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Sample records for anuran amphibian xenopus

  1. Delayed fertilization of anuran amphibian (Xenopus) eggs leads to reduced numbers of primordial germ cells

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    Wakahara, M.; Neff, A. W.; Malacinski, G. M.

    1984-01-01

    Several media were tested for the extent to which they promoted high fertilization efficiencies in ovulated, stripped Xenopus eggs. One medium was selected for maintaining eggs in a 'delayed fertilization' (DelF) condition. DelF eggs displayed several unusual characteristics, including shift of the center of gravity, prominent sperm entrance site, and occasional polyspermy. The frequency of normal pattern formation varied according to the length of time eggs were maintained in the DelF condition. Various developmental abnormalities were observed during gastrulation, neurulation, and organogenesis. Most abnormalities appeared, however, to be related to morphogenesis of the endoderm. Primordial germ cell (PGC) development was examined in DelF eggs which displayed normal external morphological features at the swimming tadpole stage. PGC counts were usually normal in short-duration (eg, 5 hr) DelF eggs, but frequently substantially reduced or completely diminished in longer-duration (eg, 25h) tadpoles. Six spawnings were compared and shown to exhibit considerable variability in fertility, morphogenesis, and PGC development. Yolk platelet shifts and developmental parameters were examined in two additional spawnings. The subcortical cytoplasm in which the germ plasm is normally localized appeared to be disrupted in longer duration DelF eggs. That observation may account for low PGC counts in DelF tadpoles.

  2. Evolutionary causes and consequences of sequential polyandry in anuran amphibians.

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    Byrne, Phillip G; Roberts, J Dale

    2012-02-01

    Among anuran amphibians (frogs and toads), there are two types of polyandry: simultaneous polyandry, where sperm from multiple males compete to fertilize eggs, and sequential polyandry, where eggs from a single female are fertilized by multiple males in a series of temporally separate mating events, and sperm competition is absent. Here we review the occurrence of sequential polyandry in anuran amphibians, outline theoretical explanations for the evolution of this mating system and discuss potential evolutionary implications. Sequential polyandry has been reported in a limited number of anurans, but its widespread taxonomic and geographic distribution suggests it may be common. There have been no empirical studies that have explicitly investigated the evolutionary consequences of sequential polyandry in anurans, but species with this mating pattern share an array of behavioural, morphological and physiological characteristics, suggesting that there has been common sexual selection on their reproductive system. Sequential polyandry may have a number of adaptive benefits, including spreading the risk of brood failure in unpredictable environments, insuring against male infertility, or providing genetic benefits, either through good genes, intrinsic compatibility or genetic diversity effects. Anurans with sequential polyandry provide untapped opportunities for innovative research approaches that will contribute significantly to understanding anuran evolution and also, more broadly, to the development of sexual-selection and life-history theory. © 2011 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2011 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  3. Dual processing of sulfated steroids in the olfactory system of an anuran amphibian

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    Alfredo eSansone

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Chemical communication is widespread in amphibians, but if compared to later diverging tetrapods the available functional data is limited. The existing information on the vomeronasal system of anurans is particularly sparse. Amphibians represent a transitional stage in the evolution of the olfactory system. Most species have anatomically separated main and vomeronasal systems, but recent studies have shown that in anurans their molecular separation is still underway. Sulfated steroids function as migratory pheromones in lamprey and have recently been identified as natural vomeronasal stimuli in rodents. Here we identified sulfated steroids as the first known class of vomeronasal stimuli in the amphibian Xenopus laevis. We show that sulfated steroids are detected and concurrently processed by the two distinct olfactory subsystems of larval Xenopus laevis, the main olfactory system and the vomeronasal system. Our data revealed a similar but partially different processing of steroid-induced responses in the two systems. Differences of detection thresholds suggest that the two information channels are not just redundant, but rather signal different information. Furthermore, we found that larval and adult animals excrete multiple sulfated compounds with physical properties consistent with sulfated steroids. Breeding tadpole and frog water including these compounds activated a large subset of sensory neurons

  4. Anuran amphibians in an Atlantic Forest area at Serra do Tabuleiro, Santa Catarina, Brazil

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    Milena Wachlevski; Luciana Kreutz Erdtmann; Paulo Christiano de Anchietta Garcia

    2014-01-01

    The Atlantic Forest is a priority area for the conservation of amphibians, with some regions already showing knowledge gaps. We analyzed the composition and richness of anuran species in an area of dense ombrophilous forest at Serra do Tabuleiro, the seasonal richness variation, and the daily activity of males during vocalization shifts. We collected samples of anurans from two permanent ponds and from a track within the forest for 14 months. We recorded 32 anuran species,...

  5. One-sided limb preference is linked to alternating-limb locomotion in anuran amphibians.

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    Malashichev, Yegor B

    2006-11-01

    Amphibians provide a unique opportunity for identifying possible links between lateralized behaviors, locomotion, and phylogeny and for addressing the origin of lateralized behaviors of higher vertebrates. Five anuran species with different locomotive habits were tested for forelimb and hind limb preferences during 2 stereotyped behavior sequences--wiping a foreign object off their snout and righting themselves from the overturned position. The experiments were analyzed in a broader context of previous findings on anuran lateralization involving 11 anuran species that were studied within the same experimental paradigms. This analysis shows that one-sided forelimb and hind limb motor lateralization in anurans is strongly associated with alternating-limb locomotion and other unilateral limb activity. Conclusions reached for anuran amphibians may be applicable to other vertebrates possessing paired appendages-the degree of lateralization in motor response depends on the mode of locomotion used by a species.

  6. Kisspeptin regulates steroidogenesis and spermiation in anuran amphibian.

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    Chianese, Rosanna; Ciaramella, Vincenza; Fasano, Silvia; Pierantoni, Riccardo; Meccariello, Rosaria

    2017-10-01

    Kisspeptin (Kp) system has a recognized role in the control of gonadotropic axis, at multiple levels. Recently, a major focus of research has been to assess any direct activity of this system on testis physiology. Using the amphibian anuran, Pelophylax esculentus, as animal model, we demonstrate - for the first time in non-mammalian vertebrate - that testis expresses both Kiss-1 and Gpr54 proteins during the annual sexual cycle and that ex vivo 17B-estradiol (E2, 10(-6) M) increases both proteins over control group. Since the interstitium is the main site of localization of both ligand and receptor, its possible involvement in the regulation of steroidogenesis has been evaluated by ex vivo treatment of testis pieces with increasing doses of Kp-10 (10(-9)-10(-6) M). Treatments have been carried out in February - when a new wave of spermatogenesis occurs - and affect the expression of key enzymes of steroidogenesis inducing opposite effects on testosterone and estradiol intratesticular levels. Morphological analysis of Kp-treated testes reveals higher number of tubules with spermatozoa detached from Sertoli cells than control group and the expression of connexin 43, the main junctional protein in testis, is deeply affected by the treatment. In spite of the effects on spermatozoa observed ex vivo, in vivo administration of Kp-10 has been unable to induce sperm release in cloacal fluid. In conclusion, we demonstrate Kp-10 effects on steroidogenesis with possible involvement in the balance between testosterone and estradiol levels, and report new Kp-10 activities on spermatozoa-Sertoli cell interaction. © 2017 Society for Reproduction and Fertility.

  7. First report of freshwater leech Helobdella stagnalis (Rhyncobdellida: Glossiphoniidae as a parasite of an anuran amphibian

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    Rocco Tiberti

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available The authors describe the first case of parasitism on anuran amphibian, Rana temporaria, by the freshwater leech Helobdella stagnalis, in a mountainous area of northwestern Italy. The presence of skin abrasions and haemorrhages attributable to leech attack discards the hypothesis of a simple phoretic relationship between leech and frog.

  8. Anuran amphibians in an Atlantic Forest area at Serra do Tabuleiro, Santa Catarina, Brazil

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    Milena Wachlevski

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The Atlantic Forest is a priority area for the conservation of amphibians, with some regions already showing knowledge gaps. We analyzed the composition and richness of anuran species in an area of dense ombrophilous forest at Serra do Tabuleiro, the seasonal richness variation, and the daily activity of males during vocalization shifts. We collected samples of anurans from two permanent ponds and from a track within the forest for 14 months. We recorded 32 anuran species, among which Aplastodiscus cochranae, A. ehrhardti, and Hypsiboas poaju are included in the list of endangered species in the state. The highest number of species was associated to spring and summer. The most frequent anuran species were H. bischoffi, Adenomera araucaria, and Physalaemus nanus, registered throughout the study period. The daily activity of males was concentrated between 8 p.m. and 12 p.m., but some species keep vocalizing overnight, indicating that vocal activity can differ among species undergoing the same weather conditions. The diversity of anurans recorded in our study was high, including endangered species and species with poor biological knowledge, reinforcing the relevance of Serra do Tabuleiro as a priority area for preserving the Atlantic Forest.

  9. Local adaptation of an anuran amphibian to osmotically stressful environments.

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    Gomez-Mestre, Ivan; Tejedo, Miguel

    2003-08-01

    Water salinity is an intense physiological stress for amphibians. However, some species, such as Bufo calamita, breed in both brackish and freshwater environments. Because selection under environmentally stressful conditions can promote local adaptation of populations, we examined the existence of geographic variation in water salinity tolerance among B. calamita populations from either fresh or brackish water ponds in Southern Spain. Comparisons were made throughout various ontogenetic stages. A combination of field transplant and common garden experiments showed that water salinity decreased survival probability of individuals in all populations, prolonged their larval period, and reduced their mass at metamorphosis. However, significant population x salinity interactions indicated that the population native to brackish water (Saline) had a higher salinity tolerance than the freshwater populations, suggesting local adaptation. Saline individuals transplanted to freshwater environments showed similar survival probabilities, length of larval period, and mass at metamorphosis than those native to freshwater. This indicates that increased tolerance to osmotic stress does not imply a loss of performance in freshwater, at least during the larval and juvenile phases. Despite the adaptive process apparently undergone by Saline, all populations still shared the same upper limit of embryonic stress tolerance (around 10 g/l), defining a window of salinity range within which selection can act. Significant differences in embryonic and larval survival in brackish water among sibships for all populations suggest the existence of a genetic basis for the osmotic tolerance.

  10. EFFECTS OF WATER QUALITY ON DEVELOPMENT OF XENOPUS LAEVIS: A FETAX ASSESSMENT OF SURFACE WATER ASSOCIATED WITH MALFORMATIONS IN NATIVE ANURANS

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    The purpose of this work was to determine if surface water from a site in Minnesota with malformed anurans was able to elicit adverse developmental effects in the Frog Embryo Teratogenesis Assay: Xenopus (FETAX)...

  11. Triclosan and anuran metamorphosis: no effect on thyroid-mediated metamorphosis in Xenopus laevis.

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    Fort, Douglas J; Rogers, Robert L; Gorsuch, Joseph W; Navarro, Lisa T; Peter, Robert; Plautz, James R

    2010-02-01

    Nieuwkoop and Faber stage 51 Xenopus laevis larvae were exposed for 21 days to four different concentrations of triclosan (TCS): <0.2 (control), 0.6, 1.5, 7.2, or 32.3 microg TCS/l. Primary endpoints were survival, hind limb length, body length (whole; snout to vent), developmental stage, wet whole body weight, and thyroid histology. Thyroid hormone (TH) concentrations were determined in whole thyroid and plasma samples from stage-matched exposure day 21 specimens. TH receptor-beta (TRbeta) expression was measured in stage-matched tail fin tissue samples collected at exposure days 0 and 21. Reduced larval growth occurred at exposure day 21 with 1.5 microg/l treatment. Larval developmental stage at exposure day 21 was not significantly different from controls based on observed parameters. Thyroid histology was not affected by TCS, and thyroxine (T4) levels in thyroid glands or plasma were not different from controls. A concentration-dependent increase in TRbeta expression in exposure day 21 larvae was not detected. However, increased expression was found in stage-matched larvae exposed to 1.5 or 7.2 microg TCS/l. Our study indicates that environmentally relevant TCS concentrations do not alter the normal course of thyroid-mediated metamorphosis in this standard anuran model.

  12. Plasticity of lung development in the amphibian, Xenopus laevis

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    Christopher S. Rose

    2013-10-01

    Contrary to previous studies, we found that Xenopus laevis tadpoles raised in normoxic water without access to air can routinely complete metamorphosis with lungs that are either severely stunted and uninflated or absent altogether. This is the first demonstration that lung development in a tetrapod can be inhibited by environmental factors and that a tetrapod that relies significantly on lung respiration under unstressed conditions can be raised to forego this function without adverse effects. This study compared lung development in untreated, air-deprived (AD and air-restored (AR tadpoles and frogs using whole mounts, histology, BrdU labeling of cell division and antibody staining of smooth muscle actin. We also examined the relationship of swimming and breathing behaviors to lung recovery in AR animals. Inhibition and recovery of lung development occurred at the stage of lung inflation. Lung recovery in AR tadpoles occurred at a predictable and rapid rate and correlated with changes in swimming and breathing behavior. It thus presents a new experimental model for investigating the role of mechanical forces in lung development. Lung recovery in AR frogs was unpredictable and did not correlate with behavioral changes. Its low frequency of occurrence could be attributed to developmental, physical and behavioral changes, the effects of which increase with size and age. Plasticity of lung inflation at tadpole stages and loss of plasticity at postmetamorphic stages offer new insights into the role of developmental plasticity in amphibian lung loss and life history evolution.

  13. Photoenhanced toxicity of a carbamate insecticide to early life stage anuran amphibians

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    Zaga, A.; Little, E.E.; Rabeni, C.F.; Ellersieck, Mark R.

    1998-01-01

    African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) and gray tree frog (Hyla versicolor) embryos and tadpoles were exposed to sublethal levels of carbaryl, a broad-spectrum insecticide, and ultraviolet radiation to determine interactive and sublethal effects. Ultraviolet intensity (UV-B [285-320 nm] plus LIV-A [321-400 nm]) was controlled with various types of plastic filters and quantified with a scanning spectroradiometer. Significant differences in swimming activity and mortality of both species were evident during the 96-h experiments. Ultraviolet-B radiation alone and carbaryl in the presence of UV-B significantly decreased swimming activity of both species. As little as 1.5% intensity of ambient solar UV-B radiation photoactivated carbaryl. Toxicity of 7.5 mg/L earbaryl increased by 10-fold in the presence of UV-B in all species and life stages tested. Our results indicate that photoenhancement by solar UV-B radiation should be considered when evaluating the toxicity of contaminants to amphibians and other organisms.

  14. North American Amphibian Monitoring Program (NAAMP) anuran detection data from the eastern and central United States (1994-2015)

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    Foreman, Tasha M.; Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Weir, Linda A.

    2017-01-01

    The North American Amphibian Monitoring Program (NAAMP) was a collaborative citizen science effort between the US Geological Survey (USGS) and 26 Partners (state agencies, universities, and nonprofits) for monitoring calling amphibian populations over much of the eastern and central United States. Initiated in 1997 in response to needs set forth by the Declining Amphibian Populations Task Force in 1994 regarding increased anecdotal observations of global amphibian declines, NAAMP was designed to provide scientifically and statistically defensible, long-term distribution and trends data for calling amphibian populations at the state and regional level in the United States. The USGS discontinued coordination of the program at the conclusion of the 2015 field season. Modeled after the USGS Breeding Bird Survey, NAAMP used a network of random and state-requested non-random roadside routes with listening stops near wetlands to collect frog and toad occupancy and environmental data in predominantly unprotected lands. Data collection and verification under a unified protocol began in 2001 and continued through 2015 with the addition of observer assessment scores in 2006. The USGS utilized verified 2001-2015 data from random routes to produce occupancy trend reports for anuran species of the Northeast, Southeast, and Midwest regions and states of the United States. This dataset includes all raw, verified NAAMP data from 1997 through 2015 and also raw, verified data from Partner States that precede the program (1994-1996). Data preceding 2001 followed variations of the unified protocol. Please refer to metadata for additional information regarding protocol and a list of the represented states and see the Species.csv file for the list of 58 represented species.

  15. Novel vasotocin-regulated aquaporins expressed in the ventral skin of semiaquatic anuran amphibians: evolution of cutaneous water-absorbing mechanisms.

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    Saitoh, Yasunori; Ogushi, Yuji; Shibata, Yuki; Okada, Reiko; Tanaka, Shigeyasu; Suzuki, Masakazu

    2014-06-01

    Until now, it was believed that only one form of arginine vasotocin (AVT)-regulated aquaporin (AQP) existed to control water absorption from the ventral skin of semiaquatic anuran amphibians, eg, AQP-rj3(a) in Rana japonica. In the present study, we have identified a novel form of ventral skin-type AQP, AQP-rj3b, in R. japonica by cDNA cloning. The oocyte swelling assay confirmed that AQP-rj3b can facilitate water permeability. Both AQP-rj3a and AQP-rj3b were expressed abundantly in the ventral hindlimb skin and weakly in the ventral pelvic skin. For the hindlimb skin, water permeability was increased in response to AVT, although the hydroosmotic response was not statistically significant in the pelvic skin. Isoproterenol augmented water permeability of the hindlimb skin, and the response was inhibited by propranolol. These events were well correlated with the intracellular trafficking of the AQPs. Immunohistochemistry showed that both AQP-rj3 proteins were translocated from the cytoplasmic pool to the apical membrane of principal cells in the first-reacting cell layer of the hindlimb skin after stimulation with AVT and/or isoproterenol. The type-b AQP was also found in R. (Lithobates) catesbeiana and R. (Pelophylax) nigromaculata. Molecular phylogenetic analysis indicated that the type-a is closely related to ventral skin-type AQPs from aquatic Xenopus, whereas the type-b is closer to the AQPs from terrestrial Bufo and Hyla, suggesting that the AQPs from terrestrial species are not the orthologue of the AQPs from aquatic species. Based on these results, we propose a model for the evolution of cutaneous water-absorbing mechanisms in association with AQPs.

  16. Wetland Reserve Program enhances site occupancy and species richness in assemblages of anuran amphibians in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley, USA

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    Walls, Susan C.; Waddle, J. Hardin; Faulkner, Stephen P.

    2014-01-01

    We measured amphibian habitat use to quantify the effectiveness of conservation practices implemented under the Wetland Reserve Program (WRP), an initiative of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. From February to June 2007, we quantified calling male anurans in cultivated cropland, former cultivated cropland restored through the WRP, and mature bottomland hardwood forest. Sites were located in two watersheds within the Mississippi Alluvial Valley of Arkansas and Louisiana, USA. We estimated detection probability and site occupancy within each land use category using a Bayesian hierarchical model of community species occurrence, and derived an estimate of species richness at each site. Relative to sites in cultivated cropland, nine of 1 l species detected were significantly more likely to occur at WRP sites and six were more likely to occur at forested sites. Species richness estimates were also higher for WRP and forested sites, compared to those in cultivated cropland. Almost half (45 %) of the species responded positively to both WRP and forested sites, indicating that patches undergoing restoration may be important transitional habitats. Wetland Reserve Program conservation practices are successful in restoring suitable habitat and reducing the impact of cultivation-induced habitat loss on amphibians in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley.

  17. Anuran amphibians of the urban region of Altamira (Oriental Amazonia, state of Pará, Brazil.

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    Flávio Bezerra Barros

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available The present study aimed to take stock of the species of anurans in three localities of the urban region of Altamira, a municipal district in the west of the state of Pará (Oriental Amazonia. Collections were made between January and June of 2004. Fifteen species were recorded during the study. The family Hylidae was the most represented, with eight species. The data was compatible with the degree of conservation of the collection areas. The necessity of making new fauna inventories in all Brazilian biomes is of extreme urgency, particularly in the Amazon, given its vast extension and lack of inventories.

  18. Limb Regeneration in Xenopus laevis Froglet

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    Makoto Suzuki

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Limb regeneration in amphibians is a representative process of epimorphosis. This type of organ regeneration, in which a mass of undifferentiated cells referred to as the “blastema” proliferate to restore the lost part of the amputated organ, is distinct from morphallaxis as observed, for instance, in Hydra, in which rearrangement of pre-existing cells and tissues mainly contribute to regeneration. In contrast to complete limb regeneration in urodele amphibians, limb regeneration in Xenopus, an anuran amphibian, is restricted. In this review of some aspects regarding adult limb regeneration in Xenopus laevis, we suggest that limb regeneration in adult Xenopus, which is pattern/tissue deficient, also represents epimorphosis.

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

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

    2010-01-01

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

  20. Augmentation and Maximization of Per-Capita Call Active Space Through Chorusing in Anuran Amphibians

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    Fox, James Henderson

    It is poorly understood why anuran males form choruses. Although various reasons have been proposed, empirical support is lacking. This study proposed, developed, and evaluated the chorus active space (CAS) augmentation theory, which states that anuran choruses are formed and organized so as to augment and maximize per-capita CAS beyond that which could be achieved by an isolated male. This study involved three phases. First, computer models of hypothetical choruses indicated that CAS, as defined, is necessarily augmented for chorusing males. These models provided the necessary information from which optimal interindividual distances (IIDs), corresponding to maximal CASs, could be estimated differentially for linear and planar chorus configurations. The second phase examined Acris crepitans and Hyla cinerea choruses for optimal intermale spacing. A. crepitans, which utilizes mixed chorus geometries (either linear or planar, depending on available resources), cannot optimize IID within any observed pond-type breeding site; however, observed spacing would be optimal along a stream bank, where chorusing often occurs, for a chorus population of 61, approximately the minimum value at which CAS characteristics are stabile. H. cinerea males, which form only planar choruses, space orders of magnitude closer than optimal. Suboptimal spacing in this species is understandable, considering the would-be size of an optimally spaced chorus. In the final phase of this study, a database of CAS-related data was compiled mostly from published sources and was examined for variable relationships predicted on the basis of CAS augmentation theory. The findings suggest that very few planar geometry species may maximize CAS; whereas, a much larger number of mixed geometry species, perhaps as well as linear geometry species, may maximize CAS. These findings loosely agree with the field study findings and suggest that CAS augmentation theory applies to at least a subset of anuran species and

  1. Toxicity of two insecticides to California, USA, anurans and its relevance to declining amphibian populations

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    Sparling, D.W.; Fellers, G.M.

    2009-01-01

    Contaminants have been associated with population declines of several amphibian species in California (USA). Pesticides from the Central Valley of California are transported by winds into the Sierra Nevada Mountains and precipitate into wet meadows where amphibians breed. The present study examined the chronic toxicity of two of the insecticides most commonly used in the Central Valley and found in the mountains, chlorpyrifos and endosulfan, to larval Pacific treefrogs (Pseudacris regilla) and foothill yellow-legged frogs (Rana boylii) and discusses the implications of this toxicity to declining amphibian populations. Larvae were exposed to the pesticides from Gosner stages 25 to 26 through metamorphosis. The estimated median lethal concentration (LC50) for chlorpyrifos was 365 ??g/L in P. regilla and 66.5 ??g/L for R. boylii. Time to metamorphosis increased with concentration of chlorpyrifos in both species, and cholinesterase activity declined with exposure concentration in metamorphs of both species at Gosner stages 42 to 46. For endosulfan, the estimated LC50 was 15.6 ??g/L for P. regilla and 0.55 ??g/L for R. boylii. All R. boylii exposed to concentrations of greater than 0.8 ??g/L died before they entered metamorphosis. Pseudacris regilla remains relatively abundant and is broadly distributed throughout California. In contrast, R. boylii is among the species experiencing severe population declines. The present study adds to the increasing evidence that pesticides are very harmful to amphibians living in areas that are miles from sources of pesticide application. ?? 2009 SETAC.

  2. Ghrelin receptor in two species of anuran amphibian, bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana and Japanese tree frog (Hyla japonica

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    Hiroyuki eKaiya

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available We identified cDNA encoding a functional growth hormone secretagogue-receptor 1a (GHS-R1a, ghrelin receptor in two species of anuran amphibian, bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana and Japanese tree frog (Hyla japonica. Deduced receptor protein for bullfrog and Japanese tree frog (tree frog was comprised of 374- and 371-amino acids, respectively. The two receptors showed 86% identity with each other, and phylogenetic analysis revealed that the two receptors belong to the same category with tetrapods. In functional analyses, ghrelin and GHS-R1a agonists increased intracellular Ca2+ concentration in HEK293 cell that transfected each receptor cDNA, but ligand selectivity of ghrelin with Ser3 and Thr3 was not observed between the two receptors. Bullfrog GHS-R1a mRNA was mainly expressed in the brain, stomach and testis. In the brain, the gene expression was detected in the diencephalon and mesencephalon, but not in the pituitary. Tree frog GHS-R1a mRNA was predominantly expressed in the gastrointestinal tract and ovary, but not detected in the pituitary. In bullfrog stomach, GHS-R1a mRNA expression increased at 10 days after fasting, but not in the brain. In tree frog, GHS-R1a mRNA expression increased in the brain, stomach and ventral skin by 10-days fasting, and in the stomach and ventral skin by a dehydration treatment. Intracerebroventricular injection of ghrelin in dehydrated tree frog did not affect water absorption from the ventral skin. These results suggest that ghrelin is involved in energy homeostasis and possibly in osmoregulation in frogs.

  3. Evaluation of the developmental and reproductive toxicity of methoxychlor using an anuran (Xenopus tropicalis) chronic exposure model.

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    Fort, Douglas J; Thomas, John H; Rogers, Robert L; Noll, Andra; Spaulding, Clinton D; Guiney, Patrick D; Weeks, John A

    2004-10-01

    The chronic toxicity of methoxychlor to the South African clawed frog, Xenopus (Silurana) tropicalis, was evaluated using a life cycle approach. The chronic exposure period ranged from mid-cell blastula stage [NF (Nieuwkoop and Faber, 1994) stage 8] to 90 days of exposure, during which time the organisms generally completed metamorphosis and emerged as juvenile frogs. Methoxychlor concentrations ranged from 1 to 100 micrograms/l. Methoxychlor concentrations >10 micrograms/l caused delayed development. Organisms exposed to 10 micrograms/l methoxychlor for 30 days showed enlarged thyroid glands with follicular hyperplasia. No increase in mortality or external malformation was observed at any of the test concentrations during early embryo-larval development (NF stage 8 to NF stage 46; ca. 2 days exposure). A concentration-dependent increase in external malformations and internal abnormalities of the liver and gonads were noted after 90 days of exposure, however. Skewing of the sex ratio toward the female gender decreased ovary weight and number of oocytes, and increased oocyte immaturity and necrosis were noted at methoxychlor concentrations of 100 micrograms/l. Reductions in testis weight and sperm cell count were also detected at 100 micrograms/l methoxychlor. Results from these studies suggested that methoxychlor was capable of altering the rate of larval development, but did not adversely affect early embryo-larval development (2 days of exposure) as manifested in external malformations. Internal malformations, increases in the ratio of phenotypic females, were induced by chronic methoxychlor exposure. In addition, reproductive endpoints, most notably in the female specimens, were adversely affected by methoxychlor exposure. These studies add to the standardization and validation of a useful amphibian test methods capable of evaluating both reproductive and developmental effects of potential endocrine disrupting chemicals over a life cycle exposure.

  4. Genotyping sex in the amphibian, Xenopus (Silurana) tropicalis, for endocrine disruptor bioassays.

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    Olmstead, Allen W; Lindberg-Livingston, Annelie; Degitz, Sigmund J

    2010-06-01

    Endocrine disrupting compounds have been shown to alter gonad differentiation in both male and female individuals in amphibian, avian, fish, invertebrate, and reptile species. In some cases, these affected individuals are completely sex reversed and are morphologically indistinguishable from normal individuals of the opposite sex. Detecting shifts in sex ratios following chemical exposure often requires large numbers of organisms to achieve the necessary statistical power, especially in those species with genetic sex determination and homomorphic sex chromosomes (such as amphibians and many fish). The ability to assess the genetic sex of individuals would allow for detection of sex reversal (genotype-phenotype mismatches) that have greater statistical power compared to examining changes in sex ratios. Utilizing amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs), we developed a method for genotyping sex in the amphibian, Xenopus (Silurana) tropicalis, that can be incorporated into endocrine disruptor screening assays that examine the effects of chemicals on gonad differentiation. AFLPs from 512 primer pairs were assessed in one spawn of X. tropicalis. Each primer pair yielded, on average, 100 fragments. In total 17 sex-linked AFLPs were identified, isolated, and sequenced. A recombination map of these AFLPs was generated using over 300 individuals with four AFLPs having a recombination rate of 0% with regard to sex. A BLASTn search of the X. tropicalis genome using these AFLP sequences resulted in identification of sex-linked scaffolds. Areas of these scaffolds were searched for additional polymorphisms that could be utilized for genotyping sex. Retrospective and prospective strategies for incorporating genotyping sex in endocrine disruptor bioassays with X. tropicalis were developed. A Monte Carlo simulation comparing analyzing data as sex ratio shifts versus assessment of sex reversal using genotyping demonstrates the increase in statistical power that can be

  5. Amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) in coastal and montane California, USA Anurans

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    Fellers, Gary M.; Cole, Rebecca A.; Reinitz, David M.; Kleeman, Patrick M.

    2011-01-01

    We found amphibian chytrid fungus (Bd = Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) to be widespread within a coastalwatershed at Point Reyes National Seashore, California and within two high elevation watersheds at Yosemite NationalPark, California. Bd was associated with all six species that we sampled (Bufo boreas, B. canorus, Pseudacris regilla, Ranadraytonii, R. sierrae, and Lithobates catesbeianus). For those species sampled at 10 or more sites within a watershed, thepercentage of Bd-positive sites varied from a low of 20.7% for P. regilla at one Yosemite watershed to a high of 79.6% forP. regilla at the Olema watershed at Point Reyes. At Olema, the percent of Bd-positive water bodies declined each year ofour study (2005-2007). Because P. regilla was the only species found in all watersheds, we used that species to evaluatehabitat variables related to the sites where P. regilla was Bd-positive. At Olema, significant variables were year, length ofshoreline (perimeter), percentage cover of rooted vegetation, and water depth. At the two Yosemite watersheds, waterdepth, water temperature, and silt/mud were the most important covariates, though the importance of these three factorsdiffered between the two watersheds. The presence of Bd in species that are not declining suggests that some of theamphibians in our study were innately resistant to Bd, or had developed resistance after Bd became established.

  6. Neuromodulation and developmental plasticity in the locomotor system of anuran amphibians during metamorphosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sillar, Keith T; Combes, Denis; Ramanathan, Sankari; Molinari, Micol; Simmers, John

    2008-01-01

    Metamorphosis in frogs has long fascinated laymen and scientists alike. This remarkable developmental transformation involves the simultaneous remodelling of almost every organ in the body, including the gut, associated with a switch in diet from filter feeder to predator, and the visual system, from laterally-directed monocular to forward-directed binocular vision. In the context of locomotion there is the complete loss of the tail, the main structure involved in generating thrust during swimming in larvae, and the gain of the limbs which produce rhythmic extension-flexion kicks during swimming and jumping. Here we review recent evidence from experiments utilizing novel in vitro isolated preparations of the Xenopus laevis spinal cord and brainstem which remain viable for several days and can generate motor rhythms similar to those that would normally drive locomotion in vivo. The results indicate that the developing limb circuitry is born from within the existing axial-based network, which acts like a functional scaffold. Initially the limb activity shares the same left-right alternation coordination and relatively high frequency as the tail swimming network. Only later, once the limbs are fully functional, does the limb network break free to produce left-right synchrony of limb motoneuron bursting and with a different, slower cadence than the tail-based system. During the initial formation of the limb networks nitric oxide-producing neurons appear in the spinal cord, but occupy regions other than those in which the new limb circuitry is developing. Now exogenous nitric oxide facilitates locomotor activity, in contrast to its inhibitory effects on swimming at earlier larval stages of development.

  7. Southeast regional and state trends in anuran occupancy from calling survey data (2001-2013) from the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villena Carpio, Oswaldo; Royle, J. Andrew; Weir, Linda; Foreman, Tasha M.; Gazenski, Kimberly D.; Campbell Grant, Evan H.

    2016-01-01

    We present the first regional trends in anuran occupancy for eight states of the southeastern United States, based on 13 y (2001–2013) of North American Amphibian Monitoring Program (NAAMP) data. The NAAMP is a longterm monitoring program in which observers collect anuran calling observation data at fixed locations along random roadside routes. We assessed occupancy trends for 14 species. We found weak evidence for a general regional pattern of decline in calling anurans within breeding habitats along roads in the southeastern USA over the last 13 y. Two species had positive regional trends with 95% posterior intervals that did not include zero (Hyla cinerea and Pseudacris crucifer). Five other species also showed an increasing trend, while eight species showed a declining trend, although 95% posterior intervals included zero. We also assessed state level trends for 107 species/state combinations. Of these, 14 showed a significant decline and 12 showed a significant increase in occupancy (i.e., credible intervals did not include zero for these 26 trends).

  8. Amphibian (Xenopus laevis) tadpoles and adult frogs mount distinct interferon responses to the Frog Virus 3 ranavirus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wendel, Emily S; Yaparla, Amulya; Koubourli, Daphne V; Grayfer, Leon

    2017-03-01

    Infections of amphibians by Frog Virus 3 (FV3) and other ranavirus genus members are significantly contributing to the amphibian declines, yet much remains unknown regarding amphibian antiviral immunity. Notably, amphibians represent an important step in the evolution of antiviral interferon (IFN) cytokines as they are amongst the first vertebrates to possess both type I and type III IFNs. Accordingly, we examined the roles of type I and III IFNs in the skin of FV3-challenged amphibian Xenopus laevis) tadpoles and adult frogs. Interestingly, FV3-infected tadpoles mounted type III IFN responses, whereas adult frogs relied on type I IFN immunity. Subcutaneous administration of type I or type III IFNs offered short-term protection of tadpoles against FV3 and these type I and type III IFNs induced the expression of distinct antiviral genes in the tadpole skin. Moreover, subcutaneous injection of tadpoles with type III IFN significantly extended their survival and reduced FV3 dissemination. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Northeast regional and state trends in anuran occupancy from calling survey data (2001-2011) from the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weir, Linda A.; Royle, Andy; Gazenski, Kimberly D.; Villena Carpio, Oswaldo

    2014-01-01

    We present the first regional trends in anuran occupancy from North American Amphibian Monitoring Program (NAAMP) data from 11 northeastern states using an 11 years of data. NAAMP is a long-term monitoring program where observers collect data at assigned random roadside routes using a calling survey technique. We assessed occupancy trends for 17 species. Eight species had statistically significant regional trends, of these seven were negative (Anaxyrus fowleri, Acris crepitans, Pseudacris brachyphona, Pseudacris feriarum-kalmi complex, Lithobates palustris, Lithobates pipiens, and Lithobates sphenocephalus) and one was positive (Hyla versicolor-chrysoscelis complex). We also assessed state level trends for 101 species/state combinations, of these 29 showed a significant decline and nine showed a significant increase in occupancy.

  10. Sex reversal of the amphibian, Xenopus tropicalis, following larval exposure to an aromatase inhibitor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olmstead, Allen W; Kosian, Patricia A; Korte, Joseph J; Holcombe, Gary W; Woodis, Kacie K; Degitz, Sigmund J

    2009-01-31

    Aromatase is a steroidogenic enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of androgens to estrogens in vertebrates. Modulation of this enzyme's activity by xenobiotic exposure has been shown to adversely affect gonad differentiation in a number of diverse species. We hypothesized that exposure to the aromatase inhibitor, fadrozole, during the larval development of the tropical clawed frog, Xenopus tropicalis, would result in masculinization of the developing female gonad. Tadpoles were exposed to fadrozole at nominal concentrations from 1 to 64 microg/L in a flow-through system from sex ratio towards males at concentrations of 1 microg/L and above. No effects on time to metamorphosis, body mass, or body length were observed. A random subsample of frogs was raised to reproductive maturity (39 weeks post-fertilization) in control water. All frogs exposed as tadpoles to 16 microg/L fadrozole or greater possessed testes at sexual maturity. Intersexed gonads characterized by the presence of both testicular and ovarian tissue were observed in 12% of frogs in the 4 microg/L treatment. No differences in estradiol, testosterone, or vitellogenin plasma concentrations were observed in exposed males or females compared to controls. Females in the 4 microg/L treatment possessed a significantly greater percentage of pre-vitellogenic oocytes than controls and were significantly smaller in body mass. No differences in sperm counts were observed in exposed males compared to controls. Results from this study demonstrate that larval exposure to an aromatase inhibitor can result in the complete masculinization of female gonads. These masculinized females are phenotypically indistinguishable from normal males at adulthood. Lower levels of aromatase inhibition resulted in intersexed gonads and possible female reproductive impairment at adulthood. These results indicate that exposure of amphibians to xenobiotics capable of inhibiting aromatase would result in adverse reproductive consequences.

  11. Immune defenses against Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, a fungus linked to global amphibian declines, in the South African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramsey, Jeremy P; Reinert, Laura K; Harper, Laura K; Woodhams, Douglas C; Rollins-Smith, Louise A

    2010-09-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is a chytrid fungus that causes the lethal skin disease chytridiomycosis in amphibians. It is regarded as an emerging infectious disease affecting diverse amphibian populations in many parts of the world. Because there are few model amphibian species for immunological studies, little is known about immune defenses against B. dendrobatidis. We show here that the South African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, is a suitable model for investigating immunity to this pathogen. After an experimental exposure, a mild infection developed over 20 to 30 days and declined by 45 days postexposure. Either purified antimicrobial peptides or mixtures of peptides in the skin mucus inhibited B. dendrobatidis growth in vitro. Skin peptide secretion was maximally induced by injection of norepinephrine, and this treatment resulted in sustained skin peptide depletion and increased susceptibility to infection. Sublethal X-irradiation of frogs decreased leukocyte numbers in the spleen and resulted in greater susceptibility to infection. Immunization against B. dendrobatidis induced elevated pathogen-specific IgM and IgY serum antibodies. Mucus secretions from X. laevis previously exposed to B. dendrobatidis contained significant amounts of IgM, IgY, and IgX antibodies that bind to B. dendrobatidis. These data strongly suggest that both innate and adaptive immune defenses are involved in the resistance of X. laevis to lethal B. dendrobatidis infections.

  12. Immune Defenses against Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, a Fungus Linked to Global Amphibian Declines, in the South African Clawed Frog, Xenopus laevis▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramsey, Jeremy P.; Reinert, Laura K.; Harper, Laura K.; Woodhams, Douglas C.; Rollins-Smith, Louise A.

    2010-01-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is a chytrid fungus that causes the lethal skin disease chytridiomycosis in amphibians. It is regarded as an emerging infectious disease affecting diverse amphibian populations in many parts of the world. Because there are few model amphibian species for immunological studies, little is known about immune defenses against B. dendrobatidis. We show here that the South African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, is a suitable model for investigating immunity to this pathogen. After an experimental exposure, a mild infection developed over 20 to 30 days and declined by 45 days postexposure. Either purified antimicrobial peptides or mixtures of peptides in the skin mucus inhibited B. dendrobatidis growth in vitro. Skin peptide secretion was maximally induced by injection of norepinephrine, and this treatment resulted in sustained skin peptide depletion and increased susceptibility to infection. Sublethal X-irradiation of frogs decreased leukocyte numbers in the spleen and resulted in greater susceptibility to infection. Immunization against B. dendrobatidis induced elevated pathogen-specific IgM and IgY serum antibodies. Mucus secretions from X. laevis previously exposed to B. dendrobatidis contained significant amounts of IgM, IgY, and IgX antibodies that bind to B. dendrobatidis. These data strongly suggest that both innate and adaptive immune defenses are involved in the resistance of X. laevis to lethal B. dendrobatidis infections. PMID:20584973

  13. Notas sobre predação em uma taxocenose de anfíbios anuros no sudeste do Brasil Predation notes in an anuran amphibians assemblage from southeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José P. Pombal Jr

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Anfíbios anuros são predados por todos os grupos de vertebrados e muitos invertebrados. Todavia os estudos sobre predação em anfíbios anuros ainda são esparsos e anedóticos. Neste estudo são fornecidas informações sobre predação de anuros de uma assembléia no sudeste do Brasil. Invertebrados (aranhas e barata d’agua, a rã Leptodactylus cf. ocellatus e cinco espécies serpentes (quatro Colubridae e um Viperidae predaram espécies ou indivíduos de pequeno porte.Anuran amphibians are preyer by all vertebrate groups and several invertebrates. However, predation studies on amphibians are still occasional and anecdotic. Herein, informations on predation of an anuran assemblage of southeastern Brazil are provided. Invertebrates (spiders and water bugs, the frog Leptodactylus cf. ocellatus, and five snake species (four Colubridae and one Viperidae preyer on small individuals or small anuran species.

  14. Evaluating Amphibian Declines with Site Revisits and Occupancy Models: Status of Montane Anurans in the Pacific Northwest USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brome McCreary

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Amphibian declines have been reported in mountainous areas around the western USA. Few data quantify the extent of population losses in the Pacific Northwest, a region in which amphibian declines have received much attention. From 2001–2004, we resurveyed historical breeding sites of two species of conservation concern, the Western Toad (Bufo [=Anaxyrus] boreas and Cascades Frog (Rana cascadae. We detected B. boreas breeding at 75.9% and R. cascadae breeding at 66.6% of historical sites. When we analyzed the data using occupancy models that accounted for detection probability, we estimated the current use of historically occupied sites in our study area was 84.9% (SE = 4.9 for B. boreas and 72.4% (SE = 6.6 for R. cascadae. Our ability to detect B. boreas at sites where they were present was lower in the first year of surveys (a low snowpack year and higher at sites with introduced fish. Our ability to detect R. cascadae was lower at sites with fish. The probability that B. boreas still uses a historical site for breeding was related to the easting of the site (+ and the age of record (-. None of the variables we analyzed was strongly related to R. cascadae occupancy. Both species had increased odds of occupancy with higher latitude, but model support for this variable was modest. Our analysis suggests that while local losses are possible, these two amphibians have not experienced recent, broad population losses in the Oregon Cascades. Historical site revisitation studies such as ours cannot distinguish between population losses and site switching, and do not account for colonization of new habitats, so our analysis may overestimate declines in occupancy within our study area.

  15. Amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naturescope, 1987

    1987-01-01

    Describes some of the characteristics of amphibians. Contains teaching activities ranging from a "frog sing-along" to lessons on amphibian adaptations, and night hikes to identify frog calls. Includes reproducible handouts to be used with the activities, and a quiz. (TW)

  16. Genome-wide identification of Xenopus matrix metalloproteinases: conservation and unique duplications in amphibians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathew Smita

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs are members of the superfamily of Zn2+ dependent extracellular or membrane-bound endopeptidases which have been implicated to play critical roles in vertebrate development and human pathogenesis. A number of MMP genes have been found to be upregulated in some or all organs during frog metamorphosis, suggesting that different MMPs may have different functions in various organs/tissues. The recent advances in EST (expressed sequence tag sequencing and the completion of the genome of Xenopus (X. tropicalis prompted us to systematically analyze the existence of MMPs in the Xenopus genome. Results We examined X. laevis and X. tropicalis ESTs and genomic sequences for MMPs and obtained likely homologs for 20 out of the 25 MMPs known in higher vertebrates. Four of the five missing MMPs, i.e. MMPs 8, 10, 12 and 27, were all encoded on human Chromosome 11 and the other missing MMP, MMP22 (a chicken MMP, was also absent in human genome. In addition, we identified several novel MMPs which appears to be derived from unique duplications over evolution, are present in the genomes of both Xenopus species. Conclusion We identified the homologs of most of the mammalian MMPs in Xenopus and discovered a number of novel MMPs. Our results suggest that MMP genes undergo dynamic changes over evolution. It will be of interest in the future to investigate whether MMP expression and functions during vertebrate development are conserved. The sequence information reported here should facilitate such an endeavor in the near future.

  17. Comparative evaluation of genotoxicity of captan in amphibian larvae (Xenopus laevis and Pleurodeles waltl) using the comet assay and the micronucleus test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mouchet, F; Gauthier, L; Mailhes, C; Ferrier, V; Devaux, A

    2006-06-01

    Captan (N-trichloromethylthio-4-cyclohexene-1,2-dicarboximide) is a fungicide used to inhibit the growth of many types of fungi on plants used as foodstuffs. The toxic and genotoxic potentials of captan were evaluated with the micronucleus test (MNT; AFNOR,2000) and the comet assay (CA) using amphibian larvae (Xenopus laevis and Pleurodeles waltl). Acute toxicity results showed that captan was toxic (1) to Xenopus larvae exposed to from 2 mg/L to 125 or 62.5 microg/L, depending on the nature of the water [reconstituted water containing mineral salts or mineral water (MW; Volvic, Danone, France)] and (2) to Pleurodeles exposed to from 2 mg/L to 125 microg/L in both types of water. The MNT results obtained in MW showed that captan (62.5 microg/L) was genotoxic to Xenopus but not genotoxic to Pleurodeles at all concentrations tested. CA established that the genotoxicity of captan to Xenopus and Pleurodeles larvae depended on the concentration, the exposure times, and the comet parameters (tail DNA, TEM, OTM, and TL). The CA and MNT results were compared for their ability to detect DNA damage at the concentrations of captan and the exposure times applied. CA showed captan to be genotoxic from the first day of exposure. In amphibians, CA appears to be a sensitive and suitable method for detecting genotoxicity such as that caused by captan. Copyright 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. The Case of the Missing Anurans. Frogs Vanishing from the Tropics, Missing Frogs, Disappearing Frogs: 200 Amphibian Species Face Extinction, Experts Conclude.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Tony P.; Fortner, Rosanne W.

    2001-01-01

    Presents the study of declining Anuran populations as a mystery to be solved by teams of investigators. Student teams research assigned topics and develop scenarios to explain the declining populations. Provides background information on Anurans along with clue sheets. Describes possible extensions for the activity and provides the source for a…

  19. Characterisation and in vivo ecotoxicity evaluation of double-wall carbon nanotubes in larvae of the amphibian Xenopus laevis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mouchet, Florence [Laboratoire d' Ecologie fonctionnelle - EcoLab, Universite Paul Sabatier, UMR UPS INPT CNRS 5245, Campus INP-ENSAT, Avenue de l' Agrobiopole, 31326 Auzeville-Tolosane (France)], E-mail: florence.mouchet@cict.fr; Landois, Perine [CIRIMAT, Universite Paul Sabatier, UMR UPS INPT CNRS 5085, Bat. 2R1, 118 Route de Narbonne 31062 Toulouse cedex 9 (France); Sarremejean, Elodie; Bernard, Guillaume [Laboratoire d' Ecologie fonctionnelle - EcoLab, Universite Paul Sabatier, UMR UPS INPT CNRS 5245, Campus INP-ENSAT, Avenue de l' Agrobiopole, 31326 Auzeville-Tolosane (France); Puech, Pascal [CEMES, 29 rue Jeanne Marvig, BP 94347, 31055 Toulouse cedex 4 (France); Pinelli, Eric [Laboratoire d' Ecologie fonctionnelle - EcoLab, Universite Paul Sabatier, UMR UPS INPT CNRS 5245, Campus INP-ENSAT, Avenue de l' Agrobiopole, 31326 Auzeville-Tolosane (France); Flahaut, Emmanuel [CIRIMAT, Universite Paul Sabatier, UMR UPS INPT CNRS 5085, Bat. 2R1, 118 Route de Narbonne 31062 Toulouse cedex 9 (France); Gauthier, Laury [Laboratoire d' Ecologie fonctionnelle - EcoLab, Universite Paul Sabatier, UMR UPS INPT CNRS 5245, Campus INP-ENSAT, Avenue de l' Agrobiopole, 31326 Auzeville-Tolosane (France)

    2008-04-28

    Because of their outstanding properties, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are being assessed for inclusion in many manufactured products. Due to their massive production and growing number of potential applications, the impact of CNTs on the environment must be taken into consideration. The present investigation evaluates the ecotoxicological potential of double-walled carbon nanotubes (DWNTs) in the amphibian larvae Xenopus laevis at a large range of concentrations in water (from 10 to 500 mg L{sup -1}). Acute toxicity and genotoxicity were analysed after 12 days of static exposure in laboratory conditions. Acute toxicity was evaluated according to the mortality and the growth of larvae. The genotoxic effects were analysed by scoring the micronucleated erythrocytes of the circulating blood of larvae according to the International Standard micronucleus assay. Moreover, histological preparations of larval intestine were prepared after 12 days of exposure for observation using optical and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Finally, the intestine of an exposed larva was prepared on a slide for analyse by Raman imaging. The results showed no genotoxicity in erythrocytes of larvae exposed to DWNTs in water, but acute toxicity at every concentration of DWNTs studied which was related to physical blockage of the gills and/or digestive tract. Indeed, black masses suggesting the presence of CNTs were observed inside the intestine using optical microscopy and TEM, and confirmed by Raman spectroscopy analysis. Assessing the risks of CNTs requires better understanding, especially including mechanistic and environmental investigations.

  20. The plasticizer bisphenol A affects somatic and sexual development, but differently in pipid, hylid and bufonid anurans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamschick, Stephanie; Rozenblut-Kościsty, Beata; Ogielska, Maria; Kekenj, David; Gajewski, Franz; Krüger, Angela; Kloas, Werner; Stöck, Matthias

    2016-09-01

    Due to their terrestrial habitats and aquatic reproduction, many amphibians are both very vulnerable and highly suitable bioindicators. The plasticizer bisphenol A (BPA) is one of the most produced chemical substances worldwide, and knowledge on its impacts on humans and animals is mounting. BPA is used for the industrial production of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins and found in a multitude of consumer products. Studies on BPA have involved mammals, fish and the fully aquatic anuran model Xenopus laevis. However, our knowledge about the sexual development of non-model, often semi-terrestrial anuran amphibians remains poor. Using a recently developed experimental design, we simultaneously applied BPA to two non-model species (Hyla arborea, Hylidae; Bufo viridis, Bufonidae) and the model X. laevis (Pipidae), compared their genetic and phenotypic sex for detection of sex reversals, and studied sexual development, focusing on anatomical and histological features of gonads. We compared three concentrations of BPA (0.023, 2.28 and 228 μg/L) to control groups in a high-standard flow-through-system, and tested whether conclusions, drawn from the model species, can be extrapolated to non-model anurans. In contrast to previous studies on fish and Xenopus, often involving dosages much higher than most environmental pollution data, we show that BPA causes neither the development of mixed sex nor of sex-reversed individuals (few, seemingly BPA-independent sex reversals) in all focal species. However, environmentally relevant concentrations, as low as 0.023 μg/L, were sufficient to provoke species-specific anatomically and histologically detectable impairments of gonads, and affected morphological traits of metamorphs. As the intensity of these effects differed between the three species, our data imply that BPA diversely affects amphibians with different evolutionary history, sex determination systems and larval ecologies. These results highlight the role of

  1. Amphibian Bioacoustics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob

    Anuran amphibians (frogs and toads) of most of the 3,500 species that exist today are highly vocal animals. In most frogs, males will spend considerable energy on calling and incur sizeable predation risks and the females’ detection and localization of the calls of conspecific males is often a prerequisite for successful mating. Therefore, acoustic communication is evidently evolutionarily important in the anurans, and their auditory system is probably shaped by the selective pressures associated with production, detection and localization of the communication calls.

  2. Cladistic analysis of anuran POMC sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alrubaian, Jasem; Danielson, Phillip; Walker, David; Dores, Robert M

    2002-03-01

    Procedures for performing cladistic analyses can provide powerful tools for understanding the evolution of neuropeptide and polypeptide hormone coding genes. These analyses can be done on either amino acid data sets or nucleotide data sets and can utilize several different algorithms that are dependent on distinct sets of operating assumptions and constraints. In some cases, the results of these analyses can be used to gauge phylogenetic relationships between taxa. Selecting the proper cladistic analysis strategy is dependent on the taxonomic level of analysis and the rate of evolution within the orthologous genes being evaluated. For example, previous studies have shown that the amino acid sequence of proopiomelanocortin (POMC), the common precursor for the melanocortins and beta-endorphin, can be used to resolve phylogenetic relationships at the class and order level. This study tested the hypothesis that POMC sequences could be used to resolve phylogenetic relationships at the family taxonomic level. Cladistic analyses were performed on amphibian POMC sequences characterized from the marine toad, Bufo marinus (family Bufonidae; this study), the spadefoot toad, Spea multiplicatus (family Pelobatidae), the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis (family Pipidae) and the laughing frog, Rana ridibunda (family Ranidae). In these analyses the sequence of Australian lungfish POMC was used as the outgroup. The analyses were done at the amino acid level using the maximum parsimony algorithm and at the nucleotide level using the maximum likelihood algorithm. For the anuran POMC genes, analysis at the nucleotide level using the maximum likelihood algorithm generated a cladogram with higher bootstrap values than the maximum parsimony analysis of the POMC amino acid data set. For anuran POMC sequences, analysis of nucleotide sequences using the maximum likelihood algorithm would appear to be the preferred strategy for resolving phylogenetic relationships at the family taxonomic

  3. Pattern of parasitic infections in anurans from a mangrove ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Helminth parasites of anurans from Ijala Ikeren, a mangrove-contiguous ... and the other in the mucosa of stomach) and an unidentified intestinal nematode. ... a low diversity of amphibians which habour a low number of parasite species, ...

  4. Anuran Call Survey Summary 2006 Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Anuran call surveys were conducted at Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge in April-June 2006 using the protocol developed by the North American Amphibian...

  5. Molecular machinery for vasotocin-dependent transepithelial water movement in amphibians: aquaporins and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Masakazu; Shibata, Yuki; Ogushi, Yuji; Okada, Reiko

    2015-08-01

    Amphibians represent the first vertebrates to adapt to terrestrial environments, and are successfully distributed around the world. The ventral skin, kidney, and urinary bladder are important osmoregulatory organs for adult anuran amphibians. Water channel proteins, called aquaporins (AQPs), play key roles in transepithelial water absorption/reabsorption in these organs. At least 43 types of AQPs were identified in anurans; a recent phylogenetic analysis categorized anuran AQPs among 16 classes (AQP0-14, 16). Anuran-specific AQPa2 was assigned to AQP6, then was further subdivided into the ventral skin-type (AQP6vs; AQPa2S), whose expression is confined to the ventral skin, and the urinary bladder-type (AQP6ub; AQPa2U), which is basically expressed in the urinary bladder. For the osmoregulatory organs, AQP3 is constitutively located in the basolateral plasma membrane of tight-junctioned epithelial cells. AQP6vs, AQP2 and/or AQP6ub are also expressed in these epithelial cells and are translocated to the apical membrane in response to arginine vasotocin, thereby regulating water absorption/reabsorption. It was suggested recently that two subtypes of AQP6vs contribute to cutaneous water absorption in Ranid species. In addition, AQP5 (AQP5a) and AQP5L (AQP5b) were identified from Xenopus tropicalis Gray, 1864, and AQP5 was localized to the apical membrane of luminal epithelial cells of the urinary bladder in dehydrated Xenopus. This finding suggested that AQP5 may be involved in water reabsorption from this organ under dehydration. Based on the hitherto reported information, we propose models for the evolution of water-absorbing/reabsorbing mechanisms in anuran osmoregulatory organs in association with AQPs.

  6. Phase-II conjugation ability for PAH metabolism in amphibians: characteristics and inter-species differences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ueda, Haruki; Ikenaka, Yoshinori; Nakayama, Shouta M M; Tanaka-Ueno, Tomoko; Ishizuka, Mayumi

    2011-10-01

    The present study examines amphibian metabolic activity - particularly conjugation - by analysis of pyrene (a four ring, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon) metabolites using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with fluorescence detector (FD), a mass spectrometry detector (MS) system and kinetic analysis of conjugation enzymes. Six amphibian species were exposed to pyrene (dissolved in water): African claw frog (Xenopus laevis); Tago's brown frog (Rana tagoi); Montane brown frog (Rana ornativentris); Wrinkled frog (Rana rugosa); Japanese newt (Cynops pyrrhogaster); and Clouded salamander (Hynobius nebulosus); plus one fish species, medaka (Oryzias latipes); and a fresh water snail (Clithon retropictus), and the resultant metabolites were collected. Identification of pyrene metabolites by HPLC and ion-trap MS system indicated that medaka mainly excreted pyrene-1-glucuronide (PYOG), while pyrene-1-sulfate (PYOS) was the main metabolite in all amphibian species. Pyrene metabolites in amphibians were different from those in invertebrate fresh water snails. Inter-species differences were also observed in pyrene metabolism among amphibians. Metabolite analysis showed that frogs relied more strongly on sulfate conjugation than did Japanese newts and clouded salamanders. Furthermore, urodelan amphibians, newts and salamanders, excreted glucose conjugates of pyrene that were not detected in the anuran amphibians. Kinetic analysis of conjugation by hepatic microsomes and cytosols indicated that differences in excreted metabolites reflected differences in enzymatic activities. Furthermore, pyrenediol (PYDOH) glucoside sulfate was detected in the Japanese newt sample. This novel metabolite has not been reported previously to this report, in which we have identified unique characteristics of amphibians in phase II pyrene metabolism.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orton, Frances; Tyler, Charles R

    2015-11-01

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

  8. Mechanics of the exceptional anuran ear

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schoffelen, Richard L. M.; Segenhout, Johannes M.; van Dijk, Pim

    2008-01-01

    The anuran ear is frequently used for studying fundamental properties of vertebrate auditory systems. This is due to its unique anatomical features, most prominently the lack of a basilar membrane and the presence of two dedicated acoustic end organs, the basilar papilla and the amphibian papilla. O

  9. Are Fish and Standardized FETAX Assays Protective Enough for Amphibians? A Case Study on Xenopus laevis Larvae Assay with Biologically Active Substances Present in Livestock Wastes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Federica Martini

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Biologically active substances could reach the aquatic compartment when livestock wastes are considered for recycling. Recently, the standardized FETAX assay has been questioned, and some researchers have considered that the risk assessment performed on fish could not be protective enough to cover amphibians. In the present study a Xenopus laevis acute assay was developed in order to compare the sensitivity of larvae relative to fish or FETAX assays; veterinary medicines (ivermectin, oxytetracycline, tetracycline, sulfamethoxazole, and trimethoprim and essential metals (zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium that may be found in livestock wastes were used for the larvae exposure. Lethal (LC50 and sublethal effects were estimated. Available data in both, fish and FETAX studies, were in general more protective than values found out in the current study, but not in all cases. Moreover, the presence of nonlethal effects, caused by ivermectin, zinc, and copper, suggested that several physiological mechanisms could be affected. Thus, this kind of effects should be deeply investigated. The results obtained in the present study could expand the information about micropollutants from livestock wastes on amphibians.

  10. Are Fish and Standardized FETAX Assays Protective Enough for Amphibians? A Case Study on Xenopus laevis Larvae Assay with Biologically Active Substances Present in Livestock Wastes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martini, Federica; Tarazona, José V.; Pablos, M. Victoria

    2012-01-01

    Biologically active substances could reach the aquatic compartment when livestock wastes are considered for recycling. Recently, the standardized FETAX assay has been questioned, and some researchers have considered that the risk assessment performed on fish could not be protective enough to cover amphibians. In the present study a Xenopus laevis acute assay was developed in order to compare the sensitivity of larvae relative to fish or FETAX assays; veterinary medicines (ivermectin, oxytetracycline, tetracycline, sulfamethoxazole, and trimethoprim) and essential metals (zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium) that may be found in livestock wastes were used for the larvae exposure. Lethal (LC50) and sublethal effects were estimated. Available data in both, fish and FETAX studies, were in general more protective than values found out in the current study, but not in all cases. Moreover, the presence of nonlethal effects, caused by ivermectin, zinc, and copper, suggested that several physiological mechanisms could be affected. Thus, this kind of effects should be deeply investigated. The results obtained in the present study could expand the information about micropollutants from livestock wastes on amphibians. PMID:22629159

  11. Assessment of lead ecotoxicity in water using the amphibian larvae (Xenopus laevis) and preliminary study of its immobilization in meat and bone meal combustion residues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mouchet, F; Cren, S; Cunienq, C; Deydier, E; Guilet, R; Gauthier, L

    2007-04-01

    Lead (Pb) is a major chemical pollutant of the environment. It has been associated with human activities for the last 6000 years. Quite rightly, it remains a public health concern today. The present investigation evaluates the toxic potential of Pb in larvae of the toad Xenopus laevis after 12 days exposure in lab conditions. Acute toxicity, genotoxicity and Pb bioaccumulation were analyzed. The genotoxic effects were analyzed in the circulating blood from the levels of micronucleus induction according to the French standard micronucleus assay (AFNOR 2000 Association française de normalization. Norme NFT 90-325. Qualité de l'Eau. Evaluation de la génotoxicité au moyen de larves d'amphibien (Xenopus laevis, Pleurodeles waltl)). Lead bioaccumulation was analyzed in the liver of larvae at the end of exposure. Moreover, the toxic potential of lead, in aquatic media, was investigated in the presence of meat and bone meal combustion residues (MBMCR) known to be rich in phosphates and a potential immobiliser of lead. Previously, acute toxicity and genotoxicity of MBMCR alone were evaluated using Xenopus larvae. The results obtained in the present study demonstrated: (i) that lead is acutely toxic and genotoxic to amphibian larvae from 1 mg Pb/l and its bioaccumulation is significant in the liver of larvae from the lowest concentration of exposure (1 microg Pb/l), (ii) MBMCR were not acutely toxic nor genotoxic in Xenopus larvae, (iii) lead in presence of MBMCR induced inhibition or reduction of the toxic and genotoxic potential of lead in water at concentrations that do not exceed the capacity of MBMCR of Pb-binding (iv) Pb accumulation in larvae exposed to lead with MBMCR in water was lower than Pb-accumulation in larvae exposed to lead alone except at the concentration of 0.01 mg Pb/l suggesting complex mechanisms of MBMCR interaction in organisms. The results confirm the high toxicity and genotoxicity of lead in the aquatic compartment and suggest the potential

  12. Endocannabinoids affect the reproductive functions in teleosts and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cottone, E; Guastalla, A; Mackie, K; Franzoni, M F

    2008-04-16

    Following the discovery in the brain of the bonyfish Fugu rubripes of two genes encoding for type 1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1A and CB1B), investigations on the phylogeny of these receptors have indicated that the cannabinergic system is highly conserved. Among the multiple functions modulated by cannabinoids/endocannabinoids through the CB1 receptors one of the more investigated is the mammalian reproduction. Therefore, since studies performed in animal models other than mammals might provide further insight into the biology of these signalling molecules, the major aim of the present paper was to review the comparative data pointing toward the endocannabinoid involvement in the reproductive control of non-mammalian vertebrates, namely bonyfish and amphibians. The expression and distribution of CB1 receptors were investigated in the CNS and gonads of two teleosts, Pelvicachromis pulcher and Carassius auratus as well as in the anuran amphibians Xenopus laevis and Rana esculenta. In general the large diffusion of neurons targeted by cannabinoids in both fish and amphibian forebrain indicate endocannabinoids as pivotal local messengers in several neural circuits involved in either sensory integrative activities, like the olfactory processes (in amphibians) and food response (in bonyfish), or neuroendocrine machinery (in both). By using immunohistochemistry for CB1 and GnRH-I, the codistribution of the two signalling molecules was found in the fish basal telencephalon and preoptic area, which are key centers for gonadotropic regulation in all vertebrates. A similar topographical codistribution was observed also in the septum of the telencephalon in Rana esculenta and Xenopus laevis. Interestingly, the double standard immunofluorescence on the same brain section, aided with a laser confocal microscope, showed that in anurans a subset of GnRH-I neurons exhibited also the CB1 immunostaining. The fact that CB1-LI-IR was found indeed in the FSH gonadotrophs of the Xenopus

  13. The Effects of 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD on the Mortality and Growth of Two Amphibian Species (Xenopus laevis and Pseudacris triseriata

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    Alex Collier

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available We observed a slight drop in the growth of Xenopus laevis and Pseudacris triseriata larvae following acute exposure (24-48 h during egg development to three concentrations of TCDD (0.3, 3.0, 30.0 μg/l. Our exposure protocol was modeled on a previous investigation that was designed to mimic the effects of maternal deposition of TCDD. The doses selected were consistent with known rates of maternal transfer between mother and egg using actual adult body burdens from contaminated habitats. Egg and embryonic mortality immediately following exposure increased only among 48 h X. laevis treatments. Control P. triseriata and X. laevis completed metamorphosis more quickly than TCDDtreated animals. The snout-vent length of recently transformed P. triseriata did not differ between treatments although controls were heavier than high-dosed animals. Likewise, the snout-vent length and weight of transformed X. laevis did not differ between control and TCDD treatments. These findings provide additional evidence that amphibians, including P. triseriata and X. laevis are relatively insensitive to acute exposure to TCDD during egg and embryonic development. Although the concentrations selected for this study were relatively high, they were not inconsistent with our current understanding of bioaccumulation via maternal transfer.

  14. Characterization of the Xenopus homolog of an immediate early gene associated with cell activation:sequence analysis and regulation of its expression by thyroid hormone during amphibian metamorphosis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    VIVIACTLIANG; TIFFANYSEDGWICK; 等

    1997-01-01

    The complex transformation of a tadpole to a frog during amphibian development is under the control of thyroid hormone (T3).T3 is known to regulate gene transcription through its nuclear receptors.We have previously isolated many genes which are up-regulated by T3 in the intestine of Xenopus laevis tadpoles.We have now cloned a full-length cDNA for one such gene (IU12).Sequence analysis shows that the IU12 cDNA encodes a plasma membrane protein with 12 transmembrane domains and homologous to a mammalian gene associated with cell activation and organ development.Similarly,we have found that IU12 is activated during intestinal remodeling when both cell death and proliferation take place.Furthermore,IU12 is an early T3-response gene and its expression in the intestine during T3-induced metamorphosis mimics that during normal development.These results argue for a role of IU 12 in the signal transduction pathways leading to intestinal metamorphosis.

  15. Origin of amphibian and avian chromosomes by fission, fusion, and retention of ancestral chromosomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voss, Stephen R.; Kump, D. Kevin; Putta, Srikrishna; Pauly, Nathan; Reynolds, Anna; Henry, Rema J.; Basa, Saritha; Walker, John A.; Smith, Jeramiah J.

    2011-01-01

    Amphibian genomes differ greatly in DNA content and chromosome size, morphology, and number. Investigations of this diversity are needed to identify mechanisms that have shaped the evolution of vertebrate genomes. We used comparative mapping to investigate the organization of genes in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), a species that presents relatively few chromosomes (n = 14) and a gigantic genome (>20 pg/N). We show extensive conservation of synteny between Ambystoma, chicken, and human, and a positive correlation between the length of conserved segments and genome size. Ambystoma segments are estimated to be four to 51 times longer than homologous human and chicken segments. Strikingly, genes demarking the structures of 28 chicken chromosomes are ordered among linkage groups defining the Ambystoma genome, and we show that these same chromosomal segments are also conserved in a distantly related anuran amphibian (Xenopus tropicalis). Using linkage relationships from the amphibian maps, we predict that three chicken chromosomes originated by fusion, nine to 14 originated by fission, and 12–17 evolved directly from ancestral tetrapod chromosomes. We further show that some ancestral segments were fused prior to the divergence of salamanders and anurans, while others fused independently and randomly as chromosome numbers were reduced in lineages leading to Ambystoma and Xenopus. The maintenance of gene order relationships between chromosomal segments that have greatly expanded and contracted in salamander and chicken genomes, respectively, suggests selection to maintain synteny relationships and/or extremely low rates of chromosomal rearrangement. Overall, the results demonstrate the value of data from diverse, amphibian genomes in studies of vertebrate genome evolution. PMID:21482624

  16. Vocally mediated social recognition in anurans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bee, Mark A.

    2005-09-01

    Anuran amphibians (frogs and toads) are among the most vocal of vertebrates and have long served as model systems for investigating the mechanisms and evolution of acoustic communication. Compared to higher vertebrates, however, the role of cognition in anuran communication has received less attention, at least in part due to the lack of evidence that juvenile anurans learn to produce signals or associate them with particular social contexts. Recent studies of social recognition in two anuran families indicate that territorial male frogs in some species are able to learn about and recognize the individually distinctive properties of the calls of nearby neighbors. For example, male bullfrogs (ranidae) learn about the pitch of a neighbor's vocalizations (an individually distinct voice property) and associate a familiar pitch with the location of the neighbor's territory. As in songbirds, this form of vocally mediated social recognition allows territory holders to direct low levels of aggression toward well-established neighbors, while maintaining a readiness to respond aggressively to more threatening strangers that may attempt a territory takeover. A brief review of currently available data will be used to illustrate how anurans can serve as model systems for investigating the role of cognition in acoustic communication.

  17. Ecological correlates of anuran exercise physiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taigen, Theodore L; Emerson, Sharon B; Pough, F Harvey

    1982-01-01

    Studies of exercise physiology of anuran amphibians have led to the suggestion that there is a dichotomy between species that depend upon movement to escape from predators and species that utilize static defenses. This generalization has been based upon a limited taxonomic survey and it contrasts with morphological, ecological, and behavioral studies that have revealed diverse and complex interrelationships among these features of anuran biology. We tested the hypothesis of a dichotomy of physiological types among anurans by measuring aerobic and anaerobic metabolism during maximum exercise for 17 species representing seven families and a variety of ecological types and locomotor modes. All degrees of dependence upon aerobic and anaerobic power input were found among the 17 species and the variation did not follow phylogenetic divisions. No single, simple prediction of the predominant source of power utilized for activity by the anurans we studied is possible. Predator avoidance behavior was not significantly correlated with the metabolic pattern. Predatory mode (active versus passive searchers) and mode of locomotion (non-jumpers versus jumpers) were correlated with dependence upon aerobic energy production and with each other. Reproductive behavior is probably another associated factor. The diversity of modes of power input among anurans is great and is intimately linked with numerous features of a species' biology. Single-factor explanations of this physiological characteristic are not appropriate.

  18. Expression of odorant receptor family, type 2 OR in the aquatic olfactory cavity of amphibian frog Xenopus tropicalis.

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    Tosikazu Amano

    Full Text Available Recent genome wide in silico analyses discovered a new family (type 2 or family H of odorant receptors (ORs in teleost fish and frogs. However, since there is no evidence of the expression of these novel OR genes in olfactory sensory neurons (OSN, it remains unknown if type 2 ORs (OR2 function as odorant receptors. In this study, we examined expression of OR2 genes in the frog Xenopus tropicalis. The overall gene expression pattern is highly complex and differs depending on the gene and developmental stage. RT-PCR analysis in larvae showed that all of the OR2η genes we identified were expressed in the peripheral olfactory system and some were detected in the brain and skin. Whole mount in situ hybridization of the larval olfactory cavity confirmed that at least two OR2η genes so far tested are expressed in the OSN. Because tadpoles are aquatic animals, OR2η genes are probably involved in aquatic olfaction. In adults, OR2η genes are expressed in the nose, brain, and testes to different degrees depending on the genes. OR2η expression in the olfactory system is restricted to the medium cavity, which participates in the detection of water-soluble odorants, suggesting that OR2ηs function as receptors for water-soluble odorants. Moreover, the fact that several OR2ηs are significantly expressed in non-olfactory organs suggests unknown roles in a range of biological processes other than putative odorant receptor functions.

  19. Cardiac performance correlates of relative heart ventricle mass in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kluthe, Gregory J; Hillman, Stanley S

    2013-08-01

    This study used an in situ heart preparation to analyze the power output and stroke work of spontaneously beating hearts of four anurans (Rhinella marina, Lithobates catesbeianus, Xenopus laevis, Pyxicephalus edulis) and three urodeles (Necturus maculosus, Ambystoma tigrinum, Amphiuma tridactylum) that span a representative range of relative ventricle mass (RVM) found in amphibians. Previous research has documented that RVM correlates with dehydration tolerance and maximal aerobic capacity in amphibians. The power output (mW g(-1) ventricle mass) and stroke work (mJ g(-1) ventricle muscle mass) were independent of RVM and were indistinguishable from previously published results for fish and reptiles. RVM was significantly correlated with maximum power output (P max, mW kg(-1) body mass), stroke volume, cardiac output, afterload pressure (P O) at P max, and preload pressure (P I) at P max. P I at P max and P O at P max also correlated very closely with each other. The increases in both P I and P O at maximal power outputs in large hearts suggest that concomitant increases in blood volume and/or increased modulation of vascular compliance either anatomically or via sympathetic tone on the venous vasculature would be necessary to achieve P max in vivo. Hypotheses for variation in RVM and its concomitant increased P max in amphibians are developed.

  20. Alternative life cycle strategies of Megalodiscus temperatus in tadpoles and metamorphosed anurans

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    Bolek M.G.

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Megalodiscus temperatus (Stafford, 1905 is a common paramphistome trematode of North American amphibians with a two host life cycle and has been reported to infect frogs and rarely tadpoles. In this study we document the alternative life cycle strategy of M. temperatus in tadpoles and metamorphosed anurans. We show through field work and experimental infections that M. temperatus can establish in both anuran life stages and worms become gravid and release eggs in both tadpoles and metamorphosed frogs. However, worms exhibit differences in route of infection, development, egg production, and diet in tadpoles and metamorphosed anurans. These alternative life history strategies of M. temperatus suggest different selective pressures on the development and reproductive success of these worms in tadpoles and metamorphosed anurans, and we discuss the evolutionary avenues for and constraints on amphibian trematode life cycles presented by these two different anuran life stages.

  1. Pigmentation in Anuran Testes: Anatomical Pattern and Variation

    OpenAIRE

    Franco-Belussi, Lilian [UNESP; Zieri, Rodrigo [UNESP; de Souza Santos, Lia Raquel; Moresco, Rafaela Maria; Oliveira, Classius de [UNESP

    2009-01-01

    In amphibians, pigmented cells are present in several organs, composing an extracutaneous pigmentary system. Seventeen species from two families were studied to develop a protocol for pigmentary classification. The amount and distribution of these cells are variable, allowing the establishment of anatomical patterns for visceral pigmentation in anuran testes. Anat Rec, 292:178-182, 2009. (C) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  2. Behavioral fever in anuran amphibian larvae

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Casterlin, M.E.; Reynolds, W.W.

    1977-02-15

    Following intraperitoneal injection with killed gram-negative bacteria, Aeromonas hydrophila, tadpoles of Rana catesbeiana and of R. pipiens showed significant mean increases in preferred temperature of 2.6/sup 0/C and 2.7/sup 0/C, respectively, in an electronic thermoregulatory shuttlebox device. This ''behavioral fever'' is similar to elevations in preferred temperature previously demonstrated for fishes, reptiles and mammals, although both normal and febrile thermal preferenda vary among vertebrates.

  3. Hedgehog inhibition causes complete loss of limb outgrowth and transformation of digit identity in Xenopus tropicalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stopper, Geffrey F; Richards-Hrdlicka, Kathryn L; Wagner, Günter P

    2016-03-01

    The study of the tetrapod limb has contributed greatly to our understanding of developmental pathways and how changes to these pathways affect the evolution of morphology. Most of our understanding of tetrapod limb development comes from research on amniotes, with far less known about mechanisms of limb development in amphibians. To better understand the mechanisms of limb development in anuran amphibians, we used cyclopamine to inhibit Hedgehog signaling at various stages of development in the western clawed frog, Xenopus tropicalis, and observed resulting morphologies. We also analyzed gene expression changes resulting from similar experiments in Xenopus laevis. Inhibition of Hedgehog signaling in X. tropicalis results in limb abnormalities including reduced digit number, missing skeletal elements, and complete absence of limbs. In addition, posterior digits assume an anterior identity by developing claws that are usually only found on anterior digits, confirming Sonic hedgehog's role in digit identity determination. Thus, Sonic hedgehog appears to play mechanistically separable roles in digit number specification and digit identity specification as in other studied tetrapods. The complete limb loss observed in response to reduced Hedgehog signaling in X. tropicalis, however, is striking, as this functional role for Hedgehog signaling has not been found in any other tetrapod. This changed mechanism may represent a substantial developmental constraint to digit number evolution in frogs. J. Exp. Zool. (Mol. Dev. Evol.) 9999B:XX-XX, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Climate change and amphibians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Corn, P. S.

    2005-01-01

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

  5. Reproductive modes and fecundity of an assemblage of anuran amphibians in the Atlantic rainforest, Brazil Modos reprodutivos e fecundidade de anfíbios anuros em uma taxocenose na Mata Atlântica, Brasil

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    Marilia T Hartmann

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Reproductive modes and size-fecundity relationships are described for anurans from Picinguaba, a region of Atlantic rainforest on the northern coast of the state of São Paulo, Brazil. We observed 13 reproductive modes, confirming a high diversity of modes in the Atlantic rainforest. This diversity of reproductive modes reflects the successful use of diversified and humid microhabitats by anurans in this biome. We measured the snout-vent length of 715 specimens of 40 species of anurans. The size-fecundity relationship of 12 species was analyzed. Female snout-vent lengths explained between 57% and 81% of clutch size variation. Anurans with aquatic modes laid more eggs than those with terrestrial or arboreal modes. Larger eggs were deposited by species with specialized reproductive modes.Neste estudo são apresentados os modos reprodutivos e as relações de tamanho-fecundidade dos anuros encontrados em Picinguaba, uma região de Mata Atlântica no litoral norte do estado de São Paulo. Foram registrados 13 modos reprodutivos, confirmando a alta diversidade de modos reprodutivos encontrados na Mata Atlântica. A diversidade de modos reprodutivos observados na Mata Atlântica é o resultado do sucesso dos anuros na utilização dos diversos microhábitats úmidos desse bioma. Os comprimentos rostro-cloacais de 715 indivíduos de 40 espécies de anuros foram medidos. Foram consideradas as relações de tamanho-fecundidade para 12 espécies. O tamanho do corpo explicou entre 57% e 81% da variação no tamanho da ninhada. Os modos reprodutivos aquáticos apresentaram maior número de ovos, comparados aos modos reprodutivos terrestres ou arborícolas. As espécies com maior tamanho de ovos foram as que apresentaram modos reprodutivos especializados.

  6. Cretaceous anuran and dinosaur footprints from the Patuxent Formation of Virginia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weems, R.E.; Bachman, J.M.

    1997-01-01

    Footprints of an anuran (gen. et sp. indet.), a theropod dinosaur (Megalosauropus sp.), and an ornithopod dinosaur (Amblydactylus sp.) have been recovered from the Lower Cretaceous Patuxent Formation in Stafford County, Virginia. These footprints are the first record of terrestrial vertebrates from Cretaceous strata in Virginia, and their discovery suggests that the scarcity of bones and teeth in the Patuxent probably is an artifact of preservation. The anuran trackway provides the oldest known direct evidence for hopping locomotion among these amphibians.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  8. Antiviral immunity in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Guangchun; Robert, Jacques

    2011-11-01

    Although a variety of virus species can infect amphibians, diseases caused by ranaviruses ([RVs]; Iridoviridae) have become prominent, and are a major concern for biodiversity, agriculture and international trade. The relatively recent and rapid increase in prevalence of RV infections, the wide range of host species infected by RVs, the variability in host resistance among population of the same species and among different developmental stages, all suggest an important involvement of the amphibian immune system. Nevertheless, the roles of the immune system in the etiology of viral diseases in amphibians are still poorly investigated. We review here the current knowledge of antiviral immunity in amphibians, focusing on model species such as the frog Xenopus and the salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum), and on recent progress in generating tools to better understand how host immune defenses control RV infections, pathogenicity, and transmission.

  9. Ossification sequence heterochrony among amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrington, Sean M; Harrison, Luke B; Sheil, Christopher A

    2013-01-01

    Heterochrony is an important mechanism in the evolution of amphibians. Although studies have centered on the relationship between size and shape and the rates of development, ossification sequence heterochrony also may have been important. Rigorous, phylogenetic methods for assessing sequence heterochrony are relatively new, and a comprehensive study of the relative timing of ossification of skeletal elements has not been used to identify instances of sequence heterochrony across Amphibia. In this study, a new version of the program Parsimov-based genetic inference (PGi) was used to identify shifts in ossification sequences across all extant orders of amphibians, for all major structural units of the skeleton. PGi identified a number of heterochronic sequence shifts in all analyses, the most interesting of which seem to be tied to differences in metamorphic patterns among major clades. Early ossification of the vomer, premaxilla, and dentary is retained by Apateon caducus and members of Gymnophiona and Urodela, which lack the strongly biphasic development seen in anurans. In contrast, bones associated with the jaws and face were identified as shifting late in the ancestor of Anura. The bones that do not shift late, and thereby occupy the earliest positions in the anuran cranial sequence, are those in regions of the skull that undergo the least restructuring throughout anuran metamorphosis. Additionally, within Anura, bones of the hind limb and pelvic girdle were also identified as shifting early in the sequence of ossification, which may be a result of functional constraints imposed by the drastic metamorphosis of most anurans.

  10. Development of the Larval Amphibian Growth and Development Assay: effects of chronic 4-tert-octylphenol or 17β-trenbolone exposure in Xenopus laevis from embryo to juvenile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haselman, Jonathan T; Kosian, Patricia A; Korte, Joseph J; Olmstead, Allen W; Iguchi, Taisen; Johnson, Rodney D; Degitz, Sigmund J

    2016-12-01

    The Larval Amphibian Growth and Development Assay (LAGDA) is a globally harmonized test guideline developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in collaboration with Japan's Ministry of the Environment. The LAGDA was designed to evaluate apical effects of chronic chemical exposure on growth, thyroid-mediated amphibian metamorphosis and reproductive development. During the validation phase, two well-characterized endocrine-disrupting chemicals were tested to evaluate the performance of the initial assay design: xenoestrogen 4-tert-octylphenol (tOP) and xenoandrogen 17β-trenbolone (TB). Xenopus laevis embryos were exposed, in flow-through conditions, to tOP (nominal concentrations: 0.0, 6.25, 12.5, 25 and 50 µg l(-1) ) or TB (nominal concentrations: 0.0, 12.5, 25, 50 and 100 ng l(-1) ) until 8 weeks post-metamorphosis, at which time growth measurements were taken, and histopathology assessments were made of the gonads, reproductive ducts, liver and kidneys. There were no effects on growth in either study and no signs of overt toxicity, sex reversal or gonad dysgenesis. Exposure to tOP caused a treatment-related decrease in circulating thyroxine and an increase in thyroid follicular cell hypertrophy and hyperplasia (25 and 50 µg l(-1) ) during metamorphosis. Müllerian duct development was affected after exposure to both chemicals; tOP exposure caused dose-dependent maturation of oviducts in both male and female frogs, whereas TB exposure caused accelerated Müllerian duct regression in males and complete regression in >50% of the females in the 100 ng l(-1) treatment. Based on these results, the LAGDA performed adequately to evaluate apical effects of chronic exposure to two endocrine-active compounds and is the first standardized amphibian multiple life stage toxicity test to date. Published 2016. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  11. Prepatterning and patterning of the thalamus along embryonic development of Xenopus laevis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra eBandín

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Previous developmental studies of the thalamus (alar part of the diencephalic prosomere p2 have defined the molecular basis for the acquisition of the thalamic competence (preparttening, the subsequent formation of the secondary organizer in the zona limitans intrathalamica, and the early specification of two anteroposterior domains (rostral and caudal progenitor domains in response to inducing activities and that are shared in birds and mammals. In he present study we have analyzed the embryonic development of the thalamus in the anuran Xenopus laevis to determine conserved or specific features in the amphibian diencephalon. From early embryonic stages to the beginning of the larval period, the expression patterns of 22 markers were analyzed by means of combined in situ hybridization and immunohistochemical techniques. The early genoarchitecture observed in the diencephalon allowed us to discern the boundaries of the thalamus with the prethalamus, pretectum, and epithalamus. Common molecular features were observed in the thalamic prepatterning among vertebrates in which Wnt3a, Fez, Pax6 and Xiro1 expression were of particular importance in Xenopus. The formation of the zona limitans intrathalamica was observed, as in other vertebrates, by the progressive expression of Shh. The largely conserved expressions of Nkx2.2 in the rostral thalamic domain versus Gbx2

  12. Yap1, transcription regulator in the Hippo signaling pathway, is required for Xenopus limb bud regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayashi, Shinichi; Tamura, Koji; Yokoyama, Hitoshi

    2014-04-01

    The Hippo signaling pathway is conserved from insects to mammals and is important for multiple processes, including cell proliferation, apoptosis and tissue homeostasis. Hippo signaling is also crucial for regeneration, including intercalary regeneration, of the whole body in the flatworm and of the leg in the cricket. However, its role in vertebrate epimorphic regeneration is unknown. Therefore, to identify principles of regeneration that are conserved among bilaterians, we investigated the role of Hippo signaling in the limb bud regeneration of an anuran amphibian, Xenopus laevis. We found that a transcription factor, Yap1, an important downstream effector of Hippo signaling, is upregulated in the regenerating limb bud. To evaluate Yap1׳s function in limb bud regeneration, we made transgenic animals that expressed a dominant-negative form of Yap under a heat-shock promoter. Overexpression of a dominant-negative form of Yap in tadpoles reduced cell proliferation, induced ectopic apoptosis, perturbed the expression domains of limb-patterning genes including hoxa13, hoxa11, and shh in the regenerating limb bud. Transient expression of a dominant-negative Yap in transgenic tadpoles also caused limb bud regeneration defects, and reduced intercalary regeneration. These results indicate that Yap1 has a crucial role in controlling the limb regenerative capacity in Xenopus, and suggest that the involvement of Hippo signaling in regeneration is conserved between vertebrates and invertebrates. This finding provides molecular evidence that common principles underlie regeneration across phyla, and may contribute to the development of new therapies in regenerative medicine.

  13. Cardiovascular physiology and diseases of amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinz-Taheny, Kathleen M

    2009-01-01

    The class Amphibia includes three orders of amphibians: the anurans (frogs and toads), urodeles (salamanders, axolotls, and newts), and caecilians. The diversity of lifestyles across these three orders has accompanying differences in the cardiovascular anatomy and physiology allowing for adaptations to aquatic or terrestrial habitats, pulmonic or gill respiration, hibernation, and body elongation (in the caecilian). This article provides a review of amphibian cardiovascular anatomy and physiology with discussion of unique species adaptations. In addition, amphibians as cardiovascular animal models and commonly encountered natural diseases are covered.

  14. [On a contribution of Boris Balinsky to the comparative and ecological embryology of amphibians].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desnitskiĭ, A G

    2014-01-01

    The outstanding embryologist Boris Ivanovich Balinsky (1905-1997) worked in the Soviet Union up to 1941 and in South Africa since 1949. His experimental studies fulfilled during the Soviet period of his scientific career mainly on the embryos of the caudate amphibians are widely known. After moving to Africa (Johannesburg), he continued the research of amphibian development, with using those possibilities, which were offered by the diverse fauna of local Anura. Other embryologists started complex studies of tropical frog ontogenies (mainly from South and Central America) 30-40 years later than Balinsky. Unfortunately, his pioneering works on numerous African species are poorly known (with the exceptions of the description of the development of endodermal derivatives in Xenopus laevis and the analysis of limb induction in the toad genus Amietophrynus). In this paper, the works of Balinsky are analyzed (with the emphasis on comparative and ecological aspects) and his priority in using of "nonmodel" tropical and subtropical anurans in embryological studies has been shown.

  15. Vascular regression during amphibian metamorphosis--a scanning electron microscope study of vascular corrosion casts of the ventral velum in tadpoles of Xenopus laevis Daudin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aichhorn, H; Lametschwandtner, A

    1996-09-01

    We used scanning electron microscopy and vascular casting to study gross arterial supply, venous drainage, and microvascular patterns of the fully developed ventral velum of tadpoles of Xenopus laevis Daudin and analyzed changes of the velar vascular bed from prometamorphosis to metamorphic climax in a qualitative and quantitative manner. The multilayered, highly secretory ventral velum is supplied bilaterally by an anterior and a posterior velar artery, branches of the external carotid artery. Velar arterioles branch mainly dichotomously and form a flat two-dimensional capillary meshwork overlying the tops of filterplates I-IV. Thymopharyngeal veins, dorsal branches of the filter plates veins, and the internal jugular veins drain the velum toward the venous sinus of the heart. Location, architecture, and the drainage of the velar microvascular bed into the venous sinus make a significant contribution of the velar capillaries to gas exchange unlikely. Instead, velar capillaries rather serve the nutrition of the secretory epithelium. The overall morphology of velar vessels from prometamorphosis to metamorphic climax--deduced from vascular corrosion casts--points to atonic vessels with increased leakage indicated by adhering globular extravasations, and to obstructed or blind ending vessels evidenced by the tapered and/or rounded blind ending cast vessels. The significant decrease in the size of the ventral velum during the metamorphic cycle was paralleled by a miniaturization of the velar vascular bed. We hypothetize that this miniaturization occurs by a shortening and fusion of capillary mesh elements. Our findings in corrosion casts, particularly the miniaturization of the velar microvascular bed and the morphology of the regressing capillaries, point to profound morphologic and ultrastructural changes in velar vessels; a study on the fine structure of the microvascular bed of the ventral velum in metamorphic tadpoles is in progress.

  16. An age-dependent sensitivity of the roll-induced vestibuloocular reflex to hypergravity exposure of several days in an amphibian ( Xenopus laevis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sebastian, C. E.; Pfau, K.; Horn, E. R.

    In tadpoles of the Southern Clawed Toad ( Xenopus laevis), the effects of an exposure to hypergravity of several days duration on the development of the roll-induced static vestibuloocular reflex (rVOR) were investigated. Special attention was given to the onset of the 9 or 12 days lasting 3G-period during early life. First recordings of the rVOR characteristics for complete 360 ° rolls of the tadpoles were performed 24 hrs after the end of the 3G-period. The rVOR peak-to-peak amplitudes as well as the VOR-gain for a roll angle of 15 ° from 3G-and 1G-samples recorded at the 2nd and 3rd day after 3G-termination agreed for the youngest group, but were reduced by approx. 30% in the older tadpoles. Long-term observations lasting up to 8 weeks after termination of the 3G-period, demonstrated (i) an early retardation of the development, and (ii) a developmental acceleration in all groups so that after 2 weeks in the stage 6/9- and 33/36-samples and after 8 weeks in the stage 45-tadpoles, the rVOR-amplitude as well as the rVOR-gain for a 15 ° roll were at the same level in both the 3G- and the 1G-samples. The results support the existence of a sensitive period for the rVOR development, and additionally demonstrate the importance of the period of the first appearance of the rVOR for the development of adaptive properties of the underlying neuronal network. They also demonstrate the dominant efficiency of genetic programs in the functional development of the vestibular system. Methodological approaches are discussed which will be useful in the further description of the critical period. They include studies on the neuronogenesis and synaptic maturation within the vestibular pathways as well as on the fundamentals of buoyancy control during swimming. A modular but closed mini-system for experimental use is described which allows survival periods lasting many weeks and multiple types of treatments of developing aquatic animals in orbit, controlled automatically.

  17. Sperm motility of externally fertilizing fish and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    We review the phylogeny, sperm competition, morphology, physiology, and fertilization environments of the sperm of externally fertilizing fish and amphibians. Increased sperm competition in both fish and anurans generally increases sperm numbers, sperm length, and energy reserves. The difference between the internal osmolarity and iconicity of sperm cells and those of the aquatic medium control the activation, longevity, and velocity of sperm motility. Hypo-osmolarity of the aquatic medium activates the motility of freshwater fish and amphibian sperm and hyperosmolarity activates the motility of marine fish sperm. The average longevity of the motility of marine fish sperm (~550 seconds) was significantly (P fish sperm (~150 seconds), with the longevities of both marine and freshwater fish being significantly (P fish (140 μm/s) or freshwater fish (135 μm/s) sperm. The longevity of the sperm of giant salamanders (Cryptobranchoidea) of approximately 600 seconds was greater than that of freshwater fish sperm but much lower than anuran sperm. Our research and information from the literature showed that higher osmolarities promote greater longevity in anuran sperm, and some freshwater fish sperm, and that anuran and cryptobranchid sperm maintained membrane integrity long after the cessation of motility, demonstrating a preferential sharing of energy reserves toward the maintenance of membrane integrity. The maintenance of the membrane integrity of anuran sperm in fresh water for up to 6 hours showed an extremely high osmotic tolerance relative to fish sperm. The very high longevity and osmotic tolerance of anuran sperm and high longevity of cryptobranchid sperm, relative to those of freshwater fish, may reflect the complex fertilization history of amphibian sperm in general and anurans reversion from internal to external fertilization. Our findings provide a greater understanding of the reproductive biology of externally fertilizing fish and amphibians, and a

  18. Plasticity in the vocalizations of anurans in response to traffic noise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunnington, Glenn M.; Fahrig, Lenore

    2010-09-01

    Many species use acoustic signals to attract mates, and such signals can be degraded by anthropogenic noise. Anuran abundance has been shown to be negatively correlated with road traffic which could be due in part to the interruption of mate attraction by traffic noise. However, this impact could be small if anurans can alter their vocalization characteristics to avoid masking of their calls by traffic noise. We predicted that: (i) anuran vocalization characteristics (dominant frequency, mean amplitude and call rate) should be different in areas with different traffic noise levels; (ii) increases in traffic noise can cause immediate changes in amphibian vocalization characteristics; (iii) these altered vocalizations are similar to those at high traffic sites. To test the first prediction we compared vocalizations of four species of anuran at breeding sites in locations with low traffic noise vs. sites with high traffic noise. For the second prediction we broadcast traffic noise at low traffic (quiet) sites, and compared the anuran vocalizations before vs. during the broadcast traffic noise. For the third prediction we compared vocalizations at high traffic sites to those produced at low traffic sites while broadcasting traffic noise. Three species of anurans found at locations with low traffic noise produced vocalizations with different characteristics than individuals of the same species found in locations with high traffic noise. Broadcast traffic noise immediately altered amphibian vocalization characteristics such that they became similar to those of the same species found in locations with high traffic noise. We conclude that plasticity in the vocalizations of anurans allows for the maintenance of acoustic communication in the presence of traffic noise.

  19. The metamorphosis of amphibian toxicogenomics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caren eHelbing

    2012-03-01

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

  20. Passive stiffness of hindlimb muscles in anurans with distinct locomotor specializations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danos, Nicole; Azizi, Emanuel

    2015-08-01

    Anurans (frogs and toads) have been shown to have relatively compliant skeletal muscles. Using a meta-analysis of published data we have found that muscle stiffness is negatively correlated with joint range of motion when examined across mammalian, anuran and bird species. Given this trend across a broad phylogenetic sample, we examined whether the relationship held true within anurans. We identified four species that differ in preferred locomotor mode and hence joint range of motion (Lithobates catesbeianus, Rhinella marina, Xenopus laevis and Kassina senegalensis) and hypothesized that smaller in vivo angles (more flexed) at the knee and ankle joint would be associated with more compliant extensor muscles. We measured passive muscle tension during cyclical stretching (20%) around L0 (sarcomere lengths of 2.2 μm) in fiber bundles extracted from cruralis and plantaris muscles. We found no relationship between muscle stiffness and range of motion for either muscle-joint complex. There were no differences in the passive properties of the cruralis muscle among the four species, but the plantaris muscles of the Xenopus and Kassina were significantly stiffer than those of the other two species. Our results suggest that in anurans the stiffness of muscle fibers is a relatively minor contributor to stiffness at the level of joints and that variation in other anatomical properties including muscle-tendon architecture and joint mechanics as well as active control likely contribute more significantly to range of motion during locomotion. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  1. Neurosteroid Biosynthesis in the Brain of Amphibians

    OpenAIRE

    2011-01-01

    Amphibians have been widely used to investigate the synthesis of biologically active steroids in the brain and the regulation of neurosteroid production by neurotransmitters and neuropeptides. The aim of the present review is to summarize the current knowledge regarding the neuroanatomical distribution and biochemical activity of steroidogenic enzymes in the brain of anurans and urodeles. The data accumulated over the past two decades demonstrate that discrete populations of neurons and/or gl...

  2. How Many Parasites Species a Frog Might Have? Determinants of Parasite Diversity in South American Anurans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karla Magalhães Campião

    Full Text Available There is an increasing interest in unveiling the dynamics of parasite infection. Understanding the interaction patterns, and determinants of host-parasite association contributes to filling knowledge gaps in both community and disease ecology. Despite being targeted as a relevant group for conservation efforts, determinants of the association of amphibians and their parasites in broad scales are poorly understood. Here we describe parasite biodiversity in South American amphibians, testing the influence of host body size and geographic range in helminth parasites species richness (PSR. We also test whether parasite diversity is related to hosts' phylogenetic diversity. Results showed that nematodes are the most common anuran parasites. Host-parasite network has a nested pattern, with specialist helminth taxa generally associated with hosts that harbour the richest parasite faunas. Host size is positively correlated with helminth fauna richness, but we found no support for the association of host geographic range and PSR. These results remained consistent after correcting for uneven study effort and hosts' phylogenic correlation. However, we found no association between host and parasite diversity, indicating that more diversified anuran clades not necessarily support higher parasite diversity. Overall, considering both the structure and the determinants of PRS in anurans, we conclude that specialist parasites are more likely to be associated with large anurans, which are the ones harbouring higher PSR, and that the lack of association of PSR with hosts' clade diversification suggests it is strongly influenced by ecological and contemporary constrains.

  3. Expression patterns of developmental regulatory genes show comparable divisions in the telencephalon of Xenopus and mouse: insights into the evolution of the forebrain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medina, Loreta; Brox, Aurora; Legaz, Isabel; García-López, Margarita; Puelles, Luis

    2005-09-15

    In this study, we review data on the existence of comparable divisions and subdivisions in the telencephalon of different groups of tetrapods based on expression of some developmental regulatory genes, having a particular focus in the comparison of the anuran amphibian Xenopus and the mouse. The available data on Xenopus, mouse, chick and turtle indicate that apparently all tetrapod groups possess the same molecularly distinct divisions and subdivisions in the telencephalon. This basic organization was likely present in the telencephalon of stem tetrapods. Each division/subdivision is characterized by expression of a unique combination of developmental regulatory genes, and appears to represent a self-regulated and topologically constant histogenetic brain compartment that gives rise to specific groups of cells. This interpretation has an important consequence for searching homologies, since a basic condition for cell groups in different vertebrates to be considered homologous is that they originate in the same compartment. However, evolution may allow individual cell groups derived from comparable (field homologous) subdivisions to be either similar or dissimilar across the vertebrate groups, giving rise to several possible scenarios of evolution, which include both the evolutionary conservation of similar (homologous) cells or the production of novel cell groups. Finally, available data in the lamprey, a jawless fish, suggest that not all telencephalic subdivisions were present at the origin of vertebrates, raising important questions about their evolution.

  4. Anurans Collected in West Malaysia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cedhagen, Tomas

    1997-01-01

    Distributional records and natural history noles are given for anurans collected in West Malaysia 1976. Rano baramica was observed when it was caught by an Ahaetulfa nasula (Serpentes: Colubridae). Rhacophorus leucomystax, Limnonectes limnociulris and Microhyla heymonsi were all found al night on...

  5. Prevalence of the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in stream and wetland amphibians in Maryland, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell Grant, Evan H.; Bailey, Larissa L.; Ware, Joy L.; Duncan, Karen L.

    2008-01-01

    The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, responsible for the potentially fatal amphibian disease chytridiomycosis, is known to occur in a large and ever increasing number of amphibian populations around the world. However, sampling has been biased towards stream- and wetland-breeding anurans, with little attention paid to stream-associated salamanders. We sampled three frog and three salamander species in the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park, Maryland, by swabbing animals for PCR analysis to detect DNA of B. dendrobatidis. Using PCR, we detected B. dendrobatidis DNA in both stream and wetland amphibians, and report here the first occurrence of the pathogen in two species of stream-associated salamanders. Future research should focus on mechanisms within habitats that may affect persistence and dissemination of B. dendrobatidis among stream-associated salamanders

  6. Regional expression of Pax7 in the brain of Xenopus laevis during embryonic and larval development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra eBandín

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Pax7 is a member of the highly conserved Pax gene family that is expressed in restricted zones of the central nervous system during development, being involved in early brain regionalization and the maintenance of the regional identity. Using sensitive immunohistochemical techniques we have analyzed the spatiotemporal pattern of Pax7 expression in the brain of the anuran amphibian Xenopus laevis, during development. Pax7 expression was first detected in early embryos in the basal plate of prosomere 3, roof and alar plates of prosomere 1 and mesencephalon, and the alar plate of rhombomere 1. As development proceeded, Pax7 cells were observed in the hypothalamus close to the catecholaminergic population of the mammillary region. In the diencephalon, Pax7 was intensely expressed in a portion of the basal plate of prosomere 3, in the roof plate and in scattered cells of the thalamus in prosomere 2, throughout the roof of prosomere 1, and in the commissural and juxtacommissural domains of the pretectum. In the mesencephalon, Pax7 cells were localized in the optic tectum and, to a lesser extent, in the torus semicircularis. The rostral portion of the alar part of rhombomere 1, including the ventricular layer of the cerebellum, expressed Pax7 and, gradually, some of these dorsal cells were observed to populate ventrally the interpeduncular nucleus and the isthmus (rhombomere 0. Additionally, Pax7 positive cells were found in the ventricular zone of the ventral part of the alar plate along the rhombencephalon and the spinal cord. The findings show that the strongly conserved features of Pax7 expression through development shared by amniote vertebrates are also present in the anamniote amphibians as a common characteristic of the brain organization of tetrapods.

  7. Proteomics analysis of regenerating amphibian limbs: changes during the onset of regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Michael W; Neff, Anton W; Mescher, Anthony L

    2009-01-01

    During amphibian epimorphic limb regeneration, local injury produces metabolic changes that lead to cellular dedifferentiation and formation of a blastema, but few details of these changes have been elucidated. Here we report the first global proteomic analysis of epimorphic regeneration comparing the profiles of abundant proteins in larval limbs of the anuran Xenopus laevis (stage 53) at the time of amputation (0dPA) and 3 days post-amputation when the regeneration blastema is developing (3dPA). We identified and quantified 1517 peptides, of which 1067 were identified with high peptide ID confidence. Of these 1067 proteins, 489 showed significant changes in quantity between the two groups. Taking into account identical peptides whose fold changes were within 20%, and not including peptides whose fold changes were below the observed fold changes of peptides for the internal standard (chicken lysozyme), we were able to identify 145 peptides elevated in 3dPA relative to 0dPA and 220 peptides in 0dPA relative to 3dPA. In this report, we focus on those proteins that were elevated in the 3dPA tissue relative to 0dPA. In this class were members of the annexin family (e.g. ANXA1, ANXA2, ANXA5) and the ANXA2-binding partner S100A10, which have important immunoregulatory roles in other systems and were also shown to be differentially expressed in stage 53 and 57 3dPA and 5dPA blastemas in our previous microarray studies. Besides elucidating the possible modulation of inflammation during amphibian limb regeneration, our proteomic study also provides insight into dedifferentiation by revealing up-regulation of proteins known to characterize many stem cells.

  8. Regulative development of Xenopus laevis in microgravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black, S.; Larkin, K.; Jacqmotte, N.; Wassersug, R.; Pronych, S.; Souza, K.

    To test whether gravity is required for normal amphibian development, Xenopus leavis females were induced to ovulate aboard the orbiting Space Shuttle. Eggs were fertilized in vitro, and although early embryonic stages showed some abnormalities, the embryos were able to regulate and produce nearly normal larvae. These results demonstrate for the first time that a vertebrate can ovulate in the virtual absence of gravity, and that the eggs can develop to a free-living stage.

  9. Temperature dependence of anuran distortion product otoacoustic emissions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meenderink, Sebastiaan W F; van Dijk, Pim

    2006-09-01

    To study the possible involvement of energy-dependent mechanisms in the transduction of sound within the anuran ear, distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) were recorded in the northern leopard frog over a range of body temperatures. The effect of body temperature depended on the stimulus levels used and on the hearing organ under investigation. Low-level DPOAEs from the amphibian papilla (AP) were reversibly depressed for decreased body temperatures. Apparently, DPOAE generation in the AP depends on metabolic rate, indicating the involvement of active processes in the transduction of sound. In contrast, in the other hearing organ, the basilar papilla (BP), the effects of body temperature on DPOAEs were less pronounced, irrespective of the stimulus levels used. Apparently, metabolic rate is less influencing DPOAE generation. We interpret these results as evidence that no amplifier is involved in sound transduction in the BP. The passive functioning of the anuran BP would place this hearing organ in a unique position within tetrapod hearing, but may actually be beneficial to ectothermic species because it will provide the animal with a consistent spectral window, regardless of ambient or body temperature.

  10. Evaluation of listener-based anuran surveys with automated audio recording devices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shearin, A. F.; Calhoun, A.J.K.; Loftin, C.S.

    2012-01-01

    Volunteer-based audio surveys are used to document long-term trends in anuran community composition and abundance. Current sampling protocols, however, are not region- or species-specific and may not detect relatively rare or audibly cryptic species. We used automated audio recording devices to record calling anurans during 2006–2009 at wetlands in Maine, USA. We identified species calling, chorus intensity, time of day, and environmental variables when each species was calling and developed logistic and generalized mixed models to determine the time interval and environmental variables that optimize detection of each species during peak calling periods. We detected eight of nine anurans documented in Maine. Individual recordings selected from the sampling period (0.5 h past sunset to 0100 h) described in the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program (NAAMP) detected fewer species than were detected in recordings from 30 min past sunset until sunrise. Time of maximum detection of presence and full chorusing for three species (green frogs, mink frogs, pickerel frogs) occurred after the NAAMP sampling end time (0100 h). The NAAMP protocol’s sampling period may result in omissions and misclassifications of chorus sizes for certain species. These potential errors should be considered when interpreting trends generated from standardized anuran audio surveys.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  12. The anuran Bauplan: a review of the adaptive, developmental, and genetic underpinnings of frog and tadpole morphology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Handrigan, Gregory R; Wassersug, Richard J

    2007-02-01

    Anurans (frogs, toads, and their larvae) are among the most morphologically derived of vertebrates. While tightly conserved across the order, the anuran Bauplan (body plan) diverges widely from that of other vertebrates, particularly with respect to the skeleton. Here we address the adaptive, ontogenetic, and genetic bases of three such hallmark anuran features: (1) the absence of discrete caudal vertebrae, (2) a truncated axial skeleton, and (3) elongate hind limbs. We review the functional significance of each as it relates to the anuran lifestyle, which includes locomotor adaptations to both aquatic and terrestrial environments. We then shift our focus to the proximal origins of each feature, namely, ontogeny and its molecular regulation. Drawing on relatively limited data, we detail the development of each character and then, by extrapolating from comparative vertebrate data, propose molecular bases for these processes. Cast in this light, the divergent morphology of anurans emerges as a product of evolutionary modulation of the generalised vertebrate developmental machinery. Specifically, we hypothesise that: (1) the formation of caudal vertebrae is precluded due to a failure of sclerotomes to form cartilaginous condensations, perhaps resulting from altered expression of a suite of genes, including Pax1, Pax9, Msx1, Uncx-4.1, Sonic hedgehog, and noggin; (2) anteriorised Hox gene expression in the paraxial mesoderm has led to a rostral shift of morphological boundaries of the vertebral column; and, (3) spatial and temporal shifts in Hox expression may underlie the expanded tarsal elements of the anuran hind limb. Technology is currently in place to investigate each of these scenarios in the African clawed frog Xenopus. Experimental corroboration will further our understanding of the molecular regulation of the anuran Bauplan and provide insight into the origin of vertebrate morphological diversity as well as the role of development in evolution.

  13. Plasticity in the melanotrope neuroendocrine interface of Xenopus laevis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jenks, B.G.; Kidane, A.H.; Scheenen, W.J.; Roubos, E.W.

    2007-01-01

    Melanotrope cells of the amphibian pituitary pars intermedia produce alpha-melanophore-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH), a peptide which causes skin darkening during adaptation to a dark background. The secretory activity of the melanotrope of the South African clawed toad Xenopus laevis is regulated

  14. Reproductive Maturation of the Tropical Clawed Frog, Xenopus tropicalis

    Science.gov (United States)

    The model species Xenopus tropicalis is being widely used in developmental biology and amphibian toxicology studies. In order to increase our understanding of the role of steroid hormones in maturation in this species, we collected baseline reproductive data from metamorphosis t...

  15. Identification of Gender-specific Transcripts by Microarray in Gonad Tissue of Larval and Juvenile Xenopus tropicalis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amphibian model species Xenopus tropicalis is currently being utilized by EPA in the development of a standardized in vivo reproductive toxicity assay. Perturbations to the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis from exposure to endocrine disrupting compounds during larval develop...

  16. Identification of Gender-specific Transcripts by Microarray in Gonad Tissue of Larval and Juvenile Xenopus tropicalis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amphibian model species Xenopus tropicalis is currently being utilized by EPA in the development of a standardized in vivo reproductive toxicity assay. Perturbations to the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis from exposure to endocrine disrupting compounds during larval develop...

  17. Does climate influence assemblages of anurans and lizards in a coastal area of north-eastern Brazil?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, João Fabrício Mota; Borges-Leite, Maria Juliana; Borges-Nojosa, Diva Maria

    2016-11-01

    Environmental factors influence diverse assemblage features such as species abundances, richness, and nestedness. Amphibians and reptiles play important roles in terrestrial ecosystems, but there is still a lack of information about the assemblages of these animals in many regions. In this study, we aimed to understand how environmental factors influence the anurans and lizards assemblages from São Gonçalo do Amarante, Ceará, Brazil. Herpetofauna samplings were performed monthly in São Gonçalo do Amarante from January 2008 to May 2009, excluding April 2008. We sampled animals (anurans and lizards) using pitfall traps and active searches. The abundance and richness of lizards were positively related to temperature and negatively related to precipitation. Anuran assemblage was not influenced by precipitation, but its abundance was negatively influenced by temperature. Temperature generated a nested pattern in the lizard assemblage, but precipitation did not produce this pattern in anurans. Finally, our results reinforce the importance of environmental factors, mainly temperature, in structuring assemblages of anurans and lizards.

  18. The role of damselflies (Odonata: Zygoptera) as paratenic hosts in the transmission of Halipegus eccentricus (Digenea: Hemiuridae) to anurans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolek, Matthew G; Tracy, Heather R; Janovy, John

    2010-08-01

    Halipegus eccentricus is a common hemiurid trematode in the eustachian tubes of North America frogs. However, the life cycle of this species has never been completely elucidated. Studies on H. eccentricus suggest that it has a 3-host life cycle. Here, we show through fieldwork and host specificity experimental infections that the life cycle of Halipegus eccentricus utilizes 4 hosts. Metamorphosed anurans become infected with H. eccentricus by feeding on infected damselflies; worms reside in the stomach of anurans, migrate to the eustachian tubes within 32-39 days post-exposure (DPE), and release eggs 50-60 DPE. Cystophorous cercariae develop in Physa gyrina snails within 32-35 DPE, infect ostracod ( Cypridopsis sp.) second intermediate hosts, and develop to metacercariae. Fifteen- to 19-day-old metacercariae from ostracods are infective to both damselfly larvae and metamorphosed anurans. Field surveys of damselflies and tadpoles, along with laboratory exposure of damselfly larvae, metamorphosed anurans, and tadpoles with infected ostracods, indicated that only metamorphosed anurans and damselflies become infected with H. eccentricus , whereas field-collected tadpoles and laboratory-exposed tadpoles were never infected with H. eccentricus . Because little morphological change occurred in the metacercaria stage of H. eccentricus between the ostracod second intermediate host and damselfly host, and metamorphosed anurans became infected with H. eccentricus metacercariae recovered from both host groups, we suggest that odonates serve as paratenic hosts in this life cycle. Additionally, our field work and experimental infections provide data on the use of odonates as the route of infection by another North American Halipegus sp. that matures in the stomach of frogs. Our data indicate that when the life cycles are known, the use of odonates as the route of infection to anurans is common in the life cycles of Halipegus spp., and all species exhibit remarkable infection

  19. Preliminary Report on the Anurans of Mount Hilong-hilong, Agusan Del Norte, Eastern Mindanao, Philippines

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jeszianlenn L. PLAZA; Marites B.SANGUILA

    2015-01-01

    Mount Hilong-hilong is a key biodiversity area, spanning several municipalities in the provinces of the Caraga Region (Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur), northeastern Mindanao Island, southern Philippines. The Hilong-hilong massif remains one of the most signiifcant forested areas in Mindanao, threatened with habitat modification (forest removal, degradation) and other anthropogenic disturbances related to renewable resource extraction. Amphibians are key indicator species for environmental quality and are useful focal taxa for conservation efforts. Relying on historical museum database information and new survey work on Mount Hilong-hilong, we provide species accounts and describe microhabitat preferences of the anurans (frogs and toads) present in the area. Twenty-seven species representing seven anuran families were studied in detail at elevations between 700 to 1300 meters above sea level; 16 of these species are Mindanao faunal region endemics. Qualitative overlap in microhabitat use was observed, suggesting that, for the species recorded, intact forest may ensure species persistence to some levels of anthropogenic disturbance. A more extensive herpetofaunal survey is needed to fully estimate the herpetofaunal diversity of Mount Hilong-hilong. Because amphibians represent ifne-scale indicators of environmental quality and microendemism, we recommend appropriate ifne-scaled regional strategies geared towards the conservation of amphibians in the Caraga area, northeast Mindanao Island.

  20. Distribuição temporal e diversidade de modos reprodutivos de anfíbios anuros no Parque Nacional das Emas e entorno, Estado de Goiás, Brasil Temporal distribution and diversity of reproductive modes in anuran amphibians in the Emas National Park and surrounding area, State of Goiás, Brazil

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    Katia Kopp

    2010-09-01

    reas abertas e/ou antrópicas.The communities of anuran amphibians, especially in tropical regions, are directly influenced by environmental conditions, whfich play an important role in structuring and regulating communities. This study aimed to determine the diversity of reproductive modes, season of vocalization and to test correlation among climatic variables and richness, abundance of adult frogs and tadpoles, and activity of vocalization of males in 12 water bodies located in and around the Emas National Park, southwestern state of Goiás, Brazil. Sixteen samples were carried out between December 2005 and March 2008. A total of 25 species from five families were recorded: Bufonidae (one species, Hylidae (nine species, Leptodactylidae (eight species, Leiuperidae (six species and Microhylidae (one species. Four patterns of reproductive activity were recognized among the species: continuous, intermediate, long and explosive. The richness of adult frogs, the abundance and activity of the calling males were positively related to air temperature, humidity and precipitation. The richness of tadpoles was positively related to precipitation and water temperature, but there was no relationship between the abundance of tadpoles with no descriptors of climate. Six reproductive modes were recorded, 56% of species had widespread aquatic reproductive modes (mode 1 and 4 and 44% deposit eggs in nests of foam (modes 11, 13, 30 and 32. The species recorded in this study showed a predominance of reproductive modes and general reproductive pattern typically associated with the warm and rainy period, as expected for tropical and seasonal regions. However, the temporal segregation between groups of species within the rainy season seems to facilitate the coexistence of generalist species typical of open and/or anthropogenic areas.

  1. Neurosteroid biosynthesis in the brain of amphibians

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    Hubert eVaudry

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Amphibians have been widely used to investigate the synthesis of biologically active steroids in the brain and the regulation of neurosteroid production by neurotransmitters and neuropeptides. The aim of the present review is to summarize the current knowledge regarding the neuroanatomical distribution and biochemical activity of steroidogenic enzymes in the brain of anurans and urodeles. The data accumulated over the past two decades demonstrate that discrete populations of neurons and/or glial cells in the frog and newt brains express the major steroidogenic enzymes and are able to synthesize de novo a number of neurosteroids from cholesterol/pregnenolone. Since neurosteroidogenesis has been conserved during evolution from amphibians to mammals, it appears that neurosteroids must play important physiological functions in the central nervous system of vertebrates

  2. Biogeography of Anurans from the Poorly Known and Threatened Coastal Sandplains of Eastern Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xavier, Ariane Lima; Guedes, Thaís Barreto; Napoli, Marcelo Felgueiras

    2015-01-01

    The east coast of Brazil comprises an extensive area inserted in the Tropical Atlantic Domain and is represented by sandy plains of beach ridges commonly known as Restingas. The coastal environments are unique and house a rich amphibian fauna, the geographical distribution patterns of which are incipient. Biogeographical studies can explain the current distributional patterns and provide the identification of natural biogeographical units. These areas are important in elucidating the evolutionary history of the taxa and the areas where they occur. The aim of this study was to seek natural biogeographical units in the Brazilian sandy plains of beach ridges by means of distribution data of amphibians and to test the main predictions of the vicariance model to explain the patterns found. We revised and georeferenced data on the geographical distribution of 63 anuran species. We performed a search for latitudinal distribution patterns along the sandy coastal plains of Brazil using the non-metric multidimensional scaling method (NMDS) and the biotic element analysis to identify natural biogeographical units. The results showed a monotonic variation in anuran species composition along the latitudinal gradient with a break in the clinal pattern from 23°S to 25°S latitude (states of Rio de Janeiro to São Paulo). The major predictions of the vicariance model were corroborated by the detection of four biotic elements with significantly clustered distribution and by the presence of congeneric species distributed in distinct biotic elements. The results support the hypothesis that vicariance could be one of the factors responsible for the distribution patterns of the anuran communities along the sandy coastal plains of eastern Brazil. The results of the clusters are also congruent with the predictions of paleoclimatic models made for the Last Glacial Maximum of the Pleistocene, such as the presence of historical forest refugia and biogeographical patterns already detected

  3. Amphibians as animal models for laboratory research in physiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burggren, Warren W; Warburton, Stephen

    2007-01-01

    The concept of animal models is well honored, and amphibians have played a prominent part in the success of using key species to discover new information about all animals. As animal models, amphibians offer several advantages that include a well-understood basic physiology, a taxonomic diversity well suited to comparative studies, tolerance to temperature and oxygen variation, and a greater similarity to humans than many other currently popular animal models. Amphibians now account for approximately 1/4 to 1/3 of lower vertebrate and invertebrate research, and this proportion is especially true in physiological research, as evident from the high profile of amphibians as animal models in Nobel Prize research. Currently, amphibians play prominent roles in research in the physiology of musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, renal, respiratory, reproductive, and sensory systems. Amphibians are also used extensively in physiological studies aimed at generating new insights in evolutionary biology, especially in the investigation of the evolution of air breathing and terrestriality. Environmental physiology also utilizes amphibians, ranging from studies of cryoprotectants for tissue preservation to physiological reactions to hypergravity and space exploration. Amphibians are also playing a key role in studies of environmental endocrine disruptors that are having disproportionately large effects on amphibian populations and where specific species can serve as sentinel species for environmental pollution. Finally, amphibian genera such as Xenopus, a genus relatively well understood metabolically and physiologically, will continue to contribute increasingly in this new era of systems biology and "X-omics."

  4. Sperm storage in caecilian amphibians

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    Kuehnel Susanne

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Female sperm storage has evolved independently multiple times among vertebrates to control reproduction in response to the environment. In internally fertilising amphibians, female salamanders store sperm in cloacal spermathecae, whereas among anurans sperm storage in oviducts is known only in tailed frogs. Facilitated through extensive field sampling following historical observations we tested for sperm storing structures in the female urogenital tract of fossorial, tropical caecilian amphibians. Findings In the oviparous Ichthyophis cf. kohtaoensis, aggregated sperm were present in a distinct region of the posterior oviduct but not in the cloaca in six out of seven vitellogenic females prior to oviposition. Spermatozoa were found most abundantly between the mucosal folds. In relation to the reproductive status decreased amounts of sperm were present in gravid females compared to pre-ovulatory females. Sperm were absent in females past oviposition. Conclusions Our findings indicate short-term oviductal sperm storage in the oviparous Ichthyophis cf. kohtaoensis. We assume that in female caecilians exhibiting high levels of parental investment sperm storage has evolved in order to optimally coordinate reproductive events and to increase fitness.

  5. Microbiota and mucosal immunity in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colombo, Bruno M; Scalvenzi, Thibault; Benlamara, Sarah; Pollet, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    We know that animals live in a world dominated by bacteria. In the last 20 years, we have learned that microbes are essential regulators of mucosal immunity. Bacteria, archeas, and viruses influence different aspects of mucosal development and function. Yet, the literature mainly covers findings obtained in mammals. In this review, we focus on two major themes that emerge from the comparative analysis of mammals and amphibians. These themes concern: (i) the structure and functions of lymphoid organs and immune cells in amphibians, with a focus on the gut mucosal immune system; and (ii) the characteristics of the amphibian microbiota and its influence on mucosal immunity. Lastly, we propose to use Xenopus tadpoles as an alternative small-animal model to improve the fundamental knowledge on immunological functions of gut microbiota.

  6. Microbiota and mucosal immunity in amphibians

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    Bruno M Colombo

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available We know that animals live in a world dominated by bacteria. In the last twenty years we have learned that microbes are essential regulators of mucosal immunity. Bacterias, archeas and viruses influence different aspects of mucosal development and function. Yet the literature mainly covers findings obtained in mammals. In this review, we focus on two major themes that emerge from the comparative analysis of mammals and amphibians. These themes concern: i the structure and functions of lymphoid organs and immune cells in amphibians, with a focus on the gut mucosal immune system; and ii the characteristics of the amphibian microbiota and its influence on mucosal immunity. Lastly, we propose to use Xenopus tadpoles as an alternative small animal model to improve the fundamental knowledge on immunological functions of gut microbiota.

  7. Biological Scaling Problems and Solutions in Amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Daniel L; Heald, Rebecca

    2015-08-10

    Size is a primary feature of biological systems that varies at many levels, from the organism to its constituent cells and subcellular structures. Amphibians populate some of the extremes in biological size and have provided insight into scaling mechanisms, upper and lower size limits, and their physiological significance. Body size variation is a widespread evolutionary tactic among amphibians, with miniaturization frequently correlating with direct development that occurs without a tadpole stage. The large genomes of salamanders lead to large cell sizes that necessitate developmental modification and morphological simplification. Amphibian extremes at the cellular level have provided insight into mechanisms that accommodate cell-size differences. Finally, how organelles scale to cell size between species and during development has been investigated at the molecular level, because subcellular scaling can be recapitulated using Xenopus in vitro systems.

  8. Anuran site occupancy and species richness as tools for evaluating restoration of a hydrologically-modified landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walls, Susan; Waddle, J. Hardin; Barichivich, William J.; Bartoszek, Ian A.; Brown, Mary E.; Hefner, J. M.; Schuman, Melinda J.

    2014-01-01

    A fundamental goal of wetland restoration is to reinstate pre-disturbance hydrological conditions to degraded landscapes, facilitating recolonization by native species and the production of resilient, functional ecosystems. To evaluate restoration success, baseline conditions need to be determined and a reference target needs to be established that will serve as an ecological blueprint in the restoration process. During the summer wet seasons of 2010 and 2011, we used automated recording units to monitor a community of calling anuran amphibians in the Picayune Strand State Forest of Southwest Florida, USA. This area is undergoing hydrological restoration as part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. We compared occurrence of anurans at sites in the restoration area, to nearby locations in relatively undisturbed habitat (reference sites). We assessed the utility of the latter as restoration targets, using a hierarchical model of community species occupancy to estimate the probability of occurrence of anurans in restoration and reference locations. We detected 14 species, 13 of which were significantly more likely to occur in reference areas. All 14 species were estimated by our model to occur at these sites but, across both years, only 8–13 species were estimated to occur at restoration sites. The composition and structure of these habitats within and adjacent to the Picayune Strand State Forest indicate that they are suitable targets for habitat restoration, as measured by amphibian occurrence and species richness. These areas are important sources for recolonization of anuran amphibians as the hydrologically degraded Picayune Strand undergoes restoration to mitigate the effects of overdrainage and habitat loss.

  9. Filling a gap in the distribution of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis: evidence in amphibians from northern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Wei; Fan, Liqing; Soto-Azat, Claudio; Yan, Shaofei; Gao, Xu; Liu, Xuan; Wang, Supen; Liu, Conghui; Yang, Xuejiao; Li, Yiming

    2016-03-30

    Chytridiomycosis caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been recognized as a major driver of amphibian declines worldwide. Central and northern Asia remain as the greatest gap in the knowledge of the global distribution of Bd. In China, Bd has recently been recorded from south and central regions, but areas in the north remain poorly surveyed. In addition, a recent increase in amphibian farming and trade has put this region at high risk for Bd introduction. To investigate this, we collected a total of 1284 non-invasive skin swabs from wild and captive anurans and caudates, including free-ranging, farmed, ornamental, and museum-preserved amphibians. Bd was detected at low prevalence (1.1%, 12 of 1073) in live wild amphibians, representing the first report of Bd infecting anurans from remote areas of northwestern China. We were unable to obtain evidence of the historical presence of Bd from museum amphibians (n = 72). Alarmingly, Bd was not detected in wild amphibians from the provinces of northeastern China (>700 individuals tested), but was widely present (15.1%, 21 of 139) in amphibians traded in this region. We suggest that urgent implementation of measures is required to reduce the possibility of further spread or inadvertent introduction of Bd to China. It is unknown whether Bd in northern China belongs to endemic and/or exotic genotypes, and this should be the focus of future research.

  10. Evolutionary mechanisms of rib loss in anurans: a comparative developmental approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanco, M J; Sanchiz, B

    2000-04-01

    ABSTRACT The presence of free ribs is presumed to be a primitive morphological character observed only in a few families of Recent anurans, whereas the absence of ribs has been considered to be a derived condition that is widespread within this order. A comparative study of rib development based on representatives of several anuran lineages (Alytes, Bombina, Bufo, Discoglossus, Hyla, Pelobates, Pelodytes, Rana, and Xenopus) reveals a previously undetected diversity of developmental features in the formation and interaction between neural arches and ribs. The absence of free ribs at premetamorphic or later stages is verified in some groups, but we present for the first time evidence of the existence of larval rib rudiments in others, both in the anterior (Rana, Hyla) and posterior (Bufo, Discoglossus, Pelobates) presacral regions. Heterochrony seems to have played a major role in the processes underlying rib reduction. The intracolumnar differences between anterior (V(2)-V(4)) and posterior (V(5)-V(8)) regions are based on perturbations in the timing of early differentiation. Furthermore, a clear shift in the relative timing of ossification among evolutionary lineages was detected. In this respect Xenopus has a highly derived condition. The use of the morphological character of "rib loss" in phylogenetic analyses must be reconsidered due to the different convergent developmental paths described here. The phylogenetic analysis of a "sequence units" matrix of rib development is compared with current anuran phylogenies. Some evolutionary information appears to be clearly present in the ontogenetic data of this "missing morphology," but its value for evolutionary inferences is rather limited.

  11. Anuran Call Survey Summary 2000 Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Anuran call surveys were conducted at the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge for the first time in 2000. Surveys for anurans are conducted in conjunction with...

  12. Probing the Xenopus laevis inner ear transcriptome for biological function

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    Powers TuShun R

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The senses of hearing and balance depend upon mechanoreception, a process that originates in the inner ear and shares features across species. Amphibians have been widely used for physiological studies of mechanotransduction by sensory hair cells. In contrast, much less is known of the genetic basis of auditory and vestibular function in this class of animals. Among amphibians, the genus Xenopus is a well-characterized genetic and developmental model that offers unique opportunities for inner ear research because of the amphibian capacity for tissue and organ regeneration. For these reasons, we implemented a functional genomics approach as a means to undertake a large-scale analysis of the Xenopus laevis inner ear transcriptome through microarray analysis. Results Microarray analysis uncovered genes within the X. laevis inner ear transcriptome associated with inner ear function and impairment in other organisms, thereby supporting the inclusion of Xenopus in cross-species genetic studies of the inner ear. The use of gene categories (inner ear tissue; deafness; ion channels; ion transporters; transcription factors facilitated the assignment of functional significance to probe set identifiers. We enhanced the biological relevance of our microarray data by using a variety of curation approaches to increase the annotation of the Affymetrix GeneChip® Xenopus laevis Genome array. In addition, annotation analysis revealed the prevalence of inner ear transcripts represented by probe set identifiers that lack functional characterization. Conclusions We identified an abundance of targets for genetic analysis of auditory and vestibular function. The orthologues to human genes with known inner ear function and the highly expressed transcripts that lack annotation are particularly interesting candidates for future analyses. We used informatics approaches to impart biologically relevant information to the Xenopus inner ear transcriptome

  13. Gut bacterial communities across tadpole ecomorphs in two diverse tropical anuran faunas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vences, Miguel; Lyra, Mariana L.; Kueneman, Jordan G.; Bletz, Molly C.; Archer, Holly M.; Canitz, Julia; Handreck, Svenja; Randrianiaina, Roger-Daniel; Struck, Ulrich; Bhuju, Sabin; Jarek, Michael; Geffers, Robert; McKenzie, Valerie J.; Tebbe, Christoph C.; Haddad, Célio F. B.; Glos, Julian

    2016-04-01

    Animal-associated microbial communities can play major roles in the physiology, development, ecology, and evolution of their hosts, but the study of their diversity has yet focused on a limited number of host species. In this study, we used high-throughput sequencing of partial sequences of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene to assess the diversity of the gut-inhabiting bacterial communities of 212 specimens of tropical anuran amphibians from Brazil and Madagascar. The core gut-associated bacterial communities among tadpoles from two different continents strongly overlapped, with eight highly represented operational taxonomic units (OTUs) in common. In contrast, the core communities of adults and tadpoles from Brazil were less similar with only one shared OTU. This suggests a community turnover at metamorphosis. Bacterial diversity was higher in tadpoles compared to adults. Distinct differences in composition and diversity occurred among gut bacterial communities of conspecific tadpoles from different water bodies and after experimental fasting for 8 days, demonstrating the influence of both environmental factors and food on the community structure. Communities from syntopic tadpoles clustered by host species both in Madagascar and Brazil, and the Malagasy tadpoles also had species-specific isotope signatures. We recommend future studies to analyze the turnover of anuran gut bacterial communities at metamorphosis, compare the tadpole core communities with those of other aquatic organisms, and assess the possible function of the gut microbiota as a reservoir for protective bacteria on the amphibian skin.

  14. Relation between Water Balance and Climatic Variables Associated with the Geographical Distribution of Anurans.

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    Braz Titon

    Full Text Available Amphibian species richness increases toward the equator, particularly in humid tropical forests. This relation between amphibian species richness and environmental water availability has been proposed to be a consequence of their high rates of evaporative water loss. In this way, traits that estimate water balance are expected to covary with climate and constrain a species' geographic distribution. Furthermore, we predicted that coexisting species of anurans would have traits that are adapted to local hydric conditions. We compared the traits that describe water balance in 17 species of anurans that occur in the mesic Atlantic Forest and xeric Cerrado (savannah habitats of Brazil. We predicted that species found in the warmer and dryer areas would show a lower sensitivity of locomotor performance to dehydration (SLPD, increased resistance to evaporative water loss (REWL and higher rates of water uptake (RWU than species restricted to the more mesic areas. We estimated the allometric relations between the hydric traits and body mass using phylogenetic generalized least squares. These regressions showed that REWL scaled negatively with body mass, whereas RWU scaled positively with body mass. Additionally, species inhabiting areas characterized by higher and more seasonally uniform temperatures, and lower and more seasonally concentrated precipitation, such as the Cerrado, had higher RWU and SLPD than species with geographical distributions more restricted to mesic environments, such as the Atlantic Forest. These results support the hypothesis that the interspecific variation of physiological traits shows an adaptation pattern to abiotic environmental traits.

  15. Vocalizations in juvenile anurans: common spadefoot toads (Pelobates fuscus) regularly emit calls before sexual maturity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ten Hagen, Leonie; Rodríguez, Ariel; Menke, Norbert; Göcking, Christian; Bisping, Michael; Frommolt, Karl-Heinz; Ziegler, Thomas; Bonkowski, Michael; Vences, Miguel

    2016-10-01

    Acoustic communication is prominent in adult anuran amphibians, in reproductive, territorial and defensive contexts. In contrast, reports on vocalizations of juvenile anurans are rare and anecdotal, and their function unstudied. We here provide conclusive evidence for vocalizations in juvenile spadefoot toads (Pelobates fuscus) in very early terrestrial stages. While the aquatic tadpoles did not emit sounds, first vocalizations of metamorphs were heard as early as in stages 42-43, and calls were regularly emitted from stage 44 on, often from specimens still bearing extensive tail stubs. Three main types of calls could be distinguished, of which one consists of a series of short notes, one of a typically single longer and pulsed note, and one of a single tonal note. In experimental setups, the number of calls per froglet increased with density of individuals and after feeding, while on the contrary calls were not elicited by playback. The function of these juvenile calls remains unclarified, but they might reflect a general arousal in the context of feeding. Further evidence is necessary to test whether such feeding calls could confer a signal to conspecifics and thus might represent intraspecific acoustic communication in these immature terrestrial amphibians.

  16. Body size affects the predatory interactions between introduced American Bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) and native anurans in China: An experimental study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Y.; Guo, Z.; Pearl, C.A.; Li, Y.

    2007-01-01

    Introduced American Bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) have established breeding populations in several provinces in China since their introduction in 1959. Although Bullfrogs are viewed as a potentially important predator of Chinese native anurans, their impacts in the field are difficult to quantify. We used two experiments to examine factors likely to mediate Bullfrog predation on native anurans. First, we examined effects of Bullfrog size and sex on daily consumption of a common Chinese native (Rana limnocharis). Second, we examined whether Bullfrogs consumed similar proportions of four Chinese natives: Black-Spotted Pond Frog (Rana nigromaculata), Green Pond Frog (Rana plancyi plancyi), Rice Frog (R. limnocharis), and Zhoushan Toad (Bufo bufo gargarizans). We found that larger Rana catesbeiana consumed more R. limnocharis per day than did smaller R. catesbeiana, and that daily consumption of R. limnocharis was positively related to R. catesbeiana body size. When provided with adults of four anurans that differed significantly in body size, R. catesbeiana consumed more individuals of the smallest species (R. limnocharis). However, when provided with similarly sized juveniles of the same four species, R. catesbeiana did not consume any species more than expected by chance. Our results suggest that body size plays an important role in the predatory interactions between R. catesbeiana and Chinese native anurans and that, other things being equal, smaller species and individuals are at greater risk of predation by R. catesbeiana. Copyright 2007 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.

  17. Characterization of pars intermedia connections in amphibians by biocytin tract tracing and immunofluorescence aided by confocal microscopy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jansen, K; Fabro, C; Artero, C; Feuilloley, M; Vaudry, H; Fasolo, A; Franzoni, MF

    Biocytin, recently introduced in neuroanatomical studies, was used as a retrograde tract tracer in combination with immunofluorescence in order to analyse the neurochemical characters of some central neuronal projections to the pars intermedia in two amphibian species, the anuran Rana esculenta and

  18. Homologous sex chromosomes in three deeply divergent anuran species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brelsford, Alan; Stöck, Matthias; Betto-Colliard, Caroline; Dubey, Sylvain; Dufresnes, Christophe; Jourdan-Pineau, Hélène; Rodrigues, Nicolas; Savary, Romain; Sermier, Roberto; Perrin, Nicolas

    2013-08-01

    Comparative genomic studies are revealing that, in sharp contrast with the strong stability found in birds and mammals, sex determination mechanisms are surprisingly labile in cold-blooded vertebrates, with frequent transitions between different pairs of sex chromosomes. It was recently suggested that, in context of this high turnover, some chromosome pairs might be more likely than others to be co-opted as sex chromosomes. Empirical support, however, is still very limited. Here we show that sex-linked markers from three highly divergent groups of anurans map to Xenopus tropicalis scaffold 1, a large part of which is homologous to the avian sex chromosome. Accordingly, the bird sex determination gene DMRT1, known to play a key role in sex differentiation across many animal lineages, is sex linked in all three groups. Our data provide strong support for the idea that some chromosome pairs are more likely than others to be co-opted as sex chromosomes because they harbor key genes from the sex determination pathway. © 2013 The Author(s). Evolution © 2013 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  19. Multiple stressors in amphibian communities: Effects of chemical contamination, bullfrogs, and fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boone, M.D.; Semlitsch, R.D.; Little, E.E.; Doyle, M.C.

    2007-01-01

    A leading hypothesis of amphibian population declines is that combinations of multiple stressors contribute to declines. We examined the role that chemical contamination, competition, and predation play singly and in combination in aquatic amphibian communities. We exposed larvae of American toads (Bufo americanus), southern leopard frogs (Rana sphenocephala), and spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) to overwintered bullfrog tadpoles (R. catesbeiana), bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus), the insecticide carbaryl, and ammonium nitrate fertilizer in 1000-L mesocosms. Most significantly, our study demonstrated that the presence of multiple factors reduced survival of B. americanus and A. maculatum and lengthened larval periods of R. sphenocephala. The presence of bluegill had the largest impact on the community; it eliminated B. americanus and A. maculatum and reduced the abundance of R. sphenocephala. Chemical contaminants had the second strongest effect on the community with the insecticide, reducing A. maculatum abundance by 50% and increasing the mass of anurans (frogs and toads) at metamorphosis; the fertilizer positively influenced time and mass at metamorphosis for both anurans and A. maculatum. Presence of overwintered bullfrogs reduced mass and increased time to metamorphosis of anurans. While both bluegill and overwintered bullfrog tadpoles had negative effects on the amphibian community, they performed better in the presence of one another and in contaminated habitats. Our results indicate that predicting deleterious combinations from single-factor effects may not be straightforward. Our research supports the hypothesis that combinations of factors can negatively impact some amphibian species and could contribute to population declines. ?? 2007 by the Ecological Society of America.

  20. Ontogenetic distribution of the transcription factor Nkx2.2 in the developing forebrain of Xenopus laevis

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    Laura eDominguez

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available The expression of the Nkx2.2 gene is involved in the organization of the alar-basal boundary in the forebrain of vertebrates. Its expression in different diencephalic and telencephalic regions, helped to define distinct progenitor domains in mouse and chick. Here we investigated the pattern of Nkx2.2 protein distribution throughout the development of the forebrain of the anuran amphibian, Xenopus laevis. We used immunohistochemical and in situ hybridization techniques for its detection in combination with other essential territorial markers in the forebrain. No expression was observed in the telencephalon. In the alar hypothalamus, Nkx2.2 positive cells were scattered in the suprachiasmatic territory, but also in the supraoptoparaventricular area, as defined by the expression of the transcription factor Otp and the lack of xDll4. In the basal hypothalamus Nkx2.2 expressing cells were localized in the tuberal region, with the exception of the arcuate nucleus, rich in Otp expressing cells. In the diencephalon it was expressed in all three prosomeres (P1-P3 and not in the zona limitans intrathalamica. The presence of Nkx2.2 expressing cells in P3 was restricted to the alar portion, as well as in prosomere P2, whereas in P1 the Nkx2.2 expressing cells were located in the basal plate and identified the alar/basal boundary. These results showed that Nkx2.2 and Sonic hedgehog are expressed in parallel adjacent stripes along the anterior-posterior axis. The results of this study showed a conserved distribution pattern of Nkx2.2 among vertebrates, crucial to recognize subdivisions that are otherwise indistinct, and supported the relevance of this transcription factor in the organization of the forebrain, particularly in the delineation of the alar/basal boundary of the forebrain.

  1. Xenopus pancreas development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearl, Esther J; Bilogan, Cassandra K; Mukhi, Sandeep; Brown, Donald D; Horb, Marko E

    2009-06-01

    Understanding how the pancreas develops is vital to finding new treatments for a range of pancreatic diseases, including diabetes and pancreatic cancer. Xenopus is a relatively new model organism for the elucidation of pancreas development, and has already made contributions to the field. Recent studies have shown benefits of using Xenopus for understanding both early patterning and lineage specification aspects of pancreas organogenesis. This review focuses specifically on Xenopus pancreas development, and covers events from the end of gastrulation, when regional specification of the endoderm is occurring, right through metamorphosis, when the mature pancreas is fully formed. We have attempted to cover pancreas development in Xenopus comprehensively enough to assist newcomers to the field and also to enable those studying pancreas development in other model organisms to better place the results from Xenopus research into the context of the field in general and their studies specifically. Developmental Dynamics 238:1271-1286, 2009. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  2. Efficient reactivation of Xenopus erythrocyte nuclei in Xenopus egg extracts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wangh, L J; DeGrace, D; Sanchez, J A; Gold, A; Yeghiazarians, Y; Wiedemann, K; Daniels, S

    1995-06-01

    Rapid genome replication is one of the hallmarks of the frog embryonic cell cycle. We report here that complete reactivation of quiescent somatic cell nuclei in Xenopus egg extracts depends on prior restructuring of the nuclear substrate and prior preparation of cytoplasmic extract with the highest capacity to initiate and sustain DNA synthesis. Nuclei from mature erythrocytes swell, replicate their DNA efficiently, and enter mitosis in frozen/thawed extracts prepared from activated Xenopus eggs, provided the nuclei are first treated with trypsin, heparin, and an extract prepared from unactivated, meiotically arrested, eggs. Optimal replicating extracts are prepared from large batches of unfertilized eggs that are synchronously activated into the cell cycle for 28 minutes (at 20 degrees C). Because the Xenopus cell cycle progresses so rapidly, extracts prepared just a few minutes before or after this time have substantially lower DNA synthetic capacities. At the optimal time and temperature, eggs have just reached the G1/S boundary of the first cell cycle. This fact was revealed by injecting and replicating an SV40 plasmid in intact unfertilized eggs as described previously. We estimate that under optimal conditions approximately 6.14 x 10(9) base pairs of DNA/per nucleus are synthesized in 30-40 minutes, a rate that rivals that observed in the zygotic nucleus. The findings reported here are one step in our long term effort to develop a new in vitro/in vivo approach to nuclear transplantation. Nuclear transplantation in amphibian embryos has been used to establish that the genomes of many types of differentiated somatic cells are pluripotent. But very few such nuclei have ever developed into advanced tadpoles or adult frogs, probably because somatic nuclei injected directly into activated eggs fail to reactivate quickly enough to avoid being damaged during first mitosis. We have already shown that unfertilized eggs can be injected prior to activation of the first

  3. Chytrid fungus acts as a generalist pathogen infecting species-rich amphibian families in Brazilian rainforests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valencia-Aguilar, Anyelet; Ruano-Fajardo, Gustavo; Lambertini, Carolina; da Silva Leite, Domingos; Toledo, Luís Felipe; Mott, Tamí

    2015-05-11

    The fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is among the main causes of declines in amphibian populations. This fungus is considered a generalist pathogen because it infects several species and spreads rapidly in the wild. To date, Bd has been detected in more than 100 anuran species in Brazil, mostly in the southern portion of the Atlantic forest. Here, we report survey data from some poorly explored regions; these data considerably extend current information on the distribution of Bd in the northern Atlantic forest region. In addition, we tested the hypothesis that Bd is a generalist pathogen in this biome. We also report the first positive record for Bd in an anuran caught in the wild in Amazonia. In total, we screened 90 individuals (from 27 species), of which 39 individuals (from 22 species) were Bd-positive. All samples collected in Bahia (2 individuals), Pernambuco (3 individuals), Pará (1 individual), and Minas Gerais (1 individual) showed positive results for Bd. We found a positive correlation between anuran richness per family and the number of infected species in the Atlantic forest, supporting previous observations that Bd lacks strong host specificity; of 38% of the anuran species in the Atlantic forest that were tested for Bd infection, 25% showed positive results. The results of our study exemplify the pandemic and widespread nature of Bd infection in amphibians.

  4. Potential component Allee effects and their impact on wetland management in the conservation of endangered anurans.

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    Michele A Gaston

    Full Text Available Effective management of wetland quantity and quality is crucial for effective conservation of declining amphibian populations. In particular, frogs and toads that employ aggregative breeding strategies may suffer negative population impacts in response to changes in availability of aquatic breeding habitat, including overabundance of suitable habitat, if density of conspecifics attending aggregations is positively correlated with reproductive success. Here we document such a positive relationship, potentially the first example of a component Allee effect in an anuran, in the critically endangered Houston toad (Bufo houstonensis. We assessed the relationship between mean yearly chorus size and reproductive success of males at the pond level using an information theoretic model selection approach and a two-sample t-test. The chosen model contained the single variable of mean yearly chorus size to predict probability of reproduction, as selected using the Akaike Information Criterion corrected for small sample size and Akaike weight. Mean chorus sizes were significantly higher among ponds exhibiting evidence of reproduction than in those that showed no evidence of reproduction. Our results suggest that chorusing alone is a poor proxy for inference of population stability and highlight a need for reassessment of widely-used amphibian monitoring protocols. Further, amphibian conservation efforts should account for potential Allee effects in order to optimize benefits and avoid underestimating critical population thresholds, particularly in species exhibiting rapid population declines.

  5. Monitoring and Management of a Sensitive Resource: A Landscape-level Approach with Amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-03-01

    nighttime assessments of vocalizing frogs during the breeding seasons executed from February through September (frog call surveys), (2) monthly daytime...study areas on each of the installations. (1) Frog call surveys - Species-specific frog vocalizations were taped and assessed by ear on one night...Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) meeting. Patuxent Wildlife Reararch Center, Laurel, MD. 13-15 October. Mitchell, J.C. 2000. Monitoring anuran

  6. Distribution of the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in the Pacific Northwestern USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearl, Christopher A.; Bull, E.L.; Green, D.E.; Bowerman, Jay; Adams, Michael J.; Hyatt, A.; Wente, W.

    2007-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis (infection by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) has been associated with amphibian declines in at least four continents. We report results of disease screens from 210 pond-breeding amphibians from 37 field sites in Oregon and Washington. We detected B. dendrobatidis on 28% of sampled amphibians, and we found a?Y 1 detection of B. dendrobatidis from 43% of sites. Four of seven species tested positive for B. dendrobatidis, including the Northern Red-Legged Frog (Rana aurora), Columbia Spotted Frog (Rana luteiventris), and Oregon Spotted Frog (Rana pretiosa). We also detected B. dendrobatidis in nonnative American Bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) from six sites in western and central Oregon. Our study and other recently published findings suggest that B. dendrobatidis has few geographic and host taxa limitations among North American anurans. Further research on virulence, transmissibility, persistence, and interactions with other stressors is needed to assess the potential impact of B. dendrobatidis on Pacific Northwestern amphibians.

  7. Expression and physiological regulation of BDNF receptors in the neuroendocrine melanotrope cell of Xenopus laevis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kidane, A.H.; Dooren, S.H. van; Roubos, E.W.; Jenks, B.G.

    2007-01-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and alpha-melanophore-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) are co-sequestered in secretory granules in melanotrope cells of the pituitary pars intermedia of the amphibian Xenopus laevis. alpha-MSH is responsible for pigment dispersion in dermal melanophores during

  8. Diversity of Guilds of Amphibian Larvae in North-Western Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escoriza, Daniel; Ben Hassine, Jihène

    2017-01-01

    The composition and diversity of biotic assemblages is regulated by a complex interplay of environmental features. We investigated the influence of climate and the aquatic habitat conditions on the larval traits and the structure of amphibian larval guilds in north-western Africa. We classified the species into morphological groups, based on external traits: body shape, size, and the relative positions of the eyes and oral apparatus. We characterized the guild diversity based on species richness and interspecific phylogenetic/functional relationships. The larvae of the urodeles were classified as typical of either the stream or pond type, and the anurans as typical of either the lentic-benthic or lentic-nektonic type. The variations in the body shapes of both urodeles and anurans were associated with the type of aquatic habitat (lentic vs lotic) and the types of predators present. Most of the urodele guilds (98.9%) contained a single species, whereas the anuran guilds were usually more diverse. Both the phylogenetic and functional diversity of the anuran guilds were positively influenced by the size of the aquatic habitat and negatively by aridity. In anurans, the benthic and nektonic morphological types frequently co-occurred, possibly influenced by their opportunistic breeding strategies. PMID:28125660

  9. Endoscopy in Amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chai, Norin

    2015-09-01

    Despite advances in exotic animal endoscopy, descriptions involving amphibians are scarce. Amphibian endoscopy shares some similarities with reptiles, especially in lizards. Selected procedures are discussed, including stomatoscopy, gastroscopy, coelioscopy, and biopsy of coelomic organs and lesions. This short overview provides the practitioner with pragmatic advice on how to conduct safe and effective endoscopic examinations in amphibians.

  10. Oil road effects on the anuran community of a high canopy tank bromeliad (Aechmea zebrina in the upper Amazon basin, Ecuador.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shawn F McCracken

    Full Text Available Tropical forest canopies are among the most species-rich terrestrial habitats on earth and one of the remaining relatively unexplored biotic frontiers. Epiphytic bromeliads provide microhabitat for a high diversity of organisms in tropical forest canopies and are considered a keystone resource. A number of amphibians inhabit these phytotelmata, yet their ecological role and status in forest canopies remains unknown. For this study, anurans were collected from an upper canopy tank bromeliad (Aechmea zebrina at ∼20-45 m (x¯ = 33 m above the forest floor. Bromeliads were sampled from trees located near trails in undisturbed primary rainforest and oil access roads in the Yasuní Biosphere Reserve of Amazonian Ecuador. We collected 95 anurans representing 10 species from 160 bromeliads in 32 trees. We used generalized linear mixed models to assess the effects of disturbance and habitat factors on the occupancy and abundance of anurans collected. Bromeliads in forest along oil roads had a lower occupancy and abundance of anurans than those in undisturbed forest, a somewhat unexpected result due to the intactness and quality of forest adjacent to the roads. Recorded habitat variables had no relationship with occupancy or abundance of anurans, and did not differ significantly between treatments. Our findings reveal that even the minimal footprint of natural resource extraction operations, primarily roads, in rainforest environments can have significant negative impacts on the unique upper canopy anuran community. Based on these results, we recommend that natural resource development treat rainforest habitat as an offshore system where roads are not used, employ industry best practice guidelines, and current access roads be protected from colonization and further deforestation.

  11. Oil road effects on the anuran community of a high canopy tank bromeliad (Aechmea zebrina) in the upper Amazon basin, Ecuador.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCracken, Shawn F; Forstner, Michael R J

    2014-01-01

    Tropical forest canopies are among the most species-rich terrestrial habitats on earth and one of the remaining relatively unexplored biotic frontiers. Epiphytic bromeliads provide microhabitat for a high diversity of organisms in tropical forest canopies and are considered a keystone resource. A number of amphibians inhabit these phytotelmata, yet their ecological role and status in forest canopies remains unknown. For this study, anurans were collected from an upper canopy tank bromeliad (Aechmea zebrina) at ∼20-45 m (x¯ = 33 m) above the forest floor. Bromeliads were sampled from trees located near trails in undisturbed primary rainforest and oil access roads in the Yasuní Biosphere Reserve of Amazonian Ecuador. We collected 95 anurans representing 10 species from 160 bromeliads in 32 trees. We used generalized linear mixed models to assess the effects of disturbance and habitat factors on the occupancy and abundance of anurans collected. Bromeliads in forest along oil roads had a lower occupancy and abundance of anurans than those in undisturbed forest, a somewhat unexpected result due to the intactness and quality of forest adjacent to the roads. Recorded habitat variables had no relationship with occupancy or abundance of anurans, and did not differ significantly between treatments. Our findings reveal that even the minimal footprint of natural resource extraction operations, primarily roads, in rainforest environments can have significant negative impacts on the unique upper canopy anuran community. Based on these results, we recommend that natural resource development treat rainforest habitat as an offshore system where roads are not used, employ industry best practice guidelines, and current access roads be protected from colonization and further deforestation.

  12. Soundscape Dynamics at Anuran Reproductive Sites in Pannonian Biogeographical Region:Effects of Road Noise on Vocal Activity

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Andrs WEIPERTH; Ed SMITH; Szilvia SIMIGLA; Mikls PUKY; Yezhong TANG

    2016-01-01

    The emerging field of soundscape ecology views ecosystems in terms of biophony, geophony and anthrophony. Soundscape ecology considers the effects of sound on fauna, and this research focuses on anuran breeding lek soundscapes. The sensitivity of anuran breeding leks to acoustic disturbances makes breeding leks an important venue for a comparative soundscape study. We made long-term (> 24 h) sound recordings in three representative wetlands and short-term (< 30 min) recordings in ten sites in the Pannonian Biogeographical Region of Hungary and around the Hungary and Slovakia border. Long-term soundscapes of the floodplain stretch, where there is relatively minor anthrophonical disturbance, showed an obvious circadian change in sound intensities. The site with moderate sound contamination exhibited a disturbed pattern of circadian sound variation, while the site with heavy traffic noise displayed an apparently random temporal soundscape. At different amphibian breeding sites during mating season, our short-term recordings were dominated by anuran calls, bird songs and wind noises, while insect calls and rain were present to a lesser degree. Our study indicates that vehicle traffic noise is a severe imposition to the natural soundscape, and suggests that soundscape monitoring can provide a reliable and sensitive index of environmental change for both short-term and long-term periods.

  13. Trends in anuran occupancy from northeastern states of the North American Monitoring Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weir, Linda; Fiske, Ian J.; Royle, J. Andrew

    2009-01-01

    We present the first multi-year occupancy trends from North American Amphibian Monitoring Program (NAAMP) data in 10 northeastern states using seven years of data (2001-2007). NAAMP uses a calling survey technique where observers listen for anuran vocalizations along assigned random roadside routes. We were able to assess occupancy trends in 10 northeastern states for 16 species and one species complex, for 94 species/state combinations. We found no significant trends for 64 species/state combinations. For the remaining 30 species/state combinations with significant trends, these split between declining and increasing trends. On a species-by-species basis, two species had declining trends, with significant trends in six states for Pseudacris crucifer and four states for Bufo americanus. The trends of Rana catesbeiana significantly increased in four states, but had no trend in the remaining states.

  14. Potential for local adaptation in response to an anthropogenic agent of selection: effects of road deicing salts on amphibian embryonic survival and development

    OpenAIRE

    Hopkins, Gareth R; Susannah S French; Brodie, Edmund D.

    2012-01-01

    The application of millions of tons of road deicing salts every winter in North America presents significant survival challenges to amphibians inhabiting roadside habitats. While much is known of the effects of NaCl on anuran tadpoles, less is known of effects on amphibian eggs, or any caudate life stage. In addition, little is known of the effects of MgCl2, which is now the 2nd most commonly used road deicer. Most studies have considered amphibians to be helpless victims of deicing salts, an...

  15. Evolution of erythrocyte morphology in amphibians (Amphibia: Anura

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jie Wei

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT We compared the morphology of the erythrocytes of five anurans, two toad species - Bufo gargarizans (Cantor, 1842 and Duttaphrynus melanostictus (Schneider, 1799 and three frog species - Fejervarya limnocharis (Gravenhorst, 1829, Microhyla ornata (Duméril & Bibron, 1841, and Rana zhenhaiensis (Ye, Fei & Matsui, 1995. We then reconstructed the ancestral state of erythrocyte size (ES and nuclear size (NS in amphibians based on a molecular tree. Nine morphological traits of erythrocytes were all significantly different among the five species. The results of principal component analysis showed that the first component (49.1% of variance explained had a high positive loading for erythrocyte length, nuclear length, NS and ratio of erythrocyte length/erythrocyte width; the second axis (28.5% of variance explained mainly represented erythrocyte width and ES. Phylogenetic generalized least squares analysis showed that the relationship between NS and ES was not affected by phylogenetic relationships although there was a significant linear relationship between these two variables. These results suggested that (1 the nine morphological traits of erythrocytes in the five anuran species were species-specific; (2 in amphibians, larger erythrocytes generally had larger nuclei.

  16. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in amphibians of Cameroon, including first records for caecilians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doherty-Bone, T M; Gonwouo, N L; Hirschfeld, M; Ohst, T; Weldon, C; Perkins, M; Kouete, M T; Browne, R K; Loader, S P; Gower, D J; Wilkinson, M W; Rödel, M O; Penner, J; Barej, M F; Schmitz, A; Plötner, J; Cunningham, A A

    2013-02-28

    Amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been hypothesised to be an indigenous parasite of African amphibians. In Cameroon, however, previous surveys in one region (in the northwest) failed to detect this pathogen, despite the earliest African Bd having been recorded from a frog in eastern Cameroon, plus one recent record in the far southeast. To reconcile these contrasting results, we present survey data from 12 localities across 6 regions of Cameroon from anurans (n = 1052) and caecilians (n = 85) of ca. 108 species. Bd was detected in 124 amphibian hosts at 7 localities, including Mt. Oku, Mt. Cameroon, Mt. Manengouba and lowland localities in the centre and west of the country. None of the hosts were observed dead or dying. Infected amphibian hosts were not detected in other localities in the south and eastern rainforest belt. Infection occurred in both anurans and caecilians, making this the first reported case of infection in the latter order (Gymnophiona) of amphibians. There was no significant difference between prevalence and infection intensity in frogs and caecilians. We highlight the importance of taking into account the inhibition of diagnostic qPCR in studies on Bd, based on all Bd-positive hosts being undetected when screened without bovine serum albumin in the qPCR mix. The status of Bd as an indigenous, cosmopolitan amphibian parasite in Africa, including Cameroon, is supported by this work. Isolating and sequencing strains of Bd from Cameroon should now be a priority. Longitudinal host population monitoring will be required to determine the effects, if any, of the infection on amphibians in Cameroon.

  17. Transposon transgenesis in Xenopus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yergeau, Donald A; Kelley, Clair M; Zhu, Haiqing; Kuliyev, Emin; Mead, Paul E

    2010-05-01

    Transposon-mediated integration strategies in Xenopus offer simple and robust methods for the generation of germline transgenic animals. Co-injection of fertilized one-cell embryos with plasmid DNA harboring a transposon transgene and synthetic mRNA encoding the cognate transposase enzyme results in mosaic integration of the transposon at early cleavage stages that are frequently passed through the germline in the adult animal. Micro-injection of fertilized embryos is a routine procedure used by many laboratories that use Xenopus as a developmental model and, as such, the transposon transgenesis method can be performed without additional equipment or specialized methodologies. The methods for injecting Xenopus embryos are well documented in the literature so here we provide a step-by-step guide to other aspects of transposon transgenesis, including screening mosaic founders for germline transmission of the transgene and general husbandry considerations related to management of populations of transgenic frogs.

  18. Transposon transgenesis in Xenopus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yergeau, Donald A.; Kelley, Clair M.; Zhu, Haiqing; Kuliyev, Emin; Mead, Paul E.

    2010-01-01

    Transposon-mediated integration strategies in Xenopus offer simple and robust methods for the generation of germline transgenic animals. Co-injection of fertilized one-cell embryos with plasmid DNA harboring a transposon transgene and synthetic mRNA encoding the cognate transposase enzyme results in mosaic integration of the transposon at early cleavage stages that are frequently passed through the germline in the adult animal. Micro-injection of fertilized embryos is a routine procedure used by many laboratories that use Xenopus as a developmental model and, as such, the transposon transgenesis method can be performed without additional equipment or specialized methodologies. The methods for injecting Xenopus embryos are well documented in the literature so here we provide a step-by-step guide to other aspects of transposon transgenesis, including screening mosaic founders for germline transmission of the transgene and general husbandry considerations related to management of populations of transgenic frogs. PMID:20211730

  19. Time computations in anuran auditory systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gary J Rose

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Temporal computations are important in the acoustic communication of anurans. In many cases, calls between closely related species are nearly identical spectrally but differ markedly in temporal structure. Depending on the species, calls can differ in pulse duration, shape and/or rate (i.e., amplitude modulation, direction and rate of frequency modulation, and overall call duration. Also, behavioral studies have shown that anurans are able to discriminate between calls that differ in temporal structure. In the peripheral auditory system, temporal information is coded primarily in the spatiotemporal patterns of activity of auditory-nerve fibers. However, major transformations in the representation of temporal information occur in the central auditory system. In this review I summarize recent advances in understanding how temporal information is represented in the anuran midbrain, with particular emphasis on mechanisms that underlie selectivity for pulse duration and pulse rate (i.e., intervals between onsets of successive pulses. Two types of neurons have been identified that show selectivity for pulse rate: long-interval cells respond well to slow pulse rates but fail to spike or respond phasically to fast pulse rates; conversely, interval-counting neurons respond to intermediate or fast pulse rates, but only after a threshold number of pulses, presented at optimal intervals, have occurred. Duration-selectivity is manifest as short-pass, band-pass or long-pass tuning. Whole-cell patch recordings, in vivo, suggest that excitation and inhibition are integrated in diverse ways to generate temporal selectivity. In many cases, activity-related enhancement or depression of excitatory or inhibitory processes appear to contribute to selective responses.

  20. Occurrence of amphibians in northern California coastal dune drainages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halstead, Brian J.; Kleeman, Patrick M.

    2017-01-01

    Many coastal dune ecosystems have been degraded by non-native dune vegetation, but these systems might still provide valuable habitat for some taxa, including amphibians. Because restoration of degraded dune systems is occurring and likely to continue, we examined the occurrence of amphibians in drainages associated with a coastal dune ecosystem degraded by invasive plants (European Beachgrass, Ammophila arenaria, and Iceplant, Carpobrotus edulis). We found that occupancy of 3 amphibian species (California Red-legged Frog, Rana draytonii; Sierran Treefrog, Hyliola sierra; and Rough-skinned Newt, Taricha granulosa) among 21 coastal-dune drainages was high, with most coastal-dune drainages occupied by all 3 species. Furthermore, reproduction of Sierran Treefrogs and California Red-legged Frogs was estimated to occur in approximately ½ and ⅓ of the drainages, respectively. The probability of occurrence of Rough-skinned Newts and pre-metamorphic life stages of both anurans decreased during the study, perhaps because of ongoing drought in California or precipitation-induced changes in phenology during the final year of the study. Maintaining structural cover and moist features during dune restoration will likely benefit native amphibian populations inhabiting coastal-dune ecosystems.

  1. Immune responsiveness to phytohemagglutinin displays species but not sex differences in three anuran species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Chenchen; Qu, Kangshan; Caviedes-Vidal, Enrique

    2017-01-01

    Phytohemagglutinin (PHA)-induced skin swelling response is widely used as a rough surrogate of integrative cell-mediated and innate immunity across multiple vertebrate taxa due to its simplification and feasibility. However, little is known whether there are sex and interspecific differences of immune responsiveness to PHA in ectotherms, especially for anurans. Therefore, we studied sex and species differences of PHA response in three anurans, Asiatic toads (Bufo gargarizans), Dark-spotted frogs (Pelophylax nigromaculatus) and Mongolian toads (Pseudepidalea raddei), captured in northern regions of Anhui Province (China). Footpad thickness was measured prior to (0 h) and after (6, 12, 24, 48 and 72 h) a PHA injection and normalized against saline injection in the opposite footpad. Body mass was recorded at the beginning (0 h) and end of each assay (72 h). Results showed effects of PHA assay, sex and taxa on body mass. Relative maximum swelling response (PHAmax) ranged from 18.58–29.75%, 9.77 to 20.56% and 21.97 to 31.78% and its occurrence over time was apparent 10.6–19.72 h , 7.74–14.01 h and 17.39–23.94 h postinjection for Asiatic toads, Dark-spotted frogs and Mongolian toads, respectively. Finally, the magnitude or timing of PHAmax in Dark-spotted frogs was significantly thinner and faster than in Mongolian toads, and Asiatic toads had an in-between value, not different from the other two species. The magnitude of PHAmax was significantly positively correlated with the timing of PHAmax considering individuals altogether, but not when analyzed within species. Our results indicate that male and female anuran species respond similarly to PHA antigen stimulation, but the magnitude and timing of PHAmax is species-specific. Briefly, we provide new evidence for the suitability of PHA assay in non-model anuran species with different body sizes, and exhort the need to further investigate the nature of PHA assay at the hematological and histological levels in order

  2. Conservation Biology of Xenopus Longipes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quock, R.; Blackburn, D. C.; Ghose, S.

    2014-12-01

    For the past 9 months, we have been studying the presence of disease and genetic variation in the Cameroonian species Xenopus longipes, found only in a lake on Mount Oku. During research trips to this lake (Lake Oku) over the past decade, mortalities of this species have been observed, and in addition there may be evidence of declines in other frog species in these mountains. It is well understood that in many parts of the world, amphibians are currently declining due to disease caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), and possibly also by the iridovirus ranavirus. A previous study suggested that ranavirus could be found in Lake Oku, and also that Bd may be present. Using 25 X. longipes liver samples collected during the summer of 2013 and 10 samples collected during the summer of 2011, we screened for Ranavirus through PCR amplification and sequencing, and screened for Bd in our 25 samples from 2013 through quantitative PCR. We also PCR amplified and sequenced 1950bp of the X. longipes 16S gene to look for genetic variation. We did not find ranavirus present on these frogs, and we found low prevalence (4%) of Bd. Through our analysis of 16S data, we found low genetic variation among the X. longipes, with a maximum divergence of 0.37% observed between any two individuals. Time is of the essence and it is crucial that the causes of these die offs be identified. While there have been observed mortalities of X. longipes since 2006, and this species remains on the Critically Endangered List, the cause of these mortalities is still unknown. If and when a cause can be identified, it would be monumental for this species' population and can hopefully be used to preserve and save these frogs.

  3. Surgery in Amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chai, Norin

    2016-01-01

    Amphibian surgery has been especially described in research. Since the last decade, interest for captive amphibians has increased, so have the indications for surgical intervention. Clinicians should not hesitate to advocate such manipulations. Amphibian surgeries have no overwhelming obstacles. These patients heal well and tolerate blood loss more than higher vertebrates. Most procedures described in reptiles (mostly lizards) can be undertaken in most amphibians if equipment can be matched to the patients' size. In general, the most difficult aspect would be the provision of adequate anesthesia.

  4. Amphibians as Model Organisms for Studying the Dynamics of Eukaryote Genetic Material Architecture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Burlibaşa, L.

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Amphibians have played a key role in the elucidation of the mechanisms of early development over the last century. Much of our knowledge about the mechanisms of vertebrate early development comes from studies using Xenopus laevis. Xenopus sp. is a major contributor to our understanding of cell biological and biochemical processes, including: (1 chromosome replication; (2 chromatin, cytoskeleton and nuclear assembly; (3 cell cycle progression and (4 intracellular signaling. Amphibian embryos remained the embryos of choice for experimental embryology for many decades. European embryologists used predominantly urodele embryos (such as Triturus and embryos of the frog Rana temporaria, which is related to the North American species Rana pipiens. Using light, fluorescence, transmission electron microscopy (TEM and molecular investigations, some peculiar aspects of chromatin and chromosome organization and evolution in oogenesis and spermatogenesis of amphibians were investigated. We have focused our investigations on dynamics of the chromatin structure in different stages of development.

  5. Diets of three species of anurans from the cache creek watershed, California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hothem, R.L.; Meckstroth, A.M.; Wegner, K.E.; Jennings, M.R.; Crayon, J.J.

    2009-01-01

    We evaluated the diets of three sympatric anuran species, the native Northern Pacific Treefrog, Pseudacris regilla, and Foothill Yellow-Legged Frog, Rana boylii, and the introduced American Bullfrog, Lithobates catesbeianus, based on stomach contents of frogs collected at 36 sites in 1997 and 1998. This investigation was part of a study of mercury bioaccumulation in the biota of the Cache Creek Watershed in north-central California, an area affected by mercury contamination from natural sources and abandoned mercury mines. We collected R. boylii at 22 sites, L. catesbeianus at 21 sites, and P. regilla at 13 sites. We collected both L. catesbeianus and R. boylii at nine sites and all three species at five sites. Pseudacris regilla had the least aquatic diet (100% of the samples had terrestrial prey vs. 5% with aquatic prey), followed by R. boylii (98% terrestrial, 28% aquatic), and L. catesbeianus, which had similar percentages of terrestrial (81%) and aquatic prey (74%). Observed predation by L. catesbeianus on R. boylii may indicate that interaction between these two species is significant. Based on their widespread abundance and their preference for aquatic foods, we suggest that, where present, L. catesbeianus should be the species of choice for all lethal biomonitoring of mercury in amphibians. Copyright ?? 2009 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.

  6. The occurrence of amphibians in bromeliads from a Southeastern Brazilian restinga habitat, with special reference to Aparasphenodon brunoi (Anura, Hylidae)

    OpenAIRE

    TEIXEIRA,R. L.; SCHINEIDER,J. A. P.; ALMEIDA G. I.

    2002-01-01

    Five species of anuran amphibians, all belonging to the family Hylidae, were collected at Praia das Neves, municipality of Presidente Kennedy, southeastern Brazil,. The species were represented by four genera: Scinax, Hyla, Aparasphenodon, and Trachycephalus. Four species (A. brunoi, Hyla albomarginata, Scinax altera, and S. cuspidatus) were found during the dry season (August 1999), and two (A. brunoi and Trachycephalus nigromaculatus) in the rainy season (February 2000). Aparasphenodon brun...

  7. Effects of Endocrine Disruptors Ethinylestradiol and Procloraz on the vocal system of the frog Xenopus tropicalis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brande-Lavridsen, Nanna; Nørum, Ulrik; Korsgaard, Bodil

    2009-01-01

      Prochloraz masculinizes the larynx of female Xenopus tropicalis   Endogenous sex steroids are not only important for sexual differentiation in amphibians, but also for the development of secondary sex characteristics. The advertisement call of male frogs is used to attract females and in male...

  8. Behavioral Repertoire of Xenopus tropicalis: Baseline Female-male Interactions during Spawning Events and Male Vocal Communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    The aquatic frog, Xenopus tropicalis, is being developed for use as a model amphibian species for inclusion in the EPA’s Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program. Current toxicity test designs do not incorporate measures of fecundity due to high variability in the responses of frog...

  9. Apoptosis in amphibian organs during metamorphosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishizuya-Oka, Atsuko; Hasebe, Takashi; Shi, Yun-Bo

    2012-01-01

    During amphibian metamorphosis, the larval tissues/organs rapidly degenerate to adapt from the aquatic to the terrestrial life. At the cellular level, a large quantity of apoptosis occurs in a spatiotemporally-regulated fashion in different organs to ensure timely removal of larval organs/tissues and the development of adult ones for the survival of the individuals. Thus, amphibian metamorphosis provides us a good opportunity to understand the mechanisms regulating apoptosis. To investigate this process at the molecular level, a number of thyroid hormone (TH) response genes have been isolated from several organs of Xenopus laevis tadpoles and their expression and functional analyses are now in progress using modern molecular and genetic technologies. In this review, we will first summarize when and where apoptosis occurs in typical larva-specific and larval-to-adult remodeling amphibian organs to highlight that the timing of apoptosis is different in different tissues/organs, even though all are induced by the same circulating TH. Next, to discuss how TH spatiotemporally regulates the apoptosis, we will focus on apoptosis of the X. laevis small intestine, one of the best characterized remodeling organs. Functional studies of TH response genes using transgenic frogs and culture techniques have shown that apoptosis of larval epithelial cells can be induced by TH either cell-autonomously or indirectly through interactions with extracellular matrix (ECM) components of the underlying basal lamina. Here, we propose that multiple intra- and extracellular apoptotic pathways are coordinately controlled by TH to ensure massive but well-organized apoptosis, which is essential for the proper progression of amphibian metamorphosis. PMID:20238476

  10. Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge: Anuran Data Summary

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Species richness, average call index, and total number of calls recorded for each anuran species detected at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge from 2000-2004.

  11. Anuran Call Study Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge 1999

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — During May of 1999, the Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge participated in a nation - wide anuran call count study. This report outlines the results of that survey.

  12. Anuran Call Survey Summary 2002 Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Anuran call surveys were conducted at the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge for the first time in 2000 so this report summarizes the results of the refuge’s...

  13. Anuran Survey Report 2003 Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report is a summary of a few different studies conducted at Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge between 1999-2002. It includes the Anuran Breeding Call Surveys...

  14. Anuran Call Study Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge 2000

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — For the second consecutive year, Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge participated in a nation-wide anuran call study. This report outlines the results of that survey...

  15. A Protocol for Aging Anurans Using Skeletochronology

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCreary, Brome; Pearl, Christopher A.; Adams, Michael J.

    2008-01-01

    Age distribution information can be an important part of understanding the biology of any population. Age estimates collected from the annual growth rings found in tooth and bone cross sections, often referred to as Lines of Arrested Growth (LAGs), have been used in the study of various animals. In this manual, we describe in detail all necessary steps required to obtain estimates of age from anuran bone cross sections via skeletochronological assessment. We include comprehensive descriptions of how to fix and decalcify toe specimens (phalanges), process a phalange prior to embedding, embed the phalange in paraffin, section the phalange using a microtome, stain and mount the cross sections of the phalange and read the LAGs to obtain age estimates.

  16. The anuran vocal sac: a tool for multimodal signalling

    OpenAIRE

    STARNBERGER, IRIS; Preininger, Doris; Hödl, Walter

    2014-01-01

    Although in anurans the predominant mode of intra- and intersexual communication is vocalization, modalities used in addition to or instead of acoustic signals range from seismic and visual to chemical. In some cases, signals of more than one modality are produced through or by the anuran vocal sac. However, its role beyond acoustics has been neglected for some time and nonacoustic cues such as vocal sac movement have traditionally been seen as an epiphenomenon of sound production. The divers...

  17. Parasite (Ribeiroia ondatrae) infection linked to amphibian malformations in the western United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, P.T.J.; Lunde, K.B.; Thurman, E.M.; Ritchie, E.G.; Wray, S.N.; Sutherland, D.R.; Kapfer, J.M.; Frest, T.J.; Bowerman, J.; Blaustein, A.R.

    2002-01-01

    Parasites and pathogens can influence the survivorship, behavior, and very structure of their host species. For example, experimental studies have shown that trematode parasites can cause high frequencies of severe limb malformations in amphibians. In a broad-scale field survey covering parts of California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana, we examined relationships between the frequency and types of morphological abnormalities in amphibians and the abundance of trematode parasite infection, pH, concentrations of 61 pesticides, and levels of orthophosphate and total nitrate. We recorded severe malformations at frequencies ranging from 1% to 90% in nine amphibian species from 53 aquatic systems. Infection of larvae by the trematode Ribeiroia ondatrae was associated with, and functionally related to, higher frequencies of amphibian limb malformations than found in uninfected populations (≤5%). Parasites were concentrated around the basal tissue of hind limbs in infected anurans, and malformations associated with infection included skin webbings, supernumerary limbs and digits, and missing or malformed hind limbs. In the absence of Ribeiroia, amphibian populations exhibited low (0-5%) frequencies of abnormalities involving missing digits or distal portions of a hind limb. Species were affected differentially by the parasite, and Ambystoma macrodactylum, Hyla regilla, Rand aurora, R. luteiventris, and Taricha torosa typically exhibited the highest frequencies of abnormalities. None of the water-quality variables measured was associated with malformed amphibians, but aquatic snail hosts (Planorbella spp.) were significant predictors of the presence and abundance of Ribeiroia infection. Morphological comparisons of adult specimens of Ribeiroia collected from different sites and raised in experimental definitive hosts suggested that all samples represented the same species - R. ondatrae. These field results, coupled with experimental research on the effects of

  18. Stable Isotopes Reveal Trophic Partitioning and Trophic Plasticity of a Larval Amphibian Guild.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosa Arribas

    Full Text Available Temporary ponds are highly variable systems where resource availability and community structure change extensively over time, and consequently the food web is highly dynamic. Amphibians play a critical role both as consumers and prey in aquatic communities and yet there is still little information on the trophic status of most amphibians. More importantly, little is known about the extent to which they can alter their trophic ecology in response to changing conditions. We experimentally investigated the effects of increased amphibian density, presence of intraguild competitors, and presence of native and invasive predators (either free or caged on the trophic status of a Mediterranean amphibian guild, using stable isotopes. We observed variations in δ13C and δ15N isotopic values among amphibian species and treatments and differences in their food sources. Macrophytes were the most important food resource for spadefoot toad tadpoles (Pelobates cultripes and relatively important for all anurans within the guild. High density and presence of P. cultripes tadpoles markedly reduced macrophyte biomass, forcing tadpoles to increase their feeding on detritus, algae and zooplankton, resulting in lower δ13C values. Native dytiscid predators only changed the isotopic signature of newts whereas invasive red swamp crayfish had an enormous impact on environmental conditions and greatly affected the isotopic values of amphibians. Crayfish forced tadpoles to increase detritus ingestion or other resources depleted in δ13C. We found that the opportunistic amphibian feeding was greatly conditioned by intra- and interspecific competition whereas non-consumptive predator effects were negligible. Determining the trophic plasticity of amphibians can help us understand natural and anthropogenic changes in aquatic ecosystems and assess amphibians' ability to adjust to different environmental conditions.

  19. Anurans in a Subarctic Tundra Landscape Near Cape Churchill, Manitoba

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiter, M.E.; Boal, C.W.; Andersen, D.E.

    2008-01-01

    Distribution, abundance, and habitat relationships of anurans inhabiting subarctic regions are poorly understood, and anuran monitoring protocols developed for temperate regions may not be applicable across large roadless areas of northern landscapes. In addition, arctic and subarctic regions of North America are predicted to experience changes in climate and, in some areas, are experiencing habitat alteration due to high rates of herbivory by breeding and migrating waterfowl. To better understand subarctic anuran abundance, distribution, and habitat associations, we conducted anuran calling surveys in the Cape Churchill region of Wapusk National Park, Manitoba, Canada, in 2004 and 2005. We conducted surveys along ~l-km transects distributed across three landscape types (coastal tundra, interior sedge meadow-tundra, and boreal forest-tundra interface) to estimate densities and probabilities of detection of Boreal Chorus Frogs (Pseudacris maculata) and Wood Frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus). We detected a Wood Frog or Boreal Chorus Frog on 22 (87%) of 26 transects surveyed, but probability of detection varied between years and species and among landscape types. Estimated densities of both species increased from the coastal zone inland toward the boreal forest edge. Our results suggest anurans occur across all three landscape types in our study area, but that species-specific spatial patterns exist in their abundances. Considerations for both spatial and temporal variation in abundance and detection probability need to be incorporated into surveys and monitoring programs for subarctic anurans.

  20. The anuran vocal sac: a tool for multimodal signalling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starnberger, Iris; Preininger, Doris; Hödl, Walter

    2014-01-01

    Although in anurans the predominant mode of intra- and intersexual communication is vocalization, modalities used in addition to or instead of acoustic signals range from seismic and visual to chemical. In some cases, signals of more than one modality are produced through or by the anuran vocal sac. However, its role beyond acoustics has been neglected for some time and nonacoustic cues such as vocal sac movement have traditionally been seen as an epiphenomenon of sound production. The diversity in vocal sac coloration and shape found in different species is striking and recently its visual properties have been given a more important role in signalling. Chemosignals seem to be the dominant communication mode in newts, salamanders and caecilians and certainly play a role in the aquatic life phase of anurans, but airborne chemical signalling has received less attention. There is, however, increasing evidence that at least some terrestrial anuran species integrate acoustic, visual and chemical cues in species recognition and mate choice and a few secondarily mute anuran species seem to fully rely on volatile chemical cues produced in glands on the vocal sac. Within vertebrates, frogs in particular are suitable organisms for investigating multimodal communication by means of experiments, since they are tolerant of disturbance by observers and can be easily manipulated under natural conditions. Thus, the anuran vocal sac might be of great interest not only to herpetologists, but also to behavioural biologists studying communication systems. PMID:25389375

  1. Tadpoles: the Biology of Anuran Larvae

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDiarmid, R.W.; Altig, R.

    1999-01-01

    The recent alarming declines in amphibian populations worldwide and the suitability of amphibians for use in answering research questions in disciplines as diverse as molecular systematics, animal behavior, ecology, and evolutionary biology have focused enormous attention on tadpoles. Yet despite this growing interest, relatively little is known about these fascinating creatures. n this invaluable reference, leading experts on tadpole biology relate what we currently know about tadpoles and what we might learn from them in the future. Tadpoles provides detailed summaries of tadpole morphology, development, behavior, ecology, and environmental physiology; explores the evolutionary consequences of the tadpole stage; synthesizes available information on their biodiversity, and presents a standardized terminology and an exhaustive literature review of tadpole biology.

  2. AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DYNAMICS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agriculture has contributed to loss of vertebrate biodiversity in many regions, including the U.S. Corn Belt. Amphibian populations, in particular, have experienced widespread and often inexplicable declines, range reductions, and extinctions. However, few attempts have been made...

  3. amphibian_biomarker_data

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  4. Amphibian biology and husbandry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pough, F Harvey

    2007-01-01

    Extant amphibians comprise three lineages-- salamanders (Urodela or Caudata), frogs and toads (Anura), and caecilians (Gymnophiona, Apoda, or Caecilia)--which contain more than 6,000 species. Fewer than a dozen species of amphibians are commonly maintained in laboratory colonies, and the husbandry requirements for the vast majority of amphibians are poorly known. For these species, a review of basic characteristics of amphibian biology supplemented by inferences drawn from the morphological and physiological characteristics of the species in question provides a basis for decisions about housing and feeding. Amphibians are ectotherms, and their skin is permeable to water, ions, and respiratory gases. Most species are secretive and, in many cases, nocturnal. The essential characteristics of their environment include appropriate levels of humidity, temperature, and lighting as well as retreat sites. Terrestrial and arboreal species require moist substrates, water dishes, and high relative humidity. Because temperature requirements for most species are poorly known, it is advisable to use a temperature mosaic that will allow an animal to find an appropriate temperature within its cage. Photoperiod may affect physiology and behavior (especially reproduction and hibernation), and although the importance of ultraviolet light for calcium metabolism by amphibians is not yet known, ecological observations suggest that it might be important for some species of frogs. Some amphibians are territorial, and some use olfactory cues to mark their territory and to recognize other individuals of their species. All amphibians are carnivorous as adults, and the feeding response of many species is elicited by the movement of prey. Diets should include a mixture of prey species, and it may be advisable to load prey with vitamins and minerals.

  5. Neotropical Amphibian Declines Affect Stream Ecosystem Properties

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-05-01

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

  6. DNA Barcoding Survey of Anurans across the Eastern Cordillera of Colombia and the Impact of the Andes on Cryptic Diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guarnizo, Carlos E; Paz, Andrea; Muñoz-Ortiz, Astrid; Flechas, Sandra V; Méndez-Narváez, Javier; Crawford, Andrew J

    2015-01-01

    Colombia hosts the second highest amphibian species diversity on Earth, yet its fauna remains poorly studied, especially using molecular genetic techniques. We present the results of the first wide-scale DNA barcoding survey of anurans of Colombia, focusing on a transect across the Eastern Cordillera. We surveyed 10 sites between the Magdalena Valley to the west and the eastern foothills of the Eastern Cordillera, sequencing portions of the mitochondrial 16S ribosomal RNA and cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (CO1) genes for 235 individuals from 52 nominal species. We applied two barcode algorithms, Automatic Barcode Gap Discovery and Refined Single Linkage Analysis, to estimate the number of clusters or "unconfirmed candidate species" supported by DNA barcode data. Our survey included ~7% of the anuran species known from Colombia. While barcoding algorithms differed slightly in the number of clusters identified, between three and ten nominal species may be obscuring candidate species (in some cases, more than one cryptic species per nominal species). Our data suggest that the high elevations of the Eastern Cordillera and the low elevations of the Chicamocha canyon acted as geographic barriers in at least seven nominal species, promoting strong genetic divergences between populations associated with the Eastern Cordillera.

  7. Evaluation of the Status of Anuran Metapopulations on a Refuge in Suburban Maryland

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Because many anurans have well-defined breeding seasons and male anurans produce loud advertisement calls, surveys of these breeding choruses are believed to provide...

  8. Reptiles as potential vectors and hosts of the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Panama.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilburn, Vanessa L; Ibáñez, Roberto; Green, David M

    2011-12-06

    Chytridiomycosis, the disease caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, is considered to be a disease exclusively of amphibians. However, B. dendrobatidis may also be capable of persisting in the environment, and non-amphibian vectors or hosts may contribute to disease transmission. Reptiles living in close proximity to amphibians and sharing similar ecological traits could serve as vectors or reservoir hosts for B. dendrobatidis, harbouring the organism on their skin without succumbing to disease. We surveyed for the presence of B. dendrobatidis DNA among 211 lizards and 8 snakes at 8 sites at varying elevations in Panama where the syntopic amphibians were at pre-epizootic, epizootic or post-epizootic stages of chytridiomycosis. Detection of B. dendrobatidis DNA was done using qPCR analysis. Evidence of the amphibian pathogen was present at varying intensities in 29 of 79 examined Anolis humilis lizards (32%) and 9 of 101 A. lionotus lizards (9%), and in one individual each of the snakes Pliocercus euryzonus, Imantodes cenchoa, and Nothopsis rugosus. In general, B. dendrobatidis DNA prevalence among reptiles was positively correlated with the infection prevalence among co-occurring anuran amphibians at any particular site (r = 0.88, p = 0.004). These reptiles, therefore, may likely be vectors or reservoir hosts for B. dendrobatidis and could serve as disease transmission agents. Although there is no evidence of B. dendrobatidis disease-induced declines in reptiles, cases of coincidence of reptile and amphibian declines suggest this potentiality. Our study is the first to provide evidence of non-amphibian carriers for B. dendrobatidis in a natural Neotropical environment.

  9. Stable Isotopes Reveal Trophic Partitioning and Trophic Plasticity of a Larval Amphibian Guild

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arribas, Rosa; Díaz-Paniagua, Carmen; Caut, Stephane; Gomez-Mestre, Ivan

    2015-01-01

    Temporary ponds are highly variable systems where resource availability and community structure change extensively over time, and consequently the food web is highly dynamic. Amphibians play a critical role both as consumers and prey in aquatic communities and yet there is still little information on the trophic status of most amphibians. More importantly, little is known about the extent to which they can alter their trophic ecology in response to changing conditions. We experimentally investigated the effects of increased amphibian density, presence of intraguild competitors, and presence of native and invasive predators (either free or caged) on the trophic status of a Mediterranean amphibian guild, using stable isotopes. We observed variations in δ13C and δ15N isotopic values among amphibian species and treatments and differences in their food sources. Macrophytes were the most important food resource for spadefoot toad tadpoles (Pelobates cultripes) and relatively important for all anurans within the guild. High density and presence of P. cultripes tadpoles markedly reduced macrophyte biomass, forcing tadpoles to increase their feeding on detritus, algae and zooplankton, resulting in lower δ13C values. Native dytiscid predators only changed the isotopic signature of newts whereas invasive red swamp crayfish had an enormous impact on environmental conditions and greatly affected the isotopic values of amphibians. Crayfish forced tadpoles to increase detritus ingestion or other resources depleted in δ13C. We found that the opportunistic amphibian feeding was greatly conditioned by intra- and interspecific competition whereas non-consumptive predator effects were negligible. Determining the trophic plasticity of amphibians can help us understand natural and anthropogenic changes in aquatic ecosystems and assess amphibians’ ability to adjust to different environmental conditions. PMID:26091281

  10. AMPHIBIAN COMMUNITIES IN BIOGEOCOENOSIS WITH DIFFERENT STAGES OF ANTHROPOGENIC CLYMAX

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marchenkovskaya А. А.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available We examined the abundance of juvenile (fingerlings and yearlings and sexually mature (3-6 years of various anurans at various biotopes with different degrees of anthropogenic influence. Population analysis has revealed that the number of juveniles in all the habitats are depended on type and level of anthropogenic influence. In all the habitats the most numerous species was synanthropic bufo viridis. In biotopes with high contamination of pollutants, only one species of amphibians - the marsh frog has populations with juveniles migrating here in the early fall. The highest number of mature individuals registered for the population of Bombina bombina, pelobates fuscus and in one biotope for hyla arborea. The populations of pelophylax ridibundus could be considered as the most balanced by number of juvenile and mature individuals.

  11. Anuran artifacts of preservation: 27 years later

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica L. Deichmann

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Measurements made on preserved anuran specimens are often used in studies of systematics, ecology and evolution. Here, we examine the effect of preservation on one of the most common measurement of frogs, snout-urostyle length (SUL. Preservation had significanteffects on the SUL of 13 of the 14 species of North American frogs included in this study, with all species decreasing in SUL by 0.31-5.62%. Smaller frog species did not shrink proportionally more or less than larger species. Absolute shrinkage was correlated with SUL and was greater in larger species. Within species, percent shrinkage was not significantly correlated with SUL in 10 species, but significantly greater for larger individuals in 3 species, and decreased with size in 1 species. Absolute shrinkage was statistically greater for larger individuals in 4 species. Our results agree with studies of morphological permutations in fish which show that most preservation-related changes take place within the first few months after initial preservation. We suggest that the potential consequences of using preserved specimens in research must be considered and that future studies continue to examine preservation effects, not only on frogs, but on all preserved specimens used in scientific investigations.

  12. Estrogens can disrupt amphibian mating behavior.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frauke Hoffmann

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

  13. Low prevalence of chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) in amphibians of U.S. headwater streams

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

    Many declines of amphibian populations have been associated with chytridiomycosis, a disease caused by the aquatic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Despite the relatively high prevalence of chytridiomycosis in stream amphibians globally, most surveys in North America have focused primarily on wetland-associated species, which are frequently infected. To better understand the distribution and prevalence of Bd in headwater amphibian communities, we sampled 452 tailed frogs (Ascaphus truei and Ascaphus montanus) and 304 stream salamanders (seven species in the Dicamptodontidae and Plethodontidae) for Bd in 38, first- to third-order streams in five montane areas across the United States. We tested for presence of Bd by using PCR on skin swabs from salamanders and metamorphosed tailed frogs or the oral disc of frog larvae. We detected Bd on only seven individuals (0.93%) in four streams. Based on our study and results from five other studies that have sampled headwater- or seep-associated amphibians in the United States, Bd has been detected on only 3% of 1,322 individuals from 21 species. These results differ strongly from surveys in Central America and Australia, where Bd is more prevalent on stream-breeding species, as well as results from wetland-associated anurans in the same regions of the United States that we sampled. Differences in the prevalence of Bd between stream- and wetland-associated amphibians in the United States may be related to species-specific variation in susceptibility to chytridiomycosis or habitat differences.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis (infection by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) has been associated with amphibian declines in at least four continents. We report results of disease screens from 210 pond-breeding amphibians from 37 field sites in Oregon and Washington. We detected B. dendrobatidis on 28% of sampled amphibians, and we found ??? 1 detection of B. dendrobatidis from 43% of sites. Four of seven species tested positive for B. dendrobatidis, including the Northern Red-Legged Frog (Rana aurora), Columbia Spotted Frog (Rana luteiventris), and Oregon Spotted Frog (Rana pretiosa). We also detected B. dendrobatidis in nonnative American Bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) from six sites in western and central Oregon. Our study and other recently published findings suggest that B. dendrobatidis has few geographic and host taxa limitations among North American anurans. Further research on virulence, transmissibility, persistence, and interactions with other stressors is needed to assess the potential impact of B. dendrobatidis on Pacific Northwestern amphibians. Copyright 2007 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.

  15. Amphibian chytridiomycosis: a review with focus on fungus-host interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Rooij, Pascale; Martel, An; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Pasmans, Frank

    2015-11-25

    Amphibian declines and extinctions are emblematic for the current sixth mass extinction event. Infectious drivers of these declines include the recently emerged fungal pathogens Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Chytridiomycota). The skin disease caused by these fungi is named chytridiomycosis and affects the vital function of amphibian skin. Not all amphibians respond equally to infection and host responses might range from resistant, over tolerant to susceptible. The clinical outcome of infection is highly dependent on the amphibian host, the fungal virulence and environmental determinants. B. dendrobatidis infects the skin of a large range of anurans, urodeles and caecilians, whereas to date the host range of B. salamandrivorans seems limited to urodeles. So far, the epidemic of B. dendrobatidis is mainly limited to Australian, neotropical, South European and West American amphibians, while for B. salamandrivorans it is limited to European salamanders. Other striking differences between both fungi include gross pathology and thermal preferences. With this review we aim to provide the reader with a state-of-the art of host-pathogen interactions for both fungi, in which new data pertaining to the interaction of B. dendrobatidis and B. salamandrivorans with the host's skin are integrated. Furthermore, we pinpoint areas in which more detailed studies are necessary or which have not received the attention they merit.

  16. Pattern and morphogenesis of presumptive superficial mesoderm in two closely related species, Xenopus laevis and Xenopus tropicalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shook, David R; Majer, Christina; Keller, Ray

    2004-06-01

    The mesoderm, comprising the tissues that come to lie entirely in the deep layer, originates in both the superficial epithelial and the deep mesenchymal layers of the early amphibian embryo. Here, we characterize the mechanisms by which the superficial component of the presumptive mesoderm ingresses into the underlying deep mesenchymal layer in Xenopus tropicalis and extend our previous findings for Xenopus laevis. Fate mapping the superficial epithelium of pregastrula stage embryos demonstrates ingression of surface cells into both paraxial and axial mesoderm (including hypochord), in similar patterns and amounts in both species. Superficial presumptive notochord lies medially, flanked by presumptive hypochord and both overlie the deep region of the presumptive notochord. These tissues are flanked laterally by superficial presumptive somitic mesoderm, the anterior tip of which also appears to overlay the presumptive deep notochord. Time-lapse recordings show that presumptive somitic and notochordal cells move out of the roof of the gastrocoel and into the deep region during neurulation, whereas hypochordal cells ingress after neurulation. Scanning electron microscopy at the stage and position where ingression occurs suggests that superficial presumptive somitic cells in X. laevis ingress into the deep region as bottle cells whereas those in X. tropicalis ingress by "relamination" (e.g., [Dev. Biol. 174 (1996) 92]). In both species, the superficially derived presumptive somitic cells come to lie in the medial region of the presumptive somites during neurulation. By the early tailbud stages, these cells lie at the horizontal myoseptum of the somites. The morphogenic pathway of these cells strongly resembles that of the primary slow muscle pioneer cells of the zebrafish. We present a revised fate map of Xenopus, and we discuss the conservation of superficial mesoderm within amphibians and across the chordates and its implications for the role of this tissue in

  17. Adaptive colouration in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudh, Andreas; Qvarnström, Anna

    2013-01-01

    Amphibians, i.e. salamanders, frogs and caecilians show a wide range of bright colours in combination with contrasting patterns. There is variation among species, populations and also within species and populations. Furthermore, individuals often change colours during developmental stages or in response to environmental factors. This extraordinary variation means that there are excellent opportunities to test hypotheses of the adaptive significance of colours using amphibian species as models. We review the present view of functions of colouration in amphibians with the main focus on relatively unexplored topics. Variation in colouration has been found to play a role in thermoregulation, UV protection, predator avoidance and sexual signalling. However, many proposed cases of adaptive functions of colouration in amphibians remain virtually scientifically unexplored and surprisingly few genes influencing pigmentation or patterning have been detected. We would like to especially encourage more studies that take advantage of recent developments in measurement of visual properties of several possible signalling receivers (e.g. predators, competitors or mates). Future investigations on interactions between behaviour, ecology and vision have the potential to challenge our current view of the adaptive function of colouration in amphibians.

  18. Investigating potential for effects of environmental endocrine disrupters on wild populations of amphibians in UK and Japan: status of historical databases and review of methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pickford, Daniel B; Larroze, Severine; Takase, Minoru; Mitsui, Naoko; Tooi, Osamu; Santo, Noriaki

    2007-01-01

    Concern over global declines among amphibians has resulted in increased interest in the effects of environmental contaminants on amphibian populations, and more recently, this has stimulated research on the potential adverse effects of environmental endocrine disrupters in amphibians. Laboratory studies of the effects of single chemicals on endocrine-relevant endpoints in amphibian, mainly anuran, models are valuable in characterizing sensitivity at the individual level and may yield useful bioassays for screening chemicals for endocrine toxicity (for example, thyroid disrupting activity). Nevertheless, in the UK and Japan as in many other countries, it has yet to be demonstrated unequivocally that the exposure of native amphibians to endocrine disrupting environmental contaminants results in adverse effects at the population level. Assessing the potential of such effects is likely to require an ecoepidemiological approach to investigate associations between predicted or actual exposure of amphibians to (endocrine disrupting) environmental contaminants and biologically meaningful responses at the population level. In turn, this demands recent but relatively long-term population trend data. We review two potential sources of such data for widespread UK anurans that could be used in such investigations: records for common frogs and common toads in several databases maintained by the Biological Records Centre (UK Government Centre for Ecology and Hydrology), and adult toad count data from 'Toads on Roads' schemes registered with the UK wildlife charity 'Froglife'. There were little abundance data in the BRC databases that could be used for this purpose, while count data from the Toads on Roads schemes is potentially confounded by the effects of local topology on the detection probabilities and operation of nonchemical anthropogenic stressors. For Japan, local and regional surveys of amphibians and national ecological censuses gathering amphibian data were reviewed to

  19. Developmental alterations and osmoregulatory physiology of a larval anuran under osmotic stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez-Mestre, I; Tejedo, M; Ramayo, E; Estepa, J

    2004-01-01

    Water salinity represents an environmental stress for many species. Amphibians are particularly sensitive because they are generally poor osmoregulators, and most species are completely absent from brackish and saline environments. We experimentally examined the effect of different salinity levels on larvae of the toad Bufo calamita L., a species that occupies freshwater ponds but can also breed in brackish ponds. Two independent experiments are reported here. In both experiments, tadpoles under saline conditions (ranging between 85 and 200 mOsm) showed a slower developmental rate, metamorphosing between 4 and 9 d later than the controls. Bufo calamita tadpoles reared in brackish water increased their osmolality and solute concentration (mainly sodium and chloride), decreased their levels of glucose, and decreased the total protein content, all measured from whole-animal extracts. Although most larval anurans are strictly ammoniotelic until the completion of metamorphosis, a few species exposed to dehydrating environments have evolved the ability to use urea as an osmolyte during the larval phase. The data presented here reveal that although B. calamita seems to be yet another exception to the rule of larval strict ammoniotelism, the tadpoles are not able to use urea as an osmolyte and rely on sodium-chloride balance instead. Preliminary immunoassays of thyroid hormone content suggest a possible decrease in hormone levels induced in water salinity conditions that correlate with a decreased developmental rate.

  20. Food availability determines the response to pond desiccation in anuran tadpoles.

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    Enriquez-Urzelai, Urtzi; San Sebastián, Olatz; Garriga, Núria; Llorente, Gustavo A

    2013-09-01

    Food availability and pond desiccation are two of the most studied factors that condition amphibian metamorphosis. It is well known that, when food is abundant, organisms undergo metamorphosis early and when they are relatively large. The capability of anurans to accelerate their developmental rate in response to desiccation is also common knowledge. These two variables must act together in nature, since we know that, as a pond dries, the per capita resources decrease. We conduct an experiment to evaluate the effects of desiccation and food availability separately and in combination in tadpoles of the painted frog (Discoglossus pictus). We demonstrate that food deprivation leads to slow growth rates, which delay metamorphosis and produce smaller size and weight. The capability to accelerate metamorphosis when facing a drying pond is also confirmed, but, nevertheless, with factor interaction (when the pool is drying and resources are scarce) the capacity to respond to desiccation is lost. In addition, slow drying rates are shown to be stressful situations, but not enough to provoke a shortening of the larval period; in fact, the larval period becomes longer. We also demonstrate that the interaction of these factors changes the allometric relationship of different parts of the hind limb, which has implications for the biomechanics of jumping. Due to low mortality rates and an adequate response to both environmental factors, we expect D. pictus to have a great invasive potential in its new Mediterranean distribution area, where lots of temporary and ephemeral ponds are present.

  1. Lethal effect of dehydroleucodine (DhL) on amphibian Bufo arenarum embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, Liliana Elizabeth; Juárez, Américo Osvaldo; Pelzer, Lilian Eugenia

    2012-03-01

    The dehydroleucodine is a sesquiterpene lactone isolated from Artemisia douglasiana Besser which is used in popular medicine. Toxicity tests using embryos of amphibian have been widely used in order to predict toxic effects of different compounds. However, to our knowledge, there are not studies focussed on the toxic effects of dehydroleucodine on Bufo arenarum, which is an anuran widely distributed in South America. The effect of dehydroleucodine on the survival of embryos was evaluated in an acute test during the early life stage of B. arenarum embryos. Lethality and the degree of adverse effects were dehydroleucodine dose-dependent. Overall, amphibian early life stages appeared to be more susceptible to the embryotoxicity associated with exposure to dehydroleucodine, especially at concentration greater that 3mM. This increased susceptibility may result from the relatively high rate of cellular differentiation and morphogenesis that occurs at this early stage of development. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Conservation and divergence of ADAM family proteins in the Xenopus genome

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    Shah Anoop

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Members of the disintegrin metalloproteinase (ADAM family play important roles in cellular and developmental processes through their functions as proteases and/or binding partners for other proteins. The amphibian Xenopus has long been used as a model for early vertebrate development, but genome-wide analyses for large gene families were not possible until the recent completion of the X. tropicalis genome sequence and the availability of large scale expression sequence tag (EST databases. In this study we carried out a systematic analysis of the X. tropicalis genome and uncovered several interesting features of ADAM genes in this species. Results Based on the X. tropicalis genome sequence and EST databases, we identified Xenopus orthologues of mammalian ADAMs and obtained full-length cDNA clones for these genes. The deduced protein sequences, synteny and exon-intron boundaries are conserved between most human and X. tropicalis orthologues. The alternative splicing patterns of certain Xenopus ADAM genes, such as adams 22 and 28, are similar to those of their mammalian orthologues. However, we were unable to identify an orthologue for ADAM7 or 8. The Xenopus orthologue of ADAM15, an active metalloproteinase in mammals, does not contain the conserved zinc-binding motif and is hence considered proteolytically inactive. We also found evidence for gain of ADAM genes in Xenopus as compared to other species. There is a homologue of ADAM10 in Xenopus that is missing in most mammals. Furthermore, a single scaffold of X. tropicalis genome contains four genes encoding ADAM28 homologues, suggesting genome duplication in this region. Conclusions Our genome-wide analysis of ADAM genes in X. tropicalis revealed both conservation and evolutionary divergence of these genes in this amphibian species. On the one hand, all ADAMs implicated in normal development and health in other species are conserved in X. tropicalis. On the other hand, some

  3. Rainforest: Reptiles and Amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, Susanna

    2006-01-01

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

  4. Responding to Amphibian Loss

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mendelson III, J.R.; Lips, K.R.; Gagliardo, R.W.; Rabb, G.B.; Collins, J.P.; Diffendorfer, J.E.; Daszak, P.; Ibáñez D., R.; Zippel, K.C.; Lawson, D.P.; Wright, K.M.; Stuart, S.N.; Gascon, C.; da Silva, H.R.; Burrowes, P.A.; Joglar, R.L.; La Marca, E.; Lötters, S.; du Preez, L.H.; Weldon, C.; Hyatt, A.; Rodriguez-Mahecha, J.V.; Hunt, S.; Robertson, H.; Lock, B.; Raxworthy, C.J.; Frost, D.R.; Lacy, R.C.; Alford, R.A.; Campbell, J.A.; Parra-Olea, G.; Bolaños, F.; Calvo Domingo, J.J.; Halliday, T.; Murphy, J.B.; Wake, M.H.; Coloma, L.A.; Kuzmin, S.L.; Price, M.S.; Howell, K.M.; Lau, M.; Pethiyagoda, R.; Boone, M.; Lannoo, M.J.; Blaustein, A.R.; Dobson, A.; Griffiths, R.A.; Crump, M.L.; Wake, D.B.; Brodie Jr, E.D.

    2006-01-01

    In their Policy Forum "Confronting amphibian declines and extinctions" (7 July, p. 48), J. R. Mendelson III and colleagues offer a strategy for "stopping" the widespread losses of frogs, toads, and salamanders. Disease research and captive breeding figure prominently in their call for action.

  5. A conserved mechanism for vertebrate mesoderm specification in urodele amphibians and mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swiers, Gemma; Chen, Yi-Hsien; Johnson, Andrew D; Loose, Matthew

    2010-07-01

    Understanding how mesoderm is specified during development is a fundamental issue in biology, and it has been studied intensively in embryos from Xenopus. The gene regulatory network (GRN) for Xenopus is surprisingly complex and is not conserved in vertebrates, including mammals, which have single copies of the key genes Nodal and Mix. Why the Xenopus GRN should express multiple copies of Nodal and Mix genes is not known. To understand how these expanded gene families evolved, we investigated mesoderm specification in embryos from axolotls, representing urodele amphibians, since urodele embryology is basal to amphibians and was conserved during the evolution of amniotes, including mammals. We show that single copies of Nodal and Mix are required for mesoderm specification in axolotl embryos, suggesting the ancestral vertebrate state. Furthermore, we uncovered a novel genetic interaction in which Mix induces Brachyury expression, standing in contrast to the relationship of these molecules in Xenopus. However, we demonstrate that this functional relationship is conserved in mammals by showing that it is involved in the production of mesoderm from mouse embryonic stem cells. From our results, we produced an ancestral mesoderm (m)GRN, which we suggest is conserved in vertebrates. The results are discussed within the context of a theory in which the evolution of mechanisms governing early somatic development is constrained by the ancestral germ line-soma relationship, in which germ cells are produced by epigenesis. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Plakophilin-3 is required for late embryonic amphibian development, exhibiting roles in ectodermal and neural tissues.

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    William A Munoz

    Full Text Available The p120-catenin family has undergone a significant expansion during the evolution of vertebrates, resulting in varied functions that have yet to be discerned or fully characterized. Likewise, members of the plakophilins, a related catenin subfamily, are found throughout the cell with little known about their functions outside the desmosomal plaque. While the plakophilin-3 (Pkp3 knockout mouse resulted in skin defects, we find larger, including lethal effects following its depletion in Xenopus. Pkp3, unlike some other characterized catenins in amphibians, does not have significant maternal deposits of mRNA. However, during embryogenesis, two Pkp3 protein products whose temporal expression is partially complimentary become expressed. Only the smaller of these products is found in adult Xenopus tissues, with an expression pattern exhibiting distinctions as well as overlaps with those observed in mammalian studies. We determined that Xenopus Pkp3 depletion causes a skin fragility phenotype in keeping with the mouse knockout, but more novel, Xenopus tailbud embryos are hyposensitive to touch even in embryos lacking outward discernable phenotypes, and we additionally resolved disruptions in certain peripheral neural structures, altered establishment and migration of neural crest, and defects in ectodermal multiciliated cells. The use of two distinct morpholinos, as well as rescue approaches, indicated the specificity of these effects. Our results point to the requirement of Pkp3 in amphibian embryogenesis, with functional roles in a number of tissue types.

  7. Temperature dependence of anuran distortion product otoacoustic emissions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meenderink, Sebastlaan W. F.; Van Dijk, Pim

    To study the possible involvement of energy dependent mechanisms in the transduction of sound within the anuran ear, distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) were recorded in the northern leopard frog over a range of body temperatures. The effect of body temperature depended on the stimulus

  8. Bioconcentration kinetics of PCBs in various parts of the lifecycle of the tadpoles Xenopus laevis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHAO Rong-biao; SUN Da-yu; FU Shan; WANG Xiao-fei; ZHAO Ru-song

    2007-01-01

    Polychlorinated biphenyls(PCBs)in Xenopus laevis have been reported only for a few congeners.Additionally,there is very little information on the abilitv of Xenopus laevis to bioconcentrate PCBs.To address these issues,the tadpole Xenopus laevis was exposed to Aroclorl254 mixtures in water at room temperature for 110 d followed by an additional 110 d of nonspiked PCBs in the water for the control group.During the whole process,bioconcentration factors(BCFs)of PCBs ranged from 1180 to 15670.For most PCB congeners.the highest and lowest bioconcentrations of the kinetic curves were found to be remarkably simultaneous,respectively.All 141 PCB congeners under the same experimental conditions had no linear correlation on the lgBCF versus lgKow relationship.The relationship between lgBCFs and lgKow followed a parabolic pattern indicative of selective bioconcentration,suggesting that the kinetic curves of the PCB congeners observed in the lifecycle of the tadpoles may be concentrated due to the amphibian special species and internal metabolism.In contrast,IgBCFs for PCBs were inversely related to lgKow,suggesting that a metabolism of the higher Kow'PCB congeners occurred.These results support the author'S conclusion that the tadpole Xenopus laevis plays major roles in the bioconcentration of PCB congeners,and demonstrated that the exposure kinetic curves of PCB congeners are complex.Besides the amphibian metamorphous development,the lifecycle of the tadpole Xenopus laevis also may be of importance in determining the bioconcentration of PCB congeners.

  9. Regionalization of the telencephalon in urodele amphibians and its bearing on the identification of the amygdaloid complex

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    Nerea Moreno

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available The brain of urodele amphibians has formed the basis for numerous comparative neuroanatomical studies because its simplified arrangement of neurons and fibers was considered to represent the basic pattern common to all tetrapods. However, on the basis of classical histological techniques many common features shared by the brain of amniotes could not be identified in the anamniotic amphibians. Recently, the combined analysis of the chemoarchitecture and hodology has demonstrated that the brain, and particularly the telencephalon, of anuran amphibians shares all major basic features with amniotes. In the present study, we have conducted a series of immunohistochemical detections for telencephalic regional markers (nitric oxide synthase (NOS, γ-amino butyric acid (GABA, Islet-1 (Isl1, and Nkx2.1 that were useful tools for unraveling telencephalic organization in other vertebrates. In addition, the combination of tract-tracing techniques with dextran amines to demonstrate olfactory secondary centers, hypothalamic projections, and brainstem connections has served to propose subdivisions within the amygdaloid complex. The results of the present analysis of the urodele telencephalon using a multiple approach have demonstrated, among other features, the presence of a ventral pallial region, striatopallidal subdivision in the basal ganglia, and three main components of the amygdaloid complex. Therefore, in spite of its apparently simple organization, within the telencephalon of urodeles it is possible to identify most of the features observed in amniotes and anurans that are only revealed with the use of combined modern techniques in neuroanatomy.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  11. Diversity of form in the amphibian papilla of Puerto Rican frogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, E. R.; Hecht, E. I.; Narins, P. M.

    1992-01-01

    In modern frogs, the amphibian papilla exhibits a caudal extension whose shape, relative length, and proportion of hair cells vary markedly from species to species. Tuning in the caudal extension is organized tonotopically and evidently involves the tectorium. In terms of the proportion of amphibian-papillar hair cells in the caudal extension, we report more diversity among 8 species of a single genus (Eleutherodactylus) on a single island (Puerto Rico) than has been found so far among all of the (more than 50) other modern anurans examined for this feature from around the world. These 8 Puerto Rican species have overlapping habitat and conspicuous diversity in the male advertisement call. For 7 of the 8 species, we report that the call has transient spectral components in the frequency range of the amphibian papilla, and that the proportion of caudal extension hair cells and the frequency distribution of those components are correlated. Thus one might conclude that the selective pressures that led to diversity of calls among the 8 species also led to diversity in form of the amphibian papilla.

  12. Diversity and dynamics of amphibians in floodplain ecosystems of the Samara river

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    O. V. Zhukov

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available High emphasis is placed on amphibian importance as a buffer system, which has inhibiting effect on technogenic transformation of biogeocoenoses. Issues of the animals’ use in biological restoration, ecological rehabilitation of technogenic landscapes and in bioindication of environmental conditions are covered. Сhange in any component of the ecosystem leads to changing of the whole ecosystem. Anuran amphibians are extremely vulnerable to harmful effects of many factors of natural and anthropogenic origin. That is why, the destruction of forests, draining of wetlands, global climate change, global and local environmental pollution lead to complete disappearance or drastic decrease in numbers of many species of amphibians, reduction and fragmentation of their habitats, increased diversity and overall proportion of morphological anomalies in the natural populations of this group of animals. Recent studies of morphological changes in amphibians are increasingly being used to assess the state of the natural state of their populations and quality of their environment. In the biogeocenoses which are in the conditions of transformation amphibians have a number of advantages relative to their activity, the rate of reproduction, and euribiont character. Practical recommendations on protection and enrichment of the regional herpetofauna are given. The impact of the number and species diversity of amphibians on forest ecosystems of the steppe Dnieperin various conditions is assessed. Parametric entropy factors, the coefficient of biodiversity helped to identify the dominant species of amphibians. Taking into account the influence of predictors, there is the possibility to determine the number and species diversity of amphibians in the conditions of floodplain lime-ash forest. As a result of recording, the following species were caught: Pelobates fuscus (Laurenti, 1768, Rana arvalis Nilsson, 1842, Bufo bufo (Linnaeus, 1758, Bombina bombina (Linnaeus, 1758

  13. A survey of amphibians and reptiles in Chu Mom Ray National Park, Vietnam, with implications for herpetofaunal conservation

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    Daniel Jestrzemski

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available A herpetological survey was conducted in spring 2012 in the eastern part of Chu Mom Ray National Park, Kon Tum Province, southern Vietnam, to create a first inventory list of amphibians and reptiles and record threats to the local herpetocommunity. We also evaluated the efficiency of two faunistic inventory methods, drift fences and transect visual encounter surveys, in detecting reptiles and amphibians under the given circumstances. Five drift fence arrays with pitfalls and double-ended funnel traps were set up in lowland evergreen forest at elevations from 777 to 846 m a.s.l. and monitored over 40 nights. Additionally, 22 night excursions were conducted along an adjacent forest stream transect. A total of 62 species of amphibians and reptiles were recorded, comprising 24 anurans, one caecilian, 20 lizards, 16 snakes and one freshwater turtle. Because all specimens were released after capture in the field, proper identification and taxonomic revision are required for at least ten recorded amphibian and six reptile species. Four species are listed in the Vietnam Red Data Book (2007 and two species are listed in the Governmental Decree No32/2006/ND-CP (2006. In terms of distribution patterns, old-growth forest habitat harbored the highest number of recorded reptiles and amphibians (41 species, followed by open land (18 species and secondary forest (14 species. Most species were captured opportunistically (34, followed by the drift fences (29 and transect night surveys (18. Opportunistic encounters provided for most reptiles (22, while most amphibians were recorded at the drift fence arrays (15. Poaching of wildlife proved to be the major threat to the local herpetofauna, in particular large reptiles. In the study area, reptiles and amphibians are also at risk from habitat loss and degradation. Recommendations for reptile and amphibian conservation are provided.

  14. Effects of Pesticide Mixtures on Host-Pathogen Dynamics of the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buck, Julia C; Hua, Jessica; Brogan, William R; Dang, Trang D; Urbina, Jenny; Bendis, Randall J; Stoler, Aaron B; Blaustein, Andrew R; Relyea, Rick A

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic and natural stressors often interact to affect organisms. Amphibian populations are undergoing unprecedented declines and extinctions with pesticides and emerging infectious diseases implicated as causal factors. Although these factors often co-occur, their effects on amphibians are usually examined in isolation. We hypothesized that exposure of larval and metamorphic amphibians to ecologically relevant concentrations of pesticide mixtures would increase their post-metamorphic susceptibility to the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a pathogen that has contributed to amphibian population declines worldwide. We exposed five anuran species (Pacific treefrog, Pseudacris regilla; spring peeper, Pseudacris crucifer; Cascades frog, Rana cascadae; northern leopard frog, Lithobates pipiens; and western toad, Anaxyrus boreas) from three families to mixtures of four common insecticides (chlorpyrifos, carbaryl, permethrin, and endosulfan) or herbicides (glyphosate, acetochlor, atrazine, and 2,4-D) or a control treatment, either as tadpoles or as newly metamorphic individuals (metamorphs). Subsequently, we exposed animals to Bd or a control inoculate after metamorphosis and compared survival and Bd load. Bd exposure significantly increased mortality in Pacific treefrogs, spring peepers, and western toads, but not in Cascades frogs or northern leopard frogs. However, the effects of pesticide exposure on mortality were negligible, regardless of the timing of exposure. Bd load varied considerably across species; Pacific treefrogs, spring peepers, and western toads had the highest loads, whereas Cascades frogs and northern leopard frogs had the lowest loads. The influence of pesticide exposure on Bd load depended on the amphibian species, timing of pesticide exposure, and the particular pesticide treatment. Our results suggest that exposure to realistic pesticide concentrations has minimal effects on Bd-induced mortality, but can alter Bd load. This result

  15. Conserving Prairie Pothole Region wetlands and surrounding grasslands: evaluating effects on amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.; Neau, Jordan L.

    2014-01-01

    The maintenance of viable and genetically diverse populations of amphibians in the Prairie Pothole Region of the United States depends on upland as well as wetland over-wintering and landscape level habitat features. Prairie pothole wetlands provide important amphibian breeding habitat while grasslands surrounding these wetlands provide foraging habitat for adults, overwintering habitat for some species, and important connectivity among breeding wetlands. Grasslands surrounding wetlands were found to be especially important for wood frogs and northern leopard frogs, while croplands dominated habitat utilized by Great Plains toads and Woodhouse’s toads. Habitat suitability mapping highlighted (1) the influence of deep-water overwintering wetlands on suitable habitat for four of five anuran species encountered; (2) the lack of overlap between areas of core habitat for both the northern leopard frog and wood frog compared to the core habitat for both toad species; and (3) the importance of conservation programs in providing grassland components of northern leopard frog and wood frog habitat. Currently, there are approximately 7.2 million acres (2.9 million hectares, ha) of habitat in the PPR identified as suitable for amphibians. WRP and CRP wetland and grassland habitats accounted for approximately 1.9 million acres (0.75 million ha) or 26 percent of this total area. Continued loss of amphibian habitat resulting from an ongoing trend of returning PPR conservation lands to crop production, will likely have significant negative effects on the region’s ability to maintain amphibian biodiversity. Conversely, increases in conservation wetlands and surrounding grasslands on the PPR landscape have great potential to positively influence the region’s amphibian populations.

  16. From tails to toes: developing nonlethal tissue indicators of mercury exposure in five amphibian species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfleeger, Adam Z.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Kowalski, Brandon M.; Herring, Garth; Willacker, James J.; Jackson, Allyson K.; Pierce, John

    2016-01-01

    Exposure to environmental contaminants has been implicated as a factor in global amphibian decline. Mercury (Hg) is a particularly widespread contaminant that biomagnifies in amphibians and can cause a suite of deleterious effects. However, monitoring contaminant exposure in amphibian tissues may conflict with conservation goals if lethal take is required. Thus, there is a need to develop non-lethal tissue sampling techniques to quantify contaminant exposure in amphibians. Some minimally invasive sampling techniques, such as toe-clipping, are common in population-genetic research, but it is unclear if these methods can adequately characterize contaminant exposure. We examined the relationships between mercury (Hg) concentrations in non-lethally sampled tissues and paired whole-bodies in five amphibian species. Specifically, we examined the utility of three different tail-clip sections from four salamander species and toe-clips from one anuran species. Both tail and toe-clips accurately predicted whole-body THg concentrations, but the relationships differed among species and the specific tail-clip section or toe that was used. Tail-clips comprised of the distal 0–2 cm segment performed the best across all salamander species, explaining between 82 and 92 % of the variation in paired whole-body THg concentrations. Toe-clips were less effective predictors of frog THg concentrations, but THg concentrations in outer rear toes accounted for up to 79 % of the variability in frog whole-body THg concentrations. These findings suggest non-lethal sampling of tails and toes has potential applications for monitoring contaminant exposure and risk in amphibians, but care must be taken to ensure consistent collection and interpretation of samples.

  17. Effects of Pesticide Mixtures on Host-Pathogen Dynamics of the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia C Buck

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic and natural stressors often interact to affect organisms. Amphibian populations are undergoing unprecedented declines and extinctions with pesticides and emerging infectious diseases implicated as causal factors. Although these factors often co-occur, their effects on amphibians are usually examined in isolation. We hypothesized that exposure of larval and metamorphic amphibians to ecologically relevant concentrations of pesticide mixtures would increase their post-metamorphic susceptibility to the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, a pathogen that has contributed to amphibian population declines worldwide. We exposed five anuran species (Pacific treefrog, Pseudacris regilla; spring peeper, Pseudacris crucifer; Cascades frog, Rana cascadae; northern leopard frog, Lithobates pipiens; and western toad, Anaxyrus boreas from three families to mixtures of four common insecticides (chlorpyrifos, carbaryl, permethrin, and endosulfan or herbicides (glyphosate, acetochlor, atrazine, and 2,4-D or a control treatment, either as tadpoles or as newly metamorphic individuals (metamorphs. Subsequently, we exposed animals to Bd or a control inoculate after metamorphosis and compared survival and Bd load. Bd exposure significantly increased mortality in Pacific treefrogs, spring peepers, and western toads, but not in Cascades frogs or northern leopard frogs. However, the effects of pesticide exposure on mortality were negligible, regardless of the timing of exposure. Bd load varied considerably across species; Pacific treefrogs, spring peepers, and western toads had the highest loads, whereas Cascades frogs and northern leopard frogs had the lowest loads. The influence of pesticide exposure on Bd load depended on the amphibian species, timing of pesticide exposure, and the particular pesticide treatment. Our results suggest that exposure to realistic pesticide concentrations has minimal effects on Bd-induced mortality, but can alter Bd load

  18. Field Surveys of Amphibian Populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brodman, Robert

    2000-01-01

    Describes a course on amphibian research for environmental science majors. Involves students in field studies and introduces them to investigative research. Evaluates the course. (Contains 19 references.) (YDS)

  19. Leech predation on amphibian eggs%水蛭捕食两栖类卵

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Antonio ROMANO; Anna Rita Di CERBO

    2007-01-01

    Many oviparous organisms develop elaborate strategies against egg-predators to reduce the likelihood of mortality, since predatory pressure on early stages of development in organisms with complex life cycles can strongly influence their survival. Amphibian eggs are preyed upon by a wide range of taxa including macrophagous leeches. We surveyed the literature for references where amphibian egg predation by leeches was reported and uncovered 27 papers. Amphibian egg predation by leeches was previously reported for a greater percentage of anurans (3.6%, n=591) than urodeles (1.6%, n=255). Furthermore, we provided the first record of leech predation on the eggs of Northern spectacled salamander Salamandrina perspicillata. This appears to be the first report for Western European urodeles. No significant difference between the two amphibian orders was observed. However, when we analyzed the data from the three geographic areas of North America, Europe and Asia separately, differences were observed between anuran and urodele species in Northern America. Leeches were observed foraging upon all amphibian life stages. Leeches should be included, therefore, among the natural enemies of some species of amphibians.%许多卵生动物具有对付食卵者的精巧策略以降低死亡率,因为早期发育阶段的捕食压力能显著影响具复杂生活史动物的生存.两栖动物卵被水蛭等很多物种所捕食.我们查阅了水蛭捕食两栖类卵的文献,发现27篇论文.在所报道的水蛭捕食两栖类卵的例子中,无尾类(3.6%, n=591)明显多于有尾类(1.6%, n=255).此外,我们第一次记录到水蛭捕食四趾螈(Salamandrina perspicillata)卵,这也是西欧有尾类的第一例报道.我们没有发现两个两栖动物类群间存在差异.然而,当我们分别分析来自北美、欧洲和亚洲三个地区的数据时,发现北美的有尾类和无尾类间存在显著差异.水蛭可捕食各生活史阶段的两栖动物,因此,水蛭

  20. Skeletal callus formation is a nerve‐independent regenerative response to limb amputation in mice and Xenopus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miura, Shinichirou; Takahashi, Yumiko; Satoh, Akira

    2015-01-01

    Abstract To clarify the mechanism of limb regeneration that differs between mammals (non‐regenerative) and amphibians (regenerative), responses to limb amputation and the accessory limb inducible surgery (accessory limb model, ALM) were compared between mice and Xenopus, focusing on the events leading to blastema formation. In both animals, cartilaginous calluses were formed around the cut edge of bones after limb amputation. They not only are morphologically similar but show other similarities, such as growth driven by undifferentiated cell proliferation and macrophage‐dependent and nerve‐independent induction. It appears that amputation callus formation is a common nerve‐independent regenerative response in mice and Xenopus. In contrast, the ALM revealed that the wound epithelium (WE) in Xenopus was innervated by many regenerating axons when a severed nerve ending was placed underneath it, whereas only a few axons were found within the WE in mice. Since nerves are involved in induction of the regeneration‐permissive WE in amphibians, whether or not nerves can interact with the WE might be one of the key processes separating successful nerve‐dependent blastema formation in Xenopus and failure in mice. PMID:27499875

  1. The bactericidal agent triclosan modulates thyroid hormone-associated gene expression and disrupts postembryonic anuran development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Veldhoen, Nik [Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, P.O. Box 3055, Stn. CSC, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia V8W 3P6 (Canada); Skirrow, Rachel C. [Pacific Environmental Science Centre, 2645 Dollarton Highway, North Vancouver, British Columbia V7H 1V2 (Canada); Osachoff, Heather [Pacific Environmental Science Centre, 2645 Dollarton Highway, North Vancouver, British Columbia V7H 1V2 (Canada); Wigmore, Heidi [Pacific Environmental Science Centre, 2645 Dollarton Highway, North Vancouver, British Columbia V7H 1V2 (Canada); Clapson, David J. [Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, P.O. Box 3055, Stn. CSC, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia V8W 3P6 (Canada); Gunderson, Mark P. [Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, P.O. Box 3055, Stn. CSC, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia V8W 3P6 (Canada); Van Aggelen, Graham [Pacific Environmental Science Centre, 2645 Dollarton Highway, North Vancouver, British Columbia V7H 1V2 (Canada); Helbing, Caren C. [Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, P.O. Box 3055, Stn. CSC, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia V8W 3P6 (Canada)]. E-mail: chelbing@uvic.ca

    2006-12-01

    We investigated whether exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of the bactericidal agent, triclosan, induces changes in the thyroid hormone-mediated process of metamorphosis of the North American bullfrog, Rana catesbeiana and alters the expression profile of thyroid hormone receptor (TR) {alpha} and {beta}, basic transcription element binding protein (BTEB) and proliferating nuclear cell antigen (PCNA) gene transcripts. Premetamorphic tadpoles were immersed in environmentally relevant concentrations of triclosan and injected with 1 x 10{sup -11} mol/g body weight 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T{sub 3}) or vehicle control. Morphometric measurements and steady-state mRNA levels obtained by quantitative polymerase chain reaction were determined. mRNA abundance was also examined in Xenopus laevis XTC-2 cells treated with triclosan and/or 10 nM T{sub 3}. Tadpoles pretreated with triclosan concentrations as low as 0.15 {+-} 0.03 {mu}g/L for 4 days showed increased hindlimb development and a decrease in total body weight following T{sub 3} administration. Triclosan exposure also resulted in decreased T{sub 3}-mediated TR{beta} mRNA expression in the tadpole tail fin and increased levels of PCNA transcript in the brain within 48 h of T{sub 3} treatment whereas TR{alpha} and BTEB were unaffected. Triclosan alone altered thyroid hormone receptor {alpha} transcript levels in the brain of premetamorphic tadpoles and induced a transient weight loss. In XTC-2 cells, exposure to T{sub 3} plus nominal concentrations of triclosan as low as 0.03 {mu}g/L for 24 h resulted in altered thyroid hormone receptor mRNA expression. Exposure to low levels of triclosan disrupts thyroid hormone-associated gene expression and can alter the rate of thyroid hormone-mediated postembryonic anuran development.

  2. First detection of the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in free-ranging populations of amphibians on mainland Asia: survey in South Korea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, HyoJin; Baek, HaeJun; Speare, Richard; Webb, Rebecca; Park, SunKyung; Kim, TaeHo; Lasater, Kelly C; Shin, SangPhil; Son, SangHo; Park, JaeHak; Min, MiSook; Kim, YoungJun; Na, Kijeong; Lee, Hang; Park, SeChang

    2009-09-01

    Chytridiomycosis, a disease that has caused amphibian population declines globally and elevated many species of anurans to endangered or threatened status, has recently been declared an internationally notifiable disease. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the amphibian chytrid fungus causing this disease, has not been previously reported in Korea or on mainland Asia. Thirty-six frog specimens representing 7 species were collected from the wild in South Korea and examined for Bd using standard PCR. Bd was detected in 14 (38.8%) samples from 3 species (Bufo gargarizans, Hyla japonica, and Rana catesbiana). Skin sections from all 14 PCR-positive frogs were examined using 2 staining techniques: haematoxylin and eosin (H&E) and Bd immunoperoxidase (IPX). In histological sections, zoosporangia were found in 6 frogs, with lower sensitivity for H&E (21%) than for IPX (46%). Intensity of infection, based on histopathology, was low in all frogs. These results confirm that Bd is present in South Korea and, hence, on the Asian mainland. Studies are urgently required to determine the impact of chytridiomycosis on Korean amphibians, and to map the distribution of Bd in Korea and other Asian mainland countries.

  3. Bisphenol A induces feminization in Xenopus laevis tadpoles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Gregor; Lutz, Ilka; Krüger, Angela; Kloas, Werner

    2004-01-01

    To evaluate possible estrogenic effects of bisphenol A (BPA) in an amphibian model, Xenopus laevis tadpoles were exposed to BPA and 17beta-estradiol (E2) during larval development. After metamorphosis, the gonadal phenotype was determined by gross morphology, and testes were further examined histologically to validate the results. BPA treatment altered the normal sex ratio toward females depending on the BPA concentrations added. Chemical analysis showed a time-dependent decline of BPA during semistatic exposure, indicating that BPA is taken up and metabolized to some extent by tadpoles. In addition, tadpoles were exposed to BPA and E2 for 2 weeks during sensitive stages of sexual differentiation. Afterward, the expression of an estrogenic biomarker, estrogen receptor (ER) mRNA, was assessed by semiquantitative RT-PCR. Both BPA and E2 up-regulated ER mRNA significantly. In conclusion, these results show clear evidence that BPA induces feminization in X. laevis tadpoles, revealing an estrogenic potency of BPA that influences sexual development in amphibians.

  4. Effective RNAi-mediated β2-microglobulin loss of function by transgenesis in Xenopus laevis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nedelkovska, Hristina; Edholm, Eva-Stina; Haynes, Nikesha; Robert, Jacques

    2013-03-15

    To impair MHC class I (class I) function in vivo in the amphibian Xenopus, we developed an effective reverse genetic loss of function approach by combining I-SceI meganuclease-mediated transgenesis with RNAi technology. We generated transgenic outbred X. laevis and isogenetic laevis/gilli cloned lines with stably silenced expression of β2-microglobulin (b2m) critical for class I function. Transgenic F1 frogs exhibited decreased surface class I expression on erythrocytes and lymphocytes, decreased frequency of peripheral CD8 T cells and impaired CD8 T cell-mediated skin allograft rejection. Additionally, b2m knockdown increased susceptibility to viral infection of F0 transgenic larvae. This loss of function strategy offers new avenues for studying ontogeny of immunity and other developmental processes in Xenopus.

  5. Effective RNAi-mediated β2-microglobulin loss of function by transgenesis in Xenopus laevis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hristina Nedelkovska

    2013-01-01

    To impair MHC class I (class I function in vivo in the amphibian Xenopus, we developed an effective reverse genetic loss of function approach by combining I-SceI meganuclease-mediated transgenesis with RNAi technology. We generated transgenic outbred X. laevis and isogenetic laevis/gilli cloned lines with stably silenced expression of β2-microglobulin (b2m critical for class I function. Transgenic F1 frogs exhibited decreased surface class I expression on erythrocytes and lymphocytes, decreased frequency of peripheral CD8 T cells and impaired CD8 T cell-mediated skin allograft rejection. Additionally, b2m knockdown increased susceptibility to viral infection of F0 transgenic larvae. This loss of function strategy offers new avenues for studying ontogeny of immunity and other developmental processes in Xenopus.

  6. Simple and efficient CRISPR/Cas9-mediated targeted mutagenesis in Xenopus tropicalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakayama, Takuya; Fish, Margaret B; Fisher, Marilyn; Oomen-Hajagos, Jamina; Thomsen, Gerald H; Grainger, Robert M

    2013-12-01

    We have assessed the efficacy of the recently developed CRISPR/Cas (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated) system for genome modification in the amphibian Xenopus tropicalis. As a model experiment, targeted mutations of the tyrosinase gene were verified, showing the expected albinism phenotype in injected embryos. We further tested this technology by interrupting the six3 gene, which is required for proper eye and brain formation. Expected eye and brain phenotypes were observed when inducing mutations in the six3 coding regions, as well as when deleting the gene promoter by dual targeting. We describe here a standardized protocol for genome editing using this system. This simple and fast method to edit the genome provides a powerful new reverse genetics tool for Xenopus researchers.

  7. Sex determination in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Masahisa

    2009-05-01

    The heterogametic sex is male in all mammals, whereas it is female in almost all birds. By contrast, there are two heterogametic types (XX/XY and ZZ/ZW) for genetic sex determination in amphibians. Though the original heterogametic sex was female in amphibians, the two heterogametic types were probably interchangeable, suggesting that sex chromosomes evolved several times in this lineage. Indeed, the frog Rana rugosa has the XX/XY and ZZ/ZW sex-determining systems within a single species, depending on the local population in Japan. The XY and ZW geographic forms with differentiated sex chromosomes probably have a common origin as undifferentiated sex chromosomes resulted from the hybridization between the primary populations of West Japan and Kanto forms. It is clear that the sex chromosomes are still undergoing evolution in this species group. Regardless of the presence of a sex-determining gene in amphibians, the gonadal sex of some species can be changed by sex steroids. Namely, sex steroids can induce the sex reversal, with estrogens inducing the male-to-female sex reversal, whereas androgens have the opposite effect. In R. rugosa, gonadal activity of CYP19 (P450 aromatase) is correlated with the feminization of gonads. Of particular interest is that high levels of CYP19 expression are observed in indifferent gonads at time before sex determination. Increases in the expression of CYP19 in female gonads and CYP17 (P450 17alpha-hydroxylase/C17-20 lyase) in male gonads suggest that the former plays an important role in phenotypic female determination, whereas the latter is needed for male determination. Thus, steroids could be the key factor for sex determination in R. rugosa. In addition to the role of sex steroids in gonadal sex determination in this species, Foxl2 and Sox3 are capable of promoting CYP19 expression. Since both the genes are autosomal, another factor up-regulating CYP19 expression must be recruited. The factor, which may be located on the X or W

  8. The role of phytophysiognomies and seasonality on the structure of ground-dwelling anuran (Amphibia in the Pampa biome, southern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    FRANCIELE P. MARAGNO

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Considering that habitat use by amphibians is related both with climate and environmental features, we tested the hypothesis that anuran assemblages found in different phytophysiognomies and in different seasons vary in structure. Additionally, we searched for species which can be indicators of habitat and seasons. The study was conducted in the Pampa biome, southern Brazil. Sampling was done through pitfall traps placed in three phytophysiognomies: grassland, ecotone grassland/forest; and forest. The seasonality factor was created by grouping months in warn and cold seasons. Sixteen species were found and the assemblages were influenced both by phytophysiognomies and climatic seasonality. In a paired comparison, the three phytophysiognomies differed in structure of assemblage from each other. Physalaemus henselii, P. riograndensis, Pseudopaludicola falcipes and Pseudis minuta were indicators of ecotone. Leptodactylus gracilis and Physalaemus biligonigerus were indicators of grassland. None species was indicator of forest. Most of the species were indicators of warm season: Elachistocleis bicolor, Leptodactylus fuscus, L. gracilis, L. latinasus, L. latrans, L. mystacinus, Physalaemus biligonigerus, P. cuvieri and Pseudis minuta. None species was indicator of cold season. We found that even for species of open areas, as Pampa, heterogeneous phytophysiognomies are important for maintaining abundance and constancy of populations of anuran.

  9. Parasitism by larval tapeworms genus Spirometra in South American amphibians and reptiles: new records from Brazil and Uruguay, and a review of current knowledge in the region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oda, Fabrício H; Borteiro, Claudio; da Graça, Rodrigo J; Tavares, Luiz Eduardo R; Crampet, Alejandro; Guerra, Vinicius; Lima, Flávia S; Bellay, Sybelle; Karling, Letícia C; Castro, Oscar; Takemoto, Ricardo M; Pavanelli, Gilberto C

    2016-12-01

    Spargana are plerocercoid larvae of cestode tapeworms of the genus Spirometra, Family Diphyllobothriidae, parasitic to frogs, reptiles, birds and mammals. This parasitic disease in humans can be transmitted through the use and consumption of amphibians and reptiles. The available knowledge about Spirometra in South America is scarce, and there are only a few reports on the occurrence of sparganum in amphibians and reptiles, many of them published in old papers not easily available to researchers. In this work we present a review on this topic, provide new records in two species of amphibians and 7 species of reptiles from Brazil and Uruguay respectively. We also summarize current knowledge of Spirometra in the continent, along with an updated of host taxonomy. We could gather from the literature a total of 15 studies about amphibian and reptile hosts, published between 1850 and 2016, corresponding to 43 case reports, mostly from Brazil (29) and Uruguay (8), Argentina (3), Peru (2), and Venezuela (1); the majority of them related to reptiles (five lizards and 26 snake species), and 14 corresponded to amphibians (9 anurans). Plerocercoid larvae were located in different organs of the hosts, such as subcutaneous tissue, coelomic cavity, peritoneum, and musculature. The importance of amphibians and reptiles in the transmission of the disease to humans in South America is discussed. Relevant issues to be studied in the near future are the taxonomic characterization of Spirometra in the region and the biological risk of reptile meat for aboriginal and other rural communities.

  10. DNA barcoding amphibians and reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Widespread presence of the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in wild amphibian communities in Madagascar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bletz, Molly C.; Rosa, Gonçalo M.; Andreone, Franco; Courtois, Elodie A.; Schmeller, Dirk S.; Rabibisoa, Nirhy H. C.; Rabemananjara, Falitiana C. E.; Raharivololoniaina, Liliane; Vences, Miguel; Weldon, Ché; Edmonds, Devin; Raxworthy, Christopher J.; Harris, Reid N.; Fisher, Matthew C.; Crottini, Angelica

    2015-01-01

    Amphibian chytridiomycosis, an emerging infectious disease caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has been a significant driver of amphibian declines. While globally widespread, Bd had not yet been reported from within Madagascar. We document surveys conducted across the country between 2005 and 2014, showing Bd's first record in 2010. Subsequently, Bd was detected in multiple areas, with prevalence reaching up to 100%. Detection of Bd appears to be associated with mid to high elevation sites and to have a seasonal pattern, with greater detectability during the dry season. Lineage-based PCR was performed on a subset of samples. While some did not amplify with any lineage probe, when a positive signal was observed, samples were most similar to the Global Panzootic Lineage (BdGPL). These results may suggest that Bd arrived recently, but do not exclude the existence of a previously undetected endemic Bd genotype. Representatives of all native anuran families have tested Bd-positive, and exposure trials confirm infection by Bd is possible. Bd's presence could pose significant threats to Madagascar's unique “megadiverse” amphibians. PMID:25719857

  12. Widespread presence of the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in wild amphibian communities in Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bletz, Molly C; Rosa, Gonçalo M; Andreone, Franco; Courtois, Elodie A; Schmeller, Dirk S; Rabibisoa, Nirhy H C; Rabemananjara, Falitiana C E; Raharivololoniaina, Liliane; Vences, Miguel; Weldon, Ché; Edmonds, Devin; Raxworthy, Christopher J; Harris, Reid N; Fisher, Matthew C; Crottini, Angelica

    2015-02-26

    Amphibian chytridiomycosis, an emerging infectious disease caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has been a significant driver of amphibian declines. While globally widespread, Bd had not yet been reported from within Madagascar. We document surveys conducted across the country between 2005 and 2014, showing Bd's first record in 2010. Subsequently, Bd was detected in multiple areas, with prevalence reaching up to 100%. Detection of Bd appears to be associated with mid to high elevation sites and to have a seasonal pattern, with greater detectability during the dry season. Lineage-based PCR was performed on a subset of samples. While some did not amplify with any lineage probe, when a positive signal was observed, samples were most similar to the Global Panzootic Lineage (BdGPL). These results may suggest that Bd arrived recently, but do not exclude the existence of a previously undetected endemic Bd genotype. Representatives of all native anuran families have tested Bd-positive, and exposure trials confirm infection by Bd is possible. Bd's presence could pose significant threats to Madagascar's unique "megadiverse" amphibians.

  13. Allocation trade-off under climate warming in experimental amphibian populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Xu; Jin, Changnan; Camargo, Arley; Li, Yiming

    2015-01-01

    Climate change could either directly or indirectly cause population declines via altered temperature, rainfall regimes, food availability or phenological responses. However few studies have focused on allocation trade-offs between growth and reproduction under marginal resources, such as food scarce that may be caused by climate warming. Such critical changes may have an unpredicted impact on amphibian life-history parameters and even population dynamics. Here, we report an allocation strategy of adult anuran individuals involving a reproductive stage under experimental warming. Using outdoor mesocosm experiments we simulated a warming scenario likely to occur at the end of this century. We examined the effects of temperature (ambient vs. pre-/post-hibernation warming) and food availability (normal vs. low) on reproduction and growth parameters of pond frogs (Pelophylax nigromaculatus). We found that temperature was the major factor influencing reproductive time of female pond frogs, which showed a significant advancing under post-hibernation warming treatment. While feeding rate was the major factor influencing reproductive status of females, clutch size, and variation of body size for females, showed significant positive correlations between feeding rate and reproductive status, clutch size, or variation of body size. Our results suggested that reproduction and body size of amphibians might be modulated by climate warming or food availability variation. We believe this study provides some new evidence on allocation strategies suggesting that amphibians could adjust their reproductive output to cope with climate warming.

  14. Allocation trade-off under climate warming in experimental amphibian populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Xu; Jin, Changnan; Camargo, Arley

    2015-01-01

    Climate change could either directly or indirectly cause population declines via altered temperature, rainfall regimes, food availability or phenological responses. However few studies have focused on allocation trade-offs between growth and reproduction under marginal resources, such as food scarce that may be caused by climate warming. Such critical changes may have an unpredicted impact on amphibian life-history parameters and even population dynamics. Here, we report an allocation strategy of adult anuran individuals involving a reproductive stage under experimental warming. Using outdoor mesocosm experiments we simulated a warming scenario likely to occur at the end of this century. We examined the effects of temperature (ambient vs. pre-/post-hibernation warming) and food availability (normal vs. low) on reproduction and growth parameters of pond frogs (Pelophylax nigromaculatus). We found that temperature was the major factor influencing reproductive time of female pond frogs, which showed a significant advancing under post-hibernation warming treatment. While feeding rate was the major factor influencing reproductive status of females, clutch size, and variation of body size for females, showed significant positive correlations between feeding rate and reproductive status, clutch size, or variation of body size. Our results suggested that reproduction and body size of amphibians might be modulated by climate warming or food availability variation. We believe this study provides some new evidence on allocation strategies suggesting that amphibians could adjust their reproductive output to cope with climate warming. PMID:26500832

  15. Reptiles and amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  16. Proton pump-driven cutaneous chloride uptake in anuran amphibia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Lars Jørn; Willumsen, Niels J.; Amstrup, Jan

    2003-01-01

    Krogh introduced the concept of active ion uptake across surface epithelia of freshwater animals, and proved independent transports of Na(+) and Cl(-) in anuran skin and fish gill. He suggested that the fluxes of Na(+) and Cl(-) involve exchanges with ions of similar charge. In the so-called Krogh....... Several studies have indicated that the transport modes of MR cells are regulated via ion- and acid/base balance of the animal, but the signalling mechanisms have not been investigated. Estimates of energy consumption by the H(+)-ATPase and the Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase indicate that the gamma-cell accomplishes...

  17. Short historical survey of pattern formation in the endo-mesoderm and the neural anlage in the vertebrates: the role of vertical and planar inductive actions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nieuwkoop, P D

    1997-04-01

    After some introductory remarks about vertical versus horizontal inductive interactions and about planar versus homoiogenetic induction, the author discusses: a) the historical development of the more recently studied endo-mesoderm induction in the Urodeles and in the anuran Xenopus laevis, b) the possible causal relationship between endo-mesoderm induction and the initiation of the gastrulation process, and c) the older history of the regional neural induction as initially studied in the Urodeles and only recently analysed in the anuran Xenopus laevis. The essential vertical interaction in the neural induction process both in urodelian and in anuran amphibians is emphasized.

  18. Mitigating amphibian chytridiomycosis in nature

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Negative effects of low dose atrazine exposure on the development of effective immunity to FV3 in Xenopus laevis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sifkarovski, Jason; Grayfer, Leon; De Jesús Andino, Francisco; Lawrence, B Paige; Robert, Jacques

    2014-11-01

    The recent dramatic increase of the prevalence and range of amphibian host species and populations infected by ranaviruses such as Frog Virus 3 (FV3) raises concerns about the efficacies of amphibian antiviral immunity. In this context, the potential negative effects of water contaminants such as the herbicide atrazine, at environmentally relevant levels, on host antiviral immunity remains unclear. Here we describe the use of the amphibian Xenopus laevis as an ecotoxicology platform to elucidate the consequences of exposure to ecologically relevant doses of atrazine on amphibian antiviral immunity. X. laevis were exposed at tadpole and adult stages as well as during metamorphosis to atrazine (range from 0.1 to 10.0 ppb) prior to infection with FV3. Quantitative analysis of gene expression revealed significant changes in the pro-inflammatory cytokine, TNF-α and the antiviral type I IFN gene in response to FV3 infection. This was most marked in tadpoles that were exposed to atrazine at doses as low 0.1 ppb. Furthermore, atrazine exposure significantly compromised tadpole survival following FV3 infections. In contrast, acute atrazine exposure of mature adult frogs did not induce detectable effects on anti-FV3 immunity, but adults that were exposed to atrazine during metamorphosis exhibited pronounced defects in FV3-induced TNF-α gene expression responses and slight diminution in type I IFN gene induction. Thus, even at low doses, atrazine exposure culminates in impaired development of amphibian antiviral defenses.

  20. Negative Effects of Low Dose Atrazine Exposure on the Development of Effective Immunity to FV3 in Xenopus laevis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sifkarovski, Jason; Grayfer, Leon; De Jesús Andino, Francisco; Lawrence, B. Paige; Robert, Jacques

    2014-01-01

    The recent dramatic increase of the prevalence and range of amphibian host species and populations infected by ranaviruses such as Frog Virus 3 (FV3) raises concerns about the efficacies of amphibian antiviral immunity. In this context, the potential negative effects of water contaminants such as the herbicide atrazine, at environmentally relevant levels, on host antiviral immunity remains unclear. Here we describe the use of the amphibian Xenopus laevis as an ecotoxiciology platform to elucidate the consequences of exposure to ecologically relevant doses of atrazine on amphibian antiviral immunity. X. laevis were exposed at tadpole and adult stages as well as during metamorphosis to atrazine (range from 0.1 to 10.0 ppb) prior to infection with FV3. Quantitative analysis of gene expression revealed significant changes in the pro-inflammatory cytokine, TNF-α and the antiviral type I IFN gene in response to FV3 infection. This was most marked in tadpoles that were exposed to atrazine at doses as low 0.1 ppb. Furthermore, atrazine exposure significantly compromised tadpole survival following FV3 infections. In contrast, acute atrazine exposure of mature adult frogs did not induce detectable effects on anti-FV3 immunity, but adults that were exposed to atrazine during metamorphosis exhibited pronounced defects in FV3-induced TNF-α gene expression responses and slight diminution in type I IFN gene induction. Thus, even at low doses, atrazine exposure culminates in impaired development of amphibian antiviral defenses. PMID:24984115

  1. Body temperatures of selected amphibian and reptile species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raske, Matthew; Lewbart, Gregory A; Dombrowski, Daniel S; Hale, Peyton; Correa, Maria; Christian, Larry S

    2012-09-01

    Ectothermic vertebrates are a diverse group of animals that rely on external sources to maintain a preferred body temperature. Amphibians and reptiles have a preferred optimal temperature zone that allows for optimal biological function. Physiologic processes in ectotherms are influenced by temperature; these animals have capabilities in which they make use of behavioral and physiologic mechanisms to thermoregulate. Core body, ambient air, body surface, and surface/water temperatures were obtained from six ectothermic species including one anuran, two snakes, two turtles, and one alligator. Clinically significant differences between core body temperature and ambient temperature were noted in the black rat snake, corn snake, and eastern box turtle. No significant differences were found between core body and ambient temperature for the American alligator, bullfrog, mata mata turtle, dead spotted turtle, or dead mole king snake. This study indicates some ectotherms are able to regulate their body temperatures independent of their environment. Body temperature of ectotherms is an important component that clinicians should consider when selecting and providing therapeutic care. Investigation of basic physiologic parameters (heart rate, respiratory rate, and body temperature) from a diverse population of healthy ectothermic vertebrates may provide baseline data for a systematic health care approach.

  2. Experimental investigation of observation error in anuran call surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClintock, B.T.; Bailey, L.L.; Pollock, K.H.; Simons, T.R.

    2010-01-01

    Occupancy models that account for imperfect detection are often used to monitor anuran and songbird species occurrence. However, presenceabsence data arising from auditory detections may be more prone to observation error (e.g., false-positive detections) than are sampling approaches utilizing physical captures or sightings of individuals. We conducted realistic, replicated field experiments using a remote broadcasting system to simulate simple anuran call surveys and to investigate potential factors affecting observation error in these studies. Distance, time, ambient noise, and observer abilities were the most important factors explaining false-negative detections. Distance and observer ability were the best overall predictors of false-positive errors, but ambient noise and competing species also affected error rates for some species. False-positive errors made up 5 of all positive detections, with individual observers exhibiting false-positive rates between 0.5 and 14. Previous research suggests false-positive errors of these magnitudes would induce substantial positive biases in standard estimators of species occurrence, and we recommend practices to mitigate for false positives when developing occupancy monitoring protocols that rely on auditory detections. These recommendations include additional observer training, limiting the number of target species, and establishing distance and ambient noise thresholds during surveys. ?? 2010 The Wildlife Society.

  3. Multiple pathways for invasion of anurans on a Pacific island

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christy, M.T.; Savidge, J.A.; Rodda, G.H.

    2007-01-01

    Since 1937, thirteen species of non-indigenous anurans have made their way to Guam. Of these, at least six have established breeding populations. Various pathways led to the introduction of these species to the island. The only anuran intentionally introduced was Chaunus marinus (formerly Bufo marinus), which was brought to Guam as a biocontrol agent. Kaloula picta, K. pulchra, Polypedates leucomystax, and probably Litoria fallax arrived as stowaways via maritime or air-transport vessels. Eleutherodactylus coqui and Euhyas (formerly Eleutherodactylus) planirostris appear to have entered Guam through the horticultural trade. Specimens of Pseudacris regilla were found among agricultural products and Christmas trees. Five species have been transported to Guam via the aquacultural trade. The importation of tilapia, milkfish, and white shrimp from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the Philippines was associated with the introduction to Guam of Fejervarya cancrivora, F. limnocharis sensu lato, Microhyla pulchra, Polypedates megacephalus, and Sylvirana guentheri (formerly Rana guentheri). Presently, no quarantine or containment guidelines have been established for Guam's aquacultural industry. ?? 2007 The Authors.

  4. Colors and Some Morphological Traits as Defensive Mechanisms in Anurans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luís Felipe Toledo

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Anurans may be brightly colored or completely cryptic. Generally, in the former situation, we are dealing with aposematism, and the latter is an example of camouflage. However, these are only simple views of what such colorations really mean and which defensive strategy is implied. For instance, a brightly colored frog may be part of a mimicry ring, which could be either Batesian, Müllerian, or Browerian. These are only examples of the diversity of color-usage systems as defensive strategies. Unfortunately, reports on the use of colors as defensive mechanisms are widespread in the available literature, and the possible functions are rarely mentioned. Therefore, we reviewed the literature and added new data to this subject. Then, we the use of colors (as defensive mechanism into categories. Mimicry was divided into the subcategories camouflage, homotypy, and nondeceitful homotypy, and these groups were also subcategorized. Dissuasive coloration was divided into behavioral display of colors, polymorphism, and polyphenism. Aposematism was treated apart, but aposematic colorations may be present in other defensive strategies. Finally, we propose functions and forms of evolution for some color systems in post-metamorphic anurans and hope that this review can be the basis for future research, even on other animal groups.

  5. Highly efficient bi-allelic mutation rates using TALENs in Xenopus tropicalis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shoko Ishibashi

    2012-10-01

    In the past decade, Xenopus tropicalis has emerged as a powerful new amphibian genetic model system, which offers all of the experimental advantages of its larger cousin, Xenopus laevis. Here we investigated the efficiency of transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs for generating targeted mutations in endogenous genes in X. tropicalis. For our analysis we targeted the tyrosinase (oculocutaneous albinism IA (tyr gene, which is required for the production of skin pigments, such as melanin. We injected mRNA encoding TALENs targeting the first exon of the tyr gene into two-cell-stage embryos. Surprisingly, we found that over 90% of the founder animals developed either partial or full albinism, suggesting that the TALENs induced bi-allelic mutations in the tyr gene at very high frequency in the F0 animals. Furthermore, mutations tyr gene were efficiently transmitted into the F1 progeny, as evidenced by the generation of albino offspring. These findings have far reaching implications in our quest to develop efficient reverse genetic approaches in this emerging amphibian model.

  6. North American amphibians: distribution and diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    : Green, David M.; Weir, Linda A.; Casper, Gary S.; Lannoo, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Some 300 species of amphibians inhabit North America. The past two decades have seen an enormous growth in interest about amphibians and an increased intensity of scientific research into their fascinating biology and continent-wide distribution. This atlas presents the spectacular diversity of North American amphibians in a geographic context. It covers all formally recognized amphibian species found in the United States and Canada, many of which are endangered or threatened with extinction. Illustrated with maps and photos, the species accounts provide current information about distribution, habitat, and conservation. Researchers, professional herpetologists, and anyone intrigued by amphibians will value North American Amphibians as a guide and reference.

  7. Two different network topologies yield bistability in models of mesoderm and anterior mesendoderm specification in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, L E; King, J R; Loose, M

    2014-07-21

    Understanding the Gene Regulatory Networks (GRNs) that underlie development is a major question for systems biology. The establishment of the germ layers is amongst the earliest events of development and has been characterised in numerous model systems. The establishment of the mesoderm is best characterised in the frog Xenopus laevis and has been well studied both experimentally and mathematically. However, the Xenopus network has significant differences from that in mouse and humans, including the presence of multiple copies of two key genes in the network, Mix and Nodal. The axolotl, a urodele amphibian, provides a model with all the benefits of amphibian embryology but crucially only a single Mix and Nodal gene required for the specification of the mesoderm. Remarkably, the number of genes within the network is not the only difference. The interaction between Mix and Brachyury, two transcription factors involved in the establishment of the endoderm and mesoderm respectively, is not conserved. While Mix represses Brachyury in Xenopus, it activates Brachyury in axolotl. Thus, whilst the topology of the networks in the two species differs, both are able to form mesoderm and endoderm in vivo. Based on current knowledge of the structure of the mesendoderm GRN we develop deterministic models that describe the time evolution of transcription factors in a single axolotl cell and compare numerical simulations with previous results from Xenopus. The models are shown to have stable steady states corresponding to mesoderm and anterior mesendoderm, with the in vitro model showing how the concentration of Activin can determine cell fate, while the in vivo model shows that β-catenin concentration can determine cell fate. Moreover, our analysis suggests that additional components must be important in the axolotl network in the specification of the full range of tissues.

  8. Serum clinical biochemical and hematologic reference ranges of laboratory-reared and wild-caught Xenopus laevis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Sabrina; Felt, Stephen; Torreilles, Stéphanie; Howard, Antwain; Behan, Colleen; Moorhead, Roberta; Green, Sherril

    2011-09-01

    The South African clawed frogs Xenopus laevis and X. tropicalis are fully aquatic amphibians and well-established animal models. Because genetically engineered laboratory Xenopus are now being produced, the establishment of normal reference ranges for serum biochemical and hematologic parameters is essential for phenotyping and as a diagnostic aide. We determined normal reference ranges for hematologic values from 3 populations of X. laevis: wild-caught frogs (n = 43) and frogs from 2 commercial sources (A, n = 166; B, n = 109). For serum biochemistry, we determined normal reference ranges for frogs from source A and wild-caught frogs divided by sex and season. Significant differences across populations were found in WBC and RBC counts, hemoglobin concentration, hematocrit, mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration, and mean corpuscular volume. Among serum biochemical analytes, significant differences were found for albumin:globulin ratio, anion gap, and concentrations of albumin, globulin, total protein, lipase, alanine transaminase, γ-glutamyl transpeptidase; creatine phosphokinase; indirect, direct, and total bilirubin; cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein lipase, carbon dioxide, glucose, lactacte dehydrogenase, calcium, chloride, and sodium. We hypothesize that these differences can be attributed to differences in water quality, habitat, ambient temperature, diet, sex, recent transport or shipment, and genetic background. However, testing that hypothesis is beyond the scope of the current study. In addition, clinical chemistry and hematologic reference range values Xenopus laevis are quite distinct from those for other species and are most consistent with the only values published for another fully aquatic amphibian, the Eastern hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis).

  9. A tale of two lineages: unexpected, long-term persistence of the amphibian-killing fungus in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lips, Karen

    2014-02-01

    For the past 17 years, scientists have been compiling a list of amphibian species susceptible to infection by the amphibian-killing chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), all over the world, with >500 species infected on every continent except Antarctica (Olson et al.). Where Bd has been found, the impacts on amphibians has been one of two types: either Bd arrives into a naïve amphibian population followed by a mass die-off and population declines (e.g. Lips et al.), or Bd is present at some moderate prevalence, usually infecting many species but at apparently nonlethal intensities for a long time. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Rodriguez et al. (2014) discover that the Atlantic Coastal Forest of Brazil is home to two Bd lineages: the Global Pandemic Lineage (Bd-GPL) - the strain responsible for mass die-offs and population declines - and a lineage endemic to Brazil (Bd-Bz). Even more surprising was that both lineages have been present in this area for the past 100 years, making these the oldest records of Bd infecting amphibians. The team also described a moderate but steady prevalence of ~20% across all sampled anuran families for over 100 years, indicating that Brazil has been in an enzootic disease state for over a century. Most amphibians were infected with Bd-GPL, suggesting this lineage may be a better competitor than Bd-Bz or may be replacing the Bd-Bz lineage. Rodriguez et al. (2014) also detected likely hybridization of the two Bd lineages, as originally described by Schloegel et al. (2012).

  10. The lissamphibian humerus and elbow joint, and the origins of modern amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sigurdsen, Trond; Bolt, John R

    2009-12-01

    The origins and evolution of the three major clades of modern amphibians are still a source of controversy, and no general consensus exists as to their relationship to the various known Paleozoic taxa. This may indicate that additional character complexes should be studied to resolve their phylogenetic relationship. The salamander elbow joint has been fundamentally misinterpreted in previous morphological descriptions. In caudates and anurans, both the radius and ulna (fused in anurans) articulate with the characteristically large capitulum (radial condyle), although part of the ulnar articulating surface fits into to the smooth trochlear region. The salamander "ulnar condyle" of previous descriptions is in fact the entepicondyle. The condition seen in batrachians (i.e., salamanders and frogs) may be a lissamphibian synapomorphy because the elbow region of the primitive fossil caecilian Eocaecilia resembles those of frogs and salamanders. In addition to the large and bulbous capitulum, all lissamphibian humeri lack an entepicondylar foramen, and possess a distally pointing entepicondyle, a low and rounded ectepicondyle, and an elongated shaft. These characters are identified in key fossil forms to assess the support for the different hypotheses proposed for the evolutionary origins of lissamphibians. Temnospondyli is the only group of early tetrapods that shows a progressive evolution of lissamphibian traits in the humerus and elbow joint. Furthermore, among Paleozoic taxa, the dissorophoid temnospondyl Doleserpeton annectens is the only taxon that has the full set of humeral features shared by all lissamphibians. These results add support for the theory of a monophyletic origin of lissamphibians from dissorophoidtemnospondyls.

  11. Risks of hormonally active pharmaceuticals to amphibians: a growing concern regarding progestagens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Säfholm, Moa; Ribbenstedt, Anton; Fick, Jerker; Berg, Cecilia

    2014-11-19

    Most amphibians breed in water, including the terrestrial species, and may therefore be exposed to water-borne pharmaceuticals during critical phases of the reproductive cycle, i.e. sex differentiation and gamete maturation. The objectives of this paper were to (i) review available literature regarding adverse effects of hormonally active pharmaceuticals on amphibians, with special reference to environmentally relevant exposure levels and (ii) expand the knowledge on toxicity of progestagens in amphibians by determining effects of norethindrone (NET) and progesterone (P) exposure to 0, 1, 10 or 100 ng l(-1) (nominal) on oogenesis in the test species Xenopus tropicalis. Very little information was found on toxicity of environmentally relevant concentrations of pharmaceuticals on amphibians. Research has shown that environmental concentrations (1.8 ng l(-1)) of the pharmaceutical oestrogen ethinylestradiol (EE2) cause developmental reproductive toxicity involving impaired spermatogenesis in frogs. Recently, it was found that the progestagen levonorgestrel (LNG) inhibited oogenesis in frogs by interrupting the formation of vitellogenic oocytes at an environmentally relevant concentration (1.3 ng l(-1)). Results from the present study revealed that 1 ng NET l(-1) and 10 ng P l(-1) caused reduced proportions of vitellogenic oocytes and increased proportions of previtellogenic oocytes compared with the controls, thereby indicating inhibited vitellogenesis. Hence, the available literature shows that the oestrogen EE2 and the progestagens LNG, NET and P impair reproductive functions in amphibians at environmentally relevant exposure concentrations. The progestagens are of particular concern given their prevalence, the range of compounds and that several of them (LNG, NET and P) share the same target (oogenesis) at environmental exposure concentrations, indicating a risk for adverse effects on fertility in exposed wild amphibians.

  12. Potential for local adaptation in response to an anthropogenic agent of selection: effects of road deicing salts on amphibian embryonic survival and development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopkins, Gareth R; French, Susannah S; Brodie, Edmund D

    2013-02-01

    The application of millions of tons of road deicing salts every winter in North America presents significant survival challenges to amphibians inhabiting roadside habitats. While much is known of the effects of NaCl on anuran tadpoles, less is known of effects on amphibian eggs, or any caudate life stage. In addition, little is known of the effects of MgCl2, which is now the 2nd most commonly used road deicer. Most studies have considered amphibians to be helpless victims of deicing salts, and ignore the possibility of the evolution of local adaptation to this stressor. We attempt to address these knowledge gaps and explore this evolutionary potential by examining the effects of NaCl and MgCl2 on the survival and development of eggs from different female rough-skinned newts (Taricha granulosa) from the same population. We demonstrate that both salts, at environmentally relevant concentrations, severely affect the embryonic survival and development of this amphibian, but that the effects of the salt are dependent on the identity of the mother. This female × treatment interaction results in substantial variation in tolerance to road deicing salts among newt families, providing the raw material necessary for natural selection and the evolution of local adaptation in this amphibian.

  13. Regulator of complement activation (RCA) gene cluster in Xenopus tropicalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oshiumi, Hiroyuki; Suzuki, Yuzuru; Matsumoto, Misako; Seya, Tsukasa

    2009-05-01

    Genome and expressed sequence tag information of Xenopus tropicalis suggested that short-consensus repeat (SCR)-containing proteins are encoded by three genes that are mapped within a 300-kb downstream of PFKFB2, which is a marker gene for the regulator of complement activation (RCA) loci in human and chicken. Based on this observation, we cloned the three cDNAs of these proteins using 3'- or 5'-RACE technique. Since their primary structures and locations of the proximity to the PFKFB2 locus, we named them amphibian RCA protein (ARC) 1, 2, and 3. Expression in human HEK293 or CHO cells suggested that ARC1 is a soluble protein of Mr approximately 67 kDa, ARC2 is a membrane protein with Mr 44 kDa, and ARC3 a secretary protein with a putative transmembrane region. They were N-glycosylated during maturation. In human and chicken RCA clusters, the order in which genes for soluble, GPI-anchored, and membrane forms of SCR proteins are arranged is from the distant to proximity to the PFKFB2 gene. However, the amphibian ARC1, 2, and 3 resembled one another and did not reflect the same order found in human and chicken RCA genes. This may be due to self-duplication of ARCs to form a family, and it evolved after the amphibia separated from the ancestor of the amniotes, which possessed soluble, GPI-anchored, and membrane forms of SCR protein members. Taken together, frog possesses a RCA locus, but the constitution of the ARC proteins differs from that of the amniotes with a unique self-resemblance.

  14. Skeletal muscle regeneration in Xenopus tadpoles and zebrafish larvae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigues Alexandre

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mammals are not able to restore lost appendages, while many amphibians are. One important question about epimorphic regeneration is related to the origin of the new tissues and whether they come from mature cells via dedifferentiation and/or from stem cells. Several studies in urodele amphibians (salamanders indicate that, after limb or tail amputation, the multinucleated muscle fibres do dedifferentiate by fragmentation and proliferation, thereby contributing to the regenerate. In Xenopus laevis tadpoles, however, it was shown that muscle fibres do not contribute directly to the tail regenerate. We set out to study whether dedifferentiation was present during muscle regeneration of the tadpole limb and zebrafish larval tail, mainly by cell tracing and histological observations. Results Cell tracing and histological observations indicate that zebrafish tail muscle do not dedifferentiate during regeneration. Technical limitations did not allow us to trace tadpole limb cells, nevertheless we observed no signs of dedifferentiation histologically. However, ultrastructural and gene expression analysis of regenerating muscle in tadpole tail revealed an unexpected dedifferentiation phenotype. Further histological studies showed that dedifferentiating tail fibres did not enter the cell cycle and in vivo cell tracing revealed no evidences of muscle fibre fragmentation. In addition, our results indicate that this incomplete dedifferentiation was initiated by the retraction of muscle fibres. Conclusions Our results show that complete skeletal muscle dedifferentiation is less common than expected in lower vertebrates. In addition, the discovery of incomplete dedifferentiation in muscle fibres of the tadpole tail stresses the importance of coupling histological studies with in vivo cell tracing experiments to better understand the regenerative mechanisms.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  16. Understanding Amphibian Declines Through Geographic Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallant, Alisa

    2006-01-01

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

  17. Clinical pathology of amphibians: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forzán, María J; Heatley, Jill; Russell, Karen E; Horney, Barbara

    2017-03-01

    Amphibian declines and extinctions have worsened in the last 2 decades. Partly because one of the main causes of the declines is infectious disease, veterinary professionals have increasingly become involved in amphibian research, captive husbandry, and management. Health evaluation of amphibians, free-living or captive, can benefit from employing the tools of clinical pathology, something that is commonly used in veterinary medicine of other vertebrates. The present review compiles what is known of amphibian clinical pathology emphasizing knowledge that may assist with the interpretation of laboratory results, provides diagnostic recommendations for common amphibian diseases, and includes RIs for a few amphibian species estimated based on peer-reviewed studies. We hope to encourage the incorporation of clinical pathology in amphibian practice and research, and to highlight the importance of applying veterinary medicine principles in furthering our knowledge of amphibian pathophysiology. © 2017 American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology.

  18. Phylogeny and differentiation of reptilian and amphibian ranaviruses detected in Europe.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anke C Stöhr

    Full Text Available Ranaviruses in amphibians and fish are considered emerging pathogens and several isolates have been extensively characterized in different studies. Ranaviruses have also been detected in reptiles with increasing frequency, but the role of reptilian hosts is still unclear and only limited sequence data has been provided. In this study, we characterized a number of ranaviruses detected in wild and captive animals in Europe based on sequence data from six genomic regions (major capsid protein (MCP, DNA polymerase (DNApol, ribonucleoside diphosphate reductase alpha and beta subunit-like proteins (RNR-α and -β, viral homolog of the alpha subunit of eukaryotic initiation factor 2, eIF-2α (vIF-2α genes and microsatellite region. A total of ten different isolates from reptiles (tortoises, lizards, and a snake and four ranaviruses from amphibians (anurans, urodeles were included in the study. Furthermore, the complete genome sequences of three reptilian isolates were determined and a new PCR for rapid classification of the different variants of the genomic arrangement was developed. All ranaviruses showed slight variations on the partial nucleotide sequences from the different genomic regions (92.6-100%. Some very similar isolates could be distinguished by the size of the band from the microsatellite region. Three of the lizard isolates had a truncated vIF-2α gene; the other ranaviruses had full-length genes. In the phylogenetic analyses of concatenated sequences from different genes (3223 nt/10287 aa, the reptilian ranaviruses were often more closely related to amphibian ranaviruses than to each other, and most clustered together with previously detected ranaviruses from the same geographic region of origin. Comparative analyses show that among the closely related amphibian-like ranaviruses (ALRVs described to date, three recently split and independently evolving distinct genetic groups can be distinguished. These findings underline the wide host

  19. Xenopus laevis - A success story in biological research in Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horn, E.

    A feature of sensory, neuronal and motor systems is the existence of a critical period during their development. Environmental modifications, in particular stimulus depri-vation, during this period of life affects development in a long-term manner. For gravity sensory systems, space flights offer the only opportunity for deprivation conditions. Studies in the amphibian Xenopus laevis presented the most complete picture. The presentation demonstrates the importance of Xenopus laevis as an ex-perimental model animal in the past and even for future research in Space. Studies are presented which range from fertilization in Space and anatomical studies during early development under weightlessness up to post-flight studies on the anatomy of the peripheral sense organ, the spinal motor activity and behavior. Gravity depriva-tion induces anatomical as well as behavioral and neurophysiological modifications, which are normalized either during flight (thickening of the blastocoel roof) or after reentry in 1g-conditions (swimming and reflex behavior, spinal motor activity). The physiological changes can be explained by mechanisms of physiological adaptation. However, the studies also revealed stages which were insensitive to gravity depriva-tion; they point to the existence of a critical period. Observations on morphological mal-formations are described which are reversible after termination of microgravity and which are linked to a depression of vestibular reflex behavior. They might be caused by a competition between dorsalization and ventralization inducing growth factors. This observation offers the possibility for a genetic approach in finding ba-sics for microgravity effects on the development of Xenopus, and in a general frame, on the development of vertebrates including men. At the present stage of research, it remains open whether adaptive processes during exposure to altered gravity or the existence of a critical period in vestibular development are responsible for

  20. BIOTIC FACTORS IN AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DECLINES

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  1. Anuran Call Count Survey Sheets 2004 Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — These are the data sheets from the Anuran Call Count Surveys done at Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge done in April through June of 2004.

  2. Anuran Point Count Species Abundance and Frequency 2000 Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — These are summary sheets outlining the point count species abundance and frequency rates of anuran at Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge during the spring and summer...

  3. Abnormal anuran surveys conducted at Lower Klamath Clear Lake and Modoc National Wildlife Refuge in 2005

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Abstract Abnormal anuran surveys were conducted on three National Wildlife Refuges (NWR) in northern California in 2005. The three refuges selected were Lower...

  4. Anuran Call Count Survey Sheets 2002 Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — These are the data sheets from the Anuran Call Count Surveys done at Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge done in March through May of 2002.

  5. Anuran Point Count Species Abundance and Frequency 1999 Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — These are summary sheets outlining the point count species abundance and frequency rates of anuran at Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge during the summer of 1999.

  6. Anuran Point Count Species Abundance and Frequency 2006 Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — These are summary sheets outlining the point count species abundance and frequency rates of anuran at Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge during the spring and summer...

  7. Vocal Anuran Community Monitoring with Automatic Recording Devices at Swanquarter National Wildlife Refuge: Summary Report 2014

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — During 2014, the Southeast Region Inventory and Monitoring Branch conducted the first vocal anuran monitoring at Swanquarter National Wildlife Refuge. The...

  8. Vocal Anuran Community Monitoring with Automatic Recording Devices at Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge Summary Report 2015

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — During 2015, the Southeast Region Inventory and Monitoring Branch conducted the first-ever, pilot vocal anuran monitoring project at Mattamuskeet National Wildlife...

  9. Anuran Point Count Species Abundance and Frequency 2002 Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — These are summary sheets outlining the point count species abundance and frequency rates of anuran at Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge during the spring and summer...

  10. Anuran Call Count Survey Sheets 2001 Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — These are the data sheets from the Anuran Call Count Surveys done at Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge done in March through May of 2001.

  11. Anuran Call Count Survey Sheets 2000 Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — These are the data sheets from the Anuran Call Count Surveys done at Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge done in March and April of 2000.

  12. Anuran Point Count Species Abundance and Frequency 2001 Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — These are summary sheets outlining the point count species abundance and frequency rates of anuran at Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge during the spring and summer...

  13. Anuran Survey Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge: With Recommendations for Future Surveys

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — To establish baseline data and to monitor change over time to the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge's(BBNWR) anuran populations the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,...

  14. Proton pump-driven cutaneous chloride uptake in anuran amphibia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Lars Jørn; Willumsen, Niels Johannes; Amstrup, Jan; Larsen, Erik Hviid

    2003-12-30

    Krogh introduced the concept of active ion uptake across surface epithelia of freshwater animals, and proved independent transports of Na(+) and Cl(-) in anuran skin and fish gill. He suggested that the fluxes of Na(+) and Cl(-) involve exchanges with ions of similar charge. In the so-called Krogh model, Cl(-)/HCO(3)(-) and Na(+)/H(+) antiporters are located in the apical membrane of the osmoregulatory epithelium. More recent studies have shown that H(+) excretion in anuran skin is due to a V-ATPase in mitochondria-rich (MR) cells. The pump has been localized by immunostaining and H(+) fluxes estimated by pH-stat titration and mathematical modelling of pH-profiles in the unstirred layer on the external side of the epithelium. H(+) secretion is voltage-dependent, sensitive to carbonic-anhydrase inhibitors, and rheogenic with a charge/ion-flux ratio of unity. Cl(-) uptake from freshwater is saturating, voltage independent, and sensitive to DIDS and carbonic-anhydrase inhibitors. Depending on anuran species and probably on acid/base balance of the animal, apical exit of protons is coupled to an exchange of Cl(-) with base (HCO(3)(-)) either in the apical membrane (gamma-type of MR cell) or in the basolateral membrane (alpha-type MR cell). The gamma-cell model accounts for the rheogenic active uptake of Cl(-) observed in several anuran species. There is indirect evidence also for non-rheogenic active uptake accomplished by a beta-type MR cell with apical base secretion and basolateral proton pumping. Several studies have indicated that the transport modes of MR cells are regulated via ion- and acid/base balance of the animal, but the signalling mechanisms have not been investigated. Estimates of energy consumption by the H(+)-ATPase and the Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase indicate that the gamma-cell accomplishes uptake of NaCl in normal and diluted freshwater. Under common freshwater conditions with serosa-positive or zero V(t), the K(+) conductance of the basolateral membrane

  15. Spatial and temporal distribution in two anuran communities in the Chapada do Araripe, Northeastern Brasil

    OpenAIRE

    Ferreira-Silva,Cristiana; Oliveira,Deivid Batista de; Oliveira,Herivelto Faustino de; Ávila, Robson Waldemar

    2016-01-01

    In this study, we report the temporal occurrence and habitat and microhabitat use by anurans in two areas located in one highland marsh (brejo-de-altitude) in northeastern Brazil. Fieldwork was carried out between September 2011 and September 2012. The recorded anurans belong to 14 species distributed in five families: Hylidae (six), Leptodactylidae (five), Bufonidae, Odontophrynidae and Pipidae (one each). Vocalization activity was seasonal and concentrated in the wetter and warmer months, b...

  16. Pelvic and thigh musculature in frogs (Anura) and origin of anuran jumping locomotion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prikryl, Tomás; Aerts, Peter; Havelková, Pavla; Herrel, Anthony; Rocek, Zbynek

    2009-01-01

    Comparative analysis of the anuran pelvic and thigh musculoskeletal system revealed that the thigh extensors, responsible for the initial phase of jump, the propulsive stroke in swimming and, if used asynchronously, also for walking, are least affected by the transformations observed between anurans and their temnospondyl ancestors (as reflected in contemporary caudates). The iliac shaft and urostyle, two of the most important anuran apomorphies, represent skeletal support for muscles that are mostly protractors of the femur or are important in attaining a crouching position, a necessary prerequisite for rapid escape. All of these muscles originate or insert on the iliac shaft. As the orientation of the pubis, ischium and ilium is the same in anurans, caudates and by inference also in their temnospondyl ancestors, it is probable that the pelvis was shifted from the sacral vertebra posteriorly along the reduced and stiffened tail (urostyle) by the elongation of the illiac shaft. Thus, the original vertical orientation of the ilium was maintained (which is also demonstrated by stable origins of the glutaeus maximus, iliofemoralis and iliofibularis on the tuber superius) and the shaft itself is a new structure. A review of functional analysis of anuran locomotion suggests some clear differences from that in caudates, suggesting that terrestrial jumping may have been a primary locomotor activity, from which other types of anuran locomotion are derived.

  17. Multiple Determinants of Anuran Richness and Occurrence in an Agricultural Region in South-Eastern Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prado, Vitor H. M.; Rossa-Feres, Denise de C.

    2014-04-01

    In agricultural landscapes, studies that identify factors driving species richness and occupancy are important because they can guide farmers to use conservation practices that minimize species loss. In this context, anurans are threatened by habitat loss because they depend on the characteristics of both local water bodies and adjacent landscapes. We used a model selection approach to evaluate the influence of local and landscape variables in determining anuran species richness and occurrence in 40 freshwater bodies in a heavily deforested region of semideciduous Atlantic Forest in southeastern Brazil. Our aim was to develop recommendations for conservation of anuran communities in rural areas. Pond hydroperiod and area were the most important variables for explaining anuran species richness and occupancy, with greatest species richness being found in water bodies with intermediate hydroperiod and area. Other important variables that reflected individual species occupancies were the number of vegetation types and pond isolation. In addition, recent studies evidenced that water bodies near forest fragments have higher anuran abundance or diversity. In conclusion, we suggest the maintenance of semi-permanent ponds, isolated from large rivers or reservoirs and near forest fragments, as an effective strategy to conserve anuran fauna in agricultural landscapes of southeastern Brazil. Brazilian government requires the maintenance of forests as legal reserve in each farm, and farmers need to maintain ponds as drinking water for cattle or crop irrigation. For this reason, the guidelines suggested in the present study can be easily adopted, without additional costs to rural productivity.

  18. Insights on the evolution of prolyl 3-hydroxylation sites from comparative analysis of chicken and Xenopus fibrillar collagens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David M Hudson

    Full Text Available Recessive mutations that prevent 3-hydroxyproline formation in type I collagen have been shown to cause forms of osteogenesis imperfecta. In mammals, all A-clade collagen chains with a GPP sequence at the A1 site (P986, except α1(III, have 3Hyp at residue P986. Available avian, amphibian and reptilian type III collagen sequences from the genomic database (Ensembl all differ in sequence motif from mammals at the A1 site. This suggests a potential evolutionary distinction in prolyl 3-hydroxylation between mammals and earlier vertebrates. Using peptide mass spectrometry, we confirmed that this 3Hyp site is fully occupied in α1(III from an amphibian, Xenopus laevis, as it is in chicken. A thorough characterization of all predicted 3Hyp sites in collagen types I, II, III and V from chicken and xenopus revealed further differences in the pattern of occupancy of the A3 site (P707. In mammals only α2(I and α2(V chains had any 3Hyp at the A3 site, whereas in chicken all α-chains except α1(III had A3 at least partially 3-hydroxylated. The A3 site was also partially 3-hydroxylated in xenopus α1(I. Minor differences in covalent cross-linking between chicken, xenopus and mammal type I and III collagens were also found as a potential index of evolving functional differences. The function of 3Hyp is still unknown but observed differences in site occupancy during vertebrate evolution are likely to give important clues.

  19. Ecopathology of Ranaviruses Infecting Amphibians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew Storfer

    2011-11-01

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

  20. Small Mammals, Reptiles, and Amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryce Rickel

    2005-01-01

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

  1. Ecopathology of ranaviruses infecting amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Debra; Gray, Matthew; Storfer, Andrew

    2011-11-01

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

  2. Metabolic and immune impairments induced by the endocrine disruptors benzo[a]pyrene and triclosan in Xenopus tropicalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regnault, Christophe; Willison, John; Veyrenc, Sylvie; Airieau, Antinéa; Méresse, Patrick; Fortier, Marlène; Fournier, Michel; Brousseau, Pauline; Raveton, Muriel; Reynaud, Stéphane

    2016-07-01

    Despite numerous studies suggesting that amphibians are highly sensitive to cumulative anthropogenic stresses, the role played by endocrine disruptors (EDs) in the decline of amphibian populations remains unclear. EDs have been extensively studied in adult amphibians for their capacity to disturb reproduction by interfering with the sexual hormone axis. Here, we studied the in vivo responses of Xenopus tropicalis males exposed to environmentally relevant concentrations of each ED, benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) and triclosan (TCS) alone (10 μg L(-1)) or a mixture of the two (10 μg L(-1) each) over a 24 h exposure period by following the modulation of the transcription of key genes involved in metabolic, sexual and immunity processes and the cellular changes in liver, spleen and testis. BaP, TCS and the mixture of the two all induced a marked metabolic disorder in the liver highlighted by insulin resistance-like and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)-like phenotypes together with hepatotoxicity due to the impairment of lipid metabolism. For TCS and the mixture, these metabolic disorders were concomitant with modulation of innate immunity. These results confirmed that in addition to the reproductive effects induced by EDs in amphibians, metabolic disorders and immune system disruption should also be considered.

  3. Atrazine and malathion shorten the maturation process of Xenopus laevis oocytes and have an adverse effect on early embryo development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Qichao; Lee, Jessica; Lin, Yu-Huey; Jing, Guihua; Tsai, L Jillianne; Chen, Andrew; Hetrick, Lindsay; Jocoy, Dylan; Liu, Junjun

    2016-04-01

    The use of pesticides has a negative impact on the environment. Amphibians have long been regarded as indicator species to pollutants due to their permeable skin and sensitivity to the environment. Studies have shown that population declines of some amphibians are directly linked with exposure to agricultural contaminants. In the past, much of the studies have focused on the toxic effect of contaminants on larvae (tadpoles), juvenile and adult frogs. However, due to the nature of their life cycle, amphibian eggs and early embryos are especially susceptible to the contaminants, and any alteration during the early reproductive stages may have a profound effect on the health and population of amphibians. In this study, we analyzed the effect of atrazine and malathion, two commonly used pesticides, on Xenopus laevis oocyte maturation and early embryogenesis. We found that both atrazine and malathion shortened the frog oocyte maturation process and resulted in reduced Emi2 levels at cytostatic factor-mediated metaphase arrest, and a high level of Emi2 is critically important for oocyte maturation. Furthermore, frog embryos fertilized under the influence of atrazine and/or malathion displayed a higher rate of abnormal division that eventually led to embryo death during early embryogenesis.

  4. Amphibian metamorphosis as a model for studying the developmental actions of thyroid hormone

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    TATAJAMSHENR

    1998-01-01

    The thyroid hormones L-thyroxine and triiodo-Lthyronine have profound effects on postenbryonic development of most vertebrates.Analysis of their action in mammals is vitiated by the exposure of the developing foetus to a number of maternal factors which do not allow one to specifically define the role of thyroid hormone (TH) or that of other hormones and factors that modulate its action.Amphibian metamorphosis is obligatorily dependent on TH which can initiate all the diverse physiological manifestations of this postembryonic developmental process(morphogenesis,cell death,re-structuring,etc.) in free-living embryos and larvas of most anurans.This article will first describe the salient features of metamorphosis and its control by TH and other hormones.Emphasis will be laid on the key role played by TH receptor (TR),in particular the phenomenon of TR gene autoinduction,in initiating the developmental action of TH.Finally,it will be argued that the findings on the control of amphibian metamorphosis enhance our understanding of the regulation of postembryonic development by TH in other vertebrate species.

  5. Expression profiling the temperature-dependent amphibian response to infection by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laia Ribas

    Full Text Available Amphibians are experiencing a panzootic of unprecedented proportions caused by the emergence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd. However, all species are not equally at risk of infection, and risk is further modified by environmental variables, specifically temperature. In order to understand how, and when, hosts mount a response to Bd we analysed infection dynamics and patterns of gene expression in the model amphibian species Silurana (Xenopus tropicalis. Mathematical modelling of infection dynamics demonstrate the existence of a temperature-dependent protective response that is largely independent of the intrinsic growth-rate of Bd. Using temporal expression-profiling by microarrays and qRT-PCR, we characterise this response in the main amphibian lymphoid tissue, the spleen. We demonstrate that clearance of Bd at the host-optimal temperature is not clearly associated with an adaptive immune response, but rather is correlated with the induction of components of host innate immunity including the expression of genes that are associated with the production of the antimicrobial skin peptide preprocareulein (PPCP as well as inflammatory responses. We find that adaptive immunity appears to be lacking at host-optimal temperatures. This suggests that either Bd does not stimulate, or suppresses, adaptive immunity, or that trade-offs exist between innate and adaptive limbs of the amphibian immune system. At cold temperatures, S. tropicalis loses the ability to mount a PPCP-based innate response, and instead manifests a more pronounced inflammatory reaction that is characterised by the production of proteases and higher pathogen burdens. This study demonstrates the temperature-dependency of the amphibian response to infection by Bd and indicates the influence that changing climates may exert on the ectothermic host response to pathogens.

  6. Germ tube mediated invasion of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in amphibian skin is host dependent.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pascale Van Rooij

    Full Text Available Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd is the causative agent of chytridiomycosis, a fungal skin disease in amphibians and driver of worldwide amphibian declines.We focussed on the early stages of infection by Bd in 3 amphibian species with a differential susceptibility to chytridiomycosis. Skin explants of Alytes muletensis, Litoria caerulea and Xenopus leavis were exposed to Bd in an Ussing chamber for 3 to 5 days. Early interactions of Bd with amphibian skin were observed using light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. To validate the observations in vitro, comparison was made with skin from experimentally infected frogs. Additional in vitro experiments were performed to elucidate the process of intracellular colonization in L. caerulea. Early interactions of Bd with amphibian skin are: attachment of zoospores to host skin, zoospore germination, germ tube development, penetration into skin cells, invasive growth in the host skin, resulting in the loss of host cell cytoplasm. Inoculation of A. muletensis and L. caerulea skin was followed within 24 h by endobiotic development, with sporangia located intracellularly in the skin. Evidence is provided of how intracellular colonization is established and how colonization by Bd proceeds to deeper skin layers. Older thalli develop rhizoid-like structures that spread to deeper skin layers, form a swelling inside the host cell to finally give rise to a new thallus. In X. laevis, interaction of Bd with skin was limited to an epibiotic state, with sporangia developing upon the skin. Only the superficial epidermis was affected. Epidermal cells seemed to be used as a nutrient source without development of intracellular thalli. The in vitro data agreed with the results obtained after experimental infection of the studied frog species. These data suggest that the colonization strategy of B. dendrobatidis is host dependent, with the extent of colonization most likely determined by inherent

  7. Germ tube mediated invasion of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in amphibian skin is host dependent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Rooij, Pascale; Martel, An; D'Herde, Katharina; Brutyn, Melanie; Croubels, Siska; Ducatelle, Richard; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Pasmans, Frank

    2012-01-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is the causative agent of chytridiomycosis, a fungal skin disease in amphibians and driver of worldwide amphibian declines.We focussed on the early stages of infection by Bd in 3 amphibian species with a differential susceptibility to chytridiomycosis. Skin explants of Alytes muletensis, Litoria caerulea and Xenopus leavis were exposed to Bd in an Ussing chamber for 3 to 5 days. Early interactions of Bd with amphibian skin were observed using light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. To validate the observations in vitro, comparison was made with skin from experimentally infected frogs. Additional in vitro experiments were performed to elucidate the process of intracellular colonization in L. caerulea. Early interactions of Bd with amphibian skin are: attachment of zoospores to host skin, zoospore germination, germ tube development, penetration into skin cells, invasive growth in the host skin, resulting in the loss of host cell cytoplasm. Inoculation of A. muletensis and L. caerulea skin was followed within 24 h by endobiotic development, with sporangia located intracellularly in the skin. Evidence is provided of how intracellular colonization is established and how colonization by Bd proceeds to deeper skin layers. Older thalli develop rhizoid-like structures that spread to deeper skin layers, form a swelling inside the host cell to finally give rise to a new thallus. In X. laevis, interaction of Bd with skin was limited to an epibiotic state, with sporangia developing upon the skin. Only the superficial epidermis was affected. Epidermal cells seemed to be used as a nutrient source without development of intracellular thalli. The in vitro data agreed with the results obtained after experimental infection of the studied frog species. These data suggest that the colonization strategy of B. dendrobatidis is host dependent, with the extent of colonization most likely determined by inherent characteristics of the host

  8. Amphibians as models for studying environmental change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopkins, William A

    2007-01-01

    The use of amphibians as models in ecological research has a rich history. From an early foundation in studies of amphibian natural history sprang generations of scientists who used amphibians as models to address fundamental questions in population and community ecology. More recently, in the wake of an environment that human disturbances rapidly altered, ecologists have adopted amphibians as models for studying applied ecological issues such as habitat loss, pollution, disease, and global climate change. Some of the characteristics of amphibians that make them useful models for studying these environmental problems are highlighted, including their trophic importance, environmental sensitivity, research tractability, and impending extinction. The article provides specific examples from the recent literature to illustrate how studies on amphibians have been instrumental in guiding scientific thought on a broad scale. Included are examples of how amphibian research has transformed scientific disciplines, generated new theories about global health, called into question widely accepted scientific paradigms, and raised awareness in the general public that our daily actions may have widespread repercussions. In addition, studies on amphibian declines have provided insight into the complexity in which multiple independent factors may interact with one another to produce catastrophic and sometimes unpredictable effects. Because of the complexity of these problems, amphibian ecologists have been among the strongest advocates for interdisciplinary research. Future studies of amphibians will be important not only for their conservation but also for the conservation of other species, critical habitats, and entire ecosystems.

  9. Response to the Point of View of Gregory B. Pauly, David M. Hillis, and David C. Cannatella, by the Anuran Subcommittee of the SSAR/HL/ASIH Scientific and Standard English Names List

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frost, Darrel R.; McDiarmid, Roy W.; Mendelson, Joseph R.

    2009-01-01

    The Point of View by Gregory Pauly, David Hillis, and David Cannatella misrepresents the motives and activities of the anuran subcommittee of the Scientific and Standard English Names Committee, contains a number of misleading statements, omits evidence and references to critical literature that have already rejected or superseded their positions, and cloaks the limitations of their nomenclatural approach in ambiguous language. Their Point of View is not about promoting transparency in the process of constructing the English Names list, assuring that its taxonomy is adequately reviewed, or promoting nomenclatural stability in any global sense. Rather, their Point of View focuses in large part on a single publication, The Amphibian Tree of Life, which is formally unrelated to the Standard English Names List, and promotes an approach to nomenclature mistakenly asserted by them to be compatible with both the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature and one of its competitors, the PhyloCode.

  10. Effects of Grazing Management and Cattle on Aquatic Habitat Use by the Anuran Pseudopaludicola mystacalis in Agro-Savannah Landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garey, Michel V.; Rossa-Feres, Denise C.

    2016-01-01

    Because of their strong dependence on the environment, the spatial distribution of pond-breeding amphibians can be greatly influenced by anthropogenic habitat alteration. In some agricultural landscapes in Brazil, the anuran Pseudopaludicola mystacalis appears to be highly influenced by land use. Because adult males and tadpoles of this species are usually found in marshy areas with cattle hoof prints, we hypothesized that P. mystacalis preferentially occupies aquatic habitats with marshy areas that are trampled by cattle. To test our hypothesis, we assessed whether the occurrence of P. mystacalis is associated with the presence of cattle and trampled marshy areas, and which environmental features best explain the spatial distribution and abundance of P. mystacalis. To do so, we sampled 38 aquatic habitats in an area intensely used for livestock in southeastern Brazil. We found that the presence of cattle and trampled marshy areas in aquatic habitats are positively associated to P. mystacalis occurrence. Additionally, the abundance of calling males is better predicted by variables of landscape and local habitat structure. Specifically, the size of trampled marshy areas and the proportion of herbaceous vegetation within the aquatic habitat are positively associated with abundance, while distance to nearest aquatic habitat are negatively associated with abundance of calling males. All three of these variables can be directly or indirectly linked to the presence of cattle or grazing management. Therefore, this work shows evidence that Pseudopaludicola mystacalis is positively influenced by grazing management with cattle, and draws attention to other unknown potential consequences of different land use to fresh water diversity. PMID:27658203

  11. Morphological and life-history responses of anurans to predation by an invasive crayfish: an integrative approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunes, Ana L; Orizaola, Germán; Laurila, Anssi; Rebelo, Rui

    2014-04-01

    Predator-induced phenotypic plasticity has been widely documented in response to native predators, but studies examining the extent to which prey can respond to exotic invasive predators are scarce. As native prey often do not share a long evolutionary history with invasive predators, they may lack defenses against them. This can lead to population declines and even extinctions, making exotic predators a serious threat to biodiversity. Here, in a community-wide study, we examined the morphological and life-history responses of anuran larvae reared with the invasive red swamp crayfish, Procambarus clarkii, feeding on conspecific tadpoles. We reared tadpoles of nine species until metamorphosis and examined responses in terms of larval morphology, growth, and development, as well as their degree of phenotypic integration. These responses were compared with the ones developed in the presence of a native predator, the larval dragonfly Aeshna sp., also feeding on tadpoles. Eight of the nine species altered their morphology or life history when reared with the fed dragonfly, but only four when reared with the fed crayfish, suggesting among-species variation in the ability to respond to a novel predator. While morphological defenses were generally similar across species (deeper tails) and almost exclusively elicited in the presence of the fed dragonfly, life-history responses were very variable and commonly elicited in the presence of the invasive crayfish. Phenotypes induced in the presence of dragonfly were more integrated than in crayfish presence. The lack of response to the presence of the fed crayfish in five of the study species suggests higher risk of local extinction and ultimately reduced diversity of the invaded amphibian communities. Understanding how native prey species vary in their responses to invasive predators is important in predicting the impacts caused by newly established predator-prey interactions following biological invasions.

  12. Amphibians in Southern Apennine: distribution, ecology and conservation notes in the “Appennino Lucano, Val d’Agri e Lagonegrese” National Park (Southern Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Romano

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Italy is the European country with the highest amphibian richness and endemism. However distributional data from some Southern Italy areas are scanty, in particularly for the Basilicata region. In this study, we present the results of field and bibliographic survey on the amphibians of the “Appennino Lucano, Val d’Agri e Lagonegrese” National Park (almost 70,000 ha. We recorded breeding activity of 12 amphibian species in 307 sites, for a total of 493 records. For some endemic species we provide new ecological data, such as new altitudinal limit (Salamandrina terdigitata or expansion of the annual activity cycle (Bombina pachypus. Indices of diffusion, density and rarity were applied to test the status of each species in the Park. Correspondence analyses showed a clear aquatic habitat partitioning between anurans and urodelans and, concerning the latter, between newts and salamanders, newts being strictly dependent on artificial water bodies. Our results support the growing idea, recently formalized by the IUCN, that maintaining and restoring artificial water bodies may be fundamental for an appropriate conservation management of amphibian communities in Mediterranean rural landscapes.

  13. Thyroid hormone regulation of apoptotic tissue remodeling during anuran metamorphosis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    Anuran metamorphosis involves systematic transformations of individual organs in a thyroid hormone (TH)-dependent manner. Morphological and cellular studies have shown that the removal of larval or gans/tissues such the tail and the tadpole intestinal epithelium is through programmed cell death or apop tosis. Recent molecular investigations suggest that TH regulates metamorphosis by regulating target gene expression through thyroid hormone receptors (TRs), which are DNA-binding transcription factors. Cloning and characterization of TH response genes show that diverse groups of early response genes are induced by TH. The products of these TH response genes are believed to directly or indirectly affect the expression and/or functions of cell death genes, which are conserved at both sequence and function levels in different animal species. A major challenge for future research lies at determining the signaling pathways leading to the activation of apoptotic processes and whether different death genes are involved in the regulation of apoptosis in different tissues/organs to effect tissue-specific transformations.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Collazo Andres

    2010-08-01

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

  15. [Direct development in the tailed amphibians (salamanders), its origin and evolution].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smirnov, S V

    2008-01-01

    Biphasic life circle including water larvae and terrestrial adults is the primitive character for recent amphibians. Respectively, the larval development type (sensu Zakhvatkin, 1975) is also primitive for them. However, many amphibians possess direct development, in which the most part of ontogenesis takes place in the egg, and a miniature copy of the adult adapted to the terrestrial mode of life comes into the world. Transition from the larval type to the direct one occurs several times independently in Apoda, Urodela, and Anura. Pathways and mechanisms of formation of the direct type, its evolutionary tendencies, and ontogenetic prerequisites of that transition are studied in the plethodontid urodelans herewith in details. It is observed that the entire process of initial formation and subsequent specialization of the direct type involves: 1) progressing displacement of ontogenesis into embryogenesis and loss of larval characters, 2) desynchronization of initially metamorphic transformations and processes with their progressive lost, 3) acceleration of the beginning of functional activity of the thyroid gland, and 4) subsiding of the role of thyroid hormones in the ontogenesis regulation. Transition to the direct development type involves similar kinds of ontogenetic transformations and regulations in both Anura and Urodela despite of their independent evolution. Respectively, mechanisms of that transition are universal for the amphibians. The ontogenetic prerequisites of that transition are shown to be either significant dissociability of the larval and adult stages of ontogenesis (in anurans and plethodontid urodelans), or absence of the extreme larval specializations and respective sharp differences between larvae and adults (in extant Apoda and extinct labyrinthodonts and seymouriamorphs).

  16. Species composition, diversity and relative abundance of amphibians in forests and non-forest habitats on Langkawi Island, Peninsular Malaysia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nur Johana, J.; Muzzneena, A. M.; Grismer, L. L.; Norhayati, A.

    2016-11-01

    Anurans on Langkawi Island, Peninsular Malaysia exhibit variation in their habits and forms, ranging from small (SVL 150 mm), and occupy a range of habitats, such as riverine forests, agricultural fields, peat swamps, and lowland and upland dipterocarp forests. These variations provide a platform to explore species diversity, distribution, abundance, microhabitat, and other ecological parameters to understand the distribution patterns and to facilitate conservation and management of sensitive or important species and areas. The objective of this study was to evaluate the diversity and distribution of anuran species in different types of habitat on Langkawi Island. Specimens were collected based on active sampling using the Visual Encounter Survey (VES) method. We surveyed anuran species inhabiting seven types of habitat, namely agriculture (AG), coastal (CL), forest (FT), pond (PD), mangrove (MG), riparian forest (RF) and river (RV). A total of 775 individuals were sampled from all localities, representing 23 species from 12 genera and included all six families of frogs in Malaysia. FT and RF showed high values of Shannon Index, H', 2.60 and 2.38, respectively, followed by the other types of habitat, CL (1.82), RV (1.71), MG (1.56), PD (1.54), and AG (1.53). AG had the highest abundance (156 individuals) compared to other habitat types. Based on Cluster Analysis by using Jaccard coefficient (UPGMA), two groups can be clearly seen and assigned as forested species group (FT and RF) and species associating with human activity (AG, CL, PD, MG and RV). Forest species group is more diverse compared to non-forest group. Nevertheless, non-forest species are found in abundance, highlighting the relevance of these disturbed habitats in supporting the amphibians.

  17. A bond graph approach to modeling the anuran vocal production system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kime, Nicole M; Ryan, Michael J; Wilson, Preston S

    2013-06-01

    Air-driven vocal production systems such as those found in mammals, birds, and anurans (frogs and toads) combine pneumatic and mechanical elements in species-specific ways to produce a diversity of communication signals. This study uses bond graphs to model a generalized anuran vocal production system. Bond graphs allow an incremental approach to modeling dynamic physical systems involving different domains. Anurans provide an example of how signal diversity results from variation in the structure and behavior of vocal system elements. This paper first proposes a bond graph model of the integrated anuran vocal system as a framework for future study. It then presents a simulated submodel of the anuran sound source that produces sustained oscillations in vocal fold displacement and air flow through the larynx. The modeling approach illustrated here should prove of general applicability to other biological sound production systems, and will allow researchers to study the biomechanics of vocal production as well as the functional congruence and evolution of groups of traits within integrated vocal systems.

  18. An amphibian model to test the effects of xenobiotic chemicals on development of the hematopoietic system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rollins-Smith, Louise A; Hopkins, B Diane; Reinert, Laura K

    2004-12-01

    A number of manmade chemicals have deleterious effects on the developing immune system. Very few assay systems are available to study the effects of xenobiotics on hematopoietic stem cells. In rodent models, assays require exposure of pregnant females and analysis of the hematopoietic potential of stem cells from the offspring. These models are less relevant to lower vertebrates such as fish or amphibians where exposure of embryos is direct. To overcome this problem, an amphibian model was developed. Diploid (2N) embryos (16-20 h of age) of the South African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, were exposed to 10 microg/ml diazinon or 10(-6) M lead acetate for 2 h. After 2 h, the ventral blood island (VBI) was transplanted from a chemically treated or untreated control embryo to an untreated triploid (3N) host embryo. After 55 d, the contribution of the donor VBI-derived stem cells to populations in the blood, thymus, and spleen was assessed by flow cytometry. Diazinon, but not lead acetate, interfered with the ability of transplanted stem cells to contribute to hematopoiesis. Because amphibian embryos are very sensitive indicators of the toxic effects of chemicals, this VBI assay could be employed to test any toxic chemical that is suspected of having a negative effect on development of the hematopoietic system.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desnitskiy, Alexey G; Litvinchuk, Spartak N

    2015-10-01

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

  20. Toxicity of CeO2 nanoparticles at different trophic levels--effects on diatoms, chironomids and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bour, Agathe; Mouchet, Florence; Verneuil, Laurent; Evariste, Lauris; Silvestre, Jérôme; Pinelli, Eric; Gauthier, Laury

    2015-02-01

    The aim of the present work is to provide wider information on the toxicity of cerium dioxide nanoparticles (CeO2 NPs) in aquatic environments, by studying the toxicity of two types of CeO2 NPs for four species (diatoms Nitzschia palea, the sediment-dwelling invertebrate Chironomus riparius, and the amphibian larvae Xenopus laevis and Pleurodeles waltl.). The two types of CeO2 NPs have different intrinsic properties: some of them are small citrate-coated spheres (2-5 nm), and the others are larger uncoated plates (20-60 nm). Acute toxicity (mortality at 48 or 96 h, depending on the test-organism) was assessed for the four species, from 0.1 to 100 mg L(-1) of NPs. Sub-lethal effects were assessed on chironomids exposed between 0.01 and 1 mg L(-1) of NPs. Mortality, growth inhibition and genotoxic effects were evaluated on amphibian larvae from 0.1 to 10 mg L(-1). Results reveal that no acute toxicity occurs on any species after short exposures, even at the highest concentrations. Mortality (35%) is observed on Xenopus larvae after 12d of exposure at the highest concentration of one type of NPs. No significant effects were observed on chironomids during chronic exposure. Xenopus larvae growth was inhibited from 1 mg L(-1) of both NPs while growth inhibition is observed on Pleurodeles only at the highest concentration of one type of NPs. No genotoxicity was observed on Xenopus but Pleurodeles exhibited dose-dependent genotoxic effects when exposed to one type of NPs. Observed differences in toxicity are discussed focusing on the studied compartment, routes of exposure, species and NPs.

  1. Rhodopsin Forms Nanodomains in Rod Outer Segment Disc Membranes of the Cold-Blooded Xenopus laevis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatini Rakshit

    Full Text Available Rhodopsin forms nanoscale domains (i.e., nanodomains in rod outer segment disc membranes from mammalian species. It is unclear whether rhodopsin arranges in a similar manner in amphibian species, which are often used as a model system to investigate the function of rhodopsin and the structure of photoreceptor cells. Moreover, since samples are routinely prepared at low temperatures, it is unclear whether lipid phase separation effects in the membrane promote the observed nanodomain organization of rhodopsin from mammalian species. Rod outer segment disc membranes prepared from the cold-blooded frog Xenopus laevis were investigated by atomic force microscopy to visualize the organization of rhodopsin in the absence of lipid phase separation effects. Atomic force microscopy revealed that rhodopsin nanodomains form similarly as that observed previously in mammalian membranes. Formation of nanodomains in ROS disc membranes is independent of lipid phase separation and conserved among vertebrates.

  2. Survey for the amphibian chytrid Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Hong Kong in native amphibians and in the international amphibian trade.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowley, Jodi J L; Chan, Simon Kin Fung; Tang, Wing Sze; Speare, Richard; Skerratt, Lee F; Alford, Ross A; Cheung, Ka Shing; Ho, Ching Yee; Campbell, Ruth

    2007-12-13

    Chytridiomycosis, caused by the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, is responsible for many amphibian declines and has been identified in wild amphibian populations on all continents where they exist, except for Asia. In order to assess whether B. dendrobatidis is present on the native amphibians of Hong Kong, we sampled wild populations of Amolops hongkongensis, Paa exilispinosa, P. spinosa and Rana chloronota during 2005-2006. Amphibians infected with B. dendrobatidis have been found in the international trade, so we also examined the extent and nature of the amphibian trade in Hong Kong during 2005-2006, and assessed whether B. dendrobatidis was present in imported amphibians. All 274 individuals of 4 native amphibian species sampled tested negative for B. dendrobatidis, giving an upper 95% confidence limit for prevalence of 1.3%. Approximately 4.3 million amphibians of 45 species from 11 countries were imported into Hong Kong via air over 12 mo; we did not detect B. dendrobatidis on any of 137 imported amphibians sampled. As B. dendrobatidis generally occurs at greater than 5% prevalence in infected populations during favorable environmental conditions, native amphibians in Hong Kong appear free of B. dendrobatidis, and may be at severe risk of impact if it is introduced. Until it is established that the pathogen is present in Hong Kong, management strategies should focus on preventing it from being imported and decreasing the risk of it escaping into the wild amphibian populations if imported. Further research is needed to determine the status of B. dendrobatidis in Hong Kong with greater certainty.

  3. Developmental toxicity, uptake and distribution of sodium chromate assayed by frog embryo teratogenesis assay-Xenopus(FETAX)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bosisio, Stefano [Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 21, 21020, Casciago (Italy); Fortaner, Salvador, E-mail: salvador.fortaner@jrc.it [European Commission, ECVAM Unit, Institute for Health and Consumer Protection, Joint Research Centre, via Fermi 2749, 21027, Ispra (Italy); Bellinetto, Sonia [Via Gisora, 5, 21039, Bedero Valcuvia (Italy); Farina, Massimo; Del Torchio, Riccardo [European Commission, ECVAM Unit, Institute for Health and Consumer Protection, Joint Research Centre, via Fermi 2749, 21027, Ispra (Italy); Prati, Mariangela; Gornati, Rosalba; Bernardini, Giovanni [Department of Biotechnology and Molecular Sciences, University of Insubria, Via Dunant, 3, 21100, Varese (Italy); Sabbioni, Enrico [CeSI, Ageing Research Center, ' G. d' Annunzio' University Foundation, Via Colle dell' Ara, 66100, Chieti (Italy)

    2009-09-01

    The embryotoxicity and teratogenicity of Cr(VI) on the survival and morphology of the anuran Xenopus laevis have been assessed by frog embryo teratogenesis assay-Xenopus (FETAX). The lethal median (LC{sub 50}) and teratogenic median (TC{sub 50}) concentration values of Cr(VI) were 890 {mu}M and 260 {mu}M, respectively. The calculated teratogenic index (TI) value was 3.42, suggesting that hexavalent chromium has a teratogenic potential. Malformations of embryos included lifting of the body, coiling of the tail and body oedema. Furthermore, the chromium salt caused significant growth retardation at 25 {mu}M exposure concentrations. The use of radiolabelled {sup 51}Cr(VI) allowed the determination of the time course uptake of Cr in Xenopus exposed to concentrations ranging from 0.025 to 500 {mu}M. The evaluation of its distribution into the body (head-abdomen-tail) was evaluated at different exposure times. Chromium is taken up at 24 h by Xenopus embryos for all concentrations tested. At 48 h post fertilization (stage of larva) the amount of Cr accumulated by the two-day-old larva ranged from 0.42 to 580 pg mg{sup -1} wet weight at 0.025 and 500 {mu}M respectively. These amounts were lower than those at 24 h (2.77 to 11016 pg mg{sup -1} wet weight embryo) reaching values of the same order of magnitude at 120 h (five-days-old larva). Since at 48 h Xenopus development leads to a swimming embryo, the observed uptake at 24 h could be the result of the binding of Cr to jelly coat compounds surrounding the embryo body as confirmed by gel filtration experiments on {sup 51}Cr-jelly coat. The interaction of Cr with jelly coat is in agreement with the role of jelly coat in protecting the embryo against pathogen and chemical toxins to ensure fertilization. This work further supports the hypothesis that Cr contamination of surface waters could contribute to explain the reported worldwide depletion of frog population.

  4. Developmental toxicity, uptake and distribution of sodium chromate assayed by frog embryo teratogenesis assay-Xenopus(FETAX).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosisio, Stefano; Fortaner, Salvador; Bellinetto, Sonia; Farina, Massimo; Del Torchio, Riccardo; Prati, Mariangela; Gornati, Rosalba; Bernardini, Giovanni; Sabbioni, Enrico

    2009-09-01

    The embryotoxicity and teratogenicity of Cr(VI) on the survival and morphology of the anuran Xenopus laevis have been assessed by frog embryo teratogenesis assay-Xenopus (FETAX). The lethal median (LC(50)) and teratogenic median (TC(50)) concentration values of Cr(VI) were 890 microM and 260 microM, respectively. The calculated teratogenic index (TI) value was 3.42, suggesting that hexavalent chromium has a teratogenic potential. Malformations of embryos included lifting of the body, coiling of the tail and body oedema. Furthermore, the chromium salt caused significant growth retardation at 25 microM exposure concentrations. The use of radiolabelled (51)Cr(VI) allowed the determination of the time course uptake of Cr in Xenopus exposed to concentrations ranging from 0.025 to 500 microM. The evaluation of its distribution into the body (head-abdomen-tail) was evaluated at different exposure times. Chromium is taken up at 24 h by Xenopus embryos for all concentrations tested. At 48 h post fertilization (stage of larva) the amount of Cr accumulated by the two-day-old larva ranged from 0.42 to 580 pg mg(-1) wet weight at 0.025 and 500 microM respectively. These amounts were lower than those at 24 h (2.77 to 11016 pg mg(-1) wet weight embryo) reaching values of the same order of magnitude at 120 h (five-days-old larva). Since at 48 h Xenopus development leads to a swimming embryo, the observed uptake at 24 h could be the result of the binding of Cr to jelly coat compounds surrounding the embryo body as confirmed by gel filtration experiments on (51)Cr-jelly coat. The interaction of Cr with jelly coat is in agreement with the role of jelly coat in protecting the embryo against pathogen and chemical toxins to ensure fertilization. This work further supports the hypothesis that Cr contamination of surface waters could contribute to explain the reported worldwide depletion of frog population.

  5. Acoustic characteristics of eight common Chinese anurans during the breeding season.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Yi-Lin; Qiu, Xia; Fang, Xiao-Bin; Yang, Lu-Yi; Zhao, Yi; Fang, Teng; Zheng, Wei-Hong; Liu, Jin-Song

    2014-01-01

    Anurans often have species-specific vocalizations. To quantify and compare the characteristics of anuran calls in Gutianshan National Nature Reserve, Zhejiang Province, we recorded the advertisement calls of eight species belonging to four families (Ranidae, Microhylidae, Megophryidae and Bufonidae) from June to September 2012 using Sony ICD-FX8 IC recorders. All recordings were analyzed using the "Praat" software. Five acoustics parameters were measured, including temporal traits (call duration, number of notes or pulse number/call) and spectral traits (fundamental frequency, the first three formants and dominant frequency). The characteristic parameters of Microhyla ornate and Fejervarya limnocharis calls were different as were the calls of some populations of the same species recorded in different regions. The advertisement calls of the eight species were specific. Our study has provided a useful reference for identifying the calls of some common Chinese anurans.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    1995-01-01

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

  7. Xenopus egg cytoplasm with intact actin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Field, Christine M; Nguyen, Phuong A; Ishihara, Keisuke; Groen, Aaron C; Mitchison, Timothy J

    2014-01-01

    We report optimized methods for preparing Xenopus egg extracts without cytochalasin D, that we term "actin-intact egg extract." These are undiluted egg cytoplasm that contains abundant organelles, and glycogen which supplies energy, and represents the least perturbed cell-free cytoplasm preparation we know of. We used this system to probe cell cycle regulation of actin and myosin-II dynamics (Field et al., 2011), and to reconstitute the large, interphase asters that organize early Xenopus embryos (Mitchison et al., 2012; Wühr, Tan, Parker, Detrich, & Mitchison, 2010). Actin-intact Xenopus egg extracts are useful for analysis of actin dynamics, and interaction of actin with other cytoplasmic systems, in a cell-free system that closely mimics egg physiology, and more generally for probing the biochemistry and biophysics of the egg, zygote, and early embryo. Detailed protocols are provided along with assays used to check cell cycle state and tips for handling and storing undiluted egg extracts.

  8. Does life history shape sexual size dimorphism in anurans? A comparative analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Han Xu

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The evolution of sexual size dimorphism (SSD is likely constrained by life history. Using phylogenetic comparative methods, we examined correlations between SSD among anurans and their life history traits, including egg size, clutch size, mating combat, and parental care behaviour. We used sexual dimorphism index (SDI = Body-sizefemale /Body-sizemale –1 as the measurement for SSD. Body size, life history and phylogenetic data were collected from published literature. Data were analysed at two levels: all anuran species and within individual families. Results Female-biased SSD is the predominant form in anurans. SSD decreases along with the body size increase, following the prediction of Rensch’s rule, but the magnitude of decrease is very small. More importantly, female body size is positively correlated with both fecundity related traits, egg size and clutch size, and SDI is also positively correlated with clutch size, suggesting fecundity advantage may have driven the evolution of female body size and consequently leads to the evolution of female-biased SSD. Furthermore, the presence of parental care, male parental care in particular, is negatively correlated with SDI, indicating that species with parental care tend to have a smaller SDI. A negative correlation between clutch size and parental care further suggests that parental care likely reduces the fecundity selection pressure on female body size. On the other hand, there is a general lack of significant correlation between SDI and the presence of male combat behaviour, which is surprising and contradictory to previous studies. Conclusions We find clear evidence to support the ‘fecundity advantage hypothesis’ and the ‘parental care hypothesis’ in shaping SSD in anurans. Nevertheless, the relationships of both parental care and combat behaviour to the evolution of SSD are complex in anurans and the extreme diversity of life history traits may have masked

  9. Neuroendocrine-immune system interactions in amphibians: implications for understanding global amphibian declines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rollins-Smith, L A

    2001-01-01

    Amphibians are ancient creatures valued by biologists and naturalists around the world. They share with all other vertebrates a complex neuroendocrine system that enables them to flourish in a variety of aquatic and semiaquatic environments. Studies from a number of laboratories have demonstrated that the immune system of amphibian species is nearly as complex as that of mammals. Yet for reasons that are not well understood, amphibian species are facing greater survival challenges than in the recent past. This article will review our current understanding of the neuroendocrine immune system interactions in amphibians and address the question of whether environmental stressors may contribute to immunosuppression and amphibian declines.

  10. An approach to the nomenclature of anuran musculature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hoyos, Julio Mario

    2004-07-01

    Full Text Available Se propone un método particular para seleccionar, de los nombres ya existentes, el más apropiado para cada músculo, y un método general para escoger los nombres apropiados de las estructuras anatómicas. Estos nombres están basados en los Nomina Anatomica y en el Código de Nomenclatura Zoológica. Se utiliza la ley de prioridad para seleccionar el nombre del músculo, y se discuten los criterios de homología primaria, homología secundaria e identidad topográfica para reforzar la idea de estabilidad nomenclatural. Se sugiere una secuencia para establecer la correspondencia entre los nombres y la homología de las estructuras, comenzando con la identificación de la correspondencia topológica (homología primaria y terminando con el reconocimiento de la identidad topográfica y las homologías secundarias. A new nomenclature of anuran muscles and a general method to choose the appropriate names of anatomical structures are proposed. These names are based on the Nomina Anatomica and on the Code of Zoological Nomenclature. The law of priority is used to select the muscle name to adopt, and the criteria of primary homology, secondary homology, and topographic identity are discussed to encourage the idea of nomenclatural stability of anatomical structures. A sequence to establish a correspondence between names and the homology of structures is suggested, beginning with the identification of topological correspondence (primary homology and ending with the recognition of the topographic identity and secondary homologies.

  11. Cardiac specific expression of Xenopus Popeye-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hitz, Marc P; Pandur, Petra; Brand, Thomas; Kühl, Michael

    2002-07-01

    Popeye genes code for putative transmembrane proteins that are predominantly expressed in heart and skeletal muscle. Here we report on the isolation and expression of a previously unknown Xenopus member of this family, Xenopus Popeye-1 (Xpop-1). Xpop-1 is 60-65% identical to other vertebrate Pop-1 genes at the protein level. Whole-mount in situ hybridization studies revealed a highly specific expression of Xpop-1 whose transcripts are restricted to the embryonic heart and become enriched in the forming ventricle. Interestingly, unlike other known vertebrate Popeye genes, Xpop-1 is exclusively expressed in cardiac tissue and absent from skeletal muscle.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-11-01

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

  13. Thyroid Hormone-disrupting Effects and the Amphibian Metamorphosis Assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyata, Kaori; Ose, Keiko

    2012-03-01

    There are continued concerns about endocrine-disrupting chemical effects, and appropriate vertebrate models for assessment of risk are a high priority. Frog tadpoles are very sensitive to environmental substances because of their habitat and the complex processes of metamorphosis regulated by the endocrine system, mainly thyroid hormones. During metamorphosis, marked alteration in hormonal factors occurs, as well as dramatic structural and functional changes in larval tissues. There are a variety of mechanisms determining thyroid hormone balance or disruption directly or indirectly. Direct-acting agents can cause changes in thyroxine synthesis and/or secretion in thyroid through effects on peroxidases, thyroidal iodide uptake, deiodinase, and proteolysis. At the same time, indirect action may result from biochemical processes such as sulfation, deiodination and glucuronidation. Because their potential to disrupt thyroid hormones has been identified as an important consideration for the regulation of chemicals, the OECD and the EPA have each established guidelines that make use of larval African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) and frog metamorphosis for screening and testing of potential endocrine disrupters. The guidelines are based on evaluation of alteration in the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis. One of the primary endpoints is thyroid gland histopathology. Others are mortality, developmental stage, hind limb length, snout-vent length and wet body weight. Regarding histopathological features, the guidelines include core criteria and additional qualitative parameters along with grading. Taking into account the difficulties in evaluating amphibian thyroid glands, which change continuously throughout metamorphosis, histopathological examination has been shown to be a very sensitive approach.

  14. The complexity of amphibian population declines: understanding the role of cofactors in driving amphibian losses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blaustein, Andrew R; Han, Barbara A; Relyea, Rick A; Johnson, Pieter T J; Buck, Julia C; Gervasi, Stephanie S; Kats, Lee B

    2011-03-01

    Population losses and extinctions of species are occurring at unprecedented rates, as exemplified by declines and extinctions of amphibians worldwide. However, studies of amphibian population declines generally do not address the complexity of the phenomenon or its implications for ecological communities, focusing instead on single factors affecting particular amphibian species. We argue that the causes for amphibian population declines are complex; may differ among species, populations, and life stages within a population; and are context dependent with multiple stressors interacting to drive declines. Because amphibians are key components of communities, we emphasize the importance of investigating amphibian declines at the community level. Selection pressures over evolutionary time have molded amphibian life history characteristics, such that they may remain static even in the face of strong, recent human-induced selection pressures.

  15. Xnrs and activin regulate distinct genes during Xenopus development: activin regulates cell division.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joana M Ramis

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The mesoderm of the amphibian embryo is formed through an inductive interaction in which vegetal cells of the blastula-staged embryo act on overlying equatorial cells. Candidate mesoderm-inducing factors include members of the transforming growth factor type beta family such as Vg1, activin B, the nodal-related proteins and derrière. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPLE FINDINGS: Microarray analysis reveals different functions for activin B and the nodal-related proteins during early Xenopus development. Inhibition of nodal-related protein function causes the down-regulation of regionally expressed genes such as chordin, dickkopf and XSox17alpha/beta, while genes that are mis-regulated in the absence of activin B tend to be more widely expressed and, interestingly, include several that are involved in cell cycle regulation. Consistent with the latter observation, cells of the involuting dorsal axial mesoderm, which normally undergo cell cycle arrest, continue to proliferate when the function of activin B is inhibited. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These observations reveal distinct functions for these two classes of the TGF-beta family during early Xenopus development, and in doing so identify a new role for activin B during gastrulation.

  16. Prx-1 expression in Xenopus laevis scarless skin-wound healing and its resemblance to epimorphic regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yokoyama, Hitoshi; Maruoka, Tamae; Aruga, Akio; Amano, Takanori; Ohgo, Shiro; Shiroishi, Toshihiko; Tamura, Koji

    2011-12-01

    Despite a strong clinical need for inducing scarless wound healing, the molecular factors required to accomplish it are unknown. Although skin-wound healing in adult mammals often results in scarring, some amphibians can regenerate injured body parts, even an amputated limb, without it. To understand the mechanisms of perfect skin-wound healing in regenerative tetrapods, we studied the healing process in young adult Xenopus "froglets" after experimental skin excision. We found that the excision wound healed completely in Xenopus froglets, without scarring. Mononuclear cells expressing a homeobox gene, prx1, accumulated under the new epidermis of skin wounds on the limb and trunk and at the regenerating limb. In transgenic Xenopus froglets expressing a reporter for the mouse prx1 limb-specific enhancer, activity was seen in the healing skin and in the regenerating limb. Comparable activity did not accompany skin-wound healing in adult mice. Our results suggest that scarless skin-wound healing may require activation of the prx1 limb enhancer, and competence to activate the enhancer is probably a prerequisite for epimorphic regeneration, such as limb regeneration. Finally, the induction of this prx1 enhancer activity may be useful as a reliable marker for therapeutically induced scarless wound healing in mammals.

  17. Sperm motility initiation by egg jelly of the anuran, Discoglossus pictus may be mediated by sperm motility-initiating substance of the internally-fertilizing newt, Cynops pyrrhogaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takayama-Watanabe, Eriko; Campanella, Chiara; Kubo, Hideo; Watanabe, Akihiko

    2012-11-01

    The egg jelly of Discoglossus pictus contains sperm motility-activating activity, the molecular basis of which has not been studied. Discoglossus pictus sperm initiated motility immediately after immersion in egg-jelly extract, as well as after immersion in hyposmotic solution, which initiates sperm motility in the external fertilization of anuran amphibians. Sequential treatment of the D. pictus sperm with these two solutions revealed the predominant effect of hyposmolality in initiation of motility. The motility initiation induced by jelly extract was suppressed by a monoclonal antibody (mAb) that is specific for the 34 kDa sperm motility-initiating substance (SMIS) in the egg jelly of the newt, Cynops pyrrhogaster. Immunoblotting using the anti-SMIS mAb revealed several antigenic proteins that included major ones with sizes of 18- and 34-kDa in D. pictus jelly extract. Scanning electron microscopic observation revealed that granules of jelly matrix, in which SMIS localizes and which have a critical role in the internal fertilization of C. pyrrhogaster, were not observed near the surface of the D. pictus egg jelly. These results suggest that sperm motility-activating activity in egg jelly of D. pictus may be mediated by SMIS homologous proteins that act through a mechanism that is partially different from that of C. pyrrhogaster.

  18. Tone and call responses of units in the auditory nerve and dorsal medullary nucleus of Xenopus laevis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Elliott, Taffeta M.; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob; Kelley, Darcy B.

    2007-01-01

    those in partially terrestrial anurans. Broad tuning exists across characteristic frequencies (CFs). Threshold minima are -101 dB re 1 mm/s at 675 Hz; -87 dB at 1,600 Hz; and -61 dB at 3,000 Hz (-90, -77, and -44 dB re 1 Pa, respectively), paralleling the peak frequency of vocalizations at 1.2-1.6 k......The clawed frog Xenopus laevis produces vocalizations consisting of distinct patterns of clicks. This study provides the first description of spontaneous, pure-tone and communication-signal evoked discharge properties of auditory nerve (n.VIII) fibers and dorsal medullary nucleus (DMN) cells...... in an obligatorily aquatic anuran. Responses of 297 n.VIII and 253 DMN units are analyzed for spontaneous rates (SR), frequency tuning, rate-intensity functions, and firing rate adaptation, with a view to how these basic characteristics shape responses to recorded call stimuli. Response properties generally resemble...

  19. Application of Xenopus laevis in ecotoxicology (I)--Introduction and quality control of laboratory animal

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    QIN Zhanfen; XU Xiaobai

    2006-01-01

    The aim of the series of papers is to discuss the application of Xenopus laevis, as model animal in biology, in ecotoxicology. X. laevis as model animal is wildly used in biological study and has provided a lot of relating data because of many advantages, such as living in water and being easily maintained, laying eggs in the whole year, and externally fertilizing and developing. Embryos and larvae of X. laevis like other amphibians are directly exposed in the aquatic environment and sensitive to pollutants. In addition, sex differentiation and sex organ development of X. laevis are sensitive to sex hormones and endocrine disruptors with sex hormone activities, which enable X. laevis to be used in studies on sex hormone disruption and reproductive toxicity of endocrine disruptors. Metamorphic development of X. laevis is very sensitive to thyroid hormones and thyroid disruptors, which enables X. laevis to be used for evaluating thyroid disruptors. Also, X. laevis ecotoxicology can be linked with amphibian population declines and malformed frog occurrence, being one of the hotspots in ecology. Thus, more and more laboratories have introduced X. laevis to ecotoxicological study. The quality of laboratory animals correlates with scientificity and reliability of results from animal experiments. It is especially important for toxicology. Quality control of X. laevis involving several factors such as water and food is discussed in this paper.

  20. Inbreeding Ratio and Genetic Relationships among Strains of the Western Clawed Frog, Xenopus tropicalis.

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    Takeshi Igawa

    Full Text Available The Western clawed frog, Xenopus tropicalis, is a highly promising model amphibian, especially in developmental and physiological research, and as a tool for understanding disease. It was originally found in the West African rainforest belt, and was introduced to the research community in the 1990s. The major strains thus far known include the Nigerian and Ivory Coast strains. However, due to its short history as an experimental animal, the genetic relationship among the various strains has not yet been clarified, and establishment of inbred strains has not yet been achieved. Since 2003 the Institute for Amphibian Biology (IAB, Hiroshima University has maintained stocks of multiple X. tropicalis strains and conducted consecutive breeding as part of the National BioResource Project. In the present study we investigated the inbreeding ratio and genetic relationship of four inbred strains at IAB, as well as stocks from other institutions, using highly polymorphic microsatellite markers and mitochondrial haplotypes. Our results show successive reduction of heterozygosity in the genome of the IAB inbred strains. The Ivory Coast strains clearly differed from the Nigerian strains genetically, and three subgroups were identified within both the Nigerian and Ivory Coast strains. It is noteworthy that the Ivory Coast strains have an evolutionary divergent genetic background. Our results serve as a guide for the most effective use of X. tropicalis strains, and the long-term maintenance of multiple strains will contribute to further research efforts.

  1. Evidence for an RNA polymerization activity in axolotl and Xenopus egg extracts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hélène Pelczar

    Full Text Available We have previously reported a post-transcriptional RNA amplification observed in vivo following injection of in vitro synthesized transcripts into axolotl oocytes, unfertilized (UFE or fertilized eggs. To further characterize this phenomenon, low speed extracts (LSE from axolotl and Xenopus UFE were prepared and tested in an RNA polymerization assay. The major conclusions are: i the amphibian extracts catalyze the incorporation of radioactive ribonucleotide in RNase but not DNase sensitive products showing that these products correspond to RNA; ii the phenomenon is resistant to α-amanitin, an inhibitor of RNA polymerases II and III and to cordycepin (3'dAMP, but sensitive to cordycepin 5'-triphosphate, an RNA elongation inhibitor, which supports the existence of an RNA polymerase activity different from polymerases II and III; the detection of radiolabelled RNA comigrating at the same length as the exogenous transcript added to the extracts allowed us to show that iii the RNA polymerization is not a 3' end labelling and that iv the radiolabelled RNA is single rather than double stranded. In vitro cell-free systems derived from amphibian UFE therefore validate our previous in vivo results hypothesizing the existence of an evolutionary conserved enzymatic activity with the properties of an RNA dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp.

  2. Effects of agricultural pesticides on the immune system of Xenopus laevis and Rana pipiens

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Christin, M.S.; Menard, L.; Gendron, A.D.; Ruby, S.; Cyr, D.; Marcogliese, D.J.; Rollins-Smith, L.; Fournier, M

    2004-03-30

    Over the last 30 years, there have been mass declines in diverse geographic locations among amphibian populations. Multiple causes have been suggested to explain this decline. Among these, environmental pollution is gaining attention. Indeed, some chemicals of environmental concern are known to alter the immune system. Given that amphibians are frequently exposed to agricultural pesticides, it is possible that these pollutants alter their immune system and render them more susceptible to different pathogens. In this study, we exposed two frog species, Xenopus laevis and Rana pipiens, for a short period of time to a mixture of pesticides (atrazine, metribuzine, endosulfan, lindane, aldicarb and dieldrin) representative in terms of composition and concentrations to what it is found in the environment of the southwest region of the province of Quebec. The pesticides were known to be present in surface water of many tributaries of the St. Lawrence River (Quebec, Canada). Our results demonstrate that the mixture of pesticides could alter the cellularity and phagocytic activity of X. laevis and the lymphocyte proliferation of R. pipiens. Taken together, these results indicate that agricultural pesticides can alter some aspects of the immune response in frogs and could contribute to their global decline by rendering them more susceptible to certain infections.

  3. Temperature dependence of locomotor performance in the tropical clawed frog, Xenopus tropicalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrel, Anthony; Bonneaud, Camille

    2012-07-15

    Amphibians are ideal taxa with which to investigate the effects of climate change on physiology, dispersal capacity and distributional ranges as their physiological performance and fitness is highly dependent on temperature. Moreover, amphibians are among the most endangered vertebrate taxa. Here we use the tropical clawed frog, Xenopus tropicalis, as a model system to explore effects of temperature on locomotor performance. Our analyses show that locomotion is thermally sensitive, as illustrated by significant effects of temperature on terrestrial exertion capacity (time until exhaustion) and aquatic burst speed (maximal burst swimming velocity and maximal burst swimming acceleration capacity). Exertion performance measures had relatively lower temperature optima and narrower performance breadth ranges than measures of burst speed. The narrow 80% performance breadths confirm predictions that animals from stable environments should display high thermal sensitivity and, combined with the divergent temperature optima for exertion capacity and burst speed, underscore the vulnerability of tropical species such as X. tropicalis to even relatively small temperature changes. The temperature sensitivity of locomotor performance traits in X. tropicalis suggests that tropical ectotherms may be impacted by predicted changes in climate.

  4. Fire and amphibians in North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilliod, D.S.; Bury, R.B.; Hyde, E.J.; Pearl, C.A.; Corn, P.S.

    2003-01-01

    Information on amphibian responses to fire and fuel reduction practices is critically needed due to potential declines of species and the prevalence of new, more intensive fire management practices in North American forests. The goals of this review are to summarize the known and potential effects of fire and fuels management on amphibians and their aquatic habitats, and to identify information gaps to help direct future scientific research. Amphibians as a group are taxonomically and ecologically diverse; in turn, responses to fire and associated habitat alteration are expected to vary widely among species and among geographic regions. Available data suggest that amphibian responses to fire are spatially and temporally variable and incompletely understood. Much of the limited research has addressed short-term (1-3 years) effects of prescribed fire on terrestrial life stages of amphibians in the southeastern United States. Information on the long-term negative effects of fire on amphibians and the importance of fire for maintaining amphibian communities is sparse for the majority of taxa in North America. Given the size and severity of recent wildland fires and the national effort to reduce fuels on federal lands, future studies are needed to examine the effects of these landscape disturbances on amphibians. We encourage studies to address population-level responses of amphibians to fire by examining how different life stages are affected by changes in aquatic, riparian, and upland habitats. Research designs need to be credible and provide information that is relevant for fire managers and those responsible for assessing the potential effects of various fuel reduction alternatives on rare, sensitive, and endangered amphibian species. ?? 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Targeted integration of genes in Xenopus tropicalis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shi, Zhaoying; Tian, Dandan; Xin, Huhu

    2017-01-01

    With the successful establishment of both targeted gene disruption and integration methods in the true diploid frog Xenopus tropicalis, this excellent vertebrate genetic model now is making a unique contribution to modelling human diseases. Here, we summarize our efforts on establishing homologous...

  6. ZWY Sex Determination in Xenopus tropicalis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Most vertebrate species with described genetic sex determination are either male (XY) or female (ZW) heterogametic. To date, studies with Xenopus species indicate that members of this genus operate under a ZW sex determination system. We used two different approaches and demonst...

  7. Stimulation of circus movement by activin, bFGF and TGF-beta 2 in isolated animal cap cells of Xenopus laevis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minoura, I; Nakamura, H; Tashiro, K; Shiokawa, K

    1995-01-01

    Lobopodium is a hyaline cytoplasmic protrusion which rotates circumferencially around a cell. This movement is called circus movement, which is seen in dissociated cells of amphibian embryos. Relative abundance of the lobopodia-forming cells changes temporally and spatially within Xenopus embryos, reflecting stage-dependent difference of morphogenetic movements. The lobopodia-forming activity of dissociated animal cap cells was stimulated strongly by activin and bFGF, and weakly by TGF-beta 2. In addition, activin A was found to stimulate cellular attachment to the substratum when the cultivation lasted long. Thus, mesoderm-inducing growth factors stimulate lobopodia formation and cellular movements which may be necessary for gastrulation and neurulation in Xenopus early embryos.

  8. First evidence of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) and ranavirus in Hong Kong amphibian trade.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolby, Jonathan E; Smith, Kristine M; Berger, Lee; Karesh, William B; Preston, Asa; Pessier, Allan P; Skerratt, Lee F

    2014-01-01

    The emerging infectious amphibian diseases caused by amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) and ranaviruses are responsible for global amphibian population declines and extinctions. Although likely to have been spread by a variety of activities, transcontinental dispersal appears closely associated with the international trade in live amphibians. The territory of Hong Kong reports frequent, high volume trade in amphibians, and yet the presence of Bd and ranavirus have not previously been detected in either traded or free-ranging amphibians. In 2012, a prospective surveillance project was conducted to investigate the presence of these pathogens in commercial shipments of live amphibians exported from Hong Kong International Airport. Analysis of skin (Bd) and cloacal (ranavirus) swabs by quantitative PCR detected pathogen presence in 31/265 (11.7%) and in 105/185 (56.8%) of amphibians, respectively. In addition, the water in which animals were transported tested positive for Bd, demonstrating the risk of pathogen pollution by the disposal of untreated wastewater. It is uncertain whether Bd and ranavirus remain contained within Hong Kong's trade sector, or if native amphibians have already been exposed. Rapid response efforts are now urgently needed to determine current pathogen distribution in Hong Kong, evaluate potential trade-associated exposure to free-ranging amphibians, and identify opportunities to prevent disease establishment.

  9. First evidence of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and ranavirus in Hong Kong amphibian trade.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan E Kolby

    Full Text Available The emerging infectious amphibian diseases caused by amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd and ranaviruses are responsible for global amphibian population declines and extinctions. Although likely to have been spread by a variety of activities, transcontinental dispersal appears closely associated with the international trade in live amphibians. The territory of Hong Kong reports frequent, high volume trade in amphibians, and yet the presence of Bd and ranavirus have not previously been detected in either traded or free-ranging amphibians. In 2012, a prospective surveillance project was conducted to investigate the presence of these pathogens in commercial shipments of live amphibians exported from Hong Kong International Airport. Analysis of skin (Bd and cloacal (ranavirus swabs by quantitative PCR detected pathogen presence in 31/265 (11.7% and in 105/185 (56.8% of amphibians, respectively. In addition, the water in which animals were transported tested positive for Bd, demonstrating the risk of pathogen pollution by the disposal of untreated wastewater. It is uncertain whether Bd and ranavirus remain contained within Hong Kong's trade sector, or if native amphibians have already been exposed. Rapid response efforts are now urgently needed to determine current pathogen distribution in Hong Kong, evaluate potential trade-associated exposure to free-ranging amphibians, and identify opportunities to prevent disease establishment.

  10. 7 Edible Amphibian Species.cdr

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Administrator

    Hoplobatrachus occipitalis has a protein content of 19.46% and fats and oils of. 1.06%. Xenopus muellerihas ... ecosystem. Hence frog farming and conservation efforts must be encouraged. ... The detailed methods of food estimate analysis ...

  11. Recent records of alien anurans on the Pacific Island of Guam

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christy, M.T.; Clark, C.S.; Gee, D.E.; Vice, D.; Vice, D.S.; Warner, M.P.; Tyrrell, C.L.; Rodda, G.H.; Savidge, J.A.

    2007-01-01

    Eight anuran species were recorded for the first time in Guam in the period May 2003-December 2005, all apparently the result of arrivals to the island since 2000. Three of the eight species (Rana guentheri, Polypedates megacephalus, and Eleutherodactylus planirostris) had well-established breeding populations by 2005. A further three (Fejevarya cf. livinocharis, Fejervarya cancrivora, and Microhyla pulchra) were recorded from a number of individuals, but it is not known whether these species have established breeding populations. Two species (Kaloula pulchra and Eleutherodactylus coqui) appear to be incidental transportations to the island that have not established. Before 2003, five anuran species, all introductions, had been recorded from Guam. Three of these, Polypedates leucomystax, Pseudacris regilla, and Kaloula picta, were detected on Guam in incoming cargo but destroyed. Two species established: Bufo marinus was deliberately introduced and the Australian hylid Litoria fallax was probably an accidental introduction. Successful establishment of anurans on Guam has increased the risk of frog introductions to nearby islands. By providing additional food sources for the brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis), anuran introductions have increased the chance that B. irregularis might substantially increase in numbers and in turn increase the risk of the snake being accidentally transported to other islands. ?? 2007 by University of Hawai'i Press All rights reserved.

  12. Taxonomy and Stratigraphy of Late Mesozoic Anurans and Urodeles from China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Yuan

    2004-01-01

    Three anurans (Callobatrachus sanyanensis, Liaobatrachus grabaui, Mesophryne beipiaoensis) and six urodeles (Laccotriton subsolanus, Liaoxitriton zhongjiani, Jeholotriton paradoxus, Sinerpeton fengshanensis,Chunerpeton tianyiensis, Liaoxitriton daohugouensis) are reported from the late Mesozoic tuff-interbedded lacustrine deposits (mostly of the Jehol Group) in northeastern China. They document the first discovery of Chinese Mesozoic lissamphibians, and their old geological age, superb preservation condition, and large taxonomic diversity are unique compared with other findings worldwide. The anurans occupy a higher evolutionary position than typical Jurassic taxa,supporting a post-Late Jurassic age of the fossil horizons. The urodeles all have unicapitate ribs, suggesting an evolutionary grade at the cryptobranchoid level, and are advanced in osteological features over non-urodeles from the Middle and Upper Jurassic in England and Central Asia. Some urodeles (Jeholotriton and Chunerpeton) exhibit neotenic features, representing the earliest occurrence among such findings. Six fossil horizons are recognized for the known Chinese Mesozoic anurans and urodeles: the Daohugou fossil bed, the Dabeigou Formation, the Lujiatun Bed,Jianshangou Bed and Dawangzhangzi Bed of the Yixian Formation, and the Jiufotang Formation. As implied from the osteological and phylogenetical studies, the geological age of these anurans and urodeles is the Early Cretaceous.

  13. On the parasitic fauna of two species of anurans collected from Sungai Pinang, Penang Island, Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wahab, A R; Andy Tan, W A; Intan, S

    2008-08-01

    A total of fifty anurans, comprising of Rana limnocharis and Bufo melanostictus were collected from Sungai Pinang, Balik Pulau, Penang. The prevalence, mean intensity and distribution of parasite species along the digestive tract were reported. Seven species of parasites were recorded. Blood parasites recovered were trypansomes and microfilariae.

  14. Use of lymphocyte cultures for BrdU replication banding patterns in anuran species (Amphibia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kasahara Sanae

    1998-01-01

    Full Text Available We describe the standardization of lymphocyte culture procedures in order to improve cytological preparations of anuran species. This methodology permits the use of 5-bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU treatment to obtain replication banding patterns in the chromosomes of these species.

  15. Xenopus laevis: an ideal experimental model for studying the developmental dynamics of neural network assembly and sensory-motor computations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Straka, Hans; Simmers, John

    2012-04-01

    The amphibian Xenopus laevis represents a highly amenable model system for exploring the ontogeny of central neural networks, the functional establishment of sensory-motor transformations, and the generation of effective motor commands for complex behaviors. Specifically, the ability to employ a range of semi-intact and isolated preparations for in vitro morphophysiological experimentation has provided new insights into the developmental and integrative processes associated with the generation of locomotory behavior during changing life styles. In vitro electrophysiological studies have begun to explore the functional assembly, disassembly and dynamic plasticity of spinal pattern generating circuits as Xenopus undergoes the developmental switch from larval tail-based swimming to adult limb-based locomotion. Major advances have also been made in understanding the developmental onset of multisensory signal processing for reactive gaze and posture stabilizing reflexes during self-motion. Additionally, recent evidence from semi-intact animal and isolated CNS experiments has provided compelling evidence that in Xenopus tadpoles, predictive feed-forward signaling from the spinal locomotor pattern generator are engaged in minimizing visual disturbances during tail-based swimming. This new concept questions the traditional view of retinal image stabilization that in vertebrates has been exclusively attributed to sensory-motor transformations of body/head motion-detecting signals. Moreover, changes in visuomotor demands associated with the developmental transition in propulsive strategy from tail- to limb-based locomotion during metamorphosis presumably necessitates corresponding adaptive alterations in the intrinsic spinoextraocular coupling mechanism. Consequently, Xenopus provides a unique opportunity to address basic questions on the developmental dynamics of neural network assembly and sensory-motor computations for vertebrate motor behavior in general.

  16. [Perspective on gravitational biology of amphibians].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamashita, Masamichi; Naitoh, Tomio; Wassersug, Richard J

    2002-12-01

    We review here the scientific significance of the use of amphibians for research in gravitational biology. Since amphibian eggs are quite large, yet develop rapidly and externally, it is easy to observe their development. Consequently amphibians were the first vertebrates to have their early developmental processes investigated in space. Though several deviations from normal embryonic development occur when amphibians are raised in microgravity, their developmental program is robust enough to return the organisms to an ostensibly normal morphology by the time they hatch. Evolutionally, amphibians were the first vertebrate animal to come out of the water and onto land. Subsequently they diversified and have adaptively radiated to various habitats. They now inhabit aquatic, terrestrial, arboreal and fossorial niches. This diversity can be used to help study the biological effects of gravity at the organismal level, where macroscopic phenomena are associated with gravitational loading. By choosing different amphibian models and using a comparative approach one can effectively identify the action of gravity on biological systems, and the adaptation that vertebrates have made to this loading. Advances in cellular and molecular biology provide powerful tools for the study in many fields, including gravitational biology, and amphibians have proven to be good models for studies at those levels as well. The low metabolic rates of amphibians make them convenient organisms to work with (compared to birds and mammals) in the difficult and confined spaces on orbiting research platforms. We include here a review of what is known about and the potential for further behavioral and physiological researches in space using amphibians.

  17. Gravitational effects on the rearrangement of cytoplasmic components during axial formation in amphibian development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, C. R.; Whalon, B.; Moore, J.; Danilchik, M.

    The spatial positioning of the dorsal-ventral axis in the amphibian, Xenopus laevis, can be experimentally manipulated either by tipping the embryo relative to Earth's gravitational force vector or by centrifugation. Experimental evidence suggests that certain cytoplasmic components are redistributed during the first cell cycle and that these components are, in part, responsible for the establishment of this axis. Further studies indicate that at least some of the cytoplasmic components responsible for establishing this axis may be RNA. Recombinant cDNA and PCR technology are utilized to isolate DNA clones for messenger RNA which becomes spatially localized to the dorsal side of the embryo. These clones are being used to study the mechanisms of spatial localization and the function of the localized RNA transcripts.

  18. Dedifferentiation and the role of sall4 in reprogramming and patterning during amphibian limb regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neff, Anton W; King, Michael W; Mescher, Anthony L

    2011-05-01

    A central feature of epimorphic regeneration during amphibian limb regeneration is cellular dedifferentiation. Two questions are discussed. First, what is the origin and nature of the soluble factors involved in triggering local cellular and tissue dedifferentiation? Secondly, what role does the key stem cell transcription factor Sall4 play in reprogramming gene expression during dedifferentiation? The pattern of Sall4 expression during Xenopus hindlimb regeneration is consistent with the hypothesis that Sall4 plays a role in dedifferentiation (reprogramming) and in maintaining limb blastema cells in an undifferentiated state. Sall4 is involved in maintenance of ESC pluripotency, is a major repressor of differentiation, plays a major role in reprogramming differentiated cells into iPSCs, and is a component of the stemness regulatory circuit of pluripotent ESCs and iPSCs. These functions suggest Sall4 as an excellent candidate to regulate reprogramming events that produce and maintain dedifferentiated blastema cells required for epimorphic regeneration.

  19. Chytridiomycosis: a global threat to amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  20. Olim palus, where once upon a time the marsh: distribution, demography, ecology and threats of amphibians in the Circeo National Park (Central Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Romano

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The Circeo National Park lies in a territory that was deeply shaped by human activity, and represents one of the few remaining patches of plain wetland habitat in Central Italy. In this study distribution and few demographic information of the amphibians in the Park were provided. Seven species and 25 bibliographic and 84 original breeding sites were recorded, and population size estimations were carried out for a population of these three species: Pelophylax sinkl esculentus, Bufo balearicus and Rana dalmatina. For the studied populations of pool frog and green toad the operational sex ratio and the demographic effective population size was also estimated. For Rana dalmatina, which is strictly associated to forest environment, a positive and significant correlation between the number of egg clutches and maximum depth of the swamps was found. The State plain forest is the most important habitat for amphibians’ conservation in the park. The occurrence of dangerous alien species was investigated and they are evaluated as the major threat for amphibians in the park, especially the crayfish Procambarus clarkii in the State plain forest. Index of Calling Survey were performed for anurans and the medians did not differ among species. The potential distribution of amphibians in the Park was evaluated by building a species distribution model. Finally, the absence of three species reported in literature in the 60’s of the last century (Bombina pachypus, Salamandrina perspicillata, Rana italica is also discussed.

  1. Patterns of hypothalamic regionalization in amphibians and reptiles: common traits revealed by a genoarchitectonic approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura eDominguez

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Most studies in mammals and birds have demonstrated common patterns of hypothalamic development highlighted by the combination of developmental regulatory genes (genoarchitecture, supporting the notion of the hypothalamus as a component of the secondary prosencephalon, topologically rostral to the diencephalon. In our comparative analysis we have summarized the data on the expression patterns of different transcription factors and neuroactive substances, used as anatomical markers, in the developing hypothalamus of the amphibian Xenopus laevis and the juvenile turtle Pseudemys scripta. This analysis served to highlight the organization of the hypothalamus in the anamniote/amniotic transition. We have identified supraoptoparaventricular and the suprachiasmatic regions in the alar part of the hypothalamus, and tuberal and mammillary regions in the basal hypothalamus. Shared features in the two species are: 1 The supraoptoparaventricular region is defined by the expression of Otp and the lack of Nkx2.1/Isl1. It is subdivided into rostral, rich in Otp and Nkx2.2, and caudal, only Otp-positive, portions. 2 The suprachiasmatic area contains catecholaminergic cell groups and lacks Otp, and can be further divided into rostral (rich in Nkx2.1 and Nkx2.2 and a caudal (rich in Isl1 and devoid of Nkx2.1 portions. 3 Expression of Nkx2.1 and Isl1 define the tuberal hypothalamus and only the rostral portion expresses Otp. 4 Its caudal boundary is evident by the lack of Isl1 in the adjacent mammillary region, which expresses Nkx2.1 and Otp. Differences in the anamnio-amniote transition were noted since in the turtle, like in other amniotes, the boundary between the alar hypothalamus and the telencephalic preoptic area shows distinct Nkx2.2 and Otp expressions but not in the amphibian (anamniote, and the alar supraoptoparaventricular region is defined by the expression of Otp/Pax6, whereas in Xenopus only Otp is expressed.

  2. Patterns of hypothalamic regionalization in amphibians and reptiles: common traits revealed by a genoarchitectonic approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domínguez, Laura; González, Agustín; Moreno, Nerea

    2015-01-01

    Most studies in mammals and birds have demonstrated common patterns of hypothalamic development highlighted by the combination of developmental regulatory genes (genoarchitecture), supporting the notion of the hypothalamus as a component of the secondary prosencephalon, topologically rostral to the diencephalon. In our comparative analysis we have summarized the data on the expression patterns of different transcription factors and neuroactive substances, used as anatomical markers, in the developing hypothalamus of the amphibian Xenopus laevis and the juvenile turtle Pseudemys scripta. This analysis served to highlight the organization of the hypothalamus in the anamniote/amniotic transition. We have identified supraoptoparaventricular and the suprachiasmatic regions (SCs) in the alar part of the hypothalamus, and tuberal and mammillary regions in the basal hypothalamus. Shared features in the two species are: (1) The supraoptoparaventricular region (SPV) is defined by the expression of Otp and the lack of Nkx2.1/Isl1. It is subdivided into rostral, rich in Otp and Nkx2.2, and caudal, only Otp-positive, portions. (2) The suprachiasmatic area contains catecholaminergic cell groups and lacks Otp, and can be further divided into rostral (rich in Nkx2.1 and Nkx2.2) and a caudal (rich in Isl1 and devoid of Nkx2.1) portions. (3) Expression of Nkx2.1 and Isl1 define the tuberal hypothalamus and only the rostral portion expresses Otp. (4) Its caudal boundary is evident by the lack of Isl1 in the adjacent mammillary region, which expresses Nkx2.1 and Otp. Differences in the anamnio-amniote transition were noted since in the turtle, like in other amniotes, the boundary between the alar hypothalamus and the telencephalic preoptic area shows distinct Nkx2.2 and Otp expressions but not in the amphibian (anamniote), and the alar SPV is defined by the expression of Otp/Pax6, whereas in Xenopus only Otp is expressed.

  3. Report of Amphibian Development Group

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malacinski, G.

    1985-01-01

    Amphibian and fish embryos are extremely well suited for studies on pattern specification, whereas other systems (e.g., avian or mammalian) might be just as well suited for studies on differentiation or growth. Those distinctions are important for at least two reasons: (1) More precise focus regarding underlying mechanisms is called for when those distinctions are made. That facilitates the formulation of specific models or hypotheses; and (2) stress effects (i.e., the effects of weightlessness on structures (e.g., bones) which normally bear a load) are distinguished as being indirect, in contrast to direct effects of microgravity, which would be expected to act on pattern specification. That is, direct gravity effects are distinguished from indirect stress effects.

  4. Gene structure, transcripts and calciotropic effects of the PTH family of peptides in Xenopus and chicken

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Power Deborah M

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Parathyroid hormone (PTH and PTH-related peptide (PTHrP belong to a family of endocrine factors that share a highly conserved N-terminal region (amino acids 1-34 and play key roles in calcium homeostasis, bone formation and skeletal development. Recently, PTH-like peptide (PTH-L was identified in teleost fish raising questions about the evolution of these proteins. Although PTH and PTHrP have been intensively studied in mammals their function in other vertebrates is poorly documented. Amphibians and birds occupy unique phylogenetic positions, the former at the transition of aquatic to terrestrial life and the latter at the transition to homeothermy. Moreover, both organisms have characteristics indicative of a complex system in calcium regulation. This study investigated PTH family evolution in vertebrates with special emphasis on Xenopus and chicken. Results The PTH-L gene is present throughout the vertebrates with the exception of placental mammals. Gene structure of PTH and PTH-L seems to be conserved in vertebrates while PTHrP gene structure is divergent and has acquired new exons and alternative promoters. Splice variants of PTHrP and PTH-L are common in Xenopus and chicken and transcripts of the former have a widespread tissue distribution, although PTH-L is more restricted. PTH is widely expressed in fish tissue but from Xenopus to mammals becomes largely restricted to the parathyroid gland. The N-terminal (1-34 region of PTH, PTHrP and PTH-L in Xenopus and chicken share high sequence conservation and the capacity to modify calcium fluxes across epithelia suggesting a conserved role in calcium metabolism possibly via similar receptors. Conclusions The parathyroid hormone family contains 3 principal members, PTH, PTHrP and the recently identified PTH-L. In teleosts there are 5 genes which encode PTHrP (2, PTH (2 and PTH-L and in tetrapods there are 3 genes (PTHrP, PTH and PTH-L, the exception is placental mammals which

  5. Anurans in a forest remnant in the transition zone between cerrado and Atlantic Rain Forest domains in Southeastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pirani, Renata M; Nascimento, Luciana B; Feio, Renato N

    2013-09-01

    This study presents the species richness, temporal distribution and reproductive activity of anurans from the Uaimií State Forest (Floresta Estadual do Uaimií - FLOE Uaimií), situated in the Quadrilátero Ferrífero region, municipality of Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais state, Brazil. Field activities were performed monthly from September 2009 to August 2010. We recorded 36 anurans species, distributed in 10 families. The greatest richness of the sampled sites corresponds to a permanent rivulet in a secondary forest. The majority of anuran species presented seasonal vocalization activity pattern, mainly in the rainy season. The anuran species composition of FLOE Uaimií is similar to others studied areas from the Quadrilátero Ferrífero region.

  6. Anurans in a forest remnant in the transition zone between cerrado and atlantic rain forest domains in southeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    RENATA M. PIRANI

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available This study presents the species richness, temporal distribution and reproductive activity of anurans from the Uaimií State Forest (Floresta Estadual do Uaimií – FLOE Uaimií, situated in the Quadrilátero Ferrífero region, municipality of Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais state, Brazil. Field activities were performed monthly from September 2009 to August 2010. We recorded 36 anurans species, distributed in 10 families. The greatest richness of the sampled sites corresponds to a permanent rivulet in a secondary forest. The majority of anuran species presented seasonal vocalization activity pattern, mainly in the rainy season. The anuran species composition of FLOE Uaimií is similar to others studied areas from the Quadrilátero Ferrífero region.

  7. Repeatability of baseline corticosterone and short-term corticosterone stress responses, and their correlation with testosterone and body condition in a terrestrial breeding anuran (Platymantis vitiana).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narayan, Edward J; Cockrem, John F; Hero, Jean-Marc

    2013-06-01

    Repeatability of physiological response variables, such as the stress hormone corticosterone, across numerous sampling occasions is an important assumption for their use as predictors of behaviour, reproduction and fitness in animals. Very few studies have actually tested this assumption in free-living animals under uncontrolled natural conditions. Non-invasive urine sampling and standard capture handling protocol have enabled the rapid quantification of baseline corticosterone and short-term corticosterone stress responses in anuran amphibians. In this study, established non-invasive methods were used to monitor physiological stress and urinary testosterone levels in male individuals of the terrestrial breeding Fijian ground frog (Platymantis vitiana). Adult male frogs (n = 20) were sampled at nighttime on three repeated occasions at intervals of 14 days during their annual breeding season on Viwa Island, Fiji. All frogs expressed urinary corticosterone metabolite responses to the capture and handling stressor, with some frogs showing consistently higher urinary corticosterone responses than others. Ranks of corticosterone values at 0, 4 and 8 h, and the corrected rank were highly significant (r = 0.75-0.99) between the three repeated sampling occasions. Statistical repeatabilities were high for baseline corticosterone (r = 0.973) and for corticosterone values at 2 h (r = 0.862), 4 h (r = 0.861), 6 h (r = 0.820) and 8 h (r = 0.926), and also for the total (inclusive of baseline corticosterone values) and the corrected integrated responses (index of the acute response) [r = 0.867 and r = 0.870]. Urinary testosterone levels also showed high statistical repeatability (r = 0.78). Furthermore, variation in baseline and short-term corticosterone stress responses was greater between individuals than within individuals. Baseline urinary corticosterone was significantly negatively correlated with the corrected integrated corticosterone response (r = -0.3, p breeding period

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C Guilherme Becker

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

  9. Maryland ESI: REPTILES (Reptile and Amphibian Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for sea turtles, estuarine turtles, and rare reptiles and amphibians in Maryland. Vector polygons in this...

  10. Evolution of Life Cycles in Early Amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoch, Rainer R.

    2009-05-01

    Many modern amphibians have biphasic life cycles with aquatic larvae and terrestrial adults. The central questions are how and when this complicated ontogeny was established, and what is known about the lives of amphibians in the Paleozoic. Fossil evidence has accumulated that sheds light on the life histories of early amphibians, the origin of metamorphosis, and the transition to a fully terrestrial existence. The majority of early amphibians were aquatic or amphibious and underwent only gradual ontogenetic changes. Developmental plasticity played a major role in some taxa but was restricted to minor modification of ontogeny. In the Permo-Carboniferous dissorophoids, a condensation of crucial ontogenetic steps into a short phase (metamorphosis) is observed. It is likely that the origin of both metamorphosis and neoteny falls within these taxa. Fossil evidence also reveals the sequence of evolutionary changes: apparently, the ontogenetic change in feeding, not the transition to a terrestrial existence per se, made a drastic metamorphosis necessary.

  11. Amphibians and Reptiles of Los Alamos County

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1999-10-01

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

  12. Monoclonal Antibodies Against Xenopus Greatwall Kinase

    OpenAIRE

    WANG Ling; Fisher, Laura A.; Wahl, James K.; Peng, Aimin

    2011-01-01

    Mitosis is known to be regulated by protein kinases, including MPF, Plk1, Aurora kinases, and so on, which become active in M-phase and phosphorylate a wide range of substrates to control multiple aspects of mitotic entry, progression, and exit. Mechanistic investigations of these kinases not only provide key insights into cell cycle regulation, but also hold great promise for cancer therapy. Recent studies, largely in Xenopus, characterized a new mitotic kinase named Greatwall (Gwl) that pla...

  13. Facial Transplants in Xenopus laevis Embryos

    OpenAIRE

    Jacox, Laura A.; Dickinson, Amanda J.; Sive, Hazel

    2014-01-01

    Craniofacial birth defects occur in 1 out of every 700 live births, but etiology is rarely known due to limited understanding of craniofacial development. To identify where signaling pathways and tissues act during patterning of the developing face, a 'face transplant' technique has been developed in embryos of the frog Xenopus laevis. A region of presumptive facial tissue (the "Extreme Anterior Domain" (EAD)) is removed from a donor embryo at tailbud stage, and transplanted to a host embryo ...

  14. Anurans in a forest remnant in the transition zone between cerrado and atlantic rain forest domains in southeastern Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    PIRANI,RENATA M.; Nascimento,Luciana B.; Renato N. Feio

    2013-01-01

    This study presents the species richness, temporal distribution and reproductive activity of anurans from the Uaimií State Forest (Floresta Estadual do Uaimií – FLOE Uaimií), situated in the Quadrilátero Ferrífero region, municipality of Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais state, Brazil. Field activities were performed monthly from September 2009 to August 2010. We recorded 36 anurans species, distributed in 10 families. The greatest richness of the sampled sites correspon...

  15. lin28 proteins promote expression of 17∼92 family miRNAs during amphibian development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warrander, Fiona; Faas, Laura; Kovalevskiy, Oleg; Peters, Daniel; Coles, Mark; Antson, Alfred A; Genever, Paul; Isaacs, Harry V

    2016-01-01

    Lin28 proteins are post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression with multiple roles in development and the regulation of pluripotency in stem cells. Much attention has focussed on Lin28 proteins as negative regulators of let-7 miRNA biogenesis; a function that is conserved in several animal groups and in multiple processes. However, there is increasing evidence that Lin28 proteins have additional roles, distinct from regulation of let-7 abundance. We have previously demonstrated that lin28 proteins have functions associated with the regulation of early cell lineage specification in Xenopus embryos, independent of a lin28/let-7 regulatory axis. However, the nature of lin28 targets in Xenopus development remains obscure. Here, we show that mir-17∼92 and mir-106∼363 cluster miRNAs are down-regulated in response to lin28 knockdown, and RNAs from these clusters are co-expressed with lin28 genes during germ layer specification. Mature miRNAs derived from pre-mir-363 are most sensitive to lin28 inhibition. We demonstrate that lin28a binds to the terminal loop of pre-mir-363 with an affinity similar to that of let-7, and that this high affinity interaction requires to conserved a GGAG motif. Our data suggest a novel function for amphibian lin28 proteins as positive regulators of mir-17∼92 family miRNAs. © 2015 The Authors. Developmental Dynamics published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Budgett's frog (Lepidobatrachus laevis): A new amphibian embryo for developmental biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amin, Nirav M; Womble, Mandy; Ledon-Rettig, Cristina; Hull, Margaret; Dickinson, Amanda; Nascone-Yoder, Nanette

    2015-09-15

    The large size and rapid development of amphibian embryos has facilitated ground-breaking discoveries in developmental biology. Here, we describe the embryogenesis of the Budgett's frog (Lepidobatrachus laevis), an unusual species with eggs that are over twice the diameter of laboratory Xenopus, and embryos that can tolerate higher temperatures to develop into a tadpole four times more rapidly. In addition to detailing their early development, we demonstrate that, like Xenopus, these embryos are amenable to explant culture assays and can express exogenous transcripts in a tissue-specific manner. Moreover, the steep developmental trajectory and large scale of Lepidobatrachus make it exceptionally well-suited for morphogenesis research. For example, the developing organs of the Budgett's frog are massive compared to those of most model species, and are composed of larger individual cells, thereby affording increased subcellular resolution of early vertebrate organogenesis. Furthermore, we found that complete limb regeneration, which typically requires months to achieve in most vertebrate models, occurs in a matter of days in the Budgett's tadpole, which substantially accelerates the pace of experimentation. Thus, the unusual combination of the greater size and speed of the Budgett's frog model provides inimitable advantages for developmental studies-and a novel inroad to address the mechanisms of spatiotemporal scaling during evolution.

  17. Monoclonal Antibodies Against Xenopus Greatwall Kinase

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ling; Fisher, Laura A.; Wahl, James K.

    2011-01-01

    Mitosis is known to be regulated by protein kinases, including MPF, Plk1, Aurora kinases, and so on, which become active in M-phase and phosphorylate a wide range of substrates to control multiple aspects of mitotic entry, progression, and exit. Mechanistic investigations of these kinases not only provide key insights into cell cycle regulation, but also hold great promise for cancer therapy. Recent studies, largely in Xenopus, characterized a new mitotic kinase named Greatwall (Gwl) that plays essential roles in both mitotic entry and maintenance. In this study, we generated a panel of mouse monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) specific for Xenopus Gwl and characterized these antibodies for their utility in immunoblotting, immunoprecipitation, and immunodepletion in Xenopus egg extracts. Importantly, we generated an MAb that is capable of neutralizing endogenous Gwl. The addition of this antibody into M-phase extracts results in loss of mitotic phosphorylation of Gwl, Plk1, and Cdk1 substrates. These results illustrate a new tool to study loss-of-function of Gwl, and support its essential role in mitosis. Finally, we demonstrated the usefulness of the MAb against human Gwl/MASTL. PMID:22008075

  18. Changes in the inflammatory response to injury and its resolution during the loss of regenerative capacity in developing Xenopus limbs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anthony L Mescher

    Full Text Available Tissue and organ regeneration, unlike development, involves an injury that in postembryonic animals triggers inflammation followed by resolution. How inflammation affects epimorphic regeneration is largely uninvestigated. Here we examine inflammation and its resolution in Xenopus laevis hindlimb regeneration, which declines during larval development. During the first 5 days postamputation, both regeneration-competent stage 53 and regeneration-deficient stage 57 hindlimbs showed very rapid accumulation of leukocytes and cells expressing interleukin-1β and matrix metalloproteinase 9. Expression of genes for factors mediating inflammatory resolution appeared more persistent at stages 55 and 57 than at stage 53, suggesting changes in this process during development. FoxP3, a marker for regulatory T cells, was upregulated by amputation in limbs at all three stages but only persisted at stage 57, when it was also detected before amputation. Expression of genes for cellular reprogramming, such as SALL4, was upregulated in limbs at all 3 stages, but markers of limb patterning, such as Shh, were expressed later and less actively after amputation in regeneration-deficient limbs. Topical application of specific proinflammatory agents to freshly amputated limbs increased interleukin-1β expression locally. With aqueous solutions of the proinflammatory metal beryllium sulfate, this effect persisted through 7 days postamputation and was accompanied by inhibition of regeneration. In BeSO4-treated limbs expression of markers for both inflammation and resolution, including FoxP3, was prolonged, while genes for cellular reprogramming were relatively unaffected and those for limb patterning failed to be expressed normally. These data imply that in Xenopus hindlimbs postamputation inflammation and its resolution change during development, with little effect on cellular dedifferentiation or reprogramming, but potentially interfering with the expression of genes

  19. Changes in the inflammatory response to injury and its resolution during the loss of regenerative capacity in developing Xenopus limbs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mescher, Anthony L; Neff, Anton W; King, Michael W

    2013-01-01

    Tissue and organ regeneration, unlike development, involves an injury that in postembryonic animals triggers inflammation followed by resolution. How inflammation affects epimorphic regeneration is largely uninvestigated. Here we examine inflammation and its resolution in Xenopus laevis hindlimb regeneration, which declines during larval development. During the first 5 days postamputation, both regeneration-competent stage 53 and regeneration-deficient stage 57 hindlimbs showed very rapid accumulation of leukocytes and cells expressing interleukin-1β and matrix metalloproteinase 9. Expression of genes for factors mediating inflammatory resolution appeared more persistent at stages 55 and 57 than at stage 53, suggesting changes in this process during development. FoxP3, a marker for regulatory T cells, was upregulated by amputation in limbs at all three stages but only persisted at stage 57, when it was also detected before amputation. Expression of genes for cellular reprogramming, such as SALL4, was upregulated in limbs at all 3 stages, but markers of limb patterning, such as Shh, were expressed later and less actively after amputation in regeneration-deficient limbs. Topical application of specific proinflammatory agents to freshly amputated limbs increased interleukin-1β expression locally. With aqueous solutions of the proinflammatory metal beryllium sulfate, this effect persisted through 7 days postamputation and was accompanied by inhibition of regeneration. In BeSO4-treated limbs expression of markers for both inflammation and resolution, including FoxP3, was prolonged, while genes for cellular reprogramming were relatively unaffected and those for limb patterning failed to be expressed normally. These data imply that in Xenopus hindlimbs postamputation inflammation and its resolution change during development, with little effect on cellular dedifferentiation or reprogramming, but potentially interfering with the expression of genes required for blastema

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-02-01

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

  1. Expansion and diversification of the signaling capabilities of the CD2/SLAM family in Xenopodinae amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guselnikov, Sergey V; Laktionov, Petr P; Najakshin, Alexander M; Baranov, Konstantin O; Taranin, Alexander V

    2011-10-01

    We studied the evolution of the CD2 family in tetrapods by extracting and analyzing CD2-like genes from the genome of the amphibian species Silurana (Xenopus) tropicalis. An exhaustive analysis of the genomic and cDNA databases resulted in the identification of at least 70 CD2-like genes. The predicted receptors mostly maintain the typical VC2 ectodomains, but are highly diverse in their C-termini, which suggests a broad range of signaling capacities. Apart from the presumed monomeric receptors with ITSM and/or ITIM motifs, the Silurana family includes secreted proteins. Furthermore, a fraction of the receptors contain a conserved TM subtype with the NxxR motif that is known to promote an association with the FcRγ subunit and that was previously found in the members of the FcR- and KIR-related receptors. The expression analysis of a sample of the genes showed broad tissue distribution and gene-specific expression patterns. Phylogenetic analysis predicted that the CD58, CD150/SLAM, and SLAMF8 genes were maintained as single-copy genes in both mammals and amphibians, while others expanded/contracted in a lineage-specific manner.

  2. Molecular mechanisms for thyroid hormone-induced remodeling in the amphibian digestive tract: a model for studying organ regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishizuya-Oka, Atsuko; Shi, Yun-Bo

    2005-12-01

    During amphibian metamorphosis the digestive tract is extensively remodeled under the control of epithelial-connective tissue interactions. At the cellular level, larval epithelial cells undergo apoptosis, while a small number of stem cells appear, actively proliferate, and then differentiate to form adult epithelium that is analogous to its mammalian counterpart. Therefore the amphibian digestive tract is a unique model system for the study of postembryonic organ regeneration. As amphibian intestinal remodeling can be triggered by thyroid hormone (TH), the molecular mechanisms involved can be studied from the perspective of examining the expression cascade of TH response genes. A number of these genes have been isolated from the intestine of Xenopus laevis. Recent progress in the functional analysis of this cascade has shed light on key molecules in intestinal remodeling such as matrix metalloproteinase-11, sonic hedgehog, and bone morphogenetic protein-4. These genes are also thought to play key roles in organogenesis and/or homeostasis in both chick and mammalian digestive tract, suggesting the existence of conserved mechanisms underlying such events in terrestrial vertebrates. In this article, we review our recent findings in this field, focusing on the development of adult epithelium in the X. laevis intestine.

  3. Evolution of the vertebrate bone matrix: an expression analysis of the network forming collagen paralogues in amphibian osteoblasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldea, Daniel; Hanna, Patricia; Munoz, David; Espinoza, Javier; Torrejon, Marcela; Sachs, Laurent; Buisine, Nicolas; Oulion, Silvan; Escriva, Hector; Marcellini, Sylvain

    2013-09-01

    The emergence of vertebrates is closely associated to the evolution of mineralized bone tissue. However, the molecular basis underlying the origin and subsequent diversification of the skeletal mineralized matrix is still poorly understood. One efficient way to tackle this issue is to compare the expression, between vertebrate species, of osteoblastic genes coding for bone matrix proteins. In this work, we have focused on the evolution of the network forming collagen family which contains the Col8a1, Col8a2, and Col10a1 genes. Both phylogeny and synteny reveal that these three paralogues are vertebrate-specific and derive from two independent duplications in the vertebrate lineage. To shed light on the evolution of this family, we have analyzed the osteoblastic expression of the network forming collagens in endochondral and intramembraneous skeletal elements of the amphibian Xenopus tropicalis. Remarkably, we find that amphibian osteoblasts express Col10a1, a gene strongly expressed in osteoblasts in actinopterygians but not in amniotes. In addition, while Col8a1 is known to be robustly expressed in mammalian osteoblasts, the expression levels of its amphibian orthologue are dramatically reduced. Our work reveals that while a skeletal expression of network forming collagen members is widespread throughout vertebrates, osteoblasts from divergent vertebrate lineages express different combinations of network forming collagen paralogues.

  4. An examination of amphibian sensitivity to environmental contaminants: are amphibians poor canaries?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerby, Jacob L; Richards-Hrdlicka, Kathryn L; Storfer, Andrew; Skelly, David K

    2010-01-01

    Nearly two decades ago, the global biodiversity crisis was catapulted to the front pages of newspapers with the recognition of worldwide amphibian declines. Amphibians earned their appellation, 'canaries in a coal mine', because of apparent high sensitivity to human-mediated environmental change. The most frequently cited causes for high susceptibility include permeable skin, a dual aquatic-terrestrial life cycle and a relatively rudimentary immune system. While some researchers have questioned the basis for the canary assertion, there has been no systematic evaluation of amphibian sensitivity to environmental challenges relative to other taxa. Here, we apply a database representing thousands of toxicity tests to compare the responses of amphibians relative to that of other taxonomic groups. The use of standardized methods combined with large numbers of identical challenges enables a particularly powerful test of relative effect size. Overall, we found that amphibians only exhibit moderate relative responses to water-borne toxins. Our findings imply that, as far as chemical contaminants are concerned, amphibians are not particularly sensitive and might more aptly be described as 'miners in a coal mine'. To the extent that amphibian declines have been mediated by chemical contaminants, our findings suggest that population losses and extinctions may have already occurred in a variety of taxa much more sensitive than amphibians.

  5. The connection between oxidative stress and estivation in gastropods and anurans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira-Cravo, Marlize; Welker, Alexis F; Hermes-Lima, Marcelo

    2010-01-01

    In situations of food and water deprivation associated with unfavorable environmental conditions, a number of animal species undergo estivation. This state of locomotor inactivity involves a drastic reduction in the metabolic rate, allowing the estivator to survive long periods of adverse situations. However, the arousal from dormancy causes a rapid increase in oxygen consumption, which may elevate the production of oxygen radicals. Thus, it is expected that animals that arouse from estivation suffer a physiological oxidative stress. The reported mechanisms that protect estivators (anurans and gastropods) from the potential dangers of increased oxyradical formation are discussed. This includes the modulation of endogenous antioxidant defenses (enzymes and glutathione) of gastropods during dormancy, preparing them for arousal. A different strategy used for estivating anurans is also discussed.

  6. A review of pipe and bamboo artificial refugia as sampling tools in anuran studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glorioso, Brad M.; Waddle, J. Hardin

    2014-01-01

    Artificial pipe-like refugia have been used for more than 40 years in anuran studies, and have captured 28 species, primarily (82%) hylid treefrogs. Early pipe-like refugia were made using cut pieces of bamboo in the tropical forests of Puerto Rico, but most recent studies have used synthetic pipes and have occurred primarily in the southeastern United States. Characteristics of artificial refugia (e.g., color, length, and diameter), and their placement in the environment have varied greatly among studies, making comparisons difficult. Here, we summarize and evaluate different pipe designs and placement, address potential concerns when using artificial pipe-like refugia, and suggest studies necessary to better interpret the data gained from this technique in anuran studies.

  7. Geographic variation in acoustic communication in anurans and its neuroethological implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velásquez, Nelson A

    2014-01-01

    Geographic variation of traits may represent the first step for evolutionary divergence potentially leading to speciation. Signals are behavioral traits of particular interest for the study of variation at a geographic scale. The anuran acoustic communication system represents an excellent model for studies of this kind, because their vocalizations play a main role in reproduction and the extant variation in this system may determine the evolution of this group. This review is committed to studies on geographic variation of acoustic communication systems in anurans, focusing on temporal and spectral characteristics of signals, environmental constraints affecting them and sound producing and receiving organs. In addition to the review of the literature on these topics, I highlight the deficit of investigation in some areas and propose alternative directions to overcome these drawbacks. Further, I propose the four-eyed frog, Pleurodema thaul, as an excellent model system to study geographic variation using a wide spectrum of approaches.

  8. A phylogenetic lineage of closely related trypanosomes (Trypanosomatidae, Kinetoplastida) of anurans and sand flies (Psychodidae, Diptera) sharing the same ecotopes in brazilian amazonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira, Robson C; De Souza, Adelson A; Freitas, Rui A; Campaner, Marta; Takata, Carmem S A; Barrett, Toby V; Shaw, Jeffrey J; Teixeira, Marta M G

    2008-01-01

    Analysis of the phylogenetic relationships among trypanosomes from vertebrates and invertebrates disclosed a new lineage of trypanosomes circulating among anurans and sand flies that share the same ecotopes in Brazilian Amazonia. This assemblage of closely related trypanosomes was determined by comparing whole SSU rDNA sequences of anuran trypanosomes from the Brazilian biomes of Amazonia, the Pantanal, and the Atlantic Forest and from Europe, North America, and Africa, and from trypanosomes of sand flies from Amazonia. Phylogenetic trees based on maximum likelihood and parsimony corroborated the positioning of all new anuran trypanosomes in the aquatic clade but did not support the monophyly of anuran trypanosomes. However, all analyses always supported four major clades (An01-04) of anuran trypanosomes. Clade An04 is composed of trypanosomes from exotic anurans. Isolates in clades An01 and An02 were from Brazilian frogs and toads captured in the three biomes studied, Amazonia, the Pantanal and the Atlantic Forest. Clade An01 contains mostly isolates from Hylidae whereas clade An02 comprises mostly isolates from Bufonidae; and clade An03 contains trypanosomes from sand flies and anurans of Bufonidae, Leptodactylidae, and Leiuperidae exclusively from Amazonia. To our knowledge, this is the first study describing morphological and growth features, and molecular phylogenetic affiliation of trypanosomes from anurans and phlebotomines, incriminating these flies as invertebrate hosts and probably also as important vectors of Amazonian terrestrial anuran trypanosomes.

  9. Countryside biogeography of Neotropical reptiles and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  10. Characterization of the hypothalamus of Xenopus laevis during development. I. The alar regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domínguez, Laura; Morona, Ruth; González, Agustín; Moreno, Nerea

    2013-03-01

    The patterns of expression of a set of conserved developmental regulatory transcription factors and neuronal markers were analyzed in the alar hypothalamus of Xenopus laevis throughout development. Combined immunohistochemical and in situ hybridization techniques were used for the identification of subdivisions and their boundaries. The alar hypothalamus was located rostral to the diencephalon in the secondary prosencephalon and represents the rostral continuation of the alar territories of the diencephalon and brainstem, according to the prosomeric model. It is composed of the supraoptoparaventricular (dorsal) and the suprachiasmatic (ventral) regions, and limits dorsally with the preoptic region, caudally with the prethalamic eminence and the prethalamus, and ventrally with the basal hypothalamus. The supraoptoparaventricular area is defined by the orthopedia (Otp) expression and is subdivided into rostral and caudal portions, on the basis of the Nkx2.2 expression only in the rostral portion. This region is the source of many neuroendocrine cells, primarily located in the rostral subdivision. The suprachiasmatic region is characterized by Dll4/Isl1 expression, and was also subdivided into rostral and caudal portions, based on the expression of Nkx2.1/Nkx2.2 and Lhx1/7 exclusively in the rostral portion. Both alar regions are mainly connected with subpallial areas strongly implicated in the limbic system and show robust intrahypothalamic connections. Caudally, both regions project to brainstem centers and spinal cord. All these data support that in terms of topology, molecular specification, and connectivity the subdivisions of the anuran alar hypothalamus possess many features shared with their counterparts in amniotes, likely controlling similar reflexes, responses, and behaviors. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. The developing Xenopus limb as a model for studies on the balance between inflammation and regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Michael W; Neff, Anton W; Mescher, Anthony L

    2012-10-01

    The roles of inflammation and immune cell reactivity triggered by amputation have only recently begun to be addressed in investigations of epimorphic regeneration, although studies of tissue repair in mammals clearly show the importance of the immune system in determining the quality of the repair process. Here, we first review inflammation-related work in non-mammalian systems of epimorphic regeneration which suggests that regeneration of an amputated appendage requires continuous modulation of the local immune response, from the first hours after amputation through the period of blastema patterning. We then present data on the effects of anti-inflammatory and proinflammatory agents on regeneration of larval Xenopus hindlimbs. Treatment with the glucocorticoid beclomethasone immediately after amputation inhibits regeneration in regeneration-complete stage 53 limbs. Other anti-inflammatory agents, including the inhibitors of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) activity celecoxib and diclofenac, applied similarly to larvae amputated at stage 55, when the capacity for limb regeneration is normally being lost, restore regenerative capacity. This suggests that although injury-related events sensitive to glucocorticoids are necessary for regeneration, resolution of the inflammatory response may also be required to allow the complete regenerative response and normal blastema patterning. Conversely, if resolution of inflammation is prevented by local treatment of amputated limbs with beryllium, a strong immunoadjuvant, regeneration is inhibited, and gene expression data suggest that this inhibition results from a failure of normal blastema patterning. Both positive and negative effects of immune- or inflammation-related activities occur during anuran limb regeneration and this underscores the importance of considering immune cells in studies of epimorphic regeneration.

  12. Characterization of the hypothalamus of Xenopus laevis during development. II. The basal regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domínguez, Laura; González, Agustín; Moreno, Nerea

    2014-04-01

    The expression patterns of conserved developmental regulatory transcription factors and neuronal markers were analyzed in the basal hypothalamus of Xenopus laevis throughout development by means of combined immunohistochemical and in situ hybridization techniques. The connectivity of the main subdivisions was investigated by in vitro tracing techniques with dextran amines. The basal hypothalamic region is topologically rostral to the basal diencephalon and is composed of the tuberal (rostral) and mammillary (caudal) subdivisions, according to the prosomeric model. It is dorsally bounded by the optic chiasm and the alar hypothalamus, and caudally by the diencephalic prosomere p3. The tuberal hypothalamus is defined by the expression of Nkx2.1, xShh, and Isl1, and rostral and caudal portions can be distinguished by the distinct expression of Otp rostrally and Nkx2.2 caudally. In the mammillary region the xShh/Nkx2.1 combination defined the rostral mammillary area, expressing Nkx2.1, and the caudal retromammillary area, expressing xShh. The expression of xLhx1, xDll4, and Otp in the mammillary area and Isl1 in the tuberal region highlights the boundary between the two basal hypothalamic territories. Both regions are strongly connected with subpallial regions, especially those conveying olfactory/vomeronasal information, and also possess abundant intrahypothalamic connections. They show reciprocal connections with the diencephalon (mainly the thalamus), project to the midbrain tectum, and are bidirectionally related to the rhombencephalon. These results illustrate that the basal hypothalamus of anurans shares many features of specification, regionalization, and hodology with amniotes, reinforcing the idea of a basic bauplan in the organization of this prosencephalic region in all tetrapods. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Contact toxicities of anuran skin alkaloids against the fire ant ( Solenopsis invicta)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weldon, Paul J.; Cardoza, Yasmin J.; Vander Meer, Robert K.; Hoffmann, W. Clint; Daly, John W.; Spande, Thomas F.

    2013-02-01

    Nearly 500 alkaloids, representing over 20 structural classes, have been identified from the skin of neotropical poison frogs (Dendrobatidae). These cutaneous compounds, which are derived from arthropod prey of the frogs, generally are believed to deter predators. We tested the red imported fire ant ( Solenopsis invicta) for toxicosis following contact with 20 alkaloids (12 structural classes) identified from dendrobatids or other anurans. Individual ants forced to contact the dried residues of 13 compounds exhibited convulsions and/or reduced ambulation. We estimated the cutaneous concentrations of several compounds based on their reported recoveries from skin extracts of free-ranging frogs and our measurements of the skin surface areas of museum specimens. Pumiliotoxin 251D exhibited contact toxicity below its estimated cutaneous concentration in the Ecuadorian frog, Epipedobates anthonyi, an observation consistent with the hypothesized role of this compound in anuran chemical defense. Our results and those of a previous study of mosquitoes indicate that some anuran skin compounds function defensively as contact toxins against arthropods, permeating their exoskeleton.

  14. From uni- to multimodality: towards an integrative view on anuran communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starnberger, Iris; Preininger, Doris; Hödl, Walter

    2014-09-01

    Undeniably, acoustic signals are the predominant mode of communication in frogs and toads. Acoustically active species are found throughout the vast diversity of anuran families. However, additional or alternative signal modalities have gained increasing attention. In several anurans, seismic, visual and chemical communications have convergently evolved due to ecological constraints such as noisy environments. The production of a visual cue, like the inevitably moving vocal sac of acoustically advertising males, is emphasized by conspicuously coloured throats. Limb movements accompanied by dynamic displays of bright colours are additional examples of striking visual signals independent of vocalizations. In some multimodal anuran communication systems, the acoustic component acts as an alert signal, which alters the receiver attention to the following visual display. Recent findings of colourful glands on vocal sacs, producing volatile species-specific scent bouquets suggest the possibility of integration of acoustic, visual and chemical cues in species recognition and mate choice. The combination of signal components facilitates a broadened display repertoire in challenging environmental conditions. Thus, the complexity of the communication systems of frogs and toads may have been underestimated.

  15. The contribution of skin antimicrobial peptides to the system of innate immunity in anurans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conlon, J Michael

    2011-01-01

    Cationic peptides with the propensity to adopt an amphipathic α-helical conformation in a membrane-mimetic environment are synthesized in the skins of many species of anurans (frogs and toads). These peptides frequently display cytolytic activities against a range of pathogenic bacteria and fungi consistent with the idea that they play a role in the host's system of innate immunity. However, the importance of the peptides in the survival strategy of the animal is not clearly understood. It is a common misconception that antimicrobial peptides are synthesized in the skins of all anurans. In fact, the species distribution is sporadic suggesting that their production may confer some evolutionary advantage to the organism but is not necessary for survival. Although growth inhibitory activity against the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, responsible for anuran population declines worldwide, has been demonstrated in vitro, the ability of frog skin antimicrobial peptides to protect the animal in the wild appears to be limited and there is no clear correlation between their production by a species and its resistance to fatal chytridiomycosis. The low potency of many frog skin antimicrobial peptides is consistent with the hypothesis that cutaneous symbiotic bacteria may provide the major system of defense against pathogenic microorganisms in the environment with antimicrobial peptides assuming a supplementary role in some species.

  16. Amphibians used in research and teaching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Rourke, Dorcas P

    2007-01-01

    Amphibians have long been utilized in scientific research and in education. Historically, investigators have accumulated a wealth of information on the natural history and biology of amphibians, and this body of information is continually expanding as researchers describe new species and study the behaviors of these animals. Amphibians evolved as models for a variety of developmental and physiological processes, largely due to their unique ability to undergo metamorphosis. Scientists have used amphibian embryos to evaluate the effects of toxins, mutagens, and teratogens. Likewise, the animals are invaluable in research due to the ability of some species to regenerate limbs. Certain species of amphibians have short generation times and genetic constructs that make them desirable for transgenic and knockout technology, and there is a current national focus on developing these species for genetic and genomic research. This group of vertebrates is also critically important in the investigation of the inter-relationship of humans and the environment based on their sensitivity to climatic and habitat changes and environmental contamination.

  17. Amphibians do not follow Bergmann's rule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Dean C; Church, James O

    2008-02-01

    The tendency for organisms to be larger in cooler climates (Bergmann's rule) is widely observed in endotherms, and has been reputed to apply to some ectotherms including amphibians. However, recent reports provide conflicting support for the pattern, questioning whether Bergmann's clines are generally present in amphibians. In this study, we measured 96,996 adult Plethodon from 3974 populations to test for the presence of Bergmann's clines in these salamanders. Only three Plethodon species exhibited a significant negative correlation between body size and temperature consistent with Bergmann's rule, whereas 37 of 40 species did not display a pattern consistent with this prediction. Further, a phylogenetic comparative analysis found no relationship between body size and temperature among species. A meta-analysis combining our data with the available data for other amphibian species revealed no support for Bergmann's rule at the genus (Plethodon), order (Caudata), or class (Amphibia) levels. Our findings strongly suggest that negative thermal body size clines are not common in amphibians, and we conclude that Bergmann's rule is not generally applicable to these taxa. Thus, evolutionary explanations of Bergmann's clines in other tetrapods need not account for unique life-history attributes of amphibians.

  18. Amphibians of the National Elk Refuge : Jackson Hole, Wyoming

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This survey continues amphibian inventory work that was begun in 1998, and the current report is written as a supplement to "Amphibians and Reptiles of the National...

  19. Polystyrene nanoparticles affect Xenopus laevis development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tussellino, Margherita; Ronca, Raffaele [University of Naples Federico II, Department of Biology (Italy); Formiggini, Fabio [Italian Institute of Technology, Center for Advanced Biomaterials for Health Care IIT@CRIB (Italy); Marco, Nadia De [University of Naples Federico II, Department of Biology (Italy); Fusco, Sabato; Netti, Paolo Antonio [Italian Institute of Technology, Center for Advanced Biomaterials for Health Care IIT@CRIB (Italy); Carotenuto, Rosa, E-mail: rosa.carotenuto@unina.it [University of Naples Federico II, Department of Biology (Italy)

    2015-02-15

    Exposing living organisms to nanoparticulates is potentially hazardous, in particular when it takes place during embryogenesis. In this investigation, we have studied the effects of 50-nm-uncoated polystyrene nanoparticles (PSNPs) as a model to investigate the suitability of their possible future employments. We have used the standardized Frog Embryo Teratogenesis Assay-Xenopus test during the early stages of larval development of Xenopus laevis, and we have employed either contact exposure or microinjections. We found that the embryos mortality rate is dose dependent and that the survived embryos showed high percentage of malformations. They display disorders in pigmentation distribution, malformations of the head, gut and tail, edema in the anterior ventral region, and a shorter body length compared with sibling untreated embryos. Moreover, these embryos grow more slowly than the untreated embryos. Expressions of the mesoderm markers, bra (T-box Brachyury gene), myod1 (myogenic differentiation1), and of neural crest marker sox9 (sex SRY (determining region Y-box 9) transcription factor sox9), are modified. Confocal microscopy showed that the nanoparticles are localized in the cytoplasm, in the nucleus, and in the periphery of the digestive gut cells. Our data suggest that PSNPs are toxic and show a potential teratogenic effect for Xenopus larvae. We hypothesize that these effects may be due either to the amount of NPs that penetrate into the cells and/or to the “corona” effect caused by the interaction of PSNPs with cytoplasm components. The three endpoints of our study, i.e., mortality, malformations, and growth inhibition, suggest that the tests we used may be a powerful and flexible bioassay in evaluating pollutants in aquatic embryos.

  20. Polystyrene nanoparticles affect Xenopus laevis development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tussellino, Margherita; Ronca, Raffaele; Formiggini, Fabio; Marco, Nadia De; Fusco, Sabato; Netti, Paolo Antonio; Carotenuto, Rosa

    2015-02-01

    Exposing living organisms to nanoparticulates is potentially hazardous, in particular when it takes place during embryogenesis. In this investigation, we have studied the effects of 50-nm-uncoated polystyrene nanoparticles (PSNPs) as a model to investigate the suitability of their possible future employments. We have used the standardized Frog Embryo Teratogenesis Assay- Xenopus test during the early stages of larval development of Xenopus laevis, and we have employed either contact exposure or microinjections. We found that the embryos mortality rate is dose dependent and that the survived embryos showed high percentage of malformations. They display disorders in pigmentation distribution, malformations of the head, gut and tail, edema in the anterior ventral region, and a shorter body length compared with sibling untreated embryos. Moreover, these embryos grow more slowly than the untreated embryos. Expressions of the mesoderm markers, bra (T-box Brachyury gene), myod1 (myogenic differentiation1), and of neural crest marker sox9 (sex SRY (determining region Y-box 9) transcription factor sox9), are modified. Confocal microscopy showed that the nanoparticles are localized in the cytoplasm, in the nucleus, and in the periphery of the digestive gut cells. Our data suggest that PSNPs are toxic and show a potential teratogenic effect for Xenopus larvae. We hypothesize that these effects may be due either to the amount of NPs that penetrate into the cells and/or to the "corona" effect caused by the interaction of PSNPs with cytoplasm components. The three endpoints of our study, i.e., mortality, malformations, and growth inhibition, suggest that the tests we used may be a powerful and flexible bioassay in evaluating pollutants in aquatic embryos.

  1. The expression pattern of Xenopus Mox-2 implies a role in initial mesodermal differentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Candia, A F; Wright, C V

    1995-07-01

    We have isolated a Xenopus homolog of the murine Mox-2 gene. As is the case for the mouse homolog, mesoderm specific expression of Xenopus Mox-2 (X. Mox-2) expression begins during gastrulation. Using whole mount in situ hybridization, we show that X. Mox-2 is expressed in undifferentiated dorsal, lateral and ventral mesoderm in the posterior of neurula/tailbud embryos, with expression more anteriorly detected in the dermatomes. In the tailbud tadpole, X. Mox-2 is expressed in tissues of the tailbud itself that represent a site of continued gastrulation-like processes resulting in mesoderm formation. X. Mox-2 is not expressed in the marginal zone of blastula, nor in the dorsal lip of gastrula, nor midline tissues (i.e. prospective notochord). Treatments that affect mesodermal patterning during embryonic development, including LiCl and ultraviolet light, and injection of mRNAs encoding BMP-4, or dominant negative activin and FGF receptors, produce changes in X. Mox-2 expression consistent with the types of tissues affected by these manipulations. X. Mox-2 expression is induced more in animal caps treated with FGF than those treated with activin. Together with the fact that X. Mox-2 activation in animal caps requires protein synthesis, our data suggest that X. Mox-2 is involved in initial mesodermal differentiation, downstream of molecules affecting mesoderm induction and determination such as Brachyury and goosecoid, and upstream of factors controlling terminal differentiation such as MyoD and myf5. X. Mox-2, therefore, is another useful marker for understanding the formation of mesoderm in amphibian development.

  2. Transcriptional regulators in the Hippo signaling pathway control organ growth in Xenopus tadpole tail regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayashi, Shinichi; Ochi, Haruki; Ogino, Hajime; Kawasumi, Aiko; Kamei, Yasuhiro; Tamura, Koji; Yokoyama, Hitoshi

    2014-12-01

    The size and shape of tissues are tightly controlled by synchronized processes among cells and tissues to produce an integrated organ. The Hippo signaling pathway controls both cell proliferation and apoptosis by dual signal-transduction states regulated through a repressive kinase cascade. Yap1 and Tead, transcriptional regulators that act downstream of the Hippo signaling kinase cascade, have essential roles in regulating cell proliferation. In amphibian limb or tail regeneration, the local tissue outgrowth terminates when the correct size is reached, suggesting that organ size is strictly controlled during epimorphic organ-level regeneration. We recently demonstrated that Yap1 is required for the regeneration of Xenopus tadpole limb buds (Hayashi et al., 2014, Dev. Biol. 388, 57-67), but the molecular link between the Hippo pathway and organ size control in vertebrate epimorphic regeneration is not fully understood. To examine the requirement of Hippo pathway transcriptional regulators in epimorphic regeneration, including organ size control, we inhibited these regulators during Xenopus tadpole tail regeneration by overexpressing a dominant-negative form of Yap (dnYap) or Tead4 (dnTead4) under a heat-shock promoter in transgenic animal lines. Each inhibition resulted in regeneration defects accompanied by reduced cell mitosis and increased apoptosis. Single-cell gene manipulation experiments indicated that Tead4 cell-autonomously regulates the survival of neural progenitor cells in the regenerating tail. In amphibians, amputation at the proximal level of the tail (deep amputation) results in faster regeneration than that at the distal level (shallow amputation), to restore the original-sized tail with similar timing. However, dnTead4 overexpression abolished the position-dependent differential growth rate of tail regeneration. These results suggest that the transcriptional regulators in the Hippo pathway, Tead4 and Yap1, are required for general vertebrate

  3. Comparison of TALEN scaffolds in Xenopus tropicalis

    OpenAIRE

    Keisuke Nakajima; Yoshio Yaoita

    2013-01-01

    Summary Transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) are facile and potent tools used to modify a gene of interest for targeted gene knockout. TALENs consist of an N-terminal domain, a DNA-binding domain, and a C-terminal domain, which are derived from a transcription activator-like effector, and the non-specific nuclease domain of FokI. Using Xenopus tropicalis (X. tropicalis), we compared the toxicities and somatic mutation activities of four TALEN architectures in a side-by-...

  4. Hypothalamo-hypophysial relations in amphibian larvae

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oordt, P.G.W.J. van; Goos, H.J.Th.; Peute, J.; Terlou, M.

    1972-01-01

    The results of studies on the differentiation of the preoptic nucleus and of experiments regarding the effects of propylthiouracil and extirpation of the preoptic area demonstrate that in Xenopus laevis tadpoles a thyrotropin-releasing factor (TRF) is formed in peptidergic cells in the dorsal part o

  5. Effects of Roads on Amphibian Populations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hels, T.

    to have experienced the wonders of early summer sunrises in the field - and the joy of thawing out frozen fingers after hours of field work around freezing point. Amphibian populations are declining. This worrying fact is what has initiated this work. Some fifty years ago, the life history of frogs...... is the result of my three year PhD study at the National Environmental Research Institute, Kalø, and University of Copenhagen. Funded by NERI, the Danish Research Academy, and the Danish Road Directorate, it has dealt mainly with the effects of traffic and roads on amphibian populations. The Spadefoot toad...... of Spadefoot toads (Pelobates fuscus Laur.) II The effect of road kills on amphibian populations III Simulating viability of a Spadefoot toad (P. fuscus) metapopulation in a landscape fragmented by a road The manuscripts are preceded by a synopsis which sums up the work and puts it into a broader perspective...

  6. Amphibian monitoring in the Atchafalaya Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waddle, Hardin

    2011-01-01

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

  7. Diversity and distribution of amphibians in Romania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dan Cogălniceanu

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Nineteen species of amphibians inhabit Romania, 9 of which reach their range limit on this territory. Based on published occurrence reports, museum collections and our own data we compiled a national database of amphibian occurrences. We georeferenced 26779 amphibian species occurrences, and performed an analysis of their spatial patterns, checking for hotspots and patterns of species richness. The results of spatial statistic analyses supported the idea of a biased sampling for Romania, with clear hotspots of increased sampling efforts. The sampling effort is biased towards species with high detectability, protected areas, and large cities. Future sampling efforts should be focused mostly on species with a high rarity score in order to accurately map their range. Our results are an important step in achieving the long-term goals of increasing the efficiency of conservation efforts and evaluating the species range shifts under climate change scenarios.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Distortion product otoacoustic emissions in the amphibian ear

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Dijk, Pim; Meenderink, Sebastiaan W. F.; Nuttal, AL

    2006-01-01

    By comparing the range of emission frequencies with that of neural characteristic frequencies of the amphibian and basilar papillae, the emission generation site may be inferred. Spontaneous otoacoustic emissions in the amphibian car seem to originate from the amphibian papilla. In contrast, distort

  10. Early temporal effects of three thyroid hormone synthesis inhibitors in Xenopus laevis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tietge, Joseph E; Butterworth, Brian C; Haselman, Jonathan T; Holcombe, Gary W; Hornung, Michael W; Korte, Joseph J; Kosian, Patricia A; Wolfe, Marilyn; Degitz, Sigmund J

    2010-06-01

    Thyroid axis disruption is an important consideration when evaluating risks associated with chemicals. Bioassay methods that include thyroid-related endpoints have been developed in a variety of species, including amphibians, whose metamorphic development is thyroid hormone (TH)-dependent. Inhibition of TH synthesis in these species leads to developmental delay, and assays designed to capture these effects take several weeks to complete. In an effort to develop a shorter term approach, the early responses of various endpoints were evaluated in Xenopus laevis throughout 8d of exposure to three TH synthesis inhibitors: methimazole (100mg/L), 6-propylthiouracil (6-PTU) (20mg/L), and perchlorate (4 mg/L). Endpoints included thyroid gland histology and cell numbers, circulating TH concentrations, and thyroidal TH and associated iodo-compounds. Thyroidal 3,5-diodo-L-tyrosine (DIT) and thyroxine (T4) were significantly reduced from day 2 onward by all three chemicals, while 3-monoiodo-L-tyrosine (MIT) was significantly reduced by methimazole and perchlorate, but not by 6-PTU. These reductions were the earliest indicators of TH synthesis inhibition. Histological effects were apparent on day 4 and became more exaggerated through day 8. However, reductions in circulating T4 and increases in thyroid gland cell numbers were not apparent until day 6. Reductions of thyroidal MIT, DIT, and T4 and circulating T4 are indicative of inhibitory effects of the chemicals on TH synthesis. Changes in thyroid histology and cell number represent compensatory effects modulated by circulating TSH. These observations establish a basis for the development of short term amphibian-based methods to evaluate thyroid axis effects using a suite of diagnostic endpoints.

  11. Genome-wide transcriptional response of Silurana (Xenopus tropicalis to infection with the deadly chytrid fungus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erica Bree Rosenblum

    Full Text Available Emerging infectious diseases are of great concern for both wildlife and humans. Several highly virulent fungal pathogens have recently been discovered in natural populations, highlighting the need for a better understanding of fungal-vertebrate host-pathogen interactions. Because most fungal pathogens are not fatal in the absence of other predisposing conditions, host-pathogen dynamics for deadly fungal pathogens are of particular interest. The chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (hereafter Bd infects hundreds of species of frogs in the wild. It is found worldwide and is a significant contributor to the current global amphibian decline. However, the mechanism by which Bd causes death in amphibians, and the response of the host to Bd infection, remain largely unknown. Here we use whole-genome microarrays to monitor the transcriptional responses to Bd infection in the model frog species, Silurana (Xenopus tropicalis, which is susceptible to chytridiomycosis. To elucidate the immune response to Bd and evaluate the physiological effects of chytridiomycosis, we measured gene expression changes in several tissues (liver, skin, spleen following exposure to Bd. We detected a strong transcriptional response for genes involved in physiological processes that can help explain some clinical symptoms of chytridiomycosis at the organismal level. However, we detected surprisingly little evidence of an immune response to Bd exposure, suggesting that this susceptible species may not be mounting efficient innate and adaptive immune responses against Bd. The weak immune response may be partially explained by the thermal conditions of the experiment, which were optimal for Bd growth. However, many immune genes exhibited decreased expression in Bd-exposed frogs compared to control frogs, suggesting a more complex effect of Bd on the immune system than simple temperature-mediated immune suppression. This study generates important baseline data for ongoing

  12. Dose-Dependent Early Life Stage Toxicities in Xenopus laevis Exposed In Ovo to Selenium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massé, Anita J; Muscatello, Jorgelina R; Janz, David M

    2015-11-17

    Selenium (Se) is a developmental toxicant in oviparous vertebrates. The adverse reproductive effects of Se toxicity have been predominantly investigated in fishes and birds with only a few studies focusing on amphibians. The objective of this study was to determine tissue-based toxicity thresholds for early life stage Se toxicities in Xenopus laevis as a consequence of in ovo exposure through maternal transfer of dietary Se. Following a 68-day dietary exposure to food augmented with l-selenomethionine (SeMet) at measured concentrations of 0.7 (control), 10.9, 30.4, or 94.2 μg Se/g dry mass (d.m.), adult female X. laevis were bred with untreated males, and resulting embryos were incubated until 5 days postfertilization (dpf). The measured Se concentrations in eggs were 1.6, 10.8, 28.1, and 81.7 μg Se/g d.m., respectively. No biologically significant effects were observed on fertilization success, hatchability, or mortality in offspring. Frequency and severity of morphological abnormalities were significantly greater in 5 dpf tadpoles from the highest exposure group when compared to the control, with eye lens abnormalities being the most prominent of all abnormalities. The estimated EC10 value for frequency of total early life stage abnormalities was 44.9 μg Se/g egg d.m., which suggests that this amphibian species is less sensitive to in ovo Se exposure than most of the fish species studied to date.

  13. Developmental segregation of spinal networks driving axial- and hindlimb-based locomotion in metamorphosing Xenopus laevis.

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    Combes, D; Merrywest, S D; Simmers, J; Sillar, K T

    2004-08-15

    Amphibian metamorphosis includes a complete reorganization of an organism's locomotory system from axial-based swimming in larvae to limbed propulsion in the young adult. At critical stages during this behavioural switch, larval and adult motor systems operate in the same animal, commensurate with a gradual and dynamic reconfiguration of spinal locomotor circuitry. To study this plasticity, we have developed isolated preparations of the spinal cord and brainstem from pre- to post-metamorphic stages of the amphibian Xenopus laevis, in which spinal motor output patterns expressed spontaneously or in the presence of NMDA correlate with locomotor behaviour in the freely swimming animal. Extracellular ventral root recordings along the spinal cord of pre-metamorphic tadpoles revealed motor output corresponding to larval axial swimming, whereas postmetamorphic animals expressed motor patterns appropriate for bilaterally synchronous hindlimb flexion-extension kicks. However, in vitro recordings from metamorphic climax stages, with the tail and the limbs both functional, revealed two distinct motor patterns that could occur either independently or simultaneously, albeit at very different frequencies. Activity at 0.5-1 Hz in lumbar ventral roots corresponded to bipedal extension-flexion cycles, while the second, faster pattern (2-5 Hz) recorded from tail ventral roots corresponded to larval-like swimming. These data indicate that at intermediate stages during metamorphosis separate networks, one responsible for segmentally organized axial locomotion and another for more localized appendicular rhythm generation, coexist in the spinal cord and remain functional after isolation in vitro. These preparations now afford the opportunity to explore the cellular basis of locomotor network plasticity and reconfiguration necessary for behavioural changes during development.

  14. Metabolomic approach for identifying and visualizing molecular tissue markers in tadpoles of Xenopus tropicalis by mass spectrometry imaging

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    Naoko Goto-Inoue

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available In developmental and cell biology it is crucial to evaluate the dynamic profiles of metabolites. An emerging frog model system using Xenopus tropicalis, whose genome sequence and inbred strains are available, is now ready for metabolomics investigation in amphibians. In this study we applied matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI-mass spectrometry imaging (MSI analysis to identify and visualize metabolomic molecular markers in tadpoles of Xenopus tropicalis. We detected tissue-specific peaks and visualized their distribution in tissues, and distinguished 19 tissues and their specific peaks. We identified, for the first time, some of their molecular localizations via tandem mass spectrometric analysis: hydrocortisone in artery, L-DOPA in rhombencephalon, taurine in eye, corticosterone in gill, heme in heart, inosine monophosphate and carnosine in muscle, dopamine in nerves, and phosphatidylethanolamine (16:0/20:4 in pharynx. This is the first MALDI-MSI study of X. tropicalis tadpoles, as in small tadpoles it is hard to distinguish and dissect the various organs. Furthermore, until now there has been no data about the metabolomic profile of each organ. Our results suggest that MALDI-MSI is potentially a powerful tool for examining the dynamics of metabolomics in metamorphosis as well as conformational changes due to metabolic changes.

  15. Where to look when identifying roadkilled amphibians?

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    Marc Franch

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Roads have multiple effects on wildlife; amphibians are one of the groups more intensely affected by roadkills. Monitoring roadkills is expensive and time consuming. Automated mapping systems for detecting roadkills, based on robotic computer vision techniques, are largely necessary. Amphibians can be recognised by a set of features as shape, size, colouration, habitat and location. This species identification by using multiple features at the same time is known as “jizz”. In a similar way to human vision, computer vision algorithms must incorporate a prioritisation process when analysing the objects in an image. Our main goal here was to give a numerical priority sequence of particular characteristics of roadkilled amphibians to improve the computing and learning process of algorithms. We asked hundred and five amateur and professional herpetologists to answer a simple test of five sets with ten images each of roadkilled amphibians, in order to determine which body parts or characteristics (body form, colour, and other patterns are used to identify correctly the species. Anura was the group most easily identified when it was roadkilled and Caudata was the most difficult. The lower the taxonomic level of amphibian, the higher the difficulty of identifying them, both in Anura and Caudata. Roadkilled amphibians in general and Anura group were mostly identified by the Form, by the combination of Form and Colour, and finally by Colour. Caudata was identified mainly on Form and Colour and on Colour. Computer vision algorithms must incorporate these combinations of features, avoiding to work exclusively in one specific feature.

  16. Amphibians as model to study endocrine disrupters.

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    Kloas, Werner; Lutz, Ilka

    2006-10-13

    Environmental compounds can interfere with endocrine systems of wildlife and humans. These so-called endocrine disrupters (ED) are known to affect reproductive biology and thyroid system. The classical model species for these endocrine systems are amphibians and therefore they can serve as sentinels for detection of the modes of action (MOAs) of ED. Recently, amphibians are being reviewed as suitable models to assess (anti)estrogenic and (anti)androgenic MOAs influencing reproductive biology as well as (anti)thyroidal MOAs interfering with the thyroid system. The development of targeted bioassays in combination with adequate chemical analyses is the prerequisite for a concise risk assessment of ED.

  17. [Evolution of brain development in amphibians].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savel'ev, S V

    2009-01-01

    Principal events in the early embryonic development of the nervous system, from neurulation to primary differentiation, are considered in different amphibian species. Attention is paid to numerous interspecific differences in the structure of neuroepithelium and the patterns of neurulation and embryonic brain segmentation. The data presented indicate that similarity in brain developmental patterns is apparently explained by universality of morphogenetic mechanisms rather than by the common origin of particular species. A hypothesis is proposed that similarity in the shape of the developing amphibian brain is determined by mechanisms of coding positional information necessary for histogenetic differentiation.

  18. Effects of low dose endosulfan exposure on brain neurotransmitter levels in the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis.

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    Preud'homme, Valérie; Milla, Sylvain; Gillardin, Virginie; De Pauw, Edwin; Denoël, Mathieu; Kestemont, Patrick

    2015-02-01

    Understanding the impact of pesticides in amphibians is of growing concern to assess the causes of their decline. Among pesticides, endosulfan belongs to one of the potential sources of danger because of its wide use and known effects, particularly neurotoxic, on a variety of organisms. However, the effect of endosulfan was not yet evaluated on amphibians at levels encompassing simultaneously brain neurotransmitters and behavioural endpoints. In this context, tadpoles of the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis were submitted to four treatments during 27 d: one control, one ethanol control, and two low environmental concentrations of endosulfan (0.1 and 1 μg L(-1)). Endosulfan induced a significant increase of brain serotonin level at both concentrations and a significant increase of brain dopamine and GABA levels at the lower exposure but acetylcholinesterase activity was not modified by the treatment. The gene coding for the GABA transporter 1 was up-regulated in endosulfan contaminated tadpoles while the expression of other genes coding for the neurotransmitter receptors or for the enzymes involved in their metabolic pathways was not significantly modified by endosulfan exposure. Endosulfan also affected foraging, and locomotion in links with the results of the physiological assays, but no effects were seen on growth. These results show that low environmental concentrations of endosulfan can induce adverse responses in X. laevis tadpoles. At a broader perspective, this suggests that more research using and linking multiple markers should be used to understand the complex mode of action of pollutants.

  19. Acute effects of Fe₂O₃, TiO₂, ZnO and CuO nanomaterials on Xenopus laevis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nations, Shawna; Wages, Mike; Cañas, Jaclyn E; Maul, Jonathan; Theodorakis, Chris; Cobb, George P

    2011-05-01

    Metal oxide nanomaterials have exhibited toxicity to a variety of aquatic organisms, especially microbes and invertebrates. To date, few studies have evaluated the toxicity of metal oxide nanomaterials on aquatic vertebrates. Therefore, this study examined effects of ZnO, TiO(2), Fe(2)O(3), and CuO nanomaterials (20-100 nm) on amphibians utilizing the Frog Embryo Teratogenesis Assay Xenopus (FETAX) protocol, a 96 h exposure with daily solution exchanges. Nanomaterials were dispersed in reconstituted moderately hard test medium. These exposures did not increase mortality in static renewal exposures containing up to 1,000 mg L(-1) for TiO(2), Fe(2)O(3), CuO, and ZnO, but did induce developmental abnormalities. Gastrointestinal, spinal, and other abnormalities were observed in CuO and ZnO nanomaterial exposures at concentrations as low as 3.16 mg L(-1) (ZnO). An EC(50) of 10.3 mg L(-1) ZnO was observed for total malformations. The minimum concentration to inhibit growth of tadpoles exposed to CuO or ZnO nanomaterials was 10 mg L(-1). The results indicate that select nanomaterials can negatively affect amphibians during development. Evaluation of nanomaterial exposure on vertebrate organisms are imperative to responsible production and introduction of nanomaterials in everyday products to ensure human and environmental safety.

  20. The state of amphibians in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. Xenopus laevis a success story of biological research in space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horn, Eberhard R.

    2006-01-01

    The clawed toad Xenopus laevis is a common experimental animal used in many disciplines of life sciences, such as integrative, developmental and molecular biology or experimental medicine. Since 30 years, Xenopus is used in biological research in space. Important milestones were the years 1975, when Xenopus embryos flew for the first time on the Russian space station Salut-4 and 1994, when Xenopus eggs were successfully fertilized for the first time in space during the Japanese Spacelab mission STS-47 and developed in microgravity to vital tadpoles. Most Xenopus studies were related to embryogenesis and development. Observations during and after altered gravity revealed changes such as the thickening of the blastocoel roof, the dorsalization of the tail, and modifications of vestibular reflexes, fictive and freely swimming. Many changes were reversible even during microgravity exposure. Studies about the vestibuloocular reflex or synapse formation revealed an age-related sensitivity to altered gravity. Xenopus offers useful tools for studies about microgravity effects on living systems. Its oocyte is a suitable model to study ion channel function in space; the dorsalization model can be used to analyse growth factor sensibilities. Hardware for life support of adults, tadpoles and embryos (cf. SUPPLY unit in combination with miniaquaria) as well as for controlled experiments in space are prerequisites for an extension of research with Xenopus. The application aspect is based on the fact that fundamental research per se brings benefit to man.

  2. The role of amphibian antimicrobial peptides in protection of amphibians from pathogens linked to global amphibian declines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rollins-Smith, Louise A

    2009-08-01

    Amphibian species have experienced population declines and extinctions worldwide that are unprecedented in recent history. Many of these recent declines have been linked to a pathogenic skin fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, or to iridoviruses of the genus Ranavirus. One of the first lines of defense against pathogens that enter by way of the skin are antimicrobial peptides synthesized and stored in dermal granular glands and secreted into the mucus following alarm or injury. Here, I review what is known about the capacity of amphibian antimicrobial peptides from diverse amphibians to inhibit B. dendrobatidis or ranavirus infections. When multiple species were compared for the effectiveness of their in vitro antimicrobial peptides defenses against B. dendrobatidis, non-declining species of rainforest amphibians had more effective antimicrobial peptides than species in the same habitat that had recently experienced population declines. Further, there was a significant correlation between the effectiveness of the antimicrobial peptides and resistance of the species to experimental infection. These studies support the hypothesis that antimicrobial peptides are an important component of innate defenses against B. dendrobatidis. Some amphibian antimicrobial peptides inhibit ranavirus infections and infection of human T lymphocytes by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). An effective antimicrobial peptide defense against skin pathogens appears to depend on a diverse array of genes expressing antimicrobial peptides. The production of antimicrobial peptides may be regulated by signals from the pathogens. However, this defense must also accommodate potentially beneficial microbes on the skin that compete or inhibit growth of the pathogens. How this delicate balancing act is accomplished is an important area of future research.

  3. Pesticide mixtures, endocrine disruption, and amphibian declines: are we underestimating the impact?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, Tyrone B; Case, Paola; Chui, Sarah; Chung, Duc; Haeffele, Cathryn; Haston, Kelly; Lee, Melissa; Mai, Vien Phoung; Marjuoa, Youssra; Parker, John; Tsui, Mable

    2006-04-01

    Amphibian populations are declining globally at an alarming rate. Pesticides are among a number of proposed causes for these declines. Although a sizable database examining effects of pesticides on amphibians exists, the vast majority of these studies focus on toxicological effects (lethality, external malformations, etc.) at relatively high doses (parts per million). Very few studies focus on effects such as endocrine disruption at low concentrations. Further, most studies examine exposures to single chemicals only. The present study examined nine pesticides (four herbicides, two fungicides, and three insecticides) used on cornfields in the midwestern United States. Effects of each pesticide alone (0.1 ppb) or in combination were examined. In addition, we also examined atrazine and S-metolachlor combined (0.1 or 10 ppb each) and the commercial formulation Bicep II Magnum, which contains both of these herbicides. These two pesticides were examined in combination because they are persistent throughout the year in the wild. We examined larval growth and development, sex differentiation, and immune function in leopard frogs (Rana pipiens). In a follow-up study, we also examined the effects of the nine-compound mixture on plasma corticosterone levels in male African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis). Although some of the pesticides individually inhibited larval growth and development, the pesticide mixtures had much greater effects. Larval growth and development were retarded, but most significantly, pesticide mixtures negated or reversed the typically positive correlation between time to metamorphosis and size at metamorphosis observed in controls: exposed larvae that took longer to metamorphose were smaller than their counterparts that metamorphosed earlier. The nine-pesticide mixture also induced damage to the thymus, resulting in immunosuppression and contraction of flavobacterial meningitis. The study in X. laevis revealed that these adverse effects may be due to an

  4. Characterization of histone genes isolated from Xenopus laevis and Xenopus tropicalis genomic libraries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruberti, I; Fragapane, P; Pierandrei-Amaldi, P; Beccari, E; Amaldi, F; Bozzoni, I

    1982-12-11

    Using a cDNA clone for the histone H3 we have isolated, from two genomic libraries of Xenopus laevis and Xenopus tropicalis, clones containing four different histone gene clusters. The structural organization of X. laevis histone genes has been determined by restriction mapping, Southern blot hybridization and translation of the mRNAs which hybridize to the various restriction fragments. The arrangement of the histone genes in X. tropicalis has been determined by Southern analysis using X. laevis genomic fragments, containing individual genes, as probes. Histone genes are clustered in the genome of X. laevis and X. tropicalis and, compared to invertebrates, show a higher organization heterogeneity as demonstrated by structural analysis of the four genomic clones. In fact, the order of the genes within individual clusters is not conserved.

  5. The evolution of jumping in frogs: morphological evidence for the basal anuran locomotor condition and the radiation of locomotor systems in crown group anurans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reilly, Stephen M; Jorgensen, Michael E

    2011-02-01

    Our understanding of the evolution of frog locomotion follows from the work of Emerson in which anurans are proposed to possess one of three different iliosacral configurations: 1) a lateral-bending system found in walking and hopping frogs; 2) a fore-aft sliding mechanism found in several locomotor modes; and 3) a sagittal-hinge-type pelvis posited to be related to long-distance jumping performance. The most basal living (Ascaphus) and fossil (Prosalirus) frogs are described as sagittal-hinge pelvic types, and it has been proposed that long-distance jumping with a sagittal-hinge pelvis arose early in frog evolution. We revisited osteological traits of the pelvic region to conduct a phylogenetic analysis of the relationships between pelvic systems and locomotor modes in frogs. Using two of Emerson's diagnostic traits from the sacrum and ilium and two new traits from the urostyle, we resampled the taxa originally studied by Emerson and key paleotaxa and conducted an analysis of ancestral-character state evolution in relation to locomotor mode. We present a new pattern for the evolution of pelvic systems and locomotor modes in frogs. Character analysis shows that the lateral-bender, walker/hopper condition is both basal and generally conserved across the Anura. Long-distance jumping frogs do not appear until well within the Neobatrachia. The sagittal-hinge morphology is correlated with long-distance jumping in terrestrial frogs; however, it evolved convergently multiple times in crown group anurans with the same four pelvic traits described herein. Arboreal jumping has appeared in multiple crown lineages as well, but with divergent patterns of evolution involving each of the three pelvic types. The fore-aft slider morph appears independently in three different locomotor modes and, thus, is a more complex system than previously thought. Finally, it appears that the advent of a bicondylar sacro-urostylic articulation was originally related to providing axial rigidity

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan E Kolby

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolby, Jonathan E

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Managing Amphibian Disease with Skin Microbiota.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  9. Culture of Cells from Amphibian Embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanisstreet, Martin

    1983-01-01

    Describes a method for in vitro culturing of cells from amphibian early embryos. Such cells can be used to demonstrate such properties of eukaryote cells as cell motility, adhesion, differentiation, and cell sorting into tissues. The technique may be extended to investigate other factors. (Author/JN)

  10. Universal COI primers for DNA barcoding amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Che, Jing; Chen, Hong-Man; Yang, Jun-Xiao; Jin, Jie-Qiong; Jiang, Ke; Yuan, Zhi-Yong; Murphy, Robert W; Zhang, Ya-Ping

    2012-03-01

    DNA barcoding is a proven tool for the rapid and unambiguous identification of species, which is essential for many activities including the vouchering tissue samples in the genome 10K initiative, genealogical reconstructions, forensics and biodiversity surveys, among many other applications. A large-scale effort is underway to barcode all amphibian species using the universally sequenced DNA region, a partial fragment of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I COI. This fragment is desirable because it appears to be superior to 16S for barcoding, at least for some groups of salamanders. The barcoding of amphibians is essential in part because many species are now endangered. Unfortunately, existing primers for COI often fail to achieve this goal. Herein, we report two new pairs of primers (➀, ➁) that in combination serve to universally amplify and sequence all three orders of Chinese amphibians as represented by 36 genera. This taxonomic diversity, which includes caecilians, salamanders and frogs, suggests that the new primer pairs will universally amplify COI for the vast majority species of amphibians.

  11. Scandinavian amphibians: their aquatic habitat and tolerance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dag Dolmen

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Normal 0 21 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 To determine the impact that anthropogenic acidification has had on natural amphibian populations in Scandinavia and to trace the species’ tolerance limits, in 1988-89 four poorly buffered areas in Norway were investigated; three were anthropogenically acidified and the fourth was not. The increasing acidification from the coastal to inland/highland region of Southern and Southeastern Norway (pH 7.2-4.1 was accompanied by a decreasing frequency of amphibian (Rana temporaria, Bufo bufo and Triturus vulgaris localities. In the (anthropogenically non-acidified Central Norway region (pH 6.8-4.6, R. temporaria was very common at all pH levels. The data strongly suggest that acidification explains the absence of amphibians locally in the acidified areas, and has caused their extinction in the inland/highland region of Southern Norway. A pH of 4.5-4.6 is the critical minimum for R. temporaria populations in small, poorly buffered, boggy, water-bodies as were investigated here. For B. bufo, the lowest pH recorded was 4.7, and for T. vulgaris 4.8. We did not find any signs of successful reproduction in Rana arvalis and Triturus cristatus below a pH of 5.2 and 5.3, respectively. Increased contents of Ca2+, Na+ (NaCl or humus (NOM had an ameliorating effect on the amphibians in acidic water. The presence of Al was of only minor importance for the amphibians in humic waters. In a strategy for the conservation of amphibians in acidified or acidifying areas, liming (CaCO3 and/or NaCl treatment of the localities may work well in order to establish a satisfying aquatic environment for the species. The study may act as a baseline for further surveys in the future when acidic precipitation hopefully has decreased, looking for improvements of the habitats and possible recoveries of amphibian sites.

  12. Relative efficiency of anuran sampling methods in a restinga habitat (Jurubatiba, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. F. D. Rocha

    Full Text Available Studies on anurans in restinga habitats are few and, as a result, there is little information on which methods are more efficient for sampling them in this environment. Ten methods are usually used for sampling anuran communities in tropical and sub-tropical areas. In this study we evaluate which methods are more appropriate for this purpose in the restinga environment of Parque Nacional da Restinga de Jurubatiba. We analyzed six methods among those usually used for anuran samplings. For each method, we recorded the total amount of time spent (in min., the number of researchers involved, and the number of species captured. We calculated a capture efficiency index (time necessary for a researcher to capture an individual frog in order to make comparable the data obtained. Of the methods analyzed, the species inventory (9.7 min/searcher /ind.- MSI; richness = 6; abundance = 23 and the breeding site survey (9.5 MSI; richness = 4; abundance = 22 were the most efficient. The visual encounter inventory (45.0 MSI and patch sampling (65.0 MSI methods were of comparatively lower efficiency restinga, whereas the plot sampling and the pit-fall traps with drift-fence methods resulted in no frog capture. We conclude that there is a considerable difference in efficiency of methods used in the restinga environment and that the complete species inventory method is highly efficient for sampling frogs in the restinga studied and may be so in other restinga environments. Methods that are usually efficient in forested areas seem to be of little value in open restinga habitats.

  13. Color perception influences microhabitat selection of refugia and affects monitoring success for a cryptic anuran species.

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    Cohen, Bradley S; MacKenzie, Michelle L; Maerz, John C; Farrell, Christopher B; Castleberry, Steven B

    2016-10-01

    Perceptual-biases are important for understanding an animal's natural history, identifying potential ecological traps, and for developing effective means to monitor individuals and populations. Despite research demonstrating anurans having a positive phototactic response towards blue colors, we do not yet understand if color cues are used functionally beyond sexual selection. The aim of our study was to determine if color cues are used in selecting microhabitat, and if anuran's blue-positive phototactic response could increase selection of artificial PVC refugia used to monitor cryptic camouflaging anuran species. We captured 32 Cope's Gray Treefrogs and placed them in mesh enclosures with three PVC tubes painted blue, brown, and white. Concurrently, we placed blue, brown, or unpainted white PVC tubes in stratified arrays around a treefrog breeding pond, and counted the number of occasions treefrogs occupied different colored PVC tubes. In the confined choice experiment, treefrogs selected blue tubes (48.3%) significantly more often than brown (28.5%) or white (23.2%) tubes. Our field experiment mirrored these findings (52.0% of capture events in blue, 29.0% in brown, and 19.0% in unpainted white tubes). Our results suggest color influences Cope's Gray Treefrog microhabitat selection, and they utilize color vision when choosing refugia. We demonstrate simple, small changes based on perceptual-biases can induce behaviors that may in turn have large impacts on sampling techniques used in monitoring and inventorying. Incorporating non-traditional physiological measures into animal inventorying and monitoring programs can be used in the future to improve conservation efforts.

  14. A comparison of acoustic montoring methods for common anurans of the northeastern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brauer, Corinne; Donovan, Therese; Mickey, Ruth M.; Katz, Jonathan; Mitchell, Brian R.

    2016-01-01

    Many anuran monitoring programs now include autonomous recording units (ARUs). These devices collect audio data for extended periods of time with little maintenance and at sites where traditional call surveys might be difficult. Additionally, computer software programs have grown increasingly accurate at automatically identifying the calls of species. However, increased automation may cause increased error. We collected 435 min of audio data with 2 types of ARUs at 10 wetland sites in Vermont and New York, USA, from 1 May to 1 July 2010. For each minute, we determined presence or absence of 4 anuran species (Hyla versicolor, Pseudacris crucifer, Anaxyrus americanus, and Lithobates clamitans) using 1) traditional human identification versus 2) computer-mediated identification with software package, Song Scope® (Wildlife Acoustics, Concord, MA). Detections were compared with a data set consisting of verified calls in order to quantify false positive, false negative, true positive, and true negative rates. Multinomial logistic regression analysis revealed a strong (P < 0.001) 3-way interaction between the ARU recorder type, identification method, and focal species, as well as a trend in the main effect of rain (P = 0.059). Overall, human surveyors had the lowest total error rate (<2%) compared with 18–31% total errors with automated methods. Total error rates varied by species, ranging from 4% for A. americanus to 26% for L. clamitans. The presence of rain may reduce false negative rates. For survey minutes where anurans were known to be calling, the odds of a false negative were increased when fewer individuals of the same species were calling.

  15. Evolutionary adaptations for the temporal processing of natural sounds by the anuran peripheral auditory system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrode, Katrina M; Bee, Mark A

    2015-03-01

    Sensory systems function most efficiently when processing natural stimuli, such as vocalizations, and it is thought that this reflects evolutionary adaptation. Among the best-described examples of evolutionary adaptation in the auditory system are the frequent matches between spectral tuning in both the peripheral and central auditory systems of anurans (frogs and toads) and the frequency spectra of conspecific calls. Tuning to the temporal properties of conspecific calls is less well established, and in anurans has so far been documented only in the central auditory system. Using auditory-evoked potentials, we asked whether there are species-specific or sex-specific adaptations of the auditory systems of gray treefrogs (Hyla chrysoscelis) and green treefrogs (H. cinerea) to the temporal modulations present in conspecific calls. Modulation rate transfer functions (MRTFs) constructed from auditory steady-state responses revealed that each species was more sensitive than the other to the modulation rates typical of conspecific advertisement calls. In addition, auditory brainstem responses (ABRs) to paired clicks indicated relatively better temporal resolution in green treefrogs, which could represent an adaptation to the faster modulation rates present in the calls of this species. MRTFs and recovery of ABRs to paired clicks were generally similar between the sexes, and we found no evidence that males were more sensitive than females to the temporal modulation patterns characteristic of the aggressive calls used in male-male competition. Together, our results suggest that efficient processing of the temporal properties of behaviorally relevant sounds begins at potentially very early stages of the anuran auditory system that include the periphery.

  16. Distinct expression profiles of transcriptional coactivators for thyroid hormone receptors during Xenopus laevis metamorphosis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    BINDU D PAUL; YUN-BO SHI

    2003-01-01

    The biological effects of thyroid hormone(T3)are mediated by the thyroid hormone receptor(TR).Amphibian metamorphosis is one of the most dramatic processes that are dependent on T3.T3 regulates a series of orchestrated developmental changes,which ultimately result in the conversion of an aquatic herbivorous tadpole to a terrestrial carnivorous frog.T3 is presumed to bind to TRs,which in turn recruit coactivators,leading to gene activation.The best-studied coactivators belong to the p 160 or SRC family.Members of this family include SRC 1/NCoA- 1,SRC2/TIF2/GRIP 1,and SRC3/pCIP/ACTR/AIB- 1/RAC-3/TRAM- 1.These SRCs interact directly with liganded TR and function as adapter molecules to recruit other coactivators such as p300/CBP.Here,we studied the expression patterns of these coactivators during various stages of development.Amongst the coactivators cloned in Xenopus laevis,SRC3 was found to be dramatically upregulated during natural and T3-induced metamorphosis,and SRC2 and p300 are expressed throughout postembryonic development with little change in their expression levels.These results support the view that these coactivators participate in gene regulation by TR during metamorphosis.

  17. Rapamycin treatment causes developmental delay, pigmentation defects, and gastrointestinal malformation on Xenopus embryogenesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moriyama, Yuki [Graduate School of Science and Technology, Shizuoka University, 836 Ohya, Suruga-ku, Shizuoka 422-8529 (Japan); Ohata, Yoshihisa [Department of Education (Sciences), Shizuoka University, 836 Ohya, Suruga-ku, Shizuoka 422-8529 (Japan); Mori, Shoko [Graduate School of Science and Technology, Shizuoka University, 836 Ohya, Suruga-ku, Shizuoka 422-8529 (Japan); Matsukawa, Shinya [Department of Education (Sciences), Shizuoka University, 836 Ohya, Suruga-ku, Shizuoka 422-8529 (Japan); Michiue, Tatsuo [Department of Life Sciences, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo, 3-8-1 Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-8902 (Japan); Asashima, Makoto [Department of Life Sciences, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo, 3-8-1 Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-8902 (Japan); Research Center for Stem Cell Engineering, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), 1-1-1 Baien, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8562 (Japan); Kuroda, Hiroki, E-mail: ehkurod@ipc.shizuoka.ac.jp [Graduate School of Science and Technology, Shizuoka University, 836 Ohya, Suruga-ku, Shizuoka 422-8529 (Japan); Department of Education (Sciences), Shizuoka University, 836 Ohya, Suruga-ku, Shizuoka 422-8529 (Japan)

    2011-01-28

    Research highlights: {yields} Does famous anti-aging drug rapamycin work from the beginning of life? The answer is yes. {yields} This study shows that developmental speed of frog embryo was dose-dependently decreased by rapamycin treatment. {yields} In additions, morphogenetic effects such as less pigmentations and gut malformation are occurred by rapamycin. -- Abstract: Rapamycin is a drug working as an inhibitor of the TOR (target of rapamycin) signaling pathway and influences various life phenomena such as cell growth, proliferation, and life span extension in eukaryote. However, the extent to which rapamycin controls early developmental events of amphibians remains to be understood. Here we report an examination of rapamycin effects during Xenopus early development, followed by a confirmation of suppression of TOR downstream kinase S6K by rapamycin treatment. First, we found that developmental speed was declined in dose-dependent manner of rapamycin. Second, black pigment spots located at dorsal and lateral skin in tadpoles were reduced by rapamycin treatment. Moreover, in tadpole stages severe gastrointestinal malformations were observed in rapamycin-treated embryos. Taken together with these results, we conclude that treatment of the drug rapamycin causes enormous influences on early developmental period.

  18. Biochemical response to exposure to six textile dyes in early developmental stages of Xenopus laevis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Güngördü, Abbas; Birhanli, Ayse; Ozmen, Murat

    2013-01-01

    The present study was undertaken to determine the toxic effect of a lethal concentration of six different commercially used textile dyes on the 46th stage of Xenopus laevis tadpoles. The tadpoles were exposed to Astrazon Red FBL, Astrazon Blue FGRL, Remazol Red RR, Remazol Turquoise Blue G-A, Cibacron Red FN-3G, and Cibacron Blue FN-R for 168 h in static test conditions, and thus, 168-h median lethal concentrations (LC(50)s) of each dye were determined to be 0.35, 0.13, 112, 7, 359, and 15.8 mg/L, respectively. Also, to evaluate the sublethal effects of each dye, tadpoles were exposed to different concentrations of dyes (with respect to 168-h LC(50)s) for 24 h. The alteration of selected enzyme activities was tested. For this aim, glutathione S-transferase (GST), carboxylesterase, and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) were assayed. After dye exposure, the GST induction or inhibition and LDH induction indicated some possible mechanisms of oxidative stress and deterioration in aerobic respiration processes induced by the tested dyes. Findings of the study suggest that selected biomarker enzymes are useful in understanding the toxic mechanisms of these dyes in X. laevis tadpoles as early warning indicators. Therefore, these selected biomarkers may evaluate the effect of environmental factors, such as textile dye effluents and other industrial pollutants, on amphibians in biomonitoring studies.

  19. Swimming kinematics and respiratory behaviour of Xenopus laevis larvae raised in altered gravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fejtek, M.; Souza, K.; Neff, A.; Wassersug, R.

    1998-01-01

    We examined the respiratory behaviours and swimming kinematics of Xenopus laevis tadpoles hatched in microgravity (Space Shuttle), simulated microgravity (clinostat) and hypergravity (3 g centrifuge). All observations were made in the normal 1 g environment. Previous research has shown that X. laevis raised in microgravity exhibit abnormalities in their lungs and vestibular system upon return to 1 g. The tadpoles raised in true microgravity exhibited a significantly lower tailbeat frequency than onboard 1 g centrifuge controls on the day of landing (day0), but this behaviour normalized within 9 days. The two groups did not differ significantly in buccal pumping rates. Altered buoyancy in the space-flight microgravity tadpoles was indicated by an increased swimming angle on the day after landing (day1). Tadpoles raised in simulated microgravity differed to a greater extent in swimming behaviours from their 1 g controls. The tadpoles raised in hypergravity showed no substantive effects on the development of swimming or respiratory behaviours, except swimming angle. Together, these results show that microgravity has a transient effect on the development of locomotion in X. laevis tadpoles, most notably on swimming angle, indicative of stunted lung development. On the basis of the behaviours we studied, there is no indication of neuromuscular retardation in amphibians associated with embryogenesis in microgravity.

  20. Nerve-dependent and -independent events in blastema formation during Xenopus froglet limb regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Makoto; Satoh, Akira; Ide, Hiroyuki; Tamura, Koji

    2005-10-01

    Blastema formation, the initial stage of epimorphic limb regeneration in amphibians, is an essential process to produce regenerates. In our study on nerve dependency of blastema formation, we used forelimb of Xenopus laevis froglets as a system and applied some histological and molecular approaches in order to determine early events during blastema formation. We also investigated the lateral wound healing in comparison to blastema formation in limb regeneration. Our study confirmed at the molecular level that there are nerve-dependent and -independent events during blastema formation after limb amputation, Tbx5 and Prx1, reliable markers of initiation of limb regeneration, that start to be expressed independently of nerve supply, although their expressions cannot be maintained without nerve supply. We also found that cell proliferation activity, cell survival and expression of Fgf8, Fgf10 and Msx1 in the blastema were affected by denervation, suggesting that these events specific for blastema outgrowth are controlled by the nerve supply. Wound healing, which is thought to be categorized into tissue regeneration, shares some nerve-independent events with epimorphic limb regeneration, although the healing process results in simple restoration of wounded tissue. Overall, our results demonstrate that dedifferentiated blastemal cells formed at the initial phase of limb regeneration must enter the nerve-dependent epimorphic phase for further processes, including blastema outgrowth, and that failure of entry results in a simple redifferentiation as tissue regeneration.

  1. A Tunable Silk Hydrogel Device for Studying Limb Regeneration in Adult Xenopus Laevis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Golding

    Full Text Available In certain amphibian models limb regeneration can be promoted or inhibited by the local wound bed environment. This research introduces a device that can be utilized as an experimental tool to characterize the conditions that promotes limb regeneration in the adult frog (Xenopus laevis model. In particular, this device was designed to manipulate the local wound environment via a hydrogel insert. Initial characterization of the hydrogel insert revealed that this interaction had a significant influence on mechanical forces to the animal, due to the contraction of the hydrogel. The material and mechanical properties of the hydrogel insert were a factor in the device design in relation to the comfort of the animal and the ability to effectively manipulate the amputation site. The tunable features of the hydrogel were important in determining the pro-regenerative effects in limb regeneration, which was measured by cartilage spike formation and quantified by micro-computed tomography. The hydrogel insert was a factor in the observed morphological outcomes following amputation. Future work will focus on characterizing and optimizing the device's observed capability to manipulate biological pathways that are essential for limb regeneration. However, the present work provides a framework for the role of a hydrogel in the device and a path forward for more systematic studies.

  2. Phylogenetic signal in the acoustic parameters of the advertisement calls of four clades of anurans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gingras, Bruno; Mohandesan, Elmira; Boko, Drasko; Fitch, W Tecumseh

    2013-07-01

    Anuran vocalizations, especially their advertisement calls, are largely species-specific and can be used to identify taxonomic affiliations. Because anurans are not vocal learners, their vocalizations are generally assumed to have a strong genetic component. This suggests that the degree of similarity between advertisement calls may be related to large-scale phylogenetic relationships. To test this hypothesis, advertisement calls from 90 species belonging to four large clades (Bufo, Hylinae, Leptodactylus, and Rana) were analyzed. Phylogenetic distances were estimated based on the DNA sequences of the 12S mitochondrial ribosomal RNA gene, and, for a subset of 49 species, on the rhodopsin gene. Mean values for five acoustic parameters (coefficient of variation of root-mean-square amplitude, dominant frequency, spectral flux, spectral irregularity, and spectral flatness) were computed for each species. We then tested for phylogenetic signal on the body-size-corrected residuals of these five parameters, using three statistical tests (Moran's I, Mantel, and Blomberg's K) and three models of genetic distance (pairwise distances, Abouheif's proximities, and the variance-covariance matrix derived from the phylogenetic tree). A significant phylogenetic signal was detected for most acoustic parameters on the 12S dataset, across statistical tests and genetic distance models, both for the entire sample of 90 species and within clades in several cases. A further analysis on a subset of 49 species using genetic distances derived from rhodopsin and from 12S broadly confirmed the results obtained on the larger sample, indicating that the phylogenetic signals observed in these acoustic parameters can be detected using a variety of genetic distance models derived either from a variable mitochondrial sequence or from a conserved nuclear gene. We found a robust relationship, in a large number of species, between anuran phylogenetic relatedness and acoustic similarity in the

  3. Modeling human craniofacial disorders in Xenopus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubey, Aditi; Saint-Jeannet, Jean-Pierre

    2017-03-01

    Craniofacial disorders are among the most common human birth defects and present an enormous health care and social burden. The development of animal models has been instrumental to investigate fundamental questions in craniofacial biology and this knowledge is critical to understand the etiology and pathogenesis of these disorders. The vast majority of craniofacial disorders arise from abnormal development of the neural crest, a multipotent and migratory cell population. Therefore, defining the pathogenesis of these conditions starts with a deep understanding of the mechanisms that preside over neural crest formation and its role in craniofacial development. This review discusses several studies using Xenopus embryos to model human craniofacial conditions, and emphasizes the strength of this system to inform important biological processes as they relate to human craniofacial development and disease.

  4. Calpains expression during Xenopus laevis development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moudilou, E N; Mouterfi, N; Exbrayat, J-M; Brun, C

    2010-10-01

    Calpains are cytoplasmic proteases activated by calcium, implicated in cell differentiation and apoptosis. The best characterized enzymes are calpains 1-3. The aim of this work was to localize calpains 1-3 during the development of Xenopus laevis in order to clarify the function of these three proteases. For the first time, we detected the localization of the three proteases at the protein level between one-cell stage and adult age. Their expression was weak at early stages, then increased at tadpole stage and decreased through metamorphosis and adult life. The calpain's expression was maximal during the period characterized by the appearance of organs and modelling process. These observations suggest that calpains play a crucial role during development.

  5. Structure and transmembrane nature of the acetylcholine receptor in amphibian skeletal muscle as revealed by cross-reacting monoclonal antibodies

    Science.gov (United States)

    1984-01-01

    A collection of 126 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) made against acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) from the electric organs of Torpedo californica or Electrophorus electricus was tested for cross-reactivity with AChRs in cryostat sections of skeletal muscle from Rana pipiens and Xenopus laevis by indirect immunofluorescence. 49 mAbs (39%) cross- reacted with AChRs from Rana, and 25 mAbs (20%) cross-reacted with AChRs from Xenopus. mAbs specific for each of the four subunits of electric organ AChR (alpha, beta, gamma, delta) cross-reacted with AChRs from each amphibian species. mAbs cross-reacting with Xenopus AChRs were, with one exception, a subset of the mAbs cross-reacting with Rana AChRs. The major difference detected between the two species was in binding by mAbs specific for the main immunogenic region (MIR) of the alpha-subunit. Whereas 22 of 33 anti-MIR mAbs tested cross- reacted with Rana AChRs, only one of these mAbs cross-reacted with Xenopus AChRs. Some (32) of the cross-reacting mAbs were tested for binding to AChRs in intact muscle. 21 of these mAbs bound to AChRs only when membranes were made permeable with saponin. Electron microscopy using immunoperoxidase or colloidal gold techniques revealed that these mAbs recognize cytoplasmic determinants and that mAbs that do not require saponin in order to bind AChRs in intact muscle recognize extracellular determinants. These results suggest that AChRs in skeletal muscle of Rana and Xenopus are composed of subunits corresponding to the alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-subunits of AChRs from fish electric organs. The subunit specificity of mAbs whose binding was examined by electron microscopy suggests that parts of each subunit (alpha, beta, gamma, delta) are exposed on the cytoplasmic surface and that, as in AChRs from fish electric organs and mammalian muscle, the MIR on alpha-subunits of Rana AChRs is exposed on the extracellular surface. PMID:6363425

  6. Induced ovulation and egg deposition in the direct developing anuran Eleutherodactylus coqui

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Estrada Alberto R

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract This study investigates ovulation and egg deposition behaviors in the anuran Eleutherodactylus coqui from Puerto Rico in response to stimulation with gonadotropin and gonadotropin releasing hormones. Five hormones were tested by injection over a range of doses, including mammalian LHRH, avian LHRH, fish LHRH, D-Ala6, des-Gly10 ethylamide LHRH and hCG. We report a low level of ovulation and egg deposition in response to all hormones, with the most complete and consistent results from the non-natural D-Ala6, des-Gly10 ethylamide LHRH derivative. To confirm the viability of eggs produced in this manner we performed in vitro fertilization experiments that resulted in the development of normal frogs. Reproductive behaviors in E. coqui are apparently not controlled by a mammalian form of LHRH as reported in other common laboratory anuran species. D-Ala6, des-Gly10 ethylamide LHRH induces ovulation and deposition of mature and fertilizable eggs in E. coqui.

  7. Book review: Amphibians and reptiles in Minnesota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.

    2014-01-01

    The photograph of a young boy poised to capture a wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) on page 3 of Amphibians and Reptiles in Minnesota captures perfectly the sense of awe and wonderment that one encounters throughout John Moriarty and Carol Hall’s new book. This is a spirit that most children possess naturally and that is so readily apparent when one of them comes face-to-face with one of the 53 species of frogs, toads, salamanders, turtles, lizards, or snakes that make Minnesota their home. This is a spirit that the authors have maintained in their hearts throughout almost 30 years of chasing, capturing, and studying amphibians and reptiles (a.k.a., herptiles or herps) in Minnesota. It is also the spirit that you will find reawakening in yourself as you turn from one page to the next and encounter the abundant color photos and descriptive text within this book.

  8. Direct and indirect effects of climate change on amphibian populations

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  9. Anurans as Intermediate and Paratenic Hosts of Helminth Infections in the Rainforest and Derived Savanna Biotopes of Southern Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abigail A. Imasuen

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Anurans from the rainforest (Okomu National Park and derived savanna (Agbede locations in Nigeria were investigated for their role either as intermediate or paratenic hosts of helminth infections. A total of 269 anuran specimens (157 from the Okomu National Park and 112 from Agbede were examined. Metacercariae of a strigeoid trematode, two nematode species, a proteocephalid cestode, and an acanthocephalan were recovered from infected hosts. Except for the strigeoid trematode, which was only recorded in the rainforest, there was no ecological dichotomy in the distribution of the larval parasites recorded. Tree frogs from the rainforest only served as second intermediate hosts for the strigeoid trematode. The two nematode larvae (type I and type II found in the body cavity of the infected host are believed to use them as paratenic hosts. Tree frogs were the predominant intermediate hosts of the proteocephalid cestode larvae in the rainforest, while Ptychadena and Phrynobatrachus spp. served this function in the derived savanna. The occurrence of cystacanths in the anurans from both biotopes confirms their known role as paratenic host for acanthocephalans. Afrixalus dorsalis is a new host record for the ascaridoid nematode while the finding of the strigeoid trematode, the proteocephalid cestode larvae and acanthocephalan cystacanths in the anurans investigated represents new geographical records.

  10. The occurrence of amphibians in bromeliads from a southeastern Brazilian restinga habitat, with special reference to Aparasphenodon brunoi (Anura, Hylidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teixeira, R L; Schineider, J A P; Almeida, G I

    2002-05-01

    Five species of anuran amphibians, all belonging to the family Hylidae, were collected at Praia das Neves, municipality of President Kennedy, southeastern Brazil. The species were represented by four genera: Scinax, Hyla, Aparasphenodon, and Trachycephalus. Four species (A. brunoi, Hyla albomarginata, Scinax altera, and S. cuspidatus) were found during the dry season (August 1999), and two (A. brunoi and Trachycephalus nigromaculatus) in the rainy season (February 2000). Aparasphenodon brunoi was the most abundant species in Praia das Neves. Some reproductive aspects and feeding habits of this hylid were investigated. Aparasphenodon brunoi was found mainly inside the bromeliad Aechmea lingulata, the largest plant analyzed. Fifteen specimens were collected during the dry season (August 1999) (11 males and 4 females). During the rainy season (February 2000), we collected 14 specimens (3 males, 10 females, and 1 juvenile). Sex-ratio was 1:1. Frogs ranged in snout-vent length from 31.2 to 69.3 mm. Females were larger than males. One female had 1,451 fully developed oocytes in her ovaries. The major groups of prey found in the stomachs were: Insecta, Myriapoda, and Arachnida. Blattodea, Orthoptera, Lepidoptera, and Hymenoptera (only ants) were the main food types in frequency, number, and weight. Aparasphenodon brunoi is a threatened species in many habitats of southeastern Brazil. Only natural vegetation protection may guarantee its survival during the immediate future.

  11. The occurrence of amphibians in bromeliads from a Southeastern Brazilian restinga habitat, with special reference to Aparasphenodon brunoi (Anura, Hylidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    TEIXEIRA R. L.

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available Five species of anuran amphibians, all belonging to the family Hylidae, were collected at Praia das Neves, municipality of Presidente Kennedy, southeastern Brazil,. The species were represented by four genera: Scinax, Hyla, Aparasphenodon, and Trachycephalus. Four species (A. brunoi, Hyla albomarginata, Scinax altera, and S. cuspidatus were found during the dry season (August 1999, and two (A. brunoi and Trachycephalus nigromaculatus in the rainy season (February 2000. Aparasphenodon brunoi was the most abundant species in Praia das Neves. Some reproductive aspects and feeding habits of this hylid were investigated. Aparasphenodon brunoi was found mainly inside the bromeliad Aechmea lingulata, the largest plant analyzed. Fifteen specimens were collected during the dry season (August 1999 (11 males and 4 females. During the rainy season (February 2000, we collected 14 specimens (3 males, 10 females, and 1 juvenile. Sex-ratio was 1:1. Frogs ranged in snout-vent length from 31.2 to 69.3 mm. Females were larger than males. One female had 1,451 fully developed oocytes in her ovaries. The major groups of prey found in the stomachs were: Insecta, Myriapoda, and Arachnida. Blattodea, Orthoptera, Lepidoptera, and Hymenoptera (only ants were the main food types in frequency, number, and weight. Aparasphenodon brunoi is a threatened species in many habitats of southeastern Brazil. Only natural vegetation protection may guarantee its survival during the immediate future.

  12. The occurrence of amphibians in bromeliads from a Southeastern Brazilian restinga habitat, with special reference to Aparasphenodon brunoi (Anura, Hylidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. L. TEIXEIRA

    Full Text Available Five species of anuran amphibians, all belonging to the family Hylidae, were collected at Praia das Neves, municipality of Presidente Kennedy, southeastern Brazil,. The species were represented by four genera: Scinax, Hyla, Aparasphenodon, and Trachycephalus. Four species (A. brunoi, Hyla albomarginata, Scinax altera, and S. cuspidatus were found during the dry season (August 1999, and two (A. brunoi and Trachycephalus nigromaculatus in the rainy season (February 2000. Aparasphenodon brunoi was the most abundant species in Praia das Neves. Some reproductive aspects and feeding habits of this hylid were investigated. Aparasphenodon brunoi was found mainly inside the bromeliad Aechmea lingulata, the largest plant analyzed. Fifteen specimens were collected during the dry season (August 1999 (11 males and 4 females. During the rainy season (February 2000, we collected 14 specimens (3 males, 10 females, and 1 juvenile. Sex-ratio was 1:1. Frogs ranged in snout-vent length from 31.2 to 69.3 mm. Females were larger than males. One female had 1,451 fully developed oocytes in her ovaries. The major groups of prey found in the stomachs were: Insecta, Myriapoda, and Arachnida. Blattodea, Orthoptera, Lepidoptera, and Hymenoptera (only ants were the main food types in frequency, number, and weight. Aparasphenodon brunoi is a threatened species in many habitats of southeastern Brazil. Only natural vegetation protection may guarantee its survival during the immediate future.

  13. Global patterns of amphibian phylogenetic diversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fritz, Susanne; Rahbek, Carsten

    2012-01-01

    phylogeny (2792 species). We combined each tree with global species distributions to map four indices of phylogenetic diversity. To investigate congruence between global spatial patterns of amphibian species richness and phylogenetic diversity, we selected Faith’s phylogenetic diversity (PD) index...... successfully colonized these archipelagos. Areas with unusually high phylogenetic diversity were located around biogeographic contact zones in Central America and southern China, and seem to have experienced high immigration or in situ diversification rates, combined with local persistence of old lineages...

  14. Langerhans-like cells in amphibian epidermis.

    OpenAIRE

    Carrillo-Farga, J; Castell, A; Pérez, A; Rondán, A

    1990-01-01

    Langerhans cells have been described in epidermis and other stratified epithelia of mammals. In other vertebrates equivalent cells have not been found. Amphibians show skin graft rejection, so it is possible that these animals have epidermal cells homologous to Langerhans cells. In this work we demonstrate the existence of ATPase-positive dendritic cells in frog epidermis that are similar ultrastructurally to mammalian Langerhans cells, except for the absence of Birbeck granules.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCartney-Melstad, Evan; Shaffer, H Bradley

    2015-10-01

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

  16. Ranavirus outbreaks in amphibian populations of northern Idaho

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, Danelle M.; Goldberg, Caren S.; Sprague, Laura; Waits, Lisette P.; Green, D. Earl; Schuler, Krysten L.; Rosenblum, Erica Bree

    2011-01-01

    Ranavirus outbreaks, caused by pathogens in the genus Ranavirus (Family Iridoviridae), were the largest single cause of reported amphibian mass mortality events in the United States from 1996–2001 (Green et al. 2002). Mortality events associated with ranaviruses have been documented on five continents and throughout the latitudes and elevations where amphibians occur (Gray et al. 2009). However, the threat of ranaviruses to amphibian and reptile populations in specific regions is still largely unknown (Chinchar 2002; Gray et al. 2009).

  17. Amphibians of the Ausoni Mountains (Latium, Central Italy)

    OpenAIRE

    Luigi Corsetti; Antonio Romano

    2007-01-01

    In this study we searched for amphibians in 89 potential breeding sites within the Ausoni Mounts, which are among the less investigated areas of Latium. Sixtynine spawning sites, and eight amphibian species (57.1% of the 14 amphibian species living in Latium region) were found. Reproductive activity was recorded for Salamandrina perspicillata, Triturus carnifex, Lissotriton vulgaris, Lissotriton italicus, Bufo bufo, Hyla intermedia, Rana italica and Pelophylax synklepton hispanica.

  18. Amphibians of the Ausoni Mountains (Latium, Central Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luigi Corsetti

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available In this study we searched for amphibians in 89 potential breeding sites within the Ausoni Mounts, which are among the less investigated areas of Latium. Sixtynine spawning sites, and eight amphibian species (57.1% of the 14 amphibian species living in Latium region were found. Reproductive activity was recorded for Salamandrina perspicillata, Triturus carnifex, Lissotriton vulgaris, Lissotriton italicus, Bufo bufo, Hyla intermedia, Rana italica and Pelophylax synklepton hispanica.

  19. Monitoring amphibians in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dodd, C. Kenneth

    2003-01-01

    Amphibian species have inexplicably declined or disappeared in many regions of the world, and in some instances, serious malformations have been observed. In the United States, amphibian declines frequently have occurred even in protected areas. Causes for the declines and malformations probably are varied and may not even be related. The seemingly sudden declines in widely separated areas, however, suggests a need to monitor amphibian populations as well as identify the causes when declines or malformations are discovered.

  20. Amphibian Population Sensitivity to Environmental and Anthropogenic Impacts on Larval Development and Survival

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anticipating chronic effects of contaminant exposure on amphibian species is complicated both by toxicological and ecological uncertainty. Data for both chemical exposures and amphibian vital rates, including altered growth, are sparse. Developmental plasticity in amphibians fu...

  1. Pesticide Uptake Across the Amphibian Dermis Through Soil and Overspray Exposures

    Science.gov (United States)

    For terrestrial amphibians, accumulation ofpesticides through dermal contact is a primary route ofexposure in agricultural landscapes and may be contributingto widespread amphibian declines. To show pesticidetransfer across the amphibian dermis at permitted labelapplication rates...

  2. Pesticide Detection in Rainwater, Stemflow, and Amphibians from Agricultural Spray Drift in Southern Georgia, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amphibians are important sentinel environmental species since they integrate stressors from both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Pesticides are well established as a significant stressor for amphibians. In order to study spray-drift contributions to amphibian habitats, pestic...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-12-01

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

  4. Book review: The ecology and behavior of amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walls, Susan C.

    2008-01-01

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

  5. Weather, hydroregime, and breeding effort influence juvenile recruitment of anurans: implications for climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    C. H. Greenberg; S. J. Zarnoch; J. D. Austin

    2017-01-01

    Amphibians that primarily breed in ephemeral wetlands are especially vulnerable to climate change because they rely on rainfall or temperature to initiate breeding and create suitable hydroregimes (water duration, timing, frequency, depth) for reproductive success. Hydroregime effects on reproductive success are likely to differ among species because of differences in...

  6. Comparison of TALEN scaffolds in Xenopus tropicalis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keisuke Nakajima

    2013-11-01

    Transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs are facile and potent tools used to modify a gene of interest for targeted gene knockout. TALENs consist of an N-terminal domain, a DNA-binding domain, and a C-terminal domain, which are derived from a transcription activator-like effector, and the non-specific nuclease domain of FokI. Using Xenopus tropicalis (X. tropicalis, we compared the toxicities and somatic mutation activities of four TALEN architectures in a side-by-side manner: a basic TALEN, a scaffold with the same truncated N- and C-terminal domains as GoldyTALEN, a scaffold with the truncated N- and C-terminal domains and an obligate heterodimeric nuclease domain, and a scaffold with the truncated N- and C-terminal domains and an obligate heterodimeric Sharkey nuclease domain. The strongest phenotype and targeted somatic gene mutation were induced by the injection of TALEN mRNAs containing the truncated N- and C-terminal domains and an obligate heterodimeric nuclease domain. The obligate heterodimeric TALENs exhibited reduced toxicity compared to the homodimeric TALENs, and the homodimeric GoldyTALEN-type scaffold showed both a high activity of somatic gene modification and high toxicity. The Sharkey mutation in the heterodimeric nuclease domain reduced the TALEN-mediated somatic mutagenesis.

  7. Comparison of TALEN scaffolds in Xenopus tropicalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakajima, Keisuke; Yaoita, Yoshio

    2013-12-15

    Transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) are facile and potent tools used to modify a gene of interest for targeted gene knockout. TALENs consist of an N-terminal domain, a DNA-binding domain, and a C-terminal domain, which are derived from a transcription activator-like effector, and the non-specific nuclease domain of FokI. Using Xenopus tropicalis (X. tropicalis), we compared the toxicities and somatic mutation activities of four TALEN architectures in a side-by-side manner: a basic TALEN, a scaffold with the same truncated N- and C-terminal domains as GoldyTALEN, a scaffold with the truncated N- and C-terminal domains and an obligate heterodimeric nuclease domain, and a scaffold with the truncated N- and C-terminal domains and an obligate heterodimeric Sharkey nuclease domain. The strongest phenotype and targeted somatic gene mutation were induced by the injection of TALEN mRNAs containing the truncated N- and C-terminal domains and an obligate heterodimeric nuclease domain. The obligate heterodimeric TALENs exhibited reduced toxicity compared to the homodimeric TALENs, and the homodimeric GoldyTALEN-type scaffold showed both a high activity of somatic gene modification and high toxicity. The Sharkey mutation in the heterodimeric nuclease domain reduced the TALEN-mediated somatic mutagenesis.

  8. Aeromonas hydrophila infection in Xenopus laevis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubbard, G B

    1981-06-01

    Aeromonas hydrophila caused severe disease in a group of Xenopus laevis within 3 weeks of receipt. The primary clinical signs were marked pallor of the skin, petechiation, lethargy, anorexia, and edema. The duration of the outbreak was approximately 45 days during which time 21 frogs became sick and 18 died, despite tetracycline therapy. Pale skin, subcutaneous edema and hemorrhages, ascites, and pale livers were seen at necropsy. Aeromonas hydrophila was isolated from skin, and the same organism was isolated in pure culture from skeletal muscle. Tetracycline treatment via stomach tube was effective if given early in the course of the disease. The outbreak was controlled by removing sick frogs, feeding twice per week, changing the water several hours after feeding, and maintaining the frogs where the ambient temperature was 22 degrees C or lower. The pallor of the skin and general malaise were produced experimentally by crowding normal frogs, changing the water infrequently, and increasing ambient temperatures. Mild disease was reproduced experimentally by subcutaneous injection of Aeromonas hydrophila into apparently healthy frogs.

  9. Organisation of Xenopus oocyte and egg cortices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, P; Pérez-Mongiovi, D; Houliston, E

    1999-03-15

    The division of the Xenopus oocyte cortex into structurally and functionally distinct "animal" and "vegetal" regions during oogenesis provides the basis of the organisation of the early embryo. The vegetal region of the cortex accumulates specific maternal mRNAs that specify the development of the endoderm and mesoderm, as well as functionally-defined "determinants" of dorso-anterior development, and recognisable "germ plasm" determinants that segregate into primary germ cells. These localised elements on the vegetal cortex underlie both the primary animal-vegetal polarity of the egg and the organisation of the developing embryo. The animal cortex meanwhile becomes specialised for the events associated with fertilisation: sperm entry, calcium release into the cytoplasm, cortical granule exocytosis, and polarised cortical contraction. Cortical and subcortical reorganisations associated with meiotic maturation, fertilisation, cortical rotation, and the first mitotic cleavage divisions redistribute the vegetal cortical determinants, contributing to the specification of dorso-anterior axis and segregation of the germ line. In this article we consider what is known about the changing organisation of the oocyte and egg cortex in relation to the mechanisms of determinant localisation, anchorage, and redistribution, and show novel ultrastructural views of cortices isolated at different stages and processed by the rapid-freeze deep-etch method. Cortical organisation involves interactions between the different cytoskeletal filament systems and internal membranes. Associated proteins and cytoplasmic signals probably modulate these interactions in stage-specific ways, leaving much to be understood.

  10. Development of Thyroid Gland Specific Markers of Hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid Axis Disruption in the Amphibian Model Species Xenopus laevis

    Science.gov (United States)

    The focus of the research presented here is the development of an in vitro thyroid gland culture system to test the effect of chemicals directly on the gland without influence of other parts of the HPT axis.

  11. Conceptual Design for the Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battaglin, W. A.; Langtimm, C. A.; Adams, M. J.; Gallant, A. L.; James, D. L.

    2001-12-01

    In 2000, the President of the United States (US) and Congress directed Department of Interior (DOI) agencies to develop a program for monitoring trends in amphibian populations on DOI lands and to conduct research into causes of declines. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) was given lead responsibility for planning and implementing the Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) in cooperation with the National Park Service (NPS), Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Land Management. The program objectives are to (1) establish a network for monitoring the status and distribution of amphibian species on DOI lands; (2) identify and monitor environmental conditions known to affect amphibian populations; (3) conduct research on causes of amphibian population change and malformations; and (4) provide information to resource managers, policy makers, and the public in support of amphibian conservation. The ARMI program will integrate research efforts of USGS, other Federal, and non-federal herpetologists, hydrologists, and geographers across the Nation. ARMI will conduct a small number (~20) of intensive research efforts (for example, studies linking amphibian population changes to hydrologic conditions) and a larger number (~50) of more generalized inventory and monitoring studies encompassing broader areas such as NPS units. ARMI will coordinate with and try to augment other amphibian inventory studies such as the National Amphibian Atlas and the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program. ARMI will develop and test protocols for the standardized collection of amphibian data and provide a centrally managed database designed to simplify data entry, retrieval, and analysis. ARMI pilot projects are underway at locations across the US.

  12. Global rates of habitat loss and implications for amphibian conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallant, A.L.; Klaver, R.W.; Casper, G.S.; Lannoo, M.J.

    2007-01-01

    A large number of factors are known to affect amphibian population viability, but most authors agree that the principal causes of amphibian declines are habitat loss, alteration, and fragmentation. We provide a global assessment of land use dynamics in the context of amphibian distributions. We accomplished this by compiling global maps of amphibian species richness and recent rates of change in land cover, land use, and human population growth. The amphibian map was developed using a combination of published literature and digital databases. We used an ecoregion framework to help interpret species distributions across environmental, rather than political, boundaries. We mapped rates of land cover and use change with statistics from the World Resources Institute, refined with a global digital dataset on land cover derived from satellite data. Temporal maps of human population were developed from the World Resources Institute database and other published sources. Our resultant map of amphibian species richness illustrates that amphibians are distributed in an uneven pattern around the globe, preferring terrestrial and freshwater habitats in ecoregions that are warm and moist. Spatiotemporal patterns of human population show that, prior to the 20th century, population growth and spread was slower, most extensive in the temperate ecoregions, and largely exclusive of major regions of high amphibian richness. Since the beginning of the 20th century, human population growth has been exponential and has occurred largely in the subtropical and tropical ecoregions favored by amphibians. Population growth has been accompanied by broad-scale changes in land cover and land use, typically in support of agriculture. We merged information on land cover, land use, and human population growth to generate a composite map showing the rates at which humans have been changing the world. When compared with the map of amphibian species richness, we found that many of the regions of the

  13. The role of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in the regulation of cell growth and gene expression in melanotrope cells of Xenopus laevis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenks, Bruce G; Kuribara, Miyuki; Kidane, Adhanet H; Kramer, Bianca M R; Roubos, Eric W; Scheenen, Wim J J M

    2012-07-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is, despite its name, also found outside the central nervous system (CNS), but the functional significance of this observation is largely unknown. This review concerns the expression of BDNF in the pituitary gland. While the presence of the neurotrophin in the mammalian pituitary gland is well documented its functional significance remains obscure. Studies on the pars intermedia of the pituitary of the amphibian Xenopus laevis have shown that BDNF is produced by the neuroendocrine melanotrope cells, its expression is physiologically regulated, and the melanotrope cells themselves express receptors for the neurotrophin. The neurotrophin has been shown to act as an autocrine factor on the melanotrope to promote cell growth and regulate gene expression. In doing so BDNF supports the physiological function of the cell to produce and release α-melanophore-stimulating hormone for the purpose of adjusting the animal's skin color to that of its background.

  14. Lymphoid tumors of Xenopus laevis with different capacities for growth in larvae and adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert, J; Guiet, C; Du Pasquier, L

    1994-01-01

    Three new lymphoid tumors offering an assortment of variants in terms of MHC class I expressions, MHC class II expression, and Ig gene transcription have been discovered in the amphibian Xenopus. One was developed in an individual of the isogenic LG15 clone (LG15/0), one in a frog of the LG15/40 clone (derived from a small egg recombinant of LG15), and one (ff-2) in a male ff sib of the individual in which MAR1, the first lymphoid tumor in Xenopus was found 2 years ago. These tumors developed primarily as thymus outgrowths and were transplantable in histocompatible tadpoles but not in nonhistocompatible hosts. Whereas LG15/0 and LG15/40 tumor cells also grow in adult LG15 frogs, the ff-2 tumor, like the MAR1 cell line, is rejected by adult ff animals. Using flow cytometry with fluorescence-labeled antibodies and immunoprecipitation analysis, we could demonstrate that, like MAR1, these three new tumors express on their cell surface lymphopoietic markers recognized by mAbs F1F6 and RC47, as well as T-cell lineage markers recognized by mAbs AM22 (CD8-like) and X21.2, but not by immunologobulin (Ig) nor MHC class II molecules. Another lymphocyte-specific marker AM15 is expressed by 15/0 and 15/40 but not ff-2 tumor cells. The ff-2 tumor cell expresses MHC class I molecule in association with beta 2-microglobulin on the surface, 15/40 cells contain cytoplasmic class I alpha chain that is barely detected at the cell surface by fluocytometry, and 15/0 cells do not synthesize class I alpha chain at all. The three new tumors all produce large amounts of IgM mRNA of two different sizes but no Ig protein on the membrane nor in the cytoplasm. All tumor cell types synthesize large amount of Myc mRNA and MHC class I-like transcripts considered to be non classical.

  15. Acute toxicity and sublethal effects of the mixture glyphosate (Roundup Active) and Cosmo-Flux 411F to anuran embryos and tadpoles of four Colombian species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henao Muñoz, Liliana Marcela; Montes Rojas, Claudia Marsela; Bernal Bautista, Manuel Hernando

    2015-03-01

    Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the world with application in agriculture, forestry, industrial weed control, garden and aquatic environments. However, its use is highly controversial for the possible impact on not-target organisms, such as amphibians, which are vanishing at an alarming and rapid rate. Due to the high solubility in water and ionic nature, the glyphosate requires of surfactants to increase activity. In addition, for the control of coca (Erythroxylum coca) and agricultural weeds in Colombia, formulated glyphosate is mixed and sprayed with the adjuvant Cosmo-Flux 411F to increase the penetration and activity of the herbicide. This study evaluates the acute toxic and sublethal effects (embryonic development, tadpole body size, tadpole swimming performance) of the mixture of the formulated glyphosate Roundup Active and Cosmo-Flux 411F to anuran embryos and tadpoles of four Colombian species under 96h laboratory standard tests and microcosms, which are more similar to field conditions as they include soil, sand and macrophytes. In the laboratory, embryos and tadpoles of Engystomops pustulosus were the most tolerant (LC50 = 3904 microg a.e./L; LC50=2 799 pg a.e./L, respectively), while embryos and tadpoles of Hypsiboas crepitans (LC50=2 203 microg a.e./L; LC50=1424 microgg a.e./L, respectively) were the most sensitive. R. humboldti and R. marina presented an intermediate toxicity. Embryos were significantly more tolerant to the mixture than tadpoles, which could be likely attributed to the exclusion of chemicals by the embryonic membranes and the lack of organs, such as gills, which are sensitive to surfactants. Sublethal effects were observed for the tadpole body size, but not for the embryonic development and tadpole swimming performance. In microcosms, no toxicity (LC50 could not be estimated), or sublethal responses were observed at concentrations up to fourfold (14.76 kg glyphosate a.e./ha) the highest field application rate of 3

  16. The heterochronic gene Lin28 regulates amphibian metamorphosis through disturbance of thyroid hormone function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faunes, Fernando; Gundermann, Daniel G; Muñoz, Rosana; Bruno, Renzo; Larraín, Juan

    2017-05-15

    Metamorphosis is a classic example of developmental transition, which involves important morphological and physiological changes that prepare the organism for the adult life. It has been very well established that amphibian metamorphosis is mainly controlled by Thyroid Hormone (TH). Here, we show that the heterochronic gene Lin28 is downregulated during Xenopus laevis metamorphosis. Lin28 overexpression before activation of TH signaling delays metamorphosis and inhibits the expression of TH target genes. The delay in metamorphosis is rescued by incubation with exogenous TH, indicating that Lin28 works upstream or parallel to TH. High-throughput analyses performed before any delay on metamorphosis or change in TH signaling showed that overexpression of Lin28 reduces transcript levels of several hormones secreted by the pituitary, including the Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH), and regulates the expression of proteins involved in TH transport, metabolism and signaling, showing that Lin28 disrupts TH function at different levels. Our data demonstrates that the role of Lin28 in controlling developmental transitions is evolutionary conserved and establishes a functional interaction between Lin28 and thyroid hormone function introducing a new regulatory step in perinatal development with implications for our understanding of endocrine disorders. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Mesodermal origin of median fin mesenchyme and tail muscle in amphibian larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taniguchi, Yuka; Kurth, Thomas; Medeiros, Daniel Meulemans; Tazaki, Akira; Ramm, Robert; Epperlein, Hans-Henning

    2015-01-01

    Mesenchyme is an embryonic precursor tissue that generates a range of structures in vertebrates including cartilage, bone, muscle, kidney, and the erythropoietic system. Mesenchyme originates from both mesoderm and the neural crest, an ectodermal cell population, via an epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). Because ectodermal and mesodermal mesenchyme can form in close proximity and give rise to similar derivatives, the embryonic origin of many mesenchyme-derived tissues is still unclear. Recent work using genetic lineage tracing methods have upended classical ideas about the contributions of mesodermal mesenchyme and neural crest to particular structures. Using similar strategies in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), and the South African clawed toad (Xenopus laevis), we traced the origins of fin mesenchyme and tail muscle in amphibians. Here we present evidence that fin mesenchyme and striated tail muscle in both animals are derived solely from mesoderm and not from neural crest. In the context of recent work in zebrafish, our experiments suggest that trunk neural crest cells in the last common ancestor of tetrapods and ray-finned fish lacked the ability to form ectomesenchyme and its derivatives.

  18. Protozoan parasites of four species of wild anurans from a local zoo in Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohammad, K N; Badrul, M M; Mohamad, N; Zainal-Abidin, A H

    2013-12-01

    The parasitic protozoan fauna in sixty-six anurans comprising of Duttaphrynus melanostictus, Phrynoidis juxtaspera, Hylarana erythraea and Polypedates leucomystax collected from Zoo Negara Malaysia was investigated. The distribution and prevalence rate of parasitic species in the digestive tract and blood were examined. Seven species of intestinal protozoa (Opalina ranarum, Cepedea dimidiata, Nycthetorus cordiformis, Entamoeba ranarum, Iodamoeba butschlii, Endamoeba blattae, and Tritrichomonas sp.) and two species of blood protozoa (Lankesterella sp. and Trypanosoma sp.) were recorded. Opalina ranarum was the most common protozoan found in the rectum and intestine (prevalence rate: 34.8%) infecting all host species, with P. juxtaspera heavily infected with the parasite, whereas Tritrichomonas sp. was the least prevalent intestinal species infecting only D. melanostictus. Both Lankesterella sp. and Trypanosoma sp. were found in the blood of H. erythraea.

  19. In vitro fertilization and artificial activation of eggs of the direct-developing anuran Eleutherodactylus coqui

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Toro Esteban

    2004-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Although much is known about the reproductive biology of pond-breeding frogs, there is comparatively little information about terrestrial-breeding anurans, a highly successful and diverse group. This study investigates the activation and in vitro fertilization of eggs of the Puerto Rican coqui frog obtained by hormonally induced ovulation. We report that spontaneous activation occurs in 34% of eggs, probably in response to mechanical stress during oviposition. Artificial activation, as evidenced by the slow block to polyspermy and the onset of zygote division, was elicited both by mechanical stimulation and calcium ionophore exposure in 64% and 83% of the cases, respectively. Finally, one in vitro fertilization protocol showed a 27% success rate, despite the fact that about one third of all unfertilized eggs obtained by hormone injection auto-activate. We expect these findings to aid in the conservation effort of Eleutherodactylus frogs, the largest vertebrate genus.

  20. In vitro fertilization and artificial activation of eggs of the direct-developing anuran Eleutherodactylus coqui

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toro, Esteban; Michael, Scott F

    2004-01-01

    Although much is known about the reproductive biology of pond-breeding frogs, there is comparatively little information about terrestrial-breeding anurans, a highly successful and diverse group. This study investigates the activation and in vitro fertilization of eggs of the Puerto Rican coqui frog obtained by hormonally induced ovulation. We report that spontaneous activation occurs in 34% of eggs, probably in response to mechanical stress during oviposition. Artificial activation, as evidenced by the slow block to polyspermy and the onset of zygote division, was elicited both by mechanical stimulation and calcium ionophore exposure in 64% and 83% of the cases, respectively. Finally, one in vitro fertilization protocol showed a 27% success rate, despite the fact that about one third of all unfertilized eggs obtained by hormone injection auto-activate. We expect these findings to aid in the conservation effort of Eleutherodactylus frogs, the largest vertebrate genus. PMID:15296510

  1. Diet and resource partitioning among anurans in irrigated rice fields in Pantanal, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Piatti

    Full Text Available Artificial ponds or irrigated systems scattered throughout farmlands can offer important habitats for anurans and can be interesting sites for research on species resources use in a changing landscape. This study describes the diet and resource partitioning among anurans inhabiting irrigated rice fields in the Pantanal region. Twenty categories of prey were found in the stomachs of Leptodactylus chaquensis, L. elenae, L. podicipinus and Rhinella bergi, the most frequent being Coleoptera, Hymenoptera, larvae of Hexapoda, Hemiptera, Diptera and Orthoptera. The great differences found in the diet of these species in rice fields compared to other locations, according to available records in the literature, was the increased importance of Hemipitera and Orthoptera and the decrease in importance of Hymenoptera in the diet of leptodactylids. These differences might be attributed to changes in the availability of resources in response to habitat modification. Although diet composition was very similar among species, niche overlap was larger than expected by chance, suggesting that the competition for food resources is not, or has not been, a significant force in determining the structure of this frog community. Two non-exclusive hypotheses could be considered as a justification for this result: 1 the high niche overlap could result from resource availability, which is sufficient to satisfy all species without any strong competition; 2 or the high values of niche overlap could be a selective force driving species to compete, but there has not been enough time to express a significant divergence in the species diet because the study area is characterised as a dynamic habitat influenced by frequent and cyclical changes.

  2. Evolutionary implications of the distribution and variation of the skeletal muscles of the anuran lymphatic system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drewes, Robert C; Hillman, Stanley S; Hedrick, Michael S; Withers, Philip C

    2013-01-01

    Lymphatic return to the circulation in anurans is dependent upon the interaction of a number of skeletal muscles and lung deflation. We define character states and describe variation of these putative lymphatic skeletal muscles: the M. cutaneus pectoris (CP), M. cutaneus dorsi (CD), M. piriformis (P), M. sphincter ani cloacalis (SAC), and the complex of the M. gracilis minor/M. abdominal crenator (GM/AC). We include examination of over 400 specimens of 377 species belonging to 40 of the 42 currently recognized anuran families. Some muscles show limited variation (P) or are clearly linked to phylogeny (CP; CD) and thus have limited value in the determination of form and function. However, the GM/AC and SAC show a high degree of structural variation that appears in taxa across the phylogenetic spectrum. This allows us to make phylogenetically independent determinations of form and function. We define an ancestral state of the GM and conclude that evolution of the GM/AC and SAC has progressed in two directions from this ancestral state: toward either elaboration or reduction. Where present, the character states of both of these muscle groups were observed in all species examined and the number of states correlated within each family as well. The degree of development of the GM/AC and SAC compliance pump system is strongly correlated with previously determined lymph flux rates in a three species test. Our data suggest there may be a relationship between greater elaboration of the GM/AC and SAC system and terrestriality among the Anura.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Clotrimazole exposure modulates aromatase activity in gonads and brain during gonadal differentiation in Xenopus tropicalis frogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gyllenhammar, Irina; Eriksson, Hanna; Söderqvist, Anneli; Lindberg, Richard H; Fick, Jerker; Berg, Cecilia

    2009-01-31

    Clotrimazole is a pharmaceutical used for treatment of fungal infections. It has been found in surface waters outside municipal wastewater treatment plants but data are scarce regarding its effects on aquatic organisms. It is known that clotrimazole and other imidazole fungicides are inhibitors of the enzyme aromatase (CYP 19). Aromatase converts androgens into estrogens and is suggested to be involved in the sex differentiation in amphibians. The aim of the present study was to evaluate effects of larval exposure to clotrimazole on aromatase activity in brain and gonads, and on gonadal differentiation in Xenopus tropicalis frogs. Another purpose was to determine if larval exposure to ethynylestradiol (EE(2)), at a concentration known to cause male-to-female sex reversal, affects aromatase activity in brain and gonads during gonadal differentiation. Tadpoles were exposed from shortly after hatching (Nieuwkoop and Faber developmental stages 47-48) until complete metamorphosis (NF stage 66) to 6, 41, and 375 nM clotrimazole or 100 nM (nominal) EE(2). Aromatase activity was measured in the brain and gonad/kidney complex of tadpoles during gonadal differentiation (NF stage 56) and, in the clotrimazole experiment, also at metamorphosis. In clotrimazole-exposed tadpoles gonadal aromatase activity increased over exposure time in the 41 and 375 nM groups but did not differ significantly from the control group. Gonadal aromatase activity was increased in both sexes exposed to 41 and 375 nM clotrimazole at metamorphosis. Brain aromatase activity was decreased in tadpoles (NF stage 56) exposed to 375 nM clotrimazole, but at metamorphosis no differences were seen between groups or between sexes. No effects of clotrimazole on sex ratio or gonadal histology were noted at completed metamorphosis. EE(2)-exposed tadpoles had a slightly decreased gonadal aromatase activity, though not significantly different from control group, and there was no effect of EE(2) on brain aromatase

  5. Amphibians and Reptiles from Paramakatoi and Kato, Guyana

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacCulloch, Ross D.; Reynolds, Robert P.

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Climate change and amphibian diversity patterns in Mexico

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ilg, Christiane; Oertli, Beat

    2017-04-01

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

  8. AMPHIBIAN DECLINES AND ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE IN THE EASTERN "MOJAVE DESERT"

    Science.gov (United States)

    A number of amphibian species historically inhabited sparsely distributed wetlands in the Mojave Desert, USA, habitats that have been dramatically altered or eliminated as a result of human activities. The population status and distribution of amphibians were investigated in a 20...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    R. Bruce Bury; Paul Stephen. Corn

    1991-01-01

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

  11. I-SceI meganuclease-mediated transgenesis in Xenopus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Fong Cheng; Chen, Yonglong; Loeber, Jana; Henningfeld, Kristine; Pieler, Tomas

    2006-01-01

    Several experimental approaches have been described to generate transgenic frogs. Here, we report on the application of a novel method in Xenopus, making use of I-SceI meganuclease. The characteristic feature of this endonuclease is that it has an extended recognition site of 18 bp, which is expected to exist only once in 7 x 10(10) bp of random DNA sequences. Various reporter constructs flanked by two I-SceI recognition sites were injected together with the I-SceI meganuclease into one-cell stage Xenopus embryos. We observed an overall transgenesis frequency of 10% or more under optimized condition. The injected genes were integrated into the genome and transmitted to F1 offspring. Southern blot analysis showed that between one and eight copies of the transgene were integrated. Meganuclease-aided transgenesis, thus, provides a simple and highly efficient tool for transgenesis in Xenopus.

  12. Xenopus: An Emerging Model for Studying Congenital Heart Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaltenbrun, Erin; Tandon, Panna; Amin, Nirav M.; Waldron, Lauren; Showell, Chris; Conlon, Frank L.

    2011-01-01

    Congenital heart defects affect nearly 1% of all newborns and are a significant cause of infant death. Clinical studies have identified a number of congenital heart syndromes associated with mutations in genes that are involved in the complex process of cardiogenesis. The African clawed frog, Xenopus, has been instrumental in studies of vertebrate heart development and provides a valuable tool to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying human congenital heart diseases. In this review, we discuss the methodologies that make Xenopus an ideal model system to investigate heart development and disease. We also outline congenital heart conditions linked to cardiac genes that have been well-studied in Xenopus and describe some emerging technologies that will further aid in the study of these complex syndromes. PMID:21538812

  13. Altered development of Xenopus embryos in a hypogeomagnetic field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mo, Wei-Chuan; Liu, Ying; Cooper, Helen M; He, Rong-Qiao

    2012-04-01

    The hypogeomagnetic field (HGMF; magnetic fields HGMF exposure on living systems remains unclear. In this article, we examine the biological effects of HGMF on the embryonic development of Xenopus laevis (African clawed frog). A decrease in horizontal third cleavage furrows and abnormal morphogenesis were observed in Xenopus embryos growing in the HGMF. HGMF exposure at the two-cell stage, but no later than the four-cell stage, is enough to alter the third cleavage geometry pattern. Immunofluorescent staining for α-tubulin showed reorientation of the spindle of four-cell stage blastomeres. These results indicate that a brief (2-h) exposure to HGMF is sufficient to interfere with the development of Xenopus embryos at cleavage stages. Also, the mitotic spindle could be an early sensor to the deprivation of the geomagnetic field, which provides a clue to the molecular mechanism underlying the morphological and other changes observed in the developing and/or developed embryos.

  14. Database of queryable gene expression patterns for Xenopus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilchrist, Michael J; Christensen, Mikkel B; Bronchain, Odile; Brunet, Frédéric; Chesneau, Albert; Fenger, Ursula; Geach, Timothy J; Ironfield, Holly V; Kaya, Ferdinand; Kricha, Sadia; Lea, Robert; Massé, Karine; Néant, Isabelle; Paillard, Elodie; Parain, Karine; Perron, Muriel; Sinzelle, Ludivine; Souopgui, Jacob; Thuret, Raphaël; Ymlahi-Ouazzani, Qods; Pollet, Nicolas

    2009-06-01

    The precise localization of gene expression within the developing embryo, and how it changes over time, is one of the most important sources of information for elucidating gene function. As a searchable resource, this information has up until now been largely inaccessible to the Xenopus community. Here, we present a new database of Xenopus gene expression patterns, queryable by specific location or region in the embryo. Pattern matching can be driven either from an existing in situ image, or from a user-defined pattern based on development stage schematic diagrams. The data are derived from the work of a group of 21 Xenopus researchers over a period of 4 days. We used a novel, rapid manual annotation tool, XenMARK, which exploits the ability of the human brain to make the necessary distortions in transferring data from the in situ images to the standard schematic geometry. Developmental Dynamics 238:1379-1388, 2009. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  15. Quantification of orofacial phenotypes in Xenopus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Allyson E; Dickinson, Amanda J

    2014-11-06

    Xenopus has become an important tool for dissecting the mechanisms governing craniofacial development and defects. A method to quantify orofacial development will allow for more rigorous analysis of orofacial phenotypes upon abrogation with substances that can genetically or molecularly manipulate gene expression or protein function. Using two dimensional images of the embryonic heads, traditional size dimensions-such as orofacial width, height and area- are measured. In addition, a roundness measure of the embryonic mouth opening is used to describe the shape of the mouth. Geometric morphometrics of these two dimensional images is also performed to provide a more sophisticated view of changes in the shape of the orofacial region. Landmarks are assigned to specific points in the orofacial region and coordinates are created. A principle component analysis is used to reduce landmark coordinates to principle components that then discriminate the treatment groups. These results are displayed as a scatter plot in which individuals with similar orofacial shapes cluster together. It is also useful to perform a discriminant function analysis, which statistically compares the positions of the landmarks between two treatment groups. This analysis is displayed on a transformation grid where changes in landmark position are viewed as vectors. A grid is superimposed on these vectors so that a warping pattern is displayed to show where significant landmark positions have changed. Shape changes in the discriminant function analysis are based on a statistical measure, and therefore can be evaluated by a p-value. This analysis is simple and accessible, requiring only a stereoscope and freeware software, and thus will be a valuable research and teaching resource.

  16. Ion transport by the amphibian primary ureter

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Møbjerg, Nadja

    2008-01-01

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

  17. Ecology: global warming and amphibian losses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alford, Ross A; Bradfield, Kay S; Richards, Stephen J

    2007-05-31

    Is global warming contributing to amphibian declines and extinctions by promoting outbreaks of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis? Analysing patterns from the American tropics, Pounds et al. envisage a process in which a single warm year triggers die-offs in a particular area (for instance, 1987 in the case of Monteverde, Costa Rica). However, we show here that populations of two frog species in the Australian tropics experienced increasing developmental instability, which is evidence of stress, at least two years before they showed chytrid-related declines. Because the working model of Pounds et al. is incomplete, their test of the climate-linked epidemic hypothesis could be inconclusive.

  18. Late Cretaceous vicariance in Gondwanan amphibians.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ines Van Bocxlaer

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

  19. Langerhans-like cells in amphibian epidermis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrillo-Farga, J; Castell, A; Pérez, A; Rondán, A

    1990-01-01

    Langerhans cells have been described in epidermis and other stratified epithelia of mammals. In other vertebrates equivalent cells have not been found. Amphibians show skin graft rejection, so it is possible that these animals have epidermal cells homologous to Langerhans cells. In this work we demonstrate the existence of ATPase-positive dendritic cells in frog epidermis that are similar ultrastructurally to mammalian Langerhans cells, except for the absence of Birbeck granules. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 6 Fig. 7 Fig. 8 PMID:2148747

  20. Partners in amphibian and reptile conservation 2013 annual report

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Captive breeding, reintroduction, and the conservation of amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffiths, Richard A; Pavajeau, Lissette

    2008-08-01

    The global amphibian crisis has resulted in renewed interest in captive breeding as a conservation tool for amphibians. Although captive breeding and reintroduction are controversial management actions, amphibians possess a number of attributes that make them potentially good models for such programs. We reviewed the extent and effectiveness of captive breeding and reintroduction programs for amphibians through an analysis of data from the Global Amphibian Assessment and other sources. Most captive breeding and reintroduction programs for amphibians have focused on threatened species from industrialized countries with relatively low amphibian diversity. Out of 110 species in such programs, 52 were in programs with no plans for reintroduction that had conservation research or conservation education as their main purpose. A further 39 species were in programs that entailed captive breeding and reintroduction or combined captive breeding with relocations of wild animals. Nineteen species were in programs with relocations of wild animals only. Eighteen out of 58 reintroduced species have subsequently bred successfully in the wild, and 13 of these species have established self-sustaining populations. As with threatened amphibians generally, amphibians in captive breeding or reintroduction programs face multiple threats, with habitat loss being the most important. Nevertheless, only 18 out of 58 reintroduced species faced threats that are all potentially reversible. When selecting species for captive programs, dilemmas may emerge between choosing species that have a good chance of surviving after reintroduction because their threats are reversible and those that are doomed to extinction in the wild as a result of irreversible threats. Captive breeding and reintroduction programs for amphibians require long-term commitments to ensure success, and different management strategies may be needed for species earmarked for reintroduction and species used for conservation

  2. Developmental alterations and osmoregulatory physiology of a larval anuran under osmotic stress

    OpenAIRE

    2004-01-01

    Water salinity represents an environmental stress for many species. Amphibians are particularly sensitive because they are generally poor osmoregulators, and most species are completely absent from brackish and saline environments. We experimentally examined the effect of different salinity levels on larvae of the toad Bufo calamita L., a species that occupies freshwater ponds but can also breed in brackish ponds. Two independent experiments are reported here. In both experiments, tadpoles un...

  3. Effect of atrazine on metamorphosis and sexual differentiation in Xenopus laevis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oka, Tomohiro; Tooi, Osamu; Mitsui, Naoko; Miyahara, Maki; Ohnishi, Yuta; Takase, Minoru; Kashiwagi, Akihiko; Shinkai, Tadashi; Santo, Noriaki; Iguchi, Taisen

    2008-05-30

    There is a growing international concern that commonly used environmental contaminants have the potential to disrupt the development and functioning of the reproductive system in amphibians. One such chemical of interests is the herbicide atrazine. Effects of atrazine on sex differentiation were studied using wild-type Xenopus laevis tadpoles and all-ZZ male cohorts of X. laevis tadpoles, produced by mating wild-type ZZ male to sex-reversed ZZ male (female phenotype). Stage 49 tadpoles were exposed to 0.1-100 ppb atrazine or 0.27 ppb (1 nM) 17beta-estradiol (E(2)) until all larvae completed metamorphosis (stage 66). Metamorphosis, gonadal morphology and histology, CYP19 (P450 aromatase) mRNA induction, and hepatic vitellogenin (VTG) induction were investigated. Effects of atrazine on VTG-induction were also assessed in vitro in primary-cultured X. laevis hepatocytes. Atrazine had no effect on metamorphosis of developing wild-type or all-male X. laevis larvae. Statistical increase in female ratios was observed in 10 and 100 ppb atrazine groups in comparison with control group. While no hermaphroditic froglet was observed in all atrazine groups. In ZZ males, sex reversal was induced by 0.27 ppb E(2), but not by atrazine at concentrations of 0.1 and 1.0 ppb. In addition, neither P450 aromatase mRNA in the gonad nor hepatic VTG were induced by atrazine. Furthermore, VTG was not induced by 1000 ppb atrazine in primary-cultured hepatocytes. Our results indicate that female ratios in developing X. laevis tadpoles were increased by 10 and 100 ppb atrazine under the present experimental conditions. While the other endpoints showed no effect in the range of 0.1-100 ppb atrazine. These results suggest that effect of atrazine on sexual differentiation was not caused by estrogenic action and has no induction ability of P450 aromatase gene in gonad.

  4. Reproductive toxicity in Xenopus tropicalis after developmental exposure to environmental concentrations of ethynylestradiol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gyllenhammar, Irina; Holm, Lena; Eklund, Rosita; Berg, Cecilia

    2009-01-31

    Reproductive disorders in wildlife and humans have been linked to developmental exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals. In frog tadpoles, environmental concentrations of ethynylestradiol (EE(2)) disrupt gonadal differentiation which results in female-biased sex ratios at metamorphosis indicating sex-reversal of genotypic males. It is not known if developmental exposure to estrogens results in reduced reproductive success in amphibians. The objective of this work was to investigate if exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of EE(2) during sex differentiation impairs reproductive organ development, fertility, and sexual behavior in adult frogs. A specific aim was to evaluate if testicular structure and function was affected in males that were not sex-reversed. Xenopus tropicalis tadpoles were exposed until metamorphosis to 6, 60, and 600 pM EE(2). Eight months after metamorphosis, reproductive organ morphology and fertility were evaluated. Larval EE(2)-exposure caused an increased proportion of phenotypic females indicating that sex-reversal of genotypic males is persistent. Sex-reversal was implied at concentrations as low as 6 pM (1.8 ng/l), which is comparable to levels observed in the environment. EE(2)-exposed males that were not sex-reversed had a significantly reduced fertilization rate compared with control males. Histological evaluation revealed that EE(2)-exposed males had a reduced amount of spermatozoa in the testis. Among frogs with ovaries there was a significantly higher percentage that lacked oviducts in the group exposed to 600 pM EE(2) compared with control females. No effect of EE(2) on sexual behavior was noted. The results indicate that reproduction in wild frogs might be impaired by estrogenic environmental pollutants. Similarities between the present effects and those reported in fish, birds and mammals after developmental exposure to estrogens suggest that X. tropicalis is a promising animal model for research on developmental

  5. Effects of perfluorooctanesulfonate and perfluorobutanesulfonate on the growth and sexual development of Xenopus laevis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lou, Qin-Qin; Zhang, Yin-Feng; Zhou, Zhen; Shi, Ya-Li; Ge, Ya-Nan; Ren, Dong-Kai; Xu, Hai-Ming; Zhao, Ya-Xian; Wei, Wu-Ji; Qin, Zhan-Fen

    2013-09-01

    Perfluorobutanesulfonate (PFBS), as a substitute for perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS), is widespread in the environment and biotic samples as well as PFOS. To investigate effects of PFOS and PFBS on the growth and sexual development of amphibians, we exposed Xenopus laevis tadpoles at a series of concentrations of PFOS and PFBS (0.1; 1; 100; 1,000 μg/l) as well as 17-beta-estradiol (E2, 100 ng/l) and 5 alpha-androstan-17-beta-ol-3-one (DHT, 100 ng/l) from stage 46/47 to 2 months postmetamorphosis. We found that neither PFOS nor PFBS had a significant effect on the survival and growth. However, they caused hepatohistological impairment at higher concentrations (100; 1,000 μg/l). Unlike E2, PFOS at all concentrations did not alter the sex ratio and induce intersex, but caused degeneration of spermatogonia in testes except for the lowest concentration. PFBS had no effect on the sex ratio and gonadal histology. PFOS and PFBS promoted expression of estrogen receptor (ER) and androgen receptor (AR), but not affected aromatase expression in the brain. The increase in expression of ER and AR suggests an increase in the responsiveness to the corresponding sex hormone and potential effects on sexual development. Our results show that PFBS as well as PFOS have adverse effects on hepato-histology and sexual development on X. laevis. Also, PFOS- and PFBS-induced increase in ER and AR expression highlights the need to further study effects of PFOS and PFBS on subsequently gonadal development, sexual dimorphism, and secondary sex characteristics in X. laevis. It is debatable that PFBS is widely used as a substitute of PFOS.

  6. Induction of cardiac muscle differentiation in isolated animal pole explants of Xenopus laevis embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Logan, M; Mohun, T

    1993-07-01

    We have isolated a cDNA fragment encoding a portion of the myosin heavy chain alpha-isoform (XMHC alpha) in the amphibian, Xenopus laevis. The XMHC alpha transcript is highly enriched in adult heart RNA and is expressed exclusively in embryonic heart tissue. It therefore provides a tissue-specific marker for cardiac muscle differentiation during early embryogenesis. Using an RNAase protection assay, we can detect the onset of cardiac muscle differentiation in an anterior, ventral region of tailbud embryos, many hours before the appearance of a beating heart. Whole-mount in situ RNA hybridisation indicates that expression of the XMHC alpha gene is restricted to the developing heart primordium. XMHC alpha gene expression can also be induced in isolated animal pole explants of blastulae by treatment with the growth factor, activin A. Induction is dose-dependent, requiring high doses of the growth factor compared with that required for myotomal (skeletal) muscle differentiation. In contrast, no XMHC alpha transcripts are detected in explants incubated with basic FGF, despite the induction of myotomal muscle differentiation. Activin-induced explants show a similar temporal pattern of XMHC alpha gene expression to that found in normal embryogenesis. Furthermore, cells expressing this gene appear clustered in one or two foci within fused explant aggregates, which often show regular, spontaneous contractions after several days in culture. These results show that terminal differentiation of cardiac muscle can occur in growth factor-induced explants and may be distinguished from skeletal muscle differentiation by the dose and nature of the inducing factor.

  7. Fetal adaptations for viviparity in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wake, Marvalee H

    2015-08-01

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

  8. Amphibian conservation: clarifications to comments from Andreone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muths, Erin L.; Fisher, Robert N.

    2017-01-01

    We appreciate the comments from Andreone (2016) regarding our proposed alternative strategy for addressing the amphibian crisis. Andreone recognizes the utility of an Incident Command System approach but doubts the feasibility of implementation at an international level. We stated in our original article, however, that ‘the feasibility of our suggestion is debatable, but our point is that radically different approaches are necessary to effectively manage the largest extinction event in modern history’ (Muths & Fisher, 2015). There are examples of where such top-down strategies are being applied; e.g. for the brown tree snake Boiga irregularis (Stanford & Rodda, 2007), and biosecurity planning for Micronesia and Hawaii (NAVFAC Pacific, 2016). Another example is presented by Andreone. In Madagascar a community-wide conservation plan has been developed complete with prioritization of specific actions (Andreone, 2016). As with any top-down strategy, challenges will surface, especially when making decisions that affect economics. We note this caveat in our article, and Andreone points out such issues in Madagascar, where there are mismatches in priorities between biodiversity conservation and civil needs. Our suggestion is that a new paradigm needs to be considered given the gravity of amphibian decline, and one option may be to take a global approach focusing on specific, major threats. Application of an Incident Command System would not necessitate competition with, or emasculation of, local conservation priorities or actions.

  9. Current extinction rates of reptiles and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alroy, John

    2015-10-20

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

  10. Quantifying the Road-Effect Zone: Threshold Effects of a Motorway on Anuran Populations in Ontario, Canada

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felix Eigenbrod

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available The negative effect of roads on wildlife is recognized as a major contributor to the global biodiversity crisis, with anurans being among the most vulnerable groups overall. The "road-effect zone," i.e., the extent of significant ecological effects from the edge of a road (Forman and Alexander 1998, has important management implications, but has never been quantified for anurans. In the first study of its kind, we measured the extent and type of relationship underlying the road-effect zones of a motorway with a high proportion of heavy-truck traffic, particularly at night (Highway 401 for anuran species richness and relative abundance. We surveyed 34 ponds located 68-3262 m from the edge of the motorway, and used piecewise and linear regressions to determine if road-effect zones were clearly delineated by ecological thresholds. We found road-effect zones of 250-1000 m delineated by ecological thresholds for four of seven species and species richness, and road-effect zones of well beyond 1000 m best described by linear regressions for two species. The negative effect of Highway 401 was unexpectedly strong for four of seven species suggest that, in addition to road mortality, very high nighttime truck traffic can actually lead to reduced use of breeding habitat near the motorway either by acting as a barrier to forest habitat on the other side of the highway and/or because of traffic noise. Our results show that most anurans are likely to have reduced abundances near motorways, but that both the extent of the effect of this type of road and the underlying relationship vary considerably between species. Furthermore, the noise and/or barrier effect of very high nighttime traffic volumes can lead to negative effects of motorways even on species that are relatively unaffected by direct road mortality.

  11. Evaluation of tadpole mouthpart depigmentation as a diagnostic test for infection by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis for four California anurans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padgett-Flohr, Gretchen E; Goble, Molly E

    2007-10-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the utility of gross morphologic examination of larval mouthpart defects as a diagnostic screening test to detect Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection in four California, USA, anuran species. We examined mouthparts of 2,034 tadpoles of Bufo boreas, Pseudacris regilla, and Rana catesbeiana collected in 2003 and 2004 and Bufo canorus collected in 2004. Data were recorded for three morphologic features: upper toothrows, lower toothrows, and combined jaw sheaths. Mouthpart defects were observed in all four species (n=757), but only two species were infected with B. dendrobatidis (n=84). Sensitivity and specificity of the mouthparts test were 76% and 58%, respectively. Forty-two percent of B. dendrobatidis-negative animals would have been designated positive based on mouthpart defects. Observed prevalence was 43%, and true prevalence was 3.0%. Tests of the null hypothesis using logistic regression analysis showed that anuran larval mouthpart defects were not associated with B. dendrobatidis infection whether mouthparts scores were tested by individual morphologic feature or in combination (P=0.37). We conclude that B. dendrobatidis infection and anuran larval mouthpart defects are two separate processes that may occur concurrently and that evaluation of tadpole oral morphology is neither an accurate nor a reliable diagnostic test for B. dendrobatidis infection for the four species tested.

  12. Echocardiographic assessment of cardiac morphology and function in Xenopus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartlett, Heather L; Escalera, Robert B; Patel, Sonali S; Wedemeyer, Elesa W; Volk, Kenneth A; Lohr, Jamie L; Reinking, Benjamin E

    2010-04-01

    Advances using Xenopus as a model permit valuable inquiries into cardiac development from embryo to adult. Noninvasive methods are needed to study cardiac function longitudinally. The objective of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of echocardiographic studies in Xenopus and establish normative data of adult cardiac structure and function. Doppler and 2D echocardiograms and electrocardiograms were acquired from adult Xenopus laevis and X. tropicalis. Frogs were exposed to either isoflurane or tricaine to discern the effect of sedating agents on cardiac function. Cardiac dimensions, morphology, flow velocities, and electrophysiologic intervals were measured and evaluated by using bivariate and regression analyses. Normal cardiac dimensions relative to body weight and species were established by echocardiography. Normal conduction intervals were determined by electrocardiography and did not vary by body weight or species. Anesthetic agent did not affect ejection fraction or flow velocity but did alter the QRS duration and QT interval. Echocardiographic and electrocardiographic studies in Xenopus provide information about cardiac anatomy and physiology and can readily be used for longitudinal analyses of developmental inquiries. Body weight, species, and anesthetic agent are factors that should be considered in experimental design and analyses.

  13. Seeing the future: using Xenopus to understand eye regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tseng, Ai-Sun

    2017-01-01

    Studies of Xenopus eye development have contributed considerably to the understanding of vertebrate neurogenesis, including eye field specification, cell fate determination and identification of genes critical for eye formation. This knowledge has served as a solid foundation for cellular and molecular examinations of the robust regenerative capacity of the Xenopus eye. The retina, lens, and the optic nerve are capable of regeneration after injury in both larval and adult stages. Here, we discuss the current models for studying eye regeneration in Xenopus and their potential applications for providing insights into human eye diseases. As Xenopus has many of the same tools that are available for other regeneration models, we thus highlight the distinct strengths and versatility of this organism that make it especially suited for extrapolating and testing strategies aimed at promoting regeneration and repair in eye tissues. Furthermore, we outline a promising future for the use of new techniques and approaches to address outstanding questions in understanding eye regeneration. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Amphibian skin may select for rare environmental microbes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walke, Jenifer B; Becker, Matthew H; Loftus, Stephen C; House, Leanna L; Cormier, Guy; Jensen, Roderick V; Belden, Lisa K

    2014-11-01

    Host-microbe symbioses rely on the successful transmission or acquisition of symbionts in each new generation. Amphibians host a diverse cutaneous microbiota, and many of these symbionts appear to be mutualistic and may limit infection by the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which has caused global amphibian population declines and extinctions in recent decades. Using bar-coded 454 pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, we addressed the question of symbiont transmission by examining variation in amphibian skin microbiota across species and sites and in direct relation to environmental microbes. Although acquisition of environmental microbes occurs in some host-symbiont systems, this has not been extensively examined in free-living vertebrate-microbe symbioses. Juvenile bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana), adult red-spotted newts (Notophthalmus viridescens), pond water and pond substrate were sampled at a single pond to examine host-specificity and potential environmental transmission of microbiota. To assess population level variation in skin microbiota, adult newts from two additional sites were also sampled. Cohabiting bullfrogs and newts had distinct microbial communities, as did newts across the three sites. The microbial communities of amphibians and the environment were distinct; there was very little overlap in the amphibians' core microbes and the most abundant environmental microbes, and the relative abundances of OTUs that were shared by amphibians and the environment were inversely related. These results suggest that, in a host species-specific manner, amphibian skin may select for microbes that are generally in low abundance in the environment.

  15. Modeling effects of conservation grassland losses on amphibian habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Facility design and associated services for the study of amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Browne, Robert K; Odum, R Andrew; Herman, Timothy; Zippel, Kevin

    2007-01-01

    The role of facilities and associated services for amphibians has recently undergone diversification. Amphibians traditionally used as research models adjust well to captivity and thrive with established husbandry techniques. However, it is now necessary to maintain hundreds of novel amphibian species in captive breeding, conservation research, and biomedical research programs. These diverse species have a very wide range of husbandry requirements, and in many cases the ultimate survival of threatened species will depend on captive populations. Two critical factors have emerged in the maintenance of amphibians, stringent quarantine and high-quality water. Because exotic diseases such as chytridiomycosis have devastated both natural and captive populations of amphibians, facilities must provide stringent quarantine. The provision of high-quality water is also essential to maintain amphibian health and condition due to the intimate physiological relationship of amphibians to their aquatic environment. Fortunately, novel technologies backed by recent advances in the scientific knowledge of amphibian biology and disease management are available to overcome these challenges. For example, automation can increase the reliability of quarantine and maintain water quality, with a corresponding decrease in handling and the associated disease-transfer risk. It is essential to build facilities with appropriate nontoxic waterproof materials and to provide quarantined amphibian rooms for each population. Other spaces and services include live feed rooms, quarantine stations, isolation rooms, laboratory space, technical support systems, reliable energy and water supplies, high-quality feed, and security. Good husbandry techniques must include reliable and species-specific management by trained staff members who receive support from the administration. It is possible to improve husbandry techniques for many species by sharing knowledge through common information systems. Overall

  17. Urotensin II receptor (UTR) exists in hyaline chondrocytes: a study of peripheral distribution of UTR in the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konno, Norifumi; Fujii, Yuya; Imae, Haruka; Kaiya, Hiroyuki; Mukuda, Takao; Miyazato, Mikiya; Matsuda, Kouhei; Uchiyama, Minoru

    2013-05-01

    Urotensin II (UII) and UII-related peptide (URP) exhibit diverse physiological actions including vasoconstriction, locomotor activity, osmoregulation, and immune response through UII receptor (UTR), which is expressed in the central nervous system and peripheral tissues of fish and mammals. In amphibians, only UII has been identified. As the first step toward elucidating the actions of UII and URP in amphibians, we cloned and characterized URP and UTR from the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis. Functional analysis showed that treatment of UII or URP with Chinese hamster ovary cells transfected with the cloned receptor increased the intracellular calcium concentration in a concentration-dependent manner, whereas the administration of the UTR antagonist urantide inhibited UII- or URP-induced Ca(2+) mobilization. An immunohistochemical study showed that UTR was expressed in the splenocytes and leukocytes isolated from peripheral blood, suggesting that UII and URP are involved in the regulation of the immune system. UTR was also localized in the apical membrane of the distal tubule of the kidney and in the transitional epithelial cells of the urinary bladder. This result supports the view that the UII/URP-UTR system plays an important role in osmoregulation of amphibians. Interestingly, immunopositive labeling for UTR was first detected in the chondrocytes of various hyaline cartilages (the lung septa, interphalangeal joint and sternum). The expression of UTR was also observed in the costal cartilage, tracheal cartilages, and xiphoid process of the rat. These novel findings probably suggest that UII and URP mediate the formation of the cartilaginous matrix. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Differential regulation of two period genes in the Xenopus eye.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhuang, M; Wang, Y; Steenhard, B M; Besharse, J C

    2000-10-20

    The recent identification and analysis of mammalian homologues of the well characterized Drosophila circadian clock gene, Period (Per), has led to the idea that key features of vertebrate circadian rhythmicity are conserved at the molecular level. The Xenopus laevis retina contains a circadian clock mechanism that can be studied in vitro. To study the rhythmic expression of Per in the Xenopus retina, we used a degenerate RT-PCR strategy to obtain cDNA clones covering the entire 1427 amino acid coding region of a Xenopus homologue of Per2 and a partial cDNA sequence for a Xenopus homologue of Per1. Northern blot analysis shows that xPer1 and xPer2 transcripts are expressed most abundantly in the eye and the brain. However, rhythmic expression of xPer2 transcripts in the retina and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is light dependent and occurs only under 12 h light/12 h dark (LD) conditions, not in constant dark (DD). In contrast, xPer1 mRNA accumulation is rhythmic under both LD and DD conditions. Light dependent regulation of xPer2 mRNA and circadian regulation of xPer1 mRNA in the Xenopus retina differs from that in Drosophila and mammals. Light dependence of xPer2 mRNA levels and the offset phase relationship of the xPer2 rhythm to that for xPer1 suggests a role for xPer2 in circadian entrainment.

  19. Identification and developmental expression of Xenopus laevis SUMO proteases.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yonggang Wang

    Full Text Available SUMO proteins are small ubiquitin-related modifiers. All SUMOs are synthesized as propeptides that are post-translationally cleaved prior to conjugation. After processing, SUMOs become covalently conjugated to cellular targets through a pathway that is similar to ubiquitination. Ubiquitin like protein proteases/Sentrin specific proteases (Ulp/SENPs mediate both processing and deconjugation of SUMOs. The action of Ulp/SENPs makes SUMOylation a highly dynamic post-translational modification. To investigate how Ulp/SENPs are regulated in a developmental context, we isolated and characterized all Ulp/SENPs in Xenopus laevis. Xenopus possess homologues of mammalian SENP3, 5, 6 and 7. All of these enzymes reacted with HA-tagged vinyl sulfone derivatives of SUMO-2 (HA-SU2-VS but not SUMO-1 (HA-SU1-VS, suggesting that they act primarily on SUMO-2 and -3. In contrast, Xenopus possess a single member of the SENP1/SENP2 subfamily of Ulp/SENPs, most closely related to mammalian SENP1. Xenopus SENP1 reacted with HA-SU1-VS and HA-SU2-VS, suggesting that it acts on all SUMO paralogues. We analyzed the mRNA and protein levels for each of the Ulp/SENPs through development; we found that they show distinct patterns of expression that may involve both transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation. Finally, we have characterized the developmental function of the most abundant Ulp/SENP found within Xenopus eggs, SENP3. Depletion of SENP3 using morpholino antisense oligonucleotides (morpholinos caused accumulation of high molecular weight SUMO-2/3 conjugated species, defects in developing embryos and changes in the expression of some genes regulated by the transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta pathway. These findings collectively indicate that SUMO proteases are both highly regulated and essential for normal development.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Mark A

    2011-09-01

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

  1. Cranial muscles in amphibians: development, novelties and the role of cranial neural crest cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Jennifer; Piekarski, Nadine; Olsson, Lennart

    2013-01-01

    Our research on the evolution of the vertebrate head focuses on understanding the developmental origins of morphological novelties. Using a broad comparative approach in amphibians, and comparisons with the well-studied quail-chicken system, we investigate how evolutionarily conserved or variable different aspects of head development are. Here we review research on the often overlooked development of cranial muscles, and on its dependence on cranial cartilage development. In general, cranial muscle cell migration and the spatiotemporal pattern of cranial muscle formation appears to be very conserved among the few species of vertebrates that have been studied. However, fate-mapping of somites in the Mexican axolotl revealed differences in the specific formation of hypobranchial muscles (tongue muscles) in comparison to the chicken. The proper development of cranial muscles has been shown to be strongly dependent on the mostly neural crest-derived cartilage elements in the larval head of amphibians. For example, a morpholino-based knock-down of the transcription factor FoxN3 in Xenopus laevis has drastic indirect effects on cranial muscle patterning, although the direct function of the gene is mostly connected to neural crest development. Furthermore, extirpation of single migratory streams of cranial neural crest cells in combination with fate-mapping in a frog shows that individual cranial muscles and their neural crest-derived connective tissue attachments originate from the same visceral arch, even when the muscles attach to skeletal components that are derived from a different arch. The same pattern has also been found in the chicken embryo, the only other species that has been thoroughly investigated, and thus might be a conserved pattern in vertebrates that reflects the fundamental nature of a mechanism that keeps the segmental order of the head in place despite drastic changes in adult anatomy. There is a need for detailed comparative fate-mapping of pre

  2. The ribosome biogenesis factor Nol11 is required for optimal rDNA transcription and craniofacial development in Xenopus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John N Griffin

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The production of ribosomes is ubiquitous and fundamental to life. As such, it is surprising that defects in ribosome biogenesis underlie a growing number of symptomatically distinct inherited disorders, collectively called ribosomopathies. We previously determined that the nucleolar protein, NOL11, is essential for optimal pre-rRNA transcription and processing in human tissue culture cells. However, the role of NOL11 in the development of a multicellular organism remains unknown. Here, we reveal a critical function for NOL11 in vertebrate ribosome biogenesis and craniofacial development. Nol11 is strongly expressed in the developing cranial neural crest (CNC of both amphibians and mammals, and knockdown of Xenopus nol11 results in impaired pre-rRNA transcription and processing, increased apoptosis, and abnormal development of the craniofacial cartilages. Inhibition of p53 rescues this skeletal phenotype, but not the underlying ribosome biogenesis defect, demonstrating an evolutionarily conserved control mechanism through which ribosome-impaired craniofacial cells are removed. Excessive activation of this mechanism impairs craniofacial development. Together, our findings reveal a novel requirement for Nol11 in craniofacial development, present the first frog model of a ribosomopathy, and provide further insight into the clinically important relationship between specific ribosome biogenesis proteins and craniofacial cell survival.

  3. Wnt11b is involved in cilia-mediated symmetry breakage during Xenopus left-right development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Walentek

    Full Text Available Breakage of bilateral symmetry in amphibian embryos depends on the development of a ciliated epithelium at the gastrocoel roof during early neurulation. Motile cilia at the gastrocoel roof plate (GRP give rise to leftward flow of extracellular fluids. Flow is required for asymmetric gene expression and organ morphogenesis. Wnt signaling has previously been involved in two steps, Wnt/ß-catenin mediated induction of Foxj1, a regulator of motile cilia, and Wnt/planar cell polarity (PCP dependent cilia polarization to the posterior pole of cells. We have studied Wnt11b in the context of laterality determination, as this ligand was reported to activate canonical and non-canonical Wnt signaling. Wnt11b was found to be expressed in the so-called superficial mesoderm (SM, from which the GRP derives. Surprisingly, Foxj1 was only marginally affected in loss-of-function experiments, indicating that another ligand acts in this early step of laterality specification. Wnt11b was required, however, for polarization of GRP cilia and GRP morphogenesis, in line with the known function of Wnt/PCP in cilia-driven leftward flow. In addition Xnr1 and Coco expression in the lateral-most GRP cells, which sense flow and generate the first asymmetric signal, was attenuated in morphants, involving Wnt signaling in yet another process related to symmetry breakage in Xenopus.

  4. Effects of 17α-ethynylestradiol on sexual differentiation and development of the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tompsett, Amber R; Wiseman, Steve; Higley, Eric; Pryce, Sara; Chang, Hong; Giesy, John P; Hecker, Markus

    2012-11-01

    Several studies have shown that exposure of amphibians, including the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis), to potent estrogens at critical times during development results in feminization and/or demasculinization. However, genotyping of X. laevis has only recently become possible, so studies performed in the past were rarely able to make explicit linkages between genetic and phenotypic sex. Therefore, to further characterize this relationship, X. laevis tadpoles were exposed during development to 0.09, 0.84, or 8.81 μg/L 17α-ethynylestradiol (EE2), which is the estrogen analog commonly used in oral contraceptives. Exposure to all concentrations of EE2 tested resulted in significant delays in time to metamorphosis. Genotyping showed that genetic sex ratios were similar among treatments. However, morphological evaluation revealed that a significant number of individuals with a male genotype displayed mixed sex and abnormal phenotypes. Additionally, both genetic males and females exposed to EE2 exhibited greater presence of vitellogenin protein relative to the respective controls. Since estrogens function downstream of the initial molecular signals of sexual differentiation, it is likely that genetic male animals received mixed endogenous male and exogenous female signals that caused disordered sexual development. The production of vitellogenin was probably temporally separated and independent from primary effects on sexual differentiation, and might have contributed to delays in metamorphosis observed in individuals exposed to EE2. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Environmentally relevant concentrations of ammonium perchlorate inhibit thyroid function and alter sex ratios in developing Xenopus laevis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goleman, Wanda L; Carr, James A; Anderson, Todd A

    2002-03-01

    Embryos and larvae of the South African frog Xenopus laevis were exposed to ammonium perchlorate (AP) or control medium for 70 d. The dosage levels (59 ppb, 14,140 ppb) bracketed a range of perchlorate concentrations measured in surface waters at the Longhorn Army Ammunition Plant (LHAAP) in Karnack, Texas, USA. The experiment also included a 28-d nontreatment recovery period to assess the reversibility of AP effects. There were no significant effects of AP on mortality or hatching success. There were no effects of AP on developmental abnormalities such as bent/asymmetric tails or edema. Ammonium perchlorate inhibited forelimb emergence, the percentage of animals completing tail resorption, and hindlimb development during the 70-d exposure period. Only the upper AP concentration reduced whole-body thyroxine content, whereas both concentrations caused significant hypertrophy of the thyroid follicular epithelium. Both concentrations of AP caused a skewed sex ratio, significantly reducing the percentage of males at metamorphosis. The effects of AP on metamorphosis and thyroid function were reversed during the 28-d nontreatment recovery period. We conclude that AP inhibits thyroid activity and alters gonadal differentiation in developing X. laevis. These effects were observed at concentrations at or below concentrations reported in surface waters contaminated with ammonium perchlorate, suggesting that this contaminant may pose a threat to normal development and growth in natural amphibian populations.

  6. Structural and functional divergence of growth hormone-releasing hormone receptors in early sarcopterygians: lungfish and Xenopus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janice K V Tam

    Full Text Available The evolutionary trajectories of growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH receptor remain enigmatic since the discovery of physiologically functional GHRH-GHRH receptor (GHRHR in non-mammalian vertebrates in 2007. Interestingly, subsequent studies have described the identification of a GHRHR(2 in chicken in addition to the GHRHR and the closely related paralogous receptor, PACAP-related peptide (PRP receptor (PRPR. In this article, we provide information, for the first time, on the GHRHR in sarcopterygian fish and amphibians by the cloning and characterization of GHRHRs from lungfish (P. dolloi and X. laevis. Sequence alignment and phylogenetic analyses demonstrated structural resemblance of lungfish GHRHR to their mammalian orthologs, while the X. laevis GHRHR showed the highest homology to GHRHR(2 in zebrafish and chicken. Functionally, lungfish GHRHR displayed high affinity towards GHRH in triggering intracellular cAMP and calcium accumulation, while X. laevis GHRHR(2 was able to react with both endogenous GHRH and PRP. Tissue distribution analyses showed that both lungfish GHRHR and X. laevis GHRHR(2 had the highest expression in brain, and interestingly, X. laevis(GHRHR2 also had high abundance in the reproductive organs. These findings, together with previous reports, suggest that early in the Sarcopterygii lineage, GHRHR and PRPR have already established diverged and specific affinities towards their cognate ligands. GHRHR(2, which has only been found in xenopus, zebrafish and chicken hitherto, accommodates both GHRH and PRP.

  7. Environmental signals: synthetic humic substances act as xeno-estrogen and affect the thyroid system of Xenopus laevis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lutz, Ilka; Jie, Zhang; Opitz, Robert; Kloas, Werner; Ying, Xu; Menzel, Ralph; Steinberg, Christian E W

    2005-12-01

    According to outdated paradigms humic substances (HS) are considered to be refractory or inert that do not directly interact with aquatic organisms. However, they are taken up and induce biotransformation activities and may act as hormone-like substances. In the present study, we tested whether HS can interfere with endocrine regulation in the amphibian Xenopus laevis. In order to exclude contamination with phyto-hormones, which may occur in environmental isolates, the artificial HS1500 was applied. The in vivo results showed that HS1500 causes significant estrogenic effects on X. laevis during its larval development and results of semi-quantitative RT-PCR revealed a marked increase of the estrogenic biomarker estrogen receptor mRNA (ER-mRNA). Furthermore, preliminary RT-PCR results showed that the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSHbeta-mRNA) is enhanced after exposure to HS1500, indicating a weak adverse effect on T3/T4 availability. Hence, HS may have estrogenic and anti-thyroidal effects on aquatic animals, and therefore may influence the structure of aquatic communities and they may be considered environmental signaling chemicals.

  8. Population-specific incidence of testicular ovarian follicles in Xenopus laevis from South Africa: A potential issue in endocrine testing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Du Preez, Louis H., E-mail: Louis.DuPreez@nwu.ac.za [School of Environmental Sciences and Development, North-West University, Potchefstroom 2531 (South Africa); Kunene, Nisile [School of Environmental Sciences and Development, North-West University, Potchefstroom 2531 (South Africa); Hanner, Robert [Department of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1 (Canada); Giesy, John P. [Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (Canada); Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong (Hong Kong); National Food Safety and Toxicology Center, Zoology Department, and Centre for Integrative Toxicology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824 (United States); Solomon, Keith R., E-mail: ksolomon@uoguelph.ca [Centre for Toxicology and Department of Environmental Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1 (Canada); Hosmer, Alan [Syngenta Crop Protection, Greensboro, NC 27419-8300 (United States); Van Der Kraak, Glen J. [Department of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1 (Canada)

    2009-10-19

    The African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) has been identified as an appropriate sentinel for testing endocrine activity of existing chemicals in North America and Europe. Some reports suggest that the herbicide, atrazine (CAS Number [1912-24-9]) causes ovarian follicles to form in the testes of this frog. X. laevis collected from North East (NE) sites in South Africa had testicular ovarian follicles, irrespective of exposure to atrazine, while frogs from Southwest Western (SW) Cape region sites had none. Phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial and nuclear genes indicates that frogs from the SW Cape are evolutionarily divergent from those from NE South Africa and the rest of sub-Saharan Africa. These findings provide a possible explanation for why conflicting results have been reported concerning the impact of atrazine on amphibian sexual differentiation and highlight the importance of understanding taxonomic status of the experimental animal. Even in common laboratory animals, there is a need for their correct taxonomic characterization before their use in tests for endocrine disruption.

  9. ASSESSMENT OF THE RISK OF SOLAR ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION TO AMPHIBIANS. II: IN SITU CHARACTERIZATION OF SOLAR ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION IN AMPHIBIAN HABITATS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation has been hypothesized as a potential cause of amphibian population declines and increased incidences of malformations. Realistic studies documenting UV irradiance or dose have rarely been conducted in wetlands used by amphibians. We demonstrate that ...

  10. Effects of Roads on Amphibian Populations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hels, T.

    . In the synopsis, I describe and briefly review the paradigms behind the work, I review and discuss my most important findings, and finally, I point at gaps in our present knowledge: further work that has to be done to improve our understanding of ecological patterns and processes within this field. Although......, Johan Elmberg, Andreas Seiler, and Per Sjögren-Gulve, for sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm for science with me. Constructive ideas, different approaches, and elaborate discussions are crucial parts of any scientific process: I thank Lenore Fahrig for dedicated and original teaching and discussions...... and toads was common knowledge to everybody due to personal experience: amphibians were abundant. Noisy and innumerable in spring when reproducing, silent and even more abundant in late summer with both adults and metamorphs leaving the breeding ponds. Today, experiencing frogs and toads is an event...

  11. Whole-genome sequence of the Tibetan frog Nanorana parkeri and the comparative evolution of tetrapod genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Yan-Bo; Xiong, Zi-Jun; Xiang, Xue-Yan; Liu, Shi-Ping; Zhou, Wei-Wei; Tu, Xiao-Long; Zhong, Li; Wang, Lu; Wu, Dong-Dong; Zhang, Bao-Lin; Zhu, Chun-Ling; Yang, Min-Min; Chen, Hong-Man; Li, Fang; Zhou, Long; Feng, Shao-Hong; Huang, Chao; Zhang, Guo-Jie; Irwin, David; Hillis, David M; Murphy, Robert W; Yang, Huan-Ming; Che, Jing; Wang, Jun; Zhang, Ya-Ping

    2015-03-17

    The development of efficient sequencing techniques has resulted in large numbers of genomes being available for evolutionary studies. However, only one genome is available for all amphibians, that of Xenopus tropicalis, which is distantly related from the majority of frogs. More than 96% of frogs belong to the Neobatrachia, and no genome exists for this group. This dearth of amphibian genom