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E J Sarmiento-Ponce, M P F Sutcliffe, B Hedwig
Field crickets are extensively used as a model organism to study female phonotactic walking behaviour, i.e. their attraction to the male calling song. Laboratory-based phonotaxis experiments generally rely on arena or trackball-based settings; however, no attention has been paid to the effect of substrate texture on the response. Here, we tested phonotaxis in female Gryllus bimaculatus , walking on trackballs machined from methyl-methacrylate foam with different cell sizes. Surface height variations of the trackballs, due to the cellular composition of the material, were measured with profilometry and characterized as smooth, medium or rough, with roughness amplitudes of 7...
March 2018: Royal Society Open Science
Jaruwan Poljaroen, Ruchanok Tinikul, Panat Anuracpreeda, Prasert Sobhon, Yotsawan Tinikul
In the present study, the presence and distribution of leptin receptor (LEP-R) in central nervous system, digestive organs, gonads of giant freshwater prawn, Macrobrachium rosenbergii, were investigated with Western blot and immunohistochemistry. By Western blot a LEP-R with a molecular weight (MW) of 100 kDa was detected in the brain, thoracic ganglia, abdominal ganglia, hepatopancreas, all parts of the gastrointestinal tract, ovaries, and testes. In hepatopancreas and foregut, another intense positive band was detected at molecular weight of 30 kDa, which could be an isotype of LEP-R...
April 11, 2018: Acta Histochemica
Maria Angeles Ros Lasierra, Marc Fernández-Guerrero, Lucille Delisle, Nayuta Yakushiji-Kaminatsui, Fabrice Darbellay, Rocío Pérez-Gómez, Denis Duboule
The developing vertebrate limb has long proved as an excellent system for studying the mechanisms involved in pattern formation and morphogenesis and more recently in transcriptional regulation and morphological evolution. To elucidate the stage-specific expression profiles of the components of the developing limb, we have generated the temporal transcriptome of the limb progenitors and of the overlying ectoderm separately. Our study has uncovered a collinear activation of Hoxc genes in the limb ectoderm that we have validated by in situ hybridization...
April 2018: FASEB Journal: Official Publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Diego Castanera, Matteo Belvedere, Daniel Marty, Géraldine Paratte, Marielle Lapaire-Cattin, Christel Lovis, Christian A Meyer
Background: Minute to medium-sized (footprint length (FL) less than 30 cm) tridactyl dinosaur tracks are the most abundant in the Late Jurassic tracksites of Highway A16 (Reuchenette Formation, Kimmeridgian) in the Jura Mountains (NW Switzerland). During excavations, two morphotypes, one gracile and one robust, were identified in the field. Furthermore, two large-sized theropod ichnospecies ( Megalosauripus transjuranicus and Jurabrontes curtedulensis ) and an ornithopod-like morphotype (Morphotype II) have recently been described at these sites...
2018: PeerJ
S Naderi, M Bohlouli, T Yin, S König
Holstein Friesian cow training sets were created according to disease incidences. The different datasets were used to investigate the impact of random forest (RF) and genomic BLUP (GBLUP) methodology on genomic prediction accuracies. In addition, for further verifications of some specific scenarios, single-step genomic BLUP was applied. Disease traits included the overall trait categories of (i) claw disorders, (ii) clinical mastitis and (iii) infertility from 80 741 first lactation Holstein cows kept in 58 large-scale herds...
April 6, 2018: Animal Genetics
Zachary Emberts, Christine W Miller, Daniel Kiehl, Colette M St Mary
Autotomy, self-induced limb loss, is an extreme trait observed throughout the animal kingdom; lizards drop their tails, crickets release their legs, and crabs drop their claws. These repeated evolutionary origins suggest that autotomy is adaptive. Yet, we do not have a firm understanding of the selective pressures that promote and maintain this extreme trait. Although multiple adaptive hypotheses exist, research has generally focused on autotomy's adaptive value as a form of predator escape. However, autotomy could also be selected to reduce the cost of an injured limb, which we investigate here...
July 2017: Behavioral Ecology: Official Journal of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology
Martin Blum, Tim Ott
Symmetry is appealing, be it in architecture, art or facial expression, where symmetry is a key feature to finding someone attractive or not. Yet, asymmetries are widespread in nature, not as an erroneous deviation from the norm but as a way to adapt to the prevailing environmental conditions at a time. Asymmetries in many cases are actively selected for: they might well have increased the evolutionary fitness of a species. Even many single-celled organisms are built asymmetrically, such as the pear-shaped ciliate Paramecium, which may depend on its asymmetry to navigate towards the oxygen-richer surface of turbid waters, at least based on modeling...
April 2, 2018: Current Biology: CB
Benjamin L S Furman, Ben J Evans
There exists extraordinary variation among species in the degree and nature of sex chromosome divergence. However, much of our knowledge about sex chromosomes is based on comparisons between deeply diverged species with different ancestral sex chromosomes, making it difficult to establish how fast and why sex chromosomes acquire variable levels of divergence. To address this problem, we studied sex chromosome evolution in two species of African clawed frog (Xenopus), both of whom acquired novel systems for sex determination from a recent common ancestor, and both of whom have female (ZW/ZZ) heterogamy...
March 1, 2018: Genome Biology and Evolution
Deepak Kumar Bhatt, Abdul Basit, Haeyoung Zhang, Andrea Gaedigk, Seung-Been Lee, Katrina G Claw, Aanchal Mehrotra, Amarjit S Chaudhry, Robin E Pearce, Roger Gaedigk, Ulrich Broeckel, Timothy A Thornton, Deborah A Nickerson, Erin G Schuetz, John Amory, J Steven Leeder, Bhagwat Prasad
The major objective of this study was to investigate association of genetic and non-genetic factors with variability in protein abundance and in vitro activity of the androgen metabolizing enzyme, UGT2B17, in human liver microsomes (n=455). UGT2B17 abundance was quantified by LC-MS/MS proteomics and enzyme activity was determined by using testosterone and dihydrotestosterone as in vitro probe substrates. Genotyping or gene resequencing and mRNA expression were also evaluated. Multivariate analysis was used to test association of UGT2B17 copy number variation, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), age and sex with its mRNA expression, abundance and activity...
March 30, 2018: Drug Metabolism and Disposition: the Biological Fate of Chemicals
Cornelius Rimayi, David Odusanya, Jana M Weiss, Jacob de Boer, Luke Chimuka, Felix Mbajiorgu
Sub-chronic toxicity of environmentally relevant atrazine concentrations on exposed tadpoles and adult male African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) was evaluated in a quality controlled laboratory for 90 days. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of atrazine on the survival, growth and gonad development of African clawed frogs. After exposure of tadpoles to atrazine concentrations of 0 (control), 0.01, 200 and 500 μg L-1 in water, mortality rates of 0, 0, 3.3 and 70% respectively were recorded for the 90 day exposure period...
March 23, 2018: Aquatic Toxicology
Heidi Knutsen, Martin Wiech, Arne Duinker, Amund Maage
Previously, high concentrations of cadmium have been found in the hepatopancreas of the edible or brown crab (Cancer pagurus) sampled from positions north of about 67° N, compared to regions further south along the Norwegian coast, with no clear understanding why. In order to study a similar organism in the same ecosystem, the present study analyzed 210 shore crabs (Carcinus maenas) from four different locations along the Norwegian coast, two in the North and two in the South. The physiological variables size, sex, molting stage, hepatosomatic index, carapace color, and gonad maturation were registered, in attempt to explain the high inter-individual variation in cadmium levels in hepatopancreas...
March 27, 2018: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
Martina Manns, Felix Ströckens, Philipp Stavenhagen, Sebastian Ocklenburg
It is still debated whether limb-use preferences represent a common trait in vertebrates, which is based on a shared phylogenetic history. Unravelling the evolutionary origin and pattern of paw preferences in vertebrates requires the analysis of a larger number of species within an ecologically relevant setting. We therefore investigated whether observations in a zoo enable the collection of reliable data sets by quantifying paw use in two independent groups of Asian small-clawed otters (Amblonyx cinerea). Employing a continuous focal animal sampling method, each day one of the ten individuals was video recorded from outside of the enclosure during usual activity...
March 26, 2018: Laterality
Yanzhu Fan, Xizi Yue, Fei Xue, Steven E Brauth, Yezhong Tang, Guangzhan Fang
Background: Previous studies have shown that the mammalian thalamus is a key structure for anesthesia-induced unconsciousness and anesthesia-awakening regulation. However, both the dynamic characteristics and probable lateralization of thalamic functioning during anesthesia-awakening regulation are not fully understood, and little is known of the evolutionary basis of the role of the thalamus in anesthesia-awakening regulation. Methods: An amphibian species, the South African clawed frog ( Xenopus laevis ) was used in the present study...
2018: PeerJ
Maiko Kitaoka, Rebecca Heald, Romain Gibeaux
Egg extracts of the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis have provided a cell-free system instrumental in elucidating events of the cell cycle, including mechanisms of spindle assembly. Comparison with extracts from the diploid Western clawed frog, Xenopus tropicalis, which is smaller at the organism, cellular and subcellular levels, has enabled the identification of spindle size scaling factors. We set out to characterize the Marsabit clawed frog, Xenopus borealis, which is intermediate in size between the two species, but more recently diverged in evolution from X...
March 23, 2018: Cytoskeleton
Yui Uchida, Masahiro Uesaka, Takayoshi Yamamoto, Hiroyuki Takeda, Naoki Irie
Background: Understanding the general trends in developmental changes during animal evolution, which are often associated with morphological diversification, has long been a central issue in evolutionary developmental biology. Recent comparative transcriptomic studies revealed that gene expression profiles of mid-embryonic period tend to be more evolutionarily conserved than those in earlier or later periods. While the hourglass-like divergence of developmental processes has been demonstrated in a variety of animal groups such as vertebrates, arthropods, and nematodes, the exact mechanism leading to this mid-embryonic conservation remains to be clarified...
2018: EvoDevo
Camila Gómez, Thomas Larsen, Brian Popp, Keith A Hobson, Carlos Daniel Cadena
Tools to study seasonal changes in animal diets are needed to address a wide range of ecological questions. This is especially true of migratory animals that experience distinct environments where diets may be substantially different. However, tracking diets of individuals that move vast distances has proven difficult. Compound-specific isotope analysis has emerged as a valuable tool to study diets but has been little used to study dietary changes of migratory animals. Using this technique, we quantify seasonal variation in the annual diet of a migratory songbird (gray-cheeked thrush, Catharus minimus) and test the hypothesis that migrants change their diet in response to the energetic requirements of different periods of the annual cycle...
March 22, 2018: Oecologia
Briony D Smith, Krystal J Vail, Gwendolyn L Carroll, Maggie C Taylor, Nicholas D Jeffery, Tracy H Vemulapalli, James J Elliott
Often few alternative anesthetics for exotic species are available, due to the small numbers of these animals used in research. In this study, we evaluated the depth and duration of anesthesia in Xenopus laevis after their immersion in 3 doses of etomidate (15, 22.5, and 30 mg/L) and in 3 doses of benzocaine (0.1%, 0.5%, and 1%) compared with the 'gold standard,' tricaine methanesulfonate (MS222; 2 g/L). We then chose an optimal dose for each alternative anesthetic according to induction time, duration of surgical plane, and time to complete recovery...
March 1, 2018: Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science: JAALAS
Sarel R van Amstel, David E Anderson, Ricardo Videla
CASE DESCRIPTION 3 Angus bulls, aged 2 to 3 years, with severe lameness of 2 to 4 weeks' duration and swelling proximal to the coronary band of the affected limb were evaluated after failing to respond to antimicrobial treatment. CLINICAL FINDINGS Septic arthritis of a distal interphalangeal joint (DIPJ) was diagnosed in all 3 bulls on the basis of results of a physical examination, radiographic and ultrasonographic evaluations of the affected foot, and cytologic evaluation of synovial fluid from the affected DIPJ...
April 1, 2018: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Seema Shetty, Shashikiran Umakanth, Bhawani Manandhar, Pankaj Bahadur Nepali
Leprosy and tuberculosis (TB) are endemic to India, however, their coinfection is not frequently encountered in clinical practice. Here, we report a 32-year-old female patient who presented with a history of high-grade intermittent fever, cough and painless skin lesions since a month, along with bilateral claw hand (on examination). The haematological profile was suggestive of anaemia of chronic disease, chest radiograph showed consolidation, sputum smears were positive for Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and skin slit smear confirmed leprosy...
March 15, 2018: BMJ Case Reports
Miguel R Lugo, Bronwyn Lyons, Cristina Lento, Derek J Wilson, A Rod Merrill
Scabin is a mono-ADP-ribosyltransferase enzyme and is a putative virulence factor produced by the plant pathogen, Streptomyces scabies. Previously, crystal structures of Scabin were solved in the presence and absence of substrate analogues and inhibitors. Herein, experimental (hydrogen-deuterium exchange), simulated (molecular dynamics), and theoretical (Gaussian Network Modeling) approaches were systematically applied to study the dynamics of apo-Scabin in the context of a Scabin·NAD+·DNA model. MD simulations revealed that the apo-Scabin solution conformation correlates well with the X-ray crystal structure, beyond the conformation of the exposed, mobile regions...
2018: PloS One
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