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Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ

Agnieszka Babczyńska, Sławomir Sułowicz, Ewa Talik, Mateusz Hermyt, Agata Bednarek, Marta Sawadro, Agnieszka Molenda
Coexistence of organisms and pathogens has resulted in the evolution of efficient antimicrobial defense, especially at the embryonic stage. This investigation aimed to substantiate the hypothesis that the layers of silk in a spider cocoon play a role in the immunity of the embryos against microorganisms present in the external environment. A two-step interdisciplinary attempt has been made. First, the eggs and empty cocoons of the spider Parasteatoda tepidariorum were incubated on lysogeny broth agar media for 3 d...
January 2019: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Julieta Merlo, Ana Paula Cutrera, Roxana Rita Zenuto
The coexistence of two or more infectious agents in the same host is common in nature. Given this, the study of trade-offs within the immune system itself is key to understanding how immune defenses act in wild species in their natural environment. Here we assessed the possible trade-off between an inflammatory response (induced by phytohemagglutinin [PHA]; involving innate and adaptive responses in the study species) and an antibody response (induced by sheep red blood cells [SRBC]; adaptive response) in a slow-living subterranean rodent, the Talas tuco-tuco (Ctenomys talarum Thomas, 1898)...
January 2019: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Emily Cornelius Ruhs, François Vézina, William H Karasov
Food availability might sometimes be unpredictable for wild birds. To alleviate this possible food limitation, millions of households in North America provide food supplementation to bird populations. However, the ecoimmunological impacts of this supplementation on free-living birds are largely unclear. Therefore, we compared immune function and body composition of three groups of free-living black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) that were provided either constant food supplementation ("supplemented"), interrupted food supplementation ("interrupted"), or no food supplementation ("unsupplemented")...
January 2019: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Laken N Cooper, Ila Mishra, Noah T Ashley
Lack of sleep incurs physiological costs that include increased inflammation and alterations in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Specifically, sleep restriction or deprivation leads to increased pro-inflammatory cytokine expression and elevated glucocorticoids in rodent models, but whether birds exact similar costs is unknown. In this study, we examined whether zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), an avian model species, exhibits physiological costs of sleep loss by using a novel automated sleep fragmentation/deprivation method, wherein a horizontal wire sweeps across a test cage to disrupt sleep every 120 s...
January 2019: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Susan Y S Wang, Glenn J Tattersall, Janet Koprivnikar
Animals infected by parasites or pathogens can exhibit altered behaviors that may reduce the costs of infection to the host or represent manipulations that benefit the parasite. Given that temperature affects many critical physiological processes, changes in thermoregulatory behaviors are an important consideration for infected hosts, especially ectotherms. Here we examined the temperature choices of freshwater snails (Helisoma trivolvis) that were or were not infected by a trematode (flatworm) parasite (Echinostoma trivolvis)...
January 2019: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
J Keaton Wilson, L Ruiz, G Davidowitz
Nutrition structures ecology and evolution across all scales of biological organization. It is well known that nutrition can have direct effects on performance and fitness, but indirect effects on physiological systems that mediate biotic interactions have been studied less frequently. Here, we focus on the interaction between nutrition, performance, and the immune system in a specialist herbivorous insect, Manduca sexta. We used a conceptual framework in nutritional ecology (the geometric framework) to examine how changes in diet quality affect aspects of the immune system used for defense against parasitoids...
January 2019: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Sarah C Burgan, Stephanie S Gervasi, Leah R Johnson, Lynn B Martin
Tolerance, or the maintenance of host health or fitness at a given parasite burden, has often been studied in evolutionary and medical contexts, particularly with respect to effects on the evolution of parasite virulence and individual patient outcomes. These bodies of work have provided insight about tolerance for evolutionary phenomena (e.g., virulence) and individual health (e.g., recovering from an infection). However, due to the specific motivations of that work, few studies have considered the ecological ramifications of variation in tolerance, namely, how variation in forms of tolerance could mediate parasite movement through populations and even community-level disease dynamics...
January 2019: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Daniel J Becker, Gábor Á Czirják, Agnieszka Rynda-Apple, Raina K Plowright
Variation in immune defense influences infectious disease dynamics within and among species. Understanding how variation in immunity drives pathogen transmission among species is especially important for animals that are reservoir hosts for zoonotic pathogens. Bats, in particular, have a propensity to host serious viral zoonoses without developing clinical disease themselves. The immunological adaptations that allow bats to host viruses without disease may be related to their adaptations for flight (e.g., in metabolism and mediation of oxidative stress)...
January 2019: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
María Cruz Sueiro, Cynthia A Awruch, Alejo J Irigoyen, Federico Argemi, María Gabriela Palacios
Seasonal fluctuation in environmental parameters can influence immune responses of vertebrates and consequently influence their health and disease resistance. Although seasonality of immune function is well documented in a broad range of vertebrate taxa, this information remains virtually unexplored in cartilaginous fish. Here we examine seasonal variation in immune and general-health parameters of free-living adult broadnose sevengill sharks, Notorynchus cepedianus, along an annual cycle. We sampled sharks during autumn/winter (i...
January 2019: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
John P Whiteman, Henry J Harlow, George M Durner, Eric V Regehr, Steven C Amstrup, Merav Ben-David
Climate change is altering the distribution of some wildlife species while warming temperatures are facilitating the northward expansion of pathogens, potentially increasing disease risk. Melting of Arctic sea ice is increasingly causing polar bears (Ursus maritimus) of the southern Beaufort Sea (SBS) to spend summer on land, where they may encounter novel pathogens. Here, we tested whether SBS polar bears on shore during summer exhibited greater immune system activity than bears remaining on the sea ice. In addition, we tested whether the type of immune response correlated with body condition, because adaptive responses (slowly developing defenses against specific pathogens) often require less energy than innate responses (rapid defenses not based on pathogen identity)...
January 2019: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Lorin A Neuman-Lee, Arnaud J Van Wettere, Susannah S French
The field of ecoimmunology has made it clear that individual and ecological contexts are critical for interpreting an animal's immune response. In an effort to better understand the relevance of commonly used immunological assays, we tested how different metrics of immunity and physiological function were interrelated in naturally parasitized individuals of a well-studied reptile, the common gartersnake (Thamnophis sirtalis). Overall, we found that bactericidal ability, an integrative measure of innate immunity, was often correlated with more specific immunological and physiological tests (lysis and oxidative stress) but was not related to tissue-level inflammation that was determined by histopathology...
January 2019: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Sean C Lema, Paul G Carvalho, Jennifer N Egelston, John T Kelly, Stephen D McCormick
Pupfishes (genus Cyprinodon) evolved some of the broadest salinity tolerances of teleost fishes, with some taxa surviving in conditions from freshwater to nearly 160 ppt. In this study, we examined transcriptional dynamics of ion transporters and aquaporins in the gill of the desert Amargosa pupfish (Cyprinodon nevadensis amargosae) during rapid salinity change. Pupfish acclimated to 7.5 ppt were exposed to freshwater (0.3 ppt), seawater (35 ppt), or hypersaline (55 ppt) conditions over 4 h and sampled at these salinities over 14 d...
November 2018: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Joshua M Hall, Andrew Buckelew, Matthew Lovern, Stephen M Secor, Daniel A Warner
The evolution of reproductive strategies depends on local environmental conditions. When environments are seasonal, selection favors individuals that align changes in key reproductive traits with seasonal shifts in habitat quality. Offspring habitat quality can decline through the season, and increased maternal provisioning to late-produced offspring may compensate. This shift, however, may depend on environmental factors that influence reproduction and are, themselves, subject to temporal changes (e.g., food abundance)...
November 2018: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Reetta Väätäinen, Hannu Huuskonen, Pekka Hyvärinen, Jukka Kekäläinen, Raine Kortet, Marina Torrellas Arnedo, Anssi Vainikka
The pace-of-life syndrome (POLS) concept predicts that individuals with high baseline metabolic rates demonstrate high boldness, aggressiveness, and activity, especially in food acquisition, with associated relatively greater energy requirements. In fishes, these behaviors may increase individual vulnerability to angling. To test the predictions of the POLS concept, we quantified individual standard metabolic rate (SMR) and boldness in both wild-caught and hatchery-reared Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis)...
November 2018: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Jessica L Stubbs, Nicola J Mitchell
The thermal environment of sea turtle embryos has marked effects on many aspects of their development and energetics and has consequences for posthatching stages. Here we incubated Chelonia mydas embryos from Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia at a range of temperatures (27°, 29°, 30°, 31°, 32°, and 30° ± 5°C) to determine development rates and the pivotal temperature for sex determination. We also measured embryonic growth, oxygen consumption, and carbon dioxide production throughout development at 27° and 31°C...
November 2018: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Tillmann J Benfey, Robert H Devlin
Polyploidy is an important driver of evolutionary change (generally via tetraploidy) and also serves a practical role in aquaculture and fisheries management (via triploidy). Fundamental changes in cell size and number that accompany polyploidy are predicted to affect cellular and whole-animal physiology due to constraints placed on surface-mediated processes at the cellular level, potentially altering environmental tolerances and optima. The aim of this study was to determine whether the documented reduction in thermal tolerance of aquatic polyploids is a result of their being less hypoxia tolerant...
November 2018: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Emily K Elderbrock, Thomas W Small, Stephan J Schoech
We studied Florida scrub jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) nestlings to examine the relationship between parental feeding rates and levels of corticosterone (CORT), a metabolic and stress-related steroid hormone hypothesized to play a role in mediating begging behavior. It has been documented that nutritional deficiency results in increased glucocorticoid levels in nestling birds. Further, previous studies have found that CORT levels of Florida scrub jay nestlings are negatively correlated with parental nest attendance and provisioning rates; however, the behavioral observations were made several days before the collection of samples to assess CORT levels...
November 2018: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Gregory J Haenel, Victoria Del Gaizo Moore
Mitochondria play a key role in the ecology and evolution of species through their influence on aerobic metabolism. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and nuclear genomes must interact for optimal functioning of oxidative phosphorylation to produce ATP, and breakdown of coadaptation components from each may have important evolutionary consequences for hybridization. Introgression of mitochondria in natural populations through hybridization with unidirectional backcrossing allows the testing of coadaptation of mitochondria to different nuclear backgrounds...
September 2018: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Jan S Boratyński, Paulina A Szafrańska
The evolution of endothermic thermoregulation is rooted in the processes involving high metabolism, which allows the maintenance of high and stable body temperatures (Tb ). In turn, selection for high endothermic metabolism correlates with increased size of metabolically active organs and thus with high basal metabolic rate (BMR). Endothermic animals are characterized by an MR several times that of similar-sized ectotherms. However, many small mammals are temporally heterothermic and are able to temporally decrease Tb and MR by entering daily torpor or hibernation...
September 2018: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Bernard B Rees, Luis A Matute
The capacity of fishes to tolerate low oxygen (hypoxia) through behavioral and physiological adjustments varies among species in a fashion that correlates with oxygen availability in their natural habitats. Less is known about variation in hypoxia tolerance within a species, but it is expressly this interindividual variation that will determine which individuals will survive during severe hypoxia. Here, we measured aquatic surface respiration (ASR) and loss of equilibrium (LOE), two common indexes of hypoxia tolerance of fishes, in gulf killifish, Fundulus grandis, subjected to multiple trials of a highly reproducible hypoxia protocol over a period of 6-8 wk...
September 2018: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
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