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Tungara frog

Ryan J Morris, Giovanni B Brandani, Vibhuti Desai, Brian O Smith, Marieke Schor, Cait E MacPhee
Ranaspumin-2 (Rsn-2) is a surfactant protein found in the foam nests of the túngara frog. Previous experimental work has led to a proposed model of adsorption that involves an unusual clam-shell-like unhinging of the protein at an interface. Interestingly, there is no concomitant denaturation of the secondary structural elements of Rsn-2 with the large-scale transformation of its tertiary structure. In this work we use both experiment and simulation to better understand the driving forces underpinning this unusual process...
August 23, 2016: Biophysical Journal
Tiffany A Kosch, Arnaud Bataille, Chelsea Didinger, John A Eimes, Sofia Rodríguez-Brenes, Michael J Ryan, Bruce Waldman
Pathogen-driven selection can favour major histocompatibility complex (MHC) alleles that confer immunological resistance to specific diseases. However, strong directional selection should deplete genetic variation necessary for robust immune function in the absence of balancing selection or challenges presented by other pathogens. We examined selection dynamics at one MHC class II (MHC-II) locus across Panamanian populations of the túngara frog, Physalaemus pustulosus, infected by the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd)...
August 2016: Biology Letters
Wouter Halfwerk, Michael J Ryan, Preston S Wilson
The world is a noisy place, and animals have evolved a myriad of strategies to communicate in it. Animal communication signals are, however, often multimodal; their components can be processed by multiple sensory systems, and noise can thus affect signal components across different modalities. We studied the effect of environmental noise on multimodal communication in the túngara frog (Physalaemus pustulosus). Males communicate with rivals using airborne sounds combined with call-induced water ripples. We tested males under control as well as noisy conditions in which we mimicked rain- and wind-induced vibrations on the water surface...
September 2016: American Naturalist
Paula A Trillo, Ximena E Bernal, Michael S Caldwell, Wouter H Halfwerk, Mallory O Wessel, Rachel A Page
Although males often display from mixed-species aggregations, the influence of nearby heterospecifics on risks associated with sexual signalling has not been previously examined. We tested whether predation and parasitism risks depend on proximity to heterospecific signallers. Using field playback experiments with calls of two species that often display from the same ponds, túngara frogs and hourglass treefrogs, we tested two hypotheses: (1) calling near heterospecific signallers attractive to eavesdroppers results in increased attention from predatory bats and parasitic midges (collateral damage hypothesis) or (2) calling near heterospecific signallers reduces an individual's predation and parasitism risks, as eavesdroppers are drawn to the heterospecifics (shadow of safety hypothesis)...
May 25, 2016: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Sofía Rodríguez-Brenes, David Rodriguez, Roberto Ibáñez, Michael J Ryan
Chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is an emergent infectious disease partially responsible for worldwide amphibian population declines. The spread of Bd along highland habitats (> 500 meters above sea level, m a.s.l.) of Costa Rica and Panamá is well documented and has been linked to amphibian population collapses. In contrast, data are scarce on the prevalence and dispersal of Bd in lowland habitats where amphibians may be infected but asymptomatic. Here we describe the spread (2009 to 2014) of Bd across lowland habitats east of the Panamá Canal (< 500 m a...
2016: PloS One
Ximena E Bernal, C Miguel Pinto
Trypanosomes are a diverse group of protozoan parasites of vertebrates transmitted by a variety of hematophagous invertebrate vectors. Anuran trypanosomes and their vectors have received relatively little attention even though these parasites have been reported from frog and toad species worldwide. Blood samples collected from túngara frogs (Engystomops pustulosus), a Neotropical anuran species heavily preyed upon by eavesdropping frog-biting midges (Corethrella spp.), were examined for trypanosomes. Our results revealed sexual differences in trypanosome prevalence with female frogs being rarely infected (<1%)...
April 2016: International Journal for Parasitology. Parasites and Wildlife
Lynne E Beaty, Quinn C Emmering, Ximena E Bernal
Sexual dimorphism in the ratio of digit lengths has been correlated to behavioral, physiological, and morphological traits in a variety of taxa. While sexual dimorphism in the second-to-fourth digit length ratio (2D:4D) is a well-established indicator of prenatal androgen exposure in mammals, investigations into the patterns of 2D:4D and the drivers of such variation in other taxa are lacking. We used linear mixed effects models to gain a mechanistic understanding of the factors that drive variation in the scaling relationship between the lengths of the second and fourth digits in two species of anurans: túngara frogs (Engystomops pustulosus) and cane toads (Rhinella marina)...
April 2016: Anatomical Record: Advances in Integrative Anatomy and Evolutionary Biology
Alexander T Baugh, Michael J Ryan, Ximena E Bernal, A Stanley Rand, Mark A Bee
In humans and some nonhuman vertebrates, a sound containing brief silent gaps can be rendered perceptually continuous by inserting noise into the gaps. This so-called "continuity illusion" arises from a phenomenon known as "auditory induction" and results in the perception of complete auditory objects despite fragmentary or incomplete acoustic information. Previous studies of auditory induction in gray treefrogs (Hyla versicolor and H. chrysoscelis) have demonstrated an absence of this phenomenon. These treefrog species produce pulsatile (noncontinuous) vocalizations, whereas studies of auditory induction in other taxa, including humans, often present continuous sounds (e...
February 2016: Behavioral Neuroscience
Mukta Chakraborty, Sabrina S Burmeister
Estradiol plays an important role in mediating changes in female sexual behavior across reproductive cycles. In the túngara frog [Physalaemus (=Engystomops) pustulosus], the relationship between gonadal activity and female sexual behavior, as expressed by phonotaxis, is mediated primarily by estradiol. Estradiol receptors are expressed in auditory and motivational brain areas and the hormone could serve as an important modulator of neural responses to conspecific calls. To better understand how estradiol modifies neural responses to conspecific social signals, we manipulated estradiol levels and measured expression of the immediate early gene egr-1 in the auditory midbrain, thalamus and limbic forebrain in response to conspecific or heterospecific calls...
November 2015: Journal of Experimental Biology
F Rhebergen, R C Taylor, M J Ryan, R A Page, W Halfwerk
Predators often eavesdrop on sexual displays of their prey. These displays can provide multimodal cues that aid predators, but the benefits in attending to them should depend on the environmental sensory conditions under which they forage. We assessed whether bats hunting for frogs use multimodal cues to locate their prey and whether their use varies with ambient conditions. We used a robotic set-up mimicking the sexual display of a male túngara frog (Physalaemus pustulosus) to test prey assessment by fringe-lipped bats (Trachops cirrhosus)...
September 7, 2015: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Amanda M Lea, Michael J Ryan
Mate choice models derive from traditional microeconomic decision theory and assume that individuals maximize their Darwinian fitness by making economically rational decisions. Rational choices exhibit regularity, whereby the relative strength of preferences between options remains stable when additional options are presented. We tested female frogs with three simulated males who differed in relative call attractiveness and call rate. In binary choice tests, females' preferences favored stimulus caller B over caller A; however, with the addition of an inferior "decoy" C, females reversed their preferences and chose A over B...
August 28, 2015: Science
Shelli L Frey, Jacob Todd, Elizabeth Wurtzler, Carly R Strelez, David Wendell
Advances in biological surfactant proteins have already yielded a diverse range of benefits from dramatically improved survival rates for premature births to artificial photosynthesis. Presented here is the design, development, and analysis of a novel biosurfactant protein we call Surfactant Resisting Foam formatioN (SRFN). Starting with the Tungara frog's foam forming protein Ranaspumin-2, we have engineered a new surfactant protein with a destabilized hinge region to alter the kinetics and equilibrium of the protein structural transition from aqueous globular form to an extended surfactant structure at the air/water interface...
September 1, 2015: Colloids and Surfaces. B, Biointerfaces
Giovanni Delfino, Filippo Giachi, Cecilia Malentacchi, Daniele Nosi
Three types of serous products were detected in the syncytial cutaneous glands of the leptodactylid tungara frog, Engystomops pustulosus: type Ia, granules with wide halos and variable density cores; type Ib, high density granules without halos; and type II, vesicles containing a finely dispersed product. Ultrastructural evidence revealed that these products were manufactured by different serous gland types and excluded that they represented different steps in the secretory cycle of a single gland type. Indeed, secretory maturation affecting the products released by the Golgi apparatus proceeded through different mechanisms: confluence (vesicles), interactions between syncytium and secretory product (type Ib granules), and a combination of both processes (type Ia granules)...
September 2015: Anatomical Record: Advances in Integrative Anatomy and Evolutionary Biology
Matthew W Bulbert, Rachel A Page, Ximena E Bernal
The escape response of an organism is generally its last line of defense against a predator. Because the effectiveness of an escape varies with the approach behaviour of the predator, it should be advantageous for prey to alter their escape trajectories depending on the mode of predator attack. To test this hypothesis we examined the escape responses of a single prey species, the ground-dwelling túngara frog (Engystomops pustulosus), to disparate predators approaching from different spatial planes: a terrestrial predator (snake) and an aerial predator (bat)...
2015: PloS One
Wouter Halfwerk, Marjorie M Dixon, Kristina J Ottens, Ryan C Taylor, Michael J Ryan, Rachel A Page, Patricia L Jones
Many sexual displays contain multiple components that are received through a variety of sensory modalities. Primary and secondary signal components can interact to induce novel receiver responses and become targets of sexual selection as complex signals. However, predators can also use these complex signals for prey assessment, which may limit the evolution of elaborate sexual signals. We tested whether a multimodal sexual display of the male túngara frog (Physalaemus pustulosus) increases predation risk from the fringe-lipped bat (Trachops cirrhosus) when compared with a unimodal display...
September 1, 2014: Journal of Experimental Biology
Wouter Halfwerk, Rachel A Page, Ryan C Taylor, Preston S Wilson, Michael J Ryan
Animals have multiple senses through which they detect their surroundings and often integrate sensory information across different modalities to generate perceptions. Animal communication, likewise, often consists of signals containing stimuli processed by different senses. Stimuli with different physical forms (i.e., from different sensory modalities) travel at different speeds. As a consequence, multimodal stimuli simultaneously emitted at a source can arrive at a receiver at different times. Such differences in arrival time can provide unique information about the distance to the source...
August 4, 2014: Current Biology: CB
Michael J Ryan, Mónica A Guerra
Sexual communication can evolve in response to sexual selection, and it can also cause behavioral reproductive isolation between populations and thus drive speciation. Anurans are an excellent system to investigate these links between behavior and evolution because we have detailed knowledge of how neural mechanisms generate behavioral preferences for calls and how these preferences then generate selection on call variation. But we know far less about the physical mechanisms of call production, especially how different laryngeal morphologies generate call variation...
October 2014: Current Opinion in Neurobiology
Karin L Akre, Ximena Bernal, A Stanley Rand, Michael J Ryan
The human music faculty might have evolved from rudimentary components that occur in non-human animals. The evolutionary history of these rudimentary perceptual features is not well understood and rarely extends beyond a consideration of vertebrates that possess a cochlea. One such antecedent is a preferential response to what humans perceive as consonant harmonic sounds, which are common in many animal vocal repertoires. We tested the phonotactic response of female túngara frogs (Physalaemus pustulosus) to variations in the frequency ratios of their harmonically structured mating call to determine whether frequency ratio influences attraction to acoustic stimuli in this vertebrate that lacks a cochlea...
August 22, 2014: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
W Halfwerk, P L Jones, R C Taylor, M J Ryan, R A Page
Animal displays are often perceived by intended and unintended receivers in more than one sensory system. In addition, cues that are an incidental consequence of signal production can also be perceived by different receivers, even when the receivers use different sensory systems to perceive them. Here we show that the vocal responses of male túngara frogs (Physalaemus pustulosus) increase twofold when call-induced water ripples are added to the acoustic component of a rival's call. Hunting bats (Trachops cirrhosus) can echolocate this signal by-product and prefer to attack model frogs when ripples are added to the acoustic component of the call...
January 24, 2014: Science
R C Taylor, M J Ryan
Sexual signals are often complex and perceived by multiple senses. How animals integrate signal components across sensory modalities can influence signal evolution. Here we show that two relatively unattractive signals that are perceived acoustically and visually can be combined in a pattern to form a signal that is attractive to female túngara frogs. Such unanticipated perceptual effects suggest that the evolution of complex signals can occur by alteration of the relationships among already-existing traits...
July 19, 2013: Science
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