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Zoological Science

Daisuke Ogawa, Maki Mochitate, Maho Furukawa, Itaru Hasunuma, Tetsuya Kobayashi, Sakae Kikuyama, Shawichi Iwamuro
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) were previously isolated from the skin of the Ryukyu brown frog Rana okinavana. However, this species has recently been reclassified as two species, i.e., Rana kobai and Rana ulma. As a result, it was determined that AMPs isolated from R. okinavana were in fact products of R. kobai, but not of R. ulma. In the present study, we collected skin samples from the species R. ulma and cloned twelve cDNAs encoding AMP precursors for the acyclic brevinin-1ULa--1ULf, the temporin-ULa-ULc, ranatuerin-2ULa, japonicin-1ULa, and a novel peptide using reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction techniques...
December 2017: Zoological Science
Shahnaz Bibi, Muhammad Sajid Nadeem, Andrew Stephen Wiewel, Mirza Azhar Beg, Khalid Hameed, Musarrat Jabeen, Ghazala Kaukab Raja
Regions of Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and northwestern India have been proposed as the place of origin of Mus musculus castaneus. But despite the fact that Pakistan encompasses an important part of its range, M. m. castaneus populations in Pakistan have not been the subject of intensive genetic and biogeographic studies, except for a very small number of samples included in past studies. We studied genetic variation in M. m. castaneus (CAS) from northern Punjab Province, Pakistan, by using cytochrome b (Cytb) analysis in a sample of 98 individuals...
December 2017: Zoological Science
Jun-Ichi Okano, Ichiro Tayasu, Shin-Ichi Nakano, Noboru Okuda
The mechanisms for the coexistence of multiple species occupying the same ecological niche are often puzzling. Predator effects on competitively superior species is one possible mechanism. In this study, we tested whether the presence of size-selective predators (fishes) acts as a mechanism for the coexistence of two species of case-bearing caddisfly larvae, Perissoneura paradoxa and Psilotreta kisoensis (Odontoceridae, Trichoptera). The larvae of these two species have similar ecological and life history traits except their body size, and they have been found to coexist only in habitats shared with predatory fishes...
December 2017: Zoological Science
Akiho Ida, Kenji Karino
In recent decades, variation in female preferences within a species has attracted considerable attention. However, how female individuals in most species change their mate preferences remain unclear. In this study, we examined the change in mate preferences in female individuals of the guppy, Poecilia reticulata. This was done by exposing naïve, virgin females to two male groups differing in the abundance of ornamented males over a period of seven days. The male-exposure treatment groups consisted of (1) primarily males with large orange spots and (2) primarily males with small orange spots...
December 2017: Zoological Science
Yuko Fujisaki, Ryota Matsuo
The terrestrial slug Limax has been used as a model animal for studying the neural mechanisms underlying associative olfactory learning. The slug also innately exhibits negative phototactic behavior using its eyes. In the present study, we developed an experimental paradigm for quantification of slug's negative phototaxis behavior, and investigated whether the nature of the negative phototaxis can be modified by learning experience. The experimental set-up consists of light and dark compartments, between which the slug can move freely...
December 2017: Zoological Science
Shoichi Sasamori, Andrew S Wiewel, Vicki A Thomson, Motoko Kobayashi, Katsushi Nakata, Hitoshi Suzuki
The occurrence of black fur, or melanism, in many mammalian species is known to be linked to DNA sequence variation in the agouti signaling protein (Asip) gene, which is a major determinant of eumelanin and pheomelanin pigments in coat color. We investigated 38 agouti (i.e., banded wildtype) and four melanistic Rattus rattus species complex (RrC) lineage II specimens from Okinawa Island, Ryukyu Islands, Japan, for genetic variation in three exons and associated flanking regions in the Asip gene. On Okinawa, a predicted loss-of-function mutation caused by a cysteine to serine amino acid change at p...
December 2017: Zoological Science
Masafumi Matsui, Kanto Nishikawa, Atsushi Tominaga
Examination of the holotype of Hynobius stejnegeri Dunn, 1923 revealed that the species is identical with H. yatsui Oyama, 1947 , recently resurrected from H. naevius (Temminck and Schlegel, 1838). The name H. yatsui is therefore relegated to a subjective junior synonym of H. stejnegeri. The latter name, however, has been widely applied to an amber-colored or tortoise-shell salamander from Kyushu, southwestern Japan, which now requires a new name. We, thus, describe the ambercolored salamander as a new species Hynobius ikioi...
December 2017: Zoological Science
Azusa Nakao, Takumi Inaba, Akiko Murakami-Sekimata, Hiroyuki Nogawa
Embryonic mouse submandibular epithelia initiate branching morphogenesis within two days when embedded in Matrigel and stimulated by members of the epidermal growth factor family. However, it is unknown whether the end buds further branch over longer culture periods, and whether saliva-producing cells differentiate there. In the present study, we cultivated three major (submandibular, sublingual and parotid) salivary epithelia from 13-day embryos for 14 days in mesenchyme-free cultures. All epithelia continued to grow and branch to form numerous acinus-like structures in medium supplemented with neuregulin 1, fibroblast growth factor 1, and insulintransferrin-sodium selenite...
December 2017: Zoological Science
Keita Omote, Tetsuo I Kohyama, Chizuko Nishida, Keisuke Saito, Satoshi Fujimoto, Ryuichi Masuda
The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) includes many genes that are essential for the adaptive immune system, and variation in the antigen binding site (ABS) is related to resistance against pathogens. In the present study, quantitative real-time PCR indicated a larger number of MHC gene copies in the endangered population of Blakiston's fish owl (Bubo blakistoni) than in five other owl species, and massively parallel pyrosequencing detected more MHC class IIβ per individual alleles in B. blakistoni than in the other species...
December 2017: Zoological Science
Yumi Henmi, Chiho Fujiwara, Sota Kirihara, Yuya Okada, Gyo Itani
The Alpheus brevicristatus De Haan, 1844 is one of the commonest shrimp species inhabiting the tidal flats in Japan. This species is sometimes accompanied by the facultative symbiotic goby, Acentrogobius spp. Here, we investigated the burrow morphology of A. brevicristatus in a tidal flat of Uranouchi Inlet, Kochi Prefecture, Japan. We also reviewed existing literature on alpheid burrow morphology using the resin casting technique, to determine how burrows vary in the presence and absence of gobies. Nine burrows were casted in situ using polyester resin...
December 2017: Zoological Science
Miyuki Fukudome, Yoshifumi Yamawaki
It is important to investigate visual orienting in reptiles to better understand the basic organization of the oculomotor system in vertebrates. However, quantitative analyses of visual orienting behavior in reptiles have rarely been conducted, except in chameleons. In the present study, we videorecorded the head and body movements of the lizard Takydromus tachydromoides during visual tracking of moving prey and analyzed them frame-by-frame. Before approaching prey, visual tracking mainly consisted of brief intermittent turns of the head (saccade)...
December 2017: Zoological Science
Genta Okude, Ryo Futahashi, Masahiko Tanahashi, Takema Fukatsu
In an attempt to establish an experimental dragonfly model, we developed a laboratory rearing system for the blue-tailed damselfly, Ischnura senegalensis. Adoption of multi-well plastic plates as rearing containers enabled mass-rearing of isolated larvae without cannibalism and convenient microscopic monitoring of individual larvae. Feeding Artemia brine shrimps to younger larvae and Tubifex worms for older larvae resulted in low mortality, synchronized ecdysis, and normal development of the larvae. We continuously monitored the development of 118 larvae every day, of which 49 individuals (41...
October 2017: Zoological Science
Qinghao Zhang, Marty K S Wong, Yiqi Li, Yuanyou Li, Yoshio Takei
We investigated the effect of external and internal osmotic stress on the profile of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA) in euryhaline eels Anguilla japonica. Freshwater (FW) fish were transferred to seawater (SW) for external osmotic stress or subjected to internal stress through injection with hypertonic saline. FW eels injected with isotonic saline served as controls. Plasma osmolality, Na(+) concentration, and gill Na(+)/K(+) -ATPase activity increased, but hematocrit decreased compared with controls in eels exposed to external or internal osmotic stress...
October 2017: Zoological Science
Qiran Chen, Masako Takagi, Makoto Mogi, Miki Kikuchi, Yudai Saito, Shunya Nakamura, Hayato Yokoi, Tadahisa Seikai, Susumu Uji, Tohru Suzuki
Pleuronectiform fish develop marked external asymmetry in eye location and skin color at metamorphosis. The bamboo sole, Heteromycteris japonica, also exhibits loss of the pectoral fins at metamorphosis. Because of its small body size, short generation time, and long spawning season, we focused on the bamboo sole as an experimental model to investigate metamorphic asymmetry and pectoral fin loss during development. In the present study, we utilized a small-scale culture system to evaluate bamboo sole larvae and larval development, and a microinjection system for fertilized eggs...
October 2017: Zoological Science
Mehwish Faheem, Saba Khaliq, Khalid Pervaz Lone
Environmental estrogens such as bisphenol-A (BPA) cause reproductive disorders in many vertebrate species, especially fish. BPA is used extensively in the manufacture of plastic and plastic products, epoxy resins, and dental sealants. The presence of BPA in sewage and surface water raises a potential threat to aquatic populations. In the present study, we investigated the effects of BPA on ovarian histology and transcription of key genes involved in reproduction. Adult female Catla catla were exposed to graded concentrations of BPA (10, 100, 1000 µg/l) for 14 days...
October 2017: Zoological Science
Justin L Rheubert, Hanna E Cook, Dustin S Siegel, Stanley E Trauth
Previous studies have revealed variations in the urogenital system morphology of amphibians. Recently, the urogenital system of salamanders was reviewed and terminology was synonymized across taxa. Discrepancies exist in the terminology describing the urogenital system of anurans, which prompted our group to develop a complete, detailed description of the urogenital system in an anuran species and provide nomenclature that is synonymous with those of other amphibian taxa. In Rana catesbeiana, sperm mature within spermatocysts of the seminiferous tubule epithelia and are transported to a series of intratesticular ducts that exit the testes and merge to form vasa efferentia...
October 2017: Zoological Science
Cuicui Liang, Yuhao Wang, Yujie Wang, Xuemei Chen, Huarong Guo
Telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT), a catalytic subunit of telomerase, plays a key role in the activity and biological functions of telomerase. In the present study we isolated and characterized the full-length cDNA and DNA sequences of the TERT gene (MeTERT) from Metapenaeus ensis. MeTERT cDNA was 4239 bp in length, which consisted of a 369 bp 5'UTR, a 3231 bp open reading frame encoding 1076 amino acids, and a 639 bp 3'UTR. The genomic DNA of MeTERT had only two introns, similar to beetle (two introns) and silkworm (intronless)...
October 2017: Zoological Science
Maki Ikebuchi, Kazuo Okanoya, Toshikazu Hasegawa, Hans-Joachim Bischof
The mode of hatching in birds has important impacts on both parents and chicks, including the costs and risks of breeding for parents, and sibling competition in a clutch. Birds with multiple eggs in a single clutch often begin incubating when most eggs are laid, thereby reducing time of incubation, nursing burden, and sibling competition. In some songbirds and some other species, however, incubation starts immediately after the first egg is laid, and the chicks thus hatch asynchronously. This may result in differences in parental care and in sibling competition based on body size differences among older and younger chicks, which in turn might produce asynchronous development among siblings favoring the first hatchling, and further affect the development and fitness of the chicks after fledging...
October 2017: Zoological Science
Yuya Nakai, Keisuke Nakajima, Yoshio Yaoita
Tail regression in amphibian tadpoles during metamorphosis is one of the most dynamic morphological changes in animal development and is induced by thyroid hormone (TH). It has been proposed that tail resorption is driven by immunological rejection in Xenopus laevis, based on experimental evidence showing that larval skin grafts become atrophic on syngenic recipient adult frogs. This led to the hypothesis that tail regression is induced by an immunological rejection against larval skin-specific antigens called Ouro proteins...
October 2017: Zoological Science
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October 2017: Zoological Science
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