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Sample records for anuran amphibian xenopus

  1. 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.

  2. Adaptive responses to salinity stress across multiple life stages in anuran amphibians.

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    Albecker, Molly A; McCoy, Michael W

    2017-01-01

    In many regions, freshwater wetlands are increasing in salinity at rates exceeding historic levels. Some freshwater organisms, like amphibians, may be able to adapt and persist in salt-contaminated wetlands by developing salt tolerance. Yet adaptive responses may be more challenging for organisms with complex life histories, because the same environmental stressor can require responses across different ontogenetic stages. Here we investigated responses to salinity in anuran amphibians: a common, freshwater taxon with a complex life cycle. We conducted a meta-analysis to define how the lethality of saltwater exposure changes across multiple life stages, surveyed wetlands in a coastal region experiencing progressive salinization for the presence of anurans, and used common garden experiments to investigate whether chronic salt exposure alters responses in three sequential life stages (reproductive, egg, and tadpole life stages) in Hyla cinerea , a species repeatedly observed in saline wetlands. Meta-analysis revealed differential vulnerability to salt stress across life stages with the egg stage as the most salt-sensitive. Field surveys revealed that 25% of the species known to occur in the focal region were detected in salt-intruded habitats. Remarkably, Hyla cinerea was found in large abundances in multiple wetlands with salinity concentrations 450% higher than the tadpole-stage LC 50 . Common garden experiments showed that coastal (chronically salt exposed) populations of H. cinerea lay more eggs, have higher hatching success, and greater tadpole survival in higher salinities compared to inland (salt naïve) populations. Collectively, our data suggest that some species of anuran amphibians have divergent and adaptive responses to salt exposure across populations and across different life stages. We propose that anuran amphibians may be a novel and amenable natural model system for empirical explorations of adaptive responses to environmental change.

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

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    Allran, J W; Karasov, W H

    2001-04-01

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

  4. Helminth parasite communities in anuran amphibians of Kalesar Wildlife Sanctuary (Haryana), India.

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    Rizvi, Anjum N; Bhutia, Pasang T

    2010-10-01

    Helminth parasite fauna in anuran amphibia were investigated during the general faunistic surveys of Kalesar Wildlife Sanctuary, situated in Haryana state. Three species of amphibian hosts were found to harbour 12 genera of helminth parasites. The prevalence, intensity and abundance were studied. Euphlyctis cyanophlyctis harboured maximum parasite species followed by Fejervarya limnocharis and Duttaphrynus melanostictus. In E. cyanophlyctis, among nematode parasites, the genus Camallanus was most prevalent followed by Cosmocerca and Cosmocercoides, whereas, Rhabdias and Aplectana were the least prevalent genera. Among trematode parasites, Ganeo was the most prevalent genus and least was Diplodiscus. Acanthocephalus was recovered only once and no cestode infection was found. In F. limnocharis, the most prevalent nematode genus was Oxysomatium, followed by Cosmocerca and the only trematode recorded was Ganeo, whereas, cestode Proteocephalus was also recovered once. In D. melanostictus, only two nematode genera were recovered of which Oxysomatium was dominant followed by Cosmocerca. The helminth parasite community in anuran amphibia of Kalesar WLS comprised 52.9% of nematodes, 46.2% of trematodes, 0.58% cestodes and 0.29% acanthocephala.

  5. Anuran amphibians as comparative models for understanding extreme dehydration tolerance: a negative feedback lymphatic mechanism for blood volume regulation.

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    Hillman, Stanley S

    2018-06-06

    Anurans are the most terrestrial order of amphibians. Couple the high driving forces for evaporative loss in terrestrial environments and their low resistance to evaporation, dehydration is an inevitable stress on their water balance. Anurans have the greatest tolerances for dehydration of any vertebrate group, some species can tolerate evaporative losses up to 45% of their standard body mass. Anurans have remarkable capacities to regulate blood volume with hemorrhage and dehydration compared to mammals. Stabilization of blood volume is central to extending dehydration tolerance, since it avoids both the hypovolemic and hyperviscosity stresses on cardiac output and its consequential effects on aerobic capacity. Anurans, in contrast to mammals, seem incapable of generating a sufficient pressure difference, either oncotically or via interstitial compliance, to move fluid from the interstitium into the capillaries. Couple this inability to generate a sufficient pressure difference for transvascular uptake to a circulatory system with high filtration coefficients and a high rate of plasma turnover is the consequence. The novel lymphatic system of anurans is critical to a remarkable capacity for blood volume regulation. This review summarizes what is known about the anatomical and physiological specializations which are involved in explaining differential blood volume regulation and dehydration tolerance involving a true centrally mediated negative feedback of lymphatic function involving baroreceptors as sensors and lymph hearts, AVT, pulmonary ventilation and specialized skeletal muscles as effectors.

  6. 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. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Pulmonary compliance and lung volume varies with ecomorphology in anuran amphibians: implications for ventilatory-assisted lymph flux.

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    Hedrick, Michael S; Hillman, Stanley S; Drewes, Robert C; Withers, Philip C

    2011-10-01

    Vertical movement of lymph from ventral regions to the dorsally located lymph hearts in anurans is accomplished by specialized skeletal muscles working in concert with lung ventilation. We hypothesize that more terrestrial species with greater lymph mobilization capacities and higher lymph flux rates will have larger lung volumes and higher pulmonary compliance than more semi-aquatic or aquatic species. We measured in situ mean and maximal compliance (Δvolume/Δpressure), distensibility (%Δvolume/Δpressure) and lung volume over a range of physiological pressures (1.0 to 4.0 cmH(2)O) for nine species of anurans representing three families (Bufonide, Ranidae and Pipidae) that span a range of body masses and habitats from terrestrial to aquatic. We further examined the relationship between these pulmonary variables and lymph flux for a semi-terrestrial bufonid (Rhinella marina), a semi-aquatic ranid (Lithobates catesbeianus) and an aquatic pipid (Xenopus laevis). Allometric scaling of pulmonary compliance and lung volume with body mass showed significant differences at the family level, with scaling exponents ranging from ∼0.75 in Bufonidae to ∼1.3 in Pipidae. Consistent with our hypothesis, the terrestrial Bufonidae species had significantly greater pulmonary compliance and greater lung volumes compared with semi-aquatic Ranidae and aquatic Pipidae species. Pulmonary distensibility ranged from ∼20 to 35% cmH(2)O(-1) for the three families but did not correlate with ecomorphology. For the three species for which lymph flux data are available, R. marina had a significantly higher (Pvolume (242.1±5.5 ml kg(-1)) compared with L. catesbeianus (54.5±0.12 ml cmH(2)O(-1) kg(-1) and 139.3±0.5 ml kg(-1)) and X. laevis (30.8±0.7 ml cmH(2)O(-1) kg(-1) and 61.3±2.5 ml kg(-1)). Lymph flux rates were also highest for R. marina, lowest for X. laevis and intermediate in L. catesbeianus. Thus, there is a strong correlation between pulmonary compliance, lung volume and

  8. 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.

  9. Physiologically-induced changes in proopiomelanocortin mRNA levels in the pituitary gland of the amphibian Xenopus laevis.

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    Martens, G J; Weterings, K A; van Zoest, I D; Jenks, B G

    1987-03-13

    In the pars intermedia of the pituitary gland of the amphibian Xenopus laevis the level of mRNA encoding proopiomelanocortin (POMC), the precursor protein for alpha-melanophore-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH), is shown to be dependent on physiological parameters. POMC mRNA levels in the pars intermedia of black-background-adapted Xenopus are much higher than those of white-adapted animals. These physiological changes in POMC mRNA levels are tissue-specific because they were not found in the pars distalis of the pituitary gland. Background transfer experiments revealed that modulation of POMC gene activity is much slower than changes in the secretion of alpha-MSH.

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

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

    2018-05-08

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

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

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    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).

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

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    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.

  13. The effects of aquatic oxygen concentration, body size and respiratory behaviour on the stamina of obligate aquatic (Bufo americanus) and facultative air-breathing (Xenopus laevis and Rana berlandieri) anuran larvae.

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    Wassersug, R J; Feder, M E

    1983-07-01

    Larvae of the anurans Rana berlandieri and Xenopus laevis have lungs and can breathe air as well as irrigate buccal and pharyngeal surfaces for aquatic respiration. Larvae of Bufo americanus lack lungs until just before metamorphosis and are obligately aquatic. We examined the relationship between the locomotor stamina (time to fatigue), aquatic oxygen concentration, body size, and respiratory behaviour of swimming larvae of these species, with the following results: Stamina is size-dependent in all three species. Aquatic hypoxia reduces stamina in larvae of all three species, but most conspicuously in Bufo. Breathing air increases stamina in Rana larvae, especially in large animals and under aquatic hypoxia. In contrast to Rana larvae, Xenopus larvae swimming in normoxic water undergo a reduction in stamina when allowed to breathe air. In hypoxic water, aerial respiration moderates the reduction in stamina seen in Xenopus larvae. Branchial irrigation is associated with increased stamina in Xenopus, and is increased under hypoxia and at high swimming velocities. Respiratory demand, buoyancy and the drag associated with branchial irrigation all affect respiratory behaviour in Xenopus larvae. The great amount of interspecific variation in the relationship between respiratory behaviour and stamina reveals the importance of measuring performance directly when attempting to interpret the functional significance of respiratory structures and behaviour.

  14. Hyperinnervation improves Xenopus laevis limb regeneration.

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    Mitogawa, Kazumasa; Makanae, Aki; Satoh, Akira

    2018-01-15

    Xenopus laevis (an anuran amphibian) shows limb regeneration ability between that of urodele amphibians and that of amniotes. Xenopus frogs can initiate limb regeneration but fail to form patterned limbs. Regenerated limbs mainly consist of cone-shaped cartilage without any joints or branches. These pattern defects are thought to be caused by loss of proper expressions of patterning-related genes. This study shows that hyperinnervation surgery resulted in the induction of a branching regenerate. The hyperinnervated blastema allows the identification and functional analysis of the molecules controlling this patterning of limb regeneration. This paper focuses on the nerve affects to improve Xenopus limb patterning ability during regeneration. The nerve molecules, which regulate limb patterning, were also investigated. Blastemas grown in a hyperinnervated forelimb upregulate limb patterning-related genes (shh, lmx1b, and hoxa13). Nerves projecting their axons to limbs express some growth factors (bmp7, fgf2, fgf8, and shh). Inputs of these factors to a blastema upregulated some limb patterning-related genes and resulted in changes in the cartilage patterns in the regenerates. These results indicate that additional nerve factors enhance Xenopus limb patterning-related gene expressions and limb regeneration ability, and that bmp, fgf, and shh are candidate nerve substitute factors. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Localisation and characteristics of bond sites of aldosterone along the nephron of an amphibian: Xenopus laevis

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    Gnionsahe, Daze Apollinaire

    1986-01-01

    The author reports an academic work which aimed at determining characteristics of the aldosterone bond along the kidney nephron of the Xenopus laevis by using auto-radiography on isolated tubular segments. The objective was to highlight tubular segments at the origin of A6 cells by comparing aldosterone bond characteristics in these cells and in different tubular segments of the kidney. Besides, the author compared the bond distribution between the two aldosterone bond sites: the high affinity type I bond site (so-called mineralocorticoids), and low affinity type II bond site (so-called glucocorticoids)

  16. Identification of a candidate CD5 homologue in the amphibian Xenopus laevis.

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    Jürgens, J B; Gartland, L A; Du Pasquier, L; Horton, J D; Göbel, T W; Cooper, M D

    1995-11-01

    We identified a novel T cell Ag in the South African clawed toad (Xenopus laevis) by a mAb designated 2B1. This Ag is present in relatively high levels on most thymocytes, approximately 65% of splenocytes, 55% of PBL, and 65% of intestinal lymphocytes, but is rarely seen on IgM+ B cells in any of these tissues. Lymphocytes bearing the 2B1 Ag proliferate in response to stimulation with Con A or PHA, whereas the 2B1- lymphocytes are reactive to LPS. Biochemical analysis indicates that this Ag is a differentially phosphorylated glycoprotein of 71 to 82 kDa. The protein core of 64 kDa bears both N- and O-linked carbohydrate side chains. The amino-terminal protein sequence of the 2B1 Ag shares significant homology with both the macrophage scavenger receptor type 1 motif and the mammalian CD5/CD6 family. The biochemical characteristics and cellular distribution of the 2B1 Ag suggest that it represents the CD5 homologue in X. laevis. While T cells constitutively express this highly conserved molecule, Xenopus B cells acquire the CD5 homologue only when they are stimulated in the presence of T cells.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mouchet, Florence; Landois, Perine; Sarremejean, Elodie; Bernard, Guillaume; Puech, Pascal; Pinelli, Eric; Flahaut, Emmanuel; Gauthier, Laury

    2008-01-01

    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 -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

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  20. Notochord-derived hedgehog is essential for tail regeneration in Xenopus tadpole.

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    Taniguchi, Yuka; Watanabe, Kenji; Mochii, Makoto

    2014-06-18

    Appendage regeneration in amphibians is regulated by the combinatorial actions of signaling molecules. The requirement of molecules secreted from specific tissues is reflected by the observation that the whole process of regeneration can be inhibited if a certain tissue is removed from the amputated stump. Interestingly, urodeles and anurans show different tissue dependencies during tail regeneration. The spinal cord is essential for tail regeneration in urodele but not in anuran larva, whereas the notochord but not the spinal cord is essential for tail regeneration in anuran tadpoles. Sonic hedgehog is one of the signaling molecules responsible for such phenomenon in axolotl, as hedgehog signaling is essential for overall tail regeneration and sonic hedgehog is exclusively expressed in the spinal cord. In order to know whether hedgehog signaling is involved in the molecular mechanism underlying the inconsistent tissue dependency for tail regeneration between anurans and urodeles, we investigated expression of hedgehog signal-related genes in the regenerating tail of Xenopus tadpole and examined the effect of the hedgehog signal inhibitor, cyclopamine, on the tail regeneration. In Xenopus, sonic hedgehog is expressed exclusively in the notochord but not in the spinal cord of the regenerate. Overall regeneration was severely impaired in cyclopamine-treated tadpoles. Notochord maturation in the regenerate, including cell alignment and vacuolation, and myofiber formation were inhibited. Proliferation of spinal cord cells in the neural ampulla and of mesenchymal cells was also impaired. As in the axolotl, hedgehog signaling is required for multiple steps in tail regeneration in the Xenopus tadpole, although the location of the Shh source is quite different between the two species. This difference in Shh localization is the likely basis for the differing tissue requirement for tail regeneration between urodeles and anurans.

  1. 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

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    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.

  2. A Novel Amphibian Tier 2 Testing Protocol: A 30-Week Exposure of Xenopus Tropicalis to the Antiandrogen Flutamide

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Knechtges, Paul L; Sprando, Robert L; Porter, Karen L; Brennan, Linda M; Miller, Mark F; Kumsher, David M; Dennis, William E; Brown, Charles C; Clegg Paul L. Knechtges. Robert L. Sprando. Karen L. Potter., Eric D

    2007-01-01

    .... For that reason, a tier 2 testing protocol using Xenopus (Silurana) tropicalis and a 30-week, flow-through exposure to the antiandrogen flutamide from stage 46 tadpoles through sexually mature adult frogs were developed and evaluated in this pilot study...

  3. Protein incorporation by isolated amphibian oocytes. VI. Comparison of autologous and xenogeneic vitellogenins

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    Wallace, R A; Deufel, R A; Misulovin, Z

    1980-01-01

    1. Labeled vitellogenins were isolated from the sera of several amphibians, a turtle, and a pigeon, and were incubated in vitro with oocytes from Xenopus laevis and Rana pipiens. 2. Oocytes from X. laevis sequestered vitellogenin from salamanders, turtle, and pigeon at rates comparable to that for autologous vitellogenin, while anuran vitellogenins were sequestered at somewhat lower rates. 3. Oocytes from R. pipiens sequestered X. laevis vitellogenin at a rate comparable to autologous vitellogenin, while salamander, turtle, and pigeon vitellogenins were sequestered at faster rates. 4. All vitellogenins examined appear to be recognized and incorporated specifically by X. laevis and R. pipiens oocytes.

  4. Climate change and amphibians

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    Corn, P. S.

    2005-01-01

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

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

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    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

  6. 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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  7. The acute thermal respiratory response is unique among species in a guild of larval anuran amphibians-Implications for energy economy in a warmer future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowe, Christopher L; Crandall, Erin A

    2018-03-15

    Climate change is bringing about increased temperatures of amphibian habitats throughout the world, where ectothermic larvae will experience elevated respiratory (metabolic) energy demands. We compared the acute, thermal respiratory response ("TRR") of four species of sympatric larval amphibians (Lithobates sphenocephalus, L. catesbeianus, Scaphiopus holbrookii, and Hyla chrysoscelis) to determine species-specific differences in the rate at which metabolic energy requirements increase with temperature. The TRR, the slope of the relationship between respiration rate and temperature within critical thermal limits, varied significantly among species such that the absolute, per capita change in metabolic energy requirement as temperature increased was greater for L. sphenocephalus and L. catesbeianus than for H. chrysoscelis and S. holbrookii. This was also reflected in the temperature coefficients (Q 10,18.5-25.5 ), which ranged from 1.77 (S. holbrookii) to 2.70 (L. sphenocephalus) for per capita respiration rates. Our results suggest that L. sphenocephalus and L. catesbeianus will experience a more rapid increase in energetic requirements as temperature increases relative to the other species, possibly magnifying their influences on the resource pool. There is a critical paucity of information on the metabolic responses of most larval amphibians across a range of temperatures, despite that this relationship dictates the magnitude of the priority investment of assimilated energy in respiration, thus shaping the energetic economy of the individual. A broader knowledge of species-specific TRRs, combined with research to determine thermal acclimatory or adaptive potentials over chronic time scales, will provide a framework for evaluating whether asymmetric, climate-mediated differences in energetic demands among species could ultimately influence larval amphibian ecology in a warmer future. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Exploring nervous system transcriptomes during embryogenesis and metamorphosis in Xenopus tropicalis using EST analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wegnez Maurice

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The western African clawed frog Xenopus tropicalis is an anuran amphibian species now used as model in vertebrate comparative genomics. It provides the same advantages as Xenopus laevis but is diploid and has a smaller genome of 1.7 Gbp. Therefore X. tropicalis is more amenable to systematic transcriptome surveys. We initiated a large-scale partial cDNA sequencing project to provide a functional genomics resource on genes expressed in the nervous system during early embryogenesis and metamorphosis in X. tropicalis. Results A gene index was defined and analysed after the collection of over 48,785 high quality sequences. These partial cDNA sequences were obtained from an embryonic head and retina library (30,272 sequences and from a metamorphic brain and spinal cord library (27,602 sequences. These ESTs are estimated to represent 9,693 transcripts derived from an estimated 6,000 genes. Comparison of these cDNA sequences with protein databases indicates that 46% contain their start codon. Further annotation included Gene Ontology functional classification, InterPro domain analysis, alternative splicing and non-coding RNA identification. Gene expression profiles were derived from EST counts and used to define transcripts specific to metamorphic stages of development. Moreover, these ESTs allowed identification of a set of 225 polymorphic microsatellites that can be used as genetic markers. Conclusion These cDNA sequences permit in silico cloning of numerous genes and will facilitate studies aimed at deciphering the roles of cognate genes expressed in the nervous system during neural development and metamorphosis. The genomic resources developed to study X. tropicalis biology will accelerate exploration of amphibian physiology and genetics. In particular, the model will facilitate analysis of key questions related to anuran embryogenesis and metamorphosis and its associated regulatory processes.

  11. Sex Reversal in Amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flament, Stéphane

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Habitat and landscape characteristics underlying anuran community structure along an urban-rural gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pillsbury, Finn C; Miller, James R

    2008-07-01

    Urbanization has been cited as an important factor in worldwide amphibian declines, and although recent work has illustrated the important influence of broad-scale ecological patterns and processes on amphibian populations, little is known about the factors structuring amphibian communities in urban landscapes. We therefore examined amphibian community responses to wetland habitat availability and landscape characteristics along an urban-rural gradient in central Iowa, USA, a region experiencing rapid suburban growth. We conducted call surveys at 61 wetlands to estimate anuran calling activity, and quantified wetland habitat structure and landscape context. We used canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) to examine patterns in anuran community structure and identify the most important variables associated with those patterns. Urban density at the landscape scale had a significant negative influence on overall anuran abundance and diversity. While every species exhibited a decrease in abundance with increasing urban density, this pattern was especially pronounced for species requiring post-breeding upland habitats. Anurans most affected by urbanization were those associated with short hydroperiods, early breeding activity, and substantial upland habitat use. We suggest that broad-scale landscape fragmentation is an important factor underlying anuran community structure in this region, possibly due to limitations on the accessibility of otherwise suitable habitat in fragmented urban landscapes. This study underscores the importance of a regional approach to amphibian conservation in urban and urbanizing areas; in fragmented landscapes, a network of interconnected wetland and upland habitats may be more likely to support a successful, diverse anuran community than will isolated sites.

  13. PIT Tagging Anurans

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCreary, Brome

    2008-01-01

    The following video demonstrates a procedure to insert a passive integrated transponder (PIT) tag under the skin of an anuran (frog or toad) for research and monitoring purposes. Typically, a 12.5 mm tag (0.5 in.) is used to uniquely identify individual anurans as smal as 40 mm (1.6 in.) in length from snout to vent. Smaller tags are also available and allow smaller anurans to be tagged. The procedure does not differ for other sizes of tages or other sizes of anurans. Anyone using this procedure should ensure that the tag is small enough to fit easily behind the sacral hump of the anuran, as shown in this video.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Lemos-Espinal, Julio; Smith, Geoffrey

    2015-01-01

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

  15. 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 ...

  16. Climate change and amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corn, P.S.

    2005-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Anuran trypanosomes: phylogenetic evidence for new clades in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    da S Ferreira, Juliana I G; da Costa, Andrea P; Ramirez, Diego; Roldan, Jairo A M; Saraiva, Danilo; da S Founier, Gislene F R; Sue, Ana; Zambelli, Erick R; Minervino, Antonio H H; Verdade, Vanessa K; Gennari, Solange M; Marcili, Arlei

    2015-05-01

    Trypanosomes of anurans and fish are grouped into the Aquatic Clade which includes species isolated from fish, amphibians, turtles and platypus, usually transmitted by leeches and phlebotomine sand flies. Trypanosomes from Brazilian frogs are grouped within the Aquatic Clade with other anuran trypanosome species, where there seems to be coevolutionary patterns with vertebrate hosts and association to Brazilian biomes (Atlantic Forest, Pantanal and Amazonia Rainforest). We characterised the anuran trypanosomes from two different areas of the Cerrado biome and examined their phylogenetic relationships based on the SSU rRNA gene. A total of 112 anurans of six species was analysed and trypanosome prevalence evaluated through haemoculture was found to be 7% (8 positive frogs). However, only three isolates (2.7%) from two anuran species were recovered and cryopreserved. Analysis including SSU rDNA sequences from previous studies segregated the anuran trypanosomes into six groups, the previously reported An01 to An04, and An05 and An06 reported herein. Clade An05 comprises the isolates from Leptodactylus latrans (Steffen) and Pristimantis sp. captured in the Cerrado biome and Trypanosoma chattoni Mathis & Leger, 1911. The inclusion of new isolates in the phylogenetic analyses provided evidence for a new group (An06) of parasites from phlebotomine hosts. Our results indicate that the diversity of trypanosome species is underestimated since studies conducted in Brazil and other regions of the world are still few.

  19. Occurrence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in anurans of the Mediterranean region of Baja California, México

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peralta-Garcia, Anny; Adams, Andrea J.; Briggs, Cheryl J.; Galina-Tessaro, Patricia; Valdez-Villavicencio, Jorge H.; Hollingsworth, Bradford; Shaffer, H. Bradley; Fisher, Robert N.

    2018-01-01

     Chytridiomycosis is caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and is regarded as one of the most significant threats to global amphibian populations. In México, Bd was first reported in 2003 and has now been documented in 13 states. We visited 33 localities and swabbed 199 wild-caught anurans from 7 species (5 native, 2 exotic) across the Mediterranean region of the state of Baja California. Using quantitative PCR, Bd was detected in 94 individuals (47.2% of samples) at 25 of the 33 survey localities for 5 native and 1 exotic frog species. The exotic Xenopus laevis was the only species that tested completely negative for Bd. We found that remoteness, distance to agricultural land, and elevation were the best predictors of Bd presence. These are the first Bd-positive results for the state of Baja California and its presence should be regarded as an additional conservation threat to the region’s native frog species. 

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  1. The diversity and evolution of anuran skin peptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    König, Enrico; Bininda-Emonds, Olaf R P; Shaw, Chris

    2015-01-01

    Amphibians exhibit various, characteristic adaptations related to their "incomplete" shift from the aquatic to the terrestrial habitat. In particular, the integument was subject to a number of specialized modifications during the evolution of these animals. In this review, we place special emphasis on endogenous host-defence skin peptides from the cuteanous granular glands anuran amphibians (frogs and toads). The overview on the two broad groups of neuroactive and antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) goes beyond a simple itemization in that we provide a new perspective into the evolution and function of anuran AMPs. Briefly, these cationic, amphipathic and α-helical peptides are traditionally viewed as being part of the innate immune system, protecting the moist skin against invading microorganisms through their cytolytic action. However, the complete record of anuran species investigated to date suggests that AMPs are distributed sporadically (i.e., non-universally) across Anura. Together with the intriguing observation that virtually all anurans known to produce neuropeptides in their granular glands also co-secrete cytolytic peptides, we call the traditional role for AMPs as being purely antimicrobial into question and present an alternative scenario. We hypothesize AMPs to assist neuroactive peptides in their antipredator role through their cytolytic action increasing the delivery of the latter to the endocrine and nervous system of the predator. Thus, AMPs are more accurately viewed as cytolysins and their contribution to the immune system is better regarded as an accessory benefit. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Expression and hypophysiotropic actions of corticotropin-releasing factor in Xenopus laevis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boorse, Graham C; Denver, Robert J

    2004-07-01

    Members of the corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) family of peptides play pivotal roles in the regulation of neuroendocrine, autonomic, and behavioral responses to physical and emotional stress. In amphibian tadpoles, CRF-like peptides stimulate both thyroid and interrenal (adrenal) hormone secretion, and can thereby modulate the rate of metamorphosis. To better understand the regulation of expression and actions of CRF in amphibians we developed a homologous radioimmunoassay (RIA) for Xenopus laevis CRF (xCRF). We validated this RIA and tissue extraction procedure for the measurement of brain CRF content in tadpoles and juveniles. We show that the CRF-binding protein, which is highly expressed in X. laevis brain, is largely removed by acid extraction and does not interfere in the RIA. We analyzed CRF peptide content in five microdissected brain regions in prometamorphic tadpoles and juveniles. CRF was detected throughout the brain, consistent with its role as both a hypophysiotropin and a neurotransmitter/neuromodulator. CRF content was highest in the region of the preoptic area (POa) and increased in all brain regions after metamorphosis. Exposure to 4h of handling/shaking stress resulted in increased CRF peptide content in the POa in juvenile frogs. Injections of xCRF into prometamorphic tadpoles increased whole body corticosterone and thyroxine content, thus supporting findings in other anuran species that this peptide functions as both a corticotropin- and a thyrotropin (TSH)-releasing factor. Furthermore, treatment of cultured tadpole pituitaries with xCRF (100nM for 24h) resulted in increased medium content, but decreased pituitary content of TSHbeta-immunoreactivity. Our results support the view that CRF functions as a stress neuropeptide in X. laevis as in other vertebrates. Furthermore, we provide evidence for a dual hypophysiotropic action of CRF on the thyroid and interrenal axes in X. laevis as has been shown previously in other amphibian species.

  3. Cytoskeleton and gravity at work in the establishment of dorso-ventral polarity in the egg of Xenopus laevis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ubbels, Geertje A.; Brom, Tim G.

    The establishment of polarities during early embryogenesis is essential for normal development. Amphibian eggs are appropriate models for studies on embryonic pattern formation. The animal-vegetal axis of the axially symmetrical amphibian egg originates during oogenesis and foreshadows the main body axis of the embryo. The dorso-ventral polarity is epigenetically established before first cleavage. Recent experiments strongly suggest that in the monospermic eggs of the anuran Xenopus laevis both the cytoskeleton and gravity act in the determination of the dorso-ventral polarity. In order to test the role of gravity in this process, eggs will be fertilized under microgravity conditions during the SL-D1 flight in 1985. In a fully automatic experiment container eggs will be kept under well-defined conditions and artificially fertilized as soon as microgravity is reached; eggs and embryos at different stages will then be fixed for later examination. Back on earth the material will be analysed and we will know whether fertilization under microgravity conditions is possible. If so, the relation of the dorso-ventral axis to the former sperm entry point will be determined on the whole embryos; in addition eggs and embryos will be analysed cytologically.

  4. Chemosignals, hormones, and amphibian reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodley, Sarah

    2015-02-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Spinal cord regeneration in Xenopus tadpoles proceeds through activation of Sox2-positive cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background In contrast to mammals, amphibians, such as adult urodeles (for example, newts) and anuran larvae (for example, Xenopus) can regenerate their spinal cord after injury. However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in this process are still poorly understood. Results Here, we report that tail amputation results in a global increase of Sox2 levels and proliferation of Sox2+ cells. Overexpression of a dominant negative form of Sox2 diminished proliferation of spinal cord resident cells affecting tail regeneration after amputation, suggesting that spinal cord regeneration is crucial for the whole process. After spinal cord transection, Sox2+ cells are found in the ablation gap forming aggregates. Furthermore, Sox2 levels correlated with regenerative capabilities during metamorphosis, observing a decrease in Sox2 levels at non-regenerative stages. Conclusions Sox2+ cells contribute to the regeneration of spinal cord after tail amputation and transection. Sox2 levels decreases during metamorphosis concomitantly with the lost of regenerative capabilities. Our results lead to a working hypothesis in which spinal cord damage activates proliferation and/or migration of Sox2+ cells, thus allowing regeneration of the spinal cord after tail amputation or reconstitution of the ependymal epithelium after spinal cord transection. PMID:22537391

  7. Habitat associations of chorusing anurans in the Lower Mississippi River Alluvial valley

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lichtenberg, J.S.; King, S.L.; Grace, J.B.; Walls, S.C.

    2006-01-01

    Amphibian populations have declined worldwide. To pursue conservation efforts adequately, land managers need more information concerning amphibian habitat requirements. To address this need, we examined relationships between anurans and habitat characteristics of wetlands in the Lower Mississippi River Alluvial Valley (LMAV). We surveyed chorusing anurans in 31 wetlands in 2000 and 28 wetlands in 2001, and measured microhabitat variables along the shoreline within the week following each survey. We recorded 12 species of anurans during our study. Species richness was significantly lower in 2000 than 2001 (t-test, P < 0.001) and correlated with an ongoing drought. We found species richness to be significantly greater at lake sites compared to impoundment, swale, and riverine sites (ANOVA, P = 0.002). We used stepwise regression to investigate the wetland types and microhabitat characteristics associated with species richness of chorusing anurans. Microhabitat characteristics associated with species richness included dense herbaceous vegetation and accumulated litter along the shoreline. Individual species showed species-specific habitat associations. The bronze frog, American bullfrog, and northern cricket frog were positively associated with lake sites (Fisher's Exact Test, P < 0.05), however wetland type did not significantly influence any additional species. Using bivariate correlations, we found that six of the seven most common species had significant associations with microhabitat variables. Overall, our findings support the view that conservation and enhancement of amphibian communities in the LMAV and elsewhere requires a matrix of diverse wetland types and habitat conditions. ?? 2006, The Society of Wetland Scientists.

  8. Sperm motility of externally fertilizing fish and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Anuran road-kills neighboring a peri-urban reserve in the Atlantic Forest, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coelho, Igor Pfeifer; Teixeira, Fernanda Zimmermann; Colombo, Patrick; Coelho, Artur Vicente Pfeifer; Kindel, Andreas

    2012-12-15

    Mortality from road-kills may figure among the important causes of decline in amphibian populations and species extinctions worldwide. Evaluation of the magnitude, composition, and temporal and spatial distributions of amphibian road-kills is a key step for mitigation planning, especially in peri-urban reserves. Once a month for 16 months, we surveyed, on foot, a 4.4 km section of state road ERS-389 bordering the Itapeva reserve in the southern Atlantic Forest. We recorded 1433 anuran road-kills and estimated a mortality rate of 9002 road-kills/km/year. The species most often recorded were the largest ones: Leptodactylus latrans, Rhinella icterica, Leptodactylus gracilis and Hypsiboas faber; 54.5% of the carcasses could not be identified. Anuran mortality was concentrated in summer, and was associated with temperature, rainfall and photoperiod. Leptodactylus road-kills were strongly influenced by vehicle traffic, probably because of its high abundance during the entire study period. Road-kill hotspots differed for anurans as a group and for single species, and we found an association among spatial patterns of mortality and types of land cover, distance from the nearest waterbody, roadside ditches, and artificial light. Traffic should be banned temporarily during periods of high mortality, which can be forecasted based on meteorological data. A comprehensive mitigation approach should take into account hotspots of all anuran records, and also of target species for selecting locations for amphibian passages and fencing. Roadside ditches, artificial waterbodies, and conventional street lights should be reduced as much as possible, since they may represent ecological traps for anuran populations. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Unusual evolutionary conservation and further species-specific adaptations of a large family of nonclassical MHC class Ib genes across different degrees of genome ploidy in the amphibian subfamily Xenopodinae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edholm, Eva-Stina; Goyos, Ana; Taran, Joseph; De Jesús Andino, Francisco; Ohta, Yuko; Robert, Jacques

    2014-06-01

    Nonclassical MHC class Ib (class Ib) genes are a family of highly diverse and rapidly evolving genes wherein gene numbers, organization, and expression markedly differ even among closely related species rendering class Ib phylogeny difficult to establish. Whereas among mammals there are few unambiguous class Ib gene orthologs, different amphibian species belonging to the anuran subfamily Xenopodinae exhibit an unusually high degree of conservation among multiple class Ib gene lineages. Comparative genomic analysis of class Ib gene loci of two divergent (~65 million years) Xenopodinae subfamily members Xenopus laevis (allotetraploid) and Xenopus tropicalis (diploid) shows that both species possess a large cluster of class Ib genes denoted as Xenopus/Silurana nonclassical (XNC/SNC). Our study reveals two distinct phylogenetic patterns among these genes: some gene lineages display a high degree of flexibility, as demonstrated by species-specific expansion and contractions, whereas other class Ib gene lineages have been maintained as monogenic subfamilies with very few changes in their nucleotide sequence across divergent species. In this second category, we further investigated the XNC/SNC10 gene lineage that in X. laevis is required for the development of a distinct semi-invariant T cell population. We report compelling evidence of the remarkable high degree of conservation of this gene lineage that is present in all 12 species of the Xenopodinae examined, including species with different degrees of ploidy ranging from 2, 4, 8 to 12 N. This suggests that the critical role of XNC10 during early T cell development is conserved in amphibians.

  11. Multiple major histocompatibility complex class I genes in Asian anurans: Ontogeny and phylogeny.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Didinger, Chelsea; Eimes, John A; Lillie, Mette; Waldman, Bruce

    2017-05-01

    Amphibians, as the first terrestrial vertebrates, offer a window into early major histocompatibility complex (MHC) evolution. We characterized the MHC class I of two Korean amphibians, the Asiatic toad (Bufo gargarizans) and the Japanese tree frog (Hyla japonica). We found at least four transcribed MHC class I (MHC I) loci, the highest number confirmed in any anuran to date. Furthermore, we identified MHC I transcripts in terrestrial adults, and possibly in aquatic larvae, of both species. We conducted a phylogenetic analysis based on MHC I sequence data and found that B. gargarizans and H. japonica cluster together in the superfamily Nobleobatrachia. We further identified three supertypes shared by the two species. Our results reveal substantial variation in the number of MHC I loci in anurans and suggest that certain supertypes have particular physiochemical properties that may confer pathogen resistance. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

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    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.

  13. 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...

  14. CEPF Western Ghats Special Series : Diversity and distribution of anurans in Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary (PWS, northern Western Ghats of India

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    U. Katwate

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available In global consequences of rapidly changing climate and increased amphibian population decline, mapping amphibian diversity in biodiversity hotspots is essential. In this study we have systematically studied anurans of Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary in terms of species diversity, population structure, threat status and distribution. We recorded a total of 22 anuran species, of which 11 species are endemic to Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot. Family Dicroglossidae was found to be more species-rich. Spatial and temporal variation in anuran diversity was observed by using Shannon diversity and evenness indices. Most of the endemic and threatened anuran species are found to be associated with evergreen undisturbed forest patches. Habitat parameters like humidity, forest type, canopy coverage, riparian canopy coverage, stream persistence and litter depth are found to be major variables governing species diversity and distribution. Major anthropogenic threats to amphibians of Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary are discussed along with future conservation objectives. With range extension of species like Fejervarya caperata and Minervarya sahyadris further north in the Western Ghats, taxonomic ambiguities recorded during study are discussed briefly.

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. Ecology of anuran populations inhabiting thermally stressed aquatic ecosystems, with emphasis on larval Rana pipiens and Bufo terrestris

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nelson, D.H.

    1974-01-01

    Field and laboratory studies were conducted to determine the responses of anuran populations to thermally stressed aquatic ecosystems. Adult and larval amphibians were sampled in and around a cool arm of a 67 ha reservoir that receives high temperature effluent from a nuclear production reactor on the Savannah River Plant (SRP) in South Carolina. Patterns for some species were compared with data from nearby unheated areas and analyzed in terms of the thermal gradient (16-45 C) extending the length of the reservoir's cool arm. The adaptation to breeding during nocturnal rainfall fortuitously confers a double advantage especially to anurans breeding in thermally stressed waters. (U.S.)

  18. Evolution of morphology and locomotor performance in anurans: relationships with microhabitat diversification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Citadini, J M; Brandt, R; Williams, C R; Gomes, F R

    2018-03-01

    The relationships between morphology, performance, behavior and ecology provide evidence for multiple and complex phenotypic adaptations. The anuran body plan, for example, is evolutionarily conserved and shows clear specializations to jumping performance back at least to the early Jurassic. However, there are instances of more recent adaptation to habit diversity in the post-cranial skeleton, including relative limb length. The present study tested adaptive models of morphological evolution in anurans associated with the diversity of microhabitat use (semi-aquatic arboreal, fossorial, torrent, and terrestrial) in species of anuran amphibians from Brazil and Australia. We use phylogenetic comparative methods to determine which evolutionary models, including Brownian motion (BM) and Ornstein-Uhlenbeck (OU) are consistent with morphological variation observed across anuran species. Furthermore, this study investigated the relationship of maximum distance jumped as a function of components of morphological variables and microhabitat use. We found there are multiple optima of limb lengths associated to different microhabitats with a trend of increasing hindlimbs in torrent, arboreal, semi-aquatic whereas fossorial and terrestrial species evolve toward optima with shorter hindlimbs. Moreover, arboreal, semi-aquatic and torrent anurans have higher jumping performance and longer hindlimbs, when compared to terrestrial and fossorial species. We corroborate the hypothesis that evolutionary modifications of overall limb morphology have been important in the diversification of locomotor performance along the anuran phylogeny. Such evolutionary changes converged in different phylogenetic groups adapted to similar microhabitat use in two different zoogeographical regions. © 2018 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2018 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  19. Lowland extirpation of anuran populations on a tropical mountain

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    Marconi Campos-Cerqueira

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Background Climate change and infectious diseases threaten animal and plant species, even in natural and protected areas. To cope with these changes, species may acclimate, adapt, move or decline. Here, we test for shifts in anuran distributions in the Luquillo Mountains (LM, a tropical montane forest in Puerto Rico by comparing species distributions from historical (1931–1989and current data (2015/2016. Methods Historical data, which included different methodologies, were gathered through the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF and published literature, and the current data were collected using acoustic recorders along three elevational transects. Results In the recordings, we detected the 12 native frog species known to occur in LM. Over a span of ∼25 years, two species have become extinct and four species suffered extirpation in lowland areas. As a consequence, low elevation areas in the LM (<300 m have lost at least six anuran species. Discussion We hypothesize that these extirpations are due to the effects of climate change and infectious diseases, which are restricting many species to higher elevations and a much smaller area. Land use change is not responsible for these changes because LM has been a protected reserve for the past 80 years. However, previous studies indicate that (1 climate change has increased temperatures in Puerto Rico, and (2 Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd was found in 10 native species and early detection of Bd coincides with anurans declines in the LM. Our study confirms the general impressions of amphibian population extirpations at low elevations, and corroborates the levels of threat assigned by IUCN.

  20. Lowland extirpation of anuran populations on a tropical mountain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aide, T. Mitchell

    2017-01-01

    Background Climate change and infectious diseases threaten animal and plant species, even in natural and protected areas. To cope with these changes, species may acclimate, adapt, move or decline. Here, we test for shifts in anuran distributions in the Luquillo Mountains (LM), a tropical montane forest in Puerto Rico by comparing species distributions from historical (1931–1989)and current data (2015/2016). Methods Historical data, which included different methodologies, were gathered through the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and published literature, and the current data were collected using acoustic recorders along three elevational transects. Results In the recordings, we detected the 12 native frog species known to occur in LM. Over a span of ∼25 years, two species have become extinct and four species suffered extirpation in lowland areas. As a consequence, low elevation areas in the LM (indicate that (1) climate change has increased temperatures in Puerto Rico, and (2) Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) was found in 10 native species and early detection of Bd coincides with anurans declines in the LM. Our study confirms the general impressions of amphibian population extirpations at low elevations, and corroborates the levels of threat assigned by IUCN. PMID:29158987

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-06-01

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

  2. A glyphosate micro-emulsion formulation displays teratogenicity in Xenopus laevis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonfanti, Patrizia; Saibene, M; Bacchetta, R; Mantecca, P; Colombo, A

    2018-02-01

    Glyphosate is the active ingredient in broad-spectrum herbicide formulations used in agriculture, domestic area and aquatic weed control worldwide. Its market is growing steadily concurrently with the cultivation of glyphosate-tolerant transgenic crops and emergence of weeds less sensitive to glyphosate. Ephemeral and lentic waters near to agricultural lands, representing favorite habitats for amphibian reproduction and early life-stage development, may thus be contaminated by glyphosate based herbicides (GBHs) residues. Previous studies on larval anuran species highlighted increased mortality and growth effects after exposure to different GBHs in comparison to glyphosate itself, mainly because of the surfactants such as polyethoxylated tallow amine present in the formulations. Nevertheless, these conclusions are not completely fulfilled when the early development, characterized by primary organogenesis events, is considered. In this study, we compare the embryotoxicity of Roundup ® Power 2.0, a new GBH formulation currently authorized in Italy, with that of technical grade glyphosate using the Frog Embryo Teratogenesis Assay-Xenopus (FETAX). Our results evidenced that glyphosate was not embryolethal and only at the highest concentration (50 mg a.e./L) caused edemas. Conversely, Roundup ® Power 2.0 exhibited a 96 h LC50 of 24.78 mg a.e./L and a 96 h EC50 of 7.8 mg a.e./L. A Teratogenic Index of 3.4 was derived, pointing out the high teratogenic potential of the Roundup ® Power 2.0. Specific concentration-dependent abnormal phenotypes, such as craniofacial alterations, microphthalmia, narrow eyes and forebrain regionalization defects were evidenced by gross malformation screening and histopathological analysis. These phenotypes are coherent with those evidenced in Xenopus laevis embryos injected with glyphosate, allowing us to hypothesize that the teratogenicity observed for Roundup ® Power 2.0 may be related to the improved efficacy in delivering

  3. Amphibian Metamorphosis: A Sensitive Life Stage to Chemical and Non-chemical Stressors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amphibian metamorphosis is a dynamic period of post-embryonic development which transforms the larval anuran into the juvenile. The body structure is remodeled through a variety of processes which may be perturbed by exposure to chemicals as well as other environmental stressors....

  4. Central projections of the nervus terminalis in four species of amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmann, M H; Meyer, D L

    1989-01-01

    The central projections of the nervus terminalis were investigated in two anuran and two urodele species by means of horseradish peroxidase injections into one nasal cavity. In anurans, the nervus terminalis projects to the medial septum, to the preoptic nucleus, to the nucleus of the anterior commissure and to the hypothalamus. In addition to these structures, the dorsal thalamus, the infundibulum and the mesencephalic tegmentum are innervated in urodeles. The structure containing the highest density of terminals in the amphibians investigated is the hypothalamus. In one anuran and one urodele species, the contralateral hypothalamus is primarily innervated, whereas in the other two species the majority of fibers remain ipsilateral. A comparison with other vertebrates shows that the terminalis system in urodeles has the greatest diversity of connections. Anurans, in contrast, lack some connections that are present in urodeles and fishes. These findings have implications for a possible relation of the nervus terminalis to an aquatic habitat.

  5. Tropical anurans mature early and die young: Evidence from eight Afromontane Hyperolius species and a meta-analysis.

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    Ulrich Sinsch

    Full Text Available Age- and size-related life-history traits of anuran amphibians are thought to vary systematically with latitude and altitude. Because the available data base is strongly biased towards temperate-zone species, we provide new estimates on eight afrotropical Reed Frog species. A meta-analysis of the demographic traits in 44 tropical anuran species aims to test for the predicted clinal variation and to contrast results with variation detected in temperate-zone species. The small-sized reed frogs reach sexual maturity during the first or second year of life, but longevity does not exceed three to four years. Latitudinal effects on demographic life-history traits are not detectable in tropical anurans, and altitudinal effects are limited to a slight size reduction at higher elevations. Common features of anuran life-history in the tropics are early sexual maturation at small size and low longevity resulting in low lifetime fecundity. This pattern contrasts with that found in temperate-zone anurans which mature later at larger size and grow considerably older yielding greater lifetime fecundity than in the tropics. Latitudinal and altitudinal contraction of the yearly activity period shape the evolution of life-history traits in the temperate region, while trait variation in the tropics seems to be driven by distinct, not yet identified selective forces.

  6. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ariane Lima Xavier

    Full Text Available 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

  8. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kidane, A.H.; van Dooren, S.H.; 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

  12. Calling phenology of a diverse amphibian assemblage in response to meteorological conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plenderleith, T. Lynette; Stratford, Danial; Lollback, Gregory W.; Chapple, David G.; Reina, Richard D.; Hero, Jean-Marc

    2017-12-01

    The strong association between amphibian activity, breeding and recruitment with local environmental conditions raises concerns regarding how changes in climate may affect the persistence of species populations into the future. Additionally, in a highly diverse assemblage of anurans, competition for breeding sites affects the time and duration of activity, as species compete for limited resources such as water. Meteorological conditions are strong drivers of amphibian activity, so we assessed whether temperature, rainfall, atmospheric pressure and humidity were associated with the calling phenology of an assemblage of anurans in South East Queensland, Australia. We performed calling surveys and collected digital recordings at 45 ponds in an area known for high anuran diversity. We performed detection analyses to investigate the influence of 10 meteorological variables in detection of calling activity in 19 amphibian species. Our results suggest four breeding strategies in the assemblage: explosive summer breeders, prolonged breeders, opportunistic breeders and a winter breeder. Classifying these species into associations provides a framework for understanding how species respond to environmental conditions. Explosive breeders (i.e. species demonstrating short and highly synchronised breeding periods) were particularly responsive to temperature. Our findings help elucidate the breeding phenology of frogs and provide valuable information on their mating systems in native Australian forests. This study highlights the difficulties of surveying even common anurans. We highlight the importance of predictability and stability in climate and the vulnerability of species for which reproduction appears to require highly specific environmental cues.

  13. Calling phenology of a diverse amphibian assemblage in response to meteorological conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plenderleith, T. Lynette; Stratford, Danial; Lollback, Gregory W.; Chapple, David G.; Reina, Richard D.; Hero, Jean-Marc

    2018-05-01

    The strong association between amphibian activity, breeding and recruitment with local environmental conditions raises concerns regarding how changes in climate may affect the persistence of species populations into the future. Additionally, in a highly diverse assemblage of anurans, competition for breeding sites affects the time and duration of activity, as species compete for limited resources such as water. Meteorological conditions are strong drivers of amphibian activity, so we assessed whether temperature, rainfall, atmospheric pressure and humidity were associated with the calling phenology of an assemblage of anurans in South East Queensland, Australia. We performed calling surveys and collected digital recordings at 45 ponds in an area known for high anuran diversity. We performed detection analyses to investigate the influence of 10 meteorological variables in detection of calling activity in 19 amphibian species. Our results suggest four breeding strategies in the assemblage: explosive summer breeders, prolonged breeders, opportunistic breeders and a winter breeder. Classifying these species into associations provides a framework for understanding how species respond to environmental conditions. Explosive breeders (i.e. species demonstrating short and highly synchronised breeding periods) were particularly responsive to temperature. Our findings help elucidate the breeding phenology of frogs and provide valuable information on their mating systems in native Australian forests. This study highlights the difficulties of surveying even common anurans. We highlight the importance of predictability and stability in climate and the vulnerability of species for which reproduction appears to require highly specific environmental cues.

  14. Climate patterns as predictors of amphibians species richness and indicators of potential stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battaglin, W.; Hay, L.; McCabe, G.; Nanjappa, P.; Gallant, Alisa L.

    2005-01-01

    Amphibians occupy a range of habitats throughout the world, but species richness is greatest in regions with moist, warm climates. We modeled the statistical relations of anuran and urodele species richness with mean annual climate for the conterminous United States, and compared the strength of these relations at national and regional levels. Model variables were calculated for county and subcounty mapping units, and included 40-year (1960-1999) annual mean and mean annual climate statistics, mapping unit average elevation, mapping unit land area, and estimates of anuran and urodele species richness. Climate data were derived from more than 7,500 first-order and cooperative meteorological stations and were interpolated to the mapping units using multiple linear regression models. Anuran and urodele species richness were calculated from the United States Geological Survey's Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) National Atlas for Amphibian Distributions. The national multivariate linear regression (MLR) model of anuran species richness had an adjusted coefficient of determination (R2) value of 0.64 and the national MLR model for urodele species richness had an R2 value of 0.45. Stratifying the United States by coarse-resolution ecological regions provided models for anUrans that ranged in R2 values from 0.15 to 0.78. Regional models for urodeles had R2 values. ranging from 0.27 to 0.74. In general, regional models for anurans were more strongly influenced by temperature variables, whereas precipitation variables had a larger influence on urodele models.

  15. 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

  16. Long-term monitoring of tropical alpine habitat change, Andean anurans, and chytrid fungus in the Cordillera Vilcanota, Peru: Results from a decade of study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seimon, Tracie A; Seimon, Anton; Yager, Karina; Reider, Kelsey; Delgado, Amanda; Sowell, Preston; Tupayachi, Alfredo; Konecky, Bronwen; McAloose, Denise; Halloy, Stephan

    2017-03-01

    The Cordillera Vilcanota in southern Peru is the second largest glacierized range in the tropics and home to one of the largest high-alpine lakes, Sibinacocha (4,860 m). Here, Telmatobius marmoratus (marbled water frog), Rhinella spinulosa (Andean toad), and Pleurodema marmoratum (marbled four-eyed frog) have expanded their range vertically within the past century to inhabit newly formed ponds created by ongoing deglaciation. These anuran populations, geographically among the highest (5,200-5,400 m) recorded globally, are being impacted by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis ( Bd ), and the disease it causes, chytridiomycosis. In this study, we report results from over a decade of monitoring these three anuran species, their habitat, and Bd infection status. Our observations reveal dynamic changes in habitat including ongoing rapid deglaciation (18.4 m/year widening of a corridor between retreating glaciers from 2005 to 2015), new pond formation, changes in vegetation in amphibian habitat, and widespread occurrence of Bd in amphibians in seven sites. Three of these sites have tested positive for Bd over a 9- to 12-year period. In addition, we observed a widespread reduction in T. marmoratus encounters in the Vilcanota in 2008, 2009, and 2012, while encounters increased in 2013 and 2015. Despite the rapid and dynamic changes in habitat under a warming climate, continued presence of Bd in the environment for over a decade, and a reduction in one of three anuran species, we document that these anurans continue to breed and survive in this high Andean environment. High variability in anuran encounters across sites and plasticity in these populations across habitats, sites, and years are all factors that could favor repopulation postdecline. Preserving the connectivity of wetlands in the Cordillera Vilcanota is therefore essential in ensuring that anurans continue to breed and adapt as climate change continues to reshape the environment.

  17. Next generation sequencing and comparative analyses of Xenopus mitogenomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lloyd Rhiannon E

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mitochondrial genomes comprise a small but critical component of the total DNA in eukaryotic organisms. They encode several key proteins for the cell’s major energy producing apparatus, the mitochondrial respiratory chain. Additonally, their nucleotide and amino acid sequences are of great utility as markers for systematics, molecular ecology and forensics. Their characterization through nucleotide sequencing is a fundamental starting point in mitogenomics. Methods to amplify complete mitochondrial genomes rapidly and efficiently from microgram quantities of tissue of single individuals are, however, not always available. Here we validate two approaches, which combine long-PCR with Roche 454 pyrosequencing technology, to obtain two complete mitochondrial genomes from individual amphibian species. Results We obtained two new xenopus frogs (Xenopus borealis and X. victorianus complete mitochondrial genome sequences by means of long-PCR followed by 454 of individual genomes (approach 1 or of multiple pooled genomes (approach 2, the mean depth of coverage per nucleotide was 9823 and 186, respectively. We also characterised and compared the new mitogenomes against their sister taxa; X. laevis and Silurana tropicalis, two of the most intensely studied amphibians. Our results demonstrate how our approaches can be used to obtain complete amphibian mitogenomes with depths of coverage that far surpass traditional primer-walking strategies, at either the same cost or less. Our results also demonstrate: that the size, gene content and order are the same among xenopus mitogenomes and that S. tropicalis form a separate clade to the other xenopus, among which X. laevis and X. victorianus were most closely related. Nucleotide and amino acid diversity was found to vary across the xenopus mitogenomes, with the greatest diversity observed in the Complex 1 gene nad4l and the least diversity observed in Complex 4 genes (cox1-3. All protein

  18. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tariq Stark

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Amphibian diseases are acknowledged as significant contributors to the decline and extinction of amphibian species. The main culprits currently considered are chytridiomycosis and Ranavirus. In Central America, highly endemic and geographical restricted terrestrial species may be at risk from these diseases. We collected 49 Agalychnis callidryas larvae, one Lithobates forrei and five unidentified larvae on the Nicaraguan Island Ometepe, all deceased, and skin samples were taken. The presence of Ranavirus was determined using PCR. Ranavirus was found involved in 41 of 55 tadpoles. Forty-one Agalychnis callidryas, one Lithobates forrei and another five unidentified anuran tadpoles.

  20. Mechanisms of tail resorption during anuran metamorphosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakai, Yuya; Nakajima, Keisuke; Yaoita, Yoshio

    2017-09-26

    Amphibian metamorphosis has historically attracted a good deal of scientific attention owing to its dramatic nature and easy observability. However, the genetic mechanisms of amphibian metamorphosis have not been thoroughly examined using modern techniques such as gene cloning, DNA sequencing, polymerase chain reaction or genomic editing. Here, we review the current state of knowledge regarding molecular mechanisms underlying tadpole tail resorption.

  1. Acute Toxicity of an Organophosphate Insecticide Chlorpyrifos to an Anuran, Rana cyanophlyctis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ajai Kumar Srivastav

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Background: Chlorpyrifos is an organophosphate pesticide that elicits broad-spectrum insecticidal activity against a number of important arthropod pests. Determining the insecticides’ toxicity to amphibians can give us a better understanding regarding the role of toxicants in amphibian declines. This information would be beneficial to assess their ecological relevance at environmental concentrations. The present study assessed toxicity of chlorpyrifos to an anuran Rana cyanophlyctis. Methods: For the determination of LC50 values for chlorpyrifos, four-day static renewal acute toxicity test was used. Five replicates each containing ten frogs were subjected to each concentration of chlorpyrifos (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14 and 16 mg/L for the test. Mortality of the frog at different exposure periods (24, 48, 72 and 96 h was subjected to Probit analysis with the POLO-PC software (LeOra Software to calculate the LC50 and 95% confidence level. Results: The LC50 values of chlorpyrifos for the frog R. cyanophlyctis at 24, 48, 72, and 96 h were 8.252, 7.254, 6.247 and 4.993mg/L, respectively. Conclusion: Mortality has been noticed in chlorpyrifos treated frogs related to the decline in amphibian population. Therefore, chlorpyrifos should not be used near water reservoirs.

  2. Morphological Variation in Anuran Limbs: Constraints and Novelties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabrezi, Marissa; Goldberg, Javier; Chuliver Pereyra, Mariana

    2017-09-01

    Anurans have three primary types of locomotion: walking, jumping, and swimming. Additionally, they may dig, climb, grasp, etc. All adult anurans have four limbs, with four fingers on the hands and five toes on the feet. We summarized and updated knowledge on the interspecific variation within anuran limbs, then discuss how developmental constraints (e.g., in size) and novelties may have influenced anuran diversification through the locomotion. We analyze morphological variation from limb bud stages up to the final limb form resulting from certain skeletal organization and growth. We find limited morphometric variations in the skeleton of different developmental modules (i.e., skull, trunk, urostyle, limbs) indicate that the anuran body shape is largely constrained. We identify specializations of the stylopodium, zeugopodium, and proximal carpals/tarsals that have evolved to facilitiate saltatorial locomotion. We show that the anuran prepollex and prehallux are not vestigial digits and that they have come to serve specialized function. Medial rotation of the manus in anurans appears to have evolved to help distribute the force of impact upon landing at the end of a jump. Additional skeletal elements in anuran limbs are intercalary elements and sesamoids. The intercalary elements appear within neobatrachians and are integrated with digital pads in lineages capable of locomotion on smooth vertical surfaces. They have allowed arboreal anurans to occupy a wide range of arboreal habitats. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. 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.

  4. Roadside Abundance of Anurans within a Community Correlates with Reproductive Investment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Molly K. Grace

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Roads and their associated effects (road-kill, pollution, etc. have a largely negative impact on animals, especially amphibians, but not all species are affected to the same degree. Variation in life histories may explain some of these differences. Here, we examine how abundance of anuran species in roadside habitats is correlated with an aspect of reproductive life history: number of eggs produced by a female per year. Using data from a 1.5-year monitoring project in Central Florida, we found a positive correlation between the number of eggs produced by an average female of a species and the proportion of individuals found in roadside habitats compared to control habitats. This implies either that populations of species with a greater reproductive rate are able to rebound more quickly from negative road impacts, or that there is a strong selective pressure on species with low reproductive rates to avoid roads.

  5. Anuran assemblage on forest edges in Datu Salumay, Davao City, Philippines

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    Christelle Mae M. Dacalus

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Forest fragmentation due to anthropogenic encroachment has been associated with changes in abiotic conditions known as edge effect. This condition plays a major role in the amphibian decline globally. A five-day sampling in a regenerating forest of So. Maharlika, Barangay Datu Salumay, Marilog District, Davao City, Philippines was conducted to test effect of forest edges on a local forest. Visual encounter technique was employed surveying quadrats (10 x 10 meters established along a main transect (1 km long. The first 500 meters of the main transect served as the edge while the rest constituted the forest interior. Data on canopy cover, termperature, and humidity from each site were contrasted with species endemism and diversity to determine influence of differing edge and forest interior conditions. Eight species of frogs were captured: five belongs to the Family Rhacophoridae and one species each belong to the Families Megophryidae, Microhylidae, and Dicroglossidae. No significant difference was noted of the data on canopy cover, temperature, and humidity in both forest edge and interior. Six anuran species were accounted each in the forest edge and interior, although more endemic species were recorded from the forest interior. Current results maybe suggestive of the possible impact of edges on anuran species although more data is required to validate this claim.

  6. Mapping anuran habitat suitability to estimate effects of grassland and wetland conservation programs

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    The conversion of the Northern Great Plains of North America to a landscape favoring agricultural commodity production has negatively impacted wildlife habitats. To offset impacts, conservation programs have been implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other agencies to restore grassland and wetland habitat components. To evaluate effects of these efforts on anuran habitats, we used call survey data and environmental data in ecological niche factor analyses implemented through the program Biomapper to quantify habitat suitability for five anuran species within a 196 km2 study area. Our amphibian call surveys identified Northern Leopard Frogs (Lithobates pipiens), Wood Frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus), Boreal Chorus Frogs (Pseudacris maculata), Great Plains Toads (Anaxyrus cognatus), and Woodhouse’s Toads (Anaxyrus woodhousii) occurring within the study area. Habitat suitability maps developed for each species revealed differing patterns of suitable habitat among species. The most significant findings of our mapping effort were 1) the influence of deep-water overwintering wetlands on suitable habitat for all species encountered except the Boreal Chorus Frog; 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. The differences in habitats suitable for the five species we studied in the Northern Great Plains, i.e., their ecological niches, highlight the importance of utilizing an ecosystem based approach that considers the varying needs of multiple species in the development of amphibian conservation and management plans.

  7. Reactive oxygen species formation during tetanic contractions in single isolated Xenopus myofibers

    OpenAIRE

    Zuo, Li; Nogueira, Leonardo; Hogan, Michael C.

    2011-01-01

    Contracting skeletal muscle produces reactive oxygen species (ROS) that have been shown to affect muscle function and adaptation. However, real-time measurement of ROS in contracting myofibers has proven to be difficult. We used amphibian (Xenopus laevis) muscle to test the hypothesis that ROS are formed during contractile activity in isolated single skeletal muscle fibers and that this contraction-induced ROS formation affects fatigue development. Single myofibers were loaded with 5 μM dihyd...

  8. Radiocesium accumulation in the anuran frog, Rana tagoi tagoi, in forest ecosystems after the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant accident

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Takahara, Teruhiko; Endo, Satoru; Takada, Momo; Oba, Yurika; Nursal, Wim Ikbal; Igawa, Takeshi; Doi, Hideyuki; Yamada, Toshihiro; Okuda, Toshinori

    2015-01-01

    Amphibians are key components in forest food webs. When examining radioactive contamination in anurans, it is important to understand how radiocesium transfer occurs from lower to higher trophic levels in forest ecosystems. We investigated the activity concentration of radiocesium ( 134 Cs and 137 Cs) in Tago's brown frog (Rana tagoi tagoi) captured on the forest floor approximately 2.5 years after the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant (FNPP) accident. We collected 66 R. tagoi tagoi at different distances from the FNPP. Radiocesium accumulation showed positive correlations with the air radiation dose rate and litter contamination but not with distance from the FNPP. Whole-body radioactivity showed no correlation with body mass or length. Our results suggest that differences in the available food items result in large variability in individual contamination. Contamination level monitoring in terrestrial and aquatic amphibian is necessary for clarifying the processes and mechanisms of radiocesium transfer through forest food webs. - Highlights: • Radiocesium level in Rana tagoi tagoi from forests near Fukushima was assessed. • Radiocesium accumulation was related to air dose rate and litter contamination. • Differences in dietary intake might lead to variability in individual contamination. • Transfer of radiocesium among trophic levels can occur via anurans. - Rana tagoi tagoi accumulates radiocesium in forest floor habitats near Fukushima

  9. Anuran species composition of Cancão Municipal Natural Park, Municipality of Serra do Navio, Amapá state, Brazil

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    Yuri Breno Silva e Silva

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available In this study, the first survey of anuran species in the Cancão Municipal Natural Park is presented, a protected area of approximately 370 hectares of Amazonian forest located in the northwest center region of the state of Amapá, Brazil. The work was performed during the dry and rainy season, through active visual and auditory survey, totaling 216 man hours of sampling effort. Forty-nine species of anuran amphibians were recorded in the Cancão Municipal Natural Park, including three new records: Hyalinobatrachium iaspidiense, Pristimantis cf. ockendeni, and Scinax garbei. Three species, Hyalinobatrachium iaspidiense, Ameerega pulchripecta, and Anomaloglossus baeobatrachus, are listed as Data Deficient and one is listed as Vulnerable (Atelopus hoogmoedi according red lists of IUCN. The rarefaction curve cumulative species did not reach an asymptote, indicating that site has potential for species that have not yet been recorded. Nine species were represented by only one individual and were considered rare in the studied environments, eight species were defined as common, and the 32 remaining species were classified as having intermediary abundance. Our data indicated that Cancão Municipal Natural Park contains a considerable portion of the anurans species richness of Amapá state, turn the area into a place of great importance for the conservation of the anurans of the Eastern Amazon.

  10. Helminth community structure and diet of three Afrotropical anuran species: a test of the interactive-versus-isolationist parasite communities hypothesis

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    G. C. Akani

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available The interactive-versus-isolationist hypothesis predicts that parasite communities should be depauperated and weakly structured by interspecific competition in amphibians. A parasitological survey was carried out to test this hypothesis using three anuran species from Nigeria, tropical Africa (one Bufonidae; two Ranidae. High values of parasite infection parameters were found in all three species, which were infected by nematodes, cestodes and trematodes. Nonetheless, the parasite communities of the three anurans were very depauperated in terms of number of species (4 to 6. Interspecific competition was irrelevant in all species, as revealed by null models and Monte Carlo permutations. Cluster analyses revealed that, in terms of parasite community composition, the two Ranidae were similar, whereas the Bufonidae was more different. However, when prevalence, intensity, and abundance of parasites are combined into a multivariate analysis, each anuran species was clearly spaced apart from the others, thus revealing considerable species-specific differences in terms of their parasite communities. All anurans were generalists and probably opportunistic in terms of dietary habits, and showed no evidence of interspecific competition for food. Overall, our data are widely consistent with expectations driven from the interactive-versus-isolationist parasite communities hypothesis.

  11. Development of a New Decision Tree to Rapidly Screen Chemical Estrogenic Activities of Xenopus laevis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ting; Li, Weiying; Zheng, Xiaofeng; Lin, Zhifen; Kong, Deyang

    2014-02-01

    During the last past decades, there is an increasing number of studies about estrogenic activities of the environmental pollutants on amphibians and many determination methods have been proposed. However, these determination methods are time-consuming and expensive, and a rapid and simple method to screen and test the chemicals for estrogenic activities to amphibians is therefore imperative. Herein is proposed a new decision tree formulated not only with physicochemical parameters but also a biological parameter that was successfully used to screen estrogenic activities of the chemicals on amphibians. The biological parameter, CDOCKER interaction energy (Ebinding ) between chemicals and the target proteins was calculated based on the method of molecular docking, and it was used to revise the decision tree formulated by Hong only with physicochemical parameters for screening estrogenic activity of chemicals in rat. According to the correlation between Ebinding of rat and Xenopus laevis, a new decision tree for estrogenic activities in Xenopus laevis is finally proposed. Then it was validated by using the randomly 8 chemicals which can be frequently exposed to Xenopus laevis, and the agreement between the results from the new decision tree and the ones from experiments is generally satisfactory. Consequently, the new decision tree can be used to screen the estrogenic activities of the chemicals, and combinational use of the Ebinding and classical physicochemical parameters can greatly improves Hong's decision tree. Copyright © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  12. Parasitic infections of anurans from an urbanized rainforest biotope ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The parasitic infections of anurans in an urbanized rainforest biotope in the Diobu, Port Harcourt area of Rivers State were investigated. The few anuran species encountered included Afrixalus fulvovittatus, Amietophrynus regularis, A. cameroonensis, Hyperolius concolor phase B, Hyperolius concolor phase C, ...

  13. Anuran parasites from three biotopes in Rivers State, Nigeria ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... for Nigeria and a multi-host parasite. We suspect Hyperolius concolor to be a paratenic rather than a definitive host for the immature Camallanus sp. recovered from the frog. Other parasites using anurans as paratenic hosts were also encountered. Keywords: Anurans, parasites, ecological biotopes, Rivers State, Nigeria ...

  14. Body shape, burst speed and escape behavior of larval anurans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gage H. Dayton; Daniel Saenz; Kristen A. Baum; R. Brian Langerhans; Thomas J. DeWitt

    2005-01-01

    Variation in behavior, morphology and life history traits of larval anurans across predator gradients, and consequences of that variation, have been abundantly studied. Yet the functional link between morphology and burst-swimming speed is largely unknown. We conducted experiments with two divergent species of anurans, Scaphiopus holbrookii and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-09-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Anuran community composition along two large rivers in a tropical disturbed landscape

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    Mauricio Almeida-Gomes

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available In this study we evaluated how anuran species were distributed in riparian habitats along two large rivers. Sampling was carried out between January and March 2012 in the municipality of Cachoeiras de Macacu, state of Rio de Janeiro. We delimited 20 plots along each river, ten in portions inside the forest of the Reserva Ecológica de Guapiaçu (REGUA, and with comparatively greater amount of forest cover, and ten outside REGUA, with comparatively lesser forest cover surrounding the rivers. We recorded 70 individuals from 14 frog species in the Manoel Alexandre River and 63 individuals from 15 frog species in the Guapiaçu River. The most abundant species in both rivers was Cycloramphus brasiliensis (Steindachner, 1864, and it was more abundant in sections with greater amount of forest cover. This information, coupled with the occurrence of species that are more adapted to open and more disturbed habitats in river sections that harbor lesser riparian vegetation, help to explain differences in amphibian species composition between river sections with greater and lesser forest cover. The results of our study highlight the importance of preserving riparian vegetation associated with rivers in the Atlantic Forest for the conservation of amphibians.

  18. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Membrane junctions in Xenopus eggs: their distribution suggests a role in calcium regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardiner, D M; Grey, R D

    1983-04-01

    We have observed the presence of membrane junctions formed between the plasma membrane and cortical endoplasmic reticulum of mature, unactivated eggs of xenopus laevis. The parallel, paired membranes of the junction are separated by a 10-mn gap within which electron-dense material is present. This material occurs in patches with an average center-to-center distance of approximately 30 nm. These junctions are rare in immature (but fully grown) oocytes (approximately 2 percent of the plasma membrane is associated with junctions) and increase dramatically during progesterone-induced maturation. Junctions in the mature, unactivated egg are two to three times more abundant in the animal hemisphere (25-30 percent of the plasma membrane associated with junction) as compared with the vegetal hemisphere (10-15 percent). Junction density decreases rapidly to values characteristic of immature oocytes in response to egg activation. The plasma membrane-ER junctions of xenopus eggs are strikingly similar in structure to membrane junctions in muscle cells thought to be essential in the triggering of intracellular calcium release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum. In addition, the junctions' distinctive, animal-vegetal polarity of distribution, their dramatic appearance during maturation, and their disapperance during activation are correlated with previously documented patterns of calcium-mediated events in anuran eggs. We discuss several lines of evidence supporting the hypothesis that these junctions in xenopus eggs are sites that transduce extracellular events into intracellular calcium release during fertilization and activation of development.

  2. 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.

  3. Correlated factors in amphibian decline: Exotic species and habitat change in western Washington

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Michael J.

    1999-01-01

    Amphibian declines may frequently be associated with multiple, correlated factors. In western North America, exotic species and hydrological changes are often correlated and are considered 2 of the greatest threats to freshwater systems. Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) introductions are frequently cited as a threat to lentic-breeding anurans native to western North America and are a suspected factor in the decline of red-legged frogs (Rana aurora) in California. Introduced fish and habitat change are cited less frequently but are equally viable hypotheses. I examined the relation among introduced species, habitat, and the distribution and abundance of red-legged frogs in western Washington. Red-legged frog occurrence in the Puget Lowlands was more closely associated with habitat structure and the presence of exotic fish than with the presence of bull-frogs. The spread of exotics is correlated with a shift toward greater permanence in wetland habitats regionally. Conservation of more ephemeral wetland habitats may have direct benefits for some native amphibians and may also reduce the threat of exotic fish and bullfrogs, both of which were associated with permanent wetlands. Research and conservation efforts for lowland anurans in the West should emphasize the complexities of multiple contributing factors to amphibian losses.

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Vision drives correlated activity without patterned spontaneous activity in developing Xenopus retina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demas, James A; Payne, Hannah; Cline, Hollis T

    2012-04-01

    Developing amphibians need vision to avoid predators and locate food before visual system circuits fully mature. Xenopus tadpoles can respond to visual stimuli as soon as retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) innervate the brain, however, in mammals, chicks and turtles, RGCs reach their central targets many days, or even weeks, before their retinas are capable of vision. In the absence of vision, activity-dependent refinement in these amniote species is mediated by waves of spontaneous activity that periodically spread across the retina, correlating the firing of action potentials in neighboring RGCs. Theory suggests that retinorecipient neurons in the brain use patterned RGC activity to sharpen the retinotopy first established by genetic cues. We find that in both wild type and albino Xenopus tadpoles, RGCs are spontaneously active at all stages of tadpole development studied, but their population activity never coalesces into waves. Even at the earliest stages recorded, visual stimulation dominates over spontaneous activity and can generate patterns of RGC activity similar to the locally correlated spontaneous activity observed in amniotes. In addition, we show that blocking AMPA and NMDA type glutamate receptors significantly decreases spontaneous activity in young Xenopus retina, but that blocking GABA(A) receptor blockers does not. Our findings indicate that vision drives correlated activity required for topographic map formation. They further suggest that developing retinal circuits in the two major subdivisions of tetrapods, amphibians and amniotes, evolved different strategies to supply appropriately patterned RGC activity to drive visual circuit refinement. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Adaptive immunity and histopathology in frog virus 3-infected Xenopus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Robert, Jacques; Morales, Heidi; Buck, Wayne; Cohen, Nicholas; Marr, Shauna; Gantress, Jennifer

    2005-01-01

    Xenopus has been used as an experimental model to evaluate the contribution of adaptive cellular immunity in amphibian host susceptibility to the emerging ranavirus FV3. Conventional histology and immunohistochemistry reveal that FV3 has a strong tropism for the proximal tubular epithelium of the kidney and is rarely disseminated elsewhere in Xenopus hosts unless their immune defenses are impaired or developmentally immature as in larvae. In such cases, virus is found widespread in most tissues. Adults, immunocompromised by depletion of CD8 + T cells or by sub-lethal γ-irradiation, show increased susceptibility to FV3 infection. Larvae and irradiated (but not normal) adults can be cross-infected through water by infected adult conspecifics (irradiated or not). The natural MHC class I deficiency and the absence of effect of anti-CD8 treatment on both larval CD8 + T cells and larval susceptibility to FV3 are consistent with an inefficient CD8 + T cell effector function during this developmental period

  11. 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.

  12. Musashi and Plasticity of Xenopus and Axolotl Spinal Cord Ependymal Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ellen A. G. Chernoff

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The differentiated state of spinal cord ependymal cells in regeneration-competent amphibians varies between a constitutively active state in what is essentially a developing organism, the tadpole of the frog Xenopus laevis, and a quiescent, activatable state in a slowly growing adult salamander Ambystoma mexicanum, the Axolotl. Ependymal cells are epithelial in intact spinal cord of all vertebrates. After transection, body region ependymal epithelium in both Xenopus and the Axolotl disorganizes for regenerative outgrowth (gap replacement. Injury-reactive ependymal cells serve as a stem/progenitor cell population in regeneration and reconstruct the central canal. Expression patterns of mRNA and protein for the stem/progenitor cell-maintenance Notch signaling pathway mRNA-binding protein Musashi (msi change with life stage and regeneration competence. Msi-1 is missing (immunohistochemistry, or at very low levels (polymerase chain reaction, PCR, in both intact regeneration-competent adult Axolotl cord and intact non-regeneration-competent Xenopus tadpole (Nieuwkoop and Faber stage 62+, NF 62+. The critical correlation for successful regeneration is msi-1 expression/upregulation after injury in the ependymal outgrowth and stump-region ependymal cells. msi-1 and msi-2 isoforms were cloned for the Axolotl as well as previously unknown isoforms of Xenopus msi-2. Intact Xenopus spinal cord ependymal cells show a loss of msi-1 expression between regeneration-competent (NF 50–53 and non-regenerating stages (NF 62+ and in post-metamorphosis froglets, while msi-2 displays a lower molecular weight isoform in non-regenerating cord. In the Axolotl, embryos and juveniles maintain Msi-1 expression in the intact cord. In the adult Axolotl, Msi-1 is absent, but upregulates after injury. Msi-2 levels are more variable among Axolotl life stages: rising between late tailbud embryos and juveniles and decreasing in adult cord. Cultures of regeneration

  13. Musashi and Plasticity of Xenopus and Axolotl Spinal Cord Ependymal Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chernoff, Ellen A. G.; Sato, Kazuna; Salfity, Hai V. N.; Sarria, Deborah A.; Belecky-Adams, Teri

    2018-01-01

    The differentiated state of spinal cord ependymal cells in regeneration-competent amphibians varies between a constitutively active state in what is essentially a developing organism, the tadpole of the frog Xenopus laevis, and a quiescent, activatable state in a slowly growing adult salamander Ambystoma mexicanum, the Axolotl. Ependymal cells are epithelial in intact spinal cord of all vertebrates. After transection, body region ependymal epithelium in both Xenopus and the Axolotl disorganizes for regenerative outgrowth (gap replacement). Injury-reactive ependymal cells serve as a stem/progenitor cell population in regeneration and reconstruct the central canal. Expression patterns of mRNA and protein for the stem/progenitor cell-maintenance Notch signaling pathway mRNA-binding protein Musashi (msi) change with life stage and regeneration competence. Msi-1 is missing (immunohistochemistry), or at very low levels (polymerase chain reaction, PCR), in both intact regeneration-competent adult Axolotl cord and intact non-regeneration-competent Xenopus tadpole (Nieuwkoop and Faber stage 62+, NF 62+). The critical correlation for successful regeneration is msi-1 expression/upregulation after injury in the ependymal outgrowth and stump-region ependymal cells. msi-1 and msi-2 isoforms were cloned for the Axolotl as well as previously unknown isoforms of Xenopus msi-2. Intact Xenopus spinal cord ependymal cells show a loss of msi-1 expression between regeneration-competent (NF 50–53) and non-regenerating stages (NF 62+) and in post-metamorphosis froglets, while msi-2 displays a lower molecular weight isoform in non-regenerating cord. In the Axolotl, embryos and juveniles maintain Msi-1 expression in the intact cord. In the adult Axolotl, Msi-1 is absent, but upregulates after injury. Msi-2 levels are more variable among Axolotl life stages: rising between late tailbud embryos and juveniles and decreasing in adult cord. Cultures of regeneration-competent Xenopus tadpole

  14. 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.

  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. Amphibians of the Reserva Ecológica Michelin: a high diversity site in the lowland Atlantic Forest of southern Bahia, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Mira-Mendes, Caio Vinícius; Ruas, Danilo Silva; de Oliveira, Renan Manoel; Castro, Indira Maria; Dias, Iuri Ribeiro; Baumgarten, Julio Ernesto; Juncá, Flora Acuña; Solé, Mirco

    2018-01-01

    An inventory of the amphibians of the Reserva Ecológica Michelin - REM in southern Bahia, Brazil is presented. Sixty-nine species were recorded during a ten-year sampling period. Amphibians were distributed in two orders (Gymnophiona and Anura), belonging to twelve families [Aromobatidae (1), Bufonidae (3), Centrolenidae (1), Craugastoridae (5), Eleutherodactylidae (3), Hemiphractidae (2), Hylidae (34), Phyllomedusidae (5) Leptodactylidae (7), Microhylidae (4), Odontophrynidae (3) and Caeciliidae (1)]. Fifty per cent of the reproductive modes known for Atlantic forest anurans were recorded. While no threatened species were found at REM, six species are classified as data deficient (DD) by the Brazilian Red List of threatened species and deserve additional attention. Phasmahyla timbo and Vitreorana eurygnatha are listed as endangered in Bahia according to the list of threatened species of the state. Despite a higher diversity of amphibians in the Atlantic forest having been reported for mountainous regions, our results revealed that amphibian richness for lowland forests is also high.

  17. Tumor immunology viewed from alternative animal models—the Xenopus story

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banach, Maureen; Robert, Jacques

    2017-01-01

    a) Purpose of review Nonmammalian comparative animal models are important not only to gain fundamental evolutionary understanding of the complex interactions of tumors with the immune system, but also to better predict the applicability of novel immunotherapeutic approaches to humans. After reviewing recent advances in developing alternative models, we focus on the amphibian Xenopus laevis and its usefulness in deciphering the perplexing roles of MHC class I-like molecules and innate (i)T cells in tumor immunity. b) Recent findings Experiments using MHC-defined inbred and cloned animals, tumor cell lines, effective reagents, sequenced genomes, and adapted gene editing techniques in Xenopus, have revealed that the critical involvement of class I-like molecules and iT cells in tumor immunity has been conserved during evolution. c) Summary Comparative studies with the X. laevis tumor immunity model can contribute to the development of better and more efficient cancer immunotherapies. PMID:28944105

  18. 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.

  19. Abiotic correlates of anuran calling phenology: the importance of rain, temperature, and season

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel Saenz; Lee A. Fitzgerald; Kristen A. Baum; Richard N. Conner

    2006-01-01

    We surveyed anuran calls nightly at eight ponds in eastern Texas from 1 January 2001 through 31 December 2002. Air temperatures and daily rainfall also were recorded for each of the sites. Eastern Texas contains a diverse temperate anuran fauna and a climate that provides a range of conditions for anuran reproduction. During our study, we measured air temperatures that...

  20. Invasive reptiles and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moutou, F; Pastoret, P P

    2010-08-01

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

  1. 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...... recombination-mediated targeted integration in Xenopus tropicalis, the usefulness, and limitation of targeted integration via the homology-independent strategy, and future directions on how to further improve targeted gene integration in Xenopus tropicalis....

  2. Amphibians of Olympic National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    ,

    2000-01-01

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

  3. Effects of tributyltin on metamorphosis and gonadal differentiation of Xenopus laevis at environmentally relevant concentrations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Huahong; Zhu, Pan; Guo, Suzhen

    2014-05-01

    Tributyltin (TBT), a well known endocrine disruptor, has high teratogenicity to embryos of amphibian (Xenopus tropicalis). An amphibian metamorphosis assay (AMA) and a complete AMA (CAMA) were conducted for TBT. In AMA, the body weight, the snout-to-vent length and the hind limb length of X. laevis tadpoles were decreased in tributyltin chloride (TBTCl; 12.5-200 ng/L) treatment groups after 7 days exposure. TBT greatly retarded the development of tadpoles, decreased the number of follicle and induced thyroid follicle cell hyperplasia after 19 days exposure. In CAMA, 10 and 100 ng/L TBTCl led to various malformations of gonad, including intersex, segmental aplasia and multiple ovary cavities of X. laevis following exposure from stages 46 to stage 66. The sex ratio was male-biased in TBT treatment groups. These results suggest that TBT delayed the metamorphosis, inhibited the growth of tadpoles and disrupted the gonadal differentiation of X. laevis at environmentally relevant concentrations.

  4. 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…

  5. Effects of ultraviolet radiation on life-history stages of anurans from Ontario, Canada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grant, K.P.; Licht, L.E. [York Univ., Toronto, ON (Canada)

    1995-12-01

    The effects of ultraviolet radiation on life-history stages of anurans Bufo americanus, Hyla versicolor, Rana clamitans, and Rana sylvatica were tested. Eggs and larvae were not affected by uv-a at double normal outdoor levels. R. sylvatica embryos exposed to 30 minutes or more of artificially high intensity uv-b levels died. There was no effect on hatching levels for artificially high exposures of uv-b radiation for less than 15 minutes. A greater proportion of abnormal embryos occurred after exposure to 10 or 15 minutes of artificially high intensity treatment at 12 degree Celsius than at 20 degrees Celsius. Only larval R. clamitans showed some level of tolerance of artificially high uv-b levels. Ecologically relevant doses of uv-b had no effect on the developmental period of B. americanus, H. versicolor, and R. sylvatica. Older B. americanus exposed for the same length of time had higher survivorship than younger animals. The role of uv radiation in the presumed decline of amphibian populations was also discussed. 7 tabs., 43 refs.

  6. Phylogenic aspects of the amphibian dual olfactory system.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  7. The kinematic determinants of anuran swimming performance: an inverse and forward dynamics approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Christopher T

    2008-10-01

    The aims of this study were to explore the hydrodynamic mechanism of Xenopus laevis swimming and to describe how hind limb kinematics shift to control swimming performance. Kinematics of the joints, feet and body were obtained from high speed video of X. laevis frogs (N=4) during swimming over a range of speeds. A blade element approach was used to estimate thrust produced by both translational and rotational components of foot velocity. Peak thrust from the feet ranged from 0.09 to 0.69 N across speeds ranging from 0.28 to 1.2 m s(-1). Among 23 swimming strokes, net thrust impulse from rotational foot motion was significantly higher than net translational thrust impulse, ranging from 6.1 to 29.3 N ms, compared with a range of -7.0 to 4.1 N ms from foot translation. Additionally, X. laevis kinematics were used as a basis for a forward dynamic anuran swimming model. Input joint kinematics were modulated to independently vary the magnitudes of foot translational and rotational velocity. Simulations predicted that maximum swimming velocity (among all of the kinematics patterns tested) requires that maximal translational and maximal rotational foot velocity act in phase. However, consistent with experimental kinematics, translational and rotational motion contributed unequally to total thrust. The simulation powered purely by foot translation reached a lower peak stroke velocity than the pure rotational case (0.38 vs 0.54 m s(-1)). In all simulations, thrust from the foot was positive for the first half of the power stroke, but negative for the second half. Pure translational foot motion caused greater negative thrust (70% of peak positive thrust) compared with pure rotational simulation (35% peak positive thrust) suggesting that translational motion is propulsive only in the early stages of joint extension. Later in the power stroke, thrust produced by foot rotation overcomes negative thrust (due to translation). Hydrodynamic analysis from X. laevis as well as forward

  8. Anuran distribution, diversity and conservation in South Africa ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Endemic 'hotspots' occur in the vicinity of Pietermaritzburg, Durban and Ihe fynbos region of the Western Cape, The Western Cape was also identified as a centre of RDB species richness. A large portion (95,8%) of South African anuran species are found in protected areas. The effective long-term viability of populations of ...

  9. Polystomatidae (Monogenea) parasitic in the anuran genus Kassina ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    An investigation into the parasite loads of several anuran species in the central and eastern parts of the Orange Free State led to the discovery of another new South African species of Polystoma, harboured in running frogs of the genus Kassina which has not previously been known as a host of adult polystomes. Detailed ...

  10. Osteology of the ranoid burrowing African anurans Breviceps and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    To facilitate classification of isolated fossil bones, one genus of each of ten anuran African families was chosen, and criteria were sought (with two or more character states) which could be used to indicate the presence of a genus or group of genera, and the family or families it or they represent. Some of these criteria were ...

  11. 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 Krog...

  12. Observations on the oesophageal glands in some Tanzanian anurans

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    in Hyla, Rana, BUfo, Pelobates and Triturus more pep- sinogen was produced in these glands than in the gastric glands. The aim of the present study was to obtain data on the occurrence of oesophageal glands in selected anurans from Tanzania and to compare their structure with the better known gastric glands. Materials ...

  13. Forest degradation and its impact on anuran diversity and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Forest degradation and its impact on anuran diversity and abundance in Arun Owun, Sapele, Delta State, Nigeria. ... Unfortunately, deforestation is extremely difficult to halt, as development of agriculture, infrastructure and oil exploration are seen as crucial steps to national development. Preventing the degradation of the ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. V. Zhukov

    2015-04-01

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

  15. Comparison of amphibian and mammalian thyroperoxidase ...

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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 R

    2016-04-01

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Veldhoen, Nik; Skirrow, Rachel C.; Osachoff, Heather; Wigmore, Heidi; Clapson, David J.; Gunderson, Mark P.; Van Aggelen, Graham; Helbing, Caren C.

    2006-01-01

    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) α and β, 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 -11 mol/g body weight 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T 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 3 . Tadpoles pretreated with triclosan concentrations as low as 0.15 ± 0.03 μg/L for 4 days showed increased hindlimb development and a decrease in total body weight following T 3 administration. Triclosan exposure also resulted in decreased T 3 -mediated TRβ mRNA expression in the tadpole tail fin and increased levels of PCNA transcript in the brain within 48 h of T 3 treatment whereas TRα and BTEB were unaffected. Triclosan alone altered thyroid hormone receptor α transcript levels in the brain of premetamorphic tadpoles and induced a transient weight loss. In XTC-2 cells, exposure to T 3 plus nominal concentrations of triclosan as low as 0.03 μg/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

  19. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Exotic Amphibians in the Pet Shops of Taiwan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ping-Chun Lucy Hou

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Pet trade is an important mechanism for introducing alien species. We surveyed a total of 434 pet shops in major cities of Taiwan and found 49 species of alien amphibians belonging to 14 families and 31 genera. Two of the alien species, Rana catesbeiana and Kaloula pulchra, have established in the fields and the other three, Bufo marinus, Xenopus laevis, and Dendrobates auratus, have invasion records in other countries. There were 16 CITES Appendix II species. The most frequently displayed species were the horned frogs, eratophrys spp. And the most abundant species was the American Bullfrog, Rana catesbeiana. We urge the authority of Taiwan establishing regulations on pet trade and enforcing the wildlife conservation law to reduce the risks of alien species invasions.

  2. [Jaws of amphibians and reptiles].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanimoto, Masahiro

    2005-04-01

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

  3. Differential metamorphosis alters the endocrine response in anuran larvae exposed to T3 and atrazine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Freeman, Jennifer L.; Beccue, Nathan; Rayburn, A. Lane

    2005-01-01

    Pesticide chemical contamination is one of the suspected contributors of the amphibian population decline. The herbicide atrazine is one of the major surface water contaminants in the U.S. A previous study has shown that atrazine at concentrations as low as 100 parts per billion (ppb) increased the time to metamorphosis in Xenopus laevis tadpoles. However, questions remain as to the applicability of a study of a non-native species to a native organism. The possible effects of atrazine on developing Bufo americanus were explored. Atrazine at potentially (albeit high) environmental concentrations was found not to delay the metamorphosis of developing B. americanus tadpoles as observed in X. laevis. Several studies have indicated that atrazine affects thyroid hormones. Since thyroid hormones are critical in amphibian metamorphosis, B. americanus and X. laevis tadpoles were exposed to exogenous 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T 3 ). X. laevis were found to be more responsive to the effects of exogenous T 3 compared to B. americanus, indicating that X. laevis may be more sensitive to endocrine active chemicals than B. americanus. In X. laevis, nuclear heterogeneity has been associated with metamorphosis. Flow cytometric analysis of the nuclei of normal metamorphing B. americanus indicates a decrease in the amount of thyroid mediated chromatin alterations relative to the nuclei of metamorphing X. laevis. Indications are that the differential response to endocrine disruption is due to the differential role of chromatin associated gene expression during metamorphosis of B. americanus versus X. laevis. A second native species, Hyla versicolor, was observed to have the X. laevis nuclear pattern with respect to metamorphosis. As such, sensitivity to endocrine disruption is hypothesized not to be limited to laboratory non-native species

  4. 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

    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......Hz with approximately 500 Hz in 3 dB bandwidth. SRs range from 0 to 80 (n.VIII) and 0 to 73 spikes/s (DMN). Nerve and DMN units of all CFs follow click rates in natural calls,

  5. The nervus terminalis in amphibians: anatomy, chemistry and relationship with the hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing hormone system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muske, L E; Moore, F L

    1988-01-01

    The nervus terminalis (TN), a component of the olfactory system, is found in most vertebrates. The TN of some fishes and mammals contains neurons immunoreactive (ir) to gonadotropin-releasing hormone (LHRH), and to several other neuropeptides and neurotransmitter systems, but there is little information on TN chemistry in other vertebrate taxa. Using immunocytochemical techniques, we found LHRH-ir neurons in amphibian TNs. In anurans, but not in a urodele, the TN was also found to contain Phe-Met-Arg-Phe-NH2 (FMRFamide) immunoreactivity. LHRH-ir neurons of the TN and those of the septal-hypothalamic system are morphologically homogeneous and form a distinct anatomical continuum in amphibians. Based upon topographical and cytological criteria, we hypothesize that LHRH-ir systems in vertebrates might derive embryonically from the TN.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudson, David M; Weis, Maryann; Eyre, David R

    2011-05-03

    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.

  7. 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

    2011-05-01

    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.

  8. spib is required for primitive myeloid development in Xenopus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Ricardo M B; Soto, Ximena; Chen, Yaoyao; Zorn, Aaron M; Amaya, Enrique

    2008-09-15

    Vertebrate blood formation occurs in 2 spatially and temporally distinct waves, so-called primitive and definitive hematopoiesis. Although definitive hematopoiesis has been extensively studied, the development of primitive myeloid blood has received far less attention. In Xenopus, primitive myeloid cells originate in the anterior ventral blood islands, the equivalent of the mammalian yolk sac, and migrate out to colonize the embryo. Using fluorescence time-lapse video microscopy, we recorded the migratory behavior of primitive myeloid cells from their birth. We show that these cells are the first blood cells to differentiate in the embryo and that they are efficiently recruited to embryonic wounds, well before the establishment of a functional vasculature. Furthermore, we isolated spib, an ETS transcription factor, specifically expressed in primitive myeloid precursors. Using spib antisense morpholino knockdown experiments, we show that spib is required for myeloid specification, and, in its absence, primitive myeloid cells retain hemangioblast-like characteristics and fail to migrate. Thus, we conclude that spib sits at the top of the known genetic hierarchy that leads to the specification of primitive myeloid cells in amphibians.

  9. Circadian disc shedding in Xenopus retina in vitro

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Flannery, J.G.; Fisher, S.K.

    1984-01-01

    To further examine the endogenous rhythm of disc shedding and phagocytosis observed in several species, adult Xenopus were entrained to a 12 hr light/12 hr dark cycle and then placed in constant darkness. At various times during a 3-day period of constant darkness, eyes were explanted and placed into culture medium, then processed for light and electron microscopy. A clear rhythmicity of disc shedding was observed, with pronounced peaks at the times light onset occurred in the original entrainment cycle. Modification of the HCO 3 - ion concentration in the medium was found to raise the amplitude of the peak of endogenous disc shedding. Explants maintained in culture medium containing deuterium oxide (a compound known to perturb circadian oscillators) were found to shed with a longer interval between peaks. The addition of the protein synthesis inhibitor, anisomycin, to this preparation suppressed the shedding rhythm. The action of anisomycin was investigated by autoradiographic examination of the pattern of 3 H-leucine uptake and protein synthesis by the explant. The findings suggest the presence of a circadian oscillator for rhythmic disc shedding within the amphibian eye

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maragno, Franciéle P; Santos, Tiago G; Cechin, Sonia Z

    2013-09-01

    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.

  11. The pioneering use of ISSR (Inter Simple Sequence Repeat in Neotropical anurans: preliminary assessment of genetic diversity in populations of Physalaemus cuvieri (Amphibia, Leiuperidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafaela M Moresco

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The greatest diversity of anurans in the world is in Brazil and one of the major challenges is to reconcile the accelerated economic development with strategies that aim to maintain this diversity in forest fragments, often representing ESUs of some biomes. This study aimed to obtain data that will support conservation projects through the pioneering use of ISSR analysis in Neotropical anurans, estimating the intra- and interpopulation genetic diversity of four populations of P. cuvieri (Paraná and São Paulo regions. Of the 65 loci scored 58 were polymorphic, with 0.797 intrapopulation variation and 0.203 interpopulation variation. The index of interpopulation genetic differentiation (Fst proved to be high among the population of Marmeleiro-PR and the three populations of SP (Fst > 0.288; genetic dissimilarity was related to the geographical distance. The ISSR proved to be efficient and useful molecular markers in comparison with other markers most widely used for preliminary diagnosis of genetic diversity in populations of amphibians, and could be applied as a tool for future conservation projects, since they could identify potential ESUs and influence decisions on the preservation of fragments.

  12. Nematode parasites of two anuran species Rhinella schneideri (Bufonidae and Scinax acuminatus (Hylidae from Corrientes, Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cynthya Elizabeth González

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available The nematological fauna of most anuran species from Corrientes province, north of Argentina; has not been studied. We report for the first time the nematode species found in Rhinella schneideri and Scinax acuminatus. Forty four amphibians representing two species (R. schneideri -six males, three females and two juveniles- and S. acuminatus -fifteen males and eighteen females were collected near the city of Corrientes, between January 2002 and December 2003 and searched for nematodes. R. schneideri contained eight species of nematodes (adults: Rhabdias füelleborni, R. elegans, Oswaldocruzia proencai, Cosmocerca podicipinus, C. parva and Falcaustra mascula; larvae: Porrocaecum sp. and Physaloptera sp., and S. acuminatus contained three (adults: Cosmocerca parva and Oxyascaris caudacutus; larvae: Physaloptera sp.. We present morphology (scanning electron microscope and metric information, range extensions, and new host records for these nematode species. Rev. Biol. Trop. 56 (4: 2147-2161. Epub 2008 December 12.Cuarenta y cuatro anfibios pertenecientes a dos especies (Rhinella schneideri -seis machos, tres hembras y dos juveniles- y Scinax acuminatus -quince machos y dieciocho hembras fueron recolectados para extraer nemátodos en las proximidades de la ciudad de Corrientes, provincia de Corrientes en Argentina, entre enero 2002 y diciembre 2003. Rhinella schneideri estuvo parasitada por ocho especies de nemátodos (adultos: Rhabdias füelleborni, R. elegans, Oswaldocruzia proencai, Cosmocerca podicipinus, C. parva y Falcaustra mascula; larvas: Porrocaecum sp. y Physaloptera sp., y S. acuminatus presentó tres especies de nemátodos (adultos: Cosmocerca parva y Oxyascaris caudacutus; larva: Physaloptera sp.. Para todas estas especies de nemátodos se presentan datos morfológicos y métricos, y para algunas sus nuevos ámbitos y caracteres, así como también los detalles obtenidos mediante el microscopio electrónico de barrido. Éste es el primer

  13. 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.

  14. Using occupancy models to understand the distribution of an amphibian pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Michael J.; Chelgren, Nathan; Reinitz, David M.; Cole, Rebecca A.; Rachowicz, L.J.; Galvan, Stephanie; Mccreary, Brome; Pearl, Christopher A.; Bailey, Larissa L.; Bettaso, Jamie B.; Bull, Evelyn L.; Leu, Matthias

    2010-01-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is a fungal pathogen that is receiving attention around the world for its role in amphibian declines. Study of its occurrence patterns is hampered by false negatives: the failure to detect the pathogen when it is present. Occupancy models are a useful but currently underutilized tool for analyzing detection data when the probability of detecting a species is <1. We use occupancy models to evaluate hypotheses concerning the occurrence and prevalence of B. dendrobatidis and discuss how this application differs from a conventional occupancy approach. We found that the probability of detecting the pathogen, conditional on presence of the pathogen in the anuran population, was related to amphibian development stage, day of the year, elevation, and human activities. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis was found throughout our study area but was only estimated to occur in 53.4% of 78 populations of native amphibians and 66.4% of 40 populations of nonnative Rana catesbeiana tested. We found little evidence to support any spatial hypotheses concerning the probability that the pathogen occurs in a population, but did find evidence of some taxonomic variation. We discuss the interpretation of occupancy model parameters, when, unlike a conventional occupancy application, the number of potential samples or observations is finite.

  15. 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

  16. The behavioral responses of amphibians and reptiles to microgravity on parabolic flights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wassersug, Richard J; Roberts, Lesley; Gimian, Jenny; Hughes, Elizabeth; Saunders, Ryan; Devison, Darren; Woodbury, Jonathan; O'Reilly, James C

    2005-01-01

    In the present study, we exposed 53 animals from 23 different species of amphibians and reptiles to microgravity (mug). This nearly doubles the number of amphibians and reptiles observed so far in mug. The animals were flown on a parabolic flight, which provided 20-25s of mug, to better characterize behavioral reactions to abrupt exposure to mug. Highly fossorial limbless caecilians and amphisbaenians showed relatively limited movement in mug. Limbed quadrupedal reptiles that were non-arboreal in the genera Leiocephalus, Anolis, and Scincella showed the typical righting response and enormous amounts of body motion and tail rotation, which we interpreted as both righting responses and futile actions to grasp the substrate. Both arboreal and non-arboreal geckos in the genera Uroplatus, Palmatogecko, Stenodactylus, Tarentola, and Eublepharis instead showed a skydiving posture previously reported for highly arboreal anurans. Some snakes, in the genera Thamnophis and Elaphe, which typically thrashed and rolled in mug, managed to knot their own bodies with their tails and immediately became quiescent. This suggests that these reptiles gave stable physical contact, which would indicate that they were not falling, primacy over vestibular input that indicated that they were in freefall. The fact that they became quiet upon self-embrace further suggests a failure to distinguish self from non-self. The patterns of behavior seen in amphibians and reptiles in mug can be explained in light of their normal ecology and taxonomic relations.

  17. 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

  18. Comparative morphology of the ilium of anurans and urodeles (Lissamphibia) and a re-assessment of the anuran affinities of Nezpercius dodsoni Blob et al., 2001

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Gardner, J. D.; Roček, Zbyněk; Přikryl, Tomáš; Eaton, J. G.; Blob, R. W.; Sankey, J. T.

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 30, č. 6 (2010), s. 1684-1695 ISSN 0272-4634 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : morphology * anurans * urodeles Subject RIV: EA - Cell Biology Impact factor: 2.241, year: 2010

  19. 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.

  20. Tendinous framework of anurans reveals an all-purpose morphology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fratani, Jéssica; Ponssa, María Laura; Abdala, Virginia

    2018-02-01

    Tendons are directly associated with movement, amplifying power and reducing muscular work. Taking into account habitat and locomotor challenges faced by anurans, we identify the more conspicuous superficial tendons of a neotropical anuran group and investigate their relation to the former factors. We show that tendons can be visualized as an anatomical framework connected through muscles and/or fascia, and describe the most superficial tendinous layer of the postcranium of Leptodactylus latinasus. To analyze the relation between tendon morphology and ecological characters, we test the relative length ratio of 10 tendon-muscle (t-m) elements in 45 leptodactylid species while taking phylogeny into account. We identify the evolutionary model that best explains our variables. Additionally, we optimize t-m ratio values, and the shape of the longissimus dorsi insertion onto a selected phylogeny of the species. Our data show the existence of an all-purpose morphology that seems to have evolved independently of ecology and functional requirements. This is indicated by no significant relation between morphometric data of the analyzed tendons and habitat use or locomotion, a strong phylogenetic component to most of the analyzed variables, and a generalized pattern of intermediate values for ancestral states. Ornstein-Uhlenbeck is the model that best explains most t-m variables, indicating that stabilizing selection or selective optima might be driving shifts in tendon length within Leptodactylidae. Herein, we show the substantial influence that phylogeny has on tendon morphology, demonstrating that a generalized and stable morphological configuration of tendons is adequate to enable versatile locomotor modes and habitat use. This is an attempt to present the tendinous system as a framework to body support in vertebrates, and can be considered a starting point for further ecomorphological research of this anatomical system in anurans. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All

  1. First parasitological study of the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis, Amphibia in Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristóbal Castillo

    Full Text Available Abstract Introduced species can arrive into new territories with parasites; however, these species are expected to face lower parasite richness than in their original regions. Both introduced hosts and parasites can affect native fauna. Since their release into the wild in Chile following laboratory use, Xenopus laevis Daudin, 1802 has widely spread throughout central Chile. The only pathogen described on the host is the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Longcore, Pessier, Nichols, 1999; thus, this is the first parasitological study of this species in Chile. In 10 localities in central Chile, 179 specimens of X. laevis were captured and examined for parasites in the gastrointestinal tube, cavities, lungs, liver, and skin. Only nine specimens of the genus Contracaecum Railliet, Henry, 1912 were found in six specimens of X. laevis from a private dam in La Patagua. It is likely that these parasites originated from species of native birds. This is the first record of Contracaecum sp. in Chilean amphibians.

  2. 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.

  3. Interactions of an insecticide with competition and pond drying in amphibian communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boone, M.D.; Semlitsch, R.D.

    2002-01-01

    Amphibian populations are often imbedded in agricultural landscapes. Therefore the potential for contamination of their habitat is considerable. Our study examined the effects of an insecticide (carbaryl, a neurotoxin), on larval amphibian communities experiencing natural stresses of competition for resources, predation, and pond drying. In a set of experimental ponds, tadpoles of three anuran species (southern leopard frog [Rana sphenocephala], plains leopard frog [R. blairi], and the Woodhouse's toad [Bufo woodhousii]) were added to 1000-L ponds containing leaf litter, plankton, two newts (Notophthalmus viridescens), and four overwintered green frog (R. clamitans) tadpoles. We manipulated the overall tadpole density (low or high), pond hydroperiod (constant or drying), and chemical exposure (0, 3.5, 5.0, or 7.0 mg/L carbaryl) of the ponds. We measured mass, time, and survival to metamorphosis to determine treatment effects. Carbaryl positively affected Woodhouse's toad survival, although it had a negligible effect on both leopard frog species. Tadpole density interacted with the chemical treatment: Proportionately more Woodhouse's toads survived to metamorphosis in high-density environments than in low-density or control environments. Greater survival may be an indirect effect of increased algal food resources from carbaryl exposure. Most newts lost mass over the course of the experiment, although ponds with drying hydroperiods and high anuran density were the least favorable environments. Overwintered green frogs exposed to carbaryl had longer larval periods on average than did green frogs in control ponds. Our study demonstrated that even sublethal, short-lived contaminants can alter natural communities in ways that cannot be predicted from simple, one-factor studies.

  4. Interactions of an insecticide, herbicide, and natural stressors in amphibian community mesocosms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boone, M.D.; James, S.M.

    2003-01-01

    Amphibians developing in wetlands embedded within or near agricultural lands may frequently encounter chemical mixtures. The objectives of our study were to determine the effects that post-application concentrations of an insecticide (carbaryl) and an herbicide (atrazine) have on body mass, development, and survival of two anuran species (southern leopard frog, Rana sphenocephala; American toad, Bufo americanus) and two caudate species (spotted salamander, Ambystoma maculatum; small-mouthed salamander, A. texanum) reared in outdoor cattle tank mesocosms. In one experiment, we manipulated tadpole density (low or high), carbaryl exposure (0, 3.5, 7.0 mg/L), and atrazine exposure (0 or 200 μg/L) to test for effects on development, mass, and survival of larvae. In a second experiment, we manipulated pond hydroperiod (constant or drying), carbaryl exposure (0 or 5 mg/L), and atrazine exposure (0 or 200 μg/L) to test for effects on mass, time, and survival to metamorphosis. Salamanders were virtually eliminated in carbaryl treatments, indicating that at realistic levels, this insecticide could cause population declines for salamanders in contaminated habitats. Carbaryl also had negative effects on toad survival. Exposure to atrazine had negative effects on body size, development, and time to metamorphosis in anuran species, which were associated with reduced chlorophyll levels. Both chemicals interacted significantly with density or hydroperiod, indicating that the environmental conditions could influence the impact of a contaminant. A significant atrazine-by-carbaryl interaction resulted in smaller and less developed spotted salamander larvae than in control ponds. Atrazine exposure, however, appeared to moderate negative effects of carbaryl for spotted salamanders. Our research suggests that important changes in the community's food web result from chemical exposure, which influence the susceptibility of amphibian species to contaminants.

  5. Characterization of Pax3 and Sox10 transgenic Xenopus laevis embryos as tools to study neural crest development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alkobtawi, Mansour; Ray, Heather; Barriga, Elias H; Moreno, Mauricio; Kerney, Ryan; Monsoro-Burq, Anne-Helene; Saint-Jeannet, Jean-Pierre; Mayor, Roberto

    2018-03-06

    The neural crest is a multipotent population of cells that originates a variety of cell types. Many animal models are used to study neural crest induction, migration and differentiation, with amphibians and birds being the most widely used systems. A major technological advance to study neural crest development in mouse, chick and zebrafish has been the generation of transgenic animals in which neural crest specific enhancers/promoters drive the expression of either fluorescent proteins for use as lineage tracers, or modified genes for use in functional studies. Unfortunately, no such transgenic animals currently exist for the amphibians Xenopus laevis and tropicalis, key model systems for studying neural crest development. Here we describe the generation and characterization of two transgenic Xenopus laevis lines, Pax3-GFP and Sox10-GFP, in which GFP is expressed in the pre-migratory and migratory neural crest, respectively. We show that Pax3-GFP could be a powerful tool to study neural crest induction, whereas Sox10-GFP could be used in the study of neural crest migration in living embryos. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. 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.

  7. 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,...

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stöhr, Anke C; López-Bueno, Alberto; Blahak, Silvia; Caeiro, Maria F; Rosa, Gonçalo M; Alves de Matos, António Pedro; Martel, An; Alejo, Alí; Marschang, Rachel E

    2015-01-01

    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 range of

  10. 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

  11. Overland movement in African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis: empirical dispersal data from within their native range

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. André De Villiers

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Dispersal forms are an important component of the ecology of many animals, and reach particular importance for predicting ranges of invasive species. African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis move overland between water bodies, but all empirical studies are from invasive populations with none from their native southern Africa. Here we report on incidents of overland movement found through a capture-recapture study carried out over a three year period in Overstrand, South Africa. The maximum distance moved was 2.4 km with most of the 91 animals, representing 5% of the population, moving ∼150 m. We found no differences in distances moved by males and females, despite the former being smaller. Fewer males moved overland, but this was no different from the sex bias found in the population. In laboratory performance trials, we found that males outperformed females, in both distance moved and time to exhaustion, when corrected for size. Overland movement occurred throughout the year, but reached peaks in spring and early summer when temporary water bodies were drying. Despite permanent impoundments being located within the study area, we found no evidence for migrations of animals between temporary and permanent water bodies. Our study provides the first dispersal kernel for X. laevis and suggests that it is similar to many non-pipid anurans with respect to dispersal.

  12. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hélène Pelczar

    2010-12-01

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2004-01-01

    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

  15. 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.

  16. Ecotoxicology of Amphibians and Reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-01-01

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

  17. 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....

  18. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joana Cruz

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

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desnitskiy, Alexey G; Litvinchuk, Spartak N

    2015-10-01

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

  2. Moonlighting? - Consequences of lunar cues on anuran reproductive activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Underhill, Victoria A.; Höbel, Gerlinde

    2018-02-01

    While the influence of environmental variables, particularly temperature and rainfall, on the breeding behavior of amphibians is widely recognized, relatively few studies have addressed how the moon affects amphibian behavior. Yet, the lunar cycle provides several rhythmic temporal cues that animals could use to time important group events such as spawning, and the substantial changes in light levels associated with the different moon phases may also affect the behavior of nocturnal frogs. Using seven years of field observation data, we tested for lunar effects on the reproductive activity of male and female Eastern Gray Treefrogs (Hyla versicolor). We found that chorusing and breeding activity was statistically more likely to occur around the first quarter of the moon and during intermediately bright nights, but that reproductive activity also occurred during various other times during the lunar cycle. We discuss these findings in relation to the two main hypotheses of lunar effects on animals: predator avoidance and temporal synchronization of breeding.

  3. Differential metamorphosis alters the endocrine response in anuran larvae exposed to T{sub 3} and atrazine

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Freeman, Jennifer L. [University of Illinois, Department of Crop Sciences, 1201 W. Gregory Drive, 320 ERML, Urbana, IL 61801 (United States); Beccue, Nathan [University of Illinois, Department of Crop Sciences, 1201 W. Gregory Drive, 320 ERML, Urbana, IL 61801 (United States); Rayburn, A. Lane [University of Illinois, Department of Crop Sciences, 1201 W. Gregory Drive, 320 ERML, Urbana, IL 61801 (United States)]. E-mail: arayburn@uiuc.edu

    2005-11-10

    Pesticide chemical contamination is one of the suspected contributors of the amphibian population decline. The herbicide atrazine is one of the major surface water contaminants in the U.S. A previous study has shown that atrazine at concentrations as low as 100 parts per billion (ppb) increased the time to metamorphosis in Xenopus laevis tadpoles. However, questions remain as to the applicability of a study of a non-native species to a native organism. The possible effects of atrazine on developing Bufo americanus were explored. Atrazine at potentially (albeit high) environmental concentrations was found not to delay the metamorphosis of developing B. americanus tadpoles as observed in X. laevis. Several studies have indicated that atrazine affects thyroid hormones. Since thyroid hormones are critical in amphibian metamorphosis, B. americanus and X. laevis tadpoles were exposed to exogenous 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T{sub 3}). X. laevis were found to be more responsive to the effects of exogenous T{sub 3} compared to B. americanus, indicating that X. laevis may be more sensitive to endocrine active chemicals than B. americanus. In X. laevis, nuclear heterogeneity has been associated with metamorphosis. Flow cytometric analysis of the nuclei of normal metamorphing B. americanus indicates a decrease in the amount of thyroid mediated chromatin alterations relative to the nuclei of metamorphing X. laevis. Indications are that the differential response to endocrine disruption is due to the differential role of chromatin associated gene expression during metamorphosis of B. americanus versus X. laevis. A second native species, Hyla versicolor, was observed to have the X. laevis nuclear pattern with respect to metamorphosis. As such, sensitivity to endocrine disruption is hypothesized not to be limited to laboratory non-native species.

  4. Conjugated effects of thyroxine and X-rays on the intestinal wall of Alytes obstetricans Larvae (Anuran Amphibian)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dauca, M.; Hourdry, J.

    1979-01-01

    The conjoined effects of thyroxine and X-rays on the intestinal wall were studied using Alytes obstetricans tadpoles in premetamorphosis. Thyroxine alone induced degeneration of the larval epithelium (primary epithelium) and its replacement by a secondary epithelium. The latter is derived from stem cells via the development of islets. In animals submitted to irradiation only, many of these stem cells showed signs of necrosis. In irradiated larvae treated with thyroxine, the secondary epitheliocytes were rare and never formed islets. Radioautographic observations confirmed their very low proliferation rate. Contrary to what was observed in the hormone treated larvae, cell fragments of the primary epithelium were extruded in the connective tissue, and phagocytes appear to infiltrate the epithelium. In animals treated with thyroxine and later submitted to irradiation, islets of secondary epitheliocytes developed while some cells degenerated. There again, the phagocytes were noted in both the connective tissue and the epithelium. (orig.) [de

  5. 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

  6. Vocal competition in male Xenopus laevis frogs

    OpenAIRE

    Tobias, Martha L.; Corke, Anna; Korsh, Jeremy; Yin, David; Kelley, Darcy B.

    2010-01-01

    Male Xenopus laevis frogs produce underwater advertisement calls that attract gravid females and suppress calling by male competitors. Here we explore whether groups of males establish vocal ranks and whether auditory cues alone suffice for vocal suppression. Tests of male–male pairs within assigned groups reveal linear vocal dominance relations, in which each male has a defined rank. Both the duration over which males interact, as well as the number of competitive opportunities, affect linea...

  7. Apoptosis regulates notochord development in Xenopus

    OpenAIRE

    Malikova, Marina; Van Stry, Melanie; Symes, Karen

    2007-01-01

    The notochord is the defining characteristic of the chordate embryo, and plays critical roles as a signaling center and as the primitive skeleton. In this study we show that early notochord development in Xenopus embryos is regulated by apoptosis. We find apoptotic cells in the notochord beginning at the neural groove stage and increasing in number as the embryo develops. These dying cells are distributed in an anterior to posterior pattern that is correlated with notochord extension through ...

  8. Effects of amphibian phylogeny, climate and human impact on the occurrence of the amphibian-killing chytrid fungus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacigalupe, Leonardo D; Soto-Azat, Claudio; García-Vera, Cristobal; Barría-Oyarzo, Ismael; Rezende, Enrico L

    2017-09-01

    Chytridiomycosis, due to the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has been associated with the alarming decline and extinction crisis of amphibians worldwide. Because conservation programs are implemented locally, it is essential to understand how the complex interactions among host species, climate and human activities contribute to Bd occurrence at regional scales. Using weighted phylogenetic regressions and model selection, we investigated geographic patterns of Bd occurrence along a latitudinal gradient of 1500 km within a biodiversity hot spot in Chile (1845 individuals sampled from 253 sites and representing 24 species), and its association with climatic, socio-demographic and economic variables. Analyses show that Bd prevalence decreases with latitude although it has increased by almost 10% between 2008 and 2013, possibly reflecting an ongoing spread of Bd following the introduction of Xenopus laevis. Occurrence of Bd was higher in regions with high gross domestic product (particularly near developed centers) and with a high variability in rainfall regimes, whereas models including other bioclimatic or geographic variables, including temperature, exhibited substantially lower fit and virtually no support based on Akaike weights. In addition, Bd prevalence exhibited a strong phylogenetic signal, with five species having high numbers of infected individuals and higher prevalence than the average of 13.3% across all species. Taken together, our results highlight that Bd in Chile might still be spreading south, facilitated by a subset of species that seem to play an important epidemiological role maintaining this pathogen in the communities, in combination with climatic and human factors affecting the availability and quality of amphibian breeding sites. This information may be employed to design conservation strategies and mitigate the impacts of Bd in the biodiversity hot spot of southern Chile, and similar studies may prove useful to disentangle the

  9. 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. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis in Xenopus extract.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDowell, Gary S; Philpott, Anna

    2016-01-01

    The small protein modifier, ubiquitin, can be covalently attached to proteins in the process of ubiquitylation, resulting in a variety of functional outcomes. In particular, the most commonly-associated and well-studied fate for proteins modified with ubiquitin is their ultimate destruction: degradation by the 26S proteasome via the ubiquitin-proteasome system, or digestion in lysosomes by proteolytic enzymes. From the earliest days of ubiquitylation research, a reliable and versatile "cell-in-a-test-tube" system has been employed in the form of cytoplasmic extracts from the eggs and embryos of the frog Xenopus laevis. Biochemical studies of ubiquitin and protein degradation using this system have led to significant advances particularly in the study of ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis, while the versatility of Xenopus as a developmental model has allowed investigation of the in vivo consequences of ubiquitylation. Here we describe the use and history of Xenopus extract in the study of ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation, and highlight the versatility of this system that has been exploited to uncover mechanisms and consequences of ubiquitylation and proteolysis.

  11. 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.

  12. Amphibians of the Reserva Ecológica Michelin: a high diversity site in the lowland Atlantic Forest of southern Bahia, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caio Vinícius de Mira-Mendes

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available An inventory of the amphibians of the Reserva Ecológica Michelin – REM in southern Bahia, Brazil is presented. Sixty-nine species were recorded during a ten-year sampling period. Amphibians were distributed in two orders (Gymnophiona and Anura, belonging to twelve families [Aromobatidae (1, Bufonidae (3, Centrolenidae (1, Craugastoridae (5, Eleutherodactylidae (3, Hemiphractidae (2, Hylidae (34, Phyllomedusidae (5 Leptodactylidae (7, Microhylidae (4, Odontophrynidae (3 and Caeciliidae (1]. Fifty per cent of the reproductive modes known for Atlantic forest anurans were recorded. While no threatened species were found at REM, six species are classified as data deficient (DD by the Brazilian Red List of threatened species and deserve additional attention. Phasmahyla timbo and Vitreorana eurygnatha are listed as endangered in Bahia according to the list of threatened species of the state. Despite a higher diversity of amphibians in the Atlantic forest having been reported for mountainous regions, our results revealed that amphibian richness for lowland forests is also high.

  13. Species-and stage-specific differences in trace element tissue concentrations in amphibians: implications for the disposal of coal-combustion wastes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roe, John H.; Hopkins, William A.; Jackson, Brian P.

    2005-01-01

    Information on species-and stage-specific patterns of contaminant accumulation is generally lacking for amphibians, yet such information could provide valuable knowledge on how amphibians interact with contaminants. We assessed concentrations of As, Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, Se, Sr, and Zn in whole bodies of larval, recently metamorphosed, and adult life stages in Bufo terrestris and Rana sphenocephala from a site that currently receives coal combustion waste (CCW) discharge, a site where CCW was formerly discharged that has undergone natural attenuation for 30 years, and a nearby reference site. For the majority of elements (As, Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn), concentrations were highest in larvae, but Se and Sr concentrations remained elevated in later life stages, likely because these elements are S and Ca analogs, respectively, and are thus retained throughout structural changes during metamorphosis. Element concentrations were generally higher in B. terrestris than in R. sphenocephala. Concentrations of As, Se, and Sr were up to 11-35 times higher in metamorphs emigrating from CCW-polluted wetlands compared to unpolluted wetlands, suggesting metamorphosed amphibians can transport trace elements from aquatic disposal basins to nearby uncontaminated terrestrial habitats. In addition, anurans utilizing naturally revegetated sites up to 30 years after CCW disposal ceases are exposed to trace elements, although to a lesser degree than sites where CCW is currently discharged. - Results suggest that metamorphosed amphibians can transport trace elements from aquatic disposal basins to non-contaminated habitats

  14. Species-and stage-specific differences in trace element tissue concentrations in amphibians: implications for the disposal of coal-combustion wastes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roe, John H. [University of Georgia, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, P.O. Drawer E, Aiken, SC 29802 (United States); Hopkins, William A. [University of Georgia, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, P.O. Drawer E, Aiken, SC 29802 (United States)]. E-mail: hopkins@srel.edu; Jackson, Brian P. [University of Georgia, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, P.O. Drawer E, Aiken, SC 29802 (United States)

    2005-07-15

    Information on species-and stage-specific patterns of contaminant accumulation is generally lacking for amphibians, yet such information could provide valuable knowledge on how amphibians interact with contaminants. We assessed concentrations of As, Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, Se, Sr, and Zn in whole bodies of larval, recently metamorphosed, and adult life stages in Bufo terrestris and Rana sphenocephala from a site that currently receives coal combustion waste (CCW) discharge, a site where CCW was formerly discharged that has undergone natural attenuation for 30 years, and a nearby reference site. For the majority of elements (As, Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn), concentrations were highest in larvae, but Se and Sr concentrations remained elevated in later life stages, likely because these elements are S and Ca analogs, respectively, and are thus retained throughout structural changes during metamorphosis. Element concentrations were generally higher in B. terrestris than in R. sphenocephala. Concentrations of As, Se, and Sr were up to 11-35 times higher in metamorphs emigrating from CCW-polluted wetlands compared to unpolluted wetlands, suggesting metamorphosed amphibians can transport trace elements from aquatic disposal basins to nearby uncontaminated terrestrial habitats. In addition, anurans utilizing naturally revegetated sites up to 30 years after CCW disposal ceases are exposed to trace elements, although to a lesser degree than sites where CCW is currently discharged. - Results suggest that metamorphosed amphibians can transport trace elements from aquatic disposal basins to non-contaminated habitats.

  15. 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.

  16. Effects of an invasive plant, Chinese tallow (Triadica sebifera), on development and survival of anuran larvae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor B. Cotten; Matthew A. Kwiatkowski; Daniel Saenz; Michael Collyer

    2012-01-01

    Amphibians are considered one of the most threatened vertebrate groups. Although numerous studies have addressed the many causes of amphibian population decline, little is known about effects of invasive plants. Chinese tallow (Triadica sebifera) is an exotic deciduous tree that has invaded the southeastern United States. Amphibian larvae in environments invaded by T....

  17. 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.

  18. Geomorphology Drives Amphibian Beta Diversity in Atlantic Forest Lowlands of Southeastern Brazil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amom Mendes Luiz

    Full Text Available Beta diversity patterns are the outcome of multiple processes operating at different scales. Amphibian assemblages seem to be affected by contemporary climate and dispersal-based processes. However, historical processes involved in present patterns of beta diversity remain poorly understood. We assess and disentangle geomorphological, climatic and spatial drivers of amphibian beta diversity in coastal lowlands of the Atlantic Forest, southeastern Brazil. We tested the hypothesis that geomorphological factors are more important in structuring anuran beta diversity than climatic and spatial factors. We obtained species composition via field survey (N = 766 individuals, museum specimens (N = 9,730 and literature records (N = 4,763. Sampling area was divided in four spatially explicit geomorphological units, representing historical predictors. Climatic descriptors were represented by the first two axis of a Principal Component Analysis. Spatial predictors in different spatial scales were described by Moran Eigenvector Maps. Redundancy Analysis was implemented to partition the explained variation of species composition by geomorphological, climatic and spatial predictors. Moreover, spatial autocorrelation analyses were used to test neutral theory predictions. Beta diversity was spatially structured in broader scales. Shared fraction between climatic and geomorphological variables was an important predictor of species composition (13%, as well as broad scale spatial predictors (13%. However, geomorphological variables alone were the most important predictor of beta diversity (42%. Historical factors related to geomorphology must have played a crucial role in structuring amphibian beta diversity. The complex relationships between geomorphological history and climatic gradients generated by the Serra do Mar Precambrian basements were also important. We highlight the importance of combining spatially explicit historical and contemporary predictors for

  19. Geomorphology Drives Amphibian Beta Diversity in Atlantic Forest Lowlands of Southeastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luiz, Amom Mendes; Leão-Pires, Thiago Augusto; Sawaya, Ricardo J

    2016-01-01

    Beta diversity patterns are the outcome of multiple processes operating at different scales. Amphibian assemblages seem to be affected by contemporary climate and dispersal-based processes. However, historical processes involved in present patterns of beta diversity remain poorly understood. We assess and disentangle geomorphological, climatic and spatial drivers of amphibian beta diversity in coastal lowlands of the Atlantic Forest, southeastern Brazil. We tested the hypothesis that geomorphological factors are more important in structuring anuran beta diversity than climatic and spatial factors. We obtained species composition via field survey (N = 766 individuals), museum specimens (N = 9,730) and literature records (N = 4,763). Sampling area was divided in four spatially explicit geomorphological units, representing historical predictors. Climatic descriptors were represented by the first two axis of a Principal Component Analysis. Spatial predictors in different spatial scales were described by Moran Eigenvector Maps. Redundancy Analysis was implemented to partition the explained variation of species composition by geomorphological, climatic and spatial predictors. Moreover, spatial autocorrelation analyses were used to test neutral theory predictions. Beta diversity was spatially structured in broader scales. Shared fraction between climatic and geomorphological variables was an important predictor of species composition (13%), as well as broad scale spatial predictors (13%). However, geomorphological variables alone were the most important predictor of beta diversity (42%). Historical factors related to geomorphology must have played a crucial role in structuring amphibian beta diversity. The complex relationships between geomorphological history and climatic gradients generated by the Serra do Mar Precambrian basements were also important. We highlight the importance of combining spatially explicit historical and contemporary predictors for understanding

  20. Female sexual arousal in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilczynski, Walter; Lynch, Kathleen S

    2011-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodolfo M Pelinson

    Full Text Available 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Amphibian Engineers in the Southwest Pacific

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-03-08

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

  4. Altered Reproductive Function and Amphibian Declines

    OpenAIRE

    Gallipeau, Sherrie

    2014-01-01

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

  5. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Impending conservation crisis for Southeast Asian amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-06-23

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

  7. 7 Edible Amphibian Species.cdr

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Administrator

    Frog meat serves as a good source of protein for the ... flame in a fume cupboard and burned until no more soot ... of sample was mashed and acidified at a pH ... 50. 100. 150. 200. 250. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5 or more. Number of anuran species. R e s p o.

  8. Direct Activation of Amidohydrolase Domain-Containing 1 Gene by Thyroid Hormone Implicates a Role in the Formation of Adult Intestinal Stem Cells During Xenopus Metamorphosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okada, Morihiro; Miller, Thomas C; Fu, Liezhen; Shi, Yun-Bo

    2015-09-01

    The T3-dependent anuran metamorphosis resembles postembryonic development in mammals, the period around birth when plasma T3 levels peak. In particular, the remodeling of the intestine during metamorphosis mimics neonatal intestinal maturation in mammals when the adult intestinal epithelial self-renewing system is established. We have been using intestinal metamorphosis to investigate how the organ-specific adult stem cells are formed during vertebrate development. Early studies in Xenopus laevis have shown that this process involves complete degeneration of the larval epithelium and de novo formation of adult stem cells. A tissue-specific microarray analysis of intestinal gene expression during Xenopus laevis metamorphosis has identified a number of candidate stem cell genes. Here we have carried out detailed analyses of one such gene, amidohydrolase domain containing 1 (AMDHD1) gene, which encodes an enzyme in the histidine catabolic pathway. We show that AMDHD1 is exclusively expressed in the proliferating adult epithelial stem cells during metamorphosis with little expression in other intestinal tissues. We further provide evidence that T3 activates AMDHD1 gene expression directly at the transcription level through T3 receptor binding to the AMDHD1 gene in the intestine. In addition, we have reported earlier that histidine ammonia-lyase gene, another gene in histidine catabolic pathway, is similarly regulated by T3 in the intestine. These results together suggest that histidine catabolism plays a critical role in the formation and/or proliferation of adult intestinal stem cells during metamorphosis.

  9. 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....

  10. The histone H5 variant in Xenopus laevis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Moorman, A. F.; de Boer, P. A.; Linders, M. T.; Charles, R.

    1984-01-01

    The presumptive histone H5 of Xenopus laevis has been characterized by SDS and acid-urea-Triton polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and compared with chicken histone H5. Chicken H5 has a lower electrophoretic mobility compared to that of Xenopus H5 in both gel systems. It is shown, using a polyclonal

  11. 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.

  12. Polystyrene nanoparticles affect Xenopus laevis development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tussellino, Margherita; Ronca, Raffaele; Formiggini, Fabio; Marco, Nadia De; Fusco, Sabato; Netti, Paolo Antonio; Carotenuto, Rosa

    2015-01-01

    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

  13. Comparative life cycles and life histories of North American Rhabdias spp. (Nematoda: Rhabdiasidae): lungworms from snakes and anurans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langford, Gabriel J; Janovy, John

    2009-10-01

    The present study used experimental infections to compare the life cycles and life histories of 6 Rhabdias spp. infecting snakes and anurans. Free-living development of anuran lungworms was primarily limited to heterogonic reproduction, and females utilized matricidal endotoky exclusively, whereas snake lungworms primarily reproduced homogonically and, when heterogonic reproduction occurred, females used a combination of releasing eggs and matricidal endotoky. Infective snake lungworms survived for longer periods in fresh water compared to anuran worms. Infective anuran lungworms penetrated into the skin of frogs and toads; few infections resulted from per os infections. In contrast, snake lungworms were unable to penetrate skin; instead, infective juveniles penetrated into snake esophageal tissue during per os infections. Despite separate points of entry, anuran and snake lungworms both migrated and developed in the fascia, eventually penetrating into the body cavity of the host. Worms molted to adulthood inside the body cavity and subsequently penetrated into the host's lungs, where they fed on blood while becoming gravid. Adult lungworm survival varied among lungworm species, but, in general, snake lungworms were longer lived than anuran worms. Anuran lungworms were poorly suited for transmission via transport hosts, whereas snake lungworms were consistently capable of establishing infections using transport hosts. Overall, these observations suggest that snake and anuran lungworms have discrepant life cycles and life history strategies.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-11-01

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

  15. Fertilization and development of eggs of the South African clawed toad, Xenopus laevis, on sounding rockets in space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ubbels, G A; Berendsen, W; Kerkvliet, S; Narraway, J

    1992-01-01

    Egg rotation and centrifugation experiments strongly suggest a role for gravity in the determination of the spatial structure of amphibian embryos. Decisive experiments can only be made in Space. Eggs of Xenopus laevis, the South African clawed toad, were the first vertebrate eggs which were successfully fertilized on Sounding Rockets in Space. Unfixed, newly fertilized eggs survived reentry, and a reasonable number showed a seemingly normal gastrulation but died between gastrulation and neurulation. Only a few reached the larval stage, but these developed abnormally. In the future, we intend to test whether this abnormal morphogenesis is due to reentry perturbations, or due to a real microgravity effect, through perturbation of the reinitiation of meiosis and other processes, or started by later sperm penetration.

  16. Influence of habitat heterogeneity on anuran diversity in Restinga landscapes of the Parnaíba River delta, northeastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araújo, Kássio C; Guzzi, Anderson; Ávila, Robson W

    2018-01-01

    Anurans have close associations with environmental conditions and therefore represent an interesting vertebrate group for examining how resource availability and environmental variables influence species diversity. Associations between habitat heterogeneity and anuran species diversity were tested in the Restinga landscapes of the Parnaíba River delta in northeastern Brazil. Twenty-one anuran species were sampled in the rainy season during monthly excursions (December 2015 to June 2016) into areas of Restinga on two islands in the Parnaíba River delta. The fourth highest anuran diversity was found in this type of environment in Brazil and is the third in northeastern Brazil. Microenvironments, characterized by a combination of vernal pools with different vegetational and physical structures, better explained anuran species composition in the Parnaíba River delta.

  17. Chironomidae bloodworms larvae as aquatic amphibian food.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Cytological and Morphological Analyses Reveal Distinct Features of Intestinal Development during Xenopus tropicalis Metamorphosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuura, Kazuo; Shi, Yun-Bo

    2012-01-01

    Background The formation and/or maturation of adult organs in vertebrates often takes place during postembryonic development, a period around birth in mammals when thyroid hormone (T3) levels are high. The T3-dependent anuran metamorphosis serves as a model to study postembryonic development. Studies on the remodeling of the intestine during Xenopus (X.) laevis metamorphosis have shown that the development of the adult intestine involves de novo formation of adult stem cells in a process controlled by T3. On the other hand, X. tropicalis, highly related to X. laevis, offers a number of advantages for studying developmental mechanisms, especially at genome-wide level, over X. laevis, largely due to its shorter life cycle and sequenced genome. To establish X. tropicalis intestinal metamorphosis as a model for adult organogenesis, we analyzed the morphological and cytological changes in X. tropicalis intestine during metamorphosis. Methodology/Principal Findings We observed that in X. tropicalis, the premetamorphic intestine was made of mainly a monolayer of larval epithelial cells surrounded by little connective tissue except in the single epithelial fold, the typhlosole. During metamorphosis, the larval epithelium degenerates and adult epithelium develops to form a multi-folded structure with elaborate connective tissue and muscles. Interestingly, typhlosole, which is likely critical for adult epithelial development, is present along the entire length of the small intestine in premetamorphic tadpoles, in contrast to X. laevis, where it is present only in the anterior 1/3. T3-treatment induces intestinal remodeling, including the shortening of the intestine and the typhlosole, just like in X. laevis. Conclusions/Significance Our observations indicate that the intestine undergoes similar metamorphic changes in X. laevis and X. tropicalis, making it possible to use the large amount of information available on X. laevis intestinal metamorphosis and the genome sequence

  19. Reactivation of larval keratin gene (krt62.L) in blastema epithelium during Xenopus froglet limb regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satoh, Akira; Mitogawa, Kazumasa; Saito, Nanami; Suzuki, Miyuki; Suzuki, Ken-Ichi T; Ochi, Haruki; Makanae, Aki

    2017-12-15

    Limb regeneration is considered a form of limb redevelopment because of the molecular and morphological similarities. Forming a regeneration blastema is, in essence, creating a developing limb bud in an adult body. This reactivation of a developmental process in a mature body is worth studying. Xenopus laevis has a biphasic life cycle that involves distinct larval and adult stages. These distinct developmental stages are useful for investigating the reactivation of developmental processes in post-metamorphic frogs (froglets). In this study, we focused on the re-expression of a larval gene (krt62.L) during Xenopus froglet limb regeneration. Recently renamed krt62.L, this gene was known as the larval keratin (xlk) gene, which is specific to larval-tadpole stages. During limb regeneration in a froglet, krt62.L was re-expressed in a basal layer of blastema epithelium, where adult-specific keratin (Krt12.6.S) expression was also observable. Nerves produce important regulatory factors for amphibian limb regeneration, and also play a role in blastema formation and maintenance. The effect of nerve function on krt62.L expression could be seen in the maintenance of krt62.L expression, but not in its induction. When an epidermis-stripped limb bud was grafted in a froglet blastema, the grafted limb bud could reach the digit-forming stage. This suggests that krt62.L-positive froglet blastema epithelium is able to support the limb development process. These findings imply that the developmental process is locally reactivated in an postmetamorphic body during limb regeneration. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Endoparasites in some Swedish Amphibians

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cedhagen, Tomas

    1988-01-01

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

  1. The advertisement calls of Brazilian anurans: Historical review, current knowledge and future directions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerra, Vinicius; Llusia, Diego; Gambale, Priscilla Guedes; Morais, Alessandro Ribeiro de; Márquez, Rafael; Bastos, Rogério Pereira

    2018-01-01

    Advertisement calls are often used as essential basic information in studies of animal behaviour, ecology, evolution, conservation, taxonomy or biodiversity inventories. Yet the description of this type of acoustic signals is far to be completed, especially in tropical regions, and is frequently non-standardized or limited in information, restricting the application of bioacoustics in science. Here we conducted a scientometric review of the described adverstisement calls of anuran species of Brazil, the world richest territory in anurans, to evaluate the amount, standard and trends of the knowledge on this key life-history trait and to identify gaps and directions for future research strategies. Based on our review, 607 studies have been published between 1960 to 2016 describing the calls of 719 Brazilian anuran species (68.8% of all species), a publication rate of 10.6 descriptions per year. From each of these studies, thirty-one variables were recorded and examined with descriptive and inferential statistics. In spite of an exponential rise over the last six decades in the number of studies, described calls, and quantity of published metadata, as revealed by regression models, clear shortfalls were identified with regard to anuran families, biomes, and categories of threat. More than 55% of these species belong to the two richest families, Hylidae or Leptodactylidae. The lowest percentage of species with described calls corresponds to the most diverse biomes, namely Atlantic Forest (65.1%) and Amazon (71.5%), and to the IUCN categories of threat (56.8%), relative to the less-than-threatened categories (74.3%). Moreover, only 52.3% of the species have some of its calls deposited in the main scientific sound collections. Our findings evidence remarkable knowledge gaps on advertisement calls of Brazilian anuran species, emphasizing the need of further efforts in standardizing and increasing the description of anuran calls for their application in studies of the

  2. The advertisement calls of Brazilian anurans: Historical review, current knowledge and future directions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vinicius Guerra

    Full Text Available Advertisement calls are often used as essential basic information in studies of animal behaviour, ecology, evolution, conservation, taxonomy or biodiversity inventories. Yet the description of this type of acoustic signals is far to be completed, especially in tropical regions, and is frequently non-standardized or limited in information, restricting the application of bioacoustics in science. Here we conducted a scientometric review of the described adverstisement calls of anuran species of Brazil, the world richest territory in anurans, to evaluate the amount, standard and trends of the knowledge on this key life-history trait and to identify gaps and directions for future research strategies. Based on our review, 607 studies have been published between 1960 to 2016 describing the calls of 719 Brazilian anuran species (68.8% of all species, a publication rate of 10.6 descriptions per year. From each of these studies, thirty-one variables were recorded and examined with descriptive and inferential statistics. In spite of an exponential rise over the last six decades in the number of studies, described calls, and quantity of published metadata, as revealed by regression models, clear shortfalls were identified with regard to anuran families, biomes, and categories of threat. More than 55% of these species belong to the two richest families, Hylidae or Leptodactylidae. The lowest percentage of species with described calls corresponds to the most diverse biomes, namely Atlantic Forest (65.1% and Amazon (71.5%, and to the IUCN categories of threat (56.8%, relative to the less-than-threatened categories (74.3%. Moreover, only 52.3% of the species have some of its calls deposited in the main scientific sound collections. Our findings evidence remarkable knowledge gaps on advertisement calls of Brazilian anuran species, emphasizing the need of further efforts in standardizing and increasing the description of anuran calls for their application in

  3. 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.

  4. Are the mechanisms for stream segregation shared among anurans and other tetrapods?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob

    ). It has been shown that spatial release from masking is sharpened by 6 dB in the TS, and that neurons in the TS are selective for call rates and number of call pulses. However, recently electrical stimulation of tha- lamic structures have demonstrated possible attentional modulation of TS responses......Many male anurans (frogs and toads) call in large aggregations. Since the fundamental task of anuran auditory communication prob- ably is to attract and localize potential mates, segregation of the callers is likely an important task for the auditory system. Behavioral experiments have shown...

  5. Tissue-Specific Upregulation of MDS/EVI Gene Transcripts in the Intestine by Thyroid Hormone during Xenopus Metamorphosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasebe, Takashi; Fu, Liezhen; Heimeier, Rachel A.; Das, Biswajit; Ishizuya-Oka, Atsuko; Shi, Yun-Bo

    2013-01-01

    Background Intestinal remodeling during amphibian metamorphosis resembles the maturation of the adult intestine during mammalian postembryonic development when the adult epithelial self-renewing system is established under the influence of high concentrations of plasma thyroid hormone (T3). This process involves de novo formation and subsequent proliferation and differentiation of the adult stem cells. Methodology/Principal Findings The T3-dependence of the formation of adult intestinal stem cell during Xenopus laevis metamorphosis offers a unique opportunity to identify genes likely important for adult organ-specific stem cell development. We have cloned and characterized the ectopic viral integration site 1 (EVI) and its variant myelodysplastic syndrome 1 (MDS)/EVI generated via transcription from the upstream MDS promoter and alternative splicing. EVI and MDS/EVI have been implicated in a number of cancers including breast, leukemia, ovarian, and intestinal cancers. We show that EVI and MDS/EVI transcripts are upregulated by T3 in the epithelium but not the rest of the intestine in Xenopus laevis when adult stem cells are forming in the epithelium. Conclusions/Significance Our results suggest that EVI and MDS/EVI are likely involved in the development and/or proliferation of newly forming adult intestinal epithelial cells. PMID:23383234

  6. Radiation-induced changes of the developing nervous system of amphibians

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schneider, M.

    1986-01-01

    The nervous system of amphibians (Xenopus laevis and Bufo) is of an outstanding sensitivity against irradiation in the early periods of its tissue induction and development. This is descriptively shown by various pathological disturbances. Irradiated series showed a protracted course of development. The brains obtains lower relative weights and diminished absolute lengths although the body weight remained nearly constant. The distribution of pigmentation in the brains of treated animals was changed. This indicated radiation-induced disturbances. Further, the significance of pigmentation pattern for a distinct evaluation of histological effects is also confirmed by a coincidence between the gross visible anomalies of the brain and the number of pigment-sites. Examples of malformation are given by aplasias, hypoplasias, hyperplasias up to cases of cyclopia. In the peripheral nervous system of Xenopus the neuromuscular junctions of the musculus interhyoideus were examined. The majority of neural endplates in the irradiated cases showed a loss of Schwann cells. As a consequence a diffusion of the transmitter acetylcholine in the endplate-region must be suggested. Accordingly, the morphological compensation reaction was seen in a thickening and sprouting. (orig.)

  7. 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

  8. Suitability of amphibians and reptiles for translocation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Germano, Jennifer M; Bishop, Phillip J

    2009-02-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. The colloidal thyroxine (T4) ring as a novel biomarker of perchlorate exposure in the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, F.; Sharma, Bibek; Mukhi, S.; Patino, R.; Carr, J.A.

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine if changes in colloidal thyroxine (T4) immunoreactivity can be used as a biomarker of perchlorate exposure in amphibian thyroid tissue. Larval African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) were exposed to 0, 1, 8, 93, and 1131 ??g perchlorate/l for 38 and 69 days to cover the normal period of larval development and metamorphosis. The results of this study confirmed the presence of an immunoreactive colloidal T4 ring in thyroid follicles of X. laevis and demonstrated that the intensity of this ring is reduced in a concentration-dependent manner by perchlorate exposure. The smallest effective concentration of perchlorate capable of significantly reducing colloidal T4 ring intensity was 8 ??g perchlorate/l. The intensity of the immunoreactive colloidal T4 ring is a more sensitive biomarker of perchlorate exposure than changes in hind limb length, forelimb emergence, tail resorption, thyrocyte hypertrophy, or colloid depletion. We conclude that the colloidal T4 ring can be used as a sensitive biomarker of perchlorate-induced thyroid disruption in amphibians. ?? Copyright 2006 Oxford University Press.

  11. Ancestral amphibian v2rs are expressed in the main olfactory epithelium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Syed, Adnan S.; Sansone, Alfredo; Nadler, Walter; Manzini, Ivan; Korsching, Sigrun I.

    2013-01-01

    Mammalian olfactory receptor families are segregated into different olfactory organs, with type 2 vomeronasal receptor (v2r) genes expressed in a basal layer of the vomeronasal epithelium. In contrast, teleost fish v2r genes are intermingled with all other olfactory receptor genes in a single sensory surface. We report here that, strikingly different from both lineages, the v2r gene family of the amphibian Xenopus laevis is expressed in the main olfactory as well as the vomeronasal epithelium. Interestingly, late diverging v2r genes are expressed exclusively in the vomeronasal epithelium, whereas “ancestral” v2r genes, including the single member of v2r family C, are restricted to the main olfactory epithelium. Moreover, within the main olfactory epithelium, v2r genes are expressed in a basal zone, partially overlapping, but clearly distinct from an apical zone of olfactory marker protein and odorant receptor-expressing cells. These zones are also apparent in the spatial distribution of odor responses, enabling a tentative assignment of odor responses to olfactory receptor gene families. Responses to alcohols, aldehydes, and ketones show an apical localization, consistent with being mediated by odorant receptors, whereas amino acid responses overlap extensively with the basal v2r-expressing zone. The unique bimodal v2r expression pattern in main and accessory olfactory system of amphibians presents an excellent opportunity to study the transition of v2r gene expression during evolution of higher vertebrates. PMID:23613591

  12. 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.

  13. Development and characterization of a model system to study amphibian immune responses to iridoviruses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gantress, Jennifer; Maniero, Gregory D.; Cohen, Nicholas; Robert, Jacques

    2003-01-01

    The recent realization that viruses within the family Iridoviridae may contribute to the worldwide decline in amphibians makes it urgent to understand amphibian antiviral immune defenses. We present evidence that establishes the frog Xenopus laevis as an important model with which to study anti-iridovirus immunity. Adults resist high doses of FV3 infection, showing only transitory signs of pathology. By contrast, naturally MHC class-I-deficient tadpoles are highly susceptible to FV3 infection. Monitoring of viral DNA by PCR indicates a preferential localization of FV3 DNA in the kidney, with the inbred MHC homozygous J strain appearing to be more susceptible. Clearance of virus as measured by detection of FV3 DNA and also the disappearance of pathological and behavioral symptoms of infection, acceleration of viral clearance, and detection of IgY anti-FV3 antibodies after a second injection of FV3 are all consistent with the involvement of both cellular and humoral adaptive antiviral immune responses

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-08

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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Přikryl, Tomáš; Aerts, C.; Havelková, P.; Herrel, A.; Roček, Zbyněk

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 214, č. 1 (2009), s. 100-139 ISSN 0021-8782 Grant - others:GA MŠk(CZ) KONTAKT 1-06-05 (2006-2007) Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : Anura * anuran jumping * Caudata * comparative myology * evolution Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 2.134, year: 2009

  16. Species- and stage-specific differences in trace element tissue concentrations in amphibians: implications for the disposal of coal-combustion wastes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roe, J.H.; Hopkins, W.A.; Jackson, B.P. [University of Georgia, Aiken, SC (US)

    2005-07-01

    Information on species- and stage-specific patterns of contaminant accumulation is generally lacking for amphibians, yet such information could provide valuable knowledge on how amphibians interact with contaminants. We assessed concentrations of As, Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, Se, Sr, and Zn in whole bodies of larval, recently metamorphosed, and adult life stages in Bufo terrestris and Rana sphenocephala from a site that currently receives coal combustion waste (CCW) discharge, a site where CCW was formerly discharged that has undergone natural attenuation for 30 years, and a nearby reference site. For the majority of elements (As, Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn), concentrations were highest in larvae, but Se and Sr concentrations remained elevated in later life stages, likely because these elements are S and Ca analogs, respectively, and are thus retained throughout structural changes during metamorphosis. Element concentrations were generally higher in B. terrestris than in R. sphenocephala. Concentrations of As, Se, and Sr were up to 11-35 times higher in metamorphs emigrating from CCW-polluted wetlands compared to unpolluted wetlands, suggesting metamorphosed amphibians can transport trace elements from aquatic disposal basins to nearby uncontaminated terrestrial habitats. In addition, anurans utilizing naturally revegetated sites up to 30 years after CCW disposal ceases are exposed to trace elements, although to a lesser degree than sites where CCW is currently discharged.

  17. Requirement of Xmsx-1 in the BMP-triggered ventralization of Xenopus embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamoto, T S; Takagi, C; Ueno, N

    2000-03-01

    Signaling triggered by polypeptide growth factors leads to the activation of their target genes. Several homeobox genes are known to be induced in response to polypeptide growth factors in early Xenopus development. In particular, Xmsx-1, an amphibian homologue of vertebrate Msx-1, is well characterized as a target gene of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP). Here, using a dominant-negative form of Xmsx-1 (VP-Xmsx-1), which is a fusion protein made with the virus-derived VP16 activation domain, we have examined whether Xmsx-1 activity is required in the endogenous ventralizing pathway. VP-Xmsx-1 induced a secondary body axis, complete with muscle and neural tissues, when overexpressed in ventral blastomeres, suggesting that Xmsx-1 activity is necessary for both mesoderm and ectoderm to be ventralized. We have also examined the epistatic relationship between Xmsx-1 and another ventralizing homeobox protein, Xvent-1, and show that Xmsx-1 is likely to be acting upstream of Xvent-1. We propose that Xmsx-1 is required in the BMP-stimulated ventralization pathway that involves the downstream activation of Xvent-1.

  18. 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.

  19. Extinction of an introduced warm-climate alien species, Xenopus laevis, by extreme weather events.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tinsley, Richard C; Stott, Lucy C; Viney, Mark E; Mable, Barbara K; Tinsley, Matthew C

    Invasive, non-native species represent a major threat to biodiversity worldwide. The African amphibian Xenopus laevis is widely regarded as an invasive species and a threat to local faunas. Populations originating at the Western Cape, South Africa, have been introduced on four continents, mostly in areas with a similar Mediterranean climate. Some introduced populations are also established in cooler environments where persistence for many decades suggests a capacity for long-term adaptation. In these cases, recent climate warming might enhance invasion ability, favouring range expansion, population growth and negative effects on native faunas. In the cool temperate UK, populations have been established for about 50 years in Wales and for an unknown period, probably >20 years, in England (Lincolnshire). Our field studies over 30 and 10 years, respectively, show that in favourable conditions there may be good recruitment, fast individual growth rates and large body size; maximum longevity exceeds 23 years. Nevertheless, areas of distribution remained limited, with numbers extinct. The winters of 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 experienced extreme cold and drought (December 2010 was the coldest in 120 years and the third driest in 100 years). The extinction of X. laevis in these areas indicates that even relatively long-established alien species remain vulnerable to rare extreme weather conditions.

  20. Metabolic cost of osmoregulation in a hypertonic environment in the invasive African clawed frog Xenopus laevis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isaac Peña-Villalobos

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Studies of aquatic invertebrates reveal that salinity affects feeding and growth rates, reproduction, survival, and diversity. Little is known, however, about how salinity impacts the energy budget of vertebrates and amphibians in particular. The few studies focused on this topic in vertebrates suggest that the ingestion of salts and the resulting osmoregulatory activity is energetically expensive. We analyzed the effect of saline acclimation on standard metabolic rates (SMR and the activities of metabolic enzymes of internal organs and osmoregulatory variables (plasma osmolality and urea plasma level in females of Xenopus laevis by means of acclimating individuals to an isosmotic (235 mOsm NaCl; ISO group and hyper-osmotic (340 mOsm NaCl; HYP group environment for 40 days. After acclimation, we found that total and mass-specific SMR was approximately 80% higher in the HYP group than those found in the ISO group. These changes were accompanied by higher citrate synthase activities in liver and heart in the HYP group than in the ISO group. Furthermore, we found a significant and positive correlation between metabolic rates and plasma urea, and citrate synthase activity in liver and heart. These results support the notion that the cost of osmoregulation is probably common in most animal species and suggest the existence of a functional association between metabolic rates and the adjustments in osmoregulatory physiology, such as blood distribution and urea synthesis.

  1. 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

  2. The North American Amphibian Monitoring Program. [abstract

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffin, J.

    1998-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Occurrence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in an anuran community in the southeastern Talamanca Region of Costa Rica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel Saenz; Cory K. Adams; Josh B. Pierce; David Laurencio

    2009-01-01

    Soon after the discovery of the amphibian disease chytridiomycosis, caused by the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, Longcore et al. 1999), it became apparent that Bd was a major threat to amphibians resulting in mass die-offs and population declines throughout the world (Berger et aI. 1998; Blaustein and Keisecker 2002; Daszak et aI. 2003; McCallum...

  5. Control of Pituitary Thyroid-stimulating Hormone Synthesis and Secretion by Thyroid Hormones during Xenopus Metamorphosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serum thyroid hormone (TH) concentrations in anuran larvae rise rapidly during metamorphosis. Such a rise in an adult anuran would inevitably trigger a negative feedback response resulting in decreased synthesis and secretion of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) by the pituitary....

  6. Genomic analysis of Xenopus organizer function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suhai Sándor

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Studies of the Xenopus organizer have laid the foundation for our understanding of the conserved signaling pathways that pattern vertebrate embryos during gastrulation. The two primary activities of the organizer, BMP and Wnt inhibition, can regulate a spectrum of genes that pattern essentially all aspects of the embryo during gastrulation. As our knowledge of organizer signaling grows, it is imperative that we begin knitting together our gene-level knowledge into genome-level signaling models. The goal of this paper was to identify complete lists of genes regulated by different aspects of organizer signaling, thereby providing a deeper understanding of the genomic mechanisms that underlie these complex and fundamental signaling events. Results To this end, we ectopically overexpress Noggin and Dkk-1, inhibitors of the BMP and Wnt pathways, respectively, within ventral tissues. After isolating embryonic ventral halves at early and late gastrulation, we analyze the transcriptional response to these molecules within the generated ectopic organizers using oligonucleotide microarrays. An efficient statistical analysis scheme, combined with a new Gene Ontology biological process annotation of the Xenopus genome, allows reliable and faithful clustering of molecules based upon their roles during gastrulation. From this data, we identify new organizer-related expression patterns for 19 genes. Moreover, our data sub-divides organizer genes into separate head and trunk organizing groups, which each show distinct responses to Noggin and Dkk-1 activity during gastrulation. Conclusion Our data provides a genomic view of the cohorts of genes that respond to Noggin and Dkk-1 activity, allowing us to separate the role of each in organizer function. These patterns demonstrate a model where BMP inhibition plays a largely inductive role during early developmental stages, thereby initiating the suites of genes needed to pattern dorsal tissues

  7. 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

  8. The phylogeny of amphibian metamorphosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiss, John O

    2002-01-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  11. Species composition and reproductive modes of anurans from a transitional Amazonian forest, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Youszef O. C. Bitar

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the present study was to describe the species composition and reproductive modes of an anuran community from a transition area between the Amazonia and Cerrado biomes. Data were collected in habitats exhibiting different degrees of anthropogenic degradation. The community (35 species identified during the present study presented a larger number of reproductive modes when compared with those from Cerrado communities, but smaller than those of other sites in the Amazon. While all nine modes were recorded in the gallery forests of local rivers and streams, anthropogenic habitats (rubber tree orchards and soybean fields were occupied only by species adapted to environments where humidity is low, typical of the Cerrado. Overall, the anuran fauna of the study area was characterized by species that depend on access to water bodies for their reproduction, with only a few specialized species able to reproduce in dry environments.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

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

  13. Anuran community composition along two large rivers in a tropical disturbed landscape

    OpenAIRE

    Almeida-Gomes,Mauricio; Rocha,Carlos Frederico Duarte; Vieira,Marcus Vinícius

    2015-01-01

    In this study we evaluated how anuran species were distributed in riparian habitats along two large rivers. Sampling was carried out between January and March 2012 in the municipality of Cachoeiras de Macacu, state of Rio de Janeiro. We delimited 20 plots along each river, ten in portions inside the forest of the Reserva Ecológica de Guapiaçu (REGUA), and with comparatively greater amount of forest cover, and ten outside REGUA, with comparatively lesser forest cover surrounding the ...

  14. 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.

  15. Diversity and associations between coastal habitats and anurans in southernmost Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, Mauro C L M; Dos Santos, Maurício B; Loebmann, Daniel; Hartman, Alexandre; Tozetti, Alexandro M

    2013-01-01

    This study aimed to verify the relationship between habitat and the composition of anuran species in dune and restinga habitats in southernmost Brazil. The habitats were sampled between April 2009 and March 2010 using pitfalls with drift fence. We have captured 13,508 individuals of 12 anuran species. Species richness was lower in the dunes and dominance was higher in the resting. Apparently the less complex plant cover, water availability, and wide daily thermal variation in dunes act as an environmental filter for frogs. This hypothesis is reinforced by the fact that the most abundant species (Physalaemus biligonigerus and Odonthoprynus maisuma) bury themselves in the sand, minimizing these environmental stresses. Despite being in the Pampa biome, the studied community was more similar to those of coastal restinga environment of southeast Brazil than with other of the Pampa biome. The number of recorded species is similar to those observed in other open habitats in Brazil, showing the importance of adjacent ones to the shoreline for the maintenance of the diversity of anurans in southernmost Brazil.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  17. 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).

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1981-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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

    2006-01-01

    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

  1. Amphibians of the northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  2. Global patterns of amphibian phylogenetic diversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fritz, Susanne; Rahbek, Carsten

    2012-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Emerging Ranaviral Infectious Diseases and Amphibian Decline

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacques Robert

    2010-02-01

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

  5. Common procedures in reptiles and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de la Navarre, Byron J S

    2006-05-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Amphibian Population Sensitivity to Environmental and ...

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  10. Sampling methods for terrestrial amphibians and reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul Stephen Corn; R. Bruce. Bury

    1990-01-01

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

  11. Amphibian distribution patterns in western Europe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zuiderwijk, Annie

    1980-01-01

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

  12. Biogeography of amphibians and reptiles in Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  13. Managing Amphibian Disease with Skin Microbiota.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  14. Amphibians from Liberia and the Gold Coast

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Parker, H.W.

    1936-01-01

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

  15. Diseases of amphibian eggs and embryos

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  16. Xenopus laevis embryos and tadpoles as models for testing for ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The toxicity of bio available Zn, Cu, Pb, and Cd on the life stages of Xenopus laevis embryos and tadpoles was investigated. Cu and Cd were found to affect the hatching success of the embryos, with a strong negative relationship existing between the increase in Cu concentrations and the hatching of the embryos.

  17. Xenopus iaevis (Anura: Pipidae) Mating systems - A preliminary ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    was inhibited if the frogs were injected with saline to simulate ripe ovaries. Russel (1954) described a low frequency tremor given by males when in amplexus with females. This behaviour was also noted by Grimm (1952). Although many authors have provided verbal or phonetic descriptions of the calls of Xenopus laevis, ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  19. EBF proteins participate in transcriptional regulation of Xenopus muscle development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Yangsook Song; Vetter, Monica L

    2011-10-01

    EBF proteins have diverse functions in the development of multiple lineages, including neurons, B cells and adipocytes. During Drosophila muscle development EBF proteins are expressed in muscle progenitors and are required for muscle cell differentiation, but there is no known function of EBF proteins in vertebrate muscle development. In this study, we examine the expression of ebf genes in Xenopus muscle tissue and show that EBF activity is necessary for aspects of Xenopus skeletal muscle development, including somite organization, migration of hypaxial muscle anlagen toward the ventral abdomen, and development of jaw muscle. From a microarray screen, we have identified multiple candidate targets of EBF activity with known roles in muscle development. The candidate targets we have verified are MYOD, MYF5, M-Cadherin and SEB-4. In vivo overexpression of the ebf2 and ebf3 genes leads to ectopic expression of these candidate targets, and knockdown of EBF activity causes downregulation of the endogenous expression of the candidate targets. Furthermore, we found that MYOD and MYF5 are likely to be direct targets. Finally we show that MYOD can upregulate the expression of ebf genes, indicating the presence of a positive feedback loop between EBF and MYOD that we find to be important for maintenance of MYOD expression in Xenopus. These results suggest that EBF activity is important for both stabilizing commitment and driving aspects of differentiation in Xenopus muscle cells. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Utilizing mass spectrometry imaging to map the thyroid hormones triiodothyronine and thyroxine in Xenopus tropicalis tadpoles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goto-Inoue, Naoko; Sato, Tomohiko; Morisasa, Mizuki; Kashiwagi, Akihiko; Kashiwagi, Keiko; Sugiura, Yuki; Sugiyama, Eiji; Suematsu, Makoto; Mori, Tsukasa

    2018-02-01

    Thyroid hormones are not only responsible for thermogenesis and energy metabolism in animals, but also have an important role in cell differentiation and development. Amphibian metamorphosis provides an excellent model for studying the remodeling of the body. This metamorphic organ remodeling is induced by thyroid hormones, and a larval body is thus converted into an adult one. The matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI)-mass spectrometry (MS) imaging technology is expected to be a suitable tool for investigating small bioreactive molecules. The present study describes the distribution of the thyroid hormones, i.e., triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) and their inactive form reverse T3 (rT3) in Xenopus tropicalis tadpoles using two different types of imaging techniques, MS/MS and Fourier transform (FT)-MS imaging. As a result of MS/MS imaging, we demonstrated that T3 was mainly distributed in the gills. T4 was faintly localized in the eyes, inner gills, and intestine during metamorphosis. The intensity of T3 in the gills and the intensity of T4 in the body fluids were increased during metamorphosis. Moreover, the localization of the inactive form rT3 was demonstrated to be separate from T3, namely in the intestine and muscles. In addition, FT-MS imaging could utilize simultaneous imaging including thyroid hormone. This is the first report to demonstrate the molecular distribution of thyroid hormones themselves and to discriminate T3, T4, and rT3 in animal tissues.

  1. An environmentally relevant endocrine-disrupting antiandrogen, vinclozolin, affects calling behavior of male Xenopus laevis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffmann, Frauke; Kloas, Werner

    2010-09-01

    Vinclozolin (VIN) is an antiandrogenic model substance as well as a common fungicide that can affect the endocrine system of vertebrates. The objective of this study was to investigate how VIN affects mate calling behavior of South African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) and whether it is effective at environmentally relevant concentrations. Male X. laevis were injected with human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) to stimulate their androgen-controlled mate calling behavior and were treated with VIN at concentrations of 10(-6), 10(-8) and 10(-10)M. VIN at 10(-6)M reduced calling activity. Furthermore, the vocalization composition of VIN-treated X. laevis was altered. The call types advertisement calls and chirping are uttered by reproductively active males, whereas the call types growling, ticking, and rasping indicate a sexually unaroused state of a male. VIN at any of the tested concentrations led to a decrease in utterance of calls, which indicate a sexually aroused state of the males, and an increase in relative proportions of calls, indicating a sexually unaroused state of the males. Additionally, the mean duration of clicks and the number of accentuated clicks during the advertisement calls decreased at all concentrations of VIN. No significant differences were observed in any other temporal or spectral calling parameters between the treatments. This study illustrates that exposure to the antiandrogen VIN might result in a reduced reproductive success by altering mate calling behavior of X. laevis. Moreover, it suggests that the behavioral parameters examined in this study can be used as sensitive biomarkers for detecting antiandrogenic endocrine disrupting compounds in amphibians. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. The progestin norethisterone affects thyroid hormone-dependent metamorphosis of Xenopus laevis tadpoles at environmentally relevant concentrations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorenz, Claudia; Krüger, Angela; Schöning, Viola; Lutz, Ilka

    2018-04-15

    Previously, levonorgestrel (LNG) has been shown to be an endocrine disruptor of the amphibian thyroid system. In the present study, we investigated whether anti-thyroidal effects are a common property of progestins other than LNG. Premetamorphic Xenopus laevis tadpoles were exposed to norethisterone (NET) and dienogest DIE (each at 0.1-10nM) and LNG (10nM) until completion of metamorphosis. LNG and NET at all concentrations caused a significant developmental retardation whereas DIE did not impair time to metamorphosis. In LNG and 10nM NET exposed animals, tsh mRNA levels increased considerably later than the developmental delay occurred and thyroid histopathology showed no signs of TSH-hyperstimulation. Instead, thyroid glands from these treatments appeared inactive in producing thyroid hormones. Thyroidal transcript levels of dio2 and dio3 were increased by treatments with LNG and NET at 1nM and 10nM, whereas iyd mRNA was reduced by LNG and 10nM NET. Expression of slc5α5 was not changed by any treatment. Effects of DIE differed from those induced by LNG and NET. No developmental delay was measurable; however, tshβ and dio2 mRNAs were increased in pituitary glands of tadpoles exposed to 1.0nM and 10nM DIE. Thyroid histopathology displayed no abnormalities and thyroidal mRNA expression of the genes analyzed (slc5α5, iyd, dio2, dio3) was not changed by DIE. Overall, our results provide evidence that the anti-thyroidal effects already known from LNG are also present in another progestin, namely NET, even at environmentally relevant concentrations. In conclusion we suggest that progestins do not only pose an environmental risk in terms of their impact on reproductive success of aquatic vertebrates, but also with respect to their anti-thyroidal properties affecting amphibian metamorphosis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. The unexpected teratogenicity of RXR antagonist UVI3003 via activation of PPARγ in Xenopus tropicalis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhu, Jingmin; Janesick, Amanda; Wu, Lijiao; Hu, Lingling; Tang, Weiyi; Blumberg, Bruce; Shi, Huahong

    2017-01-01

    The RXR agonist (triphenyltin, TPT) and the RXR antagonist (UVI3003) both show teratogenicity and, unexpectedly, induce similar malformations in Xenopus tropicalis embryos. In the present study, we exposed X. tropicalis embryos to UVI3003 in seven specific developmental windows and identified changes in gene expression. We further measured the ability of UVI3003 to activate Xenopus RXRα (xRXRα) and PPARγ (xPPARγ) in vitro and in vivo. We found that UVI3003 activated xPPARγ either in Cos7 cells (in vitro) or Xenopus embryos (in vivo). UVI3003 did not significantly activate human or mouse PPARγ in vitro; therefore, the activation of Xenopus PPARγ by UVI3003 is novel. The ability of UVI3003 to activate xPPARγ explains why UVI3003 and TPT yield similar phenotypes in Xenopus embryos. Our results indicate that activating PPARγ leads to teratogenic effects in Xenopus embryos. More generally, we infer that chemicals known to specifically modulate mammalian nuclear hormone receptors cannot be assumed to have the same activity in non-mammalian species, such as Xenopus. Rather they must be tested for activity and specificity on receptors of the species in question to avoid making inappropriate conclusions. - Highlights: • UVI3003 is a RXRs antagonist and shows teratogenicity to Xenopus embryos. • UVI3003 activated xPPARγ either in Cos7 cells or Xenopus embryos. • UVI3003 did not activate human or mouse PPARγ in Cos7 cells. • Activating PPARγ leads to teratogenic effects in Xenopus embryos.

  4. Color perception influences microhabitat selection of refugia and affects monitoring success for a cryptic anuran species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. 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.

  6. 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 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 (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.

  7. Relative efficiency of anuran sampling methods in a restinga habitat (Jurubatiba, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, C F D; Van Sluys, M; Hatano, F H; Boquimpani-Freitas, L; Marra, R V; Marques, R V

    2004-11-01

    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.

  8. 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

  9. Species composition and similarities among anuran assemblages of forest sites in southeastern Brazil Composição de espécies e similaridades entre taxocenoses de anuros de áreas florestais do sudeste do Brasil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaime Bertoluci

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available Neotropical forests show high anuran species richness, but some Brazilian forest formations, like cerradão, semideciduous forests and restingas, remain poorly known. The composition of anuran species were determined for four forest sites belonging to different biomes in southeastern Brazil, based on two complementary techniques (visual encounter survey and survey on breeding sites, both applied simultaneously. A total of 60 anuran species belonging to eight families was recorded. Species richness and levels of endemism were higher in the Atlantic rainforest site. Sites located in the Cerrado domain were more alike than those located in the Atlantic Forest Domain. Similarity in anuran species composition was negatively correlated to the geographical distance among sites, which explains part of similarities in species composition. Factors affecting these occurrence patterns are discussed. One species (if its identity is confirmed is considered Data Deficient by IUCN (The World Conservation Union, though it is not included in the Brazilian list of threatened amphibians. The presence of certain species with special habitats and microclimate requirements (bioindicators suggests well-preserved ecosystems.As florestas neotropicais apresentam altas riquezas de espécies de anuros, mas algumas formações florestais brasileiras, como o cerradão, as florestas semidecíduas e as restingas, permanecem pouco conhecidas. A composição de espécies de anuros de quatro áreas florestais pertencentes a diferentes biomas do sudeste do Brasil foi determinada com base em duas técnicas complementares (procura visual e investigação nos sítios reprodutivos, aplicadas de forma simultânea. Registramos um total de 60 espécies de anuros, incluídas em oito famílias. A riqueza de espécies e o nível de endemismo foram maiores na área coberta por floresta pluvial atlântica. As áreas localizadas no domínio do Cerrado foram mais similares entre si do que as

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie S. Gervasi

    2010-02-01

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

  11. Effects of Roads on Amphibian Populations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hels, T.

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

  12. Speciation and zoogeography of amphibian in Sundaland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nia Kurniawan

    2015-12-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. The Xenopus laevis morphogenetic factor, tumorhead, causes defects in polarized growth and cytokinesis in the fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu, Chuan Fen; Yang, Peirong; Traverso, Edwin E.; Etkin, Laurence D.; Marcus, Stevan

    2004-01-01

    Tumorhead (TH) is a maternally expressed gene product that regulates neural tube morphogenesis in the amphibian, Xenopus laevis. Here we describe the effects of TH expression in the rod-shaped fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Expression of TH in S. pombe resulted in severe morphological defects, including ovoid, bottle-shaped, and enlarged cells. Multi-septated cells were also observed in TH expressing cultures, indicating that TH is inhibitory to a process required for the completion of cytokinesis. TH expression caused significant actin and microtubule cytoskeletal defects, including depolarization of the cortical F-actin cytoskeleton and increased microtubule formation. Immunostaining experiments showed that TH is localized to the cell cortex, cell tips, and septum in S. pombe cells. Localization of TH to the cell cortex was dependent on the S. pombe PAK homolog, Shk1. Moreover, TH expression was inhibitory to the growth of a mutant defective in Shk1 function, suggesting that TH may interact with a component(s) of a PAK-mediated morphogenetic regulatory pathway in S. pombe. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that S. pombe may be a useful model organism for identifying potential TH interacting factors

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Regulation of the insulin-Akt signaling pathway and glycolysis during dehydration stress in the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Cheng-Wei; Tessier, Shannon N; Storey, Kenneth B

    2017-12-01

    Estivation is an adaptive stress response utilized by some amphibians during periods of drought in the summer season. In this study, we examine the regulation of the insulin signaling cascade and glycolysis pathway in the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis during the dehydration stress induced state of estivation. We show that in the brain and heart of X. laevis, dehydration reduces the phosphorylation of the insulin growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R), and this is followed by similar reductions in the phosphorylation of the Akt and mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) kinase. Interestingly, phosphorylation levels of IGF-1R and mTOR were not affected in the kidney, and phosphorylation levels of P70S6K and the ribosomal S6 protein were elevated during dehydration stress. Animals under estivation are also susceptible to periods of hypoxia, suggesting that glycolysis may also be affected. We observed that protein levels of many glycolytic enzymes remained unchanged during dehydration; however, the hypoxia response factor-1 alpha (HIF-1α) protein was elevated by greater than twofold in the heart during dehydration. Overall, we provide evidence that shows that the insulin signaling pathway in X. laevis is regulated in a tissue-specific manner during dehydration stress and suggests an important role for this signaling cascade in mediating the estivation response.

  18. Structural and functional divergence of growth hormone-releasing hormone receptors in early sarcopterygians: lungfish and Xenopus.

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    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.

  19. The ribosome biogenesis factor Nol11 is required for optimal rDNA transcription and craniofacial development in Xenopus.

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    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.

  20. Maternal xNorrin, a canonical Wnt signaling agonist and TGF-β antagonist, controls early neuroectoderm specification in Xenopus.

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    Suhong Xu

    Full Text Available Dorsal-ventral specification in the amphibian embryo is controlled by β-catenin, whose activation in all dorsal cells is dependent on maternal Wnt11. However, it remains unknown whether other maternally secreted factors contribute to β-catenin activation in the dorsal ectoderm. Here, we show that maternal Xenopus Norrin (xNorrin promotes anterior neural tissue formation in ventralized embryos. Conversely, when xNorrin function is inhibited, early canonical Wnt signaling in the dorsal ectoderm and the early expression of the zygotic neural inducers Chordin, Noggin, and Xnr3 are severely suppressed, causing the loss of anterior structures. In addition, xNorrin potently inhibits BMP- and Nodal/Activin-related functions through direct binding to the ligands. Moreover, a subset of Norrin mutants identified in humans with Norrie disease retain Wnt activation but show defective inhibition of Nodal/Activin-related signaling in mesoderm induction, suggesting that this disinhibition causes Norrie disease. Thus, xNorrin is an unusual molecule that acts on two major signaling pathways, Wnt and TGF-β, in opposite ways and is essential for early neuroectoderm specification.

  1. Population-specific incidence of testicular ovarian follicles in Xenopus laevis from South Africa: A potential issue in endocrine testing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Du Preez, Louis H.; Kunene, Nisile; Hanner, Robert; Giesy, John P.; Solomon, Keith R.; Hosmer, Alan; Van Der Kraak, Glen J.

    2009-01-01

    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.

  2. Activation of Sox3 Gene by Thyroid Hormone in the Developing Adult Intestinal Stem Cell During Xenopus Metamorphosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Guihong; Fu, Liezhen; Wen, Luan

    2014-01-01

    The maturation of the intestine into the adult form involves the formation of adult stem cells in a thyroid hormone (T3)-dependent process in vertebrates. In mammals, this takes place during postembryonic development, a period around birth when the T3 level peaks. Due to the difficulty of manipulating late-stage, uterus-enclosed embryos, very little is known about the development of the adult intestinal stem cells. Interestingly, the remodeling of the intestine during the T3-dependent amphibian metamorphosis mimics the maturation of mammalian intestine. Our earlier microarray studies in Xenopus laevis revealed that the transcription factor SRY (sex-determining region Y)-box 3 (Sox3), well known for its involvement in neural development, was upregulated in the intestinal epithelium during metamorphosis. Here, we show that Sox3 is highly and specifically expressed in the developing adult intestinal progenitor/stem cells. We further show that its induction by T3 is independent of new protein synthesis, suggesting that Sox3 is directly activated by liganded T3 receptor. Thus, T3 activates Sox3 as one of the earliest changes in the epithelium, and Sox3 in turn may facilitate the dedifferentiation of the larval epithelial cells into adult stem cells. PMID:25211587

  3. Bent's Old Fort: Amphibians and Reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muths, E.

    2008-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Differing long term trends for two common amphibian species (Bufo bufo and Rana temporaria in alpine landscapes of Salzburg, Austria.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Kyek

    Full Text Available This study focuses on the population trends of two widespread European anuran species: the common toad (Bufo bufo and the common frog (Rana temporaria. The basis of this study is data gathered over two decades of amphibian fencing alongside roads in the Austrian state of Salzburg. Different statistical approaches were used to analyse the data. Overall average increase or decrease of each species was estimated by calculating a simple average locality index. In addition the statistical software TRIM was used to verify these trends as well as to categorize the data based on the geographic location of each migration site. The results show differing overall trends for the two species: the common toad being stable and the common frog showing a substantial decline over the last two decades. Further analyses based on geographic categorization reveal the strongest decrease in the alpine range of the species. Drainage and agricultural intensification are still ongoing problems within alpine areas, not only in Salzburg. Particularly in respect to micro-climate and the availability of spawning places these changes appear to have a greater impact on the habitats of the common frog than the common toad. Therefore we consider habitat destruction to be the main potential reason behind this dramatic decline. We also conclude that the substantial loss of biomass of a widespread species such as the common frog must have a severe, and often overlooked, ecological impact.

  7. 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.

  8. Amphibians and reptiles of South Ossetia

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    Boris S. Tuniyev

    2017-05-01

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

  9. Filling the BINs of life: Report of an amphibian and reptile survey of the Tanintharyi (Tenasserim) Region of Myanmar, with DNA barcode data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulcahy, Daniel G; Lee, Justin L; Miller, Aryeh H; Chand, Mia; Thura, Myint Kyaw; Zug, George R

    2018-01-01

    Despite threats of species extinctions, taxonomic crises, and technological advances in genomics and natural history database informatics, we are still distant from cataloguing all of the species of life on earth. Amphibians and reptiles are no exceptions; in fact new species are described nearly every day and many species face possible extinction. The number of described species continues to climb as new areas of the world are explored and as species complexes are examined more thoroughly. The use of DNA barcoding provides a mechanism for rapidly estimating the number of species at a given site and has the potential to record all of the species of life on Earth. Though DNA barcoding has its caveats, it can be useful to estimate the number of species in a more systematic and efficient manner, to be followed in combination with more traditional, morphology-based identifications and species descriptions. Herein, we report the results of a voucher-based herpetological expedition to the Tanintharyi (Tenasserim) Region of Myanmar, enhanced with DNA barcode data. Our main surveys took place in the currently proposed Tanintharyi National Park. We combine our results with photographs and observational data from the Chaung-nauk-pyan forest reserve. Additionally, we provide the first checklist of amphibians and reptiles of the region, with species based on the literature and museum. Amphibians, anurans in particular, are one of the most poorly known groups of vertebrates in terms of taxonomy and the number of known species, particularly in Southeast Asia. Our rapid-assessment program combined with DNA barcoding and use of Barcode Index Numbers (BINs) of voucher specimens reveals the depth of taxonomic diversity in the southern Tanintharyi herpetofauna even though only a third of the potential amphibians and reptiles were seen. A total of 51 putative species (one caecilian, 25 frogs, 13 lizards, 10 snakes, and two turtles) were detected, several of which represent potentially

  10. Filling the BINs of life: Report of an amphibian and reptile survey of the Tanintharyi (Tenasserim) Region of Myanmar, with DNA barcode data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulcahy, Daniel G.; Lee, Justin L.; Miller, Aryeh H.; Chand, Mia; Thura, Myint Kyaw; Zug, George R.

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Despite threats of species extinctions, taxonomic crises, and technological advances in genomics and natural history database informatics, we are still distant from cataloguing all of the species of life on earth. Amphibians and reptiles are no exceptions; in fact new species are described nearly every day and many species face possible extinction. The number of described species continues to climb as new areas of the world are explored and as species complexes are examined more thoroughly. The use of DNA barcoding provides a mechanism for rapidly estimating the number of species at a given site and has the potential to record all of the species of life on Earth. Though DNA barcoding has its caveats, it can be useful to estimate the number of species in a more systematic and efficient manner, to be followed in combination with more traditional, morphology-based identifications and species descriptions. Herein, we report the results of a voucher-based herpetological expedition to the Tanintharyi (Tenasserim) Region of Myanmar, enhanced with DNA barcode data. Our main surveys took place in the currently proposed Tanintharyi National Park. We combine our results with photographs and observational data from the Chaung-nauk-pyan forest reserve. Additionally, we provide the first checklist of amphibians and reptiles of the region, with species based on the literature and museum. Amphibians, anurans in particular, are one of the most poorly known groups of vertebrates in terms of taxonomy and the number of known species, particularly in Southeast Asia. Our rapid-assessment program combined with DNA barcoding and use of Barcode Index Numbers (BINs) of voucher specimens reveals the depth of taxonomic diversity in the southern Tanintharyi herpetofauna even though only a third of the potential amphibians and reptiles were seen. A total of 51 putative species (one caecilian, 25 frogs, 13 lizards, 10 snakes, and two turtles) were detected, several of which represent

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-12-03

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

  13. The Genome of the Western Clawed Frog Xenopus tropicalis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hellsten, Uffe; Harland, Richard M.; Gilchrist, Michael J.; Hendrix, David; Jurka, Jerzy; Kapitonov, Vladimir; Ovcharenko, Ivan; Putnam, Nicholas H.; Shu, Shengqiang; Taher, Leila; Blitz, Ira L.; Blumberg, Bruce; Dichmann, Darwin S.; Dubchak, Inna; Amaya, Enrique; Detter, John C.; Fletcher, Russell; Gerhard, Daniela S.; Goodstein, David; Graves, Tina; Grigoriev, Igor V.; Grimwood, Jane; Kawashima, Takeshi; Lindquist, Erika; Lucas, Susan M.; Mead, Paul E.; Mitros, Therese; Ogino, Hajime; Ohta, Yuko; Poliakov, Alexander V.; Pollet, Nicolas; Robert, Jacques; Salamov, Asaf; Sater, Amy K.; Schmutz, Jeremy; Terry, Astrid; Vize, Peter D.; Warren, Wesley C.; Wells, Dan; Wills, Andrea; Wilson, Richard K.; Zimmerman, Lyle B.; Zorn, Aaron M.; Grainger, Robert; Grammer, Timothy; Khokha, Mustafa K.; Richardson, Paul M.; Rokhsar, Daniel S.

    2009-10-01

    The western clawed frog Xenopus tropicalis is an important model for vertebrate development that combines experimental advantages of the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis with more tractable genetics. Here we present a draft genome sequence assembly of X. tropicalis. This genome encodes over 20,000 protein-coding genes, including orthologs of at least 1,700 human disease genes. Over a million expressed sequence tags validated the annotation. More than one-third of the genome consists of transposable elements, with unusually prevalent DNA transposons. Like other tetrapods, the genome contains gene deserts enriched for conserved non-coding elements. The genome exhibits remarkable shared synteny with human and chicken over major parts of large chromosomes, broken by lineage-specific chromosome fusions and fissions, mainly in the mammalian lineage.

  14. Osteological postcranial traits in hylid anurans indicate a morphological continuum between swimming and jumping locomotor modes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soliz, Mónica; Tulli, Maria J; Abdala, Virginia

    2017-03-01

    Anurans exhibit a particularly wide range of locomotor modes that result in wide variations in their skeletal structure. This article investigates the possible correlation between morphological aspects of the hylid postcranial skeleton and their different locomotor modes and habitat use. To do so, we analyzed 18 morphometric postcranial variables in 19 different anuran species representative of a variety of locomotor modes (jumper, hopper, walker, and swimmer) and habitat uses (arboreal, bush, terrestrial, and aquatic). Our results show that the evolution of the postcranial hylid skeleton cannot be explained by one single model, as for example, the girdles suggest modular evolution while the vertebral column suggests other evolutionary modules. In conjunction with data from several other studies, we were able to show a relationship between hylid morphology and habitat use; offering further evidence that the jumper/swimmer and walker/hopper locomotor modes exhibit quite similar morphological architecture. This allowed us to infer that new locomotor modalities are, in fact, generated along a morphological continuum. J. Morphol. 278:403-417, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. 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.

  16. Cortical Isolation from Xenopus laevis Oocytes and Eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sive, Hazel L; Grainger, Robert M; Harland, Richard M

    2007-06-01

    INTRODUCTIONIn Xenopus laevis, the cortex is the layer of gelatinous cytoplasm that lies just below the plasma membrane of the egg. Rotation of the cortex relative to the deeper cytoplasm soon after fertilization is intimately linked to normal dorsal axis specification. The cortex can be dissected from the egg to analyze its composition and activity or to clone associated RNAs. This protocol describes a procedure for isolating the vegetal cortex of the fertilized egg.

  17. Skin wound healing in different aged Xenopus laevis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertolotti, Evelina; Malagoli, Davide; Franchini, Antonella

    2013-08-01

    Xenopus froglets can perfectly heal skin wounds without scarring. To explore whether this capacity is maintained as development proceeds, we examined the cellular responses during the repair of skin injury in 8- and 15-month-old Xenopus laevis. The morphology and sequence of healing phases (i.e., inflammation, new tissue formation, and remodeling) were independent of age, while the timing was delayed in older frogs. At the beginning of postinjury, wound re-epithelialization occurred in form of a thin epithelium followed by a multilayered epidermis containing cells with apoptotic patterns and keratinocytes stained by anti-inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) antibody. The inflammatory response, early activated by recruitment of blood cells immunoreactive to anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, iNOS, transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1, and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9, persisted over time. The dermis repaired by a granulation tissue with extensive angiogenesis, inflammatory cells, fibroblasts, and anti-α-SMA positive myofibroblasts. As the healing progressed, wounded areas displayed vascular regression, decrease in cellularity, and rearrangement of provisional matrix. The epidermis restored to a prewound morphology while granulation tissue was replaced by a fibrous tissue in a scar-like pattern. The quantitative PCR analysis demonstrated an up-regulated expression of Xenopus suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (XSOCS-3) and Xenopus transforming growth factor-β2 (XTGF-β2) soon after wounding and peak levels were detected when granulation tissue was well developed with a large number of inflammatory cells. The findings indicate that X. laevis skin wound healing occurred by a combination of regeneration (in epidermis) and repair (in dermis) and, in contrast to froglet scarless wound healing, the growth to a more mature adult stage is associated with a decrease in regenerative capacity with scar-like tissue formation. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. A model for investigating developmental eye repair in Xenopus laevis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kha, Cindy X; Son, Philip H; Lauper, Julia; Tseng, Kelly Ai-Sun

    2018-04-01

    Vertebrate eye development is complex and requires early interactions between neuroectoderm and surface ectoderm during embryogenesis. In the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, individual eye tissues such as the retina and lens can undergo regeneration. However, it has been reported that removal of either the specified eye field at the neurula stage or the eye during tadpole stage does not induce replacement. Here we describe a model for investigating Xenopus developmental eye repair. We found that tailbud embryos can readily regrow eyes after surgical removal of over 83% of the specified eye and lens tissues. The regrown eye reached a comparable size to the contralateral control by 5 days and overall animal development was normal. It contained the expected complement of eye cell types (including the pigmented epithelium, retina and lens), and is connected to the brain. Our data also demonstrate that apoptosis, an early mechanism that regulates appendage regeneration, is also required for eye regrowth. Treatment with apoptosis inhibitors (M50054 or NS3694) blocked eye regrowth by inhibiting caspase activation. Together, our findings indicate that frog embryos can undergo successful eye repair after considerable tissue loss and reveals a required role for apoptosis in this process. Furthermore, this Xenopus model allows for rapid comparisons of productive eye repair and developmental pathways. It can also facilitate the molecular dissection of signaling mechanisms necessary for initiating repair. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  19. Inhibition of the Thyroid Hormone Pathway in Xenopus by Mercaptobenzothiazole

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amphibian metamorphosis is a thyroid hormone-dependent process that provides a potential model system to assess chemicals for their ability to disrupt the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis. Several studies have demonstrated the sensitivity of this system to a variety of ...

  20. Histological development of the gonad in juvenile Xenopus laevis

    Science.gov (United States)

    As directed by the Food Quality Protection Act, the US Environmental Protection Agency is developing a screening program for endocrine disrupting compounds. The Larval Amphibian Growth and Development Assay (LAGDA) is a tier II test intended to identify and characterize the adver...

  1. Observations on the use of tarantula burrows by the anurans Leptodactylus bufonius (Leptodactylidae and Rhinella major (Bufonidae in the Dry Chaco ecoregion of Bolivia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher M. Schalk

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Some species of anurans have been observed utilizing burrows of other animals, such as rodents and tarantulas. Here we report the observations of two anuran species, Leptodactylus bufonius and Rhinella major, utilizing the burrows of tarantulas (Acanthoscurria sp.; Family Theraphosidae in the dry Chaco ecoregion of Bolivia. Both species of anurans never co-occurred with tarantulas in the burrows and used burrows that were wider in diameter and closer to breeding ponds as compared to the total available tarantula burrows in the area. These burrows may serve as refuges from predators, especially for conspicuous, calling males.

  2. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan E Kolby

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  7. Effects of experimental canopy manipulation on amphibian egg deposition

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. Calculating the Degradation Rate of Individual Proteins Using Xenopus Extract Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDowell, Gary S; Philpott, Anna

    2018-05-16

    The Xenopus extract system has been used extensively as a simple, quick, and robust method for assessing the stability of proteins against proteasomal degradation. In this protocol, methods are provided for assessing the half-life of in vitro translated radiolabeled proteins using Xenopus egg or embryo extracts. © 2019 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Tadpoles of three common anuran species from Thailand do not prey on mosquito larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weterings, Robbie

    2015-12-01

    Tadpoles are often considered to be predators of mosquito larvae and are therefore beneficial for the control of certain disease vectors. Nevertheless, only a few species have actually been recorded to prey on mosquito larvae. The mosquito larvae predation rates of tadpoles of three common Thai anuran species (Bufo melanostictus, Kaloula pulchra and Hylarana raniceps) were experimentally tested. Tadpoles in varying developmental stages were used to assess a size/age effect on the predation rate. In addition, different instars of Culex quinquefasciatus were used in order to assess a prey size effect on the predation rates. All three species failed to show any evidence of mosquito larvae predation. Neither small nor large tadpoles fed on mosquito larvae. Prey size also did not affect predation. Although tadpoles do not feed on mosquito larvae, there may be other direct or indirect inter-specific interactions that adversely impact the development of larvae in shared habitats with tadpoles. © 2015 The Society for Vector Ecology.

  19. 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 genomes greatly restricts genomic studies of amphibians and, more generally, our understanding of tetrapod genome evolution. To fill this gap, we provide the de novo genome of a Tibetan Plateau frog, Nanorana parkeri, and compare it to that of X. tropicalis and other vertebrates. This genome encodes more than 20,000 protein-coding genes, a number similar to that of Xenopus. Although the genome size of Nanorana is considerably larger than that of Xenopus (2.3 vs. 1.5 Gb), most of the difference is due to the respective number of transposable elements in the two genomes. The two frogs exhibit considerable conserved whole-genome synteny despite having diverged approximately 266 Ma, indicating a slow rate of DNA structural evolution in anurans. Multigenome synteny blocks further show that amphibians have fewer interchromosomal rearrangements than mammals but have a comparable rate of intrachromosomal rearrangements. Our analysis also identifies 11 Mb of anuran-specific highly conserved elements that will be useful for comparative genomic analyses of frogs. The Nanorana genome offers an improved understanding of evolution of tetrapod genomes and also provides a genomic reference for other evolutionary studies.

  20. Call transmission efficiency in native and invasive anurans: competing hypotheses of divergence in acoustic signals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llusia, Diego; Gómez, Miguel; Penna, Mario; Márquez, Rafael

    2013-01-01

    Invasive species are a leading cause of the current biodiversity decline, and hence examining the major traits favouring invasion is a key and long-standing goal of invasion biology. Despite the prominent role of the advertisement calls in sexual selection and reproduction, very little attention has been paid to the features of acoustic communication of invasive species in nonindigenous habitats and their potential impacts on native species. Here we compare for the first time the transmission efficiency of the advertisement calls of native and invasive species, searching for competitive advantages for acoustic communication and reproduction of introduced taxa, and providing insights into competing hypotheses in evolutionary divergence of acoustic signals: acoustic adaptation vs. morphological constraints. Using sound propagation experiments, we measured the attenuation rates of pure tones (0.2-5 kHz) and playback calls (Lithobates catesbeianus and Pelophylax perezi) across four distances (1, 2, 4, and 8 m) and over two substrates (water and soil) in seven Iberian localities. All factors considered (signal type, distance, substrate, and locality) affected transmission efficiency of acoustic signals, which was maximized with lower frequency sounds, shorter distances, and over water surface. Despite being broadcast in nonindigenous habitats, the advertisement calls of invasive L. catesbeianus were propagated more efficiently than those of the native species, in both aquatic and terrestrial substrates, and in most of the study sites. This implies absence of optimal relationship between native environments and propagation of acoustic signals in anurans, in contrast to what predicted by the acoustic adaptation hypothesis, and it might render these vertebrates particularly vulnerable to intrusion of invasive species producing low frequency signals, such as L. catesbeianus. Our findings suggest that mechanisms optimizing sound transmission in native habitat can play a less

  1. Lethal and sublethal effects of glyphosate (roundup active) to embryos of colombian anurans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Triana Velasquez, Teofila Maria; Montes Rojas, Claudia; Bernal Bautista, Manuel Hernando

    2013-01-01

    Glyphosate is an herbicide widely used in agriculture, which may affect non-target species. the aim of this study was to determine the lethal (median lethal concentration - LC 5 0) and sublethal effects (changes on body size and development) of glyphosate (roundup active) to embryos of four anuran species, exposed during 96 hours under laboratory and microcosm tests. under laboratory conditions, engystomops pustulosus was the most tolerant species (LC 5 0 = 3033,18 ?g a.e./L) and rhinella marina was the most sensitive (lc50 = 1421,46 ?g a.e./L), which also showed a delayed development and significantly reduced body size. The other species had an intermediate LC50 (Rhinella humboldti = 2899.54 ?g a.e./L; hypsiboas crepitans = 2151,88 ?g a.e./L). In all cases, the laboratory LC 5 0 was lower than the concentration used in field (5392.92 ?g a.e./L), indicating a high toxic effect. In the microcosm tests, embryos of e. pustulosus were the most tolerant (LC 5 0 = 19,41 kg a.e./ha), while R. humboldti were the most sensitive (LC 5 0 = 10,61 kg a.e./ha). In this case, all four study species had a higher LC 5 0 than the concentration sprayed in field (3,69 kg a.e./ ha), so a lower lethal effect, and there were no significant differences in body size and development. This result shows that the glyphosate, as the commercial presentation roundup active, produce a moderate mortality on anuran embryos.

  2. 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.

  3. Call transmission efficiency in native and invasive anurans: competing hypotheses of divergence in acoustic signals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego Llusia

    Full Text Available Invasive species are a leading cause of the current biodiversity decline, and hence examining the major traits favouring invasion is a key and long-standing goal of invasion biology. Despite the prominent role of the advertisement calls in sexual selection and reproduction, very little attention has been paid to the features of acoustic communication of invasive species in nonindigenous habitats and their potential impacts on native species. Here we compare for the first time the transmission efficiency of the advertisement calls of native and invasive species, searching for competitive advantages for acoustic communication and reproduction of introduced taxa, and providing insights into competing hypotheses in evolutionary divergence of acoustic signals: acoustic adaptation vs. morphological constraints. Using sound propagation experiments, we measured the attenuation rates of pure tones (0.2-5 kHz and playback calls (Lithobates catesbeianus and Pelophylax perezi across four distances (1, 2, 4, and 8 m and over two substrates (water and soil in seven Iberian localities. All factors considered (signal type, distance, substrate, and locality affected transmission efficiency of acoustic signals, which was maximized with lower frequency sounds, shorter distances, and over water surface. Despite being broadcast in nonindigenous habitats, the advertisement calls of invasive L. catesbeianus were propagated more efficiently than those of the native species, in both aquatic and terrestrial substrates, and in most of the study sites. This implies absence of optimal relationship between native environments and propagation of acoustic signals in anurans, in contrast to what predicted by the acoustic adaptation hypothesis, and it might render these vertebrates particularly vulnerable to intrusion of invasive species producing low frequency signals, such as L. catesbeianus. Our findings suggest that mechanisms optimizing sound transmission in native habitat

  4. Comparative Analysis of Cartilage Marker Gene Expression Patterns during Axolotl and Xenopus Limb Regeneration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kazumasa Mitogawa

    Full Text Available Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum can completely regenerate lost limbs, whereas Xenopus laevis frogs cannot. During limb regeneration, a blastema is first formed at the amputation plane. It is thought that this regeneration blastema forms a limb by mechanisms similar to those of a developing embryonic limb bud. Furthermore, Xenopus laevis frogs can form a blastema after amputation; however, the blastema results in a terminal cone-shaped cartilaginous structure called a "spike." The causes of this patterning defect in Xenopus frog limb regeneration were explored. We hypothesized that differences in chondrogenesis may underlie the patterning defect. Thus, we focused on chondrogenesis. Chondrogenesis marker genes, type I and type II collagen, were compared in regenerative and nonregenerative environments. There were marked differences between axolotls and Xenopus in the expression pattern of these chondrogenesis-associated genes. The relative deficit in the chondrogenic capacity of Xenopus blastema cells may account for the absence of total limb regenerative capacity.

  5. The roles of Bcl-xL in modulating apoptosis during development of Xenopus laevis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Calderon-Segura Maria

    2005-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Apoptosis is a common and essential aspect of development. It is particularly prevalent in the central nervous system and during remodelling processes such as formation of the digits and in amphibian metamorphosis. Apoptosis, which is dependent upon a balance between pro- and anti-apoptotic factors, also enables the embryo to rid itself of cells damaged by gamma irradiation. In this study, the roles of the anti-apoptotic factor Bcl-xL in protecting cells from apoptosis were examined in Xenopus laevis embryos using transgenesis to overexpress the XR11 gene, which encodes Bcl-xL. The effects on developmental, thyroid hormone-induced and γ-radiation-induced apoptosis in embryos were examined in these transgenic animals. Results Apoptosis was abrogated in XR11 transgenic embryos. However, the transgene did not prevent the apoptotic response of tadpoles to thyroid hormone during metamorphosis. Post-metamorphic XR11 frogs were reared to sexual maturity, thus allowing us to produce second-generation embryos and enabling us to distinguish between the maternal and zygotic contributions of Bcl-xL to the γ-radiation apoptotic response. Wild-type embryos irradiated before the mid-blastula transition (MBT underwent normal cell division until reaching the MBT, after which they underwent massive, catastrophic apoptosis. Over-expression of Bcl-xL derived from XR11 females, but not males, provided partial protection from apoptosis. Maternal expression of XR11 was also sufficient to abrogate apoptosis triggered by post-MBT γ-radiation. Tolerance to post-MBT γ-radiation from zygotically-derived XR11 was acquired gradually after the MBT in spite of abundant XR11 protein synthesis. Conclusion Our data suggest that Bcl-xL is an effective counterbalance to proapoptotic factors during embryonic development but has no apparent effect on the thyroid hormone-induced apoptosis that occurs during metamorphosis. Furthermore, post-MBT apoptosis

  6. Fetal adaptations for viviparity in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wake, Marvalee H

    2015-08-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Phylogenetically-informed priorities for amphibian conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Phylogenetically-informed priorities for amphibian conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nick J B Isaac

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

  10. Ovarian control and monitoring in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-15

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

  11. Regulation of ALF promoter activity in Xenopus oocytes.

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    Dan Li

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In this report we evaluate the use of Xenopus laevis oocytes as a matched germ cell system for characterizing the organization and transcriptional activity of a germ cell-specific X. laevis promoter. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The promoter from the ALF transcription factor gene was cloned from X. laevis genomic DNA using a PCR-based genomic walking approach. The endogenous ALF gene was characterized by RACE and RT-PCR for transcription start site usage, and by sodium bisulfite sequencing to determine its methylation status in somatic and oocyte tissues. Homology between the X. laevis ALF promoter sequence and those from human, chimpanzee, macaque, mouse, rat, cow, pig, horse, dog, chicken and X. tropicalis was relatively low, making it difficult to use such comparisons to identify putative regulatory elements. However, microinjected promoter constructs were very active in oocytes and the minimal promoter could be narrowed by PCR-mediated deletion to a region as short as 63 base pairs. Additional experiments using a series of site-specific promoter mutants identified two cis-elements within the 63 base pair minimal promoter that were critical for activity. Both elements (A and B were specifically recognized by proteins present in crude oocyte extracts based on oligonucleotide competition assays. The activity of promoter constructs in oocytes and in transfected somatic Xenopus XLK-WG kidney epithelial cells was quite different, indicating that the two cell types are not functionally equivalent and are not interchangeable as assay systems. CONCLUSIONS: Overall the results provide the first detailed characterization of the organization of a germ cell-specific Xenopus promoter and demonstrate the feasibility of using immature frog oocytes as an assay system for dissecting the biochemistry of germ cell gene regulation.

  12. A transgenic Xenopus laevis reporter model to study lymphangiogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annelii Ny

    2013-07-01

    The importance of the blood- and lymph vessels in the transport of essential fluids, gases, macromolecules and cells in vertebrates warrants optimal insight into the regulatory mechanisms underlying their development. Mouse and zebrafish models of lymphatic development are instrumental for gene discovery and gene characterization but are challenging for certain aspects, e.g. no direct accessibility of embryonic stages, or non-straightforward visualization of early lymphatic sprouting, respectively. We previously demonstrated that the Xenopus tadpole is a valuable model to study the processes of lymphatic development. However, a fluorescent Xenopus reporter directly visualizing the lymph vessels was lacking. Here, we created transgenic Tg(Flk1:eGFP Xenopus laevis reporter lines expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP in blood- and lymph vessels driven by the Flk1 (VEGFR-2 promoter. We also established a high-resolution fluorescent dye labeling technique selectively and persistently visualizing lymphatic endothelial cells, even in conditions of impaired lymph vessel formation or drainage function upon silencing of lymphangiogenic factors. Next, we applied the model to dynamically document blood and lymphatic sprouting and patterning of the initially avascular tadpole fin. Furthermore, quantifiable models of spontaneous or induced lymphatic sprouting into the tadpole fin were developed for dynamic analysis of loss-of-function and gain-of-function phenotypes using pharmacologic or genetic manipulation. Together with angiography and lymphangiography to assess functionality, Tg(Flk1:eGFP reporter tadpoles readily allowed detailed lymphatic phenotyping of live tadpoles by fluorescence microscopy. The Tg(Flk1:eGFP tadpoles represent a versatile model for functional lymph/angiogenomics and drug screening.

  13. Chromosome Banding in Amphibia. XXXII. The Genus Xenopus (Anura, Pipidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmid, Michael; Steinlein, Claus

    2015-01-01

    Mitotic chromosomes of 16 species of the frog genus Xenopus were prepared from kidney and lung cell cultures. In the chromosomes of 7 species, high-resolution replication banding patterns could be induced by treating the cultures with 5-bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) and deoxythymidine (dT) in succession, and in 6 of these species the BrdU/dT-banded chromosomes could be arranged into karyotypes. In the 3 species of the clade with 2n = 20 and 4n = 40 chromosomes (X. tropicalis, X. epitropicalis, X. new tetraploid 1), as well as in the 3 species with 4n = 36 chromosomes (X. laevis, X. borealis, X. muelleri), the BrdU/dT-banded karyotypes show a high degree of homoeology, though differences were detected between these groups. Translocations, inversions, insertions or sex-specific replication bands were not observed. Minor replication asynchronies found between chromosomes probably involve heterochromatic regions. BrdU/dT replication banding of Xenopus chromosomes provides the landmarks necessary for the exact physical mapping of genes and repetitive sequences. FISH with an X. laevis 5S rDNA probe detected multiple hybridization sites at or near the long-arm telomeric regions in most chromosomes of X. laevis and X. borealis, whereas in X. muelleri, the 5S rDNA sequences are located exclusively at the long-arm telomeres of a single chromosome pair. Staining with the AT base pair-specific fluorochrome quinacrine mustard revealed brightly fluorescing heterochromatic regions in the majority of X. borealis chromosomes which are absent in other Xenopus species.

  14. Lipofection strategy for the study of Xenopus retinal development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohnuma, Shin-ichi; Mann, Fanny; Boy, Sébastien; Perron, Muriel; Harris, William A

    2002-12-01

    The analysis of gene function during retinal development can be addressed by perturbing gene expression either by inhibition or by overexpression in desired regions and at defined stages of development. An in vivo lipofection strategy has been applied for stage-specific and region-specific expression of genes in Xenopus retina. Due to colipofection efficiency, this strategy enables us to study functional interaction of genes by lipofecting multiple expression constructs. This lipofection technique also allows us to transfect morpholino oligonucleotides into retinoblasts to block gene function. We present here various aspects of this technique, including recent improvements and modifications.

  15. How many species and under what names? Using DNA barcoding and GenBank data for west Central African amphibian conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica L Deichmann

    Full Text Available Development projects in west Central Africa are proceeding at an unprecedented rate, often with little concern for their effects on biodiversity. In an attempt to better understand potential impacts of a road development project on the anuran amphibian community, we conducted a biodiversity assessment employing multiple methodologies (visual encounter transects, auditory surveys, leaf litter plots and pitfall traps to inventory species prior to construction of a new road within the buffer zone of Moukalaba-Doudou National Park, Gabon. Because of difficulties in morphological identification and taxonomic uncertainty of amphibian species observed in the area, we integrated a DNA barcoding analysis into the project to improve the overall quality and accuracy of the species inventory. Based on morphology alone, 48 species were recognized in the field and voucher specimens of each were collected. We used tissue samples from specimens collected at our field site, material available from amphibians collected in other parts of Gabon and the Republic of Congo to initiate a DNA barcode library for west Central African amphibians. We then compared our sequences with material in GenBank for the genera recorded at the study site to assist in identifications. The resulting COI and 16S barcode library allowed us to update the number of species documented at the study site to 28, thereby providing a more accurate assessment of diversity and distributions. We caution that because sequence data maintained in GenBank are often poorly curated by the original submitters and cannot be amended by third-parties, these data have limited utility for identification purposes. Nevertheless, the use of DNA barcoding is likely to benefit biodiversity inventories and long-term monitoring, particularly for taxa that can be difficult to identify based on morphology alone; likewise, inventory and monitoring programs can contribute invaluable data to the DNA barcode library and

  16. Overview of chytrid emergence and impacts on amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. The B-subdomain of the Xenopus laevis XFIN KRAB-AB domain is responsible for its weaker transcriptional repressor activity compared to human ZNF10/Kox1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Born, Nadine; Thiesen, Hans-Jürgen; Lorenz, Peter

    2014-01-01

    The Krüppel-associated box (KRAB) domain interacts with the nuclear hub protein TRIM28 to initiate or mediate chromatin-dependent processes like transcriptional repression, imprinting or suppression of endogenous retroviruses. The prototype KRAB domain initially identified in ZNF10/KOX1 encompasses two subdomains A and B that are found in hundreds of zinc finger transcription factors studied in human and murine genomes. Here we demonstrate for the first time transcriptional repressor activity of an amphibian KRAB domain. After sequence correction, the updated KRAB-AB domain of zinc finger protein XFIN from the frog Xenopus laevis was found to confer transcriptional repression in reporter assays in Xenopus laevis A6 kidney cells as well as in human HeLa, but not in the minnow Pimephales promelas fish cell line EPC. Binding of the XFIN KRAB-AB domain to human TRIM28 was demonstrated in a classical co-immunoprecipitation approach and visualized in a single-cell compartmentalization assay. XFIN-AB displayed reduced potency in repression as well as lower strength of interaction with TRIM28 compared to ZNF10 KRAB-AB. KRAB-B subdomain swapping between the two KRAB domains indicated that it was mainly the KRAB-B subdomain of XFIN that was responsible for its lower capacity in repression and binding to human TRIM28. In EPC fish cells, ZNF10 and XFIN KRAB repressor activity could be partially restored to low levels by adding exogenous human TRIM28. In contrast to XFIN, we did not find any transcriptional repression activity for the KRAB-like domain of human PRDM9 in HeLa cells. PRDM9 is thought to harbor an evolutionary older domain related to KRAB whose homologs even occur in invertebrates. Our results support the notion that functional bona fide KRAB domains which confer transcriptional repression and interact with TRIM28 most likely co-evolved together with TRIM28 at the beginning of tetrapode evolution.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2003-07-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-10

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

  3. Islet-1 is required for ventral neuron survival in Xenopus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shi, Yu; Zhao, Shuhua; Li, Jiejing; Mao, Bingyu

    2009-01-01

    Islet-1 is a LIM domain transcription factor involved in several processes of embryonic development. Xenopus Islet-1 (Xisl-1) has been shown to be crucial for proper heart development. Here we show that Xisl-1 and Xisl-2 are differentially expressed in the nervous system in Xenopus embryos. Knock-down of Xisl-1 by specific morpholino leads to severe developmental defects, including eye and heart failure. Staining with the neuronal markers N-tubulin and Xisl-1 itself reveals that the motor neurons and a group of ventral interneurons are lost in the Xisl-1 morphants. Terminal dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) analysis shows that Xisl-1 morpholino injection induces extensive apoptosis in the ventral neural plate, which can be largely inhibited by the apoptosis inhibitor M50054. We also find that over-expression of Xisl-1 is able to promote cell proliferation and induce Xstat3 expression in the injected side, suggesting a potential role for Xisl-1 in the regulation of cell proliferation in co-operation with the Jak-Stat pathway.

  4. Lateral mobility of plasma membrane lipids in dividing Xenopus eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tetteroo, P A; Bluemink, J G; Dictus, W J; van Zoelen, E J; de Laat, S W

    1984-07-01

    The lateral mobility of plasma membrane lipids was analyzed during first cleavage of Xenopus laevis eggs by fluorescence photobleaching recovery (FPR) measurements, using the lipid analogs 5-(N-hexadecanoyl)aminofluorescein ("HEDAF") and 5-(N-tetradecanoyl)aminofluorescein ("TEDAF") as probes. The preexisting plasma membrane of the animal side showed an inhomogeneous, dotted fluorescence pattern after labeling and the lateral mobility of both probes used was below the detection limits of the FPR method (D much less than 10(-10) cm2/sec). In contrast, the preexisting plasma membrane of the vegetal side exhibited homogeneous fluorescence and the lateral diffusion coefficient of both probes used was relatively high (HEDAF, D = 2.8 X 10(-8) cm2/sec; TEDAF, D = 2.4 X 10(-8) cm2/sec). In the cleaving egg visible transfer of HEDAF or TEDAF from prelabeled plasma membrane to the new membrane in the furrow did not occur, even on the vegetal side. Upon labeling during cleavage, however, the new membrane was uniformly labeled and both probes were mobile, as in the vegetal preexisting plasma membrane. These data show that the membrane of the dividing Xenopus egg comprises three macrodomains: (i) the animal preexisting plasma membrane; (ii) the vegetal preexisting plasma membrane; (iii) the new furrow membrane.

  5. Structure and expression of the Xenopus retinoblastoma gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Destrée, O H; Lam, K T; Peterson-Maduro, L J; Eizema, K; Diller, L; Gryka, M A; Frebourg, T; Shibuya, E; Friend, S H

    1992-09-01

    We have cloned a Xenopus homology (XRb1) of the human retinoblastoma susceptibility gene. DNA sequence analysis shows that the XRb1 gene product is highly conserved in many regions. The leucine repeat motif and many of the potential cdc2 phosphorylation sites, as well as potential sites for other kinases, are retained. The region of the protein homologous to the SV40 T antigen binding site and the basic region directly C-terminal to the E1A binding site are all conserved. XRb1 gene expression at the RNA level was studied by Northern blot analysis. Transcripts of 4.2 and 10-kb are present as maternal RNA stores in the oocyte. While the 4.2-kb product is stable until at least the mid-blastula stage, the 10-kb transcript is selectively degraded. Between stages 11 and 13 the 10-kb transcript reappears and also a minor product of approximately 11 kb becomes apparent. Both the 4.2- and the 10-kb transcripts remain present until later stages of development and are also present in all adult tissues examined, although at differing levels. Antibodies raised against human p105Rb which recognize the protein product of the XRb1 gene, pXRb1, detect the Xenopus 99-kDa protein prior to the mid-blastula stage, but at lower levels than at later stages in development.

  6. 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.

  7. Counting on dis-inhibition: a circuit motif for interval counting and selectivity in the anuran auditory system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naud, Richard; Houtman, Dave; Rose, Gary J; Longtin, André

    2015-11-01

    Information can be encoded in the temporal patterning of spikes. How the brain reads these patterns is of general importance and represents one of the greatest challenges in neuroscience. We addressed this issue in relation to temporal pattern recognition in the anuran auditory system. Many species of anurans perform mating decisions based on the temporal structure of advertisement calls. One important temporal feature is the number of sound pulses that occur with a species-specific interpulse interval. Neurons representing this pulse count have been recorded in the anuran inferior colliculus, but the mechanisms underlying their temporal selectivity are incompletely understood. Here, we construct a parsimonious model that can explain the key dynamical features of these cells with biologically plausible elements. We demonstrate that interval counting arises naturally when combining interval-selective inhibition with pulse-per-pulse excitation having both fast- and slow-conductance synapses. Interval-dependent inhibition is modeled here by a simple architecture based on known physiology of afferent nuclei. Finally, we consider simple implementations of previously proposed mechanistic explanations for these counting neurons and show that they do not account for all experimental observations. Our results demonstrate that tens of millisecond-range temporal selectivities can arise from simple connectivity motifs of inhibitory neurons, without recourse to internal clocks, spike-frequency adaptation, or appreciable short-term plasticity. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  8. FoxA4 favours notochord formation by inhibiting contiguous mesodermal fates and restricts anterior neural development in Xenopus embryos.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabrina Murgan

    Full Text Available In vertebrates, the embryonic dorsal midline is a crucial signalling centre that patterns the surrounding tissues during development. Members of the FoxA subfamily of transcription factors are expressed in the structures that compose this centre. Foxa2 is essential for dorsal midline development in mammals, since knock-out mouse embryos lack a definitive node, notochord and floor plate. The related gene foxA4 is only present in amphibians. Expression begins in the blastula -chordin and -noggin expressing centre (BCNE and is later restricted to the dorsal midline derivatives of the Spemann's organiser. It was suggested that the early functions of mammalian foxa2 are carried out by foxA4 in frogs, but functional experiments were needed to test this hypothesis. Here, we show that some important dorsal midline functions of mammalian foxa2 are exerted by foxA4 in Xenopus. We provide new evidence that the latter prevents the respecification of dorsal midline precursors towards contiguous fates, inhibiting prechordal and paraxial mesoderm development in favour of the notochord. In addition, we show that foxA4 is required for the correct regionalisation and maintenance of the central nervous system. FoxA4 participates in constraining the prospective rostral forebrain territory during neural specification and is necessary for the correct segregation of the most anterior ectodermal derivatives, such as the cement gland and the pituitary anlagen. Moreover, the early expression of foxA4 in the BCNE (which contains precursors of the whole forebrain and most of the midbrain and hindbrain is directly required to restrict anterior neural development.

  9. FoxA4 favours notochord formation by inhibiting contiguous mesodermal fates and restricts anterior neural development in Xenopus embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murgan, Sabrina; Castro Colabianchi, Aitana Manuela; Monti, Renato José; Boyadjián López, Laura Elena; Aguirre, Cecilia E; Stivala, Ernesto González; Carrasco, Andrés E; López, Silvia L

    2014-01-01

    In vertebrates, the embryonic dorsal midline is a crucial signalling centre that patterns the surrounding tissues during development. Members of the FoxA subfamily of transcription factors are expressed in the structures that compose this centre. Foxa2 is essential for dorsal midline development in mammals, since knock-out mouse embryos lack a definitive node, notochord and floor plate. The related gene foxA4 is only present in amphibians. Expression begins in the blastula -chordin and -noggin expressing centre (BCNE) and is later restricted to the dorsal midline derivatives of the Spemann's organiser. It was suggested that the early functions of mammalian foxa2 are carried out by foxA4 in frogs, but functional experiments were needed to test this hypothesis. Here, we show that some important dorsal midline functions of mammalian foxa2 are exerted by foxA4 in Xenopus. We provide new evidence that the latter prevents the respecification of dorsal midline precursors towards contiguous fates, inhibiting prechordal and paraxial mesoderm development in favour of the notochord. In addition, we show that foxA4 is required for the correct regionalisation and maintenance of the central nervous system. FoxA4 participates in constraining the prospective rostral forebrain territory during neural specification and is necessary for the correct segregation of the most anterior ectodermal derivatives, such as the cement gland and the pituitary anlagen. Moreover, the early expression of foxA4 in the BCNE (which contains precursors of the whole forebrain and most of the midbrain and hindbrain) is directly required to restrict anterior neural development.

  10. Efficacy of tricaine methanesulfonate (MS-222 as an anesthetic agent for blocking sensory-motor responses in Xenopus laevis tadpoles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlana Ramlochansingh

    Full Text Available Anesthetics are drugs that reversibly relieve pain, decrease body movements and suppress neuronal activity. Most drugs only cover one of these effects; for instance, analgesics relieve pain but fail to block primary fiber responses to noxious stimuli. Alternately, paralytic drugs block synaptic transmission at neuromuscular junctions, thereby effectively paralyzing skeletal muscles. Thus, both analgesics and paralytics each accomplish one effect, but fail to singularly account for all three. Tricaine methanesulfonate (MS-222 is structurally similar to benzocaine, a typical anesthetic for anamniote vertebrates, but contains a sulfate moiety rendering this drug more hydrophilic. MS-222 is used as anesthetic in poikilothermic animals such as fish and amphibians. However, it is often argued that MS-222 is only a hypnotic drug and its ability to block neural activity has been questioned. This prompted us to evaluate the potency and dynamics of MS-222-induced effects on neuronal firing of sensory and motor nerves alongside a defined motor behavior in semi-intact in vitro preparations of Xenopus laevis tadpoles. Electrophysiological recordings of extraocular motor discharge and both spontaneous and evoked mechanosensory nerve activity were measured before, during and after administration of MS-222, then compared to benzocaine and a known paralytic, pancuronium. Both MS-222 and benzocaine, but not pancuronium caused a dose-dependent, reversible blockade of extraocular motor and sensory nerve activity. These results indicate that MS-222 as benzocaine blocks the activity of both sensory and motor nerves compatible with the mechanistic action of effective anesthetics, indicating that both caine-derivates are effective as single-drug anesthetics for surgical interventions in anamniotes.

  11. Triclosan exposure alters postembryonic development in a Pacific tree frog (Pseudacris regilla) Amphibian Metamorphosis Assay (TREEMA)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marlatt, Vicki L.; Veldhoen, Nik; Lo, Bonnie P.; Bakker, Dannika; Rehaume, Vicki; Vallée, Kurtis; Haberl, Maxine; Shang, Dayue; Aggelen, Graham C. van; Skirrow, Rachel C.; Elphick, James R.; Helbing, Caren C.

    2013-01-01

    The Amphibian Metamorphosis Assay (AMA), developed for Xenopus laevis, is designed to identify chemicals that disrupt thyroid hormone (TH)-mediated biological processes. We adapted the AMA for use on an ecologically-relevant North American species, the Pacific tree frog (Pseudacris regilla), and applied molecular endpoints to evaluate the effects of the antibacterial agent, triclosan (TCS). Premetamorphic (Gosner stage 26–28) tadpoles were immersed for 21 days in solvent control, 1.5 μg/L thyroxine (T 4 ), 0.3, 3 and 30 μg/L (nominal) TCS, or combined T 4 /TCS treatments. Exposure effects were scored by morphometric (developmental stage, wet weight, and body, snout-vent and hindlimb lengths) and molecular (mRNA abundance using quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction) criteria. T 4 treatment alone accelerated development concomitant with altered levels of TH receptors α and β, proliferating cell nuclear antigen, and gelatinase B mRNAs in the brain and tail. We observed TCS-induced perturbations in all of the molecular and morphological endpoints indicating that TCS exposure disrupts coordination of postembryonic tadpole development. Clear alterations in molecular endpoints were evident at day 2 whereas the earliest morphological effects appeared at day 4 and were most evident at day 21. Although TCS alone (3 and 30 μg/L) was protective against tadpole mortality, this protection was lost in the presence of T 4 . The Pacific tree frog is the most sensitive species examined to date displaying disruption of TH-mediated development by a common antimicrobial agent.

  12. Triclosan exposure alters postembryonic development in a Pacific tree frog (Pseudacris regilla) Amphibian Metamorphosis Assay (TREEMA)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marlatt, Vicki L. [Nautilus Environmental, 8864 Commerce Court, Burnaby, B.C. V5A 4N7 (Canada); Veldhoen, Nik [Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Victoria, P.O. Box 3055 Stn CSC, Victoria, B.C. V8W 3P6 (Canada); Lo, Bonnie P. [Nautilus Environmental, 8864 Commerce Court, Burnaby, B.C. V5A 4N7 (Canada); Bakker, Dannika; Rehaume, Vicki; Vallee, Kurtis [Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Victoria, P.O. Box 3055 Stn CSC, Victoria, B.C. V8W 3P6 (Canada); Haberl, Maxine; Shang, Dayue; Aggelen, Graham C. van; Skirrow, Rachel C. [Pacific and Yukon Laboratory for Environmental Testing, Emergencies Operational Analytical Laboratories and Research Support Division, Environment Canada, 2645 Dollarton Highway, North Vancouver, B.C. V7H 1B1 (Canada); Elphick, James R. [Nautilus Environmental, 8864 Commerce Court, Burnaby, B.C. V5A 4N7 (Canada); Helbing, Caren C., E-mail: chelbing@uvic.ca [Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Victoria, P.O. Box 3055 Stn CSC, Victoria, B.C. V8W 3P6 (Canada)

    2013-01-15

    The Amphibian Metamorphosis Assay (AMA), developed for Xenopus laevis, is designed to identify chemicals that disrupt thyroid hormone (TH)-mediated biological processes. We adapted the AMA for use on an ecologically-relevant North American species, the Pacific tree frog (Pseudacris regilla), and applied molecular endpoints to evaluate the effects of the antibacterial agent, triclosan (TCS). Premetamorphic (Gosner stage 26-28) tadpoles were immersed for 21 days in solvent control, 1.5 {mu}g/L thyroxine (T{sub 4}), 0.3, 3 and 30 {mu}g/L (nominal) TCS, or combined T{sub 4}/TCS treatments. Exposure effects were scored by morphometric (developmental stage, wet weight, and body, snout-vent and hindlimb lengths) and molecular (mRNA abundance using quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction) criteria. T{sub 4} treatment alone accelerated development concomitant with altered levels of TH receptors {alpha} and {beta}, proliferating cell nuclear antigen, and gelatinase B mRNAs in the brain and tail. We observed TCS-induced perturbations in all of the molecular and morphological endpoints indicating that TCS exposure disrupts coordination of postembryonic tadpole development. Clear alterations in molecular endpoints were evident at day 2 whereas the earliest morphological effects appeared at day 4 and were most evident at day 21. Although TCS alone (3 and 30 {mu}g/L) was protective against tadpole mortality, this protection was lost in the presence of T{sub 4}. The Pacific tree frog is the most sensitive species examined to date displaying disruption of TH-mediated development by a common antimicrobial agent.

  13. Functional diversity of voltage-sensing phosphatases in two urodele amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mutua, Joshua; Jinno, Yuka; Sakata, Souhei; Okochi, Yoshifumi; Ueno, Shuichi; Tsutsui, Hidekazu; Kawai, Takafumi; Iwao, Yasuhiro; Okamura, Yasushi

    2014-07-16

    Voltage-sensing phosphatases (VSPs) share the molecular architecture of the voltage sensor domain (VSD) with voltage-gated ion channels and the phosphoinositide phosphatase region with the phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), respectively. VSPs enzymatic activities are regulated by the motions of VSD upon depolarization. The physiological role of these proteins has remained elusive, and insights may be gained by investigating biological variations in different animal species. Urodele amphibians are vertebrates with potent activities of regeneration and also show diverse mechanisms of polyspermy prevention. We cloned cDNAs of VSPs from the testes of two urodeles; Hynobius nebulosus and Cynops pyrrhogaster, and compared their expression and voltage-dependent activation. Their molecular architecture is highly conserved in both Hynobius VSP (Hn-VSP) and Cynops VSP (Cp-VSP), including the positively-charged arginine residues in the S4 segment of the VSD and the enzymatic active site for substrate binding, yet the C-terminal C2 domain of Hn-VSP is significantly shorter than that of Cp-VSP and other VSP orthologs. RT-PCR analysis showed that gene expression pattern was distinct between two VSPs. The voltage sensor motions and voltage-dependent phosphatase activities were investigated electrophysiologically by expression in Xenopus oocytes. Both VSPs showed "sensing" currents, indicating that their voltage sensor domains are functional. The phosphatase activity of Cp-VSP was found to be voltage dependent, as shown by its ability to regulate the conductance of coexpressed GIRK2 channels, but Hn-VSP lacked such phosphatase activity due to the truncation of its C2 domain. © 2014 The Authors. Physiological Reports published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of the American Physiological Society and The Physiological Society.

  14. Diversity and associations between coastal habitats and anurans in southernmost Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MAURO C.L.M. OLIVEIRA

    Full Text Available This study aimed to verify the relationship between habitat and the composition of anuran species in dune and restinga habitats in southernmost Brazil. The habitats were sampled between April 2009 and March 2010 using pitfalls with drift fence. We have captured 13,508 individuals of 12 anuran species. Species richness was lower in the dunes and dominance was higher in the resting. Apparently the less complex plant cover, water availability, and wide daily thermal variation in dunes act as an environmental filter for frogs. This hypothesis is reinforced by the fact that the most abundant species (Physalaemus biligonigerus and Odonthoprynus maisuma bury themselves in the sand, minimizing these environmental stresses. Despite being in the Pampa biome, the studied community was more similar to those of coastal restinga environment of southeast Brazil than with other of the Pampa biome. The number of recorded species is similar to those observed in other open habitats in Brazil, showing the importance of adjacent ones to the shoreline for the maintenance of the diversity of anurans in southernmost Brazil.Este estudo teve como objetivo verificar a relação entre o hábitat e a composição de espécies de anuros em ambientes de duna e restinga no extremo sul do Brasil. Estes ambientes foram amostrados entre abril de 2009 e março de 2010 utilizando armadilhas de interceptação e queda, com barreira de contenção. Foram capturados 13.508 indivíduos de 12 espécies de anuros. A riqueza de espécies foi menor nas dunas e dominância foi maior na restinga. Aparentemente, a cobertura vegetal, com menor complexidade, a disponibilidade de água e a maior variação térmica diária nas dunas, atuam como um filtro ambiental para os anuros. Esta hipótese é reforçada pelo fato de que as espécies mais abundantes (Physalaemus biligonigerus e Odonthoprynus maisuma se enterram na areia, minimizando esses estresses ambientais. Apesar de estar no bioma Pampa

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  16. Trends in amphibian occupancy in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Trends in amphibian occupancy in the United States.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Adams

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, David E.

    2017-01-01

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

  19. Invasive and introduced reptiles and amphibians: Chapter 28

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. South African red data book - Reptiles and Amphibians

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mclachlan, GR

    1978-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  2. An alternative framework for responding to the amphibian crisis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muths, Erin L.; Fisher, Robert N.

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  6. Demonstration and Certification of Amphibian Ecological Risk Assessment Protocol

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sloggett, John J

    2012-07-18

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Fossil amphibians and reptiles from Tegelen (Province of Limburg) and the early Pleistocene palaeoclimate of The Netherlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villa, Andrea; Blain, Hugues-Alexandre; van den Hoek Ostende, Lars W.; Delfino, Massimo

    2018-05-01

    Few Quaternary herpetofaunas have been recovered from The Netherlands. Among these, the one coming from the early Pleistocene site of the Russel-Tiglia-Egypte pit near Tegelen is of particular interest, because it is the type locality of the recently described, last western European palaeobatrachid anuran, Palaeobatrachus eurydices. The large number of fossil remains of amphibians and reptiles found in the pit are representative of a very diverse fauna, including at least 17 taxa: Triturus gr. T. cristatus, Lissotriton sp., Pelobates fuscus, Bufo bufo, Bombina sp., Pelophylax sp., Rana sp., Hyla gr. H. arborea, Pelodytes sp., Mauremys sp., Lacerta sp., Lacertidae indet., Anguis gr. A. fragilis, cf. Pseudopus sp., "colubrines" indet., Natrix natrix and Vipera sp. Emys orbicularis, previously reported from a different Tegelen pit, is not present in this assemblage. Palaeoclimatic conditions reconstructed based on the herpetofaunistic association indicate a humid subtropical climate (Cfa according to the Köppen-Geiger classification of climates) for Tegelen during the TC5 section of the Tiglian, with low, but fairly regular rainfalls during the year. Mean annual temperature was 13.4 ± 0.3 °C and mean annual precipitation was 542 ± 50 mm. Moreover, three dry months were present during summer and early autumn, resulting in a much drier climate than the one present at Tegelen today. Nevertheless, the occurrence of the water-dwelling P. eurydices suggests the persistence of suitable permanent water bodies during the whole year, and the survival of this taxon in this part of Europe might have been allowed by the generally humid climate.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  12. Evaluation of the amphibian metamorphosis assay: exposure to the goitrogen methimazole and the endogenous thyroid hormone L-thyroxine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coady, Katherine; Marino, Troy; Thomas, Johnson; Currie, Rebecca; Hancock, Gregg; Crofoot, Jackie; McNalley, Lindsay; McFadden, Lisa; Geter, David; Klecka, Gary

    2010-04-01

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) has included an amphibian metamorphosis assay (AMA) to detect thyroid active chemicals in Tier 1 testing of their endocrine screening program. To understand the variability, specificity, and reliability of the key endpoints of this assay, two exposure studies with Xenopus laevis tadpoles were conducted with two known thyroid-active compounds, namely, methimazole or L-thyroxine, for a total of 21 d. In addition, various increased-flow-rate treatments were included in the exposures to evaluate the effects of physical stress on metamorphic development. The endpoints examined in the exposures were wet weight, snout-vent length, hind-limb length, developmental stage, and thyroid and gonadal histopathology. As expected, the results indicated that both methimazole and L-thyroxine were thyroid active in the AMA, hind-limb length and thyroid histopathology being the most sensitive endpoints of thyroid activity. Tadpoles that were exposed to the various physical stressors in these experiments showed no signs of altered metamorphic development, and exposure to the thyroid-active compounds had no effect on the developing gonad of X. laevis. Taken together, these results support the use of the AMA as a Tier 1 endocrine screen for detection of potential thyroid pathway activity; however, the lack of a true negative response (no-effect) during the validation process prevents a full evaluation of this assay's specificity at this time. (c) 2009 SETAC.

  13. Left-Right Asymmetric Morphogenesis in the Xenopus Digestive System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muller, Jennifer K.; Prather, D.R.; Nascone-Yoder, N. M.

    2003-01-01

    The morphogenetic mechanisms by which developing organs become left-right asymmetric entities are unknown. To investigate this issue, we compared the roles of the left and right sides of the Xenopus embryo during the development of anatomic asymmetries in the digestive system. Although both sides contribute equivalently to each of the individual digestive organs, during the initial looping of the primitive gut tube, the left side assumes concave topologies where the right side becomes convex. Of interest, the concave surfaces of the gut tube correlate with expression of the LR gene, Pitx2, and ectopic Pitx2 mRNA induces ectopic concavities in a localized manner. A morphometric comparison of the prospective concave and convex surfaces of the gut tube reveals striking disparities in their rate of elongation but no significant differences in cell proliferation. These results provide insight into the nature of symmetry-breaking morphogenetic events during left-right asymmetric organ development. ?? 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  14. Mesoderm layer formation in Xenopus and Drosophila gastrulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Winklbauer, Rudolf; Müller, H-Arno J

    2011-01-01

    During gastrulation, the mesoderm spreads out between ectoderm and endoderm to form a mesenchymal cell layer. Surprisingly the underlying principles of mesoderm layer formation are very similar in evolutionarily distant species like the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, and the frog, Xenopus laevis, in which the molecular and the cellular basis of mesoderm layer formation have been extensively studied. Complementary expression of growth factors in the ectoderm and their receptors in the mesoderm act to orient cellular protrusive activities and direct cell movement, leading to radial cell intercalation and the spreading of the mesoderm layer. This mechanism is contrasted with generic physical mechanisms of tissue spreading that consider the adhesive and physical properties of the cells and tissues. Both mechanisms need to be integrated to orchestrate mesenchymal morphogenesis

  15. Xenopus reduced folate carrier regulates neural crest development epigenetically.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiejing Li

    Full Text Available Folic acid deficiency during pregnancy causes birth neurocristopathic malformations resulting from aberrant development of neural crest cells. The Reduced folate carrier (RFC is a membrane-bound receptor for facilitating transfer of reduced folate into the cells. RFC knockout mice are embryonic lethal and develop multiple malformations, including neurocristopathies. Here we show that XRFC is specifically expressed in neural crest tissues in Xenopus embryos and knockdown of XRFC by specific morpholino results in severe neurocristopathies. Inhibition of RFC blocked the expression of a series of neural crest marker genes while overexpression of RFC or injection of 5-methyltetrahydrofolate expanded the neural crest territories. In animal cap assays, knockdown of RFC dramatically reduced the mono- and trimethyl-Histone3-K4 levels and co-injection of the lysine methyltransferase hMLL1 largely rescued the XRFC morpholino phenotype. Our data revealed that the RFC mediated folate metabolic pathway likely potentiates neural crest gene expression through epigenetic modifications.

  16. Expression patterns of Xenopus FGF receptor-like 1/nou-darake in early Xenopus development resemble those of planarian nou-darake and Xenopus FGF8.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayashi, Shuichi; Itoh, Mari; Taira, Sumiko; Agata, Kiyokazu; Taira, Masanori

    2004-08-01

    Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) mediate many cell-to-cell signaling events during early development. Nou-darake (ndk), a gene encoding an FGF receptor (FGFR)-like molecule, was found to be highly and specifically expressed in the head region of the planarian Dugesia japonica, and its functional analyses provided strong molecular evidence for the existence of a brain-inducing circuit based on the FGF signaling pathway. To analyze the role of ndk during vertebrate development, we isolated the Xenopus ortholog of ndk, the vertebrate FGFR-like 1 gene (XFGFRL1). Expression of XFGFRL1/Xndk was first detected in the anterior region at the late gastrula stage and dramatically increased at the early neurula stage in an overall anterior mesendodermal region, including the prechordal plate, paraxial mesoderm, anterior endoderm, and archenteron roof. This anterior expression pattern resembles that of ndk in planarians, suggesting that the expression of FGFRL1/ndk is conserved in evolution between these two distantly diverged organisms. During the tail bud stages, XFGFRL1/Xndk expression was detected in multiple regions, including the forebrain, eyes, midbrain-hindbrain boundary, otic vesicles, visceral arches, and somites. In many of these regions, XFGFRL1/Xndk was coexpressed with XFGF8, indicating that XFGFRL1/Xndk is a member of the XFGF8 synexpression group, which includes sprouty, sef, and isthmin. Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  17. Control of melanin synthesis during oogenesis in Xenopus laevis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kidson, S H

    1985-01-01

    The present study investigates the mechanisms that control the synthesis of pigment during Xenopus laevis oogenesis. In this study, in vitro and in vivo assays indicate that the activity of the enzyme tyrosinase, the only enzyme necessary for the synthesis of pigment also reaches a peak during mid-oogenesis. The isotopes carbon 14, tritium, phosphorus 32 and sulfur 35 are used in this experiments. Furthermore, in vitro tyrosinase assays of polysomes isolated from different stage oocytes show that the rise in tyrosinase activity during mid-oogenesis is accompanied by a rise in polysomes synthesizing tyrosinase. This suggests that the synthesis of tyrosinase is restricted to mid-oogenesis. It was also established that oocyte tyrosinase is synthesized as a 32 kd polypeptide and is processed intra-melanosomally into a 120-130 kd tetramer. It is this form that is catalytically active in vivo. Oocyte tyrosinase does not require post-translational protease activation. To investigate the hypothesis that the synthesis of tyrosinase is restricted to mid-oogenesis, the accumulation of messenger RNA coding for tyrosinase was measured at different stages of oogenesis using a tyrosinase cDNA probe. The preparation of the tyrosinase cDNA probe required the purification of tyrosinase mRNA. This was achieved by a technique based on affinity chromatography of polysomes. This enriched 'tyrosinase mRNA' translated in vitro into two major proteins of 32 kd and 20 kd. The mRNA microinjected into Xenopus oocytes is translated into active tyrosinase. Hybridization of the tyrosinase cDNA probe to dot blots of oocyte mRNA suggested that tyrosinase mRNA accumulation reaches a peak just before maximal tyrosinase synthesis. The absence of tyrosinase mRNA late in oogenesis suggests that this message is not synthesized at this stage. These results are interpreted in terms of the functional significance of lampbrush chromosomes.

  18. Deficient induction response in a Xenopus nucleocytoplasmic hybrid.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick Narbonne

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Incompatibilities between the nucleus and the cytoplasm of sufficiently distant species result in developmental arrest of hybrid and nucleocytoplasmic hybrid (cybrid embryos. Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain their lethality, including problems in embryonic genome activation (EGA and/or nucleo-mitochondrial interactions. However, conclusive identification of the causes underlying developmental defects of cybrid embryos is still lacking. We show here that while over 80% of both Xenopus laevis and Xenopus (Silurana tropicalis same-species androgenetic haploids develop to the swimming tadpole stage, the androgenetic cybrids formed by the combination of X. laevis egg cytoplasm and X. tropicalis sperm nucleus invariably fail to gastrulate properly and never reach the swimming tadpole stage. In spite of this arrest, these cybrids show quantitatively normal EGA and energy levels at the stage where their initial gastrulation defects are manifested. The nucleocytoplasmic incompatibility between these two species instead results from a combination of factors, including a reduced emission of induction signal from the vegetal half, a decreased sensitivity of animal cells to induction signals, and differences in a key embryonic protein (Xbra concentration between the two species, together leading to inefficient induction and defective convergence-extension during gastrulation. Indeed, increased exposure to induction signals and/or Xbra signalling partially rescues the induction response in animal explants and whole cybrid embryos. Altogether, our study demonstrates that the egg cytoplasm of one species may not support the development promoted by the nucleus of another species, even if this nucleus does not interfere with the cytoplasmic/maternal functions of the egg, while the egg cytoplasm is also capable of activating the genome of that nucleus. Instead, our results provide evidence that inefficient signalling and differences in the

  19. A three-parameter model for classifying anurans into four genera based on advertisement calls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gingras, Bruno; Fitch, William Tecumseh

    2013-01-01

    The vocalizations of anurans are innate in structure and may therefore contain indicators of phylogenetic history. Thus, advertisement calls of species which are more closely related phylogenetically are predicted to be more similar than those of distant species. This hypothesis was evaluated by comparing several widely used machine-learning algorithms. Recordings of advertisement calls from 142 species belonging to four genera were analyzed. A logistic regression model, using mean values for dominant frequency, coefficient of variation of root-mean square energy, and spectral flux, correctly classified advertisement calls with regard to genus with an accuracy above 70%. Similar accuracy rates were obtained using these parameters with a support vector machine model, a K-nearest neighbor algorithm, and a multivariate Gaussian distribution classifier, whereas a Gaussian mixture model performed slightly worse. In contrast, models based on mel-frequency cepstral coefficients did not fare as well. Comparable accuracy levels were obtained on out-of-sample recordings from 52 of the 142 original species. The results suggest that a combination of low-level acoustic attributes is sufficient to discriminate efficiently between the vocalizations of these four genera, thus supporting the initial premise and validating the use of high-throughput algorithms on animal vocalizations to evaluate phylogenetic hypotheses.

  20. Ultrastructural Comparison of Hepatozoon ixoxo and Hepatozoon theileri (Adeleorina: Hepatozoidae), Parasitising South African Anurans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conradie, Roxanne; Cook, Courtney A; du Preez, Louis H; Jordaan, Anine; Netherlands, Edward C

    2017-03-01

    To date, only two haemogregarine parasite species have been described from South African anurans: Hepatozoon ixoxo, infecting toads of the genus Sclerophrys (syn. Amietophrynus); and Hepatozoon theileri, parasitising the common river frog, Amietia quecketti. Both species have been characterised using limited morphology, and molecular data from PCR amplified fragments of the 18S rRNA gene. However, no ultrastructural work has been performed thus far. The aim of this study was to add descriptive information on the two species by studying their ultrastructural morphology. Mature gamont stages, common in the peripheral blood of infected frogs, were examined by transmission electron microscopy. Results indicate that H. ixoxo and H. theileri share typical apicomplexan characteristics, but differ markedly in their external cellular structure. Hepatozoon ixoxo is an encapsulated parasite presenting a prominent cap at the truncate pole, and shows no visible modifications to the host cell membrane. In comparison, H. theileri does not present a capsule or cap, and produces marked morphological changes to its host cell. Scanning electron microscopy was performed to further examine the cytopathological effects of H. theileri, and results revealed small, knob-like protrusions on the erythrocyte surface, as well as notable distortion of the overall shape of the host cell. © 2016 The Author(s) Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology © 2016 International Society of Protistologists.

  1. Studies on the regulation of anuran metamorphosis by thyroid hormones and prolactin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ray, L.B.

    1985-01-01

    Resorption of the tail of the anuran larva during metamorphosis is induced by the thyroid hormones. In contrast, the pituitary hormone prolactin favors growth of the tail fin and inhibits resorption. The present investigations were designed to explore the mechanisms by which the thyroid hormones and prolactin bring about their cellular effects. Incubation of explants of tail fin with derivatives of cAMP was shown to inhibit T 4 -induced resorption of explants in a manner similar to that of prolactin. Likewise, inhibition of phosphodiesterases also inhibited resorption. Prolactin, however, failed to alter the levels of cAMP in cultured explants of tail fin. Although cAMP antagonizes the resorptive effects of T 4 , prolactin apparently does not act by elevating cellular levels of that cyclic nucleotide. Newly synthesized proteins from explants of tail fin were examined by isotopical labeling followed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and fluorography. Incorporation of 35 S-methionine into four proteins was increased within 8 to 48 hours after exposure of explants to T 4 . Three of the same proteins appeared to be synthesized more rapidly in explants of fin from tadpoles at metamorphic climax than in fin from tadpoles of premetamorphic stages. These results indicate that treatment of explants with T 4 or elevation of endogenous levels of thyroid hormones during spontaneous metamorphosis increased the relative rates of synthesis of several proteins. Those proteins are potentially involved in initiating the effects of T 4 which lead to cell death and resorption of the tail

  2. White-throated sparrows alter songs differentially in response to chorusing anurans and other background noise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenske, Ariel K; La, Van T

    2014-06-01

    Animals can use acoustic signals to attract mates and defend territories. As a consequence, background noise that interferes with signal transmission has the potential to reduce fitness, especially in birds that rely on song. While much research on bird song has investigated vocal flexibility in response to urban noise, weather and other birds, the possibility of inter-class acoustic competition from anurans has not been previously studied. Using sound recordings from central Ontario wetlands, we tested if white-throated sparrows (Zonotrichia albicolis) make short-term changes to their singing behaviour in response to chorusing spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer), as well as to car noise, wind and other bird vocalizations. White-throated sparrow songs that were sung during the spring peeper chorus were shorter with higher minimum frequencies and narrower bandwidths resulting in reduced frequency overlap. Additionally, sparrows were less likely to sing when car noise and the vocalizations of other birds were present. These patterns suggest that birds use multiple adjustment strategies. This is the first report to demonstrate that birds may alter their songs differentially in response to different sources of noise. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: insert SI title. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Species richness and structure of an anuran community in an Atlantic Forest site in southern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adriele Karlokoski Cunha

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available The species richness and spatial distribution of an anuran community were studied over 12 months in an Atlantic Forest area in São José dos Pinhais Municipality, Paraná State, southern Brazil. During field surveys, we registered 32 species from ten families: Brachycephalidae (2, Bufonidae (2, Centrolenidae (1, Cycloramphidae (1, Hemiphractidae (1, Hylidae (18, Hylodidae (1, Leiuperidae (2, Leptodactylidae (3, and Microhylidae (1. Sixteen species were registered in open areas, while seventeen species were found on forest borders and twenty species in forest areas. In relation to the microhabitat utilization, species were registered according to stratum of vocalization: 1 on the ground (eight; 2 in the water (two; 3 in the lower stratum (eleven; 4 in the intermediate stratum (five; 5 in the upper stratum (four. Five species were abundant (15.6%, while twelve were common (37.5%, and fifteen were considered rare (46.9%. The biological aspects of the majority of the species described in this work as related to forest areas are not well known. This fact reinforces the importance of Atlantic Forest conservation.

  4. DNA is a co-factor for its own replication in Xenopus egg extracts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lebofsky, Ronald; van Oijen, Antoine M.; Walter, Johannes C.

    Soluble Xenopus egg extracts efficiently replicate added plasmids using a physiological mechanism, and thus represent a powerful system to understand vertebrate DNA replication. Surprisingly, DNA replication in this system is highly sensitive to plasmid concentration, being undetectable below

  5. PHENOBARBITAL AFFECTS THYROID HISTOLOGY AND LARVAL DEVELOPMENT IN THE AFRICAN CLAWED FROG XENOPUS LAEVIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    The abstract highlights our recent study to explore endocrine disrupting effects of phenobarbital in the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis. In mammals, this chemical is known to induce the biotransforming enzyme UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UDPGT) resulting in increased thyroid...

  6. Protein-Carbohydrate Interaction between Sperm and the Egg-Coating Envelope and Its Regulation by Dicalcin, a Xenopus laevis Zona Pellucida Protein-Associated Protein

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naofumi Miwa

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Protein-carbohydrate interaction regulates multiple important processes during fertilization, an essential biological event where individual gametes undergo intercellular recognition to fuse and generate a zygote. In the mammalian female reproductive tract, sperm temporarily adhere to the oviductal epithelium via the complementary interaction between carbohydrate-binding proteins on the sperm membrane and carbohydrates on the oviductal cells. After detachment from the oviductal epithelium at the appropriate time point following ovulation, sperm migrate and occasionally bind to the extracellular matrix, called the zona pellucida (ZP, which surrounds the egg, thereafter undergoing the exocytotic acrosomal reaction to penetrate the envelope and to reach the egg plasma membrane. This sperm-ZP interaction also involves the direct interaction between sperm carbohydrate-binding proteins and carbohydrates within the ZP, most of which have been conserved across divergent species from mammals to amphibians and echinoderms. This review focuses on the carbohydrate-mediated interaction of sperm with the female reproductive tract, mainly the interaction between sperm and the ZP, and introduces the fertilization-suppressive action of dicalcin, a Xenopus laevis ZP protein-associated protein. The action of dicalcin correlates significantly with a dicalcin-dependent change in the lectin-staining pattern within the ZP, suggesting a unique role of dicalcin as an inherent protein that is capable of regulating the affinity between the lectin and oligosaccharides attached on its target glycoprotein.

  7. [125I]Bolton-Hunter neuropeptide-Y-binding sites on folliculo-stellate cells of the pars intermedia of Xenopus laevis: A combined autoradiographic and immunocytochemical study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De Rijk, E.P.; Cruijsen, P.M.; Jenks, B.G.; Roubos, E.W.

    1991-01-01

    It has previously been established that neuropeptide-Y (NPY) is a potent inhibitor of alpha MSH release from the pars intermedia of the amphibian Xenopus laevis. The location of binding sites for NPY in the pars intermedia of the pituitary has now been studied with light microscopic autoradiography, using a dispersed cell labeling method with the specific NPY receptor ligand [ 125 I]Bolton-Hunter NPY. The majority of radioactive labeling was associated with folliculo-stellate cells; the percentage of labeling as well as the mean number of grains were approximately 5 times higher for folliculo-stellate cells than for melanotropes. An excess of nonlabeled NPY drastically reduced radiolabeling of folliculo-stellate cells, but had no effect on the degree of labeling of melanotropes. These results show that folliculo-stellate cells of X. laevis possess specific binding sites for NPY and indicate that NPY exerts its inhibitory action on the release of alpha MSH in an indirect fashion, by acting on the folliculo-stellate cells

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-08

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, Tamilie; Becker, C. Guilherme

    2017-01-01

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

  11. Developments in amphibian captive breeding and reintroduction programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  12. Acute Toxicity of a Heavy Metal Cadmium to an Anuran, the Indian Skipper Frog Rana cyanophlyctis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ajai Kumar Srivastav

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: There has been increasing awareness throughout the world regarding the remarkable decrease in amphibian population. For such amphibian population decline several causes have been given. Cadmium, a heavy metal is released both from natural sources (leaching of cadmium rich soils and anthropogenic activities to the aquatic and terrestrial environments. This study evaluated the toxicity of heavy metal cadmium to Indian skipper frog Rana cyanophlyctis. Methods: For the determination of LC50 values for cadmium, four-day static renewal acute toxicity test was used. Five replicates each containing ten frogs were subjected to each concentration of cadmium chloride (15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50 mg/L. At different exposure periods (24, 48, 72 and 96 h, the mortality of the frog was subjected to Probit analysis with the POLO-PC software (LeOra Software to calculate the LC50 and 95% confidence level. Results: The LC50 values of cadmium chloride for the frog R. cyanophlyctis at 24, 48, 72, and 96 h are 32.586, 29.994, 27.219 and 23.048 mg/L, respectively. The results have been discussed with the toxicity reported for other aquatic vertebrate --fish. Conclusion: Cadmium caused mortality to the frog and this could be one of the reasons for population decline of frogs which inhabit water contaminated with heavy metals.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-06-01

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

  16. Amphibian recovery after a decrease in acidic precipitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-03-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Control of respiration in fish, amphibians and reptiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.W. Taylor

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  1. Control of respiration in fish, amphibians and reptiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.W. Taylor

    2010-05-01

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

  2. Baseline Inventory of amphibians and reptiles of Kurupukari, Guyana

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacCulloch, Ross D.; Reynolds, Robert P.

    2013-01-01

    The habitat in the vicinity of Kurupukari, on the Essequibo River in central Guyana, is tall evergreen lowland forest. The area has suffered some human disturbance from agriculture, road construction and ferry activity. The area was sampled for 10 days in 1990 and 12 days in 1997; seven days in rainy season and 15 in dry season. During this sampling 23 anuran and 17 reptile species were collected. Some differences exist between species collected on either side of the river. Comparisons are made with collections from other locations in Guyana.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Anurans of the Reserva Ecológica da Michelin, Municipality of Igrapiúna, State of Bahia, Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Camurugi, Felipe; Lima, Tasso Meneses; Mercês, Ednei de Almeida; Juncá, Flora Acuña

    2010-01-01

    We studied the richness and distribution of anuran species on different breeding sites at the Reserva Ecológica da Michelin (13° 50' S and 39° 10' W, approximately 90-400 m above sea level), Municipality of Igrapiúna, Bahia State, Brazil. The reserve includes fragments of Atlantic Rain Forest varying from 140 to 650 ha. Five types of environments were sampled: leaf litter inside forest fragments, streams inside forest fragments, dam on the edge of forest fragment, temporary pond inside forest...

  6. Development of contractile and energetic capacity in anuran hindlimb muscle during metamorphosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Jin Cheol; Kim, Han Suk; Yamashita, Masamichi; Choi, Inho

    2003-01-01

    Anuran larvae undergo water-to-land transition during late metamorphosis. We investigated the development of the iliofibularis muscle in bullfrog tadpoles (Rana catesbeiana) between Gosner's stage 37 and stage 46 (the last stage). The tadpoles began staying in shallow water at least as early as stage 37, kicking from stage 39, active hindlimb swimming from stage 41, and emerging onto shore from stage 42. For control tadpoles kept in water throughout metamorphosis, muscle mass and length increased two- to threefold between stages 37 and 46, with rapid increases at stage 40. Large, steady increases were found in femur mass, tetanic tension, contraction rate, and power between stages 37 and 46. Concentrations of ATP and creatine phosphate and rates of the phosphagen depletion and the activity of creatine kinase increased significantly, mainly after stage 43. Shortening velocity, tetanic rise time, and half-relaxation time varied little. Energy charge (the amount of metabolically available energy stored in the adenine nucleotide pool) remained unchanged until stage 43 but decreased at stage 46. Compared with the control, experimental tadpoles that were allowed access to both water and land exhibited 1.2- to 1.8-fold greater increases in femur mass, tetanic tension, power, phosphagen depletion rates, and creatine kinase activities at late metamorphic stages but no significant differences for other parameters measured. In sum, most hindlimb development proceeds on the basis of the increasingly active use of limbs for locomotion in water. The further increases in tension, mechanical power, and "chemical power" on emergence would be advantageous for terrestrial antigravity performance.

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

    OpenAIRE

    González, Cynthia; Brenis, Ángel; Arrazola, Teresa

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rochelle B. Renken

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roland A. Knapp

    2004-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pierangelo Crucitti

    2010-07-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew C. Fisher

    2009-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-09-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Sewell

    2009-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  15. Expression cloning of camelid nanobodies specific for Xenopus embryonic antigens.

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    Keiji Itoh

    Full Text Available Developmental biology relies heavily on the use of conventional antibodies, but their production and maintenance involves significant effort. Here we use an expression cloning approach to identify variable regions of llama single domain antibodies (known as nanobodies, which recognize specific embryonic antigens. A nanobody cDNA library was prepared from lymphocytes of a llama immunized with Xenopus embryo lysates. Pools of bacterially expressed cDNAs were sib-selected for the ability to produce specific staining patterns in gastrula embryos. Three different nanobodies were isolated: NbP1 and NbP3 stained yolk granules, while the reactivity of NbP7 was predominantly restricted to the cytoplasm and the cortex. The isolated nanobodies recognized specific protein bands in immunoblot analysis. A reverse proteomic approach identified NbP1 target antigen as EP45/Seryp, a serine protease inhibitor. Given the unique stability of nanobodies and the ease of their expression in diverse systems, we propose that nanobody cDNA libraries represent a promising resource for molecular markers for developmental biology.

  16. Islet-1 Immunoreactivity in the Developing Retina of Xenopus laevis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guadalupe Álvarez-Hernán

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The LIM-homeodomain transcription factor Islet1 (Isl1 has been widely used as a marker of neuronal differentiation in the developing visual system of different classes of vertebrates, including mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish. In the present study, we analyzed the spatial and temporal distribution of Isl1-immunoreactive cells during Xenopus laevis retinal development and its relation to the formation of the retinal layers, and in combination with different markers of cell differentiation. The earliest Isl1 expression appeared at St29-30 in the cell nuclei of sparse differentiating neuroblasts located in the vitreal surface of the undifferentiated retina. At St35-36, abundant Isl1-positive cells accumulated at the vitreal surface of the neuroepithelium. As development proceeded and through the postmetamorphic juveniles, Isl1 expression was identified in subpopulations of ganglion cells and in subsets of amacrine, bipolar, and horizontal cells. These data together suggest a possible role for Isl1 in the early differentiation and maintenance of different retinal cell types, and Isl1 can serve as a specific molecular marker for the study of retinal cell specification in X. laevis.

  17. Expression of membrane targeted aequorin in Xenopus laevis oocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daguzan, C; Nicolas, M T; Mazars, C; Leclerc, C; Moreau, M

    1995-08-01

    We described here a system for high level of expression of the calcium activated photoprotein aequorin. This protein has been targeted to the plasma membrane of Xenopus oocyte by nuclear microinjection of a plasmid containing a construction of a chimeric cDNA encoding a fusion protein composed of the photoprotein aequorin and the 5-HT1A receptor. The expression of this fusion protein is placed under the control of RSV promoter. Functional photoprotein was reconstituted in the oocyte by incubation with coelenterazine. The amount of photoprotein 24 h after nuclear microinjection of the plasmid was sufficient to trigger a detectable light emission following calcium entry. The efficiency of the expression is correlated with the dose of plasmid injected. Intracytoplasmic injection of the plasmid always failed in photoprotein expression. Targeting of the apoprotein was demonstrated by immunolocalization under confocal microscopy. In our experimental conditions, the apoprotein was always localized at the animal pole above the nucleus. We never observed expression and targeting to the plasma membrane of the vegetal pole. WE suggest that such expression might be of great interest for the study of numerous problems of developmental biology, in which calcium-dependent pathways are involved.

  18. Regeneration of neural crest derivatives in the Xenopus tadpole tail

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Slack Jonathan MW

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background After amputation of the Xenopus tadpole tail, a functionally competent new tail is regenerated. It contains spinal cord, notochord and muscle, each of which has previously been shown to derive from the corresponding tissue in the stump. The regeneration of the neural crest derivatives has not previously been examined and is described in this paper. Results Labelling of the spinal cord by electroporation, or by orthotopic grafting of transgenic tissue expressing GFP, shows that no cells emigrate from the spinal cord in the course of regeneration. There is very limited regeneration of the spinal ganglia, but new neurons as well as fibre tracts do appear in the regenerated spinal cord and the regenerated tail also contains abundant peripheral innervation. The regenerated tail contains a normal density of melanophores. Cell labelling experiments show that melanophores do not arise from the spinal cord during regeneration, nor from the mesenchymal tissues of the skin, but they do arise by activation and proliferation of pre-existing melanophore precursors. If tails are prepared lacking melanophores, then the regenerates also lack them. Conclusion On regeneration there is no induction of a new neural crest similar to that seen in embryonic development. However there is some regeneration of neural crest derivatives. Abundant melanophores are regenerated from unpigmented precursors, and, although spinal ganglia are not regenerated, sufficient sensory systems are produced to enable essential functions to continue.

  19. Hyperdorsoanterior embryos from Xenopus eggs treated with D2O

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Scharf, S.R.; Rowning, B.; Wu, M.; Gerhart, J.C.

    1989-01-01

    Excessively dorsalized embryos of Xenopus laevis develop from eggs treated with 30-70% D 2 O for a few minutes within the first third of the cell cycle following fertilization. As the concentration of D 2 O and the duration of exposure are increased, the anatomy of these embryos shifts in the direction of enlarged dorsal and anterior structures and reduced ventral and posterior ones. Twinning of dorsoanterior structures is frequent. Intermediate forms include embryos with large heads but no trunks or tails. The limit form of the series has cylindrical symmetry, with circumferential bands of eye pigment and cement gland, a core of notochord-like tissue, and a centrally located beating heart. D 2 O treatment seems to increase the egg's sensitivity to the dorsalizing effects of cortical rotation and to stimulate the egg to initiate two or more directions of rotation. Such eggs probably establish thereafter a widened and/or duplicated Nieuwkoop center in the vegetal hemisphere, with the subsequent induction of a widened and/or duplicated Spemann organizer region in the marginal zone, which leads to excessive dorsal development. The existence of these anatomical forms indicates the potential of the egg to undertake dorsal development at all positions of its circumference and suggests that normal patterning depends on the limited and localized activation or disinhibition of this widespread potential

  20. Synchronization modulation of Na/K pumps on Xenopus oocytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Pengfei; Mast, Jason; Chen, Wei

    We developed a new technique named synchronization modulation to electrically synchronize and modulate the Na/K pump molecules by a specially designed oscillating electric field. This technique is based on the theory of energy-trap in quantum physics as well as the concept of electronic synchrotron accelerator. As a result, the Na-transports are all entrapped into the positive half-cycle of the applied electric field and consequently, all of the K-transports are entrapped into the negative half cycle of the field. To demonstrate the process of the pump synchronization and modulation, we use Xenopus oocytes as a platform and introduce two-electrode whole-cell voltage clamp in measurement of pump current. Practically, we first synchronize the pump molecules running at the same pace (rate and phase) by a specially designed oscillation electric field. Then, we carefully maintain the pump synchronization status and gradually change the field frequency (decrease and increase) to modulate the pump molecules to newer pumping rate. The result shows a separation of the inward K current from the outward Na current, and about 10 time increase of the total (inward plus outward) pump current from the net outward current from the random paced pump molecules. Also, the ratio of the modulated total pump current with synchronized total pump current is consistent with the ratio of their field frequencies.

  1. Atmospheric pressure plasma accelerates tail regeneration in tadpoles Xenopus laevis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivie, A.; Martus, K.; Menon, J.

    2017-08-01

    Atmospheric pressure plasma is a partially ionized gas composed of neutral and charged particles, including electrons and ions, as well as reactive oxygen species (ROS). Recently, it is utilized as possible therapy in oncology, sterilization, skin diseases, wound healing and tissue regeneration. In this study we focused on effect of plasma exposure on tail regeneration of tadpoles, Xenopus leavis with special emphasis on role of ROS, antioxidant defenses and morphological features of the regenerate. When amputated region of the tail was exposed to the helium plasma it resulted in a faster rate of growth, elevated ROS and increase in antioxidant enzymes in the regenerate compared to that of untreated control. An increase in nitric oxide (free radical) as well as activity of nitric oxide synthase(s) were observed once the cells of the regeneration blastema - a mass of proliferating cells are ready for differentiation. Microscopically the cells of the regenerate of plasma treated tadpoles show altered morphology and characteristics of cellular hypoxia and oxidative stress. We summarize that plasma exposure accelerates the dynamics of wound healing and tail regeneration through its effects on cell proliferation and differentiation as well as angiogenesis mediated through ROS signaling.

  2. Larval tolerance to salinity in three species of Australian anuran: an indication of saline specialisation in Litoria aurea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian D Kearney

    Full Text Available Recent anthropogenic influences on freshwater habitats are forcing anuran populations to rapidly adapt to high magnitude changes in environmental conditions or face local extinction. We examined the effects of ecologically relevant elevated salinity levels on larval growth, metamorphosis and survival of three species of Australian anuran; the spotted marsh frog (Limnodynastes tasmaniensis, the painted burrowing frog (Neobatrachus sudelli and the green and golden bell frog (Litoria aurea, in order to better understand the responses of these animals to environmental change. Elevated salinity (16% seawater negatively impacted on the survival of L. tasmaniensis (35% survival and N sudelli (0% survival, while reduced salinity had a negative impact on L. aurea. (16% seawater: 85% survival; 0.4% seawater: 35% survival. L. aurea tadpoles survived in salinities much higher than previously reported for this species, indicating the potential for inter-populations differences in salinity tolerance. In L. tasmaniensis and L. aurea, development to metamorphosis was fastest in low and high salinity treatments suggesting it is advantageous for tadpoles to invest energy in development in both highly favourable and developmentally challenging environments. We propose that this response might either maximise potential lifetime fecundity when tadpoles experience favourable environments, or, facilitate a more rapid escape from pond environments where there is a reduced probability of survival.

  3. Xenopus laevis Kif18A is a highly processive kinesin required for meiotic spindle integrity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin M. Möckel

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available The assembly and functionality of the mitotic spindle depends on the coordinated activities of microtubule-associated motor proteins of the dynein and kinesin superfamily. Our current understanding of the function of motor proteins is significantly shaped by studies using Xenopus laevis egg extract as its open structure allows complex experimental manipulations hardly feasible in other model systems. Yet, the Kinesin-8 orthologue of human Kif18A has not been described in Xenopus laevis so far. Here, we report the cloning and characterization of Xenopus laevis (Xl Kif18A. Xenopus Kif18A is expressed during oocyte maturation and its depletion from meiotic egg extract results in severe spindle defects. These defects can be rescued by wild-type Kif18A, but not Kif18A lacking motor activity or the C-terminus. Single-molecule microscopy assays revealed that Xl_Kif18A possesses high processivity, which depends on an additional C-terminal microtubule-binding site. Human tissue culture cells depleted of endogenous Kif18A display mitotic defects, which can be rescued by wild-type, but not tail-less Xl_Kif18A. Thus, Xl_Kif18A is the functional orthologue of human Kif18A whose activity is essential for the correct function of meiotic spindles in Xenopus oocytes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1996-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Molly C. Bletz

    2017-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  7. Monophyly of the species of Hepatozoon (Adeleorina: Hepatozoidae) parasitizing (African) anurans, with the description of three new species from hyperoliid frogs in South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Netherlands, Edward C; Cook, Courtney A; Du Preez, Louis H; Vanhove, Maarten P M; Brendonck, Luc; Smit, Nico J

    2017-12-04

    Haemogregarines (Apicomplexa: Adeleiorina) are a diverse group of haemoparasites reported from almost all vertebrate classes. The most commonly recorded haemogregarines to parasitize anurans are species of Hepatozoon Miller, 1908. To date 16 Hepatozoon species have been described from anurans in Africa, with only a single species, Hepatozoon hyperolli (Hoare, 1932), infecting a member of the Hyperoliidae. Furthermore, only two Hepatozoon species are known from South African anurans, namely Hepatozoon theileri (Laveran, 1905) and Hepatozoon ixoxo Netherlands, Cook and Smit, 2014, from Amietia delalandii (syn. Amietia quecketti) and three Sclerophrys species, respectively. Blood samples were collected from a total of 225 individuals representing nine hyperoliid species from several localities throughout northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Twenty frogs from three species were found positive for haemogregarines, namely Afrixalus fornasinii (6/14), Hyperolius argus (2/39), and Hyperolius marmoratus (12/74). Based on morphological characteristics, morphometrics and molecular findings three new haemogregarine species, Hepatozoon involucrum Netherlands, Cook and Smit n. sp., Hepatozoon tenuis Netherlands, Cook and Smit n. sp. and Hepatozoon thori Netherlands, Cook and Smit n. sp., are described from hyperoliid hosts. Furthermore, molecular analyses show anuran Hepatozoon species to be a separate monophyletic group, with species isolated from African hosts forming a monophyletic clade within this cluster.

  8. The cellular distribution of histone H5 in embryonic and adult tissues of Xenopus laevis and chicken

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Moorman, A. F.; de Boer, P. A.; Lamers, W. H.; Charles, R.

    1986-01-01

    The cellular distribution of histone H5 in embryonic and adult tissues of Xenopus laevis and chicken has been established with monoclonal antibodies to histone H5. Both in Xenopus and in chicken, the protein has presumably a more widespread cellular distribution than hitherto expected but is absent

  9. Streamside zone width and amphibian and reptile abundance

    Science.gov (United States)

    D. Craig Rudolph; James G. Dickson

    1990-01-01

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

  10. Using Reptile and Amphibian Activities in the Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomasek, Terry; Matthews, Catherine E.

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fröbisch, Nadia B; Schoch, Rainer R

    2009-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Abraín, Alejandro; Galán, Pedro

    2017-12-08

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lang Gui

    2018-05-01

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

  15. Toxicity of road salt to Nova Scotia amphibians

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Collins, Sara J.; Russell, Ronald W.

    2009-01-01

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

  16. Engineering a future for amphibians under a changing climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noreen Parks; Deanna H. Olson

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-10-30

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Quaternary climate changes explain diversity among reptiles and amphibians

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  3. Factors contributing to amphibian road mortality in a wetland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haijun GU, Qiang DAI, Qian WANG, Yuezhao WANG

    2011-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puglis, Holly J.; Boone, Michelle D.

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Effects of pollution on freshwater fish and amphibians

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1983-01-01

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

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

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2013-02-07

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

  7. Engineering a future for amphibians under climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cannatella, David C

    2008-05-16

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

  9. AMPHIBIAN DECLINE, ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION AND LOCAL POPULATION ADAPTATION

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Navjot S Sodhi

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

  11. Can myxosporean parasites compromise fish and amphibian reproduction?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sitjà-Bobadilla, Ariadna

    2009-08-22

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-17

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-02-20

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  15. Properties of the chromatin assembled on DNA injected into Xenopus oocytes and eggs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gargiulo, G.; Wasserman, W.; Worcel, A.

    1983-01-01

    The onset of DNA synthesis occurs between 10 and 30 minutes after activation of the egg and thus the transition from nuclease-sensitive to nuclease-resistant supercoils may take place on the newly replicated DNA. To test this possibility, the nonradioactive circular 5-kb DNA carrying the Drosophila histone gene repeat and [α -32 P]dCTP were coinjected into fertilized eggs. Such protocol labels both the injected, replicated heterologous DNA and the replicated endogenous, maternal Xenopus DNA. The labeled, presumably replicated, supercoiled DNA is resistant to micrococcal nuclease as expected. The endogenous, high-molecular-weight Xenopus DNA is degraded to 180-bp nucleosomal DNA. Thus, the nuclease resistance is not a general property of chromatin during the cleavage stage of the Xenopus embryo but is a peculiar feature of the injected DNA. 42 references, 5 figures

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Development of a mobile application for amphibian species recognition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Development of a mobile application for amphibian species recognition

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kouba, Andrew J; Vance, Carrie K

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-20

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

  2. Acute toxicity and sublethal effects of the mixture glyphosate (Roundup® Active and Cosmo-Flux®411F to anuran embryos and tadpoles of four Colombian species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liliana Marcela Henao Muñoz

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available 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=3 904µg a.e./L; LC50=2 799µg a.e./L, respectively, while embryos and tadpoles of Hypsiboas crepitans (LC50=2 203µg a.e./L; LC50=1 424µg 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 (14.76kg glyphosate a.e./ha the highest field application rate of 3

  3. Bioacustical and etho-ecological features in amphibian communities of Southern Cordoba province (Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salas, Nancy E.

    1998-01-01

    Full Text Available El conocimiento de las características del canto de los anfibios constituye un importante elemento para la identificación de las especies que puede ser empleado como herramienta para prácticas estandarizadas de monitoreo. En el presente trabajo se resaltan las diferencias eto-ecológicas más notables (hábitat de reproducción, sitio de canto, actividad estacional y diaria de aquellas especies que integran las comunidades del sur de la Provincia Córdoba y se proporciona una clasificación de los cantos nupciales. La batracofauna del área de llanura del sur-este de la provincia de Córdoba está representada por 9 especies de leptodactílidos correspondientes a 5 géneros (Leptodactylus gracilis, L. mystacinus, L. latinasus latinasus, L. ocellatus, Pleurodema tucumanum, Physalaemus biligonigerus, Odontophrynus americanus, Ceratophrys cranwelli y C. ornata, 2 especies de bufónidos (Bufo arenarum y B. fernandezae y un hílido (Hyla pulchella pulchella. Los registros acústicos obtenidos en el campo durante el período reproductivo fueron analizados a través de programas de análisis digital de sonido, comparándose los siguientes parámetros: frecuencia dominante, duración del canto, intervalo entre cantos; se realizaron además descripciones respecto del tipo de canto y su modulación. Se reconocieron tres tipos de cantos básicos segun su duración, categoría que fue subdividida por la forma de la imagen oscilográfica. El resultado de este análisis establece que existen notables diferencias entre los cantos nupciales, principalmente a nivel de rangos de frecuencia dominante y duración de las emisiones. Esta partición del espacio sonoro representa un mecanismo de aislamiento reproductivo que minimiza la interacción entre especies simpátricas cuya reproducción muestra también un solapamiento temporal. Knowledge of the characteristics of amphibian calls is essential for species identification, and may be used as a tool in

  4. Desiccation risk drives the spatial ecology of an invasive anuran (Rhinella marina in the Australian semi-desert.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reid Tingley

    Full Text Available Some invasive species flourish in places that impose challenges very different from those faced in their native geographic ranges. Cane toads (Rhinella marina are native to tropical and subtropical habitats of South and Central America, but have colonised extremely arid regions over the course of their Australian invasion. We radio-tracked 44 adult cane toads at a semi-arid invasion front to investigate how this invasive anuran has managed to expand its geographic range into arid areas that lie outside of its native climatic niche. As predicted from their low physiological control over rates of evaporative water loss, toads selected diurnal shelter sites that were consistently cooler and damper (and thus, conferred lower water loss rates than nearby random sites. Desiccation risk also had a profound influence on rates of daily movement. Under wet conditions, toads that were far from water moved further between shelter sites than did conspecifics that remained close to water, presumably in an attempt to reach permanent water sources. However, this relationship was reversed under dry conditions, such that only toads that were close to permanent water bodies made substantial daily movements. Toads that were far from water bodies also travelled along straighter paths than did conspecifics that generally remained close to water. Thus, behavioural flexibility--in particular, an ability to exploit spatial and temporal heterogeneity in the availability of moist conditions--has allowed this invasive anuran to successfully colonize arid habitats in Australia. This finding illustrates that risk assessment protocols need to recognise that under some circumstances an introduced species may be able to thrive in conditions far removed from any that it experiences in its native range.

  5. The establishment of polarized membrane traffic in Xenopus laevis embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, S J; Leaf, D S; Moore, H P; Gerhart, J C

    1992-09-01

    Delineation of apical and basolateral membrane domains is a critical step in the epithelialization of the outer layer of cells in the embryo. We have examined the initiation of polarized membrane traffic in Xenopus and show that membrane traffic is not polarized in oocytes but polarized membrane domains appear at first cleavage. The following proteins encoded by injected RNA transcripts were used as markers to monitor membrane traffic: (a) VSV G, a transmembrane glycoprotein preferentially inserted into the basolateral surface of polarized epithelial cells; (b) GThy-1, a fusion protein of VSV G and Thy-1 that is localized to the apical domains of polarized epithelial cells; and (c) prolactin, a peptide hormone that is not polarly secreted. In immature oocytes, there is no polarity in the expression of VSV G or GThy-1, as shown by the constitutive expression of both proteins at the surface in the animal and vegetal hemispheres. At meiotic maturation, membrane traffic to the surface is blocked; the plasma membrane no longer accepts the vesicles synthesized by the oocyte (Leaf, D. L., S. J. Roberts, J. C. Gerhart, and H.-P. Moore. 1990. Dev. Biol. 141:1-12). When RNA transcripts are injected after fertilization, VSV G is expressed only in the internal cleavage membranes (basolateral orientation) and is excluded from the outer surface (apical orientation, original oocyte membrane). In contrast, GThy-1 and prolactin, when expressed in embryos, are inserted or released at both the outer membrane derived from the oocyte and the inner cleavage membranes. Furthermore, not all of the cleavage membrane comes from an embryonic pool of vesicles--some of the cleavage membrane comes from vesicles synthesized during oogenesis. Using prolactin as a marker, we found that a subset of vesicles synthesized during oogenesis was only released after fertilization. However, while embryonic prolactin was secreted from both apical and basolateral surfaces, the secretion of oogenic prolactin

  6. Dual-function vector for protein expression in both mammalian cells and Xenopus laevis oocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jespersen, Thomas; Grunnet, M; Angelo, K

    2002-01-01

    Both Xenopus laevis oocytes and mammalian cells are widely used for heterologous expression of several classes of proteins, and membrane proteins especially, such as ion channels or receptors, have been extensively investigated in both cell types. A full characterization of a specific protein wil...

  7. Cloning, embryonic expression, and functional characterization of two novel connexins from Xenopus laevis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Boer, Teun P.; Kok, Bart; Roël, Giulietta; van Veen, Toon A. B.; Destrée, Olivier H. J.; Rook, Martin B.; Vos, Marc A.; de Bakker, Jacques M. T.; van der Heyden, Marcel A. G.

    2006-01-01

    Vertebrate gap junctions are constituted of connexin (Cx) proteins. In Xenopus laevis, only seven different Cxs have been described so far. Here, we identify two new Cxs from X. laevis. Cx28.6 displays > 60% amino acid identity with human Cx25, Cx29 displays strong homology with mouse Cx26 and Cx30.

  8. Comparative effects of DDT, allethrin, dieldrin and aldrin-transdiol on sense organs of Xenopus laevis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Akkermans, L.M.A.; Bercken, J. van den; Versluijs-Helder, M.

    1975-01-01

    The effects of DDT, allethrin, dieldrin and aldrin-transdiol were studied in two different sense organs of Xenopus laevis; the lateral-line organ and the cutaneous touch receptors. DDT and allethrin produced pronounced repetitive firing in both preparations. Dieldrin and aldrin-transdiol, on the

  9. Evaluation of developmental toxicity and teratogenicity of diclofenac using Xenopus embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chae, Jeong-Pil; Park, Mi Seon; Hwang, Yoo-Seok; Min, Byung-Hwa; Kim, Sang-Hyun; Lee, Hyun-Shik; Park, Mae-Ja

    2015-02-01

    Diclofenac is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) with analgesic and anti-pyretic properties. This compound is therefore used to treat pain, inflammatory disorders, and dysmenorrhea. Due to its multimodal mechanism of action and ability to penetrate placenta, diclofenac is known to have undesirable side effects including teratogenicity. However, limited data exist on its teratogenicity, and a detailed investigation regarding harmful effects of this drug during embryogenesis is warranted. Here, we analyzed the developmental toxic effects of diclofenac using Xenopus embryos according to the Frog Embryo Teratogenesis Assay-Xenopus (FETAX) protocol. Diclofenac treatment exerted a teratogenic effect on Xenopus embryos with a teratogenic index (TI) value of 2.64 TI; if this value is higher than 1.2, the cut-off value indicative of toxicity. In particular, mortality of embryos treated with diclofenac increased in a concentration-dependent manner and a broad spectrum of malformations such as shortening and kinking of the axis, abdominal bulging, and prominent blister formation, was observed. The shape and length of internal organs also differed compared to the control group embryos and show developmental retardation on histological label. However, the expression of major tissue-specific markers did not change when analyzed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). In conclusion, diclofenac treatment can promote teratogenicity that results in morphological anomalies, but not disrupt the developmental tissue arrangement during Xenopus embryogenesis. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Hypertrophy of mature xenopus muscle fibres in culture induced by synergy of albumin and insulin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jaspers, R.T.; van Beek-Harmsen, B.J.; Blankenstein, M.A.; Goldspink, G.; Huijing, P.A.J.B.M.; van der Laarse, W.J.

    2008-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate effects of albumin and insulin separately as well as in combination on mature muscle fibres during long-term culture. Single muscle fibres were dissected from m. iliofibularis of Xenopus laevis and attached to a force transducer in a culture chamber. Fibres

  11. Biophysics of underwater hearing in the clawed frog, Xenopus laevis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen-Dalsgaard, J; Elepfandt, A

    1995-01-01

    Anesthetized clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) were stimulated with underwater sound and the tympanic disk vibrations were studied using laser vibrometry. The tympanic disk velocities ranged from 0.01 to 0.5 mm/s (at a sound pressure of 2 Pa) in the frequency range of 0.4-4 kHz and were 20-40 dB high...

  12. METAMORPHIC INHIBITION OF XENOPUS LAEVIS BY SODIUM PERCHLORATE: EFFECTS ON DEVELOPMENT AND THYROID HISTOLOGY

    Science.gov (United States)

    The perchlorate anion inhibits thyroid hormone (TH) synthesis via inhibition of the sodium-iodide symporter. It is, therefore, a good model chemical to aid in the development of a bioassay to screen chemicals for effects on thyroid function. Xenopus laevis larvae were exposed to ...

  13. Identification and characterization of Xenopus tropicalis common progenitors of Sertoli and peritubular myoid cell lineages

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Tlapáková, T.; Nguyen, T.M.X.; Vegrichtova, M.; Šídová, Monika; Strnadova, K.; Bláhová, M.; Krylov, V.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 5, č. 9 (2016), s. 1275-1282 ISSN 2046-6390 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR LK21305; GA MŠk(CZ) ED1.1.00/02.0109 Institutional support: RVO:86652036 Keywords : Testicular somatic cells * Xenopus tropicalis * Migration potential Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 2.095, year: 2016

  14. Comparative anatomy, homologies and evolution of the pectoral and forelimb musculature of tetrapods with special attention to extant limbed amphibians and reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdala, Virginia; Diogo, Rui

    2010-11-01

    The main aim of the present work is to synthesize the information obtained from our dissections of the pectoral and forelimb muscles of representative members of the major extant taxa of limbed amphibians and reptiles and from our review of the literature, in order to provide an account of the comparative anatomy, homologies and evolution of these muscles in the Tetrapoda. The pectoral and forelimb musculature of all these major taxa conform to a general pattern that seems to have been acquired very early in the evolutionary history of tetrapods. Although some muscles are missing in certain taxa, and a clear departure from this general pattern is obviously present in derived groups such as birds, the same overall configuration is easily distinguishable in these taxa. Among the most notable anatomical differences between the groups, one that seems to have relevant evolutionary and functional implications, concerns the distal insertion points of the forearm musculature. In tetrapods, the muscles of the radial and ulnar complexes of the forearm are pleisomorphically mainly inserted onto the radius/ulna or onto the more proximal carpal bones, but in mammals some of these muscles insert more distally onto bones such as the metacarpals. Interestingly, a similar trend towards a more distal insertion of these muscles is also found in some non-mammalian tetrapod taxa, such as some anurans (e.g. Phyllomedusa). This may be correlated with the acquisition of more subtle digital movement abilities in these latter taxa. © 2010 The Authors. Journal of Anatomy © 2010 Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-08-20

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  17. Toxicity of road salt to Nova Scotia amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Sara J; Russell, Ronald W

    2009-01-01

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

  18. Radioactive contamination of amphibian in the Chernobyl zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  19. Conservation genetics and genomics of amphibians and reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Gregory Chinchar

    2011-09-01

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