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Zoological Letters

Yusuke Inoue, Masahiko Kumagai, Xianbo Zhang, Tomonori Saga, Deshou Wang, Akihiko Koga, Hiroyuki Takeda
Background: Endogenous viral elements play important roles in eukaryotic evolution by giving rise to genetic novelties. Herpesviruses are a large family of DNA viruses, most of which do not have the ability to endogenize into host genomes. Recently, we identified a novel type of endogenous herpesvirus, which we named " Teratorn ", from the medaka ( Oryzias latipes ) genome, in which the herpesvirus is fused with a piggyBac -like DNA transposon, forming a novel mobile element...
2018: Zoological Letters
Noritaka Adachi, Juan Pascual-Anaya, Tamami Hirai, Shinnosuke Higuchi, Shigeru Kuratani
Background: The extant vertebrates include cyclostomes (lamprey and hagfish) and crown gnathostomes (jawed vertebrates), but there are various anatomical disparities between these two groups. Conspicuous in the gnathostomes is the neck, which occupies the interfacial domain between the head and trunk, including the occipital part of the cranium, the shoulder girdle, and the cucullaris and hypobranchial muscles (HBMs). Of these, HBMs originate from occipital somites to form the ventral pharyngeal and neck musculature in gnathostomes...
2018: Zoological Letters
Hirokazu Toju, Yuki G Baba
Background: Understanding feedback between above- and below-ground processes of biological communities is a key to the effective management of natural and agricultural ecosystems. However, as above- and below-ground food webs are often studied separately, our knowledge of material flow and community dynamics in terrestrial ecosystems remains limited. Results: We developed a high-throughput sequencing method for examining how spiders link above- and below-ground food webs as generalist predators...
2018: Zoological Letters
Ikuko Watakabe, Hisashi Hashimoto, Yukiko Kimura, Saori Yokoi, Kiyoshi Naruse, Shin-Ichi Higashijima
Background: Medaka ( Oryzias latipes ) is a popular animal model used in vertebrate genetic analysis. Recently, an efficient (~ 30%) knock-in system via non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) was established in zebrafish using the CRISPR/Cas9 system. If the same technique were applicable in medaka, it would greatly expand the usefulness of this model organism. The question of the applicability of CRISPR/Cas9 in medaka, however, has yet to be addressed. Results: We report the highly efficient generation of knock-in transgenic medaka via non-homologous end joining (NHEJ)...
2018: Zoological Letters
Mao Kondo, Tomoe Sekine, Taku Miyakoshi, Keiichi Kitajima, Shiro Egawa, Ryohei Seki, Gembu Abe, Koji Tamura
Background: Flight feathers, a type of feather that is unique to extant/extinct birds and some non-avian dinosaurs, are the most evolutionally advanced type of feather. In general, feather types are formed in the second or later generation of feathers at the first and following molting, and the first molting begins at around two weeks post hatching in chicken. However, it has been stated in some previous reports that the first molting from the natal down feathers to the flight feathers is much earlier than that for other feather types, suggesting that flight feather formation starts as an embryonic event...
2018: Zoological Letters
Shigeru Kuratani, Per E Ahlberg
The subdivision of the gnathostome neurocranium into an anterior neural crest-derived moiety and a posterior mesodermal moiety has attracted the interest of researchers for nearly two centuries. We present a synthetic scenario for the evolution of this structure, uniting developmental data from living cyclostomes and gnathostomes with morphological data from fossil stem gnathostomes in a common phylogenetic framework. Ancestrally, vertebrates had an anteroposteriorly short forebrain, and the neurocranium was essentially mesodermal; skeletal structures derived from premandibular ectomesenchyme were mostly anterior to the brain and formed part of the visceral arch skeleton...
2018: Zoological Letters
Marty Kwok Shing Wong, Takehiro Tsukada, Nobuhiro Ogawa, Supriya Pipil, Haruka Ozaki, Yutaka Suzuki, Wataru Iwasaki, Yoshio Takei
Background: Teleosts transiting from freshwater (FW) to seawater (SW) environments face an immediate osmotic stress from ion influxes and water loss, but some euryhaline species such as eels can maintain a stable plasma osmolality during early SW exposure. The time course changes in the gene expression, protein abundance, and localization of key ion transporters suggested that the reversal of the ion transport systems was gradual, and we investigate how eels utilize a Na-binding strategy to slow down the ion invasion and complement the transporter-mediated osmoregulation...
2017: Zoological Letters
Daisuke Hirata, Tsutomu Mano, Alexei V Abramov, Gennady F Baryshnikov, Pavel A Kosintsev, Koichi Murata, Ryuichi Masuda
Background: Sex-biased dispersal is widespread among mammals, including the brown bear ( Ursus arctos ). Previous phylogeographic studies of the brown bear based on maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA have shown intraspecific genetic structuring around the northern hemisphere. The brown bears on Hokkaido Island, northern Japan, comprise three distinct maternal lineages that presumably immigrated to the island from the continent in three different periods. Here, we investigate the paternal genetic structure across northeastern Asia and assess the connectivity among and within intraspecific populations in terms of male-mediated gene flow...
2017: Zoological Letters
Keiichi Kakui, Chizue Hiruta
Background: Animals in diverse aquatic groups construct tubes using mucus and filaments, and the acquisition of this capability has likely played an important role in the evolution and diversification of small benthic animals. Tanaidacea is a crustacean order that includes tube-constructing species, most of which belong to Tanaidoidea and Paratanaoidea, with a few in Kalliapseudidae (Apseudoidea). Two previously reported systems used in tube construction are the thoracic-gland system, with secretory glands in thoracic segments (pereonites), and the pereopodal-gland system, with glands in pereopods...
2017: Zoological Letters
Mari Kawaguchi, Ryohei Okubo, Akari Harada, Kazuki Miyasaka, Kensuke Takada, Junya Hiroi, Shigeki Yasumasu
BACKGROUND: The reproductive strategies of vertebrates are diverse. Seahorses (Pisces: Syngnathidae) possess the unique characteristic of male pregnancy; i.e., males, not females, incubate embryos in a specialized structure called a 'brood pouch'. The brood pouch is formed along the ventral midline of the tail. The lumen of the brood pouch is surrounded by loose connective tissue, called pseudoplacenta, and dermis. RESULTS: We visualized and evaluated the morphology of brood pouch formation in Hippocampus abdominalis to gain generalizable insights into this process in seahorses...
2017: Zoological Letters
Yoji Nakamura, Motoshige Yasuike, Miyuki Mekuchi, Yuki Iwasaki, Nobuhiko Ojima, Atushi Fujiwara, Seinen Chow, Kenji Saitoh
BACKGROUND: Gene duplication is considered important to increasing the genetic diversity in animals. In fish, visual pigment genes are often independently duplicated, and the evolutionary significance of such duplications has long been of interest. Eels have two rhodopsin genes (rho), one of which (freshwater type, fw-rho) functions in freshwater and the other (deep-sea type, ds-rho) in marine environments. Hence, switching of rho expression in retinal cells is tightly linked with eels' unique life cycle, in which they migrate from rivers or lakes to the sea...
2017: Zoological Letters
Yuka Sekigami, Takuya Kobayashi, Ai Omi, Koki Nishitsuji, Tetsuro Ikuta, Asao Fujiyama, Noriyuki Satoh, Hidetoshi Saiga
BACKGROUND: Hox gene clusters with at least 13 paralog group (PG) members are common in vertebrate genomes and in that of amphioxus. Ascidians, which belong to the subphylum Tunicata (Urochordata), are phylogenetically positioned between vertebrates and amphioxus, and traditionally divided into two groups: the Pleurogona and the Enterogona. An enterogonan ascidian, Ciona intestinalis (Ci), possesses nine Hox genes localized on two chromosomes; thus, the Hox gene cluster is disintegrated...
2017: Zoological Letters
Dagmar Voigt, Takuma Takanashi, Kazuko Tsuchihara, Kenichi Yazaki, Katsushi Kuroda, Remi Tsubaki, Naoe Hosoda
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2017: Zoological Letters
Hiroyuki Iwamoto
BACKGROUND: The structural and biochemical features of the tymbal (sound-producing) muscle of cicadas were studied by X-ray diffraction and immunochemistry, and compared with those of flight muscles from the same species. RESULTS: The X-ray diffraction pattern of the tymbal muscle was very similar to that of the dorsal longitudinal flight muscle: In both muscles, the 2,0 equatorial reflection is much more intense than the 1,1, indicating that both muscles have a flight muscle-type myofilament lattice...
2017: Zoological Letters
Aya Satoh, Finlay J Stewart, Hisaharu Koshitaka, Hiroshi D Akashi, Primož Pirih, Yasushi Sato, Kentaro Arikawa
BACKGROUND: We have found that the spectral sensitivity of the compound eye in the summer fruit tortrix moth (Adoxophyes orana) differs in laboratory strains originating from different regions of Japan. We have investigated the mechanisms underlying this anomalous spectral sensitivity. METHODS: We applied electrophysiology, light and electron microscopy, opsin gene cloning, mathematical modeling, and behavioral analysis. RESULTS: The ERG-determined spectral sensitivity of dark-adapted individuals of all strains peaks around 520 nm...
2017: Zoological Letters
Genta Okude, Ryuichi Koga, Toshinari Hayashi, Yudai Nishide, Xian-Ying Meng, Naruo Nikoh, Akihiro Miyanoshita, Takema Fukatsu
BACKGROUND: The lesser grain borer Rhyzopertha dominica (Coleoptera: Bostrichidae) is a stored-product pest beetle. Early histological studies dating back to 1930s have reported that R. dominica and other bostrichid species possess a pair of oval symbiotic organs, called the bacteriomes, in which the cytoplasm is densely populated by pleomorphic symbiotic bacteria of peculiar rosette-like shape. However, the microbiological nature of the symbiont has remained elusive. RESULTS: Here we investigated the bacterial symbiont of R...
2017: Zoological Letters
Michael Gerth, Ronny Wolf, Christoph Bleidorn, Julia Richter, Rebekka Sontowski, Jasmin Unrein, Martin Schlegel, Axel Gruppe
BACKGROUND: Bacterial symbionts transmitted from mothers to offspring are found in the majority of arthropods. Numerous studies have illustrated their wide impact on host biology, such as reproduction, behavior, and physiology One of the most common inherited symbionts is Rickettsia spp. (Alphaproteobacteria, Rickettsiales), which are found in about one-quarter of terrestrial arthropods, as well as in other invertebrates. In insect populations, Rickettsia spp. have been reported to cause reproductive modifications and fecundity-enhancing effects...
2017: Zoological Letters
Kotowa Sakai, Haruka Fukushima, Yuya Yamamoto, Toshitaka Ikeuchi
BACKGROUND: The three known subtypes of the retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptor (ROR) have been implicated in the control of immunity, brain function, and circadian rhythm in mammals. Here, we demonstrate by phylogenetic analysis that there were originally four subtypes of RORs in vertebrates. One of the novel ror paralogs, rord1 (rorca in the Ensembl database), is conserved among teleosts, but absent in mammals. Using medaka (Oryzias latipes) as a model teleost, we evaluated the expression pattern of this gene, its transactivational properties for endogenic chemicals, and its ability to activate the promoters of putative target genes...
2017: Zoological Letters
Andy Sombke, Torben Stemme
BACKGROUND: Given the numerous hypotheses concerning arthropod phylogeny, independent data are needed to supplement knowledge based on traditional external morphology and modern molecular sequence information. One promising approach involves comparisons of the structure and development of the nervous system. Along these lines, the morphology of serotonin-immunoreactive neurons in the ventral nerve cord has been investigated in numerous tetraconate taxa (Crustacea and Hexapoda). It has been shown that these neurons can be identified individually due to their comparably low number, characteristic soma position, and neurite morphology, thus making it possible to establish homologies at the single cell level...
2017: Zoological Letters
Christine Böhmer
BACKGROUND: The importance of the cervical vertebrae as part of the skull-neck system in facilitating the success and diversity of tetrapods is clear. The reconstruction of its evolution, however, is problematic because of the variation in the number of vertebrae, making it difficult to identify homologous elements. Quantification of the morphological differentiation in the neck of diverse archosaurs established homologous units of vertebrae (i.e. modules) resulting from Hox gene expression patterns within the cervical vertebral column...
2017: Zoological Letters
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