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Small mammals

Ljerka Lah, Daronja Trense, Harald Benke, Per Berggren, Þorvaldur Gunnlaugsson, Christina Lockyer, Ayaka Öztürk, Bayram Öztürk, Iwona Pawliczka, Anna Roos, Ursula Siebert, Krzysztof Skóra, Gísli Víkingsson, Ralph Tiedemann
The population structure of the highly mobile marine mammal, the harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), in the Atlantic shelf waters follows a pattern of significant isolation-by-distance. The population structure of harbor porpoises from the Baltic Sea, which is connected with the North Sea through a series of basins separated by shallow underwater ridges, however, is more complex. Here, we investigated the population differentiation of harbor porpoises in European Seas with a special focus on the Baltic Sea and adjacent waters, using a population genomics approach...
2016: PloS One
Roberta Schellino, Sara Trova, Irene Cimino, Alice Farinetti, Bart C Jongbloets, R Jeroen Pasterkamp, Giancarlo Panzica, Paolo Giacobini, Silvia De Marchis, Paolo Peretto
Opposite-sex attraction in most mammals depends on the fine-tuned integration of pheromonal stimuli with gonadal hormones in the brain circuits underlying sexual behaviour. Neural activity in these circuits is regulated by sensory processing in the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB), the first central station of the vomeronasal system. Recent evidence indicates adult neurogenesis in the AOB is involved in sex behaviour; however, the mechanisms underlying this function are unknown. By using Semaphorin 7A knockout (Sema7A ko) mice, which show a reduced number of gonadotropin-releasing-hormone neurons, small testicles and subfertility, and wild-type males castrated during adulthood, we demonstrate that the level of circulating testosterone regulates the sex-specific control of AOB neurogenesis and the vomeronasal system activation, which influences opposite-sex cue preference/attraction in mice...
October 26, 2016: Scientific Reports
Marta Canuti, Kimberly E O'Leary, Bruce D Hunter, Grant Spearman, Davor Ojkic, Hugh G Whitney, Andrew S Lang
Aleutian mink disease virus (AMDV) causes plasmacytosis, an immune complex-associated syndrome that affects wild and farmed mink. The virus can also infect other small mammals (e.g., ferrets, skunks, ermines, and raccoons), but the disease in these hosts has been studied less. In 2007, a mink plasmacytosis outbreak began on the Island of Newfoundland, and the virus has been endemic in farms since then. In this study, we evaluated the molecular epidemiology of AMDV in farmed and wild animals of Newfoundland since before the beginning of the outbreak and investigated the epidemic in a global context by studying AMDV worldwide, thereby examining its diffusion and phylogeography...
January 2016: Virus Evolution
G Notarbartolo di Sciara, S Kotomatas
Mediterranean monk seals (Monachus monachus), amongst the most endangered marine mammals, are showing localised signs of recovery warranting their recent down-listing, from Critically Endangered to Endangered, on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. This, however, cannot be taken as a reason for complacency, as the species' condition is still very critical, having been extirpated from most of its historical range. Monk seals within the Mediterranean, a 'unit to conserve' separate from Atlantic conspecifics, were once widely distributed throughout the Mediterranean Sea, with their range also extending into the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea...
2016: Advances in Marine Biology
G Notarbartolo di Sciara
Despite being a small part of the world's oceans, the Mediterranean Sea hosts a diverse marine mammal fauna, with a total of 28 different species known to occur, or to have occurred, in the region. Species currently recognised as regular in the Mediterranean-the Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus) and 11 cetaceans (fin whale, Balaenoptera physalus; sperm whale, Physeter macrocephalus; Cuvier's beaked whale, Ziphius cavirostris; short-beaked common dolphin, Delphinus delphis; long-finned pilot whale, Globicephala melas; Risso's dolphin, Grampus griseus; killer whale, Orcinus orca; striped dolphin, Stenella coeruleoalba; rough-toothed dolphin, Steno bredanensis; common bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus; harbour porpoise, Phocoena phocoena relicta) have adapted well to the region's environmental conditions, but their coexistence with humans is problematic...
2016: Advances in Marine Biology
Patrick R Arsenault, Daisheng Song, Marian Bergkamp, Andrew M Ravaschiere, Bradleigh E Navalsky, Paul M Lieberman, Frank S Lee
The Prolyl Hydroxylase Domain protein (PHD):Hypoxia Inducible Factor (HIF) pathway is the main pathway by which changes in oxygen concentration are transduced to changes in gene expression. In mammals, there are three PHD paralogues, and PHD2 has emerged as a particularly critical one for regulating HIF target genes such as ERYTHROPOIETIN (EPO), which controls red cell mass and hematocrit. PHD2 is distinctive among the three PHDs in that it contains an N-terminal MYND type zinc finger. We have proposed that this zinc finger binds a Pro-Xaa-Leu-Glu (PXLE) motif found in proteins of the HSP90 pathway to facilitate HIF-α hydroxylation...
October 22, 2016: Chembiochem: a European Journal of Chemical Biology
Carolina Moreira Blanco, Bernardo Rodrigues Teixeira, Alexandro Guterres da Silva, Renata Carvalho de Oliveira, Liana Strecht, Maria Ogrzewalska, Elba Regina S de Lemos
Information about tick fauna and monitoring of pathogen prevalences in ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) in various habitat types can enhance knowledge about the epidemiology of tick-borne pathogens in Brazil. This work shows the results of a study of tick parasitism of wild rodents and marsupials collected in seven localities in the southern part of Brazil, within Atlantic Forest and Cerrado biomes. A total of 61 ticks were collected from small mammals, and after identification to the species level, the ticks were individually tested for the presence of bacteria of the genera Rickettsia, Borrelia, family Anaplasmataceae, and protozoa of the genus Babesia...
October 15, 2016: Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases
Deepak Adhikari, Kiran Busayavalasa, Jingjing Zhang, Mengwen Hu, Sanjiv Risal, Mustafa Bilal Bayazit, Meenakshi Singh, M Kasim Diril, Philipp Kaldis, Kui Liu
A unique feature of female germ cell development in mammals is their remarkably long arrest at the prophase of meiosis I, which lasts up to 50 years in humans. Both dormant and growing oocytes are arrested at prophase I and completely lack the ability to resume meiosis. Here, we show that the prolonged meiotic arrest of female germ cells is largely achieved via the inhibitory phosphorylation of Cdk1 (cyclin-dependent kinase 1). In two mouse models where we have introduced mutant Cdk1(T14AY15F) which cannot be inhibited by phosphorylation (Cdk1AF) in small meiotically incompetent oocytes, the prophase I arrest is interrupted, leading to a premature loss of female germ cells...
October 21, 2016: Cell Research
Kenneth S Henry, Kristina S Abrams, Johanna Forst, Matthew J Mender, Erikson G Neilans, Fabio Idrobo, Laurel H Carney
Vowels make a strong contribution to speech perception under natural conditions. Vowels are encoded in the auditory nerve primarily through neural synchrony to temporal fine structure and to envelope fluctuations rather than through average discharge rate. Neural synchrony is thought to contribute less to vowel coding in central auditory nuclei, consistent with more limited synchronization to fine structure and the emergence of average-rate coding of envelope fluctuations. However, this hypothesis is largely unexplored, especially in background noise...
October 20, 2016: Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology: JARO
Alissa J Brown, Douglas H Deutschman, Jessica Braswell, Dana McLaughlin
Granivorous animals may prefer to predate or cache seed of certain plant species over others. Multiple studies have documented preference for larger, non-native seed by granivores. To accomplish this, researchers have traditionally used indirect inference by relating patterns of seed removal to the species composition of the granivorous animal community. To measure seed removal, researchers present seed to granivorous animals in the field using equipment intended to exclude certain animal taxa while permitting access to others...
2016: PloS One
Denys deCatanzaro, Tyler J Pollock
Estradiol-17β (E2) plays critical roles in female maturation, sexual receptivity, ovulation, and fertility. In many mammals, contact with males can similarly affect these female parameters, while male excretions contain significant quantities of E2 We administered radiolabeled estradiol ([(3)H]E2) to male mice in doses representing a small fraction of their endogenous E2 These males were paired with sexually-receptive females, and radioactivity was traced into the females' systems. In Experiment 1, males were given [(3)H]E2 at 24 and 1 h prior to mating...
October 6, 2016: Journal of Endocrinology
Oliver R Wearn, Chris Carbone, J Marcus Rowcliffe, Henry Bernard, Robert M Ewers
Diversity responses to land-use change are poorly understood at local scales, hindering our ability to make forecasts and management recommendations at scales which are of practical relevance. A key barrier in this has been the underappreciation of grain-dependent diversity responses and the role that β-diversity (variation in community composition across space) plays in this. Decisions about the most effective spatial arrangement of conservation set-aside, for example high conservation value areas, have also neglected β-diversity, despite its role in determining the complementarity of sites...
July 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Joana C Silva, Emmanuel Cornillot, Carrie McCracken, Sahar Usmani-Brown, Ankit Dwivedi, Olukemi O Ifeonu, Jonathan Crabtree, Hanzel T Gotia, Azan Z Virji, Christelle Reynes, Jacques Colinge, Vidya Kumar, Lauren Lawres, Joseph E Pazzi, Jozelyn V Pablo, Chris Hung, Jana Brancato, Priti Kumari, Joshua Orvis, Kyle Tretina, Marcus Chibucos, Sandy Ott, Lisa Sadzewicz, Naomi Sengamalay, Amol C Shetty, Qi Su, Luke Tallon, Claire M Fraser, Roger Frutos, Douglas M Molina, Peter J Krause, Choukri Ben Mamoun
Babesia microti, a tick-transmitted, intraerythrocytic protozoan parasite circulating mainly among small mammals, is the primary cause of human babesiosis. While most cases are transmitted by Ixodes ticks, the disease may also be transmitted through blood transfusion and perinatally. A comprehensive analysis of genome composition, genetic diversity, and gene expression profiling of seven B. microti isolates revealed that genetic variation in isolates from the Northeast United States is almost exclusively associated with genes encoding the surface proteome and secretome of the parasite...
October 18, 2016: Scientific Reports
Charlene Steinhausen, Lyuba Zehl, Michaela Haas-Rioth, Kerstin Morcinek, Wolfgang Walkowiak, Stefan Huggenberger
The general assumption that brain size differences are an adequate proxy for subtler differences in brain organization turned neurobiologists toward the question why some groups of mammals such as primates, elephants, and whales have such remarkably large brains. In this meta-analysis, an extensive sample of eutherian mammals (115 species distributed in 14 orders) provided data about several different biological traits and measures of brain size such as absolute brain mass (AB), relative brain mass (RB; quotient from AB and body mass), and encephalization quotient (EQ)...
2016: Frontiers in Neuroanatomy
Yong Chen, Ruping Pan, Alexander Pfeifer
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNA molecules consisting of approximately 20 to 22 nucleotides. They play a very important role in the regulation of gene expression. miRNAs can be found in different species and a variety of organs and tissues including adipose tissue. There are two types of adipose tissue in mammals: White adipose tissue (WAT) is the largest energy storage, whereas brown adipose tissue (BAT) dissipates energy to maintain body temperature. BAT was first identified in hibernating animals and newborns as a defense against cold...
October 11, 2016: Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Jenny Knapp, Benoît Combes, Gérald Umhang, Soufiane Aknouche, Laurence Millon
Echinococcus multilocularis, a cestode parasite responsible for alveolar echinococcosis in humans, is often reported in Europe. It involves red foxes, domestic dogs, and domestic and wild cats as definitive hosts. The parasite infects small mammals and accidentally humans as intermediate hosts and develops in a similar way to a tumor, usually in the liver. Domestic animals are suspected of playing a role in parasite transmission, but this is rarely proven. Moreover, the role of domestic cats is thought to be small, because of experimental studies showing incomplete development of the parasite observed in their intestines...
2016: Parasite: Journal de la Société Française de Parasitologie
Ester Arévalo Sureda, Björn Weström, Stefan G Pierzynowski, Olena Prykhodko
BACKGROUND: The intestinal barrier is immature in newborn mammals allowing for transfer of bioactive macromolecules, e.g. protecting antibodies, from mother's milk to the blood circulation and in neonatal rodents lasts until weaning. This passage involves the neonatal-Fc-receptor (FcRn) binding IgG in the proximal and highly endocytic vacuolated enterocytes in the distal immature small intestine (SI). Recent studies have suggested an involvement of the transcription factor B-lymphocyte-induced maturation-protein-1 (Blimp-1) in the regulation of SI maturation in mice...
2016: PloS One
Daniela Numberger, Daniel P R Herlemann, Klaus Jürgens, Guido Dehnhardt, Heide Schulz-Vogt
The gut microbiota has many beneficial effects on host metabolism and health, and its composition is determined by numerous factors. It is also assumed that there was a co-evolution of mammals and the bacteria inhabiting their gut. Current knowledge of the mammalian gut microbiota mainly derives from studies on humans and terrestrial animals, whereas those on marine mammals are sparse. However, they could provide additional information on influencing factors, such as the role of diet and co-evolution with the host...
October 2016: MicrobiologyOpen
T C Anderson, N Marsden-Haug, J F Morris, W Culpepper, N Bessette, J K Adams, S Bidol, S Meyer, J Schmitz, M M Erdman, T M Gomez, C Barton Behravesh
Zoonotic Salmonella infections cause approximately 130 000 illnesses annually in the United States. Of 72.9 million US households owning at least one pet, five million own small mammals; 3000 hedgehogs were documented by USDA in USDA-licensed breeding facilities and pet stores in 2012. State health department collaborators and PulseNet, the national bacterial subtyping network, identified human infections of a Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak strain, which were investigated by CDC, USDA-APHIS and state public and animal health officials...
October 13, 2016: Zoonoses and Public Health
Jaya K Matthews, Clare Stawski, Gerhard Körtner, Cassandra A Parker, Fritz Geiser
Wildfires can completely obliterate above-ground vegetation, yet some small terrestrial mammals survive during and after fires. As knowledge about the physiological and behavioural adaptations that are crucial for post-wildfire survival is scant, we investigated the thermal biology of a small insectivorous marsupial (Antechinus flavipes) after a severe forest fire. Some populations of antechinus survived the fire in situ probably by hiding deep in rocky crevices, the only fire-proof sites near where they were trapped...
October 12, 2016: Journal of Comparative Physiology. B, Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology
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