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Anders P Møller
Barn swallows Hirundo rustica have white spots on their tail feathers, and they have been hypothesized to be a handicap because white spots are prone to feather breakage, ectoparasites are disproportionately common in white spots, and size of white spots increases with tail length. Here I test for attractiveness of narrow and long tail spots by manipulation of their shape while using complete painting of spots and an absence of treatment as a control. Female barn swallows are known to differentially invest in reproduction when mated to attractive males...
October 2017: Current Zoology
Daniele Claudino Maciel, Ítalo Braga Castro, José Roberto Botelho de Souza, Gilvan Takeshi Yogui, Gilberto Fillmann, Eliete Zanardi-Lamardo
Butyltin compounds (BTs) were used worldwide, especially because of their properties as biocides. Due to its high toxicity, the use of tributyltin (TBT) in antifouling paints has been prohibited in most countries. The occurrence and impact of BTs were assessed in surface sediments and in Stramonita rustica populations of two tropical estuaries that host major ports in northeastern Brazil. ΣBT concentrations ranged from <LOQ to 542ngSng-1 dry weight in sediments while imposex was not observed in S. rustica...
January 2018: Marine Pollution Bulletin
Takehiko Kenzaka, Kenji Kataoka, Takashi Fujimitsu, Katsuji Tani
 Migratory birds are considered as vectors of infectious diseases, owing to their potential for transmitting pathogens over large distances. The populations of barn swallow (Hirundo rustica) migrate from Southeast Asia to the Japanese mainland during spring and migrate back to Southeast Asia during autumn. This migratory population is estimated to comprise approximately hundreds to thousands of individuals per year. However, to date, not much is known about the gastrointestinal microbiota of the barn swallow...
2018: Yakugaku Zasshi: Journal of the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan
Adrienn Grúz, János Déri, Géza Szemerédy, Korinna Szabó, Éva Kormos, András Bartha, József Lehel, Péter Budai
Concentrations of different heavy metals (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Pb, Zn) were examined in the contour feathers of long-eared owl (Asio otus), little owl (Athene noctua), tawny owl (Strix aluco), barn owl (Tyto alba), Eurasian sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus), rook (Corvus frugilegus), hooded crow (Corvus cornix), carrion crow (Corvus corone), common buzzard (Buteo buteo) and barn swallow (Hirundo rustica). The samples were collected from the Hortobágyi Madárpark (Bird Hospital Foundation) in Hungary. The bird species were classified into six groups based on their nourishment...
December 16, 2017: Environmental Science and Pollution Research International
Vladimir A Golovko, Igor A Kosevich, Mikhail A Gonotkov
The mechanisms of action potential (AP) generation in the myoepithelial cells of the Tunicata heart are not yet well understood. Here, an attempt was made to elucidate these mechanisms by analyzing the effects of specific blockers of K(+), Na(+) and Ca(2+) currents on the configuration of transmembrane APs and their frequency in the spontaneously beating ascidian heart. In addition, an immunocytochemical analysis of heart myoepithelial cells was performed. Staining with anti-FMRF-amide and anti-tubulin antibodies did not reveal any nerve elements within the heart tube...
October 5, 2017: Journal of Experimental Biology
B H S Ferreira, A C Gomes, C S Souza, J R Fabri, M R Sigrist
Three synchronopatric Cactaceae species, Echinopsis rhodotricha, Harrisia balansae and Praecereus saxicola, have mostly nocturnal anthesis and similar flowers, characteristics that motivated us to perform a comparative study of reproductive ecology. Reproductive phenology was sampled monthly from December 2014 to November 2015. We describe floral biology, breeding system via pollination treatments and evaluate floral visitors from focal and filming observations. Pollen grains found on moth proboscis were compared among cactus species under light microscopy...
October 4, 2017: Plant Biology
Meriem Benaissa, Omar Rouane-Hacene, Zitouni Boutiba, Marielle E Guibbolini-Sabatier, Christine Risso-De Faverney
The aim of our study is to evaluate the impact of Bousfer desalination plant brine discharges on the Algerian west coast, on a natural population of the marine gastropod mollusc Patella rustica. The effects of a chronic exposure to such discharges are complex to understand due to the combined effects of environmental physico-chemical parameters (e.g., high salinity) and different pollutants that can modulate the physiological responses of this species to stress. In this context, we assessed the biological effects in a marine species P...
November 2017: Environmental Science and Pollution Research International
Adile Ferda Dagli, Nurhan Sahin, Zehra Bozdag, Ozlem Ucer, Ayse Nur Akatli, Gokhan Artas, İbrahim Sahin, Meltem Yardim, Semih Dalkilic, Ramazan Fazil Akkoc, Sercan Simsek, Suleyman Aydin
BACKGROUND: Use of smokeless tobacco (ST) is increasing in many communities. We investigated whether ST alters the cytological and cytomorphometric features of buccal mucosa cells. METHODS: Twenty male participants who had used Nicotiana rustica Linn.-containing ST (Maras powder) for at least 10 years, and 20 healthy male controls who did not use ST, were included in this study. After rinsing the mouth with water, samples were taken using a toothbrush from the buccal mucosa of subjects in both groups...
September 1, 2017: Diagnostic Cytopathology
Elizabeth S C Scordato, Matthew R Wilkins, Georgy Semenov, Alexander S Rubtsov, Nolan C Kane, Rebecca J Safran
Hybrid zones are geographic regions where isolating barriers between divergent populations are challenged by admixture. Identifying factors that facilitate or inhibit hybridization in sympatry can illuminate the processes that maintain those reproductive barriers. We analysed patterns of hybridization and phenotypic variation across two newly discovered hybrid zones between three subspecies of barn swallow (Hirundo rustica). These subspecies differ in ventral coloration and wing length, traits that are targets of sexual and natural selection, respectively, and are associated with genome-wide differentiation in allopatry...
October 2017: Molecular Ecology
Masaru Hasegawa, Emi Arai, Megumi Sato, Hidetsugu Sakai
Recent experimental studies involving the manipulation of sexual traits have demonstrated that sexual trait expression feeds back to testosterone levels, perhaps via social interactions, reinforcing the linkage between sexual trait expression and testosterone levels during the mating period. However, information on this reinforcement under the natural variation of sexual traits remains limited. Using Japanese barn swallows, Hirundo rustica gutturalis, in which extra-pair paternity is quite rare (< 3%), we studied the relationship between plasma testosterone level and a male sexual trait, throat patch size, during the mating and incubation periods...
August 2017: Zoological Science
Nicola Saino, Roberto Ambrosini, Manuela Caprioli, Felix Liechti, Andrea Romano, Diego Rubolini, Chiara Scandolara
Variation in wing morphology results from the combination of diverse selection pressures. Wing feather morphology within species varies with sex and ontogenetic effects, and also with ecological factors. Yet, the direction of causation for the wing morphology-ecology association remains to be elucidated. Under the 'ecology-dependence' hypothesis, wing morphology covaries with ecological conditions, because the latter affect feather molt. Alternatively, the 'habitat choice' hypothesis posits that individuals with different wing morphology choose different habitats because of the habitat-dependent advantages of a specific wing morphology...
July 25, 2017: Oecologia
Alessandra Costanzo, Roberto Ambrosini, Manuela Caprioli, Emanuele Gatti, Marco Parolini, Luca Canova, Diego Rubolini, Andrea Romano, Luca Gianfranceschi, Nicola Saino
Natural and sexual selection arise when individual fitness varies according to focal traits. Extra-pair paternities (EPPs) can affect the intensity of selection by influencing variance in fitness among individuals. Studies of selection require that individual fitness is estimated using proxies of lifetime reproductive success (LRS). However, estimating LRS is difficult in large, open populations where EPPs cause reallocation of biological paternity. Here, we used extensive field sampling to estimate LRS in a population of barn swallows (Hirundo rustica) to estimate selection on lifespan and ornamental traits of males...
October 2017: Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution
Takehiko Kenzaka, Yuina Ishimoto, Katsuji Tani
Migratory birds have been postulated as potential spreaders of antibiotic resistance. Multidrug-resistant Cellulosimicrobium sp. strain KWT-B was isolated from the feces of Hirundo rustica A draft genome sequence indicated that the strain harbors multidrug-resistant transporters, multidrug efflux pumps, a vancomycin-resistant protein, and metallo-beta-lactamases.
July 13, 2017: Genome Announcements
Andy Reynolds, Giacomo Santini, Guido Chelazzi, Stefano Focardi
Weierstrassian Lévy walks are the archetypical form of random walk that do not satisfy the central limit theorem and are instead characterized by scale invariance. They were originally regarded as a mathematical abstraction but subsequent theoretical studies showed that they can, in principle, at least, be generated by chaos. Recently, Weierstrassian Lévy walks have been found to provide accurate representations of the movement patterns of mussels (Mytilus edulis) and mud snails (Hydrobia ulvae) recorded in the laboratory under controlled conditions...
June 2017: Royal Society Open Science
Magdalena Ruiz-Rodríguez, Anders P Møller, Timothy A Mousseau, Juan J Soler
BACKGROUND: Environmental pollution in general, and radioactive contamination in particular, may deeply affect host-parasite relationships and their consequences for the evolution of organisms. The nuclear accident that occurred more than 30 years ago in Chernobyl resulted in significant changes in diversity and richness of microbial communities that could influence characteristics of animal-bacteria interactions, including host immune responses and competitive interference by bacteria...
2017: PloS One
Maria Vittoria Modica, Valeria Russini, Giulia Fassio, Marco Oliverio
In marine environments, connectivity among populations of benthic invertebrates is provided primarily by dispersion of larvae, with the duration of pelagic larval phase (PLD) supposed to represent one of the major factor affecting connectivity. In marine gastropods, PLD is linked to specific larval development types, which may be entirely intracapsular (thus lacking a pelagic dispersal), or include a short pelagic lecithotrophic or a long planktotrophic phase. In the present study, we investigated two sibling species of the cosmopolitan neogastropod genus Columbella (commonly known as dove shells): Columbella adansoni Menke, 1853, from the Macaronesian Atlantic archipelagos, with planktotrophic development, and Columbella rustica Linnaeus, 1758, from the Mediterranean Sea, with intracapsular development...
June 2017: Marine Environmental Research
Nicola Saino, Roberto Ambrosini, Benedetta Albetti, Manuela Caprioli, Barbara De Giorgio, Emanuele Gatti, Felix Liechti, Marco Parolini, Andrea Romano, Maria Romano, Chiara Scandolara, Luca Gianfranceschi, Valentina Bollati, Diego Rubolini
Individuals often considerably differ in the timing of their life-cycle events, with major consequences for individual fitness, and, ultimately, for population dynamics. Phenological variation can arise from genetic effects but also from epigenetic modifications in DNA expression and translation. Here, we tested if CpG methylation at the poly-Q and 5'-UTR loci of the photoperiodic Clock gene predicted migration and breeding phenology of long-distance migratory barn swallows (Hirundo rustica) that were tracked year-round using light-level geolocators...
March 31, 2017: Scientific Reports
David W Winkler, Facundo A Gandoy, Juan I Areta, Marshall J Iliff, Eldar Rakhimberdiev, Kevin J Kardynal, Keith A Hobson
When bird populations spread, long-distance pioneering populations are often backfilled by a more slowly advancing front [1-3]. The Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica, a globally distributed passerine [4, 5], expanded its breeding range an exceptional 7,000 km when it began breeding 35 years ago in its regular wintering range in Argentina [6], subsequently expanding over 500 km from its starting point [7-11]. Trans-hemispheric breeding attempts have occurred previously in related swallows [12-14], but only this colonization has lasted...
April 3, 2017: Current Biology: CB
Jakub Kreisinger, Lucie Kropáčková, Adéla Petrželková, Marie Adámková, Oldřich Tomášek, Jean-François Martin, Romana Michálková, Tomáš Albrecht
Animal bodies are inhabited by a taxonomically and functionally diverse community of symbiotic and commensal microorganisms. From an ecological and evolutionary perspective, inter-individual variation in host-associated microbiota contributes to physiological and immune system variation. As such, host-associated microbiota may be considered an integral part of the host's phenotype, serving as a substrate for natural selection. This assumes that host-associated microbiota exhibits high temporal stability, however, and that its composition is shaped by trans-generational transfer or heritable host-associated microbiota modulators encoded by the host genome...
2017: Frontiers in Microbiology
Maren N Vitousek, Brittany R Jenkins, Joanna K Hubbard, Sara A Kaiser, Rebecca J Safran
Because elevated glucocorticoid levels can impair reproduction, populations or species that engage in particularly valuable reproductive attempts may down-regulate the glucocorticoid stress response during reproduction (the brood value hypothesis). It is not clear, however, whether individuals rapidly modulate glucocorticoid responses based on shifting cues about the likelihood of reproductive success. By manipulating brood size to create broods that differed in potential value, we tested whether female barn swallows (Hirundo rustica) rapidly modulated the glucocorticoid stress response to promote investment in high-value broods, and whether nestling phenotype was influenced by treatment...
June 1, 2017: General and Comparative Endocrinology
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