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Sample records for amphibian embryos linking

  1. Diseases of amphibian eggs and embryos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, D.E.; Converse, K.A.; Majumdar, S.K.; Huffman, J.E.; Brenner, F.J.; Panah, A.I.

    2005-01-01

    Amphibians generally are prolific egg producers. In tropical and semi-tropical regions, deposition of eggs may occur year-round or may coincide with rainy seasons, while in temperate regions, deposition of eggs usually occurs immediately after emergence from hibernation. Numbers of eggs produced by each species may vary from a few dozen to thousands. Accordingly, some eggs may be infertile and wastage of embryos is to be expected. Fertility, viability and decomposition of eggs and embryos must be considered before it is assumed that diseases are present. An important consideration in the evaluation of egg masses is the fact that some will contain infertile and non-viable eggs. These infertile and nonviable eggs will undergo decomposition and they may appear similar to eggs that are infected by a pathogen. Evaluation of egg masses and embryos for the presence of disease may require repeated observations in a given breeding season as well as continued monitoring of egg masses during their growth and development and over successive breeding seasons. Amphibian eggs rarely are subjected to a comprehensive health (diagnostic) examination; hence, there is scant literature on the diseases of this life stage. Indeed, the eggs of some North American amphibians have yet to be described. Much basic physiology and normal biomedical baseline data on amphibian eggs is lacking. For example, it is known that the aquatic eggs of some species of shrimp quickly are coated by a protective and commensal bacterium that effectively impedes invasion of the eggs by other environmental organisms and potential pathogens. In the absence of this bacterium, shrimp eggs are rapidly killed by other bacteria and fungi (Green, 2001). The possibility that amphibian eggs also have important symbiotic or commensal bacteria needs to be investigated. Furthermore, the quantity and types of chemicals in the normal gelatinous capsules of amphibian eggs have scarcely been examined. Abnormalities of the

  2. Rayleigh instability of the inverted one-cell amphibian embryo

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nouri, Comron; Gordon, Richard; Luppes, Roel; Veldman, Arthur E P; Tuszynski, Jack A

    2008-01-01

    The one-cell amphibian embryo is modeled as a rigid spherical shell containing equal volumes of two immiscible fluids with different densities and viscosities and a surface tension between them. The fluids represent denser yolk in the bottom hemisphere and clearer cytoplasm and the germinal vesicle in the top hemisphere. The unstable equilibrium configuration of the inverted system (the heavier fluid on top) depends on the value of the contact angle. The theoretically calculated normal modes of perturbation and the instability of each mode are in agreement with the results from ComFlo computational fluid dynamic simulations of the same system. The two dominant types of modes of perturbation give rise to axisymmetric and asymmetric sloshing of the cytoplasm of the inverted embryos, respectively. This work quantifies our hypothesis that the axisymmetric mode corresponds to failure of development, and the asymmetric sloshing mode corresponds to development proceeding normally, but with reversed pigmentation, for inverted embryos

  3. Synergism between UV-B radiation and pathogen magnifies amphibian embryo mortality in nature

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kiesecker, J.M.; Blaustein, R.

    1995-01-01

    Previous research has shown that amphibians have differential sensitivity to ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation. In some species, ambient levels of UV-B radiation cause embryonic mortality in nature. The detrimental effects of UV-B alone or with other agents may ultimately affect amphibians at the population level. Here, we experimentally demonstrate a synergistic effect between UV-B radiation and a pathogenic fungus in the field that increases the mortality of amphibian embryos compared with either factor alone. Studies investigating single factors for causes of amphibian egg mortality or population declines may not reveal the complex factors involved in declines

  4. Effect of road deicing salt on the susceptibility of amphibian embryos to infection by water molds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karraker, Nancy E; Ruthig, Gregory R

    2009-01-01

    Some causative agents of amphibian declines act synergistically to impact individual amphibians and their populations. In particular, pathogenic water molds (aquatic oomycetes) interact with environmental stressors and increase mortality in amphibian embryos. We documented colonization of eggs of three amphibian species, the wood frog (Rana sylvatica), the green frog (Rana clamitans), and the spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum), by water molds in the field and examined the interactive effects of road deicing salt and water molds, two known sources of mortality for amphibian embryos, on two species, R. clamitans and A. maculatum in the laboratory. We found that exposure to water molds did not affect embryonic survivorship in either A. maculatum or R. clamitans, regardless of the concentration of road salt to which their eggs were exposed. Road salt decreased survivorship of A. maculatum, but not R. clamitans, and frequency of malformations increased significantly in both species at the highest salinity concentration. The lack of an effect of water molds on survival of embryos and no interaction between road salt and water molds indicates that observations of colonization of these eggs by water molds in the field probably represent a secondary invasion of unfertilized eggs or of embryos that had died of other causes. Given increasing salinization of freshwater habitats on several continents and the global distribution of water molds, our results suggest that some amphibian species may not be susceptible to the combined effects of these factors, permitting amphibian decline researchers to devote their attention to other potential causes.

  5. Climate change and amphibians

    OpenAIRE

    Corn, P. S.

    2005-01-01

    Amphibian life histories are exceedingly sensitive to temperature and precipitation, and there is good evidence that recent climate change has already resulted in a shift to breeding earlier in the year for some species. There are also suggestions that the recent increase in the occurrence of El Niño events has caused declines of anurans in Central America and is linked to elevated mortality of amphibian embryos in the northwestern United States. However, evidence linking amphibian declines i...

  6. Effects of atrazine on embryos, larvae, and adults of anuran amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allran, J W; Karasov, W H

    2001-04-01

    We examined the effects of atrazine (0-20 mg/L) on embryos, larvae, and adult anuran amphibian species in the laboratory. Atrazine treatments did not affect hatchability of embryos or 96-h posthatch mortality of larvae of Rana pipiens, Rana sylvatica, or Bufo americanus. Furthermore, atrazine had no effect on swimming speed (measured for R. pipiens only). However, there was a dose-dependent increase in deformed larvae of all three species with increasing atrazine concentration. In adult R. pipiens, atrazine increased buccal and thoracic ventilation, indicating respiratory distress. However, because atrazine had no affect on hemoglobin, this respiratory distress was probably not indicative of reduced oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. Frogs exposed to the highest atrazine concentration stopped eating immediately after treatment began and did not eat during the 14-d experiment. However, no decreases in mass were measured even for frogs that were not eating, probably because of compensatory fluid gain from edema. Atrazine concentrations found to be deleterious to amphibian embryos and adults are considerably higher than concentrations currently found in surface waters in North America. Therefore, direct toxicity of atrazine is probably not a significant factor in recent amphibian declines.

  7. Evaluating the links between climate, disease spread, and amphibian declines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohr, Jason R; Raffel, Thomas R; Romansic, John M; McCallum, Hamish; Hudson, Peter J

    2008-11-11

    Human alteration of the environment has arguably propelled the Earth into its sixth mass extinction event and amphibians, the most threatened of all vertebrate taxa, are at the forefront. Many of the worldwide amphibian declines have been caused by the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), and two contrasting hypotheses have been proposed to explain these declines. Positive correlations between global warming and Bd-related declines sparked the chytrid-thermal-optimum hypothesis, which proposes that global warming increased cloud cover in warm years that drove the convergence of daytime and nighttime temperatures toward the thermal optimum for Bd growth. In contrast, the spatiotemporal-spread hypothesis states that Bd-related declines are caused by the introduction and spread of Bd, independent of climate change. We provide a rigorous test of these hypotheses by evaluating (i) whether cloud cover, temperature convergence, and predicted temperature-dependent Bd growth are significant positive predictors of amphibian extinctions in the genus Atelopus and (ii) whether spatial structure in the timing of these extinctions can be detected without making assumptions about the location, timing, or number of Bd emergences. We show that there is spatial structure to the timing of Atelopus spp. extinctions but that the cause of this structure remains equivocal, emphasizing the need for further molecular characterization of Bd. We also show that the reported positive multi-decade correlation between Atelopus spp. extinctions and mean tropical air temperature in the previous year is indeed robust, but the evidence that it is causal is weak because numerous other variables, including regional banana and beer production, were better predictors of these extinctions. Finally, almost all of our findings were opposite to the predictions of the chytrid-thermal-optimum hypothesis. Although climate change is likely to play an important role in worldwide amphibian declines

  8. Climate change and amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corn, P.S.

    2005-01-01

    Amphibian life histories are exceedingly sensitive to temperature and precipitation, and there is good evidence that recent climate change has already resulted in a shift to breeding earlier in the year for some species. There are also suggestions that the recent increase in the occurrence of El Niño events has caused declines of anurans in Central America and is linked to elevated mortality of amphibian embryos in the northwestern United States. However, evidence linking amphibian declines in Central America to climate relies solely on correlations, and the mechanisms underlying the declines are not understood. Connections between embryo mortality and declines in abundance have not been demonstrated. Analyses of existing data have generally failed to find a link between climate and amphibian declines. It is likely, however, that future climate change will cause further declines of some amphibian species. Reduced soil moisture could reduce prey species and eliminate habitat. Reduced snowfall and increased summer evaporation could have dramatic effects on the duration or occurrence of seasonal wetlands, which are primary habitat for many species of amphibians. Climate change may be a relatively minor cause of current amphibian declines, but it may be the biggest future challenge to the persistence of many species

  9. Climate change and amphibians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Corn, P. S.

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Amphibian life histories are exceedingly sensitive to temperature and precipitation, and there is good evidence that recent climate change has already resulted in a shift to breeding earlier in the year for some species. There are also suggestions that the recent increase in the occurrence of El Niño events has caused declines of anurans in Central America and is linked to elevated mortality of amphibian embryos in the northwestern United States. However, evidence linking amphibian declines in Central America to climate relies solely on correlations, and the mechanisms underlying the declines are not understood. Connections between embryo mortality and declines in abundance have not been demonstrated. Analyses of existing data have generally failed to find a link between climate and amphibian declines. It is likely, however, that future climate change will cause further declines of some amphibian species. Reduced soil moisture could reduce prey species and eliminate habitat. Reduced snowfall and increased summer evaporation could have dramatic effects on the duration or occurrence of seasonal wetlands, which are primary habitat for many species of amphibians. Climate change may be a relatively minor cause of current amphibian declines, but it may be the biggest future challenge to the persistence of many species

  10. Historical amphibian declines and extinctions in Brazil linked to chytridiomycosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, Tamilie; Becker, C Guilherme; Toledo, Luís Felipe

    2017-02-08

    The recent increase in emerging fungal diseases is causing unprecedented threats to biodiversity. The origin of spread of the frog-killing fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis ( Bd ) is a matter of continued debate. To date, the historical amphibian declines in Brazil could not be attributed to chytridiomycosis; the high diversity of hosts coupled with the presence of several Bd lineages predating the reported declines raised the hypothesis that a hypervirulent Bd genotype spread from Brazil to other continents causing the recent global amphibian crisis. We tested for a spatio-temporal overlap between Bd and areas of historical amphibian population declines and extinctions in Brazil. A spatio-temporal convergence between Bd and declines would support the hypothesis that Brazilian amphibians were not adapted to Bd prior to the reported declines, thus weakening the hypothesis that Brazil was the global origin of Bd emergence. Alternatively, a lack of spatio-temporal association between Bd and frog declines would indicate an evolution of host resistance in Brazilian frogs predating Bd 's global emergence , further supporting Brazil as the potential origin of the Bd panzootic. Here, we Bd -screened over 30 000 museum-preserved tadpoles collected in Brazil between 1930 and 2015 and overlaid spatio-temporal Bd data with areas of historical amphibian declines. We detected an increase in the proportion of Bd -infected tadpoles during the peak of amphibian declines (1979-1987). We also found that clusters of Bd -positive samples spatio-temporally overlapped with most records of amphibian declines in Brazil's Atlantic Forest. Our findings indicate that Brazil is post epizootic for chytridiomycosis and provide another piece to the puzzle to explain the origin of Bd globally. © 2017 The Author(s).

  11. Historical amphibian declines and extinctions in Brazil linked to chytridiomycosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, Tamilie; Becker, C. Guilherme

    2017-01-01

    The recent increase in emerging fungal diseases is causing unprecedented threats to biodiversity. The origin of spread of the frog-killing fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is a matter of continued debate. To date, the historical amphibian declines in Brazil could not be attributed to chytridiomycosis; the high diversity of hosts coupled with the presence of several Bd lineages predating the reported declines raised the hypothesis that a hypervirulent Bd genotype spread from Brazil to other continents causing the recent global amphibian crisis. We tested for a spatio-temporal overlap between Bd and areas of historical amphibian population declines and extinctions in Brazil. A spatio-temporal convergence between Bd and declines would support the hypothesis that Brazilian amphibians were not adapted to Bd prior to the reported declines, thus weakening the hypothesis that Brazil was the global origin of Bd emergence. Alternatively, a lack of spatio-temporal association between Bd and frog declines would indicate an evolution of host resistance in Brazilian frogs predating Bd's global emergence, further supporting Brazil as the potential origin of the Bd panzootic. Here, we Bd-screened over 30 000 museum-preserved tadpoles collected in Brazil between 1930 and 2015 and overlaid spatio-temporal Bd data with areas of historical amphibian declines. We detected an increase in the proportion of Bd-infected tadpoles during the peak of amphibian declines (1979–1987). We also found that clusters of Bd-positive samples spatio-temporally overlapped with most records of amphibian declines in Brazil's Atlantic Forest. Our findings indicate that Brazil is post epizootic for chytridiomycosis and provide another piece to the puzzle to explain the origin of Bd globally. PMID:28179514

  12. The link between rapid enigmatic amphibian decline and the globally emerging chytrid fungus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lötters, Stefan; Kielgast, Jos; Bielby, Jon; Schmidtlein, Sebastian; Bosch, Jaime; Veith, Michael; Walker, Susan F; Fisher, Matthew C; Rödder, Dennis

    2009-09-01

    Amphibians are globally declining and approximately one-third of all species are threatened with extinction. Some of the most severe declines have occurred suddenly and for unknown reasons in apparently pristine habitats. It has been hypothesized that these "rapid enigmatic declines" are the result of a panzootic of the disease chytridiomycosis caused by globally emerging amphibian chytrid fungus. In a Species Distribution Model, we identified the potential distribution of this pathogen. Areas and species from which rapid enigmatic decline are known significantly overlap with those of highest environmental suitability to the chytrid fungus. We confirm the plausibility of a link between rapid enigmatic decline in worldwide amphibian species and epizootic chytridiomycosis.

  13. Amphibian embryo and parental defenses and a larval predator reduce egg mortality from water mold.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez-Mestre, Ivan; Touchon, Justin C; Warkentin, Karen M

    2006-10-01

    Water molds attack aquatic eggs worldwide and have been associated with major mortality events in some cases, but typically only in association with additional stressors. We combined field observations and laboratory experiments to study egg stage defenses against pathogenic water mold in three temperate amphibians. Spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) wrap their eggs in a protective jelly layer that prevents mold from reaching the embryos. Wood frog (Rana sylvatica) egg masses have less jelly but are laid while ponds are still cold and mold growth is slow. American toad (Bufo americanus) eggs experience the highest infection levels. They are surrounded by thin jelly and are laid when ponds have warmed and mold grows rapidly. Eggs of all three species hatched early when infected, yielding smaller and less developed hatchlings. This response was strongest in B. americanus. Precocious hatching increased vulnerability of wood frog hatchlings to invertebrate predators. Finally, despite being potential toad hatchling predators, R. sylvatica tadpoles can have a positive effect on B. americanus eggs. They eat water mold off infected toad clutches, increasing their hatching success.

  14. Toward immunogenetic studies of amphibian chytridiomycosis: Linking innate and acquired immunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richmond, J.Q.; Savage, Anna E.; Zamudio, Kelly R.; Rosenblum, E.B.

    2009-01-01

    Recent declines in amphibian diversity and abundance have contributed significantly to the global loss of biodiversity. The fungal disease chytridiomycosis is widely considered to be a primary cause of these declines, yet the critical question of why amphibian species differ in susceptibility remains unanswered. Considerable evidence links environmental conditions and interspecific variability of the innate immune system to differential infection responses, but other sources of individual, population, or species-typical variation may also be important. In this article we review the preliminary evidence supporting a role for acquired immune defenses against chytridiomycosis, and advocate for targeted investigation of genes controlling acquired responses, as well as those that functionally bridge the innate and acquired immune systems. Immunogenetic data promise to answer key questions about chytridiomycosis susceptibility and host-pathogen coevolution, and will draw much needed attention to the importance of considering evolutionary processes in amphibian conservation management and practice. ?? 2009 by American Institute of Biological Sciences.

  15. Linking global climate and temperature variability to widespread amphibian declines putatively caused by disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohr, Jason R; Raffel, Thomas R

    2010-05-04

    The role of global climate change in the decline of biodiversity and the emergence of infectious diseases remains controversial, and the effect of climatic variability, in particular, has largely been ignored. For instance, it was recently revealed that the proposed link between climate change and widespread amphibian declines, putatively caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), was tenuous because it was based on a temporally confounded correlation. Here we provide temporally unconfounded evidence that global El Niño climatic events drive widespread amphibian losses in genus Atelopus via increased regional temperature variability, which can reduce amphibian defenses against pathogens. Of 26 climate variables tested, only factors associated with temperature variability could account for the spatiotemporal patterns of declines thought to be associated with Bd. Climatic predictors of declines became significant only after controlling for a pattern consistent with epidemic spread (by temporally detrending the data). This presumed spread accounted for 59% of the temporal variation in amphibian losses, whereas El Niño accounted for 59% of the remaining variation. Hence, we could account for 83% of the variation in declines with these two variables alone. Given that global climate change seems to increase temperature variability, extreme climatic events, and the strength of Central Pacific El Niño episodes, climate change might exacerbate worldwide enigmatic declines of amphibians, presumably by increasing susceptibility to disease. These results suggest that changes to temperature variability associated with climate change might be as significant to biodiversity losses and disease emergence as changes to mean temperature.

  16. Effects of. beta. radiation on amphibian embryos (Pleurodeles waltlii) and capacities of regulation during development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gallien, C L; Lenfant-Guyot, M; Labrousse, J P [Paris-5 Univ., 75 (France)

    1981-01-01

    The eukariotic cells of complex organisms possessing abundant and sophisticated genetic information, advanced metabolism and very diversified structures are particularly sensitive to the effects of radiation. One may note, however, that all cells of an organism which has been totally radiated may not be affected in the same way; this leaves room, particularly in embryonic organisms during development, for fairly broad possibilities of regulation. We have undertaken analysis of one aspect of these phenomena on a particularly favorable biological model: the embryo of the salamander Pleurodeles waltlii.

  17. Sex Reversal in Amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flament, Stéphane

    2016-01-01

    Amphibians have been widely used to study developmental biology due to the fact that embryo development takes place independently of the maternal organism and that observations and experimental approaches are easy. Some amphibians like Xenopus became model organisms in this field. In the first part of this article, the differentiation of the gonads in amphibians and the mechanisms governing this process are reviewed. In the second part, the state of the art about sex reversal, which can be induced by steroid hormones in general and by temperature in some species, is presented. Also information about pollutants found in the environment that could interfere with the development of the amphibian reproductive apparatus or with their reproductive physiology is given. Such compounds could play a part in the amphibian decline, since in the wild, many amphibians are endangered species. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  18. Garter snakes distributions in high elevation aquatic ecosystems: Is there a link with declining amphibian populations and nonnative trout introductions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    K.R. Matthews; R.A. Knapp; K.L. Pope

    2002-01-01

    ABSTRACT.—The dramatic amphibian population declines reported worldwide likely have important effects on their predators. In the Sierra Nevada, where amphibian declines are well documented and some are closely tied to the introduction of nonnative trout, the mountain garter snake, Thamnophis elegans elegans, preys predominately on amphibians. We surveyed 2103 high-...

  19. Development of the larval amphibian growth and development assay: Effects of benzophenone-2 exposure in Xenopus laevis from embryo to juvenile

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Larval Amphibian Growth and Development Assay (LAGDA) is a globally harmonized chemical testing guideline developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in collaboration with Japan’s Ministry of Environment to support risk assessment. The assay is employed as a ...

  20. Linking the distribution of an invasive amphibian (Rana catesbeiana) to habitat conditions in a managed river system in northern California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terra Fuller; Karen Pope; Donald Ashton; Hartwell Welsh

    2010-01-01

    Extensive modifications of river systems have left floodplains some of the most endangered ecosystems in the world and made restoration of these systems a priority. Modified river ecosystems frequently support invasive species to the detriment of native species. Rana catesbeiana (American bullfrog) is an invasive amphibian that thrives in modified...

  1. Is there a link between blastomere contact surfaces of day 3 embryos and live birth rate?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paternot Goedele

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cell-cell communication and adhesion are essential for the compaction process of early stage embryos. The aim of this study was to develop a non-invasive objective calculation system of embryo compaction in order to test the hypothesis that embryos with a larger mean contact surface result in a higher live birth rate compared to embryos with a lower mean contact surface. Methods Multilevel images of 474 embryos transferred on day 3 were evaluated by the Cellify software. This software calculates the contact surfaces between the blastomeres. The primary outcome of this study was live birth. An ideal range of contact surface was determined and the positive and negative predictive value, the sensitivity, the specificity and the area under the curve for this new characteristic were calculated. Results In total, 115 (24% transferred embryos resulted in a live birth. Selection of an embryo for transfer on its mean contact surface could predict live birth with a high sensitivity (80% and high negative predicting value (83% but with a low positive predictive value (27%, a low specificity (31% and low area under the ROC curve (0.56. The mean contact surface of embryos cultured in a single medium was significantly higher compared to the mean contact surface of embryos cultured in a sequential medium (p = 0.0003. Conclusions Neither the mean contact surface nor the number of contact surfaces of a day 3 embryo had an additional value in the prediction of live birth. The type of culture medium, however, had an impact on the contact surface of an embryo. Embryos cultured in a single medium had a significant larger contact surface compared to embryos cultured in the sequential medium.

  2. The impact of histones linked to sperm chromatin on embryo development and ART outcome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fournier, C; Labrune, E; Lornage, J; Soignon, G; Giscard d'Estaing, S; Guérin, J-F; Benchaib, M

    2018-03-02

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between the proportion of sperm chromatin linked to remaining histone and assisted reproductive technology (ART) outcome. A prospective cohort study was performed on couples undergoing ART process at the Department of Reproduction Medicine (HFME, Bron, France). The histone-to-protamine ratio (HPR) was measured using the method described by Wykes & Krawetz (2003) J Biol Chem 278, 29471. The correlations with sperm DFI, blastocyst formation, pregnancy rate, and delivery rate were investigated. A total of 291 ART cycles were included (42 c-IVF and 249 ICSI procedures): 3870 oocytes were punctured and 2211 embryos were obtained, among which 507 were transferred and 336 frozen. The mean HPR was 18.9%. A significant negative correlation was found between HPR and DFI (r = -0.12, p ART procedure (c-IVF or ICSI), the same kind of relationship between HPR and ART parameters was observed. Regardless of the type of ART procedure used, when the HPR was within the range [6%; 26%], the blastocyst formation rate was higher: 87.8% vs. 71.2% (HPR26%; p 26%; however, the differences were not statistically significant. The procedure described in this study seems to be a reliable evaluation of the HPR. The HPR parameter seems to be correlated to embryonic development up to the blastocyst stage, but its involvement in clinical pregnancy/delivery could not be confirmed. HPR should be further investigated for confirming the relationship with blastocyst formation. After this, the next step will be to investigate the etiologies of HPR alterations for improving the sperm nucleus quality for increasing the chance of pregnancy. © 2018 American Society of Andrology and European Academy of Andrology.

  3. Assessing the links among environmental contaminants, endocrinology, and parasites to understand amphibian declines in montane regions of Costa Rica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leary, Christopher J; Ralicki, Hannah F; Laurencio, David; Crocker-Buta, Sarah; Malone, John H

    2018-01-01

    Amphibians inhabiting montane riparian zones in the Neotropics are particularly vulnerable to decline, but the reasons are poorly understood. Because environmental contaminants, endocrine disruption, and pathogens often figure prominently in amphibian declines it is imperative that we understand how these factors are potentially interrelated to affect montane populations. One possibility is that increased precipitation associated with global warming promotes the deposition of contaminants in montane regions. Increased exposure to contaminants, in turn, potentially elicits chronic elevations in circulating stress hormones that could contribute to montane population declines by compromising resistance to pathogens and/or production of sex steroids regulating reproduction. Here, we test this hypothesis by examining contaminant levels, stress and sex steroid levels, and nematode abundances in male drab treefrogs, Smilisca sordida, from lowland and montane populations in Costa Rica. We found no evidence that montane populations were more likely to possess contaminants (i.e., organochlorine, organophosphate and carbamate pesticides or benzidine and chlorophenoxy herbicides) than lowland populations. We also found no evidence of elevational differences in circulating levels of the stress hormone corticosterone, estradiol or progesterone. However, montane populations possessed lower androgen levels, hosted more nematode species, and had higher nematode abundances than lowland populations. Although these results suggested that nematodes contributed to lower androgens in montane populations, we were unable to detect a significant inverse relationship between nematode abundance and androgen level. Our results suggest that montane populations of this species are not at greater risk of exposure to contaminants or chronic stress, but implicate nematodes and compromised sex steroid levels as potential threats to montane populations.

  4. Assessing the links among environmental contaminants, endocrinology, and parasites to understand amphibian declines in montane regions of Costa Rica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher J Leary

    Full Text Available Amphibians inhabiting montane riparian zones in the Neotropics are particularly vulnerable to decline, but the reasons are poorly understood. Because environmental contaminants, endocrine disruption, and pathogens often figure prominently in amphibian declines it is imperative that we understand how these factors are potentially interrelated to affect montane populations. One possibility is that increased precipitation associated with global warming promotes the deposition of contaminants in montane regions. Increased exposure to contaminants, in turn, potentially elicits chronic elevations in circulating stress hormones that could contribute to montane population declines by compromising resistance to pathogens and/or production of sex steroids regulating reproduction. Here, we test this hypothesis by examining contaminant levels, stress and sex steroid levels, and nematode abundances in male drab treefrogs, Smilisca sordida, from lowland and montane populations in Costa Rica. We found no evidence that montane populations were more likely to possess contaminants (i.e., organochlorine, organophosphate and carbamate pesticides or benzidine and chlorophenoxy herbicides than lowland populations. We also found no evidence of elevational differences in circulating levels of the stress hormone corticosterone, estradiol or progesterone. However, montane populations possessed lower androgen levels, hosted more nematode species, and had higher nematode abundances than lowland populations. Although these results suggested that nematodes contributed to lower androgens in montane populations, we were unable to detect a significant inverse relationship between nematode abundance and androgen level. Our results suggest that montane populations of this species are not at greater risk of exposure to contaminants or chronic stress, but implicate nematodes and compromised sex steroid levels as potential threats to montane populations.

  5. Morphogenesis in sea urchin embryos: linking cellular events to gene regulatory network states

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyons, Deidre; Kaltenbach, Stacy; McClay, David R.

    2013-01-01

    Gastrulation in the sea urchin begins with ingression of the primary mesenchyme cells (PMCs) at the vegetal pole of the embryo. After entering the blastocoel the PMCs migrate, form a syncitium, and synthesize the skeleton of the embryo. Several hours after the PMCs ingress the vegetal plate buckles to initiate invagination of the archenteron. That morphogenetic process occurs in several steps. The non-skeletogenic cells produce the initial inbending of the vegetal plate. Endoderm cells then rearrange and extend the length of the gut across the blastocoel to a target near the animal pole. Finally, cells that will form part of the midgut and hindgut are added to complete gastrulation. Later, the stomodeum invaginates from the oral ectoderm and fuses with the foregut to complete the archenteron. In advance of, and during these morphogenetic events an increasingly complex gene regulatory network controls the specification and the cell biological events that conduct the gastrulation movements. PMID:23801438

  6. Surgical manipulation of mammalian embryos in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naruse, I; Keino, H; Taniguchi, M

    1997-04-01

    Whole-embryo culture systems are useful in the fields of not only embryology but also teratology, toxicology, pharmacology, and physiology. Of the many advantages of whole-embryo culture, we focus here on the surgical manipulation of mammalian embryos. Whole-embryo culture allows us to manipulate mammalian embryos, similarly to fish, amphibian and avian embryos. Many surgical experiments have been performed in mammalian embryos in vitro. Such surgical manipulation alters the destiny of morphogenesis of the embryos and can answer many questions concerning developmental issues. As an example of surgical manipulation using whole-embryo culture systems, one of our experiments is described. Microsurgical electrocauterization of the deep preaxial mesodermal programmed cell death zone (fpp) in the footplate prevented the manifestation of polydactyly in genetic polydactyly mouse embryos (Pdn/Pdn), in which fpp was abolished.

  7. Linking Genomo- and Pathotype: Exploiting the Zebrafish Embryo Model to Investigate the Divergent Virulence Potential among Cronobacter spp.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Athmanya K Eshwar

    Full Text Available Bacteria belonging to the genus Cronobacter have been recognized as causative agents of life-threatening systemic infections primarily in premature, low-birth weight and immune-compromised neonates. Apparently not all Cronobacter species are linked to infantile infections and it has been proposed that virulence varies among strains. Whole genome comparisons and in silico analysis have proven to be powerful tools in elucidating potential virulence determinants, the presence/absence of which may explain the differential virulence behaviour of strains. However, validation of these factors has in the past been hampered by the availability of a suitable neonatal animal model. In the present study we have used zebrafish embryos to model Cronobacter infections in vivo using wild type and genetically engineered strains. Our experiments confirmed the role of the RepF1B-like plasmids as "virulence plasmids" in Cronobacter and underpinned the importantce of two putative virulence factors-cpa and zpx-in in vivo pathogenesis. We propose that by using this model in vivo infection studies are now possible on a large scale level which will boost the understanding on the virulence strategies employed by these pathogens.

  8. Development of the larval amphibian growth and development assay: Effects of chronic 4-tert-octylphenol or 17ß-trenbolone exposure in Xenopus laevis from embryo to juvenile

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Larval Amphibian Growth and Development Assay (LAGDA) is a Tier II test guideline being developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency under the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program. The LAGDA was designed to evaluate effects of chronic chemical exposure on growth, thy...

  9. Runx expression is mitogenic and mutually linked to Wnt activity in blastula-stage sea urchin embryos.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anthony J Robertson

    Full Text Available The Runt homology domain (Runx defines a metazoan family of sequence-specific transcriptional regulatory proteins that are critical for animal development and causally associated with a variety of mammalian cancers. The sea urchin Runx gene SpRunt-1 is expressed throughout the blastula stage embryo, and is required globally during embryogenesis for cell survival and differentiation.Depletion of SpRunt-1 by morpholino antisense-mediated knockdown causes a blastula stage deficit in cell proliferation, as shown by bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU incorporation and direct cell counts. Reverse transcription coupled polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR studies show that the cell proliferation deficit is presaged by a deficit in the expression of several zygotic wnt genes, including wnt8, a key regulator of endomesoderm development. In addition, SpRunt-1-depleted blastulae underexpress cyclinD, an effector of mitogenic Wnt signaling. Blastula stage cell proliferation is also impeded by knockdown of either wnt8 or cyclinD. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP indicates that Runx target sites within 5' sequences flanking cyclinD, wnt6 and wnt8 are directly bound by SpRunt-1 protein at late blastula stage. Furthermore, experiments using a green fluorescent protein (GFP reporter transgene show that the blastula-stage operation of a cis-regulatory module previously shown to be required for wnt8 expression (Minokawa et al., Dev. Biol. 288: 545-558, 2005 is dependent on its direct sequence-specific interaction with SpRunt-1. Finally, inhibitor studies and immunoblot analysis show that SpRunt-1 protein levels are negatively regulated by glycogen synthase kinase (GSK-3.These results suggest that Runx expression and Wnt signaling are mutually linked in a feedback circuit that controls cell proliferation during development.

  10. Expression analysis of some genes regulated by retinoic acid in controls and triadimefon-exposed embryos: is the amphibian Xenopus laevis a suitable model for gene-based comparative teratology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Renzo, Francesca; Rossi, Federica; Bacchetta, Renato; Prati, Mariangela; Giavini, Erminio; Menegola, Elena

    2011-06-01

    The use of nonmammal models in teratological studies is a matter of debate and seems to be justified if the embryotoxic mechanism involves conserved processes. Published data on mammals and Xenopus laevis suggest that azoles are teratogenic by altering the endogenous concentration of retinoic acid (RA). The expression of some genes (Shh, Ptch-1, Gsc, and Msx2) controlled by retinoic acid is downregulated in rat embryos exposed at the phylotypic stage to the triazole triadimefon (FON). In order to propose X. laevis as a model for gene-based comparative teratology, this work evaluates the expression of Shh, Ptch-1, Gsc, and Msx2 in FON-exposed X. laevis embryos. Embryos, exposed to a high concentration level (500 µM) of FON from stage 13 till 17, were examined at stages 17, 27, and 47. Stage 17 and 27 embryos were processed to perform quantitative RT-PCR. The developmental rate was never affected by FON at any considered stage. FON-exposed stage 47 larvae showed the typical craniofacial malformations. A significant downregulation of Gsc was observed in FON-exposed stage 17 embryos. Shh, Ptch-1, Msx2 showed a high fluctuation of expression both in control and in FON-exposed samples both at stages 17 and 27. The downregulation of Gsc mimics the effects of FON on rat embryos, showing for this gene a common effect of FON in the two vertebrate classes. The high fluctuation observed in the gene expression of the other genes, however, suggests that X. laevis at this stage has limited utility for gene-based comparative teratology. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  11. Embryo splitting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karl Illmensee

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Mammalian embryo splitting has successfully been established in farm animals. Embryo splitting is safely and efficiently used for assisted reproduction in several livestock species. In the mouse, efficient embryo splitting as well as single blastomere cloning have been developed in this animal system. In nonhuman primates embryo splitting has resulted in several pregnancies. Human embryo splitting has been reported recently. Microsurgical embryo splitting under Institutional Review Board approval has been carried out to determine its efficiency for blastocyst development. Embryo splitting at the 6–8 cell stage provided a much higher developmental efficiency compared to splitting at the 2–5 cell stage. Embryo splitting may be advantageous for providing additional embryos to be cryopreserved and for patients with low response to hormonal stimulation in assisted reproduction programs. Social and ethical issues concerning embryo splitting are included regarding ethics committee guidelines. Prognostic perspectives are presented for human embryo splitting in reproductive medicine.

  12. amphibian_biomarker_data

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — Amphibian metabolite data used in Snyder, M.N., Henderson, W.M., Glinski, D.G., Purucker, S. T., 2017. Biomarker analysis of american toad (Anaxyrus americanus) and...

  13. Invasive reptiles and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moutou, F; Pastoret, P P

    2010-08-01

    Although they are frequently lumped together, reptiles and amphibians belong to two very different zoological groups. Nevertheless, one fact is clear: while numerous reptile and amphibian species on Earth are in decline, others have taken advantage of trade or human movements to become established in new lands, adopting different, and sometimes unusual, strategies. The authors have taken a few examples from these two zoological groups that illustrate the majority of cases. A brief analysis of the causes and effects of their introductions into new areas reveals connections with economic interests, trade in companion animals, medical research and public health.

  14. Amphibians of Olympic National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    ,

    2000-01-01

    Amphibians evolved from fishes about 360 million years ago and were the first vertebrates adapted to life on land. The word amphibian means "double life." It refers to the life history of many amphibians, which spend part of their life in water and part on land. There are three major groups of amphibians: salamanders, frogs, and toads, and caecilians. Salamanders, frogs, and toads can be found in Olympic National Park (ONP), but caecilians live only in tropical regions. Many amphibians are generalist predators, eating almost any prey they can fit into their mouths.

  15. Rainforest: Reptiles and Amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, Susanna

    2006-01-01

    Rainforest reptiles and amphibians are a vibrantly colored, multimedia art experience. To complete the entire project one may need to dedicate many class periods to production, yet in each aspect of the project a new and important skill, concept, or element is being taught or reinforced. This project incorporates the study of warm and cool color…

  16. Modeling effects of conservation grassland losses on amphibian habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.; Neau, Jordan L.; Euliss, Ned H.

    2014-01-01

    Amphibians provide many ecosystem services valued by society. However, populations have declined globally with most declines linked to habitat change. Wetlands and surrounding terrestrial grasslands form habitat for amphibians in the North American Prairie Pothole Region (PPR). Wetland drainage and grassland conversion have destroyed or degraded much amphibian habitat in the PPR. However, conservation grasslands can provide alternate habitat. In the United States, the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is the largest program maintaining grasslands on agricultural lands. We used an ecosystem services model (InVEST) parameterized for the PPR to quantify amphibian habitat over a six-year period (2007–2012). We then quantified changes in availability of amphibian habitat under various land-cover scenarios representing incremental losses (10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%) of CRP grasslands from 2012 levels. The area of optimal amphibian habitat in the four PPR ecoregions modeled (i.e., Northern Glaciated Plains, Northwestern Glaciated Plains, Lake Agassiz Plain, Des Moines Lobe) declined by approximately 22%, from 3.8 million ha in 2007 to 2.9 million ha in 2012. These losses were driven by the conversion of CRP grasslands to croplands, primarily for corn and soybean production. Our modeling identified an additional 0.8 million ha (26%) of optimal amphibian habitat that would be lost if remaining CRP lands are returned to crop production. An economic climate favoring commodity production over conservation has resulted in substantial losses of amphibian habitat across the PPR that will likely continue into the future. Other regions of the world face similar challenges to maintaining amphibian habitats.

  17. Fetal adaptations for viviparity in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wake, Marvalee H

    2015-08-01

    Live-bearing has evolved in all three orders of amphibians--frogs, salamanders, and caecilians. Developing young may be either yolk dependent, or maternal nutrients may be supplied after yolk is resorbed, depending on the species. Among frogs, embryos in two distantly related lineages develop in the skin of the maternal parents' backs; they are born either as advanced larvae or fully metamorphosed froglets, depending on the species. In other frogs, and in salamanders and caecilians, viviparity is intraoviductal; one lineage of salamanders includes species that are yolk dependent and born either as larvae or metamorphs, or that practice cannibalism and are born as metamorphs. Live-bearing caecilians all, so far as is known, exhaust yolk before hatching and mothers provide nutrients during the rest of the relatively long gestation period. The developing young that have maternal nutrition have a number of heterochronic changes, such as precocious development of the feeding apparatus and the gut. Furthermore, several of the fetal adaptations, such as a specialized dentition and a prolonged metamorphosis, are homoplasious and present in members of two or all three of the amphibian orders. At the same time, we know little about the developmental and functional bases for fetal adaptations, and less about the factors that drive their evolution and facilitate their maintenance. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Predator recognition in rainbowfish, Melanotaenia duboulayi, embryos.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lois Jane Oulton

    Full Text Available Exposure to olfactory cues during embryonic development can have long term impacts on birds and amphibians behaviour. Despite the vast literature on predator recognition and responses in fishes, few researchers have determined how fish embryos respond to predator cues. Here we exposed four-day-old rainbowfish (Melanotaenia duboulayi embryos to cues emanating from a novel predator, a native predator and injured conspecifics. Their response was assessed by monitoring heart rate and hatch time. Results showed that embryos have an innate capacity to differentiate between cues as illustrated by faster heart rates relative to controls. The greatest increase in heart rate occurred in response to native predator odour. While we found no significant change in the time taken for eggs to hatch, all treatments experienced slight delays as expected if embryos are attempting to reduce exposure to larval predators.

  19. [Jaws of amphibians and reptiles].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanimoto, Masahiro

    2005-04-01

    Big jaws of amphibians and reptiles are mainly treated in this article. In amphibians enlarged skulls are for the big jaw in contrast with human's skulls for the brain. For example, famous fossils of Homo diluvii testis are ones of salamanders in fact. In reptiles, mosasaur jaws and teeth and their ecology are introduced for instance.

  20. Amphibian and reptile declines over 35 years at La Selva, Costa Rica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitfield, Steven M; Bell, Kristen E; Philippi, Thomas; Sasa, Mahmood; Bolaños, Federico; Chaves, Gerardo; Savage, Jay M; Donnelly, Maureen A

    2007-05-15

    Amphibians stand at the forefront of a global biodiversity crisis. More than one-third of amphibian species are globally threatened, and over 120 species have likely suffered global extinction since 1980. Most alarmingly, many rapid declines and extinctions are occurring in pristine sites lacking obvious adverse effects of human activities. The causes of these "enigmatic" declines remain highly contested. Still, lack of long-term data on amphibian populations severely limits our understanding of the distribution of amphibian declines, and therefore the ultimate causes of these declines. Here, we identify a systematic community-wide decline in populations of terrestrial amphibians at La Selva Biological Station, a protected old-growth lowland rainforest in lower Central America. We use data collected over 35 years to show that population density of all species of terrestrial amphibians has declined by approximately 75% since 1970, and we show identical trends for all species of common reptiles. The trends we identify are neither consistent with recent emergence of chytridiomycosis nor the climate-linked epidemic hypothesis, two leading putative causes of enigmatic amphibian declines. Instead, our data suggest that declines are due to climate-driven reductions in the quantity of standing leaf litter, a critical microhabitat for amphibians and reptiles in this assemblage. Our results raise further concerns about the global persistence of amphibian populations by identifying widespread declines in species and habitats that are not currently recognized as susceptible to such risks.

  1. Chemosignals, hormones, and amphibian reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodley, Sarah

    2015-02-01

    This article is part of a Special Issue "Chemosignals and Reproduction". Amphibians are often thought of as relatively simple animals especially when compared to mammals. Yet the chemosignaling systems used by amphibians are varied and complex. Amphibian chemosignals are particularly important in reproduction, in both aquatic and terrestrial environments. Chemosignaling is most evident in salamanders and newts, but increasing evidence indicates that chemical communication facilitates reproduction in frogs and toads as well. Reproductive hormones shape the production, dissemination, detection, and responsiveness to chemosignals. A large variety of chemosignals have been identified, ranging from simple, invariant chemosignals to complex, variable blends of chemosignals. Although some chemosignals elicit straightforward responses, others have relatively subtle effects. Review of amphibian chemosignaling reveals a number of issues to be resolved, including: 1) the significance of the complex, individually variable blends of courtship chemosignals found in some salamanders, 2) the behavioral and/or physiological functions of chemosignals found in anuran "breeding glands", 3) the ligands for amphibian V2Rs, especially V2Rs expressed in the main olfactory epithelium, and 4) the mechanism whereby transdermal delivery of chemosignals influences behavior. To date, only a handful of the more than 7000 species of amphibians has been examined. Further study of amphibians should provide additional insight to the role of chemosignals in reproduction. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. DNA barcoding amphibians and reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vences, Miguel; Nagy, Zoltán T; Sonet, Gontran; Verheyen, Erik

    2012-01-01

    Only a few major research programs are currently targeting COI barcoding of amphibians and reptiles (including chelonians and crocodiles), two major groups of tetrapods. Amphibian and reptile species are typically old, strongly divergent, and contain deep conspecific lineages which might lead to problems in species assignment with incomplete reference databases. As far as known, there is no single pair of COI primers that will guarantee a sufficient rate of success across all amphibian and reptile taxa, or within major subclades of amphibians and reptiles, which means that the PCR amplification strategy needs to be adjusted depending on the specific research question. In general, many more amphibian and reptile taxa have been sequenced for 16S rDNA, which for some purposes may be a suitable complementary marker, at least until a more comprehensive COI reference database becomes available. DNA barcoding has successfully been used to identify amphibian larval stages (tadpoles) in species-rich tropical assemblages. Tissue sampling, DNA extraction, and amplification of COI is straightforward in amphibians and reptiles. Single primer pairs are likely to have a failure rate between 5 and 50% if taxa of a wide taxonomic range are targeted; in such cases the use of primer cocktails or subsequent hierarchical usage of different primer pairs is necessary. If the target group is taxonomically limited, many studies have followed a strategy of designing specific primers which then allow an easy and reliable amplification of all samples.

  3. Is the resulting phenotype of an embryo with balanced X-autosome translocation, obtained by means of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, linked to the X inactivation pattern?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferfouri, Fatma; Bernicot, Izabel; Schneider, Anouck; Haquet, Emmanuelle; Hédon, Bernard; Anahory, Tal

    2016-04-01

    To examine if a balanced female embryo with X-autosome translocation could, during its subsequent development, express an abnormal phenotype. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) analysis on two female carriers with maternal inherited X-autosome translocations. Infertility center and genetic laboratory in a public hospital. Two female patients carriers undergoing PGD for a balanced X-autosome translocations: patient 1 with 46,X,t(X;2)(q27;p15) and patient 2 with 46,X,t(X;22)(q28;q12.3). PGD for balanced X-autosome translocations. PGD outcomes, fluorescence in situ hybridization in biopsied embryos and meiotic segregation patterns analysis of embryos providing from X-autosome translocation carriers. Controlled ovarian stimulation facilitated retrieval of a correct number of oocytes. One balanced embryo per patient was transferred and one developed, but the patient miscarried after 6 weeks of amenorrhea. In X-autosome translocation carriers, balanced Y-bearing embryos are most often phenotypically normal and viable. An ambiguous phenotype exists in balanced X-bearing embryos owing to the X inactivation mechanism. In 46,XX embryos issued from an alternate segregation, der(X) may be inactivated and partially spread transcriptional silencing into a translocated autosomal segment. Thus, the structural unbalanced genotype could be turned into a viable functional balanced one. It is relevant that a discontinuous silencing is observed with a partial and unpredictable inactivation of autosomal regions. Consequently, the resulting phenotype remains a mystery and is considered to be at risk of being an abnormal phenotype in the field of PGD. It is necessary to be cautious regarding to PGD management for this type of translocation, particularly in transferred female embryos. Copyright © 2016 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Can a Single Amphibian Species Be a Good Biodiversity Indicator?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Sewell

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Although amphibians have been widely promoted as indicators of biodiversity and environmental change, rigorous tests are lacking. Here key indicator criteria are distilled from published papers, and a species that has been promoted as a bioindicator, the great crested newt, is tested against them. Although a link was established between the presence of great crested newts and aquatic plant diversity, this was not repeated with the diversity of macroinvertebrates. Equally, amphibians do not meet many of the published criteria of bioindicators. Our research suggests that a suite of indicators, rather than a single species, will usually be required.

  5. Reptiles and amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Ennen, Joshua R.; Perrow, Martin

    2017-01-01

    Summary – We reviewed all the peer-reviewed scientific publications we could find on the known and potential effects of wind farm development, operation, maintenance, and decommissioning on reptiles and amphibians (collectively herpetofauna) worldwide. Both groups are declining globally due to a multitude of threats including energy development. Effect studies were limited to the long-term research by the authors on Agassiz’s Desert Tortoise ecology and behavior at single operational wind farm in California, US and an analysis of the effects of wind farm installation on species richness of vertebrates including reptiles and amphibians in northwestern Portugal. Research on Agassiz’s Desert Tortoise found few demonstrable differences in biological parameters between populations in the wind farm and those in more natural habitats. High reproductive output is due to the regional climate and not to the presence or operation of the wind farm. Site operations have resulted in death and injury to a small number of adult tortoises and over the long-term tortoises now appear to avoid the areas of greatest turbine concentration. Research in Portugal using models and simulations based on empirical data show that vertebrate species richness (including herpetofauna) decreased by almost 20% after the installation of only two large monopole turbines per 250 x 250 m plot. Knowledge of the known responses of herpetofauna to various disturbances allows identification of potential impacts from construction material acquisition in offsite areas, mortality and stress due to impacts of roads and related infrastructure, destruction and modification of habitat, habitat fragmentation and barriers to gene flow, noise, vibration, electromagnetic field generation, heat from buried high voltage transmission lines, alteration of local and regional climate, predator attraction, and increased risk of fire. Research on herpetofauna lags far behind what is needed and, in particular, before

  6. Mitigating amphibian chytridiomycosis in nature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garner, Trenton W. J.; Schmidt, Benedikt R.; Martel, An; Pasmans, Frank; Muths, Erin L.; Cunningham, Andrew A.; Weldon, Che; Fisher, Matthew C.; Bosch, Jaime

    2016-01-01

    Amphibians across the planet face the threat of population decline and extirpation caused by the disease chytridiomycosis. Despite consensus that the fungal pathogens responsible for the disease are conservation issues, strategies to mitigate their impacts in the natural world are, at best, nascent. Reducing risk associated with the movement of amphibians, non-amphibian vectors and other sources of infection remains the first line of defence and a primary objective when mitigating the threat of disease in wildlife. Amphibian-associated chytridiomycete fungi and chytridiomycosis are already widespread, though, and we therefore focus on discussing options for mitigating the threats once disease emergence has occurred in wild amphibian populations. All strategies have shortcomings that need to be overcome before implementation, including stronger efforts towards understanding and addressing ethical and legal considerations. Even if these issues can be dealt with, all currently available approaches, or those under discussion, are unlikely to yield the desired conservation outcome of disease mitigation. The decision process for establishing mitigation strategies requires integrated thinking that assesses disease mitigation options critically and embeds them within more comprehensive strategies for the conservation of amphibian populations, communities and ecosystems.

  7. Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans and the risk of a second amphibian pandemic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yap, Tiffany A.; Nguyen, Natalie T.; Serr, Megan; Shepak, Alex; Vredenburg, Vance

    2017-01-01

    Amphibians are experiencing devastating population declines globally. A major driver is chytridiomycosis, an emerging infectious disease caused by the fungal pathogens Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal). Bdwas described in 1999 and has been linked with declines since the 1970s, while Bsal is a more recently discovered pathogen that was described in 2013. It is hypothesized that Bsaloriginated in Asia and spread via international trade to Europe, where it has been linked to salamander die-offs. Trade in live amphibians thus represents a significant threat to global biodiversity in amphibians. We review the current state of knowledge regarding Bsal and describe the risk of Bsal spread. We discuss regional responses to Bsal and barriers that impede a rapid, coordinated global effort. The discovery of a second deadly emerging chytrid fungal pathogen in amphibians poses an opportunity for scientists, conservationists, and governments to improve global biosecurity and further protect humans and wildlife from a growing number of emerging infectious diseases.

  8. Louisiana ESI: REPTILES (Reptile and Amphibian Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for reptiles and amphibians in coastal Louisiana. Vector polygons represent reptile and amphibian habitats,...

  9. Understanding Amphibian Declines Through Geographic Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallant, Alisa

    2006-01-01

    Growing concern over worldwide amphibian declines warrants serious examination. Amphibians are important to the proper functioning of ecosystems and provide many direct benefits to humans in the form of pest and disease control, pharmaceutical compounds, and even food. Amphibians have permeable skin and rely on both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems during different seasons and stages of their lives. Their association with these ecosystems renders them likely to serve as sensitive indicators of environmental change. While much research on amphibian declines has centered on mysterious causes, or on causes that directly affect humans (global warming, chemical pollution, ultraviolet-B radiation), most declines are the result of habitat loss and habitat alteration. Improving our ability to characterize, model, and monitor the interactions between environmental variables and amphibian habitats is key to addressing amphibian conservation. In 2000, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) initiated the Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) to address issues surrounding amphibian declines.

  10. BIOTIC FACTORS IN AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DECLINES

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amphibians evolved in, and continue to exist in, habitats that are replete with many other organisms. Some of these organisms serve as prey for amphibians and others interact with amphibians as predators, competitors, pathogens, or symbionts. Still other organisms in their enviro...

  11. Ecotoxicology of Amphibians and Reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-01-01

    For many years, ecological research on amphibians and reptiles has lagged behind that of other vertebrates such as fishes, birds, and mammals, despite the known importance of these animals in their environments. The lack of study has been particularly acute in the he area of ecotoxicology where the number of published scientific papers is a fraction of that found for the other vertebrate classes. Recently, scientists have become aware of severe crises among amphibian populations, including unexplained and sudden extinctions, worldwide declines, and hideous malformations. In many of these instances, contaminants have been listed as probable contributors. Data on the effects of contaminants on reptiles are so depauperate that even the most elementary interpretations are difficult. This state-of-the-science review and synthesis of amphibian and reptile ecotoxicology demonstrates the inter-relationships among distribution, ecology, physiology, and contaminant exposure, and interprets these topics as they pertain to comparative toxicity, population declines, malformations, and risk assessment . In this way, the book identifies and serves as a basis for the most pressing research needs in the coming years. The editors have invited 27 other internationally respected experts to examine the state of existing data in specific areas, interpret it in light of current problems, and identify research gaps and needs. Through its emphasis on recent research, extensive reviews and synthesis, Ecotoxicology of Amphibians and Reptiles will remain a definitive reference work well into the new century.

  12. The metamorphosis of amphibian toxicogenomics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caren eHelbing

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Amphibians are important vertebrates in toxicology often representing both aquatic and terrestrial forms within the life history of the same species. Of the thousands of species, only two have substantial genomics resources: the recently published genome of the Pipid, Xenopus (Silurana tropicalis, and transcript information (and ongoing genome sequencing project of Xenopus laevis. However, many more species representative of regional ecological niches and life strategies are used in toxicology worldwide. Since Xenopus species diverged from the most populous frog family, the Ranidae, ~200 million years ago, there are notable differences between them and the even more distant Caudates (salamanders and Caecilians. These differences include genome size, gene composition, and extent of polyploidization. Application of toxicogenomics to amphibians requires the mobilization of resources and expertise to develop de novo sequence assemblies and analysis strategies for a broader range of amphibian species. The present mini-review will present the advances in toxicogenomics as pertains to amphibians with particular emphasis upon the development and use of genomic techniques (inclusive of transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics and the challenges inherent therein.

  13. Small Mammals, Reptiles, and Amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryce Rickel

    2005-01-01

    This chapter focuses on small mammals, reptiles, and amphibians that inhabit the grasslands within the Southwestern Region of the USDA Forest Service. The chapter is not intended to be an all inclusive list of species, but rather to address the species that play important roles in grassland ecosystems and that often are associated with the management of grasslands....

  14. Ecopathology of Ranaviruses Infecting Amphibians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew Storfer

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Ranaviruses are capable of infecting amphibians from at least 14 families and over 70 individual species. Ranaviruses infect multiple cell types, often culminating in organ necrosis and massive hemorrhaging. Subclinical infections have been documented, although their role in ranavirus persistence and emergence remains unclear. Water is an effective transmission medium for ranaviruses, and survival outside the host may be for significant duration. In aquatic communities, amphibians, reptiles and fish may serve as reservoirs. Controlled studies have shown that susceptibility to ranavirus infection and disease varies among amphibian species and developmental stages, and likely is impacted by host-pathogen coevolution, as well as, exogenous environmental factors. Field studies have demonstrated that the likelihood of epizootics is increased in areas of cattle grazing, where aquatic vegetation is sparse and water quality is poor. Translocation of infected amphibians through commercial trade (e.g., food, fish bait, pet industry contributes to the spread of ranaviruses. Such introductions may be of particular concern, as several studies report that ranaviruses isolated from ranaculture, aquaculture, and bait facilities have greater virulence (i.e., ability to cause disease than wild-type isolates. Future investigations should focus on the genetic basis for pathogen virulence and host susceptibility, ecological and anthropogenic mechanisms contributing to emergence, and vaccine development for use in captive populations and species reintroduction programs.

  15. Strong lethality and teratogenicity of strobilurins on Xenopus tropicalis embryos: Basing on ten agricultural fungicides

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, Dan; Liu, Mengyun; Yang, Yongsheng; Shi, Huahong; Zhou, Junliang; He, Defu

    2016-01-01

    Agricultural chemical inputs have been considered as a risk factor for the global declines in amphibian populations, yet the application of agricultural fungicides has increased dramatically in recent years. Currently little is known about the potential toxicity of fungicides on the embryos of amphibians. We studied the effects of ten commonly used fungicides (four strobilurins, two SDHIs, two triazoles, fludioxonil and folpet) on Xenopus tropicalis embryos. Lethal and teratogenic effects were respectively examined after 48 h exposure. The median lethal concentrations (LC50s) and the median teratogenic concentrations (TC50s) were determined in line with actual exposure concentrations. These fungicides except two triazoles showed obvious lethal effects on embryos; however LC50s of four strobilurins were the lowest and in the range of 6.81–196.59 μg/L. Strobilurins, SDHIs and fludioxonil induced severe malformations in embryos. Among the ten fungicides, the lowest TC50s were observed for four strobilurins in the range of 0.61–84.13 μg/L. The teratogenicity shared similar dose–effect relationship and consistent phenotypes mainly including microcephaly, hypopigmentation, somite segmentation and narrow fins. The findings indicate that the developmental toxicity of currently-used fungicides involved with ecologic risks on amphibians. Especially strobilurins are highly toxic to amphibian embryos at μg/L level, which is close to environmentally relevant concentrations. - Highlights: • Effects of ten agricultural fungicides were tested on Xenopus tropicalis embryos. • Strobilurin fungicides showed strong lethal and teratogenic effects on embryos. • Lowest LC50 and TC50 were observed for strobilurins in ten fungicides. • μg/L level of toxic concentrations for strobilurins was environmentally relevant. • Teratogenicity shared similar dose–effect relationship and main phenotypes. - Strobilurins induced strong lethality and teratogenicity on Xenopus

  16. Adaptation to osmotic stress provides protection against ammonium nitrate in Pelophylax perezi embryos

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ortiz-Santaliestra, Manuel E.; Fernandez-Beneitez, Maria Jose; Lizana, Miguel; Marco, Adolfo

    2010-01-01

    The negative effects of pollution on amphibians are especially high when animals are additionally stressed by other environmental factors such as water salinity. However, the stress provoked by salinity may vary among populations because of adaptation processes. We tested the combined effect of a common fertilizer, ammonium nitrate (0-90.3 mg N-NO 3 NH 4 /L), and water salinity (0-2 per mille ) on embryos of two Pelophylax perezi populations from ponds with different salinity concentrations. Embryos exposed to the fertilizer were up to 17% smaller than controls. Survival rates of embryos exposed to a single stressor were always below 10%. The exposure to both stressors concurrently increased mortality rate (>95%) of embryos from freshwater. Since the fertilizer was lethal only when individuals were stressed by the salinity, it did not cause lethal effects on embryos naturally adapted to saline environments. Our results underscore the importance of testing multiple stressors when analyzing amphibian sensitivity to environmental pollution. - Natural resistance to salinity minimizes the impact of chemical fertilizers on amphibian embryos.

  17. Proposed law of nature linking impacts, plume volcanism, and Milankovitch cycles to terrestrial vertebrate mass extinctions via greenhouse-embryo death coupling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mclean, D. M.

    1994-01-01

    A greenhouse-physiological coupling killing mechanism active among mammals, birds, and reptiles has been identified. Operating via environmental thermal effects upon the maternal core-skin blood flow critical to the survival and development of embryos, it reduces the flow of blood to the uterine tract. Today, during hot summers, this phenomena kills embryos on a vast, global scale. Because of sensitivity of many mammals to modern heat, a major modern greenhouse could reduce population numbers on a global scale, and potentially trigger population collapses in the more vulnerable parts of the world. In the geological past, the killing mechanism has likely been triggered into action by greenhouse warming via impact events, plume volcanism, and Earth orbital variations (Milankovitch cycles). Earth's biosphere is maintained and molded by the flow of energy from the solar energy source to Earth and on to the space energy sink (SES). This SES energy flow maintains Earth's biosphere and its living components, as open, intermediate, dissipative, nonequilibrium systems whose states are dependent upon the rate of energy flowing through them. Greenhouse gases such as CO2 in the atmosphere influence the SES energy flow rate. Steady-state flow is necessary for global ecological stability (autopoiesis). Natural fluctuations of the C cycle such as rapid releases of CO2 from the mantle, or oceans, disrupt steady-state SES flow. These fluctuations constantly challenge the biosphere; slowdown of SES energy flow drives it toward thermodynamical equilibrium and stagnation. Fluctuations induced by impact event, mantle plume volcanism, and Milankovitch cycles can grow into structure-breaking waves triggering major perturbations of Earth's C cycle and mass extinctions. A major C cycle perturbation involves readjustment of the outer physiochemical spheres of the Earth: the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere; and by necessity, the biosphere. A greenhouse, one manifestation of a major

  18. Female sexual arousal in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilczynski, Walter; Lynch, Kathleen S

    2011-05-01

    Rather than being a static, species specific trait, reproductive behavior in female amphibians is variable within an individual during the breeding season when females are capable of reproductive activity. Changes in receptivity coincide with changes in circulating estrogen. Estrogen is highest at the point when females are ready to choose a male and lay eggs. At this time female receptivity (her probability of responding to a male vocal signal) is highest and her selectivity among conspecific calls (measured by her probability of responding to a degraded or otherwise usually unattractive male signal) is lowest. These changes occur even though females retain the ability to discriminate different acoustic characteristics of various conspecific calls. After releasing her eggs, female amphibians quickly become less receptive and more choosy in terms of their responses to male sexual advertisement signals. Male vocal signals stimulate both behavior and estrogen changes in amphibian females making mating more probable. The changes in female reproductive behavior are the same as those generally accepted as indicative of a change in female sexual arousal leading to copulation. They are situationally triggered, gated by interactions with males, and decline with the consummation of sexual reproduction with a chosen male. The changes can be triggered by either internal physiological state or by the presence of stimuli presented by males, and the same stimuli change both behavior and physiological (endocrine) state in such a way as to make acceptance of a male more likely. Thus amphibian females demonstrate many of the same general characteristics of changing female sexual state that in mammals indicate sexual arousal. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Amphibian Engineers in the Southwest Pacific

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-03-08

    too dangerous. The 1st Engineer Amphibian Brigade was relegated to truck duty in England instead of preparing for the cross-channel invasion.21 Before...and dumps through the swamp.93 91 Office of the Chief Engineer , Amphibian Engineer ...inland, whereas the DUKW (and LVT) could drive direct from ship to dump site. 116 Office of the Chief Engineer , Amphibian Engineer Operations, 320-21

  20. Altered Reproductive Function and Amphibian Declines

    OpenAIRE

    Gallipeau, Sherrie

    2014-01-01

    Agrochemical exposure is one of the factors that contributes to worldwide amphibian declines. Most studies that examine agrochemicals and amphibian declines focus on toxicity. However, declines are more likely caused by the sub-lethal effects of agrochemical exposure. Past emphases on the lethal effects of agrochemical exposure have overshadowed the contribution of decreased recruitment in amphibian declines. Additionally, studies that examine agrochemicals and reproductive function tend to f...

  1. Impending conservation crisis for Southeast Asian amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowley, Jodi; Brown, Rafe; Bain, Raoul; Kusrini, Mirza; Inger, Robert; Stuart, Bryan; Wogan, Guin; Thy, Neang; Chan-Ard, Tanya; Trung, Cao Tien; Diesmos, Arvin; Iskandar, Djoko T; Lau, Michael; Ming, Leong Tzi; Makchai, Sunchai; Truong, Nguyen Quang; Phimmachak, Somphouthone

    2010-06-23

    With an understudied amphibian fauna, the highest deforestation rate on the planet and high harvesting pressures, Southeast Asian amphibians are facing a conservation crisis. Owing to the overriding threat of habitat loss, the most critical conservation action required is the identification and strict protection of habitat assessed as having high amphibian species diversity and/or representing distinctive regional amphibian faunas. Long-term population monitoring, enhanced survey efforts, collection of basic biological and ecological information, continued taxonomic research and evaluation of the impact of commercial trade for food, medicine and pets are also needed. Strong involvement of regional stakeholders, students and professionals is essential to accomplish these actions.

  2. Amphibian haematology: Metamorphosis-related changes in blood cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rosenkilde, Per; Sørensen, Inger; Ussing, Anne Phaff

    1995-01-01

    Zoofysiologi, Amphibian metamorphosis, Haematology, Immunosuppression, Immunological Tolerance, Protozoan Infection, metamorfose, springpadder, ontogenese, halepadder.......Zoofysiologi, Amphibian metamorphosis, Haematology, Immunosuppression, Immunological Tolerance, Protozoan Infection, metamorfose, springpadder, ontogenese, halepadder....

  3. Amphibians at risk? Susceptibility of terrestrial amphibian life stages to pesticides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brühl, Carsten A; Pieper, Silvia; Weber, Brigitte

    2011-11-01

    Current pesticide risk assessment does not specifically consider amphibians. Amphibians in the aquatic environment (aquatic life stages or postmetamorphic aquatic amphibians) and terrestrial living juvenile or adult amphibians are assumed to be covered by the risk assessment for aquatic invertebrates and fish, or mammals and birds, respectively. This procedure has been evaluated as being sufficiently protective regarding the acute risk posed by a number of pesticides to aquatic amphibian life stages (eggs, larvae). However, it is unknown whether the exposure and sensitivity of terrestrial living amphibians are comparable to mammalian and avian exposure and sensitivity. We reviewed the literature on dermal pesticide absorption and toxicity studies for terrestrial life stages of amphibians, focusing on the dermal exposure pathway, that is, through treated soil or direct overspray. In vitro studies demonstrated that cutaneous absorption of chemicals is significant and that chemical percutaneous passage, P (cm/h), is higher in amphibians than in mammals. In vivo, the rapid and substantial uptake of the herbicide atrazine from treated soil by toads (Bufo americanus) has been described. Severe toxic effects on various amphibian species have been reported for field-relevant application rates of different pesticides. In general, exposure and toxicity studies for terrestrial amphibian life stages are scarce, and the reported data indicate the need for further research, especially in light of the global amphibian decline. Copyright © 2011 SETAC.

  4. Chironomidae bloodworms larvae as aquatic amphibian food.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fard, Mojdeh Sharifian; Pasmans, Frank; Adriaensen, Connie; Laing, Gijs Du; Janssens, Geert Paul Jules; Martel, An

    2014-01-01

    Different species of chironomids larvae (Diptera: Chironomidae) so-called bloodworms are widely distributed in the sediments of all types of freshwater habitats and considered as an important food source for amphibians. In our study, three species of Chironomidae (Baeotendipes noctivagus, Benthalia dissidens, and Chironomus riparius) were identified in 23 samples of larvae from Belgium, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine provided by a distributor in Belgium. We evaluated the suitability of these samples as amphibian food based on four different aspects: the likelihood of amphibian pathogens spreading, risk of heavy metal accumulation in amphibians, nutritive value, and risk of spreading of zoonotic bacteria (Salmonella, Campylobacter, and ESBL producing Enterobacteriaceae). We found neither zoonotic bacteria nor the amphibian pathogens Ranavirus and Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in these samples. Our data showed that among the five heavy metals tested (Hg, Cu, Cd, Pb, and Zn), the excess level of Pb in two samples and low content of Zn in four samples implicated potential risk of Pb accumulation and Zn inadequacy. Proximate nutritional analysis revealed that, chironomidae larvae are consistently high in protein but more variable in lipid content. Accordingly, variations in the lipid: protein ratio can affect the amount and pathway of energy supply to the amphibians. Our study indicated although environmentally-collected chironomids larvae may not be vectors of specific pathogens, they can be associated with nutritional imbalances and may also result in Pb bioaccumulation and Zn inadequacy in amphibians. Chironomidae larvae may thus not be recommended as single diet item for amphibians. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. A conceptual model to facilitate amphibian conservation in the northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushnet, David M.; Euliss, Ned H.; Stockwell, Craig A.

    2012-01-01

    As pressures on agricultural landscapes to meet worldwide resource needs increase, amphibian populations face numerous threats including habitat destruction, chemical contaminants, disease outbreaks, wetland sedimentation, and synergistic effects of these perturbations. To facilitate conservation planning, we developed a conceptual model depicting elements critical for amphibian conservation in the northern Great Plains. First, we linked upland, wetland, and landscape features to specific ecological attributes. Ecological attributes included adult survival; reproduction and survival to metamorphosis; and successful dispersal and recolonization. Second, we linked ecosystem drivers, ecosystem stressors, and ecological effects of the region to each ecological attribute. Lastly, we summarized information on these ecological attributes and the drivers, stressors, and effects that work in concert to influence the maintenance of viable and genetically diverse amphibian populations in the northern Great Plains. While our focus was on the northern Great Plains, our conceptual model can be tailored to other geographic regions and taxa.

  6. Endoparasites in some Swedish Amphibians

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cedhagen, Tomas

    1988-01-01

    A study was made of the endoparasites in specimens of Rana arvalis and R. temporaria collected on two occasions from a locality of southern Sweden. Some frogs were investigated directly after capture while other frogs were kept hibernating and the composition of the parasites as well...... as the behaviour of the parasites were studied after the termination of hibernation. Twelve species of parasites were found. Six of them, Polystoma integerrimum, Pleurogenes claviger (Trematoda), Rhabdias bufonis, Oswaldocruzia filiformis, Cosmocerca ornata and Oxysomatium brevicauda- tum (Nematoda), have...... not previously been reported from Sweden. The late Prof. O. Nybelin's unpublished records of parasites found in Swedish amphibians are also given....

  7. Microcosm investigations of stormwater pond sediment toxicity to embryonic and larval amphibians: Variation in sensitivity among species

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Snodgrass, Joel W. [Department of Biological Sciences, Towson University, 8000 York Road, Towson, MD 21252 (United States)], E-mail: jsnodgrass@towson.edu; Casey, Ryan E. [Department of Chemistry, Towson University, 8000 York Road, Towson, MD 21252 (United States); Joseph, Debra; Simon, Judith A. [Department of Biological Sciences, Towson University, 8000 York Road, Towson, MD 21252 (United States)

    2008-07-15

    Stormwater ponds have become common features of modern development and often represent significant amounts of open space in urbanized areas. Although stormwater ponds may provide habitat for wildlife, factors responsible for producing variation in wildlife use of ponds have received limited attention. To investigate the role of variation in species tolerances of pollutants in structuring pond-breeding amphibian assemblages, we exposed species tolerant (Bufo americanus) and not tolerant (Rana sylvatica) of urbanization to pond sediments in laboratory microcosms. Pond microcosms had elevated sediment metal levels and chloride water concentrations. Among R. sylvatica embryos, exposure to pond sediments resulted in 100% mortality. In contrast, B. americanus embryos and larvae experienced only sublethal effects (i.e., reduced size at metamorphosis) due to pond sediment exposure. Our results suggest variation in pollutant tolerance among early developmental stages of amphibians may act in concert with terrestrial habitat availability to structure amphibian assemblages associated with stormwater ponds. - Variation among species in sensitivity to pollutants can influence stormwater pond amphibian assemblages.

  8. Fight Fungi with Fungi: Antifungal Properties of the Amphibian Mycobiome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick J. Kearns

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Emerging infectious diseases caused by fungal taxa are increasing and are placing a substantial burden on economies and ecosystems worldwide. Of the emerging fungal diseases, chytridomycosis caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (hereafter Bd is linked to global amphibian declines. Amphibians have innate immunity, as well as additional resistance through cutaneous microbial communities. Despite the targeting of bacteria as potential probiotics, the role of fungi in the protection against Bd infection in unknown. We used a four-part approach, including high-throughput sequencing of bacterial and fungal communities, cultivation of fungi, Bd challenge assays, and experimental additions of probiotic to Midwife Toads (Altyes obstetricans, to examine the overlapping roles of bacterial and fungal microbiota in pathogen defense in captive bred poison arrow frogs (Dendrobates sp.. Our results revealed that cutaneous fungal taxa differed from environmental microbiota across three species and a subspecies of Dendrobates spp. frogs. Cultivation of host-associated and environmental fungi realved numerous taxa with the ability to inhibit or facilitate the growth of Bd. The abundance of cutaneous fungi contributed more to Bd defense (~45% of the fungal community, than did bacteria (~10% and frog species harbored distinct inhibitory communities that were distinct from the environment. Further, we demonstrated that a fungal probiotic therapy did not induce an endocrine-immune reaction, in contrast to bacterial probiotics that stressed amphibian hosts and suppressed antimicrobial peptide responses, limiting their long-term colonization potential. Our results suggest that probiotic strategies against amphibian fungal pathogens should, in addition to bacterial probiotics, focus on host-associated and environmental fungi such as Penicillium and members of the families Chaetomiaceae and Lasiosphaeriaceae.

  9. Amphibian commerce as a likely source of pathogen pollution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Picco, Angela M; Collins, James P

    2008-12-01

    The commercial trade of wildlife occurs on a global scale. In addition to removing animals from their native populations, this trade may lead to the release and subsequent introduction of nonindigenous species and the pathogens they carry. Emerging infectious diseases, such as chytridiomycosis caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), and ranaviral disease have spread with global trade in amphibians and are linked to amphibian declines and die-offs worldwide, which suggests that the commercial trade in amphibians may be a source of pathogen pollution. We screened tiger salamanders involved in the bait trade in the western United States for both ranaviruses and Bd with polymerase chain reaction and used oral reports from bait shops and ranavirus DNA sequences from infected bait salamanders to determine how these animals and their pathogens are moved geographically by commerce. In addition, we conducted 2 surveys of anglers to determine how often tiger salamanders are used as bait and how often they are released into fishing waters by anglers, and organized bait-shop surveys to determine whether tiger salamanders are released back into the wild after being housed in bait shops. Ranaviruses were detected in the tiger salamander bait trade in Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico, and Bd was detected in Arizona bait shops. Ranaviruses were spread geographically through the bait trade. All tiger salamanders in the bait trade were collected from the wild, and in general they moved east to west and north to south, bringing with them their multiple ranavirus strains. Finally, 26-73% of anglers used tiger salamanders as fishing bait, 26-67% of anglers released tiger salamanders bought as bait into fishing waters, and 4% of bait shops released tiger salamanders back into the wild after they were housed in shops with infected animals. The tiger salamander bait trade in the western United States is a useful model for understanding the consequences of the

  10. Suitability of amphibians and reptiles for translocation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Germano, Jennifer M; Bishop, Phillip J

    2009-02-01

    Translocations are important tools in the field of conservation. Despite increased use over the last few decades, the appropriateness of translocations for amphibians and reptiles has been debated widely over the past 20 years. To provide a comprehensive evaluation of the suitability of amphibians and reptiles for translocation, we reviewed the results of amphibian and reptile translocation projects published between 1991 and 2006. The success rate of amphibian and reptile translocations reported over this period was twice that reported in an earlier review in 1991. Success and failure rates were independent of the taxonomic class (Amphibia or Reptilia) released. Reptile translocations driven by human-wildlife conflict mitigation had a higher failure rate than those motivated by conservation, and more recent projects of reptile translocations had unknown outcomes. The outcomes of amphibian translocations were significantly related to the number of animals released, with projects releasing over 1000 individuals being most successful. The most common reported causes of translocation failure were homing and migration of introduced individuals out of release sites and poor habitat. The increased success of amphibian and reptile translocations reviewed in this study compared with the 1991 review is encouraging for future conservation projects. Nevertheless, more preparation, monitoring, reporting of results, and experimental testing of techniques and reintroduction questions need to occur to improve translocations of amphibians and reptiles as a whole.

  11. Cryopreservation and other assisted reproductive technologies for the conservation of threatened amphibians and reptiles: bringing the ARTs up to speed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clulow, John; Clulow, Simon

    2016-06-01

    Amphibians and reptiles are experiencing serious declines, with the number of threatened species and extinctions growing rapidly as the modern biodiversity crisis unfolds. For amphibians, the panzootic of chytridiomycosis is a major driver. For reptiles, habitat loss and harvesting from the wild are key threats. Cryopreservation and other assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) could play a role in slowing the loss of amphibian and reptile biodiversity and managing threatened populations through genome storage and the production of live animals from stored material. These vertebrate classes are at different stages of development in cryopreservation and other ARTs, and each class faces different technical challenges arising from the separate evolutionary end-points of their reproductive biology. For amphibians, the generation of live offspring from cryopreserved spermatozoa has been achieved, but the cryopreservation of oocytes and embryos remains elusive. With reptiles, spermatozoa have been cryopreserved in a few species, but no offspring from cryopreserved spermatozoa have been reported, and the generation of live young from AI has only occurred in a small number of species. Cryopreservation and ARTs are more developed and advanced for amphibians than reptiles. Future work on both groups needs to concentrate on achieving proof of concept examples that demonstrate the use of genome storage and ARTs in successfully recovering threatened species to increase awareness and support for this approach to conservation.

  12. Correlates of virulence in a frog-killing fungal pathogen: evidence from a California amphibian decline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonah Piovia-Scott; Karen Pope; S. Joy Worth; Erica Bree Rosenblum; Dean Simon; Gordon Warburton; Louise A. Rollins-Smith; Laura K. Reinert; Heather L. Wells; Dan Rejmanek; Sharon Lawler; Janet Foley

    2015-01-01

    The fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has caused declines and extinctions in amphibians worldwide, and there is increasing evidence that some strains of this pathogen are more virulent than others. While a number of putative virulence factors have been identified, few studies link these factors to specific epizootic events. We...

  13. Chytridiomycosis: a global threat to amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, P L L; Torres, A M C; Soares, D F M; Hijosa-Valsero, M; Bécares, E

    2013-12-01

    Chytridiomycosis, which is caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, is an emerging infectious disease of amphibians. The disease is one of the main causes of the global decline in amphibians. The aetiological agent is ubiquitous, with worldwide distribution, and affects a large number of amphibian species in several biomes. In the last decade, scientific research has substantially increased knowledge of the aetiological agent and the associated infection. However, important epidemiological aspects of the environment-mediated interactions between the aetiological agent and the host are not yet clear. The objective of the present review is to describe chytridiomycosis with regard to the major features of the aetiological agent, the host and the environment.

  14. Joint effects of pesticides and ultraviolet-B radiation on amphibian larvae

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yu, Shuangying; Wages, Mike; Willming, Morgan; Cobb, George P.; Maul, Jonathan D.

    2015-01-01

    A combination of multiple stressors may be linked to global amphibian declines. Of these, pesticides and UVB radiation co-exposures were examined on the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) to provide information that may be useful for amphibian conservation. The independent action model and inferential statistics were used to examine interactions between pesticides (malathion, endosulfan, α-cypermethrin, or chlorothalonil) and environmentally relevant UVB exposures. UVB radiation alone caused 35–68% mortality and nearly 100% of malformations. Pesticides and UVB had additive effects on larval mortality; however, several non-additive effects (antagonistic and synergistic interactions) were observed for total body length. Insecticides mainly affected axial development, whereas UVB radiation caused high incidence of edema, gut malformations, and abnormal tail tips. These results suggest that sublethal developmental endpoints were more sensitive for detecting joint effects. This work has implications for amphibian risk assessments for ecosystems where pesticides and high UVB radiation may co-occur. - Highlights: • Interactive effects of UVB radiation-pesticide co-exposures were examined in frogs. • UVB radiation alone caused 35–68% mortality and nearly 100% of malformations. • Pesticides and UVB had additive effects on larval mortality. • Several non-additive effects were observed for total body length. • Amphibian risk assessments should consider UVB radiation exposure as a co-stressor. - Possible interactions between pesticides and UVB radiation support the idea that amphibian risk assessments should consider these co-stressors when high UVB radiation exposure is high.

  15. The North American Amphibian Monitoring Program. [abstract

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffin, J.

    1998-01-01

    The North American Amphibian Monitoring Program has been under development for the past three years. The monitoring strategy for NAAMP has five main prongs: terrestrial salamander surveys, calling surveys, aquatic surveys, western surveys, and atlassing. Of these five, calling surveys were selected as one of the first implementation priorities due to their friendliness to volunteers of varying knowledge levels, relative low cost, and the fact that several groups had already pioneered the techniques involved. While some states and provinces had implemented calling surveys prior to NAAMP, like WI and IL, most states and provinces had little or no history of state/provincewide amphibian monitoring. Thus, the majority of calling survey programs were initiated in the past two years. To assess the progress of this pilot phase, a program review was conducted on the status of the NAAMP calling survey program, and the results of that review will be presented at the meeting. Topics to be discussed include: who is doing what where, extent of route coverage, the continuing random route discussions, quality assurance, strengths and weaknesses of calling surveys, reliability of data, and directions for the future. In addition, a brief overview of the DISPro project will be included. DISPro is a new amphibian monitoring program in National Parks, funded by the Demonstration of Intensive Sites Program (DISPro) through the EPA and NPS. It will begin this year at Big Bend and Shenandoah National Parks. The purpose of the DISPro Amphibian Project will be to investigate relationships between environmental factors and stressors and the distribution, abundance, and health of amphibians in these National Parks. At each Park, amphibian long-term monitoring protocols will be tested, distributions and abundance of amphibians will be mapped, and field research experiments will be conducted to examine stressor effects on amphibians (e.g., ultraviolet radiation, contaminants, acidification).

  16. Amphibians and Reptiles of Los Alamos County

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Teralene S. Foxx; Timothy K. Haarmann; David C. Keller

    1999-10-01

    Recent studies have shown that amphibians and reptiles are good indicators of environmental health. They live in terrestrial and aquatic environments and are often the first animals to be affected by environmental change. This publication provides baseline information about amphibians and reptiles that are present on the Pajarito Plateau. Ten years of data collection and observations by researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory, the University of New Mexico, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, and hobbyists are represented.

  17. The Effect of UV-B Radiation on Bufo arenarum Embryos Survival and Superoxide Dismutase Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herkovits, J.; D’Eramo, J. L.; Fridman, O.

    2006-01-01

    The exposure of Bufo arenarum embryos to 300–310 nm UV-B at a dose of 4,104 Joule/m2 resulted in 100% lethality within 24 hr while 820 Joule/m2 was the NOEC value for short-term chronic (10 days) exposure. The dose response curves show that lethal effects are proportional with the dose and achieve its highest value within 48 hr post exposure. The superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity in amphibian embryos for sublethal UV-B exposures was evaluated by means of UV-B treatments with 273 (A), 820(B), 1368(C) and 1915(D) Joule/m2 at 2 and 5 hours post irradiation. The SOD activity in units/mg protein in A, B, C and D at 2 hr after treatments were 80.72 ± 14.29, 74.5 ± 13.19, 39.5 ± 6.99 and 10.7 ± 1.89 respectively while for control embryos it was 10.88 ± 1.31. At 5 hr after treatments the SOD values were similar to those found in control embryos. The results confirm the high susceptibility of amphibian embryos to UV-B and point out that the SOD activity is enhanced by low doses of UV-B irradiation achieving significantly higher values than in control embryos at 2 hr post exposure. PMID:16823076

  18. Linking embryo toxicity with genotoxic responses in the freshwater snail Physa acuta: single exposure to benzo(a)pyrene, fluoxetine, bisphenol A, vinclozolin and exposure to binary mixtures with benzo(a)pyrene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-Argüello, Paloma; Aparicio, Natalia; Fernández, Carlos

    2012-06-01

    Genotoxic effects on fauna after waterborne pollutant exposure have been demonstrated by numerous research programmes. Less effort has been focused on establishing relationship between genotoxicity and long-term responses at higher levels of biological organization. Taking into account that embryos may be more sensitive indicators of reproductive impairment than alterations in fertility, we have developed two assays in multiwell plates to address correlations between embryo toxicity and genotoxicity. The potential teratogenicity was assessed by analyzing abnormal development and mortality of Physa acuta at embryonic stage. Genotoxicity was measured by the micronucleus (MN) test using embryonic cells. Our results showed that linkage between genotoxicity and embryo toxicity depends on mechanisms of action of compounds under study. Embryo toxic responses showed a clear dose-related tendency whereas no clear dose-dependent effect was observed in micronucleus induction. The higher embryo toxicity was produced by benzo(a)pyrene exposure followed by fluoxetine and bisphenol A. Vinclozolin was the lower embryo toxic compound. Binary mixtures with BaP always resulted in higher embryo toxicity than single exposures but antagonistic effects were observed for MN induction. Benzo(a)pyrene produced the higher MN induction at 0.04 mg/L, which also produced clear embryo toxic effects. Fluoxetine did not induce cytogenetic effects but 0.25mg/L altered embryonic development. Bisphenol A significantly reduced hatchability at 0.5mg/L while MN induction appeared with higher treatments than those that start causing teratogenicity. Much higher concentration of vinclozolin (5mg/L) reduced hatchability and induced maximum MN formation. In conclusion, while validating one biomarker of genotoxicity and employing one ecologically relevant effect, we have evaluated the relative sensitivity of a freshwater mollusc for a range of chemicals. The embryo toxicity test is a starting point for the

  19. Countryside biogeography of Neotropical reptiles and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendenhall, Chase D; Frishkoff, Luke O; Santos-Barrera, Georgina; Pacheco, Jesús; Mesfun, Eyobed; Mendoza Quijano, Fernando; Ehrlich, Paul R; Ceballos, Gerardo; Daily, Gretchen C; Pringle, Robert M

    2014-04-01

    The future of biodiversity and ecosystem services depends largely on the capacity of human-dominated ecosystems to support them, yet this capacity remains largely unknown. Using the framework of countryside biogeography, and working in the Las Cruces system of Coto Brus, Costa Rica, we assessed reptile and amphibian assemblages within four habitats that typify much of the Neotropics: sun coffee plantations (12 sites), pasture (12 sites), remnant forest elements (12 sites), and a larger, contiguous protected forest (3 sites in one forest). Through analysis of 1678 captures of 67 species, we draw four primary conclusions. First, we found that the majority of reptile (60%) and amphibian (70%) species in this study used an array of habitat types, including coffee plantations and actively grazed pastures. Second, we found that coffee plantations and pastures hosted rich, albeit different and less dense, reptile and amphibian biodiversity relative to the 326-ha Las Cruces Forest Reserve and neighboring forest elements. Third, we found that the small ribbons of "countryside forest elements" weaving through farmland collectively increased the effective size of a 326-ha local forest reserve 16-fold for reptiles and 14-fold for amphibians within our 236-km2 study area. Therefore, countryside forest elements, often too small for most remote sensing techniques to identify, are contributing -95% of the available habitat for forest-dependent reptiles and amphibians in our largely human-dominated study region. Fourth, we found large and pond-reproducing amphibians to prefer human-made habitats, whereas small, stream-reproducing, and directly developing species are more dependent on forest elements. Our investigation demonstrates that tropical farming landscapes can support substantial reptile and amphibian biodiversity. Our approach provides a framework for estimating the conservation value of the complex working landscapes that constitute roughly half of the global land surface

  20. The phylogeny of amphibian metamorphosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiss, John O

    2002-01-01

    Frogs have one of the most extreme metamorphoses among vertebrates. How did this metamorphosis evolve? By combining the methods previously proposed by Mabee and Humphries (1993) and Velhagen (1997), I develop a phylogenetic method suited for rigorous analysis of this question. In a preliminary analysis using 12 transformation sequence characters and 36 associated event sequence characters, all drawn from the osteology of the skull, the evolution of metamorphosis is traced on an assumed phylogeny. This phylogeny has lissamphibians (frogs, salamanders, and caecilians) monophyletic, with frogs the sister group of salamanders. Successive outgroups used are temnospondyls and discosauriscids, both of which are fossil groups for which ontogenetic data are available. In the reconstruction of character evolution, an unambiguous change (synapomorphy) along the branch leading to lissamphibians is a delay in the lengthening of the maxilla until metamorphosis, in accordance with my previous suggestion (Reiss, 1996). However, widening of the interpterygoid vacuity does not appear as a synapomophy of lissamphibians, due to variation in the character states in the outgroups. From a more theoretical perspective, the reconstructed evolution of amphibian metamorphosis involves examples of heterochrony, through the shift of ancestral premetamorphic events to the metamorphic period, caenogenesis, through the origin of new larval features, and terminal addition, through the origin of new adult features. Other changes don't readily fit these categories. This preliminary study provides evidence that metamorphic changes in frogs arose as further modifications of changes unique to lissamphibians, as well as a new method by which such questions can be examined.

  1. Comparative and phylogenetic perspectives of the cleavage process in tailed amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desnitskiy, Alexey G; Litvinchuk, Spartak N

    2015-10-01

    The order Caudata includes about 660 species and displays a variety of important developmental traits such as cleavage pattern and egg size. However, the cleavage process of tailed amphibians has never been analyzed within a phylogenetic framework. We use published data on the embryos of 36 species concerning the character of the third cleavage furrow (latitudinal, longitudinal or variable) and the magnitude of synchronous cleavage period (up to 3-4 synchronous cell divisions in the animal hemisphere or a considerably longer series of synchronous divisions followed by midblastula transition). Several species from basal caudate families Cryptobranchidae (Andrias davidianus and Cryptobranchus alleganiensis) and Hynobiidae (Onychodactylus japonicus) as well as several representatives from derived families Plethodontidae (Desmognathus fuscus and Ensatina eschscholtzii) and Proteidae (Necturus maculosus) are characterized by longitudinal furrows of the third cleavage and the loss of synchrony as early as the 8-cell stage. By contrast, many representatives of derived families Ambystomatidae and Salamandridae have latitudinal furrows of the third cleavage and extensive period of synchronous divisions. Our analysis of these ontogenetic characters mapped onto a phylogenetic tree shows that the cleavage pattern of large, yolky eggs with short series of synchronous divisions is an ancestral trait for the tailed amphibians, while the data on the orientation of third cleavage furrows seem to be ambiguous with respect to phylogeny. Nevertheless, the midblastula transition, which is characteristic of the model species Ambystoma mexicanum (Caudata) and Xenopus laevis (Anura), might have evolved convergently in these two amphibian orders.

  2. Gridded Species Distribution, Version 1: Global Amphibians Presence Grids

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Global Amphibians Presence Grids of the Gridded Species Distribution, Version 1 is a reclassified version of the original grids of amphibian species distribution...

  3. Amphibians and reptiles of the state of Hidalgo, Mexico

    OpenAIRE

    Lemos-Espinal, Julio; Smith, Geoffrey

    2015-01-01

    We compiled a checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of the state of Hidalgo, Mexico. The herpetofauna of Hidalgo consists of a total of 175 species: 54 amphibians (14 salamanders and 40 anurans); and 121 reptiles (one crocodile, five turtles, 36 lizards, 79 snakes). These taxa represent 32 families (12 amphibian families, 20 reptile families) and 87 genera (24 amphibian genera, 63 reptile genera). Two of these species are non-native species (Hemidactylus frenatus Duméril and Bibron, 1836 a...

  4. Direct and Indirect Effects of Climate Change on Amphibian Populations

    OpenAIRE

    Blaustein, Andrew R.; Walls, Susan C.; Bancroft, Betsy A.; Lawler, Joshua J.; Searle, Catherine L.; Gervasi, Stephanie S.

    2010-01-01

    As part of an overall decline in biodiversity, populations of many organisms are declining and species are being lost at unprecedented rates around the world. This includes many populations and species of amphibians. Although numerous factors are affecting amphibian populations, we show potential direct and indirect effects of climate change on amphibians at the individual, population and community level. Shifts in amphibian ranges are predicted. Changes in climate may affect survival, growth...

  5. Differential host susceptibility to Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, an emerging amphibian pathogen

    Science.gov (United States)

    C.L. Searle; S.S. Gervasi; J. Hua; J.I. Hammond; R.A. Relyea; D.H. Olson; A.R. Blaustein

    2011-01-01

    The amphibian fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has received considerable attention due to its role in amphibian population declines worldwide. Although many amphibian species appear to be affected by Bd, there is little information on species-specific differences in susceptibility to this pathogen. We used a comparative...

  6. Vulnerability of amphibians to climate change: implications for rangeland management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karen E. Bagne; Deborah M. Finch; Megan M. Friggens

    2011-01-01

    Many amphibian populations have declined drastically in recent years due to a large number of factors including the emerging threat of climate change (Wake 2007). Rangelands provide important habitat for amphibians. In addition to natural wetlands, stock tanks and other artificial water catchments provide habitat for many amphibian species (Euliss et al. 2004).

  7. Possibilties of using amphibians and reptiles to indicate environmental pollution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Petrov, V.S.; Sharygin, S.A.

    1981-01-01

    Data on the presence of certain toxic elements in organisms of amphibians and reptiles are reported. Differences in chemical composition of organisms of amphibians and reptiles living in wild biotopes and in settlements are shown. Analysis of microelement concentration in organisms of amphibians and reptiles can be used to detect pollution in urban areas.

  8. Amphibians of the northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Diane L.; Euliss, Ned H.; Lannoo, Michael J.; Mushet, David M.; Mac, M.J.; Opler, P.A.; Puckett Haecker, C. E.; Doran, P.D.

    1998-01-01

    No cry of alarm has been sounded over the fate of amphibian populations in the northern grasslands of North America, yet huge percentages of prairie wetland habitat have been lost, and the destruction continues. Scarcely 30% of the original mixedgrass prairie remains in Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota (See Table 1 in this chapter). If amphibian populations haven’t declined, why haven’t they? Or, have we simply failed to notice? Amphibians in the northern grasslands evolved in a boom-or-bust environment: species that were unable to survive droughts lasting for years died out long before humans were around to count them. Species we find today are expert at seizing the rare, wet moment to rebuild their populations in preparation for the next dry season. When numbers can change so rapidly, who can say if a species is rare or common? A lot depends on when you look.

  9. Global patterns of amphibian phylogenetic diversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fritz, Susanne; Rahbek, Carsten

    2012-01-01

    Aim  Phylogenetic diversity can provide insight into how evolutionary processes may have shaped contemporary patterns of species richness. Here, we aim to test for the influence of phylogenetic history on global patterns of amphibian species richness, and to identify areas where macroevolutionary...... processes such as diversification and dispersal have left strong signatures on contemporary species richness. Location  Global; equal-area grid cells of approximately 10,000 km2. Methods  We generated an amphibian global supertree (6111 species) and repeated analyses with the largest available molecular...... phylogeny (2792 species). We combined each tree with global species distributions to map four indices of phylogenetic diversity. To investigate congruence between global spatial patterns of amphibian species richness and phylogenetic diversity, we selected Faith’s phylogenetic diversity (PD) index...

  10. Amphibian monitoring in the Atchafalaya Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waddle, Hardin

    2011-01-01

    Amphibians are a diverse group of animals that includes frogs, toads, and salamanders. They are adapted to living in a variety of habitats, but most require water for at least one life stage. Amphibians have recently become a worldwide conservation concern because of declines and extinctions even in remote protected areas previously thought to be safe from the pressures of habitat loss and degradation. Amphibians are an important part of ecosystem dynamics because they can be quite abundant and serve both as a predator of smaller organisms and as prey to a suite of vertebrate predators. Their permeable skin and aquatic life history also make them useful as indicators of ecosystem health. Since 2002, the U.S. Geological Survey has been studying the frog and toad species inhabiting the Atchafalaya Basin to monitor for population declines and to better understand how the species are potentially affected by disease, environmental contaminants, and climate change.

  11. Anthropogenic and ecological drivers of amphibian disease (ranavirosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra C North

    Full Text Available Ranaviruses are causing mass amphibian die-offs in North America, Europe and Asia, and have been implicated in the decline of common frog (Rana temporaria populations in the UK. Despite this, we have very little understanding of the environmental drivers of disease occurrence and prevalence. Using a long term (1992-2000 dataset of public reports of amphibian mortalities, we assess a set of potential predictors of the occurrence and prevalence of Ranavirus-consistent common frog mortality events in Britain. We reveal the influence of biotic and abiotic drivers of this disease, with many of these abiotic characteristics being anthropogenic. Whilst controlling for the geographic distribution of mortality events, disease prevalence increases with increasing frog population density, presence of fish and wild newts, increasing pond depth and the use of garden chemicals. The presence of an alternative host reduces prevalence, potentially indicating a dilution effect. Ranavirosis occurrence is associated with the presence of toads, an urban setting and the use of fish care products, providing insight into the causes of emergence of disease. Links between occurrence, prevalence, pond characteristics and garden management practices provides useful management implications for reducing the impacts of Ranavirus in the wild.

  12. Emerging Ranaviral Infectious Diseases and Amphibian Decline

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacques Robert

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Infectious diseases caused by ranaviruses (RV, family Iridoviridae not only affect wild amphibian populations but also agriculture and international animal trade. Although, the prevalence of RV infections and die offs has markedly increased over the last decade, it is still unclear whether these viruses are direct causal agents of extinction or rather are the resulting (secondary consequences of weakened health of amphibian populations leading to increased susceptibility to viral pathogens. In either case, it is important to understand the critical role of host immune defense in controlling RV infections, pathogenicity, and transmission; this is the focus of this review.

  13. Common procedures in reptiles and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de la Navarre, Byron J S

    2006-05-01

    Reptiles and amphibians continue to be popular as pets in the United States and throughout the world. It therefore behooves veterinarians interested in caring for these exotic species to continually gather knowledge concerning both their proper husbandry and the conditions that require medical and/or surgical intervention. This article covers husbandry, physical examination, and clinical and diagnostic techniques in an effort to present guidelines for the evaluation of the reptile or amphibian patient. Gathering clinical data will aid veterinarians in arriving at the proper diagnosis,increasing the chances of success with treatment protocols, and educating the clients in proper nutrition and husbandry for their pets.

  14. The state of amphibians in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muths, E.; Adams, M.J.; Grant, E.H.C.; Miller, D.; Corn, P.S.; Ball, L.C.

    2012-01-01

    More than 25 years ago, scientists began to identify unexplained declines in amphibian populations around the world. Much has been learned since then, but amphibian declines have not abated and the interactions among the various threats to amphibians are not clear. Amphibian decline is a problem of local, national, and international scope that can affect ecosystem function, biodiversity, and commerce. This fact sheet provides a snapshot of the state of the amphibians and introduces examples to illustrate the range of issues in the United States.

  15. Embryo-maternal communication

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Østrup, Esben; Hyttel, Poul; Østrup, Olga

    2011-01-01

    Communication during early pregnancy is essential for successful reproduction. In this review we address the beginning of the communication between mother and developing embryo; including morphological and transcriptional changes in the endometrium as well as epigenetic regulation mechanisms dire...... directing the placentation. An increasing knowledge of the embryo-maternal communication might not only help to improve the fertility of our farm animals but also our understanding of human health and reproduction.......Communication during early pregnancy is essential for successful reproduction. In this review we address the beginning of the communication between mother and developing embryo; including morphological and transcriptional changes in the endometrium as well as epigenetic regulation mechanisms...

  16. Phylogeny, life history, and ecology contribute to differences in amphibian susceptibility to ranaviruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoverman, Jason T; Gray, Matthew J; Haislip, Nathan A; Miller, Debra L

    2011-09-01

    Research that identifies the potential host range of generalist pathogens as well as variation in host susceptibility is critical for understanding and predicting the dynamics of infectious diseases within ecological communities. Ranaviruses have been linked to amphibian die-off events worldwide with the greatest number of reported mortality events occurring in the United States. While reports of ranavirus-associated mortality events continue to accumulate, few data exist comparing the relative susceptibility of different species. Using a series of laboratory exposure experiments and comparative phylogenetics, we compared the susceptibilities of 19 amphibian species from two salamander families and five anurans families for two ranavirus isolates: frog virus 3 (FV3) and an FV3-like isolate from an American bullfrog culture facility. We discovered that ranaviruses were capable of infecting 17 of the 19 larval amphibian species tested with mortality ranging from 0 to 100%. Phylogenetic comparative methods demonstrated that species within the anuran family Ranidae were generally more susceptible to ranavirus infection compared to species from the other five families. We also found that susceptibility to infection was associated with species that breed in semi-permanent ponds, develop rapidly as larvae, and have limited range sizes. Collectively, these results suggest that phylogeny, life history characteristics, and habitat associations of amphibians have the potential to impact susceptibility to ranaviruses.

  17. Presence of the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in native amphibians exported from Madagascar.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan E Kolby

    Full Text Available The emerging infectious disease chytridiomycosis is driven by the spread of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd, a highly virulent pathogen threatening global amphibian biodiversity. Although pandemic in distribution, previous intensive field surveys have failed to detect Bd in Madagascar, a biodiversity hotspot home to hundreds of endemic amphibian species. Due to the presence of Bd in nearby continental Africa and the ecological crisis that can be expected following establishment in Madagascar, enhanced surveillance is imperative. I sampled 565 amphibians commercially exported from Madagascar for the presence of Bd upon importation to the USA, both to assist early detection efforts and demonstrate the conservation potential of wildlife trade disease surveillance. Bd was detected in three animals via quantitative PCR: a single Heterixalus alboguttatus, Heterixalus betsileo, and Scaphiophryne spinosa. This is the first time Bd has been confirmed in amphibians from Madagascar and presents an urgent call to action. Our early identification of pathogen presence prior to widespread infection provides the necessary tools and encouragement to catalyze a swift, targeted response to isolate and eradicate Bd from Madagascar. If implemented before establishment occurs, an otherwise likely catastrophic decline in amphibian biodiversity may be prevented.

  18. Presence of the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in native amphibians exported from Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolby, Jonathan E

    2014-01-01

    The emerging infectious disease chytridiomycosis is driven by the spread of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd), a highly virulent pathogen threatening global amphibian biodiversity. Although pandemic in distribution, previous intensive field surveys have failed to detect Bd in Madagascar, a biodiversity hotspot home to hundreds of endemic amphibian species. Due to the presence of Bd in nearby continental Africa and the ecological crisis that can be expected following establishment in Madagascar, enhanced surveillance is imperative. I sampled 565 amphibians commercially exported from Madagascar for the presence of Bd upon importation to the USA, both to assist early detection efforts and demonstrate the conservation potential of wildlife trade disease surveillance. Bd was detected in three animals via quantitative PCR: a single Heterixalus alboguttatus, Heterixalus betsileo, and Scaphiophryne spinosa. This is the first time Bd has been confirmed in amphibians from Madagascar and presents an urgent call to action. Our early identification of pathogen presence prior to widespread infection provides the necessary tools and encouragement to catalyze a swift, targeted response to isolate and eradicate Bd from Madagascar. If implemented before establishment occurs, an otherwise likely catastrophic decline in amphibian biodiversity may be prevented.

  19. Amphibian Population Sensitivity to Environmental and ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anticipating chronic effects of contaminant exposure on amphibian species is complicated both by toxicological and ecological uncertainty. Data for both chemical exposures and amphibian vital rates, including altered growth, are sparse. Developmental plasticity in amphibians further complicates evaluation of chemical impacts as metamorphosis is also influenced by other biotic and abiotic stressors, such as temperature, hydroperiod, predation, and conspecific density. Determining the effect of delayed tadpole development on survival through metamorphosis and subsequent recruitment must include possible effects of pond drying accelerating metamorphosis near the end of the larval stage. This model considers the combined influence of delayed onset of metamorphosis in a cohort as well as accelerated metamorphosis toward the end of the hydroperiod and determines the net influence of counteracting forces on tadpole development and survival. Amphibian populations with greater initial density dependence have less capacity for developmental plasticity and are therefore more vulnerable to delayed development and reduced hydroperiod. The consequential reduction in larval survival has a relatively greater impact on species with a shorter lifespan, allowing for fewer breeding seasons during which to successfully produce offspring. In response to risk assessment approaches that consider only survival and reproductive endpoints in population evaluation, we calculate conta

  20. Sampling methods for terrestrial amphibians and reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul Stephen Corn; R. Bruce. Bury

    1990-01-01

    Methods described for sampling amphibians and reptiles in Douglas-fir forests in the Pacific Northwest include pitfall trapping, time-constrained collecting, and surveys of coarse woody debris. The herpetofauna of this region differ in breeding and nonbreeding habitats and vagility, so that no single technique is sufficient for a community study. A combination of...

  1. Amphibian distribution patterns in western Europe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zuiderwijk, Annie

    1980-01-01

    Mechanisms controlling the distribution of amphibians in western Europe have been studied in France where related species, isolated from each other at least during the last glacial period, are now sympatric. Occurrences and biotope preferences of the various species were investigated in several

  2. Biogeography of amphibians and reptiles in Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eric W. Stitt; Theresa M. Mau-Crimmins; Don E. Swann

    2005-01-01

    We examined patterns of species richness for amphibians and reptiles in Arizona and evaluated patterns in species distribution between ecoregions based on species range size. In Arizona, the Sonoran Desert has the highest herpetofauna diversity, and the southern ecoregions are more similar than other regions. There appear to be distinct low- and mid-elevational...

  3. Managing Amphibian Disease with Skin Microbiota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodhams, Douglas C; Bletz, Molly; Kueneman, Jordan; McKenzie, Valerie

    2016-03-01

    The contribution of emerging amphibian diseases to the sixth mass extinction is driving innovative wildlife management strategies, including the use of probiotics. Bioaugmentation of the skin mucosome, a dynamic environment including host and microbial components, may not provide a generalized solution. Multi-omics technologies and ecological context underlie effective implementation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Amphibians from Liberia and the Gold Coast

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Parker, H.W.

    1936-01-01

    Thanks to the courtesy of Drs. Boschma and Brongersma the author has been privileged to examine a large series of West African amphibians from the collections of the Royal Museum of Natural History in Leiden. Of the comparatively easily accessible parts of Africa, Liberia is probably the least

  5. Time to take human embryo culture seriously.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sunde, Arne; Brison, Daniel; Dumoulin, John; Harper, Joyce; Lundin, Kersti; Magli, M Cristina; Van den Abbeel, Etienne; Veiga, Anna

    2016-10-01

    Is it important that end-users know the composition of human embryo culture media? We argue that there is as strong case for full transparency concerning the composition of embryo culture media intended for human use. Published data suggest that the composition of embryo culture media may influence the phenotype of the offspring. A review of the literature was carried out. Data concerning the potential effects on embryo development of culture media were assessed and recommendations for users made. The safety of ART procedures, especially with respect to the health of the offspring, is of major importance. There are reports from the literature indicating a possible effect of culture conditions, including culture media, on embryo and fetal development. Since the introduction of commercially available culture media, there has been a rapid development of different formulations, often not fully documented, disclosed or justified. There is now evidence that the environment the early embryo is exposed to can cause reprogramming of embryonic growth leading to alterations in fetal growth trajectory, birthweight, childhood growth and long-term disease including Type II diabetes and cardiovascular problems. The mechanism for this is likely to be epigenetic changes during the preimplantation period of development. In the present paper the ESHRE working group on culture media summarizes the present knowledge of potential effects on embryo development related to culture media, and makes recommendations. There is still a need for large prospective randomized trials to further elucidate the link between the composition of embryo culture media used and the phenotype of the offspring. We do not presently know if the phenotypic changes induced by in vitro embryo culture represent a problem for long-term health of the offspring. Published data indicate that there is a strong case for demanding full transparency concerning the compositions of and the scientific rationale behind the

  6. Manipulating early pig embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niemann, H; Reichelt, B

    1993-01-01

    On the basis of established surgical procedures for embryo recovery and transfer, the early pig embryo can be subjected to various manipulations aimed at a long-term preservation of genetic material, the generation of identical multiplets, the early determination of sex or the alteration of the genetic make-up. Most of these procedures are still at an experimental stage and despite recent considerable progress are far from practical application. Normal piglets have been obtained after cryopreservation of pig blastocysts hatched in vitro, whereas all attempts to freeze embryos with intact zona pellucida have been unsuccessful. Pig embryos at the morula and blastocyst stage can be bisected microsurgically and the resulting demi-embryos possess a high developmental potential in vitro, whereas their development in vivo is impaired. Pregnancy rates are similar (80%) but litter size is reduced compared with intact embryos and twinning rate is approximately 2%. Pig blastomeres isolated from embryos up to the 16-cell stage can be grown in culture and result in normal blastocysts. Normal piglets have been born upon transfer of blastocysts derived from isolated eight-cell blastomeres, clearly underlining the totipotency of this developmental stage. Upon nuclear transfer the developmental capacity of reconstituted pig embryos is low and culture. Sex determination can be achieved either by separation of X and Y chromosome bearing spermatozoa by flow cytometry or by analysing the expression of the HY antigen in pig embryos from the eight-cell to morula stage. Microinjection of foreign DNA has been successfully used to alter growth and development of transgenic pigs, and to produce foreign proteins in the mammary gland or in the bloodstream, indicating that pigs can be used as donors for valuable human pharmaceutical proteins. Another promising area of gene transfer is the increase of disease resistance in transgenic lines of pigs. Approximately 30% of pig spermatozoa bind

  7. Mouse Embryo Compaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, M D; Bissiere, S; Alvarez, Y D; Plachta, N

    2016-01-01

    Compaction is a critical first morphological event in the preimplantation development of the mammalian embryo. Characterized by the transformation of the embryo from a loose cluster of spherical cells into a tightly packed mass, compaction is a key step in the establishment of the first tissue-like structures of the embryo. Although early investigation of the mechanisms driving compaction implicated changes in cell-cell adhesion, recent work has identified essential roles for cortical tension and a compaction-specific class of filopodia. During the transition from 8 to 16 cells, as the embryo is compacting, it must also make fundamental decisions regarding cell position, polarity, and fate. Understanding how these and other processes are integrated with compaction requires further investigation. Emerging imaging-based techniques that enable quantitative analysis from the level of cell-cell interactions down to the level of individual regulatory molecules will provide a greater understanding of how compaction shapes the early mammalian embryo. © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Direct and Indirect Effects of Climate Change on Amphibian Populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie S. Gervasi

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available As part of an overall decline in biodiversity, populations of many organisms are declining and species are being lost at unprecedented rates around the world. This includes many populations and species of amphibians. Although numerous factors are affecting amphibian populations, we show potential direct and indirect effects of climate change on amphibians at the individual, population and community level. Shifts in amphibian ranges are predicted. Changes in climate may affect survival, growth, reproduction and dispersal capabilities. Moreover, climate change can alter amphibian habitats including vegetation, soil, and hydrology. Climate change can influence food availability, predator-prey relationships and competitive interactions which can alter community structure. Climate change can also alter pathogen-host dynamics and greatly influence how diseases are manifested. Changes in climate can interact with other stressors such as UV-B radiation and contaminants. The interactions among all these factors are complex and are probably driving some amphibian population declines and extinctions.

  9. Effects of Roads on Amphibian Populations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hels, T.

    is the result of my three year PhD study at the National Environmental Research Institute, Kalø, and University of Copenhagen. Funded by NERI, the Danish Research Academy, and the Danish Road Directorate, it has dealt mainly with the effects of traffic and roads on amphibian populations. The Spadefoot toad...... of Spadefoot toads (Pelobates fuscus Laur.) II The effect of road kills on amphibian populations III Simulating viability of a Spadefoot toad (P. fuscus) metapopulation in a landscape fragmented by a road The manuscripts are preceded by a synopsis which sums up the work and puts it into a broader perspective......, Johan Elmberg, Andreas Seiler, and Per Sjögren-Gulve, for sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm for science with me. Constructive ideas, different approaches, and elaborate discussions are crucial parts of any scientific process: I thank Lenore Fahrig for dedicated and original teaching and discussions...

  10. Speciation and zoogeography of amphibian in Sundaland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nia Kurniawan

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Sundaland is an interesting area to be explored based on its geological history, topography, and climate. Sundaland consists of Penisular Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo, and Java which experienced some emergence and submergence process in the past. During 1981-2015, most of research in Sundaland found that amphibian family in Sundaland was dominated by Bufonidae, Ranidae, Microhylidae, Megophrydae, Rachophoridae, and Dicroglossidae which experienced lot of speciation in its history. Among of 4 major islands in Sundaland, Borneo has the highest number of species diversity, then Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, and Java. During those years, Sumatra and Java got least concern by researcher. Therefore, it is suggested for further study to explore more in Sumatra and Java. Keywords: Sundaland, amphibian, speciation, zoogeography.

  11. Bent's Old Fort: Amphibians and Reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muths, E.

    2008-01-01

    Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site sits along the Arkansas River in the semi-desert prairie of southeastern Colorado. The USGS provided assistance in designing surveys to assess the variety of herpetofauna (amphibians and reptiles) resident at this site. This brochure is the results of those efforts and provides visitors with information on what frogs, toads, snakes and salamanders might be seen and heard at Bent's Old Fort.

  12. Amphibian molecular ecology and how it has informed conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCartney-Melstad, Evan; Shaffer, H Bradley

    2015-10-01

    Molecular ecology has become one of the key tools in the modern conservationist's kit. Here we review three areas where molecular ecology has been applied to amphibian conservation: genes on landscapes, within-population processes, and genes that matter. We summarize relevant analytical methods, recent important studies from the amphibian literature, and conservation implications for each section. Finally, we include five in-depth examples of how molecular ecology has been successfully applied to specific amphibian systems. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Amphibians and reptiles of South Ossetia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boris S. Tuniyev

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available For the first time we have summarised the results of the study of batraho- and herpetofauna of the Republic of South Ossetia. We present an Annotated List of species as authentically living in the region, as well as ever mentioned for it in literature, field notebooks, museum collections and our own expeditions in South Ossetia. The batrachofauna of the Republic of South Ossetia counts nine species and the herpetofauna 19 species. It provides a complete inventory of all finds (65 localities. A number of confirmed species have been assigned for the first time in scientific literature for the territory of South Ossetia: Emys orbicularis, Darevskia mixta, Natrix megalocephala, Hierophis schmidti, Pelias dinniki, P. kaznakovi. We detected the morphological specificity of the South Ossetia' populations of Darevskia praticola, D. brauneri and D. caucasica. The Assessment of conservation status has been evaluated for all forms of amphibians and reptiles in the region. According to its results, five amphibian species and ten reptile species are recommended for inclusion into the Red Data Book of the Republic of South Ossetia. The central problem of environmental activities in the Region is the lack of a network of different rank protected areas covering all natural zones and altitudinal belts. The South Ossetian State Nature Reserve is the single protected area of South Ossetia, which provides protection only for three endangered species of amphibians and three species of reptiles.

  14. Book review: The ecology and behavior of amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walls, Susan C.

    2008-01-01

    This state‐of‐the‐art book has made its timely emergence amid a crisis of global magnitude: that of population declines, range reductions, and extinctions of numerous species of amphibians. A clear understanding of the fundamental concepts in amphibian biology is crucial to the success of any conservation effort. This volume compiles the information necessary to acquire that basic understanding. It is a comprehensive synthesis of both traditional and contemporary facets of amphibian biology, spanning a breadth of topics ranging from phylogeny, physiology, behavior, population and community ecology, and conservation. As such, it undoubtedly takes its place among contemporary volumes as the single, authoritative source for basic topics relevant to amphibian life.

  15. Status and trends of amphibian declines and extinctions worldwide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuart, Simon N; Chanson, Janice S; Cox, Neil A; Young, Bruce E; Rodrigues, Ana S L; Fischman, Debra L; Waller, Robert W

    2004-12-03

    The first global assessment of amphibians provides new context for the well-publicized phenomenon of amphibian declines. Amphibians are more threatened and are declining more rapidly than either birds or mammals. Although many declines are due to habitat loss and overutilization, other, unidentified processes threaten 48% of rapidly declining species and are driving species most quickly to extinction. Declines are nonrandom in terms of species' ecological preferences, geographic ranges, and taxonomic associations and are most prevalent among Neotropical montane, stream-associated species. The lack of conservation remedies for these poorly understood declines means that hundreds of amphibian species now face extinction.

  16. The First Human Cloned Embryo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cibelli, Jose B.; Lanza, Robert P.; West, Michael D.; Ezzell, Carol

    2002-01-01

    Describes a process known as parthenogenesis which produces cloned, early-stage embryos and human embryos generated only from eggs. Speculates that this technology puts therapeutic cloning within reach. (DDR)

  17. Effects of the herbicides linuron and S-metolachlor on Perez's frog embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quintaneiro, Carla; Soares, Amadeu M V M; Monteiro, Marta S

    2018-03-01

    Presence of pesticides in the environment and their possible effects on aquatic organisms are of great concern worldwide. The extensive use of herbicides in agricultural areas are one of the factors contributing to the known decline of amphibian populations. Thus, as non-target species, amphibians can be exposed in early life stages to herbicides in aquatic systems. In this context, this study aims to evaluate effects of increasing concentrations of two maize herbicides, linuron and S-metolachlor on embryos of the Perez' frog (Pelophylax perezi) during 192 h. Apical endpoints were determined for each herbicide: mortality, hatching rate, malformations and length. Frog embryos presented a LC 50 of 21 mg/l linuron and 37.5 mg/l S-metolachlor. Furthermore, sub-lethal concentrations of both herbicides affected normal embryonic development, delaying hatching, decreasing larvae length and causing several malformations. Length of larvae decreased with increasing concentrations of each herbicide, even at the lower concentrations tested. Malformations observed in larvae exposed to both herbicides were oedemas, spinal curvature and deformation, blistering and microphtalmia. Overall, these results highlight the need to assess adverse effects of xenobiotics to early life stages of amphibians regarding beside mortality the embryonic development, which could result in impairments at later stages. However, to unravel mechanisms involved in toxicity of these herbicides further studies regarding lower levels of biological organisation such as biochemical and genomic level should be performed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Early development of Ensatina eschscholtzii: an amphibian with a large, yolky egg

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Collazo Andres

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Comparative analyses between amphibians, concentrating on the cellular mechanisms of morphogenesis, reveal a large variability in the early developmental processes that were thought to be conserved during evolution. Increased egg size is one factor that could have a strong effect on early developmental processes such as cleavage pattern and gastrulation. Salamanders of the family Plethodontidae are particularly appropriate for such comparative studies because the species have eggs of varying size, including very large yolky eggs. Results In this paper, we describe for the first time the early development (from fertilization through neurulation of the plethodontid salamander Ensatina eschscholtzii. This species has one of the largest eggs known for an amphibian, with a mean ± SD diameter of 6 ± 0.43 mm (range 5.3-6.9; n = 17 eggs. Cleavage is meroblastic until approximately the 16-cell stage (fourth or fifth cleavage. At the beginning of gastrulation, the blastocoel roof is one cell thick, and the dorsal lip of the blastopore forms below the equator of the embryo. The ventral lip of the blastopore forms closer to the vegetal pole, and relatively little involution occurs during gastrulation. Cell migration is visible through the transparent blastocoel roof of the gastrula. At the end of gastrulation, a small archenteron spreading dorsally from the blastopore represents the relatively small and superficial area of the egg where early embryonic axis formation occurs. The resulting pattern is similar to the embryonic disk described for one species of anuran. Conclusions Comparisons with the early development of other species of amphibians suggest that an evolutionary increase in egg size can result in predictable changes in the patterns and rate of early development, but mainly within an evolutionary lineage.

  19. Ovarian stimulation and embryo quality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baart, Esther; Macklon, Nick S.; Fauser, Bart J. C. M.

    To Study the effects of different ovarian stimulation approaches on oocyte and embryo quality, it is imperative to assess embryo quality with a reliable and objective method. Embryos rated as high quality by standardized morphological assessment are associated with higher implantation and pregnancy

  20. Electron microscopy of the amphibian model systems Xenopus laevis and Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurth, Thomas; Berger, Jürgen; Wilsch-Bräuninger, Michaela; Kretschmar, Susanne; Cerny, Robert; Schwarz, Heinz; Löfberg, Jan; Piendl, Thomas; Epperlein, Hans H

    2010-01-01

    In this chapter we provide a set of different protocols for the ultrastructural analysis of amphibian (Xenopus, axolotl) tissues, mostly of embryonic origin. For Xenopus these methods include: (1) embedding gastrulae and tailbud embryos into Spurr's resin for TEM, (2) post-embedding labeling of methacrylate (K4M) and cryosections through adult and embryonic epithelia for correlative LM and TEM, and (3) pre-embedding labeling of embryonic tissues with silver-enhanced nanogold. For the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) we present the following methods: (1) SEM of migrating neural crest (NC) cells; (2) SEM and TEM of extracellular matrix (ECM) material; (3) Cryo-SEM of extracellular matrix (ECM) material after cryoimmobilization; and (4) TEM analysis of hyaluronan using high-pressure freezing and HABP labeling. These methods provide exemplary approaches for a variety of questions in the field of amphibian development and regeneration, and focus on cell biological issues that can only be answered with fine structural imaging methods, such as electron microscopy. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. The hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid axis in teleosts and amphibians: Endocrine disruption and its consequences to natural populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, J.A.; Patino, R.

    2011-01-01

    Teleosts and pond-breeding amphibians may be exposed to a wide variety of anthropogenic, waterborne contaminants that affect the hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis. Because thyroid hormone is required for their normal development and reproduction, the potential impact of HPT-disrupting contaminants on natural teleost and amphibian populations raises special concern. There is laboratory evidence indicating that persistent organic pollutants, heavy metals, pharmaceutical and personal care products, agricultural chemicals, and aerospace products may alter HPT activity, development, and reproduction in teleosts and amphibians. However, at present there is no evidence to clearly link contaminant-induced HPT alterations to impairments in teleost or amphibian population health in the field. Also, with the exception of perchlorate for which laboratory studies have shown a direct link between HPT disruption and adverse impacts on development and reproductive physiology, little is known about if or how other HPT-disrupting contaminants affect organismal performance. Future field studies should focus on establishing temporal associations between the presence of HPT-disrupting chemicals, the occurrence of HPT alterations, and adverse effects on development and reproduction in natural populations; as well as determining how complex mixtures of HPT contaminants affect organismal and population health. ?? 2010 Elsevier Inc.

  2. The hypothalamus–pituitary–thyroid axis in teleosts and amphibians: Endocrine disruption and its consequences to natural populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, J.A.; Patino, Reynaldo

    2011-01-01

    Teleosts and pond-breeding amphibians may be exposed to a wide variety of anthropogenic, waterborne contaminants that affect the hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis. Because thyroid hormone is required for their normal development and reproduction, the potential impact of HPT-disrupting contaminants on natural teleost and amphibian populations raises special concern. There is laboratory evidence indicating that persistent organic pollutants, heavy metals, pharmaceutical and personal care products, agricultural chemicals, and aerospace products may alter HPT activity, development, and reproduction in teleosts and amphibians. However, at present there is no evidence to clearly link contaminant-induced HPT alterations to impairments in teleost or amphibian population health in the field. Also, with the exception of perchlorate for which laboratory studies have shown a direct link between HPT disruption and adverse impacts on development and reproductive physiology, little is known about if or how other HPT-disrupting contaminants affect organismal performance. Future field studies should focus on establishing temporal associations between the presence of HPT-disrupting chemicals, the occurrence of HPT alterations, and adverse effects on development and reproduction in natural populations; as well as determining how complex mixtures of HPT contaminants affect organismal and population health.

  3. impact on embryo quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marijan Tandara

    2013-05-01

    Conclusions: In men with poorer semen quality, evaluated by standard semen parameters, a higher proportion of sperm with damaged DNA can also be expected. Higher sperm DNA damage, established by Halosperm test, also had an impact on embryo quality in this group of patients.

  4. Embryo Aggregation in Pig Improves Cloning Efficiency and Embryo Quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buemo, Carla Paola; Gambini, Andrés; Moro, Lucia Natalia; Hiriart, María Inés; Fernández-Martín, Rafael; Collas, Philippe; Salamone, Daniel Felipe

    2016-01-01

    In this study, we analyzed the effects of the cloned embryo aggregation on in vitro embryo development and embryo quality by measuring blastocyst diameter and cell number, DNA fragmentation levels and the expression of genes associated with pluripotency, apoptosis, trophoblast and DNA methylation in the porcine. Zona-free reconstructed cloned embryos were cultured in the well of the well system, placing one (1x non aggregated group) or three (3x group) embryos per microwell. Our results showed that aggregation of three embryos increased blastocyst formation rate and blastocyst diameter of cloned pig embryos. DNA fragmentation levels in 3x aggregated cloned blastocysts were significantly decreased compared to 1x blastocysts. Levels of Oct4, Klf4, Igf2, Bax and Dnmt 1 transcripts were significantly higher in aggregated embryos, whereas Nanog levels were not affected. Transcripts of Cdx2 and Bcl-xl were essentially non-detectable. Our study suggests that embryo aggregation in the porcine may be beneficial for cloned embryo development and embryo quality, through a reduction in apoptotic levels and an improvement in cell reprogramming.

  5. Ca²⁺ influx-linked protein kinase C activity regulates the β-catenin localization, micromere induction signalling and the oral-aboral axis formation in early sea urchin embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yazaki, Ikuko; Tsurugaya, Toko; Santella, Luigia; Chun, Jong Tai; Amore, Gabriele; Kusunoki, Shinichiro; Asada, Akiko; Togo, Tatsuru; Akasaka, Koji

    2015-06-01

    Sea urchin embryos initiate cell specifications at the 16-cell stage by forming the mesomeres, macromeres and micromeres according to the relative position of the cells in the animal-vegetal axis. The most vegetal cells, micromeres, autonomously differentiate into skeletons and induce the neighbouring macromere cells to become mesoendoderm in the β-catenin-dependent Wnt8 signalling pathway. Although the underlying molecular mechanism for this progression is largely unknown, we have previously reported that the initial events might be triggered by the Ca2+ influxes through the egg-originated L-type Ca2+ channels distributed asymmetrically along the animal-vegetal axis and through the stretch-dependent Ca2+channels expressed specifically in the micromere at the 4th cleavage. In this communication, we have examined whether one of the earliest Ca2+ targets, protein kinase C (PKC), plays a role in cell specification upstream of β-catenin. To this end, we surveyed the expression pattern of β-catenin in early embryos in the presence or absence of the specific peptide inhibitor of Hemicentrotus pulcherrimus PKC (HpPKC-I). Unlike previous knowledge, we have found that the initial nuclear entrance of β-catenin does not take place in the micromeres, but in the macromeres at the 16-cell stage. Using the HpPKC-I, we have demonstrated further that PKC not only determines cell-specific nucleation of β-catenin, but also regulates a variety of cell specification events in the early sea urchin embryos by modulating the cell adhesion structures, actin dynamics, intracellular Ca2+ signalling, and the expression of key transcription factors.

  6. Acid precipitation studies in Colorado and Wyoming: interim report of surveys of montane amphibians and water chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corn, Paul Stephen; Stolzenburg, William; Bury, R. Bruce

    1989-01-01

    Acid deposition may be detrimental or stressful to native populations of wildlife. Because many species of amphibians breed in shallow ponds created by spring rains or melting snow, they may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of acidification. From 1986 to 1988, we surveyed 105 locations in the central Rocky Mountains where amphibians had been recorded previously, and we found that two species of amphibians had experiences major losses. We found the northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens) at only 4 of 33 (12%) historically known localities, and the boreal toad (Bufo boreas) was present at 10 of 59 (17%) known localities. Three other species have not suffered region-wide declines. Tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum) and wood frogs (Rana sylvatica) were present at 45% and 69% of known localities respectively, and were observed at several localities were they had not been recorded previously. Chorus frogs (Pseudacris triseriata) suffered a catastrophic decline in population size in one population monitored since 1961, but regionally, this species was observed in 36 of 56 (64%) known localities and in another 19 localities where there were no previous records. Complete water chemistry was recorded for 41 localities, and pH was measured at 110 sites in total. Acid neutralizing capacity, pH, specific conductivity, and cation concentrations were negatively correlated with elevation. However, in mountain ponds and lakes, pH was rarely less than 6.0 during the amphibian breeding season. We tested the tolerance of embryos of the four species of frogs to low pH. The LC50 pH was 4.8 for chorus frogs, 4.4-4.7 for leopard frogs, 4.4-4.5 for boreal toads, and 4.2-4.3 for wood frogs. Survival of wood frog embryos declined when exposed to aluminum concentrations of 100 µg/L or greater, but boreal toad embryos survived exposure to aluminum concentrations of 400 µg/L. Acid deposition does not appear to be a major factor in the decline of leopard frogs and boreal toads

  7. Rapid Response to Evaluate the Presence of Amphibian Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) and Ranavirus in Wild Amphibian Populations in Madagascar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolby, Jonathan E.; Smith, Kristine M.; Ramirez, Sara D.; Rabemananjara, Falitiana; Pessier, Allan P.; Brunner, Jesse L.; Goldberg, Caren S.; Berger, Lee; Skerratt, Lee F.

    2015-01-01

    We performed a rapid response investigation to evaluate the presence and distribution of amphibian pathogens in Madagascar following our identification of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) and ranavirus in commercially exported amphibians. This targeted risk-based field surveillance program was conducted from February to April 2014 encompassing 12 regions and 47 survey sites. We simultaneously collected amphibian and environmental samples to increase survey sensitivity and performed sampling both in wilderness areas and commercial amphibian trade facilities. Bd was not detected in any of 508 amphibian skin swabs or 68 water filter samples, suggesting pathogen prevalence was below 0.8%, with 95% confidence during our visit. Ranavirus was detected in 5 of 97 amphibians, including one adult Mantidactylus cowanii and three unidentified larvae from Ranomafana National Park, and one adult Mantidactylus mocquardi from Ankaratra. Ranavirus was also detected in water samples collected from two commercial amphibian export facilities. We also provide the first report of an amphibian mass-mortality event observed in wild amphibians in Madagascar. Although neither Bd nor ranavirus appeared widespread in Madagascar during this investigation, additional health surveys are required to disentangle potential seasonal variations in pathogen abundance and detectability from actual changes in pathogen distribution and rates of spread. Accordingly, our results should be conservatively interpreted until a comparable survey effort during winter months has been performed. It is imperative that biosecurity practices be immediately adopted to limit the unintentional increased spread of disease through the movement of contaminated equipment or direct disposal of contaminated material from wildlife trade facilities. The presence of potentially introduced strains of ranaviruses suggests that Madagascar's reptile species might also be threatened by disease

  8. Rapid Response to Evaluate the Presence of Amphibian Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and Ranavirus in Wild Amphibian Populations in Madagascar.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan E Kolby

    Full Text Available We performed a rapid response investigation to evaluate the presence and distribution of amphibian pathogens in Madagascar following our identification of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd and ranavirus in commercially exported amphibians. This targeted risk-based field surveillance program was conducted from February to April 2014 encompassing 12 regions and 47 survey sites. We simultaneously collected amphibian and environmental samples to increase survey sensitivity and performed sampling both in wilderness areas and commercial amphibian trade facilities. Bd was not detected in any of 508 amphibian skin swabs or 68 water filter samples, suggesting pathogen prevalence was below 0.8%, with 95% confidence during our visit. Ranavirus was detected in 5 of 97 amphibians, including one adult Mantidactylus cowanii and three unidentified larvae from Ranomafana National Park, and one adult Mantidactylus mocquardi from Ankaratra. Ranavirus was also detected in water samples collected from two commercial amphibian export facilities. We also provide the first report of an amphibian mass-mortality event observed in wild amphibians in Madagascar. Although neither Bd nor ranavirus appeared widespread in Madagascar during this investigation, additional health surveys are required to disentangle potential seasonal variations in pathogen abundance and detectability from actual changes in pathogen distribution and rates of spread. Accordingly, our results should be conservatively interpreted until a comparable survey effort during winter months has been performed. It is imperative that biosecurity practices be immediately adopted to limit the unintentional increased spread of disease through the movement of contaminated equipment or direct disposal of contaminated material from wildlife trade facilities. The presence of potentially introduced strains of ranaviruses suggests that Madagascar's reptile species might also be threatened by

  9. Rapid Response to Evaluate the Presence of Amphibian Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) and Ranavirus in Wild Amphibian Populations in Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolby, Jonathan E; Smith, Kristine M; Ramirez, Sara D; Rabemananjara, Falitiana; Pessier, Allan P; Brunner, Jesse L; Goldberg, Caren S; Berger, Lee; Skerratt, Lee F

    2015-01-01

    We performed a rapid response investigation to evaluate the presence and distribution of amphibian pathogens in Madagascar following our identification of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) and ranavirus in commercially exported amphibians. This targeted risk-based field surveillance program was conducted from February to April 2014 encompassing 12 regions and 47 survey sites. We simultaneously collected amphibian and environmental samples to increase survey sensitivity and performed sampling both in wilderness areas and commercial amphibian trade facilities. Bd was not detected in any of 508 amphibian skin swabs or 68 water filter samples, suggesting pathogen prevalence was below 0.8%, with 95% confidence during our visit. Ranavirus was detected in 5 of 97 amphibians, including one adult Mantidactylus cowanii and three unidentified larvae from Ranomafana National Park, and one adult Mantidactylus mocquardi from Ankaratra. Ranavirus was also detected in water samples collected from two commercial amphibian export facilities. We also provide the first report of an amphibian mass-mortality event observed in wild amphibians in Madagascar. Although neither Bd nor ranavirus appeared widespread in Madagascar during this investigation, additional health surveys are required to disentangle potential seasonal variations in pathogen abundance and detectability from actual changes in pathogen distribution and rates of spread. Accordingly, our results should be conservatively interpreted until a comparable survey effort during winter months has been performed. It is imperative that biosecurity practices be immediately adopted to limit the unintentional increased spread of disease through the movement of contaminated equipment or direct disposal of contaminated material from wildlife trade facilities. The presence of potentially introduced strains of ranaviruses suggests that Madagascar's reptile species might also be threatened by disease

  10. Do hormone-modulating chemicals impact on reproduction and development of wild amphibians?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orton, Frances; Tyler, Charles R

    2015-11-01

    Globally, amphibians are undergoing a precipitous decline. At the last estimate in 2004, 32% of the approximately 6000 species were threatened with extinction and 43% were experiencing significant declines. These declines have been linked with a wide range of environmental pressures from habitat loss to climate change, disease and pollution. This review evaluates the evidence that endocrine-disrupting contaminants (EDCs) - pollutants that affect hormone systems - are impacting on wild amphibians and contributing to population declines. The review is limited to anurans (frogs and toads) as data for effects of EDCs on wild urodeles (salamanders, newts) or caecilians (limbless amphibians) are extremely limited. Evidence from laboratory studies has shown that a wide range of chemicals have the ability to alter hormone systems and affect reproductive development and function in anurans, but for the most part only at concentrations exceeding those normally found in natural environments. Exceptions can be found for exposures to the herbicide atrazine and polychlorinated biphenyls in leopard frogs (Rana pipiens) and perchlorate in African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis). These contaminants induce feminising effects on the male gonads (including 'intersex' - oocytes within testes) at concentrations measured in some aquatic environments. The most extensive data for effects of an EDC in wild amphibian populations are for feminising effects of atrazine on male gonad development in regions across the USA. Even where strong evidence has been provided for feminising effects of EDCs, however, the possible impact of these effects on fertility and breeding outcome has not been established, making inference for effects on populations difficult. Laboratory studies have shown that various chemicals, including perchlorate, polychlorinated biphenyls and bromodiphenylethers, also act as endocrine disrupters through interfering with thyroid-dependent processes that are fundamental for

  11. Effectiveness of amphibians as biodiversity surrogates in pond conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ilg, Christiane; Oertli, Beat

    2017-04-01

    Amphibian decline has led to worldwide conservation efforts, including the identification and designation of sites for their protection. These sites could also play an important role in the conservation of other freshwater taxa. In 89 ponds in Switzerland, we assessed the effectiveness of amphibians as a surrogate for 4 taxonomic groups that occur in the same freshwater ecosystems as amphibians: dragonflies, aquatic beetles, aquatic gastropods, and aquatic plants. The ponds were all of high value for amphibian conservation. Cross-taxon correlations were tested for species richness and conservation value, and Mantel tests were used to investigate community congruence. Species richness, conservation value, and community composition of amphibians were weakly congruent with these measures for the other taxonomic groups. Paired comparisons for the 5 groups considered showed that for each metric, amphibians had the lowest degree of congruence. Our results imply that site designation for amphibian conservation will not necessarily provide protection for freshwater biodiversity as a whole. To provide adequate protection for freshwater species, we recommend other taxonomic groups be considered in addition to amphibians in the prioritization and site designation process. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  12. Helminth parasites of amphibians from a rainforest reserve in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Contrary to the earlier assumption that monogeneans in Nigeria were preferentially parasites of amphibians in drier environments such as the savanna, this study has shown that these parasites also infect amphibians in highly humid environments such as the rainforest. Monogeneans recorded included Metapolystoma ...

  13. Effects of experimental canopy manipulation on amphibian egg deposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zachary I. Felix; Yong Wang; Callie J. Schweitzer

    2010-01-01

    Although effects of forest management on amphibians are relatively well studied, few studies have examined how these practices affect egg deposition by adults, which can impact population recruitment. We quantified the effects of 4 canopy tree-retention treatments on amphibian oviposition patterns in clusters of 60-L aquatic mesocosms located in each treatment. We also...

  14. Amphibians and Reptiles from Paramakatoi and Kato, Guyana

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacCulloch, Ross D.; Reynolds, Robert P.

    2012-01-01

    We report the herpetofauna of two neighboring upland locations in west-central Guyana. Twenty amphibian and 24 reptile species were collected. Only 40% of amphibians and 12.5% of reptiles were collected in both locations. This is one of the few collections made at upland (750–800 m) locations in the Guiana Shield.

  15. Sampling methods for amphibians in streams in the Pacific Northwest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    R. Bruce Bury; Paul Stephen. Corn

    1991-01-01

    Methods describing how to sample aquatic and semiaquatic amphibians in small streams and headwater habitats in the Pacific Northwest are presented. We developed a technique that samples 10-meter stretches of selected streams, which was adequate to detect presence or absence of amphibian species and provided sample sizes statistically sufficient to compare abundance of...

  16. Climate change and amphibian diversity patterns in Mexico

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ochoa-Ochoa, Leticia M.; Rodríguez, Pilar; Mora, Franz

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this article is to characterize at fine scale alpha and beta diversity patterns for Mexican amphibians and analyze how these patterns might change under a moderate climate-change scenario, highlighting the overall consequences for amphibian diversity at the country level. We used a geo...

  17. Amphibian diversity in Shimba Hills National Reserve, Kenya: A ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    We present the first annotated amphibian checklist of Shimba Hills National Reserve (SHNR). The list comprises of 30 currently known amphibians (28 anurans and two caecilians), which includes 11 families and 15 genera. In addition, individual records per species, distribution in the reserve and brief remarks about the ...

  18. All about Amphibians. Animal Life for Children. [Videotape].

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000

    This videotape teaches children about their favorite amphibious creatures, as well as amphibians' nearest cousins--toads, newts, and salamanders. Young students discover how these amazing creatures can live both in and out of water, learn about the amphibious life cycle, and compare the differences between amphibians and reptiles. This videotape…

  19. Estrogens can disrupt amphibian mating behavior.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frauke Hoffmann

    Full Text Available The main component of classical contraceptives, 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2, has high estrogenic activity even at environmentally relevant concentrations. Although estrogenic endocrine disrupting compounds are assumed to contribute to the worldwide decline of amphibian populations by adverse effects on sexual differentiation, evidence for EE2 affecting amphibian mating behaviour is lacking. In this study, we demonstrate that EE2 exposure at five different concentrations (0.296 ng/L, 2.96 ng/L, 29.64 ng/L, 2.96 µg/L and 296.4 µg/L can disrupt the mating behavior of adult male Xenopus laevis. EE2 exposure at all concentrations lowered male sexual arousal, indicated by decreased proportions of advertisement calls and increased proportions of the call type rasping, which characterizes a sexually unaroused state of a male. Additionally, EE2 at all tested concentrations affected temporal and spectral parameters of the advertisement calls, respectively. The classical and highly sensitive biomarker vitellogenin, on the other hand, was only induced at concentrations equal or higher than 2.96 µg/L. If kept under control conditions after a 96 h EE2 exposure (2.96 µg/L, alterations of male advertisement calls vanish gradually within 6 weeks and result in a lower sexual attractiveness of EE2 exposed males toward females as demonstrated by female choice experiments. These findings indicate that exposure to environmentally relevant EE2 concentrations can directly disrupt male mate calling behavior of X. laevis and can indirectly affect the mating behavior of females. The results suggest the possibility that EE2 exposure could reduce the reproductive success of EE2 exposed animals and these effects might contribute to the global problem of amphibian decline.

  20. Partners in amphibian and reptile conservation 2013 annual report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Paulette M.; Weir, Linda A.; Nanjappa, Priya

    2014-01-01

    Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) was established in 1999 to address the widespread declines, extinctions, and range reductions of amphibians and reptiles, with a focus on conservation of taxa and habitats in North America. Amphibians and reptiles are affected by a broad range of human activities, both as incidental effects of habitat alteration and direct effect from overexploitation; these animals are also challenged by the perception that amphibians and reptiles are either dangerous or of little environmental or economic value. However, PARC members understand these taxa are important parts of our natural an cultural heritage and they serve important roles in ecosystems throughout the world. With many amphibians and reptiles classified as threatened with extinction, conservation of these animals has never been more important.

  1. Ion transport by the amphibian primary ureter

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Møbjerg, Nadja

    2008-01-01

    putative ion transport mechanisms in the primary ureter of the freshwater amphibian Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl). Primary ureters isolated from axolotl larvae were perfused in vitro and single cells were impaled across the basal cell membrane with glass microelectrodes. In 42 cells the membrane potential......+] steps from 3 to 20 mmol/l and a hyperpolarization of Vm upon lowering [Na+] from 102 to 2 mmol/l, indicating the presence of luminal K+ and Na+ conductances. This study provides the first functional data on the vertebrate primary ureter. The data show that the primary ureter of axolotl larvae...

  2. Late Cretaceous vicariance in Gondwanan amphibians.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ines Van Bocxlaer

    Full Text Available Overseas dispersals are often invoked when Southern Hemisphere terrestrial and freshwater organism phylogenies do not fit the sequence or timing of Gondwana fragmentation. We used dispersal-vicariance analyses and molecular timetrees to show that two species-rich frog groups, Microhylidae and Natatanura, display congruent patterns of spatial and temporal diversification among Gondwanan plates in the Late Cretaceous, long after the presumed major tectonic break-up events. Because amphibians are notoriously salt-intolerant, these analogies are best explained by simultaneous vicariance, rather than by oceanic dispersal. Hence our results imply Late Cretaceous connections between most adjacent Gondwanan landmasses, an essential concept for biogeographic and palaeomap reconstructions.

  3. A strategy for monitoring and managing declines in an amphibian community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, Evan H Campbell; Zipkin, Elise F; Nichols, James D; Campbell, J Patrick

    2013-12-01

    Although many taxa have declined globally, conservation actions are inherently local. Ecosystems degrade even in protected areas, and maintaining natural systems in a desired condition may require active management. Implementing management decisions under uncertainty requires a logical and transparent process to identify objectives, develop management actions, formulate system models to link actions with objectives, monitor to reduce uncertainty and identify system state (i.e., resource condition), and determine an optimal management strategy. We applied one such structured decision-making approach that incorporates these critical elements to inform management of amphibian populations in a protected area managed by the U.S. National Park Service. Climate change is expected to affect amphibian occupancy of wetlands and to increase uncertainty in management decision making. We used the tools of structured decision making to identify short-term management solutions that incorporate our current understanding of the effect of climate change on amphibians, emphasizing how management can be undertaken even with incomplete information. Estrategia para Monitorear y Manejar Disminuciones en una Comunidad de Anfibios. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  4. Riding the wave: reconciling the roles of disease and climate change in amphibian declines.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen R Lips

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available We review the evidence for the role of climate change in triggering disease outbreaks of chytridiomycosis, an emerging infectious disease of amphibians. Both climatic anomalies and disease-related extirpations are recent phenomena, and effects of both are especially noticeable at high elevations in tropical areas, making it difficult to determine whether they are operating separately or synergistically. We compiled reports of amphibian declines from Lower Central America and Andean South America to create maps and statistical models to test our hypothesis of spatiotemporal spread of the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, and to update the elevational patterns of decline in frogs belonging to the genus Atelopus. We evaluated claims of climate change influencing the spread of Bd by including error into estimates of the relationship between air temperature and last year observed. Available data support the hypothesis of multiple introductions of this invasive pathogen into South America and subsequent spread along the primary Andean cordilleras. Additional analyses found no evidence to support the hypothesis that climate change has been driving outbreaks of amphibian chytridiomycosis, as has been posited in the climate-linked epidemic hypothesis. Future studies should increase retrospective surveys of museum specimens from throughout the Andes and should study the landscape genetics of Bd to map fine-scale patterns of geographic spread to identify transmission routes and processes.

  5. Riding the wave: reconciling the roles of disease and climate change in amphibian declines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lips, Karen R; Diffendorfer, Jay; Mendelson, Joseph R; Sears, Michael W

    2008-03-25

    We review the evidence for the role of climate change in triggering disease outbreaks of chytridiomycosis, an emerging infectious disease of amphibians. Both climatic anomalies and disease-related extirpations are recent phenomena, and effects of both are especially noticeable at high elevations in tropical areas, making it difficult to determine whether they are operating separately or synergistically. We compiled reports of amphibian declines from Lower Central America and Andean South America to create maps and statistical models to test our hypothesis of spatiotemporal spread of the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), and to update the elevational patterns of decline in frogs belonging to the genus Atelopus. We evaluated claims of climate change influencing the spread of Bd by including error into estimates of the relationship between air temperature and last year observed. Available data support the hypothesis of multiple introductions of this invasive pathogen into South America and subsequent spread along the primary Andean cordilleras. Additional analyses found no evidence to support the hypothesis that climate change has been driving outbreaks of amphibian chytridiomycosis, as has been posited in the climate-linked epidemic hypothesis. Future studies should increase retrospective surveys of museum specimens from throughout the Andes and should study the landscape genetics of Bd to map fine-scale patterns of geographic spread to identify transmission routes and processes.

  6. Ecophysiology meets conservation: understanding the role of disease in amphibian population declines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blaustein, Andrew R.; Gervasi, Stephanie S.; Johnson, Pieter T. J.; Hoverman, Jason T.; Belden, Lisa K.; Bradley, Paul W.; Xie, Gisselle Y.

    2012-01-01

    Infectious diseases are intimately associated with the dynamics of biodiversity. However, the role that infectious disease plays within ecological communities is complex. The complex effects of infectious disease at the scale of communities and ecosystems are driven by the interaction between host and pathogen. Whether or not a given host–pathogen interaction results in progression from infection to disease is largely dependent on the physiological characteristics of the host within the context of the external environment. Here, we highlight the importance of understanding the outcome of infection and disease in the context of host ecophysiology using amphibians as a model system. Amphibians are ideal for such a discussion because many of their populations are experiencing declines and extinctions, with disease as an important factor implicated in many declines and extinctions. Exposure to pathogens and the host's responses to infection can be influenced by many factors related to physiology such as host life history, immunology, endocrinology, resource acquisition, behaviour and changing climates. In our review, we discuss the relationship between disease and biodiversity. We highlight the dynamics of three amphibian host–pathogen systems that induce different effects on hosts and life stages and illustrate the complexity of amphibian–host–parasite systems. We then review links between environmental stress, endocrine–immune interactions, disease and climate change. PMID:22566676

  7. Embryo cryopreservation and preeclampsia risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sites, Cynthia K; Wilson, Donna; Barsky, Maya; Bernson, Dana; Bernstein, Ira M; Boulet, Sheree; Zhang, Yujia

    2017-11-01

    To determine whether assisted reproductive technology (ART) cycles involving cryopreserved-warmed embryos are associated with the development of preeclampsia. Retrospective cohort study. IVF clinics and hospitals. A total of 15,937 births from ART: 9,417 singleton and 6,520 twin. We used linked ART surveillance, birth certificate, and maternal hospitalization discharge data, considering resident singleton and twin births from autologous or donor eggs from 2005-2010. We compared the frequency of preeclampsia diagnosis for cryopreserved-warmed versus fresh ET and used multivariable logistic regression to adjust for confounders. Among pregnancies conceived with autologous eggs resulting in singletons, preeclampsia was greater after cryopreserved-warmed versus fresh ET (7.51% vs. 4.29%, adjusted odds ratio = 2.17 [95% CI 1.67-2.82]). Preeclampsia without and with severe features, preeclampsia with preterm delivery, and chronic hypertension with superimposed preeclampsia were more frequent after cryopreserved-warmed versus fresh ET (3.99% vs. 2.55%; 2.95% vs. 1.41%; 2.76 vs. 1.48%; and 0.95% vs. 0.43%, respectively). Among pregnancies from autologous eggs resulting in twins, the frequency of preeclampsia with severe features (9.26% vs. 5.70%) and preeclampsia with preterm delivery (14.81% vs. 11.74%) was higher after cryopreserved versus fresh transfers. Among donor egg pregnancies, rates of preeclampsia did not differ significantly between cryopreserved-warmed and fresh ET (10.78% vs. 12.13% for singletons and 28.0% vs. 25.15% for twins). Among ART pregnancies conceived using autologous eggs resulting in live births, those involving transfer of cryopreserved-warmed embryos, as compared with fresh ETs, had increased risk for preeclampsia with severe features and preeclampsia with preterm delivery. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. All rights reserved.

  8. Immunoelectron microscopy in embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sierralta, W D

    2001-05-01

    Immunogold labeling of proteins in sections of embryos embedded in acrylate media provides an important analytical tool when the resolving power of the electron microscope is required to define sites of protein function. The protocol presented here was established to analyze the role and dynamics of the activated protein kinase C/Rack1 regulatory system in the patterning and outgrowth of limb bud mesenchyme. With minor changes, especially in the composition of the fixative solution, the protocol should be easily adaptable for the postembedding immunogold labeling of any other antigen in tissues of embryos of diverse species. Quantification of the labeling can be achieved by using electron microscope systems capable of supporting digital image analysis. Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

  9. Coincident mass extirpation of neotropical amphibians with the emergence of the infectious fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Tina L; Rovito, Sean M; Wake, David B; Vredenburg, Vance T

    2011-06-07

    Amphibians highlight the global biodiversity crisis because ∼40% of all amphibian species are currently in decline. Species have disappeared even in protected habitats (e.g., the enigmatic extinction of the golden toad, Bufo periglenes, from Costa Rica). The emergence of a fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has been implicated in a number of declines that have occurred in the last decade, but few studies have been able to test retroactively whether Bd emergence was linked to earlier declines and extinctions. We describe a noninvasive PCR sampling technique that detects Bd in formalin-preserved museum specimens. We detected Bd by PCR in 83-90% (n = 38) of samples that were identified as positive by histology. We examined specimens collected before, during, and after major amphibian decline events at established study sites in southern Mexico, Guatemala, and Costa Rica. A pattern of Bd emergence coincident with decline at these localities is revealed-the absence of Bd over multiple years at all localities followed by the concurrent emergence of Bd in various species at each locality during a period of population decline. The geographical and chronological emergence of Bd at these localities also indicates a southbound spread from southern Mexico in the early 1970s to western Guatemala in the 1980s/1990s and to Monteverde, Costa Rica by 1987. We find evidence of a historical "Bd epidemic wave" that began in Mexico and subsequently spread to Central America. We describe a technique that can be used to screen museum specimens from other amphibian decline sites around the world.

  10. Current extinction rates of reptiles and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alroy, John

    2015-10-20

    There is broad concern that a mass extinction of amphibians and reptiles is now underway. Here I apply an extremely conservative Bayesian method to estimate the number of recent amphibian and squamate extinctions in nine important tropical and subtropical regions. The data stem from a combination of museum collection databases and published site surveys. The method computes an extinction probability for each species by considering its sighting frequency and last sighting date. It infers hardly any extinction when collection dates are randomized and it provides underestimates when artificial extinction events are imposed. The method also appears to be insensitive to trends in sampling; therefore, the counts it provides are absolute minimums. Extinctions or severe population crashes have accumulated steadily since the 1970s and 1980s, and at least 3.1% of frog species have already disappeared. Based on these data and this conservative method, the best estimate of the global grand total is roughly 200 extinctions. Consistent with previous results, frog losses are heavy in Latin America, which has been greatly affected by the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Extinction rates are now four orders-of-magnitude higher than background, and at least another 6.9% of all frog species may be lost within the next century, even if there is no acceleration in the growth of environmental threats.

  11. Phylogenetically-informed priorities for amphibian conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isaac, Nick J B; Redding, David W; Meredith, Helen M; Safi, Kamran

    2012-01-01

    The amphibian decline and extinction crisis demands urgent action to prevent further large numbers of species extinctions. Lists of priority species for conservation, based on a combination of species' threat status and unique contribution to phylogenetic diversity, are one tool for the direction and catalyzation of conservation action. We describe the construction of a near-complete species-level phylogeny of 5713 amphibian species, which we use to create a list of evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered species (EDGE list) for the entire class Amphibia. We present sensitivity analyses to test the robustness of our priority list to uncertainty in species' phylogenetic position and threat status. We find that both sources of uncertainty have only minor impacts on our 'top 100' list of priority species, indicating the robustness of the approach. By contrast, our analyses suggest that a large number of Data Deficient species are likely to be high priorities for conservation action from the perspective of their contribution to the evolutionary history.

  12. Phylogenetically-informed priorities for amphibian conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nick J B Isaac

    Full Text Available The amphibian decline and extinction crisis demands urgent action to prevent further large numbers of species extinctions. Lists of priority species for conservation, based on a combination of species' threat status and unique contribution to phylogenetic diversity, are one tool for the direction and catalyzation of conservation action. We describe the construction of a near-complete species-level phylogeny of 5713 amphibian species, which we use to create a list of evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered species (EDGE list for the entire class Amphibia. We present sensitivity analyses to test the robustness of our priority list to uncertainty in species' phylogenetic position and threat status. We find that both sources of uncertainty have only minor impacts on our 'top 100' list of priority species, indicating the robustness of the approach. By contrast, our analyses suggest that a large number of Data Deficient species are likely to be high priorities for conservation action from the perspective of their contribution to the evolutionary history.

  13. Ovarian control and monitoring in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calatayud, N E; Stoops, M; Durrant, B S

    2018-03-15

    Amphibian evolution spans over 350 million years, consequently this taxonomic group displays a wide, complex array of physiological adaptations and their diverse modes of reproduction are a prime example. Reproduction can be affected by taxonomy, geographic and altitudinal distribution, and environmental factors. With some exceptions, amphibians can be categorized into discontinuous (strictly seasonal) and continuous breeders. Temperature and its close association with other proximate and genetic factors control reproduction via a tight relationship with circadian rhythms which drive genetic and hormonal responses to the environment. In recent times, the relationship of proximate factors and reproduction has directly or indirectly lead to the decline of this taxonomic group. Conservationists are tackling the rapid loss of species through a wide range of approaches including captive rescue. However, there is still much to be learned about the mechanisms of reproductive control and its requirements in order to fabricate species-appropriate captive environments that address a variety of reproductive strategies. As with other taxonomic groups, assisted reproductive technologies and other reproductive monitoring tools such as ultrasound, hormone analysis and body condition indices can assist conservationists in optimizing captive husbandry and breeding. In this review we discuss some of the mechanisms of ovarian control and the different tools being used to monitor female reproduction. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Multi-scale finite element modeling allows the mechanics of amphibian neurulation to be elucidated

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen Xiaoguang; Wayne Brodland, G

    2008-01-01

    The novel multi-scale computational approach introduced here makes possible a new means for testing hypotheses about the forces that drive specific morphogenetic movements. A 3D model based on this approach is used to investigate neurulation in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), a type of amphibian. The model is based on geometric data from 3D surface reconstructions of live embryos and from serial sections. Tissue properties are described by a system of cell-based constitutive equations, and parameters in the equations are determined from physical tests. The model includes the effects of Shroom-activated neural ridge reshaping and lamellipodium-driven convergent extension. A typical whole-embryo model consists of 10 239 elements and to run its 100 incremental time steps requires 2 days. The model shows that a normal phenotype does not result if lamellipodium forces are uniform across the width of the neural plate; but it can result if the lamellipodium forces decrease from a maximum value at the mid-sagittal plane to zero at the plate edge. Even the seemingly simple motions of neurulation are found to contain important features that would remain hidden, they were not studied using an advanced computational model. The present model operates in a setting where data are extremely sparse and an important outcome of the study is a better understanding of the role of computational models in such environments

  15. Multi-scale finite element modeling allows the mechanics of amphibian neurulation to be elucidated

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xiaoguang; Brodland, G. Wayne

    2008-03-01

    The novel multi-scale computational approach introduced here makes possible a new means for testing hypotheses about the forces that drive specific morphogenetic movements. A 3D model based on this approach is used to investigate neurulation in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), a type of amphibian. The model is based on geometric data from 3D surface reconstructions of live embryos and from serial sections. Tissue properties are described by a system of cell-based constitutive equations, and parameters in the equations are determined from physical tests. The model includes the effects of Shroom-activated neural ridge reshaping and lamellipodium-driven convergent extension. A typical whole-embryo model consists of 10 239 elements and to run its 100 incremental time steps requires 2 days. The model shows that a normal phenotype does not result if lamellipodium forces are uniform across the width of the neural plate; but it can result if the lamellipodium forces decrease from a maximum value at the mid-sagittal plane to zero at the plate edge. Even the seemingly simple motions of neurulation are found to contain important features that would remain hidden, they were not studied using an advanced computational model. The present model operates in a setting where data are extremely sparse and an important outcome of the study is a better understanding of the role of computational models in such environments.

  16. Saprolegniaceae identified on amphibian eggs throughout the Pacific Northwest, USA, by internal transcribed spacer sequences and phylogenetic analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrisko, Jill E; Pearl, Christopher A; Pilliod, David S; Sheridan, Peter P; Williams, Charles F; Peterson, Charles R; Bury, R Bruce

    2008-01-01

    We assessed the diversity and phylogeny of Saprolegniaceae on amphibian eggs from the Pacific Northwest, with particular focus on Saprolegnia ferax, a species implicated in high egg mortality. We identified isolates from eggs of six amphibians with the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and 5.8S gene regions and BLAST of the GenBank database. We identified 68 sequences as Saprolegniaceae and 43 sequences as true fungi from at least nine genera. Our phylogenetic analysis of the Saprolegniaceae included isolates within the genera Saprolegnia, Achlya and Leptolegnia. Our phylogeny grouped S. semihypogyna with Achlya rather than with the Saprolegnia reference sequences. We found only one isolate that grouped closely with S. ferax, and this came from a hatchery-raised salmon (Idaho) that we sampled opportunistically. We had representatives of 7-12 species and three genera of Saprolegniaceae on our amphibian eggs. Further work on the ecological roles of different species of Saprolegniaceae is needed to clarify their potential importance in amphibian egg mortality and potential links to population declines.

  17. Blastocyst morphology, actin cytoskeleton quality and chromosome content are correlated with embryo quality in the pig

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zijlstra, C.; Kidson, A.; Schoevers, E.J.; Daemen, A.J.J.M.; Tharasanit, T.; Kuijk, E.W.; Hazeleger, W.; Ducro-Steverink, D.W.B.; Colenbrander, B.; Roelen, B.A.J.

    2008-01-01

    Embryo survival rates obtained after transfer of in vitro produced porcine blastocysts are very poor. This is probably related to poor quality of the embryos. The aim of the present study was to determine markers for good quality blastocysts. Therefore, we tried to link blastocyst morphology to

  18. Overview of chytrid emergence and impacts on amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis is an emerging infectious disease of amphibians that affects over 700 species on all continents where amphibians occur. The amphibian–chytridiomycosis system is complex, and the response of any amphibian species to chytrid depends on many aspects of the ecology and evolutionary history of the amphibian, the genotype and phenotype of the fungus, and how the biological and physical environment can mediate that interaction. Impacts of chytridiomycosis on amphibians are varied; some species have been driven extinct, populations of others have declined severely, whereas still others have not obviously declined. Understanding patterns and mechanisms of amphibian responses to chytrids is critical for conservation and management. Robust estimates of population numbers are needed to identify species at risk, prioritize taxa for conservation actions, design management strategies for managing populations and species, and to develop effective measures to reduce impacts of chytrids on amphibians. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Tackling emerging fungal threats to animal health, food security and ecosystem resilience’. PMID:28080989

  19. Towards gene banking amphibian maternal germ lines: short-term incubation, cryoprotectant tolerance and cryopreservation of embryonic cells of the frog, Limnodynastes peronii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Bianca; Clulow, Simon; Mahony, Michael J; Clulow, John

    2013-01-01

    Gene banking is arguably the best method available to prevent the loss of genetic diversity caused by declines in wild populations, when the causes of decline cannot be halted or reversed. For one of the most impacted vertebrate groups, the amphibians, gene banking technologies have advanced considerably, and gametes from the male line can be banked successfully for many species. However, cryopreserving the female germ line remains challenging, with attempts at cryopreserving oocytes unsuccessful due to their large size and yolk content. One possible solution is to target cryopreservation of early embryos that contain the maternal germ line, but consist of smaller cells. Here, we investigate the short term incubation, cryoprotectant tolerance, and cryopreservation of dissociated early embryonic cells from gastrulae and neurulae of the Striped Marsh Frog, Limnodynastes peronii. Embryos were dissociated and cells were incubated for up to 24 hours in various media. Viability of both gastrula and neurula cells remained high (means up to 40-60%) over 24 hours of incubation in all media, although viability was maintained at a higher level in Ca(2+)-free Simplified Amphibian Ringer; low speed centrifugation did not reduce cell viability. Tolerance of dissociated embryonic cells was tested for two cryoprotectants, glycerol and dimethyl sulphoxide; dissociated cells of both gastrulae and neurulae were highly tolerant to both-indeed, cell viability over 24 hours was higher in media containing low-to-medium concentrations than in equivalent cryoprotectant-free media. Viability over 24 hours was lower in concentrations of cryoprotectant higher than 10%. Live cells were recovered following cryopreservation of both gastrula and neurula cells, but only at low rates. Optimal cryodiluents were identified for gastrula and neurula cells. This is the first report of a slow cooling protocol for cryopreservation of amphibian embryonic cells, and sets future research directions for

  20. Towards gene banking amphibian maternal germ lines: short-term incubation, cryoprotectant tolerance and cryopreservation of embryonic cells of the frog, Limnodynastes peronii.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bianca Lawson

    Full Text Available Gene banking is arguably the best method available to prevent the loss of genetic diversity caused by declines in wild populations, when the causes of decline cannot be halted or reversed. For one of the most impacted vertebrate groups, the amphibians, gene banking technologies have advanced considerably, and gametes from the male line can be banked successfully for many species. However, cryopreserving the female germ line remains challenging, with attempts at cryopreserving oocytes unsuccessful due to their large size and yolk content. One possible solution is to target cryopreservation of early embryos that contain the maternal germ line, but consist of smaller cells. Here, we investigate the short term incubation, cryoprotectant tolerance, and cryopreservation of dissociated early embryonic cells from gastrulae and neurulae of the Striped Marsh Frog, Limnodynastes peronii. Embryos were dissociated and cells were incubated for up to 24 hours in various media. Viability of both gastrula and neurula cells remained high (means up to 40-60% over 24 hours of incubation in all media, although viability was maintained at a higher level in Ca(2+-free Simplified Amphibian Ringer; low speed centrifugation did not reduce cell viability. Tolerance of dissociated embryonic cells was tested for two cryoprotectants, glycerol and dimethyl sulphoxide; dissociated cells of both gastrulae and neurulae were highly tolerant to both-indeed, cell viability over 24 hours was higher in media containing low-to-medium concentrations than in equivalent cryoprotectant-free media. Viability over 24 hours was lower in concentrations of cryoprotectant higher than 10%. Live cells were recovered following cryopreservation of both gastrula and neurula cells, but only at low rates. Optimal cryodiluents were identified for gastrula and neurula cells. This is the first report of a slow cooling protocol for cryopreservation of amphibian embryonic cells, and sets future research

  1. [Strategies for Conservation of Endangered Amphibian and Reptile Species].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anan'eva, N B; Uteshev, V K; Orlova, N L; Gakhova, E N

    2015-01-01

    Strategies for conservation of endangered amphibian and reptile species are discussed. One-fifth of all vertebrates belongs to the category of "endangered species," and amphibians are first on the list (41%). Every fifth reptile species is in danger of extinction, and insufficient information is characteristic of every other fifth. As has been demonstrated, efficient development of a network of nature conservation areas, cryopreservation, and methods for laboratory breeding and reintroduction play.the key roles in adequate strategies for preservation of amphibians and reptiles.

  2. Amphibian decline: an integrated analysis of multiple stressor effects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Linder, G.; Krest, S.K.; Sparkling, D.W. (eds.)

    2003-07-01

    Environmental effects of stressors on amphibians have received increased attention but little is known about the effects of these stressors on amphibian populations. The workshop addressed this issue. The proceedings contain 15 chapters, two of which mention effects of coal combustion wastes. These are: Chapter 4: Chemical stressors, by J.H. Burkhart, J.R. Bidwell, D.J. Fort, S.R. Sheffield, and Chapter 8E: Anthropogenic activities producing sink habitats for amphibians in the local landscape: a case study of lethal and sublethal effects of coal combustion residues in the aquatic environment by C.L. Rose and W.A. Hopkins.

  3. Zoonotic diseases associated with reptiles and amphibians: an update.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Mark A

    2011-09-01

    Reptiles and amphibians are popular as pets. There are increased concerns among public health officials because of the zoonotic potential associated with these animals. Encounters with reptiles and amphibians are also on the rise in the laboratory setting and with wild animals; in both of these practices, there is also an increased likelihood for exposure to zoonotic pathogens. It is important that veterinarians remain current with the literature as it relates to emerging and reemerging zoonotic diseases attributed to reptiles and amphibians so that they can protect themselves, their staff, and their clients from potential problems.

  4. Reptiles and Amphibians of Fairchild Air Force Base, WA

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-10

    Reptiles and Amphibians of Fairchild Air Force Base, WA C on st ru ct io n E n gi n ee ri n g R es ea rc...online library at http://acwc.sdp.sirsi.net/client/default. ERDC/CERL TR-13-5 May 2013 Reptiles and Amphibians of Fairchild Air Force Base, WA...Washington, DC 20314-1000 ERDC/CERL TR-13-5 ii Abstract Many reptile and amphibian (collectively termed “herpetofauna”) populations are declining at

  5. Molecular evidence for the early history of living amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feller, A E; Hedges, S B

    1998-06-01

    The evolutionary relationships of the three orders of living amphibians (lissamphibians) has been difficult to resolve, partly because of their specialized morphologies. Traditionally, frogs and salamanders are considered to be closest relatives, and all three orders are thought to have arisen in the Paleozoic (>250 myr). Here, we present evidence from the DNA sequences of four mitochondrial genes (2.7 kilobases) that challenges the conventional hypothesis and supports a salamander-caecilian relationship. This, in light of the fossil record and distribution of the families, suggests a more recent (Mesozoic) origin for salamanders and caecilians directly linked to the initial breakup of the supercontinent Pangaea. We propose that this single geologic event isolated salamanders and archaeobatrachian frogs on the northern continents (Laurasia) and the caecilians and neobatrachian frogs on the southern continents (Gondwana). Among the neobatrachian frog families, molecular evidence supports a South American clade and an African clade, inferred here to be the result of mid-Cretaceous vicariance. Copyright 1998 Academic Press.

  6. [Birth weight and frozen embryo transfer: State of the art].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anav, M; Ferrières-Hoa, A; Gala, A; Fournier, A; Zaragoza, S; Vintejoux, E; Vincens, C; Hamamah, S

    2018-04-18

    The aim of this study was to update our acknowledgment if there is a link between assisted embryo cryopreservation and epigenetics in human? Animal studies have demonstrated epigenetics consequence and especially imprinting disorders due to in vitro culture. In human, it is important to note that after frozen embryo transfer birth weight is significantly increased by 81 to 250g. But these studies cannot identify the reasons of such difference. This review strongly suggests that embryo cryopreservation is responsible for birth weight variations but mechanisms not yet elucidated. Epigenetics is probably one of these but to date, none study is able to prove it. We have to be attentive on a possible link between assisted reproductive technology (ART) and epigenetics reprogrammation. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  7. Who abandons embryos after IVF?

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Walsh, A P H

    2010-04-01

    This investigation describes features of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) patients who never returned to claim their embryos following cryopreservation. Frozen embryo data were reviewed to establish communication patterns between patient and clinic; embryos were considered abandoned when 1) an IVF patient with frozen embryo\\/s stored at our facility failed to make contact with our clinic for > 2 yrs and 2) the patient could not be located after a multi-modal outreach effort was undertaken. For these patients, telephone numbers had been disconnected and no forwarding address was available. Patient, spouse and emergency family contact\\/s all escaped detection efforts despite an exhaustive public database search including death records and Internet directory portals. From 3244 IVF cycles completed from 2000 to 2008, > or = 1 embryo was frozen in 1159 cases (35.7%). Those without correspondence for > 2 yrs accounted for 292 (25.2%) patients with frozen embryos; 281 were contacted by methods including registered (signature involving abandoned embryos did not differ substantially from other patients. The goal of having a baby was achieved by 10\\/11 patients either by spontaneous conception, adoption or IVF. One patient moved away with conception status unconfirmed. The overall rate of embryo abandonment was 11\\/1159 (< 1%) in this IVF population. Pre-IVF counselling minimises, but does not totally eliminate, the problem of abandoned embryos. As the number of abandoned embryos from IVF accumulates, their fate urgently requires clarification. We propose that clinicians develop a policy consistent with relevant Irish Constitutional provisions to address this medical dilemma.

  8. Coastal Resources Atlas: Long Island: REPTILES (Reptile and Amphibian Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for sea turtles, estuarine turtles, and amphibians for Long Island, New York. Vector polygons in this data...

  9. Sperm motility of externally fertilizing fish and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Browne, R K; Kaurova, S A; Uteshev, V K; Shishova, N V; McGinnity, D; Figiel, C R; Mansour, N; Agney, D; Wu, M; Gakhova, E N; Dzyuba, B; Cosson, J

    2015-01-01

    We review the phylogeny, sperm competition, morphology, physiology, and fertilization environments of the sperm of externally fertilizing fish and amphibians. Increased sperm competition in both fish and anurans generally increases sperm numbers, sperm length, and energy reserves. The difference between the internal osmolarity and iconicity of sperm cells and those of the aquatic medium control the activation, longevity, and velocity of sperm motility. Hypo-osmolarity of the aquatic medium activates the motility of freshwater fish and amphibian sperm and hyperosmolarity activates the motility of marine fish sperm. The average longevity of the motility of marine fish sperm (~550 seconds) was significantly (P amphibian sperm in general and anurans reversion from internal to external fertilization. Our findings provide a greater understanding of the reproductive biology of externally fertilizing fish and amphibians, and a biological foundation for the further development of reproduction technologies for their sustainable management.

  10. Trends in amphibian occupancy in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Michael J.; Miller, David A.W.; Muths, Erin; Corn, Paul Stephen; Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Bailey, Larissa L.; Fellers, Gary M.; Fisher, Robert N.; Sadinski, Walter J.; Waddle, Hardin; Walls, Susan C.

    2013-01-01

    Though a third of amphibian species worldwide are thought to be imperiled, existing assessments simply categorize extinction risk, providing little information on the rate of population losses. We conducted the first analysis of the rate of change in the probability that amphibians occupy ponds and other comparable habitat features across the United States. We found that overall occupancy by amphibians declined 3.7% annually from 2002 to 2011. Species that are Red-listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) declined an average of 11.6% annually. All subsets of data examined had a declining trend including species in the IUCN Least Concern category. This analysis suggests that amphibian declines may be more widespread and severe than previously realized.

  11. Trends in amphibian occupancy in the United States.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Adams

    Full Text Available Though a third of amphibian species worldwide are thought to be imperiled, existing assessments simply categorize extinction risk, providing little information on the rate of population losses. We conducted the first analysis of the rate of change in the probability that amphibians occupy ponds and other comparable habitat features across the United States. We found that overall occupancy by amphibians declined 3.7% annually from 2002 to 2011. Species that are Red-listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN declined an average of 11.6% annually. All subsets of data examined had a declining trend including species in the IUCN Least Concern category. This analysis suggests that amphibian declines may be more widespread and severe than previously realized.

  12. Book review: Reptiles and amphibians: Self-assessment color review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, David E.

    2017-01-01

    No abstract available.Book information: Reptiles and Amphibians: Self-Assessment Color Review. 2nd Edition. By Fredric L. Frye. CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group, Boca Raton, Florida USA. 2015. 252 pp. ISBN 9781482257601.

  13. Invasive and introduced reptiles and amphibians: Chapter 28

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, Robert N.; Krysko, Kenneth L.; Mader, Douglas R.; Divers, Stephen J.

    2014-01-01

    Why is there a section on introduced amphibians and reptiles in this volume, and why should veterinarians care about this issue? Globally, invasive species are a major threat to the stability of native ecosystems,1,2 and amphibians and reptiles are attracting increased attention as potential invaders. Some introduced amphibians and reptiles have had a major impact (e.g., Brown Tree Snakes [Boiga irregularis] wiping out the native birds of Guam3 or Cane Toads [Rhinella marina] poisoning native Australian predators).4 For the vast majority of species, however, the ecological, economic, and sociopolitical effects of introduced amphibians and reptiles are generally poorly quantified, largely because of a lack of focused research effort rather than because such effects are nonexistent. This trend is alarming given that rates of introduction have increased exponentially in recent decades.

  14. South African red data book - Reptiles and Amphibians

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mclachlan, GR

    1978-02-01

    Full Text Available Data sheets are provided for 46 threatened South African reptiles and amphibians, two being endangered (leatherback turtle, geometric tortoise) ten vulnerable (loggerhead turtle, Nile crocodile, veld monitor, water monitor, giant girdled lizard...

  15. ALIEN SPECIES: THEIR ROLE IN AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DECLINES AND RESTORATION

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alien species (also referred to as exotic, invasive, introduced, or normative species) have been implicated as causal agents in population declines of many amphibian species. Herein, we evaluate the relative contributions of alien species and other factors in adversely affecting ...

  16. An alternative framework for responding to the amphibian crisis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muths, Erin L.; Fisher, Robert N.

    2017-01-01

    Volumes of data illustrate the severity of the crisis affecting amphibians, where > 32% of amphibians worldwide are threatened with declining populations. Although there have been isolated victories, the current approach to the issue is unsuccessful. We suggest that a radically different approach, something akin to human emergency response management (i.e. the Incident Command System), is one alternative to addressing the inertia and lack of cohesion in responding to amphibian issues. We acknowledge existing efforts and the useful research that has been conducted, but we suggest that a change is warranted and that the identification of a new amphibian chytrid provides the impetus for such a change. Our goal is to recognize that without a centralized effort we (collectively) are likely to fail in responding to this challenge.

  17. FACTORS IMPLICATED IN AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DECLINES IN THE UNITED STATES

    Science.gov (United States)

    This study identified the factors responsible for the decline of native amphibians in the U.S. The type of land use, the introduction of exotic animal species, and chemical contamination were identified as the most likely causes of decline.

  18. Embryos, genes, and birth defects

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ferretti, Patrizia

    2006-01-01

    ... Structural anomalies The genesis of chromosome abnormalities Embryo survival The cause of high levels of chromosome abnormality in human embryos Relative parental risks - age, translocations, inversions, gonadal and germinal mosaics 33 33 34 35 36 44 44 45 4 Identification and Analysis of Genes Involved in Congenital Malformation Syndromes Peter J. Scambler Ge...

  19. Whether the weather drives patterns of endemic amphibian chytridiomycosis: a pathogen proliferation approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kris A Murray

    Full Text Available The pandemic amphibian disease chytridiomycosis often exhibits strong seasonality in both prevalence and disease-associated mortality once it becomes endemic. One hypothesis that could explain this temporal pattern is that simple weather-driven pathogen proliferation (population growth is a major driver of chytridiomycosis disease dynamics. Despite various elaborations of this hypothesis in the literature for explaining amphibian declines (e.g., the chytrid thermal-optimum hypothesis it has not been formally tested on infection patterns in the wild. In this study we developed a simple process-based model to simulate the growth of the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd under varying weather conditions to provide an a priori test of a weather-linked pathogen proliferation hypothesis for endemic chytridiomycosis. We found strong support for several predictions of the proliferation hypothesis when applied to our model species, Litoria pearsoniana, sampled across multiple sites and years: the weather-driven simulations of pathogen growth potential (represented as a growth index in the 30 days prior to sampling; GI30 were positively related to both the prevalence and intensity of Bd infections, which were themselves strongly and positively correlated. In addition, a machine-learning classifier achieved ~72% success in classifying positive qPCR results when utilising just three informative predictors 1 GI30, 2 frog body size and 3 rain on the day of sampling. Hence, while intrinsic traits of the individuals sampled (species, size, sex and nuisance sampling variables (rainfall when sampling influenced infection patterns obtained when sampling via qPCR, our results also strongly suggest that weather-linked pathogen proliferation plays a key role in the infection dynamics of endemic chytridiomycosis in our study system. Predictive applications of the model include surveillance design, outbreak preparedness and response, climate change scenario

  20. Whether the weather drives patterns of endemic amphibian chytridiomycosis: a pathogen proliferation approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Kris A; Skerratt, Lee F; Garland, Stephen; Kriticos, Darren; McCallum, Hamish

    2013-01-01

    The pandemic amphibian disease chytridiomycosis often exhibits strong seasonality in both prevalence and disease-associated mortality once it becomes endemic. One hypothesis that could explain this temporal pattern is that simple weather-driven pathogen proliferation (population growth) is a major driver of chytridiomycosis disease dynamics. Despite various elaborations of this hypothesis in the literature for explaining amphibian declines (e.g., the chytrid thermal-optimum hypothesis) it has not been formally tested on infection patterns in the wild. In this study we developed a simple process-based model to simulate the growth of the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) under varying weather conditions to provide an a priori test of a weather-linked pathogen proliferation hypothesis for endemic chytridiomycosis. We found strong support for several predictions of the proliferation hypothesis when applied to our model species, Litoria pearsoniana, sampled across multiple sites and years: the weather-driven simulations of pathogen growth potential (represented as a growth index in the 30 days prior to sampling; GI30) were positively related to both the prevalence and intensity of Bd infections, which were themselves strongly and positively correlated. In addition, a machine-learning classifier achieved ~72% success in classifying positive qPCR results when utilising just three informative predictors 1) GI30, 2) frog body size and 3) rain on the day of sampling. Hence, while intrinsic traits of the individuals sampled (species, size, sex) and nuisance sampling variables (rainfall when sampling) influenced infection patterns obtained when sampling via qPCR, our results also strongly suggest that weather-linked pathogen proliferation plays a key role in the infection dynamics of endemic chytridiomycosis in our study system. Predictive applications of the model include surveillance design, outbreak preparedness and response, climate change scenario modelling and

  1. Initial diversification of living amphibians predated the breakup of Pangaea

    OpenAIRE

    San Mauro, D.; Vences, M.; Alcobendas, M.; Zardoya, R.; Meyer, A.

    2005-01-01

    The origin and divergence of the three living orders of amphibians (Anura, Caudata, Gymnophiona) and their main lineages are one of the most hotly debated topics in vertebrate evolution. Here, we present a robust molecular phylogeny based on the nuclear RAG1 gene as well as results from a variety of alternative independent molecular clock calibrations. Our analyses suggest that the origin and early divergence of the three living amphibian orders dates back to the Palaeozoic or early Mesozoic,...

  2. The Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI): 5-year report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muths, Erin; Gallant, Alisa L.; Campbell Grant, Evan H.; Battaglin, William A.; Green, David E.; Staiger, Jennifer S.; Walls, Susan C.; Gunzburger, Margaret S.; Kearney, Rick F.

    2006-01-01

    The Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) is an innovative, multidisciplinary program that began in 2000 in response to a congressional directive for the Department of the Interior to address the issue of amphibian declines in the United States. ARMI’s formulation was cross-disciplinary, integrating U.S. Geological Survey scientists from Biology, Water, and Geography to develop a course of action (Corn and others, 2005a). The result has been an effective program with diverse, yet complementary, expertise.

  3. Demonstration and Certification of Amphibian Ecological Risk Assessment Protocol

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-04-01

    pools observed on site persist through the breeding season and long enough for the larvae to metamorphose, suitable amphibian breeding habitat exists in...frog (R. palustris): vocalizations • Fairy shrimp (Eubranchipus sp.): dip net • Isopoda: dip net • Unknown water beetle (Coleoptera): dip net...oxygen-lacking) conditions that favor the growth and regeneration of hydrophytic vegetation)) to amphibians. This test procedure uses larvae of the

  4. Laboratory techniques for human embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geber, Selmo; Sales, Liana; Sampaio, Marcos A C

    2002-01-01

    This review is concerned with laboratory techniques needed for assisted conception, particularly the handling of gametes and embryos. Such methods are being increasingly refined. Successive stages of fertilization and embryogenesis require especial care, and often involve the use of micromanipulative methods for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) or preimplantation genetic diagnosis. Embryologists must take responsibility for gamete collection and preparation, and for deciding on the means of insemination or ICSI. Embryos must be assessed in culture, during the 1-cell, cleaving and morula/blastocyst stages, and classified according to quality. Co-culture methods may be necessary. The best embryos for transfer must be selected and loaded into the transfer catheter. Embryos not transferred must be cryopreserved, which demands the correct application of current methods of media preparation, seeding and the correct speed for cooling and warming. Before too long, methods of detecting abnormal embryos and avoiding their transfer may become widespread.

  5. Predation of Ladybird Beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) by Amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sloggett, John J

    2012-07-18

    Studies of predation of ladybird beetles (Coccinellidae) have focused on a limited number of predator taxa, such as birds and ants, while other potential predators have received limited attention. I here consider amphibians as predators of ladybirds. Published amphibian gut analyses show that ladybirds are quite often eaten by frogs and toads (Anura), with recorded frequencies reaching up to 15% of dietary items. Salamanders (Caudata) eat ladybirds less frequently, probably as their habits less often bring them into contact with the beetles. Amphibians do not appear to be deleteriously affected by the potentially toxic alkaloids that ladybirds possess. Amphibians, especially frogs and toads, use primarily prey movement as a release cue to attack their food; it is thus likely that their ability to discriminate against ladybirds and other chemically defended prey is limited. Because of this poor discriminatory power, amphibians have apparently evolved non-specific resistance to prey defensive chemicals, including ladybird alkaloids. Although amphibian-related ladybird mortality is limited, in certain habitats it could outweigh mortality from more frequently studied predators, notably birds. The gut analyses from the herpetological literature used in this study, suggest that in studying predation of insects, entomologists should consider specialized literature on other animal groups.

  6. Global amphibian declines: perspectives from the United States and beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Densmore, Christine L.; Cipriano, R.C.; Bruckner, A.W.; Shchelkunov, I.S.

    2011-01-01

    Over recent decades, amphibians have experienced population declines, extirpations and species-level extinctions at an alarming rate. Numerous potential etiologies for amphibian declines have been postulated including climate and habitat degradation. Other potential anthropogenic causes including overexploitation and the frequent introductions of invasive predatory species have also been blamed for amphibian declines. Still other underlying factors may include infectious diseases caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, pathogenic viruses (Ranavirus), and other agents. It is nearly certain that more than one etiology is to blame for the majority of the global amphibian declines, and that these causal factors include some combination of climatological or physical habitat destabilization and infectious disease, most notably chytridiomycosis. Scientific research efforts are aimed at elucidating these etiologies on local, regional, and global scales that we might better understand and counteract the driving forces behind amphibian declines. Conservation efforts as outlined in the Amphibian Conservation Action Plan of 2005 are also being made to curtail losses and prevent further extinctions wherever possible.

  7. Viability of bovine demi embryo after splitting of fresh and frozen thawed embryo derived from in vitro embryo production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Imron

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available In vivo embryo production was limited by number of donor, wide variability respond due to superovulation program and also immunoactifity of superovulation hormone (FSH. Splitting technology could be an alternative to increase the number of transferrable embryos into recipien cows. Splitting is done with cutting embryo becoming two equal pieces (called demi embrio base on ICM orientation. The objective of this research was to determine the viability of demi embryo obtained from embryo splitting of fresh and frozen thawed embryo. The results showed that demi embryos which performed blastocoel reexpansion 3 hours after embryo splitting using fresh and frozen thawed embryos were 76.9 and 76.2% respectively. Base on existention of inner cell mass (ICM, the number of demi embryos developed with ICM from fresh and frozen thawed embryos were not significantly different (90.6 and 85.7% respectively. The cell number of demi embryo from fresh embryos splitting was not different compared with those from frozen thawed embryos (36.1 and 35.9 respectively. These finding indicated that embryo splitting can be applied to frozen thawed embryos with certain condition as well as fresh embryos.

  8. Estimating Herd Immunity to Amphibian Chytridiomycosis in Madagascar Based on the Defensive Function of Amphibian Skin Bacteria

    OpenAIRE

    Bletz, Molly C.; Myers, Jillian; Woodhams, Douglas C.; Rabemananjara, Falitiana C. E.; Rakotonirina, Angela; Weldon, Che; Edmonds, Devin; Vences, Miguel; Harris, Reid N.

    2017-01-01

    For decades, Amphibians have been globally threatened by the still expanding infectious disease, chytridiomycosis. Madagascar is an amphibian biodiversity hotspot where Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has only recently been detected. While no Bd-associated population declines have been reported, the risk of declines is high when invasive virulent lineages become involved. Cutaneous bacteria contribute to host innate immunity by providing defense against pathogens for numerous animals, inc...

  9. Amphibian populations in the terrestrial environment: Is there evidence of declines of terrestrial forest amphibians in northwestern California?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartwell H. Welsh Jr.; Gary M. Fellers; Amy J. Lind

    2007-01-01

    Amphibian declines have been documented worldwide; however the vast majority are species associated with aquatic habitats. Information on the status and trends of terrestrial amphibians is almost entirely lacking. Here we use data collected across a 12-yr period (sampling from 1984–86 and from 1993–95) to address the question of whether evidence exists for declines...

  10. Signals of forest degradation in the demography of common Asian amphibians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nancy E. Karraker

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Background Lowland areas in tropical East and Southeast Asia have a long history of conversion from forestland to agricultural land, with many remaining forests being chronically degraded by wood cutting, livestock grazing, and burning. Wetland-breeding amphibians that have evolved in lowland forests in the region have adjusted to changes in habitat composition caused by humans’ activities, and populations continue to persist. However, we have little understanding of the impacts of forest disturbance on these species beyond assessments of abundance and distribution, and species considered to be common and widespread have been largely neglected. Methods We examined body condition and sex ratios of toads (Duttaphrynus melanostictus, predation risk in treefrogs (2 Polypedates spp., and growth and survival of leaf litter frogs (2 Microhyla spp. in agricultural land, degraded forest, and intact forest in two study areas, Thailand and Hong Kong. Results Toad populations exhibited higher body condition and female-biased sex ratios in intact forest. Predation of treefrog embryos by flies was lower in intact and degraded forests than in agricultural land. Embryonic survival and larval growth and survival in leaf litter frogs were lower in intact forests than in agricultural land. Results for each study were similar between study areas. Discussion For three of five of these common amphibian species, we documented signals of forest loss and disturbance in their populations. Although these species occur in disturbed habitats, loss of forest cover continues to degrade aspects of their population demography. We urge conservation biologists to consider that populations of species appearing to be common, widespread, and tolerant of human disturbance may be eroding over time.

  11. Do effects of mercury in larval amphibians persist after metamorphosis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todd, Brian D; Willson, John D; Bergeron, Christine M; Hopkins, William A

    2012-01-01

    Despite widespread concern about the role of environmental contaminants in global amphibian declines, and evidence that post-metamorphic life stages contribute disproportionately to amphibian population dynamics, most studies in amphibian ecotoxicology focus on larval life stages. Studies that focus solely on early life stages may miss important effects of contaminant exposure, such as latent effects that manifest some time after previous exposure. Moreover, it is often assumed that effects observed in amphibian larvae will persist to affect survival or reproduction later in life. We used terrestrial enclosures to determine whether exposure to mercury (Hg) through maternal transfer and/or larval diet had any adverse effects in post-metamorphic American toads (Bufo americanus). We found a 5% difference in size at metamorphosis that was attributed to maternal Hg exposure persisted for 1 year in the terrestrial environment, resulting in a 7% difference at the conclusion of the study. Although patterns of survival differed among treatments through time, we found no overall difference in survival after 1 year. We also found no evidence of emergent latent effects in the terrestrial toads that could be attributed to earlier exposure. Our results indicate that adverse effects of maternal Hg exposure that were observed in larval amphibians may persist to affect later terrestrial life stages but that no novel adverse effects developed when animals were raised in a semi-natural environment. Moreover, we found no evidence of persistent effects of dietary Hg exposure in larvae, highlighting a need for greater focus on maternal effects in amphibian ecotoxicology. Finally, we suggest an increase in the use of longitudinal studies to better understand contaminant impacts to amphibian populations via effects in both aquatic and terrestrial life stages.

  12. Developments in amphibian captive breeding and reintroduction programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harding, Gemma; Griffiths, Richard A; Pavajeau, Lissette

    2016-04-01

    Captive breeding and reintroduction remain high profile but controversial conservation interventions. It is important to understand how such programs develop and respond to strategic conservation initiatives. We analyzed the contribution to conservation made by amphibian captive breeding and reintroduction since the launch of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Amphibian Conservation Action Plan (ACAP) in 2007. We assembled data on amphibian captive breeding and reintroduction from a variety of sources including the Amphibian Ark database and the IUCN Red List. We also carried out systematic searches of Web of Science, JSTOR, and Google Scholar for relevant literature. Relative to data collected from 1966 to 2006, the number of species involved in captive breeding and reintroduction projects increased by 57% in the 7 years since release of the ACAP. However, there have been relatively few new reintroductions over this period; most programs have focused on securing captive-assurance populations (i.e., species taken into captivity as a precaution against extinctions in the wild) and conservation-related research. There has been a shift to a broader representation of frogs, salamanders, and caecilians within programs and an increasing emphasis on threatened species. There has been a relative increase of species in programs from Central and South America and the Caribbean, where amphibian biodiversity is high. About half of the programs involve zoos and aquaria with a similar proportion represented in specialist facilities run by governmental or nongovernmental agencies. Despite successful reintroduction often being regarded as the ultimate milestone for such programs, the irreversibility of many current threats to amphibians may make this an impractical goal. Instead, research on captive assurance populations may be needed to develop imaginative solutions to enable amphibians to survive alongside current, emerging, and future threats. © 2015

  13. Foam nests provide context-dependent thermal insulation to embryos of three leptodactylid frogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Méndez-Narváez, J; Flechas, S V; Amézquita, A

    2015-01-01

    The choice of adequate breeding habitat and its associated thermoregulatory conditions are thought to be important in the evolution of amphibian reproductive strategies. Among leptodactylid frogs, there is a terrestrial cline in the oviposition sites chosen to build foam nests for eggs. Although several functions have been attributed to foam nests, their role in temperature regulation for embryos is unclear. Here we tested the hypothesis that foam nests buffer embryos from variation in air temperature. We examined the degree of terrestrial nest sites in three species, finding a terrestrial cline of sites in terms of distance from water. We tested whether this nest-insulation effect varied among these species that differ in the degree of terrestrial nest sites and whether translocating nests impacted embryonic mortality. Our results demonstrate a negative effect of translocating aquatic nests to land, inferred from the highest hatching success in natural nests sites. All nests attenuated environmental thermal variation, but more terrestrial nests buffered embryos from a greater range of temperatures than did aquatic ones. Altogether, our data indicate that foam nests insulate embryos from daily temperature fluctuations among leptodactylid frogs with different degrees of terrestrial nests, which may well have contributed to the evolution of this reproductive strategy.

  14. Comparison of amphibian and mammalian thyroperoxidase ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thyroperoxidase (TPO) catalyzes the production of thyroid hormones in the vertebrate thyroid gland by oxidizing iodide (I- ) to produce iodinated tyrosines on thyroglobulin, and further coupling of specific mono- or di-iodinated tyrosines to generate the triiodo- and tetra-iodothyronine, precursors to thyroid hormone. This enzyme is a target for thyroid disrupting chemicals. TPO-inhibition by xenobiotics is a molecular initiating event that is known to perturb the thyroid axis by preventing synthesis of thyroid hormone. Previous work on TPO-inhibition has been focused on mammalian TPO; specifically, the rat and pig. A primary objective of this experiment was to directly measure TPO activity in a non-mammalian system, in this case a thyroid gland homogenate from Xenopus laevis; as well as compare chemical inhibition from past mammalian studies to the amphibian data generated. Thyroid glands obtained from X. laevis tadpoles at NF stages 58-60, were pooled and homogenized by sonication in phosphate buffer. This homogenate was then used to test 24 chemicals for inhibition of TPO as measured by conversion of Amplex UltraRed (AUR) substrate to its fluorescent product. The test chemicals were selected based upon previous results from rat in vitro TPO assays, and X. laevis in vitro and in vivo studies for thyroid disrupting endpoints, and included both positive and negative chemicals in these assays. An initial screening of the chemicals was done at a single high con

  15. Neotropical Amphibian Declines Affect Stream Ecosystem Properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connelly, S.; Pringle, C. M.; Bixby, R. J.; Whiles, M. R.; Lips, K. R.; Brenes, R.; Colon-Gaud, J. C.; Kilham, S.; Hunte-Brown, M.

    2005-05-01

    Global declines of amphibians are well documented, yet effects of these dramatic losses on ecosystem structure and function are poorly understood. As part of a larger collaborative project, we compared two upland Panamanian streams. Both streams are biologically and geologically similar; however, one stream (Fortuna) has recently experienced almost complete extirpation of stream-dwelling frogs, while the other (Cope) still has intact populations. We experimentally excluded tadpoles from localized areas in each stream. We then compared chlorophyll a, algal community composition, ash-free dry mass (AFDM), inorganic matter, and insect assemblages in control and exclusion areas. Additionally, we sampled the natural substrate of both streams monthly for chlorophyll a, algal community composition, AFDM, and inorganic matter. At Cope, chlorophyll a, AFDM, and inorganic matter were greater in areas where tadpoles were excluded than in their presence. Numbers of dominant algal species (e.g., Nupela praecipua and Eunotia siolii) were greater in the exclusion versus control treatments. Monthly sampling of natural substrate indicated higher chlorophyll a and AFDM at Cope compared to Fortuna. Our data suggest that stream-dwelling anuran larvae have significant impacts on algal communities. These results also have implications for predicting the relevance of short-term experimental manipulations to long-term, whole-stream processes.

  16. Perinatal outcomes among singletons after assisted reproductive technology with single-embryo or double-embryo transfer versus no assisted reproductive technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Angela S; Chang, Jeani; Zhang, Yujia; Kawwass, Jennifer F; Boulet, Sheree L; McKane, Patricia; Bernson, Dana; Kissin, Dmitry M; Jamieson, Denise J

    2017-04-01

    To examine outcomes of singleton pregnancies conceived without assisted reproductive technology (non-ART) compared with singletons conceived with ART by elective single-embryo transfer (eSET), nonelective single-embryo transfer (non-eSET), and double-embryo transfer with the establishment of 1 (DET -1) or ≥2 (DET ≥2) early fetal heartbeats. Retrospective cohort using linked ART surveillance data and vital records from Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Connecticut. Not applicable. Singleton live-born infants. None. Preterm birth (PTB score score approach, we found that singletons conceived after eSET were less likely to have a 5-minute Apgar Reproductive Medicine. All rights reserved.

  17. Non-native salmonids affect amphibian occupancy at multiple spatial scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilliod, David S.; Hossack, Blake R.; Bahls, Peter F.; Bull, Evelyn L.; Corn, Paul Stephen; Hokit, Grant; Maxell, Bryce A.; Munger, James C.; Wyrick, Aimee

    2010-01-01

    Aim The introduction of non-native species into aquatic environments has been linked with local extinctions and altered distributions of native species. We investigated the effect of non-native salmonids on the occupancy of two native amphibians, the long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum) and Columbia spotted frog (Rana luteiventris), across three spatial scales: water bodies, small catchments and large catchments. Location Mountain lakes at ≥ 1500 m elevation were surveyed across the northern Rocky Mountains, USA. Methods We surveyed 2267 water bodies for amphibian occupancy (based on evidence of reproduction) and fish presence between 1986 and 2002 and modelled the probability of amphibian occupancy at each spatial scale in relation to habitat availability and quality and fish presence. Results After accounting for habitat features, we estimated that A. macrodactylum was 2.3 times more likely to breed in fishless water bodies than in water bodies with fish. Ambystoma macrodactylum also was more likely to occupy small catchments where none of the water bodies contained fish than in catchments where at least one water body contained fish. However, the probability of salamander occupancy in small catchments was also influenced by habitat availability (i.e. the number of water bodies within a catchment) and suitability of remaining fishless water bodies. We found no relationship between fish presence and salamander occupancy at the large-catchment scale, probably because of increased habitat availability. In contrast to A. macrodactylum, we found no relationship between fish presence and R. luteiventris occupancy at any scale. Main conclusions Our results suggest that the negative effects of non-native salmonids can extend beyond the boundaries of individual water bodies and increase A. macrodactylum extinction risk at landscape scales. We suspect that niche overlap between non-native fish and A. macrodactylum at higher elevations in the northern Rocky

  18. Effects of amphibian chytrid fungus on individual survival probability in wild boreal toads

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilliod, D.S.; Muths, E.; Scherer, R. D.; Bartelt, P.E.; Corn, P.S.; Hossack, B.R.; Lambert, B.A.; Mccaffery, R.; Gaughan, C.

    2010-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis is linked to the worldwide decline of amphibians, yet little is known about the demographic effects of the disease. We collected capture-recapture data on three populations of boreal toads (Bufo boreas [Bufo = Anaxyrus]) in the Rocky Mountains (U.S.A.). Two of the populations were infected with chytridiomycosis and one was not. We examined the effect of the presence of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis [Bd]; the agent of chytridiomycosis) on survival probability and population growth rate. Toads that were infected with Bd had lower average annual survival probability than uninfected individuals at sites where Bd was detected, which suggests chytridiomycosis may reduce survival by 31-42% in wild boreal toads. Toads that were negative for Bd at infected sites had survival probabilities comparable to toads at the uninfected site. Evidence that environmental covariates (particularly cold temperatures during the breeding season) influenced toad survival was weak. The number of individuals in diseased populations declined by 5-7%/year over the 6 years of the study, whereas the uninfected population had comparatively stable population growth. Our data suggest that the presence of Bd in these toad populations is not causing rapid population declines. Rather, chytridiomycosis appears to be functioning as a low-level, chronic disease whereby some infected individuals survive but the overall population effects are still negative. Our results show that some amphibian populations may be coexisting with Bd and highlight the importance of quantitative assessments of survival in diseased animal populations. Journal compilation. ?? 2010 Society for Conservation Biology. No claim to original US government works.

  19. Oxygen diffusion in fish embryos

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kranenbarg, S.

    2002-01-01

    All vertebrate embryos pass through a developmental period of remarkably low morphological variability. This period has been called phylotypic period. During the phylotypic period, organogenesis takes place, including blood vessel development. Before the phylotypic

  20. Death in the clouds: ranavirus associated mortality in assemblage of cloud forest amphibians in Nicaragua

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stark, T.; Laurijssens, C.; Weterings, M.J.A.; Spitzen-van der Sluis, A.; Martel, A.; Pasmans, F.

    2014-01-01

    Amphibian diseases are acknowledged as significant contributors to the decline and extinction of amphibian species. The main culprits currently considered are chytridiomycosis and Ranavirus. In Central America, highly endemic and geographical restricted terrestrial species may be at risk from these

  1. Advective and diffusive dermal processes for estimating terrestrial amphibian pesticide exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Background/Question/Methods Dermal exposure presents a potentially significant but understudied route for pesticide uptake in terrestrial amphibians. Historically, evaluation of pesticide risk to both amphibians and reptiles has been achieved by comparing ingestion and inhalat...

  2. [The destiny of cryopreserved embryos].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karpel, L; Achour-Frydman, N; Frydman, R; Flis-Trèves, M

    2007-12-01

    To know the psychological motivations of couples who keep their embryos so long (five years and more) and do not make a decision about them. We studied 84 couples refrained from making a decision on their cryopreserved embryos for at least five years. They were invited to fill out a questionnaire focusing on three points: the reasons of the indecision, their own representation of the cryopreserved embryos and their choice for the future: donation to another couple, to research, pregnancy or no solution for the moment. Mean (S.D.) women's and men's age were respectively, 38.8 (2.5)- and 41.3 (2.5)-years old. On average, three (1-9) embryos are preserved since 7.5 (5-12) years. Most of couples are parents. Four major reasons explain their attitudes: feeling of being too aged (25%), fear of a multiple pregnancy (45%), disagreement between members of couple (20%) and fear of failure (42.5%). Multiple choices were given to the future of the embryos: 25% wanted a pregnancy, 8% wanted to give them to infertile couples, 20% to research and 27.5% did not find any solution. Twenty percent were hesitating. The representation of those embryos is more symbolic than material. Most of the time, they see them like a potential child, a hope for the future or a brother or sister of their alive children. Those embryos are symbolized. They are a proof of fertility, a hope for another child. So, whatever the legal statement, couples will be in a dilemma because it is never easy for an infertile person to renounce to embryos, and the hope for children.

  3. Mitogenomic perspectives on the origin and phylogeny of living amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Peng; Zhou, Hui; Chen, Yue-Qin; Liu, Yi-Fei; Qu, Liang-Hu

    2005-06-01

    Establishing the relationships among modern amphibians (lissamphibians) and their ancient relatives is necessary for our understanding of early tetrapod evolution. However, the phylogeny is still intractable because of the highly specialized anatomy and poor fossil record of lissamphibians. Paleobiologists are still not sure whether lissamphibians are monophyletic or polyphyletic, and which ancient group (temnospondyls or lepospondyls) is most closely related to them. In an attempt to address these problems, eight mitochondrial genomes of living amphibians were determined and compared with previously published amphibian sequences. A comprehensive molecular phylogenetic analysis of nucleotide sequences yields a highly resolved tree congruent with the traditional hypotheses (Batrachia). By using a molecular clock-independent approach for inferring dating information from molecular phylogenies, we present here the first molecular timescale for lissamphibian evolution, which suggests that lissamphibians first emerged about 330 million years ago. By observing the fit between molecular and fossil times, we suggest that the temnospondyl-origin hypothesis for lissamphibians is more credible than other hypotheses. Moreover, under this timescale, the potential geographic origins of the main living amphibian groups are discussed: (i) advanced frogs (neobatrachians) may possess an Africa-India origin; (ii) salamanders may have originated in east Asia; (iii) the tropic forest of the Triassic Pangaea may be the place of origin for the ancient caecilians. An accurate phylogeny with divergence times can be also helpful to direct the search for "missing" fossils, and can benefit comparative studies of amphibian evolution.

  4. Amphibian recovery after a decrease in acidic precipitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolmen, Dag; Finstad, Anders Gravbrøt; Skei, Jon Kristian

    2018-04-01

    We here report the first sign of amphibian recovery after a strong decline due to acidic precipitation over many decades and peaking around 1980-90. In 2010, the pH level of ponds and small lakes in two heavily acidified areas in southwestern Scandinavia (Aust-Agder and Østfold in Norway) had risen significantly at an (arithmetic) average of 0.14 since 1988-89. Parallel with the general rise in pH, amphibians (Rana temporaria, R. arvalis, Bufo bufo, Lissotriton vulgaris, and Triturus cristatus) had become significantly more common: the frequency of amphibian localities rose from 33% to 49% (n = 115), and the average number of amphibian species per locality had risen from 0.51 to 0.88. In two other (reference) areas, one with better buffering capacity (Telemark, n = 21) and the other with much less input of acidic precipitation (Nord-Trøndelag, n = 106), there were no significant changes in pH or amphibians.

  5. The cause of global amphibian declines: a developmental endocrinologist's perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, T B; Falso, P; Gallipeau, S; Stice, M

    2010-03-15

    Greater than 70% of the world's amphibian species are in decline. We propose that there is probably not a single cause for global amphibian declines and present a three-tiered hierarchical approach that addresses interactions among and between ultimate and proximate factors that contribute to amphibian declines. There are two immediate (proximate) causes of amphibian declines: death and decreased recruitment (reproductive failure). Although much attention has focused on death, few studies have addressed factors that contribute to declines as a result of failed recruitment. Further, a great deal of attention has focused on the role of pathogens in inducing diseases that cause death, but we suggest that pathogen success is profoundly affected by four other ultimate factors: atmospheric change, environmental pollutants, habitat modification and invasive species. Environmental pollutants arise as likely important factors in amphibian declines because they have realized potential to affect recruitment. Further, many studies have documented immunosuppressive effects of pesticides, suggesting a role for environmental contaminants in increased pathogen virulence and disease rates. Increased attention to recruitment and ultimate factors that interact with pathogens is important in addressing this global crisis.

  6. Annual Report: 2014: Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weir, Linda A.; Nanjappa, P.; Apodaca, J.J.; Williams, J.

    2015-01-01

    Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) was established in 1999 to address the widespread declines, extinctions, and range reductions of amphibians and reptiles, with a focus on conservation of taxa and habitats in North America. Amphibians and reptiles are affected by a broad range of human activities, both as incidental effects of habitat alteration and direct effects from overexploitation; these animals are also burdened by humans attitudes – that amphibians and reptiles are either dangerous or of little environmental or economic value. However, PARC members understand these taxa are important parts of our natural and cultural heritage and they serve important roles in ecosystems throughout the world. With many amphibians and reptiles classified as threatened with extinction, conservation to ensure healthy populations of these animals has never been more important. As you will see herein, PARC’s 15th anniversary has been marked with major accomplishments and an ever-increasing momentum. With your help, PARC can continue to build on its successes and protect these vital species.

  7. Control of respiration in fish, amphibians and reptiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.W. Taylor

    Full Text Available Fish and amphibians utilise a suction/force pump to ventilate gills or lungs, with the respiratory muscles innervated by cranial nerves, while reptiles have a thoracic, aspiratory pump innervated by spinal nerves. However, fish can recruit a hypobranchial pump for active jaw occlusion during hypoxia, using feeding muscles innervated by anterior spinal nerves. This same pump is used to ventilate the air-breathing organ in air-breathing fishes. Some reptiles retain a buccal force pump for use during hypoxia or exercise. All vertebrates have respiratory rhythm generators (RRG located in the brainstem. In cyclostomes and possibly jawed fishes, this may comprise elements of the trigeminal nucleus, though in the latter group RRG neurons have been located in the reticular formation. In air-breathing fishes and amphibians, there may be separate RRG for gill and lung ventilation. There is some evidence for multiple RRG in reptiles. Both amphibians and reptiles show episodic breathing patterns that may be centrally generated, though they do respond to changes in oxygen supply. Fish and larval amphibians have chemoreceptors sensitive to oxygen partial pressure located on the gills. Hypoxia induces increased ventilation and a reflex bradycardia and may trigger aquatic surface respiration or air-breathing, though these latter activities also respond to behavioural cues. Adult amphibians and reptiles have peripheral chemoreceptors located on the carotid arteries and central chemoreceptors sensitive to blood carbon dioxide levels. Lung perfusion may be regulated by cardiac shunting and lung ventilation stimulates lung stretch receptors.

  8. Control of respiration in fish, amphibians and reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, E W; Leite, C A C; McKenzie, D J; Wang, T

    2010-05-01

    Fish and amphibians utilise a suction/force pump to ventilate gills or lungs, with the respiratory muscles innervated by cranial nerves, while reptiles have a thoracic, aspiratory pump innervated by spinal nerves. However, fish can recruit a hypobranchial pump for active jaw occlusion during hypoxia, using feeding muscles innervated by anterior spinal nerves. This same pump is used to ventilate the air-breathing organ in air-breathing fishes. Some reptiles retain a buccal force pump for use during hypoxia or exercise. All vertebrates have respiratory rhythm generators (RRG) located in the brainstem. In cyclostomes and possibly jawed fishes, this may comprise elements of the trigeminal nucleus, though in the latter group RRG neurons have been located in the reticular formation. In air-breathing fishes and amphibians, there may be separate RRG for gill and lung ventilation. There is some evidence for multiple RRG in reptiles. Both amphibians and reptiles show episodic breathing patterns that may be centrally generated, though they do respond to changes in oxygen supply. Fish and larval amphibians have chemoreceptors sensitive to oxygen partial pressure located on the gills. Hypoxia induces increased ventilation and a reflex bradycardia and may trigger aquatic surface respiration or air-breathing, though these latter activities also respond to behavioural cues. Adult amphibians and reptiles have peripheral chemoreceptors located on the carotid arteries and central chemoreceptors sensitive to blood carbon dioxide levels. Lung perfusion may be regulated by cardiac shunting and lung ventilation stimulates lung stretch receptors.

  9. Control of respiration in fish, amphibians and reptiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.W. Taylor

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Fish and amphibians utilise a suction/force pump to ventilate gills or lungs, with the respiratory muscles innervated by cranial nerves, while reptiles have a thoracic, aspiratory pump innervated by spinal nerves. However, fish can recruit a hypobranchial pump for active jaw occlusion during hypoxia, using feeding muscles innervated by anterior spinal nerves. This same pump is used to ventilate the air-breathing organ in air-breathing fishes. Some reptiles retain a buccal force pump for use during hypoxia or exercise. All vertebrates have respiratory rhythm generators (RRG located in the brainstem. In cyclostomes and possibly jawed fishes, this may comprise elements of the trigeminal nucleus, though in the latter group RRG neurons have been located in the reticular formation. In air-breathing fishes and amphibians, there may be separate RRG for gill and lung ventilation. There is some evidence for multiple RRG in reptiles. Both amphibians and reptiles show episodic breathing patterns that may be centrally generated, though they do respond to changes in oxygen supply. Fish and larval amphibians have chemoreceptors sensitive to oxygen partial pressure located on the gills. Hypoxia induces increased ventilation and a reflex bradycardia and may trigger aquatic surface respiration or air-breathing, though these latter activities also respond to behavioural cues. Adult amphibians and reptiles have peripheral chemoreceptors located on the carotid arteries and central chemoreceptors sensitive to blood carbon dioxide levels. Lung perfusion may be regulated by cardiac shunting and lung ventilation stimulates lung stretch receptors.

  10. Amphibians and reptiles of the state of Coahuila, Mexico, with comparison with adjoining states

    OpenAIRE

    Lemos-Espinal, Julio A.; Smith, Geoffrey R.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract We compiled a checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of the state of Coahuila, Mexico. The list comprises 133 species (24 amphibians, 109 reptiles), representing 27 families (9 amphibians, 18 reptiles) and 65 genera (16 amphibians, 49 reptiles). Coahuila has a high richness of lizards in the genus Sceloporus . Coahuila has relatively few state endemics, but has several regional endemics. Overlap in the herpetofauna of Coahuila and bordering states is fairly extensive. Of the 132 sp...

  11. A Place to Call Home: Amphibian Use of Created and Restored Wetlands

    OpenAIRE

    Brown, Donald J.; Street, Garrett M.; Nairn, Robert W.; Forstner, Michael R. J.

    2012-01-01

    Loss and degradation of wetland habitats are major contributing factors to the global decline of amphibians. Creation and restoration of wetlands could be a valuable tool for increasing local amphibian species richness and abundance. We synthesized the peer-reviewed literature addressing amphibian use of created and restored wetlands, focusing on aquatic habitat, upland habitat, and wetland connectivity and configuration. Amphibian species richness or abundance at created and restored wetland...

  12. Lessons from Embryos: Haeckel's Embryo Drawings, Evolution, and Secondary Biology Textbooks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wellner, Karen L.

    2014-01-01

    In 1997, developmental biologist Michael Richardson compared his research team's embryo photographs to Ernst Haeckel's 1874 embryo drawings and called Haeckel's work "noncredible". "Science" soon published "Haeckel's Embryos: Fraud Rediscovered," and Richardson's comments further reinvigorated criticism of Haeckel by…

  13. New distributional records of amphibians and reptiles from northern Oaxaca, México

    OpenAIRE

    González, Cynthia; Brenis, Ángel; Arrazola, Teresa

    2014-01-01

    During 2011 we performed a microregional inventory of amphibians and reptiles from the south-central region of the Papaloapan basin in northern Oaxaca. We recorded one amphibian species previously unknown in the state, and recorded range extensions for two additional amphibian and four reptile species. This increases the known herpetofauna of Oaxaca to 378 species.

  14. Does fire affect amphibians and reptiles in eastern U.S. oak forests?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rochelle B. Renken

    2006-01-01

    Current information about the effect of fire on amphibians and reptiles in oak forests of the Eastern and Central United States is reviewed. Current data suggest that fire results in little direct mortality of amphibians and reptiles. Fire has no effect on overall amphibian abundance, diversity, and number of species in comparisons of burned and unburned plots, though...

  15. Non-native fish introductions and the reversibility of amphibian declines in the Sierra Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roland A. Knapp

    2004-01-01

    Amphibians are declining worldwide for a variety of reasons, including habitat alteration, introduction of non-native species, disease, climate change, and environmental contaminants. Amphibians often play important roles in structuring ecosystems, and, as a result, amphibian population declines or extinctions are likely to affect other trophic levels (Matthews and...

  16. Amphibians of the Simbruini Mountains (Latium, Central Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pierangelo Crucitti

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Little attention has been paid to the herpetological fauna of the Simbruini Mountains Regional Park, Latium (Central Italy. In this study, we surveyed 50 sites in the course of about ten years of field research, especially during the period 2005-2008. Nine amphibian species, four Caudata and five Anura, 60.0% out of the 15 amphibian species so far observed in Latium, were discovered in the protected area: Salamandra salamandra, Salamandrina perspicillata, Lissotriton vulgaris, Triturus carnifex, Bombina pachypus, Bufo balearicus, Bufo bufo, Rana dalmatina, Rana italica. Physiography of sites has been detailed together with potential threatening patterns. For each species the following topics have been discussed; ecology of sites, altitudinal distribution, phenology, sintopy. Salamandra salamandra and Bombina pachypus are at higher risk. The importance of the maintenance of artificial/natural water bodies for the conservation management of amphibian population of this territory is discussed.

  17. Global Amphibian Extinction Risk Assessment for the Panzootic Chytrid Fungus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew C. Fisher

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Species are being lost at increasing rates due to anthropogenic effects, leading to the recognition that we are witnessing the onset of a sixth mass extinction. Emerging infectious disease has been shown to increase species loss and any attempts to reduce extinction rates need to squarely confront this challenge. Here, we develop a procedure for identifying amphibian species that are most at risk from the effects of chytridiomycosis by combining spatial analyses of key host life-history variables with the pathogen's predicted distribution. We apply our rule set to the known global diversity of amphibians in order to prioritize pecies that are most at risk of loss from disease emergence. This risk assessment shows where limited conservation funds are best deployed in order to prevent further loss of species by enabling ex situ amphibian salvage operations and focusing any potential disease mitigation projects.

  18. Competency of reptiles and amphibians for eastern equine encephalitis virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Gregory; Ottendorfer, Christy; Graham, Sean; Unnasch, Thomas R

    2011-09-01

    Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) is endemic throughout most of the eastern United States. Although it is transmitted year round in Florida, transmission elsewhere is seasonal. The mechanism that enables EEEV to overwinter in seasonal foci remains obscure. In previous field studies, early season EEEV activity was detected in mosquito species that feed primarily upon ectothermic hosts, suggesting that reptiles and amphibians might represent overwintering reservoir hosts for EEEV. To determine if this might be possible, two commonly fed upon amphibian and reptile species were evaluated as hosts for the North American subtype I strain of EEEV. Neither amphibian species was a competent host. However, circulating viremias were detected in both reptile species examined. Hibernating infected garter snakes remained viremic after exiting hibernation. These data suggest that snakes may represent an overwintering host for North American EEEV.

  19. Monozygotic Triplets and Dizygotic Twins following Transfer of Three Poor-Quality Cleavage Stage Embryos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reshef Tal

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Assisted reproductive technology has been linked to the increased incidence of monozygotic twinning. It is of clinical importance due to the increased risk of complications in multiple pregnancies in general and in monozygotic twins in particular. Case. A 29-year-old female, nulligravida underwent her first IVF cycle. Three poor-quality cleavage stage embryos were transferred resulting in monochorionic triamniotic triplets and dichorionic diamniotic twins. Selective embryo reduction was performed at 12 weeks leaving dichorionic twins. The patient underwent emergency cesarean section due to preterm labor and nonreassuring fetal heart tracing at 30 weeks of gestation. Conclusion. Our case emphasizes that even embryos with significant morphological abnormalities should be considered viable and the possibility of simultaneous spontaneous embryo splitting must be factored into determining number of embryos to transfer.

  20. Nickel affects gill and muscle development in oriental fire-bellied toad (Bombina orientalis) embryos

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Park, Chan Jin; Song, Sang Ha; Kim, Dae Han; Gye, Myung Chan, E-mail: mcgye@hanyang.ac.kr

    2017-01-15

    Highlights: • Nickel inhibited the development of external gill in B. orientalis embryos. • The 168 h LC{sub 50} and EC{sub 50} values of nickel were 33.8 and 5.4 μM, respectively, in embryos. • Nickel induced abnormal tail development of embryos. • NF stage 26–31 was the most sensitive window for embryos to nickel exposure. • Nickel affected the calcium-dependent myogenic gene expression in embryos. - Abstract: The developmental toxicity of nickel was examined in the embryos of Bombina orientalis, a common amphibian in Korea. Based on a standard frog embryo teratogenesis assay, the LC{sub 50} and EC{sub 50} for malformation of nickel after 168 h of treatment were 33.8 μM and 5.4 μM, respectively. At a lethal concentration (100 μM), nickel treatment decreased the space between gill filaments and caused epithelial swelling and abnormal fusion of gill filaments. These findings suggest that nickel affects the functional development of gills, leading to embryonic death. At sublethal concentrations (1–10 μM), nickel produced multiple embryonic abnormalities, including bent tail and tail dysplasia. At 10 μM, nickel significantly decreased tail length and tail muscle fiber density in tadpoles, indicating inhibition of myogenic differentiation. Before hatching, the pre-muscular response to muscular response stages (stages 26–31) were the most sensitive period to nickel with respect to tail muscle development. During these stages, MyoD mRNA was upregulated, whereas myogenic regulatory factor 4 mRNA was downregulated by 0.1 μM nickel. Calcium-dependent kinase activities in muscular response stage embryos were significantly decreased by nickel, whereas these activities were restored by exogenous calcium. In tadpoles, 10 μM nickel significantly decreased the expression of the myosin heavy chain and the 12/101 muscle marker protein in the tail. Expression was restored by exogenous calcium. Our results indicate that nickel affects muscle development by

  1. The axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), a neotenic amphibian, expresses functional thyroid hormone receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safi, Rachid; Bertrand, Stéphanie; Marchand, Oriane; Duffraisse, Marilyne; de Luze, Amaury; Vanacker, Jean-Marc; Maraninchi, Marie; Margotat, Alain; Demeneix, Barbara; Laudet, Vincent

    2004-02-01

    Neotenic amphibians such as the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) are often unable to undergo metamorphosis under natural conditions. It is thought that neoteny represents a deviation from the standard course of amphibian ontogeny, affecting the thyroid axis at different levels from the central nervous system to peripheral organs. Thyroid hormone receptors (TRs) that bind the thyroid hormone (TH) T(3) have been described in axolotl. However, the full sequences of TR were needed to better characterize the TH response and to be able to assess their functional capacity at the molecular level. We report that each of the alpha and beta axolotl TRs bind both DNA and TH, and they activate transcription in response to TH in a mammalian cell-based transient transfection assay. Moreover, both TRs are expressed in axolotl tissues. Interestingly, each TR gene generates alternatively spliced isoforms, harboring partial or total deletions of the ligand-binding domain, which are expressed in vivo. Further, we found that in the axolotl, TH regulates the expression of stromelysin 3 and collagenase 3, which are TH target genes in Xenopus. Taken together, these results suggest that axolotl TRs are functional and that the molecular basis of neoteny in the axolotl is not linked to a major defect in TH response in peripheral tissues.

  2. Detrimental effect of temperature increase on the fitness of an amphibian ( Lissotriton helveticus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galloy, Valérie; Denoël, Mathieu

    2010-03-01

    Increases of global temperatures have resulted in measurable shifts in the distribution, phenology and survival of some plant and animal species. However, the mechanisms showing links between global warming and biodiversity declines remain unclear. The aim of this study was to examine whether a key parameter of fitness, i.e. offspring number, could be affected by a temperature increase. To this end, we compared egg-laying traits at naturally occurring temperatures (14 °C, 18 °C and 22 °C) in palmate newts, Lissotriton helveticus. Our study suggests that water temperature increase has a negative effect on the fecundity of female newts. Females lay half as many eggs at high temperatures as they do at low temperatures, which results in a lower number of hatchlings. This study shows that global warming would affect amphibian populations. It complements other studies in pointing out that changes in phenology may not be driven only by warmer earlier temperatures but also by counter-selection during late-breeding, particularly in long-term breeders such as newts. More experimental studies should be carried out to understand the complex consequences of global warming and the proximate mechanisms of amphibian decline.

  3. Patterns and biases in climate change research on amphibians and reptiles: a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winter, Maiken; Fiedler, Wolfgang; Hochachka, Wesley M; Koehncke, Arnulf; Meiri, Shai; De la Riva, Ignacio

    2016-09-01

    Climate change probably has severe impacts on animal populations, but demonstrating a causal link can be difficult because of potential influences by additional factors. Assessing global impacts of climate change effects may also be hampered by narrow taxonomic and geographical research foci. We review studies on the effects of climate change on populations of amphibians and reptiles to assess climate change effects and potential biases associated with the body of work that has been conducted within the last decade. We use data from 104 studies regarding the effect of climate on 313 species, from 464 species-study combinations. Climate change effects were reported in 65% of studies. Climate change was identified as causing population declines or range restrictions in half of the cases. The probability of identifying an effect of climate change varied among regions, taxa and research methods. Climatic effects were equally prevalent in studies exclusively investigating climate factors (more than 50% of studies) and in studies including additional factors, thus bolstering confidence in the results of studies exclusively examining effects of climate change. Our analyses reveal biases with respect to geography, taxonomy and research question, making global conclusions impossible. Additional research should focus on under-represented regions, taxa and questions. Conservation and climate policy should consider the documented harm climate change causes reptiles and amphibians.

  4. Embryo density may affect embryo quality during in vitro culture in a microwell group culture dish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehner, Adam; Kaszas, Zita; Murber, Akos; Rigo, Janos; Urbancsek, Janos; Fancsovits, Peter

    2017-08-01

    Culturing embryos in groups is a common practice in mammalian embryology. Since the introduction of different microwell dishes, it is possible to identify oocytes or embryos individually. As embryo density (embryo-to-volume ratio) may affect the development and viability of the embryos, the purpose of this study was to assess the effect of different embryo densities on embryo quality. Data of 1337 embryos from 228 in vitro fertilization treatment cycles were retrospectively analyzed. Embryos were cultured in a 25 μl microdrop in a microwell group culture dish containing 9 microwells. Three density groups were defined: Group 1 with 2-4 (6.3-12.5 μl/embryo), Group 2 with 5-6 (4.2-5.0 μl/embryo), and Group 3 with 7-9 (2.8-3.6 μl/embryo) embryos. Proportion of good quality embryos was higher in Group 2 on both days (D2: 18.9 vs. 31.5 vs. 24.7%; p Culturing 5-6 embryos together in a culture volume of 25 μl may benefit embryo quality. As low egg number, position, and distance of the embryos may influence embryo quality, results should be interpreted with caution.

  5. Ticks infesting amphibians and reptiles in Pernambuco, Northeastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Oliveira-Filho, Edmilson F; Soares, Fábio Angelo M; Souza, Bruno O F; Valença, Raul Baltazar P; Sá, Fabrício B

    2008-01-01

    Ticks infesting amphibians and reptiles in the State of Pernambuco are reviewed, based on the current literature and new collections recently carried out by the authors. To date, three tick species have been found on amphibians and reptiles in Pernambuco. Amblyomma fuscum appears to be exclusively associated with Boa constrictor, its type host. Amblyomma rotundatum has a relatively low host-specificity, being found on toads, snakes, and iguana. Amblyomma dissimile has been found on a lizard and also small mammals (i.e., rodents and marsupials). New tick-host associations and locality records are given.

  6. Current perspectives on the androgen 5 alpha-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and 5 alpha-reductases in teleost fishes and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martyniuk, Christopher J; Bissegger, Sonja; Langlois, Valérie S

    2013-12-01

    The androgen 5 alpha-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a steroidogenic metabolite that has received little attention in non-mammalian species. DHT is produced by the reduction of the double-bond of testosterone by a group of enzymes called 5 alpha-reductases of which there can be multiple isoforms (i.e., srd5a1, srd5a2, and srd5a3). Data from amphibians suggest that the expression of the srd5a genes occurs in early development, and continues until adulthood; however insufficient data exist in fish species, where DHT is thought to be relatively biologically inactive. Here, we demonstrate that fathead minnow (FHM; Pimephales promelas) developing embryos and adults express srd5a enzyme isoforms. During FHM embryogenesis, both srd5a1 and srd5a3 mRNA levels were significantly correlated in expression levels while srd5a2 showed a more unique pattern of expression. In adult FHMs, males had significantly higher levels of srd5a2 in the liver and gonad compared to females. In the male and female liver, transcript levels for srd5a2 were more abundant compared to srd5a1 and srd5a3, suggesting a prominent role for srd5a2 in this tissue. Interestingly, the ovary expressed higher mRNA levels of srd5a3 than the testis. Thus, data suggest that srd5a isoforms can show sexually dimorphic expression patterns in fish. We also conducted a literature review of the biological effects observed in embryonic and adult fish and amphibians after treatments with DHT and DHT-related compounds. Treatments with DHT in teleost fishes and amphibians have resulted in unexpected biological responses that are characteristic of both androgens and anti-androgens. For example, in fish DHT can induce vitellogenin in vitro from male and female hepatocytes and can increase 17β-estradiol production from the teleost ovary. We propose, that to generate further understanding of the roles of DHT in non-mammals, studies are needed that (1) address how DHT is synthesized within tissues of fish and amphibians; (2

  7. Disease risk in temperate amphibian populations is higher at closed-canopy sites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C Guilherme Becker

    Full Text Available Habitat loss and chytridiomycosis (a disease caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis - Bd are major drivers of amphibian declines worldwide. Habitat loss regulates host-pathogen interactions by altering biotic and abiotic factors directly linked to both host and pathogen fitness. Therefore, studies investigating the links between natural vegetation and chytridiomycosis require integrative approaches to control for the multitude of possible interactions of biological and environmental variables in spatial epidemiology. In this study, we quantified Bd infection dynamics across a gradient of natural vegetation and microclimates, looking for causal associations between vegetation cover, multiple microclimatic variables, and pathogen prevalence and infection intensity. To minimize the effects of host diversity in our analyses, we sampled amphibian populations in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State, a region with relatively high single-host dominance. We sampled permanent ponds for anurans, focusing on populations of the habitat generalist frog Lithobates clamitans, and recorded various biotic and abiotic factors that potentially affect host-pathogen interactions: natural vegetation, canopy density, water temperature, and host population and community attributes. We screened for important explanatory variables of Bd infections and used path analyses to statistically test for the strength of cascading effects linking vegetation cover, microclimate, and Bd parameters. We found that canopy density, natural vegetation, and daily average water temperature were the best predictors of Bd. High canopy density resulted in lower water temperature, which in turn predicted higher Bd prevalence and infection intensity. Our results confirm that microclimatic shifts arising from changes in natural vegetation play an important role in Bd spatial epidemiology, with areas of closed canopy favoring Bd. Given increasing rates of anthropogenic

  8. Feminists on the inalienability of human embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLeod, Carolyn; Baylis, Francoise

    2006-01-01

    The feminist literature against the commodification of embryos in human embryo research includes an argument to the effect that embryos are "intimately connected" to persons, or morally inalienable from them. We explore why embryos might be inalienable to persons and why feminists might find this view appealing. But, ultimately, as feminists, we reject this view because it is inconsistent with full respect for women's reproductive autonomy and with a feminist conception of persons as relational, embodied beings. Overall, feminists should avoid claims about embryos' being inalienable to persons in arguments for or against the commodification of human embryos.

  9. Red List of amphibians and reptiles of the Wadden Sea area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fog, K.; Podloucky, R.; Dierking, U.; Stumpel, A. H. P.

    1996-10-01

    In the Wadden Sea, in total, 8 species of amphibians and 4 species of reptiles are threatened in at least one subregion. Of these, 7 species of amphibians and all 4 species of reptiles are threatened in the entire area and are therefore placed on the trilateral Red List. 1 species of the listed reptiles is (probably) extinct in the entire Wadden Sea area. The status of 1 species of amphibians is endangered, the status of (probably) 4 species of amphibians and 3 species of reptiles are vulnerable and of 2 species of amphibians susceptible.

  10. Estimating Herd Immunity to Amphibian Chytridiomycosis in Madagascar Based on the Defensive Function of Amphibian Skin Bacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Molly C. Bletz

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available For decades, Amphibians have been globally threatened by the still expanding infectious disease, chytridiomycosis. Madagascar is an amphibian biodiversity hotspot where Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd has only recently been detected. While no Bd-associated population declines have been reported, the risk of declines is high when invasive virulent lineages become involved. Cutaneous bacteria contribute to host innate immunity by providing defense against pathogens for numerous animals, including amphibians. Little is known, however, about the cutaneous bacterial residents of Malagasy amphibians and the functional capacity they have against Bd. We cultured 3179 skin bacterial isolates from over 90 frog species across Madagascar, identified them via Sanger sequencing of approximately 700 bp of the 16S rRNA gene, and characterized their functional capacity against Bd. A subset of isolates was also tested against multiple Bd genotypes. In addition, we applied the concept of herd immunity to estimate Bd-associated risk for amphibian communities across Madagascar based on bacterial antifungal activity. We found that multiple bacterial isolates (39% of all isolates cultured from the skin of Malagasy frogs were able to inhibit Bd. Mean inhibition was weakly correlated with bacterial phylogeny, and certain taxonomic groups appear to have a high proportion of inhibitory isolates, such as the Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonadaceae, and Xanthamonadaceae (84, 80, and 75% respectively. Functional capacity of bacteria against Bd varied among Bd genotypes; however, there were some bacteria that showed broad spectrum inhibition against all tested Bd genotypes, suggesting that these bacteria would be good candidates for probiotic therapies. We estimated Bd-associated risk for sampled amphibian communities based on the concept of herd immunity. Multiple amphibian communities, including those in the amphibian diversity hotspots, Andasibe and Ranomafana, were

  11. Estimating Herd Immunity to Amphibian Chytridiomycosis in Madagascar Based on the Defensive Function of Amphibian Skin Bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bletz, Molly C; Myers, Jillian; Woodhams, Douglas C; Rabemananjara, Falitiana C E; Rakotonirina, Angela; Weldon, Che; Edmonds, Devin; Vences, Miguel; Harris, Reid N

    2017-01-01

    For decades, Amphibians have been globally threatened by the still expanding infectious disease, chytridiomycosis. Madagascar is an amphibian biodiversity hotspot where Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis ( Bd ) has only recently been detected. While no Bd -associated population declines have been reported, the risk of declines is high when invasive virulent lineages become involved. Cutaneous bacteria contribute to host innate immunity by providing defense against pathogens for numerous animals, including amphibians. Little is known, however, about the cutaneous bacterial residents of Malagasy amphibians and the functional capacity they have against Bd . We cultured 3179 skin bacterial isolates from over 90 frog species across Madagascar, identified them via Sanger sequencing of approximately 700 bp of the 16S rRNA gene, and characterized their functional capacity against Bd . A subset of isolates was also tested against multiple Bd genotypes. In addition, we applied the concept of herd immunity to estimate Bd -associated risk for amphibian communities across Madagascar based on bacterial antifungal activity. We found that multiple bacterial isolates (39% of all isolates) cultured from the skin of Malagasy frogs were able to inhibit Bd . Mean inhibition was weakly correlated with bacterial phylogeny, and certain taxonomic groups appear to have a high proportion of inhibitory isolates, such as the Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonadaceae, and Xanthamonadaceae (84, 80, and 75% respectively). Functional capacity of bacteria against Bd varied among Bd genotypes; however, there were some bacteria that showed broad spectrum inhibition against all tested Bd genotypes, suggesting that these bacteria would be good candidates for probiotic therapies. We estimated Bd -associated risk for sampled amphibian communities based on the concept of herd immunity. Multiple amphibian communities, including those in the amphibian diversity hotspots, Andasibe and Ranomafana, were estimated to be

  12. "Something of the two of us". The emotionally loaded embryo disposition decision making of patients who view their embryo as a symbol of their relationship.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Provoost, Veerle; Pennings, Guido; De Sutter, Petra; Dhont, Marc

    2012-06-01

    This paper describes a recently identified conception of the cryopreserved embryo as a symbol of one's relationship (SOR). A questionnaire was sent together with the embryo disposition decision (EDD) form to patients for whom embryos were cryopreserved at the department in Ghent, Belgium. We collected data on patient characteristics, their EDD attitudes and the reasons for their willingness or unwillingness to consider each of the disposition options (donation to others for reproduction, donation for science and discarding). The SOR view was found more often in patients who were less educated and whose last treatment was less than 3 years ago. Viewing the embryo as a SOR was not linked to more difficult decision making, but to more emotionally loaded decision making. In particular, patients with this view more often reported feelings of grief. This view was also linked to the outcome of the decision making process. The conception of the embryo as a SOR is part of an affective attitude towards embryos that has an impact on patients' disposition decisions. Alongside patients' values and principles, it is important that counselors acknowledge and clarify patients' affective conceptualizations.

  13. Streamside zone width and amphibian and reptile abundance

    Science.gov (United States)

    D. Craig Rudolph; James G. Dickson

    1990-01-01

    Many natural pine-hardwood stands in the southeastern United States are being converted to pine plantations with short rotations. This forest conversion alters vertebrate communities, particularly amphibians and reptiles (Bennett et al., 1980; Rakowitz, 1983). One practice in stand conversion to accommodate vertebrate species is the retention of strips of unharvested,...

  14. Using Reptile and Amphibian Activities in the Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomasek, Terry; Matthews, Catherine E.

    2008-01-01

    Reptiles and amphibians are a diverse and interesting group of organisms. The four activities described in this article take students' curiosity into the realm of scientific understanding. The activities involve the concepts of species identification; animal adaptations, communication, and habitat; and conservation. (Contains 1 table and 2…

  15. Diversity, biogeography and global flows of alien amphibians and reptiles

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Capinha, C.; Seebens, H.; Cassey, P.; García-Díaz, P.; Lenzner, B.; Mang, T.; Moser, D.; Pyšek, Petr; Rödder, D.; Scalera, R.; Winter, M.; Dullinger, S.; Essl, F.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 23, č. 11 (2017), s. 1313-1322 ISSN 1366-9516 Grant - others:AV ČR(CZ) AP1002 Program:Akademická prémie - Praemium Academiae Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : amphibians and reptiles * invasions * global distribution Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Biodiversity conservation Impact factor: 4.391, year: 2016

  16. Testing the impact of miniaturization on phylogeny: Paleozoic dissorophoid amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fröbisch, Nadia B; Schoch, Rainer R

    2009-06-01

    Among the diverse clade of Paleozoic dissorophoid amphibians, the small, terrestrial amphibamids and the neotenic branchiosaurids have frequently been suggested as possible antecedents of either all or some of the modern amphibian clades. Classically, amphibamids and branchiosaurids have been considered to represent distinct, but closely related clades within dissorophoids, but despite their importance for the controversial lissamphibian origins, a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of small dissorophoids has thus far not been attempted. On the basis of an integrated data set, the relationships of amphibamids and branchiosaurids were analyzed using parsimony and Bayesian approaches. Both groups represent miniaturized forms and it was tested whether similar developmental pathways, associated with miniaturization, lead to an artificial close relationship of branchiosaurids and amphibamids. Moreover, the fit of the resulting tree topologies to the distribution of fossil taxa in the stratigraphic rock record was assessed as an additional source of information. The results show that characters associated with a miniaturized morphology are not responsible for the close clustering of branchiosaurids and amphibamids. Instead, all analyses invariably demonstrate a monophyletic clade of branchiosaurids highly nested within derived amphibamids, indicating that branchiosaurids represent a group of secondarily neotenic amphibamid dissorophoids. This understanding of the phylogenetic relationships of small dissorophoid amphibians provides a new framework for the discussion of their evolutionary history and the evolution of characters shared by branchiosaurids and/or amphibamids with modern amphibian taxa.

  17. A test of the substitution-habitat hypothesis in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Abraín, Alejandro; Galán, Pedro

    2017-12-08

    Most examples that support the substitution-habitat hypothesis (human-made habitats act as substitutes of original habitat) deal with birds and mammals. We tested this hypothesis in 14 amphibians by using percentage occupancy as a proxy of habitat quality (i.e., higher occupancy percentages indicate higher quality). We classified water body types as original habitat (no or little human influence) depending on anatomical, behavioral, or physiological adaptations of each amphibian species. Ten species had relatively high probabilities (0.16-0.28) of occurrence in original habitat, moderate probability of occurrence in substitution habitats (0.11-0.14), and low probability of occurrence in refuge habitats (0.05-0.08). Thus, the substitution-habitat hypothesis only partially applies to amphibians because the low occupancy of refuges could be due to the negligible human persecution of this group (indicating good conservation status). However, low occupancy of refuges could also be due to low tolerance of refuge conditions, which could have led to selective extinction or colonization problems due to poor dispersal capabilities. That original habitats had the highest probabilities of occupancy suggests amphibians have a good conservation status in the region. They also appeared highly adaptable to anthropogenic substitution habitats. © 2017 Society for Conservation Biology.

  18. Fish kidney cells show higher tolerance to hyperosmolality than amphibian

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lang Gui

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available In contrast to fish, amphibians inhabit both aquatic and terrestrial environments. To better understand osmoregulation in fish and amphibian, we have investigated the morphological changes in kidney cells to osmotic stress. To address this, kidney cell line isolated from the freshwater grass carp (CIK and Chinese giant salamander (GSK were challenged to different mediums with distinct osmotic pressures (100, 300 and 700 mOsm. Morphological alterations of the fish and amphibian cells were compared by optical and electron microscopy. Following hyposmotic treatment (100 mOsm, both CIK and GSK cells became unhealthy and show condensed chromatin, swollen mitochondria and cytoplasmic vacuole. Meanwhile, after hyperosmotic treatment (700 mOsm, shrunken CIK cells with multipolar shape, pale or lightly stained cytoplasm, condensed chromatin, vacuoles and swollen mitochondria were detected. GSK cells were seriously damaged and most were completely lysed. The results suggest that fish kidney cells show a higher degree of tolerance to hyperosmoticity by comparing to amphibians and provide novel insights on the osmoregulatory capacity and adaptability of kidney cells between the two animal groups.

  19. Toxicity of road salt to Nova Scotia amphibians

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Collins, Sara J.; Russell, Ronald W.

    2009-01-01

    The deposition of chemical pollutants into roadside wetlands from runoff is a current environmental concern. In northern latitudes, a major pollutant in runoff water is salt (NaCl), used as de-icing agents. In this study, 26 roadside ponds were surveyed for amphibian species richness and chloride concentration. Acute toxicity tests (LC 50 ) were performed on five locally common amphibian species using a range of environmentally significant NaCl concentrations. Field surveys indicated that spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) and wood frogs (Rana sylvatica) did not occupy high chloride ponds. American toads (Bufo americanus) showed no pond preference based on chloride concentration. Acute toxicity tests showed spotted salamanders and wood frogs were most sensitive to chloride, and American toads were the least. Spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer) and green frogs (Rana clamitans) showed intermediate sensitivities. We concluded that chloride concentrations in ponds due to application of de-icing salts, influenced community structure by excluding salt intolerant species. - Salt toxicity is presented as a mechanism affecting the distribution of amphibians and structure of amphibian communities in roadside wetlands

  20. Engineering a future for amphibians under a changing climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noreen Parks; Deanna H. Olson

    2011-01-01

    Climate variation exacerbates threats to amphibians such as disease and habitat loss. Yet, by and large existing species- and land-management plans give little if any consideration to climate impacts. Moreover, many management actions that do address emerging climate patterns have yet to be evaluated for feasibility and effectiveness. To help address these needs,...

  1. Agrochemicals increase trematode infections in a declining amphibian species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohr, Jason R; Schotthoefer, Anna M; Raffel, Thomas R; Carrick, Hunter J; Halstead, Neal; Hoverman, Jason T; Johnson, Catherine M; Johnson, Lucinda B; Lieske, Camilla; Piwoni, Marvin D; Schoff, Patrick K; Beasley, Val R

    2008-10-30

    Global amphibian declines have often been attributed to disease, but ignorance of the relative importance and mode of action of potential drivers of infection has made it difficult to develop effective remediation. In a field study, here we show that the widely used herbicide, atrazine, was the best predictor (out of more than 240 plausible candidates) of the abundance of larval trematodes (parasitic flatworms) in the declining northern leopard frog Rana pipiens. The effects of atrazine were consistent across trematode taxa. The combination of atrazine and phosphate--principal agrochemicals in global corn and sorghum production--accounted for 74% of the variation in the abundance of these often debilitating larval trematodes (atrazine alone accounted for 51%). Analysis of field data supported a causal mechanism whereby both agrochemicals increase exposure and susceptibility to larval trematodes by augmenting snail intermediate hosts and suppressing amphibian immunity. A mesocosm experiment demonstrated that, relative to control tanks, atrazine tanks had immunosuppressed tadpoles, had significantly more attached algae and snails, and had tadpoles with elevated trematode loads, further supporting a causal relationship between atrazine and elevated trematode infections in amphibians. These results raise concerns about the role of atrazine and phosphate in amphibian declines, and illustrate the value of quantifying the relative importance of several possible drivers of disease risk while determining the mechanisms by which they facilitate disease emergence.

  2. Parasitic infections of amphibians in the Pendjari Biosphere ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Parasitic infections of amphibians in the Pendjari Biosphere Reserve, Benin. ... Results obtained show the possible influence of land-use pattern on parasite distribution. For example, the ... Furthermore, this infection pattern may be indicative of an immunosuppressive effect of pesticides on the frogs of the Agricultural Zone.

  3. Preliminary checklist of amphibians and reptiles from Baramita, Guyana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, R.P.; MacCulloch, R.D.

    2012-01-01

    We provide an initial checklist of the herpetofauna of Baramita, a lowland rainforest site in the Northwest Region of Guyana. Twenty-five amphibian and 28 reptile species were collected during two separate dry-season visits. New country records for two species of snakes are documented, contributing to the knowledge on the incompletely known herpetofauna of Guyana.

  4. Quaternary climate changes explain diversity among reptiles and amphibians

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bastos Araujo, Miguel; Nogués-Bravo, David; Diniz-Filho, Alexandre F.

    2008-01-01

    debated without reaching consensus. Here, we test the proposition that European species richness of reptiles and amphibians is driven by climate changes in the Quaternary. We find that climate stability between the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and the present day is a better predictor of species richness...

  5. Emerging contaminants and their potential effects on amphibians and reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serious threats to the health and sustainability of global amphibian populations have been well documented over the last few decades. Encroachment upon and destruction of primary habitat is the most critical threat, but some species have disappeared while their habitat remains. Additional stressor...

  6. Factors contributing to amphibian road mortality in a wetland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haijun GU, Qiang DAI, Qian WANG, Yuezhao WANG

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available To understand road characteristics and landscape features associated with high road mortality of amphibians in Zoige Wetland National Nature Reserve, we surveyed road mortality along four major roads after rainfall in May and September 2007. Road mortality of three species, Rana kukunoris, Nanorana pleskei and Bufo minshanicus, was surveyed across 225 transects (115 in May and 110 in September. Transects were 100 m long and repeated every two kilometers along the four major roads. We used model averaging to assess factors that might determine amphibian road mortality. We recorded an average of 24.6 amphibian road mortalities per kilometer in May and 19.2 in September. Among road characteristics, road width was positively associated with road morality for R. kukunori and B. minshanicus. Traffic volume also increased the road mortality of B. minshanicus in September. Of the landscape features measured, area proportions of three types of grassland (wet, mesic and dry within 1 km of the roads, particularly that of wet grassland, significantly increased road mortality for R. kukunori and total mortality across all three species. To most effectively reduce road mortality of amphibians in the Zoige wetlands, we suggest better road design such as avoiding wet grasslands, minimizing road width, underground passes and traffic control measures. The implementation of public transit in the area would reduce traffic volume, and hence mortality [Current Zoology 57 (6: 768–774, 2011].

  7. Effects of Terrestrial Buffer Zones on Amphibians on Golf Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puglis, Holly J.; Boone, Michelle D.

    2012-01-01

    A major cause of amphibian declines worldwide is habitat destruction or alteration. Public green spaces, such as golf courses and parks, could serve as safe havens to curb the effects of habitat loss if managed in ways to bolster local amphibian communities. We reared larval Blanchard's cricket frogs (Acris blanchardi) and green frogs (Rana clamitans) in golf course ponds with and without 1 m terrestrial buffer zones, and released marked cricket frog metamorphs at the golf course ponds they were reared in. Larval survival of both species was affected by the presence of a buffer zone, with increased survival for cricket frogs and decreased survival for green frogs when reared in ponds with buffer zones. No marked cricket frog juveniles were recovered at any golf course pond in the following year, suggesting that most animals died or migrated. In a separate study, we released cricket frogs in a terrestrial pen and allowed them to choose between mown and unmown grass. Cricket frogs had a greater probability of using unmown versus mown grass. Our results suggest that incorporating buffer zones around ponds can offer suitable habitat for some amphibian species and can improve the quality of the aquatic environment for some sensitive local amphibians. PMID:22761833

  8. Effects of pollution on freshwater fish and amphibians

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pickering, Q.H.; Hunt, E.P.; Phipps, G.L.; Roush, T.H.; Smith, W.E.; Spehar, D.L.; Stephan, C.E.; Tanner, D.K.

    1983-01-01

    A literature review is presented dealing with studies on the effects of pollution on freshwater fish and amphibians. The pollutants studied included acid mine drainage, PCBs, cadmium, lead, naphthalene, plutonium, in addition to several studies dealing with pH effects

  9. Salmonella Infections Caused by Reptiles and Amphibians in Childcare Centers

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2013-02-07

    Dr. Neil Vora, an EIS Officer at CDC, discusses his article about Salmonella infections in childcare centers caused by reptiles and amphibians.  Created: 2/7/2013 by National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID).   Date Released: 2/7/2013.

  10. Engineering a future for amphibians under climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luke P. Shoo; Deanna H. Olson; Sarah K. McMenamin; Kris A. Murray; Monique VanSluys; Maureen A. Donnelly; Danial Stratford; Juhani Terhivuo; Andres Merino-Viteri; Sarah M. Herbert; Phillip J. Bishop; Paul Stephen Corn; Liz Dovey; Richard A. Griffiths; Katrin Lowe; Michael Mahony; Hamish McCallum; Jonathan D. Shuker; Clay Simpkins; Lee F. Skerratt; Stephen E. Williams; Jean-Marc Hero

    2011-01-01

    Altered global climates in the 21st century pose serious threats for biological systems and practical actions are needed to mount a response for species at risk. We identify management actions from across the world and from diverse disciplines that are applicable to minimizing loss of amphibian biodiversity under climate change. Actions were...

  11. Comment on "Habitat split and the global decline of amphibians".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cannatella, David C

    2008-05-16

    Becker et al. (Reports, 14 December 2007, p. 1775) reported that forest amphibians with terrestrial development are less susceptible to the effects of habitat degradation than those with aquatic larvae. However, analysis with more appropriate statistical methods suggests there is no evidence for a difference between aquatic-reproducing and terrestrial-reproducing species.

  12. AMPHIBIAN DECLINE, ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION AND LOCAL POPULATION ADAPTATION

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amphibian population declines have been noted on both local and global scales. Causes for these declines are unknown although many hypotheses have been offered. In areas adjacent to human development, loss of habitat is a fairly well accepted cause. However in isolated, seemingl...

  13. Measuring the meltdown: drivers of global amphibian extinction and decline.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Navjot S Sodhi

    Full Text Available Habitat loss, climate change, over-exploitation, disease and other factors have been hypothesised in the global decline of amphibian biodiversity. However, the relative importance of and synergies among different drivers are still poorly understood. We present the largest global analysis of roughly 45% of known amphibians (2,583 species to quantify the influences of life history, climate, human density and habitat loss on declines and extinction risk. Multi-model Bayesian inference reveals that large amphibian species with small geographic range and pronounced seasonality in temperature and precipitation are most likely to be Red-Listed by IUCN. Elevated habitat loss and human densities are also correlated with high threat risk. Range size, habitat loss and more extreme seasonality in precipitation contributed to decline risk in the 2,454 species that declined between 1980 and 2004, compared to species that were stable (n = 1,545 or had increased (n = 28. These empirical results show that amphibian species with restricted ranges should be urgently targeted for conservation.

  14. Can myxosporean parasites compromise fish and amphibian reproduction?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sitjà-Bobadilla, Ariadna

    2009-08-22

    Research into fish and amphibian reproduction has increased exponentially in recent years owing to the expansion of the aquaculture industry, the need to recover fishery populations, the impact of endocrine disruptors on the aquatic environment and the global decline of amphibian populations. This review focuses on a group of parasites, the Myxozoa, that affect fish and amphibian reproduction. Lists of the myxosporeans that specifically infect gonads are provided. Most of these are parasitic of freshwater hosts, and most amphibian cases are reported from testes. Sex specificity and sex reversal are discussed in relation to gonadal parasitism. The immune response of the fish to the infection is described, and the contribution of the immunoprivilege of gonads to host invasion is emphasized. The pathological effect of these parasites can be significant, especially in aquacultured broodstocks, on some occasions, leading to parasitic castration. Although myxosporean parasites are currently not very frequent in gonads, their impact could increase in the future owing to the transactions in the global market. Their easy release into the aquatic environment with spawning could make their spreading even more feasible. In the absence of commercial drugs or vaccines to treat and prevent these infections, there is an urgent need to develop specific, rapid and reliable diagnostic tools to control and manage animal movements. In addition, much effort is still to be made on deciphering the life cycle of these organisms, their invasion strategies and their immune evasion mechanisms.

  15. Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans sp. nov. causes lethal chytridiomycosis in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martel, An; Spitzen-van der Sluijs, Annemarieke; Blooi, Mark; Bert, Wim; Ducatelle, Richard; Fisher, Matthew C; Woeltjes, Antonius; Bosman, Wilbert; Chiers, Koen; Bossuyt, Franky; Pasmans, Frank

    2013-09-17

    The current biodiversity crisis encompasses a sixth mass extinction event affecting the entire class of amphibians. The infectious disease chytridiomycosis is considered one of the major drivers of global amphibian population decline and extinction and is thought to be caused by a single species of aquatic fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. However, several amphibian population declines remain unexplained, among them a steep decrease in fire salamander populations (Salamandra salamandra) that has brought this species to the edge of local extinction. Here we isolated and characterized a unique chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans sp. nov., from this salamander population. This chytrid causes erosive skin disease and rapid mortality in experimentally infected fire salamanders and was present in skin lesions of salamanders found dead during the decline event. Together with the closely related B. dendrobatidis, this taxon forms a well-supported chytridiomycete clade, adapted to vertebrate hosts and highly pathogenic to amphibians. However, the lower thermal growth preference of B. salamandrivorans, compared with B. dendrobatidis, and resistance of midwife toads (Alytes obstetricans) to experimental infection with B. salamandrivorans suggest differential niche occupation of the two chytrid fungi.

  16. Measuring the meltdown: drivers of global amphibian extinction and decline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sodhi, Navjot S; Bickford, David; Diesmos, Arvin C; Lee, Tien Ming; Koh, Lian Pin; Brook, Barry W; Sekercioglu, Cagan H; Bradshaw, Corey J A

    2008-02-20

    Habitat loss, climate change, over-exploitation, disease and other factors have been hypothesised in the global decline of amphibian biodiversity. However, the relative importance of and synergies among different drivers are still poorly understood. We present the largest global analysis of roughly 45% of known amphibians (2,583 species) to quantify the influences of life history, climate, human density and habitat loss on declines and extinction risk. Multi-model Bayesian inference reveals that large amphibian species with small geographic range and pronounced seasonality in temperature and precipitation are most likely to be Red-Listed by IUCN. Elevated habitat loss and human densities are also correlated with high threat risk. Range size, habitat loss and more extreme seasonality in precipitation contributed to decline risk in the 2,454 species that declined between 1980 and 2004, compared to species that were stable (n = 1,545) or had increased (n = 28). These empirical results show that amphibian species with restricted ranges should be urgently targeted for conservation.

  17. The montane forest associated amphibian species of the Taita Hills ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The montane forest associated amphibian species of the Taita Hills, Kenya. ... They are surrounded by the dry Tsavo plains. ... The biodiversity importance of the Taita Hills lies with the number of endemics per unit of area of remaining forest, ...

  18. Spatial Biodiversity Patterns of Madagascar's Amphibians and Reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Jason L.; Sillero, Neftali; Glaw, Frank; Bora, Parfait; Vieites, David R.; Vences, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    Madagascar has become a model region for testing hypotheses of species diversification and biogeography, and many studies have focused on its diverse and highly endemic herpetofauna. Here we combine species distribution models of a near-complete set of species of reptiles and amphibians known from the island with body size data and a tabulation of herpetofaunal communities from field surveys, compiled up to 2008. Though taxonomic revisions and novel distributional records arose since compilation, we are confident that the data are appropriate for inferring and comparing biogeographic patterns among these groups of organisms. We observed species richness of both amphibians and reptiles was highest in the humid rainforest biome of eastern Madagascar, but reptiles also show areas of high richness in the dry and subarid western biomes. In several amphibian subclades, especially within the Mantellidae, species richness peaks in the central eastern geographic regions while in reptiles different subclades differ distinctly in their richness centers. A high proportion of clades and subclades of both amphibians and reptiles have a peak of local endemism in the topographically and bioclimatically diverse northern geographic regions. This northern area is roughly delimited by a diagonal spanning from 15.5°S on the east coast to ca. 15.0°S on the west coast. Amphibian diversity is highest at altitudes between 800–1200 m above sea-level whereas reptiles have their highest richness at low elevations, probably reflecting the comparatively large number of species specialized to the extended low-elevation areas in the dry and subarid biomes. We found that the range sizes of both amphibians and reptiles strongly correlated with body size, and differences between the two groups are explained by the larger body sizes of reptiles. However, snakes have larger range sizes than lizards which cannot be readily explained by their larger body sizes alone. Range filling, i.e., the amount

  19. Spatial Biodiversity Patterns of Madagascar's Amphibians and Reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Jason L; Sillero, Neftali; Glaw, Frank; Bora, Parfait; Vieites, David R; Vences, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    Madagascar has become a model region for testing hypotheses of species diversification and biogeography, and many studies have focused on its diverse and highly endemic herpetofauna. Here we combine species distribution models of a near-complete set of species of reptiles and amphibians known from the island with body size data and a tabulation of herpetofaunal communities from field surveys, compiled up to 2008. Though taxonomic revisions and novel distributional records arose since compilation, we are confident that the data are appropriate for inferring and comparing biogeographic patterns among these groups of organisms. We observed species richness of both amphibians and reptiles was highest in the humid rainforest biome of eastern Madagascar, but reptiles also show areas of high richness in the dry and subarid western biomes. In several amphibian subclades, especially within the Mantellidae, species richness peaks in the central eastern geographic regions while in reptiles different subclades differ distinctly in their richness centers. A high proportion of clades and subclades of both amphibians and reptiles have a peak of local endemism in the topographically and bioclimatically diverse northern geographic regions. This northern area is roughly delimited by a diagonal spanning from 15.5°S on the east coast to ca. 15.0°S on the west coast. Amphibian diversity is highest at altitudes between 800-1200 m above sea-level whereas reptiles have their highest richness at low elevations, probably reflecting the comparatively large number of species specialized to the extended low-elevation areas in the dry and subarid biomes. We found that the range sizes of both amphibians and reptiles strongly correlated with body size, and differences between the two groups are explained by the larger body sizes of reptiles. However, snakes have larger range sizes than lizards which cannot be readily explained by their larger body sizes alone. Range filling, i.e., the amount of

  20. Single-embryo transfer versus multiple-embryo transfer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerris, Jan

    2009-01-01

    Despite the progress made in assisted reproductive technology, live birth rates remain disappointingly low. Multiple-embryo transfer has been an accepted practice with which to increase the success rate. This has led to a higher incidence of multiple-order births compared with natural conception, which not only increase the risk of mortality and morbidity to both mother and children but are also associated with social and economic consequences. Elective single-embryo transfer (eSET) was developed in an effort to increase singleton pregnancies in assisted reproduction. Studies comparing eSET with multiple-embryo transfer highlight the benefit of this approach and suggest that, with careful patient selection and the transfer of good-quality embryos, the risk of a multiple-order pregnancy can be reduced without significantly decreasing live birth rates. Although the use of eSET has gradually increased in clinical practice, its acceptance has been limited by factors such as availability of funding and awareness of the procedure. An open discussion of eSET is warranted in an effort to enable a broader understanding by physicians and patients of the merits of this approach. Ultimately, eSET may provide a more cost-effective, potentially safer approach to patients undergoing assisted reproduction technology.

  1. Use of multiple dispersal pathways facilitates amphibian persistence in stream networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Grant E.H.; Nichols, J.D.; Lowe, W.H.; Fagan, W.F.

    2010-01-01

    Although populations of amphibians are declining worldwide, there is no evidence that salamanders occupying small streams are experiencing enigmatic declines, and populations of these species seem stable. Theory predicts that dispersal through multiple pathways can stabilize populations, preventing extinction in habitat networks. However, empirical data to support this prediction are absent for most species, especially those at risk of decline. Our mark-recapture study of stream salamanders reveals both a strong upstream bias in dispersal and a surprisingly high rate of overland dispersal to adjacent headwater streams. This evidence of route-dependent variation in dispersal rates suggests a spatial mechanism for population stability in headwater-stream salamanders. Our results link the movement behavior of stream salamanders to network topology, and they underscore the importance of identifying and protecting critical dispersal pathways when addressing region-wide population declines.

  2. Use of multiple dispersal pathways facilitates amphibian persistence in stream networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell Grant, Evan H; Nichols, James D; Lowe, Winsor H; Fagan, William F

    2010-04-13

    Although populations of amphibians are declining worldwide, there is no evidence that salamanders occupying small streams are experiencing enigmatic declines, and populations of these species seem stable. Theory predicts that dispersal through multiple pathways can stabilize populations, preventing extinction in habitat networks. However, empirical data to support this prediction are absent for most species, especially those at risk of decline. Our mark-recapture study of stream salamanders reveals both a strong upstream bias in dispersal and a surprisingly high rate of overland dispersal to adjacent headwater streams. This evidence of route-dependent variation in dispersal rates suggests a spatial mechanism for population stability in headwater-stream salamanders. Our results link the movement behavior of stream salamanders to network topology, and they underscore the importance of identifying and protecting critical dispersal pathways when addressing region-wide population declines.

  3. A necessarily complex model to explain the biogeography of the amphibians and reptiles of Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Jason L; Cameron, Alison; Yoder, Anne D; Vences, Miguel

    2014-10-09

    Pattern and process are inextricably linked in biogeographic analyses, though we can observe pattern, we must infer process. Inferences of process are often based on ad hoc comparisons using a single spatial predictor. Here, we present an alternative approach that uses mixed-spatial models to measure the predictive potential of combinations of hypotheses. Biodiversity patterns are estimated from 8,362 occurrence records from 745 species of Malagasy amphibians and reptiles. By incorporating 18 spatially explicit predictions of 12 major biogeographic hypotheses, we show that mixed models greatly improve our ability to explain the observed biodiversity patterns. We conclude that patterns are influenced by a combination of diversification processes rather than by a single predominant mechanism. A 'one-size-fits-all' model does not exist. By developing a novel method for examining and synthesizing spatial parameters such as species richness, endemism and community similarity, we demonstrate the potential of these analyses for understanding the diversification history of Madagascar's biota.

  4. Development of a mobile application for amphibian species recognition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Parveen, B; Chew T H; Shamsir, M S; Ahmad, N

    2014-01-01

    The smartphones mobility and its pervasiveness are beginning to transform practices in biodiversity conservation. The integrated functionalities of a smartphone have created for the public and biodiversity specialists means to identify, gather and record biodiversity data while simultaneously creating knowledge portability in the digital forms of mobile guides. Smartphones enable beginners to recreate the delight of species identification usually reserved for specialist with years of experience. Currently, the advent of Android platform has enabled stakeholders in biodiversity to harness the ubiquity of this platform and create various types of mobile application or ''apps'' for use in biodiversity research and conservation. However, there is an apparent lack of application devoted to the identification in herpetofauna or amphibian science. Amphibians are a large class of animals with many different species still unidentified under this category. Here we describe the development of an app called Amphibian Recognition Android Application (ARAA) to identify frog amphibian species as well as an accompanying field guide. The app has the amphibian taxonomic key which assists the users in easy and rapid species identification, thus facilitating the process of identification and recording of species occurrences in conservation work. We will also present an overview of the application work flow and how it is designed to meet the needs a conservationist. As this application is still in its beta phase, further research is required to improve the application to include tools such automatic geolocation and geotagging, participative sensing via crowdsourcing and automated identification via image capture. We believe that the introduction of this app will create an impetus to the awareness of nature via species identification

  5. Development of a mobile application for amphibian species recognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parveen, B.; H, Chew T.; Shamsir, M. S.; Ahmad, N.

    2014-02-01

    The smartphones mobility and its pervasiveness are beginning to transform practices in biodiversity conservation. The integrated functionalities of a smartphone have created for the public and biodiversity specialists means to identify, gather and record biodiversity data while simultaneously creating knowledge portability in the digital forms of mobile guides. Smartphones enable beginners to recreate the delight of species identification usually reserved for specialist with years of experience. Currently, the advent of Android platform has enabled stakeholders in biodiversity to harness the ubiquity of this platform and create various types of mobile application or "apps" for use in biodiversity research and conservation. However, there is an apparent lack of application devoted to the identification in herpetofauna or amphibian science. Amphibians are a large class of animals with many different species still unidentified under this category. Here we describe the development of an app called Amphibian Recognition Android Application (ARAA) to identify frog amphibian species as well as an accompanying field guide. The app has the amphibian taxonomic key which assists the users in easy and rapid species identification, thus facilitating the process of identification and recording of species occurrences in conservation work. We will also present an overview of the application work flow and how it is designed to meet the needs a conservationist. As this application is still in its beta phase, further research is required to improve the application to include tools such automatic geolocation and geotagging, participative sensing via crowdsourcing and automated identification via image capture. We believe that the introduction of this app will create an impetus to the awareness of nature via species identification.

  6. Applied reproductive technologies and genetic resource banking for amphibian conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kouba, Andrew J; Vance, Carrie K

    2009-01-01

    As amphibian populations continue to decline, both government and non-government organisations are establishing captive assurance colonies to secure populations deemed at risk of extinction if left in the wild. For the most part, little is known about the nutritional ecology, reproductive biology or husbandry needs of the animals placed into captive breeding programs. Because of this lack of knowledge, conservation biologists are currently facing the difficult task of maintaining and reproducing these species. Academic and zoo scientists are beginning to examine different technologies for maintaining the genetic diversity of founder populations brought out of the wild before the animals become extinct from rapidly spreading epizootic diseases. One such technology is genetic resource banking and applied reproductive technologies for species that are difficult to reproduce reliably in captivity. Significant advances have been made in the last decade for amphibian assisted reproduction including the use of exogenous hormones for induction of spermiation and ovulation, in vitro fertilisation, short-term cold storage of gametes and long-term cryopreservation of spermatozoa. These scientific breakthroughs for a select few species will no doubt serve as models for future assisted breeding protocols and the increasing number of amphibians requiring conservation intervention. However, the development of specialised assisted breeding protocols that can be applied to many different families of amphibians will likely require species-specific modifications considering their wide range of reproductive modes. The purpose of this review is to summarise the current state of knowledge in the area of assisted reproduction technologies and gene banking for the conservation of amphibians.

  7. Improving embryo quality in assisted reproduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mantikou, E.

    2013-01-01

    The goal of this thesis was to improve embryo quality in assisted reproductive technologies by gaining more insight into human preimplantation embryo development and by improving in vitro culture conditions. To do so, we investigated an intriguing feature of the human preimplantation embryo, i.e.

  8. Mechanistic dissection of plant embryo initiation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Radoeva, T.M.

    2016-01-01

    Land plants can reproduce sexually by developing an embryo from a fertilized egg cell, the zygote. After fertilization, the zygote undergoes several rounds of controlled cell divisions to generate a mature embryo. However, embryo formation can also be induced in a variety of other cell types in

  9. Untwisting the Caenorhabditis elegans embryo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, Ryan Patrick; Bokinsky, Alexandra; Santella, Anthony; Wu, Yicong; Marquina-Solis, Javier; Guo, Min; Kovacevic, Ismar; Kumar, Abhishek; Winter, Peter W; Tashakkori, Nicole; McCreedy, Evan; Liu, Huafeng; McAuliffe, Matthew; Mohler, William; Colón-Ramos, Daniel A; Bao, Zhirong; Shroff, Hari

    2015-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans possesses a simple embryonic nervous system with few enough neurons that the growth of each cell could be followed to provide a systems-level view of development. However, studies of single cell development have largely been conducted in fixed or pre-twitching live embryos, because of technical difficulties associated with embryo movement in late embryogenesis. We present open-source untwisting and annotation software (http://mipav.cit.nih.gov/plugin_jws/mipav_worm_plugin.php) that allows the investigation of neurodevelopmental events in late embryogenesis and apply it to track the 3D positions of seam cell nuclei, neurons, and neurites in multiple elongating embryos. We also provide a tutorial describing how to use the software (Supplementary file 1) and a detailed description of the untwisting algorithm (Appendix). The detailed positional information we obtained enabled us to develop a composite model showing movement of these cells and neurites in an 'average' worm embryo. The untwisting and cell tracking capabilities of our method provide a foundation on which to catalog C. elegans neurodevelopment, allowing interrogation of developmental events in previously inaccessible periods of embryogenesis. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.10070.001 PMID:26633880

  10. Untwisting the Caenorhabditis elegans embryo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, Ryan Patrick; Bokinsky, Alexandra; Santella, Anthony; Wu, Yicong; Marquina-Solis, Javier; Guo, Min; Kovacevic, Ismar; Kumar, Abhishek; Winter, Peter W; Tashakkori, Nicole; McCreedy, Evan; Liu, Huafeng; McAuliffe, Matthew; Mohler, William; Colón-Ramos, Daniel A; Bao, Zhirong; Shroff, Hari

    2015-12-03

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans possesses a simple embryonic nervous system with few enough neurons that the growth of each cell could be followed to provide a systems-level view of development. However, studies of single cell development have largely been conducted in fixed or pre-twitching live embryos, because of technical difficulties associated with embryo movement in late embryogenesis. We present open-source untwisting and annotation software (http://mipav.cit.nih.gov/plugin_jws/mipav_worm_plugin.php) that allows the investigation of neurodevelopmental events in late embryogenesis and apply it to track the 3D positions of seam cell nuclei, neurons, and neurites in multiple elongating embryos. We also provide a tutorial describing how to use the software (Supplementary file 1) and a detailed description of the untwisting algorithm (Appendix). The detailed positional information we obtained enabled us to develop a composite model showing movement of these cells and neurites in an 'average' worm embryo. The untwisting and cell tracking capabilities of our method provide a foundation on which to catalog C. elegans neurodevelopment, allowing interrogation of developmental events in previously inaccessible periods of embryogenesis.

  11. Phospholipid transfer activities in toad oocytes and developing embryos

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rusinol, A.; Salomon, R.A.; Bloj, B.

    1987-01-01

    The role of lipid transfer proteins during plasma membrane biogenesis was explored. Developing amphibia embryos were used because during their growth an active plasma membrane biosynthesis occurs together with negligible mitochondrial and endoplasmic reticulum proliferation. Sonicated vesicles, containing 14 C-labeled phospholipids and 3 H-labeled triolein, as donor particles and cross-linked erythrocyte ghosts as acceptor particles were used to measure phospholipid transfer activities in unfertilized oocytes and in developing embryos of the toad Bufo arenarum. Phosphatidylcholine transfer activity in pH 5.1 supernatant of unfertilized oocytes was 8-fold higher than the activity found in female toad liver supernatant, but dropped steadily after fertilization. After 20 hr of development, at the stage of late blastula, the phosphatidylcholine transfer activity had dropped 4-fold. Unfertilized oocyte supernatant exhibited phosphatidylinositol and phosphatidylethanolamine transfer activity also, but at the late blastula stage the former had dropped 18-fold and the latter was no longer detectable under our assay conditions. Our results show that fertilization does not trigger a phospholipid transport process catalyzed by lipid transfer proteins. Moreover, they imply that 75% of the phosphatidylcholine transfer activity and more than 95% of the phosphatidylinositol and phosphatidylethanolamine transfer activities present in pH 5.1 supernatants of unfertilized oocytes may not be essential for toad embryo development. Our findings do not rule out, however, that a phosphatidylcholine-specific lipid transfer protein could be required for embryo early growth

  12. Amphibian fertilization and development in microgravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Kenneth A.

    1993-01-01

    chambers exposed to 1 g will be removed and observed within the GPWS using a dissecting microscope and camera system. On the basis of egg rotation and egg appearance, the 'best' and 'second best' frogs will be selected to contribute additional eggs. Using the two best frogs, 22 egg chambers will be loaded with eggs and fertilized. Eleven chambers wil be incubated at microgravity and eleven will be incubated on the centrifuge. At various times during the flight, chambers will be removed from the FEU and transferred to the GPWS where a formaldehyde-based fixative will be injected in order to preserve important developmental stages for in depth study following the flight. Five of the 22 chambers plus the eight fertilization test chambers will be returned to Earth with live tadpoles. The swimming behavior of these free swimming tadpoles will be examined within several hours of landing and some will be fixed for a detailed analysis of their inner ear, the otolity, the animals 'balance system.' Lychakov and Vinikov reported an increase in otolith size in tadpoles that developed (but were not fertilized) in space. Live tadpoles from the SL-J flight will be raised through metamorphsis for studies of maturation including an analysis of the effects of space flight on their ability to produce normal progency. Following the flight, the fixed embryos will be serially sectioned and stained using procedures that were developed for this experiment. The embroys fixed at the 2-4 cell stage will be examined for the distribution of cytoplasmic contents, including the various classes of yolk platelets, and the location and shape of the cleavage furrows. The gastrulae will be assessed for the normality of the complex cellular rearrangements that constitute blastopore formation and involution, i.e., the differentiation of the embryo into its specialized body parts. Using a new procedure, the gastrulae will be bleached which will enable the initial sperm entry point (SEP) to be located. The

  13. Differential patterns of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection in relict amphibian populations following severe disease-associated declines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitfield, Steven M; Alvarado, Gilbert; Abarca, Juan; Zumbado, Hector; Zuñiga, Ibrahim; Wainwright, Mark; Kerby, Jacob

    2017-09-20

    Global amphibian biodiversity has declined dramatically in the past 4 decades, and many amphibian species have declined to near extinction as a result of emergence of the amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). However, persistent or recovering populations of several amphibian species have recently been rediscovered, and such populations may illustrate how amphibian species that are highly susceptible to chytridiomycosis may survive in the presence of Bd. We conducted field surveys for Bd infection in 7 species of Costa Rican amphibians (all species that have declined to near extinction but for which isolated populations persist) to characterize infection profiles in highly Bd-susceptible amphibians post-decline. We found highly variable patterns in infection, with some species showing low prevalence (~10%) and low infection intensity and others showing high infection prevalence (>80%) and either low or high infection intensity. Across sites, infection rates were negatively associated with mean annual precipitation, and infection intensity across sites was negatively associated with mean average temperatures. Our results illustrate that even the most Bd-susceptible amphibians can persist in Bd-enzootic ecosystems, and that multiple ecological or evolutionary mechanisms likely exist for host-pathogen co-existence between Bd and the most Bd-susceptible amphibian species. Continued monitoring of these populations is necessary to evaluate population trends (continuing decline, stability, or population growth). These results should inform efforts to mitigate impacts of Bd on amphibians in the field.

  14. Embryo density and medium volume effects on early murine embryo development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canseco, R S; Sparks, A E; Pearson, R E; Gwazdauskas, F C

    1992-10-01

    One-cell mouse embryos were used to determine the effects of drop size and number of embryos per drop for optimum development in vitro. Embryos were collected from immature C57BL6 female mice superovulated with pregnant mare serum gonadotropin and human chorionic gonadotropin and mated by CD1 males. Groups of 1, 5, 10, or 20 embryos were cultured in 5-, 10-, 20-, or 40-microliters drops of CZB under silicon oil at 37.5 degrees C in a humidified atmosphere of 5% CO2 and 95% air. Development score for embryos cultured in 10 microliters was higher than that of embryos cultured in 20 or 40 microliters. Embryos cultured in groups of 5, 10, or 20 had higher development scores than embryos cultured singly. The highest development score was obtained by the combination of 5 embryos per 10-microliters drop. The percentage of live embryos in 20 or 40 microliters was lower than that of embryos cultured in 10 microliters. Additionally, the percentage of live embryos cultured singly was lower than that of embryos cultured in groups. Our results suggest that a stimulatory interaction occurs among embryos possibly exerted through the secretion of growth factors. This effect can be diluted if the embryos are cultured in large drops or singly.

  15. Exotic Fish in Exotic Plantations: A Multi-Scale Approach to Understand Amphibian Occurrence in the Mediterranean Region.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joana Cruz

    Full Text Available Globally, amphibian populations are threatened by a diverse range of factors including habitat destruction and alteration. Forestry practices have been linked with low diversity and abundance of amphibians. The effect of exotic Eucalyptus spp. plantations on amphibian communities has been studied in a number of biodiversity hotspots, but little is known of its impact in the Mediterranean region. Here, we identify the environmental factors influencing the presence of six species of amphibians (the Caudata Pleurodeles waltl, Salamandra salamandra, Lissotriton boscai, Triturus marmoratus and the anurans Pelobates cultripes and Hyla arborea/meridionalis occupying 88 ponds. The study was conducted in a Mediterranean landscape dominated by eucalypt plantations alternated with traditional use (agricultural, montados and native forest at three different scales: local (pond, intermediate (400 metres radius buffer and broad (1000 metres radius buffer. Using the Akaike Information Criterion for small samples (AICc, we selected the top-ranked models for estimating the probability of occurrence of each species at each spatial scale separately and across all three spatial scales, using a combination of covariates from the different magnitudes. Models with a combination of covariates at the different spatial scales had a stronger support than those at individual scales. The presence of predatory fish in a pond had a strong effect on Caudata presence. Permanent ponds were selected by Hyla arborea/meridionalis over temporary ponds. Species occurrence was not increased by a higher density of streams, but the density of ponds impacted negatively on Lissotriton boscai. The proximity of ponds occupied by their conspecifics had a positive effect on the occurrence of Lissotriton boscai and Pleurodeles waltl. Eucalypt plantations had a negative effect on the occurrence of the newt Lissotriton boscai and anurans Hyla arborea/meridionalis, but had a positive effect on

  16. Noninvasive embryo assessment technique based on buoyancy and its association with embryo survival after cryopreservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wessels, Cara; Penrose, Lindsay; Ahmad, Khaliq; Prien, Samuel

    2017-11-01

    Embryo cryopreservation offers many benefits by allowing genetic preservation, genetic screening, cost reduction, global embryo transport and single embryo transfer. However, freezing of embryos decreases embryo viability, as intracellular ice crystal formation often damages embryos. Success rates of frozen embryo transfer are expected to be 15-20% less than fresh embryo transfer. We have developed a noninvasive embryo assessment technique (NEAT) which enables us to predict embryo viability based on buoyancy. The purpose of this research was twofold. First was to determine if a NEAT, through a specific gravity device can detect embryo survival of cryopreservation. Second, it was to relate embryo buoyancy to embryo viability for establishing pregnancies in sheep. Blastocysts descent times were measured on one-hundred sixty-nine mice blastocysts before cryopreservation, according to standard protocol and post-thawing blastocysts descent times were measured again. There was a significant difference in blastocyst post-thaw descent times with NEAT in those blastocysts which demonstrated viability from those that did not (P embryos. Further studies on a larger scale commercial setting will evaluate the efficacy of NEAT. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. The Current and Historical Distribution of Special Status Amphibians at the Livermore Site and Site 300

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hattem, M V; Paterson, L; Woollett, J

    2008-08-20

    65 surveys were completed in 2002 to assess the current distribution of special status amphibians at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's (LLNL) Livermore Site and Site 300. Combined with historical information from previous years, the information presented herein illustrates the dynamic and probable risk that amphibian populations face at both sites. The Livermore Site is developed and in stark contrast to the mostly undeveloped Site 300. Yet both sites have significant issues threatening the long-term sustainability of their respective amphibian populations. Livermore Site amphibians are presented with a suite of challenges inherent of urban interfaces, most predictably the bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana), while Site 300's erosion issues and periodic feral pig (Sus scrofa) infestations reduce and threaten populations. The long-term sustainability of LLNL's special status amphibians will require active management and resource commitment to maintain and restore amphibian habitat at both sites.

  18. Phylogenetic signals in the climatic niches of the world's amphibians

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hof, Christian; Rahbek, Carsten; Araújo, Miguel B.

    2010-01-01

    amphibian orders and across biogeographical regions. To our knowledge, this is the first study providing a comprehensive analysis of the phylogenetic signal in species climatic niches for an entire clade across the world. Even though our results do not provide a strong test of the niche conservatism......The question of whether closely related species share similar ecological requirements has attracted increasing attention, because of its importance for understanding global diversity gradients and the impacts of climate change on species distributions. In fact, the assumption that related species...... are also ecologically similar has often been made, although the prevalence of such a phylogenetic signal in ecological niches remains heavily debated. Here, we provide a global analysis of phylogenetic niche relatedness for the world's amphibians. In particular, we assess which proportion of the variance...

  19. Toxicity of road salt to Nova Scotia amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Sara J; Russell, Ronald W

    2009-01-01

    The deposition of chemical pollutants into roadside wetlands from runoff is a current environmental concern. In northern latitudes, a major pollutant in runoff water is salt (NaCl), used as de-icing agents. In this study, 26 roadside ponds were surveyed for amphibian species richness and chloride concentration. Acute toxicity tests (LC(50)) were performed on five locally common amphibian species using a range of environmentally significant NaCl concentrations. Field surveys indicated that spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) and wood frogs (Rana sylvatica) did not occupy high chloride ponds. American toads (Bufo americanus) showed no pond preference based on chloride concentration. Acute toxicity tests showed spotted salamanders and wood frogs were most sensitive to chloride, and American toads were the least. Spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer) and green frogs (Rana clamitans) showed intermediate sensitivities. We concluded that chloride concentrations in ponds due to application of de-icing salts, influenced community structure by excluding salt intolerant species.

  20. Radioactive contamination of amphibian in the Chernobyl zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bondar'kov, M.D.; Gashchak, S.P.; Goryanaya, Yu.A.

    2002-01-01

    In result of our investigations there was found out, that though there are great variations of accumulation indices of 90 Sr and 137 Cs, there are certain species differences between amphibians. Basing on general ideas, it can be caused by features of nutrition, behavior and ecology of the species. Terrestrial forms accumulate 137 Cs more than water one, and toads have more high indices of 90 Sr accumulation than frogs. It can been expected, that larvae stages of the terrestrial amphibians, due to water living, will have lower parameters of the radionuclide accumulation, than individuals came on dry land. They also must have and more low variation coefficient of TF values. However, it demands to be checked

  1. Conservation genetics and genomics of amphibians and reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaffer, H Bradley; Gidiş, Müge; McCartney-Melstad, Evan; Neal, Kevin M; Oyamaguchi, Hilton M; Tellez, Marisa; Toffelmier, Erin M

    2015-01-01

    Amphibians and reptiles as a group are often secretive, reach their greatest diversity often in remote tropical regions, and contain some of the most endangered groups of organisms on earth. Particularly in the past decade, genetics and genomics have been instrumental in the conservation biology of these cryptic vertebrates, enabling work ranging from the identification of populations subject to trade and exploitation, to the identification of cryptic lineages harboring critical genetic variation, to the analysis of genes controlling key life history traits. In this review, we highlight some of the most important ways that genetic analyses have brought new insights to the conservation of amphibians and reptiles. Although genomics has only recently emerged as part of this conservation tool kit, several large-scale data sources, including full genomes, expressed sequence tags, and transcriptomes, are providing new opportunities to identify key genes, quantify landscape effects, and manage captive breeding stocks of at-risk species.

  2. Special Issue: Viruses Infecting Fish, Amphibians, and Reptiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Gregory Chinchar

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Although viruses infecting and affecting humans are the focus of considerable research effort, viruses that target other animal species, including cold-blooded vertebrates, are receiving increased attention. In part this reflects the interests of comparative virologists, but increasingly it is based on the impact that many viruses have on ecologically and commercially important animals. Frogs and other amphibians are sentinels of environmental health and their disappearance following viral or fungal (chytrid infection is a cause for alarm. Likewise, because aquaculture and mariculture are providing an increasingly large percentage of the “seafood” consumed by humans, viral agents that adversely impact the harvest of cultured fish and amphibians are of equal concern. [...

  3. Habitat split and the global decline of amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Carlos Guilherme; Fonseca, Carlos Roberto; Haddad, Célio Fernando Baptista; Batista, Rômulo Fernandes; Prado, Paulo Inácio

    2007-12-14

    The worldwide decline in amphibians has been attributed to several causes, especially habitat loss and disease. We identified a further factor, namely "habitat split"-defined as human-induced disconnection between habitats used by different life history stages of a species-which forces forest-associated amphibians with aquatic larvae to make risky breeding migrations between suitable aquatic and terrestrial habitats. In the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, we found that habitat split negatively affects the richness of species with aquatic larvae but not the richness of species with terrestrial development (the latter can complete their life cycle inside forest remnants). This mechanism helps to explain why species with aquatic larvae have the highest incidence of population decline. These findings reinforce the need for the conservation and restoration of riparian vegetation.

  4. Transitions between sex-determining systems in reptiles and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarre, Stephen D; Ezaz, Tariq; Georges, Arthur

    2011-01-01

    Important technological advances in genomics are driving a new understanding of the evolution of sex determination in vertebrates. In particular, comparative chromosome mapping in reptiles has shown an intriguing distribution of homology in sex chromosomes across reptile groups. When this new understanding is combined with the widespread distribution of genetic and temperature-dependent sex-determination mechanisms among reptiles, it is apparent that transitions between modes have occurred many times, as they have for amphibians (particularly between male and female heterogamety). It is also likely that thermosensitivity in sex determination is a key factor in those transitions in reptiles, and possibly in amphibians too. New models of sex determination involving temperature thresholds are providing the framework for the investigation of transitions and making possible key predictions about the homologies and sex-determination patterns expected among taxa in these groups. Molecular cytogenetics and other genomic approaches are essential to providing the fundamental material necessary to make advances in this field.

  5. The expression and function of hsp30-like small heat shock protein genes in amphibians, birds, fish, and reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heikkila, John J

    2017-01-01

    Small heat shock proteins (sHSPs) are a superfamily of molecular chaperones with important roles in protein homeostasis and other cellular functions. Amphibians, reptiles, fish and birds have a shsp gene called hsp30, which was also referred to as hspb11 or hsp25 in some fish and bird species. Hsp30 genes, which are not found in mammals, are transcribed in response to heat shock or other stresses by means of the heat shock factor that is activated in response to an accumulation of unfolded protein. Amino acid sequence analysis revealed that representative HSP30s from different classes of non-mammalian vertebrates were distinct from other sHSPs including HSPB1/HSP27. Studies with amphibian and fish recombinant HSP30 determined that they were molecular chaperones since they inhibited heat- or chemically-induced aggregation of unfolded protein. During non-mammalian vertebrate development, hsp30 genes were differentially expressed in selected tissues. Also, heat shock-induced stage-specific expression of hsp30 genes in frog embryos was regulated at the level of chromatin structure. In adults and/or tissue culture cells, hsp30 gene expression was induced by heat shock, arsenite, cadmium or proteasomal inhibitors, all of which enhanced the production of unfolded/damaged protein. Finally, immunocytochemical analysis of frog and chicken tissue culture cells revealed that proteotoxic stress-induced HSP30 accumulation co-localized with aggresome-like inclusion bodies. The congregation of damaged protein in aggresomes minimizes the toxic effect of aggregated protein dispersed throughout the cell. The current availability of probes to detect the presence of hsp30 mRNA or encoded protein has resulted in the increased use of hsp30 gene expression as a marker of proteotoxic stress in non-mammalian vertebrates. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Reptiles and amphibians of the Savannah River Plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gibbons, J.W.; Patterson, K.K.

    1978-11-01

    Taxonomic, distributional, and ecological information on the reptiles and amphibians of the Savannah River Plant (SRP) is provided. The purpose of such a presentation is to give a professional biologist an initial familiarity with herpetology on the SRP, and to provide sufficient comprehensive information to an ecologist, regardless of his experience in herpetology, to permit him to undertake studies that in some manner incorporate the herpetofauna of the SRP

  7. Response of Reptiles and Amphibians to Repeated Fuel Reduction Treatments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charlotte E. Matthews; Christopher E. Moorman; Cathryn H. Greenberg; Thomas A. Waldrop

    2010-01-01

    Recent use of prescribed fire and fire surrogates to reduce fuel hazards has spurred interest in their effects on wildlife. Studies of fire in the southern Appalachian Mountains (USA) have documented few effects on reptiles and amphibians. However, these studies were conducted after only one fire and for only a short time (1–3 yr) after the fire. From mid-May to mid-...

  8. Global Amphibian Extinction Risk Assessment for the Panzootic Chytrid Fungus

    OpenAIRE

    Rödder, Dennis; Kielgast, Jos; Bielby, Jon; Schmidtlein, Sebastian; Bosch, Jaime; Garner, Trenton W. J.; Veith, Michael; Walker, Susan; Fisher, Matthew C.; Lötters, Stefan

    2009-01-01

    Species are being lost at increasing rates due to anthropogenic effects, leading to the recognition that we are witnessing the onset of a sixth mass extinction. Emerging infectious disease has been shown to increase species loss and any attempts to reduce extinction rates need to squarely confront this challenge. Here, we develop a procedure for identifying amphibian species that are most at risk from the effects of chytridiomycosis by combining spatial analyses of key host life-history varia...

  9. A survey of reptiles and amphibians on Kinmen Island, Taiwan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel Saenz; Heather V. Podlipny; Pei-Yu Tasi; D. Brent Burt; Hsiao-Wei Yuan

    2009-01-01

    Little is known about the reptiles and amphibians of Kinmen Island, Taiwan. Until recently, Kinmen had been off-limits to outsiders. It wasn’t until the mid 1990’s that civilian travel was allowed to and from the island. We surveyed 8 sites from 19 May through 18 July 2005, using 15 m drift fences with collapsible funnel traps on the ends. We documented encounters with...

  10. Analysis of the expression of putatively imprinted genes in bovine peri-implantation embryos

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tveden-Nyborg, Pernille Yde; Alexopoulos, N.I.; Cooney, M.A.

    2008-01-01

    The application of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) has been shown to induce changes in the methylation of the embryonic genome, leading to aberrant gene expression, including that of imprinted genes. Aberrant methylation and gene expression has been linked to the large offspring syndrome...... (LOS) in bovine embryos resulting in increased embryonic morbidity and mortality. In the bovine, limited numbers of imprinted genes have been studied and studies have primarily been restricted to pre-implantation stages. This study reports original data on the expression pattern of 8 putatively...... imprinted genes (Ata3, Dlk1, Gnas, Grb10, Magel2, Mest-1, Ndn and Sgce) in bovine peri-implantation embryos. Two embryonic developmental stages were examined, Day 14 and Day 21. The gene expression pattern of single embryos was recorded for in vivo, in vitro produced (IVP) and parthenogenetic embryos...

  11. Abscisic Acid and the Maturation of Cacao Embryos in Vitro 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pence, Valerie Creaser

    1992-01-01

    Abscisic acid (ABA) was tested for its ability to affect development of immature zygotic embryos of cacao (Theobroma cacao) in vitro, by adding exogenous ABA, fluridone, or mefluidide to cultured embryos. Endogenous ABA levels, measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, were increased by exogenous ABA or by culture on sucrose increasing to 21%, and were decreased by fluridone and, to a lesser extent, by mefluidide. The effects of these on maturation were measured as effects on anthocyanins, lipids, and fatty acid saturation, all of which increase with maturation of the cacao embryo. Maturation was stimulated by increasing sucrose and, to a lesser degree, the addition of ABA, but decreasing endogenous ABA by treating with fluridone significantly inhibited all maturation parameters. Although desiccation tolerance does not develop in cacao embryos, these results suggest that ABA and sucrose are both needed for the initiation of events associated with maturation in vitro. PMID:16668805

  12. Amphibians and reptiles of the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, México, with new records

    OpenAIRE

    Colston, Timothy; Barão-Nóbrega, José António; Manders, Ryan; Lett, Alice; Wilmott, Jamie; Cameron, Gavin; Hunter, Sidony; Radage, Adam; Littlefair, Etienne; Williams, Robert; Lopez Cen, Antonio; Slater, Kathy

    2015-01-01

    We provide a list of amphibians and reptiles of the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve in the southern half of the Mexican Yucatan, in the state of Campeche. The study area was sampled through opportunistic, transect and pitfall trap surveys conducted for three successive years. These surveys resulted in a total of 2,359 amphibian and reptile encounters, belonging to 20 amphibian and 69 reptile species from 24 total families. We present herein the records for one snake, one chelonian and two salamand...

  13. Quantitative Proteomics of an Amphibian Pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, following Exposure to Thyroid Hormone

    OpenAIRE

    Thekkiniath, Jose; Zabet-Moghaddam, Masoud; Kottapalli, Kameswara Rao; Pasham, Mithun R.; San Francisco, Susan; San Francisco, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a chytrid fungus, has increasingly been implicated as a major factor in the worldwide decline of amphibian populations. The fungus causes chytridiomycosis in susceptible species leading to massive die-offs of adult amphibians. Although Bd infects the keratinized mouthparts of tadpoles and negatively affects foraging behavior, these infections are non-lethal. An important morphogen controlling amphibian metamorphosis is thyroid hormone (T3). Tadpoles may be...

  14. Phylogenic aspects of the amphibian dual olfactory system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taniguchi, Kazumi; Saito, Shouichiro; Oikawa, Toshihiro; Taniguchi, Kazuyuki

    2008-01-01

    The phylogenic significance of the subdivision of dual olfactory system is reviewed mainly on the basis of our findings by electron microscopy and lectin histochemistry in the three amphibian species. The dual olfactory system is present in common in these species and consists of the projection from the olfactory epithelium (OE) to the main olfactory bulb (MOB) and that from the vomeronasal epithelium (VNE) to the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB). The phylogenic significance of subdivisions in the dual olfactory system in the amphibian must differently be interpreted. The subdivision of the MOB into its dorsal region (D-MOB) and ventral region (V-MOB) in Xenopus laevis must be attributed to the primitive features in their olfactory receptors. The middle cavity epithelium lining the middle cavity of this frog possesses both ciliated sensory cells and microvillous sensory cells, reminding the OE in fish. The subdivision of the AOB into the rostral (R-AOB) and caudal part (C-AOB) in Bufo japonicus formosus must be regarded as an advanced characteristic. The lack of subdivisions in both MOB and AOB in Cynops pyrrhogaster may reflect their phylogenic primitiveness. Since our lectin histochemistry to detect glycoconjugates expressed in the olfactory pathway reveals the subdivisions in the dual olfactory system in the amphibian, the glycoconjugates may deeply participate in the organization and function of olfactory pathways in phylogeny.

  15. Initial diversification of living amphibians predated the breakup of Pangaea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    San Mauro, Diego; Vences, Miguel; Alcobendas, Marina; Zardoya, Rafael; Meyer, Axel

    2005-05-01

    The origin and divergence of the three living orders of amphibians (Anura, Caudata, Gymnophiona) and their main lineages are one of the most hotly debated topics in vertebrate evolution. Here, we present a robust molecular phylogeny based on the nuclear RAG1 gene as well as results from a variety of alternative independent molecular clock calibrations. Our analyses suggest that the origin and early divergence of the three living amphibian orders dates back to the Palaeozoic or early Mesozoic, before the breakup of Pangaea, and soon after the divergence from lobe-finned fishes. The resulting new biogeographic scenario, age estimate, and the inferred rapid divergence of the three lissamphibian orders may account for the lack of fossils that represent plausible ancestors or immediate sister taxa of all three orders and the heretofore paradoxical distribution of some amphibian fossil taxa. Furthermore, the ancient and rapid radiation of the three lissamphibian orders likely explains why branch lengths connecting their early nodes are particularly short, thus rendering phylogenetic inference of implicated relationships especially difficult.

  16. Engineering a future for amphibians under climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoo, L.P.; Olson, D.H.; Mcmenamin, S.K.; Murray, K.A.; Van Sluys, M.; Donnelly, M.A.; Stratford, D.; Terhivuo, J.; Merino-Viteri, A.; Herbert, S.M.; Bishop, P.J.; Corn, P.S.; Dovey, L.; Griffiths, R.A.; Lowe, K.; Mahony, M.; McCallum, H.; Shuker, J.D.; Simpkins, C.; Skerratt, L.F.; Williams, S.E.; Hero, J.-M.

    2011-01-01

    1. Altered global climates in the 21st century pose serious threats for biological systems and practical actions are needed to mount a response for species at risk. 2. We identify management actions from across the world and from diverse disciplines that are applicable to minimizing loss of amphibian biodiversity under climate change. Actions were grouped under three thematic areas of intervention: (i) installation of microclimate and microhabitat refuges; (ii) enhancement and restoration of breeding sites; and (iii) manipulation of hydroperiod or water levels at breeding sites. 3. Synthesis and applications. There are currently few meaningful management actions that will tangibly impact the pervasive threat of climate change on amphibians. A host of potentially useful but poorly tested actions could be incorporated into local or regional management plans, programmes and activities for amphibians. Examples include: installation of irrigation sprayers to manipulate water potentials at breeding sites; retention or supplementation of natural and artificial shelters (e.g. logs, cover boards) to reduce desiccation and thermal stress; manipulation of canopy cover over ponds to reduce water temperature; and, creation of hydrologoically diverse wetland habitats capable of supporting larval development under variable rainfall regimes. We encourage researchers and managers to design, test and scale up new initiatives to respond to this emerging crisis.

  17. Independent evolution of the sexes promotes amphibian diversification

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Lisle, Stephen P.; Rowe, Locke

    2015-01-01

    Classic ecological theory predicts that the evolution of sexual dimorphism constrains diversification by limiting morphospace available for speciation. Alternatively, sexual selection may lead to the evolution of reproductive isolation and increased diversification. We test contrasting predictions of these hypotheses by examining the relationship between sexual dimorphism and diversification in amphibians. Our analysis shows that the evolution of sexual size dimorphism (SSD) is associated with increased diversification and speciation, contrary to the ecological theory. Further, this result is unlikely to be explained by traditional sexual selection models because variation in amphibian SSD is unlikely to be driven entirely by sexual selection. We suggest that relaxing a central assumption of classic ecological models—that the sexes share a common adaptive landscape—leads to the alternative hypothesis that independent evolution of the sexes may promote diversification. Once the constraints of sexual conflict are relaxed, the sexes can explore morphospace that would otherwise be inaccessible. Consistent with this novel hypothesis, the evolution of SSD in amphibians is associated with reduced current extinction threat status, and an historical reduction in extinction rate. Our work reconciles conflicting predictions from ecological and evolutionary theory and illustrates that the ability of the sexes to evolve independently is associated with a spectacular vertebrate radiation. PMID:25694616

  18. Pentastomiasis and other parasitic zoonoses from reptiles and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pantchev, Nikola; Tappe, Dennis

    2011-01-01

    Reptiles are growing in popularity as pets.The colonization of reptiles and amphibians by parasites and the resulting disease conditions are the most common problems seen in captive animals.This review focuses on pentastomiasis and sparganosis, important parasitic zoonoses of reptiles and amphibians, respectively, and free living-amoebae. Humans are suitable accidental hosts for some pentastomid species (particularly Armillifer and Porocephalus). In geographical areas with special ethnics, such as in West and Central Africa, and East Asia, 8-45% of the human population can be affected. Usually the larvae are coincidentally found during abdominal surgeries. However, fatalities have been described. Extreme caution is necessary when handling infected reptiles. Ocular or cerebral sparganosis is not uncommonly found in humans in East Asia. This disease is caused by spargana, tapeworm larvae (plerocercoids) of Spirometra sp. The infection occurs when uncooked meat from reptiles or amphibians is applied to wounds or eyes and the parasites migrate directly to human tissue, or by consumption of contaminated food or water. As a consequence of the reptile's predatory behaviour, the full spectrum of endo- and ectoparasites from potential prey animals can be found as transiting parasites in the intestinal tract, e. g. Hymenolepis nana, Cryptosporidium (C.) muris, C parvum or Capillaria hepatica. Occasionally, free-living amoebae are also found in reptile faeces (Acanthamoeba, Naegleria, Hartmanella, Vahlkampfia or Echinamoeba sp.).

  19. Optimizing protection efforts for amphibian conservation in Mediterranean landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Muñoz, Enrique; Ceacero, Francisco; Carretero, Miguel A.; Pedrajas-Pulido, Luis; Parra, Gema; Guerrero, Francisco

    2013-05-01

    Amphibians epitomize the modern biodiversity crisis, and attract great attention from the scientific community since a complex puzzle of factors has influence on their disappearance. However, these factors are multiple and spatially variable, and declining in each locality is due to a particular combination of causes. This study shows a suitable statistical procedure to determine threats to amphibian species in medium size administrative areas. For our study case, ten biological and ecological variables feasible to affect the survival of 15 amphibian species were categorized and reduced through Principal Component Analysis. The principal components extracted were related to ecological plasticity, reproductive potential, and specificity of breeding habitats. Finally, the factor scores of species were joined in a presence-absence matrix that gives us information to identify where and why conservation management are requires. In summary, this methodology provides the necessary information to maximize benefits of conservation measures in small areas by identifying which ecological factors need management efforts and where should we focus them on.

  20. Interventions for reducing extinction risk in chytridiomycosis-threatened amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheele, Ben C; Hunter, David A; Grogan, Laura F; Berger, Lee; Kolby, Jon E; McFadden, Michael S; Marantelli, Gerry; Skerratt, Lee F; Driscoll, Don A

    2014-10-01

    Wildlife diseases pose an increasing threat to biodiversity and are a major management challenge. A striking example of this threat is the emergence of chytridiomycosis. Despite diagnosis of chytridiomycosis as an important driver of global amphibian declines 15 years ago, researchers have yet to devise effective large-scale management responses other than biosecurity measures to mitigate disease spread and the establishment of disease-free captive assurance colonies prior to or during disease outbreaks. We examined the development of management actions that can be implemented after an epidemic in surviving populations. We developed a conceptual framework with clear interventions to guide experimental management and applied research so that further extinctions of amphibian species threatened by chytridiomycosis might be prevented. Within our framework, there are 2 management approaches: reducing Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (the fungus that causes chytridiomycosis) in the environment or on amphibians and increasing the capacity of populations to persist despite increased mortality from disease. The latter approach emphasizes that mitigation does not necessarily need to focus on reducing disease-associated mortality. We propose promising management actions that can be implemented and tested based on current knowledge and that include habitat manipulation, antifungal treatments, animal translocation, bioaugmentation, head starting, and selection for resistance. Case studies where these strategies are being implemented will demonstrate their potential to save critically endangered species. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  1. Salmonella diversity associated with wild reptiles and amphibians in Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briones, Víctor; Téllez, Sonia; Goyache, Joaquín; Ballesteros, Cristina; del Pilar Lanzarot, María; Domínguez, Lucas; Fernández-Garayzábal, José F

    2004-08-01

    During the spring and summer of 2001, faeces from 166 wild reptiles (94 individuals) and amphibians (72 individuals) from 21 different species found in central Spain were examined for the presence of Salmonella. Thirty-nine reptiles (41.5%) yielded 48 Salmonella isolates, whereas all the amphibians examined were negative. Subspecies Salmonella enterica enterica (I) accounted for up to 50% of isolates. Fourteen isolates (29.2%) belonged to subspecies diarizonae (IIIb), six isolates (12.5%) to subspecies salamae (II), and four isolates (8.3%) to subspecies arizonae (IIIa). Twenty-seven different serotypes were identified. Serotypes Anatum (12.5%), Herzliya (8.3%), Abony, 18:l,v:z, 9,12:z29:1,5 and 38:z10:z53 (6.2%/each) were the most frequently isolated. A high percentage (39.6%) of isolates belonged to serotypes previously associated with environmental sources. Also, 37.5% of isolates belonged to serotypes which had been related to human cases of salmonellosis. From these data, it is concluded that wild reptiles, but apparently not amphibians, may represent an important reservoir of Salmonella in nature and have potential implications for public health.

  2. Nomenclatural notes on living and fossil amphibians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martín, C.

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available A review of extinct and living amphibians known from fossils (Allocaudata, Anura and Caudata has revealed several cases that require nomenclatural changes in order to stabilize the taxonomy of the group. Nomenclatural changes include homonym replacements, corrections of spelling variants and authorships, name availabilities, and in particular, the proposal of new combinations. These changes will allow the incorporation of some palaeontological taxa to the current evolutionary models of relationship of modern forms based on molecular phylogenies. Rana cadurcorum for Rana plicata Filhol, 1877, Rana auscitana for Rana pygmaea Lartet, 1851, and Rana sendoa for Rana robusta Brunner, 1956. Anchylorana Taylor, 1942 is considered a new synonym of Lithobates Fitzinger, 1843. New combinations proposed are: Anaxyrus defensor for Bufo defensor Meylan, 2005; Anaxyrus hibbardi for Bufo hibbardi Taylor, 1937; Anaxyrus pliocompactilis for Bufo pliocompactilis Wilson, 1968; Anaxyrus repentinus for Bufo repentinus Tihen, 1962; Anaxyrus rexroadensis for Bufo rexroadensis Tihen, 1962; Anaxyrus spongifrons for Bufo spongifrons Tihen, 1962; Anaxyrus suspectus for Bufo suspectus Tihen, 1962; Anaxyrus tiheni for Bufo tiheni Auffenberg, 1957; Anaxyrus valentinensis for Bufo valentinensis Estes et Tihen, 1964; Ichthyosaura wintershofi for Triturus wintershofi Lunau, 1950; Incilius praevius for Bufo praevius Tihen, 1951; Lithobates bucella for Rana bucella Holman, 1965; Lithobates dubitus for Anchylorana dubita Taylor, 1942; Lithobates fayeae for Rana fayeae Taylor, 1942; Lithobates miocenicus for Rana miocenica Holman, 1965; Lithobates moorei for Anchylorana moorei Taylor, 1942; Lithobates parvissimus for Rana parvissima

  3. Cultures of preimplantation mouse embryos

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Streffer, C.; Molls, M.

    1987-01-01

    In the preimplantation mouse embryos the chromosomal damage develops through several postradiation cell cycles and mitoses. New chromosome aberrations are seen during the second and third postradiation mitoses. Also, more micronuclei appear during later postradiation interphases. This is in agreement with the assumption that unrepaired chromosomal radiation damage develops during the cell generation cycle to such a form (i.e. double-strand breaks in DNA) that chromosomal breaks occur. This proposition is strengthened by the observation that radiation-induced damage is more rapidly expressed after neutron exposure (first or second postradiation mitosis) than after exposure to X rays at the one- or two-cell stage. The preimplantation mouse embryo culture is an inviting system for additional studies at the molecular level, especially now that within the last few years more sensitive methods have been developed for study of DNA and protein structure, regulation, and synthesis. The results from these studies of cultures of preimplantation mouse embryos present a favorable case for the study of complex biological systems under very defined conditions in vitro for extrapolation to effects in vivo

  4. Human embryo culture media comparisons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pool, Thomas B; Schoolfield, John; Han, David

    2012-01-01

    Every program of assisted reproduction strives to maximize pregnancy outcomes from in vitro fertilization and selecting an embryo culture medium, or medium pair, consistent with high success rates is key to this process. The common approach is to replace an existing medium with a new one of interest in the overall culture system and then perform enough cycles of IVF to see if a difference is noted both in laboratory measures of embryo quality and in pregnancy. This approach may allow a laboratory to select one medium over another but the outcomes are only relevant to that program, given that there are well over 200 other variables that may influence the results in an IVF cycle. A study design that will allow for a more global application of IVF results, ones due to culture medium composition as the single variable, is suggested. To perform a study of this design, the center must have a patient caseload appropriate to meet study entrance criteria, success rates high enough to reveal a difference if one exists and a strong program of quality assurance and control in both the laboratory and clinic. Sibling oocytes are randomized to two study arms and embryos are evaluated on day 3 for quality grades. Inter and intra-observer variability are evaluated by kappa statistics and statistical power and study size estimates are performed to bring discriminatory capability to the study. Finally, the complications associated with extending such a study to include blastocyst production on day 5 or 6 are enumerated.

  5. Perspectives from the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute: Amphibians and wilderness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corn, Paul Stephen

    2001-01-01

    The decline of amphibian species has emerged as a major global conservation issue in the last decade. Last year, the Department of the Interior (DOI) initiated a major national initiative to detect trends in amphibian populations and research the causes of declines. The program, conducted principally by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), emphasizes lands managed by DOI, but collaboration with the Forest Service is encouraged to increase the scope of inference about population trends. Although amphibians are not usually the first group of animals that comes to mind when one thinks of wilderness, conservation of amphibian populations is clearly a wilderness issue.

  6. Restored agricultural wetlands in Central Iowa: habitat quality and amphibian response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeves, Rebecca A.; Pierce, Clay; Smalling, Kelly L.; Klaver, Robert W.; Vandever, Mark W.; Battaglin, William A.; Muths, Erin L.

    2016-01-01

    Amphibians are declining throughout the United States and worldwide due, partly, to habitat loss. Conservation practices on the landscape restore wetlands to denitrify tile drainage effluent and restore ecosystem services. Understanding how water quality, hydroperiod, predation, and disease affect amphibians in restored wetlands is central to maintaining healthy amphibian populations in the region. We examined the quality of amphibian habitat in restored wetlands relative to reference wetlands by comparing species richness, developmental stress, and adult leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens) survival probabilities to a suite of environmental metrics. Although measured habitat variables differed between restored and reference wetlands, differences appeared to have sub-lethal rather than lethal effects on resident amphibian populations. There were few differences in amphibian species richness and no difference in estimated survival probabilities between wetland types. Restored wetlands had more nitrate and alkaline pH, longer hydroperiods, and were deeper, whereas reference wetlands had more amphibian chytrid fungus zoospores in water samples and resident amphibians exhibited increased developmental stress. Restored and reference wetlands are both important components of the landscape in central Iowa and maintaining a complex of fish-free wetlands with a variety of hydroperiods will likely contribute to the persistence of amphibians in this landscape.

  7. Characterization of the Carbohydrate Binding Module 18 gene family in the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Peng; Stajich, Jason E

    2015-04-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is the causative agent of chytridiomycosis responsible for worldwide decline in amphibian populations. Previous analysis of the Bd genome revealed a unique expansion of the carbohydrate-binding module family 18 (CBM18) predicted to be a sub-class of chitin recognition domains. CBM expansions have been linked to the evolution of pathogenicity in a variety of fungal species by protecting the fungus from the host. Based on phylogenetic analysis and presence of additional protein domains, the gene family can be classified into 3 classes: Tyrosinase-, Deacetylase-, and Lectin-like. Examination of the mRNA expression levels from sporangia and zoospores of nine of the cbm18 genes found that the Lectin-like genes had the highest expression while the Tyrosinase-like genes showed little expression, especially in zoospores. Heterologous expression of GFP-tagged copies of four CBM18 genes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae demonstrated that two copies containing secretion signal peptides are trafficked to the cell boundary. The Lectin-like genes cbm18-ll1 and cbm18-ll2 co-localized with the chitinous cell boundaries visualized by staining with calcofluor white. In vitro assays of the full length and single domain copies from CBM18-LL1 demonstrated chitin binding and no binding to cellulose or xylan. Expressed CBM18 domain proteins were demonstrated to protect the fungus, Trichoderma reeseii, in vitro against hydrolysis from exogenously added chitinase, likely by binding and limiting exposure of fungal chitin. These results demonstrate that cbm18 genes can play a role in fungal defense and expansion of their copy number may be an important pathogenicity factor of this emerging infectious disease of amphibians. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Life history tactics shape amphibians' demographic responses to the North Atlantic Oscillation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cayuela, Hugo; Joly, Pierre; Schmidt, Benedikt R; Pichenot, Julian; Bonnaire, Eric; Priol, Pauline; Peyronel, Olivier; Laville, Mathias; Besnard, Aurélien

    2017-11-01

    Over the last three decades, climate abnormalities have been reported to be involved in biodiversity decline by affecting population dynamics. A growing number of studies have shown that the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) influences the demographic parameters of a wide range of plant and animal taxa in different ways. Life history theory could help to understand these different demographic responses to the NAO. Indeed, theory states that the impact of weather variation on a species' demographic traits should depend on its position along the fast-slow continuum. In particular, it is expected that NAO would have a higher impact on recruitment than on adult survival in slow species, while the opposite pattern is expected occur in fast species. To test these predictions, we used long-term capture-recapture datasets (more than 15,000 individuals marked from 1965 to 2015) on different surveyed populations of three amphibian species in Western Europe: Triturus cristatus, Bombina variegata, and Salamandra salamandra. Despite substantial intraspecific variation, our study revealed that these three species differ in their position on a slow-fast gradient of pace of life. Our results also suggest that the differences in life history tactics influence amphibian responses to NAO fluctuations: Adult survival was most affected by the NAO in the species with the fastest pace of life (T. cristatus), whereas recruitment was most impacted in species with a slower pace of life (B. variegata and S. salamandra). In the context of climate change, our findings suggest that the capacity of organisms to deal with future changes in NAO values could be closely linked to their position on the fast-slow continuum. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. Radionuclide transfer from mother to embryo

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Toader, M.; Vasilache, R.A.; Scridon, R.; Toader, M.L.

    1998-01-01

    The transfer of radionuclides from mother to embryo is still a matter of high interest. Therefore, the relation was investigated between the amount of radionuclides in the embryo and the dietary intake of the mother, this for two scenarios: a recurrent intake of variable amounts of radionuclides, and a long-term intake of a relatively constant amount of radionuclides, the radionuclide being 137 Cs. In the first case, the amount of radionuclides present in the embryo increases with the age of the embryo and with the intake of the mother. In the second case, no correlation could be found between the age of the embryo and its radioactive content; only the correlation between the intake of the mother and the radionuclide content of the embryo remained. (A.K.)

  10. Methanol as a cryoprotectant for equine embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bass, L D; Denniston, D J; Maclellan, L J; McCue, P M; Seidel, G E; Squires, E L

    2004-09-15

    Equine embryos (n=43) were recovered nonsurgically 7-8 days after ovulation and randomly assigned to be cryopreserved in one of two cryoprotectants: 48% (15M) methanol (n=22) or 10% (136 M) glycerol (n=21). Embryos (300-1000 microm) were measured at five intervals after exposure to glycerol (0, 2, 5, 10 and 15 min) or methanol (0, 15, 35, 75 and 10 min) to determine changes (%) in diameter over time (+/-S.D.). Embryos were loaded into 0.25-ml plastic straws, sealed, placed in a programmable cell freezer and cooled from room temperature (22 degrees C) to -6 degrees C. Straws were then seeded, held at -6 degrees C for 10 min and then cooled to -33 degrees C before being plunged into liquid nitrogen. Two or three embryos within a treatment group were thawed and assigned to be either cultured for 12 h prior to transfer or immediately nonsurgically transferred to a single mare. Embryo diameter decreased in all embryos upon initial exposure to cryoprotectant. Embryos in methanol shrank and recovered slightly to 76+/-8 % of their original diameter; however, embryos in glycerol continued to shrink, reaching 57+/-6 % of their original diameter prior to cryopreservation. Survival rates of embryos through Day 16 of pregnancy were 38 and 23%, respectively (P>0.05) for embryos cryopreserved in the presence of glycerol or methanol. There was no difference in pregnancy rates of mares receiving embryos that were cultured prior to transfer or not cultured (P>0.05). Preliminary experiments indicated that 48% methanol was not toxic to fresh equine embryos but methanol provided no advantage over glycerol as a cryoprotectant for equine blastocysts.

  11. Lethality of radioisotopes in early mouse embryos

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Macqueen, H.A.

    1979-01-01

    The development of pre-implantation mouse embryos was found to be prevented by exposure of the embryos to [ 35 S]methionine, but not to [ 3 H]methionine. Such embryos have also been shown to be highly sensitive to [ 3 H]thymidine. These observations are discussed with reference to the path lengths and energies of electrons emitted from the different radioisotopes. (author)

  12. Unexpected metabolic disorders induced by endocrine disruptors in Xenopus tropicalis provide new lead for understanding amphibian decline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regnault, Christophe; Usal, Marie; Veyrenc, Sylvie; Couturier, Karine; Batandier, Cécile; Bulteau, Anne-Laure; Lejon, David; Sapin, Alexandre; Combourieu, Bruno; Chetiveaux, Maud; Le May, Cédric; Lafond, Thomas; Raveton, Muriel; Reynaud, Stéphane

    2018-05-08

    Despite numerous studies suggesting that amphibians are highly sensitive to endocrine disruptors (EDs), both their role in the decline of populations and the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. This study showed that frogs exposed throughout their life cycle to ED concentrations low enough to be considered safe for drinking water, developed a prediabetes phenotype and, more commonly, a metabolic syndrome. Female Xenopus tropicalis exposed from tadpole stage to benzo( a )pyrene or triclosan at concentrations of 50 ng⋅L -1 displayed glucose intolerance syndrome, liver steatosis, liver mitochondrial dysfunction, liver transcriptomic signature, and pancreatic insulin hypersecretion, all typical of a prediabetes state. This metabolic syndrome led to progeny whose metamorphosis was delayed and occurred while the individuals were both smaller and lighter, all factors that have been linked to reduced adult recruitment and likelihood of reproduction. We found that F 1 animals did indeed have reduced reproductive success, demonstrating a lower fitness in ED-exposed Xenopus Moreover, after 1 year of depuration, Xenopus that had been exposed to benzo( a )pyrene still displayed hepatic disorders and a marked insulin secretory defect resulting in glucose intolerance. Our results demonstrate that amphibians are highly sensitive to EDs at concentrations well below the thresholds reported to induce stress in other vertebrates. This study introduces EDs as a possible key contributing factor to amphibian population decline through metabolism disruption. Overall, our results show that EDs cause metabolic disorders, which is in agreement with epidemiological studies suggesting that environmental EDs might be one of the principal causes of metabolic disease in humans.

  13. Acute oral toxicity of chemicals in terrestrial life stages of amphibians: Comparisons to birds and mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crane, Mark; Finnegan, Meaghean; Weltje, Lennart; Kosmala-Grzechnik, Sylwia; Gross, Melanie; Wheeler, James R

    2016-10-01

    Amphibians are currently the most threatened and rapidly declining group of vertebrates and this has raised concerns about their potential sensitivity and exposure to plant protection products and other chemicals. Current environmental risk assessment procedures rely on surrogate species (e.g. fish and birds) to cover the risk to aquatic and terrestrial life stages of amphibians, respectively. Whilst a recent meta-analysis has shown that in most cases amphibian aquatic life stages are less sensitive to chemicals than fish, little research has been conducted on the comparative sensitivity of terrestrial amphibian life stages. Therefore, in this paper we address the questions "What is the relative sensitivity of terrestrial amphibian life stages to acute chemical oral exposure when compared with mammals and birds?" and "Are there correlations between oral toxicity data for amphibians and data for mammals or birds?" Identifying a relationship between these data may help to avoid additional vertebrate testing. Acute oral amphibian toxicity data collected from the scientific literature and ecotoxicological databases were compared with toxicity data for mammals and birds. Toxicity data for terrestrial amphibian life stages are generally sparse, as noted in previous reviews. Single-dose oral toxicity data for terrestrial amphibian life stages were available for 26 chemicals and these were positively correlated with LD50 values for mammals, while no correlation was found for birds. Further, the data suggest that oral toxicity to terrestrial amphibian life stages is similar to or lower than that for mammals and birds, with a few exceptions. Thus, mammals or birds are considered adequate toxicity surrogates for use in the assessment of the oral exposure route in amphibians. However, there is a need for further data on a wider range of chemicals to explore the wider applicability of the current analyses and recommendations. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Using Ambystoma mexicanum (Mexican axolotl) embryos, chemical genetics, and microarray analysis to identify signaling pathways associated with tissue regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponomareva, Larissa V; Athippozhy, Antony; Thorson, Jon S; Voss, S Randal

    2015-12-01

    Amphibian vertebrates are important models in regenerative biology because they present exceptional regenerative capabilities throughout life. However, it takes considerable effort to rear amphibians to juvenile and adult stages for regeneration studies, and the relatively large sizes that frogs and salamanders achieve during development make them difficult to use in chemical screens. Here, we introduce a new tail regeneration model using late stage Mexican axolotl embryos. We show that axolotl embryos completely regenerate amputated tails in 7days before they exhaust their yolk supply and begin to feed. Further, we show that axolotl embryos can be efficiently reared in microtiter plates to achieve moderate throughput screening of soluble chemicals to investigate toxicity and identify molecules that alter regenerative outcome. As proof of principle, we identified integration 1 / wingless (Wnt), transforming growth factor beta (Tgf-β), and fibroblast growth factor (Fgf) pathway antagonists that completely block tail regeneration and additional chemicals that significantly affected tail outgrowth. Furthermore, we used microarray analysis to show that inhibition of Wnt signaling broadly affects transcription of genes associated with Wnt, Fgf, Tgf-β, epidermal growth factor (Egf), Notch, nerve growth factor (Ngf), homeotic gene (Hox), rat sarcoma/mitogen-activated protein kinase (Ras/Mapk), myelocytomatosis viral oncogene (Myc), tumor protein 53 (p53), and retinoic acid (RA) pathways. Punctuated changes in the expression of genes known to regulate vertebrate development were observed; this suggests the tail regeneration transcriptional program is hierarchically structured and temporally ordered. Our study establishes the axolotl as a chemical screening model to investigate signaling pathways associated with tissue regeneration. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Theory about the Embryo Cryo-Treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vladimirov, Iavor K; Tacheva, Desislava; Diez, Antonio

    2017-04-01

    To create hypothesis, which can give a logical explanation related to the benefits of freezing/thawing embryos. Cryopreservation is not only a technology used for storing embryos, but also a method of embryo treatment that can potentially improve the success rate in infertile couples. From the analysis of multiple results in assisted reproductive technology, which have no satisfactory explanation to date, we found evidence to support a 'therapeutic' effect of the freezing/thawing of embryos on the process of recovery of the embryo and its subsequent implantation. Freezing/thawing is a way to activate the endogenous survival and repair responses in preimplantation embryos. Several molecular mechanisms can explain the higher success rate of ET using thawed embryos compared to fresh ET in women of advanced reproductive age, the higher miscarriage rate in cases of thawed blastocyst ET compared to thawed ET at early cleavage embryo, and the higher perinatal parameters of born children after thawed ET. Embryo thawing induces a stress. Controlled stress is not necessarily detrimental, because it generates a phenomenon that is counteracted by several known biological responses aimed to repair mitochondrial damage of membrane and protein misfolding. The term for favorable biological responses to low exposures to stress is called hormesis. This thesis will summarize the role of cryopreservation in the activation of a hormetic response, preserving the mitochondrial function, improving survival, and having an impact on the process of implantation, miscarriage, and the development of pregnancy.

  16. Nano-nutrition of chicken embryos

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sawosz, Filip; Pineda, Lane Manalili; Hotowy, Anna

    2013-01-01

    It has been suggested that the quantity and quality of nutrients stored in the egg might not be optimal for the fast rate of chicken embryo development in modern broilers, and embryos could be supplemented with nutrients by in ovo injection. Recent experiments showed that in ovo feeding reduces...... broiler eggs was randomly divided into a Control group without injection and injected groups with hydrocolloids of Nano-Ag, ATP or a complex of Nano-Ag and ATP (Nano-Ag/ATP). The embryos were evaluated on day 20 of incubation. The results indicate that the application of ATP to chicken embryos increases...

  17. Die Behandlung menschliches Embryos und Menschenwurde

    OpenAIRE

    Matsui, Fumio

    2002-01-01

    We are confronted with an old and new problem, which has come up with the progress of modern biotechnologies: what is a life or when does a life begin? The expectation of order-made medicine has build up since the discovery of Embryo Stem cell called "a dream master cell", while there is any condemnation against the destruction of human embryo in order to gain it. It is a question whether a human embryo is a human being in the world. Human dignity(=HD) is a principle that keeps human embryos ...

  18. Correlates of virulence in a frog-killing fungal pathogen: evidence from a California amphibian decline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piovia-Scott, Jonah; Pope, Karen; Worth, S Joy; Rosenblum, Erica Bree; Poorten, Thomas; Refsnider, Jeanine; Rollins-Smith, Louise A; Reinert, Laura K; Wells, Heather L; Rejmanek, Dan; Lawler, Sharon; Foley, Janet

    2015-07-01

    The fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has caused declines and extinctions in amphibians worldwide, and there is increasing evidence that some strains of this pathogen are more virulent than others. While a number of putative virulence factors have been identified, few studies link these factors to specific epizootic events. We documented a dramatic decline in juvenile frogs in a Bd-infected population of Cascades frogs (Rana cascadae) in the mountains of northern California and used a laboratory experiment to show that Bd isolated in the midst of this decline induced higher mortality than Bd isolated from a more stable population of the same species of frog. This highly virulent Bd isolate was more toxic to immune cells and attained higher density in liquid culture than comparable isolates. Genomic analyses revealed that this isolate is nested within the global panzootic lineage and exhibited unusual genomic patterns, including increased copy numbers of many chromosomal segments. This study integrates data from multiple sources to suggest specific phenotypic and genomic characteristics of the pathogen that may be linked to disease-related declines.

  19. What's Slithering around on Your School Grounds? Transforming Student Awareness of Reptile & Amphibian Diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomasek, Terry M.; Matthews, Catherine E.; Hall, Jeff

    2005-01-01

    The protocols used in a research project on amphibian and reptile diversity at Cool Springs Environmental Education Center near New Bern, North Carolina is described. An increasing or stable number of amphibians and reptiles would indicate that the forest has a balance of invertebrates, leaf litter, moisture, pH, debris, burrows and habitat…

  20. Amphibian and reptile records from around the Betsiboka Delta area in North-Western Madagascar

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rakotoarison, Andolalao; Erens, Jesse; Ratsoavina, Fanomezana M.; Vences, Miguel

    2015-01-01

    This study summarises amphibian and reptile records from ad hoc surveys in a series of localities in the North-West of Madagascar, largely centred on the delta of the Betsiboka River. Eleven amphibian and approximately 32 reptile species were found, with taxonomic uncertainties remaining for some

  1. 19 CFR 12.26 - Importations of wild animals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, mollusks, and crustaceans; prohibited...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ..., reptiles, mollusks, and crustaceans; prohibited and endangered and threatened species; designated ports of..., Birds, and Insects § 12.26 Importations of wild animals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, mollusks, and... crustacea), amphibians, reptiles, or the offspring or eggs of any of the foregoing which the Secretary of...

  2. The Effects of Ammonium Perchlorate on Reproduction and Development of Amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    Mitigating Ammonium Perchlorate (AP) Exposure........................................................................18 Table 5-1. Funding History and...amphibian species were reared on perchlorate-laden food (e.g., hydroponically grown lettuce ) and their growth and development monitored. Thyroid...of Perchlorate Derived from Food Sources on Amphibian Development 8 Table 3.1 (Continued) 3.1 Initiate Lettuce Growth 3.2 Tests with Native

  3. Occurrence of the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in the Pacific Northwest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    C.A. Pearl; E.L. Bull; D.E. Green; J. Bowerman; M.J. Adams; A. Hyatt; W.H. Wente

    2007-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis (infection by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) is an emerging pathogen of amphibians that is associated with declines in at least four continents. We report results of disease screens from 271 field-sampled amphibians from Oregon and Washington. Chytridiomycosis was detected on 5 of 7 species and from 31 percent of all...

  4. Low prevalence of chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) in amphibians of U.S

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake R. Hossack; Michael J. Adams; Evan H. Campbell Grant; Christopher A. Pearl; James B. Bettaso; William J. Barichivich; Winsor H. Lowe; Kimberly True; Joy L. Ware; Paul Stephen Corn

    2010-01-01

    Many declines of amphibian populations have been associated with chytridiomycosis, a disease caused by the aquatic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Despite the relatively high prevalence of chytridiomycosis in stream amphibians globally, most surveys in North America have focused primarily on wetland-associated species, which are frequently infected. To...

  5. Detecting the effects of environmentally relevant concentrations of thyroid hormone disrupting compounds on amphibian development

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gutleb, A.C.

    2006-01-01

    Persistent organic pollutants such as PCBs have been hypothesized to contribute to the observed global decline of amphibian populations. Thyroid hormone (TH) disruption is one of the possible mechanisms for effects of xenobiotics on amphibian development. In addition to the important functions

  6. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis prevalence and haplotypes in domestic and imported pet amphibians in Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamukai, Kenichi; Une, Yumi; Tominaga, Atsushi; Suzuki, Kazutaka; Goka, Koichi

    2014-05-13

    The international trade in amphibians is believed to have increased the spread of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the fungal pathogen responsible for chytridiomycosis, which has caused a rapid decline in amphibian populations worldwide. We surveyed amphibians imported into Japan and those held in captivity for a long period or bred in Japan to clarify the Bd infection status. Samples were taken from 820 individuals of 109 amphibian species between 2008 and 2011 and were analyzed by a nested-PCR assay. Bd prevalence in imported amphibians was 10.3% (58/561), while it was 6.9% (18/259) in those in private collections and commercially bred amphibians in Japan. We identified the genotypes of this fungus using partial DNA sequences of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region. Sequencing of PCR products of all 76 Bd-positive samples revealed 11 haplotypes of the Bd ITS region. Haplotype A (DNA Data Bank of Japan accession number AB435211) was found in 90% (52/58) of imported amphibians. The results show that Bd is currently entering Japan via the international trade in exotic amphibians as pets, suggesting that the trade has indeed played a major role in the spread of Bd.

  7. Evaluation of episodic acidification and amphibian declines in the Rocky Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank A. Vertucci; Paul Stephen Corn

    1996-01-01

    We define criteria for documenting episodic acidification of amphibian breeding habitats and examine whether episodic acidification is responsible for observed declines of amphibian populations in the Rocky Mountains. Anthropogenic episodic acidification, caused by atmospheric deposition of sulfate and nitrate, occurs when the concentration of acid anions increases...

  8. Riparian Habitat Management for Reptiles and Amphibians on Corps of Engineers Projects

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Dickerson, Dena

    2001-01-01

    ... important taxonomic groups such as reptiles and amphibians. This note provides an overview of the importance of riparian habitat at Corps projects for reptiles and amphibians, identifies riparian zone functions and habitat characteristics, provides examples of representative taxa and regional comparisons, and describes impacts of riparian habitat modification.

  9. [Relationship between mitochondrial DNA copy number, membrane potential of human embryo and embryo morphology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, H; Teng, X M; Li, Y F

    2017-11-25

    Objective: To explore the relationship between the embryo with the different morphological types in the third day and its mitochondrial copy number, the membrane potential. Methods: Totally 117 embryos with poor development after normal fertilization and were not suitable transferred in the fresh cycle and 106 frozen embryos that were discarded voluntarily by infertility patients with in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer after successful pregnancy were selected. According to evaluation of international standard in embryos, all cleavage stage embryos were divided into class Ⅰ frozen embryo group ( n= 64), class Ⅱ frozen embryo group ( n= 42) and class Ⅲ fresh embryonic group (not transplanted embryos; n= 117). Real-time PCR and confocal microscopy methods were used to detect mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number and the mitochondrial membrane potential of a single embryo. The differences between embryo quality and mtDNA copy number and membrane potential of each group were compared. Results: The copy number of mtDNA and the mitochondrial membrane potential in class Ⅲ fresh embryonic group [(1.7±1.0)×10(5) copy/μl, 1.56±0.32] were significantly lower than those in class Ⅰ frozen embryo group [(3.4±1.7)×10(5) copy/μl, 2.66±0.21] and class Ⅱ frozen embryo group [(2.6±1.2)×10(5) copy/μl, 1.80±0.32; all Pembryo group were significantly higher than those in classⅡ frozen embryo group (both Pembryos of the better quality embryo are higher.

  10. OCT imaging of craniofacial anatomy in xenopus embryos (Conference Presentation)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deniz, Engin; Jonas, Stephan M.; Griffin, John; Hooper, Michael C.; Choma, Michael A.; Khokha, Mustafa K.

    2016-03-01

    The etiology of craniofacial defects is incompletely understood. The ability to obtain large amounts of gene sequence data from families affected by craniofacial defects is opening up new ways to understand molecular genetic etiological factors. One important link between gene sequence data and clinical relevance is biological research into candidate genes and molecular pathways. We present our recent research using OCT as a nondestructive phenotyping modality of craniofacial morphology in Xenopus embryos, an important animal model for biological research in gene and pathway discovery. We define 2D and 3D scanning protocols for a standardized approach to craniofacial imaging in Xenopus embryos. We define standard views and planar reconstructions for visualizing normal anatomy and landmarks. We compare these views and reconstructions to traditional histopathology using alcian blue staining. In addition to being 3D, nondestructive, and having much faster throughout, OCT can identify craniofacial features that are lost during traditional histopathological preparation. We also identify quantitative morphometric parameters to define normative craniofacial anatomy. We also note that craniofacial and cardiac defects are not infrequently present in the same patient (e.g velocardiofacial syndrome). Given that OCT excels at certain aspects of cardiac imaging in Xenopus embryos, our work highlights the potential of using OCT and Xenopus to study molecular genetic factors that impact both cardiac and craniofacial development.

  11. [Culture conditions for gametes and embryos: Which culture medium? Which impact on newborn?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koscinski, I; Merten, M; Kazdar, N; Guéant, J-L

    2018-05-01

    Many studies have examined the impact of cell/embryo culture media on the development of human embryo during IVF process, but few studies have followed up and compared the effects of these culture media on the developmental outcome of children conceived by IVF. As recurrent experimental evidence from animal studies suggests potential long-term effects of embryo culture media on the health outcome of IVF-conceived children, more studies are needed to clarify the role of the culture media and mechanisms underlying such effects. In human, however, the effects of culture media are difficult to pinpoint due to complications stem from both the influence of maternal nutrition during the gestational period and the parental genetic. Based on a simple review of the literature integrating animal experimentations and human clinic studies, we suggest that the composition of culture medium should be considered beyond the character of unique or sequential medium, corresponding to "let embryo choose" or "back to nature" respectively. Instead, we suggest that the main components of embryo culture media should be considered from the point of view of metabolic consequences and potential epigenetic effects. Given that energetic metabolites can regulate epigenetic machinery, we hypothesize that metabolic abnormalities linked to morphological abnormalities could reveal epigenetic defects in embryos. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  12. Validity of fish, birds and mammals as surrogates for amphibians and reptiles in pesticide toxicity assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz-Santaliestra, Manuel E; Maia, Joao P; Egea-Serrano, Andrés; Lopes, Isabel

    2018-02-28

    Amphibians and reptiles are the two most endangered groups of vertebrates. Environmental pollution by pesticides is recognised as one of the major factors threatening populations of these groups. However, the effects of pesticides on amphibians and reptiles have been studied for few substances, which is partly related to the fact that these animals are not included in the mandatory toxicity testing conducted as part of environmental risk assessments of pesticides. Whether risks of pesticides to amphibians and reptiles are addressed by surrogate taxa used in risk assessment is currently under debate. In order to develop a scientifically sound and robust risk assessment scheme, information needs to be gathered to examine whether fish, birds and mammals are valid surrogates for amphibians and reptiles. We updated a systematic review of scientific literature that was recently published compiling toxicity data on amphibians and reptiles. The outcome of this review was analysed with the purposes to (1) compare endpoints from amphibians and reptiles with the available information from fish, birds and mammals, and (2) develop species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) for those substances tested in at least six amphibian species (no substances were found tested in at least six reptile species) to identify a candidate amphibian model species to be used as surrogate in risk assessment. A positive correlation was found between toxicity recorded on fish and amphibians, the former revealing, in general, to be more sensitive than the latter to waterborne pollutants. In the terrestrial environment, although birds and mammals were more sensitive than amphibians and reptiles to at least 60% of tested substances, just a few weak significant correlations were observed. As a general rule, homoeothermic vertebrates are not good surrogates for reptiles and terrestrial amphibians in pesticide risk assessment. However, some chemical-dependent trends were detected, with pyrethroids and

  13. Effect of guaianolides in the meiosis reinitiation of amphibian oocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zapata-Martínez, J; Sánchez-Toranzo, G; Chaín, F; Catalán, C A N; Bühler, M I

    2017-02-01

    Sesquiterpene lactones (STLs) are a large and structurally diverse group of plant metabolites generally found in the Asteraceae family. STLs exhibit a wide spectrum of biological activities and it is generally accepted that their major mechanism of action is the alkylation of the thiol groups of biological molecules. The guaianolides is one of various groups of STLs. Anti-tumour and anti-migraine effects, an allergenic agent, an inhibitor of smooth muscle cells and of meristematic cell proliferation are only a few of the most commonly reported activities of STLs. In amphibians, fully grown ovarian oocytes are arrested at the beginning of meiosis I. Under stimulus with progesterone, this meiotic arrest is released and meiosis progresses to metaphase II, a process known as oocyte maturation. There are previous records of the inhibitory effect of dehydroleucodin (DhL), a guaianolide lactone, on the progression of meiosis. It has been also shown that DhL and its 11,13-dihydroderivative (2H-DhL; a mixture of epimers at C-11) act as blockers of the resumption of meiosis in fully grown ovarian oocytes from the amphibian Rhinella arenarum (formerly classified as Bufo arenarum). The aim of this study was to analyze the effect of four closely related guaianolides, i.e., DhL, achillin, desacetoxymatricarin and estafietin as possible inhibitors of meiosis in oocytes of amphibians in vitro and discuss some structure-activity relationships. It was found that the inhibitory effect on meiosis resumption is greater when the lactone has two potentially reactive centres, either a α,β-α',β'-diunsaturated cyclopentanone moiety or an epoxide group plus an exo-methylene-γ-lactone function.

  14. Practitioner and scientist perceptions of successful amphibian conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meredith, Helen M R; St John, Freya A V; Collen, Ben; Black, Simon A; Griffiths, Richard A

    2018-04-01

    Conservation requires successful outcomes. However, success is perceived in many different ways depending on the desired outcome. Through a questionnaire survey, we examined perceptions of success among 355 scientists and practitioners working on amphibian conservation from over 150 organizations in more than 50 countries. We also sought to identify how different types of conservation actions and respondent experience and background influenced perceptions. Respondents identified 4 types of success: species and habitat improvements (84% of respondents); effective program management (36%); outreach initiatives such as education and public engagement (25%); and the application of science-based conservation (15%). The most significant factor influencing overall perceived success was reducing threats. Capacity building was rated least important. Perceptions were influenced by experience, professional affiliation, involvement in conservation practice, and country of residence. More experienced practitioners associated success with improvements to species and habitats and less so with education and engagement initiatives. Although science-based conservation was rated as important, this factor declined in importance as the number of programs a respondent participated in increased, particularly among those from less economically developed countries. The ultimate measure of conservation success-population recovery-may be difficult to measure in many amphibians; difficult to relate to the conservation actions intended to drive it; and difficult to achieve within conventional funding time frames. The relaunched Amphibian Conservation Action Plan provides a framework for capturing lower level processes and outcomes, identifying gaps, and measuring progress. © 2017 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Conservation Biology.

  15. Relationship Between Landscape Character, UV Exposure, and Amphibian Decline

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Reilly, C. M.; Brooks, P. D.; Corn, P. S.; Muths, E.; Campbell, D. H.; Diamond, S.; Tonnessen, K.

    2001-12-01

    Widespread reports of amphibian declines have been considered a warning of large-scale environmental degradation, yet the reasons for these declines remain unclear. This study suggests that exposure to ultraviolet radiation may act as an environmental stressor that affects population breeding success or susceptibility to disease. Ultraviolet radiation is attenuated by dissolved and particulate compounds in water, which may be of either terrestrial or aquatic origin. UV attenuation by dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is primarily due to compounds in the fulvic acid fraction, which originate in soil environments. These terrestrially-derived fulvic acids are transported to during hydrologic flushing events such as snowmelt and episodic precipitation and play an important role in controlling UV exposure in surface waters. As part of a previously published project, amphibian surveys were conducted at seventeen sites in Rocky Mountain National Park both during, and subsequent to, a three-year drought (1988 - 1990). During this period, ten sites lost one amphibian species, while only one site gained a previously unreported species. One possible explanation for these localized species losses is increased exposure to UV radiation, mediated by reduced terrestrial DOC inputs during dry periods. Several subsequent years of water chemistry data showed that the sites with documented species losses were characterized by a range of DOC concentrations, but tended to have a greater proportion of terrestrial DOC than sites that did not undergo species loss. This suggests that terrestrial inputs exert a strong control on DOC concentrations that may influence species success. We used physical environmental factors to develop a classification scheme for these sites. There are many physical factors that can influence terrestrial DOC inputs, including landscape position, geomorphology, soil type, and watershed vegetation. In addition, we considered the possible effects on internal aquatic

  16. A Place to Call Home: Amphibian Use of Created and Restored Wetlands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donald J. Brown

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Loss and degradation of wetland habitats are major contributing factors to the global decline of amphibians. Creation and restoration of wetlands could be a valuable tool for increasing local amphibian species richness and abundance. We synthesized the peer-reviewed literature addressing amphibian use of created and restored wetlands, focusing on aquatic habitat, upland habitat, and wetland connectivity and configuration. Amphibian species richness or abundance at created and restored wetlands was either similar to or greater than reference wetlands in 89% of studies. Use of created and restored wetlands by individual species was driven by aquatic and terrestrial habitat preferences, as well as ability to disperse from source wetlands. We conclude that creating and restoring wetlands can be valuable tools for amphibian conservation. However, the ecological needs and preferences of target species must be considered to maximize the potential for successful colonization and long-term persistence.

  17. Uses and Doses of Local Anesthetics in Fish, Amphibians, and Reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatigny, Frederic; Kamunde, Collins; Creighton, Catherine M; Stevens, E Don

    2017-05-01

    Local anesthetics are an integral part of routine pain management in mammals, yet their use is relatively limited in fish, amphibians and reptiles. These animals frequently undergo potentially painful surgical procedures and therefore could possibly benefit from those drugs. Some recommendations are currently available in the literature concerning analgesic use in these animals. However the pharmacological properties, safety and often efficacy of local anesthetic drugs have not been investigated yet in fish, amphibians, or reptiles. This review compiled current information concerning the use of those agents in fish, reptiles and amphibians to help clinicians make an informed decision as to which dose and drug to use. The resulting literature search showed that the literature concerning use of local analgesics in fish and amphibians is very limited while the literature for reptiles is more extensive. We found few experimental studies evaluating the efficacy of local anesthetics. Further studies would provide additional information for developing guidelines to improve the welfare of fish, amphibians and reptiles.

  18. Amphibians and reptiles of the state of Coahuila, Mexico, with comparison with adjoining states.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemos-Espinal, Julio A; Smith, Geoffrey R

    2016-01-01

    We compiled a checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of the state of Coahuila, Mexico. The list comprises 133 species (24 amphibians, 109 reptiles), representing 27 families (9 amphibians, 18 reptiles) and 65 genera (16 amphibians, 49 reptiles). Coahuila has a high richness of lizards in the genus Sceloporus. Coahuila has relatively few state endemics, but has several regional endemics. Overlap in the herpetofauna of Coahuila and bordering states is fairly extensive. Of the 132 species of native amphibians and reptiles, eight are listed as Vulnerable, six as Near Threatened, and six as Endangered in the IUCN Red List. In the SEMARNAT listing, 19 species are Subject to Special Protection, 26 are Threatened, and three are in Danger of Extinction. Coahuila is home to several species of conservation concern, especially lizards and turtles. Coahuila is an important state for the conservation of the native regional fauna.

  19. Parallels in amphibian and bat declines from pathogenic fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eskew, Evan A; Todd, Brian D

    2013-03-01

    Pathogenic fungi have substantial effects on global biodiversity, and 2 emerging pathogenic species-the chytridiomycete Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which causes chytridiomycosis in amphibians, and the ascomycete Geomyces destructans, which causes white-nose syndrome in hibernating bats-are implicated in the widespread decline of their vertebrate hosts. We synthesized current knowledge for chytridiomycosis and white-nose syndrome regarding disease emergence, environmental reservoirs, life history characteristics of the host, and host-pathogen interactions. We found striking similarities between these aspects of chytridiomycosis and white-nose syndrome, and the research that we review and propose should help guide management of future emerging fungal diseases.

  20. [Spread of hemoparasites in reptiles and amphibians in Italy].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricci, M

    1999-12-01

    Hemoparasites were harvested from 993 individuals belonging to 15 reptilian and 1 amphibian species, from various Italian localities. Hemogregarins were found in 10 reptilian species while a flagellate and microfilariae were found only in Tarentola mauritanica from Lampedusa. For each host species and place of origin the frequencies of hemogregarins are reported and discussed. Longitudinal studies with periodical thin smears were carried out on 5 Tarentola mauritanica, 4 Lacerta viridis, 26 Podarcis filfolensis, 10 Podarcis muralis, 38 Podarcis sicula, 8 Chalcides ocellatus. This material, whose study has not yet been completed, is made available by the author who strongly encourages further investigations on this subject.

  1. No evidence for effects of infection with the amphibian chytrid fungus on populations of yellow-bellied toads.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Norman; Neubeck, Claus; Guicking, Daniela; Finke, Lennart; Wittich, Martin; Weising, Kurt; Geske, Christian; Veith, Michael

    2017-02-08

    The parasitic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) can cause the lethal disease chytridiomycosis in amphibians and therefore may play a role in population declines. The yellow-bellied toad Bombina variegata suffered strong declines throughout western and northwestern parts of its range and is therefore listed as highly endangered for Germany and the federal state of Hesse. Whether chytridiomycosis may play a role in the observed local declines of this strictly protected anuran species has never been tested. We investigated 19 Hessian yellow-bellied toad populations for Bd infection rates, conducted capture-mark-recapture studies in 4 of them over 2 to 3 yr, examined survival histories of recaptured infected individuals, and tested whether multi-locus heterozygosity of individuals as well as expected heterozygosity and different environmental variables of populations affect probabilities of Bd infection. Our results show high prevalence of Bd infection in Hessian yellow-bellied toad populations, but although significant decreases in 2 populations could be observed, no causative link to Bd as the reason for this can be established. Mass mortalities or obvious signs of disease in individuals were not observed. Conversely, we show that growth of Bd-infected populations is possible under favorable habitat conditions and that most infected individuals could be recaptured with improved body indices. Neither genetic diversity nor environmental variables appeared to affect Bd infection probabilities. Hence, genetically diverse amphibian specimens and populations may not automatically be less susceptible for Bd infection.

  2. Neural network classification of sweet potato embryos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molto, Enrique; Harrell, Roy C.

    1993-05-01

    Somatic embryogenesis is a process that allows for the in vitro propagation of thousands of plants in sub-liter size vessels and has been successfully applied to many significant species. The heterogeneity of maturity and quality of embryos produced with this technique requires sorting to obtain a uniform product. An automated harvester is being developed at the University of Florida to sort embryos in vitro at different stages of maturation in a suspension culture. The system utilizes machine vision to characterize embryo morphology and a fluidic based separation device to isolate embryos associated with a pre-defined, targeted morphology. Two different backpropagation neural networks (BNN) were used to classify embryos based on information extracted from the vision system. One network utilized geometric features such as embryo area, length, and symmetry as inputs. The alternative network utilized polar coordinates of an embryo's perimeter with respect to its centroid as inputs. The performances of both techniques were compared with each other and with an embryo classification method based on linear discriminant analysis (LDA). Similar results were obtained with all three techniques. Classification efficiency was improved by reducing the dimension of the feature vector trough a forward stepwise analysis by LDA. In order to enhance the purity of the sample selected as harvestable, a reject to classify option was introduced in the model and analyzed. The best classifier performances (76% overall correct classifications, 75% harvestable objects properly classified, homogeneity improvement ratio 1.5) were obtained using 8 features in a BNN.

  3. Embryo transfer using cryopreserved Boer goat blastocysts ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The aim of this trial was to evaluate the effect of embryo cryopreservation techniques on the survivability of embryos and fertility following transfer to Boer goat does. The oestrous cycles of 27 mature recipients Boer goat does were synchronised using controlled internal drug release dispensers (CIDR's) for 16 days. At CIDR ...

  4. Novel embryo selection techniques to increase embryo implantation in IVF attempts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sigalos, George Α; Triantafyllidou, Olga; Vlahos, Nikos F

    2016-11-01

    The final success of an IVF attempt depends on several steps and decisions taken during the ovarian stimulation, the oocyte retrieval, the embryo culture and the embryo transfer. The final selection of the embryos most likely to implant is the final step in this process and the responsibility of the lab. Apart from strict morphologic criteria that historically have been used in embryo selection, additional information on genetic, metabolomic and morphokinetic characteristics of the embryo is recently combined to morphology to select the embryo most likely to produce a pregnancy. In this manuscript, we review the most recent information on the current methods used for embryo selection presenting the predictive capability of each one. A literature search was performed on Pubmed, Medline and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews for published studies using appropriate key words and phrases with no limits placed on time. It seems that the combination of morphologic criteria in conjunction to embryo kinetics as documented by time-lapse technology provides the most reliable information on embryo quality. Blastocyst biopsy with subsequent comprehensive chromosome analysis allows the selection of the euploid embryos with the higher implantation potential. Embryo time-lapse imaging and blastocyst biopsy combined to comprehensive chromosome analysis are the most promising technologies to increase pregnancy rates and reduce the possibility of multiple pregnancies. However, further studies will demonstrate the capability of routinely using these technologies to significantly improve IVF outcomes.

  5. Noninvasive metabolomic profiling as an adjunct to morphology for noninvasive embryo assessment in women undergoing single embryo transfer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Seli, E.; Vergouw, C.G.; Morita, H.; Botros, L.; Roos, P.; Lambalk, C.B.; Yamashita, N.; Kato, O.; Sakkas, D.

    2010-01-01

    Objective: To determine whether metabolomic profiling of spent embryo culture media correlates with reproductive potential of human embryos. Design: Retrospective study. Setting: Academic and a private assisted reproductive technology (ART) programs. Patient(s): Women undergoing single embryo

  6. An unprecedented role reversal: ground beetle larvae (Coleoptera: Carabidae lure amphibians and prey upon them.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gil Wizen

    Full Text Available Amphibians often feed on beetle larvae, including those of ground beetles (Carabidae. Preliminary reports have detailed an unusual trophic interaction in which, in contrast, larvae of the ground beetle Epomis prey upon juvenile and adult amphibians. While it is known that these larvae feed exclusively on amphibians, how the predator-prey encounter occurs to the advantage of the beetle larvae had been unknown to date. Using laboratory observations and controlled experiments, we recorded the feeding behavior of Epomis larvae, as well as the behavior of their amphibian prey. Here we reveal that larvae of two species of Epomis (E. circumscriptus and E. dejeani lure their potential predator, taking advantage of the amphibian's predation behavior. The Epomis larva combines a sit-and-wait strategy with unique movements of its antennae and mandibles to draw the attention of the amphibian to the presence of a potential prey. The intensity of this enticement increases with decreasing distance between the larva and the amphibian. When the amphibian attacks, the larva almost always manages to avoid the predator's protracted tongue, exploiting the opportunity to attach itself to the amphibian's body and initiate feeding. Our findings suggest that the trophic interaction between Epomis larvae and amphibians is one of the only natural cases of obligatory predator-prey role reversal. Moreover, this interaction involves a small insect larva that successfully lures and preys on a larger vertebrate. Such role reversal is exceptional in the animal world, extending our perspective of co-evolution in the arms race between predator and prey, and suggesting that counterattack defense behavior has evolved into predator-prey role reversal.

  7. Rape embryogenesis. III. Embryo development in time

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teresa Tykarska

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available It was found that the growth curve of the rape embryo axis is of triple sigmoid type. Embryo growth occurs in 3 phases corresponding to 3 different periods of development. Phase I includes growth of the apical cell up to it's division into two layers of octants. Phase II comprises the increase of the spherical proembryo to the change of its symmetry from radial to bilateral. Phase III includes, growth of the embryo from the heart stage up to the end of embryogenesis. In each phase the relative growth rate increases drastically and then diminishes. The differences in growth intensity during the same phase are several-fold. The growth intensity maximum of the embryo axis occurs in phase II. The phasic growth intensity maxima occur: in phase I during apical cell elongation, :before its division, and in phases II and III in the periods of cell division ;growth in globular and torpedo-shaped -shaped embryos.

  8. Reprint of "Current perspectives on the androgen 5 alpha-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and 5 alpha-reductases in teleost fishes and amphibians".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martyniuk, Christopher J; Bissegger, Sonja; Langlois, Valérie S

    2014-07-01

    The androgen 5 alpha-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a steroidogenic metabolite that has received little attention in non-mammalian species. DHT is produced by the reduction of the double-bond of testosterone by a group of enzymes called 5 alpha-reductases of which there can be multiple isoforms (i.e., srd5a1, srd5a2, and srd5a3). Data from amphibians suggest that the expression of the srd5a genes occurs in early development, and continues until adulthood; however insufficient data exist in fish species, where DHT is thought to be relatively biologically inactive. Here, we demonstrate that fathead minnow (FHM; Pimephales promelas) developing embryos and adults express srd5a enzyme isoforms. During FHM embryogenesis, both srd5a1 and srd5a3 mRNA levels were significantly correlated in expression levels while srd5a2 showed a more unique pattern of expression. In adult FHMs, males had significantly higher levels of srd5a2 in the liver and gonad compared to females. In the male and female liver, transcript levels for srd5a2 were more abundant compared to srd5a1 and srd5a3, suggesting a prominent role for srd5a2 in this tissue. Interestingly, the ovary expressed higher mRNA levels of srd5a3 than the testis. Thus, data suggest that srd5a isoforms can show sexually dimorphic expression patterns in fish. We also conducted a literature review of the biological effects observed in embryonic and adult fish and amphibians after treatments with DHT and DHT-related compounds. Treatments with DHT in teleost fishes and amphibians have resulted in unexpected biological responses that are characteristic of both androgens and anti-androgens. For example, in fish DHT can induce vitellogenin in vitro from male and female hepatocytes and can increase 17β-estradiol production from the teleost ovary. We propose, that to generate further understanding of the roles of DHT in non-mammals, studies are needed that (1) address how DHT is synthesized within tissues of fish and amphibians; (2

  9. Potential of human twin embryos generated by embryo splitting in assisted reproduction and research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noli, Laila; Ogilvie, Caroline; Khalaf, Yacoub; Ilic, Dusko

    2017-03-01

    Embryo splitting or twinning has been widely used in veterinary medicine over 20 years to generate monozygotic twins with desirable genetic characteristics. The first human embryo splitting, reported in 1993, triggered fierce ethical debate on human embryo cloning. Since Dolly the sheep was born in 1997, the international community has acknowledged the complexity of the moral arguments related to this research and has expressed concerns about the potential for reproductive cloning in humans. A number of countries have formulated bans either through laws, decrees or official statements. However, in general, these laws specifically define cloning as an embryo that is generated via nuclear transfer (NT) and do not mention embryo splitting. Only the UK includes under cloning both embryo splitting and NT in the same legislation. On the contrary, the Ethics Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine does not have a major ethical objection to transferring two or more artificially created embryos with the same genome with the aim of producing a single pregnancy, stating that 'since embryo splitting has the potential to improve the efficacy of IVF treatments for infertility, research to investigate the technique is ethically acceptable'. Embryo splitting has been introduced successfully to the veterinary medicine several decades ago and today is a part of standard practice. We present here an overview of embryo splitting experiments in humans and non-human primates and discuss the potential of this technology in assisted reproduction and research. A comprehensive literature search was carried out using PUBMED and Google Scholar databases to identify studies on embryo splitting in humans and non-human primates. 'Embryo splitting' and 'embryo twinning' were used as the keywords, alone or in combination with other search phrases relevant to the topics of biology of preimplantation embryos. A very limited number of studies have been conducted in humans and non

  10. Radioautographic investigation of retinal growth in mature amphibians

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Svistunov, S.A.; Mitashov, V.I.

    1986-01-01

    Growth of the retina was studied in mature intact amphibians, tritons, axolotls, ambystomas and clawed frogs, for six months using multiple injection of 3 H-thymidine. It was established that the source of replenishment of the retina by new cells is its terminal zone in all animals investigated. This is attested to by the gradual migration of labeled cells from the growth zone into differentiated layers of the retina. The most intensely labeled cells occupy a distal position relative to other labeled cells, therefore marking the boundary between the initial part of the retina, not containing labeled nuclei, and the part being augmented. For each species studied, a level of proliferative activity is characteristic for cells of the terminal zone, which decreases in the order axolotl-clawed frog-triton -ambystoma. In the axolotl and additional growth zone is noted in the retina, in addition to the terminal, which is located in the area of the unclosed section of the embryonic fissure. Results obtained serve as a basis for the regenerative potentials of eye tissues revealed previously in these amphibian species

  11. Ranking ecological risks of multiple chemical stressors on amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fedorenkova, Anastasia; Vonk, J Arie; Lenders, H J Rob; Creemers, Raymond C M; Breure, Anton M; Hendriks, A Jan

    2012-06-01

    Populations of amphibians have been declining worldwide since the late 1960s. Despite global concern, no studies have quantitatively assessed the major causes of this decline. In the present study, species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) were developed to analyze the sensitivity of anurans for ammonium, nitrate, heavy metals (cadmium, copper), pesticides (18 compounds), and acidification (pH) based on laboratory toxicity data. Ecological risk (ER) was calculated as the probability that a measured environmental concentration of a particular stressor in habitats where anurans were observed would exceed the toxic effect concentrations derived from the species sensitivity distributions. The assessment of ER was used to rank the stressors according to their potential risk to anurans based on a case study of Dutch freshwater bodies. The derived ERs revealed that threats to populations of anurans decreased in the sequence of pH, copper, diazinon, ammonium, and endosulfan. Other stressors studied were of minor importance. The method of deriving ER by combining field observation data and laboratory data provides insight into potential threats to species in their habitats and can be used to prioritize stressors, which is necessary to achieve effective management in amphibian conservation. Copyright © 2012 SETAC.

  12. UV-B Radiation Contributes to Amphibian Population Declines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blaustein, Andrew

    2007-05-01

    UV-B (280-315 nm) radiation is the most significant biologically damaging radiation at the terrestrial surface. At the organismal level, UV-B radiation can slow growth rates, cause immune dysfunction and result in sublethal damage. UV-B radiation can lead to mutations and cell death. Over evolutionary time, UV radiation has been an important stressor on living organisms. Natural events, including impacts from comets and asteroids, volcanic activity, supernova explosions and solar flares, can cause large-scale ozone depletion with accompanying increases in UV radiation. However, these natural events are transient. Moreover, the amount of ozone damage due to natural events depends upon a number of variables, including the magnitude of the event. This is different from modern-day human-induced production of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other chemicals that deplete stratospheric ozone continuously, resulting in long-term increases in UV-B radiation at the surface of the earth. We will briefly review the effects of UV-B exposure in one group of aquatic organisms_amphibians. UV-B has been implicated as a possible factor contributing to global declines and range reductions in amphibian populations.

  13. High temperature, oxygen, and performance: Insights from reptiles and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gangloff, Eric J; Telemeco, Rory S

    2018-04-25

    Much recent theoretical and empirical work has sought to describe the physiological mechanisms underlying thermal tolerance in animals. Leading hypotheses can be broadly divided into two categories that primarily differ in organizational scale: 1) high temperature directly reduces the function of subcellular machinery, such as enzymes and cell membranes, or 2) high temperature disrupts system-level interactions, such as mismatches in the supply and demand of oxygen, prior to having any direct negative effect on the subcellular machinery. Nonetheless, a general framework describing the contexts under which either subcellular component or organ system failure limits organisms at high temperatures remains elusive. With this commentary, we leverage decades of research on the physiology of ectothermic tetrapods (amphibians and non-avian reptiles) to address these hypotheses. Available data suggest both mechanisms are important. Thus, we expand previous work and propose the Hierarchical Mechanisms of Thermal Limitation (HMTL) hypothesis, which explains how subcellular and organ system failures interact to limit performance and set tolerance limits at high temperatures. We further integrate this framework with the thermal performance curve paradigm commonly used to predict the effects of thermal environments on performance and fitness. The HMTL framework appears to successfully explain diverse observations in reptiles and amphibians and makes numerous predictions that remain untested. We hope that this framework spurs further research in diverse taxa and facilitates mechanistic forecasts of biological responses to climate change.

  14. Arginine Vasotocin, the Social Neuropeptide of Amphibians and Reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilczynski, Walter; Quispe, Maricel; Muñoz, Matías I; Penna, Mario

    2017-01-01

    Arginine vasotocin (AVT) is the non-mammalian homolog of arginine vasopressin (AVP) and, like vasopressin, serves as an important modulator of social behavior in addition to its peripheral functions related to osmoregulation, reproductive physiology, and stress hormone release. In amphibians and reptiles, the neuroanatomical organization of brain AVT cells and fibers broadly resembles that seen in mammals and other taxa. Both parvocellular and magnocellular AVT-containing neurons are present in multiple populations located mainly in the basal forebrain from the accumbens-amygdala area to the preoptic area and hypothalamus, from which originate widespread fiber connections spanning the brain with a particularly heavy innervation of areas associated with social behavior and decision-making. As for mammalian AVP, AVT is present in greater amounts in males in many brain areas, and its presence varies seasonally, with hormonal state, and in males with differing social status. AVT's social influence is also conserved across herpetological taxa, with significant effects on social signaling and aggression, and, based on the very small number of studies investigating more complex social behaviors in amphibians and reptiles, AVT may also modulate parental care and social bonding when it is present in these vertebrates. Within this conserved pattern, however, both AVT anatomy and social behavior effects vary significantly across species. Accounting for this diversity represents a challenge to understanding the mechanisms by which AVT exerts its behavioral effects, as well are a potential tool for discerning the structure-function relationships underlying AVT's many effects on behavior.

  15. Alternatives to in vivo tests to detect endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in fish and amphibians--screening for estrogen, androgen and thyroid hormone disruption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scholz, S; Renner, P; Belanger, S E; Busquet, F; Davi, R; Demeneix, B A; Denny, J S; Léonard, M; McMaster, M E; Villeneuve, D L; Embry, M R

    2013-01-01

    Endocrine disruption is considered a highly relevant hazard for environmental risk assessment of chemicals, plant protection products, biocides and pharmaceuticals. Therefore, screening tests with a focus on interference with estrogen, androgen, and thyroid hormone pathways in fish and amphibians have been developed. However, they use a large number of animals and short-term alternatives to animal tests would be advantageous. Therefore, the status of alternative assays for endocrine disruption in fish and frogs was assessed by a detailed literature analysis. The aim was to (i) determine the strengths and limitations of alternative assays and (ii) present conclusions regarding chemical specificity, sensitivity, and correlation with in vivo data. Data from 1995 to present were collected related to the detection/testing of estrogen-, androgen-, and thyroid-active chemicals in the following test systems: cell lines, primary cells, fish/frog embryos, yeast and cell-free systems. The review shows that the majority of alternative assays measure effects directly mediated by receptor binding or resulting from interference with hormone synthesis. Other mechanisms were rarely analysed. A database was established and used for a quantitative and comparative analysis. For example, a high correlation was observed between cell-free ligand binding and cell-based reporter cell assays, between fish and frog estrogenic data and between fish embryo tests and in vivo reproductive effects. It was concluded that there is a need for a more systematic study of the predictive capacity of alternative tests and ways to reduce inter- and intra-assay variability.

  16. [Association of human chorionic gonadotropin level in embryo culture media with early embryo development].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Haiying; Zhang, Renli; Han, Dong; Liu, Caixia; Cai, Jiajie; Bi, Yanling; Wen, Anmin; Quan, Song

    2014-06-01

    To investigate the association of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) level on day 3 of embryo culture with embryo development. Spent culture media were collected from individually cultured embryos on day 3 of in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer (IVF-ET) cycles. HCG concentration in the culture media was measured using an ELISA kit and its association with embryo development was assessed. In the 163 samples of embryo culture media from 60 patients, HCG was positive in 153 sample (93.8%) with a mean level of 0.85 ± 0.43 mIU/ml. The concentration of hCG in the culture media increased gradually as the number of blastomeres increased (F=2.273, P=0.03), and decreased as the morphological grade of the embryo was lowered (F=3.900, P=0.02). ELISA is capable of detecting HCG levels in spent culture media of embryos on day 3 of in vitro culture. The concentration of HCG in spent culture media is positively correlated with the status of early embryo development and implantation rate and thus serves as a useful marker for embryo selection in IVF-ET procedure.

  17. Glassfrog embryos hatch early after parental desertion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delia, Jesse R J; Ramírez-Bautista, Aurelio; Summers, Kyle

    2014-06-22

    Both parental care and hatching plasticity can improve embryo survival. Research has found that parents can alter hatching time owing to a direct effect of care on embryogenesis or via forms of care that cue the hatching process. Because parental care alters conditions critical for offspring development, hatching plasticity could allow embryos to exploit variation in parental behaviour. However, this interaction of parental care and hatching plasticity remains largely unexplored. We tested the hypothesis that embryos hatch early to cope with paternal abandonment in the glassfrog Hyalinobatrachium fleischmanni (Centrolenidae). We conducted male-removal experiments in a wild population, and examined embryos' response to conditions with and without fathers. Embryos hatched early when abandoned, but extended development in the egg stage when fathers continued care. Paternal care had no effect on developmental rate. Rather, hatching plasticity was due to embryos actively hatching at different developmental stages, probably in response to deteriorating conditions without fathers. Our experimental results are supported by a significant correlation between the natural timing of abandonment and hatching in an unmanipulated population. This study demonstrates that embryos can respond to conditions resulting from parental abandonment, and provides insights into how variation in care can affect selection on egg-stage adaptations.

  18. Glassfrog embryos hatch early after parental desertion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delia, Jesse R. J.; Ramírez-Bautista, Aurelio; Summers, Kyle

    2014-01-01

    Both parental care and hatching plasticity can improve embryo survival. Research has found that parents can alter hatching time owing to a direct effect of care on embryogenesis or via forms of care that cue the hatching process. Because parental care alters conditions critical for offspring development, hatching plasticity could allow embryos to exploit variation in parental behaviour. However, this interaction of parental care and hatching plasticity remains largely unexplored. We tested the hypothesis that embryos hatch early to cope with paternal abandonment in the glassfrog Hyalinobatrachium fleischmanni (Centrolenidae). We conducted male-removal experiments in a wild population, and examined embryos' response to conditions with and without fathers. Embryos hatched early when abandoned, but extended development in the egg stage when fathers continued care. Paternal care had no effect on developmental rate. Rather, hatching plasticity was due to embryos actively hatching at different developmental stages, probably in response to deteriorating conditions without fathers. Our experimental results are supported by a significant correlation between the natural timing of abandonment and hatching in an unmanipulated population. This study demonstrates that embryos can respond to conditions resulting from parental abandonment, and provides insights into how variation in care can affect selection on egg-stage adaptations. PMID:24789892

  19. Protein phosphorylation during coconut zygotic embryo development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Islas-Flores, I.; Oropeza, C.; Hernandez-Sotomayor, S.M.T.

    1998-01-01

    Evidence was obtained on the occurrence of protein threonine, serine, and tyrosine (Tyr) kinases in developing coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) zygotic embryos, based on in vitro phosphorylation of proteins in the presence of [gamma-32P]ATP, alkaline treatment, and thin-layer chromatography analysis, which showed the presence of [32P]phosphoserine, [32P]phosphothreonine, and [32P]phosphotyrosine in [32P]-labeled protein hydrolyzates. Tyr kinase activity was further confirmed in extracts of embryos at different stages of development using antiphosphotyrosine monoclonal antibodies and the synthetic peptide derived from the amino acid sequence surrounding the phosphorylation site in pp60src (RR-SRC), which is specific for Tyr kinases. Anti-phosphotyrosine western blotting revealed a changing profile of Tyr-phosphorylated proteins during embryo development. Tyr kinase activity, as assayed using RR-SRC, also changed during embryo development, showing two peaks of activity, one during early and another during late embryo development. In addition, the use of genistein, a Tyr kinase inhibitor, diminished the ability of extracts to phosphorylate RR-SRC. Results presented here show the occurrence of threonine, serine, and Tyr kinases in developing coconut zygotic embryos, and suggest that protein phosphorylation, and the possible inference of Tyr phosphorylation in particular, may play a role in the coordination of the development of embryos in this species

  20. Risk assessment considerations for plant protection products and terrestrial life-stages of amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weltje, Lennart; Ufer, Andreas; Hamer, Mick; Sowig, Peter; Demmig, Sandra; Dechet, Friedrich

    2018-04-28

    Some amphibians occur in agricultural landscapes during certain periods of their life cycle and consequently might be exposed to plant protection products (PPPs). While the sensitivity of aquatic life-stages is considered to be covered by the standard assessment for aquatic organisms (especially fish), the situation is less clear for terrestrial amphibian life-stages. In this paper, considerations are presented on how a risk assessment for PPPs and terrestrial life-stages of amphibians could be conducted. It discusses available information concerning the toxicity of PPPs to terrestrial amphibians, and their potential exposure to PPPs in consideration of aspects of amphibian biology. The emphasis is on avoiding additional vertebrate testing as much as possible by using exposure-driven approaches and by making use of existing vertebrate toxicity data, where appropriate. Options for toxicity testing and risk assessment are presented in a flowchart as a tiered approach, progressing from a non-testing approach, to simple worst-case laboratory testing, to extended laboratory testing, to semi-field enclosure tests and ultimately to full-scale field testing and monitoring. Suggestions are made for triggers to progress to higher tiers. Also, mitigation options to reduce the potential for exposure of terrestrial life-stages of amphibians to PPPs, if a risk were identified, are discussed. Finally, remaining uncertainties and research needs are considered by proposing a way forward (road map) for generating additional information to inform terrestrial amphibian risk assessment. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Drought, deluge and declines: the impact of precipitation extremes on amphibians in a changing climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walls, Susan C.; Barichivich, William J.; Brown, Mary E.

    2013-01-01

    The Class Amphibia is one of the most severely impacted taxa in an on-going global biodiversity crisis. Because amphibian reproduction is tightly associated with the presence of water, climatic changes that affect water availability pose a particularly menacing threat to both aquatic and terrestrial-breeding amphibians. We explore the impacts that one facet of climate change—that of extreme variation in precipitation—may have on amphibians. This variation is manifested principally as increases in the incidence and severity of both drought and major storm events. We stress the need to consider not only total precipitation amounts but also the pattern and timing of rainfall events. Such rainfall “pulses” are likely to become increasingly more influential on amphibians, especially in relation to seasonal reproduction. Changes in reproductive phenology can strongly influence the outcome of competitive and predatory interactions, thus potentially altering community dynamics in assemblages of co-existing species. We present a conceptual model to illustrate possible landscape and metapopulation consequences of alternative climate change scenarios for pond-breeding amphibians, using the Mole Salamander, Ambystoma talpoideum, as an example. Although amphibians have evolved a variety of life history strategies that enable them to cope with environmental uncertainty, it is unclear whether adaptations can keep pace with the escalating rate of climate change. Climate change, especially in combination with other stressors, is a daunting challenge for the persistence of amphibians and, thus, the conservation of global biodiversity.

  2. Citation rate and perceived subject bias in the amphibian-decline literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohmer, Michel E; Bishop, Phillip J

    2011-02-01

    As a result of global declines in amphibian populations, interest in the conservation of amphibians has grown. This growth has been fueled partially by the recent discovery of other potential causes of declines, including chytridiomycosis (the amphibian chytrid, an infectious disease) and climate change. It has been proposed that researchers have shifted their focus to these novel stressors and that other threats to amphibians, such as habitat loss, are not being studied in proportion to their potential effects. We tested the validity of this proposal by reviewing the literature on amphibian declines, categorizing the primary topic of articles within this literature (e.g., habitat loss or UV-B radiation) and comparing citation rates among articles on these topics and impact factors of journals in which the articles were published. From 1990 to 2009, the proportion of papers on habitat loss remained fairly constant, and although the number of papers on chytridiomycosis increased after the disease was described in 1998, the number of published papers on amphibian declines also increased. Nevertheless, papers on chytridiomycosis were more highly cited than papers not on chytridiomycosis and were published in journals with higher impact factors on average, which may indicate this research topic is more popular in the literature. Our results were not consistent with a shift in the research agenda on amphibians. We believe the perception of such a shift has been supported by the higher citation rates of papers on chytridiomycosis. ©2010 Society for Conservation Biology.

  3. DNA barcoding applied to ex situ tropical amphibian conservation programme reveals cryptic diversity in captive populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Andrew J; Cruz, Catalina; Griffith, Edgardo; Ross, Heidi; Ibáñez, Roberto; Lips, Karen R; Driskell, Amy C; Bermingham, Eldredge; Crump, Paul

    2013-11-01

    Amphibians constitute a diverse yet still incompletely characterized clade of vertebrates, in which new species are still being discovered and described at a high rate. Amphibians are also increasingly endangered, due in part to disease-driven threats of extinctions. As an emergency response, conservationists have begun ex situ assurance colonies for priority species. The abundance of cryptic amphibian diversity, however, may cause problems for ex situ conservation. In this study we used a DNA barcoding approach to survey mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation in captive populations of 10 species of Neotropical amphibians maintained in an ex situ assurance programme at El Valle Amphibian Conservation Center (EVACC) in the Republic of Panama. We combined these mtDNA sequences with genetic data from presumably conspecific wild populations sampled from across Panama, and applied genetic distance-based and character-based analyses to identify cryptic lineages. We found that three of ten species harboured substantial cryptic genetic diversity within EVACC, and an additional three species harboured cryptic diversity among wild populations, but not in captivity. Ex situ conservation efforts focused on amphibians are therefore vulnerable to an incomplete taxonomy leading to misidentification among cryptic species. DNA barcoding may therefore provide a simple, standardized protocol to identify cryptic diversity readily applicable to any amphibian community. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Questions concerning the potential impact of glyphosate-based herbicides on amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Norman; Reichenbecher, Wolfram; Teichmann, Hanka; Tappeser, Beatrix; Lötters, Stefan

    2013-08-01

    Use of glyphosate-based herbicides is increasing worldwide. The authors review the available data related to potential impacts of these herbicides on amphibians and conduct a qualitative meta-analysis. Because little is known about environmental concentrations of glyphosate in amphibian habitats and virtually nothing is known about environmental concentrations of the substances added to the herbicide formulations that mainly contribute to adverse effects, glyphosate levels can only be seen as approximations for contamination with glyphosate-based herbicides. The impact on amphibians depends on the herbicide formulation, with different sensitivity of taxa and life stages. Effects on development of larvae apparently are the most sensitive endpoints to study. As with other contaminants, costressors mainly increase adverse effects. If and how glyphosate-based herbicides and other pesticides contribute to amphibian decline is not answerable yet due to missing data on how natural populations are affected. Amphibian risk assessment can only be conducted case-specifically, with consideration of the particular herbicide formulation. The authors recommend better monitoring of both amphibian populations and contamination of habitats with glyphosate-based herbicides, not just glyphosate, and suggest including amphibians in standardized test batteries to study at least dermal administration. Copyright © 2013 SETAC.

  5. Impact of forestry practices at a landscape scale on the dynamics of amphibian populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harper, Elizabeth B; Patrick, David A; Gibbs, James P

    2015-12-01

    Forest loss is a primary cause of worldwide amphibian decline. Timber harvesting in the United States has caused dramatic changes in quality and extent of forest ecosystems, and intensive forest management still occurs. Although numerous studies have documented substantial reductions in amphibian densities related to timber harvest, subsequent extinctions are rare. To better understand the population dynamics that have allowed so many amphibian species to persist in the face of widespread forest disturbance, we developed spatially explicit metapopulation models for four forest-dependent amphibian species (Lithobates sylvaticus, Ambystoma opacum, A. talpoideum, and A. maculatum) that incorporated demographic and habitat selection data derived from experiments conducted as part of the Land Use Effects on Amphibian Populations Project (LEAP). We projected local and landscape-scale population persistence under 108 different forestry practice scenarios, varying treatment (partial cut, clear-cut with coarse woody debris [CWD] removed, and clearcut with CWD retained), cut patch size (1, 10, or 50 ha), total area cut (10, 20, or 30%), and initial amphibian population size (5, 50, or 500 adult females per local breeding population). Under these scenarios, landscape-scale extinction was highly unlikely, occurring in amphibian populations in the United States should focus not on questions of landscape-scale extinction but on the ecological consequences of dramatic reductions in amphibian biomass, including changes in trophic interactions, nutrient cycling, and energy transfer. Additionally, we conclude that amphibian declines and extinctions are far more likely to occur as a result of permanent habitat loss resulting from development than from the temporary degradation of habitat caused by current forestry practices.

  6. To transfer fresh or thawed embryos?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pinborg, Anja

    2012-01-01

    Worldwide freezing and thawing of embryos has been increasingly used since the first infant was born as a result of this technique in 1984. The use of frozen embryo replacement (FER) currently even exceeds the number of fresh cycles performed in some countries. This article discusses the pros...... and multiple pregnancies, thereby increasing the safety for mother and child. Finally the article describes the accumulating literature on perinatal and long-term child outcome after transfer of frozen/thawed embryos, including a discussion on the concerns regarding cryo techniques and their possible roles...

  7. Dynamics of radionuclide accumulation at amphibians and reptiles in the Poles'e state radioecological reserve

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Novitskij, R.V.

    1998-01-01

    It was studied the peculiarity of the radionuclide intake to organism of amphibians and reptiles in the Poles'e radioecological reserve in 1997. The radioactive contamination level of investigated area was from 15 to 40 Ci/km 2 . It was measured 38 samples (26 for amphibians and 12 for reptiles) from points with background gamma-irradiation from 35 to 800 micro R/h. For the last eleven years of investigation it was revealed the total tendency to reduction of level of gamma-radioactive accumulation in 18,8-42,6 times for amphibians and in 2,8-52,5 times for reptiles

  8. Climate warming and the decline of amphibians and reptiles in Europe

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Araújo, Miguel B.; Thuiller, W.; Pearson, R. G.

    2006-01-01

    deleterious than previously postulated; indeed, climate cooling would be more deleterious for the persistence of amphibian and reptile species than warming. The ability of species to cope with climate warming may, however, be offset by projected decreases in the availability of water. This should......-east are projected to gain suitable climate. This is because dry conditions in the south-west are projected to increase, approaching the levels found in North Africa, where few amphibian species are able to persist. Main conclusions The impact of increasing temperatures on amphibian and reptile species may be less...

  9. Amphibians and Reptiles of the state of Nuevo Le?n, Mexico

    OpenAIRE

    Lemos-Espinal, Julio A.; Smith, Geoffrey R.; Cruz, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    Abstract We compiled a check list of the herpetofauna of Nuevo Le?n. We documented 132 species (23 amphibians, 109 reptiles), representing 30 families (11 amphibians, 19 reptiles) and 73 genera (17 amphibians, 56 reptiles). Only two species are endemic to Nuevo Le?n. Nuevo Le?n contains a relatively high richness of lizards in the genus Sceloporus . Overlap in the herpetofauna of Nuevo Le?n and states it borders is fairly extensive. Of 130 native species, 102 are considered species of Least C...

  10. Developmental responses of amphibians to solar and artificial UVB sources: a comparative study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hays, J.B.; Hoffman, P.D.; Pandelova, Iovanna; Coyle, Daniel

    1996-01-01

    Many amphibian species, in widely scattered locations, currently show population declines and/or reductions in range, but other amphibian species show no such declines. There is no known single cause for these declines. Differential sensitivity to UVB radiation among species might be one contributing factor. We have focused on amphibian eggs, potentially the most UVB-sensitive stage, and compared their resistance to UVB components of sunlight with their levels of photolyase, typically the most important enzyme for repair of the major UV photoproducts in DNA, cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers. (Author)

  11. Amphibians and plant-protection products: what research and action is needed?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldrich, Annette; Junghans, Marion; Aeberli, Caroline; Brühl, Carsten A; Streissl, Franz; Schmidt, Benedikt R

    2016-01-01

    The majority of Swiss amphibians are threatened. There is a range of factors which have been discussed as possible causes for their decline, including plant protection products (PPPs). The influence of PPPs on amphibian populations has not yet been studied to any great extent, neither for active ingredients nor for the wetting agents, breakdown products or tank mixtures. A further topic of discussion was how to better protect amphibians by reducing their exposure to PPPs in agricultural fields. Experts at a workshop concluded that further research is needed.

  12. Count data, detection probabilities, and the demography, dynamics, distribution, and decline of amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Benedikt R

    2003-08-01

    The evidence for amphibian population declines is based on count data that were not adjusted for detection probabilities. Such data are not reliable even when collected using standard methods. The formula C = Np (where C is a count, N the true parameter value, and p is a detection probability) relates count data to demography, population size, or distributions. With unadjusted count data, one assumes a linear relationship between C and N and that p is constant. These assumptions are unlikely to be met in studies of amphibian populations. Amphibian population data should be based on methods that account for detection probabilities.

  13. Mine spoil prairies expand critical habitat for endangered and threatened amphibian and reptile species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lannoo, Michael J.; Kinney, Vanessa C.; Heemeyer, Jennifer L.; Engbrecht, Nathan J.; Gallant, Alisa L.; Klaver, Robert W.

    2009-01-01

    Coal extraction has been occurring in the Midwestern United States for over a century. Despite the pre-mining history of the landscape as woodlands, spent surface coalfields are often reclaimed to grasslands. We assessed amphibian and reptile species on a large tract of coal spoil prairie and found 13 species of amphibians (nine frog and four salamander species) and 19 species of reptiles (one lizard, five turtle, and 13 snake species). Two state-endangered and three state species of special concern were documented. The amphibian diversity at our study site was comparable to the diversity found at a large restored prairie situated 175 km north, within the historic prairie peninsula.

  14. Helminth parasites of amphibians and reptiles from the Ucayali Region, Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAllister, Chris T; Bursey, Charles R; Freed, Paul S

    2010-04-01

    Twenty individual amphibians representing 9 species within 6 families and 44 individual reptiles representing 15 species within 8 families from the Ucayali Region, Peru, were examined for helminths. Seven (35%) of the amphibian species and 15 (34%) of the reptiles were found to harbor at least 1 species of helminth; 5 (25%) of the amphibians and 4 (9%) of the reptiles harbored multiple infections. A cyclophyllidean cestode and 14 taxa of nematodes within 7 families were found in the herpetofauna surveyed. Thirteen new host and 6 new geographic distribution records are documented.

  15. Zebrafish embryos as a screen for DNA methylation modifications after compound exposure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bouwmeester, Manon C.; Ruiter, Sander; Lommelaars, Tobias; Sippel, Josefine; Hodemaekers, Hennie M. [Center for Health Protection, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), PO Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven (Netherlands); Brandhof, Evert-Jan van den [Center for Environmental Quality, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), PO Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven (Netherlands); Pennings, Jeroen L.A. [Center for Health Protection, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), PO Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven (Netherlands); Kamstra, Jorke H. [Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), VU University, De Boelelaan 1085, 1081 HV Amsterdam (Netherlands); Jelinek, Jaroslav [Fels Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Biology, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA (United States); Issa, Jean-Pierre J. [Fels Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Biology, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA (United States); Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX (United States); Legler, Juliette [Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), VU University, De Boelelaan 1085, 1081 HV Amsterdam (Netherlands); Ven, Leo T.M. van der, E-mail: leo.van.der.ven@rivm.nl [Center for Health Protection, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), PO Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven (Netherlands)

    2016-01-15

    Modified epigenetic programming early in life is proposed to underlie the development of an adverse adult phenotype, known as the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) concept. Several environmental contaminants have been implicated as modifying factors of the developing epigenome. This underlines the need to investigate this newly recognized toxicological risk and systematically screen for the epigenome modifying potential of compounds. In this study, we examined the applicability of the zebrafish embryo as a screening model for DNA methylation modifications. Embryos were exposed from 0 to 72 h post fertilization (hpf) to bisphenol-A (BPA), diethylstilbestrol, 17α-ethynylestradiol, nickel, cadmium, tributyltin, arsenite, perfluoroctanoic acid, valproic acid, flusilazole, 5-azacytidine (5AC) in subtoxic concentrations. Both global and site-specific methylation was examined. Global methylation was only affected by 5AC. Genome wide locus-specific analysis was performed for BPA exposed embryos using Digital Restriction Enzyme Analysis of Methylation (DREAM), which showed minimal wide scale effects on the genome, whereas potential informative markers were not confirmed by pyrosequencing. Site-specific methylation was examined in the promoter regions of three selected genes vasa, vtg1 and cyp19a2, of which vasa (ddx4) was the most responsive. This analysis distinguished estrogenic compounds from metals by direction and sensitivity of the effect compared to embryotoxicity. In conclusion, the zebrafish embryo is a potential screening tool to examine DNA methylation modifications after xenobiotic exposure. The next step is to examine the adult phenotype of exposed embryos and to analyze molecular mechanisms that potentially link epigenetic effects and altered phenotypes, to support the DOHaD hypothesis. - Highlights: • Compound induced effects on DNA methylation in zebrafish embryos • Global methylation not an informative biomarker • Minimal genome

  16. Genome editing in sea urchin embryos by using a CRISPR/Cas9 system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Che-Yi; Su, Yi-Hsien

    2016-01-15

    Sea urchin embryos are a useful model system for investigating early developmental processes and the underlying gene regulatory networks. Most functional studies using sea urchin embryos rely on antisense morpholino oligonucleotides to knockdown gene functions. However, major concerns related to this technique include off-target effects, variations in morpholino efficiency, and potential morpholino toxicity; furthermore, such problems are difficult to discern. Recent advances in genome editing technologies have introduced the prospect of not only generating sequence-specific knockouts, but also providing genome-engineering applications. Two genome editing tools, zinc-finger nuclease (ZFN) and transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs), have been utilized in sea urchin embryos, but the resulting efficiencies are far from satisfactory. The CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat)-Cas9 (CRISPR-associated nuclease 9) system serves as an easy and efficient method with which to edit the genomes of several established and emerging model organisms in the field of developmental biology. Here, we apply the CRISPR/Cas9 system to the sea urchin embryo. We designed six guide RNAs (gRNAs) against the well-studied nodal gene and discovered that five of the gRNAs induced the expected phenotype in 60-80% of the injected embryos. In addition, we developed a simple method for isolating genomic DNA from individual embryos, enabling phenotype to be precisely linked to genotype, and revealed that the mutation rates were 67-100% among the sequenced clones. Of the two potential off-target sites we examined, no off-target effects were observed. The detailed procedures described herein promise to accelerate the usage of CRISPR/Cas9 system for genome editing in sea urchin embryos. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Zebrafish embryos as a screen for DNA methylation modifications after compound exposure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bouwmeester, Manon C.; Ruiter, Sander; Lommelaars, Tobias; Sippel, Josefine; Hodemaekers, Hennie M.; Brandhof, Evert-Jan van den; Pennings, Jeroen L.A.; Kamstra, Jorke H.; Jelinek, Jaroslav; Issa, Jean-Pierre J.; Legler, Juliette; Ven, Leo T.M. van der

    2016-01-01

    Modified epigenetic programming early in life is proposed to underlie the development of an adverse adult phenotype, known as the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) concept. Several environmental contaminants have been implicated as modifying factors of the developing epigenome. This underlines the need to investigate this newly recognized toxicological risk and systematically screen for the epigenome modifying potential of compounds. In this study, we examined the applicability of the zebrafish embryo as a screening model for DNA methylation modifications. Embryos were exposed from 0 to 72 h post fertilization (hpf) to bisphenol-A (BPA), diethylstilbestrol, 17α-ethynylestradiol, nickel, cadmium, tributyltin, arsenite, perfluoroctanoic acid, valproic acid, flusilazole, 5-azacytidine (5AC) in subtoxic concentrations. Both global and site-specific methylation was examined. Global methylation was only affected by 5AC. Genome wide locus-specific analysis was performed for BPA exposed embryos using Digital Restriction Enzyme Analysis of Methylation (DREAM), which showed minimal wide scale effects on the genome, whereas potential informative markers were not confirmed by pyrosequencing. Site-specific methylation was examined in the promoter regions of three selected genes vasa, vtg1 and cyp19a2, of which vasa (ddx4) was the most responsive. This analysis distinguished estrogenic compounds from metals by direction and sensitivity of the effect compared to embryotoxicity. In conclusion, the zebrafish embryo is a potential screening tool to examine DNA methylation modifications after xenobiotic exposure. The next step is to examine the adult phenotype of exposed embryos and to analyze molecular mechanisms that potentially link epigenetic effects and altered phenotypes, to support the DOHaD hypothesis. - Highlights: • Compound induced effects on DNA methylation in zebrafish embryos • Global methylation not an informative biomarker • Minimal genome

  18. Nucleolar remodeling in nuclear transfer embryos

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laurincik, Jozef; Maddox-Hyttel, Poul

    2007-01-01

    Transcription of the ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes occurs in the nucleolus and results in ribosome biogenesis. The rRNA gene activation and the associated nucleolus formation may be used as a marker for the activation of the embryonic genome in mammalian embryos and, thus serve to evaluate the devel......Transcription of the ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes occurs in the nucleolus and results in ribosome biogenesis. The rRNA gene activation and the associated nucleolus formation may be used as a marker for the activation of the embryonic genome in mammalian embryos and, thus serve to evaluate...... nucleoli are not apparent until the 5th cell cycle, whereas in somatic cell nuclear transfer embryos the functional nucleoli emerge already during the 3rd cell cycle. Intergeneric reconstructed embryos produced by the fusion of bovine differentiated somatic cell to a nonactivated ovine cytoplast fail...

  19. Testing the embryo, testing the fetus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehrich, K; Farsides, B; Williams, C; Scott, Rosamund

    2007-12-01

    This paper stems from an ethnographic, multidisciplinary study that explored the views and experiences of practitioners and scientists on social, ethical and clinical dilemmas encountered when working in the area of PGD for serious genetic disorders. We focus here on staff perceptions and experiences of working with embryos and helping women/couples to make choices that will result in selecting embryos for transfer and disposal of 'affected' embryos, compared to the termination of affected pregnancies following PND. Analysis and discussion of our data led us to consider the possible advantages of PGD and whether a gradualist account of the embryo's and fetus's moral status can account for all of these, particularly since a gradualist account concentrates on the significance of time (developmental stage) and makes no comment as to the significance of place (in-vitro, in-utero).

  20. Bovine in vitro embryo production : An overview

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. S. Suthar

    Full Text Available Dairy industry perfected the application of the first reproductive biotechnology, i.e. artificial insemination (AI - a great success story and also remains the user of embryo transfer technology (ETT. In addition, recently the researchers taking interest to embraced the field of Transvaginal OocyteRecovery (TVOR and in vitro production (IVEP of embryos. IVF provides the starting point for the generation of reproductive material for a number of advanced reproduction techniques including sperm microinjection and nuclear transfer (cloning. In several countries commercial IVF facilities are already being employed by cattle ET operators. Various research groups have reported on modification of TVOR technique to give greater efficiency. Much research is still needed in domestic animal (Especially Indian species on mechanisms controlling embryo development and on development of totally in vitro system for embryo culture. [Vet World 2009; 2(12.000: 478-479`

  1. Nucleolar ultrastructure in bovine nuclear transfer embryos

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kanka, J; Smith, S D; Soloy, E

    1999-01-01

    in nuclear morphology as a transformation of the nucleolus precursor body into a functional rRNA synthesising nucleolus with a characteristic ultrastructure. We examined nucleolar ultrastructure in bovine in vitro produced (control) embryos and in nuclear transfer embryos reconstructed from a MII phase...... at 1 hr after fusion and, by 3 hr after fusion, it was restored again. At this time, the reticulated fibrillo-granular nucleolus had an almost round shape. The nucleolar precursor body seen in the two-cell stage nuclear transfer embryos consisted of intermingled filamentous components and secondary...... time intervals after fusion. In the two-cell stage nuclear transfer embryo, the originally reticulated nucleolus of the donor blastomere had changed into a typical nucleolar precursor body consisting of a homogeneous fibrillar structure. A primary vacuole appeared in the four-cell stage nuclear...

  2. Characterization of Pax3 and Sox10 transgenic Xenopus laevis embryos as tools to study neural crest development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alkobtawi, Mansour; Ray, Heather; Barriga, Elias H; Moreno, Mauricio; Kerney, Ryan; Monsoro-Burq, Anne-Helene; Saint-Jeannet, Jean-Pierre; Mayor, Roberto

    2018-03-06

    The neural crest is a multipotent population of cells that originates a variety of cell types. Many animal models are used to study neural crest induction, migration and differentiation, with amphibians and birds being the most widely used systems. A major technological advance to study neural crest development in mouse, chick and zebrafish has been the generation of transgenic animals in which neural crest specific enhancers/promoters drive the expression of either fluorescent proteins for use as lineage tracers, or modified genes for use in functional studies. Unfortunately, no such transgenic animals currently exist for the amphibians Xenopus laevis and tropicalis, key model systems for studying neural crest development. Here we describe the generation and characterization of two transgenic Xenopus laevis lines, Pax3-GFP and Sox10-GFP, in which GFP is expressed in the pre-migratory and migratory neural crest, respectively. We show that Pax3-GFP could be a powerful tool to study neural crest induction, whereas Sox10-GFP could be used in the study of neural crest migration in living embryos. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Exotic Amphibians in the Pet Shops of Taiwan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ping-Chun Lucy Hou

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Pet trade is an important mechanism for introducing alien species. We surveyed a total of 434 pet shops in major cities of Taiwan and found 49 species of alien amphibians belonging to 14 families and 31 genera. Two of the alien species, Rana catesbeiana and Kaloula pulchra, have established in the fields and the other three, Bufo marinus, Xenopus laevis, and Dendrobates auratus, have invasion records in other countries. There were 16 CITES Appendix II species. The most frequently displayed species were the horned frogs, eratophrys spp. And the most abundant species was the American Bullfrog, Rana catesbeiana. We urge the authority of Taiwan establishing regulations on pet trade and enforcing the wildlife conservation law to reduce the risks of alien species invasions.

  4. Effects of road mortality and mitigation measures on amphibian populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beebee, Trevor J C

    2013-08-01

    Road mortality is a widely recognized but rarely quantified threat to the viability of amphibian populations. The global extent of the problem is substantial and factors affecting the number of animals killed on highways include life-history traits and landscape features. Secondary effects include genetic isolation due to roads acting as barriers to migration. Long-term effects of roads on population dynamics are often severe and mitigation methods include volunteer rescues and under-road tunnels. Despite the development of methods that reduce road kill in specific locations, especially under-road tunnels and culverts, there is scant evidence that such measures will protect populations over the long term. There also seems little likelihood that funding will be forthcoming to ameliorate the problem at the scale necessary to prevent further population declines. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  5. Effects of two stressors on amphibian larval development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stark, Karolina; Scott, David E; Tsyusko, Olga; Coughlin, Daniel P; Hinton, Thomas G

    2012-05-01

    In parallel with a renewed interest in nuclear power and its possible environmental impacts, a new environmental radiation protection system calls for environmental indicators of radiological stress. However, because environmental stressors seldom occur alone, this study investigated the combined effects of an ecological stressor (larval density) and an anthropogenic stressor (ionizing radiation) on amphibians. Scaphiopus holbrookii tadpoles reared at different larval densities were exposed to four low irradiation dose rates (0.13, 2.4, 21, and 222 mGy d(-1)) from (137)Cs during the sensitive period prior to and throughout metamorphosis. Body size at metamorphosis and development rate served as fitness correlates related to population dynamics. Results showed that increased larval density decreased body size but did not affect development rate. Low dose rate radiation had no impact on either endpoint. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. AMPHIBIAN COMMUNITIES IN BIOGEOCOENOSIS WITH DIFFERENT STAGES OF ANTHROPOGENIC CLYMAX

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marchenkovskaya А. А.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available We examined the abundance of juvenile (fingerlings and yearlings and sexually mature (3-6 years of various anurans at various biotopes with different degrees of anthropogenic influence. Population analysis has revealed that the number of juveniles in all the habitats are depended on type and level of anthropogenic influence. In all the habitats the most numerous species was synanthropic bufo viridis. In biotopes with high contamination of pollutants, only one species of amphibians - the marsh frog has populations with juveniles migrating here in the early fall. The highest number of mature individuals registered for the population of Bombina bombina, pelobates fuscus and in one biotope for hyla arborea. The populations of pelophylax ridibundus could be considered as the most balanced by number of juvenile and mature individuals.

  7. Reptiles and Amphibians as Potential Reservoir Hosts of Chikungunya Virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosco-Lauth, Angela M; Hartwig, Airn E; Bowen, Richard A

    2018-03-01

    Chikungunya virus is an emerging arbovirus of significant human-health concern. Little is known about its sylvatic cycle, including whether ectothermic vertebrates are permissive to infection. In this study, individuals from ten species of reptiles and amphibians were inoculated with chikungunya virus and samples of blood were tested to characterize viremia and seroconversion. Viremia was not detected in cane toads, house geckos, or American alligators, but most of the green iguanas, red-eared sliders, ball and Burmese pythons, leopard frogs, Texas toads, and garter snakes developed viremia. Peak virus titers in serum of up to 4.5, 4.7, and 5.1 log 10 plaque-forming units per milliliter were observed for garter snakes, ball pythons, and Texas toads, respectively. These results add to those of other studies that have suggested a possible role for ectothermic vertebrates in the ecology of arbovirus maintenance and transmission in nature.

  8. Glassfrog embryos hatch early after parental desertion

    OpenAIRE

    Delia, Jesse R. J.; Ramírez-Bautista, Aurelio; Summers, Kyle

    2014-01-01

    Both parental care and hatching plasticity can improve embryo survival. Research has found that parents can alter hatching time owing to a direct effect of care on embryogenesis or via forms of care that cue the hatching process. Because parental care alters conditions critical for offspring development, hatching plasticity could allow embryos to exploit variation in parental behaviour. However, this interaction of parental care and hatching plasticity remains largely unexplored. We tested th...

  9. Embryo disposition and the new death scene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ellison, David

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available In the IVF clinic - a place designed principally for the production and implantation of embryos - scientists and IVF recipients are faced with decisions regarding the disposition of frozen embryos. At this time there are hundred of thousands of cryopreserved embryos awaiting such determinations. They may be thawed for transfer to the woman herself, they may be donated for research or for use by other infertile couples, they may remain in frozen storage, or they may variously be discarded by being allowed to 'succumb', or 'perish'. Where the choice is discard, some IVF clients have chosen to formalise the process through ceremony. A new language is emerging in response to the desires of the would-be-parents who might wish to characterise the discard experience as a ‘good death’. This article examines the procedure known as ‘compassionate transfer’ where the embryo to be discarded is placed in the woman’s vagina where it is clear that it will not develop further. An alternate method has the embryo transferred in the usual manner but without the benefit of fertility-enhancing hormones at a point in the cycle unreceptive to implantation. The embryo destined for disposal is thus removed from the realm of technological possibility and ‘returned’ to the female body for a homely death. While debates continue about whether or not embryos constitute life, new practices are developing in response to the emotional experience of embryo discard. We argue that compassionate transfer is a death scene taking shape. In this article, we take the measure of this new death scene’s fabrication, and consider the form, significance, and legal complexity of its ceremonies.

  10. Role of melatonin in embryo fetal development

    OpenAIRE

    Voiculescu, SE; Zygouropoulos, N; Zahiu, CD; Zagrean, AM

    2014-01-01

    Melatonin is an indoleamine produced by the pineal gland and secreted in a circadian manner. In the past few decades, research over this topic has been enhanced. Melatonin has many important roles in the human physiology: regulator of the circadian rhythms, sleep inducer, antioxidant, anticarcinogenic. This paper reviews the involvement of melatonin in embryo fetal development. The pineal gland develops completely postpartum, so both the embryo and the fetus are dependent on the maternal mela...

  11. [Assisted reproductive technologies and the embryo status].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Englert, Y

    The status of the human embryo has always be a subject of philosophical and theological thoughts with major social consequences, but, until the 19th century, it has been mainly an abstraction. The arrival of the human embryo in vitro, materialized by Louise Brown's birth in 1978 and above all by the supernumerary embryos produced by the Australian team of Trounson and Wood following the introduction of ovarian stimulation, will turn theoretical thoughts into a reality. Nobody may ignore the hidden intentions behind the debate, as to recognise a status to a few days old embryo will immediately have a major impact on the status of a few weeks old foetus and therefore on the abortion rights. We will see that the embryo status, essentially based as well on a vision on the good and evil as on social order, cannot be based on a scientific analysis of the reproduction process but comes from a society's choice, by essence " arbitrary " and always disputable. This does not preclude the collectivity right and legitimacy to give a precise status and it is remarkable to observe the law is careful not to specify which status to give to the human embryo. It is more thru handling procedures and functioning rules that the law designed the embryo position, neither with a status of a person, nor of a thing. It nevertheless remains true that there is a constant risk that the legislation gives the embryo a status that would call into question it's unique characteristic of early reproductive stage, jeopardizing at once the hard-won reproductive freedom (reproductive choice) as well as freedom of research on embryonic stem cells, one of the most promising field of medical research.

  12. Evolution of climatic niche specialization: a phylogenetic analysis in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonetti, Maria Fernanda; Wiens, John J

    2014-11-22

    The evolution of climatic niche specialization has important implications for many topics in ecology, evolution and conservation. The climatic niche reflects the set of temperature and precipitation conditions where a species can occur. Thus, specialization to a limited set of climatic conditions can be important for understanding patterns of biogeography, species richness, community structure, allopatric speciation, spread of invasive species and responses to climate change. Nevertheless, the factors that determine climatic niche width (level of specialization) remain poorly explored. Here, we test whether species that occur in more extreme climates are more highly specialized for those conditions, and whether there are trade-offs between niche widths on different climatic niche axes (e.g. do species that tolerate a broad range of temperatures tolerate only a limited range of precipitation regimes?). We test these hypotheses in amphibians, using phylogenetic comparative methods and global-scale datasets, including 2712 species with both climatic and phylogenetic data. Our results do not support either hypothesis. Rather than finding narrower niches in more extreme environments, niches tend to be narrower on one end of a climatic gradient but wider on the other. We also find that temperature and precipitation niche breadths are positively related, rather than showing trade-offs. Finally, our results suggest that most amphibian species occur in relatively warm and dry environments and have relatively narrow climatic niche widths on both of these axes. Thus, they may be especially imperilled by anthropogenic climate change. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  13. Arginine Vasotocin, the Social Neuropeptide of Amphibians and Reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilczynski, Walter; Quispe, Maricel; Muñoz, Matías I.; Penna, Mario

    2017-01-01

    Arginine vasotocin (AVT) is the non-mammalian homolog of arginine vasopressin (AVP) and, like vasopressin, serves as an important modulator of social behavior in addition to its peripheral functions related to osmoregulation, reproductive physiology, and stress hormone release. In amphibians and reptiles, the neuroanatomical organization of brain AVT cells and fibers broadly resembles that seen in mammals and other taxa. Both parvocellular and magnocellular AVT-containing neurons are present in multiple populations located mainly in the basal forebrain from the accumbens–amygdala area to the preoptic area and hypothalamus, from which originate widespread fiber connections spanning the brain with a particularly heavy innervation of areas associated with social behavior and decision-making. As for mammalian AVP, AVT is present in greater amounts in males in many brain areas, and its presence varies seasonally, with hormonal state, and in males with differing social status. AVT’s social influence is also conserved across herpetological taxa, with significant effects on social signaling and aggression, and, based on the very small number of studies investigating more complex social behaviors in amphibians and reptiles, AVT may also modulate parental care and social bonding when it is present in these vertebrates. Within this conserved pattern, however, both AVT anatomy and social behavior effects vary significantly across species. Accounting for this diversity represents a challenge to understanding the mechanisms by which AVT exerts its behavioral effects, as well are a potential tool for discerning the structure-function relationships underlying AVT’s many effects on behavior. PMID:28824546

  14. Arginine Vasotocin, the Social Neuropeptide of Amphibians and Reptiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Walter Wilczynski

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Arginine vasotocin (AVT is the non-mammalian homolog of arginine vasopressin (AVP and, like vasopressin, serves as an important modulator of social behavior in addition to its peripheral functions related to osmoregulation, reproductive physiology, and stress hormone release. In amphibians and reptiles, the neuroanatomical organization of brain AVT cells and fibers broadly resembles that seen in mammals and other taxa. Both parvocellular and magnocellular AVT-containing neurons are present in multiple populations located mainly in the basal forebrain from the accumbens–amygdala area to the preoptic area and hypothalamus, from which originate widespread fiber connections spanning the brain with a particularly heavy innervation of areas associated with social behavior and decision-making. As for mammalian AVP, AVT is present in greater amounts in males in many brain areas, and its presence varies seasonally, with hormonal state, and in males with differing social status. AVT’s social influence is also conserved across herpetological taxa, with significant effects on social signaling and aggression, and, based on the very small number of studies investigating more complex social behaviors in amphibians and reptiles, AVT may also modulate parental care and social bonding when it is present in these vertebrates. Within this conserved pattern, however, both AVT anatomy and social behavior effects vary significantly across species. Accounting for this diversity represents a challenge to understanding the mechanisms by which AVT exerts its behavioral effects, as well are a potential tool for discerning the structure-function relationships underlying AVT’s many effects on behavior.

  15. Predictors of breeding site occupancy by amphibians in montane landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groff, Luke A.; Loftin, Cynthia S.; Calhoun, Aram J.K.

    2017-01-01

    Ecological relationships and processes vary across species’ geographic distributions, life stages and spatial, and temporal scales. Montane landscapes are characterized by low wetland densities, rugged topographies, and cold climates. Consequently, aquatic-dependent and low-vagility ectothermic species (e.g., pool-breeding amphibians) may exhibit unique ecological associations in montane landscapes. We evaluated the relative importance of breeding- and landscape-scale features associated with spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) and wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) wetland occupancy in Maine's Upper Montane-Alpine Zone ecoregion, and we determined whether models performed better when the inclusive landscape-scale covariates were estimated with topography-weighted or circular buffers. We surveyed 135 potential breeding sites during May 2013–June 2014 and evaluated environmental relationships with multi-season implicit dynamics occupancy models. Breeding site occupancy by both species was influenced solely by breeding-scale habitat features. Spotted salamander occupancy probabilities increased with previous or current beaver (Castor canadensis) presence, and models generally were better supported when the inclusive landscape-scale covariates were estimated with topography-weighted rather than circular buffers. Wood frog occupancy probabilities increased with site area and percent shallows, but neither buffer type was better supported than the other. Model rank order and support varied between buffer types, but model inferences did not. Our results suggest pool-breeding amphibian conservation in montane Maine include measures to maintain beaver populations and large wetlands with proportionally large areas of shallows ≤1-m deep. Inconsistencies between our study and previous studies substantiate the value of region-specific research for augmenting species’ conservation management plans and suggest the application of out-of-region inferences may promote

  16. Is preimplantation genetic diagnosis the ideal embryo selection method in aneuploidy screening?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Levent Sahin

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available To select cytogenetically normal embryos, preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD aneuploidy screening (AS is used in numerous centers around the world. Chromosomal abnormalities lead to developmental problems, implantation failure, and early abortion of embryos. The usefulness of PGD in identifying single-gene diseases, human leukocyte antigen typing, X-linked diseases, and specific genetic diseases is well-known. In this review, preimplantation embryo genetics, PGD research studies, and the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology PGD Consortium studies and reports are examined. In addition, criteria for embryo selection, technical aspects of PGD-AS, and potential noninvasive embryo selection methods are described. Indications for PGD and possible causes of discordant PGD results between the centers are discussed. The limitations of fluorescence in situ hybridization, and the advantages of the array comparative genomic hybridization are included in this review. Although PGD-AS for patients of advanced maternal age has been shown to improve in vitro fertilization outcomes in some studies, to our knowledge, there is not sufficient evidence to use advanced maternal age as the sole indication for PGD-AS. PGD-AS might be harmful and may not increase the success rates of in vitro fertilization. At the same time PGD, is not recommended for recurrent implantation failure and unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss.

  17. The Effect of Reactive Oxygen Species on Embryo Quality in IVF.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siristatidis, Charalampos; Vogiatzi, Paraskevi; Varounis, Christos; Askoxylaki, Marily; Chrelias, Charalampos; Papantoniou, Nikolaos

    2016-01-01

    BACKROUND/AIM: Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are involved in critical biological processes in human reproduction. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of embryo quality following in vitro fertilization (IVF), with ROS levels in the serum and follicular fluid (FF). Eighty-five participants underwent ovarian stimulation and IVF; ROS levels were measured in blood samples on the day of oocyte retrieval and in the FF from follicular aspirates using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. These values were associated with the quality of embryos generated. Univariable zero-inflated Poisson model revealed that ROS levels at both oocyte retrieval and in FF were not associated with the number of grade I, II, III and IV embryos (p>0.05). Age, body mass index, stimulation protocol and smoking status were not associated with the number of embryos of any grade (p>0.05). Neither ROS levels in serum nor in FF are associated with the quality of embryos produced following IVF. Copyright © 2016 International Institute of Anticancer Research (Dr. John G. Delinassios), All rights reserved.

  18. There is no evidence for a temporal link between pathogen arrival and frog extinctions in north-eastern Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ben L Phillips

    Full Text Available Pathogen spread can cause population declines and even species extinctions. Nonetheless, in the absence of tailored monitoring schemes, documenting pathogen spread can be difficult. In the case of worldwide amphibian declines the best present understanding is that the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd has recently spread, causing amphibian declines and extinction in the process. However, good evidence demonstrating pathogen arrival followed by amphibian decline is rare, and analysis of putative evidence is often inadequate. Here we attempt to examine the relationship between Bd arrival and amphibian decline across north-eastern Australia, using sites where a wave-like pattern of amphibian decline was first noticed and at which intensive research has since been conducted. We develop an analytical framework that allows rigorous estimation of pathogen arrival date, which can then be used to test for a correlation between the time of pathogen arrival and amphibian decline across sites. Our results show that, with the current dataset, the earliest possible arrival date of Bd in north-eastern Australia is completely unresolved; Bd could have arrived immediately before sampling commenced or may have arrived thousands of years earlier, the present data simply cannot say. The currently available data are thus insufficient to assess the link between timing of pathogen arrival and population decline in this part of the world. This data insufficiency is surprising given that there have been decades of research on chytridiomycosis in Australia and that there is a general belief that the link between Bd arrival and population decline is well resolved in this region. The lack of data on Bd arrival currently acts as a major impediment to determining the role of environmental factors in driving the global amphibian declines, and should be a major focus of future research.

  19. Effects of alpha particles on zebrafish embryos

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yum, E.H.W.; Choi, V.W.Y.; Yu, K.N.; Li, V.W.T.; Cheng, S.H.

    2008-01-01

    Full text: Ionizing radiation such as X-ray and alpha particles can damage cellular macromolecules, which can lead to DNA single- and double-strand breaks. In the present work, we studied the effects of alpha particles on dechorionated zebrafish embryos. Thin polyallyldiglycol carbonate (PADC) films with a thickness of 16 μm were prepared from commercially available PADC films (with thickness of 100 μm) by chemical etching and used as support substrates for holding zebrafish embryos for alpha-particle irradiation. These films recorded alpha-particle hit positions, quantified the number and energy of alpha particles actually incident on the embryo cells, and thus enabled the calculation of the dose absorbed by the embryo cells. Irradiation was made at 1.25 hours post fertilization (hpf) with various absorbed dose. TdT-mediated dUTP Nick-End Labeling (TUNEL) assay was performed on the embryos at different time stages after irradiation. Marked apoptosis was detected only in embryos at earlier time stages. The results showed that DNA double-strand break during zebrafish embryogenesis can be induced by alpha-particle irradiation, which suggests that zebrafish is a potential model for assessing the effects of alpha-particle radiation

  20. Cryopreservation of Arachis pintoi (leguminosae) somatic embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rey, H Y; Faloci, M; Medina, R; Dolce, N; Engelmann, F; Mroginski, L

    2013-01-01

    In this study, we successfully cryopreserved cotyledonary somatic embryos of diploid and triploid Arachis pintoi cytotypes using the encapsulation-dehydration technique. The highest survival rates were obtained when somatic embryos were encapsulated in calcium alginate beads and precultured in agitated (80 rpm) liquid establishment medium (EM) with daily increasing sucrose concentration (0.50, 0.75, and 1.0 M). The encapsulated somatic embryos were then dehydrated with silica gel for 5 h to 20% moisture content (fresh weight basis) and cooled either rapidly (direct immersion in liquid nitrogen, LN) or slowly (1 degree C per min from 25 degree C to -30 degree C followed by immersion in LN). Beads were kept in LN for a minimum of 1 h and then were rapidly rewarmed in a 30 degree C water-bath for 2 min. Finally, encapsulated somatic embryos were post-cultured in agitated (80 rpm) liquid EM with daily decreasing sucrose concentration (0.75 and 0.5 M) and transferred to solidified EM. Using this protocol, we obtained 26% and 30% plant regeneration from cryopreserved somatic embryos of diploid and triploid cytotypes. No morphological abnormalities were observed in any of the plants regenerated from cryopreserved embryos and their genetic stability was confirmed with 10 isozyme systems and nine RAPD profiles.

  1. Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey ESI: REPTILES (Reptile and Amphibian Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for threatened/endangered sea turtles, diamondback terrapins, and rare reptiles/amphibians in coastal Rhode...

  2. Sensitivity of Coastal Environments and Wildlife to Spilled Oil: Central California: REPTILES (Reptile and Amphibian Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for amphibians and reptiles in Central California. Vector polygons in this data set represent sea turtle...

  3. Species List of Alaskan Birds, Mammals, Fish, Amphibians, Reptiles, and Invertebrates. Alaska Region Report Number 82.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Tamra Faris

    This publication contains a detailed list of the birds, mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates found in Alaska. Part I lists the species by geographical regions. Part II lists the species by the ecological regions of the state. (CO)

  4. Sensitivity of Coastal Environments and Wildlife to Spilled Oil: Central California: REPTILEL (Reptile and Amphibian Lines)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for amphibians and reptiles in Central California. Vector lines in this data set represent general stream...

  5. Amphibians and agrochemicals: Dermal contact and pesticide uptake from irrigated croplands in SW Georgia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Background/Question/Methods Although isolated wetlands comprise a significant portion of amphibian breeding habitats throughout the United States, they are not protected under the Clean Water Act. In SW Georgia where agriculture is dominant within the landscape, many isolated ...

  6. Future of keeping pet reptiles and amphibians: animal welfare and public health perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warwick, C; Jessop, M; Arena, P; Pliny, A; Nicholas, E; Lambiris, A

    2017-10-28

    In a review summary on page 450, Pasmans and others discuss the future of keeping reptiles and amphibians as pets. Here, Clifford Warwick and others discuss the animal welfare and public health implications of exotic pet business. British Veterinary Association.

  7. [Nested species subsets of amphibians and reptiles in Thousand Island Lake].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xi; Wang, Yan-Ping; Ding, Ping

    2012-10-01

    Habitat fragmentation is a main cause for the loss of biological diversity. Combining line-transect methods to survey the amphibians and reptiles on 23 islands on Thousand Island Lake in Zhejiang province, along with survey data on nearby plant species and habitat variables collected by GIS, we used the"BINMATNEST (binary matrix nestedness temperature calculator)" software and the Spearman rank correlation to examine whether amphibians and reptiles followed nested subsets and their influencing factors. The results showed that amphibians and reptiles were significantly nested, and that the island area and habitat type were significantly associated with their nested ranks. Therefore, to effectively protect amphibians and reptiles in the Thousand Islands Lake area we should pay prior attention to islands with larger areas and more habitat types.

  8. Thyroid Histopathology Assessments for the Amphibian Metamorphosis Assay to Detect Thyroid-active Substances

    Science.gov (United States)

    In support of an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Amphibian Metamorphosis Assay (AMA) Test Guideline for the detection of substances that interact with the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis, a document was developed that provides a standardized appro...

  9. Diversity and habitat preferences of amphibians and reptiles in Pakistan: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Waqas Ali

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Geographical position of Pakistan is unique, and country harbors two out of six zoogeographical regions. The country can be divided into 15 habitat types in three major divisions: the mountainous region, foothills, and Indus plains. Overall, 219 species including 24 amphibians and 195 reptiles have been reported so far. Out of these, nine amphibian and 13 reptilian species are endemic to Pakistan. Despite this richness, there is paucity of knowledge regarding diversity of amphibians and reptiles as very few species have been thoroughly studied and very small area has been explored. This has led to the uncertainties regarding distribution and taxonomy of these taxa in the country. The herpetofauna is not protected by law in the country, and their conservation status is yet to be evaluated. Furthermore, distribution ranges of amphibians and reptiles have been changed and systemized survey work is required to update baseline information in the country.

  10. Amphibians and reptiles of the state of Chihuahua, Mexico, with comparisons with adjoining states

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julio A. Lemos-Espinal

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Chihuahua is Mexico’s largest state, and its physiographic complexity affects the distribution of its herpetofauna. We list amphibians and reptiles for the state of Chihuahua, with their conservation status. We also compare this list to those of six adjoining states in the United States and Mexico (New Mexico, Texas, Coahuila, Durango, Sinaloa, and Sonora. A total of 175 species of amphibians and reptiles is found in Chihuahua. Thirty-eight are amphibians, and 137 reptiles. Chihuahuan amphibians and reptiles represent just over 37% of such species from Chihuahua and neighboring states. Chihuahua shares the highest proportion of its herpetofauna with Sonora and Durango. Most of the herpetofauna of Chihuahua falls in IUCNs least concern category and is not listed by SEMARNAT. However, turtles in Chihuahua are a group of particular conservation concern.

  11. Amphibians and reptiles of the state of Chihuahua, Mexico, with comparisons with adjoining states.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemos-Espinal, Julio A; Smith, Geoffrey R; Woolrich-Piña, Guillermo A; Cruz, Alexander

    2017-01-01

    Chihuahua is Mexico's largest state, and its physiographic complexity affects the distribution of its herpetofauna. We list amphibians and reptiles for the state of Chihuahua, with their conservation status. We also compare this list to those of six adjoining states in the United States and Mexico (New Mexico, Texas, Coahuila, Durango, Sinaloa, and Sonora). A total of 175 species of amphibians and reptiles is found in Chihuahua. Thirty-eight are amphibians, and 137 reptiles. Chihuahuan amphibians and reptiles represent just over 37% of such species from Chihuahua and neighboring states. Chihuahua shares the highest proportion of its herpetofauna with Sonora and Durango. Most of the herpetofauna of Chihuahua falls in IUCNs least concern category and is not listed by SEMARNAT. However, turtles in Chihuahua are a group of particular conservation concern.

  12. Mitochondrial DNA content in embryo culture medium is significantly associated with human embryo fragmentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stigliani, S; Anserini, P; Venturini, P L; Scaruffi, P

    2013-10-01

    Is the amount of cell-free DNA released by human embryos into culture medium correlated with embryo morphological features? The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) content of culture medium is significantly associated with the fragmentation rate on Days 2 and 3 of embryo development, whether the oocyte came from women ≤ 35 or >35 years old. Cellular fragmentation is often utilized as one of the morphological parameters for embryo quality assessment. The amount of cellular fragments is considered to be an important morphological parameter for embryo implantation potential. It has been hypothesized that fragments are apoptotic bodies or anuclear cytoplasmatic pieces of blastomeres, although no definitive conclusion has been drawn about their pathogenesis. Human fertilized oocytes were individually cultured from Day 1 to Days 2 and 3. A total of 800 samples (166 spent media from Day 2 and 634 from Day 3) were enrolled into the present study. Double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) was quantified in 800 spent embryo culture media by Pico Green dye fluorescence assay. After DNA purification, genomic DNA (gDNA) and mtDNA were profiled by specific quantitative PCR. Statistical analyses defined correlations among DNA contents, embryo morphology and maternal age. Different independent tests confirmed the presence of DNA into embryo culture medium and, for the first time, we demonstrate that both gDNA and mtDNA are detectable in the secretome. The amount of DNA is larger in embryos with bad quality cleavage compared with high-grade embryos, suggesting that the DNA profile of culture medium is an objective marker for embryo quality assessment. In particular, DNA profiles are significantly associated with fragmentation feature (total dsDNA: P = 0.0010; mtDNA; P = 0.0247) and advanced maternal age. It is necessary to establish whether DNA profiling of spent embryo culture medium is a robust onsite test that can improve the prediction of blastulation, implantation and/or pregnancy rate. The

  13. Miniaturized embryo array for automated trapping, immobilization and microperfusion of zebrafish embryos.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jin Akagi

    Full Text Available Zebrafish (Danio rerio has recently emerged as a powerful experimental model in drug discovery and environmental toxicology. Drug discovery screens performed on zebrafish embryos mirror with a high level of accuracy the tests usually performed on mammalian animal models, and fish embryo toxicity assay (FET is one of the most promising alternative approaches to acute ecotoxicity testing with adult fish. Notwithstanding this, automated in-situ analysis of zebrafish embryos is still deeply in its infancy. This is mostly due to the inherent limitations of conventional techniques and the fact that metazoan organisms are not easily susceptible to laboratory automation. In this work, we describe the development of an innovative miniaturized chip-based device for the in-situ analysis of zebrafish embryos. We present evidence that automatic, hydrodynamic positioning, trapping and long-term immobilization of single embryos inside the microfluidic chips can be combined with time-lapse imaging to provide real-time developmental analysis. Our platform, fabricated using biocompatible polymer molding technology, enables rapid trapping of embryos in low shear stress zones, uniform drug microperfusion and high-resolution imaging without the need of manual embryo handling at various developmental stages. The device provides a highly controllable fluidic microenvironment and post-analysis eleuthero-embryo stage recovery. Throughout the incubation, the position of individual embryos is registered. Importantly, we also for first time show that microfluidic embryo array technology can be effectively used for the analysis of anti-angiogenic compounds using transgenic zebrafish line (fli1a:EGFP. The work provides a new rationale for rapid and automated manipulation and analysis of developing zebrafish embryos at a large scale.

  14. What we know and don't know about amphibian declines in the West

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corn, Paul Stephen

    1994-01-01

    The problem of declining amphibian species is thought to be particularly acute in western North America, but there are many gaps in our knowledge. Although several declines have been well-documented, other declines are anecdotal or hypothesized. Most documented declines are of ranid frogs or toads (Bufo). Species from montane habitats and those occurring in California have been best studied. Status of many desert species is unknown. Habitat destruction and introduced predators are the most common threats to amphibian populations. Some declines may represent natural variation in population size. Causes have not been determined for several cases where common species have declined over large areas. There are important considerations for ecosystem management, whether changes in amphibian populations are natural or caused by human activities. Causes for declines must be known so that management can be prescribed (or proscribed) to eliminate or minimize these causes. The natural variability of amphibian population numbers and the complexity of metapopulation structure emphasize the necessity of considering multiple temporal and spatial scales in ecosystem management. The decline of amphibian species throughout the world has received considerable recent attention (e.g., Blaustein and Wake 1990, Griffiths and Beebee 1992, Yoffe 1992). Much of this attention derives from a workshop held in February, 1990 on declining amphibians sponsored by the National Research Council Board (NRC) on Biology in Irvine, California (Barinaga 1990, Borchelt 1990). Because of media attention in the aftermath of this conference, it is a popular perception that amphibian declines are a new phenomenon that herpetologists have been slow to recognize (Griffiths and Beebee 1992, Quammen 1993). However, concern about amphibian populations in the United States dates back over 20 years. Beginning in the 1960s, a large, well-documented decline of northern leopard frogs (Rana pipiens) occurred in the

  15. Skin swabs with FTA® cards as a dry storage source for amphibian DNA

    OpenAIRE

    Ward, A; Hide, G; Jehle, R

    2018-01-01

    Amphibians are the most endangered group of vertebrates, and conservation measures increasingly rely on information drawn from genetic markers. The present study explores skin swabs with Whatman FTA® cards as a method to retrieve PCR-amplifiable amphibian DNA. Swabs from ten adult great crested newts (Triturus cristatus) were used to compare FTA® card-based protocols with tissue sampling based on toe clips. PCR success rates were measured for seven microsatellite markers and one mtDNA marker ...

  16. Epidemic disease decimates amphibian abundance, species diversity, and evolutionary history in the highlands of central Panama

    OpenAIRE

    Crawford, Andrew J.; Lips, Karen R.; Bermingham, Eldredge

    2010-01-01

    Amphibian populations around the world are experiencing unprecedented declines attributed to a chytrid fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Despite the severity of the crisis, quantitative analyses of the effects of the epidemic on amphibian abundance and diversity have been unavailable as a result of the lack of equivalent data collected before and following disease outbreak. We present a community-level assessment combining long-term field surveys and DNA barcode data describing...

  17. Physical habitat and its alteration: A common ground for exposure of amphibians to environmental stressors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, Christine A.; Cunnington, David C.; Fellers, Gary M.; Gibbs, James P.; Pauli, Bruce D.; Rothermel, Betsie B.; Linder, Greg L.; Krest, Sherry K.; Sparling, Donald W.

    2003-01-01

    Amphibians as a class of vertebrates have persisted for hundreds of millions of years (Stebbins and Cohen 1995), but they are currently threatened by a variety of stressors, many resulting from human-related alterations of the environment. Most species of amphibians live closely associated with moist environments throughout their life and have evolved specialized adaptations that conserve water and reduce desiccation (Stebbins and Cohen 1995; Henry 2000; Chapter 2A). Amphibians are ectotherms, so their body temperatures fluctuate with the local environment. Latitude, elevation, and habitat affect environmental temperature and have a strong influence on amphibian distributions. Despite these physiological and habitat constraints, the 4750 species of amphibians in the world today have exploited a wide variety of habitats that range from dry deserts to tropical rain forests and from sea level to elevations above 4000 m (McDairmid and Mitchell 2000).The direct loss of suitable habitat has had a profound effect on amphibian populations (Johnson 1992), as it has on nearly all species of wildlife. In the U.S., 53% of wetlands have been lost to human development in the last 200 years (Dahl 1990). Similar loss of wetlands has occurred throughout much of the world, especially in developing countries (Miller 1993). In many regions, deforestation has reduced or eliminated suitable terrestrial habitats, and this may prove to be the largest global threat to amphibian populations (Johnson 1992). Eight thousand years ago, forests covered approximately 40% of the world’s land (6 billion hectares), but by 1997, the world’s forests had been reduced to 3.5 billion hectares, a 42% loss worldwide (CIDA 2001). The effect of habitat loss is generally both obvious and predictable; with increasing restriction of suitable habitat, amphibian populations will probably not survive. The anthropogenic effects on the quality of the habitat that remains are often less obvious.

  18. Ecological Risk Assessment of Perchlorate in Avian Species, Rodents, Amphibians and Fish: FY2003

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-10-01

    Ecological Receptors at the Longhorn Army Ammunition Plant (LHAAP), Karnack, TX. Ecotoxicology , 10: 305-313. Smith JN, Pan X, Gentles, BA, Smith...Page 32 of 225 Hayes, TB. 2000. Endocrine disruption in amphibians. In Sparling DW, Linder G, Bishop C, eds. Ecotoxicology of Amphibians and... macrophytes and was programmed in Matlab using difference equations. To simulate and predict the uptake and transport of explosives in various

  19. Geomorphology Drives Amphibian Beta Diversity in Atlantic Forest Lowlands of Southeastern Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Luiz, Amom Mendes; Le?o-Pires, Thiago Augusto; Sawaya, Ricardo J.

    2016-01-01

    Beta diversity patterns are the outcome of multiple processes operating at different scales. Amphibian assemblages seem to be affected by contemporary climate and dispersal-based processes. However, historical processes involved in present patterns of beta diversity remain poorly understood. We assess and disentangle geomorphological, climatic and spatial drivers of amphibian beta diversity in coastal lowlands of the Atlantic Forest, southeastern Brazil. We tested the hypothesis that geomorph...

  20. Can we enhance amphibians? habitat restoration in the post-mining areas?

    OpenAIRE

    Klimaszewski, Krzysztof; Pacholik, Ewa; Snopek, Adam

    2015-01-01

    The study was aimed to evaluate the selected improvements of nature restoration in a depleted gravel pit. The study site consisted of four water reservoirs of different shapes and sizes, flooded after the gravel extraction ended. Ecological succession monitoring, conducted by the Warsaw University of Life Sciences students associated in the Student Scientific Association of Animal Sciences Faculty since the completion of mining, have focused on amphibians. A twofold approach upheld amphibian ...

  1. Amphibian decline and extinction: what we know and what we need to learn.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, James P

    2010-11-01

    For over 350 million yr, thousands of amphibian species have lived on Earth. Since the 1980s, amphibians have been disappearing at an alarming rate, in many cases quite suddenly. What is causing these declines and extinctions? In the modern era (post 1500) there are 6 leading causes of biodiversity loss in general, and all of these acting alone or together are responsible for modern amphibian declines: commercial use; introduced/exotic species that compete with, prey on, and parasitize native frogs and salamanders; land use change; contaminants; climate change; and infectious disease. The first 3 causes are historical in the sense that they have been operating for hundreds of years, although the rate of change due to each accelerated greatly after about the mid-20th century. Contaminants, climate change, and emerging infectious diseases are modern causes suspected of being responsible for the so-called 'enigmatic decline' of amphibians in protected areas. Introduced/exotic pathogens, land use change, and infectious disease are the 3 causes with a clear role in amphibian decline as well as extinction; thus far, the other 3 causes are only implicated in decline and not extinction. The present work is a review of the 6 causes with a focus on pathogens and suggested areas where new research is needed. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is a chytrid fungus that is an emerging infectious disease causing amphibian population decline and species extinction. Historically, pathogens have not been seen as a major cause of extinction, but Bd is an exception, which is why it is such an interesting, important pathogen to understand. The late 20th and early 21st century global biodiversity loss is characterized as a sixth extinction event. Amphibians are a striking example of these losses as they disappear at a rate that greatly exceeds historical levels. Consequently, modern amphibian decline and extinction is a lens through which we can view the larger story of biodiversity

  2. Reptiles as potential vectors and hosts of the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Panama.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilburn, Vanessa L; Ibáñez, Roberto; Green, David M

    2011-12-06

    Chytridiomycosis, the disease caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, is considered to be a disease exclusively of amphibians. However, B. dendrobatidis may also be capable of persisting in the environment, and non-amphibian vectors or hosts may contribute to disease transmission. Reptiles living in close proximity to amphibians and sharing similar ecological traits could serve as vectors or reservoir hosts for B. dendrobatidis, harbouring the organism on their skin without succumbing to disease. We surveyed for the presence of B. dendrobatidis DNA among 211 lizards and 8 snakes at 8 sites at varying elevations in Panama where the syntopic amphibians were at pre-epizootic, epizootic or post-epizootic stages of chytridiomycosis. Detection of B. dendrobatidis DNA was done using qPCR analysis. Evidence of the amphibian pathogen was present at varying intensities in 29 of 79 examined Anolis humilis lizards (32%) and 9 of 101 A. lionotus lizards (9%), and in one individual each of the snakes Pliocercus euryzonus, Imantodes cenchoa, and Nothopsis rugosus. In general, B. dendrobatidis DNA prevalence among reptiles was positively correlated with the infection prevalence among co-occurring anuran amphibians at any particular site (r = 0.88, p = 0.004). These reptiles, therefore, may likely be vectors or reservoir hosts for B. dendrobatidis and could serve as disease transmission agents. Although there is no evidence of B. dendrobatidis disease-induced declines in reptiles, cases of coincidence of reptile and amphibian declines suggest this potentiality. Our study is the first to provide evidence of non-amphibian carriers for B. dendrobatidis in a natural Neotropical environment.

  3. Effects of amphibian phylogeny, climate and human impact on the occurrence of the amphibian-killing chytrid fungus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacigalupe, Leonardo D; Soto-Azat, Claudio; García-Vera, Cristobal; Barría-Oyarzo, Ismael; Rezende, Enrico L

    2017-09-01

    Chytridiomycosis, due to the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has been associated with the alarming decline and extinction crisis of amphibians worldwide. Because conservation programs are implemented locally, it is essential to understand how the complex interactions among host species, climate and human activities contribute to Bd occurrence at regional scales. Using weighted phylogenetic regressions and model selection, we investigated geographic patterns of Bd occurrence along a latitudinal gradient of 1500 km within a biodiversity hot spot in Chile (1845 individuals sampled from 253 sites and representing 24 species), and its association with climatic, socio-demographic and economic variables. Analyses show that Bd prevalence decreases with latitude although it has increased by almost 10% between 2008 and 2013, possibly reflecting an ongoing spread of Bd following the introduction of Xenopus laevis. Occurrence of Bd was higher in regions with high gross domestic product (particularly near developed centers) and with a high variability in rainfall regimes, whereas models including other bioclimatic or geographic variables, including temperature, exhibited substantially lower fit and virtually no support based on Akaike weights. In addition, Bd prevalence exhibited a strong phylogenetic signal, with five species having high numbers of infected individuals and higher prevalence than the average of 13.3% across all species. Taken together, our results highlight that Bd in Chile might still be spreading south, facilitated by a subset of species that seem to play an important epidemiological role maintaining this pathogen in the communities, in combination with climatic and human factors affecting the availability and quality of amphibian breeding sites. This information may be employed to design conservation strategies and mitigate the impacts of Bd in the biodiversity hot spot of southern Chile, and similar studies may prove useful to disentangle the

  4. Effects of an infectious fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, on amphibian predator-prey interactions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara A Han

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available The effects of parasites and pathogens on host behaviors may be particularly important in predator-prey contexts, since few animal behaviors are more crucial for ensuring immediate survival than the avoidance of lethal predators in nature. We examined the effects of an emerging fungal pathogen of amphibians, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, on anti-predator behaviors of tadpoles of four frog species. We also investigated whether amphibian predators consumed infected prey, and whether B. dendrobatidis caused differences in predation rates among prey in laboratory feeding trials. We found differences in anti-predator behaviors among larvae of four amphibian species, and show that infected tadpoles of one species (Anaxyrus boreas were more active and sought refuge more frequently when exposed to predator chemical cues. Salamander predators consumed infected and uninfected tadpoles of three other prey species at similar rates in feeding trials, and predation risk among prey was unaffected by B. dendrobatidis. Collectively, our results show that even sub-lethal exposure to B. dendrobatidis can alter fundamental anti-predator behaviors in some amphibian prey species, and suggest the unexplored possibility that indiscriminate predation between infected and uninfected prey (i.e., non-selective predation could increase the prevalence of this widely distributed pathogen in amphibian populations. Because one of the most prominent types of predators in many amphibian systems is salamanders, and because salamanders are susceptible to B. dendrobatidis, our work suggests the importance of considering host susceptibility and behavioral changes that could arise from infection in both predators and prey.

  5. Amphibians Testing Negative for Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Supen WANG; Wei ZHU; Liqing FAN; Jiaqi LI; Yiming LI

    2017-01-01

    A disease caused by the fungi Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) is responsible for recent worldwide declines and extinctions of amphibian populations.The Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) is aglobal biodiversity hotspot,yet little is known about the prevalence of Bd and Bsal in this region.In this study,we collected 336 non-invasive skin swabs from wild amphibians (including an exotic amphibian species) on the QTP.In addition,to assess the historical prevalence of Bd and Bsal on the QTP,we collected 117 non-invasive skin swabs from museum-archived amphibian samples (from 1964-1982) originating from the QTP.Our results showed all samples to be negative for Bd and Bsal.The government should ban the potentially harmful introduction of non-native amphibian species to the QTP and educate the public about the impacts of releasing exotic amphibians from chytrid-infected areas into native environments of the QTP.

  6. First record of Saprolegnia sp. in an amphibian population in Colombia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Daniel Prada-Salcedo

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Most research related to the decline of amphibians has been focused on the detection of the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytriumdendrobatidis. This fungus is the main pathogen detected around the world. However, research has shown the presence of another fungus,Saprolegnia ferax, as a cause of mortality in amphibians in North America. Our study suggests a possible interspecific transmissioncaused by the presence of rainbow trout; thus, amphibian declines may not be attributable only to the presence of a single pathogen, butto other organisms and factors. Materials and methods. Our study revealed the presence of Saprolegnia sp. in the Andean frog Atelopusmittermeieri using the imprinting technique with lactophenol blue staining, which allowed the typical structures of this fungus to beobserved. Results. The importance of this discovery is the presence of two pathogenic fungi, B. dendrobatidis and Saprolegnia, whichaffecting simultaneously a population of amphibians. This finding brings attention to the eventual presence of other microorganismsthat might be involved individually or collectively in the decline of amphibian species. Conclusions. This record suggests a possibletransmission between rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss, an introduced species in the highlands of Colombia, which shares thesame habitats with different species of amphibians in the Sanctuary of Flora and Fauna Guanentá in the upper river Fonce in the midCordillera Oriental of Colombia.

  7. Vast underestimation of Madagascar's biodiversity evidenced by an integrative amphibian inventory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vieites, David R; Wollenberg, Katharina C; Andreone, Franco; Köhler, Jörn; Glaw, Frank; Vences, Miguel

    2009-05-19

    Amphibians are in decline worldwide. However, their patterns of diversity, especially in the tropics, are not well understood, mainly because of incomplete information on taxonomy and distribution. We assess morphological, bioacoustic, and genetic variation of Madagascar's amphibians, one of the first near-complete taxon samplings from a biodiversity hotspot. Based on DNA sequences of 2,850 specimens sampled from over 170 localities, our analyses reveal an extreme proportion of amphibian diversity, projecting an almost 2-fold increase in species numbers from the currently described 244 species to a minimum of 373 and up to 465. This diversity is widespread geographically and across most major phylogenetic lineages except in a few previously well-studied genera, and is not restricted to morphologically cryptic clades. We classify the genealogical lineages in confirmed and unconfirmed candidate species or deeply divergent conspecific lineages based on concordance of genetic divergences with other characters. This integrative approach may be widely applicable to improve estimates of organismal diversity. Our results suggest that in Madagascar the spatial pattern of amphibian richness and endemism must be revisited, and current habitat destruction may be affecting more species than previously thought, in amphibians as well as in other animal groups. This case study suggests that worldwide tropical amphibian diversity is probably underestimated at an unprecedented level and stresses the need for integrated taxonomic surveys as a basis for prioritizing conservation efforts within biodiversity hotspots.

  8. Meanings of the embryo in Japan: narratives of IVF experience and embryo ownership

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kato, M.; Sleeboom-Faulkner, M.

    2011-01-01

    This article explores the sociocultural meanings of the embryo implied in the narratives of 58 women who have undergone in vitro fertilisation in Japan over a period from 2006 to 2008. We argue that a lack of sufficient analysis of the sociocultural meanings of the embryo result in a situation where

  9. Cryopreservation of peach palm zygotic embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinmacher, Douglas A; Saldanha, Cleber W; Clement, Charles R; Guerra, Miguel P

    2007-01-01

    Cryopreservation is a safe and cost-effective option for long-term germplasm conservation of non-orthodox seed species, such as peach palm (Bactris gasipaes). The objective of the present study was to establish a cryopreservation protocol for peach palm zygotic embryos based on the encapsulation-dehydration technique. After excision, zygotic embryos were encapsulated with 3 percent sodium alginate plus 2 M glycerol and 0.4 M sucrose, and pre-treated or not with 1 M sucrose during 24 h, followed by air-drying. Fresh weight water contents of beads decreased from 83 percent and 87 percent to 18 percent and 20 percent for pre-treated or non-pretreated beads, respectively, after 4 h of dehydration. Sucrose pre-treatment at 1 M caused lower zygotic embryo germination and plantlet height in contrast to non-treated beads. All the variables were statistically influenced by dehydration time. Optimal conditions for recovery of cryopreserved zygotic embryos include encapsulation and dehydration for 4 h in a forced air cabinet to 20 percent water content, followed by rapid freezing in liquid nitrogen (-196 degree C) and rapid thawing at 45 degree C. In these conditions 29 percent of the zygotic embryos germinated in vitro. However, plantlets obtained from dehydrated zygotic embryos had stunted haustoria and lower heights. Histological analysis showed that haustorium cells were large, vacuolated, with few protein bodies. In contrast, small cells with high nucleus:cytoplasm ratio formed the shoot apical meristem of the embryos, which were the cell types with favorable characteristics for survival after exposure to liquid nitrogen. Plantlets were successfully acclimatized and showed 41+/-9 percent and 88+/-4 percent survival levels after 12 weeks of acclimatization from cryopreserved and non-cryopreserved treatments, respectively.

  10. Developmental competence of porcine chimeric embryos produced by aggregation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Juan; Jakobsen, Jannik E.; Xiong, Qiang

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of our study was to compare the developmental competence and blastomere allocation of porcine chimeric embryos formed by micro-well aggregation. Chimeras were created by aggregating either two blastomeres originating from 2-cell embryos or two whole embryos, where embryos were produced...... either by parthenogenetic activation (PA) or handmade cloning (HMC). Results showed that the developmental competence of chimeric embryos, evaluated based on their blastocyst rate and total cell number per blastocyst, was increased when two whole 2-cell stage embryos (PA or HMC) were aggregated....... In comparison, when two blastomeres were aggregated, the developmental competence of the chimeric embryos decreased if the blastomeres were either from PA or from HMC embryos, but not if they were from different sources, i.e. one PA and one HMC blastomere. To evaluate the cell contribution in embryo formation...

  11. Using monitoring data to map amphibian breeding hotspots and describe wetland vulnerability in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ray, Andrew M.; Legg, Kristin; Sepulveda, Adam; Hossack, Blake R.; Patla, Debra

    2015-01-01

    Amphibians have been selected as a “vital sign” by several National Park Service (NPS) Inventory and Monitoring (I&M) networks. An eight-year amphibian monitoring data set provided opportunities to examine spatial and temporal patterns in amphibian breeding richness and wetland desiccation across Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Amphibian breeding richness was variable across both parks and only four of 31 permanent monitoring catchments contained all four widely distributed species. Annual breeding richness was also variable through time and fluctuated by as much as 75% in some years and catchments. Wetland desiccation was also documented across the region, but alone did not explain variations in amphibian richness. High annual variability across the region emphasizes the need for multiple years of monitoring to accurately describe amphibian richness and wetland desiccation dynamics.

  12. Patients' Attitudes towards the Surplus Frozen Embryos in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xuan Jin

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Assisted reproductive techniques have been used in China for more than 20 years. This study investigates the attitudes of surplus embryo holders towards embryos storage and donation for medical research. Methods. A total of 363 couples who had completed in vitro fertilization (IVF treatment and had already had biological children but who still had frozen embryos in storage were invited to participate. Interviews were conducted by clinics in a narrative style. Results. Family size was the major reason for participants’ (discontinuation of embryo storage; moreover, the moral status of embryos was an important factor for couples choosing embryo storage, while the storage fee was an important factor for couples choosing embryo disposal. Most couples discontinued the storage of their embryos once their children were older than 3 years. In our study, 58.8% of the couples preferred to dispose of surplus embryos rather than donate them to research, citing a lack of information and distrust in science as significant reasons for their decision. Conclusions. Interviews regarding frozen embryos, including patients’ expectations for embryo storage and information to assist them with decisions regarding embryo disposal, are beneficial for policies addressing embryo disposition and embryo donation in China.

  13. Embryos, individuals, and persons: an argument against embryo creation and research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tollefsen, C

    2001-01-01

    One strategy for arguing that it should be legally permissible to create human embryos, or to use spare human embryos, for scientific research purposes involves the claim that such embryos cannot be persons because they are not human individuals while twinning may yet take place. Being a human individual is considered to be by most people a necessary condition for being a human person. I argue first that such an argument against the personhood of embryos must be rationally conclusive if their destruction in public places such as laboratories is to be countenanced. I base this argument on a popular understanding of the role that the notion of privacy plays in abortion laws. I then argue that such arguments against personhood are not rationally conclusive. The claim that the early embryos is not a human individual is not nearly as obvious as some assert.

  14. Generation of single-copy transgenic mouse embryos directly from ES cells by tetraploid embryo complementation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhao Roong

    2001-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Transgenic mice have been used extensively to analyze gene function. Unfortunately, traditional transgenic procedures have only limited use in analyzing alleles that cause lethality because lines of founder mice cannot be established. This is frustrating given that such alleles often reveal crucial aspects of gene function. For this reason techniques that facilitate the generation of embryos expressing such alleles would be of enormous benefit. Although the transient generation of transgenic embryos has allowed limited analysis of lethal alleles, it is expensive, time consuming and technically challenging. Moreover a fundamental limitation with this approach is that each embryo generated is unique and transgene expression is highly variable due to the integration of different transgene copy numbers at random genomic sites. Results Here we describe an alternative method that allows the generation of clonal mouse embryos harboring a single-copy transgene at a defined genomic location. This was facilitated through the production of Hprt negative embryonic stem cells that allow the derivation of embryos by tetraploid embryo complementation. We show that targeting transgenes to the hprt locus in these ES cells by homologous recombination can be efficiently selected by growth in HAT medium. Moreover, embryos derived solely from targeted ES cells containing a single copy LacZ transgene under the control of the α-myosin heavy chain promoter exhibited the expected cardiac specific expression pattern. Conclusion Our results demonstrate that tetraploid embryo complementation by F3 hprt negative ES cells facilitates the generation of transgenic mouse embryos containing a single copy gene at a defined genomic locus. This approach is simple, extremely efficient and bypasses any requirement to generate chimeric mice. Moreover embryos generated by this procedure are clonal in that they are all derived from a single ES cell lines. This

  15. Metabolite profiling of somatic embryos of Cyclamen persicum in comparison to zygotic embryos, endosperm and testa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Traud eWinkelmann

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Somatic embryogenesis has been shown to be an efficient in vitro plant regeneration system for many crops such as the important ornamental plant Cyclamen persicum, for which this regeneration pathway of somatic embryogenesis is of interest for the vegetative propagation of parental lines as well as elite plants. However, somatic embryogenesis is not commercially used in many crops due to several unsolved problems, such as malformations, asynchronous development, deficiencies in maturation and germination of somatic embryos. In contrast, zygotic embryos in seeds develop and germinate without abnormalities in most cases. Instead of time-consuming and labor-intensive experiments involving tests of different in vitro culture conditions and plant growth regulator supplements, we follow a more directed approach. Zygotic embryos served as a reference and were compared to somatic embryos in metabolomic analyses allowing the future optimization of the in vitro system. The aims of this study were to detect differences in the metabolite profiles of torpedo stage somatic and zygotic embryos of C. persicum. Moreover, major metabolites in endosperm and testa were identified and quantified.Two sets of extracts of two to four biological replicates each were analyzed. In total 52 metabolites were identified and quantified in the different tissues. One of the most significant differences between somatic and zygotic embryos was that the proline concentration in the zygotic embryos was about 40 times higher than that found in somatic embryos. Epicatechin, a scavenger for reactive oxygen species, was found in highest abundance in the testa. Sucrose, the most abundant metabolite was detected in significantly higher concentrations in zygotic embryos. Also, a yet unknown trisaccharide, was significantly enriched in zygotic embryos.

  16. Host Ecology Rather Than Host Phylogeny Drives Amphibian Skin Microbial Community Structure in the Biodiversity Hotspot of Madagascar

    OpenAIRE

    Bletz, Molly C.; Archer, Holly; Harris, Reid N.; McKenzie, Valerie J.; Rabemananjara, Falitiana C. E.; Rakotoarison, Andolalao; Vences, Miguel

    2017-01-01

    Host-associated microbiotas of vertebrates are diverse and complex communities that contribute to host health. In particular, for amphibians, cutaneous microbial communities likely play a significant role in pathogen defense; however, our ecological understanding of these communities is still in its infancy. Here, we take advantage of the fully endemic and locally species-rich amphibian fauna of Madagascar to investigate the factors structuring amphibian skin microbiota on a large scale. Usin...

  17. Cell size is positively correlated between different tissues in passerine birds and amphibians, but not necessarily in mammals

    OpenAIRE

    Kozłowski, J.; Czarnołęski, M.; François-Krassowska, A.; Maciak, S.; Pis, T.

    2010-01-01

    We examined cell size correlations between tissues, and cell size to body mass relationships in passerine birds, amphibians and mammals. The size correlated highly between all cell types in birds and amphibians; mammalian tissues clustered by size correlation in three tissue groups. Erythrocyte size correlated well with the volume of other cell types in birds and amphibians, but poorly in mammals. In birds, body mass correlated positively with the size of all cell types including erythrocytes...

  18. Diversity and dynamics of amphibians in floodplain ecosystems of the Samara river

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. V. Zhukov

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available High emphasis is placed on amphibian importance as a buffer system, which has inhibiting effect on technogenic transformation of biogeocoenoses. Issues of the animals’ use in biological restoration, ecological rehabilitation of technogenic landscapes and in bioindication of environmental conditions are covered. Сhange in any component of the ecosystem leads to changing of the whole ecosystem. Anuran amphibians are extremely vulnerable to harmful effects of many factors of natural and anthropogenic origin. That is why, the destruction of forests, draining of wetlands, global climate change, global and local environmental pollution lead to complete disappearance or drastic decrease in numbers of many species of amphibians, reduction and fragmentation of their habitats, increased diversity and overall proportion of morphological anomalies in the natural populations of this group of animals. Recent studies of morphological changes in amphibians are increasingly being used to assess the state of the natural state of their populations and quality of their environment. In the biogeocenoses which are in the conditions of transformation amphibians have a number of advantages relative to their activity, the rate of reproduction, and euribiont character. Practical recommendations on protection and enrichment of the regional herpetofauna are given. The impact of the number and species diversity of amphibians on forest ecosystems of the steppe Dnieperin various conditions is assessed. Parametric entropy factors, the coefficient of biodiversity helped to identify the dominant species of amphibians. Taking into account the influence of predictors, there is the possibility to determine the number and species diversity of amphibians in the conditions of floodplain lime-ash forest. As a result of recording, the following species were caught: Pelobates fuscus (Laurenti, 1768, Rana arvalis Nilsson, 1842, Bufo bufo (Linnaeus, 1758, Bombina bombina (Linnaeus, 1758

  19. Genotoxicity of diuron and glyphosate in oyster spermatozoa and embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akcha, F; Spagnol, C; Rouxel, J

    2012-01-15

    We investigated the effects of genotoxicant exposure in gametes and embryos to find a possible link between genotoxicity and reproduction/developmental impairment, and explore the impact of chemical genotoxicity on population dynamics. Our study focused on the genotoxic effects of two herbicides on oyster gametes and embryos: glyphosate (both as an active substance and in the Roundup formulation) and diuron. France is Europe's leading consumer of agrochemical substances and as such, contamination of France's coastal waters by pesticides is a major concern. Glyphosate and diuron are among the most frequently detected herbicides in oyster production areas; as oyster is a specie with external reproduction, its gametes and embryos are in direct contact with the surrounding waters and are hence particularly exposed to these potentially dangerous substances. In the course of this study, differences in genotoxic and embryotoxic responses were observed in the various experiments, possibly due to differences in pollutant sensitivity between the tested genitor lots. Glyphosate and Roundup had no effect on oyster development at the concentrations tested, whereas diuron significantly affected embryo-larval development from the lowest tested concentration of 0.05 μg L⁻¹, i.e. an environmentally realistic concentration. Diuron may therefore have a significant impact on oyster recruitment rates in the natural environment. Our spermiotoxicity study revealed none of the tested herbicides to be cytotoxic for oyster spermatozoa. However, the alkaline comet assay showed diuron to have a significant genotoxic effect on oyster spermatozoa at concentrations of 0.05 μg L⁻¹ upwards. Conversely, no effects due to diuron exposure were observed on sperm mitochondrial function or acrosomal membrane integrity. Although our initial results showed no negative effect on sperm function, the possible impact on fertilization rate and the consequences of the transmission of damaged DNA for

  20. Operative Links

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wistoft, Karen; Højlund, Holger

    2012-01-01

    educational goals, learning content, or value clarification. Health pedagogy is often a matter of retrospective rationalization rather than the starting point of planning. Health and risk behaviour approaches override health educational approaches. Conclusions: Operational links between health education......, health professionalism, and management strategies pose the foremost challenge. Operational links indicates cooperative levels that facilitate a creative and innovative effort across traditional professional boundaries. It is proposed that such links are supported by network structures, shared semantics...

  1. Pregnancy after preimplantation diagnosis for a deletion in the dystrophin gene by polymerase chain reaction in embryos obtained after intracytoplasmic sperm injection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lissens, W.; Liu, J.; Van Broeckhoven, C. [University Hospital, Brussels (Belgium)] [and others

    1994-09-01

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is one of the most common X-linked recessive diseases. In order to be able to perform a DMD-specific preimplantation diagnosis (PID) in a female carrier of a deletion of exons 3 to 18 in the dystrophin gene, we have developed a PCR assay to detect the deletion based on sequences of exon 17. The efficiency of this PCR was evaluated on 50 single blastomeres from 12 normal control embryos and on 41 blastomeres for 9 male and 3 female embryos from the female DMD carrier, obtained after a first preimplantation diagnosis by sexing. The exon 17 region was amplified with 100% efficiency, except in all 21 blastomeres from 6 male embryos from the carrier where no PCR signals were observed. The negative results in these blastomeres were interpreted as being found only in male embryos carrying the deletion. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection was carried out on the carrier`s metaphase II oocytes retrieved after ovarian stimulation. Embryos were analyzed for the presence of exon 17 and 2 male embryos were found to be deleted, while 4 embryos showed normal amplification signals. Three of the latter embryos were replaced, resulting in a singleton pregnancy. Amniotic cell analysis showed a normal female karyotype and DNA analysis indicated a non-carrier.

  2. Assay using embryo aggregation chimeras for the detection of nonlethal changes in X-irradiated mouse preimplantation embryos

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Obasaju, M.F.; Wiley, L.M.; Oudiz, D.J.; Miller, L.; Samuels, S.J.; Chang, R.J.; Overstreet, J.W.

    1988-01-01

    We have developed a short-term in vitro assay for the detection of sublethal effects produced by very low levels of ionizing radiation. The assay utilizes mouse embryo aggregation chimeras consisting of one irradiated embryo paired with an unirradiated embryo whose blastomeres have been labeled with fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC). X irradiation (from 0.05 to 2 Gy) and chimera construction were performed with four-cell stage embryos, and the chimeras were cultured for 40 h to the morula stage. The morulae were partially dissociated with calcium-free culture medium and viewed under phase contrast and epifluorescence microscopy to obtain total embryo cell number and the cellular contribution of irradiated (unlabeled) and control (FITC labeled) embryos per chimera. In chimeras where neither embryo was irradiated, the ratio of the unlabeled blastomeres to the total number of blastomeres per chimera embryo was 0.50 (17.8 +/- 5.6 cells per unlabeled embryo and 17.4 +/- 5.5 cells per FITC-labeled partner embryo). However, in chimeras formed after the unlabeled embryos were irradiated with as little as 0.05 Gy, the ratio of unlabeled blastomeres to the total number of blastomeres per chimera embryo was 0.43 (P less than 0.01). The apparent decreases in cell proliferation were not observed in irradiated embryos that were merely cocultured with control embryos, regardless of whether the embryos were zona enclosed or zona free. We conclude that very low levels of radiation induce sublethal changes in cleaving embryos that are expressed as a proliferative disadvantage within two cell cycles when irradiated embryos are in direct cell-to-cell contact with unirradiated embryos

  3. In vitro manipulation techniques of porcine embryos

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Liu, Ying; Li, Juan; Løvendahl, Peter

    2015-01-01

    During the last 17 years, considerable advancements have been achieved in the production of pigs, transgenic and non-transgenic, by methods of somatic cell nuclear transfer, in vitro fertilisation, intracytoplasmic sperm injection, microinjection and sperm-mediated gene transfer by artificial...... insemination. Therefore, a review of the overall efficiency for the developmental competence of embryos produced by these in vitro methods would be useful in order to obtain a more thorough overview of this growing area with respect to its development and present status. In this review a meta-analysis was used...... to analyse data collected from all published articles with a focus on zygotes and embryos for transfer, pregnancy, full-term development and piglets born. It was generally concluded that an increasing level of in vitro manipulation of porcine embryos decreased the overall efficiency for production of piglets...

  4. [Chapter 9. The embryo in comparative law].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mastor, Wanda

    2018-03-07

    On the boundaries of life and, as a result, almost a question of metaphysics, still dividing science and continually fuelling debates, one question does seem to be legally insoluble, ie the question of the status of the human embryo. A comparatist look allows us to put into perspective the various national postures with regard to the embryo in order to confront them, by putting forward the areas where they converge or diverge. Although a very global approach allows us to note certain similarities, a more precise study of the question of abortion in particular reflects the evidence of the contextualisation of the embryo. It is what it is, subject or object, enjoying absolute or very relative protection, a simply legislative or constitutional status, only with regard to legal systems, but also moral and religious systems in which it takes its place.

  5. A new gestational diabetes mellitus model: hyperglycemia-induced eye malformation via inhibition of Pax6 in the chick embryo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shi-Jie Zhang

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM is one of the leading causes of fetal malformations. However, few models have been developed to study the underlying mechanisms of GDM-induced fetal eye malformation. In this study, a high concentration of glucose (0.2 mmol per egg was injected into the air sac of chick embryos on embryo development day (EDD 1 to develop a hyperglycemia model. Results showed that 47.3% of embryonic eye malformation happened on EDD 5. In this model, the key genes regulating eye development, Pax6, Six3 and Otx2, were downregulated by hyperglycemia. Among these genes, the expression of Pax6 was the most vulnerable to hyperglycemia, being suppressed by 70%. A reduction in Pax6 gene expression induced eye malformation in chick embryos. However, increased expression of Pax6 in chick embryos could rescue hyperglycemia-induced eye malformation. Hyperglycemia stimulated O-linked N-acetylglucosaminylation, which caused oxidative stress in chick embryos. Pax6 was found to be vulnerable to free radicals, but the antioxidant edaravone could restore Pax6 expression and reverse eye malformation. These results illustrated a successful establishment of a new chick embryo model to study the molecular mechanism of hyperglycemia-induced eye malformation. The suppression of the Pax6 gene is probably mediated by oxidative stress and could be a crucial target for the therapy of GDM-induced embryonic eye malformation.

  6. A new gestational diabetes mellitus model: hyperglycemia-induced eye malformation via inhibition of Pax6 in the chick embryo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Shi-Jie; Li, Yi-Fang; Tan, Rui-Rong; Tsoi, Bun; Huang, Wen-Shan; Huang, Yi-Hua; Tang, Xiao-Long; Hu, Dan; Yao, Nan; Yang, Xuesong; Kurihara, Hiroshi; Wang, Qi; He, Rong-Rong

    2016-02-01

    Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is one of the leading causes of fetal malformations. However, few models have been developed to study the underlying mechanisms of GDM-induced fetal eye malformation. In this study, a high concentration of glucose (0.2 mmol per egg) was injected into the air sac of chick embryos on embryo development day (EDD) 1 to develop a hyperglycemia model. Results showed that 47.3% of embryonic eye malformation happened on EDD 5. In this model, the key genes regulating eye development, Pax6, Six3 and Otx2, were downregulated by hyperglycemia. Among these genes, the expression of Pax6 was the most vulnerable to hyperglycemia, being suppressed by 70%. A reduction in Pax6 gene expression induced eye malformation in chick embryos. However, increased expression of Pax6 in chick embryos could rescue hyperglycemia-induced eye malformation. Hyperglycemia stimulated O-linked N-acetylglucosaminylation, which caused oxidative stress in chick embryos. Pax6 was found to be vulnerable to free radicals, but the antioxidant edaravone could restore Pax6 expression and reverse eye malformation. These results illustrated a successful establishment of a new chick embryo model to study the molecular mechanism of hyperglycemia-induced eye malformation. The suppression of the Pax6 gene is probably mediated by oxidative stress and could be a crucial target for the therapy of GDM-induced embryonic eye malformation. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  7. Embryo aggregation does not improve the development of interspecies somatic cell nuclear transfer embryos in the horse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gambini, Andrés; De Stéfano, Adrián; Jarazo, Javier; Buemo, Carla; Karlanian, Florencia; Salamone, Daniel Felipe

    2016-09-01

    The low efficiency of interspecies somatic cell nuclear transfer (iSCNT) makes it necessary to investigate new strategies to improve embryonic developmental competence. Embryo aggregation has been successfully applied to improve cloning efficiency in mammals, but it remains unclear whether it could also be beneficial for iSCNT. In this study, we first compared the effect of embryo aggregation over in vitro development and blastocyst quality of porcine, bovine, and feline zona-free (ZF) parthenogenetic (PA) embryos to test the effects of embryo aggregation on species that were later used as enucleated oocytes donors in our iSCNT study. We then assessed whether embryo aggregation could improve the in vitro development of ZF equine iSCNT embryos after reconstruction with porcine, bovine, and feline ooplasm. Bovine- and porcine-aggregated PA blastocysts had significantly larger diameters compared with nonaggregated embryos. On the other hand, feline- and bovine-aggregated PA embryos had higher blastocyst cell number. Embryo aggregation of equine-equine SCNT was found to be beneficial for embryo development as we have previously reported, but the aggregation of three ZF reconstructed embryos did not improve embryo developmental rates on iSCNT. In vitro embryo development of nonaggregated iSCNT was predominantly arrested around the stage when transcriptional activation of the embryonic genome is reported to start on the embryo of the donor species. Nevertheless, independent of embryo aggregation, equine blastocyst-like structures could be obtained in our study using domestic feline-enucleated oocytes. Taken together, these results reported that embryo aggregation enhance in vitro PA embryo development and embryo quality but effects vary depending on the species. Embryo aggregation also improves, as expected, the in vitro embryo development of equine-equine SCNT embryos; however, we did not observe positive effects on equine iSCNT embryo development. Among oocytes

  8. Laser confers less embryo exposure than acid tyrode for embryo biopsy in preimplantation genetic diagnosis cycles: a randomized study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geber, Selmo; Bossi, Renata; Lisboa, Cintia B; Valle, Marcelo; Sampaio, Marcos

    2011-04-28

    We compared two methods of zona pellucida drilling. 213 embryos were biopsied with acid Tyrode. Each biopsy took 3 minutes and the entire procedure ~29 minutes. 5% of blastomeres lysed, 49% of embryos became blastocyst and 36% of patients became pregnant. 229 embryos were biopsied with laser. Each biopsy took 30 seconds and the entire procedure ~7 minutes. 2.5% of blastomeres lysed, 50.6% of embryos became blastocyst and 47% of patients became pregnant. We can conclude that laser can be used for embryo biopsy. Reduction of embryo exposure and of removed blastomeres is associated with increased blastocysts available for transfer and a better clinical outcome.

  9. Laser confers less embryo exposure than acid tyrode for embryo biopsy in preimplantation genetic diagnosis cycles: a randomized study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valle Marcelo

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract We compared two methods of zona pellucida drilling. 213 embryos were biopsied with acid Tyrode. Each biopsy took 3 minutes and the entire procedure ~29 minutes. 5% of blastomeres lysed, 49% of embryos became blastocyst and 36% of patients became pregnant. 229 embryos were biopsied with laser. Each biopsy took 30 seconds and the entire procedure ~7 minutes. 2.5% of blastomeres lysed, 50.6% of embryos became blastocyst and 47% of patients became pregnant. We can conclude that laser can be used for embryo biopsy. Reduction of embryo exposure and of removed blastomeres is associated with increased blastocysts available for transfer and a better clinical outcome.

  10. Assessing the Threat of Amphibian Chytrid Fungus in the Albertine Rift: Past, Present and Future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seimon, Tracie A.; Ayebare, Samuel; Sekisambu, Robert; Muhindo, Emmanuel; Mitamba, Guillain; Greenbaum, Eli; Menegon, Michele; Pupin, Fabio; McAloose, Denise; Ammazzalorso, Alyssa; Meirte, Danny; Lukwago, Wilbur; Behangana, Mathias; Seimon, Anton; Plumptre, Andrew J.

    2015-01-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the cause of chytridiomycosis, is a pathogenic fungus that is found worldwide and is a major contributor to amphibian declines and extinctions. We report results of a comprehensive effort to assess the distribution and threat of Bd in one of the Earth’s most important biodiversity hotspots, the Albertine Rift in central Africa. In herpetological surveys conducted between 2010 and 2014, 1018 skin swabs from 17 amphibian genera in 39 sites across the Albertine Rift were tested for Bd by PCR. Overall, 19.5% of amphibians tested positive from all sites combined. Skin tissue samples from 163 amphibians were examined histologically; of these two had superficial epidermal intracorneal fungal colonization and lesions consistent with the disease chytridiomycosis. One amphibian was found dead during the surveys, and all others encountered appeared healthy. We found no evidence for Bd-induced mortality events, a finding consistent with other studies. To gain a historical perspective about Bd in the Albertine Rift, skin swabs from 232 museum-archived amphibians collected as voucher specimens from 1925–1994 were tested for Bd. Of these, one sample was positive; an Itombwe River frog (Phrynobatrachus asper) collected in 1950 in the Itombwe highlands. This finding represents the earliest record of Bd in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We modeled the distribution of Bd in the Albertine Rift using MaxEnt software, and trained our model for improved predictability. Our model predicts that Bd is currently widespread across the Albertine Rift, with moderate habitat suitability extending into the lowlands. Under climatic modeling scenarios our model predicts that optimal habitat suitability of Bd will decrease causing a major range contraction of the fungus by 2080. Our baseline data and modeling predictions are important for comparative studies, especially if significant changes in amphibian health status or climactic conditions are

  11. Understanding of the impact of chemicals on amphibians: a meta-analytic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egea-Serrano, Andrés; Relyea, Rick A; Tejedo, Miguel; Torralva, Mar

    2012-07-01

    Many studies have assessed the impact of different pollutants on amphibians across a variety of experimental venues (laboratory, mesocosm, and enclosure conditions). Past reviews, using vote-counting methods, have described pollution as one of the major threats faced by amphibians. However, vote-counting methods lack strong statistical power, do not permit one to determine the magnitudes of effects, and do not compare responses among predefined groups. To address these challenges, we conducted a meta-analysis of experimental studies that measured the effects of different chemical pollutants (nitrogenous and phosphorous compounds, pesticides, road deicers, heavy metals, and other wastewater contaminants) at environmentally relevant concentrations on amphibian survival, mass, time to hatching, time to metamorphosis, and frequency of abnormalities. The overall effect size of pollutant exposure was a medium decrease in amphibian survival and mass and a large increase in abnormality frequency. This translates to a 14.3% decrease in survival, a 7.5% decrease in mass, and a 535% increase in abnormality frequency across all studies. In contrast, we found no overall effect of pollutants on time to hatching and time to metamorphosis. We also found that effect sizes differed among experimental venues and among types of pollutants, but we only detected weak differences among amphibian families. These results suggest that variation in sensitivity to contaminants is generally independent of phylogeny. Some publication bias (i.e., selective reporting) was detected, but only for mass and the interaction effect size among stressors. We conclude that the overall impact of pollution on amphibians is moderately to largely negative. This implies that pollutants at environmentally relevant concentrations pose an important threat to amphibians and may play a role in their present global decline.

  12. Arabidopsis mitochondrial protein slow embryo development1 is essential for embryo development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ju, Yan; Liu, Chunying; Lu, Wenwen; Zhang, Quan; Sodmergen

    2016-01-01

    The plant seeds formation are crucial parts in reproductive process in seed plants as well as food source for humans. Proper embryo development ensure viable seed formation. Here, we showed an Arabidopsis T-DNA insertion mutant slow embryo development1 (sed1) which exhibited retarded embryogenesis, led to aborted seeds. Embryo without SED1 developed slower compared to normal one and could be recognized at early globular stage by its white appearance. In later development stage, storage accumulated poorly with less protein and lipid body production. In vitro culture did not rescue albino embryo. SED1 encoded a protein targeted to mitochondria. Transmission electron microscopic analysis revealed that mitochondria developed abnormally, and more strikingly plastid failed to construct grana in time in sed1/sed1 embryo. These data indicated that SED1 is indispensable for embryogenesis in Arabidopsis, and the mitochondria may be involved in the regulation of many aspects of seed development. -- Highlights: •Arabidopsis SED1 is essential for embryo development. •The sed1 embryo accumulates less storage and has abnormal ultrastructure. •SED1 localizes to the mitochondrion.

  13. Migration and growth of protoplanetary embryos. I. Convergence of embryos in protoplanetary disks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Xiaojia; Lin, Douglas N. C. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Liu, Beibei [Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics and Department of Astronomy, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing 100871 (China); Li, Hui, E-mail: xzhang47@ucsc.edu [Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545 (United States)

    2014-12-10

    According to the core accretion scenario, planets form in protostellar disks through the condensation of dust, coagulation of planetesimals, and emergence of protoplanetary embryos. At a few AU in a minimum mass nebula, embryos' growth is quenched by dynamical isolation due to the depletion of planetesimals in their feeding zone. However, embryos with masses (M{sub p} ) in the range of a few Earth masses (M {sub ⊕}) migrate toward a transition radius between the inner viscously heated and outer irradiated regions of their natal disk. Their limiting isolation mass increases with the planetesimals surface density. When M{sub p} > 10 M {sub ⊕}, embryos efficiently accrete gas and evolve into cores of gas giants. We use a numerical simulation to show that despite stream line interference, convergent embryos essentially retain the strength of non-interacting embryos' Lindblad and corotation torques by their natal disks. In disks with modest surface density (or equivalently accretion rates), embryos capture each other in their mutual mean motion resonances and form a convoy of super-Earths. In more massive disks, they could overcome these resonant barriers to undergo repeated close encounters, including cohesive collisions that enable the formation of massive cores.

  14. Survival of embryo irradiated with gamma rays by embryo culture in Brassica pekinensis Rupr

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moue, T.

    1984-01-01

    The effect of irradiation on the survival rates and embryonic development of Brassica pekinensis RUPR. (Varieties; Kashin, Kohai 65 nichi and kairyochitose) was investigated. The purpose of this study was to seek ways of increasing the survival rates of embryos such as B.oleracea obtained through embryo culture techniques after irradiation doses affecting seed fertility and germination, for the purpose of increasing mutation rates. Embryos at different developmental stages ranging from the globular to the early heart stages were irradiated with 20 KR of gamma rays at the daily rate 0L 20 KR or 10 KR (Fig.1 and Table 1). The embryos were excised from ovules 4 to 10 days after irradiation and cultured on White's medium. The shooting and rooting rates on the 34th day of culture were higher at the dose of 10 KR/day than 20 KR/day and were lower when the materials were irradiated at the young embryonic stage (Table 3). Varietal differences in the shooting and rooting rates were also observed. The irradiated embryos survived mainly in the state of callus. It was concluded that the embryo culture technique was successful when applied to irradiated embryos excised at the young embryonic stage and that the technique affected B.pekinensis less than B.oleracea

  15. Arabidopsis mitochondrial protein slow embryo development1 is essential for embryo development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ju, Yan; Liu, Chunying; Lu, Wenwen; Zhang, Quan; Sodmergen, E-mail: sodmergn@pku.edu.cn

    2016-05-27

    The plant seeds formation are crucial parts in reproductive process in seed plants as well as food source for humans. Proper embryo development ensure viable seed formation. Here, we showed an Arabidopsis T-DNA insertion mutant slow embryo development1 (sed1) which exhibited retarded embryogenesis, led to aborted seeds. Embryo without SED1 developed slower compared to normal one and could be recognized at early globular stage by its white appearance. In later development stage, storage accumulated poorly with less protein and lipid body production. In vitro culture did not rescue albino embryo. SED1 encoded a protein targeted to mitochondria. Transmission electron microscopic analysis revealed that mitochondria developed abnormally, and more strikingly plastid failed to construct grana in time in sed1/sed1 embryo. These data indicated that SED1 is indispensable for embryogenesis in Arabidopsis, and the mitochondria may be involved in the regulation of many aspects of seed development. -- Highlights: •Arabidopsis SED1 is essential for embryo development. •The sed1 embryo accumulates less storage and has abnormal ultrastructure. •SED1 localizes to the mitochondrion.

  16. Brachyury expression in tailless Molgulid ascidian embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takada, Norio; York, Jonathan; Davis, J Muse; Schumpert, Brenda; Yasuo, Hitoyoshi; Satoh, Nori; Swalla, Billie J

    2002-01-01

    The T-box transcription factor gene Brachyury is important for the differentiation of notochord in all chordates, including the ascidians Halocynthia roretzi and Ciona intestinalis. We isolated Brachyury from molgulid ascidians, which have evolved tailless larvae multiple times independently, and found the genes appear functional by cDNA sequence analyses. We then compared the expression of Mocu-Bra in tailed Molgula oculata embryos to two tailless species, Molgula occulta (Mocc-Bra) and Molgula tectiformis (Mt-Bra). Here we show that both tailless species express Brachyury in the notochord lineage during embryogenesis. Initial expression of Mocu-Bra is normal in tailed M. oculata embryos; 10 precursor notochord cells divide twice to result in 40 notochord cells that converge and extend to make a notochord down the center of the tail. In contrast, in tailless Molgula occulta, Mocc-Bra expression disappears prematurely, and there is only one round of division, resulting in 20 cells in the final notochord lineage that never converge or extend. In M. occulta x M. oculata hybrid embryos, expression of Mocu-Bra is prolonged, and the embryos form a tail with 20 notochord cells that converge and extend normally. However, in Molgula tectiformis, a different tailless ascidian, Mt-Bra was expressed only in the 10 notochord precursor cells, which never divide, converge, or extend. In summary, neither Brachyury function nor the early establishment of the notochord lineage appears to be impaired in tailless embryos. In light of these results, we are continuing to investigate how and why notochord development is lost in tailless molgulid ascidian embryos.

  17. Life-history evolution and mitogenomic phylogeny of caecilian amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    San Mauro, Diego; Gower, David J; Müller, Hendrik; Loader, Simon P; Zardoya, Rafael; Nussbaum, Ronald A; Wilkinson, Mark

    2014-04-01

    We analyze mitochondrial genomes to reconstruct a robust phylogenetic framework for caecilian amphibians and use this to investigate life-history evolution within the group. Our study comprises 45 caecilian mitochondrial genomes (19 of them newly reported), representing all families and 27 of 32 currently recognized genera, including some for which molecular data had never been reported. Support for all relationships in the inferred phylogenetic tree is high to maximal, and topology tests reject all investigated alternatives, indicating an exceptionally robust molecular phylogenetic framework of caecilian evolution consistent with current morphology-based supraspecific classification. We used the mitogenomic phylogenetic framework to infer ancestral character states and to assess correlation among three life-history traits (free-living larvae, viviparity, specialized pre-adult or vernal teeth), each of which occurs only in some caecilian species. Our results provide evidence that an ancestor of the Seychelles caecilians abandoned direct development and re-evolved a free-living larval stage. This study yields insights into the concurrent evolution of direct development and of vernal teeth in an ancestor of Teresomata that likely gave rise to skin-feeding (maternal dermatophagy) behavior and subsequently enabled evolution of viviparity, with skin feeding possibly a homologous precursor of oviduct feeding in viviparous caecilians. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Autonomic control of cardiorespiratory interactions in fish, amphibians and reptiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.W. Taylor

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Control of the heart rate and cardiorespiratory interactions (CRI is predominantly parasympathetic in all jawed vertebrates, with the sympathetic nervous system having some influence in tetrapods. Respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA has been described as a solely mammalian phenomenon but respiration-related beat-to-beat control of the heart has been described in fish and reptiles. Though they are both important, the relative roles of feed-forward central control and peripheral reflexes in generating CRI vary between groups of fishes and probably between other vertebrates. CRI may relate to two locations for the vagal preganglionic neurons (VPN and in particular cardiac VPN in the brainstem. This has been described in representatives from all vertebrate groups, though the proportion in each location is variable. Air-breathing fishes, amphibians and reptiles breathe discontinuously and the onset of a bout of breathing is characteristically accompanied by an immediate increase in heart rate plus, in the latter two groups, a left-right shunting of blood through the pulmonary circuit. Both the increase in heart rate and opening of a sphincter on the pulmonary artery are due to withdrawal of vagal tone. An increase in heart rate following a meal in snakes is related to withdrawal of vagal tone plus a non-adrenergic-non-cholinergic effect that may be due to humoral factors released by the gut. Histamine is one candidate for this role.

  19. Motor impairment and neuronal damage following hypothermia in tropical amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daló, Nelson L; Bracho, Gustavo A; Piña-Crespo, Juan C

    2007-02-01

    Although the induction of mild to moderate cerebral hypothermia in mammals can have neuroprotective activity, some deleterious effects have been described when inducing deep hypothermia during cooling of the brain. In the spinal cord, rapid deep cooling can induce seizure activity accompanied by release of the excitatory neurotransmitters, glutamate and aspartate. We used cold-sensitive tropical amphibians as a model to determine (a) the critical temperature inside the central nervous system necessary to induce seizures during rapid cooling; (b) the survival rate during slow deep cooling of the whole animal; and (c) whether deep cooling can cause neuronal cell damage. Seizures induced by deep rapid (or=30 min) deep cooling of the whole animal (12 h at 2-3 degrees C), around 70% of animals died. Spinal reflexes were enhanced when temperatures within the spinal cord reached between 9.0 degrees C and 11.6 degrees C. A fivefold increase in blood glucose level was observed during slow deep cooling. Recovery after slow deep cooling was accompanied by motor impairment and the main histological findings were condensation of the cytoplasm and nuclear pyknosis. Severe neuronal cell damage was characterized by swelling, vacuolated cytoplasm with distended neuronal bodies. These results indicate that deep cooling can easily induce neuronal cell damage in the central nervous system of cold-sensitive animals. They also warn us to the potential sequels associated with the use of deep brain cooling as a neuroprotective strategy.

  20. Evidence of disease-related amphibian decline in Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muths, Erin; Corn, Paul Stephen; Pessier, Allan P.; Green, D. Earl

    2003-01-01

    The recent discovery of a pathogenic fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) associated with declines of frogs in the American and Australian tropics, suggests that at least the proximate cause, may be known for many previously unexplained amphibian declines. We have monitored boreal toads in Colorado since 1991 at four sites using capturea??recapture of adults and counts of egg masses to examine the dynamics of this metapopulation. Numbers of male toads declined in 1996 and 1999 with annual survival rate averaging 78% from 1991 to 1994, 45% in 1995 and 3% between 1998 and 1999. Numbers of egg masses also declined. An etiological diagnosis of chytridiomycosis consistent with infections by the genus Batrachochytrium was made in six wild adult toads. Characteristic histomorphological features (i.e. intracellular location, shape of thalli, presence of discharge tubes and rhizoids) of chytrid organisms, and host tissue response (acanthosis and hyperkeratosis) were observed in individual toads. These characteristics were indistinguishable from previously reported mortality events associated with chytrid fungus. We also observed epizootiological features consistent with mortality events associated with chytrid fungus: an increase in the ratio of female:male toads captured, an apparent spread of mortalities within the metapopulation and mortalities restricted to post metamorphic animals. Eleven years of population data suggest that this metapopulation of toads is in danger of extinction, pathological and epizootiological evidence indicates that B. dendrobatidis has played a proximate role in this process

  1. Climate Variability, Dissolved Organic Carbon, UV Exposure, and Amphibian Decline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, P. D.; O'Reilly, C. M.; Diamond, S.; Corn, S.; Muths, E.; Tonnessen, K.; Campbell, D. H.

    2001-12-01

    Increasing levels of UV radiation represent a potential threat to aquatic organisms in a wide range of environments, yet controls on in situ variability on UV exposure are relatively unknown. The primary control on the penetration of UV radiation in surface water environments is the amount of photoreactive dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Consequently, biogeochemical processes that control the cycling of DOC also affect the exposure of aquatic organisms to UV radiation. Three years of monitoring UV extinction and DOC composition in Rocky Mountain, Glacier, Sequoia/ Kings Canyon, and Olympic National Parks demonstrate that the amount of fulvic acid DOC is much more important than the total DOC pool in controlling UV attenuation. This photoreactive component of DOC originates primarily in soil, and is subject both to biogeochemical controls (e.g. temperature, moisture, vegetation, soil type) on production, and hydrologic controls on transport to surface water and consequently UV exposure to aquatic organisms. Both of these controls are positively related to precipitation with greater production and transport associated with higher precipitation amounts. For example, an approximately 20 percent reduction in precipitation from 1999 to 2000 resulted in a 27% - 59% reduction in the amount of photoreactive DOC at three sites in Rocky Mountain National Park. These differences in the amount of hydrophobic DOC result in an increase in UV exposure in the aquatic environment by a factor of 2 or more. Implications of these findings for observed patterns of amphibian decline will be discussed.

  2. Invasive reptiles and amphibians: global perspectives and local solutions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, R.N.; Kraus, F.

    2010-01-01

    In the annals of invasive species biology, higher taxa such asmammals, plants and insects have received the lion’s shareof research attention, largely because many of these invadershave demonstrated a remarkable ability to degrade ecosys-tems and cause economic harm. Interest in invasive reptilesand amphibians (collectively ‘herpetofauna’, colloquially‘herps’) has historically lagged but is now garnering in-creased scrutiny as a result of their escalating pace ofinvasion. A few herpetofaunal invaders have received con-siderable attention in scientific and popular accounts, in-cluding the brown treesnakeBoiga irregularison Guam,Burmese pythonPython molurusin Florida, Coqu´ıEleutherodactylus coquiin Hawaii and cane toadBufomarinusin Australia. However, relatively few are aware ofmany emerging and potentially injurious herpetofaunalinvaders, such as Nile monitorsVaranus niloticusin Flor-ida, common kingsnakesLampropeltis getulain the CanaryIslands, boa constrictorsBoa constrictoron Aruba andCozumel, or a variety of giant constrictor snakes in PuertoRico. For the vast majority of the most commonlyintroduced species, real or potential impacts to nativeecosystems or human economic interests are poorly under-stood and incompletely explored; major pathways of intro-duction have only recently been elucidated, and effectivemanagement interventions have been limited (Kraus, 2009).

  3. Autonomic control of cardiorespiratory interactions in fish, amphibians and reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, E W; Leite, C A C; Skovgaard, N

    2010-07-01

    Control of the heart rate and cardiorespiratory interactions (CRI) is predominantly parasympathetic in all jawed vertebrates, with the sympathetic nervous system having some influence in tetrapods. Respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) has been described as a solely mammalian phenomenon but respiration-related beat-to-beat control of the heart has been described in fish and reptiles. Though they are both important, the relative roles of feed-forward central control and peripheral reflexes in generating CRI vary between groups of fishes and probably between other vertebrates. CRI may relate to two locations for the vagal preganglionic neurons (VPN) and in particular cardiac VPN in the brainstem. This has been described in representatives from all vertebrate groups, though the proportion in each location is variable. Air-breathing fishes, amphibians and reptiles breathe discontinuously and the onset of a bout of breathing is characteristically accompanied by an immediate increase in heart rate plus, in the latter two groups, a left-right shunting of blood through the pulmonary circuit. Both the increase in heart rate and opening of a sphincter on the pulmonary artery are due to withdrawal of vagal tone. An increase in heart rate following a meal in snakes is related to withdrawal of vagal tone plus a non-adrenergic-non-cholinergic effect that may be due to humoral factors released by the gut. Histamine is one candidate for this role.

  4. R-spondin 3 regulates dorsoventral and anteroposterior patterning by antagonizing Wnt/β-catenin signaling in zebrafish embryos.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaozhi Rong

    Full Text Available The Wnt/β-catenin or canonical Wnt signaling pathway plays fundamental roles in early development and in maintaining adult tissue homeostasis. R-spondin 3 (Rspo3 is a secreted protein that has been implicated in activating the Wnt/β-catenin signaling in amphibians and mammals. Here we report that zebrafish Rspo3 plays a negative role in regulating the zygotic Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Zebrafish Rspo3 has a unique domain structure. It contains a third furin-like (FU3 domain. This FU3 is present in other four ray-finned fish species studied but not in elephant shark. In zebrafish, rspo3 mRNA is maternally deposited and has a ubiquitous expression in early embryonic stages. After 12 hpf, its expression becomes tissue-specific. Forced expression of rspo3 promotes dorsoanterior patterning and increases the expression of dorsal and anterior marker genes. Knockdown of rspo3 increases ventral-posterior development and stimulates ventral and posterior marker genes expression. Forced expression of rspo3 abolishes exogenous Wnt3a action and reduces the endogenous Wnt signaling activity. Knockdown of rspo3 results in increased Wnt/β-catenin signaling activity. Further analyses indicate that Rspo3 does not promote maternal Wnt signaling. Human RSPO3 has similar action when tested in zebrafish embryos. These results suggest that Rspo3 regulates dorsoventral and anteroposterior patterning by negatively regulating the zygotic Wnt/β-catenin signaling in zebrafish embryos.

  5. Plasticity of cardiovascular function in snapping turtle embryos (Chelydra serpentina): chronic hypoxia alters autonomic regulation and gene expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eme, John; Rhen, Turk; Tate, Kevin B; Gruchalla, Kathryn; Kohl, Zachary F; Slay, Christopher E; Crossley, Dane A

    2013-06-01

    Reptile embryos tolerate large decreases in the concentration of ambient oxygen. However, we do not fully understand the mechanisms that underlie embryonic cardiovascular short- or long-term responses to hypoxia in most species. We therefore measured cardiac growth and function in snapping turtle embryos incubated under normoxic (N21; 21% O₂) or chronic hypoxic conditions (H10; 10% O₂). We determined heart rate (fH) and mean arterial pressure (Pm) in acute normoxic (21% O₂) and acute hypoxic (10% O₂) conditions, as well as embryonic responses to cholinergic, adrenergic, and ganglionic pharmacological blockade. Compared with N21 embryos, chronic H10 embryos had smaller bodies and relatively larger hearts and were hypotensive, tachycardic, and following autonomic neural blockade showed reduced intrinsic fH at 90% of incubation. Unlike other reptile embryos, cholinergic and ganglionic receptor blockade both increased fH. β-Adrenergic receptor blockade with propranolol decreased fH, and α-adrenergic blockade with phentolamine decreased Pm. We also measured cardiac mRNA expression. Cholinergic tone was reduced in H10 embryos, but cholinergic receptor (Chrm2) mRNA levels were unchanged. However, expression of adrenergic receptor mRNA (Adrb1, Adra1a, Adra2c) and growth factor mRNA (Igf1, Igf2, Igf2r, Pdgfb) was lowered in H10 embryos. Hypoxia altered the balance between cholinergic receptors, α-adrenoreceptor and β-adrenoreceptor function, which was reflected in altered intrinsic fH and adrenergic receptor mRNA levels. This is the first study to link gene expression with morphological and cardioregulatory plasticity in a developing reptile embryo.

  6. Cryopreservation of Embryos and Oocytes in Human Assisted Reproduction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    János Konc

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Both sperm and embryo cryopreservation have become routine procedures in human assisted reproduction and oocyte cryopreservation is being introduced into clinical practice and is getting more and more widely used. Embryo cryopreservation has decreased the number of fresh embryo transfers and maximized the effectiveness of the IVF cycle. The data shows that women who had transfers of fresh and frozen embryos obtained 8% additional births by using their cryopreserved embryos. Oocyte cryopreservation offers more advantages compared to embryo freezing, such as fertility preservation in women at risk of losing fertility due to oncological treatment or chronic disease, egg donation, and postponing childbirth, and eliminates religious and/or other ethical, legal, and moral concerns of embryo freezing. In this review, the basic principles, methodology, and practical experiences as well as safety and other aspects concerning slow cooling and ultrarapid cooling (vitrification of human embryos and oocytes are summarized.

  7. In vitro embryo rescue and plant regeneration following self ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In vitro embryo rescue and plant regeneration following self-pollination with irradiated ... AFRICAN JOURNALS ONLINE (AJOL) · Journals · Advanced Search ... shows that pollen irradiation coupled with self-pollination and embryo rescue ...

  8. Using fertile couples as embryo donors: An ethical dilemma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alizadeh, Leila; Omani Samani, Reza

    2014-03-01

    The use of donated embryos has offered hope for infertile couples who have no other means to have children. In Iran, fertility centers use fertile couples as embryo donors. In this paper, the advantages and disadvantages of this procedure will be discussed. We conclude that embryo-donation should be performed with frozen embryos thus preventing healthy donors from being harmed by fertility drugs. There must be guidelines for choosing the appropriate donor families. In countries where commercial egg donation is acceptable, fertile couples can be procured as embryo donors thus fulfilling the possible shortage of good quality embryos. Using frozen embryos seems to have less ethical, religious and legal problems when compared to the use of fertile embryo donors.

  9. Cryopreservation of embryos and oocytes in human assisted reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konc, János; Kanyó, Katalin; Kriston, Rita; Somoskői, Bence; Cseh, Sándor

    2014-01-01

    Both sperm and embryo cryopreservation have become routine procedures in human assisted reproduction and oocyte cryopreservation is being introduced into clinical practice and is getting more and more widely used. Embryo cryopreservation has decreased the number of fresh embryo transfers and maximized the effectiveness of the IVF cycle. The data shows that women who had transfers of fresh and frozen embryos obtained 8% additional births by using their cryopreserved embryos. Oocyte cryopreservation offers more advantages compared to embryo freezing, such as fertility preservation in women at risk of losing fertility due to oncological treatment or chronic disease, egg donation, and postponing childbirth, and eliminates religious and/or other ethical, legal, and moral concerns of embryo freezing. In this review, the basic principles, methodology, and practical experiences as well as safety and other aspects concerning slow cooling and ultrarapid cooling (vitrification) of human embryos and oocytes are summarized.

  10. Frozen-Thawed Embryo Transfer Cycles Have a Lower Incidence of Ectopic Pregnancy Compared With Fresh Embryo Transfer Cycles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xinyu; Ma, Caihong; Wu, Zhangxin; Tao, Liyuan; Li, Rong; Liu, Ping; Qiao, Jie

    2017-01-01

    To evaluate the risk of ectopic pregnancy of embryo transfer. A retrospective cohort study on the incidence of ectopic pregnancy in fresh and frozen-thawed embryo transfer cycles from January 1 st , 2010, to January 1 st , 2015. Infertile women undergoing frozen-thawed transfer cycles or fresh transfer cycles. In-vitro fertilization, fresh embryo transfer, frozen-thawed embryo transfer, ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy rate and clinical pregnancy rate. A total of 69 756 in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer cycles from 2010 to 2015 were analyzed, including 45 960 (65.9%) fresh and 23 796 (34.1%) frozen-thawed embryo transfer cycles. The clinical pregnancy rate per embryo transfer was slightly lower in fresh embryo transfer cycles compared with frozen-thawed embryo transfer cycles (40.8% vs 43.1%, P cycles, blastocyst transfer shows a significantly lower incidence of ectopic pregnancy (0.8% vs 1.8%, P = .002) in comparison with day 3 cleavage embryo transfer. The risk of ectopic pregnancy is lower in frozen-thawed embryo transfer cycles than fresh embryo transfer cycles, and blastocyst transfer could further decrease the ectopic pregnancy rate in frozen-thawed embryo transfer cycles.

  11. Emerging semantics to link phenotype and environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne E. Thessen

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the interplay between environmental conditions and phenotypes is a fundamental goal of biology. Unfortunately, data that include observations on phenotype and environment are highly heterogeneous and thus difficult to find and integrate. One approach that is likely to improve the status quo involves the use of ontologies to standardize and link data about phenotypes and environments. Specifying and linking data through ontologies will allow researchers to increase the scope and flexibility of large-scale analyses aided by modern computing methods. Investments in this area would advance diverse fields such as ecology, phylogenetics, and conservation biology. While several biological ontologies are well-developed, using them to link phenotypes and environments is rare because of gaps in ontological coverage and limits to interoperability among ontologies and disciplines. In this manuscript, we present (1 use cases from diverse disciplines to illustrate questions that could be answered more efficiently using a robust linkage between phenotypes and environments, (2 two proof-of-concept analyses that show the value of linking phenotypes to environments in fishes and amphibians, and (3 two proposed example data models for linking phenotypes and environments using the extensible observation ontology (OBOE and the Biological Collections Ontology (BCO; these provide a starting point for the development of a data model linking phenotypes and environments.

  12. Sourcing human embryos for embryonic stem cell lines: Problems & perspectives

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    Rajvi H Mehta

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The ability to successfully derive human embryonic stem cells (hESC lines from human embryos following in vitro fertilization (IVF opened up a plethora of potential applications of this technique. These cell lines could have been successfully used to increase our understanding of human developmental biology, transplantation medicine and the emerging science of regenerative medicine. The main source for human embryos has been ′discarded′ or ′spare′ fresh or frozen human embryos following IVF. It is a common practice to stimulate the ovaries of women undergoing any of the assisted reproductive technologies (ART and retrieve multiple oocytes which subsequently lead to multiple embryos. Of these, only two or maximum of three embryos are transferred while the rest are cryopreserved as per the decision of the couple. In case a couple does not desire to ′cryopreserve′ their embryos then all the embryos remaining following embryo transfer can be considered ′spare′ or if a couple is no longer in need of the ′cryopreserved′ embryos then these also can be considered as ′spare′. But, the question raised by the ethicists is, "what about ′slightly′ over-stimulating a woman to get a few extra eggs and embryos? The decision becomes more difficult when it comes to ′discarded′ embryos. As of today, the quality of the embryos is primarily assessed based on morphology and the rate of development mainly judged by single point assessment. Despite many criteria described in the literature, the quality assessment is purely subjective. The question that arises is on the decision of ′discarding′ embryos. What would be the criteria for discarding embryos and the potential ′use′ of ESC derived from the ′abnormal appearing′ embryos? This paper discusses some of the newer methods to procure embryos for the derivation of embryonic stem cell lines which will respect the ethical concerns but still provide the source material.

  13. Histological evidence of chytridiomycete fungal infection in a free-ranging amphibian, Afrana fuscigula (Anura: Ranidae, in South Africa : short communication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.P. Lane

    2003-06-01

    Full Text Available The 1st recorded histological evidence of chytridiomycete fungal infection in a free-ranging ranid amphibian in South Africa is presented. Literature on causes of a worldwide decline in amphibian populations is briefly reviewed.

  14. Histological evidence of chytridiomycete fungal infection in a free-ranging amphibian, Afrana fuscigula (Anura: Ranidae), in South Africa : short communication

    OpenAIRE

    E.P. Lane; C. Weldon; J. Bingham

    2003-01-01

    The 1st recorded histological evidence of chytridiomycete fungal infection in a free-ranging ranid amphibian in South Africa is presented. Literature on causes of a worldwide decline in amphibian populations is briefly reviewed.

  15. Global patterns of evolutionary distinct and globally endangered amphibians and mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safi, Kamran; Armour-Marshall, Katrina; Baillie, Jonathan E M; Isaac, Nick J B

    2013-01-01

    Conservation of phylogenetic diversity allows maximising evolutionary information preserved within fauna and flora. The "EDGE of Existence" programme is the first institutional conservation initiative that prioritises species based on phylogenetic information. Species are ranked in two ways: one according to their evolutionary distinctiveness (ED) and second, by including IUCN extinction status, their evolutionary distinctiveness and global endangerment (EDGE). Here, we describe the global patterns in the spatial distribution of priority ED and EDGE species, in order to identify conservation areas for mammalian and amphibian communities. In addition, we investigate whether environmental conditions can predict the observed spatial pattern in ED and EDGE globally. Priority zones with high concentrations of ED and EDGE scores were defined using two different methods. The overlap between mammal and amphibian zones was very small, reflecting the different phylo-biogeographic histories. Mammal ED zones were predominantly found on the African continent and the neotropical forests, whereas in amphibians, ED zones were concentrated in North America. Mammal EDGE zones were mainly in South-East Asia, southern Africa and Madagascar; for amphibians they were in central and south America. The spatial pattern of ED and EDGE was poorly described by a suite of environmental variables. Mapping the spatial distribution of ED and EDGE provides an important step towards identifying priority areas for the conservation of mammalian and amphibian phylogenetic diversity in the EDGE of existence programme.

  16. Monitoring strategy for eight amphibian species in French Guiana, South America.

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    Elodie A Courtois

    Full Text Available Although dramatic amphibian declines have been documented worldwide, only few of such events have been quantitatively documented for the tropical forests of South America. This is due partly to the fact that tropical amphibians are patchily distributed and difficult to detect. We tested three methods often used to monitor population trends in amphibian species in a remote lowland tropical forest of French Guiana. These methods are capture-mark-recapture (CMR, estimation of the number of calling males with repeated counts data and distance sampling, and rates of occupancy inferred by presence/absence data. We monitored eight diurnal, terrestrial amphibian species including five Dendrobatidae and three Bufonidae. We found that CMR, the most precise way of estimating population size, can be used only with two species in high density patches where the recapture rate is high enough. Only for one of the species (Dendrobates tinctorius, a low coefficient of variation (CV = 0.19 can be achieved with 15 to 20 capture events. For dendrobatid species with day-calling males, audio surveys yield a better probability of detection with only 8 audio surveys needed; quantitative estimates can be achieved by computing the number of calling males inferred from audio counts or distance sampling analysis. We therefore suggest that an efficient monitoring protocol for Neotropical amphibian species should include a combination of sighting and audio techniques, and we discuss the need of implementing a large-scale monitoring in order to provide a baseline for comparison with future changes.

  17. Low prevalence of chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) in amphibians of U.S. headwater streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossack, Blake R.; Adams, Michael J.; Campbell Grant, Evan H.; Pearl, Chistopher A.; Bettaso, James B.; Barichivich, William J.; Lowe, Winsor H.; True, Kimberly; Ware, Joy L.; Corn, Paul Stephen

    2010-01-01

    Many declines of amphibian populations have been associated with chytridiomycosis, a disease caused by the aquatic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Despite the relatively high prevalence of chytridiomycosis in stream amphibians globally, most surveys in North America have focused primarily on wetland-associated species, which are frequently infected. To better understand the distribution and prevalence of Bd in headwater amphibian communities, we sampled 452 tailed frogs (Ascaphus truei and Ascaphus montanus) and 304 stream salamanders (seven species in the Dicamptodontidae and Plethodontidae) for Bd in 38, first- to third-order streams in five montane areas across the United States. We tested for presence of Bd by using PCR on skin swabs from salamanders and metamorphosed tailed frogs or the oral disc of frog larvae. We detected Bd on only seven individuals (0.93%) in four streams. Based on our study and results from five other studies that have sampled headwater- or seep-associated amphibians in the United States, Bd has been detected on only 3% of 1,322 individuals from 21 species. These results differ strongly from surveys in Central America and Australia, where Bd is more prevalent on stream-breeding species, as well as results from wetland-associated anurans in the same regions of the United States that we sampled. Differences in the prevalence of Bd between stream- and wetland-associated amphibians in the United States may be related to species-specific variation in susceptibility to chytridiomycosis or habitat differences.

  18. Microevolution due to pollution in amphibians: A review on the genetic erosion hypothesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fasola, E.; Ribeiro, R.; Lopes, I.

    2015-01-01

    The loss of genetic diversity, due to exposure to chemical contamination (genetic erosion), is a major threat to population viability. Genetic erosion is the loss of genetic variation: the loss of alleles determining the value of a specific trait or set of traits. Almost a third of the known amphibian species is considered to be endangered and a decrease of genetic variability can push them to the verge of extinction. This review indicates that loss of genetic variation due to chemical contamination has effects on: 1) fitness, 2) environmental plasticity, 3) co-tolerance mechanisms, 4) trade-off mechanisms, and 5) tolerance to pathogens in amphibian populations. - Highlights: • Effects of environmental stressors on the genetic diversity of natural populations of amphibians have usually been underestimated. • Environmental pollution may reduce the genetic diversity of exposed amphibian populations. • Genetic erosion can lead to reduced fitness and lack of adaptability to a changing environment. - Contaminant-driven genetic erosion is a major threat to population viability in amphibians

  19. The Maryland Amphibian and Reptile Atlas: A Volunteer-Based Distributional Survey

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    Heather R. Cunningham

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Declines of amphibian and reptile populations are well documented. Yet a lack of understanding of their distribution may hinder conservation planning for these species. The Maryland Amphibian and Reptile Atlas project (MARA was launched in 2010. This five-year, citizen science project will document the distribution of the 93 amphibian and reptile species in Maryland. During the 2010 and 2011 field seasons, 488 registered MARA volunteers collected 13,919 occurrence records that document 85 of Maryland's amphibian and reptile species, including 19 frog, 20 salamander, five lizard, 25 snake, and 16 turtle species. Thirteen of these species are of conservation concern in Maryland. The MARA will establish a baseline by which future changes in the distribution of populations of native herpetofauna can be assessed as well as provide information for immediate management actions for rare and threatened species. As a citizen science project it has the added benefit of educating citizens about native amphibian and reptile diversity and its ecological benefits—an important step in creating an informed society that actively participates in the long-term conservation of Maryland's nature heritage.

  20. Global patterns of evolutionary distinct and globally endangered amphibians and mammals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamran Safi

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Conservation of phylogenetic diversity allows maximising evolutionary information preserved within fauna and flora. The "EDGE of Existence" programme is the first institutional conservation initiative that prioritises species based on phylogenetic information. Species are ranked in two ways: one according to their evolutionary distinctiveness (ED and second, by including IUCN extinction status, their evolutionary distinctiveness and global endangerment (EDGE. Here, we describe the global patterns in the spatial distribution of priority ED and EDGE species, in order to identify conservation areas for mammalian and amphibian communities. In addition, we investigate whether environmental conditions can predict the observed spatial pattern in ED and EDGE globally. METHODS AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Priority zones with high concentrations of ED and EDGE scores were defined using two different methods. The overlap between mammal and amphibian zones was very small, reflecting the different phylo-biogeographic histories. Mammal ED zones were predominantly found on the African continent and the neotropical forests, whereas in amphibians, ED zones were concentrated in North America. Mammal EDGE zones were mainly in South-East Asia, southern Africa and Madagascar; for amphibians they were in central and south America. The spatial pattern of ED and EDGE was poorly described by a suite of environmental variables. CONCLUSIONS: Mapping the spatial distribution of ED and EDGE provides an important step towards identifying priority areas for the conservation of mammalian and amphibian phylogenetic diversity in the EDGE of existence programme.

  1. Amphibian chytridiomycosis: a review with focus on fungus-host interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Rooij, Pascale; Martel, An; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Pasmans, Frank

    2015-11-25

    Amphibian declines and extinctions are emblematic for the current sixth mass extinction event. Infectious drivers of these declines include the recently emerged fungal pathogens Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Chytridiomycota). The skin disease caused by these fungi is named chytridiomycosis and affects the vital function of amphibian skin. Not all amphibians respond equally to infection and host responses might range from resistant, over tolerant to susceptible. The clinical outcome of infection is highly dependent on the amphibian host, the fungal virulence and environmental determinants. B. dendrobatidis infects the skin of a large range of anurans, urodeles and caecilians, whereas to date the host range of B. salamandrivorans seems limited to urodeles. So far, the epidemic of B. dendrobatidis is mainly limited to Australian, neotropical, South European and West American amphibians, while for B. salamandrivorans it is limited to European salamanders. Other striking differences between both fungi include gross pathology and thermal preferences. With this review we aim to provide the reader with a state-of-the art of host-pathogen interactions for both fungi, in which new data pertaining to the interaction of B. dendrobatidis and B. salamandrivorans with the host's skin are integrated. Furthermore, we pinpoint areas in which more detailed studies are necessary or which have not received the attention they merit.

  2. The potential influence of environmental pollution on amphibian development and decline

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jung, R.E.

    1996-12-31

    Globally, amphibians are reportedly declining. Environmental pollution has been hypothesized to be associated with declines. Because of their aquatic development and permeable eggs, skin and gills, amphibians, like fishes, may be particularly susceptible to poor water quality or waterborne pollutants. This dissertation addresses effects of global pollutants such as pesticides, acid rain and associated metal toxicity, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) on the development, behavior, and physiology of amphibian early life stages. This report contains only chapter six and conclusions. Chapter 6 reports on a field experiment in which green frogs from two clutches were exposed from egg to 107 days of age to water and sediments in enclosures along a PCB and metal contamination gradient in the Fox River and wetlands near Green Bay, Wisconsin. Green frogs showed lower hatching success and survival at sites with higher contaminant levels compared to cleaner wetland sites along Green Bay. Hatching success in the green frog was most significantly negatively correlated with sediment PCB levels. It can be concluded that environmental pollution and toxicants in aquatic environments can cause problems for amphibian early development. Sometimes the effects are subtle, and sometimes they are dramatic. In general, amphibian early life stages seem particularly sensitive to environmentally-realistic levels of low pH and metals, but appear more tolerant of TCDD and PCBs.

  3. A statistical assessment of population trends for data deficient Mexican amphibians

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    Esther Quintero

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Background. Mexico has the world’s fifth largest population of amphibians and the second country with the highest quantity of threatened amphibian species. About 10% of Mexican amphibians lack enough data to be assigned to a risk category by the IUCN, so in this paper we want to test a statistical tool that, in the absence of specific demographic data, can assess a species’ risk of extinction, population trend, and to better understand which variables increase their vulnerability. Recent studies have demonstrated that the risk of species decline depends on extrinsic and intrinsic traits, thus including both of them for assessing extinction might render more accurate assessment of threats.Methods. We harvested data from the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL and the published literature for Mexican amphibians, and used these data to assess the population trend of some of the Mexican species that have been assigned to the Data Deficient category of the IUCN using Random Forests, a Machine Learning method that gives a prediction of complex processes and identifies the most important variables that account for the predictions.Results. Our results show that most of the data deficient Mexican amphibians that we used have decreasing population trends. We found that Random Forests is a solid way to identify species with decreasing population trends when no demographic data is available. Moreover, we point to the most important variables that make species more vulnerable for extinction. This exercise is a very valuable first step in assigning conservation priorities for poorly known species.

  4. Amphibian Chytrid Fungus in Madagascar neither Shows Widespread Presence nor Signs of Certain Establishment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolby, Jonathan E; Skerratt, Lee F

    2015-01-01

    The global spread of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) is associated with amphibian mass mortality, population decline, and extinction. Over the past decade, concern has been expressed for the potential introduction of Bd to Madagascar, a global hotspot of amphibian biodiversity. Following years without detection, widespread Bd presence in Madagascar has now been reported (Bletz et al. 2015a), raising international conservation concern. Before reacting to this finding with a significant management response, the accuracy and context of the data warrant cautious review. Re-examination of a 10-year dataset together with results from more recent surveillance (Kolby et al. 2015) does not yet demonstrate widespread Bd presence. Detection of Bd at "positive" locations in Madagascar has been inconsistent for unknown reasons. Whether Bd is established in Madagascar (i.e. populations are self-sustaining) or instead requires continued introduction to persist also remains uncertain. The deployment of emergency conservation rescue initiatives is expected to target areas where the distribution of Bd and the risk of chytridiomycosis endangering amphibians is believed to overlap. Thus, erroneous description of Bd presence would misdirect limited conservation resources. Standardized surveillance and confirmatory surveys are now imperative to reliably characterize the distribution, potential spread, virulence and overall risk of Bd to amphibians in Madagascar.

  5. A statistical assessment of population trends for data deficient Mexican amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quintero, Esther; Thessen, Anne E; Arias-Caballero, Paulina; Ayala-Orozco, Bárbara

    2014-01-01

    Background. Mexico has the world's fifth largest population of amphibians and the second country with the highest quantity of threatened amphibian species. About 10% of Mexican amphibians lack enough data to be assigned to a risk category by the IUCN, so in this paper we want to test a statistical tool that, in the absence of specific demographic data, can assess a species' risk of extinction, population trend, and to better understand which variables increase their vulnerability. Recent studies have demonstrated that the risk of species decline depends on extrinsic and intrinsic traits, thus including both of them for assessing extinction might render more accurate assessment of threats. Methods. We harvested data from the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) and the published literature for Mexican amphibians, and used these data to assess the population trend of some of the Mexican species that have been assigned to the Data Deficient category of the IUCN using Random Forests, a Machine Learning method that gives a prediction of complex processes and identifies the most important variables that account for the predictions. Results. Our results show that most of the data deficient Mexican amphibians that we used have decreasing population trends. We found that Random Forests is a solid way to identify species with decreasing population trends when no demographic data is available. Moreover, we point to the most important variables that make species more vulnerable for extinction. This exercise is a very valuable first step in assigning conservation priorities for poorly known species.

  6. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection patterns among Panamanian amphibian species, habitats and elevations during epizootic and enzootic stages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brem, Forrest M R; Lips, Karen R

    2008-09-24

    The pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has caused declines of many amphibian populations, yet the full course of the epizootic has rarely been observed in wild populations. We determined effects of elevation, habitat, and aquatic index (AI) on prevalence of infection among Panamanian amphibians sampled along 2 elevational transects. Amphibian populations on the Santa Fé transect (SFT) had declined in 2002, while those on the El Copé transect (ECT) were healthy until September 2004. In 2004 we sampled Bd along both transects, surveying the SFT 2 yr after decline, and surveying the ECT 4 mo prior to the arrival of Bd, during the epizootic, and 2 mo later. Overall prevalence of Bd along the ECT increased from 0.0 (95% CI 0.00-0.0003) to 0.51 (95% CI 0.48-0.55) over a 3 mo period, accompanied by significant decreases in amphibian abundance and species richness in all habitats. Prevalence of infection on the ECT was highest along riparian transects and at higher elevations, but not among levels of AI. Prevalence of infection on the SFT was highest in pool transects, and at higher elevations, but not among levels of AI. Riparian amphibian abundance and species richness also declined at SFT following detection of Bd in 2002. Variation among species, microenvironmental conditions, and the length of coexistence with Bd may contribute to observed differences in prevalence of Bd and in population response.

  7. Acute toxicity tests and meta-analysis identify gaps in tropical ecotoxicology for amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghose, Sonia L; Donnelly, Maureen A; Kerby, Jacob; Whitfield, Steven M

    2014-09-01

    Amphibian populations are declining worldwide, particularly in tropical regions where amphibian diversity is highest. Pollutants, including agricultural pesticides, have been identified as a potential contributor to decline, yet toxicological studies of tropical amphibians are very rare. The present study assesses toxic effects on amphibians of 10 commonly used commercial pesticides in tropical agriculture using 2 approaches. First, the authors conducted 8-d toxicity assays with formulations of each pesticide using individually reared red-eyed tree frog (Agalychnis callidryas) tadpoles. Second, they conducted a review of available data for the lethal concentration to kill 50% of test animals from the US Environmental Protection Agency's ECOTOX database to allow comparison with their findings. Lethal concentration estimates from the assays ranged over several orders of magnitude. The nematicides terbufos and ethoprophos and the fungicide chlorothalonil were very highly toxic, with evident effects within an order of magnitude of environmental concentrations. Acute toxicity assays and meta-analysis show that nematicides and fungicides are generally more toxic than herbicides yet receive far less research attention than less toxic herbicides. Given that the tropics have a high diversity of amphibians, the findings emphasize the need for research into the effects of commonly used pesticides in tropical countries and should help guide future ecotoxicological research in tropical regions. © 2014 SETAC.

  8. Evidence for the persistence of food web structure after amphibian extirpation in a Neotropical stream.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnum, Thomas R; Drake, John M; Colón-Gaud, Checo; Rugenski, Amanda T; Frauendorf, Therese C; Connelly, Scott; Kilham, Susan S; Whiles, Matt R; Lips, Karen R; Pringle, Catherine M

    2015-08-01

    Species losses are predicted to simplify food web structure, and disease-driven amphibian declines in Central America offer an opportunity to test this prediction. Assessment of insect community composition, combined with gut content analyses, was used to generate periphyton-insect food webs for a Panamanian stream, both pre- and post-amphibian decline. We then used network analysis to assess the effects of amphibian declines on food web structure. Although 48% of consumer taxa, including many insect taxa, were lost between pre- and post-amphibian decline sampling dates, connectance declined by less than 3%. We then quantified the resilience of food web structure by calculating the number of expected cascading extirpations from the loss of tadpoles. This analysis showed the expected effects of species loss on connectance and linkage density to be more than 60% and 40%, respectively, than were actually observed. Instead, new trophic linkages in the post-decline food web reorganized the food web topology, changing the identity of "hub" taxa, and consequently reducing the effects of amphibian declines on many food web attributes. Resilience of food web attributes was driven by a combination of changes in consumer diets, particularly those of insect predators, as well as the appearance of generalist insect consumers, suggesting that food web structure is maintained by factors independent of the original trophic linkages.

  9. Epidemic disease decimates amphibian abundance, species diversity, and evolutionary history in the highlands of central Panama.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Andrew J; Lips, Karen R; Bermingham, Eldredge

    2010-08-03

    Amphibian populations around the world are experiencing unprecedented declines attributed to a chytrid fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Despite the severity of the crisis, quantitative analyses of the effects of the epidemic on amphibian abundance and diversity have been unavailable as a result of the lack of equivalent data collected before and following disease outbreak. We present a community-level assessment combining long-term field surveys and DNA barcode data describing changes in abundance and evolutionary diversity within the amphibian community of El Copé, Panama, following a disease epidemic and mass-mortality event. The epidemic reduced taxonomic, lineage, and phylogenetic diversity similarly. We discovered that 30 species were lost, including five undescribed species, representing 41% of total amphibian lineage diversity in El Copé. These extirpations represented 33% of the evolutionary history of amphibians within the community, and variation in the degree of population loss and decline among species was random with respect to the community phylogeny. Our approach provides a fast, economical, and informative analysis of loss in a community whether measured by species or phylogenetic diversity.

  10. Amphibian Chytrid Fungus in Madagascar neither Shows Widespread Presence nor Signs of Certain Establishment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan E Kolby

    Full Text Available The global spread of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd is associated with amphibian mass mortality, population decline, and extinction. Over the past decade, concern has been expressed for the potential introduction of Bd to Madagascar, a global hotspot of amphibian biodiversity. Following years without detection, widespread Bd presence in Madagascar has now been reported (Bletz et al. 2015a, raising international conservation concern. Before reacting to this finding with a significant management response, the accuracy and context of the data warrant cautious review. Re-examination of a 10-year dataset together with results from more recent surveillance (Kolby et al. 2015 does not yet demonstrate widespread Bd presence. Detection of Bd at "positive" locations in Madagascar has been inconsistent for unknown reasons. Whether Bd is established in Madagascar (i.e. populations are self-sustaining or instead requires continued introduction to persist also remains uncertain. The deployment of emergency conservation rescue initiatives is expected to target areas where the distribution of Bd and the risk of chytridiomycosis endangering amphibians is believed to overlap. Thus, erroneous description of Bd presence would misdirect limited conservation resources. Standardized surveillance and confirmatory surveys are now imperative to reliably characterize the distribution, potential spread, virulence and overall risk of Bd to amphibians in Madagascar.

  11. Selecting for extinction: nonrandom disease-associated extinction homogenizes amphibian biotas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Kevin G; Lips, Karen R; Chase, Jonathan M

    2009-10-01

    Studying the patterns in which local extinctions occur is critical to understanding how extinctions affect biodiversity at local, regional and global spatial scales. To understand the importance of patterns of extinction at a regional spatial scale, we use data from extirpations associated with a widespread pathogenic agent of amphibian decline, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) as a model system. We apply novel null model analyses to these data to determine whether recent extirpations associated with Bd have resulted in selective extinction and homogenization of diverse tropical American amphibian biotas. We find that Bd-associated extinctions in this region were nonrandom and disproportionately, but not exclusively, affected low-occupancy and endemic species, resulting in homogenization of the remnant amphibian fauna. The pattern of extirpations also resulted in phylogenetic homogenization at the family level and ecological homogenization of reproductive mode and habitat association. Additionally, many more species were extirpated from the region than would be expected if extirpations occurred randomly. Our results indicate that amphibian declines in this region are an extinction filter, reducing regional amphibian biodiversity to highly similar relict assemblages and ultimately causing amplified biodiversity loss at regional and global scales.

  12. Amphibians and reptiles of C. E. Miller Ranch and the Sierra Vieja, Chihuahuan Desert, Texas, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Drew R. Davis

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available We report the occurrence of 50 species of amphibians and reptiles recently collected on C. E. Miller Ranch and the Sierra Vieja in the Chihuahuan Desert of Texas, USA and describe their perceived distribution and abundance across various habitat associations of the region. Our recent surveys follow intense, historic sampling of amphibians and reptiles from this region in 1948. Of the 50 species detected in recent surveys, six were not collected in 1948 and an additional three species documented in 1948 have yet to be detected in a 14-year period of recent surveys. Combining data from both historic and recent surveys, a total of 53 species of amphibians and reptiles are known from the ranch (11 amphibians, 42 reptiles. Land stewardship and conservation practices have likely contributed to the persistence of the majority of these species through time. Additionally, we discuss the status of amphibians and reptiles not collected during recent surveys and comment on potential species that have not yet been detected.

  13. Amphibians and reptiles of C. E. Miller Ranch and the Sierra Vieja, Chihuahuan Desert, Texas, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Drew R; LaDuc, Travis J

    2018-01-01

    We report the occurrence of 50 species of amphibians and reptiles recently collected on C. E. Miller Ranch and the Sierra Vieja in the Chihuahuan Desert of Texas, USA and describe their perceived distribution and abundance across various habitat associations of the region. Our recent surveys follow intense, historic sampling of amphibians and reptiles from this region in 1948. Of the 50 species detected in recent surveys, six were not collected in 1948 and an additional three species documented in 1948 have yet to be detected in a 14-year period of recent surveys. Combining data from both historic and recent surveys, a total of 53 species of amphibians and reptiles are known from the ranch (11 amphibians, 42 reptiles). Land stewardship and conservation practices have likely contributed to the persistence of the majority of these species through time. Additionally, we discuss the status of amphibians and reptiles not collected during recent surveys and comment on potential species that have not yet been detected.

  14. Xenopus laevis embryos and tadpoles as models for testing for ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The toxicity of bio available Zn, Cu, Pb, and Cd on the life stages of Xenopus laevis embryos and tadpoles was investigated. Cu and Cd were found to affect the hatching success of the embryos, with a strong negative relationship existing between the increase in Cu concentrations and the hatching of the embryos.

  15. The development of ovary in quail's embryo | Rong | African Journal ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The experiment was conducted to study the development of ovary in quails' embryos which were incubated for 4 to 17 days and incubated out for 1 day. The quails' embryos or gonads were cut out and HE staining was carried out. The results showed that when embryo was hatched for 4 days, lots of primordial germ cells ...

  16. Sexing bovine pre-implantation embryos using the polymerase ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The paper aims to present a bovine model for human embryo sexing. Cows were super-ovulated, artificially inseminated and embryos were recovered 7 days later. Embryo biopsy was performed; DNA was extracted from blastomeres and amplified using bovine-specific and bovine-Y-chromosomespecific primers, followed ...

  17. Endometrial preparation methods in frozen-thawed embryo transfer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groenewoud, E.R.

    2017-01-01

    One in six couples suffer from infertility, and many undergo treatment with in-vitro fertilization (IVF). Given that IVF often results in more embryos than can be transferred during one embryo transfer cryopreservation of the supernumerary embryos has been an important addition to IVF. In recent

  18. What Drives Embryo Development? Chromosomal Normality or Mitochondria?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Bayram

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. To report the arrest of euploid embryos with high mtDNA content. Design. A report of 2 cases. Setting. Private fertility clinic. Patients. 2 patients, 45 and 40 years old undergoing IVF treatment. Interventions. Mature oocytes were collected and vitrified from two ovarian stimulations. Postthaw, survived mature oocytes underwent fertilization by intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI. Preimplantation genetic screening (PGS and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA copy number were done using next generation sequencing (NGS. The only normal embryo among the all-biopsied embryos had the highest “Mitoscore” value and was the only arrested embryo in both cases. Therefore, the embryo transfer was cancelled. Main Outcome Measures. Postthaw survival and fertilization rate, embryo euploidy, mtDNA copy number, and embryo development. Results. In both patients, after PGS only 1 embryo was euploid. Both embryos had the highest mtDNA copy number from all tested embryos and both embryos were arrested on further development. Conclusions. These cases clearly demonstrate the lack of correlation between mtDNA value (Mitoscore and chromosomal status of embryo.

  19. Genetic transformation of olive somatic embryos through ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Administrator

    2011-06-20

    Jun 20, 2011 ... 2Department of Biochemistry, National Center of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Tehran, Iran. Accepted 9 March, 2011. Transformed olive plants were regenerated from inoculated somatic embryos with Agrobacterium tumefacience strain GV3101, which carries the plasmid pBI-P5CS containing ...

  20. Effects of fluoxetine on human embryo development

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kaihola, Helena; Yaldir, Fatma G.; Hreinsson, Julius; Hornaeus, Katarina; Bergquist, Jonas; Olivier, Jocelien D. A.; Akerud, Helena; Sundstrom-Poromaa, Inger

    2016-01-01

    The use of antidepressant treatment during pregnancy is increasing, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most widely prescribed antidepressants in pregnant women. Serotonin plays a role in embryogenesis, and serotonin transporters are expressed in two-cell mouse embryos. Thus,