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Naoji Yubuki, Eliška Zadrobílková, Ivan Čepička
Fornicata (Metamonada) is a group of Excavata living in low oxygen environments and lacking conventional mitochondria. It includes free-living Carpediemonas-like organisms from marine habitats and predominantly parasitic/commensal retortamonads and diplomonads. Current modest knowledge of biodiversity of Fornicata limits our ability to draw a complete picture of the evolutionary history in this group. Here, we report the discovery of a novel fornicate, Iotanema spirale gen. nov. et sp. nov., obtained from fresh feces of the gecko Phelsuma madagascariensis...
October 17, 2016: Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology
Zhilong Peng, Cong Wang, Yazheng Yang, Shaohua Chen
Inspired by gecko adhesion in humid environments, a modified Kendall's model is established in order to investigate the effect of relative humidity on the interfacial peeling behavior of a thin film adhering on a rigid substrate. When the humidity is less than 90%, a monolayer of water molecules adsorbed on the substrate surface induces a strong disjoining pressure at the interface. As a result, the steady-state peel-off force between the thin film and substrate is significantly enhanced. When the humidity is greater than 90%, water molecules condense into water droplets...
September 2016: Physical Review. E
Prashant Pendyala, Harpreet Singh Grewal, Hong Nam Kim, Il-Joo Cho, Eui-Sung Yoon
Nanoscale patterns have dimensions that are comparable to the length scales affected by intermolecular and surface forces. In this study, we systematically investigated the individual roles of curvature, surface energy, lateral stiffness, material, pattern density on the characteristics of the adhesion and friction of nanopatterns. For this purpose, we used a combination of capillary force lithography and nanodrawing methods to fabricate cylindrical and mushroom-shaped pillars with flat- and round-top morphologies...
October 14, 2016: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
L J Mendis Wickramasinghe, Dulan Ranga Vidanapathirana, R M Gayan Priyankara Rathnayake
A new species of Cnemaspis, Cnemaspis rajakarunai sp. nov. is described and is the fourth rock dwelling species belonging to the genus known from Sri Lanka. The new species is readily distinguished from all other congeners by the following combination of characters: adult snout-vent length 36-40 mm; precloacal pores absent, large femoero-precloacal scales 22; femoral pores 7-8, enlarged femoral scales 6; ventral scales 146-186; supralabials (to midorbital position) 7; supralabials (to angle of jaws) 9; total lamellae on finger IV 19-22, shape of the basal lamellae on toe IV elliptical; and its unique colour pattern...
September 14, 2016: Zootaxa
Paul Doughty, Ryan J Ellis, Paul M Oliver
We provide a taxonomic revision of the genus Crenadactylus, a group of very small clawless geckos from western and central Australia, with currently only one recognized species and four subspecies. Morphological comparisons were made on genotyped specimens from two recent genetic studies, then with an expanded sample to encompass all specimens to determine diagnostic characters in addition to morphological and geographic boundaries. Based on our findings, we           elevate the subspecies Crenadactylus ocellatus ocellatus from south-western Australia and C...
September 15, 2016: Zootaxa
Sascha Winter, Katharina Jahn, Stefanie Wehner, Leon Kuchenbecker, Manja Marz, Jens Stoye, Sebastian Böcker
Gene-order-based comparison of multiple genomes provides signals for functional analysis of genes and the evolutionary process of genome organization. Gene clusters are regions of co-localized genes on genomes of different species. The rapid increase in sequenced genomes necessitates bioinformatics tools for finding gene clusters in hundreds of genomes. Existing tools are often restricted to few (in many cases, only two) genomes, and often make restrictive assumptions such as short perfect conservation, conserved gene order or monophyletic gene clusters...
September 26, 2016: Nucleic Acids Research
Anastasia Zotova, Ivan Zotov, Alexander Filatov, Dmitriy Mazurov
An essential step in monoclonal antibody (mAb) development is the characterization and final identification of the specific target antigen and its epitope. Antibody validation is rather straightforward when immunization is carried out with peptide or purified protein, but is more difficult when whole cells or other complex antigens are used for the immunization. Determining antigen specificity of a mAb is further complicated, when reactivity of an antibody is not detected in Western blotting and/or immunoprecipitation assay...
September 21, 2016: Journal of Immunological Methods
Chris T McAllister, R Scott Seville, Ruston Hartdegen
During May and June 2015, four common leaf-tailed geckos, Uroplatus fimbriatus (Schneider), five satanic leaf-tailed geckos, Uroplatus phantasticus (Boulenger), and four mossy leaf-tailed geckos, Uroplatus sikorae Boettger originally collected from Madagascar and housed at the Dallas Zoo, USA, had their faeces examined for coccidian parasites. Eight (62%) geckos were found to be passing oöcysts, including a new eimerian, a new isosporan and a previously described eimerian. Three of four (75%) U. fimbratus (type-host) and one of five (20%) U...
October 2016: Systematic Parasitology
Quan Xu, Wenwen Zhang, Chenbo Dong, Theruvakkattil Sreenivasan Sreeprasad, Zhenhai Xia
With millions of years of natural evolution, organisms have achieved sophisticated structures, patterns or textures with complex, spontaneous multifunctionality. Among all the fascinating characteristics observed in biosystems, self-cleaning ability is regarded as one of the most interesting topics in biomimicry because of its potential applications in various fields such as aerospace, energy conversion and biomedical and environmental protection. Recently, in-depth studies have been carried out on various compelling biostructures including lotus leaves, shark skins, butterfly wings and gecko feet...
September 2016: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Yuval Itescu, Rachel Schwarz, Shai Meiri, Panayiotis Pafilis
Tail autotomy is mainly considered an antipredator mechanism. Theory suggests that predation pressure relaxes on islands, subsequently reducing autotomy rates. Intraspecific aggression, which may also cause tail loss, probably intensifies on islands due to the higher abundance. We studied whether tail autotomy is mostly affected by predation pressure or by intraspecific competition. We further studied whether predator abundance or predator richness is more important in this context. To test our predictions, we examined multiple populations of two gecko species: Kotschy's gecko (Mediodactylus kotschyi; mainland and 41 islands) and the Mediterranean house gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus; mainland and 17 islands), and estimated their abundance together with five indices of predation...
September 14, 2016: Journal of Animal Ecology
Claudia Koch, Morris Flecks, Pablo J Venegas, Patrick Bialke, Sebastian Valverde, Dennis Rödder
An integrative taxonomic approach based on morphology, molecular analyses, and climatic niche modeling was used to uncover cryptic diversity in the phyllodactylid gecko species Phyllodactylus reissii. At least three distinct species could be identified among the examined specimens from southern Ecuador and northern Peru. Phyllodactylus magister, described by Noble (1924) from arid Andean valleys of the Chinchipe and Marañón rivers in the Peruvian Department of Cajamarca and synonymized with P. reissii by Dixon & Huey (1970) is elevated from synonymy and a detailed redescription is provided...
2016: Zootaxa
João P Maia, D James Harris, Salvador Carranza, Elena Goméz-Díaz
Understanding the processes that shape parasite diversification, their distribution and abundance provides valuable information on the dynamics and evolution of disease. In this study, we assessed the diversity, distribution, host-specificity and infection patterns of apicomplexan parasites in amphibians and reptiles from Oman, Arabia. Using a quantitative PCR approach we detected three apicomplexan parasites (haemogregarines, lankesterellids and sarcocystids). A total of 13 haemogregarine haplotypes were identified, which fell into four main clades in a phylogenetic framework...
November 2016: Parasitology
Salvador Carranza, Marc Simó-Riudalbas, Sithum Jayasinghe, Thomas Wilms, Johannes Els
BACKGROUND: The Hajar Mountains of Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the highest mountain range in Eastern Arabia. As a result of their old geological origin, geographical isolation, complex topography and local climate, these mountains provide an important refuge for endemic and relict species of plants and animals with strong Indo-Iranian affinities. Among vertebrates, the rock climbing nocturnal geckos of the genus Asaccus represent the genus with the highest number of endemic species in the Hajar Mountains...
2016: PeerJ
Nishad Dhopatkar, Adrian P Defante, Ali Dhinojwala
The nature of interfacial water is critical in several natural processes, including the aggregation of lipids into the bilayer, protein folding, lubrication of synovial joints, and underwater gecko adhesion. The nanometer-thin water layer trapped between two surfaces has been identified to have properties that are very different from those of bulk water, but the molecular cause of such discrepancy is often undetermined. Using surface-sensitive sum frequency generation (SFG) spectroscopy, we discover a strongly coordinated water layer confined between two charged surfaces, formed by the adsorption of a cationic surfactant on the hydrophobic surfaces...
August 2016: Science Advances
Paul M Hick, Kuttichantran Subramaniam, Patrick Thompson, Richard J Whittington, Thomas B Waltzek
Bohle iridovirus (BIV) is a species within the genus Ranavirus, family Iridoviridae, first isolated from the ornate burrowing frog Limnodynastes ornatus in Australia. The BIV genome confirms it is closely related to isolates from boreal toad Anaxyrus boreas and leaf-tailed gecko Uroplatus fimbriatus within the United States and Germany, respectively.
2016: Genome Announcements
D Brodoceanu, C T Bauer, E Kroner, E Arzt, T Kraus
The extraordinary adherence and climbing agility of geckos on rough surfaces has been attributed to the multiscale hierarchical structures on their feet. Hundreds of thousands of elastic hairs called setae, each of which split into several spatulae, create a large number of contact points that generate substantial adhesion through van der Waals interactions. The hierarchical architecture provides increased structural compliance on surfaces with roughness features ranging from micrometers to millimeters. We review synthetic adhesion surfaces that mimic the naturally occurring hierarchy with an emphasis on microfabrication strategies, material choice and the adhesive performance achieved...
2016: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Tao Du, Shuanhong Ma, Xiaowei Pei, Shutao Wang, Feng Zhou
The underwater superoleophobic surfaces play a significant role in anti-oil contamination, marine antifouling, etc. Inspired by the Gecko's feet and its self-cleaning property, a hierarchical structure composed of poly (acrylic acid) gel micro-brushes is designed by the liquid-infused method. This surface exhibits underwater superoleophobicity with very low oil adhesion. It is then modified with stimuli-responsive polymer nano-brushes via surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization from the embedded initiator...
August 11, 2016: Small
Cameron D Siler, Drew R Davis, Arvin C Diesmos, Faith Guinto, Collin Whitsett, Rafe M Brown
We describe a new species of lizard in the genus Pseudogekko from Sibuyan and Tablas islands in the Romblon Island Group of the central Philippines. The new species is diagnosed from other Philippine Pseudogekko by body size and shape, color pattern, and multiple differences in scale characteristics. Pseudogekko isapa sp. nov. has been collected only twice from leaves of shrubs in forested habitat on Sibuyan and Tablas islands. The distinctive new species of false gecko is undoubtedly endemic to this single, isolated island group...
2016: Zootaxa
A A Thasun Amarasinghe, Patrick D Campbell
The number of species in the genus Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 has grown rapidly, and it currently comprises more than 100 species (Grismer et al. 2014; Amarasinghe et al. 2015). The Sri Lankan endemic and vulnerable day-gecko Cnemaspis podihuna Deraniyagala, 1944 (Ministry of the Environment 2012) was first described by Deraniyagala from the Lahugala-Maha Oya, Eastern Province on the basis of one holotype and four paratypes [incorrectly reported as three paratypes by Karunarathna et al. 2010]. There had been no further collections or sightings made of this species until Wickramasinghe (2000) rediscovered the species from Koslanda in the Badulla District (National Museums of Sri Lanka, Colombo, NMSL RG 21a-e)...
2016: Zootaxa
Chris T McAllister, Charles R Bursey
One hundred-thirty six Mediterranean geckos, Hemidactylus turcicus, were collected between December 1986 and March 2016 in Hardin (n = 7), Harris (n = 57), and Tom Green (n = 72) counties, Texas, USA., and examined for helminth parasites. Fifty-two H. turcicus (38%) were infected with at least one helminth species. Found were a trematode, Mesocoelium meggitti, three cestodes, Mesocestoides sp. (tetrathyridia), Oochoristica ameivae and Oochoristica scelopori, and four nematodes, Cosmocercoides variabilis, Oswaldocruzia pipiens, Parapharyngodon cubensis, and larvae of Physaloptera sp...
September 1, 2016: Acta Parasitologica
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