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Giant panda

Tao Wang, Yue Xie, Youle Zheng, Chengdong Wang, Desheng Li, Anson V Koehler, Robin B Gasser
The giant panda, with an estimated population size of 2239 in the world (in 2015), is a global symbol of wildlife conservation that is threatened by habitat loss, poor reproduction and limited resistance to some infectious diseases. Of these factors, some diseases caused by parasites are considered as the foremost threat to its conservation. However, there is surprisingly little published information on the parasites of the giant panda, most of which has been disseminated in the Chinese literature. Herein, we review all peer-reviewed publications (in English or Chinese language) and governmental documents for information on parasites of the giant pandas, with an emphasis on the intestinal nematode Baylisascaris schroederi (McIntosh, 1939) as it dominates published literature...
2018: Advances in Parasitology
Wei Guo, Sudhanshu Mishra, Jiangchao Zhao, Jingsi Tang, Bo Zeng, Fanli Kong, Ruihong Ning, Miao Li, Hengzhi Zhang, Yutian Zeng, Yuanliangzi Tian, Yihang Zhong, Hongdi Luo, Yunhan Liu, Jiandong Yang, Mingyao Yang, Mingwang Zhang, Yan Li, Qingyong Ni, Caiwu Li, Chengdong Wang, Desheng Li, Hemin Zhang, Zhili Zuo, Ying Li
Bamboo-eating giant panda ( Ailuropoda melanoleuca ) is an enigmatic species, which possesses a carnivore-like short and simple gastrointestinal tract (GIT). Despite the remarkable studies on giant panda, its diet adaptability status continues to be a matter of debate. To resolve this puzzle, we investigated the functional potential of the giant panda gut microbiome using shotgun metagenomic sequencing of fecal samples. We also compared our data with similar data from other animal species representing herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores from current and earlier studies...
2018: Frontiers in Microbiology
Youxu Li, Qiang Dai, Rong Hou, Zhihe Zhang, Peng Chen, Rui Xue, Feifei Feng, Chao Chen, Jiabin Liu, Xiaodong Gu, Zejun Zhang, Dunwu Qi
A correction to this article has been published and is linked from the HTML and PDF versions of this paper. The error has not been fixed in the paper.
March 1, 2018: Scientific Reports
Francesco Di Virgilio, Anna L Giuliani, Valentina Vultaggio-Poma, Simonetta Falzoni, Alba C Sarti
The P2X7 receptor (P2X7R) is a ligand-gated plasma membrane ion channel belonging to the P2X receptor subfamily activated by extracellular nucleotides. General consensus holds that the physiological (and maybe the only) agonist is ATP. However, scattered evidence generated over the last several years suggests that ATP might not be the only agonist, especially at inflammatory sites. Solid data show that NAD + covalently modifies the P2X7R of mouse T lymphocytes, thus lowering the ATP threshold for activation...
2018: Frontiers in Pharmacology
Wenke Bai, Thomas Connor, Jindong Zhang, Hongbo Yang, Xin Dong, Xiaodong Gu, Caiquan Zhou
Changes in wildlife habitat across space and time, and corresponding changes in wildlife space use, are increasingly common phenomenon. It is critical to study and understand these spatio-temporal changes to accurately inform conservation strategy and manage wildlife populations. These changes can be particularly large and complex in areas that face pressure from human development and disturbance but are also under protection and/or restoration regimes. We analyzed changes in space use and habitat suitability of giant pandas in Wolong Nature Reserve, China, over three decades using kernel density, spatio-temporal analysis of moving polygons (STAMP), and MaxEnt methods, and data from three national censuses...
February 8, 2018: Environmental Science and Pollution Research International
Wencheng Zou, Caiwu Li, Xin Yang, Yongxiang Wang, Guangyang Cheng, Jinxin Zeng, Xiuzhong Zhang, Yanpeng Chen, Run Cai, Qianru Huang, Lan Feng, Hongning Wang, Desheng Li, Guiquan Zhang, Yanxi Chen, Zhizhong Zhang, Heming Zhang
Escherichia coli (E. coli) is considered as a common opportunistic pathogen, which causes seriously intestinal infections to giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) and other animals. The aim of this investigation was to characterize the antimicrobial resistance and integron gene cassettes in E. coli isolated from the faeces of giant pandas in China. A total of 89 E. coli were isolated, after diagnosis of isolates and genomes were extracted. All the isolates were screened for the presence of related drug-resistance genes and integron gene cassettes through the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and sequencing...
January 25, 2018: Microbial Pathogenesis
Wenping Zhang, Wenbin Liu, Rong Hou, Liang Zhang, Stephan Schmitz-Esser, Huaibo Sun, Junjin Xie, Yunfei Zhang, Chengdong Wang, Lifeng Li, Bisong Yue, He Huang, Hairui Wang, Fujun Shen, Zhihe Zhang
The giant panda feeds almost exclusively on bamboo, a diet highly enriched in lignin and cellulose, but is characterized by a digestive tract similar to carnivores. It is still large unknown if and how the giant panda gut microbiota contributes to lignin and cellulose degradation. Here we show the giant pandas' gut microbiota does not significantly contribute to cellulose and lignin degradation. We found that no operational taxonomic unit had a nearest neighbor identified as a cellulolytic species or strain with a significant higher abundance in juvenile than cubs, a very low abundance of putative lignin and cellulose genes existed in part of analyzing samples but a significant higher abundance of genes involved in starch and hemicellulose degradation in juveniles than cubs...
February 1, 2018: ISME Journal
Ziyao Zhou, Furui Liu, Xinyue Zhang, Xiaoxiao Zhou, Zhijun Zhong, Huaiyi Su, Jin Li, Haozhou Li, Fan Feng, Jingchao Lan, Zhihe Zhang, Hualin Fu, Yanchun Hu, Suizhong Cao, Weigang Chen, Jiabo Deng, Jianqiu Yu, Wenping Zhang, Guangneng Peng
Surfactin secreted by Bacillus subtilis can confer strong, diverse antipathogenic effects, thereby benefitting the host. Carbon source is an important factor for surfactin production. However, the mechanism that bacteria utilize cellulose, the most abundant substance in the intestines of herbivores, to produce surfactin remains unclear. Here, we used B. subtilis HH2, isolated from the feces of a giant panda, as a model to determine changes in surfactin expression in the presence of different concentrations of cellulose by quantitative polymerase chain reaction and high-performance liquid chromatography...
2018: PloS One
Yipeng Jin, Xinke Zhang, Yisheng Ma, Yanchao Qiao, Xiaobin Liu, Kaihui Zhao, Chenglin Zhang, Degui Lin, Xuelian Fu, Xinrong Xu, Yiwei Wang, Huanan Wang
We evaluated exposure to canine distemper virus (CDV) in eight wild giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) and 125 unvaccinated domestic dogs living in and around Foping National Nature Reserve (FNNR), China. Seventy-two percent of unvaccinated domestic dogs (mixed breed) had neutralizing antibodies for CDV due to exposure to the disease. The eight wild giant pandas were naïve to CDV and carried no positive antibody titer. RT-PCR assays for hemagglutinin (H) gene confirmed the presence of CDV in 31 clinically ill dogs from several areas near FNNR...
December 26, 2017: Oncotarget
Qian Liu, Xueqin Ni, Qiang Wang, Zhirong Peng, Lili Niu, Meiling Xie, Yicen Lin, Yi Zhou, Hao Sun, Kangcheng Pan, Bo Jing, Dong Zeng
The present study aimed to isolate an optimal lactic acid bacterial strain from the feces of healthy giant pandas. The strain exhibited good stability at low pH and high bile salt concentrations, activity against pathogens relevant to pandas, and antibiotic susceptibility. In the current study, 25 isolates were obtained from de Man, Rogosa, and Sharpe agar. Two (E21 and G83) and eight (E1, E2, E16, E18, E21, E69, E70, and G83) isolates demonstrated good performance at pH 2.0 and bile 2% (w/v), respectively...
January 20, 2018: Probiotics and Antimicrobial Proteins
Mingchun Zhang, Zhizhong Zhang, Zhong Li, Mingsheng Hong, Xiaoping Zhou, Shiqiang Zhou, Jindong Zhang, Vanessa Hull, Jinyan Huang, Hemin Zhang
Diet plays a pivotal role in dictating behavioral patterns of herbivorous animals, particularly specialist species. The giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) is well-known as a bamboo specialist. In the present study, the response of giant pandas to spatiotemporal variation of bamboo shoots was explored using field surveys and GPS collar tracking. Results show the dynamics in panda-bamboo space-time relationships that have not been previously articulated. For instance, we found a higher bamboo stump height of foraged bamboo with increasing elevation, places where pandas foraged later in spring when bamboo shoots become more fibrous and woody...
January 10, 2018: Environmental Science and Pollution Research International
Ying Tang, Julie A Winkler, Andrés Viña, Jianguo Liu, Yuanbin Zhang, Xiaofeng Zhang, Xiaohong Li, Fang Wang, Jindong Zhang, Zhiqiang Zhao
Multiple factors introduce uncertainty into projections of species distributions under climate change. The uncertainty introduced by the choice of baseline climate information used to calibrate a species distribution model and to downscale global climate model (GCM) simulations to a finer spatial resolution is a particular concern for mountainous regions, as the spatial resolution of climate observing networks is often insufficient to detect the steep climatic gradients in these areas. Using the maximum entropy (MaxEnt) modeling framework together with occurrence data on 21 understory bamboo species distributed across the mountainous geographic range of the Giant Panda, we examined the differences in projected species distributions obtained from two contrasting sources of baseline climate information, one derived from spatial interpolation of coarse-scale station observations and the other derived from fine-spatial resolution satellite measurements...
2018: PloS One
Caitlin Burrell, Hemin Zhang, Desheng Li, Chengdong Wang, Caiwu Li, Copper Aitken-Palmer
The giant panda ( Ailuropoda melanoleuca) is a high-profile threatened species with individuals in captivity worldwide. As a result of advances in captive animal management and veterinary medicine, the ex situ giant panda population is aging, and improved understanding of age-related changes is necessary. Urine and blood samples were collected in April and July 2015 and analyzed for complete blood count, serum biochemistry, and biochemical and microscopic urine analysis for all individuals sampled ( n = 7, 7-16 yr of age) from giant panda housed at the China Research and Conservation Centre for the Giant Panda in Bifengxia, Sichuan Province, China...
December 2017: Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine: Official Publication of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Yuke Zhang, Paul D Mathewson, Qiongyue Zhang, Warren P Porter, Jianghong Ran
Threatened and endangered species are more vulnerable to climate change due to small population and specific geographical distribution. Therefore, identifying and incorporating the biological processes underlying a species' adaptation to its environment are important for determining whether they can persist in situ. Correlative models are widely used to predict species' distribution changes, but generally fail to capture the buffering capacity of organisms. Giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) live in topographically complex mountains and are known to avoid heat stress...
December 18, 2017: Global Change Biology
Janine L Brown
The ability to track gonadal function is facilitated by the use of endocrine and ultrasound techniques, both of which are important tools for optimizing reproduction and ensuring sustainability of fragile populations. With so many species now endangered, captive breeding is increasingly viewed as a means to sustain important insurance populations. As reproduction is key to species survival, understanding how to control and monitor ovarian function is vital. Through decades of study, we now have a greater understanding of the diversity, and plasticity, of reproductive mechanisms across taxa...
December 8, 2017: Theriogenology
Erin A McKenney, Michael Maslanka, Allen Rodrigo, Anne D Yoder
Bamboo specialization is one of the most extreme examples of convergent herbivory, yet it is unclear how this specific high-fiber diet might selectively shape the composition of the gut microbiome compared to host phylogeny. To address these questions, we used deep sequencing to investigate the nature and comparative impact of phylogenetic and dietary selection for specific gut microbial membership in three bamboo specialists-the bamboo lemur (Hapalemur griseus, Primates: Lemuridae), giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca, Carnivora: Ursidae), and red panda (Ailurus fulgens, Carnivora: Musteloideadae), as well as two phylogenetic controls-the ringtail lemur (Lemur catta) and the Asian black bear (Ursus thibetanus)...
November 29, 2017: Microbial Ecology
Dongwei Kang, Junqing Li
Giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) is a flagship species in nature conservation of the world; to protect this species, 67 nature reserves have been established in China. To evaluate the protection effect of giant panda nature reserves, we analyzed the variation of giant panda number and habitat area of 23 giant panda nature reserves of Sichuan province based on the national survey data released by State Forestry Administration and Sichuan Forestry Department. Results showed that from the third national survey to the fourth, giant panda number and habitat area of 23 giant panda nature reserves of Sichuan province failed to realize the significant increase...
February 2018: Environmental Science and Pollution Research International
Nathan J P Wintle, Meghan S Martin-Wintle, Xiaoping Zhou, Hemin Zhang
Fifteen giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) from the Chinese Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda (CCRCGP) in Bifengxia, Sichuan, China were analyzed for blood lead concentrations (Pb-B) during the 2017 breeding season. Thirteen of the 15 bears showed Pb-B below the method detection limit (MDL) of 3.3 µg/dL. The two remaining bears, although above the MDL, contained very low concentrations of lead of 3.9 and 4.5 µg/dL. All 15 giant pandas in this analysis had Pb-B concentrations that were within normal background concentrations for mammals in uncontaminated environments...
January 2018: Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
Lei Shan, Qi Wu, Le Wang, Lei Zhang, Fuwen Wei
Bitter taste receptor genes (TAS2Rs) mediate bitterness perception in mammals. It is believed that these genes evolved in response to species-specific diets. The giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) and red panda (Ailurus fulgens styani) in the order Carnivora are specialized herbivores with an almost exclusive bamboo diet (>90% bamboo). Because bamboo is full of bitter tasting compounds, we hypothesized that adaptive evolution have occurred at TAS2R genes in giant and red pandas throughout the course of their dietary shift...
November 23, 2017: Integrative Zoology
Xiaoping Ma, Changcheng Li, Jiafa Hou, Yu Gu
BACKGROUND: In order to better understand the possible role of fungi in giant panda reproduction and overall health, it is important to provide a baseline for the normal fungal composition in the reproductive system. Using morphology and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequence analysis, we systematically isolated and identified fungal species from the vagina, foreskin, and semen of 21 (11 males and 10 females) healthy giant pandas to understand the normal fungal flora of the genital tracts...
November 21, 2017: BMC Veterinary Research
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