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Sample records for ant camponotus japonicus

  1. Volatile chemicals in glands of the carpenter ant, Camponotus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Volatile chemicals in glands of the carpenter ant, Camponotus arminius. J.M. Brand, L.V. Mabinya, E.D. Morgan. Abstract. Camponotus arminius is a large black carpenter ant that occurs in tropical and sub-tropical Africa and has extensive foraging trails both in trees and on the ground. Analysis of excised mandibular glands ...

  2. A new carpenter ant, Camponotus parabarbatus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae from India

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    Himender Bharti

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available A new species of carpenter ant, collected in the Shivalik range of Himalaya is described and illustrated based on the worker and gyne castes under the name Camponotus parabarbatus sp. n. Presence of dense, short setae on gena and ventral surface of head resembles it most to Camponotus barbatus Roger, 1863 distributed in Southeast Asia. A regional identification key of Camponotus species is provided from the Shivalik hills of Indian Himalaya.

  3. Activity of the Namib Desert dune ant, Camponotus detritus | Curtis ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The activity of the ant Camponotus detritus was studied in the dunes of the central Namib Desert. Activity was divided into two components: transit activity and honeydew collection. Temperature governed both forms, but light controlled the initiation and termination of transit activity, which was bimodal in warm conditions and ...

  4. Social isolation and brain development in the ant Camponotus floridanus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seid, Marc A.; Junge, Erich

    2016-06-01

    Social interactions play a key role in the healthy development of social animals and are most pronounced in species with complex social networks. When developing offspring do not receive proper social interaction, they show developmental impairments. This effect is well documented in mammalian species but controversial in social insects. It has been hypothesized that the enlargement of the mushroom bodies, responsible for learning and memory, observed in social insects is needed for maintaining the large social networks and/or task allocation. This study examines the impact of social isolation on the development of mushroom bodies of the ant Camponotus floridanus. Ants raised in isolation were shown to exhibit impairment in the growth of the mushroom bodies as well as behavioral differences when compared to ants raised in social groups. These results indicate that social interaction is necessary for the proper development of C. floridanus mushroom bodies.

  5. Differential Recruitment of Camponotus femoratus (Fabricius) Ants in Response to Ant Garden Herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vicente, R E; Dáttilo, W; Izzo, T J

    2014-12-01

    Although several studies have shown that ants can recognize chemical cues from their host plants in ant-plant systems, it is poorly demonstrated in ant gardens (AGs). In this interaction, ant species constantly interact with various epiphyte species. Therefore, it is possible to expect a convergence of chemical signals released by plants that could be acting to ensure that ants are able to recognize and defend epiphyte species frequently associated with AGs. In this study, it was hypothesized that ants recognize and differentiate among chemical stimuli released by AG epiphytes and non-AG epiphytes. We experimentally simulated leaf herbivore damage on three epiphyte species restricted to AGs and a locally abundant understory herb, Piper hispidum, in order to quantify the number of recruited Camponotus femoratus (Fabricius) defenders. When exposed to the AG epiphytes Peperomia macrostachya and Codonanthe uleana leaves, it was observed that the recruitment of C. femoratus workers was, on average, respectively 556% and 246% higher than control. However, the number of ants recruited by the AG epiphyte Markea longiflora or by the non-AG plant did not differ from paper pieces. This indicated that ants could discern between chemicals released by different plants, suggesting that ants can select better plants. These results can be explained by evolutionary process acting on both ants' capability in discerning plants' chemical compounds (innate attraction) or by ants' learning based on the epiphyte frequency in AGs (individual experience). To disentangle an innate behavior, a product of classical coevolutionary process, from an ant's learned behavior, is a complicated but important subject to understand in the evolution of ant-plant mutualisms.

  6. Trail-Laying Behaviour as a Function of Resource Quality in the Ant Camponotus rufipes

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    Pablo E. Schilman

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Chemical trails have been shown to act as an orientation cue in some ant species. Here, I report that the trail-laying behaviour in the nectar-feeding ant, Camponotus rufipes, varies with the concentration of the sucrose solutions collected. Single workers collected solutions of different sucrose concentrations (5%, 20%, and 40% in weight during 4 consecutive visits to the resource, and their trail-marking behaviour was recorded on soot-coated slides during their first and last visits. Results suggest that these chemical trails provide both an orientation cue between the nest and the food source, as previously suggested for Camponotus ants, as well as information about food quality.

  7. Ants swimming in pitcher plants: kinematics of aquatic and terrestrial locomotion in Camponotus schmitzi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bohn, Holger Florian; Thornham, Daniel George; Federle, Walter

    2012-06-01

    Camponotus schmitzi ants live in symbiosis with the Bornean pitcher plant Nepenthes bicalcarata. Unique among ants, the workers regularly dive and swim in the pitcher's digestive fluid to forage for food. High-speed motion analysis revealed that C. schmitzi ants swim at the surface with all legs submerged, with an alternating tripod pattern. Compared to running, swimming involves lower stepping frequencies and larger phase delays within the legs of each tripod. Swimming ants move front and middle legs faster and keep them more extended during the power stroke than during the return stroke. Thrust estimates calculated from three-dimensional leg kinematics using a blade-element approach confirmed that forward propulsion is mainly achieved by the front and middle legs. The hind legs move much less, suggesting that they mainly serve for steering. Experiments with tethered C. schmitzi ants showed that characteristic swimming movements can be triggered by submersion in water. This reaction was absent in another Camponotus species investigated. Our study demonstrates how insects can use the same locomotory system and similar gait patterns for moving on land and in water. We discuss insect adaptations for aquatic/amphibious lifestyles and the special adaptations of C. schmitzi to living on an insect-trapping pitcher plant.

  8. Long-term olfactory memories are stabilised via protein synthesis in Camponotus fellah ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guerrieri, Fernando Javier; D'Ettorre, Patrizia; Deveaud, J-M.

    2011-01-01

    Ants exhibit impressive olfactory learning abilities. Operant protocols in which ants freely choose between rewarded and nonrewarded odours have been used to characterise associative olfactory learning and memory. Yet, this approach precludes the use of invasive methods allowing the dissection...... of molecular bases of learning and memory. An open question is whether the memories formed upon olfactory learning that are retrievable several days after training are indeed based on de novo protein synthesis. Here, we addressed this question in the ant Camponotus fellah using a conditioning protocol in which...... to conditioning. Cycloheximide did not impair acquisition of either short-term memory (10¿min) or early and late mid-term memories (1 or 12¿h). These results show that, upon olfactory learning, ants form different memories with variable molecular bases. While short- and mid-term memories do not require protein...

  9. Genome-wide and caste-specific DNA methylomes of the ants Camponotus floridanus and Harpegnathos saltator

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bonasio, Roberto; Li, Qiye; Lian, Jinmin

    2012-01-01

    Ant societies comprise individuals belonging to different castes characterized by specialized morphologies and behaviors. Because ant embryos can follow different developmental trajectories, epigenetic mechanisms must play a role in caste determination. Ants have a full set of DNA...... methyltransferases and their genomes contain methylcytosine. To determine the relationship between DNA methylation and phenotypic plasticity in ants, we obtained and compared the genome-wide methylomes of different castes and developmental stages of Camponotus floridanus and Harpegnathos saltator....

  10. Blochmannia endosymbionts improve colony growth and immune defence in the ant Camponotus fellah

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    Depoix Delphine

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Microorganisms are a large and diverse form of life. Many of them live in association with large multicellular organisms, developing symbiotic relations with the host and some have even evolved to form obligate endosymbiosis 1. All Carpenter ants (genus Camponotus studied hitherto harbour primary endosymbiotic bacteria of the Blochmannia genus. The role of these bacteria in ant nutrition has been demonstrated 2 but the omnivorous diet of these ants lead us to hypothesize that the bacteria might provide additional advantages to their host. In this study, we establish links between Blochmannia, growth of starting new colonies and the host immune response. Results We manipulated the number of bacterial endosymbionts in incipient laboratory-reared colonies of Camponotus fellah by administrating doses of an antibiotic (Rifampin mixed in honey-solution. Efficiency of the treatment was estimated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction and Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH, using Blochmannia specific primers (qPCR and two fluorescent probes (one for all Eubacterial and other specific for Blochmannia. Very few or no bacteria could be detected in treated ants. Incipient Rifampin treated colonies had significantly lower numbers of brood and adult workers than control colonies. The immune response of ants from control and treated colonies was estimated by inserting nylon filaments in the gaster and removing it after 24 h. In the control colonies, the encapsulation response was positively correlated to the bacterial amount, while no correlation was observed in treated colonies. Indeed, antibiotic treatment increased the encapsulation response of the workers, probably due to stress conditions. Conclusion The increased growth rate observed in non-treated colonies confirms the importance of Blochmannia in this phase of colony development. This would provide an important selective advantage during colony founding, where the colonies

  11. Ants of the genus Camponotus Mayr, 1861 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Kaz Mountains, Turkey, with descriptions of sexuals of Camponotus candiotes Emery, 1894 and Camponotus ionius Emery, 1920

    OpenAIRE

    KARAMAN, Celal; AKTAÇ, Nihat; KIRAN, Kadri

    2014-01-01

    The Camponotus fauna of the Kaz Mountains was examined horizontally and vertically, from 175 to 1600 m a.s.l. Materials were collected from 20 different localities and 11 different habitats between 2001 and 2003. In all, 14 species belonging to 3 subgenera (Colobopsis Mayr, Myrmentoma Forel, and Tanaemyrmex Ashmead) were found. The hitherto unknown sexuals of C. candiotes Emery and C. ionius Emery are described for the first time.

  12. In-nest environment modulates nestmate recognition in the ant Camponotus fellah

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    Katzav-Gozansky, Tamar; Boulay, Raphael; Vander Meer, Robert; Hefetz, Abraham

    Multiple behavioral and chemical studies indicate that ant nestmate recognition cues are low-volatile substances, in particular hydrocarbons (HCs) located on the cuticular surface. We tested the hypothesis that in the ant Camponotus fellah, nest environment, in particular nest volatile odors, can modulate nestmate-recognition-mediated aggression. Workers were individually confined within their own nest in small cages having either a single mesh (SM = limited physical contact permitted) or a double mesh (DM = exposed to nest volatiles only) screen. Individual workers completely isolated outside their nest (CI) served as control. When reintroduced into a group of 50 nestmates, the CI workers were attacked as alien ants after only 2 weeks of separation, whereas the SM workers were treated as nestmates even after 2 months of separation. Aggression towards DM ants depended on the period of isolation. Only DM workers isolated for over 2 months were aggressed by their nestmates, which did not significantly differ from the CI nestmates. Cuticular HC analyses revealed that the profile of the non-isolated ants (NI) was clearly distinct from that of CI, SM and DM ants. Profile differences matched the aggressive response in the case of CI ants but were uncorrelated in the case of SM or DM ants. This suggests that keeping the ants within the nest environment affected nestmate recognition in additional ways than merely altering their HC profile. Nest environment thus appears to affect label-template mismatch by modulating aggressive behavior, as well as the direction at which cuticular HCs diverged during the separation period.

  13. Differential conditioning and long-term olfactory memory in individual Camponotus fellah ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Josens, Roxana; Eschbach, Claire; Giurfa, Martin

    2009-06-01

    Individual Camponotus fellah ants perceive and learn odours in a Y-maze in which one odour is paired with sugar (CS+) while a different odour (CS-) is paired with quinine (differential conditioning). We studied olfactory retention in C. fellah to determine whether olfactory learning leads to long-term memory retrievable 24 h and 72 h after training. One and 3 days after training, ants exhibited robust olfactory memory through a series of five successive retention tests in which they preferred the CS+ and stayed longer in the arm presenting it. In order to determine the nature of the associations memorized, we asked whether choices within the Y-maze were driven by excitatory memory based on choosing the CS+ and/or inhibitory memory based on avoiding the CS-. By confronting ants with a novel odour vs either the CS+ or the CS- we found that learning led to the formation of excitatory memory driving the choice of the CS+ but no inhibitory memory based on the CS- was apparent. Ants even preferred the CS- to the novel odour, thus suggesting that they used the CS- as a contextual cue in which the CS+ was embedded, or as a second-order cue predicting the CS+ and thus the sugar reward. Our results constitute the first controlled account of olfactory long-term memory in individual ants for which the nature of associations could be precisely characterized.

  14. Circadian consequences of social organization in the ant species Camponotus compressus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Vijay Kumar; Lone, Shahnaz Rahman; Goel, Anubhuthi; Chandrashekaran, M. K.

    The locomotor activity rhythm of different castes of the ant species Camponotus compressus was monitored individually under laboratory light/dark (LD) cycles, and under continuous darkness (DD). The colony of this ant species comprises two sexual castes, the queens and the males, and three worker castes, namely the major, media, and minor workers. The virgin males and virgin queens display rhythmic activity patterns, but the mated queens were arrhythmic while laying eggs, with the rhythmicity resuming soon after egg-laying. Under the LD regime, major workers showed nocturnal patterns, while about 75% of the media workers displayed nocturnal patterns and about 25% showed diurnal patterns. Under the DD regime, most major workers exhibited circadian rhythm of activity with a single steady state, whereas media workers displayed two types of activity patterns, with activity patterns changing after 6-9 days in DD (turn-arounds). The pre-turn-around τ of the ants that showed nocturnal activity patterns during LD entrainment was 24 h, after 6-9 days. On the other hand, the pre-turn-around τ of those ants that exhibited diurnal patterns during LD entrainment was first >24 h after release into DD, and then became ant species C. compressus are flexible, and may perhaps depend upon the tasks assigned to them in the colony.

  15. Odour convergence and tolerance between nestmates through trophallaxis and grooming in the ant Camponotus fellah (Dalla Torre)

    OpenAIRE

    Boulay, Raphaël; Katzav-Gozansky, T.; Hefetz, Abraham; Lenoir, Marc

    2004-01-01

    Social isolation provides a useful tool to study nestmate recognition in ants. In Camponotus fellah, reintroduction of 10-day isolated (IS) workers to their colony resulted in intensive trophallaxis and grooming, while longer isolation periods generally provoked rejection of the IS ants. In the first experiment the behaviour of queenless (QL) and queenright (QR) workers towards 10-day IS workers was tested. Trophallaxis of QL or QR with IS workers was of similar magnitude, but was significant...

  16. The importance of workers for queen hibernation survival in Camponotus ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiroto, Akiyoshi; Satoh, Toshiyuki; Hirota, Tadao

    2011-05-01

    The higher proportion of polygynous ant species in northern areas indicates that cold climates influence queen number per colony. It is unclear, however, what ecological and physiological factors facilitate the dominance of polygynous species in cold climates. This is the case in two common arboreal ants in Japan-Camponotus yamaokai and C. nawai-which are quite similar in morphology, but different in social structure and geographical distribution. Polygynous C. yamaokai inhabits colder areas, whereas monogynyous C. nawai inhabits warmer climates. We compared queen survival in both ants at low temperature to evaluate whether interspecific difference in cold tolerance can explain the geographical distribution. We examined the influence of cohabitation with other individuals, as well as individual cold tolerance. Experimental groups with different caste compositions were prepared and maintained under conditions simulating in the laboratory climates of the northern limit of C. nawai. Wintering experiments revealed that C. yamaokai queens survived longer than C. nawai queens under solitary conditions, although half of the queens died in less than a month, even in C. yamaokai. Queens hibernating with workers survived longer than solitary queens, but queen number did not affect queen survival. Cohabitation with workers allowed 80% of C. yamaokai queens to survive more than two months. Under field conditions, monogynous C. nawai foundresses overwinter without workers, whereas new queens of polygynous C. yamaokai always overwinter with many workers. Thus, the geographical distribution of these ants appears to depend on the overwintering behavior of new queens.

  17. Pheromone communication and the mushroom body of the ant, Camponotus obscuripes (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamagata, Nobuhiro; Fujiwara-Tsujii, Nao; Yamaoka, Ryohei; Mizunami, Makoto

    2005-11-01

    Communication by means of pheromones plays predominant roles in colony integration by social insects. However, almost nothing is known about pheromone processing in the brains of social insects. In this study, we successfully applied intracellular recording and staining techniques to anatomically and physiologically characterize brain neurons of the ant Camponotus obscuripes. We identified 42 protocerebral neurons that responded to undecane and/or formic acid, components of alarm pheromones that evoke attraction or evasive behavior, respectively. Notably, 30 (71%) of these neurons were efferent (output) or feedback neurons of the mushroom body, and many of these exhibited different responses to formic acid and undecane. Eight of the remaining 12 neurons had arborizations in the lateral and/or medial protocerebrum, which receive terminations of efferent neurons of the mushroom body and from which premotor descending neurons originate. The remaining four neurons were bilateral neurons that connect lateral accessory lobes or dorsal protocerebrums of both hemispheres. We suggest that the mushroom body of the ant participates in the processing of alarm pheromones. Seventeen (40%) of 42 neurons exhibited responses to nonpheromonal odors, indicating that the pheromonal and nonpheromonal signals are not fully segregated when they are processed in the protocerebrum. This may be related to modulatory functions of alarm pheromones, i.e., they change alertness of the ant and change responses to a variety of sensory stimuli.

  18. Innate colour preference, individual learning and memory retention in the ant Camponotus blandus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yilmaz, Ayse; Dyer, Adrian G; Rössler, Wolfgang; Spaethe, Johannes

    2017-09-15

    Ants are a well-characterized insect model for the study of visual learning and orientation, but the extent to which colour vision is involved in these tasks remains unknown. We investigated the colour preference, learning and memory retention of Camponotus blandus foragers under controlled laboratory conditions. Our results show that C. blandus foragers exhibit a strong innate preference for ultraviolet (UV, 365 nm) over blue (450 nm) and green (528 nm) wavelengths. The ants can learn to discriminate 365 nm from either 528 nm or 450 nm, independent of intensity changes. However, they fail to discriminate between 450 nm and 528 nm. Modelling of putative colour spaces involving different numbers of photoreceptor types revealed that colour discrimination performance of individual ants is best explained by dichromacy, comprising a short-wavelength (UV) receptor with peak sensitivity at about 360 nm, and a long-wavelength receptor with peak sensitivity between 470 nm and 560 nm. Foragers trained to discriminate blue or green from UV light are able to retain the learned colour information in an early mid-term (e-MTM), late mid-term (l-MTM), early long-term (e-LTM) and late long-term (l-LTM) memory from where it can be retrieved after 1 h, 12 h, 24 h, 3 days and 7 days after training, indicating that colour learning may induce different memory phases in ants. Overall, our results show that ants can use chromatic information in a way that should promote efficient foraging in complex natural environments. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  19. A New Species of Neotropical Carpenter Ant in the Genus Camponotus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae, Apparently without Major Workers

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    William Mackay

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We describe a new species of carpenter ants from Ecuador, which apparently has an obligatory relationship with the ant plants Cecropia membranacea Trécul, C. herthae Diels and C. marginalis Cuatrec. The workers are relatively small and hairy, and based on a number of collections, it does not appear to have major workers. We compare the new species to Camponotus balzani, to which it appears to be similar and which has normal major workers, and also lives in Cecropia spp.

  20. The gut bacterial communities associated with lab-raised and field-collected ants of Camponotus fragilis (Formicidae: Formicinae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Hong; Wei, Cong; Wheeler, Diana E

    2014-09-01

    Camponotus is the second largest ant genus and known to harbor the primary endosymbiotic bacteria of the genus Blochmannia. However, little is known about the effect of diet and environment changes on the gut bacterial communities of these ants. We investigated the intestinal bacterial communities in the lab-raised and field-collected ants of Camponotus fragilis which is found in the southwestern United States and northern reaches of Mexico. We determined the difference of gut bacterial composition and distribution among the crop, midgut, and hindgut of the two types of colonies. Number of bacterial species varied with the methods of detection and the source of the ants. Lab-raised ants yielded 12 and 11 species using classical microbial culture methods and small-subunit rRNA genes (16S rRNAs) polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment-length polymorphism analysis, respectively. Field-collected ants yielded just 4 and 1-3 species using the same methods. Most gut bacterial species from the lab-raised ants were unevenly distributed among the crop, midgut, and hindgut, and each section had its own dominant bacterial species. Acetobacter was the prominent bacteria group in crop, accounting for about 55 % of the crop clone library. Blochmannia was the dominant species in midgut, nearly reaching 90 % of the midgut clone library. Pseudomonas aeruginosa dominated the hindgut, accounting for over 98 % of the hindgut clone library. P. aeruginosa was the only species common to all three sections. A comparison between lab-raised and field-collected ants, and comparison with other species, shows that gut bacterial communities vary with local environment and diet. The bacterial species identified here were most likely commensals with little effect on their hosts or mild pathogens deleterious to colony health.

  1. Arboreal ant colonies as 'hot-points' of cryptic diversity for myrmecophiles: the weaver ant Camponotus sp. aff. textor and its interaction network with its associates.

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    Gabriela Pérez-Lachaud

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Systematic surveys of macrofaunal diversity within ant colonies are lacking, particularly for ants nesting in microhabitats that are difficult to sample. Species associated with ants are generally small and rarely collected organisms, which makes them more likely to be unnoticed. We assumed that this tendency is greater for arthropod communities in microhabitats with low accessibility, such as those found in the nests of arboreal ants that may constitute a source of cryptic biodiversity. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We investigated the invertebrate diversity associated with an undescribed, but already threatened, Neotropical Camponotus weaver ant. As most of the common sampling methods used in studies of ant diversity are not suited for evaluating myrmecophile diversity within ant nests, we evaluated the macrofauna within ant nests through exhaustive colony sampling of three nests and examination of more than 80,000 individuals. RESULTS: We identified invertebrates from three classes belonging to 18 taxa, some of which were new to science, and recorded the first instance of the co-occurrence of two brood parasitoid wasp families attacking the same ant host colony. This diversity of ant associates corresponded to a highly complex interaction network. Agonistic interactions prevailed, but the prevalence of myrmecophiles was remarkably low. CONCLUSIONS: Our data support the hypothesis of the evolution of low virulence in a variety of symbionts associated with large insect societies. Because most myrmecophiles found in this work are rare, strictly specific, and exhibit highly specialized biology, the risk of extinction for these hitherto unknown invertebrates and their natural enemies is high. The cryptic, far unappreciated diversity within arboreal ant nests in areas at high risk of habitat loss qualifies these nests as 'hot-points' of biodiversity that urgently require special attention as a component of conservation and management

  2. Hypoxic conditions and oxygen supply in nests of the mangrove ant, Camponotus anderseni, during and after inundation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Mogens Gissel; Christian, K.; Malte, H.

    2009-01-01

    The small ant Camponotus anderseni lives exclusively in twigs of the mangrove tree Sonneratia alba, and during inundation, the entrance hole is blocked with a soldier's head which effectively prevents flooding. The nests can be very crowded, with the ants and coccids filling up to 50% of the volume......, and due to their metabolic activity, the conditions in the nests during inundation become hypercapnic and hypoxic. Each nest has only one entrance, and the opening is quite small (1.56 ± 0.03 mm). The mean diameter of the galleries is 2.31 ± 0.23 mm, independent of the thickness of the twig and length...... of the nest. During normal conditions with open nests, the oxygen depletion is substantial in the part of the nest most distant from the opening, and in a 120 mm long nest the oxygen concentration can be as low as 15.7%. During simulated inundation, in which the nest entrances were blocked, the oxygen...

  3. Colony density and activity times of the ant Camponotus semitestaceus (Hymenoptera: formicidae) in a shrub steppe community

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gano, K.A.; Rogers, L.E.

    1983-11-01

    Colony densities and above-ground activity periods were determined for Camponotus semitestaceus colonies within a shrub-steppe community. Colony densities (anti-x +/- SD) averaged 0.088 +/- 0.032 per m/sup 2/ and 0.048 +/- 0.028 per m/sup 2/ on two sagebrush-bunchgrass sites an

  4. New Host Record for Camponotophilus delvarei (Hymenoptera: Eurytomidae, a Parasitoid of Microdontine Larvae (Diptera: Syrphidae, Associated with the Ant Camponotus sp. aff. textor

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    Gabriela Pérez-Lachaud

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Microdontine syrphid flies are obligate social parasites of ants. Larvae prey on ant brood whereas adults live outside the nests. Knowledge of their interaction with their host is often scarce, as it is information about their natural enemies. Here we report the first case of parasitism of a species of microdontine fly by a myrmecophilous eurytomid wasp. This is also the first host record for Camponotophilus delvarei Gates, a recently described parasitic wasp discovered in Chiapas, Mexico, within the nests of the weaver ant, Camponotus sp. aff. textor Forel. Eleven pupal cases of a microdontine fly were found within a single nest of this ant, five of them being parasitized. Five adult C. delvarei females were reared from a puparium and 29 female and 2 male pupae were obtained from another one. The eurytomid is a gregarious, primary ectoparasitoid of larvae and pupae of Microdontinae, its immature stages developing within the protective puparium of the fly. The species is synovigenic. Adult females likely locate and parasitize their hosts within the ant nest. As some species of Microdontinae are considered endangered, their parasitoids are likewise threatened and in need of accurate and urgent surveys in the future.

  5. Colony density and activity times of the ant Camponotus semitestaceus (hymenoptera:formicidae) in a shrub steppe community

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gano, K.A.; Rogers, L.E.

    1983-11-01

    Colony densities and above-ground activity periods were determined for Camponotus semitestaceus colonies within a shrub-steppe community. Colony densities (x +/- SD) averaged 0.088 +/- 0.032 per m/sup 2/ and 0.048 +/- 0.028 per m/sup 2/ on two sagebrush-bunchgrass sites and 0.028 +/- 0.028 per m/sup 2/ on a burned site. Seventy-five percent of the nest entrances were located alongside the stems of sagebrush, indicating a preference for these microhabitats as nest locations. Above-ground activity times were determined by using time lapse photography. Activity commenced shortly after sunset, when light intensities dropped to 2.5 to 1.0 foot-candles (ca. 27 to 11 lux) and terminated just before sunrise. Light intensity appears to be the primary cue for controlling above-ground activity periods of this species, but temperature also appears to be an important factor. When soil surface temperatures drop to 1.7 to 3.9/sup 0/C, all above-ground activity ceases, irrespective of light intensity. 19 references, 3 figures, 2 tables.

  6. Colony density and activity times of the ant Camponotus semitestaceus (hymenoptera: Formicidae) in a shrub steppe community

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gano, K.A.; Rogers, L.E.

    1983-11-01

    Colony densities and above-ground activity periods were determined for Camponotus semitestaceus colonies within a shrub-steppe community. Colony densities (anti x=/- SD) averaged 0.088 +/- 0.032 per m/sup 2/ and 0.048 +/- 0.028 per m/sup 2/ on two sagebrush-bunchgrass sites and 0.028 +/- 0.028 per m/sup 2/ on a burned site. Seventy-five percent of the nest entrances were located alongside the stems of sagebrush, indicating a preference for these microhabitats as nest locations. Above-ground activity times were determined by using time lapse photography. Activity commenced shortly after sunset, when light intensities dropped to 2.5 to 1.0 foot-candles (ca. 27 to 11 lux) and terminated just before sunrise. Light intensity appears to be the primary cue for controlling above-ground activity periods of this species, but temperature also appears to be an important factor. When soil surface temperatures drop to 1.7 to 3.9/sup 0/C, all above-ground activity ceases, irrespective of light intensity.

  7. Arboreal Ant Colonies as ‘Hot-Points’ of Cryptic Diversity for Myrmecophiles: The Weaver Ant Camponotus sp. aff. textor and Its Interaction Network with Its Associates

    OpenAIRE

    Pérez-Lachaud, Gabriela; Lachaud, Jean-Paul

    2014-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: Systematic surveys of macrofaunal diversity within ant colonies are lacking, particularly for ants nesting in microhabitats that are difficult to sample. Species associated with ants are generally small and rarely collected organisms, which makes them more likely to be unnoticed. We assumed that this tendency is greater for arthropod communities in microhabitats with low accessibility, such as those found in the nests of arboreal ants that may constitute a source of cryptic biod...

  8. An adenine nucleotide translocase (ANT) gene from Apostichopus japonicus; molecular cloning and expression analysis in response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge and thermal stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Qiu-Ning; Chai, Xin-Yue; Tu, Jie; Xin, Zhao-Zhe; Li, Chao-Feng; Jiang, Sen-Hao; Zhou, Chun-Lin; Tang, Bo-Ping

    2016-02-01

    The adenine nucleotide translocases (ANTs) play a vital role in energy metabolism via ADP/ATP exchange in eukaryotic cells. Apostichopus japonicus (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea) is an important economic species in China. Here, a cDNA representing an ANT gene of A. japonicus was isolated and characterized from respiratory tree and named AjANT. The full-length AjANT cDNA is 1924 bp, including a 5'-untranslated region (UTR) of 38 bp, 3'-UTR of 980 bp and an open reading frame (ORF) of 906 bp encoding a polypeptide of 301 amino acids. The protein contains three homologous repeat Mito_carr domains (Pfam00153). The deduced AjANT protein sequence has 49-81% in comparison to ANT proteins from other individuals. The predicted tertiary structure of AjANT protein is highly similar to animal ANT proteins. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the AjANT is closely related to Holothuroidea ANT genes. Real-time quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qPCR) analysis showed that AjANT expression is higher in the respiratory tree than in other examined tissues. After thermal stress or LPS challenge, expression of AjANT was significantly fluctuant compared to the control. These results suggested that changes in the expression of ANT gene might be involved in immune defense and in protecting A. japonicus against thermal stress. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Nesten van de reuzenmier Camponotus ligniperda in het noordwesten van haar verspreidingsgebied (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vierbergen, G.; Loon, van A.J.; Versluys, G.; Willems, N.H.W.; Zijlstra, M.J.

    2000-01-01

    Nests of the carpenter ant Camponotus ligniperda in the northwestern part of its range (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Camponotus ligniperda (Latreille, 1802) is a rare ant species restricted to the eastern part of the Netherlands. Most records relate to a low number of workers. In this paper the species

  10. First description of the sexuals of Camponotus opaciventris Mayr, 1879 (Hymenoptera, Formicidae), with notes on distribution in Western Himalaya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wachkoo, Aijaz Ahmad; Akbar, Shahid Ali

    2016-01-01

    The taxonomy of Camponotus ants in India is mostly based on the worker caste, described in about 96% of the known species (AntWeb 2016). However, nearly 48% of these ant species are only known from workers, with no record of sexual forms. To improve knowledge of Indian Camponotus , we here describe sexuals of Camponotus opaciventris Mayr 1879. The hitherto unknown sexuals of Camponotus opaciventris Mayr 1879 are described for the first time. Workers are redescribed and distribution of this ant species in Indian Western Himalaya is herewith detailed.

  11. Molecular phylogeny of Indo-Pacific carpenter ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae, Camponotus) reveals waves of dispersal and colonization from diverse source areas

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Clouse, R. M.; Janda, Milan; Blanchard, B.; Sharma, P.; Hoffmann, B. D.; Andersen, A. N.; Czekanski-Moir, J. E.; Krushelnycky, P.; Rabeling, C.; Wilson, E. O.; Economo, E. P.; Sarnat, E. M.; General, D. M.; Alpert, G. D.; Wheeler, W. C.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 31, č. 4 (2015), s. 424-437 ISSN 0748-3007 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP505/12/2467 Grant - others:Marie Curie Felloswhip(CZ) PIOFGA2009-25448 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Hymenoptera * Camponotus * molecular phylogeny Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 4.952, year: 2015 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cla.12099/epdf

  12. Behavior of Ants Escaping from a Single-Exit Room.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shujie Wang

    Full Text Available To study the rules of ant behavior and group-formation phenomena, we examined the behaviors of Camponotus japonicus, a species of large ant, in a range of situations. For these experiments, ants were placed inside a rectangular chamber with a single exit that also contained a filter paper soaked in citronella oil, a powerful repellent. The ants formed several groups as they moved toward the exit to escape. We measured the time intervals between individual escapes in six versions of the experiment, each containing an exit of a different width, to quantify the movement of the groups. As the ants exited the chamber, the time intervals between individual escapes changed and the frequency distribution of the time intervals exhibited exponential decay. We also investigated the relationship between the number of ants in a group and the group flow rate.

  13. Cytogenetic studies on populations of Camponotus rufipes (Fabricius, 1775) and Camponotus renggeri Emery, 1894 (Formicidae: Formicinae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguiar, Hilton Jeferson Alves Cardoso de; Barros, Luísa Antônia Campos; Alves, Danúbia Rodrigues; Mariano, Cléa Dos Santos Ferreira; Delabie, Jacques Hubert Charles; Pompolo, Silvia das Graças

    2017-01-01

    Two valid ant species, Camponotus rufipes and Camponotus renggeri, have recently been the subject of a broad discussion with reference to taxa synonymization. Both species are quite common among the Neotropical myrmecofauna and share some unique traits, such as the shape of the scape and the pilosity patterns of the tibiae and scapes. A single morphological trait can help distinguish these species; however, only a combination of different approaches can enlighten our view of the complex phylogenetic relationships prevailing in the different populations of these two taxa. Therefore, focusing on the taxonomic issues concerning these two species, a cytogenetic survey including 10 populations of C. rufipes and two populations of C. renggeri was performed. In order to better understand the extent of the relationship between C. rufipes and C. renggeri, two common Neotropical Camponotus species, C. atriceps and C. cingulatus were taken as outgroups. All four species of Camponotus that were studied had 2n = 40 chromosomes (4sm+34st+2t); however, the abundance of chromosome rearrangements observed, combined with several chromosome markers, suggest that C. rufipes and C. renggeri are two good distinct species although closely related. The already reported chromosome translocation 2n = 39 (1m+4sm+32st+2t) for C. rufipes has been found in different populations as in the unprecedented chromosome inversions found both in C. rufipes and in C. renggeri populations. Within the C. renggeri chromosome inversions, both the heterozygous state 2n = 40 (1m+3sm+34st+2t) and the homozygous state, 2n = 40 (2m+2sm+34st+2t) were identified. However, only heterozygous specimens for chromosome inversions were found among C. rufipes, with karyotype configurations distinct from those found in C. renggeri, with 2n = 40 (1m+4sm+34st+2t). None of the populations studied showed signs of mosaic individuals. With respect to rDNA clusters, the 18S rDNA seemed to be more restricted inside the genome, as

  14. Penaeus japonicus

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    use

    five populations, but the Fst value between ECS and ETS was significant. Fu's F statistics and analysis ... widely recognized as suffering from two main weaknesses. First, the mitochondrial genome ..... expansion model of alleles for Kuruma shrimp (Penaeus japonicus) in the adjacent waters of Taiwan. distribution yielded a ...

  15. ANT

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van der Duim, René; Ren, Carina Bregnholm; Jóhannesson, Gunnar Thór

    2017-01-01

    Ten years ago actor-network theory (ANT) entered this journal. To illustrate how the relational ontology and sensibilities of ANT lend themselves to particular kinds of research, we first interrogate the main controversies as a way to open up and discuss the main premises of ANT. These debates...... concern the status and agency of objects and non-humans, ANT’s denial of the explanatory power of social structures, and the political implications of ANT. Second we present ANT’s relevance for tourism studies and discuss what ANT ‘does’ in practice. After summarizing a decade of relations between ANT...... and tourism, we conclude by tracing three future trajectories of how we have ‘moved away with’ ANT into new areas of discovery....

  16. Ant species richness of fynbos and forest ecosystems in the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The ant fauna in fynbos and forest habitats in the southern Cape are compared. There is no significant difference in ant species richness between the two undisturbed habitat types, and the only two species common to both are Acantholepis capensis and Camponotus maculatus. The degree of Hakea sericea infestation in ...

  17. Behavioral mechanisms and morphological symptoms of zombie ants dying from fungal infection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hughes, David P; Andersen, Sandra B; Hywel-Jones, Nigel L

    2011-01-01

    the interaction between O. unilateralis s.l. and its host ant Camponotus leonardi in a Thai rainforest, where infected ants descend from their canopy nests down to understory vegetation to bite into abaxial leaf veins before dying. Host mortality is concentrated in patches (graveyards) where ants die on sapling...

  18. Taxonomy Icon Data: Lotus japonicus [Taxonomy Icon

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available Lotus japonicus Lotus japonicus Lotus_japonicus_L.png Lotus_japonicus_NL.png Lotus_japonicus_S.png Lotus_jap...onicus_NS.png http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Lotus+japonicus&t=L ...http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Lotus+japonicus&t=NL http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Lotus+jap...onicus&t=S http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Lotus+japonicus&t=NS ...

  19. Sick ants become unsociable

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bos, Nicky Peter Maria; Lefevre, T.; Jensen, A.B.

    2012-01-01

    Parasites represent a severe threat to social insects, which form high-density colonies of related individuals, and selection should favour host traits that reduce infection risk. Here, using a carpenter ant (Camponotus aethiops) and a generalist insect pathogenic fungus (Metarhizium brunneum), we...... show that infected ants radically change their behaviour over time to reduce the risk of colony infection. Infected individuals (i) performed less social interactions than their uninfected counterparts, (ii) did not interact with brood anymore and (iii) spent most of their time outside the nest from...... day 3 post-infection until death. Furthermore, infected ants displayed an increased aggressiveness towards non-nestmates. Finally, infected ants did not alter their cuticular chemical profile, suggesting that infected individuals do not signal their physiological status to nestmates. Our results...

  20. The Life of a Dead Ant : The Expression of an Adaptive Extended Phenotype

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Andersen, Sandra B.; Gerritsma, Sylvia; Yusah, Kalsum M.; Mayntz, David; Hywel-Jones, Nigel L.; Billen, Johan; Boomsma, Jacobus J.; Hughes, David P.

    Specialized parasites are expected to express complex adaptations to their hosts. Manipulation of host behavior is such an adaptation. We studied the fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, a locally specialized parasite of arboreal Camponotus leonardi ants. Ant-infecting Ophiocordyceps are known to

  1. Comportamento de forrageio de Camponotus sericeiventris Guérin, 1838 (Hymenoptera, Formicidae em ambiente urbano

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thiago Elisei

    2012-07-01

    Abstract. Camponotus sericeiventris Guérin are described as omnivorous, their diet including floral and extrafloral nectar, exudates of hemipteran and lepidopteran, prey, seed and fruit foraged in the environment. The aim of this study was to examine the foraging behavior of C. sericeiventris, correlating the foraging activity and climatic factors as well as quantify and identify the resources exploited by the species and time of the foraging and action range. The specie studied was influenced positively by variations in the temperature. In most of the returns (94.81%, n = 7,072 the ants did not carry a load visible. Only 5.19% (n = 387 of the returns were identified and distributed as feces (35.40%, n = 137, animal protein (27.65%, n = 107 and vegetable fiber (36, 95%, n = 143. Two foraging trails, from colony to trees where ants were seeking resources, were measured (73 and 86 m representing an average of the distance of 79.5 ± 9.19 m, resulting in 19,596 m² of colony action. The duration of foraging of the C. sericeiventris had an average of 67 ± 16’97’’ (37’03’’- 101’ minutes. The results of this study provide important insights into understanding the dynamics of foraging activity of the C. sericeiventris in the human environment. Moreover, it shows the interaction of this specie with the environmental.

  2. Taxonomic updates for some confusing Micronesian species of Camponotus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Formicinae)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Clouse, R. M.; Blanchard, B. D.; Gibson, R.; Wheeler, W. C.; Janda, Milan

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 23, SEP 01 (2016), s. 139-152 ISSN 1994-4136 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP505/12/2467 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Camponotus micronesicus sp.n. * Camponotus tol sp.n. * Campotonus kubaryi stat. rev. Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 1.805, year: 2016

  3. Effects of B vitamin deletion in chemically defined diets on brood development in Camponotus vicinus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mankowski, Mark E; Morrell, J J

    2014-08-01

    The potential contributions of B vitamins by a yeast associate to the nutrition of the carpenter ant Camponotus vicinus Mayr was examined as part of an effort to develop a chemically defined diet. This diet was used to test the effects of individual B vitamin and other nutrient deletions on larval development. The chemically defined diet contained amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and other growth factors in a liquid sucrose matrix. C. vicinus worker colonies with third- and fourth-instar larvae were fed a complete artificial diet or that diet with a component deleted for a 12-wk period. There was a significant effect of diet on larval growth and number of adult worker ants produced in the overall nutrient deletion test, but ant development was often better on incomplete diets with one B vitamin deleted compared with the complete holidic basal diet. Thiamine deletion resulted in significantly higher brood weights compared with the complete diet. Diets of sugar water plus all B vitamins, sugar water only, or a diet minus all B vitamins and cholesterol were associated with significantly lower brood weights. Significantly more adult worker ants were produced by worker colonies fed diets minus cholesterol, choline, thiamine, or riboflavin compared with the complete basal diet. The results suggest that the diet, while suitable for rearing, could benefit from further study to better define component levels. The potential relationship of C. vicinus with yeast associates is discussed in relation to further studies.

  4. Protection of Vochysia elliptica (Vochysiaceae by a nectar-thieving ant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Q. ROMERO

    Full Text Available Vochysia elliptica (Vochysiaceae is a shrubby plant, which does not have EFNs. Camponotus ants thieve nectar, and can decrease plant fitness by making flowers less attractive to pollinators. However, ants remove herbivores, wich can be beneficial. Results show that plants from which ants were excluded had lower rates of termite (simulated herbivore removal than did plants visited by ants. Plants accessible to ants showed higher rates of termite removal in the base of leaves and in the inflorescence, than in the tip of leaves. This occurs because ants must pass through the principal axis to reach the inflorescence. Conclusive results of this cost/benefit analysis of the Camponotus sp. presence for V. elliptica can be obtained, with experimental manipulations.

  5. Food source quality and ant dominance hierarchy influence the outcomes of ant-plant interactions in an arid environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flores-Flores, Rocío Vianey; Aguirre, Armando; Anjos, Diego V.; Neves, Frederico S.; Campos, Ricardo I.; Dáttilo, Wesley

    2018-02-01

    In this study, we conducted a series of experiments in a population of Vachellia constricta (Fabaceae) in the arid Tehuacan-Cuicatláan valley, Mexico, in order to evaluate if the food source quality and ant dominance hierarchy influence the outcomes of ant-plant interactions. Using an experiment with artificial nectaries, we observed that ants foraging on food sources with higher concentration of sugar are quicker in finding and attacking potential herbivorous insects. More specifically, we found that the same ant species may increase their defence effectiveness according to the quality of food available. These findings indicate that ant effectiveness in plant protection is context-dependent and may vary according to specific individual characteristics of plants. In addition, we showed that competitively superior ant species tend to dominate plants in periods with high nectar activity, emphasizing the role of the dominance hierarchy structuring ant-plant interactions. However, when high sugar food sources were experimentally available ad libitum, the nocturnal and competitively superior ant species, Camponotus atriceps, did not dominate the artificial nectaries during the day possibly due to limitation of its thermal tolerance. Therefore, temporal niche partitioning may be allowing the coexistence of two dominant ant species (Camponotus rubritorax during the day and C. atriceps at night) on V. constricta. Our findings indicate that the quality of the food source, and temporal shifts in ant dominance are key factors which structure the biotic plant defences in an arid environment.

  6. Revision of the Malagasy Camponotus edmondi species group (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Formicinae): integrating qualitative morphology and multivariate morphometric analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rakotonirina, Jean Claude; Csősz, Sándor; Fisher, Brian L.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The Malagasy Camponotus edmondi species group is revised based on both qualitative morphological traits and multivariate analysis of continuous morphometric data. To minimize the effect of the scaling properties of diverse traits due to worker caste polymorphism, and to achieve the desired near-linearity of data, morphometric analyses were done only on minor workers. The majority of traits exhibit broken scaling on head size, dividing Camponotus workers into two discrete subcastes, minors and majors. This broken scaling prevents the application of algorithms that uses linear combination of data to the entire dataset, hence only minor workers were analyzed statistically. The elimination of major workers resulted in linearity and the data meet required assumptions. However, morphometric ratios for the subsets of minor and major workers were used in species descriptions and redefinitions. Prior species hypotheses and the goodness of clusters were tested on raw data by confirmatory linear discriminant analysis. Due to the small sample size available for some species, a factor known to reduce statistical reliability, hypotheses generated by exploratory analyses were tested with extreme care and species delimitations were inferred via the combined evidence of both qualitative (morphology and biology) and quantitative data. Altogether, fifteen species are recognized, of which 11 are new to science: Camponotus alamaina sp. n., Camponotus androy sp. n., Camponotus bevohitra sp. n., Camponotus galoko sp. n., Camponotus matsilo sp. n., Camponotus mifaka sp. n., Camponotus orombe sp. n., Camponotus tafo sp. n., Camponotus tratra sp. n., Camponotus varatra sp. n., and Camponotus zavo sp. n. Four species are redescribed: Camponotus echinoploides Forel, Camponotus edmondi André, Camponotus ethicus Forel, and Camponotus robustus Roger. Camponotus edmondi ernesti Forel, syn. n. is synonymized under Camponotus edmondi. This revision also includes an identification key to

  7. Genetic relationship among Camponotus rufipes Fabricius (Hymenoptera: Formicidae nests by RAPD molecular markers - doi: 10.4025/actascibiolsci.v35i1.10913

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandre Wagner Silva Hilsdorf

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD markers were used to investigate the genetic relationship among nests of the carpenter ant, Camponotus rufipes, located in the same area. Five random oligodecamers were used to amplify DNA from 108 ant workers collected from six nests. A total of 47 RAPD markers were identified, which revealed low levels of genetic differentiation among nests (Fst = 0.00218 and a low average Shannon index (0.3727 among workers within nests. These results together suggest that the C. rufipes nest may be formed by a single, once-mated queen and that nests produced by queens that are genetically related tend to keep their nests in close proximity to one other.

  8. Ants in a hospital environment and their potential as mechanical bacterial vectors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wanda Ramos dos Santos Lima

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Introduction We studied the richness and abundance of ant species, their bacteria and the bacteria isolated from patient clinical samples. Methods Ants were collected with baited traps at 64 sites in a public hospital in São Luis, State of Maranhão, Brazil. Results In total, 1,659 ants from 14 species were captured. The most frequent species were Crematogaster victima, Solenopsis saevissima, Tapinoma melanocephalum, Camponotus vittatus and Paratrechina fulva. Forty-one species of bacteria were isolated from the ants and 18 from patients. Conclusions Ants are potential vehicles for pathogenic and opportunistic bacteria, and they can represent a risk factor in nosocomial infections.

  9. Ants in a hospital environment and their potential as mechanical bacterial vectors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lima, Wanda Ramos dos Santos; Marques, Sirlei Garcia; Rodrigues, Fernanda Souto; Rebêlo, José Manuel Macário

    2013-01-01

    We studied the richness and abundance of ant species, their bacteria and the bacteria isolated from patient clinical samples. Ants were collected with baited traps at 64 sites in a public hospital in São Luis, State of Maranhão, Brazil. In total, 1,659 ants from 14 species were captured. The most frequent species were Crematogaster victima, Solenopsis saevissima, Tapinoma melanocephalum, Camponotus vittatus and Paratrechina fulva. Forty-one species of bacteria were isolated from the ants and 18 from patients. Ants are potential vehicles for pathogenic and opportunistic bacteria, and they can represent a risk factor in nosocomial infections.

  10. Graveyards on the Move: The Spatio-Temporal Distribution of Dead Ophiocordyceps-Infected Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pontoppidan, Maj-Britt; Himaman, Winanda; Hywel-Jones, Nigel L.

    2009-01-01

    Parasites are likely to play an important role in structuring host populations. Many adaptively manipulate host behaviour, so that the extended phenotypes of these parasites and their distributions in space and time are potentially important ecological variables. The fungus Ophiocordyceps...... of dead ants correlated with temperature, humidity and vegetation cover. Remarkably, having found 2243 dead ants inside graveyards we only found 2 live ants of the principal host, ant Camponotus leonardi, suggesting that foraging host ants actively avoid graveyards. We discovered that the principal host...

  11. Invasion Biology of Aedes japonicus japonicus (Diptera: Culicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fonseca, Dina M.

    2014-01-01

    Aedes japonicus japonicus (Theobald) (Diptera: Culicidae) has recently expanded beyond its native range of Japan and Korea into large parts of North America and Central Europe. Population genetic studies begun immediately after the species was detected in North America revealed genetically distinct introductions that subsequently merged, likely contributing to the successful expansion. Interactions, particularly in the larval stage, with other known disease vectors give this invasive subspecies the potential to influence local disease dynamics. Its successful invasion likely does not involve superior direct competitive abilities, but it is associated with the use of diverse larval habitats and a cold tolerance that allows an expanded seasonal activity range in temperate climates. We predict a continued but slower expansion of Ae. j. japonicus in North America and a continued rapid expansion into other areas as this mosquito will eventually be considered a permanent resident of much of North America, Europe, Asia, and parts of Hawaii. PMID:24397520

  12. Legume and Lotus japonicus Databases

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hirakawa, Hideki; Mun, Terry; Sato, Shusei

    2014-01-01

    Since the genome sequence of Lotus japonicus, a model plant of family Fabaceae, was determined in 2008 (Sato et al. 2008), the genomes of other members of the Fabaceae family, soybean (Glycine max) (Schmutz et al. 2010) and Medicago truncatula (Young et al. 2011), have been sequenced. In this sec....... In this section, we introduce representative, publicly accessible online resources related to plant materials, integrated databases containing legume genome information, and databases for genome sequence and derived marker information of legume species including L. japonicus...

  13. Deep divergence and rapid evolutionary rates in gut-associated Acetobacteraceae of ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Bryan P; Wernegreen, Jennifer J

    2016-07-11

    Symbiotic associations between gut microbiota and their animal hosts shape the evolutionary trajectories of both partners. The genomic consequences of these relationships are significantly influenced by a variety of factors, including niche localization, interaction potential, and symbiont transmission mode. In eusocial insect hosts, socially transmitted gut microbiota may represent an intermediate point between free living or environmentally acquired bacteria and those with strict host association and maternal transmission. We characterized the bacterial communities associated with an abundant ant species, Camponotus chromaiodes. While many bacteria had sporadic distributions, some taxa were abundant and persistent within and across ant colonies. Specially, two Acetobacteraceae operational taxonomic units (OTUs; referred to as AAB1 and AAB2) were abundant and widespread across host samples. Dissection experiments confirmed that AAB1 and AAB2 occur in C. chromaiodes gut tracts. We explored the distribution and evolution of these Acetobacteraceae OTUs in more depth. We found that Camponotus hosts representing different species and geographical regions possess close relatives of the Acetobacteraceae OTUs detected in C. chromaiodes. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that AAB1 and AAB2 join other ant associates in a monophyletic clade. This clade consists of Acetobacteraceae from three ant tribes, including a third, basal lineage associated with Attine ants. This ant-specific AAB clade exhibits a significant acceleration of substitution rates at the 16S rDNA gene and elevated AT content. Substitutions along 16S rRNA in AAB1 and AAB2 result in ~10 % reduction in the predicted rRNA stability. Combined, these patterns in Camponotus-associated Acetobacteraceae resemble those found in cospeciating gut associates that are both socially and maternally transmitted. These associates may represent an intermediate point along an evolutionary trajectory manifest most extremely in

  14. Ant species identity mediates reproductive traits and allocation in an ant-garden bromeliad

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leroy, Céline; Corbara, Bruno; Pélozuelo, Laurent; Carrias, Jean-François; Dejean, Alain; Céréghino, Régis

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims Determining the sources of variation in floral morphology is crucial to understanding the mechanisms underlying Angiosperm evolution. The selection of floral and reproductive traits is influenced by the plant's abiotic environment, florivores and pollinators. However, evidence that variations in floral traits result from mutualistic interactions with insects other than pollinators is lacking in the published literature and has rarely been investigated. We aimed to determine whether the association with either Camponotus femoratus or Pachycondyla goeldii (both involved in seed dispersal and plant protection) mediates the reproductive traits and allocation of Aechmea mertensii, an obligatory ant-garden tank-bromeliad, differently. Methods Floral and reproductive traits were compared between the two A. mertensii ant-gardens. The nitrogen flux from the ants to the bromeliads was investigated through experimental enrichments with stable isotopes (15N). Key Results Camponotus femoratus-associated bromeliads produced inflorescences up to four times longer than did P. goeldii-associated bromeliads. Also, the numbers of flowers and fruits were close to four times higher, and the number of seeds and their mass per fruit were close to 1·5 times higher in C. femoratus than in P. goeldii-associated bromeliads. Furthermore, the 15N-enrichment experiment showed that C. femoratus-associated bromeliads received more nitrogen from ants than did P. goeldii-associated bromeliads, with subsequent positive repercussions on floral development. Greater benefits were conferred to A. mertensii by the association with C. femoratus compared with P. goeldii ants. Conclusions We show for the first time that mutualistic associations with ants can result in an enhanced reproductive allocation for the bromeliad A. mertensii. Nevertheless, the strength and direction of the selection of floral and fruit traits change based on the ant species and were not related to light

  15. Cuticular Hydrocarbon Pheromones for Social Behavior and Their Coding in the Ant Antenna

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kavita R. Sharma

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The sophisticated organization of eusocial insect societies is largely based on the regulation of complex behaviors by hydrocarbon pheromones present on the cuticle. We used electrophysiology to investigate the detection of cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs by female-specific olfactory sensilla basiconica on the antenna of Camponotus floridanus ants through the utilization of one of the largest family of odorant receptors characterized so far in insects. These sensilla, each of which contains multiple olfactory receptor neurons, are differentially sensitive to CHCs and allow them to be classified into three broad groups that collectively detect every hydrocarbon tested, including queen and worker-enriched CHCs. This broad-spectrum sensitivity is conserved in a related species, Camponotus laevigatus, allowing these ants to detect CHCs from both nestmates and non-nestmates. Behavioral assays demonstrate that these ants are excellent at discriminating CHCs detected by the antenna, including enantiomers of a candidate queen pheromone that regulates the reproductive division of labor.

  16. Detection of mitochondrial COII DNA sequences in ant guts as a method for assessing termite predation by ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tom M Fayle

    Full Text Available Termites and ants contribute more to animal biomass in tropical rain forests than any other single group and perform vital ecosystem functions. Although ants prey on termites, at the community level the linkage between these groups is poorly understood. Thus, assessing the distribution and specificity of ant termitophagy is of considerable interest. We describe an approach for quantifying ant-termite food webs by sequencing termite DNA (cytochrome c oxidase subunit II, COII from ant guts and apply this to a soil-dwelling ant community from tropical rain forest in Gabon. We extracted DNA from 215 ants from 15 species. Of these, 17.2 % of individuals had termite DNA in their guts, with BLAST analysis confirming the identity of 34.1 % of these termites to family level or better. Although ant species varied in detection of termite DNA, ranging from 63 % (5/7; Camponotus sp. 1 to 0 % (0/7; Ponera sp. 1, there was no evidence (with small sample sizes for heterogeneity in termite consumption across ant taxa, and no evidence for species-specific ant-termite predation. In all three ant species with identifiable termite DNA in multiple individuals, multiple termite species were represented. Furthermore, the two termite species that were detected on multiple occasions in ant guts were in both cases found in multiple ant species, suggesting that ant-termite food webs are not strongly compartmentalised. However, two ant species were found to consume only Anoplotermes-group termites, indicating possible predatory specialisation at a higher taxonomic level. Using a laboratory feeding test, we were able to detect termite COII sequences in ant guts up to 2 h after feeding, indicating that our method only detects recent feeding events. Our data provide tentative support for the hypothesis that unspecialised termite predation by ants is widespread and highlight the use of molecular approaches for future studies of ant-termite food webs.

  17. Detection of mitochondrial COII DNA sequences in ant guts as a method for assessing termite predation by ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fayle, Tom M; Scholtz, Olivia; Dumbrell, Alex J; Russell, Stephen; Segar, Simon T; Eggleton, Paul

    2015-01-01

    Termites and ants contribute more to animal biomass in tropical rain forests than any other single group and perform vital ecosystem functions. Although ants prey on termites, at the community level the linkage between these groups is poorly understood. Thus, assessing the distribution and specificity of ant termitophagy is of considerable interest. We describe an approach for quantifying ant-termite food webs by sequencing termite DNA (cytochrome c oxidase subunit II, COII) from ant guts and apply this to a soil-dwelling ant community from tropical rain forest in Gabon. We extracted DNA from 215 ants from 15 species. Of these, 17.2 % of individuals had termite DNA in their guts, with BLAST analysis confirming the identity of 34.1 % of these termites to family level or better. Although ant species varied in detection of termite DNA, ranging from 63 % (5/7; Camponotus sp. 1) to 0 % (0/7; Ponera sp. 1), there was no evidence (with small sample sizes) for heterogeneity in termite consumption across ant taxa, and no evidence for species-specific ant-termite predation. In all three ant species with identifiable termite DNA in multiple individuals, multiple termite species were represented. Furthermore, the two termite species that were detected on multiple occasions in ant guts were in both cases found in multiple ant species, suggesting that ant-termite food webs are not strongly compartmentalised. However, two ant species were found to consume only Anoplotermes-group termites, indicating possible predatory specialisation at a higher taxonomic level. Using a laboratory feeding test, we were able to detect termite COII sequences in ant guts up to 2 h after feeding, indicating that our method only detects recent feeding events. Our data provide tentative support for the hypothesis that unspecialised termite predation by ants is widespread and highlight the use of molecular approaches for future studies of ant-termite food webs.

  18. Camponotus ustus Forel and two similar new species from Puerto Rico (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    R.R. Snelling; J.A. Torres

    1998-01-01

    Although Camponotus ustus Forel, originally described from St. Thomas, now a part of the American Virgina Islands, has been long considered common in Puerto Rico, we found that such specimens are misidentified and actually represent two distinct species, both previously undescribed. These are described herein as C. kaura and C. taino. Based on the types and additional...

  19. The life of a dead ant -the expression of an adaptive extended phenotype

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Sandra Breum; Gerritsma, Sylvia; Yusah, Kalsum M.

    2009-01-01

    Specialized parasites are expected to express complex adaptations to their hosts. Manipulation of host behavior is such an adaptation. We studied the fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, a locally specialized parasite of arboreal Camponotus leonardi ants. Ant-infecting Ophiocordyceps are known...... to make hosts bite onto vegetation prior to killing them. We show that this represents a fine-tuned fungal adaptation: an extended phenotype. Dead ants were found under leaves, attached by their mandibles, on the northern side of saplings ca. 25 cm above the soil, where temperature and humidity conditions...

  20. Species diversity and distribution patterns of the ants of Amazonian Ecuador.

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    Kari T Ryder Wilkie

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Ants are among the most diverse, abundant and ecologically significant organisms on earth. Although their species richness appears to be greatest in the New World tropics, global patterns of ant diversity and distribution are not well understood. We comprehensively surveyed ant diversity in a lowland primary rainforest in Western Amazonia, Ecuador using canopy fogging, pitfall traps, baits, hand collecting, mini-Winkler devices and subterranean probes to sample ants. A total of 489 ant species comprising 64 genera in nine subfamilies were identified from samples collected in only 0.16 square kilometers. The most species-rich genera were Camponotus, Pheidole, Pseudomyrmex, Pachycondyla, Brachymyrmex, and Crematogaster. Camponotus and Pseudomyrmex were most diverse in the canopy, while Pheidole was most diverse on the ground. The three most abundant ground-dwelling ant genera were Pheidole, Solenopsis and Pyramica. Crematogaster carinata was the most abundant ant species in the canopy; Wasmannia auropunctata was most abundant on the ground, and the army ant Labidus coecus was the most abundant subterranean species. Ant species composition among strata was significantly different: 80% of species were found in only one stratum, 17% in two strata, and 3% in all three strata. Elevation and the number of logs and twigs available as nest sites were significant predictors of ground-dwelling ant species richness. Canopy species richness was not correlated with any ecological variable measured. Subterranean species richness was negatively correlated with depth in the soil. When ant species were categorized using a functional group matrix based on diet, nest-site preference and foraging ecology, the greatest diversity was found in Omnivorous Canopy Nesters. Our study indicates ant species richness is exceptionally high at Tiputini. We project 647-736 ant species in this global hotspot of biodiversity. Considering the relatively small area surveyed, this

  1. Honey Ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conway, John R.

    1984-01-01

    Provides background information on honey ants. These ants are found in dry or desert regions of North America, Africa, and Australia. Also provides a list of activities using local species of ants. (JN)

  2. The importance of ants in cave ecology, with new records and behavioral observations of ants in Arizona caves

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    Robert B. Pape

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The importance of ants as elements in cave ecology has been mostly unrecognized. A global list of ant species recorded from caves, compiled from a review of existing literature, is presented. This paper also reviews what is currently known about ants occurring in Arizona (USA caves. The diversity and distribution represented in these records suggests ants are relatively common cave visitors (trogloxenes. A general utilization of caves by ants within both temperate and tropical latitudes may be inferred from this combined evidence. Observations of ant behavior in Arizona caves demonstrate a low level and sporadic, but persistent, use of these habitats and their contained resources by individual ant colonies. Documentation of Neivamyrmex sp. preying on cave-inhabiting arthropods is reported here for the first time. Observations of hypogeic army ants in caves suggests they may not penetrate to great vertical depth in search of prey, but can be persistent occupants in relatively shallow, horizontal sections of caves where they may prey on endemic cave animals. First cave records for ten ant species are reported from Arizona caves. These include two species of Neivamyrmex (N. nigrescens Cresson and Neivamyrmex sp.; Formicidae: Dorylinae, four myrmicines (Pheidole portalensis Wilson, Pheidole cf. porcula Wheeler, Solenopsis aurea Wheeler and Stenamma sp. Westwood, one dolichoderine (Forelius keiferi Wheeler and three formicines (Lasius arizonicus Wheeler, L. sitiens Wilson, and Camponotus sp. Mayr.

  3. Does autocthonous primary production influence oviposition by Aedes japonicus japonicus (Diptera: Culicidae) in container habitats?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorenz, Amanda R; Walker, Edward D; Kaufman, Michael G

    2013-01-01

    Aedes (Finlaya) japonicus japonicus (Theobald) (Diptera: Culicidae) is recently invasive in North America and has expanded its range rapidly since 1998. Throughout its native and expanded range, Ae. j. japonicus larvae are commonly observed in many types of natural and artificial water-filled containers that vary in organic matter content and exposure to sunlight. Larvae are most often found in containers with decaying leaf material or algae, and we postulated that the added autocthonous primary production from algae could be both an important food source for larvae and an influential oviposition attractant to adult Ae. j. japonicus. We tested this hypothesis by placing plastic containers with varied levels of shading to manipulate algal density in the field, and then monitored oviposition by natural populations of Ae. j. japonicus. Over 99% of larvae hatching from eggs laid on the walls of our containers were Ae. j. japonicus, indicating that this species is a dominant colonizer of artificial containers in the study areas. Although full shading treatments effectively reduced algal biomass (significant reduction in chlorophyll a levels), at only one of three sites did this appear to affect Ae. j. japonicus oviposition. We conclude that algae in larval habitats are not a major factor in oviposition choices of adult Ae. j. japonicus females except when in situ primary production is high enough to substantially alter overall organic matter content cues.

  4. Diversity and ecology of ground dwelling ants at Khao Nan National Park, southern Thailand

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    Suparoek Watanasit

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Khao Nan National Park (KNNP is located in the southern part of Thailand. Its flora and fauna are diverse, however there is little information about the diversity of ants. The aim of this study was to determine species diversity and ecology of ants at KNNP. Three study sites (Baucheak Trail, Pra Forest and Sunantha Trail were chosen and at each three permanent plots of 30x30 m were selected at least 500 m apart. The ant sampling was extracted from leaf litter by the Winkler bag method. Physical factors of precipitation, humidity, air temperature, and soil temperature were recorded during the collection of ants every two months between January 2006 and January 2007. A total number of 172 species and 43 genera belonging to 9 subfamilies were identified. The top five dominant genera of ants were Pheidole (27 species following by Tetramorium (14 species, Camponotus (13 species, Pachycondyla (12 species, and Crematogaster (9 species. The influence of the study sites on the species number of ants in this study indicated that the study sites had an affect on the species number. Regarding the environmental factors, the results showed that the individual numbers of Pheidole was significantly negatively correlated to precipitation, whereas Pachycondyla was significantly negatively correlated to humidity, while both genera were significantly positively correlated to air temperature and soil temperature. Moreover, Camponotus was the only genus significantly positively correlated to the air temperature.

  5. Olfactory memory established during trophallaxis affects food search behaviour in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Provecho, Yael; Josens, Roxana

    2009-10-01

    Camponotus mus ants can associate sucrose and odour at the source during successive foraging cycles and use this memory to locate the nectar in the absence of other cues. These ants perform conspicuous trophallactic behaviour during recruitment while foraging for nectar. In this work, we studied whether Camponotus mus ants are able to establish this odour-sucrose association in the social context of trophallaxis and we evaluated this memory in another context previously experienced by the ant, as a nectar source. After a single trophallaxis of a scented solution, the receiver ant was tested in a Y-maze without any reward, where two scents were presented: in one arm, the solution scent and in the other, a new scent. Ants consistently chose the arm with the solution scent and stayed longer therein. Trophallaxis duration had no effect on the arm choice or with the time spent in each arm. Workers are able to associate an odour (conditioned stimulus) with the sucrose (unconditioned stimulus) they receive through a social interaction and use this memory as choice criteria during food searching.

  6. Ants recognize foes and not friends

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerrieri, Fernando J.; Nehring, Volker; Jørgensen, Charlotte G.; Nielsen, John; Galizia, C. Giovanni; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2009-01-01

    Discriminating among individuals and rejecting non-group members is essential for the evolution and stability of animal societies. Ants are good models for studying recognition mechanisms, because they are typically very efficient in discriminating ‘friends’ (nest-mates) from ‘foes’ (non-nest-mates). Recognition in ants involves multicomponent cues encoded in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles. Here, we tested whether workers of the carpenter ant Camponotus herculeanus use the presence and/or absence of cuticular hydrocarbons to discriminate between nest-mates and non-nest-mates. We supplemented the cuticular profile with synthetic hydrocarbons mixed to liquid food and then assessed behavioural responses using two different bioassays. Our results show that (i) the presence, but not the absence, of an additional hydrocarbon elicited aggression and that (ii) among the three classes of hydrocarbons tested (unbranched, mono-methylated and dimethylated alkanes; for mono-methylated alkanes, we present a new synthetic pathway), only the dimethylated alkane was effective in eliciting aggression. Our results suggest that carpenter ants use a fundamentally different mechanism for nest-mate recognition than previously thought. They do not specifically recognize nest-mates, but rather recognize and reject non-nest-mates bearing odour cues that are novel to their own colony cuticular hydrocarbon profile. This begs for a reappraisal of the mechanisms underlying recognition systems in social insects. PMID:19364750

  7. Serotonin depresses feeding behaviour in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falibene, Agustina; Rössler, Wolfgang; Josens, Roxana

    2012-01-01

    Feeding behaviour is a complex functional system that relies on external signals and the physiological state of the animal. This is also the case in ants as they vary their feeding behaviour according to food characteristics, environmental conditions and - as they are social insects - to the colony's requirements. The biogenic amine serotonin (5-HT) was shown to be involved in the control and modulation of many actions and processes related to feeding in both vertebrates and invertebrates. In this study, we investigated whether 5-HT affects nectar feeding in ants by analysing its effect on the sucking-pump activity. Furthermore, we studied 5-HT association with tissues and neuronal ganglia involved in feeding regulation. Our results show that 5-HT promotes a dose-dependent depression of sucrose feeding in Camponotus mus ants. Orally administered 5-HT diminished the intake rate by mainly decreasing the volume of solution taken per pump contraction, without modifying the sucrose acceptance threshold. Immunohistochemical studies all along the alimentary canal revealed 5-HT-like immunoreactive processes on the foregut (oesophagus, crop and proventriculus), while the midgut and hindgut lacked 5-HT innervation. Although the frontal and suboesophageal ganglia contained 5-HT immunoreactive cell bodies, serotonergic innervation in the sucking-pump muscles was absent. The results are discussed in the frame of a role of 5-HT in feeding control in ants. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. A preliminary checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae of Andorra

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abel Bernadou

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Within the last decade, checklists of the ant fauna of several European countries have been published or updated. Nevertheless, no ant checklists have hitherto been published for the principality of Andorra, a small landlocked country located in the eastern part of the Pyrenees. This work presents a critical list of the ant species of Andorra based on a review of the literature and on the biological material we collected during several field campaigns conducted in Andorra since the year 2005. Seventy-five species belonging to 21 genera of Formicidae were recorded. Nine species were recorded for the first time in Andorra: Aphaenogaster gibbosa (Latreille, 1798, Camponotus lateralis (Olivier, 1792, Camponotus piceus (Leach, 1825, Formica exsecta Nylander, 1846, Lasius piliferus Seifert, 1992, Tapinoma madeirense Forel, 1895, Temnothorax lichtensteini (Bondroit, 1918, Temnothorax niger (Forel, 1894, Temnothorax nigriceps (Mayr, 1855. The most speciose genera were Formica Linnaeus, 1758 and Temnothorax Forel, 1890 with 14 and 12 species, respectively. The ant fauna of Andorra is mostly dominated by Central European species (some are typical cold climate specialists; however species belonging to the Mediterranean ant fauna were also found. This can be explained by the particular geographic situation of Andorra which is characterized by a high mountain Mediterranean climate.

  9. The diversity of microorganisms associated with Acromyrmex leafcutter ants

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    Boomsma Jacobus J

    2002-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Molecular biological techniques are dramatically changing our view of microbial diversity in almost any environment that has so far been investigated. This study presents a systematic survey of the microbial diversity associated with a population of Acromyrmex leafcutter ants. In contrast to previous studies on social insects, which targeted specific groups of symbionts occurring in the gut (termites, Tetraponera ants or in specialised cells (Camponotus ants the objective of our present study was to do a total screening of all possible micro-organisms that can be found inside the bodies of these leafcutter ants. Results We amplified, cloned and sequenced SSU rRNA encoding gene fragments from 9 microbial groups known to have insect-associated representatives, and show that: (1 representatives of 5 out of 9 tested groups are present, (2 mostly several strains per group are present, adding up to a total of 33 different taxa. We present the microbial taxa associated with Acromymex ants in a phylogenetic context (using sequences from GenBank to assess and illustrate to which known microorganisms they are closely related. The observed microbial diversity is discussed in the light of present knowledge on the evolutionary history of Acromyrmex leafcutter ants and their known mutualistic and parasitic symbionts. Conclusions The major merits of the screening approach documented here is its high sensitivity and specificity, which allowed us to identify several microorganisms that are promising candidates for further study of their interactions with Acromyrmex leafcutter ants or their gardens.

  10. Nestmate recognition in ants is possible without tactile interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandstaetter, Andreas Simon; Endler, Annett; Kleineidam, Christoph Johannes

    2008-07-01

    Ants of the genus Camponotus are able to discriminate recognition cues of colony members (nestmates) from recognition cues of workers of a different colony (non-nestmates) from a distance of 1 cm. Free moving, individual Camponotus floridanus workers encountered differently treated dummies on a T-bar and their behavior was recorded. Aggressive behavior was scored as mandibular threat towards dummies. Dummies were treated with hexane extracts of postpharyngeal glands (PPGs) from nestmates or non-nestmates which contain long-chain hydrocarbons in ratios comparable to what is found on the cuticle. The cuticular hydrocarbon profile bears cues which are essential for nestmate recognition. Although workers were prevented from antennating the dummies, they showed significantly less aggressive behavior towards dummies treated with nestmate PPG extracts than towards dummies treated with non-nestmate PPG extracts. In an additional experiment, we show that cis-9-tricosene, an alkene naturally not found in C. floridanus’ cuticular profile, is behaviorally active and can interfere with nestmate recognition when presented together with a nestmate PPG extract. Our study demonstrates for the first time that the complex multi-component recognition cues can be perceived and discriminated by ants at close range. We conclude that contact chemosensilla are not crucial for nestmate recognition since tactile interaction is not necessary.

  11. Keystone mutualism strengthens top-down effects by recruiting large-bodied ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Robert E; Singer, Michael S

    2018-03-01

    Determining the impacts of mutualistic interactions and predator diversity on food webs are two important goals in community ecology. In this study, we examined how predator community variation mediates the strength of top-down effects in the presence and absence of mutualistic interactions. We examined the impacts of predatory ant species that simultaneously prey on leaf-chewing herbivores (Lepidoptera) and engage in food-for-protection mutualisms with sap-feeding herbivores (Hemiptera) in the lower canopy of Connecticut forests. In this 2-year study, we examined three hypothetical mechanisms by which mutualisms can alter the top-down effects of ants: (1) sap feeders increase ant abundance, thus strengthening predatory effects; (2) sap feeders increase the relative abundance of a species that has stronger predatory effects; and (3) changes to predator diversity (species richness) are caused by sap feeders mediating top-down effects of the ant community. Experiments revealed that host plants occupied by sap feeders favored large-bodied ant species in the genus Camponotus, but there were no changes to community-wide ant abundance or ant species richness. Fitting predictions of predation strength based on the functional trait of body size, large-bodied Camponotus suppressed caterpillars and reduced leaf herbivory. This work shows that the ant-hemipteran mutualism, which has been characterized as a keystone interaction, can generate strong top-down effects on leaf-chewing herbivores and herbivory via increasing the relative abundance of species with functional traits relevant to predation, such as body size. Therefore, the emergence of specific ants as keystone predators in a community can be contingent upon their mutualism with sap-feeding Hemiptera.

  12. A checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bezděčková, Klára; Bezděčka, Pavel; Machar, Ivo

    2015-09-21

    The article presents a comprehensive list of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Peru. Distribution data for 592 valid names of species-group taxa in 76 genera and 12 subfamilies were collected through a bibliographical review. The most diverse subfamilies in terms of species richness are Myrmicinae (273 species/subspecies), Formicinae (86 species/subspecies) and Ponerinae (71 species/subspecies). The most diverse genera are Pheidole (86 species/subspecies), Camponotus (73 species/subspecies), and Pseudomyrmex (47 species/subspecies). With respect to geographic divisions, richness is highest in Madre de Dios (245 species/subspecies), followed by Huanuco (109 species/subspecies) and Cusco (104 species/subspecies). Regions in greatest need of additional survey work are Aycucho, Huancavelica, Moquegua and Tacna, from which virtually no information on the ant fauna is available.

  13. Predatory behavior of Pseudodorus clavatus (Diptera, Syrphidae on aphids tended by ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra Bächtold

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Predatory behavior of Pseudodorus clavatus (Diptera, Syrphidae on aphids tended by ants. In this study, we examined the interactions between myrmecophilous aphids, their ant-guards and a predatory syrphid species, Pseudodorus clavatus (F.. Larvae of this predator were found in the colonies of three aphid species: Aphis gossypii, A. spiraecola and Toxoptera sp., which were tended by eight ant species, especially Camponotus. Hoverfly larvae managed to infiltrate the aphid colonies and consume nymphs. Predator larvae exhibited inconspicuous movements and were not detected by ants which were commonly observed touching and antennating the larvae they come into contact. These results suggest that behavioral and chemical cues are involved in the infiltration and on the successful predation of syrphids upon aphids.

  14. Species-Specific Effects of Ant Inhabitants on Bromeliad Nutrition.

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    Ana Z Gonçalves

    Full Text Available Predator activities may lead to the accumulation of nutrients in specific areas of terrestrial habitats where they dispose of prey carcasses. In their feeding sites, predators may increase nutrient availability in the soil and favor plant nutrition and growth. However, the translocation of nutrients from one habitat to another may depend on predator identity and diet, as well as on the amount of prey intake. Here we used isotopic (15N and physiological methods in greenhouse experiments to evaluate the effects of the identity of predatory ants (i.e., the consumption of prey and nest sites on the nutrition and growth of the bromeliad Quesnelia arvensis. We showed that predatory ants with protein-based nutrition (i.e., Odontomachus hastatus, Gnamptogenys moelleri improved the performance of their host bromeliads (i.e., increased foliar N, production of soluble proteins and growth. On the other hand, the contribution of Camponotus crassus for the nutritional status of bromeliads did not differ from bromeliads without ants, possibly because this ant does not have arthropod prey as a preferred food source. Our results show, for the first time, that predatory ants can translocate nutrients from one habitat to another within forests, accumulating nutrients in their feeding sites that become available to bromeliads. Additionally, we highlight that ant contribution to plant nutrition may depend on predator identity and its dietary requirements. Nest debris may be especially important for epiphytic and terrestrial bromeliads in nutrient-poor environments.

  15. Nutritional upgrading for omnivorous carpenter ants by the endosymbiont Blochmannia

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    Mueller Martin J

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Carpenter ants (genus Camponotus are considered to be omnivores. Nonetheless, the genome sequence of Blochmannia floridanus, the obligate intracellular endosymbiont of Camponotus floridanus, suggests a function in nutritional upgrading of host resources by the bacterium. Thus, the strongly reduced genome of the endosymbiont retains genes for all subunits of a functional urease, as well as those for biosynthetic pathways for all but one (arginine of the amino acids essential to the host. Results Nutritional upgrading by Blochmannia was tested in 90-day feeding experiments with brood-raising in worker-groups on chemically defined diets with and without essential amino acids and treated or not with antibiotics. Control groups were fed with cockroaches, honey water and Bhatkar agar. Worker-groups were provided with brood collected from the queenright mother-colonies (45 eggs and 45 first instar larvae each. Brood production did not differ significantly between groups of symbiotic workers on diets with and without essential amino acids. However, aposymbiotic worker groups raised significantly less brood on a diet lacking essential amino acids. Reduced brood production by aposymbiotic workers was compensated when those groups were provided with essential amino acids in their diet. Decrease of endosymbionts due to treatment with antibiotic was monitored by qRT-PCR and FISH after the 90-day experimental period. Urease function was confirmed by feeding experiments using 15N-labelled urea. GC-MS analysis of 15N-enrichment of free amino acids in workers revealed significant labelling of the non-essential amino acids alanine, glycine, aspartic acid, and glutamic acid, as well as of the essential amino acids methionine and phenylalanine. Conclusion Our results show that endosymbiotic Blochmannia nutritionally upgrade the diet of C. floridanus hosts to provide essential amino acids, and that it may also play a role in nitrogen recycling

  16. Foraging ants trade off further for faster: use of natural bridges and trunk trail permanency in carpenter ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loreto, Raquel G.; Hart, Adam G.; Pereira, Thairine M.; Freitas, Mayara L. R.; Hughes, David P.; Elliot, Simon L.

    2013-10-01

    Trail-making ants lay pheromones on the substrate to define paths between foraging areas and the nest. Combined with the chemistry of these pheromone trails and the physics of evaporation, trail-laying and trail-following behaviours provide ant colonies with the quickest routes to food. In relatively uniform environments, such as that provided in many laboratory studies of trail-making ants, the quickest route is also often the shortest route. Here, we show that carpenter ants ( Camponotus rufipes), in natural conditions, are able to make use of apparent obstacles in their environment to assist in finding the fastest routes to food. These ants make extensive use of fallen branches, twigs and lianas as bridges to build their trails. These bridges make trails significantly longer than their straight line equivalents across the forest floor, but we estimate that ants spend less than half the time to reach the same point, due to increased carriage speed across the bridges. We also found that these trails, mainly composed of bridges, are maintained for months, so they can be characterized as trunk trails. We suggest that pheromone-based foraging trail networks in field conditions are likely to be structured by a range of potentially complex factors but that even then, speed remains the most important consideration.

  17. Beyond ANT

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jansen, Till

    2017-01-01

    Actor-Network-Theory (ANT) offers an ‘infra-language’ of the social that allows one to trace social relations very dynamically, while at the same time dissolving human agency, thus providing a flat and de-centred way into sociology. However, ANT struggles with its theoretical design that may lead......, it offers an ‘infra-language’ of reflexive relations while maintaining ANT’s de-centred approach. This would enable us to conceptualize actor-networks as non-homogeneous, dynamic and connecting different societal rationales while maintaining the main strengths of ANT.......Actor-Network-Theory (ANT) offers an ‘infra-language’ of the social that allows one to trace social relations very dynamically, while at the same time dissolving human agency, thus providing a flat and de-centred way into sociology. However, ANT struggles with its theoretical design that may lead...

  18. Role of relative humidity in colony founding and queen survivorship in two carpenter ant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mankowski, Mark E; Morrell, J J

    2011-06-01

    Conditions necessary for optimal colony foundation in two carpenter ant species, Camponotus modoc Wheeler and Camponotus vicinus Mayr, were studied. Camponotus modoc and C. vicinus queens were placed in Douglas-fir, Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb. Franco) and Styrofoam blocks conditioned in sealed chambers at 70, 80, or 100% RH. Nanitic workers produced after 12 wk were used to assess the effects of substrate and moisture content on colony initiation. Queens of C. vicinus in Douglas-fir and Styrofoam produced worker numbers that did not differ significantly with moisture content; however, the number of colonies initiated by C. modoc differed significantly with moisture content. The results indicate that colony founding in C. vicinus is less sensitive to moisture content than C. modoc for Douglas-fir and Styrofoam. In another test, groups of queens of each species were exposed to 20, 50, 70, and 100% RH and the time until 50% mortality occurred was recorded for each species. C. vicinus lived significantly longer at each of the test humidities than C. modoc, suggesting that the former species is adapted to better survive under xeric conditions.

  19. Species-Specific Seed Dispersal in an Obligate Ant-Plant Mutualism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Youngsteadt, Elsa; Baca, Jeniffer Alvarez; Osborne, Jason; Schal, Coby

    2009-01-01

    Throughout lowland Amazonia, arboreal ants collect seeds of specific plants and cultivate them in nutrient-rich nests, forming diverse yet obligate and species-specific symbioses called Neotropical ant-gardens (AGs). The ants depend on their symbiotic plants for nest stability, and the plants depend on AGs for substrate and nutrients. Although the AGs are limited to specific participants, it is unknown at what stage specificity arises, and seed fate pathways in AG epiphytes are undocumented. Here we examine the specificity of the ant-seed interaction by comparing the ant community observed at general food baits to ants attracted to and removing seeds of the AG plant Peperomia macrostachya. We also compare seed removal rates under treatments that excluded vertebrates, arthropods, or both. In the bait study, only three of 70 ant species collected P. macrostachya seeds, and 84% of observed seed removal by ants was attributed to the AG ant Camponotus femoratus. In the exclusion experiment, arthropod exclusion significantly reduced seed removal rates, but vertebrate exclusion did not. We provide the most extensive empirical evidence of species specificity in the AG mutualism and begin to quantify factors that affect seed fate in order to understand conditions that favor its departure from the typical diffuse model of plant-animal mutualism. PMID:19194502

  20. Fire ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... 222-1222) from anywhere in the United States. Poisonous Ingredient Fire ant venom contains a chemical called ... Elsevier Saunders; 2013:chap 140. Otten EJ. Venomous animal injuries. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill ...

  1. Larvicidal Activity of Isodon japonicus var. glaucocalyx (Maxim ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    HP

    Purpose: To determine the larvicidal activity of the essential oil derived from Isodon japonicus var. glaucocalyx (Maxim.) H.W.Li (Labiatae) aerial parts at flowering stage against the larvae of Aedes aegypti L. Methods: The essential oil of I. japonicus var. glaucocalyx aerial parts was obtained by hydrodistillation.

  2. The mandible opening response: quantifying aggression elicited by chemical cues in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guerrieri, Fernando J; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2008-01-01

    Social insects have evolved efficient recognition systems guaranteeing social cohesion and protection from enemies. To defend their territories and threaten non-nestmate intruders, ants open their mandibles as a first aggressive display. Albeit chemical cues play a major role in discrimination...... chemical perception from other cues. We studied four ant species: Camponotus herculeanus, C. vagus, Formica rufibarbis and F. cunicularia. Chemical analyses of cuticular extracts of workers of these four species showed that they varied in the number and identity of compounds and that species of the same...... genus have more similar profiles. The antennae of harnessed ants were touched with a glass rod coated with the cuticular extract of (a) nestmates, (b) non-nestmates of the same species, (c) another species of the same genus and (d) a species of a different genus. The mandible opening response (MOR...

  3. Ants visit nectaries of Epidendrum denticulatum (Orchidaceae in a Brazilian rainforest: effects on herbivory and pollination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Almeida A. M.

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available Epidendrum denticulatum (Orchidaceae produces nectar on the petioles of buds, flowers, and fruits (extrafloral nectaries but no nectar is found on its flowers, and it is probably a deceptive species. In the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest, some aspects of both the ecology and behavior of Camponotus sericeiventris (Formicinae and Ectatomma tuberculatum (Ponerinae, two ant species foraging on E. denticulatum extrafloral nectaries, were investigated. Both experiments, using termites as baits and field observations, suggest that these ant species are able to prevent reproductive organ herbivory, without affecting pollinator behaviour. Since a low fruit set is often cited as a characteristic of the family, especially for deceptive species, ants attracted to orchid inflorescences protect reproductive structures and increase the probability of pollination success. Epidendrum denticulatum flowers were visited and probably pollinated by Heliconius erato (Nymphalidae and Euphyes leptosema (Hesperiidae.

  4. Ants visit nectaries of Epidendrum denticulatum (Orchidaceae in a Brazilian rainforest: effects on herbivory and pollination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. M. Almeida

    Full Text Available Epidendrum denticulatum (Orchidaceae produces nectar on the petioles of buds, flowers, and fruits (extrafloral nectaries but no nectar is found on its flowers, and it is probably a deceptive species. In the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest, some aspects of both the ecology and behavior of Camponotus sericeiventris (Formicinae and Ectatomma tuberculatum (Ponerinae, two ant species foraging on E. denticulatum extrafloral nectaries, were investigated. Both experiments, using termites as baits and field observations, suggest that these ant species are able to prevent reproductive organ herbivory, without affecting pollinator behaviour. Since a low fruit set is often cited as a characteristic of the family, especially for deceptive species, ants attracted to orchid inflorescences protect reproductive structures and increase the probability of pollination success. Epidendrum denticulatum flowers were visited and probably pollinated by Heliconius erato (Nymphalidae and Euphyes leptosema (Hesperiidae.

  5. [Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) as vectors for bacteria in two hospitals in the municipality of Divinópolis, State of Minas Gerais].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Paula Fernandes dos; Fonseca, Alysson Rodrigo; Sanches, Newton Moreno

    2009-01-01

    The presence of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in hospital environments may constitute a public health problem, especially since they are mechanical vectors for pathogenic organisms. This study aimed to survey the ant populations and analyze the presence of bacteria associated with them in two medium-sized regional hospitals in the municipality of Divinópolis, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Specimens were collected every monthly over a six-month period. The following ant species were found: Pheidole sp1 and sp2, Linepithema humile, Wasmannia auropunctata, Camponotus sp1 and sp2, Odontomachus sp, Solenopsis sp, Acromyrmex sp and Tapinoma melenocephalum. It was observed that these ants mechanically transported Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterococcus, Streptococcus, Escherichia coli and non-pathogenic and pathogenic Staphylococcus. These results show the propensity for occurrences of hospital infections at these sites caused by mechanical transmission of pathogens by ants.

  6. Geographic variations in seed dispersal by ants: are plant and seed traits decisive?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boulay, R.; Coll-Toledano, J.; Manzaneda, A. J.; Cerdá, X.

    2007-03-01

    The effect of local ant species on the dispersal success of a myrmecochorous plant, Helleborus foetidus, was analyzed in two populations of the Iberian Peninsula (Caurel and Cazorla, respectively). The contribution of the various local ant species to dispersal was very unequal. While 5 and 19 ant taxa visited the plants of Caurel and Cazorla, respectively, most removal activity (67 and 80%) was performed by two species only (Formica lugubris and Camponotus cruentatus, respectively). Visits by dispersers were also unequally distributed between neighboring plants. While some plants were always visited during the period of seed release, others were never visited. A regression model indicated that this pattern might be explained by two plant traits: ants preferred to visit plants that released more seeds and whose elaiosomes were richer in oleic acid. Although it has long been known that this compound triggers removal by ants, it is the first demonstration that quantitative variations in elaiosome traits contribute to variation in dispersal success. Finally, other variables being equal, morphological traits (seed size, elaiosome size, and elaiosome/seed size ratio) did not affect ant behavior. Although myrmecochory has long been considered a diffuse interaction, our results support the idea that, at local scale, a limited number of ant species may be decisive to its evolution.

  7. Diversity and biogeography of a species-rich ant fauna of the Australian seasonal tropics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Alan N; Hoffmann, Benjamin D; Oberprieler, Stefanie

    2016-09-15

    Although ants are an ecologically dominant and extensively studied faunal group throughout the tropics, there is a poor understanding of tropical ant diversity and distribution at large spatial scales. Here we use a collection developed from 3 decades of ant surveys to present the first analysis of ant diversity and biogeography of a large tropical region. Our objective was to document the species richness, composition, and biogeographic distributions of the ant fauna of the 400 000 km 2 "Top End" of Australia's Northern Territory. The known Top End ant fauna comprises 901 native species from 59 genera. The richest genera are Pheidole (90 species), Melophorus (83), Monomorium (83), Camponotus (71), Meranoplus (63), Polyrhachis (57), Rhytidoponera (50), Tetramorium (43), Cerapachys (32), and Iridomyrmex (31). The fauna is the center of diverse radiations within species-groups of genera such as Meranoplus, Rhytidoponera, and Leptogenys. It also includes IndoMalayan species that have likely bypassed the normal dispersal route into Australia through Cape York Peninsula in North Queensland. Faunistic similarity with other regions of far northern Australia is associated more with rainfall than with geographic proximity. Most (60%) of Top End ant species have not been recorded elsewhere, and, despite uncertainties relating to species delimitation and sampling intensity, this appears to be a credible estimate of the level of endemism. Such exceptionally high endemism can be attributed to the Top End's geographic isolation from other regions of northern Australia with comparably high rainfall. © 2016 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  8. Density Dependence, Landscape, and Weather Impacts on Aquatic Aedes japonicus japonicus (Diptera: Culicidae) Abundance Along an Urban Altitudinal Gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaves, Luis Fernando; Moji, Kazuhiko

    2018-02-28

    The Asian Bush Mosquito, Aedes (Finlaya) japonicus japonicus (Theobald) is an important globally invasive mosquito species. In comparison with other major invasive mosquitoes, relatively little is known about Ae. j. japonicus population dynamics in the field. Here, we present results from a 54-biweek long study of Ae. j. japonicus abundance in ovitraps set across the altitudinal gradient of Mt. Konpira, Nagasaki, Japan. Spatially, we found that Ae. j. japonicus fourth instar larvae (Aj4il) were more abundant at the base and top of Mt. Konpira and in ovitraps with more platykurtic water temperature (WT) distributions. In contrast, we found that temporally Aj4il were more abundant when ovitrap WT was more leptokurtic with 2 weeks of lag, and with high relative humidity SD with 2 months of lag. We also found that Aj4il were unlikely present when ovitrap WT was below 12.41°C. Parameter estimates for the Ricker model suggested that Ae. j. japonicus population growth was under density-dependence regulation, with a stable population dynamics whose fluctuations were associated with changes in ovitrap WT kurtosis and demographic stochasticity. Our results suggest that Aj4il abundance is more sensitive to temperature changes in kurtosis than mean values, potentially limiting the predictive ability of Ae. j. japonicus niche models based on the increase of average temperatures with global warming, and suggesting this mosquito species has a relatively coarse-grained response to temperature changes.

  9. Myrmecochores can target high-quality disperser ants: variation in elaiosome traits and ant preferences for myrmecochorous Euphorbiaceae in Brazilian Caatinga.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leal, Laura Carolina; Lima Neto, Mário Correia; de Oliveira, Antônio Fernando Morais; Andersen, Alan N; Leal, Inara R

    2014-02-01

    Recent evidence suggests that the traditional view of myrmecochory as a highly diffuse interaction between diaspores and a wide range of ant species attracted to their elaiosomes may not be correct. The effectiveness of dispersal varies markedly among ant species, and combined with differential attractiveness of diaspores due to elaiosome size and composition, this raises the potential for myrmecochorous plants to target ant species that offer the highest quality dispersal services. We ask the question: Do particular physical and chemical traits of elaiosomes result in disproportionate removal of Euphorbiaceae diaspores by high-quality disperser ants in Caatinga vegetation of north-eastern Brazil? We offered seeds of five euphorb species that varied in morphological and chemical traits of elaiosomes to seed-dispersing ants. High-quality seed-disperser ants (species of Dinoponera, Ectatomma and Camponotus) were identified as those that rapidly collected and transported diaspores to their nests, often over substantial distances, whereas low-quality disperser ants (primarily species of Pheidole and Solenopsis) typically fed on elaiosomes in situ, and only ever transported diaspores very short distances. Low-quality disperser ants were equally attracted to the elaiosomes of all study species. However, high-quality dispersers showed a strong preference for diaspores with the highest elaiosome mass (and especially proportional mass). As far as we are aware, this is the first study to identify a mechanism of diaspore selection by high-quality ant dispersers based on elaiosome traits under field conditions. Our findings suggest that myrmecochorous plants can preferentially target high-quality seed-disperser ants through the evolution of particular elaiosome traits.

  10. A novel type of nutritional ant-plant interaction: ant partners of carnivorous pitcher plants prevent nutrient export by dipteran pitcher infauna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharmann, Mathias; Thornham, Daniel G; Grafe, T Ulmar; Federle, Walter

    2013-01-01

    Many plants combat herbivore and pathogen attack indirectly by attracting predators of their herbivores. Here we describe a novel type of insect-plant interaction where a carnivorous plant uses such an indirect defence to prevent nutrient loss to kleptoparasites. The ant Camponotus schmitzi is an obligate inhabitant of the carnivorous pitcher plant Nepenthes bicalcarata in Borneo. It has recently been suggested that this ant-plant interaction is a nutritional mutualism, but the detailed mechanisms and the origin of the ant-derived nutrient supply have remained unexplained. We confirm that N. bicalcarata host plant leaves naturally have an elevated (15)N/(14)N stable isotope abundance ratio (δ(15)N) when colonised by C. schmitzi. This indicates that a higher proportion of the plants' nitrogen is insect-derived when C. schmitzi ants are present (ca. 100%, vs. 77% in uncolonised plants) and that more nitrogen is available to them. We demonstrated direct flux of nutrients from the ants to the host plant in a (15)N pulse-chase experiment. As C. schmitzi ants only feed on nectar and pitcher contents of their host, the elevated foliar δ(15)N cannot be explained by classic ant-feeding (myrmecotrophy) but must originate from a higher efficiency of the pitcher traps. We discovered that C. schmitzi ants not only increase the pitchers' capture efficiency by keeping the pitchers' trapping surfaces clean, but they also reduce nutrient loss from the pitchers by predating dipteran pitcher inhabitants (infauna). Consequently, nutrients the pitchers would have otherwise lost via emerging flies become available as ant colony waste. The plants' prey is therefore conserved by the ants. The interaction between C. schmitzi, N. bicalcarata and dipteran pitcher infauna represents a new type of mutualism where animals mitigate the damage by nutrient thieves to a plant.

  11. A novel type of nutritional ant-plant interaction: ant partners of carnivorous pitcher plants prevent nutrient export by dipteran pitcher infauna.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathias Scharmann

    Full Text Available Many plants combat herbivore and pathogen attack indirectly by attracting predators of their herbivores. Here we describe a novel type of insect-plant interaction where a carnivorous plant uses such an indirect defence to prevent nutrient loss to kleptoparasites. The ant Camponotus schmitzi is an obligate inhabitant of the carnivorous pitcher plant Nepenthes bicalcarata in Borneo. It has recently been suggested that this ant-plant interaction is a nutritional mutualism, but the detailed mechanisms and the origin of the ant-derived nutrient supply have remained unexplained. We confirm that N. bicalcarata host plant leaves naturally have an elevated (15N/(14N stable isotope abundance ratio (δ(15N when colonised by C. schmitzi. This indicates that a higher proportion of the plants' nitrogen is insect-derived when C. schmitzi ants are present (ca. 100%, vs. 77% in uncolonised plants and that more nitrogen is available to them. We demonstrated direct flux of nutrients from the ants to the host plant in a (15N pulse-chase experiment. As C. schmitzi ants only feed on nectar and pitcher contents of their host, the elevated foliar δ(15N cannot be explained by classic ant-feeding (myrmecotrophy but must originate from a higher efficiency of the pitcher traps. We discovered that C. schmitzi ants not only increase the pitchers' capture efficiency by keeping the pitchers' trapping surfaces clean, but they also reduce nutrient loss from the pitchers by predating dipteran pitcher inhabitants (infauna. Consequently, nutrients the pitchers would have otherwise lost via emerging flies become available as ant colony waste. The plants' prey is therefore conserved by the ants. The interaction between C. schmitzi, N. bicalcarata and dipteran pitcher infauna represents a new type of mutualism where animals mitigate the damage by nutrient thieves to a plant.

  12. Exposure to light enhances pre-adult fitness in two dark-dwelling sympatric species of ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharma Vijay

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In insects, circadian clocks play a key role in enhancing fitness by regulating life history traits such as developmental time and adult lifespan. These clocks use environmental light/dark (LD cycles to fine-tune a wide range of behavioral and physiological processes. To study the effect of environmental LD conditions on pre-adult fitness components, we used two dark-dwelling sympatric species of ants (the night active Camponotus compressus and the day active Camponotus paria, which normally develop underground and have fairly long pre-adult developmental time. Results Our results suggest that ants develop fastest as pre-adults when maintained under constant light (LL, followed closely by 12:12 hr light/dark (LD, and then constant darkness (DD. While light exposure alters developmental rates of almost all stages of development, the overall pre-adult development in LL is speeded-up (relative to DD by ~37% (34 days in C. compressus and by ~35% (31 days in C. paria. In LD too, development is faster (relative to DD by ~29% (26 days in C. compressus and by ~28% (25 days in C. paria. Pre-adult viability of both species is also higher under LL and LD compared to DD. While pre-adult development time and viability is enhanced in LL and LD, clutch-size undergoes reduction, at least in C. compressus. Conclusion Exposure to light enhances pre-adult fitness in two dark-dwelling species of Camponotus by speeding-up development and by enhancing viability. This suggests that social ants use environmental light/dark cycles to modulate key life history traits such as pre-adult development time and viability.

  13. Assessing ecological specialization of an ant-seed dispersal mutualism through a wide geographic range.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manzaneda, Antonio J; Rey, Pedro J

    2009-11-01

    Specialization in species interactions is of central importance for understanding the ecological structure and evolution of plant-animal mutualisms. Most plant-animal mutualisms are facultative and strongly asymmetric. In particular, myrmecochory (seed dispersal by ants) has been regarded as a very generalized interaction. Although some recent studies have suggested that only a few ant species are really important for dispersal, no rigorous measurement of the specialization in ant-seed dispersal mutualisms has been performed. Here, we use individual plants as basic units for replication to investigate the generalization-specialization of the herb Helleborus foetidus on its ant dispersers over a considerable part of its geographical range. We define generalization in terms of diversity components (species richness and evenness) of the ant visitor that realizes dispersal by removing diaspores. We obtain truly comparable values of ant visitor diversity, distinguishing among different functional groups of visitors and identifying incidental visitors and real ant dispersers. Using null model approaches, we test the null hypothesis that ant-mediated dispersal is a generalized mutualism. At least two premises should be confirmed to validate the hypothesis: (1) diaspores are dispersed by multiple ant-visitor species, and (2) diaspore dispersal is significantly equitable. Though up to 37 ant species visited diaspores across 10 populations, only two large formicines, Camponotus cruentatus and Formica lugubris, were responsible for the vast majority of visits resulting in dispersal in most populations and years, which strongly suggests that ant seed dispersal in H. foetidus is ecologically specialized. Interestingly, specialization degree was unrelated to dispersal success across populations. Our study offers new insights into the spatiotemporal dynamics of myrmecochory. We propose the existence of an alternative scenario to extensive generalization. In this new scenario

  14. Ant-related oviposition is not associated to low parasitism of the myrmecophilous butterfly Allosmaitia strophius in an extrafloral nectaried shrub

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bächtold, Alexandra; Alves-Silva, Estevão; Del-Claro, Kleber

    2017-08-01

    In Lycaenidae-ant mutualisms, ovipositing females select plants based on the presence and/or species of ants in order to maximize survival rates of immatures. The ants are supposed to protect the immatures from parasitoids, but there is large variation in the protection provided. Here, we experimentally investigated whether the occurrence of the facultative myrmecophilous Allosmaitia strophius (the dominant species in our study system) was ant-related. The parasitism rates of immatures collected in the field and reared in the laboratory were also investigated. Stems of the extrafloral nectaried shrub Peixotoa tomentosa were designated as either ant-present (control) or absent (treated). The occurrence of A. strophius on ant-present stems was five times greater than on treated stems. Most eggs and larvae were associated with Camponotus blandus and Ectatomma tuberculatum, two aggressive ant species in the Brazilian savanna. Egg parasitism rate was 9%, and all the parasitized eggs were on ant-present stems. Pupal parasitism on ant-present and ant-absent stems was 25.6% and 7%, respectively. The higher parasitism rate in the presence of ants might also have been density-dependent, because caterpillars were more abundant in ant-present stems. Tropical lycaenids are frequently found in association with patrolling ants. Nevertheless, there is growing evidence that parasitism is higher in the presence of ants, owing to caterpillar's density-dependent effects in plants with ants, and/or to the weak lycaenid-ant associations. This indicates that the offspring of myrmecophilous lycaenids may not benefit, at least in terms of lower parasitism, by living with ants.

  15. Introduction and establishment of Aedes (Finlaya) Japonicus japonicus (Theobald) on the island of Hawaii: implications for arbovirus transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larish, Linda Burnham; Savage, Harry M

    2005-09-01

    On November 24, 2003, 1 female adult specimen of Aedes (Finlaya) japonicus japonicus (Theobald) was collected in a New Jersey (NJ) light trap on the island of Hawaii. From June through October, 2004, female and male adults were collected by NJ light traps and gravid traps placed at multiple sites on the island of Hawaii. Larvae were collected in artificial containers and reared to adults for identification. Aedes (Fin.) j. japonicus is the 8th mosquito species to be introduced and established in the State of Hawaii. Currently, this species is known only from the island of Hawaii. Aedes (Fin.) j. japonicus is a competent laboratory vector for a number of arboviruses. Increased quarantine inspections, inspection and treatment of imported used tires and plants, disinsection of airline cargo holds, enhanced vector surveillance, and the development of sanitary corridors around airports and port facilities are necessary to reduce the introduction of vectors and pathogens.

  16. Divergent chemical cues elicit seed collecting by ants in an obligate multi-species mutualism in lowland Amazonia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elsa Youngsteadt

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available In lowland Amazonian rainforests, specific ants collect seeds of several plant species and cultivate them in arboreal carton nests, forming species-specific symbioses called ant-gardens (AGs. In this obligate mutualism, ants depend on the plants for nest stability and the plants depend on ant nests for substrate and nutrients. AG ants and plants are abundant, dominant members of lowland Amazonian ecosystems, but the cues ants use to recognize the seeds are poorly understood. To address the chemical basis of the ant-seed interaction, we surveyed seed chemistry in nine AG species and eight non-AG congeners. We detected seven phenolic and terpenoid volatiles common to seeds of all or most of the AG species, but a blend of the shared compounds was not attractive to the AG ant Camponotus femoratus. We also analyzed seeds of three AG species (Anthurium gracile, Codonanthe uleana, and Peperomia macrostachya using behavior-guided fractionation. At least one chromatographic fraction of each seed extract elicited retrieval behavior in C. femoratus, but the active fractions of the three plant species differed in polarity and chemical composition, indicating that shared compounds alone did not explain seed-carrying behavior. We suggest that the various AG seed species must elicit seed-carrying with different chemical cues.

  17. Ants of João da Cunha Island, SC, Brazil: composition and diversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo Corbetta

    2005-05-01

    Full Text Available The ant species of João da Cunha Island, SC, were collected both manually and by the use of attractive baits of honey and sardine. The samples were taken at 10 sites, each having one bait of each type, totalling 20 samples in each collection. A total of 14 genera, 52 species and 5 subfamilies was sampled in one year of monthly sampling. The richest genera were Pheidole (16 species and Camponotus (9. The biological diversity values were high, and the ant fauna presented a strong seazonality on account of this diversity. The greatest similarity between seasons of the year was observed between spring and summer, followed by autumn and winter.

  18. Disentangling environmental and heritable nestmate recognition cues in a carpenter ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van Zweden, Jelle S; Dreier, Stephanie; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2009-01-01

    variation in cuticular hydrocarbons, which can include heritable cues from the workers, as well as acquired cues from the environment or queen-derived cues. We tracked the profile of six colonies of the ant Camponotus aethiops for a year under homogeneous laboratory conditions. We performed chemical...... and behavioral analyses. We show that nestmate recognition was not impaired by constant environment, even though cuticular hydrocarbon profiles changed over time and were slightly converging among colonies. Linear hydrocarbons increased over time, especially in queenless colonies, but appeared to have weak...... diagnostic power between colonies. The presence of a queen had little influence on nestmate discrimination abilities. Our results suggest that heritable cues of workers are the dominant factor influencing nestmate discrimination in these carpenter ants and highlight the importance of colony kin structure...

  19. Effects of Competition and Predation by Native Mosquitoes on the North American Invasion of Aedes japonicus japonicus (Diptera: Culicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freed, T Z; Kesavaraju, B; Leisnham, P T

    2014-11-01

    The success and effects of a biological invasion can be dependent on species interactions with resident competitors and predators. Indirect interactions between competition and predation, such as keystone predation, can influence both invasion success and the impact of an invasive species on resident competitors. The invasive mosquito Aedes japonicus japonicus (Theobald) has been established within the North American range of the indigenous competitor Aedes triseriatus (Say) and indigenous mosquito predator Toxorhynchites rutilus (Coquillett). The effects of Tx. rutilus predation on competition between Ae. j. japonicus and Ae. triseriatus were tested in laboratory microcosms. Consistent with a prior study, there was minimal evidence of competitive asymmetry between Ae. j. japonicus and Ae. triseriatus, with similar effects of intraspecific versus interspecific interactions on both species. Tx. rutilus predation caused high mortality of both Ae. j. japonicus and Ae. triseriatus, and minimized the effects of density-dependent competition. Ae. japonicus females that survived predation had larger adult body sizes than those in treatments without predators. Ae. triseriatus females that survived Tx. rutilus predation were larger and developed quicker than individuals in treatments without predators. Intraspecific competition and predation negatively affected the finite rate of population increase for Ae. j. japonicus, but only affected individual fitness correlates for Ae. triseriatus, indicating that the overall population performance of the invader is more sensitive to these interactions than the native species. Based on these results, we predict that predation is likely to be an important barrier to the establishment and spread of Ae. j. japonicus in tree holes in North America. © 2014 Entomological Society of America.

  20. Postfire Succession of Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Nesting in Dead Wood of Northern Boreal Forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boucher, Philippe; Hébert, Christian; Francoeur, André; Sirois, Luc

    2015-10-01

    Dead wood decomposition begins immediately after tree death and involves a large array of invertebrates. Ecological successions are still poorly known for saproxylic organisms, particularly in boreal forests. We investigated the use of dead wood as nesting sites for ants along a 60-yr postfire chronosequence in northeastern coniferous forests. We sampled a total of 1,625 pieces of dead wood, in which 263 ant nests were found. Overall, ant abundance increased during the first 30 yr after wildfire, and then declined. Leptothorax cf. canadensis Provancher, the most abundant species in our study, was absent during the first 2 yr postfire, but increased steadily until 30 yr after fire, whereas Myrmica alaskensis Wheeler, second in abundance, was found at all stages of succession in the chronosequence. Six other species were less frequently found, among which Camponotus herculeanus (Linné), Formica neorufibarbis Emery, and Formica aserva Forel were locally abundant, but more scarcely distributed. Dead wood lying on the ground and showing numerous woodborer holes had a higher probability of being colonized by ants. The C:N ratio was lower for dead wood colonized by ants than for noncolonized dead wood, showing that the continuous occupation of dead wood by ants influences the carbon and nitrogen dynamics of dead wood after wildfire in northern boreal forests. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  1. Indirect effects of mutualism: ant-treehopper associations deter pollinators and reduce reproduction in a tropical shrub.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibarra-Isassi, Javier; Oliveira, Paulo S

    2018-03-01

    Animal-pollinated plants can be susceptible to changes in pollinator availability. Honeydew-producing treehoppers frequently occur on inflorescences, potentially enhancing ant-mediated negative effects on pollination services. However, the effect of ant-attended, honeydew-producing insects on plant reproduction remains uncertain. We recorded the abundance of treehoppers and ants on Byrsonima intermedia (Malpighiaceae), and monitored floral visitors in a Brazilian cerrado savanna. We manipulated the presence of ants and ant-treehopper associations on inflorescences to assess their effect on pollination and fruit formation. We used dried ants pinned to inflorescences to evaluate the effect of ant presence and ant identity on potential pollinators. Results show that the presence of treehoppers increases ant abundance on flowers and disrupts pollination by oil-collecting bees, decreasing the frequency and duration of floral visits and reducing fruit and seed set. Treehopper herbivory has no direct effect on fruit or seed production, which are independent of treehopper density. Pinned ants promote avoidance by floral visitors, reducing the number of visits. Ant identity mediates visitation decisions, with Ectatomma brunneum causing greater avoidance by floral visitors than Camponotus rufipes. Field videos show that pollinating bees are harassed by ants near flowers, prompting avoidance behavior by the bees. This is the first demonstration of indirect effects by honeydew-gathering ants, via disrupted pollination, on plant reproduction in tropical cerrado savanna. Our results highlight the importance of studying other interactions near flowers, in addition to just observing pollinators, for a proper understanding of plant reproduction.

  2. Behavioral mechanisms and morphological symptoms of zombie ants dying from fungal infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Himaman Winanda

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Parasites that manipulate host behavior can provide prominent examples of extended phenotypes: parasite genomes controlling host behavior. Here we focus on one of the most dramatic examples of behavioral manipulation, the death grip of ants infected by Ophiocordyceps fungi. We studied the interaction between O. unilateralis s.l. and its host ant Camponotus leonardi in a Thai rainforest, where infected ants descend from their canopy nests down to understory vegetation to bite into abaxial leaf veins before dying. Host mortality is concentrated in patches (graveyards where ants die on sapling leaves ca. 25 cm above the soil surface where conditions for parasite development are optimal. Here we address whether the sequence of ant behaviors leading to the final death grip can also be interpreted as parasite adaptations and describe some of the morphological changes inside the heads of infected workers that mediate the expression of the death grip phenotype. Results We found that infected ants behave as zombies and display predictable stereotypical behaviors of random rather than directional walking, and of repeated convulsions that make them fall down and thus precludes returning to the canopy. Transitions from erratic wandering to death grips on a leaf vein were abrupt and synchronized around solar noon. We show that the mandibles of ants penetrate deeply into vein tissue and that this is accompanied by extensive atrophy of the mandibular muscles. This lock-jaw means the ant will remain attached to the leaf after death. We further present histological data to show that a high density of single celled stages of the parasite within the head capsule of dying ants are likely to be responsible for this muscular atrophy. Conclusions Extended phenotypes in ants induced by fungal infections are a complex example of behavioral manipulation requiring coordinated changes of host behavior and morphology. Future work should address the

  3. Behavioral mechanisms and morphological symptoms of zombie ants dying from fungal infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, David P; Andersen, Sandra B; Hywel-Jones, Nigel L; Himaman, Winanda; Billen, Johan; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2011-05-09

    Parasites that manipulate host behavior can provide prominent examples of extended phenotypes: parasite genomes controlling host behavior. Here we focus on one of the most dramatic examples of behavioral manipulation, the death grip of ants infected by Ophiocordyceps fungi. We studied the interaction between O. unilateralis s.l. and its host ant Camponotus leonardi in a Thai rainforest, where infected ants descend from their canopy nests down to understory vegetation to bite into abaxial leaf veins before dying. Host mortality is concentrated in patches (graveyards) where ants die on sapling leaves ca. 25 cm above the soil surface where conditions for parasite development are optimal. Here we address whether the sequence of ant behaviors leading to the final death grip can also be interpreted as parasite adaptations and describe some of the morphological changes inside the heads of infected workers that mediate the expression of the death grip phenotype. We found that infected ants behave as zombies and display predictable stereotypical behaviors of random rather than directional walking, and of repeated convulsions that make them fall down and thus precludes returning to the canopy. Transitions from erratic wandering to death grips on a leaf vein were abrupt and synchronized around solar noon. We show that the mandibles of ants penetrate deeply into vein tissue and that this is accompanied by extensive atrophy of the mandibular muscles. This lock-jaw means the ant will remain attached to the leaf after death. We further present histological data to show that a high density of single celled stages of the parasite within the head capsule of dying ants are likely to be responsible for this muscular atrophy. Extended phenotypes in ants induced by fungal infections are a complex example of behavioral manipulation requiring coordinated changes of host behavior and morphology. Future work should address the genetic basis of such extended phenotypes.

  4. A carnivorous plant fed by its ant symbiont: a unique multi-faceted nutritional mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bazile, Vincent; Moran, Jonathan A; Le Moguédec, Gilles; Marshall, David J; Gaume, Laurence

    2012-01-01

    Scarcity of essential nutrients has led plants to evolve alternative nutritional strategies, such as myrmecotrophy (ant-waste-derived nutrition) and carnivory (invertebrate predation). The carnivorous plant Nepenthes bicalcarata grows in the Bornean peatswamp forests and is believed to have a mutualistic relationship with its symbiotic ant Camponotus schmitzi. However, the benefits provided by the ant have not been quantified. We tested the hypothesis of a nutritional mutualism, using foliar isotopic and reflectance analyses and by comparing fitness-related traits between ant-inhabited and uninhabited plants. Plants inhabited by C. schmitzi produced more leaves of greater area and nitrogen content than unoccupied plants. The ants were estimated to provide a 200% increase in foliar nitrogen to adult plants. Inhabited plants also produced more and larger pitchers containing higher prey biomass. C. schmitzi-occupied pitchers differed qualitatively in containing C. schmitzi wastes and captured large ants and flying insects. Pitcher abortion rates were lower in inhabited plants partly because of herbivore deterrence as herbivory-aborted buds decreased with ant occupation rate. Lower abortion was also attributed to ant nutritional service. The ants had higher δ(15)N values than any tested prey, and foliar δ(15)N increased with ant occupation rate, confirming their predatory behaviour and demonstrating their direct contribution to the plant-recycled N. We estimated that N. bicalcarata derives on average 42% of its foliar N from C. schmitzi wastes, (76% in highly-occupied plants). According to the Structure Independent Pigment Index, plants without C. schmitzi were nutrient stressed compared to both occupied plants, and pitcher-lacking plants. This attests to the physiological cost of pitcher production and poor nutrient assimilation in the absence of the symbiont. Hence C. schmitzi contributes crucially to the nutrition of N. bicalcarata, via protection of assimilatory

  5. A carnivorous plant fed by its ant symbiont: a unique multi-faceted nutritional mutualism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincent Bazile

    Full Text Available Scarcity of essential nutrients has led plants to evolve alternative nutritional strategies, such as myrmecotrophy (ant-waste-derived nutrition and carnivory (invertebrate predation. The carnivorous plant Nepenthes bicalcarata grows in the Bornean peatswamp forests and is believed to have a mutualistic relationship with its symbiotic ant Camponotus schmitzi. However, the benefits provided by the ant have not been quantified. We tested the hypothesis of a nutritional mutualism, using foliar isotopic and reflectance analyses and by comparing fitness-related traits between ant-inhabited and uninhabited plants. Plants inhabited by C. schmitzi produced more leaves of greater area and nitrogen content than unoccupied plants. The ants were estimated to provide a 200% increase in foliar nitrogen to adult plants. Inhabited plants also produced more and larger pitchers containing higher prey biomass. C. schmitzi-occupied pitchers differed qualitatively in containing C. schmitzi wastes and captured large ants and flying insects. Pitcher abortion rates were lower in inhabited plants partly because of herbivore deterrence as herbivory-aborted buds decreased with ant occupation rate. Lower abortion was also attributed to ant nutritional service. The ants had higher δ(15N values than any tested prey, and foliar δ(15N increased with ant occupation rate, confirming their predatory behaviour and demonstrating their direct contribution to the plant-recycled N. We estimated that N. bicalcarata derives on average 42% of its foliar N from C. schmitzi wastes, (76% in highly-occupied plants. According to the Structure Independent Pigment Index, plants without C. schmitzi were nutrient stressed compared to both occupied plants, and pitcher-lacking plants. This attests to the physiological cost of pitcher production and poor nutrient assimilation in the absence of the symbiont. Hence C. schmitzi contributes crucially to the nutrition of N. bicalcarata, via protection

  6. Ant nebula

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-01-01

    A new Hubble Space Telescope image of a celestial object called the Ant Nebula may shed new light on the future demise of our Sun. The image is available at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/pictures/wfpc . The nebula, imaged on July 20, 1997, and June 30, 1998, by Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2, was observed by Drs. Raghvendra Sahai and John Trauger of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.; Bruce Balick of the University of Washington in Seattle; and Vincent Icke of Leiden University in the Netherlands. JPL designed and built the camera. The Ant Nebula, whose technical name is Mz3, resembles the head and thorax of an ant when observed with ground-based telescopes. The new Hubble image, with 10 times the resolution revealing 100 times more detail, shows the 'ant's' body as a pair of fiery lobes protruding from a dying, Sun- like star. The Ant Nebula is located between 3,000 and 6,000 light years from Earth in the southern constellation Norma. The image challenges old ideas about what happens to dying stars. This observation, along with other pictures of various remnants of dying stars called planetary nebulae, shows that our Sun's fate will probably be much more interesting, complex and dramatic than astronomers previously believed. Although the ejection of gas from the dying star in the Ant Nebula is violent, it does not show the chaos one might expect from an ordinary explosion, but instead shows symmetrical patterns. One possibility is that the central star has a closely orbiting companion whose gravitational tidal forces shape the outflowing gas. A second possibility is that as the dying star spins, its strong magnetic fields are wound up into complex shapes like spaghetti in an eggbeater. Electrically charged winds, much like those in our Sun's solar wind but millions of times denser and moving at speeds up to 1,000 kilometers per second (more than 600 miles per second) from the star, follow the twisted field lines on their way out into space

  7. Fire Ant Bites

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Favorite Name: Category: Share: Yes No, Keep Private Fire Ant Bites Share | Fire ants are aggressive, venomous insects that have pinching ... across the United States, even into Puerto Rico. Fire ant stings usually occur on the feet or ...

  8. Presence and Potential Distribution of Aedes albopictus and Aedes japonicus japonicus (Diptera: Culicidae) in Slovenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalan, Katja; Ivovic, Vladimir; Glasnovic, Peter; Buzan, Elena

    2017-11-07

    In Slovenia, two invasive mosquito species are present, Aedes albopictus (Skuse, 1895) (Diptera: Culicidae) and Aedes japonicus (Theobald, 1901) (Diptera: Culicidae). In this study, we examined their actual distribution and suitable habitats for new colonizations. Data from survey of species presence in 2013 and 2015, bioclimatic variables and altitude were used for the construction of predictive maps. We produced various models in Maxent software and tested two bioclimatic variable sets, WorldClim and CHELSA. For the variable selection of A. albopictus modeling we used statistical and expert knowledge-based approach, whereas for A. j. japonicus we used only a statistically based approach. The best performing models for both species were chosen according to AIC score-based evaluation. In 2 yr of sampling, A. albopictus was largely confined to the western half of Slovenia, whereas A. j. japonicus spread significantly and can be considered as an established species in a large part of the country. Comparison of models with WorldClim and CHELSA variables for both species showed models with CHELSA variables as a better tool for prediction. Finally, we validated the models performance in predicting distribution of species according to collected field data. Our study confirms that both species are co-occurring and are sympatric in a large part of the country area. The tested models could be used for future prevention of invasive mosquitoes spreading in other countries with similar bioclimatic conditions. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  9. Antimicrobial activities of endophytic fungi isolated from Ophiopogon japonicus (Liliaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Hanqiao; Xing, Yongmei; Chen, Juan; Zhang, Dawei; Guo, Shunxing; Wang, Chunlan

    2012-11-28

    Drug resistance in bacteria has become a global concern and the search for new antibacterial agents is urgent and ongoing. Endophytes provide an abundant reservoir of bioactive metabolites for medicinal exploitation, and an increasing number of novel compounds are being isolated from endophytic fungi. Ophiopogon japonicus, containing compounds with antibacterial activity, is a traditional Chinese medicinal plant used for eliminating phlegm, relieving coughs, latent heat in the lungs, and alleviating diabetes mellitus. We investigated the antimicrobial activities of 30 strains of O. japonicus. Fungal endophytes were isolated from roots and stems of O. japonicus collected from Chongqing City, southwestern China. Mycelial extracts (MC) and fermentation broth (FB) were tested for antimicrobial activity using peptide deformylase (PDF) inhibition fluorescence assays and MTT cell proliferation assays. A total of 30 endophytic strains were isolated from O. japonicus; 22 from roots and eight from stems. 53.33% of the mycelial extracts (MC) and 33.33% of the fermentation broths (FB) displayed potent inhibition of PDF. 80% of MC and 33.33% of FB significantly inhibited Staphylococcus aureus. 70% of MC and 36.67% of FB showed strong activities against Cryptococcus neoformans. None showed influence on Escherichia coli. The secondary metabolites of endophytic fungi from O. japonicus are potential antimicrobial agents.

  10. Antimicrobial activities of endophytic fungi isolated from Ophiopogon japonicus (Liliaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liang Hanqiao

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Drug resistance in bacteria has become a global concern and the search for new antibacterial agents is urgent and ongoing. Endophytes provide an abundant reservoir of bioactive metabolites for medicinal exploitation, and an increasing number of novel compounds are being isolated from endophytic fungi. Ophiopogon japonicus, containing compounds with antibacterial activity, is a traditional Chinese medicinal plant used for eliminating phlegm, relieving coughs, latent heat in the lungs, and alleviating diabetes mellitus. We investigated the antimicrobial activities of 30 strains of O. japonicus. Methods Fungal endophytes were isolated from roots and stems of O. japonicus collected from Chongqing City, southwestern China. Mycelial extracts (MC and fermentation broth (FB were tested for antimicrobial activity using peptide deformylase (PDF inhibition fluorescence assays and MTT cell proliferation assays. Results A total of 30 endophytic strains were isolated from O. japonicus; 22 from roots and eight from stems. 53.33% of the mycelial extracts (MC and 33.33% of the fermentation broths (FB displayed potent inhibition of PDF. 80% of MC and 33.33% of FB significantly inhibited Staphylococcus aureus. 70% of MC and 36.67% of FB showed strong activities against Cryptococcus neoformans. None showed influence on Escherichia coli. Conclusion The secondary metabolites of endophytic fungi from O. japonicus are potential antimicrobial agents.

  11. Long-term disease dynamics for a specialized parasite of ant societies: a field study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loreto, Raquel G; Elliot, Simon L; Freitas, Mayara L R; Pereira, Thairine M; Hughes, David P

    2014-01-01

    Many studies have investigated how social insects behave when a parasite is introduced into their colonies. These studies have been conducted in the laboratory, and we still have a limited understanding of the dynamics of ant-parasite interactions under natural conditions. Here we consider a specialized parasite of ant societies (Ophiocordyceps camponoti-rufipedis infecting Camponotus rufipes) within a rainforest. We first established that the parasite is unable to develop to transmission stage when introduced within the host nest. Secondly, we surveyed all colonies in the studied area and recorded 100% prevalence at the colony level (all colonies were infected). Finally, we conducted a long-term detailed census of parasite pressure, by mapping the position of infected dead ants and foraging trails (future hosts) in the immediate vicinity of the colonies over 20 months. We report new dead infected ants for all the months we conducted the census--at an average of 14.5 cadavers/month/colony. Based on the low infection rate, the absence of colony collapse or complete recovery of the colonies, we suggest that this parasite represents a chronic infection in the ant societies. We also proposed a "terminal host model of transmission" that links the age-related polyethism to the persistence of a parasitic infection.

  12. [Ants as biological indicators of human impact in mangroves of the southeastern coast of Bahia, Brazil].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delabie, Jacques H C; Paim, Valéria R L de M; Do Nascimento, Ivan C; Campiolo, Sofia; Mariano, Cléa dos S F

    2006-01-01

    Mangroves are common in estuaries along the Atlantic coast of Brazil. Although plant diversity is low, this ecosystem supports a range of animals, offering some resources for non-aquatic organisms. Many insects live in mangroves and, between them, many ant species that are exclusively arboreous. Mangroves throughout the world suffer from high levels of human impact, and this is particularly true for southeastern Bahia, where land-uses include traditional crab and fish exploitation, urban development, refuse pollution, recreation, and timber extraction. The ants of 13 mangrove sites, representing a range of levels of human use, have been studied along 250 km of the southern Bahia littoral, between Itacaré and Porto Seguro. Ants were sampled both inside and on the periphery of the tidal zone, using entomological rainbow, baiting, collect of hollow branches and pit-fall. A total of 108 species have been collected, with the richest genera being Camponotus and Pseudomyrmex, and the most frequent belonging to the genera Azteca and Crematogaster. The ant community living on the periphery of mangrove areas is rather homogeneous regardless of the degree of environmental perturbation, but varies markedly with the disturbance inside the mangroves themselves. The evolution of richness of the both communities, mangrove and periphery, is negatively related to the human effects, even limited to the periphery. Ant communities therefore have the potential to be useful as biological indicators of ecological impacts of land-use in these mangrove systems.

  13. The complete chloroplast genome sequence of Euonymus japonicus (Celastraceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Kyoung Su; Park, SeonJoo

    2016-09-01

    The complete chloroplast (cp) genome sequence of the Euonymus japonicus, the first sequenced of the genus Euonymus, was reported in this study. The total length was 157 637 bp, containing a pair of 26 678 bp inverted repeat region (IR), which were separated by small single copy (SSC) region and large single copy (LSC) region of 18 340 bp and 85 941 bp, respectively. This genome contains 107 unique genes, including 74 coding genes, four rRNA genes, and 29 tRNA genes. Seventeen genes contain intron of E. japonicus, of which three genes (clpP, ycf3, and rps12) include two introns. The maximum likelihood (ML) phylogenetic analysis revealed that E. japonicus was closely related to Manihot and Populus.

  14. Geographic mosaic of plant evolution: extrafloral nectary variation mediated by ant and herbivore assemblages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anselmo Nogueira

    Full Text Available Herbivory is an ecological process that is known to generate different patterns of selection on defensive plant traits across populations. Studies on this topic could greatly benefit from the general framework of the Geographic Mosaic Theory of Coevolution (GMT. Here, we hypothesize that herbivory represents a strong pressure for extrafloral nectary (EFN bearing plants, with differences in herbivore and ant visitor assemblages leading to different evolutionary pressures among localities and ultimately to differences in EFN abundance and function. In this study, we investigate this hypothesis by analyzing 10 populations of Anemopaegma album (30 individuals per population distributed through ca. 600 km of Neotropical savanna and covering most of the geographic range of this plant species. A common garden experiment revealed a phenotypic differentiation in EFN abundance, in which field and experimental plants showed a similar pattern of EFN variation among populations. We also did not find significant correlations between EFN traits and ant abundance, herbivory and plant performance across localities. Instead, a more complex pattern of ant-EFN variation, a geographic mosaic, emerged throughout the geographical range of A. album. We modeled the functional relationship between EFNs and ant traits across ant species and extended this phenotypic interface to characterize local situations of phenotypic matching and mismatching at the population level. Two distinct types of phenotypic matching emerged throughout populations: (1 a population with smaller ants (Crematogaster crinosa matched with low abundance of EFNs; and (2 seven populations with bigger ants (Camponotus species matched with higher EFN abundances. Three matched populations showed the highest plant performance and narrower variance of EFN abundance, representing potential plant evolutionary hotspots. Cases of mismatched and matched populations with the lowest performance were associated

  15. Geographic mosaic of plant evolution: extrafloral nectary variation mediated by ant and herbivore assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nogueira, Anselmo; Rey, Pedro J; Alcántara, Julio M; Feitosa, Rodrigo M; Lohmann, Lúcia G

    2015-01-01

    Herbivory is an ecological process that is known to generate different patterns of selection on defensive plant traits across populations. Studies on this topic could greatly benefit from the general framework of the Geographic Mosaic Theory of Coevolution (GMT). Here, we hypothesize that herbivory represents a strong pressure for extrafloral nectary (EFN) bearing plants, with differences in herbivore and ant visitor assemblages leading to different evolutionary pressures among localities and ultimately to differences in EFN abundance and function. In this study, we investigate this hypothesis by analyzing 10 populations of Anemopaegma album (30 individuals per population) distributed through ca. 600 km of Neotropical savanna and covering most of the geographic range of this plant species. A common garden experiment revealed a phenotypic differentiation in EFN abundance, in which field and experimental plants showed a similar pattern of EFN variation among populations. We also did not find significant correlations between EFN traits and ant abundance, herbivory and plant performance across localities. Instead, a more complex pattern of ant-EFN variation, a geographic mosaic, emerged throughout the geographical range of A. album. We modeled the functional relationship between EFNs and ant traits across ant species and extended this phenotypic interface to characterize local situations of phenotypic matching and mismatching at the population level. Two distinct types of phenotypic matching emerged throughout populations: (1) a population with smaller ants (Crematogaster crinosa) matched with low abundance of EFNs; and (2) seven populations with bigger ants (Camponotus species) matched with higher EFN abundances. Three matched populations showed the highest plant performance and narrower variance of EFN abundance, representing potential plant evolutionary hotspots. Cases of mismatched and matched populations with the lowest performance were associated with abundant

  16. Are ant assemblages of Brazilian veredas characterised by location or habitat type?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CB Costa-Milanez

    Full Text Available Wetland areas in the Brazilian Cerrado, known as “veredas”, represent ecosystems formed on sandy soils with high concentrations of peat, and are responsible for the recharge of aquiferous reservoirs. They are currently under threat by various human activities, most notably the clearing of vegetation for Eucalyptus plantations. Despite their ecological importance and high conservation value, little is known about the actual effects of human disturbance on the animal community. To assess how habitat within different veredas, and plantations surrounding them affect ant assemblages, we selected four independent vereda locations, two being impacted by Eucalyptus monoculture (one younger and one mature plantation and two controls, where the wetland was surrounded by cerrado vegetation. Ant sampling was conducted in May 2010 (dry season using three complementary methods, namely baits, pitfall traps, and hand collection, in the wetland and in the surrounding habitats. A total of 7,575 ants were sampled, belonging to seven subfamilies, 32 genera and 124 species. Ant species richness and abundance did not differ between vereda locations, but did between the habitats. When impacted by the monoculture, ant species richness and abundance decreased in wetlands, but were less affected in the cerrado habitat. Ant species composition differed between the three habitats and between vereda locations. Eucalyptus plantations had an ant species composition defined by high dominance of Pheidole sp. and Solenopsis invicta, while natural habitats were defined by Camponotus and Crematogaster species. Atta sexdens was strictly confined to native habitats of non-impacted “veredas”. Eucalyptus monocultures require high quantities of water in the early stages, which may have caused a decrease in groundwater level in the wetland, allowing hypogeic ants such as Labidus praedator to colonise this habitat.

  17. Are ant assemblages of Brazilian veredas characterised by location or habitat type?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa-Milanez, C B; Lourenço-Silva, G; Castro, P T A; Majer, J D; Ribeiro, S P

    2014-02-01

    Wetland areas in the Brazilian Cerrado, known as "veredas", represent ecosystems formed on sandy soils with high concentrations of peat, and are responsible for the recharge of aquiferous reservoirs. They are currently under threat by various human activities, most notably the clearing of vegetation for Eucalyptus plantations. Despite their ecological importance and high conservation value, little is known about the actual effects of human disturbance on the animal community. To assess how habitat within different veredas, and plantations surrounding them affect ant assemblages, we selected four independent vereda locations, two being impacted by Eucalyptus monoculture (one younger and one mature plantation) and two controls, where the wetland was surrounded by cerrado vegetation. Ant sampling was conducted in May 2010 (dry season) using three complementary methods, namely baits, pitfall traps, and hand collection, in the wetland and in the surrounding habitats. A total of 7,575 ants were sampled, belonging to seven subfamilies, 32 genera and 124 species. Ant species richness and abundance did not differ between vereda locations, but did between the habitats. When impacted by the monoculture, ant species richness and abundance decreased in wetlands, but were less affected in the cerrado habitat. Ant species composition differed between the three habitats and between vereda locations. Eucalyptus plantations had an ant species composition defined by high dominance of Pheidole sp. and Solenopsis invicta, while natural habitats were defined by Camponotus and Crematogaster species. Atta sexdens was strictly confined to native habitats of non-impacted "veredas". Eucalyptus monocultures require high quantities of water in the early stages, which may have caused a decrease in groundwater level in the wetland, allowing hypogeic ants such as Labidus praedator to colonise this habitat.

  18. The dusky kob Argyrosomus japonicus is a large sciaenid ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    spamer

    closed ... importance of squid and teleosts, and a concomitant decrease in the importance of crustacea with growth. Feeding frequency and ... It is concluded that A. japonicus is a top predator that influences the pelagic and demersal food chains of ...

  19. Do dart tags suppress growth of dusky kob Argyrosomus japonicus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    recapture and otolith-reading methods were compared. Mark-recapture data showed that A. japonicus are resident in an area between the Breede River Estuary and Cape Agulhas on the southeast coast of South Africa. Maximum recapture length was ...

  20. Ciona intestinalis and Oxycomanthus japonicus, representatives of marine invertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasakura, Yasunori; Inaba, Kazuo; Satoh, Nori; Kondo, Mariko; Akasaka, Koji

    2009-10-01

    The study of marine invertebrates is useful in various biological research fields. However, genetic analyses of these animals are limited, mainly due to difficulties in culturing them, and the genetic resources of marine invertebrates have not been organized. Recently, advances have been made in the study of two deuterostomes, an ascidian Ciona intestinalis and a feather star Oxycomanthus japonicus. The draft genome sequence of Ciona intestinalis has been determined, and its compact genome, which has less redundancy of genes compared with vertebrates, provides us with a useful experimental system for analyzing the functions of genes during development. The life cycle of Ciona intestinalis is approximately 2-3 months, and the genetic techniques including a perfect inland culture system, germline transformation with a transposon Minos, enhancer detection and insertional mutagenesis, have been established. The feather star Oxycomanthus japonicus conserves the characteristics of the basic echinoderm body plan with a segmented mesoderm, which is a fascinating characteristic for understanding the evolution of echinoderms. Oxycomanthus japonicus shows strong regeneration ability and is a suitable subject for analysis of the mechanisms of regeneration. In consideration of these features, the National BioResource Project (NBRP) has started to support the supply of wild-types, transgenic lines and inbred lines of Ciona intestinalis and Oxycomanthus japonicus.

  1. Estuarine habitat use by juvenile dusky kob Argyrosomus japonicus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The spatial and temporal area-use patterns of estuarinedependent juvenile dusky kob Argyrosomus japonicus in the Great Fish Estuary, South Africa, were examined using acoustic telemetry. In all, 29 individuals (307–400 mm total length) were surgically equipped with individually coded transmitters and monitored for a ...

  2. First record of Dinoderus (Dinoderastes japonicus in Italy (Coleoptera: Bostrichidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gianluca Nardi

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Dinoderus (Dinoderastes japonicus, a species native of the Eastern Palaearctic, is reported for the first time from Italy on the basis of a female specimen collected in a beech forest (Veneto Region, Treviso Province, Foresta del Cansiglio. The possible establishment of this alien species in Italy is briefly discussed.

  3. Hidden diversity behind the zombie-ant fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis: four new species described from carpenter ants in Minas Gerais, Brazil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harry C Evans

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Ophiocordyceps unilateralis (Clavicipitaceae: Hypocreales is a fungal pathogen specific to ants of the tribe Camponotini (Formicinae: Formicidae with a pantropical distribution. This so-called zombie or brain-manipulating fungus alters the behaviour of the ant host, causing it to die in an exposed position, typically clinging onto and biting into the adaxial surface of shrub leaves. We (HCE and DPH are currently undertaking a worldwide survey to assess the taxonomy and ecology of this highly variable species. METHODS: We formally describe and name four new species belonging to the O. unilateralis species complex collected from remnant Atlantic rainforest in the south-eastern region (Zona da Mata of the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Fully illustrated descriptions of both the asexual (anamorph and sexual (teleomorph stages are provided for each species. The new names are registered in Index Fungorum (registration.indexfungorum.org and have received IF numbers. This paper is also a test case for the electronic publication of new names in mycology. CONCLUSIONS: We are only just beginning to understand the taxonomy and ecology of the Ophiocordyceps unilateralis species complex associated with carpenter ants; macroscopically characterised by a single stalk arising from the dorsal neck region of the ant host on which the anamorph occupies the terminal region and the teleomorph occurs as lateral cushions or plates. Each of the four ant species collected--Camponotus rufipes, C. balzani, C. melanoticus and C. novogranadensis--is attacked by a distinct species of Ophiocordyceps readily separated using traditional micromorphology. The new taxa are named according to their ant host.

  4. Differences in MITF gene expression and histology between albino and normal sea cucumbers ( Apostichopus japonicus Selenka)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Heling; Yang, Hongsheng; Zhao, Huan; Liu, Shilin; Wang, Tianming

    2012-01-01

    Albino Apostichopus japonicus occur both in the wild and in captivity. The offspring of albino A. japonicus also suffer from albinism. The formation of melanin in the melanocytes is dependant on microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF). To investigate the role of MITF in controlling albinism, we cloned the full-length MITF cDNA from A. japonicus and compared MITF mRNA expression in albino and normal A. japonicus. In addition, we used light and electron microscopy to compare histological samples of normal and albino A. japonicus. The body wall of albino adults was characterized by significantly lower levels of MITF expression and lower numbers of epidermal melanocytes, which also contained less melanin. In albino juvenile offspring, MITF expression levels were significantly lower 32 d after fertilization and there were fewer, and less developed, epidermal melanocytes. Thus, we conclude that albino A. japonicus have fewer melanocytes and a reduced ability to synthesize melanin, likely because of lower expression of MITF.

  5. Nutritional Composition, α-Glucosidase Inhibitory and Antioxidant Activities of Ophiopogon japonicus Tubers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yancui Wang

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Ophiopogon japonicus tubers have been widely used as food and traditional Chinese medicine in China. However, their nutritional composition has not been fully reported yet. This study aimed to analyze the nutritional composition of O. japonicus tubers. The α-glucosidase inhibitory and antioxidant activities of the extracts obtained from O. japonicus tubers were also evaluated by in vitro assays. The results indicated that O. japonicus tubers are rich in carbohydrates, proteins, minerals, and amino acids. Among four extracts, the n-butanol fraction (nBF and chloroform/methanol extract (CME of O. japonicus tubers had high amounts of total phenolic and flavonoid contents and exhibited good α-glucosidase inhibitory and antioxidant activities. The α-glucosidase inhibition of nBF was higher than acarbose. Overall, O. japonicus tubers are full of nutritional compounds and have good α-glucosidase inhibitory and antioxidant activities.

  6. Morphological and Chemical Characterization of the Invasive Ants in Hives of Apis mellifera scutellata Lepeletier (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simoes, M R; Giannotti, E; Tofolo, V C; Pizano, M A; Firmino, E L B; Antonialli-Junior, W F; Andrade, L H C; Lima, S M

    2016-02-01

    Apiculture in Brazil is quite profitable and has great potential for expansion because of the favorable climate and abundancy of plant diversity. However, the occurrence of pests, diseases, and parasites hinders the growth and profitability of beekeeping. In the interior of the state of São Paulo, apiaries are attacked by ants, especially the species Camponotus atriceps (Smith) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), which use the substances produced by Apis mellifera scutellata (Lepeletier) (Hymenoptera: Apidae), like honey, wax, pollen, and offspring as a source of nourishment for the adult and immature ants, and kill or expel the adult bees during the invasion. This study aimed to understand the invasion of C. atriceps in hives of A. m. scutellata. The individuals were classified into castes and subcastes according to morphometric analyses, and their cuticular chemical compounds were identified using Photoacoustic Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR-PAS). The morphometric analyses were able to classify the individuals into reproductive castes (queen and gynes), workers (minor and small ants), and the soldier subcaste (medium and major ants). Identification of cuticular hydrocarbons of these individuals revealed that the eight beehives were invaded by only three colonies of C. atriceps; one of the colonies invaded only one beehive, and the other two colonies underwent a process called sociotomy and were responsible for the invasion of the other seven beehives. The lack of preventive measures and the nocturnal behavior of the ants favored the invasion and attack on the bees.

  7. [The bamboo Merostachys fischeriana (Bambusoideae: Bambuseae) as a canopy habitat for ants of Neotropical Montane Forest].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fagundes, Roberth; Terra, Gilberto; Ribeiro, Sérvio P; Majer, Jonathan D

    2010-01-01

    Although Merostachys fischeriana is very abundant in the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest, little attention has been paid to the biological interactions with other animals. The present study describes some of the interactions between ants and this bamboo species. The experiment was carried out in a fragment of a montane tropical forest in the Parque Estadual do Itacolomi, near Ouro Preto, MG, Brazil. Thirty culms of bamboo were randomly collected. The ants were obtained by direct collection from nodes and internodes. Morphometric variables of the bamboo were recorded for characterization of potential ant habitat. Merostachys fischeriana grows in rosettes as a thin bamboo (average = 1,0 cm; se = 0,27; n = 20) and is tall enough to reach the upper canopy of this low forest (average = 9,1 m; se = 2,72; n = 20). Fifteen ant species were sampled. Brachymyrmex heeri Forel was the most abundant in the nodes, while Camponotus crassus Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) was the most abundant in the internodes. The composition of the species that inhabit the internodes was different from the composition in the node (Q-test: Q = 3,76; P = 0,05). The level of occupation was defined by the number of holes (F = 10,33; P < 0,01), the number of internodes in the canopy (F = 6,84; P = 0,01) and the length of the culm (F = 7,52; P = 0,01). The plant's morphology allowed the occurrence of additional species of ants in the canopy and influenced the composition of the entire ant assemblage.

  8. Expanded polystyrene (EPS) floats for surveillance of Ochlerotatus japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Jamesina J; Crans, Wayne J

    2003-12-01

    Blocks of expanded polystyrene (EPS) were placed in a variety of habitats to investigate their potential as an egg-collection device for container-dwelling Aedes and Ochlerotatus species. Eggs from Ochlerotatus japonicus, Oc. triseriatus, Oc. hendersoni, and Aedes albopictus were collected with EPS floats. The float provides an inexpensive, low-maintenance alternative to the Centers for Disease Control ovitrap for sampling container-dwelling mosquito species that are important vectors of disease. Eggs collected on the floats have many potential applications, including use in routine population surveillance; detection of Oc. japonicus, Ae. albopictus, and other container-dwelling species in new areas; species distribution studies; natural transovarial transmission studies; ovipositional studies; collection of local field populations for insecticide resistance assays; assessment of adulticiding efficacy; and establishment of new laboratory colonies.

  9. The complete mitochondrial genome of Chirolophis japonicus (Perciformes: Stichaeidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Haibo; Bao, Xiangbo; Wang, Bin; Liu, Weidong

    2016-11-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome of Chirolophis japonicus was sequenced for the first time in this study. It is a closed-circular molecule of 16 521 bp in length and contains 13 protein-coding genes, 2 rRNA genes, 22 tRNA genes, an origin of light strand replication (OL), and a control region (CR). The overall base composition of the heavy-strand is 25.5% A, 28.6% T, 18.3% G, and 27.6% C, and the lengths of 2 rRNA genes are 946 and 1692 bp, respectively. Maximum likelihood tree based on all the amino acid sequences of 13 mitochondrial PCGs was constructed, in which C. japonicus is close to three species of infraorder Zoarcales. These results are expected to provide useful molecular data for species identification and further phylogenetic studies of genus Chirolophis.

  10. Carbon sources effect on pectinase production from Aspergillus japonicus 586

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teixeira Maria F. S.

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available The effect of different carbon sources on the pectinesterases, endo- and exo-polygalacturonase activities from Aspergillus japonicus 586 was evaluated in liquid media (Manachini solutions supplemented with different substrate concentrations. The culture medium was inoculated with 5.10(6 spores/ml and mantained under agitation (140 rpm, at 30°C, during 122 h. The enzyme evaluation was carried out 24 h after filtration. The crude extract from A. japonicus 586 indicated that the best enzymatic activities were afforded in the presence of 0.5% pectin (pectinesterease, 0.2% pectin and 0.2% glycerol (endopolygalacturonase, and 0.5% pectin associated to 0.5% glucose (exopolygalacturonase. Carbon sources concentration, isolated or associated, significantly affects the pectinesterase, and endo- and exopolygalacturonase activities. Pectin, glucose and saccharose, when added to the culture medium in high concentrations, exhibited a repression effect on all the analyzed enzymes.

  11. Background and History of the Lotus japonicus Model Legume System

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stougaard, Jens

    2014-01-01

    The combination of favourable biological features, stable transformation procedures, application of genetics and genome-based global approaches has established Lotus japonicus as a model legume and provided a platform for addressing important biological questions often, but not exclusively......, focusing on endosymbiosis. Several important discoveries have been made, and the Lotus community has contributed novel results, promoting our understanding of plant biology as well as our understanding of properties and characteristics typical for plants belonging to the legume family. Progress has been...

  12. Classical and molecular genetics of the model legume Lotus japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Q; Gresshoff, P M

    1997-01-01

    The model legume Lotus japonicus was demonstrated to be amenable to classical and molecular genetic analysis, providing the basis for the genetic dissection of the plant processes underlying nodulation and nitrogen fixation. We have developed an efficient method for the sexual hybridization of L. japonicus and obtained F1 progeny derived from a cross of L. japonicus B-129-S9 Gifu x B-581 Funakura. Over half of the cross-pollinations resulted in fertile hybrid seed, which were confirmed morphologically and by single arbitrary primer DNA amplification polymorphisms using the DAF technique. Molecular and morphological markers segregated in true Mendelian fashion in a F2 population of 100 plants. Several DAF loci were linked using the MAPMAKER software to create the first molecular linkage groups of this model legume. The mapping population was advanced to generate a set of immortal recombinant inbred lines (F6; RILs), useful for sharing plant material fixed genetically at most genomic regions. Morphological loci for waved stem shape (Ssh), dark leaf color (Lco), and short flowering period (Fpe) were inherited as single dominant Mendelian loci. DAF markers were dominant and were detected between Gifu and Funakura at about one per primer, suggesting that the parents are closely related. One polymorphism (270G generated by single octomer primer 8.6m) was linked to a morphological locus controlling leaf coloration. The results demonstrate that (i) Lotus japonicus is amenable to diploid genetic analysis, (ii) morphological and molecular markers segregate in true diploid fashion, (iii) molecular polymorphisms can be obtained at a reasonable frequency between the related Gifu and Funakura lines, and iv) the possibility exists for map-based cloning, marker assisted selection and mapping of symbiotic mutations through a genetic and molecular map.

  13. Diversity and ecology of arboricolous ant communities of Camponotus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in a New Guinea rainforest with descriptions of four new species

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Klimeš, Petr; McArthur, C.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 20, Sep 8 (2014), s. 141-158 ISSN 1994-4136 R&D Projects: GA ČR GPP505/12/P875; GA MŠk(CZ) LH11008 Grant - others:European Social Fund(CZ) CZ.1.07/2.3.00/20.0064 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Formicinae * arboreal insects * Coccoidea Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.898, year: 2014

  14. Ant- and Ant-Colony-Inspired ALife Visual Art.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenfield, Gary; Machado, Penousal

    2015-01-01

    Ant- and ant-colony-inspired ALife art is characterized by the artistic exploration of the emerging collective behavior of computational agents, developed using ants as a metaphor. We present a chronology that documents the emergence and history of such visual art, contextualize ant- and ant-colony-inspired art within generative art practices, and consider how it relates to other ALife art. We survey many of the algorithms that artists have used in this genre, address some of their aims, and explore the relationships between ant- and ant-colony-inspired art and research on ant and ant colony behavior.

  15. Clocks for sex: loss of circadian rhythms in ants after mating?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Vijay Kumar; Lone, Shahnaz Rahman; Goel, Anubhuthi

    This paper describes experiments on the locomotor activity rhythm of queens of the ant species Camponotus compressus, which were performed to investigate the consequences of mating on circadian clocks. Locomotor activity rhythm of virgin and mated queens was monitored individually under constant conditions of the laboratory. The locomotor activity rhythm of virgin queens entrained to a 24 h (12:12 h) laboratory light/dark (LD) cycle and free-ran under constant dim red light (RR) with a free-running period (τ) of approximately 24 h. The locomotor activity of the mated queens on the other hand was arrhythmic during the period when they were laying eggs, and robust rhythmicity appeared soon after the egg-laying phase was over. The τ of the locomotor activity rhythm of mated queens was significantly greater than that of virgin queens. These results are contrary to the commonly held belief that the role of circadian clocks in ant queens ceases after mating flights, thus suggesting that circadian clocks of ant queens are adaptively plastic and display activity patterns, perhaps depending on their physiological state and tasks in the colony.

  16. Distributed representation of social odors indicates parallel processing in the antennal lobe of ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandstaetter, Andreas Simon; Kleineidam, Christoph Johannes

    2011-11-01

    In colonies of eusocial Hymenoptera cooperation is organized through social odors, and particularly ants rely on a sophisticated odor communication system. Neuronal information about odors is represented in spatial activity patterns in the primary olfactory neuropile of the insect brain, the antennal lobe (AL), which is analog to the vertebrate olfactory bulb. The olfactory system is characterized by neuroanatomical compartmentalization, yet the functional significance of this organization is unclear. Using two-photon calcium imaging, we investigated the neuronal representation of multicomponent colony odors, which the ants assess to discriminate friends (nestmates) from foes (nonnestmates). In the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus, colony odors elicited spatial activity patterns distributed across different AL compartments. Activity patterns in response to nestmate and nonnestmate colony odors were overlapping. This was expected since both consist of the same components at differing ratios. Colony odors change over time and the nervous system has to constantly adjust for this (template reformation). Measured activity patterns were variable, and variability was higher in response to repeated nestmate than to repeated nonnestmate colony odor stimulation. Variable activity patterns may indicate neuronal plasticity within the olfactory system, which is necessary for template reformation. Our results indicate that information about colony odors is processed in parallel in different neuroanatomical compartments, using the computational power of the whole AL network. Parallel processing might be advantageous, allowing reliable discrimination of highly complex social odors.

  17. Infection of Lotus japonicus Roots by Mesorhizobium loti

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Markmann, Katharina; Radutoiu, Elena Simona; Stougaard, Jens

    2012-01-01

    Like the two important crop legumes soybean and common bean, the model legume Lotus japonicus develops determinate root nodules. L. japonicus is normally infected through root hair infection threads in a process closely synchronised with the progressing primordial cell divisions and organ...

  18. Evaluation of body weight of sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus by computer vision

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Hui; Xu, Qiang; Liu, Shilin; Zhang, Libin; Yang, Hongsheng

    2015-01-01

    A postichopus japonicus (Holothuroidea, Echinodermata) is an ecological and economic species in East Asia. Conventional biometric monitoring method includes diving for samples and weighing above water, with highly variable in weight measurement due to variation in the quantity of water in the respiratory tree and intestinal content of this species. Recently, video survey method has been applied widely in biometric detection on underwater benthos. However, because of the high flexibility of A. japonicus body, video survey method of monitoring is less used in sea cucumber. In this study, we designed a model to evaluate the wet weight of A. japonicus, using machine vision technology combined with a support vector machine (SVM) that can be used in field surveys on the A. japonicus population. Continuous dorsal images of free-moving A. japonicus individuals in seawater were captured, which also allows for the development of images of the core body edge as well as thorn segmentation. Parameters that include body length, body breadth, perimeter and area, were extracted from the core body edge images and used in SVM regression, to predict the weight of A. japonicus and for comparison with a power model. Results indicate that the use of SVM for predicting the weight of 33 A. japonicus individuals is accurate ( R 2=0.99) and compatible with the power model ( R 2 =0.96). The image-based analysis and size-weight regression models in this study may be useful in body weight evaluation of A. japonicus in lab and field study.

  19. Variation in the outcomes of an ant-plant system: fire and leaf fungus infection reduce benefits to plants with extrafloral nectaries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pires, L P; Del-Claro, K

    2014-01-01

    Interactions between species are evolutionary malleable and may suffer changes in small timescales. Environmental disturbances, such as fire, can deeply affect species interactions, but how they influence the outcome of a mutualistic interaction has yet to be studied. In order to test the hypothesis that an environmental disturbance, in this case fire, may produce differences in the outcome of the association of ants with the extrafloral-nectaries-bearing plant Qualea multiflora Mart. (Myrtales: Vochysiaceae), a previous study was replicated, but this time after fire incidence, at the same study site and with the same plant species. Eight ant species visited Q. multiflora, and the most abundant genera were Crematogaster, Cephalotes, and Camponotus. Herbivores were found in branches with and without ants with no statistical difference, but foliar herbivory was always higher in branchs where ants were absent. Leaves were infested by fungi, and fungi spots were higher in branches where ants were present. Compared to the previous study, it was clearly observed that ant benefits to Q. multiflora varied over time. The most common ant species still protected leaves against chewing herbivores, but a new kind of leaf damage appeared, namely fungi spots. Data also support that ants may be acting as vectors of fungi spores on plants, as ant visited branches had higher fungus incidence than non-visited branches. Fire is a major source of disturbance in tropical savannas, and we suggest that it can cause strong variation in the outcomes of interactions between ants and plants with extrafloral nectaries in the Brazilian tropical savanna. This is an open access paper. We use the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license that permits unrestricted use, provided that the paper is properly attributed.

  20. Genome evolution in an ancient bacteria-ant symbiosis: parallel gene loss among Blochmannia spanning the origin of the ant tribe Camponotini

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura E. Williams

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Stable associations between bacterial endosymbionts and insect hosts provide opportunities to explore genome evolution in the context of established mutualisms and assess the roles of selection and genetic drift across host lineages and habitats. Blochmannia, obligate endosymbionts of ants of the tribe Camponotini, have coevolved with their ant hosts for ∼40 MY. To investigate early events in Blochmannia genome evolution across this ant host tribe, we sequenced Blochmannia from two divergent host lineages, Colobopsis obliquus and Polyrhachis turneri, and compared them with four published genomes from Blochmannia of Camponotus sensu stricto. Reconstructed gene content of the last common ancestor (LCA of these six Blochmannia genomes is reduced (690 protein coding genes, consistent with rapid gene loss soon after establishment of the symbiosis. Differential gene loss among Blochmannia lineages has affected cellular functions and metabolic pathways, including DNA replication and repair, vitamin biosynthesis and membrane proteins. Blochmannia of P. turneri (i.e., B. turneri encodes an intact DnaA chromosomal replication initiation protein, demonstrating that loss of dnaA was not essential for establishment of the symbiosis. Based on gene content, B. obliquus and B. turneri are unable to provision hosts with riboflavin. Of the six sequenced Blochmannia, B. obliquus is the earliest diverging lineage (i.e., the sister group of other Blochmannia sampled and encodes the fewest protein-coding genes and the most pseudogenes. We identified 55 genes involved in parallel gene loss, including glutamine synthetase, which may participate in nitrogen recycling. Pathways for biosynthesis of coenzyme A, terpenoids and riboflavin were lost in multiple lineages, suggesting relaxed selection on the pathway after inactivation of one component. Analysis of Illumina read datasets did not detect evidence of plasmids encoding missing functions, nor the presence of

  1. Predatory Aptness of Ants Against Red Flour Beetle, Tribolium Castaneum Herbst (Tenebrionidae: Coleoptera) in Wheat Flour

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shaheen, F.A.; Parveen, S.; Qadir, G.

    2016-01-01

    The red flour beetle (RFB), Tribolium castaneum is one of the most destructive pests of stored grains and other food products including wheat flour. Due to its severe infestation, the flour gets mouldy, turns yellowish, gets pungent odour and becomes unhealthy for human consumption. The infested samples of wheat flour by T. castaneum were collected from different localities and its culture was maintained in laboratory. Three ant species namely, Dorylus labiatus, Camponotus rufipes and Monomorium minimum were collected from forest and non-forest habitats and compared for their predation against different life stages of RFB. Results showed D. labiatus of forest habitat as an efficient pupal predator that consumed 91.66% pupae of RFB. It was significantly different from non-forest ant population and control with 73.33% and 11.66% pupal predation, respectively. C. rufipes from forest habitat showed maximum adult predation (25%), which was significantly higher than non-forest ant population and control jar with 15% and 3.33% adult predation, respectively. The forest population of M. minimum exhibited 56.66% larval predation that was significantly different from non-forest population with 41.66% larval consumption. Pupal stage was the highest vulnerable stage to the ant predation and was extremely predated by D. labiatus collected from forest habitats. The lowest predation was observed at larval stage by forest population of M. minimum (1.66%) that was significantly different from all the susceptible stages of RFB. These results indicate that ants could be used as biological control agents against RFB. (author)

  2. Effect of post-fire resprouting on leaf fluctuating asymmetry, extrafloral nectar quality, and ant-plant-herbivore interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves-Silva, Estevão; Del-Claro, Kleber

    2013-06-01

    Fires in the Cerrado savanna are a severe form of disturbance, but some species are capable of resprouting afterwards. It is unknown, however, how and whether post-fire resprouting represents a stressful condition to plants and how their rapid re-growth influences both the production of biochemical compounds, and interactions with mutualistic ants. In this study, we examined the influence of post-fire resprouting on biotic interactions (ant-plant-herbivore relationships) and on plant stress. The study was performed on two groups of the extrafloral nectaried shrub Banisteriopsis campestris (Malpighiaceae); one group was recovering from fire while the other acted as control. With respect to biotic interactions, we examined whether resprouting influenced extrafloral nectar concentration (milligrams per microliter), the abundance of the ant Camponotus crassus and leaf herbivory rates. Plant stress was assessed via fluctuating asymmetry (FA) analysis, which refers to deviations from perfect symmetry in bilaterally symmetrical traits (e.g., leaves) and indicates whether species are under stress. Results revealed that FA, sugar concentration, and ant abundance were 51.7 %, 35.7 % and 21.7 % higher in resprouting plants. Furthermore, C. crassus was significantly associated with low herbivory rates, but only in resprouting plants. This study showed that post-fire resprouting induced high levels of plant stress and influenced extrafloral nectar quality and ant-herbivore relationships in B. campestris. Therefore, despite being a stressful condition to the plant, post-fire resprouting individuals had concentrated extrafloral nectar and sustained more ants, thus strengthening the outcomes of ant-plant mutualism.

  3. Riding with the ants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duarte, A. P. M.; Attili-Angelis, D.; Baron, N. C.; Groenewald, Johannes Z.; Crous, Pedro W.; Pagnocca, F. C.

    Isolates of Teratosphaeriaceae have frequently been found in the integument of attine ants, proving to be common and diverse in this microenvironment. The LSU phylogeny of the ant-isolated strains studied revealed that they cluster in two main lineages. The first was associated with the genus

  4. Ants and their effects on an insect herbivore community associated with the inflorescences of Byrsonima crassifolia (Linnaeus H.B.K. (Malpighiaceae Formigas e seus efeitos em uma comunidade de insetos herbívoros associada com as inflorescências de Byrsonima crassifolia (Linnaeus H.B.K. (Malpighiaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Wilson Fernandes

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available The effects of ants on the insect community on inflorescences of Byrsonima crassifolia (Malpighiaceae were tested in an ant exclusion experiment in a cerrado vegetation in southeastern Brazil. Forty-four species of insects (23 families and nine species of ants (6 genera and 3 subfamilies were found on the inflorescences of B. crassifolia. The exclusion of ants, primarily Camponotus sericeiventris and Camponotus spp., reduced the treehopper population to 20% of the original abundance. Ant exclusion and time influenced the abundance of chewing (Exclusion, POs efeitos de formigas na comunidade de insetos em inflorescências de Byrsonima crassifolia (Malpighiaceae foram testados em um experimento de exclusão em uma vegetação de cerrado no Sudeste do Brasil. Quarenta e quatro espécies de insetos (23 famílias e nove espécies de formigas (seis gêneros e três subfamílias foram encontradas nas inflorescências de B. crassifolia. A exclusão das formigas, principalmente de Camponotus sericeiventris e de Camponotus spp. reduziu a população de membracídeos para 20% da abundância original. Exclusão das formigas e o tempo influenciaram a abundância de insetos mastigadores (exclusão, P<0,001; tempo, P<0,002 e sugadores (exclusão, P<0,02; tempo, P<0,01. Insetos mastigadores e sugadores foram encontrados duas vezes mais em inflorescências com formigas excluídas quando comparados com inflorescências controle (P<0,001. Insetos sugadores foram encontrados 1,5 vezes mais em inflorescências com formigas excluídas do que no controle. Apenas o tempo influenciou significativamente a riqueza de insetos mastigadores e sugadores associados com as inflorescências de B. crassifolia. Inflorescências em ramos controle foram significativamente menos atacadas por herbívoros do que inflorescências em ramos com formigas excluídas (P<0,001. Portanto, estes resultados sugerem que a presença das formigas influencia a estrutura da comunidade de insetos herb

  5. A Novel Type of Nutritional Ant–Plant Interaction: Ant Partners of Carnivorous Pitcher Plants Prevent Nutrient Export by Dipteran Pitcher Infauna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharmann, Mathias; Thornham, Daniel G.; Grafe, T. Ulmar; Federle, Walter

    2013-01-01

    Many plants combat herbivore and pathogen attack indirectly by attracting predators of their herbivores. Here we describe a novel type of insect–plant interaction where a carnivorous plant uses such an indirect defence to prevent nutrient loss to kleptoparasites. The ant Camponotus schmitzi is an obligate inhabitant of the carnivorous pitcher plant Nepenthes bicalcarata in Borneo. It has recently been suggested that this ant–plant interaction is a nutritional mutualism, but the detailed mechanisms and the origin of the ant-derived nutrient supply have remained unexplained. We confirm that N. bicalcarata host plant leaves naturally have an elevated 15N/14N stable isotope abundance ratio (δ15N) when colonised by C. schmitzi. This indicates that a higher proportion of the plants’ nitrogen is insect-derived when C. schmitzi ants are present (ca. 100%, vs. 77% in uncolonised plants) and that more nitrogen is available to them. We demonstrated direct flux of nutrients from the ants to the host plant in a 15N pulse-chase experiment. As C. schmitzi ants only feed on nectar and pitcher contents of their host, the elevated foliar δ15N cannot be explained by classic ant-feeding (myrmecotrophy) but must originate from a higher efficiency of the pitcher traps. We discovered that C. schmitzi ants not only increase the pitchers' capture efficiency by keeping the pitchers’ trapping surfaces clean, but they also reduce nutrient loss from the pitchers by predating dipteran pitcher inhabitants (infauna). Consequently, nutrients the pitchers would have otherwise lost via emerging flies become available as ant colony waste. The plants’ prey is therefore conserved by the ants. The interaction between C. schmitzi, N. bicalcarata and dipteran pitcher infauna represents a new type of mutualism where animals mitigate the damage by nutrient thieves to a plant. PMID:23717446

  6. Helmintofauna de cavalas, Scomber japonicus Houtt, do Rio de Janeiro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Arandas Rêgo

    1983-12-01

    Full Text Available Os autores identificaram as seguintes espécies de helmintos, coletados de 50 cavalas, Scomber japonicus, no Rio de Janeiro: Kuhnia scombri (Kuhn, 1829 e Grubea cochlear (Diesing, 1858 (Monogenea; Opechona orientalis (Layman, 1930, Lecithocladium harpodontis Srivastava, 1942 e Nematobothrium scombri (Taschenberg, 1879 (Digenea; plerocercos de Trypanorhyncha Scolex pleuronectis Müller, 1788 e Rhinebothrium sp. (Cestoda; Bolbosoma sp. (Acanghocephala e Anisakidae larvares (Nematoda, identificados aos tipos larvares Raphidascaris, Phocanema, Contracaecum e Anisakis tipo 1. Os digenéticos foram os de maior incidência, 84% dos peixes mostraram-se parasitados por uma ou mais espécies. Quanto às espécies, a de maior incidência foi Nematobothrium scombri (Digenea, Didymozoidae, em 46% dos peixes. São pela primeria vez assinalados Scomber japonicus larvas de Phillobothiidae, possivelmente Rhinebothrium, além de larvas de Anisakis do tipo 1. São pela primeira vez assinaladas no Brasil as espécies, Grubea cochlear, Kuhnia scombri, Nematobothrium scombri e Opechona orientalis.There were identified twelve species of helminths from fifty "Spanish Mackerel", Scomber japonicus Houtt, in Rio de Janeiro; Kuhnia scombri (Kuhn, 1829, and Grubea cochlear (Diesing, 1859 (Monogenea; Opechona orientalis (Layman, 1930, Lecithocladium harpodontis Srivastava, 1942 e Nematobothrium scombri (Taschengerg, 1879 (Digenea; plerocercus of Trypanorhyncha, Scolex pleuronectis Müller, 1788 and Rhinebothrium sp. (Cestoda; Bolbosoma sp. (Acanthocephala and larval Anisakidae (Nematoda, types Raphidascaris, Phocanema, Contracaecum and Anisakis I. Larval Phillobothriid, following species are referred in Brazil for the first time: Grubea cochlear, Kuhnia scombri, Nematobothrium scombri and Opechona orientalis.

  7. Characterization of phenoloxidase from the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Jingwei; Zhou, Zunchun; Dong, Ying; Guan, Xiaoyan; Wang, Bai; Jiang, Bei; Yang, Aifu; Chen, Zhong; Gao, Shan; Sun, Hongjuan

    2014-06-01

    Phenoloxidase (PO) is a crucial immune-related enzyme in invertebrates. In this study, three POs of the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus were detected in coelomic fluid using linear-gradient native-PAGE combined with catechol staining and then partially purified by gel excising. The results showed that the three POs had a color of mahogany (AjPO1), yellow (AjPO2) and purple (AjPO3) respectively with molecular weights smaller than 21kDa in native-PAGE after staining with catechol. Enzymatic activities analysis revealed that AjPO1, AjPO2 and AjPO3 had optimal temperature of 45, 95 and 85°C and pH of 5.0, 8.0 and 8.0, respectively. Kinetic analysis showed that the Km values of AjPO1 for catechol, l-DOPA, dopamine and hydroquinone were 3.23, 0.86, 3.98 and 1.20mmol/l, respectively, those of AjPO2 were 0.31, 0.38, 2.05 and 1.30mmol/l, respectively, and those of AjPO3 were 5.95, 1.28, 5.81 and 0.62mmol/l, respectively. These results suggest that the three POs are laccase-type phenoloxidase. The activities of all three A. japonicus POs were significantly promoted by Ca(2+), Mg(2+) and Mn(2+), and strongly inhibited by ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid disodium (EDTA), sodium diethyldithiocarbamate (DETC) and some common antioxidants. The inhibitions by EDTA and DETC suggest that the three A. japonicus POs are copper-containing metalloenzymes. Immune-responsive analysis showed that the total PO activities in coelomocytes (TPAC) increased greatly after lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge and declined significantly after polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (PolyI:C) challenge, implying that A. japonicus PO immune system, which is composed of several isoenzymes with different characteristics, is closely involved in the defense against the infection of Gram-negative bacteria and double-stranded RNA viruses. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  8. Undecomposed Twigs in the Leaf Litter as Nest-Building Resources for Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae in Areas of the Atlantic Forest in the Southeastern Region of Brazil

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    Tae Tanaami Fernandes

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available In tropical forests, the leaf-litter stratum exhibits one of the greatest abundances of ant species. This diversity is associated with the variety of available locations for nest building. Ant nests can be found in various microhabitats, including tree trunks and fallen twigs in different stages of decomposition. In this study, we aimed to investigate undecomposed twigs as nest-building resources in the leaf litter of dense ombrophilous forest areas in the southeastern region of Brazil. Demographic data concerning the ant colonies, the physical characteristics of the nests, and the population and structural of the forest were observed. Collections were performed manually over four months in closed canopy locations that did not have trails or flooded areas. A total of 294 nests were collected, and 34 ant species were recorded. Pheidole, Camponotus, and Hypoponera were the richest genera observed; these genera were also among the most populous and exhibited the greatest abundance of nests. We found no association between population size and nest diameter. Only tree cover influenced the nest abundance and species richness. Our data indicate that undecomposed twigs may be part of the life cycle of many species and are important for maintaining ant diversity in the leaf litter.

  9. Larval Mosquito Habitat Utilization and Community Dynamics of Aedes albopictus and Aedes japonicus (Diptera: Culicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Community Dynamics of Aedes albopictus and Aedes japonicus (Diptera: Culicidae ) Author(s): Kristen Bartlett-Healy, Isik Unlu, Peter Obenauer, Tony Hughes...japonicus (Diptera: Culicidae ) 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) 5d. PROJECT NUMBER 5e. TASK NUMBER 5f...Community Dynamics of Aedes albopictus and Aedes japonicus (Diptera: Culicidae ) KRISTEN BARTLETT-HEALY,1,2,3 ISIK UNLU,1,3,4 PETER OBENAUER,5 TONY HUGHES,6

  10. Tropical parabiotic ants: Highly unusual cuticular substances and low interspecific discrimination

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    Schmitt Thomas

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Associations between animal species require that at least one of the species recognizes its partner. Parabioses are associations of two ant species which co-inhabit the same nest. Ants usually possess an elaborate nestmate recognition system, which is based on cuticular hydrocarbons and allows them to distinguish nestmates from non-nestmates through quantitative or qualitative differences in the hydrocarbon composition. Hence, living in a parabiotic association probably necessitates changes of the nestmate recognition system in both species, since heterospecific ants have to be accepted as nestmates. Results In the present study we report highly unusual cuticular profiles in the parabiotic species Crematogaster modiglianii and Camponotus rufifemur from the tropical rainforest of Borneo. The cuticle of both species is covered by a set of steroids, which are highly unusual surface compounds. They also occur in the Dufour gland of Crematogaster modiglianii in high quantities. The composition of these steroids differed between colonies but was highly similar among the two species of a parabiotic nest. In contrast, hydrocarbon composition of Cr. modiglianii and Ca. rufifemur differed strongly and only overlapped in three regularly occurring and three trace compounds. The hydrocarbon profile of Camponotus rufifemur consisted almost exclusively of methyl-branched alkenes of unusually high chain lengths (up to C49. This species occurred in two sympatric, chemically distinct varieties with almost no hydrocarbons in common. Cr. modiglianii discriminated between these two varieties. It only tolerated workers of the Ca. rufifemur variety it was associated with, but attacked the respective others. However, Cr. modiglianii did not distinguish its own Ca. rufifemur partner from allocolonial Ca. rufifemur workers of the same variety. Conclusion We conclude that there is a mutual substance transfer between Cr. modiglianii and Ca. rufifemur

  11. Composition of ant assembly in a savannah area of the northern Amazon = Composição da assembleia de formigas em área de savana no norte da Amazônia

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    José Frutuoso do Vale Júnior

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The formicidae comprise one of the most important groups of social soil insects, identified as potential biological indicators of environmental degradation, and which provide important information in the management and conservation plans for any given region. The aim of this work therefore, was to inventory the composition of ant assembly and establish the predominant species, using two different collection methods (pitfall trap and sardine bait, in a savannah ecosystem of the Amazon. The ants were collected at six different times from December 2010 to January 2011. There were 12 plots, each 250 m in length, in which there were 10 sampling points spaced 25 m apart. At each point, two collection methods were used: pitfall trap and sardine bait, giving 120 subsamples per method. After collection, the samples were taken to the Aquatic Invertebrate Laboratory of the Centre for Biodiversity (CBIO/UFRR for sorting, and the specimens placed into bottles containing 70% alcohol for later taxonomic classification. Identification of the formicidae as to species and morphospecies was carried out at the National Research Institute of the Amazon (INPA. All materials were deposited in the invertebrate collection of INPA. It was found that the genera with greater occurrence were Camponotus, Crematogaster and Dorymyrmex, while those with the greatest species richness were Pheidole, Solenopsis and Camponotus. The species Crematogaster abstinens and Camponotus novogranadensis were predominant in the area of savannah under study. This is the first record of Kalathomyrmex emeryi in the State of Roraima. The collections made with pitfall traps were more efficient for evaluating ant richness. = Os formicídeos constituem um dos grupos mais importante de insetos sociais do solo, apontados como potenciais indicadores biológicos da degradação ambiental e fornecedores de informações importantes em planos de manejo e conservação de uma dada região. Assim, objetivou

  12. Feeding behavior and digestive physiology in sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Jiamin; Zhang, Libin; Pan, Yang; Lin, Chenggang; Wang, Fang; Kan, Rentao; Yang, Hongsheng

    2015-02-01

    The feeding behavior and digestive physiology of the sea cucumber, Apostichopus japonicus are not well understood. A better understanding may provide useful information for the development of the aquaculture of this species. In this article the tentacle locomotion, feeding rhythms, ingestion rate (IR), feces production rate (FPR) and digestive enzyme activities were studied in three size groups (small, medium and large) of sea cucumber under a 12h light/12h dark cycle. Frame-by-frame video analysis revealed that all size groups had similar feeding strategies using a grasping motion to pick up sediment particles. The tentacle insertion rates of the large size group were significantly faster than those of the small and medium-sized groups (P<0.05). Feeding activities investigated by charge coupled device cameras with infrared systems indicated that all size groups of sea cucumber were nocturnal and their feeding peaks occurred at 02:00-04:00. The medium and large-sized groups also had a second feeding peak during the day. Both IR and FPR in all groups were significantly higher at night than those during the daytime (P<0.05). Additionally, the peak activities of digestive enzymes were 2-4h earlier than the peak of feeding. Taken together, these results demonstrated that the light/dark cycle was a powerful environment factor that influenced biological rhythms of A. japonicus, which had the ability to optimize the digestive processes for a forthcoming ingestion. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. A "clearcut" case? Brown bear selection of coarse woody debris and carpenter ants on clearcuts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, Shane C; Steyaert, Sam M J G; Swenson, Jon E; Storch, Ilse; Kindberg, Jonas; Barck, Hanna; Zedrosser, Andreas

    2015-07-15

    Forest management alters habitat characteristics, resulting in various effects among and within species. It is crucial to understand how habitat alteration through forest management (e.g. clearcutting) affects animal populations, particularly with unknown future conditions (e.g. climate change). In Sweden, brown bears ( Ursus arctos ) forage on carpenter ants ( Camponotus herculeanus ) during summer, and may select for this food source within clearcuts. To assess carpenter ant occurrence and brown bear selection of carpenter ants, we sampled 6999 coarse woody debris (CWD) items within 1019 plots, of which 902 were within clearcuts (forests ⩽30 years of age) and 117 plots outside clearcuts (forests >30 years of age). We related various CWD and site characteristics to the presence or absence of carpenter ant galleries (nests) and bear foraging sign at three spatial scales: the CWD, plot, and clearcut scale. We tested whether both absolute and relative counts (the latter controlling for the number of CWD items) of galleries and bear sign in plots were higher inside or outside clearcuts. Absolute counts were higher inside than outside clearcuts for galleries (mean counts; inside: 1.8, outside: 0.8). CWD was also higher inside (mean: 6.8) than outside clearcuts (mean: 4.0). However, even after controlling for more CWD inside clearcuts, relative counts were higher inside than outside clearcuts for both galleries (mean counts; inside: 0.3, outside: 0.2) and bear sign (mean counts; inside: 0.03, outside: 0.01). Variables at the CWD scale best explained gallery and bear sign presence than variables at the plot or clearcut level, but bear selection was influenced by clearcut age. CWD circumference was important for both carpenter ant and bear sign presence. CWD hardness was most important for carpenter ant selection. However, the most important predictor for bear sign was the presence or absence of carpenter ant galleries. Bears had a high foraging "success" rate (⩾88

  14. Hormigas como plagas potenciales en tres criaderos de mariposas del suroccidente de Colombia Ants as potential pest of butterflies in three rearing in the southwest of Colombia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Catalina Sanabria-Blandón

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available La fauna de hormigas asociada con la zoocría de mariposas en los departamentos de Valle del Cauca y Quindío (Colombia, se colectó por captura manual en tres ambientes (mariposario, vivero y laboratorio. De 125 muestras se extrajeron 779 hormigas, pertenecientes a cinco subfamilias, 18 géneros y 24 especies. El mayor número de especies se registró en el área de laboratorio (17, seguido por vivero (16 y mariposario (13. No se encontraron diferencias significativas (Chi² = 6.019, g.l.= 10, P>0.75, al evaluar la preferencia de las hormigas por un ambiente, sin embargo se observaron tendencias de esta manera: Wasmannia auropunctata (50%, Linepithema sp. (47%, Monomorium floricola (40% fueron las más importantes en el laboratorio, mientras que en el mariposario fueron Linepithema humile (42%, Camponotus novogranadensis (39% y Paratrechina longiconis (37.5% y en el vivero W. auropunctata (37.5% y P. longicornis (37.5%. Algunas de estas hormigas son reconocidas como vagabundas y plagas urbanas, lo que podría considerarse como un riesgo potencial para las actividades de zoocría de mariposas. En el presente estudio se propuso conocer las especies de hormigas que se asocian con tres criaderos de mariposas localizados en el suroccidente colombiano.The ant fauna associated to the butterflies rearing in the departments of Cauca Valley and Quindio (Colombia was studied. The ants were collected using manual capture method in three different environments (butterfly garden, nursery and laboratory. 779 ants were extracted from 125 samples, which belonged to five sub-families, 18 genera and 24 species. The greatest number of species were registered at the laboratory (17, followed by nursery (16 and butterfly garden (13. There weren't any significant differences (Chi2 = 6.019, d.f.= 10, P> 0.75, in assessing the preference of ants for some environment, however some trends were observed, on this way: at the lab Wasmannia auropunctata (50%, Linepithema sp

  15. Study on the Immunomodulation Effect of Isodon japonicus Extract via Splenocyte Function and NK Anti-Tumor Activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyung-A Hwang

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Here we investigated the potential immune-enhancing activity of Isodon japonicus on murine splenocyte and natural-killer (NK cells in vitro. The ethanol extract of I. japonicus significantly enhanced the proliferation of splenocyte and induced the significant enhancement of NK cells’ activity against tumor cells (YAC-1. In addition, I. japonicus increased the production of interferon (IFN-γ and tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α, suggesting that the increase in NK cell cytotoxicity could be due to the enhancement of the NK cell production of both cytokines. Taken together, I. japonicus extract inhibited the growth of human leukemia cells (K562 by 74%. Our observation indicated that the anti-tumor effects of I. japonicus may be attributed to its ability to serve as a stimulant of NK anti-tumor activity. In addition, our results support the development of functional food studies on I. japonicus.

  16. Transcriptome sequencing and characterization for the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus (Selenka, 1867.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huixia Du

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Sea cucumbers are a special group of marine invertebrates. They occupy a taxonomic position that is believed to be important for understanding the origin and evolution of deuterostomes. Some of them such as Apostichopus japonicus represent commercially important aquaculture species in Asian countries. Many efforts have been devoted to increasing the number of expressed sequence tags (ESTs for A. japonicus, but a comprehensive characterization of its transcriptome remains lacking. Here, we performed the large-scale transcriptome profiling and characterization by pyrosequencing diverse cDNA libraries from A. japonicus. RESULTS: In total, 1,061,078 reads were obtained by 454 sequencing of eight cDNA libraries representing different developmental stages and adult tissues in A. japonicus. These reads were assembled into 29,666 isotigs, which were further clustered into 21,071 isogroups. Nearly 40% of the isogroups showed significant matches to known proteins based on sequence similarity. Gene ontology (GO and KEGG pathway analyses recovered diverse biological functions and processes. Candidate genes that were potentially involved in aestivation were identified. Transcriptome comparison with the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus revealed similar patterns of GO term representation. In addition, 4,882 putative orthologous genes were identified, of which 202 were not present in the non-echinoderm organisms. More than 700 simple sequence repeats (SSRs and 54,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs were detected in the A. japonicus transcriptome. CONCLUSION: Pyrosequencing was proven to be efficient in rapidly identifying a large set of genes for the sea cucumber A. japonicus. Through the large-scale transcriptome sequencing as well as public EST data integration, we performed a comprehensive characterization of the A. japonicus transcriptome and identified candidate aestivation-related genes. A large number of potential genetic

  17. Evaluation of raw nepodin extraction from Rumex japonicus and R. obtusifolius and their DNA polymorphisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minami, Motoyasu; Mori, Takako; Yonezawa, Takayuki; Saito, Yukiko; Teruya, Toshiaki; Woo, Je-Tae

    2018-01-01

    Nepodin, found in the roots of Rumex japonicus Houtt. (Polygonaceae), inhibits osteoclast differentiation and has an antidiabetic effect. We propose nepodin as an ingredient of new functional foods or as a drug candidate for reducing the risk of reduced locomotion resulting from diseases such as osteoporosis. Although there are no previous reports of R. obtusifolius L., which is found throughout Japan, having roots containing nepodin, we found nepodin in the roots of this species. Therefore, R. obtusifolius as well as R. japonicus was considered a candidate raw material for nepodin extraction. We also discuss the suitability of R. japonicus and R. obtusifolius as sources of raw nepodin for cultivation on the Ryukyu Islands. In this study, all specimens on the Ryukyu Islands were identified as R. japonicus. Conversely, all specimens on mainland Japan were R. obtusifolius. The DNA sequence of the chloroplast trnL-trnF intergenic spacer region and partial nuclear internal transcribed spacer was consistent with the identification of R. japonicus and R. obtusifolius by morphological characteristics of the perianth segments. Therefore, to avoid erroneous identification and misuse of the plant species used for extraction of raw materials, it is preferable to develop DNA markers for these two regions. The content of nepodin varied from undetectable to 0.34% of the fresh weight (%FW) in R. japonicus and from undetectable to 0.21%FW in R. obtusifolius. From a pharmacological perspective, as plants that might be suitable as raw materials for nepodin extraction, it became clear that both R. japonicus and R. obtusifolius can be used with the same expected extraction efficiency. Based on our findings, R. obtusifolius could not be confirmed as inhabiting the Ryukyu Islands. For this reason, to conserve the endemic genetic characteristics of the Ryukyu Islands and to prevent genetic pollution by R. obtusifolius, only R. japonicus should be cultivated on the Ryukyu Islands.

  18. Ants and ant scent reduce bumblebee pollination of artificial flowers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cembrowski, Adam R; Tan, Marcus G; Thomson, James D; Frederickson, Megan E

    2014-01-01

    Ants on flowers can disrupt pollination by consuming rewards or harassing pollinators, but it is difficult to disentangle the effects of these exploitative and interference forms of competition on pollinator behavior. Using highly rewarding and quickly replenishing artificial flowers that simulate male or female function, we allowed bumblebees (Bombus impatiens) to forage (1) on flowers with or without ants (Myrmica rubra) and (2) on flowers with or without ant scent cues. Bumblebees transferred significantly more pollen analogue both to and from ant-free flowers, demonstrating that interference competition with ants is sufficient to modify pollinator foraging behavior. Bees also removed significantly less pollen analogue from ant-scented flowers than from controls, making this the first study to show that bees can use ant scent to avoid harassment at flowers. Ant effects on pollinator behavior, possibly in addition to their effects on pollen viability, may contribute to the evolution of floral traits minimizing ant visitation.

  19. Molecular Phylogenetics of Aedes japonicus, a Disease Vector That Recently Invaded Western Europe, North America, and the Hawaiian Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    japonicus The genus Aedes (Diptera: Culicidae) includes the principal vectors of yellow fever , dengue, and aperi- odic lymphatic filariasis (Foster...heralded epidemics of yellow fever as well as dengue fever (Tabachnick and Powell1979), and the introduction of Ae. ( Stg.) albopictus exacer- bated...vector of chikungunya fever virus, leading to recent epidem- ics in Asia and Europe (de Lamballerie et al. 2008). Aedes (Finlaya) japonicus japonicus

  20. Schizosaccharomyces japonicus: A Polysaccharide-Overproducing Yeast to Be Used in Winemaking

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Romani

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Mixed starter cultures made of Saccharomyces cerevisiae EC1118 and Schizosaccharomyces japonicus #13 were inoculated in commercial grape must, and the impact of different inoculum ratios (1:1; 1:100; 1:10,000 on growth and fermentation kinetics and on the analytical profiles of the experimental wines was here evaluated. Results obtained showed that S. japonicus #13 affects S. cerevisiae growth and fermentative capability only for S. cerevisiae/S. japonicus inoculum ratio 1:10,000. The analytical profiles of the wines produced by mixed starter cultures indicated that this non-Saccharomyces yeast modulates the concentration of malic and acetic acids and of some of the most important volatile compounds, such as β-phenyl ethanol, in an inoculum-ratio-dependent fashion. Moreover, all experimental wines obtained with S. japonicus #13 in mixed cultures reached concentrations of total polysaccharides significantly higher than those obtained with pure cultures of S. cerevisiae EC1118, and total polysaccharides increased with the increase of S. japonicus #13 cell concentration. Based on these results, S. japonicus #13 might be profitably inoculated in combination with S. cerevisiae EC1118 to enhance wine complexity and aroma and to improve wine stability by increasing the final concentration of polysaccharides.

  1. Food resource and temporal partitioning amongst a guild of predatory agroecosystem - inhabiting ant species

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    Vivek Mohan AGARWAL, Neelkamal RASTOGI

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Prey diversity and temporal foraging patterns of six abundant, predatory ant species were investigated seasonally in an agroecosystem with two main vegetable crops. Pheidole sp. demonstrated the highest predation success and therefore appears to be the dominant species while Tapinoma melanocephalum showed the lowest success under the natural field conditions. Investigation of prey diversity and temporal activity patterns with the null model tests of niche overlap revealed a significant overlap indicating that the activity periods and prey diversity may not be solely influenced by interactions among the co-existing ant species. However, niche partitioning in the daily peak activity periods was demonstrated during all the three seasons (summer, rainy and winter particularly between Pheidole sp. and T. melanocephalum. Pheidole sp. exhibited a high intensity, broadly extended mono-modal foraging pattern. Camponotus compressus and C. paria showed bi-modality in their foraging activity during the rainy season and mono-modal patterns during summer and winter seasons. Pachycondyla tesserinoda, Tetramorium sp. and T. melanocephalum exhibited peak foraging activities in the morning hours during the summer and rainy seasons. The activity profiles of C. compressus and T. melanocephalum were skewed towards late afternoon hours during the winter season indicating avoidance of foraging activity during the favourable periods when the more aggressive Pheidole sp. is active. In the sponge gourd agroecosystem, the ants captured predominantly hymenopteran, orthopteran and coleopteran insects. While Pheidole sp. hunted mainly the large orthopteran prey, other ant species captured worker ants in the sponge gourd agroecosystem. In the cauliflower agroecosystem, while other species captured prey chiefly belonging to six orders, i.e., Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera, Coleoptera, Hemiptera, Isoptera and Diptera, Pheidole sp. was the only species to also hunt orthopteran prey

  2. Meat quality of Kuruma prawn (Marsupenaeus japonicus: preliminary evaluation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Vonghia

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Among the peneids, Marsupenaeus japonicus, a cold-temperate species, carnivorous, is the mostly cultured prawn in Italy and in the Mediterranean Sea basin, thanks to the good adaptability to the temperature and salinity variations, to the good resistance to the manipulations (better resistance out of water, to its appreciate nourishing qualities and to the good growth rate (Lumare, 1998.Whereas the literature on cultured fish fillet is rich (Gjedrem, 1997; Lanari et al., 1999; Parisi et al., 2003, few are the information about the shrimp meat quality traits.Therefore, the present work aimed at typifying the variations of the meat quality characteristics in shrimps from semi-intensive (supplemented with an artificial diet or extensive rearing systems.

  3. Evaluation of the possible role of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae as mechanical vectors of nematodes and protists

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    Fabio Villani

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Nematodes and protists can be transmitted to humans in many ways and little concern has been given to the mechanical transmission by ants. This study aimed at analysing how the eggs of Ascaris lumbricoides and cysts of Entamoeba coli could be mechanically transmitted to the man by Formicidae. Through the experiments using nests of Tapinoma melanocephalum, Linepithema humile and Monomorium pharaonis reared in the laboratory allied to observations of some 17 ant species in an urban park area in Mogi das Cruzes (SP, it was found that L. humile was capable of carrying eggs of A. lumbricoides both in the field and laboratory conditions (1 worker, as well as was Camponotus rufipes (2, Solenopsis saevissima (1 and Acromyrmex niger (1. The cysts of Escherichia coli were found over three workers of C. rufipes. Although the frequency of the workers found transporting pathogens was low, the capacity of common household species in carrying pathogens like nematodes and protists was demonstrated.Os Nematoda e Protista podem ser transmitidos ao homem de diversas maneiras, mas pouca ênfase é dada para a transmissão mecânica por intermédio de formigas. Assim, esse trabalho procurou investigar a transmissão mecânica de ovos de Ascaris lumbricoides e cistos de Entamoeba coli pelos Formicidae. Através de experimentos com espécies mantidas em ninhos no laboratório (Tapinoma melanocephalum, Linepithema humile e Monomorium pharaonis e com 17 espécies de formigas de uma área antropizada na região de Mogi as Cruzes (SP, foi possível constar que os ovos A. lumbricoides foram transportados por L. humile, tanto no campo (1 operária como no laboratório (1 operária, por Camponotus rufipes (2, por Solenopsis saevissima (1 e por Acromyrmrex niger (1. Em três operárias de C. rufipes foram encontrados cistos de E. coli. Apesar da baixa incidência de transporte, as três primeiras espécies pelo fato de viverem muito próximas ao ser humano, podem levar para

  4. Commentary: Warring ants

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Journal of Biosciences; Volume 27; Issue 2. Commentary: Warring ants: Lessons from Lanchester's laws of combat? Renee M Borges. Volume 27 Issue 2 March 2002 pp 75-78. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link: https://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/jbsc/027/02/0075-0078 ...

  5. Fire Ant Allergy

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... venom in a fire ant sting will kill bacteria and some of your skin cells. This results in the formation of a blister that fills with a cloudy white material in about 24 hours. While this looks like a pus-filled lesion that should be drained, ...

  6. Ant Colony Optimization for Control

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Ast, J.M.

    2010-01-01

    The very basis of this thesis is the collective behavior of ants in colonies. Ants are an excellent example of how rather simple behavior on a local level can lead to complex behavior on a global level that is beneficial for the individuals. The key in the self-organization of ants is communication

  7. Change of digestive physiology in sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus (Selenka) induced by corn kernels meal and soybean meal in diets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Haibo; Gao, Qinfeng; Dong, Shuanglin; Hou, Yiran; Wen, Bin

    2016-08-01

    The present study was conducted to determine the change of digestive physiology in sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus (Selenka) induced by corn kernels meal and soybean meal in diets. Four experimental diets were tested, in which Sargassum thunbergii was proportionally replaced by the mixture of corn kernels meal and soybean meal. The growth performance, body composition and intestinal digestive enzyme activities in A. japonicus fed these 4 diets were examined. Results showed that the sea cucumber exhibited the maximum growth rate when 20% of S. thunbergii in the diet was replaced by corn kernels meal and soybean meal, while 40% of S. thunbergii in the diet can be replaced by the mixture of corn kernels meal and soybean meal without adversely affecting growth performance of A. japonicus. The activities of intestinal trypsin and amylase in A. japonicus can be significantly altered by corn kernels meal and soybean meal in diets. Trypsin activity in the intestine of A. japonicus significantly increased in the treatment groups compared to the control, suggesting that the supplement of corn kernels meal and soybean meal in the diets might increase the intestinal trypsin activity of A. japonicus. However, amylase activity in the intestine of A. japonicus remarkably decreased with the increasing replacement level of S. thunbergii by the mixture of corn kernels meal and soybean meal, suggesting that supplement of corn kernels meal and soybean meal in the diets might decrease the intestinal amylase activity of A. japonicus.

  8. Sustainability evaluation of different systems for sea cucumber ( Apostichopus japonicus) farming based on emergy theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Guodong; Dong, Shuanglin; Tian, Xiangli; Gao, Qinfeng; Wang, Fang

    2015-06-01

    Emergy analysis is effective for analyzing ecological economic systems. However, the accuracy of the approach is affected by the diversity of economic level, meteorological and hydrological parameters in different regions. The present study evaluated the economic benefits, environmental impact, and sustainability of indoor, semi-intensive and extensive farming systems of sea cucumber ( Apostichopus japonicus) in the same region. The results showed that A. japonicus indoor farming system was high in input and output (yield) whereas pond extensive farming system was low in input and output. The output/input ratio of indoor farming system was lower than that of pond extensive farming system, and the output/input ratio of semi-intensive farming system fell in between them. The environmental loading ratio of A. japonicus extensive farming system was lower than that of indoor farming system. In addition, the emergy yield and emergy exchange ratios, and emergy sustainability and emergy indexes for sustainable development were higher in extensive farming system than those in indoor farming system. These results indicated that the current extensive farming system exerted fewer negative influences on the environment, made more efficient use of available resources, and met more sustainable development requirements than the indoor farming system. A. japonicus farming systems showed more emergy benefits than fish farming systems. The pond farming systems of A. japonicus exploited more free local environmental resources for production, caused less potential pressure on the local environment, and achieved higher sustainability than indoor farming system.

  9. A “clearcut” case? Brown bear selection of coarse woody debris and carpenter ants on clearcuts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, Shane C.; Steyaert, Sam M.J.G.; Swenson, Jon E.; Storch, Ilse; Kindberg, Jonas; Barck, Hanna; Zedrosser, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    Forest management alters habitat characteristics, resulting in various effects among and within species. It is crucial to understand how habitat alteration through forest management (e.g. clearcutting) affects animal populations, particularly with unknown future conditions (e.g. climate change). In Sweden, brown bears (Ursus arctos) forage on carpenter ants (Camponotus herculeanus) during summer, and may select for this food source within clearcuts. To assess carpenter ant occurrence and brown bear selection of carpenter ants, we sampled 6999 coarse woody debris (CWD) items within 1019 plots, of which 902 were within clearcuts (forests ⩽30 years of age) and 117 plots outside clearcuts (forests >30 years of age). We related various CWD and site characteristics to the presence or absence of carpenter ant galleries (nests) and bear foraging sign at three spatial scales: the CWD, plot, and clearcut scale. We tested whether both absolute and relative counts (the latter controlling for the number of CWD items) of galleries and bear sign in plots were higher inside or outside clearcuts. Absolute counts were higher inside than outside clearcuts for galleries (mean counts; inside: 1.8, outside: 0.8). CWD was also higher inside (mean: 6.8) than outside clearcuts (mean: 4.0). However, even after controlling for more CWD inside clearcuts, relative counts were higher inside than outside clearcuts for both galleries (mean counts; inside: 0.3, outside: 0.2) and bear sign (mean counts; inside: 0.03, outside: 0.01). Variables at the CWD scale best explained gallery and bear sign presence than variables at the plot or clearcut level, but bear selection was influenced by clearcut age. CWD circumference was important for both carpenter ant and bear sign presence. CWD hardness was most important for carpenter ant selection. However, the most important predictor for bear sign was the presence or absence of carpenter ant galleries. Bears had a high foraging “success” rate (⩾88

  10. Analysis of fatty acid composition of sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus using multivariate statistics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Qinzeng; Gao, Fei; Xu, Qiang; Yang, Hongsheng

    2014-11-01

    Fatty acids (FAs) provide energy and also can be used to trace trophic relationships among organisms. Sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus goes into a state of aestivation during warm summer months. We examined fatty acid profiles in aestivated and non-aestivated A. japonicus using multivariate analyses (PERMANOVA, MDS, ANOSIM, and SIMPER). The results indicate that the fatty acid profiles of aestivated and non-aestivated sea cucumbers differed significantly. The FAs that were produced by bacteria and brown kelp contributed the most to the differences in the fatty acid composition of aestivated and nonaestivated sea cucumbers. Aestivated sea cucumbers may synthesize FAs from heterotrophic bacteria during early aestivation, and long chain FAs such as eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) that produced from intestinal degradation, are digested during deep aestivation. Specific changes in the fatty acid composition of A. japonicus during aestivation needs more detailed study in the future.

  11. Ante la ley

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kafka Franz

    1999-12-01

    Full Text Available Ante las puertas de la ley hay un guardian. Un campesino se llega hasta ese guardian y le pide que le permita entra en la ley, pero el guardian le dice que por ahora no se lo puede permitir. El hombre reflexiona y entonces pregunta si podria entrar despues. Es posible -dice el guardian-; pero no ahora. La puerta de entrada a la ley esta abierta como siempre.

  12. Similarity of cuticular lipids between a caterpillar and its host plant: a way to make prey undetectable for predatory ants?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Portugal, Augusto Henrique Arantes; Trigo, José Roberto

    2005-11-01

    Ithomiine butterflies (Nymphalidae) have long-lived, aposematic, chemically protected adults. However, little is known about the defense mechanisms in larvae and other juvenile stages. We showed that larvae Mechanitis polymnia are defended from ants by a chemical similarity between their cuticular lipids and those of the host plant, Solanum tabacifolium (Solanaceae). This is a novel defense mechanism in phytophagous insects. A field survey during one season showed that larval survivorship was up to 80%, which is high when compared with other juvenile stages. In a laboratory bioassay, live larvae on their host plant were not attacked by the predatory ant Camponotus crassus (Formicidae). Two experiments showed that the similarity between the cuticular lipids of M. polymnia and S. tabacifolium protected the larvae from C. crassus: (a) when the caterpillar was switched from a host plant to a non-host plant, the predation rate increased, and (b) when a palatable larva (Spodoptera frugiperda, Noctuidae) was coated with the cuticular lipids of M. polymnia and placed on S. tabacifolium leaves, it no longer experienced a high predation rate. This defensive mechanism can be defined as chemical camouflage, and may have a double adaptive advantage, namely, protection against predation and a reduction in the cost of sequestering toxic compounds from the host plant.

  13. A checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae of the department of Antioquia, Colombia and new records for the country

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erika Valentina Vergara-Navarro

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Antioquia is a state (department of Colombia, located in the northwestern Andes of South America. Geologically, the northwestern region of the Western Range in Antioquia and Chocó includes the fault resulting from the connection between the Isthmus of Panamá and South America. The Occidental and Central cordilleras in Colombia are characterized by a number of reliefs, valleys and water basins, containing historical biological refuges and endemisms. In this study, we present the first species-level checklist of the 255 species (in 64 genera and 14 subfamilies of ants currently known in Antioquia. One hundred and fifty-two (152 species had previously been registered for the state in different publications. Here, 103 additional species are recognized. Most of these species are distributed in other bioregions of the country as well. Forty-six percent are present in the Amazon Province and 36% in the Colombian Orinoco River basin. Less than 3% are found in the arid lands of the Colombian Caribbean area, Guyana, and the Colombian Pacific Province, plus the Caribbean islands. Sixty-three percent of the species are shared with Costa Rica. Our checklist constitutes the largest roster of ants at the species level for a state in Colombia to date and constitutes the beginning of the assessment of ant diversity in Antioquia. Many more field trips are necessary to gain a better understanding of the ant composition of this state. The following 13 species are new to the records for Colombia: Azteca diabolica, Camponotus amoris, C. eurynotus, C. pachylepis, C. propinquus, C. tonduzi, Cerapachys toltecus, Cylindromyrmex whymperi, Myrmicocrypta urichi, Pheidole angulifera, Pseudomyrmex lisus, Solenopsis subterranea and Trachymyrmex zeteki

  14. A Novel Phenolic Compound, Chloroxynil, Improves Agrobacterium-Mediated Transient Transformation in Lotus japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimura, Mitsuhiro; Cutler, Sean; Isobe, Sachiko

    2015-01-01

    Agrobacterium-mediated transformation is a commonly used method for plant genetic engineering. However, the limitations of Agrobacterium host-plant interactions and the complexity of plant tissue culture often make the production of transgenic plants difficult. Transformation efficiency in many legume species, including soybean and the common bean, has been reported to be quite low. To improve the transformation procedure in legumes, we screened for chemicals that increase the transformation efficiency of Lotus japonicus, a model legume species. A Chemical library was screened and chemicals that increase in transient transformation efficiency of L. japonicus accession, Miyakojima MG-20 were identified. The transient transformation efficiency was quantified by reporter activity in which an intron-containing reporter gene produces the GUS protein only when the T-DNA is expressed in the plant nuclei. We identified a phenolic compound, chloroxynil, which increased the genetic transformation of L. japonicus by Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain EHA105. Characterization of the mode of chloroxynil action indicated that it enhanced Agrobacterium-mediated transformation through the activation of the Agrobacterium vir gene expression, similar to acetosyringone, a phenolic compound known to improve Agrobacterium-mediated transformation efficiency. Transient transformation efficiency of L. japonicus with 5 μM chloroxynil was 60- and 6- fold higher than that of the control and acetosyringone treatment, respectively. In addition, transgenic L. japonicus lines were successfully generated by 5 μM chloroxynil treatment.Furthermore, we show that chloroxynil improves L. japonicus transformation by Agrobacterium strain GV3101 and rice transformation. Our results demonstrate that chloroxynil significantly improves Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation efficiency of various agriculturally important crops.

  15. Aedes albopictus and Aedes japonicus - two invasive mosquito species with different temperature niches in Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Cunze

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Aedes albopictus and Ae. japonicus are two of the most widespread invasive mosquito species that have recently become established in western Europe. Both species are associated with the transmission of a number of serious diseases and are projected to continue their spread in Europe. Methods In the present study, we modelled the habitat suitability for both species under current and future climatic conditions by means of an Ensemble forecasting approach. We additionally compared the modelled MAXENT niches of Ae. albopictus and Ae. japonicus regarding temperature and precipitation requirements. Results Both species were modelled to find suitable habitat conditions in distinct areas within Europe: Ae. albopictus within the Mediterranean regions in southern Europe, Ae. japonicus within the more temperate regions of central Europe. Only in few regions, suitable habitat conditions were projected to overlap for both species. Whereas Ae. albopictus is projected to be generally promoted by climate change in Europe, the area modelled to be climatically suitable for Ae. japonicus is projected to decrease under climate change. This projection of range reduction under climate change relies on the assumption that Ae. japonicus is not able to adapt to warmer climatic conditions. The modelled MAXENT temperature niches of Ae. japonicus were found to be narrower with an optimum at lower temperatures compared to the niches of Ae. albopictus. Conclusions Species distribution models identifying areas with high habitat suitability can help improving monitoring programmes for invasive species currently in place. However, as mosquito species are known to be able to adapt to new environmental conditions within the invasion range quickly, niche evolution of invasive mosquito species should be closely followed upon in future studies.

  16. Hemotropic mycoplasma infection in wild black bears (Ursus thibetanus japonicus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iso, Takehiro; Suzuki, Jin; Sasaoka, Fumina; Sashida, Hinako; Watanabe, Yusaku; Fujihara, Masatoshi; Nagai, Kazuya; Harasawa, Ryô

    2013-04-12

    This is the first report on Mycoplasma infection in wild bears. We report a novel hemotropic Mycoplasma (also called hemoplasma) detected in a free-ranging black bear (Ursus thibetanus japonicus) in Japan. We then used real-time PCR to look for hemoplasma DNA in blood samples collected from 15 bears and found that eight (53%) were positive. Among these eight PCR samples, seven showed a melting temperature of around 85.5°C, while the remaining one showed a single peak at 82.26°C. Almost the entire region of the 16S rRNA gene as well as the 16S-23S rRNA intergenic transcribed spacer (ITS) region from the sample that showed a melting temperature of 82.26°C was successfully amplified by means of end-point PCR. The nucleotide sequences of the 16S rRNA gene and the ITS region were then determined and compared with those of authentic Mycoplasma species. Our examinations revealed the presence of a novel hemoplasma in Japanese black bears. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Diplodiscus mehrai Pande, 1937 and D. japonicus (Yamaguti, 1936: morphology of developmental stages and molecular data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Besprozvannykh V. V.

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Specimens of the snails Anisus centrifugops were infected with two types of cercariae relating to the genus Diplodiscus, differing from each other by body and organ sizes were found in a pond in the territory of Vladivostok (Primorsky region, Russia. Further study of their morphology and life cycles allowed us to establish that these flukes belong to Diplodiscus japonicus (Yamaguti, 1936 and D. mehrai Pande, 1937. Morphological and molecular data confirmed the validity of D. japonicus which had previously been synonymized with D. amphichrus Tubangui, 1933 and D. mehrai Pande, 1937.

  18. Eye structure, activity rhythms and visually-driven behavior are tuned to visual niche in ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayse eYilmaz

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Insects have evolved physiological adaptations and behavioural strategies that allow them to cope with a broad spectrum of environmental challenges and contribute to their evolutionary success. Visual performance plays a key role in this success. Correlates between life style and eye organization have been reported in various insect species. Yet, if and how visual ecology translates effectively into different visual discrimination and learning capabilities has been less explored. Here we report results from optical and behavioural analyses performed in two sympatric ant species, Formica cunicularia and Camponotus aethiops. We show that the former are diurnal while the latter are cathemeral. Accordingly, F. cunicularia workers present compound eyes with higher resolution, while C. aethiops workers exhibit eyes with lower resolution but higher sensitivity. The discrimination and learning of visual stimuli differs significantly between these species in controlled dual-choice experiments: discrimination learning of small-field visual stimuli is achieved by F. cunicularia but not by C. aethiops, while both species master the discrimination of large-field visual stimuli. Our work thus provides a paradigmatic example about how timing of foraging activities and visual environment match the organization of compound eyes and visually-driven behaviour. This correspondence underlines the relevance of an ecological/evolutionary framework for analyses in behavioural neuroscience.

  19. Characterization of Ant Communities (Hymenoptera: Formicidae in Twigs in the Leaf Litter of the Atlantic Rainforest and Eucalyptus Trees in the Southeast Region of Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Debora R. de Souza

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Fragments of Atlantic Rainforest and extensive eucalyptus plantations are part of the landscape in the southeast region of Brazil. Many studies have been conducted on litter ant diversity in these forests, but there are few reports on the nesting sites. In the present study, we characterized the ant communities that nest in twigs in the leaf litter of dense ombrophilous forests and eucalyptus trees. The colony demographics associated with the physical structure of the nest were recorded. In the eucalyptus forests, the study examined both managed and unmanaged plantations. During five months, all undecomposed twigs between 10 and 30 cm in length containing ants found within a 16-m2 area on the surface of the leaf litter were collected. A total of 307 nests and 44 species were recorded. Pheidole, Solenopsis, and Camponotus were the most represented genera. Pheidole sp.13, Pheidole sp.43 and Linepithema neotropicum were the most populous species. The dense ombrophilous forest and a eucalyptus plantation unmanaged contained the highest number of colonized twigs; these communities were the most similar and the most species rich. Our results indicate that the twigs are important resources as they help to maintain the litter diversity of dense rain forest and abandoned eucalypt crops.

  20. The metapleural gland of ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yek, Sze Huei; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2011-01-01

    The metapleural gland (MG) is a complex glandular structure unique to ants, suggesting a critical role in their origin and ecological success. We synthesize the current understanding of the adaptive function, morphology, evolutionary history, and chemical properties of the MG. Two functions......-compressible invagination of the integument and the secretion is thought to ooze out passively through the non-closable opening of the MG or is groomed off by the legs and applied to target surfaces. MG loss has occurred repeatedly among the ants, particularly in the subfamilies Formicinae and Myrmicinae, and the MG...... is more commonly absent in males than in workers. MG chemistry has been characterized mostly in derived ant lineages with unique biologies (e.g. leafcutter ants, fire ants), currently precluding any inferences about MG chemistry at the origin of the ants. A synthetic approach integrating functional...

  1. ANT, tourism and situated globality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jóhannesson, Gunnar Thór; Ren, Carina Bregnholm; van der Duim, René

    2015-01-01

    In recent years Actor-network theory (ANT) has increasingly been felt in the field of tourism studies (Van der Duim, Ren, & Jóhannesson, 2012). An important implication of the meeting between ANT and tourism studies is the notion of tourism being described as a heterogeneous assemblage of what we...... are used to define as the separate spheres of nature and culture. This paper explores and relates the central tenets of ANT in tourism with regard to the concept of the Anthropocene. It presents the ANT approach as a flat and object-oriented ontology and methodology and explores its potentials to carve out...

  2. Isolation and properties of pectinases from the fungus Aspergillus japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semenova, M V; Grishutin, S G; Gusakov, A V; Okunev, O N; Sinitsyn, A P

    2003-05-01

    Using anion-exchange chromatography on different carriers and phenyl-Sepharose hydrophobic chromatography, five pectolytic enzymes were isolated from the culture liquid of a mutant strain of Aspergillus japonicus: two endo-polygalacturonases (I and II, 38 and 65 kD, pI 5.6 and 3.3), pectin lyase (50 kD, pI 3.8), and two pectinesterases (I and II) with similar molecular weights (46 and 47 kD) and the same pI (3.8). The pectinesterases apparently represent two isoforms of the same enzyme. All purified enzymes were homogenous according to SDS-PAGE and polyacrylamide gel-IEF, except for endo-polygalacturonase II that gave two bands on isoelectric focusing, but one band on electrophoresis. All enzymes had maximal activity in an acid medium (at pH 4.0-5.5). The pectin lyase and pectinesterase were stable at 40-50 degrees C. The thermal stability of both endo-polygalacturonases was much lower (after 3 h of incubation at 30 degrees C, endo-polygalacturonases I and II lost 40 and 10% of the activity, respectively). The activity of endo-polygalacturonases I and II towards polygalacturonic acid strongly depended on NaCl concentration (optimal concentration of the salt was 0.1-0.2 M); the enzymes were also capable of reducing the viscosity of pectin solution, but rather slowly. The pectin lyase had no activity towards polygalacturonic acid. The activity of the pectin lyase increased with increasing degree of methylation of pectins. Both endo-polygalacturonases demonstrated synergism with the pectinesterase during the hydrolysis of highly methylated pectin. On the contrary, in the mixture of pectin lyase and pectinesterase an antagonism between the two enzymes was observed.

  3. Geographic variation in the Buzzard Buteo buteo (L.): japonicus-group (Aves: Accipitridae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    James, Anthony H.

    1988-01-01

    This paper reviews the geographic variation in the japonicus-group ) of Buteo buteo. Four subspecies are distinguished, varying in size, plumage design and colour. Of these, three are morphologically distinctive; burmanicus distributed in northeastern Eurasia, refectus a disjunct population breeding

  4. Activation of an endogenous retrotransposon associated with epigenetic changes in Lotus japonicus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fukai, Eigo; Stougaard, Jens; Hayashi, Makoto

    2013-01-01

    Long terminal repeat retrotransposons occupy a large portion of genomes in flowering plants. In spite of their abundance, the majority are silenced and rarely transpose. One of the examples of a highly active retrotransposon is Lotus Retrotransposon 1(LORE1), of the model legume Lotus japonicus (...

  5. N-glycan maturation mutants in Lotus japonicus for basic and applied glycoprotein research

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Carina T; Loke, Ian; Lorentzen, Andrea

    2017-01-01

    Studies of protein N-glycosylation are important for answering fundamental questions on the diverse functions of glycoproteins in plant growth and development. Here we generated and characterised a comprehensive collection of Lotus japonicusLORE1 insertion mutants, each lacking the activity of on...

  6. Antithrombotic Effect of Fermented Ophiopogon japonicus in Thrombosis-Induced Rat Models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yi-Lin; Xi, Mei-Zhu; Choi, Young-Bin; Lee, Bog-Hieu

    2017-07-01

    In this study, the antithrombotic and thrombolytic ability of second fermented extract of Ophiopogon japonicus (FEOJ) was verified in thrombosis-induced rats. Thrombosis was induced by oral administration of 2% carrageenan for 4 weeks. Five experimental groups (n = 9/group) involved in the study were control group, thrombosis group, low-dose FEOJ group (2 mL/kg, low-dose Ophiopogon japonicus [LOJ]), middle-dose FEOJ group (6 mL/kg, medium-dose Ophiopogon japonicus [MOJ]), and high-dose FEOJ group (12 mL/kg, high-dose Ophiopogon japonicus [HOJ]). The clotting time (CT), bleeding time (BT), prothrombin time (PT), activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT), and fibrinogen (FBG) were assessed in blood samples, and histological studies were performed on liver and lung tissues. The results demonstrated delayed CT only in MOJ and HOJ groups and delayed BT in all FEOJ groups compared with those in thrombosis and control groups (P thrombosis groups (P thrombosis, and LOJ groups, the tendency for decreased concentration of FBG (statistically nonsignificant) in MOJ and HOJ groups has been observed. Histological examination of livers and lungs revealed that thrombosis was partially improved in FEOJ group compared with the thrombosis group. In conclusion, CT, BT, PT, and APTT were prolonged in FEOJ group more than in control and thrombosis groups, thereby, depicting antithrombotic and thrombolytic effects. However, concentration-dependent effects of FEOJ were more prominent in MOJ and HOJ groups than in the LOJ group.

  7. Neoergasilus japonicus, a parasitic copepod from redbelly tilapia Tilapia zillii in Okinawa Prefecture, southern Japan

    OpenAIRE

    長澤, 和也; 上野, 大輔

    2015-01-01

    The ergasilid copepod Neoergasilus japonicus (Harada, 1930) is described using a gravid female from the dorsal fin of a redbelly tilapia, Tilapia zillii (Gervais, 1848), in Haebaru Reservoir, Okinawa-jima Island, Okinawa Prefecture, southern Japan. The morphology of the first and fourth thoracic legs is reported in detail.

  8. Ants, rodents and seed predation in Proteaceae

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    . Saasveld Forestry Research Centre, George. Many species of Cape Proteaceae have seeds dispersed by ants. Ants may reduce seed predation by rapidly transporting and burying seeds in their nests. Three field experiments using ant and ...

  9. The metapleural gland of ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yek, Sze Huei; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2011-11-01

    The metapleural gland (MG) is a complex glandular structure unique to ants, suggesting a critical role in their origin and ecological success. We synthesize the current understanding of the adaptive function, morphology, evolutionary history, and chemical properties of the MG. Two functions of the MG, sanitation and chemical defence, have received the strongest empirical support; two additional possible functions, recognition odour and territorial marking, are less well supported. The design of the MG is unusual for insects; glandular secretions are stored in a rigid, non-compressible invagination of the integument and the secretion is thought to ooze out passively through the non-closable opening of the MG or is groomed off by the legs and applied to target surfaces. MG loss has occurred repeatedly among the ants, particularly in the subfamilies Formicinae and Myrmicinae, and the MG is more commonly absent in males than in workers. MG chemistry has been characterized mostly in derived ant lineages with unique biologies (e.g. leafcutter ants, fire ants), currently precluding any inferences about MG chemistry at the origin of the ants. A synthetic approach integrating functional morphology, phylogenetic transitions and chemical ecology of the MGs of both the derived and the unstudied early-branching (basal) ant lineages is needed to elucidate the evolutionary origin and diversification of the MG of ants. © 2010 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2010 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  10. Influence of salinity on the early development and biochemical dynamics of a marine fish, Inimicus japonicus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Xu; Huang, Xuxiong; Wen, Wen

    2017-05-01

    Fertilised eggs of the devil stringer (Inimicus japonicus) were incubated at different salinity levels (21, 25, 29, 33, and 37), and then the hatching performances, morphological parameters, and biochemical composition (protein, lipid and carbohydrate) of the larvae were assayed to determine the influence of salinity on the early development of I. japonicus. The tested salinity levels did not affect the times of hatching or mouth opening for yolk-sac larvae. However, the salinity significantly influenced the hatching and survival rates of open-mouthed larvae, as well as the morphology of yolk-sac larvae. The data indicated that 30.5 to 37.3 and 24.4 to 29.8 were suitable salinity ranges for the survival of embryos and larvae of I. japonicus, respectively. Larvae incubated at a salinity level of 29 had the greatest full lengths, and decreasing yolk volume was positively correlated with the environmental salinity. With increasing salinity, the individual dry weights of newly hatched larvae or open-mouthed larvae decreased significantly. Newly hatched larvae incubated at a salinity level of 29 had the greatest metabolic substrate contents and gross energy levels, while the openmouthed larvae's greatest values occurred at a salinity level of 25. Larvae incubated in the salinity range of 33 to 37 had the lowest nutritional reserves and energy values. Thus, the I. japonicus yolk-sac larvae acclimated more readily to the lower salinity level than the embryos, and higher salinity levels negatively influenced larval growth and development. In conclusion, the environmental salinity level should be maintained at 29-33 during embryogenesis and at 25-29 during early larval development for this species. Our results can be used to provide optimum aquaculture conditions for the early larval development of I. japonicus.

  11. Changes in collagenous tissue microstructures and distributions of cathepsin L in body wall of autolytic sea cucumber (Stichopus japonicus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yu-Xin; Zhou, Da-Yong; Ma, Dong-Dong; Liu, Yan-Fei; Li, Dong-Mei; Dong, Xiu-Ping; Tan, Ming-Qian; Du, Ming; Zhu, Bei-Wei

    2016-12-01

    The autolysis of sea cucumber (Stichopus japonicus) was induced by ultraviolet (UV) irradiation, and the changes of microstructures of collagenous tissues and distributions of cathepsin L were investigated using histological and histochemical techniques. Intact collagen fibers in fresh S. japonicus dermis were disaggregated into collagen fibrils after UV stimuli. Cathepsin L was identified inside the surface of vacuoles in the fresh S. japonicus dermis cells. After the UV stimuli, the membranes of vacuoles and cells were fused together, and cathepsin L was released from cells and diffused into tissues. The density of cathepsin L was positively correlated with the speed and degree of autolysis in different layers of body wall. Our results revealed that lysosomal cathepsin L was released from cells in response to UV stimuli, which contacts and degrades the extracellular substrates such as collagen fibers, and thus participates in the autolysis of S. japonicus. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Hospitales seguros ante desastres

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Celso Vladimir Bambaren Alatrista

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Entre 1982 a 2005 se registraron daños en 1 143 establecimientos de salud en el Perú, generalmente debido a sismos, lluvias e inundaciones. Los daños en los servicios de salud producen la interrupción de la atención de la población y de los programas de salud, así como generan un gran gasto para la rehabilitación y reconstrucción. Por ello, se requiere proteger a los establecimientos de salud y desarrollar una política de hospitales seguros ante desastres que incluya medidas para prevenir o reducción de la vulnerabilidad estructural, no estructural y funcional en los nuevos establecimientos y en los existentes.(Rev Med Hered 2007;18:149-154.

  13. Friends and foes from an ant brain's point of view--neuronal correlates of colony odors in a social insect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandstaetter, Andreas Simon; Rössler, Wolfgang; Kleineidam, Christoph Johannes

    2011-01-01

    Successful cooperation depends on reliable identification of friends and foes. Social insects discriminate colony members (nestmates/friends) from foreign workers (non-nestmates/foes) by colony-specific, multi-component colony odors. Traditionally, complex processing in the brain has been regarded as crucial for colony recognition. Odor information is represented as spatial patterns of activity and processed in the primary olfactory neuropile, the antennal lobe (AL) of insects, which is analogous to the vertebrate olfactory bulb. Correlative evidence indicates that the spatial activity patterns reflect odor-quality, i.e., how an odor is perceived. For colony odors, alternatively, a sensory filter in the peripheral nervous system was suggested, causing specific anosmia to nestmate colony odors. Here, we investigate neuronal correlates of colony odors in the brain of a social insect to directly test whether they are anosmic to nestmate colony odors and whether spatial activity patterns in the AL can predict how odor qualities like "friend" and "foe" are attributed to colony odors. Using ant dummies that mimic natural conditions, we presented colony odors and investigated their neuronal representation in the ant Camponotus floridanus. Nestmate and non-nestmate colony odors elicited neuronal activity: In the periphery, we recorded sensory responses of olfactory receptor neurons (electroantennography), and in the brain, we measured colony odor specific spatial activity patterns in the AL (calcium imaging). Surprisingly, upon repeated stimulation with the same colony odor, spatial activity patterns were variable, and as variable as activity patterns elicited by different colony odors. Ants are not anosmic to nestmate colony odors. However, spatial activity patterns in the AL alone do not provide sufficient information for colony odor discrimination and this finding challenges the current notion of how odor quality is coded. Our result illustrates the enormous challenge

  14. Ectopic expression of miR156 represses nodulation and causes morphological and developmental changes in Lotus japonicus

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, Ying; Wang, Zhishuo; Amyot, Lisa; Tian, Lining; Xu, Ziqin; Gruber, Margaret Y.; Hannoufa, Abdelali

    2014-01-01

    The effects of microRNA156 overexpression on general plant architecture, branching, flowering time and nodulation were investigated in the model legume, Lotus japonicus. We cloned an miR156 homolog, LjmiR156a, from L. japonicus, and investigated its SQUAMOSA PROMOTER BINDING PROTEIN LIKE (SPL) genes and its biological function at enhancing vegetative biomass yield, extending flowering time, and its impact on nodulation. Thirteen potential targets for LjmiR156 were identified in vitro and thei...

  15. Revision of the ant genus Melophorus (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heterick, Brian E.; Castalanelli, Mark; Shattuck, Steve O.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract The fauna of the purely Australian formicine ant genus Melophorus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is revised. This project involved integrated morphological and molecular taxonomy using one mitochondrial gene (COI) and four nuclear genes (AA, H3, LR and Wg). Seven major clades were identified and are here designated as the M. aeneovirens, M. anderseni, M. biroi, M. fulvihirtus, M. ludius, M. majeri and M. potteri species-groups. Within these clades, smaller complexes of similar species were also identified and designated species-complexes. The M. ludius species-group was identified purely on molecular grounds, as the morphology of its members is indistinguishable from typical members of the M. biroi species-complex within the M. biroi species-group. Most species-complexes sampled were also found to be monophyletic. Sequencing generally supported monophyly in taxa sampled but some species of the M. fieldi complex and M. biroi were not monophyletic and the implications arising from this are discussed in this monograph. Based on morphology, ninety-three species are recognized, 73 described as new. A further new species (here called 'Species K' [TERC Collection]) is noted in the taxonomic list, but is not described in this work. One species is removed from Melophorus: M. scipio Forel is here placed provisionally in Prolasius. Six species and five subspecies pass into synonymy. Of the full species, M. constans Santschi, M. iridescens (Emery) and M. insularis Wheeler are synonymized under M. aeneovirens (Lowne), M. pillipes Santschi is synonymized under M. turneri Forel, M. marius Forel is synonymized under M. biroi Forel, and M. omniparens Forel is synonymized under M. wheeleri Forel. Of the subspecies, M. iridescens fraudatrix and M. iridescens froggatti Forel are synonymized under M. aeneovirens (Lowne), M. turneri aesopus Forel and M. turneri candidus Santschi are synonymized under M. turneri Forel and M. fieldi propinqua Viehmeyer is synonymized under M. biroi

  16. Identification and expression characterization of WntA during intestinal regeneration in the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiaoni; Sun, Lina; Yang, Hongsheng; Zhang, Libin; Miao, Ting; Xing, Lili; Huo, Da

    2017-08-01

    Wnt genes encode secreted glycoproteins that act as signaling molecules; these molecules direct cell proliferation, migration, differentiation and survival during animal development, maintenance of homeostasis and regeneration. At present, although the regeneration mechanism in Apostichopus japonicus has been studied, there is a little research on the Wnt signaling pathway in A. japonicus. To understand the potential role of the Wnt signaling pathway in A. japonicus, we cloned and sequenced the WntA gene in A. japonicus. Protein localization analysis showed that WntA protein was ubiquitously expressed in epidermal cells, the muscle and submucosa of the intestinal tissue. After stimulation and evisceration, the dynamic changes in expression of the WntA gene and protein showed that WntA was constitutively expressed during different stages of intestine regeneration in A. japonicus, with higher levels during the early wound healing stage and late lumen formation in the residual and nascent intestinal tissues, indicating its response to intestinal regeneration. Simultaneously, cell proliferation and apoptosis analysis showed that the patterns of cell proliferation were similar to the patterns of WntA protein expression during different intestinal regeneration stages in this organism. Taken together, these results suggested that WntA might participate in intestinal regeneration and may be connected with cell proliferation, apoptosis in different intestinal layers. This research could establish a basis for further examination of WntA functions in A. japonicus and Wnt genes in other echinoderms. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Runtime analysis of the 1-ANT ant colony optimizer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Doerr, Benjamin; Neumann, Frank; Sudholt, Dirk

    2011-01-01

    are investigated. The influence of the evaporation factor in the pheromone update mechanism and the robustness of this parameter w.r.t. the runtime behavior have been determined for the example function OneMax.This work puts forward the rigorous runtime analysis of the 1-ANT on the example functions Leading......The runtime analysis of randomized search heuristics is a growing field where, in the last two decades, many rigorous results have been obtained. First runtime analyses of ant colony optimization (ACO) have been conducted only recently. In these studies simple ACO algorithms such as the 1-ANT......Ones and BinVal. With respect to Evolutionary Algorithms (EAs), such analyses were essential to develop methods for the analysis on more complicated problems. The proof techniques required for the 1-ANT, unfortunately, differ significantly from those for EAs, which means that a new reservoir of methods has...

  18. Ant species richness of fynbos and forest ecosystems in the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1987-06-26

    Jun 26, 1987 ... Camponotus sp. 2. Plagio/epis decora. Myrmldnae. Crematogaster Jiengmei. Crematogaster peringueyi. Me1'8nopJus peringueyi. Monomorium de/ .... Del Park, W. Austr. Sand Mines·. 11. Fox & Fox 1984. Myall Lakes. (Forest with heath- in Majer 1984. N.S.W. land understorey). Citrus orchards·. 49.

  19. Espécies de formigas que interagem com as sementes de Mabea fistulifera Mart. (Euphorbiaceae Interaction between ant species and seeds of Mabea fistulifera Mart. (Euphorbiaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ethel Fernandes de Oliveira Peternelli

    2004-10-01

    Full Text Available As formigas, quando atraídas por um apêndice nutritivo, produzido na semente de certas plantas, podem exercer o papel de agente predador ou dispersor das sementes. No processo de dispersão, grande número desses insetos pode interagir com sementes de determinada planta. O objetivo deste trabalho foi identificar as espécies de formigas em contato com sementes de Mabea fistulifera Mart. - uma espécie arbórea e colonizadora em áreas antrópicas no Brasil - e o tipo de interação desses insetos com as sementes, bem como determinar as espécies dispersoras. Foram realizadas coletas manuais de formigas em fragmentos de vegetação com alta densidade de M. fistulifera, no município de Viçosa, MG, no momento de sua visitação às sementes. As formigas capturadas foram triadas e identificadas por espécie. Além disso, durante as coletas foram feitas observações quanto ao tipo de comportamento das formigas que se associaram às sementes e ao cálculo da taxa de remoção destas, verificando-se que 16 espécies tiveram contato com estas. Acromyrmex subterraneus subterraneus, Atta sexdens rubropilosa, Ectatomma edentatum, Pachycondyla sp.1 e Pheidole sp. 2 foram, de fato, dispersoras, já que transportaram efetivamente as sementes. Ac. subterraneus subterraneus, Camponotus rufipes, Ectatomma permagnum, Megalomyrmex sp.1, Pachycondyla sp. 1, Pachycondyla sp. 2, Pheidole sp. 4, Pheidole sp. 5 e Pogonomyrmex sp. são, pela primeira vez, relatadas interagindo com sementes. A taxa de remoção das sementes de M. fistulifera pelas formigas foi de 85 a 97%.Ants, when attracted by nutritious corpuscles produced by seeds of certain plant species, can act as predators or dispersing agents. During seed dispersal, a great number of ant species can interact with seeds of a particular plant species. The purpose of this study was to identify the ant species that interact with seeds of Mabea fistulifera Mart., a pioneer tree species in anthropic disturbed

  20. Pest repelling properties of ant pheromones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2014-01-01

    Ants control pests via predation and physical deterrence; however, ant communication is based on chemical cues which may serve as warning signals to potential prey and other intruders. The presence of ant pheromones may, thus, be sufficient to repel pests from ant territories. This mini...

  1. Pest repellent properties of ant pheromones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2012-01-01

    Many ant species are efficient control agents against a wide range of pest insects in many crops. They control pest insects via predation; however, ant communication is based on chemical cues which may be eavesdropped by potential prey and serve as chemical warning signals. Thus, the presence...... of ant pheromones may be sufficient to repel pest insects from ant territories. The study of ant semiochemicals is in its infancy, yet, evidence for their potential use in pest management is starting to build up. Pheromones from four of five tested ant species have been shown to deter herbivorous insect...... prey and competing ant species are also deterred by ant deposits, whereas ant symbionts may be attracted to them. Based on these promising initial findings, it seems advisable to further elucidate the signaling properties of ant pheromones and to test and develop their use in future pest management....

  2. Trap-mulching Argentine ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silverman, Jules; Sorenson, Clyde E; Waldvogel, Michael G

    2006-10-01

    Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), management is constrained, in large part, by polydomy where nestmates are distributed extensively across urban landscapes, particularly within mulch. Management with trap-mulching is a novel approach derived from trap-cropping where ants are repelled from a broad domain of nest sites to smaller defined areas, which are subsequently treated with insecticide. This concept was field-tested with mulch surrounding ornamental trees replaced with a narrow band of pine (Pinus spp.) needle mulch (trap) within a much larger patch of repellent aromatic cedar (Juniperus spp.) mulch. After ants reestablished around the trees, the pine needle mulch band was treated with 0.06% fipronil (Termidor). Poor results were obtained when the trap extended from the tree trunk to the edge of the mulched area. When the trap was applied as a circular band around the tree trunk reductions in the number of foraging ants were recorded through 14 d compared with an untreated mulch control, but not for longer periods. Reductions in the number of ant nests within mulch were no different between the trap mulch and any of the other treatments. We conclude that trap-mulching offers limited benefits, and that successful management of Argentine ants will require implementation of complementary or perhaps alternative strategies.

  3. Measuring activity in ant colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noda, C.; Fernández, J.; Pérez-Penichet, C.; Altshuler, E.

    2006-12-01

    Ants, as paradigm of social insects, have become a recurrent example of efficient problem solvers via self-organization. In spite of the simple behavior of each individual, the colony as a whole displays "swarm intelligence:" the organization of ant trails for foraging is a typical output of it. But conventional techniques of observation can hardly record the amount of data needed to get a detailed understanding of self-organization of ant swarms in the wild. Here we are presenting a measurement system intended to monitor ant activity in the field comprising massive data acquisition and high sensitivity. A central role is played by an infrared sensor devised specifically to monitor relevant parameters to the activity of ants through the exits of the nest, although other sensors detecting temperature and luminosity are added to the system. We study the characteristics of the activity sensor and its performance in the field. Finally, we present massive data measured at one exit of a nest of Atta insularis, an ant endemic to Cuba, to illustrate the potential of our system.

  4. The Lotus japonicus ndx gene family is involved in nodule function and maintenance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grønlund, Mette; Gustafsen, Camilla; Jensen, Dorthe Bødker

    2003-01-01

    To elucidate the function of the ndx homeobox genes during the Rhizobium-legume symbiosis, two Lotus japonicus ndr genes were expressed in the antisense orientation under the control of the nodule-expressed promoter Psenod12 in transgenic Lotus japonicus plants. Many of the transformants obtained...... segregated into plants that failed to sustain proper development and maintenance of root nodules concomitant with down-regulation of the two ndx genes. The root nodules were actively fixing nitrogen 3 weeks after inoculation, but the plants exhibited a stunted growth phenotype. The nodules on such antisense...... supplied to the plants in which the two ndx genes are down-regulated. The results presented here, indicate that the ndx genes play a role in the development of structural nodule features, required for proper gas diffusion into the nodule and/or transport of the assimilated nitrogen to the plant....

  5. The evolution of plant chemical defence - new roles for hydroxynitrile glucosides in Lotus japonicus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Knudsen, Camilla

    tissue disruption, their hydrolysis by a specific β-glucosidase results in the release of toxic hydrogen cyanide. Hydrolysis of the non-cyanogenic rhodiocyanosides by β-glucosidase activity is shown to produce an anti-fungal furanone. The biosynthetic pathways for these related hydroxynitrile glucosides...... share the first step, and paralogous enzymes with distinct roles, such as the UDP-glucosyltransferases UGT85K2 and UGT85K3, catalyse subsequent reactions. The results presented in this PhD thesis provide unique insight in the biosynthesis of hydroxynitrile glucosides in Lotus japonicus in terms of gene...... function and evolution. Further, it contributes to our understanding of the formation and role of biosynthetic gene clusters in plant chemical defence. The bifurcation in hydroxynitrile glucoside biosynthesis and catabolism observed in Lotus japonicus makes it a very suitable model system to study...

  6. Preparative Isolation of Three Anthraquinones from Rumex japonicus by High-Speed Counter-Current Chromatography

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuying Guo

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Three anthraquinones—emodin, chrysophanol, and physcion—were successfully purified from the dichloromethane extract of the Chinese medicinal herb Rumex japonicus by high-speed counter-current chromatography (HSCCC. The extract was separated with n-hexane–ethanol–water (18:22:3, v/v/v as the two-phase solvent system and yielded 3.4 mg of emodin, 24.1 mg of chrysophanol, and 2.0 mg of physcion from 500 mg of sample with purities of 99.2 %, 98.8% and 98.2%, respectively. The HSCCC fractions were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC and the chemical structures of the three anthraquinones were confirmed by 1H-NMR and 13C-NMR analysis. This is the first time these anthraquinones have been obtained from R. japonicus by HSCCC.

  7. Biological activities and biomedical potential of sea cucumber (Stichopus japonicus: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gun-Woo Oh

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Members of the phylum Echinodermata, commonly known as echinoderms, are exclusively marine invertebrates. Among the Echinodermata, sea cucumber belongs to the family Holothuroidea. The sea cucumber Stichopus (Apostichous japonicus (Selenka is an invertebrate animal inhabiting the coastal sea around Korean, Japan, China, and Russia. Sea cucumber has a significant commercial value, because it contains valuable nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. They possess a number of distinctive biologically and pharmacologically important compounds. In particular, the body wall of sea cucumber is a major edible part. It consists of peptide, collagen, gelatin, polysaccharide, and saponin, which possess several biological activities such as anti-cancer, anti-coagulation, anti-oxidation, and anti-osteoclastogenesis. Furthermore, the regenerative capacity of sea cucumber makes it a medically important organism. This review presents the various biological activities and biomedical potential of sea cucumber S. japonicus.

  8. Genetic suppressors of the Lotus japonicus har1-1 hypernodulation phenotype

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Murray, Jeremy; Karas, Bogumil; Ross, Loretta

    2006-01-01

    approach of genetic mapping, targeting induced local lesions in genomics, and sequencing, all non-nodulating mutant lines were characterized and shown to represent new alleles of at least nine independent symbiotic loci. The class of mutants with reduced nodulation capacity was of particular interest...... mutant lines carried more subtle symbiotic phenotypes, either forming white ineffective nodules or showing reduced nodulation capacity. When challenged with Glomus intraradices, 18 of the 61 suppressor lines were unable to establish a symbiosis with this arbuscular mycorrhiza fungus. Using a combined...... because some of them may specify novel plant functions that regulate nodule development in L. japonicus. To facilitate mapping of the latter class of mutants, an introgression line, in which the har1-1 allele was introduced into a polymorphic background of L. japonicus ecotype MG20, was constructed...

  9. Allene oxide synthase, allene oxide cyclase and jasmonic acid levels in Lotus japonicus nodules.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Zdyb

    Full Text Available Jasmonic acid (JA, its derivatives and its precursor cis-12-oxo phytodienoic acid (OPDA form a group of phytohormones, the jasmonates, representing signal molecules involved in plant stress responses, in the defense against pathogens as well as in development. Elevated levels of JA have been shown to play a role in arbuscular mycorrhiza and in the induction of nitrogen-fixing root nodules. In this study, the gene families of two committed enzymes of the JA biosynthetic pathway, allene oxide synthase (AOS and allene oxide cyclase (AOC, were characterized in the determinate nodule-forming model legume Lotus japonicus JA levels were to be analysed in the course of nodulation. Since in all L. japonicus organs examined, JA levels increased upon mechanical disturbance and wounding, an aeroponic culture system was established to allow for a quick harvest, followed by the analysis of JA levels in whole root and shoot systems. Nodulated plants were compared with non-nodulated plants grown on nitrate or ammonium as N source, respectively, over a five week-period. JA levels turned out to be more or less stable independently of the growth conditions. However, L. japonicus nodules formed on aeroponically grown plants often showed patches of cells with reduced bacteroid density, presumably a stress symptom. Immunolocalization using a heterologous antibody showed that the vascular systems of these nodules also seemed to contain less AOC protein than those of nodules of plants grown in perlite/vermiculite. Hence, aeroponically grown L. japonicus plants are likely to be habituated to stress which could have affected JA levels.

  10. Metabolic rates and biochemical compositions of Apostichopus japonicus (Selenka) tissue during periods of inactivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bao, Jie; Dong, Shuanglin; Tian, Xiangli; Wang, Fang; Gao, Qinfeng; Dong, Yunwei

    2010-03-01

    Estivation, hibernation, and starvation are indispensable inactive states of sea cucumbers Apostichopus japonicus in nature and in culture ponds. Generally, temperature is the principal factor that induces estivation or hibernation in the sea cucumber. The present study provided insight into the physiological adaptations of A. japonicus during the three types of inactivity (hibernation, estivation, and starvation) by measuring the oxygen consumption rates ( Vo2) and biochemical compositions under laboratory conditions of low (3°C), normal (17°C) and high (24°C) temperature. The results show that the characteristics of A. japonicus in dormancy (hibernation and estivation) states were quite different from higher animals, such as fishes, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals, but more closely resembled a semi-dormant state. It was observed that the shift in the A. japonicus physiological state from normal to dormancy was a chronic rather than acute process, indicated by the gradual depression of metabolic rate. While metabolic rates declined 44.9% for the estivation group and 71.7% for the hibernation group, relative to initial rates, during the 36 d culture period, metabolic rates were not maintained at constant levels during these states. The metabolic depression processes for sea cucumbers in hibernation and estivation appeared to be a passive and an active metabolic suppression, respectively. In contrast, the metabolic rates (128.90±11.70 μg/g h) of estivating sea cucumbers were notably higher (107.85±6.31 μg/g h) than in starving sea cucumbers at 17°C, which indicated that the dormancy mechanism here, as a physiological inhibition, was not as efficient as in higher animals. Finally, the principle metabolic substrate or energy source of sea cucumbers in hibernation was lipid, whereas in estivation they mainly consumed protein in the early times and both protein and lipid thereafter.

  11. Ground-foraging ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae and rainfall effect on pitfall trapping in a deciduous thorn woodland (Caatinga, Northeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francyregis A Nunes

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The semi-arid Caatinga is the fourth largest biome of Brazil, which biota still remains one of the most poorly known, especially with regard to invertebrate groups. In this study, a ground-foraging ant assemblage was surveyed during one year and the effect of rainfall on pitfall trapping was assessed. The study was performed in an area located in the municipality of Pentecoste (3º48’ S - 39º20’ W, in the State of Ceará. A 200m transect with 20 equidistant sampling points was established. Transect sampling was performed once a month during 12 months, over the period August 2008-August 2009. At each sampling point, a pitfall trap partially filled with a mixture of ethanol and monoethylene glycol was placed at the beginning of each month and remained in the field for seven days. 39 species belonging to six subfamilies and 19 genera, plus two unidentified species, were collected, with Pheidole (10 spp. and Camponotus (8 spp. being the taxa with the most species. 23 species were frequent, being found in more than 50% of the 12 transect samplings. Five species had an intermediate frequency (25 to 50%, while 13 were relatively infrequent (less than 25%. Most of the species (22 showed low occurrence, being found in less than 10% of the 240 samples (20 samples each month, during 12 months. Only five species were collected in more than 50% of the samples, those species being also responsible for most of the total abundance (number of captured individuals of all species observed each month. The speciesaccumulation curves (observed and estimated indicated that sampling sufficiency was attained, and that about 92% of the estimated ground-foraging ant fauna had been collected. 40 and 29 species were collected in the dry and rainy season, respectively, with monthly species richness ranging from 13 to 28. The total ant abundance showed a drastic decrease during the rainy season, and a negative linear correlation was found between rainfall and total ant

  12. First record of Neoergasilus japonicus (Poecilostomatoida: Ergasilidae), a parasitic copepod new to the Laurentian Great Lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudson, Patrick L.; Bowen, Charles A.

    2002-01-01

    The parasitic copepod Neoergasilus japonicus, native to eastern Asia, was first collected from 4 species of fish (fathead minnow, Pimephales promelas; largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides; pumpkinseed sunfish, Lepomis gibbosus; and yellow perch, Perca flavescens) in July 1994 in Saginaw Bay, Lake Huron, Michigan. Further sampling in the bay in 2001 revealed infections on 7 additional species (bluegill, Lepomis macrochirus; carp, Cyprinus carpio; channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus; goldfish, Carassius auratus; green sunfish, Lepomis cyanellus; rock bass, Ambloplites rupestris; and smallmouth bass, Micropterus dolomieu). An additional 21 species examined in 2001 were devoid of the parasite. A limited collection of fish from Lake Superior (n = 8) and Lake Michigan (n = 46) in 1994 showed no infection. Neoergasilus japonicus is most frequently found attached to the dorsal fin and, in decreasing frequency, on the anal, tail, pelvic, and pectoral fins. Prevalence generally ranged from 15 to 70 and intensity from 1 to 10. The greatest number of copepods on a single host was 44. The copepod Neoergasilus japonicus appears to disperse over long distances rather quickly, spreading across Europe in 20 yr and then moving on to North America over a span of 10 yr. Its main vehicle of transport and introduction into the Great Lakes is probably exotic fish hosts associated with the fish-culture industry.

  13. Apoptosis induction is involved in UVA-induced autolysis in sea cucumber Stichopus japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Hang; Fu, Hui; Dong, Xiufang; Feng, Dingding; Li, Nan; Wen, Chengrong; Nakamura, Yoshimasa; Zhu, Beiwei

    2016-05-01

    Autolysis easily happens to sea cucumber (Stichopus japonicus, S. japonicus) for external stimulus like UV exposure causing heavy economic losses. Therefore, it is meaningful to reveal the mechanism of S. japonicas autolysis. In the present study, to examine the involvement of apoptosis induction in UVA-induced autolysis of S. japonicas, we investigated the biochemical events including the DNA fragmentation, caspase-3 activation, mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) phosphorylation and free radical formation. Substantial morphological changes such as intestine vomiting and dermatolysis were observed in S. japonicus during the incubation after 1-h UVA irradiation (10W/m(2)). The degradation of the structural proteins and enhancement of cathepsin L activity were also detected, suggesting the profound impact of proteolysis caused by the UVA irradiation even for 1h. Furthermore, the DNA fragmentation and specific activity of caspase-3 was increased up to 12h after UVA irradiation. The levels of phosphorylated p38 mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) and phosphorylated c-Jun.-N-terminal kinase (JNK) were significantly increased by the UVA irradiation for 1h. An electron spin resonance (ESR) analysis revealed that UVA enhanced the free radical formation in S. japonicas, even through we could not identify the attributed species. These results suggest that UVA-induced autolysis in S. japonicas at least partially involves the oxidative stress-sensitive apoptosis induction pathway. These data present a novel insight into the mechanisms of sea cucumber autolysis induced by external stress. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Growth, metabolism and physiological response of the sea cucumber, Apostichopus japonicus Selenka during periods of inactivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Rongbin; Zang, Yuanqi; Tian, Xiangli; Dong, Shuanglin

    2013-03-01

    The growth, metabolism and physiological response of the sea cucumber, Apostichopus japonicus, were investigated during periods of inactivity. The body weight, oxygen consumption rate (OCR), activities of acidic phosphatase (ACP), alkaline phosphatase (AKP), catalase (CAT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD), and content of heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) in the body wall and coelomic fluid of A. japonicus were measured during starvation, experimental aestivation and aestivation. The results showed that the body weight of sea cucumber in the three treatments decreased significantly during the experimental period ( P < 0.05). The OCR of sea cucumber reduced in starvation and experimental aestivation treatments, but increased gradually in natural aestivation treatment. The activities of ACP and AKP of sea cucumber decreased gradually in all treatments, whereas those of SOD and CAT as well as Hsp70 content decreased in the starvation and experimental aestivation treatments and increased in natural aestivation treatment. The sea cucumber entered a state of aestivation at 24°C. To some extent, the animals in experimental aestivation were different from those in natural aestivation in metabolism and physiological response. These findings suggested that the aestivation mechanism of A. japonicus is complex and may not be attributed to the elevated temperature only.

  15. Modulation of phenolic metabolism under stress conditions in a Lotus japonicus mutant lacking plastidic glutamine synthetase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margarita eGarcía-Calderón

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper was aimed to investigate the possible implications of the lack of plastidic glutamine synthetase (GS2 in phenolic metabolism during stress responses in the model legume Lotus japonicus. Important changes in the transcriptome were detected in a GS2 mutant called Ljgln2-2, compared to the wild type, in response to two separate stress conditions, such as drought or the result of the impairment of the photorespiratory cycle. Detailed transcriptomic analysis showed that the biosynthesis of phenolic compounds was affected in the mutant plants in these two different types of stress situations. For this reason, the genes and metabolites related to this metabolic route were further investigated using a combined approach of gene expression analysis and metabolite profiling. A high induction of the expression of several genes for the biosynthesis of different branches of the phenolic biosynthetic pathway was detected by qRT-PCR. The extent of induction was always higher in Ljgln2-2, probably reflecting the higher stress levels present in this genotype. This was paralleled by accumulation of several kaempferol and quercetine glycosides, some of them described for the first time in L. japonicus, and of high levels of the isoflavonoid vestitol. The results obtained indicate that the absence of GS2 affects different aspects of phenolic metabolism in L .japonicus plants in response to stress.

  16. Using Ants as bioindicators: Multiscale Issues in Ant Community Ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan Andersen

    1997-06-01

    Full Text Available Ecological patterns and processes are characteristically scale dependent, and research findings often cannot be translated easily from one scale to another. Conservation biology is challenged by a lack of congruence between the spatial scales of ecological research (typically involving small plots and land management (typically involving whole landscapes. Here, I discuss spatial scaling issues as they relate to an understanding of ant communities and, consequently, their use as bioindicators in land management. Our perceptions of fundamental patterns and processes in ant communities depend on scale: taxa that are behaviorally dominant at one scale are not necessarily so at others, functional groups recognized at one scale are often inappropriate for others, and the role of competition in community structure depends on the scale of analysis. Patterns of species richness and composition, and the ability of total richness to be estimated by surrogates, are all also scale dependent. Ant community ecology has a tradition of detailed studies in small plots, but the use of ants as bioindicators requires a predictive understanding of community structure and dynamics at a range of spatial scales. Such an appreciation of ant communities and their most effective use as bioindicators is best served by studies integrating results from plot-scale research with the broad-scale paradigms of biogeography, systematics, and evolutionary biology.

  17. Monoculture of leafcutter ant gardens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulrich G Mueller

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Leafcutter ants depend on the cultivation of symbiotic Attamyces fungi for food, which are thought to be grown by the ants in single-strain, clonal monoculture throughout the hundreds to thousands of gardens within a leafcutter nest. Monoculture eliminates cultivar-cultivar competition that would select for competitive fungal traits that are detrimental to the ants, whereas polyculture of several fungi could increase nutritional diversity and disease resistance of genetically variable gardens.Using three experimental approaches, we assessed cultivar diversity within nests of Atta leafcutter ants, which are most likely among all fungus-growing ants to cultivate distinct cultivar genotypes per nest because of the nests' enormous sizes (up to 5000 gardens and extended lifespans (10-20 years. In Atta texana and in A. cephalotes, we resampled nests over a 5-year period to test for persistence of resident cultivar genotypes within each nest, and we tested for genetic differences between fungi from different nest sectors accessed through excavation. In A. texana, we also determined the number of Attamyces cells carried as a starter inoculum by a dispersing queens (minimally several thousand Attamyces cells, and we tested for genetic differences between Attamyces carried by sister queens dispersing from the same nest. Except for mutational variation arising during clonal Attamyces propagation, DNA fingerprinting revealed no evidence for fungal polyculture and no genotype turnover during the 5-year surveys.Atta leafcutter ants can achieve stable, fungal monoculture over many years. Mutational variation emerging within an Attamyces monoculture could provide genetic diversity for symbiont choice (gardening biases of the ants favoring specific mutational variants, an analog of artificial selection.

  18. Sterilization of Hulecoeteomyia japonica japonica (=Aedes japonicus japonicus) (Theobald, 1901) by high-energy photon irradiation: implications for a sterile insect technique approach in Europe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Balestrino, F.; Mathis, A.; Veronesi, E.; Lang, S.

    2017-01-01

    Hulecoeteomyia japonica japonica (=Aedes japonicus japonicus) (Diptera: Culicidae) (Theobald 1901), a container breeding invasive species in North America and Europe, is attracting particular attention for its high local abundances and possible roles in the transmission of human and animal pathogens. The preferential habitats of this species are forested and bushy areas, which renders control measures extremely inefficient. Use of the sterile insect technique (SIT) may contribute to the implementation of area-wide integrated pest management strategies, as has been successfully proven with other aedine mosquito species. The present study investigates the effects of irradiation at a dose of 40 Gy on fitness parameters in H. j. japonica. Irradiation was performed on 16–24- h-old pupae from a colonized strain (PA) using a True- Beam linear accelerator. Males from the PA strain were crossed with females of the same colony or with field-collected females. Irradiation induced a slight increase in mortality in male pupae, but did not alter the survival and mating abilities of emerging adult males. Rates of blood feeding and fertility were lower when PA strain males were kept with field-collected females rather than PA females. Irradiated males induced reductions in fertility (residual fertility: 2.6%) and fecundity in mated females. The data indicate that the SIT is a suitable technique to enhance the control of this species. (author)

  19. Lipid composition of Evonimus japonicus L., Piracanttia coccinea L. and Amelanchier cannadensis L. seed oils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zlatanov, M.

    1999-10-01

    Full Text Available Lipid composition of Evonimus japonicus L., Piracantha coccinea L. and Amelanchier cannadensis L. seed oils. The seeds of Evonimus japonicus L., Piracantha coccinea L. and Amelanchier cannadensis L. contained 45.4%, 3.7% and 7.2% oil respectively. Oleic, linoleic and palmitic acids predominated in the triacylglycerols. The content of phospholipids in the oils, mainly phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylinositol, phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidic acids was 1.1%, 7.5% and 2.8% respectively. The sterols amounts were found to be 0.4% in Evonimus japonicus L oil, 0.6% in Piracantha coccinea L. oil and 0.9% in Amelanchier cannadensis L. oil. β-Sitosterol was the main component in all oils. Campesterol, stigmasterol, brassicasterol, cholesterol, 7-estigmasterol, Δ7,25-estigmasterol, Δ5-avenasterol and Δ7-avenasterol were identified in small quantities too. All of the tocopherols were identified in the oils.

    El contenido en aceite de las semillas Evonimus japonicus L., Piracantha coccinea L. y Amelanchier cannadensis L. y Amelancliier cannadensis L fue del 45,4%, 3,7% y 7,2% respectivamente. Los ácidos oleico, linoleico y palmítico predominaron en los triacilgliceroles. El contenido de fosfolípidos en los aceites, principalmente fosfatidilcolina, fosfatidilinositol, fosfatidiletanolamina y ácidos fosfatídicos fue del 1,1 %, 7,5% y 2,8% respectivamente. Las cantidades de esteroles encontradas fueron del 0,4% en el aceite de Evonimus japonicus L, 0,6% en el aceite de Piracantha coccinea L y 0,9% en el aceite de Amelanchier cannadensis L. El componente principal en todos los aceites fue el β-sitosterol. Se identificaron también en pequeñas cantidades campesterol, estigmasterol, brasicasterol, colesterol, Δ7-estigmasterol, Δ7,25-estigmasterol, Δ5-avenasterol y

  20. Antioxidative-related genes expression following perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) exposure in the intertidal mud crab, Macrophthalmus japonicus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Kiyun; Nikapitiya, Chamilani; Kwak, Tae-Soo; Kwak, Ihn-Sil

    2015-09-01

    Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) is a persistent environmental contaminant that is used as a surfactant in various industries and consumer products. The intertidal mud crab, Macrophthalmus japonicus, is one of the most abundant macrobenthic creatures. In this study, we have investigated the effect of PFOS on the molecular transcription of antioxidant and detoxification signaling in M. japonicus crab. The selected stress response genes were superoxide dismutases (CuZnSOD and MnSOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), phospholipid hydroperoxide glutathione peroxidase (PHGPx), peroxiredoxin (Prx), and thioredoxin reductase (TrxR). Significant up-regulation of SODs and CAT was observed after 24 and 96 h exposure to PFOS at different concentrations. The gene expression levels of GPx, PHGPx, and TrXR were significantly up-regulated after exposure to PFOS for 96 h. The transcript levels of CAT and PHGPx were induced in dose- and time-dependent manners after PFOS treatments. However, Prx gene expression was significantly up-regulated in M. japonicus crabs exposed to 10 and 30 μg L-1 PFOS for 96 h. Additionally, PFOS toxicity in M. japonicus induced reduced survival rates at relatively high concentrations of PFOS exposure. Our findings support the contention that exposures to PFOS induced the response of genes related to oxidative stress and detoxification in M. japonicus crabs.

  1. Effect of Bacillus baekryungensis YD13 supplemented in diets on growth performance and immune response of sea cucumber ( Apostichopus japonicus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Fajun; Tian, Xiangli; Dong, Shuanglin

    2014-10-01

    The effect of a potential probiotic on the growth performance and immune response of sea cucumber ( Apostichopus japonicus) was investigated. Bacillus baekryungensis YD13 isolated from sea cucumber culturing ponds was added to sea cucumber basal feed as a probiotic in different doses (0, the control; 1×104 (YD134), 1×106 (YD136) and 1×108 (YD138) CFU g-1 of diet), and administered orally to A. japonicus (initial mean wet weight 5.44 g ± 0.17 g). The sea cucumbers were fed in 20 aquaria, 5 each treatment, for 60 d. At the end of growth trial, 20 sea cucumbers from each treatment were challenged with Vibrio splendidus. A. japonicus in YD134 and YD136 exhibited significantly better growth performance than control ( P catalase in coelomic fluid were measured to evaluate the immune response of A. japonicus to the probiotics. Results showed that all parameters were significantly improved when YD11 was supplemented in the dose of 1×106 CFU g-1 ( P < 0.05). The cumulative incidence and mortality after the Vibrio splendidus challenge decreased significantly in sea cucumbers of YD136. Accordingly, 1×106 CFU g-1 of YD13 in diet was recommended for the growth promotion and immune enhancement of A. japonicus.

  2. Identification of the geographical origins of sea cucumber (Apostichopus japonicus) in northern China by using stable isotope ratios and fatty acid profiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xufeng; Liu, Yu; Li, Ying; Zhao, Xinda

    2017-03-01

    Geographic traceability is an important issue for food quality and safety control of seafood. In this study,δ 13 C and δ 15 N values, as well as fatty acid (FA) content of 133 samples of A. japonicus from seven sampling points in northern China Sea were determined to evaluate their applicability in the origin traceability of A. japonicus. Principal component analysis (PCA) and discriminant analysis (DA) were applied to different data sets in order to evaluate their performance in terms of classification or predictive ability. δ 13 C and δ 15 N values could effectively discriminate between different origins of A. japonicus. Significant differences in the FA compositions showed the effectiveness of FA composition as a tool for distinguishing between different origins of A. japonicus. The two technologies, combined with multivariate statistical analysis, can be promising methods to discriminate A. japonicus from different geographical areas. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  3. Roadside Survey of Ants on Oahu, Hawaii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, Reina L; Grace, J Kenneth; Krushelnycky, Paul D; Spafford, Helen

    2018-02-11

    Hawaii is home to over 60 ant species, including five of the six most damaging invasive ants. Although there have been many surveys of ants in Hawaii, the last island-wide hand-collection survey of ants on Oahu was conducted in 1988-1994. In 2012, a timed hand-collection of ants was made at 44 sites in a systematic, roadside survey throughout Oahu. Ants were identified and species distribution in relation to elevation, precipitation and soil type was analyzed. To assess possible convenience sampling bias, 15 additional sites were sampled further from roads to compare with the samples near roads. Twenty-four species of ants were found and mapped; Pheidole megacephala (F.), Ochetellus glaber (Mayr), and Technomyrmex difficilis Forel were the most frequently encountered ants. For six ant species, a logistic regression was performed with elevation, average annual precipitation, and soil order as explanatory variables. O. glaber was found in areas with lower precipitation around Oahu. Paratrechina longicornis (Latrielle) and Tetramorium simillimum (Smith, F.) were found more often in lower elevations and in areas with the Mollisol soil order. Elevation, precipitation, and soil type were not significant sources of variation for P. megacephala, Plagiolepis alluaudi Emery, and T. difficilis . P. megacephala was associated with fewer mean numbers of ants where it occurred. Ant assemblages near and far from roads did not significantly differ. Many species of ants remain established on Oahu, and recent invaders are spreading throughout the island. Mapping ant distributions contributes to continued documentation and understanding of these pests.

  4. Ants as tools in sustainable agriculture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2015-01-01

    . Being predatory and organized as superorganisms, ants possess traits making them suitable agents in IPM. Recent works on weaver ants Oecophylla spp. showcase ants as highly efficient pest controllers. A synthesis shows that weaver ants can reduce pest numbers and their damage and increase yields...... in multiple crops. Their efficiency is comparable to chemical pesticides or higher, while at lower costs. They provide a rare example of documented efficient conservation biological control. 3. Weaver ants share beneficial traits with almost 13 000 other ant species and are unlikely to be unique...... in their properties as control agents. A synthesis of applied work on other ant species illustrates potentials for control of arthropod pests, weeds and plant diseases in orchards, forestry and arable crops. 4. Synthesis and applications. By showing that ant biocontrol can match synthetic pesticides in a wide setting...

  5. Parasitism of Argulus japonicus in cultured and wild fish of Guangdong, China with new record of three hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alsarakibi, Muhamd; Wadeh, Hicham; Li, Guoqing

    2014-02-01

    This study aimed to demonstrate the ability of Argulus japonicus to infect a wide range of freshwater fishes, as well as to understand the effects of fish origin and host body size on the incidence of A. japonicus. Samples of cultured and wild fish were collected randomly from July 2010 to March 2013, using angling, long-lining, gill-netting, and trapping from rivers and fish farms in Guangdong province, South China. Eight fish species were found to be heavily infected including the common carp, the goldfish, the black carp, the silver carp, the brown trout, the rainbow trout, the mandarin fish, and the perch. Furthermore, the black carp, the brown trout, and the mandarin fish were recorded as new hosts for the first time. During the present study, a total of 2,271 fishes were examined, out of which 712 fishes were found to be infected by a total of 1,443 A. japonicus. Abundance and intensity of A. japonicus infection were significantly influenced by origin of fishes (cultured and wild) and total length (class I, 350 mm) of fish species, whereas varied impacts on prevalence of infection were observed. The correlation between total length of fishes and prevalence of A. japonicus infection was variable, where no significant correlation was observed in the black carp, the silver carp, the mandarin fish, and the perch. In spite of the weak negative correlation between body size of the silver carp and prevalence of infection, A. japonicus was the most abundant and intensive in the silver carp. Thus, aquaculturists should pay particular attention to the control of these fish lice due to its host biodiversity.

  6. Biosynthesis of the Nitrile Glucosides Rhodiocyanoside A and D and the Cyanogenic Glucosides Lotaustralin and Linamarin in Lotus japonicus1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forslund, Karin; Morant, Marc; Jørgensen, Bodil; Olsen, Carl Erik; Asamizu, Erika; Sato, Shusei; Tabata, Satoshi; Bak, Søren

    2004-01-01

    Lotus japonicus was shown to contain the two nitrile glucosides rhodiocyanoside A and rhodiocyanoside D as well as the cyanogenic glucosides linamarin and lotaustralin. The content of cyanogenic and nitrile glucosides in L. japonicus depends on plant developmental stage and tissue. The cyanide potential is highest in young seedlings and in apical leaves of mature plants. Roots and seeds are acyanogenic. Biosynthetic studies using radioisotopes demonstrated that lotaustralin, rhodiocyanoside A, and rhodiocyanoside D are derived from the amino acid l-Ile, whereas linamarin is derived from Val. In silico homology searches identified two cytochromes P450 designated CYP79D3 and CYP79D4 in L. japonicus. The two cytochromes P450 are 94% identical at the amino acid level and both catalyze the conversion of Val and Ile to the corresponding aldoximes in biosynthesis of cyanogenic glucosides and nitrile glucosides in L. japonicus. CYP79D3 and CYP79D4 are differentially expressed. CYP79D3 is exclusively expressed in aerial parts and CYP79D4 in roots. Recombinantly expressed CYP79D3 and CYP79D4 in yeast cells showed higher catalytic efficiency with l-Ile as substrate than with l-Val, in agreement with lotaustralin and rhodiocyanoside A and D being the major cyanogenic and nitrile glucosides in L. japonicus. Ectopic expression of CYP79D2 from cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz.) in L. japonicus resulted in a 5- to 20-fold increase of linamarin content, whereas the relative amounts of lotaustralin and rhodiocyanoside A/D were unaltered. PMID:15122013

  7. Biosynthesis of the nitrile glucosides rhodiocyanoside A and D and the cyanogenic glucosides lotaustralin and linamarin in Lotus japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forslund, Karin; Morant, Marc; Jørgensen, Bodil; Olsen, Carl Erik; Asamizu, Erika; Sato, Shusei; Tabata, Satoshi; Bak, Søren

    2004-05-01

    Lotus japonicus was shown to contain the two nitrile glucosides rhodiocyanoside A and rhodiocyanoside D as well as the cyanogenic glucosides linamarin and lotaustralin. The content of cyanogenic and nitrile glucosides in L. japonicus depends on plant developmental stage and tissue. The cyanide potential is highest in young seedlings and in apical leaves of mature plants. Roots and seeds are acyanogenic. Biosynthetic studies using radioisotopes demonstrated that lotaustralin, rhodiocyanoside A, and rhodiocyanoside D are derived from the amino acid l-Ile, whereas linamarin is derived from Val. In silico homology searches identified two cytochromes P450 designated CYP79D3 and CYP79D4 in L. japonicus. The two cytochromes P450 are 94% identical at the amino acid level and both catalyze the conversion of Val and Ile to the corresponding aldoximes in biosynthesis of cyanogenic glucosides and nitrile glucosides in L. japonicus. CYP79D3 and CYP79D4 are differentially expressed. CYP79D3 is exclusively expressed in aerial parts and CYP79D4 in roots. Recombinantly expressed CYP79D3 and CYP79D4 in yeast cells showed higher catalytic efficiency with l-Ile as substrate than with l-Val, in agreement with lotaustralin and rhodiocyanoside A and D being the major cyanogenic and nitrile glucosides in L. japonicus. Ectopic expression of CYP79D2 from cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz.) in L. japonicus resulted in a 5- to 20-fold increase of linamarin content, whereas the relative amounts of lotaustralin and rhodiocyanoside A/D were unaltered.

  8. Determination of stable carbon isotope compositions in individual amino acids of anchovy engraulis japonicus by GC-C-IRMS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Haizhen; Cai Deling; Zhang Longjun

    2005-01-01

    The stable carbon isotope compositions of individual amino acids in muscle tissues of the anchovy, Engraulis japonicus, a key species of animal in the Yellow and the East China Sea ecosystem, were determined by the gas chromatography-combustion-isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GC-C-IRMS). Eleven amino acid compounds were identified and their δ( 13 C) values were successfully measured. The new ability to measure stable carbon isotope compositions of individual amino acids offers a potential method for understanding digest, absorption and metabolism of anchovy, Engraulis japonicus, pathway of carbon transfer through food web and evaluating trophic quality of diet. (authors)

  9. A cellular automata model for ant trails

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    In this study, the unidirectional ant traffic flow with U-turn in an ant trail was investigated using one-dimensional cellular automata model. It is known that ants communicate with each other by dropping a chemical, called pheromone, on the substrate. Apart from the studies in the literature, it was considered in the model that ...

  10. ANT: A decade of interfering with tourism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duim, van der V.R.; Ren, C.; Johannesson, G.T.

    2017-01-01

    Ten years ago actor-network theory (ANT) entered this journal. To illustrate how the relational ontology and sensibilities of ANT lend themselves to particular kinds of research, we first interrogate the main controversies as a way to open up and discuss the main premises of ANT. These debates

  11. Adaptive multimodal continuous ant colony optimization

    OpenAIRE

    Yang, Qiang; Chen, Wei-Neng; Yu, Zhengtao; Gu, Tianlong; Li, Yun; Zhang, Huaxiang; Zhang, Jun

    2017-01-01

    Seeking multiple optima simultaneously, which multimodal optimization aims at, has attracted increasing attention but remains challenging. Taking advantage of ant colony optimization algorithms in preserving high diversity, this paper intends to extend ant colony optimization algorithms to deal with multimodal optimization. First, combined with current niching methods, an adaptive multimodal continuous ant colony optimization algorithm is introduced. In this algorithm, an adaptive parameter a...

  12. A cellular automata model for ant trails

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Abstract. In this study, the unidirectional ant traffic flow with U-turn in an ant trail was inves- tigated using one-dimensional cellular automata model. It is known that ants communicate with each other by dropping a chemical, called pheromone, on the substrate. Apart from the studies in the literature, it was considered in the ...

  13. Daily thermal fluctuations experienced by pupae via rhythmic nursing behavior increase numbers of mushroom body microglomeruli in the adult ant brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agustina eFalibene

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Social insects control brood development by using different thermoregulatory strategies. Camponotus mus ants expose their brood to daily temperature fluctuations by translocating them inside the nest following a circadian rhythm of thermal preferences. At the middle of the photophase brood is moved to locations at 30.8°C; 8 h later, during the night, the brood is transferred back to locations at 27.5°C. We investigated whether daily thermal fluctuations experienced by developing pupae affect the neuroarchitecture in the adult brain, in particular in sensory input regions of the mushroom bodies (MB calyces. The complexity of synaptic microcircuits was estimated by quantifying MB-calyx volumes together with densities of presynaptic boutons of microglomeruli (MG in the olfactory lip and visual collar regions. We compared young adult workers that were reared either under controlled daily thermal fluctuations of different amplitudes, or at different constant temperatures. Thermal regimes significantly affected the large (non-dense olfactory lip region of the adult MB calyx, while changes in the dense lip and the visual collar were less evident. Thermal fluctuations mimicking the amplitudes of natural temperature fluctuations via circadian rhythmic translocation of pupae by nurses (amplitude 3.3°C lead to higher numbers of MG in the MB calyces compared to those in pupae reared at smaller or larger thermal amplitudes (0.0, 1.5, 9.6°C, or at constant temperatures (25.4, 35.0°C. We conclude that rhythmic control of brood temperature by nursing ants optimizes brain development by increasing MG densities and numbers in specific brain areas. Resulting differences in synaptic microcircuits are expected to affect sensory processing and learning abilities in adult ants, and may also promote interindividual behavioral variability within colonies.

  14. Seasonal changes in food uptake by the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus in a farm pond: Evidence from C and N stable isotopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Zhenlong; Gao, Qinfeng; Dong, Shuanglin; Shin, Paul K. S.; Wang, Fang

    2013-03-01

    This study investigated the seasonal changes in carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) stable isotope values of several typical food sources of Apostichopus japonicus in a farm pond, including particulate organic matter (POM), macroalgae, benthic microalgae and animals such as nematode and copepod. The stable isotope technique was used to quantify relative contributions of various sources to the food uptake by A. japonicus. The results showed that significant changes occurred in the C and N stable isotope values of sea cucumber food sources due to the seasonality of micro- or macroalgae prosperity and the fluctuation of environmental conditions. The sea cucumber A. japonicus exhibited corresponding alterations in feeding strategy in response to the changes in food conditions. Calculation with a stable isotope mixing model showed that macroalgae was the principal food source for A. japonicus throughout the 1-yr investigation, with the relative contribution averaging 28.1%-63.2%. The relative contributions of other food sources such as copepod and nematode, POM, benthic microalgae to the total food uptake by sea cucumber averaged 22.6%-39.1%, 6.3% -22.2%, 2.8%-6.5%, and 2.8%-4.2%, respectively. Together these results indicated that the seasonal changes in food sources led to the obvious temporal differences in the relative contribution of various food sources utilized by A. japonicus. Such findings provide the basic scientific information for improving the aquaculture techniques of A. japonicus, particularly for optimizing the food environment of A. japonicus culture in farm ponds.

  15. Variations in otolith patterns, sizes and body morphometrics of jack mackerel Trachurus japonicus juveniles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanaji, Y; Kishida, M; Watanabe, Y; Kawamura, T; Xie, S; Yamashita, Y; Sassa, C; Tsukamoto, Y

    2010-10-01

    Variations in otolith patterns, sizes and body morphometrics of jack mackerel Trachurus japonicus juveniles were investigated. Under transmitted light, translucent (W(t)) and opaque otoliths (W(o)) were detected in juveniles collected from Wakasa Bay between July 2005 and April 2006, whereas only opaque otoliths (G(o)) were detected in Goto-nada Sea individuals between May and June 2006. Three groups of juveniles were distinguished based on differences in hatch season, otolith size and growth history, and body morphometrics. As T. japonicus has different spawning seasons according to spawning grounds, each group was estimated to hatch in different waters. Juveniles with W(t) otoliths were considered to have stayed in coastal habitat longer, as the hatch area was estimated to be near Wakasa Bay. Juveniles with W(o) and G(o) otoliths appear to recruit to coastal waters at larger size, since their hatch areas were estimated to be far from each collection area. Larger otoliths of W(t) were attributed to otolith accretion after the second growth flexion, which was observed only for W(t) . Standard length of W(t) fish at the second otolith growth flexion was estimated to correspond to recruitment size to coastal rocky reefs in Wakasa Bay. Body morphometrics were correlated with otolith size after removing body size effect, suggesting that morphological variations of T. japonicus juveniles were also associated with the timing of recruitment to coastal habitat. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  16. Microsatellite Primers for Fungus-Growing Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen Fredsted, Palle; Gertsch, Pia J.; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan (Koos)

    2002-01-01

    We isolated five polymorphic microsatellite loci from a library of two thousand recombinant clones of two fungus-growing ant species, Cyphomyrmex longiscapus and Trachymyrmex cf. zeteki. Amplification and heterozygosity were tested in five species of higher attine ants using both the newly...... developed primers and earlier published primers that were developed for fungus-growing ants. A total of 20 variable microsatellite loci, developed for six different species of fungus-growing ants, are now available for studying the population genetics and colony kin-structure of these ants....

  17. Microsatellite primers for fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen, Palle; Gertsch, P J; Boomsma, JJ

    2002-01-01

    We isolated five polymorphic microsatellite loci from a library of two thousand recombinant clones of two fungus-growing ant species, Cyphomyrmex longiscapus and Trachymyrmex cf. zeteki. Amplification and heterozygosity were tested in five species of higher attine ants using both the newly...... developed primers and earlier published primers that were developed for fungus-growing ants. A total of 20 variable microsatellite loci, developed for six different species of fungus-growing ants, are now available for studying the population genetics and colony kin-structure of these ants....

  18. Effects of methoprene on oviposition by Aedes japonicus and Culex spp

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, M.; Suom, C.; LeBrun, R.A.; Ginsberg, H.S.; Gettman, A.D.

    2006-01-01

    The mosquito larvicide methoprene is a juvenile growth hormone mimic that is widely used to control mosquitoes. This chemical disrupts normal mosquito development, drastically inhibiting emergence from the pupal to the adult stage. If the presence of methoprene attracts or deters mosquitoes from ovipositing it could have implications for mosquito control. This study evaluates whether methoprene attracts or deters mosquitoes likely to oviposit in catch basins. In a field experiment, methoprene formulated as liquid larvicide did not affect oviposition of either Culex spp. or Aedes japonicus in 19 liter plastic buckets.

  19. Frontal glands in the pseudoscolex of Paraechinophallus japonicus (Yamaguti, 1934) (Cestoda, Bothriocephalidea, Echinophallidae)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Poddubnaya, L. G.; Scholz, Tomáš; Levron, Céline; Kuchta, Roman; Gibson, D. I.

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 52, č. 4 (2007), s. 325-334 ISSN 1230-2821 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA524/04/0342; GA ČR GD524/03/H133; GA ČR GP524/07/P039; GA MŠk LC522 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60220518 Keywords : Cestoda * Bothriocephalidea * Paraechinophallus japonicus * psudescolex * frontal glands * tumuli * ultrastructure Subject RIV: GJ - Animal Vermins ; Diseases, Veterinary Medicine Impact factor: 0.814, year: 2007

  20. The evolution of plant chemical defence - new roles for hydroxynitrile glucosides in Lotus japonicus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Knudsen, Camilla

    Plants are sessile organisms well-known to produce a vast array of chemical compounds of which many are used in chemical defence against herbivores and pathogens. The biosynthesis of these plant chemical defence compounds poses a considerable risk of self-toxicity for the plant itself. Several...... function and evolution. Further, it contributes to our understanding of the formation and role of biosynthetic gene clusters in plant chemical defence. The bifurcation in hydroxynitrile glucoside biosynthesis and catabolism observed in Lotus japonicus makes it a very suitable model system to study...

  1. Anti-obesity effects of chikusetsusaponins isolated from Panax japonicus rhizomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Okuda Hiromichi

    2005-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The rhizomes of Panax japonicus are used as a folk medicine for treatment of life-style related diseases such as arteriosclerosis, hyperlipidemia, hypertension and non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus as a substitute for ginseng roots in China and Japan. Obesity is closely associated with life-style-related diseases. This study was performed to clarify whether chikusetsusaponins prevent obesity induced in mice by a high-fat diet for 9 weeks. Methods We performed two in vivo experiments. In one, female ICR mice were fed a high-fat diet with or without 1 or 3% chikusetsusaponins isolated from P. japonicus rhizomes for 9 weeks. In the other, lipid emulsion with or without chikusetsusaponins was administered orally to male Wistar rats, and then the plasma triacylglycerol level was measured 0.5 to 5 h after the orally administered lipid emulsion. For in vitro experiments, the inhibitory effects of total chikusetsusaponins and various purified chikusetsusaponins on pancreatic lipase activity were determined by measuring the rate of release of oleic acid from triolein in an assay system using triolein emulsified with lecithin. Results Total chikusetsusaponins prevented the increases in body weight and parametrial adipose tissue weight induced by a high-fat diet. Furthermore, consumption of a high-fat diet containing 1 or 3% total chikusetsusaponins significantly increased the fecal content and triacylglycerol level at day 3 compared with the high-fat diet groups. Total chikusetsusaponins inhibited the elevation of the plasma triacylglycerol level 2 h after the oral administration of the lipid emulsion. Total chikusetsusaponins, chikusetsusaponin III, 28-deglucosyl-chikusetsusaponin IV and 28-deglucosyl-chikusetsusaponin V inhibited the pancreatic lipase activity. Conclusion The anti-obesity effects of chikusetsusaponins isolated from P. japonicus rhizomes in mice fed a high-fat diet may be partly mediated through delaying the

  2. Dihydroagarofuranoid Sesquiterpenes as Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors from Celastraceae Plants: Maytenus disticha and Euonymus japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alarcón, Julio; Cespedes, Carlos L; Muñoz, Evelyn; Balbontin, Cristian; Valdes, Francisco; Gutierrez, Margarita; Astudillo, Luis; Seigler, David S

    2015-12-02

    Natural cholinesterase inhibitors have been found in many biological sources. Nine compounds with agarofuran (epoxyeudesmane) skeletons were isolated from seeds and aerial parts of Maytenus disticha and Euonymus japonicus. The identification and structural elucidation of compounds were based on spectroscopic data analyses. All compounds had inhibitory acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity. These natural compounds, which possessed mixed or uncompetitive mechanisms of inhibitory activity against AChE, may be considered as models for the design and development of new naturally occurring drugs for management strategies for neurodegenerative diseases. This is the first report of these chemical structures for seeds of M. disticha.

  3. The complete mitochondrial genome of the larvae Japanese anchovy Engraulis japonicus (Clupeiformes, Engraulidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hui; Xian, Weiwei

    2015-01-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome of the larvae Japanese anchovy Engraulis japonicus collected from Yangtze estuary was determined by next-generation sequencing. The mitogenome is a circular molecule16,675 bp in length, including the typical structure of 13 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes, 22 transfer RNA genes and a control region. The TAS, central CSB and CSB were detected in the control region. The gene contents of the mitogenome are identical to those observed in most bony fishes.

  4. Ontogeny of turbiditaxis in hatchery-reared Japanese anchovy Engraulis japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohata, R; Masuda, R; Yamashita, Y

    2018-02-26

    The ontogenetic change in turbiditaxis (i.e. attraction to turbid waters) was examined in the larvae and juveniles of Japanese anchovy Engraulis japonicus by testing three levels of turbidity (0, 20 and 100 ppm of kaolin). Larvae of 12, 20 and 30 mm standard length (L S ) exhibited turbiditaxis to both 20 and 100 ppm of kaolin, whereas 6 mm L S larvae and 45 mm L S juveniles did not exhibit any turbiditaxis. Turbiditaxis might explain the ontogenetic habitat shift from coastal to offshore waters reported for this species. © 2018 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  5. Mechanisms of social regulation change across colony development in an ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Dani; Liebig, Jürgen

    2010-10-27

    Mutual policing is an important mechanism for reducing conflict in cooperative groups. In societies of ants, bees, and wasps, mutual policing of worker reproduction can evolve when workers are more closely related to the queen's sons than to the sons of workers or when the costs of worker reproduction lower the inclusive fitness of workers. During colony growth, relatedness within the colony remains the same, but the costs of worker reproduction may change. The costs of worker reproduction are predicted to be greatest in incipient colonies. If the costs associated with worker reproduction outweigh the individual direct benefits to workers, policing mechanisms as found in larger colonies may be absent in incipient colonies. We investigated policing behaviour across colony growth in the ant Camponotus floridanus. In large colonies of this species, worker reproduction is policed by the destruction of worker-laid eggs. We found workers from incipient colonies do not exhibit policing behaviour, and instead tolerate all conspecific eggs. The change in policing behaviour is consistent with changes in egg surface hydrocarbons, which provide the informational basis for policing; eggs laid by queens from incipient colonies lack the characteristic hydrocarbons on the surface of eggs laid by queens from large colonies, making them chemically indistinguishable from worker-laid eggs. We also tested the response to fertility information in the context of queen tolerance. Workers from incipient colonies attacked foreign queens from large colonies; whereas workers from large colonies tolerated such queens. Workers from both incipient and large colonies attacked foreign queens from incipient colonies. Our results provide novel insights into the regulation of worker reproduction in social insects at both the proximate and ultimate levels. At the proximate level, our results show that mechanisms of social regulation, such as the response to fertility signals, change dramatically over

  6. Mechanisms of social regulation change across colony development in an ant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liebig Jürgen

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mutual policing is an important mechanism for reducing conflict in cooperative groups. In societies of ants, bees, and wasps, mutual policing of worker reproduction can evolve when workers are more closely related to the queen's sons than to the sons of workers or when the costs of worker reproduction lower the inclusive fitness of workers. During colony growth, relatedness within the colony remains the same, but the costs of worker reproduction may change. The costs of worker reproduction are predicted to be greatest in incipient colonies. If the costs associated with worker reproduction outweigh the individual direct benefits to workers, policing mechanisms as found in larger colonies may be absent in incipient colonies. Results We investigated policing behaviour across colony growth in the ant Camponotus floridanus. In large colonies of this species, worker reproduction is policed by the destruction of worker-laid eggs. We found workers from incipient colonies do not exhibit policing behaviour, and instead tolerate all conspecific eggs. The change in policing behaviour is consistent with changes in egg surface hydrocarbons, which provide the informational basis for policing; eggs laid by queens from incipient colonies lack the characteristic hydrocarbons on the surface of eggs laid by queens from large colonies, making them chemically indistinguishable from worker-laid eggs. We also tested the response to fertility information in the context of queen tolerance. Workers from incipient colonies attacked foreign queens from large colonies; whereas workers from large colonies tolerated such queens. Workers from both incipient and large colonies attacked foreign queens from incipient colonies. Conclusions Our results provide novel insights into the regulation of worker reproduction in social insects at both the proximate and ultimate levels. At the proximate level, our results show that mechanisms of social regulation, such as

  7. Lotus japonicus nodulation requires two GRAS domain regulators, one of which is functionally conserved in a non-legume

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heckmann, Anne Birgitte Lau; Lombardo, Fabien; Miwa, Hiroki

    2006-01-01

    A new nodulation-defective mutant of Lotus japonicus does not initiate nodule cortical cell division in response to Mesorhizobium loti, but induces root hair deformation, Nod factor-induced calcium spiking, and mycorrhization. This phenotype, together with mapping data, suggested that the mutation...... could be in the ortholog of the Medicago truncatula NSP1 gene (MtNSP1). The sequence of the orthologous gene (LjNSP1) in the L. japonicus mutant (Ljnsp1-1) revealed a mutation causing a premature stop resulting in loss of the C-terminal 23 amino acids. We also sequenced the NSP2 gene from L. japonicus...

  8. Introduced fire ants can exclude native ants from critical mutualist-provided resources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilder, Shawn M; Barnum, Thomas R; Holway, David A; Suarez, Andrew V; Eubanks, Micky D

    2013-05-01

    Animals frequently experience resource imbalances in nature. For ants, one resource that may be particularly valuable for both introduced and native species is high-carbohydrate honeydew from hemipteran mutualists. We conducted field and laboratory experiments: (1) to test if red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) competed with native ants for access to mutualisms with aphids, and (2) to quantify the effects of aphid honeydew presence or absence on colony growth of native ants. We focused on native dolichoderine ants (Formicidae, Dolichoderinae) because they are abundant ants that have omnivorous diets that frequently include mutualist-provided carbohydrates. At two sites in the southeastern US, native dolichoderine ants were far less frequent, and fire ants more frequent, at carbohydrate baits than would be expected based on their frequency in pitfall traps. A field experiment confirmed that a native ant species, Dorymyrmex bureni, was only found tending aphids when populations of S. invicta were suppressed. In the laboratory, colonies of native dolichoderine ants with access to both honeydew and insect prey had twice as many workers and over twice as much brood compared to colonies fed only ad libitum insect prey. Our results provide the first experimental evidence that introduced ants compete for access to mutualist-provided carbohydrates with native ants and that these carbohydrates represent critical resources for both introduced and native ants. These results challenge traditional paradigms of arthropod and ant nutrition and contribute to growing evidence of the importance of nutrition in mediating ecological interactions.

  9. Revolutionizing Remote Exploration with ANTS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, P. E.; Rilee, M. L.; Curtis, S.; Truszkowski, W.

    2002-05-01

    We are developing the Autonomous Nano-Technology Swarm (ANTS) architecture based on an insect colony analogue for the cost-effective, efficient, systematic survey of remote or inaccessible areas with multiple object targets, including planetary surface, marine, airborne, and space environments. The mission context is the exploration in the 2020s of the most compelling remaining targets in the solar system: main belt asteroids. Main belt asteroids harbor important clues to Solar System origins and evolution which are central to NASA's goals in Space Science. Asteroids are smaller than planets, but their number is far greater, and their combined surface area likely dwarfs the Earth's. An asteroid survey will dramatically increase our understanding of the local resources available for the Human Exploration and Development of Space. During the mission composition, shape, gravity, and orbit parameters could be returned to Earth for perhaps several thousand asteroids. A survey of this area will rival the great explorations that encircled this globe, opened up the New World, and laid the groundwork for the progress and challenges of the last centuries. The ANTS architecture for a main belt survey consists of a swarm of as many as a thousand or more highly specialized pico-spacecraft that form teams to survey as many as one hundred asteroids a month. Multi-level autonomy is critical for ANTS and the objective of the proposed study is to work through the implications and constraints this entails. ANTS couples biologically inspired autonomic control for basic functions to higher level artificial intelligence that together enable individual spacecraft to operate as specialized, cooperative, social agents. This revolutionary approach postulates highly advanced, but familiar, components integrated and operated in a way that uniquely transcends any evolutionary extrapolation of existing trends and enables thousand-spacecraft missions.

  10. Presymbiotic factors released by the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus Gigaspora margarita induce starch accumulation in Lotus japonicus roots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutjahr, Caroline; Novero, Mara; Guether, Mike; Montanari, Ombretta; Udvardi, Michael; Bonfante, Paola

    2009-01-01

    * Nutrient exchange is the key symbiotic feature of arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM). As evidence is accumulating that plants sense presymbiotic factors from AM fungi and prepare for colonization, we investigated whether modifications in plant sugar metabolism might be part of the precolonization program. * Inoculation of Lotus japonicus roots in a double Millipore sandwich with the AM fungus Gigaspora margarita prevented contact between the symbionts but allowed exchange of signal molecules. Starch content was used as a marker for root carbohydrate status. * Mycorrhizal colonization of L. japonicus roots led to a decrease in starch concentration. In roots inoculated in the double sandwich, the polysaccharide accumulated after 1 wk and persisted for at least 4 wk. The response was absent in the castor myc(-) mutant, sym4-2, while transcript levels of both CASTOR and POLLUX were slightly enhanced in the wild-type L. japonicus roots, suggesting a requirement of the corresponding proteins for the starch-accumulation response. Exudates obtained from fungal spores germinated in the absence of the plant also induced starch accumulation in wild-type L. japonicus roots. * We conclude that factors released from germinating AM fungal spores induce changes in the root carbon status, possibly by enhancing sugar import, which leads to starch accumulation when colonization is prevented.

  11. Effect of salinity on acute copper and zinc toxicity to Tigriopus japonicus: the difference between metal ions and nanoparticles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Junbeom; Kim, Soyoun; Yoo, Jisu; Lee, Jae-Seong; Park, June-Woo; Jung, Jinho

    2014-08-30

    We investigated the effects of salinity (5‰, 15‰, 25‰ and 35‰) on metal ion (Cu and Zn) and nanoparticle (NP) CuO and ZnO toxicity to Tigriopus japonicus. Increasing the test media volume without renewal increased the 96-h LC50 for Cu (32.75 mg L(-1)) compared to the reported value (3.9 mg L(-1)). There was no significant difference in acute toxicity at different salinities between acclimated and unacclimated T. japonicus (p>0.05). Increasing salinity decreased the dissolved concentrations of Cu and Zn ions due to the precipitation of the metal ions, consequently reducing the acute toxicity to T. japonicus. The effect of salinity on acute CuO and ZnO NP toxicity was similar to that on metal ion toxicity. Since the aggregation of NPs generally enhanced at higher salinities, both the dissolution and aggregation of CuO and ZnO NPs may control the effect of salinity on acute toxicity to T. japonicus. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Lotus japonicus flowers are defended by a cyanogenic β-glucosidase with highly restricted expression to essential reproductive organs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Daniela; Pičmanová, Martina; Abou Hachem, Maher; Motawia, Mohammed Saddik; Olsen, Carl Erik; Møller, Birger Lindberg; Rook, Fred; Takos, Adam M

    2015-09-01

    Flowers and leaves of Lotus japonicus contain α-, β-, and γ-hydroxynitrile glucoside (HNG) defense compounds, which are bioactivated by β-glucosidase enzymes (BGDs). The α-HNGs are referred to as cyanogenic glucosides because their hydrolysis upon tissue disruption leads to release of toxic hydrogen cyanide gas, which can deter herbivore feeding. BGD2 and BGD4 are HNG metabolizing BGD enzymes expressed in leaves. Only BGD2 is able to hydrolyse the α-HNGs. Loss of function mutants of BGD2 are acyanogenic in leaves but fully retain cyanogenesis in flowers pointing to the existence of an alternative cyanogenic BGD in flowers. This enzyme, named BGD3, is identified and characterized in this study. Whereas all floral tissues contain α-HNGs, only those tissues in which BGD3 is expressed, the keel and the enclosed reproductive organs, are cyanogenic. Biochemical analysis, active site architecture molecular modelling, and the observation that L. japonicus accessions lacking cyanogenic flowers contain a non-functional BGD3 gene, all support the key role of BGD3 in floral cyanogenesis. The nectar of L. japonicus flowers was also found to contain HNGs and additionally their diglycosides. The observed specialisation in HNG based defence in L. japonicus flowers is discussed in the context of balancing the attraction of pollinators with the protection of reproductive structures against herbivores.

  13. Organization and expression of genes in the genomic region surrounding the glutamine synthetase gene Gln1 from Lotus japonicus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thykjaer, T; Danielsen, D; She, Q

    1997-01-01

    The diploid Lotus japonicus was previously suggested as a model for the legume plant family. We present here the nucleotide sequence and the derived gene organization of a small part of the genome in this model plant. Two functional genes with the same transcriptional orientation were identified...

  14. Effect of food on specific dynamic action (SDA) of green and red types of sea cucumber ( Apostichopus japonicus Selenka)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bao, Jie; Jiang, Hongbo; Dong, Shuanglin; Tian, Xiangli

    2017-10-01

    Specific dynamic action (SDA), the energy expended on all physiological processes that is associated with meal digestion and absorption, is strongly affected by food type. Effects of formulated diet (FMD), macroalgae (ALG) and sea mud (SMD) diets on the postprandial metabolic response of the green type and the red type of sea cucumber ( Apostichopus japonicus) were studied in order to understand their feeding physiology. Food offered to A. japonicus was different in protein, lipid content and energy but not in meal mass. SDA of A. japonicus resulted in a 1.3-2.7 folds of increase in oxygen consumption that can persist for up to 4.8-31.7 h after digesting three different diets. In a given type of sea cucumber, the magnitude of SDA was the highest when fed with FMD, medium with ALG, and the lowest with SMD, which is probably due to the differences in diet components and protein contents. The red type sea cucumber showed greater SDA magnitude than the green type with each diet treatment, which might result from the difference in factorial scope between the two types of sea cucumber. However, the smallest magnitude or even no difference was observed between the two types of A. japonicus in SMD group, perhaps owing to the poor nutrition and digestion of sea mud.

  15. Characterization of tyrosinase inhibitory constituents from the aerial parts of Humulus japonicus using LC-MS/MS coupled online assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Hyo Hee; Oh, Kyung-Eon; Jo, Yang Hee; Ahn, Jong Hoon; Liu, Qing; Turk, Ayman; Jang, Jae Young; Hwang, Bang Yeon; Lee, Ki Yong; Lee, Mi Kyeong

    2018-01-15

    In the screening of natural products for the development as cosmetic ingredients, the EtOAc-soluble fraction of Humulus japonicus showed tyrosinase inhibitory activity. HPLC-MS/MS coupled online tyrosinase assay of EtOAc-soluble fraction of H. japonicus characterized the twenty-eight constituents including two unknown ones and their tyrosinase inhibitory activity. Fractionation of H. japonicus using various chromatographic techniques yielded thirty-eight compounds. The chemical structures of isolated compounds were identified by spectroscopic analysis. As characterized by HPLC-MS/MS analysis, we isolated twenty-four predicted compounds and further identified two unknown ones, named humulusides A (1) and B (2). Additional ten compounds were also identified by purification. Tyrosinase inhibitory activity of isolated compounds were evaluated, which was closely correlated with the results from HPLC-MS/MS coupled online tyrosinase assay. Consistent with predicted data, two major compounds, trans-N-coumaroyltyramine (14) and cis-N-coumaroyltyramine (15) showed tyrosinase inhibition with IC 50 values of 40.6 and 36.4 μM. Taken together, H. japonicus is suggested as whitening ingredient in cosmetic products. In addition, HPLC-MS/MS coupled tyrosinase assay is powerful tool for predicting active compounds with short time and limited amounts, although identification of new compounds and verification of predicted data are also needs to be demonstrated by further experiment. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Phoretic mites and their hyperphoretic fungi associated with flying Ips typographus japonicus Niijima (Col., Scolytidae) in Japan

    Science.gov (United States)

    J.C. Moser; T.J. Perry; K. Furuta

    1997-01-01

    Flying Ips typographus japonicus from Hokkaido (Japan) carried 12 species of phoretic mites, three of which were not previously recorded in Europe. The mite biologies were diverse, including specialists feeding on microorganisms, beetle eggs, and nematodes which were common under beetle elytra. Hyperphoretic on these mites were seven distinct species of fungal spores...

  17. Effects of stomatal development on stomatal conductance and on stomatal limitation of photosynthesis in Syringa oblata and Euonymus japonicus Thunb.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Bing-Jie; Chow, Wah Soon; Liu, Yu-Jun; Shi, Lei; Jiang, Chuang-Dao

    2014-12-01

    During leaf development, the increase in stomatal conductance cannot meet photosynthetic demand for CO2, thus leading to stomatal limitation of photosynthesis (Ls). Considering the crucial influences of stomatal development on stomatal conductance, we speculated whether stomatal development limits photosynthesis to some extent. To test this hypothesis, stomatal development, stomatal conductance and photosynthesis were carefully studied in both Syringa oblata (normal greening species) and Euonymus japonicus Thunb (delayed greening species). Our results show that the size of stomata increased gradually with leaf expansion, resulting in increased stomatal conductance up to the time of full leaf expansion. During this process, photosynthesis also increased steadily. Compared to that in S. oblata, the development of chloroplasts in E. japonicus Thunb was obviously delayed, leading to a delay in the improvement of photosynthetic capacity. Further analysis revealed that before full leaf expansion, stomatal limitation increased rapidly in both S. oblata and E. japonicus Thunb; after full leaf expansion, stomatal limitation continually increased in E. japonicus Thunb. Accordingly, we suggested that the enhancement of photosynthetic capacity is the main factor leading to stomatal limitation during leaf development but that stomatal development can alleviate stomatal limitation with the increase of photosynthesis by controlling gas exchange. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Changes in pyridine metabolism profile during growth of trigonelline-forming Lotus japonicus cell cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Yuling; Matsui, Ayu; Sakuta, Masaaki; Ashihara, Hiroshi

    2008-12-01

    Changes in the profile of pyridine metabolism during growth of cells were investigated using trigonelline-forming suspension-cultured cells of Lotus japonicus. Activity of the de novo and salvage pathways of NAD biosynthesis was estimated from the in situ metabolism of [(3)H] quinolinic acid and [(14)C] nicotinamide. Maximum activity of the de novo pathway for NAD synthesis was found in the exponential growth phase, whereas activity of the salvage pathway was increased in the lag phase of cell growth. Expression profiles of some genes related to pyridine metabolism were examined using the expression sequence tags obtained from the L. japonicus database. Transcript levels of NaPRT and NIC, encoding salvage enzymes, were enhanced in the lag phase of cell growth, whereas the maximum expression of NADS was found in the exponential growth phase. Correspondingly, the activities of the salvage enzymes, nicotinate phosphoribosyltransferase (EC 2.4.2.11) and nicotinamidase (EC 3.5.1.19), increased one day after transfer of the stationary phase cells to the fresh medium. The greatest in situ trigonelline synthesis, both from [(3)H] quinolinic acid and [(14)C] nicotinamide, was found in the stationary phase of cell growth. The role of trigonelline in leguminous plants is discussed.

  19. Mechanical stress induces neuroendocrine and immune responses of sea cucumber ( Apostichopus japonicus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Jie; Li, Fenghui; Sun, Huiling; Gao, Fei; Yan, Jingping; Gai, Chunlei; Chen, Aihua; Wang, Qingyin

    2015-04-01

    Grading procedure in routine sea cucumber hatchery production is thought to affect juvenile sea cucumber immunological response. The present study investigated the impact of a 3-min mechanical perturbation mimicking the grading procedure on neuroendocrine and immune parameters of the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus. During the application of stress, concentrations of noradrenaline and dopamine in coelomic fluid increased significantly, indicating that the mechanical perturbation resulted in a transient state of stress in sea cucumbers. Coelomocytes concentration in coelomic fluid increased transiently after the beginning of stressing, and reached the maximum in 1 h. Whereas, coelomocytes phagocytosis at 3 min, superoxide anion production from 3 min to 0.5 h, acid phosphatase activity at 0.5 h, and phenoloxidase activity from 3 min to 0.5 h were all significantly down-regulated. All of the immune parameters recovered to baseline levels after the experiment was conducted for 8 h, and an immunostimulation occurred after the stress considering the phagocytosis and acid phosphatase activity. The results suggested that, as in other marine invertebrates, neuroendocrine/immune connections exist in sea cucumber A. japonicus. Mechanical stress can elicit a profound influence on sea cucumber neuroendocrine system. Neuroendocrine messengers act in turn to modulate the immunity functions. Therefore, these effects should be considered for developing better husbandry procedures.

  20. Lotus Base: An integrated information portal for the model legume Lotus japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mun, Terry; Bachmann, Asger; Gupta, Vikas; Stougaard, Jens; Andersen, Stig U

    2016-12-23

    Lotus japonicus is a well-characterized model legume widely used in the study of plant-microbe interactions. However, datasets from various Lotus studies are poorly integrated and lack interoperability. We recognize the need for a comprehensive repository that allows comprehensive and dynamic exploration of Lotus genomic and transcriptomic data. Equally important are user-friendly in-browser tools designed for data visualization and interpretation. Here, we present Lotus Base, which opens to the research community a large, established LORE1 insertion mutant population containing an excess of 120,000 lines, and serves the end-user tightly integrated data from Lotus, such as the reference genome, annotated proteins, and expression profiling data. We report the integration of expression data from the L. japonicus gene expression atlas project, and the development of tools to cluster and export such data, allowing users to construct, visualize, and annotate co-expression gene networks. Lotus Base takes advantage of modern advances in browser technology to deliver powerful data interpretation for biologists. Its modular construction and publicly available application programming interface enable developers to tap into the wealth of integrated Lotus data. Lotus Base is freely accessible at: https://lotus.au.dk.

  1. Two Lotus japonicus symbiosis mutants impaired at distinct steps of arbuscule development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groth, Martin; Kosuta, Sonja; Gutjahr, Caroline; Haage, Kristina; Hardel, Simone Liesel; Schaub, Miriam; Brachmann, Andreas; Sato, Shusei; Tabata, Satoshi; Findlay, Kim; Wang, Trevor L; Parniske, Martin

    2013-07-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) fungi form nutrient-acquiring symbioses with the majority of higher plants. Nutrient exchange occurs via arbuscules, highly branched hyphal structures that are formed within root cortical cells. With a view to identifying host genes involved in AM development, we isolated Lotus japonicus AM-defective mutants via a microscopic screen of an ethyl methanesulfonate-mutagenized population. A standardized mapping procedure was developed that facilitated positioning of the defective loci on the genetic map of L. japonicus, and, in five cases, allowed identification of mutants of known symbiotic genes. Two additional mutants representing independent loci did not form mature arbuscules during symbiosis with two divergent AM fungal species, but exhibited signs of premature arbuscule arrest or senescence. Marker gene expression patterns indicated that the two mutants are affected in distinct steps of arbuscule development. Both mutants formed wild-type-like root nodules upon inoculation with Mesorhizobium loti, indicating that the mutated loci are essential during AM but not during root nodule symbiosis. © 2013 The Authors The Plant Journal © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Evolution of crop production under a pseudo-space environment using model plants, Lotus japonicus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomita-Yokotani, Kaori; Motohashi, Kyohei; Omi, Naomi; Sato, Seigo; Aoki, Toshio; Hashimoto, Hirofumi; Yamashita, Masamichi

    Habitation in outer space is one of our challenges. We have been studying space agriculture and/or spacecraft agriculture to provide food and oxygen for the habitation area in the space environment. However, careful investigation should be made concerning the results of exotic environmental effects on the endogenous production of biologically active substances in indi-vidual cultivated plants in a space environment. We have already reported that the production of functional substances in cultivated plants as crops are affected by gravity. The amounts of the main physiological substances in these plants grown under terrestrial control were different from that grown in a pseudo-microgravity. These results suggested that the nutrition would be changed in the plants/crops grown in the space environment when human beings eat in space. This estimation required us to investigate each of the useful components produced by each plant grown in the space environment. These estimations involved several study fields, includ-ing nutrition, plant physiology, etc. On the other hand, the analysis of model plant genomes has recently been remarkably advanced. Lotus japonicus, a leguminous plant, is also one of the model plant. The leguminosae is a large family in the plant vegetable kingdom and almost the entire genome sequence of Lotus japonicus has been determined. Nitrogen fixation would be possible even in a space environment. We are trying to determine the best conditions and evolution for crop production using the model plants.

  3. Histochemical localization and characterization of AKP, ACP, NSE, and POD from cultured Apostichopus japonicus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jiye; Sun, Xiuqin; Zheng, Fengrong; Sun, Hushan

    2009-09-01

    We investigated the distribution of four enzymes involved in the immune response of Apostichopus japonicus. We collected samples of the tentacles, papillate podium, integument, respiratory tree, and digestive tract and stained them for acid phosphatase (ACP), alkaline phosphatase (AKP), non-specific esterase (NSE) and peroxidase (POD) activity. The distribution and content of ACP, AKP, NSE, and POD differed among the tissues. The coelomic epithelium of the tentacle, papillate podium, and integument and the mucous layer of respiratory tree were positive for ACP activity. The coelomic epithelium and cuticular layer of the tentacle, papillate podium, and integument and the mucous layer and tunica externa of the respiratory tree and digestive tract stained positive or weakly positive for AKP activity. Almost all the epithelial tissues stained positive, strongly positive, or very strongly positive for NSE activity. The cuticular layer of the tentacle and integument and the mucous layer, tunica submucosa, and tunica externa of the respiratory tree and digestive tract stained positive for POD activity. We hypothesize that these enzymes play a role in the immune response in A. japonicus.

  4. [Use of entomopathogenic fungi to degrade wax secreted by Ceroplastes japonicus].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhijuan; Xie, Yingping; Xue, Jiaoliang; Fan, Jinhua

    2013-05-04

    We used entomopathogenic fungi to degrade insect wax. We used four fungal strains, Lecanicilliurn lecanii V3. 4504, V3. 4505, Beauveria bassiana FDB01, and Metarhizium anisopliae TSL06. Wax coverings of female adults of Ceroplastes japonicus Green (Insecta: Hemiptera: Coccoidea) were used as the sole carbon source in the mineral medium. All of the 4 strains could grow, reproduce, produce enzymes, and degrade wax. During a 7-day culture, the highest lipase activities of the 4 strains, V3. 4504, V3. 4505, FDB01, and TSL06 were 0.128 +/- 0.017, 0.056 +/- 0.002, 0.124 +/- 0.011, and 0.149 +/- 0.005 U/mL, respectively. The dehydrogenases activities of the 4 strains were 0.075 +/- 0.003, 0.074 +/- 0.003, 0.061 +/- 0.04, and 0. 066 +/- 0. 002 U/mL respectively. The degradation rates of wax by the 4 strains were 18.20 +/- 0.019, 11.00 +/- 0.011, 15.4 +/- 0.017, and 23.10 +/- 0.031%, respectively. The 4 strains could depredate wax of C. japonicus.

  5. Ecosystem services delivered by weaver ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    Weaver ants (Oecopgylla spp.) are increasingly being utilized as efficient biocontrol agents in a number of tropical tree crops, as they prey on pest insects and increase yields. However, recent studies and a review of the literature reveal that a number of other services may derive from the pres......Weaver ants (Oecopgylla spp.) are increasingly being utilized as efficient biocontrol agents in a number of tropical tree crops, as they prey on pest insects and increase yields. However, recent studies and a review of the literature reveal that a number of other services may derive from...... the presence of these ants. First of all, the chemical footprint left by the high density of ants in managed host trees may results in additional benefits. (i) Ant deposits may lead to improved fruit quality, e.g. increased sugar content, (ii) ant deposits may deter important pests (chemical deterrence) from...... crops, and lastly, (iii) ant waste products deposited ias anal spots contain urea that may be taken up by plant leaves and in this way fertilize ant-plants. On top of chemical services, weaver ants have been shown to reduce plant disease incidence via competitive exclusion of other ant species because...

  6. Roadside Survey of Ants on Oahu, Hawaii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reina L. Tong

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Hawaii is home to over 60 ant species, including five of the six most damaging invasive ants. Although there have been many surveys of ants in Hawaii, the last island-wide hand-collection survey of ants on Oahu was conducted in 1988–1994. In 2012, a timed hand-collection of ants was made at 44 sites in a systematic, roadside survey throughout Oahu. Ants were identified and species distribution in relation to elevation, precipitation and soil type was analyzed. To assess possible convenience sampling bias, 15 additional sites were sampled further from roads to compare with the samples near roads. Twenty-four species of ants were found and mapped; Pheidole megacephala (F., Ochetellus glaber (Mayr, and Technomyrmex difficilis Forel were the most frequently encountered ants. For six ant species, a logistic regression was performed with elevation, average annual precipitation, and soil order as explanatory variables. O. glaber was found in areas with lower precipitation around Oahu. Paratrechina longicornis (Latrielle and Tetramorium simillimum (Smith, F. were found more often in lower elevations and in areas with the Mollisol soil order. Elevation, precipitation, and soil type were not significant sources of variation for P. megacephala, Plagiolepis alluaudi Emery, and T. difficilis. P. megacephala was associated with fewer mean numbers of ants where it occurred. Ant assemblages near and far from roads did not significantly differ. Many species of ants remain established on Oahu, and recent invaders are spreading throughout the island. Mapping ant distributions contributes to continued documentation and understanding of these pests.

  7. Phylogeography of the sandy beach amphipod Haustorioides japonicus along the Sea of Japan: Paleogeographical signatures of cryptic regional divergences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takada, Yoshitake; Sakuma, Kay; Fujii, Tetsuo; Kojima, Shigeaki

    2018-01-01

    Recent findings of genetic breaks within apparently continuous marine populations challenge the traditional vicariance paradigm in population genetics. Such "invisible" boundaries are sometimes associated with potential geographic barriers that have forced divergence of an ancestral population, habitat discontinuities, biogeographic disjunctions due to environmental gradients, or a combination of these factors. To explore the factors that influence the genetic population structure of apparently continuous populations along the Sea of Japan, the sandy beach amphipod Haustorioides japonicus was examined. We sampled a total of 300 individuals of H. japonicus from the coast of Japan, and obtained partial sequences of the mitochondrial COI gene. The sequences from 19 local populations were clustered into five groups (Northwestern Pacific, Northern, Central, Southern Sea of Japan, and East China Sea) based on a spatial genetic mixture analysis and a minimum-spanning network. AMOVA and pairwise Fst tests further supported the significant divergence of the five groups. Phylogenetic analysis revealed the relationship among the haplotypes of H. japonicus and outgroups, which inferred the northward range expansion of the species. A relaxed molecular-clock Bayesian analysis inferred the early-to middle-Pleistocene divergence of the populations. Among the five clusters, the Central Sea of Japan showed the highest values for genetic diversity indices indicating the existence of a relatively stable and large population there. The hypothesis is also supported by Bayesian Skyline Plots that showed sudden population expansion for all the clusters except for Central Sea of Japan. The present study shows genetic boundaries between the Sea of Japan and the neighboring seas, probably due to geographic isolation during the Pleistocene glacial periods. We further found divergence between the populations along the apparently continuous coast of the Sea of Japan. Historical changes in the

  8. Effects of water depth and substrate color on the growth and body color of the red sea cucumber, Apostichopus japonicus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Senhao; Dong, Shuanglin; Gao, Qinfeng; Ren, Yichao; Wang, Fang

    2015-05-01

    Three color variants of the sea cucumber, Apostichopus japonicus are recognized, the red one is highly valued in the market. When the red variant is cultured in ponds in China, its body color changes from red to celadon in 3-6 months. The effects of water depth and substrate color on the growth and body color of this animal were investigated. Juveniles of red A. japonicus were cultured in cages suspended at a range of water depths (20, 50, 100, 150 and 200 cm). The specific growth rate of red sea cucumbers was significantly higher in animals cultured at deeper water layers compared with those grown at shallowers. Body weights were greatest for sea cucumbers cultured at a depth of 150 cm and their survival rates were highest at a depth of 200 cm. A scale to evaluate the color of red sea cucumbers ( R value) was developed using a Pantone standard color card. All stocked animals in the 9-month trial retained a red color, however the red body color was much more intense in sea cucumbers cultured at shallower depths, while animals suspended in deeper layers became pale. In a separate trial, A. japonicus were cultured in suspended cages with seven different colored substrates. Substrate color had a significant effect on the growth and body-color of red A. japonicus. The yield were greatest for A. japonicus cultured on a yellow substrate, followed by green > white > orange > red > black and blue. All sea cucumbers in the 7-month trial retained a red color, although the red was most intense (highest R value) in animals cultured on a blue substrate and pale (lowest R value) for animals cultured on a green substrate.

  9. Ant Larval Demand Reduces Aphid Colony Growth Rates in an Ant-Aphid Interaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James M. Cook

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Ants often form mutualistic interactions with aphids, soliciting honeydew in return for protective services. Under certain circumstances, however, ants will prey upon aphids. In addition, in the presence of ants aphids may increase the quantity or quality of honeydew produced, which is costly. Through these mechanisms, ant attendance can reduce aphid colony growth rates. However, it is unknown whether demand from within the ant colony can affect the ant-aphid interaction. In a factorial experiment, we tested whether the presence of larvae in Lasius niger ant colonies affected the growth rate of Aphis fabae colonies. Other explanatory variables tested were the origin of ant colonies (two separate colonies were used and previous diet (sugar only or sugar and protein. We found that the presence of larvae in the ant colony significantly reduced the growth rate of aphid colonies. Previous diet and colony origin did not affect aphid colony growth rates. Our results suggest that ant colonies balance the flow of two separate resources from aphid colonies- renewable sugars or a protein-rich meal, depending on demand from ant larvae within the nest. Aphid payoffs from the ant-aphid interaction may change on a seasonal basis, as the demand from larvae within the ant colony waxes and wanes.

  10. Friends and Foes from an Ant Brain's Point of View – Neuronal Correlates of Colony Odors in a Social Insect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandstaetter, Andreas Simon; Rössler, Wolfgang; Kleineidam, Christoph Johannes

    2011-01-01

    Background Successful cooperation depends on reliable identification of friends and foes. Social insects discriminate colony members (nestmates/friends) from foreign workers (non-nestmates/foes) by colony-specific, multi-component colony odors. Traditionally, complex processing in the brain has been regarded as crucial for colony recognition. Odor information is represented as spatial patterns of activity and processed in the primary olfactory neuropile, the antennal lobe (AL) of insects, which is analogous to the vertebrate olfactory bulb. Correlative evidence indicates that the spatial activity patterns reflect odor-quality, i.e., how an odor is perceived. For colony odors, alternatively, a sensory filter in the peripheral nervous system was suggested, causing specific anosmia to nestmate colony odors. Here, we investigate neuronal correlates of colony odors in the brain of a social insect to directly test whether they are anosmic to nestmate colony odors and whether spatial activity patterns in the AL can predict how odor qualities like “friend” and “foe” are attributed to colony odors. Methodology/Principal Findings Using ant dummies that mimic natural conditions, we presented colony odors and investigated their neuronal representation in the ant Camponotus floridanus. Nestmate and non-nestmate colony odors elicited neuronal activity: In the periphery, we recorded sensory responses of olfactory receptor neurons (electroantennography), and in the brain, we measured colony odor specific spatial activity patterns in the AL (calcium imaging). Surprisingly, upon repeated stimulation with the same colony odor, spatial activity patterns were variable, and as variable as activity patterns elicited by different colony odors. Conclusions Ants are not anosmic to nestmate colony odors. However, spatial activity patterns in the AL alone do not provide sufficient information for colony odor discrimination and this finding challenges the current notion of how odor

  11. The distribution and diversity of insular ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Roura-Pascual, Núria; Sanders, Nate; Hui, Cang

    2016-01-01

    Aim: To examine the relationship between island characteristics (area, distance to the nearest continent, climate and human population size) and ant species richness, as well as the factors underlying global geographical clustering of native and exotic ant composition on islands. Location: One...... hundred and two islands from 20 island groups around the world. Methods: We used spatial linear models that consider the spatial structure of islands to examine patterns of ant species richness. We also performed modularity analyses to identify clusters of islands hosting a similar suite of species...... and constructed conditional inference trees to assess the characteristics of islands that explain the formation of these island-ant groups. Results: Island area was the best predictor of ant species richness. However, distance to the nearest continent was an important predictor of native ant species richness...

  12. Genome analysis methods: Lotus japonicus [PGDBj Registered plant list, Marker list, QTL list, Plant DB link and Genome analysis methods[Archive

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available Lotus japonicus Draft 2n=12 472 Mb 2008 Sanger (Clone-based) ... 315.1 Mb 3-5x Parace...l Genome Assembler 954 110,940 Kazusa Annotation PipelinE for Lotus japonicus (KAPSEL) 37,971 (v2.5) KDRI; http://www.kazusa.or.jp/lotus/ v2.5 v2.5 10.1093/dnares/dsn008 18511435 ...

  13. From Ant Trails to Pedestrian Dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Schadschneider

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a model for the simulation of pedestrian dynamics inspired by the behaviour of ants in ant trails. Ants communicate by producing a pheromone that can be smelled by other ants. In this model, pedestrians produce a virtual pheromone that influences the motion of others. In this way all interactions are strictly local, and so even large crowds can be simulated very efficiently. Nevertheless, the model is able to reproduce the collective effects observed empirically, eg the formation of lanes in counterflow. As an application, we reproduce a surprising result found in experiments of evacuation from an aircraft.

  14. Specificity of an ant-lycaenid interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordano, D; Thomas, C D

    1992-09-01

    Many lycaenid butterflies are believed to be mutualists of ants - the butterfly larvae secrete sugars and amino acids as rewards for the ants, and the ants protect the larvae from predation or parasitism. We examined the specificity of the relationship between the lycaenid Plebejus argus and ants in the genus Lasius. Eggs were not attractive to Lasius ants until the emerging larvae had broken through the chorion. First instar larvae were palpated and picked up by Lasius workers and taken to the nest. First instars were mostly ignored by Myrmica sabuleti ants and they were rarely detected by Formica fusca. Older larvae were more attractive to Lasius than to the other ant genera. Pupae were very attractive to Lasius, moderately so to Myrmica, and were ignored by Formica fusca. Teneral adults were palpated by Lasius, but were attacked by Myrmica and Formica workers. We conclude that P. argus is a specialist associate of Lasius ants. Two populations of Plebejus argus were compared: one is naturally associated with Lasius niger, and the other with Lasius alienus. In reciprocal trials, larvae were slightly more attractive to their natural host ant species. Since test larvae were reared on a single host plant species in captivity, this differentiation probably has a genetic basis.

  15. Major evolutionary transitions in ant agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, Ted R; Brady, Seán G

    2008-04-08

    Agriculture is a specialized form of symbiosis that is known to have evolved in only four animal groups: humans, bark beetles, termites, and ants. Here, we reconstruct the major evolutionary transitions that produced the five distinct agricultural systems of the fungus-growing ants, the most well studied of the nonhuman agriculturalists. We do so with reference to the first fossil-calibrated, multiple-gene, molecular phylogeny that incorporates the full range of taxonomic diversity within the fungus-growing ant tribe Attini. Our analyses indicate that the original form of ant agriculture, the cultivation of a diverse subset of fungal species in the tribe Leucocoprineae, evolved approximately 50 million years ago in the Neotropics, coincident with the early Eocene climatic optimum. During the past 30 million years, three known ant agricultural systems, each involving a phylogenetically distinct set of derived fungal cultivars, have separately arisen from the original agricultural system. One of these derived systems subsequently gave rise to the fifth known system of agriculture, in which a single fungal species is cultivated by leaf-cutter ants. Leaf-cutter ants evolved remarkably recently ( approximately 8-12 million years ago) to become the dominant herbivores of the New World tropics. Our analyses identify relict, extant attine ant species that occupy phylogenetic positions that are transitional between the agricultural systems. Intensive study of those species holds particular promise for clarifying the sequential accretion of ecological and behavioral characters that produced each of the major ant agricultural systems.

  16. Pollination and facultative ant-association in the African leopard ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The role of extra-floral nectar appears to be recruitment of foraging ants to tend the flowers resulting in a facultative ant-association between the orchid and gregarious ants. Four different ant species were found to forage on A. africana's inflorescences. Ant-tended inflorescences suffered significantly less damage by insects.

  17. Ants (Formicidae) as food for birds in southern Africa: opportunism ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) are eaten by a number of bird species in southern Africa. Our database contained 545 species (excluding waterbirds and raptors), of which 179 species have been observed feeding on ants, or had ants in their stomachs. Ants are eaten by birds in all ecosystems, but the consumption of ants ...

  18. The distribution of weaver ant pheromones on host trees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2007-01-01

    for correlations between spot density, ant activity and the likelihood of being detected by an ant. Spots were only found on trees with ants. On ant-trees, spots were distributed throughout the trees but with higher densities in areas with high ant activity and pheromone densities were higher on twigs compared...

  19. Foliar uptake of nitrogen from ant fecal droplets: an overlooked service to ant plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pinkalski, Christian Alexander Stidsen; Jensen, Karl-Martin Vagn; Damgaard, Christian Frølund

    2018-01-01

    and subsequently deposited fecal droplets on the seedlings, coffee leaves showed increased levels of 15N and total N compared to control plants without ants. This was evident for both exposed leaves and leaves covered in plastic bags (i.e. not directly exposed to ants). Thus, N from ant excretions was absorbed...

  20. Hybrid chaotic ant swarm optimization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li Yuying; Wen Qiaoyan; Li Lixiang; Peng Haipeng

    2009-01-01

    Chaotic ant swarm optimization (CASO) is a powerful chaos search algorithm that is used to find the global optimum solution in search space. However, the CASO algorithm has some disadvantages, such as lower solution precision and longer computational time, when solving complex optimization problems. To resolve these problems, an improved CASO, called hybrid chaotic swarm optimization (HCASO), is proposed in this paper. The new algorithm introduces preselection operator and discrete recombination operator into the CASO; meanwhile it replaces the best position found by own and its neighbors' ants with the best position found by preselection operator and discrete recombination operator in evolution equation. Through testing five benchmark functions with large dimensionality, the experimental results show the new method enhances the solution accuracy and stability greatly, as well as reduces the computational time and computer memory significantly when compared to the CASO. In addition, we observe the results can become better with swarm size increasing from the sensitivity study to swarm size. And we gain some relations between problem dimensions and swam size according to scalability study.

  1. Individual Apostichopus japonicus fecal microbiome reveals a link with polyhydroxybutyrate producers in host growth gaps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamazaki, Yohei; Meirelles, Pedro Milet; Mino, Sayaka; Suda, Wataru; Oshima, Kenshiro; Hattori, Masahira; Thompson, Fabiano L; Sakai, Yuichi; Sawabe, Toko; Sawabe, Tomoo

    2016-02-24

    Gut microbiome shapes various aspects of a host's physiology, but these functions in aquatic animal hosts have yet to be fully investigated. The sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus Selenka is one such example. The large growth gap in their body size has delayed the development of intensive aquaculture, nevertheless the species is in urgent need of conservation. To understand possible contributions of the gut microbiome to its host's growth, individual fecal microbiome comparisons were performed. High-throughput 16S rRNA sequencing revealed significantly different microbiota in larger and smaller individuals; Rhodobacterales in particular was the most significantly abundant bacterial group in the larger specimens. Further shotgun metagenome of representative samples revealed a significant abundance of microbiome retaining polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) metabolism genes in the largest individual. The PHB metabolism reads were potentially derived from Rhodobacterales. These results imply a possible link between microbial PHB producers and potential growth promotion in Deuterostomia marine invertebrates.

  2. Proteome analysis of pod and seed development in the model legume Lotus japonicus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nautrup-Pedersen, G.; Dam, S.; Laursen, B. S.

    2010-01-01

    of the pod and seed proteomes in five developmental stages, paves the way for comparative pathway analysis and provides new metabolic information. Proteins were analyzed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and tandem-mass spectrometry. These analyses lead to the identification of 604 pod proteins and 965......Legume pods serve important functions during seed development and are themselves sources of food and feed. Compared to seeds, the metabolism and development of pods are not well-defined. The present characterization of pods from the model legume Lotus japonicus, together with the detailed analyses...... and photosynthesis. Proteins detected only in pods included three enzymes participating in the urea cycle and four in nitrogen and amino group metabolism, highlighting the importance of nitrogen metabolism during pod development. Additionally, five legume seed proteins previously unassigned in the glutamate...

  3. Global changes in transcription orchestrate metabolic differentiation during symbiotic nitrogen fixation in Lotus japonicus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Colebatch, Gillian; Desbrosses, Guilhem; Ott, Thomas

    2004-01-01

    from specific sets of induced genes. In addition to the expected signs of hypoxia, numerous indications were obtained that nodule cells also experience P-limitation and osmotic stress. Several potential regulators of these stress responses were identified. Metabolite profiling by gas chromatography......Research on legume nodule metabolism has contributed greatly to our knowledge of primary carbon and nitrogen metabolism in plants in general, and in symbiotic nitrogen fixation in particular. However, most previous studies focused on one or a few genes/enzymes involved in selected metabolic...... pathways in many different legume species. We utilized the tools of transcriptomics and metabolomics to obtain an unprecedented overview of the metabolic differentiation that results from nodule development in the model legume, Lotus japonicus. Using an array of more than 5000 nodule cDNA clones...

  4. The Proteome of Seed Development in the Model Legume Lotus japonicus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dam, Svend; Laursen, Brian S.; Ornfelt, Jane H.

    2009-01-01

    We have characterized the development of seeds in the model legume Lotus japonicus. Like soybean (Glycine max) and pea (Pisum sativum), Lotus develops straight seed pods and each pod contains approximately 20 seeds that reach maturity within 40 days. Histological sections show the characteristic...... three developmental phases of legume seeds and the presence of embryo, endosperm, and seed coat in desiccated seeds. Furthermore, protein, oil, starch, phytic acid, and ash contents were determined, and this indicates that the composition of mature Lotus seed is more similar to soybean than to pea......, and two convicilins, LCP1 and LCP2, were identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization quadrupole/time-of-flight mass spectrometry. For two distinct developmental phases, seed filling and desiccation, a gel-based liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry approach was used, and 665 and 181 unique...

  5. Characteristics of the Japanese sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus's population in the Sea of Japan (Kievka Bay)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gavrilova, G. S.; Sukhin, I. Yu.

    2011-06-01

    In Kievka Bay of the Sea of Japan, the population of the Japanese sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus inhabits the areas of coarse sediments and complex bottom topography. These distributional patterns are closely related to the species' ecology, i.e., to the demand for protection against the wave turbulence. The aggregationing coverage of the sea cucumber population is about 80 hectares, where ˜200 thousand animals were accounted for in the last years. The aggregation's area varies during the year, which is closely related to the species' biological peculiarities, such as their behavioral patterns and the redistribution of their food resources. A significant increase of the juvenile population occurred after the farm-reared sea cucumber spat were released in 2003.

  6. Histamine production by Enterobacter aerogenes in chub mackerel (Scomber japonicus at various storage temperatures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu ZOU

    Full Text Available Abstract Growth of Enterobacter aerogenes and accumulation of histamine in chub mackerel (Scomber japonicus were investigated through measuring bacterial count, histidine decarboxylase (HDC activity and histamine content in fish samples stored at various temperatures from 4 to 37 °C. Results showed that bacterial count and HDC activity rapidly increased in chub mackerel inoculated with E. aerogenes at storage temperature above 20 °C and reached the highest values (8.64 log CFU/g and 31.68 U/g at 37 °C. Meanwhile, fish samples stored at 25 and 37 °C for 18 h, formed histamine at above 50 mg/100 g of the potential hazard level. In contrast, bacterial growth and histamine formation were controlled for 36 h by cold storage at low temperature (4 °C. Therefore, strict temperature control was necessary for preservation and processing of chub mackerel in order to assure this marine fish safety.

  7. Histamine production by Enterobacter aerogenes in chub mackerel (Scomber japonicus at various storage temperatures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu ZOU

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Growth of Enterobacter aerogenes and accumulation of histamine in chub mackerel (Scomber japonicus were investigated through measuring bacterial count, histidine decarboxylase (HDC activity and histamine content in fish samples stored at various temperatures from 4 to 37 °C. Results showed that bacterial count and HDC activity rapidly increased in chub mackerel inoculated with E. aerogenes at storage temperature above 20 °C and reached the highest values (8.64 log CFU/g and 31.68 U/g at 37 °C. Meanwhile, fish samples stored at 25 and 37 °C for 18 h, formed histamine at above 50 mg/100 g of the potential hazard level. In contrast, bacterial growth and histamine formation were controlled for 36 h by cold storage at low temperature (4 °C. Therefore, strict temperature control was necessary for preservation and processing of chub mackerel in order to assure this marine fish safety.

  8. A cellular automata model for ant trails

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    It is easy to comprehend the population biology of social insect colonies [11] using the basic principles which affect the formation of the ant trails. ..... [19] M G Deborah, Ant encounters interaction networks and colony behavior (Princeton Univer- sity Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 2010). [20] K Nishinari, D Chowdhury and A ...

  9. Why is an Ant's Trail Straight?

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    This interesting question puzzled the emi- nent theoretical physicist Richard Feynman when he was young. As a boy he did many ingenious and interesting experiments. One of them concerned ants. One day while taking a bath he placed a lump of sugar at one end of the bath tub and waited for an ant to locate it. Feynman ...

  10. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Axel Touchard

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Ants (Formicidae represent a taxonomically diverse group of hymenopterans with over 13,000 extant species, the majority of which inject or spray secretions from a venom gland. The evolutionary success of ants is mostly due to their unique eusociality that has permitted them to develop complex collaborative strategies, partly involving their venom secretions, to defend their nest against predators, microbial pathogens, ant competitors, and to hunt prey. Activities of ant venom include paralytic, cytolytic, haemolytic, allergenic, pro-inflammatory, insecticidal, antimicrobial, and pain-producing pharmacologic activities, while non-toxic functions include roles in chemical communication involving trail and sex pheromones, deterrents, and aggregators. While these diverse activities in ant venoms have until now been largely understudied due to the small venom yield from ants, modern analytical and venomic techniques are beginning to reveal the diversity of toxin structure and function. As such, ant venoms are distinct from other venomous animals, not only rich in linear, dimeric and disulfide-bonded peptides and bioactive proteins, but also other volatile and non-volatile compounds such as alkaloids and hydrocarbons. The present review details the unique structures and pharmacologies of known ant venom proteinaceous and alkaloidal toxins and their potential as a source of novel bioinsecticides and therapeutic agents.

  11. Fungal Adaptations to Mutualistic Life with Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus

    that forage on crude substrates such as insect frass and dry plant material, to large colonies of the leaf-cutting ants with several thousands to several million workers that provide live plant material to their fungus gardens. Leaf-cutting ants are the dominant herbivores of the Neo-tropics, and have a major...

  12. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Touchard, Axel; Aili, Samira R.; Fox, Eduardo Gonçalves Paterson; Escoubas, Pierre; Orivel, Jérôme; Nicholson, Graham M.; Dejean, Alain

    2016-01-01

    Ants (Formicidae) represent a taxonomically diverse group of hymenopterans with over 13,000 extant species, the majority of which inject or spray secretions from a venom gland. The evolutionary success of ants is mostly due to their unique eusociality that has permitted them to develop complex collaborative strategies, partly involving their venom secretions, to defend their nest against predators, microbial pathogens, ant competitors, and to hunt prey. Activities of ant venom include paralytic, cytolytic, haemolytic, allergenic, pro-inflammatory, insecticidal, antimicrobial, and pain-producing pharmacologic activities, while non-toxic functions include roles in chemical communication involving trail and sex pheromones, deterrents, and aggregators. While these diverse activities in ant venoms have until now been largely understudied due to the small venom yield from ants, modern analytical and venomic techniques are beginning to reveal the diversity of toxin structure and function. As such, ant venoms are distinct from other venomous animals, not only rich in linear, dimeric and disulfide-bonded peptides and bioactive proteins, but also other volatile and non-volatile compounds such as alkaloids and hydrocarbons. The present review details the unique structures and pharmacologies of known ant venom proteinaceous and alkaloidal toxins and their potential as a source of novel bioinsecticides and therapeutic agents. PMID:26805882

  13. Visual associative learning in wood ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandes, A Sofia D; Buckley, Christopher L; Niven, Jeremy E

    2018-02-07

    Wood ants are a model system for studying visual learning and navigation. They can forage for food and navigate to their nests effectively by forming memories of visual features in their surrounding environment. Previous studies of freely behaving ants have revealed many of the behavioural strategies and environmental features necessary for successful navigation. However, little is known about the exact visual properties of the environment that animals learn or the neural mechanisms that allow them to achieve this. As a first step towards addressing this, we developed a classical conditioning paradigm for visual learning in harnessed wood ants that allows us to control precisely the learned visual cues. In this paradigm, ants are fixed and presented with a visual cue paired with an appetitive sugar reward. Using this paradigm, we found that visual cues learnt by wood ants through Pavlovian conditioning are retained for at least 1 h. Furthermore, we found that memory retention is dependent upon the ants' performance during training. Our study provides the first evidence that wood ants can form visual associative memories when restrained. This classical conditioning paradigm has the potential to permit detailed analysis of the dynamics of memory formation and retention, and the neural basis of learning in wood ants. © 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  14. New insight into hybridization and unidirectional introgression between Ammodytes japonicus and Ammodytes heian (Trachiniformes, Ammodytidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jin-Koo Kim

    Full Text Available Based on northern (NOL and southern (SOL mitochondrial lineages, recently, it proposed the new species Ammodytes heian and revived the species name Ammodytes japonicus to describe sand lances from the northwestern Pacific Ocean. This study used molecular methods to investigate genetic relationships between the two sand lance species in Korea and Japan. In total, 154 specimens were collected from four locations in Korea (Baengnyeongdo in the Yellow Sea, Tongyeong in the Korean Strait, and Jumunjin and Gijang in the East Sea, and 50 specimens were collected from a single location in Japan (Wakkanai in the Okhotsk Sea. Mitochondrial DNA analysis demonstrated that the individuals from Baengnyeongdo and Tongyeong all belonged to the SOL, whereas those from Gijang, Jumunjin, and Wakkanai included individuals from both the NOL and SOL (over 75% NOL. Population structure analyses were performed on the same individuals using seven microsatellite DNA markers. The population structure analysis based on 201 specimens identified two clusters (named as northern group and southern group, with the admixture proportion (q of < 0.1 for the northern group in the Backyeongdo and Tongyeong sand lances and < 0.1 for the southern group in the Wakkanai sand lances. The high heterogeneity indicated that the former was probably A. japonicus and the latter probably A. heian. However, the admixture proportion in the Jumunjin and Gijang sand lances was 0.71-0.75 for the southern group, indicating that hybridization and unidirectional introgression from SOL to NOL occurs in southwestern margin of the East Sea. Our findings illustrate the speciation process based on different patterns of gene flow between Korean and Japanese sand lance, which is strongly influenced by both the paleo-climatic change and the contemporary local oceanic current pattern.

  15. Heterogeneity in the expression and subcellular localization of POLYOL/MONOSACCHARIDE TRANSPORTER genes in Lotus japonicus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lu Tian

    Full Text Available Polyols can serve as a means for the translocation of carbon skeletons and energy between source and sink organs as well as being osmoprotective solutes and antioxidants which may be involved in the resistance of some plants to biotic and abiotic stresses. Polyol/Monosaccharide transporter (PLT proteins previously identified in plants are involved in the loading of polyols into the phloem and are reported to be located in the plasma membrane. The functions of PLT proteins in leguminous plants are not yet clear. In this study, a total of 14 putative PLT genes (LjPLT1-14 were identified in the genome of Lotus japonicus and divided into 4 clades based on phylogenetic analysis. Different patterns of expression of LjPLT genes in various tissues were validated by qRT-PCR analysis. Four genes (LjPLT3, 4, 11, and 14 from clade II were expressed at much higher levels in nodule than in other tissues. Moreover, three of these genes (LjPLT3, 4, and 14 showed significantly increased expression in roots after inoculation with Mesorhizobium loti. Three genes (LjPLT1, 3, and 9 responded when salinity and/or osmotic stresses were applied to L. japonicus. Transient expression of GFP-LjPLT fusion constructs in Arabidopsis and Nicotiana benthamiana protoplasts indicated that the LjPLT1, LjPLT6 and LjPLT7 proteins are localized to the plasma membrane, but LjPLT2 (clade IV, LjPLT3, 4, 5 (clade II and LjPLT8 (clade III proteins possibly reside in the Golgi apparatus. The results suggest that members of the LjPLT gene family may be involved in different biological processes, several of which may potentially play roles in nodulation in this nitrogen-fixing legume.

  16. Two putative-aquaporin genes are differentially expressed during arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis in Lotus japonicus

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    Giovannetti Marco

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Arbuscular mycorrhizas (AM are widespread symbioses that provide great advantages to the plant, improving its nutritional status and allowing the fungus to complete its life cycle. Nevertheless, molecular mechanisms that lead to the development of AM symbiosis are not yet fully deciphered. Here, we have focused on two putative aquaporin genes, LjNIP1 and LjXIP1, which resulted to be upregulated in a transcriptomic analysis performed on mycorrhizal roots of Lotus japonicus. Results A phylogenetic analysis has shown that the two putative aquaporins belong to different functional families: NIPs and XIPs. Transcriptomic experiments have shown the independence of their expression from their nutritional status but also a close correlation with mycorrhizal and rhizobial interaction. Further transcript quantification has revealed a good correlation between the expression of one of them, LjNIP1, and LjPT4, the phosphate transporter which is considered a marker gene for mycorrhizal functionality. By using laser microdissection, we have demonstrated that one of the two genes, LjNIP1, is expressed exclusively in arbuscule-containing cells. LjNIP1, in agreement with its putative role as an aquaporin, is capable of transferring water when expressed in yeast protoplasts. Confocal analysis have demonstrated that eGFP-LjNIP1, under its endogenous promoter, accumulates in the inner membrane system of arbusculated cells. Conclusions Overall, the results have shown different functionality and expression specificity of two mycorrhiza-inducible aquaporins in L. japonicus. One of them, LjNIP1 can be considered a novel molecular marker of mycorrhizal status at different developmental stages of the arbuscule. At the same time, LjXIP1 results to be the first XIP family aquaporin to be transcriptionally regulated during symbiosis.

  17. Characterization and expression analysis of a complement component gene in sea cucumber ( Apostichopus japonicus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Zhong; Zhou, Zunchun; Yang, Aifu; Dong, Ying; Guan, Xiaoyan; Jiang, Bei; Wang, Bai

    2015-12-01

    The complement system plays a crucial role in the innate immune system of animals. It can be activated by distinct yet overlapping classical, alternative and lectin pathways. In the alternative pathway, complement factor B (Bf) serves as the catalytic subunit of complement component 3 (C3) convertase, which plays the central role among three activation pathways. In this study, the Bf gene in sea cucumber ( Apostichopus japonicus), termed AjBf, was obtained by rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE). The full-length cDNA of AjBf was 3231 bp in length barring the poly (A) tail. It contained an open reading frame (ORF) of 2742 bp encoding 913 amino acids, a 105 bp 5'-UTR (5'-terminal untranslated region) and a 384 bp 3'-UTR. AjBf was a mosaic protein with six CCP (complement control protein) domains, a VWA (von Willebrand factor A) domain, and a serine protease domain. The deduced molecular weight of AjBf protein was 101 kDa. Quantitative real time PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis indicated that the expression level of AjBf in A. japonicus was obviously higher at larval stage than that at embryonic stage. Expression detection in different tissues showed that AjBf expressed higher in coelomocytes than in other four tissues. In addation, AjBf expression in different tissues was induced significantly after LPS or PolyI:C challenge. These results indicated that AjBf plays an important role in immune responses to pathogen infection.

  18. Novel branch patterns and anticoagulant activity of glycosaminoglycan from sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Jie; Wang, Yuanhong; Jiang, Tingfu; Lv, Zhihua

    2015-01-01

    A novel glucosidic pattern of fucose branches was found in the glycosaminoglycan from the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus in China. The methylation of desulfated/carboxyl-reduced polysaccharides and analysis of unsaturated disaccharides generated from the enzymolysis of the defucosed polysaccharides demonstrated that the branch is formed by one fucopyranosyl residue, 46.5% of which is linked through the O-3 position of β-D-glucuronic acid, while 8.7% and 43.9% are linked through the O-6 and O-4 positions of the N-acetylgalactosamine moiety. The β-D-glucuronic acid, N-acetyl-β-D-galactosamine, α-L-fucose and sulfate ester with the molecular ratio of 0.97:1.00:1.13:3.85 composed the backbone → 4)GlcUAβ(1 → 3)GalNAcβ(1 → and sulfated fucose branches. The sulfation patterns of fucose branches and the linkage pattern of the backbone structure were determined by 1/2 dimension NMR. The most abundant branch species were 2,4-di-O-sulfated and 3,4-di-O-sulfated fucose, but 4-mono-O-sulfated residue was also present. The structure of presently obtained glycosaminoglycan is different from that previously obtained from Stichopus japonicus (Kariya et al., Carbohyd. Res. 297 (1997) 273-279), which suggests that the structures of glycosaminoglycans from the same species of different regions somehow differ. The anticoagulant assay indicated that the polysaccharide possessed a high anticoagulant activity and the sulfated fucose branches were essential to the activity. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. AntStar: Enhancing Optimization Problems by Integrating an Ant System and A⁎ Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammed Faisal

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Recently, nature-inspired techniques have become valuable to many intelligent systems in different fields of technology and science. Among these techniques, Ant Systems (AS have become a valuable technique for intelligent systems in different fields. AS is a computational system inspired by the foraging behavior of ants and intended to solve practical optimization problems. In this paper, we introduce the AntStar algorithm, which is swarm intelligence based. AntStar enhances the optimization and performance of an AS by integrating the AS and A⁎ algorithm. Applying the AntStar algorithm to the single-source shortest-path problem has been done to ensure the efficiency of the proposed AntStar algorithm. The experimental result of the proposed algorithm illustrated the robustness and accuracy of the AntStar algorithm.

  20. Recurrence analysis of ant activity patterns.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felipe Marcel Neves

    Full Text Available In this study, we used recurrence quantification analysis (RQA and recurrence plots (RPs to compare the movement activity of individual workers of three ant species, as well as a gregarious beetle species. RQA and RPs quantify the number and duration of recurrences of a dynamical system, including a detailed quantification of signals that could be stochastic, deterministic, or both. First, we found substantial differences between the activity dynamics of beetles and ants, with the results suggesting that the beetles have quasi-periodic dynamics and the ants do not. Second, workers from different ant species varied with respect to their dynamics, presenting degrees of predictability as well as stochastic signals. Finally, differences were found among minor and major caste of the same (dimorphic ant species. Our results underscore the potential of RQA and RPs in the analysis of complex behavioral patterns, as well as in general inferences on animal behavior and other biological phenomena.

  1. Fungal Adaptations to Mutualistic Life with Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus

    Fungus-growing ants (Attini) feed off a fungus they cultivate in a mutualistic symbiosis in underground chambers by providing it substrate they collect outside the colony. The tribe of Attine ants ranges from small colonies of the paleo- and basal Attine species with a few hundred workers...... that forage on crude substrates such as insect frass and dry plant material, to large colonies of the leaf-cutting ants with several thousands to several million workers that provide live plant material to their fungus gardens. Leaf-cutting ants are the dominant herbivores of the Neo-tropics, and have a major...... contribution to cycling of nitrogen and phosphorus in their direct environment and are, furthermore, considered pest species as they have a large impact on human agriculture. These factors make leaf-cutting ants an ideal study subject to better understand the mechanisms that make this mutualistic symbiosis so...

  2. Cryptococcus neoformans carried by Odontomachus bauri ants

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    Mariana Santos de Jesus

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Cryptococcus neoformans is the most common causative agent of cryptococcosis worldwide. Although this fungus has been isolated from a variety of organic substrates, several studies suggest that hollow trees constitute an important natural niche for C. neoformans. A previously surveyed hollow of a living pink shower tree (Cassia grandis positive for C. neoformans in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was chosen for further investigation. Odontomachus bauri ants (trap-jaw ants found inside the hollow were collected for evaluation as possible carriers of Cryptococcus spp. Two out of 10 ants were found to carry phenoloxidase-positive colonies identified as C. neoformans molecular types VNI and VNII. The ants may have acted as a mechanical vector of C. neoformans and possibly contributed to the dispersal of the fungi from one substrate to another. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the association of C. neoformans with ants of the genus Odontomachus.

  3. Discrimination Behavior in the Supercolonial Pharaoh Ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pontieri, Luigi

    the discrimination behavior of the invasive pharaoh ant (Monomorium pharaonis) as a model for other invasive and supercolonial ant species. The pharaoh ant is one of the few ant species that can be reared in the laboratory for many generations. Furthermore, the possibility to do controlled crosses of colonies...... provides the unique opportunity to establish colonies of different genetic composition. These traits make this species a suitable study subject to set up behavioral experiments that aim to investigate which factors, and to which extent, might influence the inter- and intraspecific discrimination abilities...... other compounds. We also developed a new method for centroid calculation that increased the power of the analysis and can therefore be used in future studies that aim to identify nestmate recognition cues in other species. In the fourth chapter I investigated the nest site preference of pharaoh ant...

  4. Diaspore trait preferences of dispersing ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reifenrath, Kerstin; Becker, Christine; Poethke, Hans Joachim

    2012-09-01

    Elaiosomes of myrmecochorous plant seeds are known to enhance the attraction of diaspore-dispersing ants by serving as a nutritional reward. However, it remained unclear which (nutritional) compounds affect diaspore preferences of ants. We hypothesized that apart from elaiosome/seed-size ratio, volume, and physical surface of diaspores, the quantity and the composition of fatty acids, amino acids, and sugars strongly influence the diaspore preferences of different species. Chemical (nutritional) profiles as well as structural properties of seeds with and without elaiosomes were analyzed and correlated with observed seed choice behavior of ants. Cafeteria experiments in the field confirmed the enhanced attractiveness of elaiosome-bearing seeds for all three ant species tested (Lasius fuliginosus, Myrmica ruginodis, and Temnothorax nylanderi), although seeds lacking elaiosomes also were transported. In multiple-choice cafeteria experiments with simultaneously offered diaspores of 16 plant species with and without elaiosome and with highly varying structural and chemical properties, all three ant species showed distinct preferences for certain diaspore species. Correlation analyses confirmed that the presence of an elaiosome represents the crucial factor that favors ant diaspore dispersal. In addition, the composition and the content of free amino acids, and to varying degrees fatty acids, were found to significantly affect preferences of each ant species, whereas the effect of single fatty acids acting as chemical triggers for diaspore transport by ants, as supposed by several studies, was not confirmed. In conclusion, although at least some diaspore species lacking elaiosomes attract ants for diaspore removal services by presenting nutritional seed coats, the production of elaiosomes seems to provide a worthwhile investment. Elaiosomes ensure rapid diaspore detection and removal due to chemical cue compounds and by offering a highly nutritional food supply, probably

  5. Effects of endogenous cysteine proteinases on structures of collagen fibres from dermis of sea cucumber (Stichopus japonicus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yu-Xin; Zhou, Da-Yong; Ma, Dong-Dong; Liu, Zi-Qiang; Liu, Yan-Fei; Song, Liang; Dong, Xiu-Ping; Li, Dong-Mei; Zhu, Bei-Wei; Konno, Kunihiko; Shahidi, Fereidoon

    2017-10-01

    Autolysis of sea cucumber, caused by endogenous enzymes, leads to postharvest quality deterioration of sea cucumber. However, the effects of endogenous proteinases on structures of collagen fibres, the major biologically relevant substrates in the body wall of sea cucumber, are less clear. Collagen fibres were prepared from the dermis of sea cucumber (Stichopus japonicus), and the structural consequences of degradation of the collagen fibres caused by endogenous cysteine proteinases (ECP) from Stichopus japonicus were examined. Scanning electron microscopic images showed that ECP caused partial disaggregation of collagen fibres into collagen fibrils by disrupting interfibrillar proteoglycan bridges. Differential scanning calorimetry and Fourier transform infrared analysis revealed increased structural disorder of fibrillar collagen caused by ECP. SDS-PAGE and chemical analysis indicated that ECP can liberate glycosaminoglycan, hydroxyproline and collagen fragments from collagen fibres. Thus ECP can cause disintegration of collagen fibres by degrading interfibrillar proteoglycan bridges. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Structural and biochemical changes in dermis of sea cucumber (Stichopus japonicus) during autolysis in response to cutting the body wall.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yu-Xin; Zhou, Da-Yong; Liu, Zi-Qiang; Lu, Ting; Song, Liang; Li, Dong-Mei; Dong, Xiu-Ping; Qi, Hang; Zhu, Bei-Wei; Shahidi, Fereidoon

    2018-02-01

    The autolysis of sea cucumber body wall is caused by endogenous proteolysis of its structural elements. However, changes in collagen fibrils, collagen fibres and microfibrils, the major structural elements in sea cucumber body wall during autolysis are less clear. Autolysis of sea cucumber (S. japonicus) was induced by cutting the body wall, and the structural and biochemical changes in its dermis were investigated using electron microscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, infrared spectroscopy, electrophoresis, and chemical analysis. During autolysis, both collagen fibres and microfibrils gradually degraded. In contrast, damage to microfibrils was more pronounced. Upon massive autolysis, collagen fibres disaggregated into collagen fibril bundles and individual fibrils due to the fracture of interfibrillar bridges. Meanwhile, excessive unfolding of collagen fibrils occurred. However, there was only slight damage to collagen monomers. Therefore, structural damage in collagen fibres, collagen fibrils and microfibrils rather than monomeric collagen accounts for autolysis of S. japonicus dermis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Genetic Screening Identifies Cyanogenesis-Deficient Mutants of Lotus japonicus and Reveals Enzymatic Specificity in Hydroxynitrile Glucoside Metabolism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Takos, A.; Lai, D.; Mikkelsen, L.

    2010-01-01

    Cyanogenesis, the release of hydrogen cyanide from damaged plant tissues, involves the enzymatic degradation of amino acid-derived cyanogenic glucosides (alpha-hydroxynitrile glucosides) by specific beta-glucosidases. Release of cyanide functions as a defense mechanism against generalist herbivores....... We developed a high-throughput screening method and used it to identify cyanogenesis deficient (cyd) mutants in the model legume Lotus japonicus. Mutants in both biosynthesis and catabolism of cyanogenic glucosides were isolated and classified following metabolic profiling of cyanogenic glucoside...... content. L. japonicus produces two cyanogenic glucosides: linamarin (derived from Val) and lotaustralin (derived from Ile). Their biosynthesis may involve the same set of enzymes for both amino acid precursors. However, in one class of mutants, accumulation of lotaustralin and linamarin was uncoupled...

  8. Individual Recognition in Ant Queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    D'Ettorre, Patrizia; Heinze, Jürgen

    2005-01-01

    Personal relationships are the cornerstone of vertebrate societies, but insect societies are either too large for individual recognition, or their members were assumed to lack the necessary cognitive abilities 1 and 2 . This paradigm has been challenged by the recent discovery that paper wasps...... recognize each other's unique facial color patterns [3] . Individual recognition is advantageous when dominance hierarchies control the partitioning of work and reproduction 2 and 4 . Here, we show that unrelated founding queens of the ant Pachycondyla villosa use chemical cues to recognize each other...... perception, was prevented and in tests with anaesthetized queens. The cuticular chemical profiles of queens were neither associated with dominance nor fertility and, therefore, do not represent status badges 5 and 6 , and nestmate queens did not share a common odor. Personal recognition facilitates...

  9. Michael Jackson antes del caos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Luciano Nieves

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Michael Jackson es un buen ejemplo de cómo utilizar las relaciones públicas para realizar o manipular la imagen de un producto a través de los medios de comunicación. Este ensayo pretende analizar los eventos que tuvieron lugar antes de que el cantante fuera acusado de abuso sexual contra un menor. Dichos eventos formaron parte de un plan muy bien delineado para disminuir los efectos de la inminente crisis que se acercaba. Este trabajo combina la crítica retórica de temas de fantasía con teoría de comunicación.

  10. Comparison of intestinal microbiota and activities of digestive and immune-related enzymes of sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus in two habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qi; Zhang, Xiumei; Chen, Muyan; Li, Wentao; Zhang, Peidong

    2017-09-01

    Sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus stock enhancement by releasing hatchery-produced seeds is a management tool used to recover its population under natural environmental conditions. To assess the suitability of releasing sites, we examined the microbiota of the gut contents of A. japonicus from two populations (one in sandy-muddy seagrass beds and one in rocky intertidal reefs) and the microbiota in their surrounding sediments. The activities of digestive and immune-related enzymes in the A. japonicus were also examined. The results indicated that higher bacterial richness and Shannon diversity index were observed in all the seagrass-bed samples. There were significant differences in intestinal and sediment microorganisms between the two habitats, with a 2.87 times higher abundance of Firmicutes in the seagrass bed sediments than that in the reefs. Meanwhile, Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria were significantly higher abundant in the gut content of A. japonicus from seagrass bed than those from the reefs. In addition, the seagrass-bed samples exhibited a relatively higher abundance of potential probiotics. Principal coordinates analysis and heatmap showed the bacterial communities were classified into two groups corresponding to the two habitat types. Moreover, compared to A. japonicus obtained from rocky intertidal habitat, those obtained from the seagrass bed showed higher lysozyme, superoxide dismutase and protease activities. Our results suggest that bacterial communities present in seagrass beds might enhance the digestive function and immunity of A. japonicus. Therefore, compared with the rocky intertidal reef, seagrass bed seems to be more beneficial for the survival of A. japonicus.

  11. Cell wall polysaccharides released during the alcoholic fermentation by Schizosaccharomyces pombe and S. japonicus: quantification and characterization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domizio, P.; Liu, Y.; Bisson, L.F.; Barile, D.

    2016-01-01

    The present work demonstrates that yeasts belonging to the Schizosaccharomyces genus release a high quantity of polysaccharides of cell wall origin starting from the onset of the alcoholic fermentation. By the end of the alcoholic fermentation, all of the Schizosaccharomyces yeast strains released a quantity of polysaccharides approximately 3-7 times higher than that released by a commercial Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast strain under the same fermentative conditions of synthetic juice. A higher content of polysaccharide was found in media fermented by Schizosaccharomyces japonicus with respect to that of Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Some of the strains evaluated were also able to produce high levels of pyruvic acid, which has been shown to be an important compound for color stability of wine. The presence of strains with different malic acid consumption patterns along with high polysaccharide release would enable production of naturally modified wines with enhanced mouth feel and reduced acidity. The chemical analysis of the released polysaccharides demonstrated divergence between the two yeast species S. pombe and S. japonicus. A different mannose/galactose ratio and a different percentage of proteins was observed on the polysaccharides released by S. pombe as compared to S. japonicus. Analysis of the proteins released in the media revealed the presence of a glycoprotein with a molecular size around 32-33 kDa only for the species S. japonicus. Mass spectrometry analysis of carbohydrate moieties showed similar proportions among the N-glycan chains released in the media by both yeast species but differences between the two species were also observed. These observations suggest a possible role of rapid MALDI-TOF screening of N-glycans compositional fingerprint as a taxonomic tool for this genus. Polysaccharides release in the media, in particular galactomannoproteins in significant amounts, could make these yeasts particularly interesting also for the industrial

  12. Root nodule symbiosis in Lotus japonicus drives the establishment of distinctive rhizosphere, root, and nodule bacterial communities

    OpenAIRE

    Zgadzaj, Rafal; Garrido-Oter, Ruben; Jensen, Dorthe Bodker; Koprivova, Anna; Schulze-Lefert, Paul; Radutoiu, Simona

    2016-01-01

    Legumes are known as pioneer plants colonizing marginal soils, and as enhancers of the nutritional status in cultivated soils. This beneficial activity has been explained by their capacity to engage in symbiotic relationship with nitrogen-fixing rhizobia. We performed a community profiling analysis of Lotus japonicus wild type and mutants to investigate the role of the nodulation pathway on the structure of the root-associated bacterial microbiota. We found that several bacterial orders were ...

  13. Ecotoxicity of triphenyltin on the marine copepod Tigriopus japonicus at various biological organisations: from molecular to population-level effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yi, Andy Xianliang; Han, Jeonghoon; Lee, Jae-Seong; Leung, Kenneth M Y

    2014-09-01

    Triphenyltin compounds (TPTs), as effective biocides for different industrial and agricultural purposes, have been detected in coastal marine environments worldwide, in particular in Asian countries. However, little is known about their toxicity to marine organisms. This study comprehensively investigated the molecular, individual and population responses of the marine copepod, Tigriopus japonicus upon waterborne exposure to TPT chloride (TPTCl). Our results indicated that TPTCl was highly toxic to adult T. japonicus, with a 96-h LC50 concentration at 6.3 μg/L. As shown in a chronic full life-cycle test, T. japonicus exposed to 1.0 μg/L TPTCl exhibited a delay in development and a significant reduction of population growth, in terms of the intrinsic rate of increase (r m ). Based on the negative relationship between the r m and exposure concentration, a critical effect concentration was estimated at 1.6 μg/L TPTCl; at or above which population extinction could occur. At 0.1 μg/L TPTCl or above, the sex ratio of the second generation of the copepod was significantly altered and changed to a male-biased population. At molecular level, the inhibition of the transcriptional expression of glutathione S-transferase related genes might lead to dysfunction of detoxification, and the inhibition of retinoid X receptor mRNA expression implied an interruption of the growth and moulting process in T. japonicus. As the only gene that observed up-regulated in this study, the expression of heat shock protein 70 (hsp70) increased in a concentration-dependent manner, indicating its function in protecting the copepod from TPT-mediated oxidative stress. The study advances our understanding on the ecotoxicity of TPT, and provides some initial data on its toxic mechanisms in small crustaceans like copepods.

  14. Expression responses of five cold tolerant related genes to two temperature dropping treatments in sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Chengze; Chang, Yaqing; Pang, Zhenguo; Ding, Jun; Ji, Nanjing

    2015-03-01

    Environmental conditions, including ambient temperature, play important roles in survival, growth development, and reproduction of the Japanese sea cucumber, Apostichopus japonicus. Low temperatures result in slowed growth and skin ulceration disease. In a previous study, we investigated the effect of low temperature on gene expression profiles in A. japonicus by suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH). Genes encoding Ferritin, Lysozyme, Hsp70, gp96, and AjToll were selected from a subtracted cDNA library of A. japonicus under acute cold stress. The transcriptional expression profiles of these genes were investigated in different tissues (coelomocyte, respiratory tree, intestine, longitudinal muscle) after exposure to acute and mild temperature dropping treatments. The results show that (1) the five cold-tolerance-related genes were found in all four tissues and the highest mRNA levels were observed in coelomocyte and respiratory tree; (2) under the temperature dropping treatments, three types of transcriptional regulation patterns were observed: primary suppression followed by up-regulation at -2°C, suppressed expression throughout the two treatments, and more rarely an initial stimulation followed by suppression; and (3) gene expression suppression was more severe under acute temperature dropping than under mild temperature dropping treatment. The five cold-tolerance-related genes that were distributed mainly in coelomocyte and respiratory tissues were generally down-regulated by low temperature stress but an inverse up-regulation event was found at the extreme temperature (-2°C).

  15. Effects of potential probiotic Bacillus cereus EN25 on growth, immunity and disease resistance of juvenile sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Yancui; Yuan, Lei; Wan, Junli; Sun, Zhenxing; Wang, Yiyan; Sun, Hushan

    2016-02-01

    This study was conducted to determine effects of potential probiotic Bacillus cereus EN25 (isolated from mud of sea cucumber culturing water bodies) on growth, immunity and disease resistance against Vibrio splendidus infection in juvenile sea cucumbers Apostichopus japonicus. Animals were respectively fed diets with B. cereus EN25 at 0 (control), 10(5), 10(7) and 10(9) CFU/g for 30 days. Results showed that dietary B. cereus EN25 had no significant effects on growth, total coelomocytes counts and acid phosphatase activity of A. japonicus (P > 0.05). Dietary EN25 at 10(7) CFU/g had significantly improved the phagocytosis, respiratory burst activity and total nitric oxide synthase activity of animals (P  0.05), whereas dietary EN25 at 10(9) CFU/g had significantly decreased its activity (P < 0.05). The cumulative mortality after V. splendidus challenge decreased significantly in sea cucumbers fed with EN25 at 10(7) CFU/g (P < 0.05). The present study confirmed dietary B. cereus EN25 at 10(7) CFU/g could significantly improve immunity and disease resistance in juvenile A. japonicus. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. The study on highly expressed proteins as a function of an elevated ultraviolet radiation in the copepod, Tigriopus japonicus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zubrzycki, Igor Z.; Lee, Seunghan; Lee, Kanghyun; Wiacek, Magdalena; Lee, Wonchoel

    2012-06-01

    The objective of the study was to analyze constantlyhighly expressed proteins as a function of elevated midultraviolet (UVB, 280-315 nm) radiation in Tigriopus japonicus sensu lato ( T. japonicus s.l). We also analyzed associations between kinetics of radiation avoidance, measured as a covered distance per time unit, and highly expressed proteins. The obtained results indicate an increase in T. japonicus s.l. mobility between the control (no radiation) and mild UV radiation levels (15 kJ·m-2). Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis combined with MALDI-MS-MS resulted in 2D protein map comprising of 686 protein spots, of which 19 were identified as highly expressed proteins across all experimental conditions. Obtained results indicate that calpain, vitellogenin, and collagenase are housekeeping protein that are expressed at a constant level independently of environmental changes and that adoption of a locomotive system for the avoidance of a UV source may be, at least partially, supported by hepatopancreas-driven metabolism.

  17. How to be an ant on figs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bain, Anthony; Harrison, Rhett D.; Schatz, Bertrand

    2014-05-01

    Mutualistic interactions are open to exploitation by one or other of the partners and a diversity of other organisms, and hence are best understood as being embedded in a complex network of biotic interactions. Figs participate in an obligate mutualism in that figs are dependent on agaonid fig wasps for pollination and the wasps are dependent on fig ovules for brood sites. Ants are common insect predators and abundant in tropical forests. Ants have been recorded on approximately 11% of fig species, including all six subgenera, and often affect the fig-fig pollinator interaction through their predation of either pollinating and parasitic wasps. On monoecious figs, ants are often associated with hemipterans, whereas in dioecious figs ants predominantly prey on fig wasps. A few fig species are true myrmecophytes, with domatia or food rewards for ants, and in at least one species this is linked to predation of parasitic fig wasps. Ants also play a role in dispersal of fig seeds and may be particularly important for hemi-epiphytic species, which require high quality establishment microsites in the canopy. The intersection between the fig-fig pollinator and ant-plant systems promises to provide fertile ground for understanding mutualistic interactions within the context of complex interaction networks.

  18. Collective search by ants in microgravity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefanie M. Countryman

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The problem of collective search is a tradeoff between searching thoroughly and covering as much area as possible. This tradeoff depends on the density of searchers. Solutions to the problem of collective search are currently of much interest in robotics and in the study of distributed algorithms, for example to design ways that without central control robots can use local information to perform search and rescue operations. Ant colonies operate without central control. Because they can perceive only local, mostly chemical and tactile cues, they must search collectively to find resources and to monitor the colony's environment. Examining how ants in diverse environments solve the problem of collective search can elucidate how evolution has led to diverse forms of collective behavior. An experiment on the International Space Station in January 2014 examined how ants (Tetramorium caespitum perform collective search in microgravity. In the ISS experiment, the ants explored a small arena in which a barrier was lowered to increase the area and thus lower ant density. In microgravity, relative to ground controls, ants explored the area less thoroughly and took more convoluted paths. It appears that the difficulty of holding on to the surface interfered with the ants’ ability to search collectively. Ants frequently lost contact with the surface, but showed a remarkable ability to regain contact with the surface.

  19. Pheromone disruption of Argentine ant trail integrity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suckling, D.M.; Peck, R.W.; Manning, L.M.; Stringer, L.D.; Cappadonna, J.; El-Sayed, A. M.

    2008-01-01

    Disruption of Argentine ant trail following and reduced ability to forage (measured by bait location success) was achieved after presentation of an oversupply of trail pheromone, (Z)-9-hexadecenal. Experiments tested single pheromone point sources and dispersion of a formulation in small field plots. Ant walking behavior was recorded and digitized by using video tracking, before and after presentation of trail pheromone. Ants showed changes in three parameters within seconds of treatment: (1) Ants on trails normally showed a unimodal frequency distribution of walking track angles, but this pattern disappeared after presentation of the trail pheromone; (2) ants showed initial high trail integrity on a range of untreated substrates from painted walls to wooden or concrete floors, but this was significantly reduced following presentation of a point source of pheromone; (3) the number of ants in the pheromone-treated area increased over time, as recruitment apparently exceeded departures. To test trail disruption in small outdoor plots, the trail pheromone was formulated with carnuba wax-coated quartz laboratory sand (1 g quartz sand/0.2 g wax/1 mg pheromone). The pheromone formulation, with a half-life of 30 h, was applied by rotary spreader at four rates (0, 2.5, 7.5, and 25 mg pheromone/m2) to 1- and 4-m2 plots in Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii. Ant counts at bait cards in treated plots were significantly reduced compared to controls on the day of treatment, and there was a significant reduction in ant foraging for 2 days. These results show that trail pheromone disruption of Argentine ants is possible, but a much more durable formulation is needed before nest-level impacts can be expected. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  20. Immune defense in leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Armitage, Sophie A O; Broch, Jens F; Marín, Hermogenes Fernández

    2011-01-01

    -fostering experiment designed to address the influences of genotype and social rearing environment upon individual and social immune defenses. We used a multiply mating leaf-cutting ant, enabling us to test for patriline effects within a colony, as well as cross-colony matriline effects. The worker's father influenced...... social defense, a Pseudonocardia bacteria that helps to control pathogens in the ants' fungus garden, showed a significant colony of origin by rearing environment interaction, whereby ants that acquired the bacteria of a foster colony obtained a less abundant cover of bacteria: one explanation...

  1. Ant-nest soil and seedling growth in a neotropical ant-dispersed herb.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horvitz, Carol C; Schemske, Douglas W

    1986-09-01

    A major hypothesis concerning the benefits of myrmecochory, seed dispersal by ants, to plants is that ant nests are nutrient-enriched microsites that are beneficial to seedling growth. We experimentally test this hypothesis for a neotropical myrmecochore, Calathea ovandensis, asking two questions: 1) is soil of nests of a seed-dispersing ant chemically or structurally distinct from surrounding soils, and 2) do seedlings grow better in soil collected from ant nests than in randomly collected soil? We found that although ant-nest soil was significantly enriched in nitrate-nitrogen, magnesium, iron, manganese, cadmium and percent organic matter compared to randomly collected soil, seedling growth was not significantly improved by ant-nest soil.

  2. What do myrmecophagous geckos eat when ants are not available ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Like other Pristurus species, P. samhaensis on Samha and P. sokotranus on Socotra were highly myrmecophagous (76.7% and 38.6% ants, respectively). However, ants were absent from the diet of P. samhaensis on Darsa. In contrast to the rich native ant fauna of the other islands, only one ant species was reported for ...

  3. Stealthy invaders: the biology of Cardiocondyla tramp ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heinze, J.; Cremer, Sylvia; Eckl, N.

    2006-01-01

    Many invasive ant species, such as the Argentine ant or the red imported fire ant, have huge colonies with thousands of mass-foraging workers, which quickly monopolise resources and therefore represent a considerable threat to the native ant fauna. Cardiocondyla obscurior and several other species...

  4. Discrimination Behavior in the Supercolonial Pharaoh Ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pontieri, Luigi

    an increasing need to understand which factors promote the ecological dominance of these species, and particularly how the discrimination of both conspecifics and heterospecifics (including parasites) might influence structure and ecological success of invasive populations. In this PhD thesis I investigated...... the discrimination behavior of the invasive pharaoh ant (Monomorium pharaonis) as a model for other invasive and supercolonial ant species. The pharaoh ant is one of the few ant species that can be reared in the laboratory for many generations. Furthermore, the possibility to do controlled crosses of colonies...... provides the unique opportunity to establish colonies of different genetic composition. These traits make this species a suitable study subject to set up behavioral experiments that aim to investigate which factors, and to which extent, might influence the inter- and intraspecific discrimination abilities...

  5. Kunstikriitik Ants Juske sai doktoriks / Neeme Korv

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Korv, Neeme, 1974-

    2003-01-01

    Tartu Kõrgema Kunstikooli rektor Ants Juske kaitses 7. veebruaril Tallinnas Kunstiakadeemias edukalt doktoriväitekirja, juhendajaks oli professor Boris Bernštein ning oponeerisid doktor Altti Kuusamo Soomest ja professor Peeter Tulviste

  6. Eosinophilic Fasciitis Induced by Fire Ant Bites

    OpenAIRE

    Mallepalli, Jyothi R.; Quinet, Robert J.; Sus, Rachana

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: To describe a case of eosinophilic fasciitis likely related to proximate fire ant bites and review the literature to summarize the etiology and clinical, laboratory, histopathological, and therapeutic aspects of eosinophilic fasciitis.

  7. Chemically armed mercenary ants protect fungus-farming societies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Adams, Rachelle Martha Marie; Liberti, Joanito; Illum, Anders A.

    2013-01-01

    The ants are extraordinary in having evolved many lineages that exploit closely related ant societies as social parasites, but social parasitism by distantly related ants is rare. Here we document the interaction dynamics among a Sericomyrmex fungus-growing ant host, a permanently associated...... parasitic guest ant of the genus Megalomyrmex, and a raiding agro-predator of the genus Gnamptogenys. We show experimentally that the guest ants protect their host colonies against agro-predator raids using alkaloid venom that is much more potent than the biting defenses of the host ants. Relatively few...... guest ants are sufficient to kill raiders that invariably exterminate host nests without a cohabiting guest ant colony. We also show that the odor of guest ants discourages raider scouts from recruiting nestmates to host colonies. Our results imply that Sericomyrmex fungus-growers obtain a net benefit...

  8. Role of crustacean hyperglycemic hormone (CHH) in the environmental stressor-exposed intertidal copepod Tigriopus japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Bo-Mi; Jeong, Chang-Bum; Han, Jeonghoon; Kim, Il-Chan; Rhee, Jae-Sung; Lee, Jae-Seong

    2013-09-01

    To identify and characterize CHH (TJ-CHH) gene in the copepod Tigriopus japonicus, we analyzed the full-length cDNA sequence, genomic structure, and promoter region. The full-length TJ-CHH cDNA was 716 bp in length, encoding 136 amino acid residues. The deduced amino acid sequences of TJ-CHH showed a high similarity of the CHH mature domain to other crustaceans. Six conserved cysteine residues and five conserved structural motifs in the CHH mature peptide domain were also observed. The genomic structure of the TJ-CHH gene contained three exons and two introns in its open reading frame (ORF), and several transcriptional elements were detected in the promoter region of the TJ-CHH gene. To investigate transcriptional change of TJ-CHH under environmental stress, T. japonicus were exposed to heat treatment, UV-B radiation, heavy metals, and water-accommodated fractions (WAFs) of Iranian crude oil. Upon heat stress, TJ-CHH transcripts were elevated at 30 °C and 35 °C for 96 h in a time-course experiment. UV-B radiation led to a decreased pattern of the TJ-CHH transcript 48 h and more after radiation (12 kJ/m(2)). After exposure of a fixed dose (12 kJ/m(2)) in a time-course experiment, TJ-CHH transcript was down-regulated in time-dependent manner with a lowest value at 12h. However, the TJ-CHH transcript level was increased in response to five heavy metal exposures for 96 h. Also, the level of the TJ-CHH transcript was significantly up-regulated at 20% of WAFs after exposure to WAFs for 48 h and then remarkably reduced in a dose-dependent manner. These findings suggest that the enhanced TJ-CHH transcript level is associated with a cellular stress response of the TJ-CHH gene as shown in decapod crustaceans. This study is also helpful for a better understanding of the detrimental effects of environmental changes on the CHH-triggered copepod metabolism. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. ¹H-qNMR for direct quantification of stachydrine in Leonurus japonicus and L. cardiaca.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuchta, Kenny; Ortwein, Jutta; Hennig, Lothar; Rauwald, Hans Wilhelm

    2014-07-01

    (1)H-qNMR-spectroscopy was successfully applied to quantify the pharmacologically active alkaloid stachydrine ((2S)-1,1-dimethylpyrrolidinium-2-carboxylic-acid) in aerial parts of Leonurus japonicus (Leonuri herba, yimucao; Chin.Ph.2010, DAB2012) which are used in TCM and Kampo for the treatment of various gynaecological and cardiovascular disorders. Pharmacological publications on this betaine describe cardiovascular, hypotensive, and tissue-protective effects. However, its pharmacopeial analytics poses severe difficulties as it does not contain any chromophore suitable for HPLC-UV-detection. Nine samples from three countries were prepared as decoctions and freeze-dried. (1)H-NMR-spectra were recorded in D2O. The direct-quantitative (1)H-qNMR-procedure was carried out using the N-CH3-singlet at δ 3.03 ppm in comparison to the δ 6.18 ppm singlet of the two vinylic protons of maleic-acid, which was identified as a most favourable internal standard. The quantification limit of stachydrine was 0.44 mg/g drug material. Neither reference-compounds for calibration-curves nor sample-pre-purification was necessary. This protocol revealed stachydrine contents in the range from 0.09 up to 1.01% (w/w) for the tested yimucao samples. Furthermore, between 0.18 and 0.21% of stachydrine was found in the L. japonicus fruit-drug (Leonuri fructus, chongweizi; Chin.Ph.2010) which was examined for this constituent for the first time. In four co-investigated samples of the closely related and similarly used European herb Leonurus cardiaca Ph.Eur., even higher contents up to 1.55% were attested. The presented quantitative (1)H-qNMR-method was shown to be precise with respect to concentration, and yielded highly reproducible data in a series of inter-day repetitions. Methodically, (1)H-qNMR may be a powerful tool for quality assurance of stachydrine containing plants and herbal drugs, especially for industrial routine protocols. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Molecular cloning and functional characterization of cathepsin B from the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Huahui; Lv, Miao; Lv, Zhimeng; Li, Chenghua; Xu, Wei; Zhang, Weiwei; Zhao, Xuelin; Duan, Xuemei; Jin, Chunhua

    2017-01-01

    Cathepsin B (CTSB), a member of lysosomal cysteine protease, is involved in multiple levels of physiological and biological processes, and also plays crucial roles in host immune defense against pathogen infection in vertebrates. However, the function of CTSB within the innate immune system of invertebrates, particularly in marine echinoderms, has been poorly documented. In this study, the immune function of CTSB in Apostichopus japonicus (designated as AjCTSB), a commercially important and disease vulnerable aquaculture specie, was investigated by integrated molecular and protein approaches. A 2153 bp cDNA representing the full-length of AjCTSB was cloned via overlapping ESTs and RACE fragments. AjCTSB contained an open reading frame of 999 bp encoding a secreted protein of 332 amino acid residues with a predicted molecular mass of 36.8 kDa. The deduced amino acid of AjCTSB shared a typical activity center containing three conserved amino acid residues (Cys 108 , His 277 and Asn 297 ). Phylogenetic tree analysis also supported that AjCTSB was a new member of CTSB family with clustering firstly with invertebrate CTSBs. Quantitative real time PCR analysis revealed that AjCTSB was ubiquitously expressed in all examined tissues with the highest levels in intestine. The Vibrio splendidus challenged sea cucumber and LPS-exposed coelomocytes could both significantly boost the expression of AjCTSB. Moreover, the purified recombinant AjCTSB exhibited dose-dependent CTSB activities at the concentration ranged from 0 to 0.24 μg μL -1 . Further functional analysis indicated that coelomocytes apoptosis was significantly inhibited by 0.16-fold in vivo and the apoptosis execution Ajcaspase 3 was extremely reduced in Apostichopus japonicus coelomocytes treated with specific AjCTSB siRNA. Collectively, all these results suggested that AjCTSB was an important immune factor and might be served as apoptosis enhancers in pathogen challenged sea cucumber. Copyright © 2016

  11. Using pleometrosis (multiple queens) and pupae transplantation to boost weaver ant (Oecophylla smaragdina) colony growth in ant nurseries

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Hans Joachim; Nielsen, Mogens Gissel; Peng, Renkang

    2011-01-01

    Weaver ants (Oecophylla spp.) are increasingly being used for biocontrol and are targeted for future production of insect protein in ant farms. An efficient production of live ant colonies may facilitate the utilization of these ants but the production of mature colonies is hampered by the long t...

  12. Antarctic Tephra Database (AntT)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurbatov, A.; Dunbar, N. W.; Iverson, N. A.; Gerbi, C. C.; Yates, M. G.; Kalteyer, D.; McIntosh, W. C.

    2014-12-01

    Modern paleoclimate research is heavily dependent on establishing accurate timing related to rapid shifts in Earth's climate system. The ability to correlate these events at local, and ideally at the intercontinental scales, allows assessment, for example, of phasing or changes in atmospheric circulation. Tephra-producing volcanic eruptions are geologically instantaneous events that are largely independent of climate. We have developed a tephrochronological framework for paleoclimate research in Antarctic in a user friendly, freely accessible online Antarctic tephra (AntT) database (http://cci.um.maine.edu/AntT/). Information about volcanic events, including physical and geochemical characteristics of volcanic products collected from multiple data sources, are integrated into the AntT database.The AntT project establishes a new centralized data repository for Antarctic tephrochronology, which is needed for precise correlation of records between Antarctic ice cores (e.g. WAIS Divide, RICE, Talos Dome, ITASE) and global paleoclimate archives. The AntT will help climatologists, paleoclimatologists, atmospheric chemists, geochemists, climate modelers synchronize paleoclimate archives using volcanic products that establishing timing of climate events in different geographic areas, climate-forcing mechanisms, natural threshold levels in the climate system. All these disciplines will benefit from accurate reconstructions of the temporal and spatial distribution of past rapid climate change events in continental, atmospheric, marine and polar realms. Research is funded by NSF grants: ANT-1142007 and 1142069.

  13. Congestion and communication in confined ant traffic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gravish, Nick; Gold, Gregory; Zangwill, Andrew; Goodisman, Michael A. D.; Goldman, Daniel I.

    2014-03-01

    Many social animals move and communicate within confined spaces. In subterranean fire ants Solenopsis invicta, mobility within crowded nest tunnels is important for resource and information transport. Within confined tunnels, communication and traffic flow are at odds: trafficking ants communicate through tactile interactions while stopped, yet ants that stop to communicate impose physical obstacles on the traffic. We monitor the bi-directional flow of fire ant workers in laboratory tunnels of varied diameter D. The persistence time of communicating ant aggregations, τ, increases approximately linearly with the number of participating ants, n. The sensitivity of traffic flow increases as D decreases and diverges at a minimum diameter, Dc. A cellular automata model incorporating minimal traffic features--excluded volume and communication duration--reproduces features of the experiment. From the model we identify a competition between information transfer and the need to maintain jam-free traffic flow. We show that by balancing information transfer and traffic flow demands, an optimum group strategy exists which maximizes information throughput. We acknowledge funding from NSF PoLS #0957659 and #PHY-1205878.

  14. Fire ants perpetually rebuild sinking towers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phonekeo, Sulisay; Mlot, Nathan; Monaenkova, Daria; Hu, David L.; Tovey, Craig

    2017-07-01

    In the aftermath of a flood, fire ants, Solenopsis invicta, cluster into temporary encampments. The encampments can contain hundreds of thousands of ants and reach over 30 ants high. How do ants build such tall structures without being crushed? In this combined experimental and theoretical study, we investigate the shape and rate of construction of ant towers around a central support. The towers are bell shaped, consistent with towers of constant strength such as the Eiffel tower, where each element bears an equal load. However, unlike the Eiffel tower, the ant tower is built through a process of trial and error, whereby failed portions avalanche until the final shape emerges. High-speed and novel X-ray videography reveal that the tower constantly sinks and is rebuilt, reminiscent of large multicellular systems such as human skin. We combine the behavioural rules that produce rafts on water with measurements of adhesion and attachment strength to model the rate of growth of the tower. The model correctly predicts that the growth rate decreases as the support diameter increases. This work may inspire the design of synthetic swarms capable of building in vertical layers.

  15. Toxic industrial deposit remediation by ant activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jilkova, Veronika; Frouz, Jan

    2016-04-01

    Toxic industrial deposits are often contaminated by heavy metals and the substrates have low pH values. In such systems, soil development is thus slowed down by high toxicity and acidic conditions which are unfavourable to soil fauna. Ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) are considered tolerant to heavy metal pollution and are known to increase organic matter content and microbial activity in their nests. Here, we focused on soil remediation caused by three ant species (Formica sanguinea, Lasius niger, and Tetramorium sp.) in an ore-washery sedimentation basin near Chvaletice (Czech Republic). Soil samples were taken from the centre of ant nests and from the nest surroundings (>3 m from nests). Samples were then analyzed for microbial activity and biomass and contents of organic matter and nutrients. As a result, ant species that most influenced soil properties was F. sanguinea as there were higher microbial activity and total nitrogen and ammonia contents in ant nests than in the surrounding soil. We expected such a result because F. sanguinea builds conspicuous large nests and is a carnivorous species that brings substantial amounts of nitrogen in insect prey to their nests. Effects of the other two ant species might be lower because of smaller nests and different feeding habits as they rely mainly on honeydew from aphids or on plant seeds that do not contain much nutrients.

  16. Ants (Formicidae): models for social complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Chris R; Dolezal, Adam; Eliyahu, Dorit; Holbrook, C Tate; Gadau, Jürgen

    2009-07-01

    The family Formicidae (ants) is composed of more than 12,000 described species that vary greatly in size, morphology, behavior, life history, ecology, and social organization. Ants occur in most terrestrial habitats and are the dominant animals in many of them. They have been used as models to address fundamental questions in ecology, evolution, behavior, and development. The literature on ants is extensive, and the natural history of many species is known in detail. Phylogenetic relationships for the family, as well as within many subfamilies, are known, enabling comparative studies. Their ease of sampling and ecological variation makes them attractive for studying populations and questions relating to communities. Their sociality and variation in social organization have contributed greatly to an understanding of complex systems, division of labor, and chemical communication. Ants occur in colonies composed of tens to millions of individuals that vary greatly in morphology, physiology, and behavior; this variation has been used to address proximate and ultimate mechanisms generating phenotypic plasticity. Relatedness asymmetries within colonies have been fundamental to the formulation and empirical testing of kin and group selection theories. Genomic resources have been developed for some species, and a whole-genome sequence for several species is likely to follow in the near future; comparative genomics in ants should provide new insights into the evolution of complexity and sociogenomics. Future studies using ants should help establish a more comprehensive understanding of social life, from molecules to colonies.

  17. Changes of exoskeleton surface roughness and expression of crucial participation genes for chitin formation and digestion in the mud crab (Macrophthalmus japonicus) following the antifouling biocide irgarol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Kiyun; Nikapitiya, Chamilani; Kim, Won-Seok; Kwak, Tae-Soo; Kwak, Ihn-Sil

    2016-10-01

    Irgarol is a common antifoulant present in coastal sediment. The mud crab Macrophthalmus japonicus is one of the most abundant of the macrobenthos in the costal environment, and its exoskeleton has a protective function against various environmental threats. We evaluated the effects of irgarol toxicity on the exoskeleton of M. japonicus, which is the outer layer facing the environment. We analyzed transcriptional expression of exoskeleton, molting, and proteolysis-related genes in the gill and hepatopancreas of these exposed M. japonicus. In addition, changes in survival and exoskeleton surface characteristics were investigated. In the hepatopancreas, mRNA expression of chitinase 1 (Mj-chi1), chitinase 4 (Mj-chi4), and chitinase 5 (Mj-chi5) increased in M. japonicus exposed to all concentrations of irgarol. Mj-chi1 and Mj-chi4 expressions from 1 to 10μgL(-1) were dose- and time-dependent. Ecdysteroid receptor (Mj-EcR), trypsin (Mj-Tryp), and serine proteinase (Mj-SP) in the hepatopancreas were upregulated in response to different exposure levels of irgarol at day 1, 4, or 7. In contrast, gill Mj-chi5, Mj-Tryp, and Mj-SP exhibited late upregulated responses to 10μgL(-1) irgarol compared to the control at day 7. Mj-chi1 showed early upregulation upon exposure to 10μgL(-1) irgarol and Mj-chi4 showed no changes in transcription in the gill. Gill Mj-EcR presented generally downregulated expression patterns. In addition, decreased survival and change of exoskeleton surface roughness were observed in M. japonicus exposed to the three concentrations of irgarol. These results suggest that exposure to irgarol induces changes in the exoskeleton, molting, and proteolysis metabolism of M. japonicus. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. The application of compound-specific isotope analysis of fatty acids for traceability of sea cucumber (Apostichopus japonicus) in the coastal areas of China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yu; Zhang, Xufeng; Li, Ying; Wang, Haixia

    2017-11-01

    Geographical origin traceability is an important issue for controlling the quality of seafood and safeguarding the interest of consumers. In the present study, a new method of compound-specific isotope analysis (CSIA) of fatty acids was established to evaluate its applicability in establishing the origin traceability of Apostichopus japonicus in the coastal areas of China. Moreover, principal component analysis (PCA) and discriminant analysis (DA) were applied to distinguish between the origins of A. japonicus. The results show that the stable carbon isotope compositions of fatty acids of A. japonicus significantly differ in terms of both season and origin. They also indicate that the stable carbon isotope composition of fatty acids could effectively discriminate between the origins of A. japonicus, except for between Changhai Island and Zhangzi Island in the spring of 2016 because of geographical proximity or the similarity of food sources. The fatty acids that have the highest contribution to identifying the geographical origins of A. japonicus are C22:6n-3, C16:1n-7, C20:5n-3, C18:0 and C23:1n-9, when considering the fatty acid contents, the stable carbon isotope composition of fatty acids and the results of the PCA and DA. We conclude that CSIA of fatty acids, combined with multivariate statistical analysis such as PCA and DA, may be an effective tool for establishing the traceability of A. japonicus in the coastal areas of China. The relevant conclusions of the present study provide a new method for determining the traceability of seafood or other food products. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.

  19. Ultrastructure and morphology of antennal sensilla of the adult diving beetle Cybister japonicus Sharp.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li-Mei Song

    Full Text Available The morphology and distribution of the antennal sensilla of adult diving beetle Cybister japonicus Sharp (Dytiscidae, Coleoptera, have been examined. Five types of sensilla on the antennae were identified by scanning electron microscope (SEM and transmission electron microscope (TEM. Sensilla placodea and elongated s. placodea are the most abundant types of sensilla, distributing only on the flagellum. Both these types of sensilla carry multiple pore systems with a typical function as chemoreceptors. Three types of s. coeloconica (Type I-III were also identified, with the characterization of the pit-in-pit style, and carrying pegs externally different from each other. Our data indicated that both type I and type II of s. coleconica contain two bipolar neurons, while the type III of s. coleconica contains three dendrites in the peg. Two sensory dendrites in the former two sensilla are tightly embedded inside the dendrite sheath, with no space left for sensilla lymph. There are no specific morphological differences in the antennal sensilla observed between males and females, except that the males have longer antennae and more sensilla than the females.

  20. The hydraulic mechanism in the hind wing veins of Cybister japonicus Sharp (order: Coleoptera

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiyu Sun

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The diving beetles (Dytiscidae, Coleoptera are families of water beetles. When they see light, they fly to the light source directly from the water. Their hind wings are thin and fragile under the protection of their elytra (forewings. When the beetle is at rest the hind wings are folded over the abdomen of the beetle and when in flight they unfold to provide the necessary aerodynamic forces. In this paper, the unfolding process of the hind wing of Cybister japonicus Sharp (order: Coleoptera was investigated. The motion characteristics of the blood in the veins of the structure system show that the veins have microfluidic control over the hydraulic mechanism of the unfolding process. A model is established, and the hind wing extending process is simulated. The blood flow and pressure changes are discussed. The driving mechanism for hydraulic control of the folding and unfolding actions of beetle hind wings is put forward. This can assist the design of new deployable micro air vehicles and bioinspired deployable systems.

  1. The first detection of Babesia species DNA from Japanese black bears (Ursus thibetanus japonicus) in Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikawa, Kazuhito; Aoki, Mikiko; Ichikawa, Madoka; Itagaki, Tadashi

    2011-06-01

    In this study, we tried to detect protozoan blood parasites from the liver or blood of 156 Japanese black bears (Ursus thibetanus japonicus) in Iwate Prefecture of Japan by polymerase chain reaction. Two amplicons (approximately 540 bp and 480 bp) were detected by amplification for V4 hyper-variable regions of the 18S rRNA gene. Approximately 540-bp products were obtained in 119 samples (76.3%) and were considered to be DNA of Hepatozoon ursi. Approximately 480-bp products were obtained in 22 samples (14.1%) and were considered to be DNA of Babesia species. The nucleotide sequences (1635 bp) of the 18S rRNA gene of Babesia sp. were very similar (99.3%) to those (AY190123, AY190124) of Babesia sp. detected previously from Ixodes ovatus. Phylogenetic analysis showed that Babesia sp. detected in this study closely related to Babesia sp. derived from raccoons in Japan and the U.S.A. This is the first report of Babesia species detected from Japanese black bears. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Evaluation of stored body fat in nuisance-killed Japanese black bears (Ursus thibetanus japonicus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamanaka, Atsushi; Asano, Makoto; Suzuki, Masatsugu; Mizoguchi, Toshio; Oi, Toru; Shimozuru, Michito; Tsubota, Toshio

    2011-02-01

    We evaluated the stored body fat of Japanese black bears (Ursus thibetanus japonicus) killed as nuisances in Gifu and Fukushima prefectures, Japan, during 2005-2007. We employed femur marrow fat (FMF), modified kidney fat index (mKFI), and abdominal subcutaneous fat (ASF) as indices for quantitative evaluation. We examined the basic characteristics of these indices, such as seasonality, age and sex dependency, and the quantitative relationship among them. mKFI and ASF increased towards the beginning of the denning period (December), while FMF was relatively stable throughout the sampling period (July-December). In cubs, all indices showed significantly lower values than in the older age classes. There seemed to be a catabolizing order between FMF and mKFI, but not between mKFI and ASF. We also evaluated the yearly change in the indices, and discussed its relevance to the incidence of bear intrusion into human residential areas. Bears nuisance-killed in summer (July-September) 2006 had a significantly larger amount of stored body fat than those killed in summer 2007, although the number of nuisance kills was larger in 2006 than in 2007. This suggests that poor nutritional condition is not a direct cause of bear intrusion.

  3. Sensitive Wavelengths Selection in Identification of Ophiopogon japonicus Based on Near-Infrared Hyperspectral Imaging Technology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhengyan Xia

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Hyperspectral imaging (HSI technology has increasingly been applied as an analytical tool in fields of agricultural, food, and Traditional Chinese Medicine over the past few years. The HSI spectrum of a sample is typically achieved by a spectroradiometer at hundreds of wavelengths. In recent years, considerable effort has been made towards identifying wavelengths (variables that contribute useful information. Wavelengths selection is a critical step in data analysis for Raman, NIRS, or HSI spectroscopy. In this study, the performances of 10 different wavelength selection methods for the discrimination of Ophiopogon japonicus of different origin were compared. The wavelength selection algorithms tested include successive projections algorithm (SPA, loading weights (LW, regression coefficients (RC, uninformative variable elimination (UVE, UVE-SPA, competitive adaptive reweighted sampling (CARS, interval partial least squares regression (iPLS, backward iPLS (BiPLS, forward iPLS (FiPLS, and genetic algorithms (GA-PLS. One linear technique (partial least squares-discriminant analysis was established for the evaluation of identification. And a nonlinear calibration model, support vector machine (SVM, was also provided for comparison. The results indicate that wavelengths selection methods are tools to identify more concise and effective spectral data and play important roles in the multivariate analysis, which can be used for subsequent modeling analysis.

  4. The hydraulic mechanism in the hind wing veins of Cybister japonicus Sharp (order: Coleoptera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Jiyu; Wu, Wei; Ling, Mingze; Bhushan, Bharat; Tong, Jin

    2016-01-01

    The diving beetles (Dytiscidae, Coleoptera) are families of water beetles. When they see light, they fly to the light source directly from the water. Their hind wings are thin and fragile under the protection of their elytra (forewings). When the beetle is at rest the hind wings are folded over the abdomen of the beetle and when in flight they unfold to provide the necessary aerodynamic forces. In this paper, the unfolding process of the hind wing of Cybister japonicus Sharp (order: Coleoptera) was investigated. The motion characteristics of the blood in the veins of the structure system show that the veins have microfluidic control over the hydraulic mechanism of the unfolding process. A model is established, and the hind wing extending process is simulated. The blood flow and pressure changes are discussed. The driving mechanism for hydraulic control of the folding and unfolding actions of beetle hind wings is put forward. This can assist the design of new deployable micro air vehicles and bioinspired deployable systems.

  5. New insight into hybridization and unidirectional introgression between Ammodytes japonicus and Ammodytes heian (Trachiniformes, Ammodytidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jin-Koo; Bae, Seung Eun; Lee, Soo Jeong; Yoon, Moon Geun

    2017-01-01

    Based on northern (NOL) and southern (SOL) mitochondrial lineages, recently, it proposed the new species Ammodytes heian and revived the species name Ammodytes japonicus to describe sand lances from the northwestern Pacific Ocean. This study used molecular methods to investigate genetic relationships between the two sand lance species in Korea and Japan. In total, 154 specimens were collected from four locations in Korea (Baengnyeongdo in the Yellow Sea, Tongyeong in the Korean Strait, and Jumunjin and Gijang in the East Sea), and 50 specimens were collected from a single location in Japan (Wakkanai in the Okhotsk Sea). Mitochondrial DNA analysis demonstrated that the individuals from Baengnyeongdo and Tongyeong all belonged to the SOL, whereas those from Gijang, Jumunjin, and Wakkanai included individuals from both the NOL and SOL (over 75% NOL). Population structure analyses were performed on the same individuals using seven microsatellite DNA markers. The population structure analysis based on 201 specimens identified two clusters (named as northern group and southern group), with the admixture proportion (q) of hybridization and unidirectional introgression from SOL to NOL occurs in southwestern margin of the East Sea. Our findings illustrate the speciation process based on different patterns of gene flow between Korean and Japanese sand lance, which is strongly influenced by both the paleo-climatic change and the contemporary local oceanic current pattern.

  6. Antiviral effects of Stichopus japonicus acid mucopolysaccharide on hepatitis B virus transgenic mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xin, Yongning; Li, Wei; Lu, Linlin; Zhou, Li; Victor, David W.; Xuan, Shiying

    2016-08-01

    Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a significant global pathogen and efficient cure for HBV patients is still a challenging goal. We previously reported that acidic mucopolysaccharide from stichopus japonicus selenka (SJAMP) could inhibit HBsAg and HBeAg expression in vitro. However, the potential anti-HBV effects of SJAMP in vivo have not yet been explored. In this study, we show that SJAMP exhibits potent anti-HBV activity in HBV transgenic mice in a dose-dependent manner. Specifically, sixty HBV transgenic male BALB/c mice were randomly selected to receive the treatment of PBS, low dose SJAMP (30 mg kg-1), middle dose SJAMP (40 mg kg-1), high dose SJAMP (50 mg kg-1) and IFN (45 IU kg-1) for 30 d. SJAMP treatment suppressed serum HBV-DNA, and liver HBsAg and HBcAg levels in HBV-transgenic mice. The present study highlights the potential application of SJAMP in HBV therapy.

  7. A new karst dwelling species of the Gekko japonicus group (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from central Laos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luu, Vinh Quang; Nguyen, Truong Quang; Le, Minh Duc; Bonkowski, Michael; Ziegler, Thomas

    2017-05-08

    A new species of the Gekko japonicus group is described from Khammouane Province, central Laos, based on morphological characters and molecular data. Morphologically, Gekko nadenensis sp. nov. is differentiated from the remaining congeners by a combination of the following characters: size moderate (SVL 61.0-77.1 mm); nares bordered with rostral; internasals absent; postmentals enlarged; interorbital scales between anterior corners of the eyes 28-30; dorsal tubercles absent; ventral scales between mental and cloacal slit 175-185; midbody scale rows 123-140; ventral scale rows 38-40; subdigital lamellae on first toes 13-15, on fourth toes 14-16; finger and toe webbing present at base; tubercles on dorsal surface of fore and hind limbs absent; precloacal pores six (3+3 or 5+1) in a discontinuous row in males, absent in the female; postcloacal tubercles 1 or 2; tubercles absent on dorsal surface of tail base; subcaudals distinctly enlarged; dorsal surface of body with greyish brown blotches. Molecular analyses demonstrated the new species is closely related to G. bonkowskii and G. thakhekensis, but separated from them by approximately 7% in genetic divergence as shown by a fragment of the mitochondrial ND2 gene.

  8. Phenoloxidase from the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus: cDNA cloning, expression and substrate specificity analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Jingwei; Zhou, Zunchun; Dong, Ying; Sun, Hongjuan; Chen, Zhong; Yang, Aifu; Gao, Shan; Wang, Bai; Jiang, Bei; Guan, Xiaoyan

    2014-02-01

    Phenoloxidase (PO) is a crucial component of the immune system of echinoderms. In the present study, the full-length cDNA of PO (AjPO) was cloned from coelomocytes of the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus using 3'- and 5'-rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) PCR method, which is 2508 bp, with an open reading frame (ORF) of 2040 bp encoding 679 amino acids. AjPO contains a transmembrane domain, and three Cu-oxidase domains with copper binding centers formed by 10 histidines, one cysteine and one methionine respectively. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that AjPO was clustered with laccase-type POs of invertebrates. Using the isolated membrane proteins as crude AjPO, the enzyme could catalyze the substrates catechol, L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA), dopamine and hydroquinone, but failed to oxidize tyrosine. The results described above collectively proved that AjPO was a membrane-binding laccase-type PO. The quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis revealed that AjPO mRNA was expressed in muscle, body wall, coelomocytes, tube feet, respiratory tree and intestine with the highest expression level in coelomocytes. AjPO could be significantly induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS), peptidoglycan (PGN), Zymosan A and polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (PolyI:C), suggesting AjPO is closely involved in the defense against the infection of bacteria, fungi and double-stranded RNA viruses. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Expression of immune-related genes in embryos and larvae of sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Aifu; Zhou, Zunchun; Dong, Ying; Jiang, Bei; Wang, Xiaoyu; Chen, Zhong; Guan, Xiaoyan; Wang, Bai; Sun, Dapeng

    2010-11-01

    The echinoderm immunity system has been extensively investigated in adults in several classes such as echinoid and holothuroidea. However, the defense mechanism in embryos and larvae remains largely unexplored. To profile the immune-related genes expression in embryos and larvae and to monitor the stimulation of the innate immune response by lipopolysaccharides (LPS) challenge, we investigated the expression patterns of nine immune-related genes in embryos and larvae of sea cucumber (Apostichopus japonicus) at eleven developmental stages using quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). The expression of six encoding proteins including heat shock protein70 (Hsp70), Hsp90, Hsp gp96, thymosin-beta, ferritin and DD104 protein was detected at all eleven development stages according to mRNA expression data. However, the expression of mannan-binding C-type lectin (MBCL) was detected at early auricularia to juvenile stages, while lysozyme and serine proteinase inhibitor (SPI) were detected only at juvenile stage. Out of these nine genes, three (MBCL, lysozyme and SPI) were found to be up-regulated in mRNA expression upon LPS challenge, whereas the other six showed no significant change. Our study presents a first preliminary view into the expression patterns of immune-related genes at different developmental stages of sea cucumber, which increases the available information on echinoderm immunity. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Shoaling behaviour of Lates japonicus revealed through a digital camera logger

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Gonzalvo

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Protecting endangered species is one of the main targets of conservation biology, but the study of these species is often a sensitive issue. The need to risk, and often take, the life of some specimens during the experiments is not easily justified. Technological advances provide scientists with tools that can reduce damage to studied species, while increasing the quality of the data obtained. Here, we analyse the social behaviour of an endangered Japanese fish, Akame (Lates japonicus, using an attached underwater camera. Social behaviour, especially concerning aggregations, is a key factor in conservation plans and fisheries management to avoid by-catch and to establish coherent protected areas. In this experiment, a fish-borne underwater still-camera logger was attached to a captured Akame, recording the individual in its natural environment in July, 2009. The images obtained from the camera revealed several groups of large adults moving together, showing for the first time in this species an aggregative behaviour. This discovery opens the door for initiation of protective measures to preserve these groups, which in turn, can help to ensure continuity of this fish in the Shimanto River by protecting the specific areas where these shoals gather.

  11. Early Lotus japonicus root transcriptomic responses to symbiotic and pathogenic fungal exudates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco eGiovannetti

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study is to evaluate Lotus japonicus transcriptomic responses to arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM germinated spore exudates (GSE, responsible for activating nuclear Ca2+ spiking in plant root epidermis. A microarray experiment was performed comparing gene expression in Lotus rootlets treated with GSE or water after 24 h and 48 h. The transcriptional pattern of selected genes that resulted to be regulated in the array was further evaluated upon different treatments and timings. In particular, Lotus rootlets were treated with: GSE from the pathogenic fungus Colletotrichum trifolii; short chitin oligomers (acknowledged AM fungal signals and long chitin oligomers (as activators of pathogenic responses. This experimental set up has revealed that AM GSE generates a strong transcriptomic response in Lotus roots with an extensive defense-related response after 24 hours and a subsequent downregulation after 48 hours. A similar subset of defense-related genes resulted to be upregulated also upon treatment with C. trifolii GSE, although with an opposite trend. Surprisingly, long chitin oligomers activated both defense-like and symbiosis-related genes. Among the genes regulated in the microarray, promoter-GUS assay showed that LjMATE1 activates in epidermal cells and root hairs.

  12. Depolymerized glycosaminoglycan and its anticoagulant activities from sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Jie; Wang, Yuanhong; Jiang, Tingfu; Lv, Lv; Zhang, Boyuan; Lv, Zhihua

    2015-01-01

    A controlled Cu(2+) catalytic free-radical depolymerization process of fucosylated chondroitin sulfate from sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus was established. The results showed a good linear relationship between 1/Mw and time during the depolymerization. A series of fractions with different molecular weight were obtained, and the physicochemical properties of them were investigated and compared utilizing the chemical method, IR spectra and NMR spectra. The results showed no significant variations of the backbone and branches structures during the depolymerization. Furthermore, the anticoagulant activities of the depolymerized fractions were evaluated by the activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT). The APTT decreases in proportion to the molecular weight following a linear relationship and the prolongation of APTT activity requires at least oligosaccharide of 4 trisaccharide units (about 4000 Da). Their anticoagulant activity of low molecular weight fraction (Mw = 24,755 Da) is similar to LMWH with significantly less bleeding risk. The results suggest that the low molecular weight fraction could be used as a novel anticoagulant with less undesired side effects. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Effects of different microbes on fermenting feed for sea cucumber ( Apostichopus japonicus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Yan; Wang, Yingeng; Mai, Kangsen; Zhang, Zheng; Liao, Meijie; Rong, Xiaojun

    2015-10-01

    The effects of different microbes on fermenting feed for sea cucumber ( Apostichopus japonicus) were compared to select the optimal fermentation strain in this study. Saccharomgces cerevisae, Candida utilis, Bacillus subtilis and Geotrichum candidum were independently added into the experimental compound feed, while only saline was mixed with the control feed. The fermentation treatments were inoculated with 10% seed solution under the condition of 25°C and 70% water content, which lasted for 5 days to elucidate the optimal microbe strain for fermenting effect. Physicochemical indexes and sensorial characteristics were measured per day during the fermentation. The indexes included dry matter recovery (DMR), crude protein (CP), the percentage of amino acid nitrogen to total nitrogen (AA-N/tN), the percentage of ammonia nitrogen to total nitrogen (NH3-N/tN), and the ratio of fermentation strains and vibrios to the total microbes, color, smell and viscosity. The results showed that DMR, CP and AA-N/tN of the S. cerevisae group reached the highest level on day 3, but the ratio of fermentation strain was second to C. utilis group. In addition, its NH3-N/tN and the ratio of vibrios were maintained at low levels, and the sensory evaluation score including smell, color and viscosity was the highest in S. cerevisae group on day 3. Therefore, S. cerevisae could be the optimal strain for the feed fermentation for sea cucumber. This research developed a new production method of fermentation feed for sea cucumber.

  14. Mutagenic effects of carbon ion beam irradiations on dry Lotus japonicus seeds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Luo, Shanwei [Biophysics Group, Institute of Modern Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 509 Nanchang Road, Lanzhou 730000 (China); University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049 (China); Zhou, Libin, E-mail: libinzhou@impcas.ac.cn [Biophysics Group, Institute of Modern Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 509 Nanchang Road, Lanzhou 730000 (China); Li, Wenjian; Du, Yan [Biophysics Group, Institute of Modern Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 509 Nanchang Road, Lanzhou 730000 (China); Yu, Lixia; Feng, Hui; Mu, Jinhu [Biophysics Group, Institute of Modern Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 509 Nanchang Road, Lanzhou 730000 (China); University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049 (China); Chen, Yuze [College of Life Science and Technology, Gansu Agricultural University, No. 1 Yingmen Village, Anning District, Lanzhou, Gansu Province 730070 (China)

    2016-09-15

    Carbon ion beam irradiation is a powerful method for creating mutants and has been used in crop breeding more and more. To investigate the effects of carbon ion beams on Lotus japonicus, dry seeds were irradiated by 80 MeV/u carbon ion beam at dosages of 0, 100, 200, 300, 400, 500 and 600 Gy. The germination rate, survival rate and root length of M{sub 1} populations were explored and the dose of 400 Gy was selected as the median lethal dose (LD{sub 50}) for a large-scale mutant screening. Among 2472 M{sub 2} plants, 127 morphological mutants including leaf, stem, flower and fruit phenotypic variation were found, and the mutation frequency was approximately 5.14%. Inter simple sequence repeat (ISSR) assays were utilized to investigate the DNA polymorphism between seven mutants and eight plants without phenotypic variation from M{sub 2} populations. No remarkable differences were detected between these two groups, and the total polymorphic rate was 0.567%.

  15. TRBP and eIF6 homologue in Marsupenaeus japonicus play crucial roles in antiviral response.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuai Wang

    Full Text Available Plants and invertebrates can suppress viral infection through RNA silencing, mediated by RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC. Trans-activation response RNA-binding protein (TRBP, consisting of three double-stranded RNA-binding domains, is a component of the RISC. In our previous paper, a TRBP homologue in Fenneropenaeus chinensis (Fc-TRBP was reported to directly bind to eukaryotic initiation factor 6 (Fc-eIF6. In this study, we further characterized the function of TRBP and the involvement of TRBP and eIF6 in antiviral RNA interference (RNAi pathway of shrimp. The double-stranded RNA binding domains (dsRBDs B and C of the TRBP from Marsupenaeus japonicus (Mj-TRBP were found to mediate the interaction of TRBP and eIF6. Gel-shift assays revealed that the N-terminal of Mj-TRBP dsRBD strongly binds to double-stranded RNA (dsRNA and that the homodimer of the TRBP mediated by the C-terminal dsRBD increases the affinity to dsRNA. RNAi against either Mj-TRBP or Mj-eIF6 impairs the dsRNA-induced sequence-specific RNAi pathway and facilitates the proliferation of white spot syndrome virus (WSSV. These results further proved the important roles of TRBP and eIF6 in the antiviral response of shrimp.

  16. Alcohol Brine Freezing of Japanese Horse Mackerel (Trachurus japonicus) for Raw Consumption

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maeda, Toshimichi; Yuki, Atsuhiko; Sakurai, Hiroshi; Watanabe, Koichiro; Itoh, Nobuo; Inui, Etsuro; Seike, Kazunori; Mizukami, Yoichi; Fukuda, Yutaka; Harada, Kazuki

    In order to test the possible application of alcohol brine freezing to Japanese horse mackerel (Trachurus japonicus) for raw consumption, the quality and taste of fish frozen by direct immersion in 60% ethanol brine at -20, -25 and -30°C was compared with those by air freezing and fresh fish without freezing. Cracks were not found during the freezing. Smell of ethanol did not remain. K value, an indicator of freshness, of fish frozen in alcohol brine was less than 8.3%, which was at the same level as those by air freezing and fresh fish. Oxidation of lipid was at the same level as air freezing does, and lower than that of fresh fish. The pH of fish frozen in alcohol brine at -25 and -30°C was 6.5 and 6.6, respectively, which were higher than that by air freezing and that of fresh fish. Fish frozen in alcohol brine was better than that by air and at the same level as fresh fish in total evaluation of sensory tests. These results show that the alcohol brine freezing is superior to air freezing, and fish frozen in alcohol brine can be a material for raw consumption. The methods of thawing in tap water, cold water, refrigerator, and at room temperature were compared. Thawing in tap water is considered to be convenient due to the short thaw time and the quality of thawed fish that was best among the methods.

  17. Non-Heme Iron Loading Capacities of Anchovy (Engraulis japonicus) Meat Fractions under Simulated Gastrointestinal Digestion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Liang; Wu, Haohao; Zeng, Mingyong; Huang, Hai

    2017-01-11

    A ferric oxyhydroxide nanoparticle (FeONP)-mediated mechanism has been suggested recently for anchovy (Engraulis japonicus) meat (AM) enhancement of non-heme iron absorption. The current paper fractionates AM biomass into protein (70.67%), lipid (20.98%), and carbohydrate (i.e., glycogen and mucopolysaccharide, 1.07%) and evaluates their capacities in templating the formation of FeONPs under simulated gastrointestinal digestion. Results show that their iron-loading capacities (mg/g) follow the ascending order glycogen (2.43 ± 0.65), protein (20.16 ± 0.56), AM (28.19 ± 0.86), lipid (33.60 ± 1.12), and mucopolysaccharide (541.33 ± 32.33). Protein and lipid act in synergy to contribute the overwhelming majority (about 90%) of AM's iron-loading capacity. l-α-Phosphatidylcholine and l-α-lysophosphatidylcholine are the predominant iron-loading fractions in the lipid digest. Dynamic light scattering and transmission electron microscopy exhibit coating of inorganic cores of the formed FeONPs with peptides or phospholipid-based mixed micelles. Overall, protein and phospholipid are key players in the nanoparticle-mediated "meat factor" mechanism.

  18. Formation of ferric oxyhydroxide nanoparticles mediated by peptides in anchovy (Engraulis japonicus) muscle protein hydrolysate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Haohao; Liu, Zunying; Dong, Shiyuan; Zhao, Yuanhui; Huang, Hai; Zeng, Mingyong

    2013-01-09

    Nanosized iron fortificants appear to be promising and can be synthesized in a greener way using peptides as biotemplates. Anchovy is a huge underdeveloped source of muscle protein that enhances human nonheme iron absorption. This paper shows that peptides in anchovy ( Engraulis japonicus ) muscle protein hydrolysate (AMPH) mediate the formation of monodispersed ferric oxyhydroxide nanoparticles (FeONPs) with diameters of 20-40 nm above pH 3.0. Peptides in AMPH nucleate iron through carboxyl groups and crystal growth then occur as a result of condensation of carboxylate-ligated hydroxide iron centers, yielding Fe-O-Fe cross-link bonds. Monomers of FeONPs are formed after steric obstruction of further crystal growth by peptide backbones with certain lengths and further stabilized by surface-adsorbed peptides. The iron-loading capacity of peptides in AMPH is up to 27.5 mg iron/g peptide. Overall, the present study provides a greener alternative route to the synthesis of FeONPs.

  19. CLE peptide-encoding gene families in Medicago truncatula and Lotus japonicus, compared with those of soybean, common bean and Arabidopsis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hastwell, April H; de Bang, Thomas Christian; Gresshoff, Peter M

    2017-01-01

    these complete CLE peptide-encoding gene families with those of fellow legumes, Glycine max and Phaseolus vulgaris, in addition to the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. This approach provided insight into the evolution of CLE peptide families and enabled us to establish putative M. truncatula and L. japonicus...... in controlling legume nodulation. Here, the entire family of CLE peptide-encoding genes was identified in Medicago truncatula (52) and Lotus japonicus (53), including pseudogenes and non-functional sequences that were identified. An array of bioinformatic techniques were used to compare and contrast...

  20. Proteomic analysis reveals the important roles of alpha-5-collagen and ATP5β during skin ulceration syndrome progression of sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Zelong; Jiang, Jingwei; Pan, Yongjia; Sun, Hongjuan; Guan, Xiaoyan; Gao, Shan; Chen, Zhong; Dong, Ying; Zhou, Zunchun

    2018-03-20

    Apostichopus japonicus is one of the most important aquaculture species in China. Skin ulceration syndrome (SUS) of sea cucumber is a common and serious disease affected the development of A. japonicus culture industry. To better understand the response mechanisms of A. japonicus during SUS progression, the protein variations in the body wall of A. japonicus at different stages of SUS were investigated by a comparative proteomic approach based on isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification. A total of 1449 proteins were identified from the samples at different SUS stages. Among these proteins, 145 proteins were differentially expressed in the SUS-related samples compared to those of healthy A. japonicus. These differentially expressed proteins involved a wide range of functions. Among these differentially expressed proteins, only two proteins, alpha-5-collagen and an unknown function protein, were differentially expressed during the whole progression of SUS compared with healthy A. japonicus. In addition, ATP synthase subunit beta (ATP5β) interacted with a variety of proteins with different functions during the SUS progression. These results implied that alpha-5-collagen and ATP5β could play important roles during the SUS progression of A. japonicus. Our study provided a new sight to understand the molecular responses of sea cucumber during the SUS progression and accumulated data for the prevention of SUS in sea cucumber aquaculture. The current study aimed to reveal how the body wall of Apostichopus japonicus response to skin ulceration syndrome (SUS). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first proteomic study analyzing the differences in protein profile of sea cucumber during the whole SUS progression. By analyzing the expression differences of the proteome via isobaric labeling-based quantitative proteomic, we identified some proteins which may play important roles during the SUS progression. According to the enrichment analyses of these

  1. Removal of Nonmyrmecochorous Seeds by Ants: Role of Ants in Cattle Grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Selene Escobar-Ramírez

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Livestock production models prevailing in Colombian Andes are simplified treeless pastures for extensive ranching, with the consequent reduction of environmental services, such as seed dispersal, due to lack of primary dispersers, scarcity of adequate sites for seedling establishment and competition with grasses. This study evaluated if, in these harsh environments, ants can promote the colonization of arboreal species through directed dispersion of seeds towards the nests. Ten seeds of each species were offered to ants in six grazing pastures. Ants removed 25% of the seeds (1827 in 48 hours. Preference for arillated and small-to-medium sized seeds, such as Pithecellobium dulce, and Guazuma ulmifolia, was observed. Cyphomyrmex major, Ectatomma ruidum, Solenopsis geminata and Atta cephalotes were the key ant species in seed removal. It was concluded that functional ant groups present in the pastures could contribute to secondary dispersion of seeds with potential for restoration.

  2. The use of weaver ants (Oecophylla spp.) in tropical agriculture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Hans Joachim

    2011-01-01

    Canopy dwelling weaver ants are widely distributed throughout the Old World Tropics where they build up high densities on their host trees. If managed properly the high number of ants will control a range of pest insects and benefit crop production. Simultaneously the ant larvae production, fuelled...... by the consumed pest insects, can be harvested and utilised for nutrition as they are tasty and high in proteins, vitamins and minerals. Thus, plantations may function as ant farms and in addition to plant production also hosts the production of edible animal protein. In this setup harmful pest insects are turned...... farming as a way forward to solve an increasing future demand for protein. Weaver ant farming may build on natural food collected by the ants or alternatively be boosted by feeding the ant colonies actively with protein and sugar. In both cases, when ant biocontrol is combined with ant farming...

  3. Analysis of Lotus japonicus nuclear pore NUP107-160 subcomplex mutants reveals pronounced structural plasticity and functional redundancy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas eBinder

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Mutations in the Lotus japonicus nucleoporin genes, NUP85, NUP133 and NENA (SEH1, lead to defects in plant-microbe symbiotic signaling. The homologous proteins in yeast and vertebrates are part of the conserved NUP84/NUP107-160 sub-complex, which is an essential component of the nuclear pore scaffold and has a pivotal role in NPC assembly. Loss and down-regulation of NUP84/NUP107-160 members has previously been correlated with a variety of growth and molecular defects, however, in L. japonicus only surprisingly specific phenotypes have been reported. We investigated whether Lotus nup85, nup133 and nena mutants exhibit general defects in NPC composition and distribution. Whole mount immunofluorescence confirmed a typical nucleoporin-like localization for NUP133, which was unchanged in the nup85-1 mutant. Severe NPC clustering and aberrations in the nuclear envelope have been reported for Saccharomyces cerevisiae nup85 and nup133 mutants. However, upon transmission electron microscopy analysis, we did not detect any significant changes in L. japonicus nup85 and nena, and only a slight reduction in the average distances between neighboring NPCs in nup133. Using quantitative immunodetection on protein-blots we observed that loss of individual nucleoporins affected the protein levels of other NUP107-160 complex members. Unlike the single mutants, nup85/nup133 double mutants exhibited severe temperature dependent growth and developmental defects, suggesting that the loss of more than one NUP107-160 member affects basal functions of the NPC.

  4. UV-B radiation-induced oxidative stress and p38 signaling pathway involvement in the benthic copepod Tigriopus japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Bo-Mi; Rhee, Jae-Sung; Lee, Kyun-Woo; Kim, Min-Jung; Shin, Kyung-Hoon; Lee, Su-Jae; Lee, Young-Mi; Lee, Jae-Seong

    2015-01-01

    Ultraviolet B (UV-B) radiation presents an environmental hazard to aquatic organisms. To understand the molecular responses of the intertidal copepod Tigriopus japonicus to UV-B radiation, we measured the acute toxicity response to 96 h of UV-B radiation, and we also assessed the intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, glutathione (GSH) content, and antioxidant enzyme (GST, GR, GPx, and SOD) activities after 24 h of exposure to UV-B with LD50 and half LD50 values. Also, expression patterns of p53 and hsp gene families with phosphorylation of p38 MAPK were investigated in UV-B-exposed copepods. We found that the ROS level, GSH content, and antioxidant enzyme activity levels were increased with the transcriptional upregulation of antioxidant-related genes, indicating that UV-B induces oxidative stress by generating ROS and stimulating antioxidant enzymatic activity as a defense mechanism. Additionally, we found that p53 expression was significantly increased after UV-B irradiation due to increases in the phosphorylation of the stress-responsive p38 MAPK, indicating that UV-B may be responsible for inducing DNA damage in T. japonicus. Of the hsp family genes, transcriptional levels of hsp20, hsp20.7, hsp70, and hsp90 were elevated in response to a low dose of UV-B radiation (9 kJ m(-2)), suggesting that these hsp genes may be involved in cellular protection against UV-B radiation. In this paper, we performed a pathway-oriented mechanistic analysis in response to UV-B radiation, and this analysis provides a better understanding of the effects of UV-B in the intertidal benthic copepod T. japonicus. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Effect of acute salinity stress on ion homeostasis, Na+/K+-ATPase and histological structure in sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geng, Chenfan; Tian, Yi; Shang, Yanpeng; Wang, Liqiang; Jiang, Yanan; Chang, Yaqing

    2016-01-01

    Sea cucumbers ( Apostichopus japonicus ) are an imperiled fauna exposed to a variety of environmental condition such as salinity and studies are urgently needed to assess their effects to guide aquaculture efforts. The effects of acute salinity stress on coelomic fluid osmotic pressure, ion concentrations, the activity of Na + /K + -ATPase in respiratory trees and the histological variations were measured to evaluate the salinity tolerance of sea cucumbers. Significant correlations in osmotic pressure were observed between coelomic fluid and ambient environmental salinity. In coelomic fluid, Na + concentration was observed fluctuated during salinity 18 psu and the inflection point presented at the 6 h. The Na + /K + -ATPase activity in respiratory trees indicated the "U-shaped" fluctuant change and the change trend was opposite with the Na + concentration. The ions (K + , Cl - ) concentration decreased and showed the same tendency at salinity 40 psu with salinity 18 psu. The total coelomocytes counts and phagocytosis of coelomic fluid Na + /K + -ATPase activity indicated fluctuating changes under different salinity stress. Histological variation revealed a negative relation between decreasing salt concentration and tissue integrity. Tissue damages were significantly observed in intestines, muscles and tube feet under low salinity environment (18, 23 and 27 psu). The connective tissue in intestines of A. japonicus exposed to 18 and 23 psu damaged and partly separated from the mucosal epithelium. The significant variations occurred in tube feet, which presented the swelling in connective tissue and a fracture in longitudinal muscles under low salinity (18 psu). The morphological change of tube feet showed the shrinkage of connective tissue under high salinity (40 psu). The amount of infusoria in the respiratory trees decreased or even disappeared in salinity treatment groups (18 and 23 psu). The results inferred that osmoconformity and ionoregulation were

  6. Expression analysis of microRNAs related to the skin ulceration syndrome of sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Hongjuan; Zhou, Zunchun; Dong, Ying; Yang, Aifu; Jiang, Jingwei; Chen, Zhong; Guan, Xiaoyan; Wang, Bai; Gao, Shan; Jiang, Bei

    2016-02-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that are involved in many biological processes. To investigate the miRNAs related to skin ulceration syndrome (SUS) of Apostichopus japonicus, small RNA libraries of body wall, intestine, respiratory tree and coelomocytes from healthy and diseased A. japonicus were sequenced on Illumina Hiseq 2000 platform. A total of 247 conserved and 10 novel miRNAs were identified across all libraries. After pair-wise comparisons, 215 miRNAs in body wall, 36 in intestine, 2 in respiratory tree and 38 in coelomocytes showed significant expression differences. Further analyses were conducted on some tissue-specific differentially expressed miRNAs: miR-8 and miR-486-5p in body wall, miR-200-3p, let-7-5p and miR-125 in intestine, miR-278a-3p and bantam in respiratory, miR-10a and miR-184 in coelomocytes. Notably, these miRNAs in some species were reported to function in various physiological or pathological processes associated with immune regulations. Using stem-loop quantitative real time PCR, six representative miRNAs in four tissues were selected to validate the sequencing results. The Pearson's correlation coefficient (R) of the six miRNAs ranged from 0.777 to 0.948, which confirmed the consistency and accuracy between these two approaches. This study provides comprehensive expression and regulation patterns of functional miRNAs in different tissues and gives insights into the tissue-specific immune response mechanisms in SUS-infected A. japonicus. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Bioenergetic trade-offs in the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea) in response to CO2-driven ocean acidification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Xiutang; Shao, Senlin; Yang, Xiaolong; Yang, Dazuo; Xu, Qinzeng; Zong, Humin; Liu, Shilin

    2016-05-01

    Ocean acidification (OA) caused by excessive CO2 is a potential ecological threat to marine organisms. The impacts of OA on echinoderms are well-documented, but there has been a strong bias towards sea urchins, and limited information is available on sea cucumbers. This work examined the effect of medium-term (60 days) exposure to three pH levels (pH 8.06, 7.72, and 7.41, covering present and future pH variability) on the bioenergetic responses of the sea cucumber, Apostichopus japonicus, an ecologically and economically important holothurian in Asian coasts. Results showed that the measured specific growth rate linearly decreased with decreased pH, leading to a 0.42 %·day(-1) decrease at pH 7.41 compared with that at pH 8.06. The impacts of pH on physiological energetics were variable: measured energy consumption and defecation rates linearly decreased with decreased pH, whereas maintenance energy in calculated respiration and excretion were not significantly affected. No shift in energy allocation pattern was observed in A. japonicus upon exposure to pH 7.72 compared with pH 8.06. However, a significant shift in energy budget occurred upon exposure to pH 7.41, leading to decreased energy intake and increased percentage of energy that was lost in feces, thereby resulting in a significantly lowered allocation into somatic growth. These findings indicate that adult A. japonicus is resilient to the OA scenario at the end of the twenty-first century, but further acidification may negatively influence the grazing capability and growth, thereby influencing its ecological functioning as an "ecosystem engineer" and potentially harming its culture output.

  8. Statistical Mechanics of Collective Transport by Ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinkoviezky, Itai; Gelblum, Aviram; Fonio, Ehud; Ghosh, Abhijit; Gov, Nir; Feinerman, Ofer

    Collective decisions and cooperation within groups are essential for the survival of many species. Conflicts within the group must be suppressed but conformism may render the system unresponsive to new information. Collective transport by ants is therefore an ideal model system to study how animal groups optimize these opposing requirements. We combine experiments and theory to characterize the collective transport. The ants are modeled as binary Ising spins, representing the two roles ants can perform during transport. It turns out that the ants poise themselves collectively near a critical point where the response to a newly attached ant is maximized. We identify the size as being proportional to an inverse effective temperature and thus the system can exhibit a mesoscopic transition between order and disorder by manipulating the size. Constraining the cargo with a string makes the system behave as a strongly non-linear pendulum. Theoretically we predict that a Hopf bifurcation occurs at a critical size followed by a global bifurcation where full swings emerge. Remarkably, these theoretical predictions were verified experimentally.

  9. Early ant trajectories: spatial behaviour before behaviourism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wehner, Rüdiger

    2016-04-01

    In the beginning of the twentieth century, when Jacques Loeb's and John Watson's mechanistic view of life started to dominate animal physiology and behavioural biology, several scientists with different academic backgrounds got engaged in studying the wayfinding behaviour of ants. Largely unaffected by the scientific spirit of the time, they worked independently of each other in different countries: in Algeria, Tunisia, Spain, Switzerland and the United States of America. In the current literature on spatial cognition these early ant researchers--Victor Cornetz, Felix Santschi, Charles Turner and Rudolf Brun--are barely mentioned. Moreover, it is virtually unknown that the great neuroanatomist Santiago Ramón y Cajal had also worked on spatial orientation in ants. This general neglect is certainly due to the fact that nearly all these ant researchers were scientific loners, who did their idiosyncratic investigations outside the realm of comparative physiology, neurobiology and the behavioural sciences of the time, and published their results in French, German, and Spanish at rather inaccessible places. Even though one might argue that much of their work resulted in mainly anecdotal evidence, the conceptual approaches of these early ant researchers preempt much of the present-day discussions on spatial representation in animals.

  10. Fossil evidence for the early ant evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrichot, Vincent; Lacau, Sébastien; Néraudeau, Didier; Nel, André

    2008-02-01

    Ants are one of the most studied insects in the world; and the literature devoted to their origin and evolution, systematics, ecology, or interactions with plants, fungi and other organisms is prolific. However, no consensus yet exists on the age estimate of the first Formicidae or on the origin of their eusociality. We review the fossil and biogeographical record of all known Cretaceous ants. We discuss the possible origin of the Formicidae with emphasis on the most primitive subfamily Sphecomyrminae according to its distribution and the Early Cretaceous palaeogeography. And we review the evidence of true castes and eusociality of the early ants regarding their morphological features and their manner of preservation in amber. The mid-Cretaceous amber forest from south-western France where some of the oldest known ants lived, corresponded to a moist tropical forest close to the shore with a dominance of gymnosperm trees but where angiosperms (flowering plants) were already diversified. This palaeoenvironmental reconstruction supports an initial radiation of ants in forest ground litter coincident with the rise of angiosperms, as recently proposed as an ecological explanation for their origin and successful evolution.

  11. Fuzzy Rules for Ant Based Clustering Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amira Hamdi

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper provides a new intelligent technique for semisupervised data clustering problem that combines the Ant System (AS algorithm with the fuzzy c-means (FCM clustering algorithm. Our proposed approach, called F-ASClass algorithm, is a distributed algorithm inspired by foraging behavior observed in ant colonyT. The ability of ants to find the shortest path forms the basis of our proposed approach. In the first step, several colonies of cooperating entities, called artificial ants, are used to find shortest paths in a complete graph that we called graph-data. The number of colonies used in F-ASClass is equal to the number of clusters in dataset. Hence, the partition matrix of dataset founded by artificial ants is given in the second step, to the fuzzy c-means technique in order to assign unclassified objects generated in the first step. The proposed approach is tested on artificial and real datasets, and its performance is compared with those of K-means, K-medoid, and FCM algorithms. Experimental section shows that F-ASClass performs better according to the error rate classification, accuracy, and separation index.

  12. The prevalence of non-indigenous parasitic copepod (Neoergasilus japonicus) spreads with fishes of pet trade in Kerman, Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirzaei, Mohammad; Khovand, Hosein; Kheirandish, Reza

    2016-12-01

    Ergasilids are copepods living in the river mouth of freshwaters and parasitic on Teleost fish family in both natural and artificial environments. So far, 5 species of the copepod have been discovered that belong to the genus Neoergasilus . This copepod is most likely to be disseminated through aquarium trades, aquaculture and over-nutrition, or construction of sand carrying water. The females of Ergasilidae are external parasites attaching to the anal and dorsal fins and sometimes to gills and nasal cavities of fish living in freshwaters. In total, 552 pieces of ornamental fish (301 males and 251 females) with length of 5-10 cm from fish (Poecilia sphenops) species (Singapore, Sandy, Dirigible and scorpion's tail) were collected from ornamental fish stores in different regions of Kerman, Iran during 1 year in 2012-2013 and tested in order to examine Neoergasilus japonicus infestation. From 188 adult females Neoergasilus japonicus specimens recorded on the fish host, 8 (4.26 %) were on the anal, 120 (63.83 %) on the dorsal, 10 (5.32 %), on the pectoral, 45 (23.94 %) on the pelvic, and 5 (2.66 %) on the caudal fins. In this study, the prevalence of parasitic copepod infestation from Dec. to May was 26.31, 27.69, 26.19, 14, 18.75, and 7.5 %, respectively. There was no significant difference between infestation prevalence in indigenous and non-native fishes (P = 0.18). There were significant differences between different months of year in the prevalence and intensity of Neoergasilus japonicas (P < 0.05). There was significant difference between frequency distribution of Neoergasilus Japonicus infestation in different organs (P < 0.05). The male fish infestation (16.3 %) was significantly higher than female fish infestation (5.6 %) (P < 0.05). Considering that the Neoergasilus japonicus was first observed in native and nonnative ornamental fish in Kerman, further studies should be conducted on the copepod infestation in stores supplying ornamental

  13. Moribund Ants Do Not Call for Help.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krzysztof Miler

    Full Text Available When an antlion captures a foraging ant, the victim's nestmates may display rescue behaviour. This study tested the hypothesis that the expression of rescue behaviour depends on the life expectancy of the captured ant. This hypothesis predicts that the expression of rescue behaviour will be less frequent when the captured ant has a lower life expectancy than when it has a higher life expectancy because such a response would be adaptive at the colony level. Indeed, significant differences were found in the frequency of rescue behaviours in response to antlion victims with differing life expectancies. In agreement with prediction, victims with lower life expectancies were rescued less frequently, and those rescues had a longer latency and shorter duration. There was also a qualitative difference in the behaviour of rescuers to victims from the low and high life expectancy groups. Several explanations for these findings are proposed.

  14. Moribund Ants Do Not Call for Help.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miler, Krzysztof

    2016-01-01

    When an antlion captures a foraging ant, the victim's nestmates may display rescue behaviour. This study tested the hypothesis that the expression of rescue behaviour depends on the life expectancy of the captured ant. This hypothesis predicts that the expression of rescue behaviour will be less frequent when the captured ant has a lower life expectancy than when it has a higher life expectancy because such a response would be adaptive at the colony level. Indeed, significant differences were found in the frequency of rescue behaviours in response to antlion victims with differing life expectancies. In agreement with prediction, victims with lower life expectancies were rescued less frequently, and those rescues had a longer latency and shorter duration. There was also a qualitative difference in the behaviour of rescuers to victims from the low and high life expectancy groups. Several explanations for these findings are proposed.

  15. Kin-informative recognition cues in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nehring, Volker; Evison, Sophie E F; Santorelli, Lorenzo A

    2011-01-01

    behaviour is thought to be rare in one of the classic examples of cooperation--social insect colonies--because the colony-level costs of individual selfishness select against cues that would allow workers to recognize their closest relatives. In accord with this, previous studies of wasps and ants have...... found little or no kin information in recognition cues. Here, we test the hypothesis that social insects do not have kin-informative recognition cues by investigating the recognition cues and relatedness of workers from four colonies of the ant Acromyrmex octospinosus. Contrary to the theoretical...... prediction, we show that the cuticular hydrocarbons of ant workers in all four colonies are informative enough to allow full-sisters to be distinguished from half-sisters with a high accuracy. These results contradict the hypothesis of non-heritable recognition cues and suggest that there is more potential...

  16. Recognition of social identity in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bos, Nick; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2012-01-01

    Recognizing the identity of others, from the individual to the group level, is a hallmark of society. Ants, and other social insects, have evolved advanced societies characterized by efficient social recognition systems. Colony identity is mediated by colony specific signature mixtures, a blend...... of hydrocarbons present on the cuticle of every individual (the “label”). Recognition occurs when an ant encounters another individual, and compares the label it perceives to an internal representation of its own colony odor (the “template”). A mismatch between label and template leads to rejection...... of the encountered individual. Although advances have been made in our understanding of how the label is produced and acquired, contradictory evidence exists about information processing of recognition cues. Here, we review the literature on template acquisition in ants and address how and when the template...

  17. The evolution of invasiveness in garden ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cremer, Sylvia; Ugelvig, Line Vej; Drijfhout, Falko P

    2008-01-01

    It is unclear why some species become successful invaders whilst others fail, and whether invasive success depends on pre-adaptations already present in the native range or on characters evolving de-novo after introduction. Ants are among the worst invasive pests, with Lasius neglectus and its...... rapid spread through Europe and Asia as the most recent example of a pest ant that may become a global problem. Here, we present the first integrated study on behavior, morphology, population genetics, chemical recognition and parasite load of L. neglectus and its non-invasive sister species L. turcicus....... We find that L. neglectus expresses the same supercolonial syndrome as other invasive ants, a social system that is characterized by mating without dispersal and large networks of cooperating nests rather than smaller mutually hostile colonies. We conclude that the invasive success of L. neglectus...

  18. Swarm controlled emergence for ant clustering

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Scheidler, Alexander; Merkle, Daniel; Middendorf, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: Swarm controlled emergence is proposed as an approach to control emergent effects in (artificial) swarms. The method involves the introduction of specific control agents into the swarm systems. Control agents behave similar to the normal agents and do not directly influence the behavior...... of the normal agents. The specific design of the control agents depends on the particular swarm system considered. The aim of this paper is to apply the method to ant clustering. Ant clustering, as an emergent effect, can be observed in nature and has inspired the design of several technical systems, e.......g. moving robots, and clustering algorithms. Design/methodology/approach: Different types of control agents for that ant clustering model are designed by introducing slight changes to the behavioural rules of the normal agents. The clustering behaviour of the resulting swarms is investigated by extensive...

  19. Desert ants learn vibration and magnetic landmarks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cornelia Buehlmann

    Full Text Available The desert ants Cataglyphis navigate not only by path integration but also by using visual and olfactory landmarks to pinpoint the nest entrance. Here we show that Cataglyphis noda can additionally use magnetic and vibrational landmarks as nest-defining cues. The magnetic field may typically provide directional rather than positional information, and vibrational signals so far have been shown to be involved in social behavior. Thus it remains questionable if magnetic and vibration landmarks are usually provided by the ants' habitat as nest-defining cues. However, our results point to the flexibility of the ants' navigational system, which even makes use of cues that are probably most often sensed in a different context.

  20. Ant-gardens of tropical Asian rainforests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaufmann, Eva; Maschwitz, Ulrich

    2006-05-01

    Ant-garden (AG) associations are systems of epiphytic plants and arboricolous (i.e., tree-living) ants, in which the ants build fragile carton nests containing organic material. They collect and incorporate seeds or fruits of epiphytes that then germinate and grow on the nest [sensu Corbara et al. (1999) 38:73-89]. The plant roots stabilize the nest carton. AGs have been well-known in the neotropics for more than 100 years. In contrast, reports on similar associations in the paleotropics are scarce so far. After discovering a first common AG system on giant bamboo [Kaufmann et al. (2001) 48:125-133], we started a large-scale survey for AGs in Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo, Java, and southern Thailand. A great variety of AG systems (altogether including 18 ant species and 51 plant species) was discovered and is described in the present paper. The high number of species participating in AG associations was reflected by a great variability in the specific appearances of the nest gardens. Frequently, further groups of organisms (e.g., hemipteran trophobionts, fungi) were also involved. Preference patterns of particular ant and epiphyte species for each other and for particular phorophytes (carrier trees) were detected. We integrate domatia-producing, so-called ant-house epiphytes in our study and compare their phases of establishment, as well as other characteristics, to “classical” AGs, coming to the conclusion that they should be regarded only as a special type of AG epiphyte and not as a separate ecological category.

  1. Ants of the Peloponnese, Greece (Hymenoptera: Formicidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Borowiec Lech

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper relates to material obtained during two field trips to the Peloponnese in 2013 and 2016. With the inclusion of some hitherto unpublished ant material, it gives new records from a total of 92 sampling localities. 129 species (including morphospecies not attributed to any known taxon of ants have been recorded from the Peloponnese (southern Greece, 27 of which have been recorded from this region for the first time. Lasius reginae and 5 other morphospecies attributed only to species complexes are new to Greece.

  2. The ejaculatory biology of leafcutter ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    den Boer, Susanne; Stürup, Marlene; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2015-01-01

    The eusocial ants are unique in that females (queens) acquire and store sperm on a single mating flight early in adult life. This event largely determines the size (possibly millions of workers), longevity (possibly decades) and genetic variation of the colonies that queens found, but our...... understanding of the fundamental biology of ejaculate production, transfer and physiological function remains extremely limited. We studied the ejaculation process in the leafcutter ant Atta colombica and found that it starts with the appearance of a clear pre-ejaculatory fluid (PEF) at the tip...

  3. Ant functional responses along environmental gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnan, Xavier; Cerdá, Xim; Retana, Javier

    2014-11-01

    Understanding species distributions and diversity gradients is a central challenge in ecology and requires prior knowledge of the functional traits mediating species' survival under particular environmental conditions. While the functional ecology of plants has been reasonably well explored, much less is known about that of animals. Ants are among the most diverse, abundant and ecologically significant organisms on earth, and they perform a great variety of ecological functions. In this study, we analyse how the functional species traits present in ant communities vary along broad gradients in climate, productivity and vegetation type in the south-western Mediterranean. To this end, we compiled one of the largest animal databases to date: it contains information on 211 local ant communities (including eight climate variables, productivity, and vegetation type) and 124 ant species, for which 10 functional traits are described. We used traits that characterize different dimensions of the ant functional niche with respect to morphology, life history and behaviour at both individual and colony level. We calculated two complementary functional trait community indices ('trait average' and 'trait dissimilarity') for each trait, and we analysed how they varied along the three different gradients using generalized least squares models that accounted for spatial autocorrelation. Our results show that productivity, vegetation type and, to a lesser extent, each climate variable per se might play an important role in shaping the occurrence of functional species traits in ant communities. Among the climate variables, temperature and precipitation seasonality had a much higher influence on functional responses than their mean values, whose effects were almost lacking. Our results suggest that strong relationships might exist between the abiotic environment and the distribution of functional traits among south-western Mediterranean ant communities. This finding indicates that

  4. Fungal enzymes in the attine ant symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    build huge nests displacing several cubic meters of soil, whereas lower attine genera such as Cyphomyrmex and Mycocepurus have small nests with a fungus garden the size of a table-tennis ball. Only the leaf-cutter ants are specialized on using fresh leaves as substrate for their fungus gardens, whereas...... or different efficiencies of enzyme function. Fungal enzymes that degrade plant cell walls may have functionally co-evolved with the ants in this scenario. We explore this hypothesis with direct measurements of enzyme activity in fungus gardens in 12 species across 8 genera spanning the entire phylogeny...

  5. Formigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae urbanas em um hospital no município de Luz, Estado de Minas Gerais - DOI: 10.4025/actascihealthsci.v32i1.5805 Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae in a hospital in the city of Luz, Minas Gerais, Brazil - DOI: 10.4025/actascihealthsci.v32i1.5805

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renata Bernardes Faria Campos

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available As formigas urbanas, quando presentes em ambientes hospitalares, tornam-se um perigo potencial à saúde pública, pelo fato de terem a capacidade de transportar organismos patogênicos, podendo essas estar diretamente associadas ao problema de infecção hospitalar. Durante o período de um ano, foram realizadas coletas de formigas em um hospital do município de Luz, Estado de Minas Gerais, utilizando-se iscas não-tóxicas. As mesmas foram distribuídas em 16 pontos de coleta, sendo três localizados na área externa e os demais na área interna do hospital. Foram encontradas formigas em 15 dos 16 pontos amostrados. Os gêneros mais abundantes foram Brachymyrmex e Tapinoma, sendo sua presença registrada tanto na parte externa, quanto na interna. Salienta-se, ainda, a presença do gênero Camponotus, observada, geralmente, onde há disponibilidade de alimento (como cozinha, quarto, refeitório e local de acondicionamento de lixo e falhas estruturais nas paredes. Também foram coletados, no hospital, Wasmannia, Pheidole, Linepithema, Monomorium, Dorymyrmex, Solenopsis e Paratrechina, totalizando-se dez gêneros. Nossos resultados indicam possíveis implicações da precariedade em estruturas de construção em hospitais e a importância da limpeza nesses ambientes.Urban ants, when present in hospital environments, can be a potential danger to public health, because they can carry pathogenic organisms and are possibly directly associated with the hospital cross infection problem. During a one-year period, collections were carried out, using non-toxic baits in a hospital of Luz, Minas Gerais State. The samples were distributed in 16 sites, being three outside and the others inside the hospital. Ants were found in 15 of the 16 sampled points. The most abundant genera were Brachymyrmex e Tapinoma, recorded inside and outside the hospital. The Camponotus genus was present as well, and generally collected where food was available (such as kitchen

  6. The Proteome of Seed Development in the Model Legume Lotus japonicus1[C][W

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dam, Svend; Laursen, Brian S.; Ørnfelt, Jane H.; Jochimsen, Bjarne; Stærfeldt, Hans Henrik; Friis, Carsten; Nielsen, Kasper; Goffard, Nicolas; Besenbacher, Søren; Krusell, Lene; Sato, Shusei; Tabata, Satoshi; Thøgersen, Ida B.; Enghild, Jan J.; Stougaard, Jens

    2009-01-01

    We have characterized the development of seeds in the model legume Lotus japonicus. Like soybean (Glycine max) and pea (Pisum sativum), Lotus develops straight seed pods and each pod contains approximately 20 seeds that reach maturity within 40 days. Histological sections show the characteristic three developmental phases of legume seeds and the presence of embryo, endosperm, and seed coat in desiccated seeds. Furthermore, protein, oil, starch, phytic acid, and ash contents were determined, and this indicates that the composition of mature Lotus seed is more similar to soybean than to pea. In a first attempt to determine the seed proteome, both a two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis approach and a gel-based liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry approach were used. Globulins were analyzed by two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, and five legumins, LLP1 to LLP5, and two convicilins, LCP1 and LCP2, were identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization quadrupole/time-of-flight mass spectrometry. For two distinct developmental phases, seed filling and desiccation, a gel-based liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry approach was used, and 665 and 181 unique proteins corresponding to gene accession numbers were identified for the two phases, respectively. All of the proteome data, including the experimental data and mass spectrometry spectra peaks, were collected in a database that is available to the scientific community via a Web interface (http://www.cbs.dtu.dk/cgi-bin/lotus/db.cgi). This database establishes the basis for relating physiology, biochemistry, and regulation of seed development in Lotus. Together with a new Web interface (http://bioinfoserver.rsbs.anu.edu.au/utils/PathExpress4legumes/) collecting all protein identifications for Lotus, Medicago, and soybean seed proteomes, this database is a valuable resource for comparative seed proteomics and pathway analysis within and beyond the legume family. PMID:19129418

  7. The proteome of seed development in the model legume Lotus japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dam, Svend; Laursen, Brian S; Ornfelt, Jane H; Jochimsen, Bjarne; Staerfeldt, Hans Henrik; Friis, Carsten; Nielsen, Kasper; Goffard, Nicolas; Besenbacher, Søren; Krusell, Lene; Sato, Shusei; Tabata, Satoshi; Thøgersen, Ida B; Enghild, Jan J; Stougaard, Jens

    2009-03-01

    We have characterized the development of seeds in the model legume Lotus japonicus. Like soybean (Glycine max) and pea (Pisum sativum), Lotus develops straight seed pods and each pod contains approximately 20 seeds that reach maturity within 40 days. Histological sections show the characteristic three developmental phases of legume seeds and the presence of embryo, endosperm, and seed coat in desiccated seeds. Furthermore, protein, oil, starch, phytic acid, and ash contents were determined, and this indicates that the composition of mature Lotus seed is more similar to soybean than to pea. In a first attempt to determine the seed proteome, both a two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis approach and a gel-based liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry approach were used. Globulins were analyzed by two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, and five legumins, LLP1 to LLP5, and two convicilins, LCP1 and LCP2, were identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization quadrupole/time-of-flight mass spectrometry. For two distinct developmental phases, seed filling and desiccation, a gel-based liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry approach was used, and 665 and 181 unique proteins corresponding to gene accession numbers were identified for the two phases, respectively. All of the proteome data, including the experimental data and mass spectrometry spectra peaks, were collected in a database that is available to the scientific community via a Web interface (http://www.cbs.dtu.dk/cgi-bin/lotus/db.cgi). This database establishes the basis for relating physiology, biochemistry, and regulation of seed development in Lotus. Together with a new Web interface (http://bioinfoserver.rsbs.anu.edu.au/utils/PathExpress4legumes/) collecting all protein identifications for Lotus, Medicago, and soybean seed proteomes, this database is a valuable resource for comparative seed proteomics and pathway analysis within and beyond the legume family.

  8. Development of fatty acid biomarkers for the identification of wild and aquacultured sea cucumber ( Apostichopus japonicus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zadorozhnyj, P. A.; Pivnenko, T. N.; Kovalev, N. N.

    2016-02-01

    In this study, the fatty acids (FAs) of the organs and tissues of sea cucumber ( Apostichopus japonicus) were profiled in order to compare the FA composition of sea cucumber collected from natural habitat (wild) and cages (cultured). The differences in FA contents in dermomuscular tube, peripharyngeal annulus, gonad and intestine (with or without content) between the wild and the cultured were determined. The main fatty acids in all organs and tissues were 20:5n-3, 16:1n-7, 20:4n-6, 22:6n-3, 18:0, and 18:1n-7. The basically different FAs of body wall and digestive tube were 16:1n-7, 18:1n-9 and 20:1n-11. The ratio of saturated to mono- and polyunsaturated FAs in digestive tube was independent on inside content while there was a redistribution of the total amount of n-3 and n-6 fatty acids. The comparison of FA composition of the wild and the cultured sea cucumber showed that 20:5n-3, 16:1n-7 and 18:1n-7 predominated the wild while 20:4n-6 predominated the cultured. The content of branched-chain fatty acids in the wild was 3%-4% and about 9% in the cultured. The possible FAs for identifying the wild and the cultured sea cucumbers were selected. It was suggested that the indexes such as the ratio of either (n-3:n-6) to (n-7:n-6) or (n-3) + (n-7) to (n-6) may serve as the biomarkers distinguishing the wild and the cultured sea cucumber.

  9. Identification and expression analysis of a new invertebrate lysozyme in Kuruma shrimp (Marsupenaeus japonicus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Hong-Tao; Wang, Jun; Mao, Yong; Liu, Min; Niu, Su-Fang; Qiao, Ying; Su, Yong-Quan; Wang, Chun-Zhong; Zheng, Zhi-Peng

    2016-02-01

    Lysozyme is an important component of the innate immunity system against invading pathogens. An invertebrate (i-type) lysozyme from the hepatopancreas of Kuruma shrimp Marsupenaeus japonicus (Mj-ilys) was identified. The full-length cDNA of Mj-ilys was 580bp with a 429 bp open reading frame encoding a 142 amino acid polypeptide. The encoded polypeptide was predicted to have a 17 amino acid signal peptide, and a 125 amino acid mature protein with a theoretical mass of 14.099 kDa and an isoelectric point (pI) of 4.18. A Destabilase conserved domain was predicted in Mj-ilys amino acid sequences which may be stable by 10 cysteine residues forming 5 disulfide bonds. Mj-ilys may loss the muramidase and isopeptidase activities due to the lack of the key catalytic residues. Mj-ilys had high homologous of 80-82% with i-type lysozymes of penaeid shrimps. It was first grouped with other i-type lysozyme of shrimps and crabs in a phylogenetic tree predicted by the Neighbor-Joining method. Mj-ilys mRNA was expressed mainly in hepatopancreas and almost undetectable in other tissues. The mRNA expression of Mj-ilys were all found from fertilized eggs to post-larvae of 17 days (PL17), and its expression exhibited significant differences among each developmental stage. After white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) challenge (3.6 × 10(8) virions/μl), the time-dependent expression pattern of Mj-ilys in hepatopancreas and gills showed significantly different. These results indicated that Mj-ilys is potentially involved in the ontogenesis and immune defense in Kuruma shrimp. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Comparative transcriptome analysis of papilla and skin in the sea cucumber, Apostichopus japonicus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoxu Zhou

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Papilla and skin are two important organs of the sea cucumber. Both tissues have ectodermic origin, but they are morphologically and functionally very different. In the present study, we performed comparative transcriptome analysis of the papilla and skin from the sea cucumber (Apostichopus japonicus in order to identify and characterize gene expression profiles by using RNA-Seq technology. We generated 30.6 and 36.4 million clean reads from the papilla and skin and de novo assembled in 156,501 transcripts. The Gene Ontology (GO analysis indicated that cell part, metabolic process and catalytic activity were the most abundant GO category in cell component, biological process and molecular funcation, respectively. Comparative transcriptome analysis between the papilla and skin allowed the identification of 1,059 differentially expressed genes, of which 739 genes were expressed at higher levels in papilla, while 320 were expressed at higher levels in skin. In addition, 236 differentially expressed unigenes were not annotated with any database, 160 of which were apparently expressed at higher levels in papilla, 76 were expressed at higher levels in skin. We identified a total of 288 papilla-specific genes, 171 skin-specific genes and 600 co-expressed genes. Also, 40 genes in papilla-specific were not annotated with any database, 2 in skin-specific. Development-related genes were also enriched, such as fibroblast growth factor, transforming growth factor-β, collagen-α2 and Integrin-α2, which may be related to the formation of the papilla and skin in sea cucumber. Further pathway analysis identified ten KEGG pathways that were differently enriched between the papilla and skin. The findings on expression profiles between two key organs of the sea cucumber should be valuable to reveal molecular mechanisms involved in the development of organs that are related but with morphological differences in the sea cucumber.

  11. Intraretinal variability and specialization of cones in Japanese anchovy (Engraulis japonicus, Engraulidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kondrashev, S L; Kornienko, M S; Gnyubkina, V P; Frolova, L T

    2016-04-01

    The retina of anchovies is characterized by an unusual arrangement and ultrastructure of cones. In the retina of Japanese anchovies, Engraulis japonicus, three types of cones are distributed into rows. The nasal, central, temporal, and ventro-temporal regions of the retina were occupied exclusively by the long and short cones. Triple cones, made up of two lateral components and one smaller central component, were found only in the dorsal and ventro-nasal retinal regions. In the outer segments of all short and long cones from the ventro-temporal region, the lamellae were oriented along the cell axis and were perpendicular to the lamellae in the long cones, providing a morphological basis for the detection of polarization. This lamellar orientation is unique to all vertebrates. The cones were examined with respect to regional differentiation in their size and spectral properties via light microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and microspectrophotometry. Various dimensions of cones were measured in preparations of isolated cells. The cones from the ventro-temporal region had different dimensions than cones of the same type located in other retinal regions. Triple cones from the dorsal region were significantly larger than triple cones from the ventro-nasal region. The spectral absorbance of the lateral components of triple cones in the ventro-nasal retina was identical to the absorbance of all long and short cones from the ventro-temporal region. These are shifted to shorter wavelengths relative to the absorbance of the lateral components of the triple cones located in the dorsal retina. Thus, the retina of the Japanese anchovy shows some features of regional specialization common in other fishes that improves spatial resolution for the upwards and forwards visual axis and provides spectral tuning in downwelling light environment. That results from the differentiation of cone types by size and by different spectral sensitivity of various retinal areas. © 2016

  12. Different transcriptomic responses of two marine copepods, Tigriopus japonicus and Pseudodiaptomus annandalei, to a low dose of mercury chloride (HgCl2).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Minghua; Jeong, Chang-Bum; Li, Yan; Lee, Jae-Seong

    2017-06-01

    Mercury (Hg) pollution is a ubiquitous and serious concern in marine environments, but the response mechanisms of marine animals to Hg pollution (i.e., toxicity/tolerance) are poorly understood. To compare the global responses of two marine copepods (Tigriopus japonicus and Pseudodiaptomus annandalei), we analyzed whole transcriptomes using RNA-seq technology in response to Hg treatment (a nominal 10μg/L HgCl 2 in seawater) for 5h. Hg was strikingly accumulated in both copepods under treatment. The Hg concentration in P. annandalei was higher under metal exposure by approximately 1.4-fold compared with treated T. japonicus. Among transcriptomic data, 101 genes in T. japonicus and 18 genes in P. annandalei were differentially regulated in response to Hg exposure. The up-regulated genes in T. japonicus were concerned with stress, growth, and development, while the down-regulated ones were mainly related to immune response. In P. annandalei, most of the differentially expressed genes were up-regulated, and all were involved in stress response. Our work indicated that Hg exhibits endocrine-disrupting potential at the transcriptomic level in marine copepods. Overall, our study demonstrates the species-specific molecular responses of these two copepods to Hg pollution. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Complete mitochondrial genome of the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea): the first representative from the subclass Aspidochirotacea with the echinoderm ground pattern.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Xin; Tian, Mei; Liu, Zhihong; Cheng, Hanliang; Tan, Jie; Meng, Xueping; Ren, Jianfeng

    2009-06-15

    Complete mitochondrial genome plays an important role in the accurate revelation of phylogenetic relationships among metazoans. Here we present the complete mitochondrial genome sequence from a sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea), which is the first representative from the subclass Aspidochirotacea. The mitochondrial genome of A. japonicus is 16,096 bp in length. The heavy strand consists of 31.8% A, 20.2% C, 17.9% G, and 30.1% T bases (AT skew=0.027; GC skew=0.062). It contains thirteen protein-coding genes (PCGs), twenty-two transfer RNA genes, and two ribosomal RNA genes. There are a total of 3793 codons in all thirteen mitochondrial PCGs, excluding incomplete termination codons. The most frequently used amino acid is Leu (15.77%), followed by Ser (9.73%), Met (8.62%), Phe (7.94%), and Ala (7.28%). Intergenetic regions in the mitochondrial genome of A. japonicus are 839 bp in total, with three relatively large regions of Unassigned Sequences (UAS) greater than 100 bp. The gene order of A. japonicus is identical to that observed in the five studied sea urchins, which confirms that the gene order shared by the two classes (Holothuroidea and Echinoidea) is a ground pattern of echinoderm mitochondrial genomes. Bayesian tree based on the cob gene supports the following relationship: (outgroup, (Crinoids, (Asteroids, Ophiuroids, (Echinoids, Holothuroids)))).

  14. Improving the quality of Laminaria japonica-based diet for Apostichopus japonicus through degradation of its algin content with Bacillus amyloliquefaciens WB1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xitao; Wang, Lili; Che, Jian; Li, Zhen; Zhang, Jiancheng; Li, Xiaoyu; Hu, Weiqing; Xu, Yongping

    2015-07-01

    Laminaria japonica feedstuff is used as a substitute for Sargassum thunbergii in the small-scale culturing of Apostichopus japonicus (sea cucumber) because of its abundant sources and low price in China. However, the difficulty associated with the degradation of algin by A. japonicus and, hence, its utilization have limited the practical value of L. japonica feedstuff in sea cucumber farming. In this study, A. japonicus individuals were fed with L. japonica feedstuff pretreated, via fermentation with the algin-degrading bacterial strain, Bacillus amyloliquefaciens WB1, and their growth performance, nonspecific immune responses, and resistance against Vibrio infection were then determined over a 60-day period. Growth performance of these individuals was similar to those fed with a commercial feedstuff made from S. thunbergii (mean weight gain of 5.79 versus 5.69 g on day 60), but was significantly (P content had been degraded by B. amyloliquefaciens WB1 could improve the growth performance of A. japonicus as well its resistance to bacterial infection. It could therefore act as an alternative to S. thunbergii and is economical at the same time.

  15. Dealing with water deficit in Atta ant colonies: large ants scout for water while small ants transport it

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Carlos Da-Silva

    2012-07-01

    Leafcutter ants (Atta sexdens rubropilosa (Forel 1908 have an elaborate social organization, complete with caste divisions. Activities carried out by specialist groups contribute to the overall success and survival of the colony when it is confronted with environmental challenges such as dehydration. Ants detect variations in humidity inside the nest and react by activating several types of behavior that enhance water uptake and decrease water loss, but it is not clear whether or not a single caste collects water regardless of the cost of bringing this resource back to the colony. Accordingly, we investigated water collection activities in three colonies of Atta sexdens rubropilosa experimentally exposed to water stress. Specifically, we analyzed whether or not the same ant caste foraged for water, regardless of the absolute energetic cost (distance of transporting this resource back to the colony. Our experimental design offered water sources at 0 m, 1 m and 10 m from the nest. We studied the body size of ants near the water sources from the initial offer of water (time  =  0 to 120 min, and tested for specialization. We observed a reduction in the average size and variance of ants that corroborated the specialization hypothesis. Although the temporal course of specialization changed with distance, the final outcome was similar among distances. Thus, we conclude that, for this species, a specialist (our use of the word “specialist” does not mean exclusive task force is responsible for collecting water, regardless of the cost of transporting water back to the colony.

  16. Effects of salt stress on the expression of antioxidant genes and proteins in the model legume Lotus japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubio, Maria C; Bustos-Sanmamed, Pilar; Clemente, Maria R; Becana, Manuel

    2009-03-01

    Salt stress negatively affects many physiological processes in plants. Some of these effects may involve the oxidative damage of cellular components, which can be promoted by reactive oxygen species and prevented by antioxidants. The protective role of antioxidants was investigated in Lotus japonicus exposed to two salinization protocols: S1 (150 mM NaCl for 7 d) and S2 (50, 100 and 150 mM NaCl, each concentration for 6 d). Several markers of salt stress were measured and the expression of antioxidant genes was analyzed using quantitative reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction and, in some cases, immunoblots and enzyme activity assays. Leaves of S1 plants suffered from mild osmotic stress, accumulated proline but noNa+, and showed induction of many superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase genes. Leaves of S2 plants showed increases in Na+ and Ca2+, decreases in K+, and accumulation of proline and malondialdehyde. In leaves and roots of S1 and S2 plants, the mRNA, protein and activity levels of the ascorbate-glutathione enzymes remained constant, with a few exceptions. Notably, there was consistent up-regulation of the gene encoding cytosolic dehydroascorbate reductase, and this was possibly related to its role in ascorbate recycling in the apoplast. The overall results indicate that L. japonicus is more tolerant to salt stress than other legumes, which can be attributed to the capacity of the plant to prevent Na+reaching the shoot and to activate antioxidant defenses.

  17. Production of the Functional Trisaccharide 1-Kestose from Cane Sugar Molasses Using Aspergillus japonicus β-Fructofuranosidase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirabayashi, Katsuki; Kondo, Nobuhiro; Toyota, Hiroshi; Hayashi, Sachio

    2017-01-01

    We report the production of the functional trisaccharide 1-kestose, O-β-D-fructofuranosyl-(2→1)-β-D-fructofuranosyl α-D-glucopyranoside, by β-fructofuranosidase from Aspergillus japonicus using sugar cane molasses as substrate. Sucrose in cane sugar molasses acted as a fructosyl donor and acceptor for the enzyme. The tetrasaccharide nystose, O-β-D-fructofuranosyl-(2→1)-β-D-fructofuranosyl-(2→1)-β-D-fructofuranosyl α-D-glucopyranoside, was produced from 1-kestose. Cane sugar molasses mixed with water provided a better substrate solution for β-fructofuranosidase compared to undiluted molasses due to the high concentration of product inhibitors such as glucose and fructose in molasses. The maximum concentration of 1-kestose obtained was 84.9 mg/ml and the maximum production efficiency was 32.3% after 24 h reaction at 40 °C. The maximum efficiency of combined fructo-oligosaccharide (1-kestose and nystose) production was 40.6%. 1-Kestose was therefore produced via a fructosyl-transfer reaction catalyzed by β-fructofuranosidase from A. japonicus.

  18. Identification and functional characterization of a sulfate transporter induced by both sulfur starvation and mycorrhiza formation in Lotus japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giovannetti, Marco; Tolosano, Matteo; Volpe, Veronica; Kopriva, Stanislav; Bonfante, Paola

    2014-11-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizas (AMs) are one of the most widespread symbioses in the world. They allow plants to receive mineral nutrients from the symbiotic fungus which in turn gets back up to 20% of plant carbon and completes its life cycle. Especially in low-nutrient conditions, AM fungi are capable of significantly improving plant phosphate and nitrogen acquisition, but fewer data are available about sulfur (S) nutrition. We focused on S metabolism in Lotus japonicus upon mycorrhizal colonization under sulfur starvation or repletion. We investigated both tissue sulfate concentrations and S-related gene expression, at cell-type or whole-organ level. Gene expression and sulfate tissue concentration showed that Rhizophagus irregularis colonization can improve plant S nutritional status under S starvation. A group 1 sulfate transporter, LjSultr1;2, induced by both S starvation and mycorrhiza formation, was identified. Its transcript was localized in arbuscule-containing cells, which was confirmed with a promoter-GUS assay, and its function was verified through phenotyping of TILLING mutants in nonmycorrhizal seedlings. LjSultr1;2 thus appears to encode a key protein involved in plant sulfate uptake. In contrast to phosphate transporters, a single gene, LjSultr1;2, seems to mediate both direct and symbiotic pathways of S uptake in L. japonicus. © 2014 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2014 New Phytologist Trust.

  19. Selection of reference genes for qRT-PCR analysis of gene expression in sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus during aestivation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Ye; Chen, Muyan; Wang, Tianming; Sun, Lina; Xu, Dongxue; Yang, Hongsheng

    2014-11-01

    Quantitative real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) is a technique that is widely used for gene expression analysis, and its accuracy depends on the expression stability of the internal reference genes used as normalization factors. However, many applications of qRT-PCR used housekeeping genes as internal controls without validation. In this study, the expression stability of eight candidate reference genes in three tissues (intestine, respiratory tree, and muscle) of the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus was assessed during normal growth and aestivation using the geNorm, NormFinder, delta CT, and RefFinder algorithms. The results indicate that the reference genes exhibited significantly different expression patterns among the three tissues during aestivation. In general, the β-tubulin (TUBB) gene was relatively stable in the intestine and respiratory tree tissues. The optimal reference gene combination for intestine was 40S ribosomal protein S18 (RPS18), TUBB, and NADH dehydrogenase (NADH); for respiratory tree, it was β-actin (ACTB), TUBB, and succinate dehydrogenase cytochrome B small subunit (SDHC); and for muscle it was α-tubulin (TUBA) and NADH dehydrogenase [ubiquinone] 1 α subcomplex subunit 13 (NDUFA13). These combinations of internal control genes should be considered for use in further studies of gene expression in A. japonicus during aestivation.

  20. Identification and characterization of 43 microsatellite markers derived from expressed sequence tags of the sea cucumber ( Apostichopus japonicus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Qun; Li, Qi; Yu, Hong; Kong, Lingfeng

    2011-06-01

    The sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus is a commercially and ecologically important species in China. A total of 3056 potential unigenes were generated after assembling 7597 A. japonicus expressed sequence tags (ESTs) downloaded from Gen-Bank. Two hundred and fifty microsatellite-containing ESTs (8.18%) and 299 simple sequence repeats (SSRs) were detected. The average density of SSRs was 1 per 7.403 kb of EST after redundancy elimination. Di-nucleotide repeat motifs appeared to be the most abundant type with a percentage of 69.90%. Of the 126 primer pairs designed, 90 amplified the expected products and 43 showed polymorphism in 30 individuals tested. The number of alleles per locus ranged from 2 to 26 with an average of 7.0 alleles, and the observed and expected heterozygosities varied from 0.067 to 1.000 and from 0.066 to 0.959, respectively. These new EST-derived microsatellite markers would provide sufficient polymorphism for population genetic studies and genome mapping of this sea cucumber species.

  1. 16S rRNA gene phylogenesis of culturable predominant bacteria from diseased Apostichopus japonicus (Holothuroidea, Echinodermata)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Haiyan; Jiang, Guoliang; Wu, Zhiqiang; Wang, Xin

    2009-06-01

    Cultured Apostichopus japonicus in China suffers from a kind of skin ulceration disease that has caused severe economic loss in recent years. The disease, pathogens of which are supposed to be bacteria by most researchers, is highly infectious and can often cause all individuals in the same culture pool to die in a very short time. The 16S rRNA gene phylogenesis of the culturable bacteria from the lesions of diseased individuals was conducted to study the biodiversity of the bacterial communities in the lesions and to identify probable pathogen(s) associated with this kind of disease. S. japonica samples were selected from a hatchery located in the eastern part of Qingdao, China. Bacterial universal primers GM5F and DS907R were used to amplify the 16S rRNA gene of bacteria colonies, and touchdown PCR was performed to amplify the target sequences. The results suggest that γ- proteobacteria (Alteromonadales and Vibrionales) of CFB group, many strains of which have been also determined as pathogens in other marine species, are the predominant bacterial genera of the diseased Apostichopus japonicus individuals.

  2. Impact of CO2-driven acidification on the development of the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus (Selenka) (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Xiutang; Shao, Senlin; Dupont, Sam; Meng, Leiming; Liu, Yongjian; Wang, Lijun

    2015-06-15

    We evaluated the impact of ocean acidification on the early development of sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus. The effect of pH-levels (pH 8.04, 7.85, 7.70 and 7.42) were tested on post-fertilization success, developmental (stage duration) and growth rates. Post-fertilization success decreased linearly with pH leading to a 6% decrease at pH 7.42 as compared to pH 8.1. The impact of pH on developmental time was stage-dependent: (1) stage duration increased linearly with decreasing pH in early-auricularia stage; (2) decreased linearly with decreasing pH in the mid-auricularia stage; but (3) pH decline had no effect on the late-auricularia stage. At the end of the experiment, the size of doliolaria larvae linearly increased with decreasing pH. In conclusion, a 0.62 unit decrease in pH had relatively small effects on A. japonicus early life-history compared to other echinoderms, leading to a maximum of 6% decrease in post-fertilization success and subtle effects on growth and development. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. In vitro metabolism of steroid hormones by ovary and hepatopancreas of the crustacean Penaeid shrimp Marsupenaeus japonicus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teresa Summavielle

    2003-09-01

    Full Text Available Radioimmunoassay (RIA was applied to identify selected metabolites obtained in in vitro incubations of ovarian and hepatopancreatic tissues from female Marsupenaeus japonicus in previtellogenic and vitellogenic maturation stages. Depending on the precursors used, progesterone, 17?-hydroxyprogesterone or testosterone, it was possible to observe the presence of several enzymatic activities through metabolites detected in incubations. The present study provides evidence that the ovary of the shrimp M. japonicus is capable of synthesising 17?-estradiol from progesterone, evidencing the presence of 17?-hydroxylase, C17-C20 lyase, 17?-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (17?-HSD and aromatase. Enzymatic activities of aromatase, 3?-HSD and 17?-hydroxylase were detected in hepatopancreas, but not that of C17-C20 lyase. These results suggest that 17?-estradiol could be the vitellogenesis stimulating ovarian hormone (VSOH, and together with former in vivo and in vitro studies this leads us to propose that in fact there may be a physiological role for steroid hormones in the maturation cycle of crustaceans.

  4. Characterization and identification of enzyme-producing microflora isolated from the gut of sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Fenghui; Gao, Fei; Tan, Jie; Fan, Chaojing; Sun, Huiling; Yan, Jingping; Chen, Siqing; Wang, Xiaojun

    2016-01-01

    Gut microorganisms play an important role in the digestion of their host animals. The purpose of this research was to isolate and assess the enzyme-producing microbes from the Apostichopus japonicus gut. Thirty-nine strains that can produce at least one of the three digestive enzymes (protease, amylase, and cellulase) were qualitatively screened based on their extracellular enzyme-producing abilities. The enzyme-producing strains clustered into eight groups at the genetic similarity level of 100% by analyzing the restriction patterns of 16S rDNA amplified with Mbo I. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that 37 strains belonged to the genus Bacillus and two were members of the genus Virgibacillus. Enzyme-producing capability results indicate that the main enzyme-producing microflora in the A. japonicus gut was Bacillus, which can produce protease, amylase, and cellulase. Virgibacillus, however, can only produce protease. The high enzyme-producing capability of the isolates suggests that the gut microbiota play an important role in the sea cucumber digestive process.

  5. Enhanced hyphal growth of arbuscular mycorrhizae by root exudates derived from high R/FR treated Lotus japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagata, Maki; Yamamoto, Naoya; Miyamoto, Taro; Shimomura, Aya; Arima, Susumu; Hirsch, Ann M; Suzuki, Akihiro

    2016-06-02

    Red/Far Red (R/FR) sensing positively influences the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis of both legume and nonlegume plants through jasmonic acid (JA) and strigolactone signaling. We previously reported that root exudates obtained from high R/FR-grown plants contained more strigolactone than low R/FR-grown plants. To determine whether JA and JA derivatives were secreted from roots, we investigated the expression levels of JA-responsive genes in L. japonicus Miyakojima MG20 plants treated with root exudates prepared from either high or low R/FR light-treated plants. The root exudates from high R/FR light-treated plants were found to enhance the expression levels of JA-responsive genes significantly. Moreover, exogenous JA increased AM fungal hyphal elongation as did the root exudates derived from high R/FR-grown L. japonicus plants. We conclude that increased JA accumulation and secretion into root exudates from high R/FR light-grown plants is the best explanation for increased colonization and enhanced mycorrhization under these conditions.

  6. Extended phenotype: nematodes turn ants into bird-dispersed fruits

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hughes, D P; Kronauer, D J C; Boomsma, J J

    2008-01-01

    A recent study has discovered a novel extended phenotype of a nematode which alters its ant host to resemble ripe fruit. The infected ants are in turn eaten by frugivorous birds that disperse the nematode's eggs.......A recent study has discovered a novel extended phenotype of a nematode which alters its ant host to resemble ripe fruit. The infected ants are in turn eaten by frugivorous birds that disperse the nematode's eggs....

  7. The effect carbohydrate consumption on Argentine ants' nutritional ecology

    OpenAIRE

    Chou, Cheng T.

    2009-01-01

    As a result of accidental introduction, the invasive Argentine ant, Linepithema humile, has successfully invaded many parts of the world including the California coast. Argentine ants are extraordinarily effective in displacing native ants. This study aims to link animal behavior and growth to resource consumption. We examined how different diets affect Argentine ant behavior. We hypothesized that having a diet composed of both carbohydrate and protein may increase colony size and activity le...

  8. Size matters: Nest colonization patterns for twig-nesting ants

    OpenAIRE

    Jiménez-Soto, E; Philpott, SM

    2015-01-01

    © 2015 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Understanding the drivers of ant diversity and co-occurrence in agroecosystems is fundamental because ants participate in interactions that influence agroecosystem processes. Multiple local and regional factors influence ant community assembly. We examined local factors that influence the structure of a twig-nesting ant community in a coffee system in Mexico using an experimental approach. We investigated whether ...

  9. Mating, hybridisation and introgression in Lasius ants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Have, van der T.M.; Pedersen, J.S.; Boomsma, J.J.

    2011-01-01

    Recent reviews have shown that hybridisation among ant species is likely to be more common than previously appreciated. but that documented cases of introgression remain rare. After molecular phylogenetic work had shown that European Lasius niger (LINNAEUS, 1758) and L. psammophilus SEIFERT, 1992

  10. Ant parasite queens revert to mating singly

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sumner, Seirian; Hughes, William Owen Hamar; Pedersen, Jes Søe

    2004-01-01

    A parasitic ant has abandoned the multiple mating habit of the queens of its related host. Multiple mating (polyandry) is widespread among animal groups, particularly insects 1 . But the factors that maintain it and underlie its evolution are hard to verify because benefits and costs are not easi...

  11. Histrionicotoxin alkaloids finally detected in an ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jones, Tappey H.; Adams, Rachelle Martha Marie; Spande, Thomas F.

    2012-01-01

    Workers of the ant Carebarella bicolor collected in Panama were found to have two major poison-frog alkaloids, cis- and trans-fused decahydroquinolines (DHQs) of the 269AB type, four minor 269AB isomers, two minor 269B isomers, and three isomers of DHQ 271D. For the first time in an ant, however......) sp., were found to have a very similar DHQ complex but failed to show HTXs. Several new DHQ alkaloids of MW 271 (named in the frog as 271G) are reported from the above ants that have both m/z 202 and 204 as major fragment ions, unlike the spectrum seen for the poison-frog alkaloid 271D, which has...... only an m/z 204 base peak. Found also for the first time in skin extracts from the comparison frog Oophaga granulifera of Costa Rica is a trace DHQ of MW 273. It is coded as 273F in the frog; a different isomer is found in the ant....

  12. Plasmodium parasitaemia among pregnant women attending ante ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... Ante-Natal Clinic at Military Hospital Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria using the Standard parasitological technique. Venous blood was collected from 200 pregnant women, both thick and thin blood films were made on clean greese-free glass slide and stained with 10% Giemsa stains diluted with 7.2 buffered water for ...

  13. Why is an Ant's Trail Straight?

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    demonstrate their sense of geometry did not work." Feynman had recognized the importance of this problem of one ant pursuing another. Historically, pursuit problems are pretty old, dating back even to Leonardo da Vinci. In recent times this question has become all the more relevant in robotics. This problem has now been ...

  14. Water surface locomotion in tropical canopy ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanoviak, S P; Frederick, D N

    2014-06-15

    Upon falling onto the water surface, most terrestrial arthropods helplessly struggle and are quickly eaten by aquatic predators. Exceptions to this outcome mostly occur among riparian taxa that escape by walking or swimming at the water surface. Here we document sustained, directional, neustonic locomotion (i.e. surface swimming) in tropical arboreal ants. We dropped 35 species of ants into natural and artificial aquatic settings in Peru and Panama to assess their swimming ability. Ten species showed directed surface swimming at speeds >3 body lengths s(-1), with some swimming at absolute speeds >10 cm s(-1). Ten other species exhibited partial swimming ability characterized by relatively slow but directed movement. The remaining species showed no locomotory control at the surface. The phylogenetic distribution of swimming among ant genera indicates parallel evolution and a trend toward negative association with directed aerial descent behavior. Experiments with workers of Odontomachus bauri showed that they escape from the water by directing their swimming toward dark emergent objects (i.e. skototaxis). Analyses of high-speed video images indicate that Pachycondyla spp. and O. bauri use a modified alternating tripod gait when swimming; they generate thrust at the water surface via synchronized treading and rowing motions of the contralateral fore and mid legs, respectively, while the hind legs provide roll stability. These results expand the list of facultatively neustonic terrestrial taxa to include various species of tropical arboreal ants. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  15. Operant conditioning in the ant Myrmica sabuleti.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cammaerts, M C

    2004-11-30

    Operant conditioning could be obtained in the ant Myrmica sabuleti by presenting to the workers, during a six-day period, an apparatus containing either sugared water or meat as a reward. The conditioning obtained using sugared water as a reward was short lasting. A reconditioning was more persistent and lasted four hours. The ants' response was very precise, since they exhibited it only in front of an apparatus identical to that used during the training phase. Operant conditioning obtained using meat as a reward was more pronounced than that obtained by using sugared water, probably because meat is more valuable as a reward than sugar for the species studied, which is essentially a carnivorous one. Such a conditioning was rather persistent. Indeed, a first operant conditioning obtained by using meat as a reward could still be detected after seven hours, and a reconditioning was still significant after eight hours. One day after this eight-hour period without rewarding the ants, the response was higher again and a further day later, it was still significant. Since the operant conditioning is easy to perform and quantify and since the ants' response is very precise, such a conditioning can be used for further studying M. sabuleti workers' visual perception.

  16. Hey! A Fire Ant Stung Me!

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... together. Each sting will turn into an itchy white blister over the next day. What You Should Do If you ever think that you have been stung by a fire ant, tell an adult immediately . That's because the venom (poison) in the sting can cause the area around ...

  17. Ante Graovac – Life and Works

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nenad Raos

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Ivan Gutman, Biserka Pokrić, Damir Vukičević (Eds. Ante Graovac – Life and Works Mathematical Chemistry Monographs, Vol. 16 Faculty of Science, University of Kragujevac, Kragujevac (Serbia, 2014 306 + IV pages ◦ ISBN 978-86-6009-021-0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

  18. Fungal enzymes in the attine ant symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    build huge nests displacing several cubic meters of soil, whereas lower attine genera such as Cyphomyrmex and Mycocepurus have small nests with a fungus garden the size of a table-tennis ball. Only the leaf-cutter ants are specialized on using fresh leaves as substrate for their fungus gardens, whereas...

  19. A global database of ant species abundances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibb, Heloise; Dunn, Rob R.; Sanders, Nathan J.; Grossman, Blair F.; Photakis, Manoli; Abril, Silvia; Agosti, Donat; Andersen, Alan N.; Angulo, Elena; Armbrecht, Ingre; Arnan, Xavier; Baccaro, Fabricio B.; Bishop, Tom R.; Boulay, Raphael; Bruhl, Carsten; Castracani, Cristina; Cerda, Xim; Del Toro, Israel; Delsinne, Thibaut; Diaz, Mireia; Donoso, David A.; Ellison, Aaron M.; Enriquez, Martha L.; Fayle, Tom M.; Feener Jr., Donald H.; Fisher, Brian L.; Fisher, Robert N.; Fitpatrick, Matthew C.; Gomez, Cristanto; Gotelli, Nicholas J.; Gove, Aaron; Grasso, Donato A.; Groc, Sarah; Guenard, Benoit; Gunawardene, Nihara; Heterick, Brian; Hoffmann, Benjamin; Janda, Milan; Jenkins, Clinton; Kaspari, Michael; Klimes, Petr; Lach, Lori; Laeger, Thomas; Lattke, John; Leponce, Maurice; Lessard, Jean-Philippe; Longino, John; Lucky, Andrea; Luke, Sarah H.; Majer, Jonathan; McGlynn, Terrence P.; Menke, Sean; Mezger, Dirk; Mori, Alessandra; Moses, Jimmy; Munyai, Thinandavha Caswell; Pacheco, Renata; Paknia, Omid; Pearce-Duvet, Jessica; Pfeiffer, Martin; Philpott, Stacy M.; Resasco, Julian; Retana, Javier; Silva, Rogerio R.; Sorger, Magdalena D.; Souza, Jorge; Suarez, Andrew V.; Tista, Melanie; Vasconcelos, Heraldo L.; Vonshak, Merav; Weiser, Michael D.; Yates, Michelle; Parr, Catherine L.

    2017-01-01

    What forces structure ecological assemblages? A key limitation to general insights about assemblage structure is the availability of data that are collected at a small spatial grain (local assemblages) and a large spatial extent (global coverage). Here, we present published and unpublished data from 51,388 ant abundance and occurrence records of more than 2693 species and 7953 morphospecies from local assemblages collected at 4212 locations around the world. Ants were selected because they are diverse and abundant globally, comprise a large fraction of animal biomass in most terrestrial communities, and are key contributors to a range of ecosystem functions. Data were collected between 1949 and 2014, and include, for each geo-referenced sampling site, both the identity of the ants collected and details of sampling design, habitat type and degree of disturbance. The aim of compiling this dataset was to provide comprehensive species abundance data in order to test relationships between assemblage structure and environmental and biogeographic factors. Data were collected using a variety of standardised methods, such as pitfall and Winkler traps, and will be valuable for studies investigating large-scale forces structuring local assemblages. Understanding such relationships is particularly critical under current rates of global change. We encourage authors holding additional data on systematically collected ant assemblages, especially those in dry and cold, and remote areas, to contact us and contribute their data to this growing dataset.

  20. Dynamic Network Formation Using Ant Colony Optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-03-01

    Problem (DVRP) ............................................ 36 2.7.2 Dynamic Traveling Salesman Problem (DTSP) ....................................... 41...47 2.8.3 Distributed Traveling Salesman Problem ................................................. 48 2.8.4 FIRE Ant...uses the fixed cost of the network in its calculation and commodities are not included in the problem formulation . Using a probabilistic undirected

  1. Vestlus päevapoliitikast Ants Vahtrasega / Ants Vahtras ; interv. Hillar Padu

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Vahtras, Ants, 1953-

    2001-01-01

    Keskerakonna Hiiumaa osakonna esimees Ants Vahtras keskendub vestluses Keskerakonna kandidaatidele presidendi valimistele, arutleb presidendile vajalike isikuomaduste, haldusreformi, Hiiumaa Suurkogu, erastamiselt laekuva raha kasutamise üle ning annab hinnangu kultuuripoliitikale. Autor: Keskerakond

  2. Biogeography of mutualistic fungi cultivated by leafcutter ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leafcutter ants propagate co-evolving fungi for food. The nearly 50 species of leafcutter ants (Atta, Acromyrmex) range from Argentina to the USA, with the greatest species diversity in southern South America. We elucidate the biogeography of fungi cultivated by leafcutter ants using DNA-sequence an...

  3. Studies on the environmental implications of ants (Hymenoptera ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A study of ants associated wh two synanthropcenvironments in Awka was carried out in 2008 using pitfall and bait traps. The study yelded a total of 561 ants wth 409 obtaned from the hemisynanthrophic environment while 192 ants were collected from the endophilic environment. The percentage occurrence, total dstribution ...

  4. Niches and coexistence of ant communities in Puerto Rico

    Science.gov (United States)

    J.A. Torres

    1984-01-01

    I studied ant coexistence in adjacent areas of upland tropical forest, grassland, and agricultural land in San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico. Data on food utilization, daily activity, nesting sites, microhabitat utilization and interspecific aggression were collected. Ants' tolerance to 45 degree C was determined in the laboratory. Agricultural and grassland ants eat grain...

  5. Population biology of Rhytidoponera ants (Hymenoptera:Formicidae)

    OpenAIRE

    BIZOS, Jiří

    2009-01-01

    Ants from the genus Rhytidoponera are known for specific type of social organization in which some workers can reproduce. Species of this ants are commonly occuring in lowland rainforests of New Guinea but their biology is unknown to great extent. This thesis reviews available molecular methods suitable for study of population structure and phylogeography of Rhytidpoponera ants in rainforest environment.

  6. Ant-egg cataract. An electron microscopic study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schrøder, H D; Nissen, S H

    1979-01-01

    The ultrastructure of the ant-egg cataractous lens has been studied. Comparison of tissue demineralized by means of EDTA with untreated tissue showed the calcium salts in the ant-eggs to be mostly crystalline. A laminar appearance of the ant-egg seen in EDTA treated material suggested an intermit...

  7. Ants Orasest ja Anne Lange monograafiast / Jüri Talvet

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Talvet, Jüri, 1945-

    2005-01-01

    Arvustus: Oras, Ants. Luulekool. I, Apoloogia / koostajad Hando Runnel ja Jaak Rähesoo. Tartu : Ilmamaa, 2003 ; Oras, Ants. Luulekool II, Meistriklass. Tartu : Ilmamaa, 2004 ; Lange, Anne. Ants Oras : [kirjandusteadlane, -kriitik ja tõlkija (1900-1982)]. Tartu : Ilmamaa, 2004

  8. Energy Efficient Routing in Wireless Sensor Networks based on Ant ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    PROF. O. E. OSUAGWU

    2013-09-01

    Sep 1, 2013 ... Ant Colony Optimization, a swarm intelligence based optimization technique, has been successfully used in network routing. In this paper, we introduce a heuristic way to reduce energy consumption in WSNs routing process using Ant Colony Optimization. We introduce three Ant Colony Optimization ...

  9. Effects of trimethoprim on life history parameters, oxidative stress, and the expression of cytochrome P450 genes in the copepod Tigriopus japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Jeonghoon; Lee, Min-Chul; Kim, Duck-Hyun; Lee, Young Hwan; Park, Jun Chul; Lee, Jae-Seong

    2016-09-01

    Trimethoprim (TMP) is an antibiotic that has been detected in various environments including marine habitats; however, the toxic effects of TMP are poorly understood in non-target marine organisms. In this study, the effects of TMP on mortality, development, reproduction, intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, and transcription levels of antioxidant and xenobiotic detoxification-related enzyme genes were investigated in the copepod Tigriopus japonicus. The TMP half lethal dose at 48 h (LC50-48 h) in nauplius and TMP LC50-96 h in adult T. japonicus copepods was determined as 156 mg/L and 200 mg/L, respectively. In TMP-exposed T. japonicus, delayed developmental time and impaired reproduction were observed as harmful effects on the life history parameters. Increased ROS levels were also shown in response to TMP exposure at the highest concentration (100 mg/L TMP) and the expression of antioxidant- (e.g. GST-kappa, GST-sigma) and xenobiotic detoxification (e.g. CYPs)-related genes were upregulated in a time and/or dose-dependent manner in response to TMP. Particularly, significant upregulation of three CYP genes (Tj-CYP3024A2, Tj-CYP3024A3 and Tj-CYP3027C2) were examined, suggesting that these CYP genes are likely playing an important role in the TMP detoxification metabolism in T. japonicus. In summary, we found that TMP induced oxidative stress via the transcriptional regulation of antioxidant- and xenobiotic detoxification-related genes, leading to changes in life history parameters such as developmental delay and reproduction impairment. Three Tj-CYP genes (Tj-CYP3024A2, Tj-CYP3024A3 and Tj-CYP3027C2) could be useful as potential T. japonicus biomarkers in response to antibiotics. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Are ant feces nutrients for plants? A metabolomics approach to elucidate the nutritional effects on plants hosting weaver ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vidkjær, Nanna Hjort; Wollenweber, Bernd; Gislum, René

    2015-01-01

    Weaver ants (genus Oecophylla) are tropical carnivorous ant species living in high numbers in the canopies of trees. The ants excrete copious amounts of fecal matter on leaf surfaces, and these feces may provide nutrients to host trees. This hypothesis is supported by studies of ant-plant...... interactions involving other ant species that have demonstrated the transfer of nutrients from ants to plants. In this 7-months study, a GC–MS-based metabolomics approach along with an analysis of total nitrogen and carbon levels was used to study metabolic changes in ant-hosting Coffea arabica plants compared...... with control plants. The results showed elevated levels of total nitrogen, amino acids, fatty acids, caffeine, and secondary metabolites of the phenylpropanoid pathway in leaves from ant-hosting plants. Minor effects were observed for sugars, whereas little or no effect was observed for organic acids, despite...

  11. Can the Argentine ant ( Linepithema humile Mayr) replace native ants in myrmecochory?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez, Crisanto; Oliveras, Jordi

    2003-04-01

    We analyse the influence of the Argentine ant ( Linepithema humile Mayr) on the seed dispersal process of the myrmecochorous plants Euphorbia characias, E. biumbellata, Genista linifolia, G. triflora, G. monspessulana and Sarothamnus arboreus. The observations were made in two study plots of Mediterranean cork-oak secondary forest (invaded and non-invaded by L. humile). The presence of L. humile implies the displacement of all native ant species that disperse seeds. Seed transports in the non-invaded zone were carried out by eight ant species. In the invaded zone, L. humile workers removed and transported seeds to the nest. In vertebrate exclusion trials, we observed the same level of seed removal in the invaded and non-invaded zones. Two findings could explain this result. Although mean time to seed localization was higher for native ants (431.7 s) than that for L. humile (150.5 s), the mean proportion of seeds transported after being detected was higher (50.1%) in non-invaded than in invaded (16.8%) zones. The proportion of seeds removed and transported into an ant nest after an ant-seed interaction had dramatically reduced from non-invaded (41.9%) to invaded (7.4%) zones. The levels of seed dispersal by ants found prior to invasion are unlikely to be maintained in invaded zones. However, total replacement of seed dispersal function is possible if contact iteration finally offers similar levels or quantities of seeds reaching the nests. The results obtained confirm that the Argentine ant invasion may affect myrmecochory dramatically in the Mediterranean biome.

  12. Unadapted behaviour of native, dominant ant species during the colonization of an aggressive, invasive ant

    OpenAIRE

    Le Breton, Julien; Orivel, J.; Chazeau, Jean; Dejean, A.

    2007-01-01

    Among the factors driving the invasive success of non-indigenous species, the "escape opportunity" or "enemy release" hypothesis argues that an invader's success may result partly from less resistance from the new competitors found in its introduced range. In this study, we examined competitive interactions between the little fire ant Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger) and ant species of the genus Pheidole in places where both are native (French Guiana) and in places where only species of Pheidol...

  13. Interactive effects of soil-dwelling ants, ant mounds and simulated grazing on local plant community composition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veen, G.F.; Olff, H.

    2011-01-01

    Interactions between aboveground vertebrate herbivores and subterranean yellow meadow ants (Lasius flavus) can drive plant community patterns in grassland ecosystems. Here, we study the relative importance of the presence of ants (L. flavus) and ant mounds under different simulated grazing regimes

  14. Dead ant walking: a myrmecophilous beetle predator uses parasitoid host location cues to selectively prey on parasitized ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathis, Kaitlyn A; Tsutsui, Neil D

    2016-08-17

    Myrmecophiles (i.e. organisms that associate with ants) use a variety of ecological niches and employ different strategies to survive encounters with ants. Because ants are typically excellent defenders, myrmecophiles may choose moments of weakness to take advantage of their ant associates. This hypothesis was studied in the rove beetle, Myrmedonota xipe, which associates with Azteca sericeasur ants in the presence of parasitoid flies. A combination of laboratory and field experiments show that M. xipe beetles selectively locate and prey upon parasitized ants. These parasitized ants are less aggressive towards beetles than healthy ants, allowing beetles to eat the parasitized ants alive without interruption. Moreover, behavioural assays and chemical analysis reveal that M. xipe are attracted to the ant's alarm pheromone, the same secretion used by the phorid fly parasitoids in host location. This strategy allows beetles access to an abundant but otherwise inaccessible resource, as A. sericeasur ants are typically highly aggressive. These results are the first, to our knowledge, to demonstrate a predator sharing cues with a parasitoid to gain access to an otherwise unavailable prey item. Furthermore, this work highlights the importance of studying ant-myrmecophile interactions beyond just their pairwise context. © 2016 The Author(s).

  15. Edge detection in digital images using Ant Colony Optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marjan Kuchaki Rafsanjani

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Ant Colony Optimization (ACO is an optimization algorithm inspired by the behavior of real ant colonies to approximate the solutions of difficult optimization problems. In this paper, ACO is introduced to tackle the image edge detection problem. The proposed approach is based on the distribution of ants on an image; ants try to find possible edges by using a state transition function. Experimental results show that the proposed method compared to standard edge detectors is less sensitive to Gaussian noise and gives finer details and thinner edges when compared to earlier ant-based approaches.

  16. The interactions of ants with their biotic environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chomicki, Guillaume; Renner, Susanne S

    2017-03-15

    This s pecial feature results from the symposium 'Ants 2016: ant interactions with their biotic environments' held in Munich in May 2016 and deals with the interactions between ants and other insects, plants, microbes and fungi, studied at micro- and macroevolutionary levels with a wide range of approaches, from field ecology to next-generation sequencing, chemical ecology and molecular genetics. In this paper, we review key aspects of these biotic interactions to provide background information for the papers of this s pecial feature After listing the major types of biotic interactions that ants engage in, we present a brief overview of ant/ant communication, ant/plant interactions, ant/fungus symbioses, and recent insights about ants and their endosymbionts. Using a large molecular clock-dated Formicidae phylogeny, we map the evolutionary origins of different ant clades' interactions with plants, fungi and hemiptera. Ants' biotic interactions provide ideal systems to address fundamental ecological and evolutionary questions about mutualism, coevolution, adaptation and animal communication. © 2017 The Author(s).

  17. The Pied Piper: A Parasitic Beetle's Melodies Modulate Ant Behaviours.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Di Giulio

    Full Text Available Ants use various communication channels to regulate their social organisation. The main channel that drives almost all the ants' activities and behaviours is the chemical one, but it is long acknowledged that the acoustic channel also plays an important role. However, very little is known regarding exploitation of the acoustical channel by myrmecophile parasites to infiltrate the ant society. Among social parasites, the ant nest beetles (Paussus are obligate myrmecophiles able to move throughout the colony at will and prey on the ants, surprisingly never eliciting aggression from the colonies. It has been recently postulated that stridulatory organs in Paussus might be evolved as an acoustic mechanism to interact with ants. Here, we survey the role of acoustic signals employed in the Paussus beetle-Pheidole ant system. Ants parasitised by Paussus beetles produce caste-specific stridulations. We found that Paussus can "speak" three different "languages", each similar to sounds produced by different ant castes (workers, soldiers, queen. Playback experiments were used to test how host ants respond to the sounds emitted by Paussus. Our data suggest that, by mimicking the stridulations of the queen, Paussus is able to dupe the workers of its host and to be treated as royalty. This is the first report of acoustic mimicry in a beetle parasite of ants.

  18. The Pied Piper: A Parasitic Beetle's Melodies Modulate Ant Behaviours.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Giulio, Andrea; Maurizi, Emanuela; Barbero, Francesca; Sala, Marco; Fattorini, Simone; Balletto, Emilio; Bonelli, Simona

    2015-01-01

    Ants use various communication channels to regulate their social organisation. The main channel that drives almost all the ants' activities and behaviours is the chemical one, but it is long acknowledged that the acoustic channel also plays an important role. However, very little is known regarding exploitation of the acoustical channel by myrmecophile parasites to infiltrate the ant society. Among social parasites, the ant nest beetles (Paussus) are obligate myrmecophiles able to move throughout the colony at will and prey on the ants, surprisingly never eliciting aggression from the colonies. It has been recently postulated that stridulatory organs in Paussus might be evolved as an acoustic mechanism to interact with ants. Here, we survey the role of acoustic signals employed in the Paussus beetle-Pheidole ant system. Ants parasitised by Paussus beetles produce caste-specific stridulations. We found that Paussus can "speak" three different "languages", each similar to sounds produced by different ant castes (workers, soldiers, queen). Playback experiments were used to test how host ants respond to the sounds emitted by Paussus. Our data suggest that, by mimicking the stridulations of the queen, Paussus is able to dupe the workers of its host and to be treated as royalty. This is the first report of acoustic mimicry in a beetle parasite of ants.

  19. Effects of vegetation cover, presence of a native ant species, and human disturbance on colonization by Argentine ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzgerald, Katherine; Gordon, Deborah M

    2012-06-01

    The spread of non-native invasive species is affected by human activity, vegetation cover, weather, and interaction with native species. We analyzed data from a 17-year study of the distribution of the non-native Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) and the native winter ant (Prenolepis imparis) in a preserve in northern California (U.S.A.). We conducted logistic regressions and used model selection to determine whether the following variables were associated with changes in the distribution of each species: presence of conspecifics at neighboring sites, distance to development (e.g., roads, buildings, and landscaped areas), proportion of vegetation cover taller than 0.75 m, elevation, distance to water, presence of both species at a site, temperature, and rainfall. Argentine ants colonized unoccupied sites from neighboring sites, but the probability of appearance and persistence decreased as distance to development, vegetation cover, and elevation increased. Winter ants appeared and persisted in sites with relatively high vegetation cover (i.e., highly shaded sites). Presence of the 2 species was negatively associated in sites with high vegetation cover (more winter ants) and sites near development (more Argentine ants). Probability of colonization of Argentine ants decreased where winter ants were most persistent. At sites near development within the preserve, abundant Argentine ant populations may be excluding winter ants. The high abundance of Argentine ants at these sites may be due to immigration from suburban areas outside the preserve, which are high-quality habitat for Argentine ants. In the interior of the preserve, distance from development, low-quality habitat, and interaction with winter ants may in combination exclude Argentine ants. Interactions among the variables we examined were associated with low probabilities of Argentine ant colonization in the preserve. ©2012 Society for Conservation Biology.

  20. Fast and flexible: argentine ants recruit from nearby trails.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiana P Flanagan

    Full Text Available Argentine ants (Linepithema humile live in groups of nests connected by trails to each other and to stable food sources. In a field study, we investigated whether some ants recruit directly from established, persistent trails to food sources, thus accelerating food collection. Our results indicate that Argentine ants recruit nestmates to food directly from persistent trails, and that the exponential increase in the arrival rate of ants at baits is faster than would be possible if recruited ants traveled from distant nests. Once ants find a new food source, they walk back and forth between the bait and sometimes share food by trophallaxis with nestmates on the trail. Recruiting ants from nearby persistent trails creates a dynamic circuit, like those found in other distributed systems, which facilitates a quick response to changes in available resources.

  1. Parasite-induced fruit mimicry in a tropical canopy ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanoviak, S P; Kaspari, M; Dudley, R; Poinar, G

    2008-04-01

    Some parasites modify characteristics of intermediate hosts to facilitate their consumption by subsequent hosts, but examples of parasite-mediated mimicry are rare. Here we report dramatic changes in the appearance and behavior of nematode-parasitized ants such that they resemble ripe fruits in the tropical rain forest canopy. Unlike healthy ants, which are completely black, infected ants have bright red, berry-like gasters full of parasite eggs. The infected gasters are held in a conspicuous elevated position as the ants are walking, and they are easily detached from living ants, which also exhibit reduced defensive responses. This combination of changes presumably makes the infected ants attractive to frugivorous birds, which ingest the red gasters and pass the parasite eggs in their feces. The feces are collected by ants and fed to the developing brood, thus completing the cycle. This is the first documentation of parasites causing apparent fruit mimicry in an animal host to complete their life cycle.

  2. Insect navigation: do ants live in the now?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Paul; Mangan, Michael

    2015-03-01

    Visual navigation is a critical behaviour for many animals, and it has been particularly well studied in ants. Decades of ant navigation research have uncovered many ways in which efficient navigation can be implemented in small brains. For example, ants show us how visual information can drive navigation via procedural rather than map-like instructions. Two recent behavioural observations highlight interesting adaptive ways in which ants implement visual guidance. Firstly, it has been shown that the systematic nest searches of ants can be biased by recent experience of familiar scenes. Secondly, ants have been observed to show temporary periods of confusion when asked to repeat a route segment, even if that route segment is very familiar. Taken together, these results indicate that the navigational decisions of ants take into account their recent experiences as well as the currently perceived environment. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  3. Exploring with PAM: Prospecting ANTS Missions for Solar System Surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, P. E.; Rilee, M. L.; Curtis, S. A.

    2003-01-01

    ANTS (Autonomous Nano-Technology Swarm), a large (1000 member) swarm of nano to picoclass (10 to 1 kg) totally autonomous spacecraft, are being developed as a NASA advanced mission concept. ANTS, based on a hierarchical insect social order, use an evolvable, self-similar, hierarchical neural system in which individual spacecraft represent the highest level nodes. ANTS uses swarm intelligence attained through collective, cooperative interactions of the nodes at all levels of the system. At the highest levels this can take the form of cooperative, collective behavior among the individual spacecraft in a very large constellation. The ANTS neural architecture is designed for totally autonomous operation of complex systems including spacecraft constellations. The ANTS (Autonomous Nano Technology Swarm) concept has a number of possible applications. A version of ANTS designed for surveying and determining the resource potential of the asteroid belt, called PAM (Prospecting ANTS Mission), is examined here.

  4. Host ant independent oviposition in the parasitic butterfly Maculinea alcon

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fürst, Matthias A; Nash, David Richard

    2010-01-01

    Parasitic Maculinea alcon butterflies can only develop in nests of a subset of available Myrmica ant species, so female butterflies have been hypothesized to preferentially lay eggs on plants close to colonies of the correct host ants. Previous correlational investigations of host......-ant-dependent oviposition in this and other Maculinea species have, however, shown equivocal results, leading to a long-term controversy over support for this hypothesis. We therefore conducted a controlled field experiment to study the egg-laying behaviour of M. alcon. Matched potted Gentiana plants were set out close...... to host-ant nests and non-host-ant nests, and the number and position of eggs attached were assessed. Our results show no evidence for host-ant-based oviposition in M. alcon, but support an oviposition strategy based on plant characteristics. This suggests that careful management of host-ant distribution...

  5. Hyper-expansion of large DNA segments in the genome of kuruma shrimp, Marsupenaeus japonicus

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    Kondo Hidehiro

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Higher crustaceans (class Malacostraca represent the most species-rich and morphologically diverse group of non-insect arthropods and many of its members are commercially important. Although the crustacean DNA sequence information is growing exponentially, little is known about the genome organization of Malacostraca. Here, we constructed a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC library and performed BAC-end sequencing to provide genomic information for kuruma shrimp (Marsupenaeus japonicus, one of the most widely cultured species among crustaceans, and found the presence of a redundant sequence in the BAC library. We examined the BAC clone that includes the redundant sequence to further analyze its length, copy number and location in the kuruma shrimp genome. Results Mj024A04 BAC clone, which includes one redundant sequence, contained 27 putative genes and seemed to display a normal genomic DNA structure. Notably, of the putative genes, 3 genes encode homologous proteins to the inhibitor of apoptosis protein and 7 genes encode homologous proteins to white spot syndrome virus, a virulent pathogen known to affect crustaceans. Colony hybridization and PCR analysis of 381 BAC clones showed that almost half of the BAC clones maintain DNA segments whose sequences are homologous to the representative BAC clone Mj024A04. The Mj024A04 partial sequence was detected multiple times in the kuruma shrimp nuclear genome with a calculated copy number of at least 100. Microsatellites based BAC genotyping clearly showed that Mj024A04 homologous sequences were cloned from at least 48 different chromosomal loci. The absence of micro-syntenic relationships with the available genomic sequences of Daphnia and Drosophila suggests the uniqueness of these fragments in kuruma shrimp from current arthropod genome sequences. Conclusions Our results demonstrate that hyper-expansion of large DNA segments took place in the kuruma shrimp genome. Although we

  6. MHC class II DQB diversity in the Japanese black bear, Ursus thibetanus japonicus

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes are one of the most important genetic systems in the vertebrate immune response. The diversity of MHC genes may directly influence the survival of individuals against infectious disease. However, there has been no investigation of MHC diversity in the Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus). Here, we analyzed 270-bp nucleotide sequences of the entire exon 2 region of the MHC DQB gene by using 188 samples from the Japanese black bear (Ursus thibetanus japonicus) from 12 local populations. Results Among 185 of 188 samples, we identified 44 MHC variants that encoded 31 different amino acid sequences (allotypes) and one putative pseudogene. The phylogenetic analysis suggests that MHC variants detected from the Japanese black bear are derived from the DQB locus. One of the 31 DQB allotypes, Urth-DQB*01, was found to be common to all local populations. Moreover, this allotype was shared between the black bear on the Asian continent and the Japanese black bear, suggesting that Urth-DQB*01 might have been maintained in the ancestral black bear population for at least 300,000 years. Our findings, from calculating the ratio of non-synonymous to synonymous substitutions, indicate that balancing selection has maintained genetic variation of peptide-binding residues at the DQB locus of the Japanese black bear. From examination of genotype frequencies among local populations, we observed a considerably lower level of observed heterozygosity than expected. Conclusions The low level of observed heterozygosity suggests that genetic drift reduced DQB diversity in the Japanese black bear due to a bottleneck event at the population or species level. The decline of DQB diversity might have been accelerated by the loss of rare variants that have been maintained by negative frequency-dependent selection. Nevertheless, DQB diversity of the black bear appears to be relatively high compared with some other endangered mammalian

  7. MHC class II DQB diversity in the Japanese black bear, Ursus thibetanus japonicus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yasukochi Yoshiki

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The major histocompatibility complex (MHC genes are one of the most important genetic systems in the vertebrate immune response. The diversity of MHC genes may directly influence the survival of individuals against infectious disease. However, there has been no investigation of MHC diversity in the Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus. Here, we analyzed 270-bp nucleotide sequences of the entire exon 2 region of the MHC DQB gene by using 188 samples from the Japanese black bear (Ursus thibetanus japonicus from 12 local populations. Results Among 185 of 188 samples, we identified 44 MHC variants that encoded 31 different amino acid sequences (allotypes and one putative pseudogene. The phylogenetic analysis suggests that MHC variants detected from the Japanese black bear are derived from the DQB locus. One of the 31 DQB allotypes, Urth-DQB*01, was found to be common to all local populations. Moreover, this allotype was shared between the black bear on the Asian continent and the Japanese black bear, suggesting that Urth-DQB*01 might have been maintained in the ancestral black bear population for at least 300,000 years. Our findings, from calculating the ratio of non-synonymous to synonymous substitutions, indicate that balancing selection has maintained genetic variation of peptide-binding residues at the DQB locus of the Japanese black bear. From examination of genotype frequencies among local populations, we observed a considerably lower level of observed heterozygosity than expected. Conclusions The low level of observed heterozygosity suggests that genetic drift reduced DQB diversity in the Japanese black bear due to a bottleneck event at the population or species level. The decline of DQB diversity might have been accelerated by the loss of rare variants that have been maintained by negative frequency-dependent selection. Nevertheless, DQB diversity of the black bear appears to be relatively high compared with some other

  8. Genetic identification of anisakid nematodes isolated from largehead hairtail (Trichiurus japonicus in Korea

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    Jeong-Ho Kim

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The nematode species belonging to genus Anisakis occur at their third larval stage in numerous marine teleost fish species worldwide and known to cause accidental human infection through the ingestion of raw or undercooked fish or squids. They may also draw the attention of consumers because of the visual impact of both alive and dead worms. Therefore, the information on their geographical distribution and clear species identification is important for epidemiological survey and further prevention of human infection. Results For identification of anisakid nematodes species isolated from largehead hairtail (Trichiurus japonicus, polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP analysis of internal transcribed spacers of ribosomal DNA were conducted. Mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 2 gene was also sequenced, and phylogenetic analysis was conducted. From the largehead hairtail (n = 9, 1259 nematodes were isolated in total. Most of the nematodes were found encapsulated throughout the viscera (56.2 %, 708/1259 or moving freely in the body cavity (41.5 %, 523/1259, and only 0.3 % (4/1259 was found in the muscles. By PCR-RFLP, three different nematode species were identified. Anisakis pegreffii was the most dominantly found (98.7 %, 1243/1259 from the largehead hairtail, occupying 98.7 % (699/708 of the nematodes in the mesenteries and 98.1 % (513/523 in the body cavity. Hybrid genotype (Anisakis simplex × A. pegreffii occupied 0.5 %, and Hysterothylacium sp. occupied 0.2 % of the nematodes isolated in this study. Conclusions The largehead hairtail may not significantly contribute accidental human infection of anisakid nematode third stage larvae because most of the nematodes were found from the viscera or body cavity, which are not consumed raw. But, a high prevalence of anisakid nematode larvae in the largehead hairtail is still in concern because they may raise food safety

  9. MHC class II DQB diversity in the Japanese black bear, Ursus thibetanus japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yasukochi, Yoshiki; Kurosaki, Toshifumi; Yoneda, Masaaki; Koike, Hiroko; Satta, Yoko

    2012-11-29

    The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes are one of the most important genetic systems in the vertebrate immune response. The diversity of MHC genes may directly influence the survival of individuals against infectious disease. However, there has been no investigation of MHC diversity in the Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus). Here, we analyzed 270-bp nucleotide sequences of the entire exon 2 region of the MHC DQB gene by using 188 samples from the Japanese black bear (Ursus thibetanus japonicus) from 12 local populations. Among 185 of 188 samples, we identified 44 MHC variants that encoded 31 different amino acid sequences (allotypes) and one putative pseudogene. The phylogenetic analysis suggests that MHC variants detected from the Japanese black bear are derived from the DQB locus. One of the 31 DQB allotypes, Urth-DQB*01, was found to be common to all local populations. Moreover, this allotype was shared between the black bear on the Asian continent and the Japanese black bear, suggesting that Urth-DQB*01 might have been maintained in the ancestral black bear population for at least 300,000 years. Our findings, from calculating the ratio of non-synonymous to synonymous substitutions, indicate that balancing selection has maintained genetic variation of peptide-binding residues at the DQB locus of the Japanese black bear. From examination of genotype frequencies among local populations, we observed a considerably lower level of observed heterozygosity than expected. The low level of observed heterozygosity suggests that genetic drift reduced DQB diversity in the Japanese black bear due to a bottleneck event at the population or species level. The decline of DQB diversity might have been accelerated by the loss of rare variants that have been maintained by negative frequency-dependent selection. Nevertheless, DQB diversity of the black bear appears to be relatively high compared with some other endangered mammalian species. This result suggests that

  10. Phaeobacter marinintestinus sp. nov., isolated from the intestine of a sea cucumber (Apostichopus japonicus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Mi-Hwa; Song, Eun-Ji; Seo, Myung-Ji; Hyun, Dong-Wook; Bae, Jin-Woo; Lee, So-Young; Roh, Seong Woon; Nam, Young-Do

    2015-01-01

    A Gram-negative, strictly aerobic, non-motile, and rod-shaped bacterial strain designated UB-M7(T) was isolated from the intestine of a sea cucumber (Apostichopus japonicus) collected from Pohang in South Korea. Strain UB-M7(T) displayed optimal growth at 25 °C, pH 7.0-7.5, and with 2.0-3.0 % (w/v) NaCl. Phylogenetic analyses based on the 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that strain UB-M7(T) clustered with Phaeobacter arcticus DSM 23566(T), Phaeobacter inhibens DSM 16374(T), Phaeobacter gallaeciensis BS107(T), and Phaeobacter leonis 306(T), exhibiting 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity values of 96.8, 96.6, 96.4, and 96.2 %, respectively. Strain UB-M7(T) was found to exhibit the highest gyrB sequence similarity value of 80.6 % to the type strain of P. arcticus. The major respiratory quinone of strain UB-M7(T) was found to be ubiquinone 10 (Q-10). The major cellular fatty acids (>5 % of the total fatty acids) are summed features 8 (comprising C18:1 ω7c and/or C18:1 ω6c), 11-methyl C18:1 ω7c, and cyclo C19:0 ω8c. The DNA G+C content was found to be 58.5 mol% and DNA-DNA relatedness value with P. arcticus JCM 14644(T) was 17.2 ± 2.4 %. The major polar lipids of strain UB-M7(T) were identified as phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylglycerol, diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylcholine; one phospholipid, and three other lipids remain unidentified. Based on its phenotypic, phylogenetic, and chemotaxonomic properties it is concluded that strain UB-M7(T) represents a novel species in the genus Phaeobacter, for which the name Phaeobacter marinintestinus sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is UB-M7(T) (=KCCM 43045(T) = JCM 19926(T)).

  11. The effect of ice crystals formations on the flesh quality of frozen horse mackerel (Trachurus japonicus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yao; Miyazaki, Riho; Saitou, Shinobu; Hirasaka, Katsuya; Takeshita, Satoshi; Tachibana, Katsuyasu; Taniyama, Shigeto

    2017-11-15

    It is known that the formation of ice crystals has a negative impact on the flesh quality of frozen meat. This study focuses on how the formation of ice crystals in the dorsal ordinary muscle affects the flesh quality of frozen horse mackerel (Trachurus japonicus). Freeze-thawed muscle specimens (F-TMS) of horse mackerel were first stored at -24C and then thawed. The K-value, expressible water, breaking strength of unfrozen muscle specimens (UMS) and F-TMS, and histological structure (light microscope [LM], scanning electron microscope [SEM] of UMS, frozen muscle specimens [FMS], and F-TMS) were investigated. K-values were higher in the F-TMS than in the UMS, and the increasing rate of K-value in F-TMS was approximately 1.4-fold higher than UMS. Similarly, the percentage of expressible water was higher in the F-TMS than in the UMS. The breaking strength of the UMS decreased with storage period, but it remained at a higher level than that of F-TMS. Numerous ice crystal formations in muscle cells of FMS and small interstices between cells of F-TMS were observed under LM. Moreover, we observed a relatively collapsed honeycomb structure of the extracellular matrix (ECM) under SEM, and found that collagen fibril networks of endomysiums became looser after thawing. Therefore, ice crystals contribute to vulnerabilities in the ECM. These results suggest that a decrease of freshness and the degradation of physical properties caused by ECM destruction may be due to the formation of ice crystals in muscle structures during freezing, leading to the deterioration of flesh quality during storage. The flesh quality deteriorated after thawing on the basis of degradation of physical properties. Moreover, it could be presumed that the K-value increase was exacerbated by ice crystals, and the decreasing speed of chemical freshness was sped up accompanied by ice storage after thawing. Thus, the formation of ice crystals, which destroyed the muscle cells and structures, may be one of

  12. Swim bladder function and buoyancy control in pink snapper (Pagrus auratus) and mulloway (Argyrosomus japonicus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, John; Hughes, Julian M

    2014-04-01

    Physoclist fish are able to regulate their buoyancy by secreting gas into their hydrostatic organ, the swim bladder, as they descend through the water column and by resorbing gas from their swim bladder as they ascend. Physoclists are restricted in their vertical movements due to increases in swim bladder gas volume that occur as a result of a reduction in hydrostatic pressure, causing fish to become positively buoyant and risking swim bladder rupture. Buoyancy control, rates of swim bladder gas exchange and restrictions to vertical movements are little understood in marine teleosts. We used custom-built hyperbaric chambers and laboratory experiments to examine these aspects of physiology for two important fishing target species in southern Australia, pink snapper (Pagrus auratus) and mulloway (Argyrosomus japonicus). The swim bladders of pink snapper and mulloway averaged 4.2 and 4.9 % of their total body volumes, respectively. The density of pink snapper was not significantly different to the density of seawater (1.026 g/ml), whereas mulloway were significantly denser than seawater. Pink snapper secreted gas into their swim bladders at a rate of 0.027 ± 0.005 ml/kg/min (mean ± SE), almost 4 times faster than mulloway (0.007 ± 0.001 ml/kg/min). Rates of swim bladder gas resorption were 11 and 6 times faster than the rates of gas secretion for pink snapper and mulloway, respectively. Pink snapper resorbed swim bladder gas at a rate of 0.309 ± 0.069 ml/kg/min, 7 times faster than mulloway (0.044 ± 0.009 ml/kg/min). Rates of gas exchange were not affected by water pressure or water temperature over the ranges examined in either species. Pink snapper were able to acclimate to changes in hydrostatic pressure reasonably quickly when compared to other marine teleosts, taking approximately 27 h to refill their swim bladders from empty. Mulloway were able to acclimate at a much slower rate, taking approximately 99 h to refill their swim bladders. We estimated that the

  13. Size matters: nest colonization patterns for twig-nesting ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez-Soto, Estelí; Philpott, Stacy M

    2015-08-01

    Understanding the drivers of ant diversity and co-occurrence in agroecosystems is fundamental because ants participate in interactions that influence agroecosystem processes. Multiple local and regional factors influence ant community assembly.We examined local factors that influence the structure of a twig-nesting ant community in a coffee system in Mexico using an experimental approach. We investigated whether twig characteristics (nest entrance size and diversity of nest entrance sizes) and nest strata (canopy shade tree or coffee shrub) affected occupation, species richness, and community composition of twig-nesting ants and whether frequency of occupation of ant species varied with particular nest entrance sizes or strata.We conducted our study in a shaded coffee farm in Chiapas, Mexico, between March and June 2012. We studied ant nest colonization by placing artificial nests (bamboo twigs) on coffee shrubs and shade trees either in diverse or uniform treatments. We also examined whether differences in vegetation (no. of trees, canopy cover and coffee density) influenced nest colonization.We found 33 ant species occupying 73% of nests placed. Nest colonization did not differ with nest strata or size. Mean species richness of colonizing ants was significantly higher in the diverse nest size entrance treatment, but did not differ with nest strata. Community composition differed between strata and also between the diverse and uniform size treatments on coffee shrubs, but not on shade trees. Some individual ant species were more frequently found in certain nest strata and in nests with certain entrance sizes.Our results indicate that twig-nesting ants are nest-site limited, quickly occupy artificial nests of many sizes, and that trees or shrubs with twigs of a diversity of entrance sizes likely support higher ant species richness. Further, individual ant species more frequently occupy nests with different sized entrances promoting ant richness on individual coffee

  14. Succession and seasonal variation in epilithic biofilms on artificial reefs in culture waters of the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Liming; Du, Rongbin; Zhang, Xiaoling; Dong, Shuanglin; Sun, Shichun

    2017-01-01

    Periphytic biofilms in aquaculture waters are thought to improve water quality, provide an additional food source, and improve the survival and growth of some reared animals. In the Asia- Pacific region, particularly in China, artificial reefs are commonly used in the commercial farming of sea cucumbers. However, few studies have examined the epilithic biofilms on the artificial reefs. To gain a better understanding of the succession of epilithic biofilms and their ecological processes in sea cucumber culture waters, two experiments were conducted in culture waters of the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus in Rongcheng, China, using artificial test panels. On the test panels of succession experiment, more than 67 species were identified in the biofilms. On the test panels of seasonal variation experiment, more than 46 species were recorded in the biofilms. In both experiments, communities of epilithic biofilms were dominated by diatoms, green algae and the annelid Spirorbis sp. In the initial colonization, the dominant diatoms were Cocconeis sp., Amphora spp. and Nitzschia closterium in June, which were succeeded by species of Navicula, Cocconeis and Nitzschia (July to September), and then by Licmophora abbreviata, Nitzschia closterium and Synedra spp. in the following months. A diatom bloom in the autumn and filamentous green algae burst in the summer were also observed. Ecological indices well annotated the succession and seasonal changes in epilithic communities. Multidimensional scaling (MDS) analysis found significant differences in diatom community composition among months and seasons. Fast growth of biofilms was observed in the summer and autumn, whereas the biomass of summer biofilms was largely made up of filamentous green algae. Present results show that the components of epilithic biofilms are mostly optimal foods of A. japonicus, suggesting that biofilms on artificial reefs may contribute important nutritional sources for sea cucumbers during their

  15. Diversidade de formigas epigéicas (Hymenoptera, Formicidae em três ambientes no Parque Estadual Mata dos Godoy, Londrina, Paraná Epigeic ants diversity (Hymenoptera, Formicidae in three environments in Mata dos Godoy State Park, Londrina, State of Paraná, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danielle T. Lopes

    Full Text Available Considerando o escasso conhecimento sobre a mirmecofauna do estado do Paraná, o presente estudo objetivou comparar as assembleias de formigas encontradas em três ambientes (mata primária, área de reflorestamento e capoeira do Parque Estadual Mata dos Godoy, Londrina, Paraná. Para as coletas foram utilizadas iscas de sardinha e armadilhas pitfalls. Foram coletadas 102 espécies, pertencentes a 38 gêneros de nove subfamílias de formigas. Myrmicinae foi a subfamília com o maior número de espécies (58 spp., seguida por Formicinae (20 spp., Ponerinae (9 spp., Ectatomminae, Heteroponerinae, Ecitoninae e Pseudomyrmecinae (3 espécies cada, Dolichoderinae (2 spp. e Proceratiinae (1 espécie. Os gêneros mais ricos em espécies foram Pheidole Westwood, 1839 e Camponotus Mayr, 1861, respectivamente com 14 e 11 espécies. A mata primária apresentou os maiores valores de riqueza, número de espécies exclusivas e diversidade (92 spp., 20 spp. e H' = 3,51, respectivamente, seguida da área de reflorestamento (73 spp., 6 spp. e H' = 3,47 e capoeira (67 spp., 4 spp. e H' = 3,34. Os valores de similaridade entre os três ambientes foram próximos. A riqueza observada, em cada série de amostra, foi entre 33 e 53 espécies e a riqueza estimada foi entre 35 e 86 espécies. A ocorrência de sete guildas de formigas foi definida em espécies onívoras, predadoras especialistas, predadoras generalistas de serapilheira, formigas legionárias, arborícolas dominantes, dominantes de solo e cultivadoras de fungo.Considering the poor knowledge about the ant fauna of the state of Paraná, Brazil, this study aimed to compare the ant assemblages in three environments (primary forest, reforested area and secondary growth forest of Mata dos Godoy State Park, municipality of Londrina. This study was carried out between December 2004 and March 2005. Ant collections were made using sardine baits and pitfall traps. We collected 102 ant species belonging to 38 genera of

  16. Ansiedad ante la muerte del sujeto anciano

    OpenAIRE

    Moya Faz, Francisco José

    2007-01-01

    El tema a tratar en esta Tesis Doctoral es la Ansiedad ante la muerte en el sujeto anciano. Objetivos. Los objetivos planteados en esta investigación han sido: Investigar mediante un análisis bibliométrico el estado actual de la cuestión del tema de la ansiedad ante la muerte para que estudiando así su producción científica se pueda conocer su relevancia así como las categorías temáticas más significativas en relación a éste. Estudiar la preocupación de la muerte respecto a variables como...

  17. A global database of ant species abundances

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Gibb, H.; Dunn, R. R.; Sanders, N. J.; Grossman, B. F.; Photakis, M.; Abril, S.; Agosti, D.; Andersen, A. N.; Angulo, E.; Armbrecht, I.; Arnan, X.; Baccaro, F. B.; Bishop, T. R.; Boulay, R.; Brühl, C.; Castracani, C.; Cerdá, X.; Del Toro, I.; Delsinne, T.; Diaz, M.; Donoso, D. A.; Ellison, A. M.; Enríquez, M. L.; Fayle, Tom Maurice; Feener, D. H.; Fisher, B. L.; Fisher, R. N.; Fitzpatrick, M. C.; Gómez, C.; Gotelli, N. J.; Gove, A.; Grasso, D. A.; Groc, S.; Guenard, B.; Gunawardene, N.; Heterick, B.; Hoffmann, B.; Janda, Milan; Jenkins, C.; Kaspari, M.; Klimeš, Petr; Lach, L.; Laeger, T.; Lattke, J.; Leponce, M.; Lessard, J.-P.; Longino, J.; Lucky, A.; Luke, S. H.; Majer, J.; McGlynn, T. P.; Menke, S.; Mezger, D.; Mori, A.; Moses, Jimmy; Munyai, T. C.; Pacheco, R.; Paknia, O.; Pearce-Duvet, J.; Pfeiffer, M.; Philpott, S. M.; Resasco, J.; Retana, J.; Silva, R. R.; Sorger, M. D.; Souza, J.; Suarez, A.; Tista, M.; Vasconcelos, H. L.; Vonshak, M.; Weisser, M. D.; Yates, M.; Parr, C. L.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 98, č. 3 (2017), s. 883-884 ISSN 0012-9658 R&D Projects: GA ČR GB14-36098G; GA ČR GAP505/12/2467; GA ČR GPP505/12/P875 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : abundance * ants * database Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 4.809, year: 2016 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ecy.1682/abstract

  18. Alarm Pheromones of the Ant Atta Texana

    Science.gov (United States)

    John C. Moser; R. C. Brownlee; R. Silverstein

    1968-01-01

    Methyl-3-heptanone (0.59 μg/head) and 2-heptanone (0.14 μg/head) are the main volatile components of the mandibular glands of major workers. In the laboratory, worker ants detected and were attracted by 4-methyl-3-heptanone at a concentration of 5.7 x 10-13 g/cm3 (2.7 x 107 molecules...

  19. Public goods dilemma in asexual ant societies

    OpenAIRE

    Dobata, Shigeto; Tsuji, Kazuki

    2013-01-01

    This study reports experimental evidence for the “public goods dilemma” between cooperators and cheaters in an asexual ant society, in which cheating is always more rewarding for individuals but cooperation at the cost of individual fitness leads to better performance of groups. Although this dilemma provides the basic principle of social evolution, its experimental demonstration with underlying genetics and fitness evaluation for both cooperators and cheaters still lacks in societies other t...

  20. Ant fat extraction with a Soxhlet extractor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Chris R; Tschinkel, Walter R

    2009-07-01

    Stored fat can be informative about the relative age of an ant, its nutritional status, and the nutritional status of the colony. Several methods are available for the quantification of stored fat. Before starting a project involving fat extraction, investigators should weigh the advantages and disadvantages of different methods in order to choose the one that is best suited to the question being addressed. This protocol, although not as accurate as some alternatives, facilitates the rapid quantification of many individuals.

  1. Ant colony optimization and constraint programming

    CERN Document Server

    Solnon, Christine

    2013-01-01

    Ant colony optimization is a metaheuristic which has been successfully applied to a wide range of combinatorial optimization problems. The author describes this metaheuristic and studies its efficiency for solving some hard combinatorial problems, with a specific focus on constraint programming. The text is organized into three parts. The first part introduces constraint programming, which provides high level features to declaratively model problems by means of constraints. It describes the main existing approaches for solving constraint satisfaction problems, including complete tree search

  2. Precision Rescue Behavior in North American Ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine Taylor

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Altruistic behavior, in which one individual provides aid to another at some cost to itself, is well documented. However, some species engage in a form of altruism, called rescue, that places the altruist in immediate danger. Here we investigate one such example, namely rescuing victims captured by predators. In a field experiment with two North American ant species, Tetramorium sp. E and Prenolepis imparis, individuals were held in artificial snares simulating capture. T. sp. E, but not P. imparis, exhibited digging, pulling, and snare biting, the latter precisely targeted to the object binding the victim. These results are the first to document precision rescue in a North American ant species; moreover, unlike rescue in other ants, T. sp. E rescues conspecifics from different colonies, mirroring their atypical social behavior, namely the lack of aggression between non-nestmate (heterocolonial conspecifics. In a second, observational study designed to demonstrate rescue from an actual predator, T. sp. E victims were dropped into an antlion's pit and the behavior of a single rescuer was observed. Results showed that T. sp. E not only attempted to release the victim, but also risked attacking the predator, suggesting that precision rescue may play an important role in this species' antipredator behavior.

  3. Dispersal Polymorphisms in Invasive Fire Ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jackson A Helms

    Full Text Available In the Found or Fly (FoF hypothesis ant queens experience reproduction-dispersal tradeoffs such that queens with heavier abdomens are better at founding colonies but are worse flyers. We tested predictions of FoF in two globally invasive fire ants, Solenopsis geminata (Fabricius, 1804 and S. invicta (Buren, 1972. Colonies of these species may produce two different monogyne queen types-claustral queens with heavy abdomens that found colonies independently, and parasitic queens with small abdomens that enter conspecific nests. Claustral and parasitic queens were similarly sized, but the abdomens of claustral queens weighed twice as much as those of their parasitic counterparts. Their heavier abdomens adversely impacted morphological predictors of flight ability, resulting in 32-38% lower flight muscle ratios, 55-63% higher wing loading, and 32-33% higher abdomen drag. In lab experiments maximum flight durations in claustral S. invicta queens decreased by about 18 minutes for every milligram of abdomen mass. Combining our results into a simple fitness tradeoff model, we calculated that an average parasitic S. invicta queen could produce only 1/3 as many worker offspring as a claustral queen, but could fly 4 times as long and have a 17- to 36-fold larger potential colonization area. Investigations of dispersal polymorphisms and their associated tradeoffs promises to shed light on range expansions in invasive species, the evolution of alternative reproductive strategies, and the selective forces driving the recurrent evolution of parasitism in ants.

  4. Optimal construction of army ant living bridges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Jason M; Kao, Albert B; Wilhelm, Dylana A; Garnier, Simon

    2017-12-21

    Integrating the costs and benefits of collective behaviors is a fundamental challenge to understanding the evolution of group living. These costs and benefits can rarely be quantified simultaneously due to the complexity of the interactions within the group, or even compared to each other because of the absence of common metrics between them. The construction of 'living bridges' by New World army ants - which they use to shorten their foraging trails - is a unique example of a collective behavior where costs and benefits have been experimentally measured and related to each other. As a result, it is possible to make quantitative predictions about when and how the behavior will be observed. In this paper, we extend a previous mathematical model of these costs and benefits to much broader domain of applicability. Specifically, we exhibit a procedure for analyzing the optimal formation, and final configuration, of army ant living bridges given a means to express the geometrical configuration of foraging path obstructions. Using this procedure, we provide experimentally testable predictions of the final bridge position, as well as the optimal formation process for certain cases, for a wide range of scenarios, which more closely resemble common terrain obstacles that ants encounter in nature. As such, our framework offers a rare benchmark for determining the evolutionary pressures governing the evolution of a naturally occurring collective animal behavior. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. How load-carrying ants avoid falling over: mechanical stability during foraging in Atta vollenweideri grass-cutting ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karin Moll

    Full Text Available Foraging workers of grass-cutting ants (Atta vollenweideri regularly carry grass fragments larger than their own body. Fragment length has been shown to influence the ants' running speed and thereby the colony's food intake rate. We investigated whether and how grass-cutting ants maintain stability when carrying fragments of two different lengths but identical mass.Ants carried all fragments in an upright, backwards-tilted position, but held long fragments more vertically than short ones. All carrying ants used an alternating tripod gait, where mechanical stability was increased by overlapping stance phases of consecutive steps. The overlap was greatest for ants carrying long fragments, resulting in more legs contacting the ground simultaneously. For all ants, the projection of the total centre of mass (ant and fragment was often outside the supporting tripod, i.e. the three feet that would be in stance for a non-overlapping tripod gait. Stability was only achieved through additional legs in ground contact. Tripod stability (quantified as the minimum distance of the centre of mass to the edge of the supporting tripod was significantly smaller for ants with long fragments. Here, tripod stability was lowest at the beginning of each step, when the center of mass was near the posterior margin of the supporting tripod. By contrast, tripod stability was lowest at the end of each step for ants carrying short fragments. Consistently, ants with long fragments mainly fell backwards, whereas ants carrying short fragments mainly fell forwards or to the side. Assuming that transporting ants adjust neither the fragment angle nor the gait, they would be less stable and more likely to fall over.In grass-cutting ants, the need to maintain static stability when carrying long grass fragments has led to multiple kinematic adjustments at the expense of a reduced material transport rate.

  6. How load-carrying ants avoid falling over: mechanical stability during foraging in Atta vollenweideri grass-cutting ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moll, Karin; Roces, Flavio; Federle, Walter

    2013-01-01

    Foraging workers of grass-cutting ants (Atta vollenweideri) regularly carry grass fragments larger than their own body. Fragment length has been shown to influence the ants' running speed and thereby the colony's food intake rate. We investigated whether and how grass-cutting ants maintain stability when carrying fragments of two different lengths but identical mass. Ants carried all fragments in an upright, backwards-tilted position, but held long fragments more vertically than short ones. All carrying ants used an alternating tripod gait, where mechanical stability was increased by overlapping stance phases of consecutive steps. The overlap was greatest for ants carrying long fragments, resulting in more legs contacting the ground simultaneously. For all ants, the projection of the total centre of mass (ant and fragment) was often outside the supporting tripod, i.e. the three feet that would be in stance for a non-overlapping tripod gait. Stability was only achieved through additional legs in ground contact. Tripod stability (quantified as the minimum distance of the centre of mass to the edge of the supporting tripod) was significantly smaller for ants with long fragments. Here, tripod stability was lowest at the beginning of each step, when the center of mass was near the posterior margin of the supporting tripod. By contrast, tripod stability was lowest at the end of each step for ants carrying short fragments. Consistently, ants with long fragments mainly fell backwards, whereas ants carrying short fragments mainly fell forwards or to the side. Assuming that transporting ants adjust neither the fragment angle nor the gait, they would be less stable and more likely to fall over. In grass-cutting ants, the need to maintain static stability when carrying long grass fragments has led to multiple kinematic adjustments at the expense of a reduced material transport rate.

  7. Comparative analysis of the macronutrient content of Central European ants (Formicidae): implications for ant-eating predators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pekár, S; Mayntz, D

    2014-03-01

    Prey nutrient quality determines predator performance. Polyphagous predators can address nutritional challenges by targeting prey with specific nutrient composition, but prey-specialised predators (e.g., ant-eaters), must obtain all nutrients from limited array of prey. Analysis of published data on prey specificity of European ant-eating spiders showed that some feed only on one ant genus, while others feed on several genera. Spiders feeding on several ant genera can possibly balance nutrient intake by selecting different ant prey. But monophagous species must extract all prey from a single prey species and can only vary nutrient intake by feeding on specific body parts. Most ant-eating spider species are catching Formica, Lasius and Messor ants, suggesting that these are most profitable ant species. We evaluated the nutritional content of a variety of 16 Central European ant species belonging to 11 genera and four subfamilies. We found that the nutritional composition, namely the amount of carbon, nitrogen and lipids, of European ants is heterogeneous. The largest variation in the amount of carbon and lipids was among ant subfamilies and species, while the largest variation in nitrogen was among ant genera. The largest amount of carbon and nitrogen was typical for Myrmicinae and the largest amount of lipids were typical for Formicinae. Within ants, the relative amounts of lipids were significantly higher in the gaster while the contents of carbon and nitrogen were highest in foreparts. Ant species did not cluster in the ordination space according to their taxonomic relationship or trophic strategy. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Molecular responses of Lotus japonicus to parasitism by the compatible species Orobanche aegyptiaca and the incompatible species Striga hermonthica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiraoka, Yukihiro; Ueda, Hiroaki; Sugimoto, Yukihiro

    2009-01-01

    Lotus japonicus genes responsive to parasitism by the compatible species Orobanche aegyptiaca and the incompatible species Striga hermonthica were isolated by using the suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) strategy. O. aegyptiaca and S. hermonthica parasitism specifically induced the expression of genes involved in jasmonic acid (JA) biosynthesis and phytoalexin biosynthesis, respectively. Nodulation-related genes were almost exclusively found among the Orobanche-induced genes. Temporal gene expression analyses revealed that 19 out of the 48 Orobanche-induced genes and 5 out of the 48 Striga-induced genes were up-regulated at 1 dai. Four genes, including putative trypsin protease inhibitor genes, exhibited systemic up-regulation in the host plant parasitized by O. aegyptiaca. On the other hand, S. hermonthica attachment did not induce systemic gene expression.

  9. Extracellular cellulolytic enzyme system of Aspergillus japonicus. Pt. 3. Isolation, purification and characterization of multiple forms of endoglucanase

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kundu, R.K.; Dube, Syamalima; Dube, D.K.

    1988-02-01

    The crude culture filtrate of Aspergillus japonicus exhibits marked cellulose and xylan degrading activities. Affinity chromatography of the crude enzyme preparation on concanavalin A (Con A)-Sepharose 4B resolves it into three fractions. The eluted fraction A contains CMCase (CM Case I) and xylanase activities; fraction B shows only CMCase activity (CMCase II); and fraction C exhibits CMCase (CMCase III) and xylanase activities. On further purification by gel filtration, only fraction B imparts a homogeneous preparation that gives a single band on polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis at pH 8.3. Sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of this homogeneous form shows the molecular weight about 57 000 daltons. The first two forms have the least activity toward tamarind kernel polysaccharide (TKP) but the last form, endoglucanase III, is highly reactive to it.

  10. Lotus japonicus flowers are defended by a cyanogenic β-glucosidase with highly restricted expression to essential reproductive organs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lai, Daniela; Pičmanová, Martina; Abou Hachem, Maher

    2015-01-01

    Flowers and leaves of Lotus japonicus contain α-, β-, and γ-hydroxynitrile glucoside (HNG) defense compounds, which are bioactivated by β-glucosidase enzymes (BGDs). The α-HNGs are referred to as cyanogenic glucosides because their hydrolysis upon tissue disruption leads to release of toxic...... hydrogen cyanide gas, which can deter herbivore feeding. BGD2 and BGD4 are HNG metabolizing BGD enzymes expressed in leaves. Only BGD2 is able to hydrolyse the α-HNGs. Loss of function mutants of BGD2 are acyanogenic in leaves but fully retain cyanogenesis in flowers pointing to the existence...... of an alternative cyanogenic BGD in flowers. This enzyme, named BGD3, is identified and characterized in this study. Whereas all floral tissues contain α-HNGs, only those tissues in which BGD3 is expressed, the keel and the enclosed reproductive organs, are cyanogenic. Biochemical analysis, active site architecture...

  11. Ground-foraging ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae and rainfall effect on pitfall trapping in a deciduous thorn woodland (Caatinga, Northeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francyregis A Nunes

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The semi-arid Caatinga is the fourth largest biome of Brazil, which biota still remains one of the most poorly known, especially with regard to invertebrate groups. In this study, a ground-foraging ant assemblage was surveyed during one year and the effect of rainfall on pitfall trapping was assessed. The study was performed in an area located in the municipality of Pentecoste (3º48’ S - 39º20’ W, in the State of Ceará. A 200m transect with 20 equidistant sampling points was established. Transect sampling was performed once a month during 12 months, over the period August 2008-August 2009. At each sampling point, a pitfall trap partially filled with a mixture of ethanol and monoethylene glycol was placed at the beginning of each month and remained in the field for seven days. 39 species belonging to six subfamilies and 19 genera, plus two unidentified species, were collected, with Pheidole (10 spp. and Camponotus (8 spp. being the taxa with the most species. 23 species were frequent, being found in more than 50% of the 12 transect samplings. Five species had an intermediate frequency (25 to 50%, while 13 were relatively infrequent (less than 25%. Most of the species (22 showed low occurrence, being found in less than 10% of the 240 samples (20 samples each month, during 12 months. Only five species were collected in more than 50% of the samples, those species being also responsible for most of the total abundance (number of captured individuals of all species observed each month. The speciesaccumulation curves (observed and estimated indicated that sampling sufficiency was attained, and that about 92% of the estimated ground-foraging ant fauna had been collected. 40 and 29 species were collected in the dry and rainy season, respectively, with monthly species richness ranging from 13 to 28. The total ant abundance showed a drastic decrease during the rainy season, and a negative linear correlation was found between rainfall and total ant

  12. The invasive ant, Solenopsis invicta, reduces herpetofauna richness and abundance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Craig R.; Birge, Hannah E.; Slater, J.; Wiggers, E.

    2017-01-01

    Amphibians and reptiles are declining globally. One potential cause of this decline includes impacts resulting from co-occurrence with non-native red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. Although a growing body of anecdotal and observational evidence from laboratory experiments supports this hypothesis, there remains a lack of field scale manipulations testing the effect of fire ants on reptile and amphibian communities. We addressed this gap by measuring reptile and amphibian (“herpetofauna”) community response to successful fire ant reductions over the course of 2 years following hydramethylnon application to five 100–200 ha plots in southeastern coastal South Carolina. By assessing changes in relative abundance and species richness of herpetofauna in response to fire ant reductions, we were able to assess whether some species were particularly vulnerable to fire ant presence, and whether this sensitivity manifested at the community level. We found that herpetofauna abundance and species richness responded positively to fire ant reductions. Our results document that even moderate populations of red imported fire ants decrease both the abundance and diversity of herpetofauna. Given global herpetofauna population declines and continued spread of fire ants, there is urgency to understand the impacts of fire ants beyond anecdotal and singles species studies. Our results provides the first community level investigation addressing these dynamics, by manipulating fire ant abundance to reveal a response in herpetofauna species abundance and richness.

  13. High competition between ant species at intermediate temperatures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Tae-Sung

    2018-02-01

    Living organisms have been moving rapidly toward their favorable thermal regions as climate warms. Their competitive interactions will change significantly as a result of changes in distribution, abundance, and species composition. This study examines the relationship of competition intensity (frequency of competitive interactions) with temperature and the influence of competition on the occurrence of ant species. Competition between ants was surveyed at six different temperature sites using baits and the abundance of ants was surveyed using pitfall traps. The intensity of interspecific competition (abundance-corrected bait species displacement) was high at intermediate temperature sites (unimodal). Ant species are hierarchically organized in behavioral dominance. Two low-temperature ant species had decreased in the rank of behavioral dominance at warmer temperature sites because of the abundance of dominant intermediate temperature ant species. Ant species co-occurred randomly at the local scale. However, they were segregated at regional scale because of environmental filtering (temperature). Ant competition did not influence the occurrence of ant species at local or regional scale. These results suggest that the influence of changes in interspecific competition because of climate warming might not be great for ants in temperate regions. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  14. Nervous system development of two crinoid species, the sea lily Metacrinus rotundus and the feather star Oxycomanthus japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakano, Hiroaki; Nakajima, Yoko; Amemiya, Shonan

    2009-12-01

    Nervous system development in echinoderms has been well documented, especially for sea urchins and starfish. However, that of crinoids, the most basal group of extant echinoderms, has been poorly studied due to difficulties in obtaining their larvae. In this paper, we report nervous system development from two species of crinoids, from hatching to late doliolaria larvae in the sea lily Metacrinus rotundus and from hatching to cystidean stages after settlement in the feather star Oxycomanthus japonicus. The two species showed a similar larval nervous system pattern with an extensive anterior larval ganglion. The ganglion was similar to that in sea urchins which is generally regarded as derived. In contrast with other echinoderm and hemichordate larvae, synaptotagmin antibody 1E11 failed to reveal ciliary band nerve tracts. Basiepithelial nerve cells formed a net-like structure in the M. rotundus doliolaria larvae. In O. japonicus, the larval ganglion was still present 1 day after settlement when the adult nervous system began to appear inside the crown. Stalk nerves originated from the crown and extended down the stalk, but had no connections with the remaining larval ganglion at the base of the stalk. The larval nervous system was not incorporated into the adult nervous system, and the larval ganglion later disappeared. The aboral nerve center, the dominant nervous system in adult crinoids, was formed at the early cystidean stage, considerably earlier than previously suggested. Through comparisons with nervous system development in other ambulacraria, we suggest the possible nervous system development pattern of the echinoderm ancestor and provide new implications on the evolutionary history of echinoderm life cycles.

  15. A complete mitochondrial genome from Echinochasmus japonicus supports the elevation of Echinochasminae Odhner, 1910 to family rank (Trematoda: Platyhelminthes).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le, Thanh Hoa; Nguyen, Nga Thi Bich; Nguyen, Khue Thi; Doan, Huong Thi Thanh; Dung, Do Trung; Blair, David

    2016-11-01

    The complete mitochondrial (mt) genome of the trematode Echinochasmus japonicus Tanabe, 1926 was fully determined and annotated. The circular mt molecule of this species is 15,865bp in length, containing 12 protein-coding genes (arranged in the following order: cox3-cob-nad4L-nad4-atp6-nad2-nad1-nad3-cox1-cox2-nad6-nad5), two ribosomal RNA genes (rrnL and rrnS) and 22 transfer RNA genes (trnH; trnQ; trnF; trnM; trnV; trnA; trnD; trnN; trnP; trnI; trnK; trnS 1(AGN) ; trnW; trnT; trnC; trnL 1(CUN) ; trnS 2(UCN) ; trnL 2(UUN) ; trnG; and trnE). The atp8 gene is absent. The 3' end of nad4L overlaps the 5' end of nad4 by 40bp. An array of eight identical tandem repeats (240bp each) was found between trnG and trnE in the long non-coding region of the individual worm sequenced. Numbers of these repeats varied among E. japonicus samples. Phylogenetic analysis of concatenated mt protein sequences of 40 trematode species/strains supports the elevation of Echinochasminae Odhner, 1910 to family rank, close to the families Echinostomatidae and Fasciolidae. As echinochasmid and echinostomatid species can parasitize humans, the future characterization of additional mt genomes is needed for development of mt markers for identification and phylogenetic, population, epidemiological and hybridization studies. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Structural and Functional Analysis of a Lytic Polysaccharide Monooxygenase Important for Efficient Utilization of Chitin in Cellvibrio japonicus*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forsberg, Zarah; Nelson, Cassandra E.; Dalhus, Bjørn; Mekasha, Sophanit; Loose, Jennifer S. M.; Crouch, Lucy I.; Røhr, Åsmund K.; Gardner, Jeffrey G.; Eijsink, Vincent G. H.; Vaaje-Kolstad, Gustav

    2016-01-01

    Cellvibrio japonicus is a Gram-negative soil bacterium that is primarily known for its ability to degrade plant cell wall polysaccharides through utilization of an extensive repertoire of carbohydrate-active enzymes. Several putative chitin-degrading enzymes are also found among these carbohydrate-active enzymes, such as chitinases, chitobiases, and lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs). In this study, we have characterized the chitin-active LPMO, CjLPMO10A, a tri-modular enzyme containing a catalytic family AA10 LPMO module, a family 5 chitin-binding module, and a C-terminal unclassified module of unknown function. Characterization of the latter module revealed tight and specific binding to chitin, thereby unraveling a new family of chitin-binding modules (classified as CBM73). X-ray crystallographic elucidation of the CjLPMO10A catalytic module revealed that the active site of the enzyme combines structural features previously only observed in either cellulose or chitin-active LPMO10s. Analysis of the copper-binding site by EPR showed a signal signature more similar to those observed for cellulose-cleaving LPMOs. The full-length LPMO shows no activity toward cellulose but is able to bind and cleave both α- and β-chitin. Removal of the chitin-binding modules reduced LPMO activity toward α-chitin compared with the full-length enzyme. Interestingly, the full-length enzyme and the individual catalytic LPMO module boosted the activity of an endochitinase equally well, also yielding similar amounts of oxidized products. Finally, gene deletion studies show that CjLPMO10A is needed by C. japonicus to obtain efficient growth on both purified chitin and crab shell particles. PMID:26858252

  17. Ectopic expression of miR156 represses nodulation and causes morphological and developmental changes in Lotus japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ying; Wang, Zhishuo; Amyot, Lisa; Tian, Lining; Xu, Ziqin; Gruber, Margaret Y; Hannoufa, Abdelali

    2015-04-01

    The effects of microRNA156 overexpression on general plant architecture, branching, flowering time and nodulation were investigated in the model legume, Lotus japonicus. We cloned an miR156 homolog, LjmiR156a, from L. japonicus, and investigated its SQUAMOSA PROMOTER BINDING PROTEIN LIKE (SPL) genes and its biological function at enhancing vegetative biomass yield, extending flowering time, and its impact on nodulation. Thirteen potential targets for LjmiR156 were identified in vitro and their expression profiles were determined in aerial and underground parts of mature plants, including genes coding for eight SPLs, one WD-40, one RNA-directed DNA polymerase, two transport proteins, and one histidine-phosphotransfer protein. Two SPL and one WD-40 cleavage targets for LjmiR156-TC70253, AU089191, and TC57859-were identified. Transgenic plants with ectopic expression of LjmiR156a showed enhanced branching, dramatically delayed flowering, underdeveloped roots, and reduced nodulation. We also examined the transcript levels of key genes involved in nodule organogenesis and infection thread formation to determine the role of miR156 in regulating symbiosis. Overexpression of LjmiR156a led to repression of several nodulation genes during the early stages of root development such as three ENOD genes, SymPK, POLLUX, CYCLOPS, Cerberus, and Nsp1, and the stimulation of NFR1. Our results show that miR156 regulates vegetative biomass yield, flowering time and nodulation by silencing downstream target SPLs and other genes, suggesting that the miR156 regulatory network could be modified in forage legumes (such as alfalfa and trefoils) and in leafy vegetables (like lettuce and spinach) to positively impact economically valuable crop species.

  18. Characterization and phylogenetic analysis of lectin gene cDNA isolated from sea cucumber ( Apostichopus japonicus) body wall

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Zhuang; Li, Hui; Liu, Yang; Zhou, Wei; Sun, Jing; Wang, Xiuli

    2017-12-01

    As a `living fossil' of species origin and `rich treasure' of food and nutrition development, sea cucumber has received a lot of attentions from researchers. The cDNA library construction and EST sequencing of blood had been conducted previously in our lab. The bioinformatic analysis provided a gene fragment which is highly homologous with the genes of lectin family, named AjL ( Apostichopus japonicus lectin). To characterize and determine the phylogeny of AjL genes in early evolution, we isolated a full-length cDNA of lectin gene from the body wall of A. japonicus. The open reading frame of this gene contained 489 bp and encoded a 163 amino acids secretory protein being homologous to lectins of mammals and aquatic organisms. The deduced protein included a lectin-like domain. SDS-PAGE analysis showed that AjL migrated as a specific band (about 36.09 kDa under reducing), and agglutinated against rabbit red blood cells. AjL was similar to chain A of CEL-IV in space structure. We predicted that AjL may play the same role of CEL-IV. Our results suggested that more than one lectin gene functioned in sea cucumber and most of other species, which was fused by uncertain sequences during the evolution and encoded different proteins with diverse functions. Our findings provided the insights into the function and characteristics of lectin genes invertebrates. The results will also be helpful for the identification and structural, functional, and evolutionary analyses of lectin genes.

  19. PII Overexpression in Lotus japonicus Affects Nodule Activity in Permissive Low-Nitrogen Conditions and Increases Nodule Numbers in High Nitrogen Treated Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Apuzzo, Enrica; Valkov, Vladimir Totev; Parlati, Aurora; Omrane, Selim; Barbulova, Ani; Sainz, Maria Martha; Lentini, Marco; Esposito, Sergio; Rogato, Alessandra; Chiurazzi, Maurizio

    2015-04-01

    We report here the first characterization of a GLNB1 gene coding for the PII protein in leguminous plants. The main purpose of this work was the investigation of the possible roles played by this multifunctional protein in nodulation pathways. The Lotus japonicus LjGLB1 gene shows a significant transcriptional regulation during the light-dark cycle and different nitrogen availability, conditions that strongly affect nodule formation, development, and functioning. We also report analysis of the spatial profile of expression of LjGLB1 in root and nodule tissues and of the protein's subcellular localization. Transgenic L. japonicus lines overexpressing the PII protein were obtained and tested for the analysis of the symbiotic responses in different conditions. The uncoupling of PII from its native regulation affects nitrogenase activity and nodule polyamine content. Furthermore, our results suggest the involvement of PII in the signaling of the nitrogen nutritional status affecting the legumes' predisposition for nodule formation.

  20. Evolution of Fungal enzymes in the attine ant symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    The attine ant symbiosis is characterized by ancient but varying degrees of diffuse co-evolution between the ants and their fungal cultivars. Domesticated fungi became dependent on vertical transmission by queens and the ant colonies came to rely on their symbiotic fungus for food and thus......, indirectly, on fungal enzymes to break down the plant material brought in by the ants as fungal substrate. The more than 210 extant fungus-growing ant species differ considerably in colony size, social complexity and substrate-use. Only the derived leaf-cutting ants are specialized on using fresh leaves...... as garden substrate, whereas the more basal genera use leaf litter, insect feces and insect carcasses. We hypothesized that enzyme activity of fungal symbionts has co-evolved with substrate use and we measured enzyme activities of fungus gardens in the field to test this, focusing particularly on plant...

  1. Novel fungal disease in complex leaf-cutting ant societies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hughes, David Peter; Evans, Harry C.; Hywel-Jones, Nigel

    2009-01-01

    and that switching from one host to another is possible. To test the likelihood of this hypothesis, host switching was experimentally induced, and successfully achieved, among five distinct genera of ants, one of which was in a different sub-family than the leaf-cutter ants. 5. Given the substantial differences...... events of Acromyrmex and Atta leaf-cutting ants by Ophiocordyceps fungi, agenus of entomopathogens that is normally highly specific in its host choice. 4. As leaf-cutting ants have been intensively studied, the absence of prior records of Ophiocordyceps suggests that these infections may be a novel event...... among the five host ants, the ability of Ophiocordyceps to shift between such distant hosts is remarkable; the results are discussed in the context of ant ecological immunology and fungal invasion strategies....

  2. Estimating the success rate of ovulation and early litter loss rate in the Japanese black bear (Ursus thibetanus japonicus) by examining the ovaries and uteri

    OpenAIRE

    Yamanaka, Atsushi; Yamauchi, Kiyoshi; Tsujimoto, Tsunenori; Mizoguchi, Toshio; Oi, Toru; Sawada, Seigo; Shimozuru, Michito; Tsubota, Toshio

    2011-01-01

    In order to develop a method for estimating the success/failure rates of reproductive processes, especially those of ovulation and neonate nurturing, in the Japanese black bear (Ursus thibetanus japonicus), we examined offspring status, corpora lutea (CLs), placental scars (PSs) and corpora albicantia (CAs) in 159 females (0-23 years old) killed as nuisances on Honshu Island of Japan during 2001-2009. PSs were found to remain in the uterus at least until November of the year of...

  3. Developmental retardation, reduced fecundity, and modulated expression of the defensome in the intertidal copepod Tigriopus japonicus exposed to BDE-47 and PFOS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Han, Jeonghoon; Won, Eun-Ji; Lee, Min-Chul [Department of Biological Science, College of Science, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon 440-746 (Korea, Republic of); Seo, Jung Soo [Pathology Team, National Fisheries Research & Development Institute, Busan 619-902 (Korea, Republic of); Lee, Su-Jae [Department of Life Science, College of Natural Sciences, Hanyang University, Seoul 133-791 (Korea, Republic of); Lee, Jae-Seong, E-mail: jslee2@skku.edu [Department of Biological Science, College of Science, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon 440-746 (Korea, Republic of)

    2015-08-15

    Highlights: • The repercussions of BDE-47 and PFOS were occurred on development and fecundity. • BDE-47 and PFOS can induce oxidative stress through the generation of ROS. • The expression of defensome was changed in response to BDE-47 and PFOS. • ROS-induced DNA damage in BDE-47 and PFOS exposure lead to apoptosis and DNA repair. - Abstract: 2,2′,4,4′-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-47) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) are widely dispersed persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the marine ecosystem. However, their toxic effects on marine organisms are still poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the effects of BDE-47 and PFOS on development and reproduction at the organismal level and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and gene expression patterns of the defensome at the cellular level in the intertidal copepod Tigriopus japonicus. In copepods exposed to BDE-47 and PFOS, we observed developmental retardation and reduced fecundity, suggesting repercussions on in vivo endpoints through alterations to the normal molting and reproduction system of T. japonicus. BDE-47 and PFOS increased levels of ROS in T. japonicus in a concentration-dependent manner, indicating that POPs can induce oxidative stress through the generation of ROS. Additionally, transcript profiles of genes related to detoxification (e.g., CYPs), antioxidant functions (e.g., GST- sigma, catalase, MnSOD), apoptosis (e.g., p53, Rb), and cellular proliferation (e.g., PCNA) were modulated over 72 h in response to BDE-47 (120 μg/L) and PFOS (1000 μg/L). These findings indicate that BDE-47 and PFOS can induce oxidative stress-mediated DNA damage repair systems with transcriptional regulation of detoxification, antioxidant, and apoptosis-related genes, resulting in developmental retardation and reduced fecundity in the copepod T. japonicus.

  4. The protein precursors of peptides that affect the mechanics of connective tissue and/or muscle in the echinoderm Apostichopus japonicus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maurice R Elphick

    Full Text Available Peptides that cause muscle relaxation or contraction or that modulate electrically-induced muscle contraction have been discovered in the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus (Phylum Echinodermata; Class Holothuroidea. By analysing transcriptome sequence data, here the protein precursors of six of these myoactive peptides (the SALMFamides Sticho-MFamide-1 and -2, NGIWYamide, stichopin, GN-19 and GLRFA have been identified, providing novel insights on neuropeptide and endocrine-type signalling systems in echinoderms. The A. japonicus SALMFamide precursor comprises eight putative neuropeptides including both L-type and F-type SALMFamides, which contrasts with previous findings from the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus where L-type and F-type SALMFamides are encoded by different genes. The NGIWYamide precursor contains five copies of NGIWYamide but, unlike other NG peptide-type neuropeptide precursors in deuterostomian invertebrates, the NGIWYamide precursor does not have a C-terminal neurophysin domain, indicating loss of this character in holothurians. NGIWYamide was originally discovered as a muscle contractant, but it also causes stiffening of mutable connective tissue in the body wall of A. japonicus, whilst holokinins (PLGYMFR and derivative peptides cause softening of the body wall. However, the mechanisms by which these peptides affect the stiffness of body wall connective tissue are unknown. Interestingly, analysis of the A. japonicus transcriptome reveals that the only protein containing the holokinin sequence PLGYMFR is an alpha-5 type collagen. This suggests that proteolysis of collagen may generate peptides (holokinins that affect body wall stiffness in sea cucumbers, providing a novel perspective on mechanisms of mutable connective tissue in echinoderms.

  5. A Theoretic Basis for IS? The Contribution of ANT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jim Underwood

    2002-11-01

    Full Text Available Representation is a key issue of IS design and operation that is often ignored. Actor-network theory (ANT, a semiotic theory of stakeholders, provides a way of dealing with representation. Combining aspects of ANT and Foucault's discourse theory allows us to include concepts as actors and promises a flexible and durable foundation for IS practice, but ANT itself indicates that the search for a purely theoretical foundation for IS is misguided.

  6. Cercomacra and related antbirds (Aves, Formicariidae as army ant followers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edwin O. Willis

    1984-01-01

    Full Text Available Cercomacra and Schistocichla antbirds (Formicariidae favor dense foliage and seldom follow army ants for flushed prey, since the ants move through open forest understory as well as through dense zones. Two other lineages, the Drymophila-Hypocnemis lineage (of dense woodland understory and the Formicivora lineage (of dense bushes in dry or semiopen zones, also cannot follow ants regularly through open forest understory.

  7. Melissotarsus ants are likely able to digest plant polysaccharides

    OpenAIRE

    Mony, R.; Dejean, A.; Bilong Bilong, C. F.; Kenne, M.; Rouland Lefèvre, Corinne

    2013-01-01

    Melissotarsus ants have an extremely specialized set of behaviours. Both workers and gynes tunnel galleries in their host tree bark. Workers walk with their mesothoracic legs pointing upwards and tend Diaspididae hemiptera for their flesh. The ants use their forelegs to plug the galleries with silk that they secrete themselves. We hypothesised that the ants' energetic needs for nearly constant gallery digging could be satisfied through the absorption of host tree tissues; so, using basic tech...

  8. Consuming fire ants reduces northern bobwhite survival and weight gain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myers, P.E.; Allen, Craig R.; Birge, Hannah E.

    2014-01-01

    Northern bobwhite quail, Colinus virginianus (L.) (Galliformes: Odontophoridae), population declines are well documented, but pinpointing the reasons for these decreases has proven elusive. Bobwhite population declines are attributed primarily to loss of habitat and land use changes. This, however, does not entirely explain population declines in areas intensively managed for bobwhites. Although previous research demonstrates the negative impact of red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) on northern bobwhites, the mechanisms underlying this effect are largely unknown. To meet the protein demands of early growth and development, bobwhite chicks predominantly consume small insects, of which ants are a substantial proportion. Fire ants alter ant community dynamics by often reducing native ant diversity and abundance while concurrently increasing the abundance of individuals. Fire ants have negative effects on chicks, but they are also a large potential protein source, making it difficult to disentangle their net effect on bobwhite chicks. To help investigate these effects, we conducted a laboratory experiment to understand (1) whether or not bobwhites consume fire ants, and (2) how the benefits of this consumption compare to the deleterious impacts of bobwhite chick exposure to fire ants. Sixty bobwhite chicks were separated into two groups of 30; one group was provided with starter feed only and the second group was provided with feed and fire ants. Bobwhite chicks were observed feeding on fire ants. Chicks that fed on fire ants had reduced survival and weight gain. Our results show that, while fire ants increase potential food sources for northern bobwhite, their net effect on bobwhite chicks is deleterious. This information will help inform land managers and commercial bobwhite rearing operations.

  9. Demographic response of cutlassfish (Trichiurus japonicus and T. nanhaiensis) to fluctuating palaeo-climate and regional oceanographic conditions in the China seas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Lijun; Zhang, Aibing; Weese, David; Li, Shengfa; Li, Jiansheng; Zhang, Jing

    2014-09-16

    Glacial cycles of the Quaternary have heavily influenced the demographic history of various species. To test the evolutionary impact of palaeo-geologic and climatic events on the demographic history of marine taxa from the coastal Western Pacific, we investigated the population structure and demographic history of two economically important fish (Trichiurus japonicus and T. nanhaiensis) that inhabit the continental shelves of the East China and northern South China Seas using the mitochondrial cytochrome b sequences and Bayesian Skyline Plot analyses. A molecular rate of 2.03% per million years, calibrated to the earliest flooding of the East China Sea shelf (70-140 kya), revealed a strong correlation between population sizes and primary production. Furthermore, comparison of the demographic history of T. japonicus populations from the East China and South China Seas provided evidence of the postglacial development of the Changjiang (Yangtze River) Delta. In the South China Sea, interspecific comparisons between T. japonicus and T. nanhaiensis indicated possible evolutionary responses to changes in palaeo-productivity that were influenced by East Asian winter monsoons. This study not only provides insight into the demographic history of cutlassfish but also reveals potential clues regarding the historic productivity and regional oceanographic conditions of the Western Pacific marginal seas.

  10. Demographic response of cutlassfish (Trichiurus japonicus and T. nanhaiensis) to fluctuating palaeo-climate and regional oceanographic conditions in the China seas

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Lijun; Zhang, Aibing; Weese, David; Li, Shengfa; Li, Jiansheng; Zhang, Jing

    2014-01-01

    Glacial cycles of the Quaternary have heavily influenced the demographic history of various species. To test the evolutionary impact of palaeo-geologic and climatic events on the demographic history of marine taxa from the coastal Western Pacific, we investigated the population structure and demographic history of two economically important fish (Trichiurus japonicus and T. nanhaiensis) that inhabit the continental shelves of the East China and northern South China Seas using the mitochondrial cytochrome b sequences and Bayesian Skyline Plot analyses. A molecular rate of 2.03% per million years, calibrated to the earliest flooding of the East China Sea shelf (70–140 kya), revealed a strong correlation between population sizes and primary production. Furthermore, comparison of the demographic history of T. japonicus populations from the East China and South China Seas provided evidence of the postglacial development of the Changjiang (Yangtze River) Delta. In the South China Sea, interspecific comparisons between T. japonicus and T. nanhaiensis indicated possible evolutionary responses to changes in palaeo-productivity that were influenced by East Asian winter monsoons. This study not only provides insight into the demographic history of cutlassfish but also reveals potential clues regarding the historic productivity and regional oceanographic conditions of the Western Pacific marginal seas. PMID:25223336

  11. Analysis of the essential oil of Dipsacus japonicus flowering aerial parts and its insecticidal activity against Sitophilus zeamais and Tribolium castaneum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhi Long; Jiang, Guo Hua; Zhou, Ligang; Liu, Qi Zhi

    2013-01-01

    Water-distilled essential oil from the aerial parts of Dipsacus japonicus Miq. (Dipsacaceae) at the flowering stage was analysed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Forty-six compounds, accounting for 96.76% of the total oil, were identified and the main compounds of the essential oil were linalool (11.78%), trans-geraniol (8.58%), 1,8-cineole (7.91%), beta-caryophyllene (5.58%), alpha-terpineol (5.32%), beta-selinene (5.15%), and spathulenol (5.04%). The essential oil of D. japonicus possessed contact toxicity against two grain storage insects, Sitophilus zeamais and Tribolium castaneum adults, with LD50 values of 18.32 microg/ adult and 13.45 microg/adult, respectively. The essential oil of D. japonicus also exhibited pronounced fumigant toxicity against S. zeamais (LC50 = 10.11 mg/l air) and T. castaneum adults (LC50 = 5.26 mg/l air). Of the three major compounds, 1,8-cineole exhibited stronger fumigant toxicity than the crude essential oil against S. zeamais and T. castaneum adults with LC50 values of 2.96 mg/l air and 4.86 mg/l air, respectively.

  12. Regulation of nuclear envelope dynamics via APC/C is necessary for the progression of semi-open mitosis in Schizosaccharomyces japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aoki, Keita; Shiwa, Yuh; Takada, Hiraku; Yoshikawa, Hirofumi; Niki, Hironori

    2013-09-01

    Three types of mitosis, which are open, closed or semi-open mitosis, function in eukaryotic cells, respectively. The open mitosis involves breakage of the nuclear envelope before nuclear division, whereas the closed mitosis proceeds with an intact nuclear envelope. To understand the mechanism and significance of three types of mitotic division in eukaryotes, we investigated the process of semi-open mitosis, in which the nuclear envelope is only partially broken, in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces japonicus. In anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C) mutants of Sz. japonicus, the nuclear envelope remained relatively intact during anaphase, resulting in impaired semi-open mitosis. As a suppressor of apc2 mutant, a mutation of Oar2, which was a 3-oxoacyl-[acyl carrier protein] reductase, was obtained. The level of the Oar2, which had two destruction-box motifs recognized by APC/C, was increased in APC/C mutants. Furthermore, the defective semi-open mitosis observed in an apc2 mutant was restored by mutated oar2+. Based on these findings, we propose that APC/C regulates the dynamics of the nuclear envelope through degradation of Oar2 dependent on APC/C during the metaphase-to-anaphase transition of semi-open mitosis in Sz. japonicus. © 2013 The Authors Genes to Cells © 2013 by the Molecular Biology Society of Japan and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  13. DNA methylation levels analysis in four tissues of sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus based on fluorescence-labeled methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (F-MSAP) during aestivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Ye; Chen, Muyan; Storey, Kenneth B; Sun, Lina; Yang, Hongsheng

    2015-03-01

    DNA methylation plays an important role in regulating transcriptional change in response to environmental stimuli. In the present study, DNA methylation levels of tissues of the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus were analyzed by the fluorescence-labeled methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (F-MSAP) technique over three stages of the aestivation cycle. Overall, a total of 26,963 fragments were amplified including 9112 methylated fragments among four sea cucumber tissues using 18 pairs of selective primers. Results indicated an average DNA methylation level of 33.79% for A. japonicus. The incidence of DNA methylation was different across tissue types in the non-aestivation stage: intestine (30.16%), respiratory tree (27.61%), muscle (27.94%) and body wall (56.25%). Our results show that hypermethylation accompanied deep-aestivation in A. japonicus, which suggests that DNA methylation may have an important role in regulating global transcriptional suppression during aestivation. Further analysis indicated that the main DNA modification sites were focused on intestine and respiratory tree tissues and that full-methylation but not hemi-methylation levels exhibited significant increases in the deep-aestivation stage. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. ROS production in homogenate from the body wall of sea cucumber Stichopus japonicus under UVA irradiation: ESR spin-trapping study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Hang; Dong, Xiu-fang; Zhao, Ya-ping; Li, Nan; Fu, Hui; Feng, Ding-ding; Liu, Li; Yu, Chen-xu

    2016-02-01

    Sea cucumber Stichopus japonicus (S. japonicus) shows a strong ability of autolysis, which leads to severe deterioration in sea cucumber quality during processing and storage. In this study, to further characterize the mechanism of sea cucumber autolysis, hydroxyl radical production induced by ultraviolet A (UVA) irradiation was investigated. Homogenate from the body wall of S. japonicas was prepared and subjected to UVA irradiation at room temperature. Electron Spin Resonance (ESR) spectra of the treated samples were subsequently recorded. The results showed that hydroxyl radicals (OH) became more abundant while the time of UVA treatment and the homogenate concentration were increased. Addition of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, EDTA, desferal, NaN3 and D2O to the homogenate samples led to different degrees of inhibition on OH production. Metal cations and pH also showed different effects on OH production. These results indicated that OH was produced in the homogenate with a possible pathway as follows: O2(-) → H2O2 → OH, suggesting that OH might be a critical factor in UVA-induced S. japonicus autolysis. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Insecticide transfer efficiency and lethal load in Argentine ants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hooper-Bui, L.M.; Kwok, E.S.C.; Buchholz, B.A.; Rust, M.K.; Eastmond, D.A.; Vogel, J.S.

    2015-01-01

    Trophallaxis between individual worker ants and the toxicant load in dead and live Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) in colonies exposed to fipronil and hydramethylnon experimental baits were examined using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). About 50% of the content of the crop containing trace levels of 14 C-sucrose, 14 C-hydramethylnon, and 14 C-fipronil was shared between single donor and recipient ants. Dead workers and queens contained significantly more hydramethylnon (122.7 and 22.4 amol/μg ant, respectively) than did live workers and queens (96.3 and 10.4 amol/μg ant, respectively). Dead workers had significantly more fipronil (420.3 amol/μg ant) than did live workers (208.5 amol/μg ant), but dead and live queens had equal fipronil levels (59.5 and 54.3 amol/μg ant, respectively). The distribution of fipronil differed within the bodies of dead and live queens; the highest amounts of fipronil were recovered in the thorax of dead queens whereas live queens had the highest levels in the head. Resurgence of polygynous ant colonies treated with hydramethylnon baits may be explained by queen survival resulting from sublethal doses due to a slowing of trophallaxis throughout the colony. Bait strategies and dose levels for controlling insect pests need to be based on the specific toxicant properties and trophic strategies for targeting the entire colony.

  16. Disease dynamics in a specialized parasite of ant societies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Sandra Breum; Ferrari, Matthew; Evans, Harry C.

    2012-01-01

    Coevolution between ant colonies and their rare specialized parasites are intriguing, because lethal infections of workers may correspond to tolerable chronic diseases of colonies, but the parasite adaptations that allow stable coexistence with ants are virtually unknown. We explore the trade......-offs experienced by Ophiocordyceps parasites manipulating ants into dying in nearby graveyards. We used field data from Brazil and Thailand to parameterize and fit a model for the growth rate of graveyards. We show that parasite pressure is much lower than the abundance of ant cadavers suggests...

  17. Improved Ant Colony Clustering Algorithm and Its Performance Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Wei

    2016-01-01

    Clustering analysis is used in many disciplines and applications; it is an important tool that descriptively identifies homogeneous groups of objects based on attribute values. The ant colony clustering algorithm is a swarm-intelligent method used for clustering problems that is inspired by the behavior of ant colonies that cluster their corpses and sort their larvae. A new abstraction ant colony clustering algorithm using a data combination mechanism is proposed to improve the computational efficiency and accuracy of the ant colony clustering algorithm. The abstraction ant colony clustering algorithm is used to cluster benchmark problems, and its performance is compared with the ant colony clustering algorithm and other methods used in existing literature. Based on similar computational difficulties and complexities, the results show that the abstraction ant colony clustering algorithm produces results that are not only more accurate but also more efficiently determined than the ant colony clustering algorithm and the other methods. Thus, the abstraction ant colony clustering algorithm can be used for efficient multivariate data clustering. PMID:26839533

  18. Insecticide transfer efficiency and lethal load in Argentine ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hooper-Bui, L. M.; Kwok, E. S. C.; Buchholz, B. A.; Rust, M. K.; Eastmond, D. A.; Vogel, J. S.

    2015-10-01

    Trophallaxis between individual worker ants and the toxicant load in dead and live Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) in colonies exposed to fipronil and hydramethylnon experimental baits were examined using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). About 50% of the content of the crop containing trace levels of 14C-sucrose, 14C-hydramethylnon, and 14C-fipronil was shared between single donor and recipient ants. Dead workers and queens contained significantly more hydramethylnon (122.7 and 22.4 amol/μg ant, respectively) than did live workers and queens (96.3 and 10.4 amol/μg ant, respectively). Dead workers had significantly more fipronil (420.3 amol/μg ant) than did live workers (208.5 amol/μg ant), but dead and live queens had equal fipronil levels (59.5 and 54.3 amol/μg ant, respectively). The distribution of fipronil differed within the bodies of dead and live queens; the highest amounts of fipronil were recovered in the thorax of dead queens whereas live queens had the highest levels in the head. Resurgence of polygynous ant colonies treated with hydramethylnon baits may be explained by queen survival resulting from sublethal doses due to a slowing of trophallaxis throughout the colony. Bait strategies and dose levels for controlling insect pests need to be based on the specific toxicant properties and trophic strategies for targeting the entire colony.

  19. Insecticide transfer efficiency and lethal load in Argentine ants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hooper-Bui, L.M. [Department of Environmental Science, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803 (United States); Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521 (United States); Kwok, E.S.C. [Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521 (United States); Buchholz, B.A., E-mail: buchholz2@llnl.gov [Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94551 (United States); Department of Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616 (United States); Rust, M.K. [Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521 (United States); Eastmond, D.A. [Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521 (United States); Vogel, J.S. [Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94551 (United States)

    2015-10-15

    Trophallaxis between individual worker ants and the toxicant load in dead and live Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) in colonies exposed to fipronil and hydramethylnon experimental baits were examined using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). About 50% of the content of the crop containing trace levels of {sup 14}C-sucrose, {sup 14}C-hydramethylnon, and {sup 14}C-fipronil was shared between single donor and recipient ants. Dead workers and queens contained significantly more hydramethylnon (122.7 and 22.4 amol/μg ant, respectively) than did live workers and queens (96.3 and 10.4 amol/μg ant, respectively). Dead workers had significantly more fipronil (420.3 amol/μg ant) than did live workers (208.5 amol/μg ant), but dead and live queens had equal fipronil levels (59.5 and 54.3 amol/μg ant, respectively). The distribution of fipronil differed within the bodies of dead and live queens; the highest amounts of fipronil were recovered in the thorax of dead queens whereas live queens had the highest levels in the head. Resurgence of polygynous ant colonies treated with hydramethylnon baits may be explained by queen survival resulting from sublethal doses due to a slowing of trophallaxis throughout the colony. Bait strategies and dose levels for controlling insect pests need to be based on the specific toxicant properties and trophic strategies for targeting the entire colony.

  20. Evolution and ecology of directed aerial descent in arboreal ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanoviak, Stephen P; Munk, Yonatan; Dudley, Robert

    2011-12-01

    Directed aerial descent (DAD) is used by a variety of arboreal animals to escape predators, to remain in the canopy, and to access resources. Here, we build upon the discovery of DAD in ants of tropical canopies by summarizing its known phylogenetic distribution among ant genera, and within both the subfamily Pseudomyrmecinae and the genus Cephalotes. DAD has multiple evolutionary origins in ants, occurring independently in numerous genera in the subfamilies Myrmicinae, Formicinae, and Pseudomyrmecinae. Ablation experiments and video recordings of ants in a vertical wind tunnel showed that DAD in Cephalotes atratus is achieved via postural changes, specifically orientation of the legs and gaster. The occurrence of DAD in Formicinae indicates that the presence of a postpetiole is not essential for the behavior. Evidence to date indicates that gliding behavior is accomplished by visual targeting mediated by the compound eyes, and is restricted to diurnally active ants that nest in trees. Occlusion of ocelli in Pseudomyrmex gracilis workers had no effect on their success or performance in gliding. Experimental assessment of the fate of ants that fall to the understory showed that ants landing in water are 15 times more likely to suffer lethal attacks than are ants landing in leaf litter. Variation in both the aerodynamic mechanisms and selective advantages of DAD merits further study given the broad taxonomic diversity of arboreal ants that engage in this intriguing form of flight.