Full Text Available BACKGROUND: While considerable scientific effort has been devoted to studying how birds navigate over long distances, relatively little is known about how targets are detected, obstacles are avoided and smooth landings are orchestrated. Here we examine how visual features in the environment, such as contrasting edges, determine where a bird will land. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Landing in budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus was investigated by training them to fly from a perch to a feeder, and video-filming their landings. The feeder was placed on a grey disc that produced a contrasting edge against a uniformly blue background. We found that the birds tended to land primarily at the edge of the disc and walk to the feeder, even though the feeder was in the middle of the disc. This suggests that the birds were using the visual contrast at the boundary of the disc to target their landings. When the grey level of the disc was varied systematically, whilst keeping the blue background constant, there was one intermediate grey level at which the budgerigar's preference for the disc boundary disappeared. The budgerigars then landed randomly all over the test surface. Even though this disc is (for humans clearly distinguishable from the blue background, it offers very little contrast against the background, in the red and green regions of the spectrum. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that budgerigars use visual edges to target and guide landings. Calculations of photoreceptor excitation reveal that edge detection in landing budgerigars is performed by a color-blind luminance channel that sums the signals from the red and green photoreceptors, or, alternatively, receives input from the red double-cones. This finding has close parallels to vision in honeybees and primates, where edge detection and motion perception are also largely color-blind.
Sak, Bohumil; Kašičková, D.; Kváč, Martin; Květoňová, D.; Ditrich, Oleg
Roč. 168, 3/4 (2010), s. 196-200 ISSN 0304-4017 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR KJB500960701; GA ČR GP523/07/P117 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60220518 Keywords : budgerigars * Melopsittacus undulatus * Encephalitozoon spp. * PCR Subject RIV: GJ - Animal Vermins ; Diseases, Veterinary Medicine Impact factor: 2.331, year: 2010
Ikkatai, Yuko; Watanabe, Shigeru
Previous studies have suggested that stressors not only increase body core temperature but also body surface temperature in many animals. However, it remains unclear whether surface temperature could be used as an alternative to directly measure body core temperature, particularly in birds. We investigated whether surface temperature is perceived as a stress response in budgerigars. Budgerigars have been used as popular animal models to investigate various neural mechanisms such as visual perception, vocal learning, and imitation. Developing a new technique to understand the basic physiological mechanism would help neuroscience researchers. First, we found that cloacal temperature correlated with eye surface temperature. Second, eye surface temperature increased after handling stress. Our findings suggest that eye surface temperature is closely related to cloacal temperature and that the stress response can be measured by eye surface temperature in budgerigars.
Neilans, Erikson G; Dent, Micheal L
Auditory scene analysis has been suggested as a universal process that exists across all animals. Relative to humans, however, little work has been devoted to how animals perceptually isolate different sound sources. Frequency separation of sounds is arguably the most common parameter studied in auditory streaming, but it is not the only factor contributing to how the auditory scene is perceived. Researchers have found that in humans, even at large frequency separations, synchronous tones are heard as a single auditory stream, whereas asynchronous tones with the same frequency separations are perceived as 2 distinct sounds. These findings demonstrate how both the timing and frequency separation of sounds are important for auditory scene analysis. It is unclear how animals, such as budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus), perceive synchronous and asynchronous sounds. In this study, budgerigars and humans (Homo sapiens) were tested on their perception of synchronous, asynchronous, and partially overlapping pure tones using the same psychophysical procedures. Species differences were found between budgerigars and humans in how partially overlapping sounds were perceived, with budgerigars more likely to segregate overlapping sounds and humans more apt to fuse the 2 sounds together. The results also illustrated that temporal cues are particularly important for stream segregation of overlapping sounds. Lastly, budgerigars were found to segregate partially overlapping sounds in a manner predicted by computational models of streaming, whereas humans were not. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved.
Full Text Available Beak and feather disease virus- (BFDV- positive (naturally infected but clinically healthy budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus were inoculated with two isolates of Mycobacterium avium subsp. avium isolated from naturally infected golden pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus and peafowl (Pavo cristatus. During a period of more than two months after inoculation, samples of cloacal and crop swabs, faeces, and blood were obtained for BFDV and Mycobacterium avium testing with PCR. Birds were euthanized nine weeks after inoculation. All infected budgerigars developed signs typical of mycobacteriosis, but more advanced clinical and pathological changes were visible in the group infected with the pheasant isolate. Only a few cloacal and crop swab samples were positive for Mycobacterium avium subsp. avium despite advanced pathological changes in the internal organs. In the groups infected with mycobacterium isolates the frequency of BFDV-positive samples was higher than in the control group. In the infected groups the frequency of BFDV was substantially higher in the cloacal swabs of birds inoculated with the pheasant isolate than in the peafowl-isolate-infected group.
Ledwoń, Aleksandra; Sapierzyński, Rafał; Augustynowicz-Kopeć, Ewa; Szeleszczuk, Piotr; Kozak, Marcin
Beak and feather disease virus- (BFDV-) positive (naturally infected) but clinically healthy budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) were inoculated with two isolates of Mycobacterium avium subsp. avium isolated from naturally infected golden pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus) and peafowl (Pavo cristatus). During a period of more than two months after inoculation, samples of cloacal and crop swabs, faeces, and blood were obtained for BFDV and Mycobacterium avium testing with PCR. Birds were euthanized nine weeks after inoculation. All infected budgerigars developed signs typical of mycobacteriosis, but more advanced clinical and pathological changes were visible in the group infected with the pheasant isolate. Only a few cloacal and crop swab samples were positive for Mycobacterium avium subsp. avium despite advanced pathological changes in the internal organs. In the groups infected with mycobacterium isolates the frequency of BFDV-positive samples was higher than in the control group. In the infected groups the frequency of BFDV was substantially higher in the cloacal swabs of birds inoculated with the pheasant isolate than in the peafowl-isolate-infected group.
Full Text Available In the Budgerigar Melopsittacus undulatus, the significance of a conspecific alarm call was investigated in two seasons, winter and spring. Two qualitatively different behavioral responses were displayed by the receivers in reply to playbacks: call(s and/or taking flight(s. The comparative analysis of the number of birds responding to the alarm and to the control signals revealed two major facts: 1 in both seasons, the responses to the alarm signal were only observed for females, not for males, 2 qualitatively, females exhibited a great inter-season variability in their behavioral responses to the hearing of an alarm call. In winter, the females were more predisposed to emit acoustic responses while in spring they mainly took flight.O significado de um grito de alarme do Periquito-australiano Melopsittacus undulatus foi investigado em duas estações, inverno e primavera. Duas reações comportamentais, qualitativamente diferentes, foram apresentadas pelos receptores em resposta ao play-back: grito(s e/ou vôo(s. A análise comparativa do número de aves respondendo ao grito de alarme e aos sinais de controle revelou dois fatos principais: 1 em ambas as estações, as respostas ao grito de alarme foram observadas somente para as fêmeas, não para os machos, 2 qualitativamente, as fêmeas mostraram uma grande variação estacional nas suas respostas comportamentais à escuta de um grito de alarme. No inverno, as fêmeas eram mais predispostas a emitir uma resposta acústica, enquanto na primavera elas geralmente levantavam vôo.
D'Alba, Liliana; Kieffer, Leah; Shawkey, Matthew D
Understanding the mechanistic bases of natural color diversity can provide insight into its evolution and inspiration for biomimetic optical structures. Metazoans can be colored by absorption of light from pigments or by scattering of light from biophotonic nanostructures, and these mechanisms have largely been treated as distinct. However, the interactions between them have rarely been examined. Captive breeding of budgerigars (Aves, Psittacidae, Melopsittacus undulatus) has produced a wide variety of color morphs spanning the majority of the spectrum visible to birds, including the ultraviolet, and thus they have been used as examples of hypothesized structure-pigment interactions. However, empirical data testing these interactions in this excellent model system are lacking. Here we used ultraviolet-visible spectrometry, light and electron microscopy, pigment extraction experiments and optical modeling to examine the physical bases of color production in seven budgerigar morphs, including grey and chromatic (purple to yellow) colors. Feathers from all morphs contained quasi-ordered air-keratin 'spongy layer' matrices, but these were highly reduced and irregular in grey and yellow feathers. Similarly, all feathers but yellow and grey had a layer of melanin-containing melanosomes basal to the spongy layer. The presence of melanosomes likely increases color saturation produced by spongy layers whereas their absence may allow increased expression of yellow colors. Finally, extraction of yellow pigments caused some degree of color change in all feathers except purple and grey, suggesting that their presence and contribution to color production is more widespread than previously thought. These data illustrate how interactions between structures and pigments can increase the range of colors attainable in birds and potentially in synthetic systems.
Full Text Available The influence of experience with human speech sounds on speech perception in budgerigars, vocal mimics whose speech exposure can be tightly controlled in a laboratory setting, was measured. Budgerigars were divided into groups that differed in auditory exposure and then tested on a cue-trading identification paradigm with synthetic speech. Phonetic cue trading is a perceptual phenomenon observed when changes on one cue dimension are offset by changes in another cue dimension while still maintaining the same phonetic percept. The current study examined whether budgerigars would trade the cues of voice onset time (VOT and the first formant onset frequency when identifying syllable initial stop consonants and if this would be influenced by exposure to speech sounds. There were a total of four different exposure groups: No speech exposure (completely isolated, Passive speech exposure (regular exposure to human speech, and two Speech-trained groups. After the exposure period, all budgerigars were tested for phonetic cue trading using operant conditioning procedures. Birds were trained to peck keys in response to different synthetic speech sounds that began with "d" or "t" and varied in VOT and frequency of the first formant at voicing onset. Once training performance criteria were met, budgerigars were presented with the entire intermediate series, including ambiguous sounds. Responses on these trials were used to determine which speech cues were used, if a trading relation between VOT and the onset frequency of the first formant was present, and whether speech exposure had an influence on perception. Cue trading was found in all birds and these results were largely similar to those of a group of humans. Results indicated that prior speech experience was not a requirement for cue trading by budgerigars. The results are consistent with theories that explain phonetic cue trading in terms of a rich auditory encoding of the speech signal.
Full Text Available The budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus is one of the most widely studied parrot species, serving as an excellent animal model for behavior and neuroscience research. Until recently, it was unknown how sexual differences in the behavior, physiology, and development of organisms are regulated by differential gene expression. MicroRNAs (miRNAs are endogenous short non-coding RNA molecules that can post-transcriptionally regulate gene expression and play a critical role in gonadal differentiation as well as early development of animals. However, very little is known about the role gonadal miRNAs play in the early development of birds. Research on the sex-biased expression of miRNAs in avian gonads are limited, and little is known about M. undulatus. In the current study, we sequenced two small non-coding RNA libraries made from the gonads of adult male and female budgerigars using Illumina paired-end sequencing technology. We obtained 254 known and 141 novel miRNAs, and randomly validated five miRNAs. Of these, three miRNAs were differentially expressed miRNAs and 18 miRNAs involved in sexual differentiation as determined by functional analysis with GO annotation and KEGG pathway analysis. In conclusion, this work is the first report of sex-biased miRNAs expression in the budgerigar, and provides additional sequences to the avian miRNAome database which will foster further functional genomic research.
Fabiana S. Matsumoto
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Full Text Available Cryptosporial and bacterial co-infection is reported in a budgerigar with clinical manifestations of septicemia and respiratory tract infection. Microscopically large number of round to oval 2-5μm cryptosporidial organisms were found to be lodged on the parabronchial epithelial cells of the respiratory tract. The bacterial colonies were seen around the parabronchial spaces of the lung tissue. It is suggested that the C. baileyi is the most likely cryptosporidium species which caused respiratory cryptosporidiosis in the budgerigar.
Puya Abbassi; Nancy Tyler Burley
In budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus), a social parrot in which females are socially dominant, males of all ages engage in a set of behaviors with other males that closely resembles the repertoire used in heterosexual courtship. One adaptive hypothesis for this tendency, the "courtship practice hypothesis," posits that males with greater experience in same-sex activities develop superior skills that increase their courtship success with females. To test this hypothesis, we measured individ...
Schiffner, Ingo; Srinivasan, Mandyam V.
Handedness/footedness and side biases are a well-known phenomenon in many animals, including humans. However, these so-called biases have mostly been studied at the population level - individual biases have received less attention, especially with regard to consistency over different tasks. Here we investigate behavioral lateralization in 12 male Budgerigars, Melopsittacus undulatus, a social parrot inhabiting the Australian bushlands. We performed 5 types of experiments to investigate latera...
Schiffner, Ingo; Srinivasan, Mandyam V
We have investigated whether, and, if so, how birds use vision to regulate the speed of their flight. Budgerigars, Melopsittacus undulatus, were filmed in 3-D using high-speed video cameras as they flew along a 25 m tunnel in which stationary or moving vertically oriented black and white stripes were projected on the side walls. We found that the birds increased their flight speed when the stripes were moved in the birds' flight direction, but decreased it only marginally when the stripes were moved in the opposite direction. The results provide the first direct evidence that Budgerigars use cues based on optic flow, to regulate their flight speed. However, unlike the situation in flying insects, it appears that the control of flight speed in Budgerigars is direction-specific. It does not rely solely on cues derived from optic flow, but may also be determined by energy constraints.
Full Text Available Striatal projecting neurons, known as medium spiny neurons (MSNs, segregate into two compartments called matrix and striosome in the mammalian striatum. The matrix domain is characterized by the presence of calbindin immunopositive (CB+ MSNs, not observed in the striosome subdivision. The existence of a similar CB+ MSN population has recently been described in two striatal structures in male zebra finch (a vocal learner bird: the striatal capsule and the Area X, a nucleus implicated in song learning. Female zebra finches show a similar pattern of CB+ MSNs than males in the developing striatum but loose these cells in juveniles and adult stages. In the present work we analyzed the existence and allocation of CB+MSNs in the striatal domain of the vocal learner bird budgerigar (representative of psittaciformes order and the non-vocal learner bird quail (representative of galliformes order. We studied the co-localization of CB protein with FoxP1, a transcription factor expressed in vertebrate striatal MSNs. We observed CB+ MSNs in the medial striatal domain of adult male and female budgerigars, although this cell type was missing in the potentially homologous nucleus for Area X in budgerigar. In quail, we observed CB+ cells in the striatal domain at developmental and adult stages but they did not co-localize with the MSN marker FoxP1. We also described the existence of the CB+ striatal capsule in budgerigar and quail and compared these results with the CB+ striatal capsule observed in juvenile zebra finches. Together, these results point out important differences in CB+MSN distribution between two representative species of vocal learner and non-vocal learner avian orders (respectively the budgerigar and the quail, but also between close vocal learner bird families.
Stefanie E P Lahaye
Full Text Available Whereas several studies have shown that experimentally increased levels of the androgenic steroid testosterone can affect female behavior, fewer studies have focused on the activational effects of exogenous testosterone on female morphology. With respect to colorful displays in birds, almost exclusively the effects of testosterone manipulation on female carotenoid-based colorations have been studied. Other color types such as structural colors (i.e. UV, blue and violet colors that result from differential light reflection in the nanostructures of the tissue remain largely unstudied. Here, we investigated the short- and long-term effects of exogenous testosterone on the expression of structural bare-part coloration in female budgerigars, Melopsittacus undulatus. In this parrot species, bare-part coloration is expressed in the cere, a structure over the beak which is brown in females and structural blue in males. We experimentally increased plasma testosterone levels in testosterone-treated females (T-females compared to controls (C-females and we performed weekly spectrophotometric measurements of the cere for five weeks after implantation and one measurement after ten weeks. We also estimated the extent to which testosterone masculinized female cere color by comparing the experimental females with untreated males. We found significant effects of testosterone on cere color from week four after implantation onwards. T-females expressed significantly bluer ceres than C-females with higher values for brightness and UV reflectance. T-female cere color, however, remained significantly less blue than in males, while values for brightness and UV reflectance were significantly higher in T-females than in males. Our quantitative results show that exogenous testosterone induces the expression of structural blue color in females but does not strongly masculinize female cere coloration. We provide several potential pathways for the action of testosterone on
Megabacteriosis Occurrence in Budgerigars, Canaries and Lovebirds in Ribeirao Preto region - Sao Paulo State - Brazil Ocorrência de Megabacteriose em Periquitos Autralianos, Canários e Agapornis na Região de Ribeirão Preto- Estado de São Paulo - Brasil
Full Text Available This paper reports the occurrence of an megabacterium-like organism at small birds from the Northeast area of São Paulo State - Brazil. The results presented herein were obtained from 64 necropsy along four years (1994-1997. Sixty four birds (4 budgerigars Melopsittacus undulatus, 12 lovebirds Agapornis spp and 48 canaries Serinus canaria were studied. At 56% of the examined birds showed at the proventricular mucus smear a presence of rod-shaped (similar to a toothpick organisms, Gram positive and acidophilic in Giemsa staining, called megabacteria. Different kind of culture media was testes to replicated these organism in vitro. Also the dimension (large and width of the fresh microorganism from the proventricular mucus and from the first culture was compared. The macroscopic alterations observed at the necropsies was also listed.Este trabalho tem como objetivo relatar a ocorrência de um agente etiológico, denominado na Europa, Australia e EUA como "megabactéria", observado em estômago de pequenas aves (canários belgas, agapornis e periquitos australianos, provenientes da região de Ribeirão Preto, Estado de São Paulo/SP. As necropsias de 64 aves silvestres (4 periquitos australianos, 12 agapornis e 48 canários, realizadas no perído de 1994 a 1997, foram analisadas, constatando-se em 56% dos casos a presença de estruturas filiformes, acidofílicas sob coloração Giemsa, gram positivas, existentes no muco do proventrículo, descritas na literatura como "megabactérias". Foram testados diversos tipos de meios de cultura para reprodução in vitro deste microrganismo. Foram ainda comparadas as dimensões (comprimento e largura dessa bactéria obtida apartir do esfregaço fresco de muco proventricular e da "megabactéria" proveniente de cultivo in vitro. Também foram listados os principais achados macroscópicos do animais portadores desta bactéria.
Panigrahy, B; Mathewson, J J; Hall, C F; Grumbles, L C
Ninety percent ot 100% mortality in budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) nestlings from 2 aviaries was attributed to giardiasis. Treatment with dimetridazole in drinking water was effective in controlling mortality. Aeromonas hydrophila infection incriminated in acute deaths of aviary canaries (Serinus canarius) was successfully treated with chlortetracycline. Aeromonas hydrophila also was isolated in pure culture from a toucan (ramphastos toco) with acute nephrosis and a cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus) with chlamydiosis (psittacosis). Coccidiosis associated with hemorrhagic enteritis, diarrhea, and mortality was diagnosed in budgerigars originating from 3 aviaries. Sporulated oocysts from 1 group of budgerigars were identified as Eimera sp. Sulfamethazine in drinking water was an effective treatment.
Partha S Bhagavatula; Charles Claudianos; Michael R Ibbotson; Mandyam V Srinivasan
Birds flying through a cluttered environment require the ability to choose routes that will take them through the environment safely and quickly. We have investigated some of the strategies by which they achieve this. We trained budgerigars to fly through a tunnel in which they encountered a barrier that offered two passages, positioned side by side, at the halfway point. When one of the passages was substantially wider than the other, the birds tended to fly through the wider passage to cont...
Full Text Available Budgerigars were trained by operant conditioning to produce contact calls immediately after hearing a stimulus contact call. In Experiments 1 and 2, playback stimuli were chosen from two different contact call classes from the bird’s repertoire. Once this task was learned, the birds were then tested with other probe stimulus calls from its repertoire, which differed from the original calls drawn from the two classes. Birds failed to mimic the probe stimuli but instead produced one of the two call classes as in the training sessions, showing that birds learned that each stimulus call served as a discriminative stimulus but not as a vocal template for imitation. In Experiment 3, birds were then trained with stimulus calls falling along a 24-step acoustic gradient which varied between the two sounds representing the two contact call categories. As before, birds obtained a reward when the bird’s vocalization matched that of the stimulus above a criterion level. Since the first step and the last step in the gradient were the birds’ original contact calls, these two patterns were easily matched. Intermediate contact calls in the gradient were much harder for the birds to match. After extensive training, one bird learned to produce contact calls that had only a modest similarity to the intermediate contact calls along the gradient. In spite of remarkable vocal plasticity under natural conditions, operant conditioning methods with budgerigars, even after extensive training and rigorous control of vocal discriminative stimuli, failed to show vocal learning.
Hasegawa, Ai; Okanoya, Kazuo; Hasegawa, Toshikazu; Seki, Yoshimasa
In all ages and countries, music and dance have constituted a central part in human culture and communication. Recently, vocal-learning animals such as parrots and elephants have been found to share rhythmic ability with humans. Thus, we investigated the rhythmic synchronization of budgerigars, a vocal-mimicking parrot species, under controlled conditions and a systematically designed experimental paradigm as a first step in understanding the evolution of musical entrainment. We trained eight budgerigars to perform isochronous tapping tasks in which they pecked a key to the rhythm of audio–visual metronome-like stimuli. The budgerigars showed evidence of entrainment to external stimuli over a wide range of tempos. They seemed to be inherently inclined to tap at fast tempos, which have a similar time scale to the rhythm of budgerigars' natural vocalizations. We suggest that vocal learning might have contributed to their performance, which resembled that of humans. PMID:22355637
Hasegawa, Ai; Okanoya, Kazuo; Hasegawa, Toshikazu; Seki, Yoshimasa
In all ages and countries, music and dance have constituted a central part in human culture and communication. Recently, vocal-learning animals such as parrots and elephants have been found to share rhythmic ability with humans. Thus, we investigated the rhythmic synchronization of budgerigars, a vocal-mimicking parrot species, under controlled conditions and a systematically designed experimental paradigm as a first step in understanding the evolution of musical entrainment. We trained eight budgerigars to perform isochronous tapping tasks in which they pecked a key to the rhythm of audio-visual metronome-like stimuli. The budgerigars showed evidence of entrainment to external stimuli over a wide range of tempos. They seemed to be inherently inclined to tap at fast tempos, which have a similar time scale to the rhythm of budgerigars' natural vocalizations. We suggest that vocal learning might have contributed to their performance, which resembled that of humans.
Řičánková, V.; Fric, Zdeněk; Chlachula, J.; Šťastná, P.; Faltýnková, A.; Zemek, František
Roč. 270, - (2006), s. 1-8 ISSN 0952-8369 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60870520 Keywords : Spermophilus undulatus * Altai mountains * habitat selection * predation risk * grazing Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.413, year: 2006
Hilbink, F W
Susceptibility to infectious laryngotracheitis virus was studied in peafowl (Pavo cristatus), various species of pheasant (Phasianus colchicus, Lophura swinhoeii, Lophophorus impejanus), guinea-fowl (Numida meleagris), canaries (Serinus canaria), budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) and Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnic japonica). Apart from clinical observations, experiments were evaluated in terms of histopathology, immunofluorescence, serology and recovery of virus. Only peafowl and pheasants were found to be susceptible, pheasants responding more strongly than chickens to ocular vaccination and intratracheal inoculation. The other species were found to be refractory.
melanin and keratin from 90:10 to 10:90 in separate experiments and identify the points of strongest and weakest coffee ring formation. One of the...amorphous biophotonic nanostructures by phase separation . Soft Matter 5, 1792-1795. 19. Yunker, P.J. et al. 2011. Suppression of the coffe ring effect by shape-dependent capillary interactions. Nature 476:308-310. ...Relative contributions of pigments and biophotonic nanostructures to natural color production: a case study in Budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus
Spierings, Michelle J.; ten Cate, Carel
The ability to abstract a regularity that underlies strings of sounds is a core mechanism of the language faculty but might not be specific to language learning or even to humans. It is unclear whether and to what extent nonhuman animals possess the ability to abstract regularities defining the relation among arbitrary auditory items in a string and to generalize this abstraction to strings of acoustically novel items. In this study we tested these abilities in a songbird (zebra finch) and a parrot species (budgerigar). Subjects were trained in a go/no-go design to discriminate between two sets of sound strings arranged in an XYX or an XXY structure. After this discrimination was acquired, each subject was tested with test strings that were structurally identical to the training strings but consisted of either new combinations of known elements or of novel elements belonging to other element categories. Both species learned to discriminate between the two stimulus sets. However, their responses to the test strings were strikingly different. Zebra finches categorized test stimuli with previously heard elements by the ordinal position that these elements occupied in the training strings, independent of string structure. In contrast, the budgerigars categorized both novel combinations of familiar elements as well as strings consisting of novel element types by their underlying structure. They thus abstracted the relation among items in the XYX and XXY structures, an ability similar to that shown by human infants and indicating a level of abstraction comparable to analogical reasoning. PMID:27325756
McCormick, Gail L; Langkilde, Tracy
Prolonged elevations of glucocorticoids due to long-duration (chronic) stress can suppress immune function. It is unclear, however, how natural stressors that result in repeated short-duration (acute) stress, such as frequent agonistic social encounters or predator attacks, fit into our current understanding of the immune consequences of stress. Since these types of stressors may activate the immune system due to increased risk of injury, immune suppression may be reduced at sites where individuals are repeatedly exposed to potentially damaging stressors. We tested whether repeated acute elevation of corticosterone (CORT, a glucocorticoid) suppresses immune function in eastern fence lizards (Sceloporus undulatus), and whether this effect varies between lizards from high-stress (high baseline CORT, invaded by predatory fire ants) and low-stress (low baseline CORT, uninvaded) sites. Lizards treated daily with exogenous CORT showed higher hemagglutination of novel proteins by their plasma (a test of constitutive humoral immunity) than control lizards, a pattern that was consistent across sites. There was no significant effect of CORT treatment on bacterial killing ability of plasma. These results suggest that repeated elevations of CORT, which are common in nature, produce immune effects more typical of those expected at the acute end of the acute-chronic spectrum and provide no evidence of modulated consequences of elevated CORT in animals from high-stress sites. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Hutchison, R E
As intact, breeding female budgerigars approach egg-laying, they spend an increasing amount of time in the nestbox and nest hollow. The brood patch area begins to defeather and becomes vascular and the oviduct increases in weight. Precursory albumen forms in the tubular glands of the oviduct. Oestradiol (OB) treatment in combination with prolactin (OB+PL) induced ovariectomized budgerigars to display nesting behaviour which did not differ from that shown by intact females in the 3 days immediately preceding egg-laying. In contrast, OB induced only the initial phase of the nesting sequence and the effects of OB in combination with progesterone (OB+PR) were intermediate between treatments with OB alone and OB+PL. Incubation of artificial eggs occurred only in the OB+PL group and the latency to display of the incubation posture was shorter in the OB+PL group than in the OB+PR group. No incubation posture was displayed by the OB-treated group. Oviduct development was not influenced by prolactin, but progesterone induced precocious development of tubular glands in the magnum region of the oviduct. Treatment with OB+PR induced uniform development of precursor albumen in the tubular glands. Development of the brood patch occurred with both OB+PL and OB+PR treatment. However, OB+PR resulted in defeathering which was advanced in relation to vascularity when compared with intact breeding females, whereas defeathering and vascularity of the OB+PL group did not differ from that of intact females at egg-laying. These results indicate that prolactin in combination with oestradiol was more effective than progesterone not only in inducing the later phases of nesting behaviour but also in initiating incubation behaviour and defeathering of the brood patch area.
Rodgers, R. E.; Chang, D.; Cai, X.; Consigli, R. A.; Spooner, B. S. (Principal Investigator)
A recombinant system for the major capsid VP1 protein of budgerigar fledgling disease virus has been established. The VP1 gene was inserted into a truncated form of the pFlag-1 vector and expressed in Escherichia coli. The budgerigar fledgling disease virus VP1 protein was purified to near homogeneity by immunoaffinity chromatography. Fractions containing highly purified VP1 were pooled and found to constitute 3.3% of the original E. coli-expressed VP1 protein. Electron microscopy revealed that the VP1 protein was isolated as pentameric capsomeres. Electron microscopy also revealed that capsid-like particles were formed in vitro from purified VP1 capsomeres with the addition of Ca2+ ions and the removal of chelating and reducing agents.
McLean, Bryan S; Nyamsuren, Batsaikhan; Tchabovsky, Andrey; Cook, Joseph A
Impacts of Quaternary environmental changes on mammal faunas of central Asia remain poorly understood due to a lack of geographically comprehensive phylogeographic sampling for most species. To help address this knowledge gap, we conducted the most extensive molecular analysis to date of the long-tailed ground squirrel (Urocitellus undulatus Pallas 1778) in Mongolia, a country that comprises the southern core of this species' range. Drawing on material from recent collaborative field expeditions, we genotyped 128 individuals at 2 mitochondrial genes (cytochrome b and cytochrome oxidase I; 1 797 bp total). Phylogenetic inference supports the existence of two deeply divergent infraspecific lineages (corresponding to subspecies U. u. undulatus and U. u. eversmanni), a result in agreement with previous molecular investigations but discordant with patterns of range-wide craniometric and external phenotypic variation. In the widespread western eversmanni lineage, we recovered geographically-associated clades from the: (a) Khangai, (b) Mongolian Altai, and (c) Govi Altai mountain ranges. Phylogeographic structure in U. u. eversmanni is consistent with an isolation-by-distance model; however, genetic distances are significantly lower than among subspecies, and intra-clade relationships are largely unresolved. The latter patterns, as well as the relatively higher nucleotide polymorphism of populations from the Great Lakes Depression of northwestern Mongolia, suggest a history of range shifts into these lowland areas in response to Pleistocene glaciation and environmental change, followed by upslope movements and mitochondrial lineage sorting with Holocene aridification. Our study illuminates possible historical mechanisms responsible for U. undulatus genetic structure and contributes to a framework for ongoing exploration of mammalian response to past and present climate change in central Asia.
Tsai, S S; Park, J H; Hirai, K; Itakura, C
Catarrhal proventriculitis due to infection by an unidentified organism was diagnosed in 79 of 534 pet birds examined histologically. It was more prevalent in domestic birds (70 cases) than in imported ones (9 cases). A high incidence of the disease was encountered in budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) and it was occasionally found in finches (Poephila gouldiae gouldiae), parakeets (Psittacula Krameri manillensis), Amazona parrots (Amazona aestiva aestiva) and cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus). The agent was a large filamentous rod, and was stained positively with Gram, GMS and PAS methods. Histologically, it induced a mild to moderate exudative or proliferative inflammation in the proventriculus. All the cases had an erosion in the gizzard. Ultrastructurally, the organism had a eukaryotic nucleus and three cell-wall layers. Concurrent infections were very common, including adenoviruses (37 cases), giardiasis (31 cases), candidiasis (13 cases), papovaviruses (11 cases) and knemidocoptic mites (11 cases).
Xiao-Xuan Zhang, Nian-Zhang Zhang, Dong-Hui Zhou, Wei-Peng Tian, Ying-Tian Xu and Xing-Quan Zhu
Full Text Available In this study, antibodies against avian Hepatitis E Virus (avian HEV were detected in 6.43% of examined serum samples (n=311 from budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus, lovebirds (Agapornis sp., cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus and Alexandrine parakeets (Psittacula eupatria by indirect ELISA. Seroprevalence of avian HEV infection in different parrot species varied from 0 to 7.92%. Statistical analysis of the origins of parrots demonstrated that parrots from Weifang city had a higher avian HEV seropositivity (7.84% compared with parrots from Beijing city (5.06%. The seroprevalence in parrots of different age groups varied from 4 to 7.62%. The avian HEV seroprevalence in parrots examined in spring and summer was 7.19 and 5.81%, respectively. This is the first report of avian HEV seroprevalence in four species of parrots in China, which will provide base-line data for the control of HEV infection in parrots in China.
Dubey, J P; Lindsay, D S
The North American opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is host to at least 3 species of Sarcocystis: Sarcocystisfalcatula, Sarcocystis neurona, and a recently recognized Sarcocystis sp. A new name, Sarcocystis speeri, is proposed for the third unnamed Sarcocystis. Immunodeficient mice are an experimental intermediate host for S. speeri. Sarcocystis speeri sporocysts are 12-15 x 8-10 microm in size, and its schizonts are found in many organs of mice. Sarcocysts of S. speeri are found in skeletal muscles and they are up to 5 mm long and filiform. By light microscopy, the sarcocyst wall is thin (<1 microm thick); ultrastructurally, the cyst wall is up to 1.8 microm thick and has characteristic steeple-shaped villar protrusions surmounted by a spire. Sarcocystis speeri schizonts are morphologically and antigenically distinct from schizonts of S. neurona, and S. speeri sporocysts were not infective to budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus).
Tsai, S S; Hirai, K; Itakura, C
A total of 534 psittacine and passerine birds consisting of 241 imported and 293 local birds were examined histologically. As a result, the following parasites were found: Giardia (86 cases), Knemido-coptes (26 cases), coccidia (10 cases), Ascaridia (6 cases), Cryptosporidium (5 cases), Sarcocystis (5 cases), tapeworm (4 cases), microfilaria (2 cases), Hexamita (1 case), and Spiroptera (1 case). High incidences of giardiasis and knemido-coptic infestation were detected in the local birds, but rarely in the imported birds. Giardial trophozoites were observed mainly in the duodenum of budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus). Knemidocoptic mites burrowed into the epidermis producing proliferative dermatitis in 25 budgerigars and 1 African Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus erithacus). This ectoparasite often infested the skin around the cloaca. Coccidiosis was seen only in the small intestines of the finch (Poephila gouldiae gouldiae), African Grey Parrot, Rainbow lory (Trichoglossus haematodus), Indian Ring-necked parakeet (Psittacula krameri manillensis) and peach-faced lovebird (Agapornis roseicollis). Two parrots (Amazona aestiva aestiva and Psittacus erithacus erithacus) and two budgerigars had intestinal cryptosporidiosis. Conjunctivitis associated with cryptosporidial infection was seen in a lovebird. Sarcocystis cysts containing crescent-shaped bradyzoites were found not only in the thigh and breast but also in the heart and cloacal muscles. Other organisms such as Ascaridia, tapeworm, microfilaria, Hexamita, and Spiroptera were clinically less significant. However, infections such as Giardia and Cryptosporidim might have zoonotic implications.
Tsai, S S; Park, J H; Hirai, K; Itakura, C
Amongst eye lesions in birds that died in quarantine, cataracts were the most common disorders (37/241, 15.4%), being prevalent in the annular pads of cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus), Amazon parrots (Amazona aestiva aestiva) and budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus). The incidence in male birds was more than twice that in females. Deposition of crystals, mostly in the cornea, was the second most frequent lesion (21/293, 8.7%), mainly found in cockatiels, parakeets (Psittacula krameri manillensis), Amazon parrots (Amazona aestiva aestiva), budgerigars and finches (Poephila gouldiae gouldiae). These corneal crystals were negative to PAS and Kossa's stains. Six parakeets (Psittacula krameri manillensis) had calcium salts deposited in the inner plexiform layer of the retina and occasionally in the iris and ciliary body. Neither inflammation nor neo-vascularization was observed when cataracts, corneal crystalline deposition, and retinal and ciliary calcification were present. Intranuclear inclusion bodies typical for papovavirus infection were found in the eyelids of six budgerigars (2.5%). Similar inclusions were simultaneously found in the pars ciliaris retinae (4, 1.7%), inner plexiform of retina (1, 0.4%) and anterior epithelium of the cornea (1, 0.4%). Other lesions such as candidial endophthalmitis, conjunctival cryptosporidiosis, corneal dystrophy, keratitis, corneal perforation and iridocyclitis, were occasional findings.
Xie, Shangzhe; Romero, L Michael; Htut, Zaw Win; McWhorter, Todd J
Birds need to respond to weather changes quickly and appropriately for their own well-being and survival. The inability to respond appropriately to heat waves can be fatal to individual birds and can translate into large-scale mortality events. We investigated corticosterone (CORT) and heterophil∶lymphocyte (H∶L) ratio responses of budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus), zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), and diamond doves (Geopelia cuneata) to heat exposures. The birds were exposed to a temperature similar to what they experience during a typical summer day (35°C) and a higher temperature (45°C) similar to that experienced during a heat wave. There were no significant increases between the CORT concentrations before and after heat exposure in zebra finches and budgerigars at 35° and 45°C, but there was a significant increase in CORT concentrations in diamond doves after exposure to 45°C. The H∶L ratios increased significantly after heat exposure in budgerigars at 35° and 45°C and in diamond doves at 35°C. No significant correlation was found between the changes in CORT and H∶L ratios. The data suggest that there are species differences in birds' stress responses to heat exposure that may reflect their ability to detect and adapt to high temperatures. There appear to be differences between the two types of stress measurements, which may reflect differences in the timescales of these responses.
Stefanie E P Lahaye
Full Text Available An increasing number of studies indicate that not only females but also males can be selective when choosing a mate. In species exhibiting male or mutual mate choice, females may benefit from being attractive. While male attractiveness is often positively influenced by higher plasma levels of the androgenic hormone testosterone, it has been shown that testosterone can masculinise female behavior and morphology in several bird species, potentially rendering them less attractive. In this study, we investigated whether female budgerigars, Melopsittacusundulatus, suffer from increased plasma testosterone levels through a negative effect on their attractiveness to males. We experimentally increased plasma testosterone levels in testosterone-treated females (T-females compared to controls (C-females and allowed males to choose between a T- and a C-female in a two-way choice situation. Although testosterone treatment significantly affected female behavioral and morphological characteristics, males did not show a significant difference in preference between T- and C-females. These results suggest that experimentally increasing testosterone levels in females does not appear to influence male preference during initial mate choice. Our findings indicate that selection for higher levels of testosterone in male budgerigars is probably not constrained by a correlated response to selection causing negative effects on female attractiveness during initial mate choice. Evaluating whether or not a potential constraint may arise from negative testosterone-induced effects on other fitness related traits in females requires further work.
Full Text Available Cryptosporidiosis is a worldwide zoonosis caused by Cryptosporidium spp., sometimes leading to severe diarrhea in humans and animals. In the present study, 311 parrots, belonging to four species, namely, Budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus, Lovebirds (Agapornis sp., Alexandrine parakeets (Psittacula eupatria, and Cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus, from Beijing and Weifang cities, were examined for Cryptosporidium spp. infection. Blood samples of each bird were examined using enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA and fecal samples were examined by Sheather’s sugar flotation technique. Prevalence of Cryptosporidium infection were 3.22% (10/311 and 0.64% (2/311 by ELISA and Sheather’s sugar flotation technique, respectively. Seroprevalence of Cryptosporidium infection in different breeds varied from 0 to 15.39%. Sequencing analysis showed that both positive samples from fecal samples belonged to Cryptosporidium avian genotype V. This is the first report of Cryptosporidium avian genotype V in Budgerigars. The results of the present study provided foundation-data for prevention and control of cryptosporidiosis in pet birds in China.
Zhang, Xiao-Xuan; Zhang, Nian-Zhang; Zhao, Guang-Hui; Zhao, Quan; Zhu, Xing-Quan
Cryptosporidiosis is a worldwide zoonosis caused by Cryptosporidium spp., sometimes leading to severe diarrhea in humans and animals. In the present study, 311 parrots, belonging to four species, namely, Budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus), Lovebirds (Agapornis sp.), Alexandrine parakeets (Psittacula eupatria), and Cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus), from Beijing and Weifang cities, were examined for Cryptosporidium spp. infection. Blood samples of each bird were examined using enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and fecal samples were examined by Sheather's sugar flotation technique. Prevalence of Cryptosporidium infection were 3.22% (10/311) and 0.64% (2/311) by ELISA and Sheather's sugar flotation technique, respectively. Seroprevalence of Cryptosporidium infection in different breeds varied from 0 to 15.39%. Sequencing analysis showed that both positive samples from fecal samples belonged to Cryptosporidium avian genotype V. This is the first report of Cryptosporidium avian genotype V in Budgerigars. The results of the present study provided foundation-data for prevention and control of cryptosporidiosis in pet birds in China.
Dubey, J P; Speer, C A; Bowman, D D; Horton, K M; Venturini, C; Venturini, L
Sarcocystis speeri Dubey and Lindsay, 1999 from the South American opossum Didelphis albiventris was successfully transmitted to the North American opossum Didelphis virginiana. Sporocysts from a naturally infected D. albiventris from Argentina were fed to 2 gamma-interferon knockout (KO) mice. The mice were killed 64 and 71 days after sporocyst feeding (DAF). Muscles containing sarcocysts from the KO mouse killed 71 DAF were fed to a captive D. virginiana; this opossum shed sporocysts 11 days after ingesting sarcocysts. Sporocysts from D. virginiana were fed to 9 KO mice and 4 budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus). Schizonts, sarcocysts, or both of S. speeri were found in tissues of all 7 KO mice killed 29-85 DAF; 2 mice died 39 and 48 DAF were not necropsied. Sarcocystis stages were not found in tissues of the 4 budgerigars fed S. speeri sporocysts and killed 35 DAE These results indicate that S. speeri is distinct from Sarcocystis falcatula and Sarcocystis neurona, and that S. speeri is present in both D. albiventris and D. virginiana.
Full Text Available Parrots and songbirds learn their vocalizations from a conspecific tutor, much like human infants acquire spoken language. Parrots can learn human words and it has been suggested that they can use them to communicate with humans. The caudomedial pallium in the parrot brain is homologous with that of songbirds, and analogous to the human auditory association cortex, involved in speech processing. Here we investigated neuronal activation, measured as expression of the protein product of the immediate early gene ZENK, in relation to auditory learning in the budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus, a parrot. Budgerigar males successfully learned to discriminate two Japanese words spoken by another male conspecific. Re-exposure to the two discriminanda led to increased neuronal activation in the caudomedial pallium, but not in the hippocampus, compared to untrained birds that were exposed to the same words, or were not exposed to words. Neuronal activation in the caudomedial pallium of the experimental birds was correlated significantly and positively with the percentage of correct responses in the discrimination task. These results suggest that in a parrot, the caudomedial pallium is involved in auditory learning. Thus, in parrots, songbirds and humans, analogous brain regions may contain the neural substrate for auditory learning and memory.
Aniceto Nejedeka (Numeyɨ
Full Text Available Texto bilingüe muinane-español sobre el ave kɨɨñu, “gallineta” (Crypturellus undulatus, elaborado por Aniceto Nejedeka a partir del conocimiento de los mayores de la etnia muinane. Este texto es la cuarta parte de un libro que hemos venido publicando por fascículos, titulado La ciencia de vida escrita en las aves. El muinane es una lengua de la familia lingüística bora.
Zhang, N-Z; Zhang, X-X; Zhou, D-H; Huang, S-Y; Tian, W-P; Yang, Y-C; Zhao, Q; Zhu, X-Q
Parrots are one of the most popular pet birds in China, and can harbour Chlamydia which has significance for human and animal health. We investigated, by indirect haemagglutination assay, the seroprevalence of Chlamydia infection in four species of parrots, namely budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus), lovebirds (Agapornis sp.), cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus) and Alexandrine parakeets (Psittacula eupatria) that were collected from Weifang and Beijing cities, North China and explored the association between potential risk factors and chlamydial seropositivity. We further determined the genotype of Chlamydia in 21 fresh faecal samples based on the ompA sequence by reconstruction of phylogenetic relationships. Of the 311 parrots examined, 35·37% (95% confidence interval 30·06-40·68) were seropositive, and species, gender, age, season and geographical location were identified as risk factors. Two PCR-positive samples represented Chlamydia psittaci genotype A. The occurrence of C. psittaci genotype A in the droppings of two pet parrots in China suggests potential environmental contamination with Chlamydiaceae and may raise a public health concern.
Full Text Available The survey was carried out to know some aspects of the bird trade in Bali on May 2002, especially to observe the diversity and abundance of species of Psittacidae Family along with their problems. The survey was done by direct observations and interview to the traders in the Sanglah and Satria Bird Markets, Denpasar-Bali. The total of 80 spescies of birds were traded in Bali and most of them i.e.: 75 species or 1577 individuals were found in the Satria bird market, but only 37 species or 393 individuals traded in the Sanglah bird market. Psittacidae family was found more abundantly, i.e.: 428 individiuals in 13 species of parrots. Those spesies of parrots were: Violet-necked Lory (Eos squamata, Blue-streaked Lory (E. reticulata, Red Lory (E. bornea, Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus, Chattering Lory (Lorius garrulus, Cockatail Australia (Nymphicus hollandicus, Moustached Parrakeet (Psittacula alexandri, Peach-faced Lovebird (Agapornis roseicollis, Fischerâ€™s Lovebird (A. fischeri, Masked Lovebird (A. personata, Bali Hanging Parrot (Loriculus pusillus and Budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus. The Rainbow Lorikeet was found more abundant than another species of parrots, but Bali or Javan Hanging Parrot was very rare. The most catching area of Psittacidae was about 45% from Moluccas Islands.
Waap, Helga; Paulino, Diana; Cardoso, Rita
Ornithonyssus sylviarum is a blood-feeding ectoparasite of birds and the most serious pest in poultry farms in North America. Although the mites are typically adapted to temperate climates, information on this mite in Europe is sparse, and Dermanyssus gallinae is considered to be the only mite impacting the poultry industry. The present study reports the occurrence of O. sylviarum in pet birds in Portugal. Mites were collected directly from birds and with traps placed in cages and nests at 20 different sampling places belonging to 6 municipalities in the district of Setúbal. In a total of 217 birds, O. sylviarum was identified in 47 out of 147 (32.0%) canaries (Serinus canaria), 14 out of 21 (14.3%) estrildid finches, 1 out of 24 (4.2%) budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) and 1 out of 15 (6.7%) lovebirds (Agapornis spp.). Mites of the genus Dermanyssus were identified in 8 canaries (5.4%), 8 estrildid finches (38.1%) and 1 lovebird (6.7%). No mites were found in 6 cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus), 2 African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus), 1 Bourke's parrot (Neophema bourkii) and 1 rose-ringed parakeet (Psittacula krameri). Considering the zoonotic potential and the risk of dissemination to poultry, the present findings underline the need for further monitoring of O. sylviarum in the wild and domestic avifauna in Portugal.
Prum, R. O.; Torres, R.; Williamson, S.; Dyck, J.
We conducted two-dimensional (2D) discrete Fourier analyses of the spatial variation in refractive index of the spongy medullary keratin from four different colours of structurally coloured feather barbs from three species of bird: the rose-faced lovebird, Agapornis roseicollis (Psittacidae), the budgerigar, Melopsittacus undulatus (Psittacidae), and the Gouldian finch, Poephila guttata (Estrildidae). These results indicate that the spongy medullary keratin is a nanostructured tissue that functions as an array of coherent scatterers. The nanostructure of the medullary keratin is nearly uniform in all directions. The largest Fourier components of spatial variation in refractive index in the tissue are of the appropriate size to produce the observed colours by constructive interference alone. The peaks of the predicted reflectance spectra calculated from the 2D Fourier power spectra are congruent with the reflectance spectra measured by using microspectrophotometry. The alternative physical models for the production of these colours, the Rayleigh and Mie theories, hypothesize that medullary keratin is an incoherent array and that scattered waves are independent in phase. This assumption is falsified by the ring-like Fourier power spectra of these feathers, and the spacing of the scattering air vacuoles in the medullary keratin. Structural colours of avian feather barbs are produced by constructive interference of coherently scattered light waves from the optically heterogeneous matrix of keratin and air in the spongy medullary layer.
Jacobs, Paul J; McKechnie, Andrew E
Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is one of the most widely used metabolic variables in endotherm ecological and evolutionary physiology. Surprisingly few studies have investigated how BMR is influenced by experimental and analytical variables over and above the standardized conditions required for minimum normothermic resting metabolism. We tested whether avian BMR is affected by habituation to the conditions experienced during laboratory gas exchange measurements by measuring BMR five times in succession in budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) housed under constant temperature and photoperiod. Both the magnitude and the variability of BMR decreased significantly with repeated measurements, from 0.410 ± 0.092 W (n = 9) during the first measurement to 0.285 ± 0.042 W (n = 9) during the fifth measurement. Thus, estimated BMR decreased by ∼30% within individuals solely on account of the number of times they had previously experienced the experimental conditions. The most likely explanation for these results is an attenuation with repeated exposure of the acute stress response induced by birds being handled and placed in respirometry chambers. Our data suggest that habituation to experimental conditions is potentially an important determinant of observed BMR, and this source of variation needs to be taken into account in future studies of metabolic variation among individuals, populations, and species.
Dubey, J P; Speer, C A; Lindsay, D S
Opossums (Didelphis virginiana) were found to be hosts for 3 species of Sarcocystis: Sarcocystis falcatula with an avian intermediate host, S. neurona with an undetermined intermediate host, and a third, unnamed, species. Sporocysts from the intestines of 2 opossums (nos. 26 and 47) were fed to budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus), nude mice, and gamma-interferon knockout (KO) mice. Sporocysts of S. falcatula were not infective to nude or KO mice. Sporocysts of S. neurona induced encephalitis in KO and nude mice; only schizonts and merozoites were found in tissues of mice, and they reacted with anti-S. neurona serum raised against the SN-2 isolate of S. neurona originally obtained from tissues of a paralyzed horse. All 3 species of Sarcocystis were present in opossum no. 47. Sarcocystis neurona was isolated in cell culture from this opossum. Sporocysts from opossum no. 47 were lethal to budgerigars, indicating S. falcatula infection. Only 1 species of Sarcocystis (the third species) was found in opossum no. 26; the sporocysts were infective to KO and nude mice. Schizonts and merozoites of this species were predominantly in the liver but were also found in other tissues; schizonts did not react with anti-S. neurona serum. Merozoites of the third species were ultrastructurally distinct from S. falcatula and S. neurona merozoites. Sarcocysts were found in leg muscles of 2 mice killed 50 and 54 days after they were fed sporocysts from opossum no. 26. These sarcocysts had steeple-shaped protrusions on the cyst wall and were distinct from sarcocysts of S. falcatula and any other species of Sarcocystis.
Dubey, J P; Verma, S K; Dunams, D; Calero-Bernal, R; Rosenthal, B M
The North American opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is the definitive host for at least three named species of Sarcocystis: Sarcocystis falcatula, Sarcocystis neurona and Sarcocystis speeri. The South American opossums (Didelphis albiventris, Didelphis marsupialis and Didelphis aurita) are definitive hosts for S. falcatula and S. lindsayi. The sporocysts of these Sarcocystis species are similar morphologically. They are also not easily distinguished genetically because of the difficulties of DNA extraction from sporocysts and availability of distinguishing genetic markers. Some of these species can be distinguished by bioassay; S. neurona and S. speeri are infective to gamma interferon gene knockout (KO) mice, but not to budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus); whereas S. falcatula and S. lindsayi are infective to budgerigars but not to KO mice. The natural intermediate host of S. speeri is unknown. In the present study, development of sarcocysts of S. speeri in the KO mice is described. Sarcocysts were first seen at 12 days post-inoculation (p.i.), and they became macroscopic (up to 4 mm long) by 25 days p.i. The structure of the sarcocyst wall did not change from the time bradyzoites had formed at 50-220 days p.i. Sarcocysts contained unique villar protrusions, 'type 38'. The polymerase chain reaction amplifications and sequences analysis of three nuclear loci (18S rRNA, 28S rRNA and ITS1) and two mitochondrial loci (cox1 and cytb) of S. speeri isolate from an Argentinean opossum (D. albiventris) confirmed its membership among species of Sarcocystis and indicated an especially close relationship to another parasite in this genus that employs opossums as its definitive host, S. neurona. These results should be useful in finding natural intermediate host of S. speeri.
Hausmann, Franziska; Arnold, Kathryn E; Marshall, N Justin; Owens, Ian P F
Recent behavioural experiments have shown that birds use ultraviolet (UV)-reflective and fluorescent plumage as cues in mate choice. It remains controversial, however, whether such UV signals play a special role in sexual communication, or whether they are part of general plumage coloration. We use a comparative approach to test for a general association between sexual signalling and either UV-reflective or fluorescent plumage. Among the species surveyed, 72% have UV colours and there is a significant positive association between UV reflectance and courtship displays. Among parrots (Psittaciformes), 68% of surveyed species have fluorescent plumage, and again there is a strong positive association between courtship displays and fluorescence. These associations are not artefacts of the plumage used in courtship displays, being generally more 'colourful' because there is no association between display and colours lacking UV reflectance or fluorescence. Equally, these associations are not phylogenetic artefacts because all results remain unchanged when families or genera, rather than species, are used as independent data points. We also find that, in parrots, fluorescent plumage is usually found adjacent to UV-reflective plumage. Using a simple visual model to examine one parrot, the budgerigar Melopsittacus undulatus, we show that the juxtaposition of UV-reflective and fluorescent plumage leads to a 25-fold increase in chromatic contrast to the budgerigar's visual system. Taken together, these results suggest that signals based on UV contrast are of special importance in the context of active sexual displays. We review briefly six hypotheses on why this may be the case: suitability for short-range signalling; high contrast with backgrounds; invisibility to predators; exploitation of pre-existing sensory biases; advertisement of feather structure; and amplification of behavioural signals.
Pamplona, Reinald; Portero-Otín, Manuel; Sanz, Alberto; Ayala, Victoria; Vasileva, Ekaterina; Barja, Gustavo
What are the mechanisms determining the rate of animal aging? Of the two major classes of endothermic animals, bird species are strikingly long-lived compared to mammals of similar body size and metabolic rate. Thus, they are ideal models to identify longevity-related characteristics not linked to body size or low metabolic rates. Since oxidative stress seems to be related to the basic aging process, we measured specific markers of different kinds of oxidative damage to proteins, like glutamic and aminoadipic semialdehydes (GSA and AASA, specific protein carbonyls), Nɛ-(carboxyethyl)lysine (CEL), Nɛ-(carboxymethyl)lysine (CML), and Nɛ-(malondialdehyde)lysine (MDAL), as well as mitochondrial Complex I content and amino acid and membrane fatty acyl composition, in the brain of short-lived mice (maximum life span [MLSP] 3.5 years) compared with those of long-lived budgerigar 'parakeets' (MLSP, 21 years) and canaries (MLSP, 24 years). The brains of both bird species had significantly lower levels of compounds formed as a result of oxidative (GSA and AASA), glycoxidative (CEL and CML), and lipoxidative (CML and MDAL) protein modifications, as well as a lower levels of mitochondrial complex I protein. Although it is known that fatty acid unsaturation is lower in many tissues of long-lived compared to short-lived mammals, this is not true in the particular case of brain. In agreement with this, we also found that the brain tissue of bugerigars and canaries contains no fewer double bonds than that of mice. Amino acid composition analyses revealed that bird proteins have a significantly lower content of His, Leu and Phe, as well as, interestingly, of methionine, whereas Asp, Glu, Ala, Val, and Lys contents were higher than in the mammals. These results, together with those previously described in other tissues of pigeons (MLSP, 35 years) compared to rats (MLSP, 4 years), indicate that oxidative damage to proteins, lipids and mitochondrial DNA are lower in birds (very
Dayaram, Anisha; Piasecki, Tomasz; Chrząstek, Klaudia; White, Robyn; Julian, Laurel; van Bysterveldt, Katherine; Varsani, Arvind
Eight genomes of avian polyomaviruses (APVs) were recovered and sequenced from deceased Psittacula eupatria, Psittacula krameri, and Melopsittacus undulatus from various breeding facilities in Poland. Of these APV-positive samples, six had previously tested positive for beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) and/or parrot hepatitis B virus (PHBV). Copyright © 2015 Dayaram et al.
Dayaram, Anisha; Piasecki, Tomasz; Chrząstek, Klaudia; White, Robyn; Julian, Laurel; van Bysterveldt, Katherine; Varsani, Arvind
Eight genomes of avian polyomaviruses (APVs) were recovered and sequenced from deceased Psittacula eupatria, Psittacula krameri, and Melopsittacus undulatus from various breeding facilities in Poland. Of these APV-positive samples, six had previously tested positive for beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) and/or parrot hepatitis B virus (PHBV).
Larcombe, S D; Tregaskes, C A; Coffey, J; Stevenson, A E; Alexander, L G; Arnold, K E
Many parrot species are kept in captivity for conservation, but often show poor reproduction, health and survival. These traits are known to be influenced by oxidative stress, the imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and ability of antioxidant defences to ameliorate ROS damage. In humans, oxidative stress is linked with obesity, lack of exercise and poor nutrition, all of which are common in captive animals. Here, we tested whether small parrots (budgerigars, Melopsittacus undulatus) maintained in typical pet cages and on ad libitum food varied in oxidative profile, behaviour and body mass. Importantly, as with many birds held in captivity, they did not have enough space to engage in extensive free flight. Four types of oxidative damage, single-stranded DNA breaks (low-pH comet assay), alkali-labile sites in DNA (high-pH comet assay), sensitivity of DNA to ROS (H2O2-treated comet assay) and malondialdehyde (a byproduct of lipid peroxidation), were uncorrelated with each other and with plasma concentrations of dietary antioxidants. Without strenuous exercise over 28 days in a relatively small cage, more naturally 'active' individuals had more single-stranded DNA breaks than sedentary birds. High body mass at the start or end of the experiment, coupled with substantial mass gain, were all associated with raised sensitivity of DNA to ROS. Thus, high body mass in these captive birds was associated with oxidative damage. These birds were not lacking dietary antioxidants, because final body mass was positively related to plasma levels of retinol, zeaxanthin and α-tocopherol. Individuals varied widely in activity levels, feeding behaviour, mass gain and oxidative profile despite standardized living conditions. DNA damage is often associated with poor immunocompetence, low fertility and faster ageing. Thus, we have candidate mechanisms for the limited lifespan and fecundity common to many birds kept for conservation purposes.
Fenger, C K; Granstrom, D E; Gajadhar, A A; Williams, N M; McCrillis, S A; Stamper, S; Langemeier, J L; Dubey, J P
Sarcocystis sp. sporocysts isolated from eight feral opossums (Didelphis virginiana) were pooled and fed to 18 commercially reared budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus), 14 wild-caught sparrows (Passer domesticus), one wild-caught slate-colored Junco (Junco hyemalis) and five weanling horses (Equus caballus). All budgerigars died within 5 weeks post inoculation (wpi). Histologic examination revealed meronts within the pulmonary epithelia and typical Sarcocystis falcatula sarcocysts developing in the leg muscles. Sparrows were euthanized 13 and 17 wpi and their carcasses were fed to four laboratory raised opossums. Sporocysts were detected in the feces of two opossums on 15 days post inoculation (dpi) and in a third opossum on 40 dpi. Fecal samples from the fourth opossum remained negative; however, sporocysts were found in intestinal digests from all four opossums. Sporocysts were not found in feces or intestinal digest of an additional opossum that was fed three uninoculated sparrows. Five foals were fed sporocysts (Foals 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7) and two foals were maintained as uninoculated controls (Foals 1 and 6). Sporocysts from two additional feral opossums also were fed to foals. Foal 5 was given 0.05 mg kg-1 dexamethasone sodium phosphate daily beginning 2 days before inoculation for a total of 2 weeks. Horse sera were tested three times per week, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples were tested biweekly for anti-Sarcocystis neurona antibodies by Western blot analysis. No foals had any S. neurona-specific antibodies by Western blot analysis prior to sporocysts ingestion. Seroconversion occurred in Foals 3, 5, and 7 by 24 dpi, followed by positive CSF tests on 28 dpi. Foals 2 and 4 seroconverted by 40 dpi. Cerebrospinal fluid from Foal 2 tested positive by 42 dpi, but Foal 4 remained seronegative throughout the study. Sera and CSF from control Foals 1 and 6 remained seronegative. All foals with positive CSF developed neurologic clinical signs. Neurologic disease
Valkiunas, Gediminas; Ilgūnas, Mikas; Bukauskaitė, Dovilė; Fragner, Karin; Weissenböck, Herbert; Atkinson, Carter T.; Iezhova, Tatjana
BackgroundMicroscopic research has shown that Plasmodium relictum is the most common agent of avian malaria. Recent molecular studies confirmed this conclusion and identified several mtDNA lineages, suggesting the existence of significant intra-species genetic variation or cryptic speciation. Most identified lineages have a broad range of hosts and geographical distribution. Here, a rare new lineage of P. relictum was reported and information about biological characters of different lineages of this pathogen was reviewed, suggesting issues for future research.MethodsThe new lineage pPHCOL01 was detected in Common chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita,and the parasite was passaged in domestic canaries Serinus canaria. Organs of infected birds were examined using histology and chromogenic in situ hybridization methods. Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes, Zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata, Budgerigar Melopsittacus undulatus and European goldfinch Carduelis carduelis were exposed experimentally. Both Bayesian and Maximum Likelihood analyses identified the same phylogenetic relationships among different, closely-related lineages pSGS1, pGRW4, pGRW11, pLZFUS01, pPHCOL01 of P. relictum. Morphology of their blood stages was compared using fixed and stained blood smears, and biological properties of these parasites were reviewed.ResultsCommon canary and European goldfinch were susceptible to the parasite pPHCOL01, and had markedly variable individual prepatent periods and light transient parasitaemia. Exo-erythrocytic and sporogonic stages were not seen. The Zebra finch and Budgerigar were resistant. Neither blood stages nor vector stages of all examined P. relictum lineages can be distinguished morphologically.ConclusionWithin the huge spectrum of vertebrate hosts, mosquito vectors, and ecological conditions, different lineages of P. relictum exhibit indistinguishable, markedly variable morphological forms. Parasites of same lineages often develop differently
Among 2589 captive wild birds, examined between 1974 and 1983, we found leukosis in 26 birds belonging to 13 different species and five orders. We diagnosed lymphoid leukosis in 11 birds (two Melopsittacus undulatus, two Psittacus erithacus one Platycerus eximius, one Columba livia, one Streptopelia decaocto, one Polyplectron bicalcaratum, one Pavo cristatus, one Aptenodytes patachonia and one finch, species unknown), myeloid leukosis in 14 (nine Melopsittacus undulatus, two Agapomis personata fischeri, two Urgeainthus bengalus and one Neophemia pulchella) and stem cell leukosis in one bird (Serinus canaria). Among the cases with lymphoid leukosis we distinguished between lymphoblastic (four cases) and prolymphocytic forms (seven). Myeloid leukosis was subdivided into poorly differentiated (12 cases) and well differentiated myeloblastosis (two).
Zhang, Xiao-Xuan; Zhang, Nian-Zhang; Tian, Wei-Peng; Zhou, Dong-Hui; Xu, Ying-Tian; Zhu, Xing-Quan
Toxoplasmosis, caused by the obligate intracellular protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii, has become a serious public health problem worldwide. T. gondii can infect almost all warm-blooded animals, including parrots. However, little is known of T. gondii infection in parrots in China. Antibodies against T. gondii in 311 parrots including 202 Budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus), 26 Lovebirds (Agapornis sp.), 22 Cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus), and 61 Alexandrine Parakeets (Psittacula eupatria) in the cities of Beijing and Weifang in north China were tested using the modified agglutination test (MAT). Twenty-six (8.36%) out of 311 serum samples were positive for T. gondii at the cutoff of 1:5. Among the four species, a higher seroprevalence of T. gondii was found in Cockatiels (13.64%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.00-27.98), although the difference was not statistically significant (p=0.61). Seropositivity rates against T. gondii in male parrots (10.43%, 95% CI 5.74-15.12) were not statistically different from that in female parrots (6.08%, 95% CI 2.23-9.93, p=0.17). The seropositivity of T. gondii in parrots from Weifang and Beijing was 11.11% (95% CI 6.13-16.09) and 5.70% (95% CI 2.08-9.31), respectively. The seroprevalence varied in parrots of different age groups, ranging from 5.71% (95% CI 1.27-10.15) to 13.00% (95% CI 6.41-19.69), however, the difference among age groups was not statistically significant (p=0.12). The seroprevalence of T. gondii infection in parrots in summer (11.63%, 95% CI 6.84-16.42) was significantly higher than in spring (4.32%, 95% CI 0.94-7.70, p=0.02). The results of the present survey indicated that parrots in China are exposed to T. gondii. To our knowledge, this is the first report of T. gondii seroprevalence in parrots in China.
Meredith Robert W
Full Text Available Abstract Background Secondary edentulism (toothlessness has evolved on multiple occasions in amniotes including several mammalian lineages (pangolins, anteaters, baleen whales, birds, and turtles. All edentulous amniote clades have evolved from ancestors with enamel-capped teeth. Previous studies have documented the molecular decay of tooth-specific genes in edentulous mammals, all of which lost their teeth in the Cenozoic, and birds, which lost their teeth in the Cretaceous. By contrast with mammals and birds, tooth loss in turtles occurred in the Jurassic (201.6-145.5 Ma, providing an extended time window for tooth gene degradation in this clade. The release of the painted turtle and Chinese softshell turtle genomes provides an opportunity to recover the decayed remains of tooth-specific genes in Testudines. Results We queried available genomes of Testudines (Chrysemys picta [painted turtle], Pelodiscus sinensis [Chinese softshell turtle], Aves (Anas platyrhynchos [duck], Gallus gallus [chicken], Meleagris gallopavo [turkey], Melopsittacus undulatus [budgerigar], Taeniopygia guttata [zebra finch], and enamelless mammals (Orycteropus afer [aardvark], Choloepus hoffmanni [Hoffmann’s two-toed sloth], Dasypus novemcinctus [nine-banded armadillo] for remnants of three enamel matrix protein (EMP genes with putative enamel-specific functions. Remnants of the AMBN and ENAM genes were recovered in Chrysemys and retain their original synteny. Remnants of AMEL were recovered in both testudines, although there are no shared frameshifts. We also show that there are inactivated copies of AMBN, AMEL and ENAM in representatives of divergent avian lineages including Galloanserae, Passeriformes, and Psittaciformes, and that there are shared frameshift mutations in all three genes that predate the basal split in Neognathae. Among enamelless mammals, all three EMP genes exhibit inactivating mutations in Orycteropus and Choloepus. Conclusions Our results
Full Text Available T-2KB Trichosurus... 48 3e-11 4 ( DY894715 ) CeleSEQ14351 Cunninghamella elegans pBluescript (... 58 4e-11 3... letters Score E Sequences producing significant alignments: (bits) Value Contig-U03802-1 (Contig-U... letters Searching..................................................done Score E Sequences producing significant al...1... 62 4e-05 1 ( EJ306703 ) 1095390099376 Global-Ocean-Sampling_GS-27-01-01-1... 62 4e-05 1 ( CP000238 ) Baumannia cicadellinicola... AY241394 |pid:none) Melopsittacus undulatus Mn superox... 244 2e-63 AF329270_1( AF329270 |pid:none) Gallus gallus manganes
Language is a uniquely human trait. All animals have ways to communicate, but these systems do not bear the same complexity as human language. However, this does not mean that all aspects of human language are specifically human. By studying the language perception abilities of other species, we can
Avian influenza A viruses in birds of the order Psittaciformes: reports on virus isolations, transmission experiments and vaccinations and initial studies on innocuity and efficacy of oseltamivir in ovo.
Kaleta, E F; Blanco Peña, K M; Yilmaz, A; Redmann, T; Hofheinz, S
Birds of the order Psittaciformes are - besides chickens, turkeys and other birds - also susceptible to infection with avian influenza A viruses (AIV) and succumb following severe disease within one week. Published data prove that various parakeets, amazons, cockatoos, African grey parrots and budgerigars (genera Barnardius, Psittacula, Cacatua, Eolophus, Amazona, Myiopsitta, Psittacus and Melopsittacus) were found dead following natural infections. Natural infections of highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses (HPAIV) of the haemagglutinin subtypes H5 and H7 cause severe disease and high rates of mortality. Experimental transmission studies with AlVs of the subtypes H5 and H7 confirm these data. Viruses of the subtypes H3N8, H4N6, H4N8, H11N6 and H11N8 may cause also clinical signs and occasionally losses in naturally infected psittacine birds. Clinical signs and losses were also noted following experimental infection of budgerigars with a H4N6 virus. In the EU and in other countries, vaccination of exposed exotic and rare birds and poultry is a possible and an acceptable measure to provide protection. Currently, the EU Commission accepts inactivated adjuvanted vaccines whereas in some other countries recently developed vector vaccines are applied. However, birds remain susceptible during the time interval between application of any vaccine and the development of immunity. This critical period can be bridged with antiviral drugs. Our in ovo studies demonstrate that the neuraminidase inhibitor oseltamivir is non-toxic for chicken embryos at concentrations of 0.1, 1.0 and 10.0 mg/kg body weight. These dosages prevented entirely the replication of a HPAIV of the subtype H7N1 when this drug is given shortly prior to, simultaneously or soon after inoculation of chicken embryos with this AIV. Thus, we speculate that exposed valuable birds such as psittacines at risk can be successfully treated.
Dubey, J P
Sarcocystis sporocysts were found in intestinal scrapings from 24 (54.5%) of 44 opossums (Didelphis virginiana). The number of sporocysts varied from a few (< 10,000) to 245 million. Sporocysts from 23 of 24 opossums were fed to captive budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatas), and the inocula from 21 opossums were infective, indicating the presence of Sarcocystis falcatula. Sporocysts from 24 opossums were fed to gamma-interferon-knockout (KO) or nude mice; inocula from 14 opossums were infective to mice. Sarcocystis neurona was detected in tissues of KO mice by specific staining with anti-S. neurona antibodies, and the parasite was cultured in vitro from the brains of KO mice fed sporocysts from 8 opossums. Sarcocystis speeri was identified by specific staining with anti-S. speeri antibodies in tissues of KO mice fed inocula from 8 opossums; 3 opossums had mixed S. neurona and S. speeri infections. Thus, the prevalences of sporocysts of different species of Sarcocystis in opossums were: S. falcatula 21 of 44 (47.7%), S. neurona 8 of 44 (18.1%), and S. speeri 8 of 44 (18.1%) opossums. Sarcocystis neurona alone was found in 1 opossum, and S. speeri alone was found in 1 opossum. Mixed Sarcocystis infections were present in 21 opossums.
Abe, Niichiro; Makino, Ikuko; Kojima, Atsushi
Multilocus sequence analyses targeting small subunit ribosomal DNA (SSU rDNA), elongation factor 1 alpha (ef1α), glutamate dehydrogenase (gdh), and beta giardin (β-giardin) were performed on Giardia psittaci isolates from three Budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulates) and four Barred parakeets (Bolborhynchus lineola) kept in individual households or imported from overseas. Nucleotide differences and phylogenetic analyses at four loci indicate the distinction of G. psittaci from the other known Giardia species: Giardia muris, Giardia microti, Giardia ardeae, and Giardia duodenalis assemblages. Furthermore, G. psittaci was related more closely to G. duodenalis than to the other known Giardia species, except for G. microti. Conflicting signals regarded as "double peaks" were found at the same nucleotide positions of the ef1α in all isolates. However, the sequences of the other three loci, including gdh and β-giardin, which are known to be highly variable, from all isolates were also mutually identical at every locus. They showed no double peaks. These results suggest that double peaks found in the ef1α sequences are caused not by mixed infection with genetically different G. psittaci isolates but by allelic sequence heterogeneity (ASH), which is observed in diplomonad lineages including G. duodenalis. No sequence difference was found in any G. psittaci isolates at the gdh and β-giardin, suggesting that G. psittaci is indeed not more diverse genetically than other Giardia species. This report is the first to provide evidence related to the genetic characteristics of G. psittaci obtained using multilocus sequence analysis. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Wang, Anqi; Wang, Zhanyu; Li, Zheng; Li, Lei M
It is highly desirable to assemble genomes of high continuity and consistency at low cost. The current bottleneck of draft genome continuity using the Second Generation Sequencing (SGS) reads is primarily caused by uncertainty among repetitive sequences. Even though the Single-Molecule Real-Time sequencing technology is very promising to overcome the uncertainty issue, its relatively high cost and error rate add burden on budget or computation. Many long-read assemblers take the overlap-layout-consensus (OLC) paradigm, which is less sensitive to sequencing errors, heterozygosity and variability of coverage. However, current assemblers of SGS data do not sufficiently take advantage of the OLC approach. Aiming at minimizing uncertainty, the proposed method BAUM, breaks the whole genome into regions by adaptive unique mapping; then the local OLC is used to assemble each region in parallel. BAUM can: (1) perform reference-assisted assembly based on the genome of a close species; (2) or improve the results of existing assemblies that are obtained based on short or long sequencing reads. The tests on two eukaryote genomes, a wild rice Oryza longistaminata and a parrot Melopsittacus undulatus, show that BAUM achieved substantial improvement on genome size and continuity. Besides, BAUM reconstructed a considerable amount of repetitive regions that failed to be assembled by existing short read assemblers. We also propose statistical approaches to control the uncertainty in different steps of BAUM. http://www.zhanyuwang.xin/wordpress/index.php/2017/07/21/baum. firstname.lastname@example.org. Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. © The Author (2018). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: email@example.com
Comparative analysis of complete genome sequences of European subtype tick-borne encephalitis virus strains isolated from Ixodes persulcatus ticks, long-tailed ground squirrel (Spermophilus undulatus), and human blood in the Asian part of Russia
Demina, T. V.; Tkachev, S. E.; Kozlova, I. V.; Doroshchenko, E. K.; Lisak, O. V.; Suntsova, O. V.; Verkhozina, M. M.; Dzhioev, Y. P.; Paramonov, A. I.; Tikunov, A. Y.; Tikunova, N. V.; Zlobin, V. I.; Růžek, Daniel
Roč. 8, č. 4 (2017), s. 547-553 ISSN 1877-959X Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : TBEV * complete genome * European subtype * Western Siberia * Eastern Siberia * nucleotide * Amino acid sequence Subject RIV: FN - Epidemiology, Contagious Diseases ; Clinical Immunology OBOR OECD: Infectious Diseases Impact factor: 3.230, year: 2016
Ocorrência e tratamento de sarna knemidocóptica (Knemidokoptes sp. em aves de companhia atendidas na Faculdade de Veterinária da Universidade Federal Fluminense, RJ, Brasil Occurrence and treatment of knemidocoptic mange (Knemidokoptes sp. in pet birds company cared at the Veterinary Medicine College - Universidade Federal Fluminense, RJ, Brazil
Sávio Freire Bruno
Full Text Available A sarna knemidocóptica ocasionada pelo ácaro Knemidokoptes sp. pode ser considerada uma enfermidade de caráter relevante na rotina clínica aviária. Este trabalho tem como objetivo relatar a ocorrência da sarna knemidocóptica em aves de companhia atendidas no Setor de Animais Selvagens da Faculdade de Veterinária da Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF, ressaltando as principais espécies acometidas e a eficácia do tratamento clínico estabelecido. No período entre janeiro de 2000 e junho de 2006, 374 aves foram atendidas no Setor; 25 delas eram portadoras de ectoparasitos, das quais 68% (n=17 com diagnóstico de sarna knemidocóptica. As lesões associadas à presença do Knemidokoptes sp. ocorreram principalmente na região dos pés em 14 aves (82,4%, sendo os Passeriformes (Serinus canarius os mais acometidos com 14 casos (82,4%, seguidos de três casos (17,7% em Psitaciformes (Melopsittacus undulatus. Os sinais clínicos constituíram-se de lesões hiperqueratosas e deformidade de dígitos. A confirmação do diagnóstico foi realizada por meio, da identificação microscópica do ácaro a partir de raspado cutâneo da área infestada. Em 15 pacientes portadores da sarna knemidocóptica, entre Passeriformes e Psitaciformes, administrou-se pomada composta por sulfureto de potássio 3g 100g-1 e carbonato de potássio 3g 100g-1 associados uma vez ao dia, em dias alternados, por quatorze dias. Apenas dois pacientes (11,8% foram tratados com aplicação tópica de solução à base de benzoato de benzila 25%, na mesma freqüência e duração do tratamento anterior. Foi intercalado o uso de óleo mineral puro 100%, aplicado topicamente duas vezes ao dia, em ambos os tratamentos. Nos casos mais graves (três pacientes, associou-se ao tratamento 0,06ml de ivermectina 1% pour on em dose única. Os pacientes submetidos a esses tratamentos obtiveram em sua totalidade a cura clínica.Knemidocoptic mange caused by Knemidokoptes sp. can be
.... harlequin tuskfish, red-breasted wrasse Cheilinus fasciatus. ring-tailed wrasse Oxycheilinus unifasciatus... margaritacous. three-spot wrasse Halichoeres trimaculatus. surge wrasse Thalassoma purpureum. red ribbon wrasse... javanicus. undulated moray eel Gymnothorax undulatus. Octopodidae (Octopus) gamsun octopus Octopus cyanea...
Shen, Songdong; Wu, Xunjian; Yan, Binlun; He, Lihong
To establish a micropropagation system of three Laurencia complex species ( Laurencia okamurai, Laurencia tristicha, and Chondrophycus undulatus) by tissue culture techniques, we studied the regeneration characteristics and optimal culture conditions of axenic algal fragments cultured on solid medium and in liquid medium. Regeneration structures were observed and counted regularly under a reverse microscope to investigate the regeneration process, polarity and optimal illumination, and temperature and salinity levels. The results show that in most cultures of the three species, we obtained bud regeneration on solidified medium with 0.5% agar and in liquid medium. Rhizoid-like regeneration was filamentous and developed from the lower cut surface of fragments in L. okamurai, but was discoid and developed from the apical back side of bud regeneration in L. tristicha and C. undulatus. Regeneration polarity was localized to the apical part of algal fronds in all three species, and on fragments cut from the basal part of algae buds could develop from both the upper and the lower cut surfaces. Buds could develop from both the medullary and the cortical portions in L. okamurai and C. undulatus, while in L. tristicha, buds only emerged from the cortex. The optimal culture conditions for L. okamurai were 4 500 lx, 20°C and 35 (salinity); for C. undulatus, 4 500 lx, 20°C and 30; and for L. tristicha, 4 500 lx, 25°C and 30.
Rulison, Eric L.; Kerr, Kaetlyn T; Dyer, Megan C; Han, Seungeun; Burke, Russell L.; Tsao, Jean I.; Ginsberg, Howard S.
The Eastern fence lizard, Sceloporus undulatus, is widely distributed in eastern and central North America, ranging through areas with high levels of Lyme disease, as well as areas where Lyme disease is rare or absent. We studied the potential role of S. undulatus in transmission dynamics of Lyme spirochetes by sampling ticks from a variety of natural hosts at field sites in central New Jersey, and by testing the reservoir competence of S. undulatus for Borrelia burgdorferi in the laboratory. The infestation rate of ticks on fence lizards was extremely low (proportion infested = 0.087, n = 23) compared to that on white footed mice and other small mammals (proportion infested = 0.53, n = 140). Of 159 nymphs that had fed as larvae on lizards that had previously been exposed to infected nymphs, none was infected with B. burgdorferi, compared with 79.9% of 209 nymphs that had fed as larvae on infected control mice. Simulations suggest that changes in the numbers of fence lizards in a natural habitat would have little effect on the infection rate of nymphal ticks with Lyme spirochetes. We conclude that in central New Jersey S. undulatus plays a minimal role in the enzootic transmission cycle of Lyme spirochetes.
Heather L. Bateman; Alice Chung-MacCoubrey
Lizards from the Sceloporus undulatus complex have been the subject of many studies on lizard ecology (Hager 2001; Rosenblum 2006; Rosenblum et al. 2007), behavior (Hein and Whitaker 1997; Robertson and Rosenblum 2009), and reproduction (Vinegar 1975; Robertson and Rosenblum 2010). However, genetic data (Leache and Reeder 2002) support reallocation of the subspecies of...
... margaritaceus. uloulo-gatala, patagaloa surge wrasse Thalassoma purpureum. lape-moana red ribbon wrasse... undulated moray eel Gymnothorax undulatus. Octopodidae (Octopus) fe'e fe'e octopus octopus Octopus cyanea, Octopus ornatus. Polynemidae umiumia, i'ausi threadfin Polydactylus sexfilis. Pricanthidae (Bigeye...
Larcombe, S. D.; Tregaskes, C. A.; Coffey, J.; Stevenson, A. E.; Alexander, L. G.; Arnold, K. E.
Many parrot species are kept in captivity for conservation, but often show poor reproduction, health and survival. These traits are known to be influenced by oxidative stress, the imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and ability of antioxidant defences to ameliorate ROS damage. In humans, oxidative stress is linked with obesity, lack of exercise and poor nutrition, all of which are common in captive animals. Here, we tested whether small parrots (budgerigars, Melo...
SWANSON, KATHERINE I.; NORRIS, DOUGLAS E.
Lizards serve as hosts for Ixodes ticks in the western and southeastern United States and may affect the transmission cycles of Borrelia burgdorferi in these regions. In Maryland, the role of lizards in the maintenance and transmission cycle of this pathogen has not been examined. We tested 29 lizards (Sceloporus undulatus and Eumeces spp.) and 21 ticks from these lizards for the presence of B. burgdorferi. Eight lizards were positive by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for at least one B. bur...
Fouts, Kevin L.; Moore, Clinton; Johnson, Kristine D.; Maerz, John C.
Restoring the natural or historical state of ecosystems is a common objective among resource managers, but determining whether desired system responses to management actions are occurring is often protracted and challenging. For wildlife, the integration of mechanistic habitat modeling with population monitoring may provide expedited measures of management effectiveness and improve understanding of how management actions succeed or fail to recover populations. Southern Appalachia is a region of high biodiversity that has undergone dramatic change as a result of human activities such as historic logging, exotic invasions, and alteration of disturbance regimes—including reduction in application of fire. Contemporary efforts to restore fire-maintained ecosystems within southern Appalachian forests require tools to assess the effects of fire management practices on individual animal fitness and relate them to corresponding influences on species abundance. Using automated sensing equipment, we investigated the effects of burned forests on reptile habitat suitability within the western portion of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee. Specifically, we used microclimate measurements to model northern fence lizard Sceloporus undulatus hyacinthinus diurnal activity budgets in unburned and variable burn age (3–27-y) forest stands. We estimated northern fence lizard occurrence and abundance along transects through burned and unburned forests. Burned forest stands had microclimates that resulted in longer modeled daily activity periods under most conditions during summer. S. undulatus abundance was 4.75 times greater on burned stands compared to paired unburned stands, although the relationship between burn age and abundance was not well determined. Results suggest the more open habitat structure of burned areas within these xeric pine–oak forests may benefit S. undulatus.
Full Text Available Comparing larval fish assemblages in different estuaries provides insights about the coastal distribution of larval populations, larval transport, and adult spawning locations (Ribeiro et al. 2015. We simultaneously compared the larval fish assemblages entering two Middle Atlantic Bight (MAB estuaries (Delaware Bay and Chesapeake Bay, USA through weekly sampling from 2007 to 2009. In total, 43 taxa (32 families and 36 taxa (24 families were collected in Delaware and Chesapeake Bays, respectively. Mean taxonomic diversity, mean richness, and evenness were generally lower in Delaware Bay. Communities of both bays were dominated by Anchoa spp., Gobiosoma spp., Micropogonias undulatus, and Brevoortia tyrannus; Paralichthys spp. was more abundant in Delaware Bay and Microgobius thalassinus was more abundant in Chesapeake Bay. Inter-annual variation in the larval fish communities was low at both sites, with a relatively consistent composition across years, but strong seasonal (intra-annual variation in species composition occurred in both bays. Two groups were identified in Chesapeake Bay: a ‘winter’ group dominated by shelf-spawned species (e.g. M. undulatus and a ‘summer’ group comprising obligate estuarine species and coastal species (e.g. Gobiosoma spp. and Cynoscion regalis, respectively. In Delaware Bay, 4 groups were identified: a ‘summer’ group of mainly obligate estuarine fishes (e.g. Menidia sp. being replaced by a ‘fall’ group (e.g. Ctenogobius boleosoma and Gobionellus oceanicus; ‘winter’ and ‘spring’ groups were dominated by shelf-spawned (e.g. M. undulatus and Paralichthys spp. and obligate estuarine species (e.g. Leiostomus xanthurus and Pseudopleuronectes americanus, respectively. This study demonstrates that inexpensive and simultaneous sampling in different estuaries provides important insights into the variability in community structure of fish assemblages at large spatial scales.
Duncan, Christine A; Jetzt, Amanda E; Cohick, Wendie S; John-Alder, Henry B
Nutrition and energy balance are important regulators of growth and the growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor (GH/IGF) axis. However, our understanding of these functions does not extend uniformly to all classes of vertebrates and is mainly limited to controlled laboratory conditions. Lizards can be useful models to improve our understanding of the nutritional regulation of the GH/IGF-1 axis because many species are relatively easy to observe and manipulate both in the laboratory and in the field. In the present study, the effects of variation in food intake on growth, body condition, and hepatic IGF-1 mRNA levels were measured in (1) juveniles of Sceloporus jarrovii maintained on a full or 1/3 ration and (2) hatchlings of Sceloporus undulatus subjected to full or zero ration with or without re-feeding. These parameters plus plasma IGF-1 were measured in a third experiment using adults of S. undulatus subjected to full or zero ration with or without re-feeding. In all experiments, plasma corticosterone was measured as an anticipated indicator of nutritional stress. In S. jarrovii, growth and body condition were reduced but lizards remained in positive energy balance on 1/3 ration, and hepatic IGF-1 mRNA and plasma corticosterone were not affected in comparison to full ration. In S. undulatus, growth, body condition, hepatic IGF-1 mRNA, and plasma IGF-1 were all reduced by zero ration and restored by refeeding. Plasma corticosterone was increased in response to zero ration and restored by full ration in hatchlings but not adults of S. undulatus. These data indicate that lizards conform to the broader vertebrate model in which severe food deprivation and negative energy balance is required to attenuate systemic IGF-1 expression. However, when animals remain in positive energy balance, reduced food intake does not appear to affect systemic IGF-1. Consistent with other studies on lizards, the corticosterone response to reduced food intake is an unreliable indicator
Chakraborty, Mukta; Walløe, Solveig; Nedergaard, Signe; Fridel, Emma E.; Dabelsteen, Torben; Pakkenberg, Bente; Bertelsen, Mads F.; Dorrestein, Gerry M.; Brauth, Steven E.; Durand, Sarah E.; Jarvis, Erich D.
The ability to imitate complex sounds is rare, and among birds has been found only in parrots, songbirds, and hummingbirds. Parrots exhibit the most advanced vocal mimicry among non-human animals. A few studies have noted differences in connectivity, brain position and shape in the vocal learning systems of parrots relative to songbirds and hummingbirds. However, only one parrot species, the budgerigar, has been examined and no differences in the presence of song system structures were found with other avian vocal learners. Motivated by questions of whether there are important differences in the vocal systems of parrots relative to other vocal learners, we used specialized constitutive gene expression, singing-driven gene expression, and neural connectivity tracing experiments to further characterize the song system of budgerigars and/or other parrots. We found that the parrot brain uniquely contains a song system within a song system. The parrot “core” song system is similar to the song systems of songbirds and hummingbirds, whereas the “shell” song system is unique to parrots. The core with only rudimentary shell regions were found in the New Zealand kea, representing one of the only living species at a basal divergence with all other parrots, implying that parrots evolved vocal learning systems at least 29 million years ago. Relative size differences in the core and shell regions occur among species, which we suggest could be related to species differences in vocal and cognitive abilities. PMID:26107173
Espécies de Ganoderma P. Karst (Ganodermataceae e Phellinus Quél. (Hymenochaetaceae na Estação Científica Ferreira Penna, Pará, Brasil Species of Ganoderma P. Karst (Ganodermataceae and Phellinus Quél. (Hymenochaetaceae from Ferreira Penna Scientific Station, Pará, Brazil
Alcindo da Silva Martins Júnior
Full Text Available Este trabalho foi baseado em coleções realizadas pelos autores e em material depositado no herbário João Murça Pires (MG, procedentes da Estação Científica Ferreira Penna (ECFPn, 1°38' - 1°48S; 51°20' - 51°36'W. Ganoderma esta representado por três espécies: G. australe, G. multiplicatum e G. stipitatum, e Phellinus por sete: P. baccharidis, P. calcitratus, P. extensus, P. fastuosus, P. gilvus, P. shaferi e P. undulatus.This work is based on collections undertaken by the authors and on material deposited in the João Murça Pires herbarium (MG, from the Ferreira Penna Scientific Station (ECFPn, 1°38' - 1°48S; 51°20' - 51°36'W. Ganoderma is represented by three species: G. australe, G. multiplicatum and G. stipitatum, and Phellinus by seven: P. baccharidis, P. calcitratus, P. extensus, P. fastuosus, P. gilvus, P. shaferi and P. undulatus.
Harpøth, Solveig Walløe
are among the most encephalized birds and posses excellent vocal imitation abilities. This along with their complex fission-fusion societies and thereby dynamic use of communication make parrots unparalleled as a model system for the neurobiology behind vocal learning. This PhD thesis is based on three...... independent studies where I 1) compare the level of vocal complexity (i.e. modification of the contact call in response to playback stimuli) with the social complexity of four different parrot species, 2) correlate the vocal modification ability of parrots with a brain region involved in vocal learning, i...... and the peach-faced lovebird with a brain nucleus, MO, involved in vocal learning. We show that the species with the highest level of vocal complexity (i.e. the peach-fronted conure) was also the species with the largest volume of MO and the highest number of neurons in MO. The budgerigar had the smallest...
Full Text Available A rapid assessment of Wreathed Hornbills, their distribution and abundance was carried out in fragmented lowland tropical forests of Lower Dibang Valley District, Arunachal Pradesh, northeastern India from October 2010 to April 2011 using the total count method. A total of 62km distance was covered on foot to survey four study sites: Horupahar, Delo, Koronu and Injunu. Nine flocks of 172 hornbills were sighted. Aceros undulatus flock size ranged from 8-38 individuals with a mean of about 19.1 plus or minus 2.6. Illegal logging, hunting for bushmeat and other body parts (feathers, beak etc. for decorating the head gear and house interiors by the local tribals were observed as the major threats to the species in the study areas.
Full Text Available Hornbill has an important role in forest regeneration, but the limited variety andamount of food available to birds will eventually threaten the population of hornbills.Identification of feed plant and hornbil species diversity was conducted at the HarapanRainforest from March to April 2011. Hornbills plant feed samples were taken right after thebirds were eating. The results showed there are nine plant species of hornbills feed found in theHarapan Rainforest: Santiria apiculata, Elaeocarpus sphaericus, Sapium baccatum, Lithocarpusreinwardtii, Disoxylum excelsum, Ficus curtipes, Knema globularia, Knema furfuracea, andSantiria oblongifolia. Of these nine species, Ficus curtipes is the most preferred feed by thehornbills. Further research also notes that there are seven hornbill species inhabit the HarapanRainforest: crested hornbills (Aceros comatus, rhinoceros hornbills (Buceros rhinoceros, goldhornbill (Aceros undulatus, black kangkareng (Anthracaceros malayanus, black-crestedhornbill (Aceros corrugatus, khilingan hornbills (Anorrhinus galeritus and ivory hornbill(Rhinoplax vigil
Rulison, Eric L; Lebrun, Roger A; Ginsberg, Howard S
Ambient temperature can influence tick development time, and can potentially affect tick interactions with pathogens and with vertebrate hosts. We studied the effect of ambient temperature on duration of attachment of larval blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis Say, to eastern fence lizards, Sceloporus undulatus (Bosc & Daudin). Feeding periods of larvae that attached to lizards under preferred temperature conditions for the lizards (WARM treatment: temperatures averaged 36.6°C at the top of the cage and 25.8°C at the bottom, allowing behavioral thermoregulation) were shorter than for larvae on lizards held under cool conditions (COOL treatment temperatures averaged 28.4°C at top of cage and 24.9°C at the bottom). The lizards were infested with larvae four times at roughly monthly intervals. Larval numbers successfully engorging and dropping declined and feeding period was longer after the first infestation. © 2014 Entomological Society of America.
Ogaĭ, V B; Novoselova, E G; Makar, V R; Kolaeva, S G
Production of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) has been investigated in peritoneal macrophages and splenic T cells of Arctic Yakutian ground squirrel (Citellus Undulatus Pallas) upon in vitro action of electromagnetic and ionizing radiation during annual cycle. The significant activation of TNF production in the cells of awaken ground squirrels in winter and increasing level of the lymphokine production at spring-summer period has been indicated. The level of TNF production in splenic T cells was not changed during whole year. The electromagnetic radiation (EMR) of low intensity (8.15-18 GHz, 1 microW/cm2) induced an augmentation of both secretory and proliferative activity in TNF-producing cells. Ionizing radiation suppressed T cell proliferation, but the doses 2 and 5 Gy resulted in a significant stimulation of TNF production in T cells and macrophages.
Full Text Available Two new species of the genus Gergithoides Schumacher, 1915 (Issinae, Hemisphaeriini, G. gnezdilovi sp. nov. from Bidoup-Nui Ba National Park in Central Vietnam and G. nui sp. nov. from Pia-Oac National Park in North Vietnam, are described. These are the only species of the genus formally recorded from Vietnam to date. Habitus, details and male genitalia are illustrated and a distribution map is provided. Four females representing three or four additional species, known from females only, are mentioned and illustrated. Taxonomic and biogeographical updates based on a thorough review of the literature are proposed and discussed for G. carinatifrons Schumacher, 1915, G. rugulosus (Melichar, 1906 and G. undulatus Wang & Che, 2003.
Gondim, Leane S Q; Jesus, Rogério F; Ribeiro-Andrade, Müller; Silva, Jean C R; Siqueira, Daniel B; Marvulo, Maria F V; Aléssio, Felipe M; Mauffrey, Jean-François; Julião, Fred S; Savani, Elisa San Martin Mouriz; Soares, Rodrigo M; Gondim, Luís F P
Sarcocystis neurona and Neospora spp. are protozoan parasites that induce neurological diseases in horses and other animal species. Opossums (Didelphis albiventris and Didelphis virginiana) are definitive hosts of S. neurona, which is the major cause of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM). Neospora caninum causes abortion in cattle and infects a wide range of animal species, while N. hughesi is known to induce neurologic disease in equids. The aims of this study were to investigate S. neurona and N. caninum in tissues from opossums in the northeastern Brazil, and to isolate Brazilian strains of Sarcocystis spp. from wild opossums for comparison with previously isolated strains. Carcasses of 39 opossums from Bahia state were available for molecular identification of Sarcocystis spp. and N. caninum in their tissues, and for sporocyst detection by intestinal scraping. In addition, Sarcocystis-like sporocysts from nine additional opossums, obtained in São Paulo state, were tested. Sarcocystis DNA was found in 16 (41%) of the 39 opossums' carcasses; N. caninum DNA was detected in tissues from three opossums. The sporocysts from the nine additional opossums from São Paulo state were tested by bioassay and induced infection in nine budgerigars, but in none of the gamma-interferon knockout mice. In vitro isolation was successful using tissues from all nine budgerigars. The isolated strains were maintained in CV-1 and Vero cells. Three of nine isolates presented contamination in cell culture and were discarded. Analysis of six isolates based on five loci showed that these parasites were genetically different from each other and also distinct from S. neurona, S. falcatula, S. lindsayi, and S. speeri. In conclusion, opossums in the studied regions were infected with N. caninum and Sarcocystis spp. and represent a potential source of infection to other animals. This is the first report of N. caninum infection in tissues from black-eared opossum (D. aurita or D
Haddadmarandi, M R; Madani, S A; Nili, H; Ghorbani, A
Beak and feather disease virus (BFDV), a member of genus circovirus, is a small, non-enveloped, single stranded DNA virus. Although BFDVs are among the most well studied circoviruses, there is little to no information about BFDVs in Iran. The aim of the present study was to detect and identify BFDV molecules from the birds referred to the avian clinic of The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Tehran University, Iran. A total of 55 DNA samples were extracted from birds from nine different species of the order psittaciformes. A robust conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was applied to detect the rep gene of the virus. Ten out of 55 samples, from four different species, were tested positive for BFDVs in PCR ( Melopsittacus undulates (4), Psittacula Krameri (3), Psittacus erithacus (2), Platycercus eximius (1)). Molecular identification of the detected BFDVs was performed based on their rep gene sequences. The phylogenetic analysis revealed that the Iranian BFDVs from this study were clustered into four genetically distinct clades belonging to different genetic subtypes of BFDVs (L1, N1, T1, and I4). Although the relation between the samples and their related subtypes in the tree are discussed, further studies are needed to elucidate the host specificity and incidence of the BFDVs from different genetic subtypes.
Full Text Available Knemidocoptic mange is occasionally noted in pet chickens. The etiologic agent of this disease is Knemidocoptes gallinae and K.mutans, a sarcoptiform mite. These mites live out their entire life cycle on their hosts. Typically, the crusty and scaly dermatitis associated with this mite is seen at the feet and legs, as may be seen in some pet canaries or budgerigars with the same problem. Facial lesions, however, are particularly uncommonly seen in chickens. A suggestive diagnosis can be established by physical examination findings of a "honeycombed" appearance to the crusts and scales on the feet and legs, or by skin scraping. Treatment is with ivermectin, which may be repeated in 2-week intervals for 2 to 3 total treatments. Not all birds exposed to a bird with this condition necessarily will develop problems, and group treatment is not necessarily always required Cedrus oil a herbal product was trid agains knemidocoptes gallinae and its efficacy was compared with of Zizyphus Extract and Rotenone-orthophenol. In this study 16 broiler with knemidocoptes gallinae infestion treated with cedrus oil and Zizyphus extract .Mite scrapings after topical application of cedrus oil caused complet recovery after 20 days in severe infestation with growth of feather on days 20 post treatment. Adverse reactions were observed the following of lambdacyhalothrin were used.
Krautwald-Junghanns, M.E.; Kostka, V.M.; Hofbauer, H.
Clinical examination of 2192 psittacine birds of both sexes revealed a prevalence of 2.74 per cent (60 birds) of egg-binding. Domesticated species easily bred in captivity were the most commonly affected; the prevalence in cockatiels (15.75 per cent), and in budgerigars (5.73 per cent). An accurate diagnosis was possible in all cases by means of an evaluation of the case history, a visual examination, palpation and radiographic and ultrasonographic examinations. The case history alone was typical in 60 per cent of the cases, and reliable diagnosis was reached with the help of a visual examination in 70 per cent of the cases. Radiographic examination provided a definitive diagnosis in 30 per cent of the cases, especially in those with shelled eggs. Medullary bone proved to be a radiographic indication of laminated and thin-shelled eggs. However, laminated and thin-shelled eggs could only be differentiated definitively from abdominal masses, salpingitis and cystic degeneration by means of ultrasonography
Zgliczynski, B. J.; Williams, I. D.; Schroeder, R. E.; Nadon, M. O.; Richards, B. L.; Sandin, S. A.
Widespread declines among many coral reef fisheries have led scientists and managers to become increasingly concerned over the extinction risk facing some species. To aid in assessing the extinction risks facing coral reef fishes, large-scale censuses of the abundance and distribution of individual species are critically important. We use fisheries-independent data collected as part of the NOAA Pacific Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program from 2000 to 2009 to describe the range and density across the US Pacific of coral reef fishes included on The International Union for the Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) 2011 Red List of Threatened Species. Forty-five species, including sharks, rays, groupers, humphead wrasse ( Cheilinus undulatus), and bumphead parrotfish ( Bolbometopon muricatum), included on the IUCN List, were recorded in the US Pacific Islands. Most species were generally rare in the US Pacific with the exception of a few species, principally small groupers and reef sharks. The greatest diversity and densities of IUCN-listed fishes were recorded at remote and uninhabited islands of the Pacific Remote Island Areas; in general, lower densities were observed at reefs of inhabited islands. Our findings complement IUCN assessment efforts, emphasize the efficacy of large-scale assessment and monitoring efforts in providing quantitative data on reef fish assemblages, and highlight the importance of protecting populations at remote and uninhabited islands where some species included on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species can be observed in abundance.
Joanne L. Isaac
Full Text Available Relatively little is known of the distribution, abundance and ecology of small mammals in Mongolia and as a result there is scant knowledge of the effects of environmental and anthropogenic factors on small mammal populations. The aim of this study was to assess the occurrence of small mammals in mountain steppe habitat from live-trapping and analysis of mammal remains from raptor pellets and below nests. During live-trapping, root voles ( Microtus oeconemus were the most commonly caught species accounting for 47.5 % of captures, striped hamsters ( Cricetulus barabensis and pika ( Ochotona hyperborea accounted for 30 % and 22.5 % of captures respectively. Temperature influenced trapping success, with small mammals appearing to avoid being active at temperatures over 20 ̊C. The three species caught on the trapping grid appeared to avoid competition for resources through both temporal and spatial differences in the use of available habitat. Mammals identified from raptor pellets and other remains included the grey hamster ( Cricatulus migratorius , Siberian marmot ( Marmota sibirica , red fox ( Vulpes vulpes , long-tailed souslik ( Citellus undulatus and the Daurian mole ( Myospalax aspalax. Results are discussed in terms of their relevance to the conservation of mammals in Mongolia and their co-existence with livestock and humans.
Galbraith, Heather S.; Blakeslee, Carrie J.; Cole, Jeffrey C.
In a study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, freshwater mussels were salvaged and relocated from the anticipated zone of impact for the Pond Eddy Bridge construction project in New York and Pennsylvania. Five 25-meter (m) by 25-m cells along the Pennsylvania bank of the Delaware River were sampled in three generally straight-line passes by four surveyors wearing snorkel gear for a total of 180 survey minutes per cell. All mussels encountered were collected and identified to species. A subset of individuals was marked with shellfish tags, weighed, and measured prior to relocation upstream from the zone of impact. A total of 3,434 mussels, including 3,393 Elliptio complanata (eastern elliptio mussels), 39 Anodonta implicata (alewife floaters), 1 Strophitus undulatus (creeper), and 1 Pyganodon cataracta (eastern floater), were salvaged and relocated. All non-eastern elliptio species were georeferenced using a high-resolution global positioning system unit; a subset of tagged eastern elliptio was placed in transects between georeferenced points. These mussels will be monitored to assess the effects of translocation on mortality and body condition at 1 month, 1 year, and 2 years.
Chan, Thomas Y K
Humphead wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus) is an apex predator from coral reefs of the Indo-Pacific region. A food surveillance project using a validated mouse bioassay revealed the presence of ciguatoxins in significantly greater amounts in its flesh than in groupers and other coral reef fishes commonly available in Hong Kong wholesale market. Humphead wrasse has long been known to cause ciguatera, but there was a lack of clinical reports. A 45-year-old woman developed ciguatera after eating humphead wrasse. She required ICU care and infusions of intravenous fluids and dopamine for management of severe hypotension. All 5 published case series are also reviewed to characterise the types, severity and chronicity of ciguatera symptoms after its consumption. In addition to the gastrointestinal, neurological and other features that were typical of ciguatera, some subjects developed sinus bradycardia, hypotension, shock, neuropsychiatric features (e.g. mental exhaustion, depression, insomnia and memory loss), other central nervous system symptoms (e.g. coma, convulsions and ataxia) and myocardial ischaemia. Other subjects still experienced residual symptoms 6 months later; these were mainly neurological or neuropsychiatric complaints and skin pruritus. To prevent ciguatera, the public should avoid eating humphead wrasse and other large coral reef fishes. They should realise that consumption of the high-risk fish may result in more severe and chronic illness, including life-threatening complications and neuropsychiatric features. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available The harvesting of groupers (Serranidae in Indonesia for the live reef food fish trade (LRFFT has been ongoing since the late 1980s. Eight sites in Komodo National Park that included two fish spawning aggregation (FSA sites were monitored for groupers and humphead wrasse, Cheilinus undulatus, from 1998 to 2003 and from 2005 to 2008 to examine temporal changes in abundance and assess the effectiveness of conservation and management efforts. Monitoring identified FSA sites for squaretail coralgrouper, Plectropomus areolatus, and brown-marbled grouper, Epinephelus fuscoguttatus. Both species formed aggregations before and during full moon from September to December, prior to lapses in monitoring (2003–2005 and in enforcement (2004-2005. Following these lapses, data reveal substantial declines in P. areolatus abundance and the apparent extirpation of one aggregation at one site. Other non-aggregating species targeted by the LRFFT showed similar declines at three of eight monitored sites. This paper highlights the impact of FSA fishing and the need for a seamless monitoring and enforcement protocol in areas where aggregation fishing pressure is high. Within Komodo National Park, local fishers, particularly those operating on behalf of the LRFFT, pose a serious threat to population persistence of species targeted by this trade.
David A. Gibbs
Full Text Available Species-specific enemies may promote prey coexistence through negative distance- and density-dependent survival of juveniles near conspecific adults. We tested this mechanism by transplanting juvenile-sized fragments of the brooding corals Pocillopora damicornis and Seriatopora hystrix 3, 12, 24 and 182 cm up- and down-current of conspecific adults and monitoring their survival and condition over time. We also characterized the spatial distribution of P. damicornis and S. hystrix within replicate plots on three Fijian reef flats and measured the distribution of small colonies within 2 m of larger colonies of each species. Juvenile-sized transplants exhibited no differences in survivorship as a function of distance from adult P. damicornis or S. hystrix. Additionally, both P. damicornis and S. hystrix were aggregated rather than overdispersed on natural reefs. However, a pattern of juveniles being aggregated near adults while larger (and probably older colonies were not suggests that greater mortality near large adults could occur over longer periods of time or that size-dependent mortality was occurring. While we found minimal evidence of greater mortality of small colonies near adult conspecifics in our transplant experiments, we did document hot-spots of species-specific corallivory. We detected spatially localized and temporally persistent predation on P. damicornis by the territorial triggerfish Balistapus undulatus. This patchy predation did not occur for S. hystrix. This variable selective regime in an otherwise more uniform environment could be one mechanism maintaining diversity of corals on Indo-Pacific reefs.
Rahayuningsih, M.; Kartijomo, NE; Retnaningsih, A.; Munir, M.; Dahlan, J.
The remaining forest of Mount Ungaran, Central Javais the suitable habitat of Wreathed Hornbill (Rhyticeros undulatus), especially for a nesting site. The objective of the study was to analyse the nest record and characteristics of habitat around the nest, especially in Gunung Gentong station. The research was conducted from 2010-2016 using exploration method. The methodhabitat profile of the vertical structure tree canopy was taken by plot size 60 × 20 m. Measurements were taken to the standing of vegetation, canopy closure, the direction of the canopy, height canopy, a former branch of the vegetation height, and stem diameter. The Result of the study showed that Gunung Gentong is one of the research station that we have been recorded for nesting site on 2010-2015. Atotal of the nest record on Gunung Genting station was 10 nests. Estimate the elevation of nest location between 939-1240 AMSL. The tree species that used for nesting was Syzygium glabatrum, Syzygium antisepticum, Ceratoxylon formosum, and Ficus sp
Seki, Yasuaki; Bodde, Sara G; Meyers, Marc A
The structure and mechanical behavior of Toco Toucan (Ramphastos toco) and Wreathed Hornbill (Rhyticeros undulatus) beaks were compared. The beak of both species is a sandwich-structured composite, having an exterior, or rhamphotheca, consisting of multiple layers of keratin scales and a core composed of a fibrous network of bony closed-cell foam. The rhamphotheca is an arrangement of approximately 50microm diameter, overlapping, keratin tiles. The hornbill rhamphotheca exhibits a surface morphology on the ridged casque that is distinguishable from that observed on the bill proper. Intermediate filaments in the keratin matrix were observed by transmission electron microscopy. The Young's modulus measurements of toucan rhamphotheca indicate isotropy in longitudinal and transverse directions, whereas those of hornbill rhamphotheca may suggest anisotropy. The compressive response of beak foam is governed by brittle crushing behavior. The crushing strength of hornbill foam is six times higher than that of toucan foam. Micro- and nanoindentation hardness values were measured for rhamphotheca and foam trabeculae of toucan and hornbill specimens. The sandwich design of beaks was analyzed using the Karam-Gibson and Dawson-Gibson models. The presence of a cellular core increases the bending resistance (Brazier moment) by a factor of 3-6 while decreasing the compressive strength by only 50%.
The structure and mechanical behavior of Toco toucan (Ramphastos toco) and Wreathed hornbill (Rhyticeros undulatus) beaks were examined. The structure of Toco toucan and Wreathed hornbill beak was found to be a sandwich composite with an exterior of keratin and a fibrous bony network of closed cells made of trabeculae. A distinctive feature of the hornbill beak is its casque formed from cornified keratin layers. The casque is believed to have an acoustic function due to the complex internal structure. The toucan and hornbill beaks have a hollow region that extends from proximal to mid-section. The rhamphotheca is comprised of super-posed polygonal scales (45 mum diameter and 1 mum thickness) fixed by some organic adhesive. The branched intermediate filaments embedded in keratin matrix were discovered by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The diameter of intermediate laments was ~10 nm. The orientation of intermediate filaments was examined with TEM tomography and the branched filaments were homogeneously distributed. The closed-cell foam is comprised of the fibrous structure of bony struts with an edge connectivity of three or four and the cells are sealed off by the thin membranes. The volumetric structure of bird beak foam was reproduced by computed tomography for finite element modeling.
Graham, Sean P; Freidenfelds, Nicole A; Thawley, Christopher J; Robbins, Travis R; Langkilde, Tracy
Invasive species represent a substantial threat to native species worldwide. Research on the impacts of invasive species on wild living vertebrates has focused primarily on population-level effects. The sublethal, individual-level effects of invaders may be equally important but are poorly understood. We investigated the effects of invasive fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) on the physiological stress response of a native lizard (Sceloporus undulatus) within two experimental contexts: directly exposing lizards to a fire ant attack and housing lizards with fire ants in seminatural field enclosures. Lizards directly exposed to brief attack by fire ants had elevated concentrations of the stress hormone corticosterone (CORT), suggesting that these encounters can be physiologically stressful. However, lizards exposed for longer periods to fire ants in field enclosures had lower concentrations of CORT. This may indicate that the combined effects of confinement and fire ant exposure have pushed lizards into allostatic overload. However, lizards from fire ant enclosures appeared to have intact negative feedback controls of the stress response, evidenced by functioning adrenocorticotropic hormone responsiveness and lack of suppression of innate immunity (plasma bactericidal capacity). We review previous studies examining the stress response of wild vertebrates to various anthropogenic stressors and discuss how these-in combination with our results-underscore the importance of considering context (the length, frequency, magnitude, and types of threat) when assessing these impacts.
Coluccia, E; Deidda, F; Cannas, R; Lobina, C; Cuccu, D; Deiana, A M; Salvadori, S
A comparative cytogenetic analysis, using both conventional staining techniques and fluorescence in situ hybridization, of six Indo-Pacific moray eels from three different genera (Gymnothorax fimbriatus, Gymnothorax flavimarginatus, Gymnothorax javanicus, Gymnothorax undulatus, Echidna nebulosa and Gymnomuraena zebra), was carried out to investigate the chromosomal differentiation in the family Muraenidae. Four species displayed a diploid chromosome number 2n = 42, which is common among the Muraenidae. Two other species, G. javanicus and G. flavimarginatus, were characterized by different chromosome numbers (2n = 40 and 2n = 36). For most species, a large amount of constitutive heterochromatin was detected in the chromosomes, with species-specific C-banding patterns that enabled pairing of the homologous chromosomes. In all species, the major ribosomal genes were localized in the guanine-cytosine-rich region of one chromosome pair, but in different chromosomal locations. The (TTAGGG)n telomeric sequences were mapped onto chromosomal ends in all muraenid species studied. The comparison of the results derived from this study with those available in the literature confirms a substantial conservation of the diploid chromosome number in the Muraenidae and supports the hypothesis that rearrangements have occurred that have diversified their karyotypes. Furthermore, the finding of two species with different diploid chromosome numbers suggests that additional chromosomal rearrangements, such as Robertsonian fusions, have occurred in the karyotype evolution of the Muraenidae. © 2015 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.
Full Text Available The Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF is a holistic one as EAF considers all species as important elements within the eco-system. An EAF requires that community and ecosystem structure should be maintained by harvesting fish communities in proportion to their natural productivity, thereby sustaining the balance of species and sizes in a community. This article draws from research on the reef fish community and catch in Kotania Bay on Seram Island in Maluku, Indonesia, an area of approximately 6000 ha. Based on the trophic guild (ie the aggregation of species utilizing similar food resources on the reef, the biomass of predator fish currently being captured now represents 40.4% of the total catch biomass. Members of the grouper family, the humphead wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus and trevally (Caranx melampygus in particular, have become targeted for sale in fish markets. If these predators are selectively targeted and exploited, the overall reef fishery and the human populations that depend on it may become imperilled, given these species’ significant roles in controlling those lower in the food chain. This study thereby emphasizes the need for balanced fisheries informed by the EAF model in small island fisheries management in order to sustain food security in such regions.
Gao, Bo; Wang, Saisai; Wang, Yali; Shen, Dan; Xue, Songlei; Chen, Cai; Cui, Hengmi; Song, Chengyi
In this study, we conducted the activity, diversity, and density analysis of transposable elements (TEs) across five avian genomes (budgerigar, chicken, turkey, medium ground finch, and zebra finch) to explore the potential reason of small genome sizes of birds. We found that these avian genomes exhibited low density of TEs by about 10% of genome coverages and low diversity of TEs with the TE landscapes dominated by CR1 and ERV elements, and contrasting proliferation dynamics both between TE types and between species were observed across the five avian genomes. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that CR1 clade was more diverse in the family structure compared with R2 clade in birds; avian ERVs were classified into four clades (alpha, beta, gamma, and ERV-L) and belonged to three classes of ERV with an uneven distributed in these lineages. The activities of DNA and SINE TEs were very low in the evolution history of avian genomes; most LINEs and LTRs were ancient copies with a substantial decrease of activity in recent, with only LTRs and LINEs in chicken and zebra finch exhibiting weak activity in very recent, and very few TEs were intact; however, the recent activity may be underestimated due to the sequencing/assembly technologies in some species. Overall, this study demonstrates low diversity, activity, and density of TEs in the five avian species; highlights the differences of TEs in these lineages; and suggests that the current and recent activity of TEs in avian genomes is very limited, which may be one of the reasons of small genome sizes in birds.
Full Text Available The rabbit has various utilities and roles, mainly as a meat-producing animal, game species, companion animal, laboratory animal or pest. Among these roles, rabbit breeding for meat has traditionally prevailed in the Mediterranean countries. However, in recent decades the practice of keeping this species as a companion animal has been on the rise; a factor that could be changing public perception of the rabbit. A survey of 492 university students from Seville, Andalusia, Spain, was conducted to determine young people’s perceptions of the rabbit as livestock and as a companion species. The rabbit received the lowest score when regarded as livestock compared to the pig, cow, goat, sheep and hen. Regarding companion animals, young Spanish people preferred the dog and cat, respectively. The rabbit and the hamster were rated at the same level as a pet, while the budgerigar was rated lower than these two mammals by women and higher by men. The goldfish occupied the last position among the pet species in the women’s perceptions. With regard to the perception of various rabbit breeds and varieties when evaluated as pets, it was found that the pet Lop Dwarf, Netherland Dwarf, Angora and Lionhead breeds were rated higher than a typical meat breed (New Zealand White and than the wild rabbit. The gender of the young people surveyed influenced their perception of the rabbit. Women rated the rabbit lower as livestock while they rated it higher as a pet, also rating the pet rabbit breeds higher than men did. It is proposed that, in keeping with the rabbit’s attributes related to its cuteness, conceptually linked with pets, young Andalusian people’s perception of the rabbit is ambivalent and this perception might partly be shifting from perceiving it as livestock to regarding it as a pet.
Harper, E J; Turner, C L
Canaries appear to be primarily seed-eaters, although there are no reports of their feeding ecology in the wild. In captivity, they are offered seed-based diets, preferring to consume seeds such as canary, rapeseed and millet. The mean daily dry-matter intake ranges from 3 to 4 g, which corresponds to a mean gross energy intake of approximately 70 kJ per bird per day. The efficiency of dietary metabolism is high (0.85), which equates to individual metabolizable energy intakes of 45-75 kJ per bird per day. For a canary of average body weight (22 g) the data can be fitted to a regression equation to predict a requirement of 62 kJ ME per day. This corresponds to published information on the energy requirements of other passerine species, but deviates from the predictive equation for poultry. The digestibility values for protein, fat and carbohydrate are similar to those obtained for the budgerigar, although it is likely that the digestibility coefficient is dependent upon the seed type and alimentary tract lipase and amylase activities. Nutrient requirements of canary chicks have not yet been determined, although recent studies have provided data on the nutrient intakes of developing chicks. The newly-hatched canary chick has a rapid growth rate, achieving 90% of its asymptotic body mass by 11 days of age. Gross energy intake is approximately 3 kJ per day following hatching and by day 10 is equivalent to that of an adult canary. It appears that the protein intake should lie between 16.5 and 21.9% of the diet (as is), with peak intake occurring between 8 and 10 days of age.
Steven J Lindfield
Full Text Available In recent decades, spearfishing with SCUBA has emerged as an efficient method for targeting reef fish in deeper waters. However, deeper waters are increasingly recognised as a potential source of refuge that may help sustain fishery resources. We used a combination of historical catch data over a 20-year time period and fishery-independent surveys to investigate the effects of SCUBA spearfishing on coral reef fish populations in the southern Mariana Islands. Two jurisdictions were studied; Guam, where SCUBA spearfishing is practiced, and the nearby Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI, where SCUBA spearfishing has been banned since 2003. Fishery-independent data were collected using baited remote underwater stereo-video systems (stereo-BRUVs stratified by depth, marine protected area status and jurisdiction. Herbivores (primary consumers dominated spearfishing catches, with parrotfish (scarines and surgeonfish/unicornfish (acanthurids the main groups harvested. However, the large, endangered humphead wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus was the main species by weight landed by SCUBA spearfishers. SCUBA spearfishing was associated with declining size of scarines over time and catches shifting from a dominance of large parrotfishes to a mixed assemblage with increasing proportions of acanthurids. Comparisons between Guam and the nearby CNMI revealed differences in the assemblage of fished species and also greater size of scarines and acanthurids in deep water where SCUBA fishing is banned. These results suggest that SCUBA spearfishing impacts reef fish populations and that the restriction of this fishing method will ensure refuge for fish populations in deeper waters. We recommend a ban on SCUBA spearfishing to preserve or aid the recovery of large, functionally important coral reef species and to improve the sustainability of coral reef fisheries.
Lindfield, Steven J; McIlwain, Jennifer L; Harvey, Euan S
In recent decades, spearfishing with SCUBA has emerged as an efficient method for targeting reef fish in deeper waters. However, deeper waters are increasingly recognised as a potential source of refuge that may help sustain fishery resources. We used a combination of historical catch data over a 20-year time period and fishery-independent surveys to investigate the effects of SCUBA spearfishing on coral reef fish populations in the southern Mariana Islands. Two jurisdictions were studied; Guam, where SCUBA spearfishing is practiced, and the nearby Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), where SCUBA spearfishing has been banned since 2003. Fishery-independent data were collected using baited remote underwater stereo-video systems (stereo-BRUVs) stratified by depth, marine protected area status and jurisdiction. Herbivores (primary consumers) dominated spearfishing catches, with parrotfish (scarines) and surgeonfish/unicornfish (acanthurids) the main groups harvested. However, the large, endangered humphead wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus) was the main species by weight landed by SCUBA spearfishers. SCUBA spearfishing was associated with declining size of scarines over time and catches shifting from a dominance of large parrotfishes to a mixed assemblage with increasing proportions of acanthurids. Comparisons between Guam and the nearby CNMI revealed differences in the assemblage of fished species and also greater size of scarines and acanthurids in deep water where SCUBA fishing is banned. These results suggest that SCUBA spearfishing impacts reef fish populations and that the restriction of this fishing method will ensure refuge for fish populations in deeper waters. We recommend a ban on SCUBA spearfishing to preserve or aid the recovery of large, functionally important coral reef species and to improve the sustainability of coral reef fisheries.
Friedlander, Alan M; Obura, David; Aumeeruddy, Riaz; Ballesteros, Enric; Church, Julie; Cebrian, Emma; Sala, Enric
We report a reef ecosystem where corals may have lost their role as major reef engineering species but fish biomass and assemblage structure is comparable to unfished reefs elsewhere around the world. This scenario is based on an extensive assessment of the coral reefs of Farquhar Atoll, the most southern of the Seychelles Islands. Coral cover and overall benthic community condition at Farquhar was poor, likely due to a combination of limited habitat, localized upwelling, past coral bleaching, and cyclones. Farquhar Atoll harbors a relatively intact reef fish assemblage with very large biomass (3.2 t ha(-1)) reflecting natural ecological processes that are not influenced by fishing or other local anthropogenic factors. The most striking feature of the reef fish assemblage is the dominance by large groupers, snappers, and jacks with large (>1 m) potato cod (Epinephelus tukula) and marbled grouper (E. polyphekadion), commonly observed at many locations. Napoleon wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus) and bumphead parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum) are listed as endangered and vulnerable, respectively, but were frequently encountered at Farquhar. The high abundance and large sizes of parrotfishes at Farquhar also appears to regulate macroalgal abundance and enhance the dominance of crustose corallines, which are a necessary condition for maintenance of healthy reef communities. Overall fish biomass and biomass of large predators at Farquhar are substantially higher than other areas within the Seychelles, and are some of the highest recorded in the Indian Ocean. Remote islands like Farquhar Atoll with low human populations and limited fishing pressure offer ideal opportunities for understanding whether reefs can be resilient from global threats if local threats are minimized.
Alan M Friedlander
Full Text Available We report a reef ecosystem where corals may have lost their role as major reef engineering species but fish biomass and assemblage structure is comparable to unfished reefs elsewhere around the world. This scenario is based on an extensive assessment of the coral reefs of Farquhar Atoll, the most southern of the Seychelles Islands. Coral cover and overall benthic community condition at Farquhar was poor, likely due to a combination of limited habitat, localized upwelling, past coral bleaching, and cyclones. Farquhar Atoll harbors a relatively intact reef fish assemblage with very large biomass (3.2 t ha(-1 reflecting natural ecological processes that are not influenced by fishing or other local anthropogenic factors. The most striking feature of the reef fish assemblage is the dominance by large groupers, snappers, and jacks with large (>1 m potato cod (Epinephelus tukula and marbled grouper (E. polyphekadion, commonly observed at many locations. Napoleon wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus and bumphead parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum are listed as endangered and vulnerable, respectively, but were frequently encountered at Farquhar. The high abundance and large sizes of parrotfishes at Farquhar also appears to regulate macroalgal abundance and enhance the dominance of crustose corallines, which are a necessary condition for maintenance of healthy reef communities. Overall fish biomass and biomass of large predators at Farquhar are substantially higher than other areas within the Seychelles, and are some of the highest recorded in the Indian Ocean. Remote islands like Farquhar Atoll with low human populations and limited fishing pressure offer ideal opportunities for understanding whether reefs can be resilient from global threats if local threats are minimized.
Oyola Morales, José R.; Vital-García, Cuauhcihuatl; Hews, Diana K.; Martins, Emília P.
Many evolutionary forces can shape the evolution of communicative signals, and the long-term impact of each force may depend on relative timing and magnitude. We use a phylogenetic analysis to infer the history of blue belly patches of Sceloporus lizards, and a detailed spectrophotometric analysis of four species to explore the specific forces shaping evolutionary change. We find that the ancestor of Sceloporus had blue patches. We then focus on four species; the first evolutionary shift (captured by comparison of S. merriami and S. siniferus) represents an ancient loss of the belly patch by S. siniferus, and the second evolutionary shift, bounded by S. undulatus and S. virgatus, represents a more recent loss of blue belly patch by S. virgatus. Conspicuousness measurements suggest that the species with the recent loss (S. virgatus) is the least conspicuous. Results for two other species (S. siniferus and S. merriami) suggest that over longer periods of evolutionary time, new signal colours have arisen which minimize absolute contrast with the habitat while maximizing conspicuousness to a lizard receiver. Specifically, males of the species representing an ancient loss of blue patch (S. siniferus) are more conspicuous than are females in the UV, whereas S. merriami males have evolved a green element that makes their belly patches highly sexually dimorphic but no more conspicuous than the white bellies of S. merriami females. Thus, our results suggest that natural selection may act more immediately to reduce conspicuousness, whereas sexual selection may have a more complex impact on communicative signals through the introduction of new colours. PMID:28018661
Margarita N Lavides
Full Text Available In the Philippines, very high fishing pressure coincides with the globally greatest number of shorefish species, yet no long-term fisheries data are available to explore species-level changes that may have occurred widely in the most species rich and vulnerable marine ecosystem, namely coral reefs. Through 2655 face-to-face interviews conducted between August 2012 and July 2014, we used fishers' recall of past catch rates of reef-associated finfish to infer species disappearances from catches in five marine key biodiversity areas (Lanuza Bay, Danajon Bank, Verde Island Passage, Polillo Islands and Honda Bay. We modeled temporal trends in perceived catch per unit effort (CPUE based on fishers' reports of typical good days' catches using Generalized Linear Mixed Modelling. Fifty-nine different finfish disappeared from catches between the 1950s and 2014; 42 fish were identified to species level, two to genus, seven to family and eight to local name only. Five species occurring at all sites with the greatest number of fishers reporting zero catches were the green bumphead parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum, humphead wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus, African pompano (Alectis ciliaris, giant grouper (Epinephelus lanceolatus and mangrove red snapper (Lutjanus argentimaculatus. Between the 1950s and 2014, the mean perceived CPUE of bumphead parrotfish declined by 88%, that of humphead wrasse by 82%, African pompano by 66%, giant grouper by 74% and mangrove red snapper by 64%. These declines were mainly associated with excess and uncontrolled fishing, fish life-history traits like maximum body size and socio-economic factors like access to market infrastructure and services, and overpopulation. The fishers' knowledge is indicative of extirpations where evidence for these losses was otherwise lacking. Our models provide information as basis for area-based conservation and regional resource management particularly for the more vulnerable, once common, large
Iancu, Lavinia; Sahlean, Tiberiu; Purcarea, Cristina
The estimation of postmortem interval (PMI) is affected by several factors including the cause of death, the place where the body lay after death, and the weather conditions during decomposition. Given the climatic differences among biogeographic locations, the understanding of necrophagous insect species biology and ecology is required when estimating PMI. The current experimental model was developed in Romania during the warm season in an outdoor location. The aim of the study was to identify the necrophagous insect species diversity and dynamics, and to detect the bacterial species present during decomposition in order to determine if their presence or incidence timing could be useful to estimate PMI. The decomposition process of domestic swine carcasses was monitored throughout a 14-wk period (10 July-10 October 2013), along with a daily record of meteorological parameters. The chronological succession of necrophagous entomofauna comprised nine Diptera species, with the dominant presence of Chrysomya albiceps (Wiedemann 1819) (Calliphoridae), while only two Coleoptera species were identified, Dermestes undulatus (L. 1758) and Creophilus maxillosus Brahm 1970. The bacterial diversity and dynamics from the mouth and rectum tissues, and third-instar dipteran larvae were identified using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analysis and sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA gene fragments. Throughout the decomposition process, two main bacterial chronological groups were differentiated, represented by Firmicutes and Gammaproteobacteria. Twenty-six taxa from the rectal cavity and 22 from the mouth cavity were identified, with the dominant phylum in both these cavities corresponding to Firmicutes. The present data strengthen the postmortem entomological and microbial information for the warm season in this temperate-continental area, as well as the role of microbes in carcass decomposition. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of
Bolamba, D.; Patino, R.; Yoshizaki, G.; Thomas, P.
Homologous (granulosa cell-granulosa cell) gap junction (GJ) contacts increase in ovarian follicles of Atlantic croaker (Micropogonias undulatus) during the early (first) stage of maturation, but their profile during the second stage [i.e., during maturation-inducing hormone (MIH)-mediated meiotic resumption] is unknown. The profile of homologous GJ contacts during the second stage of maturation in croaker follicles was examined in this study and compared to that of heterologous (granulosa cell-oocyte) GJ, for which changes have been previously documented. Follicles were incubated with human chorionic gonadotropin to induce maturational competence (first stage), and then with MIH to induce meiotic resumption. The follicles were collected for examination immediately before and after different durations of MIH exposure until the oocyte had reached the stage of germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD; index of meiotic resumption). Ultrathin sections were observed by transmission electron microscopy, and homologous and heterologous GJ contacts were quantified along a 100-??m segment of granulosa cell-zona radiata complex per follicle (three follicles/time/fish, n=3 fish). Relatively high numbers of both types of GJ were observed before and after the first few hours of MIH exposure (up to the stage of oil droplet coalescence). GJ numbers declined during partial yolk globule coalescence (at or near GVBD) and were just under 50% of starting values after the completion of GVBD (P<0.05). These results confirm earlier observations that GVBD temporally correlates with declining heterologous GJ contacts, and for the first time in teleosts show that there is a parallel decline in homologous GJ. The significance of the changes in homologous and heterologous GJ is uncertain and deserves further study. ?? 2003 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.
Lavides, Margarita N; Molina, Erina Pauline V; de la Rosa, Gregorio E; Mill, Aileen C; Rushton, Stephen P; Stead, Selina M; Polunin, Nicholas V C
In the Philippines, very high fishing pressure coincides with the globally greatest number of shorefish species, yet no long-term fisheries data are available to explore species-level changes that may have occurred widely in the most species rich and vulnerable marine ecosystem, namely coral reefs. Through 2655 face-to-face interviews conducted between August 2012 and July 2014, we used fishers' recall of past catch rates of reef-associated finfish to infer species disappearances from catches in five marine key biodiversity areas (Lanuza Bay, Danajon Bank, Verde Island Passage, Polillo Islands and Honda Bay). We modeled temporal trends in perceived catch per unit effort (CPUE) based on fishers' reports of typical good days' catches using Generalized Linear Mixed Modelling. Fifty-nine different finfish disappeared from catches between the 1950s and 2014; 42 fish were identified to species level, two to genus, seven to family and eight to local name only. Five species occurring at all sites with the greatest number of fishers reporting zero catches were the green bumphead parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum), humphead wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus), African pompano (Alectis ciliaris), giant grouper (Epinephelus lanceolatus) and mangrove red snapper (Lutjanus argentimaculatus). Between the 1950s and 2014, the mean perceived CPUE of bumphead parrotfish declined by 88%, that of humphead wrasse by 82%, African pompano by 66%, giant grouper by 74% and mangrove red snapper by 64%. These declines were mainly associated with excess and uncontrolled fishing, fish life-history traits like maximum body size and socio-economic factors like access to market infrastructure and services, and overpopulation. The fishers' knowledge is indicative of extirpations where evidence for these losses was otherwise lacking. Our models provide information as basis for area-based conservation and regional resource management particularly for the more vulnerable, once common, large, yet wide
Zhang, Guojie; Li, Bo; Li, Cai; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Jarvis, Erich D; Wang, Jun
The evolutionary relationships of modern birds are among the most challenging to understand in systematic biology and have been debated for centuries. To address this challenge, we assembled or collected the genomes of 48 avian species spanning most orders of birds, including all Neognathae and two of the five Palaeognathae orders, and used the genomes to construct a genome-scale avian phylogenetic tree and perform comparative genomics analyses (Jarvis et al. in press; Zhang et al. in press). Here we release assemblies and datasets associated with the comparative genome analyses, which include 38 newly sequenced avian genomes plus previously released or simultaneously released genomes of Chicken, Zebra finch, Turkey, Pigeon, Peregrine falcon, Duck, Budgerigar, Adelie penguin, Emperor penguin and the Medium Ground Finch. We hope that this resource will serve future efforts in phylogenomics and comparative genomics. The 38 bird genomes were sequenced using the Illumina HiSeq 2000 platform and assembled using a whole genome shotgun strategy. The 48 genomes were categorized into two groups according to the N50 scaffold size of the assemblies: a high depth group comprising 23 species sequenced at high coverage (>50X) with multiple insert size libraries resulting in N50 scaffold sizes greater than 1 Mb (except the White-throated Tinamou and Bald Eagle); and a low depth group comprising 25 species sequenced at a low coverage (~30X) with two insert size libraries resulting in an average N50 scaffold size of about 50 kb. Repetitive elements comprised 4%-22% of the bird genomes. The assembled scaffolds allowed the homology-based annotation of 13,000 ~ 17000 protein coding genes in each avian genome relative to chicken, zebra finch and human, as well as comparative and sequence conservation analyses. Here we release full genome assemblies of 38 newly sequenced avian species, link genome assembly downloads for the 7 of the remaining 10 species, and provide a guideline of
Galbraith, Heather S.; Blakeslee, Carrie J.; Cole, Jeffrey C.; Silldorff, Erik L.
Semi-quantitative mussel surveys, conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Delaware Riverkeeper Network in cooperation with The Nature Conservancy, were completed in the vicinity of the Columbia Dam, on the Paulins Kill, New Jersey, in August 2017 in order to document the mussel species composition and relative abundance prior to removal of the dam. Surveys were conducted from the Brugler Road Bridge downriver approximately 2,000 meters (m) to the Columbia Dam and downriver from the dam about 300 m to 75 m upriver from the confluence of the Paulins Kill with the Delaware River. Sixteen sections (average length=175 m) were surveyed by personnel snorkeling or SCUBA diving; 13 sections were upriver from the dam, and 3 were downriver from the dam. Mussels, as they were encountered by surveyors, were removed from the sediment, immediately identified to species, and replaced in their original collection locations. Habitat data were collected for each surveyed section. Upriver and downriver from the dam, river margins with dense vegetation were examined for mussels by personnel using snorkels in transects (approximately 25 meters) perpendicular to river flow every 50 m on both sides of the river. Only two species were found upriver from the dam, and those were present in relatively low numbers. Catch per unit effort is reported here within parentheses as the average across upriver sections in number of mussels per person hour of survey time: 42 Elliptio complanata (2.6) and 1 Pyganodon cataracta (0.1) were found upriver from the dam. No mussels were found in the dense vegetation either upriver or downriver of the dam by surveyors using snorkels. Significantly higher species richness and mussel catch per unit effort were found downriver from the dam than upriver, including 106 E. complanta (32.5), 27 Utterbackiana implicata (8.2), 1 Alasmidonta undulata (0.4), 2 Lampsilis cariosa (0.5), 6 Lampsilis radiata (2.1), 4 P. cataracta (1.1), and 1 Strophitus undulatus (0
McClanahan, T R; Muthiga, N A
Trophic cascades caused by a reduction in predators of sea urchins have been reported in Indian Ocean and Caribbean coral reefs. Previous studies have been constrained by their site-specific nature and limited spatial replication, which has produced site and species-specific understanding that can potentially preclude larger community-organization nuances and generalizations. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the extent and variability of the cascade community in response to fishing across ~23° of latitude and longitude in coral reefs in the southwestern Indian Ocean. The taxonomic composition of predators of sea urchins, the sea urchin community itself, and potential effects of changing grazer abundance on the calcifying benthic organisms were studied in 171 unique coral reef sites. We found that geography and habitat were less important than the predator-prey relationships. There were seven sea urchin community clusters that aligned with a gradient of declining fishable biomass and the abundance of a key predator, the orange-lined triggerfish (Balistapus undulatus). The orange-lined triggerfish dominated where sea urchin numbers and diversity were low but the relative abundance of wrasses and emperors increased where sea urchin numbers were high. Two-thirds of the study sites had high sea urchin biomass (>2,300 kg/ha) and could be dominated by four different sea urchin species, Echinothrix diadema, Diadema savignyi, D. setosum, and Echinometra mathaei, depending on the community of sea urchin predators, geographic location, and water depth. One-third of the sites had low sea urchin biomass and diversity and were typified by high fish biomass, predators of sea urchins, and herbivore abundance, representing lightly fished communities with generally higher cover of calcifying algae. Calcifying algal cover was associated with low urchin abundance where as noncalcifying fleshy algal cover was not clearly associated with herbivore abundance. Fishing of the orange
Daniel P. Molloy
Full Text Available In an effort to develop an efficacious and environmentally safe method for managing zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha and quaggamussels (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis, we initiated a research project investigating the potential use of bacteria and their naturalmetabolic products as biocontrol agents. This project resulted in the discovery of an environmental isolate lethal to dreissenid mussels,Pseudomonas fluorescens strain CL145A (Pf-CL145A. In previous published reports we have demonstrated that: 1 Pf-CL145A’s mode ofaction is intoxication (not infection; 2 natural product within ingested bacterial cells lyse digestive tract epithelial cells leading to dreisseniddeath; and 3 high dreissenid kill rates (>90% are achievable following treatment with Pf-CL145A cells, irrespective of whether thebacterial cells are dead or alive. Investigating the environmental safety of Pf-CL145A was also a key element in our research efforts, andherein, we report the results of non-target trials demonstrating Pf-CL145A’s high specificity to dreissenids. These acute toxicity trials weretypically single-dose, short-term (24-72 h exposures to Pf-CL145A cells under aerated conditions at concentrations highly lethal todreissenids (100 or 200 mg/L. These trials produced no evidence of mortality among the ciliate Colpidium colpoda, the cladoceran Daphniamagna, three fish species (Pimephales promelas, Salmo trutta, and Lepomis macrochirus, and seven bivalve species (Mytilus edulis,Pyganodon grandis, Pyganodon cataracta, Lasmigona compressa, Strophitus undulatus, Lampsilis radiata, and Elliptio complanata. Lowmortality (3-27% was recorded in the amphipod Hyalella azteca, but additional trials suggested that most, if not all, of the mortality couldbe attributed to some other unidentified factor (e.g., possibly particle load or a water quality issue rather than Pf-CL145A’s dreissenidkillingnatural product. In terms of potential environmental safety, the results of