread. Furthermore, the model for this species exemplifies that combining climatic and habitat variables is a powerful way to model distributions of invasive species.

  11. Heavy metal concentrations in the freshwater snail Biomphalaria alexandrina uninfected or infected with cercariae of Schistosoma mansoni and/or Echinostoma liei in Egypt: the potential use of this snail as a bioindicator of pollution.

    PubMed

    Mostafa, O M S; Mossa, A-T H; El Einin, H M A

    2014-12-01

    In spite of using aquatic snails as bioindicators for water pollution, little attention has been paid to the effect of parasitism upon the concentration of heavy metals (Al, Cd, Cu, Fe, Mn, Pb and Zn) in these organisms. The present study therefore aimed to compare the concentrations of heavy metals in trematode-infected Biomphalaria alexandrina collected from Kafer Alsheikh and Menofia provinces, Egypt, with uninfected snails from the same sites, in order to assess the effect of parasitism on the use of these snails as bioindicators. The concentrations of heavy metals in the soft parts and shells of snails were measured by flame atomic absorption spectrometry. The results showed that the heavy metal profile in snails infected with Echinostoma liei was very different from that in snails infected with Schistosoma mansoni. The total concentration of heavy metals in E. liei-infected snails collected from Kafer Alsheikh or Menofia province was greater than in uninfected snails. In contrast, the total concentration of heavy metals in S. mansoni-infected snails was reduced compared with uninfected snails. In conclusion, the status of snails with respect to parasitic infection must be taken into consideration when these snails are used as bioindicators.

  12. The potential role of cAMP as a pollution biomarker of terrestrial environments using the land snail Eobania vermiculata: correlation with lysosomal membrane stability.

    PubMed

    Itziou, A; Dimitriadis, V K

    2009-09-01

    The present study investigates the role of the signal transduction molecule cAMP, and the lysosomal membrane stability (LMS), as biomarkers of terrestrial environmental pollution using the land snail Eobania vermiculata. Snails were exposed to different concentrations of heavy metals (Cd, Pb and Cu) and organic pollutants (chlorpyrifos, parathion-methyl and PAHs) in laboratory conditions for 25 days. In addition, snails were collected from various sites located at different distances away from two polluted areas in northern Greece (the road Agiou Dimitriou in Thessaloniki city and a lignite power station in the district of Kozani). The results of the current investigation showed significantly increased levels of cAMP in the digestive gland of snails, as well as decreased LMS values in all experimental groups compared to control animals. In support of our data, cAMP levels were significantly negatively correlated with the conventional biomarker LMS, thus encouraging the use of cAMP as a new potential stress index in terrestrial pollution biomonitoring studies.

  13. Inhibition of potential uptake pathways for silver nanoparticles in the estuarine snail Peringia ulvae.

    PubMed

    Khan, Farhan R; Misra, Superb K; Bury, Nicolas R; Smith, Brian D; Rainbow, Philip S; Luoma, Samuel N; Valsami-Jones, Eugenia

    2015-05-01

    Mechanisms involved in the uptake of Ag NPs, and NPs in general, have been long debated within nano-ecotoxicology. In vitro studies provide evidence of the different available uptake pathways, but in vivo demonstrations are lacking. In this study, pharmacological inhibitors were employed to block specific uptake pathways that have been implicated in the transport of metal NPs and aqueous metal forms; phenamil (inhibits Na(+) channel), bafilomycin A1 (H(+) proton pump), amantadine (clathrin-mediated endocytosis), nystatin (caveolae-mediated endocytosis) and phenylarsine oxide (PAO, macropinocytosis). Peringia ulvae (snails) were exposed to 150 µg Ag L(-1) added as citrate capped Ag NPs or aqueous Ag (AgNO3) in combination with inhibitor treatment (determined by preliminary studies). Reductions in accumulated tissue burdens caused by the inhibitors were compared to control exposures (i.e. no inhibition) after 6 and 24 h. No inhibitor treatment completely eliminated the uptake of Ag in either aqueous or NP form, but all inhibitor treatments, except phenamil, significantly reduced the uptake of Ag presented as Ag NPs. Clathrin- and caveolae-mediated endocytosis appear to be mechanisms exploited by Ag NPs, with the latter pathway only active at 24 h. Inhibition of the H(+) proton pump showed that a portion of Ag NP uptake is achieved as aqueous Ag and is explained by the dissolution of the particles (∼25% in 24 h). This in vivo study demonstrates that uptake of Ag from Ag NPs is achieved by multiple pathways and that these pathways are simultaneously active.

  14. Lichen endozoochory by snails.

    PubMed

    Boch, Steffen; Prati, Daniel; Werth, Silke; Rüetschi, Jörg; Fischer, Markus

    2011-04-13

    Endozoochory plays a prominent role for the dispersal of seed plants. However, for most other plant taxa it is not known whether this mode of dispersal occurs at all. Among those other taxa, lichens as symbiotic associations of algae and fungi are peculiar as their successful dispersal requires movement of propagules that leaves the symbiosis functional. However, the potential for endozoochorous dispersal of lichen fragments has been completely overlooked. We fed sterile thalli of two foliose lichen species (Lobaria pulmonaria and Physcia adscendens) differing in habitat and air-quality requirements to nine snail species common in temperate Europe. We demonstrated morphologically that L. pulmonaria regenerated from 29.0% of all 379 fecal pellets, whereas P. adscendens regenerated from 40.9% of all 433 fecal pellets, showing that lichen fragments survived gut passage of all snail species. Moreover, molecular analysis of regenerated lichens confirmed the species identity for a subset of samples. Regeneration rates were higher for the generalist lichen species P. adscendens than for the specialist lichen species L. pulmonaria. Furthermore, lichen regeneration rates varied among snail species with higher rates after gut passage of heavier snail species. We suggest that gastropods generally grazing on lichen communities are important, but so far completely overlooked, as vectors for lichen dispersal. This opens new ecological perspectives and questions the traditional view of an entirely antagonistic relationship between gastropods and lichens.

  15. The potential role of CO2 in initiation and maintenance of estivation in the land snail Helix lucorum.

    PubMed

    Michaelidis, Basile; Vavoulidou, Dimitra; Rousou, Jenia; Pörtner, Hans O

    2007-01-01

    Elevated CO(2) levels are hypothesized to play a role in the initiation and maintenance of estivation in snails through disturbances of acid-base status. The aim of our study was to identify the ambient CO(2) threshold that induces disturbances in acid-base status in the air-breathing land snail Helix lucorum. Acid-base parameters were determined in the hemolymph of snails acclimated to 0.5%, 1%, 2%, 4%, and 8% CO(2) in air for 20 d. In addition, we evaluated the effects of long-term acclimation on metabolic rate and on levels of D-lactate dehydrogenase activity (D-LDH) and of D-lactate in snails after 20 d of exposure to increased CO(2) levels. Helix lucorum proved to be unable to compensate for a decrease in extracellular pH (pH(e)) when acclimated to levels higher than 1% CO(2) in air. The rate of oxygen consumption started to decrease when snails were acclimated to 0.5% CO(2) in air. However, there was no correlation between the drops in pH(e) and in metabolic rate. Long-term acclimation to elevated CO(2) levels induced an increase in the activity of D-LDH with a concomitant accumulation of D-lactate in tissues. This indicates that long-term acclimation to elevated ambient CO(2) levels could reduce the aerobic capacity of land snails and trigger expression of anaerobic pathways of ATP turnover. The threshold levels of ambient CO(2) that induce changes in acid-base status and elicit metabolic depression in adult land snails H. lucorum are higher than the future atmospheric levels that are expected to result from human use of fossil energy resources.

  16. Cost-benefit analysis potential in feeding behavior of a predatory snail by integration of hunger, taste, and pain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gillette, Rhanor; Huang, Rong-Chi; Hatcher, Nathan; Moroz, Leonid L.

    2000-03-01

    Hunger/satiation state interacts with appetitive and noxious stimuli to determine feeding and avoidance responses. In the predatory marine snail Pleurobranchaea californica, food chemostimuli induced proboscis extension and biting at concentration thresholds that varied directly with satiation state. However, food stimuli also tended to elicit avoidance behavior (withdrawal and avoidance turns) at concentration thresholds that were relatively low and fixed. When the feeding threshold for active feeding (proboscis extension with biting) was exceeded, ongoing avoidance and locomotion were interrupted and suppressed. Noxious chemostimuli usually stimulated avoidance, but, in animals with lower feeding thresholds for food stimuli, they often elicited feeding behavior. Thus, sensory pathways mediating appetitive and noxious stimuli may have dual access to neural networks of feeding and avoidance behavior, but their final effects are regulated by satiation state. These observations suggest that a simple cost-benefit computation regulates behavioral switching in the animal's foraging behavior, where food stimuli above or below the incentive level for feeding tend to induce feeding or avoidance, respectively. This decision mechanism can weigh the animal's need for nutrients against the potential risk from other predators and the cost of relative energy outlay in an attack on prey. Stimulation of orienting and attack by low-level noxious stimuli in the hungriest animals may reflect risk-taking that can enhance prey capture success. A simple, hedonically structured neural network model captures this computation.

  17. Morphological and Molecular Characterization of Lymnaeid Snails and Their Potential Role in Transmission of Fasciola spp. in Vietnam

    PubMed Central

    Doanh, Pham Ngoc; The, Dang Tat; Loan, Ho Thi; Losson, Bertrand; Caron, Yannick

    2013-01-01

    Freshwater snails of the family Lymnaeidae play an important role in the transmission of fascioliasis worldwide. In Vietnam, 2 common lymnaeid species, Lymnaea swinhoei and Lymnaea viridis, can be recognized on the basis of morphology, and a third species, Lymnaea sp., is known to exist. Recent studies have raised controversy about their role in transmission of Fasciola spp. because of confusion in identification of the snail hosts. The aim of this study is, therefore, to clarify the identities of lymnaeid snails in Vietnam by a combination of morphological and molecular approaches. The molecular analyses using the second internal transcribed spacer (ITS2) of the nuclear ribosomal DNA clearly showed that lymnaeids in Vietnam include 3 species, Austropeplea viridis (morphologically identified as L. viridis), Radix auricularia (morphologically identified as L. swinhoei) and Radix rubiginosa (morphologically identified as Lymnaea sp.). R. rubiginosa is a new record for Vietnam. Among them, only A. viridis was found to be infected with Fasciola spp. These results provide a new insight into lymnaeid snails in Vietnam. Identification of lymnaeid snails in Vietnam and their role in the liver fluke transmission should be further investigated. PMID:24516270

  18. Morphological and molecular characterization of lymnaeid snails and their potential role in transmission of Fasciola spp. in Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Dung, Bui Thi; Doanh, Pham Ngoc; The, Dang Tat; Loan, Ho Thi; Losson, Bertrand; Caron, Yannick

    2013-12-01

    Freshwater snails of the family Lymnaeidae play an important role in the transmission of fascioliasis worldwide. In Vietnam, 2 common lymnaeid species, Lymnaea swinhoei and Lymnaea viridis, can be recognized on the basis of morphology, and a third species, Lymnaea sp., is known to exist. Recent studies have raised controversy about their role in transmission of Fasciola spp. because of confusion in identification of the snail hosts. The aim of this study is, therefore, to clarify the identities of lymnaeid snails in Vietnam by a combination of morphological and molecular approaches. The molecular analyses using the second internal transcribed spacer (ITS2) of the nuclear ribosomal DNA clearly showed that lymnaeids in Vietnam include 3 species, Austropeplea viridis (morphologically identified as L. viridis), Radix auricularia (morphologically identified as L. swinhoei) and Radix rubiginosa (morphologically identified as Lymnaea sp.). R. rubiginosa is a new record for Vietnam. Among them, only A. viridis was found to be infected with Fasciola spp. These results provide a new insight into lymnaeid snails in Vietnam. Identification of lymnaeid snails in Vietnam and their role in the liver fluke transmission should be further investigated.

  19. Assessment of metal contamination in the Hun River, China, and evaluation of the fish Zacco platypus and the snail Radix swinhoei as potential biomonitors.

    PubMed

    Wu, Xing; Wang, Shaofeng; Chen, Hongxing; Jiang, Zhiqiang; Chen, Hongwei; Gao, Mi; Bi, Ran; Klerks, Paul L; Wang, He; Luo, Yongju; Xie, Lingtian

    2017-01-10

    The Hun River is a major tributary of the Liao River in the northeast area of China and provides drinking water for 23 million local residents. This study was designed to assess the severity of metal contamination in the Hun River and the potential use of indigenous organisms (the fish Zacco platypus and the snail Radix swinhoei) as biomonitors of metal contamination. Water, sediment, and the native fish and snails were collected at four sampling sites that differed in their physicochemical characteristics and their contamination levels. The samples were analyzed for Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn by ICP-MS. The results showed that although the overall potential ecological risks of the metals were low at our sampling sites, Cd posed a noteworthy ecological risk. Strong correlations were obtained between Cd concentrations in the organisms and in the environment. The results indicated that Z. platypus and R. swinhoei can be useful biomonitoring species for assessing Cd contamination. Biomonitoring with the snail may be most effective when focused on the gonad/digestive tissue (because of the high metal accumulation there), but further work is needed to confirm this.

  20. Climate and pH Predict the Potential Range of the Invasive Apple Snail (Pomacea insularum) in the Southeastern United States

    PubMed Central

    Byers, James E.; McDowell, William G.; Dodd, Shelley R.; Haynie, Rebecca S.; Pintor, Lauren M.; Wilde, Susan B.

    2013-01-01

    Predicting the potential range of invasive species is essential for risk assessment, monitoring, and management, and it can also inform us about a species’ overall potential invasiveness. However, modeling the distribution of invasive species that have not reached their equilibrium distribution can be problematic for many predictive approaches. We apply the modeling approach of maximum entropy (MaxEnt) that is effective with incomplete, presence-only datasets to predict the distribution of the invasive island apple snail, Pomacea insularum. This freshwater snail is native to South America and has been spreading in the USA over the last decade from its initial introductions in Texas and Florida. It has now been documented throughout eight southeastern states. The snail’s extensive consumption of aquatic vegetation and ability to accumulate and transmit algal toxins through the food web heighten concerns about its spread. Our model shows that under current climate conditions the snail should remain mostly confined to the coastal plain of the southeastern USA where it is limited by minimum temperature in the coldest month and precipitation in the warmest quarter. Furthermore, low pH waters (pH <5.5) are detrimental to the snail’s survival and persistence. Of particular note are low-pH blackwater swamps, especially Okefenokee Swamp in southern Georgia (with a pH below 4 in many areas), which are predicted to preclude the snail’s establishment even though many of these areas are well matched climatically. Our results elucidate the factors that affect the regional distribution of P. insularum, while simultaneously presenting a spatial basis for the prediction of its future spread. Furthermore, the model for this species exemplifies that combining climatic and habitat variables is a powerful way to model distributions of invasive species. PMID:23451090

  1. The modulation effects of d-amphetamine and procaine on the spontaneously generated action potentials in the central neuron of snail, Achatina fulica Ferussac.

    PubMed

    Lin, Chia-Hsien; Tsai, Ming-Cheng

    2005-05-01

    The modulation effects of d-amphetamine and procaine on the spontaneously generated action potentials were studied on the RP1 central neuron of giant African snails (Achatina fulica Ferussac). Extra-cellular application of d-amphetamine or procaine reversibly elicited bursts of potential (BoP). Prazosin, propranolol, atropine or d-tubocurarine did not alter the BoP elicited by either d-amphetamine or procaine. KT-5720 or H89 (protein kinase A inhibitors) blocked d-amphetamine-elicited BoP, whereas they did not block the procaine-elicited BoP. U73122, neomycin (phospholipase C inhibitors) blocked the procaine-elicited BoP, whereas they did not block the d-amphetamine-elicited BoP in the same neuron. These results suggest that BoP elicited by d-amphetamine or procaine were associated with protein kinase A and phospholipase C activity in the neuron.

  2. Estrogen regulates Snail and Slug in the down-regulation of E-cadherin and induces metastatic potential of ovarian cancer cells through estrogen receptor alpha.

    PubMed

    Park, Se-Hyung; Cheung, Lydia W T; Wong, Alice S T; Leung, Peter C K

    2008-09-01

    Tumorigenesis is a multistep process involving dysregulated cell growth and metastasis. Considerable evidence implicates a mitogenic action of estrogen in early ovarian carcinogenesis. In contrast, its influence in the metastatic cascade of ovarian tumor cells remains obscure. In the present study, we showed that 17beta-estradiol (E2) increased the metastatic potential of human epithelial ovarian cancer cell lines. E2 treatment led to clear morphological changes characteristic of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and an enhanced cell migratory propensity. These morphological and functional alterations were associated with changes in the abundance of EMT-related genes. Upon E2 stimulation, expression and promoter activity of the epithelial marker E-cadherin were strikingly suppressed, whereas EMT-associated transcription factors, Snail and Slug, were significantly up-regulated. This up-regulation was attributed to the increase in gene transcription activated by E2. Depletion of endogenous Snail or Slug using small interfering RNA (siRNA) attenuated E2-mediated decrease in E-cadherin. In addition, E2-induced cell migration was also neutralized by the siRNAs, suggesting that both transcription factors are indispensable for the prometastatic actions of E2. More importantly, by using selective estrogen receptor (ER) agonists, forced expression, and siRNA approaches, we identified that E2 triggered the metastatic behaviors exclusively through an ERalpha-dependent pathway. We also showed that ERbeta had an opposing action on ERalpha because the presence of ERbeta completely inhibited the EMT and down-regulation of E-cadherin induced by ERalpha. Collectively, this study provides a compelling argument that estrogen can potentiate tumor progression by EMT induction and highlights the crucial role of ERalpha in ovarian tumorigenesis.

  3. VAV1 represses E-cadherin expression through the transactivation of Snail and Slug: a potential mechanism for aberrant epithelial to mesenchymal transition in human epithelial ovarian cancer.

    PubMed

    Wakahashi, Senn; Sudo, Tamotsu; Oka, Noriko; Ueno, Sayaka; Yamaguchi, Satoshi; Fujiwara, Kiyoshi; Ohbayashi, Chiho; Nishimura, Ryuichiro

    2013-09-01

    Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecological malignancy in the western world. Although patients with early-stage ovarian cancer generally have a good prognosis, approximately 20%-30% of patients will die of the disease, and 5-year recurrence rates are 25%-45%, highlighting the need for improved detection and treatment. We investigated the role of VAV1, a protein with guanine nucleotide exchange factor activity, which is associated with survival in patients with early-stage ovarian cancer (International of Obstetrics and Gynecology [FIGO] stages I and II). We analyzed 88 samples from patients with primary epithelial ovarian cancer, which were divided into FIGO stages I and II (n = 46), and III and IV (n = 42). Prognostic analysis revealed that upregulated VAV1 expression correlated significantly with poor prognosis in patients with early-stage epithelial ovarian cancer (P ≤ 0.05), but not with other clinicopathologic features. Stable overexpression of VAV1 in human high-grade serous ovarian cancer SKOV3 cells induced morphologic changes indicative of loss of intercellular adhesions and organized actin stress fibers. Western blotting and real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction demonstrated that these cells had downregulated E-cadherin protein and messenger RNA levels, respectively. This downregulation is associated with epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and invasive cancer. Furthermore, VAV1 overexpression in both SKOV3 and human ovarian surface epithelial cells demonstrated that its upregulation of an E-cadherin transcriptional repressor, Snail and Slug, was not confined to ovarian cancer cells. Conversely, knockdown of VAV1 by RNA interference reduced Snail and Slug. Our findings suggest that VAV1 may play a role in the EMT of ovarian cancer, and may serve as a potential therapeutic target.

  4. Snail Shell Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Matthews, Catherine

    1992-01-01

    Presents three inquiry-based lessons to develop the science process skills of observation, identification, and classification. Activities use whelk eggs and snail shells as the focus of the students' inquiries. Provides a list of 19 facts about whelks and snails. (MDH)

  5. The Classroom Animal: Snails.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kramer, David S.

    1985-01-01

    Points out that snails are interesting and easily-managed classroom animals. One advantage of this animal is that it requires no special attention over weekends or holidays. Background information, anatomy, reproduction, and feeding are discussed, along with suggestions for housing aquatic and/or land snails. (DH)

  6. The Classroom Animal: Snails.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kramer, David S.

    1985-01-01

    Points out that snails are interesting and easily-managed classroom animals. One advantage of this animal is that it requires no special attention over weekends or holidays. Background information, anatomy, reproduction, and feeding are discussed, along with suggestions for housing aquatic and/or land snails. (DH)

  7. Snail Shell Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Matthews, Catherine

    1992-01-01

    Presents three inquiry-based lessons to develop the science process skills of observation, identification, and classification. Activities use whelk eggs and snail shells as the focus of the students' inquiries. Provides a list of 19 facts about whelks and snails. (MDH)

  8. Potential human health risks from toxic metals via mangrove snail consumption and their ecological risk assessments in the habitat sediment from Peninsular Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Wan Hee; Yap, Chee Kong

    2015-09-01

    Samples of mangrove snails Nerita lineata and surface sediments were collected from nine geographical sampling sites in Peninsular Malaysia to determine the concentrations of eight metals. For the soft tissues, the ranges of metal concentrations (μg g(-1) dry weight (dw)) were 3.49-9.02 for As, 0.69-6.25 for Cd, 6.33-25.82 for Cu, 0.71-6.53 for Cr, 221-1285 for Fe, 1.03-50.47 for Pb, and 102.7-130.7 for Zn while Hg as 4.00-64.0 μg kg(-1) dw(-1). For sediments, the ranges were 21.81-59.49 for As, 1.11-2.00 for Cd, 5.59-28.71 for Cu, 18.93-62.91 for Cr, 12973-48916 for Fe, 25.36-172.57 for Pb, and 29.35-130.34 for Zn while for Hg as 2.66-312 μg kg(-1) dw(-1). To determine the ecological risks on the surface habitat sediments, sediment quality guidelines (SQGs), the geochemical indices, and potential ecological risk index (PERI) were used. Based on the SQGs, all the metals investigated were most unlikely to cause any adverse effects. Based on geoaccumulation index and enrichment factor, the sediments were also not polluted by the studied metals. The PERI values based on As, Cd, Cu, Cr, Hg, Pb and Zn in this study were found as 'low ecological risk'. In order to assess the potential health risks, the estimated daily intakes (EDI) of snails were found to be all lower than the RfD guidelines for all metals, except for Pb in some sites investigated. Furthermore, the calculated target hazard quotients (THQ) were found to be less than 1. However, the calculated total target hazard quotients (TTHQ) from all sites were found to be more than 1 for high level consumers except KPPuteh. Therefore, moderate amount of intake is advisable to avoid human health risks to the consumers.

  9. cGMP-dependent protein kinase enhances Ca2+ current and potentiates the serotonin-induced Ca2+ current increase in snail neurones.

    PubMed

    Paupardin-Tritsch, D; Hammond, C; Gerschenfeld, H M; Nairn, A C; Greengard, P

    Protein phosphorylation catalysed by cyclic AMP-dependent, Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent and Ca2+/diacylglycerol-dependent protein kinases is important both in the modulation of synaptic transmission and in the regulation of neuronal membrane permeability (for reviews see refs 5-7). However, there has previously been no evidence for the involvement of cyclic GMP-dependent protein kinase (cGMP-PK) in the regulation of neuronal function. Serotonin induces an increase of Ca2+ current in a group of identified ventral neurones of the snail Helix aspersa. This effect is probably mediated by cGMP because it is mimicked by the intracellular injection of cGMP or the application of zaprinast, an inhibitor of cGMP-dependent phosphodiesterase. We have now found that the effect of either serotonin or zaprinast on the Ca2+ current is potentiated by the intracellular injection of cGMP-PK. Moreover, the intracellular injection of activated cGMP-PK (cGMP-PK + 1 microM cGMP) greatly enhances the Ca2+ current of the identified ventral neurones seen in the absence of serotonin. These results indicate that cGMP-PK has a physiological role in the control of the membrane permeability of these neurones.

  10. Non-native molluscan colonizers on deliberately placed shipwrecks in the Florida Keys, with description of a new species of potentially invasive worm-snail (Gastropoda: Vermetidae)

    PubMed Central

    Granados-Cifuentes, Camila; Rawlings, Timothy A.; Sierwald, Petra; Collins, Timothy M.

    2017-01-01

    Artificial reefs created by deliberately sinking ships off the coast of the Florida Keys island chain are providing new habitat for marine invertebrates. This newly developing fouling community includes the previously reported invasive orange tube coral Tubastraea coccinea and the non-native giant foam oyster Hyotissa hyotis. New SCUBA-based surveys involving five shipwrecks spanning the upper, middle, and lower Florida Keys, show T. coccinea now also established in the lower Keys and H. hyotis likewise extending to new sites. Two additional mollusks found on the artificial reefs, the amathinid gastropod Cyclothyca pacei and gryphaeid oyster Hyotissa mcgintyi, the latter also common in the natural reef areas, are discussed as potentially non-native. A new species of sessile, suspension-feeding, worm-snail, Thylacodes vandyensis Bieler, Rawlings & Collins n. sp. (Vermetidae), is described from the wreck of the USNS Vandenberg off Key West and discussed as potentially invasive. This new species is compared morphologically and by DNA barcode markers to other known members of the genus, and may be a recent arrival from the Pacific Ocean. Thylacodes vandyensis is polychromatic, with individuals varying in both overall head-foot coloration and mantle margin color pattern. Females brood stalked egg capsules attached to their shell within the confines of their mantle cavity, and give rise to crawl-away juveniles. Such direct-developing species have the demonstrated capacity for colonizing habitats isolated far from their native ranges and establishing rapidly growing founder populations. Vermetid gastropods are common components of the marine fouling community in warm temperate and tropical waters and, as such, have been tagged as potentially invasive or with a high potential to be invasive in the Pacific Ocean. As vermetids can influence coral growth/composition in the Pacific and have been reported serving as intermediate hosts for blood flukes of loggerhead turtles

  11. Non-native molluscan colonizers on deliberately placed shipwrecks in the Florida Keys, with description of a new species of potentially invasive worm-snail (Gastropoda: Vermetidae).

    PubMed

    Bieler, Rüdiger; Granados-Cifuentes, Camila; Rawlings, Timothy A; Sierwald, Petra; Collins, Timothy M

    2017-01-01

    Artificial reefs created by deliberately sinking ships off the coast of the Florida Keys island chain are providing new habitat for marine invertebrates. This newly developing fouling community includes the previously reported invasive orange tube coral Tubastraea coccinea and the non-native giant foam oyster Hyotissa hyotis. New SCUBA-based surveys involving five shipwrecks spanning the upper, middle, and lower Florida Keys, show T. coccinea now also established in the lower Keys and H. hyotis likewise extending to new sites. Two additional mollusks found on the artificial reefs, the amathinid gastropod Cyclothyca pacei and gryphaeid oyster Hyotissa mcgintyi, the latter also common in the natural reef areas, are discussed as potentially non-native. A new species of sessile, suspension-feeding, worm-snail, Thylacodes vandyensis Bieler, Rawlings & Collins n. sp. (Vermetidae), is described from the wreck of the USNS Vandenberg off Key West and discussed as potentially invasive. This new species is compared morphologically and by DNA barcode markers to other known members of the genus, and may be a recent arrival from the Pacific Ocean. Thylacodes vandyensis is polychromatic, with individuals varying in both overall head-foot coloration and mantle margin color pattern. Females brood stalked egg capsules attached to their shell within the confines of their mantle cavity, and give rise to crawl-away juveniles. Such direct-developing species have the demonstrated capacity for colonizing habitats isolated far from their native ranges and establishing rapidly growing founder populations. Vermetid gastropods are common components of the marine fouling community in warm temperate and tropical waters and, as such, have been tagged as potentially invasive or with a high potential to be invasive in the Pacific Ocean. As vermetids can influence coral growth/composition in the Pacific and have been reported serving as intermediate hosts for blood flukes of loggerhead turtles

  12. The potential use of ultrasound to control the trematode bolbophorus confusus by eliminating the ram's horn snail planorbella trivolvis in commercial aquaculture settings

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    One method in the investigation of acoustics to improve aquaculture production is the use of ultrasound to control the trematode, Bolbophorus confuses, in commercial catfish ponds. The trematode population can be controlled by eliminating the host ram’s horn snail, Planorbella trivolvis, which is ty...

  13. Microhabitats within Venomous Cone Snails Contain Diverse Actinobacteria▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Peraud, Olivier; Biggs, Jason S.; Hughen, Ronald W.; Light, Alan R.; Concepcion, Gisela P.; Olivera, Baldomero M.; Schmidt, Eric W.

    2009-01-01

    Actinomycetes can be symbionts in diverse organisms, including both plants and animals. Some actinomycetes benefit their host by producing small molecule secondary metabolites; the resulting symbioses are often developmentally complex. Actinomycetes associated with three cone snails were studied. Cone snails are venomous tropical marine gastropods which have been extensively examined because of their production of peptide-based neurological toxins, but no microbiological studies have been reported on these organisms. A microhabitat approach was used in which dissected tissue from each snail was treated as an individual sample in order to explore bacteria in the tissues separately. Our results revealed a diverse, novel, and highly culturable cone snail-associated actinomycete community, with some isolates showing promising bioactivity in a neurological assay. This suggests that cone snails may represent an underexplored reservoir of novel actinomycetes of potential interest for drug discovery. PMID:19749071

  14. Road facilitation of trematode infections in snails of northern Alaska.

    PubMed

    Urban, Mark C

    2006-08-01

    Road disturbances can influence wildlife health by spreading disease agents and hosts or by generating environmental conditions that sustain these agent and host populations. I evaluated field patterns of trematode infections in snails inhabiting ponds at varying distances from the Dalton Highway, a wilderness road that intersects northern Alaska. I also assessed the relationships between trematode infections and snail densities and six environmental variables: calcium concentration, aquatic vegetative cover canopy cover temperature, pond size, and community structure. Presence of trematode infections and snail density were negatively correlated with distance from the highway. Of the pond characteristics measured, only calcium concentration and vegetation density declined with distance from road. However neither variable was positively associated with snail density or trematode presence. One potential explanation for observed patterns is that vehicles, road maintenance, or vertebrate vectors attracted to the highway facilitate colonization of snails or trematodes. Emerging disease threats to biological diversity in northern ecosystems highlight the importance of understanding how roads affect disease transmission.

  15. Microhabitats within venomous cone snails contain diverse actinobacteria.

    PubMed

    Peraud, Olivier; Biggs, Jason S; Hughen, Ronald W; Light, Alan R; Concepcion, Gisela P; Olivera, Baldomero M; Schmidt, Eric W

    2009-11-01

    Actinomycetes can be symbionts in diverse organisms, including both plants and animals. Some actinomycetes benefit their host by producing small molecule secondary metabolites; the resulting symbioses are often developmentally complex. Actinomycetes associated with three cone snails were studied. Cone snails are venomous tropical marine gastropods which have been extensively examined because of their production of peptide-based neurological toxins, but no microbiological studies have been reported on these organisms. A microhabitat approach was used in which dissected tissue from each snail was treated as an individual sample in order to explore bacteria in the tissues separately. Our results revealed a diverse, novel, and highly culturable cone snail-associated actinomycete community, with some isolates showing promising bioactivity in a neurological assay. This suggests that cone snails may represent an underexplored reservoir of novel actinomycetes of potential interest for drug discovery.

  16. Whole genome analysis of a schistosomiasis-transmitting freshwater snail.

    PubMed

    Adema, Coen M; Hillier, LaDeana W; Jones, Catherine S; Loker, Eric S; Knight, Matty; Minx, Patrick; Oliveira, Guilherme; Raghavan, Nithya; Shedlock, Andrew; do Amaral, Laurence Rodrigues; Arican-Goktas, Halime D; Assis, Juliana G; Baba, Elio Hideo; Baron, Olga L; Bayne, Christopher J; Bickham-Wright, Utibe; Biggar, Kyle K; Blouin, Michael; Bonning, Bryony C; Botka, Chris; Bridger, Joanna M; Buckley, Katherine M; Buddenborg, Sarah K; Lima Caldeira, Roberta; Carleton, Julia; Carvalho, Omar S; Castillo, Maria G; Chalmers, Iain W; Christensens, Mikkel; Clifton, Sandra; Cosseau, Celine; Coustau, Christine; Cripps, Richard M; Cuesta-Astroz, Yesid; Cummins, Scott F; di Stephano, Leon; Dinguirard, Nathalie; Duval, David; Emrich, Scott; Feschotte, Cédric; Feyereisen, Rene; FitzGerald, Peter; Fronick, Catrina; Fulton, Lucinda; Galinier, Richard; Gava, Sandra G; Geusz, Michael; Geyer, Kathrin K; Giraldo-Calderón, Gloria I; de Souza Gomes, Matheus; Gordy, Michelle A; Gourbal, Benjamin; Grunau, Christoph; Hanington, Patrick C; Hoffmann, Karl F; Hughes, Daniel; Humphries, Judith; Jackson, Daniel J; Jannotti-Passos, Liana K; de Jesus Jeremias, Wander; Jobling, Susan; Kamel, Bishoy; Kapusta, Aurélie; Kaur, Satwant; Koene, Joris M; Kohn, Andrea B; Lawson, Dan; Lawton, Scott P; Liang, Di; Limpanont, Yanin; Liu, Sijun; Lockyer, Anne E; Lovato, TyAnna L; Ludolf, Fernanda; Magrini, Vince; McManus, Donald P; Medina, Monica; Misra, Milind; Mitta, Guillaume; Mkoji, Gerald M; Montague, Michael J; Montelongo, Cesar; Moroz, Leonid L; Munoz-Torres, Monica C; Niazi, Umar; Noble, Leslie R; Oliveira, Francislon S; Pais, Fabiano S; Papenfuss, Anthony T; Peace, Rob; Pena, Janeth J; Pila, Emmanuel A; Quelais, Titouan; Raney, Brian J; Rast, Jonathan P; Rollinson, David; Rosse, Izinara C; Rotgans, Bronwyn; Routledge, Edwin J; Ryan, Kathryn M; Scholte, Larissa L S; Storey, Kenneth B; Swain, Martin; Tennessen, Jacob A; Tomlinson, Chad; Trujillo, Damian L; Volpi, Emanuela V; Walker, Anthony J; Wang, Tianfang; Wannaporn, Ittiprasert; Warren, Wesley C; Wu, Xiao-Jun; Yoshino, Timothy P; Yusuf, Mohammed; Zhang, Si-Ming; Zhao, Min; Wilson, Richard K

    2017-05-16

    Biomphalaria snails are instrumental in transmission of the human blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni. With the World Health Organization's goal to eliminate schistosomiasis as a global health problem by 2025, there is now renewed emphasis on snail control. Here, we characterize the genome of Biomphalaria glabrata, a lophotrochozoan protostome, and provide timely and important information on snail biology. We describe aspects of phero-perception, stress responses, immune function and regulation of gene expression that support the persistence of B. glabrata in the field and may define this species as a suitable snail host for S. mansoni. We identify several potential targets for developing novel control measures aimed at reducing snail-mediated transmission of schistosomiasis.

  17. Whole genome analysis of a schistosomiasis-transmitting freshwater snail

    PubMed Central

    Adema, Coen M.; Hillier, LaDeana W.; Jones, Catherine S.; Loker, Eric S.; Knight, Matty; Minx, Patrick; Oliveira, Guilherme; Raghavan, Nithya; Shedlock, Andrew; do Amaral, Laurence Rodrigues; Arican-Goktas, Halime D.; Assis, Juliana G.; Baba, Elio Hideo; Baron, Olga L.; Bayne, Christopher J.; Bickham-Wright, Utibe; Biggar, Kyle K.; Blouin, Michael; Bonning, Bryony C.; Botka, Chris; Bridger, Joanna M.; Buckley, Katherine M.; Buddenborg, Sarah K.; Lima Caldeira, Roberta; Carleton, Julia; Carvalho, Omar S.; Castillo, Maria G.; Chalmers, Iain W.; Christensens, Mikkel; Clifton, Sandra; Cosseau, Celine; Coustau, Christine; Cripps, Richard M.; Cuesta-Astroz, Yesid; Cummins, Scott F.; di Stefano, Leon; Dinguirard, Nathalie; Duval, David; Emrich, Scott; Feschotte, Cédric; Feyereisen, Rene; FitzGerald, Peter; Fronick, Catrina; Fulton, Lucinda; Galinier, Richard; Gava, Sandra G.; Geusz, Michael; Geyer, Kathrin K.; Giraldo-Calderón, Gloria I.; de Souza Gomes, Matheus; Gordy, Michelle A.; Gourbal, Benjamin; Grunau, Christoph; Hanington, Patrick C.; Hoffmann, Karl F.; Hughes, Daniel; Humphries, Judith; Jackson, Daniel J.; Jannotti-Passos, Liana K.; de Jesus Jeremias, Wander; Jobling, Susan; Kamel, Bishoy; Kapusta, Aurélie; Kaur, Satwant; Koene, Joris M.; Kohn, Andrea B.; Lawson, Dan; Lawton, Scott P; Liang, Di; Limpanont, Yanin; Liu, Sijun; Lockyer, Anne E.; Lovato, TyAnna L.; Ludolf, Fernanda; Magrini, Vince; McManus, Donald P.; Medina, Monica; Misra, Milind; Mitta, Guillaume; Mkoji, Gerald M.; Montague, Michael J.; Montelongo, Cesar; Moroz, Leonid L.; Munoz-Torres, Monica C.; Niazi, Umar; Noble, Leslie R.; Oliveira, Francislon S.; Pais, Fabiano S.; Papenfuss, Anthony T.; Peace, Rob; Pena, Janeth J.; Pila, Emmanuel A.; Quelais, Titouan; Raney, Brian J.; Rast, Jonathan P.; Rollinson, David; Rosse, Izinara C.; Rotgans, Bronwyn; Routledge, Edwin J.; Ryan, Kathryn M.; Scholte, Larissa L. S.; Storey, Kenneth B.; Swain, Martin; Tennessen, Jacob A.; Tomlinson, Chad; Trujillo, Damian L.; Volpi, Emanuela V.; Walker, Anthony J.; Wang, Tianfang; Wannaporn, Ittiprasert; Warren, Wesley C.; Wu, Xiao-Jun; Yoshino, Timothy P.; Yusuf, Mohammed; Zhang, Si-Ming; Zhao, Min; Wilson, Richard K.

    2017-01-01

    Biomphalaria snails are instrumental in transmission of the human blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni. With the World Health Organization's goal to eliminate schistosomiasis as a global health problem by 2025, there is now renewed emphasis on snail control. Here, we characterize the genome of Biomphalaria glabrata, a lophotrochozoan protostome, and provide timely and important information on snail biology. We describe aspects of phero-perception, stress responses, immune function and regulation of gene expression that support the persistence of B. glabrata in the field and may define this species as a suitable snail host for S. mansoni. We identify several potential targets for developing novel control measures aimed at reducing snail-mediated transmission of schistosomiasis. PMID:28508897

  18. Aquatic snails, passive hosts of Mycobacterium ulcerans.

    PubMed

    Marsollier, Laurent; Sévérin, Tchibozo; Aubry, Jacques; Merritt, Richard W; Saint André, Jean-Paul; Legras, Pierre; Manceau, Anne-Lise; Chauty, Annick; Carbonnelle, Bernard; Cole, Stewart T

    2004-10-01

    Accumulative indirect evidence of the epidemiology of Mycobacterium ulcerans infections causing chronic skin ulcers (i.e., Buruli ulcer disease) suggests that the development of this pathogen and its transmission to humans are related predominantly to aquatic environments. We report that snails could transitorily harbor M. ulcerans without offering favorable conditions for its growth and replication. A novel intermediate link in the transmission chain of M. ulcerans becomes likely with predator aquatic insects in addition to phytophage insects. Water bugs, such as Naucoris cimicoides, a potential vector of M. ulcerans, were shown to be infected specifically by this bacterium after feeding on snails experimentally exposed to M. ulcerans.

  19. The potential significance to human health associated with the establishment of the snail Melanoides tuberculata in New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Derraik, José G B

    2008-08-22

    The thiarid Melanoides tuberculata (Müller, 1774) (Gastropoda: Prosobranchia: Thiaridae) is considered to be invasive and have become established in numerous countries outside its native range. This species was discovered in the wild for the first time in New Zealand in 2001, when a population was found in a geothermally warmed stream at Golden Springs near Taupo. M. tuberculata is of human health significance as the intermediate host of a number of trematode parasites. Uncertainties hinder an accurate assessment of the risks to human health occasioned by this species in New Zealand, but it is theoretically possible that a number of parasites could become established in this country in association with M. tuberculata. However, their distribution would be potentially limited, as M. tuberculata is unlikely to find suitable habitats in New Zealand outside certain geothermally warmed water habitats.

  20. Movements of florida apple snails in relation to water levels and drying events

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Darby, P.C.; Bennetts, R.E.; Miller, S.J.; Percival, H.F.

    2002-01-01

    Florida apple snails (Pomacea Paludosa) apparently have only a limited tolerance to wetland drying events (although little direct evidence exists), but their populations routinely face dry downs under natural and managed water regimes. In this paper, we address speculation that apple snails respond to decreasing water levels and potential drying events by moving toward refugia that remain inundated. We monitored the movements of apple snails in central Florida, USA during drying events at the Blue Cypress Marsh (BC) and at Lake Kissimmee (LK). We monitored the weekly movements of 47 BC snails and 31 LK snails using radio-telemetry. Snails tended to stop moving when water depths were 10 cm. Snails moved along the greatest positive depth gradient (i.e., towards deeper water) when they encountered water depths between 10 and 20 cm. Snails tended to move toward shallower water in water depths ???50 cm, suggesting that snails were avoiding deep water areas such as canals and sloughs. Of the 11 BC snails originally located in the area that eventually went dry, three (27%) were found in deep water refugia by the end of the study. Only one of the 31 LK snails escaped the drying event by moving to deeper water. Our results indicate that some snails may opportunistically escape drying events through movement. The tendency to move toward deeper water was statistically significant and indicates that this behavioral trait might enhance survival when the spatial extent of a dry down is limited. However, as water level falls below 10 cm, snails stop moving and become stranded. As the spatial extent of a dry down increases, we predict that the number of snails stranded would increase proportionally. Stranded Pomacea paludosa must contend with dry marsh conditions, possibly by aestivation. Little more than anecdotal information has been published on P. paludosa aestivation, but it is a common adaptation among other apple snails (Caenogastropoda: Ampullaridae). ?? 2002, The Society

  1. Relationship between snail population density and infection status of snails and fish with zoonotic trematodes in Vietnamese carp nurseries.

    PubMed

    Clausen, Jesper Hedegaard; Madsen, Henry; Murrell, K Darwin; Phan Thi, Van; Nguyen Manh, Hung; Viet, Khue Nguyen; Dalsgaard, Anders

    2012-01-01

    Fish-borne zoonotic trematodes (FZT) are a food safety and health concern in Vietnam. Humans and other final hosts acquire these parasites from eating raw or under-cooked fish with FZT metacercariae. Fish raised in ponds are exposed to cercariae shed by snail hosts that are common in fish farm ponds. Previous risk assessment on FZT transmission in the Red River Delta of Vietnam identified carp nursery ponds as major sites of transmission. In this study, we analyzed the association between snail population density and heterophyid trematode infection in snails with the rate of FZT transmission to juvenile fish raised in carp nurseries. Snail population density and prevalence of trematode (Heterophyidae) infections were determined in 48 carp nurseries producing Rohu juveniles, (Labeo rohita) in the Red River Delta area. Fish samples were examined at 3, 6 and 9 weeks after the juvenile fish were introduced into the ponds. There was a significant positive correlation between prevalence of FZT metacercariae in juvenile fish and density of infected snails. Thus, the odds of infection in juvenile fish were 4.36 and 11.32 times higher for ponds with medium and high density of snails, respectively, compared to ponds where no infected snails were found. Further, the intensity of fish FZT infections increased with the density of infected snails. Interestingly, however, some ponds with no or few infected snails were collected also had high prevalence and intensity of FZT in juvenile fish. This may be due to immigration of cercariae into the pond from external water sources. The total number and density of potential host snails and density of host snails infected with heterophyid trematodes in the aquaculture pond is a useful predictor for infections in juvenile fish, although infection levels in juvenile fish can occur despite low density or absence infected snails. This suggests that intervention programs to control FZT infection of fish should include not only intra

  2. A protocol for geographically randomized snail surveys in schistosomiasis fieldwork using the global positioning system.

    PubMed

    Seto, E; Liang, S; Qiu, D; Gu, X; Spear, R C

    2001-01-01

    A protocol was created for performing geographically randomized snail surveys for schistosomiasis research using the global positioning system (GPS). This protocol differs from traditional surveys in its ability to accurately map and measure the spatial distribution of snail habitat. The protocol was used to map irrigation ditches, the primary habitat for Oncomelania hupensis, in two residence areas in Sichuan Province, China. From the 7,450 meters of mapped ditches, snail surveys were performed at 203 random sites along the ditch network. Of these, 116 (57.1%) sites had snails. The total number of living snails captured was 2,014, resulting in an average snail density of 0.27 snails per linear meter of potential habitat.

  3. Phosphorylation of Serine 11 and Serine 92 as New Positive Regulators of Human Snail1 Function: Potential Involvement of Casein Kinase-2 and the cAMP-activated Kinase Protein Kinase A

    PubMed Central

    MacPherson, Matthew Reid; Molina, Patricia; Souchelnytskyi, Serhiy; Wernstedt, Christer; Martin-Pérez, Jorge

    2010-01-01

    Snail1 is a major factor for epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), an important event in tumor metastasis and in other pathologies. Snail1 is tightly regulated at transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels. Control of Snail1 protein stability and nuclear export by GSK3β phosphorylation is important for Snail1 functionality. Stabilization mechanisms independent of GSK3β have also been reported, including interaction with LOXL2 or regulation of the COP9 signalosome by inflammatory signals. To get further insights into the role of Snail1 phosphorylation, we have performed an in-depth analysis of in vivo human Snail1 phosphorylation combined with mutational studies. We identify new phosphorylation sites at serines 11, 82, and 92 and confirmed previously suggested phosphorylations at serine 104 and 107. Serines 11 and 92 participate in the control of Snail1 stability and positively regulate Snail1 repressive function and its interaction with mSin3A corepressor. Furthermore, serines 11 and 92 are required for Snail1-mediated EMT and cell viability, respectively. PKA and CK2 have been characterized as the main kinases responsible for in vitro Snail1 phosphorylation at serine 11 and 92, respectively. These results highlight serines 11 and 92 as new players in Snail1 regulation and suggest the participation of CK2 and PKA in the modulation of Snail1 functionality. PMID:19923321

  4. 77 FR 54605 - Longworth Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Morro Shoulderband Snail, Community of Los...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-09-05

    ... for the Morro Shoulderband Snail, Community of Los Osos, San Luis Obispo County, CA AGENCY: Fish and... addresses the potential for ``take'' of the federally endangered Morro shoulderband snail that is likely to... project activities that are likely to result in take of the Morro shoulderband snail as described in...

  5. 78 FR 14587 - Kelley-McDonough Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Morro Shoulderband Snail, Community...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-03-06

    ... Shoulderband Snail, Community of Los Osos, San Luis Obispo County, California AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service... potential for ``take'' of the federally endangered Morro shoulderband snail that is likely to occur... that are likely to result in take of the Morro shoulderband snail as described in their plan. We...

  6. 76 FR 41810 - Francis Proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Morro Shoulderband Snail, Los Osos...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-07-15

    ... Shoulderband Snail, Los Osos, San Luis Obispo County, CA AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION... the potential for ``take'' of the Federally endangered Morro shoulderband snail (Helminthoglypta... includes the Francis Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Morro Shoulderband Snail (HCP) that...

  7. Interactions between freshwater snails and tadpoles: competition and facilitation.

    PubMed

    Brönmark, Christer; Rundle, Simon D; Erlandsson, Ann

    1991-06-01

    Freshwater snails and anuran tadpoles have been suggested to have their highest population densities in ponds of intermediate size where abiotic disturbance (e.g. desiccation) is low and large predators absent. Both snails and tadpoles feed on periphytic algae and, thus, there should be a large potential for competitive interactions to occur between these two distantly related taxa. In a field experiment we examined the relative strength of competition between two closely related snail species, Lymnaea stagnalis and L. peregra, and between L. stagnalis and tadpoles of the common frog, Rana temporaria. Snail growth and egg production and tadpole size at and time to metamorphosis were determined. Effects on the common food source, periphyton, were monitored with the aid of artificial substrates. Periphyton dry weight was dramatically reduced in the presence of snails and/or tadpoles. There were no competitive effects on growth or egg production of the two snail species when they were coexisting. Mortality of L. peregra was high (95%) after reproduction, but independent of treatment. Growth of L. stagnalis was reduced only at the highest tadpole densities, whereas egg production was reduced both by intraspecific competition and by competition with tadpoles. Differences in egg production were retained after tadpole metamorphosis. Tadpole larval period increased, weight of metamorphosing frogs decreased and growth rate was reduced as a function of increasing tadpole density. However, contrary to expectation, snails had a positive effect on tadpole larval period, weight and growth rate. Further, in experimental containers without snails there was a dense growth of the filamentous green alga Cladophora sp. We suggest that the facilitative effects of snails on tadpoles are due to an "indirect mutualistic" mechanism, involving competition between food sources of different quality (microalgae and Cladophora sp.) and tadpoles being competitively dominant over snails for the

  8. An ecological study of Bithynia snails, the first intermediate host of Opisthorchis viverrini in northeast Thailand.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yi-Chen; Ho, Richard Cheng Yong; Feng, Chen-Chieh; Namsanor, Jutamas; Sithithaworn, Paiboon

    2015-01-01

    knowledge gap in O. viverrini disease ecology and highlights the potential effect of anthropogenic irrigation practices on B.s. goniomphalos snail ecology.

  9. Inquiry, Land Snails, and Environmental Factors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barrow, Lloyd H.; Krantz, Patrick D.

    2002-01-01

    Introduces land snails for use in inquiry-based science activities. Describes common characteristics and safety considerations while introducing students to land snails. Explains procedures for inquiry-based use of land snails in classrooms. (YDS)

  10. Inquiry, Land Snails, and Environmental Factors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barrow, Lloyd H.; Krantz, Patrick D.

    2002-01-01

    Introduces land snails for use in inquiry-based science activities. Describes common characteristics and safety considerations while introducing students to land snails. Explains procedures for inquiry-based use of land snails in classrooms. (YDS)

  11. Laboratory experiments on snail predation by Sargochromis codringtoni, a candidate for biological control of the snails that transmit schistosomiasis.

    PubMed

    Chimbari, M J; Madsen, H; Ndamba, J

    1997-01-01

    The potential efficacy of Sargochromis codringtoni, a species of cichlid fish, in the biological control of snails carrying the Schistosoma spp. infecting man has long been recognized. A laboratory study to produce much-needed data on the malacophagous characteristics of this fish was conducted, to see if field studies on its possible role as a biological agent for snail control in Zimbabwe were likely to be worthwhile. The fish can consume large numbers of snails within a short period: a single fish, provided with trout pellets as an alternative food, not only chose to eat the snails but also consumed > 800 within 3 weeks. Addition of macrophytes to the aquaria used appeared to offer the snails no protection from predation. For fish measuring 15-18 cm in length, there was no size preference among snails measuring up to 12 mm in shell height nor was any species preference observed in experiments involving Bulinus globosus, B. tropicus and Melanoides tuberculata. The fish crushed B. globosus which were > 3.0 mm in shell height in their pharynges but swallowed smaller snails of this species whole. Before field trials are conducted, further laboratory studies, in which field conditions are simulated, should be carried out.

  12. Snail as a key regulator of PRL-3 gene in colorectal cancer.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Ping; Meng, Hui-Min; Gao, Wei-Zhe; Chen, Lin; Liu, Xun-Hua; Xiao, Zheng-Quan; Liu, Yong-Xia; Sui, Hong-Mei; Zhou, Jun; Liu, Yu-Hong; Li, Jian-Ming

    2011-10-15

    The regulators of a key metastasis gene PRL-3 in colorectal cancer (CRC) are still largely unknown. We found three potential binding sites of Snail, a key transcriptional factor involved in the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), in the region of PRL-3 promoter (located at -642 to -383). Moreover, our results showed that one of the Snail binding sites (located at -624 to -619) was the key element to maintain promoter activity of human PRL-3 gene. The transcriptional activity of PRL-3 promoter was abolished after the Snail binding site (located at -624 to -619) was mutated. Both promoter activity and protein expression of PRL-3 in CRC cell lines could be regulated by Snail. In clinical samples of CRC and metastatic lymph node of CRC, expression of PRL-3 protein was correlated with expression of Snail protein. Functional studies using gene over-expression and knockdown methods indicated that Snail promoted proliferation, cell adhesion and migration of human CRC cells. In SW480 cells with PRL-3 stable knockdown, cell proliferation increased after Snail was up-regulated. Our data first reveal transcriptional factor Snail as a key regulator of PRL-3 in CRC. The link between Snail and PRL-3 suggests a new potential mechanism of Snail contributing to progression and metastasis of CRC.

  13. O-Glycosylation of snails.

    PubMed

    Stepan, Herwig; Pabst, Martin; Altmann, Friedrich; Geyer, Hildegard; Geyer, Rudolf; Staudacher, Erika

    2012-05-01

    The glycosylation abilities of snails deserve attention, because snail species serve as intermediate hosts in the developmental cycles of some human and cattle parasites. In analogy to many other host-pathogen relations, the glycosylation of snail proteins may likewise contribute to these host-parasite interactions. Here we present an overview on the O-glycan structures of 8 different snails (land and water snails, with or without shell): Arion lusitanicus, Achatina fulica, Biomphalaria glabrata, Cepaea hortensis, Clea helena, Helix pomatia, Limax maximus and Planorbarius corneus. The O-glycans were released from the purified snail proteins by β-elimination. Further analysis was carried out by liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray ionization mass spectrometry and - for the main structures - by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Snail O-glycans are built from the four monosaccharide constituents: N-acetylgalactosamine, galactose, mannose and fucose. An additional modification is a methylation of the hexoses. The common trisaccharide core structure was determined in Arion lusitanicus to be N-acetylgalactosamine linked to the protein elongated by two 4-O-methylated galactose residues. Further elongations by methylated and unmethylated galactose and mannose residues and/or fucose are present. The typical snail O-glycan structures are different to those so far described. Similar to snail N-glycan structures they display methylated hexose residues.

  14. Modulation of defensive reflex conditioning in snails by serotonin

    PubMed Central

    Andrianov, Vyatcheslav V.; Bogodvid, Tatiana K.; Deryabina, Irina B.; Golovchenko, Aleksandra N.; Muranova, Lyudmila N.; Tagirova, Roza R.; Vinarskaya, Aliya K.; Gainutdinov, Khalil L.

    2015-01-01

    Highlights Daily injection of serotonin before a training session accelerated defensive reflex conditioning in snails.Daily injection of 5-hydroxytryptophan before a training session in snails with a deficiency of serotonin induced by the “neurotoxic” analog of serotonin 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine, restored the ability of snails to learn.After injection of the “neurotoxic” analogs of serotonin 5,6- and 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine as well as serotonin, depolarization of the membrane and decrease of the threshold potential of premotor interneurons was observed. We studied the role of serotonin in the mechanisms of learning in terrestrial snails. To produce a serotonin deficit, the “neurotoxic” analogs of serotonin, 5,6- or 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine (5,6/5,7-DHT) were used. Injection of 5,6/5,7-DHT was found to disrupt defensive reflex conditioning. Within 2 weeks of neurotoxin application, the ability to learn had recovered. Daily injection of serotonin before a training session accelerated defensive reflex conditioning and daily injections of 5-HTP in snails with a deficiency of serotonin induced by 5,7-DHT restored the snail's ability to learn. We discovered that injections of the neurotoxins 5,6/5,7-DHT as well as serotonin, caused a decrease in the resting and threshold potentials of the premotor interneurons LPa3 and RPa3. PMID:26557063

  15. Overexpression of Snail in retinal pigment epithelial triggered epithelial–mesenchymal transition

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Hui; Li, Min; Xu, Ding; Zhao, Chun; Liu, Guodong; Wang, Fang

    2014-03-28

    Highlights: • First reported overexpression of Snail in RPE cells could directly trigger EMT. • Further confirmed the regulator role of Snail in RPE cells EMT in vitro. • Snail may be a potential therapeutic target to prevent the fibrosis of PVR. - Abstract: Snail transcription factor has been implicated as an important regulator in epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) during tumourigenesis and fibrogenesis. Our previous work showed that Snail transcription factor was activated in transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) induced EMT in retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells and may contribute to the development of retinal fibrotic disease such as proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR). However, whether Snail alone has a direct role on retinal pigment epithelial–mesenchymal transition has not been investigated. Here, we analyzed the capacity of Snail to drive EMT in human RPE cells. A vector encoding Snail gene or an empty vector were transfected into human RPE cell lines ARPE-19 respectively. Snail overexpression in ARPE-19 cells resulted in EMT, which was characterized by the expected phenotypic transition from a typical epithelial morphology to mesenchymal spindle-shaped. The expression of epithelial markers E-cadherin and Zona occludin-1 (ZO-1) were down-regulated, whereas mesenchymal markers a-smooth muscle actin (a-SMA) and fibronectin were up-regulated in Snail expression vector transfected cells. In addition, ectopic expression of Snail significantly enhanced ARPE-19 cell motility and migration. The present data suggest that overexpression of Snail in ARPE-19 cells could directly trigger EMT. These results may provide novel insight into understanding the regulator role of Snail in the development of retinal pigment epithelial–mesenchymal transition.

  16. Effects of Snail Density on Growth, Reproduction and Survival of Biomphalaria alexandrina Exposed to Schistosoma mansoni

    PubMed Central

    Mangal, T. D.; Paterson, S.; Fenton, A.

    2010-01-01

    The effects of snail density on Biomphalaria alexandrina parasitized with Schistosoma mansoni were investigated. Laboratory experiments were used to quantify the impact of high density on snail growth, fecundity, and survival. Density-dependent birth rates of snails were determined to inform mathematical models, which, until now, have assumed a linear relationship between density and fecundity. The experiments show that the rate of egg-laying followed a negative exponential distribution with increasing density and this was significantly affected by exposure to parasitic infection. High density also affected the weight of snails and survival to a greater degree than exposure to parasitic infection. Although snail growth rates were initially constrained by high density, they retained the potential for growth suggesting a reversible density-dependent mechanism. These experimental data can be used to parameterise models and confirm that snail populations are regulated by nonlinear density-dependent mechanisms. PMID:20700427

  17. Phenotypic plasticity of the introduced New Zealand mud snail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum, compared to sympatric native snails.

    PubMed

    Levri, Edward P; Krist, Amy C; Bilka, Rachel; Dybdahl, Mark F

    2014-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity is likely to be important in determining the invasive potential of a species, especially if invasive species show greater plasticity or tolerance compared to sympatric native species. Here in two separate experiments we compare reaction norms in response to two environmental variables of two clones of the New Zealand mud snail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum, isolated from the United States, (one invasive and one not yet invasive) with those of two species of native snails that are sympatric with the invader, Fossaria bulimoides group and Physella gyrina group. We placed juvenile snails in environments with high and low conductivity (300 and 800 mS) in one experiment, and raised them at two different temperatures (16 °C and 22 °C) in a second experiment. Growth rate and mortality were measured over the course of 8 weeks. Mortality rates were higher in the native snails compared to P. antipodarum across all treatments, and variation in conductivity influenced mortality. In both experiments, reaction norms did not vary significantly between species. There was little evidence that the success of the introduced species is a result of greater phenotypic plasticity to these variables compared to the sympatric native species.

  18. Phenotypic Plasticity of the Introduced New Zealand Mud Snail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum, Compared to Sympatric Native Snails

    PubMed Central

    Levri, Edward P.; Krist, Amy C.; Bilka, Rachel; Dybdahl, Mark F.

    2014-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity is likely to be important in determining the invasive potential of a species, especially if invasive species show greater plasticity or tolerance compared to sympatric native species. Here in two separate experiments we compare reaction norms in response to two environmental variables of two clones of the New Zealand mud snail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum, isolated from the United States, (one invasive and one not yet invasive) with those of two species of native snails that are sympatric with the invader, Fossaria bulimoides group and Physella gyrina group. We placed juvenile snails in environments with high and low conductivity (300 and 800 mS) in one experiment, and raised them at two different temperatures (16°C and 22°C) in a second experiment. Growth rate and mortality were measured over the course of 8 weeks. Mortality rates were higher in the native snails compared to P. antipodarum across all treatments, and variation in conductivity influenced mortality. In both experiments, reaction norms did not vary significantly between species. There was little evidence that the success of the introduced species is a result of greater phenotypic plasticity to these variables compared to the sympatric native species. PMID:24699685

  19. CCR7 pathway induces epithelial-mesenchymal transition through up-regulation of Snail signaling in gastric cancer.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jianping; Zhou, Yunzhe; Yang, Yonggang

    2015-02-01

    The chemokine receptor 7 (CCR7) and Snail signaling have been linked to various types of cancers. The associations between these signalings and the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) are not clear in gastric cancer. Here, the expression of CCR7 and Snail was detected in gastric cancer by immunohistochemistry and Western blot. Meanwhile, gastric cancer cells were subjected to CCL19, si-control, and si-Snail treatment. Cell cycle, migration, and invasion were also analyzed. The expression patterns of CCR7 and Snail were similar in either gastric cancer tissues or cells. The increased expression of CCR7 was closely associated with the increased Snail expression, which both were closely correlated with metastasis, stage and differentiation, and poor prognosis. The increased p-ERK, p-AKT, Snail, and MMP9 expression and the decreased E-cadherin were confirmed in MGC803 cells in a dose-dependent manner in response to CCL19 treatment. However, the blockade of Snail abrogated the up-regulation of MMP9 and down-regulation of E-cadherin. CCR7-induced ERK and PI3K pathway regulated Snail signaling. Besides si-Snail treatment led to MGC803 cell cycle arrest and affected the migration and invasion. In conclusion, our study suggested that CCR7 promotes Snail expression to induce the EMT, resulting in cell cycle progression, migration, and invasion in gastric cancer. CCR7-Snail pathway provided more potential regimens for cancer therapy.

  20. Fasciola hepatica in snails collected from water-dropwort fields using PCR.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hwang-Yong; Choi, In-Wook; Kim, Yeon-Rok; Quan, Juan-Hua; Ismail, Hassan Ahmed Hassan Ahmed; Cha, Guang-Ho; Hong, Sung-Jong; Lee, Young-Ha

    2014-12-01

    Fasciola hepatica is a trematode that causes zoonosis mainly in cattle and sheep and occasionally in humans. Fascioliasis has been reported in Korea; however, determining F. hepatica infection in snails has not been done recently. Thus, using PCR, we evaluated the prevalence of F. hepatica infection in snails at 4 large water-dropwort fields. Among 349 examined snails, F. hepatica-specific internal transcribed space 1 (ITS-1) and/or ITS-2 markers were detected in 12 snails and confirmed using sequence analysis. Morphologically, 213 of 349 collected snails were dextral shelled, which is the same aperture as the lymnaeid snail, the vectorial host for F. hepatica. Among the 12 F. hepatica-infected snails, 6 were known first intermediate hosts in Korea (Lymnaea viridis and L. ollula) and the remaining 6 (Lymnaea sp.) were potentially a new first intermediate host in Korea. It has been shown that the overall prevalence of the snails contaminated with F. hepatica in water-dropwort fields was 3.4%; however, the prevalence varied among the fields. This is the first study to estimate the prevalence of F. hepatica infection using the vectorial capacity of the snails in Korea.

  1. Copper uptake and depuration by juvenile and adult Florida apple snails (Pomacea paludosa).

    PubMed

    Hoang, Tham C; Rogevich, Emily C; Rand, Gary M; Frakes, Robert A

    2008-10-01

    The present study characterized copper (Cu) uptake and depuration by juvenile and adult Florida apple snails (Pomacea paludosa) from water, soil, and diet. During a 28-day uptake period, juvenile apple snails were exposed to aqueous Cu and adult apple snails were exposed to Cu-contaminated soil, water, and food. In the follow-up 14-day depuration period, both juvenile and adult apple snails were held in laboratory freshwater with background Cu concentrations<4 microg/l. For juvenile apple snails, whole body Cu concentrations increased with time and reached a plateau after 14 days. The data followed Michaelis-Menten kinetics rather than a one compartment first order kinetics model. The mean Cu bioconcentration factor (BCF) for juvenile apple snails was 1493 and the depuration half-life was 10.5-13.8 days. For adult snails, dietary uptake of Cu resulted in higher bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) compared to uptake from soil. Most of the accumulated Cu was located in soft tissue (about 60% in the viscera and 40% in the foot). The shell contained <1% of the total accumulated copper. Soft tissue is usually consumed by predators of the apple snail. Therefore, the results of the present study show that Cu transfer through the food chain to the apple snail may lead to potential risk to its predators.

  2. Fasciola hepatica in Snails Collected from Water-Dropwort Fields using PCR

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hwang-Yong; Choi, In-Wook; Kim, Yeon-Rok; Quan, Juan-Hua; Ismail, Hassan Ahmed Hassan Ahmed; Cha, Guang-Ho; Hong, Sung-Jong

    2014-01-01

    Fasciola hepatica is a trematode that causes zoonosis mainly in cattle and sheep and occasionally in humans. Fascioliasis has been reported in Korea; however, determining F. hepatica infection in snails has not been done recently. Thus, using PCR, we evaluated the prevalence of F. hepatica infection in snails at 4 large water-dropwort fields. Among 349 examined snails, F. hepatica-specific internal transcribed space 1 (ITS-1) and/or ITS-2 markers were detected in 12 snails and confirmed using sequence analysis. Morphologically, 213 of 349 collected snails were dextral shelled, which is the same aperture as the lymnaeid snail, the vectorial host for F. hepatica. Among the 12 F. hepatica-infected snails, 6 were known first intermediate hosts in Korea (Lymnaea viridis and L. ollula) and the remaining 6 (Lymnaea sp.) were potentially a new first intermediate host in Korea. It has been shown that the overall prevalence of the snails contaminated with F. hepatica in water-dropwort fields was 3.4%; however, the prevalence varied among the fields. This is the first study to estimate the prevalence of F. hepatica infection using the vectorial capacity of the snails in Korea. PMID:25548416

  3. Impact of the age of Biomphalaria alexandrina snails on Schistosoma mansoni transmission: modulation of the genetic outcome and the internal defence system of the snail

    PubMed Central

    Abou-El-Naga, Iman Fathy; Sadaka, Hayam Abd El-Monem; Amer, Eglal Ibrahim; Diab, Iman Hassan; Khedr, Safaa Ibrahim Abd El-Halim

    2015-01-01

    Of the approximately 34 identified Biomphalaria species,Biomphalaria alexandrina represents the intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoni in Egypt. Using parasitological and SOD1 enzyme assay, this study aimed to elucidate the impact of the age of B. alexandrina snails on their genetic variability and internal defence against S. mansoni infection. Susceptible and resistant snails were reared individually for self-reproduction; four subgroups of their progeny were used in experiment. The young susceptible subgroup showed the highest infection rate, the shortest pre-patent period, the highest total cercarial production, the highest mortality rate and the lowest SOD1 activity. Among the young and adult susceptible subgroups, 8% and 26% were found to be resistant, indicating the inheritance of resistance alleles from parents. The adult resistant subgroup, however, contained only resistant snails and showed the highest enzyme activity. The complex interaction between snail age, genetic background and internal defence resulted in great variability in compatibility patterns, with the highest significant difference between young susceptible and adult resistant snails. The results demonstrate that resistance alleles function to a greater degree in adults, with higher SOD1 activity and provide potential implications for Biomphalaria control. The identification of the most susceptible snail age enables determination of the best timing for applying molluscicides. Moreover, adult resistant snails could be beneficial in biological snail control. PMID:26061235

  4. Parallel evolution of passive and active defence in land snails

    PubMed Central

    Morii, Yuta; Prozorova, Larisa; Chiba, Satoshi

    2016-01-01

    Predator-prey interactions are major processes promoting phenotypic evolution. However, it remains unclear how predation causes morphological and behavioural diversity in prey species and how it might lead to speciation. Here, we show that substantial divergence in the phenotypic traits of prey species has occurred among closely related land snails as a result of adaptation to predator attacks. This caused the divergence of defensive strategies into two alternatives: passive defence and active defence. Phenotypic traits of the subarctic Karaftohelix land snail have undergone radiation in northeast Asia, and distinctive morphotypes generally coexist in the same regions. In these land snails, we documented two alternative defence behaviours against predation by malacophagous beetles. Furthermore, the behaviours are potentially associated with differences in shell morphology. In addition, molecular phylogenetic analyses indicated that these alternative strategies against predation arose independently on the islands and on the continent suggesting that anti-predator adaptation is a major cause of phenotypic diversity in these snails. Finally, we suggest the potential speciation of Karaftohelix snails as a result of the divergence of defensive strategies into passive and active behaviours and the possibility of species radiation due to anti-predatory adaptations. PMID:27833102

  5. Characteristics of snail farming in Edo South Agricultural Zone of Edo State, Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Chah, Jane Mbolle; Inegbedion, Grace

    2013-02-01

    The study was carried out to determine the characteristics of snail farming in Edo South Agricultural Zone of Edo State Nigeria. The interview schedule was used to collect data from 60 snail farmers randomly selected from six cells in the study area. Information on the socioeconomic status of the farmers, production system, management practices and production constraints in the snail farms were elicited. The constraints were determined using a four-point Likert-type scale; a mean score of ≥ 2.5 was considered as a production constraint. Majority (85.0 %) of the respondents were part-time snail farmers. The major species of snails reared were Achatina achatina and Archachatina marginata, reared by 43.3 and 26.7 % of the farmers, respectively. Semi-intensive system of production was practised by 40.0 % of the farmers. Majority (78.0 %) of the respondents used car tyres to house their snails. About 56 % of the respondents kept their snails for 1-2 years before sale. Up to 51.7 % of the respondents separated their snails into different pens according to their size/age. The most commonly used feeds were vegetables (71.2 %), plant leaves (67.8 %) and kitchen waste (59.3 %). Records of snail production activities were kept by 75.0 % of respondents. The major constraints identified were lack of capital (3.31), inability to get good laying stock (3.00), lack of formulated feed to buy (2.98) and slow growth rate of snails (2.52). The potentials of snail farming in the study area have not been fully exploited as farmers produced at subsistence level.

  6. Snails from heavy-metal polluted environments have reduced sensitivity to carbon dioxide-induced acidity.

    PubMed

    Lefcort, Hugh; Cleary, David A; Marble, Aaron M; Phillips, Morgan V; Stoddard, Timothy J; Tuthill, Lara M; Winslow, James R

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic atmospheric CO2 reacts with water to form carbonic acid (H2CO3) which increases water acidity. While marine acidification has received recent consideration, less attention has been paid to the effects of atmospheric carbon dioxide on freshwater systems-systems that often have low buffering potential. Since many aquatic systems are already impacted by pollutants such as heavy metals, we wondered about the added effect of rising atmospheric CO2 on freshwater organisms. We studied aquatic pulmonate snails (Physella columbiana) from both a heavy-metal polluted watershed and snails from a reference watershed that has not experienced mining pollution. We used gaseous CO2 to increase water acidity and we then measured changes in antipredatory behavior and also survival. We predicted a simple negative additive effect of low pH. We hypothesized that snails from metal-polluted environments would be physiologically stressed and impaired due to defense responses against heavy metals. Instead, snails from populations that acclimated or evolved in the presence of heavy metal mining pollution were more robust to acidic conditions than were snails from reference habitats. Snails from mining polluted sites seemed to be preadapted to a low pH environment. Their short-term survival in acidic conditions was better than snails from reference sites that lacked metal pollution. In fact, the 48 h survival of snails from polluted sites was so high that it did not significantly differ from the 24 h survival of snails from control sites. This suggests that the response of organisms to a world with rising anthropogenic carbon dioxide levels may be complex and difficult to predict. Snails had a weaker behavioral response to stressful stimuli if kept for 1 month at a pH that differed from their lake of origin. We found that snails raised at a pH of 5.5 had a weaker response (less of a decrease in activity) to concentrated heavy metals than did snails raised at their natal pH of

  7. The use of land snail shells in paleoenvironmental reconstruction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goodfriend, Glenn A.

    Fossil land snail shells constitute a valuable source of paleoenvironmental information for the Quaternary. They can be dated by a variety of methods, including radiocarbon, amino acid racemization and epimerization, and perhaps also {Th}/{U} and ESR. The vast majority of paleoenvironmental studies based on land snail shells have examined the faunal composition of fossil assemblages, from which a variety of paleoenvironmental characteristics such as biome, temperature, and moisture conditions have been reconstructed. Still, there are a number of problems involved in using this approach and these are discussed. Shell morphology has occasionally been used to reconstruct such factors as rainfall and temperature. Stable isotope studies on Quaternary land snails include: analysis of δ18O values of organic matter in the shells, to reconstruct C 4 plant distributions from which rainfall amounts can be inferred, and analysis of δ18O values of shell carbonate, from which trends in the oxygen isotope composition of rainfall can be reconstructed. Stable carbon isotopes of shell carbonate have also been studied but their interpretation is not clear. Amino acid epimerization analysis ( {dalloisoleucine }/{l-isoleucine } ratios) of land snail shells has been used for estimation of paleotemperatures. Some potential uses of land snail shells for paleoenvironmental reconstruction include the study of stable isotopes of H and N, periodic growth lines, and deposits of pedogenic carbonates on the shells.

  8. The snail (Biomphalaria glabrata) genome project.

    PubMed

    Raghavan, Nithya; Knight, Matty

    2006-04-01

    In 2001, ideas for a snail genome project were discussed at the American Society of Parasitologists meeting (New Mexico) and a snail genome consortium was subsequently established (the first consortium meeting was held in 2005). A proposal for sequencing the snail genome was submitted to the National Human Genome Research Institute, and Biomphalaria glabrata was prioritized as a non-mammalian sequencing target in 2004. The sequencing of the genome of this medically important snail is now underway.

  9. Rs2853677 modulates Snail1 binding to the TERT enhancer and affects lung adenocarcinoma susceptibility

    PubMed Central

    Mu, Yanchao; Zhang, Peng; Yao, Zhi; Ma, Zhenyi; Liu, Zhe

    2016-01-01

    Genome wide association studies (GWAS) have shown that SNPs in non-coding regions are associated with inherited susceptibility to cancer. The effect of one single SNP, however, is weak. To identify potential co-factors of SNPs, we investigated the underlying mechanism by which SNPs affect lung cancer susceptibility. We found that rs2853677 is located within the Snail1 binding site in a TERT enhancer. This enhancer increases TERT transcription when juxtaposed to the TERT promoter. The binding of Snail1 to the enhancer disrupts enhancer-promoter colocalization and silences TERT transcription. The high risk variant of rs2853677 disrupts the Snail1 binding site and derepresses TERT expression in response to Snail1 upregulation, thus increasing lung adenocarcinoma susceptibility. Our data suggest that Snail1 may be a co-factor of rs2853677 for predicting lung adenocarcinoma susceptibility and prognosis. PMID:27191258

  10. Cone snail venomics: from novel biology to novel therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Prashanth, Jutty Rajan; Brust, Andreas; Jin, Ai-Hua; Alewood, Paul F; Dutertre, Sébastien; Lewis, Richard J

    2014-10-01

    Peptide neurotoxins from cone snails called conotoxins are renowned for their therapeutic potential to treat pain and several neurodegenerative diseases. Inefficient assay-guided discovery methods have been replaced by high-throughput bioassays integrated with advanced MS and next-generation sequencing, ushering in the era of 'venomics'. In this review, we focus on the impact of venomics on the understanding of cone snail biology as well as the application of venomics to accelerate the discovery of new conotoxins. We also discuss the continued importance of medicinal chemistry approaches to optimize conotoxins for clinical use, with a descriptive case study of MrIA featured.

  11. Small Molecules in the Cone Snail Arsenal.

    PubMed

    Neves, Jorge L B; Lin, Zhenjian; Imperial, Julita S; Antunes, Agostinho; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Olivera, Baldomero M; Schmidt, Eric W

    2015-10-16

    Cone snails are renowned for producing peptide-based venom, containing conopeptides and conotoxins, to capture their prey. A novel small-molecule guanine derivative with unprecedented features, genuanine, was isolated from the venom of two cone snail species. Genuanine causes paralysis in mice, indicating that small molecules and not just polypeptides may contribute to the activity of cone snail venom.

  12. Impact of the age of Biomphalaria alexandrina snails on Schistosoma mansoni transmission: modulation of the genetic outcome and the internal defence system of the snail.

    PubMed

    Abou-El-Naga, Iman Fathy; Sadaka, Hayam Abd El-Monem; Amer, Eglal Ibrahim; Diab, Iman Hassan; Khedr, Safaa Ibrahim Abd El-Halim

    2015-08-01

    Of the approximately 34 identified Biomphalariaspecies,Biomphalaria alexandrinarepresents the intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoniin Egypt. Using parasitological and SOD1 enzyme assay, this study aimed to elucidate the impact of the age of B. alexandrinasnails on their genetic variability and internal defence against S. mansoniinfection. Susceptible and resistant snails were reared individually for self-reproduction; four subgroups of their progeny were used in experiment. The young susceptible subgroup showed the highest infection rate, the shortest pre-patent period, the highest total cercarial production, the highest mortality rate and the lowest SOD1 activity. Among the young and adult susceptible subgroups, 8% and 26% were found to be resistant, indicating the inheritance of resistance alleles from parents. The adult resistant subgroup, however, contained only resistant snails and showed the highest enzyme activity. The complex interaction between snail age, genetic background and internal defence resulted in great variability in compatibility patterns, with the highest significant difference between young susceptible and adult resistant snails. The results demonstrate that resistance alleles function to a greater degree in adults, with higher SOD1 activity and provide potential implications for Biomphalariacontrol. The identification of the most susceptible snail age enables determination of the best timing for applying molluscicides. Moreover, adult resistant snails could be beneficial in biological snail control.

  13. Changes in Frequency of Spontaneous Oscillations in Procerebrum Correlate to Behavioural Choice in Terrestrial Snails

    PubMed Central

    Samarova, Elena; Balaban, Pavel

    2009-01-01

    The aim of our study was to understand functional significance of spontaneous oscillations of local field potential in the olfactory brain lobe of terrestrial snail, the procerebrum (PC). We compared changes in frequency of oscillations in semi-intact preparations from snails trained to percept the same conditioned odor as positive (associated with food reinforcement) or negative (associated with noxious reinforcement). In vivo recordings in freely behaving naïve snails showed a significant decrease of spontaneous PC oscillations frequency during a stage of tentacle withdrawal to odor presentation. In in vitro preparations from naïve snails, a similar decrease in frequency of the PC oscillations to odor presentation was observed. Changes in frequency of the oscillations to cineole presentations in the “aversive” group of snails (demonstrating withdrawal) were much more pronounced than in naïve snails. No significant difference in responses to 5% and 20% cineole was noted. Changes in the spontaneous oscillations frequency in the snails trained to respond with positive reaction (approach) to cineole depended on the concentration of the applied odor, and these responses were qualitatively similar to responses of other groups during the first 10 s of responses to odor, but significantly different (increase in PC oscillations frequency) from the responses of the aversively trained and naïve snails in the interval 11–30 s, which corresponds to the end of the tentacle withdrawal and timing of decision making (approach or escape) in the free behaving snails. Obtained results suggest that frequency of the PC lobe spontaneous oscillations correlate to the choice of behavior in snails: withdrawal (decrease in frequency) or approach (increase in frequency) to the source of odor. PMID:19753329

  14. Combinatorial peptide libraries in drug design: lessons from venomous cone snails.

    PubMed

    Olivera, B M; Hillyard, D R; Marsh, M; Yoshikami, D

    1995-10-01

    Many present-day drugs are derived from compounds that are natural products, a traditional source of which is fermentation broths of microorganisms. The venoms of cone snails are a new natural resource of peptides that may have a pharmaceutical potential equivalent to those from traditional sources, particularly for developing drugs that target cell-surface receptors or ion channels. In effect, cone snails have used a combinatorial library strategy to evolve their small, highly bioactive venom peptides. The methods by which the snails have generated thousands of peptides with remarkable specificity and high affinity for their targets may provide important lessons in designing combinatorial libraries for drug development.

  15. Modelling climate change impact on the spatial distribution of fresh water snails hosting trematodes in Zimbabwe.

    PubMed

    Pedersen, Ulrik B; Stendel, Martin; Midzi, Nicholas; Mduluza, Takafira; Soko, White; Stensgaard, Anna-Sofie; Vennervald, Birgitte J; Mukaratirwa, Samson; Kristensen, Thomas K

    2014-12-12

    Freshwater snails are intermediate hosts for a number of trematodes of which some are of medical and veterinary importance. The trematodes rely on specific species of snails to complete their life cycle; hence the ecology of the snails is a key element in transmission of the parasites. More than 200 million people are infected with schistosomes of which 95% live in sub-Saharan Africa and many more are living in areas where transmission is on-going. Human infection with the Fasciola parasite, usually considered more of veterinary concern, has recently been recognised as a human health problem. Many countries have implemented health programmes to reduce morbidity and prevalence of schistosomiasis, and control programmes to mitigate food-borne fascioliasis. As these programmes are resource demanding, baseline information on disease prevalence and distribution becomes of great importance. Such information can be made available and put into practice through maps depicting spatial distribution of the intermediate snail hosts. A biology driven model for the freshwater snails Bulinus globosus, Biomphalaria pfeifferi and Lymnaea natalensis was used to make predictions of snail habitat suitability by including potential underlying environmental and climatic drivers. The snail observation data originated from a nationwide survey in Zimbabwe and the prediction model was parameterised with a high resolution Regional Climate Model. Georeferenced prevalence data on urinary and intestinal schistosomiasis and fascioliasis was used to calibrate the snail habitat suitability predictions to produce binary maps of snail presence and absence. Predicted snail habitat suitability across Zimbabwe, as well as the spatial distribution of snails, is reported for three time slices representative for present (1980-1999) and future climate (2046-2065 and 2080-2099). It is shown from the current study that snail habitat suitability is highly variable in Zimbabwe, with distinct high- and low

  16. Biological control of snail hosts transmitting schistosomiasis by the water bug, Sphaerodema urinator.

    PubMed

    Younes, Aly; El-Sherief, Hanaa; Gawish, Fathia; Mahmoud, Marwa

    2017-04-01

    The water bug, Sphaerodema urinator (Hemiptera : Belostomatidae), shares the same habitat of the freshwater snails in ponds, lakes, and streams. Studies conducted in lakes show that fish and crayfish predators play an important role in determining the abundance of freshwater snails. In contrast, shallow ponds and marches often lack fish and crayfish but have abundant insect predators. This study has been carried out to evaluate the predatory potential of S. urinator adult on two freshwater snails that serves as intermediate hosts of Schistosoma. Laboratory evaluation of predation by S. urinator on these intermediate hosts revealed that the adult bug could kill and consume the two intermediate hosts: Bulinus truncatus and Biomphalaria alexandrina. The number of snails consumed differed according to the snail type, size, and density. The times taken for searching and handling times were depending on the snail size, type, and vulnerability of the predator. The predation rate varied also with respect to snail type and density. Prey size is a major factor influencing predator preferences. This study indicated that the predator, S. urinator, may be a suitable bio-control agent in connection with Schistosoma intermediate hosts in the aquatic area.

  17. Molecular diversity of avian schistosomes in Danish freshwater snails.

    PubMed

    Christiansen, Anne Ø; Olsen, Annette; Buchmann, Kurt; Kania, Per W; Nejsum, Peter; Vennervald, Birgitte J

    2016-03-01

    Avian schistosomes are widespread parasites of snails and waterfowl and may cause cercarial dermatitis (swimmer's itch) in humans, a disease that is frequently reported in European countries. These parasites are known to occur in Denmark, but here, we applied a new approach using molecular tools to identify the parasites at species level. In order to do that, 499 pulmonate freshwater snails (Radix sp., Lymnaea stagnalis, Stagnicola sp. and Planorbarius corneus) were sampled from 12 lakes, ponds, and marshes in the greater Copenhagen area. Avian schistosome cercariae were identified by microscopy and subjected to molecular investigation by sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of the 5.8S and ITS2 ribosomal DNA for species identification. Additionally, snail hosts belonging to the genus Radix were identified by sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of partial ITS2 ribosomal DNA. Three out of 499 snails shed different species of Trichobilharzia cercariae: Trichobilharzia szidati was isolated from L. stagnalis, Trichobilharzia franki from Radix auricularia and Trichobilharzia regenti from Radix peregra. In the light of the public health risk represented by bird schistosomes, these findings are of concern and, particularly, the presence of the potentially neuro-pathogenic species, T. regenti, in Danish freshwaters calls for attention.

  18. Phenotypic plasticity in the common garden snail: big guts and heavier mucus glands compete in snails faced with the dual challenge of poor diet and coarse substrate.

    PubMed

    Munn, Adam J; Treloar, Marguerite

    2016-12-26

    Phenotypic plasticity allows animals to manage environmental challenges. Studies aimed at quantifying plasticity often focus on one challenge, such as diet, and one organ system, such the gastrointestinal tract, but this approach may not adequately reflect how plasticity could buffer multiple challenges. Thus, we investigated the outcomes of a dual challenge experiment that fed land snails either a high-fibre (low quality) or a low-fibre (high quality) diet, and simultaneously exercised them daily over 1.2 m on either a smooth surface of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or a rough sandpaper. By the end of 20 days, snails fed the poor quality diet had a longer crop and oesophagus and a heavier intestine and rectum than those offered a low-fibre diet. Additionally, high-fibre fed snails had a smaller spermoviduct and oviduct. When also exercised on sandpaper, high-fibre fed snails had a smaller digestive gland, a main energy store, than those exercised on PVC. All snails exercised on sandpaper had a heavier pedal mucus gland, used a loping gait and used less mucus than those on PVC plastic, but there was no difference in the average speed of snails on either surface, supporting the conclusion that loping is a mucus conserving gait. Notably, snails faced with both a diet and substrate challenge had a smaller kidney, which could directly effect fecundity. This demonstrates that our dual challenge approach has potential for evaluating the costs and limits of the plasticity necessary to fully appreciate the evolutionary significance of plasticity in snails and other species.

  19. Snail modulates cell metabolism in MDCK cells

    SciTech Connect

    Haraguchi, Misako; Indo, Hiroko P.; Iwasaki, Yasumasa; Iwashita, Yoichiro; Fukushige, Tomoko; Majima, Hideyuki J.; Izumo, Kimiko; Horiuchi, Masahisa; Kanekura, Takuro; Furukawa, Tatsuhiko; Ozawa, Masayuki

    2013-03-22

    Highlights: ► MDCK/snail cells were more sensitive to glucose deprivation than MDCK/neo cells. ► MDCK/snail cells had decreased oxidative phosphorylation, O{sub 2} consumption and ATP content. ► TCA cycle enzyme activity, but not expression, was lower in MDCK/snail cells. ► MDCK/snail cells showed reduced PDH activity and increased PDK1 expression. ► MDCK/snail cells showed reduced expression of GLS2 and ACLY. -- Abstract: Snail, a repressor of E-cadherin gene transcription, induces epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and is involved in tumor progression. Snail also mediates resistance to cell death induced by serum depletion. By contrast, we observed that snail-expressing MDCK (MDCK/snail) cells undergo cell death at a higher rate than control (MDCK/neo) cells in low-glucose medium. Therefore, we investigated whether snail expression influences cell metabolism in MDCK cells. Although gylcolysis was not affected in MDCK/snail cells, they did exhibit reduced pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) activity, which controls pyruvate entry into the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. Indeed, the activity of multiple enzymes involved in the TCA cycle was decreased in MDCK/snail cells, including that of mitochondrial NADP{sup +}-dependent isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH2), succinate dehydrogenase (SDH), and electron transport Complex II and Complex IV. Consequently, lower ATP content, lower oxygen consumption and increased survival under hypoxic conditions was also observed in MDCK/snail cells compared to MDCK/neo cells. In addition, the expression and promoter activity of pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 1 (PDK1), which phosphorylates and inhibits the activity of PDH, was increased in MDCK/snail cells, while expression levels of glutaminase 2 (GLS2) and ATP-citrate lyase (ACLY), which are involved in glutaminolysis and fatty acid synthesis, were decreased in MDCK/snail cells. These results suggest that snail modulates cell metabolism by altering the expression and activity of

  20. Fungal farming in a snail

    PubMed Central

    Silliman, Brian R.; Newell, Steven Y.

    2003-01-01

    Mutualisms between fungi and fungus-growing animals are model systems for studying coevolution and complex interactions between species. Fungal growing behavior has enabled cultivating animals to rise to major ecological importance, but evolution of farming symbioses is thought to be restricted to three terrestrial insect lineages. Surveys along 2,000 km of North America's Atlantic coast documented that the marine snail Littoraria irrorata grazes fungus-infected wounds on live marsh grass throughout its range. Field experiments demonstrate a facultative, farming mutualism between Littoraria and intertidal fungi. Snails graze live grass primarily not to feed but to prepare substrate for fungal growth and consume invasive fungi. Fungal removal experiments show that snails and fungi act synergistically to suppress marsh grass production. These results provide a case of fungus farming in the marine environment and outside the class Insecta and reveal a previously undemonstrated ecological mechanism (i.e., facilitation of fungal invasion) by which grazers can exert top-down control of marine plant production. PMID:14657360

  1. CELSS nutrition system utilizing snails.

    PubMed

    Midorikawa, Y; Fujii, T; Ohira, A; Nitta, K

    1993-08-01

    At the 40th IAF Congress in Malaga, a nutrition system for a lunar base CELSS was presented. A lunar base with a total of eight crew members was envisaged. In this paper, four species of plants--rice, soybean, lettuce and strawberry--were introduced to the system. These plants were sufficient to satisfy fundamental nutritional needs of the crew members. The supply of nutrition from plants and the human nutritional requirements could almost be balanced. Our study revealed that the necessary plant cultivation area per crew member would be nearly 40 m3 in the lunar base. The sources of nutrition considered in the study were energy, sugar, fat, amino acids, inorganic salt and vitamins; however, calcium, vitamin B2, vitamin A and sodium were found to be lacking. Therefore, a subsystem to supply these elements is of considerable value. In this paper, we report on a study for breeding snails and utilizing meat as food. Nutrients supplied from snails are shown to compensate for the above mentioned lacking elements. We evaluate the snail breeder and the associated food supply system as a subsystem of closed ecological life support system.

  2. Celss nutrition system utilizing snails

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Midorikawa, Y.; Fujii, T.; Ohira, A.; Nitta, K.

    At the 40th IAF Congress in Malaga, a nutrition system for a lunar base CELSS was presented. A lunar base with a total of eight crew members was envisaged. In this paper, four species of plants—rice, soybean, lettuce and strawberry—were introduced to the system. These plants were sufficient to satisfy fundamental nutritional needs of the crew members. The supply of nutrition from plants and the human nutritional requirements could almost be balanced. Our study revealed that the necessary plant cultivation area per crew member would be nearly 40 m 3 in the lunar base. The sources of nutrition considered in the study were energy, sugar, fat, amino acids, inorganic salt and vitamins; however, calcium, vitamin B 2, vitamin A and sodium were found to be lacking. Therefore, a subsystem to supply these elements is of considerable value. In this paper, we report on a study for breeding snails and utilizing meat as food. Nutrients supplied from snails are shown to compensate for the abovementioned lacking elements. We evaluate the snail breeder and the associated food supply system as a subsystem of closed ecological life support system.

  3. Production of apple snail for space diet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamashita, Masamichi; Motoki, Shigeru; Space Agriculture Task Force, J.; Katayama, Naomi

    For food production in space at recycling bio-elements under closed environment, appropriate organisms should be chosen to drive the closed materials recycle loop. We propose a combination of green algae, photosynthetic protozoa, and aquatic plants such as Wolffia spp., for the primary producer fixing solar energy to chemical form in biomass, and apple snail, Pomacea bridgesii, which converts this biomass to animal meat. Because of high proliferation rate of green algae or protozoa compared to higher plants, and direct conversion of them to apple snail, the efficiency of food production in this combination is high, in terms of energy usage, space for rearing, and yield of edible biomass. Furthermore, green algae and apple snail can form a closed ecological system with exchanging bio-elements between two member, i.e. excreta of snail turn to fertilizer of algae, and grown algae become feed for snail. Since apple snail stays in water or on wet substrate, control of rearing is easy to make. Mass production technology of apple snail has been well established to utilize it as human food. Nutrients of apple snail are also listed in the standard tables of food composition in Japan. Nutrients for 100 g of apple snail canned in brine are energy 340 kJ, protein 16.5 g, lipid 1.0 g, cholesterol 240 mg, carbohydrate 0.8 g, Ca 400 mg, Fe 3.9 mg, Zn 1.5 mg. It is rich in minerals, especially Ca and Fe. Vitamin contents are quite low, but K 0.005 mg, B2 0.09 mg, B12 0.0006 mg, folate 0.001 mg, and E 0.6 mg. The amino acid score of apple snail could not be found in literature. Overall, apple snail provides rich protein and animal lipid such as cholesterol. It could be a good source of minerals. However, it does not give enough vitamin D and B12 , which are supposed to be supplemented by animal origin foods. In terms of acceptance in food culture, escargot is a gourmet menu in French dishes, and six to ten snail, roughly 50 g, are served for one person. Apple snail reaches to 30 g

  4. Regulation of laboratory populations of snails (Biomphalaria and Bulinus spp.) by river prawns, Macrobrachium spp. (Decapoda, Palaemonidae): implications for control of schistosomiasis.

    PubMed

    Sokolow, Susanne H; Lafferty, Kevin D; Kuris, Armand M

    2014-04-01

    Human schistosomiasis is a common parasitic disease endemic in many tropical and subtropical countries. One barrier to achieving long-term control of this disease has been re-infection of treated patients when they swim, bathe, or wade in surface fresh water infested with snails that harbor and release larval parasites. Because some snail species are obligate intermediate hosts of schistosome parasites, removing snails may reduce parasitic larvae in the water, reducing re-infection risk. Here, we evaluate the potential for snail control by predatory freshwater prawns, Macrobrachium rosenbergii and M. vollenhovenii, native to Asia and Africa, respectively. Both prawn species are high value, protein-rich human food commodities, suggesting their cultivation may be beneficial in resource-poor settings where few other disease control options exist. In a series of predation trials in laboratory aquaria, we found both species to be voracious predators of schistosome-susceptible snails, hatchlings, and eggs, even in the presence of alternative food, with sustained average consumption rates of 12% of their body weight per day. Prawns showed a weak preference for Bulinus truncatus over Biomphalaria glabrata snails. Consumption rates were highly predictable based on the ratio of prawn: snail body mass, suggesting satiation-limited predation. Even the smallest prawns tested (0.5-2g) caused snail recruitment failure, despite high snail fecundity. With the World Health Organization turning attention toward schistosomiasis elimination, native prawn cultivation may be a viable snail control strategy that offers a win-win for public health and economic development.

  5. Snail modulates cell metabolism in MDCK cells.

    PubMed

    Haraguchi, Misako; Indo, Hiroko P; Iwasaki, Yasumasa; Iwashita, Yoichiro; Fukushige, Tomoko; Majima, Hideyuki J; Izumo, Kimiko; Horiuchi, Masahisa; Kanekura, Takuro; Furukawa, Tatsuhiko; Ozawa, Masayuki

    2013-03-22

    Snail, a repressor of E-cadherin gene transcription, induces epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and is involved in tumor progression. Snail also mediates resistance to cell death induced by serum depletion. By contrast, we observed that snail-expressing MDCK (MDCK/snail) cells undergo cell death at a higher rate than control (MDCK/neo) cells in low-glucose medium. Therefore, we investigated whether snail expression influences cell metabolism in MDCK cells. Although gylcolysis was not affected in MDCK/snail cells, they did exhibit reduced pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) activity, which controls pyruvate entry into the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. Indeed, the activity of multiple enzymes involved in the TCA cycle was decreased in MDCK/snail cells, including that of mitochondrial NADP(+)-dependent isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH2), succinate dehydrogenase (SDH), and electron transport Complex II and Complex IV. Consequently, lower ATP content, lower oxygen consumption and increased survival under hypoxic conditions was also observed in MDCK/snail cells compared to MDCK/neo cells. In addition, the expression and promoter activity of pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 1 (PDK1), which phosphorylates and inhibits the activity of PDH, was increased in MDCK/snail cells, while expression levels of glutaminase 2 (GLS2) and ATP-citrate lyase (ACLY), which are involved in glutaminolysis and fatty acid synthesis, were decreased in MDCK/snail cells. These results suggest that snail modulates cell metabolism by altering the expression and activity of key enzymes. This results in enhanced glucose dependency and leads to cell death under low-glucose conditions. On the other hand, the reduced requirements for oxygen and nutrients from the surrounding environment, might confer the resistance to cell death induced by hypoxia and malnutrition. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Snail reprograms glucose metabolism by repressing phosphofructokinase PFKP allowing cancer cell survival under metabolic stress.

    PubMed

    Kim, Nam Hee; Cha, Yong Hoon; Lee, Jueun; Lee, Seon-Hyeong; Yang, Ji Hye; Yun, Jun Seop; Cho, Eunae Sandra; Zhang, Xianglan; Nam, Miso; Kim, Nami; Yuk, Young-Su; Cha, So Young; Lee, Yoonmi; Ryu, Joo Kyung; Park, Sunghyouk; Cheong, Jae-Ho; Kang, Sang Won; Kim, Soo-Youl; Hwang, Geum-Sook; Yook, Jong In; Kim, Hyun Sil

    2017-02-08

    Dynamic regulation of glucose flux between aerobic glycolysis and the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) during epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is not well-understood. Here we show that Snail (SNAI1), a key transcriptional repressor of EMT, regulates glucose flux toward PPP, allowing cancer cell survival under metabolic stress. Mechanistically, Snail regulates glycolytic activity via repression of phosphofructokinase, platelet (PFKP), a major isoform of cancer-specific phosphofructokinase-1 (PFK-1), an enzyme involving the first rate-limiting step of glycolysis. The suppression of PFKP switches the glucose flux towards PPP, generating NADPH with increased metabolites of oxidative PPP. Functionally, dynamic regulation of PFKP significantly potentiates cancer cell survival under metabolic stress and increases metastatic capacities in vivo. Further, knockdown of PFKP rescues metabolic reprogramming and cell death induced by loss of Snail. Thus, the Snail-PFKP axis plays an important role in cancer cell survival via regulation of glucose flux between glycolysis and PPP.

  7. Behavioural responses of the snail Lymnaea acuminata to carbohydrates and amino acids in bait pellets.

    PubMed

    Agrahari, P; Singh, D K

    2010-12-01

    Snail control could play an important role in programmes against fascioliasis, especially if the methods used for molluscicide delivery could be improved, such as by the development of bait formulations containing both an effective attractant and a molluscicide, to ensure good levels of contact between the molluscicide and the target snail populations. In a recent study, the attractiveness to Lymnaea acuminata (an intermediate host of the digenean trematode Fasciola gigantica) of potential components of snail-attractant pellets was investigated. Carbohydrates (glucose, maltose, sucrose or starch, each at 10 mM) and amino acids (citrulline, tryptophan, proline or serine, each at 20 mM), were tested in aquaria, with the snails initially placed 22.5, 30 or 45 cm from an agar pellet containing the component under test. Under these conditions, starch and proline emerged as the strongest attractants for L. acuminata, followed by maltose and serine.

  8. Snail reprograms glucose metabolism by repressing phosphofructokinase PFKP allowing cancer cell survival under metabolic stress

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Nam Hee; Cha, Yong Hoon; Lee, Jueun; Lee, Seon-Hyeong; Yang, Ji Hye; Yun, Jun Seop; Cho, Eunae Sandra; Zhang, Xianglan; Nam, Miso; Kim, Nami; Yuk, Young-Su; Cha, So Young; Lee, Yoonmi; Ryu, Joo Kyung; Park, Sunghyouk; Cheong, Jae-Ho; Kang, Sang Won; Kim, Soo-Youl; Hwang, Geum-Sook; Yook, Jong In; Kim, Hyun Sil

    2017-01-01

    Dynamic regulation of glucose flux between aerobic glycolysis and the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) during epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) is not well-understood. Here we show that Snail (SNAI1), a key transcriptional repressor of EMT, regulates glucose flux toward PPP, allowing cancer cell survival under metabolic stress. Mechanistically, Snail regulates glycolytic activity via repression of phosphofructokinase, platelet (PFKP), a major isoform of cancer-specific phosphofructokinase-1 (PFK-1), an enzyme involving the first rate-limiting step of glycolysis. The suppression of PFKP switches the glucose flux towards PPP, generating NADPH with increased metabolites of oxidative PPP. Functionally, dynamic regulation of PFKP significantly potentiates cancer cell survival under metabolic stress and increases metastatic capacities in vivo. Further, knockdown of PFKP rescues metabolic reprogramming and cell death induced by loss of Snail. Thus, the Snail-PFKP axis plays an important role in cancer cell survival via regulation of glucose flux between glycolysis and PPP. PMID:28176759

  9. Alterations of biochemical indicators in hepatopancreas of the golden apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata, from paddy fields in Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Chiu, Yuh-Wen; Wu, Jui-Pin; Hsieh, Tsung-Chih; Liang, Shih-Hsiung; Chen, Chien-Min; Huang, Da-Ji

    2014-07-01

    The freshwater golden apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata, is one of the world's 100 worst invasive alien species. The snails' wide distribution, high abundance, and sensitivity to environmental pollution make them a potential bioindicator for environmental contamination. In this study, the biochemical status of golden apple snails collected from paddy fields throughout the island of Taiwan was examined. This study found that the biochemical status of apple snails collected from paddy fields differed from that of animals bred and maintained in the laboratory. Furthermore, certain biochemical endpoints of the snails collected from the paddy fields before and after agricultural activities were also different-hemolymphatic vitellogenin protein was induced in male snail after exposure to estrogen-like chemicals, the hepatic monooxygenase (1.97 +/- 0.50 deltaA(650mm) 30 min(-1) mg(-1) protein in control group) and glutathione S transferase (0.02 +/- 0.01 delta A(340mm) 30 min(-1) mg(-1) protein in control group) snails exposed to pesticides, as well as the hepatopancreatic levels of aspartate aminotransferase (450.00 +/- 59.40 U mg(-1) mg(-1) protein in control group) and alanine aminotransferase (233.27 +/- 42.09 U mg(-1) mg(-1) protein in control group) decreased the indicating that xenobiotics destroyed hepatopancreatic. The above findings reveal that apple snail could be used as a practical bioindicator to monitor anthropogenic environmental pollution.

  10. Shell of snail Helix aspersa maxima (Helicidae) as a protection of bioaccumulation toxic sodium fluoride in soft tissue.

    PubMed

    Rać, Monika Ewa; Stachowska, Ewa; Machoy, Zygmunt

    2005-01-01

    The aim of this work was to determine the extent of bioaccumulation of sodium fluorides in tissues of snails under strictly controlled conditions, and also to determine resistance and tolerance to sodium fluoride load in these organisms. The study was performed on snails removed from aestivation. Quantitation of fluoride levels was done in soft tissues (foot, hepatopancreas) and shells of mature snails. Results show that long exposure to sodium fluoride pollution at a low level results in accumulation principally in the soft tissues of the snails. Because of the possibility of fluoride accumulation in the foot, the number of snails used for culinary purposes must be controlled, as it can potentially cause chronic toxemia caused by this trace element. Results also show that the shells of snails offer protection against the bioaccumulation of toxic fluoride in the soft tissue. The Helix aspersa maxima snail is characterised by high resistance and tolerance to fluoride load. Fluoride levels in soft tissues of the snail cannot serve as an indicator for biomonitoring purposes. In contrast, levels in the shell rose significantly with the concentration of fluoride and can be used in biomonitoring of sodium fluoride pollution.

  11. Dysregulated expression of Snail and E-cadherin correlates with gastrointestinal stromal tumor metastasis.

    PubMed

    Liu, Sheng; Liao, Guoqing; Ding, Jie; Ye, Ke; Zhang, Yi; Zeng, Liang; Chen, Senlin

    2014-09-01

    Snail, a zinc finger structure transcription inhibitory factor, has been reported to play an important role in the metastatic progression of several types of cancer. The aim of the study was to identify potential biomarkers for metastasis in gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) by examining the expression levels of Snail, E-cadherin, and Vimentin in GISTs and investigate their clinical significance. The protein expression of Snail, E-cadherin, and Vimentin in 74 GIST specimens was detected by immunohistochemical analysis, and the correlation between expression levels and clinicopathological data was analyzed. Snail, E-cadherin, and Vimentin were positively expressed in 51.4% (38/74), 32.4% (24/74), and 68.9% (51/74) of GIST tissue samples, respectively. Snail protein expression was significantly higher in GISTs with distant metastasis compared with GISTs without distant metastasis (P<0.05). E-cadherin expression level was significantly lower in cases of GIST with distant metastasis compared with those without distant metastasis (P<0.05), whereas the expression level of Vimentin did not significantly change according to clinical and pathological characteristics (all P>0.05). Snail expression was significantly negatively correlated with E-cadherin expression (r's=-0.276, P=0.017) but not with Vimentin expression (r's=0.041, P=0.728) in GISTs. High Snail expression and low E-cadherin expression were significantly correlated with metastasis in GISTs, and Snail, because of positive correlation, is potentially a biomarker of GIST with distant metastasis.

  12. Inquiry, Land Snails, and Environmental Factors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barrow, Lloyd H.; Krantz, Patrick D.

    2005-01-01

    Land snails are common invertebrates that fascinate children. Unfortunately, they are seldom used for activities in the science classroom. Snails are inexpensive, take up little space in the classroom, and require only low maintenance, and their learning dividends can be enormous. For example, students can use them in inquiry-based activities that…

  13. Inquiry, Land Snails, and Environmental Factors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barrow, Lloyd H.; Krantz, Patrick D.

    2005-01-01

    Land snails are common invertebrates that fascinate children. Unfortunately, they are seldom used for activities in the science classroom. Snails are inexpensive, take up little space in the classroom, and require only low maintenance, and their learning dividends can be enormous. For example, students can use them in inquiry-based activities that…

  14. Modeling apple snail population dynamics on the Everglades landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Darby, Phil; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Romanach, Stephanie; Suir, Kevin J.; Bridevaux, Joshua L.

    2015-01-01

    Comparisons of model output to empirical data indicate the need for more data to better understand, and eventually parameterize, several aspects of snail ecology in support of EverSnail. A primary value of EverSnail is its capacity to describe the relative response of snail abundance to alternative hydrologic scenarios considered for Everglades water management and restoration.

  15. Snails, stable iostopes, and southwestern desert paleoclimates

    SciTech Connect

    Sharpe, S.E.; Whelan, J.F.; Forester, R.M.; Burdett, J.

    1995-09-01

    Modern and fossil molluscs (snails) occur in many localities in and semi-arid regions throughout the desert southwest. Live terrestrial snails are found under rocks and in forest litter and aquatic taxa inhabit springs, seeps, and/or wetlands. Molluscs uptake local water during their growing season (spring and summer) and incorporate its delta 180 signature into their shells. Preliminary 180 analysis of modem shells from the southern Great Basin indicates that the shells probably reflect meteoric water 180 values during the growing season. This provides a way to estimate the delta 180 value of precipitation and, thereby, the source of the moisture-bearing air masses. Significant 180 variability in shells analyzed include geographic location, elevation, taxonomy, and habitat (terrestrial, spring, or wetland). We found a rough inverse correlation with elevation in modem shells from the Spring Range in southern Nevada. The delta 180 values of modem and fossil shells are also very different; modem values in this location are much higher than those from nearby late Pleistocene-age molluscs suggesting that the Pleistocene summers were variously colder and wetter than today or less evaporative (more humid). Assuming shell material directly reflects the 180 of the growing-season environment, comparison of modem and fossil shell delta 180 values can potentially identify changes in air-mass moisture sources and can help to define seasonal precipitation change through time. Comprehension and quantification of community and isotopic variability in modem gastropods is required to create probabilistic valid transfer functions with fossil materials. Valid inferences about past environmental conditions can then be established with known confidence limits.

  16. Impact of invasive apple snails on the functioning and services of natural and managed wetlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horgan, Finbarr G.; Stuart, Alexander M.; Kudavidanage, Enoka P.

    2014-01-01

    At least 14 species of apple snail (Ampullariidae) have been released to water bodies outside their native ranges; however, less than half of these species have become widespread or caused appreciable impacts. We review evidence for the impact of apple snails on natural and managed wetlands focusing on those studies that have elucidated impact mechanisms. Significant changes in wetland ecosystems have been noted in regions where the snails are established: Two species in particular (Pomacea canaliculata and Pomacea maculata) have become major pests of aquatic crops, including rice, and caused enormous increases in molluscicide use. Invasive apple snails have also altered macrophyte community structure in natural and managed wetlands through selective herbivory and certain apple snail species can potentially shift the balance of freshwater ecosystems from clear water (macrophyte dominated) to turbid (plankton dominated) states by depleting densities of native aquatic plants. Furthermore, the introductions of some apple snail species have altered benthic community structure either directly, through predation, or indirectly, through exploitation competition or as a result of management actions. To date much of the evidence for these impacts has been based on correlations, with few manipulative field or mesocosm experiments. Greater attention to impact monitoring is required, and, for Asia in particular, a landscape approach to impact management that includes both natural and managed-rice wetlands is recommended.

  17. First report of Toxocara cati in the domestic land snail Rumina decollata.

    PubMed

    Cardillo, Natalia; Prous, Cintia Gonzalez; Krivokapich, Silvio; Pittaro, Mariana; Ercole, Mariano; Perez, Matías; Pasqualetti, Mariana; Fariña, Fernando; Rosa, Adriana; Gatti, Graciana; Ribicich, Mabel

    The prospective role of the land snail Rumina decollata as a potential paratenic host of Toxocara cati for domestic cats was studied. R. decollata specimens and cats' feces were collected from the open spaces of a Buenos Aires city hospital. Cats' feces were analyzed and snails were digested to identify T. cati stages, by morphological and molecular analyses. T. cati larval eggs were recovered from 23.5% (4/17) of the sampled feces. Twenty percent of snail pools (5/25) were confirmed to be positive for Toxocara spp. third larval stage (L3) by PCR. The mean value of total larvae recovered per gram of snail in all positive pools was 5.1, with a maximum 33 L3/pool. This is the first report of T. cati infective larvae in R. decollata domestic snail as a paratenic host, since the relationship between infection in snails and in cats' feces could be demonstrated in a common environment. Copyright © 2016 Asociación Argentina de Microbiología. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  18. Foraging and refuge use by a pond snail: Effects of physiological state, predators, and resources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wojdak, Jeremy M.

    2009-09-01

    The costs and benefits of anti-predator behavioral responses should be functions of the actual risk of predation, the availability of the prey's resources, and the physiological state of the prey. For example, a food-stressed individual risks starvation when hiding from predators, while a well-fed organism can better afford to hide (and pay the cost of not foraging). Similarly, the benefits of resource acquisition are probably highest for the prey in the poorest state, while there may be diminishing returns for prey nearing satiation. Empirical studies of state-dependent behavior are only beginning, however, and few studies have investigated interactions between all three potentially important factors. Here I present the results of a laboratory experiment where I manipulated the physiological state of pond snails ( Physa gyrina), the abundance of algal resources, and predation cues ( Belostoma flumineum waterbugs consuming snails) in a full factorial design to assess their direct effects on snail behavior and indirect effects on algal biomass. On average, snails foraged more when resources were abundant, and when predators were absent. Snails also foraged more when previously exposed to physiological stress. Snails spent more time at the water's surface (a refuging behavior) in the presence of predation cues on average, but predation, resource levels, and prey state had interactive effects on refuge use. There was a consistent positive trait-mediated indirect effect of predators on algal biomass, across all resource levels and prey states.

  19. Bioaccumulative and conchological assessment of heavy metal transfer in a soil-plant-snail food chain

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    -term exposure to HMs via contaminated food might influence the variability of shell traits in snail populations. Therefore, our results highlight the Roman snail (Helix pomatia) potential to be used in environmental monitoring studies as bioindicator of HM pollution. PMID:22703871

  20. A novel molecular pathway for Snail-dependent, SPARC-mediated invasion in non-small cell lung cancer pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Grant, Jeanette L.; Fishbein, Michael C.; Hong, Long-Sheng; Krysan, Kostyantyn; Minna, John D.; Shay, Jerry W.; Walser, Tonya C.; Dubinett, Steven M.

    2014-01-01

    Definition of the molecular pathogenesis of lung cancer allows investigators an enhanced understanding of the natural history of the disease, thus fostering development of new prevention strategies. In addition to regulating epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), the transcription factor Snail exerts global effects on gene expression. Our recent studies reveal that Snail is upregulated in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), is associated with poor prognosis, and promotes tumor progression in vivo. Herein, we demonstrate that overexpression of Snail leads to upregulation of Secreted Protein, Acidic and Rich in Cysteine (SPARC) in models of premalignancy and established disease, as well as in lung carcinoma tissues in situ. Snail overexpression leads to increased SPARC-dependent invasion in vitro, indicating that SPARC may play a role in lung cancer progression. Bioinformatic analysis implicates TGF-β, ERK1/2, and miR-29b as potential intermediaries in Snail-mediated upregulation of SPARC. Both the TGF-β1 ligand and TGF-βR2 are upregulated following Snail overexpression. Treatment of human bronchial epithelial cell (HBEC) lines with TGF-β1 and inhibition of TGF-β1 mRNA expression modulated SPARC expression. Inhibition of MEK phosphorylation downregulated SPARC. MiR-29b is downregulated in Snail overexpressing cell lines, while overexpression of miR-29b inhibited SPARC expression. In addition, miR-29b was upregulated following ERK inhibition, suggesting a Snail-dependent pathway by which Snail activation of TGF-β and ERK signaling results in downregulation of miR-29b and subsequent upregulation of SPARC. Our discovery of pathways responsible for Snail-induced SPARC expression contributes to the definition of NSCLC pathogenesis. PMID:24253315

  1. Seasonal feeding specialization on snails by river darters (Percina shumardi) with a review of snail feeding by other darter species

    Treesearch

    Wendell R. Haag; Melvin L. Warren

    2006-01-01

    We report food habits of River Darters (Percina shumardi) in Brushy Creek and the Sipsey Fork Black Warrior River, Alabama. River Darters preyed heavily on pleurocerid snails in both streams. Snail feeding varied widely among sample dates and was highest in October when snails represented nearly 100% of darter food items. Snail feeding declined...

  2. Mercury residues in south Florida apple snails (Pomacea paludosa)

    SciTech Connect

    Eisemann, J.D.; Beyer, W.N.; Morton, A.; Bennetts, R.E.

    1997-05-01

    Mercury concentrations in the sediments of south Florida wetlands have increased three fold in the last century. Because south Florida is home to many endemic and endangered species, it is important to understand the potential impacts of mercury in this ecosystem`s food web. Recent research by Malley et al. has shown mollusks to be sensitive indicators of methyl mercury which can reflect small differences in background methyl mercury concentrations. In this study, we attempted to determine if the apple snail (Pomacea paludosa) or its eggs are good indicators of bioavailable mercury. Then, using the apple snail as an indicator, we attempted to determine geographic differences in the concentrations of mercury in south Florida. 12 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab.

  3. Multiple paternity in the freshwater snail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum.

    PubMed

    Soper, Deanna M; Delph, Lynda F; Lively, Curt M

    2012-12-01

    Mating multiply may incur costs, such as exposure to predators and to sexually transmitted diseases. Nevertheless, it may be favored, in spite of these costs, as a way to increase the genetic diversity of offspring through fertilization by multiple males. Here, we tested for multiple paternity in a freshwater snail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum), which is host to several species of sterilizing trematode worms. Using microsatellites markers, we found multiple paternity in two different snail populations, with as many as seven males fertilizing a single female. In addition, high evenness of sire fertilization was found within individual broods. Multiple paternity can occur for a variety of reasons; however, given that these populations experience high risk of infection by a sterilizing trematode, one potential explanation may be that multiple paternity and high evenness of sire fertilizations increase the chances of the production of parasite-resistant offspring.

  4. Multiple paternity in the freshwater snail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum

    PubMed Central

    Soper, Deanna M; Delph, Lynda F; Lively, Curt M

    2012-01-01

    Mating multiply may incur costs, such as exposure to predators and to sexually transmitted diseases. Nevertheless, it may be favored, in spite of these costs, as a way to increase the genetic diversity of offspring through fertilization by multiple males. Here, we tested for multiple paternity in a freshwater snail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum), which is host to several species of sterilizing trematode worms. Using microsatellites markers, we found multiple paternity in two different snail populations, with as many as seven males fertilizing a single female. In addition, high evenness of sire fertilization was found within individual broods. Multiple paternity can occur for a variety of reasons; however, given that these populations experience high risk of infection by a sterilizing trematode, one potential explanation may be that multiple paternity and high evenness of sire fertilizations increase the chances of the production of parasite-resistant offspring. PMID:23301182

  5. Mathematical simulation of an aquatic snail population*

    PubMed Central

    Jobin, W. R.; Michelson, E. H.

    1967-01-01

    Techniques for controlling the intermediate snail hosts of schistosomiasis have had to be evaluated by field trials, since the complexity of snail population dynamics has so far made it impossible to predict the effects of these techniques and thereby avoid costly field testing. However, in laboratory studies with Biomphalaria glabrata it was found that the fecundity of these snails was directly proportional to F/NV, where F is the total amount of food in the habitat, N the number of snails, and V the volume of the habitat. The use of this fecundity variable together with data published on snail longevity and fecundity made it possible to construct a mathematical model of a snail population which may eventually be useful for evaluating snail control methods. For preliminary verification of the model, its predictions were compared with a published history of a population of Bulinus globosus in a small pond. The general agreement of the predicted and observed population data indicated that the basic structure of the model was sound. PMID:5301741

  6. Snail regulates Nanog status during the epithelial–mesenchymal transition via the Smad1/Akt/GSK3β signaling pathway in non-small-cell lung cancer

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Chen-Wei; Li, Ching-Hao; Yi-Jen, Peng; Cheng, Yu-Wen; Chen, Huei-Wen; Liao, Po-Lin; Kang, Jaw-Jou; Yeng, Mao-Hsiung

    2014-01-01

    The epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT), a crucial step in cancer metastasis, is important in transformed cancer cells with stem cell-like properties. In this study, we established a Snail-overexpressing cell model for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and investigated its underlying mechanism. We also identified the downstream molecular signaling pathway that contributes to the role of Snail in regulating Nanog expression. Our data shows that high levels of Snail expression correlate with metastasis and high levels of Nanog expression in NSCLC. NSCLC cells expressing Snail are characterized by active EMT characteristics and exhibit an increased ability to migrate, chemoresistance, sphere formation, and stem cell-like properties. We also investigated the signals required for Snail-mediated Nanog expression. Our data demonstrate that LY294002, SB431542, LDN193189, and Noggin pretreatment inhibit Snail-induced Nanog expression during EMT. This study shows a significant correlation between Snail expression and phosphorylation of Smad1, Akt, and GSK3β. In addition, pretreatment with SB431542, LDN193189, or Noggin prevented Snail-induced Smad1 and Akt hyperactivation and reactivated GSK3β. Moreover, LY294002 pretreatment prevented Akt hyperactivation and reactivated GSK3β without altering Smad1 activation. These findings provide a novel mechanistic insight into the important role of Snail in NSCLC during EMT and indicate potentially useful therapeutic targets for NSCLC. PMID:25003810

  7. Phenoloxidase activity of Helix aspersa maxima (garden snail, gastropod) hemocyanin.

    PubMed

    Raynova, Yuliana; Doumanova, Lyuba; Idakieva, Krassimira Nikolova

    2013-12-01

    The oxygen-transporting protein, hemocyanin (Hc), of the garden snail Helix aspersa maxima (HaH) was isolated and kinetically characterized. Kinetic parameters of the reaction of catalytic oxidation of catechol to quinone, catalyzed by native HaH were determined: the V max value amounted to 22 nmol min(-1) mg(-1), k cat to 1.1 min(-1). Data were compared to those reported for other molluscan Hcs and phenoloxidases (POs). The o-diphenoloxidase activity of the native HaH is about five times higher than the activity determined for the Hcs of the terrestrial snail Helix pomatia and of the marine snail Rapana thomasiana (k cat values of 0.22 and 0.25 min(-1), respectively). The K m values obtained for molluscan Hcs from different species are comparable to those for true POs, but the low catalytic efficiency of Hcs is probably related to inaccessibility of the active sites to potential substrates. Upon treatment of HaH with subtilisin DY, the enzyme activity against substrate catechol was considerably increased. The relatively high proteolytically induced o-diPO activity of HaH allowed using it for preparation of a biosensor for detection of catechol.

  8. Cercarial Dermatitis Transmitted by Exotic Marine Snail

    PubMed Central

    Cohen, Andrew N.; James, David; Hui, Lucia; Hom, Albert; Loker, Eric S.

    2010-01-01

    Cercarial dermatitis (swimmer’s itch) is caused by the penetration of human skin by cercariae of schistosome parasites that develop in and are released from snail hosts. Cercarial dermatitis is frequently acquired in freshwater habitats, and less commonly in marine or estuarine waters. To investigate reports of a dermatitis outbreak in San Francisco Bay, California, we surveyed local snails for schistosome infections during 2005–2008. We found schistosomes only in Haminoea japonica, an Asian snail first reported in San Francisco Bay in 1999. Genetic markers place this schistosome within a large clade of avian schistosomes, but do not match any species for which there are genetic data. It is the second known schistosome species to cause dermatitis in western North American coastal waters; these species are transmitted by exotic snails. Introduction of exotic hosts can support unexpected emergence of an unknown parasite with serious medical or veterinary implications. PMID:20735918

  9. Ichthyotoxicity caused by marine cone snail venoms?

    PubMed

    Mebs, Dietrich; Kauferstein, Silke

    2005-09-01

    Ten venoms from marine cone snails were tested for ichthyotoxic effects on zebra fish (Brachydanio rerio) when added to the water. Only two venoms, from Conus capitaneus and Conus episcopatus, produced lethal effects at high concentrations (50-300 microg/ml) within 20-90 min. No sedative or hypnotic symptoms were observed. The experiments confirm that Conus venoms exert a quick and prompt activity only by parenteral injection into the prey as it is performed by the snail.

  10. Population genetics and the effects of a severe bottleneck in an ex situ population of critically endangered Hawaiian tree snails.

    PubMed

    Price, Melissa R; Hadfield, Michael G

    2014-01-01

    As wild populations decline, ex situ propagation provides a potential bank of genetic diversity and a hedge against extinction. These programs are unlikely to succeed if captive populations do not recover from the severe bottleneck imposed when they are founded with a limited number of individuals from remnant populations. In small captive populations allelic richness may be lost due to genetic drift, leading to a decline in fitness. Wild populations of the Hawaiian tree snail Achatinella lila, a hermaphroditic snail with a long life history, have declined precipitously due to introduced predators and other human impacts. A captive population initially thrived after its founding with seven snails, exceeding 600 captive individuals in 2009, but drastically declined in the last five years. Measures of fitness were examined from 2,018 captive snails that died between 1998 and 2012, and compared with genotypic data for six microsatellite loci from a subset of these deceased snails (N = 335), as well as live captive snails (N = 198) and wild snails (N = 92). Surprisingly, the inbreeding coefficient (Fis) declined over time in the captive population, and is now approaching values observed in the 2013 wild population, despite a significant decrease in allelic richness. However, adult annual survival and fecundity significantly declined in the second generation. These measures of fitness were positively correlated with heterozygosity. Snails with higher measures of heterozygosity had more offspring, and third generation offspring with higher measures of heterozygosity were more likely to reach maturity. These results highlight the importance of maintaining genetic diversity in captive populations, particularly those initiated with a small number of individuals from wild remnant populations. Genetic rescue may allow for an increase in genetic diversity in the captive population, as measures of heterozygosity and rarified allelic richness were higher in wild tree

  11. Molecular Evidence of Trichobilharzia Species (Digenea: Schistosomatidae) in the Snails of Lymnaea auricularia from Urmia Suburb, North West Iran

    PubMed Central

    YAKHCHALI, Mohammad; HOSSEINPANAHI, Asaad; MALEKZADEH-VIAYEH, Reza

    2016-01-01

    Background: The present study was carried out to detect the infection of larval stages of Trichobilharzia species in the snail Lymnaea auricularia in northwestern Iran based on DNA analysis. Methods: A total number of 320 snails of L. auricularia were sampled from four water-bodies located in the suburb of Urmia City, North West Iran, during May to November 2011. The snails were first microscopically inspected for the infection with larval stages of trematodes. Genomic DNA was extracted from the snails and PCR was performed to amplify a fragment of the ribosomal DNA of Trichobilharzia species in the infected snails. Results: Microscopic examinations indicated that 11.25% (36 out of 320) of the snails were infected with larval stages of trematodes, while the PCR patterns showed a much higher infection rate (31.25%, 100/320). According to the PCR, the infections were caused by the larval stages of T. szidati (21.56%, 69/320) and T. franki (9.69%, 31/320) or both of them (8.44%, 27/320). The infected snails were observed in three out of the four studied sites. The highest infection rate in a single site was 50% (25/50). Only 7.81% (25 out of 320) of the infected snails were from the plain areas, while the remaining was from high altitudes. Conclusion: Results of this study contribute the utility of the employed technique for quick and accurate detection of the infection with trichobilharzian species in their intermediate host snails, which may have potential zoonotic role in the region. PMID:28127334

  12. Behavioural responses of the snail Lymnaea acuminata to carbohydrates in snail-attractant pellets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tiwari, Farindra; Singh, D. K.

    Snail control is one of the most important tools in the campaign to reduce the incidence of fascioliasis. In order to attain this objective, the method of bait formulation in order to contain an attractant and a molluscicide is an expedient approach to lure the target snail population to the molluscicide. This study identifies certain carbohydrates, namely sucrose, maltose, glucose, fructose and starch, for preparing such baits. These were tested on Lymnaea acuminata, an intermediate host of the digenean trematodes Fasciola hepatica and Fasciola gigantica. The behavioural responses of snails to these carbohydrates were examined. Significant variations in behavioural responses were observed in the snail even when the five carbohydrates were used in low concentrations in snail-attractant pellets. Starch emerged as the strongest attractant for Lymnaea acuminata, followed by maltose.

  13. Genetic variation between Biomphalaria alexandrina snails susceptible and resistant to Schistosoma mansoni infection.

    PubMed

    El-Nassery, Suzanne M F; Abou-El-Naga, Iman F; Allam, Sonia R; Shaat, Eman A; Mady, Rasha F M

    2013-01-01

    Much effort has been made to control schistosomiasis infection in Egypt. However, enduring effects from such strategies have not yet been achieved. In this study, we sought to determine the genetic variability related to the interaction between Biomphalaria alexandrina snails and Schistosoma mansoni. Using RAPD-PCR with eight (10 mers) random primers, we were able to determine the polymorphic markers that differed between snails susceptible and resistant to Schistosoma mansoni infection using five primers out of the eight. Our results suggest that the RAPD-PCR technique is an efficient means by which to compare genomes and to detect genetic variations between schistosomiasis intermediate hosts. The RAPD technique with the above-noted primers can identify genomic markers that are specifically related to the Biomphalaria alexandrina/Schistosoma mansoni relationship in the absence of specific nucleotide sequence information. This approach could be used in epidemiologic surveys to investigate genetic diversity among Biomphalaria alexandrina snails. The ability to determine resistant markers in Biomphalaria alexandrina snails could potentially lead to further studies that use refractory snails as agents to control the spread of schistosomiasis.

  14. The role of Snail1 transcription factor in colorectal cancer progression and metastasis.

    PubMed

    Brzozowa, Marlena; Michalski, Marek; Wyrobiec, Grzegorz; Piecuch, Adam; Dittfeld, Anna; Harabin-Słowińska, Marzena; Boroń, Dariusz; Wojnicz, Romuald

    2015-01-01

    Snail1 is a zinc-finger transcription factor, which plays a role in colorectal cancer development by silencing E-cadherin expression and inducing epithelialmesenchymal transition (EMT). During EMT tumour cells acquire a mesenchymal phenotype that is responsible for their invasive activities. Consequently, Snail1 expression in colorectal cancer is usually associated with progression and metastasis. Some studies revealed that about 77% of colon cancer samples display Snail1 immunoreactivity both in activated fibroblasts and in carcinoma cells that have undergone EMT. Therefore, expression of this factor in the stroma may indicate how many cells possess the abilities to escape from the primary tumour mass, invade the basal lamina and colonise distant target organs. Blocking snail proteins activity has the potential to avert cancer cell metastasis by interfering with such cellular processes as remodelling of the actin cytoskeleton, migration and invasion, which are clearly associated with the aggressive phenotype of the disease. Moreover, the link between factors from the snail family and cancer stem cells suggests that inhibitory agents may also prove their potency as inhibitors of cancer recurrence.

  15. The role of Snail1 transcription factor in colorectal cancer progression and metastasis

    PubMed Central

    Michalski, Marek; Wyrobiec, Grzegorz; Piecuch, Adam; Dittfeld, Anna; Harabin-Słowińska, Marzena; Boroń, Dariusz; Wojnicz, Romuald

    2015-01-01

    Snail1 is a zinc-finger transcription factor, which plays a role in colorectal cancer development by silencing E-cadherin expression and inducing epithelialmesenchymal transition (EMT). During EMT tumour cells acquire a mesenchymal phenotype that is responsible for their invasive activities. Consequently, Snail1 expression in colorectal cancer is usually associated with progression and metastasis. Some studies revealed that about 77% of colon cancer samples display Snail1 immunoreactivity both in activated fibroblasts and in carcinoma cells that have undergone EMT. Therefore, expression of this factor in the stroma may indicate how many cells possess the abilities to escape from the primary tumour mass, invade the basal lamina and colonise distant target organs. Blocking snail proteins activity has the potential to avert cancer cell metastasis by interfering with such cellular processes as remodelling of the actin cytoskeleton, migration and invasion, which are clearly associated with the aggressive phenotype of the disease. Moreover, the link between factors from the snail family and cancer stem cells suggests that inhibitory agents may also prove their potency as inhibitors of cancer recurrence. PMID:26557772

  16. Field evaluation of controlled release copper glass as a molluscicide in snail control.

    PubMed

    Chandiwana, S K; Ndamba, J; Makura, O; Taylor, P

    1987-01-01

    Limited field evaluation of a new molluscicide, copper controlled release glass (CRG), was carried out in 4 human water contact sites in shallow and slow flowing streams in the highveld region of Zimbabwe during 1984 to 1986. The results indicate that the copper CRG has great potential as an inexpensive snail control agent to reduce schistosomiasis transmission. There was a marked reduction in snail numbers in the treated sites after application of 2 forms of the copper molluscicide; a "fast" CRG with approximately 24-h solution time in water and a "slow" CRG with about 1-year solution time. Snail numbers remained depressed during the observation period while frogs and fish were not affected. Fluctuations in snail numbers in the untreated sites showed no clear pattern, being erratic and unpredictable and probably attributable to seasonal effects. Problems of the correct amounts of molluscicide to apply to a site are to an extent overcome by knowledge of the copper binding capacity of the mud substrate. The mud sediment can be saturated by the "fast" release copper glass to achieve a snail killing concentration in the water which can be sustained by the "slow" release glass. It appears that the main difficulty in maintaining desirable copper levels in the water is flow, which causes rapid removal of copper from the treated waterbody. Thus, under field conditions on the highveld region of Zimbabwe, the CRG molluscicide is likely to be effective only during the stable conditions of the dry season which is, however, the main transmission period.

  17. Recovery of Pasteurella multocida from experimentally-exposed freshwater snails.

    PubMed

    Miller, S L; Botzler, R G

    1995-07-01

    We determined how long Pasteurella multocida could survive in experimentally-exposed freshwater snails. Physa virginea were collected from the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, Glenn County, California (USA), an enzootic site for avian cholera. Exposure to water containing up to 10(7) P. multocida per ml did not produce observable changes or mortality in snails. A minimum of 84 P. multocida per snail was necessary for detection among the normal snail bacterial flora. When snails were exposed to P. multocida in vials containing 10(7) bacteria per ml, P. multocida was detected for up to 72 hours in snails. When uninoculated snails were placed in aquaria containing 10(6) P. multocida per ml, P. multocida was not detected within the snails; further, P. multocida was detected in the water for only 24 hours at this level. Based on these results, we propose that P. virginea is not an effective reservoir for P. multocida.

  18. Trematodes in snails near raccoon latrines suggest a final host role for this mammal in California salt marshes.

    PubMed

    Lafferty, K D; Dunham, E J

    2005-04-01

    Of the 18 trematode species that use the horn snail, Cerithidea californica, as a first intermediate host, 6 have the potential to use raccoons as a final host. The presence of raccoon latrines in Carpinteria Salt Marsh, California, allowed us to investigate associations between raccoons and trematodes in snails. Two trematode species, Probolocoryphe uca and Stictodora hancocki, occurred at higher prevalences in snails near raccoon latrines than in snails away from latrines, suggesting that raccoons may serve as final hosts for these species. Fecal remains indicated that raccoons fed on shore crabs, the second intermediate host for P. uca, and fish, the second intermediate host for S. hancocki. The increase in raccoon populations in the suburban areas surrounding west coast salt marshes could increase their importance as final hosts for trematodes in this system.

  19. Trematodes in snails near raccoon latrines suggest a final host role for this mammal in California Salt Marshes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lafferty, K.D.; Dunham, E.J.

    2005-01-01

    Of the 18 trematode species that use the horn snail, Cerithidea californica, as a first intermediate host, 6 have the potential to use raccoons as a final host. The presence of raccoon latrines in Carpinteria Salt Marsh, California, allowed us to investigate associations between raccoons and trematodes in snails. Two trematode species, Probolocoryphe uca and Stictodora hancocki, occurred at higher prevalences in snails near raccoon latrines than in snails away from latrines, suggesting that raccoons may serve as final hosts for these species. Fecal remains indicated that raccoons fed on shore crabs, the second intermediate host for P. uca, and fish, the second intermediate host for S. hancocki. The increase in raccoon populations in the suburban areas surrounding west coast salt marshes could increase their importance as final hosts for trematodes in this system. ?? American Society of Parasitologists 2005.

  20. The Snail-Induced Sulfonation Pathway in Breast Cancer Metastasis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-07-01

    1 AD_________________ Award Number: W81XWH-11-1-0494 TITLE: The Snail -Induced Sulfonation...REPORT TYPE Annual 3. DATES COVERED 1 July 2012 - 30 June 2013 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER W81XWH-11-1-0494 The Snail -induced...support: 1. Further characterization of Tetracycline inducible WT Snail and mutant Snail vectors and cell lines. 2. Demonstration that the PAPSS2

  1. [The interplay between schistosome and its snail host: a review].

    PubMed

    Wang, Fei; Dai, Jian-Rong

    2012-12-01

    As the only intermediate host of Schistosoma japonicum, the control of Oncomelania snails serves as a major part in schistosomiasis control. This review mainly demonstrates the following aspects: the invasion of schistosome miracidium into snails, the mechanism of resistance to miracidia, and the factors influencing this process. With a view to explore the methods of interrupting every phase during miracidium infection, this article focuses on the possibility for safeguarding human health through protecting snails, namely, achieving snails harmlessness.

  2. Local adaptation along a continuous coastline: prey recruitment drives differentiation in a predatory snail.

    PubMed

    Sanford, Eric; Worth, David J

    2010-03-01

    Recent work demonstrates that nearshore oceanography can generate strong variation in the delivery of resources (nutrients and larvae) to benthic marine communities over spatial scales of tens to hundreds of kilometers. Moreover, variation in the strength of these bottom-up inputs is often spatially consistent, linked to regional centers of upwelling, coastal topography, and other stable features of the coastline. Whereas the ecological effects of these oceanographic links are increasingly clear, the possibility that these same bottom-up forces might impose spatially varying selection on consumers has not been addressed. Here, we test the hypothesis that a carnivorous snail (Nucella canaliculata) with direct development is locally adapted to persistent differences in prey recruitment within two adjacent oceanographic regions (northern California and Oregon, USA). Previous laboratory studies demonstrated that snails from Oregon rarely drilled the thick-shelled mussel Mytilus californianus, whereas snails from California readily drilled this prey. To test whether these differences reflect local adaptation, snails from two populations in each region were raised through two laboratory generations to minimize the potential influence of nongenetic effects. We then reciprocally outplanted these F2 generation snails to field enclosures at each of the four sites and monitored their growth for 11 months. Recruitment and availability of preferred prey (the acorn barnacle Balanus glandula and blue mussel Mytilus trossulus) at the experimental sites were 1-3 orders of magnitude lower in California than in Oregon. At the California sites, snails that originated from Oregon sources failed to drill larger M. californianus, encountered few alternative prey, and showed almost no growth. In contrast, snails from California drilled M. californianus and showed substantial growth. These results strongly suggest that the capacity of California snails to drill M. californianus allows

  3. Valproic acid (VPA) promotes the epithelial mesenchymal transition of hepatocarcinoma cells via transcriptional and post-transcriptional up regulation of Snail.

    PubMed

    Wu, Lei; Feng, Hua; Hu, Jinhua; Tian, Xiangguo; Zhang, Chunqing

    2016-12-01

    Due to the low cost and favorable safety profile, valproic acid (VPA) has been considered as a potential candidate drug for therapy of various cancers. Our present study revealed that VPA, at the concentration (1mM) which has no effect on cell proliferation, can significantly increase the in vitro migration and invasion of hepatocarcinoma (HCC) HepG2 and Huh7 cells via induction of epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT). VPA treatment can significantly increase the mRNA and protein expression of Snail, the key transcription factor of EMT. While knockdown of Snail can abolish VPA induced EMT of HCC cells. It suggested that Snail is essential for VPA induced EMT of HCC cells. VPA treatment also increased the phosphorylation of NF-κB p65. BAY 11-7082, the inhibitor of NF-κB, can significantly abolish VPA induced up regulation of Snail mRNA. Furthermore, VPA can increase the protein expression of Snail since 1h treatment via up regulation of half-lives of Snail protein. The increased protein stabilization of Snail can be attributed to VPA induced phosphorylation of Akt and GSK-3β. Collectively, our present study revealed that VPA can promote the EMT of HCC cells via up regulation of Snail through activation of NF-κB and Akt/GSK-3β signals.

  4. Compatibility polymorphism in snail/schistosome interactions: From field to theory to molecular mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Mitta, G.; Adema, C.M.; Gourbal, B.; Loker, E.S.; Theron, A.

    2013-01-01

    Coevolutionary dynamics in host–parasite interactions potentially lead to an arms race that results in compatibility polymorphism. The mechanisms underlying compatibility have remained largely unknown in the interactions between the snail Biomphalaria glabrata and Schistosoma mansoni, one of the agents of human schistosomiasis. This review presents a combination of data obtained from field and laboratory studies arguing in favor of a matching phenotype model to explain compatibility polymorphism. Investigations focused on the molecular determinants of compatibility have revealed two repertoires of polymorphic and/or diversified molecules that have been shown to interact: the parasite antigens S. mansoni polymorphic mucins and the B. glabrata fibrinogen-related proteins immune receptors. We hypothesize their interactions define the compatible/incompatible status of a specific snail/schistosome combination. This line of thought suggests concrete approaches amenable to testing in field-oriented studies attempting to control schistosomiasis by disrupting schistosome–snail compatibility. PMID:21945832

  5. Bugs as drugs, part two: worms, leeches, scorpions, snails, ticks, centipedes, and spiders.

    PubMed

    Cherniack, E Paul

    2011-03-01

    In this second of a two-part series analyzing the evidence for the use of organisms as medicine, the use of a number of different "bugs" (worms, leeches, snails, ticks, centipedes, and spiders) is detailed. Several live organisms are used as treatments: leeches for plastic surgery and osteoarthritis and the helminths Trichuris suis and Necator americanus for inflammatory bowel disease. Leech saliva is the source of a number of anticoagulants, including the antithrombin agent hirudin and its synthetic analogues, which have been approved for human use. Predatory arthropods, such as certain species of snails, spiders, scorpions, centipedes, and ticks provide a trove of potential analgesic peptides in their venom. A synthetic analogue of a snail venom peptide, ziconotide, has been approved for human use and is used as an alternative to opioids in severe pain cases. Arthropods, such as ticks, have venom that contains anticoagulants and centipede venom has a protein that corrects abnormalities in lipid metabolism.

  6. Preference versus performance: body temperature of the intertidal snail Chlorostoma funebralis.

    PubMed

    Tepler, Sarah; Mach, Katharine; Denny, Mark

    2011-04-01

    Evolutionary theory predicts that, in variable environments, it is advantageous for ectothermic organisms to prefer a body temperature slightly below the physiological optimum. This theory works well for many terrestrial organisms but has not been tested for animals inhabiting the hypervariable physical environment of intertidal shores. In laboratory experiments, we allowed the intertidal snail Chlorostoma funebralis to position itself on a temperature gradient, then measured its thermal preference and determined an index of how its performance varied with temperature. Snails performed a biased random walk along the temperature gradient, which, contrary to expectations, caused them to aggregate where body temperature was 15 to 17 °C below their temperature of optimum performance and near the species' lower thermal limit. This "cold-biased" behavioral response may guide snails to refuges in shaded cracks and crevices, but potentially precludes C. funebralis from taking full advantage of its physiological capabilities.

  7. Toxicity of botanical insecticides on golden apple snail (Pomacea canaliculata).

    PubMed

    Ruamthum, W; Visetson, S; Milne, J R; Bullangpoti, V

    2010-01-01

    The molluscicidal activity of crude extracts from five highly potential plants, Annona squamosa seed, Nerium indicum Leaves, Stemona tuberose root, Cyperus rotundus corm and Derris elliptica root was assessed to Pomacea canaliculata. D. elliptica root and C. rotundus corm extracts showed the highest toxicity against 3-month old snails which have LC50 as 23.68 +/- 2.96 mg/l and 133.20 +/- 7.94 mg/l, respectively. The C. rotundus corm extracts were chosen for detoxification enzyme in vivo assay which shows esterase and glutathione S-transferase activity in stomach, intestinal tracts and digestive glands of survival treated P. canaliculata were inhibited.

  8. Eosinophilic meningitis risk associated with raw Ampullarium canaliculatus snails consumption.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jiun-Jye; Chung, Li-Yu; Lin, Rong-Jyh; Lee, June-Der; Lin, Chaio-Wen; Yen, Chuan-Min

    2011-05-01

    In Taiwan, Angiostrongylus cantonensis infection has been reported in foreign laborers who had consumed raw Ampullarium canaliculatus snails. This study analyzed three foreign laborers who had contracted enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay-confirmed A cantonensis infection while working in Taiwan. All three workers had consumed either roasted snails or raw snails flavored with seasoning while drinking wine. This study investigated possible risk factors for A cantonensis, including naturally occurring A cantonensis in A canaliculatus snails, viability of third-stage A cantonensis larvae in raw seasoned snails and in roasted snails, infectivity of larvae, and effects of alcohol while consuming snails. Positive infection rates in snails from five different irrigation canals in south Taiwan ranged from 12.3% to 29.4% and the average number of motile larvae per infected snail ranged from 36 to 65. The number of motile and coiled larvae in snail meat after 120 minutes seasoning was 93 (27.7%) and 233 (69.3%), respectively. After 20 minutes of roasting, most larvae in the snail meat were dead. The infectivities of motile and coiled larvae from snail meat after 60 minutes seasoning were 53.2% and 33.2%, respectively, and those from snail meat after 5 minutes roasting were 33.2% and 7.0%, respectively. Eating Taiwan A canaliculatus snails raw is extremely risky given their high infection rates and infection intensities. Even after 120 minutes seasoning or after 20 minutes roasting, snail meat should be considered unsafe for human consumption. Finally, experimental rodent studies indicated that consuming alcohol while ingesting larvae does not significantly reduced infectivity.

  9. Quercetin suppresses the metastatic ability of lung cancer through inhibiting Snail-dependent Akt activation and Snail-independent ADAM9 expression pathways.

    PubMed

    Chang, Jer-Hwa; Lai, Shu-Leung; Chen, Wan-Shen; Hung, Wen-Yueh; Chow, Jyh-Ming; Hsiao, Michael; Lee, Wei-Jiunn; Chien, Ming-Hsien

    2017-10-01

    Metastasis is the major cause of death from lung cancer. Quercetin, a widely distributed bioflavonoid, is well known to induce growth inhibition in a variety of human cancer cells, but how it affects lung cancer cell invasion and metastasis is unclear. Herein, we found that quercetin inhibited the migration/invasion of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines and bone metastasis in an orthotopic A549 xenograft model by suppressing the Snail-mediated epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Moreover, survival times of animals were also prolonged after quercetin treatment. Mechanistic investigations found that quercetin suppressed Snail-dependent Akt activation by upregulating maspin and Snail-independent a disintegrin and metalloproteinase (ADAM) 9 expression pathways to modulate the invasive ability of NSCLC cells. In clinical samples, we observed that patients with Snail(high)/p-Akt(high) tumors had the shortest survival times. In addition, a lower survival rate was also found in ADAM9(high) patients than in ADAM9(low) patients. Overall, our results provide new insights into the role of quercetin-induced molecular regulation in suppressing NSCLC metastasis and suggest that quercetin has potential therapeutic applications for metastatic NSCLC. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Implications of Changing Temperatures on the Growth, Fecundity and Survival of Intermediate Host Snails of Schistosomiasis: A Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    Kalinda, Chester; Chimbari, Moses; Mukaratirwa, Samson

    2017-01-01

    Climate change has been predicted to increase the global mean temperature and to alter the ecological interactions among organisms. These changes may play critical roles in influencing the life history traits of the intermediate hosts (IHs). This review focused on studies and disease models that evaluate the potential effect of temperature rise on the ecology of IH snails and the development of parasites within them. The main focus was on IH snails of schistosome parasites that cause schistosomiasis in humans. A literature search was conducted on Google Scholar, EBSCOhost and PubMed databases using predefined medical subject heading terms, Boolean operators and truncation symbols in combinations with direct key words. The final synthesis included nineteen published articles. The studies reviewed indicated that temperature rise may alter the distribution, optimal conditions for breeding, growth and survival of IH snails which may eventually increase the spread and/or transmission of schistosomiasis. The literature also confirmed that the life history traits of IH snails and their interaction with the schistosome parasites are affected by temperature and hence a change in climate may have profound outcomes on the population size of snails, parasite density and disease epidemiology. We concluded that understanding the impact of temperature on the growth, fecundity and survival of IH snails may broaden the knowledge on the possible effects of climate change and hence inform schistosomiasis control programmes. PMID:28098789

  11. Implications of Changing Temperatures on the Growth, Fecundity and Survival of Intermediate Host Snails of Schistosomiasis: A Systematic Review.

    PubMed

    Kalinda, Chester; Chimbari, Moses; Mukaratirwa, Samson

    2017-01-13

    Climate change has been predicted to increase the global mean temperature and to alter the ecological interactions among organisms. These changes may play critical roles in influencing the life history traits of the intermediate hosts (IHs). This review focused on studies and disease models that evaluate the potential effect of temperature rise on the ecology of IH snails and the development of parasites within them. The main focus was on IH snails of schistosome parasites that cause schistosomiasis in humans. A literature search was conducted on Google Scholar, EBSCOhost and PubMed databases using predefined medical subject heading terms, Boolean operators and truncation symbols in combinations with direct key words. The final synthesis included nineteen published articles. The studies reviewed indicated that temperature rise may alter the distribution, optimal conditions for breeding, growth and survival of IH snails which may eventually increase the spread and/or transmission of schistosomiasis. The literature also confirmed that the life history traits of IH snails and their interaction with the schistosome parasites are affected by temperature and hence a change in climate may have profound outcomes on the population size of snails, parasite density and disease epidemiology. We concluded that understanding the impact of temperature on the growth, fecundity and survival of IH snails may broaden the knowledge on the possible effects of climate change and hence inform schistosomiasis control programmes.

  12. Regulation of laboratory populations of snails (Biomphalaria and Bulinus spp.) by river prawns, Macrobrachium spp. (Decapoda, Palaemonidae): implications for control of schistosomiasis

    PubMed Central

    Lafferty, Kevin D.; Kuris, Armand M.

    2014-01-01

    Human schistosomiasis is a common parasitic disease endemic in many tropical and subtropical countries. One barrier to achieving long-term control of this disease has been re-infection of treated patients when they swim, bathe, or wade in surface fresh water infested with snails that harbor and release larval parasites. Because some snail species are obligate intermediate hosts of schistosome parasites, removing snails may reduce parasitic larvae in the water, reducing re-infection risk. Here, we evaluate the potential for snail control by predatory freshwater prawns, Macrobrachium rosenbergii and M. vollenhovenii, native to Asia and Africa, respectively. Both prawn species are high value, protein-rich human food commodities, suggesting their cultivation may be beneficial in resource-poor settings where few other disease control options exist. In a series of predation trials in laboratory aquaria, we found both species to be voracious predators of schistosome-susceptible snails, hatchlings, and eggs, even in the presence of alternative food, with sustained average consumption rates of 12% of their body weight per day. Prawns showed a weak preference for Bulinus truncatus over Biomphalaria glabrata snails. Consumption rates were highly predictable based on the ratio of prawn: snail body mass, suggesting satiation-limited predation. Even the smallest prawns tested (0.5–2g) caused snail recruitment failure, despite high snail fecundity. With the World Health Organization turning attention toward schistosomiasis elimination, native prawn cultivation may be a viable snail control strategy that offers a win-win for public health and economic development. PMID:24388955

  13. The spatial and seasonal distribution of Bulinus truncatus, Bulinus forskalii and Biomphalaria pfeifferi, the intermediate host snails of schistosomiasis, in N'Djamena, Chad.

    PubMed

    Moser, Wendelin; Greter, Helena; Schindler, Christian; Allan, Fiona; Ngandolo, Bongo N R; Moto, Daugla D; Utzinger, Jürg; Zinsstag, Jakob

    2014-11-01

    There is a paucity of epidemiological and malacological data pertaining to schistosomiasis in Chad. In view of a recently articulated elimination agenda, a deeper understanding of the spatio-temporal distribution of schistosomiasis intermediate host snails is pivotal. We conducted cross-sectional malacological surveys during the dry season (April/May 2013) and after the short rainy season (October 2013) in N'Djamena, the capital of Chad. Snails were identified at the genus and species level using morphological keys and molecular DNA barcoding approaches. Those belonging to Bulinus and Biomphalaria were examined for cercarial shedding. Snail habitats were characterised and their predictive potential for the presence of schistosomiasis intermediate host snails explored. Seasonal patterns were studied using geographical information system and kriging in order to interpolate snail abundance data to make predictions at non-sampled locations across N'Djamena. Overall, 413 Bulinus truncatus, 369 Bulinus forskalii and 108 Biomphalaria pfeifferi snails were collected and subjected to cercarial shedding. During the dry season, one Bu. truncatus of 119 snails collected shed Schistosoma spp. cercariae (0.84%), while S. mansoni was shed by one of 108 Bi. pfeifferi snails (0.93%). None of the snails collected after the rainy season shed Schistosoma spp. cercariae. The abundance of Bu. truncatus and Bu. forskalii showed an inverse U-shape relationship with the square term of conductivity, i.e. low abundance at the lowest and highest levels of conductivity and high abundance at intermediate levels. Bi. pfeifferi showed a negative, linear association with pH in the dry seasons. It is planned to link these intermediate host snail data to infection data in human populations with the goal to draw a predictive risk map that can be utilised for control and elimination of schistosomiasis in N'Djamena.

  14. Biompha-LAMP: A New Rapid Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification Assay for Detecting Schistosoma mansoni in Biomphalaria glabrata Snail Host

    PubMed Central

    Hernández-Goenaga, Juan; López-Abán, Julio; Vicente, Belén; Muro, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    Background Schistosomiasis remains one of the most common endemic parasitic diseases affecting over 230 million people worlwide. Schistosoma mansoni is the main species causing intestinal and hepatic schistosomiasis and the fresh water pulmonate snails of the genus Biomphalaria are best known for their role as intermediate hosts of the parasite. The development of new molecular monitoring assays for large-scale screening of snails from transmission sites to detect the presence of schistosomes is an important point to consider for snail control interventions related to schistosomiasis elimination. Our work was focussed on developing and evaluating a new LAMP assay combined with a simple DNA extraction method to detect S. mansoni in experimentally infected snails as a diagnostic tool for field conditions. Methodology/Principal findings A LAMP assay using a set of six primers targeting a sequence of S. mansoni ribosomal intergenic spacer 28S-18S rRNA was designed. The detection limit of the LAMP assay was 0.1 fg of S. mansoni DNA at 63°C for 50 minutes. LAMP was evaluated by examining S. mansoni DNA in B. glabrata snails experimentally exposed to miracidia at different times post-exposure: early prepatent period (before cercarial shedding), light infections (snails exposed to a low number of miracidia) and detection of infected snails in pooled samples (within a group of uninfected snails). DNA for LAMP assays was obtained by using a commercial DNA extraction kit or a simple heat NaOH extraction method. We detected S. mansoni DNA in all groups of snails by using no complicated requirement procedure for DNA obtaining. Conclusions/Significance Our LAMP assay, named Biompha-LAMP, is specific, sensitive, rapid and potentially adaptable as a cost-effective method for screening of intermediate hosts infected with S. mansoni in both individual snails and pooled samples. The assay could be suitable for large-scale field surveys for schistosomes control campaigns in endemic

  15. The Dual Protection of a Micro Land Snail against a Micro Predatory Snail

    PubMed Central

    Wada, Shinichiro; Chiba, Satoshi

    2013-01-01

    Defense against a single predatory attack strategy may best be achieved not by a single trait but by a combination of different traits. We tested this hypothesis experimentally by examining the unique shell traits (the protruded aperture and the denticles within the aperture) of the micro land snail Bensonella plicidens. We artificially altered shell characteristics by removing the denticles and/or cutting the protruded aperture. These snails were offered to the carnivorous micro land snail Indoennea bicolor, which preys on the snails by gaining entry to their shell. B. plicidens exhibited the best defence when both of the traits studied were present; the defensive ability of B. plicidens decreased if either trait was removed and was further reduced if both traits were removed. These results suggest that a combination of different traits provides more effective defence against attack by the predator than either single trait by itself. PMID:23326582

  16. Mucus trail tracking in a predatory snail: olfactory processing retooled to serve a novel sensory modality

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Kinjal; Shaheen, Nagma; Witherspoon, Jessica; Robinson, Natallia; Harrington, Melissa A

    2014-01-01

    Introduction The rosy wolfsnail (Euglandina rosea), a predatory land snail, finds prey snails and potential mates by following their mucus trails. Euglandina have evolved unique, mobile lip extensions that detect mucus and aid in following trails. Currently, little is known of the neural substrates of the trail-following behavior. Methods To investigate the neural correlates of trail following we used tract-tracing experiments in which nerves were backfilled with either nickel-lysine or Lucifer yellow, extracellular recording of spiking neurons in snail procerebra using a multielectrode array, and behavioral assays of trail following and movement toward the source of a conditioned odor. Results The tract-tracing experiments demonstrate that in Euglandina, the nerves carrying mucus signals innervate the same region of the central ganglia as the olfactory nerves, while the electrophysiology studies show that mucus stimulation of the sensory epithelium on the lip extensions alters the frequency and pattern of neural activity in the procerebrum in a manner similar to odor stimulation of the olfactory epithelium on the optic tentacles of another land snail species, Cantareus aspersa (previously known as Helix aspersa). While Euglandina learn to follow trails of novel chemicals that they contact with their lip extensions in one to three trials, these snails proved remarkably resistant to associative learning in the olfactory modality. Even after seven to nine pairings of odorant molecules with food, they showed no orientation toward the conditioned odor. This is in marked contrast to Cantareus snails, which reliably oriented toward conditioned odors after two to three trials. Conclusions The apparent inability of Euglandina to learn to associate food with odors and use odor cues to drive behavior suggests that the capability for sophisticated neural processing of nonvolatile mucus cues detected by the lip extensions has evolved at the expense of processing of odorant

  17. Diversity and biogeography of land snails (Mollusca, Gastropoda) in the limestone hills of Perak, Peninsular Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Foon, Junn Kitt; Clements, Gopalasamy Reuben; Liew, Thor-Seng

    2017-01-01

    Limestone hills are now gaining global conservation attention as hotspots for short-range endemic species. Levels of land snail endemism can be high at limestone hills, especially at hill clusters that are geographically isolated. In the State of Perak, Peninsular Malaysia, limestone hills have been opportunistically surveyed for land snails in the past, but the majority have yet to be surveyed. To address this knowledge gap, we systematically surveyed the terrestrial malacofauna of 12 limestone hills that, based on our opinion, are a representation of the limestone land snail assemblages within the State. Our inventory yielded high sampling completeness (>85%). We found 122 species of land snails, of which 34 species were unique to one of the surveyed hills. We identified 30 species that are potentially new to science. The number of land snail species recorded at each hill ranged between 39 and 63 species. Four of the sampled limestone hills namely, Prk 01 G. Tempurung, Prk 55 G. Pondok, Prk 47 Kanthan, and Prk 64 Bt Kepala Gajah, have high levels of species richness and unique species, representing 91% of the total species recorded in this study. We identified two clusters of limestone hills in central Perak with distinct differences in land snail species composition - a northern hill cluster on elevated granite bedrock and southern hill cluster in a low-lying valley surrounded by alluvial soils. As limestone hills continue to be quarried to meet the cement demand, the four identified limestone hills, along with other hills from the two clusters, warrant urgent conservation attention in order to maintain high species diversity within Perak's terrestrial malacofauna.

  18. Diversity and biogeography of land snails (Mollusca, Gastropoda) in the limestone hills of Perak, Peninsular Malaysia

    PubMed Central

    Foon, Junn Kitt; Clements, Gopalasamy Reuben; Liew, Thor-Seng

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Limestone hills are now gaining global conservation attention as hotspots for short-range endemic species. Levels of land snail endemism can be high at limestone hills, especially at hill clusters that are geographically isolated. In the State of Perak, Peninsular Malaysia, limestone hills have been opportunistically surveyed for land snails in the past, but the majority have yet to be surveyed. To address this knowledge gap, we systematically surveyed the terrestrial malacofauna of 12 limestone hills that, based on our opinion, are a representation of the limestone land snail assemblages within the State. Our inventory yielded high sampling completeness (>85%). We found 122 species of land snails, of which 34 species were unique to one of the surveyed hills. We identified 30 species that are potentially new to science. The number of land snail species recorded at each hill ranged between 39 and 63 species. Four of the sampled limestone hills namely, Prk 01 G. Tempurung, Prk 55 G. Pondok, Prk 47 Kanthan, and Prk 64 Bt Kepala Gajah, have high levels of species richness and unique species, representing 91% of the total species recorded in this study. We identified two clusters of limestone hills in central Perak with distinct differences in land snail species composition – a northern hill cluster on elevated granite bedrock and southern hill cluster in a low-lying valley surrounded by alluvial soils. As limestone hills continue to be quarried to meet the cement demand, the four identified limestone hills, along with other hills from the two clusters, warrant urgent conservation attention in order to maintain high species diversity within Perak’s terrestrial malacofauna. PMID:28769723

  19. Comparative Functional Responses Predict the Invasiveness and Ecological Impacts of Alien Herbivorous Snails

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Meng; Mu, Xidong; Dick, Jaimie T. A.; Fang, Miao; Gu, Dangen; Luo, Du; Zhang, Jiaen; Luo, Jianren; Hu, Yinchang

    2016-01-01

    Understanding determinants of the invasiveness and ecological impacts of alien species is amongst the most sought-after and urgent research questions in ecology. Several studies have shown the value of comparing the functional responses (FRs) of alien and native predators towards native prey, however, the technique is under-explored with herbivorous alien species and as a predictor of invasiveness as distinct from ecological impact. Here, in China, we conducted a mesocosm experiment to compare the FRs among three herbivorous snail species: the golden apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata, a highly invasive and high impact alien listed in “100 of the World's Worst Invasive Alien Species”; Planorbarius corneus, a non-invasive, low impact alien; and the Chinese native snail, Bellamya aeruginosa, when feeding on four locally occurring plant species. Further, by using a numerical response equation, we modelled the population dynamics of the snail consumers. For standard FR parameters, we found that the invasive and damaging alien snail had the highest “attack rates” a, shortest “handling times” h and also the highest estimated maximum feeding rates, 1/hT, whereas the native species had the lowest attack rates, longest handling times and lowest maximum feeding rates. The non-invasive, low impact alien species had consistently intermediate FR parameters. The invasive alien species had higher population growth potential than the native snail species, whilst that of the non-invasive alien species was intermediate. Thus, while the comparative FR approach has been proposed as a reliable method for predicting the ecological impacts of invasive predators, our results further suggest that comparative FRs could extend to predict the invasiveness and ecological impacts of alien herbivores and should be explored in other taxa and trophic groups to determine the general utility of the approach. PMID:26771658

  20. Comparative Functional Responses Predict the Invasiveness and Ecological Impacts of Alien Herbivorous Snails.

    PubMed

    Xu, Meng; Mu, Xidong; Dick, Jaimie T A; Fang, Miao; Gu, Dangen; Luo, Du; Zhang, Jiaen; Luo, Jianren; Hu, Yinchang

    2016-01-01

    Understanding determinants of the invasiveness and ecological impacts of alien species is amongst the most sought-after and urgent research questions in ecology. Several studies have shown the value of comparing the functional responses (FRs) of alien and native predators towards native prey, however, the technique is under-explored with herbivorous alien species and as a predictor of invasiveness as distinct from ecological impact. Here, in China, we conducted a mesocosm experiment to compare the FRs among three herbivorous snail species: the golden apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata, a highly invasive and high impact alien listed in "100 of the World's Worst Invasive Alien Species"; Planorbarius corneus, a non-invasive, low impact alien; and the Chinese native snail, Bellamya aeruginosa, when feeding on four locally occurring plant species. Further, by using a numerical response equation, we modelled the population dynamics of the snail consumers. For standard FR parameters, we found that the invasive and damaging alien snail had the highest "attack rates" a, shortest "handling times" h and also the highest estimated maximum feeding rates, 1/hT, whereas the native species had the lowest attack rates, longest handling times and lowest maximum feeding rates. The non-invasive, low impact alien species had consistently intermediate FR parameters. The invasive alien species had higher population growth potential than the native snail species, whilst that of the non-invasive alien species was intermediate. Thus, while the comparative FR approach has been proposed as a reliable method for predicting the ecological impacts of invasive predators, our results further suggest that comparative FRs could extend to predict the invasiveness and ecological impacts of alien herbivores and should be explored in other taxa and trophic groups to determine the general utility of the approach.

  1. Mucus trail tracking in a predatory snail: olfactory processing retooled to serve a novel sensory modality.

    PubMed

    Patel, Kinjal; Shaheen, Nagma; Witherspoon, Jessica; Robinson, Natallia; Harrington, Melissa A

    2014-01-01

    The rosy wolfsnail (Euglandina rosea), a predatory land snail, finds prey snails and potential mates by following their mucus trails. Euglandina have evolved unique, mobile lip extensions that detect mucus and aid in following trails. Currently, little is known of the neural substrates of the trail-following behavior. To investigate the neural correlates of trail following we used tract-tracing experiments in which nerves were backfilled with either nickel-lysine or Lucifer yellow, extracellular recording of spiking neurons in snail procerebra using a multielectrode array, and behavioral assays of trail following and movement toward the source of a conditioned odor. The tract-tracing experiments demonstrate that in Euglandina, the nerves carrying mucus signals innervate the same region of the central ganglia as the olfactory nerves, while the electrophysiology studies show that mucus stimulation of the sensory epithelium on the lip extensions alters the frequency and pattern of neural activity in the procerebrum in a manner similar to odor stimulation of the olfactory epithelium on the optic tentacles of another land snail species, Cantareus aspersa (previously known as Helix aspersa). While Euglandina learn to follow trails of novel chemicals that they contact with their lip extensions in one to three trials, these snails proved remarkably resistant to associative learning in the olfactory modality. Even after seven to nine pairings of odorant molecules with food, they showed no orientation toward the conditioned odor. This is in marked contrast to Cantareus snails, which reliably oriented toward conditioned odors after two to three trials. The apparent inability of Euglandina to learn to associate food with odors and use odor cues to drive behavior suggests that the capability for sophisticated neural processing of nonvolatile mucus cues detected by the lip extensions has evolved at the expense of processing of odorant molecules detected by the olfactory system.

  2. Predator-Induced Morphological Plasticity Across Local Populations of a Freshwater Snail

    PubMed Central

    Brönmark, Christer; Lakowitz, Thomas; Hollander, Johan

    2011-01-01

    The expression of anti-predator adaptations may vary on a spatial scale, favouring traits that are advantageous in a given predation regime. Besides, evolution of different developmental strategies depends to a large extent on the grain of the environment and may result in locally canalized adaptations or, alternatively, the evolution of phenotypic plasticity as different predation regimes may vary across habitats. We investigated the potential for predator-driven variability in shell morphology in a freshwater snail, Radix balthica, and whether found differences were a specialized ecotype adaptation or a result of phenotypic plasticity. Shell shape was quantified in snails from geographically separated pond populations with and without molluscivorous fish. Subsequently, in a common garden experiment we investigated reaction norms of snails from populations' with/without fish when exposed to chemical cues from tench (Tinca tinca), a molluscivorous fish. We found that snails from fish-free ponds had a narrow shell with a well developed spire, whereas snails that coexisted with fish had more rotund shells with a low spire, a shell morphology known to increase survival rate from shell-crushing predators. The common garden experiment mirrored the results from the field survey and showed that snails had similar reaction norms in response to chemical predator cues, i.e. the expression of shell shape was independent of population origin. Finally, we found significant differences for the trait means among populations, within each pond category (fish/fish free), suggesting a genetic component in the determination of shell morphology that has evolved independently across ponds. PMID:21818264

  3. KSHV-Mediated Regulation of Par3 and SNAIL Contributes to B-Cell Proliferation

    PubMed Central

    Jha, Hem C.; Sun, Zhiguo; Upadhyay, Santosh K.; El-Naccache, Darine W.; Singh, Rajnish K.; Sahu, Sushil K.; Robertson, Erle S.

    2016-01-01

    Studies have suggested that Epithelial–Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) and transformation is an important step in progression to cancer. Par3 (partitioning-defective protein) is a crucial factor in regulating epithelial cell polarity. However, the mechanism by which the latency associated nuclear antigen (LANA) encoded by Kaposi's Sarcoma associated herpesvirus (KSHV) regulates Par3 and EMTs markers (Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition) during viral-mediated B-cell oncogenesis has not been fully explored. Moreover, several studies have demonstrated a crucial role for EMT markers during B-cell malignancies. In this study, we demonstrate that Par3 is significantly up-regulated in KSHV-infected primary B-cells. Further, Par3 interacted with LANA in KSHV positive and LANA expressing cells which led to translocation of Par3 from the cell periphery to a predominantly nuclear signal. Par3 knockdown led to reduced cell proliferation and increased apoptotic induction. Levels of SNAIL was elevated, and E-cadherin was reduced in the presence of LANA or Par3. Interestingly, KSHV infection in primary B-cells led to enhancement of SNAIL and down-regulation of E-cadherin in a temporal manner. Importantly, knockdown of SNAIL, a major EMT regulator, in KSHV cells resulted in reduced expression of LANA, Par3, and enhanced E-cadherin. Also, SNAIL bound to the promoter region of p21 and can regulate its activity. Further a SNAIL inhibitor diminished NF-kB signaling through upregulation of Caspase3 in KSHV positive cells in vitro. This was also supported by upregulation of SNAIL and Par3 in BC-3 transplanted NOD-SCID mice which has potential as a therapeutic target for KSHV-associated B-cell lymphomas. PMID:27463802

  4. Suppression of Na+/K+-ATPase activity during estivation in the land snail Otala lactea.

    PubMed

    Ramnanan, Christopher J; Storey, Kenneth B

    2006-02-01

    Entry into the hypometabolic state of estivation requires a coordinated suppression of the rate of cellular ATP turnover, including both ATP-generating and ATP-consuming reactions. As one of the largest consumers of cellular ATP, the plasma membrane Na+/K+-ATPase is a potentially key target for regulation during estivation. Na+/K+-ATPase was investigated in foot muscle and hepatopancreas of the land snail Otala lactea, comparing active and estivating states. In both tissues enzyme properties changed significantly during estivation: maximal activity was reduced by about one-third, affinity for Mg.ATP was reduced (Km was 40% higher), and activation energy (derived from Arrhenius plots) was increased by approximately 45%. Foot muscle Na+/K+-ATPase from estivated snails also showed an 80% increase in Km Na+ and a 60% increase in Ka Mg2+ as compared with active snails, whereas hepatopancreas Na+/K+-ATPase showed a 70% increase in I50 K+ during estivation. Western blotting with antibodies recognizing the alpha subunit of Na+/K+-ATPase showed no change in the amount of enzyme protein during estivation. Instead, the estivation-responsive change in Na+/K+-ATPase activity was linked to posttranslational modification. In vitro incubations manipulating endogenous kinase and phosphatase activities indicated that Na+/K+-ATPase from estivating snails was a high phosphate, low activity form, whereas dephosphorylation returned the enzyme to a high activity state characteristic of active snails. Treatment with protein kinases A, C or G could all mediate changes in enzyme properties in vitro that mimicked the effect of estivation, whereas treatments with protein phosphatase 1 or 2A had the opposite effect. Reversible phosphorylation control of Na+/K+-ATPase can provide the means of coordinating ATP use by this ion pump with the rates of ATP generation by catabolic pathways in estivating snails.

  5. Modeling snail breeding in a bioregenerative life support system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kovalev, V. S.; Manukovsky, N. S.; Tikhomirov, A. A.; Kolmakova, A. A.

    2015-07-01

    The discrete-time model of snail breeding consists of two sequentially linked submodels: "Stoichiometry" and "Population". In both submodels, a snail population is split up into twelve age groups within one year of age. The first submodel is used to simulate the metabolism of a single snail in each age group via the stoichiometric equation; the second submodel is used to optimize the age structure and the size of the snail population. Daily intake of snail meat by crewmen is a guideline which specifies the population productivity. The mass exchange of the snail unit inhabited by land snails of Achatina fulica is given as an outcome of step-by-step modeling. All simulations are performed using Solver Add-In of Excel 2007.

  6. Modeling snail breeding in a bioregenerative life support system.

    PubMed

    Kovalev, V S; Manukovsky, N S; Tikhomirov, A A; Kolmakova, A A

    2015-07-01

    The discrete-time model of snail breeding consists of two sequentially linked submodels: "Stoichiometry" and "Population". In both submodels, a snail population is split up into twelve age groups within one year of age. The first submodel is used to simulate the metabolism of a single snail in each age group via the stoichiometric equation; the second submodel is used to optimize the age structure and the size of the snail population. Daily intake of snail meat by crewmen is a guideline which specifies the population productivity. The mass exchange of the snail unit inhabited by land snails of Achatina fulica is given as an outcome of step-by-step modeling. All simulations are performed using Solver Add-In of Excel 2007. Copyright © 2015 The Committee on Space Research (COSPAR). Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Snail promotes an invasive phenotype in lung carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Snail is a transcriptional factor which is known to influence the epitheliomesenchymal transition (EMT) by regulating adhesion proteins such as E-cadherin and claudins as well as matrix metalloproteases (MMP). Methods To evaluate the functional importance of snail, a transciptional factor involved in EMT in lung tumors, we investigated its expression in a large set of lung carcinomas by immunohistochemistry. Expression of snail and effects of snail knockdown was studied in cell lines. Results Nuclear snail expression was seen in 21% of cases this being strongest in small cell lung carcinomas (SCLC). There was significantly greater snail expression in SCLC compared to squamous cell or adenocarcinoma. Positive snail expression was associated with poor survival in the whole material and separately in squamous cell and adenocarcinomas. In Cox regression analysis, snail expression showed an independent prognostic value in all of these groups. In several cell lines knockdown of snail reduced invasion in both matrigel assay and in the myoma tissue model for invasion. The influence of snail knockdown on claudin expression was cell type specific. Snail knockdown in these cell lines modified the expression of MMP2 and MMP9 but did not influence the activation of these MMPs to any significant degree. Conclusions The results show that snail plays an important role in the invasive characteristics of lung carcinoma influencing the survival of the patients. Snail knockdown might thus be one option for targeted molecular therapy in lung cancer. Snail knockdown influenced the expression of claudins individually in a cell-line dependent manner but did not influence MMP expressions or activations to any significant degree. PMID:23157169

  8. Characterizations of cholinesterases in golden apple snail (Pomacea canaliculata).

    PubMed

    Zou, Xiang-Hui; Xie, Heidi Qun-Hui; Zha, Guang-Cai; Chen, Vicky Ping; Sun, Yan-Jie; Zheng, Yu-Zhong; Tsim, Karl Wah-Keung; Dong, Tina Ting-Xia; Choi, Roy Chi-Yan; Luk, Wilson Kin-Wai

    2014-07-01

    Cholinesterases (ChEs) have been identified in vertebrates and invertebrates. Inhibition of ChE activity in invertebrates, such as bivalve molluscs, has been used to evaluate the exposure of organophosphates, carbamate pesticides, and heavy metals in the marine system. The golden apple snail (Pomacea canaliculata) is considered as one of the worst invasive alien species harmful to rice and other crops. The ChE(s) in this animal, which has been found recently, but poorly characterized thus far, could serve as biomarker(s) for environmental surveillance as well as a potential target for the pest control. In this study, the tissue distribution, substrate preference, sensitivity to ChE inhibitors, and molecular species of ChEs in P. canaliculata were investigated. It was found that the activities of both AChE and BChE were present in all test tissues. The intestine had the most abundant ChE activities. Both enzymes had fair activities in the head, kidney, and gills. The BChE activity was more sensitive to tetra-isopropylpyrophosphoramide (iso-OMPA) than the AChE. Only one BChE molecular species, 5.8S, was found in the intestine and head, whereas two AChE species, 5.8S and 11.6S, were found there. We propose that intestine ChEs of this snail may be potential biomarkers for manipulating pollutions.

  9. Allying with armored snails: the complete genome of gammaproteobacterial endosymbiont

    PubMed Central

    Nakagawa, Satoshi; Shimamura, Shigeru; Takaki, Yoshihiro; Suzuki, Yohey; Murakami, Shun-ichi; Watanabe, Tamaki; Fujiyoshi, So; Mino, Sayaka; Sawabe, Tomoo; Maeda, Takahiro; Makita, Hiroko; Nemoto, Suguru; Nishimura, Shin-Ichiro; Watanabe, Hiromi; Watsuji, Tomo-o; Takai, Ken

    2014-01-01

    Deep-sea vents harbor dense populations of various animals that have their specific symbiotic bacteria. Scaly-foot gastropods, which are snails with mineralized scales covering the sides of its foot, have a gammaproteobacterial endosymbiont in their enlarged esophageal glands and diverse epibionts on the surface of their scales. In this study, we report the complete genome sequencing of gammaproteobacterial endosymbiont. The endosymbiont genome displays features consistent with ongoing genome reduction such as large proportions of pseudogenes and insertion elements. The genome encodes functions commonly found in deep-sea vent chemoautotrophs such as sulfur oxidation and carbon fixation. Stable carbon isotope (13C)-labeling experiments confirmed the endosymbiont chemoautotrophy. The genome also includes an intact hydrogenase gene cluster that potentially has been horizontally transferred from phylogenetically distant bacteria. Notable findings include the presence and transcription of genes for flagellar assembly, through which proteins are potentially exported from bacterium to the host. Symbionts of snail individuals exhibited extreme genetic homogeneity, showing only two synonymous changes in 19 different genes (13 810 positions in total) determined for 32 individual gastropods collected from a single colony at one time. The extremely low genetic individuality in endosymbionts probably reflects that the stringent symbiont selection by host prevents the random genetic drift in the small population of horizontally transmitted symbiont. This study is the first complete genome analysis of gastropod endosymbiont and offers an opportunity to study genome evolution in a recently evolved endosymbiont. PMID:23924784

  10. Vector snail control in Qalyub, Egypt

    PubMed Central

    van der Schalie, Henry

    1958-01-01

    The author describes a pilot study in vector snail control carried out in 1953-54 by the Bilharziasis Control Project in Qalyub, Egypt. After giving a brief description of the site chosen for the Project—an area of some 5000 acres (2000 hectares) under perennial irrigation—he presents a detailed account of the various snail surveys of the irrigation canals and drains and of the molluscicidal treatment of infested channels. He points out that despite the thoroughness of the surveying and treatment the snails were not completely eliminated from the area and stresses that the high cost of the molluscicide used (copper sulfate) would prohibit its widespread and continual use. He considers, however, that pending the perfection of such long-term bilharziasis control measures as improved sanitation, better treatment facilities, and health education of the public, snail control is of the first importance and determined efforts should be made to find more efficient and cheaper methods of effecting it. PMID:13585074

  11. Mate desertion in the snail kite

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beissinger, S.R.; Snyder, N.F.R.

    1988-01-01

    Mate desertion during the breeding cycle was documented at 28 of 36 (78%) snail kite, Rostrhamus sociabilis nests in Florida between 1979 and 1983. Offspring mortality occurred at only one deserted nest, however. Parents that were deserted by their mates continued to care for their young until independence (3?5 additional weeks) and provided snails at a rate similar to that of both parents combined before desertion. Males and females deserted with nearly equal frequency, except in 1982 when more females deserted. No desertion occurred during drought years, whereas desertion occurred at nearly every nest during favourable conditions. The occurrence of mate desertion was generally related to indirect measures of snail abundance: foraging range, snail delivery rates to the young and growth rates. Small broods were deserted more frequently by females than by males and tended to be deserted earlier than large ones. After desertion, deserters had the opportunity to re-mate and nest again since breeding seasons were commonly lengthy, but whether they did so was impossible to determine conclusively in most cases. The deserted bird sometimes incurred increased energetic costs and lost breeding opportunities during periods of monoparental care.

  12. Novel pharmacological targets from Indian cone snails.

    PubMed

    Ramasamy, M Santhana; Manikandan, S

    2011-02-01

    The oceans are a source of combinatorial library of unique natural products, 'not found in the terrestrial environment'. Marine invertebrates such as sponges, molluscs, bryozoans, tunicates (Urochordata) and their associated microorganisms are the major representatives of promising bioactive compounds. Among these, the predatory molluscan cone snails have evolved with highly structured small and complex array of peptides (more than 50,000) linked to their prey capture and defence. These peptides have become a valuable source of neuro pharmacological targets as many of them selectively modulate ion channels and transporters. A group of scientists from United States, Europe, Australia, Israel and China have been characterized drugs for neuropathic pain and pharmacological targets from the peptides of a few cone snail species. Several are now in Clinical and preclinical development. Less than 1% of the cono peptides are pharmacologically characterized. India has a diversity of 20-30% of total cone snail species distributed worldwide. A group of Indian Scientists have made promising drug discovery programs from Conus peptides. This review will focus on the Conus peptides from Indian cone snails species, their neuro pharmacological targets and future directions.

  13. Effects of silver nanoparticles on the freshwater snail Physa acuta: The role of test media and snails' life cycle stage.

    PubMed

    F Gonçalves, Sandra; D Pavlaki, Maria; Lopes, Rafael; Hammes, Julia; Gallego-Urrea, Julián Alberto; Hassellöv, Martin; Jurkschat, Kerstin; Crossley, Alison; Loureiro, Susana

    2017-01-01

    Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are widely used worldwide, most likely leading to their release into the environment and a subsequent increase of environmental concentrations. Studies of their deleterious effects on organisms is crucial to understand their environmental impacts. The freshwater snail Physa acuta was chosen to evaluate the potential deleterious effects of AgNPs and their counterpart AgNO3 , through water-only exposures. The toxicity of AgNPs is greatly influenced by medium composition. Thus, 2 media were tested: artificial pond water (APW) and modified APW (adapted by removing calcium chloride). Acute tests (96 h) were performed with juvenile and adult snails in both media to assess lethality, and egg mass chronic tests were conducted with APW medium only to assess embryo viability and mortality, carried out until 90% hatching success was reached in the control. Acute toxicity increased with decreasing shell length for both silver forms (ion and nanoparticle); that is, juveniles were more sensitive than adults. Different test media led to dissimilar median lethal concentrations, with chloride playing an important role in toxicity, most likely by complexation with silver ions, which would reduce the bioavailability, uptake, and toxicity of silver. Chronic tests showed that hatching success was more sensitive to silver in the ionic form than in the particulate form. Different forms of silver, exposure media, and life cycle stages led to different patterns of toxicity, highlighting an impairment in the snails' life cycle. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:243-253. © 2016 SETAC. © 2016 SETAC.

  14. Xanthine oxidase and xanthine dehydrogenase from an estivating land snail.

    PubMed

    Hermes-Lima, M; Storey, K B

    1995-01-01

    During arousal from estivation in land snails, Otala lactea, active metabolic functions are restored within minutes and oxygen consumption increases dramatically. During the transition from the hypoxic conditions of estivation to normoxia it is possible that xanthine oxidase (XO) in hepatopancreas contributes to the observed lipid peroxidation. Using a fluorometric assay that is based on the oxidation of pterin, the activities and some properties of XO and XO+XDH (sum of XO and xanthine dehydrogenase activities) were measured in hepatopancreas extracts. Km values for pterin for XO and XO+XDH were 9 and 6 microM, respectively, and the Km of XDH for methylene blue was 5 microM. Both XO+XDH and XO activities were inhibited by allopurinol (I50 = 2 microM), pre-incubation at 40 degrees C, and by 5 min H2O2 pre-exposure. Inclusion of azide in the reaction promoted a rise of approximately 70-fold in the inactivation power of H2O2 due to inhibition of high endogenous catalase activity. The I50 for H2O2 of XO+XDH and XO activities in the presence of azide was 0.04 and 0.11 mM, respectively. Unlike the situation for mammalian XO, a previous reduction of O. lactea XO (by pterin) was not necessary to make the enzyme susceptible to H2O2 effects. Interestingly, methylene blue partially prevented both heat- and H2O2-induced inactivation of XO+XDH activity. These data indicate that the formation of an enzyme-methylene blue complex induces protection against heat and oxidative damage at the FAD-active site. Both XO and XO+XDH activites were significantly higher in snails after 35 days of estivation compared with active snails 24 h after arousal from dormancy. The ratio of XO/(XO+XDH) activities was also slightly increased in estivating O. lactea (from 0.07 to 0.09; P < 0.025). XO activity was 0.03 nmol.min-1.mg protein-1 in estivating snails. Compared with hepatopancreas catalase, XO activity is probably too low to contribute significantly to the net generation of oxyradicals, and

  15. Nicotinic acid inhibits glioma invasion by facilitating Snail1 degradation

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jiejing; Qu, Jiagui; Shi, Yu; Perfetto, Mark; Ping, Zhuxian; Christian, Laura; Niu, Hua; Mei, Shuting; Zhang, Qin; Yang, Xiangcai; Wei, Shuo

    2017-01-01

    Malignant glioma is a formidable disease that commonly leads to death, mainly due to the invasion of tumor cells into neighboring tissues. Therefore, inhibition of tumor cell invasion may provide an effective therapy for malignant glioma. Here we report that nicotinic acid (NA), an essential vitamin, inhibits glioma cell invasion in vitro and in vivo. Treatment of the U251 glioma cells with NA in vitro results in reduced invasion, which is accompanied by a loss of mesenchymal phenotype and an increase in cell-cell adhesion. At the molecular level, transcription of the adherens junction protein E-cadherin is upregulated, leading to accumulation of E-cadherin protein at the cell-cell boundary. This can be attributed to NA’s ability to facilitate the ubiquitination and degradation of Snail1, a transcription factor that represses E-cadherin expression. Similarly, NA transiently inhibits neural crest migration in Xenopus embryos in a Snail1-dependent manner, indicating that the mechanism of action for NA in cell migration is evolutionarily conserved. We further show that NA injection blocks the infiltration of tumor cells into the adjacent brain tissues and improves animal survival in a rat model of glioma. These results suggest that NA treatment may be developed into a potential therapy for malignant glioma. PMID:28256591

  16. The identity, distribution, and impacts of non-native apple snails in the continental United States

    PubMed Central

    Rawlings, Timothy A; Hayes, Kenneth A; Cowie, Robert H; Collins, Timothy M

    2007-01-01

    Background Since the mid 1990s populations of non-native apple snails (Ampullariidae) have been discovered with increasing frequency in the continental United States. Given the dramatic effects that introduced apple snails have had on both natural habitats and agricultural areas in Southeast Asia, their introduction to the mainland U.S. is cause for concern. We combine phylogenetic analyses of mtDNA sequences with examination of introduced populations and museum collections to clarify the identities, introduced distributions, geographical origins, and introduction histories of apple snails. Results Based on sampling to date, we conclude there are five species of non-native apple snails in the continental U.S. Most significantly, we recognize three species within what has been called the channeled apple snail: Pomacea canaliculata (California and Arizona), Pomacea insularum, (Florida, Texas, and Georgia) and Pomacea haustrum (Florida). The first established populations of P. haustrum were discovered in the late 1970s in Palm Beach County Florida, and have not spread appreciably in 30 years. In contrast, populations of P. insularum were established in Texas by 1989, in Florida by the mid to late 1990s, and in Georgia by 2005, and this species continues to spread rapidly. Most introduced P. insularum haplotypes are a close match to haplotypes from the Río Uruguay near Buenos Aires, indicating cold tolerance, with the potential to spread from Florida, Georgia, and Texas through Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and South Carolina. Pomacea canaliculata populations were first discovered in California in 1997. Haplotypes of introduced P. canaliculata match native-range haplotypes from near Buenos Aires, Argentina, also indicating cold tolerance and the potential to establish farther north. Conclusion The term "channeled apple snail" is descriptive of a morphology found in many apple snail species. It does not identify a single species or a monophyletic group. Clarifying

  17. Modelling spatial distribution of snails transmitting parasitic worms with importance to human and animal health and analysis of distributional changes in relation to climate.

    PubMed

    Pedersen, Ulrik B; Midzi, Nicholas; Mduluza, Takafira; Soko, White; Stensgaard, Anna-Sofie; Vennervald, Birgitte J; Mukaratirwa, Samson; Kristensen, Thomas K

    2014-05-01

    The environment, the on-going global climate change and the ecology of animal species determine the localisation of habitats and the geographical distribution of the various species in nature. The aim of this study was to explore the effects of such changes on snail species not only of interest to naturalists but also of importance to human and animal health. The spatial distribution of freshwater snail intermediate hosts involved in the transmission of schistosomiasis, fascioliasis and paramphistomiasis (i.e. Bulinus globosus, Biomphalaria pfeifferi and Lymnaea natalensis) were modelled by the use of a maximum entropy algorithm (Maxent). Two snail observation datasets from Zimbabwe, from 1988 and 2012, were compared in terms of geospatial distribution and potential distributional change over this 24-year period investigated. Climate data, from the two years were identified and used in a species distribution modelling framework to produce maps of predicted suitable snail habitats. Having both climate- and snail observation data spaced 24 years in time represent a unique opportunity to evaluate biological response of snails to changes in climate variables. The study shows that snail habitat suitability is highly variable in Zimbabwe with foci mainly in the central Highveld but also in areas to the South and West. It is further demonstrated that the spatial distribution of suitable habitats changes with variation in the climatic conditions, and that this parallels that of the predicted climate change.

  18. Salinity adaptation of the invasive New Zealand mud snail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) in the Columbia River estuary (Pacific Northwest, USA): Physiological and molecular studies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hoy, Marshal; Boese, Bruce L.; Taylor, Louise; Reusser, Deborah; Rodriguez, Rusty

    2012-01-01

    In this study, we examine salinity stress tolerances of two populations of the invasive species New Zealand mud snail Potamopyrgus antipodarum, one population from a high salinity environment in the Columbia River estuary and the other from a fresh water lake. In 1996, New Zealand mud snails were discovered in the tidal reaches of the Columbia River estuary that is routinely exposed to salinity at near full seawater concentrations. In contrast, in their native habitat and throughout its spread in the western US, New Zealand mud snails are found only in fresh water ecosystems. Our aim was to determine whether the Columbia River snails have become salt water adapted. Using a modification of the standard amphipod sediment toxicity test, salinity tolerance was tested using a range of concentrations up to undiluted seawater, and the snails were sampled for mortality at daily time points. Our results show that the Columbia River snails were more tolerant of acute salinity stress with the LC50 values averaging 38 and 22 Practical Salinity Units for the Columbia River and freshwater snails, respectively. DNA sequence analysis and morphological comparisons of individuals representing each population indicate that they were all P. antipodarum. These results suggest that this species is salt water adaptable and in addition, this investigation helps elucidate the potential of this aquatic invasive organism to adapt to adverse environmental conditions.

  19. Resistance of Biomphalaria glabrata 13–16-R1 snails to Schistosoma mansoni PR1 is a function of haemocyte abundance and constitutive levels of specific transcripts in haemocytes☆

    PubMed Central

    Larson, Maureen K.; Bender, Randal C.; Bayne, Christopher J.

    2014-01-01

    Continuing transmission of human intestinal schistosomiasis depends on the parasite’s access to susceptible snail intermediate hosts (often Biomphalaria glabrata). Transmission fails when parasite larvae enter resistant individuals in wild snail populations. The genetic basis for differences in snail susceptibility/resistance is being intensively investigated as a means to devise novel control strategies based on resistance genes. Reactive oxygen species produced by the snail’s defence cells (haemocytes) are effectors of resistance. We hypothesised that genes relevant to production and consumption of reactive oxygen species would be expressed differentially in the haemocytes of snail hosts with different susceptibility/resistance phenotypes. By restricting the genetic diversity of snails, we sought to facilitate identification of resistance genes. By inbreeding, we procured from a 13–16-R1 snail population with both susceptible and resistant individuals 52 lines of B. glabrata (expected homozygosity ~87.5%), and determined the phenotype of each in regard to susceptibility/resistance to Schistosoma mansoni. The inbred lines were found to have line-specific differences in numbers of spreading haemocytes; these were enumerated in both juvenile and adult snails. Lines with high cell numbers were invariably resistant to S. mansoni, whereas lines with lower cell numbers could be resistant or susceptible. Transcript levels in haemocytes were quantified for 18 potentially defence-related genes. Among snails with low cell numbers, the different susceptibility/resistance phenotypes correlated with differences in transcript levels for two redox-relevant genes: an inferred phagocyte oxidase component and a peroxiredoxin. Allograft inflammatory factor (potentially a regulator of leucocyte activation) was expressed at higher levels in resistant snails regardless of spread cell number. Having abundant spreading haemocytes is inferred to enable a snail to kill parasite

  20. Compatibility of Ugandan Schistosoma mansoni isolates with Biomphalaria snail species from Lake Albert and Lake Victoria.

    PubMed

    Adriko, Moses; Standley, Claire J; Tinkitina, Benjamin; Mwesigwa, Gerald; Kristensen, Thomas K; Stothard, J Russell; Kabatereine, Narcis B

    2013-11-01

    In order to investigate the capacity of being intermediate host for Schistosoma mansoni, the Ugandan F1 generation of Biomphalaria snail species that were laboratory-bred from parent populations originally collected from either Lake Victoria or Lake Albert was challenged with sympatric and non-sympatric S. mansoni isolates. After a prepatent period of 20 days, a daily 10-hourly snail shedding for cercariae was done to determine the infection rate, cercarial production per hour and survival period of infected snails. The study suggests that when parasite strains from a different geographical origin is used for infection, survival of infected snails increase, leading to an increased transmission potential. Although earlier literature had indicated that the Lake Victoria Biomphalaria sudanica is refractory to S. mansoni, we showed that all Ugandan Biomphalaria spp., including B. sudanica from all locations, were highly susceptible to the S. mansoni isolates. Thus if B. choanomphala, which is an efficient intermediate host in Lake Victoria, is given an opportunity to occupy Lake Albert, it will most likely be compatible with the Albertine S. mansoni parasites. Equally, if B. stanleyi, currently restricted to Lake Albert invades Lake Victoria, it is likely to act as an efficient intermediate host. Future work should concentrate on intraspecific population-level differences in compatibility. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Hyperdiverse Gene Cluster in Snail Host Conveys Resistance to Human Schistosome Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Tennessen, Jacob A.; Théron, André; Marine, Melanie; Yeh, Jan-Ying; Rognon, Anne; Blouin, Michael S.

    2015-01-01

    Schistosomiasis, a neglected global pandemic, may be curtailed by blocking transmission of the parasite via its intermediate hosts, aquatic snails. Elucidating the genetic basis of snail-schistosome interaction is a key to this strategy. Here we map a natural parasite-resistance polymorphism from a Caribbean population of the snail Biomphalaria glabrata. In independent experimental evolution lines, RAD genotyping shows that the same genomic region responds to selection for resistance to the parasite Schistosoma mansoni. A dominant allele in this region conveys an 8-fold decrease in the odds of infection. Fine-mapping and RNA-Seq characterization reveal a <1Mb region, the Guadeloupe Resistance Complex (GRC), with 15 coding genes. Seven genes are single-pass transmembrane proteins with putative immunological roles, most of which show strikingly high nonsynonymous divergence (5-10%) among alleles. High linkage disequilibrium among three intermediate-frequency (>25%) haplotypes across the GRC, a significantly non-neutral pattern, suggests that balancing selection maintains diversity at the GRC. Thus, the GRC resembles immune gene complexes seen in other taxa and is likely involved in parasite recognition. The GRC is a potential target for controlling transmission of schistosomiasis, including via genetic manipulation of snails. PMID:25775214

  2. Characterization of gelatin/chitosan scaffold blended with aloe vera and snail mucus for biomedical purpose.

    PubMed

    López Angulo, Daniel Enrique; do Amaral Sobral, Paulo José

    2016-11-01

    Biologically active scaffolds used in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine have been generating promising results in skin replacement. The present study aims to test the hypothesis that the incorporation of Aloe vera and snail mucus into scaffolds based on gelatin and chitosan could improve their structure, composition and biodegradability, with a potential effect on bioactivity. Homogeneous pore diameter as well as pore walls in the composite scaffold could be seen in the SEM image. The pores in the scaffolds were interconnected and their sizes ranged from 93 to 296μm. The addition of Aloe vera and snail mucus enlarged the mean pore size with increased porosity and caused changes in the pore architecture. The FTIR analysis has shown good affinity and interaction between the matrix and the Aloe, which may decrease water-binding sites, so this fact hindered the water absorption capacity of the material. The mechanical properties could explain the highest swelling capacity of the snail scaffold, because the high percentage of elongation could facilitate the entry of liquid in it, generating a matrix with plenty of fluid retention. The real innovation in the present work could be the use of these substances (Aloe and snail mucus) for tissue engineering. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Sewage sludge application in a plantation: effects on trace metal transfer in soil-plant-snail continuum.

    PubMed

    Bourioug, Mohamed; Gimbert, Frédéric; Alaoui-Sehmer, Laurence; Benbrahim, Mohammed; Aleya, Lotfi; Alaoui-Sossé, Badr

    2015-01-01

    We studied the potential bioaccumulation of Cu, Zn, Pb and Cd by the snail Cantareus aspersus and evaluated the risk of leaching after application of sewage sludge to forest plantation ecosystems. Sewage sludge was applied to the soil surface at two loading rates (0, and 6 tons ha(-1) in dry matter) without incorporation into the soil so as to identify the sources of trace metal contamination in soil and plants and to evaluate effects on snail growth. The results indicated a snail mortality rate of less than 1% during the experiment, while their dry weight decreased significantly (<0.001) in all treatment modalities. Thus, snails showed no acute toxicity symptoms after soil amendment with sewage sludge over the exposure period considered. Additions of sewage sludge led to higher levels of trace metals in forest litter compared to control subplots, but similar trace metal concentrations were observed in sampling plants. Bioaccumulation study demonstrated that Zn had not accumulated in snails compared to Cu which accumulated only after 28 days of exposure to amended subplots. However, Pb and Cd contents in snails increased significantly after 14 and 28 days of exposure in both the control and amended subplots. At the last sampling date, in comparison to controls the Cd increase was higher in snails exposed to amended subplots. Thus, sludge spread therefore appears to be responsible for the observed bioaccumulation for Cu and Cd after 28days of exposure. Concerning Pb accumulation, the results from litter-soil-plant compartments suggest that soil is this metal's best transfer source.

  4. Effects of the herbicide surfactant MON 0818 on oviposition and viability of eggs of the ramshorn snail (Planorbella pilsbryi).

    PubMed

    Prosser, Ryan S; Rodriguez-Gil, Jose L; Solomon, Keith R; Sibley, Paul K; Poirier, David G

    2017-02-01

    The surfactant mixture MON 0818 is an adjuvant in various commercial formulations of the herbicide glyphosate. Initial studies have shown that MON 0818 is more toxic to aquatic animals than the active ingredient. However, few studies have examined the effect of exposure to MON 0818 on species of mollusks, and no studies have examined the effect on gastropods. The present study investigated the effect of acute exposure (96 h) of MON 0818 to the eggs, juveniles, and adults of the file ramshorn snail (Planorbella pilsbryi). Concentrations of MON 0818 up to 9.9 mg/L did not have a significant effect on the viability of eggs (p > 0.05). Juvenile snails (50% lethal concentration [LC50] = 4.0 mg/L) were more sensitive than adult snails (LC50 = 4.9-9.1 mg/L). Oviposition was inhibited by exposure to MON 0818 (median effective concentration [EC50] = 0.4-2.0 mg/L). However, oviposition resumed when snails were removed to clean water, even after 96-h exposure to up to 4.9 mg/L of MON 0818. Exposure to a concentration ≥2.7 mg/L caused visible damage to the tentacles of adult snails, which could potentially impact chemoreception. A deterministic hazard assessment indicated that environmentally relevant concentrations of MON 0818 could pose a hazard to the deposition of eggs. However, because of the relatively short half-life of MON 0818 in aquatic systems and the ability of snails to resume oviposition following the dissipation of MON 0818, environmentally relevant concentrations of MON 0818 likely pose a de minimis risk to populations of ramshorn snails. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:522-531. © 2016 SETAC.

  5. Spatio-temporal variation in prevalence and intensity of trematodes responsible for waterfowl die-offs in faucet snail-infested waterbodies of Minnesota, USA.

    PubMed

    Roy, Charlotte L; St-Louis, Véronique

    2017-12-01

    Several non-native trematodes hosted by the invasive Eurasian faucet snail, Bithynia tentaculata, have been causing die-offs of waterfowl in the Midwestern United States and Canada for several decades. Because of the potential implications of these die-offs on waterfowl in non-native settings, it is necessary to better understand the trematodes that cause the die-offs. Here, we studied the spatio-temporal dynamics of two trematodes, Cyathocotyle bushiensis and Sphaeridiotrema spp., known to infect waterfowl in northern Minnesota, USA, via their intermediate host, the faucet snail (Bithynia tentaculata). We studied prevalence (% of snails infected within a sample) and intensity (mean number of parasites per infected snail within a sample) of faucet snail infection with these two trematodes in small lakes, large lakes, ponds, and rivers in northern Minnesota in the spring, summer, and fall of 2011-2013. We tested whether parasite prevalence and infection intensity could be explained spatially (as a function of the abundance of faucet snails, average snail size, water depth, and proximity to known waterfowl groups) and temporally (across years and seasons) using generalized estimating equation models. The spatial and temporal patterns we observed varied within and among waterbodies. For both parasite species, parasite prevalence and intensity of infection were consistently higher in samples with larger snails and in deeper portions of the waterbodies. In Lake Winnibigoshish, prevalence was lower farther from the large waterfowl groups we observed, but the abundance of snails in a sample had no effect on prevalence or intensity of infection. Our findings help improve understanding of this multi-species system, but also illustrate the complexity of modeling the spatial and temporal dynamics of infections in waterbodies that are so variable in size, shape, waterfowl use, and function.

  6. SiRNA-mediated silencing of Snail-1 induces apoptosis and alters micro RNA expression in human urinary bladder cancer cell line.

    PubMed

    Musavi Shenas, Seyed Mohammad Hossein; Mansoori, Behzad; Mohammadi, Ali; Salehi, Shima; Kaffash, Behzad; Talebi, Behnaz; Babaloo, Zohreh; Shanehbandi, Dariush; Baradaran, Behzad

    2016-06-20

    Snail-1 known as one of the important transcription factor is a mediator of survival and cell migration, and expression is raised in numerous cancer types. Snail-1 gene may show a role in recurrence of several cancers including bladder cancer by down-regulating E-cadherin, inducing an epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) and its related microRNAs (miRNAs). The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a specific Snail-1 siRNA on apoptosis and alter EMT related miRNAs of EJ-138 (bladder cancer) cells. The cells were transfected with siRNAs using transfection reagent. The cytotoxic effects of Snail-1 siRNA, on bladder cancer cells were determined using MTT assay. Relative Snail-1 mRNA levels were measured by QRT- PCR, respectively. Apoptosis was measured by TUNEL test based on labeling of DNA strand breaks. We also evaluated miR-29b, miR-21, and miR-203 expression by QRT-PCR to determine alteration in miRNAs expression involved in EMT. Snail-1 siRNA significantly reduced mRNA expression levels in 48 h after transfection at the concentration of 60 pmol in bladder cancer cells. We also showed that the silencing of Snail-1 led to the induction of apoptosis. miR-21 and miR-29b depression have been shown in Snail-1 suppressed group in EJ-138 cells in vitro. These results propose that Snail-1 might play an important role in the progression of bladder cancer, and be a potential therapeutic target for trigger apoptosis and suppression of EMT-related miRNAs in bladder cancer.

  7. SNAIL induces epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in a human pancreatic cancer cell line (BxPC3) and promotes distant metastasis and invasiveness in vivo.

    PubMed

    Nishioka, Ryohei; Itoh, Shunji; Gui, Ting; Gai, Zhibo; Oikawa, Kosuke; Kawai, Manabu; Tani, Masaji; Yamaue, Hiroki; Muragaki, Yasuteru

    2010-10-01

    SNAIL, a potent repressor of E-cadherin expression, plays a key role in inducing epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in epithelial cells. During EMT, epithelial cells lose cell polarity and adhesion, and undergo drastic morphological changes acquiring highly migratory abilities. Although there is increasing evidence that EMT is involved in the progression of some human cancers, its significance in the progression of pancreatic cancer remains elusive. In Panc-1, a well-known human pancreatic cancer cell line in which EMT is triggered by TGF-β1 treatment, SNAIL and vimentin are highly expressed, whereas E-cadherin expression is scant. In contrast, another human pancreatic cancer cell line, BxPC3, in which SNAIL expression is not detected, has high levels of E-cadherin expression and does not undergo EMT upon TGF-β1 treatment. After transfecting the SNAIL gene into BxPC3, however, the cells undergo EMT with remarkable alterations in cell morphology and molecular expression patterns without the addition of any growth factors. Furthermore, in an orthotopic transplantation model using SCID mice, SNAIL-transfected BxPC3 displayed highly metastatic and invasive activities. In the immunohistochemical analysis of the tumor derived from the SNAIL-expressing BxPC3, alterations suggestive of EMT were observed in the invasive tumor front. SNAIL enabled BxPC3 to undergo EMT, endowing it with a highly malignant potential in vivo. These results indicate that SNAIL-mediated EMT may be relevant in the progression of pancreatic cancer, and SNAIL could be a molecular target for a pancreatic cancer intervention. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. The Snail-Induced Sulfonation Pathway in Breast Cancer Metastasis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-01

    AD_________________ Award Number: W81XWH-11-1-0494   TITLE: The Snail -Induced Sulfonation... Snail -Induced Sulfonation Pathway in Breast Cancer Metastasis 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-11-1-0494 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) Dr...provided funding for a 3-year project that has resulted in fundamental new insights into how the transcription factor Snail can control gene

  9. The effects of the herbicide atrazine on freshwater snails.

    PubMed

    Gustafson, Kyle D; Belden, Jason B; Bolek, Matthew G

    2015-07-01

    Atrazine has been shown to affect freshwater snails from the subcellular to community level. However, most studies have used different snail species, methods, endpoints, and atrazine exposure concentrations, resulting in some conflicting results and limiting our understanding. The goal of this study was to address these concerns by (1) investigating the acute and chronic effects of atrazine on four species of freshwater snails (Biomphalaria glabrata, Helisoma trivolvis, Physa acuta, and Stagnicola elodes) using the same methods, endpoints, and concentrations, and (2) summarizing the current literature pertaining to the effects of atrazine on freshwater snails. We conducted a 48 h acute toxicity test with an atrazine concentration higher than what typically occurs in aquatic environments (1000 µg/L). Additionally, we exposed snails to environmentally relevant atrazine concentrations (0, 0.3, 3, and 30 µg/L) for 28 days and assessed snail survival, growth, and reproduction. We also summarized all known literature pertaining to atrazine effects on freshwater snails. The literature summary suggests snails are often affected by environmentally relevant atrazine concentrations at the subcellular and cellular levels. These effects are typically not transitive to effects on survival, growth, or reproduction at the same concentrations. Our acute exposures corroborate the general trend of no direct effect on snail populations as atrazine did not directly affect the survival of any of the four snail species. Similarly, environmentally relevant concentrations did not significantly affect the survival, growth, or reproduction of any snail species. These results indicate that, in the absence of other possible stressors, the direct effects of environmentally relevant atrazine concentrations may not be realized at the snail population level.

  10. Biogeography: molecular trails from hitch-hiking snails.

    PubMed

    Gittenberger, Edmund; Groenenberg, Dick S J; Kokshoorn, Bas; Preece, Richard C

    2006-01-26

    Darwin was fascinated by the transportation of land snails across great swathes of open ocean by birds--he even immersed snails in sea water to see how long they would survive. Here we follow a molecular phylogenetic trail that reveals the incredible transequatorial dispersal of the land snail Balea from Europe to the Azores and the Tristan da Cunha islands, and back again. This long-distance dispersal is unexpected for what are proverbially considered the most pedestrian of creatures.

  11. Fecundity of the Chinese mystery snail in a Nebraska reservoir

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stephen, Bruce J.; Allen, Craig R.; Chaine, Noelle M.; Fricke, Kent A.; Haak, Danielle M.; Hellman, Michelle L.; Kill, Robert A.; Nemec, Kristine T.; Pope, Kevin L.; Smeenk, Nicholas A.; Uden, Daniel R.; Unstad, Kody M.; VanderHam, Ashley E.; Wong, Alec

    2013-01-01

    The Chinese mystery snail (Bellamya chinensis) is a non-indigenous, invasive species in freshwater ecosystems of North America. We provide fecundity estimates for a population of these snails in a Nebraska reservoir. We dissected 70 snails, of which 29 were females. Nearly all female snails contained developing young, with an average of 25 young per female. Annual fecundity was estimated at between 27.2 and 33.3 young per female per year. Based on an estimated adult population and the calculated fecundity, the annual production for this reservoir was between 2.2 and 3.7 million young.

  12. Biological studies on the snail, Bulinus truncatus, in central Iraq*

    PubMed Central

    Najarian, H. H.

    1961-01-01

    This paper presents some results of field and laboratory studies on Bulinus truncatus, the snail intermediate host of urinary bilharziasis in Iraq, made in 1958 as part of the work of the WHO Bilharziasis Control Project in that country. Observations on the linear distribution and size composition of Bulinus populations in the canals of central Iraq indicate that molluscicides might most suitably be applied in May before the entire snail population reaches breeding size, or early in November when most snails are juveniles. However, laboratory experiments appear to show that isolation of individual bulinid snails does not diminish, but may actually increase, their egg-laying capacity in comparison with that of grouped snails; this suggests that, even if the snail population were drastically reduced by treatment of the canals and all further importation of snails rendered impossible, the snail population would nevertheless soon renew itself from the few individuals remaining. Results are also given of laboratory experiments on egg masses, hatching and growth of B. truncatus and on the egg-laying of random populations of that snail. PMID:14478049

  13. Effect of non target snails on some biological of Lymnaea natalensis snails and their infection to Fasciola gigantica.

    PubMed

    Bakry, Fayez A; Hamdi, Salwa A H

    2006-12-01

    The influence of non-target freshwater snails (Melanoides tuberculata and Planorbis planorbis) on the capacity of Fasciola egg production F. gigantica miracidia to infect Lymnaea natalensis and their effect on mortality and growth rates showed that the snails exhibited a competitive ability against L. natalensis. The mortality rate existed in mixed cultures with snails was greatly increased, and increased with increase of snails number. The egg production and growth rate were negatively affected by the presence of M. tuberculata and P. planorbis which was more pronounced when snails were at higher ratio lL: 10D. Also, the snails showed significant degree of reduction in infection rate of L. natalensis with F. gigantica miracidia.

  14. Effects of shorebird predation and snail abundance on an intertidal mudflat community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheverie, Anne V.; Hamilton, Diana J.; Coffin, Michael R. S.; Barbeau, Myriam A.

    2014-09-01

    Top-down effects of predation are well documented in a variety of ecological communities, including marine soft-sediment systems. It has been proposed that intertidal mudflats in the upper Bay of Fundy, Canada, which host a large population of foraging shorebirds each summer, may exhibit this community dynamic. Biofilm (consisting mainly of diatoms) forms the base of the mudflat community food web, which is dominated by the amphipod Corophium volutator. To assess the potential for a trophic cascade, we conducted a manipulative field experiment examining individual and combined effects of the shorebird Calidris pusilla, a primary predator of C. volutator, and the eastern mudsnail (Nassarius obsoletus), an intraguild predator, on community structure (including macrofauna and large meiofauna retained by a 250-μm screen). Snails exhibited density-dependent top-down effects, primarily from strong negative interactions with juvenile and adult C. volutator, likely due to interference, consumption and emigration. Medium and high densities of snails reduced chlorophyll a concentration (a measure of diatom abundance), likely through consumption and disturbance of the sediment. When present at higher densities, snails also increased variability in community structure. Shorebirds were less influential in determining community structure. They reduced C. volutator biomass through consumption, but there was no resulting effect on primary production. Top-down effects of snails and birds were cumulative on C. volutator, but did not generate a trophic cascade. We suggest that a combination of omnivory and intraguild predation by shorebirds and snails, coupled with relatively low grazing pressure by C. volutator, prevented transmission of top-down effects.

  15. A new calibration curve for carbonate clumped isotope thermometer of land snail shells (aragonite)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, N.; Yamada, K.; Yoshida, N.

    2013-12-01

    Clumped isotope data (Δ47) of carbonate is considered as a useful tool to reflect both the temperature and oxygen isotopic composition of water where the carbonate grew [1]. Zarrur et al. reported the relationship between snail shell calcification temperatures and the mean annual/ activity season ambient temperatures based on a calibration curve established by Ghosh et al. [2]. However, the clumped isotope temperature is always higher than the environment temperature. For better understanding this phenomenon, we present a new empirical calibration curve based on land snail shells (aragonite) cultured in the controlled temperature environment. In 2012, we cultured the land snails ';Euhadra' which were collected from Yokohama, Japan. They were cultured from eggs to adults around 6-8 months under the temperature of 20°, 25° and 30°, respectively. Each temperature group contains 15-20 snails. All of them were fed by cabbages during their life span. To study the effect of ingested carbonate, some of them were fed by Ca3(PO4)2 powder while others were fed by CaCO3 powder. Clumped isotope data for all samples were analyzed by a Thermo Finnigan MAT 253 Mass Spectrometer and calibrated by an ';absolute reference frame' [3]. We found an empirical linear relationship between Δ47 and controlled ambient temperature, which is slightly deviated from the published theoretical and experimental calibration curves based on both inorganic and biogenic materials. We will discuss the potential controlling factors caused this kind of deviation combine with the land snail growth environment. [1] Ghosh et al., 2006, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 70, 1439-1456 [2] Zaarur et al. 2011. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 75, 6859-6869 [3] Dennis et al., 2011. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 75, 7117-7131

  16. The convoluted evolution of snail chirality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schilthuizen, M.; Davison, A.

    2005-11-01

    The direction that a snail (Mollusca: Gastropoda) coils, whether dextral (right-handed) or sinistral (left-handed), originates in early development but is most easily observed in the shell form of the adult. Here, we review recent progress in understanding snail chirality from genetic, developmental and ecological perspectives. In the few species that have been characterized, chirality is determined by a single genetic locus with delayed inheritance, which means that the genotype is expressed in the mother's offspring. Although research lags behind the studies of asymmetry in the mouse and nematode, attempts to isolate the loci involved in snail chirality have begun, with the final aim of understanding how the axis of left-right asymmetry is established. In nature, most snail taxa (>90%) are dextral, but sinistrality is known from mutant individuals, populations within dextral species, entirely sinistral species, genera and even families. Ordinarily, it is expected that strong frequency-dependent selection should act against the establishment of new chiral types because the chiral minority have difficulty finding a suitable mating partner (their genitalia are on the ‘wrong’ side). Mixed populations should therefore not persist. Intriguingly, however, a very few land snail species, notably the subgenus Amphidromus sensu stricto, not only appear to mate randomly between different chiral types, but also have a stable, within-population chiral dimorphism, which suggests the involvement of a balancing factor. At the other end of the spectrum, in many species, different chiral types are unable to mate and so could be reproductively isolated from one another. However, while empirical data, models and simulations have indicated that chiral reversal must sometimes occur, it is rarely likely to lead to so-called ‘single-gene’ speciation. Nevertheless, chiral reversal could still be a contributing factor to speciation (or to divergence after speciation) when

  17. Induction of VEGFA and Snail-1 by meningitic Escherichia coli mediates disruption of the blood-brain barrier

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Ruicheng; Liu, Wentong; Miao, Ling; Yang, Xiaopei; Fu, Jiyang; Dou, Beibei; Cai, Aoling; Zong, Xin; Tan, Chen; Chen, Huanchun; Wang, Xiangru

    2016-01-01

    Escherichia coli is the most common Gram-negative bacterium that possesses the ability to cause neonatal meningitis, which develops as circulating bacteria penetrate the blood-brain barrier (BBB). However, whether meningitic E. coli could induce disruption of the BBB and the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Our current work highlight for the first time the participation of VEGFA and Snail-1, as well as the potential mechanisms, in meningitic E. coli induced disruption of the BBB. Here, we characterized a meningitis-causing E. coli PCN033, and demonstrated that PCN033 invasion could increase the BBB permeability through downregulating and remodeling the tight junction proteins (TJ proteins). This process required the PCN033 infection-induced upregulation of VEGFA and Snail-1, which involves the activation of TLR2-MAPK-ERK1/2 signaling cascade. Moreover, production of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines in response to infection also promoted the upregulation of VEGFA and Snail-1, therefore further mediating the BBB disruption. Our observations reported here directly support the involvement of VEGFA and Snail-1 in meningitic E. coli induced BBB disruption, and VEGFA and Snail-1 would therefore represent the essential host targets for future prevention of clinical E. coli meningitis. PMID:27588479

  18. Physiological and biochemical responses to cold and drought in the rock-dwelling pulmonate snail, Chondrina avenacea.

    PubMed

    Koštál, Vladimír; Rozsypal, Jan; Pech, Pavel; Zahradníčková, Helena; Šimek, Petr

    2013-08-01

    The pulmonate snail Chondrina avenacea lives on exposed rock walls where it experiences drastic daily and seasonal fluctuations of abiotic conditions and food availability. We found that tolerance to dry conditions was maintained at a very high level throughout the year and was mainly based on the snails' ability to promptly enter into estivation (quiescence) whenever they experienced drying out of their environment. Snails rapidly suppressed their metabolism and minimized their water loss using discontinuous gas exchange pattern. The metabolic suppression probably included periods of tissue hypoxia and anaerobism as indicated by accumulation of typical end products of anaerobic metabolism: lactate, alanine and succinate. Though the drought-induced metabolic suppression was sufficient to stimulate moderate increase of supercooling capacity, the seasonally highest levels of supercooling capacity and the highest tolerance to subzero temperatures were tightly linked to hibernation (diapause). Hibernating snails did not survive freezing of their body fluids and instead relied on supercooling strategy which allowed them to survive when air temperatures dropped to as low as -21 °C. No accumulation of low-molecular weight compounds (potential cryoprotectants) was detected in hibernating snails except for small amounts of the end products of anaerobic metabolism.

  19. Large-scale determinants of intestinal schistosomiasis and intermediate host snail distribution across Africa: does climate matter?

    PubMed

    Stensgaard, Anna-Sofie; Utzinger, Jürg; Vounatsou, Penelope; Hürlimann, Eveline; Schur, Nadine; Saarnak, Christopher F L; Simoonga, Christopher; Mubita, Patricia; Kabatereine, Narcis B; Tchuem Tchuenté, Louis-Albert; Rahbek, Carsten; Kristensen, Thomas K

    2013-11-01

    The geographical ranges of most species, including many infectious disease agents and their vectors and intermediate hosts, are assumed to be constrained by climatic tolerances, mainly temperature. It has been suggested that global warming will cause an expansion of the areas potentially suitable for infectious disease transmission. However, the transmission of infectious diseases is governed by a myriad of ecological, economic, evolutionary and social factors. Hence, a deeper understanding of the total disease system (pathogens, vectors and hosts) and its drivers is important for predicting responses to climate change. Here, we combine a growing degree day model for Schistosoma mansoni with species distribution models for the intermediate host snail (Biomphalaria spp.) to investigate large-scale environmental determinants of the distribution of the African S. mansoni-Biomphalaria system and potential impacts of climatic changes. Snail species distribution models included several combinations of climatic and habitat-related predictors; the latter divided into "natural" and "human-impacted" habitat variables to measure anthropogenic influence. The predictive performance of the combined snail-parasite model was evaluated against a comprehensive compilation of historical S. mansoni parasitological survey records, and then examined for two climate change scenarios of increasing severity for 2080. Future projections indicate that while the potential S. mansoni transmission area expands, the snail ranges are more likely to contract and/or move into cooler areas in the south and east. Importantly, we also note that even though climate per se matters, the impact of humans on habitat play a crucial role in determining the distribution of the intermediate host snails in Africa. Thus, a future contraction in the geographical range size of the intermediate host snails caused by climatic changes does not necessarily translate into a decrease or zero-sum change in human

  20. Red-Rimmed Melania (Melanoides tuberculatus) - A Snail in Biscayne National Park, Florida - Harmful Invader or Just a Nuisance?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wingard, G. Lynn; Murray, James B.; Schill, W. Bane; Phillips, Emily C.

    2008-01-01

    Potentially harmful to humans and other animals, the red-rimmed melania snail (Melanoides tuberculatus; family Thiaridae) was discovered in Biscayne National Park, Florida, in 2003 by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) researchers. The discovery raised concerns for park managers because this aquatic non-native snail is present in significant numbers in areas frequently used by park visitors and poses a risk of exposure. Researchers are addressing questions such as: Is this species a danger to human health? How widespread is it within the park? What factors control the distribution of the species? Is its presence a threat to native animals?

  1. Observations of raccoon (Procyon lotor) predation on the invasive Maculata apple snail (Pomacea maculata) in southern Louisiana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carter, Jacoby; Merino, Sergio; Prejean, Drew; LaFleur, Gary Jr.

    2017-01-01

    We used camera traps to determine which predators were responsible for depredated Pomacea maculata (Maculata Apple Snail) shells at 2 different study sites. Evidence of predation at these sites included operculums near the shells with a small amount of flesh attached and shells accumulating a meter or more from the water’s edge with no evidence of recent flooding. In both locations, the most frequently observed potential predators were Procyon lotor (Raccoon), which was the only species directly observed capturing and eating Apple Snails.

  2. Fossil land snails of East Africa and their palaeoecological significance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pickford, Martin

    1995-04-01

    This study deals with the Neogene and extant land snails of tropical East Africa and their implications for interpreting the paleoenvironments of the numerous localities at which they have been found. Of major significance to the study is the intimate association between the terrestrial molluscs and the rich mammalian faunas, hominoids included, of East Africa. Thus, palaeoecological reconstructions based on land snails are directly applicable to the mammalian faunas. Palaeoecological reconstructions are proposed for most of the Lower and Middle Miocene hominoids, including Proconsul, Rangwapithecus, Limnopithecus, Micropithecus, Nyanzapithecus, Kenyapithecus and others, and for the mid-Pliocene Australopithecus from Laetoli, Tanzania. The departure point for the palaeoecological reconstructions is a comprehensive study of extant terrestrial molluscs of East Africa, the habitat preferences of which are well documented. All the fossil gastropods studied comprise extant genera and even species, so the usual problems regarding the application of actualism to fossil assemblages is avoided. Furthermore, the fossil gastropod assemblages resemble extant ones, confirming their utility for such reconstructions. Among the parameters examined are rainfall, altitude, vegetation cover and type and zoogeography. A further point of interest is that the samples are more than adequate for the purposes of the study, many of the fossil localities having yielded several thousand specimens. Finally, more than 40% of the extant genera of East Africa have now been recognized in the fossil state. The molluscs are thus, by far, the best represented biological group known in the fossil record of Africa and as such hold great potential for understanding the past. This study ends with reconstructions of the palaeoecology of numerous fossiliferous localities in East Africa which have yielded molluscs and mammals. Changes through the geological column are documented and the habitat preferences

  3. Supercharged Snails for Stream Ecology & Water-Quality Studies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stewart, Arthur J.; Ryon, Michael G.

    2003-01-01

    Gill-breathing freshwater snails (Family "Pleuroceridae") are ecologically important, abundant in many streams in the United States, and easy to collect and maintain under classroom conditions. These snails can be used in classroom tests to demonstrate effects of pollutants on aquatic organisms. In more advanced classes, students can cage the…

  4. Supercharged Snails for Stream Ecology & Water-Quality Studies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stewart, Arthur J.; Ryon, Michael G.

    2003-01-01

    Gill-breathing freshwater snails (Family "Pleuroceridae") are ecologically important, abundant in many streams in the United States, and easy to collect and maintain under classroom conditions. These snails can be used in classroom tests to demonstrate effects of pollutants on aquatic organisms. In more advanced classes, students can cage the…

  5. Snailine: a possible diagnostic reagent from a common marine snail, the southern periwinkle, Littorina angulifera.

    PubMed

    Smith, A C

    1986-01-01

    A substance which strongly precipitates human serum proteins is released into the environment by the southern periwinkle, Littorina angulifera. Two-dimensional crossed immunoelectrophoresis revealed that the snail precipitin reacts with a number of human serum proteins, including 11 not detected by mammalian antiserum. The precipitin is readily collected in saline solution, which then is referred to as snailine, a potentially useful diagnostic reagent. Precipitins released into the environment by marine species may represent a little-known external immunologic system.

  6. An evaluation of techniques used in estimating snail populations

    PubMed Central

    Hairston, Nelson G.; Hubendick, Bengt; Watson, John M.; Olivier, Louis J.

    1958-01-01

    No uniform method, applicable to all situations, can be developed for the quantitative study of bilharziasis vector snail populations. The selection of survey technique and sampling device depends on the objectives of the study, the circumstances in which the work is carried out, the nature of the habitat and the resources available. The various techniques used in obtaining snail-population estimates are divided into two categories—direct methods and indirect methods. The former involve the collection of snails from a specified habitat or for a specified period of time, while the latter include techniques, such as snail marking and palm-leaf traps, in which the snails are not obtained through the efforts of a collector. Each method and device is described in detail, and its suitability under various conditions is discussed. PMID:13596889

  7. The mitochondrial genome of the venomous cone snail Conus consors.

    PubMed

    Brauer, Age; Kurz, Alexander; Stockwell, Tim; Baden-Tillson, Holly; Heidler, Juliana; Wittig, Ilka; Kauferstein, Silke; Mebs, Dietrich; Stöcklin, Reto; Remm, Maido

    2012-01-01

    Cone snails are venomous predatory marine neogastropods that belong to the species-rich superfamily of the Conoidea. So far, the mitochondrial genomes of two cone snail species (Conus textile and Conus borgesi) have been described, and these feed on snails and worms, respectively. Here, we report the mitochondrial genome sequence of the fish-hunting cone snail Conus consors and describe a novel putative control region (CR) which seems to be absent in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of other cone snail species. This possible CR spans about 700 base pairs (bp) and is located between the genes encoding the transfer RNA for phenylalanine (tRNA-Phe, trnF) and cytochrome c oxidase subunit III (cox3). The novel putative CR contains several sequence motifs that suggest a role in mitochondrial replication and transcription.

  8. The Mitochondrial Genome of the Venomous Cone Snail Conus consors

    PubMed Central

    Brauer, Age; Kurz, Alexander; Stockwell, Tim; Baden-Tillson, Holly; Heidler, Juliana; Wittig, Ilka; Kauferstein, Silke; Mebs, Dietrich; Stöcklin, Reto; Remm, Maido

    2012-01-01

    Cone snails are venomous predatory marine neogastropods that belong to the species-rich superfamily of the Conoidea. So far, the mitochondrial genomes of two cone snail species (Conus textile and Conus borgesi) have been described, and these feed on snails and worms, respectively. Here, we report the mitochondrial genome sequence of the fish-hunting cone snail Conus consors and describe a novel putative control region (CR) which seems to be absent in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of other cone snail species. This possible CR spans about 700 base pairs (bp) and is located between the genes encoding the transfer RNA for phenylalanine (tRNA-Phe, trnF) and cytochrome c oxidase subunit III (cox3). The novel putative CR contains several sequence motifs that suggest a role in mitochondrial replication and transcription. PMID:23236512

  9. North American Paleozoic land snails with a summary of other Paleozoic nonmarine snails

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Solem, Alan; Yochelson, Ellis Leon

    1979-01-01

    Land snails from the Paleozoic of North America are known from the coal fields of eastern Canada, from the Dunkard basin west of the Allegheny Mountains, and from the western margin of the Illinois basin. The earliest finds were made about 125 years ago; essentially no new information has been recorded for a century. Large collections of Anthracopupa from the Dunkard basin sparked inquiry into the land snails from the other two areas. Studies using the SEM (scanning electron microscope) have provided considerable insight into microdetails of shell structure, which allow systematic assignment of these gastropods. All may be assigned to extant families, except one, for which insufficient material allows only superfamily assignment. The prosobranch Dawsonella is confirmed as being a terrestrial neritacean gastropod. To date, it is known only from the upper Middle Pennsylvanian of Illinois and Indiana. All the other Paleozoic land snails are stylommatophoran pulmonates; their current classification as nonmarine cyclophoraceans is not correct. Restudy of material from the Joggins section of Nova Scotia indicates that representatives of two ordinal groups of pulmonates appeared simultaneously in upper Lower Pennsylvanian strata; the oldest land prosobranch is found in only very slightly younger rocks. Zonites (Conulus) priscus is reassigned to the new genus Protodiscus in the extant family Discidae. Dendropupa is placed within the family Enidae, Anthraaopupa is placed in the family Tornatellinidae, and 'Pupa' bigsbii is assigned to the superfamily Pupillacea. All four of these family-level taxa are diverse and belong to two orders within the superorder Stylommatophora, heretofore considered a derived rather than an ancestral stock. Anthracopupa ohioensis Whitfield is a highly variable species, and two other species Naticopsis (?) diminuta and A.(?) dunkardona, both named by Stauffer and Schroyer, are placed in synonymy with it. To obtain taxonomic data to support the

  10. Studies on some kinetic parameters of aminotransferases in tissues of the snail, Pila globosa (Swainson) during malathion intoxication.

    PubMed

    Sahib, I K; Rao, K R

    1988-01-01

    The aspartate and alanine aminotransferases in the tissues of the snail, Pila globosa showed high catalytic potentials (low Km and high Vmax) during malathion exposure in vivo. In vitro addition of different concentrations of malathion did not influence aminotransferase activity. The results are discussed in relation to the regulative influence of the intracellular environment of the cell.

  11. Muscadine grape skin extract can antagonize Snail-cathepsin L-mediated invasion, migration and osteoclastogenesis in prostate and breast cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Burton, Liza J; Smith, Basil A; Smith, Bethany N; Loyd, Quentin; Nagappan, Peri; McKeithen, Danielle; Wilder, Catera L; Platt, Manu O; Hudson, Tamaro; Odero-Marah, Valerie A

    2015-09-01

    To develop new and effective chemopreventive agents against bone metastasis, we assessed the effects of muscadine grape skin extract (MSKE), whose main bioactive component is anthocyanin, on bone turnover, using prostate and breast cancer cell models overexpressing Snail transcription factor. MSKE has been shown previously to promote apoptosis in prostate cancer cells without affecting normal prostate epithelial cells. Snail is overexpressed in prostate and breast cancer, and is associated with increased invasion, migration and bone turnover/osteoclastogenesis. Cathepsin L (CatL) is a cysteine cathepsin protease that is overexpressed in cancer and involved in bone turnover. Snail overexpression in prostate (LNCaP, ARCaP-E) and breast (MCF-7) cancer cells led to increased CatL expression/activity and phosphorylated STAT-3 (pSTAT-3), compared to Neo vector controls, while the reverse was observed in C4-2 (the aggressive subline of LNCaP) cells with Snail knockdown. Moreover, CatL expression was higher in prostate and breast tumor tissue compared to normal tissue. MSKE decreased Snail and pSTAT3 expression, and abrogated Snail-mediated CatL activity, migration and invasion. Additionally, Snail overexpression promoted osteoclastogenesis, which was significantly inhibited by the MSKE as effectively as Z-FY-CHO, a CatL-specific inhibitor, or osteoprotegerin, a receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa B ligand (RANKL) antagonist. Overall, these novel findings suggest that Snail regulation of CatL may occur via STAT-3 signaling and can be antagonized by MSKE, leading to decreased cell invasion, migration and bone turnover. Therefore, inhibition using a natural product such as MSKE could potentially be a promising bioactive compound for bone metastatic cancer. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. Muscadine grape skin extract can antagonize Snail-cathepsin L-mediated invasion, migration and osteoclastogenesis in prostate and breast cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    Burton, Liza J.; Smith, Basil A.; Smith, Bethany N.; Loyd, Quentin; Nagappan, Peri; McKeithen, Danielle; Wilder, Catera L.; Platt, Manu O.; Hudson, Tamaro

    2015-01-01

    To develop new and effective chemopreventive agents against bone metastasis, we assessed the effects of muscadine grape skin extract (MSKE), whose main bioactive component is anthocyanin, on bone turnover, using prostate and breast cancer cell models overexpressing Snail transcription factor. MSKE has been shown previously to promote apoptosis in prostate cancer cells without affecting normal prostate epithelial cells. Snail is overexpressed in prostate and breast cancer, and is associated with increased invasion, migration and bone turnover/osteoclastogenesis. Cathepsin L (CatL) is a cysteine cathepsin protease that is overexpressed in cancer and involved in bone turnover. Snail overexpression in prostate (LNCaP, ARCaP-E) and breast (MCF-7) cancer cells led to increased CatL expression/activity and phosphorylated STAT-3 (pSTAT-3), compared to Neo vector controls, while the reverse was observed in C4-2 (the aggressive subline of LNCaP) cells with Snail knockdown. Moreover, CatL expression was higher in prostate and breast tumor tissue compared to normal tissue. MSKE decreased Snail and pSTAT3 expression, and abrogated Snail-mediated CatL activity, migration and invasion. Additionally, Snail overexpression promoted osteoclastogenesis, which was significantly inhibited by the MSKE as effectively as Z-FY-CHO, a CatL-specific inhibitor, or osteoprotegerin, a receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa B ligand (RANKL) antagonist. Overall, these novel findings suggest that Snail regulation of CatL may occur via STAT-3 signaling and can be antagonized by MSKE, leading to decreased cell invasion, migration and bone turnover. Therefore, inhibition using a natural product such as MSKE could potentially be a promising bioactive compound for bone metastatic cancer. PMID:26069256

  13. Effects of sewage sludge amendment on snail growth and trace metal transfer in the soil-plant-snail food chain.

    PubMed

    Bourioug, Mohamed; Gimbert, Frédéric; Alaoui-Sehmer, Laurence; Benbrahim, Mohammed; Badot, Pierre-Marie; Alaoui-Sossé, Badr; Aleya, Lotfi

    2015-11-01

    Cu, Zn, Pb, and Cd concentrations in a soil plant (Lactuca sativa) continuum were measured after sewage sludge amendment. The effects of sewage sludge on growth and trace metal bioaccumulation in snails (Cantareus aspersus) were investigated in a laboratory experiment specifically designed to identify contamination sources (e.g., soil and leaves). Application of sewage sludge increased trace metal concentrations in topsoil. However, except Zn, metal concentrations in lettuce leaves did not reflect those in soil. Lettuce leaves were the main source of Zn, Cu, and Cd in exposed snails. Bioaccumulation of Pb suggested its immediate transfer to snails via the soil. No apparent toxic effects of trace metal accumulation were observed in snails. Moreover, snail growth was significantly stimulated at high rates of sludge application. This hormesis effect may be due to the enhanced nutritional content of lettuce leaves exposed to sewage sludge.

  14. Modeling snail breeding in Bioregenerative Life Support System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kovalev, Vladimir; Tikhomirov, Alexander A.; Nickolay Manukovsky, D..

    It is known that snail meat is a high quality food that is rich in protein. Hence, heliciculture or land snail farming spreads worldwide because it is a profitable business. The possibility to use the snails of Helix pomatia in Biological Life Support System (BLSS) was studied by Japanese Researches. In that study land snails were considered to be producers of animal protein. Also, snail breeding was an important part of waste processing, because snails were capable to eat the inedible plant biomass. As opposed to the agricultural snail farming, heliciculture in BLSS should be more carefully planned. The purpose of our work was to develop a model for snail breeding in BLSS that can predict mass flow rates in and out of snail facility. There are three linked parts in the model called “Stoichiometry”, “Population” and “Mass balance”, which are used in turn. Snail population is divided into 12 age groups from oviposition to one year. In the submodel “Stoichiometry” the individual snail growth and metabolism in each of 12 age groups are described with stoichiometry equations. Reactants are written on the left side of the equations, while products are written on the right side. Stoichiometry formulas of reactants and products consist of four chemical elements: C, H, O, N. The reactants are feed and oxygen, products are carbon dioxide, metabolic water, snail meat, shell, feces, slime and eggs. If formulas of substances in the stoichiometry equations are substituted with their molar masses, then stoichiometry equations are transformed to the equations of molar mass balance. To get the real mass balance of individual snail growth and metabolism one should multiply the value of each molar mass in the equations on the scale parameter, which is the ratio between mass of monthly consumed feed and molar mass of feed. Mass of monthly consumed feed and stoichiometry coefficients of formulas of meat, shell, feces, slime and eggs should be determined experimentally

  15. [Simulation experiment of survival and reproduction of artificially imported Oncomelania snails in Qingpu District, Shanghai].

    PubMed

    Tian, Jian-Guo; Li, Gui-Fu; Li, Jun; Zhang, Xiao-Ping; Jin, Yan-Jun; Cai, Li; Peng, Li-Xia; Xu, Hai-Yan; Xu, Rui-Fang

    2013-06-01

    To understand the survival of imported Oncomelania snails in new environments with different densities in waterway net region, Qingpu District, Shanghai. The snails collected from Guichi, Anhui Province were put into the ponds of 4 square meters and each had 25, 50, 100, 200, 400 and 800 pairs of snails, respectively. During the next 2 years, the temperature, humidity, the activities of snails and their second birth snails were investigated each day. All the data were analyzed statistically. The highest number of snails appeared from May to June on the surface of soils in different densities. The average numbers of snails were 2.0%-12.7% of whole put in snails, and the numbers of offspring were less than 2% of the whole put in snails. The survival and reproduction of artificially imported Oncomelania snails from Guichi, Anhui Province is not good in Qingpu District, Shanghai.

  16. Predator-prey interactions between shell-boring beetle larvae and rock-dwelling land snails.

    PubMed

    Baalbergen, Els; Helwerda, Renate; Schelfhorst, Rense; Castillo Cajas, Ruth F; van Moorsel, Coline H M; Kundrata, Robin; Welter-Schultes, Francisco W; Giokas, Sinos; Schilthuizen, Menno

    2014-01-01

    Drilus beetle larvae (Coleoptera: Elateridae) are specialized predators of land snails. Here, we describe various aspects of the predator-prey interactions between multiple Drilus species attacking multiple Albinaria (Gastropoda: Clausiliidae) species in Greece. We observe that Drilus species may be facultative or obligate Albinaria-specialists. We map geographically varying predation rates in Crete, where on average 24% of empty shells carry fatal Drilus bore holes. We also provide first-hand observations and video-footage of prey entry and exit strategies of the Drilus larvae, and evaluate the potential mutual evolutionary impacts. We find limited evidence for an effect of shell features and snail behavioral traits on inter- and intra-specifically differing predation rates. We also find that Drilus predators adjust their predation behavior based on specific shell traits of the prey. In conclusion, we suggest that, with these baseline data, this interesting predator-prey system will be available for further, detailed more evolutionary ecology studies.

  17. Predator-Prey Interactions between Shell-Boring Beetle Larvae and Rock-Dwelling Land Snails

    PubMed Central

    Castillo Cajas, Ruth F.; van Moorsel, Coline H. M.; Kundrata, Robin; Welter-Schultes, Francisco W.; Giokas, Sinos; Schilthuizen, Menno

    2014-01-01

    Drilus beetle larvae (Coleoptera: Elateridae) are specialized predators of land snails. Here, we describe various aspects of the predator-prey interactions between multiple Drilus species attacking multiple Albinaria (Gastropoda: Clausiliidae) species in Greece. We observe that Drilus species may be facultative or obligate Albinaria-specialists. We map geographically varying predation rates in Crete, where on average 24% of empty shells carry fatal Drilus bore holes. We also provide first-hand observations and video-footage of prey entry and exit strategies of the Drilus larvae, and evaluate the potential mutual evolutionary impacts. We find limited evidence for an effect of shell features and snail behavioral traits on inter- and intra-specifically differing predation rates. We also find that Drilus predators adjust their predation behavior based on specific shell traits of the prey. In conclusion, we suggest that, with these baseline data, this interesting predator-prey system will be available for further, detailed more evolutionary ecology studies. PMID:24964101

  18. Intoxication and biochemical responses of freshwater snail Bellamya aeruginosa to ethylbenzene.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Shimei; Zhou, Qixing

    2017-01-01

    No acute toxic data of ethylbenzene on gastropod is available in literature. In the present study, the acute toxicity of ethylbenzene was assessed on a freshwater snail Bellamya aeruginosa, which was exposed to ethylbenzene concentration from 1 to 100 mg/L for 96 h. No mortality occurred, but a manifestation of intoxication (distress syndrome) was observed in part of exposed snails, and meanwhile, another part was moved normally. The distress syndrome showed clear dose- and time-dependent effects, and the 96-h EC50 value for distress syndrome was 13.3 mg/L in snail. The biochemical responses induced by ethylbenzene to the snail, including acetylcholinesterase (AChE) in the whole body and superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione S-transferases (GST), and reduced glutathione (GSH) in the hepatopancreas, were evaluated both for distressed snail and moved snail. The AChE activity of distressed snail was all inhibited more than 45 %, and the inhibition of AChE activity in the moved snail was all less than 30 % and more than 20 %, demonstrating that ethylbenzene exerted nervous toxicity to both distressed snail and moved snail. Meanwhile, the difference for AChE activity between the two different response snails was significant. Among the antioxidant biomarkers (SOD, CAT, GST, and GSH), only GST displayed significant difference between the distressed snail and moved snail. However, the activities of enzymes (SOD, CAT, and GST) in the moved snail were greater than those in the distressed snail, no matter significantly or insignificantly, which indicated that the ability of antioxidant defense in the distressed snail was weaker than that in the moved snail. The findings here reported manifest that ethylbenzene exerted nervous toxicity to snail, and the snail with intoxication response (distress syndrome) presented larger inhibition on AChE activity and weaker antioxidant ability in comparison with the moved snail.

  19. Use of the land snail Helix aspersa for monitoring heavy metal soil contamination in Northeast Algeria.

    PubMed

    Larba, R; Soltani, N

    2014-08-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of anthropogenic activities on soil quality using the land snail Helix aspersa as a bioindicator. Soil samples and snails were collected from several sites in Northeast Algeria during the summer and winter of 2010. All of the sites were chosen due to their proximity to industrial factories-a potential source of soil pollution via heavy metal contamination. The concentration of heavy metals (Pb, Cd, Mn, and Fe) in soil samples was analyzed using atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Activity levels of glutathione S-transferase (GST) and acetylcholinesterase (AChE), indicators of oxidative stress and neurotoxicity, respectively, were measured in snails collected from each site. GST and AChE activity were found to vary between sites and by season. The highest levels of GST activity were registered during the summer at sites closest to potential sources of pollution. AChE activity levels also peaked during the summer with the highest values recorded at the site in El Hadjar. These increased levels of bioindicative stress response correlated with increasing metal concentration in soil samples collected at each site.

  20. Dynamics of freshwater snails and Schistosoma infection prevalence in schoolchildren during the construction and operation of a multipurpose dam in central Côte d'Ivoire.

    PubMed

    Diakité, Nana R; Winkler, Mirko S; Coulibaly, Jean T; Guindo-Coulibaly, Négnorogo; Utzinger, Jürg; N'Goran, Eliézer K

    2017-05-04

    The construction and operation of small multipurpose dams in Africa have a history of altering the transmission of water-based diseases, including schistosomiasis. The current study was designed to investigate the abundance and dynamics of schistosomiasis intermediate host snails and Schistosoma infections in humans during the construction and the first years of operation of a small multipurpose dam in Côte d'Ivoire. The study was carried out in Raffierkro and four neighbouring villages in central Côte d'Ivoire between 2007 and 2012. Snails were collected by two experienced investigators using scoops and forceps for 15 min at each site. Snails were identified at genera and, whenever possible, species level, and subjected to testing for cercarial shedding. Schoolchildren aged 6-15 years were examined once every year for Schistosoma haematobium and S. mansoni infection, using urine filtration and duplication Kato-Katz thick smears, respectively. Additionally, 551 adults were examined for Schistosoma infection before (June 2007) and 359 individuals 2 years after dam construction (June 2009). Overall, 1 700 snails belonging to nine different genera were collected from 19 sampling sites. Bulinus (potential intermediate host snails of S. haematobium) and Pila were the most common genera, whereas Biomphalaria (potential intermediate host snail of S. mansoni), Lymnaea, Physa and Melanoides were found in two villages. During the first-year sampling period, 65 snails were collected, of which 13 (20%) were schistosomiasis intermediate hosts. In subsequent years, out of 1 635 snails collected, 1 079 (66%) were identified as potential intermediate host for schistosomiasis, but none were shedding cercariae. The prevalence of S. mansoni among adults in the study area was low (0.4% in 2007 and 0.3% in 2009), whereas the prevalence of S. haematobium declined from 13.9% to 2.9% in this two-year period. The low prevalence of schistosomiasis in humans and the absence of infected

  1. Crawling beneath the free surface: Water snail locomotion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Sungyon; Bush, John W. M.; Hosoi, A. E.; Lauga, Eric

    2008-08-01

    Land snails move via adhesive locomotion. Through muscular contraction and expansion of their foot, they transmit waves of shear stress through a thin layer of mucus onto a solid substrate. Since a free surface cannot support shear stress, adhesive locomotion is not a viable propulsion mechanism for water snails that travel inverted beneath the free surface. Nevertheless, the motion of the freshwater snail, Sorbeoconcha physidae, is reminiscent of that of its terrestrial counterparts, being generated by the undulation of the snail foot that is separated from the free surface by a thin layer of mucus. Here, a lubrication model is used to describe the mucus flow in the limit of small-amplitude interfacial deformations. By assuming the shape of the snail foot to be a traveling sine wave and the mucus to be Newtonian, an evolution equation for the interface shape is obtained and the resulting propulsive force on the snail is calculated. This propulsive force is found to be nonzero for moderate values of the capillary number but vanishes in the limits of high and low capillary number. Physically, this force arises because the snail's foot deforms the free surface, thereby generating curvature pressures and lubrication flows inside the mucus layer that couple to the topography of the foot.

  2. Seasonal changes in cryoprotectants concentrations in Helix pomatia snails.

    PubMed

    Nowakowska, A; Caputa, M; Rogalska, J

    2006-11-01

    Terrestrial snails are often exposed to freezing. Therefore, we investigated seasonal shifts in hemolymph concentrations of cryoprotectants such as glycerol and glucose. We also investigated whether summer acclimation to cold and short-day photoperiod induced synthesis of cryoprotectants in Helix pomatia snails. Concentrations of the both cryoprotectants were elevated in winter and reduced in summer. These changes, however, were not correlated with shifts in liver glycogen content. Summer acclimation to cold (5 degrees C) and short-day photoperiod evoked a selective increase in glycerol concentration. In conclusion, glycerol may play a role in adaptation of the snails to winter cold and glucose is rather unlikely to provide the cryoprotection.

  3. Mercury toxicity to terrestrial snails in a partial life cycle experiment.

    PubMed

    Gimbert, Frédéric; Perrier, Fanny; Caire, Ange-Lyne; de Vaufleury, Annette

    2016-02-01

    Despite growing concerns about the potential adverse effects of elevated mercury (Hg) concentrations in the terrestrial environment, only a few toxicity data are available for soil invertebrates. The chronic toxicity of inorganic Hg-Hg(II)--through food or soil contaminations was therefore assessed for the snail Cantareus aspersus, a well-recognized soil quality bioindicator. The 28-day EC50s (the concentrations causing 50% effect) for the snail growth were 600 and 5048 mg Hg kg(-1) for food and soil, respectively. A survey of growth over its entire duration (91 days) allowed to show that the effects took place rapidly after the beginning of exposure and persisted in the long term. Reproduction was also impaired, and we established 28-day EC50s for sexual maturation and fecundity of 831 and 339 mg Hg kg(-1), respectively, for food and 1719 and 53 mg Hg kg(-1), respectively, for soil. Total Hg analyses in snails exposed to contaminated matrices revealed important bioaccumulation capacities up to 2000 mg Hg kg(-1) viscera. Critical limits in internal Hg concentration of about 500 and 1000 mg Hg kg(-1) were determined as thresholds for the induction of growth toxicity through food and soil exposure, respectively. These different values underlined differences in the uptake and toxicological dynamics of Hg according to its bioavailability in the source of exposure.

  4. An inducible morphological defence is a passive by-product of behaviour in a marine snail

    PubMed Central

    Bourdeau, Paul E.

    2010-01-01

    Many organisms have evolved inducible defences in response to spatial and temporal variability in predation risk. These defences are assumed to incur large costs to prey; however, few studies have investigated the mechanisms and costs underlying these adaptive responses. I examined the proximate cause of predator-induced shell thickening in a marine snail (Nucella lamellosa) and tested whether induced thickening leads to an increase in structural strength. Results indicate that although predators (crabs) induce thicker shells, the response is a passive by-product of reduced feeding and somatic growth rather than an active physiological response to predation risk. Physical tests indicate that although the shells of predator-induced snails are significantly stronger, the increase in performance is no different than that of snails with limited access to food. Increased shell strength is attributable to an increase in the energetically inexpensive microstructural layer rather than to material property changes in the shell. This mechanism suggests that predator-induced shell defences may be neither energetically nor developmentally costly. Positive correlations between antipredator behaviour and morphological defences may explain commonly observed associations between growth reduction and defence production in other systems and could have implications for the evolutionary potential of these plastic traits. PMID:19846462

  5. Chemoreception of hunger levels alters the following behaviour of a freshwater snail.

    PubMed

    Larcher, Marie; Crane, Adam L

    2015-12-01

    Chemically-mediated orientation is essential for many animals that must locate sites containing resources such as mates or food. One way to find these areas is by using publically-available information from other individuals. We tested a freshwater snail, Physa gyrina, for chemoreception of conspecific cues and predicted they could discriminate between cues based on information regarding hunger levels. We placed 'tracker' snails into a 2-arm arena where they could either follow or avoid an area previously used by a 'marker' snail. The hunger levels of both trackers and markers was manipulated, being either starved or fed. Starved and fed trackers did not differ in their following response when markers were hungry, but starved trackers were significantly more likely to follow fed markers, compared to fed trackers that tended to avoid areas used by fed markers. This outcome suggests that P. gyrina uses conspecific chemical cues to find food and potentially in some situations to avoid intra-specific food competition.

  6. The effects of predation risk on mating system expression in a freshwater snail.

    PubMed

    Auld, Josh R

    2010-12-01

    Environmental effects on mating system expression are central to understanding mating system evolution in nature. Here, I report the results from a quantitative-genetic experiment aimed at understanding the role of predation risk in the expression and evolution of life-history and mating-system traits in a hermaphroditic freshwater snail (Physa acuta). I reared 30 full-sib families in four environments that factorially contrast predation risk and mate availability and measured age/size at first reproduction, growth rate, a morphological defense, and the early survival of outcrossed/selfed eggs that were laid under predator/no-predator conditions. I evaluated the genetic basis of trade-offs among traits and the stability of the G matrix across environments. Mating reduced growth while predation risk increased growth, but the effects of mating were weaker for predator-induced snails and the effects of predation risk were weaker for snails without mates. Predation risk reduced the amount of time that individuals waited before self-fertilizing and reduced inbreeding depression in the offspring. There was a positive among-family relationship between the amount of time that individuals delayed selfing under predation risk and the magnitude of inbreeding depression. These results highlight several potential roles of enemies in mating-system expression and evolution. © 2010 The Author(s). Evolution© 2010 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  7. Ocean acidification alters the response of intertidal snails to a key sea star predator

    PubMed Central

    Jellison, Brittany M.; Ninokawa, Aaron T.; Hill, Tessa M.; Sanford, Eric; Gaylord, Brian

    2016-01-01

    Organism-level effects of ocean acidification (OA) are well recognized. Less understood are OA's consequences for ecological species interactions. Here, we examine a behaviourally mediated predator–prey interaction within the rocky intertidal zone of the temperate eastern Pacific Ocean, using it as a model system to explore OA's capacity to impair invertebrate anti-predator behaviours more broadly. Our system involves the iconic sea star predator, Pisaster ochraceus, that elicits flee responses in numerous gastropod prey. We examine, in particular, the capacity for OA-associated reductions in pH to alter flight behaviours of the black turban snail, Tegula funebralis, an often-abundant and well-studied grazer in the system. We assess interactions between these species at 16 discrete levels of pH, quantifying the full functional response of Tegula under present and near-future OA conditions. Results demonstrate the disruption of snail anti-predator behaviours at low pH, with decreases in the time individuals spend in refuge locations. We also show that fluctuations in pH, including those typical of rock pools inhabited by snails, do not materially change outcomes, implying little capacity for episodically benign pH conditions to aid behavioural recovery. Together, these findings suggest a strong potential for OA to induce cascading community-level shifts within this long-studied ecosystem. PMID:27358371

  8. Ocean acidification alters the response of intertidal snails to a key sea star predator.

    PubMed

    Jellison, Brittany M; Ninokawa, Aaron T; Hill, Tessa M; Sanford, Eric; Gaylord, Brian

    2016-06-29

    Organism-level effects of ocean acidification (OA) are well recognized. Less understood are OA's consequences for ecological species interactions. Here, we examine a behaviourally mediated predator-prey interaction within the rocky intertidal zone of the temperate eastern Pacific Ocean, using it as a model system to explore OA's capacity to impair invertebrate anti-predator behaviours more broadly. Our system involves the iconic sea star predator, Pisaster ochraceus, that elicits flee responses in numerous gastropod prey. We examine, in particular, the capacity for OA-associated reductions in pH to alter flight behaviours of the black turban snail, Tegula funebralis, an often-abundant and well-studied grazer in the system. We assess interactions between these species at 16 discrete levels of pH, quantifying the full functional response of Tegula under present and near-future OA conditions. Results demonstrate the disruption of snail anti-predator behaviours at low pH, with decreases in the time individuals spend in refuge locations. We also show that fluctuations in pH, including those typical of rock pools inhabited by snails, do not materially change outcomes, implying little capacity for episodically benign pH conditions to aid behavioural recovery. Together, these findings suggest a strong potential for OA to induce cascading community-level shifts within this long-studied ecosystem. © 2016 The Author(s).

  9. The Planorbid Snail Biomphalaria glabrata Expresses a Hemocyanin-Like Sequence in the Albumen Gland

    PubMed Central

    Peña, Janeth J.; Adema, Coen M.

    2016-01-01

    The parasitic flatworm Schistosoma mansoni, causative agent of human intestinal schistosomiasis in South America, relies importantly on the freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata as intermediate host to achieve development of cercariae that infect humans. The recommendation from the World Health Organization (WHO) to integrate snail control in efforts to counter schistosomiasis transmission provides impetus for in depth study of B. glabrata biology. Our analysis indicates that two distinct hemocyanin-like genes (hcl-1 and hcl-2) are present in B. glabrata, a snail that uses hemoglobin for oxygen transport. Characterization of BAC clones yielded the full length hcl-1 gene, which is comprised of three functional unit (FU) domains at the amino acid level. Database searches and in silico analyses identified the second hcl gene (hcl-2), composed of six FU domains. Both genes are unusual for lacking canonical residues and having fewer FU domains than typical molluscan hemocyanins that contain 7–8 FUs. Reverse transcription PCR demonstrated that Hcl-1 is expressed in a manner that correlates with reproductive maturity in the albumen gland (AG), an immune- and reproduction-relevant organ. Immune cross-reactivity with anti-keyhole limpet hemocyanin (α-KLH) antiserum and tandem-mass spectrometry validated the presence of Hcl-1 protein in the AG and egg mass fluid (EMF). The evolutionary conservation of hemocyanin-like sequences in B. glabrata in the presence of the oxygen carrier hemoglobin, combined with our results, suggest that the Hcl-1protein has a functional role in general and/or reproductive biology. Further investigations are needed to explore Hcl-1 as a potential target for snail control. PMID:28036345

  10. EMT transcription factors snail and slug directly contribute to cisplatin resistance in ovarian cancer

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a molecular process through which an epithelial cell undergoes transdifferentiation into a mesenchymal phenotype. The role of EMT in embryogenesis is well-characterized and increasing evidence suggests that elements of the transition may be important in other processes, including metastasis and drug resistance in various different cancers. Methods Agilent 4 × 44 K whole human genome arrays and selected reaction monitoring mass spectrometry were used to investigate mRNA and protein expression in A2780 cisplatin sensitive and resistant cell lines. Invasion and migration were assessed using Boyden chamber assays. Gene knockdown of snail and slug was done using targeted siRNA. Clinical relevance of the EMT pathway was assessed in a cohort of primary ovarian tumours using data from Affymetrix GeneChip Human Genome U133 plus 2.0 arrays. Results Morphological and phenotypic hallmarks of EMT were identified in the chemoresistant cells. Subsequent gene expression profiling revealed upregulation of EMT-related transcription factors including snail, slug, twist2 and zeb2. Proteomic analysis demonstrated up regulation of Snail and Slug as well as the mesenchymal marker Vimentin, and down regulation of E-cadherin, an epithelial marker. By reducing expression of snail and slug, the mesenchymal phenotype was largely reversed and cells were resensitized to cisplatin. Finally, gene expression data from primary tumours mirrored the finding that an EMT-like pathway is activated in resistant tumours relative to sensitive tumours, suggesting that the involvement of this transition may not be limited to in vitro drug effects. Conclusions This work strongly suggests that genes associated with EMT may play a significant role in cisplatin resistance in ovarian cancer, therefore potentially leading to the development of predictive biomarkers of drug response or novel therapeutic strategies for overcoming drug resistance. PMID

  11. Dub3 inhibition suppresses breast cancer invasion and metastasis by promoting Snail1 degradation.

    PubMed

    Wu, Yadi; Wang, Yu; Lin, Yiwei; Liu, Yajuan; Wang, Yifan; Jia, Jianhang; Singh, Puja; Chi, Young-In; Wang, Chi; Dong, Chenfang; Li, Wei; Tao, Min; Napier, Dana; Shi, Qiuying; Deng, Jiong; Mark Evers, B; Zhou, Binhua P

    2017-02-15

    Snail1, a key transcription factor of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), is subjected to ubiquitination and degradation, but the mechanism by which Snail1 is stabilized in tumours remains unclear. We identify Dub3 as a bona fide Snail1 deubiquitinase, which interacts with and stabilizes Snail1. Dub3 is overexpressed in breast cancer; knockdown of Dub3 resulted in Snail1 destabilization, suppressed EMT and decreased tumour cell migration, invasion, and metastasis. These effects are rescued by ectopic Snail1 expression. IL-6 also stabilizes Snail1 by inducing Dub3 expression, the specific inhibitor WP1130 binds to Dub3 and inhibits the Dub3-mediating Snail1 stabilization in vitro and in vivo. Our study reveals a critical Dub3-Snail1 signalling axis in EMT and metastasis, and provides an effective therapeutic approach against breast cancer.

  12. Dub3 inhibition suppresses breast cancer invasion and metastasis by promoting Snail1 degradation

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Yadi; Wang, Yu; Lin, Yiwei; Liu, Yajuan; Wang, Yifan; Jia, Jianhang; Singh, Puja; Chi, Young-In; Wang, Chi; Dong, Chenfang; Li, Wei; Tao, Min; Napier, Dana; Shi, Qiuying; Deng, Jiong; Mark Evers, B; Zhou, Binhua P.

    2017-01-01

    Snail1, a key transcription factor of epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT), is subjected to ubiquitination and degradation, but the mechanism by which Snail1 is stabilized in tumours remains unclear. We identify Dub3 as a bona fide Snail1 deubiquitinase, which interacts with and stabilizes Snail1. Dub3 is overexpressed in breast cancer; knockdown of Dub3 resulted in Snail1 destabilization, suppressed EMT and decreased tumour cell migration, invasion, and metastasis. These effects are rescued by ectopic Snail1 expression. IL-6 also stabilizes Snail1 by inducing Dub3 expression, the specific inhibitor WP1130 binds to Dub3 and inhibits the Dub3-mediating Snail1 stabilization in vitro and in vivo. Our study reveals a critical Dub3–Snail1 signalling axis in EMT and metastasis, and provides an effective therapeutic approach against breast cancer. PMID:28198361

  13. Predation of schistosomiasis vector snails by ostracoda (crustacea)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sohn, I.G.; Kornicker, L.S.

    1972-01-01

    An ostracod species of Cypretta is an effective predator in laboratory experiments on 1- to 3-day-old Biomphalaria glabrata, a vector snail of the blood fluke that causes the tropical and subtropical disease schistosomiasis.

  14. Some aspects of snail ecology in South Africa

    PubMed Central

    de Meillon, B.; Frank, G. H.; Allanson, B. R.

    1958-01-01

    In this paper, the authors present the preliminary results of a recent ecological survey of some rivers in the Transvaal, Union of South Africa. Representative samples of the molluscan fauna of the rivers were collected and chemical analyses of the river waters were carried out. In addition, such characteristics as current speed, temperature, turbidity, biochemical oxygen demand, and amount of oxygen absorbed from potassium permanganate were determined. No evidence was obtained to show that the chemical composition of natural, unpolluted waters plays any part in determining vector snail habitats. Current speed was found to have some effect, bilharzia vector snails not being found in fast-flowing waters. Of the other factors, turbidity was shown to be of some importance, probably because it affects the growth of the algae on which certain snails seem to depend for their proper development, and severe pollution with sewage and industrial wastes also appeared to have an adverse affect on the snail population. PMID:13573112

  15. Energy saving through trail following in a marine snail

    PubMed Central

    Davies, Mark S; Blackwell, Janine

    2007-01-01

    Most snails and slugs locomote over a layer of mucus and although the resultant mucus trail is expensive to produce, we show that this expense can be reduced by trail following. When tracking over fresh conspecific trails, the marine intertidal snail Littorina littorea (L.) produced only approximately 27% of the mucus laid by marker snails. When tracking over weathered trails, snails adjusted their mucus production to recreate a convex trail profile of similar shape and thickness to the trail as originally laid. Maximum energy saving occurs when following recently laid trails which are little weathered. Many and diverse ecological roles for trail following have been proposed. Energy saving is the only role that applies across the Gastropoda and so may help to explain why trail following is such a well-established behaviour. PMID:17327203

  16. Factors controlling carbon isotopic composition of land snail shells estimated from lab culturing experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Naizhong; Yamada, Keita; Yoshida, Naohiro

    2014-05-01

    Carbon isotopic composition (δ13C) of land snail shell carbonate is widely applied in reconstructing the C3/C4 vegetation distribution of paleo-environment, which is considered to reflect variations of some environmental parameters [1][2][3]. Land snail shell carbon has three potential sources: diet, atmospheric CO2 and ingested carbonate (limestone) [4]. However, their relative contributions to shell carbonate have not been understood well yet [4][5][6][7][8]. More researches are necessary before we could apply this tool in paleo-environment reconstruction, especially inter-lab culturing experiment. A kind of land snail species, Acusta despecta sieboldiana, was collected at Yokohama, Japan and cultured under suitable environment to lay eggs. The second generations were growing up from eggs to adults around 6-12 months at the temperature of 20°, 25° and 30°, respectively. All of the snails at 25° and 30° and most of those at 20° were fed by cabbage (C3 plant) during their life span while others were fed by corn (C4 plant). To investigate the effect of ingested carbonate, some of them were fed by Ca3(PO4)2 powder while others were fed by CaCO3 powder. δ13C of shells were analyzed by an Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (Thermo Finnigan MAT 253); δ13C of food and snail tissue were measured by a Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy (Picarro G1121-i). At the same time, δ13C of eggshell and new born snails were analyzed by a Continuous Flow Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (GasBench II). We confirmed that diet, atmospheric CO2 and ingested limestone could be important sources controlling shell δ13C values. And the temperature could affect shell carbonate δ13C values, too. A simple but credible frame was raised to discuss the mechanism of how each possible source and environmental parameter could affect shell carbonate δ13C values based on previous works [4][6][8] and this study. According to this frame and some reasonable assumptions, we have estimated the

  17. Parasitized snails take the heat: a case of host manipulation?

    PubMed

    Bates, A E; Leiterer, F; Wiedeback, M L; Poulin, R

    2011-11-01

    Infection-induced changes in a host's thermal physiology can represent (1) a generalized host response to infection, (2) a pathological side-effect of infection, or (3), provided the parasite's development is temperature-dependent, a subtle case of host manipulation. This study investigates parasite-induced changes in the thermal biology of a first intermediate host infected by two castrating trematodes (genera Maritrema and Philophthalmus) using laboratory experiments and field surveys. The heat tolerance and temperatures selected by the snail, Zeacumantus subcarinatus, displayed alterations upon infection that differed between the two trematodes. Upon heating, snails infected by Maritrema sustained activity for longer durations than uninfected snails, followed by a more rapid recovery, and selected higher temperatures in a thermal gradient. These snails were also relatively abundant in high shore localities in the summer only, corresponding with seasonal elevated microhabitat temperatures. By contrast, Philophthalmus-infected snails fell rapidly into a coma upon heating and did not display altered thermal preferences. The respective heat tolerance of each trematode corresponded with the thermal responses induced in the snail: Maritrema survived exposure to 40°C, while Philophthalmus was less heat tolerant. Although both trematodes infect the same tissues, Philophthalmus leads to a reduction in the host's thermal tolerance, a response consistent with a pathological side effect. By contrast, Maritrema induces heat tolerance in the snail and withstood exposure to high heat. As the developmental rate and infectivity of Maritrema increase with temperature up to 25°C, one adaptive explanation for our findings is that Maritrema manipulates the snail's thermal responses to exploit warm microhabitats.

  18. Snail levels control the migration mechanism of mesenchymal tumor cells

    PubMed Central

    BELGIOVINE, CRISTINA; CHIESA, GIULIO; CHIODI, ILARIA; FRAPOLLI, ROBERTA; BONEZZI, KATIUSCIA; TARABOLETTI, GIULIA; D'INCALCI, MAURIZIO; MONDELLO, CHIARA

    2016-01-01

    Cancer cells use two major types of movement: Mesenchymal, which is typical of cells of mesenchymal origin and depends on matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity, and amoeboid, which is characteristic of cells with a rounded shape and relies on the activity of Rho-associated kinase (ROCK). The present authors previously demonstrated that, during neoplastic transformation, telomerase-immortalized human fibroblasts (cen3tel cells) acquired a ROCK-dependent/MMP independent mechanism of invasion, mediated by the downregulation of the ROCK cellular inhibitor Round (Rnd)3/RhoE. In the present study, cen3tel transformation was also demonstrated to be paralleled by downregulation of Snail, a major determinant of the mesenchymal movement. To test whether Snail levels could determine the type of movement adopted by mesenchymal tumor cells, Snail was ectopically expressed in tumorigenic cells. It was observed that ectopic Snail did not increase the levels of typical mesenchymal markers, but induced cells to adopt an MMP-dependent mechanism of invasion. In cells expressing ectopic Snail, invasion became sensitive to the MMP inhibitor Ro 28–2653 and insensitive to the ROCK inhibitor Y27632, suggesting that, once induced by Snail, the mesenchymal movement prevails over the amoeboid one. Snail-expressing cells had a more aggressive behavior in vivo, and exhibited increased tumor growth rate and metastatic ability. These results confirm the high plasticity of cancer cells, which can adopt different types of movement in response to changes in the expression of specific genes. Furthermore, the present findings indicate that Rnd3 and Snail are possible regulators of the type of invasion mechanism adopted by mesenchymal tumor cells. PMID:27347214

  19. Snail levels control the migration mechanism of mesenchymal tumor cells.

    PubMed

    Belgiovine, Cristina; Chiesa, Giulio; Chiodi, Ilaria; Frapolli, Roberta; Bonezzi, Katiuscia; Taraboletti, Giulia; D'Incalci, Maurizio; Mondello, Chiara

    2016-07-01

    Cancer cells use two major types of movement: Mesenchymal, which is typical of cells of mesenchymal origin and depends on matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity, and amoeboid, which is characteristic of cells with a rounded shape and relies on the activity of Rho-associated kinase (ROCK). The present authors previously demonstrated that, during neoplastic transformation, telomerase-immortalized human fibroblasts (cen3tel cells) acquired a ROCK-dependent/MMP independent mechanism of invasion, mediated by the downregulation of the ROCK cellular inhibitor Round (Rnd)3/RhoE. In the present study, cen3tel transformation was also demonstrated to be paralleled by downregulation of Snail, a major determinant of the mesenchymal movement. To test whether Snail levels could determine the type of movement adopted by mesenchymal tumor cells, Snail was ectopically expressed in tumorigenic cells. It was observed that ectopic Snail did not increase the levels of typical mesenchymal markers, but induced cells to adopt an MMP-dependent mechanism of invasion. In cells expressing ectopic Snail, invasion became sensitive to the MMP inhibitor Ro 28-2653 and insensitive to the ROCK inhibitor Y27632, suggesting that, once induced by Snail, the mesenchymal movement prevails over the amoeboid one. Snail-expressing cells had a more aggressive behavior in vivo, and exhibited increased tumor growth rate and metastatic ability. These results confirm the high plasticity of cancer cells, which can adopt different types of movement in response to changes in the expression of specific genes. Furthermore, the present findings indicate that Rnd3 and Snail are possible regulators of the type of invasion mechanism adopted by mesenchymal tumor cells.

  20. Reproductive Ecology of the Giant African Snail in South Florida: Implications for Eradication Programs.

    PubMed

    Roda, Amy; Nachman, Gösta; Weihman, Scott; Yong Cong, Mary; Zimmerman, Fredrick

    2016-01-01

    Giant African snail (Achatina fulica (Bowdich, 1822)), an important invasive snail, was recently found in South Florida, USA. An extensive eradication effort was initiated consisting of pesticide applications, debris removal and hand collections. We studied the reproduction capacity and population dynamics of snails collected from 22 populations for two years to help evaluate the likely success of the eradication program. A total of 23,890 snails, ranging from 25-131 mm, were measured, dissected and the number of eggs in each snail counted. Gravid snails ranged from 48-128 mm. Only 5% of snails had eggs, which were found year round. As the snails increased in size, they were more likely to include reproducing individuals. However, the percentage of gravid snails peaked when snails were approximately 90 mm. Although more prevalent, small (<65 mm) adults contributed fewer eggs to the population than the larger snails. We evaluated the effect of control measures on six populations having >1000 adult snails and used data from the two largest populations to investigate how environmental factors (temperature, humidity, and rainfall) interacted with population dynamics and control measures. More snails were collected in weeks with high humidity and more gravid snails were collected when the temperature was higher. The addition of metaldehyde pesticides had the greatest impact on population dynamics by reducing snail numbers. In populations with fewer snails, their numbers were already declining before the use of metaldehyde, although the new treatment accelerated the process. As a consequence of the eradication program, egg-producing snails were no longer collected from most populations by the end of the study. The aggressive and persistent control efforts apparently lead to reduced populations of egg producing snails, eventually resulting in local extinctions of this important pest.

  1. Reproductive Ecology of the Giant African Snail in South Florida: Implications for Eradication Programs

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Giant African snail (Achatina fulica (Bowdich, 1822)), an important invasive snail, was recently found in South Florida, USA. An extensive eradication effort was initiated consisting of pesticide applications, debris removal and hand collections. We studied the reproduction capacity and population dynamics of snails collected from 22 populations for two years to help evaluate the likely success of the eradication program. A total of 23,890 snails, ranging from 25–131 mm, were measured, dissected and the number of eggs in each snail counted. Gravid snails ranged from 48–128 mm. Only 5% of snails had eggs, which were found year round. As the snails increased in size, they were more likely to include reproducing individuals. However, the percentage of gravid snails peaked when snails were approximately 90 mm. Although more prevalent, small (<65 mm) adults contributed fewer eggs to the population than the larger snails. We evaluated the effect of control measures on six populations having >1000 adult snails and used data from the two largest populations to investigate how environmental factors (temperature, humidity, and rainfall) interacted with population dynamics and control measures. More snails were collected in weeks with high humidity and more gravid snails were collected when the temperature was higher. The addition of metaldehyde pesticides had the greatest impact on population dynamics by reducing snail numbers. In populations with fewer snails, their numbers were already declining before the use of metaldehyde, although the new treatment accelerated the process. As a consequence of the eradication program, egg-producing snails were no longer collected from most populations by the end of the study. The aggressive and persistent control efforts apparently lead to reduced populations of egg producing snails, eventually resulting in local extinctions of this important pest. PMID:27861504

  2. Correlation between snails and fish in fish ponds of World Fish Center (ICLARM) with special reference to snail vectors of schistosomiasis and fascioliasis.

    PubMed

    Ismail, Nahed M M; El Gamal, Abd El Rahman A

    2003-08-01

    The abundance of snail species in earthen fish ponds, irrigation and drainage canals at World Fish Center (ICLARM) in descending order was Bellamya unicolor (50.89%) > Physa acuta (18.94%) > Cleopatra bulimoides (7.6%) > Lanistes carinatus (6.73%) > Bulinus truncatus (5.19%) > Melanoides tuberculata (4.83%) > Lymnaea natalensis (3.14%) > Gabbiella senaariensis (0.9%) > Biomphalaria alexandrina (0.55%) > Lym naea truncatula (0.4%) > Planorbis planorbis and Succinea cleopatra (0.33%) > Ferrissia isseli (0.18%). Dead snails constituted about 5.19% of all the collected specimens. There were dramatic decrease in the total number of pulmonates in fish ponds which contained only Tilapia sp., and a very small number of cat fish, whereas the numbers of prosobranchia snails were much higher in these ponds. In fish ponds which accommodated a variety of fish species, the most dominant snail was B. unicolor followed by L. carinatus. However, pulmonate snails were absent in these ponds. B. truncatus was the only snail species found in concrete tank which contained only young tilapias with a very small size (5-8 cm in standard length). In irrigation canals, the number of snails and diversity was much higher than those in fish ponds. Out of 191 snails collected from inlet irrigation canal, 71 were dead, but in the outside irrigation canals, seven out of 564 snails were dead. P. acuta was absent in all examined fish ponds, but it was alive and in a high number (497 snails) in the outside irrigation canals. The number of snails collected from Bahnasawy drain was remarkably low (128 snails), however the diversity of snails was much higher compared to those in fish ponds and irrigation canals. Snail populations were stable with constant recruitment of young to adult snails for all the studied species.

  3. Spotlight on the in vitro effect of artemisinin-naphthoquine phosphate on Schistosoma mansoni and its snail host Biomphalaria alexandrina.

    PubMed

    El-Beshbishi, Samar N; El Bardicy, Samia; Tadros, Menerva; Ayoub, Magda; Taman, Amira

    2015-01-01

    Malaria and schistosomiasis are the two most important parasitic diseases in the tropics and sub-tropics with geographic overlap. Efforts have been made for developing new schistosomicidal drugs, or testing existing drugs originally used for non-related diseases. The antimalarial artemisinin-naphthoquine phosphate combination (CO-ArNp) was recently reported to be a promising novel antischistosomal therapy with potent in vivo activity against Schistosoma mansoni. In this work, we report the in vitro dose- and time-response effect of CO-ArNp against the Egyptian strain of S. mansoni, and its snail host, Biomphalaria alexandrina. Incubation of adult S. mansoni with CO-ArNp at 40 or 20 μg/ml for 48 or 72 h killed all worms. Exposure of S. mansoni miracidia and cercariae to the molluscicidal LC50 of CO-ArNp (16.8 μg/ml) resulted in 100% mortality of the free larval stages within 90 and 15 min, respectively. Moreover, incubation of adult B. alexandrina snails with this drug combination killed all snails at 40 μg/ml within 24h. Scanning electron microscope revealed marked morphological and tegumental alterations on the different stages of the parasite and its snail soft tissue. Our study highlights the schistosomicidal and molluscicidal effects of artemisinin-naphthoquine phosphate. No doubt more studies are needed to clarify its potential value to control schistosomiasis.

  4. Drivers of symbiont diversity in freshwater snails: a comparative analysis of resource availability, community heterogeneity, and colonization opportunities.

    PubMed

    McCaffrey, Keegan; Johnson, Pieter T J

    2017-04-01

    Decades of community ecology research have highlighted the importance of resource availability, habitat heterogeneity, and colonization opportunities in driving biodiversity. Less clear, however, is whether a similar suite of factors explains the diversity of symbionts. Here, we used a hierarchical dataset involving 12,712 freshwater snail hosts representing five species to test the relative importance of potential factors in driving symbiont richness. Specifically, we used model selection to assess the explanatory power of variables related to host species identity, resource availability (average body size, host density), ecological heterogeneity (richness of hosts and other taxa), and colonization opportunities (wetland size and amount of neighboring wetland area) on symbiont richness in 146 snail host populations in California, USA. We encountered a total of 23 taxa of symbionts, including both obligatory parasites such as digenetic trematodes as well as more commensal, mutualistic, or opportunistic groups such as aquatic insect larvae, annelids, and leeches. After validating richness estimates per host population using species accumulative curves, we detected positive effects on symbiont richness from host body size, total richness of the aquatic community, and colonization opportunities. Neither snail density nor the richness of snail species accounted for significant variation in symbiont diversity. Host species identity also affected symbiont richness, with higher gamma and average alpha diversity among more common host species with higher local abundances. These findings highlight the importance of multiple, concurrent factors in driving symbiont richness that extend beyond epidemiological measures of host abundance or host diversity alone.

  5. Bioactivity of miltefosine against aquatic stages of Schistosoma mansoni, Schistosoma haematobium and their snail hosts, supported by scanning electron microscopy.

    PubMed

    Eissa, Maha M; El Bardicy, Samia; Tadros, Menerva

    2011-05-11

    Miltefosine, which is the first oral drug licensed for the treatment of leishmaniasis, was recently reported to be a promising lead compound for the synthesis of novel antischistosomal derivatives with potent activity in vivo against different developmental stages of Schistosoma mansoni. In this paper an in vitro study was carried out to investigate whether it has a biocidal activity against the aquatic stages of Schistosoma mansoni and its snail intermediate host, Biomphalaria alexandrina , thus being also a molluscicide. Additionally, to see whether miltefosine can have a broad spectrum antischistosomal activity, a similar in vitro study was carried out on the adult stage of Schistosoma haematobium, the second major human species, its larval stages and snail intermediate host, Bulinus truncutes. This was checked by scanning electron microscopy. Miltefosine proved to have in vitro ovicidal, schistolarvicidal and lethal activity on adult worms of both Schistosoma species and has considerable molluscicidal activity on their snail hosts. Scanning electron microscopy revealed several morphological changes on the different stages of the parasite and on the soft body of the snail, which further strengthens the current evidence of miltefosine's activity. This is the first report of mollusicidal activity of miltefosine and its in vitro schistosomicidal activity against S.haematobium. This study highlights miltefosine not only as a potential promising lead compound for the synthesis of novel broad spectrum schistosomicidal derivatives, but also for molluscicidals.

  6. Monoamines in the albumen gland, plasma, and central nervous system of the snail Biomphalaria glabrata during egg-laying.

    PubMed

    Boyle, Jon P; Yoshino, Timothy P

    2002-06-01

    The potential role of selected biogenic monoamines and related compounds in the reproductive physiology of the freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata was investigated. Extracts of the albumen gland (AG), plasma, and central nervous system (CNS) were subjected to high pressure liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection (HPLC-ED), and under the extraction and separation conditions employed the following amines were detected: tyrosine, dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA), dopamine, and tryptophan in the AG; DOPA, tyrosine, and tryptophan in the plasma; DOPA, tyrosine, dopamine and 5-hydroxytryptamine in the CNS. These compounds were then quantified in individual samples taken from snails known to be in a particular stage of the egg-laying process. AG dopamine levels were highest in snails in the first stage of the reproductive process, when the AG is secreting perivitelline fluid around each fertilized ovum. Significant decreases in AG protein content during the later stages of the egg-laying process were also evident. Plasma tyrosine and DOPA levels were lowest in snails that contained a fully packaged egg mass, while no changes in monoamine content were observed in the CNS. These data provide insights into the role(s) that monoamines, especially catecholamine-related compounds, may play in B. glabrata reproductive physiology.

  7. [Ephaptic feedback in identified synapses of terrestrial snails].

    PubMed

    Bravarenko, N I; Malayshev, A Iu; Voronin, L L; Balaban, P M

    2004-01-01

    A hypothesis for the existence of the intrasynaptic ephaptic feedback (EFB) in the invertebrate central nervous sytem was tested. Excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) and currents (EPSCs) evoked by the activation of the recently described monosynaptic connection between the identified snail neurons were recorded intracellularly. In case of the EFB presence, the postsynaptic tetanization with hyperpolarization pulses could activate presynaptic Ca2+ channels and enhance the EPSP amplitude, whereas a steady postsynaptic hyperpolarization should induce a "supralinear" increase in EPSC amplitudes as it has been found in the rat hippocampus. In the first series of the experiments, 10 trains of hyperpolarizing pulses (40-50 mV, 1 Hz, pulse duration 0.5 s, train duration 45 s) were delivered postsynaptically. No significant changes in EPSP amplitudes were found. In the second series of the experiments, the EPSC amplitudes were measured during varying postsynaptic hyperpolarization. At the membrane potential 100 mV, the EPSP amplitude was significantly higher than theoretically predicted from the classical linear dependence. Such a "supralinear" effect of postsynaptic depolarization can be explained by the presence of the EFB. This finding is the first evidence for the EFB existence in the invertebrate central nervous system.

  8. Proteomic Analysis of Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) Reveals Cross-talk between SNAIL and HDAC1 Proteins in Breast Cancer Cells*

    PubMed Central

    Palma, Camila de Souza; Grassi, Mariana Lopes; Thomé, Carolina Hassibe; Ferreira, Germano Aguiar; Albuquerque, Daniele; Pinto, Mariana Tomazini; Ferreira Melo, Fernanda Ursoli; Kashima, Simone; Covas, Dimas Tadeu; Pitteri, Sharon J.; Faça, Vitor M.

    2016-01-01

    Epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT)1 occurs naturally during embryogenesis, tissue repair, cancer progression, and metastasis. EMT induces cellular and microenvironmental changes resulting in loss of epithelial and acquisition of mesenchymal phenotypes, which promotes cellular invasive and migratory capabilities. EMT can be triggered by extracellular factors, including TGF-β, HGF, and EGF. Overexpression of transcription factors, such as SNAIL, SLUG, ZEB1/2, and TWIST1, also induces EMT and is correlated to cancer aggressiveness. Here, the breast adenocarcinoma cell line MCF7 was transduced with SNAIL to identify specific mechanisms controlled by this transcription factor during EMT. Overexpression of SNAIL led to EMT, which was thoroughly validated by molecular, morphological, and functional experiments. Subcellular proteome enrichment followed by GEL-LC-MS/MS was performed to provide extensive protein fractionation and in-depth proteomic analysis. Quantitative analysis relied on a SILAC strategy, using the invasive breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231 as a reference for quantitation. Subsets of proteins enriched in each subcellular compartment led to a complementary list of 4289 proteins identified with high confidence. A subset of differentially expressed proteins was validated by Western blot, including regulation in specific cellular compartments, potentially caused by protein translocation. Protein network analysis highlighted complexes involved in cell cycle control and epigenetic regulation. Flow cytometry analysis indicated that SNAIL overexpression led to cell cycle arrest in G0/G1 phases. Furthermore, down-regulation of HDAC1 was observed, supporting the involvement of epigenetic processes in SNAIL-induced EMT. When HDAC1 activity was inhibited, MCF7 not only apparently initiated EMT but also up-regulated SNAIL, indicating the cross-talk between these two proteins. Both HDAC1 inhibition and SNAIL overexpression activated the AKT pathway. These

  9. MicroRNA-130b improves renal tubulointerstitial fibrosis via repression of Snail-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition in diabetic nephropathy

    PubMed Central

    Bai, Xiaoyan; Geng, Jian; Zhou, Zhanmei; Tian, Jianwei; Li, Xiao

    2016-01-01

    MicroRNA-130b (miR-130b) downregulation has been identified in diabetes, but the role and mechanisms for miR-130b in mediating renal tubulointerstitial fibrosis in diabetic nephropathy (DN) remain unknown. We demonstrated that plasma miR-130b downregulation exhibited clinical and biological relevance as it was linked to increased serum creatinine, β2-microglobulin and proteinuria, increased Snail expression and tubulointerstitial fibrosis in renal biopsies of DN patients. MiR-130b inhibitor caused Snail upregulation and enhanced molecular features of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in high glucose (30 mM) cultured NRK-52E cells. In contrast, miR-130b mimic downregulated Snail expression and increased epithelial hallmarks. Notably, Snail was identified as an miR-130b direct target and inversely correlated with E-CADHERIN expression. Furthermore, the miR-130b-dependent effects were due to Snail suppression that in turn deregulated E-CADHERIN, VIMENTIN, COLLAGEN IV and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), key mediators of EMT. These effects were reproduced in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Thus, we propose a novel role of the miR-130b-SNAIL axis in fostering EMT and progression toward increased tubulointerstitial fibrosis in DN. Detection of plasma miR-130b and its association with SNAIL can be extrapolated to quantifying the severity of renal tubulointerstitial fibrosis. Targeting miR-130b could be evaluated as a potential therapeutic approach for DN. PMID:26837280

  10. Proteomic Analysis of Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) Reveals Cross-talk between SNAIL and HDAC1 Proteins in Breast Cancer Cells.

    PubMed

    Palma, Camila de Souza; Grassi, Mariana Lopes; Thomé, Carolina Hassibe; Ferreira, Germano Aguiar; Albuquerque, Daniele; Pinto, Mariana Tomazini; Ferreira Melo, Fernanda Ursoli; Kashima, Simone; Covas, Dimas Tadeu; Pitteri, Sharon J; Faça, Vitor M

    2016-03-01

    Epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT)(1) occurs naturally during embryogenesis, tissue repair, cancer progression, and metastasis. EMT induces cellular and microenvironmental changes resulting in loss of epithelial and acquisition of mesenchymal phenotypes, which promotes cellular invasive and migratory capabilities. EMT can be triggered by extracellular factors, including TGF-β, HGF, and EGF. Overexpression of transcription factors, such as SNAIL, SLUG, ZEB1/2, and TWIST1, also induces EMT and is correlated to cancer aggressiveness. Here, the breast adenocarcinoma cell line MCF7 was transduced with SNAIL to identify specific mechanisms controlled by this transcription factor during EMT. Overexpression of SNAIL led to EMT, which was thoroughly validated by molecular, morphological, and functional experiments. Subcellular proteome enrichment followed by GEL-LC-MS/MS was performed to provide extensive protein fractionation and in-depth proteomic analysis. Quantitative analysis relied on a SILAC strategy, using the invasive breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231 as a reference for quantitation. Subsets of proteins enriched in each subcellular compartment led to a complementary list of 4289 proteins identified with high confidence. A subset of differentially expressed proteins was validated by Western blot, including regulation in specific cellular compartments, potentially caused by protein translocation. Protein network analysis highlighted complexes involved in cell cycle control and epigenetic regulation. Flow cytometry analysis indicated that SNAIL overexpression led to cell cycle arrest in G0/G1 phases. Furthermore, down-regulation of HDAC1 was observed, supporting the involvement of epigenetic processes in SNAIL-induced EMT. When HDAC1 activity was inhibited, MCF7 not only apparently initiated EMT but also up-regulated SNAIL, indicating the cross-talk between these two proteins. Both HDAC1 inhibition and SNAIL overexpression activated the AKT pathway. These

  11. Snails and trematode infection after Indian Ocean tsunami in Phang-Nga Province, southern Thailand.

    PubMed

    Sri-Aroon, Pusadee; Chusongsang, Phiraphol; Chusongsang, Yupa; Pornpimol, Surinthwong; Butraporn, Piyarat; Lohachit, Chantima

    2010-01-01

    The tsunami and non-tsunami affected areas of Takua Pa District, Phang-Nga Province were investigated for fresh- and brackish-water snails that transmit human parasitic diseases during 2006 and 2007. Among 46 snail species found, 17 species of 8 families were freshwater snails, 28 species of another 7 families were brackish-water snails, and 1 species was a land snail. Of these species, 11 freshwater snails, 4 brackish-water snails and 1 land snail were of medical importance. The fresh-water snails were Pomacea canaliculata, Pila angelica, P. gracilis, P. polita, Filopaludina (S.) martensi, F. (F.) s. polygramma, Melanoides tuberculata, Indoplanorbis exuxtus, Radix rubiginosa, Helicorbis umbilicalis, Gyraulus convexiusculus. Four brackish-water snails were Cerithidea cingulata, C. djadjarensis, C. alata, Sermyla riqueti and Achatina fulica was the land snail. I. exutus, M. tuberculata and F. (F.) s. polygramma harbored Xiphidio, Microcercus, Furocercus, Echinostome cercariae, and cercaria without eyespots or tail with hair. Three species of brackish-water snails, Cerithidia cingulata, C. djadjariensis, and C. alata presented with 6 types of trematode cercariae and rediae. Knowledge of medically important snails and their parasitic diseases, and prevention were given to Takua Pa people by poster, pamphlets and broadcasting through community radio.

  12. Green garden snail, Cantareus apertus, as biomonitor and sentinel for integrative metal pollution assessment in roadside soils.

    PubMed

    Mleiki, Anwar; Marigómez, Ionan; El Menif, Najoua Trigui

    2017-09-14

    The present investigation was conceived to study, in a small scale field study, the potential of the green garden snail, Cantareus apertus, as biomonitor and sentinel for integrative metal pollution assessment in soils. For this purpose, we investigated the association between the trace metal (Cd, Pb, As, Fe, Cr, Cu, Ni, and Zn) concentrations in soil, plants (Trifolium repens), and C. apertus depending on the distance (20, 150, and 700 m) from a main roadside in Tunisia as well as between metal concentrations and biomarkers of oxidative stress, oxidative damage, and neurotoxicity in C. apertus. Results revealed a clear association between the concentration of metals such as Ni, Cu, and Zn in snail digestive gland, both amongst them and with oxidative stress and neurotoxicity biomarkers recorded in the same organ. Interestingly, Ni, Pb, and Zn occurred at the highest concentration in soil, plant, and snails and the association appeared related to the immediacy of the roadside and the concentration of these three metals tended to decrease with distance from the roadside in the soil-plant-snail system. Conversely, Cd and Cu were bioaccumulated in plants and snails but their concentrations in soil were not high and did not show a decline in concentration with distance from the roadside. After PCA analysis, PC-01 (56% of the variance) represented metal bioaccumulation and associated toxic effects in snails in the presence of high levels of metal pollution (nearby the roadside) while PC-02 (35% of the variance) represented stress induced by moderate levels of metal pollution (at intermediate distances from the roadside). The four studied sites were clearly discriminated one from each other, depending on how they are affected by traffic pollution. In summary, this field study reveals that (a) C. apertus can be used as biomonitor for metal pollution in roadside soils and as sentinel for pollution effects assessment based on biochemical biomarkers; and (b) that oxidative

  13. Factors controlling shell carbon isotopic composition of land snail Acusta despecta sieboldiana estimated from lab culturing experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, N.; Yamada, K.; Suzuki, N.; Yoshida, N.

    2014-05-01

    The carbon isotopic composition (δ13C) of land snail shell carbonate derives from three potential sources: diet, atmospheric CO2, and ingested carbonate (limestone). However, their relative contributions remain unclear. Under various environmental conditions, we cultured one land snail species, Acusta despecta sieboldiana collected from Yokohama, Japan, and confirmed that all of these sources affect shell carbonate δ13C values. Herein, we consider the influences of metabolic rates and temperature on the carbon isotopic composition of the shell carbonate. Based on previous works and on results obtained in this study, a simple but credible framework is presented for discussion of how each source and environmental parameter can affect shell carbonate δ13C values. According to this framework and some reasonable assumptions, we have estimated the contributions of different carbon sources for each snail individual: for cabbage (C3 plant) fed groups, the contributions of diet, atmospheric CO2 and ingested limestone respectively vary as 66-80%, 16-24%, and 0-13%. For corn (C4 plant) fed groups, because of the possible food stress (lower consumption ability of C4 plant), the values vary respectively as 56-64%, 18-20%, and 16-26%. Moreover, we present new evidence that snails have discrimination to choose C3 and C4 plants as food. Therefore, we suggest that food preferences must be considered adequately when applying δ13C in paleo-environment studies. Finally, we inferred that, during egg laying and hatching of our cultured snails, carbon isotope fractionation is controlled only by the isotopic exchange of the calcite-HCO3--aragonite equilibrium.

  14. Celastrol inhibits TGF-β1-induced epithelial–mesenchymal transition by inhibiting Snail and regulating E-cadherin expression

    SciTech Connect

    Kang, Hyereen; Lee, Minjae; Jang, Sung-Wuk

    2013-08-09

    Highlights: •We investigated the effects of celastrol on TGF-β1-induced EMT in epithelial cells. •Celastrol regulates TGF-β1-induced morphological changes and E-cadherin expression. •Celastrol inhibits TGF-β1-induced Snail expression. •Celastrol strongly suppresses TGF-β1-induced invasion in MDCK and A549 cells. -- Abstract: The epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a pivotal event in the invasive and metastatic potentials of cancer progression. Celastrol inhibits the proliferation of a variety of tumor cells including leukemia, glioma, prostate, and breast cancer; however, the possible role of celastrol in the EMT is unclear. We investigated the effect of celastrol on the EMT. Transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-β1) induced EMT-like morphologic changes and upregulation of Snail expression. The downregulation of E-cadherin expression and upregulation of Snail in Madin–Darby Canine Kidney (MDCK) and A549 cell lines show that TGF-β1-mediated the EMT in epithelial cells; however, celastrol markedly inhibited TGF-β1-induced morphologic changes, Snail upregulation, and E-cadherin expression. Migration and invasion assays revealed that celastrol completely inhibited TGF-β1-mediated cellular migration in both cell lines. These findings indicate that celastrol downregulates Snail expression, thereby inhibiting TGF-β1-induced EMT in MDCK and A549 cells. Thus, our findings provide new evidence that celastrol suppresses lung cancer invasion and migration by inhibiting TGF-β1-induced EMT.

  15. ERK/GSK3ß/Snail signaling mediates radiation-induced alveolar epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition

    PubMed Central

    Nagarajan, Devipriya; Melo, Tahira; Deng, Zhiyong; Almeida, Celine; Zhao, Weiling

    2011-01-01

    Radiotherapy is one of the major treatment regimes for thoracic malignancies, but can lead to severe lung complications including pneumonitis and fibrosis. Recent studies suggest that epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) plays an important role in tissue injury leading to organ fibrosis. To investigate whether radiation can induce EMT in lung epithelial cells and also understand the potential mechanism(s) associated with this change, rat alveolar type II lung epithelial RLE-6TN cells were irradiated with 8 Gy of 137Cs γ-rays. Western blot and immunofluorescence analyses revealed a time-dependent decrease in E-cadherin with a concomitant increase in α-SMA and vimentin after radiation, suggesting that the epithelial cells acquired mesenchymal-like morphology. Protein levels and nuclear translocation of Snail, the key inducer of EMT, were significantly elevated in the irradiated cells. Radiation also induced a time-dependent inactivation of glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK3ß), an endogenous inhibitor of Snail. A marked increase in phosphorylation of ERK1/2, but not JNKs or p38, was observed in irradiated RLE-6TN cells. Silencing ERK1/2 using siRNAs and the MEK/ERK inhibitor U0126 attenuated the radiation-induced phosphorylation of GSK3ß and altered the protein levels of Snail, α-SMA and E-cadherin in RLE-6TN cells. Pre-incubating RLE-6TN cells with N-acetyl cysteine, an antioxidant, abolished the radiation-induced phosphorylation of ERK and altered protein levels of Snail, E-cadherin and α-SMA. These findings reveal, for the first time, that radiation-induced EMT in alveolar type II epithelial cells is mediated by the ERK/GSK3ß/Snail pathway. PMID:22198183

  16. Functional changes in the snail statocyst system elicited by microgravity.

    PubMed

    Balaban, Pavel M; Malyshev, Aleksey Y; Ierusalimsky, Victor N; Aseyev, Nikolay; Korshunova, Tania A; Bravarenko, Natasha I; Lemak, M S; Roshchin, Matvey; Zakharov, Igor S; Popova, Yekaterina; Boyle, Richard

    2011-03-29

    The mollusk statocyst is a mechanosensing organ detecting the animal's orientation with respect to gravity. This system has clear similarities to its vertebrate counterparts: a weight-lending mass, an epithelial layer containing small supporting cells and the large sensory hair cells, and an output eliciting compensatory body reflexes to perturbations. In terrestrial gastropod snail we studied the impact of 16- (Foton M-2) and 12-day (Foton M-3) exposure to microgravity in unmanned orbital missions on: (i) the whole animal behavior (Helix lucorum L.), (ii) the statoreceptor responses to tilt in an isolated neural preparation (Helix lucorum L.), and (iii) the differential expression of the Helix pedal peptide (HPep) and the tetrapeptide FMRFamide genes in neural structures (Helix aspersa L.). Experiments were performed 13-42 hours after return to Earth. Latency of body re-orientation to sudden 90° head-down pitch was significantly reduced in postflight snails indicating an enhanced negative gravitaxis response. Statoreceptor responses to tilt in postflight snails were independent of motion direction, in contrast to a directional preference observed in control animals. Positive relation between tilt velocity and firing rate was observed in both control and postflight snails, but the response magnitude was significantly larger in postflight snails indicating an enhanced sensitivity to acceleration. A significant increase in mRNA expression of the gene encoding HPep, a peptide linked to ciliary beating, in statoreceptors was observed in postflight snails; no differential expression of the gene encoding FMRFamide, a possible neurotransmission modulator, was observed. Upregulation of statocyst function in snails following microgravity exposure parallels that observed in vertebrates suggesting fundamental principles underlie gravi-sensing and the organism's ability to adapt to gravity changes. This simple animal model offers the possibility to describe general

  17. Functional Changes in the Snail Statocyst System Elicited by Microgravity

    PubMed Central

    Balaban, Pavel M.; Malyshev, Aleksey Y.; Ierusalimsky, Victor N.; Aseyev, Nikolay; Korshunova, Tania A.; Bravarenko, Natasha I.; Lemak, M. S.; Roshchin, Matvey; Zakharov, Igor S.; Popova, Yekaterina; Boyle, Richard

    2011-01-01

    Background The mollusk statocyst is a mechanosensing organ detecting the animal's orientation with respect to gravity. This system has clear similarities to its vertebrate counterparts: a weight-lending mass, an epithelial layer containing small supporting cells and the large sensory hair cells, and an output eliciting compensatory body reflexes to perturbations. Methodology/Principal Findings In terrestrial gastropod snail we studied the impact of 16- (Foton M-2) and 12-day (Foton M-3) exposure to microgravity in unmanned orbital missions on: (i) the whole animal behavior (Helix lucorum L.), (ii) the statoreceptor responses to tilt in an isolated neural preparation (Helix lucorum L.), and (iii) the differential expression of the Helix pedal peptide (HPep) and the tetrapeptide FMRFamide genes in neural structures (Helix aspersa L.). Experiments were performed 13–42 hours after return to Earth. Latency of body re-orientation to sudden 90° head-down pitch was significantly reduced in postflight snails indicating an enhanced negative gravitaxis response. Statoreceptor responses to tilt in postflight snails were independent of motion direction, in contrast to a directional preference observed in control animals. Positive relation between tilt velocity and firing rate was observed in both control and postflight snails, but the response magnitude was significantly larger in postflight snails indicating an enhanced sensitivity to acceleration. A significant increase in mRNA expression of the gene encoding HPep, a peptide linked to ciliary beating, in statoreceptors was observed in postflight snails; no differential expression of the gene encoding FMRFamide, a possible neurotransmission modulator, was observed. Conclusions/Significance Upregulation of statocyst function in snails following microgravity exposure parallels that observed in vertebrates suggesting fundamental principles underlie gravi-sensing and the organism's ability to adapt to gravity changes. This

  18. Antimicrobial Activity of Molluscan Hemocyanins from Helix and Rapana Snails.

    PubMed

    Dolashka, Pavlina; Dolashki, Aleksander; Van Beeumen, Jozef; Floetenmeyer, Matthias; Velkova, Lyudmila; Stevanovic, Stefan; Voelter, Wolfgang

    2016-01-01

    For the first time the antimicrobial activities of hemocyanins from the molluscs Rapana venosa (RvH) and Helix aspersa (HaH) have been tested. From the hemolymph of the garden snail H. aspersa one structural subunit (βc-HaH ) and eight functional units (FUs, βc-HaH-a to βc-HaH-h) were isolated, and their N-terminal sequences and molecular weights, ranging between 45 and 65 kDa, determined. The antimicrobial test of the hemocyanins against different bacteria showed that only two FUs from Rapana, RvH1-b and RvH1-e, exhibit a low inhibition effect against Staphylococcus aureus. In contrast and surprisingly, the structural subunit βc-HaH of H. aspersa not only shows strong antimicrobial activities against S. aureus and the likewise Gram-positive Streptococcus epidermidis, but also against the Gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli. We suggest that this subunit therefore has the potential to become a substitute for the commonly used antibiotics against which bacterial resistance has gradually been developed.

  19. Calcium-activated potassium conductance noise in snail neurons.

    PubMed

    Westerfield, M; Lux, H D

    1982-11-01

    Current fluctuations were measured in small, 3-6 micrometers-diameter patches of soma membrane in bursting neurons of the snail, Helix pomatia. The fluctuations dramatically increased in magnitude with depolarization of the membrane potential under voltage clamp conditions. Two components of conductance noise were identified in the power spectra calculated from the membrane currents. One component had a corner frequency which increased with depolarization. This component was blocked by intracellular injection of TEA and was relatively insensitive to extracellular calcium levels (as long as the total number of effective divalent cations remained constant). It was identified as fluctuations of the voltage-dependent component of delayed outward current. The second component of conductance noise had a corner frequency which decreased with depolarization. It was relatively unaffected by TEA injection and was reversibly blocked by substitution of extracellular calcium with magnesium, cobalt, or nickel. This second component of noise was identified as fluctuations of the calcium-dependent potassium current. The results suggest that the two components of delayed outward current are conducted through physically distinct channels.

  20. CCL21 Facilitates Chemoresistance and Cancer Stem Cell-Like Properties of Colorectal Cancer Cells through AKT/GSK-3β/Snail Signals

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Lin-Lin; Chen, Xiao-Hui; Zhang, Ge; Liu, Zong-Cai; Wu, Nong; Wang, Hao; Qi, Yi-Fei; Wang, Hong-Sheng; Cai, Shao Hui; Du, Jun

    2016-01-01

    Some evidence indicated that chemoresistance associates with the acquisition of cancer stem-like properties. Recent studies suggested that chemokines can promote the chemoresistance and stem cell properties in various cancer cells, while the underling mechanism is still not completely illustrated. In our study, we found that CCL21 can upregulate the expression of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and stem cell property markers such as Bmi-1, Nanog, and OCT-4 in colorectal cancer (CRC) HCT116 cells and then improve the cell survival rate and mammosphere formation. Our results suggested that Snail was crucial for CCL21-mediated chemoresistance and cancer stem cell property in CRC cells. Further, we observed that CCL21 treatment increased the protein but not mRNA levels of Snail, which suggested that CCL21 upregulates Snail via posttranscriptional ways. The downstream signals AKT/GSK-3β mediated CCL21 induced the upregulation of Snail due to the fact that CCL21 treatment can obviously phosphorylate both AKT and GSK-3β. The inhibitor of PI3K/Akt, LY294002 significantly abolished CCL21 induced chemoresistance and mammosphere formation of HCT116 cells. Collectively, our results in the present study revealed that CCL21 can facilitate chemoresistance and stem cell property of CRC cells via the upregulation of P-gp, Bmi-1, Nanog, and OCT-4 through AKT/GSK-3β/Snail signals, which suggested a potential therapeutic approach to CRC patients. PMID:27057280

  1. The feeding habits of the snail kite in Florida, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sykes, P.W.

    1987-01-01

    The feeding habits of the Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis) were observed intermittently from 1967-1980 in Florida, USA. Approximately 97% of all observed foraging bouts were over marshes having sparse emergent vegetation. The visually-hunting kite was unable to forage over floating mats of exotic water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes). Male kites had shorter hunting bouts than females. For still-hunting, the birds' perches ranged from 0.15-4.6 m high and captures occurred an average of 5.8 m from perches. Females were significantly more successful (70%) for course-hunting than males (48%), but I found no difference for still-hunting. Birds tended to forage throughout the day, except for occasional inactive periods by some individuals during midday. On cooler days, foraging commenced slightly later in the morning than on warmer days. Kites probably capture freshwater apple snails (Pomacea paludosa) as deep as 16 cm. Capture rates for adults generally ranged from 1.7-3.4 snails per hour. Kites usually foraged over a common hunting area, and defense of foraging sites was rare. Handling of snails, from the kite's arrival at the feeding perch unit consumption, averaged 2.7 min, with no significant difference between sexes. However, adult females were more efficient at the extraction portion of this process than were adult males. Snails were usually extracted before being brought to the nest, except in the latter part of the nestling period when some snails were extracted at or near the nest and some were brought intact. Adults feed small chicks bill to bill, and both parents generally shared equally in care of the young, except at two nests where the females did 67% or more of the feeding. Mean length of snails taken by kites was 42.8 mm (range 25.2-71.3 n=697) and mean diameter was 45.8 mm (range 27.4-82.4, n=697). The most common size classes tkaen were 30-60 mm in length and diameter. Nutritional and gross energy values were determined for apple snails. Female

  2. Y Box-Binding Protein 1 Promotes Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition, Invasion, and Metastasis of Cervical Cancer via Enhancing the Expressions of Snail.

    PubMed

    Pang, Tianyun; Li, Min; Zhang, Ye; Yong, Weiwei; Kang, Haixian; Yao, Yunhong; Hu, Xinrong

    2017-10-01

    Y box-binding protein 1 (YB-1) is a potent oncogenic protein. How it regulates Snail in most tumors including cervical cancer is unknown. This article is to study if YB-1 plays a role in cervical cancer via regulating the expression of Snail. Immunohistochemical staining of YB-1, Snail, and E-cadherin (E-cad) was performed on tissue specimens including 35 cases of chronic cervicitis (as a control), 35 cases of cervical intraepithelial neoplasm (CIN) I, 35 cases of CIN II/III, 28 cases of unmetastatic cervical squamous cell carcinoma, and 19 cases of metastatic cervical squamous cell carcinoma. RNA interference technique was used to knock down YB-1, E6, and Snail genes. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction, western blot, and transwell experiment were used to detect RNA, protein, and cell invasion of cervical cancer cell lines Hela and C33A, respectively. First, YB-1 knockdown significantly reduced messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein levels of Snail, followed by the increased mRNA and protein levels of E-cad and the decreased invasive ability in both Hela (human papillomavirus [HPV] 18+) and C33A (HPV-) cell lines. Second, YB-1 and Snail protein were correlatively expressed in the group order of metastatic cervical squamous cell carcinoma > unmetastatic cervical squamous cell carcinoma > CINs > cervicitis, with the inverse expression mode of E-cad in the group order, P value less than 0.01, between any 2 groups. Finally, HPV18 E6 knockdown reduced the mRNA and protein levels of YB-1 and Snail in Hela cells. The results firstly reported that YB-1 whose mRNA expression is regulated by HPV18 E6 promotes epithelial-mesenchymal transition and progression of cervical cancer via enhancing the expressions of Snail, which indicated that YB-1/Snail/epithelial-mesenchymal transition axis could have a potential use in the diagnosis and therapy of cervical cancer metastasis as a cancer marker and molecular target.

  3. Lactic acid microflora of the gut of snail Cornu aspersum

    PubMed Central

    Koleva, Zdravka; Dedov, Ivaylo; Kizheva, Joana; Lipovanska, Roxana; Moncheva, Penka; Hristova, Petya

    2014-01-01

    The intestinal lactic acid microflora of the edible snail Cornu aspersum was studied by culture-based methods and was phenotypically and molecularly characterized. The antibacterial activity of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) isolates was investigated. Snails in different stages of development were collected from farms located in several regions of Bulgaria. One hundred twenty-two isolates, belonging to the group of LAB, were characterized morphologically and were divided into four groups. Representative isolates from each morphological type were subjected to phenotypic characterization and molecular identification. The snail gut lactic acid microflora was composed by Enterococcus (17 isolates), Lactococcus (12 isolates), Leuconostoc (7 isolates), Lactobacillus (18 isolates) and Weissella (1 isolate). The species affiliation of Lactococcus lactis (12), Leuconostoc mesenteroides (4) and Lactobacillus plantarum (2) was confirmed by species-specific primers. The Lactobacillus isolates were identified by sequence analysis of 16S rDNA as Lactobacillus brevis (12), L. plantarum (2), Lactobacillus graminis (1) and Lactobacillus curvatus (3). The species L. brevis, L. graminis and L. curvatus were found in snails in a phase of hibernation, whereas L. plantarum was identified both in active and hibernation phases. Antibacterial activity (bacteriocine-like) was shown only by one strain of L. mesentereoides P4/8 against Propionibacterium acnes. The present study showed that the LAB are a component of the microbial communities in the snail digestive system. This is the first report on Lactobacillus strains detected in the gut of C. aspersum. PMID:26019550

  4. "Central arousal" and sexual responsiveness in the snail, Helix aspersa.

    PubMed

    Adamo, S A; Chase, R

    1991-03-01

    In molluscs, a "central arousal" system is thought to positively modulate both an animal's level of activity and its behavioral responsiveness. This hypothesis is examined in Helix aspersa by testing the relationships between activity, feeding, and sexual behavior. Activity, feeding, and mating exhibit parallel daily rhythms. Snails are most active, and eat and mate most frequently, during scotophase and the first 3 h of photophase. Handling and injections of serotonin (5 x 10(-7) m/kg body wt) increase general activity. Inducing activity during late photophase increases food consumption, but it does not induce sexual activity. Moreover, serotonin and handling have no effect on sexual arousal; treated snails show no increase in genital eversion stage and require the same length of courtship as controls. If snails are sexually deprived, increasing activity in late photophase does increase copulation frequency, but snails do not copulate more frequently than do unhandled snails tested during early photophase. These results suggest that while manipulations thought to increase central arousal do increase activity and responsiveness to food stimuli, they do not directly affect sexual proclivity or sexual arousal. Moreover, the relationship between feeding and sexual behavior differs between Helix and Aplysia. This difference between the two species may be related to the differences in their reproductive strategies.

  5. Antioxidants and oxidative stress in Helix pomatia snails during estivation.

    PubMed

    Nowakowska, Anna; Swiderska-Kołacz, Grazyna; Rogalska, Justyna; Caputa, Michał

    2009-11-01

    Estivation enables land snails to survive a prolonged dryness but the return to active state imposes conditions of oxidative stress on internal organs due to a transient large increase in oxygen consumption, which augments mitochondrial production of reactive oxygen species. Therefore, activities of antioxidant enzymes, concentrations of reduced glutathione (GSH) and TBARS as an index of lipid peroxidation, were evaluated in Helix pomatia snails (i) during summer activity, (ii) during estivation, which was induced experimentally, (iii) at the start of arousal from estivation, and (iv) being aroused for 24 h. Estivation induced significant decreases in activity of catalase in the kidney and hepatopancreas and glutathione peroxidase in the kidney. Activity of glutathione reductase was unaffected by estivation/arousal cycle. Summer-active and estivating snails maintained high activity of glutathione transferase. Concentration of GSH was organ-dependent and was positively affected by estivation. Lack of increase in TBARS concentration during estivation/arousal cycle suggests that antioxidant defence system of H. pomatia snails is highly efficacious. In conclusion, permanent maintenance of relatively high activities of the antioxidant enzymes and the high concentration of GSH in H. pomatia snails indicate that they have well-developed strategy of defence against oxidative injury.

  6. The faucet snail (Bithynia tentaculata) invades the St. Louis River Estuary

    EPA Science Inventory

    The European-origin faucet snail (Bithynia tentaculata) now numbers among the aquatic invasive species present in the St. Louis River Estuary. This snail has been in the lower Great Lakes since the early 20th century but is new to the Lake Superior basin. We found faucet snails...

  7. New scope on the relationship between rotifers and Biomphalaria alexandrina snails

    PubMed Central

    Mossallam, Shereen Farouk; Amer, Eglal Ibrahim; Abou-El-Naga, Iman Fathy

    2013-01-01

    Objective To investigate the effect of rotifer internalization into snail tissue on the development of schistosomes. Methods Susceptible laboratory-bred Biomphalaria alexandrina (B. alexandrina) snails were exposed to lab-maintained rotifers; Philodina spp., two weeks before and after being infected with Schistosoma mansoni (S. mansoni) miracidia. The consequent histopathological impact on snail tissues and cercarial biology were investigated before and after emergence from snails. Results Contamination of B. alexandrina snails with philodina, two weeks before miracidial exposure, was found to hinder the preliminary development of S. mansoni cercariae inside the snail tissues. Furthermore, when snails were contaminated with rotifers two weeks post miracidial exposure; growth of already established cercariae was found to be retarded. The consequent influence of internalized rotifers within the snail tissue was clearly reflected on cercarial emergence, activity and infectivity along the four weeks duration of shedding. In the present study, comparison of snail histopathological findings and altered cercarial biology observed between the experimental and control groups indicated that the rotifers may have affected the levels of snail's energy reservoirs, which eventually was found to have had an adverse impact on reproduction, growth and survival of the parasite within the snail host, coupled with its performance outside the snail. Conclusions In future biological control strategies of schistosomiasis, ritifers should be considered as a parasitic scourge of humanity. PMID:23905015

  8. Helix and Drugs: Snails for Western Health Care From Antiquity to the Present

    PubMed Central

    2005-01-01

    The land helix, or snail, has been used in medicine since antiquity and prepared according to several formulations. This historical report traces the understanding of their properties from the time of Hippocrates, who proposed the use of snail mucus against protoccle and Pliny who thought that the snail increased the speed of delivery and was “a sovereign remedy to treat pain related to burns, abscesses and other wounds”, Galien recommended snails against hydrops foetails. In the 18th century, various snail “preparations” were also recommended for external use with dermatological disorders and internally for symptoms associated with tuberculosis and nephritis. Surprisingly, the 19th century saw a renewed interest in the pharmaceutical and medical use of snails with numerous indications for snail preparations. This interest in snails did not stop at the end of the 19th century. The 1945 edition of Dorvault devotes an entire paragraph to snails, indicating that the therapeutic usage of snails was still alive at that time. Recently the FDA has also shown an interest in snails. Ziconotide (SNXIII), a synthetic peptide coming from snail venom, has been under FDA review since 1999. Pre-clinical and clinical studies of this new drug are promising. PMID:15841274

  9. The faucet snail (Bithynia tentaculata) invades the St. Louis River Estuary

    EPA Science Inventory

    The European-origin faucet snail (Bithynia tentaculata) now numbers among the aquatic invasive species present in the St. Louis River Estuary. This snail has been in the lower Great Lakes since the early 20th century but is new to the Lake Superior basin. We found faucet snails...

  10. New scope on the relationship between rotifers and Biomphalaria alexandrina snails.

    PubMed

    Mossallam, Shereen Farouk; Amer, Eglal Ibrahim; Abou-El-Naga, Iman Fathy

    2013-08-01

    To investigate the effect of rotifer internalization into snail tissue on the development of schistosomes. Susceptible laboratory-bred Biomphalaria alexandrina (B. alexandrina) snails were exposed to lab-maintained rotifers; Philodina spp., two weeks before and after being infected with Schistosoma mansoni (S. mansoni) miracidia. The consequent histopathological impact on snail tissues and cercarial biology were investigated before and after emergence from snails. Contamination of B. alexandrina snails with philodina, two weeks before miracidial exposure, was found to hinder the preliminary development of S. mansoni cercariae inside the snail tissues. Furthermore, when snails were contaminated with rotifers two weeks post miracidial exposure; growth of already established cercariae was found to be retarded. The consequent influence of internalized rotifers within the snail tissue was clearly reflected on cercarial emergence, activity and infectivity along the four weeks duration of shedding. In the present study, comparison of snail histopathological findings and altered cercarial biology observed between the experimental and control groups indicated that the rotifers may have affected the levels of snail's energy reservoirs, which eventually was found to have had an adverse impact on reproduction, growth and survival of the parasite within the snail host, coupled with its performance outside the snail. In future biological control strategies of schistosomiasis, ritifers should be considered as a parasitic scourge of humanity.

  11. Slime-trail tracking in the predatory snail, Euglandina rosea.

    PubMed

    Clifford, Kavan T; Gross, Liaini; Johnson, Kwame; Martin, Khalil J; Shaheen, Nagma; Harrington, Melissa A

    2003-10-01

    Euglandina rosea, a predatory land snail, tracks prey and mates by following slime trails. Euglandina follow slime trails more than 80% of the time, following trails of their own species, but not those of prey snails, in the direction that they were laid. The attractive elements of prey slime are small, water-soluble compounds detected by specialized lip extensions. Although olfaction plays no role in trail following, strong odors disrupt tracking. Inhibition of nitric oxide synthase also disrupts slime trail following, suggesting a role for nitric oxide in neural processing of slime trail stimuli. Euglandina can be conditioned to follow novel trails of glutamate or arginine paired with feeding on prey snails. These experiments demonstrate that slime-trail tracking in Euglandina is a robust, easily measured behavior that makes a good model system for studying sensory processing and learning in a novel modality.

  12. Hitchhiking behaviour in the obligatory upstream migration of amphidromous snails

    PubMed Central

    Kano, Yasunori

    2009-01-01

    Migratory animals endure high stress during long-distance travel in order to benefit from spatio-temporally fluctuating resources, including food and shelter or from colonization of unoccupied habitats. Along with some fishes and shrimps, nerite snails in tropical to temperate freshwater systems are examples of amphidromous animals that migrate upstream for growth and reproduction after a marine larval phase. Here I report, to my knowledge, the first example of ‘hitchhiking’ behaviour in the obligatory migration of animals: the nerite snail Neritina asperulata appears to travel several kilometres as minute juveniles by firmly attaching to the shells of congeneric, subadult snails in streams of Melanesian Islands, presumably to increase the success rate of migration. PMID:19411267

  13. MTA3 regulates CGB5 and Snail genes in trophoblast

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Ying; Miyazaki, Jun; Nishizawa, Haruki; Kurahashi, Hiroki; Leach, Richard; Wang, Kai

    2013-04-19

    Highlights: •Impaired MTA3, raised CGB5 and Snail expression are associated with preeclampsia. •Knock-down of MTA3 causes up-regulation of CGB5 and Snail genes in BeWo cells. •MTA3 occupies CGB5 and Snail gene promoters in BeWo cells. -- Abstract: Secreted by the placental trophoblast, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is an important hormone during pregnancy and is required for the maintenance of pregnancy. Previous studies have shown that dys-regulation of hCG expression is associated with preeclampsia. However, the exact relationship between altered hCG levels and development of preeclampsia is unknown. Metastasis associated protein 3 (MTA3), a chromatin remodeling protein, is abundantly expressed in the placental trophoblasts, but its function is unknown. In breast cancer, MTA3 has been shown to repress the expression of Snail and cell migration. However, whether MTA3 acts similarly in the trophoblast has not been investigated. In the present study, we examined the role of MTA3 in regulating the hCG β-subunit gene (gene name: CGB5) and Snail expression in the trophoblast cell line, BeWo, as well as its relevance to the high hCG expression levels seen in preeclampsia. First, we investigated MTA3 expression in preeclamptic placenta as compared to normal control placenta via gene expression microarray and qRT-PCR and found that MTA3 was significantly down-regulated, whereas both CGB5 and Snail were up-regulated in preeclamptic placenta. Secondly, we knocked down MTA3 gene in trophoblast cell line BeWo and found Snail and hCG were both up-regulated, suggesting that MTA3 represses Snail and hCG gene expression in trophoblasts. Next, we cloned the CGB5 and Snail promoters into the pGL3-basic vector individually and found that silencing of MTA3 by siRNA resulted in an increase of both CGB5 and Snail promoter activities. To confirm that this MTA3 inhibition is a direct effect, we performed a chromatin immune-precipitation (ChIP) assay and found that MTA3

  14. Silicosis Caused by Chronic Inhalation of Snail Shell Powder

    PubMed Central

    Jung, Jae Woo; Lee, Byung Ook; Lee, Jae Hee; Park, Sung Woon; Kim, Bo Min; Choi, Jae Chol; Shin, Jong Wook; Park, In Won; Choi, Byoung Whui

    2012-01-01

    A 70-yr-old woman visited our hospital for shortness of breath. Chest CT showed ground glass opacity and traction bronchiectasis at right middle, lower lobe and left lingular division. Video-assisted thoracic surgical biopsy at right lower lobe and pathologic examination revealed mixed dust pneumoconiosis. Polarized optical microscopy showed lung lesions were consisted of silica and carbon materials. She was a housewife and never been exposed to silica dusts occupationally. She has taken freshwater snails as a health-promoting food for 40 yr and ground shell powder was piled up on her backyard where she spent day-time. Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy of snail shell and scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy of lung lesion revealed that silica occupies important portion. Herein, we report the first known case of silicosis due to chronic inhalation of shell powder of freshwater snail. PMID:22219621

  15. Rapid transcription fosters coordinate snail expression in the Drosophila embryo.

    PubMed

    Boettiger, Alistair Nicol; Levine, Michael

    2013-01-31

    Transcription is commonly held to be a highly stochastic process, resulting in considerable heterogeneity of gene expression among the different cells in a population. Here, we employ quantitative in situ hybridization methods coupled with high-resolution imaging assays to measure the expression of snail, a developmental patterning gene necessary for coordinating the invagination of the mesoderm during gastrulation of the Drosophila embryo. Our measurements of steady-state mRNAs suggest that there is very little variation in snail expression across the different cells that make up the mesoderm and that synthesis approaches the kinetic limits of Pol II processivity. We propose that rapid transcription kinetics and negative autoregulation are responsible for the remarkable homogeneity of snail expression and the coordination of mesoderm invagination.

  16. Effects of trematode parasitism on the shell morphology of snails from flow and nonflow environments.

    PubMed

    Gustafson, Kyle D; Bolek, Matthew G

    2016-03-01

    The primary function of the gastropod shell is protection. However, shells that function well in one environment may be maladaptive in another. Upon infection, the snail shell protects internal parasites and it is to the parasite's advantage to optimize, or not interfere with, shell functionality. However, parasites, particularly trematodes, are often pathogenic and it is not clear if parasitism will induce environment-dependent or -independent changes to gastropod shells. We conducted a field study and a complementary laboratory experiment to examine the effects of trematode parasitism on shell characteristics (shape, size, and crush resistance) of Physa acuta snails in flow and nonflow environments using geometric morphometrics and crush assays. Field results indicate wetland (nonflow) snails had large, crush resistant shells with narrow apertures and tall spires. In contrast, stream (flow) snails had small, weak shells with wide apertures and short spires. Parasitism had no apparent effect on the crush resistance of wetland snails but significantly reduced the crush resistance of stream snails. Parasitism had no significant effect on overall shell shape in stream or wetland snails. Similar to the results of our field study, nonflow tank snails had significantly more crush resistant shells than flow tank snails. Additionally, the shapes of flow and nonflow tank snails significantly differed where nonflow tank snails resembled wetland snails and flow tank snails resembled stream snails. For laboratory snails, parasitism reduced crush resistance regardless of flow/nonflow treatment. Our results demonstrate that habitat and/or flow treatment was the primary factor affecting P. acuta shell morphology and that trematode parasitism played a secondary role.

  17. Natural parasitic infection of the golden apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata.

    PubMed

    Keawjam, R S; Poonswad, P; Upatham, E S; Banpavichit, S

    1993-03-01

    Golden apple snails, Pomacea canaliculata, were collected once a month during a year to search for their natural parasites. The collections were made at two localities having different ecological environments. Of 576 collected snails from a canal, 176 individuals (30.6%) were infected by three groups of metacercariae. These parasites were amphistome, distome and echinostome metacercariae, which had prevalences of 23.5, 19.5 and 0.5%, respectively. The incidence of infection was highest (68.4% in October) when the snail population was composed of the old, juvenile and young Pomacea. Amphistome metacercariae were found most frequently and echinostome metacercariae the least frequently; both parasites were localized in the foot muscle of the snails and had a Shannon index of zero. The range of amphistomes was 1 to 115 with the mean +/- SD of 1 +/- 2 and 95% CL of 1, 2. Distome metacercariae were found primarily in the heart (range: 1-13), and also in the foot muscle (range: 1-5) and kidney (range: 1-14), with a Shannon index of 0.4. The means +/- SD (with 95% CL) were 3 +/- 4 (95% CL = 1, 5), 3 +/- 4 (95% CL = 2, 4) and 2 +/- 1 (95% CL = 1, 2) for the foot muscle, heart and kidney, respectively. The snails from a pond, another locality, had a low proportion of infected individuals. Of 605 snails, only 24 individuals (4.0%) were infected, with the prevalence of amphistomes, distomes and echinostomes being 0.8, 1.8 and 2.1%, respectively. The incidence of infection for each month was zero or less than 10%, except in May when it was 30.2%.

  18. Diagnostic utility of snail in metaplastic breast carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Metaplastic breast carcinoma (MBC) is a rare subtype of breast cancer characterized by coexistence of carcinomatous and sarcomatous components. Snail is a nuclear transcription factor incriminated in the transition of epithelial to mesenchymal differentiation of breast cancer. Aberrant Snail expression results in lost expression of the cell adhesion molecule E-cadherin, an event associated with changes in epithelial architecture and invasive growth. We aimed to identify the utility of Snail, and of traditional immunohistochemical markers, in accurate MBC classification and to evaluate clinicopathologic characteristics and outcome. We retrospectively reviewed 34 MBC cases from January 1997 to September 2007. The control group contained 26 spindle cell lesions. Immunohistochemistry used Snail, p63, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), OSCAR, and wide spectrum cytokeratin (WS-KER). Negative was a score less than 1%. We found that Snail and EGFR are sensitive (100%) markers with low specificity (3.8% and 19.2%) for detecting MBC. p63 and WS-KER are specific (100%), with moderate sensitivity (67.6% and 76.5%); OSCAR is sensitive (85.3%) and specific (92.3%). A combination of any 2 of the p63, OSCAR, and WS-KER markers increased sensitivity and specificity. MBCs tended to be high-grade (77%), triple negative (negative for estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and HER2) [27/33; 81.8%], and carcinomas with low incidence of axillary lymph node involvement (15%), and decreased disease-free [71% (95%CI: 54%, 94%) at 3 yrs.) and overall survival. A combination of p63, OSCAR and WS-KER are useful in its work-up. On the other hand, Snail is neither a diagnostic nor a prognostic marker for MBC. PMID:21110878

  19. Diagnostic utility of snail in metaplastic breast carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Nassar, Aziza; Sookhan, Nicole; Santisteban, Marta; Bryant, Sandra C; Boughey, Judy C; Giorgadze, Tamar; Degnim, Amy

    2010-11-26

    Metaplastic breast carcinoma (MBC) is a rare subtype of breast cancer characterized by coexistence of carcinomatous and sarcomatous components. Snail is a nuclear transcription factor incriminated in the transition of epithelial to mesenchymal differentiation of breast cancer. Aberrant Snail expression results in lost expression of the cell adhesion molecule E-cadherin, an event associated with changes in epithelial architecture and invasive growth. We aimed to identify the utility of Snail, and of traditional immunohistochemical markers, in accurate MBC classification and to evaluate clinicopathologic characteristics and outcome.We retrospectively reviewed 34 MBC cases from January 1997 to September 2007. The control group contained 26 spindle cell lesions. Immunohistochemistry used Snail, p63, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), OSCAR, and wide spectrum cytokeratin (WS-KER). Negative was a score less than 1%. We found that Snail and EGFR are sensitive (100%) markers with low specificity (3.8% and 19.2%) for detecting MBC. p63 and WS-KER are specific (100%), with moderate sensitivity (67.6% and 76.5%); OSCAR is sensitive (85.3%) and specific (92.3%). A combination of any 2 of the p63, OSCAR, and WS-KER markers increased sensitivity and specificity. MBCs tended to be high-grade (77%), triple negative (negative for estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and HER2) [27/33; 81.8%], and carcinomas with low incidence of axillary lymph node involvement (15%), and decreased disease-free [71% (95%CI: 54%, 94%) at 3 yrs.) and overall survival. A combination of p63, OSCAR and WS-KER are useful in its work-up. On the other hand, Snail is neither a diagnostic nor a prognostic marker for MBC.

  20. Prioritized phenotypic responses to combined predators in a marine snail.

    PubMed

    Bourdeau, Paul E

    2009-06-01

    Although many species face numerous predators in nature, the combined impact of multiple predators on the inducible defenses of prey has rarely been studied. Prey may respond with an intermediate phenotype that balances the risk from several sources or may simply respond to the most dangerous predator. I examined the separate and combined effects of the presence of shell-breaking (crabs, Cancer productus) and shell-entry (seastars, Pisaster ochraceus) predators fed conspecific snails on the defensive shell morphology and antipredator behavior of a marine snail (Nucella lamellosa). When exposed to each feeding predator separately, snails responded with a combination of morphological defenses that reflect the attack mode of the predator and a generalized behavioral response. Snails responded to feeding crabs by increasing refuge use and producing a thick, rotund shell. Snails responded to feeding seastars with increased refuge use but produced elongate shells with high spires that allowed for greater retraction of the soft tissue. Seastar-induced phenotypes reduced susceptibility to seastars relative to crab-induced phenotypes, but crab-induced phenotypes did not significantly reduce susceptibility to crabs, indicating an asymmetrical functional trade-off. When feeding predators were combined, snails produced a morphological phenotype similar to that expressed in the presence of the predator that imposed the highest mortality at the population level, suggesting that predator-induced morphology was prioritized according to predation risk. These results suggest that prioritizing conflicting defenses according to predator danger may be a common strategy for prey responding to combined predators, particularly in conjunction with generalized behavioral responses that reduce overall risk in multiple-predator environments.

  1. 78 FR 12346 - Jennings Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Morro Shoulderband Snail, Community of Los...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-22

    ... Snail, Community of Los Osos, San Luis Obispo County, CA AGENCY: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service...'' of the federally endangered Morro shoulderband snail (= banded dune snail; Helminthoglypta walkeriana... mitigate project activities that are likely to result in take of the Morro shoulderband snail as...

  2. Global assessment of schistosomiasis control over the past century shows targeting the snail intermediate host works best

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sokolow, Susanne H.; Wood, Chelsea L.; Jones, Isabel J.; Swartz, Scott J.; Lopez, Melina; Hsieh, Michael H.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Kuris, Armand M.; Rickards, Chloe; De Leo, Giulio A.

    2016-01-01

    Snail control has been the most effective way to reduce schistosomiasis prevalence. Despite evidence that snail control leads to long-term disease reduction and elimination, most current schistosomiasis control efforts emphasize MDA using praziquantel over snail control. Combining drug-based control programs with affordable snail control seems the best strategy for eliminating schistosomiasis.

  3. Optical Recording of Odor-Evoked Responses in the Olfactory Brain of the Naïve and Aversively Trained Terrestrial Snails

    PubMed Central

    Nikitin, Eugeny S.; Balaban, Pavel M.

    2000-01-01

    Regular spontaneous oscillations were recorded both electro- and optophysiologically using a voltage-sensitive absorption dye in the olfactory part of the brain (procerebral lobe of the cerebral ganglia) of the gastropod mollusk Helix lucorum. Odor application caused transient changes in procerebral oscillations, and an odor-evoked potential was recorded in the procerebrum (PC). The wave of evoked potential originated near the place of olfactory nerve entrance into the PC and propagated via the procerebral neuropile toward the cell body layer. The spread of the odor-evoked potential corresponded roughly to the neuropile area, whereas the spontaneous oscillations were recorded in the cell body layer of the PC and were not observed in the neuropile. Evoked potential did not produce additional events intercalated into the ongoing spontaneous oscillations. Changes in parameters of spontaneous oscillations to the repeated presentations of the same odor were variable. To estimate the role of spontaneous oscillations in odor encoding, we trained the snail to avoid cineole, using paired presentations of cineole and electric shock. Elaboration of conditioned aversion to cineole applications resulted in distinct pairing-specific changes in behavior of the snails and procerebral activity. Responses to odor (cineole) applications were not different in amplitude or frequency of spontaneous oscillations in control and trained snails, whereas ratio of amplitudes of the same oscillation wave in proximal and distal regions of the procerebrum was significantly different in control and aversively trained snails, reflecting changes in neural firing in certain areas of the olfactory lobe. PMID:11112801

  4. Ivermectin efficacy against Biomphalaria, intermediate host snail vectors of Schistosomiasis.

    PubMed

    Katz, Naftale; Araújo, Neusa; Coelho, Paulo Marcos Zech; Morel, Carlos Medicis; Linde-Arias, Ana Rosa; Yamada, Takeshi; Horimatsu, Yuki; Suzuki, Koh; Sunazuka, Toshiaki; Ōmura, Satoshi

    2017-03-15

    The impact of ivermectin on adult snails of the genus Biomphalaria (B. glabrata, B. tenagophila and B. straminea), B. glabrata infected with Schistosoma mansoni, snail egg-masses cercariae and miracidia, as well as on guppy fish (Poecilia reticulata) was examined and evaluated. Biomphalaria snails, egg-masses, parasite stages and guppies were all exposed to different concentrations of ivermectin for 24 h, followed by regular observations of mortality. The calculated lethal doses of ivermectin were around an LD50 of 0.03 μg ml(-1), and an LD90 of 0.3 μg ml(-1) for the three species of snails. Specimens of B. glabrata actually shedding parasite cercariae all died when exposed to ivermectin at a concentration of a mere 0.01 μg ml(-1). Ivermectin B1a, the major (80%) component of commercially available ivermectin, proved to be inactive, and it was the minor (20%) component, ivermectin B1b, which caused snail death. Snail egg-masses were not affected, even at the highest concentration of 100 μg ml(-1). With respect to S. mansoni parasite stages, 0.2 μg ml(-1) ivermectin killed 50% of cercariae and miracidia within five minutes, rising to 90% after 30 min. Mortality of guppy fish within 24 h of exposure to ivermectin at concentrations of 0.5 μg ml(-1) and 0.01 μg ml(-1), were 100% and 30%, respectively. The concentration of 0.01 μg ml(-1) that killed Schistosoma mansoni-infected snails only caused 30% mortality in guppy fish. Ivermectin can be considered a promising molluscicide, especially as it is more potent against infected snails than uninfected ones, although it has no impact on egg-masses. Ivermectin and its derivatives could be explored in the search for a new agent to help control schistosomiasis transmission.The Journal of Antibiotics advance online publication, 15 March 2017; doi:10.1038/ja.2017.31.

  5. One-trial reward learning in the snail Lymnea stagnalis.

    PubMed

    Alexander, J; Audesirk, T E; Audesirk, G J

    1984-01-01

    We present evidence that the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis is capable of aquisition and extensive retention of an appetitively reinforced feeding response after only a single training trial. Food-deprived snails presented with a single pairing of a phagostimulant (a mixture of sucrose and casein digest) and a novel, non-food chemostimulus (amyl acetate) subsequently made feeding responses to the amyl acetate and retained the association for at least 19 days. This demonstration of one-trial, non-aversive classical conditioning enhances the utility of Lymnaea stagnalis as a model system for the detailed analysis of neural mechanisms underlying plasticity.

  6. Intraguild predation by shore crabs affects mortality, behavior, growth, and densities of California horn snails

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lorda, J.; Hechinger, R.F.; Cooper, S. D.; Kuris, A. M.; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2016-01-01

    The California horn snail, Cerithideopsis californica, and the shore crabs, Pachygrapsus crassipesand Hemigrapsus oregonensis, compete for epibenthic microalgae, but the crabs also eat snails. Such intraguild predation is common in nature, despite models predicting instability. Using a series of manipulations and field surveys, we examined intraguild predation from several angles, including the effects of stage-dependent predation along with direct consumptive and nonconsumptive predator effects on intraguild prey. In the laboratory, we found that crabs fed on macroalgae, snail eggs, and snails, and the size of consumed snails increased with predator crab size. In field experiments, snails grew less in the presence of crabs partially because snails behaved differently and were buried in the sediment (nonconsumptive effects). Consistent with these results, crab and snail abundances were negatively correlated in three field surveys conducted at three different spatial scales in estuaries of California, Baja California, and Baja California Sur: (1) among 61 sites spanning multiple habitat types in three estuaries, (2) among the habitats of 13 estuaries, and (3) among 34 tidal creek sites in one estuary. These results indicate that shore crabs are intraguild predators on California horn snails that affect snail populations via predation and by influencing snail behavior and performance.

  7. Nuclear ubiquitination by FBXL5 modulates Snail1 DNA binding and stability

    PubMed Central

    Viñas-Castells, Rosa; Frías, Álex; Robles-Lanuza, Estefanía; Zhang, Kun; Longmore, Gregory D.; García de Herreros, Antonio; Díaz, Víctor M.

    2014-01-01

    The zinc finger transcription factor Snail1 regulates epithelial to mesenchymal transition, repressing epithelial markers and activating mesenchymal genes. Snail1 is an extremely labile protein degraded by the cytoplasmic ubiquitin-ligases β-TrCP1/FBXW1 and Ppa/FBXL14. Using a short hairpin RNA screening, we have identified FBXL5 as a novel Snail1 ubiquitin ligase. FBXL5 is located in the nucleus where it interacts with Snail1 promoting its polyubiquitination and affecting Snail1 protein stability and function by impairing DNA binding. Snail1 downregulation by FBXL5 is prevented by Lats2, a protein kinase that phosphorylates Snail1 precluding its nuclear export but not its polyubiquitination. Actually, although polyubiquitination by FBXL5 takes place in the nucleus, Snail1 is degraded in the cytosol. Finally, FBXL5 is highly sensitive to stress conditions and is downregulated by iron depletion and γ-irradiation, explaining Snail1 stabilization in these conditions. These results characterize a novel nuclear ubiquitin ligase controlling Snail1 protein stability and provide the molecular basis for understanding how radiotherapy upregulates the epithelial to mesenchymal transition-inducer Snail1. PMID:24157836

  8. Microbiological quality of raw and processed wild and cultured edible snails.

    PubMed

    Parlapani, Foteini F; Neofitou, Christos; Boziaris, Ioannis S

    2014-03-15

    An increasing interest in snail farming in Greece and other European countries has been observed. Despite the fact that edible snails have been involved with problems of Salmonella spp. contamination, there are to our knowledge only limited studies regarding microbiological safety and hygiene of such products. Enumeration of microbial populations and presence/absence of Salmonella spp. in snail meat and intestines of wild Cornu aspersum, Helix lucorum and cultured Cornu aspersum snails from indoor/outdoor type farms was conducted. Furthermore, snail-processing steps were simulated in the laboratory and the population reduction in snail meat was determined. Microbial populations were higher in intestines than snail meat in almost all cases. Escherichia coli/coliforms and Enterococcus spp. populations were lower in the intestines and snail meat of cultured C. aspersum. Salmonella spp. were detected in the intestines and snail meat of wild snails only. The high levels of bacterial populations were considerably reduced after the appropriate processing. The lower populations of E. coli/coliforms, Enterococcus spp. and especially the absence of Salmonella spp. in cultured snails show that the controlled conditions decrease the possibility of pathogen presence and contribute to food safety and public health. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry.

  9. RNA-Seq reveals infection-induced gene expression changes in the snail intermediate host of the carcinogenic liver fluke, Opisthorchis viverrini.

    PubMed

    Prasopdee, Sattrachai; Sotillo, Javier; Tesana, Smarn; Laha, Thewarach; Kulsantiwong, Jutharat; Nolan, Matthew J; Loukas, Alex; Cantacessi, Cinzia

    2014-03-01

    Bithynia siamensis goniomphalos is the snail intermediate host of the liver fluke, Opisthorchis viverrini, the leading cause of cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) in the Greater Mekong sub-region of Thailand. Despite the severe public health impact of Opisthorchis-induced CCA, knowledge of the molecular interactions occurring between the parasite and its snail intermediate host is scant. The examination of differences in gene expression profiling between uninfected and O. viverrini-infected B. siamensis goniomphalos could provide clues on fundamental pathways involved in the regulation of snail-parasite interplay. Using high-throughput (Illumina) sequencing and extensive bioinformatic analyses, we characterized the transcriptomes of uninfected and O. viverrini-infected B. siamensis goniomphalos. Comparative analyses of gene expression profiling allowed the identification of 7,655 differentially expressed genes (DEGs), associated to 43 distinct biological pathways, including pathways associated with immune defense mechanisms against parasites. Amongst the DEGs with immune functions, transcripts encoding distinct proteases displayed the highest down-regulation in Bithynia specimens infected by O. viverrini; conversely, transcription of genes encoding heat-shock proteins and actins was significantly up-regulated in parasite-infected snails when compared to the uninfected counterparts. The present study lays the foundation for functional studies of genes and gene products potentially involved in immune-molecular mechanisms implicated in the ability of the parasite to successfully colonize its snail intermediate host. The annotated dataset provided herein represents a ready-to-use molecular resource for the discovery of molecular pathways underlying susceptibility and resistance mechanisms of B. siamensis goniomphalos to O. viverrini and for comparative analyses with pulmonate snail intermediate hosts of other platyhelminths including schistosomes.

  10. RNA-Seq Reveals Infection-Induced Gene Expression Changes in the Snail Intermediate Host of the Carcinogenic Liver Fluke, Opisthorchis viverrini

    PubMed Central

    Prasopdee, Sattrachai; Sotillo, Javier; Tesana, Smarn; Laha, Thewarach; Kulsantiwong, Jutharat; Nolan, Matthew J.

    2014-01-01

    Background Bithynia siamensis goniomphalos is the snail intermediate host of the liver fluke, Opisthorchis viverrini, the leading cause of cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) in the Greater Mekong sub-region of Thailand. Despite the severe public health impact of Opisthorchis-induced CCA, knowledge of the molecular interactions occurring between the parasite and its snail intermediate host is scant. The examination of differences in gene expression profiling between uninfected and O. viverrini-infected B. siamensis goniomphalos could provide clues on fundamental pathways involved in the regulation of snail-parasite interplay. Methodology/Principal Findings Using high-throughput (Illumina) sequencing and extensive bioinformatic analyses, we characterized the transcriptomes of uninfected and O. viverrini-infected B. siamensis goniomphalos. Comparative analyses of gene expression profiling allowed the identification of 7,655 differentially expressed genes (DEGs), associated to 43 distinct biological pathways, including pathways associated with immune defense mechanisms against parasites. Amongst the DEGs with immune functions, transcripts encoding distinct proteases displayed the highest down-regulation in Bithynia specimens infected by O. viverrini; conversely, transcription of genes encoding heat-shock proteins and actins was significantly up-regulated in parasite-infected snails when compared to the uninfected counterparts. Conclusions/Significance The present study lays the foundation for functional studies of genes and gene products potentially involved in immune-molecular mechanisms implicated in the ability of the parasite to successfully colonize its snail intermediate host. The annotated dataset provided herein represents a ready-to-use molecular resource for the discovery of molecular pathways underlying susceptibility and resistance mechanisms of B. siamensis goniomphalos to O. viverrini and for comparative analyses with pulmonate snail intermediate hosts of other

  11. Effects of serotonin on the heartbeat of pond snails in a hunger state

    PubMed Central

    Yamagishi, Miki; Watanabe, Takayuki; Hatakeyama, Dai; Ito, Etsuro

    2015-01-01

    Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine: 5-HT) is a multimodal transmitter that controls both feeding response and heartbeat in snails. However, the effects of 5-HT on the hunger state are still unknown. We therefore examined the relation among the hunger state, the heartbeat rate and the 5-HT action in food-starved snails. We found that the hunger state was significantly distinguished by the heartbeat rate in snails. The heartbeat rate was high in the food-satiated snails, whereas it was low in the food-starved snails. An increase in 5-HT concentration in the body boosted the heartbeat rate in the food-starved snails, but did not affect the rate in the food-satiated snails. These results suggest that 5-HT application may mimic the change from a starvation to a satiation state normally achieved by direct ingestion of food. PMID:27493507

  12. The mesoderm determinant snail collaborates with related zinc-finger proteins to control Drosophila neurogenesis.

    PubMed

    Ashraf, S I; Hu, X; Roote, J; Ip, Y T

    1999-11-15

    The Snail protein functions as a transcriptional regulator to establish early mesodermal cell fate. Later, in germ band-extended embryos, Snail is also expressed in most neuroblasts. Here we present evidence that this expression of Snail is required for central nervous system (CNS) development. The neural function of snail is masked by two closely linked genes, escargot and worniu. Both Escargot and Worniu contain zinc-finger domains that are highly homologous to that of Snail. Although not affecting expression of early neuroblast markers, the deletion of the region containing all three genes correlates with loss of expression of CNS determinants including fushi tarazu, pdm-2 and even-skipped. Transgenic expression of each of the three Snail family proteins can rescue efficiently the fushi tarazu defects, and partially the pdm-2 and even-skipped CNS patterns. These results demonstrate that the Snail family proteins have essential functions during embryonic CNS development, around the time of ganglion mother cell formation.

  13. Habitat-associations of turban snails on intertidal and subtidal rocky reefs.

    PubMed

    Smoothey, Amy F

    2013-01-01

    subtidal turban snails and forms a basis for increasing the understanding of the potential underlying processes causing such patterns.

  14. Habitat-Associations of Turban Snails on Intertidal and Subtidal Rocky Reefs

    PubMed Central

    Smoothey, Amy F.

    2013-01-01

    intertidal and subtidal turban snails and forms a basis for increasing the understanding of the potential underlying processes causing such patterns. PMID:23675409

  15. Appearance of morphological novelty in a hybrid zone between two species of land snail.

    PubMed

    Chiba, Satoshi

    2005-08-01

    On the small oceanic island of Chichijima, two endemic species of land snails, Mandarina mandarina and M. chichijimana, have discrete distributions separated by a hybrid zone. This study investigates the potential of hybridization as a source of morphological novelty in these snails. Mandarina mandarina possesses a shell with a higher whorl expansion rate and a smaller protoconch than M. chichijimana, relative to shell size. The number of whorls and shell size of M. mandarina do not differ from those of M. chichijimana, because the effect of higher expansion rate on number of whorls and size of the former is compensated for by its smaller protoconch. The whorl expansion rate and protoconch diameter of the individuals from the hybrid populations are intermediate or typical of either of the two species, and their average values show clinal changes along the hybrid zone. However, the hybrid populations include exceptionally high shells with many whorls and flat shells with few whorls, which are never found in the pure populations of either species. In addition, gradual increases in variance in shell height and number of whorls were found from the edges to the center of the hybrid zone. A combination of low expansion rate (typical of M. chichijimana) and a small protoconch (typical of M. mandarina) produces a shell with an extremely large number of whorls because of the geometry of shell coiling. However, the combination of high expansion rate and a large protoconch produces a shell with an extremely small number of whorls. Because of the correlation between the number of whorls and shell height, shells with an exceptional number of whorls possess an extraordinarily high or flat spire. Hybrids can inherit a mosaic of characters that, as they play out during growth, lead to novel adult morphologies. These findings emphasize the importance of hybridization as a source of morphological variation and evolutionary novelty in land snails.

  16. Contryphan Genes and Mature Peptides in the Venom of Nine Cone Snail Species by Transcriptomic and Mass Spectrometric Analysis.

    PubMed

    Vijayasarathy, Marimuthu; Basheer, Soorej M; Franklin, Jayaseelan Benjamin; Balaram, Padmanabhan

    2017-02-03

    The occurrence of contryphans, a class of single-disulfide-bond-containing peptides, is demonstrated by the analysis of the venom of nine species of cone snails. Ten full gene sequences and two partial gene sequences coding for contryphan precursor proteins have been identified by next-generation sequencing and compared with available sequences. The occurrence of mature peptides in isolated venom has been demonstrated by LC-ESI-MS/MS analysis. De novo sequencing of reduced, alkylated contryphans from C. frigidus and C. araneosus provides evidence of sequence variation and post-translational modification, notably gamma carboxylation of glutamic acid. The characterization of Fr965 (C. frigidus) provides a rare example of a sequence lacking Pro at position 5 in the disulfide loop. The widespread occurrence of contryphan genes and mature peptides in the venom of diverse cone snails is suggestive of their potential biological significance.

  17. Molluscicidal activity of the plant Eupatorium adenophorum against Oncomelania hupensis, the intermediate host snail of Schistosoma japonicum.

    PubMed

    Zou, F C; Duan, G; Xie, Y J; Zhou, Y; Dong, G D; Lin, R Q; Zhu, X Q

    2009-09-01

    The potential molluscicidal activities of aqueous extracts of Eupatorium adenophorum have recently been evaluated against Oncomelania hupensis, the intermediate host snail of Schistosoma japonicum. The snails were continuously exposed to extracts of the leaves, roots or stems [each at concentrations of 0.27%, 0.50% and 0.86% (w/v)], with survival recorded 6, 12, 24, 30, 36, 48, 52, 58, 70, 76, 82 and 96 h after the start of the exposure. Even at the lowest concentration tested (0.27%), the leaf extract caused mortality in excess of 50% after 58 h and 100% mortality after 82 h. This extract was significantly more effective against O. hupensis than the stem or root extract (P<0.05) but there was no statistically significant difference between the root and stem extracts in their molluscicidal effects (P>0.05). These preliminary results indicate that E. adenophorum may potentially provide a new molluscicide that could give effective and environmentally-friendly control of schistosomiasis in humans and livestock. The toxicity of E. adenophorum extracts, or molluscicidal compounds isolated from such extracts, to other snail hosts of human parasites and to non-target species of aquatic life will be investigated.

  18. Histamine Immunoreactive Elements in the Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems of the Snail, Biomphalaria spp., Intermediate Host for Schistosoma mansoni.

    PubMed

    Habib, Mohamed R; Mohamed, Azza H; Osman, Gamalat Y; Sharaf El-Din, Ahmed T; Mossalem, Hanan S; Delgado, Nadia; Torres, Grace; Rolón-Martínez, Solymar; Miller, Mark W; Croll, Roger P

    2015-01-01

    Histamine appears to be an important transmitter throughout the Animal Kingdom. Gastropods, in particular, have been used in numerous studies establishing potential roles for this biogenic amine in the nervous system and showing its involvement in the generation of diverse behaviours. And yet, the distribution of histamine has only previously been described in a small number of molluscan species. The present study examined the localization of histamine-like immunoreactivity in the central and peripheral nervous systems of pulmonate snails of the genus Biomphalaria. This investigation demonstrates immunoreactive cells throughout the buccal, cerebral, pedal, left parietal and visceral ganglia, indicative of diverse regulatory functions in Biomphalaria. Immunoreactivity was also present in statocyst hair cells, supporting a role for histamine in graviception. In the periphery, dense innervation by immunoreactive fibers was observed in the anterior foot, perioral zone, and other regions of the body wall. This study thus shows that histamine is an abundant transmitter in these snails and its distribution suggest involvement in numerous neural circuits. In addition to providing novel subjects for comparative studies of histaminegic neurons in gastropods, Biomphalaria is also the major intermediate host for the digenetic trematode parasite, which causes human schistosomiasis. The study therefore provides a foundation for understanding potential roles for histamine in interactions between the snail hosts and their trematode parasites.

  19. Sex determination and gender expression: Reproductive investment in snails.

    PubMed

    Koene, Joris M

    2017-02-01

    Sex determination is generally seen as an issue of importance for separate-sexed organisms; however, when considering other sexual systems, such as hermaphroditism, sex allocation is a less-binary form of sex determination. As illustrated here, with examples from molluscs, this different vantage point can offer important evolutionary insights. After all, males and females produce only one type of gamete, whereas hermaphrodites produce both. In addition, sperm and accessory gland products are donated bidirectionally. For reciprocal mating, this is obvious since sperm are exchanged within one mating interaction; but even unilaterally mating species end up mating in both sexual roles, albeit not simultaneously. With this in mind, I highlight two factors that play an important role in how reproductive investment is divided in snails: First, the individual's motivation to preferentially donate rather than receive sperm (or vice versa) leads to flexible behavioral performance, and thereby investment, of either sex. Second, due to the presence of both sexual roles within the same individual, partners are potentially able to influence investment in both sexual functions of their partner to their own benefit. The latter has already led to novel insights into how accessory gland products may evolve. Moreover, the current evidence points towards different ways in which allocation to reproduction can be changed in simultaneous hermaphrodites. These often differ from the separate-sexed situation, highlighting that comparison across different sexual systems may help identify commonalities and differences in physiological, and molecular mechanisms as well as evolutionary patterns. Mol. Reprod. Dev. 84: 132-143, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Factors controlling shell carbon isotopic composition of land snail Acusta despecta sieboldiana estimated from laboratory culturing experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, N.; Yamada, K.; Suzuki, N.; Yoshida, N.

    2014-10-01

    The carbon isotopic composition (δ13C) of land snail shell carbonate derives from three potential sources: diet, atmospheric CO2, and ingested carbonate (limestone). However, their relative contributions remain unclear. Under various environmental conditions, we cultured one land snail subspecies, Acusta despecta sieboldiana, collected from Yokohama, Japan, and confirmed that all of these sources affect shell carbonate δ13C values. Herein, we consider the influences of metabolic rates and temperature on the carbon isotopic composition of the shell carbonate. Based on results obtained from previous works and this study, a simple but credible framework is presented to illustrate how each source and environmental parameter affects shell carbonate δ13C values. According to this framework and some reasonable assumptions, we estimated the contributions of different carbon sources for each snail individual: for cabbage-fed (C3 plant) groups, the contributions of diet, atmospheric CO2, and ingested limestone vary in the ranges of 66-80, 16-24, and 0-13%, respectively. For corn-fed (C4 plant) groups, because of the possible food stress (less ability to consume C4 plants), the values vary in the ranges of 56-64, 18-20, and 16-26%, respectively. Moreover, according to the literature and our observations, the subspecies we cultured in this study show preferences towards different plant species for food. Therefore, we suggest that the potential food preference should be considered adequately for some species in paleoenvironment studies. Finally, we inferred that only the isotopic exchange of the calcite-HCO3--aragonite equilibrium during egg laying and hatching of our cultured snails controls carbon isotope fractionation.

  1. Metagenomic Analysis of the Microbiota from the Crop of an Invasive Snail Reveals a Rich Reservoir of Novel Genes

    PubMed Central

    Cardoso, Alexander M.; Cavalcante, Janaína J. V.; Cantão, Maurício E.; Thompson, Claudia E.; Flatschart, Roberto B.; Glogauer, Arnaldo; Scapin, Sandra M. N.; Sade, Youssef B.; Beltrão, Paulo J. M. S. I.; Gerber, Alexandra L.; Martins, Orlando B.; Garcia, Eloi S.; de Souza, Wanderley; Vasconcelos, Ana Tereza R.

    2012-01-01

    The shortage of petroleum reserves and the increase in CO2 emissions have raised global concerns and highlighted the importance of adopting sustainable energy sources. Second-generation ethanol made from lignocellulosic materials is considered to be one of the most promising fuels for vehicles. The giant snail Achatina fulica is an agricultural pest whose biotechnological potential has been largely untested. Here, the composition of the microbial population within the crop of this invasive land snail, as well as key genes involved in various biochemical pathways, have been explored for the first time. In a high-throughput approach, 318 Mbp of 454-Titanium shotgun metagenomic sequencing data were obtained. The predominant bacterial phylum found was Proteobacteria, followed by Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes. Viruses, Fungi, and Archaea were present to lesser extents. The functional analysis reveals a variety of microbial genes that could assist the host in the degradation of recalcitrant lignocellulose, detoxification of xenobiotics, and synthesis of essential amino acids and vitamins, contributing to the adaptability and wide-ranging diet of this snail. More than 2,700 genes encoding glycoside hydrolase (GH) domains and carbohydrate-binding modules were detected. When we compared GH profiles, we found an abundance of sequences coding for oligosaccharide-degrading enzymes (36%), very similar to those from wallabies and giant pandas, as well as many novel cellulase and hemicellulase coding sequences, which points to this model as a remarkable potential source of enzymes for the biofuel industry. Furthermore, this work is a major step toward the understanding of the unique genetic profile of the land snail holobiont. PMID:23133637

  2. Effect of soil surface salt on the density and distribution of the snail Bithynia siamensis goniomphalos in northeast Thailand.

    PubMed

    Suwannatrai, Apiporn; Suwannatrai, Kulwadee; Haruay, Surat; Piratae, Supawadee; Thammasiri, Chalida; Khampoosa, Panita; Kulsantiwong, Jutharat; Prasopdee, Sattrachai; Tarbsripair, Pairat; Suwanwerakamtorn, Rasamee; Sukchan, Somsak; Boonmars, Thidarut; Malone, John B; Kearney, Michael T; Tesana, Smarn

    2011-05-01

    Opisthorchis viverrini infection is associated with human cholangiocarcinoma and northeast Thailand has the highest incidence of this disease in the world. Bithynia siamensis goniomphalos is the major freshwater snail intermediate host of O. viverrini in this area and an analysis based on geographical information systems was used to determine the effect of variation in soil surface salt on the density and distribution of this snail. A malacological survey was carried out in 56 water bodies in the Khorat basin, northeast Thailand at locations with various soil surface salt levels. Mollusk samples were collected from 10 ecologically representative water body sites with 10-20 sampling stations in each. The shoreline of clear, shallow water bodies was found to be the preferred B. s. goniomphalos habitat. The snails were exclusively found in water with salinity levels ranging between 0.05 and 22.11 parts per thousand (ppt), which supports the notion that B. s. goniomphalos prefers water with some saline content over pure, freshwater. The highest snail population densities were in rice fields, ponds, road-side ditches and canals within a water salinity range of 2.5-5.0 ppt. However, the presence of B. s. goniomphalos was negatively correlated with water salinity (P ≤0.05), both with regard to density and distribution. The areas with the highest density of B. s. goniomphalos were those with less than 1% soil surface salt (potential index = 0.314), while the lowest densities were found in areas exceeding 50% soil surface salt (potential index = 0.015).

  3. Snail Shells in a Practical Application of Statistical Procedures

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Banks, Stephen W.; Shepherd, Deborah K.; Williams-Hart, Tara; Gossett, Dalton R.; Crnkovic, Amanda C.

    2007-01-01

    This paper is based upon a laboratory exercise designed for biology students in secondary schools or those taking introductory biology laboratory courses in colleges and universities. This exercise requires a set of calipers, a calculator and populations of snail shells collected either from the wild or obtained from a biological supply house. The…

  4. Molluscicidal effect of Eomecon chionantha alkaloids against Oncomelania hupensis snails.

    PubMed

    Peng, Fei; Liu, Ming; Huang, Qiongyao; Liu, Nianmeng; Yang, Huazhong; Sun, Hui; Hu, Qi; Feng, Fang; Jiang, Chonghe

    2011-03-01

    The molluscicidal effects of Eomecon chionantha alkaloids (ECA) against Oncomelania hupensis snails were determined by immersion method. The molluscicidal effect was positively related to ECA concentration, immersion time and temperature of the immersion solution. The mortality of the snails reached 100% by 72 hours in ECA at a concentration of 2.5 mg/l at 25 degrees C. The alanine aminotransferase (ALT) level of liver cells treated with ECA was higher than controls at 24 and 36 hours (57.7 and 60.3 U/l versus 39.2 and 49.2 U/1, respectively) but the level decreased at 48-72 hours after treatment. The decrease points to the toxic effect of ECA against liver cells. After ECA treatment, the liver cells were edematous with swollen or disintegrating nuclei; they were enlarged and had vacuolated rER; they had dilated and vesiculated mitochondria with broken crests further indicating a hepatotoxic effect of ECA in O. hupensis snails. ECA has a molluscicidal effect that may be of practical use in the field to control O. hupensis snails.

  5. A snail-eating snake recognizes prey handedness

    PubMed Central

    Danaisawadi, Patchara; Asami, Takahiro; Ota, Hidetoshi; Sutcharit, Chirasak; Panha, Somsak

    2016-01-01

    Specialized predator-prey interactions can be a driving force for their coevolution. Southeast Asian snail-eating snakes (Pareas) have more teeth on the right mandible and specialize in predation on the clockwise-coiled (dextral) majority in shelled snails by soft-body extraction. Snails have countered the snakes’ dextral-predation by recurrent coil reversal, which generates diverse counterclockwise-coiled (sinistral) prey where Pareas snakes live. However, whether the snake predator in turn evolves any response to prey reversal is unknown. We show that Pareas carinatus living with abundant sinistrals avoids approaching or striking at a sinistral that is more difficult and costly to handle than a dextral. Whenever it strikes, however, the snake succeeds in predation by handling dextral and sinistral prey in reverse. In contrast, P. iwasakii with little access to sinistrals on small peripheral islands attempts and frequently misses capturing a given sinistral. Prey-handedness recognition should be advantageous for right-handed snail-eating snakes where frequently encountering sinistrals. Under dextral-predation by Pareas snakes, adaptive fixation of a prey population for a reversal gene instantaneously generates a sinistral species because interchiral mating is rarely possible. The novel warning, instead of sheltering, effect of sinistrality benefitting both predators and prey could further accelerate single-gene ecological speciation by left-right reversal. PMID:27046345

  6. Food Choice in the Common Snail (Helix Aspersa).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gill, John; Howell, Pauline

    1985-01-01

    The easily obtained common snail shows interesting dietary preferences which can be the source of several simple experiments. Specific student instructions are given for quantitative and comparative studies using cabbage, lettuce, carrot, rutabaga, and onion. Suggestions for laboratory setup and further work are included. (DH)

  7. Snail Shells in a Practical Application of Statistical Procedures

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Banks, Stephen W.; Shepherd, Deborah K.; Williams-Hart, Tara; Gossett, Dalton R.; Crnkovic, Amanda C.

    2007-01-01

    This paper is based upon a laboratory exercise designed for biology students in secondary schools or those taking introductory biology laboratory courses in colleges and universities. This exercise requires a set of calipers, a calculator and populations of snail shells collected either from the wild or obtained from a biological supply house. The…

  8. Arsenic speciation in freshwater snails and its life cycle variation.

    PubMed

    Lai, Vivian W-M; Kanaki, Katerina; Pergantis, Spiros A; Cullen, William R; Reimer, Kenneth J

    2012-03-01

    Terrestrial snails are consumed by humans occasionally and they are an important food source for many creatures including fish and birds. Little is known about arsenic speciation in these gastropods, let alone life cycle variations. Here we report on the arsenic speciation in freshwater snails from Pender Island and Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada, which was determined on methanol/water extracts (43-59% extraction efficiency) by using high performance liquid chromatography-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (HPLC-ICP-MS) and HPLC-electrospray tandem mass spectrometry. The tetramethylarsonium ion, oxo-arsenosugars and thio-arsenosugars are the main arsenic species encountered. Arsenobetaine, which is commonly found in the marine environment, is minor. Live bearing snails Viviparidae sp. from Pender Island were maintained in aquaria and the arsenic speciation in the unborn, newly born, and adult animals was monitored. Oxo-arsenosugars predominate in the adults, whereas thio-arsenosugars seem to predominate in juveniles, suggesting that these arsenicals are snail metabolites.

  9. Flying shells: historical dispersal of marine snails across Central America

    PubMed Central

    Miura, Osamu; Torchin, Mark E.; Bermingham, Eldredge; Jacobs, David K.; Hechinger, Ryan F.

    2012-01-01

    The geological rise of the Central American Isthmus separated the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans about 3 Ma, creating a formidable barrier to dispersal for marine species. However, similar to Simpson's proposal that terrestrial species can ‘win sweepstakes routes’—whereby highly improbable dispersal events result in colonization across geographical barriers—marine species may also breach land barriers given enough time. To test this hypothesis, we asked whether intertidal marine snails have crossed Central America to successfully establish in new ocean basins. We used a mitochondrial DNA genetic comparison of sister snails (Cerithideopsis spp.) separated by the rise of the Isthmus. Genetic variation in these snails revealed evidence of at least two successful dispersal events between the Pacific and the Atlantic after the final closure of the Isthmus. A combination of ancestral area analyses and molecular dating techniques indicated that dispersal from the Pacific to the Atlantic occurred about 750 000 years ago and that dispersal in the opposite direction occurred about 72 000 years ago. The geographical distribution of haplotypes and published field evidence further suggest that migratory shorebirds transported the snails across Central America at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in southern Mexico. Migratory birds could disperse other intertidal invertebrates this way, suggesting the Central American Isthmus may not be as impassable for marine species as previously assumed. PMID:21920976

  10. Food Choice in the Common Snail (Helix Aspersa).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gill, John; Howell, Pauline

    1985-01-01

    The easily obtained common snail shows interesting dietary preferences which can be the source of several simple experiments. Specific student instructions are given for quantitative and comparative studies using cabbage, lettuce, carrot, rutabaga, and onion. Suggestions for laboratory setup and further work are included. (DH)

  11. Unimodal latitudinal pattern of land-snail species richness across northern Eurasian lowlands.

    PubMed

    Horsák, Michal; Chytrý, Milan

    2014-01-01

    Large-scale patterns of species richness and their causes are still poorly understood for most terrestrial invertebrates, although invertebrates can add important insights into the mechanisms that generate regional and global biodiversity patterns. Here we explore the general plausibility of the climate-based "water-energy dynamics" hypothesis using the latitudinal pattern of land-snail species richness across extensive topographically homogeneous lowlands of northern Eurasia. We established a 1480-km long latitudinal transect across the Western Siberian Plain (Russia) from the Russia-Kazakhstan border (54.5°N) to the Arctic Ocean (67.5°N), crossing eight latitudinal vegetation zones: steppe, forest-steppe, subtaiga, southern, middle and northern taiga, forest-tundra, and tundra. We sampled snails in forests and open habitats each half-degree of latitude and used generalized linear models to relate snail species richness to climatic variables and soil calcium content measured in situ. Contrary to the classical prediction of latitudinal biodiversity decrease, we found a striking unimodal pattern of snail species richness peaking in the subtaiga and southern-taiga zones between 57 and 59°N. The main south-to-north interchange of the two principal diversity constraints, i.e. drought stress vs. cold stress, explained most of the variance in the latitudinal diversity pattern. Water balance, calculated as annual precipitation minus potential evapotranspiration, was a single variable that could explain 81.7% of the variance in species richness. Our data suggest that the "water-energy dynamics" hypothesis can apply not only at the global scale but also at subcontinental scales of higher latitudes, as water availability was found to be the primary limiting factor also in this extratropical region with summer-warm and dry climate. A narrow zone with a sharp south-to-north switch in the two main diversity constraints seems to constitute the dominant and general pattern of

  12. Unimodal Latitudinal Pattern of Land-Snail Species Richness across Northern Eurasian Lowlands

    PubMed Central

    Horsák, Michal; Chytrý, Milan

    2014-01-01

    Large-scale patterns of species richness and their causes are still poorly understood for most terrestrial invertebrates, although invertebrates can add important insights into the mechanisms that generate regional and global biodiversity patterns. Here we explore the general plausibility of the climate-based “water-energy dynamics” hypothesis using the latitudinal pattern of land-snail species richness across extensive topographically homogeneous lowlands of northern Eurasia. We established a 1480-km long latitudinal transect across the Western Siberian Plain (Russia) from the Russia-Kazakhstan border (54.5°N) to the Arctic Ocean (67.5°N), crossing eight latitudinal vegetation zones: steppe, forest-steppe, subtaiga, southern, middle and northern taiga, forest-tundra, and tundra. We sampled snails in forests and open habitats each half-degree of latitude and used generalized linear models to relate snail species richness to climatic variables and soil calcium content measured in situ. Contrary to the classical prediction of latitudinal biodiversity decrease, we found a striking unimodal pattern of snail species richness peaking in the subtaiga and southern-taiga zones between 57 and 59°N. The main south-to-north interchange of the two principal diversity constraints, i.e. drought stress vs. cold stress, explained most of the variance in the latitudinal diversity pattern. Water balance, calculated as annual precipitation minus potential evapotranspiration, was a single variable that could explain 81.7% of the variance in species richness. Our data suggest that the “water-energy dynamics” hypothesis can apply not only at the global scale but also at subcontinental scales of higher latitudes, as water availability was found to be the primary limiting factor also in this extratropical region with summer-warm and dry climate. A narrow zone with a sharp south-to-north switch in the two main diversity constraints seems to constitute the dominant and general

  13. Nitric oxide is necessary for long-term facilitation of synaptic responses and for development of context memory in terrestrial snails.

    PubMed

    Korshunova, T A; Balaban, P M

    2014-04-25

    Correlated electrophysiological and behavioral experiments in the snail Helix lucorum were conducted to investigate the contribution of nitric oxide (NO) to synaptic plasticity during withdrawal reflex and aversive context memory development. Time, stimulation frequency and number of tetani/electrical shocks were determined in vitro and in vivo. In isolated brain preparations, nerve tetanization accompanied by bath application of serotonin induced long-term facilitation (LTF) of the excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) in withdrawal interneurons. Bathing with either the NO-synthase inhibitor N-omega-nitro-L-arginin (L-NNA) or the NO-scavenger 2-phenyl-4,4,5,5-tetramethyl-imidazoline-1-oxyl 3-oxide (PTIO) before the tetanization prevented tetanus-induced long-term increase of EPSP. Withdrawal interneurons are key elements in the network underlying aversive behavior, with LTF considered the basis for aversive learning. We hypothesized that L-NNA injections in free-behaving snails could influence aversive learning. Snails were trained for 1 or 5days to remember the context in which they were shocked. In one-day training experiments, the snails received 5 electrical shocks in one context. Different groups of snails were sham-injected or L-NNA-injected before or after training. After training, the sham-injected groups demonstrated a significant increase in behavioral responses compared to the L-NNA-injected groups. On the following day, only sham-injected snails demonstrated altered behavioral responses, but no associative context differences were observed. These results correlated with the electrophysiological results. In another series of experiments, the snails received electrical shocks for 5days. Testing on the second day after training demonstrated that the sham-injected group maintained selective aversive context memory, whereas the L-NNA-injected snails were not different between the two contexts. Together these results demonstrated that inhibition of NO

  14. Molecular phylogeny and evolution of the cone snails (Gastropoda, Conoidea).

    PubMed

    Puillandre, N; Bouchet, P; Duda, T F; Kauferstein, S; Kohn, A J; Olivera, B M; Watkins, M; Meyer, C

    2014-09-01

    We present a large-scale molecular phylogeny that includes 320 of the 761 recognized valid species of the cone snails (Conus), one of the most diverse groups of marine molluscs, based on three mitochondrial genes (COI, 16S rDNA and 12S rDNA). This is the first phylogeny of the taxon to employ concatenated sequences of several genes, and it includes more than twice as many species as the last published molecular phylogeny of the entire group nearly a decade ago. Most of the numerous molecular phylogenies published during the last 15years are limited to rather small fractions of its species diversity. Bayesian and maximum likelihood analyses are mostly congruent and confirm the presence of three previously reported highly divergent lineages among cone snails, and one identified here using molecular data. About 85% of the species cluster in the single Large Major Clade; the others are divided between the Small Major Clade (∼12%), the Conus californicus lineage (one species), and a newly defined clade (∼3%). We also define several subclades within the Large and Small major clades, but most of their relationships remain poorly supported. To illustrate the usefulness of molecular phylogenies in addressing specific evolutionary questions, we analyse the evolution of the diet, the biogeography and the toxins of cone snails. All cone snails whose feeding biology is known inject venom into large prey animals and swallow them whole. Predation on polychaete worms is inferred as the ancestral state, and diet shifts to molluscs and fishes occurred rarely. The ancestor of cone snails probably originated from the Indo-Pacific; rather few colonisations of other biogeographic provinces have probably occurred. A new classification of the Conidae, based on the molecular phylogeny, is published in an accompanying paper. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Snail heterogeneity in clear cell renal cell carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Zaldumbide, Laura; Erramuzpe, Asier; Guarch, Rosa; Pulido, Rafael; Cortés, Jesús M; López, José I

    2016-03-08

    Intratumor heterogeneity may be responsible of the unpredictable aggressive clinical behavior that some clear cell renal cell carcinomas display. This clinical uncertainty may be caused by insufficient sampling, leaving out of histological analysis foci of high grade tumor areas. Although molecular approaches are providing important information on renal intratumor heterogeneity, a focus on this topic from the practicing pathologist' perspective is still pending. Four distant tumor areas of 40 organ-confined clear cell renal cell carcinomas were selected for histopathological and immunohistochemical evaluation. Tumor size, cell type (clear/granular), Fuhrman's grade, Staging, as well as immunostaining with Snail, ZEB1, Twist, Vimentin, E-cadherin, β-catenin, PTEN, p-Akt, p110α, and SETD2, were analyzed for intratumor heterogeneity using a classification and regression tree algorithm. Cell type and Fuhrman's grade were heterogeneous in 12.5 and 60 % of the tumors, respectively. If cell type was homogeneous (clear cell) then the tumors were low-grade in 88.57 % of cases. Immunostaining heterogeneity was significant in the series and oscillated between 15 % for p110α and 80 % for Snail. When Snail immunostaining was homogeneous the tumor was histologically homogeneous in 100 % of cases. If Snail was heterogeneous, the tumor was heterogeneous in 75 % of the cases. Average tumor diameter was 4.3 cm. Tumors larger than 3.7 cm were heterogeneous for Vimentin immunostaining in 72.5 % of cases. Tumors displaying negative immunostaining for both ZEB1 and Twist were low grade in 100 % of the cases. Intratumor heterogeneity is a common event in clear cell renal cell carcinoma, which can be monitored by immunohistochemistry in routine practice. Snail seems to be particularly useful in the identification of intratumor heterogeneity. The suitability of current sampling protocols in renal cancer is discussed.

  16. Optimal diet theory: behavior of a starved predatory snail.

    PubMed

    Perry, D M

    1987-06-01

    The tenets of optimal foraging theory are used to contrast the behavior of the predatory snail Acantina spirata when feeding on the barnacles Balanus glandula and Chthamalus fissus under conditions of satiation and starvation. As predicted in optimal diet models, A. spirata is less selective (ratio of attack frequency on a prey species to number of individuals available) when the higher ranking prey has low abundance. When given a choice, starved snails attack both barnacle species equally, whereas satiated individuals preferentially attack B. glandula, the more profitable prey (ash-free dry weight of barnacles ingested per unit handling time). Under starvation conditions, equal attack frequency does not result in equal prey species consumption because Acanthina spirata is more successful at attacking C. fissus than B. glandula.The assumption of constant prey encounter rates in optimal diet models is not met when A. spirata goes from a state of satiation to starvation. The encounter rate on B. glandula is lowered due to a decrease in attack success. A loss of feeding skills in starved A. spirata is responsible for the greater difficulty snails have in gaining access through the opercular plates of B. glandula.Behavioral changes in A. spirata as snails pass from satiation to hunger translate into an energetic disadvantage during feeding for hungry snails for two reasons. First, higher prey handling times result in a decreased rate of biomass intake. Second, alteration in the relative attack frequency between barnacle species, combined with a decrease in attack success on the more profitable prey leads to more frequent ingestion of the less profitable prey.

  17. Trematode communities in snails can indicate impact and recovery from hurricanes in a tropical coastal lagoon.

    PubMed

    Aguirre-Macedo, María Leopoldina; Vidal-Martínez, Victor M; Lafferty, Kevin D

    2011-11-01

    In September 2002, Hurricane Isidore devastated the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. To understand its effects on the parasites of aquatic organisms, we analyzed long-term monthly population data of the horn snail Cerithidea pliculosa and its trematode communities in Celestún, Yucatán, Mexico before and after the hurricane (February 2001 to December 2009). Five trematode species occurred in the snail population: Mesostephanus appendiculatoides, Euhaplorchis californiensis, two species of the genus Renicola and one Heterophyidae gen. sp. Because these parasites use snails as first intermediate hosts, fishes as second intermediate hosts and birds as final hosts, their presence in snails depends on food webs. No snails were present at the sampled sites for 6 months after the hurricane. After snails recolonised the site, no trematodes were found in snails until 14 months after the hurricane. It took several years for snail and trematode populations to recover. Our results suggest that the increase in the occurrence of hurricanes predicted due to climate change can impact upon parasites with complex life cycles. However, both the snail populations and their parasite communities eventually reached numbers of individuals and species similar to those before the hurricane. Thus, the trematode parasites of snails can be useful indicators of coastal lagoon ecosystem degradation and recovery.

  18. Trematode communities in snails can indicate impact and recovery from hurricanes in a tropical coastal lagoon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Aguirre-Macedo, Maria Leopoldina; Vidal-Martinez, Victor M.; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2011-01-01

    In September 2002, Hurricane Isidore devastated the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. To understand its effects on the parasites of aquatic organisms, we analyzed long-term monthly population data of the horn snail Cerithidea pliculosa and its trematode communities in Celestún, Yucatán, Mexico before and after the hurricane (February 2001 to December 2009). Five trematode species occurred in the snail population: Mesostephanus appendiculatoides, Euhaplorchis californiensis, two species of the genus Renicola and one Heterophyidae gen. sp. Because these parasites use snails as first intermediate hosts, fishes as second intermediate hosts and birds as final hosts, their presence in snails depends on food webs. No snails were present at the sampled sites for 6 months after the hurricane. After snails recolonised the site, no trematodes were found in snails until 14 months after the hurricane. It took several years for snail and trematode populations to recover. Our results suggest that the increase in the occurrence of hurricanes predicted due to climate change can impact upon parasites with complex life cycles. However, both the snail populations and their parasite communities eventually reached numbers of individuals and species similar to those before the hurricane. Thus, the trematode parasites of snails can be useful indicators of coastal lagoon ecosystem degradation and recovery.

  19. [Effect of schistosomiasis control projects in Hexi Reservoir on Oncomelania snail control].

    PubMed

    Xu, Feng-Ming; Zhang, Liu-Hong; Lu, Hong-Mei; Qin, Jia-Sheng; Cao, Wei-Min; Xie, Guang-Ping

    2014-02-01

    To evaluate the effect of schistosomiasis control projects in Hexi Reservoir on Oncomelania hupensis snail control. The canal hardening + main water system widening + the overflow dam project, the concrete slope protection, the banking and reclamation + concrete slope protection project, the environment reform project, and the comprehensive treatment were implemented in the tail area, the hydro-fluctuation belt, the rainwater harvesting zoon of the upstream area, the dam area, and the downstream area of the reservoir, respectively. The changes of the snail situation were investigated before and after the construction of the reservoir, and the snail control effects of the schistosomiasis control projects in different parts of the reservoir were analyzed. There were no Oncomelania snails found 3 years in the bottom area, dam area, hydro-fluctuation belt, tail region and downstream of the dam after the construction and storage of the reservoir and the implementation of the schistosomiasis control projects. In the rainwater harvesting zoon of the upstream area, the density of living snails decreased from 0.620 4 snails/0.1 m2 in 2009 to 0.113 2 snails/0.1 m2 in 2013, but the snail area still remained. The schistosomiasis control projects in Hexi Reservoir have effectively prevented the diffusion of Oncomelania snails from the rainwater harvesting zone of the upstream area to the dam area, and they are effective in the snail control.

  20. YY1 regulates the expression of snail through a distal enhancer

    PubMed Central

    Palmer, Matthew B.; Majumder, Parimal; Cooper, John C.; Yoon, Hyesuk; Wade, Paul A.; Boss, Jeremy M.

    2010-01-01

    Expression of the snail gene is required for the epithelial-mesenchymal transitions that accompany mammalian gastrulation, neural crest migration, and organ formation. Pathological expression of snail contributes to the migratory capacity of invasive tumors, including melanomas. To investigate the mechanism of snail up regulation in human melanoma cells, a conserved enhancer located 3’ of the snail gene was analyzed. An overlapping Ets and YY1 consensus sequence, in addition to a SOX consensus sequence, were required for full enhancer activity. Proteins specifically binding these sequences were detected by EMSA. The Ets/YY1 binding activity was purified by DNA affinity chromatography and identified as YY1. Although ubiquitously expressed, YY1 was bound at the snail 3’ enhancer in vivo in snail-expressing cells but not in cells that did not express snail. Knockdown of YY1 in A375 cells led to decreased snail expression. These results identify a role for YY1 in regulating transcription of snail in melanoma cells through binding to the snail 3’ enhancer. PMID:19208738

  1. Lymnaea glabra: progressive increase in susceptibility to Fasciola hepatica through successive generations of experimentally infected snails.

    PubMed

    Rondelaud, D; Teukeng, F F Djuikwo; Vignoles, P; Dreyfuss, G

    2015-07-01

    Experimental infections of Lymnaea glabra (two populations) with Fasciola hepatica were carried out during seven successive snail generations, to determine if prevalence and intensity of snail infection increased over time through descendants of snails already infected with F. hepatica. Controls were descendants coming from uninfected parents and infected according to the same protocol. No larval forms were found in the bodies of control snails coming from uninfected parents. In contrast, prevalence and intensity of F. hepatica infection in snails originating from infected parents progressively increased from the F2 or F3 to the F6 generation of L. glabra. In another experiment carried out with the F7 generations of L. glabra and a single generation of Galba truncatula (as controls), the prevalence of F. hepatica infection and the total number of cercariae were lower in L. glabra (without significant differences between both populations). If the number of cercariae shed by infected snails was compared to overall cercarial production noted in snails containing cercariae but dying without emission, the percentage was greater in G. truncatula (69% instead of 52-54% in L. glabra). Even if most characteristics of F. hepatica infection were lower in L. glabra, prevalence and intensity of parasite infection increased with snail generation when tested snails came from infected parents. This mode of snail infection with F. hepatica suggests an explanation for cases of fasciolosis occurring in cattle-breeding farms where paramphistomosis is lacking and G. truncatula is absent.

  2. Reversing the resistance phenotype of the Biomphalaria glabrata snail host Schistosoma mansoni infection by temperature modulation.

    PubMed

    Ittiprasert, Wannaporn; Knight, Matty

    2012-01-01

    Biomphalaria glabrata snails that display either resistant or susceptible phenotypes to the parasitic trematode, Schistosoma mansoni provide an invaluable resource towards elucidating the molecular basis of the snail-host/schistosome relationship. Previously, we showed that induction of stress genes either after heat-shock or parasite infection was a major feature distinguishing juvenile susceptible snails from their resistant counterparts. In order to examine this apparent association between heat stress and snail susceptibility, we investigated the effect of temperature modulation in the resistant snail stock, BS-90. Here, we show that, incubated for up to 4 hrs at 32°C prior to infection, these resistant snails became susceptible to infection, i.e. shedding cercariae at 5 weeks post exposure (PE) while unstressed resistant snails, as expected, remained resistant. This suggests that susceptibility to infection by this resistant snail phenotype is temperature-sensitive (ts). Additionally, resistant snails treated with the Hsp 90 specific inhibitor, geldanamycin (GA) after heat stress, were no longer susceptible to infection, retaining their resistant phenotype. Consistently, susceptible snail phenotypes treated with 100 mM GA before parasite exposure also remained uninfected. These results provide direct evidence for the induction of stress genes (heat shock proteins; Hsp 70, Hsp 90 and the reverse transcriptase [RT] domain of the nimbus non-LTR retrotransposon) in B. glabrata susceptibility to S. mansoni infection and characterize the resistant BS-90 snails as a temperature-sensitive phenotype. This study of reversing snail susceptibility phenotypes to S. mansoni provides an opportunity to directly track molecular pathway(s) that underlie the B. glabrata snail's ability to either sustain or destroy the S. mansoni parasite.

  3. A pilot study testing a natural and a synthetic Molluscicide for controlling invasive apple snails (Pomacea maculata)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Olivier, Heather M.; Jenkins, Jill A.; Berhow, Mark; Carter, Jacoby

    2016-01-01

    Pomacea maculata (formerly P. insularum), an apple snail native to South America, was discovered in Louisiana in 2008. These snails strip vegetation, reproduce at tremendous rates, and have reduced rice production and caused ecosystem changes in Asia. In this pilot study snails were exposed to two molluscicides, a tea (Camellia sinensis) seed derivative (TSD) or niclosamide monohydrate (Pestanal®, 2′,5-dichloro-4′-nitrosalicylanilide, CAS #73360-56-2). Mortality was recorded after exposure to high or low concentrations (0.03 and 0.015 g/L for TSD, 1.3 and 0.13 mg/L for niclosamide). The TSD induced 100 % mortality at both concentrations. Niclosamide caused 100 % and 17 % mortality at high and low concentrations respectively. These molluscicides were also tested on potential biocontrol agents, the red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) and redear sunfish (Lepomis microlophus). No crayfish mortalities occurred at either concentration for either chemical, but sunfish experienced 100 % mortality with TSD (0.03 g/L), and 21 % mortality with niclosamide (0.13 mg/L).

  4. A Pilot Study Testing a Natural and a Synthetic Molluscicide for Controlling Invasive Apple Snails (Pomacea maculata).

    PubMed

    Olivier, Heather M; Jenkins, Jill A; Berhow, Mark; Carter, Jacoby

    2016-03-01

    Pomacea maculata (formerly P. insularum), an apple snail native to South America, was discovered in Louisiana in 2008. These snails strip vegetation, reproduce at tremendous rates, and have reduced rice production and caused ecosystem changes in Asia. In this pilot study snails were exposed to two molluscicides, a tea (Camellia sinensis) seed derivative (TSD) or niclosamide monohydrate (Pestanal(®), 2',5-dichloro-4'-nitrosalicylanilide, CAS #73360-56-2). Mortality was recorded after exposure to high or low concentrations (0.03 and 0.015 g/L for TSD, 1.3 and 0.13 mg/L for niclosamide). The TSD induced 100 % mortality at both concentrations. Niclosamide caused 100 % and 17 % mortality at high and low concentrations respectively. These molluscicides were also tested on potential biocontrol agents, the red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) and redear sunfish (Lepomis microlophus). No crayfish mortalities occurred at either concentration for either chemical, but sunfish experienced 100 % mortality with TSD (0.03 g/L), and 21 % mortality with niclosamide (0.13 mg/L).

  5. An expressed sequence tag survey of gene expression in the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis, an intermediate vector of trematodes [corrected].

    PubMed

    Davison, A; Blaxter, M L

    2005-05-01

    The pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis is an intermediate vector for the liver fluke Fasciola hepatica, a common parasite of ruminants and humans. Yet, despite being a disease of medical and economic importance, as well as a potentially useful comparative tool, the genetics of the relationship between Lymnaea and Fasciola has barely been investigated. As a complement to forthcoming F. hepatica expressed sequence tags (ESTs), we generated 1320 ESTs from L. stagnalis central nervous system (CNS) libraries. We estimate that these sequences derive from 771 different genes, of which 374 showed significant similarity to proteins in public databases, and 169 were similar to ESTs from the snail vector Biomphalaria glabrata. These L. stagnalis ESTs will provide insight into the function of the snail CNS, as well as the molecular components of behaviour and response to parasitism. In the future, the comparative analysis of Lymnaea/Fasciola with Biomphalaria/Schistosoma will help to understand both conserved and divergent aspects of the host-parasite relationship. The L. stagnalis ESTs will also assist gene prediction in the forthcoming B. glabrata genome sequence. The dataset is available for searching on the world-wide web at http://zeldia.cap.ed.ac.uk/mollusca.html.

  6. Multiple paternity and postcopulatory sexual selection in a hermaphrodite: what influences sperm precedence in the garden snail Helix aspersa?

    PubMed

    Evanno, Guillaume; Madec, Luc; Arnaud, Jean-François

    2005-03-01

    Sperm competition has been studied in many gonochoric animals but little is known about its occurrence in simultaneous hermaphrodites, especially in land snails. The reproductive behaviour of the land snail Helix aspersa involves several features, like multiple mating, long-term sperm storage and dart-shooting behaviour, which may promote sperm competition. Cryptic female choice may also occur through a spermatheca subdivided into tubules, which potentially allows compartmentalized sperm storage of successive mates. In order to determine the outcome of postcopulatory sexual selection in this species, we designed a cross-breeding experiment where a recipient ('female') mated with two sperm donors ('males'). Mates came from either the same population as the recipient or from a distinct one. To test for the influence a recipient can have on the paternity of its offspring, we excluded the effects of dart shooting by using only virgin snails as sperm donors because they do not shoot any dart before their first copulation. We measured the effects of size of mates as well as time to first and second mating on second mate sperm precedence (P2; established using microsatellite markers). Multiple paternity was detected in 62.5% of clutches and overall there was first-mate sperm precedence with a mean P2 of 0.24. Generalized linear modelling revealed that the best predictors of paternity were the time between matings and the time before first mating. Overall, both first and second mates that copulated quickly got greater parentage, which may suggest that postcopulatory events influence patterns of sperm precedence in the garden snail.

  7. Modeling the distribution of Schistosoma mansoni and host snails in Uganda using satellite sensor data and Geographical Information Systems.

    PubMed

    Stensgaard, A; Jørgensen, A; Kabatereine, N B; Malone, J B; Kristensen, T K

    2005-03-01

    The potential value of MODIS satellite sensor data on Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and land surface temperatures (LST) for describing the distribution of the Schistosoma mansoni-"Biomphalaria pfeifferi"/Biomphalaria sudanica parasite-snail system in inland Uganda, were tested by developing annual and seasonal composite models, and iteratively analysing for their relationship with parasite and snail distribution. The dry season composite model predicted an endemic area that produced the best fit with the distribution of schools with > or =5% prevalence. NDVI values of 151-174, day temperatures of 26-36 degrees C, and night temperatures of 15-20 degrees C were used as criteria for the prediction model. Using the same approach with host snail data indicated that most of Uganda is suitable "B. pfeifferi"/B. sudanica habitat, except for possibly the north-eastern region of the country. The parasite, however, appears to be restricted in its distribution in both the north-eastern and the south-western regions of Uganda. The absence of disease in the south-west can not be attributed to the absence of snail hosts. Results suggest a combination of satellite sensor data on temperature and standard climate data on precipitation, as the best ecological determinants of the S. mansoni-"B. pfeifferi"/B. sudanica system. Satellite composite models and logistic regression analysis, suggest low night time temperature as one of the significant factors inhibiting S. mansoni transmission in the south-western highland areas of Uganda. The developed models are, however, unique, representing species-specific ecologic preferences of the S. mansoni-"B. Pfeifferi"/B. sudanica system in inland Uganda. Further validation studies are needed to test the value of the model in other countries in East Africa.

  8. Proteomic interrogation of venom delivery in marine cone snails: novel insights into the role of the venom bulb.

    PubMed

    Safavi-Hemami, Helena; Young, Neil D; Williamson, Nicholas A; Purcell, Anthony W

    2010-11-05

    Cone snails of the genus Conus are predatory marine gastropods mainly found in the shallow waters of the tropics and warm temperate seas. To prey on other marine organisms including fish, cone snails have evolved complex venoms synthesized and delivered by a highly sophisticated venom apparatus. Upon prey discovery, the venom is perfused through a harpoon-like radula tooth and rapidly injected into the prey to cause paralysis. While the venom components of cone snails have been intensively characterized, the mechanism of venom translocation and loading prior to and during injection remains elusive. The involvement of the venom bulb, a muscular dilation of the venom gland has been suggested, however evidence is sparse. Here, we use a combination of proteomics, molecular biology, and morphological examination to elucidate the potential role of the venom bulb in venom translocation and delivery. Analysis of the venom bulb proteome clearly demonstrated a function of this organ in muscular movement and, more interestingly, in burst muscle contraction. Morphological examination revealed high structural similarities to the mantle muscle of squids, animals known for their rapid escape response. We sequenced and further characterized arginine kinase, a key protein of rapid muscular movement in invertebrates and show high concentrations of this enzyme in the bulb when compared to the venom gland and the foot muscle. Proteins characteristic for venom biosynthesis were low in abundance. On the basis of our findings, we suggest that the bulb of cone snails is a highly specialized organ of venom translocation. Delivery of venom is driven by burst contractions of the bulb rapidly forcing the venom through the radula tooth into the prey.

  9. eSnail: a transcriptome-based molecular resource of the central nervous system for terrestrial gastropods.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Min; Wang, Tianfang; Stewart, Michael J; Bose, Utpal; Suwansa-Ard, Saowaros; Storey, Kenneth B; Cummins, Scott F

    2017-09-28

    To expand on emerging terrestrial gastropod molecular resources, we have undertaken transcriptome-based sequencing of the central nervous system (CNS) from six ecologically invasive terrestrial gastropods. Focusing on snail species Cochlicella acuta and Helix aspersa, and reticulated slugs Deroceras invadens, Deroceras reticulatum, Lehmannia nyctelia, and Milax gagates, we obtained a total of 367,869,636 high quality reads and compared them with existing CNS transcript resources for the invasive Mediterranean snail, Theba pisana. In total we obtained, 419,289 unique transcripts (unigenes) from 1,410,569 assembled contigs, with BLAST search analysis of multiple protein databases leading to the annotation of 124,268 unigenes, of which 92,544 mapped to NCBI non-redundant protein databases. We found that these transcriptomes have representatives in most biological functions, based on comparison of gene ontology, KEGG pathway, and protein family contents, demonstrating a high range of transcripts responsible for regulating metabolic activities and molecular functions occurring within the CNS. To provide an accessible genetic resource, we also demonstrate the presence of 66,687 microsatellites and 304,693 single nucleotide variants, which can be used for the design of potentially thousands of unique primers for functional screening. An online 'eSnail' database with a user-friendly web interface was implemented to query all the information obtained herein (http://soft.bioinfo-minzhao.org/esnail). We demonstrate the usefulness of the database through the mining of molluscan neuropeptides. As the most comprehensive CNS transcriptome resource for terrestrial gastropods, eSnail may serve as a useful gateway for researchers to explore gastropod CNS function for multiple purposes, including for the development of biocontrol approaches. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  10. Thermal stress and predation risk trigger distinct transcriptomic responses in the intertidal snail Nucella lapillus.

    PubMed

    Chu, Nathaniel D; Miller, Luke P; Kaluziak, Stefan T; Trussell, Geoffrey C; Vollmer, Steven V

    2014-12-01

    Thermal stress and predation risk have profound effects on rocky shore organisms, triggering changes in their feeding behaviour, morphology and metabolism. Studies of thermal stress have shown that underpinning such changes in several intertidal species are specific shifts in gene and protein expression (e.g. upregulation of heat-shock proteins). But relatively few studies have examined genetic responses to predation risk. Here, we use next-generation RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) to examine the transcriptomic (mRNA) response of the snail Nucella lapillus to thermal stress and predation risk. We found that like other intertidal species, N. lapillus displays a pronounced genetic response to thermal stress by upregulating many heat-shock proteins and other molecular chaperones. In contrast, the presence of a crab predator (Carcinus maenas) triggered few significant changes in gene expression in our experiment, and this response showed no significant overlap with the snail's response to thermal stress. These different gene expression profiles suggest that thermal stress and predation risk could pose distinct and potentially additive challenges for N. lapillus and that genetic responses to biotic stresses such as predation risk might be more complex and less uniform across species than genetic responses to abiotic stresses such as thermal stress. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Molluscicidal activity of some marine substances against the snail Biomphalaria glabrata (Mollusca, Planorbidae).

    PubMed

    Miyasato, P A; Kawano, T; Freitas, J C; Berlinck, R G S; Nakano, E; Tallarico, L F

    2012-05-01

    Freshwater snails of the genus Biomphalaria play a major role as intermediate hosts of Schistosoma mansoni, the etiologic agent of schistosomiasis. While Biomphalaria spp. control by molluscicides is one of the main strategies to reduce the snail population in infected areas, there are few effective molluscicides commercially available. Natural products may be considered as potentially useful and safe molluscicides. We have evaluated the molluscicidal activity of 12 extracts from ten marine organisms on adult and embryonic stages of Biomphalaria glabrata. Only extracts of the red algae Liagora farinosa and of the sponge Amphimedon viridis presented molluscicidal activity. Lethal concentration (LC)(50) values obtained were 120 μg/mL for L. farinosa CH(2)Cl(2) extract (apolar fraction) and 20 μg/mL for A. viridis extract and halitoxin. The polar alga fraction and halitoxin had no effect on B. glabrata embryos. The algae apolar fraction was active on B. glabrata in all embryonic development stages, with LC(50) values for blastulae at 42 μg/mL, gastrulae at 124 μg/mL, trochophore at 180 μg/mL, and veliger at 222 μg/mL. This is the first report of extracts from marine organisms which presented molluscicidal activity.

  12. Histopathological changes in snail, Pomacea canaliculata, exposed to sub-lethal copper sulfate concentrations.

    PubMed

    Dummee, Vipawee; Tanhan, Phanwimol; Kruatrachue, Maleeya; Damrongphol, Praneet; Pokethitiyook, Prayad

    2015-12-01

    The acute toxicity test of Cu including range-finding and definitive test, was performed on golden apple snails, Pomacea canaliculata. The median lethal concentrations (LC50) of Cu at exposure times of 24, 48, 72 and 96 h were 330, 223, 177 and 146 µg/L, respectively. P. canaliculata were exposed to Cu at 146 µg/L for 96 h to study bioaccumulation and histopathological alterations in various organs. Snails accumulated elevated levels of Cu in gill, and lesser amounts in the digestive tract, muscle, and digestive gland. Histopathological investigation revealed several alterations in the epithelia of gill, digestive tract (esophagus, intestine, rectum), and digestive gland. The most striking changes were observed in the epithelium of the gill in which there was loss of cilia, an increase in number of mucus cells, and degeneration of columnar cells. Similar changes occurred in digestive tract epithelium. The digestive gland showed moderate alterations, vacuolization and degeneration of cells and an increase in the number of basophilic cells. We concluded that, P. canaliculata has a great potential as a bioindicator for Cu, and a biomarker for monitoring Cu contamination in aquatic environment.

  13. Diversity of conotoxin gene superfamilies in the venomous snail, Conus victoriae.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Samuel D; Safavi-Hemami, Helena; McIntosh, Lachlan D; Purcell, Anthony W; Norton, Raymond S; Papenfuss, Anthony T

    2014-01-01

    Animal venoms represent a vast library of bioactive peptides and proteins with proven potential, not only as research tools but also as drug leads and therapeutics. This is illustrated clearly by marine cone snails (genus Conus), whose venoms consist of mixtures of hundreds of peptides (conotoxins) with a diverse array of molecular targets, including voltage- and ligand-gated ion channels, G-protein coupled receptors and neurotransmitter transporters. Several conotoxins have found applications as research tools, with some being used or developed as therapeutics. The primary objective of this study was the large-scale discovery of conotoxin sequences from the venom gland of an Australian cone snail species, Conus victoriae. Using cDNA library normalization, high-throughput 454 sequencing, de novo transcriptome assembly and annotation with BLASTX and profile hidden Markov models, we discovered over 100 unique conotoxin sequences from 20 gene superfamilies, the highest diversity of conotoxins so far reported in a single study. Many of the sequences identified are new members of known conotoxin superfamilies, some help to redefine these superfamilies and others represent altogether new classes of conotoxins. In addition, we have demonstrated an efficient combination of methods to mine an animal venom gland and generate a library of sequences encoding bioactive peptides.

  14. Thirty-four years of climatic selection in the land snail Theba pisana.

    PubMed

    Johnson, M S

    2011-05-01

    Few continuous, long-term studies have measured the intensity and variability of natural selection within a framework of clear adaptive hypotheses. In the snail Theba pisana, the proportion of effectively unbanded shells is higher in exposed habitats than in adjacent acacia thickets, which has been explained by microclimatic selection. Comparisons across an ecotone for 34 consecutive years determined the combined effects on morph frequencies of habitat and changes in weather conditions during summer. The long-term average (±s.e.) frequency of effectively unbanded shells was 0.577±0.011 in the open habitat when compared with 0.353±0.005 in the acacia. The persistent association of shell banding with habitat accounted for 34% of the variation in morph frequencies. Differences among years were also large, representing 23% of the variation. Higher proportions of effectively unbanded snails were associated with hotter, sunnier summers. Thus, temporal variation supports the hypothesis of microclimatic selection, consistent with the spatial association with habitat. Based on observed rates of change, the mean annual selection on this polymorphism was about 0.13, but with a large variance: s was as high as 0.5, but 0.05 in about 40% of the years. The large variance and frequent reversals in direction of selection indicate a potential for rapid genetic change, but with little net change in morph frequencies over three decades, highlighting the value of long-term continuous studies of populations facing natural environmental variation.

  15. Mitochondrial differentiation in a polymorphic land snail: evidence for Pleistocene survival within the boundaries of permafrost.

    PubMed

    Haase, M; Misof, B; Wirth, T; Baminger, H; Baur, B

    2003-05-01

    The genetic differentiation of populations having colonized formerly unsuitable habitats after the Pleistocene glaciations depends to a great extent on the speed of expansion. Slow dispersers maintain their refugial diversity whereas fast dispersal leads to a reduction of diversity in the newly colonized areas. During the Pleistocene, almost the entire current range of the land snail Arianta arbustorum has repeatedly been covered with ice or been subjected to permafrost. Owing to the low potential for dispersal of land snails, slow (re)colonization of the wide range from southern refugia can be excluded. Alternatively, fast, passive dispersal from southern refugia or survival in and expansion from multiple refugia within the area subjected to permafrost may account for the current distribution. To distinguish between these scenarios we reconstructed a phylogeography based on the sequences of a fragment of the cytochrome oxidase I from 133 individuals collected at 45 localities and analysed the molecular variance. Seventy-five haplotypes were found that diverged on average at 7.52% of positions. This high degree of diversity suggests that A. arbustorum is an old species in which the population structure, isolation and the hermaphroditic nature have reduced the probability of lineage extinction. The genetic structure was highly significant with the highest variance partition found among regions. Geographic distance and mitochondrial differentiation were not congruent. Lineages had overlapping ranges. The clear genetic differentiation and the patchy pattern of haplotype distribution suggest that colonization of formerly unsuitable habitats was mainly achieved from multiple populations from within the permafrost area.

  16. Cone snail milked venom dynamics--a quantitative study of Conus purpurascens.

    PubMed

    Chun, Joycelyn B S; Baker, Margaret R; Kim, Do H; Leroy, Majdouline; Toribo, Priamo; Bingham, Jon-Paul

    2012-07-01

    Milked venom from cone snails represent a novel biological resource with a proven track record for drug discovery. To strengthen this correlation, we undertook a chromatographic and mass spectrometric study of individual milked venoms from Conus purpurascens. Milked venoms demonstrate extensive peptide differentiation amongst individual specimens and during captivity. Individual snails were found to lack a consistent set of described conopeptides, but instead demonstrated the ability to change venom expression, composition and post-translational modification incorporation; all variations contribute to an increase in chemical diversity and prey targeting strategies. Quantitative amino acid analysis revealed that milked venom peptides are expressed at ranges up to 3.51-121.01 μM within single milked venom samples. This provides for a 6.37-20,965 fold-excess of toxin to induce apparent IC₅₀ for individual conopeptides identified in this study. Comparative molecular mass analysis of duct venom, milked venom and radula tooth extracts from single C. purpurascens specimens demonstrated a level of peptide continuity. Numerous highly abundant and unique conopeptides remain to be characterized. This study strengthens the notion that approaches in conopeptide drug lead discovery programs will potentially benefit from a greater understanding of the toxinological nature of the milked venoms of Conus.

  17. Putative gamma-conotoxins in vermivorous cone snails: the case of Conus delessertii.

    PubMed

    Aguilar, Manuel B; López-Vera, Estuardo; Imperial, Julita S; Falcón, Andrés; Olivera, Baldomero M; de la Cotera, Edgar P Heimer

    2005-01-01

    Peptide de7a was purified from the venom of Conus delessertii, a vermivorous cone snail collected in the Yucatan Channel, Mexico. Its amino acid sequence was determined by automatic Edman degradation after reduction and alkylation. The sequence shows six Cys residues arranged in the pattern that defines the O-superfamily of conotoxins, and several post-translationally modified residues. The determination of its molecular mass by means of laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (average mass, 3170.0 Da) confirmed the chemical data and suggested amidation of the C-terminus. The primary structure (ACKOKNNLCAITgammaMAgammaCCSGFCLIYRCS*; O, hydroxyproline; gamma, gamma-carboxyglutamate; *, amidated C-terminus; calculated average mass, 3169.66 Da) of de7a contains a motif (gammaCCS) that has previously only been found in two other toxins, both from molluscivorous cone snails: TxVIIA from Conus textile and gamma-PnVIIA from Conus pennaceus. These toxins cause depolarization and increased firing of action potentials in molluscan neuronal systems, and toxin gamma-PnVIIA has been shown to act as an agonist of neuronal pacemaker cation currents. The similarities to toxins TxVIIA and gamma-PnVIIA suggest that peptide de7a might also affect voltage-gated nonspecific cation pacemaker channels.

  18. Inhibitory effect of naringin on microcystin-LR uptake in the freshwater snail Sinotaia histrica.

    PubMed

    Xie, Liqiang; Hanyu, Tamami; Futatsugi, Noriko; Komatsu, Masaharu; Steinman, Alan D; Park, Ho-Dong

    2014-09-01

    Gastropods are an important food source for aquatic animals, and have been demonstrated to transfer microcystin (MC) to higher trophic levels through the food web. In this study, we performed an oral administration experiment to evaluate whether naringin can inhibit MC-LR uptake in the freshwater snail Sinotaia histrica. We also observed the effect of MC-LR on the organizational pathology of the hepatopancreas in S. histrica. Following exposure to cells of Microcystis ichthyoblabe, S. histrica showed vacuolization and separation of the basal lamina from cells in the hepatopancreas. Initial treatment with 1mM naringin resulted in the prevention of MC-LR uptake rate by approximately 60% over 8days, whereas initial treatment with 10mM naringin suppressed microcystin uptake in 2days, despite an increase in MC-LR levels in the snail from days 5 to 8. With continuous treatment of 10mM naringin, the uptake prevention rate was 100%. Overall, we observed a strong inhibitory effect against MC-LR with naringin treatment. This study provides a potential mechanism to prevent the uptake of microcystin in the aquatic food web, thereby limiting its toxicity in cyanobacterial bloom-polluted areas where the environment can be controlled and may have further applications in the aquaculture of gastropods.

  19. The effects of linalool on the excitability of central neurons of snail Caucasotachea atrolabiata.

    PubMed

    Vatanparast, Jafar; Bazleh, Sara; Janahmadi, Mahyar

    2017-02-01

    Linalool is a major constituent of the essential oil of several plant species and possesses several biological activities. In this work, we studied the effects of linalool on excitability of central neurons of land snail Caucasotachea atrolabiata and tried to elucidate the underlying mechanisms. The lower concentration of linalool (0.1mM) showed suppressive action on spontaneous activity and pentylenetetrazole-induced epileptiform activity. These effects were associated with elevation of the action potential threshold and reduction of action potential rising phase, supporting the inhibitory action of linalool on Na(+) channels. At this concentration it also prolonged the post stimulus inhibitory period that can take part in its antiepileptic effect and apparently results from increased action potential duration and indirect augmentation of Ca(2+)-activated K(+) currents. At higher concentration, however, linalool (0.4mM) increased the neuronal excitability and induced epileptiform activity. The modulatory effects on action potential waveform during preconvulsive period suggest that the recent effect is mainly dependent on the suppression of outward potassium currents underlying repolarization phase and afterhyperpolarization. The linalool-induced epileptiform activity was abolished by Ca2(+) channel blockers, nifedipine and nickel chloride, and selective inhibitor of protein kinase C, chelerythrine, suggesting that Ca2(+) inward currents and protein kinase C (PKC) activity are required for linalool-induced epileptiform activity. Our results support the antiepileptic activity of linalool at lower dose, but it shows epileptogenic activity when applied directly on snail neurons at higher dose. Linalool may also be a potential therapeutic agent for activating PKC.

  20. Metabolic acceleration in the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zimmer, Elke I.; Ducrot, V.; Jager, T.; Koene, J.; Lagadic, L.; Kooijman, S. A. L. M.

    2014-11-01

    Under constant environmental conditions, most animals tend to grow following the von Bertalanffy growth curve. Deviations from this curve can point to changes in the environment that the animals experience, such as food limitation when the available food is not sufficient or suitable. However, such deviations can also point to a phenomenon called metabolic acceleration, which is receiving increasing attention in the field of Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) modeling. Reasons for such an acceleration are usually changes in shape during ontogeny, which cause changes in the surface area to volume ratio of the organism. Those changes, in turn, lead to changes in some of the model parameters that have length in their dimension. The life-history consequences of metabolic acceleration as implemented in the DEB theory are an s-shaped growth curve (when body size is expressed as a length measure) and a prolongation of the hatching time. The great pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis was earlier found to be food limited during the juvenile phase in laboratory experiments conducted under classical ecotoxicity test protocols. The pond snail has isomorphic shell growth but yet does not exhibit the expected von Bertalanffy growth curve under food limitation. When applying the standard DEB model to data from such life-cycle experiments, we also found that the hatching time is consistently underestimated, which could be a sign of metabolic acceleration. We here present an application of the DEB model including metabolic acceleration to the great pond snail. We account for the simultaneous hermaphroditism of the snail by including a model extension that describes the relative investment into the male and female function. This model allowed us to adequately predict the life history of the snail over the entire life cycle. However, the pond snail does not change in shape substantially after birth, so the original explanation for the metabolic acceleration does not hold. Since the change in shape

  1. Demography, environmental uncertainty, and the evolution of mate desertion in the snail kite

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beissinger, S.R.

    1986-01-01

    The Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis), an endangered hawk, has a unique mating system in Florida (Beissinger and Snyder 1987): when food is abundant, males or females desert their mates at nearly equal frequency (ambisexual mate desertion) in the midst of a nesting cycle. I examined the demographic and environmental constraints selecting for a clutch size that permits one parent to desert, yet optimizes the number of offspring produced by each parent. Demographic studies, conducted from 1979-1983, indicated that kites have (1) a very high nest failure rate (?= 68%) due most often to unstable nest sites and predation, (2) a variable nesting season (5-10 mo/yr), (3) an early age of first reproduction for a bird this size (10 mo), (4) a high degree of iteroparity (double and potentially triple clutching within a season), and (5) unstable populations. Both nesting success and population size were directly related to Everglades water levels and resultant snail densities. Kites responded to large annual changes in food abundance, not by adjusting clutch size but by deserting their mates and presumably attempting to renest. Kite demographic traits appear to be adaptations to or results of an uncertain environment. Based on 67 yr of Everglades water levels, environmental predictability, measured by spectral analysis and Colwell's (1974) index, was low and influenced by water management regimes: (1) water levels were lowered, (2) annual variation in levels increased and annual cycles became stronger, (3) the period length of long-term drought-flood cycles shifted from 10 or more yr toward 5 yr, and (4) levels became a less predictive cue for favorable nesting conditions. A potential evolutionary pathway from biparental care to mate desertion in Snail Kites is proposed. It is unlikely that mate desertion evolved solely from a context of conflict between the sexes, because kite nesting success is so low that it is probably maladaptive for a parent to desert and jeopardize

  2. Snail/Slug-YAP/TAZ Complexes Control Skeletal Stem Cell Self-Renewal and Differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Yi; Feinberg, Tamar; Keller, Evan T.; Li, Xiao-Yan; Weiss, Stephen J.

    2016-01-01

    Bone marrow-derived skeletal stem/stromal cell (SSC) self-renewal and function are critical to skeletal development, homeostasis and repair. Nevertheless, the mechanisms controlling SSC behavior, particularly bone formation, remain ill-defined. Using knockout mouse models that target the zinc-finger transcription factors, Snail, Slug or Snail and Slug combined, a regulatory axis has been uncovered wherein Snail and Slug cooperatively control SSC self-renewal, osteoblastogenesis and bone formation. Mechanistically, Snail/Slug regulate SSC function by forming complexes with the transcriptional co-activators, YAP and TAZ, in tandem with the inhibition of the Hippo pathway-dependent regulation of YAP/TAZ signaling cascades. In turn, the Snail/Slug-YAP/TAZ axis activates a series of YAP/TAZ/TEAD and Runx2 downstream targets that control SSC homeostasis and osteogenesis. Together, these results demonstrate that SSCs mobilize Snail/Slug-YAP/TAZ complexes to control stem cell function. PMID:27479603

  3. Lumican Inhibits SNAIL-Induced Melanoma Cell Migration Specifically by Blocking MMP-14 Activity

    PubMed Central

    Stasiak, Marta; Boncela, Joanna; Perreau, Corinne; Karamanou, Konstantina; Chatron-Colliet, Aurore; Proult, Isabelle; Przygodzka, Patrycja; Chakravarti, Shukti; Maquart, François-Xavier; Kowalska, M. Anna; Wegrowski, Yanusz; Brézillon, Stéphane

    2016-01-01

    Lumican, a small leucine rich proteoglycan, inhibits MMP-14 activity and melanoma cell migration in vitro and in vivo. Snail triggers epithelial-mesenchymal transitions endowing epithelial cells with migratory and invasive properties during tumor progression. The aim of this work was to investigate lumican effects on MMP-14 activity and migration of Snail overexpressing B16F1 (Snail-B16F1) melanoma cells and HT-29 colon adenocarcinoma cells. Lumican inhibits the Snail induced MMP-14 activity in B16F1 but not in HT-29 cells. In Snail-B16F1 cells, lumican inhibits migration, growth, and melanoma primary tumor development. A lumican-based strategy targeting Snail-induced MMP-14 activity might be useful for melanoma treatment. PMID:26930497

  4. Measurement of Selected Enzymatic Activities in Solanum nigrum-Treated Biomphalaria arabica Snails

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Al-Daihan, Sooad

    In the present study, glucose, acid and alkaline phosphatases (ACP and ALP), α-amylase and lipase were measured for the first time in tissue homogenates of Biomphalaria arabica snails, molluscan intermediate host for Schistosoma mansoni in Saudi Arabia. Also, the effect of sublethal concentrations (LC25) of dry powdered Solanum nigrum leaf was tested as plant molluscicide against this snail species. The tested enzymes were altered in molluscicide-treated snails compared to control. While ALP and amylase were slightly affected, ACP and lipase were significantly altered. Glucose as an important energy source for a successful schistosome-snail relationship was significantly reduced in molluscicide-treated snails. In conclusion, sublethal concentration of the molluscicide showed potent effect in disturbing snail biochemistry which may render them physiologically unsuitable for the developing of schistosome parasite. This could be considered as a promising strategy to control the disease.

  5. Arsenic transfer and impacts on snails exposed to stabilized and untreated As-contaminated soils.

    PubMed

    Coeurdassier, M; Scheifler, R; Mench, M; Crini, N; Vangronsveld, J; de Vaufleury, A

    2010-06-01

    An As-contaminated soil (Unt) was amended with either iron grit (Z), a coal fly ash (beringite, B) or B + Z (BZ) and placed in lysimeters in 1997. An uncontaminated soil (R) was also studied. In summer and autumn 2003, lettuces were cultivated in the lysimeters and snails were caged for one month. Lettuce As concentrations were higher during the summer, while no differences occurred in snails between seasons. Snail As concentrations (microg g(-1) DW) ranged from 2.5 to 7.0 in B, Z and BZ, and peaked at 17.5 in Unt. In summer, snail survival was affected in Unt and Z compared to R and B while no mortality was noticed in autumn. Snail growth decreased only in B, BZ and Unt in autumn. Snail As concentrations suggest a risk for their predators even on the remediated soils. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. A speciation gene for left-right reversal in snails results in anti-predator adaptation.

    PubMed

    Hoso, Masaki; Kameda, Yuichi; Wu, Shu-Ping; Asami, Takahiro; Kato, Makoto; Hori, Michio

    2010-01-01

    How speciation genes can spread in a population is poorly understood. In land snails, a single gene for left-right reversal could be responsible for instant speciation, because dextral and sinistral snails have difficulty in mating. However, the traditional two-locus speciation model predicts that a mating disadvantage for the reversal should counteract this speciation. In this study, we show that specialized snake predation of the dextral majority drives prey speciation by reversal. Our experiments demonstrate that sinistral Satsuma snails (Stylommatophora: Camaenidae) survive predation by Pareas iwasakii (Colubroidea: Pareatidae). Worldwide biogeography reveals that stylommatophoran snail speciation by reversal has been accelerated in the range of pareatid snakes, especially in snails that gain stronger anti-snake defense and reproductive isolation from dextrals by sinistrality. Molecular phylogeny of Satsuma snails further provides intriguing evidence of repetitive speciation under snake predation. Our study demonstrates that a speciation gene can be fixed in populations by positive pleiotropic effects on survival.

  7. BHC80 is Critical in Suppression of Snail-LSD1 Interaction and Breast Cancer Metastasis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-04-01

    1-0078 TITLE: BHC80 is Critical in Suppression of Snail -LSD1 Interaction and Breast Cancer Metastasis PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Yiwei...COVERED (From - To) 1 Jan 2011 - 31 Dec 2013 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE BHC80 is critical in suppression of Snail -LSD1 interaction and 5a...distribution unlimited 13. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES 14. ABSTRACT By using a tandem affinity-mass spectrometry coupled analysis, we identified Snail

  8. Creosote compounds in snails obtained from Pensacola Bay, Florida, near an onshore hazardous-waste site

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rostad, C.E.; Pereira, W.E.

    1987-01-01

    Snails, Thais haemostoma, were collected from two areas offshore in Pensacola Bay, Florida, near an onshore hazardous-waste site. Tissue from the snails was extracted to isolate the lipophilic compounds and analyzed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Along with naturally occurring compounds, the snail tissue contained large concentrations of polycyclic aromatic compounds, such as phenanthrene, acridine, dibenzothiophene, dibenzofuran, and benzo[a]pyrene. Many of these compounds were characteristic of creosote contamination associated with the onshore hazardous-waste site.

  9. Co-expression and clinical utility of Snail and N-cadherin in papillary thyroid carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xiangshan; Shi, Ranran; Zhang, Jing

    2016-01-01

    Papillary thyroid carcinoma is one of the most common subtypes of thyroid cancer and portends a good prognosis. N-cadherin (neural cadherin) is a member of the classical cadherin family and is often overexpressed in many types of cancers. Snail, a kind of zinc finger protein, is a transcriptional repressor which has been intensively studied in mammals. We investigate the immunohistochemical expression of Snail and N-cadherin in papillary thyroid carcinoma tissues and cells and then discuss the clinical value of Snail and N-cadherin expression. Immunohistochemical technique was performed to detect Snail and N-cadherin in 60 cases of papillary thyroid carcinoma and analyzed the relationship between the expression of Snail, N-cadherin, and clinicopathological indicators. Western blot was used to investigate the constitutive and inducible expression of Snail and N-cadherin. In our study, the expression rate of Snail and N-cadherin was 85.0 % (51/60) and 78.3 % (47/60), respectively, in papillary thyroid carcinoma. The expression rate of Snail and N-cadherin in thyroid papillary carcinoma with metastatic lymph nodes was 93.3 and 86.7 %, respectively, while in papillary thyroid carcinoma tissue without lymph node metastasis, the expression rate was 60.0 and 53.3 %, respectively. The positive correlation of Snail and N-cadherin was observed (r = 0.721, p < 0.01). In addition, Western blot further identified the constitutive and inducible expression of Snail and N-cadherin in papillary thyroid carcinoma tissues and cell lines. In conclusion, Snail and N-cadherin are constitutively and inducibly expressed in papillary thyroid carcinoma and may play important roles in the development and metastasis of papillary thyroid carcinoma. Snail and N-cadherin may be used as an effective indicator.

  10. BHC80 is Critical in Suppression of Snail-LSD1 Interaction and Breast Cancer Metastasis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-01-01

    inhibitors combined with the DNA alkylating agent Temozolomide are under investigation in several clinical trials. Due to the variance in cell...indicating that PARP1 becomes activated in response to DNA -damaging agent and promotes the interaction of Snail/LSD1 with PTEN promoter. Also as expected...by inhibiting PARG could enhance Snail-LSD1 interaction . In addition, we found that Snail could undergo poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation on DNA damage

  11. Removal of corallivorous snails as a proactive tool for the conservation of acroporid corals

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Margaret W.; Bright, Allan J.; Cameron, Caitlin M.

    2014-01-01

    Corallivorous snail feeding is a common source of tissue loss for the threatened coral, Acropora palmata, accounting for roughly one-quarter of tissue loss in monitored study plots over seven years. In contrast with larger threats such as bleaching, disease, or storms, corallivory by Coralliophila abbreviata is one of the few direct sources of partial mortality that may be locally managed. We conducted a field experiment to explore the effectiveness and feasibility of snail removal. Long-term monitoring plots on six reefs in the upper Florida Keys were assigned to one of three removal treatments: (1) removal from A. palmata only, (2) removal from all host coral species, or (3) no-removal controls. During the initial removal in June 2011, 436 snails were removed from twelve 150 m2 plots. Snails were removed three additional times during a seven month “removal phase”, then counted at five surveys over the next 19 months to track recolonization. At the conclusion, snails were collected, measured and sexed. Before-After-Control-Impact analysis revealed that both snail abundance and feeding scar prevalence were reduced in removal treatments compared to the control, but there was no difference between removal treatments. Recolonization by snails to baseline abundance is estimated to be 3.7 years and did not differ between removal treatments. Recolonization rate was significantly correlated with baseline snail abundance. Maximum snail size decreased from 47.0 mm to 34.6 mm in the removal treatments. The effort required to remove snails from A. palmata was 30 diver minutes per 150 m2 plot, compared with 51 min to remove snails from all host corals. Since there was no additional benefit observed with removing snails from all host species, removals can be more efficiently focused on only A. palmata colonies and in areas where C. abbreviata abundance is high, to effectively conserve A. palmata in targeted areas. PMID:25469321

  12. Storage excretion in the Indian apple snail, Pila globosa (Swainson), during aestivation.

    PubMed

    Athawale, Madhura S; Reddy, S Raghupathi Rami

    2002-11-01

    Uric acid accumulates in several tissues of the Indian apple snail, P. globosa, during aestivation. This accumulation is particularly high in the foot muscle and reproductive organs. Since the kidney, a tiny organ in the snail, has only a limited capacity to store uric acid, extrarenal tissues are used as storage depots of uric acid during aestivation. It is suggested that the aestivating snail, faced with a cleidoic situation, resorts to storage excretion, a phenomenon well documented in insects.

  13. Structure of mega-hemocyanin reveals protein origami in snails.

    PubMed

    Gatsogiannis, Christos; Hofnagel, Oliver; Markl, Jürgen; Raunser, Stefan

    2015-01-06

    Mega-hemocyanin is a 13.5 MDa oxygen transporter found in the hemolymph of some snails. Similar to typical gastropod hemocyanins, it is composed of 400 kDa building blocks but has additional 550 kDa subunits. Together, they form a large, completely filled cylinder. The structural basis for this highly complex protein packing is not known so far. Here, we report the electron cryomicroscopy (cryo-EM) structure of mega-hemocyanin complexes from two different snail species. The structures reveal that mega-hemocyanin is composed of flexible building blocks that differ in their conformation, but not in their primary structure. Like a protein origami, these flexible blocks are optimally packed, implementing different local symmetries and pseudosymmetries. A comparison between the two structures suggests a surprisingly simple evolutionary mechanism leading to these large oxygen transporters.

  14. Sexual selection maintains whole-body chiral dimorphism in snails

    PubMed Central

    SCHILTHUIZEN, M.; CRAZE, P. G.; CABANBAN, A. S.; DAVISON, A.; STONE, J.; GITTENBERGER, E.; SCOTT, B. J.

    2007-01-01

    Although the vast majority of higher animals are fixed for one chiral morph or another, the cause for this directionality is known in only a few cases. In snails, for example, rare individuals of the opposite coil are unable to mate with individuals of normal coil, so directionality is maintained by frequency-dependent selection. The snail subgenus Amphidromus presents an unexplained exception, because dextral (D) and sinistral (S) individuals occur sympatrically in roughly equal proportions (so-called ‘antisymmetry’) in most species. Here we show that in Amphidromus there is sexual selection for dimorphism, rather than selection for monomorphism. We found that matings between D and S individuals occur more frequently than expected by chance. Anatomical investigations showed that the chirality of the spermatophore and the female reproductive tract probably allow a greater fecundity in such inter-chiral matings. Computer simulation confirms that under these circumstances, sustained dimorphism is the expected outcome. PMID:17714311

  15. Experimental infections with Fasciola in snails, mice and rabbits.

    PubMed

    Hussein, Abdel-Nasser A; Khalifa, R M A

    2008-05-01

    Experimental infection trails of Lymnaea (cailliaudi) natalensis snails with miracidia of Fasciola hepatica revealed neither cercariae nor larval stages shed. Infection of white mice with metacercariae from field-collected snails proved to be negative for Fasciola eggs and immature juveniles or adults after 84 days post infection. The infection of eight rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) has succeeded; two rabbits were infected, with a very low infection rate. Faeces of rabbits were negative for eggs. The worm burden was one and three worms from 40 fed metacercariae. The obtained fluke measures 23 mm in length by 4 mm in width. The tegument is covered with sharp-ending spines. The uterus contains few eggs. The intrauterine eggs measured 158 microm x 80 microm. According to the morphological characters of these flukes, they belong to F. gigantica.

  16. Effects of an invasive ant on land snails in the Ogasawara Islands.

    PubMed

    Uchida, Shota; Mori, Hideaki; Kojima, Tsubasa; Hayama, Kayo; Sakairi, Yuko; Chiba, Satoshi

    2016-12-01

    We investigated how Pheidole megacephala has affected endemic achatinellid snails because these snails are excellent indicators of the impact of ants and they have high conservation value in Ogasawara. In 2015 we surveyed the Minamizaki area of Hahajima Island of Ogasawara, designated a core zone of the World Heritage Site, for P. megacephala. In Minamizaki, we determined the distribution and density of achatinellid snails in 2015 and compared these data with their distribution and density in 2005. Land cover in the survey area was entirely forest. We also tested whether P. megacephala preyed on achatinellid snails in the laboratory. P. megacephala was present in the forested areas of Minamizaki. Achatinellid snails were absent in 19 of 39 sites where P. megacephala was present, whereas in other areas densities of the snails ranged from 2 to 228 individuals/site. In the laboratory, P. megacephala carried 6 of 7 achatinellid snails and a broken shell was found. Snail distribution and density comparisons and results of the feeding experiments suggest that the presence of P. megacephala has contributed to the decline of achatinellid snails in forests in the survey area. Yet, P. megacephala is not on the official list of invasive non-native species. Stakeholders using the list of invasive species to develop conservation programs should recognize that invasiveness of non-native species differs depending on the ecosystem and that official lists may not be complete.

  17. Activity of the mangrove snail Cerithidea decollata (Gastropoda: Potamididae) in a warm temperate South African estuary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hodgson, Alan N.; Dickens, John

    2012-08-01

    A population of Cerithidea decollata, an intertidal marine gastropod usually found within mangroves, was studied within an area of Juncus kraussii in the upper reaches of the warm temperate Knysna estuary, which is at the southern-most limit of the recorded distribution of this snail. Activity (migratory and homing behaviour, distances travelled during foraging) of the snails was monitored over spring and neap tides in four seasons. Migratory patterns of the snails were affected by season, time of low tide (day vs night), tidal magnitude (spring vs neap) and zonation. In the summer and spring, a greater proportion of snails migrated from J. kraussii leaves onto the mud during the day at spring low tide. During neap tides in these two seasons, most snails did not climb J. kraussii leaves and remained on the mud, which was nearly always exposed. In autumn a few snails only were active and in winter snails were almost completely inactive, probably due to low air temperatures. Snails travelled greater distances on the mud on spring tides, during the diurnal low tides, and in the summer. No snails were found to home to individual J. kraussii leaves; however, homing behaviour was recorded to wooden poles within the Juncus wetland.

  18. Action of SNAIL1 in Cardiac Myofibroblasts Is Important for Cardiac Fibrosis following Hypoxic Injury

    PubMed Central

    Biswas, Hirak; Longmore, Gregory D.

    2016-01-01

    Hypoxic injury to the heart results in cardiac fibrosis that leads to cardiac dysfunction and heart failure. SNAIL1 is a zinc finger transcription factor implicated in fibrosis following organ injury and cancer. To determine if the action of SNAIL1 contributed to cardiac fibrosis following hypoxic injury, we used an endogenous SNAIL1 bioluminescence reporter mice, and SNAIL1 knockout mouse models. Here we report that SNAIL1 expression is upregulated in the infarcted heart, especially in the myofibroblasts. Utilizing primary cardiac fibroblasts in ex vivo cultures we find that pro-fibrotic factors and collagen I increase SNAIL1 protein level. SNAIL1 is required in cardiac fibroblasts for the adoption of myofibroblast fate, collagen I expression and expression of fibrosis-related genes. Taken together this data suggests that SNAIL1 expression is induced in the cardiac fibroblasts after hypoxic injury and contributes to myofibroblast phenotype and a fibrotic scar formation. Resultant collagen deposition in the scar can maintain elevated SNAIL1 expression in the myofibroblasts and help propagate fibrosis. PMID:27706205

  19. Population estimate of Chinese mystery snail (Bellamya chinensis) in a Nebraska reservoir

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chaine, Noelle M.; Allen, Craig R.; Fricke, Kent A.; Haak, Danielle M.; Hellman, Michelle L.; Kill, Robert A.; Nemec, Kristine T.; Pope, Kevin L.; Smeenk, Nicholas A.; Stephen, Bruce J.; Uden, Daniel R.; Unstad, Kody M.; VanderHam, Ashley E.

    2012-01-01

    The Chinese mystery snail (Bellamya chinensis) is an aquatic invasive species in North America. Little is known regarding this species' impacts on freshwater ecosystems. It is be lieved that population densities can be high, yet no population estimates have been reported. We utilized a mark-recapture approach to generate a population estimate for Chinese mystery snail in Wild Plum Lake, a 6.47-ha reservoir in southeast Nebraska. We calculated, using bias-adjusted Lincoln-Petersen estimation, that there were approximately 664 adult snails within a 127 m2 transect (5.2 snails/m2). If this density was consistent throughout the littoral zone (<3 m in depth) of the reservoir, then the total adult population in this impoundment is estimated to be 253,570 snails, and the total Chinese mystery snail wet biomass is estimated to be 3,119 kg (643 kg/ha). If this density is confined to the depth sampled in this study (1.46 m), then the adult population is estimated to be 169,400 snails, and wet biomass is estimated to be 2,084 kg (643 kg/ha). Additional research is warranted to further test the utility of mark-recapture methods for aquatic snails and to better understand Chinese mystery snail distributions within reservoirs.

  20. Differential expression of transcriptional repressor snail gene at implantation site in mouse uterus.

    PubMed

    Ma, Xing-Hong; Hu, Shi-Jun; Yu, Hao; Xu, Li-Bin; Yang, Zeng-Ming

    2006-02-01

    The snail superfamily of zinc-finger transcription factors is involved in pronounced cell movements during both embryonic development and tumor progression. This study was to examine snail expression in mouse uterus during early pregnancy and its regulation under pseudopregnancy, delayed implantation, steroid hormone treatment, and artificial decidualization by in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry. There was a low level of snail mRNA signal and immunostaining in mouse uteri on day 1-4 of pregnancy. When embryo implanted on day 5, both snail mRNA signal and immunostaining were strongly detected in the subluminal stroma immediately surrounding the implanting blastocyst, but not detected in the inter-implantation sites. Under delayed implantation, there was no detectable snail expression. After delayed implantation was terminated by estrogen treatment and embryo implanted, there was a strong level of snail mRNA and immunostaining in the subluminal stroma surrounding the implanting blastocyst, which was similar to that on day 5 of pregnancy. Furthermore, there was no detectable snail expression in mouse uterus on day 5 of pseudopregnancy. From day 6-8 of pregnancy, both snail mRNA signal and immunostaining were detected in the decidua. Our data suggest that snail may play an important role during mouse embryo implantation.

  1. Snail1 is required for the maintenance of the pancreatic acinar phenotype

    PubMed Central

    Loubat-Casanovas, Jordina; Peña, Raúl; Gonzàlez, Núria; Alba-Castellón, Lorena; Rosell, Santi; Francí, Clara; Navarro, Pilar; de Herreros, Antonio García

    2016-01-01

    The Snail1 transcriptional factor is required for correct embryonic development, yet its expression in adult animals is very limited and its functional roles are not evident. We have now conditionally inactivated Snail1 in adult mice and analyzed the phenotype of these animals. Snail1 ablation rapidly altered pancreas structure: one month after Snail1 depletion, acinar cells were markedly depleted, and pancreas accumulated adipose tissue. Snail1 expression was not detected in the epithelium but was in pancreatic mesenchymal cells (PMCs). Snail1 ablation in cultured PMCs downregulated the expression of several β-catenin/Tcf-4 target genes, modified the secretome of these cells and decreased their ability to maintain acinar markers in cultured pancreas cells. Finally, Snail1 deficiency modified the phenotype of pancreatic tumors generated in transgenic mice expressing c-myc under the control of the elastase promoter. Specifically, Snail1 depletion did not significantly alter the size of the tumors but accelerated acinar-ductal metaplasia. These results demonstrate that Snail1 is expressed in PMCs and plays a pivotal role in maintaining acinar cells within the pancreas in normal and pathological conditions. PMID:26735179

  2. Factors determining the direction of ecological specialization in snail-feeding carabid beetles.

    PubMed

    Konuma, Junji; Nagata, Nobuaki; Sota, Teiji

    2011-02-01

    A stout-slender dimorphism in body shape is observed among carabid beetles of the subtribe Carabina, which feed on land snails. We hypothesized that this dimorphism has resulted from divergent ecological specialization for feeding on different-sized land snails. Therefore, we examined whether the geographic variation in the body shape of Damaster blaptoides, a representative snail-feeding species in Japan, is correlated with the size of Euhadra, a genus of land snails frequently consumed by D. blaptoides. An analysis of beetle specimens from the whole distribution area of D. blaptoides determined that more slender beetle populations occurred in localities harboring larger snails, whereas more stout beetles inhabited localities harboring smaller snails. This pattern could be adaptive because slender beetles exhibit high feeding performance for large snails by inserting their heads into the shells, whereas stout beetles do so for small snails by crushing the shells. The D. blaptoides populations showed a clear genetic isolation-by-distance pattern, which could be effective in promoting such local adaptation. Thus, food resources as well as geographic isolation may have promoted adaptive divergence of external morphology in the snail-feeding carabid beetles.

  3. [Performance evaluation of small snail control projects in Hubei Province in 2009 and 2010].

    PubMed

    Yang, Rui; Zhu, Zhi-Hua; Huang, Xi-Bao; Tan, Xiao-Dong

    2012-08-01

    To evaluate the performance of small Oncomelania snail control projects in Hubei Province in 2009 and 2010, so as to explore the best snail control project in different areas. The expense-effect, expense-efficiency and cost-utility analyses were carried out to analyze the small snail control projects with reference to the relevant schistosomiasis japonica prevention and control index system. The coverage rate of snail control was 40.15%, the decrease rate of the snail areas was 32.86%, the unit cost for the snail control was 0.39 Yuan/m2, the cost of reducing 1% of the snail area was 67.34 ten thousand Yuan, the total benefit was 15 554.14 ten thousand Yuan, the ratio of cost to benefit was 7.03, the net benefit was 13 341.44 ten thousand Yuan, and the ratio of cost to net benefit was 6.03, and the investment ratio was 1 : 2.11 in the 183 small snail control projects. There is an obvious and respectable short-period effect of the small snail control projects.

  4. Divergent shell shape as an antipredator adaptation in tropical land snails.

    PubMed

    Hoso, Masaki; Hori, Michio

    2008-11-01

    Although many land snails exhibit amazingly divergent shell shapes in the tropics, the functions of these remain obscure. Here we show that a modified aperture shape acts as an impediment specifically to predation by a snail-eating snake. Pareas iwasakii (Colubridae: Pareatinae) uses a unique method to feed on land snails: the snake extracts the soft body from the shell through the aperture by alternately retracting its mandibles. The snail Satsuma caliginosa (Camaenidae: Camaeninae) has apertural variation in regard to the presence of snail-eating snakes. Our experiments demonstrated that the distorted aperture mechanically impeded predation by this gape-limited predator, interrupting the mandibular movements. In contrast, congeneric snails with round apertures did not escape predation by snakes. The paleobiogeography of the focal area indicates that the subspecies Satsuma caliginosa picta, which does not have apertural modification, was derived from a defensive ancestor after the extinction of snail-eating snakes. Our study suggests a possibility that snail-eating snakes are responsible for divergent shell shapes in a variety of tropical land snails.

  5. [Effect of agroforestry model on inhibition of Oncomelania snails in plateau mountainous area of Yunnan Province].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chun-Hua; Tang, Guo-Yong; Liu, Fang-Yan; Li, Kun

    2012-10-01

    To evaluate the effect of agroforestry models on the inhibition of Oncomelania snails in the plateau mountainous area of Yunnan Province. The experimental field was established at Sanying Village of Eryuan County, Yunnan Province, where the "Flourishing Forest and Controlling Snails Project" was implemented. Different drought crops (alfalfa, vegetables, broad bean, garlic, lettuce, celery, green onions, and wheat) were intercropped under walnut forest in experimental groups, and the crops were not intercropped under walnut forest in a control group. The growth of forest, the change of snails and short-term income of residents were investigated. Agroforestry models promoted the forestry growth and effectively inhibited the growth of snails. There was a little snail in one of the experimental group that forest was intercropped with alfalfa (the occurrence rate of frames with living snails was 3.33%, the average density of living snails was 0.004/0.1 m2, and the declining rates were both 50.00%). The snails were not found in other intercropped models. The income of residents in the experimental groups increased (900-6 800 Yuan per year) compared with that in the control group. The model of walnut forest intercropped with crops not only has the obvious effect on inhibition of snails, but also has good economic and ecological benefits in the plateau mountainous area of Yunnan Province.

  6. Snail1-Dependent Activation of Cancer-Associated Fibroblast Controls Epithelial Tumor Cell Invasion and Metastasis.

    PubMed

    Alba-Castellón, Lorena; Olivera-Salguero, Rubén; Mestre-Farrera, Aida; Peña, Raúl; Herrera, Mercedes; Bonilla, Félix; Casal, J Ignacio; Baulida, Josep; Peña, Cristina; García de Herreros, Antonio

    2016-11-01

    Snail1 transcriptional factor is essential for triggering epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and inducing tumor cell invasion. We report here an EMT-independent action of Snail1 on tumor invasion, as it is required for the activation of cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAF). Snail1 expression in fibroblasts requires signals derived from tumor cells, such as TGFβ; reciprocally, in fibroblasts, Snail1 organizes a complex program that stimulates invasion of epithelial cells independent of the expression of Snail1 in these cells. Epithelial cell invasion is stimulated by the secretion by fibroblast of diffusible signaling molecules, such as prostaglandin E2 The capability of human or murine CAFs to promote tumor invasion is dependent on Snail1 expression. Inducible Snail1 depletion in mice decreases the invasion of breast tumors; moreover, epithelial tumor cells coxenografted with Snail1-depleted fibroblasts originated tumors with lower invasion than those transplanted with control fibroblasts. Therefore, these results demonstrate that the role of Snail1 in tumor invasion is not limited to EMT, but it is also dependent on its activity in stromal fibroblasts, where it orchestrates the cross-talk with epithelial tumor cells. Cancer Res; 76(21); 6205-17. ©2016 AACR. ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.

  7. Characterization of microsatellite loci for the littorine snail Bembicium vittatum.

    PubMed

    Kennington, W J; Lukehurst, S S; Johnson, M S

    2008-11-01

    We describe the isolation and development of 17 polymorphic microsatellite loci for the intertidal snail Bembicium vittatum (Gastropoda: Littorinidae). The loci were tested in 46 individuals from a single population situated near the centre of the species distribution. No evidence of linkage disequilibrium was detected between any pair of loci. However, two loci showed significant departures from Hardy-Weinberg expectations. The number of alleles per locus ranged from two to 15. © 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  8. Impact of cigarette butt leachate on tidepool snails.

    PubMed

    Booth, David J; Gribben, Paul; Parkinson, Kerryn

    2015-06-15

    In urban areas, cigarette butts are the most common discarded refuse articles. In marine intertidal zones, they often fall into tidepools. We tested how common intertidal molluscs were affected by butt leachate in a laboratory experiment, where snails were exposed to various leachate concentrations. Mortality was very high, with all species showing 100% mortality at the full leachate concentration (5 butts per litre and 2h soak time) after 8days. However, Austrocochlea porcata showed higher mortality than the other 2 species at lower concentrations (10%, 25%) which may affect the relative abundance of the 3 snails under different concentrations of leachate pollution. Also, sublethal effects of leachate on snail activity were observed, with greater activity of Nerita atramentosa than the other 2 species at higher concentrations, suggesting it is more resilient than the other 2 species. While human health concerns predominate with respect to smoking, we show strong lethal and sublethal (via behavioural modifications) impacts of discarded butts on intertidal organisms, with even closely-related taxa responding differently.

  9. Morphological Variation in the New Zealand Mud Snail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrow, S.; Holomuzki, J. R.; Brunkow, P. E.

    2005-05-01

    The New Zealand mud snail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) is a morphologically diverse species, showing variation in body shape and spine ornamentation. Native to New Zealand, the snail is highly invasive in the United States and Europe. As part of a broader study examining the role of morphological variation in hydrodynamic performance, we sought to quantify shell variation in snails from four different populations in New Zealand. Shells were mounted and photographed, and four characters (shell length and width, and aperture length and width) were digitized. Shell length differed significantly among populations. Sheared PCA revealed that shell shape, defined in terms of overall robustness (PC1) as well as the ratio between shell width and aperture width (PC2), also differed significantly among populations. Spined shells differed significantly from smooth shells with respect to shell shape (PC1 and PC2), with spined shells being generally more robust with larger apertures for their length. Shell shape differed significantly between spined and smooth shells in the two lotic habitats but not in the lentic habitats, suggesting a possible interaction between shell shape, presence of spines, and hydrodynamic environment. Further research will attempt to relate shell morphology and spine ornamentation to hydrodynamic drag and lift forces.

  10. Piscivorous behavior of a temperate cone snail, Conus californicus.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Julia; Gilly, William F

    2005-10-01

    Most of the more than 500 species of predatory marine snails in the genus Conus are tropical or semitropical, and nearly all are thought to be highly selective regarding type of prey. Conus californicus Hinds, 1844, is unusual in that it is endemic to the North American Pacific coast and preys on a large variety of benthic organisms, primarily worms and other molluscs, and also scavenges. We studied the feeding behavior of C. californicus in captivity and found that it regularly killed and consumed live prickleback fishes (Cebidichthys violaceus and Xiphister spp.). Predation involved two behavioral methods similar to those employed by strictly piscivorous relatives. One method utilized stings delivered by radular teeth; the other involved engulfing the prey without stinging. Both methods were commonly used in combination, and individual snails sometimes employed multiple stings to subdue a fish. During the course of the study, snails became aroused by the presence of live fish more quickly, as evidenced by more rapid initiation of hunting behavior. Despite this apparent adaptation, details of prey-capture techniques and effectiveness of stings remained similar over the same period.

  11. Snail hepatopancreatic lipase: a new member of invertebrates lipases' group.

    PubMed

    Amara, Sawsan; Fendri, Ahmed; Ben Salem, Nadia; Gargouri, Youssef; Miled, Nabil

    2010-10-01

    Higher animal's lipases are well characterized; however, much less is known about lipases from mollusks. A lipolytic activity was located in the land snail (Eobania vermiculata) digestive glands (hepatopancreas), from which a snail digestive lipase (SnDL) was purified. Pure SnDL has a molecular mass of 60 kDa; it does not present the interfacial activation phenomenon. It was found to be more active on short-chain triacylglycerols than on long-chain triacylglycerols. The NH2-terminal sequence of the SnDL shows 66% of identity with the 17 NH2-terminal amino acids of a putative lipase from sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus). No sequence identity was found with known lipases. Interestingly, neither colipase nor bile salts were detected in the snail hepatopancreas. This suggests that colipase evolved in vertebrates simultaneously with the appearance of an exocrine pancreas and a true liver which produces bile salts. Altogether, these results suggest that SnDL is a member of a new group of digestive lipases belonging to invertebrates.

  12. Biological studies on the snail intermediate hosts of schistosomiasis with a special emphasis on using larval echinostomes as biocontrol agent against larval schistosomes and snails.

    PubMed

    Rashed, A A

    2002-12-01

    The present investigation deals with the infectivity of the two snail intermediate hosts of schistosomiasis, Biomphalaria alexandrina and Bulinus truncatus collected from nine drains in Sharkia Governorate, Egypt. The rate of infection among the snails was general low being 0% in many drains. Regarding B. alexandrina, the rate of infection ranged from 4-16%, and in B. truncatus ranged from 4-8%. Infection with larval echinostomes was dominant over larval schistosomes in the two snail vectors. The distribution of larval schistosomes was restricted to the hepatopancreas of the two snail vectors, while larval echinostomes were distributed in head, foot, kidney, haemocoelic cavity, hepatopancreas...etc. The predation of larval schistosomes by larval echinostomes and the severe histopathological effects induced by larval ecbinostomes strongly enhances using them as biocontrol agent. The physico-chemical parameters and pollution condition in the drains seem to have no effect on the process of snails infectivity. It is concluded that larval echinostomes can resist the polluting conditions in the drain. The two snail vectors exhibit very minimal or rare host response against larval echinostomes. Probably, the toxicants and pollutants in the drain may act as stressor that makes the snails much more susceptible to infection by larval trematodes.

  13. ALTERNATE FOOD-CHAIN TRANSFER OF THE TOXIN LINKED TO AVIAN VACUOLAR MYELINOPATHY AND IMPLICATIONS FOR THE ENDANGERED FLORIDA SNAIL KITE (ROSTRHAMUS SOCIABILIS).

    PubMed

    Dodd, Shelley R; Haynie, Rebecca S; Williams, Susan M; Wilde, Susan B

    2016-04-28

    Avian vacuolar myelinopathy (AVM) is a neurologic disease causing recurrent mortality of Bald Eagles ( Haliaeetus leucocephalus ) and American Coots ( Fulica americana ) at reservoirs and small impoundments in the southern US. Since 1994, AVM is considered the cause of death for over 170 Bald Eagles and thousands of American Coots and other species of wild birds. Previous studies link the disease to an uncharacterized toxin produced by a recently described cyanobacterium, Aetokthonos hydrillicola gen. et sp. nov. that grows epiphytically on submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV). The toxin accumulates, likely in the gastrointestinal tract of waterbirds that consume SAV, and birds of prey are exposed when feeding on the moribund waterbirds. Aetokthonos hydrillicola has been identified in all reservoirs where AVM deaths have occurred and was identified growing abundantly on an exotic SAV hydrilla ( Hydrilla verticillata ) in Lake Tohopekaliga (Toho) in central Florida. Toho supports a breeding population of a federally endangered raptor, the Florida Snail Kite ( Rostrhamus sociabilis ) and a dense infestation of an exotic herbivorous aquatic snail, the island applesnail ( Pomacea maculata ), a primary source of food for resident Snail Kites. We investigated the potential for transmission in a new food chain and, in laboratory feeding trials, confirmed that the AVM toxin was present in the hydrilla/A. hydrillicola matrix collected from Toho. Additionally, laboratory birds that were fed apple snails feeding on hydrilla/A. hydrillicola material from a confirmed AVM site displayed clinical signs (3/5), and all five developed brain lesions unique to AVM. This documentation of AVM toxin in central Florida and the demonstration of AVM toxin transfer through invertebrates indicate a significant risk to the already diminished population of endangered Snail Kites.

  14. Perspectives on land snails - sampling strategies for isotopic analyses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kwiecien, Ola; Kalinowski, Annika; Kamp, Jessica; Pellmann, Anna

    2017-04-01

    Since the seminal works of Goodfriend (1992), several substantial studies confirmed a relation between the isotopic composition of land snail shells (d18O, d13C) and environmental parameters like precipitation amount, moisture source, temperature and vegetation type. This relation, however, is not straightforward and site dependent. The choice of sampling strategy (discrete or bulk sampling) and cleaning procedure (several methods can be used, but comparison of their effects in an individual shell has yet not been achieved) further complicate the shell analysis. The advantage of using snail shells as environmental archive lies in the snails' limited mobility, and therefore an intrinsic aptitude of recording local and site-specific conditions. Also, snail shells are often found at dated archaeological sites. An obvious drawback is that shell assemblages rarely make up a continuous record, and a single shell is only a snapshot of the environmental setting at a given time. Shells from archaeological sites might represent a dietary component and cooking would presumably alter the isotopic signature of aragonite material. Consequently, a proper sampling strategy is of great importance and should be adjusted to the scientific question. Here, we compare and contrast different sampling approaches using modern shells collected in Morocco, Spain and Germany. The bulk shell approach (fine-ground material) yields information on mean environmental parameters within the life span of analyzed individuals. However, despite homogenization, replicate measurements of bulk shell material returned results with a variability greater than analytical precision (up to 2‰ for d18O, and up to 1‰ for d13C), calling for caution analyzing only single individuals. Horizontal high-resolution sampling (single drill holes along growth lines) provides insights into the amplitude of seasonal variability, while vertical high-resolution sampling (multiple drill holes along the same growth line

  15. THE BIOCIDE TRIBUTYLTIN REDUCES THE ACCUMULATION OF TESTOSTERONE AS FATTY ACID ESTERS IN THE MUD SNAIL (ILYANASSA OBSOLETA)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Imposex, the development of male sex characteristics by female gonochoristic snails, has been documented globally and is causally associated with exposure to the ubiquitous environmental contaminant tributyltin (TBT). Elevated testosterone levels in snails also are associated wit...

  16. THE BIOCIDE TRIBUTYLTIN REDUCES THE ACCUMULATION OF TESTOSTERONE AS FATTY ACID ESTERS IN THE MUD SNAIL (ILYANASSA OBSOLETA)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Imposex, the development of male sex characteristics by female gonochoristic snails, has been documented globally and is causally associated with exposure to the ubiquitous environmental contaminant tributyltin (TBT). Elevated testosterone levels in snails also are associated wit...

  17. Aquatic snails from mining sites have evolved to detect and avoid heavy metals.

    PubMed

    Lefcort, H; Abbott, D P; Cleary, D A; Howell, E; Keller, N C; Smith, M M

    2004-05-01

    Toxicants in polluted environments are often patchily distributed. Hence, rather than being passive absorbers of pollution, some organisms have evolved the ability to detect and avoid toxicants. We studied the avoidance behavior of Physella columbiana, an aquatic pulmonate snail, in a pond that has been polluted with heavy metals for more than 120 years. Populations of this snail are rare at reference sites and are only robust at heavy-metal-polluted sites. We hypothesized that the snails are able to persist because they have evolved the ability to minimize their exposure to metals by actively avoiding metals in their environment. Using a Y-maze flow tank, we tested the avoidance behavior of snails to heavy-metal-polluted sediments and single-metal solutions of cadmium, zinc, or lead. We also tested the avoidance behaviors of the snails' laboratory-reared offspring raised in nonpolluted conditions. In addition, we tested the avoidance behavior of a small population of snails from a reference pond. Although all the snails we tested were able to detect low concentrations of heavy metals, we found that snails from the polluted site were the most sensitive, that their offspring were somewhat less sensitive, and that snails from the reference site were the least sensitive. This suggests that the ability of polluted-site snails to avoid heavy metals is both genetic and environmental. The concentrations of metals avoided by the snails from the polluted site were below the levels found at hot spots within their natal pond. The snails may be able to persist at this site because they decrease their exposure by moving to less-polluted sections of the pond. One application of our findings is the use of aquatic snails and our Y-maze design as an inexpensive pollution detector. Environmental pollutants such as lead, zinc, and arsenic are a problem throughout the world. People in underdeveloped countries often lack sophisticated pollution detection devices. We have developed a

  18. Residential yards as designer ecosystems: effects of yard management on land snail species composition.

    PubMed

    Bergey, Elizabeth A; Figueroa, Laura L

    2016-12-01

    Residential yards comprise the majority of green space in urban landscapes, yet are an understudied system because of access issues and because yards may be considered biologically depauperate. Yards are purposely created and managed and, hence, qualify as designer ecosystems, a term borrowed from restoration ecology. We investigated whether yard management (watering regime, mulching, and chemical use) or dog presence affected land snail assemblage composition and described the pattern of native vs. nonnative species among yards. Land snails form an appropriate model system for yard-scale studies because snails are speciose, common, and have limited mobility. We found 32 land snail species in our survey of 61 yards in Norman, Oklahoma, USA (population size of 118,000). Snail richness in individual yards averaged nine species, with a range of three to 14 species. Native snails were found in all yards and nonnative snails were found in all but one yard. Although some of the nine nonnative species were rare, the most frequently encountered species was the nonnative Triodopsis hopetonensis. All encountered nonnative species also occur in Oklahoma plant nurseries, indicating possible introduction through the plant trade. Yard-scale watering regime and the presence of dogs were associated with differences in snail species composition but not species richness. Pesticide use and mulch type had little, if any, association with snail composition. Effects may have been diluted by treating yards as units, whereas snails were concentrated in specific microhabitats, such as under shrubs. Soil type also influenced snail assemblages and acted at a scale larger than individual yards. Considering yards as designer ecosystems facilitates investigation of how local variation in management affects biota within yards and across the residential landscape, and highlights the importance of variation among residential yards in understanding patterns of urban biodiversity. © 2016 by the

  19. CDK4/6-dependent activation of DUB3 regulates cancer metastasis through SNAIL1.

    PubMed

    Liu, Tongzheng; Yu, Jia; Deng, Min; Yin, Yujiao; Zhang, Haoxing; Luo, Kuntian; Qin, Bo; Li, Yunhui; Wu, Chenming; Ren, Tao; Han, Yang; Yin, Peng; Kim, JungJin; Lee, SeungBaek; Lin, Jing; Zhang, Lizhi; Zhang, Jun; Nowsheen, Somaira; Wang, Liewei; Boughey, Judy; Goetz, Matthew P; Yuan, Jian; Lou, Zhenkun

    2017-01-09

    Tumour metastasis, the spread of cancer cells from the original tumour site followed by growth of secondary tumours at distant organs, is the primary cause of cancer-related deaths and remains poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that inhibition of CDK4/6 blocks breast tumour metastasis in the triple-negative breast cancer model, without affecting tumour growth. Mechanistically, we identify a deubiquitinase, DUB3, as a target of CDK4/6; CDK4/6-mediated activation of DUB3 is essential to deubiquitinate and stabilize SNAIL1, a key factor promoting epithelial-mesenchymal transition and breast cancer metastasis. Overall, our study establishes the CDK4/6-DUB3 axis as an important regulatory mechanism of breast cancer metastasis and provides a rationale for potential therapeutic interventions in the treatment of breast cancer metastasis.

  20. Studies on microwaves in medicine and biology: from snails to humans.

    PubMed

    Lin, James C

    2004-04-01

    This d'Arsonval Medal acceptance presentation highlights several research themes selected from Dr. Lin's published works, focusing on the microwave portion of the nonionizing electromagnetic spectrum. The topics discussed include investigation of microwave effects on the spontaneous action potentials and membrane resistance of isolated snail neurons, effects on the permeability of blood brain barriers in rats, the phenomenon and interaction mechanism for the microwave auditory effect (the hearing of microwave pulses by animals and humans), the development of miniature catheter antennas for microwave interstitial hyperthermia treatment of cancer, the application of transcatheter microwave ablation for treatment of cardiac arrhythmias, and the use of noninvasive wireless technology for sensing of human vital signs and blood pressure pulse waves. The paper concludes with some observations on research and other endeavors in the interdisciplinary field of bioelectromagnetics.

  1. CDK4/6-dependent activation of DUB3 regulates cancer metastasis through SNAIL1

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Tongzheng; Yu, Jia; Deng, Min; Yin, Yujiao; Zhang, Haoxing; Luo, Kuntian; Qin, Bo; Li, Yunhui; Wu, Chenming; Ren, Tao; Han, Yang; Yin, Peng; Kim, JungJin; Lee, SeungBaek; Lin, Jing; Zhang, Lizhi; Zhang, Jun; Nowsheen, Somaira; Wang, Liewei; Boughey, Judy; Goetz, Matthew P.; Yuan, Jian; Lou, Zhenkun

    2017-01-01

    Tumour metastasis, the spread of cancer cells from the original tumour site followed by growth of secondary tumours at distant organs, is the primary cause of cancer-related deaths and remains poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that inhibition of CDK4/6 blocks breast tumour metastasis in the triple-negative breast cancer model, without affecting tumour growth. Mechanistically, we identify a deubiquitinase, DUB3, as a target of CDK4/6; CDK4/6-mediated activation of DUB3 is essential to deubiquitinate and stabilize SNAIL1, a key factor promoting epithelial–mesenchymal transition and breast cancer metastasis. Overall, our study establishes the CDK4/6–DUB3 axis as an important regulatory mechanism of breast cancer metastasis and provides a rationale for potential therapeutic interventions in the treatment of breast cancer metastasis. PMID:28067227

  2. Conservation Status of a Recently Described Endemic Land Snail, Candidula coudensis, from the Iberian Peninsula

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    We assessed the distribution, population size and conservation status of Candidula coudensis, a recently described endemic land snail from Portugal. From March 2013 to April 2014, surveys were carried out in the region where the species was described. We found an extent of occurrence larger than originally described, but still quite small (13.5 km2). The species was found mainly in olive groves, although it occurred in a variety of other habitats with limestone soils, including grasslands, scrublands and stone walls. Minimum population estimate ranged from 110,000–311,000 individuals. The main identified potential threats to the species include wildfires, pesticides and quarrying. Following the application of IUCN criteria, we advise a conservation status of either “Least Concern” or “Near-threatened” under criterion D (restricted population). PMID:26379241

  3. Conservation Status of a Recently Described Endemic Land Snail, Candidula coudensis, from the Iberian Peninsula.

    PubMed

    Moreira, Francisco; Calado, Gonçalo; Dias, Susana

    2015-01-01

    We assessed the distribution, population size and conservation status of Candidula coudensis, a recently described endemic land snail from Portugal. From March 2013 to April 2014, surveys were carried out in the region where the species was described. We found an extent of occurrence larger than originally described, but still quite small (13.5 km2). The species was found mainly in olive groves, although it occurred in a variety of other habitats with limestone soils, including grasslands, scrublands and stone walls. Minimum population estimate ranged from 110,000-311,000 individuals. The main identified potential threats to the species include wildfires, pesticides and quarrying. Following the application of IUCN criteria, we advise a conservation status of either "Least Concern" or "Near-threatened" under criterion D (restricted population).

  4. Sub-lethal cadmium exposure increases phytochelatin concentrations in the aquatic snail Lymnaea stagnalis.

    PubMed

    Sf, Gonçalves; Sk, Davies; Bennett, M; Raab, A; Feldmann, J; Kille, P; Loureiro, S; Dj, Spurgeon; Jg, Bundy

    2016-10-15

    Phytochelatins are metal-binding metabolites found in almost all plant species and some animal groups, including nematodes and annelids, where they can play an important role in detoxifying metals such as cadmium. Species from several other taxa contain a phytochelatin synthase (PCS) gene orthologue, including molluscs, indicating they may have the potential to synthesize phytochelatins. However, the presence of a gene alone does not demonstrate that it plays a functional role in metal detoxification. In the present study, we show that the aquatic snail Lymnaea stagnalis produced both penta- and heptapeptide phytochelatins (i.e. phytochelatin-2 and phytochelatin-3), and their levels increased in response to sub-lethal levels of cadmium. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  5. Age, growth and mortality in the giant snail Adelomelon beckii (Broderip 1836) on the Argentinean shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arrighetti, Florencia; Brey, Thomas; Mackensen, Andreas; Penchaszadeh, Pablo E.

    2011-02-01

    The marine subtidal volutid snail Adelomelon beckii was studied in order to obtain their population dynamics, particularly on growth, age, mortality and production. Stable oxygen isotope ratios confirmed semiannual formation of internal growth marks. A von Bertalanffy growth model fitted 308 size-at-age data pairs. A. beckii potential lifespan in Mar del Plata (Argentina) region is 29 years, being rather long lived compared to other large gastropods. Total mortality Z and natural mortality M were calculated to be 0.210 y -1 and 0.081 y -1 respectively. Fishing mortality F amounts to 0.129 y -1 corresponding to an exploitation rate E of 0.614, a value much beyond the optimum rate of 0.427. The current exploitation regime will be unsustainable in the long run unless a proper management approach establishes.

  6. Geographic distribution of Angiostrongylus cantonensis in wild rats (Rattus rattus) and terrestrial snails in Florida, USA.

    PubMed

    Stockdale Walden, Heather D; Slapcinsky, John D; Roff, Shannon; Mendieta Calle, Jorge; Diaz Goodwin, Zakia; Stern, Jere; Corlett, Rachel; Conway, Julia; McIntosh, Antoinette

    2017-01-01

    The parasitic nematode Angiostrongylus cantonensis is a major cause of eosinophilic meningitis in humans, and has been documented in other incidental hosts such as birds, horses, dogs and non-human primates. It is endemic in Hawaii, and there have been sporadic reports in the southern continental United States. This parasite uses rats as definitive hosts and snails as intermediate hosts. In this study, we collected potential definitive and intermediate hosts throughout Florida to ascertain the geographic distribution in the state: Rats, environmental rat fecal samples, and snails were collected from 18 counties throughout the state. Classical diagnostics and morphological identification, along with molecular techniques were used to identify nematode species and confirm the presence of A. cantonensis. Of the 171 Rattus rattus collected, 39 (22.8%) were positive for A. cantonensis, and 6 of the 37 (16.2%) environmental rat fecal samples collected in three of the surveyed counties were also positive for this parasite by real time PCR. We examined 1,437 gastropods, which represented 32 species; 27 (1.9%) were positive for A. cantonensis from multiple sites across Florida. Three non-native gastropod species, Bradybaena similaris, Zachrysia provisoria, and Paropeas achatinaceum, and three native gastropod species, Succinea floridana, Ventridens demissus, and Zonitoides arboreus, which are newly recorded intermediate hosts for the parasite, were positive for A. cantonensis. This study indicates that A. cantonensis is established in Florida through the finding of adult and larval stages in definitive and intermediate hosts, respectively, throughout the state. The ability for this historically subtropical nematode to thrive in a more temperate climate is alarming, however as the climate changes and average temperatures rise, gastropod distributions will probably expand, leading to the spread of this parasite in more temperate areas. Through greater awareness of host species

  7. Relative importance of natural disturbances and habitat degradation on snail kite population dynamics

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Martin, J.; Kitchens, W.M.; Cattau, Christopher E.; Oli, M.K.

    2008-01-01

    Natural disturbances and habitat degradation are major factors influencing the dynamics and persistence of many wildlife populations, yet few large-scale studies have explored the relative influence of these factors on the dynamics and persistence of animal populations. We used longterm demographic data and matrix population models to examine the potential effects of habitat degradation and natural disturbances on the dynamics of the endangered snail kite Rostrhamus sociabilis in Florida, USA. We found that estimates of stochastic population growth rate were low (0.90). Population growth rate (??) during the first half or our study period (1992 to 1998) was substantially greater than during the second half (1999 to 2005). These 2 periods were characterized by contrasting hydrological conditions. Although ?? was most sensitive to changes in adult survival, the analysis of life table response experiments revealed that a reduction in fertility of kites accounted for >80% of the observed decline in population growth rate. We examined the possibility that the reduction in ?? was caused by (1) habitat degradation due to management, (2) an increase in frequency of moderate drying events in recent years, and (3) both habitat degradation and an increase in frequency of moderate drying events. Our results suggest that both factors could potentially contribute to a large decrease in population growth rate. Our study highlights the importance of simultaneously considering short- and long-term effects of disturbances when modeling population dynamics. Indeed, focusing exclusively on one type of effect may be misleading to both our understanding of the ecological dynamics of the system and to management. The relevance of our results to management is heightened because the snail kite has been selected as a key performance measure of one of the most ambitious ecosystem restoration projects ever undertaken. ?? Inter-Research 2008.

  8. Geographic distribution of Angiostrongylus cantonensis in wild rats (Rattus rattus) and terrestrial snails in Florida, USA

    PubMed Central

    Slapcinsky, John D.; Roff, Shannon; Mendieta Calle, Jorge; Diaz Goodwin, Zakia; Stern, Jere; Corlett, Rachel; Conway, Julia; McIntosh, Antoinette

    2017-01-01

    The parasitic nematode Angiostrongylus cantonensis is a major cause of eosinophilic meningitis in humans, and has been documented in other incidental hosts such as birds, horses, dogs and non-human primates. It is endemic in Hawaii, and there have been sporadic reports in the southern continental United States. This parasite uses rats as definitive hosts and snails as intermediate hosts. In this study, we collected potential definitive and intermediate hosts throughout Florida to ascertain the geographic distribution in the state: Rats, environmental rat fecal samples, and snails were collected from 18 counties throughout the state. Classical diagnostics and morphological identification, along with molecular techniques were used to identify nematode species and confirm the presence of A. cantonensis. Of the 171 Rattus rattus collected, 39 (22.8%) were positive for A. cantonensis, and 6 of the 37 (16.2%) environmental rat fecal samples collected in three of the surveyed counties were also positive for this parasite by real time PCR. We examined 1,437 gastropods, which represented 32 species; 27 (1.9%) were positive for A. cantonensis from multiple sites across Florida. Three non-native gastropod species, Bradybaena similaris, Zachrysia provisoria, and Paropeas achatinaceum, and three native gastropod species, Succinea floridana, Ventridens demissus, and Zonitoides arboreus, which are newly recorded intermediate hosts for the parasite, were positive for A. cantonensis. This study indicates that A. cantonensis is established in Florida through the finding of adult and larval stages in definitive and intermediate hosts, respectively, throughout the state. The ability for this historically subtropical nematode to thrive in a more temperate climate is alarming, however as the climate changes and average temperatures rise, gastropod distributions will probably expand, leading to the spread of this parasite in more temperate areas. Through greater awareness of host species

  9. Measuring Animal Movements in a Natural Ecosystem: A Mark-Recapture Investigation Using Stream-Dwelling Snails

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stewart, Timothy W.

    2007-01-01

    In this investigation, students measure and describe movements of animals in a natural ecosystem. Students mark stream-dwelling snails with nail polish, then search for these snails 1-7 days later. Distances and directions moved by recaptured snails are recorded. Simple statistical techniques are used to answer specific research questions and…

  10. Single- or mixed-sex Schistosoma japonicum infections of intermediate host snails in hilly areas of Anhui, China.

    PubMed

    Shi, Hui-Ping; Lu, Da-Bing; Shen, Lei; Shi, Tan; Gu, Jian

    2014-02-01

    Schistosomiasis japonicum is one of the most serious communicable diseases, and the transmission of the parasite is dependent of its complex life cycle on which many factors can have an impact. Multiple infections comprising both male and female schistosome within snail intermediate hosts, for example, would facilitate parasite transmission. However, no research on Schistosoma japonicum communities in field-collected Oncomelania hupensis hupensis in relation to schistosome sex has been reported. Therefore, snail survey was performed in a hilly region of Anhui, China, and single- or mixed-sex schistosome infections of snails were detected with final host mouse infection. A total of 8,563 snails were sampled in the field, and 67 were identified with schistosome infections. Of these infected snails, 46 were selected for final host infection. From this, 21 snails were infected with female schistosome, 23 with males and 2 with both males and females. More worms were recovered for snails with mixed-sex infections than with single-sex infection and for snails with male schistosome infection than with female infection (P<0.001). The observed frequency of mixed-sex infections of snails was significantly higher than would be expected if randomly distributed (P<0.01). The ratio male/female of schistosome infections in snails was nearly equal and up to 95.65 % (44/46) of infected snails were single-sex infection. Schistosome infections in snails collected from the hilly area of Anhui Province were not randomly distributed but over-dispersed.

  11. A pilot study testing a natural and a synthetic molluscicide for controlling invasive apple snails (Pomacea maculata)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Pomacea maculata (formerly P. insularum), an apple snail native to South America, was discovered in Louisiana in 2008. These snails strip vegetation, reproduce at tremendous rates, and have reduced rice production and caused ecosystem changes in Asia. In this study snails were exposed to two mollusc...

  12. Infection with schistosome parasites in snails leads to increased predation by prawns: implications for human schistosomiasis control.

    PubMed

    Swartz, Scott J; De Leo, Giulio A; Wood, Chelsea L; Sokolow, Susanne H

    2015-12-01

    Schistosomiasis - a parasitic disease that affects over 200 million people across the globe - is primarily transmitted between human definitive hosts and snail intermediate hosts. To reduce schistosomiasis transmission, some have advocated disrupting the schistosome life cycle through biological control of snails, achieved by boosting the abundance of snails' natural predators. But little is known about the effect of parasitic infection on predator-prey interactions, especially in the case of schistosomiasis. Here, we present the results of laboratory experiments performed on Bulinus truncatus and Biomphalaria glabrata snails to investigate: (i) rates of predation on schistosome-infected versus uninfected snails by a sympatric native river prawn, Macrobrachium vollenhovenii, and (ii) differences in snail behavior (including movement, refuge-seeking and anti-predator behavior) between infected and uninfected snails. In predation trials, prawns showed a preference for consuming snails infected with schistosome larvae. In behavioral trials, infected snails moved less quickly and less often than uninfected snails, and were less likely to avoid predation by exiting the water or hiding under substrate. Although the mechanism by which the parasite alters snail behavior remains unknown, these results provide insight into the effects of parasitic infection on predator-prey dynamics and suggest that boosting natural rates of predation on snails may be a useful strategy for reducing transmission in schistosomiasis hotspots. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  13. Increased response to cadmium and Bacillus thuringiensis maize toxicity in the snail Helix aspersa infected by the nematode Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita.

    PubMed

    Kramarz, Paulina E; de Vaufleury, Annette; Zygmunt, Piotr M S; Verdun, Cyrille

    2007-01-01

    To determine the effect of nematode infection on the response of snails to selected toxins, we infected Helix aspersa with 0-, 0.25-, 1-, or 4-fold the recommended field dose of a commercial nematode application for agricultural use. In the first experiment, the snails also were exposed to cadmium via food and soil at concentrations of 0, 30, 60, 120, or 240 mg/kg in a full-factorial design. In the second experiment, snails were infected with nematodes and also fed either Bt (expressing Bacillus thuringiensis toxin) maize or non-Bt maize. The snails were weighed at the beginning and end (after four weeks) of the experiments, and mortality was checked daily. Neither exposure of snails to nematodes nor exposure of snails to cadmium or Bt toxin affected the survival rates of snails. The number of dead snails was highest for combinations of nematode treatments with cadmium concentrations of 120 and 240 mg/kg. In both experiments (Bt and cadmium), the growth rate decreased with increasing nematode dose. The Bt maize was not harmful to the snails in the absence of nematodes, but infected snails grew faster when fed non-Bt maize. The growth rate of snails exposed to cadmium decreased with exposure to increasing Cd concentrations and differed significantly between the no-nematode treatment and the treatments with nematode doses of one- and fourfold the recommended field dose. Snails treated with the highest dose of nematodes accumulated the highest cadmium concentrations.

  14. Measuring Animal Movements in a Natural Ecosystem: A Mark-Recapture Investigation Using Stream-Dwelling Snails

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stewart, Timothy W.

    2007-01-01

    In this investigation, students measure and describe movements of animals in a natural ecosystem. Students mark stream-dwelling snails with nail polish, then search for these snails 1-7 days later. Distances and directions moved by recaptured snails are recorded. Simple statistical techniques are used to answer specific research questions and…

  15. Effects of pollution on land snail abundance, size and diversity as resources for pied flycatcher, Ficedula hypoleuca.

    PubMed

    Eeva, Tapio; Rainio, Kalle; Suominen, Otso

    2010-09-01

    Passerine birds need extra calcium during their breeding for developing egg shells and proper growth of nestling skeleton. Land snails are an important calcium source for many passerines and human-induced changes in snail populations may pose a severe problem for breeding birds. We studied from the bird's viewpoint how air pollution affects the shell mass, abundance and diversity of land snail communities along a pollution gradient of a copper smelter. We sampled remnant snail shells from the nests of an insectivorous passerine, the pied flycatcher, Ficedula hypoleuca, to find out how the availability of land snails varies along the pollution gradient. The total snail shell mass increased towards the pollution source but declined abruptly in the vicinity of the smelter. This spatial variation in shell mass was evident also within a single snail species and could not be wholly explained by spatially varying snail numbers or species composition. Instead, the total shell mass was related to their shell size, individuals being largest at the moderately polluted areas. Smaller shell size suggests inferior growth of snails in the most heavily polluted area. Our study shows that pollution affects the diversity, abundance (available shell mass) and individual quality of land snails, posing reproductive problems for birds that rely on snails as calcium sources during breeding. There are probably both direct pollution-related (heavy metal and calcium levels) and indirect (habitat change) effects behind the observed changes in snail populations. Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Studies on the molluscicidal activity of Agave angustifolia and Pittosporum tobira on schistosomiasis transmitting snails.

    PubMed

    Ibrahim, Abdalla M; Abdel-Gawad, Mahfouz M; El-Nahas, Hanan A; Osman, Nadia S

    2015-04-01

    In the search for new molluscicidal plants for controlling the snail vectors of schistosomiasis, laboratory evaluation was made to assess the molluscicidal activity of Agave angustifolia and Pittosporum tobira plants against Biomphalaria alexandrina snails. Results indicated that both plants have promising molluscicidal activity as the LC90 of the dry powder of both plants was 120 ppm. Both plants showed marked cercaricidal and miracidicidal potencies against S. mansoni larvae. The LC90 of both plants (120 ppm) killed most B. alexandrina eggs within 24 h of exposure. The sub-lethal concentrations of both plants markedly suppressed the survival rate of B. alexandrina snails and the mortality increased with increasing the concentrations and the exposure period up to 10 successive weeks. The accumulative toxic effect of these concentrations was continuous during the recovery period. Also, the reproductive rates of exposed snails were greatly affected even through the recovery period. This depression in reproductive ability of snails was accompanied by histological damage in the hermaphrodite glands of exposed snails. Meanwhile, the growth of snails was estimated weekly and it showed great inhibition in exposed snails comparing with the control ones.

  17. Exploring the temporal effects of seasonal water availability on the snail kite of Florida: Part III

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mooij, Wolf M.; Martin, Julien; Kitchens, Wiley M.; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Bissonette, John A.; Storch, Ilse

    2007-01-01

    The Florida snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis) is an endangered raptor that occurs as an isolated population, currently of about 2,000 birds, in the wetlands of southern and central Florida, USA. Its exclusive prey species, the apple snail (Pomacea paludosa) is strongly influenced by seasonal changes in water abundance. Droughts during the snail kite breeding season have a direct negative effect on snail kite survival and reproduction, but droughts are also needed to maintain aquatic vegetation types favorable to snail kite foraging for snails. We used a spatially explicit matrix model to explore the effects of temporal variation in water levels on the viability of the snail kite population under different temporal drought regimes in its wetland breeding habitat. We focused on three aspects of variations in water levels that were likely to affect kites: (1) drought frequency; (2) drought duration; and (3) drought timing within the year. We modeled a 31-year historical scenario using four different scenarios in which the average water level was maintained constant, but the amplitude of water level fluctuations was modified. Our results reveal the complexity of the effects of temporal variation in water levels on snail kite population dynamics. Management implications of these results are discussed. In particular, management decisions should not be based on annual mean water levels alone, but must consider the intra-annual variability.

  18. Larval stages of digenetic trematodes in Melanopsis praemorsa snails from freshwater bodies in Palestine.

    PubMed

    Bdir, Sami; Adwan, Ghaleb

    2011-06-01

    To detect the species of larval trematodes (cercariae) in Melanopsis praemorsa snails from 5 different fresh water bodies in Palestine. A total of 1 880 Melanopsis praemorsa snails were collected from different fresh water bodies in Palestine from October, 2008 to November, 2010. Cercariae in Melanopsis praemorsa snails were obtained by lighting and crushing methods. The behavior of cercariae was observed using a dissecting microscope. Three different species of larval trematodes were identified from Melanopsis praemorsa snails collected only from Al-Bathan fresh water body, while snails from other water bodies were not infected. These species were microcercous cercaria, xiphidiocercaria and brevifurcate lophocercous cercaria. These cercariae called Cercaria melanopsi palestinia I, Cercaria melanopsi palestinia II and Cercaria melanopsi palestinia III have not been described before from this snail in Palestine. The infection rate of Melanopsis praemorsa collected from Al-Bathan fresh water body was 5.7%, while the overall infection rate of snails collected from all fresh water bodies was 4.3%. Details are presented on the morphology and behavior of the cercariae as well as their development within the snail. These results have been recorded for the first time and these cercariae may be of medical and veterinary importance.

  19. Larval stages of digenetic trematodes in Melanopsis praemorsa snails from freshwater bodies in Palestine

    PubMed Central

    Bdir, Sami; Adwan, Ghaleb

    2011-01-01

    Objective To detect the species of larval trematodes (cercariae) in Melanopsis praemorsa snails from 5 different fresh water bodies in Palestine. Methods A total of 1 880 Melanopsis praemorsa snails were collected from different fresh water bodies in Palestine from October, 2008 to November, 2010. Cercariae in Melanopsis praemorsa snails were obtained by lighting and crushing methods. The behavior of cercariae was observed using a dissecting microscope. Results Three different species of larval trematodes were identified from Melanopsis praemorsa snails collected only from Al-Bathan fresh water body, while snails from other water bodies were not infected. These species were microcercous cercaria, xiphidiocercaria and brevifurcate lophocercous cercaria. These cercariae called Cercaria melanopsi palestinia I, Cercaria melanopsi palestinia II and Cercaria melanopsi palestinia III have not been described before from this snail in Palestine. The infection rate of Melanopsis praemorsa collected from Al-Bathan fresh water body was 5.7%, while the overall infection rate of snails collected from all fresh water bodies was 4.3%. Details are presented on the morphology and behavior of the cercariae as well as their development within the snail. Conclusions These results have been recorded for the first time and these cercariae may be of medical and veterinary importance. PMID:23569759

  20. Sex ratio and susceptibility of the golden apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata.

    PubMed

    Banpavichit, S; Keawjam, R S; Upatham, E S

    1994-06-01

    Golden apple snails, Pomacea canaliculata, were collected at two localities having different ecological environments. In both canal and pond, P. canaliculata males were found more than females during the dry season (summer and winter). In the canal, the male snails were highest in number (86.67%) in May. When rain started, they began decreasing and were lowest at 33.33% in August. Of 575 snails collected, 30.6% were infected by one or more of the three groups of amphistome, distome and echinostome metacercariae. There were two high peaks of infection in April and October, as 60.7% and 68.4%, respectively, during which there were more males than females. The average number of parasites per snail which was highest at 54 was found in the medium-sized males (25 out of 35 males) in October. The number of parasites per snail was significantly correlated with the collected males (p < 0.01), but such relationship was not occurred with the females. Of the females, only the large-sized individuals were infected. In the pond, the female snails were present in much greater numbers than the males during the reproductive time (June-September). The females were highest (94.23%) in August. Only 24 (4.0%) of 605 snails were infected; most of the infected snails were large.

  1. Exploring the temporal effects of seasonal water availability on the snail kite of Florida: Part III

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mooij, Wolf M.; Martin, Julien; Kitchens, Wiley M.; DeAngelis, Donald L.

    2007-01-01

    The Florida snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis) is an endangered raptor that occurs as an isolated population, currently of about 2,000 birds, in the wetlands of southern and central Florida, USA. Its exclusive prey species, the apple snail (Pomacea paludosa) is strongly influenced by seasonal changes in water abundance. Droughts during the snail kite breeding season have a direct negative effect on snail kite survival and reproduction, but droughts are also needed to maintain aquatic vegetation types favorable to snail kite foraging for snails. We used a spatially explicit matrix model to explore the effects of temporal variation in water levels on the viability of the snail kite population under different temporal drought regimes in its wetland breeding habitat. We focused on three aspects of variations in water levels that were likely to affect kites: (1) drought frequency; (2) drought duration; and (3) drought timing within the year. We modeled a 31-year historical scenario using four different scenarios in which the average water level was maintained constant, but the amplitude of water level fluctuations was modified. Our results reveal the complexity of the effects of temporal variation in water levels on snail kite population dynamics. Management implications of these results are discussed. In particular, management decisions should not be based on annual mean water levels alone, but must consider the intra-annual variability.

  2. The non-native faucet snail (Bithynia tentaculata) makes the leap to Lake Superior

    EPA Science Inventory

    The European-origin faucet snail (Bithynia tentaculata) has been present in the lower Great Lakes since the late 1800s but only very recently reached Lake Superior. Surveys from 2011 through 2013 found faucet snail to be abundant and wide-spread in the St. Louis River Estuary wi...

  3. Physiological response to low temperature in the freshwater apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata (Gastropoda: Ampullariidae).

    PubMed

    Matsukura, Keiichiro; Tsumuki, Hisaaki; Izumi, Yohei; Wada, Takashi

    2009-08-01

    Cold hardiness of the freshwater apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata, varies seasonally. We investigated lethal factors and physiological changes arising from exposure of P. canaliculata to low temperatures. Snails did not survive freezing. The supercooling point of cold-acclimated (cold tolerant) snails (-6.6+/-0.8 degrees C) did not differ significantly from that of non-acclimated ones (-7.1+/-1.5 degrees C) under laboratory conditions. Furthermore, snails died even under more moderately low temperatures approaching 0 degrees C. These results indicate that indirect chilling injury is a factor in the death of P. canaliculata at low temperatures. Regardless of whether the snails were acclimated to low temperatures, all of the dead, and even some of the snails still alive at 0 degrees C, had injured mantles, indicating that the mantle may be the organ most susceptible to the effects of low temperatures. The concentration of glucose in the posterior chamber of the kidney and concentration of glycerol in the digestive gland were significantly higher in cold-acclimated snails than in non-acclimated ones, suggesting carbohydrate metabolic pathways are altered in snails during cold acclimation.

  4. Activation of the ATM-Snail pathway promotes breast cancer metastasis

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Mianen; Guo, Xiaojing; Qian, Xiaolong; Wang, Haibo; Yang, Chunying; Brinkman, Kathryn L.; Serrano-Gonzalez, Monica; Jope, Richard S.; Zhou, Binhua; Engler, David A.; Zhan, Ming; Wong, Stephen T.C.; Fu, Li; Xu, Bo

    2012-01-01

    The DNA damage response (DDR) is critical for the maintenance of genetic stability and serves as an anti-cancer barrier during early tumorigenesis. However, the role of the DDR in tumor progression and metastasis is less known. Here, we demonstrate that the ATM kinase, one of the critical DDR elements, is hyperactive in late stage breast tumor tissues with lymph-node metastasis and this hyperactivity correlates with elevated expression of the epithelial–mesenchymal transition marker, Snail. At the molecular level, we demonstrate that ATM regulates Snail stabilization by phosphorylation on Serine-100. Using mass spectrometry, we identified HSP90 as a critical binding protein of Snail in response to DNA damage. HSP90 binds to and stabilizes phosphorylated Snail. We further provide in vitro and in vivo evidence that activation of ATM-mediated Snail phosphorylation promotes tumor invasion and metastasis. Finally, we demonstrate that Snail Serine-100 phosphorylation is elevated in breast cancer tissues with lymph-node metastasis, indicating clinical significance of the ATM-Snail pathway. Together, our findings provide strong evidence that the ATM-Snail pathway promotes tumor metastasis, highlighting a previously undescribed role of the DDR in tumor invasion and metastasis. PMID:22923499

  5. Removal of cadmium from aqueous solution using waste shells of golden apple snail

    Treesearch

    Benliang Zhao; Jia-en Zhang; Wenbin Yan; Xiaowu Kang; Chaogang Cheng; Ying Ouyang

    2016-01-01

    Golden apple snail (GAS) is one of the 100 worst invasive alien species. With the application of molluscicides to kill and control the spreading of these snails, a large amount of dead GAS shells are remained in many farms. This study ascertained the characteristics and removal of cadmium (Cd) by the GAS shell (GASS) powders and the associate mechanisms....

  6. Dry down impacts on apple snail (Pomacea paludosa) demography: Implications for wetland water management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Darby, P.C.; Bennetts, R.E.; Percival, H.F.

    2008-01-01

    Florida apple snails (Pomacea paludosa Say) are prey for several wetland-dependent predators, most notably for the endangered Florida snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis Vieillot). Management concerns for kites have been raised regarding the impacts of wetland dry downs on snails, but little data exists to validate these concerns. We simulated drying events in experimental tanks, where we observed that snail survival patterns, regardless of hydrology, were driven by a post-reproductive die off. In contrast to earlier reports of little to no dry down tolerance, we found that 70% of pre-reproductive adult-sized snails survived a 12-week dry down. Smaller size classes of snails exhibited significantly lower survival rates (< 50% after eight weeks dry). Field surveys showed that 77% of egg production occurs in April-June. Our hydrologic analyses of six peninsular Florida wetlands showed that most dry downs overlapped a portion of the peak snail breeding season, and 70% of dry downs were ??? 12 weeks in duration. Dry down timing can affect recruitment by truncating annual egg production and stranding juveniles. Dry down survival rates and seasonal patterns of egg cluster production helped define a range of hydrologic conditions that support robust apple snail populations, and illustrate why multiple characteristics of dry down events should be considered in developing target hydrologic regimes for wetland fauna. ?? 2008, The Society of Wetland Scientists.

  7. The non-native faucet snail (Bithynia tentaculata) makes the leap to Lake Superior

    EPA Science Inventory

    The European-origin faucet snail (Bithynia tentaculata) has been present in the lower Great Lakes since the late 1800s but only very recently reached Lake Superior. Surveys from 2011 through 2013 found faucet snail to be abundant and wide-spread in the St. Louis River Estuary wi...

  8. 50 CFR 17.45 - Special rules-snails and clams. [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Special rules-snails and clams. 17.45 Section 17.45 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR... Special rules—snails and clams. ...

  9. 50 CFR 17.45 - Special rules-snails and clams. [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Special rules-snails and clams. 17.45 Section 17.45 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR... Special rules—snails and clams. ...

  10. 50 CFR 17.45 - Special rules-snails and clams. [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Special rules-snails and clams. 17.45 Section 17.45 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR... Special rules—snails and clams. ...

  11. 50 CFR 17.45 - Special rules-snails and clams. [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Special rules-snails and clams. 17.45 Section 17.45 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR... Special rules—snails and clams. ...

  12. 50 CFR 17.45 - Special rules-snails and clams. [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Special rules-snails and clams. 17.45 Section 17.45 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR... Special rules—snails and clams. ...

  13. Snail/beta-catenin signaling protects breast cancer cells from hypoxia attack

    SciTech Connect

    Scherbakov, Alexander M.; Stefanova, Lidia B.; Sorokin, Danila V.; Semina, Svetlana E.; Berstein, Lev M.; Krasil’nikov, Mikhail A.

    2013-12-10

    The tolerance of cancer cells to hypoxia depends on the combination of different factors – from increase of glycolysis (Warburg Effect) to activation of intracellular growth/apoptotic pathways. Less is known about the influence of epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) and EMT-associated pathways on the cell sensitivity to hypoxia. The aim of this study was to explore the role of Snail signaling, one of the key EMT pathways, in the mediating of hypoxia response and regulation of cell sensitivity to hypoxia, using as a model in vitro cultured breast cancer cells. Earlier we have shown that estrogen-independent HBL-100 breast cancer cells differ from estrogen-dependent MCF-7 cells with increased expression of Snail1, and demonstrated Snail1 involvement into formation of hormone-resistant phenotype. Because Snail1 belongs to hypoxia-activated proteins, here we studied the influence of Snail1 signaling on the cell tolerance to hypoxia. We found that Snail1-enriched HBL-100 cells were less sensitive to hypoxia-induced growth suppression if compared with MCF-7 line (31% MCF-7 vs. 71% HBL-100 cell viability after 1% O{sub 2} atmosphere for 3 days). Snail1 knock-down enhanced the hypoxia-induced inhibition of cell proliferation giving the direct evidence of Snail1 involvement into cell protection from hypoxia attack. The protective effect of Snail1 was shown to be mediated, at least in a part, via beta-catenin which positively regulated expression of HIF-1-dependent genes. Finally, we found that cell tolerance to hypoxia was accompanied with the failure in the phosphorylation of AMPK – the key energy sensor, and demonstrated an inverse relationship between AMPK and Snail/beta-catenin signaling. Totally, our data show that Snail1 and beta-catenin, besides association with loss of hormone dependence, protect cancer cells from hypoxia and may serve as an important target in the treatment of breast cancer. Moreover, we suggest that the level of these proteins as well

  14. [Neurochemical mechanisms of food aversion conditioning consolidation in snail helix lucorum].

    PubMed

    Solntseva, S V; Nikitin, V P

    2008-08-01

    Effects of cycloheximide, protein synthesis inhibitor as well as serotonin receptor antagonist and NMDA receptor antagonist, on food aversion conditioning consolidation were studied in snail Helix lucorum. Food aversion conditioning was absent in snails after application of cycloheximide. Repeated training produced no food aversion conditioning for the same type of food in these snails without cycloheximide application. Food aversion conditioning was absent in snails after metiotepin, nonselective serotonin receptors antagonist, or after MK-801, NMDA glutamate receptors antagonist, applications. At the same time, repeated training produced facilitated food aversion conditioning for the same type of food in these snails. Our experiments were the first which showed that effect on different molecular mechanisms evoked reversible or irreversible disruption of long-term memory consolidation during the same learning. It was suggested that suppression of retrieval produced reversible effect whereas disruption of memory storage initiated irreversible effect on long-term memory consolidation.

  15. [Neurochemical mechanisms of food aversion conditioning consolidation in snail Helix lucorum].

    PubMed

    Solntseva, S V; Nikitin, v P

    2008-11-01

    Effects of cycloheximide, protein synthesis inhibitors, as well as serotonin receptor antagonist and NMDA receptor antagonist on food aversion conditioning consolidation were studied in snail Helix lucorum. Food aversion conditioning was absent in snails after application of cycloheximide. Repeated produced no food aversion conditioning for the same type of food in these snails without cycloheximide application. Food aversion conditioning was absent in snails after applications of metiotepin, nonselective serotonin receptors antagonist, or after MK-801, NMDA glutamate receptors antagonist. At the same time, repeated training produced facilitated food aversion conditioning for the same type of food in these snails. Our experiments were the first which showed that effect on different molecular mechanisms evoked reversible or irreversible disruption of long-term memory consolidation during the same learning. It was suggested that suppression of retrieval produced reversible effect, whereas disruption of memory storage initiated irreversible effect on long-term memory consolidation.

  16. Cercarial infection in Paludomus petrosus, freshwater snail in Pa La-U Waterfall.

    PubMed

    Krailas, Duangduen; Dechruksa, Wivitchuta; Ukong, Suluck; Janecharut, Tuenta

    2003-06-01

    Paludomus petrosus, the freshwater snails found in Pa La-U Waterfall, were examined for cercarial infection of trematodes. The snails were collected every other month from April, 2001 to February, 2002. Collections were taken from two sampling stations. The counts per unit of time' method was used for collection of the snails. The density of snails was highest in June 2001, and the highest of parasite infection rate was in February 2002. Four types of cercariae were found in the snails: Xiphidiocercariae, Amphistome, Furcocercous cercariae type I, and Furcocercous cercariae type II. Xiphidiocercariae were found in April 2001 to February 2002. Amphistome, Furcocercous cercariae type I and Furcocercous cercariae type II were found in February 2002.

  17. Prostaglandin E₂ receptor EP2 mediates Snail expression in hepatocellular carcinoma cells.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Shan-Yu; Zhang, Hai; Zhang, Min; Xia, Shu-Kai; Bai, Xiao-Ming; Zhang, Li; Ma, Juan; Rong, Rong; Wang, Yi-Pin; Du, Ming-Zhan; Wang, Jie; Chen, Meng; Shi, Feng; Yang, Qin-Yi; Leng, Jing

    2014-05-01

    Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) has been shown to influence cell invasion and metastasis in several types of cancer, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). however, the molecular mechanisms underlying it remain to be further elucidated. Snail, as one of key inducers of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), plays pivotal roles in HCC invasion and metastasis. The present study was designed to evaluate the possible signaling pathways through which PGE2 regulates Snail protein expression in HCC cell lines. PGE2 markedly enhanced Huh-7 cell invasion and migration ability by upregulating the expression level of Snail protein, and EP2 receptor played an important role in this process. Src, EGFR, Akt and mTOR were all activated and involved in the regulation of snail protein expression. Our findings suggest that PGE2 could upregulate the expression level of Snail protein through the EP2/Src/EGFR/Akt/mTOR pathway in Huh-7 cells, which promotes HCC cell invasion and migration.

  18. Juveniles of Lymnaea 'smart' snails do not perseverate and have the capacity to form LTM.

    PubMed

    Shymansky, Tamila; Protheroe, Amy; Hughes, Emily; Swinton, Cayley; Swinton, Erin; Lukowiak, Kai S; Phillips, Iain; Lukowiak, Ken

    2017-02-01

    Previously, it was concluded that the nervous systems of juvenile snails were not capable of mediating long-term memory (LTM). However, exposure and training of those juvenile snails in the presence of a predator cue significantly altered their ability to learn and form LTM. In addition, there are some strains of Lymnaea which have been identified as 'smart'. These snails form LTM significantly better than the lab-bred strain. Here, we show that juveniles of two smart snail strains not only are capable of associative learning but also have the capacity to form LTM following a single 0.5 h training session. We also show that freshly collected 'wild' 'average' juveniles are also not able to form LTM. Thus, the smart snail phenotype in these strains is expressed in juveniles.

  19. Snails and slugs damaging the cut foliage, Cordyline fruticosa and use of biorationals towards their management.

    PubMed

    Karthiga, S; Jegathambigai, V; Karunarathne, M D S D; Svinningen, A; Mikunthan, G

    2012-01-01

    Snails and slugs became a serious molluscan pests and damaging leaves of purple compacta, Cordyline fruticosa extensively grown for export at Green Farm Ltd, Sri Lanka. The export quality of leaves of C. fruticosa is lowered due to feeding of snails, Achantina fulica (Bowditch), Opeas pyrgula Schmacker and Boettgerx and Helix aspersa Muller and slugs incurring great loss to cut foliage industry. Paucity of information is available to understand snails and slugs damage and their host range that limits to develop suitable management practices. Therefore this study was aimed to determine damage, alternate hosts and to develop possible management practices. Snails and slugs damaged mainly fresh leaves of C. fruticosa. The severity of damage was 44.5% in infested field based on the visual rating method. Leaves of cassava, sting bean, okra, cucumber, passion fruit, papaya, Glyricidia and shoe flower were identified as alternate hosts and neem, Ixora and Dracaena spp were not served as alternate hosts. Among the plant materials tested for their repellence against snails and slugs revealed that neem seed powder was an irritant; neem leaves, mint leaves and Lantana leaves were acted as anti-feedant and Salt as chemical repellent. Among the barrier and bait experiments Bordeaux mixture exhibited a significant barrier effect against horizontal movement of snails. Baits made out of Metaldehyde bait, vegetables bait and jaggery had a strong effect in repelling the snails and slugs. Mulching with Madhuca longifolia punnac was the best to reduce the snails and slugs population compared to M. longifolia seed kernel powder. Oil from M. longifolia failed to reduce their population. Hence the results revealed that saponin containing M. longifolia punnac helped to eliminate snails and slugs when used as mulch. Metaldehyde, vegetable and jaggery baits are also useful to minimize their colonization further. Hence combination of these methods will help to prevent snails and slugs from

  20. Snail controls the mesenchymal phenotype and drives erlotinib resistance in Oral epithelial and HNSCC cells

    PubMed Central

    Dennis, Miranda; Wang, Guanyu; Luo, Jie; Lin, Yuan; Dohadwala, Mariam; Sidell, Douglas; DeConde, Adam; Abemayor, Elliot; Elashoff, David A.; Sharma, Sherven; Dubinett, Steven M.; St John, Maie A.

    2014-01-01

    PURPOSE The presence of regional metastases in HNSCC patients is a common and adverse event associated with poor prognosis. Understanding the molecular mechanisms that mediate HNSCC metastasis may enable identification of novel therapeutic targets. Our recent work on human HNSCC tissues underlies Snail’s role as a molecular prognostic marker for HNSCC. Snail positivity is significantly predictive of poorly differentiated, lymphovascular invasive, as well as regionally metastatic tumors. We recently reported the role of Snail in the inflammation-induced promotion of EMT in HNSCC. However, other important Snail-dependent malignant phenotypes have not been fully explored. Here, we investigate the capacity of Snail to drive EMT in human oral epithelial cell lines, and its ability to confer drug resistance. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN Snail was overexpressed HNSCC and oral epithelial cell lines. AIG assays, wound healing assays, invasion & migration assays, spheroid modeling, and cell survival assays were performed. RESULTS The overexpression of Snail in human HNSCC and oral epithelial cell lines drives EMT. The sole transfection of Snail confers the expression of a mesenchymal molecular signature including down-regulation of the epithelial adherens, such as E-cadherin and β-catenin, and induction of mesenchymal markers, Snail overexpressing cell lines demonstrate rapid growth in Anchorage-independent growth assays; a decreased capacity to form tight spheroids; increased resistance to erlotinib; and have an increased capacity for invasion. CONCLUSION Snail controls the mesenchymal phenotype and drives erlotinib resistance in HNSCC cells. Snail may prove to be a useful marker in predicting EGFR inhibitor responsiveness. PMID:22568942

  1. Snail family members and cell survival in physiological and pathological cleft palates.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Alvarez, Concepción; Blanco, María J; Pérez, Raquel; Rabadán, M Angeles; Aparicio, Marta; Resel, Eva; Martínez, Tamara; Nieto, M Angela

    2004-01-01

    Palate fusion is a complex process that involves the coordination of a series of cellular changes including cell death and epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). Since members of the Snail family of zinc-finger regulators are involved in both triggering of the EMT and cell survival, we decided to study their putative role in palatal fusion. Furthermore, Snail genes are induced by transforming growth factor beta gene (TGF-beta) superfamily members, and TGF-beta(3) null mutant mice (TGF-beta(3)-/-) show a cleft palate phenotype. Here we show that in the wild-type mouse at the time of fusion, Snail is expressed in a few cells of the midline epithelial seam (MES), compatible with a role in triggering of the EMT in a small subpopulation of the MES. We also find an intriguing relationship between the expression of Snail family members and cell survival associated to the cleft palate condition. Indeed, Snail is expressed in the medial edge epithelial (MEE) cells in TGF-beta(3)-/-mouse embryo palates, where it is activated by the aberrant expression of its inducer, TGF-beta(1), in the underlying mesenchyme. In contrast to Snail-deficient wild-type pre-adhesion MEE cells, Snail-expressing TGF-beta(3) mutant MEE cells survive as they do their counterparts in the chick embryo. Interestingly, Slug is the Snail family member expressed in the chick MEE, providing another example of interchange of Snail and Slug expression between avian and mammalian embryos. We propose that in the absence of TGF-beta(3), TGF-beta(1) is upregulated in the mesenchyme, and that in both physiological (avian) and pathological (TGF-beta(3)-/-mammalian) cleft palates, it induces the expression of Snail genes promoting the survival of the MEE cells and permitting their subsequent differentiation into keratinized stratified epithelium.

  2. [Effect of ditching for drain on control of Oncomelania hupensis snail in beaches of Dongting Lake].

    PubMed

    Wei, Wang-yuan; Bu, Kai-min; Wei, Kai-lin; Luo, Zhi-hong; Ren, Guang-hui; Chen, Xiang-lin; Yi, Jian-min; Liu, Yu; Xiang, Yang; Tang, Ke-wen; Yan, Jian-hui; Xia, Meng; Ding, Liang; Lu, Xian-jiang; Nie, Dong-song; Li, Yaun

    2015-06-01

    To evaluate the effect of ditching for drain on the control of the breed of Oncomelania hupensis snails in beaches of Dongting Lake. From November, 2009 to November, 2012, an 0. hupensis snail infested beach of the Yueyang jail and an O. hupensis snail infested beach of Junshan District were selected as research fields in the eastern Dongting Lake area, and the former, as the intervention field, was performed with the ditching for drain by excavators and the latter, as the control field, was not. Before the project implemented, the average soil moisture contents on the beaches in dry seasons of the two fields were both about 35.56%. After the project implemented, in the intervention field, the average soil moisture content was 26.53% which was significantly lower than that (35.56%) in the control field (F = 6.53, P < 0.05). The underground water levels in different heights in the intervention field were lower than those in the control field (χ2 = 33.33, P < 0.05). Before the project implemented, the natural death rates of the snails were 0.98% and 0.89% in the two research fields respectively (P > 0.05), and after the project implemented (in 2012), no adult and young snails were found in the interventional field, but in the control field, the average densities of living snails and young snails were 29.37 snails/0.1 m2 and 213 ± 108.45 snails/0.1 m2 respectively. The intervention of ditching for drain can decrease the soil moisture contents quickly and change the ecological condition, therefore, can control the breed of O. hupensis snails in the beaches of Dongting Lake.

  3. Effects of Deepwater Horizon Oil on the Movement and Survival of Marsh Periwinkle Snails (Littoraria irrorata).

    PubMed

    Garner, T Ross; Hart, Michael A; Sweet, Lauren E; Bagheri, Hanna T J; Morris, Jeff; Stoeckel, James A; Roberts, Aaron P

    2017-08-01

    The Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill resulted in the release of millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, and some marsh shorelines experienced heavy oiling including vegetation laid over under the weight of oil. Periwinkle snails (Littoraria irrorata) are a critical component of these impacted habitats, and population declines following oil spills, including DWH, have been documented. This study determined the effects of oil on marsh periwinkle movement and survivorship following exposure to oil. Snails were placed in chambers containing either unoiled or oiled laid over vegetation to represent a heavily impacted marsh habitat, with unoiled vertical structure at one end. In the first movement assay, snail movement to standing unoiled vegetation was significantly lower in oiled chambers (oil thickness ≈ 1 cm) compared to unoiled chambers, as the majority (∼75%) of snails in oiled habitats never reached standing unoiled vegetation after 72 h. In a second movement assay, there was no snail movement standing unoiled structure in chambers with oil thicknesses of 0.1 and 0.5 cm, while 73% of snails moved in unoiled chambers after 4h. A toxicity assay was then conducted by exposing snails to oil coated Spartina stems in chambers for periods up to 72 h, and mortality was monitored for 7 days post exposure. Snail survival decreased with increasing exposure time, and significant mortality (∼35%) was observed following an oil exposure of less than 24 h. Here, we have shown that oil impeded snail movement to clean habitat over a short distance and resulted in oil-exposure times that decreased survival. Taken together, along with declines documented by others in field surveys, these results suggest that marsh periwinkle snails may have been adversely affected following exposure to DWH oil.

  4. Effects of an exotic prey species on a native specialist: Eexample of the snail kite

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cattau, Christopher E.; Martin, J.; Kitchens, W.M.

    2010-01-01

    Despite acknowledging that exotic species can exhibit tremendous influence over native populations, few case studies have clearly demonstrated the effects of exotic prey species on native predators. We examined the effects of the recently introduced island apple snail (Pomacea insularum) on the foraging behavior and energetics of the endangered snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus) in Florida. We conducted time-activity budgets: (i) on kites foraging for native Florida apple snails (Pomacea paludosa) in major wetland units within the kites' range that had not been invaded by the exotic island apple snail and (ii) on kites foraging for exotic apple snails in Lake Tohopekaliga, the only major wetland utilized by the snail kite that had suffered a serious invasion of P. insularum. When foraging for P. insularum, snail kites dropped a greater proportion of snails, and they experienced increased handling times and decreased consumption rates; however, kites foraging for P. insularum also spent a smaller proportion of the day in flight. Estimates of net daily energy balances between kites feeding on P. insularum versus P. paludosa were comparable for adults, but juveniles experienced energetic deficiencies when feeding on the exotic snail. Due to this discrepancy, we hypothesize that wetlands invaded by P. insularum, such as Lake Tohopekaliga, may function as ecological traps for the snail kite in Florida by attracting breeding adults but simultaneously depressing juvenile survival. This study highlights the conservation implications and importance of elucidating the effects that exotic species have on native specialists, especially those that are endangered, because subtle influences on behavior may have significant population consequences. ?? 2009 Elsevier Ltd.

  5. Effects of an exotic prey species on a native specialist: example of the snail kite

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cattau, Christopher E.; Martin, J.; Kitchens, Wiley M.

    2010-01-01

    Despite acknowledging that exotic species can exhibit tremendous influence over native populations, few case studies have clearly demonstrated the effects of exotic prey species on native predators. We examined the effects of the recently introduced island apple snail (Pomacea insularum) on the foraging behavior and energetics of the endangered snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus) in Florida. We conducted time-activity budgets: (i) on kites foraging for native Florida apple snails (Pomacea paludosa) in major wetland units within the kites' range that had not been invaded by the exotic island apple snail and (ii) on kites foraging for exotic apple snails in Lake Tohopekaliga, the only major wetland utilized by the snail kite that had suffered a serious invasion of P. insularum. When foraging for P. insularum, snail kites dropped a greater proportion of snails, and they experienced increased handling times and decreased consumption rates; however, kites foraging for P. insularum also spent a smaller proportion of the day in flight. Estimates of net daily energy balances between kites feeding on P. insularum versus P. paludosa were comparable for adults, but juveniles experienced energetic deficiencies when feeding on the exotic snail. Due to this discrepancy, we hypothesize that wetlands invaded by P. insularum, such as Lake Tohopekaliga, may function as ecological traps for the snail kite in Florida by attracting breeding adults but simultaneously depressing juvenile survival. This study highlights the conservation implications and importance of elucidating the effects that exotic species have on native specialists, especially those that are endangered, because subtle influences on behavior may have significant population consequences.

  6. Cisplatin promotes mesenchymal-like characteristics in osteosarcoma through Snail

    PubMed Central

    Fang, Shuo; Yu, Ling; Mei, Hongjun; Yang, Jian; Gao, Tian; Cheng, Anyuan; Guo, Weichun; Xia, Kezhou; Liu, Gaiwei

    2016-01-01

    More than 30% of patients with osteosarcoma succumb to pulmonary metastases. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a biological process by which tumor cells gain an increased capacity for invasiveness and metastasis. A previous study confirmed the phenomenon of EMT in osteosarcoma, a mesenchymal-derived tumor. However, whether chemotherapy affects EMT remains to be elucidated. In the present study, the osteosarcoma cells were exposed to a sublethal dose of cisplatin, and any surviving cells were assumed to be more resistant to cisplatin. In addition, these cells exhibited a more mesenchymal phenotype. Immunofluorescence analysis revealed that the cisplatin treated cells had an increased long/short axis ratio and increased expression of N-cadherin compared with control cells. A panel of EMT-associated genes was subsequently assessed by quantitative PCR and western blot analysis, and they were observed to be significantly upregulated in the cisplatin treated cells. The in vitro wound healing and Transwell assay indicated that the cisplatin treated cells were more prone to migrate and invade. An in vivo assay showed that the cisplatin-treated xenograft had increased expression of EMT-associated genes, and exhibited increased pulmonary lesions compared with the control, which indicated an elevated capacity to metastasize. The expression of Snail was knocked down by specific small interfering RNA, and it was observed that Snail inhibition promoted cisplatin sensitivity, and cisplatin-induced EMT was significantly blocked. Taken together, the results of the present study supported that idea that Snail participates in cisplatin-induced EMT in osteosarcoma cells, and targeting EMT-transcription factors may offer promise for the therapeutics of osteosarcoma. PMID:28105207

  7. PPIase is associated with the diversity of conotoxins from cone snail venom glands.

    PubMed

    Wang, Lei; Tang, Wei; Wang, Xiaomin; Chen, Yu; Wu, Yun; Qiang, Yuanyuan; Feng, Yuchao; Ren, Zhenghua; Chen, Shangwu; Xu, Anlong

    2015-05-01

    Cone snails are incredibly rich sources of bioactive conopeptides with potential for use in neuroscience research and novel drug development. In order to investigate the synthesis of diversified conopeptides in venom glands, the proteome and peptidome profiles of conus venom were analyzed using HPLC and mass spectrometry. The peptidome profile of the venom components with a molecular weight under 10 kDa showed that the peptides with unique mass values from the venom glands of Conus caracteristicus, Conus lividus and Conus textile are 188, 413 and 265, respectively, and there are 39 overlapping peptides among the three species. Proteome profiling of the components with molecular weights above 10 kDa showed that the most abundant proteins (38.6%) are involved in metabolism and that approximately 6.8% of proteins are involved in protein synthesis, folding and post-translational modification. Among these proteins, PPIase is one protein identified from C. textile based on proteomic analysis. Conus PPIase was successfully expressed as a fusion protein with TRX in an Escherichia coli expression system for further function study. In-vitro enzyme activity assays showed that cone snail PPIase could induce the cis-trans isomerization of the substrate succinyl-Ala-Ala-Pro-Phe-p-nitroanilide. The HPLC mapping analyses of linear lt14a, a conotoxin with 3 prolines, showed that different lt14a isoforms appear after incubation with PPIase. Our results suggest that PPIase may modify conotoxins containing prolines and play an important role in the process of peptide folding and modification in venom glands and contribute to conotoxin diversity.

  8. Differential bioaccumulation patterns of nanosized and dissolved silver in a land snail Achatina fulica.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yuanzhen; Si, Youbin; Zhou, Dongmei; Dang, Fei

    2017-03-01

    With the increasing application in antimicrobial products, silver nanoparticles (AgNP) are inevitably released into the terrestrial environment, and pose potential risks to invertebrates such as land snails Achatina fulica, which take up AgNP from food and water. Here we differentiate Ag uptake biodynamic between Ag forms (i.e., PVP-AgNP vs. AgNO3) and between exposure pathways. Snails assimilated Ag efficiently from lettuce leaves pre-exposed to AgNP, with assimilation efficiencies (AEs) averaging 62-85% and food ingestion rates of 0.11 ± 0.03 g g(-1) d(-1). Dietary Ag bioavailability was independent on Ag forms, as revealed by comparable AEs between AgNP and AgNO3. However, the uptake rate constant from water was much lower for AgNP relative to AgNO3 (2 × 10(-4) vs. 0.12 L g(-1) d(-1)). The elimination rate constants were 0.0093 ± 0.0037 d(-1) for AgNP and 0.019 ± 0.0077 d(-1) for AgNO3. Biodynamic modeling further showed that dietary exposure was the dominant uptake pathway for AgNP in most circumstances, while for AgNO3 the relative importance of waterborne and dietary exposure depended on Ag concentrations in food and water. Our findings highlight the importance of dietary uptake of AgNP during bioaccumulation, which should be considered in the risk assessment of these nanoparticles.

  9. Trematode parasites infect or die in snail hosts.

    PubMed

    King, Kayla C; Jokela, Jukka; Lively, Curtis M

    2011-04-23

    The Red Queen hypothesis is based on the assumption that parasites must genetically match their hosts to infect them successfully. If the parasites fail, they are assumed to be killed by the host's immune system. Here, we tested this using sympatric (mostly susceptible) and allopatric (mostly resistant) populations of a freshwater snail and its trematode parasite. We determined whether parasites which do not infect are either killed or passed through the host's digestive tract and remain infectious. Our results show that parasites do not get a second chance: they either infect or are killed by the host. The results suggest strong selection against parasites that are not adapted to local host genotypes.

  10. Controllable Snail-Paced Light in Biological Bacteriorhodopsin Thin Film

    SciTech Connect

    Wu Pengfei; Rao, D.V.G.L.N.

    2005-12-16

    We observe that the group velocity of light is reduced to an extremely low value of 0.091 mm/s in a biological thin film of bacteriorhodopsin at room temperature. By exploiting unique features of a flexible photoisomerization process for coherent population oscillation, the velocity is all-optically controlled over an enormous span, from snail-paced to normal light speed, with no need of modifying the characteristics of the incident pulse. Because of the large quantum yield for the photoreaction in this biochemical system, the ultraslow light is observed even at low light levels of microwatts, indicating high energy efficiency.

  11. Polymorphisms in the Human SNAIL (SNAI1) gene.

    PubMed

    Okajima, K; Paznekas, W A; Burstyn, T; Jabs, E W

    2001-02-01

    The human SNAIL is an important developmental protein involved in the formation of mesoderm and neural crest. The protein contains three classic and one atypical zinc-finger motif. The SNAI1 gene is composed of three exons. We have identified three SNPs in non-coding regions, two in the 5'UTR and one in intron 1, which can be detected by PCR followed by restriction enzyme digestion. We also identified a GGG/GGGG polymorphism in intron 1. We screened CEPH DNAs for these polymorphisms. Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

  12. Exposure to parasites increases promiscuity in a freshwater snail

    PubMed Central

    Soper, D. M.; King, K. C.; Vergara, D.; Lively, C. M.

    2014-01-01

    Under the Red Queen hypothesis, outcrossing can produce genetically variable progeny, which may be more resistant, on average, to locally adapted parasites. Mating with multiple partners may enhance this resistance by further increasing the genetic variation among offspring. We exposed Potamopyrgus antipodarum to the eggs of a sterilizing, trematode parasite and tested whether this altered mating behaviour. We found that exposure to parasites increased the number of snail mating pairs and the total number of different mating partners for both males and females. Thus, our results suggest that, in host populations under parasite-mediated selection, exposure to infective propagules increases the rate of mating and the number of mates. PMID:24759366

  13. [Equipment for biological experiments with snails aboard piloted orbital stations].

    PubMed

    Gorgiladze, G I; Korotkova, E V; Kuznetsova, E E; Mukhamedieva, L N; Begrov, V V; Pepeliaev, Iu V

    2010-01-01

    To fly biological experiments aboard piloted orbital stations, research equipment was built up of an incubation container, filter system and automatic temperature controller. Investigations included analysis of the makeup and concentrations of gases produced by animals (snails) during biocycle, and emitted after death. Filters are chemisorption active fibrous materials (AFM) with high sorption rate and water receptivity (cation exchange fiber VION-KN-1 and anion exchange fiber VION-AS-1), and water-repellent carbon adsorbent SKLTS. AFM filters were effective in air cleaning and practically excluded ingress of chemical substances from the container into cabin atmosphere over more than 100 days.

  14. Selective and universal primers for trematode barcoding in freshwater snails.

    PubMed

    Routtu, J; Grunberg, D; Izhar, R; Dagan, Y; Guttel, Y; Ucko, M; Ben-Ami, F

    2014-07-01

    Trematodes are significant pathogens of high medical, veterinary, and environmental importance. They are hard to isolate from their intermediate hosts, and their early life stages are difficult to identify morphologically. Therefore, primers were developed for trematodes to create a species barcoding system and allow selective PCR amplification in mixed samples. The specific oligonucleotide primer was universal for trematodes that infected several freshwater snail species in Israel. The diagnostic tool is based on the 18S rDNA gene. In contrast to morphological identification, trematode barcoding is rapid as it is based on a sequence of only 800 bp, and it classifies species accurately due to high polymorphism between conserved areas.

  15. Oxygen and carbon stable isotopes of modern land snail shells as environmental indicators from a low-latitude oceanic island

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yanes, Yurena; Romanek, Christopher S.; Delgado, Antonio; Brant, Heather A.; Noakes, John E.; Alonso, María R.; Ibáñez, Miguel

    2009-07-01

    indicate lower temperatures, lower δ 18O rain values and possibly, higher rainfall totals. A positive correlation between the mean δ 13C values of shells (δ 13C shell) and plants by site suggests that shells potentially record information about the surrounding vegetation. The δ 13C shell values varied between -15.7 and -0.6‰ (VPDB), indicating that snails consumed C 3 and C 4/CAM plants, where more negative δ 13C shell values probably reflects the preferential consumption of C 3 plants which are favored under wetter conditions. Individuals with more positive δ 13C shell values consumed a larger percentage of C 4 plants (other potential factors such as carbonate ingestion or atmospheric CO 2 contribution were unlikely) that were more common at lower elevations of the hotter and drier south facing transect. The relatively wide range of shell isotope values within a single site requires the analysis of numerous shells for meaningful paleoclimatic studies. Although small differences were observed in isotope composition among snail species collected at a single sampling site, they were not significant, suggesting that isotope signatures extracted from multi-taxa snail data sets may be used to infer environmental conditions over a broad range of habitats.

  16. Host density increases parasite recruitment but decreases host risk in a snail-trematode system

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Buck, Julia C; Hechinger, R.F.; Wood, A.C.; Stewart, T.E.; Kuris, A.M.; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2017-01-01

    Most species aggregate in local patches. High host density in patches increases contact rate between hosts and parasites, increasing parasite transmission success. At the same time, for environmentally-transmitted parasites, high host density can decrease infection risk to individual hosts, because infective stages are divided among all hosts in a patch, leading to safety in numbers. We tested these predictions using the California horn snail, Cerithideopsis californica (=Cerithidea californica), which is the first intermediate host for at least 19 digenean trematode species in California estuaries. Snails become infected by ingesting trematode eggs or through penetration by free-swimming miracidia that hatch from trematode eggs deposited with final-host (bird or mammal) feces. This complex life cycle decouples infective-stage production from transmission, raising the possibility of an inverse relationship between host density and infection risk. In a field survey, higher snail density was associated with increased trematode (infected snail) density, but decreased trematode prevalence, consistent with either safety in numbers, parasitic castration, or both. To determine the extent to which safety in numbers drove the negative snail density-trematode prevalence association, we manipulated uninfected snail density in 83 cages at eight sites within Carpinteria Salt Marsh (CA, USA). At each site, we quantified snail density and used data on final-host (bird and raccoon) distributions to control for between-site variation in infective-stage supply. After three months, overall trematode infections per cage increased with snail-biomass density. For egg-transmitted trematodes, per-snail infection risk decreased with snail-biomass density in the cage and surrounding area, whereas per-snail infection risk did not decrease for miracidium-transmitted trematodes. Furthermore, both trematode recruitment and infection risk increased with infective-stage input, but this was

  17. Host density increases parasite recruitment but decreases host risk in a snail-trematode system.

    PubMed

    Buck, J C; Hechinger, R F; Wood, A C; Stewart, T E; Kuris, A M; Lafferty, K D

    2017-08-01

    Most species aggregate in local patches. High host density in patches increases contact rate between hosts and parasites, increasing parasite transmission success. At the same time, for environmentally transmitted parasites, high host density can decrease infection risk to individual hosts, because infective stages are divided among all hosts in a patch, leading to safety in numbers. We tested these predictions using the California horn snail, Cerithideopsis californica (=Cerithidea californica), which is the first intermediate host for at least 19 digenean trematode species in California estuaries. Snails become infected by ingesting trematode eggs or through penetration by free-swimming miracidia that hatch from trematode eggs deposited with final-host (bird or mammal) feces. This complex life cycle decouples infective-stage production from transmission, raising the possibility of an inverse relationship between host density and infection risk at local scales. In a field survey, higher snail density was associated with increased trematode (infected snail) density, but decreased trematode prevalence, consistent with either safety in numbers, parasitic castration, or both. To determine the extent to which safety in numbers drove the negative snail-density-trematode-prevalence association, we manipulated uninfected snail density in 83 cages at eight sites within Carpinteria Salt Marsh (California, USA). At each site, we quantified snail density and used data on final-host (bird and raccoon) distributions to control for between-site variation in infective-stage supply. After three months, overall trematode infections per cage increased with snail biomass density. For egg-transmitted trematodes, per-snail infection risk decreased with snail biomass density in the cage and surrounding area, whereas per-snail infection risk did not decrease for miracidium-transmitted trematodes. Furthermore, both trematode recruitment and infection risk increased with infective

  18. [Preliminary observation on survival and reproduction of imported Oncomelania snails in water network regions: a simulated experiment].

    PubMed

    Tian, Jian-Guo; Zhong, Wen-Jiang; Li, Gui-Fu; Peng, Li-Xia; Xiang, Xiao-Ping

    2011-04-01

    To observe the survival and reproduction of exotic imported Oncomelania snails in water network regions. During a period between May 22, 2008 and August 7, 2009, a study pilot was established in a historical snail habitat in Qingpu District of Shanghai City. A total of 12 soil samples were collected from Qingpu, Jinshan and Songjiang districts and placed in the study area. Active marked adults snails without infections (with a female/male ratio of 1) were placed on soil surface, and the activity, survival and reproduction of snails on soil surface were observed. The temperature during the period of the study was recorded. During the experiment period, the highest temperature was 39 degrees C, the lowest was -3 degrees C, and the average was 20 degrees C. The activity of snails reduced significantly on the soil surface at high temperature in summer and low temperature in winter. There were 91 old snails (5.2%) that moved on soil surface in March and 73 (12.2% ) in June, 2009. A total of 26 and 59 offspring snails were found respectively in April and June, 2009, with average density of 2.17 snails/m2 (26/12) and 4.92 snails/m2 (59/12) respectively. The exotic imported snails can survive and reproduce in water network regions. Further monitoring should be strengthened on the imported snails in these regions.

  19. [Study on distribution and countermeasures of Oncomelania snails in beach wetlands of Runzhou section of lower reaches of Yangtze River].

    PubMed

    Xia, Ai; Huang, Yixin; Jiang, Jun; Zhou, Ya-Min; Hang, De-rong; Tao, Heng-ye

    2014-04-01

    To understand the distribution of the river beach wetlands and Oncomelania snails in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, and explore the countermeasures of snail control. The river beach wetlands outside the Yangtze River levee were investigated and classified according to the hierarchical and classification system of wetlands of China. The snail survey was carried out in the beach wetlands of Runzhou section of lower reaches of the Yangtze River from 2004 to 2013. The change trend of snail areas and the densities was analyzed in the wetlands. The river beach of Runzhou section of lower reaches of the Yangtze River belongs to the riverine wetland. There was Oncomelania snail breeding except the permanent water area. At present, there were natural wetlands of 1303.0 hm2, human-made wetlands of 1479.0 hmb2 and wetland function changes of 1059.0 hm2 in the river beach of Runzhou section. There was the snail area of 181.4 hm2 in the natural wetland in 2013. The area of snail control by the molluscicide and environmental modification was 4624.55 hm2 from 2004 to 2013. The decline rates of snail areas and densities were 66.53% and 77.66% respectively. The existing Oncomelania snails were distributed in the natural wetlands. The human-made wetland is helpful to snail control. The snail control in the river beach wetlands should attach a great importance to the protection of wetland ecology.

  20. Effect of habitat fragmentation on the schistosome-transmitting snail Oncomelania hupensis in a mountainous area of China.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Yi-Biao; Yang, Mei-Xia; Yihuo, Wu-li; Liu, Gang-ming; Wang, Hai-yin; Wei, Jian-Guo; Jiang, Qing-Wu

    2011-04-01

    The effect of habitat fragmentation on schistosome-transmitting snails was assessed in an intervention village and a control village in Sichuan Province, China. Snail habitats were fragmented by environmental management. After 2 years, the proportions of quadrats with snails in the fragmented habitats decreased from 9.35% to 2.41% in one patch (c3) and from 12.20% to 6.57% in another patch (c12), whilst the proportions in habitats without fragmentation did not alter significantly. Mean snail density decreased from 0.246 to 0.063 snails/0.11 m2 in patch c3 and from 0.356 to 0.177 snails/0.11 m2 in patch c12, whilst the mean snail density of other patches did not alter significantly. Most snails from the same patch and/or its remaining patches after fragmentation clustered together in the phylogenetic tree, except for c1, c3 and its remaining patches (c5, c6 and c11). Snail habitats in the study zone exhibited visible fragmentation. Habitat fragmentation could decrease the snail population size and limit migration and dispersal of snails between patches. Copyright © 2010 Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. [THE EMISSION OF PLAGIORCHIS MULTIGLANDULARIS CERCARIAE FROM NATURALLY INFECTED SNAILS LYMNAEA STAGNALIS IN CHANY LAKE, SOUTH OF WEST SIBERIA].

    PubMed

    Rastyazhenko, N M; Vodyanitskaya, S N; Yurlova, N I

    2015-01-01

    The daily cercarial output of freshwater trematode Plagiorchis multiglandularis from naturally infected snail Lymnaea stagnalis were studied. The snails were collected in the Chany Lake (South of West Siberia). The daily cercarial output from the snail of different size was determined. The average daily cercarial output ranged from 4641 ± 1829 at the snail with shell length 29 mm to 14022 ± 5198 at the snail with shell length 44 mm. The positive correlation between the average daily cercarial output and the shell of snail host was found (p ≤ 0.001). The maximum of P. multiglandularis cercariae release from the snail during daytime, that coincided with period of activity of the second intermediate hosts. Temperature-mediated increase in cercarial output of P. multiglandularis in temperature range 23-24.5 degrees C was found. The cercarial output was inhibited over the temperature optimum.

  2. Count Your Eggs Before They Invade: Identifying and Quantifying Egg Clutches of Two Invasive Apple Snail Species (Pomacea)

    PubMed Central

    Kyle, Colin H.; Plantz, Allyson L.; Shelton, Therese; Burks, Romi L.

    2013-01-01

    Winning the war against invasive species requires early detection of invasions. Compared to terrestrial invaders, aquatic species often thrive undetected under water and do not garner notice until too late for early action. However, fortunately for managers, apple snails (Family Ampullariidae, Genus Pomacea) provide their own conspicuous sign of invasion in the form of vibrantly colored egg clutches. Managers can potentially use egg clutches laid in the riparian zone as a means of early detection and species identification. To facilitate such efforts, we quantified differences in characteristics (length, width, depth, mass, egg number) of field-laid clutches for the two most common invasive species of apple snail, P. canaliculata and P. maculata, in native and non-native populations. Pomacea canaliculata native and non-native populations differed noticeably only in width. Native P. maculata clutches possessed significantly greater width, mass and eggs numbers compared with native P. canaliculata. Non-native P. maculata clutches significantly exceeded all other populations in all measured characteristics. Consequently, these traits may successfully distinguish between species. Fecundity data also allowed us to develop models that accurately estimated the number of eggs per clutch for each species based on clutch dimensions. We tested one, two and three dimensional models of clutches, including rendering a clutch as either a complete ellipsoid or an ellipsoid intersected by a cylinder to represent the oviposition site. Model comparisons found the product of length and depth, with a different function for each population, best predicted egg number for both species. Comparisons of egg number to clutch volume and mass implied non-native P. canaliculata may be food limited, while non-native P. maculata appeared to produce such enormous clutches by having access to greater nutrients than the native population. With these new tools, researchers and managers can quickly

  3. Count your eggs before they invade: identifying and quantifying egg clutches of two invasive apple snail species (Pomacea).

    PubMed

    Kyle, Colin H; Plantz, Allyson L; Shelton, Therese; Burks, Romi L

    2013-01-01

    Winning the war against invasive species requires early detection of invasions. Compared to terrestrial invaders, aquatic species often thrive undetected under water and do not garner notice until too late for early action. However, fortunately for managers, apple snails (Family Ampullariidae, Genus Pomacea) provide their own conspicuous sign of invasion in the form of vibrantly colored egg clutches. Managers can potentially use egg clutches laid in the riparian zone as a means of early detection and species identification. To facilitate such efforts, we quantified differences in characteristics (length, width, depth, mass, egg number) of field-laid clutches for the two most common invasive species of apple snail, P. canaliculata and P. maculata, in native and non-native populations. Pomacea canaliculata native and non-native populations differed noticeably only in width. Native P. maculata clutches possessed significantly greater width, mass and eggs numbers compared with native P. canaliculata. Non-native P. maculata clutches significantly exceeded all other populations in all measured characteristics. Consequently, these traits may successfully distinguish between species. Fecundity data also allowed us to develop models that accurately estimated the number of eggs per clutch for each species based on clutch dimensions. We tested one, two and three dimensional models of clutches, including rendering a clutch as either a complete ellipsoid or an ellipsoid intersected by a cylinder to represent the oviposition site. Model comparisons found the product of length and depth, with a different function for each population, best predicted egg number for both species. Comparisons of egg number to clutch volume and mass implied non-native P. canaliculata may be food limited, while non-native P. maculata appeared to produce such enormous clutches by having access to greater nutrients than the native population. With these new tools, researchers and managers can quickly

  4. Antibodies to calcium-binding S100B protein block the conditioning of long-term sensitization in the terrestrial snail.

    PubMed

    Andrianov, Vyatcheslav V; Epstein, Oleg I; Gainutdinova, Tatiana Kh; Shtark, Mark B; Timoshenko, Aliya Kh; Gainutdinov, Khalil L

    2009-11-01

    The effects of antibodies to calcium-binding S100B protein diluted to 10(-12) (LAS100B) on the long-term sensitization in the Helix lucorum snail (neurobiological model of the anxious-depressive state) were evaluated. The administration of LAS100B prior to conditioning of long-term sensitization in the terrestrial snail 10 min prior to the first electric stimulus) prevents strengthening of the defensive reaction of withdrawing the ommatophores (eye tentacles) and the defensive reaction of closing the pneumostome. This effect is termed "protective", as it prevents the conditioning of long-term sensitization. At the same time, snails given an injection of saline developed long-term sensitization with a significant strengthening of the defensive reactions of withdrawing the ommatophores and closing the pneumostome. When LAS100B was administered before long-term sensitization in advance, the membrane and threshold potentials of premotor interneurons, which regulate defensive behaviour, decreased to a significantly lesser extent compared to the long-term sensitization arm. It is possible that the "protective" effect is linked to the mechanisms of maintaining the membrane potential and changes in extra- and intracellular balance of calcium-binding S100B protein.

  5. Imposex in the golden apple snail Pomacea canaliculata in Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Liu, Wen-Hui; Chiu, Yuh-Wen; Huang, Da-Ji; Liu, Ming-Yie; Lee, Ching-Chang; Liu, Li-Lian

    2006-12-01

    The golden apple snail Pomacea canaliculata (Lamarck, 1822) was introduced into Taiwan intentionally in the early 1980s and has become a recurring pest that seriously threatens aquatic crops. In this study, a field description of imposex with a developed penis sheath and penis in female golden apple snails from crop/domestic wastewater drainage sites and a six-order river is presented for the first time. Based on the five field collections and the aquarium group, the vas deferens sequence (VDS) of P. canaliculata in imposex development was categorized into four stages, i.e., stage 0: without male genital system; stage 1: with rudimentary penis; stage 2: with rudimentary penis and penis sheath; and stage 3: the rudimentary penis developing into penis pouch and penis. The VDS indices varied between 1.07 and 2.82 and were lowest in the aquarium group and Yuanlin2. Regarding the severity of imposex, the aquarium group was less pronounced, as illustrated by the length of penis sheath and penis length, than the field collections (p<0.05). In respect of the penis length, males of the most imposex-affected site were up to 15% shorter than that of the aquarium group. Negative correlations between male penis length and female imposex characters (i.e., penis length and penis sheath length) were also observed.

  6. Snail Family Transcription Factors Are Implicated in Thyroid Carcinogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Hardy, Robert G.; Vicente-Dueñas, Carolina; González-Herrero, Ines; Anderson, Catriona; Flores, Teresa; Hughes, Sharon; Tselepis, Chris; Ross, James A.; Sánchez-García, Isidro

    2007-01-01

    E-Cadherin (CDH1) expression is reduced in thyroid carcinomas by primarily unknown mechanisms. In several tissues, SNAIL (SNAI1) and SLUG (SNAI2) induce epithelial-mesenchymal transition by altering target gene transcription, including CDH1 repression, but these transcription factors have not been studied in thyroid carcinoma. Recently, our group has provided direct evidence that ectopic SNAI1 expression induces epithelial and mesenchymal mouse tumors. SNAI1, SNAI2, and CDH1 expression were analyzed in thyroid-derived cell lines and samples of human follicular and papillary thyroid carcinoma by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, Western blotting, and immunohistochemistry. The effect of SNAI1 expression on CDH1 transcription was analyzed by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting in ori-3 cells. Thyroid carcinoma development was analyzed in CombitTA-Snail mice, in which SNAI1 levels are up-regulated. SNAI1 and SNAI2 were not expressed in cells derived from normal thyroid tissue, or in normal human thyroid samples, but were highly expressed in cell lines derived from thyroid carcinomas, in human thyroid carcinoma samples, and their metastases. SNAI1 expression in ori-3 cells repressed CDH1 transcription. Combi-TA mice developed papillary thyroid carcinomas, the incidence of which was increased by concomitant radiotherapy. In conclusion, SNAI1 and SNAI2 are ectopically expressed in thyroid carcinomas, and aberrant expression in mice is associated with papillary carcinoma development. PMID:17724139

  7. Studies on the Adhesive Property of Snail Adhesive Mucus.

    PubMed

    Newar, Janu; Ghatak, Archana

    2015-11-10

    Many gastropod molluscs are known to secrete mucus which allow these animals to adhere to a substrate while foraging over it. While the mucus is known to provide strong adhesion to both dry and wet surfaces, including both horizontal and vertical ones, no systematic study has been carried out to understand the strength of such adhesion under different conditions. We report here results from preliminary studies on adhesion characteristics of the mucus of a snail found in eastern India, Macrochlamys indica. When perturbed, the snail was found to secrete its adhesive mucus, which was collected and subjected to regular adhesion tests. The hydrated mucus was used as such, and also as mixed with buffer of different pH. These experiments suggest that the mucus was slightly alkaline, and showed the maximum adhesion strength of 9 kPa when present in an alkaline buffer. Preliminary studies indicate that adhesive force is related to the ability of the mucus to incorporate water. In alkaline condition, the gel like mass that it forms, incorporate water from a wet surface and enable strong adhesion.

  8. Diaphanous gene mutation affects spiral cleavage and chirality in snails

    PubMed Central

    Kuroda, Reiko; Fujikura, Kohei; Abe, Masanori; Hosoiri, Yuji; Asakawa, Shuichi; Shimizu, Miho; Umeda, Shin; Ichikawa, Futaba; Takahashi, Hiromi

    2016-01-01

    L-R (left and right) symmetry breaking during embryogenesis and the establishment of asymmetric body plan are key issues in developmental biology, but the onset including the handedness-determining gene locus still remains unknown. Using pure dextral (DD) and sinistral (dd) strains of the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis as well as its F2 through to F10 backcrossed lines, the single handedness-determining-gene locus was mapped by genetic linkage analysis, BAC cloning and chromosome walking. We have identified the actin-related diaphanous gene Lsdia1 as the strongest candidate. Although the cDNA and derived amino acid sequences of the tandemly duplicated Lsdia1 and Lsdia2 genes are very similar, we could discriminate the two genes/proteins in our molecular biology experiments. The Lsdia1 gene of the sinistral strain carries a frameshift mutation that abrogates full-length LsDia1 protein expression. In the dextral strain, it is already translated prior to oviposition. Expression of Lsdia1 (only in the dextral strain) and Lsdia2 (in both chirality) decreases after the 1-cell stage, with no asymmetric localization throughout. The evolutionary relationships among body handedness, SD/SI (spiral deformation/spindle inclination) at the third cleavage, and expression of diaphanous proteins are discussed in comparison with three other pond snails (L. peregra, Physa acuta and Indoplanorbis exustus). PMID:27708420

  9. Extremely high secondary production of introduced snails in rivers.

    PubMed

    Hall, Robert O; Dybdahl, Mark F; VanderLoop, Maria C

    2006-06-01

    The functional importance of invasive animals may be measured as the degree to which they dominate secondary production, relative to native animals. We used this approach to examine dominance of invertebrate secondary production by invasive New Zealand mudsnails (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) in rivers. We measured secondary production of mudsnails and native invertebrates in three rivers in the Greater Yellowstone Area (Wyoming, USA): Gibbon River, Firehole River, and Polecat Creek. Potamopyrgus production was estimated by measuring in situ growth rates and multiplying by monthly biomass; native invertebrate production was estimated using size frequency and instantaneous growth methods. Mudsnail growth rates were high (up to 0.06 d(-1)) for juvenile snails and much lower for adult females (0.003 d(-1)). Potamopyrgus production in Polecat Creek (194 g x m(-2) x yr(-1)) was one of the highest values ever reported for a stream invertebrate. Native invertebrate production ranged from 4.4 to 51 g x m(-2) x yr(-1). Potamopyrgus was the most productive taxon and constituted 65-92% of total invertebrate productivity. Native invertebrate production was low in all streams. Based on a survey of production measures from uninvaded rivers, the distribution of secondary production across taxa was much more highly skewed toward the invasive dominant Potamopyrgus in the three rivers. We suggest that this invasive herbivorous snail is sequestering a large fraction of the carbon available for invertebrate production and altering food web function.

  10. Food induced esterase phenocopies in the snail Cepaea nemoralis.

    PubMed

    Oxford, G S

    1975-12-01

    Hepatopancreatic extracts from the snail Cepaea nemoralis, assayed straight from the field, often contain three or four heavily staining esterase zones which migrate to the cathodal end of polyacrylamide disc gels during electrophoresis. Previous breeding results showed that the heavily straining zones appeared allelic but to incorporate these multibanded phenotypes, a super gene of five closely linked loci was tentatively proposed. Further breeding work again failed to demonstrate multiple zones in parents or offspring and so experiments were conducted to see whether the multi-zoned phenotypes in the wild were produced by secondary modification of single primary products. Wild snails yielding extracts containing more than two heavily staining zones were shown to possess only two such zones after three months under laboratory conditions. Also, the ingestion of nettle (Urtica dioica L.) has been demonstrated to induce extra esterase zones in laboratory-reared animals. Some of the secondarily induced zones appear identical in physical, biochemical and electrophoretic properties to the primary products of other alleles, and thus appear to be electrophoretic phenocopies. A model is suggested which could account for this phenomenon.

  11. Human schistosomiasis in Cameroon. II. Distribution of the snail hosts.

    PubMed

    Greer, G J; Mimpfoundi, R; Malek, E A; Joky, A; Ngonseu, E; Ratard, R C

    1990-06-01

    A nationwide survey for snail hosts of human schistosomes was carried out in Cameroon between 1985 and 1988. In total, 668 sites at 432 locations were sampled. In the arid, northern half of the country (tropical climatic zone), where both intestinal and urinary schistosomiasis are hyperendemic, Biomphalaria pfeifferi was the only Schistosoma mansoni host and Bulinus globusus and B. senegalensis the most common S. haematobium hosts. In that region, these snails occurred almost exclusively in temporary bodies of water. Taking into account results from a companion study on the distribution of schistosomiasis in humans, our results clearly show that temporary water bodies in the tropical zone are the principal foci of transmission. These findings disagree with commonly held views about schistosome transmission in Cameroon. B. truncatus, a S. haematobium host, was also present in the tropical zone but was found principally in perennial habitats. Although some perennial habitats were important transmission sites, they represent only a small portion of the overall problem. B. truncatus is the principal S. haematobium host in the wetter southern half of the country where schistosomiasis haematobium is highly focal. Biom. camerunensis was far more common than Biom. pfeifferi in the South but did not occur where S. mansoni prevalence rates were high; thus it appears to be a poor host. B. forskalii, the sole host of S. intercalatum in Cameroon, occurs widely throughout the country; however, the schistosome is restricted to a small region in the South.

  12. Reproduction and demography of the Florida Everglade (Snail) Kite

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Snyder, N.F.R.; Beissinger, S.R.; Chandler, R.E.

    1989-01-01

    An 18-year study of reproduction and survival of the Florida Everglade (Snail) Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus) has revealed the following: extremely poor nesting success (only 13.6% of nests found at the nest-building stage successful); extremely long breeding seasons (some reproductive activity in almost all months in good years); frequent multiple brooding and frequent multiple brooding and frequent renesting after failure; low egg hatchability (81%); high failure rates due to nest collapse, desertion, and predation; extremely high survival of juveniles and adults under good water conditions; and high vulnerability to drought due to near total dependency on a single species of drought-sensitive snail for food. Despite low nesting success, the species has increased rapidly under good conditions, mainly because of multiple nesting attempts within long breeding seasons and high survival rates of free-flying birds. Nesting success varied significantly between regions and nest substrates, but not as a function of seasons or solitary vs. colonial nesting. While nesting success was reduced in low water years, this effect was at least partly due to heavy use of poor nest substrates under such conditions. Clutch size and numbers of young per successful nest varied with regions, but not as a function of seasons or water levels. The effects of coloniality on clutch size and numbers of young were inconsistent. Significant effects of nest-substrate types on clutch size and numbers of young were apparently artifacts of substrate differences between regions.

  13. Untangling the roles of microclimate, behaviour and physiological polymorphism in governing vulnerability of intertidal snails to heat stress.

    PubMed

    Dong, Yun-Wei; Li, Xiao-Xu; Choi, Francis M P; Williams, Gray A; Somero, George N; Helmuth, Brian

    2017-05-17

    Biogeographic distributions are driven by cumulative effects of smaller scale processes. Thus, vulnerability of animals to thermal stress is the result of physiological sensitivities to body temperature (Tb), microclimatic conditions, and behavioural thermoregulation. To understand interactions among these variables, we analysed the thermal tolerances of three species of intertidal snails from different latitudes along the Chinese coast, and estimated potential Tb in different microhabitats at each site. We then empirically determined the temperatures at which heart rate decreased sharply with rising temperature (Arrhenius breakpoint temperature, ABT) and at which it fell to zero (flat line temperature, FLT) to calculate thermal safety margins (TSM). Regular exceedance of FLT in sun-exposed microhabitats, a lethal effect, was predicted for only one mid-latitude site. However, ABTs of some individuals were exceeded at sun-exposed microhabitats in most sites, suggesting physiological impairment for snails with poor behavioural thermoregulation and revealing inter-individual variations (physiological polymorphism) of thermal limits. An autocorrelation analysis of Tb showed that predictability of extreme temperatures was lowest at the hottest sites, indicating that the effectiveness of behavioural thermoregulation is potentially lowest at these sites. These results illustrate the critical roles of mechanistic studies at small spatial scales when predicting effects of climate change. © 2017 The Author(s).

  14. Polycomb complex 2 is required for E-cadherin repression by the Snail1 transcription factor.

    PubMed

    Herranz, Nicolás; Pasini, Diego; Díaz, Víctor M; Francí, Clara; Gutierrez, Arantxa; Dave, Natàlia; Escrivà, Maria; Hernandez-Muñoz, Inma; Di Croce, Luciano; Helin, Kristian; García de Herreros, Antonio; Peiró, Sandra

    2008-08-01

    The transcriptional factor Snail1 is a repressor of E-cadherin (CDH1) gene expression essential for triggering epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Snail1 represses CDH1, directly binding its promoter and inducing the synthesis of the Zeb1 repressor. In this article, we show that repression of CDH1 by Snail1, but not by Zeb1, is dependent on the activity of Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2). Embryonic stem (ES) cells null for Suz12, one of the components of PRC2, show higher levels of Cdh1 mRNA than control ES cells. In tumor cells, interference of PRC2 activity prevents the ability of Snail1 to downregulate CDH1 and partially derepresses CDH1. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays demonstrated that Snail1 increases the binding of Suz12 to the CDH1 promoter and the trimethylation of lysine 27 in histone H3. Moreover, Snail1 interacts with Suz12 and Ezh2, as shown by coimmunoprecipitation experiments. In conclusion, these results demonstrate that Snail1 recruits PRC2 to the CDH1 promoter and requires the activity of this complex to repress E-cadherin expression.

  15. Taken to the limit--Is desiccation stress causing precocious encystment of trematode parasites in snails?

    PubMed

    O'Dwyer, Katie; Poulin, Robert

    2015-12-01

    When hosts experience environmental stress, the quantity and quality of resources they provide for parasites may be diminished, and host longevity may be decreased. Under stress, parasites may adopt alternative strategies to avoid fitness reductions. Trematode parasites typically have complex life cycles, involving asexual reproduction in a gastropod first intermediate host. A rare phenomenon, briefly mentioned in the literature, and termed 'precocious encystment' involves the next stage in the parasites' life cycle (metacercarial cyst) forming within the preceding stage (redia), while still inside the snail. In the trematode Parorchis sp. NZ using rocky shore snails exposed to long periods outside water, we hypothesised that this might be an adaptive strategy against desiccation, preventing parasite emergence from the snail. To test this, we first investigated the effect of prolonged desiccation on the survival of two species of high intertidal snails. Secondly, we measured the reproductive output (cercarial production) of the parasite under wet and dry conditions. Finally, we quantified the influence of desiccation stress on the occurrence of precocious encystment. Snail mortality was higher under dry conditions, indicating stress, and it was somewhat exacerbated for infected snails. Parasite reproductive output differed between wet and dry conditions, with parasites of snails kept in dry conditions producing more cercariae when placed in water. Little variation was observed in the occurrence of precocious encystment, although some subtle patterns emerged. Given the stresses associated with living in high intertidal environments, we discuss precocious encystment as a possible stress response in this trematode parasite.

  16. The snail hosts of schistosomiasis: some evolutionary and ecological perspectives in relation to control.

    PubMed

    Thomas, J D

    1995-01-01

    Despite opportunities for radiation provided by spatio-temporal isolation, the basic morphological plan of pulmonate snails has remained conservative. In consequence of the resulting dearth of morphological characters and their plasticity, there is a case for using biochemical characters such as exogenous chemicals released by the snails (e.g. amino acids) and their chemoreception niche as taxonomic aids to classify snails of medical importance. As these same chemicals are used by snails to distinguish conspecifics they could also be used as "environmental antibodies" in controlled release formulations (CRF's) designed to remove target snails in a specific, cost-effective and ecologically acceptable manner. The snails, surface-living bacteria, algae and macrophytic plants are considered as co-evolved, interactive modular systems with strong mutualistic elements. Recently, anthropogenic perturbations such as deforestation, and damming of flowing waters, have benefited these modules whereas others such as river canalization, acid deposition, accumulation of pesticide residues and eutrophication have harmed them. Research is needed to elucidate the factors which limit the growth of snails in primitive habitats, uninfluenced by man, as well as in those subject to harmful anthropogenic factors. The understanding thus gained could be applied to develop cost-effective primary health care strategies to reduce or prevent transmission of schistosomiasis and other water related diseases.

  17. Snail up-regulates pro-inflammatory mediators and inhibits differentiation in oral keratinocytes

    PubMed Central

    Lyons, J. Guy; Patel, Vyomesh; Roue, Naomi C.; Fok, Sandra Y.; Soon, Lilian L.; Halliday, Gary M.; Gutkind, J. Silvio

    2008-01-01

    The transcriptional repressor, Snail2, is over-expressed in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCCs) relative to non-malignant head and neck mucosal epithelium, and in locally recurrent relative to non-recurrent HNSCCs. We investigated the mechanisms by which Snails might contribute to the pathogenesis of HNSCCs using cell biological and molecular analyses. Oral keratinocytes that expressed Snails acquired an enhanced ability to attract monocytes and to invade a dense interstitial collagen matrix. They were also found to up-regulate production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2), which have previously been shown to correlate with malignancy. Induction of nuclear factor-kappa B transcriptional activity by Snails was weak and not sufficient to account for the elevated levels of COX2, interleukin-6, interleukin-8 or CXCL1. In addition, expression of Snails in oral keratinocytes impaired desquamation in vitro and strongly repressed expression of both ELF3 and matriptase-1, which play important roles in the terminal differentiation of keratinocytes. Re-expression of matriptase-1 in Snail-expressing cells partially rescued desquamation. This implicates Snails as contributing to malignancy both at the early stages, by impeding terminal differentiation, and at later stages, when invasion and inflammation are important. PMID:18559496

  18. Bacterial induction of Snail1 contributes to blood-brain barrier disruption

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Brandon J.; Hancock, Bryan M.; Bermudez, Andres; Cid, Natasha Del; Reyes, Efren; van Sorge, Nina M.; Lauth, Xavier; Smurthwaite, Cameron A.; Hilton, Brett J.; Stotland, Aleksandr; Banerjee, Anirban; Buchanan, John; Wolkowicz, Roland; Traver, David; Doran, Kelly S.

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial meningitis is a serious infection of the CNS that results when blood-borne bacteria are able to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is the leading cause of neonatal meningitis; however, the molecular mechanisms that regulate bacterial BBB disruption and penetration are not well understood. Here, we found that infection of human brain microvascular endothelial cells (hBMECs) with GBS and other meningeal pathogens results in the induction of host transcriptional repressor Snail1, which impedes expression of tight junction genes. Moreover, GBS infection also induced Snail1 expression in murine and zebrafish models. Tight junction components ZO-1, claudin 5, and occludin were decreased at both the transcript and protein levels in hBMECs following GBS infection, and this repression was dependent on Snail1 induction. Bacteria-independent Snail1 expression was sufficient to facilitate tight junction disruption, promoting BBB permeability to allow bacterial passage. GBS induction of Snail1 expression was dependent on the ERK1/2/MAPK signaling cascade and bacterial cell wall components. Finally, overexpression of a dominant-negative Snail1 homolog in zebrafish elevated transcription of tight junction protein–encoding genes and increased zebrafish survival in response to GBS challenge. Taken together, our data support a Snail1-dependent mechanism of BBB disruption and penetration by meningeal pathogens. PMID:25961453

  19. Temperature dependence of Opisthorchis viverrini infection in first intermediate host snail, Bithynia siamensis goniomphalos.

    PubMed

    Prasopdee, Sattrachai; Kulsantiwong, Jutharat; Piratae, Supawadee; Khampoosa, Panita; Thammasiri, Chalida; Suwannatrai, Apiporn; Laha, Thewarach; Grams, Rudi; Loukas, Alex; Tesana, Smarn

    2015-01-01

    Determining of the success of a parasite's infectiveness in its snail host clearly depends on environmental conditions. Temperature, one of the most influential factors impinging on metabolism of cold-blooded animals, is believed to be an important factor in parasitic infection in snails. In order to elucidate the influence of temperature, sex and size of snails on infectivity of Opisthorchis viverrini to its first intermediate host, Bithynia siamensis goniomphalos, 960 snails were divided into 2 groups by sex. Each group was subdivided by their size into small and medium sub-groups. Each snail was fed with embryonated uterine-eggs of O. viverrini at different temperatures (16-37°C, 3°C intervals). Dissections were carried out 1, 7, 14, 28 and 56 days thereafter and detection of O. viverrini infection was undertaken by PCR using specific primers. Infection was strongly temperature-dependent, as temperature increases of 1°C resulted in increased odds of infection 5.4% (P<0.01). A temperature of 34°C gave the highest rate of infection of 44.14%. We also found that the odds of infection in small sized snails was 39.8% higher relative to medium sized snails (P<0.05). Relative to day 1, the decrease in the odds of infection was detected when the day post infection was longer (P<0.01). Proportion of infection in female was not different to male significantly.

  20. Nrf2 inhibits epithelial-mesenchymal transition by suppressing snail expression during pulmonary fibrosis

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Wencheng; Mo, Xiaoting; Cui, Wenhui; Zhang, Zhihui; Li, Delin; Li, Liucheng; Xu, Liang; Yao, Hongwei; Gao, Jian

    2016-01-01

    Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a phenotype conversion that plays a critical role in the development of pulmonary fibrosis (PF). It is known that snail could regulate the progression of EMT. Nuclear factor erythroid 2 related factor 2 (Nrf2), a key regulator of antioxidant defense system, protects cells against oxidative stress. However, it is not known whether Nrf2 regulates snail thereby modulating the development of PF. Here, bleomycin (BLM) was intratracheally injected into both Nrf2-knockout (Nrf2−/−) and wild-type mice to compare the development of PF. Rat type II alveolar epithelial cells (RLE-6TN) were treated with a specific Nrf2 activator sulforaphane, or transfected with Nrf2 and snail siRNAs to determine their effects on transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1)-induced EMT. We found that BLM-induced EMT and lung fibrosis were more severe in Nrf2−/− mice compared to wild-type mice. In vitro, sulforaphane treatment attenuated TGF-β1-induced EMT, accompanied by the down-regulation of snail. Inversely, silencing Nrf2 by siRNA enhanced TGF-β1-induced EMT along with increased expression of snail. Interestingly, when snail was silenced by siRNA, sulforaphane treatment was unable to reduce the progression of EMT in RLE-6TN cells. These findings suggest that Nrf2 attenuates EMT and fibrosis process by regulating the expression of snail in PF. PMID:27982105

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