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Jeffrey D Whitman, Douglas Yanega, Cole B G Watson, Vincent W Strode
Arthropods comprise an amazingly diverse group of life forms that are extensively studied in almost every field of the biological sciences. Given that the vast majority of animals are arthropods (primarily insects, arachnids, and crustaceans), knowledge of the specific methods to collect and preserves these organisms for scientific purposes can be indispensable. The application of this research can play major roles in fundamental aspects of human society, including agriculture and medicine. With something on the order of 5-10 million or more arthropod species in existence, it is a challenge for any biologist to attempt to assess and document biodiversity, but many of us find ourselves in a position to either perform this task, or assist others in doing so...
2019: Methods in Molecular Biology
Jonas O Wolff, Chantal Wiegmann, Christian S Wirkner, Alexander Koehnsen, Stanislav N Gorb
Prehensile and gripping organs are recurring structures in different organisms that enhance friction by the reinforcement and redirection of normal forces. The relationship between organ structure and biomechanical performance is poorly understood, despite a broad relevance for microhabitat choice, movement ecology and biomimetics. Here, we present the first study of the biomechanics of prehensile feet in long-legged harvestmen. These arachnids exhibit the strongest sub-division of legs among arthropods, permitting extreme hyper-flexion (i...
December 10, 2018: Journal of Experimental Biology
Ana Sofia P S Reboleira, Henrik Enghoff, Sergi Santamaria
Laboulbeniales are highly specific ectoparasitic fungi of arthropods (insects, millipedes, and arachnids). The first Laboulbeniales parasitizing the millipede order Chordeumatida (Diplopoda) were discovered and described as a new dioecious genus of Laboulbeniales, Thaxterimyces, to accommodate the new species T. baliensis. Also the millipede host is a new species and is described as Metopidiothrix sheari. This is the first time Laboulbeniales fungus and its millipede host are described as new together. Males of Metopidiothrix have the most extensive secondary sexual modifications in the entire class Diplopoda...
2018: PloS One
Diogo Vieira Tibery, Leandro Ambrósio Campos, Caroline Barbosa Farias Mourão, Steve Peigneur, Andréa Cruz E Carvalho, Jan Tytgat, Elisabeth Ferroni Schwartz
To1, previously named Tc49b, is a peptide neurotoxin isolated from venom of the scorpion Tityus obscurus that is responsible for lethal human poisoning cases in the Brazilian Amazonian region. Previously, To1 was shown to be lethal to mice and to change Na+ permeation in cerebellum granular neurons from rat brain. In addition, To1 did not affect Shaker B K+ channels. Based on sequence similarities, To1 was described as a β-toxin. In the present work, To1 was purified from T. obscurus venom and submitted to an electrophysiological characterization in human and invertebrate NaV channels...
January 2019: Biochimica et biophysica acta. Biomembranes
Amanda M V Brown, Sulochana K Wasala, Dana K Howe, Amy B Peetz, Inga A Zasada, Dee R Denver
Wolbachia and Cardinium are among the most important and widespread of all endosymbionts, occurring in nematodes and more than half of insect and arachnid species, sometimes as coinfections. These symbionts are of significant interest as potential biocontrol agents due to their abilities to cause major effects on host biology and reproduction through cytoplasmic incompatibility, sex ratio distortion, or obligate mutualism. The ecological and metabolic effects of coinfections are not well understood. This study examined a Wolbachia - Cardinium coinfection in the plant-parasitic nematode (PPN), Pratylenchus penetrans , producing the first detailed study of such a coinfection using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and comparative genomic analysis...
2018: Frontiers in Microbiology
Brady K Quinn
In isochronal (ICD) and equiproportional development (EPD), the proportion of total immature (egg, larval, and/or juvenile) development spent in each stage (developmental proportion) does not vary among stages or temperatures, respectively. ICD and EPD have mainly been reported in copepods, and whether they occur in other arthropods is not known. If they did, then rearing studies could be simplified because the durations of later developmental stages could be predicted based on those of earlier ones. The goal of this study was to test whether different taxa have ICD, EPD, or an alternative development type in which stage-specific proportions depend on temperature, termed 'variable proportional' development (VPD), and also how well each development type allowed later-stage durations to be predicted from earlier ones...
November 14, 2018: Arthropod Structure & Development
Nurit Eliash, Starlin Thangarajan, Inna Goldenberg, Noa Sela, Meital Kupervaser, Jonathan Barlev, Yam Altman, Anna Knyazer, Yosi Kamer, Ilia Zaidman, Ada Rafaeli, Victoria Soroker
The tight synchronization between the life cycle of the obligatory parasitic mite Varroa destructor (Varroa) and its host, the honeybee, is mediated by honeybee chemical stimuli. These stimuli are mainly perceived by a pit organ located at the distal part of the mite's foreleg. In the present study, we searched for Varroa chemosensory molecular components by comparing transcriptomic and proteomic profiles between forelegs from different physiological stages, and rear legs. In general, a comparative transcriptomic analysis showed a clear separation of the expression profiles between the rear legs and the three groups of forelegs (phoretic, reproductive and tray-collected mites)...
November 16, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Callum J McLean, Russell J Garwood, Charlotte A Brassey
Sexual differences in size and shape are common across the animal kingdom. The study of sexual dimorphism (SD) can provide insight into the sexual- and natural-selection pressures experienced by males and females in different species. Arachnids are diverse, comprising over 100,000 species, and exhibit some of the more extreme forms of SD in the animal kingdom, with the males and females of some species differing dramatically in body shape and/or size. Despite this, research on arachnid SD has primarily focused on specific clades as opposed to observing traits across arachnid orders, the smallest of which have received comparatively little attention...
2018: PeerJ
Matthew H Van Dam, Michelle Trautwein, Greg Spicer, Lauren Esposito
Mites (Acari) are one of the most diverse groups of life on Earth, yet their evolutionary relationships are poorly understood. Also, the resolution of broader arachnid phylogeny has been hindered by an underrepresentation of mite diversity in phylogenomic analyses. To further our understanding of Acari evolution, we design targeted ultraconserved genomic elements (UCEs) probes, intended for resolving the complex relationships between mite lineages and closely related arachnids. We then test our Acari UCE baits in-silico by constructing a phylogeny using 13 existing Acari genomes, as well as 6 additional taxa from a variety of genomic sources...
November 9, 2018: Molecular Ecology Resources
Martín Notejane, Tatiana Moure, Jorge E Da Silva, Patricia Barrios, Walter Pérez
Background: Animal bites are a health problem that can produce lesions of varying severity, with the risk of aesthetic and functional sequelae and infectious complications. The objective of the study was to describe the clinical, epidemiological, treatment and complications of lesions caused by animal bites in children hospitalized in a reference center in Uruguay. Method: Descriptive, retrospective study. All children hospitalized for animal bites between 2014 and 2017 were included...
2018: Boletín Médico del Hospital Infantil de México
Jason A Dunlop
Arachnids and their relatives (Chelicerata) range in body length from tens of centimetres in horseshoe crabs down to little more than 80-200 μm in several groups of mites. Spiders (Araneae) show the widest range within a given Bauplan - the largest species being ca. 270 times longer than the smallest - making them excellent models to investigate scaling effects. The two mite clades (Parasitiformes and Acariformes) are the main specialists in being small. Miniaturisation, and its consequences, is reviewed for both fossil and extant chelicerates...
November 15, 2018: Arthropod Structure & Development
Ebrahim Abbasi, Javad Rafinejad, Saeed Hosseinpoor, Fatollah Gholami-Borujeni, Saber Gholizadeh
The present study was designed for identification of arthropods species in Urmia city municipal solid waste (MSW) landfill in 2014. The specimens were collected by hand and with sweep net. After the initial classification at the order level, genus and species identification were done using morphological identification keys. In total, 1,913 arthropod samples were collected. The samples were classified into four different classes. The most abundant species of arachnids was Steatoda paykulliana Walckenaer (Araneae: Theridiidae) and Agelenopsis spp...
October 17, 2018: Journal of Medical Entomology
Robert J Smith, Kevin Osterhoudt, Richard J Lin, Albert C Yan
A 27-month-old girl with a history of congenital myopathy presented with two indurated, pink plaques involving the right arm and left thigh. Closer examination identified central puncta within these plaques, which reportedly occurred at sites of witnessed arachnid bites. After confirmation of the spider species as Trachelas tranquillus, she was treated to address cutaneous inflammation and suspected superinfection using oral and topical antibiotics as well as topical corticosteroid resulting in prompt resolution of her lesions...
November 2018: Pediatric Dermatology
Linlin Ma, Yanni K Y Chin, Zoltan Dekan, Volker Herzig, Chun Yuen Chow, Jacqueline Heighway, Sau Wing Lam, Gilles J Guillemin, Paul F Alewood, Glenn F King
Recently, we and other groups revealed that gain-of-function mutations in the human ether à go-go voltage-gated potassium channel hEAG1 (Kv 10.1) lead to developmental disorders with associated infantile-onset epilepsy. However, the physiological role of hEAG1 in the central nervous system remains elusive. Potent and selective antagonists of hEAG1 are therefore much sought after, both as pharmacological tools for studying the (patho)physiological functions of this enigmatic channel and as potential leads for development of anti-epileptic drugs...
August 25, 2018: Biochemical Pharmacology
Steve Peigneur, Ana Luiza B Paiva, Marta N Cordeiro, Márcia H Borges, Marcelo R V Diniz, Maria Elena de Lima, Jan Tytgat
Spider venoms are complex mixtures of biologically active components with potentially interesting applications for drug discovery or for agricultural purposes. The spider Phoneutria nigriventer is responsible for a number of envenomations with sometimes severe clinical manifestations in humans. A more efficient treatment requires a comprehensive knowledge of the venom composition and of the action mechanism of the constituting components. PnTx2-1 (also called δ-ctenitoxin-Pn1a) is a 53-amino-acid-residue peptide isolated from the venom fraction PhTx2...
August 21, 2018: Toxins
Jalil Nejati, Abedin Saghafipour, Javad Rafinejad, Ehsan Mozaffari, Amir Keyhani, Ali Abolhasani, Amir Tavakoli Kareshk
Background: Scorpions are usually defined as predatory arachnids having venomous and painful stings. Scorpionism is considered as one of the health and medical problems in undeveloped tropical and subtropical countries in the world that endangers thousands of people annually. Objective: This study was done for identification of scorpion fauna and scorpionism location in a high-risk area in southwest of Iran. Methods: This study was carried out in Andimeshk district located in Khuzestan province which has the highest frequency of scorpionism in Iran...
July 2018: Electronic Physician
Edmundo González-Santillán, Lourival D Possani
Scorpionism is a severe threat to public health in North America. Historically, few species of Centruroides have been considered to be the offending taxa, but we know now that their diversity is greater and our knowledge incomplete. Current distribution maps are inadequate for some species. Epidemiologic studies are sporadic and local, and a complete synthesis for North America is missing. We analyze historical and recent knowledge about the identity, distribution and epidemiology of species of medical importance in North America...
November 2018: Acta Tropica
Fabian C Salgado-Roa, Carolina Pardo-Diaz, Eloisa Lasso, Carlos F Arias, Vera Nisaka Solferini, Camilo Salazar
The Andean uplift has played a major role in shaping the current Neotropical biodiversity. However, in arthropods other than butterflies, little is known about how this geographic barrier has impacted species historical diversification. Here, we examined the phylogeography of the widespread color polymorphic spider Gasteracantha cancriformis to evaluate the effect of the northern Andean uplift on its divergence and assess whether its diversification occurred in the presence of gene flow. We inferred phylogenetic relationships and divergence times in G...
July 2018: Ecology and Evolution
Vaishnavi Sukumar, Hongxia Liu, Shannon Meisner, Andrew S French, Päivi H Torkkeli
The biogenic amines octopamine (OA), tyramine (TA), dopamine (DA), serotonin (5-HT), and histamine (HA) affect diverse physiological and behavioral processes in invertebrates, but recent findings indicate that an additional adrenergic system exists in at least some invertebrates. Transcriptome analysis has made it possible to identify biogenic amine receptor genes in a wide variety of species whose genomes have not yet been sequenced. This approach provides new sequences for research into the evolutionary history of biogenic amine receptors and allows them to be studied in experimentally accessible animal models...
2018: Frontiers in Physiology
Khaled Elmnasri, Chadlia Hamdi, Besma Ettoumi, Elena Crotti, Amel Guesmi, Afef Najjari, Vangelis Doudoumis, Abdellatif Boudabous, Daniele Daffonchio, George Tsiamis, Ameur Cherif
Androctonus australis is one of the most ubiquitous and common scorpion species in desert and arid lands from North Africa to India and it has an important ecological role and social impact. The bacterial community associated to this arachnid is unknown and we aimed to dissect its species composition in the gut, gonads, and venom gland. A 16S rRNA gene culture-independent diversity analysis revealed, among six other taxonomic groups (Firmicutes, Betaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, Flavobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Cyanobacteria), a dominance of Mollicutes phylotypes recorded both in the digestive tract and the gonads...
October 2018: Journal of Basic Microbiology
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