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Ralf Janssen
Evolution of segmented limbs is one of the key innovations of Arthropoda, allowing development of functionally specific specialized head and trunk appendages, a major factor behind their unmatched evolutionary success. Proximodistal limb patterning is controlled by two regulatory networks in the vinegar fly Drosophila melanogaster, and other insects. The first is represented by the function of the morphogens Wingless (Wg) and Decapentaplegic (Dpp); the second by the EGFR-signaling cascade. While the role of Wg and Dpp has been studied in a wide range of arthropods representing all main branches, that is, Pancrustacea (= Hexapoda + Crustacea), Myriapoda and Chelicerata, investigation of the potential role of EGFR-signaling is restricted to insects (Hexapoda)...
April 26, 2017: Evolution & Development
Pieter I Olivier, Victor Rolo, Rudi J van Aarde
The peninsula effect predicts that the number of species should decline from the base of a peninsula to the tip. However, evidence for the peninsula effect is ambiguous, as different analytical methods, study taxa, and variations in local habitat or regional climatic conditions influence conclusions on its presence. We address this uncertainty by using two analytical methods to investigate the peninsula effect in three taxa that occupy different trophic levels: trees, millipedes, and birds. We surveyed 81 tree quadrants, 102 millipede transects, and 152 bird points within 150 km of coastal dune forest that resemble a habitat peninsula along the northeast coast of South Africa...
2017: PloS One
Takeshi Kano, Kazuhiko Sakai, Kotaro Yasui, Dai Owaki, Akio Ishiguro
Legged animals exhibit adaptive and resilient locomotion through interlimb coordination. The long-term goal of this study is to clarify the relationship between the number of legs and the inherent decentralized control mechanism for interlimb coordination. As a preliminary step, the study focuses on millipedes as they represent the species with the greatest number of legs among various animal species. A decentralized control mechanism involving local force feedback was proposed based on the qualitative findings of behavioural experiments in which responses to the removal of part of the terrain and leg amputation were observed...
April 4, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Robert Mesibov
Tasmanian Iulomorphidae are here assigned to the genera Amastigogonus Brölemann, 1913, Atelomastix Attems, 1911 and Equestrigonusgen. n. Descriptions or redescriptions are given for Amastigogonus danpicolasp. n., Amastigogonus elephassp. n., Amastigogonus fossuliger Verhoeff, 1944, Amastigogonus hardyi (Chamberlin, 1920), Amastigogonus hellyerisp. n., Amastigogonus michaelsaesp. n., Amastigogonus orientalissp. n., Amastigogonus peninsulensissp. n., Amastigogonus tasmanianus Brölemann, 1913 (type species of Amastigogonus), Amastigogonus verreauxii (Gervais, 1847), Atelomastix bonhamisp...
2017: ZooKeys
Slobodan E Makarov, Michaela Bodner, Doris Reineke, Ljubodrag V Vujisić, Marina M Todosijević, Dragan Ž Antić, Boyan Vagalinski, Luka R Lučić, Bojan M Mitić, Plamen Mitov, Boban D Anđelković, Sofija Pavković Lucić, Vlatka Vajs, Vladimir T Tomić, Günther Raspotnig
Cave animals live under highly constant ecological conditions and in permanent darkness, and many evolutionary adaptations of cave-dwellers have been triggered by their specific environment. A similar "cave effect" leading to pronounced chemical interactions under such conditions may be assumed, but the chemoecology of troglobionts is mostly unknown. We investigated the defensive chemistry of a largely cave-dwelling julid group, the controversial tribe "Typhloiulini", and we included some cave-dwelling and some endogean representatives...
April 2017: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Takuya Yamaguchi, Yasumasa Kuwahara, Yasuhisa Asano
Specialized arthropods and more than 2500 plant species biosynthesize hydroxynitriles and release hydrogen cyanide as a defensive mechanism. The millipede Chamberlinius hualienensis accumulates (R)-mandelonitrile as a cyanide precursor. Although biosynthesis of hydroxynitriles in cyanogenic plants and in an insect are extensively studied, (R)-mandelonitrile biosynthesis in cyanogenic millipedes has remained unclear. In this study, we identified the biosynthetic precursors of (R)-mandelonitrile and an enzyme involved in (R)-mandelonitrile biosynthesis...
March 2017: FEBS Open Bio
Ning Luan, Chunling Zhou, Pengpeng Li, Rose Ombati, Xiuwen Yan, Guoxiang Mo, Mingqiang Rong, Ren Lai, Zilei Duan, Ruiqiang Zheng
The repugnatorial glands of millipedes release various defensive chemical secretions. Although varieties of such defensive secretions have been studied, none of them is protein or peptide. Herein, a novel factor Xa (FXa) inhibitor named joannsin was identified and characterised from repugnatorial glands of Prospirobolus joannsi. Joannsin is composed of 72 amino acid residues including six cysteines, which form three intra-molecular disulfide bridges. It is a member of Kunitz-type protease inhibitor family, members of which are also found in the secretory glands of other arthropods...
March 9, 2017: Thrombosis and Haemostasis
Yasumasa Kuwahara, Takuya Yamaguchi, Yayoi Ichiki, Tsutomu Tanabe, Yasuhisa Asano
Hydrogen peroxide was newly and simultaneously demonstrated with well-known hydrogen cyanide as a component of defensive secretions of "benzoyl cyanide" producing polydesmid millipedes. Presence of hydrogen peroxide was successively evidenced by Trinder reagent's spray with colorless as well as oily smears of defensive secretions containing benzoyl cyanide and hydrogen cyanide by alkaline picrate paper treatment. Linear correlation was demonstrated between quantities of hydrogen peroxide and benzoyl cyanide...
April 2017: Die Naturwissenschaften
M L Eggersdorfer, W Zheng, S Nawar, C Mercandetti, A Ofner, I Leibacher, S Koehler, D A Weitz
Core-shell double emulsions produced using microfluidic methods with controlled structural parameters exhibit great potential in a wide range of applications, but the low production rate of microfluidic methods hinders the exploitation of the capabilities of microfluidics to produce double emulsions with well-defined features. A major obstacle towards the scaled-up production of core-shell double emulsions is the difficulty of achieving robust spatially controlled wettability in integrated microfluidic devices...
February 15, 2017: Lab on a Chip
Dragan Ž Antić, Boris D Dudić, Mirjana R Gajić, Luka R Lučić
As the fourth hydrophilous species of the genus Typhloiulus Latzel, 1884, the new species T. balcanicus Antić sp. nov. is described from two caves in the Stara Planina Mountains of Serbia. A brief discussion of the relationships between the new species and congeners with modified and unmodified mouthparts is presented, as well as short notes on the habitat of the new species and comments on other semiaquatic millipedes with modified mouthparts.
January 25, 2017: Zootaxa
Weixin Liu, Sergei Golovatch, Thomas Wesener, Mingyi Tian
Animal life in caves has fascinated researchers and the public alike because of the unusual and sometimes bizarre morphological adaptations observed in numerous troglobitic species. Despite their worldwide diversity, the adaptations of cave millipedes (Diplopoda) to a troglobitic lifestyle have rarely been examined. In this study, morphological characters were analyzed in species belonging to four different orders (Glomerida, Polydesmida, Chordeumatida, and Spirostreptida) and six different families (Glomeridae, Paradoxosomatidae, Polydesmidae, Haplodesmidae, Megalotylidae, and Cambalopsidae) that represent the taxonomic diversity of class Diplopoda...
2017: PloS One
John M Hash, Jocelyn G Millar, John M Heraty, James F Harwood, Brian V Brown
Toxic defensive secretions produced by millipedes in the orders Julida, Spirobolida, Spirostreptida, and Polydesmida are highly repellent to most vertebrate and invertebrate natural enemies, but a few insects have evolved mechanisms to overcome these defenses. We demonstrate that highly specialized parasitic phorid flies in the species-rich genus Myriophora use volatile millipede defensive compounds as kairomones for host location. Of the two predominant quinone components in the defensive blend of juliform millipedes, 2-methoxy-3-methyl-1,4-benzoquinone alone was sufficient to attract adult flies of both sexes; however, a combination of 2-methoxy-3-methyl-1,4-benzoquinone and 2-methyl-1,4-benzoquinone increased attractiveness nearly threefold...
February 2017: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Yuichi Oba, Cassius V Stevani, Anderson G Oliveira, Aleksandra S Tsarkova, Tatiana V Chepurnykh, Ilia V Yampolsky
Bioluminescence is a form of chemiluminescence generated by luminous organisms. Luminous taxa have currently been reported from about 800 genera and probably over 10 000 species in the world. On the other hand, their bioluminescent systems, including chemical structures of luciferins/chromophores and the genes encoding luciferases/photoproteins, have been elucidated from only a few taxonomic groups, for example beetles, bacteria, dinoflagellates, ostracods and some cnidarians. Research efforts to understand unknown bioluminescence systems are being conducted around the world, and recently, for example, novel luciferin structures of luminous enchytraeid potworms and fungi were identified by the authors...
March 2017: Photochemistry and Photobiology
Dragan Ž Antić, Slobodan E Makarov
Fifteen new genera and 36 new species of the diplopod family Anthroleucosomatidae Verhoeff, 1899 are described from the Caucasus, one of the world's biodiversity hotspots: Golovatchosoma bacillichaetum gen. et sp. nov., G. trichochaetum sp. nov., Alpinella waltheri gen. et sp. nov., Brachychaetosoma turbanovi gen. et sp. nov., Caucaseuma elephantum sp. nov., C. fanagoriyskaya sp. nov., C. glabroscutum sp. nov., C. kelasuri sp. nov., C. minellii sp. nov., C. variabile sp. nov., Caucasominorus billi gen. et sp...
December 22, 2016: Zootaxa
Slaviša Stanković, Ivica Dimkić, Ljubodrag Vujisić, Sofija Pavković-Lučić, Zvezdana Jovanović, Tatjana Stević, Ivana Sofrenić, Bojan Mitić, Vladimir Tomić
The chemical defence of the millipede Pachyiulus hungaricus is reported in the present paper, in which a chemical characterization is given and antimicrobial activity is determined. In total, independently of sex, 44 compounds were identified. All compounds belong to two groups: quinones and pentyl and hexyl esters of long-chain fatty acids. The relative abundances of quinones and non-quinones were 94.7% vs. 5.3% (males) and 87.3% vs. 12.7% (females), respectively. The two dominant quinones in both sexes were 2-methyl-1,4,-benzoquinone and 2-methoxy-3-methyl-1,4-benzoquinone...
2016: PloS One
Santosh Kumar Padhi
Hydroxynitrile lyases (HNLs) have grown in importance from laboratory to industry due to their potential to catalyze stereoselective C-C bond-formation reactions in the synthesis of several chiral intermediates, such as enantiopure α-cyanohydrins, β-nitro alcohols, and their derivatives with multiple functional groups. With these wide applications, the demand for finding new HNLs has increased, and this has led to exploration not only of new HNLs but also of new ways to discover them. An exclusive review article on HNLs by Asano et al...
January 17, 2017: Chembiochem: a European Journal of Chemical Biology
Michiel P Veldhuis, Francisco J Laso, Han Olff, Matty P Berg
The ecological impact of rapid environmental change will depend on the resistance of key ecosystems processes, which may be promoted by species that exert strong control over local environmental conditions. Recent theoretical work suggests that macrodetritivores increase the resistance of African savanna ecosystems to changing climatic conditions, but experimental evidence is lacking. We examined the effect of large fungus-growing termites and other non-fungus-growing macrodetritivores on decomposition rates empirically with strong spatiotemporal variability in rainfall and temperature...
February 2017: Ecology
Paul E Marek, Jean K Krejca, William A Shear
Members of the family Siphonorhinidae Cook, 1895 are thread-like eyeless millipedes that possess an astounding number of legs, including one individual with 750. Due to their cryptic lifestyle, rarity in natural history collections, and sporadic study over the last century, the family has an unclear phylogenetic placement, and intrafamilial relationships remain unknown. Here we report the discovery of a second species of Illacme, a millipede genus notable for possessing the greatest number of legs of any known animal on the planet...
2016: ZooKeys
Andrej Mock, Karel Tajovský, Martina Žurovcová, Andrea Jarošová, Pavel Kocourek, Jürgen Gruber, Dorottya Angyal, Jörg Spelda
Hungarosoma bokori Verhoeff, 1928 is a millipede species which was originally classified solely on the basis of a female specimen. Subsequently, a long history of field searching for and surmising about the systematic position of this small, enigmatic species followed. In April 2013, 85 years after its first description, a series of nine specimens were sampled in the type locality, the Abaliget Cave, in southern Hungary. An adult male was collected for the first time, along with females and juveniles. Descriptions of the gonopods and the female vulvae, both important for considerations of the systematic position of the species, are presented for the first time...
October 24, 2016: Zootaxa
William A Shear, Rodrigo Lopes Ferreira, Luiz Felipe Moretti Iniesta, Paul Marek
Dobrodesmus mirabilis n. gen., n. sp. is described from a limestone cave in the state of Bahia, Brazil. The new species is unique among millipedes of the order Polydesmida in having 39+t rings in adult males, two rather than four spinnerets, and in its highly plesiomorphic gonopods, which resemble those of basal members of the orders Callipodida and Stemmiulida. The presence of 39 rings is notable because members of the Polydesmida, the most species rich order of millipedes (>5000 spp.) normally stop development at 19+t rings...
October 25, 2016: Zootaxa
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