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Small mammals

Zhijun Zhong, Rui Tu, Hongping Ou, Guangwen Yan, Jiaming Dan, Qicheng Xiao, Ya Wang, Suizhong Cao, Liuhong Shen, Junliang Deng, Zhicai Zuo, Xiaoping Ma, Ziyao Zhou, Haifeng Liu, Shumin Yu, Zhihua Ren, Yanchun Hu, Guangneng Peng
Giardia duodenalis and Cryptosporidium spp. are common gastrointestinal protozoa in mammals. Many studies have been conducted on the distribution of G. duodenalis and Cryptosporidium spp. genotypes in sheep and cattle. However, in China, information about molecular characterization and genetic analysis of G. duodenalis and Cryptosporidium spp. in goats is limited. In this study, 342 fecal samples from adult goats were collected from 12 farms in Sichuan Province, China. The occurrence of G. duodenalis and Cryptosporidium spp...
2018: PloS One
Elizabeth M Knapp, Lylah D Deady, Jianjun Sun
Ovulation, the process of releasing a mature oocyte from the ovary, is crucial for animal reproduction. In order for the process of ovulation to occur, a follicle must be fully matured and signaled to rupture from the ovary. During follicle rupture in both mammals and Drosophila , somatic follicle cells are enzymatically degraded to allow the oocyte to be liberated from the follicle. Here, we describe a detailed protocol of our newly developed ex vivo follicle rupture assay in Drosophila , which represents a first assay allowing direct quantification of follicles' capacity to respond to ovulation stimuli and rupture...
May 20, 2018: Bio-protocol
Craig P McGowan, Clint E Collins
Bipedal hopping is a specialized mode of locomotion that has arisen independently in at least five groups of mammals. We review the evolutionary origins of these groups, examine three of the most prominent hypotheses for why bipedal hopping may have arisen, and discuss how this unique mode of locomotion influences the behavior and ecology of modern species. While all bipedal hoppers share generally similar body plans, differences in underlying musculoskeletal anatomy influence what performance benefits each group may derive from this mode of locomotion...
June 15, 2018: Journal of Experimental Biology
Vincent van der Vinne, Mark J Bingaman, David R Weaver, Steven J Swoap
Daily torpor is used by small mammals to reduce daily energy expenditure in response to energetic challenges. Optimizing the timing of daily torpor allows mammals to maximize its energetic benefits and, accordingly, torpor typically occurs in the late night and early morning in most species. The regulatory mechanisms underlying such temporal regulation have however not been elucidated. Direct control by the circadian clock and indirect control through the timing of food intake have both been suggested as possible mechanisms...
June 14, 2018: Journal of Experimental Biology
Gilberto Sabino-Santos, Felipe Gonçalves Motta Maia, Ronaldo Bragança Martins, Talita Bianca Gagliardi, William Marciel de Souza, Renata Lara Muylaert, Luciano Kleber de Souza Luna, Danilo Machado Melo, Ricardo de Souza Cardoso, Natalia da Silva Barbosa, Marjorie Cornejo Pontelli, Priscila Rosse Mamani-Zapana, Thallyta Maria Vieira, Norma Maria Melo, Colleen B Jonsson, Douglas Goodin, Jorge Salazar-Bravo, Luis Lamberti Pinto daSilva, Eurico Arruda, Luiz Tadeu Moraes Figueiredo
Bats (Order: Chiroptera) harbor a high diversity of emerging pathogens presumably because their ability to fly and social behavior favor the maintenance, evolution, and dissemination of these pathogens. Until 2012, there was only one report of the presence of Hantavirus in bats. Historically, it was thought that these viruses were harbored primarily by rodent and insectivore small mammals. Recently, new species of hantaviruses have been identified in bats from Africa and Asia continents expanding the potential reservoirs and range of these viruses...
June 13, 2018: Scientific Reports
Robyn A Grant, Vicki Breakell, Tony J Prescott
All small mammals have prominent facial whiskers that they employ as tactile sensors to guide navigation and foraging in complex habitats. Nocturnal, arboreal mammals tend to have the longest and most densely packed whiskers, and semi-aquatic mammals have the most sensitive. Here we present evidence to indicate that many small mammals use their whiskers to tactually guide safe foot positioning. Specifically, in 11, small, non-flying mammal species, we demonstrate that forepaw placement always falls within the ground contact zone of the whisker field and that forepaw width is always smaller than whisker span...
June 13, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Chun-Hong Du, Hong-Bo Liu, Ran Wei, Frans Jongejan, Zi-Hou Gao, Zong-Ti Shao, Xing-De Duan, Bao-Gui Jiang, Yun-Xi Liu, Jia-Fu Jiang, Na Jia, Wu-Chun Cao
BACKGROUND: Rare investigation on tick-borne pathogens was carried out in Yunnan, China. In this study, we did a survey on Ehrlichia infection in small mammals and ticks. A total of 40 small mammals and 49 ticks were collected from Tengchong, Yunnan province. PCR targeting 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA), citrate synthase, GroEL heat-shock protein operon, and major outer membrane protein genes was performed and positive amplicons were sequenced. RESULTS: The 40 small mammals were identified as 10 species, 2 (5...
June 13, 2018: Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
Joanna Kania, Agnieszka Mączyńska, Mariola Głazek, Tomasz Krawczyk, Danuta M Gillner
Cultivation of oilseed rape requires application of specific fungicides. Besides their protective role, they can potentially influence the expression and activity of crucial enzymes in the plant. Among the large number of enzymes expressed in plants, aminopeptidases play a key role in all crucial physiological processes during the whole life cycle (e.g. storage protein mobilization and thus supplying plant with needed amino acids, as well as plant aging, protection and defense responses). In the present paper, we evaluate for the first time, the influence of the treatment of winter oilseed rape with commercially available fungicides (Pictor 400 SC, Propulse 250 SE and Symetra 325 SC), on the activity of aminopeptidases expressed in each plant organ (flowers, leaves, stems and pods separately)...
June 2018: Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology
Shahram Niknafs, Eugeni Roura
The anatomical structure and function of beaks, bills and tongue together with the mechanics of deglutition in birds have contributed to the development of a taste system denuded of macrostructures visible to the human naked eye. Studies in chickens and other birds have revealed that the avian taste system consists of taste buds not clustered in papillae and located mainly (60 %) in the upper palate hidden in the crevasses of the salivary ducts. That explains the long delay in the understanding of the avian taste system...
June 11, 2018: Nutrition Research Reviews
Ryan L Setten, Helen L Lightfoot, Nagy A Habib, John J Rossi
Oligonucleotide drug development has revolutionised the drug discovery field allowing the notoriously "undruggable" genome to potentially become "druggable". Within this field, 'small' or 'short' activating RNAs (saRNA) are a more recently discovered category of short double stranded RNA with clinical potential. SaRNAs promote endogenous transcription from target loci, a phenomenon widely observed in mammals known as RNA activation (RNAa). The ability to target a particular gene is dependent on the sequence of the saRNA...
June 10, 2018: Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology
Patricia Duchamp-Viret, Michel Chaput
In vivo recordings of single olfactory receptor neurons and electro-olfactograms (EOG, field potentials from the olfactory mucosa) provide insights into the olfactory processing properties of the olfactory peripheral stage. Because the olfactory receptor neurons are very small electrical generators, it is not easy to unitarily record them in amphibians, reptilians, and fishes. In mammals such recordings are even more difficult to obtain: primarily due to the anatomical configuration in complex turbinates of the olfactory mucosa and its propensity to hemorrhage during surgery; secondarily due to the fact that olfactory receptor neurons are held in closely packed clusters in the olfactory mucosa and are difficult to isolate, from the electrophysiological recording point of view...
2018: Methods in Molecular Biology
Xue-Ying Zhang, Gansukh Sukhchuluun, Ting-Bei Bo, Qing-Sheng Chi, Jun-Jie Yang, Bin Chen, Lei Zhang, De-Hua Wang
BACKGROUND: Huddling is highly evolved as a cooperative behavioral strategy for social mammals to maximize their fitness in harsh environments. Huddling behavior can change psychological and physiological responses. The coevolution of mammals with their microbial communities confers fitness benefits to both partners. The gut microbiome is a key regulator of host immune and metabolic functions. We hypothesized that huddling behavior altered energetics and thermoregulation by shaping caecal microbiota in small herbivores...
June 8, 2018: Microbiome
Melissa T R Hawkins, Ryan R Culligan, Cynthia L Frasier, Rebecca B Dikow, Ryan Hagenson, Runhua Lei, Edward E Louis
BACKGROUND: The greater bamboo lemur (Prolemur simus) is a member of the Family Lemuridae that is unique in their dependency on bamboo as a primary food source. This Critically Endangered species lives in small forest patches in eastern Madagascar, occupying a fraction of its historical range. Here we sequence the genome of the greater bamboo lemur for the first time, and provide genome resources for future studies of this species that can be applied across its distribution. RESULTS: Following whole genome sequencing of five individuals we identified over 152,000 polymorphic single nucleotide variants (SNVs), and evaluated geographic structuring across nearly 19 k SNVs...
June 8, 2018: BMC Genomics
Michaella Moysi, Maria Christou, Vassilis Goutner, Nikos Kassinis, Savvas Iezekiel
Background: The barn owl, a nocturnal raptor with cosmopolitan distribution, shows a great adaptability to different environments. Regarding prey, the barn owl is a rather selective species, but if changes in the abundance of the selected prey occur, it becomes an opportunistic predator and easily incorporates other prey in its diet, using a wide range of prey species and foraging habitats. Small rodents are usually the prey mostly used. Compared to the populations of north and eastern Europe, barn owl populations in the Mediterranean area have been the least studied...
December 2018: Journal of Biological Research
Simona Kraberger, Kara Waits, Jake Ivan, Eric Newkirk, Sue VandeWoude, Arvind Varsani
The San Juan Mountains of southern Colorado provide subalpine habitat for a suite of mammalian species including Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis), moose (Alces alces) and snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus). In the winter field season of 2016 five faecal samples from lynx, and one each from moose and snowshoe hare were collected to identify small single-stranded DNA viruses associated with these three prominent species. Thirty-two novel viruses were identified and classified as members of two well established ssDNA families Genomoviridae (n = 22) and Microviridae (n = 10) and one recently proposed new family, Smacoviridae (n = 1)...
June 4, 2018: Infection, Genetics and Evolution
Juan Romairone, José Jiménez, Juan José Luque-Larena, François Mougeot
Spatial capture-recapture modelling (SCR) is a powerful analytical tool to estimate density and derive information on space use and behaviour of elusive animals. Yet, SCR has been seldom applied to the study of ecologically keystone small mammals. Here we highlight its potential and requirements with a case study on common voles (Microtus arvalis). First, we address mortality associated with live-trapping, which can be high in small mammals, and must be kept minimal. We designed and tested a nest box coupled with a classic Sherman trap and show that it allows a 5-fold reduction of mortality in traps...
2018: PloS One
Syed Z Shah, Basit Jabbar, Nadeem Ahmed, Anum Rehman, Hira Nasir, Sarooj Nadeem, Iqra Jabbar, Zia Ur Rahman, Shafiq Azam
In South Asia, Haemaphysalis spinigera tick transmits Kyasanur Forest Disease Virus (KFDV), a flavivirus that causes severe hemorrhagic fever with neurological manifestations such as mental disturbances, severe headache, tremors, and vision deficits in infected human beings with a fatality rate of 3-10%. The disease was first reported in March 1957 from Kyasanur forest of Karnataka (India) from sick and dying monkeys. Since then, between 400 and 500 humans cases per year have been recorded; monkeys and small mammals are common hosts of this virus...
2018: Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology
Gansukh Sukhchuluun, Xue-Ying Zhang, Qing-Sheng Chi, De-Hua Wang
Huddling as social thermoregulatory behavior is commonly used by small mammals to reduce heat loss and energy expenditure in the cold. Our study aimed to determine the effect of huddling behavior on energy conservation, thermogenesis, core body temperature (Tb ) regulation and body composition in Brandt's voles ( Lasiopodomys brandtii ). Adult captive-bred female Brandt's voles ( n = 124) (~50 g) in 31 cages with 4 individuals each were exposed to cool (23 ± 1°C) and cold (4 ± 1°C) ambient temperatures (Ta ) and were allowed to huddle or were physically separated...
2018: Frontiers in Physiology
L E Smith
The ingestion of plastic debris by marine organisms has been documented across a variety of taxa including; marine mammals, sea birds, sea turtles and some fish species. Fewer reports have described ingestion by sharks, in this study the gastrointestinal tracts of 20 small spotted catsharks (Scyliorhinus canicula) trawl captured in the North Sea were investigated. Macroplastics (>20 mm) were found in 2 individuals and microplastic (<5 mm) was found in one other individual, this is the first time that plastic ingestion has been reported in this species...
May 2018: Marine Pollution Bulletin
Jemma L Geoghegan, Vanessa Pirotta, Erin Harvey, Alastair Smith, Jan P Buchmann, Martin Ostrowski, John-Sebastian Eden, Robert Harcourt, Edward C Holmes
There is growing interest in characterizing the viromes of diverse mammalian species, particularly in the context of disease emergence. However, little is known about virome diversity in aquatic mammals, in part due to difficulties in sampling. We characterized the virome of the exhaled breath (or blow) of the Eastern Australian humpback whale ( Megaptera novaeangliae ). To achieve an unbiased survey of virome diversity, a meta-transcriptomic analysis was performed on 19 pooled whale blow samples collected via a purpose-built Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV, or drone) approximately 3 km off the coast of Sydney, Australia during the 2017 winter annual northward migration from Antarctica to northern Australia...
June 2, 2018: Viruses
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